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The Vibrant Palate: Discovering the Richness of Punjabi Cuisine

Punjabi cuisine is as vibrant and diverse as Punjabi culture itself. Much like the people, the food is robust and full of life. Punjabis are passionate about their food and are known for their exceptional hospitality. While it shares some similarities with North Indian cuisine, Punjabi cuisine has unique characteristics. Its bold textures and hearty ingredients have earned it fame worldwide.

Punjabi cuisine has a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is influenced by farming and agriculture. 

The state of Punjab is a major producer of rice, wheat, and dairy products. Both cow and buffalo milk are staples and consumed daily. Milk is used for drinking, added to chai, and for making homemade yogurt (dahi). Yogurt is prepared daily, using the previous day's yogurt as a bacterial starter to ferment the milk. Punjabi cuisine is renowned for its rich and creamy dishes, characterized by the generous use of ghee, butter, fresh cream, paneer, and yogurt.

Punjabi food is super flavorful without being overly spicy. Some commonly used spices include red chili pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves). 

Punjab is renowned as the birthplace of authentic tandoori cuisine. With a rich culinary heritage, tandoori cooking plays a significant role in Punjabi food. The region extensively uses clay ovens (tandoors) for baking bread and grilling various meats and vegetables. This method imparts a distinctive smoky flavor, often enhanced using the Dhungar method. 

Let's explore some of our favorite dishes that exemplify Punjabi cuisine:

1. Butter Chicken

Butter chicken, also known as chicken makhani, is a true indulgence. Boneless chicken is cubed and marinated in yogurt, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and spices like turmeric, paprika, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder. The marinated chicken is then refrigerated for a few hours or overnight.

The chicken is either skewered and grilled or cooked on the stovetop, then added to a delicious sauce made with butter, cashews, tomato paste, onions, spices, and heavy whipping cream. It is garnished with kasuri methi and cilantro. Butter chicken is typically served with tandoori naan or basmati rice.

2. Kadhi Pakora

This essential Punjabi delicacy is bursting with flavor. Pakoras (fritters) made from gram flour, onions, green chilies, and spices are deep-fried and added to the tangy kadhi. Kadhi is prepared from gram flour, yogurt, and spices like red chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander powder, hing, and fenugreek seeds. After the pakoras are added to the spicy and tangy kadhi, a tadka of cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, and dried red chilies are poured over the top before serving. Kadhi Pakora is served with basmati rice.

3. Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature is a delightful dish composed of two main elements. Chole is a spicy chickpea curry prepared with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger paste, and a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala. It is garnished with chopped onions, green chili peppers, and lemon wedges.

Bhature is a round, deep-fried bread made from a dough of flour, yogurt, salt, and baking powder. It is fried until it puffs up and turns golden brown, featuring an airy interior and a crispy exterior. Chole Bhature is a heavenly, indulgent, and exquisite dish

4. Sarson Da Saag with Makki Di Roti

Sarson is a specialty leafy green that is rarely found. Sarson da saag is a rich, creamy curry made from mustard greens and spinach, cooked with ghee (clarified butter), ginger, garlic, green chilies, and spices. In Punjab, sarson ka saag paired with makki ki roti (maize flour flatbread) is a beloved winter delicacy enjoyed by many.

5. Paneer Tikka

Tandoori Paneer Tikka, is a beloved choice among vegetarians. Cubes of paneer, onions, and bell peppers undergo a flavorful marinade composed of yogurt and a blend of aromatic spices like tandoori masala, chaat masala, amchur powder, and paprika. 

After marinating for a few hours, they are threaded onto skewers and grilled or cooked in a tandoor to perfection.

6. Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani, a dish often reserved for special occasions, justifies the time invested in its preparation.

The preparation begins by soaking kidney beans and black gram lentils overnight. These are then slow-cooked together until they reach a soft consistency. The softened lentils are incorporated into a creamy sauce infused with a lavish amount of butter, along with ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of spices like cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, and cardamom.

Lastly, fresh cream and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) are added to enhance their richness, followed by a brief simmer. A final touch is given by infusing a smoky flavor. Dal Makhani is buttery, creamy, and utterly delightful. 

7. Namkeen Lassi

Namkeen Lassi (salty lassi) is a classic Punjabi beverage. This savory drink is made from a blend of yogurt, salt, roasted cumin, and black salt, and is topped with mint. It is a staple in Punjabi households, cherished for its cooling properties and savory flavor. Namkeen Lassi is a refreshing drink with meals or a standalone beverage to beat the heat.

Punjabi cuisine is much more than just food. It's truly an experience that embodies the rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality of Punjab. Each dish, from smoky tandoor-cooked delicacies to hearty, perfectly simmered curries, narrates a tale of tradition, love, and community. Gather your loved ones, cook using our recipes above, and celebrate the lively  Punjabi cuisine.

For authentic Indian vegetarian food, we recommend trying Gujarati cuisine. Among the various regional cuisines of India, Gujarati cuisine stands out for its diversity and rich flavors. It is known for its balanced taste, skillfully combining sweetness, tanginess, and spiciness to create delicious dishes.

Gujarat is predominantly a vegetarian state, influenced by its large Hindu and Jain populations. Gujarati cuisine highlights the region's abundant agricultural produce and adapts to the seasonal availability of vegetables and fruits.

Grains such as wheat, millet, rice, and pulses like lentils and chickpeas, are fundamental ingredients in many Gujarati dishes. Common spices in Gujarati cuisine include mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida (hing), coriander seeds, fenugreek leaves, sesame seeds, dry mango powder, carom seeds, garam masala, and red chili powder. Due to the dry climate in Gujarat, jaggery (gur) is often added to food to help maintain hydration.

Yogurt is a common component in Gujarati cuisine, adding creaminess and tanginess to dishes. Steamed basmati rice typically accompanies any meal. Gujarati dishes are often steamed or cooked with minimal oil, keeping them healthy while preserving the ingredients' natural flavors. Tempering (vaghaar) is essential, with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves used to add aromatic depth to the dishes. Pickles (achar) and chutneys made from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices are popular condiments served with every meal.

"Farsan" refers to a variety of savory snacks. These snacks are enjoyed as part of meals but are commonly served during religious occasions, celebrations, and festivals. Farsan can be steamed, fried, or baked, which is crucial in a Gujarati thali.   

Thali is a key element of Gujarati cuisine. A Gujarati thali is a platter offering a variety of dishes in small portions, all served at once. It includes Indian bread such as rotli, thepla, or puris, farsans, rice, vegetable dishes (shaaks), dal or kadhi, pickles, and dessert.

The thali is a fundamental aspect of Gujarati dining culture, presenting a balanced and comprehensive meal that encompasses a variety of flavors and textures. It reflects the cultural emphasis on enjoying a diverse and nutritionally complete diet in a single meal.

Gujarati cuisine offers a diverse array of dishes. We highly suggest sampling the following delicacies:

1. Dhokla

Dhokla is a savory, soft, and fluffy steamed cake made from chickpea flour. Enjoyed as a farsan (snack) throughout the day, it combines gram flour, semolina, and various spices. Once the batter is thoroughly steamed, it is tempered with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, hing, curry leaves, green peppers, and cilantro. Dhokla is typically served with mint chutney and tamarind chutney.

2. Handvo 

Handvo is a savory cake made from fermented rice and lentils such as urad dal or chana dal, combined with fresh vegetables like bottle gourd, carrots, zucchini, or spinach. The batter is seasoned with mustard seeds, sesame seeds, baking soda, sugar, lemon juice, green chilies, hing, turmeric, and chili powder.

A tempering of mustard seeds, sesame seeds, and cumin seeds is added to the batter before baking. This savory delight is crispy and golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Though time-consuming to prepare, the taste of Handvo is well worth the effort.

