Kalan is always prepared for onam sadya but its a great dish for anyday.mine is adapted because i put in several veggies and legumes to to make it a dish that can be a complete meal. you can substitute some of these items. LEAVE OUT THE DRUMSTICKS if you prefer AND USE doodhi instead of ash gourd, red peas instead of black eyed peas.


  • 200 grams raw banana peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 250 grams peeled and diced ash gourd in 1 inch pieces
  • 10 2 inch long pieces of drumsticks, moringa or shevya che shenga
  • 1 cup black eyed peas soaked in water overnight

For Coconut Paste

  •  stalks removed
  • ½ teaspoon mustard or cumin seeds
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup water – for grinding

Other Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour curd
  • ¼ cup water to be added later – add only if required and if the gravy is very thick


For Tempering Kalan

  • 1/2
  • 1  tablespoon vegetable oil
  •  lightly crushed
  •  2 dried red chilies
  • 10 to 12 fresh green curry leaves


Put  5 cups of water in a pressure cooker and add the black eyed peas, drumsticks, turmeric, 1 tsp salt and black pepper. Cook on medium heat for 2 whistles. Add remaining veggies and more water if required and pressure cooker for another whistle.

While vegetables are cooking grind ingredients for coconut paste and whisk the yogurt to a smooth consistency

Put the coconut paste and yogurt in a skillet on medium heat. keep stirring or it will split. Cook  until it comes to a rapid heat then pour over the veggies and stir. . Add more water if required and cook 5 minutes stirring from time to time. Add salt and jaggery if required to balance flavours.

Heat oil in a heatproof pan on high hear. Add all the spices and cook till they sizzle.

Pour over Kalan and mix well. Serve with boiled rice or chapatis.

CHILI CON CARNE- Kidney Bean and Corn Stew

If you like Rajma you will love this dish. Its spicy sweet and robust. A one pot classic that will feed you for a couple of days.

A complete meal, this nutritious dish is of Mexican origin and a part of South Western cuisine in the United States. You can use a variety of kidney beans for it. It can be made entirely vegan with sweet potato instead of meat. If you use sweet potato add less brown sugar.


  • 250 grams  red or speckled kidney beans (you can use pinto or black beans or a mix as well)
  • 1-2 large red onion finely chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2 bell peppers red and yellow
  • 6 garlic cloves finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp veg or olive oil
  • 500 gram minced chicken/beef or uses peeled and chopped sweet potato (about 1/2 inch dice)
  • 400g can tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup fresh shelled corn
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1/2-1 tsp paprika or red chilli powder
  • Hot sauce of your choice  I used chipotle but habanero jalapeño is also fine
  • Salt to taste
  • TO SERVE (optional)
  • sour cream and or grated cheddar, to serve
  • cilantro or fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  • Tacos, gutLI pao, cornbread as an accompaniment


Wash and soak kidney beans in excess water 4-5  hours or overnight. Wash drain and reserve.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker pan on a high flame. Saute onions and garlic till soft but do not brown them. Add bell peppers and cook until soft and water evaporates. Add carrots and saute one minute. Add tomatoes and tomato puree and saute 2-3 minutes. Add corn and kidney beans and combine. Add all spices and a teaspoon of salt. Stir well. Add some water if required and pressure cooker on medium heat for 2 whistles.

This stew is thick and juicy but not not runny. The meat when added will release a fair bit of water so add any extra liquid with care.

Open cooker and add meat. Stir well and pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Open and check for doneness. Add water salt, chilli powder and sugar as required.

This dish can also be prepared in a slow cooker. If using a large biryani or Dutch oven style pot you will need to add 2-3 cups of excess  water for the kidney beans.