Sambhar

Sambhar

Continuing my focus on South-Indian delicacies, this post today covers another quintessential dish of South Indian cuisine – Sambhar. Sambhar is a nutritious dish made up of tuvar/arhar daal (types of lentils) and mixed vegetables. You can use your own choice of vegetables in the Sambhar and make it healthy as per your preferences. I have made the Sambhar Masala Powder at home too, so that we have our own healthy Sambhar ! South Indian households consume Sambhar nearly everyday; it is served withย  idli, dosa, rice, vada, upma etc.

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Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala is one of the most popular paneer recipe in the Indian cuisine. In fact, this could be stated as the 1stpaneer based item that started the usage of Paneer in Indian kitchens. As the name suggests, it is a spicy paneer curry made in butter. The optimum use of butter, spices, tomatoes and cream makes this curry simply delicious and mouth-watering. In line with my own way of healthy eating (but no compromise on taste), I have replaced the cream with milk and cashew nuts.

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Chickpea-Kale Leaves Curry

Chickpea-Kale Leaves Curry

My health-freak husband, as you all know it ๐Ÿ™‚ , bought a whole lot of green vegetables over the weekend for a cleansing/detox diet. However, since I did not do it with him this time ๐Ÿ˜‰ , his diet also went out in 1 day ๐Ÿ˜œ . As a result, I had much greens in my fridge. So, I picked some of them last night and turned out a super healthy and tasty curry – Chickpea and Kale leaves curry.

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Kadai Paneer

Kadai Matar

Kadai Paneer is perhaps the best full-blown paneer dish made โ€“ in my humble opinion ๐Ÿ™‚ This classic results from an apt combination of paneer (cottage cheese), bell pepper (capsicum), onion, tomato and some of our great Indian spices. This whole dish is prepared in a Kadai/Kadhai (Indian wok) and so the name Kadai Paneer (but I have made in a pan ;P ). It is a simple recipe but with amazing taste, and one which is generally available in almost all Indian restaurants. I believe my use of freshly grounded spices has made a huge difference as I have got the same flavour as that of a Kadai Paneer from a top-end restaurant.

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Rajma (Red kidney beans curry)

Rajma / Red kidney beans curry

Rajma (red kidney beans curry) comes from North India, specifically from the state of Punjab, and is omnipresent in eateries of all shapes and sizes. Rajma is essentially the Hindi name for red kidney beans. Rajma curry is prepared using a spicy onion-tomato gravy. People generally prefer this curry with rice as a quick bite, as evident from the consumption of Rajma-Chawal (Chawal is the Hindi name for rice) in Northern India.

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Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

Matar paneer is the most common form of paneer dish available in almost all Indian restaurants โ€“ big or small. It is a delicious curry made from soft Paneer (Cottage Cheese) and Matar (Peas) in a mild spicy tomato curry. It is a very simple, quick, tasty recipe which seems to be is loved by everyone. Today I have made Matar Paneer with only 1 tsp of oil but there is absolutely no compromise in taste and colour.

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Kadhai Matar (Spicy Green Peas Curry)

Kadhai Matar (Spicy Green Peas Curry)

Going by my darling daughter’s favourites, and to ensure that she eats without much fuss, I try to use Matar (Peas in English) in most of my curries. On these lines, Kadhai Matar (Green Peas curry) is a very quick, easy, nutritious and a real tasty curry. This triggered last night in my kitchen when my little angel asked me as to what I was preparing; I posed a question to her instead asking what does she wants. And the reply was “I want to eat Matar” ๐Ÿ™‚ The usual Matar Paneer immediately came to my mind, but I was in not really in the mood to eat Paneer; and thereby the idea came to me to make a Matar/Peas only curry – and here I present the output as “Kadhai Matar”.

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Paneer Lababdar

Paneer Lababdar

It has been a little more than 6 years since I got married; and like it happens with everyone, this life event not only brought my husband into my life but his friends and their college stories ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย One such perennial mention was of a Paneer Lababdaar that they used to enjoy in their college canteen. In my hubbyโ€™s own words, he had never tasted any other Paneer Lababdaar which exceeded his college experience. To be honest, I had never actually thought of taking this as a challenge and prepare Paneer Lababdaar in our home. However I just thought of preparing this royal/rich dish last night. It did turn out really good. Whether it managed ti surpass my husbandโ€™s previous expectations, I will disclose that at the end of this post ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dal Makhani without cream

Dal Makhani

As a true North Indian, I have to say that Dal Makhani is my favourite daal. For all my friends out there, Daal means lentil, and Makhani refers to butter (or buttery) thus making this lentil creamy, rich and heavy. I have been preparing Daal Makhani for the past couple of years but in my own healthy way โ€“ I have replaced the cream with milk & yogurt, and butter with olive oil. This is the way I prepare my Dal Makhani at least once in a month, but eat it twice (same daal on the next day) as I feel the taste reaches a new zenith on the next day ๐Ÿ™‚ . My today’s post is this healthy version of Dal Makhani.

