Thursday, December 21, 2017

Recipe of chane ka saag or chane ke saag ka chokha

Chane ka saag or chane ka saag ka chokha has a wonderful complex flavour even though the recipe is quite simple. The complexity in the flavour is attributed to the mineral content of the leaves of chickpeas which taste savoury with a rich mineral taste when eaten raw. This saag recipe will leave you spellboud with its simplicity and complex flavours.

chane ka saag

Sadly, chane ka saag (leaves of chickpea plants) is not so common in the cities possibly because it needs some time to sort and clean before being cooked. Most people are busy with work and with nonsensical things too sometimes and consider the time spent on preparing food as a waste of time unfortunately. I have overheard some interesting conversations in the weekly vegetables market in my area when people talk about how they would want to eat the greens but wonder who will clean them.

chane ka saag

And then there are the vegetable vendors who come with a chopping instrument to cut the green right there for their costumers, but only spinach and mustard greens can be chopped like that because they are long stemmed and come in bundles, sometimes even methi greens. I wouldn’t ever think of getting my greens chopped like that, without cleaning them thoroughly in my own kitchen. Such pre-chopped greens loose all their flavour and of course the nutrients when they are rinsed in water before cooking so best to be avoided. Smaller leaves take time to sort and clean and that is the reason chane ka saag is not so popular despite being one of the tastiest green vegetable.

I have realised getting older now, that this kind of time spent on preparing food is quite meditative in nature and ensures healthy delicious food for the family.

Chane ka saag is not grown for the leaves primarily but is a byproduct of growing chickpeas. In the vegetative growth phase, before the flowers set in, the growing tips of chickpea plants are pruned regularly to make the plants bushier so it can bear more flowers and chickpea pods. In the rural areas and smaller towns, many women will be seen selling really fresh chane ka saag that they have plucked the same morning, so fresh that it is eaten in its raw form as well, just like a green snack. The taste of the fresh chane ka saag is savoury with a complex mineral punch on the palate, many people Just munch on the fresh chane ka saag by the handfuls and sometimes pound it with some salt and chilies for a coarse dry chutney.

I have grown chane ka saag Just for the leaves many times in my garden. You need to soak some black chickpeas and burry them under 1 cm of soil in a wide pot, it helps if you crowd them together, and keep it in a sunny spot. The leaves emerge in 3-5 days and grow about 6-8 inches tall in a month or so. Harvest them all and use to make any of the chane ka saag recipes from this blog. The whole plant except the base can be used in this case as it is tender and flavourful.

I have memories of such snacks from the holidays we used to enjoy in my grandmother’s village and how some women used to collect chane ka saag in their Aanchal (free flowing part of the sari, used in multiple ways in rural India) and come home to sell the saag instantly. A few saagwali ladies still come to our Banaras home bearing a large cane basket on their heads every morning to sell freshly plucked chane ka saag or foraged Bathua ka saag during winters and I go berserk whenever I am visiting.

I have already shared a few recipes of chane ka saag (saag is a generic name for all leafy greens as well as cooked leafy greens, used interchangeably) like this chane ka saag in a mustard gravy, chane ke saag ke pakode and chana saag dumpling curry, chane ke saag ka achar etc. The recipe I am sharing today is called just as chane ka saag in my home but some other people, especially from Bihar, call it as chane ke saag ka chokha of chane ke saag ki chutney as this recipe can be consumed like chokha or chutney too. I have used this recipe as a dip and as a spread as well with wonderful results.

chane ka saag

This recipe of chane ka saag is so simple to prepare that you may feel like dismissing it in the first glance. But trust me the complex mineral taste of chane ka saag is enhanced so beautifully by the raw mustard oil and green chillies and garlic used in the recipe. Some people tend to use the green garlic for this recipe but I avoid that because the taste of chane ka saag itself is so rich that it doesn’t need any meddling. But go ahead and use green garlic if you like, minor flavour variations make a big difference sometimes for individual palates.

To clean chane ka saag you need to pluck the tips including tender stem and discard the hard stem, I prefer to shuck off all leaves from the hard stem too as this saag is so difficult to come by in the cities and is quite expensive too. This sorting of the saag takes some time and then you need to wash the leaves in several changes of water, I suggest you soak the leaves in a deep vessel for sometime so all the dirt settles down and then wash with several changes of water.You don’t need to chop the saag for this recipe.

250 gm chane ka saag cleaned and sorted
¼ cup water
¼ tsp salt (or more to taste)
10 cloves of garlic
5-6 green chilies or to taste
1 tbsp raw cold pressed mustard oil
Use 2 tsp mustard powder and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil if you don’t have access to mustard oil

Boil the chane ka saag with water and salt in a covered pot for 4-5 minutes or till it wilts completely. Let it cool.

Blend with garlic and chilies till smooth. Empty in a serving bowl and drizzle the mustard oil on top.
Add the mustard powder while blending if using olive oil as a topping.

Serve with Indian meals of dal and rice or roti along with other subzis. Many people including me mix chane ka saag with plain boiled rice or dal and rice and eat it, I have seen it being eaten like this in my family. I like it with crisp hot parathas as well and of course in many other ways as mentioned above.

Chane ka saag remains one winter delicacy I look forward to every year. Try this if you get chane ka saag in your part of the world or grow some chickpea greens yourself just for this. It is worth all the effort trust me.

Friday, November 24, 2017

recipe of shaljam patta gosht | mutton curry with turnip leaves

Shaljam patta gosht was served at my Banaras ka Khana festival last year at ITC Maurya. Since this time we showcased the Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb of Banaras and teamed up with Rana Safvi to bring some food from Muslim homes as well, this homely recipe of shaljam patta gosht was included as I always prefer serving seasonal foods from the region in my food festivals.

