Deep-fried appetizer

This is a second Indian recipe. It is an unfailing favorite everywhere we make it. It is a deep-fried appetizer, great with cocktails, and for best effect, should be served with a fresh chutney, such as coriander leaves ground with fresh ginger, chopped green chilli pepper, some yogurt and maybe some mint leaves.

Cut into matchsticks: 1 large potato 1 small eggplant 1 onion There should be about equal amounts of each.

Mix together about 1/4 cup of white flour with 1/2 cup of chick pea flour (called *bessan* and quite a unique thing, which has the aroma and aftertaste of sprouted mung beans) and 1/2 tsp salt, some coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander seed, 1 tsp ground cumin, and about 1 Tbsp of whole coriander seeds.

Mix the flours and seeds into the vegetables, sprinkle on a couple of Tbsps of water–VERY LITTLE water–and mix together with your hands until it just holds together. It’s gooey.

Fry tablespoons of this mixture in about 3/4 inch of very hot vegetable oil until golden brown–about 5 minutes. Drain and serve hot.
This comes from a lavish cookbook produced by the New York restaurant called The Bombay Palace, and which has sister restaurants in Europe. The food at the restaurant is wonderful, but the cookbook, for the most part (edited by the food critic Stendal) is a bust. The recipes do not make up well, usually, with some exceptions. This is one.

Ajay Shah, (213)734-3930, [email protected]


From: [email protected] (Ajay Shah)


1 kg meat (chicken/lamb/prawns)
4 cups rice (ideally basmati)
10 cloves garlic
2″ piece of ginger
10 dried red chillies
3 large onions
3 large tomatoes
10 mint leaves
pinch of saffron
6 large potatoes
1 tspturmeric powder
4 tbs cooking medium (butter tastes best)
6 cardamoms
6 cloves
4″ stick of cinnamon
salt to taste
An amount of water which is “correct”. If basmati rice, then it’s 1.8 cups of water per cup of rice.


1. Make a paste of the garlic, ginger and chillies.
2. Chop the onions and the tomatoes (don’t mix ’em up). The onions should be rings, ideally.
3. Peel, cut and wash the potatoes in 1.5″ pieces.
4. Clean and wash the rice.

1. Clean and cut the meat into 1.5″ pieces. If the chicken is bony (i.e., not boneless) ignore this step.
2. Fry the onions till golden brown. This is a long and painful process, but keep the faith. Remove the onions, drain of oil, and put ’em aside. Chuck the ginger-garlic-chilly paste into the same oil. Fry for 6 minutes. Put in the meat and fry for K minutes. If lamb, K = 10; otherwise K = 5. In either case, you want the meat to be half cooked before starting stage 3.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, turmeric, mint leaves and salt and fry for 5 minutes. Add a little water and cook till the meat is 75% cooked. This will take a short while for chicken/prawns, and longer for lamb.
4. Now add the rice and potatoes. Add the rest of the water and cook (covered) till the rice is ready. A slow flame will work better than a powerful one. Stir occasionally.
5. Serve hot, garnished with the fried onions.

(This recipe is from the Taj Hotel in Bombay!).
Ajay Shah, (213)734-3930, [email protected]

Simple Bombay Aloo


Yellow potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (or eighted 🙂 depending on size)
a chopped onion
a handful of fresh or frozen peas

optional: other vegetables might include carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, whatever you want
a good bit of madras curry powder (to taste, maybe starting from a teaspoon per estimated serving) (8 parts coriander, 4 parts cumin, 1 part cayenne, and 2 parts turmeric)
a big handful of cilantro leaves optional garnish
raisins (optional)


This comes out great with everything but cilantro and garnish cooked in a pressure cooker; otherwise “sautee” the onion and curry powder in a little apple cider vinegar, then add the potatoes and optional vegetables and a little vegetable broth. Simmer until the potatoes are almost done; add peas. simmer about five minutes. Stir in cilantro; serve immediately with yogurt if desired.

AKA: Potato Curry.

Source: “Elisabeth.”


In this dish, fish is topped with coconut-cilantro chutney, wrapped in leaves, and baked. Here lettuce leaves substitute for the traditional banana leaves. This is a popular dish around Bombay where fish and coconuts are fresh and abundant.

