Okra: – Is a long, thin green ridge coarse vegetable. It is also known as lady’s finger. The Indian name for this vegetable is ‘Bhindi ‘. If cooked the right way, okra can be a very crispy, chewy and mouth watering dish. It can be added to soups, curries or even made as a dry vegetable to go with chapattis or a side dish with rice. One can even batter fry it and serve it as a starter.
Here’s a very a tangy and flavorful recipe of Okra Curry. It’s a tomato based curry.
For Fried Okra :-
- Okra : 1 ¾ cup cut in the centre
- Salt : ½ teaspoon or according to taste
- Oil : sufficient enough to fry the okra
- Water : 3-4 tablespoons
- Gram flour : ¼ cup
- Red chilli powder : ½ teaspoon
- Cumin seeds : ½ teaspoon
- Fennel seeds : 1 teaspoon coarsely ground
- Mango powder : ½ teaspoon
- Coriander seeds : 1-1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground
For Gravy :-
- Tomatoes : 4 medium sized pureed
- Oil : 1 tablespoon
- Ginger : ¼ inch
- Red chilli powder : ½ teaspoon
- Turmeric powder : ¼ teaspoon
- Coriander powder : 1 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds : ½ teaspoon
- Asafetida : a pinch
- Corn starch : 1 teaspoon
- Sugar : 1 teaspoon
- Salt : ½ teaspoon
- Take a deep dish and place the okra in it. Now add all the dry ingredients, salt, gram flour, red chilli powder, cumin, mango powder, fennel powder and coriander powder. Mix them all well.
- Now add water very slowly so that the spices mix well with the okra. But make sure the batter is runny. The okra should be coated well with the spices.
- On a medium high flame, heat the oil in a frying pan. The oil should be at least 1 inch high in the pan. The temperature of the oil should be moderate enough so that the okra gets fried but does not lose its colour.
- Add okra, one at a time and fry them till they are nice and golden brown.
- When you deep fry its best to remove the fried food on paper towel as it soaks the excess oil.
- Keep this aside.
- For the gravy, firstly make a puree of tomatoes and ginger. Blend it well till you get a smooth consistency.
- Keep ready a mix of corn flour with water. Use approximately 3 tablespoon of water.
- In a saucepan and on medium high flame add oil. The oil should be nice and hot.
- Then add your cumin seeds, asafetida and stir these two ingredients well.
- Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, sugar and salt. Stir all of these ingredients really well for a minute or two.
- Add the tomato puree to this and let it cook for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Once done, add the corn starch and cook for another 5 minutes. The gravy should have a nice glaze and a thick consistency.
- Now your gravy is ready. Add the fried okra to the gravy making sure you do not mix it into the gravy. The okra should be floating on top and be easily able to pick each piece with your chapatti.
- If you are expecting guests over you can prepare this dish in advance and just warm the gravy and okra separately. Add the okra to the gravy when you about to serve the dish.
- If you prefer the okra as a side dish only you can just serve the fried okra and minus the gravy.
Potato: The most versatile vegetable. You can make anything of it and add it to most of the dishes and you can never go wrong with it. They have a high content of carbohydrates. This vegetable gives you energy cause of the starch content too. Potato is mainly a part of a northern Indians diet. Children love potatoes especially chips, French fries or mashed potatoes. Besides these finger snacks, one can even make a vegetable dish or a gravy / curry of potatoes.
I would like to share with you a very quick and easy recipe of north Indian style potato gravy.
- Potatoes : 500 grams
- Oil : 1 tablespoon
- Salt : according to taste
- Water : 1 ½ – 2 cups
- Tomatoes : 150 grams chopped
- Ginger : ½ inch grated
- Turmeric powder : ½ teaspoon
- Chili powder : ¼ teaspoon
- Coriander powder : 1 teaspoon
- Dry methi leaves : 2 tablespoon
- Garam masala powder : ½ teaspoon
- For tempering :-
- Cumin seeds : 1 teaspoon
- Asafoetida : a pinch
- For garnishing :-
- Coriander leaves :a hand full freshly chopped
- Firstly we need to boil the potatoes so it is quicker to cook them. Potatoes take time to cook. So it is always advisable to first boil them. Boil the potatoes with their skin till they are cooked. You would know this by piercing a knife.
