Dahi Wale Aloo – Vrat or Fasting Recipe – Guest Post by Kiran Jalan

Dahi Wale Aloo or Dahi ke Alu - Navratri Vrat Recipe
Dahi Wale Aloo or Dahi ke Alu – Navratri Vrat Recipe

If there is a super fan of this blog, it is Kiran Jalan. She has been an evangelist for this blog like no other. And yes, it thrills me to bits to hear from Kiran. 🙂 That is enough about this blog; let me introduce Kiran.

Kiran is one of most unassuming people you will ever meet. Quiet and always smiling, she is a powerhouse of talent; something you will discover as you get to know her better. Want a glimpse of Kiran’s talent? Take a look at just a few of her Ikebana creations.

Kiran Jalan - Ikebana Flower Arrangements
Kiran Jalan – Ikebana Flower Arrangements

Kiran is also a great cook (according to her it is all due to her foodie husband Anup :-)). I have had South Indian food, Mumbai Street Food, Sandesh, and of course, Marwari food made by her. Each and every dish of hers without exception has been finger-licking good. The last time I visited her home, Kiran fed me some wonderful traditional Marwari food. The best part was she whipped it all up in front of me; Dahi Wale Aloo, Tikkadiya, and Gatte ka Saag were just a few of the dishes. She also made some Sandesh is a jiffy.

What I loved about Kiran’s cooking style was that it was all “no fuss”. I hope to recreate all these delicious dishes that I learnt from her on this blog (currently, I am practicing the  flick of the wrist with which Kiran made the Tikkadiya; she made it seem so easy!).  Oh yes, we have resolved to meet often and so you can expect many more posts under her name!

Dahi Wale Aloo or Vrat ke Alu (Potatoes in Yogurt Gravy) is the first of Kiran’s recipes that I am writing about and it is perfect for the season. Ever since I have learnt this from Kiran, I have made this dish often and have grown quite fond of it!

Thank you, Kiran, for being you!

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Baby Potatoes – 16 to 20
    or
    Regular Potatoes – 4 Medium Sized
  2. Dahi, Yogurt or Curd – 3/4 Cup
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Jeera – 1 tsp
  6. Green Chillies – 2
  7. Curry Leaves – A Few
  8. Ghee – 1 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Dahi Wale Aloo

  1. Blend 3/4 cup dahi with 1/2 cup water.
  2. Add salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Boil and peel the potatoes.
  5. If you are using regular potatoes, cut them into 1″ cubes.
  6. Take a 2-3 potatoes pieces and mash them.
  7. In a wok, heat the ghee.
  8. Add cumin seeds, slit green chillies, and curry leaves.
  9. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  10. Add the pototoes pieces and the mashed potato.
  11. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  12. Turn the heat down to low.
  13. Add about 1/3 cup water to cool down the potatoes.
  14. Now add the blended dahi.
  15. Cook over low flame for 5 to 7 minutes. Be very careful and cook on a low flame; if you turn the flame to high, the yogurt will split.
  16. Turn off.
  17. Serve warm with rotis or Tikkadiya.

Dahi Alu or Potatoes in Yoggurt Gravy - Kiran Jalan

Bhapa Doi – Steamed Sweet Yogurt

It is my greatest pleasure that I am able to do this super simple yet super delicious guest post for Dimple of ShivaayDelights.com. Dimple was one of my earliest blogging friends and one with a 1000-watt smile that can light up the whole world. I love Dimple’s recipes because they are infused with same joie de vivre, and are so simple yet so flavourful.

Dimple always had nothing but kind and encouraging words for me. When I asked her to do a guest post for me, she agreed readily and came up with this delicious Sweet Corn and Spinach Curry? and I have only just got around to doing this post for her.
Of the choices I gave her, Dimple chose Bhapa Doi, a dessert that looks deceptively plain but is chockablock of tastes. This Bengali dessert is nothing but Sweet Steamed Yogurt that is oh-so-creamy and just the right kind of sweet; not overpowering yet has a lovely lingering after taste.
What I love best is the fact that it gets done super fast (though one has to wait for it to chill, sigh!) and is simply super delicious.
Truth be told, I am loathe to share Bhapa Doi with anyone. 🙂 So without much ado, I invite you to read the recipe at Dimple’s website where she has posted it as Ice Cream Bhapa Doi.

