Category Archives: Curry

Dhokar Dalna for North South Challenge


Every month I am looking at all the different challenges that I am supposed to attempt.

One such interesting one is the North South Challenge. It’s a group organised by Divya of You Can Cook Indian Food where we are divided in two groups. The north team and the South team and every month the one person challenges the opposite team to try out one delicacy from their region.

Like Nabanita Das of Esho-Bosho-Aahare of the North team has this month challenged the Southern Team to make Dhokar Dalna.

I do not know about you I was sure there is dhoka in what I am reading.

It’s totally new to me and my first question was will anyone at home eat it? Should I make it?

So in this indecision I kept postponing making the curry. We are not great fans of mustard oil and to me Bengali food is synonymous with mustard oil.

But I could not shake the idea out of my head I kept reading about the dish trying to cook it mentally.

Crazy am I not?

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Gatte ki Kadhi

Gatte ki Kadhi

Gatte ki Kadhi

I had always wanted to make Gatte ki Kadhi! Not that I have eaten it but my mom had once described it to me after her visit to Rajasthan.

So I tried it out from one cookbook but then the gatte turned out a tad bit too hard! So I was disappointed.

But on the same day Anjana Chaturvedi from Maayeka (apt don’t you think) posted Gatte ki Kadhi! She also told me how to make better gatte but then when I have a tried and tested recipe what will you do?

Yes I made Gatte ki Kadhi again but this time I followed Maayeka to the “T”!

This is my Blogging Marathon entry to the “Theme Traditional” for the month long Marathon!

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Butter Cholay


Birthday are celebrated in a big way in our Office. The birthday boy or girl is expected to throw a treat big or small and we all wait for the treat. Greedy gluts that we all are J . Generally we have something that is quite filling. Like bhaji pav (not pav bhaji mind you but bhaji pav–the Goan style), or chaat, idli vada etc.
The wishing done bouquet handed over and the food devoured at our worktables we are all back to work. 
We discuss what have just eaten and the ingredients and how I make it and …. You get the general idea.
This time around when we were served bhaji pav, I was a bit busy so I just looked at the red bhaji and wondered what the stuff was and continued with what was at hand.  After I finished my call my neighbour told me to just taste the bhaji and see.  Fearing the worst I tasted just the bhaji and was transported to those carefree days when weight was not a problem. Tucking food in was not tucking in sugars, cholesterol and it was sheer pleasure.
 The gravy was butter chicken gravy and cholay buried under the gravy!! Something that I had forgotten about!! How can I not make it at home? Then not share it here, my wonderfully supportive family in the Blog World, especially since I can still hear the compliments that came my way.
Well taking into consideration that hubby and FIL need to take care of cholesterol I avoided khoya or mava. I felt that the dish was not exactly butter chicken gravy but came close to it but like I said I had no complaints.
Do not let the long ingredients list put you off. It’s all there in your pantry.


·       250 grams Cholay, soaked overnight and boiled
·       4 onions, peeled and cut in coarse pieces
·       3 big tomatoes, blanched
·       1 bulb garlic
·       1 inch piece of ginger
·       ½ tsp coriander seed
·       1/8 tsp jeera
·       1 inch piece of cinnamon
·       1  Clove
·       2-3 pepper corns
·       1 green cardamom
·       1 tsp red chilli powder
·       ¼ tsp pav bhaji masala
·       1 Badi elichi (optional)
·       ¼ cup magza seed or melon seeds (substitute with cashew nut say 2 tblsp or 8 -10 seeds) 
·       1 cup thick milk ( I used left over milk that had become quite thick  with repeated heating)
·       1 tbspn  kasuri methi
·       Oil
·       butter
·       Salt
·       Sugar to taste


1.     Boil the onions in a little water. Drain and transfer to the mixer jar.
2.     In the chutney pot of the mixer grind the magza seeds (toast them first).
3.     Grind the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, jeera, clove, cinnamon, pepper corns, cardamom to a fine paste.
4.     In a thick kadhai/wok add the oil and then the butter. Add the badi elichi if using and fry.
5.     Add the ground paste to the oil butter mix and stir fry on low flame till the oil separates.
6.     As this is frying add the blanched and peeled tomatoes to the mixer jar and puree the tomatoes.
7.     Add the pureed tomatoes to the kadhai/wok and fry till oil separates.
8.     Add the toasted magza seeds and stir.
9.     Add the boiled cholay, kasuri methi, salt and let it boil for a few minutes. When the gravy thickens a bit add the milk and bring to boil again.
10.  Adjust the seasoning add the pav bhaji masala and the red chilli powder and let the gravy thicken.
11.  Serve hot with rotis, puri or even steamed rice.

Linking to
 WTML Hosted by Nithu’s Kitchen.
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All rights reserved on photographs and written content are copy-written @The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen!! unless mentioned. Please Ask First


Kurma this veggie bring back nostalgic memories of my stay at my maternal uncle place every summer.

