Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic)

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic) is a perfect dish for those who want simple food during their fasting days. Black Chana with coriander gravy is rich in nutrients. If you are inviting guests for lunch or dinner during your fasting days, this non-onion-garlic gravy dish might be the best dish in your menu!

Black chana – usually we know this as kala chana – belongs to the family of chickpeas. But kala chana is darker in colour and smaller than chickpea. Kala chana is usually cooked as a dry dish for snacks. But we can also prepare it as a gravy dish to be accompanied with roti (flat bread), poori or rice. Generally, we add onion along with tomatoes in all our gravy-based dishes to add to the volume of the gravy. Garlic is added for flavour. In India, some communities don’t use onion in their food due to their religious beliefs. Usually, new generation of these communities don’t follow these beliefs. But then, cooking two different types of dishes with the same ingredient is a burden.

So instead of using onions, you can use green coriander along with tomatoes, ginger and green chillies and prepare gravy not only for kala chana but for any other gravy based dishes as Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry), Chole (chickpeas with gravy)

Ingrediants:

Kala Chana 3/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Water 1+1/2 cups
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes 3 medium size
Grated ginger 1/4 tsp
Green chilies 3 – 4
Green coriander 30 gm

Oil 2 tbsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) 1/4 tsp
Jeera (cumin) 1/4 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Red chili powder 1/4 tsp
Add some more water and salt if required

Process :

Wash and soak chana in 1+1/2 cups of water overnight.

Next day in the morning add salt and turmeric powder in soaked chana and pressure cook it with using the same water in which chana was soaked till it becomes soft.

While chana is getting cooked, we will prepare gravy. Wash and chop tomatoes, green coriander leaves, green chilies, grated ginger and grind all of them in the mixer to prepare paste. If required, add little bit of water while grinding.

Heat oil, crackle rai, hing, jeera and add the grinded paste in a wok.

Add rest of the spices. Keep stirring on medium heat until all spices are cooked.

By now chana must be cooked. Switch off the flame and let the steam of the pressure cooker settle down. Open the lid and add chana into the ready masala.

Reduce the heat to sim and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Stir in between and add some water if you feel that consistency is too thick. Taste a bit, and if required, add some salt. After 10 – 15 minutes of cooking, kala chana with coriander gravy is ready to be served!!

 

Mooli ki bhujiya (sabzi)

Mooli ki Bhujiya sounds as if we are talking about a snack recipe. But when we add leaves and roots of radish together and prepare vegetable (sabzi), it is called Mooli ki bhujiya (sabzi). In North India, radish is available only during winters. But, here in Bangalore, good quality radish is available during summers too.

Initially, around 16 years back when we shifted to Bangalore, it was really difficult to find radish with leaves. Leaves used to be cut and thrown away from radish by the vegetable shop owners. But now in front of my apartment a vegetable vendor sells radish with all the leaves. In fact, whenever I show interest to buy leaves too, the sellers are amused and give me plenty of leaves free of cost. Probably they are relieved that their garbage is being cleaned up by customers!!

This sabzi requires raw radish – so be careful while choosing. Radish will not remain tender when it starts ripening and will not taste good. Remove the stems if they are too thick and attached with the leaves. Use soft leaves and soft raw radish.

I have one more recipe with radish in the blog – if you are interested can take a look…Mooli ka paratha (wheat flour flat bread stuffed with spicy radish)

There are a few more posts on different vegetables in the blog. You can check this link to look at them Vegetables (Curries).

Ingredients

Radish with leaves

Oil 2 tbsp
Tiny mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp

Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 +1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Green chillies chopped 2
Salt as per your taste

Process :

Take radish and leaves, wash them nicely in the running water and chop them separately.

Heat oil in a wok and crackle tiny mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Add chopped radish and leaves along with all spices except salt – mix this nicely and cover for 5 minutes.

When we prepare leafy vegetables, their volume gives an impression of large quantity. But leaves shrink while cooking – so always add salt once the leaves settle down after 5 minutes of cooking.

Now add salt – mix it well and again cover the wok.

Keep on stirring sabzi continually till radish becomes tender and all moisture dries out. Mooli ki Bhujiya (sabzi) is ready!

