Winter 2023 is nearly here, and if winter 2022 is anything to go on, it is going to be a cold one!
Of course, this is the time of year when people start eating comfort food and planning their Thanksgiving and Christmas menus. Although, it can be tempting to look into a different cuisine to keep you warm at this time of year. With Indian cuisine being the most popular type of food that is consumed, why not ditch the cold of the West and take your tastebuds on a delectable journey to the East?
So, here, I have listed 2 of the tastiest and easiest Indian recipes to try in winter 2023 that will keep the cold away and prevent you from opening another tin of soup. Enjoy!
#1 Litti Chokha
Litti Chokha is a traditional dish that comes from the Indian state of Bihar. The Littie is a dough ball that is stuffed with roasted gram flour, while the chokha is a spicy and tasty vegetable dish. So, here’s the recipe to try out; it’s a bit long, though!
For The Litti Dough
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour (or atta)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of water- add as needed.
For The Stuffing
- 1 cup of sattu, or roasted gram flour
- 1 onion, chopped, or some bulk organic garlic.
- 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped.
- 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of carom seeds or ajwain.
- ½ teaspoon nigella seeds or kalonji.
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder.
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil.
For the Chokha
- 2 medium-sized eggplants.
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes.
- 1 onion, medium, finely chopped.
- 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped or grated.
- 2 tablespoons of mustard oil
- Mustard oil to drizzle
Here is how to pull this spicy and tasty dish together:
First, you need to prep the Litti. Mix the whole wheat flour and salt in a bowl together. Then, add water gradually and knead the mixture into a firm dough. Set this aside for around 30 minutes.
To make the stuffing, mix the roasted gram flour (or sattu) with the chopped onion, the green chilies, the ginger, and the coriander. Also, throw in the camon and nigella seeds, the red chili powder, and the turmeric, along with the salt and the mustard oil. Combine it all until it forms a crumbly mixture.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or preheat a grill. Divide the Litti into equal portions and roll it into balls. Flatten each one with your palm and fill it with the stuffing or sattu. Seal and then reshape. Place these onto a baking tray and bake them for around 25-30 minutes or until they are a golden brown color. You can grill them, just make sure they are evenly cooked!
Now, you can prepare the Chokha.
Roast the eggplants and tomatoes over an open flame or in your oven until the skin on both is charred, but the vegetables are soft on the inside. Once they’re cool, peel the skin off and mash them.
Add the chopped onions, the green chilies, the coriander, the salt, and the mustard oil and mix it well.
Now, you can serve the hot Littis and the chokha. Drizzle a bit of mustard oil over the chokha before serving if you want an extra kick.
This is not only a tasty dish, but it tends to go down well with fussy eaters, too!
#2 Aloo Gobi
Most people who have visited an Indian restaurant will be familiar with Aloo Gobi. It is packed with flavor and is a must-have if you are having vegan guests over for dinner. It pairs perfectly with bread and meat dishes like tikka masala. Aloo Gobi is a popular North Indian dish that combines potatoes, cauliflower, and fragrant spices and it is very simple to make. Here is a quick recipe!
- 2 cups of cauliflower florets.
- 2 medium-sized potatoes that have been peeled and cubed.
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped or grated.
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or cut very finely.
- 1 inch of ginger or a teaspoon of powdered ginger.
- 2 green chillies, cut lengthwise. You can add more if you want more spice!
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- 1 teaspoon of red chili powder. You can add more if you want more spice!
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder.
- ½ teaspoon of garam masala.
To Make the Aloo Gobi
So, here are the steps needed to make this tasty dish.
You will need to cut the cauliflower into florets and allow them to soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain them and set them aside. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and place them in cool water to prevent them from discoloring.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the cumin seeds until they splutter. Next, add the chopped onions and sauté them until they turn brown. Add the garlic, the ginger, and the green chilies. Add in the chopped tomatoes until they soften and the oil begins to separate.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander and salt. Mix it well and cook it for a couple of minutes. Drain the potatoes and then add them into the same pan as the cauliflower. Mix until the spices coat the vegetables.
Now, you can cook the aloo gobi.
Cover the pan and cook all of it together on a low-medium heat. If it looks too dry, add some water. Cook the cauliflower and the potatoes until they are tender, but aim to prevent overcooking them. This will usually take between 15-20 minutes.
Once the cauliflower and the potatoes are cooked, you can sprinkle some garam masala and mix it well. Cook it all together for an extra minute and then garnish with some fresh coriander leaves.
Serve aloo gobi hot and, if you can, serve it with coconut roti, naan, or mushroom rice.
Both of these Indian recipes are vegan and packed with spices that will warm you up on cold days. I hope you enjoy making these dishes and exploring the wonderful flavors of Indian cuisine this winter. Stay warm with tasty food from around the world! Let me know if you have any other favorite winter recipes you’d like to try.