Broad Bean Burgers/Patties

Chickpea flour is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a high speed blender. We toast the chickpeas until they are aromatic – either the small Indian chickpeas or the regular, larger ones – and allow them to cool. Then grind them to a fine powder in a high speed blender. We are fortunate enough to have a “dry” blender jug, designed for powdering dry ingredients, but I hear you can do this just as easily using the normal blender jugs.

We toasted our chickpeas early this morning, pre dawn, and the house smelled toasty and chickpea-y. They cooled while we had breakfast, and then made our flour – a couple of cups worth. The reason we are doing this today is that we were out of the flour and needed a little for today’s recipe. I love to make my own besan – you know what is in it when you grind it yourself.

The fritters come from an Ottolenghi recipe and I have made some adjustments to it. Firstly the egg is replaced with the chickpea flour as we do not cook with eggs. Secondly – we wondered why Ottolenghi was toasting spices and then adding black pepper separately. So we have used our South Indian tricks to toast and grind black peppercorns along with the other spices. We replaced fennel seeds with ajwain as we love ajwain and were out of fennel seeds.

We have also been used to making this recipe with a fabulous Indian tomato chutney to accompany it. Today we made it with a sour cream sauce but I do recommend it with the tomato chutney – I’ve included the recipe below.

And by the way – a little Indian sour and salty mango pickle sets these burgers off beautifully (we prefer to call them patties).

The broad beans were from our stash in the freezer.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely (this recipe is from Plenty). Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander, Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, and Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Fennel and Potato with White Beans and Garlic

A whole-heartedly winter dish, this bake combines aniseed-flavoured fennel with the soft beauty of potatoes and white beans.. And, if you go for the alternative noted below the recipe, Jerusalem artichokes can feature too. You probably know that we adore dishes that go into the oven on cold winter days – they warm us, and both scent and warm the kitchen and living areas. It draws the family together, addicted as we are to warmth and flavours, and by the time the meal is served everyone is laughing and the wine is already poured.

Similar dishes include Baked Fennel with a Creamy Sauce, Pasta, Cabbage and Cheese Bake, Eggplant and Zucchini Bake, and Potatoes Baked with Tomatoes and Cumin.

Or browse all of our Baked dishes, all of our Fennel recipes, and all of our Potato recipes. Alternatively, you might enjoy exploring our Late Winter collection of dishes.

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Dum Aloo | Kashmiri Potatoes in Spicy Yoghurt Sauce

There are two main versions of Aloo Dum – the Kashmiri version, and a Punjabi version which is generally less spicy than the Kashmiri version.

Dum style cooking is a slow cooking style which allows the ingredients to cook in their own juices and any added sauce. When the lid of the pot is sealed to prevent any steam from escaping it is called dum pukht – dum meaning breathe in and pukht meaning to cook. Dum lets the dish breathe in or steam slowly in its own juices, absorbing the delicate flavour of the spices and herbs. You can still see large cooking pots that are sealed with dough or cloth to trap the steam, cooking the vegetables or rice until tender. It is used most commonly when cooking biryani, and is a technique that is more than 400 years old.

Traditionally only a handful of Indian spices were used for flavour, but with time many more ingredients were added to suit different taste preferences. The dough seal is only opened once the dish was ready to serve to retain maximum flavour. A heavy bottomed clay pot is said to work the best as it releases heat slowly (maintaining the temperature inside) and prevents the fire from burning the bottom of the dish.

While Dum dishes were cooked over open fires with coals added to the top of the pot, today the oven provides a way of maintaining a low heat, and a pot can be sealed with kitchen foil if a dough seal is out of the question. On a stove top a heat diffuser can be used to keep the heat low so that longer cooking is possible. This allows greater infusion of the flavours into the potatoes.

As usual, my recipe for Aloo Dum is one of the simpler ones, home-cooking style, but with extraordinary flavours. You may have Greek or French clay pots, or lovely Indian terracotta ones. I lost my Indian pots when I shifted (they break easily) so sometimes I will use a Chinese clay pot for dishes such as this. The advantage is that it comes with a lid that can be easily sealed with foil, although the sealing isn’t strictly necessary these days for this dish.

Most of the times it is brought directly to the table and then the lid is opened. The result is dramatic, with the rich aroma that comes with the escaping steam is always considered an important part of the experience of a Dum cooked dish. They say that Dum cooking takes years to perfect. The good news is that every trial dish, while not perfect, is jolly jolly good. Just cook with deep respect for the ancient technique, with patience, with love, and with home-made garam masala.