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Malai Kofta (healthy version)

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a rich and a bit sweet (mildly) Indian curry. The name of the curry gives away its constituents – Malai is the Hindi word for cream and, Kofta refers to fried dumpling balls. The dumplings are usually made up of potatoes, with or without cottage cheese. The use of cream and frying the dumplings is what makes this curry rich. I have today prepared my own version of this curry but have tried to be on the healthy path by using less of the heavy ingredients; I have used only one tsp of oil, have baked the dumplings instead of deep frying, used more cottage cheese, used less of potatoes, and have omitted the cream.

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Chile/Chilade ki Sabji ( chickpea flour savoury pancakes in yogurt based gravy)

Chille ki sabji

Now I hope this is an established fact by now (through some of the recipes on my blog) that being from the Indian state of Rajasthan (desert state, in Western India), I am truly gung-ho on traditional Rajasthani / Marwari food ๐Ÿ™‚ For the benefit of all, the state of Rajasthan (or major parts of it) used to be called “Marwar”, and hence the name Marwari. Traditional Rajasthani curries are mainly non green vegetables because in olden times, it was extremely hard to get green and leafy vegetables in the desert due to less water and very hot weather.

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Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta

For my non-Hindi speaking friends โ€“ Baingan is the Hindi word for Aubergine/Eggplant. Todayโ€™s post on Baingan Bharta is one of the acclaimed Vegetable Mains dish, made using Aubergine/Eggplant.ย Baingan Bhartaย is mostly famous in North Indian states, and is made using roasted and mashed aubergine cooked with onion, tomato, garlic and Indian spices.

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Black Eye Beans Curry (Lobia/Chavli Curry)

Black Eye Beans Curry (Lobia,Chavli curry)

My darling daughter loves black-eye beans very much; so much that she even eats them without any garnishing โ€“ simply boiled. She probably got this from her father (my husband) for whom black eye beans are a must to maintain his fitness regime. So this curry is a regular feature in my household – I usually make it once every week/10 days, if not more.

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Dhaba Style Daal (Daal Tarka)

Dhaba Style Daal Tadka

Lentils are generically termed as Daal in India (in Hindi language). My Papa and my hubby are absolute daal lovers. Most of the times they only require just daal and chapati as their staple diet – they don’t even need any vegetable curry. And for this reason, I am always experimenting with different daals to satisfy their palate.

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Cucumber Curry (Kheere ki Sabji) – now that’s unheard of

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Most people use cucumber in salads and/or in raita (dip).ย  I was also part of this group till marriage. I was introduced to this curry for the 1st time at my husband’s place. I have to admit it – it was a lovely surprise to see cucumber in curry form; and it was indeed tasty and, a quick one to turnaround when in hurry.

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Tomato-Peas Curry (Sabji)

Tomato-Peas Curry

Most people use tomatoes to make gravy; some also use them as a (minor) component of any curry or a chutney. However I have used tomatoes as the main part of today’s post – the tomato-peas curry. It is a very quick, super easy and lovely sweet / spicy curry. My hubby loves this curry so much ย and so I always make this curry as a mains not as a side ๐Ÿ™‚

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Papad Mangodi ki Sabji

Papad Mangodi ki Sabji

I am sure all of you would now be aware that I come from the western part of India – through my multiple mentions in the previous posts. My state in this western part – “Rajasthan” – is an arid, desert region and hence is generally unsuitable for growing vegetables. This is the reason why people from this region have the routine of preserving vegetables and lentils by dehydrating them, and then using them to prepare various dishes.

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Baked Spinach Kofta Curry (Baked Palak Kofta Curry)

Baked Spinach Kofta Curry

I have seen/observed that many people don’t like Spinach – my hubby being one such example ๐Ÿ˜‰

Green vegetables should be a part of our meal but it seems hard to get some people to have spinach – especially men n kids ๐Ÿ˜‰ For all these folks, I have today prepared Spinach Koftas – no, these are not the regular fried koftas. This is the baked version from my side – I mostly try to avoid deep frying. These green beauties (spinach kofta) have resulted in the delicious Baked Palak Kofta Curry !!

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Continuing the Rajasthani Delicacy series – Gatte ki Sabji

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As stated earlier in my last post, we Rajasthani’s cook multiple unique curries from chickpea flour. This post covers another such chickpea flour based Rajasthani curry with yogurt based gravy, but completely different in taste to the earlier Patod ki Sabji. Honestly, this is my favourite and I am always keen to have it.

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My 1st Rajasthani Delicacy – Patod ki Sabji

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Being a Rajasthani/Marwadi born and brought up in Bikaner, I have always loved curry/sabjis which are made of Chickpea flour (Gramflour aka Besan). Rajasthani cuisine is famous for using lentils / chickpea flour in their food and making different and delicious vegetables curries. Though there are multiple different types of such curries, all of them are pretty unique in their own taste.

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Whole wheat Kulcha with Chole

Whole Wheat Kulcha with Chole

I love spicy, rich Indian food. Chole is one of my favourite and, I always keep on making them at least once/twice in a month.

Recently we went on holidays to Switzerland for a week. It was a really great place and a memorable holiday but I surely missed my rich, spicy Indian food. We did had some Indian food in Switzerland but then, no offence, it was of a slightly different league. The problem with me and my hubby is that we start to miss our Indian spicy food usually after 3-4 days of dining on any other cuisine.

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