Monday, July 17, 2017

kundru alu tamatar ki subzi

I like kundru (Ivy gourd or tendli) a lot although my mom used to cook it only like this kundru ki lehsuni bhujia. I remember my research guide Dr. Maya Goyle used to bring a really nice kundru ki subzi and as she would always pack a lunch box for me as well, I have enjoyed a lot of her cooking too. A senior in my lab also used to bring some Tamil style food and that also had some kundru sometimes, the reason was that everyone cooked whatever was in season back then. I have been blessed indeed in matters of food. 

Later when I made some other versions of kundru in my own kitchen, the flavours were the reminiscences of those lunch boxes we enjoyed together, exchanging recipe notes most of the times. 

Recently when I tried adding kundru to the potatoes my husband loves in his lunch box, I thought of adding some tomatoes to make it a saucy subzi that can be eaten on its own with boiled eggs. He has stopped taking rotis or rice in his lunch box to keep it light, he thinks a full meal makes him feel sleepy in the office. I agree to that.

The saucy kundru ki subzi turned out to be so flavourful that I have been repeating it whenever I see some fresh kundru in the market. 

(2 large servings) 

250 gm kundru sliced thickly 
One large potato (100 gm or so) boiled, peeled and diced
2 large tomatoes (150 gm approx) diced 
2 tsp minced garlic 
1/2 tsp red chili powder or to taste or paprika powder
Salt to taste 
1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
Pinch of pepper powder 
1 tbsp mustard oil 
1/2 tsp seeds of fenugreek 


Heat the mustard oil in a deep pan and tip in the fenugreek seeds. Add the minced garlic as soon as the fenugreek turns deep brown and aromatic, tip in the sliced kundru over it and toss to mix. 

Now add the cubed potatoes, toss to mix well. Add the salt, turmeric, pepper and chili powders and mix. Keep tossing for 3-4 minutes till the vegetables look glazed. Now add the tomatoes, mix and cover to cook for 5 minutes on low flame. 

The tomatoes should get pulpy by the end of 5 minutes. Mix well and sprinkle some water if you need to make it more saucy. 

Serve as desired. It makes a nice subzi to be served with roti or dal chawal meals, we usually eat it with boiled eggs as a salad for our lunch. The instagram picture will give you an idea how we prefer eating many of subzis.

Kundru ki subzi with potatoes and tomatoes is the simplest of recipes I have made till date. Sometimes I just add everything together and cover for 8-10 minutes and give it a good stir in the last step. The subzi tastes great every time. The garlic, chili or paprika and tomatoes make a flavourful base for kundru, which is a slightly tart vegetable and has a great texture too. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

how to make arbi ki kadhi

Arbi (Colocasia) corms are not a frequent ingredient in my kitchen though we love Arbi leaves pakodas known as rikwachh. I get some arbi whenever I see fresh and plump corms as this arbi ki sookhi subzi and ajwaini arbi helps break a routine of an overload of greens everyday.

arbi (colocasia)

Arbi (colocasia) ki kadhi can also be called as dahi wali arbi but since the consistency and taste of the final dish is similar to a regular kadhi, it is known as arbi ki kadhi. I guess this dish has a Marwari origin but I am not sure, it could be a Kayastha traditional as well. I don't know where did I pick up this recipe as I have been making it for almost two decades. It is quite possible that the recipe was different when I started cooking it and it changed with my own preference. 
arbi ki kadhi

I know at least one family in Banaras who makes alu ki kadhi in a similar way and we make a version of dahi wale alu too but that recipe is quite different in taste and feel.

I had stopped making this arbi ki kadhi as well for some reason. The preference is always some green seasonal vegetables so the root vegetables get ignored in my kitchen. Recently I realised the cook who works part time for me is always happy making kadhis and makes nice Sindhi kadhi, tamatar ki kadhi, punjabi kadhi and my version of Banarasi kadhi as well. 
I was reminded of this arbi ki kadhi because of her and then I decided to teach her this version too. I have been teaching her the simplest of recipes so she can cook my kind of food, else the cooks make some punjabi mishmash most people like and have become dependent on ready made masala and sauces. 
Coming back to the arbi ki kadhi, it is made without any besan (chickpea flour) in it mostly. But you can add a teaspoon of besan or wheat flour dissolved in water to prevent the yogurt from curdling if you feel so, this process was called as Aalan lagana in older times. 

(2-3 servings) 
200 gm arbi (colocasia) boiled and peeled
1 cup yogurt, preferably sour 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder 
1 tsp coriander powder 
Salt to taste 

For tempering 
1 tbsp mustard oil 
Pinch of asafoetida 
1/4 tsp fennel seeds 
1/4 tsp small mustard seeds (Rai)
10-12 seeds of fenugreek 
2 dry red chilies broken in 3 pieces each 
3 cloves 
1/2 inch piece of cinnamon 
1 lightly crushed black cardamom 
1 tbsp of crushed Kasuri or Nagori methi (optional)
slit green chilies (optional)


Chop the boiled and peeled arbi in thick slices and keep aside. 

Whisk the yogurt with turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder, salt and keep aside. 

Heat the oil, add asafoetida and other tempering ingredients one by one in that order, keeping the flame low. Once the tempering is aromatic add the sliced arbi and stir to mix. 
Cook while stirring and mashing some of the arbi so it becomes a little pasty. Note that you want only some of the arbi to get mashed and keep most of the arbi slices intact. The mashed part of the arbi will help thicken the kadhi. 
Add the crushed Nagori methi and mix well.

Now add 1/2 cup of water and let it come to a soft boil. Keep the flame low and pour the yogurt mix slowly. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding some water if required. 

arbi ki kadhi

Serve hot with a little ghee on top and a few slit green chilies if you wish.. You can finish the kadhi with a final tadka or red chili powder heated with ghee. 

This arbi ki kadhi tastes great with plain roti or boiled rice and makes a great side dish for elaborate Indian thalis.