Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Great Giveaway

In my last post I went on & on about how I am thankful to bloggers.

Today I need to Thank the most important half that keeps this blog running, THE READERS, as in you lurking human who is quickly marking my post as "Read" in your Google reader and jumping to next !!!! Whoa, you, come back here on my page, right now.

Now I am not really very bashful or dominating(tee-hee!!) and would never ever force someone to leave a comment. But sweetie(ok that is another thing I never ever say), today is a good day and a Wednesday, so would you be kind enough to stay put and drum something in with your fingers on that keyboard. It will do you good trust me.

And while you are at it will you pretty please pick an answer to the following, and leave your comment with your e-mail address, and make yourself a cup of tea and just relax because your life is going to change soon.

Here is the Million Dollar Question:

What would you like to see in this Blog in future

A. More Bengali recipes of all kind
B. More Bengali recipes of Traditional kind
C. Nothing, shut the blog and move
D. More Bengali Recipes of the new kind(??)
E. More Vegetarian recipes
F. Nothing, shut the blog and move
G. More Non vegetarian recipes
Z. Nothing, shut the blog and move

Now here is the deal. Some time back CSN Stores contacted me to do a giveaway at my blog. They have this cool place where they sell everything from Housewares, Home Decor, Track Lighting to Furniture. Check out their site for their amazing collection.

The winner of the giveaway gets a $80 gift cert which they can use for any product that catches their fancy at CSN Stores.

Hand Stand Mixers...

Slow Cookers...

Pressure Cookers...

even Track Lighting for the Kitchen...

Their collections is so good that if I were Goldman Sachs, I would have put in all the comments myself. But I am not going to do that because I have my morals intact and I love you guys. It is you readers who keep me going and motivate me and I owe this to you. However I am yet to make up my mind about people who will put in C, F and Z as their answers.

To win this giveaway of $80 gift certificate do the following:

1. Answer the Question I have above.

2. Leave a comment with your answer and e-mail id. Of course you can also voice your opinion on the Financial Reform Bill, Synthetic CDO's, the Nature, etc. but that is not necessary. And yes I heard about Synthetic CDOs only yesterday and am throwing it around out of context because it is such a scam with a complex name.

3. Blog, Tweet, Facebook about this giveaway. Leave a comment if you have done any and you will be entered twice

4. A lucky winner for the giveaway* will be chosen by random draw

* I do not get any compensation monetary or otherwise from this giveaway

This giveaway is open until May 4th, 2010, midnight EST. Unfortunately CSN stores ship only to US & Canada and I hope I can have something for readers from the other parts of the world in the near future. I will not be blogging or blog hopping until next week, this is time for family only and blog nirvana. See you again late next week when I post the winner. And Thanks for being here.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Eggless Lemony CupCakes

Last week BS's school had a Scholastic Book Fair. This was probably the first time, she had a free rein on what book to buy, without Mom saying "The Barbie Princess book is absolute trash".

She would have probably freaked out if not for the $5 restriction in budget and the voice of conscience that I had put.

And then she finally picked something because I am guessing, the cover looked cute and she loves cupcakes. The book is "It's Raining CupCakes" by Lisa Schroeder. It is about this 12 year old girl who helps her Mom set up a cup cake store and in the process wins a cup cake contest in New York. At least that is what BS told me, don't blame me if it is about Dinosaurs and not little girls.

The book had a couple of recipes and of course BS wanted to do one of those. Now I am not the kind of person who bakes s'more cup cakes or has jars of marshmallow cream in their pantry or wakes up at 5 in the morning to exercise.I don't even know what marshmallow cream is except that if you eat jars of it, you better get up at 5 in the morning to exercise.

So I said, "Why not we make some Lemon Cupcakes ?", with not an ounce of clue about anything to do with lemon cupcakes.

BS loves lemons, she can suck lemons all day long. That adage about if somebody gives you lemons does not even hold true for her because she will happily suck through them anyway.