 Mami an excellent cook used to make kurma and chapatti or puri for breakfast on Sundays. The veggie she made was so delicious that we used to fight for it in the afternoon for lunch also.
After my marriage I was used to remember the veggie often but did not know how to make it. Too timid to ring Mami up and ask her for the recipe (we were a joint family then) I never did make it. Now this time I asked her how it is made and Mami true to her word not only gave me the recipe but also made it for me to eat. It was not the same. I missed all my cousins and the fights we had to eat the veggie. Another childhood memory goes in the treasure chest!!


·    2 cups Cauliflower, cut in big florets
·    2 carrots cut in batons
·    4-5 baby potatoes, sliced in two or 2 big ones quartered
·    ½ cup peas (I did not use)
·    2 tomatoes quartered (Actually Mami used the small6-7 “jawari” tomatoes which she just split)
·   2 onions chopped fine
·   ½ cup oil

For grinding

·   ½  a cup fresh a coconut
·   2-3 tblsp poppy seeds
·   5-6 cloves garlic
·   1 inch ginger
·   1 onion chopped
·   1 tspn coriander seeds  
·   ½ tsp  jeera
·   1 inch cinnamon
·   1 clove
·   3 pepper corns
·   1 green elichi/cardamom
·   1 badi elichi/ masala cardamom
·   A few springs of coriander
·   ½ tsp turmeric powder
·   1 tsp chili powder
·   ¼ tsp badishop/saufn/fennel seeds(I did not use)



1.    Grind all the ingredients under the heading to grinds to a very fine paste.
2.    Heat the oil and add the badi elichi and stir for a second.
3.    It’s a force of habit and I added ½ a tsp of jeera. Then add the chopped onion and fry till golden brown.
4.    Add the potatoes, a pinch of salt mix well and cook till par-cooked (about 3-4 minutes depending on the size of the potato).
5.    Add the carrot mix and cook covered 2 minutes.
6.    Add the cauliflower a pinch of salt and mix well. Cook covered till the cauliflower is parboiled. (This gives a delicious aroma).
7.    Add the ground masala and tomatoes mix well.  
8.    Check the seasoning; adjust the thickness of the gravy.
9.    Serve hot garnished with coriander with roti or puris.
Sending to  
Anu’s  “SYF&HWS – Cook With SPICES” guest hosted by Nupur
 South Indian Cooking Event started by Anu guest hosted by Sangeetha

All rights reserved on photographs and written content are copy-written @The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen!! unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Tinda Stuffed with Paneer and Mint~ Dedicated to Mom

 I decided to make tinda and started to make Tinda Do piyaza that I had seen here.

However as I started long lost memories of how we, that is we siblings, hated this vegetable as kids swamped me. We always fought with my mother when we saw this vegetable. But in the sweltering heat of Nagpur and Akola where we spent our childhood in the summer very few vegetables were available. One was Gola Bhaji and other dhemsa or tinda. Poor mom had nothing to make, she must have been so frustrated…

How I wish I had the chance to just say Thanks to her.  I dedicate this recipe to her for Mother’s Day. This is something that she would have enjoyed and told me how else to improve it.
Like I said I started to make do piyaza but somehow I deviated and this recipe just happened.

250 grms tinda or dhemsa
2 onions, finely chopped 
2 tomatoes, finely chopped 
150 grams paneer +3 tblsp grated
1 tblsp cashew nuts
5 flakes garlic
1 tsp ginger paste
Mint leaves, a handful
Coriander, a few springs
1 tsp Garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder (adjust as per taste)


1.  Cut the tinda in two and scoop out the seeds using the melon scoop. Since I got very tender tindas I used the seeds as my filling in case the seed are mature discard the seeds.
2.  Transfer to a microwave dish and micro for 4-5 minutes with 1-2 tblsp of water till the tinda are a bit tender. Adjust the timing to suit your microwave. Cool.
3.  In the mixer/blender add the paneer, cashew nuts, garlic, ginger, mint, coriander, salt and 2 tblsp of onion (as the blades do not the mix in my jar you may omit adding onions) blend to a fine paste using 1 tblsp water if needed.
4.  In a thick bottomed kadhai/wok heat oil add the onion fry till translucent.
5.  Next add the tomatoes and fry till they become mushy. Add the scooped seeds and fry for 4 minutes.
6.  Add the garam masala, turmeric and chili powder, salt. Mix well and cool.
7.  Take the tinda and add the onion mixture in the scooped out portion and place back in the kadhai. Fill all the tindas.
8.  Now pour the paneer and mint mix on the tindas evenly. Check the seasonings. Garnish with the grated paneer.
9.  Cover the kadhai and cook till the steam escapes from the lid. Remove from fire and let the whole thing cool down before you lid.
Tastes best with hot fulkas.

 I have used lesser paneer as my FIL  cannot eat paneer and I did not want to make another vegetable. You can use more paneer say about 200 to 250grams. It will taste beautiful.



