Tag Archives: Indian food

Recipe Of The Month: Aloo Ki Tahari (Potato Rice)

I was recently searching for a potato-rice recipe and stumbled upon an Awadhi recipe called aloo ki tahari (can also be spelled tehri, tayari, or tehari). Awadhi cuisine is a native cuisine of Lucknow, India. I’m from Delhi, so I don’t know much about preparing dishes from Lucknow, but as many of you may know that Lucknow is famous for their biryani, kabobs and cuisines overall.

Of course, I had to try the recipe and of course I had to share it with all of you (lucky you) and this time I even managed to take photos as I was preparing the rice. You’d think after blogging for 9 years, I’d get the hang of photographing or recording my recipes on video. This time I did and I must say I’ve done a good job at it (😂).

Here’s the recipe. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped ginger and garlic
  • 1-2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced into small cubes
  • 1-2 medium sized potatoes diced into cubes
  • 2 cups basmati rice rinsed and pre-soaked in warm water
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (add more for a spicier taste)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 1 stock of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 4 cups water

Here’s what you do:

  1. Chop ingredients, rinse and soak rice in warm water
  2. On medium flame, heat oil in a wok (karahi), add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and allow to sizzle
  3. Add onions and cook until golden-brown
  4. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add tomatoes and cook until slightly mashed
  6. Add turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and sauté until oil begins to separate from mixture
  7. Add potatoes and sauté until they are about halfway cooked
  8. Add water and once it begins to boil, add rice
  9. Turn flame down to minimum and cover
  10. Allow to cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until water has completely evaporated and rice and potatoes are fully cooked
  11. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with yogurt or mint chutney (need a mint chutney recipe? Check out this one!)
  12. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Month: Chicken & Potato Curry

Recently, I experimented with using chicken and potatoes in a savoury curry for dinner. My dinner guests were delighted by the fragrance and taste of the curry and begged for the recipe. As promised to them, I’m sharing the recipe here on my blog.

First things first, you must know to make a good Indian curry, you need to properly cook each set of ingredients on low heat, so that they can reach their best temperature and release all the flavours. Next, you need to make sure you get the quantity just right for salt, pepper and curry powder. It has taken me many years to perfect the amount of dry spices I add to my curries to really boost the taste of the overall curry. It’s all trial and error but I’m a strong believer in adding less at first until I can taste the mixture. Adding too much at once cannot be undone, but you can always add more as you cook if needed.

So, here’s my recipe. Make a pot of basmati rice flavoured with cumin seeds and saffron and you’ve got an authentic Indian meal that will leave your guests begging for me.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2-3 large (black) cardamom
  • 4 small (green) cardamom
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 4-5 whole black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 3 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves, crushed into powder
  • 3-4 dry curry leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh coriander
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 large tomato, chopped finely
  • 1 large potato
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (preferably 2% or 3%)
  • 5-6 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups water

Here’s what you do:

  • Start by heating oil in a large pot, when oil begins bubbling add cloves, large and small cardamom, black pepper and cinnamon sticks. Let cook until the large cardamom and cinnamon expand and begin popping.
  • Add cumin seeds and let cook until brown.
  • Add onions, ginger and garlic and cook until onions are golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste, blend together and cook until all ingredients are in a paste .
  • Add garlic powder, ginger powder, onion powder, salt, red chilli pepper, curry powder, cumin powder, turmeric, coriander powder and mix into the paste.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook until oil begins rising to the top of the paste.
  • Add potatoes and one cup of water and coat with paste. Cook until potatoes seem half-cooked.
  • Add chicken breast cubes and mix into curry. Cook until chicken is half-cooked.
  • Add yogurt, mix well and let cook.
  • Add remaining cup of water, turn heat to medium and let curry boil.
  • After 10-15 minutes, sprinkle in fresh coriander leaves, reduce heat to medium and boil for another 10 minutes.

Serve with fresh cumin and saffron flavoured rice or roti and enjoy!

Upcoming Change: From Recipe of the Week To Recipe of the Month

Slide1I love trying out new recipes. I love sharing the ones I know with all of you. But I find that lately, I’m not doing as many new recipes as I’d like to and mostly cook the same meals week after week. For a long time, I was doing great with keeping up with my recipe of the week. If I was energetic enough, you’d even get two recipes in one week. But lately, I’ve just been so drained to try new things; the new job, drama with friends, personal health issues, etc. have all contributed to this.

I’ve decided I’d rather give you one or two quality recipes each month, than four or five quick/easy ones. So, the way I’m going to work this out is by providing one non-Indian recipe and one Indian recipe each month. This way, you can keep up with my traditional meals and enjoy the experimental recipes too.

October’s first recipe is coming in a couple of days. So stay tuned! And if you ever have a dish you want me to provide the recipe for, don’t hesitate to ask.

Restaurant Diaries: Aroma – The Myriad Of Exotic Spices

IMG_1170
287 King St. West, Toronto, Ontario

D and I decided to have Indian food last weekend. Our restaurant of choice was Little India on Queen St. West, as the restaurant has over 4 star ratings on Yelp and DineT.O. To our disappointment, the restaurant was full with a line-up outside and waiting for at least 20-30 minutes. Instead of waiting in line, we decided to walk south to King St. West, where a few other Indian restaurants are located. Our secondary choice that we had read good reviews about was Aroma, so we decided to try it out.

