KHATTA JIMIKAND (Indian Yam) – A dish from Himachal Pradesh, India

Jimikand is Indian Yam and is commonly cooked in Pahari or Himachali cuisine. I love Jimikand especially this recipe which really adds a spicy tang to this yam.



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Mungodi Curry (Lentil Fritter Curry)

 Mungodi is a delicious curry that is made with day-old daal pakodas (lentil fritters).


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Mungi Daal Ka Pakoda (Lentil Fritters)

There are so many kinds of pakodas (fritters) in Indian cuisine. One can make pakodas out of virtually any vegetable. This past summer I tried these lentil pakodas for the first time in my mother’s kitchen. They are one of her favourites and remind her of when she was growing up. Here is the recipe.

The great thing about these pakodas is that you can use the leftovers the next day to make a really great curry called Mungodi!

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Channa Madra: A Himachali Recipe (Chickpeas with Yogurt Gravy)

Madra is a thick, yogurt based gravy that is a popular dish in Pahari or Himachali food. In my mother’s house, we make our Madra with chickpeas.

The most important step in making Madra is when you add the yogurt. You have to make sure that you stir continuously and do not allow the yogurt to curdle. This is a really crucial step or else you may have a disastrous gravy on your hands. If the yogurt seems to have curdled just a little bit, continue stirring the gravy and it will eventually thicken up and be fine.

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Pumpkin with Mustard Seeds (Auriya Kadoo)


As the season changes to Fall here in New York, there are all kinds of fabulous pumpkins and squashes available.

This is one of my favorite ways to cook pumpkin. Its called Auriya Kadoo and this recipe is from the Northern sate of Himachal Pradesh in India and is part of our Pahari food.

I love the pungent, spicy flavors that go together to make this delicious dish.
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Masala Fried Okra (Masala Bhindi Fry)

This is one of my favorite ways to eat okra. We always make this dish when making Pahari food. We usually cook using mustard oil but you can substitute with any oil of your choice.

This spicy, tangy recipe is right up my alley and it goes so well with all the deliciously gravied dishes that make Pahari food really divine.

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Black Lentils (Kali Dal)

There is nothing more comforting or delicious than a nice simmering cup of kali dal.

I cant remember a single Diwali , our Indian festival of lights, that has gone by in our house when we haven’t made Kali dal. There are so many ways to make this dish but I really love the way we make it in my mother’s kitchen!

We don’t put any of the butter and cream that makes this dal so heavy – we use mustard oil instead. Mustard oil is used a lot in Pahari food which is eaten in Himachal Pradesh in India – that’s where both my parents are primarily from.

Here is the recipe for my mother’s kali dal.



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PAHARI ALOO PALDA ( Potatoes in yogurt gravy)

There are so many different ways to make Palda.

We always make this yogurt-gravy based dish, when serving Pahari food. Palda is one of my brother’s favorite dishes. In my mother’s kitchen, we have two recipes for Palda – both are made with potato. There is a quick one and a cumbersome one. Both are equally delicious.

Here is the recipe for the palda that requires more effort. It is well worth the extra work.

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This is my all time favorite dish in Pahari cuisine.

Khatta literally means sour and that is really what this dish is all about.

It’s a scrumptiously sour gravy which is made of amchur powder which is basically a spice made by pulverizing dried green mangos. The way I like making khatta is with fried besan ka boondis (fried chick pea flour balls) but this can be substituted with regular chickpeas too.

You can make your own the boondi or buy it. A good brand of Boondi is Haldirams and is available at any Indian grocery store.



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Pahari Food/ Dishes from Himachal Pradesh

Pahari food, is a little known cuisine, that can be traced back to the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. My family is mostly Pahari. Our origins lie in the beautiful Kangra Valley region which is nestled in the majestic Himalayas. The word “Pahar” literally means mountains.

There is a such a wide variety of foods in this region and it is all delicious.  When I was growing up, every year at Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, we would cook a traditional pahari meal. Last year ….after 14 years I made it back home for Diwali to eat my favorite meal of the year. Over the next few days, I will blog some of the recipes of this wonderful cuisine.

Here are some of dishes we make – the titles link you to the recipes.





Masala Fried Okra