Shaljam patta gosht is made almost similarly in many Muslim homes, Some people like to add a hot ghee tadka with ginger julienne and red chillies or green chilies over each serving and some have it as it is after the slow cooking. Use of garam masala is rare for this everyday recipe but some add whole spices too. Some people have started cooking it in one step pressure cooker process but I feel the slow cooking suits this delicate recipe better. My recipe is based on my trials after talking to a few Muslim friends from Banaras and other places close by. 

Shaljam or shalgam is the humble turnip that many people hate for reasons beyond my understanding. I find it a very flavourful vegetable that has a delicate flavour and pairs well with many other ingredients really well. So while shalgam matar ki subzi remains my favourite and the Kashmiri style gogji nadur keeps repeating in my kitchen, bhien shalgam matar ki subzi is loved as much but I am yet to perfect my shalgam gosht.

shaljam patta gosht

The shaljam patta gosht is an everyday meat curry that uses leaves of turnips. It will be appropriate to mention that turnip leaves are many times more nutritious than the more common spinach and has one of the highest amounts of iron and calcium. Normally I would get it from Tijara farm as getting turnips with leaves is next to impossible in Delhi.

The other day Atiya Zaidi tweeted about shaljam patta gosht and I couldn't resist but look for turnip leaves in our weekly market. While I couldn't find any turnip leaves as usual, my quest was so intense that I saw a sack of medium sized fresh turnips being opened and the sack was sealed using the leaves from the same turnips as a cushioning material. I requested the subziwala to give me those leaves and he relented after initial hesitation. There I was, the leaves were very fresh to be cooked with my shaljam patta gosht.

(3-4 servings)
500 gm mutton on bone and some fat
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 tbsp mustard oil
300 gm turnip leaves chopped finely*
5 whole dry red chilies
3 tejpatta 
salt to taste

*The turnip leaves should ideally be from baby turnips but I have always used the leaves from medium sized turnips as I never find baby turnips, thankfully the shaljam patta gosht has always turned out great. If using baby turnips you can use the turnips chopped along the leaves too. 

turnips with leaves

ingredients to make a fine paste together
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder

Heat the mustard oil in a pressure cooker pan and add 1/2 cup chopped onions along with the whole dry red chilies and tejpatta. Fry them on medium heat till they get brown. Make a paste of the ingredients listed under paste while the onions brown.

Once the onions are browned, add the paste and get ready for some slow bhunoing for 20 minutes. keep the flame low and keep bhunoing the masala till it gets dry and sticks to the bottom leaving the oil on the sides.

Splash 1 tbsp water in the masala and bhuno again to deglaze, so it slows down the bhunoing process and brings out the complex flavours of the simple spices used.

Bhunoing is the key to the taste of many such mutton curries as our elders have stressed upon.

When you see the masala getting a deep shade of brown and aromatic, add the mutton pieces and keep bhunoing for 20 minutes more on low flame. Keep turning the meat along with the spices so the fats are rendered into the masala slowly and the meat absorbs the spices well.

Add the turnip leaves, mix the leaves well with the meat and let them release their juices. Once the leaves are wilted you can bhuno the meat mix for 5-7 minutes more. I often get the leaves steamed to make them limp so that I can refrigerate the in my borosil boxes, so I use steamed leaves from the fridge.

Add 1/4 cup of water (no more please), salt to taste and cover the lid. Keep the gas flame low and let the meat cook on very low flame till pressure builds up on its own, it takes about 40 minutes in a 2.5 liter pressure cooker. Once the whistle blows up you can switch off the gas and let the pressure release before opening the cooker.

Note that the cooking time can vary depending on the quality of meat, the flame strength and the size of pressure cooker so adjust accordingly. New cooks often err on this aspect and end up with under cooked or overcooked meat but that's how we learn.

You would see loads of leaves covering all the meat but trust me that is where the taste is. This cooking process ensures that the fats and gelatin from the bones melds well with the leaves and the turnip leaves flavour the meat with their own signature aromas.

Shaljam patta gosht tastes even better the next day so make double the amount you need for one meal. This is one mutton curry that can be eaten 3-4 times a week and is worth cooking in bulk and stock in the fridge.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

bhindi ka raita | crisp fried okra in yogurt

Raita is so simple why would someone need a recipe for it, be it cucumber raita or okra (bhindi) raita. We anyways customize our raita recipe depending on how simple or heavy or spicy the other dishes on the table are, the recipe is not so rigid and keeps changing according to the seasons too. The intrinsic beauty of Indian cuisines, especially home cooking, is that we use each produce in just the right way to suit ourselves.

Bhindi ka raita is often made with a little mature okra (bhindi) that has not turned fibrous but has lost the tenderness. The mature fibrous okra is also used in some curries I will share sometime, right now it is about bhindi ka raita. I had shared this bhindi ka raita on instagram and many had asked the recipe. I hope you like it when you make.

bhindi ka raita

In the traditional recipe the bhindi slices are deep fried to make the raita but I never do that. Slow cooking in very little oil in a shallow wide pan works wonderfully to crisp up the bhindi slices to make a great textured bhindi raita.

(2 large servings)
about a dozen large slightly mature okra or 20 small tender ones
2 green chilies chopped finely
4 springs of curry leaves chopped finely
1 tsp cumin seeds (sometimes we use ajwain seeds)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
2 tsp mustard oil
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
1 cup whisked home made cultured yogurt


Rinse the okra and pat them dry. Remove the crowns and hold them together over the chopping board. Slice them all together in very thin roundels.