As you know, I am extremely skeptical when it comes to Indian food; how could I not be? After all, my father did own one of the first Indian restaurants in Toronto and most of Ontario and maintained it for over 47 years. Plus, he taught me how to cook. So, being a chef’s daughter and married to a man who has proper chef training, we are tough at rating food and service in general and tougher when it comes to Indian food. However, do note that I always try to go in with an open mind to these Indian restaurants, I just have a slight biased opinion when judging whether it’s properly cooked Indian food or not.

AROMA – Let’s start by talking about the atmosphere; which was beautiful as you enter into the restaurant. Walk up a flight of stairs and you’ve got a nicely lit, open room with tables and decor tastefully selected to match the ambiance of the room.

We waited to be seated, but it seemed like none of the waiters wanted to attend to us. One sort of waved us to select a table to ourselves. But then another waiter came over and politely sat us down. 10 minutes later, we were finally offered menus and water was served. I was slightly disappointed at the service and I hadn’t been in the restaurant for more than 10 minutes; not a good sign.

Chicken Pakora
Chicken Pakora

We ordered the chicken pakoras as our appetizer. They looked fantastic and were reasonably priced ($8.95 for 6 pieces). The presentation was great and the taste would have been too had they actually seasoned the chicken pieces slightly more. The chicken was quite bland. But the mint chutney we requested with it complimented it well and added the heat that was lacking.

Chicken Madras - $12.95
Chicken Madras – $12.95

For our main course, we ordered Daal Makhani (lentil and kidney bean curry in a butter sauce), Chicken Madras (boneless chicken curry in a coconut based, spicy sauce), Sada Rice (plain rice) and Garlic Naan.

Overall, the food was good but it wasn’t anything amazing. I mean, it was prepared for a bland palette. As an Indian, I love my spices and not just the heat. If the food is properly seasoned, you don’t need the heat, as Indian food is a perfect blend of spices not just pepper.

Daal Makhani - $10.95
Daal Makhani – $10.95

Sadly, Aroma failed my expectations to bring that perfection to the plate. I won’t say that it was a bad restaurant to visit; it’s reasonably priced. However, if you are looking for authentic Indian cuisine, this isn’t the place. If you’re looking to have Indian food for the mere fact of having Indian food and cannot tell apart one dish to the next, this is a good place to start.

Garlic Naan - $3.95 each
Garlic Naan – $3.95 each

As for me, I might revisit Aroma when I don’t feel like cooking and D insists on having Indian food. But this will not be my go-to place to satisfy my spice cravings. I guess, my hunt continues for authentic Indian food.

Recipe of the Week: Onion Pakoras

Eggplant, Potato and Onion Pakoras
Eggplant, Potato and Onion Pakoras

One of my all time favorite Indian snacks are pakoras. If you don’t know what this is, you’ve seriously missed out. Similar to samosas, but not stuffed. Pakoras go great with some mint and coriander chutney and a cup of masala tea. Mmm! Yummy and perfect when it’s raining outside.

It didn’t rain yesterday, here in Toronto. But as I was watching TV with Ni, I got a terrible craving for some pakoras; so, I decided to make some! I initially thought I’d only make onion ones, but then realized I had eggplants and potatoes, so made a batch of each. Mind you, I only ate a couple and left the rest for Dev but they satisfied my craving and were delicious, although not as good as my mom’s.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1-2 cups chickpea flour (Besan)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. chat masala (if you don’t have this or can’t find it, don’t stress – you can make the pakoras without it)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1 large onion (cut into rings or long slices)
  • 1 potato (sliced very thin)
  • You can pretty much use whatever vegetables you like (cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli)

Here’s what you do:

  • Pre-heat oil in a deep frying-pan until it is almost boiling
  • Sift chickpea flour, salt, chili, baking powder, curry and turmeric powder and mix well
  • Slowly add water, you want to mix well to form a batter (similar to pancake batter) that isn’t too thick or thin in consistency
  • Dip onions into batter, until fully coated, then drop in frying-pan and cook until golden-brown or crispy
  • Do the same with the rest of the ingredients
  • Serve with chutney and a cup of masala chai (tea) and there you have a delicious even snack

Recipe of the Week: Channa Curry (Chickpea Curry)

Going through all the recipes on my blog, I realized that one recipe I completely forgot to post was one of the curries I cook the most and has become my specialty; channa curry. This is a quick recipe that will really hit the spot but won’t exhaust you in the process.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can chickpeas (don’t drain the water)
  • 1-2 chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2-3 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. jeera
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. pre-mixed channa masala (if available)

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat oil and add jeera. Let jeera sizzle until golden brown
  • Add onions, ginger and salt and let cool until onions are brown
  • Add dry spices (curry powder, garam masala, chilly, turmeric and channa masala). Cook until oil begins to rise or separate from the mixture
  • Add chickpeas with water, mix well and let boil for 10-15 minutes or until chickpeas are fully cooked
  • Add coriander and cook for 5-7 minutes

Remove from heat and serve with basmati rice and sliced onions. Voila. A delicious and easy recipe to help satisfy your curry cravings!

Bon Appetite!