Mung Daal (yellow lentils)

11/2 cup mung daal
4 cups of water
1t sp finely chopped ginger
7 cloves garlic chopped fine
salt to taste
11/4 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
chilli powder to taste

For Tempering
1tb. sp finely chopped onions
1/2 t sp jeera /whole cumin
3 tsps or more ghee or butter or cooking oil
asefoetida a pinch (optional)


  • wash and soak daal for at least 15 minutes
  • put daal, water, ginger, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, salt, haldi/turmeric and a pinch of chilli powder in the pressure cooker on a high flame
  • bring to high pressure, lower heat after 1 whistle and let it cook on low heat for 2 minutes
  • take it off the heat and let the pressure reduce naturally
  • open the cooker and stir the daal well, put it back on flame and let it boil till well blended  but not mashed
  • put the daal in a bowl and keep warm
  • heat ghee in a fry pan and bring it to smoke,add chopped onions and fry till lightly brown. Add 3 cloves of garlic and fry till golden brown, add jeera and when it begins to change colour add asefoetida and chilli powder. Pour this mixture over the daal evenlly and gently spread it,taking care to have the tempering on top.
  • Serve piping hot with boiled rice, roties or toasted bread of your choice.
  • pickle, chutney and a salad made with roughly chopped onions, tomatos cucumber add to the meal.

Note: If not using a pressure cooker,soak the daal for over an hour and use extra water and a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. When it boils, lower heat ,keep the lid slightly open and keep stirring off and on till the daal is tender and well blended.

You can temper the daal without onions, using the rest of the ingredients.If using oil for tempering, adding a knob of butter before serving will enhance the taste. 

Kaddu ki sabzi (pumpkin)


200 gms yellow pumpkin
1 heaped t sp panch puran (mix mustard seeds,saumph/fennel, methi/ fenugreek, jeera/cumin, kalonji/onion seeds in equal quantities and store.)
 1dry red chilli
1t sp. chopped ginger
1/2 t sp coriander powder
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
1/2 t sp amchur(mango powder) or 1 tsp tmrind pulp or a few drops of lemon juice
3-4 tsps cooking oil
corriander /cilantro for garnishing


  • peel, wash and cut the pumpkin into cubes
  • heat oil in a kadai or frypan till it begins to smoke, lower heat, add the dry red chilli broken into two pieces
  • add the panch puran and as it begins to splutter add the pumpkin and stir well
  • add coriander powder,salt and chilli powder(optinal) and stir well for a minute
  • add the chopped ginger
  • cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and let the pumpkin cook  on low heat in its own steam
  • stir after 3 minutes and cover again.It should leave moisture which should be enough to cook it but if it seems dry, sprinkle a bit of water.
  • let it cook covered till tender stirring once or twice
  • Remove cover and dry out the extra moisture if any
  • add the mango powder/ tamrind pulp/ lemon juice and mix it in
  • cook for a further2-3 minutes .The pumpkin should be soft and begining to break but should not have any water left.
  • transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves and ginger julliens
  • tastes best with puri or roti and is pretty good with rice and daal

Punjabi Rajma


1 cup rajma soaked over night or 1 can pre cooked red kidney beans
2 medium sized onions chopped
5 flakes of garlic smashed or 1 tsp garlic paste
1 small piece of ginger grated or ground  or 1 t sp of ginger paste
2 tomatoes chopped fine or 2 tb. spns of tomato puree
11/2 tb, sps cooking oil
1/4 t sp. haldi
1 tb sp corriander powder
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
5 pepper corns
1/2  big  cardmom
3 cloves
2small sticks cinamon
chopped corriander/ cilantro leaves
11/2 -2 glasses of water..........if using pressure cooker to boil the beans


  • Pressure cook rajma for atleast 10 minutes or open ,drain and wash the canned kidney beans.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and fry  on medium heat till golden brown and soft.
  • Add the last four dry spices at this stage.
  • add ginger garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of water if too dry.
  • Add corriander powder, turmeric and chilli powder with a sprinkling of water and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Now add the tomatoes/puree and fry for at least 2-3 minutes. The masalas and onion tomato mixture should be well blended and the oil should begin to separate on the sides.
  • Drain and save the water and add boiled rajma/beans to the pan and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the drained water, mix well and let it boil on high heat for 2-3 minutes till the curry thickens slightly.If using canned beans, add 11/2 glasses  of water(300ml)and let it boil till well blended and the consistecy you like.
  • Garnish with chopped corriander/ cilantro leaves and serve with boiled rice.

