Baghar Recipes

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Nimbu Ka Achar (Indian Lemon Pickle Recipe) Recipe

I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while but Daddy, my father-in-law, kept telling me to be more patient. We harvested our last batch of Meyer lemons more than a month ago. I preserved them by making all sorts of pickles. The method is pretty much the same regardless of the cuisine type, but the spices differ. 

Today I'm going to show you how to make my family's favorite, called nimbu ka achar. Halved lemons are pickled in a large amount of coarse sea salt, then flavored with baghar, which is a combination of oil, a lot of spices and a few curry leaves. We enjoy it best with simple, plain basmati rice.


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Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe Recipe

Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe

02.26.11 by Jackie

I just learned how to make a variant of mirchi ka salan by Sheerin Auntie, who came to visit us during winter break week. This version is made with only white sesame seeds and originated from the region of Lucknow (Lakhnau) where Abbi, my husband Lulu's late grandfather was born. The previous version was taught by Baji (Lulu's late grandmother); they lived in Hyderabad where mirchi ka salan is made with peanut, fresh coconut and sesame.

The sesame seed variant is quite a bit milder. The sesame seeds are blended into a thick paste (tahini), then added to cumin-flavored oil (baghar). Whole chile peppers are cooked in the sesame mixture until softened. A drizzle of lemon juice finishes the dish. It's as simple as that. Prior to cooking the mirchi ("chiles" in Urdu), I had to be brave and estimate the level of spiciness of the peppers. If the heat is too fiery, you could cut a longitudinal slit and remove the seeds and more of the sesame sauce will enter in the cavity of the chiles for a milder taste.


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Khatta Recipe: Indian Sesame and Tamarind Sauce Recipe

Khatta is an Indian condiment that is generally served as an accompaniment to khichdi (coral lentil basmati rice). Unlike raita (Indian yogurt sauce) or chutneys, khatta has a thin consistency. Toasted sesame seeds are ground into a thick paste (tahini) and mixed with green chiles and tamarind. The sauce is then diluted with water and mixed with thinly sliced onions. The finishing touch is the usual top layer of baghar, which consists of fried garlic, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dried chiles.

The recipe was provided by Lulu's aunt, Sheerin Auntie, who is an amazing, gifted cook. Love is the most important ingredient that is required in any dish, and she has it in boundless quantities. She has agreed to teach me several Indian dishes that I've been wanting to learn, and of course, I'll share them with you once I know them well. Thank you, Sheerin Auntie for teaching me so many valuable lessons, culinary and otherwise.


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Masoor Dal Recipe (Yellow Dal) Recipe

Masoor Dal Recipe (Yellow Dal)

09.12.10 by Jackie

Masoor dal is an Indian dish made with coral-colored lentils. Lentils are a very common ingredient in the Indian diet because they provide a great amount of protein for a vegetarian diet. The lentils are mixed with chopped tomatoes, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, onions and curry leaves, then slow-cooked at low temperature.

I think I mentionned that this last summer, we had a terrible planting season this year because of gopher infestations in our garden. We did get a few tomatoes from potted tomato plants Lulu added to the garden later in the season. I gathered that last little crop of Sweet 100 tomatoes and used them for the dal. The natural sweetness from the tomatoes works very well in the dish. It's a simple recipe but both tasty and healthy, and it's also ideal for a vegetarian diet. Serve the legume with a starch and a complete meal is ready.


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Baghare Baingan (Indian Eggplant Masala Recipe) Recipe

Baghare baingan, also known as eggplant masala, is one of my father-in-law's favorite dishes. I learned how to make the Indian eggplant dish in thick masala sauce from Lulu's late grandma Baji. This South-Indian vegetarian dish is a specialty from Hyderabad, the city where Daddy is from. It's quite pleasing for vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters alike as the eggplant have a very meaty texture.

The cooking procedure requires several steps. First, the small eggplants are deep-fried to soften the firm flesh, then it's simmered in a thick sauce made from peanuts and sesame seeds. The dish is finished with baghar, which is the final red oil layer commonly in a lot of Indian dishes.

For this dish, you should use Indian eggplants. They have a shiny skin and a firmer flesh with less bitter taste than regular eggplants. Their flavor is fairly mild, but like other eggplants, the flesh acts like a sponge and absorbs all the strong flavors of the sauce. Make the effort to find these eggplants at your local Indian supermarket; it’s worth the try!

Baghare Baingan Recipe with Picture


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