Friday, February 29, 2008

Batatyache Thalipeeth

It now reminds me of latkes/rosti/pancakes. But this is not a fusion food from my kitchen. It's just a basic one - just an easy and quick "upwas/fasting/farali" food from the Maharashtrian kitchens.

Batatyache Thalipeeth
Potato Pancakes
Ingredients
1 big baking potato, scrubbed, peeled, grated
1 green chili, minced
1 tsp ginger pulp
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp roasted, peeled, unsalted peanuts, crushed
salt to taste
1 tsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped (Optional)
oil or ghee for shallow frying

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil/ghee to make a firm dough. Make 4 balls
2. Heat a pan. Spread the dough on the pan with hand,
3. Add few drops of oil. Cover with a lid. Wait for 5 minutes.
4. Flip over. Add few more drops of oil.
5. Serve hot with roasted bell pepper chutney.

Note -
1. Many people, especially from Gujarat, always use "rock salt" or sindhav/saindhav to make any upwas or farali dishes.
2. I made these mini thalipeeths but you can also make bigger pancake sized thalipeeths too.
3. Instead of potato, a sweet potato can also be used.

This post is my contribution to Sia's "Ode to Potatoes".
This post is also my contribution to DK's "Potato Fe(a)st".

Ratalyacha Kees

What if you want to make sabudanyachi khichdi without sabudana? Well, you can replace sabudana with grated sweet potatoes or plain potatoes and proceed. What do you get? Ratalyacha ( or batatyacha) kees.

Ratalyacha Kees
Ingredients
2 -3 sweet potatoes, peeled, grated
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1/4 cup roasted, peeled, unsalted peanuts, crushed

Tempering
tbsp oil or ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, chopped

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

Method
1. Wash, peel and grate the sweet potatoes.
2. Heat oil/ghee in a kadai.
3. Add cumin seeds and green chilies.
4. Add grated sweet potatoes. Cover with a lid.
5. Let it cook for about 20 minutes or till done on a low flame.
6. Add some crushed & powdered peanuts, salt and sugar to taste.
7. Garnish with lemon juice, coconut & coriander leaves.

Note -
1. The sweet potatoes that we get here are orange in color. Hence it looks as if I have made "carrot kees". But the kees made from the Indian sweet potatoes is always creamish/beige in color.
2. You can use potatoes to make above kees too.

Since both Sia and Dhivya have included "sweet potatoes" in their potatoes event,
This post is my contribution to Sia's "Ode to Potatoes".
&
This post is my contribution to DK's "Potato Fe(a)st".

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Parsi Ravo

Parsis migrated from the ancient Persia, to the western part of India, which is now Gujarat, about 1000 years ago. I have heard a very sweet story. Many centuries ago, when Parsis arrived, they approached the king of the local land. They wanted to settle in the new place. The king was hesitant because he was not sure how his land could support more people? To stress his point, he ordered a tall cup full of milk. He showed the cup to the Parsi immigrants, stated that this cup couldn't hold anything else similarly his land couldn't hold anything more. Parsis took a handful of sugar and poured in the cup and said, just like this sugar not only got well-blended with the milk but also made the milk sweeter, we would be one of you. So Parsis adapted the Gujarati culture. They speak Gujarati, ladies wear Gujarati style saris. They follow many Gujarati customs while still retaining their own customs and individuality.

May be it's an urban legend, maybe a fable. So in order to celebrate this sweet story, kuchh meetha ho jaye? (let's have something sweet?)

Parsi ravo is similar to shira/sanja/shiro/sooji ka halwa/rawa kesari which is found in other parts of India. The only difference, I find is that instead of the flavor of cardamom/nutmeg, vanilla essence is added. We always relished this "Ravo" during Ganesh Chaturthi festival at our classmate Zubin's home.
Disclaimer - I am not an archaeologist or historian by profession. This story may or may not be very accurate. Please read it to enjoy the essence of the story.

Parsi Ravo
Ingredients
1 cup rawa
1 tbsp ghee
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup milk
Garnish
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp almond slivers
1 tbsp pistachio slivers

Method
1. Heat ghee in a pan. Roast rawa for about 15 minutes on a very low flame. Keep stirring continuously so it doesnt burn.
2. Boil milk and sugar.
3. Add milk-sugar mixture to the roasted rawa.
4. Stir till all the liquid is evaporated and pudding like consistency is achieved.
5. Switch off the gas. Add vanilla essence, almonds, and pistachios.

Note -
1. Do not add vanilla essence when the gas is on. It will make the ravo bitter in taste.
2. I have used vanilla bean this time but vanilla essence or extract can be used. If using vanilla bean, add it to the boiled milk-sugar mixture. You can scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and then add to the milk. However, I slit a 1/4th part of the bean, and put that bean itself in the milk.
3. Instead of using only milk, you can use milk+water or only water for the ravo. When you add just milk, it makes ravo creamier.



