Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Recipes, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Gujarati Kadhi – Not soup, not a sauce, just pure, heart warming bowl of comfort!

Gujarati Kadhi is describe by different names, one of which is a tangy yogurt sauce or soup, served as an accompaniment to a multi-component Gujarati Thali, more often eaten with rice or pulaos or sipped on its own. How I see it, calling a Gujarati Thali or any Indian Regional Thali for that matter, a multi course meal is a bad fit. Because unlike a course wise meal, a thali is not bound by eating sequence or order of eating rules. Like our DNAs, our food combinations are pretty unique, taking a bite from here and there, a bit of heat here, a little tang there, punctuated by a morsel of the sweet of the day to satisfy every taste bud on the palette. And in the same way, every Gujarati enjoys Kadhi on their own special occasions and their own customised combinations and situations. Here are some of those tales, some personal, some fictional and some in between! It’s a long read, but some days I like pouring my heart out.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Indian Curries, Recipes

Takatli Paalak Bhaji / Palakachi Patal Bhaji!

Palakachi Patal Bhaji a.k.a Takatli Palak Bhaji since the spinach/Palak cooked in a mixture of buttermilk with a little amount of Besan, is a Maharastrian style curry usually eaten with steamed rice or rotis. It is made with a variety of green colocasia ( aloochi bhaji ), sorrel leaves ( gongura / ambat chuka ), red amaranth ( laal math ) and so on. Along with it, the curry also also has peanuts and chana daal for some nice texture. Patalbhajis are typically kept thin and hence I used about 1 tbsp of besan in 1 cup of curd + 1 cup of water mixture. Patalbhaji had been on my mind since I first tasted it in Vadodara on one of our visits. Vadodara has a sizeable Marathi population and therefore the food at Maharashtra Restaurant ( previously called Maharashtra Lodge ) is pretty close if not exactly the same as that cooked in Marathi homes. It was a part of the regular meal that they serve there on one of the days of the week ( they rotate the curries on the menu ). The place has an absolute old world vibe. Formica tables arranged to absolute optimisation in a small enclosed place, basic decor that is nothing more than a Kalnirnay Almanac hanging from the wall along with garlanded portraits of fondly remembered ancestors and gods & goddesses, a staff that moves deftly without any incidents even when the premises are jam-packed, and a crowd that is doing one of the following three things – eating while trying to keep up with the rapid pace of the servers, coming out with a satisfied expression and a laziness brought on only by good food or waiting for their tiffin carriers to be filled with takeaway (environment-friendly and efficiently!) Their Patalbaji has more besan than mine but it was still really delicious. Kamalbai Ogole’s Ruchira and Kaumudi Marathé’s Essential Marathi Cookbook both have excellent recipes you should try. I will type down my recipe below and edit the caption when it is done ! 🙂

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Recipes

Dhabey ki Daal – Mixed lentils tempered in a rustic style!

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.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Recipes

Punj Rattani Daal and the cookbook PRASHĀD – Cooking with Indian Masters by Jiggs Kalra!

I don’t just love cookbooks, I ADORE them! I am almost a book niffler to be honest, remember the cute Nifflers from Hagrid’s hut in the Potter world? Well, I have the same tendencies when it comes to buying cookbooks. Especially the ones with Indian Cuisine and penned down by the masters. So naturally, Prashād by J. Inder Singh Kalra, the Czar of Indian Cuisine, was on my to-buy list since ages. I found an old, fairly battered copy of the book at Blossom, a book store on the Church Street, Bangalore,  a few weeks ago and grabbed like it was the last copy on earth. And to make it even more irresistible, on the front page, there was a note from a loving Mom to her daughter who is about to embark on the marital journey. 👩‍❤️‍👩 Would you put such a book, dripping with love and affection back on the shelf ever? I don’t have the heart to put away a like THAT! ❤ So now begins my chronicles with yet another awesome book. I will keep you posted about my adventures from time to time.

