Tuesday, October 29, 2013

patta gobhi matar wali subzi | cabbage and peas dry curry

Patta gobhi matar wali subzi has been one of those winter favorites that I start craving as soon as I see tender winter cabbages and tender green peas. I love it the way my mom used to cook it, I remember I used to eat this subzi as it is even in my childhood. I can have it as a meal now.

patta gobhi matar wali subzi

There are few recipes I haven't made any changes since I started cooking and this is one of those. Luckily, the husband also loves this subzi and it is a frequent winter lunch box subzi for him along with aloo aur harey pyaz ki subzi.

This subzi/curry is more of a north Indian subzi rather than a UP specialty. My mom picked up a lot of Punjabi recipes during our stay in Haryana and Chandigarh and this might have been one of those Punjabi recipes that became family favorites. Like makki ki roti sarson ka saag and chholey or rajma that she used to cook quite frequently. This is a Punjabi way of cooking cabbage and peas with winter new potatoes basically.

 Nothing too difficult about this subzi but there is something very crucial about simple recipes that we are more likely to make mistakes when we don't know the exact time of cooking of ingredients or in what order to add them to the cooking vessel or the combination of seasoning we use. Small changes in an already simple recipe results in a complete different tasting dish. I stick to this recipe immaculately as I don't want even a small change in the flavors. Exactly the way I used to like it in my childhood, this subzi marks the winters for me. Well, at least a part of winters.

one medium sized cabbage (about 400 gm)
2 medium new potatoes (about 150 gm)
2 medium tomatoes (about 120 gm)
shelled fresh green peas 150 gm
finely chopped ginger 1 tbsp
chopped green chilies 1 tsp
chopped red onions 1/2 cup
turmeric powder 1 tsp
cumin powder 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
mustard oil 2 tbsp
whole cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

patta gobhi matar wali subzi


Clean and chop the cabbage roughly.

Clean, rinse and cube the potatoes. No need to peel them if the skin is healthy.

Chop the tomatoes and keep aside.

Heat the mustard oil and tip in the whole cumin seeds. Add the chopped ginger, green chillies and onions as soon as the cumin crackles. Stir fry for a few seconds and add the cubed potatoes. Add salt and turmeric powder and stir fry till the potatoes till they get half cooked. Keep the flame medium low so everything gets cooked evenly.

Add the other powdered spices, green peas and mix well , cook for a couple of minutes to see the peas shriveling. Now add the tomatoes and cook covered till the tomatoes get mushy.

Add the chopped cabbage, mix well and cook covered till the cabbage gets limp and looks translucent. Take care not to cook cabbage on high heat or to let it cook too much. It should retain some bite so the taste is not lost.

patta gobhi matar wali subzi

This dry curry is a wonderful blend of sweetness of winter vegetables, earthiness of new potatoes and the fresh tartness of tomatoes. You can always adjust the heat in the subzi by adjusting pepper or chilly and add more peas if you like. Potatoes make this curry a wholesome meal for me sometimes may be along with a kaali daal or rajma.

I wouldn't advise this subzi to be made in summers though. The real taste comes in winters when the fresh tender green peas start coming and the cabbage is tender too. Even the new potatoes make a difference so if it is not winter, this subzi will be impossible to get right.

I cooked it last week, and now I am drooling for it as I type. I know it could well be my breakfast tomorrow. I love my vegetables this much you know :-)

Please tell me if this subzi was made the same way in your home as well? Try it if not. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

a culinary demonstration at Indian Accent and interacting with Chef Manish Mehrotra over lunch

Indian Accent is a place I have been planning to go for sometime. And then I chanced upon tasting the food supervised by Chef Manish Mehrotra at the launch of the book First Food by CSE held at India Habitat Center. That was traditional Indian food from rural India served at the launch of First Food, all the recipes were from the book but the way the food was executed in it's absolute glory, left me spellbound. Indian food is versatile and a little bit of creativity in serving and combining flavors, adding a few garnishes and a bit of finesse in plating makes it a pleasure to experience. That pleasure awaits you at Indian Accent, located a bit in the maze of huge bungalows and clubs around Friends colony (west), look for number 77, The Manor.

Very peaceful green surroundings, and a quite serene charm inside, you are enveloped with the magic of the gorgeous trees, bird chirping and the little knick knacks that are placed strategically. I loved the location being a nature lover, something like finding a treasure far from the urban jungle.

