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Aloo Chutney: Tangy Potato Chutney

24 Nov

Another recipe from my grandmother’s kitchen – a tangy aloo chutney laced with mustard. The original version is made of jimikand (yam) in place of potatoes, but as those who’ve cooked with yam would know, the vegetable is tricky to handle raw. And so we switch one tasty tuber for another. Potato chutney is just as good and is super easy to make.

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Raw Moong Dal Salad

10 Mar

My first taste of kosambari was at a friend’s wedding in Karnataka. One spoonful and I was sold. That soaked moong dal could be eaten uncooked – and that it could be delicious – was a revelation. Since then I’ve been experimenting with salad made of split pulses and an assortment of vegetables. (more…)

Green Chili Pickle Recipe, and Tips for Pickle-Making

15 Feb

This was my first attempt at making pickle the traditional way and I have to confess I was nervous. The pickle jar needs to be placed out in the sun during the day and brought inside before sundown, regularly for days together. It needs to be handled with super-dry, ultra-clean  equipment. My anxious mind asked – with no prior experience to bank on, a 9-to-6 job and other pressing domestic matters, will I be able to keep up with the discipline of pickle-making?

I did – and a week later, have this delicious green chili pickle recipe to share with you. Detailed step-by-step pictures included.

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Sabudana Khichdi

13 Oct

Sabudana, also called sago, is used as fast food in India. No, not the fast food of the burger-and-fries ilk. Fast food, as in vrat food. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, explanation follows. Others, please bear with me a minute or feel free to skip the next two paras directly to the recipe.

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How to Make Paneer at Home

5 Aug

There was a time when I lived next to a dairy that sold really fresh, soft paneer (cottage cheese). Now the only paneer I can lay hands on is the store-bought variety. Fridge life of three weeks says the wrapper, but within three days it starts to feel rubbery and sour.

Homemade paneer has acquired irresistible charm. Pre-packaged paneer will do no more  – the taste buds crave the real deal.

Fortunately, this is an easily satiated craving. It is surprisingly easy to make paneer at home.

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Coriander Chutney

4 May

Chutneys give the innovative chef wide scope for play. Blend together myriad ingredients, vary proportions, add this and that – with caution and creativity, you invariably come up with a delicious accompaniment for your meal.

My grandmother used a mortar and pestle to make chutney, lovingly grinding coriander and mint and more to lip-smacking paste. We have the electric blender now which reduces the hard work to a couple of seconds. But truth be told, the electric blender does not replicate the mortar and pestle texture. If you have a mortar and pestle and some time to spare, try grinding the chutney by hand. The difference shows. The workout for your arms without hitting the gym is an added bonus.

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Ridge Gourd Moong Dal

26 Apr

In the western world, Indian cuisine is mostly equated with rich, spicy gravies – kofta curry and chhole bhature and shahi paneer and their ilk. In reality, Indian cuisine is far broader than that. Indian food can be simple and minimalistic, as this dish I’m going to write about today – roasted moong dal with a green vegetable combination. I picked up the recipe of ridge gourd moong dal from a friend from Andhra, it’s been a regular in my kitchen since.

Ridge gourd and moong dal are both very gentle on the stomach, as are asafoetida (hing in Hindi) and lemon, the prime flavorings in this dish. Hing is a strong spice and, I suspect, an acquired taste. If this is the first time you’re cooking with hing, I’d suggest using very little of it. If you like it, use more another time. I do recommend it warmly, especially for its wide array of health benefits.

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