3. Khandvi

Khandvi is a delicious Gujarati snack made from a batter of besan (chickpea flour) and yogurt, mixed with ginger paste, turmeric, salt, and water. The batter is cooked in a non-stick pan over medium heat for 7-8 minutes until it reaches a thick and smooth consistency. It is then spread thinly on a flat surface and tightly rolled into bite-sized pieces. A tempering of sesame seeds, mustard seeds, and green chilies is added on top, and it is garnished with grated coconut and cilantro. Khandvi is not only visually appealing but also known for its melt-in-your-mouth texture.

4. Fafda

Fafda is a beloved snack, especially popular during Diwali and Navratri. Made primarily from chickpea flour, it's seasoned with turmeric, baking soda, salt, carom seeds (ajwain), and asafoetida (hing). This crispy fried treat is traditionally served with Jalebi, a sweet, syrupy dessert. The combination of savory Fafda and sweet Jalebi is iconic, embodying the essence of Gujarati snacking culture.

5. Thepla 

Methi thepla is the most common and is freshly made daily at Patel’s Fresh Kitchen inside the store. Methi thepla is made by using methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) and a combination of flour such as wheat flour and gram flour and various spices and herbs.  Other types of thepla include mooli and lauki (bottle gourd). Thepla is served with yogurt, chutney, or pickle (achar). 

6. Undhiyu

Undhiyu is a classic winter delight, celebrated for its rich, hearty flavors. This one-pot, slow-cooked vegetable curry is made with an assortment of seasonal vegetables such as green beans, unripe bananas, eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, and yams. Undhiyu is best enjoyed with pooris and shrikhand.

7. Bateta Ringan Nu Shaak

Bateta Ringan Nu Shaak also known as aloo baingan is a vegetable curry made with eggplant and potatoes in a spicy and aromatic tomato-based sauce. This a a staple in Gujarati households and served rice or roti. This dish is loved for its simplicity and the comforting flavors it brings to the table. 

8. Khichdi

Khichdi, also known as khichri, is a beloved comfort meal cherished by many. To prepare it, cumin, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, and garam masala are sautéed in a heated pan. Pre-soaked rice and moong dal are then added to the aromatic spices, along with salt. The mixture is cooked on low heat until the rice is tender and fully cooked. A dollop of ghee is added on top for extra richness. Khichdi is typically served with mint chutney, yogurt, or pickles. This dish is not only delicious but also hearty and healthy.

9. Mango Raas

Mango Raas also referred to as Keri No Ras, is a treasured delight in Gujarati cuisine and a standout feature of the summer mango season. This dish is ideally prepared using Alphonso or Kesar mangoes, known for their rich flavor. It consists of a thick, sweet mango pulp that can be enjoyed both as a dessert and a dip. Keri No Ras pairs wonderfully with puri, making it a must-try during mango season.

As you delve into Gujarati cuisine, keep in mind that every dish narrates a tale of traditional heritage and culinary devotion, passed down through generations. When you find yourself yearning for the comfort of homemade food, consider trying the dishes listed above. They are sure to satisfy your appetite and enrich your soul.

Kashmir is a scenic region nestled in the northern part of India. Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, this area is set amidst the verdant Himalayas, characterized by sparkling, clear lakes, enchanting valleys, lush meadows, and pristine, snow-covered mountains. The beauty of Kashmir is unparalleled. Not only is it a paradise for scenic landscapes, but it also serves as a culinary haven for food enthusiasts.

Kashmiri cuisine is celebrated for its intense flavors and scrumptious dishes, offering a variety for every palate.

Kashmiri cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian but it also has some exquisite vegetarian dishes. Rice is a staple in Kashmiri cuisine.  Kashmir is one of the largest producers of saffron in the world, therefore, saffron is commonly added to many dishes.  Kashmiri cuisine is known for its use of spices such as fennel seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and Kashmiri red chili powder, which adds a vibrant red color without the intense heat found in other Indian cuisines. 

The majority of Kashmiri dishes are typically cooked with mustard oil and ghee.  Kashmiri culinary practices combine slow-cooking techniques with 'Dum' (steam-based cooking), which preserves the full flavors of the spices and primary ingredients.

Let’s dive in and look at some of the dishes that Kashmiri cuisine has to offer:

1. Rogan Josh

Rogan josh is one of the signature dishes of Kashmiri cuisine. This slow-cooked to-perfection curry is made from lamb or mutton. This dish is meticulously prepared with a mix of aromatic spices including bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron, which infuse it with a rich and distinctive flavor. 

The striking red color of Rogan Josh comes from the addition of Kashmiri red chili powder, which provides a vibrant hue without adding too much heat. The result is a dish with tender meat and a delectable gravy that is truly finger-licking good.

2. Yakhni

Yakhni is the most comforting meal on a cold day.  This slow-cooked delicacy is made from lamb or mutton. In a heated oil pan, spices such as cumin seeds, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and asafoetida are added and sauteed for a few minutes. 

Meat is added with ginger powder, fennel powder, and salt and cooked on high heat for about 10 minutes. Heat is then lowered, whisked yogurt and water are slowly added and the curry is set to slow cook for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender and the curry is thick. Yakhni is served with rice or roti.

3. Dum Aloo

Dum Aloo is a beloved vegetarian dish from Kashmir, known for its rich and creamy tomato-based curry. The process begins with whole baby potatoes that are fried in mustard oil until golden brown and then set aside. In the same pan, cumin seeds, onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, and tomato purée are sautéed until the oil separates from the masala.

The heat is reduced, and whisked yogurt is gently stirred in along with a medley of spices including turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, garam masala, and cardamom powder. The fried potatoes are added back to the pan and dum (steamed) for about 30 minutes, letting the flavors meld beautifully.

The dish is then garnished with fresh cilantro and typically served with naan or rice, making Dum Aloo a comforting and flavorful side dish to any meal.

4. Kashmiri Pulao

Kashmiri Pulao is a vibrant celebration of sweet and savory flavors, showcasing a delightful combination of aromatic and colorful ingredients. This vegetarian rice dish has a variety of nuts including almonds, pistachios, and cashews, alongside dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, and cranberries, all beautifully infused with saffron milk. 

Ideal for festivities and special occasions, Kashmiri pulao is a true testament to the rich and unique culinary heritage of Kashmir.

5. Phirni

Phirni is a luxurious Indian dessert, a creamy rice pudding crafted from ground rice mixed with milk and sugar, and flavored with cardamom, saffron, and nuts like almonds and pistachios. Traditionally served cold in earthen clay pots, Phirni is garnished with edible silver leaf (varq) and rose petals. 

This delicious dessert is a beloved classic in Indian cuisine, celebrated for its rich texture and exquisite taste.

6. Kahwa

No meal is complete without Kahwa, the delightful hot beverage staple in Kashmiri cuisine. This aromatic drink is crafted from a blend of Kashmiri green tea leaves, whole spices like fennel seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, nuts, and saffron, delivering deep, soothing flavors. Kahwa is essential for its aroma, taste, and digestive benefits, making it a winter necessity.

Typically served in quaint earthen clay cups, a warm cup of Kahwa provides the perfect way to relax after a busy day. More than just a treat for the taste buds, Kahwa offers a splendid introduction to the rich culture of Kashmir.

Other notable dishes from Kashmiri cuisine that you should consider trying are Gushtaba, Haak, Harissa, and Kashmiri Rajma.

A key feature of Kashmiri cuisine is Wazwan. Wazwan stands out as a unique aspect of Kashmiri culinary traditions, characterized by its elaborate multi-course setup, which can include anywhere from 7 to 36 courses. This feast predominantly features non-vegetarian dishes alongside a few vegetarian options. Preparing a Wazwan is an intensive process that requires days of meticulous planning and execution. Equally critical is the presentation of the meal, emphasizing the ceremonial nature of the dining experience.

Typically served at weddings and large festive occasions, Wazwan meals are presented on a shared platter known as a “'trammi”. It is customary to eat with hands, foregoing utensils. Wazwan is a true celebration of Kashmiri culture and hospitality. 