This post is my contribution to RCI: Gujarat at Mythili's.
RCI is brainchild of Lakshmi of Veggiecuisine.

Jain Pav-Bhaji

Since Jains do not eat any underground tubers, onions, potatoes, ginger, turmeric, garlic are not allowed. Though I have seen "Jain Pav-bhaji" on most of the menu-cards of Mumbai restaurants, I had never ordered it. Today, I made it at home out of curiosity. Replacing potatoes with raw bananas/plantains and not using ginger-garlic and onions for Pav-bhaji sounded really challenging. But we loved the result.

Though I knew what to avoid, and to replace potatoes with raw plaintains (banana), I wanted to make sure, I am not missing anything. I followed my own recipe, but googled "Jain Pav Bhaji" and got following links. I wanted to make sure, my ingredients were ok.
http://www.indialife.com/Indiancuisine/jain3.htm

http://jainfood.blogspot.com/2007/11/jain-pav-bhaji.html

Jain Pav-Bhaji

Ingredients
2 raw plantains, cut into 2-3 pieces, If plaintain is very big, use only 1
few florets of cauliflower
handful of peas
1 green bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp pav-bhaji masala & more as required
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp amchoor powder
salt to taste
Garnish
Butter
cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
lemon

Method
1. Pressure cook plantain with peel, cauliflower, peas.
2. Take the peels of plaintains off. Grate them and keep aside. Mash the rest of the cooked vegetables.
3. Heat butter. Add cumin seeds, pav-bhaji masala, bell pepper.
4. Stir fry for a few minutes. Now add tomatoes. Stir fry again for 5 minutes.
5. Add mashed, grated vegetables. Add 1 cup water.
6. Stir in Amchoor powder, chili powder, salt to taste
7. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add more pav-bhaji masala if needed
8. Serve hot with butter, cilantro, and lemon wedges.
Note -
1. Though the plaintain was pressure-cooked, I really had hard time mashing it with the potato masher. I grated the cooked plantains.
2. Some Jain families do not use fresh cilantro but prefer dried one.


This post is my contribution to RCI: Gujarat at Mythili's.
RCI is brainchild of
Lakshmi of Veggiecuisine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank you, Purnima!


My dear friend, Purnima of fantasy cooking has sent me this beautiful award. Thanks so much, Purnima for thinking about me. Also, thanks for your witty comments, candid feedback and encouragement. It means so much to me.

I do not consider this blog as Excellent and I do know that I have miles to go. But I do feel encouraged by getting this award, and not to mention, thrilled & happy & excited too!!:-D

I would like to pass this award with lots of best wishes to these talented bloggers -

Ashwini of Food for thought

Vee of Past, Present & me

Uma of Essence of Andhra

Bindiya of in love with food

Chithra of Kudampuli

Pooja V of KhanaPina

Lemon Rice

I learned this rice from my roommate. As she was making this rice, I thought it is more or less similar to my mom's "fodnicha bhat" - tempered rice. And then she generously squeezed in fresh lemon juice. What a totally different taste and flavor , a lemon can add.

So here's the recipe.

Lemon Rice
Ingredients
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp raw peanuts
Salt to taste

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp urad daal
1 tsp chana daal
7-9 curry leaves
1-2 dry red chilies

Garnish
1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Method
1. Let the cooked rice cool down.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. As the mustard seeds start spluttering, add peanuts. Saute for 5 minutes. Add cooked rice.
4. Add salt. Let the rice be coated with all the tempered oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
5. Stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro.


This post is my contribution to Jihva:Lime/Lemon at The Spice Cafe by Coffee.
Jihva series is started by
Indira of Mahanandi.

Lemon Rasam

Lemon Rasam
Ingredients
1/2 cup toor daal
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 red chilies
9-11 curry leaves
1 green chilies
1 small tomato, chopped


Garnish
1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.

Method
1. Pressure cook toor daal and keep aside.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for the tempering.
3. Add daal and 3-4 cups water. Add salt to taste.
4. Bring rasam to boil. Add more water if needed.
5. Switch off the gas. Add lemon juice and cilantro.
6. Serve hot.

Note -
1. The consistency should be "broth" like so add more water as needed.


This post is my contribution to Jihva:Lime/Lemon at The Spice Cafe by Coffee. Jihva series is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hot & Sour Fish Curry

Teekshe - Hot , Aamshe -Sour - this hot & sour fish curry is my paternal aunt's signature dish. The curry is hot due to chilies, tangy due to tamarind, & is totally unique and full of complex flavors added by teppals/tirphals and turmeric leaves. It's lipsmackingly good. Serve with plain rice- preferably parboiled rice. and you are set to a joyous journey to the gastronomic heaven!