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Peshawari Chhole, Golden ( Crisp on the outside soft on the inside ) Whole Wheat Bhature and Punj Rattani Daal was our Brunch today as a early Valentines Day Celebration! ❤️ Well, one should never wait for a particular day to express affection and for a few reasons, I have been cooking only Daal Roti Sabzi kind of quick meals since a fortnight now. And since February the 14th is going to be a weekday, we celebrating it today! So I decided to treat Mr. Desai today with a few favourites. All the recipes are from "the Czar of Indian Cuisine" Jiggs Kalra's renowned cookbook Prashad. I found an old, fairly battered copy of the book at Blossom a few weeks ago and grabbed like it was the last copy on earth. And to make it even more irresistible, on the front page, there was a note from a loving Mom to her daughter who is about to embark on the marital journey. 👩‍❤️‍👩 Would you put such a book, dripping with love and affection back in the shelf ever? I don't have the heart! 🤗 The Peshawari Chhole had no red chilli powder / green chillies / turmeric / powdered Garam Masala l. It has been flavoured with a Whole Spice + Tea leaves wala muslin cloth satchel while the chickpeas were pressure cooked, and then, ginger, onions and Amchoor ( use AnaarDaana powder if possible, I didn't have any ) ! It's not very garam masala intensive curry, it won't cause any acid reflux! ❤️ The Punj Rattani Daal is something on the lines of Panchmel Daal but with a unique Tadka. It has Kala Jeera + Ghee in the tempering in which tomatoes are cooked till mushy. Then you add dry spices and Bhuno-it ( there is no other word with so much feeling as Bhuno, in Gujarati we have Santadvanu but Indian words are the best 😍😍😍 ) till the oil separates. Finally yogurt is added to the tomatoes before it is poured over the simmering mix of 5 lentils! I wrote a bit too much but I couldn't resist! Have a happy Sunday folks! ❤️ #chhole #chholebhature #peshawarichole #bhature #daal #peshawari #weekendlunch #EveryDayIndianMeals

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice

Kalai’er Daal, Aloo Seddho and a day of craving comfort food!

If you are a fan of cookbooks, you would absolutely understand how sometimes, a book makes you cook things you have never eaten before, seen before, or even heard of before. That is exactly has been happening to me since I started reading the Bong Mom’s Cookbook. Pardon my ignorance, but it is safe for me to confess that more than half way into the book, and it has given me more than a glimpse of the Bengali Cuisine. I could go on and on about how wonderful the book is, but i think that deserves a proper book review. So, I will say, that book is a wonderful collection of memories and recipe which too beautifully intermingled to separate from one another.

So, the segment about the Daals naturally piqued my interest being a vegetarian. The non-vegetarian recipes are beautiful but something I could not try since I don’t have a background in cooking it. But Kalai’er Daal, split white Urad Daal spiced with fennel and ginger, caught my fancy and I decided to make it before the hairbrained me got lazy. I was nursing a sore throat, and while I should technically have made moong dal Khichdi or at the most Daal Tadka, I was too mesmerised to move on to something else. And the book recommended Aloo Posto or Aloo Seddho to go with it. So I did. Who am I to decided against potatoes, because well, potatoes are the best, aren’t they? Also, there are two ways to make this, one in which you directly pressure cook the Urad Daal without roasting, and second, also known as Bhaja Kalai’er Daal, in which you roast the daal and then pressure cook it until it is done, but not absolutely mushy. I am not sure how I fared, but I enjoyed the process as much as the Daal, so I am absolutely doing a happy dance.

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#latergram of a bowlful of steaming hot Kalai'er Daal, some Aloo Seddho accompanied by some steamed rice decorated with a dollop of ghee ( which has obviously melted before I could take a picture 😞) because after reading that page in the Bong Mom's Cookbook ( @bongmom_cookbook ) I could not wait any longer to try it out! 😍 Before I proceed any further, any Bengalis reading this, please pardon any mistakes that you might spot here, none of them were intentional. It was just a reader, so intoxicated by the book, trying to cook up a cuisine, she had never read, cooked or eaten before. 🙏🏼 Let me warn you, the book is so good, it will tempt you into trying out so many other things! 🙈 * Kalai'er Daal ( Skinless Urad Daal tempered in mustard oil and flavoured with Ada-Mouribata , a smooth paste of fresh ginger and fennel seeds) * Aloo Sedhho ( Mashed potatoes, spiked with green chillies, red onion, mustard oil and coriander leaves with a little salt, everything smoothed into a creaminess 😍😍 Well potatoes don't need descriptions! ) * Steamed rice with a dollop of ghee I am not sure if adding turmeric is the norm with this Daal but since Sandipa had added it, I followed suit. I have followed the recipe exactly, just scaling down the ingredients because we are only two of us. Also, I suppose, Aloo Posto would have been a more befitting accompaniment, but I was tired and instead of giving up on making this, I choose to tone down the accompaniment. Aloo posto is going to be tried soon, I think! 😉 I have penned down my experience of cooking it on the blog, but for a formal and authentic recipe, head to Sandipa's Blog ( link here @bongmom_cookbook ) #kalaierdaal #aloosheddo #bengalicuisine #mustardoil #bongmomscookbook #uraddal #alusheddo #aloobhate #aloochokha #EveryDayIndianMeals

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Recipes, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Dal Dhokli – That Warm-Hug-in-a-bowl comfort meal!

