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.

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

Aam Ka Panna | Roasted Green Mango Drink

India knows how to deal with heat. They have it nailed. Their heat-beating weaponry includes: An infinite number of cooling drinks. Yoghurt dishes galore. Icecreams and cooling desserts. Fruits such as watermelon, musk melon, cucumbers, mangoes, coconuts, limes, fresh kokum. Sugar Cane Juice. Limca. Sweet Lime Soda. Coconut Water.

I saw a recipe for a Punjabi drink made from a roasted green mango and I was hooked. It is Mango Season here and we have an array of different types of sweet, sour, and sweet-sour mangoes. They are all easy to find in our Asian and S.E. Asian shops. This drink is slightly sour and slightly sweet, with a hint of cardamom (or cumin), Indian black salt (which is pink in colour) and black pepper. We make it from roasted green mango, but it can be made from boiled or steamed green mango. The taste is different, though. Roasting gives the drink a slightly smoky flavour.

You can get black salt from any Indian grocery. There isn’t any real substitute, but use sea salt or chaat masala if you can’t find black salt. Adjust the quantities accordingly.

Similar recipes include Watermelon, Lime, Ginger Soda, Kewra Sherbet, Panaka, Lassi drinks, and Cooling Juices.

Use any left over roasted mango (or roast 2 of them) to make Mango Rice.

Browse all of our Green Mango dishes, and all of our Drinks. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Aam Ka Panna | Roasted Green Mango Drink”

Okra with Onions | Pyaaz Waali Bhindi Subzi

This dish represents the way that Okra is served in many parts of Delhi and also in the Punjab, Bengal and other parts of North India. Okra are cooked with a caramelised onion paste, and the success of the dish depends on the onion paste being cooked to the right depth and consistency. Then tomato puree is added with spices to make a delicious sauce.

This dish comes via inspiration from Madhur Jaffrey, and like all of her dishes, it is very successful. The okra are meltingly tender, and the sauce coats them beautifully.

Are you interested in other Subzi dishes? Try Okra Subzi, Potato Sabzi, Carrots and Green Peas Subzi and Beetroot and Carrot Subzi.

Or perhaps other Okra recipes. Read more about Okra here. Then try okra in Sambar, and in Moar Kuzhambu. And make Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Okra Stuffed with Onions, Mustard Okra Fry, Sri Lankan Okra Curry, and Spicy Dried Okra.

Browse the Madhur Jaffrey dishes we have made, all of our Subzi dishes, and all of our Okra dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Okra with Onions | Pyaaz Waali Bhindi Subzi”

Dal Tadka | Punjabi Toor Dal – Home Style

Toor Dal is a lentil much loved all over India, from the Sambars of Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India, to the Aamti variation of the Maharashtrian Varan, to the Dal Tadka of the Punjab. And no wonder. The creamy, flowing texture and interesting flavour of the dal makes it a favourite with many.

The Punjab is full of wonderful dals, from Dal Makhani to Amritsari Dal. But nothing really beats the simplicity of Dal Tadka. In the same way that Varan is loved by the Maharashtrians, and Neiyyum Parippum is loved by the Keralites, this simple dal dish has a strong appeal. It is made with toor dal and generously spiced with a tadka of black mustard seeds, garlic, chilli and cumin.

Toor Dal is famous world wide. Easy and cheap to make, it became a favourite of restaurateurs, so was introduced early to restaurant-goers in other parts of the world. It goes so well with rice and an array of Indian flat breads. Jeera rice is particularly nice with it.

Dal Tadka is very similar to Aamti, and my Maharashtrian friends call it the Punjabi Aamti. You might like to read about the difference between Dal Tadka and Dal Fry.

Please have a look at Aamti too, and our Sambar dishes. You might also like a beautiful Mung Dal, or a Mung and Red Lentil Dal.

Explore other famous Punjabi dishes such as Baingan Ka Bharta – Punjabi Smoky Eggplant CurryDal Makhani and Amritsari Dal.

Browse all of our Toor Dal dishes here, and all of our Punjabi dishes also. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or explore our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Achari Mushrooms | Spicy Mushrooms

Achari dishes are so-called because they use the same set of spices that are commonly used in pickles (achar) in North India. Achari can refer to almost any ingredient – mushrooms, eggplant, paneer, okra, potatoes, and more. The recipes are more or less the same for the different ingredients. Today we are making Achari Mushrooms.

Spices are roasted and ground to a powder to make an Achari Masala, the spice mix common to the Achari dishes and also to pickles. A tomato gravy is made with the spices and the mushrooms are briefly simmered in the gravy.

Are you looking for other Mushroom recipes? Try Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms, the Perfect Mushrooms Sauce, and Mushroom Curry with Tomato-Yoghurt Sauce.

Try this dish that also uses Panch Phoron: Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Panch Phoron Crunch.

Browse all of the Mushroom dishes, all of our Punjabi dishes and all of the Bengali dishes. Or explore all of our Indian dishes. Alternatively take some time to browse our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

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Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma Dal | Urad Lentils and Kidney Beans Dal

It has been a while since I posted an Urad recipe. Urad is one of my favourite lentils, comforting and nourishing, and used a lot in the Punjab region. It is easy to cook with, especially if you know and respect its properties.

