Kitchen Consequential – Cooking with Kalmilni

Kalmilni in her kitchen.

Kalmilni's spices - fresh, rich and well organized.

Lentils cooking.

The food was wonderful.

And I got to eat it! :)

One surprising consequence of my trip to India is that I became a vegetarian – and you can see it in my kitchen.

It’s caused me to experiment with vegetables and beans, tofu and ground nuts like never before.

It wasn’t planned. It is not based on any principle or any considered health concern. But after eating vegetarian for two weeks and thinking that I might not ever go back to meat (I still haven’t) I thought it would be a good idea to learn to cook Indian. So off I went to learn how to with Kalmilni, the wife of my hotel owner in Udaipur.

Our menu was:

  • Potato Pakora
  • Masala tea
  • Dal
  • Aloo Mutter
  • Onion Tomato Raita
  • Potato Pulau
  • Chapati
  • Halva

As you can see from the last photo, the meal was both beautiful. And, I can attest, delicious. Kalmilni has allowed me to share one of her recipes with you. I have chosen the Potato Pulau. Here it is…

Potato Pulau

Get yourself set with:

3 tbsp oil

In one bowl (after it is ground with a mortar and pestle)

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 black pepper corns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1″ of cinnamon stick

In another bowl

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp salt

In another bowl add chopped

  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 green chiles

In yet another bowl

  • 50 grams of rice


  • 1 potato peeled, but in half and sliced. Wash potato after slicing
  • 1 onion sliced into slivers


I’m adapting this recipe assuming that you don’t use a pressure cooker as they do commonly in India.

  1. Parboil rice in an open pan.
  2. Add oil to a 2-quart pot
  3. Add onions and fry till golden brown – using a slotted spoon, take out and set aside, leaving the oil in the pot.
  4. Into the oil add the cumin, black paper, cloves and cinnamon stick
  5. Add the onion, garlic and green chiles. Don’t let it brown.
  6. Add fennel seeds.
  7. Add 100g water.
  8. Rinse rice and add to pot
  9. Add 1 tsp salt
  10. Cover and cook until rice is almost tender
  11. Add potato and onions, mix, leave for 10 minutes to absorb the spices

And you’re ready to eat!



  • Neela Gokhale

    This is so nice! I am a vegetarian myself. Been cooking since the last 35 years. If there is anything you would want to know about Indian cooking, I’ll be happy to help.:)

  • Walter W.

    I saw this kind of recipe and other Potato Pulau recipes in Talk to Chef. They also
    taught me how to cook them but your post is very inviting that I want to
    master how to cook them.

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  • Corinne Vail

    I will definitely be trying this recipe. Living in Europe it is hard to find good Indian food.

  • Muhammad Amjad

    It is really tasty food.

  • defender_430

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  • Desert Safari In Dubai

    often, I do not interpret posts on blogs, however this write-up very pressures me to go ahead about it! Writing manner is surprising.

  • solotraveler

    It would cook a lot faster only taking about 5 or 7 minutes.

  • The Spain Scoop – Reg

    and now I want Indian food!!!!!!

  • Marisa

    what would be the difference if we did use a pressure cooker?

  • Mary fr

    Oh, I love spicy food :))))

  • Kristina

    The food looks delicious !!!
    The bread looks like armenian bread: lavash :)

  • Cabin Rental

    Looks pretty delicious! Indian food is so tasty and spicy that I can hardly resist it. Thanks for the recipes I would definitely try to prepare some of them!