This salad is the type of dish that is usually an accompaniment to a meal, and can be served that way or eaten as dessert. It is easy to make and I often make it for “bring a plate” events. It is wonderful garnished with pomegranate seeds and pistachio slivers. If you don’t have pomegranate seeds, soft dried cranberries or barberries are also very good, or drizzle with a little pomegranate molasses. Add a little sugar if you are serving it for dessert.
Kachumbers (or Kachambers) are the freshest of salads, crispy and crunchy, in the Indian cuisine. They dispel the myth that Indian does not use fresh, raw vegetables or include salads. Kachumbers are very easy to make, although some can take a little chopping. With a good food processor, the shredding or chopping is made even easier and quicker.
This salad is daikon radish, carrot and coconut – a fresh and lively taste for late Autumn and into Winter in our part of the world. However, daikon and carrots are available year round, so the vivid salad can grace your Summer table too. Yamuna Devi, in her book Lord Krishna’s Kitchen, has a number of these type of salads in the Little Salads chapter.
Yoghurt is such an important part of the diet in many parts of India, and it is often a part of every lunch and dinner meal. Sometimes served as is, and often mixed with a vegetable, there are many ways to ensure yoghurt, spices and vegetables have an increased presence in the daily diet.
This recipe is terrific, with the combination of textures and flavours. It can be served as both a raita (yoghurt dish) or as a side dish – okra in a yoghurt sauce.
This dish is from the beautiful Yamuna Devi’s Lord Krishna’s Kitchen, a real bible of Indian dishes. She suggests that this dish is served with Spiced Potato and Pea Samosas with Sweet and Sour Tamarind Sauce, for a light lunch or snack, and with Toor Dal Kitchari with Mixed Vegetables for a more substantial meal. Delicious!
Rice with buttery soft eggplant
Is it the golden brown cashews or the butter soft spears of eggplant that make this a succulent rice dish? The eggplants are first marinated in turmeric and salt to maximise the flavours, before being sauteed with spices and then cooked with the rice. The sesame-heavy spice mix is freshly made – dry roasted and then ground – and adds a nuttiness to the basmati rice.
This is a great main dish rice for lunch or dinner. It is a fiddly dish, with more work than we normally include in recipes. But the result is worth the extra effort. Serve with yoghurt or raita/pachadi, a simple spiced vegetable, a simple broth and perhaps some roti.
Buttery soft cauliflower with rice
The cauliflower is butter soft, delicately seasoned with a yoghurt and spice mixture, nestled into a beautiful rice dish. You will be amazed at this rice-cauliflower combination from Yamanu Devi.
The cauliflower is stir-fried until slightly golden before a yoghurt-coconut-spice mixture is folded in. Then the cauliflower is steamed to tenderness with spiced rice. A perfect dish for entertaining too.
Similar recipes include Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa, Crispy Cauliflower with Capers, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing, Roasted Cauliflower and Grape Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices.
Urad sprouts are unusual, and here they are in a yoghurt gravy.
This is a dish from Maharashtra in India. Whole urad or muth beans and sprouts are the traditional favorites, but you can also use sprouted chick peas, aduki or mung beans in this dish. Sprouted beans are bursting with nutrition because they are a living, growing food. When left raw, their flavor may be strange to the newcomer. In this dish, however, flavor is obtained without sacrificing the nutritive value of the sprouts.
Check out all of the Urad recipes here and here. Perhaps you are also looking for sprouts recipes. Browse Yamuna Devi’s recipes. OR be inspired by our Autumn dishes here and here. You can also browse our Indian Essentials.
An eye-catching and mouth-watering dish.
Green Pea Pilaf is a great 1-pot meal or the basis of a larger meal, and, of course, it is delicious. It is great lunch food and also good comfort food for sensitive times, you know what I mean. Eye-catching, it is perfect for a buffet, or a light dinner.
Rich in texture and flavour, this dish is common in Punjabi homes and has lots of variations. The recipe comes from Yamuta Devi, just one of her many dishes that always turn out perfectly. As usual, the combination of ingredients is so well balanced. She is the master of subtlety.
Want more? Please browse all of our rice dishes here, and all of our pilaf dishes. Or try all of our Pea Recipes here. There is also a range of Punjabi dishes for you to explore. Or simply take some time to check out our easy Early Winter dishes.
A simple yet flavoursome, healthy rice dish from North India.