A few journalists and bloggers were invited for a culinary demonstration by Chef Manish Mehrotra, which was preceded by an elaborate lunch planned by the Chef himself. We got to taste small servings of many of his creations that left us speechless.

Interestingly, when I introduced Banaras ka Khana to Chef Manish Mehrotra, I was pleasantly surprised to know he had already read this blog while researching for Banaras food and wanted to recreate the Tamatar ki chaat. I promised him a good tamatar ki chaat some day.

It's always nice to meet people with similar interests over good food, especially when an immensely talented chef has taken care of what all you eat. Manish Mehrotra told us about how the blue cheese naans are a hot favorite and how they make sure the boneless Basa fish fillet get a little fish flavor by added shrimp crackers on top. There were many innovative ideas to be witnessed that afternoon.

I would recommend pepper prawns which came with lightly stir fried kundru with them. I am impressed with this inclusion of such a frugal vegetable. It tasted great and texture was just right. The pao bhaji with cute little paos, the rawa fry fish, the achari spare ribs, the desi tacos are all impressive flavors. Among starters you would see some chaat flavors to die for.

The morel (guchhi, the Kashmir mushrooms) in a cheese sauce served with a parmesan cracker is a strong recommendation if you like mushrooms. The plumpest morels with superbly cheesy flavors. Loved it. The baked king scallops with moilee reduction is to die for. We learned this baked king scallops recipe from Chef along with a tofu kofta with gourd sauce and a dessert of jaggery and coconut creme brulee.

What impressed me more that they had great vegetarian options as well, and they brought excellent options for gluten intolerant people too. Someone on our table was gluten intolerant and Chef Manish had enough options to serve her. Kudos for such versatility.

The palate cleansers were served in innovative containers. Frozen sorbets were served in miniature ironing press and a miniature pressure cooker, a superb conversation piece. A frozen treat in a container that stands for heat. Lovely idea. It was a yummy pomegranate and kala namak sorbet, much loved flavors from our childhood chooran ki goli as Chef Manish says.

Desserts were even more fun but I can't have much sweet so a tsp each was good enough for me. A besan ka laddoo tart and coconut jaggery brulee was good. I loved the presentation but I am not the right person to judge a dessert as I am not much into sweets. Everyone else loved them all.

The culinary demo was a complete hands down experience of watching a creative person playing with his instruments and ingredients. The kitchen and the classroom has been designed very nicely so one can see the Chef cooking even in a mirror placed strategically.

He cooked silken tofu kofta, squash curry sauce served over wok tossed quinoa first. I like how Chef included lauki in this sauce.

The next thing to be cooked was a beautiful baked king scallops, thalassery pepper butter with moilee reduction. The recipe is here.

The dessert was flambeed with all the drama after making the custard and chilling it in an earthen bowl. It was a coconut and jaggery custard, bruleed to give it a hard caramelised crust. I love this kind of desserts, especially with coconut. Brulee or no brulee, coconut and jaggery make a dessert great for me.

This culinary demo costs 2700 for a day, including a demonstration of 3 dishes, a 3 course meal and a recipe booklet. There is a 2 day culinary demo with 3 dishes each day and there is one more 3 day demonstration priced a bit higher but complete value for money. Try them if you want to learn nuances of making Indian food look great and taste like your grandmothers cooking.

Talking to Chef Mehrotra leaves you touched with the magic, he is a passionate foodie who recalls forgotten flavors from his childhood and brings them to Indian Accent. His travels all across the world have enriched his repertoire. I would want to learn more and share more with the chef any day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

panchamrit recipe | a holy tonic drink, a temple food

Panchamrit is a popular temple food that is offered to devotees as a blessing of God. This refreshing drink is also made in Hindu homes during poojas (Hindu worship rituals) to make a pure offering to God and then is distributed as divine blessing for all those who were part of the ritual. The literal meaning of panchamrit is 'five types of elixirs mingled in one', milk, yogurt, honey, ghee and gangajal, all considered amrits, being used in the recipe...

Milk and milk products, honey, nuts and dry fruits are considered pure for the purpose and the panchamrit is made using all such ingredients, including Tulsi leaves h(Holy Basil). Tulsi is considered God's presence on the Earth as my grandmother used to tell, with so many medicinal properties we better see such plants as God I believe.