Heat the mustard oil in a flat base and tip in the asafoetida and cumin seeds and let them splutter and get aromatic.

Now add the chopped chilies, curry leaves and the sliced okra, mix well and lower the heat. Spread out the okra slices over the surface of flat base pan and let them brown slowly and dehydrate a bit. Stir after every 3-4 minutes and let it cook for about 10 minutes on very low heat so the okra becomes almost crisp. Add the salt, pepper and roasted cumin powder and take off the heat.

You can bake the okra in the oven after mixing all the ingredients too. 

Now pour everything over the whisked yogurt, adjust seasoning and serve chilled or at room temperature.

bhindi ka raita

We serve this bhindi ka raita mostly with dal chawal meals but any roti or paratha subzi meal also feels great with this raita. The heat level of the raita is always adjusted according to the type of subzi and dal made for the meal.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

doodh wali guwar subzi | cluster beans cooked in a milky curry

Doodh wali guwar subzi or cluster beans cooked in a milky curry  is a discovery I made recently. I love it when my readers interact with me on my social media pages and exchange recipes too. I would admit I don't try those recipes always but some of those ideas are so good that I work on them immediately. Doodh wali guar ki subzi was one of them.

Guwar is one vegetable that can grow for almost all through the year I realised. A good news for me as I keep experimenting with this vegetable a lot. The mild bitterness and the fleshy texture is what I like but I think my mind starts preferring whatever is healthy for the body, I have some conditioning since childhood for sure. I remember how we used to get only a certain variety of guwar in Banaras as no one eats it there and it is used mostly for the animal feed, the beans are considered great for milch animals. 
The variety available in those days was smaller in size and used to get very fibrous if mature, everyone else in the family hated that fibrous guwar and my father always insisted it is so good for the body, him being the seasoned agronomist and seed technologist. Even I didn’t like that  in those days but now that we have started getting the bigger, softer and fleshier varieties of guwar I have started liking it a lot, much to my husband’s displeasure. Thankfully, this milky curry with guwar became his favourite too, just like the guwar with peanuts and guwar dhokli subzi.

The idea of this doodh wali guwar ki subzi came from a client who is on my regime to treat a few health problems of hers, she follows me on my Facebook page and it was there that she suggested a recipe of guwar with added milk. I was intrigued and cooked the guwar that way, and since the addition of milk reminded me of this doodh wali lauki, I decided to keep the flavours a little similar. The mild bitterness of methi seeds lends a really good flavour while the guwar changes its texture to a creamy softness so unlike guwar if you ask me. 

Such recipes leave me wondering how a humble ingredient can take a new identity if cooked differently. Such a wealth nature has given in our hands.

(2 servings)
300 gm guwar beans chopped in 1 inch bits (remove stalk but retain the tail) 
½ tsp methi seeds 
2-3 whole dry red chilies 
1 tsp chopped garlic 
1 finely chopped green chili
¼ tsp turmeric powder 
Salt to taste 
1tsp mustard oil 
1 cup of milk 
2 tsp ginger juice (just grate an inch piece of ginger and squeeze it into the curry when required) 

Heat the oil, tip in the methi seeds and dry red chilies. Wait till they get fragrant and then add the garlic and chopped green chilies. Fry them till fragrant again, keeping the flame medium so it doesn’t burn.
Add the chopped guwar, turmeric powder and salt, mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes. 

Add the milk, mix well and cook covered for 2-3 minutes or till it becomes soft and the flavours blend well. Add the ginger juice and mix well before taking the curry off the stove. 

You can add more milk to make the curry a little more saucy or cook a bit more to make it dry, I like it both ways and have been cooking it almost every week this season. 

Please try this doodhwali guwar ki subzi and let me know if your family likes it too. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

recipe of malai tinda | apple gourd cooked in a creamy curry

Malai tinda is one recipe that will convert a tinda hater for sure. I have witnessed it myself and I think the key is in making the food look good even if it has a bad reputation regarding taste and texture.

Every tinda hater I came across wouldn’t even touch a regular tinda subzi if served along with other foods but when it is in the form of Malai tinda or shahi tinda that I make, they won’t even bother asking what subzi is it. They will pick up, eat, take second helpings and rarely realise it was tinda, more because one bad experience with tinda turned them off for ever and they really don’t know how it taste like.

Many punjabi homes cook tinda with loads of tomatoes and onion and though I like that recipe too, my favourite will this malai tinda and the achari tinda that I make sometimes. The shahi tinda is great too but I cook it rarely. Tinda chana dal is made when I have to make a quick meal that tastes great too.

In fact tinda takes the flavour of its cooking medium quite well, if seared for a few minutes and then cooked with whatever flavour you want to infuse it with. And yes, there are some flavour that don’t go well with tinda, the doodh wali lauki or lau shukto when cooked with tinda was a big failure. Imagine similar sounding vegetables have such finer nuances in terms of flavour pairings.

There are many versions of malai tinda made in punjabi families and some of them are quite rich with cashew paste and loads of malai (cream). This recipe of malai tinda has been adopted to my family’s taste and has undergone a few changes over the decades it is being cooked in my home, the original recipe came from some family friend as much as I remember.

