Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mango Shira & Adios to 2008

Let's end this year 2008 on a sweet note, shall we?

Mango Shira
Mango-Semolina Pudding
Ingredients
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter/toop
1 cup rawa/semolina/farina/sooji/cream of wheat
1 cup mango pulp
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar (depends on the sweetness of mango pulp)
A pinch of salt
2-3 cardamoms, peeled/crushed

Garnish
A spoonful of almond slivers

Method
1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed kadai
2. Add semolina/rawa. Stir fry on a low flame for 11-12 minutes till rawa turns golden. Make sure it does not burn.
3. Mix mango pulp, sugar, salt and milk in a bowl.
4. Slowly stir in the above mixture, while stirring.
5. Keep on stirring till a porridge like consistency is obtained.
6. Add cardamom powder. Mix well.
7. Garnish with almond slivers.

Note -
1. You may need to decide the proportion of sugar based on the sweetened/unsweetened mango pulp.
2. Mango pulp is easily available at the local Indian stores.
3. A smidgen of salt brings out the best in most of the desserts - my aunt's tip!:-D


Adios 2008!!

Best of 2008

When I started blogging, I never knew that blogging will help me for my emotional well-being. Especially, since Nov 2008 when the terror struck India/Mumbai - my home town, I felt extremely restless and anxious. I had decided to take break in November as well as December due to travel and family time. But I started blogging again in December. It helped me escape the anxiety. Though I tried to post a recipe per day in Dec, I couldn't visit even my favorite blogs, or couldn't comment/reply to emails or participate in all the events, due to really busy schedule.

But I wanted to participate in Srivalli's Best of 2008 event. Each post has some special significance for me. So it's really difficult to pick and choose just a few. But still, I tried my best to pick a few of more favorites to me.

January 2008
Tendlya Talasani

February 2008
Saffron Kulfi

March 2008
Manglore Puranpoli

April 2008
Shrikhand

May 2008
Dimple Kapadia's Bhutta Curry

June 2008
Ghavan

July 2008
PannoLi

August 2008
Dudhi Chi Kheer

September 2008
Ukadiche Modak

October 2008
Tandoori Prawns

November 2008
None

December 2008
Mumbai Pav Bhaji

This post goes to Srivalli's Best of Year 2008 Event.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Daal Dhokli/Daal Chikolya


I always thought Daal Dhokli is a Gujarati delicacy. but my friend, H who is from Nashik mentioned that it is also made in Maharashtrian homes with the name "Daal Chikolya"!! That was really new information to me. I have followed my MIL's recipe here.

In this icy cold weather, let's slurp this one dish meal of "Daal Dhokli". What say?


Daal DhokLi/Daal Chikolya
Lentil & Dumplings Soup
Ingredients

For Daal

1 1/2 cup toor daal

1/4 cup raw, unsalted peanuts

2 tbsp raw, unsalted cashews

1 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder

1/2 tbsp tamarind paste or 3-4 kokum petals, rinsed

1/2 tsp green chili-ginger paste

Tempering

2 tsp oil

1 stick cinnamom

4 cloves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 green chili

3-4 boriya chilies

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves

For dhoklis/dumplings

1 cup wheat flour

1 tbsp besan/chickpea flour

1/4 tsp owa/ajmo/ajwain/carrom seeds

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder

salt to taste

1 tsp oil

Garnish

1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Accompaniment

Ghee/Clarified butter/Toop

Lemon wedges

Method

1. Knead the dough using the ingredients for dhoklis/dumplings. Set aside.

2. Pressure cook daal along with cashew nuts and peanuts, adding double amount of water, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mash & set aside.

3. Heat a wide, heavy bottomed pan or saucepan. Add oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.

4. Add mashed, cooked daal, 2 cups water, tomato, chili powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, chili-ginger paste, jaggery, salt & tamarind paste or kokums.

5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer.

6. Make balls from the dough. Roll a big chapati. Using a knife, cut diamonds.

7. As the curry is simmering, carefully place the diamonds in the daal. Make sure that all the diamonds are in a single layer.

8. When all the diamonds are placed, cover the pan with a lid. Let them cook on a low flame for 15 minutes. Adjust water to make not too thin - not too thick consistency.

9. Garnish with cilantro. Drizzle a few drops of ghee/clarified butter while serving. Serve with a lemon wedge per serving.

Note -

1. As time goes, daal dhokli becomes thicker as dumplings soak all the liquid. While reheating, add more water and bring to boil.

This post is my contribution to Trupti's Winter Treat Event.

Makyachi Usal

Makyachi usal or Makyachya daanyanchi usal is a simple corn niblets stir fry. It comes handy when I am out of vegetables or running short on time.

Makyachi Usal
Corn Niblets Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 packet frozen corn niblets/makyache daaNe
salt to taste

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 green chili, chopped (optional)
1 sprig curry leaves, torn (optional)

Garnish
1 tbsp coconut
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice

Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai/wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the seeds crackle, stir in frozen corn niblets.
3. Add 2 tbsp water. Stir till all the niblets are thawed completely.
4. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes.
5. Uncover, let the water evaporate, if any left.
6. Add salt, coconut and cilantro.
7. Switch off the gas. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.

Note -
1. American sweet corn niblets are very sweet and fresh. They are available in the frozen section. If using, whole corn on cob, you can grate the corn on the grater to get the niblets.
2. The frozen corn niblets need not be thawed as they get thawed while getting cooked.
3. This usal can be served as a snack or as a side dish with chapatis.
4. You can omit green chili if you want to make this usal for the kids who can't tolerate any spice/heat.


This post is my contribution to Cooking For Kids at Sharmi's Neivedyam.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Khamang Kakdi


Khamang Kakdi is a delicious cucumber salad. It's simple and easy to make, yet loaded with flavors. I thought it's just right for Ramki's "Cooking for the rest of us" event.