Kashmir, often referred to as paradise on earth, boasts a cuisine as enchanting as its landscapes. It welcomes diners to take a culinary expedition through the valley's profound and diverse food traditions.

Holi is upon us, marking the most vibrant season of the year. No other celebration globally can compare to Holi in its ability to turn streets, towns, throngs of people, and structures into a mosaic of colors. This joyful Hindu festival signifies the end of winter and welcomes the beginning of spring.

Holi typically takes place in March, marking the onset of spring and symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. The festivities are spread over two main days. The first day is referred to as Holika Dahan or Choti Holi, where people come together after sunset to perform puja praying for their inner evil to be destroyed.

The main event of Holi unfolds when people throw water with water balloons and vibrant color powder on each other. During Holi, each nook and cranny is awash with vibrant colors, accompanied by music, dance, sumptuous foods, and cherished moments with loved ones. 

This spring festival of colors is nature’s means of chanting “Holi Hai!”.  It's a time when people greet one another with heartfelt hugs, set aside past grievances, and cast aside their concerns.

Holi is a festival that crosses generational lines, bringing joy to everyone from Indian grandparents to young children, and even those not of Indian heritage. No celebration in India is deemed complete without an array of mouthwatering dishes. Here are our top picks for foods and beverages to enjoy during Holi:

1. Thandai

Thandai is an essential refreshment for Holi celebrations. This concoction combines milk, sugar, and a distinctive thandai masala with rose petals, saffron, and finely chopped nuts. The thandai masala powder itself is a rich mix of almonds, cashews, pistachios, fennel seeds, green cardamom, poppy seeds, melon seeds, black peppercorns, rose petals, and saffron.

Bhang (cannabis) is sometimes incorporated into the drink. Thandai is also popularly consumed during the summer months for its cooling properties. Other delicious desserts with thandai masala powder include thandai rice kheer and thandai cheesecake cups

2. Dahi Bhalla

Dahi Bhalla is a beloved savory delicacy that shines during the Holi festival. This dish is made by soaking lentil fritters in smoothly whisked yogurt, then garnished with a blend of tempered spices, including cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chilis. 

Each mouthful of Dahi Bhalla delivers an exhilarating burst of flavors.

3. Kachori

Kachori features a crunchy, deep-fried shell encasing a spicy filling of lentils or potatoes, commonly accompanied by mint chutney for dipping.

To prepare the filling, moong dal is soaked, ground into a coarse paste, and then cooked with a blend of sautéed spices including turmeric, garam masala, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and green chilis. This spicy mixture is then enclosed in balls of kneaded dough and deep-fried to perfection.

As a celebrated street food, kachori is an essential treat during Holi, offering a taste of happiness with each bite.

4. Namak Pare and Shakarpara

Namak pare is often considered the perfect savory match for chai. This snack is prepared from a dough consisting of flour, salt, and carom seeds (ajwain). After rolling out the dough, it is sliced into small pieces and deep-fried until it achieves a crispy, golden-brown texture.

Shakarpara serves as the sweet counterpart to namak pare. Its dough is made from flour, sugar, cardamom powder, and ghee, cut into bite-sized pieces, and fried similarly. After frying, shakarpara is immersed in sugar syrup.

The delicious taste of both namak pare and shakarpara is undeniable, turning them into irresistibly addictive treats the moment you start snacking on them.

5. Gujiya

Gujiya is a traditional dessert synonymous with the Holi festival. This pastry, shaped like a crescent, is made from wheat flour or semolina and has a luscious filling of khoya, an assortment of nuts, coconut, and sugar, all infused with the aromatic flavors of cardamom and saffron. 

Fried to golden brown crispiness, gujiyas are then glazed with a layer of sugar syrup, offering an indulgent, nutty flavor that is utterly satisfying.

6. Puran Poli

In Marathi, "puran" means "stuffing," and "poli" signifies "flatbread." Puran Poli is a classic sweet flatbread from Maharashtra, stuffed with a sweet filling made from jaggery and gram flour, and seasoned with cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron. This delightful dish is typically served with warm ghee and milk.

7. Malpua

Malpua is a pancake-like dessert made from flour, milk, sugar, cardamom, fennel seeds, and saffron. It's deep-fried to perfection and then soaked in sugar syrup, often served topped with rabri for an added layer of delight.

Rabri, on its own, is a decadent dessert or serves as a luxurious topping for various sweets. It's a rich, creamy concoction made by simmering milk until it thickens considerably, sweetened with sugar, and infused with flavors of cardamom and saffron.  The combination of malpua and rabri is truly lavish, offering an exotic and heavenly culinary experience.

Indians are experts at hosting memorable celebrations, and Holi is a prime example. Immersing yourself in the Holi festival alongside locals is arguably the finest method to experience Indian culture. 

Therefore, seize the chance to partake in one of the globe's most colorful festivities and join in the chorus of "Holi Hai!" regardless of your location.

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is located on the western coast of Maharashtra, a state known for its geographical diversity. The culinary traditions of Maharashtra are categorized into two distinct styles: the coastal (Konkani) and the inland (Varadi), embracing flavors from Pune, Nashik, and Kolhapur areas.

The culinary palette of Maharashtrian cuisine spans a spectrum from mild spicy to intensely spicy flavors. Among its diverse community, Brahmins and Varkaris adhere to a lacto-vegetarian diet. Essential ingredients in this cuisine consist of wheat, rice, jowar (sorghum), bajra, various lentils, and vegetables. Nuts like peanuts and cashews are also used frequently. Common spices used daily are turmeric, asafoetida, coriander, cumin, red chili seeds, and mustard seeds.

Maharashtrian cuisine features a distinctive spice mix known as goda masala, made from coriander seeds, cumin, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and dried coconut. This medley of spices is incorporated into a variety of vegetable dishes, lentils, and rice dishes.

In the Konkan coastal area, Maharashtrian cuisine presents a wide selection of seafood dishes. Key ingredients consist of coconut, rice, dairy products, and kokum. Konkani cuisine is known for its harmonious mix of sweet, sour, and spicy taste.

Maharashtrian cuisine is very popular for its delicious street food, which is an important part of the food culture in Maharashtra, especially in the capital, Mumbai. In Mumbai, people from all walks of life prefer street food from roadside vendors rather than dining at a restaurant.

In Maharashtrian cuisine, it is common for meals to be served on a thali. Vegetables and curries are usually served inside of the thali whereas pickles, condiments, and side dishes are placed on the edge of the thali.

Let’s dive in and look at some of the dishes that Maharashtrian cuisine has to offer:

1. Pav Bhaji

Regarded as the king of street food in India, Pav Bhaji is a savory mix of mashed vegetable curry featuring potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, bell peppers, tomatoes, and a medley of spices. Typically prepared on a large grill, this curry is accompanied by warm, buttery bread toasted on a pan, alongside onions and a wedge of lime for garnish. Unlike other street foods, Pav Bhaji is a wholesome and filling meal.

2. Vada Pav

Vada Pav is another iconic street food, deeply embedded in the region’s culinary heritage. Vada pav is the Indian version of a burger.  It consists of a deep-fried potato fritter nestled within a lightly toasted bun. This beloved snack is typically served with an array of condiments, including mint chutney, garlic chutney, tamarind chutney, and salted green chilies, enriching its flavors and making it a staple of the state’s food culture.

3. Varan Bhat

Varan Bhat stands as a quintessential comfort food and a daily staple. Varan, a lentil soup made from pigeon pea lentils, is cooked until tender and then flavored with a tempering (tadka) that includes mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, onion, and garlic. Bhat refers to steamed basmati rice. This dish is typically accompanied by achar (pickles), papad, and a fresh salad. Its simplicity also makes it a common choice for religious ceremonies.

4. Bhakri

Bhakri, an unleavened traditional Indian flatbread made from flours like bajra (pearl millet), jowar (sorghum), ragi (finger millet), or wheat. Bhakri is thicker and denser than other Indian flatbreads like roti, making a hearty component of a meal. Bhakri is served with curries, vegetables, lentils, and chutneys. Being gluten-free and high in fiber, Bhakri is a nutritious choice.

5. Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi is a must-have dish for fasting days during Navratri. It is also served for breakfast.  Sabudana khichdi has energy-boosting properties which makes it a preferred choice during fasting. It is such a simple dish yet very flavorful. Sabudana also known as tapioca pearls are soaked and set aside.

It is then tempered with cumin seeds, potatoes, peanuts, green chilies, curry leaves, and grated coconut. Lastly, it is seasoned with salt, sugar, and pepper. Sabudana Khichdi is served with plain yogurt.

6. Bombay Duck Fry

Bombay Duck Fry is also known as Bombil-Fry. Despite the name, it’s not made with duck but with lizardfish that is found along the Konkan coast. The fish is known for its soft, delicate flesh.

The fish is sliced and marinated with ginger garlic, turmeric, red chili powder, and lemon juice. It is then coated in a batter of rice flour or semolina (rava) and deep-fried until the exterior is golden brown. It is garnished with lemon wedges and chopped cilantro and served with chutney. Bombil Fry is best enjoyed fresh and hot, offering a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.

7. Puran Poli

In Marathi, puran refers to “stuffing” and poli refers to “flatbread”. Puran Poli is a traditional  Maharashtrian sweet flatbread filled with a mixture of jaggery and gram flour, flavored with cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron. You will always spot Puran Poli during religious festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, and Holi. Puran poli is served with warm ghee and milk.

8. Modak

Modak holds great significance during Ganesh Chaturthi. It is known as the favorite sweet of Lord Ganesha and thus given as prasad. This cherished delicacy is prepared in numerous styles, with “Ukadiche Modak”  known as steamed Modak being the most popular.

These steamed delights are made with rice flour, ghee, and a symphony of flavors including coconut, jaggery, cardamom, and nutmeg. The taste of Modak is distinctly sweet and indulgent.

Other renowned delicacies from Maharashtra include Ragda Pattice, Misal Pav, Kolhapuri Chicken, Bharli Vangi (stuffed eggplant), and Thalipeeth.

Maharashtrian cuisine showcases the region’s culinary expertise, transforming simple ingredients into delightful culinary creations. Maharashtrian cuisine offers something for every palate. The cuisine invites diners to embark on a gastronomic journey through the state’s rich food culture.

Rajasthan stands out as one of the most enchanting destinations in India, celebrated for its awe-inspiring palaces, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture and history. Often hailed as the “land of kings,” the state boasts a distinctive charm. The culinary traditions of Rajasthan were significantly shaped by the lifestyle of the Rajput royals.

In contrast to other regional Indian cuisines, Rajasthani culinary offerings showcase a unique fusion of flavors, drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of the state’s culture, history, and climatic conditions. The cuisine is impacted by the arid climate of the region and the accessibility of ingredients.

The limited water supply and scarcity of fresh vegetables significantly shape the cooking techniques. Meals are crafted to be preserved for several days, allowing them to be served without the need for reheating. While the cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, it does have non-vegetarian specialties as well.

Renowned for its opulent and varied taste palette, Rajasthani cuisine distinguishes itself through the incorporation of distinctive elements like ker (berries), sangri (beans), and dried lentil dumplings (gatte). A fundamental component in many recipes, gram flour, also known as besan, takes center stage, contributing to the creation of dishes like rotis, bhakri, and gatte ki sabzi.

Rajasthan, as a significant milk-producing region, frequently incorporates dairy products into its cuisine. Essential elements like ghee (clarified butter), yogurt, and buttermilk play crucial roles in Rajasthani cooking. Renowned for its spiciness, some commonly used spices include red chili, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and asafoetida.

Covering appetizers, main courses, and desserts, Rajasthani cuisine offers a diverse array of dishes. We highly suggest sampling the following delicacies from Rajasthan:

1. Dal Baati Churma

Dal Baat Churma holds a significant place in Rajasthani cuisine, representing a quintessential dish. This culinary delight is known as a hearty and wholesome meal,  it has three key elements:

Dal Baat Churma holds a significant place in Rajasthani cuisine, representing a quintessential dish. This culinary delight is known as a hearty and wholesome meal,  it has three key elements:

  • Dal: Prepared using various dal combinations such as chana dal, toor dal, green dal, and urad dal, infused with an array of spices like chili, turmeric, coriander, cumin, asafoetida, and garam masala.
  • Baat: These are wheat rolls baked to perfection, their flavors enhanced by a brushing of ghee.
  • Churma: A sweetened mixture created by coarsely grinding deep-fried wheat balls and adding it to ghee and jaggery.

This traditional Rajasthani dish captures the essence of the region’s culinary heritage, offering a delightful combination of savory and sweet flavors.

2. Laal Maas

Laal Maas stands out as the best non-vegetarian dish, where mutton curry undergoes a slow-cooking process to achieve perfection. This dish features a spiced yogurt-based sauce crafted with Kashmiri chilies, coriander, turmeric, onions, ginger, and garlic paste.

The vibrant red hue of the curry is attributed to the use of Mathania red chilies. Recognized for its fiery and spicy taste, Laal Maas holds an iconic status, symbolizing the bold flavors inherent in Rajasthani cuisine. It is often served during special occasions and celebrations.

3. Ker Sangri

Ker Sangri is a classic Rajasthani delicacy crafted from sun-dried berries (ker) and beans (sangri), both essential components of the regional cuisine. After being washed and soaked overnight, ker and sangri are pressure-cooked.  They are combined with a yogurt-based sauce featuring dry red chilies, turmeric, amchur powder, raisins, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and garam masala.

This flavorful dish is traditionally served with makki ki roti or bajri ki roti, showcasing a distinctive blend of tangy berries and the earthy essence of beans.

4. Gatte ki Sabzi

Gatte ki Sabzi is characterized by a unique tanginess. The dumplings, crafted from gram flour (besan) and seasoned with spices such as carom seeds, turmeric, red chili powder, and coriander, take on a round shape. These gatte are either fried or steamed before being incorporated into a curry enriched with yogurt and a blend of aromatic spices.

5. Bajre ki Roti with Lasun Chutney

Bajre ki roti, an unleavened traditional Indian flatbread made from bajra (pearl millet), holds significance as bajra is a staple crop in Rajasthan. Being gluten-free and high in fiber, Bajri ki roti is a nutritious choice.

The classic pairing of Bajri ki roti with lasun chutney is universally cherished. Lasun chutney, prepared by blending fresh garlic cloves with red chili powder and cumin into a paste, complements the earthy flavors of the roti.

6. Chaas (Buttermilk)

Chaas is a prevalent beverage in Rajasthan, particularly recognized for its ability to keep the body cool in the hot temperatures of the region. It is often served with meals. The preparation involves diluting yogurt with water and whisking until the desired consistency is achieved.

Spices and herbs like roasted cumin powder, black pepper, and mint leaves are commonly incorporated into Chaas. This beverage holds significance across India, being a traditional remedy for indigestion. Chaas has a tangy flavor and is best served chilled.

7. Mawa Kachori

Mawa Kachori stands out as a delightful dessert with a preparation that involves kneading the dough using flour, mawa (dried evaporated milk), and ghee. This dough is shaped into discs, filled with a blend of dried fruits, crushed cardamom, almonds, and pistachios. The final touch involves deep-frying and dipping the kachori in sugar syrup.

This sweet treat exemplifies the intricacies and deliciousness that are inherent in Rajasthani sweets, showcasing the rich dessert tradition of the region. Desserts are an integral part of Rajasthani cuisine. They are not served last and are consumed before and even along with the main course.

In recent years, Rajasthani cuisine has gained popularity globally.  Rajasthani cuisine is exquisite, heavenly, and a true culinary delight. The regal dishes from the Rajasthani cuisine assure a captivating gastronomic experience that will undoubtedly leave you enchanted and will make you eager to explore more dishes from this rich cuisine.

