Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Sarson Ka Saag Recipe

Sarson Ka Saag Recipe. Punjabi Sarson Ka saag is a seasonal recipe prepared using mustard greens(sarson) and fresh spinach. It is one of the most delicious north Indian recipe and is traditionally served with makki ki roti (flatbread made with fine maize flour) gur (jaggery) and onions.

What is Sarson ka Saag?

The term “Saag” translates to greens, and sarson ka saag is pureed mustard greens that are tempered with browned onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes etc. It is one of those dishes that are homestyle and rustic. The mix of greens used differ from home to home. In my recipe I use a mix of mustard greens, cooking variety(not baby) spinach, daikon(mooli), and bathua(if I can find it in indian stores). I also like using few scallion stalks for a grassy onion flavor.

Ingredients Needed for Sarson Ka Saag

  1. Mustard Greens (Or Rapini Greens)
  2. Cooking Variety Spinach
  3. Daikon (or mooli)
  4. Bathua greens (If you can find, else skip)

In addition to the above greens, you can also add kale, turnip greens or collard greens to the greens mix if you wish. However keep the quantity of mustard and spinach more than any other greens you add .

Selection of Greens for Saag :- Since saag has a prominent flavor of mustard greens, the quality of mustard is very important. My most important tip would be to taste the mustard greens when buying. Tear a small portion of the mustard greens bunch and taste it. Mustard greens are naturally pleasantly bitter sweet , however sometimes the bunch is just not right and bitter mustard will lead to bitter saag. Additionally, choose the greens which look fresh, do not have yellow leaves or spots or holes in them.

Buying Mustard Greens in American Stores :- I have seen curly leaf mustard being sold in the greens aisle of many superstores. It is very different from how sarson leaves look back in India but it tastes just like mustard and does the job! It closely esembles kale, however the color is light green and the stems are very fleshy. I always buy it to make saag. The second option is rapini greens. You will see small broccoli like flowers in its stems and its available again in the greens section. It works quite well as well. If you can find real Indian sarson in Indian stores, lucky you, go for it!

Using mooli (radish) is optional. I love to use a small portion and again if you can find slender mooli at indian stores, please buy those. Else go for the Japanese daikon. Don’t use red radish. Taste the daikon or mooli that you bought before adding. If mooli is smelly and pungent, the taste of saag won’t be good.

How to cook Sarson Ka Saag?

The beauty of saag is in slow cooking. The greens cook slowly in their own juices, the stems soften and the mellow flavors of the tender leaves combines with spices and ginger. Making saag is super easy though picking and preparing the greens is what takes some extra time and effort. One of the ways I ease my workflow is to wash and dry the greens a few hours or a day ahead. Pluck the leaves from the stems of mustard. Peel the skin of stems and roughly chop them discarding very tough ones.You can use spinach stems as it is if they aren’t very fibrous. Wash the greens 4-5 times under water to remove every speck of dirt. Drain, air dry for half an hour or so and store them covered in the fridge until ready to use.

My saag recipe is very simple. During the time when when dad was posted in Chandigarh, Punjab , the cook at that house taught us to make saag the punjabi way. He told us that the saag should taste of greens and not of spices or herbs. And rightly so. I do not use any powdered spices in my recipe. If the quality of saag is good, it tastes great and isn’t heavily spiced.

Add the greens to a large pot. Add daikon, ginger, salt and makki atta. Adding makki atta helps thicken the saag and also imparts a unique velvety consistency to the cooked saag. Ofcourse it tastes great as well. Cook the saag low and slow till the leaves have wilted and completely cooked.

Tempering Sarson Ka Saag

Tempering is where the real taste of the saag comes from. It is the final touch and if you really put effort in making the tempering, the saag will taste hearty and delicious.

For the tempering you will need :-

  1. Mustard Oil, else use ghee
  2. Red Onions, chopped
  3. Fresh ginger, chopped
  4. Garlic, chopped
  5. Green Chillies
  6. Dried chilies
  7. Tomatoes, a little (optional)
  8. Cumin Seeds
  9. Butter, to finish

The flavor of tempering plays an important role in taste of saag. Make it hearty with a tempering made of onions, ginger, green chilies and tomatoes and finsh with butter. Brown the onions well, adds a smoky flavor.

Many people don’t add tomato in the tadka. Feel free to skip it. I like the tartness it adds so I do use a small quantity of tomatoes.

How To Serve Sarson ka Saag?

Sarson Ka Saag is best served with makki ki roti. Makki Ki roti is another winter staple in north India. It is a unleavened flatbread made with fine ground corn (maize flour). As you can see, this is a gluten-free, wholesome and good for you meal. Other things that taste delicious with this saag-makki roti are sliced onions, softened butter, jaggery and radishes. This meal celebrates winter and the produce. It is warming and delicious.
A few helpful notes :-

  1. Keep the saag on a thicker side to begin with. When you blend, if needed add water slowly. It should be lacey yet not overly smooth.
  2. Add a tablespoon or two or maize flour if needed later and cook the saag down if you feel that it is not thick.
  3. For the tempering, you don’t have to chop the onions, tomato etc very fine. Saag is supposed to be chunky.
  4. I personally like finishing saag with ghee as compared to butter(the traditional choice).
  5. The heat of the saag comes mainly from green chilies. You do not need a lot of chilies since mustard greens have that bitter note.
  6. When you cook the onions, do so over low medium heat. They will be sweetish and browned that way. If you rush, they wont get time to develop that caramelized taste.
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Sarson Ka Saag Recipe

Sarson Ka Saag is a seasonal North Indian dish made with winter greens. It is wholesome, easy to make and is served with makki ki roti for a gluten free meal.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For Sarson Ka Saag

  • 300 g Mustard Greens
  • 300 g Spinach Greens
  • 100 g bathua greens
  • 1 /2 cup chopped mooli (daikon)
  • 1/4 cup makki atta (maize flour)
  • 1.5 tablespoon fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallion(spring onion), green & white stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 cup water

For Tempering

  • 5-6 tablespoon Mustard Oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3-4 thai bird green chilies, roughly chopped, adjust to taste
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • Butter, to finish

Instructions

Cook the Saag

  • Wash the greens by soaking them in a large pot of water for 5 minutes. Drain and discard the water.Keep repeating until no dirt is visible and water runs clean. Drain, air dry for half an hour or so and proceed to next step. Or store them covered in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Pluck the mustard leaves from the stems. Peel the skin of stems and roughly chop them discarding very tough ones. Roughly tear the mustard and spinach leaves.
  • Add the greens to the pot along with all the ingredients listed under "For Sarson Ka Saag". Cover the pot with a lid.
  • Set the pot on stove and let cook for 25-35 minutes on low medium heat until the greens are cooked through. Alternatively, you can pressure cook the greens for 7-8 minutes and 3-4 whistles.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the cooked greens to desired consistency. Proceed to tempering the saag.