Panchamrit has a pleasant whiff of tulsi leaves, sweetness from milk and honey and a few nutty tidbits that make it an interesting drink to be had in sips and spoonfuls. It is served in small bowls or shallow glasses often made of terracotta or silver both considered pure for Godly purposes. But the most preferred way to serve Panchamrit for large crowds is to pour a big spoonful of this elixir into the cupped hands of devotees. In temples this panchamrit is often a simpler recipe with just milk and honey (or sugar) and a handful of torn tulsi leaves, tulsi being the principle flavor lingering around that meagre sip.

We have been making panchamrit as a drink any time even if we don't perform any religious rituals, just because we have loved the way it tastes and makes one refreshed within a few sips. The recipe is simple like most temple foods, all the ingredients are always found at home and stirring up sweetness is easy. Note that most families have their own versions of panchamrit with minor variations in this recipe.

ingredients :
(4-5 small servings)

a cup of fresh homemade yogurt or cultured yogurt
a cup of fresh milk (preferably raw milk)
a cup of filtered water ( few drops of Gangajal was added traditionally, no more a possibility)
1/4 cup of pure honey
12 chopped almonds (and a few more nuts if you wish)
20 chopped makhanas (Fox nuts)
a handful of golden raisins chopped in bits
shaved or grated dry coconut (khopra) 1 tbsp or to taste
a dozen torn leaves of tulsi (holy basil)


Mix everything together and let the mixture stand in a pitcher for about 30 minutes. This time allows the aroma of tulsi leaves infuse into the panchamrit and for the honey to dissolve well into it.

Serve in small cups or glasses and feel the blessing of the Gods. The plant Gods I mean.

Herbs and aromatic plants are actually capable to make one feel grateful for the bounty of nature. Tulsi is one such herb I love since my childhood, the aroma clung to me more than the rituals woven around the tulsi and anything that had that whiff of tulsi was a soul food..

Panchamrit is one such soul food that I crave sometimes. Try it and tell me if panchamrit touches your soul as well. Cheers!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

kachhe kele aur nariyal ki bhurji | raw plantain scramble with coconut

kachhe kele nariyal ki bhurji (Kaya upperi)

Raw plantain is one of my favorite starchy vegetables. Not only it is a healthy substitute of potatoes, it is a great variation on the count of taste as well. This kachhe kele aur nariyal ki bhurji (or scramble) is a tasty way to enjoy the vegetable keeping your diet plans intact. Yes it is a carb rich vegetable and I am adding a lot of coconut in it too, still we are getting loads of nutrients and good fats in this curry scramble.

And I always use the whole plantain with skin. Only the stalk and the flower end is discarded, any black blemished parts are also scraped off and the whole of this lovely vegetable is ready to be cooked. Retaining the peel adds more value to the curry or fries we make with plantains, more Vitamins (A, C and B complex), more minerals (potassium, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus) and more fiber of course. Cooking it with curry patta and coconut adds more nutritive value for sure.

raw plantains or kachhe kele

raw plantains (kachhe kele) 3 large or 400 gm
curry patta 2 dozen springs
sesame oil 2 tbsp
fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
rai seeds (small mustard seeds) 1 tsp
salt to taste

To be made into a coarse paste
scraped or grated coconut 1/2 cup or more
ginger roughly chopped 1 tbsp
dry red chilly 2-3 or as per taste
cumin seeds 2 tsp
black pepper corns 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp


Clean the plantains, discard the stems and the tips. Scrape or peel any black spots and chop the plantain in small cubes by slitting it twice through the length and then chopping transversely to make cubes.

I always use an Iron kadhai to make plantain subzi and it makes the curry a bit blackish, but that's the way we like it. You can use any thick base or nonstick type pan for this.

Heat the sesame oil, add fenugreek seeds and rai seeds. Wait till they become fragrant and then add the curry patta. Tip in the cubed plantains almost immediately. Add salt and cover the mixture to cook on low flame. Stirring in between after every 3-4 minutes or so.

In the meanwhile, make the paste with the ingredients. Add this paste into the cooking scramble whrn the plantain cubes start getting dull in colour. Mix well and keep stirring till the mixture gets completely cooked and a pleasant aroma or cooked coconut and cumin etc emanates. Thrash the plantain cubes a bit so it looks like a scramble.

