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October 09 COTM: "Indian" Vegetables

Welcome to the October 2009 Chow Cookbook of the Month featuring:

Classic Indian Cooking, by Julie Sahni
Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking

Please post your full-length reviews of *Vegetable* recipes here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the book or author and page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

This thread will encompass the following chapters-

Jaffrey, "Vegetables"
Sahni, veggie recipes from "Main Dishes" and "Side Dishes"

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. "Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic, Pg. 155
    Indian Cooking, Madhur Jeffrey

    1 lb 6 oz potatoes are boiled in their skin, drained, cooled then peeled and diced. I used small red potatoes and quartered them. Ginger, garlic, a little water, turmeric, salt and cayenne are processed in a miniFP till a paste forms. Oil is heated in a non-stick pan, fennel seeds are added and left to sizzle for a bit, then the spice paste is added and fried for 2 minutes. The potatoes are add to the pan and stir fried till they are golden and covered with the Luscious sauce. At this point the kitchen smelled like a spice house. This is a wonderful side dish for just about anything. There's a bit left over and I want to see how they taste when cold. Perhaps a new version of potato salad???

    5 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      warm them up thoroughly then mix with some good yogurt, chipped green chile and cilantro, salt and pepper - makes a nice raita/indian potato salad. Let sit a while after mixing and before eating.

      1. re: jen kalb

        OK Thanks, Jen! That's just what I'll do. I'm making the turkey koftas tonight and your suggestion will go with that very well, I think. Thank You.

      2. re: Gio

        My turn. Kid chose our menu tonight and we ate a lot of garlic. Gio's description of the process is accurate. We found that we had to cook the potatoes for about 2 minutes longer than called for, but I love it when you get crispy bits. I used chili pepper instead of the cayenne, so there was a nice underlying heat to the dish but it didn't overpower. Really nice recipe indeed. And we also have some leftovers!

        1. re: Gio

          "Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic
          Jaffrey, page 144

          We closed Indian month with a veritable feast of goodness drawn from the Jaffrey book. The menu included Lamb Samosas [with wonton skins], Tandoori-Style Chicken [p90], Cauliflower with Potatoes [p144], "Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic [p155], Red Split Lentils with Cumin Seeds, and Simple Basmati Rice. Also on the table was a Tamarind Chutney and the Onion Relish [p221.]

          I forgot the naan but didn't miss it.

          The original menu inlcuded the cauliflower and potato dish, so this add-on was because the chow-pup-almost-an-adult wanted to come to dinner and she hates cauliflower. [Has she actually tried cauliflower??? But I digress.]

          Used locally grown russets this time, and we all really enjoyed this simple preparation again. Love both the flavor and the texture of slightly crispy potato edges. The russets had more flavor than the new, white potatoes I used last time. This dish is a keeper.

          1. re: Gio

            What a delicious recipe! I tried it tonight (recipe is posted here):

            Question: I used Yukon Golds and did not let them cool completely. Is that why mine was more like a rustic version of Indian mashed potatoes? :) Either way, really good. And I might try the leftovers as jen kalb suggested below. Thanks!

          2. Cauliflower with Fennel and Mustard Seeds
            Jeffrey, page 146

            I divided this recipe in half. Soak florets in water until ready to cook and then begin preparing the spices. in hot oil cook fennel seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Add cauliflower, 4 tablespoons water and a little salt. Cook until the cauliflower is cooked and then browned, about 5 minutes. I reduced the amount of oil by a third, but with the final crisping, I don't think it could be reduced by much more than that.

            First words from my dining partner's mouth were "this is cauliflower? Wow, this is good." [Yea, he actually doesn't care for this vegetable and ate two servings.] This side dish had a nice set of flavors, was quick and easy to make, and complimented the menu perfectly. We would make this again without reservation.

            Served with cocktail koftas [page 47], Lentils with Garlic Butter [Sahni page 332], Yogurt with cucumber and mint [page 210], and plain, easy to cook rice [page 192.]

            6 Replies
            1. re: smtucker

              Cauliflower with Fennel and Mustard Seeds, Pg. 146
              Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

              I made these last night and we liked them too. Quick and easy and a great accompaniment for just about anything, I think. I served them with the potatoes reviewed above and Spicy Scrambled Eggs, Pg. 107

              1. re: Gio

                Made this one tonight for the first time. Daughters commented it would have been better if I had let the cauliflower brown a bit. but we all ate it up. It was tasty but improved by a heavy sprinking of cilantro leaves for freshening (a lot of these dishes are.

              2. re: smtucker

                good to hear to positive reviews of this one ... it is on my list. And I love hearing "quick and easy to make" in both reviews!

                1. re: smtucker

                  Based on the reviews here, I made this tonight. What a hit!

                  Had it with Sahni's shahi korma and Lucknow sour lentils, as well as Jaffrey's peelay chaval. Too much red food last time, too much yellow food this time. One of these days I'll start paying attention to presentation **before** I start cooking.

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Wow! I'm impressed...so many dishes.

                  2. re: smtucker

                    My turn on the cauliflower with fennel and mustard seeds (Jaffrey)

                    Loved them. As with the green beans in her book, I found them to be a little saltier than I'd like, but still and all, loved them. I started off giving Lulu a very small portion, since in the past some foods with dark seeds in them have elicited a "whats this dirt" response. But ... I gave her seconds (and she wanted thirds, but they were gone). I should mention that I do not have black mustard seeds, only regular, and haven't found there to be any issue with taste. Oh, and we were out of cilantro, so i skipped that with no problem.

                  3. Mattar paneer - peas and cheese - Sadhi p. 266.

                    Making the cheese was a snap. I really didn't expect it to be so easy.

                    When it came time to cook, call me chicken, but I don't like putting hot liquids in the blender. So rather pureeing cooked chopped vegetables, I made an onion paste, browned it, added a garlic-ginger paste, continued browning, and proceeded with the other sauce ingredients including lightly pureed tomatoes.

                    I think the secret to the depth of flavor of this dish is to cook all the moisture out of the tomatoes and brown them. After that you can thin the sauce back out, add the peas and browned cheese, and simmer until done.

                    I put in a little extra red pepper, so it had a pretty good hit of heat that complemented the creaminess of the cheese. Good stuff.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      I made this last night. I liked it, but I was struck by how different it tasted from mattar paneer I've had in restaurants. I was kind of distracted while cooking, so maybe I just did something wrong.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Matar paneer - peas and cheese - Sahni p. 266

                        My oh My. We loved this dish. And, I took a lot of shortcuts and it still tasted great.

                        Note: while this is an easy recipe it takes a lot of time. Active cooking time is about an hour. But, waiting around time is about 1.5 hours. So, allocate at least 3 hours to make the dish or serve it the next day.

                        So, my shortcuts - I used store bought ghee and paneer and I used canned tomatoes (tomato season is over, sniff, sniff).

                        Anyway, cut and then dry out the paneer (sits there for 30 minutes). Then fry the paneer for about 5 minutes. Sahni warns that the oil will splatter and she wasn't kidding. Use a splatter shield. I also had my heat on too high so some of the paneer stuck to the bottom of the pan and was more brown then she called for. Remove the cheese and add more ghee.

                        Sahni calls for 8 T of ghee. I used a hair less than 6 and it was more than enough. Add the chopped onions and fry until their brown. Then add garlic and ginger and then add ground coriander, tumeric, red and black pepper and paprika. Lastly add the chopped (canned) tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes. The tomatoes/spice/onion mixture turns thick and pasty.