Tempering the Saag

  • In a wide pan, warm up the mustard oil till lightly smoky.
  • Temper with cumin, dried chilies. Add the chopped onions next and fry them over medium heat until nicely browned.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and green chilies next and saute for a minute or so.
  • Add the tomatoes next and cook until they soften. Dont cook too much. Th tempering needs to be chunky.
  • Add the tempering to the cooked saag. Taste and adjust the salt. Also adjust the consistency as per liking.
  • Return the saag pot to stove, add butter and simmer for 10-12 minutes until its a dark shade of green. Serve.
Dal (Lentil) Dishes · Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Dal Maharani Recipe

Dal Maharani Recipe. Dal Maharani or Maharani Dal is a rustic punjabi preparation of slow cooked lentils made using a mix of lentils. Paired with tandoori rotis or naan, dal maharani makes for a wholesome delicious meal.

Dal Maharani Recipe.
Dal Maharani Recipe

How is Dal Maharani Different from Dal Makhani?

Both Dal Maharani and Dal Makhani belong to Punjabi cuisine. Firstly, the type of lentils used in both the dal is different. Secondly, the consistency of Dal Makhani is buttery and smooth. Dal Maharani has a lot of texture from the lentils itself as well from the chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Thirdly, dal makhani has a rich tomato taste in its preparation, be it from canned tomatoes or tomato puree, Dal Makhani has a sweetness and tang of tomatoes in its taste. Dal Maharani has a robust & vibrant taste of spices in its final form.

Dal Maharani Recipe Close Up

How to Make Dal Maharani/Maharani Dal/Dal Maharani Recipe?

The first step in making Dal maharani is to soak the lentils overnight. They cook evenly and faster. Pressure cook the lentils with spices, ginger and garlic. Then I prepare a tempering of browned onions, tomatoes, ginger & garlic and whole spices. Then I add the the lentils and simmer them over low heat until creamy. I like to finish off with a little bit of heavy cream.

A few things to be kept in mind when making Dal Maharani :-

  1. Soak the lentils overnight. Else they will take a long time to cook and will cook unevenly.
  2. As mentioned before , I use 3 kinds of dal when making Dal Maharani – whole urad, split green mung and chana dal in equal quantity. If you want it chunkier, use whole green mung in place of dhuli (split) green mung. Dont add a lot of rajma, 2-3 tablespoons i more than enough.
  3. Don’t use a lot of tomatoes or garlic. Unlike dal makhani, this dal has a pronounce taste of onions, ginger and spices.
  4. You can also use Instant pot for cooking the lentils instead of pressure cooker. You can slow cook the lentils from scratch over open stove for long hours. However, I like to shorten the cooking time by boiling the lentils in a pressure cooker.

How To serve Dal Maharani?

Dal Maharani is pairs deliciously with rotis or paratha. However you can also serve it with steamed or cumin rice and a salad.I also like to eat it on its own with a dollop of thick yogurt.

Here are few more Dal recipes to try from the blog :-

Dal Makhani

Chana Dal with Lauki

Dal Tadka

Milai Ki Dal (Arhar – Urad)

Kali Masoor ki Dal

Sambhar

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Dal Maharani Recipe

Dal Maharani Recipe. Dal Maharani or Maharani Dal is a rustic & wholesome punjabi preparation of lentils made using a mix of lentils. Dal Maharani delicious, creamy and is slow cooked by simmering the lentils over low heat for long time. Paired with tandoori rotis, this dal maharani makes for a wholesome meal. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

For Boil the lentils

  • 1/3 cup whole black urad lentils
  • 1/3 cup split or whole green mung lentils
  • 1/3 cup chana dal (bengal gram lentils)
  • 2 tablespoon rajma(kidney beans)
  • 1 large black cardamom
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cup water

For Tempering the Dal

  • 4 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1.5 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1.5 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon corinader powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree (simply blend 2 fresh tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chopped ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2-3 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Chopped cilantro, ginger julienne, chopped green chilies to garnish

Instructions

  • Wash the lentils and rajma 3-4 times and soak overnight or for atleast 10 hours.
  • Discard the water and add lentils and rajma to a pressure cooker along with all the ingredients listed under "boil the lentils". Pressure cook on medium heat for 6-7 whistles. Takes about 15 minutes (adjust the time as per your pressure cooker//Instant pot). Let pressure release naturally.
  • While the lentils are boiling you can start making the tempering.In a heavy pot or kadai, heat up the ghee.
  • Temper the ghee with clove, bayleaf, dried chilies, cumin seeds and hing all at once. Saute for 10-15 seconds or so and then add the chopped onions. Brown the onions to a dark (but not burnt) shade of brown while sautéing in ghee. Takes about6-7 minutes on medium low stove.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste along with coriander and red chili powder. Saute the spices for 30-45 seconds.
  • Then add the tomatoes and let them cook for 3-4 minutes with the masala till you see oil bubbles separating on the sides.
  • Meanwhile, the dal must have pressure cooked Using back of your spoon, slight mash the dal and stir so that water and lentils are mixed well.
  • Add the warm dal to the onion tomato masala. Add the chopped ginger (if suing) and mix well. Taste and adjust the salt. Also depending on the consistency you like, add 1/2 cup or more water. Let come to a slow boil.
  • Cover and let the dal simmer for about 20-25 minutes on low heat. You will need to stir it in between (that makes it creamy) and make sure that its not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the dal has simmered and its of desired consistency, add the garam masala and heavy cream. Mix well and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro, ginger julienne etc and serve. You can also add some butter if you wish.
Appetizers & Snacks · Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Chutney Stuffed Paneer Pakora

Paneer Pakora stuffed with green chutney and tomato chutney is a super easy to make snack or starter. It is crispy & spongy on the outside and soft & spicy on the inside with taste of delicious chutney in every bite! In this recipe I am sharing the traditional deep fried as well as air fried version which also comes out amazing! These pakoras are fancy to serve for entertaining or for evening chai time at home if you are craving something different and delicious.

