Green Eggplant in Mustard-Fenugreek Masala

17 Jan

Green eggplant in mustard-fenugreek masala is for those who turn their noses up at nuts or sugar in their curries, who say no to recipes like bittersweet baingan. The spices in this one are heavier, headier, not for the faint-hearted.

I made this dish with long green eggplant, which is the mildest-tasting variety of eggplant I know of. The eggplant’s blandness gives a nice base to the strong flavors of the spices. (more…)

Dahi Chura, a Makar Sankranti Special

14 Jan

Cool homemade yogurt, flattened rice that needs no cooking, honey/jaggery and fresh fruit. A breakfast so healthy it’ll give you a palpable halo around your head. Presenting for you staple morning-time food from Bihar – dahi chura.

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Food Names in Bihar and What They Mean in Regular Hindi

7 Jan

We moved to Delhi from Patna when I was twelve. Before the move I thought that apart from the differences in personal pronoun usage and transitive verb syntax, the two places spoke the same language Hindi.

It took me by surprise when I discovered that in discussions about food, my new non-Bihari friends and I were often talking the equivalent of Greek and Latin. I told them I disliked kaddu, they assumed I disliked red pumpkin. When I said "Red pumpkin is not kaddu, it’s kohra! I meant bottle gourd", they said – "Bottle gourd is not kaddu, it’s lauki!"

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Khatta Meetha Papeeta: Sweet and Sour Green Papaya

2 Jan

What do you do when you peel a papaya and find that a lot of it is hard and green?

Try out my papaya rescue recipe – khatta-meetha papeeta, a light and flavorful accompaniment for an Indian meal. You could make khatta-meetha papeeta using green papaya or parts of a semi-ripe papaya.

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Corn with Spinach and Cheese

15 Dec

Corn on the cob is so good boiled, I mostly have it without taking it through any elaborate "treatment" routine. A little salt, a little chili powder, a dash of lime juice – rub it on and bite directly off the cob – that’s my usual mode of having boiled corn.

Then again, there is something to be said for the occasional exoticization.

Presenting for you my recipe of corn spinach and cheese. Serve it with garlic bread for a sumptuous weekend brunch.

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Cucumber Raita

26 Nov

Did you know that the cucumber originated in India? It is only fitting that this gourd gets used to add the “cool" factor to Indian cuisine. Here’s to the pitta-placating, palate-cleansing cucumber raita (yogurt dip).

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Nenua Chana: Sponge Gourd with Chana Dal

21 Nov

Confession time: I had to Google "nenua in English" for this post. I learnt that the vegetable is called sponge gourd: the name comes from the fact that the fibrous core of the gourd is dried and used as a sponge/loofah. Not surprisingly, the Latin name of sponge gourd is Luffa cylindra.

Be that as it may, it feels stilted to call the very Bihari nenua "sponge gourd" especially since I’m blogging about a very Bihari recipe. I’ll continue calling it nenua in this post.

Gourds pair well with dal, as in the lovely ridge gourd moong dal. Nenua chana is another case in point. This is a very uncomplicated recipe with few ingredients, the perfect kind for a new cook to test their skills on.

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