Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Bihari Aloo Baingan (Potatoes and Eggplant in a Garlic Chilli sauce)

Baby potatoes are always a pleasure to cook with as they are cute and tiny and cook so fast and most importantly they dont have to be peeled and they hold their own ground. They dont get too mushy unless you dont treat them properly. I enjoy so many recipes with baby potatoes some of my most favourite being, Aloo Dum, Baby Potatoes in Tomato Gravy and of course this Bihari Aloo Baingan. I love combining such contrasting veggies, as I feel they compliment each other…Plantains and long bean Mezhukkuvaratti is of course another favourite but we shall keep that speciality for another post. This is is inspired by one of my favourite chefs – Raghavan Iyer…I love his cook book andd the little anecdotes that he adds to the story behind his learning the recipe and its roots….


1 Pound Baby Potatoes.

1 Japanese Eggplant.

4 Large Cloves Garlic.

3 Red chillies.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 Tbsp Ginger thinly sliced.

1 Medium Onion sliced lengthwise thinly.

2  Tsbp Canola Oil.

1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Cilantro Leaves.


  • Wash the potatoes and the eggplants. Pop them in the rice cooker, add salt  and cook them until they are half done. Alternatively use the microwave or stove or you need not cook them now but you can finish up the entire cooking of the potatoes and the egplant in the gravy itself.
  • In the little mixer jar combine cilantro, red chillies, ginger  and  garlic and pulse until they are well ground. Do not add water. Set aside.
  • In a pan or kadai, add a spoon of oil and when the oil is hot enough, add the cumin seeds. They will splutter and sizzle for a couple seconds. Imediately add the sliced onions and fry them until they turnn in t a dull brown colour and they carmelize. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the pulsed cilantro garlic blend and saute for a couple more seconds until the raw smell is gone. This should be in about 45 seconds. Do not let the pulsed mix burn in the pan. Keep mixing and marinating them in.
  • Toss in the potatoes and the eggplant and mix with the rest of the ingredients.Now add a cup of water and scrape the pan to deglaze the bits of spices sticking to hte base of the pan.
  • Stir in another cup of water and add salt to the pan. Now bring the heat down to medium low and allow to reduce for a about 15 – 20 minutes until the veggies are well cooked and the gravy comes together.
  • Serve hot Bihari Baingan with soft phulkas or Peas Prathas…

Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Dhingri Josh ( Mushrooms in a simple tomato base!)

One of my most favourite preparations are either with paneer or with mushrooms. Its always a pleasure to cook with mushrooms as they have their own texture and taste and render a different taste to the dish itself. When I came across Raghavan Iyer`s 660 curries in my local library I was literally overjoyed. I did never find the time to try so many of my favourites in his book, as we were busy with our move . This is one of his dishes that I love and relish. Its a very simple preparation yet, very elegant and a great accompaniment with naan bread or rotis.


1 Pound Brown Cremini Mushrooms or White Button Mushrooms.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 Tsp ShahiJeera.

1 Tsp Powdered Cardamom.

3 Bay Leaves.

2 Cinnamon Sticks ( Yes it might feel like a bit too much!)

2 Red Chillies.

1 Medium Onion Finely chopped.

1 Tbsp Ginger Paste.

1 Tbsp Garlic Paste.

3 Medium Vine Tomatoes chopped finely.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 tsp Sugar.

1/2 Tsp Punjabi Garam Masala.

Salt to taste.


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet and when the oil is hot, add the seasonings – Jeera, ShahiJeera, Bay leaves, Cinnamom Sticks, and the ground elaichi. Wait for a couple of minutes until all the spices are well fried and then add the chopped onions.
  • Stir fry the onions for a couple of minutes until they are browned a little nad then follow up with the ginger and garlic paste. Let the raw pastes fry in the oil until all the raw smell is gone.
  • Keep on stirring to make sure that they do not burn in the oil. Now add the chopped tomatoes aliong with the juices and stir it in. Also add the red chilli powder and salt. Keep stirring the tomatoes for a couple more minutes stirring occasionally until the oil starts to separate. this should approximately take about 6-7 minutes.
  • Pour about 1/2 cup of water and deglaze the bottom of the pan and simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes on a medium low flame , uintil the water is absorbed in to the curry and the oil starts seperating again.
  • Now add another 1/2 cup of water to the pan and follow with the mushrooms. Add the sugar and mix well and cook covered stirring ocassioanlly until the mushrooms are cooked soft and tender but not rubbery.
  • Add a handful of chopped green onions and cilantro and serve hot.