Add some fruity, nutty excitement to your porridge bowl. Dalia (broken wheat) is a favored breakfast food in many Indian homes – 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 – all that at an affordable price.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.