Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chatpate Chole



Here's what you will need

1 cup chickpeas washed and soaked in 4 cups of water overnight

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 tbsp besan

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp cumin powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp anardana powder

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp oil

1 tea bag

salt


Grind to a smooth paste

2 large tomatoes

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 green chilli

For Garnishing

Handful of cilantro finely chopped

1/2 onion finely chopped

lemon

The Cooking Process

Place the chickpeas along with the water it was soaked in into a pressure cooker.Drop the tea bag,tea bag is used to give the chickpeas a darker color,you can completely eliminate adding it.Pressure cook the chickpeas until they are done but not mushy,The best method would be pressure cook for 3 whistles and then simmer for 15 mins.Don't let the chickpeas stay with the tea bag in the cooker for long once it cools since they might continue to get darker.When the cooker cools remove the tea bag and drain the chick peas.

In a kadhai,add oil when it is hot enough add the onion and saute until they are light brown.Add the besan and fry until the raw smell goes.

Add the paste of tomatoes,ginger garlic and chilli.Saute it for 3-4 mins.Cover and cook till oil separates.

Add the chilli powder,cumin powder,coriander powder,garam masala,anardana powder and salt.

Now mix the chickpeas 1/2 cup water and simmer until the desired consistency is reached.
Once done switch off the flame and add the lemon juice and cilantro.

This is served piping hot with and batura or puris.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Basic White Bread





Here's what you will need


3 cups unbleached All Purpose Flour or maida

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup warm water

1 tbsp Dry active yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp Canola oil





The cooking process

In a bowl mix warm water, sugar ,salt and active yeast. Keep aside till the mixture turns frothy.

In a saucepan add milk and 1 tbsp of butter and turn off the heat once the butter melts. Wait till the mixture turns lukewarm.

Sieve the flour 3 times so that it becomes light.

In a large bowl, add the yeast mixture and the buttery milk mixture (Make sure the mixture has turned lukewarm).Now adds in the flour a cup at a time. Till u have smooth dough. If the dough is too sticky add in more flour. Grease another bowl and place this dough. Lightly grease the dough with a tsp of oil. Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for an hour.

After an hour the dough will be almost double the size. Punch the dough down and knead it well for 5 mins on a floured surface. Shape the dough, grease it lightly with oil and place it in a well greased baking pan and cover with a cling wrap. After 45 mins the dough will rise and is ready for baking.

Preheat the oven at 425 deg F.Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and bake for 25-30 mins. If you are baking two loaves at a time the loaf pans should not touch each other or the sides of the oven. To test for "doneness", tap the bottom, it should sound "hollow". If it doesn't, bake a few minutes more.

Note that you want to be careful putting the bread in the oven. The bread dough is full of air from the yeast, and if you bang it around too much, you run the risk of knocking some of that air out, leaving you with flatter bread than you might like.

When done, immediately remove the loaf from the pan. Set on wire rack so that air can circulate around it. Brush the baked loaf with melted butter after removing them from the pan; to make a soft, tender crust.Let it cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and eating. Do not skip this step. If freshly baked bread is sliced too quickly, the inside remains damp and "doughy".

You can refrigerate the dough for 4 days in an airtight container.When you are ready to bake divide it in desired shape allow it to rise for couple of hours.Remember the dough isn't at room temperature so it will take a little longer to rise.Brush with melted butter and bake.

If you are making dinner rolls the shaped dough balls should be kept at least 2 inch apart on the baking tray.Bake for 15-20 mins.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Melting Goodies:Microwave Pedha







Be it the birth of a boy or happiness of getting good marks or a new job, people distribute mithai preferably pedhas.This recipe of microwave pedha is quick easy and delicious. I prefer homemade pedhas since I have had bad experience with store bought mithais in US.I usually prepare these when we have some pooja at home or when as prasadam for temple.


Here's what you will need


1 can sweetened condense milk 14 oz

2 1/4 cup milk powder (I used Nido brand)

8 tbsp clarified butter/ghee

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Few strands of saffron

4 tbsp milk

Almonds/pistachios for garnishing


The cooking Process

Mix the saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk keep aside .
Meanwhile in a microwave safe glass bowl ( use a good size bowl to avoid spills ) mix all the above ingredients except the nuts for garnishing.
On high power microwave for 2 mins.Remove and mix well.
Again microwave for 3 mins stir the contents every 30 secs.Remove and mix well.
Let it cool till it is warm enough to be handled. Knead it for 3 mins.
Make small balls and garnish with your favorite nuts.
Let it rest for 15 mins.


Enjoy...


Yields: 23-25 pedhas (approx. 3 cm in diameter)




Note:

  •   Ghee can be replaced by unsalted butter. But it taste better with ghee.
  •   The milk and saffron is added in this recipe to enhance the taste and texture of pedha.You can skip it completely if you need to increase the shelf life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nankhatai




Here's what you will need:

1 cup All  purpose flour(Maida)

1/2 cup sugar (powdered if you are using Indian sugar)

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup Clarified butter or ghee (melted  and at room temperature)

The cooking process

Seive the flour and baking soda is a mixing bowl. Add in sugar and cardamom powder.Now add in ghee -a spoonful at a time, mixing all the ingredients simultaneously,till you are able to get all the ingredients together to form a ball.Don't drop in all the ghee at once.