Thankfully, I had Sunita's Eggless Lemon Bundt cake bookmarked because well it was eggless and butterless and all purpose flourless and yet looked gorgeous. My only problem was I did not have mini bundt pans. I so love mini bundt pans but I didn't have any so I guess if I was making it, it was going to be bundt less. They might as well be cupcakes then I thought and BS loved the idea, the idea of "cupcakes" and "lemon", she didn't know the "less".

This was one case where "Less is More" is so very true. I mean "less" in the ingredients, while eating all you say is "Give me More".

Really is "Less ever More" except in the case of these Eggless, Butterless, Bundtless Lemony Cupcakes of course. Oh and I did it Sugar icing less too because I am mean and think icing-less cupcakes are good enough for six year olds.

I so love bloggers, they share such beautiful gems. And of all I love Happy Cook. You might think I am selfish, but no really I love Happy Cook. And it is not because she picked me the winner of her Giveaway. Ok, that might be the reason, I mean who would not love someone, who gives you a beautiful Cuisinart hand blender. Thanks Happy and Sunita and everyone who blogs and reads and keeps the blogosphere moving.

After BS had a couple of these gorgeous cakes, I asked her to be polite and pose for me, so that I can take one of those pics I have seen in multitude blogs. You know the one where the cute hands are holding something so delicious that the pic looks ethereal.

So BS stood and fidgeted, and talked,

and fidgeted, and moved her fingers

and I said "Enough"


Lemony CupCakes

Original Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F

In a bowl, place
1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp flour,
1 tsp baking powder,
1/4 tsp baking soda and
zest of one whole lemon in a bowl and rub in with the fingertips.
Note: I used all purpose flour, though the original recipe says whole wheat flour(atta)

In another bowl, whisk together
1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp milk,
4tbsp oil and
6 tbsp sugar
Note: Since I avoided the icing, I increased the sugar by 2tbsp

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and tip in the milk mixture. Fold in.

Add 6 tbsp of lemon juice and fold in. With a wire whisk mix everything together. Taste. It is yum. Stop and proceed, lick the whisk if you wish.

Grease 12 cupcake liners.

Cut up some peaches from the Dole Fruits in a Cup and place in each. This is totally optional.

Spoon the mixture into the cup cake liners. If you have 5-7 year olds, at this point they will probably add sprinkles, crayon shavings(Nooooo!!!), M&M, anything to the cupcakes.

Place the pans in the center of the pre heated oven and bake for about 25-28 minutes or till the top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted through the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Cool the cakes for a few minutes. Gently remove the cakes and cool completely.

If you are loving and caring and not mean like me, then mix a few tbsp of icing sugar with a little lemon juice to make a free flowing icing. Drizzle the icing on the cup cakes.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ek cup kara Cha -- a cup of strong Tea


He had a slight built. His face was weathered. Fate had not been kind to him and it showed in those deep lines. His sparse hair around the temples were already turning white. They shouldn't have. He was Ma's younger brother, five years younger to her black dark hair.


Bring water to boil

Almost every Saturday he stopped by at their home after the half day at office. Every Saturday Ma would keep aside the choicest piece of fish from the day's macher jhol, some tarkari and ladle-fulls of dal before she served lunch. Baromama never arrived in time.


The water merrily bubbles

Ma would sit, waiting at the dining table long after everyone was done.Some days she would crane her neck out from the verandah at the lane now empty at noon, and finally go off to take her nap. Baba who generally was averse to the human race and found more kinship in The Statesman editorial than any mortal, would fold up the paper around three in the afternoon, declare, "Nah Khoka aaj ar elona" (No Khoka is not coming today) and retreat to his study. She still waited, occasionally glancing out of the window, beyond the football field, trying to locate the very familiar hunched figure with a battered briefcase in hand.


The water boils furiously

It was strange that she and her other siblings liked him so much. You wouldn't think kids looked beyond the exterior, the materialistic outer cover, to the honest soul within. You wouldn't believe they preferred a warm heart to a cadbury's dairy milk.


