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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spinach Pakoda


Sunny summer days are something which folks living in the Pacific North West really cherish. Sun sets late in the night after 9 p.m. and we head out to the lush parks around town for some picnic pot-lucks. This is one of the items which I took last time as my pot-“luck” was to make starters.


  1. 2 cups of chopped spinach
  2. 1 small onion finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  4. 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  5. 2 – 3 green chilies finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp. roughly crushed coriander greens
  7. 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  9. 1/2 cup besan (Chickpea flour)
  10. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Oil for deep frying


In a mixing bowl take all ingredients other than besan, baking powder and oil. Mix all ingredients with your hands using gentle pressure. Soon they will start releasing water. Add besan little at a time just to hold the ingredients together. Sprinkle baking powder and mix once again.

Heat oil in a wok till it smokes. Reduce the heat and add small portions of the mixture in the hot oil. Fry on medium heat till all sides are done and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil on a paper towel. Sprinkle black salt and your favorite chat masala before you serve.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Musur Daal Paanchphoron Diye

IMG_8857This is one of those simple foods, which the Bengali heart craves for now and then. After our super long 6000 km road trip to California where we ate all kinds of stuff from across the world, what I really wanted when I stepped into our home was some simple daal. This simple dal flavored with our very own paanchphoron, sukno lonka and accompanied with begun bhaja becoms delicious.


  • 1 cup musur dal (red lentils)
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. paanch-phoron (generally available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • Salt to taste


Wash dal thoroughly and pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and 2 cups of water on high heat till the first whistle. Let the pressure settle down on its own.

In a pan heat mustard oil till it smokes. Temper it with broken red chilies and paanch phoron. Wait till you get a sharp fragrance of the spices. Be careful as to not burn them. Turn off the heat immediately and pour the spices along with the oil  in the dal. Season with sugar and salt and mix them well. Let it simmer on high heat for a minute.

Serve with plain rice with a wedge of lemon and begun bhaja.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bhaja Mooger Dal


Bhaja Mooger dal is a Bengali delicacy specially for winter. Here yellow moong dal is dry roasted to bring out its nutty aroma and then cooked with fresh winter vegetables.


  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh green peas (I used frozen)
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee (Clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp.canola or any refined oil
  • For Tempering
    • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
    • 2-3 bay leaves
    • 2-3 green chilies slit lengthwise


Take a pan and add dry moong dal to it. Dry roast on medium heat till you get a nutty flavor and the grains take a light brown hue. Remove immediately from the heat and allow it to cool down. Wash them thoroughly once it is cooled.

In a pressure cooker boil the roasted dal with 2 cups of water, turmeric powder and grated ginger for one whistle. Let the steam escape.

In another pan heat oil and temper it with cumin seed, bay leaves and green chilies. Sauté till the oil turns fragrant. Add cauliflower florets to it and fry on low heat till you get a nice aroma of fried cauliflower. Transfer this content to the pressure cooker.

Add green peas. Season the dal with salt and sugar. If this meal is planned for the kids then remove the green chilies now and add during the time of garnishing. Simmer dal along with the vegetables on low heat till the dal and the vegetables are cooked. You can add little water if required.

Pour the dal in a serving bowl and garnish with freshly grated coconut and finish it off with a spoonful of ghee.

Serve with plain hot rice. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Korola Pyaj Posto (Karela and Onion in Poppy seed paste)

IMG_9118This recipe has been waiting in the queue for quite a while now. Couple of months back we went for a 10 days road trip to California. We really had a fun time together. The super sunny weather, 6000 km driving, traffic, visiting new place, restaurant food all together it was overwhelming. At the end of the trip we just wanted to eat some home cooked food.

Since we managed to reach home ahead of lunch, I made a super fast two course meal with karola pyaj posto, dal and omelet. My today’s post will be karola pyaj posto. The sweetness of caramelized onion was in great contrast to the bitter crunchy karela (bitter gourd). The smooth posto (poppy seeds) induced a real good sleep in that afternoon as well.


  • 2 bitter gourd finely chopped
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. poppy seed ground to a thick paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Oil


First take the dry poppy seeds in a chutney grinder or coffee grinder. Dry grind it for 15 – 20 seconds. Add little water and a pinch of salt and mix. Now finally grind them together to make a paste.

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped bitter gourd followed by turmeric powder. Turn the heat low and fry them on low heat till they are done. Remove and keep aside.