Serve right away. it tastes great when hot, but not bad when you eat it at room temperature too. So this can be a good lunch box subzi along with ghee smeared chapatis and some dahi.

kachhe kele nariyal ki bhurji (Kaya upperi)

Or just serve with daal chawal meal. A raita on the side is a must or just make a nice buttermilk and have 2-3 glasses of it during the meal.

Oh now I want to have a refreshing glass of buttermilk. This scramble I can have as a meal if there is a nice glass of buttermilk or even plain dahi.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

amaranth flour dosa and beans and potato stew | fasting or feasting, vrat ka khana...

Amaranth is a pseudo grain and is allowed during fasting days of navratri. The grains can be used whole to make porridge with milk or coconut milk, the popped amaranth can be used to make parfait, can be used as breakfast cereal and laddu can be made if you follow this method. The amaranth flour is quite versatile and you can make rotis, cheela or dosa using it. Incidentally, it is the most protein rich grain you can find, so start using it for your everyday meals as well.

Amaranth or Rajgira is also called as Ramdana in UP. Ramdane ke laddu is a popular fasting food in Banaras although it is not seen easily these days. I feel most of the amaranth is being marketed through high end grocery stores and health food stores now. Hoping that this will be a positive sign for the farmers and they would start cultivating more amaranth and less of wheat may be.

Although I am not fasting but the easy availability of all fasting flours during this times is a boon. I stock the fasting grains, seeds and flours for the next six months during each navratri (there are 2 navratri seasons each year), the flours go into the refrigerator during summer times, but winters allow them to be stored at room temperature.

I have been using amaranth flour a lot to make cakes, brownies and cookies as well, but those are the things I do occasionally. Our daily meals are simple and frugal most of the times. Here is one frugal meal that can be a good navratri fasting meal as well.

Amaranth flour dosa and green beans and potato stewed with coconut milk. It is actually a multigrain kind of dosa as I used sama rice, buckwheat as well as amaranth flour.

ingredients for the dosa:

amaranth flour 1/2 cup
sama (barnyard millet) flour 1/4 cup
buckwheat flour 1/4 cup
sour yogurt or cultured buttermilk 1 cup or a bit more
salt and pepper to taste
soda bi carb 1/4 tsp (if making the dosa instantly)
ghee as required to make dosas (thin crepes) on a suitable flat griddle

procedure for the dosa:

Mix everything together and let it stand for at least 3-4 hours before making the dosas. If you are making them instantly, add the soda bi carb and proceed to make dosas.

On the dosa griddle (I use my roti tawa mostly, use a nonstick pan if making dosa for the first time), smear a little ghee and heat it. Sprinkle water to cool down the griddle a bit and ladle about 1/4 cup of dosa batter to it and spread it in circular strokes making a thin crepe. Drizzle a little ghee and let the crepe brown on one side, flip to the other side and cook for a few seconds. Serve hot with the stew.

Repeat the process to make more dosas. You can make them thinner or thick as you like or as convenient.

Green beans and potato stewed in coconut milk

ingredients for the stew

green beans (French beans) 250 gm
one large potato about 150 gm
finely chopped ginger 1 tsp
broken dry red chillies as per taste
curry patta 12 springs
fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
thick coconut milk 300 ml
sesame oil 1 tbsp
salt and white pepper powder to taste


Using new potatoes will be good for this recipe. wash and clean the potato nicely, retain the skin and chop it into small cubes. String the beans and chop them all in 1 cm pieces, holding them all together over chopping board.

Heat the oil in a pan and tip in the fenugreek seeds and broken red chillies, followed by the curry patta and cubed potatoes. Add salt, pepper and turmeric powder and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped beans and toss to mix everything well. Add the ginger and 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan and cook on low heat till cooked.

Add the coconut milk and simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve hot with dosa, appams and plain boiled rice as desired.

Friday, October 4, 2013

the best apple pie in the land of kachori and lavanglata | at the Pizzeria Vatika Cafe

Apple pie in Banaras? I say yes. And that is the best apple pie I have ever had. A perfect cookie like crust that crumbles as you take a bite. The flavors are subtle and yet temp you to take another bite and then some more. This happens when you are not even fond of desserts. Yes I do get sated with this dessert in just 3-4 bites but I see my folks digging into the pie with utmost concentration. My brother could not have it enough using a spoon and had it with his hands and then attacked on his wife's plate and my niece finished a whole slice of pie even when she had announced she can't eat any more. This pie makes cozy family memories. We had it at Pizzeria Vatika Cafe at Assi ghat, Varanasi last week and I am still stuck somewhere in the folds of that apple pie.