Khamang Kakdi
Cucumber Salad
Ingredients
1 big cucumber or 3-4 small cucumbers, peeled and chopped finely
2 tbsp roasted, unsalted, peanuts, coarsely crushed/Daanyache Koot
salt to taste
1-2 green chilies, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp coconut, freshly scraped
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon, squeezed

Tempering
1 tsp oil or ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Heat oil or a ghee in a small saucepan. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida.
3. Drizzle sizzling oil over the salad. Mix well.
4. Serve as a side dish.


Note -
1. This easy salad can be tweaked easily by adding more or less lemon, peanut powder, cucumber or even adding yogurt if you like.
2. After cucumber is cut, you can squeeze the water out if you like. This step will not make salad too watery.

This post is my entry to Ramki's "Recipes for the rest of us" event.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mixed Kathol nu Shaak

My MIL makes this protein powerhouse curry. Do not forget to add carrom seeds/ajmo/owa and asafoetida for easy digestion.

Mixed Kathol nu Shaak
Mixed sprouts curry
Ingredients
2 tbsp Mung beans
2 tbsp red chori
2 tbsp brown chana/chickpeas
2 tbsp kala vatana/black peas
2 tbsp dry green vatana/green peas


Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp owa/ajmo/ajwain/ajowan/carrom seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Grind to a smooth paste
1" ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
A pinch of salt
2 green chilies (optional)


You will also need,
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
2-3 green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala or kitchen king masala
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
Lemon juice, as needed
Sev


Method
1. Make sprouts with mixed beans, as described here.
2.Pressure cook all the sprouts adding water. Let them cool completely.
3. Heat oil in a wide kadai or saucepan. Add tempering ingredients. Saute till they sizzle.
4. Stir in ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute.
5. Now add cooled, cooked sprouts and 1 1/2 cups water.
6. Add salt to taste, sugar, coriander-cumin seed powder, chili powder, garam masala & chopped green chilies.
7. Bring to boil. Switch gas to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust water to get the desired consistency.
8. Just before serving, garnish with cilantro, lemon juice and sev for the individual servings.


Note -
1. Make sure that pressure cooked bean sprouts are completely cooled off before tempering. Otherwise they will turn mushy.
2. Note that ground paste also has salt so adjust salt for the curry accordingly.
3. Garnish with sev just before serving, else they will turn too mushy.
4. If you like your curry spicy, you can add green chilies in the ground paste as well as cut chilies in the curry. For the milder version, do not include chilies in the ground paste.
5. You can use any combination of 4-5 beans for this curry. My MIL uses the above mentioned beans. If using kala vatana/black peas, you need to cook it more as it tends to remain hard even after being cooked. e.g. mung beans require less time to cook but black peas need more time.
6. Ajwain and asafoetida may not be substituted by anything else in this particular recipe as both help in digestion of the beans.

This post is my contribution to JFI - Sprouts hosted by Dee of Ammalu's kitchen.
JFI is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

This post is also my contribution to Legume Love affair - 6th serving hosted by Suganya.
Legume Love Affair is started by Susan of "The Well-seasoned Cook".

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dahi Butti - Yogurt Rice



I learnt this delicious yogurt-rice salad from my maushi - maternal aunt.

Dahi Butti
Yogurt Rice
Ingredients
1 cup rice

1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp cream (optional)
alt to taste


Tempering
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter/toop or oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp grated ginger
3-4 dahi mirchi or 2 dry red chilies broken


Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro, finely minced


Accompaniment
Sweet Lemon Pickle



Method
1. Pressure cook rice adding double amount of water. Set aside. Let it cool down.
2. Mix yogurt , milk & cream - if using - with salt.
3. Mash cooked rice slightly. Add yogurt mixture.
4. Heat small saucepan.
5. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
6. As the seeds sizzle, and dahi - mirchi - if using puff up, pour the sizzling ghee or oil in the rice mixture.
7. Mix well. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
8. Serve with sweet lemon pickle, at room temperature or chilled.


Note -
1. Serve this salad chilled during hot summer months. It has a wonderful cooling effect on the body.
2. If you do not have dahi mirchi , use red / dry chilies but dahi mirchi adds a special taste.

This post is my contribution to FIC - White by Lubna Karim of Yummy Food.
FIC event is started by Sunshinemom of TongueTicklers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sheer Korma/Zarda Seviyan

Sheer Kurma is a rich Eid special dessert. I used the link Siri provided for making Awadhi special Sheer Kurma.

Recipe Link -
http://www.anandway.com/articles.aspx?View=Sewain_recipes_from_Awadhi_kitchens&link=257

My Modifications -
1. I have halved the recipe.
2. I added sugar when I added khoya.


This post is my entry to Siri's RCI - Awadhi Cuisine.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.

Tondli chi "Coins" Bhaji


Tondli (or tendli or tindora or ivy gourds) cut into roundels look so pretty. They almost remind me of coins(25 paise in India, a dime in America!).

As kids, we used to call it "coins" chi bhaji!! :-D


Tondlichi "Coins" chi bhaji
Ingredients
2 cups cut into roundels, ivygourds/Tondli/Tindora/Tendli
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp mild chili powder (such as Kashmiri or paprika)

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
2 tsp freshly scraped coconut (optional)


Method
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the mustard seeds start popping, add the cut vegetables.
3. Saute on a low flame taking care not to stick to the bottom.
4. Add chili powder, sugar & salt after the vegetables are cooked.
5. Garnish with coconut if using.
6. Serve with chapatis.

Note -
1. Do not add water and let the bhaji be ready by stir frying/sauteing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chicken Tikka Kababs & Merry Christmas!!

We ate mostly vegetarian street food in Mumbai. But Kababs was an exception. We didn't call it Kebab or Kabob as we call it here. They used to be simple kababs. The Kababwala used coal sigdi /grill to roast those delicious kababs. They were served with onion salad, mint chutney and naan. Kababwala's naans used to be different than the usual naans available at the restaurants. They used to be circles with a little dome shape in the middle.