How to Make Bhapa Doi or Steamed Sweet Yogurt

Serves: 4 (If you want to share :-))

Cooking Time: 30 Mins

Chilling Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

  1. Sweetened Condensed Milk – 400 gms
  2. Thick Yogurt – 250 ml
  3. Milk – 250 ml

Method

  1. Blend together the condensed milk, yogurt, and milk.
  2. Pour into a steel vessel.
  3. Cover well with a foil or a heavy lid. Anything that will prevent water from entering the vessel.
  4. Steam in a pressure cooker without the weight for 15 minutes.
  5. Let the cooker cool completely to room temperature.
  6. Chill the Bhapa Doi for 3 to 4 hours.
  7. Enjoy!
Bhapa Doi - Sweet Steamed Yogurt from Bengal
Bhapa Doi – Sweet Steamed Yogurt

Madra or Mandra – Chickpeas in Yogurt Sauce – Kangra Valley Dham Recipe

Madra or Mandra - Kangra Dham Recipe - Himachal Pradesh
Madra or Mandra – Kangra Dham Recipe – Himachal Pradesh

A couple of months ago, I had the chance to visit the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh to attend a wedding. I used the time to also see this beautiful part of India. Given the limited time I had, I did the usual tourist circuit of Dharmashala and McLeodganj.

This part of India is simply beautiful. Set in the lap of Dhauladhar mountain range, the Kangra valley was calm and peaceful with greenery and gurgling streams all around.

I was also quite taken by the cuisine of the region. Mild and flavourful, it was quite different from anything I had tasted before. Some of the best food I tasted was at the Dham or the Village feast that was a part of the wedding ceremony. I had quite a few unusual dishes such as Raintha (made from spinach, burnt walnut and dates) and Teliyah Maah (black gram in mustard oil).

Another integral part of a Dham is Madra or Mandra, which is mildly-spiced chickpeas cooked in yogurt.

Since I returned to Mumbai, I have been looking up the Dham recipes and this is when I came across Divya Sud Qureshi‘s Flavours from the Kangra Valley that is a treasure trove of traditional Kangra recipes. I would recommend that every foodie gets a copy of this book.

This recipe for the Madra/Mandra is adapted from the recipe in this book.

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 8 to 12 Hours

Cooking Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Chickpeas – 1.5 Cups
  2. Yogurt – 2 Cups
  3. Cloves – 4
  4. Cinnamon – 1″ Piece
  5. Green Cardamom – 4
  6. Black Cardamom – 1
  7. Bay Leaf – 1
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  12. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  13. Sugar – 1 tsp
  14. Rice Flour or Chickpea Flour – 1 tsp
  15. Ghee – 1 tsp
  16. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  17. Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  18. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Soak the chickpeas in 4 cups of water for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Wash the chickpeas thoroughly.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed wok or kadai, roast the fenugreek seeds till they start to change colour.
  6. Grind the fenugreek to a fine powder.
  7. In the wok, over medium heat, heat the ghee.
  8. Add cumin seeds, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
  9. Stir-fry till the spices release their aroma.
  10. Add asafoetida, red chilli powder, fenugreek powder, and coriander powder.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Add the chick peas.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Add 3 cups of water.
  15. Over medium heat, cook covered till the chickpeas soften and are tender. Add more water, if required.
  16. Turn off the heat.
  17. Add the sugar and rice/chickpea flour to the yogurt and beat well.
  18. Add the beaten yogurt to the cooked chickpeas.
  19. Add some water, if required, to form a gravy of pouring consistency.
  20. Place on low heat and bring to a simmer.
  21. Turn off the heat.
  22. Sprinkle the garam masala over the Madra or Mandra.
  23. Serve hot with rotis, puris, bhaturas, or even steamed rice.