International Food

Nepali Aloo Achaar- A tangy, hot accompaniment

We love having guests over, especially the kind that enjoy food and even better, the ones that love cooking.

Right now we have Sipee , a bright and chatty Nepali girl stay with us.She treated us yesterday to a typical dish from Nepal, often served when entertaining. -Aloo Achaar.

This is meant to be eaten like a koshimbir, a tablepoon or two along with your main dish.
It looks to be a keeper...I can see us making this very often from now on.


1/2 kg baby potatoes
2 tablepoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
A pinch of turmeric
A generous pinch of red chilli powder
Juice of 1 lime or a teapoon of "Chuk" (Nepali black lime paste)
2-4 green chillies, sliced in the length ( add more according to taste)

2 teaspoon mustard oil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds


1.Boil the potatoes till done. Peel.
2.Grind the toasted sesame seeds into a powder and mix with the other spices.
3. Add this mixture to the cooked potatoes and stir well with the aid of a tablepoon or two of water.
4. Add the lime juice and mix again.
5. Set aside for 15 minutes.
6. Top with the sliced green chillies.
7. Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds till they pop. Pour this seasoning over the potatoes and serve.

Its absolutely delicious.

PS No time to take a photo...we ate it all up instantly.!

My Favourite 7 Bean Salad

I love eating this salad in the monsoon. It substantial but vegetarian, cooling and warming, complex and simple. Ready to eat in half an hour and still delicious a day later.




1 cup of mixed beans- red kidney beans (rajmha), pink kidney beans, chick peas, (kabuli channa ), dried green peas, green gram , black eyed peas or soya beans. Soak in 4 cups of boiling water for an hour.

2 sprigs of thyme

1 cup of pearl barley cooked for 30 minutes.( or 1 cup cooked finger millet)

½ cup grape tomatoes, cut in halves

Two handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped and wilted over low flame for 3 minutes, till cooked.

½ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped

½ red onion finely chopped

1 cup finely shredded cabbage.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt and Pepper

1-photo (1)


1. Pressure cook  the soaked and drained beans in 500 ml water with a few sprigs of fresh or dried thyme for 25 minutes. Turn off heat and let the pressure come down normally. Open cooker and remove thyme sprigs. Drain and reserve any cooking liquid.

2. Mix with the cooked and fluffy pearl barley.

3. Add the tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, coriander and onion and mix well.

4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Make a dressing of two tablespoons olive oil and two tablespoons lime juice. Mix with a little of the reserved cooking  liquid.Pour over salad and serve warm or cold.

Slow cooked beans and chicken casserole

Its been a rainy day.Its been a rainy week. The only thing to do on this kind of day is to put something on the fire to stew slowly and fill the house with its aroma while listening to music and reading. The anticipation of a warm, filling dinner makes the monsoon greys less dreary.

So out comes the latest cook pot, a handmade ceramic dutch oven which is unusual because it is flame proof , withstanding direct heat on the stove top and if necessary can be popped in the oven too.

Since I have friends from Mexico staying I thought the following dish would give them a taste of home.

This is a nice for solar cooking too . 1-IMG_1534


125 gms dried mixed beans, (kidney beans, chick peas, black eyed beans, green peas) , rajmha, kabuli channa, green peas,black beans, chawlai

1/2 tablespoon vegtable oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green or red chilli

1 large green pepper/simla mirchi, cut into 1/2 in pieces

3 tomatoes , pulped into juice in a blender

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 tablespoon chilli sauce

1 chicken bouillon cube or 1/2 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon brown sugar

200 gms minced chicked



  1. Wash and soak the dried beans in 500 ml of boiling hot water for an hour. Drain.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the garlic and chilli for a minute. Add the onion and saute till golden brown.
  3.  Add the green pepper bits and saute for a few minutes. 
  4.  Add the pulped tomatoes, chilli sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt.  Cook for five minutes.
  5. Add the beans and 400 ml water to the pot and cooked on very low heat for 3 hours. You can use a heat diffuser under the pot if necessary.
  6. Add the minced chicken and mix to seperate the bits. Cook for another hour.
  7. Garnish with grated cheese and chopped coriander.

Eat with crusty bread or a warmed tortilla. Delicious!