This dish is a cousin of Dal Makhani, using yoghurt instead of butter and cream, and whole urad rather than split urad dal.

And what a stunner! This is a slow cooked dish – taking around 5 hours – but they are effortless hours. No need to do more than the odd stir or two.

Are you looking for Urad recipes? You might like to try Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Urad and Red Rice Kitchari, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, and Urad Tamatar Dal.

We also have Rajma (kidney bean) recipes – try Rajma Sundal, Feijoada, and Capsicums Stuffed with Kidney Beans and Feta.

Or perhaps you are looking for Dal Makhani style dishes. Try our very popular Dal Makhani Restaurant Style, Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani, and Amritsari Dal.

Punjabi recipes are always packed with flavour. Try Baingan ka Bharta, Quince Aachar, and Tomato Bharta.

Alternatively, explore all of our Dal Makhani and similar recipes. Or browse Punjabi recipes. We have a range of different Urad recipes and Rajma (Kidney Bean) recipes. You might also like to check out the Madhur Jaffrey recipes that we love. Oh and our Dal recipes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma Dal | Urad Lentils and Kidney Beans Dal”

Tomato Bharta | Roast Tomato Side Dish or Chutney

Bharta are North Indian (Punjabi) dishes where the main ingredient is roasted and then pureed with spices. The flavours are intensified by the roasting and the resulting dish is spicy and tangy. A commonly known bharta is Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Bharta).

This recipe uses tomatoes and it is amazing. It is great as a dip, served over rice, used as a sauce, or as an accompaniment to any curry. It can be served with dal-rice, kitchari or stuffed parathas. It also goes well with Chapatti, Roti. It has the best taste!

Looking for Bharta recipes? Try Baingan ka Bharta. Also Bengali Eggplant Puree.

Perhaps you are looking for other Punjabi dishes. Try Kohlrabi Subzi, Potato and Eggplant Curry, and Urad Dal with Tomatoes.

It is Tomato recipes that you are after. Try Potatoes Baked with Cumin and Tomatoes, Greek-Indian Tomato Pakoras, and Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce.

See all of our Bharta recipes here. Read all about Indian Chutneys here, and feel free to browse other Indian Chutneys recipes. See Tomato recipes here. Or simply explore all of our Punjabi dishes, our Indian dishes and our Early Autumn recipes.

This recipe can be frozen without the tadka – browse other Autumnal ways of preserving for Winter here.

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Kohlrabi Subzi | A Punjabi Recipe

Not often used, Kohlrabi now features in an Indian dish

Kohlrabi is not something that I cook with often, so it was a bit of a luxury to get to make a simple Punjabi Subzi with this beautiful purple-skinned vegetable of winter.

Mustardy and warming from the spices, the dish is simple to cook and does not take a lot of effort. The result is a fabulous side dish for Indian or non-Indian meals.

Kohlrabi is a great vegetable to eat raw or cooked. Salads are great with grated or thinly sliced kohlrabi. It is also great as a substitute for Jicama (Yam Bean). Use it in this Jicama and Green Mango Salad, for example, or in this Radish and Jicama Salad with Coconut Milk.

Are you looking for more Punjabi recipes? Dal Makhani is very popular, of course. Or try Baingan Bharta, a smoky eggplant curry. And also this Green Pea Pilaf.

Are you after other Subzi dishes? Try Sweet Potato Subzi with Yoghurt, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Subzi, and Potato Subzi.

Check for other Kohlrabi recipes here. Explore our Punjabi recipes, and browse all of our Indian collection. Or take some time and browse our easy Late Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Kohlrabi Subzi | A Punjabi Recipe”

Amritsari Dal from the Punjab

A gentle Punjabi dish from Urad and Channa lentils

If I wasn’t such a fan of South Indian food, culture, arts, music, temples, rituals and everything else that is predominately from Tamil Nadu, I might have fallen in love with the Punjab. Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors can still be found in rural areas even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai (cream), paneer and dahi (yoghurt). And also the dals are a speciality of Punjabi cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram (urad), green gram (mung) and Bengal gram (channa).  They are cooked in covered earthen pots on a slow fire clay oven fueled with dung-cakes, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy, and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with cream and butter for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor for part of this information.

Urad lentils are favourites in the Punjabi cuisine, and take so well to the long slow cooking. This dish is soothing and gentle, despite the large amounts of garlic and ginger. Their assertiveness is overcome by the long slow cooking time. The dish is generally quite mild in its spiciness.

You might like to explore our Urad Lentil recipes here and here, especially all of the Dal Makhani-style dishes. Browse the Punjabi recipes. Or check out our Slow Cooking dishes.

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Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani

A simple but exceptional Dal Makhani

The story of this Dal Makhani goes like this:

Some time ago in Bangalore, India, I had a Dal Makhani to die for. It was just a hotel room service meal ordered at a very busy at the time, yet it made me sink back into my couch with a wonderful smile on my face – as if I had transitioned and gone to Dal Heaven.

I rang through to the kitchen and asked for the recipe. Oh what hilarity that caused in the kitchen – much laughter and giggles, and simply hours later, I received a typed up recipe from the chef at the Oberoi in Bangalore. It is the most wondrous dish, full of butter and cream and takes some time, so a dish for special occasions. Continue reading “Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani”