In India, I would sit in the living room with Hubby and Mummy-ji, hunching over the coffee table while we peeled pods of peas and tried to see who could fill their bowl the fastest. I always lost. I had never peeled a pea pod in my life. Meanwhile Hubby and Mummy-ji would be onto their second bowl before I had even gotten halfway through my first. I could never put my finger on how a chore like peeling peas could become so fun, but Punjabis seem to be experts at turning chores into competitions.
Before last year’s trip, I had never seen real peas in a pod. The only peas I’ve had exposure to is the kind you buy in the frozenRead More
This recipe for chole is part one of a two part recipe of a Punjabi food favorite, chole bhature. Chole bhature can be found at fancy restaurants, street side vendors which line the streets of Bombay (famous for spicy Punjabi food), railway stations and many more places.
Chole is chickpeas cooked in spicy gravy and bhature is the bread – deep fried bread – which is what makes it such an extra special treat. Next week I’ll be posting our video recipe for bhature. In the meantime, you can get in some practice on the main dish.
One of the best things about making these videos with Mummy-ji is that it has given us something to connect over. As I’m still struggling to learn Hindi, Mummy-ji and I cannot say much to each other. How do you bond with someone when you can’t talk and joke with them? It’s been a tricky situation and one I often struggle with as I would love to be close with her. Spending everyday in the kitchen, hovering over her shoulder or under her elbow has certainly helped to bring us closer together. Before I publish a new video, I always show it to Mummy-ji so she can see the results of our work together. I love to see the smile that spreads across her face when Hubby and I share with her the comments and emails so many people send us aboutRead More
This recipe comes from my new friend and Hindi teacher, Seema. Everyday we meet for an hour and half and I struggle through not being allowed to speak English. When I told Seema I write a blog about Indian cooking and that I make videos with my Mummy-ji, she immediately invited me to her home to make some videos with her and her family. I went to her beautiful home and met her sister-in-law, Madhu, who joined us in the kitchen to show us how she makes one of her best dishes, Shahi Paneer. Shahi Paneer roughly translates as “Royal Paneer” and the taste of this dish lives up to it’s glamorous title. Seema and I recorded a great video on how to cook perfect rice, which will be posted next week. For today, we all get toRead More
It would be honest to say this is the most exciting post for me so far. Malai Kofta is a vegetarian dumpling dish made with the best curry sauce you will ever taste. It is also my all-time favorite Indian dish. What is most significant about this dish is that we served it at our wedding. It’s a very fancy dish, which you don’t find cooked regularly in Indian home kitchens. It’s mostly made for special occasions such as weddings and large festivals. Surprisingly though, my first exposure to Malai Kofta was an Indian TV dinner. We used to spend every weekend in Santa Cruz (my home town) and rather than cooking two and a half days worth of food, Hubby and I would stock up on Mirch Masala brand TV Dinners.Read More
This recipe is an adaptation from one of my favorite Indian food blogs called Veggie Belly. Veggie Belly is one of the blog I frequent a few times a week. Reading her stories, seeing her recipe ideas and learning from her stunning photography (one of the best features of her website) makes me even more excited to try something new or jump into the kitchen. Sala, the talented author, creates amazing vegetarian and vegan recipes ranging from Indian food to Thai, Mexican and anything in between. I usually can’t wait to try out her recipes. One evening Hubby and I were brainstorming our grocery list for the week and trying to come up with ideas for new foods to experiment with.Read More
This is a nostalgic dish for me. It’s one of the first dishes Hubby cooked for me when we were in college together and it was also one of the first he taught me how to cook. Chole is a famous Punjabi dish (also known as chana masala in other parts of India). It’s made with garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) cooked in a tangy sauce and sometimes a very spicy sauce. Hubby had learned the dish from his mother. When Hubby decided to come to the US, Mummy-ji gave Hubby a crash-course in some simple Punjabi favorites that would be easy enough for a bachelor to cook. Chole was top of the list. It’s easy and mouth-watering.Read More
I am noticing a green theme amongst the most famous Punjabi dishes. Saag- creamy and buttery mustard leaves and spinach leaves, Punjabi Hariyali – a medley of green vegetables with green peas, broccoli, green bell peppers, green chills, mustard leaves, spinach leaves, fenugreek leaves. Hariyali actually means “greenery” in Punjabi so this dish is literally “Punjabi Greenery”. And finally there is Palak Paneer – pure spinach flavored with green chilis, ginger, garlic, onions, butter and topped with fresh Indian cheese. Palak Paneer is a favorite in Indian restaurants. But you don’t need to go out to have a great dish of palak paneer.Read More