- Once the potatoes are cooled, peel them and make pieces by breaking them. You don’t need to cut them uniformly. You can mash a few pieces and the rest make bite size pieces. By doing this you get a thicker gravy. Unless you prefer thin gravy you make small pieces of the potatoes.
- Place the pan on the gas stove and heat the oil first. We first do the tempering.
- Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. And let the cumin seeds crackle.
- Now add ginger and sauté these ingredients for a minute.
- Then add the tomatoes with the powdered spices. Mix well. Now add the salt and methi leaves.
- Keep sautéing all these ingredients till you see the oil leaving them.
- Potatoes should be added now. Keep stirring all these ingredients carefully.
- Now you need to add the water. According to your liking you can adjust the water. If you prefer thick gravy you can add less water. I prefer it thicker so it can be had with chapattis.
- Let it be on the gas till it comes to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Now switch off the gas.
- Sprinkle the garam masala powder and garnish it with coriander leaves.
You can serve this north Indian potato gravy either with chapati, paratha or even puris, if you prefer a thick of the gravy. If you made thinner gravy you can serve it with jeera rice or just plain rice too.
- Before I start cooking I prefer to keep all my ingredients ready on the kitchen platform. So it becomes easier and faster to prepare my dish.
- For this dish you can even microwave the potatoes instead of boiling.
- You can add any curry powder apart from the above spices.
- My son likes French fries, so whenever there is a play date at home and if excess of French fries I use the left over to make this dish.
Mutton gravy: this dish can be prepared in numerous ways. And in India it is cooked differently in almost every state. You can use as many spices you wish and make it the most spicy dish or probably just use simple onion, tomatoes and some powders and make a simple, easy and yet a yummy dish. My mother itself has a different recipe each time she makes mutton gravy. And every time without doubt it turns out delicious. She sometimes uses a coconut paste to make thick gravy or then with ginger garlic, onions, tomatoes and few powdered spices to make a curry.
Following is my mother’s favorite mutton recipe. With just few ingredients she makes this mouth watering mutton gravy dish. She normally serves it with jeera rice. This dish can be had with warm chapati too!
So here goes the recipe:-
- Ingredient :-
- Mutton : 500gm (either goat or lamb can be used.)
- Onions : 5-6 red small sized (cut into cubes) and 3 medium sized cut finely.
- Red chilies :10-12 (dry ones)
- Coriander seeds :2 ½ tablespoon
- Cumin seeds : 2 tablespoon
- White poppy seeds : ½ tablespoon
- Turmeric : ¼ teaspoon
- Water : 2 cups
- Salt : 1 ½ teaspoon ( adjust according to taste)
- Oil : 2 tablespoon and ½ teaspoon
- Firstly dice the meat to medium sized pieces and wash well. Add a little salt and keep aside.
- On the stove with a medium low flame keep a pan to sauté the ingredients. Pour ½ teaspoon oil and let it get hot.
- Once the oil is hot put in the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and red chilies to sauté. Let all these ingredients fry well till they let out their aroma.
- Then add the poppy seeds and sauté all these ingredients well.
- Once you see they sautéed well, switch off the gas and immediately move them to a plate to cool.
- Now place your pressure cooker on the stove and add 2 tablespoon oil. Once the oil is hot enough add in the finely cut onions. Mix and fry them well. For about 10 minutes sauté them till they give you a nice golden brown colour.
- Add then the mutton, 1 teaspoon salt and turmeric powder.
- Mix all these contents well and cook the mutton for 5-10 minutes.
- In the mean time if the roasted spices have come to the room temperature transfer them into a mixer with the chunks of red small sized onions. Blend these ingredients well till you get a smooth paste.
- Pour this paste to the mutton.
- Mix the paste and mutton well.
- Then add the water.
- Here you can taste and check if you require to add more salt.
- Close the pressure cooker and cook for 5 -7 whistles and later then reduce the heat to low flame. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes. And then switch off gas.
- Let the pressure escape gradually and then open the pressure cooker.
- Now check if the meat is cooked properly and is soft. Also check for consistency of the gravy. If it is thin then cook for few more minutes without the lid. Preferably the gravy should be thick.
- You can now serve the mutton gravy with chapati or rice. Enjoy it either ways!
- Cumin seeds sizzle quickly if needed you can first roast all the spices first then lastly add the cumin seeds. Cause if the cumin seeds are burnt they give a bitter taste to the dish.
- If you are a chicken lover instead of mutton you can add chicken. But reduce the cooking time in pressure cooker or best avoid the pressure cooker and use a sauce pan.
- Red small onions may not necessarily be available at all time you can use any regular onions instead.
Gravy is the juices/thick liquid or sauce which you usually get on its own while preparing your dish. If needed, you can thicken the consistency by adding corn flour or any other flour starch. This gives a nice texture and a glossy effect to your dish.
Mushroom Gravy is not that, a difficult dish to prepare. With a few herbs and spices a delicious dish is ready to be served. You can partner this mushroom gravy dish either Indian style with steamed rice or hot ghee chapatis and boiled vegetables as side dish. Or if you serve it with garlic bread or French bread and mashed potatoes it becomes a continental dish on your menu.
Following is the step by step recipe I like to share. It is simple and ingredients are easily available.
- Mushrooms – washed ,wiped and minced : 10 medium/large sized
- Oil (preferably olive oil) : 2 tablespoon
- Onion- finely chopped : 1 medium size
- Garlic crushed : 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper : 1 teaspoon (according to taste)
- Thyme-dried : ¼ heaped teaspoon
- Sage- dried : ¼ heaped teaspoon
- Soy sauce : according to taste(optional)
- Cornstarch : 2 tablespoon
- Vegetable stock : 3-4 cups
- Salt : 1 teaspoon
Step 1: On a medium flame place a pan and coat it with oil. Wait for about 2-3 minutes till the oil gets hot.
Step 2: First throw in the onions and the dried herbs. Let these contents cook for at least 5 minutes or till the onions turn a nice pink colour and soft.
Step 3: Add the garlic and stirring occasionally till the garlic mixes well with the onion contents.
Step 4: Once you get the aroma of the garlic, stir in the mushrooms with salt. Mix well all the ingredients in the pan. And cover the pan. Let this cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. Stir these ingredients occasionally. Keep stirring till you see the juices leaving the mushrooms.
Step 5: During the cooking time of the mushrooms, in bowl make the corn starch. This is done by mixing water to corn flour. In this recipe instead of water you can use the vegetable stock about a cup and make the corn starch. Mix well till you get a smooth texture. Make sure there should be no lumps.
Step 6: Now pour in the remaining vegetable stock to the mushroom contents. Let it boil without the lid of the pan. Once it comes to its boiling point lower the flame.
Step 7: Then slowly drizzle in the corn starch and keep stirring simultaneously.
Step 8: Keep stirring in this mixture for 10 minutes. Once the sauce or gravy is thickened and you see a nice shiny layer on top you can add the soy sauce and black pepper.
Step 9: Switch off gas and dish this out hot and serve with the accompaniments.
- You now days get various kinds of European or western herbs in India as well. You can substitute the herbs with oregano or mix herbs which are more easily available in any store.
- Also instead of corn flour you can use wheat flour which is a healthier option.
- If you are a meat eater you can substitute the vegetable stock with chicken stock. You can even add chicken or lamb to this dish.
- This dish can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days in an air tight container. And can be had later.
Curry – Is a dish which is mostly prepared in Asian countries. A mix of spices in their whole or raw state are used, which is combined with desiccated coconut, yoghurt or stock to prepare a curry dish. A curry dish can be prepared with meat-chicken/fish/lamb or only with vegetables. Curries can be dry/thick based or liquid based. For a dry consistency you need to let the water/ liquid evaporate by cooking on high flame. And for a liquid base one needs to add more amount of water/stock or yoghurt to the dish.
