Spicy Sautéed Bitter Gourd (Karela)

Bitter gourd (karela) is a vegetable that I really didn’t grow up loving. The only way I could tolerate it when I was younger was when it was deep fried and covered in spice.

This spicy sautéed karela recipe however, changed my whole relationship with this vegetable for me. Maggie who makes the best Trini food ever – makes Karela in the simplest, most delicious way.

You can make this dish as spicy as you wish – just increase or reduce the number of chili peppers – and you can use whatever peppers you have but tasty peppers is the key to this recipe. This recipe is best cooked in a cast iron or nonstick pan.

All I need is a bowl of dal to go with this karela and life is good!

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Keema with Kale & Spinach

Keema is one of those classic Indian comfort foods. It is usually made with ground mutton (goat) but I use ground dark meat chicken or beef. Keema is traditionally cooked with green peas but I added spinach and kale to mine as I find the greens add a nice softness to the texture of the ground meat – it’s also what I had in my fridge!  I add a lot of greens to this dish – more than what the recipe calls for here but you can adjust that to your preference. This dish must be eaten with rice! 

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Chicken Drumstick Curry

Making a curry from scratch takes time and effort but it is so worth it! 

I usually use chicken thighs for my curries but I found a packet of chicken drumsticks in my freezer and decided to use it. The results were delicious – the drumsticks gave the curry beautiful depth of flavor. You can substitute the chicken for other ingredients such as shrimp, paneer, pork etc.

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Luchi Aloo ( Kolkata’s version of Puri Aloo )

Luchi aloo is Kolkata’s version of Puri Aloo but it’s so much better especially if you eat it on the streets. There’s nothing like a piping hot luchi, smothered with spicy curried aloo. Here’s a great homemade version of this recipe.

 

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Spicy Mutton Curry

I don’t eat much red meat at all but when I am in India I really do enjoy the occasional dish made with mutton. The flavor that mutton imparts onto whatever it is being cooked with is just so deeply satisfying. Here is a superb spicy mutton curry recipe I tried this past summer, which must be eaten with piping hot basmati rice. This dish can be made with chicken too.

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Stir Fried Masala Parwal and Aloo (Pointed Gourd with Potatoes)

Parwal is a green vegetable that is indigenous to the Eastern part of India. It is also called pointed gourd or potol. It looks a little like tori/zucchini but has different flavoring and texture. Here is how we cook this vegetable in my mother’s kitchen.

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Sumeet’s Machar Jhol (Bengali Spicy Fish Curry)

Machar jhol is a classic Bengali spicy fish curry flavored with the goodness of mustard. The best way to eat this dish is with plain white rice. Here is a really excellent recipe. You must use a good mustard oil to make this dish as that is what gives it flavor. Generally mustard oil is available at any Indian grocery store.

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Stir Fried Masala Kundru (Ivy Gourd/Tindora)

Being of Pahari and Punjabi origin, kundru is one of those not so common vegetables which was constantly cooked in our home.

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I’m not sure if this vegetable is available in the Western part of the world. It is also known as ivy gourd, gentleman’s toes, tindora or kovakkai – depending on which part of India you are from.

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A Simple Chicken Curry

Often people are under the misnomer that “curry” is a spice that is often used in making all the delicious gravies and curries that abound in Indian food. However, a curry comprises of several ingredients and spices that are cooked together to actually create the final product.

There is a place for “curry powder” in certain kinds of Indian cooking but for most part – any curry that is created involves time and the culmination of several different elements.

Here is a recipe for a simple chicken curry.

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Stir Fried Curried Cauliflower (Gobhi)

Cauliflower is such a wonderful vegetable which can be cooked in so many ways. “Gobhi” as its called in Hindi, is a staple on our table and is one of the simplest vegetables to make. Here is a recipe one of the ways we make gobhi in our home.

 

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