Channa Dal with Brinjal | Eggplant Channa Dal

Today our dal is made with split Channa, small chickpeas that have been hulled and split into two. Usually we make dal from mung dal, mung beans, urad dal or toor dal, so it is unusual for us to make it with channa.

In this dal, we have used eggplants. Cut into wedges, they float beautifully in the spicy channa gravy.

Similar recipes are Dal Makhani, and Tomato and Channa Dal Rasam. And try Eggplant dishes such as Poritha KuzhambuBrinjal Tamarind Kothsu, and Sampangi Pitlai.

Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to enjoy our Mid Winter posts.

Continue reading “Channa Dal with Brinjal | Eggplant Channa Dal”

Aloo Do Pyaja | Potatoes with Onions | An Indian Home Cooked Recipe

While the current fashion of food photography and food videos has been helpful to many home cooks, especially when cooking unfamiliar dishes, it has done a great disservice to home cooking. The requirement for everything to be instagram-worthy has meant that the rustic dishes without visual appeal are sidelined and instagrammed out of existence. It’s a pity. More than that, it is a shame.

Moreover, the word Peasant as attached to food is beginning to be seen as derogatory. I have never thought of “Peasant food” as been anything “less than”. I think of it as extraordinary food being produced without the influence of fashion and with local and common ingredients. My real favourite sort of food. Isn’t it what we strive for at home – cost effective and flavoursome food with local ingredients?

I am often amazed by the simplicity of Indian home cooked dishes, and how much flavour can be put into a couple of ingredients with a couple of spices. These sorts of dishes, so simple, so easy, are rarely seen on social media. I hope you enjoy this one. This is a simple recipe – not the best looking, made with minimal ingredients, but very very tasty. Serve with some Indian bread as an afternoon snack or as part of a meal.

By the way, Do Pyaja (also spelt Pyaza) means double the onions or lots of onions. There are many recipes for this dish, from the Punjab through to Rajasthan. Some have peas or a dose of cream, for example, a more complex spice mix, and it can be a wet or dry curry. But I adore this recipe for its simplicity. It is real home cooking.

Similar recipes include Sesame Potatoes, Saag Aloo, and Potato Subzi.

You might also like to browse all of our Potato recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes too.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. It is cross posted on our sister site, Heat in the Kitchen. It appears there as part of the Retro Recipes series of recipes which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

Continue reading “Aloo Do Pyaja | Potatoes with Onions | An Indian Home Cooked Recipe”

Potato Pallya | Potato Puttu | Indian Mashed Potato

Hooray for Indian food, and for its immense variety. And wouldn’t you know it, mashed potato has an Indian twist, and we are adding it to our different potato mashes:

We have TWO versions of the mash for you today. We have been making the first one FOREVER, and the original recipe comes from Nilgiri’s, the iconic Sydney Indian Restaurant. Traditionally this recipe from Karnataka is semi-mashed or coarsely mashed and still retains the texture of cubed potatoes. It is a great filling for dosa, but it can be made as a side dish in Indian or even Western style meals. It goes well with rice, roti and poori.

The second one is from Tamil Nadu, and has the same style but different ingredients.  It is a Puttu style dish – a peeled and mashed vegetable, tempered with spices, green chillies and onion. This Potato Puttu includes coconut and goes well with rice, sambar, rasam, kootu and kuzhambu, especially puli kuzhambu.

Similar recipes include Aloo Do Payaja (Potatoes with Onions), Sesame Potatoes, Aloo Bhindi, and Saag Aloo.

All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

The first recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. It is cross posted on our sister site, Heat in the Kitchen. It appears there as part of the Retro Recipes series of recipes which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Potato Pallya | Potato Puttu | Indian Mashed Potato”

Malabar Spinach Pakoda

Malabar Spinach is a thick spinach like leaf that grows on a vine – it is often confused with other greens, but look for leaves that are thick, a little mucilaginous, and are on twining stalks.  It may also have white or purple flowers and seeds on the vine. These leaves are common in India and throughout S. E. Asia. It has various names in India and may be called Basella Spinach, Poi leaf, Bacchalikura or Vasalakkirai.

Malabar Spinach is not really a spinach at all, but the taste is similar and it is better suited to summer growing than real spinach.

Similar dishes include Red Onion and Chilli Pakora, Bhajji, and Okra and Cauliflower Packora.

Browse all of our Malabar Spinach recipes and Pakora dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Malabar Spinach Pakoda”

Vendakkai Poriyal | Stir Fried Okra

It’s been more than 18 months since I began a crush on okra, and developed a project to explore this incredible vegetable which is available here all year round via Asian and Middle Eastern shops. In that time, we’ve made 60 or more Okra dishes, and,totally fallen in love with the long tapered “fingers” known cutely in India as Lady’s Fingers. Many of those recipe posts are in the queue to be published over the coming months.

Okra has become an important part of our life, but perhaps it is time to release the obsession and cook it less often. Admittedly, there are still quite a few recipes in the okra pile to tinker with, so there might be more….

