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Why I Cook dinner: Ministry of Curry’s Archana Mundhe

Engineer-turned-blogger Archana Mundhe takes her mom’s conventional Indian recipes (and the culinary classes she realized from her) stateside.

Why I Cook Ministry Of Currys Archana Mundhe

Courtesy Archana Mundhe (2)

Though Archana Mundhe left India and her mom’s cooking behind—geographically talking—when she moved to the U.S. in 1997, she was decided to convey her delicacies and tradition along with her.

Each October, Archana prepares for Diwali, a five-day Indian pageant and a private celebration of her background, with curry, rice, fritters and a lot extra—recipes for all of which can be found on Ministry of Curry.

Ministry Of Curry Dish

Courtesy Archana Mundhe

Strive these Indian and Indian-influenced recipes!

Style of Dwelling: Inform us a bit about your transition from software program engineer to full-time blogger.

Archana Mundhe: I labored as a software program engineer for 19 years. Once I determined to turn out to be a full-time blogger, the transition was straightforward with the assistance and steering of a pricey good friend, my household and, after all, my mother. As a result of I used to be used to a disciplined method to work, I used to be capable of switch most of the abilities from software program engineering to the sector of recipe growth and running a blog.

TOH: You discuss loads about your mom’s affect in your cooking. What are a few of your favourite recipes of hers?

AM: I used to be born and raised in a small city close to Mumbai in a Maharashtrian household. My mother is a gifted chef and a meals fanatic. So lots of her recipes come to thoughts! If I have been to call a couple of, it will be her hen biryani, stuffed tomatoes, besan ladoo or jalebi!

TOH: And what’s the most precious food- or cooking-related lesson you realized from her?

AM: My mother’s meals not solely tastes good however can be a feast for the eyes. She all the time makes use of colourful components and is specific about making ready meals, particularly greens, so that they prepare dinner evenly, making the ultimate dish visually interesting. I even preserve a ruler in my kitchen to measure veggies as I chop them.

TOH: Have you ever handed this love of cooking on to your sons?

AM: Sure, my boys, Aum and Arav, are foodies. After we journey, they stay up for attempting new cuisines. However I additionally love watching them eat and admire the identical meals that I did rising up in India. And after I journey for work, the boys step up and prepare dinner dinners utilizing recipes from my weblog.

(Strive these international recipes while you really feel like touring together with your style buds!)

TOH: What are the important components to maintain stocked for Indian cooking?

AM: I like to recommend stocking two floor spices: turmeric and pink chili powder, and 5 complete spices: cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves and black pepper.

(Right here’s how lengthy spices final.)

TOH: What’s your favourite recipe you’ve ever developed in your weblog or cookbook?

AM: Whereas I used to be growing the recipes for my cookbook, a good friend requested me to re-create a dish that her uncle made. However, like most Indian cooks, he didn’t use a recipe. We solely had the components, not the precise measurements. After some analysis and plenty of trials, I used to be capable of lastly re-create the dish that we each liked: so-spicy-but-I-can’t-stop-eating-it hen in a black pepper sauce!

TOH: What’s your favourite factor about cooking—the “why” of why you prepare dinner?

AM: Cooking lets me join with my roots. It brings again recollections of the fantastic meals I grew up consuming, the aromas that stuffed our kitchen and the lip-smacking tastes.

Archana’s Onion Pakoras

Ministry Of Curry Onion Pakoras

Courtesy Archana Mundhe

Strive Archana’s deliciously crispy air-fryer onion fritters, which she serves throughout Diwali. (Strive different air-fried Indian dishes, too!) You may need seen these little bundles referred to as pakodas, one other widespread spelling of the snack. The recipe serves 9.


  • 1 massive pink onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup gram flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri pink chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced seeded inexperienced chile (e.g., serrano pepper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon floor turmeric
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons canola oil


Step 1: Put together batter

Begin by thinly slicing the onion. Mix the onion with cilantro and salt and gently therapeutic massage to launch mositure—however don’t drain!

In a small bowl, combine the gram flour, rice flour, garlic, chili powder, carom seeds, inexperienced chile and turmeric. Then mix with the onion medley and blend nicely. The batter can be thick.

Step 2: Air-fry in batches

In a small skillet, warmth canola oil; stir into the onion combination.

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. In batches, drop combination by tablespoonfuls into greased air fryer; unfold into half-inch-thick patties—purpose for a spherical that’s 2 to three inches throughout. Cut back the warmth to 350°F and prepare dinner 10 minutes.

Spray patties with cooking spray to get a pleasant golden colour. Cook dinner till the sides are crispy, about 2-3 minutes extra. Serve instantly.

Get to know Archana even higher! Observe on her Instagram @ministry_of_curry or go to

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