                        Add 2.5 cups of hot water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. I then used the immersion blender to give it a whirl. At this point, add the (defrosted) peas and cheese back into the mixture. Sahni also adds another .5 cups of hot water here. I didn't because I didn't want the sauce to get too watery. It was great without that extra water. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then you let it rest for an HOUR. I didn't see that until it was too late so we ordered takeout that night.

                        But this was worth the wait. After the dish is heated through, add the garam masala and cilantro. The flavors just popped. I think it's because of all the different spices and veggies (onions, ginger, garlic, coriander, tumeric, cayenne, pepper, paprika, chopped tomatoes, garam masala and cilantro). So many depths that my mouth didn't no which way was up. Plus, the cheese was creamy and delicious. I also think that this sauce would be great with tofu and the peas.

                        Huge winner of a dish. Can't wait for leftovers tonight.

                      2. Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, Julie Sahni: On-line Recipe

                        The ingredients are: 1 bunch broccoli cut into long-ish spears with the stems peeled, vegetable oil (corn), 8-10 garlic cloves (8), 1/3t turmeric and 1t (1/2t) Kosher salt. Put the oil into a frying pan and when hot add the garlic which has been peeled but left whole.
                        When the garlic is golden quickly add the turmeric, stir, then add the broccoli so it lies in one layer. Let this sizzle for a minute then sprinkle in the salt. Turn the broccoli with tongs and sauté it for another minute. Turn down the heat, cover, and cook till the broccoli is cooked through. Uncover the pan and if there's moisture cook till it evaporates.

                        Pretty straightforward this preparation, but the finished dish, to me, was very salty. DH thought it was delicious but I didn't. I cook broccoli regularly usually in a quick sauté so I didn't expect not liking it. In retrospect it may have been the combination of the flavors of the relish and chutney that clashed with the broccoli.... I don't know.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Gio

                          I made this as well tonight. Garlic night in the smtucker household.... This is not a way that I have prepared broccoli before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect.

                          For me, the broccoli just wasn't cooked enough before being brown. Not sure if my spears were too large, my broccoli didn't give off any water so there was no steam and should have or what. I liked the flavor, so in the future I might try steaming the broccoli just a bit before sauteeing or making smaller spears.

                          I didn't measure the salt, just adding a pinch of kosher salt to avoid the over-saltiness that Gio experienced.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            From the description, its not expected to be cooked before being brown - You would do the sauteeing at high-ish heat and then cover for the broc to steam a bit at low heat to finish. there should be enuf moisture for it to finish cooking. It wont brown nearly as well if you parboil it firat. Smaller spears and peeling your stems would also help - I usually divide my broc into two parts, thin slices of stem and small flowerets - then you dont get a delay as you wait for the stems to cook. good luck next time!

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Yes, I expected the broccoli to steam, but it didn't. Do you think adding some water after the browning would help? This was broccoli that was just picked at the farm, so freshness wasn't in question. Just didn't give off any water.

                              1. re: smtucker

                                Hmm ... maybe I'll try something else then for my dinner tonight, and give this a try another time.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  I was just going to suggest the green beans as an alternative, MM. Here's the exact recipe:

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Thank you - by the way - I made the eggplant with fresh herbs from Sahni yesterday, for tonight, and it's taking a lot of will power for me not to gobble it up!

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      That's good to know. I've had a fixation on eggplant lately. I'll take a look at the recipe, thanks.

                          2. re: Gio

                            Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, Sahni, pg. 297

                            I made this last night and we loved it. I didn't seem to have any of the problems listed on the thread. Maybe because I used a large skillet but there wasn't as much broccoli? Also, probably because there was still water in the floret heads and this probably helped with the cooking. Anyway, this was just delicious and I'll definitely make this again.. Next time I think I'll cut down my broccoli so the stems and florets are separated.

                          3. Carrots, Peas and Potatoes flavored with Cumin
                            Jaffrey page 147

                            Another simple vegetable dish that was quick and easy to assemble. The only trick is to boil and cool the potato ahead of time. I admit that there were no carrots in my version. I really dislike cooked carrot. I did not increase the amount of peas and settled for a slightly different balance of ingredients. I also omitted the sugar.

                            Sautee 1 1/2 t cumin seed in 3 T mustard oil [I used Sunflower instead] before adding the 2 dried, hot red chilis, and then the 2 medium onions. This seemed like a huge amount of onions and for a moment I wavered, but went ahead with all of them. Cook until the onions are translucent, add the peas [and carrots], cover and cook until tender. Then add the potatoes, salt and sugar. Cook for two more minutes, top with 1 thinly sliced scallion just before serving.

                            This was a good, solid side dish. I would have enjoyed having the potatoes crispy and might consider a light browning of the potatoes before adding them. Anyhow, another tasty and quick vegetable side dish to add to those already posted.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: smtucker

                              Ive made this dish before and can agree that it is a good one, particularly for folks who are not too adventurous with Indian food. I served it to my church folks once. Id say you missed out on a possibly acceptable way to eat cooked carrots. Also can add some chopped coriander (might make more sense than the scallion). the mustard oil would have given it some extra flavor.

                              1. re: smtucker

                                Carrots, Peas, and Potatoes Flavored with Cumin (Gajar, matar, aur aloo ki bhaji)
                                4.5 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 147

                                A fresh-tasting dish that feels (and is) healthy. It's surprisingly good for such a simple recipe and doesn't take too long, assuming you boil the potatoes ahead of time. The dish is onion heavy, which is good for me because I like onions.

                                Some notes on the ingredients:
                                * I substituted canola oil for the mustard oil, as the recipe said was reasonable.
                                * I used only two tablespoons of oil (rather than the three recommended) to apparently no ill effect. I possibly could've used less: the vegetables were slick, though not unappealingly so.
                                * I used dried arbol chilies for the dried hot red chilies called for by the recipe. Yes, I know they're Mexican, but they're what I had available.

                                By the way, 1.5 pounds of English peas makes 1.5 cups of shelled peas.

                                I liked this dish so much, I made it again, this time using frozen peas to apparently no ill effect.

                                Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                              2. Gujerati-style Green Beans, Pg. 131
                                Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

                                This was a nice, and welcome, change from all the cilantro we've used in the past 5 days.... We've gone through 4 large bunches of the stuff so far ! String beans are trimmed then cut into 1" pieces... although the advice given for other bean recipes is to cut them as small as you want as long as the pieces are the same size. So I guess I cut them about 2". The beans are blanched for a few minutes, drained then added to a skillet after frying black mustard seeds, finely chopped garlic, a crushed hot red dried chili (mortar & pestle). When the garlic is golden the beans are put into the pan along with salt and a little sugar. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring the beans in the spices, add black pepper and it's done. So easy and so tasty.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Gio

                                  Gujerati-style Green Beans

                                  Boy, did we LOVE these green beans. They give Dunlop's dry-fried green beans a run for their money, which is high praise indeed. Easy to make (once you've done the trimming, cutting of the beans) too. Made this with the mackerel from the same book (will report on that in the appropriate thread) but this was the big hit of the night.

                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                    Hmm ... maybe I'll make this tonight, instead of the broccoli from Sahni. Would love the quantities of the ingredients if anyone has a moment, since I don't have this book.

                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                        Thanks Alan... I could have sworn I linked it under her 11:52 post.... But this crazy site keeps bumping my reply boxes to the top no matter where I want to reply.

