Monday, October 29, 2007

Amrakhand


Amra + Shrikhand = Amrakhand. Amra is Mango in Sanskrit. So mango flavored Shrikhand is called Amrakhand. I remember my office friend, Annette was new to Mumbai. She used to live in a hostel. One day she excitedly told us that she has found a yummy cheesespread for bread and that has been her morning breakfast for the whole week. None of us was familiar with this kind of cheesespread. So she promised to bring it for us for taste. Next day, at lunch break, she took out this mango shaped box and it was "Amul Amrakhand". We just couldn't get over the fact that she used it as a spread for the bread! We tried to explain to her that it's not a cheesespread but a very traditional sweet made in Maharashtrian and Gujarati households. But hey, what's in name? If you want to use it as a cheesespread, be my guest!

Here's my recipe

Amrakhand (Serves 6- 8)

Ingredients

1 container of whole milk yogurt (Preferably Organic)

1 cup sugar (More or less based on your own preference)

1 cup Alphonso Mango Pulp

A pinch of nutmeg powder

A pinch of cardamom powder

A pinch of salt

Garnish

Few threads of saffron

1 tbsp Milk

Method

1. Line 2-3 coffee filters with a big strainer. Choose a container that has similar diameter as that of the strainer. Keep container under the strainer to collect all the yogurt water (Whey).

2. Empty the yogurt onto the strainer. Keep the entire apparatus - strainer with coffee filter along with bottom container - aside for 6-8 hours in fridge.

3. The "cheese" that remains in the coffee filter is called "Chakka" in Marathi. It reminds of cream cheese. Take all the chakka in a mixing bowl.

4. Add sugar and mango pulp. Stir well. Add in salt, nutmeg and cardamom powders.

5. Keep saffron threads is a spoon and roast them quickly on a low flame . Put roasted sfarron in 1 tbsp milk to get a vibrant yellow color. Garnish Amrakhand with the saffron milk.

Note

If you do not add mango pulp, you get plain shrikhand. For strawberry shrikhand, add some chopped strawberries in the plain shrikhand. For dryfruit shrikhand, add about 1/4 cup chopped dryfruits of your choice (figs, almonds, pistachios, dates etc.)

Shevyachi Kheer


Shevyachi kheer is a very quick dessert. It can be served hot, warm or cold. If you want to serve it hot or warm, make sure to serve with puries. This kheer is relished in pretty much every part of India.

Shevyachi Kheer (Serves 4 -6)
Indian Vermicelli Pudding
Ingredients
1/2 cup Vermicelli
3 cups whole milk
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom powder

Garnish
Almond slivers

Method
1. Roast vermicelli and keep aside
2. Boil whole milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk.
3. As it boils, lower the flame and simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Stir in roasted vermicelli. Let it simmer till you get the desired consistency. I do not like too thick kheer.
5. Switch off the gas. Add cardamom powder and almond slivers.

Note -
1. Sweetened condensed milk is very sweet so I have used only 1/2 of the can. If you like your kheer very sweet, you can use the whole can.
2. The evaporated milk gives a wonderful "slow cooked for hours" flavor to this very quick kheer.
3. I do not like too thick kheer. Adjust the consistency per your own preference.

Peanut Ladoo

This is truly the simplest Ladoo recipe ever. I think, Gudiya can make them too since she knows how to make ladoo from play-doh. All it takes is to mix the ingredients and roll into balls. That's it!

Peanut Ladoos

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted, dry roasted Peanuts

4Tbsp sugar (More or less according to your preference)

A pinch of salt to taste

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

few threads of saffron

1 tbsp ghee

Method

1. Powder the peanuts in a blender

2. Take out in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients.

3. Knead it and roll into laddoos.

Note - You can use jaggery instead of sugar.

I am sending this post as my entry to Vee at Past, Present and me for JFS:Diwali

FatFree Gajar Ka Halwa

My mom makes this gajar ka halwa. It tastes really good. The best part is that this is not loaded with heavy calories. It doesn't even have a drop of ghee. I use the same method.

FatFree Gajar ka Halwa (Serves 2 - 4)

Ingredients

4 Juicy red carrots or 2 cups grated carrots

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup dry nonfat milk powder

1/2 cup sugar (Less or more per your sweet tooth!)