Usali the Goan Way

I have been living in Goa for many years but still one article that was printed in the Times of India was an eye-opener.
The author of the article was Melinda Pereira Kamat and she wrote about The Perfect Usali, in case you are interested it is featured in the Times of India, Goa edition on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.  I was supposed to scan and post it here but… hope will do so in near future. 
Till I read this article my view about usal or usali was that it is made in Karnataka and Maharashtra/Gujarat and the method that I followed was about similar to what my mother and MIL made. That is it has garlic and onion for Kaku (my MIL) made it that way and it had coriander and coconut ground for Amma. So I had mixed both and made my usal.

Melinda says that Usail or Usali is a pure vegetarian dish prepared from either pulses, bamboo shoots, crushed jackfruit seeds, banana flowers, bread fruit, raw banana or tubers like sweet potato, suran, kadoo karande, godd karande, Asiatic yam, etc. no onion, no garlic.
Again she has described different varieties and ways of making the same dish in the same article. The small Goa has varied ways of making usali.
So can you keep away the Mad Scientist after reading this? The recipe was at the back of my mine from the time I read it and I finally made it now.
Like I have said The Goan way of making usali is different, for one they use a mixture of pulses and it is sweetish, no garlic or onion, there is an addition of boiled sweet potato or potato which gives it a distinct flavour.  There is a predominant use of moong as it is light for digestion. The whole dish is favored in the month of Shravan for fish and chicken is generally avoided by the Hindus.
Here is one of her recipes adapted for I have used onion (forgot I was not to use it and it was chopped to go in the daal). The green peas were a last minute addition as they would have to be binned else.
2 cups mixed pulses (I have used moong sprouted and kulith)
1 cup green peas (optional)
1 onion chopped roughly (this is a forgot item not in the original recipe)
1 sweet potato boiled (I used 3 small)
2 tblsp thick tamarind juice
2 tsp hing/asafetida powder
2 tsp mustard
Green chilies slit
Curry leaves
5 peppercorns
2 cloves
½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera/cumin powder

1.    Pressure cook the kulith soaked overnight for 4-5 whistles with enough water. (Yes it takes a long time to cook). Let the pressure down naturally.
2.    Strain the kulith seeds and water. Reserve the water for making rasam.
3.    In a kadhai/wok heat oil and splutter the mustard, add hing/asafetida, green chillies and curry leaves give a quick stir. Tip the onions and stir fry till translucent (if using).
4.    Meanwhile you can peel the sweet potato and cube them (I don’t peel them). Coarse grind the pepper, cloves.
5.    Add the moong and cook till the moong is cooked add the kulith and the peas. Stir cook covered for about 3 minutes. As I prefer to cook it on the stove and not in the pressure cooker. You can cook it in the cooker if feel like it..
6.    Add the tamarind juice, jaggery, salt, masalas and the sweet potato. Use more water from the kulith if you feel the usali is dry.
7.    Cook on low flame till the aroma fills the kitchen and spills over to the other rooms and draws in your family to check what you are cooking.
8.    Serve hot. We had it with rotis but you can serve it with rice also.

The usali in Goa that I have eaten are generally dry dishes. You can keep some water for the gravy if you so desire.

Sending this to Vardhini’s  Event Healthy Diet Vegetarian Side Dishes started off by Priya 


Shahi Ande

From the time Radhika announced her Mughlai Event I know that there is one cuisine that I have not posted as yet the Mughlai cusine. In fact from the time I have become conscious of the middle age spread I have stopped making Mughlai cusine for the food is rich. But there are exceptions and here is one of them.
Respecting my FIL’s sentiments I generally do not cook eggs. But when he is out of station we eat live and drink eggs.
I love egg curry but the others are not too enthusiastic, but for once they agreed to egg curry. Keeping in mind their lack of zeal I made Shahi Ande and not only did we eat it in the evening but also had the bowlful of leftovers the next day for dinner.
Actually you can use the Shahi gravy to make any of the following or all of them paneer, mushrooms or cauliflower by themselves or a combo of these.
9 hard boiled eggs
4-5 onion cut in slices
20 cashew nuts (about ½ cup)
½ cup curds
½ cup cream
 1 tsp ginger paste
10-15 garlic paste
¼ tsp white pepper powder
Whole garam masala (1” piece of cinnamon, 1 green cardamom,3 cloves, a few strands of mace/javitri/ jaipatri)
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds/jeerigi,
 ½ tsp coriander powder
½ cup butter
1. In a kadhai/wok put the onion slices add ¼ cup water cover it and boil for 4-5 minutes. Cool and strain. Reserve the water
2.  Heat butter. Fry the whole garam masala lightly. Add the jeera and switch off the flame and add the coriander powder.
3. Transfer all the masala and grind with the onion.
4.  Add to the kadhai the ginger garlic paste, onion paste & sauté for 5 minutes.
5. As the masala is being fried grind the cashew nuts with a little water. Add to the onion mixture.
6. Bring it to boil, check seasoning.
7. Add the hard boiled eggs cut in two pieces.
8.  Cook for about 15 minutes finish it with cream. Remove from heat. Serve hot with naan or roti.
Reminder for self:
 In case you want to store the gravy only then spread butter on top of the gravy to avoid formation of skin. Mix the cauliflower etc afterwards (Please remember this is a rich dish). Also to steam the veggie before mixing. 
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