Desserts define Indian tastes, there are as many different types of creations as there are may be cities in the country. Look at this really simple sweet dish for example–the puran poli. Every state has its own way of making it. Where people in Maharashtra use channa dal (gram), those in Gujarat use toovar dal (split pigeon pea), people in the Konkan belt (where Goa is situated) add coconut to it and those in Karnataka serve it with a tamarind chutney to enhance the flavours. Just one dish, but so many variations. What’s more almost every house cooks some of these traditional sweets during festive occasions, and this puran poli definitely belongs to that category of ‘must makes’. Traditionally its made during Holi, just after the bonfire is lit.
This simple classic dish, can be made in a million different ways, why in India itself there are many ways of creating this lip smacking delicacy. The Kerala Egg Curry is subtly spiced sauce made with coconut milk; the Mangalorean recipe calls for use of boiled eggs, coconut and red chilies; the Punjabi Egg Masala or anda curry is a spicy curry with boiled eggs,spices and cooked in onion, tomato gravy; the Kolhapuri egg curry has robust flavours and is made by grinding spices along with poppy seeds, the Shahi Egg Curry is rich and is made with cream and sprinkled with kasturi methi and the Gujarati egg curry…am joking most Gujarati’s stay away from all things non-vegetarian, unlike me. My recipe is a combination of flavours I have come to love and understand better over time.
A quick fix hearty meal, is what this is. Jalfrezi is a type of Indian dish in which pieces of vegetables are fried in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce. Since there is no gravvy involved, it can be stirred up in a matter of a few minutes. Jalfrezi can be made as spicy as you wish and in that lies its success to cater to different tastes. The other main ingredients include capsicums, onion and tomato. History dates the Jalfrezi back to the British Raj and according to a new poll, the Jalfrezi is the most popular choice in Britain’s 10,000 Indian restaurants. This is not the traditional way of cooking this dish, but this quick fix recipe has all the flavours intact without being doused with oil.
This is as traditional as it gets! A Sunday afternoon lazy lunch with piping hot dal-dhokli. Its a perfect combination of proteins and carbs or rather dal and roti, but all mixed into one dish…the Indian pasta as my cousins often call it! Just like pasta, this dish needs to be made on the spot and served hot to really relish it. What’s more it can be enjoyed as a one-pot dish or you can enjoy it with some steamed basmati rice too. Either way, this is one dish that grows on you and can be made as festive as you wish–with simple easy additions of broken cashew nuts, raisins and dried dates (kharek).
It’s not often that I get into the mood of eating typical indian food but when i do a few dishes from my state always find their way into my kitchen. Sambhariya also known as olio is one such speciality of Gujarat. A winter food it is best eaten with bajra na rotla and khatta meetha moong, made with lots of garlic and yoghurt.
The flavours in this dish come from the marriage of coconut with coriander and the dry spices and of course lots of oil. Though the dish when presented seems like an awful lot of work, its the pre cooking that takes the longest. But if you can access grated coconut nothing like it.
This popular Indian dish is served in various ways. People from Gujarat blast the brinjals, skin and pulp them and serve it with chopped green onion, white onion, green garlic and raw powdered masalas with loads of oil. This is usually eaten on a cold day with bajra ka rotla and jaggery. Those in the north however cook the brinjal pulp yet again with onion and tomato and masalas. Some even add yoghurt. I prefer the double cooked version without the yoghurt.
What’s however interesting is that the roasted and pulped brinjal is also used for a lot of Mediterranean dishes, the closest rival is the classic Baba Ganoush or the egg plant dip!
After a hard day at work there’s nothing like coming back home to soul food. For me that’s absolutely basic indian food or ghar ka khanna. Hot roti’s with ghee, dal, potato sabji and a bowl full of yoghurt. Nothing and I mean nothing comes close to the happiness this simple meal gives my stomach.
I’ve cooked it in a earthern pot, but you could use any deep dish of your choice. If you want the potatoes to crisp up use a thinner base.
I’ve always, always wanted to cook in an earthen pot. It’s almost like this kind of cooking takes you back in time, kind of connects you to your ancestors. And the flavours that seep into the entree….simply organic! This kind of a pot is not easy to get, and once you manage to buy it, it needs to be made ready for the process of cooking–a two to three day process. But once the pan is ready, you’re reading to go! What’s more you can use this pot on a gas top, in the oven on even on coals.
This one comes from my hometown, Diu a lazy little coastal town in Gujarat. For a long time Diu was ruled over by the Portuguese and they’ve left a smattering of beautiful structures all across this town and its neighbour Daman. My forefathers hailed from Diu, in fact we gain our surname Divecha, from here. We were rich land owners who had their own oil factory called oil-garni (place where they draw oil out of seeds) and an ivory business. Today, none of it exists and most of the family has moved to the metros. Sadly I’ve never visited Diu and the only part of it I am familiar with, is its cuisine.
It being a coastal town, fish is the main ingredient of the meals here. Yup unlike what people know of this is a fish eating Gujarati community. This one is my favourite recipe and it calls for fresh green garlic and fresh green onions. Though traditionally its made with loads and loads of oil, I prefer to make it with just a tablespoon of olive oil! It’s best enjoyed with a roasted green chillie and rotlas–made with millets–sorghum (jowar) or pearl millet (bajra).
Here’s another all-time Diwali favourite. You know its kind of strange no matter how many times I think of making these savoury items during the year, the only time I actually get down to doing it, is during Diwali, when I find the time (I don’t know how) to put together 11 different high intensity cooking dishes, and yet it doesn’t tire me out.
This version of the recipe, is specifically designed for Diabetics and those on a diet. I made 1 kg of the chivda with just 1 tablespoon of oil. 🙂 What’s more its ideal to munch on when hunger pangs hit.