                                      2. re: MMRuth

                                        My only caveat would be to watch the salt. I loved it, but it was slightly on the salty side. Just taste as you go and see how you feel. But I do hope you try it and enjoy it.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Gujerati-Style Green Beans, Jaffrey, Pg. 131

                                      Really easy recipe, and a very lovely way to make green beans. Hubbie was a little suspicious about all the black mustard seeds, but now he is a convert. We did skip the chili, as we didn't have any in the house that were usable, so it was much less spicy than it should have been. But it went very well with the Mughlai Lamb and turnips, and aded a nice colour to the plate.

                                      1. re: moh

                                        I made these last Friday and, while they were good, and a simple dish to have with richer dishes, I wasn't blown away by it.

                                      2. re: Gio

                                        Gujerati-Style Green Beans
                                        5 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                        Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 131

                                        Very good and easy to make. Nicely garlicky, perhaps because the cloves I used were abnormally large. I think the mustard seeds add something as well.

                                        I used less oil than suggested because I used a non-stick skillet.

                                        Some notes on the ingredients:
                                        * For the one-half to one dried red chili, I used one arbol chili because that's what I had at hand.
                                        * I forgot the ground black pepper.

                                        Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                        [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Gujerati-style Green Beans, Pg. 131
                                          Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

                                          Tonight was the first time I made this preparation, but it won't be the last! I really liked the mustard seeds with garlic. I made a half recipe for the two of us and used an entire Sanaam pepper. In the future, I would reduce the amount of oil to half. Just thought there was too much oil at the bottom of the serving bowl. My beans, Costco haricot vert, were done at about 6 minutes.

                                        2. Buttered Smothered Cabbage p. 298 Sahni's book

                                          I loved this dish. What a great "home style" daily meal type Indian veg dish. I bought pre-shredded cabbage at my local grocer. It was about 3 cups worth, less than called for in the recipe, so I reduced the other ingredients as well. Flavor is imparted to the cabbage by sauteeing in seasoned oil without liquid first, which is tastier than a boiled cabbage effect. The seasonings are asofetida (hing) and whole cumin seeds tempered in the oil, cabbage is sauteed, then turmeric is also added for color. Then just chopped tomato which melts down during the cooking to give flavor and a little color, fresh green chiles chopped (I used two), crushed ginger, and fresh cilantro folded in at the end of cooking. Very mildly spiced with a nice heat from the chiles. The recipe said add water and then cook cabbage for 20 minutes, but mine was ready in about 10. I dried the water up a bit on high heat at the end before adding the cilantro. I was a bit worried about using fresh ginger because in most of my own recipes ginger is added to the oil before the main vegetable to ensure that it fully cooks and to flavor the oil. But the dish didn't turn out harsh or overly gingery from adding it in later in the cooking process. I added a pat of butter a top this dish when I served it.

                                          A very lovely dish. I highly recommend it. We ate it with chappati and the other dishes in the meal were spinach pullao with cumin raita, and Sahni's Mughalai Korma.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                            Good to read your report this morning. My Sahni book finally arrived yesterday and this cabbage recipe called out to me so I'm making it tonight I have not bought any asofetida yet. I wonder if not incorporating it would have a huge effect on the finished dish. ???

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              Looks like we'll be making this dish together. I'm also leaving out the hing mostly bc I haven't been able to get my act together to make it to an indian grocery store. The recipe does say it's optional so I'm banking on that.

                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                if youre going to continue cooking indian you will want to buy some asafoetida. Lasts forever (just use a pinch at a time, usually) and does give that characteristic flavor to dals, etc.

                                                Ive not made this dish but find I prefer to leave out any water added to Indian cabbage dishes unless it seems to be absolutely necessary. the flavors are more vivid and the texture more crispy-tender without it.

                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                  jen kalb: Thanks for the tip about asafoetida. I have some that's been in my spice cabinet for a couple of years and I was worried I should toss it and buy a new batch. Since I only use it about twice a year, I'm glad you think it lasts "forever". ;+)

                                              2. re: Gio

                                                Yep no need to buy hing just for one recipe. You could leave out a sub altogether if you wanted to. As an alternative you could saute one finely sliced onion till golden with 6 pieces of garlic for the hing effect, as hing is used by people whose religious communities avoid onions and garlic to achieve that flavor. You could also sautee some onions and garlic and strain them from the oil (use them in one of the many recipes that call for it), then fry the cumin seeds, to give the flavor without them being there so the end result would be more like Sahni's +hing recipe.

                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                  I really like the Gujerati cabbage with carrots recipe from Jaffrey so I'll definitely be giving this one a go soon to compare.

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    yes, thats a good simple recipe. not too much spice, and a fresh flavor, so good for eaters who may not like "indian"

                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                      I've been making the Gujerati cabbage and carrots ever since I got the book in the '80s. Love it. Very nice with plain pork chops too.

                                              3. re: luckyfatima

                                                Butter Smothered Cabbage, Pg. 298
                                                Classic Indian Cooking, Julie Sahni

                                                This was Wonderful. I followed the recipe just as Luckyfatima wrote in her report but used 1 large-ish jalapeno including the ribs and seeds. I loved that the cabbage was cooked to perfect tenderness. Sometimes I do like the cabbage al dente but for this dish nice and tender was best, IMO. I recommend it too. It went well with Jaffrey's Kashmiri Stew, pg. 63 and leftover reheated Spicy Basmati Rice, pg. 194

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  We really liked this as well. I used two smaller jalapenos and discerned no heat whatsoever. I think I grew dud peppers this year.

                                                  The odd thing was that my husband called this indian sauerkraut. It was weird to me because I didn't taste any vinegarness or pickliness. He liked it though but insisted it tasted like curried sauerkraut.

                                              4. "The Lake Palace Hotel's aubergine (eggplant) cooked in the pickling style" (Baigan achari)
                                                Madhur Jaffrey pg 100
                                                Just made this dish for dinner. As for the outcome, I think the technical term is "fan-freaking-tastic". This was fairly simple to make and came out so flavorful and delicious. I made much less than the original recipe - 1 very small eggplant instead of 1 large or 2 small, used canned tomatoes instead of fresh chopped, and followed her instructions on subbing whole cumin seeds for kalonji. Basically you fry the eggplant slices, let them drain for a bit, fry the spices & tomato, then add the eggplant in again and cook for another 5 minutes to blend the flavors. I used a whit eggplant and dthe skin turned brright yellow from the turmeric.There is a bit of oil left on the bottom, but not too much. Disclaimer: there is a teaspoon of whole fennel seeds called for in this recipe. I love the taste of fennel, so for me that's a good thing, but if you really dislike licorice flavors this dish may not be to your taste.

                                                15 Replies
                                                1. re: Emmmily

                                                  Thank you so much for posting about this recipe. It is on my very short list and I almost made it last night to accompany my "fish of the week." Alas, I ended up pulling out Cradle of Flavor and using two of my four eggplants for Asiah's Eggplant Curry. Now I will make sure those last two eggplants end up in a "pickle." [I will reduce the fennel just a bit.]

                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                    I love this recipe - so glad others like it too. It is a better leftover dish than the Asiah's Eggplant Curry which has some points of similarity.

                                                  2. re: Emmmily

                                                    I too love this recipe! Have made it many times over the years, and it's always delicious. My family doesn't eat lamb so I don't make it, but I've always thought this and lamb would be a great combination.

