Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cholar Dal

This tasty Dal from Bengal is from my recipe collection. “Cholar” is a Bengali word for Channa (in Hindi) and its English equivalent is Bengal Gram or yellow lentil. 
Apart from being tasty, it is also very easy to prepare.  

 Chollar Dal 6


Channa Dal
1 cup
1 tbsps
Cumin/jeera seeds
2 tsps
Bay leaf/Tejpatta
Chopped green chilies
1 or 2
Grated ginger
1-2 tsps
Grated coconut
¼ cup
Turmeric powder
½ tsp
Asafoetida /Hing
A pinch
As per taste
2 tsps


  1. Wash the chana dal and boil it in 3 cups of water for about 25 mins or till done. Or you can pressure cook it for about 12-15 mins.  It should not be mushy. Keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and to this add jeera, tejpatta, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, grated coconut, turmeric powder, and asafetida and fry for a few minutes till you get a nice aroma. Lower the flame.
  3. Pour the boiled channa dal in the pan. Add a little water if necessary. Do not make it very watery.
  4. Add the required salt and sugar.
  5. Simmer it for a few minutes and serve hot.

Chollar Dal 4
Ingredients for "Cholar Dal"

Serves: 3


  • This tastes good with rice and chapattis too.
  • I garnished it with chopped coriander leaves. This is optional.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Veg Makhani (no onion, no garlic)

This famous and delicious cuisine from Punjab needs no introduction. However, this Veg Makhani is slightly different from the traditional one that you may have eaten.

I have converted this dish into a “Sattvic” food, meaning onion and garlic have not been used in preparing this item ; and the taste has not been compromised either.
The list of ingredients used may look daunting but these are available in most Indian kitchens. 

This goes well with jeera rice, chapattis, rotis or kulchas.

 Veg Makhani
Veg Makhani garnished with a green chilly and coriander leaves


Mixed vegetables
1 large
Tomato puree
½ cup
Melon seeds
2 tbsps
Cardamom (black & green)
1 each
Bay leaves
Cinnamon stick
1 inch
Star Anise
Kasuri methi
1-2 tbsps
Jeera/Cumin powder
½ tsp
½ tsp
Red chilly powder
½ -1 tsp as per taste
Garam masala powder
1 tsp
Fresh cream
2 tbsps
As per taste
4tsps oil/1tbsp butter
Coriander leaves
For garnishing


Melon seeds
  1. Wash, clean and cut all the vegetables into medium size pieces. Boil the vegetables (except tomato) in a pan containing small quantity of water and taking care that those that need longer time to cook should be added first so that all the vegetables are cooked to perfection and also retain their colour. Once cooked, add salt and keep it aside.
  2. Grind melon seeds with little water to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. Blanch tomatoes in hot water, remove the skin and chop them roughly and keep aside.
  4. Heat another pan on medium flame and add, oil or butter (or both). To this add the blanched tomato pieces. Saute it for a few minutes.
  5. Now add the cardamoms, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, turmeric powder and chilly powder. Give it a good stir.
  6. Next add tomato puree, jeera powder, garam masala powder and bring it to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat and add melon seed paste, fresh cream and finally the boiled vegetables and simmer for five minutes.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

 Veg Makhani 3
Mixed vegetables - washed, cleaned and cut

Veg Makhani 6
Veg Makhani - nearly done

Serves : 4


  • For mixed vegetables, I used fresh cauliflower, potato, carrot, capsicum and frozen green peas. You can use any vegetables of your choice.
  • I have used melon seed paste instead of cashew nut paste though both give the same texture but melon seeds are a healthier option to cashew nut. You can use either one.
  • Melon seeds (Kharbuza seeds) are easily available in supermarkets. I buy them from Nilgiris.
  • Generally butter is liberally used in this dish; hence the name "Makhani".  I have used a mixture of butter and oil. You can either use oil or butter or a mixture of both.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wheat Kulcha

First of all I wish to thank Ms. Vidya Nayak Shenoy and  Ms. Preethi Mukesh Rao (my facebook friends) for this wonderful “Wheat Kulcha” recipe. The kulchas turned out very soft and tasty.

Some of you may ask – “What is Kulcha ?  ”Kulcha is a type of Indian flat bread and is a cuisine from Punjab. It is generally made from “maida” (all purpose flour) and baked in an earthen clay oven (tandoor) until golden brown.

Since we all do not have a (tandoor) at home, the method and the ingredients have been slightly tweaked to get the same (more or less) texture. Wheat flour (a healthier option) has been substituted for maida.  And instead of the tandoor, our regular tawa has been used.

I made slight changes in the method of preparing the kulchas from the original recipe. I rolled them into small rotis and fried them like “phulkas”. This way, I could work faster and with ease and they all puffed up nicely. Adding of sesame seeds is optional. Infact, in few rotis, I simply omitted sprinkling of sesame seeds while placing it on the tawa; instead I sprinkled lightly roasted sesame seeds on top of the kulcha after applying ghee! 
But the end result was good. 

Wheat Kulcha 30 


Wheat flour
2 cups
½ cup
Baking soda
1 tsp
Minced Garlic (optional)
2 tsps
Chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp
1 tsp
About 100 -150 ml
As per taste
For Garnishing

White sesame seeds (optional)
About 1-2 tbsps


  1. Mix all the above ingredients except water and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl and then add required quantity of water to make soft pliable dough. If you have a food processor this can be done in a jiffy.
  2. Keep the dough covered for at least an hour.
  3. Divide the dough into equal sized balls. Roll each ball into a shape of a thick roti.
  4. Spray (very little) water on the surface of the roti and sprinkle white sesameseeds on it. (This is optional.)
  5. Then place the roti on a hot tawa or griddle with the sesame seed side facing you. After a few seconds, you will notice bubbles on the surface. Immediately overturn the roti with the help of tongs. Keep it for a second.
  6. Then with the help of tongs, remove the roti from the tawa with your right hand and the tawa from the flame with your left hand and place the roti directly on the high flame. The roti will instantly fluff up as shown in the picture. Kulcha is now ready.
  7. Apply ghee (optional) on the surface of the kulcha while hot. Follow this procedure for the remaining balls.
  8. Serve hot.
 Wheat Kulcha 3
Ingredients - for the Kulcha

Wheat Kulcha 4
Kulcha dough prepared in a food-processor

Wheat Kulcha 7
Kulcha dough ready and  placed in a container 

Wheat Kulcha 25
Kulcha being fried on a tawa/griddle

Wheat Kulcha 36
A puffed Kulcha 

Makes : 12  kulchas (depending upon the size of each ball)

·         If you are not making the kulchas immediately, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator; but make sure that when you make the kulchas the next day, do not thaw the dough to room temperature. The kulchas may not puff-up as it leaves moisture.
·         Kulchas are generally served with “Chole”. It tastes good with any dish with gravy.