Turmeric lends a sense of glamour to a rice dish, tinting it deliciously yellow. In this dish, the herbs and spices are subtle and compliment basmati rice’s lovely nutty flavour. It can be eaten with a soup or salad style dish and also goes well with a simple dal and some chutney and pickle.
You can read more about Turmeric here. It really is a wonder spice. If you would like to see some other rice dishes, we have Pepper Cumin Rice, Lemon Rice, and Mango Rice. For all of our Rice dishes click here.
A take on a traditional method of cooking rice.
This rice is a take on the traditional Indian wood-fire cooked rice and the rounded bottom, thin neck traditional pots of India. Sadly this is difficult to do in the modern home, so par cooking the rice and finishing it in the oven approximates it.
It is worth looking for Basmati Aged Rice. Your rice will be perfect and very unlike rice cooker rice.
Who can go on a carb-free diet when dishes like this exist?
When Yamuna Devi studied Vedic Cooking, she studied with Srila Prabhupada for 3 months. She tells that in the study of vegetables, they spent weeks on potatoes, exploring basic methods of cooking, learning how to control the taste and appearance of a dish without diminishing its nutritive value.
When I was in India recently I heard one visitor bemoaning the fact that there seemed to be so few vegetables in Indian food. Of course that is not true, but if you eat in restaurants only, it may appear that way. There is a wealth of vegetables – many more than we are used to here – including countless varieties of greens and innumerous salad style dishes. India produces one of the largest assortments of vegetables, fruits and legumes in the world. You only have to visit any market to see how this is true.
Sauce-free Indian curries like this one are really just slightly-more-elaborate vegetable sautés—toast spices in some fat, add in your vegetables, and finish with salt and sometimes a touch of sugar to season the simple, healthful spicy glaze that now coats the vegetables. Simple, but deceivingly flavour-packed and delicious.
Are you are looking for Potato recipes? Try Saag Aloo, Aloo Gobi, Arai Puli Kuzhambu (Potatoes in Tangy Gravy), Potato and Sweet Potato Vindaloo, Doodh Wale Aloo (Milkman Potatoes), Aloo Palak (Potatoes and Spinach), and Nachi’s Sweet Potato and Eggplant Madras Curry.
Fragrant and wonderful, this chutney is great when ripe fruit hangs from the trees. At other times, used dried apricots.
This is outstanding chutney, especially when the apricots are tree-ripened, sweet and fragrant. For those of us resorting to fruits sold at supermarkets or corner grocers, look for barely ripened fruit with a fragrant smell. If they are absolutely without smell, use dried apricots which require an overnight soaking in lime juice and water and a slight increase in cooking time.
This is from Lord Krishna’s Kitchen. It is sharp, tangy and sweet at the same time. Make it the star of the meal, even though it is a chutney. It’s strong flavours should not have to compete with other dishes.
A delicious Indian Curry using Daikon and Pumpkin.
An underused vegetable, Daikon Radish or White Radish is the feature of this curry. Mixed with Butternut or Jap Pumpkin, it is a golden delight. Potatoes can be used instead of daikon.
A favourite of our family
Urad, that black skin lentil, wonderfully creamy coloured under the skin, is a hard dal that takes a Life (Time) of Cooking (haha). Seriously, it does take a while to cook.
Most people know Urad through Dal Makhani. There are three versions here. One came from Nilgiris Restaurant, that iconic Indian restaurant in Sydney. One was given by the chef at the Oberoi in Bangalore. And the last one was given by a young man working at an Indian grocery. He recited it from memory, and it is very simple but rich in flavour.
A dip, a sauce a spread.
Chickpeas really are little balls of sunshine. This recipe is extremely versatile – make it thicker or thinner to suit your use from a thick spread to a thin dressing.
Using chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and sesame seeds, it is an Indian take on Hummus. It takes about 5 minutes to make. Easy. Perfect for a such a lazy Sunday afternoon at home.
A very special way to cook rice.
There is a very gentle way of cooking rice using a combination of steaming and the absorption method, using indirect heat that leaves the rice so very fluffy with a wonderful texture. The method uses indirect heat to cook rice that as been previously soaked.
Soaking allows the long pointed grains of long grained rice to absorb some water, and allows the rice to relax a little before cooking. It does make a difference, especially if you are using basmati rice.
There are other ways to cook rice, including the absorption method and oven method.