Serves 6 to 8

CHUTNEY Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened grated coconut ( preferably fresh)
1-2 small chilis
3 garlic cloves, coarsly chopped
1 Tbl. chopped fresh ginger root
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. brown sugar (optional)

Main dish ingredients

2 pounds firm, white-fleshed fish fillets
6-8 large lettuce leaves for wrapping (leaf lettuce works well)
1/4 cup melted butter or ghee
2 Tbl. fresh lime juice
1 lime, sliced


In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the chutney ingredients and process until quite smooth. If using a blender, it may necessary to add one or two Tbl. of water and to blend the ingredients in batches.
Rinse the fish and cut into 6 to 8 serving sized pieces. Place each piece at the bottom of a lettuce leaf and spread a generous spoonful of the chutney on top. Fold the rest of the leaf down over the fish and tuck in the edges to form a packet.

Place the packets in an oiled baking dish and drizzle the butter and 2 Tbl. of lime juice over them. Bake, covered, at 350 F. for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lettuce looks wilted and browned. The lettuce may be eaten or not, as desired.
Serve with rice and Tomato Kachumber and garnish each serving with a slice of lime. Or serve the fish accompanied by a simple side dish of cherry tomatoes stir-fried with some oil and minced garlic.

Note: If you are pressed for time or are out of lettuce leaves, you can simply spread the chutney on top of the fish and bake approximately 10 minutes less. The chutney can be served by itself to accompany any Indian meal. Parsley can be used in place of the cilantro. from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Bombay Taj recipe for Reshmi Kabab


2 lb boneless chicken
4 medium sized onions
2″ ginger
8 cloves garlic
1 bunch of coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 tsp cummin (jeera) seeds
white pepper to taste (around 1 tsp if you don’t have a prior)
1 tsp garam masala (available in indian stores)
2 eggs
salt to taste

(for garnishing) lemon spring onions (red onions are ok)


1. Mince the chicken
2. Grind all ingredients together except eggs and salt
3. Mix in the eggs and salt
4. Shape into sausages, put on skewers and cook over charcoal fire or in rotisserie till tender
5. Garnish with onions and lemon

Ajay Shah, [email protected]

Bombay Monkfish

Yield: 4 servings


1 lb Monkfish, skinned
Milk to cover
1/4 lb Shrimp, shelled
2 Eggs
3 tb Tomato paste
1/2 ts Curry powder
2 ts Lemon juice
1/4 ts Fresh rosemary, chopped or -pinch of dried
1 pn Of saffron or tumeric
3/4 c Light or single cream
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put the monkfish in a pan just large enough to hold it. Pour the milk over and place the pan over moderate heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 8 minutes. Turn the fish and cook 7 minutes longer, or until the fish is cooked through. When the monkfish is nearly done, add the shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes, or until they turn pink. Drain fish and shrimp, discarding milk. Cut the monkfish into bite-size pieces.
Beat the eggs with the tomato paste, curry powder, lemon juice, rosemary, saffron and 1/2 cup cream. Mix in the fish and shrimp and season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn into 4 individual ramekin dishes and pour an equal amount of the remaining cream over the top of each dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon and a crusty french type bread.

This is an appetizing and stylish way to start a meal. For a light lunch dish for two, cook this in one ovenproof dish and serve it with a green salad and boiled new potatoes.


Yield: 8 naan


4 c Flour, all purpose
450 g 5/8 c Milk or warm water
150 ml 2 tb Yogurt
1 tb Yeast,dried
1 ts Sugar
3 tb Ghee or butter
2 tb Poppy seeds
1 tb Sesame seeds

Variation: Badami Naan

2 c Almonds; blanched finely & -shredded
White sesame seeds

Leavened bread of Northern India (Uttar Pradesh)

Sprinkle yeast and sugar into the hot milk or water, leave it for 20 minutes. Sift together flour, dalt in a large bowl, and make a well in the centre. Put yogurt and 2 tbsp butter in the yeast mixture. Knead well and leave it aside for 3-4 hours, in a warm place until doubled in size.

Punch down dough and divide into 8 balls. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Roll out each ball in the shape of triangles or make a round disk. then pull on one side to make a teardrop shape. Mix together 1 tsp ghi or butter, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Spread a little of the above mixture on each naan. Place them on a baking tray. Cook in a preheated oven (375F/ 190C/ gas mark 5) for 4-5 minutes until brown specks appear. If the naan is not brown enough then put under a preheated grill for a minute or two.

Variation: Badami Naan – Brush each sada naan with oil or butter before baking them. Sprinkle almonds and white sesame seeds on the greased side of every naan.