Cover the ball with a cling wrap place it in a airtight container and let it rest for atleast 5 hours.It would be great if you could manage to keep it overnight.




Preheat the oven at 375 deg F.
Grease a baking sheet and pinch of small balls from the dough ball.Flatten them lightly between your palms.
Place them on baking sheet 3 cm apart.
Bake them for 15-18 mins until you see  light brown goodies with a few scars.
Remove the sheet from the oven.Once cooled store in an airtight container.

Note:You may decorated these cookies with silvered almond /cashews or pistachios.

For more healthier version of Nankhatai,check my Atta nankhatai

Friday, October 23, 2009

Diwali celebration


Hope everyone had a great Diwali celebration.Here are few photos showing how my family celebrated the festival of lights.
As in any Maharashtrian home we woke up early.Relaxed our body with uthana (fragrant paste of chandan) and a warm bath with Mysore sandal soap.In our new attire we performed pooja and offer neivedhyam to the deity.Neivedhyam for Diwali basically includes different types of pohe and faral (the snacks that is made for Diwali).We enjoyed the snacks and spend our evening by worshipping a temple (where we enjoyed fireworks) and meeting up a few friends.


                    Neivedhyam -dudh(milk) pohe,gul (jaggery)pohe and batata (potato) pohe along with faral.


                      Faral clockwise(chivda,spicy shankarpali,nankhatai,besan ladoo,rava ladoo,kachori and karanji)

                                                  


Rangoli for laxmi pujan




Rangoli for Padwa



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aloo Broccoli



Until I came to US, I had never tasted Broccoli. I use to call it green cauliflower whenever I saw it at the vegetable vendor (he he....). But in US I found it in many chinese and thai dishes.It surely has looks similar to cauliflower but tastewise its very very different and it can't be used as a substitute for cauliflower.

My husband during his bachelorhood along with his friend had once cooked a curry using broccoli and he says the house began to smell like hell (I don't know why).Not to tell but the curry was a disaster. Hence in our 3 years of marriage our refrigerator never saw (or smelled???) broccoli.

Finally, after a long wait I somehow convinced him to try broccoli.

"Lets try at least once.I have seen so many bloggers cooking it. I doubt it’s that bad."

Poor fellow. As he says mein bibi ka sab sunta hu.

"You can cook in my absence and both of you (me n my son) can have it. Please don't force me to have it. I will not eat it at all."

"Ok ok"

Hence broccoli arrived at our place a month back.

I cooked aloo broccoli as an extra sabzi in addition to the rajma masala.I thought if it does turn out good I can at least have rajma masala as an alternative.

While I cooked my apartment smelled great and the outcome was awesome. I called my DH and told him. He had it that night and now broccoli is always in my grocery shopping list.





Here's what you need

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup potatoes cubed

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric

1tsp black pepper powder

1 1/2 tbsp peanut powder(dry roasted peanuts powdered)

1/2 tsp sugar

salt

The cooking process

Heat oil in a frying pan. When it’s hot enough add in quick succession chillli flakes, chilli powder, turmeric, and potatoes.On medium heat stir fry till the potatoes turn golden. Lower the heat and cover the pan. When the potatoes are half way cooked add in the broccoli. Stir fry till Flavor it with pepper, salt, sugar and peanut powder. Mix and let it cook for a couple of minutes uncovered.

Serve piping hot with rotis.

Yields: 2 adults

PS: Coconut oil and peanut powder add an unique taste to this dish and hence would strongly recommend it for this recipe.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Delectable delight: Date cake


The most awaited recipe is finally here!

My inlaws had come over for a couple of months and my father inlaw loved the cake so much that he convinced my mother inlaw to have a bite of it.She had never ever in her life tasted a cake and she too went back home with the cake recipe.
I served it for DS birthday to my friends and they were bowled over.They couldn't believe that it was just an eggless date cake.

The recipe is so simple that you hardly need to pick a few things from the pantry.I strongly recommend not replacing the baking soda with baking powder in this recipe,it change the texture of the cake to a large extent.I prefer to bake it a day ahead or at least a 5-6 hours before it is served (I have to hide it though..).You can also use all purpose flour for this recipe but then the baking time would reduce to 35-40 mins.

