Home Cooking, Indian Style

Get ready to enjoy some Gopal family recipes!

Friday night, my coworker and friend Achala came over for dinner. We drank wine, munched on pita chips and hummus, and Achala taught me a bit about home cooking, Indian style. I felt like Achala was my personal chef and tour guide through Indian cuisine for the evening – it was fabulous.

We made vegetable pulao – a mixture of yummy spices, vegetables and rice. It was accompanied by a cool cucumber raita, or yogurt sauce.

I learned a lot. A) Curry is not a single spice, but a blend of spices including things like coriander, turmeric, peppers, cinnamon, and more. B) Sautéing spices in a little oil releases their flavor. C) There is something called asafoetida – none of us were completely sure what it was but wiki says it’s some kind of root and Achala puts a little of it in everything.

The process was easier than I thought. Nonetheless, Achala may need to come back many more times to show me how it’s done 🙂

Vegetable Pulao

2 cups of dry basmati rice, cooked on the stove or in rice cooker
3 tomatoes
1 red onion
1 bag frozen green beans
3 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
1/2 Tbsp turmeric
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp asafoetida
Salt, lemon juice and cilantro to taste

1. Dice tomatoes and onions to 1/2 inch. Steam green beans and rough chop.
2. Heat 3 Tbsp oil – drop in mustard seeds, wait until they pop.
3. Add minced garlic.
4. Add asafoetida – simmer until garlic is golden brown.
5. Add turmeric and curry powder.
6. Add onion – simmer until soft.
7. Add green beans, then tomatoes. Simmer 5-8 minutes.
8. Mix vegetables with 3/4 of cooked rice. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

Cucumber Raita

3 C plain yogurt
1 C diced cucumber
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp asafoetida
Salt to taste

1. Prepare seasonings the same way mentioned above.
2. Mix with yogurt.
Serve with the pulao or plain rice.


Until We Eat Again,
Two Happy Cooks









  1. Mindy Eisen

    I love your blog, alli! I’m going to try the Indian vegetarian dish that you’ve described here! Hope things are going well for you and your husband! Hugs to you, Mindy Gossen Eisen

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