Later whenever I tried to make kababs at home, I could never get the taste of our kababwala. So this is just an attempt to replicate the real taste. Of course there were many different types of kababs available but I am blogging about Chicken Tikka Kababs today.

Chicken Tikka Kababs

Ingredients

1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Water as required

1/2 pkt Tandoori masala (decrease or increase per taste)

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste


Oil Spray such as Pam

Accompaniment -

Onion salad - Mix together, thinly sliced onion, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp chopped fresh mint, salt to taste, a generous pinch of chat masala.

Lemon wedges

Pita Bread


Method

1. Mix Tandoori masala with water, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste to make a thick paste.

2. Add chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 7-10 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Thread the chicken pieces onto the wooden or metal skewers.

4. Arrange the skewers on a baking tray. Spray some oil lightly on the kabobs.


5. Bake for 15 minutes.

6. Flip. Bake for another 15 minutes or till done.

7. Take out kababs, sprinkle some lemon juice and chat masala.

8. Serve hot with onion salad and pita bread.


Note -

1. For better flavor, use BBQ grill with coals.

2. Shan Tandoori Masala yields the best results.

Wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS 2008!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Khurma

 
 
My mom's signature dish!! She made it and I clicked it.

 
Khurma
Cauliflower Curry
Ingredients
1 Cauliflower, cut into big florets
1/2 cup green peas
3-4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup water
2 tomatoes, sliced
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Roast one after the other and grind to a smooth paste
11 black peppercorn
4 green cardamoms
5 cloves
2" cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds/badishep/saunf/variyali
2 tbsp coriander seeds/dhane
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh coconut, scraped
1/2 cup dessicated/dry coconut, grated
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp poppy seeds/khus khus
4 dry red chilies
Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
Method
0. Add cauliflower florets, peas and potatoes in a big saucepan. Add turmeric powder and water. Bring to boil. Cover and let it cook on a low flame till veggies are cooked.
1. Roast all spices, coconut, onion, garlic, chilies one after the other using very little oil on a tawa/griddle or nonstick pan. Grind to a smooth paste 1/2 cup water.
2. Add ground masala to the cooked vegetables. Add water to get the desired consistency to the curry.
3. Add salt, sugar and tomato pieces. Bring to boil.
4. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves/ cilantro.
Note
1. Do not let the spices burn while roasting. Make sure that the gas is low and fry till spices release individual aroma. Let the onion, garlic, and both types of coconut turn to brown on low flame. Coconut may turn brown quickly. So please keep a constant watchful eye while roasting.
2. The consistency of the curry should neither be too thick nor too thin.

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Masoor Palak


My best friend, Rakhee shared her recipe with me over the phone. I had to try it.

Masoor Palak
Spinach Lentil Curry
Ingredients
1 bunch spinach, rinsed, boiled
2 cups masoor/lentil sprouts, pressure cooked

salt to taste
1 tsp jaggery
3-4 kokum
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala or kitchen king masala or malvani masala

Roast & grind
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh or dessicated coconut

Tempering
1 tsp oil
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
and/or 4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed

Suggested Accompaniments
Rice Bhakri
or plain rice

Method
1. Grind boiled spinach to make a coarse paste.
2. Roast and grind onion and coconut and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Stir in onion and/or garlic and saute till soft.
4. Now add sprouts, spinach, salt, jaggery, turmeric powder, chili powder and garam/kitchen king/malvani masala.
5. Add ground masala & 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the gravy according to the required consistency.

Note
1. Keep spinach paste coarse. Do not make a fine paste.

Takachi Garam Kadhi



Taakachi Garam Kadhi
Malvani Buttermilk Soup
Ingredients
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp Gram Flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste


Grind to a smooth paste
1/2" ginger
2 garlic cloves
4 small green chilies
1 tbsp coriander leaves /cilantro
2-3 curry leaves
1 tbsp coconut


Tempering
2 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds


Method
1. Mix the ground paste with buttermilk.
2. Add turmeric powder, sugar, salt and gram flour in the buttermilk mixture. Whisk till no lumps are formed.
3.Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, mustard seeds.
4. As the seeds start to splutter, add buttermilk mixture.
5. Bring to a rapid boil. Switch off the gas.
6. Serve hot with plain rice.

Note -
1. While the kadhi is boiling, pay close attention to avoid boiling over.

Some more buttermilk based kadhis from my blog -
Malvani Taakachi Thand Kadhi
Gujarati Kadhi
Yellow Kadhi
Kuchhi Beer/Masala Chaas
Fajetu - Mango Kadhi
Kadhi Ambode
Vadi ni Kadhi
Bhinda ni Kadhi

Monday, December 22, 2008

TaLleli Bhendi - Okra Stir Fry

I always wonder how this bhaji with really minimal ingredients, tastes so good?



TaLleli Bhendi
Okra Stir Fry
Ingredients

1 lb okra, trimmed, sliced into 4 pieces,

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

salt to taste

1 tsp chili powder

2 kokum, rinsed

1/2 tsp sugar

Tempering

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish

1 tbsp fresh coconut

Method

1. Heat oil in a nonstick or iron kadai.

2. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.

3. Add onion. Fry on low flame till onion is golden brown.

4. Add tomatoes. Fry till tomato is soft.

5. Now add chili powder and sliced okra.

6. Add salt , sugar & kokums

7. Stir fry on a low flame till okra is cooked.

8. Garnish with fresh coconut.

9. Serve hot with chapatis.

Note -

1. You may need more oil, if not using nonstick kadai/wok.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peethi - Horsegram flour Curry

If you have never tasted this peethi or never ever heard of it, you may try it on the day when you are feeling very adventurous!! :-) I am not trying to put you off. I know, this is not exactly the encouraging introduction to any recipe, but this curry definitely needs some seriously acquired taste buds.

