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Fruit and Nut Dalia (Broken Wheat Porridge)

31 Jan

Fruit and Nut Dalia

Add some fruity, nutty excitement to your porridge bowl. Dalia (broken wheat) is a favored breakfast food in many Indian homes โ€“ the grain is made by milling raw wheat grains, and is especially nutritious as it is unrefined. Dalia is a great source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre โ€“ all that at an affordable price.

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Methi Gobhi: Fresh Fenugreek and Cauliflower Curry

3 Jan

Methi Gobhi

Fenugreek leaves are in season. Homemade meals sparkle green with a fenugreek dish on the menu every day: methi parathas with imli chutney for Sunday brunch, methi chhole with jeera rice for the Monday lunchbox.

Make hay while the sun shines, they say. I make recipe replacements of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek) with fresh fenugreek while the greens are in lush supply. This is one such recipe: methi gobhi, a variant of gobhi kasoori methi (cauliflower with dried fenugreek) that uses fresh fenugreek instead of dry.

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Mango Phirni: Classic Dessert, Fruity Twist

5 Jul

Mango Phirni

A summertime favorite inspired by a recipe I saw on the TV show Turban Tadka. Mango phirni gives a seasonal twist to the conventional rice phirni. Serve it in silver bowls for a classic feel, or layer it in glasses western-style with nuts and mango pulp.

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Masala Chana Dal: Bengal Gram Lentil Curry

13 Sep

Chana dal (Bengal gram lentils) in a gloriously spiced curry, the kind one describes with epithets like "meal fit for a king".

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Patriotic Raita for Indian Independence Day

13 Aug

15th August is just round the corner. To celebrate India’s Independence day, let the tricolor inspire our food. Here’s an idea in saffron, white and green โ€“ a patriotic raita.

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Chana Dal with Raisins

11 Jul

In my pre-teen years, food mentions in books would send my senses into overdrive visualizing them. The less familiar the food, the more vivid the imagined details. "Hot buttered scones", said Enid Blyton, and I pictured mildly sweet nimki-like snack twisted into conical shape, dripping with melted butter. "Lemonade" to my mind was a cross between nimbu pani and Limca. "Red radishes" were slender, graceful and blood red, more alluring than the humble white we had access to.

Reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake, I realised I am not much changed today. Ashima makes "thick channa dal with swollen brown raisins" for her party. What can that be like?  Now I don’t just imagine, I cook my interpretation of it :)

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Rice Kheer with Jaggery, Dried Figs and Saffron

14 May

An exotic rice kheer (pudding) that gets its sweetness entirely from jaggery and dried figs. A hint of saffron that elevates it to greater heights.

A dessert fit for royalty with the best kind of calories you can hope to get from such indulgence. Jaggery may come from the same source as white sugar – sugarcane juice – but it’s miles ahead in terms of nutrition. The process of refining strips white sugar of sugarcane’s mineral contents, while the simpler method of jaggery-making retains them.

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