Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

My love for fennel – Fennel spiced Cauliflower & Asparagus Subzi.


Its official. I love fennel. I love its aroma and the unique flavour it infuses in to the dishes. Its sometimes the star ingredient of a dish, without actually taking all the lime light! I wanted to combine the goodness of asparagus, potatoes and cauliflower in to one amazing bowl of hearty subzi. Thus was born this unique and tasty side dish. I could eat it with rotis the whole week! I really did! It was a hit with rotis and the leftover went it to fill in to my bread,to make tasty sandwiches and  the third day, I stuffed it in to puff pastry sheets. Yes, it was amazing! Go on, try it and see for yourself.


2 Small or 1 Medium Onions diced fine.

2 Cups Cauliflower Florettes.

1 Potatoe cut in to medium 1 inch bits.

1 pound Asparagus diced in into 1 inch pieces.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric.

1 Tsp Red chilli powder.

1 Tbsp Fennel powdered.

1 Tsp Tandoori Masala.

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala.

1 Tsp Salt.


1 Tsp heaped Somph/ Fennel.

2 Star Anise.

1 Mace (Optional)


4 tsp ground dhania.
3 tsp cumin ground.
4 tsp garlic powder.
2 tsp red cp.
3 tsp ginger powder.
2 tsp amchur.
1 tsp dried mint.
red food coloring.
1 tsp chilli powder.
2 Tsp Kasoori Methi.

Grind to a near smooth powder and store in an air tight container for more than 6 months.


  • Microwave the cauliflower florettes, diced asparagus on HIGH for about 3 minutes.
  • Boil the potatoe in a little water with salt and dice in to pieces.
  • In a shallow kadai, add a tbsp of oil and when its hot enough, add the fennel, star anise and mace. When its slightly roasted add the finely chopped onions and shallow fry until pinkish brown.
  • Just when the aroma was already getting to you, add the microwaved veggies – cauliflower, asparagus and the potatoes.
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix them all in well.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water and reduce the flame to medium low. Cover and cook fofr about ten minutes.
  • Check to see if the veggies are well cooked, If not cook for a couple minutes more.
  • Gently add the tandoori masala powder and the garam masala powder at this stage and mix it in.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, switch off the flame and keep covered until its time to serve.
Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Aloo Achari (Steamed Potatoes tempered with pickle spices)

Its been three wonderful months of vacation back home with family in India….We had a wedding in the family, my sisters and it was the best time of my life, as also some of the most emotional moments too. The kids enjoyed spending time with uncles, aunts and their grand parents and I enjoyed going to favourite restaurants and placesI love. It has been an amazing three months of fun and family times.  This was someting I made for TH when I came back to the US and he loved it. This has been a subzi that has been long due for posting and I thought I need to simply start off the blogging break with this one!

I remember having this particularly spicy aloo achari when I was training for a few days at Pune. Lunches were a wonderful spread with Fragrant Peas Pulav, cucumber raita, steaming hot Aloo Parathas with curd and Achar and this amazing Aloo Achari. I had it once again at a wonderful restaurant in Bangalore,  The Orchid Metropolitan`s weekend buffet. And then I fell for the spicy sweet tanginess in this dry subji combined with the fact that its made with everyone`s favourite – Potatoes…What could ever go wrong here? It was a marriage made in heaven. The chef there was kind enough to let me know how its made but I am sure he would add his years of experience in making this dish. It does have a long list on ingredients, but the wonderful taste, makes it well worth the while.


Whole Baby Potatoes or Fingerling Potatoes – 20-22 ( I used regular aloo cut in to slightly big cubes and cooked)

1 Onion finely chopped.

1 Tomato finely chopped.

1 Tsp Methi Seeds.

1/2 Tsp Mustard.

1 Tsp Somph or Fennel Seeds.

3  Dry Red Chillies.

1/2 Tsp Kala Namak.

1 Tsp Sugar.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 Tsp Ajwain.

1/2 Tsp Kalonji (Onion Seeds).

1/4 Tsp Turmeric.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Coriander Powder.

Salt to taste.

2 Tsp Vinegar.

2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

1/2 Cup Water.

Cilatro to garnish.


  • Cook the baby potatoes in little water adding a little salt. Poke each baby potato with a fork or a tooth pick.  This allows the salt to permeate the baby potatoes and helps in uniform cooking.
  • Pat dry and set aside.
  • In a coffee grinder, powder – 1 Tsp Methi Seeds,

1/2 Tsp Mustard,

1 Tsp Somph

3 Red Chillies

to a coarse powder. Set aside.

  • Heat a kadai and add oil when hot, add jeera, kalonji seeds, ajwain  turmeric , and the powdered masalas.
  • Allow a few minutes to saute and immediately add the chopped onion and tomatoes. Take particular care that the ground powders do not burn in the oil.
  • Saute for a couple minutes and add the boiled baby potatoes (cubed potatoes) and stir in well.
  • Now add 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste, salt, kala namak, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and sugar and mix well until the aloo is coated in the powders.
  • Add the vinegar and a 1/4 cup water and cook until the subzi turns dry.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.