Mushrooms- fall in the vegetable category. They are the most nutritional and high in fiber vegetable you can have. Besides that they are also provide with Vitamin D and potassium. Mushrooms are fat-free and low in calories too. This vegetable can be cooked in different styles and can be added to a meat dish as well. The mushrooms will enhance the flavor of the dish. Mushrooms are most commonly used on pizzas/pastas which are children’s favorite quick bites. Mushrooms are very easy and quick to cook as well. Besides adding them as toppings you can make a dish with it too.
Mushroom curry- this is a very quick and yummy curry which could be eaten with rice/bread or even chapati. In this recipe we add yoghurt to make the curry more liquid. But using yoghurt one needs to take care so that it doesn’t curdle. So the trick is either you lower the flame or switch off the gas while adding in the yoghurt. And stir the entire ingredient well and quickly. This is an Indian style recipe.
The recipe follows:-
We need to first prepare onion paste.
- Ingredients: – For Onion Paste
- 1 medium size Onion chopped
- ½ inch ginger chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup water
- In a pan fry all the ingredients till the onions turn pink and transparent.
- Let these ingredients cool down and then add all of them in a mixer and make a smooth onion paste.
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- ¾ cup yoghurt
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 2-3 green cardamom
- 2 finely chopped green chilies
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- For garnishing- Cilantro few springs finely chopped
- The mushrooms need to be blanched in before preparing the dish. For this, in a vessel bring to boil water with lemon juice and salt. Once the water has reached the boiling point add the sliced mushrooms. Switch off the flame and cover the vessel for about 5 minutes. Then drain the water and run the mushrooms under cold water. By running under cold water the cooking process immediately stops.
- Now in a pan heat the oil. Once the oil is hot throw in the whole spices- bay leaf, cardamom and cloves. Sauté them well.
- Then add the onion paste. And cook till it changes colour to brown.
- Add the ginger/garlic paste and green chilies. Cook the entire ingredient well.
- Once the paste is cooked add in your powders- garam masala and chili powder. Mix well and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Making sure the flame is on low or switch off the gas and add the beaten yoghurt. Stirring immediately all the ingredients to a creamy and smooth curry.
- Bring to a boil and then add the blanched mushrooms. Cook this for 5-8 minutes.
- You can add water according to the thickness you want in the curry.
- Finally garnish with cilantro.
Serve this dish hot and combine it with salad or pickle. Mushroom has its own flavor, whatever style you cook it, it will always taste delicious. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!
Moong dal sabzi, yes a vegetable dish made from lentils. This dish can be made anytime of the year. Since moong dal – lentils/ pulses are always available throughout the year. Especially, in the monsoons when it is difficult to find fresh and good vegetables in the market. Moong dal is a protein rich lentil and is also easy to digest.
This is a quick, simple and yet tasty vegetable dish. At least one vegetable dish is a must for a wholesome meal. A vegetable dish with chapati is either a meal by itself or can be accompanied with rice/curry/gravy and any other side dish too.
In this dish, the main ingredient being moong dal, we also add tomatoes, onions, chilies and other spices to make this dish complete. Since these ingredients are easily found in any kitchen, you don’t need to prepare for this dish in advance. In mostly any Asian cuisine, onions tomatoes and few spices are the basic ingredients required.
Following is the recipe I would like to share with you.
It serves: – 4 adults
Preparation time: – 15 minutes
- Ingredients :-
- ¾ Cup Moong dal
- 5 cups water
- 3 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 2 teaspoon garlic
- 2 teaspoon green chilies (if you like it spicy you can add more chilies)
- 3 medium size onions – chopped
- 1 medium size tomatoes – chopped
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (according to taste)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- Lastly salt to taste
- Before preparing our dish, we need to cook the moong dal. It is always better to soak in water and keep any lentil/pulses before preparing the dish. The longer the dal is soaked the quicker it gets cooked. Preferably minimum 30minutes the dal should be soaked.
