Saturday, June 18, 2016

kachhe kele ki bhujia | green plaintain stir fry with chilli garlic

kachhe kele or raw plantains

I cannot resist when I see a fresh looking bunch of kachha kela in the vegetable market and end up buying the whole bunch. The kachhe kele ki bhujia being the most frequent subzi that I make, it is shocking that the recipe has not come on the blog yet. I dug out a picture this time and here it is for you.

This kachhe kele ki bhujia is a dry stir fry that tastes great with plain dal chawal or mung ki khichdi but it becomes a great tea time snack too if you make it with lesser chilli heat. I have even served this bhujia as an appetizer too but I like to chop the raw plantain in wedges in that case. You know it makes a great substitute to potato wedges.

Another plantain stir fry with curry patta is a nice fasting recipe we love as a snack too.

I must add that I prefer cooking the kachha kela or raw plantain along with the skin. Choosing the plantains with spotless skin is better when buying, but one can always scrape off the blackened portions and save the peel that is undamaged. The skin of the plantain (and even bananas) is more nourishing than the flesh inside.

If you don't like the peel in the subzi you can make a delicious plantain peel chutney too. 

Imagine how convenient it becomes to cook it along with the peel. Just chop off the two ends and slice before cooking. Peeling vegetables is not the best thing most cooks like doing. 

kachhe kele ki bhujia

The skin on kachhe kele ki bhujia is so good that it flies off the platter when served in a gathering. I make a few variations of this bhujia and kachhe kele methi ki subzi and kachhe kele sem ki subzi are a few of those variations.  You can always make more variations according to taste.

(2-3 servings with dal chawal or khichdi)

4-5 raw plantains (about 400 gm)
4-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 green or dry red chilies 
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp mustard oil
1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)


Remove the stalk and the tip of the raw plantain, make a cut lengthwise and then slice. The thickness can vary according to preference. Thinner slices get crisp when cooked on low heat but turn chewy when cold. Keep the slices meaty.

Make a paste of chilies, garlic and turmeric powder and keep aside.

Heat the mustard oil and tip in the methi seeds and wait till they brown a little bit. 

Add the plantain slices, salt and stir fry on low flame. Let it cooked, stirring or tossing every couple of minutes to ensure even browning all around.

It takes about 15 minutes to get cooked this way. Add the chili garlic paste after about 7-8 minutes and keep cooking till the flavours get absorbed and the plantain slices are cooked through.

kachhe kele ki bhujia

Serve hot with dal chawal meals or khichdi as I mentioned. Some bharta, chokha or raita pairs very well wit such meals. Kachhe kele ki bhujia actually makes a nice roti wrap too along with some raw onion slices.

This recipe of kachhe kele ki bhujia has a pronounced garlicky flavour and the texture is meaty. It actually tastes really good when hot or warm but starts getting a little dry when cold. Having said that, we don't mind it even cold and sometimes Arvind takes this bhujia to his lunch box too.

The bhujia doesn't refrigerate well as it gets drier but once reheated it gets better, though not quite like the freshly made bhujia. To use up the leftover kachhe kele ki bhujia I recommend making kachhe kele ke kabab by mashing up the leftovers along with some chopped onions and may be a mashed potato and some chopped nuts or seeds.

Raw plantain is an easy and versatile vegetable to cook with. Tell me what all you cook with these.

You might want to try this quick scramble of raw plantains for a breakfast some day. If you love kachhe kele ke kofte then you might have bumped into this recipe sometime.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

methiya athanu or keri methi nu athanu | the Gujrati fenugreek and raw mango pickle

methi (fenugreek) seeds

I love methi (fenugreek) in almost every form and have grown many varieties of methi in my garden. While the methi greens make delicious methi parathas and alu methi ki subzi apart from many more winter favourites, it is the methi seeds that come to rescue in summers.

The methi ki launji is a very popular UP (Marwadi to be precise) dish that is served like a relish. I was really glad to have discovered a methi and raw mango pickle a few years ago when a client of mine asked me one day if she can eat methi nu athanu while on her diet regime. When I asked about it she told me details and promised me to share the recipe, thankfully she used to write a food blog too back then.

Of course she was allowed to eat this pickle and even I found myself hooked to this unusual pickle very soon. I have been meaning to share the recipe of Mehtiya athanu since then but I make very small batches of pickle and this one gets over really fast somehow.

keri methi nu athanu pickle

You would know how it gets over so fast when you make this methi seeds and raw mango pickle too. I have been eating it even with idlis and plain rotis and dal chawal, practically everything I mean.