OK, so I could go into a rant about how Gujarati stereotypes in Bollywood are not portraying us Gujaratis incorrectly. Well but, if I really am a true Gujarati, I am probably going to just sip some Gujju Beer aka some chilled buttermilk, munch on some khakhras (not theplas, see there goes crashing one of the stereotypes) and move on. Keep Calm and Move On. (No, its not, Keep Calm and do Garba) . Anyway, peep into a Gujarati household on a Sunday afternoon and there is a high chance that you could smell a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing, wafting and fluttering around a cloud of that fragrance of Daal Dhokli. Daal Dhokli for the uninitiated consists of the trademark mildly sweet, sour, salty and spicy (and not just sweet ) Gujarati daal in which strips of dough are simmered until cooked. Served with rice, it is the perfect antidote to all the stress you have experienced during the week and your passport to a wonderful nap later in the afternoon.

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Recipes

Daal Tadka – When you, your tastebuds and your soul need some TLC!

If you have grown up on a staple of Indian Food, you will probably need no introduction for the Daal Tadka. And what’s more fascinating is that almost all regional cuisines of India have a combination of Daal (lentils) and rice which is a part of daily meals and is very comforting and soul satisfying. I know a few combos which are Varan Bhaat/Amti Bhaat in Maharastra, the slightly sweet and sour Gujarati Meethi Daal and Bhaat, Cholar Daal Bhaat from Bengal, the quintessential Sambhar Saadham or the Bisibelebaath (BBB) from Southern India (wait, before you correct me that the former is from Tamil Nadu and the later is from Karnataka, I used the term “Southern India” not because I am ignorant of the variations in regional cuisines, but because I have seen Tamil Folks enjoy BBB and same for Kannadigas and Sambhar Saadham ) … I can just go on and on.

Also, I really like the fact that, apart from being comforting, it also very nutritious and easy to rustle up at an extremely short notice too. Coming to Daal Tadka, I was introduced to this wonderful gem of Daal Tadka from the North Indian cuisine while dining at the restaurants as a kid. Finally, despite a lot of oil floating on top in the restaurant versions of the dish, parents deemed it to be a safer option. Safe or not, everyone likes a bowl of piping hot Daal Tadka and some fragrant Jeera rice on a cold evening. I do. If you want to experience the same joy, dive in for the recipe below. 🙂

The image is from my own instagram account and can be found here

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Posted in Daals/Lentils/Sides for Rice, Indian Curries, Recipes

Himachali Chana Madra

I really like chickpeas and often cook with them. Also, being nutritious, chickpeas are a popular choice for meals in our house. However, I was quite bored of the usual Chhole, Pindi Chana and Chana Masala, the typical onion tomato based gravy variations. So when I came across this Himachali Maah Ka Madra Recipe while reading Saransh Goila’s India on My Platter, I knew I had to try. The recipe in the book uses Whole Black Lentils or Urad Daal. I have substituted the lentils with Chickpeas. However, this gravy base will work fantastically with Rajma or Kidney Beans too.

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Himachali Chana Madra ( or Madhara ?) and Fulkas for dinner! Madra is a curry made out of legumes ( usually Chana, Rajma or Urad Daal ) with curd / yogurt as the base and fresh spice mix out of cloves, cinnamon, pepper and cardamom fried in mustard oil. It is a refreshing change from Chana Masala and Chhole version of Chickpea curry because it is a No Onion No Garlic No Tomato gravy. The recipe is adapted based on Maah ka Madra from @saranshgoila 's book #IndiaOnMyPlatter . The only change I have made it replacing Urad Daal with Kabuli Chana / chickpeas. Saransh, the curry is so fragrant, my whole kitchen smelled of freshly ground spices after making it. Thanks a lot for the recipe! ☺☺ And finally, I think managed to learn how to cook with mustard oil, so it was another Yay of the Day! Ingredients: 1/2 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for about 6-8 hours, yielding about 1 cup finally, 1 black cardamom or 3-4 green cardamom, shelled / seeds removed 3 cloves, 3-4 peppercorns, 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon, 1 tbsp of rice flour, mixed with 1/4th cup of water 2 tbsp mustard oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of asafetida (hing), optional, 1/2 tsp coriander powder 1/4th tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powderSalt, to taste 3/4th cup thick curd / greek yogurt, beaten, coriander leaves, for garnish Method continued in the comment below. Clickable link to the recipe available in the profile. #madra #madhara #chanamadra #chickpea #yogurtbasedgravies #himachalicuisine #indiancurries #vegetariancooking #indiancuisine #whatsfordinner #whatsonmyplate #vscocam #vscofood #whatvegetarianseat #himachalifood #sadakchef #pahadikhana #pahadicuisine #kumaonicuisine #unusualcurries #unusualsabzis

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