One of the greatest finds of this project has been the number of ways that the Middle Eastern countries and India uses Okra. We have boiled, steamed, fried, deep fried, sauteed, baked and dehydrated Okra. Each dish has been a revelation. We have pared, chopped, slit and diced okra. We have learned to control the sliminess. We have battered okra. We have hand dried dozens of the tapered Lady’s Fingers over the course of a year.

Today’s dish is a very simple, but gorgeous, South Indian treatment of Okra. It is a remarkable, fresh dish. Another stir fried recipe, just with a few simple spices. The wonder of Tamil cooking is how simple easy dishes can taste amazing. There are variation upon variation of stir fried okra dishes – see here and here – but each is different and delightful.

Similar recipes include Stuffed Okra, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt, Lady Finger Masala, and Bhindi Subzi.

Browse all of our Okra dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Vendakkai Poriyal | Stir Fried Okra”

Spicy Turnips in Yoghurt | Kashmiri Shalgum Curry

We have had a bit of a thing for turnips this year, and recently we found the most gorgeous ones at the Organic stall in the Adelaide Central Market. It seems a crime to peel them, but we did, and made this gorgeous curry that comes from Kashmir.

The turnips are cooked with spice powders until tender, then coated in a yoghurt sauce. The central spice is fennel and it is a great match to the creamy turnips.

Similar dishes include Turnips with Quince Molasses, Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce, and Turnip Soup with Coriander-Walnut Paste.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Kashmir dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Spicy Turnips in Yoghurt | Kashmiri Shalgum Curry”

Poha with Onions, Potato and Peanuts | Kanda Batata Poha

I made this for my daughter once, long ago, and she said, OMG, that is just like in India! I had this for breakfast every morning. Well, of course. She loves the aromas, especially while it is cooking. Me too.

Poha is steamed and rolled/flattened rice – make sure that you get this and not puffed rice. Poha comes in different thicknesses  – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There are also poha types made from red rice and brown rice. For this dish, it is important that you use medium if you can. If you can only find fine poha, it won’t need soaking – rinsing will be enough to soften it sufficiently. Treat it gently. Thick and Dagdi poha will need more soaking.

Are you looking for other Poha dishes? Try Kanda Poha, Kolache Poha, and Poha with Banana, Honey and Coconut. You will also love Indian “Mashed Potatoes” – Potato Pallya.

Browse all of our other Poha recipes and all of our Indian recipes. All of our Snacks are here. Or simply explore our easy easy Mid Spring recipes.

Also, feel free to browse vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006, in our Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “Poha with Onions, Potato and Peanuts | Kanda Batata Poha”

Masala Chai with Tulsi, Ginger and Cardamom

The varieties of Chai are seemingly endless, and here is another one, incorporating the beautiful Tulsi herb. Tulsi is available as a plant from some nurseries and Indian shops, or dried leaves can be bought as tea bags in health and organic shops. If you can’t find Tulsi, substitute basil.

Are you after other Chai recipes? Try Heavenly Chai, Ashram Chai, and Yogi Chai. Have a look at other Masala Chai recipes.

Or browse all of our Chai recipes, and all of Teas and Coffees Recipes. You can explore our Indian recipes. Or simply work through our Late Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Masala Chai with Tulsi, Ginger and Cardamom”

Poritha Kootu with Tamarind

I have been showering you with a range of Kootu recipes without tamarind, and they are glorious! But, occasionally, Kootu can include some tamarind for that lovely tangy taste. It is best to use Toor Dal, rather than Mung dal, when tamarind is used.

This recipe uses a ground masala with coconut, cumin and urad dal (black gram dal). Some households use black pepper instead of cumin. Poritha Kootu with Tamarind can be made with a medley of vegetables, rather than the single vegetable that is preferred for Poritha Kuzhambu. Another feature of this dish that you will notice, is that it includes legumes and/or beans as well as the dal.

Remember that this is a thicker dish than Poritha Kuzhambu, so cook the dal and vegetables in less water than you might otherwise.

This recipe is again one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from the first volume of Cook and See. Such a tangle it was, but I think that I have untangled it well. I do hope that you enjoy. We have used Drumstick Leaves (Moringa) as our vegetable.

Would you like to try other Poritha Kootu recipes? Try Poritha Kootu with Sambar Powder and Poritha Kootu without Cumin.

Why not browse through Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes? They are here.

Then browse all of the Poritha Kootu recipes. All of our Sambar and Kuzhambu dishes can be browsed here. Have a look at all of our Indian recipes. Or you may like to explore our Early Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Poritha Kootu with Tamarind”

Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut (Suitable for Any Greens)

Winter is the time for Mustard Greens, and we love them. This recipe, with its origins in Sri Lanka and the South of India, treats them very simply without a lot of spice, and ensures that the flavours of the Mustard Leaves shine through. In fact, any greens can be used in this recipe – spinach, kale, chards and any local greens that might be in your area. Try it with cabbage too, its delicious.

Similar recipes include Mustard Greens with Mooli (Daikon), and Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce.

Browse all of our Mustard Greens dishes, and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut (Suitable for Any Greens)”