Teekshe Aamshe
Hot & Sour Fish Curry

Ingredients

5 Mackrels or 5-6 steaks of rainbow trout

9 Tirphals/teppals

2 Turmeric leaves

salt to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to fine paste

1 cup fresh coconut

9-11 byadgi chilies

2 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp raw rice

Garnish

1 tsp coconut oil

Method

1. Clean and wash fish. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder. Set aside.

2. Soak teppals in 1/4 cup water. Keep aside.

3. Grind masala to a fine paste.

4. Pour masala in a saucepan. Add teppal along with water.

5. Add salt to taste. As the curry starts boiling, add fish steaks.

6. Keep turmeric leaves on top.

7. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes till fish is cooked.

8. Drizzle coconut oil on top.

Note -

1. The consistency of this curry is quite thick. So use water sparingly.

2. The curry tastes even better next day.

3. This curry is traditionally made with Bangda or Mackrel. I substituted rainbow trout.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Batatyachi Suki Bhaji


Few years back, my grandparents-in-law came to visit us. It's amazing, when grandparents-in-law come, the "in-law" suffix just gets dropped so quickly. They instantly become & always remain just grandparents.

Anyway, so we carried lots of homemade food during our mandatory one day trips to the neighboring places. After all, where else we could have found puri-bhaji -Shrikhand or thepla with chunda or stuffed paratha with pickle & hot masala ni chai (taken in a thermas flask)? I am sharing one of our picnic menus.


Batatyachi Suki Bhaji
Ingredients
3-4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, diced
salt to taste
sugar to taste - appro 1/2 tsp

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ginger, peeled & grated
2 sprigs curry leaves
2-3 green chilies, chopped


Garnish
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp coconut (optional)
lemon wedges to serve

Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai or a wok.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering one after the other.
3. As mustard seeds start spluttering, add diced potatoes.
4. Add salt & sugar.
5. Stir fry so the tempering coats the potatoes evenly.
6. Let it cook on a slow flame for about 7 minutes.
7. Garnish with cilantro & coconut, if using.
8. Serve with puri & lemon wedges.

Note -
1. You can even mash the potatoes instead of dicing them.
2. If your taste buds crave for fiery hot bhaji, add ground green chilies, instead of chopped green chilies. If you prefer very mild bhaji, slit the green chilies, instead of chopping.

This Puri & bhaji combo is my contribution to "Travel Food Festival" at Simple Indian Food.This post is also my contribution to Sia's "Ode to Potatoes".
This post is also my contribution to DK's "Potato Fe(a)st".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Paraat

This is my Paraat which I use almost daily for kneading the dough for chapati, fulka, roti, naan, thepla - all the Indian flatbreads.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tondli/Tindora


Tondli/Tindora/Tendli/ivygourds/Gherkins

Friday, February 22, 2008

Roasted Bell Pepper Chutney

I love this chutney. And here's the recipe.

Mirchi chi Chutney
Roasted Bell Pepper Chutney
Ingredients
1 firm, green bell pepper
Salt to taste
sugar to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup roasted, peeled, unsalted peanuts
1/4 tsp cumin seeds


Tempering (Optional)
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds


Method
1. Wash and dry the bell pepper.
 2. Roast on the flame like eggplant is roasted. Flip it so it is uniformly charred.

3. After it is nicely charred from all the sides, drop the bell pepper in a steel container and cover it with a lid immediately.

4. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Due to this step, the bell pepper gets cooked in its own steam.

5. Once cooled off, take off the charred skin of the bell pepper. Pluck the stem and inside seeds. Discard.

6. Grind roasted bell pepper along with peanuts, yogurt, sugar, cumin seeds.

7. Heat ghee in a small saucepan. Add cumin seeds. Pour the tempered ghee over the chutney if you are using the tempering.

Note-
1. While buying the bell pepper, make sure it is firm and it does not have any hole or slits, otherwise it will be difficult to roast - moisture oozes out.
2. Instead of using yogurt, you can also squeeze in lemon juice to get a beautiful dark green colored chutney.
3. I did not use the tempered ghee.
4. You can substitute orange or red or yellow bell pepper to get the respective vibrant colored chutney.
5. You can grind all the ingredients (except yogurt) and then later mix yogurt if you like.
This post is my contribution to VOW-JFI - Bell Peppers' at Pooja's Creative Pooja. VOW event is started by Pooja of Creative Pooja.
JFI event is started by
Indira of Mahanandi.

My very first award

“Nice Matters Award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”

Wow! Look what I got!! My friend, Uma of Essence of Andhra sent this sweet award to me. I am feeling kind of great/excited/thrilled you know!! It's after all my very first award. Thanks so much, Uma!

I would like to send this award , along with loads of best wishes and happiness, to some of the nicest people I know from the blogosphere.


Purnima of Fantasy Cooking

Maya of Konkan World

Asha of Foodie's Hope/Aroma

Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasures

Archy of Archy's Recipes

Vimmi of Possibilities-in-life


Thank you for being you...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kolhapuri Tambda Rassa



Thanks Pooja V. for encouraging me to blog about Tambda Rassa and Pandhra Rassa. The recipes change from the household to household in every corner of India or for that matter, the whole world. Both these recipes were given to me (along with a generous pouch of homemade Kolhapuri Masala) by my friend, Nilima who is originally from Kolhapur but now lives in Mumbai.

