The Queen of Indian Cooking

The Queen of Indian Cooking by Mala Tandon

Mala made every meal a feast , we share some of the family favourite recipes for you to enjoy.

Favourite dishes

  • Narsingh (Husband) - Daal Makhani 
  • Sunny (Son) - Kadhi
  • Charu (Daughter) - Surkh chicken
  • Anurag (Son-in-law) - Gulab Jamun
  • Rajiv (Brother) - Besan ka halwa

Daal makhni

  • Ingredients: 1 cup whole black urad dal, 
  • 1 tsp turmeric,
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic, 
  • 1 tsp ginger, 
  • 1 chopped onion, 
  • 3 cups of water and salt for seasoning
  • For tempering: 3 tbsp ghee, 
  • 1\2 tsp asafoetida (hing), 
  • 1 tsp jeera, 
  • 1 medium onion chopped, 
  • 1\2 tsp garlic, 
  • 1\2 tsp ginger, 
  • 4-5 whole dry red chilli,
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder, 
  • 1\2.cup tomato puree, 
  • 2-3 chopped green chilli, 
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream and for garnishing chopped fresh coriander.     

First step: Wash the dal several times with water and soak it in the water overnight. 

Second Step: Place 3 cups of water in pan add turmeric garlic, ginger, onion, salt and place over a high heat with lid on and boil it for 10 minutes reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until dal is cooked. Add salt and tomato puree and stir it if dal is thick add some more warm water and cream, turn it to low heat. 

Third step: Tempering- Take small pan heat the ghee add hing, jeera and fry it till light brown add chopped onions dry red chilli and mix it to the dal once its sizzling hot. Garnish with cream and freshly chopped coriander.

Punjabi kadhi

  • Ingredients: 4 cup besan for pakori,1 pinch baking powder. oil for frying. 
  • For Curry: 1\2 cup besan,
  • 2 1\2. cup yogurt, 
  • 2.tbsp ghee,
  • 1\2 tsp asafoetida,
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds,
  • 1tsp. red chilli powder, 
  • 1 tsp turmeric , salt to taste, 
  • 1\2,tsp mustard seeds, 
  • 4-5 curry leaves, 
  • 2-3 dry red chilli, 
  • 3-4 black pepper, 
  • salt to taste, 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice.  
  • For tempering: 2 tbsp ghee, 
  • 1\2 tsp red chilli powder, 
  • 1\2 tsp peprika,
  • 1 tsp garam masala and 2tbsp. chopped coriander for garnishing.

First step: Pakora - Make batter with besan (gram flour ) mix little water and beat it then add baking powder and mix it properly and test it a small bowl of water put in a drop of better if the drop of better floats in the water it s mean the batter is ready for frying pakori. Heat the oil and make a small pakori and put in the warm water until they are soft, take out from the water and squeeze and keep it side.

Second step: Curry - Mix besan and yogurt together add 2 cup of water and mix it well. Heat the ghee in a large pan on medium heat add asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chilli, turmeric, red chilli powder and curry leaves and stir continuously until mustard seeds pop then add yogurt besan mixture and stir thoroughly so no lumps form for 10 mins till the curry is boiling, then simmer it for 20mints. if curry is too thick add some more warm water and let it cook it on slow heat for another 10mins. Now Add the Pakoras with lemon juice and leave it on low heat for another 10 mins.

Third step: Tempering - Take ghee in a small pan heat the ghee with red chilli , paprika. , hing and zeera.  Place it on top of the kadhi  and serve with a garnishing of garam masala and freshly chopped coriander.  

Family favourites

Surkh chicken

  • Ingredients: 500 gms chicken in small bite size pieces, 
  • 150gms yogurt, 
  • 4 green chilli chopped finely, 
  • 1 tsp red chilli, 
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 1 tsp deghee mirch, 
  • 1\2 cup tomato ketchup, 
  • 1 tsp coriander power, 
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seed, 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce,
  • 2tsp garlic paste and
  • 2tbsp.oil.

First step: Marinate All the ingredients for 3-4 hours. The longer the better.

Second step: Heat the frying pan with 1 tps oil and cook the marinated chicken on low heat for 10 mins when chicken is tender increase the heat and stir  continuously till its dry and serve hot with sprinkle of fresh coriander. Enjoy

Gulaab jamun

  • Ingredients: 1/2 cup Maida
  • 1 cup Grated Mawa (Khoya) 250 gms
  • 1/2 Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Elaichi Powder
  • For Frying: Oil for deep frying
  • For Sugar Syrup: 1 1/2 Cups Sugar and 2 1/2 Cup Water

First step: Mix the plain flour with Mawa Baking Soda and Elaichi Powder into a soft dough and then make small balls of gulab jamun. 

Second step: Deep Fry the gulab jamuns till golden brown 6-7 mins and take them out to dry.

Third step: Place the sugar and water into a pan to oil to make the sugar syprup , once the syprus cools place the fried gulab jamuns into it and leave for an hour for the sugar to be absorbed. Enjoy

Besan halwa

  • Ingredients: 1/2 cup of besan (gram) flour 
  • 1/4 cup of sugar or per your taste
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp crushed cardamom  
  • 2 tbsp of melted ghee 
  • 4 thin sliced almonds 
  • Few strings of saffron 

First step: Place ghee in a  pan to heat once melted add besan and roast it till it turns golden brown, it is important you stir it regularly .

Second step: Add sugar and cardamom powder and stir for another 5 minutes

Third step: Add water to the pan and stir well for 3-4 minutes till the halwa leaves the sides of the pan and turn the heating off.

Final Step: Add Almond and serve hot. Enjoy