Palak /Spinach ka Raita

Raita a yogurt based Inidan condiment is a favorite in our family and so I make it often. With variations like cucumber raita, okra, potato raita , boondi raita etc the possibilities are endless. It is served as side dish along with vegetable rice, pulao, biryani or with rotis/parathas.

This spinach raita is an easy, healthy and a good way to eat your greens. It is a good way to sneak in veggies and feed it to the picky eaters. You can make variations by adding chopped cilantro, pepper powder, grated carrots etc

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh yogurt – (plain) ( I used fat free yogurt)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Seasoning:

  • 2 cups of packed spinach (cleaned and chopped)
  • 1″ piece of ginger grated
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp oil

Preparation:

  • Note: Make sure the plain yogurt (curds) is not sour.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds.
  •  Add the chopped spinach, ginger, salt and green chilli to it and stir until the spinach is cooked. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Take a bowl and whisk the yogurt, add milk or water to thin it. Add the cooked spinach mixture to this and mix well.
  • Add the chopped onion and sprinkle some chilli powder.
  • Keep the raita in the fridge if serving at a later time. If left outside it can get sour.

Baingan Masala/ Eggplant Dry Curry


Brinjal is a frequently used vegetable in our house maybe after okra, potato, tindora.Another plus is that it is available in the Indian stores throughout the year and so I cook with it often. 

Baingan Masala is one dish I learnt few months ago and I have tried it many times since.  There are so many variations of this classic dish; some are prepared with the typical north Indian flavor, others use many spices stuff  it in the brinjal and make it the  bharwan way. Anyway this is my version of Baingan masala which has a touch of Konkani flavor to it. 

Spicy and tangy this curry goes well with rotis/pooris and daal rice. On days when I am pressed for time, I make this curry along with a kachumber (salad) and plain rice. I then heat up store bought rotis, and we eat it along with salad and yogurt rice. 

Here are other recipes using brinjal: 

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium purple brinjal/eggplant/baingan (similar to these)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Jaggery for taste (optional)
  • Asafetida/hing a pinch
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Oil

To make the coconut masala

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniya
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3-4 red chillies

Method:

  • Wash the Baingan/brinjal thoroughly and cut into long strips. Place it in a bowl of water to avoid discoloration.
  • Heat a small pan; roast the coriander seeds, urad daal and red chillies in little bit oil until it turns brown.
  • Next make the coconut masala, by grinding the coconut along with the roasted red chillies, urad daal, coriander seeds, tamarind, and water. The masala should be slightly coarse, thick so do not add too much water.
  • In the meanwhile heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds, let it splutter and then add the curry leaves, hing.
  • Add the chopped brinjal/baingan, salt and fry until it turns light brown and is cooked.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes
  • Add the coconut paste and cook until the raw smell of coconut is gone. Sprinkle some water in between, so that it does not stick to the bottom. Check for taste and adjust the seasonings if required.
  • Garnish with shopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or rotis. 

Spicy White Peas Masala Curry/ Ragada


We returned back home after a whirlwind trip in the North East. Even though it was quite hectic, we had a good quality family time. 

Now what we missed most during this extended trip was the wholesome meals. While we had so many choices healthy or otherwise nevertheless after a week or so we start craving for home made food even if it is the regular old daal-chawal. It is always a good feeling to come back home and have the “ghar ka khana” in a familiar environment.

 Anyway back to the recipe. This curry is Ragada recipe that is the part of the famous Ragada Pattis duo. I did not make the pattice, but served it with rotis. This versatile curry goes well with chapathi, roti, poori, rice or bread.

 I cook often with Garbanzo beans, but not as much with White peas (dried vatana). Dried white peas looks similar to the garbanzo beans in shape and color. But white chickpeas/garbanzo beans have a rugged appearance and are little bigger than the white peas.

 

Serves: 2-3 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white peas (dry)
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes (ripe)
  • 1  tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  •  2-3 garlic pods (peeled and grated)
  •  1 inch ginger (grated)
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Handful of chopped coriander for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 

Method: 

  • Soak the peas overnight or for about 8-10 hours in enough water. Pressure cook the white peas using sufficient water. Keep aside.
  • Grind the green chillies along with ginger and garlic to a coarse paste (without adding any water).
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan (prefer non-stick), add about 1 Tbsp oil. Add cumin seeds and stir.
  • Next add the ginger, garlic, green chilli paste and sauté until it turns light brown.
  •  Now add the onions and stir until it turns light brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and cook until the raw smell of tomato is gone. Add more oil at this time.
  • Add garam masala powder, turmeric, chilli powder, tamarind paste and mix well. Now add the water from the cooked peas and make a gravy.
  • Add the peas and continue to cook on simmer and covering with lid. Add more water if required.  Finally garnish with chopped cilantro and close the lid.

 Do not forget to serve some chopped raw onions and slice of lemon. Goes well with chapathi, roti, poori, rice or bread.