Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Egg and Potato Squares in Gravy / Dimer Dhokar Dalna

No this is not a recipe I made up...I saw this on a food show and decided to give it a shot. It turned out really great. When I was going to post it I discovered it is actually a common Bengali dish. But I must say it is something quite interesting and it can even be served when you have guests.

Here is the recipe I followed...


For the Squares
4 medium-sized boiled potatoes,
3 eggs,
3 – 4 green chillies,
1 tsp chopped ginger,
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves,
½ tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
½ tsp turmeric powder,
½ tsp garam masala powder,
Salt to taste,
½ tsp pepper powder,
Oil for deep frying,

For the Gravy

2 chopped onions,
1 inch piece of ginger,
10-12 garlic cloves,
2 medium-sized tomatoes,
½ cup curds,
3 tbsp mustard oil,
1 tsp panch phoran (a pinch each of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds),
3 tbsps Maggi Bhuna Masala (optional),
1 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
½ tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
½ tsp garam masala powder,
Salt to taste,
½ tsp sugar,
Coriander leaves for garnishing


Peel and mash the potatoes well, ensuring there are no lumps. Mix in all the other ingredients for the squares except the oil.

Grease a baking dish with some oil and pour this mixture into it. Steam it for 20 minutes. I steamed it in the pressure cooker. Once cool cut it into squares and deep fry them. Keep them aside.

To make the gravy heat half the mustard oil and add the chopped onions and fry till they turn pink in colour. Now add the ginger and garlic and fry till the onions turn brown in colour. Once cool grind this with the tomatoes and curd into a fine paste.

Heat the remaining mustard oil and add the panch phoran. Once it pops add the paste, Maggi bhuna masala (if using it), dry spice powders, salt and sugar. Cook till the oil separates. Now add about 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. At this stage add the egg squares (I reserved a few to have at tea time) and let it cook for some 2-3 minutes. Garnish with the coriander leaves.

Goes well with rice, you can even serve it with rotis.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Barley and Red Beans Soup

I am not really keen on buying cook books, almost all the cook books I have are solely bought on the insistence of my husband; he for some strange reason likes buying cookery books. As far as I am concerned I feel I can get any recipe I want from the blogosphere or even inspiration for that matter. But, the other day when I visited an exhibition in my neighbourhood I found myself buying this book – Antony Worrall Thompson’s GI Diet with Dr. Mabel Blades and Jane Suthering.

GI or Glycemic Index is something that I have at the back of my mind almost all the time since my blood sugar levels turned out to be a wee bit on the higher side. I have now decided to make at least one recipe from this book every other week. I started with this soup as I had barley at home. I have made just a few changes to the recipe to suit my style of cooking (starting from scratch and using as few ready made ingredients like canned beans etc). The proportions I have used in this recipe are enough for one person if you are planning to make a meal of just this soup, else it can serve two people.


¼ cup pearl barley,
½ cup red kidney beans (any beans would actually do),
1 tsp olive oil,
2 tsps chopped onion,
1 small flake of garlic (chopped),
½ tsp dried thyme,
½ litre of chicken stock (I used a Maggi Chicken cube to make this stock :-)),
1 bay leaf,
Salt to taste,
Crushed black pepper to taste,
1 tbsp of chopped coriander


Soak the barley and red kidney beans for about eight hours. Cook them separately adding just salt. I don’t think there should be any issue if you cook them together too, I cooked them separately as I was anyways cooking red kidney beans to make rajma and obviously didn’t want to mix barley in that. On second thoughts it is perhaps a good idea to cook them separately as both of them have different cooking times.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Let them soften without changing colour. Now add the barley with the thyme, bay leaf and the chicken stock. Cook them together for about 10 minutes. Next add the beans and adjust seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the coriander once it cools down a little, you can also add chives or any other herb you wish.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Karela/Bitter Gourd Curry


1 big or 2 small karelas / bitter gourd,
3 slit green chillies,
6 red chillies,
2 tsp channa dal,
8-10 black peppercorns,
1 tsp urad dal,
1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind,
1 cup of cooked toovar/arhar dal,
½ tsp turmeric powder,
Salt to taste,
½ tsp mustard seeds,
8-10 curry leaves,
2-3 tsps grated coconut,
4 tsps oil


Soak the tamarind in water and remove the pulp, add water so it results in about 2 cups of juice.