Spoonfuls of fragrant tea leaves

He would eventually come, much after lunch around tea time. Ma would get agitated, "Saradin kichu khas ni (You have not had any food almost whole day)", she would complain. He would smile sheepishly and mutter something about getting late. He didn't want lunch. Tea was all he wanted, tea was something he survived on. A cup of strong black tea was his lifeline. "Khali pete cha khas na, omlette kore dichi (Don't drink tea on an empty stomach, have an omlette)", Ma would say, trying to rejuvenate her young brother in that half day every week. Ma had this theory about the stomach being totally empty four hours after you ate anything at all.


Getting ready to pour

She would make the omlette. Carefully breaking two eggs into a bowl and then beating the eggs with a fork. Sometimes she would add a tablespoon of Milk as she had read in Femina. She would beat vigorously, the fork making "ting-ting" noice against the bowl. She would add a handful of chopped onions and some chopped green chili. On the nonstick Trupti pan, she would spread the omlette and fold it, the center well done and the sides crisp.

Baromama would eagerly have the omlette amidst noisy sips of tea. He would praise her omlette making skills and launch on his favorite topic, his future dream project.


They say you can see your future in tea leaves

There would be many more cups of tea that he and Baba would gulp down throughout the evening. There would be arguments, Ma would give advices, distant relatives would be discussed as the water boiled and tea leaves brewed.


It has been more than a decade that she has missed such Saturdays. But she still waited for one of her trips back home, to snatch half a Saturday to see if Baromama still came home after half day at work. If Ma still waited for him at lunch.

That will not happen though. The early morning call across the oceans last Tuesday just confirmed, Baromama would not come home on the Saturdays she would visit Kolkata this summer, he would never come home again.

This is a part of my Food Fiction series. It might seem strange but it is the simplest food that has all the fiction entwined around it. This post goes to Aquadaze for Of Chalks and Chopsticks. What is your Food Story ? Send it over to Aqua.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jyotsna's Peanut and Green Chili Chutney

I copied from Jyotsna.

A friend was raving about a Peanut Chutney that she had at her neighbors last week. The neighbor was Maharashtrian.

That did it for me. I had this insane craving to eat a Marathi Peanut Chutney, a chutney that I had not even tasted but just heard about from a friend who mind you did not make it.

Trust me, there is no bio-logical reason for me to have such insane cravings to recreate a chutney that I hadn't even tasted. This would be like proving a theorem without even knowing what the theorem was.

And it is only CopyCats who do such things, I mean things like glancing over your classmate's shoulders and copying the proof of the theorem with no idea what was it that you QED'd. Not that it really mattered, what earth shattering good would it do to know the Theorem in the first place. But if Mrs.Kulkarni, the Math class teacher caught you copying, that would be it. You would be treated like an untouchable and kids in hushed tone would chant "Copycat, Copycat" behind your back.

But Nupur says it is ok to be a Copycat. If I am reborn, and I can chose my Math Teacher, I would chose her without a blink. For now I will just send this to her Blog Bites #2: Copycat Edition.

So that is how I copied from Jyotsna's Sheengdana chutney. Totally justified you see.

In a blender put

1/2 cup of lightly roasted peanuts
4 green chili
1 clove of garlic minced (my addition)
1 tsp of brown sugar
1/2 tbsp of lime juice

Make a rough paste. To make a smooth paste add about 1-2 tbsp of water and blend till smooth

This chutney was a total knockout. It goes splendidly with almost everything. I love it with crackers at snack. A more liquid version is the perfect side to a Daliya Pulao.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Keema Koraishuti ar Dim er Parota -- Keema Matar with Crepes

Saturday Mornings are a time of great trepidation for me. Here there are whole 48 hours given to me by God or the Government or whoever, to be used as I wish and that puts a lot of pressure on me. I mean if it was only "I" or even the husband and I, I wouldn't have any fears, I would have just slept and read and done nothing in those 48 hours.

