Thursday, May 28, 2015

Vangi Pohe

We Maharashtrian love pohe for breakfasts. Although Kande pohe, Batate pohe or Matar pohe, Maka pohe are more popular, there are versions like vangi pohe and tondli pohe. Any vegetable can be added to this humble pohe to add the flavor of that vegetable. CKPs even make pohe adding prawns - fresh or dried.

Vangi Pohe
Flatten Rice with Eggplant
4 fistful raw pohe - thick variety
3-4 small Indian eggplants/brinjals, chopped
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 green chilies, slit
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
7-9 curry leaves

2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut, grated (optional)
4 wedges of lemon

1. Clean pohe, wash and drain them in a colander.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a a big wok or kadhai. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chilies, curry leaves.
3. As the spices splutter, add eggplants.
4. Sprinkle about 1 tsp water, lower the gas, cover.  Pour water on the lid. Let it cook till eggplant is cooked but is not turned into a mush.
5. Add pohe, salt and sugar. Stir well. Sprinkle another spoonful of water. Cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
6. Ladle into 4 individual serving plates. Garnish with coconut - if using and cilantro. Serve with one lemon wedge per plate.

1. Always use thick pohe for making this kind of pohe.

Check out several renditions of pohe from my blog
1. Microwave Kande Pohe
2. Batate Pohe
3. Kalya Vatanyache Pohe
4. Maka Pohe
5. Thanksgiving Pohe
6. Soybean Pohe

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Pineapple Lassi

I had a huge bag of frozen pineapple chunks from Costco. I thought of making this frosty delicacy.

Pineapple Lassi
Pineapple Smoothie
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup plain yogurt
sugar or any other sweetener of your choice (optional)
water as needed

1. Thaw pineapple chunks for just half an hour.
2. Blend using 1/2 cup water in your heavy duty mixer.
3. Add yogurt and sugar or any sweetener if using.
4. Blend.
5. Adjust water depending on the desired consistency.

1. This is really a no-frills recipe. You can adjust the amount of pineapple, yogurt and sugar depending on your taste.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Using Lemongrass

We Maharashtrians and Gujaratis use lemongrass leaves instead of the lemongrass roots as  the Thai cooks do. We add it to flavor our tea. It gives a unique refreshing flavor. It also soothes sore throat.

So far, I used to bring a bunch of lemongrass from the farmers market, put in water for some time to force roots and then I used to plant. This time, I have just kept my bunch of lemongrass in a flower vase. It has roots now. It sits pretty in a corner, as if it's a flower vase.

I think it looks great. I clip the leaves for my tea as needed, and the leaves grow right back.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cashew Tofu



I am in the process of implementing all the popular Chinese dishes - sometimes using chicken (per my family's preference) and sometimes replacing chicken with tofu (per my preference). Feel free to use either of the proteins - whichever suits your life style.

Cashew Tofu
1 slab Tofu, cut into cubes
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted cashews
1/2 tbsp. oil for roasting tofu
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil (Chinese)
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste

Whisk together
1 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp chili garlic paste
few dashes of Soy sauce
1 tbsp. corn starch
1 cup water
freshly ground black pepper

2 spring onions, cut

1. Heat 1/2 tbsp. oil in a wok. Add tofu cubes. Sauté till they are golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
2. In the same wok, add another 1/2 tbsp. oil. Add ginger garlic paste. Sauté for 30 seconds.
3. Add broccoli florets, stir fry for a minute. Add frozen vegetables. Make sure the flame is high and so they get thawed and crisped up pretty quickly without adding too much water.
4. Now, add tofu. Fry for 1 minute.
5. Add whisked marinade. Adjust for salt if needed.
6. Add cashews. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
7. Garnish with spring onions
8. Serve with plain, steamed rice.
Note -
1. For chicken version, replace tofu by boneless, skin less chicken and make sure that chicken is cooked through well during step 1. I generally marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, salt before frying.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tofu Burji - Tofu Scramble

It's true that Tofu is considered as a blank canvas. You can add any flavors of your choice. I decided to make the vegan friendly version of burji by crumpling tofu into the usual burji recipe.
Tofu Burji
Tofu Scramble
1 block Tofu
salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 cup cilantro
1. Place the block of tofu on a folded paper napkin. Place another napkin on top and place some heavy weight like mortar and pestle on top to drain excess water. Keep aside for 1/2 hour
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste. Fry for 1 minute.
3. Add onions. Sauté till onion is golden brown. Stir in tomatoes. Sauté till they are pulpy.
4. Add garam masala, chili powder and salt. Add 1/4 cup water.
5. Now add crumbled tofu and cilantro.
6. Simmer till the flavors are absorbed by crumbled tofu.
Note -
1. You may need a tad more salt and garam masala than usual since tofu is very bland. Taste and adjust as you go.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Salmon Curry

