Kundru (tindora/tendli or ivy gourd) hasn’t always been a vegetable I was fond of. For long years I thought it was an unsophisticated version of parval (pointed gourd). It is only recently that a slow appreciation of this gourd grew on me. True, kundru resembles parval on the outside, but its inside is fleshier and tangier, making its taste stand apart on its own. This recipe combines kundru with besan (gram flour) – the addition of besan tames the natural tartness of kundru and gives it a delicious aromatic coating.
This aloo mooli kadhi (potato radish sticks in gram flour curry) recipe, adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s, is a simpler alternative to pakora kadhi, besides being an interesting way of adding radish (mooli) to the diet. The Indian white radish has a taste so powerfully pungent that one can’t have much of it raw. I like mooli paratha, but other ways of cooking mooli don’t excite me. Aloo mooli kadhi, though, had me sold from the word go. The potatoes tone down the sharpness of mooli, and the yogurt and gram flour cloak it all in a rich, delicious sauce.
Here’s a way to sneak in some cabbage goodness into your meals, without cooking up a full-blown cabbage curry: make cabbage paratha. With a generous spiking of cabbage and spices, this wholesome pan-fried flatbread is a satisfying meal on its own. With chutney or pickle on the side, cabbage paratha is just the thing for a weekend brunch or a lunchbox treat.
Pineapple sweet corn rice doesn’t just taste delicious, it’s also a great way to finish off leftovers – boiled rice from last night’s dinner, sweet corn you did not add to that stir fry, the big chunk of pineapple sitting in your fridge – use them all in this recipe.
A variety of vegetables go into this Chinese-style recipe that’s great on the side with chapatis or fried rice. Chili garlic mixed vegetables is cooked on high heat (using the Chao technique, or so Wikipedia tells me), which retains the texture and color of the vegetables. The dish gets its zing – and its name – from the pre-made chili garlic sauce that’s added to it.
Till about a decade back, a mention of sattu in conversation with a non-Bihari audience would be greeted with puzzled stares. Things have changed today. The world around is more health-conscious, and sattu has gained currency for its great nutritional benefits. Rich in minerals, proteins and fibre, low of glycemic index – sattu is said to be the most economical antidote to diabetes.
The better-known style of consuming this miracle food is probably in the form of a cooling drink, but my favorite way is as sattu paratha – flatbread stuffed with a spiced sattu filling.