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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MW Kande Pohe

My mom always makes "Pohe" for breakfast on the Diwali day. This year, I made the microwave version.

MW Kande Pohe
Onion flavored pressed rice
Ingredients
2 cups thick pohe/pressed rice, rinsed, drained
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
Tempering
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 medium onion, chopped finely
4 small chilies, slit
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut, scraped
Accompaniment
Lemon wedges
Method
1. Add oil in a microwave safe container. Microwave for 30 seconds.
2. Add mustard seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Microwave for 1 minute.
3. Now stir in onion, chilies & curry leaves. Microwave for 6 minute.
4. Wait for 1 minute.
5. Stir in drained pohe/pressed rice, sugar, salt. Mix well.
6. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes. Let it stand for 1 minute.
7. Garnish with cilantro and coconut.
8. Serve with lemon wedges.

As we are celebrating Diwali and lighting diyas, let's light one diya in the memory of Briana.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chennar Payesh

Recipe Source -

Credits

Methi na Bhujiya


Hope all of you are having a wonderful Diwali. How about having something crunchy & deep fried? Methi na Bhujiya (or pakoda or bhuji or fritters) are made almost everywhere in India. I am sharing a Gujarati version which has an addition of a ripe banana. Bitter methi/fenugreek leaves and sweetish flavor of ripe banana blend contrasting flavors but tastes delicious. Methi & ripe banana is a favorite combo in Gujarat where it is used in shaak(stir fry), thepla (flatbread) & this bhujiya (fritters).


Methi Bhaji Na Bhujiya
Ingredients
1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves/methi , roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups besan/ chickpea flour
1 ripe banana, peeled, mashed (optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp plain yogurt
1/8 tsp ajwain/ajowan/owa/ajmo/thymol seeds
1 tsp hot oil

oil for deep frying

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients to make a thick batter. Add water only if necessary.
2. Heat oil in a kadai or wok.
3. Make small balls and deep fry till brown on both sides.
4. Drain the deep fried fritters on a paper towel.
5. Serve hot.

Note

1. Methi & banana combination may require an acquired taste. Do not use banana if you do not care for that sweetish, ripe taste.


This post is my contribution to Easy Craft's Party Food. I am sending it as a snack/starter.


This post is also my contribution to Hima's Sunday snacks - Fry it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Microwave Pedha

I was astonished to see that my friend, R made the pedhas at home. But necessity is the mother of invention. We don't get good quality mithai here. Back in India, there are so many halwais that it is really not necessary to make pedhas at home. When Mathura is there, why do you fear?:-D

But I was even more astonished when R shared the recipe. It was made in the microwave in 5 minutes using readily available supermarket ingredients. Now let me tell you one thing. Like all microwave recipes, this recipe has to be followed really well. Because R shared this recipe and even demonstrated in front of a group of enthusiastic girls. but the recipe worked extremely well for half and not so well for the remaining half. I do not know the reason. For some girls, it resulted into chewy pedhas. So try at your own risk.

Happy Diwali!!

Microwave Pedha - makes about 24
Ingredients
3/4 stick sweet cream, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup milk powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
5 cardamoms, peeled, crushed
few strands of saffron

Garnish
charoli or almond slivers

Method
1. Melt the butter by placing it in a microwave safe container. Microwave for 30 seconds or more till butter is melted.
2. Add dry milk powder, sweetened condensed milk, nutmeg, cardamom powders and saffron.
3. Microwave for 3 minutes.
4. Take out. Mix well. Microwave for 1 minute
5. Take out. Mix well. Microwave again for 1 minute.
6. Take out. Mix. Let it cool down.
7. Knead with your hands when it is warm.
8. Roll into pedhas of desired sizes. Flatten the pedhas.
9. Garnish with charoli or almonds on top.

Note -
1. Microwave cooking time varies for each microwave. Please use your own judgement.
2. Make sure that microwave container is deep as the condensed milk mixture tends to boil.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jwarichi Dushmi - Sorghum Flatbread

As I had mentioned before, "Dushmi" is a flatbread, where milk is used to knead the dough instead of water. Every dushmi (as made in my home), differs a tiny bit from the rest. So far I have posted -
Methichi Dushmi

I hope to blog about all the dushmis soon.