But it is not that, there are important little people in the family, towards whom I feel I have a responsibility, to give them the best Saturdays & Sundays of their life every week, to make up for the time somewhat lost during the week. I think they should have what olde English books claimed to be "a jolly good time", though they might not really care for it.

With such lofty ideas in mind I go to bed late on Friday. Long after the kids have slept, I just while away browsing the TV or laptop, justifying the "me time". Naturally I am not shining bright and happy when Saturday dawns.

I get up late and then I hyperventilate. I draw up lists, in my generosity I draw one for the hub too, dividing up the chores to be finished so that we can finally have the "jolly good time" which eventually means I can take a nap. Depending on whether I am having PMS or BMW, my list includes stuff like "Take a long shower" while his says "Feed the kids". He doesn't like his list and a lot of time is spent arguing over & rewriting them.

By the time the little one is fed breakfast, entertained and we have had tea, it is 10 and nothing has been accomplished. No breakfast has been made, the older one has been fed only milk and crackers and the house looks like a scene of volcanic eruption. In between all arguments BS has switched on the TV and trying to watch something, she wouldn't be usually allowed to. I am thinking, maybe she is having a "jolly good time".

Breakfast is out of picture now, my dream to serve a nice breakfast of pancakes, bacon and omlette to rosy cheeked children and a smiling husband is up in the air like ashes from the volcano. Ok, who am I kidding, that wasn't even my dream, but anyway if you noticed me mentioning volcanic eruptions very frequently, ignore it.

Brunch might be a good idea I am thinking. I am trying to think, something that might please the kids and the adults alike and will not take up whole of my remaining Saturday, leaving time for park, grocery and everything else.

I think Dim er Parota, Egg Paratha, savory crepes if you prefer English. But that alone might not suffice to describe "jolly good time", BS might not look back at a Saturday of her childhood and say happily "Oh, my Saturdays were so good, We had brunch of Egg paratha while people all over the world were stranded in airports with nothing but a dry bagel due to a volcano erupting in Iceland".

What if I throw in a Keema Matar ? That kicks up the happiness by several notches for sure. "Oh, my kiddie Saturdays were so good, we would have brunch of Egg paratha stuffed with Keema matar", definitely sounds like weekends of "jolly good time".

And then she might add, "On many a such Saturdays, after such yummy brunch, my Mom would take us to New York and show us how to do cartwheels, right there at Times Square. She was so cool. We had a jolly good time". Ok, now for sure I am kidding :-)

What is your Saturday Story ?

Dim er Parota or Egg Paratha is nothing but savory crepes which I had blogged about earlier. They are really delicious on their own and do not need anything else. But a stuffing just makes it better. Keema Koraishuti or Ground Meat with Peas is nothing but the very popular Keema Matar. Only my Mom would say Keema Koraishuti and it was such a regular at our home, that I thought it was as Bengali as Macher Jhol. Apparently it is not.

The recipe here is from Madhur Jaffrey's book Climbing the Mango Trees. Incidentally this is exactly how my Ma used to make it and I made it all these years, only thing is Jaffrey has a measurement which we never cared to take. I have increases the spice levels by a few notches from her original recipe and made some alterations as I will note here.


Keema Matar/Keema Koraishuti

Serves about 4-5 adults. I had 2 lb of ground chicken. Ground lamb is a tastier option.I would also suggest that instead of getting the supermarket version of ground chicken get it from your local butcher, that tastes way better.

Put 1/2 cup of thick yogurt in a bowl and whisk until thick and creamy.

To it add
2 tsp of Roasted Coriander Powder
1 tsp of Roasted Cumin Powder
1 tsp of Paprika or Kashmiri Mirch
5 fat cloves of garlic minced
2 green chilies chopped
Mix until well blended. Note: Instead of Kashmiri Mirch add about 2 tsp of Red chili Powder if you want hot. I add Red chili powder only towards the end after saving a non-spicy portion for my daughter.

