Capsicum Masala (Bell Pepper Curry)

We recently made a vegetable biryani (recipe already in this blog). The usual dish served with biryani is a kurma. But I was not in a mood for spices such as cinnamon and bay leaves. I therefore googled for a gravy dish – spicy, yes. But not overpowering spices. Came across a video on YouTube….

Pumpkin Sabzi

My basket from my organic farmer is a real boon. But, there is a real challenge in concocting different dishes using the same vegetables. Take, for example, the striped green pumpkin. I get this every single week of the year. Seems my farmer has planted loads of it. I get tired of making the same…

Chettinad Vegetable Biryani

South India has a vast variety of flavoured rice – lemon, tamarind, coconut, peanut, sesame, mango, eggplant… A ‘flavoured’ rice in the rest of the country is largely biryani or pulau. All these wonderful preparations need the cooked rice to be separate and grainy. This is normally achieved by roasting the rice in a little…

Vegetable Kurma (Spicy Mixed Vegetable Gravy)

I do not often have kurma – rather laborious to prepare. But those who have tried a kurma once will not rest easy. The taste will return to haunt them. As is the case with me. So, every once in a while, I ask Hari to prepare a kurma. And pair it with rice (very…

Spicy French Beans

I find that there is not a lot that one can do with French beans, especially in Indian cooking. Unless I have not discovered many magical recipes using this vegetable. I normally end up making an usili or a thoran (check my blog for details). Or add it in pasta or Chinese food. So, discovering…

Sindhi Moong Dal

Food tastes keep evolving, especially for me. For years, I avoided dals except when eating out. I was used to have something sour with my rice – and the South Indian dishes invariably used tamarind as a base. For the past two years, however, I have begun enjoying dals with no tamarind. Rajma (kidney beans)…

Bengali Potol Bhaja (Pointed Gourd Stir Fry)

I have often mentioned that I used to avoid pointed gourd like the plague, in years of yore. Until Hari arrived and made a dish using this vegetable. Since then, I have transformed into an ardent fan of this humble gourd that is abundantly available in summer. This vegetable is not much used in South…

Bengali Aam Dal (Red Lentils With Raw Mango)

I have often asked Hari to make Bengali dishes for me. But he always averred that Bengali food cannot be oil-free. I have to agree to that statement somewhat. The unique taste of Bengali food comes from the use of mustard oil. However, the unique taste of Kerala cuisine comes from the use of coconut…

Bharwa Karela (Stuffed Bitter Gourd)

Bitter gourd (also called bitter melon in many parts of the world) tastes exactly as the name suggests – bitter! It was, therefore, not one of my favourite vegetables in my formative years. I evolved from active dislike, to stoic acceptance to real appreciation, as I became older. I suppose it a question of training…

Jackfruit Curry

I am quite a fan of jackfruit. But I have only had it cooked as a dry dish. Most often, as a thoran. Sometimes, a North Indian preparation. There are several types of jackfruits. For thoran, the best results are with elongated, tender jackfruits called idi chakka. This variety is not available in North India…