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Bengali Ghugni Chaat Recipe - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/11/bengali-ghugni-chaat-recipe-with.html

My love for Indian street food has no beginning and no end… This ongoing affair with street food is unparalleled to any other food, including the comfort foods, and I can quite happily go on living just eating street food for rest of my life. As much as I love deep fried, calorie loaded foods which I like to binge on occasionally, it’s the nutritious, delicately spiced street foods bursting with big flavours I am enslaved to. Apart from being highly addictive, these Indian street foods are packed with nutrition, wholesome and guilt-free. And there are couple of street food that screams comfort food, which wraps you in a warm blanket on a cold, cold night. One such recipe is Ghugni Chaat, a delicious yellow peas snack is a popular street food of Eastern Indian states of West Bengal, and some parts of Orissa, Assam and Bihar.

It is difficult to argue with the goodness of a well-seasoned bowl of creamy, mushy beans topped with an assortment of toppings of sweet, sour and spicy sauces and crunchy, fresh vegetables, custom made to suit your taste buds. There is nothing more satisfying than that bowl of food, especially at this time of the year, that is nourishing to the body and soul. And it’s even better if the recipe is fuss free, easy to make and the result is the hearty and comforting bowl of food that always leaves one satisfied to the core.

Please head to the blog if I have manged to intrigue you as well as tempt you to try this recipe…

Recipe - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/11/bengali-ghugni-chaat-recipe-with.html
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Paneer Bhurji ~ http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/07/paneer-bhurji-recipe-simple-and-quick.html

Paneer Bhurji is a very simple and easy to make spiced Indian cottage cheese scramble. Bhurji, literally translates to scramble and Paneer Bhurji is a vegetarian take on very popular Anda Bhurji or Indian scrambled eggs. As with anything Indian, the Indian styled Bhurji is anything but plain, mild, homogenised scrambled eggs you find around the world, but is riotous mix of colours, spice and flavours that's laden with butter and character. While the vegetables like onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander leaves add colours, an array of spices add character to the otherwise plain paneer. The vegetarian Bhurji made with Paneer is one of those dishes that is loved by people in every age group and has found its way to not only to breakfast with a piece of nicely toasted slices local bread smeared with butter, but also as a side dish for lunch and dinner with some fresh roti or chapatti and sometimes as an in-between snack.
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Tandoori Gobi with homemade Tandoori Masala spice blend ~ http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/07/tandoori-gobi-recipe-with-homade.html

As old fashioned as the tandoori cooking technique may look, the fact is that tandoori dishes deliver a deliciously smokey piece of meat or vegetable that is chargrilled to perfection and is tender and juicy. The end results are dishes packed with complex flavours you just can’t duplicate at home.

But it is still possible to create a smokey flavour by using a special blend of spice mix and cooking in an oven at maximum heat that your oven can and finally broiling or grilling it for couple of minutes to get that char-grilled aroma. Like how I made this Tandoori Gobi by baking a whole head of cauliflower marinated in homemade Tandoori Masala. This Tandoori Gobi is one of the simple and offhand cooking I have ever done and with little preparation of making your own fresh batch of fragrant, no preservative, homemade Tandoori Masala spice blend in advance, it just takes about 5 minutes of your active time to put everything together. Prepare the cauliflower, marinade it, let it rest in refrigerator and pop it in the oven to do its magic! That’s it! It is really, really that simple and the end result is beautifully spiced, whole head of roasted cauliflower that is crisp on the surface and moist and juicy within with smokey flavour and char-grilled to perfection which will delight and impress your taste buds!


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BasaLe Soppina Koddel - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/06/basale-soppina-koddel-udupi-mangalorean.html

A kaleidoscope of images, people and colours flash in my mind as think of one dish that is very close to my heart. It is called BasaLe Soppina Kodhel or Kodhilu or Koddel, a simple coconut based curry of Malabar spinach cooked in a freshly roasted spice paste and tempered with generous amount of garlic fried in coconut oil.

With the gloomy and windy rains, it feels more like cold autumn days than beginning of summer season and this BasaLe Soppina Koddel is perfect thing to cook and serve piping hot with some crispy akki rotti or ragi rotti or with just a bowl of rosematta (Kerala red rice) or white rice with a generous spoonful of desi ghee and a side of papad. It also goes well with some hot chapatti or shavige (rice string hoppers). Did I tempt you enough? If yes head over to blog to check the recipe, food story and more photographs.

