This dish, made from different kinds of lentils, has become an absolute hit at my place. More so, with my guests who try to guess which dal they are eating. Actually, it’s a little hard to guess when there are so many different types of them in there, cooked slowly till they release their flavors. The reason why I like this dish is that it is a welcome change from the stereo-type rajma/ chole gravies we prepare on special occasions. Its also comparatively nutritious and gives a unique, creamy taste. Continue reading
What do you do on a day like this? Bangalore saw no sun. Even my 2-year old was asking me what the matter was. Its been gloomy and cloudy like an evening 6 pm through out the day! All cars in the basement were intact. That means no one wants to venture out in the cold. I was in the mood to eat something hot and spicy. Given that you cant go anywhere you got to make it yourself. So thats how I decided to make egg curry with parathas and jeera rice for our Sunday Lunch. Continue reading
I tasted this delicacy for the first time at a Kannadiga wedding. I was amazed at how creative people can get with pineapple. I was sure someday I would crack the code and make it for myself. Then years went by, lots more weddings and lots more Gojju. I just couldnt seem to have enough of it. Finally I decided to find out the recipe to this mid-boggling taste and set off to speak to some ladies in my apartment who have mastered the art of Gojju-making.
I must say you need lots of patience in cleaning and cutting the pineapple, not to mention the bruised fingers at the end of it. The time taken to get the pineapple ready was nearly half of the entire time taken to make the Gojju.
Anyway, I must say I was very happy with the end result. I made just one small change. I should have thrown away some excess water after boiling the pineapple but I didnt have the heart to waste delicious pineapple juice. So I went ahead and used it up. Unlike the original recipe it became a bit watery but somehow the taste was not diluted. I just loved the khatta-meetha flavors that were exploding in my mouth with every spoonful of this dish.
You can also make Gojju with other Sweet N Sour fruits like grapes. It compliments best the taste of plain dal and rice. You can choose to make tur dal or better still yellow moong dal. Just ensure that the dal is given the most simple and basic tempering. Any masalas in your dal could fight with the flavor of the Gojju.
I had saved the pricky flower head of the pineapple to dress up the Gojju for a snap but my maid thew it away saying it looked dirty. Ok, so feast your eyes on the Gojju without distractions.
- 1 cup Pineapple pieces
- 1 tablespoon Tamarind juice
- 2 teaspoons Jaggery (change as per sweetness of pineapple and your taste)
- Salt (to taste)
For the Masala :
- 2 teaspoons Coriander seeds (optional)
- 1.5 tablespoons Channa dal
- 1/2 teaspoon Methi seeds
- 4-5 Byadige red chillies
- 1.5 tablespoons grated Dry coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
For the Tempering :
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- Few Curry leaves
- Wash and cut pineapple into small pieces (this is the toughest part, if someone cuts it for you half the work is done)
- Boil pineapple pieces till they are soft.
- Heat oil. Add Channa dal, coriander seeds, meethi seeds, rai, byadige chillies and roast till golden brown.
- Now take out the roasted masala into a mixie jar. Cool and grind into a powder.
- Dry roast the grated dry coconut for a few minutes.
- Add to the mixie and grind further (grinding with the masalas initially itself wont give you a fine powder)
- Add tamarind juice and jaggery to the boiling pineapple pieces.
- Now add ground masala and boil till mixture thickens.
- Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Once they splutter add tempering to the pineapple Gojju.
- Serve hot with rotis or plain dal & rice.
- You can also add til/ sesame seeds to the masalas while roasting.
- You can make Gojju out of Urad dal instead of Channa Dal.
Please NOTE :
Try to buy a pineapple from a vendor who cuts and sells it. In India, you find hand cart chaatwalas or guys who sell pineapple slices by the plate. You can buy a whole pineapple from him. It will cost you a premium price but it will definitely be very sweet.
There are certain simple meals in every home that lie in the Comfort Food category for all family members. Phulauri Ki Kadhi is one such dish which makes a perfect Sunday lunch for us. It must be among the top favorite dishes of my husband.
