Tag Archive for indian

blogging mojo, sourdough flatbread and dhal tadka

dhal tadka

I lost my blogging mojo a little over the last few weeks. Like everyone, I was stupidly busy in the run up to Christmas. On top of the normal end of year craziness I was helping a friend move house. This meant my time was a bit squeezed and I honestly couldn’t be bothered cooking. I’ve been eating a lot of fruit from the garden and while that’s delicious, it doesn’t make for a very exciting blog post.

The mojo is back however, sparked by inspiration from two bloggers. The first was Johanna over at Green Gourmet Giraffe who dropped by last week with some sourdough starter for me.  I’ve been making great bread with it, using a slightly modified version of the no-knead recipe.



The second was Vaishali over at Holy Cow! She’d written a post early in December for Dhal Tadka that caught my eye, so I bookmarked it for future reference.

One led to the other. I had some leftover dough from bread making so I decided to make some flatbread. I just rolled the dough thinly and slapped it onto a frying pan to cook for a couple of minutes on each side. I then held the bread in tongs over the gas flame to puff it up and char it slightly. The flatbread obviously needed something to go with it…dhal seemed like an excellent choice.

Of course I tinkered, partly out of necessity because I didn’t have the ingredients, partly because I am an inveterate tinkerer with recipes, and partly to add more punch to the dhal. I didn’t have some of the types of dhal Vaishali used so I went with what I had, channa, split urad and mung. I also made more of the tadka spice mix, upping the quantities by half because I love garlic and chilli. I left out the sugar.

If you have a pressure cooker the dhal can be ready in 20 minutes.

Good, simple, comforting and delicious food.


dhal tadka
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: vegan
cuisine: indian
serves: 4
  • ½ cup channa dhal
  • ½ cup mung dhal
  • ½ cup split urad dhal
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • enough water to cover by 2 cm.
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 3 dried chillies (I removed the seeds)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander
  1. Wash the dhal, cover with water, add the turmeric and cook until tender.
  2. Heat the coconut oil and fry the mustard seeds with the chillies
  3. When the seeds start to pop, add the garlic and fry until fragrant and golden, but NOT burnt.
  4. Add the chopped tomato and cook down slightly.
  5. Stir the oil spice mix into the dhal mix and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander.



dosa plaza

pani puri

A new branch of Dosa Plaza opened recently in Preston, right on the junction, just near the Aldi supermarket. Dosa Plaza is a franchise with a handful of stores around Australia and New Zealand as well as over fifty in India.  I wouldn’t normally give a franchised restaurant a second look, but I had been watching the store being built over the last few weeks. What caught my eye was the fact that they were entirely vegetarian. A quick look at the website and I found that they had a large number of vegan menu items as well. So I decided I wouldn’t be a snob and give them a try.

The menu runs the gamut from Italian pasta to a variety of Indian and Asian food ranging from street style snacks to full meals.  It also has an astonishing array of what could be described as cross-cultural dosas, from Mexican to Chinese.

For my first try, I stuck to straight Indian flavours. I chose some pani puri with a potato filling and two sauces as well as a dosa with a vegetable and lentil soup and some coconut chutney. Both were delicious.

I love food that requires assembly at the table and the pani puri satisfied my love of playing with my food. Pani puri are small crispy hollow puffs. You crack a hole in the top, fill with some potato and spoon on some of the tart tamarind sauce and fill with the green chilli sauce. Then eat them whole before they go soft. The experience is great. The crispy outside explodes in your mouth to release the soft filling and the sauces.

The staff were a bit worried when I ordered them, they told me the green chilli sauce  was quite hot. I decided I’d be brave, but I was a bit worried it would be diabolical. When an Indian person tells you something is hot, it is possibly a good idea to take note. In fact I need not have worried, it was just the right amount of heat for me. There was quite a large bowl of the green chilli sauce, they told me that they drink the leftovers. I didn’t. As a sauce it was great, as a soup it would have been a bit too much.

I also enjoyed the dosa and soup and chutney, though next time I will probably go for a filled dosa.

dosa with soup


All in all a very nice surprise.

Dosa Plaza
4 Plenty Road,
Preston, 3072
9484 8444

curried pumpkin fritters

curried pumpkin fritters

Week 136 of my love affair with chick pea flour. Is there anything that can’t be done with this fabulous stuff? It binds like egg, you can make omelettes and quiches with it, it is delicious and it is high in protein so your mother and your non-vegan friends can stop worrying if you are getting enough protein. 🙂

Today I made some curried pumpkin fritters, a variation on the “what the hell do I do with all these zucchini” fritters (that moment will come in the summertime!).

They are delicious too, but pumpkin and curry spices have a great affinity so these are a winner. They are fast and simple to make, and delicious. They are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Sometimes I serve them with a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, but I’d run out, so today I just scattered them with some fresh coriander leaves from the garden. This recipe would work with carrot and parsnip too.


curried pumpkin fritters
prep time
cook time
total time
serves: 6
  • 400 grams pumpkin
  • ½ cup chick pea(besan) flour
  • 2 teaspoons of your favourite curry powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbs water
  • 2 tbs oil for frying
  1. Grate the pumpkin coarsely into a bowl.
  2. Mix in the salt and curry powder.
  3. Stir in the chick pea flour. It will be a little dry, so add the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture just sticks together. It shouldn't be wet.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, turn the heat down to low.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of mixture for each patty to the pan and neaten and shape into patties and loosen from the bottom so they don't stick.
  6. Allow to fry on that side for 2 minutes, and then carefully flip and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Drain on paper to remove any excess oil.


« Older Entries