(2 large servings)
300 gm tinda (tender apple gourds)
1 medium onion (70 gm approximately) diced finely
2 green chilies slit lengthwise
Pinch of red chili powder or yellow chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp everyday curry powder
¼ tsp special garam masala
1 tsp fine ginger paste (preferably juice of ginger)
Pinch of green cardamom powder
2 tejpatta
Salt to taste
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 cup milk
1 tbsp malai (fresh home made clotted cream)

Clean the tinda surface, no need to peel them, and chop each one of them in quarters.
Heat the oil, add green chili, chopped tinda and onions at once. Stir fry at high for a minute, lower the heat and add the tejpatta. Keep stir frying till the tinda quarters get a little brownish patches around the edges.
Add all the powdered spices and stir fry for a minute so the spices turn aromatic, pour the milk, lower the heat to minimum and cover the pan to cook for 8-10 minutes or till the tindas are cooked through. The cooking time depends on how tender the tindas are.
Once cooked, add the malai, stir gently and empty the malai tinda in the serving bowl. Adding the malai at the last step brings out the creamy colour beautifully.

To make the malai tinda richer, you can add 1-2 tbsp of cashew paste along with the malai or just increase the quantity of malai.

Some people like to add kasoori methi to the malai tinda but I like it plain. But I make it hot many a times with an extra dose of chili, ginger juice and pepper sometimes, you might try doing that if you like hot curries.

The best thing is, that malai tinda taste great with our multigrain rotis and multigrain sourdough kulchas that is regular in my home. It is great with any type of roti, paratha or even poori I suppose, though I have never tried it with pooris.

Do try the recipe and let me know how malai tinda treats you.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

okra and baby potatoes with butter garlic sauce

This okra (bhindi) and baby potatoes with butter garlic kept ringing in my head until I made it at home the very next day after meeting Bridget White Kumar. This Anglo Indian recipe is being served at the J W Marriot Aerocity right now where she has curated a menu around this cuisine, I loved it so much that I had to share it with you all too.

okra and baby potatoes with butter garlic

Note that this version of okra in butter garlic is my recreation after tasting it at the festival and not the authentic way Bridget makes it, there might be a minor variation in her original recipe of okra in butter garlic.

(2 servings)

300 gm tender okra (bhindi), caps removed and cut in one inch pieces diagonally
300 gm baby potatoes, boiled, peeled and halved
100 gm or a large onion sliced
one large tomato chopped finely
50 gm butter
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup milk (optional) 


Heat a pan and add the butter and garlic together, let them sizzle while stirring till the garlic gets aromatic.

Add the sliced onions and baby potatoes and toss well to coat evenly. Keep cooking for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped okra, salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Keep tossing or stirring lightly for 5 minutes, add the tomatoes, mix well and cover to cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. The okra should be cooked by now, the onions a nice shade of pink and the tomatoes completely mushy.

Cook a few minutes more if the okra is not cooked well. Add milk, stir and cover to cook for a minute, adjust consistency by adding a little more milk if you wish. Check and adjust seasoning.

Serve hot with soft rotis or bread rolls.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

daab paneer recipe | paneer in mustard sauce steamed in tender coconut shells

You must have heard about daab chingri  and that is one of my favourite prawn recipe too. Inspired by the classic recipe, I recently cooked daab paneer and loved it so much that it has become quite regular on my table.

Tender coconut is a great thirst quencher, a delicious blend of electrolytes that nature has packaged so wonderfully for us. Daab, as tender coconut is called in Hindi and few other regional languages, has been the favourite drink whenever we can get it. Few decades ago we used to get daab only when we traveled to coastal towns but thankfully it is available in cities like Delhi fairly easily.
tender coconut

To me it feels like a wonder every time I sip from a tender coconut, right since my childhood. Each tender coconut packs a different flavour if you consider the minor variations of sweet and salt, the mineral taste and of the course the malai (tender coconut meat) that lines the inner wall, like a surprise unfolding gently. 

Tender coconut was our saviour last year when both of us were hit by chikangunia together. We had asked the neighbourhood daab wala to deliver 2 tender coconuts every morning and evening and that helped us a lot in recovering from the most annoying sickness we have had. But then we made friends with this daab wala and he is always ready to deliver at home, he will come with his cleaver sometimes and cut open the daab so we can eat the malai as well. All those tender coconut shells went into my compost heap but then I decided to make a raised bed using them, the next garden project. About that some other time as I am sharing a daab paneer recipe with you right now. 

daab paneer recipe

 I had eaten daab recipes in hotels and restaurants in the past but never had bothered to cook anything with them at home, apart from adding the tender coconut meat to some of my kheer recipes. When I saw a daab chingri recipe by Ipshita Bhandari on a facebook group I felt tempted to try that at home. After all I have easy supply of daab and the daab wala ready to cut it into convenient halves. 

The Bengali daab chingri is a popular dish, easy to cook but the daab is such an exotic ingredient that everyone serves the daab chingri with a certain sense of pride. I am a sucker for easy recipes with clean flavours, thankfully this recipe was appreciated by everyone who tasted it. 

In fact for a week I was on a spree to cook with daab malai and found the right balance that works for my type of palate. The balance of mustard, green chilies and tender coconut meat, the three crucial ingredients of this secret sauce is a distinct personal choice according to the extent you can take the pungency of mustard mixed with the heat of green chilies. The fresh daab malai (tender coconut meat) renders a unique sweetness to this dish and that’s where lies the specialty of this dish. 

Take care to ask your daab wala to chose a daab with soft but generous malai in it, if it has lesser malai just consume it as is, if the malai has turned meaty you can snack upon it as we need the firm yet jelly like malai for this recipe. If you are making daab chingri or daab paneer for a crowd you can use a mix of tender and not too tender coconut meat as that will maintain the flavour. 