Peethi
Horsegram Flour curry
Ingredients
1 tsp red chili powder
3 kokum
Salt to taste
Tempering
1 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chilies, halved
Garnish
1 tbsp freshly grated coconut
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
Method
1. Mix horsegram flour with 1 cup water till no lumps are formed.
2. Heat oil. Add garlic. When it turns brownish, add onion, turmeric powder, green chilies. Saute for 5 minutes till onion is soft.
3. Add 1 1/2 cup water. Add salt , kokum & chili powder. Let it boil.
4. Now gently add the horsegram flour batter. Let it cook for 5 minutes till it becomes thick.
5. Stir in coconut and cilantro.
6. Serve immediately with tandalachi bhakri/Rice flour flatbread.
Note -
Horsegram flour has a distinctly different taste. It may not be enjoyed by all.

Kulith/Horsegram Flour

Horsegram/KuLith

Horsegram Flour/KuLthache Peeth - Made in Sumeet



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Malvani Chawlichi Usal


Mavani Chawlichi Usal
Black eyed peas Stir Fry
Ingredients
2 cup black eyed peas/chawLi sprouts
salt to taste
1/2 - 1 tbsp jaggery
1 small tomato, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder


Grind to a coarse paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns


Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 medium onion, chopped


Garnish
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped


Method
1. Pressure cook the beans and set aside.
2. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. As the seeds start crackling, add onion. Saute for about 5 minutes till the onion is soft.
3. Now add ground masala paste & tomato. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add cooked beans, salt, chili powder and jaggery. Add 1/4 cup water.
5. Let it cook for 10-12 minutes till jaggery is melted.
6. Garnish with cilantro leaves.


Note -
1. While cooking the beans, make sure that they are cooked but not completely mashed.
2. This usal needs to be dry so the water needs to be completely evaporated. However, if you prefer some gravy, retain some water.
3. Original recipe would call for more coconut for grinding as well as for garnishing. I have substantially reduced the amount per our taste and needs.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lapsi - Broken Wheat Pudding


Lapsi
Broken Wheat Pudding
Ingredients
1 cup broken wheat (medium grain)
3 cups water
2 tbsp ghee (or more!)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
1 tbsp cashews (optional)
1 tbsp raisins (optional)


Garnish
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of nutmeg
A spoonful of almond slivers


Method
0. Fry cashews and raisins in the ghee. Drain and set aside.
1. Roast broken wheat adding ghee/clarified butter on a low flame, till it turns golden. Add coconut.
2. Boil water & sugar. Add it to the above mixture.
3. Keep stirring till porridge like consistency is formed.
4. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. Keep stirring till ghee appears to leave lapsi.
5. Garnish with cashews & raisins or almond slivers.

Note -
1. There is a fine variety of broken wheat and medium variety. Use fine variety for making Kansaar. and medium grain for making Lapsi.
2. I did not use cashews and raisins. I used only almond slivers.
3. Lapsi is generally made on the auspicious days in Gujarat.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bharela Bhinda nu shaak - Stuffed Okra

When I was a new bride, my MIL emailed me this recipe when I had pestered her for some authentic recipes. When she came to visit us later, I made this shaak one morning. When I came back from work, she said, "You get 100% marks!". She sure is very generous with her compliments, but her recipe is the real winner.

Bharela Bhinda nu Shaak
Stuffed Okra
Ingredients
1 lb okra, trimmed, cut 2" pieces, slit in between

Stuffing
1/2 cup daria/dalya/puffed chana daal
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil + 1tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Method
0. Powder 1/2 cup daria/dalya/puffed chana daal without adding any water.
1. Mix all the dry ingredients for stuffing.
2. Stuff the above masala in the okra. There should be leftover masala to be added later.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/kadai - preferably nonstick. Add the ingredients for tempering.
4. As the seeds sizzle, carefully place the stuffed okra in a single layer - as much as possible. (Double layer won't hurt!). Sprinkle the leftover masala all over.
5. Saute for 2-3 minutes. The masala will soak up the oil.
6. Switch the gas to low. Cover the wok/kadai with a lid. Keep 1/4 cup water on the lid. Let it cook on the low flame for about 20 minutes. Open the lid, add the water on top in the wok. Stir. and cover again. Let it cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust for salt.
7. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil. Saute for 5 minutes.
8. Switch off the gas. Stir in lemon juice - if using.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Note -
1. Traditionally, this shaak is made in iron kadai. and also needs lots of oil. I tried to cut it down using nonstick kadai.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Adad ni Daal

I recently learnt this daal from my MIL.

Adad Ni Daal

Ingredients

1 cup white urad daal

2 cups water

1 tsp ginger paste

2 green chilies, chopped

1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder

1/4 tsp asafoetida

salt to taste

Tempering

1 tsp ghee/clarified butter

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera

1 small onion, minced

1 tsp garlic, minced

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp chili powder

Method

1. Pressure cook urad daal adding double amount of water. Set aside.

2. Pour the cooked daal in a saucepan. Add about 2 cups water. Bring to boil.

3. Add ginger paste, green chilies, asafoetida, coriander-cumin powder.

4. Add salt. Let it simmer for 12 minutes on a low flame.

5. Add oil and ghee in another saucepan. Add cumin seeds, garlic, onion, garam masala, turmeric powder, kasoori methi. Saute till onion is golden brown. Now add chili powder. Stir for 2 seconds.

6. Pour the sizzling oil in the daal. Cover and switch off the gas.

7. Serve hot with chokha nu rotlo/rice flatbread. (recipe coming soon!)

Note -

1. Traditionally, in the villages of South Gujarat, this daal is served in a katori/watki/wati/remekin drizzled with raw peanut oil.

2. This daal is generally eaten during winter.

3. Do not add chili powder along with the rest of tempering ingredients, else chili powder will burn. Add it last, only after onion is cooked.