Take another 2 tsp. oil and add onion slices to it. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and fry on medium heat till they turn golden brown.Add fried bitter gourd along with poppy seed paste. Mix everything together and keep cooking on low heat for few more minutes till it turns dry.

Serve at the beginning of a Bengali meal with plain rice. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Molto Bene Penne

IMG_7345My husband’s office café has a chef exhibition area where different kinds of food are made each day. One of those days is the pasta day. In case I am in the vicinity I drop by those days to have lunch together. I love the Molto Bene Penne which in Italian means “very good penne”. Based on the taste I tried re-creating it at home and this comes pretty close.


  • 1 cup penne pasta cooked according to the package direction
  • 1/2 cup chicken keema (minced meat)
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped red onion
  • 4 small tomatoes cut into halves
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 2 tbsp. chopped green onion
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds (mouri/sauf )
  • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Salt


Heat butter in a pan and let it melt. Add crushed fennel seeds and minced garlic. Sauté on low heat till you get a nice aroma. Add chopped onion and fry till it turns translucent. Add minced meat to it and fry on medium heat till its cooked. Add peas, tomato halves and fry lightly along with it. Turn off the heat.

In another pan melt 1 tbsp. butter and add 2 tbsp. flour. Sauté on low heat for about a minute. Pour milk and cream and mix them well. Let it simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes till it has reduced by about quarter and starts to thicken. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from sticking.

Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper powder.

Add the meat mixture to this sauce and mix well. Keep aside.

How to serve

Transfer boiled penne in a serving bowl and pour 2 – 3 ladleful of sauce over it. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro and chili flakes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lemon Cake


One of our hiking tradition is to stop on the way at a Starbucks. Among other things we always pick up their lemon pound cake. On the hard hike up, we look forward to munch on those cakes high up in the mountains.


Cakes are in general heavy and is not something which I enjoy on hot days. However, I realized that I like the lemon cakes on the hot hikes because it has a refreshing flavor. So now in summer I generally favor baking these over other rich fruity cakes.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar + 1/4 cup
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon (Grated yellow skin of firm and plump lemon)


Preheat oven at 350F and place the rack at the center of the oven. Butter a 9” cake pan and then line it with a wax paper.

In a bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric hand blender until they are light and fluffy.

Beat in the vanilla extract. Now add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the pan as needed.

In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and lemon zest. add the flour mixture in three batches alternating with lemon juice. Mix till you get a smooth batter.

Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick at the center and take it out. If it comes clean your cake is done. Let it cool and then invert it on a plate.

Grind 1/4th cup of sugar into a fine powder and sprinkle it through a strainer on top of the cake.

Its ready to be enjoyed with some nice light tea.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Medu Vada


Medu vada or vadai is a common South Indian snacks. Everyone seems to make them at home. However, really good quality medu vada simply stands out and is very hard to get even in the Southern parts of India. My husband is a vada fanatic. He hates waiting in line to get food, but would still queue up at Chutneys in Hyderabad at 3:30 waiting for their specific vada maker to come in at 4:00 and make scorching hot vadas. He judges a Southern café or restaurant just by their vada and most fails that test, some of the exceptions being Chutneys, Kamath, Saravana Bhavan and the likes.

Good vada has a super crunchy exterior contrasted by a soft yet well cooked interior. The vada has to be served right after making it.


  • 1 cup urad dal whole or split (Black lentils without skin)
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/2” ginger
  • 5 – 6 pepper corns crushed
  • 1/2tsp. asafetida (Hing)
  • 1tsp. whole cumin seed
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying


Wash and soak urad dal in enough water for 5- 6 hours.

Drain and grind it into a coarse paste with green chilies and ginger. You might need to add very little water. Water should be just enough to make a soft but not watery dough – as its the consistency of the batter that determines the shape and softness of the vadas.

Transfer the paste in a bowl add add salt to it. Now beat it with your hand till the batter is light and fluffy. To make sure it’s right, run the following floating test. Take a cup of water and drop a little dough into it. If the dough immediately floats up, your dough is ready. If it sinks you need to beat it some more.

Add hing, cumin seeds and crushed pepper corn. Mix once more.

Heat oil in a kadai.

Wet your hand and take a portion of the mixture and start giving it the shape of vada by making a hole at the center with your thumb. When the oil is really hot upturn your hand and carefully slide the vada in oil.

Deep fry till both sides turn golden brown.


