This recipe for Chole Biryani happened totally by chance; thanks to Nikita Jhanglani for the last moment inspiration.
The theme for the 107th Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a party dish. However, we are bang in the middle of the festival season and I was already thinking of Onam recipes. Given that I have a particularly gruelling week ahead at work, I was not equipped to make a party dish. So, I had decided not to participate in this week’s blog hop and was just about to send a message to fellow bloggers, when a pic of Chole Biryani pops up on WhatsApp. It was Nikita and her mom who made this No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani as their contribution to the Ganapati Celebrations in their apartment complex.
Indeed, as Paul Coelho said, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
And on went the light in my head! I love one-pot meals and they make a great addition to any party, especially potluck parties; and this No Onion, No Garlic Chole Biryani can be enjoyed by one and all.
Nikita did send me her recipe. I used that as a base along with my own recipes for Pindi Chole and Ambarsari Chole to come up with my own version of this absolutely delightful dish!
Trust me everyone will love the taste and it is just so easy to make.
Thank you, Nikita. I always knew there was a reason we got along so well! 😀
This recipe for Pindi Chole was triggered by a discussion by the admin of a food group that I am a member of. Donna wanted to make “almost black” Chole and there were many suggestions including the traditional recommendations of using tea leaves, amla and iron vessels.
I think my first memories of eating a Paneer dish in a restaurant is of Paneer Tikka Masala. Later, I discovered that we could make it as a starter without the gravy and so whenever I was in search of comfort food, Paneer Tikka is on the top of my list (it is just edged out by Hara Bhara Kabab and Dal Tadka which are at the top of the list).
I have tried many many recipes for this wonderful dish but none has come close to texture or taste than this recipe for Paneer Tikka by Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi that I discovered on YouTube.
While Chef Sokhi made this dish using a gas tandoor, me the South Indian used an iron tawa as I do not have a tandoor at home. What I loved about this recipe for Paneer Tikka is that it used so little spice yet was so so full of flavour. Just perfect.
I also made Paneer Tikka Masala using pretty much the same recipe but I will post that on another day. 🙂
Punjabi Aloo Gobi. Most Indians do not need any introduction to this eponymous dish made with Potaotes (aloo) and Cauliflower (phool gobi). This was a regular curry made in our home but it gained special significance after we saw the movie Bend It Like Beckham. In this movie, the soccer-crazy Punjabi girl is regularly chastised for not knowing how to make even something as simple as Aloo Gobi. Now I cannot hear Aloo Gobi without thinking of the movie! 😀
I guess I never posted this recipe so far because it is one of those super simple dishes that we make so often that it loses any special significance. I thought of this dish this week because I am back on my diet and weight-loss trip. This normally means I eat loads and loads of sabzi with about 1 roti or a bit of rice. I was thinking of what to make for lunch on Friday, when I thought of this simple yet super tasty dish.
Aloo Gobi is one of those soul foods whose charm cannot be explained to those who have not tasted it. On the face of it, this is a simple stir-fry. On the other hand, a well-made Aloo Gobi has the power to elevate the mood and satiate the soul.
Want to know why I am waxing so eloquent? Try this recipe.
How to Make Punjabi Aloo Gobi
Punjabi Aloo Gobi
Punjabi Aloo Gobi is a very popular dry curry that is eaten with rotis. I love this simple potatoes and cauliflower curry because it gets done in a jiffy, is tasty and is healthy.
1/2tspRed Chilli Powder
Fresh Coriander for Garnish
Salt to Taste
Separate the cauliflower into small florets.
Wash and set aside.
Peel and dice the potato int 1/2"cubes.
Peel and cut the onion into 1/4" pieces.
To Make the Punjabi Aloo Gobi
In a wok, heat the oil.
Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry till they change colour.
Add the asafoetida and onions.
Fry till the onions are translucent.
Add the grated ginger and crushed garlic.
Stir-fry for 10 seconds.
Add the kasuri methi and mix well.
Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and turmeric.
Add the potato pieces.
Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the cauliflower florets.
Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Ensure the potato and cauliflower florets are completely coated with the masala.
Turn the heat to medium-low.
Cook covered while stirring occasionally till the cauliflower and potato pieces are cooked. I also pour some water on the plate to help the vegetables cook faster. Stir every 2-3 minutes.
I love side dishes and accompaniments such as pickles, chutneys, podis, papads, and vadis. In fact, I tend to eat more of them than the main dish. So when I can make a dish that uses one of this as the main ingredient, you can understand that my joy knows no bounds (if you pardon the hyperbole 🙂 ).
A couple of weeks ago Nikita got me Mangodis and Amritsari Wadis. I promptly used the Mangodis in Matar ka Nimona. Nikita gave me the idea of making Bhuga Chawal with it and that is next on the menu. In the meanwhile I chanced upon this recipe for Punjabi Aloo Wadiyan (also called Amritsari Alu Wadi at times) and so made this ASAP. This is a dish where deep-fried Amritsari Wadiyan (sun-dried udad dal wadis) are cooked together with potatoes and spices to make for a wonderful side dish.
In Andhra too, we have a tradition of adding vadiyalu to dishes. One of my favourites is Vanakaya Bangala Dumpa Mudda Kura with Gummidikaya Vadiyalu. This is a curry made with mashed brinjals and potatoes with deep-fried ash-gourd vadis added to it.
Coming back to this wonderful dish of Punjabi Aloo Wadiyan, I loved the contrast in textures of the soft boiled potato with the slight crunch of the deep fried Amritsari Wadiyan. To my surprise, the waidyan retained their crunch despite being pressure cooked along with all other ingredients.
How to Make Punjabi Aloo Wadiyan | Amritsari Alu Wadi
Punjabi or Amritsari Aloo Wadiyan
Amritsari Aloo Wadi or Punjabi Aloo Wadiyan is a wonderful curry made with boiled potatoes and deep-fried Amritsari Wadi, which is a sun-dried fritter made with black gram or udad dal. I loved the contrasting textures and of course, the typical Punjabi taste.
8 to 10Amritsari WadiMy wadi were about an 1" size
4Medium Sized Potatoes
2Medium Sized Onions
2Medium Sized Tomatoes
1tspGaram Masala or Kitchen King Masala
3/4tspRed Chilli Powder
2tbspOil - 2 + To deep-fry the wadiyan
Salt to Taste
Deep fry the Amritsari Wadiyan.
Break into smaller pieces, if required. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes. Cut into thick wedges about 2" long.
Chop the tomatoes to fine pieces.
Peel and chop the onions to fine pieces.
Chop the green chillies to fine pieces.
Method to Make Punjabi or Amritsari Aloo Wadiyan
Heat 2 tbsp of oil.
Add cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
Add grated ginger and green chillies.
Stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add the onion and stir-fry till transparent.
Add the fried Amritsari Wadiyan and kasuri methi.
Stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add the potato pieces and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the finely chopped tomatoes.
Stir-fry till the tomato pieces are well-stewed.
Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala/kitchen king masala, salt, and turmeric.
Add enough water to cover the potatoes and wadiyan.
Cook covered, while stirring occasionally, till the potatoes are soft. OR Pressure cook for 3 whistles.