Exploring the cuisine of each State in India by turn, is such an enriching experience. This Baingan Badi Sabzi, a delicious eggplant and lentil fritters curry from the traditional Bhojpuri cuisine prevalent in the Indian states of Bihar and UttarPradesh, is interesting to make and has ingredient options that make it nutritious too. The main ingredient is the brinjal or eggplant/ aubergine. This is accompanied by small sun dried badis which seems to have many names – wadi, wadiyan, mangodi etc. The basic ingredient for making a badi is flour – though the flour and spices, herbs to be added differ across regions. I have made a simple Bihari Urad dhal ki badi, with black gram lentils. The recipe is given in the instructions below.
Continuing the series of recipes that I started earlier this year when cooking tasty and nutritious food for my daughter after child birth, this is an easy and tasty Dal or lentil stew. As I have said in the post on Cooking for the New Mom on this blog, Tur dal (Towaram paruppu in Tamil) or pigeon pea lentils are to be avoided during the post partum period as they can be difficult to digest as well as can be gassy for the baby. This nourishing Masoor Dal for the New Mom, on the other hand is one of the best foods you can give the nursing mother. Masoor dal is easy to digest and is said to stimulate/ improve lactation, and is rich in iron and protein. (more…)
Simple to make and an amazingly tasty, classic homemade thin crust Tomato Mozzarella Pizza. The basil leaves and freshly ground pepper take the pizza to another dimension. Try a variant with different toppings, taking you to Pizza Heaven! With tomato basil sauce (link to recipe is given below) the pizza is so easy to put together.
Recipe 7 of my 100 Healthy Recipes Challenge: Beat the heat with this refreshing Cold Pink Watermelon Gazpacho with Tomato, Mint and with Basil Oil – Just right for summer. The flavours of watermelon, tomato and cucumber and honey meld together into a mildly sweet soup with just enough tartness added in from the yogurt and lime juice, and a bout of freshness from the parsley and mint.
This is one of my favourite cold soups, the pretty pink Watermelon gazpacho flavoured with home made basil oil and with fresh herbs. Red ripe tomatoes will help to give the pink colour to the Watermelon Gazpacho. I have used heirloom tomatoes of a darker hue, some greenish, some brown, in the image above, and red tomatoes in the image below – and this may give a difference to the colour and the flavour of the soup.
The Tomatoes, Parsley, Cucumber and Basil were all purchased by me from First Agro Farms through their Sakura Fresh division. These zero pesticide vegetables and herbs enhance the health quotient of this delicious Chilled Soup.
For the recipe for my homemade Basil oil for flavouring the Pink Watermelon Gazpacho, check out this link here. It takes just a few minutes and 3 ingredients (including salt) to make the Basil Oil, and it adds a lovely flavour to the soup.
Recipe 3 of my 100 Healthy Recipes Challenge: Continuing my exploration of recipes from Eastern Uttar Pradesh, seasonal green peas go into this delicious Mutter ka Nimona, a regular part of a winter meal in Awadhi cuisine. Use fresh ingredients to bring out the flavour of this aromatic dhal like side dish. Traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with hot phulkas or with plain parathas too.
Married into a family from Eastern UP but settled in South India, I used to listen with all my foodie antenna at alert, as my husband went into a monologue every winter about childhood days of enjoying luscious fresh peas straight from the plant, and of the pea crops grown in acre after acre in their native village at Basti, near Gorakhpur. I have tasted the peas straight from the plants too, in the little kitchen garden my mother had at our house in Kharagpur, eons ago. In Chennai, the sight of large carts covered with fresh peas and with red ‘Delhi’ carrots every December, was an invitation to make tehari, mutter ka nimona, mutter paneer, aloo mutter, and everything green. This year at Bangalore, the peas have been a long time surfacing in the shops in large volumes, and I do hope they stay for a while.
A fragrant traditional rice dish from Eastern Uttar Pradesh in India, Matar ki Tehri – made with seasonal Green peas cooked with Basmati rice, subtly spiced and flavoured with Desi Ghee.
Having married into a family from Eastern UP, I’ve been making my own version of Vegetable Tehri and Matar ki tehri, for many years. However when I wanted an authentic recipe for Tehri, I turned to my sister in law Kusum Dutt for these step by step instructions.
As Kusum explained, there are two versions of Tehri: one is made with potato, carrot and cauliflower and using haldi (turmeric) and the other is the one I’m relating here, that is made with green peas and where turmeric is not added. With peas being plentifully available now, this is a great one pot easy to make dish. Serve the Tehri with a simple boondi raita and with marinated and fried slices of eggplant.
Click for the Link to Recipe for: Boondi Raita
Matar ki Tehri – Kitchen Hints:
I have made the Matar ki Tehri in a pressure cooker, but a thick bottomed pan would be good too, though you need to check that the rice doesn’t ‘catch’ at the bottom of the pan. Be sure to use Basmati Rice and Desi Ghee, it makes all the difference to the flavour. The aroma wafting through the house as you cook, is a reward by itself.
For a vegan version, substitute a mild flavoured vegetable oil (olive oil or sunflower oil) for the Ghee, and reduce the quantity of oil to 1 tablespoon.
The rich taste of the matar ki tehri was enhanced by the fresh zero pesticide Roma tomatoes delivered by First Agro Farms through their e-commerce arm, Sakura Fresh. We at Bangalore are very lucky to have this regular source for purchasing safe vegetables every week.
Use whole spices, fresh coriander leaves and equal volumes of raw rice and peas, to get that ‘authentic’ taste. Spices of good quality will add to the flavour and aroma.
The link below is to a vendor PepperOnPizza is affiliated to. If you make a purchase after clicking the link, I will earn a small commission. I only promote products that I trust and use.
Colourful salad bursting with flavours and textures. Roasted tomatoes, Peppers and Figs with a cherry tomato sauce, mint, parsley and purple basil and a dressing of lemon juice and white wine vinegar. (more…)
Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ Cookbook was a gift from my daughter several months ago, but I hadn’t got around to trying out any of the recipes since they all seemed to need ingredients not ready available in my kitchen.Armed now with a cupboard full of every possible ingredient, (most of them again gifted by my thoughtful daughters) the recipes are mine to conquer. One of the first that I tried out was a Saffron Linguine in spiced Butter sauce, adapted from Ottolenghi’s Saffron Tagliatelle in Moroccan Butter.
Recipe 9 of my 100 Healthy Recipes Challenge! This is such a tasty quesadilla and bursting with nutritious goodness too! I was late home and needed to put a meal together in the shortest possible time, and I was not in the mood for a sandwich. Wheat Quesadilla with Pesto sounded good. (more…)
Before I talk to you about this recipe for Keerai Kootu or Amaranthus greens stew, let us talk a bit about poetry. We all know that greens are nutritious and are good for health. I was surprised however to find that there is poetry written about greens such as Amaranthus! I would never have connected this humble plant, (actually considered as weeds in some parts of the world), with soulful poetry!
John Milton, Percy Bysshe Shelley in “Bereavement”, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in Work Without Hope, have all immortalised the amaranth. In Paradise Lost, Milton says, “Immortal amaranth, a flower which once in Paradise, fast by the tree of life, began to bloom;but soon for man’s offenceTo heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows,And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life..”