Here's what you need:

1 cup wheat flour(I used Sujata atta)

1/2 packet of 13 oz baking dates or 18 seedless dates

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup sugar (I usual add a little less)

1/2 cup oil (canola oil or sunflower preferred)

1 teaspoon baking soda

Handful of raisins and chopped walnuts

The cooking process

Soak the baking dates in 1/2 cup of warm milk for atleast an hour.
Switch on the oven to 350 deg F.
Grind the soaked dates along with sugar,oil and the milk in which it was soaked to a smooth paste.
Sieve the wheat flour along with the baking soda thrice.This really help to make the cake light.I have always follow this as a practice since I baked my first cake.
In a large bowl add the paste,remaining milk and then fold in the flour one table spoon at a time. Add the raisins and nuts and mix only until everything is incorporated well.Don't over mix.Always mix the cake batter in only one direction,this helps to incorporate more air making the cake lighter.You might need to add few tablespoons of water to make a smooth batter.
Pour in a greased cake pan (I used 9*5 inch loaf pan) and bake for 45-50 mins or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.Let it cool completely before you unmould. Brew a hot cup of coffee the next morning enjoy the cake and be ready to start a new cake fever.

Note:

If you do not own a oven you could bake this cake (infact any cake) in the pressure cooker.
Pour the cake batter in a greased aluminium or steel vessel.
Remove the gasket seal (also called the ring) and the weight(whistle) of the pressure cooker.In the empty pressure cooker without water,place a steel or aluminium plate and then place the vessel with the cake batter and close the lid.Let it cook initially on medium high flame for 10 mins and then on low flame for 45--50 mins.

Cooking tips
  1. A stale loaf of bread can be considerably freshened by dipping it in milk or water (or a mixture of the two) for about a minute. Then heat in the oven for about fifteen minutes.
  2. A delicious alternative to whipped cream is a mashed banana added to the white of an egg. Beat it stiff to look like whipped cream.
  3. Instead of tamarind, you can use slices of raw mango in meat and fish curries or dal.


Monday, October 5, 2009

The quick and easy :Kaju Katli



Be it a get together or a festival I always had this mithia at home and why not-who doesn't love it?Though I always had it store bought in those days.In the early days of my job,one of my colleague bought these and she said she made it and I was amazed.Not to mention they were yummy and I just believed her because there was no silver leaf(varakh) on it.This story goes nearly 5 years back -I had just done with my degree and I never asked her for the recipe.After I married my DH also loved these sweet diamonds and that was the time I googled for its recipe,tried it out many times and all attempts were successful.I found most of the recipes call for milk powder but I love the flavor of cashews so I prefer not adding it to my katlis.




Here's what you need

A 8"/10" frying pan
1 plate greased with ghee

1 flat plate or any flat surface greased.

1 wooden spatula

A sharp knife / pizza cutter


1 cup whole cashews

Grind it to fine powder.Do not add water or milk.Cashews if refrigerated(at least for a day) grinds well to form powder.

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar


1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)

Few strands of saffron(optional)(I didn't use this)


The Cooking Process


In the frying pan bring the water to a rolling boil.Reduce the heat to medium add the cardamon,saffron,sugar.Mix well with a wooden spatula.


When sugar dissolves add the cashew powder and mix well to avoid lumps.Keep stirring the mixture till it starts leaving the sides of the pan and begins to thicken.At this stage switch off the flame,remove the content in a greased plate and let it cool for 4-5 mins.



When this mixture turn warm enough to be handled,with grease your hand and knead it well till it forms a smooth shinny ball.Roll this ball with a rolling pin on a flat surface.Shape the edges of this rolled circle to form a square so that you don't have any shapeless pieces .



With a pizza cutter/knife form the diamonds.Let them lay there for 5 mins.Separate these diamonds a store them in a airtight container-I prefer a nice big size one and avoid stacking them one above another.Anyways,they are all gone in couple of hours.


You may use silver leaf to decorate being cutting them in diamond shapes.


Use of cardamon and saffron is purely optional.You could also add few drops of rose water or rose essence.



You can make pista barfi with the same proportion using unsalted pistachios and replacing water by milk.


You can make kaju-pista rolls by placing a rolled square of pista barfi (this is the stage just before cutting them to the desired shape)over a rolled square of kaju katli rolling these layers to a tight roll as you do for patra or khandvi.Cut this roll to form 2 inch cylinders and dip the edges of each cylinder in a mixture of kaju+pista powder.




Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Idli Sambhar


Ingredients

For idli
2 cups long grain rice
2 tbsp cooked rice
1 cup urad dal
1/8 tsp methi seeds

For Sambhar
1 cup toovar dal soaked for an hour and pressure cooked.
1 red onion finely chopped/7-8 pearl onions
2 medium tomatoes
veggies of your choice: I used french beans,carrots,potatoes cubed
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp sambhar powder ,recipe here
salt
a small ball of jaggery
fistful cilantro finely chopped
For tempering :
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of hing
5-6 curry leaves
1 red chilli slit

Method

Wash and soak rice and methi seeds for 7 hrs or overnight.Next day wash the urad dal and soak it for 20 mins in warm water.Grind the urad dal,cooked rice and methi seeds with enough water to a smooth batter.The more bubbles you see in the ground mixture the more soft idlis would turn out to be.Remove this batter in a large bowl.Grind the rice coarsely using small amount of water.Add this batter to the urad dal batter and mix well with your hand.The heat of your hand will faciliate fermentation.Switch on the oven bulb and place the batter atleast for 12 hrs.
While preparing idlis add salt to the batter and mix.Grease the idli stands drop in small amount of batter in each mould and steam the idlis for 20-25 mins.

