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Recipes that use herbs and spices as a key ingredient.

Quick Weeknight Dinners with 3 Make-Ahead Food Parts

31 Aug

Weekdays are busy times for many of us who come back from work late evening and then fix a meal. We want weeknight dinners to be easy to put together, taking little time to move from kitchen to plate. [Not counting the blessed few like Rohit's boss with the gusto to whip up a fancy meal at that hour ;-)]

One could cook loads on Sunday and freeze for the week. But that’s not so exciting, is it? So how does one reach that elusive balance between easy+quick (pre-cooked) and tasty+interesting (freshly cooked)?

Here’s a middle ground.

Make-ahead food parts. Mix and match. Embellish.

Use the Pareto Principle to your advantage: identify the steps in cooking that consume a majority time and labor, and do them beforehand. The chopping of greens. The slow-frying of spices. The boiling of dal. When the time comes to make your weeknight dinner, all that remains to be done is the remaining 20% of cooking that produces 80% of the result.

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Spiced Fried Onions

26 Aug

Few things compare to the taste and smell of just-fried onions. What’s usually an embellishment to pulao or a minor ingredient in curries plays starring role in this recipe.

Spiced onion strips – a mélange of fried onions with an aromatic spice mix. Try it!

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Sattu Paratha: Stuffed Flatbread, Bihar Style

18 Aug

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.

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Curry Leaf Pulao

11 Aug

Seeing that a nutty ingredient does a great job of taming the bitter notes of other ingredients (think curry leaf peanut chutney or sesame fenugreek chutney), I dared to make a rice dish seeped in curry leaf, with a load of cashews for good effect. And I loved the result.

Here’s my curry leaf pulao recipe – for those who share taste buds similar to mine :-) How many of you?

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No-Oil Ginger Garlic Pickle

1 Aug

A pickle that’s healthy, easy to make, and has a quick gestation time? This no-oil ginger garlic pickle says yes to all three. Not for delicate taste buds – this one’s for fans of the zingy and the zesty.

You don’t need much skill to make no-oil ginger garlic pickle. Just care, fresh ingredients, and long hours of pleasant sunlight.

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Cherry Tomato and Coriander Chutney

20 Jul

The tart sweetness of roasted cherry tomatoes and the freshness of coriander leaves come together in this lovely chutney.

Garlic and dry red chilies give it that extra zing.

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Potatoes in Garlic Sauce

16 Jul

This one’s especially for garlic fans – a flavorful Indian curry of potatoes in garlic sauce.

Baby potatoes go very well with heavy spices – this dish is a classic example. Team up potatoes in garlic sauce with something simple like boiled rice and a raita, for a complete meal.

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