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alur tarkari


mongo_jones
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okay, here's a classic bengali recipe for potatoes cooked to be eaten with lucchis (though if like me, and most normal people, you can't cook a lucchi to save your life they go well with chapatis and parathas too--not as well with rice):

ingredients:

panch phoron: 1 tspn (a bengali 5 seed mixture: fennel, cumin, mustard, kalonji and one more thing usually)

5 medium rose potatoes diced

1 small onion thinly sliced cross-wise

1/2 tspn haldi

1 medium tomato chopped

salt

2-3 thin green and red chillies chopped

dhania

water

heat some oil (medium-high heat) and drop in the panch phoron. as soon as the seeds stop making like shrapnel drop in the onions--saute till the onions begin to brown and drop in the diced potatoes. saute for some time and add the haldi and stir again for a while. add the tomatoes, chillies and salt and stir till the tomatoes break down and the legendary oil separation begins to happen. add water to cover the potatoes, cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat till the potatoes are done. garnish with dhania and serve

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Mongo, i will add a simple raita or yogurt dish as a side to your delightful dish. People generally shy away from okra, I hope this dish will make you as big an okra fan as I am!! BTW-- Mongo, My first book focuses very much on simple Indian cooking at home.

Fried Okra in Yogurt Sauce (Bhindi Ka Raita)

Serves 4

1/2 pound okra, chopped

3 cups vegetable oil to deep fry

2 cups plain yogurt, whipped

1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted

Table salt to taste

1. Heat about 1 inch oil in a deep pan, to 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a deep-fry thermometer.

2. Add a few pieces of okra and deep-fry until crisp. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel. Continue until all the okra is fried. Set aside.

3. In a bowl add the yogurt, cilantro, cumin powder, red chili powder and salt to taste. Mix well.

4. Add the okra to the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with cumin seeds and serve.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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i've never had a bhindi/okra dish with yogurt--but this sounds good. i think i'll prepare the bhindi sitting in the fridge this way tonight. in the meantime, here's how i normally make bhindi--mostly my mother's recipe (don't know if it is classic bengali or whether it got hybridized as we moved all over india---airforce family). it is an easy, tasty dish (and completely non-slimy for those who have an unhappy relationship with the vegetable):

1 lb bhindi---wash them whole, dry them thoroughly and cut into extremely thin slices

2 medium onions--cut into thin cross-wize slices

mustard oil--preferable for the flavor of the oil which should be apparent at the end, but any other oil will do

1 tspn haldi

1/2 tspn amchur powder

1/2 tspn black pepper

pinch of sugar

a fried masala mix my mother makes for garnish (ok, so you can substitute your own--i have some left over from her last trip this summer)

heat the mustard oil to smoking point and drop in the bhindi--fry and fry, as my mother likes to say, till the oil starts to come out. add the sliced onion and keep stir-frying. when the onions begin to soften add all the spices and the sugar, stir and cook uncovered over medium heat till done. sprinkle the masala on top and serve with chapatis or rice.

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Or you can fly to NYC and there is a restaurant opening end of this month, where Bhindi raita finds place on the menu. It is delicious. One of my absolute favorite memories from growing up in Delhi. Thanks Monica for making me salivate for it late at night.. now I shall miss it till I have some tomorrow for lunch. Naughty you!:rolleyes:

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so, is this a staple of punjabi home-cooking? or is this something relatively specific to delhi. i lived there for 5 years--ate at tons of punjabi friends' homes--never encountered it. i am writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to them all tonight.

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so, is this a staple of punjabi home-cooking? or is this something relatively specific to delhi. i lived there for 5 years--ate at tons of punjabi friends' homes--never encountered it. i am writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to them all tonight.

Never had it at any Punjabi family member or friends homes. My family and friends from UP, living in Delhi, had many such amazing dishes. What UP Wallahs, Biharis, Madhya Pradeshis and Delhi Wallahs who are vegetarian can do with vegetables, is just as wonderful and mind boggling as the variety one can find in the vegetarian homes of Southern India.

I had the luck of being born into a vegetarian household which was totally food obsessed and each day, dishes like Tarkari Waale Aloo (just slightly different from Mongos recipe) and then elaborate koftas and pasandas made with seasonal vegetables would be served. No meal would be complete without many tastes and textures being present at the same time. So, dishes of different complexities, techniques, temperatures and heat quotients would be made. And then there were pickles and chutneys and morabbas.

Bhindi Ka Raita was eaten by me at our home and only one other home when I was a kid. It was a friend whose mother was from Ujjain. But then, as I became a teenager, I found it more commonly available in other homes. Not sure what made it more accessible as I grew older. Maybe I became more aware of it.

Now, some of my Punjabi relatives are also making it. :shock:

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Mongo,

I was afraid to share my recipe, for fear that you may find it rude that I shared another recipe for Tarkari Wale Aloo. Our recipes are similar and yet different. I hope I do not offend you with this offering of a Kayastha (Uttar Pradesh) version of tarkari wale aloo.