1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom powder

Garnish

Almond or pistachio slivers (Optional)

Method

1. Wash, Peel and coarsely grate the carrots.

2. Add 1 cup milk and pressure cook carrots with milk for 2 whistles.

3. Add the cooked carrots and milk to a nonstick pan. Bring to boil on a low flame. Let the milk evaporate.

4. Add sugar and dry milk powder. Keep stirring till it is dry. Switch off the gas.

5. Add cardamom powder. and garnish with nuts.

Note

1. If you want to make richer Gajar Halwa, add 1 tbsp ghee. Instead of cooking in skim milk, you can use whole milk or cream. Instead of dry nonfat milk powder, you can use whole milk ricotta cheese.

I am sending this post as my entry to WYF -What's your favorite Dessert at SnackORama

Shahi Tukde


Shahi Tukde can be considered as Indian Bread Pudding. It's consistency is little bit more watery than that of the traditional western bread pudding. The original recipe is quite elaborate. But I like to keep things simple. This is how I make it.

Shahi Tukde (Serves 4)

Ingredients

4 slices of soft white bread (Crust removed)

1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

1 can evaporated milk

5 tbsp sugar (More or less depending on your own preference)

Saffron - few threads

A generous pinch of Nutmeg powder

1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom powder

Garnish

Pistachio and almond slivers

Method

1. Remove the crusts of the bread and cut diagonally to make two halves. You need 8 halves.

2. Heat ghee. And quickly roast the bread to make it light brown. Keep aside.

3. Mix sugar, saffron and powders to the evaporated milk. Refrigerate.

4. Put some sweetened milk in an individual serving plate. Add 2 fried bread slices.

5. Pour some more milk on top. Garnish with nuts.

Masala Doodh

Traditionally Masala Doodh (Masale Doodh in Marathi) is served on Kojagari Poornima (Sharad Poornima) night. I like to keep doodh masala ready in my fridge. It comes handy when garnishing most of the Indian desserts.

If you are in Mumbai, try that famous masalay doodh at Prakash, Shivaji Park.

Doodh Masala
Ingredients
Handful of Almonds
Handful of Pistachios
7 Cardamom, peeled, seeds only
A very small piece of nutmeg or 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp charoli

Method
1. Take a small saucepan. Add saffron. Roast it quickly till it becomes deep orange. Let it cool down.
2. Grind all the ingredients except charoli to a powder.
3. Add charoli to the mixture.
4. Store it in an airtight container, preferably in a fridge to extend its shelf life.

Masala Doodh (Serves 1)

Ingredients
1 cup Milk
1 tbsp doodh masala
1 tsp sugar (More or less according to your own preference)
Method
1. Boil milk. If you keep simmering for a long time, it will give a special taste of evaporated milk.
2. Pour in the cup. Add sugar and masala.
3. Stir well. and serve.
Note -
Needless to say, if you use whole milk, it tastes most delicious.

Almond Flour Halwa (1)


When I first heard of Badam Shira, I thought it's usual shira (or rawa kesari) with a generous amount of almonds in it. But then, I tasted it at my friend - Amrita's place. Amrita is a Marwadi. and Badam shira is a very well-known Marwadi specialty. I have simplified the recipe by using the almond flour available in the local supermarket. The original recipe involves soaking, peeling and grinding almonds.

Here's the recipe -

Badam ka Halwa/shira(Serves 4)
Almond Flour Halwa
Ingredients
1 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup warm Milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamoms
1/2 tsp saffron
2 tbsp ghee

Garnish
Almond Slivers

Method
1. Heat ghee in a nonstick pan.
2. Roast almond flour for 7 minutes on a low flame. Do not let it burn.
3. Fold in warm milk and sugar. Keep stirring.
4. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and saffron.
5. Garnish with almond slivers.

Note - Traditionally, almonds are blanched, peeled, and then ground to make the shira. When I found the readymade Almond Flour in my local supermarket, I decided to use it to save some time. Make sure that the ingredients on the label of almond flour contains only "blanched almonds" and nothing else! I used this brand.

Tisaryanche Dangar


Tisryanche Dangar

Ingredients

1 can of chopped clams

1 medium onion, very finely chopped

1 cup freshly grated coconut

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp malvani masala

1 tsp tamarind pulp

salt to taste

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 - 3 tbsp rawa

Oil for shallow frying

Method

1. Drain chopped clams and soak in the water in the fridge for about 4 hours.

2. Mix all the ingredients together except oil. Knead to make a ball. You do not need to add water. But if the mixture appears to be too dry, you may sprinkle few drops of water to check.