Pakoras are a hugely popular indian snack and they are made a ton of ways using all sorts of vegetables, paneer, chicken or seafood. A spiced besan (chickpea flour) is prepared and whatever you are making the pakoras with is dunked in the batter and then deep fried. Pakoras are addictive – deep fried, spicy, crunchy outside, soft inside, tasty all in one. They are usually served with an assortment of chutneys and paired with chai.

When we used to go to Haridwar- Rishikesh road trip, we used to stop midway at this quaint little town called Cheetal in Uttar Pradesh. I remember the rest area filled with a myriad of shops and eateries. The food at one of the restaurant there was really delicious and we always ate there. Usually our time of arrival was towards the evening and dad used to order paneer & aloo pakoras along with chai. Those paneer pakoras are the best I have eaten till date. Years later, I still remember the taste. The batter was crispy and spongy at the same time and it tasted of ajwain (carrot seeds) and the paneer was the softest. Could be something about the batter or the oil they fried it in or the quality of paneer or just that we were starving, but those pakoras were heavenly!!

The Pakora Batter :- The pakora batter is made with super fine chickpea flour and it is the soul of pakoras. If your batter is of the right consistency and peppery spiced, the pakoras will be delicious. There are many ways people spice the pakora batter and the recipe differs from home to home and region to region. Truly any kind of spice powders will do. However I stick to the traditional seasonings.I like to add cumin, ajwain and kasuri methi to the batter. Instead of adding amchoor (dry mango powder) which can sometimes make the batter too dark in appearance, I add chaat masala for the tang. You can add some minced ginger or garlic as well. For the heat, I keep switching between adding minced green chilies or red chili powder depending on my mood 🙂 Some people like adding coarsely pounded coriander and black peppercorns as well, however I avoid that and stick to using powdered spices most of the time.

Chutney Stuffed Paneer Pakora is simply made by sandwiching teaspoon of chutney in between paneer. Take a block of paneer and start by cutting it into long batons. Then you slice the batons halfway lengthwise to make space for the chutney but do not slice all the way through. Cut into into largish cubes. Then add a teaspoon of thick chutney in between.You will get a chutney stuffed paneer sandwich. Dunk it into the besan batter and deep fry. You can see the video below to get an idea of how these pakoras are made.

Green Chutney & Tomato Chutney Recipe :- You can find my tomato chutney recipe here. It is sweet spicy tangy and has lovely flavors of curry leaves. The green chutney recipe is below in the recipe card.

Green Chutney

Can I Air Fry these pakoras? Absolutely! These paneer sandwiches are super delicious when air fried. If you plan to make them air fried there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

1.Use malai paneer or full fat paneer. When air frying, the softness of the pakora depends on the quality of the paneer. These won’t taste as good with reduced fat paneer. However you can certainly use reduced fat paneer for deep fried version.

2. Make the besan batter a little thick but not too thick. Dunk the pakoras in batter and layer in a single layer on the air fryer tray. Spray the pakoras with oil and air fry at 400F for about 16-18 minutes. Due to fat content of paneer and the oil in the batter, they aren’t dry at all. I would totally recommend.

3. The only thing I did not like about air fried pakoras was that they didn’t taste that great once they cooled down , lets say 30 minutes later. So serve and eat while still warm.

A few more tips and tricks when making these pakoras :-

  • When you make the chutneys, make sure to make them thick. They should not be watery at all. This is super important!
  • I find working with chilled, straight from the fridge paneer easier. It is easy to slice and stuff.
  • Dont make a too runny or too thick batter. Add water slowly when making the batter else the besan will become lumpy.
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Chutney Stuffed Paneer Pakora

Paneer Pakora stuffed with green chutney and tomato chutney is crispy on the outside and soft & spicy on the inside with taste of delicious chutney in every bite! Both deep fried and air fried versions included.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

For the Green Chutney

  • 1 bunch (2 cups) organic cilantro leaves & tender stems, washed and air dried
  • 12-15 fresh organic mint leaves, washed and air dried
  • 3 bird eye green chilies, or adjust to taste
  • 3 fat garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchoor(dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon thick yogurt

For the Paneer Sandwich

  • 14 oz (400g) malai paneer
  • 1/4 cup Green chutney
  • 1/4 cup Tomato chutney
  • Oil for frying
  • Chaat Masala & Extra chutney to serve

For the Pakora Batter

  • 1.5 cup fine besan (chickpea flour)
  • 3 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon coarse coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of ajwain (carrom) seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hot red chili powder, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste

Instructions

Make Green Chutney

  • Add all the ingredients except the yogurt to the blender jar. Blitz to make a smooth paste adding as little water as possible.
  • Add yogurt to a bowl and beat it to smooth. Add the chutney and mix together.Ready!

Make the Paneer Sandwiches

  • Take a block of paneer and using a sharp knife, start by cutting it lengthwise into long batons about an inch and a half thick.Then you slice each baton halfway to make space for the chutney but do not slice all the way through. Once sliced, cut each baton into 2-3 cubes depending on how big or small you want the pakoras.
  • Add a teaspoon of thick chutney in between the space you created by slices. Press gently and wipe out excess chutney. Thats your chutney stuffed sandwich.
  • Dunk it into the besan batter(recipe below) and deep fry or air fry. You can see the video in post to get a visual idea.

Make the Pakora Batter

  • In a large bowl, add every thing listed under the pakora batter and adding water slowly, mix to make a not too thin or thick batter. I used a little under 3/4 cup water. Pakora batter is ready! Dunk paneer one by one batter and deep fry(see instructions below).
  • Batter for Air Fryer. If you are making the batter for air frying, make it thickish, I would add just over 1/2 cup water. Also add 1.5 tablespoon of oil to the batter. Rest of the recipe remains same.

Fry the Pakoras

  • Deep Frying – Heat up 3 inches of oil in a wide kadai or pot. Check oil temperature by dropping a little batter, it should rise up(but not sizzle) quickly without changing color. Too hot oil, the batter won't cook, too low the temperature of oil, pakoras will not crisp up rather become chewy.
  • Dunk the paneer cubes in the batter and coat nicely. Lower them into the hot oil. Deep fry until golden on all sides. Serve.
  • Air Frying :- Preheat the air fryer at 400F. Line the air fryer tray with parchment paper. Makes cleaning easy. Coat the paneer in the batter, make sure that the coating on paneer is not too thick. Layer the pakoras in a single layer, spray nicely with oil and air fry for 16-18 minutes. Flip mid way to cook evenly on all sides. Serve warm!

