Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chholiya Rasedaar (Green Chickpea Curry)

Green chickpea (Hara Chana) has a great combination with potatoes. It can be cooked dry or with gravy. Here I’m suggesting the gravy version which can be served with plain rice or Paratha or Roti

This recipe calls for fresh Hara Chana, but frozen is fine too.


  • 1 cup of green gram ( Hara Chana)
  • 1 potato diced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 green chilies chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 1 brown cardamom
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • lemon juice or chat masala
  • fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped to garnish


  • Grind onion, tomato and green chilies to a fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium flame. Add one bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon stick and fry for few seconds. Now add onion, tomato, green chilies and ginger garlic paste and fry until it becomes little transparent. Add dry spices (cumin, coriander, red chili, turmeric) and salt. Fry until the oil begins to separate from the masala paste.
  • Add green gram and diced potatoes to this masala and mix well. Add water to make gravy of your choice. Pressure cook it for 3-4 minutes. Green gram should be soft when pressed after cooking.
  • Add garam masala and half the cilantro leaves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Take out in a serving bowl and mix in lemon juice or chat masala.
  • Garnish with rest of chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Serve with hot plain boiled rice or roti/paratha and Raita.

Do You Know?

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein. The proteins are devoid of purines, they are therefore ideally suited to those who suffer from gout.

They are quite rich in calcium, making them a good choice for combating osteoporosis.

They are also rich in iron.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spinach Kofta Curry

Koftas made of spinach and potatoes, stuffed with cottage cheese (paneer), are dipped in rich creamy white gravy. It is a Mogulai dish that goes well with Naan.


For Koftas:

  • 2 medium potatoes boiled and mashed
  • 1 cup paneer (cottage cheese) grated
  • 2tbsp besan (gram flour)
  • ½ cup blanched and pureed spinach
  • ½ cup spinach chopped fine
  • 1 tsp ginger chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp green chilies chopped fine
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Few Cashews
  • Salt to taste

For White Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp white flour (Maida)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp butter

For Gravy:

  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½ cup white sauce
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp cashew paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup butter/ghee/oil


Prepare Stuffing:

  • Mix grated paneer with little salt, white pepper powder and kaju. Stuffing is ready.

Prepare Koftas:

  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Add cumin, chopped garlic, green chilies and ginger and sauté well.
  • Add besan and fry. Add spinach paste and chopped spinach, fry for 2-3 minutes. Add boiled and mashed potato and mix well. Add salt and remove from flame and allow it to cool.
  • Knead the Spinach potato mix (dough) well until it is smooth and soft.

  • Now apply some oil on your palm and put some of the spinach potato mix in the cupped palm of your hand.

  • Put some of the stuffing in the spinach potato cup.

  • Cover the stuffing with the potato mix around it to make a ball.

  • Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai on medium heat and fry the koftas until dark.

  • Cool on paper towels.

Prepare white sauce:
  • Heat butter in a small pan.
  • Add sifted white flour and stir till it changes color slightly.
  • Remove from the heat. After 2-3 minutes pour milk in it and stir constantly. Put the pan back on heat; continue to stir till the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat and add salt and pepper.

Prepare Gravy:

  • Heat 2 tbsp butter/ghee/oil in a heavy based sauce pan and fry onions and chopped green chilies till onion is transparent. Remove with a slotted spoon and grind to a fine paste; keep aside for later use.
  • Reheat the remaining oil over medium heat, add bay leaves, cloves, green cardamom, and fry for few seconds till golden brown.
  • Now add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add onion paste, cashew paste, yogurt, white sauce and salt to taste. Reduce the flame and cook for 4-5 minutes sprinkling it with some water if required. Stir continuously. Now add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Add cream and butter. Now add the pre-made koftas to the gravy.
  • Add lemon juice, garnish with chopped cilantro and garam masala powder.
  • Serve hot with Naan or Parathas.

Do You Know?

Kofta is a Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian dish made by grinding meat, mixing it with spices, and forming it into balls or cylinders for cooking.