  • Make the vadas as soon as the batter is ready as they will absorb too much oil if left for a long time.
  • Add the vadas when the oil is really hot. It will make the outside of the vadas crispy while keeping the inside soft.

Remove and drain on an absorbent paper and serve with coconut chutney.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coconut Chutney


The taste of a lot of South Indian snacks like Idli, Vada and Dosa is heavily dependent on the coconut chutney served with it. A lot of South Indian cafés are famous just for their chutneys. Some serve a rainbow of them varying from the milky white, brown, red, green varieties. This recipe is the rational white coconut chutney without peanut paste commonly served in places like Chennai.


  • 1 cup grated chutney
  • 1/3 cup roasted Bengal gram or puttana
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 1/4” ginger
  • For tempering
    • 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
    • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
    • 1/4 tsp. urad dal
    • 1 pinch asafetida (Hing)
    • 2-3 dry red chilies torn into halves
    • 5-6 curry leaves


In a grinder grind coconut with ginger, green chilies and Bengal gram and make a smooth paste of it. Keep it in a bowl.

Heat 2 tsp. oil in a pan and add mustard seeds,cumin seeds, hing and urad dal. Fry on medium heat till dal turns golden brown. Now add curry leaves and dry red chilies. Turn off the heat immediately to retain the colors of those two. Mix everything once again and add to the paste. Season with salt and give it a nice stir before you serve.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tilottama Rui

IMG_9220Tilottama rui as the name suggests is made with til or white sesame seeds. This recipe was published in a recipe book by Sananda magazine. The photo of this dish was so tempting that I thought to give it a try. The original recipe calls for both ginger and garlic but keeping the aroma of til in mind I skipped the garlic. It turned out really good.


  • 6 pieces rui or catla (any Carp) cut into steaks
  • 3 tsp. white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard paste
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 – 3 green chilies slit length wise
  • 1/2 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil


Rub fish steaks with one tsp. turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.

In a pan dry roast sesame seeds on very low heat for a minute or two. Ensure that their color remains white. Then make a paste out of this roasted sesame seeds in a grinder. You can first grind it dry and then add little water to make the paste.

In a small bowl mix the mustard paste with a quarter cup of milk and keep it handy.

Heat oil in a wok and fry the marinated fish steaks till both sides turn golden brown. Remove and keep them on an absorbent paper.

Take fresh oil in a pan and heat it. Lower the heat and temper with kalonji seeds. Add mustard paste to it. Squeeze out ginger juice from grated ginger and add the juice. Sauté for a while and then add sesame seed paste. Fry everything on low heat till oil separates out.

Add rest of the milk, green chilies and fish steaks to it. Sprinkle salt and sugar and let it simmer for about 5 – 7 minutes on medium heat. Turn off the heat.

Serve with plain white rice.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Murgh / chicken Malai Tikka

IMG_9104Murgh Malai Tikka is a melt in the mouth starter which you will find in every tikka and kebab corners in India. It is different from other kebabs in its color and texture. The other specialty being that it is flavored with cardamom powder and is marinated with cheese and cream, making it soft and silky.


First Marinade

  • 1lb. chicken breasts cut into medium sizes cubes
  • 1tsp. white pepper powder
  • 1/2tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/2tsp. meat tenderizer (optional).
    This is required to make the kebabs really melt in your mouth

Clean the chicken pieces and pat them dry. In a bowl take all the dry ingredients listed above and rub it on the meat pieces so that they are all coated with it. Let it stand for 30 minutes.

Second Marinade

  • 2tbsp. thick yogurt
  • 2tbsp. heavy cream
  • 4tbsp.  grated cheese at room temperature (Cheddar or mozzarella works fine)
  • 2tbsp. corn starch
  • 1tbsp. ginger garlic paste (Squeeze out the extra water from the paste)
  • 2tsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 – 2 green chilies 
  • 2tbsp. butter
  • Salt


  • Green Bell pepper cut into cubes
  • Red onion cut into cubes


Roughly crush cilantro and green chilies in a grinder.

In a bowl take the softened cheese, ginger garlic paste, corn starch, yogurt, heavy cream and salt. Cheese already has salt so do not add much. Blend them well into a smooth paste with your hand. Add crushed cilantro and green chilies and mix once again.

After initial 30 minutes dip the chicken pieces into the second marinade. Make sure they are all well coated. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 3 – 4hrs.

Soak skewers in cold water for 20 minutes to prevent them from burning.