Wait, I will tell you more. This apple pie is egg less and Mr. Gopal Krishna Shukla, the owner of this al fresco pizzeria by the Ganga ghat, tell passionately about how he found the perfect recipe of this apple pie. He learned almost everything form the visiting foreigners he says and one of them demonstrated this perfect recipe of apple pie when he felt someone is insulting an apple pie in the land of kachoris. Yes it happened like that and guess who is smiling all the way with an subtly aromatic apple pie? The people of Banaras have the privilege of walking to the ghat and dig into it any day.

I got a whole pie packed for myself when we returned and it is still being reheated in the oven and relished by the folks. Here is how the crust becomes even more rich when reheated at home.

At the pizzeria, you can get the pie drizzled with chocolate sauce

Or topped with vanilla ice cream, with or without chocolate sauce.

This apple pie uses Himachal and Kashmir apples for our own country and you wont feel any lack of apple goodness. The apples are sliced perfectly and layered nicely inside the pie. The sugar is light so the pie doesn't become runny in the center. Those who like it sweeter can ask for an ice cream topping.

Mr Gopal Krishna Shukla is a passionate man behind this popular pizzeria. The few things I liked about his way of running this pizzeria is, using local fresh produce and not depending on imports. He has innovated a lot and makes his own mozzarella cheese. As local as it can get.

Pizzeria serves many variants of ravioli, gnochhi and other types of pasta as well, all vegetarian stuff as non veg is not allowed around the temples and ghats. You also get Indian thali and more Indian stuff there too. Good coffee, tea and more beverages to choose from. They have an extensive menu.

You see more foreigners than Indians in this pizzeria almost any time you go, the service is slow sometimes and you experience some bugs and flies here and there, you have to bear all this in an al fresco cafe by the ghat where all sorts of life activities go on incessantly.

And it is not just the apple pie that will make you visit pizzeria repeatedly, their pizzas are great too. Baked in a wood fired oven, thin crust pizzas are made using fresh ingredients and their 'pizzeria special pizza' is actually a vegetable and pineapple loaded treat.

Read more about their pizzas here, this time I tried the aubergine and spinach pizza as well and loved it to the core. The pizza margherita, the onion and mushroom pizza and the pizzeria special were all great.

We ordered a lasagna (vegetarian) and a cream sauce pasta as well and we all liked the pasta. Rich and creamy cheesy pasta which can not not be turned down. The only grudge in the pasta was the large chunks of carrots, I wish they were chopped finely to not give a sweet bite in this perfectly cheesy pasta. I would probably do away with carrots and even green capsicums for these flavors, mushrooms and cauliflowers worked really well. I am all for local fresh produce being used in such fare.

The lasagna was insipid for most of us. The layers of aubergine between pasta sheets were not as appealing as I would have liked. I also feel pizzeria needs to jazz up the plating and service a little bit. 

I know Banaras is a city with a collective laid back attitude and everyone gets attuned to it sooner or later. I remember our initial days in the city when we relocated from Chandigarh. We hated the city first and then slowly became a part of it. More on spiritual level than otherwise I must add. 

What I wanted to convey is, a good eatery reflects a lot about the food philosophy that is followed by the people behind it. I know Pizzeria makes great efforts to churn out great food to it's patrons, a little bit of attention to detailing will makes it shine brighter. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

caramalised fox nuts | meethe makhane | vrat ka khana

caramelised makhana (Fox nuts)

Meethe makahane or caramelised makhane is a crisp lightly sweet treat, very addictive but fairly healthy.  Used to feed new mothers and as a tonic food this nut is very versatile.  

Makhana is actually Fox nut (or Gorgon nut) that grows in ponds and is often called water lily seed. The plant belongs to the water lily family but the seeds are different.

