Gujarati Kadhi and Khichdi

Ingredients for Kadhi –

  • 2 cups fresh curd
  • 5 tbsp besan (gram flour)
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 pinches of asafoetida powder
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger green chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Method for Making Kadhi –

  1. Combine the curd and besan in a deep bowl and whisk well till smooth and there are no lumps
  2. Add 3 cups of water, mix well and set aside
  3. Heat ghee in a Kadhai
  4. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds
  5. When the seeds crackle, add the asafoetida powder and sauté for a few seconds
  6. Add the prepared curd mixture, curry leaves, salt, ginger green chilli paste and sugar
  7. Mix well and bring to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously
  8. Reduce the flame and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally
  9. Garnish the Kadhi with chopped coriander leaves and serve with Khichdi

Ingredients for Khichdi

  • 1 cup yellow moong dal
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp ghee

Method for Making Khichdi

  1. Wash and soak the dal and rice together for at least 30 minutes
  2. Drain and set aside
  3. Combine the dal and rice with turmeric powder, peppercorns, salt and 4.5 cups water in a pressure cooker and cook till 4 whistles
  4. Once the steam releases, open the cooker lid, add ghee and serve hot with Kadhi

Instant Upma Mix

The roasted mix
The cooked semolina ready to be served

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coarse semolina
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A big pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 5-6 dry red chillies
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp cashew nuts (can add more or less)
  • 3-4 tbsp peanuts (optional)
  • 4 tbsp ghee/oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat ghee/oil in a wide wok
  2. Add Chana dal and urad dal
  3. Roast on low to medium flame until slightly brown
  4. Add dry red chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida powder
  5. Sauté until seeds crackle on low flame
  6. Stir in green chilli and cashew nuts and cook on low heat until cashews are golden
  7. Now add the semolina and cook on low flame for about 5-7 minutes
  8. It will become aromatic and golden
  9. There should be no raw smell
  10. Add salt and mix well
  11. Remove from heat
  12. Let the mix cool properly and store in airtight jar in refrigerator

To Cook the Instant Upma Mix –

  • Boil 2.5 cups of water for 1 cup of the above mix
  • Add the mix into the boiling water
  • Stir and cook for a minute
  • Mix well without lumps
  • Cover for 2 minutes
  • Fluff it up with a fork and serve immediately
  • Can add diced fresh or frozen vegetables like carrot, peas, French beans, etc. In that case, add a little more water, boil the vegetables and then add the roasted semolina

Alu Gobhi (Cauliflower Potato Stir Fry)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup potatoes, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil

Method

  1. Heat mustard oil in a kadhai
  2. Add asafoetida powder, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, dry red chillies and minced onion
  3. Sauté well
  4. Add cauliflower florets, potatoes and chopped ginger
  5. Sauté for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste
  7. Mix gently
  8. Cover the Kadhai with lid and cook on low flame till tender
  9. Sprinkle a bit of water if the vegetables stick to the kadhai
  10. Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Onion Potato Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 500 gm potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • 4-5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tsp coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Heat oil in a wok
  2. Add cumin seeds and allow to splutter
  3. Add sliced onions and fry until the edges start becoming brown
  4. Add ground peppercorns and sauté for a few seconds
  5. Add ginger garlic paste and salt
  6. Turn the flame to medium low and sauté until the paste turns aromatic
  7. Add the cubed potatoes and toss it well, but gently with the onions
  8. Once the potatoes are well tossed, cover the wok, turn the flame to low and cook for 5 minutes
  9. After 5 minutes, open the lid and give the potatoes another gentle toss
  10. Check seasoning and adjust if required
  11. Cover and cook on low flame for 2 more minutes

Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 750 gm chicken
  • 2 potatoes cut in halves
  • 4 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil

Method –

  1. Wash the chicken thoroughly
  2. Marinate the chicken with beaten yogurt, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste and salt
  3. Leave to marinate overnight, preferably
  4. Heat mustard oil in a wok
  5. Add the sliced onion and fry till brown
  6. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till raw smell disappears
  7. Add the chicken and fry on high heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally
  8. Lower the heat and add the tomato and potatoes
  9. Cook till the tomato becomes soft and mushy
  10. Add turmeric, coriander and red chilli powders
  11. Cook till the oil separates
  12. Add 2 cups of warm water and let it come to boil
  13. Lower the heat and cover with a lid
  14. Cook till the gravy becomes thick and coats the chicken pieces and the chicken becomes very tender
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Manas National Park

Our Christmas break was spent in Manas National Park. It is located in the Himalayan foothills in west Assam near the Bhutan border.