4. This daal gets thicker as time passes. If you want to add water, boil the daal again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vengan nu Bharat


Vengan nu Bharat
Eggplant Relish
Ingredients
1 big eggplant, peeled, stem removed
salt to taste
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
2 tbsp plain yogurt

Grind to paste
1" ginger
2 green chilies

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chora ni vadi

Garnish
1 green garlic - greens only, minced

Method
0. Pressure cook eggplant. Mash to pulp.
1. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. Saute the vadis till they turn a shade darker. Do not let it burn.
3. Add green paste. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add coriander-cumin seed powder, salt and eggplant mush.
5. Saute for 5 minutes.
6. Add plain yogurt. Simmer till water is evaporated.
7. Garnish with chopped garlic greens.

Note -
1. If fresh garlic leaves are not available, use 2-3 cloves of usual garlic cloves for grinding. Use cilantro for garnish.
2. You can grill or roast eggplant instead of steaming it.

Fresh Garlic/Oli Lasun/Leelu Lasan


1. Separate the cloves from the garlic bulb without peeling it.

2. Insert 3-4 cloves (or as many as you want!) in the soil with head down.

3. Little water, sunshine and love, & voila - fresh garlic is ready for you!!:-D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vagharela Mamra

I was reading some old issue of Prevention magazine in which they had praised turmeric. It is anti-oxidant and helps stop the inflammation in the body. They had suggested of using turmeric in the daily cooking and also suggested to sprinkle turmeric powder over the cereal. Of course, Indians need no introduction about turmeric powder as turmeric roots, powder and leaves are used in Indian cooking. But pairing turmeric powder with cereal reminded me my MIL's "Vagharela Mamra". It's the simplest possible type of chiwda/trail mix especially loved by kids as it has no spices. It also comes handy for moms for making an impromtu bhel.

Interesting Read
Turmeric - Prevention.com

Vagharela Mamra
Turmeric infused Puffed Rice
Ingredients
1 small packet puffed rice/kurmure/churmure/mamra
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup roasted peanuts (optional)
salt to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a big wok.
2. Add turmeric powder. Stir without letting it burn.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Saute on low flame till puffed rice gets a yellow hue.

Note
1. Sometimes this is made even simpler by not adding peanuts. I add them for some protein boost.
2. I used brown puffed rice.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ajmo Leaves Masala Rotli


My grandmother used to make absolutely delicious fritters of ajwain leaves. We used to call it "Owyachya paananchi Bhuji". I still remember the feel of those leaves. They used to have velvetty, thick texture. So when I planted the owa/carrom seeds in the soil, I was optimistically expecting to get those leaves(click on Ajmo on the left side) for making pakodas. But instead, I got these herb like leaves. Hmmm. What to do with this herb now? When in doubt, I generally roll out flatbreads!:-D

Ajmo Masala Rotli - Makes about 7 count
Ingredients
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

Stuffing
2 tbsp ajmo/owa/ajowan/ajwain leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper powder
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
salt to taste

You will also need,
wheat flour for dredging/rolling
Oil for roasting

Method
1. Mix flours and salt. Add water to make a stiff dough. Add 1 tsp oil and knead some more. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients for the stuffing and add the leaves and set aside.

3. Make about 7 balls of the dough. Roll each ball in a small flatbread/puri.

4. Spread the dry stuffing generously. Bring the edges together and from a ball again.

5. Dredge in the flour and roll into thick or thin flatbread.

6. Roast on the tawa/pan adding oil, till the brown spots appear on both the sides.

Note -
1. If not using ajmo leaves, you can use coriander leaves/cilantro but also add 1/4 tsp owa seeds.
2. You can make similar tikhi rotli without adding cilantro as well.


Think Spice event is started by Sunita of Sunita's world.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mulka/Mulik - Sweet Banana fritters

I had a great time when my aunt came to visit us over the summer. My parents were here too. So it felt almost as if I am back home in India. Constant chatter, laughter and good food - we had a great time. and even my blog benefited tremendously. Looking at my desire to learn forgotten recipes, mom and aunt often took the walk down the memory lane. and it was such a pleasure. I discovered so many recipes. Mulka was one such recipe. It came with a family history. My great grandparents were Ganapati devotees. and they used to have a big Naivedya every Sankashti/Sankashta Chaturthi. The whole "devghar" - temple at home would be decorated with fresh flowers and garlands and my great grandmother would make naivedya of Mulka - every single Sankashti. I was amazed to know it because this mulka was almost forgotten now in my family - probably because it is deep fried and naivedyaLink for Ganapati now always is steamed Ukadiche Modak. So sharing & rediscovering this forgotten recipe from my great grandmother's kitchen, which my aunt made for us. I was so happy with the family history that I even ignored that they were deep fried! :-D


MuLka or MuLik
Sweet Banana Fritters
Ingredients
2 over ripe bananas
rawa/semolina/sooji - as needed
2 -3 tbsp sugar or jaggery, grated
2-3 cardamoms, peeled and each seed separated
A pinch of salt to taste


Oil or ghee for deep frying


Method
1. Mash overripe bananas.
2. Add remaining ingredients except cardamoms and ghee/oil.
3. The batter should have soft dough like consistency. Accordingly add rawa/semolina.
4. Heat oil or ghee in a kadai for deep frying.
5. Now with a spoon or hand, make small fritters, and add each cardamom seed per fritter.
6. Deep fry till brown on both sides. Do not let it burn.


Note -
1. Traditionally, these fritters are fried in ghee and served along with ghee/toop/clarified butter.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cauliflower Upkari


In my opinion, this upkari or stir-fry tastes best when sauteed in coconut oil. But coconut oil may be an acquired taste especially if you have never used it before. Moreover it also has higher saturated fat contents. So to satisfy my taste buds, I generally use canola oil and 2 drops of coconut oil to get a slight hint of that nutty flavor.

