A combination of plantain (raw banana) with fresh fenugreek leaves brings out the best in both vegetables. Plantain has the wonderful ability to take the edge off sharp flavors, while fenugreek’s green bitterness adds some interesting notes to the simple plantain.
Fenugreek seeds (methi) are packed with nutrients and healing properties – no surprise that Ayurveda swears by them. But as it happens with most things are good for you, fenugreek seeds are hard to like. In Indian cooking, fenugreek seeds are usually added in tadka and then picked out by most people (self included), never to be eaten.
I have recently discovered a trick to make these bitter brown devils palatable. This methi dahi (fenugreek flavored yogurt) recipe uses a generous amount of fenugreek seeds without rendering the final dish overly bitter. Here’s how.
For a long time, the only way I knew how to eat papad was as a plain accompaniment with an Indian meal (usually khichdi), much like chutney or pickle. I liked papad, just that it didn’t seem all that *consequential*.
When I moved to Bombay, my friends there would order masala papad as a starter in restaurants. This was something new, something interesting – papad as a standalone dish, and a mighty good one at that. I started experimenting with papad in curries – very convenient on days when I opened the vegetable tray of the fridge and found nothing.
With tomatoes at throwaway prices in these parts nowadays, who wouldn’t be tempted to buy the red juicy vegetable (fruit?) by the sackful? I gave in to the lure and have been happily cooking tomato-based stuff since – pasta in tomato sauce one day, potatoes in tomato gravy the next.
A hot and sour tomato peanut chutney (pachadi), the making of which a friend from Andhra demoed to me in my kitchen last evening. Tomato peanut chutney is a great side dish with boiled rice, especially on days when you don’t have another curry to accompany your meal.
As promised in the last post, here comes my recipe for eggplant tomato curry.
I most often use the fat purple eggplant for bharta, but on long workdays the whole roasting process seems too labor-intensive and I want to make a curry that moves from kitchen to dinner table quickly. This no-onion-no-garlic recipe of eggplant tomato curry is a godsend on such days. (more…)