For sambhar

Heat oil in a kadhai.Add all the tempering ingredients.Add the onion fry until translucent then add tomatoes and veggies.Add chilli powder,sambhar powder,salt and cook until tender.Add the dal,jaggery,tamarind ,cilantro and 1 cup water.Cook covered for 10 min and boil it for 20 mins on low heat.Serve hot along with hot idlis.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Khasta Kachori



Hello everyone.After a two weeks break I am back to blogging and to my surprise I received a few emails to ask me where am I?

I was on a vacation to Texas for a couple of weeks and was off Internet(Isn't that a big rest?)

So back to my today's menu.Khasta Kachori is a great snack with tea.I love to eat them without pampering them with the dressing.But if I am just a bit hungry at dinner time I grab one kachori from the box make a hole at its center,stuff it with boiled mash potato,red onion,drizzle a mixture of dahi and chat masala top it up with fine shev, pudina chutney and tamarind chutney.
Makes a yummy light dinner.

These taste good warm and even better next day.

Ingredients
Filling:
1 cup Moong dal soaked for ½ hr in warm water
2 tsp each fennel seeds,coriander seeds ground to coarse powder
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp sesame seeds/til
1 tbsp chat masala
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp sugar
salt as per taste
1 1/2 tsp oil

For cover

1 cup maida
ice cold water
1 tbsp ajwain/carom seeds
salt
1 tbsp oil
Oil for deep frying

Method

Prepare the dough just like normal chappati dough with ice cold water.Keep aside for 15 mins meanwhile prepare the filling.
Drain the moong dal to remove water.Spread it on a kitchen towel for 5 mins.Grind it to a course paste.Heat a heavy bottom pan add 1tbsp oil and when it is hot add jeera,fennel+coriander powder roast for 2 mins and add the moong paste,chat masala ,sesame seeds,sugar,chilli powder,salt turn off the heat when it turns to a dry mixture.
Turn on a heavy bottom kadhai and add oil for frying.

Now make small pedas of dough,roll them into small puris and fill the filling and pull the edges of the dough to wrap the filling seal the edges .After all the kachoris and filled in this manner pick up the first filled kachori and slightly flatten it with the bottom of your palm and continue the same process for the remaining kachoris .Once the oil is hot add 2-3 kachoris at a time and fry on medium low flame.Don't increase the heat.Remove on a kitchen towel.When cooled store in airtight container.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rajma Masala

Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. But this is far from all kidney beans have to offer. Kidney beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Just one cup of cooked kidney beans supplies 177.0% of the daily value for molybdenum. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them

Ingredients

1 cup Red kidney
1 large onion finely chopped
2 large tomatoes finely chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp ginger paste
3 green chillis finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp kasoori methi
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp butter
salt

Method

Soak the red kidney beans overnight.Next day, cook in a pressure cooker till done.Kidney beans should be soft not mushy.Heat oil,when hot add the cumin seeds,when they crackle add the onions and fry for 5 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic,green chillis,tomatoes,garam masala,tumeric and water from the cooked kidney beans.Cover and cook again for another 3 minutes.Now add the boiled kidney beans,coriander powder,chilli powder,salt and cover and cook again till the rajma (kidney beans) gets nice flavor(about 10 mins).Add the kasoori methi,butter and cilantro mix well.Turn off the heat and serve hot.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Misal Pav



When anyone talks about misal he/she immediately links it with Kolhapur.Misal pav makes a great weekend meal and the pot of misal get emptied in minutes.I find it very healthy meal and I remember my mother cooking it for us just so that we could eat the sprouts.One thing I found when misal was made at my place earlier ,is that the liquid would get over in one or two helpings while the sprouts remain back dry in the pot with no one to take it in their plate.So this time I made a change,I made the hot curry (liquid part) separately  as it is done in kolhapur and the result was so good and tasty.

Hey gurls wanted to share with you one of my article related to parenting got published please do read and let me know your feedback

Ingredients

For spourt sabzi

1 cup Matki (or moth beans) sprouts
1 large onion
3 large garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp peanuts soaked for atleast 4 hrs
1 medium potato cubed
1 large tomato
1tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
salt according to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

For the hot curry(also called Kat)

List 1

1/4 cup grated dry coconut
2" cinnamon stick
3 cloves
4 pepper corns
1 1/4 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
6-7 dry hot red chillis
List 2

1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 inch ginger
2 large tomatoes
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
lime size jaggery
salt
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cilantro

Additional Ingredients while serving

2 cups farsan
1/2 cup fried poha chivda(optional)
1 medium onion chopped finely
1 lemon
cilantro for garnishing
6-8 pav

Method
Pressure cook the sprouted matki,potato and peanuts for 3 whistles.In a kadhai heat a tbsp oil.When hot add the garlic,onions,fry until translucent.Add the tomato cover and cook until tender.Now add the spourts, potatoes, peanuts, turmeric,chilli powder,garam masala,cilantro salt and 1/2 cup water.Cover and cook for 5 mins,uncover and cook until dry.

