Category: Regional Indian Cuisines

Onion Uttappa/ Uttappam

So..what’s for breakfast?!….Asks my hubby every morning. Okay…so I am one, tiny person battling sleep and I have to think of breakfast/ food the first thing once I am up 🙄🙄🙄!!! Hellloooo…yes I love food! But I don’t think about it 24*7..Lol!! 

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But we have to eat…..and I like to serve something healthy for my hubby too…breakfast being the most meal of the day. I truly believe it’s important to kick start your day with healthy & wholesome food😊

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As a rule…I usually have some Dosa/ Idli batter sitting handy in my refrigerator..it could either be store bought or homemade…& I either make dosas or some spongy idlis in minutes when I am pressed for time! That’s when these Udupi Style Onion Uttappams come to my rescue. They are quick, delicious and something that my hubby & I, both enjoy😁 One can add any variation of toppings…but I keep it simple with the onions.

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It’s my Mom’s Peanut & Curd Chutney that we enjoy with these Uttappams. This chutney is simply too yummy…..bursting with flavours & gets ready in minutes. The perfect dip even for my Sabudana Wadas or Rava Dosa 😍

Common, let’s get started..

Yield: 4 Uttappams & 1 bowl of chutney

Equipment: non-stick pan, a spatula, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons, mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

Uttappam:

2 cups thick dosa batter (seasoned with salt, I used store bought)

1/2 cup chopped onions

chopped chilli as needed

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

1 tsp Idli Podi (I used store bought)

oil as needed to cook the Uttappam

Chutney:

1/2 cup roasted, husked and coarsely ground peanuts

1/2 cup thick curd (not hung)

salt to taste

red chilli pwd to taste

1/2 tsp roasted jeera pwd (cumin)

To temper:

2 tsp oil

few curry leaves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

a pinch of hung (asafoetida)

Method for Uttappam:

Heat the pan, once it’s hot enough, spread a ladleful of the batter. Keep it thick and perfectly round. Drizzle oil around the batter. Top the Uttappam with the chopped chillies, onions, coriander leaves, Podi pwd. Let the bottom crisp up before flipping it over. Cook for another 2-3 mins to get a rich golden color on the topping. Once done, serve hot with the Chutney.

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Method for chutney:

Take the coarsely powdered peanuts & curd. Season with the spices mentioned above. Give them a mix. Next, heat the oil in a pan, add the ingredients mentioned in “to temper” above, let everything crackle for a minute or two, then add them to the peanut-curd mixture. Mix well and serve. This chutney keeps well in the refrigerator for a day.

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This is a finger-licking good combo…do try!

Love,

Shreya💗

 

Rasgulla

Rasgulla happens to be one of my personal favourites when I am thinking of Indian desserts👌 They are so light…spongy & not at all heavy on the palate.

But, making them can be tricky…right from using the right kind of milk to mashing it to perfection! Then making sure that they cook through well!! 😉

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These were never on my mind…not exactly something I was planning to make, but then…milk splits early one morning & it just pops into mind to give these a go! Looked up some recipes online..and found a really easy recipe & some tips for a first timer like myself😉…but I have adjusted the quantity of sugar as per our liking.

Let’s get going..

️Yield: 7-8 Rasgullas

Equipment: a large plate, a pressure cooker, a ladle, extra bowls, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 litre milk (I used Amul Toned milk)

1/2 tsp citric acid pwd

2 cup sugar

3-4 cup water

a few strands of saffron to garnish

pistachio to garnish

Method:

Please note that the milk had already split in my case. But to split the milk specially to make these…heat the milk in a large pan, once it comes to a boil, add the citric acid pwd and stir once. The milk will split. Just strain the milk solids in a muslin cloth and wash the solids within the cloth under running water to get rid of any traces of citric acid.

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Keep the milk solids in the muslin cloth under some weight for 30 mins to remove all the whey. Then transfer the cottage cheese/ paneer on a plate. Mash the paneer with the your hands until it’s soft and a little greasy in texture. Next, divide the mashed paneer in equal parts…about 7-8 and make smooth, crack free balls. Set them aside.

