Dogbane Beetle

Note about my dadi’s Indian recipes:

There are a lot of specific spices for each of these mixes, but the general rule is that you should use garam masala in everything, kat a kat for any dry veggies, char gosht for dal, beans, etc, and lahori fish for… well, fish. If you don’t have these spice mixes and don’t want to buy them (though I beg that you buy garam masala if you want to make Indian food regularly– it’ll make your life easier, I promise), just look up what spices go into them! A lot of the time, you can make them– or something similar enough to them– yourself.

Also, it’s good to know that this stuff is generally meant to be made together! Of course, you don’t have to, but it can be kind of helpful because it allows you to coordinate dishes. For example, if you’re making okra and daal, you can just take & prepare one onion and split it in half between the two.

These recipes can take some time– it’ll probably be a little worse, but it’s okay to take shortcuts. These are surprisingly healthy meals and very helpful if you choose to mass cook a ton of a dish or two for a week or two so you can have something if you ever don’t feel like cooking. To be honest, they do taste a little worse that way– it’s always nicer to have one small, hot, fresh portion of Indian food, and that’s kind of what these recipes were designed for, but it’s always pretty good no matter what. We usually make rice, chana masala, and either palak paneer or aloo gobi.

Regardless of how you choose to, I hope you enjoy these recipes if you end up using them! Apologies for the somewhat vague directions (it's from my dadi, what could you expect? Do your best to feel it out) and best of luck.

Aloo Parathas

Honestly not super sure how many servings this makes. Maybe 15 parathas?

Put 5-ish potatoes in a bowl with some water at the bottom. Put it in the microwave and select ‘potato cycle’ (or punch in 2 minutes and 30 seconds). It should be soft when you take it out-- you might have to put it through twice. Take them out and cut each potato in half, letting them cool off. Once they’re cool, peel them, and then mash them up with your hands. Mix in cilantro, onions, green peppers (if you want it spicy), chaat masala, and garam masala.

Mix flour with water and keep kneading until the consistency is right. Be careful with the water as you need to add small amounts and mix until you get it to a consistency at which you can easily roll it out.

Pull off a small ball of dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s a little bigger than the mouth of a water cup and around half an inch thick. Take a spoonful of the filling and put it in the center. Pinch the sides together on the top, like a little dumpling, and make sure it’s closed. Roll it over in some flour, and then place it back on the cutting board and flatten it out with a rolling pin. Keep turning it, flipping it, and putting flour down on the cutting board as you roll so the paratha doesn’t break and stays in a circle shape.

Heat up a pan pan– which is ideally a tava/tawa pan– on medium heat and drizzle some oil on it. Once you’ve flattened out your paratha fully (it should be quite thin– roughly the thickness of a tortilla, so around a ¼ to an ⅛ inch), you can place it on the pan and cook! Just flip it over and over until it’s nice and browned.

Chana Masala

Makes around 6 servings

Soak ¾ lbs of garbanzo beans in water overnight (with around ¼ teaspoon of baking powder). In the morning, put them in the instant pot on the beans/chili setting with black tea bags, water (double the amount of water than garbanzos), salt, and chana masala.

Blend or chop the garlic, ginger, 4-5 tomatoes, and 2-3 thai chilis (if you want it spicy) until it’s very fine.

Finely chop 1 onion and saute it, along with the garlic and ginger, in olive oil until it’s brown. If you have cumin seeds, roast a teaspoon of them with the onions. Add some paprika and tumeric (be careful not to put too much tumeric). Add ½ tsp garam masala, 3 tsp chana masala, and 1 tsp chaat masala and salt if you want it.

Put the tomato in the pot, keep stirring it, and let it cook for a little while. Add some achar gosht (around 1 tsp). Then, add the garbanzo beans-- be careful about how much water you add.

TIP: If you’re also making dal or rajma, you can use the same mixture for it (just not with the chickpeas). Only difference is that you might not want chaat masala in your dal.

Palak Paneer

Makes around 2 servings if it’s the only thing being served, 3-4 servings if it’s one of many

Chop a whole bag of spinach, 2 tomatoes, ½ onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 inch of ginger, and ½ of a green pepper if desired. Once you're done with that, blend the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and green pepper (if desired) together. If you want the spinach to be creamier and not as distinct in the dish, you can lightly blanch and then puree it. Finally, chop 6 oz of paneer.

Slice and sauté the onions and add in ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Then, add half of the tomato ginger garlic mixture and ¾ teaspoon garam masala and stir it for a minute before adding all of the spinach.

Let it cook for 5-10 minutes or until the spinach is mostly done, and then add paneer. You should add ¼ teaspoon salt as it starts to cook together, and then continue adding more as needed. Also check to see if you feel more garam masala if necessary, and add if it is.

After a little bit, add ¼ teaspoon of chili powder. If you didn’t add green peppers but want it spicy, add even more. Just check on it-- there's no real way to tell if it's ready, so just feel it out and taste test as needed.

