Recipes from Rajasthan

Written by Jane Harris No Gravatar

Meenu gave us a cooking lesson in a small corner of her kitchen in Udaipur.

Basic masala (for two)


  • ‘five spices’ (* see below)
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 pinches cumin seeds
  • 2 pinches mustard seeds
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup lentils


  • Heat peanut oil
  • Fry cumin and mustard seeds for a few seconds
  • Add onion and garlic and fry until soft
  • Mix the ‘five spices’ into a paste with a little water and add to the other ingredients according to taste. Simmer for a minute or two adding a little water if the mixture sticks
  • Use any of the following to add colour and flavour: tomato; yoghurt and cheese; turmeric; spinach (optional)
  • Add lentils and 4 cups of water
  • Simmer for around 15 minutes or until lentils are soft and the sauce is of curry consistency
  • Serve (This may be served with a little of the ‘five spice’ paste; coriander; or a mixture of mint and coconut.  Meat or fish can be added with the ‘five spices’ if required

Banana curry (for two)


  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 pinch cumin seeds
  • 2 pinch mustard seeds
  • 4 chopped bananas
  • ‘five spices’ (* see below)
  • yoghurt


  • Heat peanut oil
  • Fry cumin and mustard seeds for a few minutes
  • Fry bananas for a minute
  • Add ‘five spices’ (dry) and yoghurt to taste
  • Serve

Apparently recipe is particularly good with lamb.  It can be made into a pudding by adding cashews and milk instead of ‘five spices’ and yoghurt and simmered until it reaches rice pudding texture

Chai for two


  • Cup of water
  • Cup of milk
  • 2 tsp black tea leaves
  • 4 pinches tea masala (** see below)
  • 2 tsp sugar


  • Bring all ingredients to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Strain and serve

* For the curry recipes the ‘five spices’ are mixed in the following proportions: 5 pinches dry coriander; 4 pinches red chilli powder; 3 pinches salt; 2 pinches turmeric powder; 1 pinch garam masala.  Use according to taste

** Tea masala is mixed as follows: 50g ginger; 10g black pepper; 10g cloves
10g cinnamon; 25g green cardamom; half a nutmeg.  Use according to taste

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