Cauliflower Upkari
Cauliflower stir fry
Ingredients
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp chana daal, soaked in warm water for about 2 hours
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp coconut oil or canola oil + 2 drops coconut oil or any oil of your choice
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2-3 red chilies, torn into halves
1/2 tsp urad daal
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut

Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As urad daal turns reddish, add chana daal. Saute for 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp water. Switch the gas to low. Cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Now add cauliflower florets. Stir well.
4. Add 2 tbsp water. Cover with a lid. Let it cook till the florets and daal are cooked.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Garnish with coconut.
7. Serve with Daali Tauy & plain rice.

Note -
1. The cauliflower and daal should be cooked well but should still retain their shapes. It should not be a complete mush!
2. You can use any oil of your choice but coconut oil adds a unique flavor that is a characteristic of the Konkani cuisine.
3. Instead of chana daal, yellow moong daal can also be used.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kashiphala Bhart


I came to know from my mom, that my great grandmother used to make this side dish from red pumpkin. What I really liked the most about this dish is the name "Kashiphal" for red pumpkin. I used butternut squash to replicate my great grandmother's recipe.

Amma's Kashiphala Bhart
Butternut Squash dip/relish
Ingredients
1 small butternut squash, peeled
salt to taste
1 small onion, minced
2 green chilies, minced
1 lemon, squeezed

Tempering
coconut oil per taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
few curry leaves

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut (or more!)

Method
1. Pressure cook butter nut squash adding 2 tbsp water. Using a fork, squish the squash to a mush.
2. Add onions, green chilies, lemon juice and coconut with salt.
3. Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
4. Pour the sizzling oil over the squash mixture.
5. Mix well.

Note -
1. You can use acorn squash as well as red pumpkin for the above recipe.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Batatya Song

I have seen that this amazing recipe is blogged by many bloggers as this is one of the basic & classic recipes from the Konkani kitchens. The taste is as unique as the name of this simple dish.

I am sharing my family's version here.


Batatya Song
Potato & Onion Curry
Ingredients
4-5 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil or any other oil of preference

Grind to a coarse paste
5-6 byadgi chilies, roasted in a drop of coconut oil
1 tbsp tamarind pulp

Method
1. Heat oil. Saute onion till golden brown. Do not let it burn.
2. Add ground masala paste. Saute for 1 minute.
3. Add 1 cup water. add salt to taste.
4. Add potato chunks. Bring to boil.
5. Let it simmer. Using back of the spoon, mash 1 or 2 pieces of potatoes to give a thick consistency.
Note -
1. The coconut oil gives a unique and authentic flavor. However, if you are bothered by the saturated fat contents in the coconut oil, you can use canola or olive oil. and then add a few drops of coconut oil for flavor.
2. Though not authentic, I make my own variations to the above basic and original recipe (original - as in my family, I know authentic/original definition changes from family to family!) . Sometimes I add 1 tbsp jaggery which adds another dimension to the spicy, sour flavor of curry.
3. Sometimes I also add coriander-cumin seeds powder, curry leaves, mustard seeds in the tempering.
4. My grandmother never served this song with dosa, but I love to serve this with any kind of dosa. I think it just tastes out of this world. Last time, I served it with Maya's (or actually Maya's mom's !) set dosa.

Ambule Gojju - Green Mango Relish



Ambule Gojju
Green Mango Chutney
Ingredients
1 small green mango makes about 1/2 cup cut mango
1/2 - 1 cup coconut
4-5 cloves of garlic
4-6 byadgi chilies
salt to taste

few drops of coconut oil (Optional)

Method
1. Pressure cook the mango. Discard the peels,
2. Grind the remaining ingredients.
3. Drizzle a few drops of coconut oil, if using.
4. Serve with idlis.
Note -
1. This gojju or chutney is quite tart. However you can increase/decrease the amount of fresh coconut to get the tartness of your liking.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

White Rajma Bendi


My grandmother used to make two types of Bendis. One with garlic and the other with teppal/tirphal. Since I had already blogged about the bendi with garlic, I thought of posting this bendi with teppal - made by my mom.

Rajma Bendi
Ingredients
1 cup cannelloni beans/white kidney beans (soak overnight, discard the water, drain
salt to taste

Grind to a coarse paste
12 byadgi chilies (reduce per your taste), roast in few drops of coconut oil
2 tsp tamarind pulp
1/4 cup cooked kidney beans
15 teppals/tirphals - soaked in water

Garnish
1 tsp coconut oil

Method
1. Pressure cook beans and set aside
2. Grind roasted chilies and tamarind to a coarse paste. Add cooked beans and grind one more time. Now add teppals with water and grind quickly.
3. Pour cooked beans in a saucepan. Bring to boil.
4. Add ground masala.
5. Add salt. Bring to boil.
6. As the curry boils, add coconut oil. Switch off the gas.

Note -
1. The consistency should not be too thin.
2. Teppals should not be ground fine. Hence, you need to add them in the last stage of grinding and just whirl them quickly.
3. Teppal/Tirphal is used for flavor. It is not meant to be eaten.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Turmeric Leaf Scented Rice

Turmeric leaves are used in Konkani cuisine for their unique flavor. Mom sometimes uses a turmeric leaf while boiling plain rice. It just tastes divine especially with some hot & sour fish curry.

Turmeric Leaf Scented Rice
Ingredients
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 turmeric leaf, tied in a knot

Method
1. Pick rice for any impurities. Wash and drain.
2. Add water and bring to boil. Drop the turmeric leaf knot.
3. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for about 9 minutes or till the rice grains looked cooked.
4. Cover with a lid. Do not open for at least 7 minutes.
5. Serve hot with fish curry for the traditional combo.

