I woke up craving for something very Wintery, slightly oily today. And so I made this Brinjal Sweet potato curry which is made almost always at our Weddings, especially the winter ones. Called રસોઇયાનું રીંગણ-શક્કરિયાંનું રસાવાળુ શાક which when loosely translated means a Brinjal-Sweet Potato (with their skins on, not peeled) Curry made by Halwais/Cooks for the traditional wedding lunch feast, at our Southern Gujarat based Anavil Brahmin weddings. Served on બાજ/પતરાળા । plates and bowls made by sewing together several leaves ( usually leaves of Shaal trees, a tree of special significance in Hinduism ), this curry has a ruby red oil pooling around fat chunks of Sweet Potatoes & Brinjals mashed to make a smooth gravy. It is very uniquely seasoned too, with a hint of jaggery which gives the curry a unique dimension without making it sweet at all. Usually served with Gujarati Daal and Rice, I chose a lighter Khichdi today to go with it. Like everywhere else, Khichdi is not something consumed at auspicious events like weddings but hey, sometimes the stomach craves what it craves! 😬After the Diwali indulgence I don’t have the heart to extend my menu, but at the wedding feast, the platter will also have કેળા મેથીના ભજીયાં | Fritters made with Banana and Methi leaves mixed into Gram Flour or વાટી દાળના ખમણ | Surti Vaati daal na Khaman and લાપસી | a broken Wheat based Sweet made with ghee and jaggery. Sigh! It would have been bliss! 💕💕 But, I can definitely share the recipe here.
Finally getting around to updating this recipe on the blog. I tried this recipe on a dear dear friend Anuja’s, recommendation and loved the fresh flavour it brought to my paranthas. A few pointers before you try this recipe. This is not meant to be radically different from YOUR way of seasoning the parantha filling. If you @ me in your comments cooing “Oh but I do it this exact way all the time! ” with an implied “There is nothing new here!” then well, I am sincerely delighted for you ( no sarcasm here ) but FAIR warning, I am going to ignore your comment. You might as well stop reading further right now, right away. I don’t mean to claim that this is the best seasoning in the world, nor is it revolutionary. I liked something and I am sharing this for the interest of people who showed interest and who were up for trying out something new for fun, not for people who want to make it a competition about whose masala is better. It is only for folks who are curious. You might already be using 80% of the ingredients I mention here. With that out of way, I will get to the good things. I added this to a potato stir fry I made and it tasted excellent, a fresh flavour to my good, but always tasting the same Aloo ki Sabzi. I have a gut feeling, it will taste great on roasted veggies too. I have tried to recreate/reverse engineer this using the list of ingredients I read on the pack of a store-bought Parantha Masala from MDH. I haven’t used all the ingredients mentioned on the pack though, because I like to use things like ginger garlic in its fresh form. I will share more of my experiments with it on Instagram! Cheers!
Kolhapur in Southern Maharastra is famous for its hot, spicy delicacies such as Kolhapuri Missal and for its mutton based curries, namely Tambada Rassa and Pandhara Rassa. Being a vegetarian I have only tried Kolhapuri Missal so far and loved it! Not for the faint-hearted or someone with low tolerance to spice, I can assure you! Now I am not sure if Vegetable Kolhapuri was the curry that took shape in its present form as is, or it was made so that the vegetarians like me don’t have to stay hungry. Probably the later, but I am not complaining. It is entirely possible that it didn’t even originate from Kolhapur, but it shares the traits of being hot and spice heavy with the other recipes of Kolhapuri origin.
Matar Paneer ( literally translates to Green Peas and Paneer ) is longer a curry that we make on special occasions in our household. It is made instead on days when I am at my wit’s end and don’t want to cook something elaborate. You know, “take out is not a healthy option but I don’t want to get up from the couch either” kind of days. I usually have frozen peas and a pack of paneer in the freezer so this is a curry of convenience for us. As always, I don’t claim my version is authentic, it has evolved to this form over a couple of years, out of the necessity to keep it short and simple, rather than an attempt at perfection. But it is quick and you won’t need a lot of time of ingredients to rustle this one up. So, here you go, below is the recipe of my faux/no onion no garlic Matar Paneer curry.
To say that Theplas are a favourite snack in Gujarati homes would be an understatement they are a staple. They are so easy to carry along and such favourites that Gujaratis might probably forget their medication at home but not theplas. I probably don’t need to describe them in detail, but for those who are unacquainted with Indian cuisine, Theplas are flatbreads made from a dough consisting of finely chopped or shredded vegetables ( mostly greens like fenugreek or spinach ), whole wheat flour and spices.
Winter is here and so is the craving to eat deep fried, rich and indulgent winter fare. While that is a little tricky balance to achieve, I have slowly started making curries and daals which go with the mood. I have started making curries like Shalgam Matar or Gajar Matar and have been loving more earthier daals like Maah ki Daal (Urad/Black lentils). While it is believed that Urad Daal is more difficult to digest owing to its high protein content, so moms all over the India advise indulging in recipes involving black lentils once the mercury starts to dip. And for good measure, they also add a strong aromatic tempering of ginger and garlic, which along with aiding in the digestion, lend a lovely flavour and aroma to it.
I am pretty sure Dhoklas need no introduction. There are numerous versions of Dhoklas. Khatta Dhokla ( made of rice and Urad Daal ) is easily distinguishable from the Khaman because of the colour and composition. While the Instant Nylon Khaman ( made with Besan/Chickpea flour and eno/cooking soda ) is immensely popular among folks, popular even among folks even outside Gujarat, we South Gujaratis ( especially folks from in and around Surat ), favour the overnight fermented version much more over the instant ones. Vaati Daal Na Khaman is distinct from the Nylon Khaman in the sense that they are made of Chana Daal, that has been soaked, ground and fermented overnight and does not have any soda or citric acid in the batter, at least my version doesn’t. It is dense and crumbly at the same time unlike the soda-induced sponginess of Nylon Khaman. The ground batter is then spiced with ginger chilli paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt. Instant / Nylon Khaman has a slight aftertaste of cooking/baking soda which puts me off personally.