- Firstly in a pressure cooker add the washed and soaked dal to the 5 cups of water. After about 3 whistles you can switch off the gas and let the steam escape on its own.
- In a kadhai (wok) heat the oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Making sure the cumin seeds are spluttered well without allowing them to brown. Then add the garlic. As soon as you get the pungent aroma of the garlic throw in the ginger with the green chilies.
- Sauté these ingredients for a few minutes only.
- Then add your onions and keep stirring till they turn translucent.
- Add all the powdered spices with salt.
- Cook all these ingredients well for about 7 minutes.
- Now put in the chopped tomatoes and lower the flame. And cook for another 5 minutes.
- Lastly add the cooked moong dal and let it be on flame for 5 minutes. Keep stirring so no lumps formed. Once all the ingredients are mixed well and smooth texture, switch off the gas.
- Your sabzi is now ready. You can garnish with fresh green coriander leaves.
Serve this dish hot and it is best to be eaten with chapati. As you see from the above recipe, although it is very simple yet it is a nutritious dish. If you want you can also add other vegetable to this dish to make it healthier. You can either add spring onions, few spinach leaves, fenugreek leaves or even green peas. This way more veggies are eaten by your family, especially the children who mostly make a fuss.
Dal- in Hindi is referred to raw lentil as well as the dish. Moong dal, amongst all the other dals is my favorite. It is one of the simplest lentils to prepare. Moreover it is easy to digest not only for me but for my toddler too!
This is the first lentil which is introduced to children even when they are small babies. It takes just about 30 minutes to prepare Moong dal curry. And the ingredients used are very basic which is found in every home. One of the ingredients used is curry leaves which I pluck fresh from my garden.
Following is very simple recipe I like to share and you can serve it either with chapati or jeera rice and a side dish of any vegetable, accompanied with papad/raita/pickle. But my husband prefers it with chapati and sliced onions with a dash of lime, salt/pepper on them. You can serve this dal whatever way suits you best.
Servings: – 3-4 adults.
- 1/2 cup yellow split moong dal (always use unpolished lentils, more healthy)
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 medium sized tomato
- 1-2 green chilies
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt as per taste
- 2-3 tablespoon oil/ghee
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4-5 flakes of garlic
- ½ teaspoon ginger paste
- A pinch of hing
- Wash the moong dal and add it to the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups water. Close the lid and add place the weight on. And cook till 2 whistles on medium flame. After the pressure is reduced and you are able to open the lid, check if dal is cooked.
- Finely cut onions.
- Finely chop the tomatoes
- Slit the garlic flakes and green chilies
- (We have to first do the tempering and then add the main ingredients to it.)
- In a pan heat the oil/ghee on medium flame, once hot add the mustard seeds. Let the seeds splutter.
- Then throw in the cumin seeds and let it crackle.
- Once the mustard and cumin seeds are sizzled well add the curry leaves.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste. Make sure you don’t burn the garlic.
- Then add your hing. The tempering is done.
- Add then the finely cut onions and mix. Let this cook well.
- Next the tomatoes go in and cook all of this for about 2-3 minutes.
- You can now add salt as it quickens the cooking process.
- Add the green chilies.
- Now add the powders – Turmeric, red chili and garam masala.
- Cook these entire ingredients well for about 5 minutes.
- Lastly add the cooked dal and the remaining water.
- Stir well and you can adjust the water according to your taste.
- Let it come to a boil and then simmer cook for another 5 minutes. Now cook till you get your desired consistency. Some like it thin and some thick. If it’s too thin then boil for few more minutes and if thick then add more water.
- Your moong dal curry is now ready to be served. You can garnish it with coriander leaves.
This moong dal curry can be also had almost everyday. You can try modifying the recipe by first cooking the main ingredients with dal in the pressure cooker and then add the tempering. Although some may find this lentil a little bland to taste, it is very nutritious, and with my recipe am sure their opinion would change!