Dal (Lentil) Dishes · Indian Vegetarian & Vegan · Rice Dishes

Khichdi Recipe (Dal Khichdi)

Khichdi or Kitchri is an easy indian comfort meal made with rice and lentils. It is super simple to make, healthy and nourishing to the body. I grew up eating many kinds of khichdi made with a combination of different kinds of lentils and rice but this version made with red lentils and rice was made quite often.

Depending on how much time you want to spend, you can make khichdi either in an instant pot, pressure cooker or make it slow cooked. I go for the slow cooked version mostly because I like the consistency and the creaminess of slow cooked khichdi, however, any way you choose to make it, like most lentil & rice dishes, it is super hearty and an absolute comfort food.

What is Dal Khichdi?

Every cuisine has its comfort food, and khichdi is one of the most loved comfort food for Indians. It could be the health benefits (ease of digestion) or how easy it is to make, khichdi is very popular in indian homes.

Khichdi is made by boiling rice and lentils (red lentils or mung lentils or chana/urad lentils etc) together with turmeric and salt. Sometimes few spices are added and well as depending on how different homes like it, vegetables like potatoes or peas are also added. Everything is cooked till it resembles a runny porridge and is often tempered with garlic or cumin seeds and served warm.

Khichdi is considered as one of the most healing or restorative foods as per Ayurveda. Lentils are superfoods that can balance all the dosas (shortcomings) in the body. Due to ease of digestion and how minimally spiced khichdi is cooked, it is considered one of the best foods for people have gut issues.

What are the Ingredients Needed to Make Khichdi?

You need very basic ingredients from your pantry. Lets discuss them one by one :-

Lentils :- In this recipe, I used Masoor Dal or red lentils since this was the most common type of khichdi that was made in my home. However you can easily swap the red lentils with yellow moong dal or split green moong dal. If using yellow moong dal, dry roast them slightly before using, it gives a nice flavor.

Rice :- For the best consistency of the khichdi, I suggest using any starchy short grain rice. I use gobindbhog/kalijeera rice and it is easily available in Indian stores. However, my grandmother used to use tukda basmati rice which is simply broken grains of basmati rice. I don’t find it here at my indian stores but if you do, go for it. Please don’t use brown rice since its husky and takes away the smooth texture of the khichdi.

Ghee :- Use ghee for cooking khichdi as well as for making the tempering. Ghee is one of the most healthy fats and helps in maintaining gut health a well as enhance the taste of this simple dish. You can see recipe of my homemade ghee here. However for plant versions, you can simply use neutral oil.

Spices :- While the khichdi cooks, I spice it simply with minced ginger, hing, turmeric powder and black peppercorns. Before serving, I make a tempering of garlic, cumin and red chili powder (optional).

You can also use bay leaf, clove or cardamom to add more flavor.

How To Make Dal Khichdi?

Slow Cooking Method :-

Start by simply tempering and then boiling the lentils and rice together to a heavy bottom pot. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 25-30 minutes or longer depending on how long it takes for grains to cook. Keep stirring often, it makes the khichdi creamy by breaking down the starches of the lentils and rice.

Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker Method :-

Temper and add the lentils and rice to the IP or Pressure cooker with 3 times the water to begin with. Close the lid and pressure cook. For the quantities mentioned in the recipe, on medium heat, it takes about 8 minutes in an Instant pot and 3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker. Let pressure release naturally in both cases, add more water an cook a little to adjust the desired consistency and then proceed to adding tempering.

How to Serve Khichdi?

In most homes, khichdi is served with pickle, papadums, and slightly tart yogurt. In Bengali cuisine, then serve it with omelete and fried potatoes or vegetables (bhaja). You can also make a simple potato curry like this one here and serve alongside. Chutneys and a quick salad also pairs quite well.

Variations of Dal Khichdi :-

Masala Khichdi :- Saute 1/3 cup of chopped onions with the ginger and add 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder and 1/4 tsp red chili powder (or to taste).

Vegetable Khichdi :- Add 1 to 1.5 cups of mixed vegetables to make vegetable khichdi.

Spinach Khichdi :- Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped or torn spinach while the khichdi is boiling.

Few tips and tricks while making khichdi :-

  • Always start with a optimum quantity of water at the beginning as noted in the recipe. Later as needed or depending on the consistency you desire, add warm water and mash the khichdi.
  • Don’t add too many spices. Khichdi should tastes of lentils and rice and its supposed to be a mellow dish.
  • You can add 1-2 chopped green chilies to the tempering that goes on top if you like to add a little heat to khichdi.
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Khichdi Recipe (Dal Khichdi)

Khichdi is an indian comfort food made with red lentils and rice. It is warming, vegetarian protein rich and nourishing for the body.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing powder
  • 2-4 black peppercorns
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 3/4 cup short grain rice, (I use gobindbhog)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 4-5 cup water (depending on desired consistency)

For the Tempering on top

  • 2-3 tablespoon ghee
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)

Instructions

  • Rinse the lentils and rice at least three times or until the water runs clear. Add to a bowl and pour 3 cups of water and let soak for 30 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy botton pot with lid(or IP or Pressure cooker).
  • Add minced ginger, hing and black peppercorns to the warm ghee and saute for few seconds. Add the onions and cook them for a couple minute until translucent and starting to turn light brown.
  • Add the soaked lentils and rice along with the water. Sprinkle turmeric powder. dd another cup of water. Stir well and taste the salt. Adjust salt.
  • To slow cook :- Bring to a boil, cover and let cook for 20-35 minutes until lentils and rice are soft. Stir often and mash using back of spoon while the khichdi cooks. Adjust consistency with warm water as desired. Add tempering before serving and mix. Serve warm.
  • To cook in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker :- Close the lid and pressure cook. For the quantities mentioned in the recipe, on medium heat, it takes about 8 minutes in an Instant pot and 3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker. Let pressure release naturally in both cases, add more water an cook a little to adjust the desired consistency and then proceed to adding tempering.

Tempering

  • Heat up ghee in a small sauce pan and on slow heat brown the garlic. Add cumin seeds and crackle. Switch of the stove and add the red chili powder. Add to the Khichdi.
Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Khoya Matar

This rich and delicous north indian curry is made with matar (fresh peas) and khoya(milk solids). Its creamy without using any milk or heavy cream, the curry gets its richness from sweet and milky khoya/mawa. This curry is perfect to serve for festive or dinners or when you are in a mood to eat restaurant like curries at home.

