Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chocolate Mint Oatmeal Cookie




Grandma's cookies and warm milk is one of the most loved combos in America. I didn't grow up eating cookies. My grandmothers didn't even know about "cookies". The first ever cookie, I met in my life , was my friend's precious little Pomeranian. :-) Later, sometime in 90s, "Cakes & Cookies" opened up near Bandra Station, but I didn't bother to try any cookies then.

After coming to America, this chewy  fresh baked (mind you, not freshly baked!) cookie showed up everywhere -  vending machines, subway, office parties, crunch day, Christmas - you name it!

Now, I bake cookies every year for Christmas. They make perfect gift for Gudiya's teachers/instructors. I also bake cookies for  good cause. This gives me an opportunity to try out several recipes. I try my hand at new cookie recipes each year. Since Chocolate Mint is Gudiya's favorite flavor, I used King Arthur's Oatmeal Cookie recipe and added Andes Chocolate Mint chips.

Chocolate Mint Oatmeal Cookie
Adapted from King Arthur & CKC

1 cup butter @room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Mix together
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1cup Quick or Old Fashioned Oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Stir in
2 1/2 cups Andes Mint Chips

1.Preheat oven 325 F
2. Beat butter with sugars till light.
3. Add egg, yolk and vanilla.
4. Mix flour, Oats,baking powder, salt and baking soda
5. Add to the butter mixture to mix.
6. Stir in Andes chocolate mint chips.
7. Scoop a spoonful on the parchment lined baking tray
8. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
9. Cool the cookies in the pan for 10 minutes.
10. Transfer to a cooling rack.
11. Keep in an airtight container after cooled down.

1. Above recipe gave me 3 dozen cookies.

Recipe Credit
King Arthur & CKC

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gadbad Ice Cream - Ice Cream from Mangalore


Since I am very aware of my own goofball characteristics, it's no wonder that I am having such big fun with my very own "fiasco" theme. ;-)

Today, I am going straight to my ancestral town to scoop up - Gadbad. You read that right - it's an ice-cream from Mangalore. My great grandparents spent their early years in Mangalore before shifting their residence to  Mumbai. Of course, Gadbad icecream wasn't invented that time. I read about it for the first time in "Upper Crust". It appeared to be Mangalore's answer to the ice cream sundae.

Keeping up my fiasco theme of Ghotala and Locho, I thought that this "Gadbad" too fits the bill So I made my own quick version. I chose 3 flavors of ice-cream, made a bowl of jelly and used up some fresh and dried fruits. Choose any flavors of ice-cream, fruits, dry fruits that you like. You can't go wrong with this "gadbad"!

Gadbad Ice Cream
Regional Ice Cream Sundae from Mangalore
3 Different flavors of Ice Cream
1 packet prepared Jelly
1 cup freshly cut fruit of your choice
1/2 cup dry fruit such as unsalted cashews, almonds etc.

1. Arrange one scoop of ice cream at the bottom of a tall serving glass.
2. Layer it with a tablespoonful of fresh fruit of your choice.
3. Place another scoop of ice cream.
4. Layer it with a tablespoonful of jelly.
5. Place the final scoop of ice cream
6. Garnish with dry fruits of your choice.
7. Serve immediately.

Note -
This recipe is inspired by the article from Upper Crust India. Mr. Kamath, the creator of this ice-cream, shares his recipe. The link is provided below.


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Surti Locho

Since I blogged about a "ghotala" yesterday, I thought why not extend this "fiasco" theme and explore some other monikers?

So presenting today - "Locha-E-Dhokla" otherwise known as - Surti Locho - A hot mess of Dhokla!

The ingredients for this "Locho" are more or less same as Khaman, but consistency of the batter is thin and hence, dhokla has a creamy consistency. It's served with a squeeze of lemon juice, cilantro, onion, sev and pomegranate seeds.

Surti Locho
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup chana daal
1/2 cup urad daal

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tbsp. oil
salt to taste

2 tsp. green chili-ginger paste

1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. buttermilk or water
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
A generous pinch of asafoetida

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp. grated coconut (Optional)
2 chilies, slit (Optional)
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. roasted chili peanuts
2 tbsp. pomegranate seeds or cranberries

1. Soak the daals and rice overnight.
2. Grind to a coarse paste.
3. Cover and keep for fermenting, in a warm place for at least 8 hours.
4. Mix water,buttermilk, oil and baking soda. Make sure that the buttermilk is at the room temperature. Add this mixture to the batter. Add salt, ginger chili paste. Mix well. Add more water if necessary to make thin consistency.
5. Grease thalis (metal plates) or cooker containers. Heat water in the pressure cooker.
6. Equally divide the batter in plates or containers. Steam without pressure for 20 minutes.
7. Open the pressure cooker. Let dhokla cool down a little. It should fluff up. Using a fork, mash it lightly.
8. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, asafoetida. As they splutter, switch off the gas, add buttermilk or water and pour on the dhokla evenly.
9. Garnish with coconut, cilantro and green chilies.