Jwarichi Dushmi
Ingredients
1 Cup Jwari/Jowar/Sorghum Flour
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Freshly ground black peppercorn
Warm milk to knead the dough

Method
1. Mix jowar flour, salt & peppercorn powder.
2. Pour warm milk as needed to make a dough.
3. Make equal balls of the dough - about 4 or 5
4. Using some jowar or rice flour for rolling, pat the ball of dough into a disc.
5. Heat a frying pan/tawa/griddle. Keep the bhakri gently on the tawa.
6. Roast on both the sides. You can also cook it later on the flame if you like.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Patty Pan Squash


Patty Pan Squash Pooda

Going to the local farmers' market gives me the feel that I am back in India. When I went there some time back, I found these patty pan squashes. They looked very cute. 5 for $1!! My colleague, Sherry, used to say, if you get anything 5 for $1, you should just buy it whether you want it or not!! :-) So of course I went on to buy it. I think that the farmer was in a jolly mood, because he gave me one extra as a lagniappe, I guess!! I was happy.

But after coming home, I had a mad rush of making the patty pan dishes one after the other!! I didn't want to spoil them after all.

Patty Pan Pooda
Patty Pan Crepe
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup grated patty pan
1 1/2 cup moong daal flour
salt to taste
2 cups water or as needed
1 1/2 tsp green chili-ginger paste (or per spice level)
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
2-3 spring onions, chopped along with greens
1 tbsp plain yogurt
Oil for greasing

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil. Do not add all the water at once. Make a batter of pancake like consistency. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.
2. Grease a frying pan. Pour a ladleful of batter. Cover and let it cook till brown spots appear.
3. Flip and cook on the other side.
4. Make a stack of pancakes or poodas
5. Serve hot along with chutney of your choice or tomato ketchup.

Note -
1. Instead of moong daal flour, besan or chickpea flour can be used.
2. I did not peel the patty pan before grating since it was really fresh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Laal Maath


Laal Maath is a red colored leafy greens. I simply love this. So I planted it. :-D

DaLimbi Bhat - Bitter Field Beans Rice

The most crucial thing about this pullao or khichdi is finding the bitter beans or kadu vaal.

DaLimbi Bhaat or Vaalachi Khichdi
Ingredients
2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed & drained
2 cups dalimbya or field beans sprouts
1 small onion, chopped
1 small potato, peeled, diced
2 tbsp cashews
2 tsp goda masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
3 cups warm water
A pinch of sugar

Grind to paste
1" ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 green chilies
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves

Tempering
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
4 cardamoms
2 bay leaves
1" cinnamon

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut

Accompaniment
Ghee or clarified butter
Lemon wedges

Method
1. Heat oil in a deep bottomed saucepan.
2. Add all the spices. As the wonderful aroma of spices is wafted through the kitchen, add sliced onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes till soft.
3. Add green masala paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
4, Add potatoes & cashews. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add drained basmati rice and beans sprouts along with goda masala, chili powder. Saute for 5 minutes taking care not to break the sprouts.
6. Add warm water, salt and sugar to taste.
7. Bring to boil. Place saucepan on an iron tawa to give an indirect heat. Cover
8. Let it cook on a slow flame till the rice is cooked. It may take about 11 - 15 minutes.
9. Fluff the rice with a fork. Garnish with coconut & cilantro.

10. Serve hot with ghee/clarified butter and lemon wedges.

Note -
I always use rice - beans ratio 1: 1 for most of the khichdis. You can vary the proportion per your taste.



This rice is going to Srivalli's Rice Mela.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halwasan


If you remember the geography of India, you may remember Khambat for the gulf of Khambat but I remember it for its delectable Halwasan. It's a delicious sweet made from paneer and broken wheat flavored with nutmeg and garnished with char magaz. I did not make this Halwasan myself but our Maharaj - MIL's chef, shared his recipe with me.