I hope you find some fiery lavangi mirchi and equally fiery or zanzanit Kolhapuri masala for making this hot hot hot curry.

Before I forget, "Tambda" means color red.

Kolhapuri Tambda Rassa

Ingredients

2.2 lb or 1 kg Mutton/Chicken
3 big Onions, chopped
Oil
Salt to taste

Marinade

2-3 tbsp Kolhapuri Masala (or more if you dare!)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 cup yogurt

Grind to a fine paste

1 bunch Coriander leaves

1/2 cup dry Coconut

1/2 cup fresh coconut

1" ginger

4-5 cloves garlic

3-5 lavangi mirchis (or more!)

1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
9 peppercorns

Method
1. Clean and cut the mutton into small pieces. Marinate with Kolhapuri masala, turmeric powder and yogurt. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Heat oil. Add onions and fry well till it is almost red.
3. Add mutton and fry again
4. Add salt. Stir fry again
5. Now cover the vessel with a lid. Keep water onto the lid
6. When on the lid starts boiling, add that water into the vessel, add more water on the lid.

7. Repeat till the mutton is slow-cooked.
8. Now add the ground paste.
9. Let it come to rolling boil. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.

10. Switch off the gas. Cover with the lid tightly. Keep aside for at least 15 minutes.

11. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

12. Serve with chapatis or bhakris, cut onions and lemon wedges.

Note -

1. Though not traditional, I sometimes add big chunks of potatoes in the above curry.

2. Traditionally, at my friend's home - this curry is served in 2 separate containers. One katori/remekin is full of just curry and the second katori/remekin is full of just mutton.

If you are looking for chicken Kolhapuri sookha, click here.

Check out Jyotsna's version of Kolhapuri Mutton.

Check out Asha's version of Kolhapuri Egg Curry.

Kolhapuri Pandhra Rassa

This is a broth like mutton soup which generally precedes the fiery Tambda rassa of Kolhapur. This is traditionally made with mutton. Since I do not get mutton here, I have substituted with chicken.

And just for your information, "Pandhra" means color white.

Kolhapuri Pandhra Rassa

Ingredients
1 kg mutton /chicken
1 cup coconut milk

Grind to a fine paste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves (optional)
2 Onions, sliced
4 Green Chilies
1" Ginger
4-5 big cloves Garlic
1 cup coconut
2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp Peppercorns
salt to taste
1/2 cup plain yogurt


Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves


Method
1. Grind all above ingredients and apply that paste to mutton. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or better yet, overnight.
2. Heat oil. Fry above meat mixture. Add 1 cup water.
3. Cover with a lid. Add water on the lid. Switch the gas to low.
4. Let it cook till mutton is soft. Keep adding water from the lid to the pot and add more water to the lid as time goes by.
4. When the mutton is cooked, add 10 cups water. Bring to boil.
5. Add coconut milk. Simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off the gas.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro.



Note -
1. If you add cilantro in the paste (like I did!), the color of the curry becomes greenish. Do not add cilantro if you prefer the curry to be more white.
2. The consistency of this curry should be like a broth. So keep adding more water if it looks too thick.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mirch-Masala from Gujarat

Sambhaar - This is Gujarati instant Athanu or pickle mix. It is a must have in all the Gujarati pantries. The recipes differ from family to family. You can make yearly pickle or one time use pickle by this amazing mixture. Since it already has salt in it, sometimes, it is also eaten like a dry chutney or adding little oil or plain yogurt to make impromptu wet chutney.
This is my mom-in-law's recipe. She sends me the pickle masala, so the picture above, is of her pickle masala.
Gujarati Sambhaar/Pickle Masala
Ingredients
2 cups Rai Kuriya (coarsely ground mustard seeds)
1 cup Methi Kuriya (Coarsely ground fenugreek seeds)
1/4 cup whole black peppercorn
2 cups coarse Chili powder
1 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 cups oil
1 1/2 cup coarse salt
Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai/wok to the boiling point.
2. Let it cool down.
3. Pour the rest of the ingredients in the completely cooled oil.
5. store in an air-tight container.
Note
1. Do not add the ingredients when the oil is hot. else it will turn black and also the steam/droplets will be formed. That will destroy the masala completely.
2. You can use the above masala to make annual kairi/raw mango pickle or impromptu pickle of almost any raw vegetables from carrots, cauliflowers, turnip, kohlrabi, jicama. I recently made kohlrabi pickle using this pickle masala.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa is one of my favorite food network chefs. This is her recipe.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at home by Ina Garten
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour /maida
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest (of 2 lemons)
1/2 tsp vainlla extract/essence
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze (Optional)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 81/2x41/4x21/2 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt in one bowl.
3. In another bowl, whisk yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla.
4. Slowly fold in dry mixture in nto the wet mixture. Make sure there are no lumps.
5. With rubber spatula, fold in vegetable oil. Mix well.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes.
7. Cook 1/3 cup lemon juice with remaining 1/3 cup sugar till sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes clear. Set aside
8. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Take out While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture. Allow to soak in. Cool.
9. Combine the glaze ingredients and pour over the cake.
Note -
1. I did not make the glaze. It still tasted good. But 1/2 cup sugar & lemon juice mixture is necessary otherwise the cake will taste almost sugarless.
2. I think when you have some leftover sugar syrup from Gulabjamun, you can use it (by adding lemon juice) for the glaze.
3. Chef Garten used whole-milk yogurt but I used non-fat version.