Skewer them alternatively with onion and green bell peppers and grill it in an oven at its highest temperature for about 20 minutes. Don’t forget to brush with butter and turn them around every 10 minutes. If your oven has the BROIL option keep the knob at it.

You can make it in your microwave using the micro grill combination mode. Don’t forget to brush oil in between.

Sprinkle chat masala and squirt some lemon juice over before you serve.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Indian Style Crispy Grilled Fish Sandwich


Many a times we do not have a traditional Indian dinner. Grilled sandwich is one of our common alternatives. I generally make it with leftovers fish chops, vegetable cutlet, keema cutlet and chicken cutlets. Grilled sandwich works as a nice filling dinner.



Griddle (Something like the one shown here).


Heat and coat a griddle with butter. Place the fish patty and cook till one side is crispy and brown. Turn it over and cook the other side. Remove on a paper towel when done. Place the onion rings on the hot griddle and let it get caramelized a bit. Remove and keep aside. You are now ready to build up your sandwich.

Apply butter on one side of a sandwich bread. Keep the buttered side of the bread down and start stacking up the sandwich layers. Start with the patty, then a few caramelized onion rings and lettuce. Cover it up with another sandwich bread and apply butter on its top surface.

Heat your griddle and place the sandwich on it. Keep the temperature high and press the sandwich with the back of a flat spoon to spread the heat. Cook for about 1-2 minutes and then flip it. Cook the other side and then remove.

Cut the sandwich diagonally and serve.

NOTE: You can use any patty of your choice.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fish Tikka with Rock-Fish


The latest result for my quest for finding local replacements for Indian food ingredients is rock-fish. I have been using rock-fish instead of bhetki with good success. Fish tikka with rock-fish worked really well. As my daughter puts it “rock fish really rocks”.


  • 1 lb. fish fillets cut into 2” by 2” squares (fish like bhetki,rock-fish or cod)
  • 1 medium sized red onions cut into big cubes 
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste
  • 3tbsp. thick plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. chicken tandoori masala or garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. besan (Chickpea flour)
  • 1 tsp. Kashmiri red chili powder
  • Mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste


Marinate the fish with lime juice and salt for 15 minutes and then wash them thoroughly. Pat them dry.

Dry roast besan on low heat till the raw smell goes away. Be careful to not burn it.

In a bowl take yogurt and one by one add ginger garlic paste, dry roasted besan, tandoori masala, chopped cilantro, salt and sugar. Beat it with a hand blender till it is free of any lumps.

Now heat 1tbsp. mustard oil in a pan and add Kashmiri red chili powder to it. Immediately turn off the heat. Stir with a spoon till it releases its color in the oil.

Add this chili oil to the fish along with yogurt mixture. Keep it marinated for 2 – 3 hrs. This chili oil will give the tikka a nice color.

Skewer the fish cubes alternately with the onions and brush it with ghee. You can either grill it on micro grill combination mode in your microwave for 15 minutes or you can use your stove top skillet to grill it. It will take around 5 – 10 minutes on stove top. Once done you can increase the heat to give them a charred effect.

Sprinkle some chat masala and serve with green chutney. 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Moong Lau


Moong lau was generally made at our home with fresh bottle gourds from our backyard. This dry thick dish is made with bottle gourd and roasted yellow moong dal which gives it an unique nutty flavor.


  • 1 medium bottle gourd (lau finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup yellow moong dal
  • 1/2” ginger grated
  • 1tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2dry red chilies
  • 1tsp. sugar
  • 1tsp. clarified butter (Ghee)
  • Salt
  • 2tsp. oil for cooking


In a pan take moong dal and dry roast till you get a nutty flavor. Careful do not burn them.

wash dal thoroughly and pressure cook it with 1 cup of water and grated ginger till one whistle comes. allow the pressure to settle. The dal will be cooked but not mushy. You should be able to see each grains of dal separately.

In another pan take 2spoon oil and temper with cumin seeds, dry red chilies and bay leaves. Let the spices crackle. Now add chopped bottle gourd and sprinkle a pinch of salt over it.Mix well and cook it covered on medium heat till its 1/2 done.

Add boiled dal to followed by salt and sugar. Give them a nice mix.Cook on medium heat till the vegetable is done and most moisture dries up.

Finish it up with a dollop of ghee and serve with plain rice.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blueberry Cup cakes


IMG_9151My daughter has an inherent interest in cooking. Whenever I am doing some research for a recipe, she always hangs around “contributing” in whatever way she can. Which mostly involves fetching stuff.