  • Note: The last 4 dry spices can be added whole as mentioned or these can be ground and sprinkled on top at the end of cooking but it tastes just as yummy without these, so take the easiest option.
  • The same recipe can be used for black eyed beans. These take less time to cook so should only be pressure cooked for 3-4 minutes. This tastes better if the curry is kept slightly thinner than the kidney beans.

Channa Salad


1cup boiled Bengal gram/black channa
1medium sized onion chopped fine
1 small tomato chopped
2" piece of cucumber chopped
1 small carrot chopped fine
1/2 t spoon of finely chopped ginger
1 chopped green chilli
fresh corriander/ cilantro chopped, mint leaves
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 t spoon whole jeera/cumin seeds
1/4 t spoon chilli powder
1/2 t spoon corriander powder
11/2 t spoon of olive oil

  • If using raw channa/ gram, wash and soak it in water for atleast4-5 hours. Boil in a pressure cooker with salt and 3cups of water. When high pressure is reached lower heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the steam escape naurally. Open the cooker and drain out excess water if any.,this can be added later to the channa . If using canned channa/gram drain and wash under running water.
  • Heat oil in a frypan ,add whole jeera(cumin) and let it splutter. Lower heat ,add the corriander and chilli powder and quickly add the channa without letting the masalas burn.Mix well  so that the channa  is well coated with the masalas. The excess water can be added at this stage and dried out.Remove from heat and let it cool a bit.
  • Mix all the chopped vegetables and the channa in a salad bowl , add the lime juice and toss well.
  • Enjoy it as a snack or a meal with bread or rotis of your choice.

Note: A simpler version is to mix all the ingredients except the dry masalas and toss it well with the lime juice and olive oil. Chaat masala can be added to spike it.

If not using a pressure cooker, soak the channa overnight in hot water, its best to use a pressure cooker for legumes and lentils though.

Roma's Kadhi

1cup (200ml) sour yoghurt
2tb sps. besan (gram flour)
4 cups water
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
a good pinch of haldi/ turmeric
curry leaves optional

For  Pakoras (10-12)
3tb sps besan
1 small onion chopped
1t sp chopped ginger
1 t sp chopped garlic
1-2 green chillies chopped
dhania / coriander/ cilantro chopped
1/2 t sp ajwain
pinch of turmeric
chilli powder to taste
oil for frying
1 tb sp ghee /butter for tarka/tempering

  • Mix or beat yoghurt and besan till no lumps are left
  • Add salt, chilli powder, haldi, 1cup water and mix well
  • Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and put on heat stirring constantly.Lower heat as it begins to thicken and do not stop stirring otherwise the mixture will split.
  • Add the rest of the water, mix well and bring to a boil on high flame. Once boiling, lower flame and let it cook for at least 30 minutes strring off and on
  • Meanwhile mix besan for the pakoras with just enough water to get a dropping consistancy, add salt  and beat it vigourously till it lightens in colour.Now add the rest of the masalas and the chopped ingredients
  • Heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the pakoras till it begins to smoke, lower heat
  • With a spoon gently drop small balls of the pakora batter into the hot oil and let them fry to a nice golden brown, turning once or twice with a ladle
  • Take out the pakoras and drain on a kitchen towel
  • Add pakoras to the kadhi and let it boil for 5-7 minutes
  • Pour the kadhi into a serving bowl
  • Heat the ghee in a small fry pan ,add 1/2 t sp chilli powder and curry leaves and just let it come to smoke.Pour evenly over the kadhi and stir it gently.
  • Serve with boiled rice and mango pickle
Note: you can try adding methi (fenugreek)seeds and mustard seeds in the tempering.
You can adjust the amounts of yoghurt, besan anand water according to the consistency you like.