This post is my contribution to Jihva:Lime/Lemon at The Spice Cafe by Coffee.
Jihva series is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Matki Sprouts Pullao

My mom pairs the matki sprouts (moth beans) with rice and makes this simple pullao. It is flavored by goda masala and badia (pronounced baa-di-ya) - which is also known as Star Anise.
Here's the recipe -

Modachya Matkicha Pullao
Moth sprouts pullao
Ingredients
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup moth/matki sprouts
1/2 tsp red chili powder

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp goda masala
2-3 star anise
a pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
1 tbsp freshly grated coconut
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Accompaniment
Lemon wedges
Ghee or
Plain yogurt

Method
1. Wash & drain basmati rice and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
2. Heat oil. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. Stir in rice and saute for 1 minute.
4. Add matki sprouts and carefully mix in without breaking the sprouts.
5. Add 3 cups water, salt to taste & red chili powder.
6. Bring to boil. As the water comes to a rolling boil, switch the gas to low.
7. Cover with a lid and let it cook for about 15 minutes or so. Fluff the rice with a fork.
8. Garnish with coconut, cilantro.
9. Serve with lemon wedges and a dollop of ghee or yogurt.


Check out Asha's version of Matki Pullao.
Check out Ashwini's version of Peshawari Matki Biryani.


This post is my contribution to Sunita's Think Spice: Star anise.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Alu Chaat

Recipe Source -

Malvani Chicken Curry

I have already blogged about Malvani chicken masala. But that is a coconut based curry where as today's curry has the base of onions and famous Malvani Masala. If you have a friend who can spare some Malvani masala, grab it and use it. because that's what gives the real flavor to this famous curry.

Malvani Kombadi
Malvani style chicken curry
Ingredients
1.5 lb chicken, cut into small pieces
salt to taste
3-4 kokum, soaked in 1/2 cup water
2-3 tbsp Malvani Masala

For marination
1" ginger
4-5 green chilies
1 bunch of coriander leaves
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup yogurt

Grind to fine paste
2-3 medium onions
4 cloves of garlic

Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Method
1. Clean, cut and wash chicken pieces.
2. Grind the masala for marination. Marinate the chicken with masala and refrigerate overnight.
3. Grind the onion garlic paste.
4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker handi or a pot.
5. Add onion paste. Keep frying till onion paste is nicely browned and raw smell of onions is completely disappeared.
6. Add malvani masala. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
7. Add marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
8. Add kokum water, salt to taste.
9. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
10. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
11. Serve hot with malvani vade.

Note -
1. I have expedited the process by using the pressure cooker. The original method requires making the curry in a big pot, covering it with a lid. Add water on the lid. Cook on the slowest possible flame. As the water on the lid begins to boil, pour that water in the curry and add more water on the lid. This goes on till the chicken is completely cooked.

Check out Pooja V's version of Malvani kombadi-vade.

Malvani Vade

How can I say that my blog has a Malvani flavor if it does not yet have the recipe of famous "Kombadi Vade". This thought tortured me so much that I had to prepare the famous "Kombadi Vade" combo for lunch at the first opportunity. Malvani vade is a type of puri which is served with malvani style chicken curry called "malvani kombadi". It can also be served with Malvani chicken masala. Vegetarians serve it with "Kalya vatanyachi amti".

For non-vegetarians, - Vade, malvani kombdi or chicken masala, fish fry, sol kadhi & plain rice
For vegetarians, - Vade, kalya vatanyachi amti, kachrya, sol kadhi & plain rice
A complete Malvani thali from my kitchen to yours...

Malvani Vade
Ingredients
1/3 cup urad daal
rice flour, as needed
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Method
1. Soak urad daal overnight.
2. Next morning, grind to a fine paste, using minimum water.
3. Take out the paste in a big plate, add salt to taste and keep adding rice flour, few spoons at a time, so you can knead the dough.
4. After kneading the dough, cover and leave aside for about 15 minutes.
5. Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying.
6. Take out small balls, and roll out thick disks/puris
7. Deep fry till brown spots appear on both sides.