One whole daab (tender coconut) with generous amount of soft jelly like meat 
200 gm paneer 
2 tbsp yellow mustard 
2 cloves of garlic 
3-4 green chilies or more if you like 
1 tbsp or more mustard oil (depending on your liking of pungency)
¼ tsp of turmeric powder 
100 ml coconut milk (optional but recommended)

Equipment of choice, depending on whether you want to bake the mix or steam it
Both halves of the tender coconut if you are using them for baking 
Or a baking dish of 1 litre capacity with lid  
Or a steel dabba big enough to accommodate the mix and fit inside a pressure cooker
Or an earthen pot and 3-4 fresh tender bottle gourd leaves, to be baked in a conventional oven or a microwave oven

Separate the water and the malai of the daab, save the water and chop the malai in small bits.
Make a paste of mustard, garlic cloves and green chilies along with turmeric powder. Powdering the mustard seeds first and then adding some water and other ingredients helps make a smooth paste. 
Chop the paneer in small bits too.
Slit 1-2 green chilies.
Mix all the other ingredients together, along with half of the mustard oil. Add some of the coconut water to make the consistency as required. You need a mix with saucy consistency. I added coconut milk from a carton for this step every time as I can’t not drink the coconut water. I found the coconut milk made this recipe even better.
For cooking the daab paneer you can follow any* one of the following procedures.

*Transfer the mix to the emptied halves of daab, cover with aluminium foil and bake it for 25-30 minutes at 180 C. 
*Transfer the mix in an earthen pot lined with bottle gourd leaves or fresh turmeric leaves, cover wit the same leaves, fix the lid and bake for 20 minutes at 180 C.
daab paneer in gourd leaves recipe

*The earthen pot can be placed in the microwave oven and cooked at high for 5-7 minutes.
*Transfer the mix to a steel dabba, cover with lid, keep the dabba in a pressure cooker which has ½ cup of water in it and pressure cook till the first whistle blows. Cool the pressure cooker on its own and open the lid.

After cooking with any of the above process, open the lid and garnish with a few slit green chilies and a drizzle of the remaining mustard oil. 

Serve hot with steaming hot rice, preferably short grain rice like gobindobhog or jeerabatti. 

daab paneer recipe

I was suggested by Ipshita that it is better to cook it in the daab shell to bring the rustic flavour but I found it good even when I cooked the mix in a steel container or an earthen pot lined with fresh bottle gourd leaves. This is a recipe that one can adjust according to personal choice of the cooking vessel used, but please don’t distort the golden trinity of mustard paste, daab malai and green chilies.

This daab paneer recipe will become a family favourite if you like the flavours of mustard. In this recipe the pungency of mustard is quite sublime due to the daab malai used. Please try the recipe and let me know.

Monday, August 14, 2017

some lost recipes revived at The Great Kabab Factory

I feel really glad when I see homely flavours in a five star hotel. I know most of the people go to the star hotels to have lavish meals served with pomp, something that can’t be created in home kitchens and no doubt that even I love to explore all the rich cuisines and cooking techniques both for the flavours as well as for the academic interest. 
But the most comforting meals are always the ones that revive homely comfort for me. Imagine my pleasure when I find a well made muli besan, a thick kadhi with pieces of radish in it, one of my favourite foods that I cook at home regularly. 

This is what happened when we decided to go to The Great Kabab Factory at Radisson Blu Plaza (Mahipalpur) this Sunday. They have a festival going on, showcasing some of the lost recipes introduced into their regular menu, Chef Vakil Ahmad has brought some intriguing recipes to the table this time.
The Great Kabab Factory

Although the new dishes being showcased are not lost from the cuisines, the dishes were definitely something people have started forgetting slowly. Apart from the muli besan I mentioned, the keema stuffed karela, the kheibari murgh ke parchey and murgh kabab gorkhar made us bow to the skill and hard work of Chef Vakil’s team. 

The menu was impressive with numerous starters, the signature galouti kabab, pathiya sekiya kukkad (chicken grilled over cow dung cakes, a Patiala specialty, recreated in tandoor), silbatte ke kabab (kababs made of stone ground meat), mahi kasoondi tikka (fish tikka in mustard marinade), murgh kabab gorkhar (stuffed and roasted whole chicken), kheibari murgh ke parchey (schnitzel style chicken kabab) and some impressive vegetarian kababs like subz galouti kabab and taza phalon ki chaat. 

The main course had the signature dal panchmel and dal makhni, the delicious muli besan being the new entrant. The sakora gosht (meat curry slow cooked in earthenware) and Kallu miyan ki raan from Lucknow were done to perfection, the biryani made of seviyan was one of the attraction as this type of biryani is made rarely now. Seviyan biryani takes some skill and expertise to be done right and Chef Vakil’s team had done a wonderful job. 

The desserts included the dahi halwa from the kitchen of Sailana, gulab ki kheer and UP style malai chaap apart from TGKF signature kulfi and jalebi. 

My most favourite pick from this menu is the keema stuffed karela and besan muli as I mentioned above, the galaouti kabab has always been great at TGKF and the rotis have always made us feel indulgent. In the menu you would get the exotic foods as well as the homely comforting foods, the best of both worlds.
TGKF is a place where we take our guests who want to eat good kababs and biryani in one place, served in traditional Indian style, where the menu is fixed and the wait staff bring everything to the table insisting you to take more servings, just like it was done in wedding parties few decades ago. 

The Great Kabab Factory gives a glimpse of the traditional Indian hospitality in this aspect.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Colonial Anglo-Indian food to celebrate Independence day at J W Marriott Aerocity

We are always awestruck by the variety we have in our country in terms of food and produce, whenever we chance upon something new in a far corner of the country or even sometimes in our own backyard. The foreign cultures have influenced the cuisines of India and have added more layers of flavours on them, each one worth exploring whenever you get a chance.