Put about 2lb of ground chicken/lamb in a big bowl. Add the yogurt mix to it and mix thoroughly with hand or if you prefer a spatula. Set aside for 30 mins.

Heat Oil in a deep saute pan.

Temper the Oil with 4 Cardamom/Elaichi, 1 Bay Leaf/TejPatta, 1" stick of cinnamon,

Add 1 big onion finely chopped and fry the onion till it turns golden brown. 

4 Cloves of garlic mince
$ Green Chilies
2" ginger julienne

Add 1/2 cup of Tomato Puree. I add half of canned tomato along with 3-4 tbsp of their juice. Also add 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup.  Fry till you see oil separating from the masala and the tomatoes are nicely mushed up.

Add about 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen peas and fry for 2-3 minutes. I added frozen peas and carrots.

Add the meat to above. Stir to break any lumps and cook till the meat is not raw. The ground meat will release some water and you have to keep stirring till the water has totally dried up. If you are cooking goat meat keema, there will be lot of fat and oil released from the meat, you can discard that if you wish. Ground chicken will be lean and there will be almost no fat, so add a little oil once the water has all dried up.

Next sprinkle 1 tsp Turmeric powder and mix. Add about 1/2 cup of warm water, salt and sugar to taste and let it come to a boil.
If I am cooking goat meat keema, I do it in the pressure cooker and at this point I will close the pressure cooker lid and cook for about 4-5 minutes at full pressure.

Once the keema is cooked we will do this step. If you have not added Red Chili Powder before add about 2 tsp now. Add about 2 tsp of Biryani Masala or Garam Masala, adjust for seasonings and cook the meat for about 5 more minutes drying off excess water. That indicates the dish is now done.

Garnish with fresh chopped corriander and little lime juice. You can serve this the traditional way with Roti or Rice. Instead stuff the Dim er Parota or Egg Paratha we will make next, with this. Also use this stuffing for sandwiches.

Egg Paratha/Dim er Parota

Makes about 15 crepes

Mix together
1&1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour/Maida,
2/3 eggs
3 cups of 1%Milk
to make a batter. You might need to add 1 cup of water gradually to get the right consistency batter.
Stir till smooth. The thickness of the batter should be same as that needed for a pancake or say to make utthapam.

Add finely chopped onions and chillies, and salt to this batter and mix well.

Grease your frying pan with Olive Oil.

Pour a scoop of this batter in the frying pan and spread it out (same as for cooking pancake)

Cook until golden in color and then flip and cook till golden on the other side too.

You can go ahead and eat it at this point, it's yummy. Else stuff with the yummy keema matar.

Vegetarians do not despair. Substitute Soy granules for the ground meat or make a soy stuffing like here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shubho Naboborsho -- Poila Boisakh

Shubho Naboborsho'r Priti o Shubhechcha

Wishing everyone who stops by a very Happy Bengali New Year

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yogurt Berry Smoothie -- Berry berry good


Where I live, seasons do not sneak into your life. They march in, tooting horns, unfurling their beauty and making a big show. The calendars have fixed dates which proclaim "Beginning of Spring" and Nature takes cue. Schools close down for a week and a big hoopla is made of Spring. For a region marked with long, cold and really dreadful winters this would all seem natural.


But I am surprised at how not only Spring, but each of the four seasons gets its due recognition and how very distinct one is from the other. Coming from a country where the seasons fluidly merged into each other and it was not easy to pinpoint start and end of Spring by the weather alone, the dominating seasonal characters here astound me.


Last week BS had her Spring Break and the weather was gorgeous for most part of the week. We did spend a lot of time outdoors though my allergy tried to dampen the whole thing. My parents are here and LS's love for the shide and pak reached a crescendo with almost a daily visit to the park.