Today I am featuring Salmon curry using Maharashtrian - more specifically, CKP style spices. Serve with chapatti or plain rice.
Salmon Curry
2 Salmon fillets, cubed
5 baby potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tsp. red chili powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. tamarind pulp
2 green chilies, slit
Grind to a fine paste
4-5 garlic cloves
1" ginger
3-4 green chilies
1/3 cup cilantro
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp. minced onion
1. Marinade salmon & potatoes with turmeric powder, salt and ground paste. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion. Sauté till onion is golden brown.
3. Add marinated salmon and potato pieces.
4. Add tamarind pulp, chili powder, coriander powder and 1/4 cup water.
5. Cook for 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and slit green chilies - if using.
6. Simmer for few minutes.
1. Rawas (Indian Salmon) steaks can be used. But adjust masala depending on the size of the steaks.
2. You can also add whole smashed garlic cloves, along with onion in tempering.
3. Instead of coconut milk, you can also grind coconut coarsely and add to the curry if you prefer coarse texture for your curry. In that case, add less water, and serve as a dry dish.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Tostada - Mexican Pizza

Every once in a while, I make a Mexican themed menu. I keep all the ingredients on the table and everyone can choose their own ingredients per their preference. Gudiya does not like raw onions, I don't take cheese and my husband eats everything.

1 1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese

1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped green onions
2 tbsp. chopped onions
2 tbsp. red but firm tomatoes

lime wedges
avocado slices
Hot sauce

Tostada shells

1. Take a crispy tostada shell.
2. Spread drained black beans.
3. If you are using cheese, place it in microwave for 30 seconds or till the cheese melts.
4. Garnish with any or all items of your choice.
5. Serve immediately

Note -
1. Tostada shells are easily available in the market. But if not, you can easily crisp up tortilla/flatbread/chapatti.
2. I used blue corn tortilla shells.
3. I generally soak and later cook black beans with turmeric powder, salsa, cumin powder and salt.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grilled Vegetable Kabobs



After eating the colorful kabobs at the BBQ restaurant, I was very eager to try them myself. If you don't have liquid smoke, just proceed without it. They will still taste good. For Gudiya, I sprinkle just salt and Hubby and I like to sprinkle some taco or tandoori seasoning on the cooked kabobs. They are very simple to make.

Grilled Vegetable Kababs
10 small mushrooms
1 yellow squash- probably only half will be needed
1 zucchini- probably only half will be needed
1 green bell pepper - probably only half will be needed
1 red bell pepper- probably only half will be needed
1 small purple onion

Few drop liquid smoke (Optional)
salt as needed
black pepper ground
Taco or Tandoori seasoning
Oil spray such as Pam

1. Cut all the vegetables except mushrooms.
2. Thread each wooden skewer into a desired pattern of colorful vegetables, starting and ending with mushrooms.

3. Heat a grill pan. Spray some oil
4. Place wooden skewers in a single layer.
5. Spray some oil on top.
6. Rotate till nice grill marks appear on vegetables. Switch off the gas.
7. Sprinkle salt and black pepper powder. If you like it spicy, sprinkle tandoori masala or taco seasoning.
8. Cover with an Aluminum foil - as if making a tent till ready to eat.

Note -
1. Step 8 is very important. If you keep the kabobs open , they will be dried.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Vaal ni Rasawali Daal

My mom-in-law uses vaal daal to make a dry and wet version. This daal does not require too much soaking. So it comes handy when I want to make something in a hurry.

Vaal ni Rasawali Daal
Field Beans Daal Curry
1 cup Vaal daal, soaked for 1 -  2 hours
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp. tamarind pulp
1 tbsp. jaggery
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander cumin powder
1 tomato, roughly chopped

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp ajmo/owa/carom seeds
1 tbsp. ginger-green chili paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 curry leaves sprigs

1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1. Soak vaal daal for an hour or two.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add spices for tempering. As they splutter, add drained vaal daal. Saute for 30 seconds, add 1 cup water.
3. Bring to boil. Switch gas to low. Add tomato, chili powder, tamarind, jaggery, salt and coriander-cumin powder.
4. Let it simmer till vaal daal is cooked. Add more water if needed.
5. Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. Adjust jaggery per personal preference.
2. Do not let the daal turn into a mush.

Check out my dry version of the same daal - Surti laal Vaal ni daal

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