Indian Recipes

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Stuffed Karela Recipe (Indian Bitter Melons with Chana Dal) Recipe

Bitter melon (also known as bitter cucumber, bitter gourd or karela) is an acquired taste. That's a polite way of saying a lot of people dislike it. As the name reminds you, it is bitter, but when cooked properly, it can be a delicious side dish. It is also very nutritious. One of bitter melon’s many properties is that it's supposed to lower your blood sugar, so it’s worth working it into your diet.

I've posted several Asian-style bitter melon recipes, but today I cooked it the way my father-in-law likes it. Compared to the Asian variety, Indian bitter melon (or karela) is much smaller and darker, and is covered with spikes. For this recipe, the karela is cut into chunks, fried and stuffed with chana dal. The fried rings of bitter melon are then simmered in masala tomato sauce. Fried onions and amchur, or dried mango powder, cut the bitterness and balance the flavors. You’ll still know you’re eating bitter melon, but you just might like it!

 


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Aloo Gobi Recipe Recipe

Aloo Gobi Recipe

04.29.10 by Jackie

Aloo gobi is an Indian vegetarian dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi) and Indian spices. I also added peas, tomatoes and the usual ginger garlic paste.

I think aloo gobi was the first Indian dish I ever cooked when I got married. It's very easy to assemble all the ingredients, making it a good introduction to Indian cooking. First, a paste is formed from the spices, and then the vegetables are cooked in the paste until soft. Even though children may not love cauliflower, it is actually a kid-friendly dish. I’ve found it’s a great way to get my little munchkin to eat her vegetables. I just reduce the number of chiles, and serve it with a warm roti (flat Indian bread). Today I made it for us big kids, so I served it with basmati rice.

If you’re looking to try your hand at Indian cuisine, this is a great place to start!


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Idli Recipe with Coconut Chutney Recipe

Idlis (also spelled idly or iddly) are South Indian savory steamed rice cakes, very similar to the Vietnamese equivalent called bánh bò. The sponge cakes are made with urad dal, rice and water. The idli batter is fermented and steamed, which creates mini air bubbles. I usually serve them with sambar (a toor dal vegetable soup) and coconut chutney.

In India, this traditional dish is usually served for breakfast or as a snack. I think they also make perfect appetizers when we have dinner parties. I love that they're bite-size, which means they won’t interrupt conversation too much. I usually serve them in Chinese porcelain soup spoons that I place in a circle around a large serving bowl of sambar with several chutneys on the side. It’s a great way to start a party!


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Chana Masala Recipe (Chole) Recipe

Chana Masala Recipe (Chole)

04.17.10 by Jackie

Chana masala, also known as chole, is my father-in-law's favorite Indian dish. It is a very common dish sold by street vendors in India. Daddy is a vegetarian like Lulu, so the garbanzo bean-based dish is perfect for their diet. Garbanzo beans are full of protein and make a complete dish when paired with a starch such as rice -in the case of this dish- a bhatura. The beans are cooked in thick, spicy tomato-based gravy and finished with amchur, a dried mango powder which lends a sour note to the garbanzo beans.

As I mentioned, chole is traditionally served with bhatura. If you're not familiar with Indian cuisine, bhaturas are deep-fried bread rounds. They are similar to, but slightly larger than puris, which I love. I'll post that recipe soon.


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Spinach Moong Dal Recipe Recipe

Spinach Moong Dal Recipe

04.08.10 by Jackie

Moong dal, also known as split mung beans, is a very common ingredient in both Indian and Vietnamese cuisines. In this particular savory dish, the lentils serve as a complementary protein to the spinach. When paired with rice, it's a complete meal in and of itself.

There is a wide range of dals used in Indian cuisine, far more than you may find at an Indian restaurant buffet. Check out my other Indian dal recipes such as toor dal, kali dal, urad dal or masoor dal if you're feeling adventurous.


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