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Now, add water and sugar in the pressure cooker. Turn the flame on and let the sugar melt. Once the sugar has melted completely & the syrup starts boiling, add the balls one by one. Close the lid and place the weight too. Let it simmer for 10 mins on high flame. Then after the first whistle, lower the flame and let it simmer for another 5-8 mins. Turn off the flame after that. Let the pressure release on its own. Then take out the cooked rasgulla and the syrup and place them in a bowl to cool down completely. You can squeeze them and see how spongy they have turned out to be! They are ready…garnish & serve them chilled!!

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They taste really nice..and keep well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. You can make these with full-fat milk too.

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Nisha Madhulika.

Vada Pav

A typical Mumbaiiya staple….if you’ve ever been in Mumbai or lived here for as long as I have…Vada Pav will be your go-to meal on the move! It’s famous as an Indian Burger…but I don’t like calling it that…for me, it’s Aamchi Mumbai’s Vada Pav with Spicy Dry Chutney! 😊👌😋😋

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It brings a smile on my face each time I have had one! Ever since schooling days…till date, it’s happens to be one of my absolute favourites! And the best part is…my hubby loves it too! 😀 So, that way I can even make some at home whenever I like…and he enjoys it just as much😎..almost every Mumbaikar knows how to make these at home! It’s too easy😜

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This spicy..dry garlic chutney is a must with Vada Pav along with fried green chillies! And making this chutney at home barely takes 5 mins! The Pav that you see here is store bought…..what do you expect from me?!! 😬😬

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Doesn’t that look deliciously inviting! Spicy potato mash coated with a light batter…deep fried until crispy, served between soft Pav with some chutney….I could live on this stuff👌👌

Let’s get cooking…

Yield: 7-8 vadas

Equipment: a wok, a coulpe of mixing bowl, a slotted spoon, measuring cups/ spoons, a blender.

Ingredients:

For the Vada:

5 nos. large, boiled & mashed potatoes

2 tbsp oil

3 tbsp on ginger-garlic-green chilli paste

7-8 nos curry leaves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

salt to taste

For the batter:

1 cup Besan (gram flour)

water as needed

1/4 tsp baking soda

salt to taste

oil to deep fry

Method:

To start with the vada, heat oil in a wok, add hing, mustard seeds, curry leaves. Once they crackle, add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Sauté for 2 mins, then add the lemon juice, turmeric pwd & salt to taste. Stir and add the mashed potatoes. Mix everything well. That’s it. Set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool enough, make equal sized balls and set them aside.

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Now, to get the batter ready, mix salt & besan with some water and make smooth, thick batter. Add the soda too and mix again. The consistency should be thick so that it coats the potato balls.

To fry them, heat enough oil in a wok, once it’s hot enough, reduce the flame to medium. Now, dip each potato ball in the batter and coat it well all over and drop it in the oil. You can drop 2-3 balls at one go, fry them until golden and crispy on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper. The vadas are done.

For the chutney:

2 tbsp red chilli pwd

9-10 cloves of garlic

4 tbsp dedicated coconut pwd

2 tbsp raita boondi

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

Method:

Grind all the ingredients except the oil in a blender to a coarse texture. Now, heat oil and sauté the ground mixture for 3-4 mins. That’s it. The chutney is ready too.

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To assemble:

Take a Pav, slit it in half and sprinkle some dry chutney and place a Vada in between & press it down…enjoy with some fried green chillies! 😊👌

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Grab one…you’ll be hooked😉

Love,

Shreya💓

Recipe of the chutney is Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor. 

Til aur Moongfali ki Chikki

The Kite Flying Season is here! The Harvest Festival or Makar Sankranti as known in most parts of India…or Lodhi in Punjab! It brings us such joy to celebrate this festival…😊 And it marks the beginning of Spring in India! 

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Eating Sesame (til), Peanuts (Moongfali) & Jaggery (Gur) is a tradition on this day…and making Chikki (brittle) or Laddoos (fudges) with these ingredients are very common is every household. My Mom would make these too and we enjoyed them for weeks as she’d make them in large batches😁

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A lot of people make these Chikkis with sugar too…and my Mom shared her recipe with me a few years ago…as I wanted to make another variety of these…along with the usual jaggery ones. The ones made with sugar are more crispy! Let’s get started…

Yield: 4 large quarters or 8-10 smaller pieces

Equipment: a non stick pan, a plate/ tray, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds (white/ black)

1/2 cup roasted & husked peanuts (unsalted)

1/2 tsp cardamom pwd (optional)

1 tsp ghee + extra to grease the tray

Method:

Grease the tray and keep it ready. Heat ghee in the pan and the sugar. Let the sugar melt on low flame until it dissolves completely. Then add the cardamom pwd, sesame seeds & peanuts.

