Tag Archives: curry

A Healthier Kofta Curry

I have always loved eating the kofta curry my Ma makes with paranthas, though it is something I myself made only very rarely until recently because the thought of deep-frying the koftas made me avoid this curry as not the healthiest choice.

But seeing how much the girls and Shri enjoyed the courgette-kofta curry I made a couple of months ago set me thinking again that I needed to figure out how to make the koftas with as little oil as possible. I did know it can be done- Gunchu di once told me that she makes them in the micro-wave oven. So some time ago I decided to carry out a little experiment and baked them instead, as Shri is not too keen on my using the micro-wave oven for cooking.

As it turned out, none of them noticed anything different about the kofta curry that evening; so I will be making it like this – by baking the koftas – and therefore a lot more often now !

The baked koftas; the roses are from November 6th .


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Raungi Masala(Curried Black-eyed Beans)

Noor seemed to really enjoy her dinner today. I had made raungi after a long while, and she did not seem to remember what it was called. But after a couple of spoonfuls she said, “I would love to eat raungi for dinner everyday” !! and in fact asked for a second helping ; a first with curried beans of any kind.

I can’t say I have noticed before that she likes this curry, and I was pleased to see this newly acquired taste, since until now she has always seemed happiest with varan or daal with tadka.

This is another of my mother’s recipes that I am faithful to, in that I don’t make (I think !) any variations to it. I like to go for exactly the same taste that I remember from many yummy meals of raungi eaten with hot phulkas or jeera rice, or sometimes a peas pulav.

This is how I seem to remember she cooks this curry.


Raungi Masala/Curried Black-eyed Beans

1 cup (200 ml measure) of raungi /lobia/black-eyed beans

2 medium sized onions (or 3 small ones), chopped fine

4-5 tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp of grated ginger

1 tsp of grated garlic

1/2 tsp each of ajwain and jeera seeds

1/2 tsp of turmeric, coriander powder, and kashmiri chilli powder(use a stronger chilli powder if you like)

salt to taste (I would add about 1 tsp, and a little more)

3-4 tbsp of sunflower oil

1/2 tsp of garam masala

For garnishing1 tbsp of chopped, fresh, green coriander or 1/2 a tsp of kasuri methi

Soak the raungi overnight with the salt. The next day, pressure cook it in 4 cups of water (including the water the beans were soaked in) till all the beans are soft but not mushy i.e they should still hold their shape.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the jeera and ajwain. When you can smell the aroma of the jeera, add the onions and fry on moderate heat till they are quite brown. A minute or two before they reach this state, add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry these too along with the onions. Now add the tomato puree, and fry the masala again for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining spices and fry everything together till the oil starts to rise above the masala. Add this masala to the beans, stir thoroughly, and add another cup of water if the gravy seems too thick. Boil everything together for 7-8 minutes, then pressure cook again (till there are 2-3 whistles).

Take the cooker off the heat, and leave to cool. After all the presssure has been released, open the cooker and add some fresh, green coriander if you have some, or a little kasuri methi.

I often prefer this curry to rajma or chole; I feel it has as rich a taste, yet feels lighter than curries made with those other beans.

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Matar Paneer

I was delighted to see how much the girls enjoyed this too, last weekend.

Matar Paneer

For the paneer:

1 liter of whole milk

125 gms of whisked yoghurt

2-3 tablespoons of lime juice

For the gravy:

2 small onions, chopped very fine

2 large tomatoes

½ a tsp, or a little more, of grated ginger

2 large cloves of garlic, grated

½ a tsp of cumin seeds

½ a tsp or a little more, of coriander powder

½ a tsp of turmeric

½ a tsp of kashmiri red chilli powder

½ a tsp of garam masala powder

1 or 2 tbsp of cashew nuts, roughly crushed (this is an optional ingredient)

salt to taste

3-4 tbsp of sunflower oil

1 cup of frozen, shelled peas

To make the paneer, boil the milk in a thick-bottomed pan. When it has come to a full boil, turn the heat down very low, add the yoghurt and the lime juice, and stir these in thoroughly till the paneer begins to form. Now drain the paneer through a sieve that has been lined with a large, fine piece of cloth. Keep some of the whey by collecting it in a vessel placed under the sieve. You can use this later to add to the curry; some say it adds to the taste, and it is full of good things anyway.

