Manali's Kashmiri Dum Aloo is a good writeup. I enjoy reading what she writes about food. She puts heart into her food, but analysis too. She has insight.
The funny part though is that if you go to Indian restaurants they will have “Kashmiri Dum Aloo” on the menu and when you order it, you will get baby potatoes in a creamy onion-tomato curry, which is nowhere close to how Kashmiri Dum Aloo should be.
That’s actually Punjabi version of Dum Aloo with all the cream and spices.
On Rajma Masala:
Rajma is one of the most popular curries in north India.
In fact I always say that chole, rajma and dal makhani are like the 3 most popular north Indian main course vegetarian recipes. Whenever we would invite someone over for lunch or dinner, mom would definitely make one of these. It was inevitable.
However I was not very fond of rajma growing up, I don’t know why but I preferred it much less compared to the dals and chole and all my veggies. Sarvesh on the other hand is a huge rajma fan. It’s probably one of his favorite dishes (that’s a typical Punjabi right there)!
On bitter gourd:
Karela aka the bitter gourd has been my favorite vegetable ever since I was a little child. Most kids I knew hated karela, well of course because it was bitter and kids didn’t like it.
On the other hand, I loved the bitterness of the bitter gourd and used to request mom to make it often.
Even now, when I go back to India, the first sabzi that I ask my house help to make is simple karela stir-fry in mustard oil. It is so good!
Baingan Bharta is basically fire roasted eggplant mash cooked with spices. There are different ways of making this bharta (bharta is mash) but this is the most common way and the one you will find in Indian restaurants.
I know there are other ways because in the state of Uttar Pradesh and that’s where I am from, it is not made in this way at all. So as a child, I always ate eggplant bharta which was just smoked eggplant mash mixed with mustard oil, chopped garlic and some pickle masala.
In a way it tasted a lot like baba ganoush minus the tahini and olive oil. It used to be favorite until I was introduced to this Punjabi version.
... Sarvesh doesn’t like eggplant but baingan bharta is one of his favorites. That’s the special thing about this dish, you can love it even if you don’t like eggplant.
I think the smokey flavor that comes from roasting the eggplant makes it so flavorful that it’s hard not to like it, until and unless of course you are like my brothers who have made up their minds that bahrta is not to be eaten no matter what!