Note -
1. Urad daal paste gets quite sticky so you probably need about 2 cups or more rice flour to get the desired dough-like consistency.
2. When rolling the puris, keep them thick and not too thin, for the original flavor.
Malvani Kombdi-vade

You can even get the readymade vada flour at this shop in Mumbai.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bikaneri Wheat Khichdi

This Bikaner's famous khichdi is little different than usual khichdi. Instead of rice, wheat is paired with moong daal. If you prefer your khichdi very soft then this khichdi may surprise you. Even if you cook for a long time, the texture of this khichdi remains little chewy due to wheat grains.
I added my own twist to this khichdi by using wheat sprouts! I got the inspiration of using the wheat sprouts from this article .

Bikaneri Gehun ki Khichdi
Ingredients
1 cup wheat sprouts
1 cup moog daal
3 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin powder
3-5 black peppercorn
1 cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chili chopped
1 red chili
salt to taste

Method
1. Wash moog daal. Soak moog daal and wheat sprouts with 3 cups water for at least 2 hours.
2. Add rest of the ingredients.
3. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Let the pressure drop completely of its own before opening the cooker.
4. When you take it out, it will look like a thin porridge.
5. Simmer on a low flame for about 10 minutes.
6. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee, pickle and Bikaneri papad.

Note -
1. Khichdi will become thick if left for a long time. Let it simmer more to evaporate the water if you prefer dry/thick/pullao type khichdi. Do not let it simmer if you prefer thinner/porridge like khichdi.
2. Even if you do not prefer a dollop of ghee, at least take it 1/4 tsp of ghee. Because that's what enhances the taste of this simple, heartwarming khichdi.
3. I generally like to keep protein(Moog daal) to carb (wheat) ratio 1:1. But you can adjust ratio per your own liking.

Here's Tarla Dalal's recipe for Bikaneri Khichdi.

This is how I made wheat sprouts
1. Soak wheat grains/berries in water overnight.
2. Let them sprout. It took more time than the usual beans/legumes.
3. I sprinkled little water on the berries when they were in the process of sprouting.
4. It took more than 24 hours to sprout but I kept a close vigil just to make sure that they are not turning rancid.


This post is my contribution to Meeta's one-dish dinner.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bengali Lemon Daal

I am reading "Bengali Cooking: Seasons & Festivals" by Chitrita Banerji. This book is like a collection of essays about seasonal cooking in West Bengal & Bangladesh. The book is divided into four parts - Spring/Summer (Basanta/Grishma), Monsoon (Barsha), Early/late autumn (Sharat/Hemanta) & Winter (Sheet). Festivals, food, traditions and Bengali culture is woven around the seasons. The book of course has the recipes. and while reading, I came across this unusual daal - lemon daal. Daal is tempered with panch phoran - Bengali 5 spice mix and then added to the lemon-lined container just before serving. This adds a delicate lemon flavor to the daal. I found it very refreshing. Though it is recommended to serve with plain rice, I slurped this daal like a soup.

Lemon Daal
Adapted from Bengali cooking by Chitrita Banerji
Ingredients
1 cup masoor or moog daal
salt to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
1 lemon, cut into thin slices

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 bay leaf
A pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp panch phoran
1/2" ginger
1 green chili
1 red chili

Method
1. Pressure cook daal and keep aside.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Add water to cooked daal. Bring to boil. Add salt & sugar
4. Add tempered oil to daal.
5. Arrange thin slices of lemon at the bottom and around the sides of a ceramic bowl or pot.
6. Pour daal in the ceramic pot/bowl. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes.
7. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1.This daal can't be reheated or kept overnight as it will turn bitter. So pour in the lemon-lined container just before serving.

Credits
Bengali cooking:Seasons & Festivals by Chitrita Banerji.



This post is my contribution to Jihva:Lime/Lemon at The Spice Cafe by Coffee.

Jihva series is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kutchi Beer/Masala Chhas

It was a hot summer afternoon. After playing for a while on the playground, all of us cousins were busy running up to my mavshi's (mom's sister) home for a drink of water."How about a peg of Kutchi Beer for you all?" When our teetotaler and vegetarian Gujarati Masaji (mavshi's husband/maternal uncle) asked all of us cousins, we were startled and worried about him. Frankly, we were expecting a royal scolding for playing in the hot sun and not a peg of some beer!

He called our mavshi, and she too brought tall, steel glasses in a tray. "Cheers!" Masaji and mavshi said cheerfully. and all of us kids were flabbergasted. "Have they gone nuts?" .Then we peeked in - it was masala chhaas/buttermilk/maththa! which is also known as "Kutchi Beer"!! Sigh of relief and laughter followed!:-)

This masala chaas or Kutchi beer is made two ways. It can be delicately flavored by just surati jeeralu or to further enhance the flavor, it also can be given tadka (vaghar/fodni/tempering/chonk) of mustard seeds, asafoetida and cumin seeds.

For more information about Kutch, click here.

