Indian Recipes

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Masala Burger Recipe Recipe

Masala Burger Recipe

05.25.11 by Jackie

Here's a new take on the American burger classic! Spice up your traditional barbecue menu by adding flavors from India.

Masala burgers would make a perfect addition to your spread this Memorial Day weekend. They're a welcome change from regular beef burgers. I've made fusion burgers in the past, including keema burgers made with Indian-style ground beef. This time, I flavored hamburger patties with garam masala, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and red chili powder. I also changed the condiments; I substituted kachumbar (Indian salsa), my own concoction of raita (Indian yogurt sauce) and tamarind sauce for the ordinary ketchup, mayo, mustard and pickle relish.


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Nihari Recipe (Indian Lamb Stew) Recipe

There is a meat stew dish in every culture. The version from Indian cuisine, called nihari, is one of my favorites. I made some over the weekend with lamb shanks and lamb sirloin (my favorite), but other red meats such as mutton, goat or beef can work well. The key is to use very tender meat parts. The traditional garnish is a mix of fried onions, fresh ginger, cilantro, mint, cilantro, green chiles, sliced lemons and white radish sticks. I served it with naans which is also the standard way to enjoy the dish.

Nihari, in Urdu, is derived from the word "nihar", which translates to "morning sunrinse". Originally, the stew was usually eaten in the morning after prayers. The spicy stew is very flavorful thanks to the use of bone marrow. Interestingly, this is what gives Vietnamese phở broth its body.

My husband's aunt, Phoopi, taught me how to make it, but I first heard of the dish when I met Abbi, Lulu's late grandfather. He was a savvy bridge player and we would play from time to time. He told me that back in the days in Hyderabad, India, he would invite his pals over for an all night bridge game. There would always be a large pot of nihari waiting for them the following morning at the end of their game. The nihari would simmer overnight, tenderizing the meat and thickening the gravy. Lulu's late grandmother, Baji, would finish the dish with bhaghar, which is the final red oil layer of ghee (clarified butter) commonly used in a lot of Indian dishes. Delicious!


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Indian Style Eggplant Appetizers (Baigan Bharta Puff Pastry Recipe) Recipe

I love eggplant, especially in the form of a spread. Baji, my husband's late grandmother used to make the best one, called baigan bharta. I still make this dish very often, but when I use it as a filling (as I did today) I tweak it with a few substitutions. Specifically, instead of using yogurt, I used cream cheese and blue cheese in the eggplant spread.

I created puff pastry appetizers that bake in no time and filled them with the yummy eggplant. I topped each savory tartlet with crumbled blue cheese as a reminder of the flavor and cilantro as garnish. I was lucky to have any left for pictures, because Lulu and the girls attacked them as soon as they came out of the oven. Whether you serve them in puff pastry or go the more traditional route and prepare a bowl along with some pita bread, it’ll be a hit at your house too.


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Pakora Curry (Dahi Besan Curry Recipe) Recipe

Pakora curry are fried dumplings made of a mixture of chickpea (besan) flour and spices soaked in a yogurt-based (dahi in Urdu) sauce. The dish is fairly easy to assemble.

It's one of my father-in-law's favorite dishes, and I was determined to learn how to make it. My husband Lulu's aunt, Sara, gave me the directions over the phone, so I was able to follow her step by step instructions. I served this curry with steamed basmati rice.


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Pulao Recipe (Indian Vegetable Rice) Recipe

Pulao is an Indian rice dish filled with sabji ("vegetables" in Urdu). In this version, I flavored the rice with only three vegetables: lima beans, carrots and green peas. Lima beans are packed with protein and are very filling. The combination of lima beans and rice makes a perfectly balanced meal for a vegetarian diet.

I served this one-dish meal family style with raita or chutney on the side. This weekend, we prepared a large pot and everything was gone at the end of lunch time! My favorite is the fried "burnt" rice at the bottom of the pot, called kurchan.


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