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Keep the flame low and mix everything very well. Turn of the flame immediately. Now pour this mixture on the greased tray quickly and spread it out a bit. Take a knife and make lines on the mixture if you want to have evenly shaped pieces later. 

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Wait for the mixture to cool down..it will take about 15-20 mins. Then break it into pieces and store in an airtight container. It remains fresh for upto 2 weeks.

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Happy Sankranti Everyone!

Love,

Shreya💕

Rawa Dosa

This happens to be my hubby’s favourite variety of Dosa…specially when he’s at any Udupi restaurants around here. It’s crispy, crunchy and really flavourful! 👌 

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We usually make it at home on weekends…as a healthy and filling brunch…paired with my Mom’s spicy & simple coconut chutney. The crispy Dosa goes so well with the earthiness of the this grassy green chutney. Although you can have some potato masala or a spicy sambhar to go with it too. Or even my fiery Schezwan Chutney! 😉

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This a really common preparation in most homes…being instant & super easy to make..although, a few ingredients here and there & the proportions may vary…but the results are always mouthwatering! Here’s my take..

For the Dosa

Yield: 4-5 Dosas

Equipment: a non stick pan, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons, a mixing bowl, a ladle.

Ingredients:

1 cup Rawa/ sooji (semolina)

3 tbsp rice flour

1/2 tbsp maida (APF)

salt to taste

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1-2 tbsp chopped cashews

1 tsp chopped curry leaves

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

1/2 tbsp chopped green chilli

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)

water as needed

oil to cook the Dosa

Method:

Take all the dry ingredients in the bowl, stir them well. Then add water and make a runny batter. Let it sit for 5-7 mins.

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Heat the pan, and spread a ladleful of the batter on the pan…and drizzle some oil around the pan. Cook on low heat for about 5-6 mins…you need to cook it that long as it will crisp up..and there is no need to flip over to cook the other side. Once done, it starts leaving the pan from the edges. That’s it, your Rawa Dosa is ready! Serve it piping hot😀

(P.S. Stir the batter well before pouring out the next ladleful!)

For the chutney:

It’s really simple… Gives you about a big bowlful.

1 freshly grated coconut, about 1 bunch of coriander leaves, 2-3 green chillies & some salt. Grind these with some water.

Adjust the seasoning. You can temper it if you like..although I usually don’t do it! Done! This chutney stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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Doesn’t that look absolutely tempting😬😉 they taste so good..

Love,

Shreya💓

Gajar ka Halwa

Another one of my favourite winter indulgences…Gajar Ka Halwa..or Gajrela! Too delicious to miss this one. It’s a must in almost every North Indian home during winters…..we enjoy it for breakfast or serve it for dessert post our meals..😀 

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Everyone makes it either by cooking carrots with milk and letting the milk reduce…it takes almost 2-3 hours for this process to happen! Or some even add milk solids (Mava/ khoya)..this takes a little lesser time and the taste is awesome! But I cook my Gajrela with condensed milk as many people do. It’s faster and doesn’t compromise on the taste…it’s soft, moist & just melts in the mouth! Moreover, it’s instant😉😉….

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My Mom had told me I could use condensed milk when I was making it for the first time post my wedding, I hadn’t been keen on spending a long time waiting for it to cook! So I have kept following the same method to cook this all these years…and it always works so well! Let’s get started..

Yield: serves 4-5

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

500 gms grated red carrot

300 ml condensed milk (I used Amul)

3-4 tbsp sugar (optional)

1/2 cup ghee

1 tsp cardamom pwd

1/2 cup shallow fried mixed dry fruits

Method:

Heat ghee in the wok, once it’s hot enough, turn the flame to low. Add the grated carrot, cook while you stir it constantly until it turns mushy and very soft…it must be about 90% cooked and takes approximately 20-25 mins. Then add the cardamom pwd & condensed milk and keep stirring until the condensed milk gets completely absored into the carrots & dries up well.

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That will take about 10 mins. Next, add the sugar if needed along with the shallow fried dry fruits of your choice..I have used pistachios, cashews, raisins & almonds here. Cook for another 5 mins. That’s it..it’s ready to be served. You can add a scoop of chilled ice cream with the warm Halwa..tastes so good! 😋

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Go on…have a bite!