Note -
1. The thin consistency of batter, should result in upma like consistency for the locho.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kheema Ghotala


 "Ghotala" is a Marathi word for fiasco or mess! But gastronomically speaking, today's kheema ghotala is a hot mess of mince meat with eggs! This is a popular dish from Irani restaurants of Mumbai. It may have originated from the Parsi penchant to add eggs to any dish.

This is my homey version. It was developed at the last minute to stretch 1 cup leftover kheema mutter to feed unexpected guests!  Serve with Laadi Pav or sliced bread to mop this delicious "ghotala". ;-)

Kheema Ghotala
Mutton Mince with Eggs

1 cup kheema mutter
4 eggs
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder

 1/2 tbsp. oil
1 spring onion, minced (Use only white part, save some green leaves for garnish)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tomato, chopped

1 tbsp. minced cilantro
1/2 tbsp. minced green part of spring onion

Suggested Accompaniment
Laadi Paav
Sliced bread

1. Heat pan. Add kheema mutter. I am assuming that it's from the refrigerator. So first warm it up and then keep it on the side of the pan.
2. Add oil in the middle of the pan. Add spring onion and turmeric powder. Sauté till it's soft.
3. Add tomato. Add chili powder and garam masala. Sauté till tomato is pulpy.
4. Break eggs, one after the other. Add salt to taste. Whisk till they are semi-soft.
5. Mix in kheema and cook thoroughly.
6. Garnish with bread or paav.

Note -
1. Since I used leftover kheema mutter, I didn't add an ginger-garlic paste.
2. If kheema mutter uses any whole spices, please remove them before adding eggs.
3. You can use regular onion instead of spring onions.
4. Use any mince meat of your choice. Traditionally mutton mince is used in  Mumbai for the above recipe.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mumbai "Restaurant" Sambar


If you think if all sambars are created equal, think again. Sambar - yes, that delicious lentil stew with veggies from South India - when served in Mumbai restaurants, does have a spoonful or may be even a tablespoonful of sugar!! I don't know about medicine, but this spoonful of sugar does make hot steamy idlies and vadas go down pretty fast!;-)

Many people think that only Gujaratis add sugar/jaggery to their foods. But that's not entirely true. Being a daughter of Maharashtra and a Gujarati daughter-in-law, I can vouch that both Maharashtrians and Gujaratis add sugar to their daals. Now, as we all know any statement doesn't hold entirely true - especially when we are talking about our diverse India. So if you are from Kolhapur - especially from 96 Kuli Maratha community, you will not even think about adding sugar to your food in your wildest nightmare. So addition of sugar business varies from community to community. But Maharashtrians  - probably - Brahmin communities, do add sugar/jaggery to their Aamtis, Koshimbeers, Bhaajis and even chutneys. Actually my aunt believes that when you add a pinch of sugar/jaggery to any savory dish and a pinch of salt to any sweet dish, that smidgen is the secret for deliciousness. Now it's up to you  to add just a smidgen or a dollop!;-)

Mumbai "Restaurant" Sambar
Lentil and Vegetables Stew as served in Mumbai restaurants
1 1/4 cup toor daal, pressure cooked, mashed
1/4 tsp. asafeotida
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

Roast one after the other
2 tbsp. coconut
1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
5 byadgi chilies
1" stick of cinnamon - very small piece
1/2 tsp. asafetida
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tbsp. urad daal
1 1/2 tbsp. chana daal

Grind roasted spices with
2 tsp. tamarind paste

2 medium potatoes, cut into big chunks
1 zucchini or a small piece of dudhi/bottle gourd or pumpkin, cut into bite sized pieces
6 pieces of drumsticks
1 tomato, chopped

1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. asafetida
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 red chilies, halved

You will also need
salt to taste
1 tbsp. sugar or jaggery
1 tsp. mild chili powder for color

1. Pressure cook daal adding turmeric powder, asafetida and adequate water. Also pressure cook drumsticks. Mash daal lightly. Set aside
2. Roast all the spices one after the other. Grind with tamarind paste.
3. Place all the vegetables except cooked drumsticks and tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup water and let them cook partially.
4. Add mashed daal and masala paste. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid boil.
5. Add salt, chili powder, sugar or jaggery, drumsticks and tomato.
6. Switch gas to low and let it simmer. As it simmers, the sambar thickens so adjust water as needed
7. In a separate saucepan, heat oil. Add the tempering ingredients. As they sizzle, drizzled the tempered oil over sambar.
8. Cover with the lid. Switch off the gas.
9. Serve hot sambar with idlies or vadas.