This dish is a little different to those you might see elsewhere. It is Kashmiri rather than from other parts of India. It’s sauce is yoghurt based and does not include onions or tomatoes. Cashews are not added. It it is simply yoghurt and spices, very traditional. The potatoes are first deep fried. This gives them a lovely brown colour and also a crisp coating that prevents them falling apart when they are cooking in the yoghurt sauce.  The crispness is lost during cooking in the sauce and they become beautifully infused and soft. Before frying, the potatoes are pricked all over to allow the infusion of flavours.

Similar dishes include Aloo in Aloo, Potato with Onions, and Aloo Gobi.

Browse all of our Potato Curries and all of our Potato dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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

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Deep Fried Potato and Carrot Strings with Chilli Powder and Lemon | An Indian Snack

Once upon a time, it is hardly believable now, we didn’t eat much fried food. Falling in love with Indian food changed that, as their snacks and street foods are over the top delicious. Not all are deep fried, of course, but there are a fair number that are.

This is a simple dish – it just takes time to fry the strings of potato and carrot in batches. It is moreish and you may have to make more than you anticipated. It makes a great afternoon snack with a cuppa, or a late night supper. But note that the vegetable strings need to soak for 30 mins before cooking.

Similar dishes include Malabar Spinach PakoraMadhur Vadai, and Crispy Onion Rings.

Browse all of our Indian Snacks and all of our Potato and Carrot dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Aloo in Aloo | Potatoes cooked in a Spicy Potato-Tomato Gravy

I am not sure if it is that we love potatoes or if it is that Indian treatment of potatoes is the best on this planet, but we do have a small obsession with Indian potato dishes at the moment. Here is another one – and it is really interesting.

In a way that you doubt would work, a gravy is made from mashed potato, tomatoes and chillies, and then more potato is cooked in that gravy, with spices. It is a delicious dish, perfect with chapati or paratha.

Similar dishes include Dum Aloo, Potato Pallya, Potato Subzi, and Milkman Potatoes.

Browse all of our Potato dishes and all of our Potato Curries. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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

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Aloo Hing Jeera | Potatoes with Cumin

Of course, practice, perseverance and knowledge builds skill. This week I have been looking back as some recipes that I made all those decades ago when I began learning about Indian food. I’ve been cooking many of them again, and the results are almost terrifyingly different. A dish I thought was very basic, this recipe for Aloo Hing Jeera, I had marked as “subtly spiced, needs onions, better the next day, add green chilli and ginger.” That observation was not especially incorrect, according to my Western-trained palate at the time.

The same dish, made today, is beautiful, spiced well, the gravy is amazing and the texture of the potatoes with the spices is what I have come to expect of Indian food. My tastes have changed, I have experienced more widely, I have read widely and spoken to people both here and throughout India about food. AND, I have cooked and cooked and cooked Indian dishes. All shows in the difference between this dish and the one I made nearly 20 years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar dishes include Aloo in Aloo, Sesame Potatoes, Aloo Bhindi, and Saag Aloo.

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

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

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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 Aloo Hing Jeera (Potatoes with Cumin), 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.

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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.

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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.

Also try Aloo in Aloo and Dum Aloo.

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.

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Eggplant and Kale Pakora

Pakora are a favourite street food in India, and one that can easily be made at home. Recipes use a chickpea flour batter into which vegetables are dipped and then deep fried. I like to serve these Pakora with sea salt and lemon juice only, but they are commonly eaten with Indian sauces and chutneys.  One word describes them. Delicious. Incredibly delicious. Have a glass of chai with them – I also love them with a small cup of spicy rasam.

In frying the pakora (also called pakoda, bhajji and bhajiya) the aim is to cook the vegetable in the same amount of time that the batter takes to become crispy. It is about temperature, so it is a good idea to test-fry a few pieces before cooking the whole batch.

The types of vegetables that can be used include potatoes, onion rings, eggplant, sweet potatoes, softer pumpkins, lotus root, cauliflower and greens such as spinach, kale and amaranth leaves. Make sure that any greens are really dry before using.

Similar recipes include Malabar Spinach Pakora, Red Onion and Green Chilli Pakora, Okra and Cauliflower Pakora, and Vegetable Fritters.

Browse all of our Pakoras and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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