So when I got to know that Bridget White Kumar is in town to curate a colonial Anglo-Indian menu at K3, the all day dining restaurant of J W Marriott Aerocity I decided to go and meet her as I have been following her work for quite some time. Bridget has authored 7 books on the subject of Anglo-Indian cuisine and has been helping many hotels and clubs to create special menus around the cuisine. 
She has been sharing recipes on her blog as well, a really warm and affectionate person I must add.
Bridget White Kumar and Chef Vivek Bhatt

Chef Vivek Bhatt has collaborated with Bridget to bring Anglo Indian food to the capital for the first time, to celebrate Independence day week, and his team has done a wonderful job of recreating the fusion of flavours beautifully. I was there for lunch yesterday sharing the table with Bridget, Rohit Sharma, Nikhil Nair and Chef Bhatt and we ended up discussing the present day politics and how we have performed (not) as a country in the last seven decades of being free of foreign rule. We decided anonymously that Dak Bungalow Chicken comes to comfort in such a scenario as none of us are keen to join politics to bring any of the changes we want in the leadership. 
Food is a great tranquilizer, or equalizer too. Let's go to the table.

The Anglo-Indian food is served in a beautifully laid out buffet, the menu changes everyday for lunch and dinner but a few signature dishes are constant. I loved that the menu has not been made too extensive with dozens of dishes, one can taste and savour every single dish and come back with the flavours still teasing the memory of the palate.

The starters appeared to have jumped out of a high tea party of a memsahib, all wonderfully made. The Mushroom scramble on toast, the Lamb mince chop (Bengali style) and the Panthras were delectable, though not my kind of food, the husband would have taken several helpings of these I know. I had my eyes firmly focused on the main course that looked like homely comfort so I took care not to fill myself up with the starters. 

Anglo Indian food at K3, J W Marriott Aerocity
The Kedgree needs a special mention as this was the first time I was tasting an authentic kedgree, though I have mentioned it on this blog earlier. This was made of mung dal and rice, cooked perfectly so each grain was separate yet cooked well, the taste and the texture reminded me of a similar dish I have had at an Oriya friend’s place but I have forgotten the name of the dish as it has been almost 15 years to that dinner. I wonder if there is a connection between the two. The usual garnish of boiled eggs was missing as the kedgree was to be made suitable for vegetarians too, you won’t miss any garnish because there are much more flavourful food to devour. 
Check my main course plate here on Instagram

I have had many versions of the Dak Bungalow Chicken but the one served at this festival was so light and flavourful with a thin yogurt based gravy that it will be the benchmark from now. The Lamb Country Captain, the Pork Devil Fry and the Prawn Temperado were a delight to discover. 

Each one had its own identity in terms of flavours and appearance, the Lamb Country Captain felt like a light homely curry we make at home, the Pork Devil fry had green capsicum and garlic flavours, the Prawn Temperado with a pleasant caramelised onions and tomato flavour and a hint of tartness to balance.
A special mention to the Okra in Butter and Garlic, the vegetarian main course that I loved so much that I tried to recreate the dish today. I knew it was something the husband would love and I was right, this recipe is going to be repeated frequently all through the bhindi season. More about this in the next post. 

The desserts were the classic Trifle and a Roli Poli pudding which is a steamed jam cake so light you can easily over eat. Better take a small proration and eat small bits of it, take your time to finish if you are sensible or save some space for desserts. 

More than the food, it was a delight to meet Bridget in person. I have been connected with her on social media for a long time but was meeting her for the first time in person. She has done a lot of work in discovering and preserving the family recipes and she has been doing it ever since she took voluntary retirement from her banking career. She found her mother’s and grandmother’s recipes hand written and filed along with knitting and embroidery patterns and revived all of those classics meticulously converting the weights and measures as most of the recipes written by the women had measures written in the form of a housewife’s manual, 2 anna’s coriander leaves and 3 anna’s onion must have been difficult to convert to grams and tablespoons. Anna was a unit of currency during British period.

I admire Bridget to have done such wonderful work of documenting the recipes and bringing the flavours to us, each fusion and progression in the history of cuisine is an important link with the older history as well as the changing times I believe. Food reflects the society at so many levels, each recipe brings a new story sometimes. 
Bridget is here for just one week so go soon and discover these stories and flavours. You would love to meet the humble and cheerful lady behind this food too. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

how to make bhujia : recipe of karele ki kurkuri bhujia

There are a few simple things that can bring as much joy as some kurkuri bhujia served with dal chawal or khichdi. But you won't understand if you haven't had bhujia ever, you might end up thinking the hand cut potato fries are the best kind of fried veggies.

While I love the nice hand cut potato fry especially if it comes with a generous sprinkling of herbed salt, the potato fry is not my favourite. I vote for bitter gourd fry or crisp karele ki bhujia. You have to try this kerele ki bhujia to know what I mean.

The other day I was at the neighborhood salon to get my pedicure, and the lady next to my chair was talking about how the kids these days don't want to eat vegetables. The pedicurist started grinning when I asked the lady ow much vegetables the adults in her family ate, to which she admitted they eat minimal vegetables but wanted their kids to eat more. The problem starts at the root obviously.

Then I got curious what this 20 something pedicurist eats as he works almost 10 hours a day and all such boys live on their own as they have migrated to big cities for work. I asked him and he said he cooks his food twice a day and that is paratha bhujia in the morning and dal chawal bhujia or dal chawal chokha for dinner when he reaches home. I can't tell you how happy I felt to hear this.

Anyone who cooks everyday and enjoys cooking as a de-stressing activity has my heart.

It reminded me of a few lovely people on Instagram who have been asking for my bhujia recipe they see with my khichdi or dal chawal. Some of them point out that it's always either karele ki bhujia or bhindi ki bhujia with my dal chawal meals.