In northern India, khoya is popularly used to make mithai(sweets) and it makes its way into a lot of savory dishes as well. This khoya matar recipe is very simple to make and uses onion-tomato masala base which is perfumed with sweet smelling spices like cardamom and cinnamon and gets its richness from khoya.

This curry is one of the most loved old family recipes which was cooked once or twice a year during the autumn or winter months with seasonal fresh peas. I am told that this was my grandfather’s favorite.

Check out my other pea recipes like Matar Paneer and Sukha Matar Aloo.

I have talked about my love for mawa/khoya so many times. It is one of my favorite ingredient. Before the festive season begins, I like to make a big batch and store it. Below is a video showing how I make khoya at home. However you can always use store bought. Make sure to use a good quality khoya, the main flavor of this dish comes from the sweet milkiness of the khoya, since no cream or milk is used.

How to Make Khoya Matar?

The dish starts with preparation of masala base. The masala base for the curry uses browned onion paste, which lends so much flavor and robustness to the dish. If you do not want to make browned onions at home, you can simply buy browned onions from store and grind them with a little water to make a paste. Once you make the onion paste, this curry is super simple and quick to make with regular spices, tomatoes and yogurt. Once the masala is done,add peas and khoya and simmer for a few minutes til khoya melts down and forms a thick sauce. Finish with pinch of kasuri methi and garam masala.

Serve this rich and hearty curry with naan, pooris,spinach roti, roti or paratha and raita(yogurt). You can also serve it with steamed rice or cumin rice.

Few Tips & Tricks to keep in mind when you are making Khoya Matar:-

  1. Peas:- You can use frozen peas in this recipe. Frozen peas that you get in stores are already blanched so you can skip that step in the recipe. Thaw the frozen peas and use them. I use fresh shelled peas that’s why I blanch them.
  2. Brown Onion Paste :- Browned onions are super easy to make and you can make them a day or two ahead. Simply slice the onions and fry them in oil on medium heat. Drain and cool down. Then you can grind them with 1-2 tbsp water if needed. I often avoid using store bought onions because I find them a bit smelly, however if you love a brand, go ahead and use store bought.
  3. Prepare Ahead :- You can make the masala base of the curry in advance and store refrigerated for 2 days. The masala base freezes very well for a month. When you want to make the curry, add the peas and khoya then.
  4. Khoya :- As I already mentioned, I used homemade khoya. Choose good quality khoya– which means with good fat content and sweet if you are using store bought. Khoya is the main taste in this recipe so make sure you use the best kind available.
  5. Variations :- Use this same recipe to make Khoya Matar Paneer or Khoya Matar Makhana(foxnuts). Simply add fried chunks of paneer and roasted makhana.
  6. Cooking Oil Versus Ghee :- When I make this dish for a celebrations or festivals, I like to cook it in ghee. Else you can cook it in any neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
  7. Consistency:- The ideal consistency of khoya matar is on a thicker side however its not dry.
  8. Spice Level :- Khoya matar has a mellow rich taste. The curry gets its sweetness from peas and khoya. Imagine it as a fragrant spicy curry that not hot. A perfect example of the fact that spicy doesn’t mean hot 🙂
  9. Leftovers :- Make this dish in the quantity that you would be able to finish same day. The leftovers don’t reheat well and the taste of curry changes.
  10. Using Nut Powders :- If you want, you can use 1-2 tbsp of super fine ground nuts like almonds or cashews to the masala. They do taste awesome however I feel the dish gets too heavy so I don’t 🙂
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Khoya Matar

A rich and delicous north indian curry made with matar (fresh peas) and khoya(milk solids). Its creamy without using any milk or heavy cream. Best served with naan, roti or cumin rice.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cup 9about 300 g) fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 large onion, sliced (don't slice too thin or too thick)
  • Oil for frying the onions
  • 2 tbsp thick plain yogurt (not too tart)
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1.5 tbsp ginger garlic paste (simply pound 3 garlic cloves and 1 inch ginger shoot in a mortar using a pestle)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes (roughly chopped and pureed, about 3/4 cup puree)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup khoya
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed fine between palms
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1 drop Kewra essence, optional
  • Ginger julines and chopped cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  • If using frozen peas, make sure they are thawed overnight. If you are using fresh peas, blanch them in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
  • Heat oil on medium heat in a heavy bottom pot. Once oil is hot, add the sliced onions. Cook onions till they brown evenly. Strain the onions from the oil using a slotted spoon.You can reserve the oil used for frying the onions and use it in curries.
  • Add the onions to a small blender jar along with yogurt and kashmiri red chili powder. Blitz to make a smooth paste. Set aside
  • Warm up ghee in a cooking pot. Add the whole spices and crackle for 30 seconds.Next, add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds or so till you smell a nice aroma. Add the powdered spices next, add 1 tbsp water and sauté spices in oil for a minute.
  • Then add the tomato puree, sugar and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes till you see oil seperating on the sides.
  • Stiring continously, next add the yogurt onion paste and now and cook again on medium heat till oil starts separating on sides.
  • Add blanched(or thawed) peas now and mix so that the peas are nicely coated in masala. At this point you can add few extra ginger juliennes as well. Sauté the peas with masala on low medium heat for 2-3 minutes so that they are warmed through.
  • Add the 1/3- 1/2 cup water next and mix everything. Let cook for 2-3 minutes till you see that the water is slowly bubbling. Add the crumbled khoya now. You will see that within a few minutes the khoya will melt and the sauce will appear to be milky. Keep the stove on low. Don't let come to a boil.
  • Let the curry simmer for 5 minutes on low heat till you see all the khoya has melted and its now part of the sauce. Switch off the stove and mix in the kasuri methi and garam masala. Add kewra if using.
  • Mix gently and let rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and ginger juliennes.

