A powerfully flavored spice typically used as a “tadka” (tempering in hot oil) ingredient in Indian dals and curries. Asafoetida is especially popular in Jain and Ayurvedic cooking, as an alternative to the strong flavors of onions and garlic.
Carrot radish curry that comes together in a matter of minutes. The veggies are roughly chopped and pre-cooked before being given an express sauté in spiced mustard oil.
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.
A snack or side dish made of chana dal (Bengal gram) that capitalizes on this dal’s nutty taste. Sookhi chana dal needs very few ingredients and is easy enough to be put together by a kitchen newbie. Those who rely on instant noodles or packaged bhujiya for snack-time with the excuse "I don’t know how to cook" – prepare to shed that line!
You can play "guess the secret ingredient" with this mooli chutney (white radish chutney) recipe. When cooked and blended with other ingredients, white radish sheds its sharp sting, taking on a gentle pungency instead. The end result is an exotically flavorful chutney.
Bhindi bhujiya besanwali, with its crunch and bite, appeals even to those who turn their noses up at okra in other forms. Perfect on thes side with rice and dal.
Saag – an Indian dish of leafy greens, eaten along with rotis or rice. A variety of leaves can be used in saag: spinach and mustard greens are popular choices, while chaulai (amaranth leaves) is used often in Bihar. Chaulai saag is a simple, dry preparation with amaranth leaves and a hint of spices.