Yes I love my karele ki bhujia a lot. As much as I love the karele ka chokha.

Karele ki bhujia is the simplest thing to make but you need some patience as it demands slow cooking. The good thing is that it doesn't demand much chopping and there is no peeling involved. The cooking is done by just stirring the bhujia a few times while it is on lowest possible flame of your gas stove.


300 gm bitter gourds (karele)
2 tbsp mustard oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder or a little more
1/2 tsp amchoor powder
salt to taste (1/2 tsp and little more to adjust if needed)


Clean the gourds, remove the stalk, cut into 2 inch pieces and halve eac pice longitudinally. Then slice into thin strips of 5 mm thickness.

Heat mustard oil and tip in the karela slices along with salt. Stir to mix and spread the slices evenly in the pan so they crisp up for about 5 minutes on lowest possible flame.

Stir and arrange in an even layer again to make them brownish all over. Once you get the desired colour and crispness you add all the powdered spices, cook for a minute and take off the stove.

Serve hot with dal chawal meals or parathas and bless the bhujia. You would satart loving karela after eating this bhujia trust me.

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. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

royal cuisines of India : an introduction to the cuisine of Bhainsrorgarh (Rajasthan)

That's a pulao and not biryani, Hemendra Singh Ji corrected me when I called it biryani, almost in a slip of the tongue. I knew instantly that the food is considered kosher in this household. A pulao is much more delicate than a biryani and needs more precision in the cooking process. And this pulao was a real treasure, infused with fresh rose petals and mild hint of aromatic spices, the meat not spicy and the rice that imbibes the flavours of the meat, and yet the rose petals shine through.

cuisine of Bhainsrorgarh

The kind of food one eats with all the senses and remembers for ever, that's the food you will get when you are dining with Bhainsrorgargh royals. Bhainsrorgarh is a principality located along the river Chambal, another river Bamani flowing along the other side of the Bhainsrorgarh fort, which has an interesting history dating back to 2nd century BC. The present day fort is now a heritage luxury hotel, built in 1740s and run successfully by the erstwhile royal family to which Hemendra Singh Ji belongs. 

We had attended a grand dinner at ITC Maurya last month, called as the royal high table, celebrating some of the royal cuisines of the country where the royal families of Kangra, Sailana (Madhya Pradesh), Akheraj (Rajasthan), Bhainsrorgarh (Rajasthan), Rampur (western UP), Salarjung Hyderabad), Kashmir (Dogra cuisine) had showcased their cuisines and it was such a sensory delight. Chef Manisha Bhasin and her team had curated this high table and the royal family members had cooked all the food themselves, the guests were seen licking their fingers and talking about the food endlessly. 

One of the most intriguing cuisines that we came across at the ITC Maurya royal high table was the Bhainsrorgarh cuisine which has taken influences from Mewar and Marwar regions of Rajasthan and is essentially a Rajputana cuisine depending heavily on game meats and local vegetables and grains. The makai ka soweta (main course) and makai ke kan (dessert), the safed Maas with green chilies and pulao had me smitten and luckily I got an opportunity to be hosted by Hemendra Singh Ji and his better half Vrinda Kumari Sigh last month.

cuisine of Bhainsrorgarh

It turned out to be such a treat that we will remember for a long time to come. The food and the family stories interwoven together, the flavours and how they came into the cuisine, the family rituals around food were shared generously by the royal couple, leaving us mesmerized.

cuisine of Bhainsrorgarh

The dining table was laden with so much food I wondered if we will be able to taste everything and do justice to the taste, but among the family stories, food fables and recipe discussions the time just flew past and it was midnight before we realised. Hemendra Singh has a legacy of great cooks in his parents and grandparents but the most interesting fact is that he has done some improvement to the traditional recipes in terms of balancing the flavours and presentation etc., and the result is spectacular. He still takes pride in cooking all by himself and all the food was made by the couple themselves with little help from their staff. 

I will talk about the most uncommon foods that we tasted at their home first. The Chakki ke sule were actually pure wheat gluten marinated really well, skewered and grilled to perfection, retaining its meaty and moist texture intact.

chakki ke sule

The Bakre ke chaap I remembered from the ITC Maurya buffet, very well marinated and wonderfully grilled, establishing the fact that skillful grilling enhances the flavour of meats.

bakre ki chaamp

The Sabut Bakre ki Raan was a delight to dig in, marinated with an aromatic blend of spices along with figs paste that gave it a wonderful texture and earthy sweet flavour too.

bakre ki raan

Makai ke kan (a dish like makai ka kees, almost like upma, made with fresh corn) is a breakfast dish, served as a snack sometimes, made a wonderfully light main course dish too. The same fresh corn was used to make makai ke meethe kan, a dessert that is a rustic dessert distinctly different from other Indian kheer recipes. 

The guwar phali ki subzi, made with tender guwar and lots of garlic and coriander etc. was a delight to taste. Guwar grows a lot in Rajasthan and it is cooked like a staple vegetable, I was glad to see guwar being included in the menu as a representative of local flavours.

Jackfruit was cooked in a milky stew without spices and tasted nothing like I have had with jackfruit before. Served in a heirloom brass handi this Doodhiya Kathal was something to remember.

doodhiya kathal

The safed Maas with Hari mirch was another dish that I can't stop raving about. Subtle flavour of green chilies, mildly hot and so flavourful, this safed maas was my favourite at the ITC Maurya showcase as well. This is absolutely my kind of meat curry.

safed maas

A chicken curry that was made in the ghutwa (pulled meat) style was another gem, we were told it was named after the Nawab whose recipe it was, called as Nawab Narendra Baksh chicken.