Notes

  • Peas:- You can use frozen peas in this recipe. Frozen peas that you get in stores are already blanched so you can skip that step in the recipe. Thaw the frozen peas and use them. I use fresh shelled peas that’s why I blanch them.
  • Brown Onion Paste :- Browned onions are super easy to make and you can make them a day or two ahead. Simply slice the onions and fry them in oil on medium heat. Drain and cool down. Then you can grind them with 1-2 tbsp water if needed. I often avoid using store bought onions because I find them a bit smelly, however if you love a brand, go ahead and use store bought.
  • Prepare Ahead :- You can make the masala base of the curry in advance and store refrigerated for 2 days. The masala base freezes very well for a month. When you want to make the curry, add the peas and khoya then.
  • Khoya :- As I already mentioned, I used homemade khoya. Choose good quality khoya– which means with good fat content and sweet if you are using store bought. Khoya is the main taste in this recipe so make sure you use the best kind available.
  • Variations :- Use this same recipe to make Khoya Matar Paneer or Khoya Matar Makhana(foxnuts). Simply add fried chunks of paneer and roasted makhana.
  • Cooking Oil Versus Ghee :- When I make this dish for a celebrations or festivals, I like to cook it in ghee. Else you can cook it in any neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
  • Consistency:- The ideal consistency of khoya matar is on a thicker side however its not dry.
  • Spice Level :- Khoya matar has a mellow rich taste. The curry gets its sweetness from peas and khoya. Imagine it as a fragrant spicy curry that not hot. A perfect example of the fact that spicy doesn’t mean hot 🙂
  • Leftovers :- Make this dish in the quantity that you would be able to finish same day. The leftovers don’t reheat well and the taste of curry changes.
  • Using Nut Powders :- If you want, you can use 1-2 tbsp of super fine ground nuts like almonds or cashews to the masala. They do taste awesome however I feel the dish gets too heavy so I don’t 🙂
Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Palak Chole

Palak chole is a delicious North Indian curry made with fresh spinach leaves and chickpeas. It is hearty, vegan, gluten-free and very nutritious. Palak chole is very similar to palak paneer, however I don’t add any dairy to it. With autumn on its way, with a warm bowl of cumin rice or rotes, it makes for a warming dinner.

During winters, a ton of greens were harvested from the vegetable garden at my grandma and I grew up eating palak paneer or palak rotis every other day. Spinach sauces are my favorite and when my kids were babies, I started making them often for their high nutritious value. Palak chole wasn’t a frequent from my childhood years but since both my kids love the spinach sauce, I add different proteins other than paneer to change up the taste.

Making palak chole is really simple and you can prepare ahead like boiling the chickpeas or blanching and pureeing the spinach a day ahead. And yes! you can totally use canned chickpeas! For the curry, simply make a onion-tomato- ginger masala base with a few whole spices and cook the spinach and chickpeas in it.

How to make Palak Chole?

The process starts with making spinach puree and boiling the chickpeas. Thereafter make a masala base and cook the spinach and chickpeas together for about 20-30 minutes.

1- Spinach:- For making palak chole, I choose cooking spinach variety. The leaves of cooking spinach are much broader and thick as compared to baby spinach. It is easily available in the greens aisle of the store and is usually sold as a bunch.(I have seen bagged ones too) You can choose baby spinach as well but I personally feel that the thicker stems and the large cooking spinach leaves are much flavorful and can stand up to the sautéing.

2- Chickpeas:– Soaking and boiling the raw chickpeas gives the best broth which makes this curry so delicious, however if you want, you can used canned chickpeas as well.

3:- Masala Base:- The curry uses a simple North Indian onion tomato masala base with a few whole spices thrown in, similar how what I have shared many times in recipes on the blog. Most North Indian curries have a starting point as onion-tomato-ginger-garlic base comparable to a sofrito. In this recipe I add, cinnamon, cloves and few pods of green cardamom to add warmth to the spinach sauce.

4:- The secret ingredient :- A few florets of broccoli. I like adding a few, just 3 or4 florets of broccoli to the spinach sauce, you won’t taste it, I promise. You can boil the broccoli along with the spinach and puree them together. I feel it adds a very nice texture and robustness to the sauce. Again it is optional and you can skip broccoli.

5. Consistency :- The stock from boiling the chickpeas is very delicious and I use it up for blending the spinach as well as to thin out the sauce. You can make the sauce as runny or thick as you like.

6. Green color of Spinach Sauce :- Over the years, I have seen many discussions about the color of spinach sauce and read many articles on how to preserve it etc etc. If you ask me, there is no right or wrong. The color of the sauce is simply dependent on how long you sauté the spinach puree with the masala base. I personally like the sauce to be well sautéed and even though it loses the bright green color in the process, I love the deep smoky flavor that comes along.

This is a healthy and nutritious dish due to combination of spinach greens and chickpeas and with rice or rotis, it is an enjoyable dinner. As with most curries, the spinach sauce tastes very good next day because the flavors get a chance to absorb as the curry rests overnight. Since I keep the consistency of palak chole curry on a thick side, it can be used to make wraps or easily packed in lunch boxes.

Other Spinach Recipes to check out :-

Palak Paneer

Spinach Chicken /Murgh Saagwala

Tandoori Palak Roti

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Palak Chole

North Indian spinach and chickpeas curry made with whole spices, tomatoes, onions ginger and garlic.
Prep Time8 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time9 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw chickpeas
  • 8 oz organic spinach
  • 4-5 small broccoli florets , optional
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 clove
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil (or cooking oil)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom cloves
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed in mortar pestle
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger julinnes
  • 3/4 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2-3 Thai green chillies (adjust to tolerance) , slit
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional but recommended)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

Prepare the Spinach & Chickpeas. This can be a done a day in advance.

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight. Next morning, add to a pressure cooker with 1.5 cup water, 1/2 tsp oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles until soft. Reserve the stock and place the boiled chickpeas in a separate bowl.
    1/3 cup raw chickpeas
  • In a large pot, add cloves to 2 cups water and set on stove to boil. Thoroughly wash the spinach leaves. Roughly chop the stems and leaves if they are too big. If you feel that few stems are too stringy, discard.Once the water is boiling, add spinach and broccoli florets to it. Let cook for 3-4 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the broccoli is dark green in color.
    8 oz organic spinach, 4-5 small broccoli florets, 2 cups water, 2 clove
  • Drain the vegetables and add to a food processor. Put in the cloves too. Pulse. I do not like to make a smooth puree however you can blend to desired texture/consistency. If needed, the reserved chickpea liquid be used liquid while blending.Set the blended spinach aside.

