Red Masoor Lentil – “Hyderabadi Red Dal”

Red Masoor Lentil- “Dal”- Serves 4 This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s famous cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian .This one requires only a few ingredients and really brings out the flavor of the lentils. I am such a big fan of this recipe that it almost didn’t make it to the dinner table on account of all the bowlfuls I “sampled” during preparation! I did eventually manage to save some however and served it up as a side dish to my Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup red Masoor lentil 3 tablespoons (for tempering) plus 2 tablespoons for boiling the lentil 2 dried red Kashmiri chillies 3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds “Rai” . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Pav Bhaji

I hope you enjoy this recently uploaded video on how to prepare Pav-Bhaji! “Pav” ( small loaf of bread) Bhaji (veggies)” is a popular form of Indian fast food sold on street corners and restaurants alike. Delicious, cheap and easy-to-put together pav-bhaji is served with buttered bread hot off the stove. I am yet to meet a person who is not fond of this famous street food from India. Pav-bhaji is basically a thick potato-based mixture (tomatoes, green peas, carrots, cauliflower and capsicum) prepared on a flat griddle. A special masala called pav-bhaji masala is added to this with a dollop of butter on top. The mixture is garnished with chopped cilantro and onions flavored with lemon juice. INGREDIENTS: . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Black Daal or “Kaali Daal”

“Kaali Daal”- Serves 6 Black “daal” or “Mah ki daal” or “Kaali Daal” is a creamy, tasty lentil preparation that goes well with Indian bread and other rice preparations as well. Made with whole black gram, fresh ginger, red chilly powder, fresh garlic paste, cumin seeds, cream (I use 2% milk instead) and fresh cilantro. The longer you let the lentils cook the better – usually 3+ hours. Ingredients: 1 cup whole black gram “urad dal” 3 medium tomatoes grated 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon oil (I use canola cooking oil) 1/2 cup milk or cream 1 heaped tablespoon of fresh chopped ginegr salt to taste Tempering the lentil 2 tablespoons of butter 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 green . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Mung Bean or Green Gram Salad

The sprouted “Mung” bean (or “green gram”) is a nutritious legume that makes a great salad. To sprout, soak the beans overnight in water. Drain the water the following day and cover for 6-to-8 hours in a dark, warm place (like inside the oven). Then steam the sprouted beans, add cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, green chilly and fresh cilantro. Squeeze some lime or lemon juice with a dash of sugar and salt to taste and your salad is ready! The spouted beans lasts for about 3 days in the refrigerator. If you prefer, you can boil till soft instead of waiting for the beans to sprout. I love to serve this salad with Indian food or as a quick healthy . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Mango Lassi

Check out this newly uploaded video on how to prepare easy and simple mango lassi. In India, alphonso mangoes are known as “the king of mangoes” on account of their unmatched taste and texture. They are simply the tastiest and also the most expensive of the 1500 different varieties of mangoes you can find in India. As a child, I remember the boxes of alphonso mangoes delivered to our home every season (April-May) from our family farm in India’s most prominent mango-growing regions, Ratnagiri, in the state of Maharashtra. Here in the US, I use mango puree tins (marked “Alphonso” and from that same region) from the Indian grocery store to make mango-flavored smoothies (“lassi”) all year around. Yoghurt-based . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Fish With Fenugreek and Cilantro “Methi Masala”

“Methi” (fenugreek) masala is one of the most versatile gravies ever. Healthy and delicious, methi masala consists of fresh fenugreek, cilantro, green chilies, garlic and tomatoes. You can even add Indian cottage cheese (“paneer”), potatoes, or fish to this gravy. One gravy and three options! Perfect! Fenugreek is best prepared with care. Be sure to wash the leaves in cold water repeatedly to make sure you remove all the sand. Also be sure to cook the leaves really well as that will eliminate their otherwise bitter taste. I learnt this the hard way when I first attempted this recipe as part of a big meal for a party. Long story short – the rest of the dinner turned out . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Puffed Chickpea In Yogurt “Boondi Raita”

Last weekend, I had my neighbours over for an “authentic” Indian meal. I was excited to cook for them. I prepared chicken curry, lentils, potatoes with cumin, okra and boondi raita. They found boondi raita to be unique since they have only tried raitas with cucumbers and tomatoes at local restaurants. They were thrilled to know that it was so easy to make. My friend said she would make this as a side with some grilled chicken. Traditionally, boondi raita is served as a side dish with chicken curry, pilafs or even with lentils and rice. “Boondi” are tiny, round, fried droplets made from chickpea flour, readily available at any Indian grocery store. To make raita, look for salted boondi. . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Minced Chicken

Minced Chicken (kheema): Serves 4 to 5 Was craving this for a long time and made it last night for dinner along with “Boondi Dahi” (savory chickpea flour balls in sweetened yogurt), Okra and pulao. The same recipe can be used to make turkey mince or even goat (mutton) mince. Minced chicken is the Indian-version of what many popular restaurants serve as the filling in lettuce wraps. Mince (“kheema” in Hindi) was made in my mother’s house every Sunday for lunch. We also make a dry version of this to stuff into a potato pattice. INGREDIENTS: 1 lb Chicken mince 1/2 cup green peas (use the frozen ones) 2 onions chopped fine 2 tomatoes grated 3 tablespoons yogurt 1 bay . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Chickpeas “Chana Masala”

This is one of the easiest Chickpea recipe’s I have ever come across and is a big hit with all my friends. INGREDIENTS: 1 big cup dry chickpeas (soaked overnight) 2 medium size onions chopped fine 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste 2 green chillies chopped fine 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder “Jeera” 1/4 teaspoon turmeric “haldi” 1/4 teaspoon red chilly powder 2 tablespoons chickpea flour 1 tablespoon tamarind paste “Imli”or soak tamarind in water, squeeze the water out and use this. 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder 2 cups water 6 tablespoons oil salt to taste METHOD: Heat oil in a vessel. Fry the onions to a light brown color. This can take up to 10 minutes. Add ginger, green chillies . . . CLICK TO READ MORE

Tangy Yellow Lentil “Hubby’s Favorite”

This tangy “dal” is a delicious combination of tomatoes, ginger, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and tamarind. Served on a bed of white rice with a side of minced cauliflowers (“gobi kheema”and potato chips (or home fries), this flavorful “dal” is a staple in our household. Of all places, I learned of this dish’s exalted status in my new home while honeymooning in the Maldives! Within a few days of feasting some of the finest seafood ever prepared, my husband began craving home cooking. Many blissful days later, I found myself writing notes as my mother-in-law introduced me to this fine recipe. For the dal: Cook the dal with water, turmeric, 1 tablespoon oil and salt to taste. Keep aside. I . . . CLICK TO READ MORE