Wednesday, September 22, 2010


There are mainly two types of kadhi in India- one gujarati and one north Indian. I personally like the north Indian kadhi and I blindly follow Manjula Aunti's recipe to make kadhi. Her kadhi is really the best! So basically I am reproducing here recipe here.

For kadhi:
2/3 cup besan
1 cup plain yogurt
7 cup water
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric paste
3 tbsp clarified butter
3 whole red chillies
2 bay leaves
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp deggi mirch powder
1/4 tsp  fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida

For pakodas:
3/4 cup besan
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1/4 tsp baking powder

Oil to fry

For kadhi, in a bowl mix besan, yogurt, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well and then add 3 cups of water and mix again. Keep it aside.
In a pan, heat 2 tbsp clarified butter. When ghee is hot, add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Now add whole red chilli and bay leaves. Now put the besan yogurt mixture in this. When first boil comes, put the gas on medium and add 4 more cups of water. Let it cook on low-medium heat for 45-50 minutes. Stir occasionally and in the meantime prepare the pakodas.
For pakodas, mix all above ingredients under pakodas. Adjust water to require desired consistency (that of a melted chocolate consistency!). In a pan add some oil and heat it. Make around 1 inch round pakodas by deep frying in hot oil. Put pakodas in water for 30 seconds and then press it softly and squeeze the water oil. After kadhi has been cooked for 45-50 minutes, add pakodas and cook for another 10 minutes. Now switch off the flame and take the kadhi out. Take another small pan and heat 1 tbsp ghee in it. Add red chili powder and deggi mirch and add 1-2 tbsp water. Tamper kadhi with this.  It is important to let kadhi cook for long time. This makes it order of magnitude more delicious. Serve it with rice.

Chhole Bhature

The signature dish of North India! The best tasting Chhole Bhatures are at railway stations, sold in leaf donas!!! They adds fun to the long boring train journeys. Whenever we used to travel as children, this was what we used to look forward to! Now I make at home, it tastes great but I still miss those days. Anyway, here is the recipe:


For Chhole:
1 can garbanzo beans
1 big onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 inch ginger chopped
3 green chillies chopped
1 tbsp MDH Chhole Masala
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1 tsp kasoori methi

For Bhaturas:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp semolina
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil

Oil for frying Bhaturas
(Bhaturas dough needs to be kept for 5-6 hours, so start early!)

For garnishing:
1 medium sized onion cut in small pieces
1 lemon cut in 4 pieces

To makes Chhole, in a pan heat oil. When oil is hot, put cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add onions, ginger and green chillies. When onion are golden brown, add coriander powder and red chili powder. Add tomatoes. One tomatoes are cooked, put salt and Chhole masala. Finally add garbanzo beans/chhole and put desired water (1 cup is enough). Cook for 15-20 minutes at medium low heat and towards the end, put some kasoori methi.

For bhaturas, mix all the ingredients and mix dough of medium consistency. If you require, add some water to reach desired consistency. Leave this dough for 5-6 hours covered with a damp cloth.
When you have to make bhturas, heat 1 cup oil in a deep pan at medium flame. Make table-tennis sized balls of dough and roll it with a rolling pin. Deep fry it. The soft crispy bhaturas are ready.
Serve Chhole and bhaturas with onion and lemon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vada Sambhar with coconut Chutney

Believe me there are thousands of ways of making Sambhar! And all are delicious. My Sambhar recipe is a quick sambhar recipe and probably not the most authentic one. For more traditional and authentic sambhar, I will rely on my good south Indian friends like Ravali and Jayasri. But this sambhar is quick and goes well with Vada. So here is the recipe for all three:

1 cut urad wash
A pinch salt
A pinch black pepper
1 tbsp coconut pieces chopped in small sizes
1/2 onion chopped finely
1 green chilli chopped
Water at room temperature
Oil to fry

Soak urad wash in lots of water overnight. In the morning, grind it with minimum amount of water (I put little more water so my vadas are not in great shape, as you will see image below). Once grinded all the urad daal, you need to do this most important step (which will make vadas light and very crispy). Take little water in a bowl. Put just a drop of grinded urad daal, it will sink in water. Now take the grinded mixture and mix it with hands vigorously to make it very fluffy and aerated. Now if you put a drop of this in water, it will float! Now add all other ingredients (except oil and water). Heat oil for frying in a pan. Wet your hands with water. Take a table spoon of this mixture, flatten it a bit and make a hole in the center and carefully put it in the pan. Similarly fry all the vadas.

