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Home » Ramanjit Madan shares two comforting and easy vegetarian recipes

Ramanjit Madan shares two comforting and easy vegetarian recipes

by Ayush

From Grandma’s Kitchen

By Ayush Madan

In 2023, if you can still wake up to the sound of a pressure cooker on any given morning, consider yourself lucky – chances are you are living with someone who understands cooking on a completely different level than you do.

My grandmother, Ramanjt Kaur Madan has been making meals for me since I was old enough to chew. From Jalandhar, Punjab, she immigrated to Bangkok in 1977 with my grandfather, bringing along the traditional and authentic Punjabi culinary techniques she learned at her mother-in-law’s house. Through the trials and hardships that come with moving to a different country, my grandmother never lost her passion for cooking, and it has become something that is the very essence of her being.

When I hear the pressure cooker whistle in the morning, I know I’m probably having rajma chawal for lunch. When I walk downstairs and smell the sweet scent of tomato? Butter chicken for dinner. Even though she is a vegetarian, by the way she can execute a dish with meat in it, you would not be able to tell for a second. With a complete mastery of every Thai curry and stir-fry, my grandma is the person who taught me all the basics to cooking. However, something I will never be able to grasp as well is her mastery of North Indian cuisine.

The entire neighborhood knows where the best aloo tikkis are made, and it’s at my house. The best khataiyan? Currently being baked in my oven. Many have come over and tried to learn her recipes, only to come to the conclusion that it’s a lot easier to tell her they just love her cooking and have her send over some treats instead. Which I don’t blame them for.

When convincing her to – for the first time ever – attach her name to something cooking related, she was resistant to the idea. She did not want to present herself as an authority on cooking, or be portrayed as a master home chef. To her, cooking is simply the way she expresses herself, and how she expresses her love to those she loves. Like a quintessential Asian parent apology fruit bowl, my grandmother’s cooking will forever be the way she communicates with me how she feels when her words fail her. Lucky for me, her apologies taste delicious. It was difficult to choose just two dishes from her range that spans hundreds. Kadhi pakora, one of my favourite dishes, made with yoghurt and fried pakoras is spicy, sour and perfect over basmati rice that sadly had to be left out.

In the end, my grandmother Ramanjit chose two dishes which are family favourites that you should all try making at home. They are vegetarian, easy to make, and can be made on a whim with little prep and cook time. One is a light and healthy breakfast, and the other is an original dish that would make a filling lunch.


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serving: 5


• 2 cups suji or semolina flour

• 1 cup besan or gram flour

• 2 medium red onions

• 2 ginger roots, diced

• 1 cup coriander and spring onions, chopped

• 4-5 whole chillies, sliced

• 2 tbsp yoghurt

• 2 tsp chilli powder

• 2 tsp haldi or turmeric powder

• 3 tsp jeera or cumin powder

• 4 tbsp ajwain or caraway seeds, smashed

• Salt, to taste


1. Add 2 cups of suji flour and 1 cup of besan into a mixing bowl.

2. Add the two spoons of yoghurt to the flour, and mix.

3. Add ½ cup of water to the mixture and mix thoroughly.

4. Wait 5 minutes for the dough to rest and expand.

5. Next, add the onions, ginger, coriander, spring onions and chillies to the mix.

6. Add another ½ cup of water or more, and mix until the consistency resembles pancake batter.

7. Season to taste with salt, chilli powder, haldi, jeera and ajwain.

8. Mix it all together in the bowl and grab a ladle.

9. Heat a flat pan to medium-high heat and cover the bottom with a high smoke-point cooking oil.

10. Scoop two ladles of the mixture onto the pan, and make a medium sized oval shape.

11. After a minute, flip the chilla over to cook the other side.

12. Once the other side is cooked, plate and serve with fresh dahi or raita.



Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serving: 5


• 200 grams of paneer or cottage cheese, cubed

• 2 cups white rice, cooked

• 2 red or white onions, sliced

• 2 whole tomatoes, sliced

• 4 whole chillies, chopped

• 2 tsps chilli powder

• 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder

• 2 tsps jeera or cumin powder

• 4 tbsps ajwain or caraway seeds, smashed

• 0.5 tbsp sugar

• 1 tbsp ketchup

• 0.5 tbsp chili sauce

• Salt, to taste


1. Set a wok to high heat and add a quarter cup of high smoke-point cooking oil.

2. Add the sliced onions and fry them in the oil until the onions lose their raw aroma.

3. Once the onions are fragrant, put in the sliced tomatoes and stir well.

4. Add the chopped chillies and keep stirring.

5. Add salt to taste, chilli powder, haldi, jeera and ajwain.

6. Put in the cubed pieces of paneer and fry them until they release their moisture.

7. Wait for the tomatoes to soften while stirring constantly, and lower the heat.

8. Add chili sauce, ketchup, and sugar and mix in the 2 cups of rice, mixing until homogenous.

9. Add in roughly-cut spring onions and coriander for garnish.

10. Plate and serve with fresh dahi or raita.

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