One day she expressed the desire to make something from scratch. Cooking is in general a not very child friendly activity. However, baking in general is safe until the last step where a grown up can easily help, putting in and taking stuff out of the oven. So I gave her a recipe for making cup-cakes and she made the whole thing on her own (with help operating the oven). It came out really really well. Some of our friends who came visiting right after couldn’t even believe that the little one had made them.


  • 1and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries


Pre heat oven at 350F.

In a mixing bowl mix butter and sugar till they are fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat till the mixture is light and smooth.

In another bowl whisk flour with baking powder. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture in three intervals. If you feel the batter is too hard you can add little milk to it.

Add vanilla extract and blue berries and fold in.

Line cup cake tray with cup cake liner and pour the batter in with an ice cream scoop. The cups should be half filled as the batter will rise.

Bake it for 15 to 20 minutes.

Take it out and enjoy.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Home made Mango Ice cream


With time my notion of seasons have undergone drastic change. Today what I think of as a nice hot afternoon used to be chilly and drab a decade back. However whatever the notion of weather, that of food hasn’t changed much. Summer is finally here and I really wanted some nice cold mango ice-cream.


  • 4 cups  whole milk
  • 3 cups  heavy cream
  • 2 cups sugar (Quantity could be adjusted depending on the sweetness of mango)
  • 4 cups mango pulp (If you are using store bought mango pulp then don’t add sugar)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • A bowl full of ice cold water with few ice cubes


Take about 1/4 cup milk in a bowl and mix cornstarch in it. Blend it smooth with a spoon. Keep aside.

In a heavy bottom pan take the rest of the milk and cream and put on low flame. Stir till it simmers and then add sugar.

Mix the cornstarch mixture once again and pour in the milk – cream mixture. Keep stirring the milk till starts to thicken. Continue the process for few more minutes till you get the required consistency. Turn off the heat and place this vessel on a bigger bowl of ice cold water, like water bath. Gently whisk to cool it. If the water turns too hot change it once more.

When it comes back to the room temperature start adding mango pulp and keep mixing it. The milk needs to be at room temperature before adding mango pulp to avoid curdling.

Pour the content in a metal tray (like a cake tin) and cover tightly with a cling wrap. Keep it in the freezer. After every 2 hours take it out and using a hand beater beat it. Do it 5 – 6 times to break the ice crystals. Freeze for another 2 to 3 hours and serve with some fresh juicy mangoes on top.


I have read that adding few spoons of vodka reduces the formation of ice crystals and make the texture smooth. Since I made it mainly for the children I didn’t add it. If you are willing to try let me know how it went.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Palong Shaager Ghonto (Spinach and Vegetables Medley)


My father in law was one of the few vegetarian Bengalis. He used to really like this dish. This recipe is of standard Palong Shaager ghonto with a twist that comes from my mom’s side of the family. They always ended with a spoon of nigella seed and green chilli paste which imparts an unique flavor.


  1. 2 bunches of spinach cleaned and roughly chopped
  2. 1/2 cup green peas
  3. 1 cup pumpkin diced
  4. 10 – 12 beans diced
  5. 1 medium potato diced
  6. 1 small radish diced
  7. 1 medium carrot diced
  8. 1 small brinjal (egg plant) diced
  9. 10 sundried lentil cakes (bori)
  10. 1tsp. paanch phoron
  11. 2 – 3 dry red chilies
  12. 1tsp. turmeric powder
  13. 1tsp. kalo-jeera (nigella seeds)
  14. 2-3 green chilies
  15. 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander greens
  16. 1tbsp. sugar
  17. Salt to taste
  18. Mustard oil


Heat oil and fry the lentil cakes till they are nice and golden brown. Remember boris tend to burn fast so keep an eye on it. Remove and keep aside.

In a grinder grind 1tsp. nigella seeds with 2-3 green chilies and keep ready.

Heat oil and temper the same oil with paanch phoron and dry red chilies. Allow them to sizzle and then add all the vegetables other then spinach and coriander greens.

Add turmeric powder and season with salt and sugar. Cook them covered on medium heat till they are half done.

Add chopped spinach and mix it with the rest of the vegetables. Cover and cook till all moisture is dried up and the vegetables are done. All the ingredients will be cooked by the juice released by spinach.

Remove the lid and add the fried lentil cakes. Add nigella, green chili paste made before and chopped coriander leaves. Drizzle a tsp. of mustard oil over it before you give a final round of mixing.

Serve with plain white rice.