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.

(more…)

Aloo Sem: Potato and Broad Beans Curry

9 Nov

Sem is Hindi for broad beans, a variety of beans with a distinct robust flavor. This recipe for aloo sem – i.e. potato and broad beans curry – is the typical way the curry is made in a "pure" vegetarian (no onion or garlic) household in Bihar.

(more…)

Masala-Coated Eggplant Fry

1 Nov

This eggplant fry recipe makes a great side dish, especially when the rest of your meal is low on spices. It’s often on my menu for a quick weekday dinner, with boiled rice, raita and simple pressure-cooked yellow dal. Which is not to say that it does not work well with a lavish party meal but yes, it does add a special je ne sais quoi to otherwise masala-free fare.

(more…)

Cabbage and Peanuts Stir Fry

25 Oct

A crunchy, nutty, leafy side dish for an Indian meal – cabbage and peanuts stir fry. This is just right for the day after gorging on pooja delicacies, when your tummy says "no more" to pooris and dum aloo. I had today cabbage and peanuts stir fry with a simple meal of tomato toor dal, mint raita and boiled rice.

(more…)

Homemade Mushroom Soup

16 Oct

Creamy mushroom soup made at home – this is so much tastier, so much healthier than canned stuff. Simple ingredients, no fuss, very easy to make.

(more…)

7 Indian Menu Ideas for Vegetarians

23 Sep

It is one thing to know how to cook individual Indian dishes, quite another to combine the dishes harmoniously into an appetizing meal. Rajma masala and chhole masala are fantastic house party food, but would you serve them together? Not if you have a modest number of items on the menu. You love pooris as much as you love kadhi, but you would pair them with each other? Not if you want to kill the essence of both.

There are flavors that cohere and flavors that clash. You wouldn’t put multiple items of the same genre – such as gourds or dals – in the same meal. Pooris would possibly go with potato curry, kadhi would most definitely get served with plain rice.

(more…)

Methi Pakora Kadhi: Fenugreek Fritters in Yogurt Gravy

15 Sep

Fresh fenugreek and onion fritters dunked in a yogurt-based gravy [my mouth is watering as I type this!] – that’s methi pakora kadhi. For those of you new to Indian cooking – kadhi is a sour gravy traditionally made with lightly spiced yogurt. Different regions of India have distinct styles to making kadhi. In North India, kadhi is served with fritters (pakoras) in it. In Karnataka, a similar dish majjige huli is popular – this is a lighter version with boiled vegetables in place of pakoras. In Gujarat, kadhi is sweetened with jaggery. And you wouldn’t typically add onions to kadhi in Bihar – my mom certainly wouldn’t.

This recipe is closest to the style of Punjabi kadhi.

(more…)

Page 20 of 41« First...10...1819202122...3040...Last »