Winter marks the commencement of another season of Indian weddings. Indian weddings are recognized for their vibrant colors and profound traditions. Wedding celebrations span several days, commencing with colorful events like the sangeet, a lively gathering featuring music and dance. The mehndi party follows, dedicated to adorning the bride, family, and guests with intricate henna designs and ending with the main wedding ceremony and reception. Indian weddings are known for their intricate details, opulent attire, choreographed dances, and, undoubtedly, the delectable food.

Indian weddings are the epitome of hospitality, and without a doubt, food plays a pivotal role second only to the union of the couple. Indians excel at hosting weddings, leaving no stone unturned in ensuring a memorable celebration. When it comes to weddings, every culinary detail is meticulously planned. The significance of food in Indian culture shines brightly during weddings, truly highlighting the richness and diversity of Indian cuisine.

The selection of food at Indian weddings varies based on the preferences and beliefs of the hosts and guests. It can be a combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options or just vegetarian.

Typically, dinners are buffet-style, offering an extensive array of flavors that transform the experience of Indian wedding food into a tantalizing journey for your palate. Let’s whisk you away to the gastronomic paradise that is an Indian wedding feast:


1. Fresh Fruit Juices

Guests receive a warm welcome with a selection of freshly squeezed juices, each offering a distinct and revitalizing flavor. Among the options is the famous Mango juice, derived from ripe mangoes, a sought-after drink, particularly in the summertime. Other crowd favorites are fresh Orange, Watermelon, and Pineapple juices, providing a delightful variety for guests to enjoy.

2. Buttermilk

Known as “Chaas” or “Mattha” in Hindi, this traditional beverage holds a special place in Indian wedding celebrations. Crafted from a blend of thinned yogurt, water, and a medley of spices like roasted cumin powder, black salt, mint leaves, and ground ginger, this drink offers a refreshing and mildly tangy flavor profile. Its lightness and tanginess perfectly complement the spicy and rich dishes typically served at Indian weddings, making it an ideal accompaniment.


1. Pani Puri

Starters often comprise beloved Indian street food, and among the favorites is a dish loved by every wedding guest. These mini puri shells, deep-fried and hollow, steal the show. They are filled with a mix of chickpeas, potatoes, onions, and chilies, then dipped in spiced tamarind water (pani) and mint chutney.

Prepare for an explosion of flavors with each bite of pani puri. They are utterly irresistible—a nearly impossible task to stop at just one. This addictive street food has a knack for making you lose count once you start indulging in its deliciousness.

2. Samosa

Samosa triangular is a  fried pastry renowned for its spicy potato and green pea filling. This versatile treat comes in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations. Besides the classic version, popular samosa flavors include keema (beef or chicken), chana dal, tandoori paneer, and cheese with spinach. Served piping hot, these samosas boast a crunchy, flaky texture, and are brimming with aromatic flavors.

3. Bhel Puri

Bhel Puri comprises a blend of puffed rice, onions, tomatoes,  green chilies,  tangy tamarind chutney, refreshing mint chutney, and spices. The charm of Bhel Puri lies in its preparation. All the ingredients are added together right before serving, preserving the crispiness of the puffed rice. A delicate toss with the chutneys and spices ensues, resulting in a harmonious fusion of flavors. Known for its diverse textures and tastes, Bhel Puri remains an irresistible delight cherished by enthusiasts of street food.


1. Biryani

Moving on to the main course, Biryani takes center stage as the supreme Indian rice delicacy, initiating the festivities. To craft this masterpiece, an assortment of spices such as cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, caraway seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala powder are added to a hot oil pan. Following this, a blend of tomato puree, ginger garlic paste, and green chilies is sautéed, and vegetables are added.

Once the vegetables are tender,  they are layered with boiled rice, cilantro, mint, green chilies, and saffron-infused water. Lastly, the dish is sealed with aluminum foil and a lid, allowing it to cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani, a dish often reserved for special occasions like weddings, boasts a heavenly flavor that justifies the time invested in its preparation.

The process begins by soaking kidney beans and black gram lentils overnight. These are then slow-cooked together until they reach a soft consistency. The softened lentils are incorporated into a creamy sauce infused with a lavish amount of butter, along with ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of spices like cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, and cardamom.

To enhance its richness, fresh cream and kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) are added, followed by a brief simmer. A final touch is given by infusing a smoky flavor. Dal Makhani is buttery, creamy, utterly delightful, and truly divine.

3. Shahi Paneer

The term “Shahi” signifies “royal,” and Shahi Paneer holds a special place in wedding menus. This creamy curry is crafted from a luxurious sauce made of tomatoes, onions, cashews, and a blend of aromatic spices including cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, garam masala, turmeric, bay leaves, and kasuri methi. Alongside, paneer is lightly fried and incorporated into the gravy. Before serving, Shahi Paneer is garnished with fresh cilantro and a swirl of cream as a finishing touch.


1. Jalebi

The dessert course often steals the spotlight during a meal. A current trend at weddings is having a live jalebi station, offering guests the joy of savoring freshly cooked jalebis right off the stove. Resembling a funnel cake, this pretzel-shaped sweet is created by frying a special dough batter. Once fried to perfection, the jalebis are immersed in a syrupy concoction made of water, sugar, cardamom, and saffron. A delightful contrast of crunchy exteriors and juicy interiors that make jalebis an absolute delight.

2. Ras Malai

Crafted primarily for celebratory moments such as weddings and festivals, Ras Malai is a luxurious dessert cherished by many in India. This heavenly and velvety sweet is composed of soft cottage cheese dumplings immersed in a luscious, sweetened milk infused with cardamom, saffron, and a hint of rose water.

3. Gajar Halwa

An iconic winter treat and a comforting dessert, gajar ka halwa, originating from Punjab, remains a beloved delight. Its vibrant orange hue characterizes this Indian pudding, prepared by simmering grated carrots in ghee, milk, sugar, and cardamom until perfection.

Indian wedding food isn’t just a meal; it’s an experience that’s remembered long after the wedding festivities have concluded. From the flavorful appetizers to the fragrant main courses to the tempting variety of desserts, every dish holds a story of tradition and celebration. The diverse blend of flavors and warm hospitality come together to create a memorable dining journey.

Indian cuisine stands out due to its remarkable diversity in cooking methods. From sautéing to steaming, deep frying, clay pot cooking, braising, pressure cooking, dum cooking, and using a tandoor, the array of techniques sets it apart from other cuisines.

The multitude of methods reflects the vastness of India’s culinary traditions, every method bringing its distinct delicious touch to the dinner table. The method of cooking in a tandoor distinguishes itself as one of the unique ways of cooking. Indian tandoori BBQ offers an array of vegetarian, chicken, fish, and meat dishes to satisfy every palate.

What is Tandoori Cooking?

The term “Tandoori” comes from the word “Tandoor,” which refers to the oven itself. Tandoori cooking is a method of using a tandoor, which is a cylindrical clay or metal oven. A tandoor is constructed within an enclosure or even dug into the ground, ensuring optimal insulation.  A key aspect of tandoori cooking involves allowing heat to escape only through the top vent. The temperature inside a tandoor is maintained under 500°C or over 900°F.

Indian Tandoori BBQ  involves marinating vegetables and different types of meat and then cooking it inside a tandoor. The marinated item is placed on lengthy metal skewers, lowered into the oven, and cooked in this smoky, very high-temperature oven until it is fully done. Tandoori BBQ is known for its succulent taste, signature char, smoky BBQ flavor, and a combination of spices that create an extraordinary blend of flavors.

It’s a treasured cooking method in Indian cuisine, offering a wide range of dishes, from tandoori chicken to different types of kebabs and breads like naan. Let’s explore some of our favorite dishes that come to life through tandoori cooking:

1. Tandoori Paneer Tikka

Tandoori Paneer Tikka, a beloved choice among vegetarians, serves as a fantastic substitute for chicken tikka. Cubes of paneer, onions, and bell peppers undergo a flavorful marinade composed of yogurt and a blend of aromatic spices like tandoori masala, chaat masala, amchur powder, and paprika. After marinating for a few hours, they are threaded onto skewers and grilled or cooked in a tandoor to perfection.