3. Make small balls. Flatten them and shallow fry.

4. Serve hot.

Note

I used this brand for the can of clams.

If you do not have Malvani Masala, substitute garam masala.

Mag ni Kori Daal


Mag ni kori daal is dry moog daal subzi. It can be served with chapati or it can be eaten of its own.
Here's my mom-in-law's recipe -

Mag ni Kori Daal (Serves 4)
Ingredients
1 cup yellow moog daal
1/2"ginger, peeled
2 green chilies
Salt to taste
sugar to taste
Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Asafetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp coconut grated
2 green chilies, cut (optional)
1 small onion, minced (optional)
Peanut oil (optional)
Method
1. Soak moog daal in a warm water for 2 - 4 hours. Drain.
2. Grind ginger and green chilies to a smooth paste.
3. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds,asafetida and turmeric powder.
4. Add ginger-chili paste and stir for a minute.
5. Add drained moog daal. Stir.
6. Add only 1 tbsp water. Let it cook without putting a lid on on a low flame.
7. If you feel the daal is sticking to the bottom of the pan, you can add another spoonful of water. But too much water will make daal into a mush.
8. As daal is cooked, immediately add salt and sugar to taste.
9. Garnish with cilantro, lemon juice and coconut. Just before serving, you can add chopped onion, green chilies and raw peanut oil for the traditional taste.
Note -
1. Many Gujarati households including mine, keep a weekly paste of fresh ginger and green chilies with a little salt in the fridge. It's called "Vaatela aadu marcha". Salt is added to avoid discoloring and to retain the wonderful green color of the paste.
2. While making this daal, do not add too much water. The end product should have individual grains of daal with something to bite rather than mushy daal that is used as an accompaniment with rice.

Pithalay with drumsticks



Pithalay is something you make when you are in a hurry. Or you make it when you are short on vegetables and you have to whip up something with just the pantry ingredients. Or the dinner is ready and you have unexpected guests for dinner. So you just make something in a jiffy so the food is enough for everybody.

There are numerous avatars of Pithalays. Most common Maharashtrian pithalay looks yellow. I love pithalay with garlic and drumsticks in it. I have tasted Pithalay made from Kulith flour (Horsegram beans) too. Tomato pithalay looks more reddish. The Maharashtrian cooking bible "Ruchira" has given at least a dozen different recipes for pithalay including adding milk and yogurt instead of water for the creamier taste. But today I am writing the simple recipe of very easy Pithalay the way I make at home.

Pithalay (Serves 4)
शेंगांचे पिठले
Ingredients
Whisk Together till there are no lumps
1 cup besan
3/4 cup water + 2 tbsp water
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
4 cloves of garlic, sliced or smashed leaving entire garlic in tact
7-8 pieces of drumsticks (shevgyachya shenga)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

You will also need
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method
0. Whisk chickpea flour, water and salt till there are no lumps. Set aside.
1. Heat oil.  Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. When it sizzles, add garlic and saute till garlic turns a sahde darker.
2. Add drumsticks and 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook till drumsticks are soft. Add some salt to taste - remember we have already added salt to the chickpea mixture. So adjust accordingly.
3. Lower the flame. Stir besan mixture one more time and pour gently while stirring continuously with other hand. Keep stirring till the pithale reaches semi-set pudding consistency.
6. Garnish with cilantro.
7. Serve hot with Bhakri (or pita) or Rice with raw onions on the side.

Note - Pithalay gets ready very soon. You have to eat it immediately because as time goes by, it becomes thicker and it will be a disaster to eat cold, dry and thick pithalay.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Misal Pav - Mumbai style


For getting authentic Maharashtrian snacks, we used to love to go to "Prakash" or "Aswad" at Dadar. They never served this dish with any pav. It was only Misal or Upwasachi Misal there. Both were quite delectable. Whenever we have Matki (Moth beans) usal at home, we just sprinkle sev on top and convert it to Misal. But if you want to go the more traditional way, then you need to make the usal a little watery to dunk the bread. When a curry or dry curry cooked with beans sprouts, it's called "Usal" in Marathi. (When you are cooking it with vegetables, it's called Bhaji). Anyways, to make Misal, first you need to make Usal of the Matki sprouts. and then garnish with chopped onions, sev etc. to make a Misal.

Here's my recipe for Misal Pav.