Kutchi Beer /Masala Chhas
Ingredients
4 cups Buttermilk
Salt to taste
sugar to taste
A generous pinch of Surti Jeeralu
1/2 tsp ginger+green chili paste or chopped
1 tsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves (optional)

Tempering (Optional)
1 tsp oil or ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafortida

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients
2. Add tempering, if using.

Note
1. I added red, fresh chili just to add contrast in my picture above. It is not mandatory.
2. If you do not prefer chopped chilies/cilantro/ginger in the buttermilk, add the ground paste. But that version will be spicier.


This post is my contribution to RCI: Gujarat at Mythili's.
RCI is brainchild of
Lakshmi of Veggiecuisine.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Microwave Palak Muthiya

I have this microwave steamer/cooker which was screaming for my attention since ages. Srivalli's MEC:Greens did the trick!:-)

Microwave Palak Muthiya
Ingredients
1 bunch spinach, shredded
1 cup wheat flour
2 tbsp besan
2 tbsp bajra flour
2 tbsp jowar flour
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp oil
A pinch of baking soda

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Garnish
1 tbsp freshly grated coconut (optional)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients. Add water, little at a time, to make a stiff dough.
2. Roll into logs.
3. Fill the microwave steamer with water.
4. Grease the steaming rack with some oil. Place muthiya logs on the rack.
5. Place the rack inside the steamer. Cover with the lid.
6. Microwave for 5 minutes.
7. Let it stand for 1 minute.
8. Remove the lid. You will notice that the logs have swollen a little and should appear firm.
9. Let it cool down.
10. Slice according to your liking.
11. Add tempering on top.
12. Garnish with coconut, if using. Squeeze some lemon juice.

Note -
I prefer steamed muthiya with tempering on top. But it can also be shallow fried after steaming.

This is my contribution to Srivalli's MEC:Greens event.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Puri

You know the recipe. I know the recipe. But that's all I could come up with for the "Click:Flour". So here's the recipe! :-)

Puri
Ingredients
2 cups wheat flour
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar (Optional)
1 tsp hot oil
Oil for deep frying
Method
1. Mix wheat flour, salt, sugar, and hot oil
2. Add water and knead a dough.
3. Make small balls.
4. Heat oil in a kadai.
5. Deep fry the puris till brown on both sides.
Note
1. Sugar is added because I have been told that it keeps the puris puffed.

Pop goes the weasel....


This post goes to "Click:Flour" at Jugalbandi.

Anar Ka Raita

Inspired by "boondi ka raita", I first decided to make "boondi aur anaar ka raita". But at the last moment, I realized that I did not have boondis at home. So I made just "Anar ka raita". With sweet, tangy, juicy pomegranates with sweet, sour yogurt tasted really delicious. I served it as an accompaniement with biryani.

Anar Ka Raita
Pomegranate Yogurt Salad
Ingredients
1 pomegranate, peeed, seeds removed
1 cup yogurt
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1/2 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder

Garnish
1 mint sprigs
A generous pinch of chat masala
A generous pinch of chili powder
Few seeds of pomegranate

Method
1. Whisk yogurt with salt, sugar and roasted cumin seeds powder.
2. Fold in pomegranate seeds.
3. Garnish with chat masala, chili powder, mint leaves & pomegranate seeds.

This post is my contribution to AMFM:Pomegranate event at SRA's
AMFM is brainchild of Maheshwari of beyond the usual.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shortcut Khari Biscuits

My friend, Rupa surprised me by offering her home-made khari biscuits. I was amazed by her patience and could not stop praising her, then she said, "Do you know they got ready in about 20 minutes. Want to know the secret? Pepperidge Farm! Cut it, bake it, cool it, enjoy it. 400 F 15-20 minutes." There! That was the exact recipe being told to me! :-)

Khari Biscuits
Ingredients
1 Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet box

Toppings (Optional)
sugar or
cumin seeds or
ajwain or
crushed black pepper or
chaat masala

Method
1. Thaw one puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator before actually baking it.


2. Cut it.

3. Pre-heat Oven to 400 F

4. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes
5. Cool on the cooling rack.
6. Store in an airtight container.
7. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea!

Note -
1. I noticed that when I baked the biscuits for 15 minutes, they were slightly undercooked. When I baked them for 20 minutes, they were perfect in taste but they were one shade darker. So next time, I got the desired result with 17 minute of baking time. The pictures shown above are 20 minutes one!:-)
2. If you want to use only one puff pastry sheet, thaw only one, and freeze the second one immediately because thawing, freezing, thawing is not recommended.
3. You can sprinkle some toppings like ajwain, sugar, cumin seeds, crushed black pepper on top before baking. However, I prefer my khari biscuits plain.