Note -
1. Turmeric leaf is not meant to be eaten. It is used just for flavor. Please discard it before serving the rice.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Karate Ambule Ghasshi - Bittergourd Curry

Mom made above curry during my parents' visit last summer. I just took pictures, notes and slurped!:-D

Karate Ambule Ghasshi
Bittergourd-raw mango curry
Ingredients
3 bittergourds, scraped/seed removed, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 of raw mango, sliced
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp - (if needed)
salt to taste
2 - 3 tbsp jaggery
Grind to paste
1/2 cup coconut

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp urad daal

6-7 fenugreek seeds

4-5 byadgi chilies


Tempering

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig curry leaves, torn


Method

1. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt on the bittergourd pieces. Set aside for 1 hour. Squeeze the water and rinse .

2. Heat 2-3 drops of oil. Quickly roast coriander seeds, urad daal, byadgi chilies and fenugreek seeds.

3. Grind the roasted spices with coconut.

4. Meanwhile, add bittergourd and raw mango pieces in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Simmer till cooked.

5. Add ground masala paste and 3/4 cup water. Add salt & jaggery. Bring to boil. Simmer.

6. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. As the curry-leaves sizzle, pour the tempered oil on the curry. Switch off the gas and cover with the lid.


Note -

1. You may have to decide if you need to use tamarind or not, based on the tartness provided by raw mango. If the raw mango is tart enough to flavor the curry, you do not have to add the tamarind pulp.

2. The amount of jaggery really depends on the bitterness of the gourds and sourness of the raw mango. Adjust the jaggery in order to get the balance of all the tastes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

PuLi Koddel- Ash Gourd Curry

Ashgourd (or KohLa in Marathi) is a big gourd and is generally available in the pre-cut wedges form at our local Indian stores. I meant to try this koddel from a long time, finally when mom was here during summer, she made it for us.


PuLi Koddel

Ingredients

2 cups Ashgourd, peeled & chopped into big chunks

Salt to taste

1 tbsp jaggery

Tempering 1

1 tsp oil

1 sprig curry leaves

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1 cup water

Grind to fine paste

3/4 cup fresh coconut

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, roasted in a few drops of oil

1 tbsp urad daal, roasted in a few drops of oil

1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted in a few drops of oil

7-9 byadgi chilies, roasted in a few drops of oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted in a few drops of oil

1 tbsp tamarind pulp


Tempering 2

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad daal

2 sprigs curry leaves, torn

Method

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add tempering 1 except water. Stir in ashgourd chunks. Saute for 1 minute. Add water. Cover with a lid. Let it cook till the gourd is soft.

2. Grind the masala according to the instructions.

3. When the gourd is cooked, add ground masala and 1/2 cup water to adjust the consistency of the curry.

4. Add salt, jaggery and bring to boil

5. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add tempering 2.

6. Add sizzling oil in the simmering curry. Switch off the gas and cover with the lid immediately.

7. Serve with plain rice.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Hinga Udaak - Prawns curry South Canara Way

It's total blasphemy that I haven't blogged about this signature dish from my family heritage. My aunt coined the word "Hinga Jhinga" for the same curry as Jhinga means prawns in colloquial Marathi.


This Hinga Jhinga is just for you, aunt N, - your most favorite!! Hope you like it.



Sungtha Hinga Udaak
Prawns Asafoetida Curry
Ingredients
2 cups shrimp/prawns, peeled & deveined
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste


Grind to fine paste
1 cup fresh coconut
15-20 byadgi chilies (reduce per your taste!), roasted in a drop of coconut oil
2 tsp tamarind pulp


Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder or 1 small piece of asafoetida dissolved in 1 tbsp water


Method
1. Clean and rinse shrimp. Marinate with turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
2. Grind the masala to a fine paste.
3. Pour marinated shrimp in a saucepan. Add masala and 1 1/2 cups water. Add salt.
4. Bring to boil.
5. As curry comes to the rolling boil, add asafoetida powder or asafoetida water.
6. Drizzle coconut oil. Switch off the gas.
7. Serve with plain rice.

Notes-
1. Similar curry is made with khubbe/tisrya/clams. But generally, raw mango pieces are also added in the Khubbya Randayi/clams curry.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mumbai Pav Bhaji


Pav Bhaji is a hodgepodge, often snubbed as the butter laden, unhealthy food, but still you can't ignore the wonderful aroma and delicious taste. Pav Bhaji which is one of the culinary delights from Mumbai, is like the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai itself - A hodgepodge of people from different communities, snubbed as "overcrowded, polluted & costly" but in my opinion, still the beautiful city to live.

Whether you like your pav bhaji from Shiv saagar, Cannon, Gokul, Sardar or just any street side vendor, I feel it's almost an impossible task to replicate the restaurant pavbhaji at home. The color, texture, taste seem different when made at home. Homemade pavbhaji tastes good- no doubt, but restaurant pav bhaji always scores some extra points.

Without making any claim that this is just like restaurant pav bhaji, I am sharing with you, my own attempt of making pav bhaji at home -

Mumbai Pav Bhaji (serves 8 - 12)
Ingredients
Pressure cook -
6 potatoes
1/2 cup green peas
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
2 carrots, peeled

Soak for 4 hours
7 - 9 kashmiri chilies
1 cup water (or more as necessary)

Grind to fine paste
10 - 12 cloves of garlic
2" ginger
drained kashmiri chilies from above
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 fresh mint leaves

Tempering
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp Amul butter (more or less depending on your taste)

You will also need,
1/2 cup green peas (frozen ok)
4-5 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp pav bhaji Masala (I prefer Badshah brand)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)

Garnish
2 lemons, cut into wedges
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
A pinch of chaat masala

To serve
1 - 2 tbsp Amul butter
Pav or dinner rolls as needed, slit

Method
1. Pressure cook vegetables. Peel potatoes. Mash the vegetables and set aside.
2. Heat oil and Amul butter.
3. Add red chili-ginger-garlic paste. Add tomatoes. Saute for 11 minutes on a low flame.
4. Add pav bhaji masala. Saute for another 5 minutes.
5. Add mashed vegetables and 2 cups water. Bring to boil.
6. Add salt to taste, sugar. Mix well
7. Stir in whole green peas. Let it simmer.
8. Switch off the gas. Cover and set aside.

