Classic Curry!…in my opinion.

Classic Curry with Potato and Cauliflower

Classic Curry with Potato and Cauliflower

Before I ever met my husband, I made one Indian dish: “curry”. Even when I knew nothing about Indian cooking, I knew that all the heavy cream based dishes I got at Indian restaurants could not be the real cuisine of India. I wanted all the spices, fragrance, and creaminess of the curry from my favorite local Indian place, but without the stomach ache and calories. So, I began to try my hand at my own curry sauce. My basic curry recipe I made pre-Rajat was pretty close to an “authentic” Indian method (as far as I can tell at this point), but it definitely needed some tweaking. This recipe is the result of several years of American curry cooking mixed with a year of learning to cook Indian. It is definitely what I crave on a cold fall day and is sure to satisfy any Indian food cravings of your every day Jo. Continue reading

Vegetable Pulav

Vegetable Pulav

Vegetable Pulav

This weekend my husband celebrated Rakhi with his sister. I had never been to a Rakhi celebration before, so it was a new experience. Rakhi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Siblings exchange gifts and sisters tie a bracelet/thread around their brother’s wrist. The knot on the wrist signifies that the sister is always with her brother. It really is a sweet holiday, and I wish we had something like it in America. Maybe I will have to bring Rakhi to my family; my family seldom objects to more gift-giving holidays. Oh, and we love each other and stuff. Continue reading

Paneer (fresh cheese)

Paneer

Paneer

It has been an Indian weekend! My husband and I have been enjoying matar paneer, home made breads, and many other Indian recipes. We even went to an Indian play performed in Hindi at UNC Chapel Hill last night. The play was called Meira Vo Mutlab Nahi Tha starring Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, and Rakesh Bedi. It was cool to see some well known Indian actors in person. I didn’t understand most of the play, but it was fun to try to catch words and see everyone all dressed up.  Continue reading

Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Garam Masala

The origins of garam masala can be traced to Ayurveda, which is an Indian philosophy of medicine (one that is debated in my house from time to time…common side effects of an east-meets-west marriage). The Hindi word “garam” means heat and “masala” means spice blend. Although “garam” does mean heat, in this sense, the word heat does not equate to spicy heat. Instead, “garam” is meaning that the spice mix can make a person feel warm; and due to this, garam masala is more commonly used in winter months in India. It can be used as a rub for meat, seasoning in a dish, or sprinkled on top at the end of a dish to give it some heat and fragrance; it’s an awesome all around spice. Continue reading

Paneer 65

Paneer 65

Paneer 65

We’ve been on a homemade paneer kick around here. After buying paneer from the store for forever, we finally read the ingredients. Well, my husband read the ingredients. Paneer is really a two ingredient dish, but these paneers from the store had a laundry list of other gums and such added. So, we decided we were going to do homemade paneer from now on. It’s honestly one of the easiest Indian dishes I’ve ever learned and definitely the easiest cheese I’ve ever made. With all this fresh paneer around these days, I wanted some new recipes for it! I found Paneer 65 on Dassana Amit’s blog, Veg Recipes of India. Continue reading

Bhindi Masala Curry (Okra Curry)

Bhindi Masala Curry (Okra Curry)

Bhindi Masala Curry (Okra Curry)

This recipe came from Dassana Amit at Veg Recipes of India. The more Indian food I cook, the more I realize how awesome Amit’s blog is. Her recipes are often identical to how my mother-in-law makes things, and she gives really clear photos for every step. I can’t say enough good things about her Indian recipes! Plus, it’s in English! My husband loves bhindi (okra) and I love any meal that has a sauce with it. So this was a pretty good match for both of us. I will definitely be making this again. Continue reading

Bhuna Makhana (Toasted Lotus Seeds)

Bhuna Makhana

Bhuna Makhana

I have really loved all the time I have been able to spend in the kitchen over the summer. Our house has been full of snacks and treats. Now my husband and I are both working and busy, and I know I will have to work extra hard if I still want our snacks and dinners to be healthy and homemade. When my mother-in-law was here, she made this makhana (lotus seed) snack for my nephew’s after school snack. They are salty and crunchy and just what I am looking for in MY after school snack as well.  Continue reading

Chole (Chickpea in Curry)

Chole on Plate

Chole with Kulcha

My mom and two of my sisters are at the beach in North Carolina this week, and I was able to coordinate a lunch where my mom and sisters and my in-laws could all come. My cousin who lives in the area was also able to make it. It was so much fun to have both sides of the family together. Sometimes culture and geography and language can make the two sides of my family seem so distant, but when we were all in my small apartment together, I was reminded of how much we all have in common and how much we all can learn from one another. Standing in my kitchen watching both of my moms eat the food I had prepared and laughing a little too loud with my sisters, I felt truly blessed. Continue reading

Aloo Sabzi For Dosas and Such

Aloo Sabzi

Aloo Sabzi

Life has been full of surprises these last few months. My husband found work for a software company in Durham, and I could not be more excited! We have moved to a new apartment in Durham, which was a huge undertaking these past few weeks; I think the moving is finally finished now. I have been applying for jobs and have received offers from three different schools! I accepted a position at an online teaching school where I will teach middle school English. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have so many great opportunities for my family at this time. It has been a long winter and spring of unknowns. Continue reading

Chili Jaggery Chutney

Chile Jaggery Chutney

Chili Jaggery Chutney

In February, when I had a glorious snow week (that’s right, a week, not a day), we spent a day in Raleigh playing in the snow with my nephew. We played down the street at a neighbor’s house who also served us a fabulous lunch. She served this chili jaggery chutney with the food, and my husband and I could not stop eating it. She told us the ingredients at the time, but we had not tried making it until now. It is so so so good. This chutney goes well with any food, not just Indian. It’s basically just an all purpose hot sauce with great flavor in my opinion.  Continue reading