                                                    1. re: Emmmily

                                                      Great post, emmmily. Is that an Ikea bowl? I cannot wait to try this recipe. When will my book arrive!!!!

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        Yes it is - I like to think of it as "grad student chic" :-)

                                                      2. re: Emmmily

                                                        Emmmily--I make this all the time, as a side for Indian food, but we also love it w/BBQ, w/fried fish and oysters, w/simple grilled lambchops. I agree w/you: it is out-of-this-world delicious, and I have made this using cumin seeds and subbing canned tomatoes for whole at times. I love it cold or at room temperature. I've never had anyone bothered by the fennel; the flavors all meld so well.
                                                        It's a great do-ahead dish, party dish, or potluck contribution.
                                                        GREAT DISH!

                                                        1. re: Emmmily

                                                          I made the eggplant dish last weekend. I used the kalonji and fennel and the combination worked pretty well. It is simple to make, other than the deep frying part.

                                                          I liked the dish and would make it again, but my husband who does not like eggplant did not become a convert. I served it with pork chops.

                                                          1. re: Emmmily

                                                            Eggplant in the pickling style, Jaffrey, page 136

                                                            Emmmmily had this right. Amazing dish. Even the non-eggplant, non-fennel loving person at the table had no trouble scarfing down a large portion of this side. I used cumin seeds, and canned tomatoes. I also reduced the cooking oil, making sure that the pan was hot enough to fry in as little oil as possible.

                                                            There was not a bite left and a request has already been made to make this again.

                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                              We made this again last week, at the request of my eggplant-neutral DH, and once again it was delicious. What a great item to have on the plate. The colors and flavors are very vibrant. [Need to post a review of the chicken dish which scored well above a 100%]

                                                            2. re: Emmmily

                                                              That is a terrific dish, I must make it again.

                                                              1. re: Emmmily

                                                                I've always wanted to make this (the Lake Palace Hotel's eggplant in the pickling style) because I adore eggplant and all these flavors, but was daunted by the frying and all the oil she calls for. Finally made it, using a tip I read somewhere (probably here on CH) to give the sliced eggplant a brief soak in cold water to keep it moist while using less oil. I used a few tablespoons of oil altogether, and while the eggplant of course absorbed it all, it cooked very nicely.

                                                                What was I waiting for all this time? Absolutely delicious, made with CSA eggplant, canned tomatoes, and the cumin seeds. And the flavors seem right on, based on the achari chicken that was a regular takeout order from an Indian place near a previous home. I will keep coming back to this one, for sure.

                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                  I seem to remember this tip too, posted by Buttertart maybe? Do you rinse the eggplant once it's been fried?

                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                    No, what I did was put the sliced eggplant in a bowl, cover with cold water (with a plate on top to keep it from floating) and leave for ~10 minutes, then pat it dry before cooking. As I said, I didn't use a lot of oil, and while the eggplant didn't get deeply browned, it needed no draining and in the finished dish, did have that lovely texture that usually comes from frying it initially.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      thanks for bringing up this recipe and the new technique. the recipe is one of my Jaffrey faves,but it can be pretty oily - thanks again!

                                                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                    That's a great recipe. There was some recipe I saw for yu xiang eggplant that had you soak the eggplant after frying too...must find. (If you microwave eggplant until it's soft it won't absorb much oil -- the cells collapse. Corby Kummer tip, I think. Or McGee.)
                                                                    Aha: here it is, not yu xiang but hongshao, but method could be used for either...http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes... (Danny Bowien)

                                                                2. Two Sahni cauliflower dishes - I'm not a huge cauliflower fan, but have always enjoyed it in Indian restaurants.

                                                                  Cauliflower and Scallions with Black Mustard Seeds (Gobhi Kari), p. 301

                                                                  I made about half the recipe - mustard seeds added to hot oil, followed by urad dal (which I didn't use this time), then tumeric, chilies and scallions, then the cauliflower and hot water. Cook for about 15 - 20 minutes until the cauliflower is crispy and tender. Then increase heat and stirfry so that the liquid evaporates. Before serving, add the kari leaves (curry leaves) and salt if needed.

                                                                  Glazed Cauliflower with Ginger (Gobhi Sabzi), p. 299

                                                                  Similar technique - coriander seeds (or ground cumin) added to hot oil, then ginger/chilies, then tumeric and salt, then cauliflower. At the end, you add lemon juice and choped cilantro leaves.

                                                                  I liked both of them, but I think the second one I made edges out the first. They both had a beautiful golden color to them, which I think does not show up so well in the photos.

                                                                  1. Spinach cooked with onions - Mughlai saag
                                                                    Jaffrey pg 115

                                                                    This dish was good, but lacked some of the depth of flavor I've come to expect from Jaffrey. I ended up adding some more salt and garam masala at the end, which helped, but still didn't quite get it there. In all, I enjoyed the dinner but probably won't be adding the dish to my regular rotation.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Emmmily

                                                                      I should mention too that I added some pieces of paneer made from Julie Sahni's instructions. That's what those white chunks are in the picture.

                                                                      1. re: Emmmily

                                                                        Wow! Emmmily, I'm impressed. Gotta try this recipe for paneer. Thanks for the post.

                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                          It was pretty easy actually, just took a little time to drain the curds and all. I don't actually have the book, but I found instructions at the end of this recipe:

                                                                      2. re: Emmmily

                                                                        Spinach cooked with onions (Mughlai saag) Jaffrey, pg. 156

                                                                        I am pretty sure this is the same recipe that Emmmily made, although the page numbers don't correspond. I must have a different version of the book?

                                                                        It is very simple to prepare, you saute finely chopped onions in oil, then add the chopped spinach, chili, ginger, salt and a touch of sugar, and wilt the spinach. Then you add a half cup of water and simmer for about 10 minutes. You do boil away a bit of a water later on. Finish with garam masala. Hubbie, who was in charge of the spinach, was alarmed by the amount of spinach, the recipe calls for a full 2 pounds. But of course with time, and with patience as you slowly add the spinach bit by bit, it all gets cooked.

                                                                        We were disturbed by the amount of water in the dish at the end, and we didn't want to overcook the spinach, so we just drained it off. Next time, we would only ad a touch of water, as the spinach releases a lot of liquid.

                                                                        I agree with Emmmily, it is good, but isn't anything special. Well, we needed a simple healthy vegetable. It fits the bill. I'd make it again, just because it is so easy. But it isn't a showstopper.

                                                                      3. Fragrant Buttered Greens, Sahni, pg. 319

                                                                        Another winner from the Sahni book and this was so delicious that I wished I added more greens. The recipe called for 1 lb spinach, and 1 lb of some other greens such as mustard, kale, collards or beets. I had leaves from 2 bunches of beets and used those along with the spinach. Next time, I would add more greens period, bringing it to 3 lbs of greens. There is enough liquid for this.

                                                                        Anyway, I thought it was an interesting preparation because you first fry a lb of potatoes in oil. My potatoes were bigger and I cut them into smaller pieces then recommended. I'm not a huge fans of huge chunks of potatoes for some reason so I just adjusted the size. First you fry cumin seeds, garlic and chili peppers then you add the potatoes to the oil. After you fry the potatoes until their browned, you add a cup of greens at a time. Once they wilt, you keep adding greens until they are all wilted. Add ginger powder, salt and then boiling water (I don't know why it has to be boiling, I think you can add cold water and then bring it to a boil). Cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. Then you uncover and simmer to reduce the water content. I turned the heat up a little because there was a lot of water in the skillet. You gently stir until the greens look almost dry and the butter begins to coat and glaze the veggies. After the veggies are dried out, stir in the garam masala.