Note -
1. Only drumsticks are pressure-cooked because they take too long to cook.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Vaangi Bhaat - Maharashtrian Eggplants Rice

Though "Vaangi Bhaat" sounds Marathi, I have seen its South Indian rendition more often using MTR Vangi Bhath Spice Mix. However, we make Vaangi Bhaat using Goda Masala at home. This is a variant of our traditional Maharashtrian Masalay Bhaat.

Vaangi Bhaat
Eggplant Pulao
1 cup Basmati Rice, Rinsed
salt to taste
1 tsp. sugar or jaggery
5 small eggplants, cut into 6 slices each
1/2 tsp. mild chili powder for color
1 tsp. coriander powder

1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. asafetida
2 cloves
4 black peppercorn
1 bay leaf
12 raw cashews, halved
1 tbsp.. goda masala

1 tbsp. ghee/clarified butter/toop

2 tbsp. minced cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly scraped coconut

Ghee/Clarified Butter
Lemon Wedges

1. Pick, Rinse Basmati Rice. Set aside to drain till ready to use.
2. Slice each eggplant into 6 pieces. Keep them in water till ready to use.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add all the spices.
4. As they sizzle, add cashews. Roast them for a minute.
5. Add goda masala. Roast for 1 minute.
6. Add drained eggplants. Sauté for a minute.
7. Add drained rice. Sauté for another minute.
8. Add all the remaining spice powders.
9. Add 2 1/2 cups water, salt and sugar or jaggery. Bring to boil.
10. Switch gas to low. Cover and let it cook on low flame till each rice grain is cooked.
11. Now, drizzle some ghee around.
12. Switch off the gas.
13. Keep covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, making sure that the aroma of ghee is mixed with the rice.
14. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
15. Serve with lemon wedges and more clarified butter, as needed.

Note -
1. Omit ghee/clarified butter to make it a Vegan version.
2. Use old Basmati so the rice doesn't too mushy and each grain is separate.
3. Instead of eggplants, use fresh green peas to make matar bhaat, or tondli/tindora to make tondli bhaat.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Vegetables and Paneer Jhalfrazie

This restaurant classic is actually quite simple and quick. Once all the vegetables are cut, this dish is created in a jiffy.
Vegetables and Paneer Jhal Frazie
Vegetables and Indian Cottage Cheese Stir Fry
1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced purple onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced baby corn (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced firm & deseeded tomato
1 cup thinly sliced paneer/Indian cottage cheese
A generous pinch of garam masala
1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
salt to taste
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 red chilies
A pinch of asafeotida
1/2 tbsp. ginger, minced
Suggested Accompaniment
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add tempering ingredients.
2. As they sizzle, add onions. Saute till soft.
3. Add bell peppers, tomatoes, baby corn -  if using and powders.
4. Stir fry till they are barely cooked. Make sure that they are not overcooked.
5. Add paneer pieces, vinegar and salt.
6. Stir fry and serve immediately.
Note -
1. I do not deep or shallow fry paneer pieces before adding to the vegetables to save extra oil. Please go ahead if that's what you prefer.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Alu-Simla Mirch

I threw some potatoes and bell peppers together and sautéed them using typical Punjabi spices. This simple stir fry tastes delicious with chapatis.

Alu Simla Mirch
Potatoes with Bell Peppers
4-5 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. amchoor powder
1/2 tsp. chaat masala

1 1/2 tbsp. oil
3 cloves
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. asafetida
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
1/2 tsp. Garam masala
1 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
1/4 cup cilantro

1 tbsp. fresh mint, minced

1. Chop vegetables and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick kadhai. Add spices. As they sizzle add onion. Sauté till it's soft.
3. Add ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add masala powders and cilantro. Sauté for a minute.
4. Add potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes. Add bell peppers. Let it cook, stirring from time to time.
5. Add amchoor powder, salt and chaat masala.
6. Garnish with freshly chopped mint.

Note -
1. Add paav-bhaaji masala instead of garam masala for an extra kick!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Raspberry Milk

I get rather ambitious and over estimate our berry eating capabilities when I buy berries in bulk. But then whirring them in the blender with milk, always saves the day.
Raspberry Milk
1 cup fresh raspberries
7-8 cashews
2 1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp. Rooh Afza
Garnish (Optional)
Fresh mint leaves
1. Blend all the ingredients together.
2. Serve chilled, garnished with a fresh mint leaf.
Note -
1. Use more or less Rooh Afza (available in the local Indian stores) per your preference.

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