Misal Pav (Serves 4- 6)

Ingredients
1 cup Matki/Moth beans sprouts
1 Potato , peeled, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed to pulp
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp goda masala
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp jaggery
salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut

Garnish
1 cup pohe chiwda (optional)
1/2 cup farsan (Optional)
1/2 cup sev
1/4 cup chili peanuts (optional)
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, very finely chopped

Lemon wedges
Pav or dinner rolls

Method
1. Pressure cook matki sprouts with potato & tomato.
2. Heat oil. Add onions and garlic pulp.
3. Let the onions soften a little. Now add turmeric powder, chili powder, goda masala.
4. Add boiled matki mixture and 1/2 cup water
5. Add salt, jaggery, coconut and cilantro.
6. Let it simmer for 7 minutes. Note that the usal needs to have some gravy.
7. In a serving plate, add a thin layer of poha chiwda. Add farsan on top.
8. Now add the Matki usal. Add sev on top.
9. Garnish with chopped onion and cilantro.
10. Serve with pav and lemon wedge.
 

Handvo



Handvo somewhat reminds me of American cornbread. I must admit, that I never liked it as a kid. but as I grew older, I tried it and ever since, I love it. It has loads of grains like wheat, rice and also daals - urad daal, chana daal, toor daal & green moog daal, grated ashgourd (Dudhi), generous sprinkles of sesame seeds on top. It needs to be fermented using yogurt and then baked in the oven till a nice brown crust is formed. You can cut into squares, rectangles, or wedges. I have seen some Gujarati households serving it with raw peanut oil (similar to bread dipping with extra virgin olive oil in Italy!). But we do not serve it with oil. We eat it just as is. It does taste good. Sometimes I also serve it with garlic-coriander chutney.

Our Gujarati family friend who has been living in US for many years, always used grated zucchini instead of dudhi and also adds some raisins. Her kids devour it as a "Zucchini Bread". I generally use the homemade handvo flour that my ma-in-law sends me. It makes my life easier, as all I have to do is to ferment it using yogurt. Generally Indian stores also carry "Handvo Flour" or you can even buy Tarla Dalal brand.

Handvo (Serves 6- 8)
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups Handvo nu loat
Salt
1" ginger
3 green chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 cup Grated Dudhi (Bottle Gourd) or zucchini
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp Oil


Tempering
1 tbsp Sesame seeds
generous pinch of hing
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Carom seeds

Method
1. Take the handvo flour. If it's in the airtight container for a long time, keep it in the sun or just dry roast it for 5 minutes.
2. Add yogurt and 2 tbsp oil and 1 cup warm water to the above flour. Keep it in a warm place to ferment for 8 hours.
3. Grind chilies and ginger to a fine paste.
4. Add ginger-chilies paste, turmeric powder, salt, hing, sugar, grated dudhi, baking soda to the batter.
5. Grease a rectangular baking pan with oil. Add the batter.

6. Preheat over to 375 F
7. Meanwhile heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add rai, sesame seeds, carom seeds.
8. As they splutter, pour over the batter making sure it covers the entire batter.
9. Bake for about 35 - 45 minutes till a uniform brown crust is formed.
10. Take out. Cut into squares and serve immediately.

 
Note - Instead of the handvo flour, the same recipe can be followed using Khatta (White) dhokla flour.

 

Handvo nu loat

Handvo nu loat
Ingredients
Rice 1 cup
Wheat 1/2 cup
Urad Dal 1/4 cup
Chanda Dal 1/4 cup
Moog dal 1/4 cup
Toovar Dal 1/4 cup

Method
1. Pick the impurities in the grains and legumes. Keep it in the hot sun or dry roast for 10 minutes. Let it cool down completely
2. Grind all the grains and dals to a coarse powder.
3.This flour can be stored in the airtight container.

Note -
1. Usually, this flour is made in a huge quantity and saved in the pantry. I am blessed to have a loving MIL who sends the yearly supply. :-D

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moogan Ghasshi

My maternal grandmother, Amma was from Mangalore, South Canara. She used to grind all the masalas, batter for idli etc on her "Ragda". It is a stone grinder with a whole in between where you put the ingredients to be ground. and a big cylindrical stone is used to grind the masala in a clock-wise motion. I found this picture of Ragda on the internet.