                                                                        I still don't have ghee and haven't had time to make any. So, when the veggies were simmering, I added a teeny bit of butter, maybe a teaspoon, to the mixture and stirred it in. It was enough to get the creamy butteriness into the dish.

                                                                        This was incredibly creamy. The potato starch incorporated into the greens giving it that silky buttery taste.

                                                                        An easy recipe although prepping the greens took a long time.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                          at ;east where I am you can get frozen turnip greens etc in the grocery store. Saag paneer or alu is a lot faster when you start with the frozen greens - though you have to thaw and drain them. If you go to an indian store they sell frozen spinach etc. in huge 3 or 5 lb packages.

                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                            I made the same recipe tonight. I have no idea if I used a pound each -- I just bought a large bunch of tuscan kale and a very large bunch of spinach (there ended up being more kale than spinach). I too didn't have ghee on hand so I basically did the same thing you did -- began with oil and then added maybe a pat of butter at the end to give it that nice sheen. I used a little less of the garam masala (I'm not too keen on things that smell "sweet" to me).

                                                                            I didn't think the greens took all that long. Other than removing the very large stems, I used everything. Just chopped roughly. It cooks for so long that it all came out very creamy and soft anyway.

                                                                            The one thing that I'm not liking the Sahni book on is that while she's sooooo specific on some things, on others there's not much guidance -- like what kind of potato should be used. I used 2 small red new potatoes and 3 very small yukon golds (and all my veg ingredients came from the greenmarket - yay).

                                                                            My other problem with Sahni is that water (even boiling water!) is never listed in the ingredients list but buried inside the recipe. Not very user-friendly, I think.

                                                                            But this dish was lovely and both DH and I enjoyed it.

                                                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                                                              Fragrant Buttered Greens, Pg. 319
                                                                              Classic Indian Cooking, Julie Sahni

                                                                              Made this last night to go with the Kashmiri Lamb with Turnips. An OK combination. I halved the recipe and used greens from a bunch of just picked beets and fresh spinach, both bought at our favorite farm in the morning. I love greens of any sort cooked or raw so I was anticipating a nice tasty healthy dish which I guess it was, but I'm not used to cumin with them. DH followed the same procedure Beetlebug reported about cooking the garlic and green chilies in the oil (EVOO) then frying the potatoes then after I prepped the greens he added them one handful a time. At the end we added a teaspoon of butter since I haven't made the ghee yet. I liked the greens well enough, just not over the moon about them. I thought I'd try them again and eliminate the cumin..... but then it would be very like an Italian dish that was a favorite of my Dad.

                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                Sounds great. I have never had beet greens before. I will have to try that next time. I actually prefer butter to ghee. After you make your ghee, do tell which you like better.

                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                  Fragrant Buttered Greens
                                                                                  I used fresh ginger, coriander, less cumin, only spinach as the greens, and no garam masala. I added the seasoning after frying the potatoes because I was afraid they might burn. I served it under a poached egg. A great breakfast. I am on a roll after loving the braised leeks and potatoes from Molly Stevens.

                                                                              2. Spicy Baby Eggplant (Baingan Masaledaar) p. 303-304 Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking

                                                                                You slit the baby eggplants so they open into four petals but remain intact at the stem. She instructs to cut the top of stems off, leaving the base. I left the whole stem intact for looks. It was a bad sign for me when I opened my eggplants and found that many of them were seedy. Yuck.

                                                                                I mixed the spice stuffing according to recipe, but didn't notice it said it add garam masala as well. The recipe gave the option of dried mango powder or lemon juice and I went with dried mango powder as the sour note in the spice filling.

                                                                                I stuffed the eggplants and started the cooking by heating whole cumin in the pan. I added the hing then quickly tossed in the baby eggplants as instructed. I fried them until they looked glazed, then sprinkled water, covered, simmered, stirring occasionally as instructed. I sprinkled the leftover stuffing spice and also a pinch of garam masala over the eggplants, too.

                                                                                At the end of cooking, I turned up the heat to dry out the dish a bit, stirring to avoid burning the spices or eggplant. All of the tossing throughout the whole cooking time had coaxed much of the spice mix out of the eggplant slits. Now it just like baby eggplant cooked in some dried dark brown masala. It looked...ugly.

                                                                                I poured off the oil at the end of cooking. I propped up the stems of the eggplant to serve.

                                                                                But they were just seedy and had no oomph. I shouldn't have turned them so much. I liked the spice filling, but I would have added home ground fennel seeds, as I am used to that taste in a spice stuffed veg dish and felt it was lacking without it.

                                                                                I didn't like this recipe so much, maybe because frying the eggplants without losing all of the masala inside is above my cooking skills level. Plus, the masala just didn't taste that good to me. I do a baby eggplant slit like that with a spicy tomato gravy. It is like faux stuffed. I'll just stick to that, I suppose.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                  What a wonderful report Luckyfatima..I loved reading it. When I saw your photo I thought, now I'd mash that all up and stick in a pita with a little cilantro and a sprinkle of cayenne. But that's just me.

                                                                                  I'm doing an all Sahni dinner tonight.... I'm nervous.

                                                                                  1. re: luckyfatima

                                                                                    I got some lovely baby eggplants at the Indian supermarket the other day and, undaunted by luckyfatima's report, decided to give it a go.

                                                                                    I actually found this a really easy dish to make, and didn't have the problem with the stuffing that luckyfatima had. I didn't find that much tossing was required, once the initial glazing of the aubergines was done. They looked beautiful when finished, but I also thought they lacked oomph, flavourwise. Tasty enough, but there was something missing. I'd probably add more red pepper next time, and maybe some ground fennel as lf suggests. I loved the technique though, so might play around with the spicing a bit.

                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                      Glad it worked for you. I'll probably try the recipe again, with fennel, at a time of year when the eggplants are less seedy over here.

                                                                                  2. Turmeric Potatoes (Sahni, page 314)

                                                                                    I picked up some small Yukon Gold potatoes at the farmer’s market with no preconceived idea of what to do with them. I’ve had “Classic Indian Cooking” since it was first published and have cooked very little from it. Decided that after a long absence, from both my home and COTM, it was time to jump back in.

                                                                                    Quite a simple recipe: parboil potatoes until just done; peel (not at all sure this was really necessary, but I did it); toss with salt and turmeric; fry in “light vegetable oil” (I used grapeseed) for about 5 minutes; add seeded, sliced green chiles, sprinkle with a bit of water, and steam until fully cooked; then fry some more until all water is gone and potatoes have a crunchy outer crust.

                                                                                    Oh, vanity of COTM vanities! I was paying more attention to setting up the camera than to the food on the stove. The potatoes got a little too crispy (i.e., burnt). Ate them anyway, and they were quite good; earthy and mildly spicy. Nothing special though. I’d make them again if I were specifically looking for a potato dish to accompany and Indian meal, but probably not otherwise.

                                                                                    I served them with ‘Pickled’ Bluefish from “A Taste of India,” also on my shelves and too little used. I’m going to start a thread for non-COTM Sahni and Jaffrey books and post about the fish there.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                      Oooh, these sound good, and very simple! JoanN (or anyone who has the Sahni book), how much turmeric and how much potatoes?


