Category Archives: Gravy

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.
EP Series Hosted by Vidya

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.



Cauliflower Curry

These days I am not blogging too much or even visiting my friends a lot.

Not because I don’t want to but because  I have to go for an evening walk (Doctors orders) and by the time I come back the kids are on the net and unless there is something urgent I don’t want to chase them away.

Also since I am a “two finger typer”  and I use the same to fingers for the mouse handling  both home and at work the fingers  have started protesting and I have been warned by our programmer that I am heading towards  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  and to take care, I am scared.  I take breaks and give up computers in the evening.

Coming to today’s post..

 Has it happened to you that you have only 2 cups of cauliflower, 2 tomatoes and 7 small onions ½ a cup green chutney,1 capsicum  and you need a vegetable dish with gravy? This is exactly what happened to me a few days ago and here is what I managed to get out of my meagre pantry.
2 cups cauliflower cut in florets
1 capsicum cut in big pieces
10-13 cashew nuts
6-7 onions
10 cloves garlic (I know its tooo much please reduce it to suit your tastes)
2 tsp ginger
Jeera/cumin seeds/jeerigi
1 inch cinnamon
3 cloves
1 green cardamom
½ cup green chutney
2 tomatoes
1 tsp kasuri methi/fenugreek
½ tsp meat masala
3 tblspn tomato ketchup (optional)
½ cup curd
1 tblspn cream

1.     Steam the washed cauliflower florets in very little water till you get the aroma of cooked cauliflower, Switch off the gas. Do not throw away the water.
2.     Grind to paste the cashew nuts, onion, garlic and ginger.
3.     Heat ghee in a kadhai/ wok. Add the jeera, when it splutters add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Sauté till you get a nice aroma.
4.     Add the onion paste to the kadhai and stir fry till the paste dries up a bit.
5.     Meanwhile grind the tomato. Add to the kadhai the green chutney, tomato and haldi. Stir fry till this too dries up a bit.
6.     Add the meat masala, tomato ketchup (if using) and the cauliflower with the water , salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
7.     Beat the curd and cream together. Add to the cooked vegetable add the capsicum and stir well. Let it bubble for about 2 minutes and then cover and keep off the gas.
Remember your vessel is hot and the vegetable will continue to cook.
Also since my family does not like their capsicum cooked in this kind of vegetable I mix it in the end you can mix it up earlier with the cauliflower.

Sending this to Pari’s Curries only.

Raw Banana/Plantain Curry

This month I have two events running both close to my heart.
Back to roots where you can repost your own recipe with new pictures and send it to me and the other is Priya’s Veggie/Fruit of the month-Raw Bananas hosted by me.

Raw Bananas or plantains as they are called are high in starch content. So they can replace potatoes in most cases. Get the hint?

With this in mind I made this delicious gravy out of raw bananas.

1 cup raw bananas,
3-4 tblspn freshly grated coconut
1 pea sized ball of tamarind
½ tsp Red chilli powder (adjust as per taste)
4-5 seeds of fenugreek/methi
½ tsp of urid daal (I used a small rock)
½ tsp hing/asafoetida
Mustard seeds
Jaggary (optional)

1. In case you have not already done it please oil your palms a bit and your peelers too, now peel the raw banana. Cut the banana lengthwise and make fine slices. (You can make thicker ones but I choose thin slices so that it cooks faster).

2. In a kadhai/wok heat fry the fenugreek seeds till reddish. Remove then add the urid daal and fry again till reddish. Remove from the kadhai fry the hing. I did this as I was using small rock of hing in case you are using the powder switch off the gas and add the hing or add it to the oil after the mustard when you are making the tadka.

3. Grind to a fine paste the coconut, tamarind, haldi, red chilli powder, and fenugreek and urid daal and hing/asafoetida.

4. In the same kadhai heat some oil and splutter mustard seeds, add the hing/asafoetida (in case you have not ground it).

5. Add the sliced banana pieces and stir.

6. Add the ground paste and stir, adjust the amount of gravy and the thickness needed using water.

7. Add the salt and jaggary if using. Bring to a boil. (Since my slices were thin they cooked almost immediately else cook covered till cooked).

8. Garnish with coriander.

9. Serve hot with rice and papad.

Sending to my own event Veggie /Fruit of the month-Raw Banana Priya’s brainchild.

to Only curries  started by Pari and hosted by Janaki

and Cooking without Garlic and Oil.


Black & White Wednesday & Mattar Paneer~Blog Hop# 5

For today’s blog hop I am paired with Radhika of Tickling Palates and the brain behind the wonderful Blog Hop.
Radhika has a number of exiting recipes and I have bookmarked quite a few recipes. In fact I made this delicious Mattar Paneer (click here for the link) last Wednesday when it was “Avidhwa Navami”.

Avidhwa Navami is celebrated in the Pitru Paksha or Pitru Pandharwada or Mahaal Mihina, for the people who do not know each day in this fortnight you offer your prayers and respects to your ancestors. On the Navami, that is the ninth day the ladies who have died before their husbands are remembered and you call a Suhagan to accept the gifts offered.
I am very lucky as one of my friends can accept these offerings and the best part is since she is also a working woman she comes over in the evening. The best part is there are no restrictions regarding onion and garlic. Thanks Kanchan you are great!
So I made Mattar Paneer. I have made it in the past but this recipe is exactly Radhika has made.  Exactly, no not exactly you see I have a reputation to keep up. How can it be exact? The major difference is I have made it on stove top whereas Radhika has made hers in the microwave and a few minor changes to accommodate my situation.
I would have made it in the micro but I did not have a container to hold about 1/2 kg paneer, 3/4 kg peas so stove top it had to be.
3/4 kg frozen peas 
500 grms Paneer
5 Onion 
3 Tomatoes (as I had only 3)
2 tblspn Broken cashew nuts 
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp Turmeric powder 
2 tsp Red Chilli powder 
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder 
1 tsp 
 ½ tsp Kasuri methi – ½ tsp
 2 tbsp Chopped coriander leaves
 Salt – to taste
1 tblsp Ghee 
2 tsp Cream (optional)
1/2 cup milk

1.      Cube the paneer and spread them over a non stick tava. Apply 2 tsp of ghee evenly so that all the cubes are coated uniformly. Heat till they turn till they turn a golden color turn over and fry again on all sides.
2.      Put the fried cubes in some warm water so that they remain soft.
3.      Cut the onions and tomatoes into chunks.
4.      In a kadhai/wok mix together onions, tomatoes, cashews, garlic  with  oil cook till the tomatoes soften with the Kadhai/ wok closed. I used futura vessel so when the steam started escaping from the sides I switched off the gas and let it cool and grind it in a mixer with little water along with the turmeric powder & kasuri methi to a fine paste.
5.      In the kadhai/ wok heat the remaining oil and ghee. Now add the chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and cook for about 1 minute.
6.     Add the peas, salt and ground paste to it and some milk if needed as per the consistency that you prefer. Mix well and cook till the peas are cooked.
7.     Now add the paneer cubes,  coriander leaves. Mix well and cook till you get the aroma of all the spices (max 5 minutes).
8.     Let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving it with a swirl of cream on top. This goes well with chapattis, puris or Naan.
 Linking this to The Blop Hop at Radhika’s Palates

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