Most of the vegetarian Konkani (South Canara) curries have a ubiquitous trinity of coconut, red chillies - preferably byadgi - and tamarind. The seasoning you use for tempering the coconut oil, decides the name of the curry. If the tempering is rai (mustard seeds), hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves, it is Ghasshi. If the tempering is finely chopped onions, it's Ambat. If it is garlic, then it's Koddel/Bendi. The masala remains the same, but just the tweaking of the tempering makes such a big difference. Gasshi and Ambat are on the milder side where as koddel/Bendi are fiery hot.

Today, I made Moogan Ghasshi - something we used to have on religious feast days when onion or garlic is avoided. It's one of my all-time favorite Konkani curries.

Moogan Ghasshi (Serves 4-6)
Ingredients
1 cup moog sprouts, boiled
salt to taste

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
3-4 dried red chilies
1 tsp tamarind pulp

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7 curry leaves

Method
1. Boil moog sprouts. If using pressure cooker, make sure to have only one whistle, else they will be overcooked.
2. Put moog sprouts in a saucepan. Add ground masala and about 1 cup water.
3. Let it boil. Add salt. Lower the heat.
4. Heat up a small saucepan. Add oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
5. As the mustard seeds splutter, add the entire seasoning oil to the Ghasshi. As soon as you hear "chrrrrrrrrr" sound, switch off the gas, and quickly cover the pot with a lid. This way the flavor of the tempering remains in the Ghasshi.
6. Serve with rice or chapati

Note -
1. Ghasshi can also be made with black chana sprouts. This Chana Ghasshi is traditionally served in many Konkani homes on Fridays.
 

Biscuit Ambade

Biscuit Ambade
Ingredients

1 cup Urad daal
Few curry leaves

1 green chili, finely diced
1/2" ginger, finely diced
1 tbsp coconut, freshly grated

Salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Method
1. Soak Urad daal in about 3 cups of water overnight.

2. Next morning grind it adding minimum water, preferably in the Indian mixer/grinder like Sumeet.

3. Take the batter in a container. Mix in remaining ingredients except oil.

4. Heat oil in a kadai.

5. Add a spoonful of batter.

6.Fry till uniformly brown from both sides

7. Serve with chutney and sambar.

Note -
1.I have recommended Sumeet Grinder because it becomes difficult to grind adding minimum water in other blenders/grinders available here.
2. For a low fat version, make udada appe. See here.

Cooking from other blogs -1

I have been a regular blog reader since last year. Last year, while searching for a recipe, I happened to stumble upon the blogworld. It was Nupur's blog One Hot Stove. and I just got hooked on. From that blog, I clicked several links to others, and from there, a few more. Every blog I have visited was a wonderful presentation of food, customs and culture. It's just amazing that I have never met these bloggers in my whole life. but they seem to be my buddies.

I tried a few family recipes which the bloggers had graciously shared. Today, I would like to show the pictures of the food cooked by me, and links to the recipes of my blog buddies.

Well, I must admit, I used to feel very embarrassed when challenged to cook saboodana khichdi. Now the world loves it. but one bad batch of saboodana, and you get a gooey mess. I just avoided making saboodna khichadi. I love to cook, and I had no idea, how to master this basic dish. and then Nupur's post came along. I can't tell you what a foolproof recipe it is. Even I can cook Saboodana Khichadi now!


I have several recipes of shrimp pullao a.k.a. Kolambi Bhat. I drooled so much looking at Ashwini's picture of Kolambi bhat, that I had to make it immediately.
Thanks, Ashwini!

Shilpa's Nankatayis
It's been ages since I have tasted nankatais. When I saw Shilpa's recipe, I had to try it. It reminded me of my childhood. and as I had guessed, Gudiya enjoyed them too. Thanks, Shilpa!

Inji's Artichoke Thoran
I tweaked this recipe a bit and presented it in the form of Maharashtrian/Malvani Kelphoolachi Bhaji. I also added "kala vatana" (black peas). The very idea that artichoke can be cut and cooked and it reminds of banana flower was very novel to me. Thanks Inji!

Now, I have been eating Paatholi since childhood. Especially, in the month of Shravan, when you start seeing turmeric leaves in the bazaars of Mumbai, mostly in the baskets of Vasaiwalas. But I never thought I will make it myself. Paatholi just looked too exotic to make, and very delectable to eat!