Halwasan
Ingredients
1 litre Whole Milk
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 cup broken wheat
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter/
2 1/2 cups sugar
2-3 cardamoms, seeds crushed
1/4 nutmeg, grated
1 tbsp char magaz or slivers of almonds & pistachios

Method
1. Grind the broken wheat in a grinder till it becomes a coarse powder. Set aside
2. Bring milk to boil. Add curds to the boiling milk to make the Paneer/Indian cottage cheese as described here.
3. Take out paneer and keep on a low flame.
4. Heat ghee/clarified butter. Roast coarse broken wheat powder till light brown.
5. Add roasted wheat to the paneer. Stir well.
6. Now add sugar. Keep on stirring on a low flame till it thickens.
7. When it gets a dough like consistency, add nutmeg and cardamom powders. Mix well.
8. Remove from gas. Let it cool for some time.
9. Roll into small spheres and then flatten each sphere.
10. Garnish with char magaz or almonds/pistachios slivers.

Note -
I found another recipe on the net here.

This post is my contribution to Sunshine Mom's celebration of Color - Brown.

This post is also my contribution to Pallavi's Diwali: Yummy Festival Feasts .

This post is also my contribution to Srivalli's JFI - Festival Event.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Ericherry

I am glad that the blogs do not have any voice over IPs yet - or at least I am not aware of. Because I can never pronounce this word Ericherry right. Anyways, this recipe is my own combination of two recipes - one, the way my friend, S makes and also another recipe that appeared in my mom's old Prestige Pressure cooker booklet. So I am not claiming that it's original or authentic or traditional or whatever...It's surely delicious, though!

Pumpkin Ericherry
Ingredients
1 cup Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 sprig curry leaves
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to paste
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 - 1 tsp black peppercorns

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Method
1. Add cubed veggies to a pot. Add turmeric powder and curry leaves along with 3/4 cup water. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Let the veggies cook till soft but still firm.
2. Add masala paste and 1/2 cup water. Add salt to taste. Give a quick stir.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
5. As the mustard seeds start popping, add the tempered oil in the curry.
6. Switch off the gas.


This post is my contribution to Madhuram's AFAM: Pumpkin.

(Thanks, Uma for your suggestion!)


AFAM Event is started by Maheswari of Beyond the usual.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sekla - Toordaal & methi flatbread

Proteins and good carbs along with leafy greens rolled together in one healthy flatbread!!

Sekla
Toordaal-Fenugreek Leaves Flatbread
Ingredients
1 cup toor daal
1 1/2 - 2 cups wheat flour or as needed
1" ginger
1 - 2 green chilies
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 bunch methi/fenugreek leaves or spinach
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
Method
1. Soak toor daal in sufficient water overnight or at least 8 hours.
2. Next morning, drain and grind the daal along with green chilies, ginger, garlic,asafoetida and turmeric powder. Do not add water.
3. Pour the ground daal mixture in a plate or parat. Add remaining powders, salt and wheat flour. While adding the wheat flour, continue kneading to form a non-sticky dough. For above toordaal paste, I needed about 1 3/4 cup wheat flour.
4. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
5. Heat pan. Make equal balls of the dough. Roll into discs.
6. Shallow fry on low flame till brown spots appear on both the sides. Add oil as necessary.
7. Serve with chundo or pickle & yogurt.
Note -
1. I used methi leaves from my kitchen garden. I didn't have a whole bunch. More methi you add, better flavor you will get.
2. Spinach can be substituted for Methi/fenugreek leaves.
3. This sekla also tastes delicious to dunk in the hot tea.
4. In the above recipe, I also add ground flax seeds along with wheat flour.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheppi Kheer - Sugarless Kheer?


My grandmother used to make this "kheer" for Nagpanchmi. and she would send a huge parcel to our home along with many other goodies. I used to feast upon the rest of the goodies except this so-called kheer. How can a kheer be without sugar? I used to argue. But that is a delicacy. This cheppi i.e. sugarless kheer is my mom's favorite. and it is really sugarless. No hidden agenda here. No jaggery, no honey, no sugar substitute, no agave nectar, no maple syrup, nothing!!! If you are not familiar with the Konkani cuisine, you may feel that the cook has forgotten to add the sugar!!;-)