I am sharing a few snaps of our trip

The entrance to the park
Tea garden outside the park boundary
Mustard fields outside the park

We took a jeep safari in the early morning for 3 hours. Saw some wildlife in the safari. It was quite cold in the morning with a temperature of 11°C

Sunrise in the park
A Buffalo who survived a leopard attack
A peacock on a tree
An old tree with massive roots
The famous one horned rhino
Jungle trail

This park is situated on the banks of Manas river. Slow River rafting is a unique experience which takes about 2 hours and covers a distance of 22 km.

The pristine water and the round stones on the river bank are a visual delight.

Getting the raft ready
Wild water Buffalo
A herd of buffaloes
Driftwood in the river
In the resort, we were entertained with a folk dance of the indigenous Bodo tribe of Assam. This is the famous Bagurumba dance

Mushroom Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup tinned button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil in a wok
  2. Add the garlic and let it turn brown
  3. Add the onions. Fry till lightly brown and then add the mushrooms
  4. Cook on high heat till the water dries up
  5. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce
  6. Now add the cooked rice by breaking up the lumps
  7. Stir for a minute
  8. Make a well in the centre of the wok
  9. Add the beaten egg and let it firm up a bit
  10. Scramble the egg and mix well with the rice
  11. Add black pepper and salt
  12. Add sesame oil
  13. Mix well and switch off the flame

Suka Xaak Masor Aanja (Fish Curry with Sorrel Leaves)

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces of fish
  • 2 bunches of sorrel leaves (suka xaak)
  • A small handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1” piece of ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp panch phoran
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Clean and wash the fish. Pat dry
  2. Marinate the fish with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt
  3. Clean and chop the sorrel leaves
  4. Drain in a colander and set aside
  5. Heat oil in a kadhai
  6. Fry the fish pieces lightly and set aside
  7. In the same oil, add panch phoran
  8. Add the bay leaves, dried red chillies, ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies , dried red chillies
  9. Sauté till onions turn light brown
  10. Add black pepper powder and cumin powder
  11. Saute for 1 minute
  12. Add turmeric powder
  13. Stir for 20 seconds and add the sorrel leaves
  14. Add salt and mix well
  15. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes
  16. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well
  17. Add 2 cups of warm water
  18. Let it come to a boil
  19. Adjust salt and add the fish
  20. Let it cook on low heat covered till the gravy becomes a little thick
  21. Serve with steamed rice

Egg Pepper Chilli Roast

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, boiled, shelled, fried and sliced
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh cream
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp oil

For the Tempering –

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground peppercorns
  • A few curry leaves

Method –

  1. Heat oil in a wok
  2. Add the sliced onions and sauté them till they are lightly brown
  3. Add in the ginger garlic paste, sauté till the raw smell goes
  4. Add the spice powders
  5. Cook for 30 seconds and add chopped tomatoes
  6. Sauté till the tomatoes are pulpy and the oil separates
  7. Keep the flame low so that the masalas cook well
  8. Add cream and mix well
  9. Add salt to taste
  10. Add the fried eggs, let the masala coat the eggs well, adjust salt and turn off the flame
  11. Add the ghee in a ladle
  12. Add the balance tempering ingredients, heat well and pour over the gravy

Cabbage Bhaji

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cabbage chopped finely
  • 1 potato, diced into cubes
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green peas
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method –

  1. Heat oil
  2. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf
  3. Add ginger paste
  4. Sauté for 30 seconds
  5. Add the potato
  6. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the cabbage, tomato, peas and chillies
  8. Add salt and turmeric powder
  9. Mix well and stir fry for 2 minutes
  10. Lower the heat and cook till the vegetables are done
  11. Add garam masala powder and cumin powder
  12. Cover and cook on low flame for 5 minutes