Baigan Bharta

Baigan Bharta

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants (baigan)
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium Roma or plum tomatoes, ½ inch diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • ¼ cup regular yogurt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick spray.
  2. Wash and cut eggplants in half. Arrange them on baking pan cut side down, leaving some space in between. Roast the eggplants until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Let eggplants cool for few minutes. Scoop out the pulp from eggplants, discarding the seeds. Cut the pulp in small pieces or mash with a potato masher.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan or a wok until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it until light golden brown, 2 minutes. Add scallions, green chili, all dry spices and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato and sauté until the mixture is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggplant pulp, season with salt and stir everything. Cover the pan or wok and let eggplant cook for 7 to 10 minutes to blend all the flavors. If you want to add yogurt, add at this point, and let it warm through with eggplant for a minute.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha. Can also be served as a dip.

 

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Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. okras (bhindi)
  • 1 medium red onion, ½ inch diced
  • 1 medium plum or Roma tomato, ½ inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash okra and dry it with paper towel. Okra should be as dry as possible otherwise it will become too slimy. Cut into ½ inch thick pieces, discarding top and bottom pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on a medium high heat until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add onion, garlic, green chili, all dry spices and sauté them until onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato, ginger and sauté until the mixture is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add okra, season with salt and stir everything. Cover the pan and let okra cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring few times. Initially okra will be slimy but as it cooks it will become less slimy.
  4. Uncover the pan, lower the heat and let okra cook until curry is almost dry, 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha.

 

 

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Samosa

Samosa

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Serves: 6

Ingredients
For dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • Water as needed
For filling:
  • 2 russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons aam-chur (dried mango powder) or juice of ½ a lemon, see Note.
  • ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves
Directions
  1. Make the dough: Combine flour, salt, ajwain seeds, oil and shortening in a medium mixing bowl and mix it with hands. Gradually add water while mixing and kneading until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Make the filling: In a wok or a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Next add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add shallot, green chili, ginger and garlic. Sauté the mixture until shallot is translucent, about 1 minute. Add all dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add mashed potatoes, season with salt, sugar and mango powder or lemon juice. Stir everything to combine spices with mashed potatoes. Let the mixture cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
  4. Add peas, cilantro and mint. Stir to combine and let the filling cook for 1 more minute. Adjust the seasoning. Let the filling cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Make samosas: Divide the dough into 20 or so equal parts. Roll into balls and cover with a plate or a towel. Take one ball of dough and roll out into about 6 inch circle. Cut the circle in half. Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of half circle, leaving about ¼ inch space on the round side. Pick corner of straight side and cover the filling. Pick another corner of straight side and cover the dough with filling. Press gently to seal dough over the filling. It should make a triangle. Pinch together round side of dough and the corner. Cover the prepared samosa with a towel. Repeat the process first with other half circle and then with remaining dough balls and filling.
  6. Heat oil in frying pan until ready for frying. Drop 4 to 5 samosa in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on a paper towel lined plate.
  7. Fry remaining samosa same way. Serve warm with cilantro chutney and tamarind and date chutney.
Notes
Aam-chur (dried mango powder) are available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Mutter Paneer

Mutter Paneer

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. frozen peas (mutter), thawed
  • ½ lb. fried or plain cubed paneer
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or butter
  • 3 teaspoons garlic-ginger paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat oil or butter in a wok or a frying pan, 2 minutes. Sauté garlic-ginger paste with spices until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, kasuri methi and stir to combine everything. Season with salt and sugar. Let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add peas, fried paneer and stir to combine with sauce. Cover the wok or pan and let peas cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add heavy cream, stir and adjust the seasoning. Let mutter paneer cook with sauce for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so that sauce does not stick to bottom.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha.
Notes
If fried paneer or cubed paneer is not available, cut paneer into ¾ inch cubes. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan and sauté paneer until light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

 

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Rajma

Rajma

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Dark Red Kidney Bean Soup
Ingredients
  • 2 15.5 oz. cans dark red kidney beans
  • ½ cup masoor dal (red split lentils), uncooked
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small tomato, small diced
  • 1 small russet potato, small diced (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 9 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Rinse masoor dal and transfer to a small soup pot. Add ½ cup of water, cover the pot and let dal cook on low heat until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain the beans from cans and set it aside.
  3. While dal is cooking, heat oil in a medium soup pot or a Dutch oven on a medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add onions and sauté them until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, green chili and all the dry spices. Sauté everything until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes, ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. If you are not using potato, go to step 4. Add diced potato, ½ cup water and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and let potato cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Add beans and ½ cup of water. Let them heat on low heat until dal is cooking. As soon as dal is cooked, add dal and season with remaining salt. Cover the pot and let everything cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Uncover, add lemon juice and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning. If rajma is too dry, add some water.
  6. Serve warm with Nan or Paratha and over rice.

 

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