Category Archives: Indian


Puff! Puff! Puff!! Chapatis (BBB January 2015)

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Chapatis, based on a recipe in “A Taste of India” by Madhur Jaffery; cooking on an electric stove, including a how-to video; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) January 2015

I know; we JUST made Indian flatbread! But this one is different – not nearly as rich.

I have the honour of being the host kitchen for this January. And I really wanted to choose bread that is made with just flour, water and salt. Heaven knows that we need to have something plain and simple after all our excesses over the holidays….

The foods of my childhood can still be found in Delhi: many more have been layered on. Morning still start in a haze of familiar smoke sent skyward by millions of stoves and cookers. […] Chapatis, delicate wholewheat breads, are slapped on to cast-iron griddles – tavas. These chapatis will be buttered lovingly, stacked, and then together with the vegetables and a piece of green mango pickle, ensconced inside the compartments of a million tiffin-carriers.
– Madhur Jaffrey, A Taste of India, p. 20


Recently, we have been thrilled with the chapatis we’ve been making. And while making chapatis for some people who make chapatis almost every day might be a little humdrum, for us, the thrill has not lessened. Not even remotely. :-)

Eons ago, when we visited India and were staying with friends, T suggested that I should be showed how to make chapatis. We were all very excited. And when we got home, I tried and tried to replicate the bread. Finally (and I can’t remember where I got the idea), we had major success – because I used very hot water to mix the dough.

Here is what we do to make chapatis: Chapatis (BBB January 2015)

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Mawwhat?? Ersatz Dhakai Bakharkhani (BBB November 2014)

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Dhakai Bakharkhani; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) November 2014

The BBBabes are travelling to Bangladesh and while there, making ghee and mawa (aka khoya). Well… most of the BBBabes are making ghee. One of us is lazy and is simply using melted butter. :lalala:

Dhakai Bakharkhani My motto is: Always put off for tomorrow what could easily be done today.

And suddenly, tomorrow has arrived!! I don’t know why it takes me by surprise every time. :lalala: (Sigh… late again.)

This month the BBBabes have been making Bakharkhani. Or is it Bhakarkhani? Or maybe it’s Bakar khani?! Or perhaps Baqerkhani. That’s the beauty of translating a Bangladeshi word into Western spelling. There are so many permutations!

However it’s spelled, it’s generally agreed that the actual bread is wonderful. And some people claim that it’s a healthy snack too!

It is a healthy dish, which contains some good nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
About Bakarkhani,

One of the things required for making this flatbread (heh – that’s one way of getting out of spelling it), is mawa. Or khoya, if you prefer, as T does.

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green bean sabzi (WFD 2014)

feed the hungrysummary: recipe for green bean sabzi; reminder about those in need and that October 16 is World Food Day; FAO’s World Hunger Map 2014 | Prevalence of Undernourished in the Population; list of some of the aid organizations working to feed the hungry; (click on images for larger views)

green beans sabzi The other day, we were surprised to see that green beans were priced at around $2/lb (yes, I know; Canada supposedly went metric eons ago. But, don’t get me started that most stores have not managed to make the switch…). Other vegetables were also priced on the high side even though we are celebrating Thanksgiving and the local harvest.

But we love green beans (so does the furry black fiend) so we bought some anyway.

And then as we were paying, we remembered that California is undergoing a drought. And so is Central America.

So. The next time you gasp in horror that your garden tomatoes didn’t do so well because it didn’t rain as much as you thought it would when you went away on holiday, it would be a good idea to do a reality check.

Here’s what drought really means:

Central America is seeing one of the worst droughts in decades. Images in the media are filled with stunted corn crops, parched land, and starving cattle. The El Niño affect has meant that rains came late and insufficiently. […] In a region where subsistence farmers depend on their harvest for both their family’s food and for income, this means that many families don’t have enough to eat until they can produce the next harvest.”
-Elizabeth Scambler, Drought, food security and migration in Central America, September 17, 2014

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Stir-fried beets, Indian style (WHB: curry leaf)

summary: recipe for South Indian Beets (stir-fried beets and curry leaves) from a recipe in SAVEUR; problems with photographing Indian food so it looks good; information about curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) and WHB; (click on image(s) for larger views and more photos)

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #447??: Curry Leaf (Murraya koenigii)

Not long ago, I complained about the choice of words in SAVEUR magazine, specifically “The India Issue”. But I don’t think I was magnanimous enough to mention that in spite of their poor choice and/or distinct lack of words, they did get several things right.

beets One of those things was the “beetroot thoran” from Kerala on page 72. When we read about stir-frying beets with curry leaves and coconut, we knew we had to try it!

Because I can’t stop buying beet tops (j’adore stir-fried beet-tops!), we always have beets lying around in the bottom of the vegetable bin in the fridge. But we don’t always have curry leaf on hand. Continue reading

Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds (WHB#383: Anardana)

weekend herb blogging - © kalyns kitchensummary: recipe for aloo anardana (potato masala with pomegranate seeds); information about anardana and Weekend Herb Blogging; (click on images for larger views and more photos)

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB)#383
Anardana: Pomegranate (Punica granatum) seeds

aloo anardana The other day, we rode to Indiatown to stock up on spices. And T announced that we needed anardana.

We needed what?!

He repeated, “Anardana. It was in the SAVEUR100. It sounds good. Don’t you remember?”

I know that I’ve claimed that I read SAVEUR cover to cover. But nope. I had no recollection of anardana.

So, when we got home, I riffled through the magazine and there it was:

In northern India and Pakistan, burgundy-colored anardana — ground sundried pomegranate seed — is stirred into stewed chickpeas, incorporated into meat rubs, and sprinkled atop myriad dishes for a burst of mouthwatering piquancy.

Anardana, SAVEUR100, page 46, Issue #153, January 2013

And as I was reading about anardana, T looked through our several cookbooks to see if we had any recipes that called for anardana for a vegetarian dish that would go with lentils and flatbread for lunch. Continue reading

It turns out that cooked cabbage is delicious

summary: recipe for Indian-style cabbage with ginger and coconut; embracing vegetarian food; (click on image to see larger view)

cabbage Like so many others, we are trying to reduce our meat intake. And we often choose to make vegetarian dinners.

But our vegetarian dishes are not watery and bland. Or trying to mimic meat. Or tasteless and grey. They’re vibrant with many different flavours and textures.

The other night, as we were indulging ourselves with the most spectacular feast of rice, dahl, fried eggplant, aloo posta with green beans, and stir-fried cabbage, we couldn’t help but admit that if we decided to become exclusively vegetarian, we would probably be making just about everything Indian-style. Continue reading