Phulauri stands for Besan dumplings and Kadhi is a curds gravy. In the picture you can see that the Kadhi has been served with steamed rice and Mirchi ke pakode. Makes a great combination. Just remember not to accidentally put the pakode in the curry instead of the besan dumplings 🙂 If you cant make mirchi ke pakode then have kadhi and rice with red stuffed chilly pickle. The combination rocks!
Kadhi comes from the word ‘Kadhana’, which literally means ‘thickening’. In this recipe we cook buttermilk for a long duration of time on sim flame till it becomes thick and creamy. Hence, the name.
This is my entry to the Curry Mela hosted by Srivalli. I love the idea of having a collection of curries that dont use dal. I am eagerly awaiting the round-up.
For the dumplings / Phulauri
- 1 cup Besan
- 1/4 teaspoon of Ajwain or carom seeds (optional)
- Pinch of Fruit Salt
For the Curds Gravy / Kadhi
- 3 cups of Curds
- 1.5 tablespoon Besan
- Pinch of Hing
- 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
For the tempering
- 2 teaspoons Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Jeera seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Saunf seeds
- Few Curry leaves
- 1-2 Dried Red chillies
- Mix the besan with ajwain, salt, fruit salt and water enough to make a paste.
- Deep fry besan dumplings in hot oil. Keep these dumplings or phulauris aside.
- Blend curd, hing, salt, turmeric powder, besan with water in mixie jar.
- Heat the Oil. Add jeera seeds, mustard seeds, saunf, Curry leaves and red chillies.
- Once the tempering crackles add the curds mixture to it.
- Boil well on sim flame. This is where you need patience. You need to boil this mixture till it thickens and loses about 25 % of its volume.
- Add dumplings and simmer for another 2 mins.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve piping hot with rice.
Pudina leaves are used in a variety of dishes to give a minty taste. Specially, mock tails and other soft drinks that need that extra dash of freshness. I personally love Shikanji, a drink like jal-jeera made in North India to beat the heat.
There is this cute little pudina plant growing in my terrace garden. One month ago my husband was sorting out the pudina leaves when he suddenly ran to the terrace with a few stems in one hand and a digging tool in another. I was wondering what he was upto. He neatly potted the stems which had few roots. I was apprehensive about a plant growing out of it. After 2 days I noticed that the green stem had turned red. That was the first indication that the plant had caught roots. I was so happy to see the growth then on. The little stem soon became a heavily loaded plant. It was torn by my one year old baby girl ( she is not entirely to blame, I think the pigeons helped her 🙂 ) Anyway, this plant is a survivor. Love having it in around, so refreshing to even look at.
For the herb mania, I decided to make Pudina Ke Gatte. I saw this recipe on a show called ‘Rasm-e-rasoi’ that comes at 12 noon on 9x TV. I really like the pudina twist given to the famous Rajasthani curry, Gatte ki Sabzi. Due to lack of fresh vegetables in the desert land, people in olden days came up with these innovative sabzis that could be had anytime with roti.
This dish is made patiently in stages, Boiling , Shallow frying and finally preparing the gravy. However, its worth the effort and time. It surely tastes different from the usual Gatte Ki Sabzi , thanks to the Pudina and mustard oil.
For the Gatte
- 1 cup Pudina leaves, pureed
- 1 Green chilly, finely chopped
- 2 cups Besan
- 1/2 teaspoon Ajwain
For the Gravy
- 1 cup Curd
- 1 tablespoon Besan
For the tempering
- 1/2 cup Mustard Oil
- Pinch of Hing
- 1/2 teaspoon Red chilly powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Jeera powder
For the Garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon Chaat masala
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- Freshly chopped coriander leaves
- Make a dough out of the Gatte ingredients.
- Make Rolls of the dough and place in boiling water for 5 – 7mins.
- Take rolls out gently and allow them to cool.
- Cut slices of Gatte from the rolls.
- Heat mustard oil. Shallow fry Gatte and keep aside.
- To remaining oil add hing, jeera powder and red chilly powder. Add the Gatte back and mix well.
- Now beat the ingredients for the gravy in a cup with some water.
- Add this paste to the mixture and let the gatte boil till the raw besan smell disappears from the gravy.
- Garnish with Chaat masala, lime juice and coriander leaves.