Methi keri nu athanu is actually a genius recipe from Gujrat that neutralizes the bitterness of methi seeds with the tartness of raw mangoes and the methi seeds swell up with the juices exuded by the mangoes, beautifully complementing each other.

This recipe is adapted from a client of mine as I mentioned. You can see the original recipe here.


200 gm firm raw mangoes
200 gm methi (fenugreek) seeds
5-10 gm (1-2 tsp) red chilli powder according to taste
25 -30 gm salt (scant 2 tbsp)
5 gm or 1 heaped tsp turmeric powder
a generous pinch of hing (asafoetida)
3/4 cup mustard oil and a little more if required


Grind the methi seeds coarsely.

Chop the green mangoes in small bits with skin, discarding the stone.

Mix the coarse methi powder with chilli, turmeric and salt. 

Heat the mustard oil with hing and pour it over the spice mix. Let it cool.

Mix the chopped raw mangoes with the oil and spice mix, stir to mix and bottle. The pickle is ready after 2 days and it keeps well for the whole year.

Just take care to keep it lightly covered with a layer of mustard oil, pouring a little more over the top if required.

keri methi nu athanu pickle

Do let me know whenever you make this methi keri nu athanu. I suggest you make just with 2 raw mangoes just like I did and start enjoying it asap. Making a larger batch can take time so make sure the quick small batch keeps you company.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

sookhe alu | a slow cooked potato stir fry with everyday curry powder

recipe of sookhe alu

Potato is the most underused vegetable in my kitchen even though the husband is very fond of potatoes. In winters the new potatoes make great alu paratha but we don't eat potatoes in summer at all. Some alu parval ki bhujia is made sometimes but apart from that there is no potato on our summer menu.

This recipe of sookhe alu becomes an exception sometimes and we both enjoy having it with a relaxed weekend brunch. Our weekend brunches are invariably relaxed and simple meals, something  weboth like.

This sookhe alu was made a few weeks ago when I noticed I had not used the potatoes that I had grown in my garden. This recipe became the excuse to eat the home grown potatoes. I remembered my research guide Dr. Maya Goyle a lot when I was cooking it. Her step daughters in Denmark used to love this and call this as brown potatoes because of the brown masala used. The brown masala is nothing else but the everyday curry powder that has prominent notes of coriander, tejpatta and cumin with mild heat of black pepper. With a tart hint of amchoor and aromatic kasoori methi this sookhe alu becomes a treat for the senses. 

Incidentally, I always end up making this sookhe alu whenever I grind thee masala mix of my everyday curry powder. The aroma of this freshly milled spice blend always reminds me of this dry stir fry and I give in to the indomitable pleasure of potatoes.

I think sooke alu made with boiled and cooled potatoes is a genius recipe and I can't take credit at all. It is the recipe I learnt from Dr. Maya Goyle and its taste still connects me with her, now that she is no more in this world.

recipe of sookhe alu

(2 large servings or 4 regular servings)

400 gm potatoes (boiled with skin and cooled, preferably refrigerated for a day)
handful of kasoori methi
(the best you can find, else skip this. Do not substitute with fresh methi leaves)
2 tbsp everyday curry powder 
1/2 tsp amchoor powder 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp mustard oil
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds 
salt to taste


Peel and cube the potatoes.

Heat oil in a pan and throw in the cumin seeds, let them splutter and get aromatic.

Tip the cubed potatoes with salt and turmeric powder and stir fry on medium heat till they turn golden brown. The slower this step is the better the potatoes taste. So take your time, make this sookhe alu when you are doing something else too in the kitchen.

Add the curry powder and red chilli powder once the potatoes looks adequately browned and fry some more till the masala becomes aromatic, sprinkle amchoor powder, mix well and it's ready.

Serve with paratha and pickle or eat as a snack. Trust me this sookhe alu mostly becomes the appetizer in my household.

Here you see the sookhe alu with pyaz ka paratha and a Gujrati pickle called Methiya athanu. I will post the recipe of Methiya athanu soon.

sookhe alu

The slow cooked potatoes with this spice blend becomes magical if you trust me. There is no onion garlic in this recipe and the flavour is absolutely rustic and robust, kasoori methi giving it a slight bitter whiff. This is far better than any French fry of the world, and you don't even need any tomato ketchup with it.

This sookhe alu tastes great even if stuffed in a grilled sandwich. Actually this was the most common grilled sandwich we used to make with evening tea back home.