                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        Sorry. Somehow missed your post. The recipe calls for "8 medium potatoes" and 1-1/4 teaspoons turmeric.

                                                                                    2. Cabbage with peas, Jaffrey pg. 140

                                                                                      This was good but nothing special. Pretty basic since you saute cumin and bay leaves with oil, then you add the cabbage and defrosted peas. Add tumeric and cayenne and then cover, cook until the cabbage is tender. After the veggies are cooked, add a chopped green chili, salt and sugar and cook a bit more. Lastly, add the garam masala.

                                                                                      Like I stated earlier, this was tasty as well as quick. But I have no need to revisit it.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                        Im very fond of this dish - cabbage and baby peas are a great combo. If you want a variation, you can skip the garam masala at the end and stir in shredded fresh coconut and chopped cilantro with your green chiles. I might splutter mustard seeds in the oil at the beginning going this way. This is a truly delicious recipe,

                                                                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                          yes! and then you have one of my favourite maharastrian bhajis growing up, truly sensational: splutter mustard seeds, add turmeric, pinch hing, the tiniest pinch of sugar. garnish at end with shredded fresh coconut and cilantro.

                                                                                          but you need freshly made hot chapati to really make this come alive.

                                                                                        2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                          Cabbage with peas, Jaffrey p. 94

                                                                                          I enjoyed this more than beetlebug did, but I have to admit that I made several changes. I made it with just cabbage, and red cabbage at that, because I had one I needed to use. I upped all of the spices, and I added a little water so I could simmer it longer than the relatively quick cooking it called for. I guess it hardly even counts as the same dish, but I liked what I ended up with.

                                                                                          Also, I liked the effect of frying the fresh bay leaves at the start.

                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                            Cabbage with Peas (Bund gobi aur matar)
                                                                                            4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                            Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 140

                                                                                            Simple, easy to make, fast, and fairly good, or what I would imagine would be fairly good if it weren't slightly too spicy. I used one jalapeno chile, seeds and all. Next time, I should use less.

                                                                                            I only used 2/3rds of a cabbage--the rest of the cabbage wouldn't fit in my large frying pan. The cabbage shrunk substantially as it cooked.

                                                                                            Cutting cabbage into long strips was easy: simply slice it in one direction like an onion, then the layers peel apart easily into strips.

                                                                                            I don't understand why the recipe calls for a large quantity of oil. I used much less with no difficulty.

                                                                                            Picture: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                            [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                          2. Glazed beets with black mustard seeds, Sahni, p295

                                                                                            I had some lovely fresh beetroot from the farmer's market and decided to give this a go. It's very easy. Peel and cut the beetroot into matchsticks, then barely cover with water, add 1/2 tsp turmeric and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-10 mins until beetroot is tender. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp of veg oil in a frying pan, and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. They will splutter and pop - a lot! When the spluttering stops, add the drained beets and cook for a minute, stirring. Then season with salt and sugar and cook for another minute. She says 1tsp each of salt and sugar but I used probably half of that as I've been finding her dishes a little bit oversalted.

                                                                                            This was fine - nothing special, but as I love beets I enjoyed it. It didn't go brilliantly with the lamb dish I served it with (Delhi-style lamb with potatoes from Jaffrey). If I make it again I'll take more notice of Sahni's suggested serving notes (!) - she says it would go well with dishes that have a southern flavour or contain mustard seeds or coconut.

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                              Just had the leftovers cold as a snack, and I much preferred them that way. Sahni says this can be eaten cold as a chutney, and that's what I'd do next time.

                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                fyi - typically, you'd want at least two vegetable dishes, dal, some chutney/pickles along with a meat dish.

                                                                                                indian cuisines are all about varied flavours - its the opposite, if you will, of starter/main/dessert.

                                                                                                1. re: howler

                                                                                                  We had a lamb dish, dal, the beetroot dish and some chutney and pickles.

                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                    see if you can find goat and use that instead of lamb.

                                                                                                    it's one of the that always puzzles me re: indian cookbooks - they never seem to tell you to use goat and lamb only as a substitute.

                                                                                                    1. re: howler

                                                                                                      Presumably because goat is not that widely available in the UK. You can get it fairly easily in Brixton though, along with mutton.

                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                        try goat next time!

                                                                                                        confusingly - we call goat 'mutton' in india, so 'mutton champs' are really goat chops.

                                                                                            2. JAFFREY, Gujerati-style Green Beans, p.131

                                                                                              As others have noted, this prep is simplicity itself. I made them two nights ago--green beans sauteed w/mustard seed, garlic, chili, salt, pepper, a little sugar--and we loved them. Served the leftovers last night with another Indian meal. Just as good the second time around.
                                                                                              What a keeper. I'm always looking for an alternative to the green veggies I cook over and over again. This would go well with so many non-Indian dishes.

                                                                                              JAFFREY, Lake Palace Hotel's Eggplant Cooked in the Pickling Style, p. 136

                                                                                              OK, I have to admit, I make this so often I could do it in my sleep. So in the spirit of the challenge in COTM, I thought I would try something different. But then, one of my guests called and told me how much her SO loooved my eggplant, and would I pleeeease make this for our dinner. Well, I'm a sucker for flattery, and a sure guest-pleaser takes off a little of the dinner prep pressure, so I made it again, following Jaffrey's recipe precisely, using cumin instead of kalonji seeds and canned whole rather than fresh tomatoes. I never end up with as much oil as she suggests there will be, so all the draining and waiting is usually unnecessary.
                                                                                              This was delicious as always, and, I discovered, very forgiving. I forgot about it, covered and on low heat at the end, so it cooked at the end for more like 30 minutes instead of the usual 5 or 10--with no apparent harm. It looked and tasted the same. I put it onto a nice platter, sprinkled with cilantro, and we all enjoyed.
                                                                                              Another side dish that goes well with so many other things. It's great for bringing to a picnic, BTW, as it is divine at room temperature. This is also delicious in a sandwich, on pita or naan (will be my lunch today!), and I imagine if one had some lamb hanging around, stuffing some of that into the sandwich with the eggplant couldn't hurt.
                                                                                              People who love eggplant: you should try this dish.

                                                                                              1. Spicy Green Beans, Pg. 132
                                                                                                Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

                                                                                                Another lovely green bean dish that we both enjoyed. The difference between this recipe and the Gujerati style is the inclusion of peeled chopped tomatoes in the spicy dish, it seemed to me. As an aside, lucky me, a few days ago I happened to see a re-run of a Jacques & Julia episode where Jacques demonstrated his technique for peeling tomatoes. No dipping in hot water for him! He takes his trusty OXO peeler and simply peels the tomatoes. Duh. So did I and it works like a charm. I had to start a small slice in the skin but then it was smooth sailing... just like peeling an apple long peel and all. On to the recipe:

                                                                                                The steps are fairly familiar now, trim the beans and cut them in smallish pieces. Put peeled and coarsely chopped ginger and 10 garlic cloves in the MP with a little water and whirr into a smooth paste. Add oil to a pot and when hot add cumin seeds then a crushed dried hot red chili (2). After the chili gets dark add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir around for about a minute, add 2t coriander seeds. Let that cook for a few then add the chopped tomatoes, mashing them up as they cook. Put in the beans and a little more water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-ish minute/ till the beans are tender. Take cover off, add 3 T lemon juice, roasted ground cumin seeds and FGBpepper... a goodly amount. If there's any liquid turn up heat and boil it off.

