Indian Food Recipes

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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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How to Make Mirchi Bhaji (Mirchi Pakora Recipe) Recipe

My father-in-law really loves spicy food, so I thought I would surprise him with stuffed mirchi pakora, which are whole green chile fritters. Before getting started, I had to estimate the level of spiciness of the chiles. It turned out the green chiles we bought from the Indian market this week were painfully spicy. So I made an incision in each chile and removed all the seeds.

The preparation method I learned from Lulu’s grandmother involves stuffing the chiles with tamarind paste, then dipping them in (besan) chickpea batter before deep-frying them until golden brown.

I have to admit I didn't try any, but in my defense, even Lulu, Daddy and the girls found the peppers really spicy. Don’t get me wrong; they really enjoyed them even though the girls ended up chugging milk to help offset the spiciness. I’m just saying, you’ve been warned!


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Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe (Indian Spicy Food) Recipe

I think I've said it many times: my husband's late grandmother (I called her Baji) was an exceptional cook. She used to make a specialty from Hyderabad called mirchi ka salan very often for my father-in-law. He absolutely loves spicy food. I know Daddy misses Baji's cooking, so I try to make his favorite dishes as often as possible.

The dish is very spicy due to the use of a large quantity of chiles (mirchi in Urdu) and the sauce (salan) is the same masala sauce made of onions and Indian spices that is used in many other Indian dishes. For this particular dish, you don't want to go over-board and use fiery chiles such as Habaneros. I chose milder Anaheim peppers. Finally, if you’re afraid of the heat, don't forget to accompany this dish with a tall glass of lassi to soothe your taste buds. 


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Onion Bhajis (Indian Pakora Recipe) Recipe

Piaz pakora are the Indian version of onion rings. According to Wikipedia, when onions, on their own, are prepared in [pakora batter], they are known as onion bhujia or bhaji. Regardless of how you refer to them, the onions are cut into thin wedges and dipped in a pakora batter, which is a mixture of besan (chickpea) flour and spices. A quick turn in the fryer and they are ready to serve.

Lulu's aunts, Sherin and Sara, stayed with us this weekend and made these wonderful fritters. They're typically served as a snack, but they would make wonderful appetizers as well. Fried food is always a crowd pleaser!


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Indian Dinner Party Menu Recipe

Indian Dinner Party Menu

05.24.10 by Jackie
We hosted an Indian classical music party over the weekend. The artist was Kankana Banerjee. If like me, you know nothing about Indian classical music, Ms. Banerjee is "one of the leading exponents of classical music in India". She is the recipient of the Kala Saraswati, Andhra Ratna Award which is one of the most prestigious awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh (from smashits.com). My father-in-law admires her music very much, and we had the honor of listening to her perform. As I mentioned, I haven’t heard any Indian classical music before, so this was quite an experience for me. My little munchkin (my 5-year-old sister-in-law) on the other hand is an old pro; she is very fond of it and has been singing with her Daddy every evening in anticipation of the concert. I do however know food, and I thought it would be fun to share with you all the dishes that were served. You may not be hosting a music party at your home any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that these dishes can’t make a guest appearance at your dinner table!


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