Now that I am all grown up, I too relish the delicate taste and flavor turmeric leaves and coconut milk impart to this unique porridge.
Turmeric leaves are quite unique and are used in Konkani/Malvani/Goan cuisine. I have never seen them at our local Indian stores. So here's how I get them. :-D

Cheppi Kheer - (Serves 2)
Sugarless Basmati Porridge
Ingredients
1/4 cup basmati or ambemohar or delhi rice (or any fragrant rice)
3/4 cup water ( + 1/2 cup if needed)
1 cup fresh coconut milk - preferably freshly extracted (see the note below)
2 fresh, small turmeric leaves, tied in knots
A pinch of salt

Method
1. Wash and drain the rice. Add 3/4 cup water, salt & turmeric leaves. Bring it to boil.
2. Lower the gas and let it cook till the rice is soft. Add another 1/2 cup water if needed till rice is soft.
3. Add coconut milk and keep stirring till it comes to a gentle boil.
4. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid.
5. Serve warm.

Notes -
1. You can add some jaggery if you absolutely have to. but then you are really & totally deviating from the original cheppi kheer. The whole idea of this kheer is to relish the flavor of the turmeric leaves and delicate natural sweetness of coconut milk and fragrance of Basmati.
2. Traditionally, fresh coconut milk is extracted from coconut by grinding freshly scraped coconut with water, ground white flesh of coconut is then squeezed to get thick coconut milk. This is the preferred method. However, I use ready made coconut milk for convenience.




Friday, October 17, 2008

Dudhi Patra nu Shaak

I think ridge gourd (also known as shirale/dodka/Turiya) paired with patra is better known shaak than this dudhi-paatra combo. However this shaak is quite popular at my home.

Here's how we make it.

Dudhi Paatra nu Shaak
BottleGourd Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 medium bottlegourd, peeled, chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery
1/2 cup ready paatra/aluvadi
1 tsp coriander-cumin seeds powder

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
4-5 red chilies/boriya
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste

Garnish
1 tsp coriander leaves/ cilantro, chopped

Method
1. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering. As the seeds start sputtering, add chopped bottlegourd pieces.
2. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let it cook for about 10 - 15 minutes or till the gourd is soft.
3. Add coriander cumin seeds powder, salt, jaggery and chopped paatra
4. Let it simmer for 7-9 minutes.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Note -
1. Any vegetables like zucchini, tindora, turiya, padwal can be substituted. Just adjust the cooking time so the vegetables are not overcooked or remain undercooked.
 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kesariya - Saffron Milk

Kesariya is a saffron milk from Gujarat, which is very similar to Maharashtrian "Masalay Dooth". Though the ingredients are almost similar, the method is slightly different. This is how it is made in my Gujarati side of family. This milk is generally enjoyed on the Kojagari Purnima day. I use the evaporated milk to give the feel of milk being boiled for hours which in reality I didn't. I was going to write this post along with my blog anniversary post as it was the Kojagiri purnima the day before yesterday. But when I wrote that post early morning, I didn't have this milk ready!!

Kesariya
Saffron Milk
Ingredients
1/4 cups almonds
12 pistachios

2 cups milk (Skim OK)
1 can evaporated milk (Fat-free OK)
4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk (Fat-free OK, Use the amount per your sweet taste)
10-12 strands of saffron (or more!)
5 cardamoms, peeled, seeds crushed


Method
0. Soak almonds and pistachios in water for about 4-6 hours. Peel and grind to a smooth paste.
1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to boil.
2. After boiling, switch the gas to lowest and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add evaporated milk and condensed milk. Stir and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Add nuts paste.
5. Take a spoonful of hot milk out and add saffron strands. Press slightly with a spoon and put it in the saucepan.
6. Add cardamom powder.
7. Let the milk simmer till ready to serve.

