Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aloo ki Kadi (Potato curry or Potato stew)

Potato stew is one of my favorite dishes since childhood. It is something uncommon to many Indians but specific to a region to which my mom belongs. Lucky me! As a kid I would always ask for 3 bowls of skew for dinner but still be craving for more.

I have learned that not only is potato skew tasty, but also easy to make. All you need is 1-2 spices and potato and you are ready to go. It's perfect for a cold winter evening.

1. 2 large potatoes boiled and mashed
2. 3 cups of water
3. Salt to taste
4. Paprika
5. Ghee (olive oil will substitute if you don't have ghee)
6. Mustard seeds (optional)
7. Cumin seeds (optional)
8. Asafoetida
9. 2 Mango seeds dried

1. Add water and mashed potato to a skillet and stir continuously on medium flame and bring to a boil.
2. Add the mango seeds, paprika, asafoetida, and salt
3. Lower the heat but continue to stir until the skew becomes thick enough such that you cannot distinguish between the potato and water

Serve hot as a soup.

If you want to cook it the traditional Indian way, then:
3. Let skew cool and set aside.
4. Heat ghee in a separate skillet (something like serving spoon that can withstand direct heat would be convenient as opposed to a skillet) and then add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard seeds start popping, add cumin seeds and cook until they turn brown (few seconds)
6. Immerse or pour this skillet (or spoon depending on what you used) in the cool skew and cover simultaneously and as quickly as possible. This allows the spices to be absorbed by the skew.
Caution: Adding the hot oil to the skew can cause the skew to rise and splatter on your face! Keep Distance.
7. Cook the skew on low heat for another 5 minutes.

Serve hot with Roti (Indian bread) or naan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kadi (Authentic Indian Curry)

Authentic Indian curry is prepared with yogurt. This recipe shows you how to prepare the famous authentic Indian yellow curry the North Indian way.

North Indian curry is cooked in a yogurt sauce with flour. The goodness of turmeric and the tangy flavor of dried mango make this dish a die for.

Serves 3. No preparation required.

1. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric.
2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4. 1 teaspoon fenugreek
5. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
6. 2 teaspoons salt
7. 2 sprigs of curry leaf
8. 3 tbpsns of olive oil
9. Chickpea flour, 1 cup
10. 1 cup fat free plain yogurt
11. 3 cups water
12. Pinch of Asafoetida
13. 2-3 Dried mango seed

1. Beat the yogurt and add flour, Asafoetida, salt, paprika, mango seed.
2. Add water and mix well until the flour is dissolved and there are no more lumps.
3. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and then add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek and allow to splutter.
Tip: Add mustard seeds in the oil first as they take longer to cook. After the mustard seeds splutter, add cumin and fenugreek.
3. Carefully add the flour and yogurt mixture to the saucepan, and then add curry leaves.
4. Bring to boil while continuously stirring.

Serve hot over a bed of rice with a side of green salad. A delicious North Indian dinner is ready.

Note: You can add fried flour dumplings (pakoda) to the curry but this is not necessary.

To make the dumplings, mix chickpea flour, a pinch of baking soda, and water to form a paste. Form small balls of this paste(or simply drop a spoon of the paste in hot oil so that it rises immediately and forms its own shape. Do this in batches and do not crowd the dumpings) and deep fry until the dumplings start to turn brown,. Remove dumplings from the oil and add it to the curry sauce.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gujarati Dahl

Dahl/Dal/Dhal when translated in English is nothing but yellow lentil soup/ stew. Dahl is a staple food of India. It is known to be high in protein and help in digestion. It is both nutritious and flavorful. Dahl comes in a variety and has different names in different parts of India.
Gujarat is a western state in India, and Gujarati food is typically sweet and spicy. So, this recipe prepares Dahl with both sugar and salt.

1. 2 cups toor dahl (also known as arhar dal)
2. 2-3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves.
3. 1 large tomato, chopped.
4. 1-2 Green onions, chopped (optional)
5. 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
6. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
7. 1.5 teaspoon salt
8. 2 teaspoon sugar (use grated jagerry if you have it)
9. 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
10. 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
11. 1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek seeds)
12. A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
12. 5-10 drops of lime juice.
13. 3 cup water
14. 1 tbspn ghee (pasteurized butter)
15. 2-3 dry red chili, broken into pieces

1. Heat Ghee in a pressure cooker
2. When the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds and bring it to splutter
3. Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds until the seeds turn brown and the popping sound fastens
4. Add onion, turmeric powder, chili powder, curry leaves, Hing, paprika, and cook until the onion softens
5. Add tomato, lime juice and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Wash toor dahl and soak in water while the tomato cooks
7. Add dahl and water to the pressure cooker.
9. Add sugar and salt and close lid to allow the Dahl to boil. Let 4-5 whistles blow.
10. Allow the steam to come out of the pressure cooker. When the lid of pressure cooker opens, garnish as desired.