2. Tandoori Bharwan Aloo

Any starter with potatoes (aloo) is always a crowd-pleaser. Sliced potatoes with a central hole are fried and then filled with a paneer mixture. This filling comprises yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, garam masala, and chaat masala. After stuffing, the potatoes are skewered and grilled and then topped with a final sprinkle of chaat masala before serving.

3. Chicken Tikka

Chicken tikka holds a special place as a cherished Indian BBQ delicacy. Marinated in a blend of yogurt, ginger garlic paste, pre-made chicken tikka masala, lemon juice, and oil, both chicken breast and thigh pieces rest in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. These flavorful pieces are then grilled or cooked in a tandoor until fully done.

Served alongside sliced onions, lime wedges, chutneys, and freshly made naan, this dish offers the ultimate experience of the finest grilled chicken you will ever taste.

4. Seekh Kebab  

Seekh kebabs are an explosion of fiery flavors, juicy textures, and a sensation that simply melts in your mouth. Lean ground meat undergoes marination with a blend of fresh cilantro, mint, green chilies, onions, ginger-garlic paste, and an array of dry spices like red chili powder, red chili flakes, garam masala, cumin, coriander, chaat masala, and chickpea flour.

These elongated cylindrical kebabs are threaded onto metal skewers and cooked over a tandoor or grill. Served alongside hari chutney raita and tamarind chutney, seekh kebabs are a treat worth savoring.

5. Tandoori Naan

Naan stands as India’s most favorite leavened flatbread. Crafted from a mix of all-purpose flour, yeast, milk, baking powder, baking soda, and yogurt, this bread emerges soft and buttery, a true delight. The dough is portioned into balls resembling baseballs and baked in a tandoor oven. The array of naan varieties is extensive, featuring favorites like butter naan, garlic naan, onion naan, chili cheese naan, and keema (minced meat) naan.”

Some other popular tandoori BBQ items include goat chops, malai boti, and tandoori BBQ wings.

Most people do not have access to a real tandoor,  these tandoori dishes can certainly be made on a BBQ grill, in the oven, or on a griddle on the stovetop. To replicate the smoky BBQ flavor indoors, an effective technique is the Dhungar Method.

This involves placing a small bowl in the center of the marinated dish, adding a hot piece of coal to it, and then drizzling a bit of oil on the coal. Once smoke emanates, promptly cover the dish with a lid for several minutes. This method infuses the taste and aroma akin to that of a tandoor.

Tandoori grill BBQ delights remain the top choice at weddings and festivals, with tandoor ovens set up outdoors. Guests are treated to exquisite tandoori specialties hot off the grill. Whether you are savoring delicious Indian tandoori BBQ dishes from your grill at home or at a restaurant, prepare for an unforgettable taste adventure that will leave you wanting more.

Certainly, Diwali is the eagerly anticipated highlight of the year, celebrated with immense enthusiasm and grand festivities. However, preparing for a week-long celebration can be stressful. Preparing menus and shopping ahead is the key to a successful Diwali season.

When it comes to groceries, your local Patel Brothers is your one-stop shop for all your Diwali shopping needs. This year, Diwali will start on November 10, 2023, and end on November 14, 2023.

Whether you intend to host a lavish Diwali dinner gathering with an extensive menu or opt for a more intimate celebration with your closest loved ones, we have curated and designed the ideal Diwali menu. It features our favorite recipes, blending the essence of both traditional and contemporary dishes. This Diwali menu offers a rich tapestry of flavors, allowing you to select your preferred items from each category and transform this festive season into a culinary celebration.


1. Chaat Board

Commencing with starters, this viral chaat board provides a delightful way to savor a diverse range of flavors and textures all on one platter. It offers your guests the opportunity to indulge in delectable Indian street foods like chana chaat, pani puri, and pav bhaji. This chaat board is not just a treat for the taste buds but also an appealing visual delight.

2. Pakora

During Diwali, hot, crunchy, and crispy pakoras are an absolute essential. Pakoras are spicy fritters made by dipping vegetables in a gram flour-based batter and deep fried. There are endless varieties of Pakoras, however, common varieties include onion, potato, spinach, and eggplant.  Pakoras are traditionally served alongside refreshing mint chutney.

3. Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada is a perennial favorite appetizer during festivals and special occasions. Dahi Vadas are prepared by soaking deep-fried fritters made from lentil and chickpea flour in whipped yogurt topped with chaat masala.

4. Boondi Raita

If you are in a time crunch, you can use ready-made Boondi raita to serve as an appetizer. This recipe has two super easy ways to make boondi raita quickly.  Boondis can be added as crunchy or can be added as soft by soaking in water for a few minutes. Yogurt is whipped and spices such as red chili powder, chat masala,  black pepper powder, and black salt are added. Lastly, Boondi is added on top and mixed with yogurt. Boondi raita is a refreshing and cooling accompaniment that can be served with spicy main entrees.

Main Entrees:

1. Biryani

Transitioning into the main course, Biryani takes the lead as the finest Indian rice dish, setting the party in motion. To prepare it, a medley of spices, including cardamoms, cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, caraway seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala powder, is added to a  heated oil pan. Next, tomato puree, ginger garlic paste, and green chilies are sauteed and vegetables are added.

Once the vegetables have been thoroughly cooked, they are carefully layered with boiled rice and garnished with cilantro, mint, green chilies, and saffron-infused water. Finally, the dish is sealed with aluminum foil and a lid, allowing it to cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Biryani is traditionally served alongside Hari Chutney Raita and a refreshing salad.

2. Paneer Masala

Paneer, often referred to as cottage cheese, holds a special place in every Indian’s heart, emerging as a cherished cheese. This is an absolute delight for all the paneer enthusiasts out there. Paneer boasts a milky and creamy flavor that enhances any dish.

This simple yet indulgent paneer masala recipe is brimming with succulent and aromatic spices like cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, kasoori methi, and more. Paneer masala pairs perfectly with naan or plain basmati rice.

3. Butter Paneer

Paneer and butter form a heavenly pairing. Butter paneer, also recognized as Paneer Makhani, serves as a wonderful vegetarian alternative to butter chicken. This restaurant-style dish features creamy paneer cubes immersed in a luscious tomato-based gravy. Butter paneer is known for its velvety texture, rich butteriness, and mild touch of spiciness.

4. Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is a classic North Indian dish. Palak paneer is the best way to eat your greens. First blanched and then pureed, spinach is cooked with spices on low heat. The cream is then added to contribute to richness. Lastly, pan-seared paneer is added on top before serving.  Palak Paneer is wholesome, creamy, and luscious.

5. Aloo Tikki

When it comes to Indian foods made solely with potatoes, Aloo Tikki is the winner. Aloo Tikki is prepared by boiling potatoes and adding a variety of spices,  onions, green chilies, and cilantro. The potato mixture is shaped into individual patties and deep-fried to create a crispy outer layer while remaining soft.  They are served hot with mint or tamarind chutney.


1. Coconut Ladoos or Coconut Ladoos with Rose

Diwali is known for its scrumptious array of mithai and desserts. Diwali is incomplete without ladoos. Coconut ladoos can be made quickly with just a few staple pantry ingredients. These homemade coconut ladoos are guaranteed to melt in your mouth. This pocket-friendly mithai can also be given as a favor to family and friends. Coconut ladoos are a delightful dessert.

2. Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is a brown-colored melt-in-your-mouth mithai. This deep-fried ball-shaped mithai is made from milk solids, flour, and sugar. Once deep-fried and brown, it is soaked in a sticky syrup that consists of sugar, cardamom, saffron, and rosewater for a few hours. Gulab Jamuns are typically served warm.

