Nalli Nihari, Undhiyu and 3 other lip-smacking winter recipes for you and your family

Why you are always sitting in one corner, shivering-shivering? Yes yes, winter is cold. You know, my husband also, he loves eating ice cream everyday after lunch. But even he has stopped. I thought it was because it was cold, and I asked him that. He said it is because his dentures are hurting. I laughed at him - how can your false teeth hurt, I asked. He said, “Because I have been eating your food for so many years that even they are protesting.”

Do not listen to him, Ammas. You have been making food from the recipes I give you for so many months now, so you know how tasty my cooking will be. See, your children have stopped complaining that much now, no? That is why I have more recipes for you, from all over India. Recipes that are made only through winter. When you eat them, that warmth in your stomach will stay for many hours, so even if your hands, feet or face are cold, your insides will be so comfortable.

1. Nalli Nihari: This is a recipe from Lucknow. It is a meat gravy, spicy and nice, which you can eat like that only or with something else.



  • Nalli/Paya/ Lamb leg pieces 4 paya or 1/2 kg

  • Onion 4 onions for boiling with nalli , 1 for grind, 2 for frying

  • Ginger-garlic paste 2 teaspoon

  • Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon for boiling lamb and 1/2 teaspoon for spice

  • Salt to taste

  • Mustard oil 3/4 cup

  • Bay leaf 2

  • Cinnamon stick 1/2 inch piece

  • Tomato 1

  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Cardamom green 2

  • Cardamom brown 1

  • Cloves 5

  • Nutmeg small pinch

  • Mace 1/4 teaspoon

  • Black pepper 1/2 teaspoon

  • Red chilly powder 1 teaspoon

  • Coriander powder for garnish


  1. Clean, wash the lamb leg pieces. Take pressure cooker and add lamb leg pieces, diced onion, turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup mustard oil, 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste and 1 –1/2 glass of water.

  2. Close the lid and pressure cook it on high heat for one whistle then low the flame and cook for another 45 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the pressure settles down.

  3. Open cooker and mash the onion with spatula. You will feel the gravy is thick enough. Keep it aside.

  4. Grind cumin seeds, black pepper, cloves, cardamom green, cardamom brown, Mace, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (I used my homemade ginger-garlic paste), 1 diced onion, cinnamon stick along with 2 tablespoon water to make fine paste.

  5. Heat the non stick pan with remaining 1/2 cup oil and temper with bay leaf.

  6. Add chopped onions in the pan and fry it till light golden in color. Add ground paste in the wok.

  7. Add chopped tomato, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Cook the spices on low flame till oil shows separately.

  8. Add cooked spices into the pressure cooker along with a glass of water. Mix it well. Check salt, if needed add more salt. Pressure cook it for one whistle on high flame, then cook for another 10 minutes on low flame.

  9. Switch off the flame, let the pressure settle down. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapatti, kulcha, naan etc

2. Undhiyu: This Gujarati dish is very interesting. It uses all the local vegetables and roasts or steams them slowly. Nice flavours it has.


ingredients - measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml

  • 150gramssurti papdiOR a mix of surti papdi and valor papdi OR 2 cups chopped surti papdi

  • ½ to ⅔cupfresh pigeon peas(fresh tuvar) - optional

  • 100gramssmall baingan (brinjals or aubergine)OR 8 to 10 small baingan

  • 150 to 200gramsbaby potatoesOR 10 to 12 potatoes

  • 100gramssweet potatoOR 1 medium sweet potato (shakarkandi)

  • 100gramsraw unripe bananaOR 1 medium sized raw banana

  • 150gramspurple yam(kand) OR about 1.5 to 2 cups chopped purple yam

for methi muthia:
  • 1cuptightly packed methi leaves(fresh fenugreek leaves) - finely chopped

  • 1pinchof baking soda

  • 1cupbesan(gram flour)

  • 1teaspoonsesame seeds(safed til)

  • 1tablespoonginger + green chili pasteOR ½ inch ginger + 2 to 3 green chilies - crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle

  • ¼teaspoonturmeric powder(haldi)

  • ¼teaspoonred chili powder(lal mirch powder)

  • ½teaspooncumin powder(jeera powder)

  • ½teaspooncoriander powder(dhania powder)

  • ½tablespoonoil

  • ¾ to 1teaspoonsugar or add as required

  • ½teaspoonsaltor add as required

  • 1tablespoonlemon juice

  • 1 to 1.5tablespoonwater or as required

for green masala:
  • ½cuptightly packed grated coconut

  • 3tablespoonfinely chopped coriander leavesOR ¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves

  • 2tablespoonsesame seeds(safed til)

  • ½tablespoonginger pasteOR 1 to 1.5 inch ginger crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle

  • ½tablespoongarlic paste OR green garlic chives pasteOR 8 to 10 garlic crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle

  • ½tablespoongreen chili pasteOR 2 to 3 green chilies crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle

  • ¼ to ½teaspoonturmeric powder(haldi)

  • ½teaspoonred chili powder(lal mirch powder)

  • 3teaspooncoriander powder(dhania powder)

  • 2teaspooncumin powder(jeera powder)

  • 1tablespoonlemon juice

  • 1tablespoonsugar or add as per taste

  • ¾ to 1teaspoonsaltor add as required

for tempering:
  • ½teaspoonajwain(carom seeds)

  • ½teaspooncumin seeds(jeera)

  • ⅛teaspoonasafoetida(hing) OR 2 to 3 pinches of asafoetida

  • ½cupwater

  • 4 to 5tablespoonsesame oilor peanut oil or any oil

how to prepare recipe

prepping veggies:
  1. string and pod the surti papdi beans. i used half-half of surti papdi (hyacinth beans) and valor papdi (fava beans). after stringing them and halving them, rinse very well. strain and keep aside. i used 150 grams of beans which yielded 2 cups stringed and podded beans.

  2. in a bowl of water, peel, rinse and place the other veggies - 10 to 12 baby potatoes, 1 medium sweet potato, 2 cups chopped purple yam. also keep 8 to 10 small brinjals. note that the only the upper stalk of the brinjals have been removed and they have not been slit. you can also just rinse and keep the brinjals aside.

preparing methi muthia:
  1. take 1 cup tightly packed methi leaves, finely chopped and 1 cup besan or gram flour in a mixing bowl.

  2. add a pinch of baking soda, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tbsp oil, ¾ to 1 tsp sugar or add as required, ½ tsp salt or add as required and 1 tbsp lemon juice.

  3. just mix everything and keep aside covered for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. then add 1 to 1.5 tbsp water and mix really well. keep the mixture slightly sticky, so that the methi muthia remains soft after cooking.

  5. apply some oil in your palms and shape the muthias. keep aside covered with a bowl or lid. if you want you can also deep fry methi muthia. if fried then add lastly once the undhiyu is done and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.

green masala mixture:

  1. take ½ cup tightly packed grated coconut and 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves or ¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves in another mixing bowl.

  2. in a mortar-pestle crush to a paste, 1 to 1.5 inch ginger, 8 to 10 garlic cloves and 2 to 3 green chilies. you can also grind all three of them together. if using ready paste then add ½ tbsp ginger paste, ½ tbsp garlic paste, ½ tbsp green chili paste. you can also garlic chives instead of garlic.

  3. add 2 tbsp sesame seeds, ½ tbsp ginger paste, ½ tbsp garlic paste or green garlic chives paste, ½ tbsp green chili paste, ¼ to ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chili powder, 3 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp sugar ¾ to 1 tsp salt.

  4. mix very well and then check the taste. add more lemon juice, salt or sugar if required.

stuffing veggies:
  1. from the base, give a criss cross slit to the brinjals and stuff the masala in it. in the same way also, stuff the masala in the potatoes. if you want you can stuff the masala in the raw bananas also. keep the stuffed veggies aside. some stuffing masala will be left. keep this aside.

tempering and cooking undhiyu:
  1. heat 4 to 5 tbsp sesame oil or peanut oil in a pressure cooker. add ½ tsp ajwain or carom seeds & ½ tsp cumin seeds. stir and fry the ajwain and cumin seeds till they change their color. a few seconds. you can also use sunflower oil or safflower oil.

  2. then add ⅛ tsp asafoetida/hing. stir.

  3. now add the stringed and podded beans. if you are using fresh pigeon peas, you can add them at this step.

  4. stir well. to preserve the green color of the beans you can add a pinch of soda. i did not add.

  5. now add half a portion of the leftover coconut masala.

  6. again stir very well and saute for 3 minutes on a low to medium flame. then make a neat layer of the beans at the bottom.

  7. then place the chopped purple yam in a neat layer.

  8. then make another layer of chopped raw bananas and sweet potato.

  9. now sprinkle ¼ of the coconut masala evenly. don't stir.

  10. make a next layer of stuffed brinjals and potatoes.

  11. add ½ cup water from the sides. don't stir.

  12. now gently place the prepared methi muthia in a layer. sprinkle 2 to 3 pinches of salt all over.

  13. cover the pressure cooker with its lid and pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 2 whistles or for 8 to 10 minutes.

  14. when the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and gently mix everything without breaking the stuffed veggies.

  15. while serving if you want, you can garnish undhiyu with chopped coriander leaves or some grated coconut. serve undhiyu with pooris.

3. Shakarkandi chaat: This one is supposed to be cooked on coals, but because you cannot do that at home, you can roast it in the pan.