Love,

Shreya💖

Nimona/ Green Peas Curry

Winters for us are incomplete if we don’t make Nimona… Rustic flavours and hints of spice make this a family favourite! 👌😊 

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The onset of winters brings really soft and sweet green peas….and this one of the best ways to enjoy the fresh produce. Nimona is best enjoyed with some short grained rice…lots of salad..a dash of lime and a healthy drizzle of melted ‘ghee‘ over it all! A soul warming meal…☺️

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My Mom makes the best Nimona…hands down! It’s a family recipe which I am sharing today…it’s so delicious & healthy.

Let’s start with my Mom’s recipe..

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a wok, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup coarsely ground fresh raw green peas

1/2 cup shelled fresh raw green peas

1/2 cup cauliflower florets

1/2 cup cubed potato

1/2 cup sliced onions

1-2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1/2 cup cubed tomato

5-6 tbsp mustard oil (use any oil of your choice)

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

1-2 nos Bay leaf

1 nos. slit green chilly

1/2 tbsp cumin pwd

1/2 tbsp coriander pwd

1/2 tsp degi mirch

1 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp Garam Masala 

salt to taste

lemon juice as needed

Method:

Heat oil in the wok, shallow fry the cubes of potatoes & cauliflower florets until golden brown, drain them from the oil and set aside.

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Now, add bay leaf, Jeera & hing in the same oil. Once these crackle a bit, add the onions & ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until golden brown. Then add all the spices except salt & Garam masala. Cook until the oil is seperated from the spices. Now, add tomatoes and cook again until the oil seperates once again.

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Then, add the ground green peas and sauté for 5-8 mins on low heat. Season with salt at this stage & add the garam masala. Give it a good mix…add the fried veggies now. Sauté for 4-5 mins to incorporate the flavours. Now add some water to correct he consistency of the gravy and cover to let it boil for about 5-8 mins on low heat. That’s it….turn off the heat…taste and adjust the seasonings. Add a dash of lemon juice! Enjoy 😬

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Make the most of the Winters….😀

Love,

Shreya💖

Poha/ Matar Poha

I have memories of countless weekends….my breakfast/ brunch would be Sunshine on a Platter…yes! That’s what Poha has always been for me…and my Mom makes the world’s best Poha! Hands down! 😘😘😘we’d fill our tummies with it..and then skip lunch. Some well deserved rest for Mom…what are weekends for then!? 

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She would even pack this for our lunch boxes sometimes..but I must confess – it tastes best when you have it piping hot! Straight out of the wok..onto your plates..no frills…just some home style cooking👌👌

She had learnt to make this almost 43 years ago..when she had come to Mumbai post her wedding….and ever since then it’s her Signature Dish! That’s because she changed the ingredients a bit to make something similar to one of her favourites from U.P./ Bihar..’chuda matar’ (‘chuda’ means beaten rice flakes and ‘matar’ is green peas)..often eaten as snacks😁 we don’t usuall add any Sev or peanuts while serving it….but you can😛

Let’s get on with my Mom’s recipe..

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: a wok, a spatula, a colander, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

2  cup Poha (thick variety/ Jada Poha)

3 tbsp oil

1 nos. sliced onion

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

2 nos. chopped green chilli

5-6 nos. Kari Patta (curry leaves)

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp grated ginger

salt to taste

1/2 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lemon

chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

Firstly, we need to moisten the poha. For that, take sieved poha in n colander, pour 1 cup water over it. Let the water drain well. Keep it aside. Make sure you don’t drown it in any more water else, you will end up with a big lump of mushy poha.

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Now, heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot, add mustard seeds & hing. Let them crackle a bit. Then add onions, curry leaves, ginger & chillies. Cook on medium flame until the onions turn golden colour. The season with salt, sugar & turmeric pwd. Add 1 tsp of water if needed to avoid the ingredients to stick at the bottom. Also add in the peas. Cook for about 5-6 mins. Stir in the moistened poha next. Cook for 2-3 mins. Add lemon juice. Mix & garnish with chopped coriander leaves😊 enjoy it piping hot!