In countries with a large vegetarian population, like India, it is possible to find vegetable koftas made with cauliflower, potatoes, cabbage, green beans etc. Vegetable kofta are often served with thick, flavorful gravy in India and Southeast Asia. In some cases, the koftas are floated in a spicy stew, which may be ladled over rice or served with breads such as naan.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Aloo Seim (Sautéed Indian Broad Beans)

It is a simple and delicious and nutritious vegetable sabji. Just stir fry Seim with potatoes and enjoy with Dal and hot Rotis.

In India Seim Ki Phalli are sold fresh and are very commonly available in markets. But here in USA, you have to search for them at the Indian or Chinese grocery stores and food markets. I am sure you will find them.


  • 1 pound fresh Seim Ki phalli
  • 1 big potato cut into small cubes
  • 1 whole dry red chili
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • ½ tsp amchoor powder or lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp cooking oil


  • Wash, destring and trim ends of Seim Ki Phalli. Cut into 1cm pieces.

  • Heat the oil in a pan. Now add asafetida, cumin seeds and broken dry red chili. When spluttering stops add the crushed and finely chopped garlic and fry until they turn golden brown.
  • Add chopped onion and fry until light brown.
  • Stir in potato cubes. Fry for 1-2 minutes and then add the broad beans pieces. Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Now add red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp water to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan and cook covered, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the beans pieces and potatoes are tender.
  • After they are cooked, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of Amchoor or squeeze lime/lemon juice juice, this will enhance the beans flavor.
  • Serve hot with Dal and Roti.


Seim Ki Phalli (Indian Broad Beans) have hard fibrous strings which are preferably removed before chopping them.

The method to remove these strings is to simply tear the tip of the bean with hand and pull away the string from each side in one motion.

Try to bring tender and fresh green beans because tender beans do not have the fibrous strings so chopping can be done without removing the string.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Parwal Masala

Here is a quick and easy recipe of Masala Parwals. Young immature parwals are the best for cooking. Their skin is bright green in color, the flesh inside is white, and the seeds are small and tender.

The mature parwals are less flavorful. The fully ripe ones turn orange and mushy and are too sweet to eat.


  • 8-10 Parwals (Pointed Gourds)
  • 4 tbsp Cooking oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 medium onions grated
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp oil


  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan on medium flame. Add cumin seeds, and after they are brown, add chopped onion and fry until they are light brown in color.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, tomato puree, chopped green chili, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala and salt. Cook until the raw smell goes away and the oil separates out from the masala. Add chopped coriander and put it aside.
  • Peel the skin of the Parwal and make a lengthwise slit in each piece (do not cut into two pieces).

  • Now gently stuff the Parwal with masala. Care has to be taken while stuffing as Parwal has the tendency to break easily.

  • Take 1tbsp oil in a wide pan and heat it over medium flame. Put some cumin seeds and once they are brown put the masala filled Parwal one by one in the pan. Add remaining masala and cook it covered stirring occasionally, until the vegetable is soft.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice and serve with Dal and hot Chapati/Roti.

Do You Know?

Parwal (Pointed Gourd) is widely cultivated in the eastern part of India, particularly in Orissa, Bengal, Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

It is a summer vegetable which is high in water content and low in calories.

Parwal contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium.
According to Ayurved, pointed gourd is excellent for balancing Kapha. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lamb Stuffed Potato Cutlets

Here is a simple recipe of minced lamb stuffed potato cutlets. Serve these as a starter or a snack with chutney of your choice.


  • 4 medium potatoes (boiled and mashed)
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For Stuffing:

  • ¼ pound boneless mutton(very small pieces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 brown cardamom
  • 1 green chili chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped fine
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup semolina for coating
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


Prepare Stuffing:

  • Boil mutton with ginger, bay leaf, and cardamom until the meat is cooked. Use minimum amount of water just required to boil the mutton.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a pan on medium flame, till hot. Add the green chilies and garlic and fry till the chilies turn whitish and the garlic turns light golden.
  • Add the onion and fry till soft.
  • Now add boiled mutton and salt to taste. Fry it till all the water is evaporated and mutton pieces are completely mashed. Mix in black pepper powder, chopped cilantro leaves and lemon juice.
  • Stuffing is ready.

