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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Indian Recipes

Chicken Curry
Recipe by Kawal Singh
This dish is from the Punjab region of Northwestern India

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, medium, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • ½ tsp dry turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp yogurt, plain
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp red chili pepper powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh coriander

Heat oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion. Cook uncovered until golden brown. Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and yogurt. Cook for 2 minutes on low heat, stirring regularly. Add chicken, salt, and rest of the spices. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add water, cover pot and simmer until chicken is cooked and the gravy is thick (about 20–25 minutes), stirring occasionally. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with roti, rice and onion salad.



Fruit Chaat
Recipe by Kawal Singh
This dish is from the Punjab region of Northwestern India

  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 pear
  • 1 ripe peach
  • ½ cantaloupe
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup red seedless grapes
  • ½ cup green seedless grapes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp fruit chaat masala
  • ½ tsp black salt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red chili pepper powder

Wash all fruit. Cut apples, mango, pear, peach and cantaloupe into 1-inch cubes. Cut banana into 1-inch slices. Mix in a large serving bowl. Add grapes. Squeeze juice from lemon in a small bowl, add all spices and mix well. Pour juice over cut fruit and mix well. Serve immediately.



Moong Sprout Salad
Recipe by Kawal Singh
This dish is from the Punjab region of Northwestern India

  • 2 cups Moong Sprout Salad, fresh
  • 1 potato, boiled and diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped (optional)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • ¼ cup peanuts, salted (optional)
  • 1 lemon, fresh squeezed

Boil sprouts for 2 minutes, drain and cool (or, sprouts can be used uncooked in this salad). In a salad bowl add sprouts and all of the above ingredients. Mix well and serve.



Vegetable Rice
Recipe by Kawal Singh
This dish is from the Punjab region of Northwestern India

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ onion, sliced lengthwise
  • ¼ cup frozen vegetables
  • 2 tsp bay leaves
  • Salt to taste

Wash the rice and soak in water. Heat oil in a heavy pan, add cumin seeds and sliced onions. Cook until both are brown. Add frozen vegetables, bay leaf, salt and rice with water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil on high heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat, until rice is cooked.



Belpuri
Recipe by K.N. Vinod
A popular South Indian street food

  • 2 cups puffed rice
  • 2 cups sev (gram flour crisps)
  • 4 oz onions, chopped
  • 3 oz tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 3 oz tamarind chutney (recipe below)
  • 2 oz cilantro chutney (recipe below)

In a stainless steel bowl mix puffed rice, gram flour crisps, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro, tamarind chutney and cilantro chutney. Mix well and serve immediately on a plate or put them into a plastic bowl and unmold it to make a fancy presentation.



Cilantro Chutney
Recipe by K.N. Vinod
A South Indian dipping sauce

  • 4 oz cilantro
  • 1½ green chili or jalapeño peppers
  • ½ oz fresh ginger
  • 4 oz onion
  • 4 oz tomato
  • 1 ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Clean, wash, and roughly chop cilantro. Cut green chili or jalapeño, ginger, onion, and tomato into small pieces. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend to a smooth paste.



Tamarind Chutney
Recipe by K.N. Vinod
A South Indian dipping sauce

  • 14 oz tamarind slabs
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2½–3 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp toasted and slightly crushed cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp black salt

Unwrap the plastic from tamarind slabs, cover slabs with water and boil until it becomes thick and starts to coat the back of a metal spoon. When it gets cool, strain through a sieve, add some water if necessary, and abstract as much puree as possible. Bring this puree back to boil; mix in the sugar and spices, stirring continuously to prevent lumps. Add rest of the ingredients and bring to a nice boil. Adjust seasoning to taste.



Shreekandh Brulée
Recipe by K.N. Vinod
A contemporary take on a South Indian dessert

  • 2 lbs low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tbsp almonds, chopped
  • 4 oz raw brown sugar

Strain yogurt in a muslin cloth, tie it and hang inside the refrigerator so that all the water is drained out. Transfer the strained yogurt into mixing bowl and add sugar, ground cardamom, saffron, chopped pistachios, and almonds. Mix well. Spread evenly into 4 crème brulée dishes. Sprinkle with raw brown sugar on top of each of these dishes and with a blow torch caramelize the sugar. Keep the flame to a medium high and rotate the dish evenly to get a golden brown crust.



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K.N. Vinod’s Belpuri

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K.N. Vinod’s Shreekandh Brulée

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K.N. Vinod