Cook Palak Chole

  • Heat up oil on high in a kadai or medium heavy bottomed pot.Once the oil is smoky, reduce the heat to medium & wait for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped onions to it along with fennel & cumin seeds and whole spices (in that order) and sauté  till the onions start to lightly brown.
    4 tbsp mustard oil (or cooking oil), 1/2 cup finely chopped onions, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 green cardamom cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • Next add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, coriander powder, green chillies and sugar, to the onions and keep on cooking on medium low heat till you see oil separating on the sides of the pot. The tomatoes will soften and turn mushy.This may take 5-8 minutes. 
    3 garlic cloves, smashed in mortar pestle, 3/4 cup tomatoes, finely chopped, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1 tsp coriander powder, 2-3 Thai green chillies (adjust to tolerance)
  • Add the spinach, ginger, and chickpeas along with salt to the and mix well. Sauté with masala for 5-7 minutes until you see that the spinach is bubbly.
    1/3 cup raw chickpeas, 8 oz organic spinach, 1/2 tbsp ginger julinnes, 4-5 small broccoli florets
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the reserved chickpea stock depending on the consistency of the sauce you like (I add about 1/2 cup). Mix well. Taste and adjust the salt if needed. Cover and let the sauce cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat.
    1 tsp salt
  • Check once or twice in between. The spinach will bubble a lot during cooking and you will need to stir it in between to avoid sticking to bottom. Also the spinach will change color to dull green and you will start seeing glisten on the sides of the pot. If you feel that the sauce is getting dry, add 1/4 cup stock.
  • Finish with kasuri methi and 1/4 tsp garam masala(optional). Let sit for 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
    1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, optional but recommended), 1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Rasedaar Baigan Aloo

Rasedaar baigan aloo is a warming punjabi north indian curry made with eggplants and potatoes. I always love September for the overlap of produce it brings – the summer bounty is still in the markets but the autumn produce can be spotted as well on the stands. Eggplant season is at its best during late summer and right now the eggplants are sweet, fleshy and don’t have plenty of seeds. I love to cook lot of eggplant dishes during this time. If you prefer a dryish aloo baigan, do take a look at this recipe I shared many years ago.

Rasedaar aloo baigan can be served with rotis (flatbread) or plain steamed rice. I always admire how this delicious vegetable absorbs any kind of goodness thrown into it.Here the base is a simple onion tomato ginger garlic masala which forms the starting point for many north indian curries. This curry is a quick and easy option for weeknights and tastes better the next day so do plan leftovers.

There are numerous versions of aloo baigan all over India and this the one I grew up eating. The combination of juicy eggplants and starchy potatoes in a masala base has contrasting textures and unique flavors. The list of ingredients may look a bit long but truly these are everyday spices.

How I make rasedaar aloo baigan?

I start by prepping the vegetables. No store bought ginger garlic paste or canned tomatoes! Hand grate the onions, it takes extra 5 minutes but the taste is so much better than blending or chopping it in the food processor. If you can find campari tomatoes-those are one of the best choice for curries, chop them fine and hand pound the ginger and garlic. Cut eggplants in batons and the potatoes similarly but slightly smaller than eggplants – that way none of the vegetables overcook. You can make the curry much soupy but I like to keep it on the thicker side. Keep in mind that eggplant has a lot of water content so it won’t taste that good if you make a very soupy curry.

Keep these tips and tricks in mind when you make this sabzi:-

  • Soak the eggplant for 8-10 minutes after cutting them into batons. That way they won’t absorb a lot of oil while cooking.
  • Try to keep the size of potatoes and eggplants as uniform as possible. I add the potatoes a little earlier when sautéing the masala so that they start cooking a few minutes earlier than eggplant and finish cooking together.
  • Do not use a lot of tomatoes since that takes away the taste of the eggplant. I like to finish with amchoor (dry mango powder) for added sour taste.
  • Saute the powdered spices in oil with onion, ginger and garlic for better aroma. You can add a little water to avoid them from getting burnt.
  • Let the curry rest for half and hour before serving. Eggplant has a spongy texture and resting really enhances the taste.

Rasedaar Baigan Aloo

Rasedaar baigan aloo is a warming punjabi north indian curry made with eggplants and potatoes. powdered spices in a onion tomato base. Its a delicous weeknight vegan curry which pairs well with rotis or steamed rice.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (about 400 g) medium size Italian Eggplant
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 inch fresh ginger
  • 2-3 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil (or grapeseed/avocado oil)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp hing
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder (or paprika)
  • Hot red chili powder , to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
  • 1.5 tsp kasuri methi
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Wash the eggplant. Cut it in 2 to 2.5 inch batons. Soak in water while you prepare other ingredients.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise. Cut them a little smaller than eggplant.Soak in water while you prepare other ingredients.
  • Peel and grate the onion, you should have about 1/2 cup of grated onion. Chop the tomatoes. Pound the ginger and garlic into a thick paste using your mortar and pestle.
  • In a heavy bottom pot, warm up the mustard oil on medium low heat till its a bit smoky. Crackle the cumin seeds and hing for 10 seconds in hot oil.
  • Add the onions and brown the onions in oil for about 5 minutes until they are light golden. Do not brown too dark else the color and taste of curry changes.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 15 seconds. Next add all the powdered spices – corinader, turmeric,chili powders. Add a tablespoon or two of water and brown the spices for 30 seconds or so.
  • Next add the tomatoes, sugar and salt. Mix and cook the tomatoes for about 2-3 minutes on medium low heat till they start to soften. Add the drained potatoes now, mix and cook the masala for another 4-5 minutes until you see oil seperating on sides.
  • Drain as much water as possibe and add the eggplant to the pot next. Mix around so that eggplant batons are coated well in the masala. Keep stirring around and cook the eggplant with masala for about 2 minutes.
  • Next add about 1.5 cup hot water. Mix, taste and adjust the salt. Bring to a slow boil and cover the pot. Let cook for about 8-10 minutes on medium low heat until the potatoes are fork tender and eggplant is cooked through.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, switch off the stove and finish with the amchoor, garam masala and kasuri methi while still warm. Mix very gently. Cover and let the curry rest for atleast 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rotis or rice.

Notes

  • Soak the eggplant for 8-10 minutes after cutting them into batons. That way they won’t absorb a lot of oil while cooking.
  • Try to keep the size of potatoes and eggplants as uniform as possible. I add the potatoes a little earlier when sautéing the masala so that they start cooking a few minutes earlier than eggplant and finish cooking together.
  • Do not use a lot of tomatoes since that takes away the taste of the eggplant. I like to finish with amchoor (dry mango powder) for added sour taste.
  • Saute the powdered spices in oil with onion, ginger and garlic for better aroma. You can add a little water to avoid them from getting burnt.
  • Let the curry rest for half and hour before serving. Eggplant has a spongy texture and resting really enhances the taste.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Sukha Matar Aloo

Sukha matar aloo is one of the most delicious preparation with fresh peas and potatoes. I make it a few ways and this one is without any tomatoes and cooked in iron kadai(Indian wok). The beautiful intense flavors of tempering of hing (asafetida), cumin in mustard oil and amchoor at the end make it flavorful. Serve with paratha, poori or dal chawal for a comforting meal.