Aloo Gobi

Makes around 6 servings

First, chop 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 or less of an onion, 1 potato or 2 small potatoes, ½ a chili, and ½ cauliflower (so that each piece is like a little tree) . This is honestly the bulk of the work.

Heat up a pan and pour a solid amount of oil into it-- then quickly add 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds. When you start to smell them, you can stir them for a couple seconds and then add all of the cauliflower, garlic, onion, chili, and potato.

After a minute or so, add ¼ teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Let it cook for about five minutes, and then add 2 teaspoons kat a kat (or achar gosht) and ¾ teaspoon garam masala. If you notice it getting very dry, you can add a little bit of water. Add more of any spices if necessary! Just mess around with it. Make it your own.

After you've done that, put the lid on and let it cook for around 15 minutes on medium heat. Check on it periodically and stir, and continue to add water if it gets too dry. Be sparing with it, though.

If you can cut any of the veggies with the stirring spoon, then it’s done!


I’m not sure exactly how much this makes, but ⅓ to ½ cup of dal is more than enough unless you're cooking for a very large amount of people or meal prepping. I’d guess probably four-ish servings.

Note: always use triple the amount of water as daal.

Take half a cup of lentils and four/five cups of water and boil the water over medium heat with a half teaspoon of salt.

Chop ⅓ of an onion, crush 2 cloves of garlic and a small piece of ginger, and chop 2 tomatoes (or 1 big tomato) in small pieces. You can also add half a chili if you would like. Cook onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes in oil— then add turmeric, chana masala, and garam masala. Keep stirring occasionally until tomatoes are cooked.

While they cook, boil lentils until they’re super soft or mixed well.

Then, you can mix the lentils with the cooked veggies. You can add a spoonful of chana masala or more-- don't worry about it too much. Like some other recipes in here, there's not a precise moment you'll know it's done. Just taste test and figure it out.


Not super sure how much this makes– probably a couple servings!

Take one pack of okra (try to pick the thin ones), and wash it— then pat it down until it’s dry. Slice it into small pieces. You should also chop ½ or less of an onion, and crush or finely chop one or two cloves of garlic.

Place the onion and garlic in a skillet at medium heat with oil and roast it a little with a half teaspoon cumin seeds. Almost immediately after, you should add in the okra, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, salt to taste, and ½ teaspoon of garam masala. Mix it all up and make sure to have enough oil so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.

Initially, you can use a lid to cover the skillet so that the moisture is used to cook it, since you don't add any water in. If needed, add a spoon of oil and reduce the heat.

Put the lid on and continue to cook on medium heat for seven minutes.

Add achar gosht masala or kat kat masala. Stir a few times so that it doesn't stick to the bottom. If it has too much moisture, open the lid, and make sure to take the lid off at the end so it doesn’t become too mushy.

When the okra is soft enough to cut with a spoon, you're done!


Servings are weird with dips-- should make a small bowl of raita, though.

First, just cut ½ cucumber and put in a bowl.

Roast cumin seeds in a flat frying pan. Take them off when they start popping up. Grind them with either your hand or a grinder (or anything else you find that can work, like an ice cream scoop).

Add ½ teaspoon of chaat masala and some salt into the bowl. Put four big spoonfuls of yogurt and roasted cumin seeds.

Add a handful of washed and blended mint if you’d like!

You can add tomatoes or shredded carrots or a few pieces of onion in it if you want to.


Not sure how much this makes at all. Someone try and let me know!

Put 2 cups of flour in a bowl and add water. Keep kneading it with your hands until only a little bit sticks to your hand. Don’t rush into adding more water. Really— take your time. You want the dough to be soft and easy to roll out. It shouldn’t feel dry in some places and wet in others.

Put dry flour on a cutting board, where you'll roll the roti out on.

Roll up a small smooth wad of dough and then drench it in the dry flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin. Don’t put Too much dry flour or pressure on it.

Place it on a hot (maybe medium-high heat) flat frying pan. When it starts to get a little darker around the edges, flip it.

Then, put it directly on the burner and keep flipping it until it’s puffed up, and take it off when you’re ready. It all goes pretty fast and is honeslt quite easy to mess up, so just keep trying!

Masala Chai

Makes one serving

Add one cup of water to a pot and put it to boil.

Once it’s come to a boil, add some small pieces of freshly chopped ginger and one or two crushed cardamom pods. You can also add a very small amount of crushed black pepper if you’d like. Let it boil for a minute, and then add two teaspoons of black tea leaves.

Note: You can make a dry masala mix so you don’t have to create a spice mix each time. If you want to do that, use essentially the same spices– dry ginger powder, crushed cardamom and just a little black pepper. You can use ¼ teaspoon of the mix when boiling tea leaves.

Let it boil for a couple minutes, and then add one fourth cup of milk, let it boil for a minute, and then strain it. If it’s too black, you can add more milk. Be careful about how long you boil it after you add milk-- should be less than a minute so you don't make the milk all gross.

Add one or more teaspoons of sugar to taste.