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Lauki Aloo Matar Curry (A simple and easy vegan bottle gourd curry with potato and peas cooked in a sweet and tangy tomato gravy) - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/05/lauki-aloo-matar-curry-recipe-simple.html

The recipe for this Lauki Aloo Matar is pretty simple and straight-forward. I love to cook it with just handful of spices easily found in most Indian pantry, like the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and the quintessential garam masala (not curry powder) which add bags of flavours. I am also not too fond of over complicated recipes, and hence stick to simple tomato based gravies which gives natural sweetness to the finished dish with a hint of tangy flavour. The addition of fresh ginger and garlic paste and good handful of coriander leaves elevates this curry to new heights. While the potatoes lend the creaminess to the gravy, the green peas add vibrancy to what otherwise a plain looking curry. And the main ingredient humble bottle gourd simply absorbs all the flavours, like a litmus paper, and transforms into a star of the dish. Do give this dish a try when you buy bottle gourd next time and see if you too fall in love with this humble dish.
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Bhara Baingan (Pan roasted stuffed baby eggplants) ~ http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/04/bhara-baingan-or-stuffed-baby-eggplant.html

I am a huge fan of eggplants and keeping my modesty aside, I make some mean eggplant curries which knocks off the feet of my guests whenever I serve them. Unfortunately, husband is allergic to eggplants and LD is not too fond of the texture of them. Which means the only person who must finish the entire pan of eggplant curries is me! How unfortunate (not) for me!!! As much as I love these little beauties, I find it difficult to spend an hour prepping and cooking them, only not to have a company to share the pleasure of devouring them. So, I end up buying some purple beauties only when I lose couple of night’s sleep! ;)

And then I made one of the simplest Bhara Baingan where baby eggplant is stuffed with ground mixture of roasted sesame seeds and desiccated coconut and flavoured with just a handful of spices before pan roasted for couple of minutes. That’s it really! Head to the blog for recipe and more photographs.
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Tawa Paneer (Griddle roasted Indian cottage cheese and veggies marinated in aromatic spices) ~ http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/04/tawa-paneer-recipe-simple-and-quick.html

To make my life little easy, I have been resorting to simple, quick recipes that’s easy to put together under 30 mins! One such recipe is Tawa Paneer where paneer and veggies are marinated with aromatic spice mix and cooked in a griddle until its seared nice and brown. Its sound quite simple and easy, right? That’s because it is simple. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity, as there is some complex flavours going on in this Tawa Paneer that makes it one of the best paneer recipes ever! The crunch from bell peppers, sweetness from onions, and the creaminess of paneer is elevated with carefully selected spices giving it that sublime flavour that delights and enslaves our taste buds. This Tawa Paneer is a dry curry, but the cherry tomatoes that is added towards the end of cooking gives it a burst of juicy sweet and tart flavour.
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Sprouted HuruLi Saaru and Usli (Spicy horse gram sprouts soup and stir fry) - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/03/sprouted-huruli-saaru-and-usli-recipe.html

HuruLi Saaru is a very rustic curry made using sprouted horse gram cooked in a spicy coconut gravy and tempered with spices and generous amount of garlic! Usli is a simple stir fry of cooked horse gram sprouts with handful of spices and garnished with freshly grated coconut. It is one of the most flavourful and satisfying dish which tastes amazing when served with rice, dollop of ghee and few papads may be! It is one of those dishes that makes you smile and brings tears to eyes! Recipes that nourished and nurtured my body and soul…
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Kadai Mushroom or Karahi Mushroom ~ http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/03/kadai-mushroom-karahi-mushroom-recipe.html

Almost every cuisine of the world has not gone untouched by a sprinkle of spices. But none of them embraces the spices close to its bosom as Indian cuisine which unashamedly uses these flavourful spices to the brim! Everything from curries to chai, our food and drinks are packed with spices. Throughout the past, there has been great wars fought for these spices, some won and some lost, leaving path on the map marked with riches, blood and sacrifices. The spice routes were formed, lands were plundered and looted, innocent blood was shed, and a lot was lost in a quest for Indian spices which as the history says was so valuable that it was worth more than a gold in weight!

When it comes to Indian recipes, spices play a key role in enriching and enhancing the dish. Some recipes use as little as 2-3 spices and some call for a combination of more than two dozen spices harmoniously blended together to make a spectacular dish bursting with flavours ! Just like this recipe of Kadai Mushrooms or Karahi Mushrooms, a semi dry curry of mushrooms, cooked in a rich tomato paste flavoured with freshly roasted and ground whole spices. This is one of those Indian dishes that demonstrates how to perfectly balance the spices to complement one another, without overpowering flavour of just one spice, to bring out the meaty taste of mushrooms and peppery flavour of bell peppers.
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Lasooni Dal Palak (Garlic flavoured lentil and spinach soup) - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/03/lasooni-dal-palak-recipe-quick-and-easy.html

No well-balanced Indian meal is complete without the protein rich lentil dish or dal. Simple tadka dal features most during busy weekdays where a cooked dal is tempered with spices, but combining vegetables with lentils/beans can make any dish a powerhouse of nutrition. Like this bowl of Lassoni Dal Palak is going be one hearty and healthy bowl of goodness that will put a smile on everyone's face when you all sit down for a meal. This recipe of Lasooni Dal Palak or garlicy lentil soup with spinach is one of the best tasting dal recipes ever. The spices used are minimal, making it a nutrition and flavour packed comfort food and that for me is the next best thing to a mother’s hug!
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