But this spring, when I saw the turmeric roots in the local Indian stores, I was curious to see if they will sprout and give me the turmeric leaves. I threw them in the soil and started day-dreaming about paatholi, cheppi kheer, bangdya ambat, baked fish - all using turmeric leaves. and actually it did sprout and had leaves. Vee's wonderful post about Paatholi helped me, to make my first paatholi. Thanks, Vee!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Varicha Bhat

Varicha Bhat (Serves 4)
Ingredients
1 Cup Vari or Samo
2 Cups water
2 cloves
Salt to taste
Method
1. Soak vari in the water for atleast 1 hour.
2. Drain, add to a saucepan, add 2 cups water, cloves and salt.
3. Let the gas be high. Bring to boil. Stir
4. Lower the gas. Simmer till all the water is absorbed.
5. Cover immediately. Keep covered for at least 5 minutes.
6. Serve hot with Shengdanyachi Amti.

Note -

1. Vari also goes by names Bhagar, Samo or Morayo.

Kachrya


Batatyachya Kachrya
(Serves 4 or if you know someone like me, then serves just 1:-)
Ingredients
1 Idaho Potato
2-3 Tbsp Rice flour
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Oil to shallow fry
Method
1. Scrub and wash the potato. Peel and dry with the paper towel completely.
2. Cut into thick circles.
3. Mix rice flour, salt, turmeric powder, paprika and hing and keep aside.
4. Heat a tawa/griddle and add around 1 tsp oil.
5. Dredge each potato ring in the rice flour mixture, making sure it's nicely coated from all the sides.
6. Add to the pan. and let them cook on low flame for about 10 minutes.
7. Flip them over and let them cook for another 5 minutes.
8. Serve as a delicious accompaniment with plain rice and daal.

Dahi Appe



Mostly, I use leftover idli batter to make appe. But last time, I made them by soaking daals. I didn't have time for overnight fermentation so I used baking soda.

Dahi Appe - Count 28
Daal Fritters with sweetened Yogurt
Ingredients
Soak

1 cup urad daal
1/4 cup chana daal

Whisk
2 cups yogurt
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Garnish
A generous pinch of roasted cumin powder
A generous pinch of chaat masala
A generous pinch of paprika
1 tbsp minced cilantro

Tempering (Optional)
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

Method1. Whisk yogurt with salt and sugar Set aside.
2. Drain soaked daal and grind to a smooth paste, adding salt to taste. Cover and set aside for 4 hours. Add a pinch of baking soda just before cooking.
3. Grease appe pan with oil and make appe using oil as needed.
4. Dip appe in warm water, and squeeze out the water.
5. Dunk the appe in yogurt. Srinkle black salt, chaat masala and paprika on top.
6. Garnish with cilantro, tempering if you desire.

Variation
1. You can temper the yogurt with mustard seeds, cumin seeds in hot tempering oil
2. You can drizzle some sweet sour date chutney if you prefer.
3. You can use leftover idli batter for this recipe.
4. If you want, you can ferment the batter by setting aside for 8 hours. In that case, you may not need baking soda.

Udada Appe

Well, I did little bit of cheating. I took the same batter as Biscuit ambode and then put them in the Appe pan. We generally do not do too much of deep frying at our home. Generally all the deep frying activity we leave it for the last week of December. That's the time, we indulge ourselves a bit as within a week, a new year (and new resolution!) is going to ring in.
So when it's not really official deep-frying week of the year, and I was craving for my grandmother's biscuit ambode, I decided to use the same batter. and in the fraction of oil, I got what I wanted. and let me confess, that those appes also appeared in their new avatar here.

Udada Appe
Ingredients

1 cup Urad daal
Few curry leaves
1 green chili, finely diced
1/2" ginger, finely diced
Salt to taste

oil for shallow frying

Method
1. Soak Urad daal in about 3 cups of water overnight.
2. Next morning grind it adding minimum water, preferably in the Indian mixer/grinder like Sumeet. Cover and keep aside for 6 - 8 hours.
3. Take the batter in a container. Mix in remaining ingredients except oil.
4. Heat "Appe Patra" or "Appe Kayili" and add a drop of oil in each depression.
5. Add a spoonful of batter and cover with the lid.
6. Flip the appe to get uniform brown color.
Note -
1.I have recommended Sumeet Grinder because it becomes difficult to grind adding minimum water in other blenders/grinders available here.
2. There is a special spatula made for flipping appe. It is available in metal or wooden style. If you do not have it, you can use a wooden bamboo skewers.
3. If you deep fry small balls of the same batter, they are called Biscuit Ambode in Konkani. See here.

