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Khatti Meethi Masoor Dal: Red Lentil with Tamarind and Dates

25 Nov

I came across Nigella’s recipe for Lentil Tamarind and Date Dhansak last week, which prompted an internal conversation with the self.

Dal without salt? Did the ingredient list miss that by accident or is this dish really meant to have no salt?

Well, moong dal halwa is dal without salt, and that’s the finest dessert ever.

But there’s garlic-infused oil and tamarind in this recipe – no dessert worth its er…salt…has garlic.

Who said this is a dessert?

Guesswork much? Just follow the recipe and find out for sure.

So I did follow the recipe, with a couple of tiny adaptations. I ended up with an unusual, rich and tangy dal, the taste of which grew on me with each spoonful.

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Chili Garlic Mixed Vegetables

10 Nov

A variety of vegetables go into this Chinese-style recipe that’s great on the side with chapatis or fried rice. Chili garlic mixed vegetables is cooked on high heat  (using the Chao technique, or so Wikipedia tells me), which retains the texture and color of the vegetables. The dish gets its zing – and its name – from the pre-made chili garlic sauce that’s added to it.

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Baingan Bharta: Smoky Eggplant Mash

12 Oct

For a really good baingan bharta, getting the eggplant perfectly roasted is half the battle won. And for a perfectly roasted eggplant, the ingredients you need most are patience and balance – patience in cooking the eggplant on a low, open flame through till the core, balancing the heat all around without charring, leaving no spot raw or burnt.

The proportion of other ingredients and spices, the duration of post-roasting sautéing, can vary, but if the heart of the dish – the mashed eggplant – is nicely done, baingan bharta turns out delicious.

With that thought, on to my baingan bharta recipe in all its smoky splendor :-) 

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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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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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