Cook in a preheated oven, for 4-5 minutes.

SOURCE: _Rotis and Naans of India_ by Purobi Babbar



This is sour curry that is popular in Bombay. In this recipe it is made with pork, but it can be made with any meat, with poultry, or even with shrimps.


2 pounds lean pork, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup vinegar
4 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced gingerroot or 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup chicken bouillon
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered


Marinate meat in vinegar, onions, garlic, and seasonings for 2 hours or more. Place in top-stove casserole with oil and bouillon. (Sesame oil is used in western India, but any cooking oil will do.) Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and cook slowly, covered; for about 40 minutes, or until they are tender. Add more bouillon if necessary. Makes 6 servings.

Vegetable bonda

Courtesy: K. Raghunandan

This is a separate breed and is usually a separate snack in its own right. It does not have anything in common with the uddina bonda, except the shape.
Step 1: Prepare vegetable filler – to do this, usually 3-4 potatos have to be boiled. This can simply be done in a pressure cooker.

After that, chop a few oinions (fine) along with green chillis, coriander leaves and Ginger. Keep a spoon or two of oil in a large frying pan, add mustard when the oil is hot. After the mustard splits, add a pinch of Arishina (turmeric/haldi), then the green chillis and ginger. After a short fry, add the boiled potatos. Turn them around slightly mashing the potato each time. Add salt to taste. Some people would like to add green peas at this stage (purely optional).

Other vegetables like choped carrots,fine cut beans or dill,can be added and fried before adding potatos. This would then taste quite distinct and is the “vegetable bonda”; not the commonly available Bombay bonda – the standard potato stuff available in hotels/restaurants back home. Particularly bonda with dill has a superb taste and flavour.

Usually vegetable bonda needs less of potato (1 or 2 will do).Here potato is used simply as a binding agent and this bonda is therefore not heavy. In all cases, squeez the juice of a lime, which makes the filler very tasty.
Step 2: Prepare the dipping dough – this is nothing more than the Besan (kadale hittu, or channa powder), with red chilli powder added to it. Also add salt to taste and mix it with water into a semi solid paste (watery enough like tomato ketchup to coat the potato/vegetable mix, when dipped). The trick is to add a little of rice flour so that the outer coat becomes crispy when fried.

Some people add a pinch of baking soda, but this is upto the individual (purely optional). The reddish tinge that is seen after mixing the dough with water, is a good indicator of the hotness (in terms of chilli) to control proportion.Taste a drop of watery dough for the right proportion of salt and chilli powder.
Step 3: Roll the vegetable filler into small lime sized balls. Dip them in the watery dough and directly put them in the hot frying oil. The right consistency of the dipping dough is ensured if the bonda fries well.

If the dip is too watery, the bonda opens up spilling out the contents. If the dough is too hard, covering the vegetable ball becomes difficult (can see this by experience). If dip is too thin, add a bit of besan powder to thicken (you may also add chilli powder and salt to keep the right proportion).

Serve hot, with chutney, or without it. ENJOY …. 🙂

Bhel Puri

From: Anita Bapat


i) Puffed rice (American substitute is rice krispies)
ii) gram flour vermicelli ( known as shev),
iii) turmeric powder,
iv) rock salt,
v) oil ,
vi) puris. (You can get all of these items at an Indian grocery store)

Directions for bhel mix :

i) Heat 1 tsp oil, add 1/4 tsp rock salt and 1/4 turmeric powder
ii) Add puffed rice and on a very slow fire roast them for 5 minutes.
iii) Add Shev and crush puries into the above mix.

Date and tamarind chutney: Take 4 oz of date and cook in microwave oven for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp of tamarind paste, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cumin pwd , 1/2 tsp corriander pwd


Blend to a fine paste in a liquidiser.

Mint chutney:

one bunch cilantro (also known as coriander leaves),
7-8 leaves of mint,
4-5 green chillies,
salt to taste.

DIRECTIONS; Liquidize the above ingredients in a blender to a fine paste. Add 1/4 cup water.

Garlic chutney: The lazy and easy way is take 3 tbsp of chpd garlic , 2tsp of red hot chilly pwd, salt to taste

Directions: Blend to a fine paste.

Boiled potatoes should be finely chopped.
Onions finely chopped. A dash of lime juice is recommended.
If the food is spicy add yogurt to mellow it down.