Mag na Pooda (1)



A Pooda in Gujarati is similar to pancake in English. There are many different ways of making poodas. You can just use besan (chickpea flour), as the base or you can soak the moog daal for few hours and grind it to make the pooda. It does not require any fermentation. I prefer the second choice because it provides more proteins. Here's how we make poodas at home.
Mag na pooda (Makes 6 poodas)
Moong Daal Pancakes
Ingredients
1/2 cup moogdal
1/2" ginger
1 green chili, chopped
1/4 tsp Asfoetida,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup green peas or toovar lilva or green chickpeas (harbhara)
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Method
1. Soak moogdal overnight using enough water to immerse the daal.
2. Drain the daal and grind along with ginger, chili, hing, turmeric powder and salt. You can use the same water in which the daal is soaked as it contains lots of vitamins.
3. Blanch the peas (or toovar or harbhara) by dropping in the boiling water and then putting in the cold water.
4. Crush the peas slightly by potato masher. Do not make paste.
5. Add the crushed peas and cilantro to the pooda batter. Adjust the seasoning.
6. Heat a nonstick pan or griddle. Grease it lightly and spread a thin pancake.
7. Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.
Note - If you want soft pancakes, stack them on each other. If you want crunchier, then make them more brown and keep them side by side.

Gajarachi Koshimbeer (1)


As everyone knows, carrots are good source of vitamin A and are rich in beta kerotine. One needs to include carrots and other vitamin A rich foods to keep our eyes healthy. Anyway, here's our traditional Maharashtrian Koshimbeer.
Gajarachi Koshimbeer
Ingredients
7 carrots - approx 1 lb, peeled & grated coarsely
2 green chilies, chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 of lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup roasted , crushed unsalted peanuts/daaNyache koot
Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)
Method
1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. As they splutter, add to the koshimbeer.
3. Garnish with cilantro and coconut if using
Note -
1. You can omit the tempering if you do not want any oil to be added to this salad.
2. If carrots are very sweet, skip sugar.

Mango Kulfi

I don't know the origin of this recipe. But it's one of those Indian get-togethers specials. It's all about recreating your nostalgic recipe with the ingredients available in the local supermarket. I decided to build upon the original recipe and so added a cup of ready-made Alphonso mango pulp to it. The result was my very own Mango Kulfi. It's so easy to make, that even a child can do it. It doesn't require any cooking.

Here's my version.

Mango Kulfi
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 tin evaporated milk
1 Cup ready-made Alphonso Mango pulp

A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
A generous pinch of freshly ground cardamom

Garnish
Few fresh mint leaves

Method
1. Mix cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk and mango pulp using a fork till they are nicely incorporated.
2. Add nutmeg and cardamom and give a quick stir
3. Pour in a big freezer-safe container. Freeze.
4. It will probably take around 6 hours to set.
5. Just before serving, take it out. Dip the ice-cream scoop in hot water and scoop out the mango kulfi in the individual serving plates.
6. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf on each scoop.

Note
You can pour the kulfi mixture in the conical shaped Kulfi moulds if you want the authentic shape! If using Kulfi moulds, choose aluminum kulfi molds. Take the frozen moulds out around 1 minute before serving. If Kulfi doesn't come out when inverted, use a knife dipped in a hot water to run around the circumference to loosen the kulfi.

I would like to send this entry to the powerless cooking event at Simple Indian Food.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Upwasachi Batatyachi Bhaji


Should you fast? Should you not fast? Each is of his own. But everyone agrees that "fasting food" is delicious. Here's a simple Maharashtrian Bhaji with boiled potatoes.


Upwasachi Batatyachi Bhaji (Serves 2 -4)
Ingredients
3 Medium yukon gold potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
1 green chili, chopped
2-3 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
salt to taste
sugar to taste (Optional)

Garnish
2-3 sprigs of cilantro/coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 wedge of lemon
Method
1. Heat a wok. Add ghee.
2. Add cumin seeds and chilies.
3. When they change color, add diced potatoes.
4. Add peanut powder, salt, sugar - if using. Toss it together.
5. Let it heat through for 5 minutes.
6. Garnish with cilantro.
7. Serve with a lemon wedge on side, along with Rajgira Puri.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Index

Vegetables

Potatoes/Alu/Batata/Bataka


Acorn Squash

Bittergourd (Karli, Kaarela, Karela, Karate)