Place the cloth with the paneer in it carefully on a large chopping board, and form it carefully in to a large square shape. Fold the cloth over this, and press the paneer down with a heavy weight (typically a large vessel full of water) that places uniform pressure on all parts of the paneer’s surface, for 20-30 minutes, so that all the excess water drains out and the paneer becomes firm. When the panner seems set, cut it in to 1/2 ” or 1″ squares.

Make a fine paste of the cashew nuts. To do this, first boil them in 1/3 cup of water for 7-8 minutes, then grind them fine either with a hand-held blender or manually with a rolling pin (this is messier though).

Boil the tomatoes in a little bit of water till the skin starts to break. When the tomatoes have cooled, peel off the skin and puree the tomatoes.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the cumin seeds, and when these start to release their aroma put the onions in. Fry these till they start to turn golden brown, then add the ginger and the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the cashew nut paste and fry the mixture till the onions turn a darkish brown. Now add the tomato puree and cook till everything is well-blended and the puree starts to dry. Add the spices and fry for a further minute. Finally, add the peas, salt to taste, and fry everything together for a few minutes. Now add a cup or a little more of the whey or boiled water, and pressure cook the curry for 5-7 minutes.

When the cooker has cooled enough for you to be able to open it easily, add the paneer pieces and simmer the curry for a little while so that the gravy is not runny.

For an everyday version of this curry, I skip the cashew nuts, and I use them only for a more formal meal like Saturday’s; they add a slightly sweet, and quite rich taste.


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This one’s for Neelam: Chole masala

This evening, I was somewhat taken aback at dinner time when Indira exclaimed, on spotting her katora of raungi curry  “Oh no, i don’t like raungi anymore !! please make chole next time !!”

She has never shown much of a preference fo chole until today; for her it has always got to be varan-the simplest kind of arhar daal, it is a maharashtrian way of doing it, or then the other end of the scale -a typical punjabi kind of chicken curry.

In the meantime my friend Neelam also wrote today and suggested that I post my recipe for chole – she has been kind enough to say in the past that there is something different about the way I make it. Well she is about to find out that what makes the difference, most likely, is no credit to me, really, but to a well-known spice company in India 🙂

Here’s what I do. If Indira is still partial to this curry some years from now, she may want to know too !

Chole Masala

1 cup of chickpeas/chole ( I use a cup that is a 200 ml measure)

1 large or 2 small onions, very finely chopped

3 tbsp of sunflower oil

a 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated fine

2 pods of garlic,grated fine

2 medium sized tomatoes, boiled in a little bit of water, then peeled and pureed

1/2 tsp of ajwain seeds

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

3 pieces of badi elaichi; a couple of sticks of cinnamon;5-6 black pepper seeds

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of coriander powder

1/2 tsp (or more, if you like) of kashmiri red chilly powder

1/2 tsp of chole masala of the Everest brand (and this is the key, IMO)

Soak the chickpeas for 5-6 hours, or overnight, then cook them in a pressure cooker till they are very soft.

In a frying pan, add the badi elaichi,cinnamon and black pepper and fry for a minute or till the aromas are released. Now add the ajwain and cumin seeds , fry till they are light brown (don’t let them burn), and add the onions. Fry the onions till they start to brown. Now add the ginger and garlic and fry again, till the mixture is quite a dark brown (but don’t let it fry till it starts to turn blackish).

Add the tomato puree next, and as it starts to dry, add the dry spices, and fry the mixture till the oil starts to appear on the sides. Add the mixture to the chickpeas in the pressure cooker and boil everything together for 10-12 minutes.

Before serving, you could dress the chole with some finely sliced onion,green chilli, and tomato.

You could serve some tamarind chutney too;  it goes very well with this dish.

Potato tikkis, or puris, both go wonderfully well with this curry.

There you have it – a really hearty, flavorful dish that can carry a meal on its own.

One further observation – this curry is always much tastier if eaten the day after it is cooked.


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