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.


Patriotic Raita for Indian Independence Day

13 Aug

15th August is just round the corner. To celebrate India’s Independence day, let the tricolor inspire our food. Here’s an idea in saffron, white and green – a patriotic raita.


Palak Parathas: Pan-Fried Flatbread with Spinach

9 Aug

I cook with spinach quite a lot – in curries, as a base for green pasta sauce, in spinach dal and spinach rice. Here is yet another use of this lovely green vegetable. Spinach parathas or palak parathas.


Dabba Chaukore Aur Paratha Gol? Bahut Nainsafi Hai!

7 Aug

Do you realize that if you stack round parathas in a square lunchbox, then even with the largest paratha size your lunchbox can accommodate you leave more than 20% of its surface space unused?[1]

Does this er…criminal wastage bother you?

You can’t beat geometry. But you can pack parathas in your square lunchbox without an inch of space going waste. Let me show you how.


Curry Leaves and Peanut Chutney

30 Jul

Inspired by the chapter on curry leaves in Ratna Rajaiah‘s fascinating book How the Banana Goes to Heaven, I recently resolved to eat curry leaves as much and as raw as I possibly can. The prospect wasn’t enticing, let me say up front. Though I like curry leaves, I find their taste overpowering and use them sparingly even in tadka. I would have to steel myself to eat curry leaves raw, or so I thought.

How wrong I was.

A tentative stab at making curry leaves and peanut chutney turned out to be hugely successful. Peanuts balance out the bitterness of curry leaves, making this chutney not only palatable but also delicious.


Pan-Fried Baby Potatoes with Sundried Tomato Dressing

23 Jul

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.


Chana Dal with Raisins

11 Jul

In my pre-teen years, food mentions in books would send my senses into overdrive visualizing them. The less familiar the food, the more vivid the imagined details. "Hot buttered scones", said Enid Blyton, and I pictured mildly sweet nimki-like snack twisted into conical shape, dripping with melted butter. "Lemonade" to my mind was a cross between nimbu pani and Limca. "Red radishes" were slender, graceful and blood red, more alluring than the humble white we had access to.

Reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake, I realised I am not much changed today. Ashima makes "thick channa dal with swollen brown raisins" for her party. What can that be like?  Now I don’t just imagine, I cook my interpretation of it :)


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