  • Sweet potato /shakarkandi – 2 (400 gms)

  • Tamarind chutney -1.5 tbsp

  • Green chutney – 1.5 tbsp

  • Red chili powder -1 tsp

  • Black salt /kala namak – 1/4 tsp

  • Roasted cumin powder – 1/3 tsp

  • Salt – to taste

  • Green chili,chopped -1 tsp

  • Fresh coriander,chopped – 2 tbsp

  • Lemon juice- 2 tbsp


  1. For the smoky flavour- slice the boiled and peeled sweet potato into 1 inch thick roundels. grease a non stick flat pan with few drops of oil.arrange the sweet potato slices over it in single layer and cook on medium heat till it get nice golden color,turn the sides and cook from other side too. make cubes and make chat.

  2. Boil on medium heat fopr 3 whistles.

  3. When cool down completely then peel the skin completly.

  4. Chop the boiled sweet potato into medium size cubes.

  5. Take a big bowl and add chopped sweet potatoes.

  6. Add all the spices and both chutney and lemon juice.

  7. Mix preperly add chopped green chili and fresgh coriander.

  8. Serve with a tooth pick and a lemon wedge.

4. Roghani roti: This only some very rich people in North India used to eat before, but now no one makes it only. When it is prepared properly, it becomes golden brown, and it is so tasty to eat with a spicy curry.



  • Wheat flour 1 cup

  • Flour 1 cup

  • Salt 1/2 tsp

  • Sugar 1 tsp

  • Ghee 4 tbsp

  • Ghee for applying

  • Lukewarm milk to knead

Cooking Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix together wheat flour, flour, salt, sugar, ghee and knead dough with lukewarm milk as required.

  2. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

  3. Make balls of the dough.

  4. Roll out in to saucer size plate.

  5. Spread with ghee, again roll and form into a ball.

  6. Then make rotis and cook on a tawa (hot griddle pan) till done from both sides.

  7. Remove and spread with ghee.

5. Hot gulab jamun: Naram garam. If you do not mind a little bit cold, eat it with vanilla ice cream. There is nothing as yummy on a weekend evening.


ingredients - measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml

for the jamuns:
  • 1cupkhoya(mawa or dried evaporated milk solids) OR 200 grams khoya

  • ¾cupgrated paneerOR 100 grams of paneer (cottage cheese)

  • 3tablespoonmaida(all purpose flour)

  • 2tablespoonfine sooji(rava or semolina)

  • 4green cardamoms(choti elaichi) - powdered in a mortar-pestle

  • 1tablespoonmilkor add as required

  • ¼teaspoonbaking powder

  • oil for deep frying the gulab jamuns

for the sugar syrup:
  • 250gramssugarOR about 1.75 cup sugar

  • 1cupwater

  • 1tablespoonrose water

  • 1tablespoonmilk(optional)

how to prepare recipe

preparing jamuns:
  1. take khoya/mava/evaporated milk in a bowl. mash it very well. there should be no lumps. you can also grate and then mash the khoya.

  2. then add grated paneer, rava/sooji, all purpose flour/maida, baking powder and cardamom powder to the mashed khoya. there should be no lumps in both the mava and paneer.

  3. as if they are there, then you will find the texture of the gulab jamuns not so good. the bits and pieces of mava or paneer will give a bite in the mouth, when you have the gulab jamuns. they won't be smooth.

  4. mix well. add milk and gather together to form a dough with milk. don't knead.

  5. just gently mix. if you are unable to form balls or if the mixture appears dry, then add a few teaspoons of milk. cover the dough and keep aside for 30 mins.

  6. make small balls from the dough. cover the balls and keep aside.

preparing sugar syrup:

  1. dissolve sugar in water. heat the sugar solution till it become sticky. you just need to switch off the fire before the syrup reaches a one thread consistency.

  2. add rose water and stir. keep the sugar solution aside. on cooling if the sugar syrup crystallizes, then just add 2 to 3 tbsp water and warm the syrup again. it will again return to a liquid state.

frying jamuns:
  1. meanwhile, while the sugar syrup is cooking, heat oil till its medium hot. lower the flame and wait for a minute. then gently place the gulab jamuns in the oil.

  2. once they start to have tiny golden spots, keep on rotating them in the oil, so that the gulab jamuns are evenly browned.

  3. remove the gulab jamuns and then drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.

  4. then place the hot gulab jamuns in the sugar syrup. continue frying the gulab jamuns this way in batches.

  5. when all the jamuns are placed in the sugar syrup, then keep the whole pan with the sugar syrup and gulab jamuns, on a low flame for a few minutes till the jamuns become soft.

  6. heating helps the gulab jamuns to absorb the syrup and become soft. the jamuns increase a bit in size. don't over cook as then the jamuns break.

  7. use a large pan, so that the gulab jamuns are not overcrowded and you can easily stir them gently while they are simmering.

  8. serve gulab jamuns warm or at room temperature. you can also chill the gulab jamuns and serve them cold. garnish the gulab jamuns with rose petals or almond slivers.