Nawab chicken

The simple looking yellow dal called as Dal Bidwal was such an unsuspecting gem on the table. Perfectly cooked, ghutwa (slow cooked and completely disintegrated) dal redolent with garlic and ghee made for a lovely pairing with the Batiya roti, made perfectly by their kitchen help. 

Jholdar desi Maas is an everyday meat curry and we were told it is eaten in a specific way for homely meals. The Batiya roti (a rustic flaky roti) is kept at the base of a shallow bowl called as Tasla and the meat curry is poured over the roti directly. One starts breaking the roti from the sides while it keeps soaking in the centre and gets even more delicious by the time one eats the last morsel. Such simpler traditions are rarely talked about at royal tables and I admire Hemendra and Vrinda Singh for keeping alive such homely traditions.

jholdar maas

Last but not the least, the Gulabi Pulao where every grain of rice soaked with the flavours of meat and roses, both blending in perfectly along with mild spicing.

gulabi pulao

The dessert, along with the meethe makai ke kan, was an intriguing dish called as Amrit Ghutka. It was a chana dal halwa, made in porridge consistency and the name was given by Hemendra Singh's father who was a poet and very fond of naming dishes poetically. Amrit ghutka is something heavenly that slides down the throats quickly. 

Hemendra Singh has definitely taken his Rajpootana cuisine a few notches higher with his own inputs, the good news is that they are into the business of catering too and deliver their Rajpootana Kitchen food all over Delhi and NCR, on prior booking. 

I was told they serve the same food at the Bhainsrorgarh fort Hotel as well, tempting me to plan a visit to the idyllic destination it looks like. I will tell you more when I visit Bhainsrorgarh which is quite close to Kota. The pictures of the majestic fort by the deep gorge of Chambal tempts me more. 

Stay tuned for more stories about Bhainsrorgarh. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

recipe of methi papad ki subzi

What if I say methi (fenugreek) seeds make a great subzi and it is not bitter at all? Very few believe this and I know a few who make this subzi after removing the soaking water, boiling it in pressure cooker and removing even the cooking water to 'remove' the bitterness. Trust me you are not supposed to discard the soaking water at all and the methi seeds do not taste bitter in this subzi. 
Sharing a methi papad ki subzi today, a unique flavour that brings a just a light hint of methi bitterness and the alkaline taste of raw urad dal papad that gets balanced with yogurt. 

Methi papad ki subzi was not made in my parents home ever. I know my mother would have scoffed at the idea of methi seeds in a subzi though she would love papad in any form. We occasionally used to make papad ki subzi with the sour buttermilk sometimes just to finish the weekly stock of buttermilk that was leftover after the ghee making excercise back home, normally used for making kadhi or dahi wale alu. 
But that was the end of anything to do with papad in a curry, methi was used in the tadka though, just 1/2 tsp of it. The hint of bitterness methi seeds bring into a dish when used in the tadka is quite a subtle flavour that enlivens many a curries in the eastern part of India I must add. 

Using methi seeds in bulk to make the curry was not something my family would have taken to. One of my Marwadi friend during school used to talk about this subzi but I am sure in that age we are not too sure to serve such unusual food to guests, so I never got to taste methi ki subzi while I loved the kanji vadas and the kair sangri pickles and many types of sweets that her mom made. 

I was actually surprised to taste methi papad ki subzi in a roadside dhaba in Rajasthan couple of years ago and it was not bitter at all. I was so intrigued that I asked the dhaba owner and he shared a useful tip to make this subzi. He told me not to touch the methi once it is soaked, just tip them directly into the cooking pan when cooking the subzi. 

He mentioned if the methi seeds are punctured after soaking they turn bitter, else they remain good. I tried the subzi as soon as I was back home and this subzi has been a regular since then. Even the husband likes it, probably more because he tasted it in a roadside dhaba for the first time but that is good for me. 

(for 4-6 servings)
1/4 cup methi seeds 
5 urad dal papads broken into bite size pieces
1 cup yogurt 
1 cup water 
1 tbsp coriander powder 
1 tbsp cumin powder 
1 tsp red chili powder or to taste 
Pinch of asafoetida or hing 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tbsp mustard oil 
Salt to taste 
Generous amount of chopped coriander leaves


Soak the methi seeds overnight in a cup of water.  Do not disturb once soaked. Remember you are not supposed to touch the soaked methi seeds and puncture its mucilage layer.
Whisk the coriander and cumin powders in the yogurt, add water and whisk again to make it smooth. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a deep pan, add the asafoetida and let it get aromatic. Not take the pan off the heat and add turmeric powder and chili powder, mix well and let them get aromatic. 
Pour the yogurt spice mix slowly into the pan and whisk, take the pan back to the stove and whisk to keep it cooking evenly. 
As soon as the curry starts simmering, pour the soaked methi seeds along with the soaking water and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Add the broken papads, simmer for a couple of minutes and take the pan off the stove.
Sprinkle coriander leaves and serve hot with chapatis or parathas. The best combination with methi papad ki subzi is ghee soaked bajra roti if you like, this methi papad ki subzi makes a great side dish for a big Indian spread as well. 

Make this methi papad ki subzi next time when you are entertaining guests. Add some raisins and may be some fed cashews to make the subzi a bit rich. Raisins actually give methi papad ki subzi a nice dimention. 
It is great for diabetics, is a very good alkalising food but most of all it tastes great. The traditional recipes that have survived the test or time are here to stay. The only grudge is that we don't know them all. It is good till I keep getting acquainted with them one after the other. A slow learning curve is better that never getting exposed to such great food.