Prepare Cutlets:

  • Mash boiled potato well. Add corn flour, white pepper powder, salt and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Knead the potato mix (dough) well until it is smooth and soft.
  • Now apply some oil on your palm and put some of the potato mix in the cupped palm of your hand.

  • Put some of the mutton stuffing in the potato cup.

  • Cover with the potato mix around it to make a ball.

  • Now press it to give it a cutlet shape.

  • Roll each cutlet in semolina and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai on medium heat and fry the potato cutlets until light brown.

  • You can shallow fry these cutlets on a heavy bottomed skillet.
  • Cool on paper towels.
  • Serve with chutney or ketchup of your choice.

Do You Know?

Snacks can be an important part of a healthy diet. Well chosen snacks can help you manage your weight, hunger, health and energy.

Eating several small healthy snacks between meals helps with weight loss by keeping craving down and preventing excessive hunger that may lead to overeating.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mixed Dal Vada

Masala Vada is very popular in South India which is made by combining Chana Dal, Arhar Dal and Urad Dal.

I made some changes because I wanted to use whole Dal (Dal with the skin), so Arhar is replaced by Sabit Moong in my recipe.

Although color of Vadas is little darker but it is more crunchy and nutritious than Masala Vada.

These can be eaten as a snack or as a part of the meal.


  • ½ cup Chana dal (split Bengal Gram)
  • ½ cup Sabit Moong (Green Gram)
  • ½ cup dhuli Urad dal (split skinned Black Gram)
  • 1 Onion chopped finely
  • 8-10 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Ginger chopped finely
  • 4-5 Green Chilies chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) chopped fine
  • A pinch of Hing (Asafetida)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry


  • Wash and soak dals separately for 2-3 hours. Drain. Keep a handful of chana dal aside. Grind drained dals together with ginger, curry leaves and salt to a coarse batter (thick paste). Add only spoonful of water at a time if required.
  • Take out dal paste in a bowl, add hing and keep aside for at least an hour. Add now chopped onion, chopped green chilies, chopped coriander leaves and the handful of chana dal (which was kept aside) and mix well.

  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai/wok on medium heat.
  • Shape the batter into 1 ½ inch round ball on your palm and lightly press it to flattish shape.

  • When the oil is hot enough, fry these vadas in oil till golden brown from both sides turning as needed.

Do You Know?

In Ayurveda, hing is used to aid digestion, cure colic, and stagnation in the gastro intestinal tract. It reduces the growth of flora in the gut, especially candida, directly reducing gas.

It destroys worms and has anti-viral properties.

It nourishes the nervous tissue in case of stagnation with high vata, sciatica, paralysis, and epilepsy.

It was used to fight the flu during World War I.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choliya Aloo(Green Chickpea and Potato)

Winter is the season when fresh green chickpeas are abundantly available in the market. They don’t have the texture or the taste of dry chickpeas at all. They look and taste like a fresh vegetable.

The tender leaves of chickpeas are also eaten as vegetable. My mother used to make ‘Saag’ with it’s leaves.

On the eve of Holi (the festival of color in India), we have a tradition to roast the stems containing pods in the bonfire to get roasted cholia. It is believed that eating roasted choliya brings good luck.


  • 1 cup fresh Hara Chana (Green Chickpea)
  • 1 medium potato peeled and diced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp amchoor powder (raw mango powder)
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish


  • Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan, on medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry till spluttering stops.
  • Add the chopped onion, and fry till soft. Now add ginger garlic paste and fry till little dark.
  • Add the diced potato and Green Chana. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle 3-4 tbsp of water on the vegetables and mix well. Cover the pan and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, till the vegetables are almost done. Now remove the cover from the pan and cook till water is almost absorbed.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot Chapatis (Indian flatbread) or Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread).

Pods of Green Chickpea

Green Chickpeas

Do You Know?

Holika Dahan or the lighting of bonfire takes place on the eve of Holi. The day is also popularly called 'Chhoti Holi' or the 'Small Holi'.
Holika Dahan is an extremely popular tradition and is celebrated with fervor all across the country and is symbolic of triumph of good over evil. There are numerous legends associated with this ancient tradition and it is difficult to pin-point as to when actually the tradition started.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kaakarakaya Pulusu (Tangy Bitter Gourd Curry)

Here is a recipe of saucy karela which tastes sweet and sour with a touch of spicy-bitterness. This I learnt from my neighbor in Hyderabad.