The Bengali New Year is this week and this time some of us families ushered in the New Year at a friend's home with a small function that had dance and music by the kiddos. Usually a get together for us is always about food but this time it was a little different. Some of my talented friends choreographed dance numbers based on songs of Rabindranath Tagore and the kids danced to it. With their very limited rehearsals, they did a fantastic job and it was a very nicely put together show.


To continue with the spirit of the season I have something light, purple and delicious today. A yogurt smoothie with triple berries. I was delighted to find this organic pack of triple berries(strawberry, blackberry, blueberry) at my local price club and have been using it for smoothies and shakes for some time. The price is very much within reach at $10. This shows how growing consumer interest in Organic produce is slowly bringing down the price. This easy to make delicious smoothie really screams Spring in your heart, so go ahead, fix a smoothie.


In a blender add 1/2 cup of Fat Free Yogurt, 1/2 cup of defrosted berries, 1 tbsp of honey and 1/2 cup of water/milk. Blend till smooth. Drink up

Similar Recipes:

Yogurt Parfait with Dates

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Chalks & Chopsticks on a SpringBreak

Remember my lousy food fiction ? And then remember Sra's lovely pickle story? Of course not to forget Kalyan's tales which actually started this whole thing.

I have copied the following ditto from Sra, since I am on a SpringBreak and not supposed to blog....

Well soon after Aquadaze mailed us both wondering whether we'd like to turn this into an event. Both of us liked the idea a lot, I think mainly because it would get us to dust the cobwebs off our fiction writing, and asked Aqua to kick it off.

Well, she has. So please head over to her blog, read the rules for Of Chalks and Chopsticks and put on your thinking and writing caps - we would love to read the outcome of your fevered imagination!

Here are the Rules of the Game:

If the concept interests and challenges you, this is what you need to do:

1. Spin us a yarn - an original one. It could either be based on a real incident or could be something competely imaginary. Explore any genre: humour, romance, mystery, paranormal etc.

2. The story you write has to be related to the food you will cook in that post.

3. There is no word limit on the story you write, but it has to be written in one single post.

4. Archived posts are accepted (though writing a new one for this event would be highly appreciated).

5. Posts written for this event CAN be shared with other events.

Post your story and the recipe between now and April 30 and mail it to : aquadaze(at)rediffmail(dot)com

Include the following details in your mail:

1. Name and URL of your blog

2. Title and URL of your post

3. A photo of your entry

And pleez to let you all know I am on Spring Break and so DO NOT panic if you are not seeing my erudite comments on your blog for some time. BS's spring break coincides with my Achoooo!!! break so everyone is having a good time and I am not dead or anything.

See you all next week, hopefully.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Cuppa to revive...


Hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was hectic but fun. Now I need a cup of this and the time to drink it peacefully.

I love Twinings Earl Grey and dip a teabag in my regular Indian Chai. Weird ??? But that is how I like it.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Palak Kadhi -- Spinach in a spicy Yogurt Sauce

I have this low feeling this week, you know the kind of feeling that you are not doing anything worthwhile and the world is heavily deprived because you are not doing anything worthwhile, kind of feeling

But then that is not worth writing here, so I will write about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution instead, just to get it off my chest.

The weird part is, I didn't even watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution because I didn't know anything about it . But bear with me and you will be rewarded with nuggets of wisdom.

It was not until Saturday morning when the Dad started quizzing BS on random objects from the refrigerator that I got curious. The Dad was visibly worried about these kids in Huntington, Va who couldn't tell a potato from a tomato and had never seen a broccoli head. These kids belonged to families who ate fried donuts for breakfast everyday and had never seen food being cooked from raw ingredients. For them food source was the frozen section of the refrigerator. School lunches in this town was no better and pizza and nuggets were the staple.

I was so in awe by this whole idea that I didn't even scorn the Dad for watching Hulu while claiming he was doing "work" work down in his office.

