A touch of garlic can transform a simple dal to an exquisitely flavored delight. Light and soupy, lasooni dal (garlic-tempered dal) is the perfect accompaniment to rice/chapatis and a vegetable side dish.
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.
Of leaf vegetables, my kitchen staples are spinach and fenugreek. Till a while ago, cooking with amaranth greens was unchartered territory for me. What better way to start a new year, I thought, than with tackling a new beast?
I had been reading on the goodness of this power food (no wonder that the word "amaranth" comes from the Greek amarantos, meaning "unfading" ) often of late, and then learnt that amaranth in Hindi is chaulai, the leaves of which my grandmother used in chaulai saag. That got me curious, and I was soon trying ways to cook amaranth in my own kitchen.
Amaranth leaves with lentils has come to be a special favorite. I love to mix and match, and this recipe puts that to great use: it’s a combination with boiled dal, which you can make ahead for more than one meal and assemble in different ways later (tomato toor dal another day, spinach dal the meal after?)
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?
Fresh curry leaves coax you to use them all up before they start to dry, but there is only so much you can add to tempering. How do you make the most of a fat bunch of fresh curry leaves? If you ask me, I’d say make chutney.
Curry leaves and peanut chutney is the recipe I usually turn to, but I tried out an unusual combination this time – a recipe that adds a touch of sweetness to offset the bitterness of curry leaves. With extra notes of nuttiness from poppy seeds and tartness from tamarind, this curry leaves and poppy seed chutney is a one to add to your cherished family recipe handbook.