2 tbsp oil
1 drum stick cut in 2 inches pieces
10-12 shallots ( mini onion )
1 onion chopped
2 green chillies chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp MDH sambhar masala
1.5 inch tamarind soaked in water (or 2 tbsp tamarind paste)
few curry leaves
1/2 cup toor daal
salt to taste
A pinch asafoetida
2-3 whole red chillies (dry)

In a pressure cooker cook toor daal with turmeric powder and salt. In a deep pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add curry leaves and red chillies. Now add chopped onion and green chillies. When onion becomes transparent, add shallots, drum sticks, tomatoes. Add 2 cups of water and salt and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked, add tamarind paste. Add sambhar masala and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Now add the cooked toor daal and add more water to require desired consistency and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve sambhar hot with vadas. You can add as many veggies as you want in it!

Coconut chutney:
1 fresh coconut peeled and grated
1-2 green chillies
2 tbsp roasted chana daal
1/2 inch ginger
a pinch salt
1 tsp tamarind paste

For tampering
1 tsp clarified butter
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad wash
5-6 curry leaves
2-3 red chillies whole

Grind all the ingredients listed above except for the ones listed under tampering. Now transfer it in a bowl. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Add all the ingredients listed under tampering. Fry for 1-2 minutes and put it in the same bowl where chutney is. Mix it with a spoon. Serve Vadas with sambhar and chutney.

Here I really apologize to my south Indian friends who can make this much better and more authentic and your inputs are always welcomed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Egg-Mushroom Curry

Whenever I make egg-curry, I miss my old friend Neeraj from NCRA days. Once Neeraj was visiting me in Charlottesville and I made egg curry. He liked it and ate it on two consecutive days and eventually had stomach upset :) Well, he probably ate too many eggs :) Well, here is the recipe:

4 eggs
2 medium potatoes
1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
1 medium onion
4-5 garlic cloves
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
1/2 cup coriamder leaves chopped (optional)

In a grinder, grind onion, garlic and green chillies and keep the paste aside. Boil eggs. Boil potatoes. Keep 1/2 boiled potato aside and cut 1 inches cubes from remaining potatoes. Heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot, shallow fry eggs and potatoes. This is important because this gives that crispy delicious outer layer of egg and potato which tastes wonderful in the curry.  This is how your shallow fried eggs and potatoes will look like this:

Now poke these eggs and potatoes with a fork (so that curry goes inside when we put it in gravy).
In the remaining oil, put cumin seeds. When they crackle, put the grind paste of onion, garlic and green chili. Let it fry for few minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili and salt. Now mash that 1/2 potato which you kept aside and mix it well in the pan with the other masala. This mashed potato thickens the curry and gives a very good texture. Put mushrooms and 1 cup water and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the fried eggs and potatoes. Cook it for another 7-8 minutes on medium-low heat. Add garam masala and garnish it with coriander leaves. I did not have coriander leaves so I could not garnish my curry :) It tastes great with plain rice or naan.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick and Healthy dessert

If it is one of those days when you either have to write proposal or work on writing a paper, you just don't feel like cooking. This recipe is for one of those days - my accidental discovery yesterday! Turned out to be quite decent. And again, you can modify it according to your taste very easily!!! The good thing is that this dessert is healthy and has items from 3 food groups : dairy, fruits and carbs. This is how I made it.