 

Malai do pyaaza (onion with milk cream)

Onion cooked with milk cream – sounds a little odd, doesn’t it? But with this combination you will get such a beautiful restaurant-style dish that you will prefer to keep it as the star dish of your dinning table! Apoorva and I named this as ‘Malai do Pyaaza’.

Last year during my Delhi trip my youngest sister Neetu served us this dish. I loved this onion dish as it was not only delicious (fat is always tasty, isn’t it 😂) but the whole preparation took hardly any time and quite effortless.

Try this dish as you don’t have to worry about buying fancy ingredients during this lock-down period. Milk delivery is regular, so we can collect malai. Spices used here are our regularly used ones and are always there in kitchen.

I have a few more gravy based dishes in the blog. If you are interested you can check them also…. Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry)

Mangodi ki subzi

Dahi waale aaloo (Potatoes with buttermilk)

Gatte Ki Sabzi

Ingredients :

Small size onions 8-9
Oil – 2tbsp
Jeera (cumin) – 1/8 tsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) – 1/8 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
Dhania ( coriander) powder – 2 tsp
Haldi (Turmeric) powder – 1/4
Red chilli powder – 1/4
Salt as per your taste
Malai (milk cream) – 1/3 cup
Water – 1 cup

Points to remember :

  1. Onions can be added without giving a cross cut.
  2. If you do decide to make a cross cut, make sure that the cut is not deep, otherwise onions will not remain intact.
  3. Malai is cream of milk which gets collected on top of the milk after boiling. Collect the 3-4 days malai from the milk (keep it in the fridge) and use it.
  4. Can Amul milk cream be used instead of malai? Yes, you can but it doesn’t give exactly the same creamy texture and taste as we get by adding malai.
  5. Keep malai ready by churning it before starting the process.
  6. This dish is full of calories, so physical exercise is a must to burn those calories 😉.

Process :

Peel, wash and cut a cross (not deep) on onions.

Heat oil in cooker and crackle rai, hing and jeera.

Add churned malai and spices and let it cook for two minutes on medium heat. Keep on stirring.

Add onions by keeping the cross side on top and close the lid of the cooker along with weight. Turn off heat after just one whistle.

When the steam of the cooker cools down, open the lid of the cooker and Malai do Pyaaza is ready.

Delicately shift in serving bowl and enjoy the whistles from family members and guests!!

 
Stuffed green masala brinjal

Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal

What is the difference between Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal and Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)?  Brinjals  come in so many varieties and all over the world it is cooked with so many variations that we can just keep experimenting with this vegetable. Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal is cooked with the ingredients of gravy spices but in a slightly different way.

A few months back I had gone to meet my dear friend Veena with my daughter Apoorva. Veena is a wonderful cook and no matter how much she is busy, she never lets me go without having food. So during this visit also we were greeted with elaborate lunch. Among all the dishes that were laid out in front of us, there was one dish which was new for me.  Veena told that it is green brinjal and Apoorva couldn’t believe that brinjal could be so good to eat!

I see green brinjals regularly in the market but never thought of trying them. Probably I was content with the variety of purple brinjals. But now after tasting Veena’s dish, I was determined to try them. I noted down the recipe from Veena and now green brinjals are a regular weekly basis vegetable in my kitchen.

Original recipe had fresh coconut and tamarind juice in the gravy masala. I replaced coconut with fresh coriander leaves and dry mango powder instead of tamarind juice. Feel free to use any of these as per your taste.

I have a few more varieties of brinjal dishes in the blog. If you are interested can check them also…

Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices)

Ingredients:

1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 6-7 spicy green chillies, tiny pieces of ginger and green coriander leaves

Spices:

4 tbsp coriander powder, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp clove powder, 2 tsp cinnamon powder,1 tsp dry mango powder or tamarind juice and salt as per your taste.

7-8 tbsp oil

Process:

Wash and dry brinjals and keep them separate.

Green brinjals

Chop onions finely and grate tomatoes, red chillies and ginger.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed  or non stick pan and add chopped onion, ginger and green chilies. Sauté them on medium heat till onions are transparent.

Chop coriander leaves very fine.

Add chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and all spices, other than dry mango powder.

Let it cook till tomatoes are cooked and add dry mango powder.

Switch the gas off and let it cool down completely. Later, grind everything in paste consistency.

Masala is ready for green stuffed brinjal

Cut brinjals vertically as shown in the picture below.