In a wok healt a tbsp oil and fry all the ingredients in list 1 together until aromatic.When cooled grind to a smooth paste.In the same wok add another tbsp of oil and fry all the ingredients in list 2 together until onion and tomatoes are tender.When cooled grind to paste.

In the wok add 2 tbsp oil add the pastes and fry until it leaves oil.Add 2 cups of water,tamarind extract salt,jaggery,cilantro.Boil it on low flame uncovered for 15 mins.The consistency of this hot curry should be liquid so add water if it turns thick.

While serving the plate consist of 2 pav, the hot curry in a bowl garnished with cilantro.and another bowl contains the sprouts sabzi. Finely chopped onions,farshan chivda and lemon are kept handy to add as needed.The hot curry is added to the sabzi as needed and this mixture is garnished with onion,farsan,chivda,cilantro and lemon juice.This hot and spicy misal is then had along with the pav.

Serve hot.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pineapple sheera


I had half pineapple sitting in my fridge for couple of days and I wanted to use in up before my fridge cleaning schedule.I couldn't think of any recipe to add it to accept navratan korma and pineapple sheera.So I made both this week and it was the first time I made a pineapple sheera and my son loved it.

Ingredients

!/2 cup fresh pineapple chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup sooji
1 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup sugar (you can add more according to your taste)
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
nuts and raisins according your liking
Few strands of saffron
1 cup water
1 tbsp warm milk

Method

Boil the pineapple pieces in 1 cup water until they are soft.In a wok add ghee roast the nuts and raisins.Keep aside.In the same wok add sooji and roast until light golden brown,Remove the tender pineapple pieces from the boiling water and add the water to the sooji.Stir well.Sooji will absorb water and thicken.Mash half of the boiled pineapple pieces.Now add sugar,mashed and chopped pineapple pieces,cardamon,saffrom(dissolved saffron in warm milk) and mix well.Cover and cook for 4-5 mins.Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Seviya Kheer



Vermicelli kheer or vermicelli pudding is also called seviya kheer in (north India) and payasam in (south India).
It is a very simple to make, healthy dessert. It can be made using low fat milk.
This yummy dessert is great for festival cooking and today on account of rang panchami I decided to make this.
Ingredients
1 cup seviya
4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
few strands of kesar /saffron
nuts and raisin according to your liking.
1 tsp ghee
Method
In a wok add a tsp ghee roast the nuts and raisin keep aside.Now add the broken seviya and roast until little golden brown.Keep stiring so that they don't get burned.Pour a cup of water and let the seviya cook until they are just soft.Add the milk,sugar,cardamon powder,nuts,raisins and cook it for 7-8 min.Alternatively you can just boil the milk with sugar,cardamon,nuts and raisin till it reduces to 3/4th of the quantity and add this to the cooked seviya.Mix kesar with a tbsp of milk and add it to the kheer and mix well.Serve kheer at room temperature or chilled.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Holi Special:Puranpoli and katachi aamti


Holi a festival of colors and fun is celebrated in almost every home in India.In a maharashtrian home it is celebrated with a sweet called puranpoli.Puranpoli has a stuffing made up of lentil and jaggery.This yummy sweet can be served with clarified butter/ flavoured milk or with a spicy curry called katachi aamti.

Ingredients

For dough

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup maida

pinch of salt

warm water

4-5 tbsp oil


For stuffing

1 cup chana dal washed and soaked for 4-5 hrs

1 cup jaggery

1/2 tsp cardamon powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg powder

Method

Using all the ingredients for the dough make a soft non-sticky dough, cover with a wet kitchen towel and keep aside for 30 mins.

Pressure cook the chana dal with 1 cup of water for 2 whistles.Drain the water and spread the dal on a paper towel for 10 mins.Pulse the dal for few secs in the blender.In a wok add the dal and jaggery and cook on low heat until it becomes a thick mixture.Keep stirring to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the wok.If it seems too dry flash some water on the mixture.Turn off the heat add the nutmeg and cardamon powder and mix well.When cooled take a spatula and place it in the stuffing mixture. If it stands on its own without falling, it indicates the puran is ready.Now mix it and make small ball.


Uncover the dough knead for a couple of minutes and make 9-10 equal balls of the dough.Roll the ball in puri size roti place the stuffing at the center and wrap the dough around the stuffing to make a ball.Prepare rest of the balls with the same procedure.Now take the ball that was made first and with enough flour for dusting roll it into a thin poli.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle over a medium high flame and cook the puranpoli on both sides without applying oil or ghee.Serve hot.

Katachi Aamti

Ingredients

1 cup stock removed from the boiled chana dal

1/4 cup dry shredded coconut

2 cloves

1 small piece cinnamon

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon tamarind pulp

2 teaspoon Maharashtrian goda masala

5-6 curry leaves

2 tsp turmeric powder

2-3 tsp red chili powder

1/4 tsp asafoetida

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp jaggery or 2 teaspoon sugar

1 tbsp cilantro

salt to taste

Method

In a kadhai add tamarind pulp, Maharashtrian masala, salt, chili powder, jaggery in the chana dal stock and bring to boil.Roast coconut and cumin seeds together till golden brown. Grind them to form a coarse powder.While the water is boiling. mix in the ground masala and simmer.

