Recipe Time – #1, or the beginning of a series of recipe posts

And, I promise to have tried out all the recipes that I will henceforth post here. The advantage for you, dear readers, will be my personal comments on the recipe found in whichever book or website that I get the recipe from – tasty/not so much, correct proportions, correct time – you get the idea.

Without further ado – even though I find myself detesting clichés more and more in my writing, here’s Recipe #1.

Today being a chhutti and all, I decided to try out this Zero Oil cookbook I have (which I’ve never tried before). I had kamal kakdi (also known as Lotus Stem, or the horrible sounding bhein) at home, which I normally cook in a completely different way – but having read this recipe, I’m glad I tried it out.

It’s interesting and different, healthy, tasty and quite quick to make.

Krispy Kamal Kakdi, or Kurkure Bhein (as the book calls it)

(Serves 4)



  • 250 gm. Kamal Kakdi, cut into diagonal slices
  • 2 medium sized onions, cut into four pieces each
  • 4 tbsp. dry wheat flour, or sookha aata
  • 5 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup dhaniya or coriander leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2” piece of ginger
  • 4-5 pods of garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp. fresh yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp. soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. amchoor or dry mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala, or a mixture of five Indian whole spices, dried and ground together.
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ajwain, or carom seeds
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder



  1. Cut the kamal kakdi into thin, diagonal slices, and wash it nicely. It normally has a lot of dirt inside it, unless the ones you buy are closed from both sides.
  2. Put this into a pressure cooker with about 1.5 cups of water and a tsp. of salt, and let the cooker give 2-3 whistles.
  3. Pour out the water, and let the boiled kamal kakdi dry and cool off on a kitchen towel.
  4. Take 2-3 green chillies and the ginger and garlic and grind them into a fine paste. Once the paste is ready, add the ajwain, yoghurt, and a tsp. each of salt, red chilli powder and lemon juice. Mix it well with the paste.
  5. Pour this paste mixture over your now-dry kamal kakdi, and mix it nicely with your hands so that you’re sure that all the pieces of the kamal kakdi are completely covered with this paste. Leave this to marinate for an hour, and go read a book or something. (The one I’m reading is the first book from this series.)
  6. Once you’ve read a chapters, and the 1-hour of marination (of the kamal kakdi and your brain) is up, go back to the kitchen and take a non-stick pan and heat it up. Now, take the sookha aata and roast it well in the pan, for about 4-5 minutes on a medium flame, until it turns a nice golden-brown. Keep stirring it to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burnt.
  7. Once this is roasted, sprinkle it generously over the marinated kamal kakdi. Again, make sure that the roasted aata nicely covers all the pieces.
  8. Now, take a kadhaai (or a wok), heat it up, and put your eight pieces of onion in it. Now, the book says that you just need to roast the onions till they turn brown, but I saw that I needed to use just a little bit of oil – about 1/5 a teaspoon of refined oil, just to help the onions brown evenly.
  9. Once the onions have turned a deep pinkish-brown, add the kamal kakdi pieces to this, and roast again till all of it turns browner. The paste that you’d covered the kamal kakdi with is still raw, so keep the flame low, and let this cook nicely. Keep stirring and moving it around to avoid the roasted paste from sticking to the bottom.
  10. Once you think that it’s nicely roasted and brown, sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of amchoor and 1/2 tsp. of garam masala. Mix well, and then add the soya sauce and the tomato ketchup. Fry this well till the kamal kakdi becomes dry and slightly crisp.
  11. While this is frying (and don’t forget to keep stirring it), cut your remaining 2 green chillies into thin diagonal slices, and chop your dhaniya leaves. After you’re done frying, add both of these, along with 1 tsp. of lemon juice to the kamal kakdi, and mix together well. Let it roast along with the kamal kakdi for a minute or two for the subzi to get a slight flavour of all of these.
  12. And, serve! We had it with arhar ki daal and hot rotis.

This is it. Please do leave comments and let me know how it turned out, if you do decide to try it. 🙂


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