The curry is prepared from the karela (bitter gourd) which has just started turning yellow. At this stage fruit’s flesh is still crunchy and watery in texture but more bitter than green one.

It goes well with Roti or Rice.


  • 2 yellow Karela (yellow bitter gourd)
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 2 green chilies chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Small marble-sized lump of tamarind (according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp gud (jaggery)
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 whole red chilies
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1tsp skinned split black gram
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • Peel and deseed the bitter gourd (scoop out the seeds with a spoon) and cut into small pieces (about half inch).
  • Mix 1 tsp salt to chopped karela and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Soak tamarind in a small bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind after that so as to remove all the pulp from it into the water. Strain and throw away the pith. Keep the tamarind pulp aside for later use.
  • Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan and heat it on a medium flame. When the oil becomes hot add black mustard seeds; and when spluttering stops, add cumin seeds and urad dal.
  • When the seeds become dark, add whole red chilies, curry leaves, chopped green chilies and chopped onion; fry till onion is light brown.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Squeeze away the water from karela by pressing between the palms and put them in the pan. Add turmeric powder and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add one cup of water and cook covered on low flame. Halfway through the cooking, add red chili powder and tamarind pulp. Simmer for a minute. Add jaggery and cover the pan with lid again and simmer on medium-low heat till karela pieces become tender and tamarind-jaggery sauce thickens.
  • Adjust salt and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with Roti or Rice.

Do You Know?

Bitter gourd contains lectin (sugar binding proteins) that has insulin-like activity due to its non-protein-specific linking together to insulin receptors. This lectin lowers blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and, similar to insulin's effects in the brain, suppressing appetite. This lectin is likely a major contributor to the hypoglycemic ( it is the medical term for a state produced by a lower than normal level of blood glucose) effect that develops after eating bitter gourd.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bharvaan Bhindi (Stuffed Ladyfinger)

This simple dish tastes great with hot Chapatis (Indian flatbread) or Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread).


  • 1 pound lady finger
  • Oil


  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp raw mango powder
  • ½ tsp ajwain
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash the ladyfinger and pat dry with a clean cloth. Trim off both the ends of each piece.

  • Make a lengthwise slit in each ladyfinger such that it does not completely open up.

  • Mix all the spices for stuffing.
  • Now stuff the slit in each ladyfinger with small amount of stuffing.

  • Lay the stuffed ladyfinger in a plate.

  • Heat 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. When hot, add the stuffed ladyfinger and fry until ladyfinger is cooked.

Do You Know?

Ladyfinger is low in Sodium, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, thus, an ideal diet for human consumption

High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Protein, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Zinc and Copper.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Paneer Pakoda

Paneer (Cottage Cheese) pieces are dipped in spiced Gram Flour batter and deep fried.


  • 10-12 rectangular pieces of Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  • 2 cups Besan (Gram Flour)
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • ½ tsp Green Chili paste
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Amchoor Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chaat masala to garnish
  • Cooking oil for deep frying


  • Mix ½ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp amchoor and little salt. Sprinkle over paneer pieces and mix well.
  • In another bowl take besan (gram flour), remaining red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, green chili paste, amchoor powder, cumin seeds, asafetida, baking powder and salt. Mix little water and make a thick paste (batter). Besan paste (batter) should be thick enough to coat the paneer pieces completely. Keep the batter aside for 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil for deep frying in a kadhai or wok on a medium flame.
  • When the oil is ready for frying, dip one by one paneer piece in the gram flour batter and coat well on all sides. Put them into the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry till golden brown all over turning occasionally.
  • Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
  • Sprinkle Chat masala on Pakodas and serve with chutney of your choice.

Do You Know?

Baking powder is a leavening agent. It is made of baking soda and cream of tartar (another acid powder). It is almost always double action. This means it releases carbon dioxide when mixed with liquid, and releases it again when exposed to heat.