Tempering (tadka): In a pan, heat 2 teaspoon oil. Add mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. When they sizzle, add turmeric powder, asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour the tempering over the boiling aamati and stir. Cook for some time. Garnish with cilantro.Serve hot.

May God gift you all the colors of life,

colors of joy, colors of happiness,

colors of friendship, colors of love

and all other colors you want to paint in your life.

Happy Holi.

I am sending this to Holi hai event organised by Purva of Purva's Daawat


I am also sending this to Ashwini's Lentils Mela.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Batatatychya kacharya


Batatatycha(potato) kacharya is one of the most popular maharashtrian side dish popular among kids.But at my place everyone loves them and why not they are so delicious and I am always short of them even though I make a larger batch.I made it yesterday and I had no time to take a click when I laid them in dish since within seconds they were almost gone.

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes washed,peeled and cut in circular disc 0.5 cm thick
oil for frying

Mix in a bowl:

2 tbsp besan
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp sooji
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
salt

Method
Heat a skillet.Spread a tsp oil on it when hot.Coat each of the potato disc with the mixture in the bowl and place them on the skillet.Drizzle a tbsp of oil.Cover and cook till the side on the skillet is golden brown flip and repeat the process on the other side.Complete the remaining batch with same method.
Serve hot.
Note: If you cut the disc less thinner you can shallow fry them without covering the skillet.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lemon Yogurt Cake


Last week my son turned 18 months and I had to bake a cake for him.I wanted to try the lemon-yogurt cake and when I googled I found this one from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home.I skipped the 3 large eggs and did a few minor changes in the recipe.The end result was yummy,soft and fluffy cake.You could add berries and nuts of your choice to the batter.As it was my first attempt to bake this cake I baked it just plain.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the baking pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 mins or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted at the center of the cake.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/4 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lettuce Paratha



Lettuce is a temperate annual plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In many countries, it is typically eaten cold, raw, in salads, hamburgers, tacos, and in many other dishes. In some places, including China, lettuce is typically eaten cooked and use of the stem is as important as use of the leaf.
US is next to China in production of lettuce.

Most gardeners and farmers group lettuce into four different types.

Romaines (Cos)

Romaine (cos) is a tall lettuce with rigid leaves that are tightly packed together. The leaves are dark green, with the inner leaves having less color. Some consider romaine the most flavorful lettuce variety.


Crispheads

Crisphead
lettuce is a very common variety of lettuce to find in your grocery store. Iceberg lettuce is a crisphead lettuce. The leaves are thin, light green, and densely packed together. It is best to grow this lettuce in cooler weather or start with transplants because of problems with bolting.

Butterheads

Butterhead
lettuce is smaller than other lettuce varieties. The leaves are not as tightly packed in as with crisphead lettuce, and the leaves are more tender than crisphead leaves. This lettuce has a smooth, light, and some would say “buttery” flavor.

Leaf lettuce

Leaf lettuces are the most varied of the lettuce varieties. Colors can vary from red to dark green. The leaves can be curly or ruffled. This is a favorite of home gardeners as it matures quickly once planted.

I love this veggie in sandwich specially in subway footlong but when it comes to my refrigerator I
prefer adding it into paratha or make a koshimbir out of it.My family loves these parathas and these make a great healthy meal.

Ingredients

2 cups packed finely chopped lettuce(I prefer iceberg or romaine)
1tsp carom seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp turmeric
1tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour+ some for dusting
salt
warm water
oil

Method


In a large bowl mix lettuce,carom seeds,cumin seeds,turmeric,chilli powder,salt.To this add the flour little at a time and mix.Add warm water to make it into a smooth ball.Add a tbsp oil and knead it for a min and let it rest for 15-20 mins.
Make small pedhas of the dough.Heat a skillet on medium high.Roll the parathas thicker than chappati.Use enough flour for dusting.Once the skillet is hot, place the paratha on it.When you see the bubbles coming up flip it.Apply 1/2 tsp of oil flip it again and repeat the same process on its other side .Make the remaining batch of parathas in similar manner.Serve hot with curd and lime/green chilli pickle.
Note:You could make these parathas healthier by adding grated carrots to it and even make them more tastier by adding grated boiled sweet potato.


Something interesting about daylight saving here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Green Onion zunka


Zunka Bhakri is an important dish from west India cuisine. It is one of the most important Maharashtra cuisine. Zunka bhakri is a part of daily meal in rural Maharashtra. Zunka is the versatile dish from rustic Indian recipes, prepared with besan and many spices with smooth texture.Almost in all old marathi films you can see a wife of a farmer bringing his meal to the farms basically consisting of zunka bhakri,lasun chutney and a red onions.

Zunka can be made of onions,green onion,cabbage,snake gourd,green peppers and even with methi.I prefer the one with green onions.