Aloo(potatoes) and matar(fresh peas) is a classic combination in North Indian cuisine. Be it the curry made with these two vegetables or this dry sabzi, it makes for a delicious meal anytime. Indian homestyle food is much simpler than the 5-6 stereotype dishes which define the cuisine outside of the country. Everyday food does not need a long list of ingredients and the taste is familiar of home. Like this sabzi, which was packed in our lunch boxes with paratha and a knob of aam ka achar. Or served for dinners accompanying a pile of warm daal and chawal.

I get fresh peas from Trader Joes and use those to make the recipe. Avoid using frozen peas since frozen peas are blanched and unless the potatoes and raw peas cook long enough together with spices, the true texture and the taste does not come through. At the end of cooking, I simple smush some of the potatoes and peas and bhuno(sauté) the sabzi on high heat. The crispy “kurchan” of potatoes my favorite part.

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Sukha Matar Aloo

Sukha matar aloo is one of the most delicious north indian preparation with fresh peas and potatoes along with spices. It can be eaten with parathas or lentils & rice.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Iron Kadai(indian wok)

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb shelled fresh peas
  • 2 large potatoes,peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp hot red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 scant tsp amchoor(dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Add the oil to a wide and heavy iron kadai and let heat up till its a bit smoky.
  • Temper the oil with hing and cumin seeds and let crackle. Add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the sliced onions and on low medium heat cook the onion till they are browned.
  • Add the peas and potatoes together, mix and saute with the onions for about 3-4 minutes stirring regularly.
  • Sprinkle the spice powders (except amchoor & garam masala) and add salt. Mix well and cover the wok and let peas and potatoes cook on low heat for about 6-8 minutes. Open and stir halfway once to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the kadai, if so add a light splash of water, cover and let cook again until the poatoes and peas are soft.
  • Uncover and add the amchoor and garam masala and on high heat, saute the sabzi for about 3 minutes stirring regularly. You will see that the peas are shiny and the potatoes are falling apart, that makes this sabzi super delicious.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm. If you are planning to serve later, make sure that you transfer the sabzi to another dish and store.
Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Tamatar Sev Sabji


This delicious and easy tomato dish is full of textures. The ginger and curry leaves laced tomato gravy is mixed and topped with sev (chickpea flour noodles which are very popular in India) just before serving. Super easy and quick to make, this dish needs very basic ingredients from your pantry. Summer time is best for tomatoes and I like to preserve the sweet tangy taste of in season tomatoes with minimal use of spices.

This dish is very popular in western states of Rajasthan and Gujurat and though I didn’t grow up eating it at home, we enjoyed it on our road trips to Jaipur or at food stalls in the cultural hub of Delhi, the Delhi Haat.

It is upto you how pulpy you like the tomato gravy, I personally like it full of texture so I do not cook down the tomatoes a lot. The tomato base is gets the heat from green chilies, sweet from jaggery and smokiness from garam masala. The thick ratlami sev are a good choice because they don’t get mushy easily, are quite spicy and impart a lovely texture to this dish.

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Tamatar Sev Sabji

This delicious and easy tomato dish is full of textures. The ginger and curry leaves laced tomato gravy is mixed and topped with ratlami sev (chickpea flour noodles which are very popular in India) just before serving. So amazing for a quick meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4-5 ripe & firm large tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp ghee, divided
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp hing
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped or slit
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup ratlami sev or any thick sev
  • Cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  • Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Heat up 2 tbsp ghee in a pan on low medium heat. Crackle the mustard and cumin seeds followed by hing.
  • Next, add the ginger, curry leaves and green chillies. Saute for 10-15 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes next and sprinkle salt, coriandr, red chilli and tumeric powder. Mix and saute the tomatoes for a couple minutes untill you see that they are warmed up.
  • Cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook doen for 6-8 minutes on low medium heat until they are squishy but still have a lot of texture.
  • Let the tomatoes bubble and add jaggery, 1 tbsp ghee and garam masala. Mix and let cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and mix in the sev and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with extra sev. Enjoy!
Indian Vegetarian & Vegan

Aloo Paneer Ki Sabzi

An easy, homestyle gravy based dish made with paneer and potatoes. The combo of potatoes and paneer is pure love. With rotis or rice and salad, it makes for a delicious weeknight meal. This sabzi uses everyday ingredients from your pantry and is pretty straightforward.

We love paneer, especially my kids and its a great source of vegetarian protein. The popular paneer curries use ton of nuts and cream and while I absolutely love them, those are reserved for special occasions in our home. Everyday curries are fuss free and I make this paneer sabzi every other week.


I love making paneer curries in ghee but you can use mustard or olive or any cooking oil that you normally use. Here I also use a few whole spices but you can just use the powdered spices. Summer tomatoes are great right now and they enhance the taste of sabzi a lot. If you want, you can use crushed canned whole tomatoes as well.

Other paneer recipes to check out.

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Aloo Paneer ki Sabzi

Everyday homestyle paneer and poato curry which pairs well with rice, rotis and salad.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large potato
  • 8 oz paneer
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 large bayleaf
  • 3 green cardamom cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, pounded in mortar pestle
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, pounded in mortar pestle
  • 1.5 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp hot red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi, optional
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, garnish

Instructions

  • Peel and cut the potato into 6-8 pieces. Keep soaked in water. Cut paneer into triangles or squares, as you wish, do not cut too thick or too thin.
  • Heat ghee on medium heat in a heavy bottom pot. Once nicely warm, add the whole spices. Crackle for 10 seconds and then add the onions.Cook onions till they brown evenly.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and cook for a minute or so till you smell a nice aroma.Then add the powdwered spices – coriander, turmeric, red chilli powder. Cook for 2 minutes in oil until you smell a toasty aroma. If you feel that the spices are getting dry, add a splash of water.
  • Next add the tomatoes,sugar and salt to the potCook for 5-6 minutes till you see oil seperating on the sides and the tomatoes are pulpy. Add the potatoes and mix well. Saute the potatoes for 3-4 minutes with the masala.
  • Add 1 cup hot water, mix.Taste and adjust the salt of the masala and bring it to a slow boil. Once boiling, reduce the stove to medium low and cover the pot. Let cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are 95 percent cooked.
  • Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the paneer, kasuri methi, cumin powder and garam masala. Mix and cover again and let cook for another 5-8 minutes until poatoes are cooked through and the paneer has softened.
  • Let rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.