Imagine there are families where the Parents do not chop, stir, cook, thus wasting their time to provide a meal. Instead they take out a pretty cardboard box from the freezer, zap it in the microwave or dunk them in hot oil and serve it up. I am sure the Mothers in these families are not like me and they are using their time for much more worthier causes than mine.

I am sure the School committee or whoever decides on the school lunches are also very competent and probably deciding on a rigorous curriculum while they think a pepperoni pizza counts for 2 grains and a vegetable !!!

Apparently Mr.Jamie Oliver does not like the whole idea. He does not like fried donuts for breakfast or obese 7 year olds for lunch(sic!). He wants them to eat food from scratch and we will see what happens. To know more, Topeka search for Jamie Oliver Food Revolution or catch the show on ABC Friday 9/8c

While in my slumped state I will just proceed to make a very simple dish, a Palak Kadhi, spinach in a yogurt gravy if you wish.

This is not exactly what I had planned on cooking. I wanted to cook a Khatta Palak that I had from a friend's lunch box. The recipe that she gave me was however so simple and sketchy that I was sure I would screw it up.

She said "Cook Spinach with green chillis and little rice in the Pressure cooker. Beat Yogurt with chickpea flour till there are no lumps. Season the yogurt with salt and red chili powder. Add the yogurt to the cooked spinach and rice and mix well. Add a pat of butter and enjoy the dish"

I couldn't believe that something so simple could taste so delicious and didn't attempt the recipe. Instead I made Palak Kadhi. With my bag of frozen spinach(ewww, not from scratch, losing points here), this kadhi was done super quick. It is just like regular kadhi but with spinach in it. It tastes great with rice but I will often eat this just by itself.

Here I must say that this seasoning that I use for my Kadhi these days is inspired by Hooked on Heat(who has a wonderful blog and has a book coming out). My Mom just used mustard seeds, red chili and a little ginger for her Kadhi but I love the additional flavors that Hing and Kasoori Methi brings along.


Palak Kadhi

What You Need

Chickpea Flour/Besan ~ 1/4 cup

Thick Yogurt ~ 2 cups
Water ~ 1 cup

Spinach ~ 1 & 1/2 cup of frozen chopped spinach or 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

Cumin Seeds/Jeera ~ 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds ~ 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds ~ 3/4 tsp
Hing ~ 1/8 tsp
Dry Red Chili ~ 2 broken

Kasoori Methi ~ 1tsp
Red Chili Powder ~ 1/2 tsp
Turmeric ~ little

Water ~ 1/2 -1 cup
Oil ~ 2 tsp
Ghee ~ 1 tsp

How I Did It

If using fresh spinach, cook 2 cups of chopped spinach in pressure cooker or microwave with 2-3 green chili. If using frozen chopped spinach, which I did, just defrost 1&1/2 cups of spinach.

In a bowl add
2 cups of thick yogurt and beat well.

To it add
1/4 cup of Chickpea flour/Besan and 1 cup of Water. Whisk until you get a smooth batter with no lumps.

Heat about 2 tsp of Oil in a pot

Temper the Oil with
1 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds
1 tsp
Mustard Seeds
1/8 tsp Asafoetida/
2 broken Dry Red Chili

When the spices start dancing add the spinach and saute for the next 3-4 minutes.

Lower the heat to real low and slowly add the yogurt mix, gradually mixing the spinach with the yogurt

Crush 1 tsp of Kasoori methi between your palms and add to above. Add a pinch of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of Red Chili powder(more if you want it hot). Add salt to taste. Mix well.

Now add about 1/2 to 1 cup of water and let the gravy come to a boil at low heat. At low-medium heat let the kadhi simmer for 15-20 mins. Add more water if necessary and simmer until the raw smell of chickpea flour is gone.

Adjust for seasoning. I will add a wee bit of sugar at this point. Add about 1/2-1 tsp of ghee, switch off and let the kadhi sit covered for 15-20 mins. If you like it hot add some crushed dry red chili for the effect.

Serve with Rice