Dahi wali bhindi

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Dahi wali bhindi
(Okra in yogurt gravy with spices)
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:-
1. Two cups okra washed, dried and chopped
2. One cup yogurt whisked
3. 1 tsp oil
4. 1/2 tsp asafoetida
5. 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
6. 1 tsp turmeric powder
7. 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
8. 4 tsp coriander powder
9. 1/2 tsp garlic chopped or garlic powder (optional)
10. One medium onion chopped (optional)
11. 1/2 cup water
12. Salt to taste
13. One spring cilantro chopped to garnish (optional)

Method:-
Heat oil in a wok. Add asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. When the seeds splutter add onions and garlic/garlic powder. Fry till translucent. If you don’t like onion and garlic skip this step and add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Now add okra, water and salt. If okra is bit hard try giving two whistles in a pressure cooker. Else cook covered till okra is tender. Now add the yogurt and bring to a boil. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:- You can enjoy this with rotis, tortillas, rice, quinoa, couscous, farro or parathas.

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Baked lauki ke kofte

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Baked lauki ke kofte (a healthier version of lauki koftas)
(Serves 3-4)

For the koftas:-
Ingredients:-
1. One bottle gourd peeled, washed and grated or pulsed
2. Salt to taste
3. Red chilli powder to taste
4. Two tsp garam masala
5. One cup or as needed gram flour (besan)

Method:-
Squeeze out excess water from the grated/pulsed bottle gourd. The same water can be strained and used in the curry. Now to the bottle gourd add the rest of the ingredients and shape into round balls. Take a greased baking tray. Put all balls on it and lightly brush with oil. Bake at 200 degrees C till all balls turn golden brown. Keep them aside. These can also be frozen once they cool down to use at a later time.

For the curry:-
Ingredients:-
1. One tsp oil
2. One big onion pulsed
3. One big tomato pulsed
4. 1/2 inch ginger pulsed
5. 5-6 garlic cloves pulsed
6. 1/4 cup cashews pulsed (optional)
7. 1/4 cup dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) crushed (optional)
8. 7-8 springs of cilantro finely chopped (optional)
9. One tsp turmeric powder
10. One tsp cumin powder
11. Four tsp coriander powder
12. One tsp red chilli powder
13. Salt to taste
14. One to two cups water (the water taken out from bottle gourd after squeezing can also be used)
15. Two tsp garam masala powder

Method:-
Heat oil in a wok. Add the pulsed onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and cashews. Fry till translucent. Now add spices and salt. Fry for two minutes more. Add water and bring to a boil. Once curry thickens a bit turn off the flame and add dried fenugreek leaves and chopped cilantro. Dip in the balls. Serve.

All purpose curry

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All purpose curry
(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:-
1. One tsp oil
2. One big onion pulsed
3. One big tomato pulsed
4. 1/2 inch ginger pulsed
5. 5-6 garlic cloves pulsed
6. 1/4 cup cashews pulsed (optional)
7. 1/4 cup dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) crushed (optional)
8. 7-8 springs of cilantro finely chopped (optional)
9. One tsp turmeric powder
10. One tsp cumin powder
11. Four tsp coriander powder
12. One tsp red chilli powder
13. Salt to taste
14. One to two cups water
15. Two tsp garam masala powder

Method:-
Heat oil in a wok. Add the pulsed onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and cashews. Fry till translucent. Now add spices and salt. Fry for two minutes more. Add water and bring to a boil. Once curry thickens a bit turn off the flame and add dried fenugreek leaves and chopped cilantro.

Tip:- This curry is an excellent make ahead curry. Boiled and cubed potatoes can be added to it. Soya chunks, boiled veggies or just boiled peas can also be added to it. Cottage cheese (paneer) or tofu can be cubed and can be added to it too. Make ahead frozen deep fried or baked koftas can also be added to this curry.

Chana masala (Chole)

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Chana masala (Chole)
(Chickpeas curry)
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:-
1 1/2 cup chickpeas (chole) washed and soaked overnight or 8 hours
2 cups water
Pinch of baking soda (optional)
1 tbsp oil
One medium onion pulsed (optional)
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1/2 tbsp garlic paste or powder (optional)
Minced green chillies to taste (optional)
One medium tomato puréed
1 1/2 tbsp tea leaves
1 tsp cumin powder
4 tsp coriander powder
Red chilli powder to taste
1 tbsp Chana masala or as needed (I prefer using MDH Chana masala)
1 tsp black salt (kala namak)
Salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Lime juice to taste
Few springs of chopped cilantro to garnish

