Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tindora and Potato fry

This is a great part of a Gujarati thali! A complete thali always consists of rice, a curry with gravy, a stir-fried curry, kadhi, dal or both, pickles and maybe a pudding. I really am not a pudding person. I love my savouries, so this is why I haven't got an pudding recipe's on my blog yet, although I will work on that factor.

Anyway I feel like I'm wondering off the subject again like I do on all of my posts lol! All i want to say really about this recipe is that it is a really good daily staple. I really would eat it every day if I could, but these days i am cooking less and less fried food, I really am an addict to fried food you see! (my waist pays for it though! lol)


1 large potatoes peeled and cut into juliennes or thin wedges,
About the same volume in tindora, washed, trimmed and cut into juliennes.
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
a pinch of asafoetida,
a pinch of ginger paste,
1/2 tsp green chilli paste,
1/2 tsp garlic paste,
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp sugar (optional)
salt to taste
fresh coriander to garnish,
a splash of fresh lemon juice.


1) In a wok or a large frying pan, heat 2 tbs oil until it is hot enough to add the mustard seeds.

2) Then add the mustard seeds and fry them until they pop like popcorn.

3) Then add the cumin seeds and the asafoetida and fry for just a moment.

4)Add the potato and fry, covered until nearly half way done. Remember to give it a toss from time to time.

5) Add the tindora, give it a toss and cover again turning frequently.

6) I don't like the tindora too crispy but if you do, cook uncovered for longer, but what I do is turn up the heat a little and give it all a stir fry uncovered for about 5 minutes.

7) When it is cooked to your liking, add the chilli, garlic ginger pastes, turmeric coriander, salt and sugar. Give it a good toss about over the heat and then check the seasoning. Adjust to your taste and then add the coriander.

Serve with a curry that has a sauce or gravy and also salad, kadhi and chapati.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Easy Idli! (rice dumpling for sambar)

IDLI!! I have always loved the soft little clouds of fluffy delight. There is just something so satisfying about these seemingly simple dumplings from heaven!
For a long time I had only eaten these at restaurants and never really tried to cook them at home because the whole preparation thing, until I bought a bag of ready prepared idli flour! Not the ready mixed that you get in a box! I have tried these before and they really don't cut the mark so this is why I tried the bag of the properly milled mix. When I did it, it was so so easy and the out come was the best yet! The only downside really was the price. I don't want to sound like I'm being stingy, it just that I hate paying the high price of things that are ready prepared, when I can just put a tiny bit of prep, good results and half of the price! So, I thought that I would try to grind my own idli mix. The only downside to me doing this is, I only have a small grinder and i can't mix up anything wet into it. I have a food processor but it just doesn't seem to grind fine and evenly enough. I just use my processor for the convenience of chopping and grating food stuffs, although it is quite good for making coriander chutney! :-) But anyway! I thought that I could grind my own flour mix. So after much trial and error, I bring to you, my easy idli recipe!
P.S I will improve the photo soon because the idli's look yellow and they really are white! :-)


1 measuring cup of coarse rice flour,
1 tbs white urad dal,
1/8-1/4 fenugreek seeds,
1 tsp salt - or to taste,
1 tsp eno. (not to be mixed until the last minute.)


1) Grind the urad dal and the fenugreek seeds to a coarse flour. Sieve the flour to separate the ungrounded grains. Blend again if you need to.

2) Mix the ground mixture and the salt with the coarse rice flour and mix together well.

3) Mix enough hot water from the kettle to make a fairly thick batter. It should be about dropping consistency, but not quite poring consistency. You can always add some more hot water if the batter thickens. The amount of water was the thing that I have struggled with the most. I know that I haven't written a measure for the water, but I find that the measurement is different every time. I have also found that if you don't add enough water the batter will not ferment properly, but if you add too much water, the idli's will become a messy mush when cooked.

4) Leave to ferment over night in a warm place. Because I live in England, I leave my mixture in the airing cupboard over night or for about 11 hours.

5) when you start to see bubbles in the batter it is ready to cook.

6) Grease your idli moulds and set a large pan of water to boil. If you don't have an idli mould you can always use an egg poacher.

7) If you are using an egg poacher you will have to add the eno in batches. If you are using an idli mould add all of the eno and mix in quickly and then ladle the mixture in to the moulds.

8) Steam for about 8-10 minutes. You can check if the idli's are cooked through by sticking a knife into the thickest part. If the knife comes out clean with no creamy bits on it the idli's are cooked.

Enjoy with sambhar or tomato rasam.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Saag Aloo (spinach and potato curry)

I know I know!! I hear you say it.... not another potato dish!! I just cant resist them in a curry! I think that I fell in love with the whole spicy potato thing the first time I tried a home made vegetarian thali (which is a large metal plate which has either different sections or bowls containing different things like rice, curry, stir-fry, kadhi, dal, pickles etc. ) All of these combined deliver a really filling balanced meal, a real feast for the eyes and for the stomach!! Any-ways, back to the story!! The first time I had tried this dish was at a Gujarati friends house and her mother had cooked up a feast of lots of different things and this particular dish was my absolute favourite of these little bowls of treasure. I have eaten it so many times since, either at peoples houses or restaurants and I never get tired of it.

One of the things that I like so much about cooking is that you are doing it YOUR WAY!! you can make them completely to your taste (or your families if you have kids!) So I bring you my version of my favourite dinner. I am really quite pleased with the way the photo turned out too :-)


serves 4-6

4 large floury potatoes ( Peeled and cubed )
2 bags of freshly prepared spinach,
2 tomatoes washed and roughly chopped,
1 large onion finely chopped (optional)
1 heaped tsp garlic purée,
1 tsp grated ginger,
1-2 green chillies,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
a large pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp turmeric powder,
3/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder,
1 1/2 tsp coriander cumin powder,
1 tbs finely chopped fenugreek leave or kasuri methi
2 tbs fresh coriander.
2 tsp lemon juice,
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste.
a dollop of butter (optional but delicious)


1)Heat the oil in a large pan. When it is hot enough, add the mustard seeds and let them pop and crackle.

2)When they have popped, add the cumin seeds and the asafoetida, fry for a second before adding the onions if you are using. If you are not using onions then you can increase the amount of asafoetida.

3)Stir-fry until the onions turn translucent and then add the ginger, garlic and green chilli and saute for a minute or two without without colouring the garlic.

4)Then add the fresh coriander and methi (fenugreek) leaves and saute until the leaves have wilted

5)Add the tomatoes and cook until all nice and pulpy and some of the moisture has evaporated. Add salt and sugar if you haven't done already.

6)Add the powdered spices and a splash of water and stir in the cubed potato. Stir everything through.

7)In the mean time, prepare the spinach (if you need to) and chop very finely.

8)When the potatoes are just over half way cooked, add the chopped spinach and give it a stir. Cook until the potatoes are nice and tender. Check the seasoning and then add the lemon juice. (you should always keep checking the taste of the food so that you know if you have the right balance of seasoning ingredients.)

9)Adjust the level of salt, sugar and lemon juice if you need to and then sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Serve with dal or kadhi, rice and chapati. :-)