Fill in ground masala paste in all brinjals and keep them in a pan. Pour rest of the oil and remaining masala on all brinjals. Cover them and let them cook on sim heat.

Fill in the gravy stuffing

Keep on turning them upside-down in between for even cooking.

  • Stuffed green masala brinjal with gravy stuffingWhen brinjals become tender and are cooked completely from all sides, switch off the gas and serve these delicious green stuffed masala brinjals with rice or chapatis.

Stuffed green masala brinjal is ready!

 

Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

During my childhood, I had seen that most kids used to hate brinjals. On the other hand, I had always liked them and my mother cooks them wonderfully! Brinjal is a very simple vegetable and this quality gives us an opportunity to cook it in many different ways. Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergines and Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices) are two varieties which I have already posted in the blog. This new recipe of stuffed brinjal or Bharva Banigan is done with thin vertical purple brinjals. I had always liked this variety of brinjals and when my mother used to chop them for dinner, I used to eat one or two pieces raw. Sounds crazy, but I always had this habit of eating a few vegetables raw whenever my mother would be chopping them (there are cows, and then there is me!!).

In my previous stuffed brinjal recipe I had used only spices for stuffing, but here along with spices I have also used onions. Try this recipe – you are sure going to love it.

Ingredients:

Brinjals, finely chopped onion and green chillies, grated ginger

spices; salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder, coarsely ground fennel seeds, asafoetida and oil.

Process:

Wash brinjals and keep them separate.


Finely chop onions and green chillies and grate ginger. You can add garlic too.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add onion, chilly and ginger mix and saute it till onions are transparent.

Reduce heat to sim and add all spices and saute everything for 5 minutes . If required add 1 tbsp oil more, but not more than that.

Cut brinjal vertically and slightly deep with the help of knife and fill in ready onion massala.

Heat 4 tbsp oil in a non stick or heavy bottomed pan and keep all stuffed brinjals in it and cover that. Keep the heat on sim and if available, use extra small burner, so that brinjals can be cooked nicely on sim heat.

In between, keep turning them upside down for even cooking till brinjals are soft from all sides. I like the outer skin of brinjal little bit crisp so I cook them bit more .

Serve these delicious stuffed brinjals as a side dish with rice or roti and enjoy your meal!!

 

Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry)

Louki, gheeya or bottle gourd… use any name but this vegetable hardly brings smile on anyone’s face. My mother used to prepare this in plain curry form with tomatoes and I always liked it. But other than my mother and me everyone else in the family used to eat it forcibly.

But there is one more way through which we can cook this vegetable and serve to our guests. It’s slightly time consuming but tastes wonderful and no one can deny once served on his\her plate!!!!

Process :

1.To prepare Kofta:
Besan (gram flour)     just enough to bind koftas

Grated bottle gourd 1+1/2cup
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Chopped green chillies 1 tsp
salt… as per taste
Asafoetida… a pinch
Coarsely grinded fennel seeds 1/2 tsp

2.Gravy/curry

For paste:

Onion… 1 medium size
Tomatoes…. 3 medium size
Green chillies…. 3 medium size
Ginger…. 1tiny piece
Garlic……. as per your taste (I didn’t add)

Spices :

Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1tbsp +1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Green coriander leaves for garnishing.

Process :

Peel and grate bottle gourd.

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Squeeze out all the juice from the grated bottle gourd. Keep this juice safe because we will be using it for curry.

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Mix red chilli powder, salt, hing(asafoetida) , besan (gram flour) and fennel seeds (sauf) in grated bottle gourd and prepare koftas(small balls.)

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Heat oil in a pan and fry these koftas keeping the flame between sim and medium. Once done, keep them aside.
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Now chop onion, tomato, garlic,  ginger and green chillies.

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Grind them in a paste and heat oil in a pan, crackle rai hing jeera and add grinded paste. Add rest of the spices.

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Let this cook on medium heat until it leaves the oil from the sides.

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Now add two cups of water including squeezed out bottle gourd juice and let it boil for 10-15 minutes on sim to medium heat. Add kofta in the gravy after 15 minutes.

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Cook for 5 more minutes on sim heat and take out louki ke kofte ki sabzi in a serving pan and sprinkle green chopped coriander leaves. Serve with plain rice or roti.

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