Ingredients

1 cup besan/chickpea flour-roast dry until little brown and aromatic.
2 bunches of spring onion /green onion/scallions
5 garlic cloves minced
4 green chillies finely chopped
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
pinch of hing
1tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
salt
3 tbsp water
cilantro for garnishing.

Method

Heat oil in a wok.When hot add hing,mustard seeds,cumin seed,curry leaves, green chillis,garlic fry for a min.Now add in the finely chopped green onions.Cover and cook for 2-3 mins.Now add the salt,sugar,tumeric,chiili powder and mix well.Add the besan little at a time to the piced green onion mixing it simultaneously.Sprinkle water on the mixture cover and cook for 5-7 min on low heat.Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dhokla




Dhokla is a Gujarati speciality – a savoury that’s made in almost every Gujju household. Traditionally,Dhokla is made from a fermented batter made of ground urad dal, cream of rice, chickpea flour, salt, spices and baking soda. This batter is steamed in pie-like plates and cut into diamond shapes. Dhokla taste like a spicy and softer version of cornbread. They are commonly served with coriander chutney and garnished with grated coconut and chopped coriander.
I make three varieties-one with besan,other with sooji and another with moong dal.
Here goes my version of dhokla with Besan.

Ingredients

For Dhokla:

1 cup chickpea flour/besan
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 tbsp ginger-garlic- green chilli paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp eno fruit salt
warm water
salt
For Tadka:

1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
1tsp sesame seeds(optional)
2-3 Curry leaves(optional)
1 tbsp simple syrup(add 1tsp sugar in a tbsp of water.Mix well)

Cilantro for garnishing




Method:

Mix yogurt,salt,turmeric,asafoteida,ginger- garlic-chilli paste in a bowl.Now add the chickpea flour and warm water enough to make a smooth paste.Keep aside.

Meanwhile set up the steamer.You could use a large pot with a tight lid as a steamer.Use a inverted steel bowl as a stand.Grease a deep thali or a pressure cooker container.

To the dhokla batter add eno and lemon juice mix and pour in the greased thali.Steam for 20-25 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.Cook uncover for 3-4 mins.When cooled unmold,cut in desired shape.For tadka heat oil,add mustard seeds,asafotieda,sesame seeds and curry leaves.

Once they splutter turn off the heat.When tadka gets warm mix in the simple syrup and pour the mixture uniformly on the dhokla.Garnish with cilantro.Serve hot.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Most Popular Indian Burger-Vada Pav


The Vada Pav is considered staple teatime snack in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, where it has been popularized as street food. Vada Pav is available on hand carts, popularly known as Vada Pav chi gadi. They are seen everywhere in Maharashtra and also served at tea time in many of the state's small eateries and on long distance trains.

This Rs. 5 snack is a hit among young and old,rich and poor,villages to cities.In Mumbai -the commom man eats Vada Pav 24/7. He doesn’t require an occasion to celebrate the city’s staple diet.
The World Vada Pav Day is celebrated on 23rd August-it was on this day that a food chain registered the Vada Pav as its main business six years ago and corporatised the chatpata street food.

Today in India, Vada Pav is available everywhere. Even in an eatery named after Sachin Tendulkar,malls and even on crowded streets. The master blaster says the vada pav is an amazing snack. His buddy Vinod Kambli famously presented him with 35 Vada Pavs when Tendulkar broke Sunil Gavaskar’s 34-century Test record in March 2006. “One Vada Pav for every century,” Kambli had explained.
But the vada pav has travelled far beyond the playing fields, lanes, street corners and food courts of shopping malls in Mumbai. It is now even available even in the USA.
The Vada Pav’s Aroma has tickled the palates of New Yorkers and is fast set to join the ranks of chicken tikka masala, mutton biryani, fish curry rice, alphonso mangoes and Darjeeling tea which are among the favourite Indian Food and beverage worldwide.
Vada Pav is a powerhouse snack for any metro's quick-paced needs, whether it is New York or Mumbai.

Bhel,Shev puri,pani puri,dabeli,franky are among the popular street foods but the fan following for vada pav is the largest.

Ingredients

Filling:

1 lb potatoes boiled and mashed.
1 tsp turmeric
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp musturd seeds
pinch of asafoiteda
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Grind to paste:
5-6 garlic pods
2" ginger
5-6 green chillis
12-14 mint leaves
1 tbsp coriander seed

Batter

1/2 cup chickpea flour/besan
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder(optional)
pinch of baking soda
salt
water


Oil for frying

Method

Mix besan, chilli powder, turmeric, baking soda and salt in a bowl.Add water and mix till it turns into a thick batter.Consistency should be such that when a spoon is inserted and remove it should be evenly coated with the batter.Set aside for 1/2 an hour.

For  tadka: Heat 2 tbsp  oil, when hot add mustard seed,asafoteida,curry leaves,ground masala turmeric and cilantro.Pour this tadka on the mash potatoes,add salt and mix well..When cooled roll it into small balls.Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok.When hot add a tsp of this atter and fry until golden brown.