Method:-
Take 1 cup water in a pan, add tea leaves and bring to a boil. After boiling for about 7-8 minutes strain the tea leaves and reserve the water. To this water add the rest of the water, chickpeas and baking soda. Pressure cook the chickpeas. They should cook in about 8-10 whistles. If not using baking soda it may take couple of more whistles to cook the chickpeas. If using canned chickpeas skip pressure cooking but add the tea leaves’ water. Now in a heavy bottomed non-stick pan add oil. Add onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and tomato purée and fry on medium to high heat till water evaporates and it caramelizes a bit. This should take about 10 minutes. Now add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, chana masala and garam masala powder. Fry for about 5 minutes. Now add the whole thing to the boiled chickpeas. Add salt, black salt and black pepper powder. Bring to a boil. After boiling for about 10 minutes add lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and some chopped onions or onion wedges and serve.

Tip:-
For a thicker curry squish some chickpeas with a potato crusher after the curry is done.
1 tbsp chickpea flour (besan) can also be added to the curry. Make sure you lightly fry it in the same pan where you fry the onion etc before adding.

Rajma masala

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Rajma masala
(Kidney beans curry)
(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:-
1 1/2 cup kidney beans (rajma) washed and soaked overnight or 8 hours
2 cups water
Pinch of baking soda (optional)
1 tbsp oil
One medium onion pulsed
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1/2 tbsp garlic paste
Minced green chillies to taste
One medium tomato puréed
3 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp cumin powder
4 tsp coriander powder
Red chilli powder to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp black salt (kala namak)
Salt to taste
2-3 cloves crushed
2-3 green cardamoms (choti elaichi) peeled and crushed. Discard peels of cardamoms.
Mint leaves 9-10 pulsed
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Pinch of nutmeg powder
Anardana powder (pomegranate powder) to taste
1 tbsp crushed fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
Half and half as needed to taste (optional)
Orange food color as needed (optional)
Few springs of chopped cilantro to garnish

Method:-
Pressure cook rajma with water and baking soda after soaking for atleast 8 hours. It should cook in one or two whistles. If not using baking soda it may take couple of more whistles to cook rajma. Keep aside after its cooked. Now in a heavy bottomed non-stick pan add oil. Add onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and tomato purée and fry on medium to high heat till water evaporates and it caramelizes a bit. This should take about 10 minutes. Now add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, garam masala powder, cloves, cardamoms and mint. Everything should be a fine powder else pulse it. Fry for about 5 minutes. Add yogurt, mix and fry till yogurt starts sticking. Now add the whole thing to the rajma in the pressure cooker. Add salt, black salt, black pepper powder and orange food color. Mix and add half and half and kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves). Bring to a boil. When it has boiled to a thick consistency do a taste test and add anardana powder as needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:-
When cooking on an everyday basis orange food color and half and half can be skipped.
Rajma masala tastes best with plain rice.
For extra thickness crush some kidney beans in the curry with a potato crusher after it’s done.

Aloo matar mushroom curry

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Aloo matar mushroom curry
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:-
One pack of 8oz mushrooms washed
8 medium potatoes peeled, cubed and washed
1 1/2 cup shelled green peas (fresh or frozen)
3 cups water
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
One medium onion pulsed
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
One large tomato puréed
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tbsp meat masala or to taste
Few springs of cilantro to garnish

Method:-
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Fry till water evaporates and onions turn translucent. Add all the spices, potatoes, peas, mushrooms, water and salt. Close cooker and cook upto 4 whistles.

Tip:-
The same curry can also be made in a crockpot. Rice or pasta can also be added to it.
This curry tastes great with rotis, naans or any kind of bread. It also tastes wonderful with rice, quinoa, couscous, farro or pasta.

Egg curry

Egg curry
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:-
8 hard boiled eggs (peeled)
1 tsp oil
4 green cardamoms
8-10 cloves
15-16 black peppercorns
One bay leaf
2-3 big cardamoms
One medium onion pulsed
One medium tomato pulsed
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp meat masala
Red chilli powder to taste
2 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
One bell pepper chopped (optional)
2 cups veggie mix (fresh or frozen). Chop if using fresh
1/2 cup water or as needed
Chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)

Method:-
Heat oil in a non-stick heavy bottomed pan. Add cardamoms, bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns. Toss for a minute. Then add onions, ginger, garlic and the tomatoes. Fry till a bit caramelized. Add spices and mix. Add bell peppers and the other veggies, water and salt. Mix, cover and cook till veggies are tender. Add eggs and mix. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:-
Egg curry can be enjoyed with rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, rotis or tortillas. In the picture is seen tandoori roti with egg curry. Check link for tandoori roti recipe:-

https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/tandoori-rotis/