Please NOTE :
The dough made for the Gatte should be slightly tighter than the one you make for rotis. At the same time, be careful not to let it become watery. If you feel its sticky , add some more gram flour and knead till its manageable.
A month ago my dear friend and neighbour, Namita invited us over for dinner. It was the day of holi and we were tired after the day-long celebrations. We had a colored, water-filled bash in the apartment, after which we went to a couple of places to wish family members. By the end of the day I was glad I was invited for dinner as I didnt have the stamina to cook.
Namita had made an array of tradional Konkani dishes. After a discussion with her I learnt that Konkani food is fairly simple and very nutritious. They dont believe in using too much oil or spices. I noticed that the food had a flavor thats different from the other South-Indian cuisines.
Tomato Saar for instance is one such simple curry which uses the usual South-Indian ingredients like tomatoes, coconut , chillies and curry leaves yet it manages to create a never-before taste. After we returned from her place I tried this Saar out and it was an instant hit at home. Ever since we have made it almost four times and still cant seem to get enough of it.
- 4 big ripe tomatoes
- 3-4 finger like pieces of coconut
- 2 green chillies
- 1/4 teaspoon methi seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon rai
- Few curry leaves
- Boil the tomatoes with green chillies till they are soft. Save the boiled water.
- In a little bit of oil roast the methi seeds to golden color.
- Grind the boiled tomatoes, chillies with methi seeds and coconut in a mixie jar.
- Now in the previously saved boiled water add the ground mixture and give it another boil.
- For the tempering heat oil. Add rai, curry leaves and pour over the saar.
Namoona is a famous peas curry eaten in Lucknow. I had the opportunity of having it last week and I think its one of the tastiest curries one can have with roti.
Green peas are in abundance right now. I bought a few kilos, pealed and froze them. So now anytime I suddenly have guests over this is one vegetable I can surely prepare.
You might need a little extra time and effort as compared to other curries but its worth it when you finally get to eat something so exquisite.
- Musk melon seeds, about 1 tablespoon
- Few cashew nuts or kajus
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 2 fingers of paneer
- 2 teaspoons khoya
- 2 teaspoons malai
- 1/2 teaspoon Jeera
- Pinch of Hing
- 1 Onion
- A small piece of Ginger
- 5-6 pods of Garlic
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon Red chillie powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Haldi powder
- 1 teaspoon Dhania powder
- Soak musk melon seeds and kajus. Once soft, grind them with paneer, khoya and malai.
- Boil peas. Save a handful of them and grind the remaining.
- Heat oil. Add jeera and hing. Add Paste of onion, ginger, garlic. Fry well.
- Add tomato puree and continue to fry.
- Add tablespoon of the previously prepared melon paste to the fried masala. Continue to cook till milk smell disappears.
- Add boiled peas puree and mix well. Add previously saved boiled peas into it.
- Heat oil. Add red chillie powder, haldi powder and dhania powder. Add this tempering to the curry.
Please NOTE :
This is one of the oldest and all time favorite recipes of mine. Somehow I never got a chance to make it. May be because I was always skeptical about my baking skills.
Today I managed to bake this for our Special Sunday lunch. It turned out well. I intentionally made it a bit lighter than the original recipe because my husband cant digest heavy milk products in his food.
Being a total Indian at heart I couldn’t keep oil out of this dish. So I tweaked the original recipe a bit to suit my requirement.
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon maida
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon grated cheese
- Pepper Powder (freshly roasted and ground)
- 1 cup mixed vegetables :
- Red , Yellow, Green pepper
- Baby Corn
- Finely chopped Garlic
- 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons of bread crumbs
For the White Sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add maida and fry till it turns opaque.
- Add milk and boil the sauce. If it appears too thick add more milk till the sauce is moderately pasty.
- Add grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Preparing the Vegetables
- Stir fry vegetables in oil with some salt till they are half cooked.
- Boil pasta with a Pinch of salt, till its soft. Mix into the stir fried vegetables.
- Add the white sauce to the mixture of vegetables and pasta.
- Add some pepper powder. Mix well.
Baking the Dish
- Preheat oven at 200 °C.
- Pour the vegetable pasta mixture into a baking dish.
- Pour Olive Oil over the dish and mix well.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
- Bake at 200 °C for about 15 mins.