                                                                                                The beans were served with white asparagus (it's Springtime in Peru) steamed with 2 bay leaves and dressed with melted butter (!), hot italian sausages, roasted Bliss potatoes. Not quite an Indian meal but those beans will go with anything. That's the 3rd time I said that about one of the vegetable dishes I made...Ms Jaffrey said it first, tho.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                  I think that, in the recipes where she calls for peeled, finely chopped tomatoes that are cooked into a sauce, that Diane Kochilas trick of grating the tomatoes would work well, and that's what I intend to do (no patience for peeling for everyday meals). In fact, in her memoir, which has a bunch of family recipes, Jaffrey calls for grated tomatoes as a simpler alternative to peeling and finely chopping.

                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                    Would you mind elaborating on the grating technique? Thanks.

                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                      You just take a tomato and grate it on the large holes of a box grater, or the equivalent in another hand grater (you may need to slice a thin bit off the end to get it started). This basically grates the flesh and leaves the skin behind. Here's Gio's description of the method, per Kochilas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5445...

                                                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                      Because I cook Pakistani food on a pretty regular basis, I keep fresh pureed tomatoes in the fridge. I boil about an inch of water in a pan, slit the tops with a cross-hatch, put the tomatoes in the inch of boiling water, turn off the heat and cover for a minute or so. Then I just stick them in the food processor. Two heaping tbs or so of puree is 1 tomato.

                                                                                                      You know how a lot of recipes instruct you to cook the tomato gravy until all of the moisture evaporates? That step happens a lot faster with the pureed tomatoes than with chopped tomatoes.

                                                                                                      I have experimented with pureed unblanched tomatoes, but some how blanched words better. Dunno why.

                                                                                                      I should give grated tomatoes a try.

                                                                                                  2. Fried Eggplant Slices, Pg. 134
                                                                                                    Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

                                                                                                    A few ingredients, a Very easy prep, a very tasty dish. If you like eggplant you'll make this often.

                                                                                                    I had 3 smallish round eggplants which I sliced in half lengthwise then in long wedges, then in half crosswise in 2" segments. Salt, cayenne, turmeric and black pepper are mixed together and sprinkled over the eggplant and all is mixed well. DH used corn oil for the frying which is done till the pieces are a lovely reddish golden color. When the eggplant was done he fried some zucchini roiunds which needed to be used up and added them to the serving dish. Loved it! Served with grilled marinated chicken and baked buttercup squash. Another instance when an Indian dish crosses borders. I can see the spice mixture rubbed into eggplant slices, left to sit a few minutes and grilled .

                                                                                                    1. "Dry" Okra (Sookhi Bhindi)
                                                                                                      Jaffrey, page 152

                                                                                                      The recipe can also be seen at:

                                                                                                      This was a pleasant surprise. It tasted quite nice, and wasn't slimy at all. Best of all, my okra-hating husband liked it!

                                                                                                      It's very simple, really. Sliced okra and diced onion are sauteed with whole cumin seeds until browned. (The more caramelised the better, I should think.) Salt, cumin, coriander, amchoor, and cayenne are added, and it's cooked a bit more. And there you go!

                                                                                                      I used a heavier hand on the spices, because I'm finding these homestyle dishes under-spiced. I was happy with the result. As the name says, it's a dry dish, so I served it with a saucy Chicken Tikka Masala, raita, etc.

                                                                                                      1. Cauliflower with onion and tomato (Phool gobi ki bhaji), Jaffrey, Pg, 108 in my edition

                                                                                                        I love Indian preparations for cauliflower and this was no exception. It's a little more work than usual, but really good.

                                                                                                        You break up two medium cauliflowers into florets and soak in water for 30 mins. Meanwhile, put 3oz onion and two 1 inch cubes of ginger into a FP and blend with a little water into a paste. Heat 5T oil in a wide fyring pan or pot and put in 6 cloves of chopped garlic. Fry until it turns a "medium-brown" - I found you have to be vigilant and stir constantly to stop the garlic from burning. Then add the drained cauliflower and fry for a couple of minutes until it picks up a few brown spots. Remove the cauliflower and add the ginger-onion paste. Fry for a minute then add a chopped tomato and a teaspoon each of ground coriander and cumin seeds. Fry until it turns a "medium-brown" colour again - this took maybe ten minutes or so. Add turmeric, cayenne, chopped hot green chilli, lemon juice and salt. Stir and turn the heat to low. Add the cauliflower, stir again, add 3T of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on a gentle heat until the cauliflower is tender. Sprinkle over some garam masala and serve.

                                                                                                        As I said, I really enjoyed this. The flavours of the ginger and spices really shone through and it was very tasty indeed. A bit of a pain to make, but totally worth it. I served it with brown basmati and whole green lentils with garlic and onion which I will report on in the appropriate thread.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                          Cauliflower with Onion and Tomato (Phool gobi ki bhaji)
                                                                                                          4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                                          Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 142

                                                                                                          Not amazing, but both friends I had over liked it. One identified the lemon juice and enjoyed the tartness it added.

                                                                                                          The cauliflower was supposed to brown in two minutes. I waited five to ten for it to brown; it didn't. I gave up and moved on. (I didn't want the cauliflower to get too soft during this step.)

                                                                                                          It takes a while to prepare all the vegetables.

                                                                                                          I used a serrano chile, seeds and all.

                                                                                                          I wonder what soaking the cauliflower in water does.

                                                                                                          Picture: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                                          [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                            Cauliflower with onion and tomato, Phool gobi ki bhaji, page 142

                                                                                                            A head of cauliflower called to me at the farm, and this is how it met its fate. Greedygirl has outlined the recipe above, and I did the same things. Only difference was that I needed a bit of extra water to get the cauliflower to a texture that my family would enjoy.

                                                                                                            We all really enjoyed this tremendously. It was additional work, but I thought well worth the effort. Served with Sahni's Spiced Meat, Shani's Everyday dal, basmati rice, and some naan bread.

                                                                                                          2. Cauliflower with Potatoes
                                                                                                            Jaffrey, page 144

                                                                                                            We closed Indian month with a veritable feast of goodness drawn from the Jaffrey book. The menu included Lamb Samosas [with wonton skins], Tandoori-Style Chicken [p90], Cauliflower with Potatoes [p144], "Dry" Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic [p155], Red Split Lentils with Cumin Seeds, and Simple Basmati Rice. Also on the table was a Tamarind Chutney and the Onion Relish [p221.]

                                                                                                            I forgot the naan but didn't miss it.

                                                                                                            The locals farms are harvesting cauliflower right now, so I bought an orange one to make this dish. My potatoes were also local; small russets which still smelled of earth.

                                                                                                            Boil the potatoes until tender and then let cool. Break up the cauliflower head into small florets and soke in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Cube the potato into 3/4 inch dice. Heat 5 tablespoons [I used 2.5] of oil in a non-stick pan and when hot, add cumin seeds. When they have sizzled for 3-4 seconds, add the cauliflower and stir for 2 minutes to let the cauliflower brown in spots. This took about 4 minutes for me. Then add the potatoes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, green chiles and salt.