Dahl is ready to be served hot as a soup or over a bed of white Basmati rice for an evening dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aloo Baigan (Potato and Eggplant)


1. 2 large eggplants
2. 3 Green onions, chopped
3. 1/2 tbspn garlic, minced
4. 1/4 tbspn ginger, minced
5. 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into inches
6. Salt to taste
7. Paprika
8. 4-5 tbspns Olive oil
9. 1/2 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
10. A pinch of Asafoetida (heeng)
11. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
12. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
13. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot
2. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop.
3. When the mustard seeds start popping, add cumin seeds until it browns (in a few seconds)
4. Add green onion, garlic, and ginger.
5. When the green onions start to soften and you can smell the aroma of garlic, add turmeric powder, asafoetida, paprika. Cook for a few minutes so that the green onion absorbs the flavour of the spices.
5. When the spices are well mixed with the green onions, add potato and mix again.
6. Let the potatoes cook until the edges turn golden.
7. Now add eggplant. Turn the eggplant a few times in the pot to that the oil and spices are smeared on the eggplant. Make sure you don't mash the potatoes when you turn the eggplant.
8. Cook for 5-10 minutes and then add salt.
9. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
10. Add coriander leaves, turn heat off, and leave covered for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve hot with Roti or Paranthas.
An Indian delight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Falafel is popular vegetarian snack in the Middle Eastern countries. Vendors sell it on the streets as fast food. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini.

1. 1 can chickpeas
2. 4-5 spoons all purpose flour
3. 2-3 tbspns fresh coriander leaves, chopped
4. 1 medium sized onion
5. 1 teaspoon paprika
6. 2-3 teaspoons salt
7. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
8. 1-2 teaspoon cumin seeds
9. 1-2 tbspns garlic, minced
10. 1 tbspn ginger, minced
11. 1 litre olive oil for frying

1. Mix ingredients 1-10 in a blender or food processor and blend until a thick paste is formed.
2. Form small balls of the paste and fry in hot oil until brown.

Serve with Tahini or hummus. Garnish as desired!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp

Thai food is popular cuisine in many Western countries such as Canada. Thai Food is known for being hot and spicy and its balance of five fundamental flavors in the dish - hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter (optional). Thai recipes enthusiastic use fresh (rather than dried) herbs (lemon grass, galangal) and spices as well as fish sauce.Although popularly considered as a single cuisine, Thai food would be more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern, Central, Southern, each cuisine sharing similar foods or derived from those of neighboring countries. Southern curries, for example, tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice.

This recipe mixes the Southern and northeastern style of cooking.

Serves 4. No preparation required.

1. 1 can or 400 ml coconut milk
2. 3-4 tablespoons sugar
3. 3 Red bell peppers, chopped in sqaures
4. 1 tbspn lemon juice
5. 2-3 tbspn olive oil
6. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
7. 2-3 tbspn Fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped.
8. 2-3 tbsps Thai Green curry paste

1. Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a pan.
2. Add cocunut milk and green curry paste to the oil.
3. Add 1 cup water and mix well until a smooth paste is formed.
4. Heat until the liquid comes to a boil.
5. Add onion, bell pepper, sugar, lime juice, and shrimp.
6. Cook for 15 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and bell pepper softens.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot over pilaf rice.

Pilaf with Fresh Curry Leaves

Pilaf, also called polao, pilau or pulao, is a rice dish cooked in oil, and then in a seasoned broth. Depending on the local cuisine it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables. Pilaf a common food in South east Asia, and particularly India. Pilaf can be eaten alone or topped with any curry to add to the flavour.

Serves 4. Needs preparation.


  1. 2 cups Basmati rice
  2. 2 heaping tablespoon ghee (pasteurized butter)
  3. 1 onion, very finely minced
  4. 2-3 whole cashewnuts
  5. 3-4 pods of black cardamom
  6. 3-4 broken cinnamon sticks
  7. 5-6 strands of saffron
  8. 10 leaves of fresh curry leaf
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 3-4 Dried red chili (whole)
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped, for garnishing

1. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in 2 cups of Basmati rice. Let stand for 15-20 minutes.

2. Place the Ghee in a high-sided sauté pan (that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium-low heat.

3. Add the red chili, cardamom, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, and saffron.

3.Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft. Do not allow the onions to brown.

4. Drain the rice in a sieve, and run the rice under cold water from the faucet for a minute or so. Shake off the excess liquid, and add the rice to the cooked onions.

5. Stir together for a minute or so, coating the rice with the butter. Add salt to taste. Add water. Turn heat to high.

6. When the liquid begins to boil, turn heat down to medium-low and taste for salt. Cover tightly and cook over medium-low heat until the rice is tender and fluffy, about 15 minutes.

7. Keep off heat, covered, for 5 minutes, and transfer the rice to a platter with a fork, fluffing the rice as you go.

Garnish with finely cut fresh coriander leaves serve hot over curry.

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