Bell Pepper

Beet

Carrot

Tomato

Corn

Green Beans

Green Peas

Mixed Vegetables

Onions

White Radish/Daikon Radish/Mooli/Mula


Kohlrabi/Navalkol/knolkol/alkol

Gherkins/Tondli/Tendli/Tindora

Pumpkin

Broccoli

Sweet Potato

Eggplant

Bottlegourd/Dudhi/Ghia/Lauki

Greens

Colocasia Leaves

Fenugreek Leaves/Methi


Spinach

Herbs

Cilantro

Garlic

Nuts & Dryfruits

Peanuts

Cashews

Walnuts

Mixed Dry Fruits

Dates

Sesame Seeds

Fruits

Cranberry

Orange

Pomegranate

Banana

Mango

Lemon

Chickoo/Sapota

Beans & sprouts

Moog

Garbanzo Beans/Kabooli Chana

Black Peas/Kala Vatana

Black Eyed Peas/Chawli/Alsande

Horsegram/Kulith

Soybeans


Moth beans/Matki

Black Beans


Masoor

Lima Beans


Kidney Beans



Legumes/Daal

Toor Daal


Moog Daal

Urad Daal

Masoor Daal

Chana Daal

Chora daal/Chawli daal

Mixed Daal

Grains

Vari/Bhagar/Samo

Wheat

Flour

Besan/Chickpea Flour

Wheat Flour

Cereals

Pressed Rice/Pohe/Pavva/Phovu

Puffed rice/kurmure/mamra/churmure

Rawa/Semolina/Sooji

Broken Wheat/Bulgur wheat/Dalia

Rice/Pullao/Biryani

Yogurt & Buttermilk

Seafood

Eggs

Chicken

Roti aur Paratha (Indian Flatbreads)

Snacks

Dhokla & Farsaan

Vada

Pohe

Chaat

Teatime

Microwave Cuisine

Masala

Chutney & Pickles

Desserts/Sweets

Chocolate

Ladoo

Ice-creams/Kulfis

Puddings

Cakes

Mithai

Yogurt based Sweets

Sweet Breads

Kheer/Payasam/Baasundi

Shira/Halwa

Salad/Koshimbeer/Bharit

Diwali Special

Drinks

Kitchen Garden


Books Review

Pantry

Indian Utensils

Low Cal Food

To Good Health

From my bookshelf...The complete Gujarati Cookbook

Tarla Dalal's "The complete Gujarati Cookbook" is an ultimate guide for Gujarati cooking. I just love this book. Every recipe comes out good if you follow the instructions. Another unique characteristic of Tarla Dalal, is that if you email her a question, she actually replies in a day or two. That's amazing. In spite of being India's #1 cookery author, she actually responds to your questions.

Here are some of my favorites from Tarla Dalal's "The Complete Gujarati Cookbook".

1. Komal
Komal is an unusual Gujarati drink, which even I didn't know inspite of being a part of a Gujarati household. This unique drink is a mixture of buttermilk and coconut milk.
2. Amiri Khaman
Amiri Khaman is a wonderful Gujarati snack. I like Tarla Dalal's fool-proof recipe. Traditionally I have seen fresh pink pomegranate seeds sprinkled over the amiri khaman along with crunchy sev. Since I couldn't find the pomegranates, when I cooked amiri khaman, I used diced tomatoes. You need to remove all the seeds and watery pulp before using them as a garnish. The quickest way to make Amiri Khaman is to crumble leftover yellow dhokla. You can certainly use the ready-made Dhokla, but I personally like the texture of Khaman made by soaking/grinding/fermenting chana daal.

3. Kacha Keri no Sambhaar

Generally, Gujarati households (includiing mine!) always have a stock of "Sambhaar" in the pantry - not to be mistaken with South Indian Sambar. Sambhaar can be best described as an instant pickle masala. So you can just quickly add some vegetables/fruits that can be pickled and have an impromptu pickle any time.

4. Bhaat na Raswala Muthiya


It's a comfort food especially for cold wintry evenings. I made the dumplings (Muthiya) using leftover khichdi instead of rice. It's kind of a stew with dumplings and vegetables. A must for those who love home cooked, simple food.

5. Vaal ni daal na Pullao

Sprouted vaals (Lima beans) and rice made a nice combination with chaas (buttermilk). A flavorful yet simple recipe.

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