A nice looking glass (important!)
3-4 tbsp flavored yogurt (I used vanilla)
2-3 tbsp frozen fruits (I used berries and melons)
1-2 tbsp granola/cereal/wheat crisps
1 tbsp whipped cream (optional)

Take a beautiful transparent glass. Put 1 tbsp yogurt. Add a layer of fruits. Add another layer of yogurt. Now add few more fruits, some cereals (I used wheat crisps as I did not have any other cereal). And for the kick top it up with some whipped cream. Just keep it for 5 minutes and have it with spoon and enjoy the delicious taste of all the wonderful ingredients :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Janmashtami Sweets

Last week was Janmashtami - celebration of birth of Lord Krishna. I wanted to celebrate it but did not have enough time to do elaborate cooking. I needed to make 5 sweets. Finally I made these 5 sweets which were very easy to cook and tasted great. I made Nariyal Katli, Potato halwa, Suji kheer, Panjeeri and Charnamrat. Here is my quick recipe of each of these (I am sure you can make much elaborated version of each of these, but with small baby at home this is so great!):

Charnamrat:  In a glass put 2-3 tbsps plain yogurt and fill the glass upto 3/4th level with milk. Add 1-2 spoons of gangajal, a drop of rose water and few pistachios cut in pieces. Add 2-3 leaves of basil.

Aloo Halwa: Boil 2-3 potatoes and mash them well. In a pan take 2 tbsp clarified butter and heat it. Fry the mashed potatoes well. When they are golden red, add few cut cashews and sugar to desired taste.

Panjeeri: In a pan on medium flame, heat 2-3 tbsps clarified butter (be generous in using clarified butter). Take 1/2 cup wheat flour and roast them well in that ghee. When golden brown take away from pan. In a separate pan roast some chopped coconuts and raisins. Finally mix these dry fruits and desired sugar in the roasted wheat flour and panjeeri is ready.

Suji Kheer: Take a tbsp clarified ghee. Add 3-4 tbsp suji (semolina). Roast it well and then add 3 cups of Milk and let it boil on sim for 20-30 minutes. When desired consistency is reached add 3-4 tbsp sugar and dry fruits of your choice. Roast the dry fruits before adding in the kheer. It gives great flavour.

Nariyal katli: In a pan take 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Keep stirring it at medium-high flame. Take a bowl filled with room temperature water with you. Every few minutes drop little sugar syrup in this water. If it spreads in the water, the syrup is too thin. After a while the syrup drop will maintain its shape and thats when your syrup is ready. Immediately put chopped coconuts in this and stir vigorously. Set it on a plate and let it cool. You can put any dry fruit available to you. The best one along with coconut are makhanas (lotus seeds) and kharbooja seeds.

All these dishes can be modified to your own taste. And if you have time you can make these in a more elaborated way. I had just one hour to make all so I did this quick job. And you have to go generous in using clarified butter. But thats okay once in a while. It boosts your metabolism to have high fat foods once in a while. Really.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maggi Bhel

The credit goes to my two good friends Shubhli and Surabhi for introducing me to this yummy evening snack. This is so easy to make and yet so delicious. Thanks Surabhi and Shubhli. So here it goes:

1 packet Maggi Masala
1 boiled potato cut in small pieces
1 tomato chopped finely
1 small onion chopped finely
1 green chiili chopped finely
1 tsp chunky chat masala
1/2 tsp lemon juice (or as per your taste)
1 tsp oil

First take the Maggi packet and beat the hell out of it (literally!). This is important to make the noodles very small! Take a shallow pan and out 1 tsp oil in it. Open the Maggi packet and put the noodles on the pan and roast it until they are golden brown. Let it cool. In a big bowl, mix potato, chilli, onion and tomato. Add roasted Maggi noodles. Now take the masala pouch from the Maggi packet and mix it well. Add all other ingredients i.e. Chunky chat masala and lemon juice and mix well. Eat this delicious bhel.