To Serve per person-
1. Heat a deep dish tawa or frying pan. Add 1 tsp Amul butter. Add about 1/2 cup - 1 cup bhaji. Saute for a few minutes till hot.
2. Immediately, pour the hot bhaji in a serving plate.
3. Pour a dab of butter. It should melt immediately.
4. Now, in the same frying pan, add butter again. Add slit pavs and rub them on the pan so the insides of pav get covered with butter as well as bits from bhaji.
5. Let the pav become brownish (& soaked with butter, for the real taste!!) :-D
6. Place next to bhaji in the plate.
7. Sprinkle bhaji with cut onions, cilantro, chat masala. Squeeze lemon generously. Enjoy!!

Notes -
1. Every person from my family and friend circle has their own version of making pav bhaji. My friend, always adds some tamarind pulp to the bhaji.

2. After making pav bhaji, my aunt adds an additional tadka/tempering of minced garlic in butter for that additional zing.

3. Another friend makes a paste of garlic-ginger-green chilies-cilantro instead of my kashmiri red chilies paste.

4. Kashmiri chilies are used for their wonderful red color and mild flavor. I do not know how other dry chilies do. Vinegar and salt are used to retain that beautiful color.
5. You get various flavors in pav bhaji at restaurants. They are as below -
paneer pavbhaji - grated/crumbled paneer or deep fried paneer pieces based on the restaurant
cheese pavbhaji - grated Amul cheese for garnish
khada pavbhaji - the boiled vegetables are not mashed to mush but they retain their shapes
jain pavbhaji - pav bhaji is made without garlic, onion, potatoes. My version is here.
Mushroom Pavbhaji - Minced Mushroom is added along with onion and bell pepper.
6. If you want, you can also add chopped onion and bell peppers/capsicums before adding the kashmiri chili paste.
7. Recently, I enjoyed the most delicious, virtual pav-bhaji on my birthday. Check it out here at Purnima's fantasy Cooking.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pray for my city...

City of Mumbai - Bombay - Bumbai - call it by any name. It's my city. City of my birth, my husband's birth, my parents' births, my in-laws' births, my grandparents' births....the city which, I call my home. The city which is my native.

Today, the city of Mumbai is bleeding. and so is my heart!

I am praying for my beloved city and every Mumbaikar, Bombayite, Bumbayya, Mumbayya.

Hope you all are safe.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ven Pongal


Recipe Source - http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1734311

Chef - Raghavan Iyer

My modifications -
I added mixed vegetables.

Calorie Information -
CALORIES 121(17% from fat);
FAT 2.3g (sat 1.2g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.1g);
PROTEIN 3g;
CHOLESTEROL 5mg;
CALCIUM 27mg;
SODIUM 183mg;
FIBER 1.5g;
IRON 0.9mg;
CARBOHYDRATE 21.6g

Credits -
Cooking Light/Raghavan Iyer

Chicken Pulao

Today is Bhau Beej/Bhai Dooj which is celebrated as a bond between sisters and brothers. I wanted to post something sweet for this occasion and then I thought of my brothers. Really, they will prefer chicken pullao any day to any sweet. So here it is.

Chicken Pulao
Ingredients
1 lb chicken, boneless/skinless, cut
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed, drained
salt to taste
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, sliced finely
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter


Grind to fine paste
2 green chilies
1 small bunch of cilantro/coriander leaves
10 almonds
2 sprigs of mint
3 red chilies, mild variety like kashmiri
2 cardamoms
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp coconut
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Khada Masala/Whole Spices
2 bay leaves
7 black peppercorns
1 tsp caraway seeds/shahjeera
5 cloves
2" stick cinnamon

Garnish
1 tbsp coriander leaves , chopped
1 sprig mint leaves, leaves only not stems, chopped

Accompaniment
1 lemon
1 Onion, sliced finely
1 Tomato, sliced finely

Method
0. Mix the ground paste with yogurt. Add to the chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
1. Heat ghee in a deep bottomed pot.
2. Add all the whole spices. As they start popping, add sliced onion. Saute till onion is golden brown. Use a low flame. Add chopped tomatoes.
3. Add marinated chicken along with yogurt into the pan and saute till ghee leaves the masala.


4. Add salt to taste. and then stir in drained basmati rice.5. Carefully fold in the rice without breaking the grains. Saute till rice appears to have soaked in the moisture.6. Add 3 1/2 cups warm water. Check for salt. Turn the gas on high flame. Bring to boil.
7. As the water boils, reduce the flame to low. Place the pot on an iron frying pan/tawa for indirect heat.
8. Cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes or till done.
9. Fluff with a fork.

Note -
1. Chicken pieces with bones can also be used. We prefer boneless/skinless chicken so this recipe states boneless chicken.
 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Almond Katli & Saal Mubarak

We celebrate 3 new years every year!:-D One is the usual Dec 31st/Jan 1st - the real one when we make new year resolutions, the second is Gudhi Padva - by this time, all our resolutions are long forgotten and the third one is today -Bestu Varas.


Almond Katli
Almond Fudge
Ingredients
125 gm almonds, raw, unsalted
100 gm powdered sugar
4-5 cardamoms, peeled, powdered
few strands of saffron
few slivers of almonds/pistachios for garnish

Method
1. Soak almonds in water for 4 hours. Drain. Peel. Grind to paste.
2. Add the almond paste in a kadai or wok. Add powdered sugar. Stir well.
3. Let the mixture cook on a very slow flame for about 11-12 minutes. The mixture should thicken at this point.
4. Remove from the gas. Add cardamom powder and saffron strands. Mix well.
5. Pour onto a greased thali/plate. Spread as evenly as you can. Sprinkle pistachio/almond slivers/pieces.
6. Cut into diamonds or squares.

Note -
1. You can use the back of katori/ramekin to spread the almond mixture on the plate.


Note - Image taken from webdunia.com

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