Till a month back, I had had sundried tomatoes only in the bottled, preserved form. Much as I liked it, I was cautious of its salt and preservative content and would use it sparingly.
I never knew how delightfully simple and light sundried tomatoes could be till I got myself a pack of Ladakhi sundried tomatoes – they are chewy, tomatoey (as opposed to pickle-y), and induce no "junk food" guilt pangs.
A traditional recipe from Bihar/Bengal that revels in the heady potency of mustard. If you like the sharpness of mustard and mustard oil, you are in for a treat with sarson wale aloo (potatoes in mustard sauce).
Learning how to make stuffed parathas wasn’t exactly a cakewalk for me. Most often I would go overboard with the filling and the paratha would crack open while rolling, leaving a messy spill. To counter that, I would fill so little that only superactive taste buds could tell there was actually something between the layers of flour.
One day years ago, quite by accident, I discovered this pleasing middle ground – aloo parathas without the hassle of stuffing. Sharing my method here, I’m sure this will help the novice paratha rollers among you.
While grocery shopping this weekend, I found an inviting pack of methi dal (coarsely ground fenugreek seeds, also called ‘methi kuria’) in the store and, having never used fenugreek in this form before, was intrigued. I love fresh fenugreek leaves and kasoori methi but am not so enthused about the whole seeds that are used for tempering (tadka) in Indian dishes. I like their flavor as long as it is diffused, not the experience of biting into them. This is how I do my tadka with whole methi seeds: add a few seeds to the hot oil and when they turn color, pick them out.
I guessed methi kuria would resolve this problem – since the seeds are ground, the bitterness would get spread out just the way I want it. I bought the spice pack and used it first thing in this recipe with baby potatoes. The guess proved right.
This is a simple, no-spice dry vegetable dish that I like to carry as packed lunch to work or on a journey. No spill, no stain. Easy on the intestines. Nutritious. And tastes great – if you are a bitter gourd hater, this is the best bet to bring you over to the other camp.