The foxnut seeds are roasted to make them pop and makhana is actually the popped seed of Euryale ferox. These light popped nuts are an excellent snack on their own once roasted or fried in ghee and we make kheer, subzi and many more recipes using makhana. Vrat ka khana or fasting recipes use makhana a lot as this nut is allowed in all Hindu fasting rituals.

caramelised makhane

This caramelised makhana used to be a favorite snack of all of us siblings and I remember even my younger brother could make it on his own when he was around 12 year old. There was only one condition for whoever makes it, that it will be made for the whole family in large amount. So any one of us would take the largest kadhai, fill it up to 3/4 with raw makhanas and start roasting it on low heat patiently. It takes about 15 minutes to get completely roasted and to get crisp and then is the time to caramelise it. Caramelisation takes another five minutes and then the snack is ready. By then the whole family would know what is cooking and we all would gather in the kitchen and the crisp caramel laced makahnas will be polished off within a matter of 10 minutes. There were times when someone would offer to make the second batch as well. You get the drift, we were a bunch of foodies :-)

Here is how the raw makhana looks. It is chewy in texture and does not melt in your mouth easily. The story changes once it is roasted well or is fried in ghee.

caramelised makhana (Fox nuts)

Incidentally, none of us liked the ghee fried makhanas as it bursts like a balloon filled with ghee in your mouth when fried. Not at all a good texture nor good taste so to speak. 'Slow roasted in a kadhai' was a preferred way always in our family. Caramelised makhana was a treat. It still is.


makhanas 2 cups
sugar 1 tbsp or a little more
ghee 1 tsp (optional)
salt a pinch (optional)


Heat a thick base pan or kadhai greased with a tsp of ghee if using. It is perfect even if you roast the makhana without any grease on the pan.

Tip in the makhanas and start stirring them on low heat along with salt if using. It takes about 10-15 minutes for the makhanas to get crisp, you can take out one makhana and test. It actually starts 'sounding' crisp when you stir it in the pan.

Once the makhanas are crisp, start sprinkling sugar on it while stirring. A generous pinch of sugar at a time and keep mixing evenly. The sugar melts, gets brown and coats the makhanas. Keep sprinkling more sugar till you get a thin light coating on all makhanas.

Take off the stove and pour all the makhanas in a large plate, separate them all so they don't stick to each other. It cools down within five minutes and is ready to eat.

caramelised makhane

It doesn't last a couple of minutes after it is served. Trust me.

If you plan to keep it, store in an airtight container after it cools down completely.

It can be added to salads and can be crushed to add to your breakfast cereal or parfait desserts. Possibilities are endless and the recipe is easy. Can it get any better?

kakode stir fry with poppy seeds and almond powder

Kakode or Teal gourd (called kakrol, kheksa or ghee karela in different Indian languages) is a spiny looking miniature gourd that retains it's texture after cooking. It needs minimal cooking actually, a light stir fry is all you need to do and a mild seasoning works really well. I have posted a stuffed kakode with poppy seeds and a kakode pyaz ki subzi earlier.

You get two varieties of kakode in the markets and both of them differ slightly in flavors. One is a large, oval two inch size kakode which is more suitable for stuffed recipes, and another is the small pointed one inch kakode which suits quick stir fries more.

This time I found nice and fresh small variety of kakode and bough a kilo of it immediately. I had some powdered poppy seeds with almonds and a little cinnamon and nutmeg that I use for my hot milk sometimes and that powder got used up fr making this stir fry three times within a span of a week. Normally I would use just a coarse powder of poppy seeds and some garam masala or cinnamon and nutmeg grated over cooking kakode.

(2 servings as a side dish)

kakode or teal gourd 300 gm
poppy seeds powder 2 tbsp
( I used a powder of almonds, poppy seeds and cinnamon and nutmeg)
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg powders
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
2 broken dry red chilies
1 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji seeds)
mustard oil 1-2 tbsp


Remove the tip and tail of kakode and quarter them neatly. The seeds may be removed if you abhor it absolutely, I would recommend including them as the seeds are rich in omega 3s and are as good as any nuts in all respects. I like the crunch they provide to the stir fry as well.

Heat the oil in a pan or kadhai and tip in the nigella seeds and broken red chilies. Wait till they get aromatic and then add the chopped kakode. Add salt and turmeric powder and stir fry on medium heat till the kakode yield to pressure. They get cooked fats so take care to not to overcook them.

Add the powdered poppy seeds mixture and mix well. Stir fry for a couple of minutes more and remove form the stove. Squeeze lime juice over it to balance flavors of required, fresh kakode is flavorful on it's own so it was not required by me.

This stir fry tastes great with roti or rice and daal. With parathas it makes a nice lunch box subzi as well. The nutty flavors of the poppy seeds and almond is unmistakable, you wont want to waste even a small bit of this stir fry. So good it is.