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Try this…it’s just so yummy! You will be  hooked 😬

Love,

Shreya 💗

Tehri/ Tahri

If you are a North Indian, you will be very familiar with Tehri/ Tahri☺️..it’s a famous winter staple. We specially wait for all kinds of fresh winter produce to go ahead and make this! It’s my absolute favourite variety among all rice preparations👌👌😁

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It’s such a rustic combination of freshest veggies…some fragrant spices and rice! I believe it can be anyone’s favourite one-pot meal….soul food for me though! I usually have it with some Raita & Bhune Tamatar Ki Chutney.…a really fabulous combo…

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I always follow my Mom’s delicious recipe….I make no changes! Doesn’t need any…it’s just too good😘

Let’s get on with my Mom’s recipe…

Yield: 2-3

Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups/ spoons, a ladle, a lid for the wok.

Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice (washed & soaked for approx 20 mins)

2 cups cleaned, dried & roughly cubed mixed veggies (I use carrots, peas, potato, paneer, French beans, cauliflower, etc….anything you like)

1 cup sliced onions

1 nos. slit green chilli

1 tsp ginger paste

a handful of mixed whole spices – an inch piece of cinnamon stick, 2-3 black cardamom, 2-3 green cardamom, 1 bay leaf, 2-4 cloves, 4-5 black peppercorns.

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 tbsp each of coriander & cumin pwd

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

water as needed to cook the rice

salt to taste

3 tbsp refined oil + 1 tbsp pure ghee

chopped coriander leaves to garnish.

Method:

Heat oil & ghee in the wok. Then add all the whole spices, Jeera & hing. Let these splutter for a few mins. Then add the slit green chilli & sliced onions. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown. Then add the cubed veggies, salt & other spices mentioned above along with Garam masala & ginger paste. Mix well and cook for 7-8 mins on medium flame.

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Then add the soaked rice. Keep sautéing for a couple of mins. Then add enough water so that it just covers the top of the rice and veggies but not too much. Mix well. Cover and cook for about 8-10 mins. Open the cover and give it a stir. The water will have been absorbed by now, turn off the flame, cover and let it rest for 5 mins before it serving piping hot! Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and a dash of lime juice!

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Give it a try…and you will love it!

Love,

Shreya💞

P.S. Non- Vegetarians can add chicken/meat in place of veggies and follow the same recipe…you will end up with a great one-pot meal!

Methi Aloo (Fenugreek Green with Potato)

Winters are here….though it’s not too chilly yet, but I can feel it in the air. Specially early mornings are so pleasant! The Sun looks kinda bleak these days…& it’s my favourite time of the year😊

It’s also when I love eating everything wintery! From a yummy platter of Litti Choka to spicy mouthfuls of Samose ki Chaat 😀👌…and along with these…I also like enjoying something as yummy and humble as the Methi Aloo…in my Mom’s style😋 which is so delicious and not at all bitter! Infact, it’s anything but bitter!!

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It’s too simple to make this..very few ingredients and it is ready in a matter of minutes😉…a typical North Indian style preparation. I packed this for my hubby’s lunch box today and saved some for my lunch! Enjoyed it with some salad & hot rotis👌

Let’s start with my Mom’s recipe….

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a wok, a spatula, mess cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

500 gms washed & finely chopped methi leaves (fenugreek greens)

3 nos. potatoes peeled & cubed

1 nos. chopped tomato

2 nos. whole dry red chilli

4-5 cloves of garlic

salt to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp Garam masala 

3 tbsp mustard oil ( you can use refined oil too)

Method:

Heat oil in a wok, once the oil smokes (if using mustard oil, don’t smoke it if you are using refined oil), reduce the flame and add the potatoes and stir fry on low flame for 5 mins. They will turn golden brown. Then add the whole red chillies & crushed garlic. Sauté for 2 mins. The add the chopped methi leaves & season with salt and turmeric pwd. Mix well and let the cook for a few mins. You can cover with a lid if you wish. I don’t because methi cooks very fast and a cover isn’t required.

How to make Aloo Methi Recipe for Methi aloo Polkapuffs Indian recipes

Once the methi leaves are cooked well, add the tomatoes and again cook for 5-8 mins or until the tomatoes turns soft and mushy. Once that’s done, add garam masala and mix everything well. Just cook for another 2 mins. That’s it! It’s ready. (What actually works in reducing the bitterness is the tomato & the garlic)

Serve it piping hot! 😄

How to make Aloo Methi Recipe for Methi aloo Polkapuffs Indian recipes

Hope you like this…it’s just perfect for this season. You can have it with some rice & dal too!! 😬

Love,

Shreya💞

 

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