Bhelpuri

When we were in the college, we celebrated Valentine's Day eating Bhelpuri and Kulfi - every single year! After coming to US, we still do the same. So here are the recipes :-)

Bhel Puri
Ingredients
2 cups Puffed rice/mamra/kurmure/churmure/muri
1/2 cup Nylon sev
5-7 flat puris
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
1 small raw mango, very finely chopped (depending on the availability in the market)
1 lemon
1 boiled potato, peeled, diced
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

1 recipe multi-purpose chaat chutney
A generous pinch Chat masala

Method
1. Mix puffed rice, some nylon sev, some crushed puris, onion, raw mango, potatoes.
2. Add chutney/chutneys.
3. Squeeze fresh lemon.
4. Mix well.
5. Garnish with nylon sev, coriander leaves, sprinkles of chaat masala.
6. Serve immediately with 1 or 2 puris on side.

Note -
1. You can make 3 different chutneys instead of one single chutney as mentioned here.
2. Do not make bhel in a huge quantity because the puffed rice will turn mushy. Instead, make it as you are just about to eat.
3. The proportions to make this bhel really depends on one's preference.

*************************************************************************************************

With this plate of bhel, kulfi and some music, I am off to Pooja's Valentine's Day celebrations!

Finding the right card for my valentine has always been a challenge. But this time, I am lucky. Found just the right card, which describes us so well! :-)


Happy Valentines' Day!!:-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Saffron Kulfi

This recipe is adapted from Sept 2007 issue of "Cooking Light" Magazine. Before reading this issue, I have followed the similar recipe to make kulfi. This cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk combo for making kulfi is quite common among all my friends.

Saffron Kulfi
Adapted from Cooking Light, Sept 2007
Ingredients
2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp saffron threads

3/4 cup whipping cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground caradamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon (I did not use it)
1 (14 oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) can evaporated fat-free milk

Method
1. Combine water with saffron in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds.
2. Combine saffron water with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour in the Kulfi moulds or 8" square baking dish.
4. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
Nutritional Information
Serving size 1/2 cup
Total Servings 10
Calories 246

Note -
1. Since I wanted to make Kulfi on the sticks, after 4 hours of freezing, I removed the lids of the kulfi moulds, inserted the ice-cream sticks inside the kulfi. and then re-froze them without lids for 4 more hours. To un-mould, just twist the mould around the outer edge of the moulds, and it will come out easily. If you think it's still stuck, quickly run the moulds under warm water - making sure water does not go inside. The kulfi will come out easily.

2. You can also add some crushed almonds, pistachios, dry-fruits etc.

3. You can also add 1 -2 slices of white bread with crust removed, to give a feel of faux malai. Do not forget to crumble the bread completely.

Update

If you do not have kulfi moulds,

1. Use popsicle moulds. I haven't used them, but I know many people do it. Asha too mentioned in her comment, that she uses them.

2. You can put the kulfi mixture in a square or rectangle baking tray/dish. Freeze it 6-8 hours. You can cut into slices.

3. You can put the kulfi mixture in a freezer friendly, deep container. and after freezing, you can use ice-cream scoop to serve. Since the recipe has cream, it has fat content, so it does not get too icy.

4. You can pour the kulfi mixture in individual pyrex remekins. and freeze them. and serve.

Mostly 6-8 hours should be sufficient for all of the above.

Credits

Cooking Light, Sept 2007

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kohlrabi salad

Kohlrabi is called "Navalkol" or "Alkol" in Marathi. I like it best when it is raw. So generally I make different salads with it. Here's the most common Maharashtrian salad.

Navalkolachi Koshimbeer
Kohlrabi salad
Ingredients
2 medium kohlrabi, peeled, grated
1 green chili, chopped
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely crushed
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Pour over the salad. Mix.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Eggless Bread Pudding

This is my aaji's (paternal grandmother) recipe. It was her way of using the leftover bread/paav before it gets rotten. I do not know where she learned about caramelizing the sugar. Since she didn't eat eggs, this bread pudding is eggless.

So here's sharing my favorite Sunday night dessert of childhood.

Eggless Bread Pudding
Ingredients
4-5 slices of white bread or 2 paavs
1/2 - 1 cup + 1 tbsp Sugar
2 cups milk
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence


Method
1. Crumble bread slices/paavs with hands or mixer.
2. Bring milk to boil. Add sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Mix well. Switch off the gas. Add bread pieces/crumbs to the milk.

3. Add butter/ghee. Let is stand for 15 minutes.

4. Add vanilla essence. Keep aside for another 5 minutes.

5. Brush pudding pot with some ghee. Add 1 tbsp sugar. Switch on the gas. Cook for about 1 minute or so, till the sugar caramelaizes.

6. Pour bread + milk mixture carefully - without disturbing the brown caramelized sugar coating.

7. Steam in a pressure cooker for about 30 minutes. When steam starts coming, switch the gas to low.

Notes -

1. My aaji used home-made white butter.

2. I have used a vanilla bean instead of vanilla essence in the above recipe.

3. The whole point of using the dome-shaped pudding container is that when the pudding is ready, you can invert the container and get a beautiful dome-shaped pudding with a beautiful caramel on top. But everyone was so eager to eat the pudding that I had to skip that part. We just spooned the pudding right from the container!!:-)

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