3. Ras Malai Cake Jars

Ras Malai cake is often compared to the Indian version of tres leche cake.  This amazing fusion dessert combines the flavors of traditional Ras Malai and cake.

Ras Malai Cake jars present a delightful composition of cake layers soaked in Ras Malai syrup, complemented by a dollop of whipped mascarpone icing, all in perfectly portioned single servings. They are perfect for Diwali and a creative twist on a classic Indian dessert.

4. Diwali Charcuterie Board

This effortless yet trendy mithai charcuterie is sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests. If you are running low on time, you have the option to select your preferred ready-made Indian sweets (mithai) from your nearby Patel Brothers store. Choices like jalebi, barfi, and ladoos not only create an eye-catching presentation but also promise a delectable addition to your charcuterie board.

5. Paneer Kalakand

Kalakand is prepared swiftly with minimal ingredients, including milk powder, condensed milk, and paneer. It’s a convenient mithai that embodies the essence of Diwali. Paneer Kalakand offers a delightful treat with its luxurious, creamy consistency complemented by a subtle hint of cardamom and topped with pistachios.

6. Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Gulab Jamun Cheesecakes

Cheesecakes stand as timeless yet sophisticated desserts, and the addition of gulab jamuns elevates them to a whole new level. Gulab Jamun cheesecake is a prime example of a fusion Indian dessert that harmonizes a symphony of flavors and textures. This delightful creation not only pleases the eyes but also tantalizes the taste buds.

The crust for this cheesecake is crafted from crushed biscuits and melted butter, forming the base of individual jars before being baked. The subsequent layer involves a sumptuous blend of cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, cornstarch, saffron, cardamom powder, and rose essence, meticulously mixed by hand.

To complete the masterpiece, gulab jamuns are delicately placed atop each jar before a final round of baking. The jars are then refrigerated overnight. When it’s time to serve, they are garnished with crushed pistachios, delicate rose petals, and a touch of vark.


1. Saffron Chai

An Indian dinner party wouldn’t be truly complete without a cup of chai. End the evening with a touch of indulgence through saffron chai. Saffron-infused chai boasts richness and an exotic aroma, making it the ideal way to wrap up the festivities.

This menu presents an array of diverse flavors and textures, promising an extraordinary Diwali supper. Your dinner is certain to be a sensory delight for your closest loved ones. Patel Brothers extend their warm wishes for a joyous Diwali to you and your family!

Do you often wake up super hungry and wondering what to eat for breakfast?  You can skip the boring options like cereal and make a traditional Indian breakfast. In Indian homes, breakfast is an important part of the day. Indian breakfast is just as gourmet, rich, delicious, and versatile as the rest of the cuisine. Each region of India has its own specialties. The beverage of choice for breakfast is chai.  In recent years, coffee has become popular also.

Indian cuisine offers breakfast with a diverse array of mouthwatering options. Below are our top ten recommendations that will start your day right:

1. Idli and Sambar

Idli and sambar is the quintessential breakfast in South India. Idlis are steamed rice cakes made from fermented rice and lentil batter. The batter is steamed into circular molds.  The result is fluffy moon-like savory rice cakes. It can be eaten by itself. Idlis are light, fluffy, and flavorful. Idlis are also served with vegetable sambar.

Sambar is a spicy lentil-based vegetable stew. The stew is made with lentils,  vegetables such as tomatoes, okra, shallots, radishes, drumsticks and tamarind paste, herbs, and sambar powder. Sambar is a versatile dish and accompanies everything from dosas to rice. Sambar is spicy and tangy.

2. Dosa

Dosa is a giant crispy crepe. It is one of the most beloved breakfast items in South India. Dosa is a lacey thin crepe made with fermented rice and lentil batter.   Dosa is a savory crepe filled with spicy potato mash made with potatoes, spices, onions, and curry leaves. Dosa is served with vegetable sambar and coconut chutney. Dosa is a delicious creation.

3. Paratha

Paratha is golden-brown in color, crispy and flaky. This square-shaped unleavened flatbread is made with whole wheat flour, salt, water, and ghee. The dough is divided into medium-sized balls and rolled with a rolling pin. It is then layered with ghee and shallow fried on each side.

Stuffed parathas come in delicious variations like aloo (potato), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), and cheese. If you are on a  time crunch, try our instant no knead parathas recipe. This paratha recipe is incredibly satisfying. Paratha is commonly served with achar and yogurt.

4. Methi Thepla

Methi thepla is freshly made daily at Patel’s Fresh Kitchen inside the store. Methi thepla is made by using methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) and a combination of flour such as wheat flour and gram flour and various spices and herbs.  Thepla is served with yogurt, chutney, or pickle (achar).  Thepla is the go-to flatbread for breakfast.

5. Batata Poha

Batata Poha is also known as flattened potato rice. This is a popular and quick Gujarati snack and breakfast item.  This is made with flattened rice with spices, onions, and potatoes.  Poha is light but very flavorful and palatable.

6. Upma

Upma is a savory nutrient-rich dish. It has a porridge-like consistency.  First oats are roasted separately and then mixed with vegetables, dried lentils, curry leaves, spices, and cashews. Upma can also be made with coarse semolina or quinoa.

It’s a versatile dish as it can be customized by adding your choice of vegetables and spices. Upma is a wholesome and healthy breakfast option.

7.Rava Uttapam

Rava Uttapam is the Indian version of savory pancakes. The batter is prepared with semolina, yogurt, grated vegetables, and spices. In a large frying pan on medium heat, ghee, and uttapam batter are added to the pan. It is cooked until golden brown on both sides.

Rava Uttapam can be easily personalized by adding veggies of your choice. Rava uttapam is served with coconut chutney. Rava uttapam is soft, fluffy, spongy, and scrumptious.

8.Khaman Dhokla

Dhokla is a savory, soft, and fluffy steamed chickpea flour cake. It can be served as breakfast or snack throughout the day, made from gram flour, semolina, and various spices. Once the batter is thoroughly steamed, it is tempered with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, hing, curry leaves, green peppers, and cilantro.

It is accompanied by mint chutney and tamarind chutney, adding extra flavor to this delicious breakfast treat. Dhokla is also commonly served during religious occasions, celebrations, and festivals.

9.Masala Omelet

Masala Omelet is no ordinary omelet, it is an elevated spicy omelet. It is loaded with onions, cilantro, green pepper, tomatoes, and a myriad of spices. Masala Omelet retains the natural creaminess of eggs, crisp edges, and spices that add extreme flavor to the eggs.

Masala Omelet is best when eaten with butter toast or a crispy layered paratha.

10.Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature is an all-time famous breakfast dish in North India. It consists of two components. Chole is a spicy chickpea curry made with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger paste, and aromatic spices such as cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala.  The chole is then garnished with chopped onions, green chili peppers, and lemon wedges.

Bhature is also known as puri. Bhature is round-shaped bread made from the dough of flour, and yogurt, with a pinch of salt and baking powder.  Bhature is deep-fried until it puffs up and becomes golden brown. Bhature has an airy texture on the inside and is crispy on the outside. Chole Bhature is heavenly, indulgent, and exquisite.

These are just some examples of the rich variety of Indian breakfast options. These breakfast options can be prepared fairly quickly. Indian breakfast is definitely worth waking up for.

“Kuch thanda piyanga” which translates to “Would you like something cold to drink” is a common term that you would hear in an Indian household during the summer months. This summer has been alarmingly hot around the globe. Staying hydrated is now more critical than ever.

Indian cuisine has some of the best summer drinks to keep you fresh and hydrated. From fresh seasonal fruit juices to spicy and cold drinks, Indian beverages are a crucial part of its culinary tapestry. Each region in India puts its own spin on these delectable drinks.  Below are our recommendations for Indian beverages that are guaranteed to quench your thirst and beat the heat:

1. Nimbo Pani also known as Shikanji

“Nimbo” translates to “lemon” in Hindi, and “pani” means “water.” This is essentially the Indian version of lemonade. This cost-effective drink is made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, water, and sugar.  Sometimes, other ingredients such as mint leaves, black salt, or a pinch of roasted cumin are added for flavor. This chilled drink is known for its tangy flavor.  Nimbu pani is a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks due to its natural ingredients.

