Chatpata Paneer

Paneer is one of those things which taste pretty good raw as well – just slice some and eat. It is ,after all, cottage ‘cheese’ 🙂

One of those times of nibbling on paneer, while it was being prepped for a meal, I added a little masala to it to boost the flavour. Was so yum! That made me think that this could be made even better with a little pan time. A little crispiness maybe? The chatpata paneer was thus born 🙂

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Khatte Chole (Sour Chickpeas curry)

One of K’s favourite things to eat is Chole. The Tamilian boy has found at least one north indian dish he truly loves 🙂 We cook it at least twice a month and if I’m not at home, he has been known to either cook chole for himself or order in the dish. He can eat this pretty much everyday!

With something we eat so often, just one go-to recipe won’t work, right? So I have been trying different ways to cook chickpeas to give us some variety and to help me learn more. One such experiment led me to this dish – Khatte Chole. Sour, tangy, spicy and super delicious!

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Butter Garlic Vegetables

I first discovered the joy of butter and garlic as a combo in Goa. With prawns. Such a simple but flavourful idea. The first vegetarian version I made of that was with mushrooms (will share that recipe soon). So buttery, meaty and delicious!

One day while making grilled chicken, I was thinking of what an easy side dish would be. Ran through going through my recipes my head and thought about using this flavour combo with the whole bunch of veggies I had at home. Such a simple idea. Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

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Lemon Rice

For the first 10-12 years of my life, South indian food meant dosa, idli, sambar, chutney and rasam. Pretty much the basics. There was this restaurant called Naivedyam near our house (it still exists there) where we used to go fairly often and usually ordered the same standard food. The variations were limited pretty much to masala or plain dosa, paper dosa or smaller size dosa, rasam to start the meal or go straight to idli. Important decisions! 🙂 But we loved the food and these dishes became part of what we used to eat at home too.

Slowly as we started trying more things, at restaurants or friend’s houses, I got to know more about the beautiful food from the four south Indian states. I am still learning new things, new flavours, new names, new combinations and continue to fall in love with the cuisines even more. Helps that I am married to a Tamilian 🙂

One of the earliest things I tried, outside of the standard fare, was Lemon Rice. It was an easy thing to start with, given how much I love rice and lemon (Bengali-ness :)). It is light, delicious, textural and punchy. What’s not to love?

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Dal Tadka

Dal Chawal (Lentils with Rice) has got to be one of the most comforting, nostalgia-inducing meals for Indians. It is such a staple in every house, in almost every meal. There are many dals out there, made in various ways and each household has their go-to version of this happiness giving combo.

In our house, it was arhar (aka toor/split pigeon peas) dal. Made pretty much everyday. To date, this is my go-to comfort food. The simplicity, the flavour, the wholesomeness – unparalleled.

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