MY BROTHER’S POTATOES WITH TOMATO AND MIXED SPICES

Tarkari Wale Aloo

Serves 4

When we were kids, this was my older brother’s favorite dish. He literally refused to sit down to dinner without it. My grandmother liked it a lot too, so she encouraged him as my long suffering parents waited impatiently for his tastes to diversify a bit. I, being the younger brother, had to be different, so I refused to eat it at all while I lived at home. But once I left for college in Bombay I relented and allowed myself to appreciate it. Now it’s one of my favorites, too.

SPICE MIXTURE

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 whole, dried red chilies

1 fresh, hot green chili, cut crosswise into 4

1/8 teaspoon asafetida

2 pounds medium, red boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 tomatoes, cut into large chunks and pureed in a food processor or blender

8-ounce can plain tomato sauce

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. For the spice mixture, combine the coriander, cumin, black mustard seeds, fennel, fenugreek seeds and black peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the turmeric and cayenne; set aside.

2. Combine the oil, cumin and dried and fresh chilies in a large wok, kadai or saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. Add the asafetida and give it a stir, and then add the potatoes. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes.

4. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

5. Add the tomato puree and sauce and stir to coat the potatoes. Add the water and the salt and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

6. Uncover and simmer 5 more minutes to thicken the sauce slightly. Taste for salt. Then transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with cilantro and serve hot.

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the major difference between the two preparations, i'm guessing, is that the bengali panch phoron seeds are used whole. also, there's less cumin, no fenugreek/methi and instead kalonji, and no red chilli powder at all. the overall flavor of the bengali dish is tanginess with the seeds that you get in each mouthful creating a slightly different flavor each time. this sounds good too--and why ever would i be offended? it is in the subtle variety of a cuisine that its soul lies.

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so, is this a staple of punjabi home-cooking? or is this something relatively specific to delhi. i lived there for 5 years--ate at tons of punjabi friends' homes--never encountered it. i am writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to them all tonight.

Bhindi raita is very popular in Tamilian homes. Besides making raita with bhindi, they make moru kolambu and the Andhras make Okra patchadi. Don't complain to your Punjabi friends :smile:

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so, is this a staple of punjabi home-cooking? or is this something relatively specific to delhi. i lived there for 5 years--ate at tons of punjabi friends' homes--never encountered it. i am writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to them all tonight.

Bhindi raita is very popular in Tamilian homes. Besides making raita with bhindi, they make moru kolambu and the Andhras make Okra patchadi. Don't complain to your Punjabi friends :smile:

Prasad, we are talking about two very different animals though.

The UP style Bhindi Raita is made out of very finely sliced Okra. It is then fried until crispy.

Raita is seasoned as you want it to be.

And just before serving, you toss some of the Okra crisps into the raita. Mostly on top.

The ideal way of enjoying it is to mix it in as you eat it.

The okra remains crunchy and give both amazing taste and texture to the raita.

My Tamilian and Bangalorean friends have served me Bhindi Pachadi/Khicadi and that is made with yogurt and is like a salad and not the same as our northern raita.

They fry the okra and set aside. Then I have seen them make a spice paste with coconut, chile, curry leaves, mustard seeds and in some (very few homes) cases fresh ginger. This paste is added into yogurt. Mixed well. The Bhindi is tossed into the yogurt.

A tarka is made with oil, curry leaves and mustards seeds. This is then poured over the okra and yogurt mix. There is only enough yogurt to smother the okra but not too much so as to drown it.

They are two very different preparations but yet so very similar. They each taste great.

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so, is this a staple of punjabi home-cooking? or is this something relatively specific to delhi. i lived there for 5 years--ate at tons of punjabi friends' homes--never encountered it. i am writing a strongly worded letter of complaint to them all tonight.

Bhindi raita is very popular in Tamilian homes. Besides making raita with bhindi, they make moru kolambu and the Andhras make Okra patchadi. Don't complain to your Punjabi friends :smile:

Prasad, we are talking about two very different animals though.

The UP style Bhindi Raita is made out of very finely sliced Okra. It is then fried until crispy.

Raita is seasoned as you want it to be.

And just before serving, you toss some of the Okra crisps into the raita. Mostly on top.

The ideal way of enjoying it is to mix it in as you eat it.

The okra remains crunchy and give both amazing taste and texture to the raita.

Sorry Suvir, I should have been more specific, what I am trying to say was besides making the crispy raita in Tamilian homes they make other tempered versions hot in temperature.

Yes, I was refering to Tamilian raita in a very similar way, may be a diferent in tempering but thin sliced crsiply fried okra either mixed before serving or mix while you are eating.

Now more I think about it these couple of homes I am talking about might have some UP influence. I am going to call today just to verify.

How about offering an assortment of crisps with plain raita like boondi, eggplant, okra. potato or ginger. May be you could suggest this to the chef of the restaurant you were talking about. Just a suggestion.........

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Mango Jones and Suvir,

Thanks for your recipes.

Suvir , I cant thank you enough for sharing your family tarkari wale alu, simple yet so welcomed. I had to make this batch three times this past Sunday brunch. I thought , kya ye aloo khate jarejo bhar bhar. Every time I turn around all I see the food runner ask me for, give me those aloo. That included the staff, who requeted me to make some small hot poori to go with that.

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