For chutney

Roast 4 red chillis(almost until they start smoking),4 garlic pods and 1tbsp peanuts.Grind this along with 1 tsp chilli powder and salt.Don't use water.
When serving add 1 tbsp of tamarind concentrate to this dry chutney.

Assembling the Vada Pav

Divide the pav at its center.Apply chutney to one side ,Ketchup to the other and place the vada.
Enjoy...


Note:For butter vada pav simply butter the pav and roast as you do for pav bhajji and then assemble.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cucumber cake

At my aai's place we call this Dondhas/tavsalli.Its made of a larger cucumber available in mumbai during the month of shrawan.Its made with jaggery but I sometimes substitute it with brown sugar.My aai made it in similar way but she would cook the rested batter for a while and then bake in a vessel with a hole at its center on the gas stove.This vessel acted like a oven and she always baked her cakes in it.Some steam the batter rather than bake,I prefer the second method.


Ingredients

2 cups grated cucumber
1 cup semolina/Cream of wheat/sooji
3/4 to 1 cup grated jaggery/brown sugar (adjust as per taste)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
1tsp baking soda
1tbsp ghee
pinch of salt
Powder sugar for garnishing (optional)



Method

Roast the semolina in ghee until aromatic.In big bowl add all the ingredients except baking soda,mix well.Break all the lumps and keep aside for an hour.Add in the soda mix and pour in a greased container.Bake in an preheated oven at 375Deg F for 20-25 mins or until you succeed in the toothpick test.Unmold and when warm garnish with powdered sugar and serve.


Note:You could also add nuts of your choice to the batter.

Best eaten when warm.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Potato with Peppers



Ingredients

1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 large potato cubed
1tbsp oil
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp turmeric
1tsp sugar
Cilantro for garnishing(optional)

Method

Heat oil in a pan.Add the asafoetida,mustard seeds,cumin seeds.When the mustard seeds crackle add the potato,peppers,chilli powder,salt & turmeric,cover and cook until potatoes are cooked.Add the sugar and mix well.Switch off the heat and garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
Serve hot.
Make 2 servings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

French beans with red chilles




Ingredients

2 cups chopped fresh french beans
4-5 curry leaves
2-3 red chillis
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp urad dal
1tbsp grated coconut/coconut powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp oil
1tsp sugar
salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.Add the cumin seeds, urad dal,curry leaves,red chillis and cocunut fry for couple of minutes.Now add the french beans,salt,sugar,tumeric and chilli powder.Stir fry for 5 mins.Cover and cook until beans are cook.Beans shouldn't be cooked until too soft and mushy.

Serve hot with chappati.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gajar Halwa

Carrots can be eaten in a variety of ways. The simplest way is raw as carrots are perfectly digestible without requiring cooking. Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and strews, as well as baby and pet food.The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten by humans, as they are mildly toxic.Even baby carrots or mini-carrots have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets.Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables.
Lack of Vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding Vitamin A back into the diet.Carrot and Spinach are main source of Vitamin A.

The most popular Indian dish made from grated carrots is "Gajar ka Halwa".
This halwa can be made with condensed milk/Khoya/milk.My sister loves it with coarsely powdered pedhas (instead of khoya).After Ganesh pujan we always has lots of pedhas,khoya modaks at home.My mom would make gajar ka halwa using those stuffs and the result was great yummy dessert.Beetroot halwa is also made in similar fashion.I remember one of my friend's mom making halwa using equal proportion of carrots and beetroots.Beetroot gives awesome colour to this dish


Ingredients

1 lb carrots grated
1/3 cup sugar (you could add more according to your liking)
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp cardamon powder
Raisins,almonds,cashew nuts-whatever your prefer

Method

In a heavy bottom pan heat ghee.Add the raisins and nut fry for a min.Now add the carrot fry for couple of mins.Add in the milk cover and cook for 5-7 mins.Uncover add the sugar,stir and cook until its almost dry.Finally add the cardamon powder mix well.Switch off the heat and serve warm or chilled.


This is my entry for:"ORANGE" Food in Colors(FIC) hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Sunshinemom of Tongue Tickler.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Tomato Saar

A cold breezy day and a bowl of hot tomato saar makes the perfect combo.
Tomato saar is somewhat similar to tomato soup in texture but taste-wise saar has no competitor.Saar can be served as a soup or as a side dish.This perfect blend of sourness and sweetness can win any ones heart.

Ingredients

3 large ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup homemade thick coconut milk (recipe here)
2"cinnamon stick
5-6 curry leaves
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
salt as per taste.
3 tbsp cilantro

Method

Pressure cook the tomatoes for 2 whistles.Let them cool, remove their skin and puree them.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.Add cumin seeds,curry leaves,cinnamon stick and garlic.Fry for a min.Now add all the remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook uncovered until the saar reaches the desired thickness.I personally don't like the saar watery.Just before serving add the cilantro and bring it to a boil.Serve hot.Makes 2 servings.



This is my entry for SWC:Soups hosted by Neha of Tasty Recipes.Thanks Trupti for the suggestion.