2. Lassi

Lassi is a creamy and frothy yogurt-based traditional Punjabi cold drink. Many variations of lassi range from namkeen (salty) to meethi (sweet). Namkeen Lassi (salty lassi) is a blend of yogurt, salt, and cumin. It is usually consumed after a hot day.

Meethi Lassi (sweet lassi) is a blend of yogurt, milk, and sugar. Additionally, flavored lassi incorporates fruits and herbs. Check out some of our rich and luscious lassi recipes: Punjabi Lassi, Strawberry Lassi, Mango Lassi, and Pumpkin Lassi.

3. Aam Panna

Aam Panna is a popular drink as it captures the essence of India’s favorite tropical fruit. Originating from Gujurat, this fruit-based drink is a sweet and tangy roasted Mango drink. Made by roasting raw green mango and extracting the pulp, mango pulp, ice, water, and fresh mint leaves are blended together to make this simple vibrant green elixir. It is the perfect balance of sweet and earthy flavor.

4. Falsa Sherbet

This delicious concoction is made from a rare and beloved seasonal fruit, Indian sherbet berry also known as falsa. Fresh Indian sherbet berries are hard to find in the United States. The good news is that this refreshing drink can be made with frozen Indian berries available at Patel Brothers.

To make this drink, blend frozen Indian sherbet berries with water and sugar. Strain the falsa mixture through a strainer to remove the seeds. Blend the mixture with black salt, black pepper, ice, and water, and garnish with fresh mint leaves. The final product is a scrumptious and cooling beverage that’s perfect for beating the heat. Falsa sherbet is known for its unique and refreshing taste, balancing sweet and tangy flavors.

5. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane juice, also known as ganna ka raas, is perhaps every Indian’s favorite street food drink. A glass of fresh sugarcane juice is a natural way to cool down during the blistering heat. Sugarcane juice is made by pressing sugarcane stalks through metal rollers.  

The freshly squeezed juice is served in a tall glass with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of ginger. Sugarcane juice is energizing and hydrating, enjoyed by all age groups. This all-time famous street drink is readily available from roadside vendors in India. It’s sweet, pleasing, and leaves you craving more.

6. Falooda

Falooda is a treat both for the eyes and the tastebuds. It is one of the best Indian desserts that showcase a symphony of flavors and textures. Falooda is a visually appealing, multi-layered dessert drink. It combines sweet, creamy, chewy, and crunchy flavors. It’s a rich concoction of falooda sev, milk, ice cream, jelly, basil seeds, and syrup.

To prepare, heat milk and heavy whipping cream in a pot until it boils. Add sugar and stir until the milk thickens. Let the mixture cool. In a tall glass, pour syrup (rooh afza) at the bottom. Add basil seeds, falooda sev, jelly, and milk mixture. Top with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with more syrup. Garnish with mixed chopped nuts.

While enjoying falooda, you experience an indulgent symphony of flavors, ranging from the sweet flavor of rooh afza to the rich ice cream, gooey falooda sev, and the crunchy nuts on top.

7. Pyar Mohabbat Sharbat

Pyar Mohabbat Sharbat translates to “love drink”. Pyar Mohabbat Sharbat gained popularity from a streetside vendor who invented this drink to serve during Ramadan. This Delhi-style refreshing cold drink truly hits the spot after a long humid day.  

This super simple and easy drink is made by mixing chopped watermelon, cold milk, and rooh afza. In a tall glass, add ice, watermelon mixture, and basil seeds, and top it off with ice cream before serving. This rosy drink is ambrosial and delightful.

These drinks are common street food and household beverages during the summer months in India. Indian drinks showcase the diversity of Indian cuisine, with designated beverages for every season. The above Indian summer beverages will ensure that you stay hydrated all summer long.

When you think of your favorite Indian comfort food, without a question, Dal instantly comes to mind. After a tiring day, all you need is a plate of dal and chawal (rice) to nourish and soothe your soul. Dal hits the same comfort buttons as soup or mac and cheese.

What is Dal?

Derived from the Sanskrit word which means “to split”, Dal, also known as lentils, are split pulses. Dal is a deeply spiced soup like dish made from simmering split pulses.

How is Dal cooked?

Although there are many colors and varieties of dal, the preparation method is relatively standard: soak, drain, boil and simmer until tender. Once dal is cooked, it is topped with a fried garnish called “tadka” or “baghar”.  Tadka is prepared by heating ghee or oil and tempering spices such as cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, garam masala, and red chili flakes.  This is followed up by adding garlic, ginger and onions, which are fried for 10 to 15 mins or until the onions have turned golden brown. The tadka is poured over the dal before serving. Dal is cooked in just about every Indian household and is usually eaten with rice and roti (Indian flatbread).

Types of Dal:

If you are a newbie in the kitchen attempting to recreate the recipe of your favorite Indian soul food, differentiating between the types of dals can be cumbersome and overwhelming. Instead of referring to it as “black dal” or “orange dal”, we decided to differentiate and list the  five most commonly used dals in every Indian kitchen.

1. Moong Dal (Split Hulled Green Mung Bean)

Moong dal is the easiest to make and cooks in under 30 minutes. This dal is light yellow in color and is made from split green mung beans. Moong dal is one of the most commonly used dals and a household favorite everywhere. Some delicacies made from moong dal include khichdi, dosas, tikkis and kachoris.

2. Toor Dal (Yellow Pigeon Peas)

Toor Dal is also yellow in color, alternatively known as Arhar dal. This dal is used to make delicious dal fry, where toor dal is first boiled then added to sauteed mixture of tomatoes, onions, spices and herbs. In South Indian cuisine, toor dal is the main ingredient for sambar, a tamarind vegetable stew. Moong dal and toor dal may be the same in color but are definitely different in taste.

3. Lal Masoor Dal (Red Lentils)

Lal Masoor Dal is orangish in color and is also referred to  as red lentils.   Once this dal is cooked, it turns into a golden yellow color. Some recipes with lal masoor include lentil soup, dal palak and dal with mixed sabzi.  When making mixed dal recipes, Masoor and Moong dals are often paired together. We have shared our authentic mixed dal recipe below.

4. Urad Dal (Black Gram Lentils)

Urad dal with the husk is black in color, whereas when the lentil is split, it becomes creamish in color.  Unlike other dals  which can be cooked without soaking, Urad dal must be soaked overnight before cooking, and the cooking time is also longer. Urad dal is one of the key ingredients in the south Indian delicacy idlis  and dosa. In north India,  Urad dal is the basis for Dal Makhni,  which is a rich, creamy,  spiced stew made on special occasions.

5. Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)

This dal is bright yellow in color and is one of the thicker lentils, as it is split and husked from black chickpeas.  It has an earthy and nutty taste and  is used in dry curries after being ground into gram flour (besan). Besan serves as a binding agent for pakoras,  vadas and puris and is often used as a substitute for flour. Some dishes made with chana dal include puran poli and vegetable koftas. Chana dal is one of the only lentils that is used to prepare desserts like chana dal halwa and chana dal burfi.

Besides being delicious, dals are a great source of nutrients. They are loaded with protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins in addition to being gluten free and vegan friendly. The dals listed above can be cooked by mixing and matching in any combination. You can shop for them at your local Patel Brothers store.

Patel Brothers Swad Dals

Looking for an easy to follow and mouth watering dal recipe? Be sure to check out the recipes below from our Youtube channel.

Try our must have Lal Masoor dal also known as Red Lentil curry recipe. This dish is a saucy, hearty, and protein-rich meal option.

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Looking for a scrumptious mixed dal recipe? Try our favorite Masoor and Moong dal recipe.

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Try our warm and savory Chana Dal recipe.

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