Chop the bitter gourd.

Roast and powder the red chillies, channa dal, urad dal and black peppercorns.

Heat 2 tsps of oil and add the chopped bitter gourd and slit green chillies. Fry them for about 5 minutes.

Boil the tamarind juice, once it comes to a boil add the powdered masala, bitter gourd and salt to taste. Once the bitter gourd is cooked add the cooked dal. Adjust seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds, once they pop add the curry leaves and the grated coconut. When the coconut turns brown in colour pour this over the bitter gourd curry.

Goes well with plain rice, you can even serve it with dosas or rotis.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Shahi Paneer

I made a paneer dish after a long time this Sunday afternoon. I generally pair paneer with either spinach, capsicum or peas but this time I decided to make Shahi Paneer, that is paneer is a rich onion-tomato based gravy.


200 grams paneer,
1 ½ onion,
½ inch piece of ginger,
2 medium-sized tomatoes,
2 green chillies,
¼ cup beaten curds,
½ cup milk,
2 tsps ground cashewnuts,
3 tbsp oil,
1 tsp kasoori methi,
1 bay leaf,
2 cloves,
1 small piece of cinnamon,
1 big cardamom,
5-6 black peppercorns,
½ tsp red chilli powder,
½ tsp garam masala powder,
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Dice the paneer and soak in warm water. This softens the paneer, I have found this step really helpful irrespective of the quality of panner I use.

Slice one onion and chop the ginger, green chillies and tomatoes.

Heat half the oil and add the black cardamom and onion. When the onion turns light pink add the green chillies and ginger and fry till the onions turn brown in colour. Now add the tomato and cook it covered for 7-8 minutes. Next add the curd and sauté for five minutes. Switch off the heat and add about ½ cup of water. Once this is cool grind this into a fine puree.

Chop the remaining onion.

Heat the remaining oil and add the bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Once the peppercorns pop add the kasoori methi and immediately add the onion and fry till the onions turn brown in colour. Then add the ground paste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt. Boil and cook till thick.

Next add the milk, cashew paste and paneer cubes. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.

Goes well with rotis or any Indian flat bread.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ripe Mango Sambar

Everywhere on the blogosphere I see my fellow bloggers posting mango recipes, today I am going to post a recipe for ripe mango sambar. This is one of the reasons I was waiting for the mango season I wanted to try this recipe and I am so glad it turned out well and was much appreciated by my parents.

Here is the recipe I followed...


¾ cup arhar/tuvar dal,
1 ripe mango or 2-3 small ripe mangoes,
A small lemon sized ball of tamarind,
1 tbsp sambar masala,
¼ tsp turmeric powder,
2 green chillies,
Salt to taste
2 tsps oil,
½ tsp mustard seeds,
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds,
A pinch of asafoetida,
8-10 curry leaves


Wash and cook the arhar/tuvar dal with salt and turmeric powder. When cooked, blend it well and add water to get a not-too-thick consistency.

Soak the tamarind in about half a cup of warm water for 10 minutes and then remove the juice.

Peel and cut the mango into big pieces, let some of the flesh stick to the seed as this will also be used in the sambar. Some people prefer to leave the mangoes unpeeled but I prefer to peel them. If you are using small mangoes you can just peel them and not bother with cutting them.

Add the mangoes and slit green chillies to the dal and cook till mangoes are tender. Ensure the mangoes don’t over cook or they will completely disintegrate into your sambar.  

Next add the tamarind juice and sambar masala. Adjust seasoning and let it come to a boil. Then simmer and cook for another 3 minutes.

Heat oil and add the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds pop add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour this tempering over the sambar.

Goes well with plain rice.