                                                                                                            This is a nice side dish. I won't crave it, but it is an interesting way to prepare cauliflower and complimented the rest of the dinner well. Since it finished cooking a little earlier than a few other items, it sat waiting for dinner and got a little soggy during the wait.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                              Cauliflower With Potatoes (Phool gobi aur aloo ki bhaji)
                                                                                                              4.5 stars (likely, if made with less salt) (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                                              Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 144

                                                                                                              Solidly good but not great. The dish is definitely too salty, but otherwise I like the spicing. Also, it's easy to cook, even counting taking the time to roast and grind the cumin seeds.

                                                                                                              Some notes on the ingredients:
                                                                                                              * I used four small potatoes instead of two medium ones.
                                                                                                              * I used half the recommended oil.
                                                                                                              * I ran out of ground coriander, thus using about 1/3 of a teaspoon rather than the 1/2 of a teaspoon the recipe calls for.
                                                                                                              * I used a whole jalapeno after seeding it (versus the 1/2 to 1 hot green chili called for by the recipe).

                                                                                                              Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                                              [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                Cauliflower with Potatoes, Jaffrey, Pg. 144

                                                                                                                We made this recipe last night. I had some left over boiled potatoes and wanted to use them and the languishing cauliflower ASAP. For us this recipe turned out very spicy rather than too salty as Mark P mentioned, but then we tend to use less salt than most recipes call for. Also, it was a little dry but still very tasty. If I make it again I'll just add a bit of broth. I served steamed asparagus and a tossed salad to round out the meal. A nice vegetarian mid-week meal!

                                                                                                              2. Frozen Spinach With Potatoes (Saag aloo)
                                                                                                                4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                                                Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 157

                                                                                                                A respectable, mild dish in which mushy spinach surrounds potatoes. Although I was disappointed when I realized it's not the type of saag one gets in Indian restaurants, when I judge it on its own merits, I'm fairly happy. It looks as an authentic dish should, dotted with black mustard seeds. Some bites are pretty flavorful -- maybe those are ones with more garlic, mustard seeds, and the stuff from the bottom of the pan.

                                                                                                                Some notes on the ingredients:
                                                                                                                * I used a yellow onion, as the recipe didn't specify what type.
                                                                                                                * I used Yukon gold potatoes, as the recipe didn't specify what type.
                                                                                                                * I skipped the asafetida, as I didn't have any on hand.

                                                                                                                Some notes on cooking:
                                                                                                                * I used three tablespoons of oil, not five as suggested by the recipe. I partially made this decision because I used a non-stick skillet.
                                                                                                                * I didn't bother chopping the spinach coarsely -- it didn't seem necessary.
                                                                                                                * I forgot to press the water out of the spinach, but I did leave the leaves in the colander for a while.
                                                                                                                * Perhaps as a result of the previous oversight, I found the spinach gave off enough water during cooking so that I didn't need to add any.

                                                                                                                This dish doesn't need rice.

                                                                                                                Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                                                [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                                                1. Beets With Onions (Shorvedar chukander)
                                                                                                                  4 stars (or maybe 3.5) (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                                                  Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 139

                                                                                                                  An easy recipe for a satisfying dish with a tomato tang. It's more like soup without much broth (i.e., mostly the soup solids, not much liquid) rather than a stew, if that makes any sense. The tomatoes practically visually disappear into the soup because they're cut so small (as instructed). I liked the dish better chilled than warm.

                                                                                                                  Some notes on the ingredients:
                                                                                                                  * I cut the oil in half, using only two tablespoons.
                                                                                                                  * I used 1/4 of a teaspoon cayenne (versus the 1/8 to 1/2 recommended by the recipe).

                                                                                                                  By the way, a beet weighs roughly 1/4 of a pound. Thus, this recipe uses three beets.

                                                                                                                  Picture: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                                                  [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                                                  1. Gujerati-Style Cabbage With Carrots
                                                                                                                    3 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                                                    Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 141

                                                                                                                    An unexciting, though quickly cooked, dish of carrots and cabbage. It might work as a side dish for something, but wouldn't be a great one. The vegetables, when fresh off the stove, were oily in texture, despite me using less oil than the recipe recommended. (I used only enough to cover the bottom of the pan, not the whole four tablespoons.) The leftovers happily weren't oily but they still weren't particularly appealing. I didn't taste much lemon or cilantro. Worried that my lack of tasting these flavors was what was marring the dish, I added more lemon to one plate. It definitely made the lemon more prominent but didn't help the dish at all.

                                                                                                                    Some notes on the ingredients:
                                                                                                                    * Because I don't have a grater, I peeled the carrots, then chopped the peels.
                                                                                                                    * The recipe suggests using half or one green chili. I used one whole serrano but removed most of the seeds first.
                                                                                                                    * For the dried red chili, I used an arbol because that's what I had at hand.
                                                                                                                    * I skipped the optional asafetida because I didn't have any.

                                                                                                                    Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                                                    [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                                                    1. Cooked Spinach, Sahni, pg. 318

                                                                                                                      I needed to make this to as part of the ingredient list for the beef in spinach sauce (pg. 197). This was really easy but time consuming if you are using farm greens. I didn't use spinach as the recipe called for. Instead, I used throwaway greens (vegetables where I like some parts but not the actual greens themselves). I used a combo of beet tops, turnip tops, kohlrabi tops, radish tops and chicory (probably the only lettuce I don't really like).

                                                                                                                      This was an excellent use of all these greens but really time consuming in washing and destemming. But, you boil the greens for about 5 minutes then you squeeze out the water and chop.

                                                                                                                      BTW, this worked great with the beef dish and I felt quite virtuous using greens that I don't usually like to eat.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                        You're virtuous AND brilliant! I'll bet it made for more flavorful greens than straight spinach, which can be rather bland sometimes.

                                                                                                                      2. Cauliflower with Cumin and Asafetida (Heeng zeere ki gobi)
                                                                                                                        4.5 stars? 5 stars? (on a 5 star scale)
                                                                                                                        Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 145

                                                                                                                        A very good dish that's both easy to prepare and fast to cook.

                                                                                                                        Some notes on the ingredients:
                                                                                                                        * I skipped the "generous pinch" of asafetida because I didn't have any.
                                                                                                                        * I used one fresh hot green chili, with seeds. (The recipe recommended 1/2 - 1 chili.)
                                                                                                                        * I skipped the 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander because I didn't have any. Though I didn't miss it / didn't think it would add anything, my friend says she would've liked it.
                                                                                                                        * I used 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. (The recipe recommended 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon.)
                                                                                                                        * I skipped the lemon juice because I didn't have any. Both of us eating this dish thought it would've added a nice touch (for next time).

                                                                                                                        Some notes on cooking:
                                                                                                                        * I used only two tablespoons of oil (rather than the three recommended) to apparently no ill effect.
                                                                                                                        * I added the recommended 1/2 cup water. I think this was too much; I needed to cook the cauliflower at medium/medium-high heat (rather than low) for twice the recommended length of time (12 minutes compared to 5-7) in order for most of the water to be gone. Next time add less water.

                                                                                                                        Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                                                                                        [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                                                                                        1. Made the potatoes with black mustard, cumin, and sesame seeds last night (MJ Indian Cooking, page 140-something). Excellent!!! The toasty seeds with the browned spuds, yum plus. I had never made this recipe (and see that no one here did either) but I can't recommend it highly enough. It calls for boiled and chilled potatoes - it was a spur of the moment thing, so I microwaved 3 biggish Yukon Golds, peeled them, and let them cool somewhat on my cutting board. Worked perfectly.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            Its been a long time since I looked at this thread, I have to agree, this is a great, easy dish.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                              My first time on this in ages too.