Please NOTE :
- In this dish salt is added a number of times at different stages of preparation. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the overall quantity of salt does not become too much.
- If you don’t have bread crumbs you can quickly make them. Microwave a piece of bread for 30 secs and leave it outside till it dries up. Crumble it and sprinkle over the dish.
- While preparing the white sauce pour warm milk into the fried maida. This will prevent lump formation due to temperature difference.
Paneer Fusion in Garlic Sauce
My husband is totally into North Indian cuisine and I love to order Chinese whenever we go out. One Sunday, I decided to make something that will make both of us happy. I had paneer, which everyone at home loves and I knew how to go about making koftas out of it. I wondered how those yummy paneer dumplings would taste in a spicy hot garlic sauce. Garlic, as we know takes over the taste of any dish it enters. Thats one reason we really need to think before adding it to anything.
Well, there wasn’t much to lose so I got started on my paneer koftas and chopped out a whole lot of garlic. I didnt want to make the gravy too heavy so I decided to keep cream out of it. The end result was enjoyed by both of us. So thats how Paneer Fusion in hot garlic sauce came to being. I guess in Chinese cuisine they must be making a similar dish, with Tofu probably.
For centuries people have known the medicinal properties of Garlic. In Egypt, Garlic has been found in the tombs of ancient Pharaohs dating back to 3,200 B.C. It was used by the pyramid builders who believed that garlic gave them strength. The only slave revolt in Egypt was by laborers over lack of Garlic, one year when the Nile flooded the Garlic fields. The Greeks used garlic to bring strength to their athletes at the Olympic game. So finally we all know the secret to winning an Olympic Gold!
- 1 cup grated Paneer
- 1/2 tablespoon Maida
- Few Spring onions
- 10-12 Garlic pods
- 1/2 tablespoon Cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Soya Sauce
- 10 Pepper corns
- Puree of 3 Big ripe Tomatoes
- Grate paneer. Add salt and maida. Mix well.
- Make small balls out of the paneer mixture and deep fry in hot oil.
- Heat Olive oil. Add finely chopped garlic and fry well.
- Now add finely chopped spring onions and continue to fry.
- Add some freshly roasted and ground pepper powder.
- Once the onions appear done add tomato puree. Cook till tomatoes are done.
- Dissolve cornflour powder in a cup of water and add to the paste. Now add salt (remember paneer also has salt!)
- Once paste thickens slightly add vinegar, soya sauce, paneer balls and stir for few minutes.
- Garnish with finely chopped green onion leaves and serve hot with roti or pasta.
- If you are calorie conscious and don’t want to deep fry the paneer balls you can microwave them for 3-4 minutes and add them directly to the sauce.
- You can used red chillie flakes instead of black pepper corns in this dish to give the gravy more fire and color.
Please NOTE :
- Don’t microwave the paneer balls for more than a few minutes as they will turn hard.
- Don’t boil the dish much after adding cornflour paste as the gravy will thicken and you will continuously need to add more water.
This is one tasty and filling curry that can be had with anything right from samosas, tikkis and chaats to meals with rotis and rice. I usually make this when I have guests over.
Although you get chole in most restaurants today there is nothing to beat the taste that you get at home. Once you finish making it enter your kitchen after an hour and you can catch the aroma still lingering around.
- 1 cup of Chole
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 onions
- 10 garlic cloves
- A small piece of ginger
- 1 green chilly
- A small piece of Dal chini
- Few pieces of Laung
- Few pieces of Choti elaichi
- 2 teaspoons of dhania powder
- 1 teaspoon of haldi powder
- Soak chole overnight. Boil and cook well with about 4-5 whistles.
- Grind onions , Ginger-garlic-green chillies, Tomatoes, each separately.
- Roast Dal chini, Laung, Choti elaichi and grind in mortar pestle.
- Heat oil. Fry onion paste. When little more than half cooked add Ginger-garlic-green chillies paste and cook till brown. Add haldi powder, dhania powder, salt and cook for few more minutes.
- Now add tomato paste and continue to cook till paste leaves fat from the sides.
- Finally add the roasted ground masala and cook well. Add chole and cook till the curry comes together.