Note -
1. My aunt's tip - Grease the pan with a few drops of ghee before adding the milk so the milk will not stick to the bottom of the pan.
2. Though meant to be taken hot off the pot, this milk equally tastes delicious when served chilled.
3. If you do not want to use evaporated milk, you can simmer the milk for a few hours to get the right taste.
4. If you do not want to use sweetened condensed milk, use sugar.
5. Generally whole milk is used for Kesariya. But I feel that almond paste adds enough thickness so you do not feel that you are drinking skim milk.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Great Punjab - Kadai Chicken

Great Punjab restaurant at Bandra was one of our favorite family eat out destinations. So it's not a surprise that I have tried this recipe several times. I am giving the recipe as is and then have shared my modifications because adding 600 ml oil is a bit too much for me!!:-D
Yes. I know what some of you are thinking. Is it really possible to share the recipes when these restaurants are minting money? I am not sure how authentic the recipe is. But I always have fun recreating the magic in my kitchen and I invite you to enjoy the same. Use your own imagination if you think that the chef has not divulged the secret ingredient. Add mint and cilantro instead of cilantro, or add garam masala or khada masala....But the point is to enjoy and have fun!:-D
Kadai Murgh
Ingredients
1.5 kg boneless chicken
75 gm fresh garlic, pulped
75 gm fresh ginger, pulped
1 tsp salt
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small bunch of coriander leaves
4-6 green chilies
4 firm tomatoes, sliced
2 large green peppers, sliced
Method
1. Wash chicken pieces, rub the ginger- garlic pulp and salt. Set aside
2. Grind half of onions with coriander leaves & green chilies and rub over the chicken pieces.
3. Heat oil in a kadai. Fry remaining onions till golden brown. Remove and set aside.
4. Fry marinated chicken pieces till cooked.
5. Add sliced onions and bell peppers and saute till they are cooked but still crunchy.
6. Garnish with fried onions and coriander leaves.
7. Serve directly in a kadai.
My Modifications -
1. I do not deep fry onions and chicken pieces. I just saute onions, add chicken pieces and tomatoes and bell peppers till done. So I use much less oil.
2. I love to squeeze some lemon juice just before serving.
3. I used yellow bell peppers but you can use different colored bell peppers.
4. Sometimes I also add a pinch of garam masala.
5. Always regrigerate the chicken for marination. Also, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator and not on the counter to avoid bacteria.


Credits
Great Punjab
266, Linking Rd. Bandra, Mumbai 400050

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A year older......

Yes!! My blog is a year older today (& me too!)...Gosh, the year just flew by and the best thing that happened to me because of blogging is I got so many friends.

Just a year back - actually sometime in last July, my husband encouraged me to start blogging. Of all the people my not-at-all-interested-in-food hubby told me to start food blogging. Well, let me give you a little background. If I ever get time, there are only two channels I watch on TV - or actually used to watch on TV (now my free time is allocated to blogging after Gudiya goes to bed!) - Food Network and HGTV. I love cooking and interior home designing too. So while watching "Mission Organization", an organizer challenged that all the things that you don't use or haven't used since last 5 years, you can get rid of them. They are junk. Recycle, Donate or trash them!! I was so inspired by this novel idea that I kept the entire collection of my recipes in the recycle bin. Now I have been collecting these recipes from childhood. So there are just too many notebooks and files and folders (& there are even more at my home in India!!:-). I was convinced that I don't need that many recipes!! It was just a childhood obsession. & I am so over it... As my husband went to put the newspaper in the recycle bin, he was shocked to see my recipe collection. He picked it up and really urged me not to throw it away. As I said, he is neither a gourmet nor a gourmand. He is not a picky eater but only category he really loves is Street food/Chaat food from Mumbai. The rest no matter what it is, he gives one feedback "exceptionally good!" - even when there is no salt in the curry!! :-D He warned me that if I get rid of these notebooks, I will repent later. For once, I listened to him!!:-D (Thank God!) "Why don't you start a blog?" He asked.

Blogging!! Yes, I had come across some beautiful blogs before. I have mentioned it many times, Nupur's one Hot Stove was the first blog I had stumbled upon while searching for a recipe. and from there I had hopped on to some other blogs. I had contributed sometimes on bawarchi or tarladalal.com or even to some blogs. but starting a blog myself was totally a new concept.

Hesitantly, I created my user profile in July 2007.

It took me almost 3-4 months to be fully convinced that I can start blogging. and on this special day of Oct 14th, I decided to start blogging. At first I had thought of keeping it simple - only limited to 2 flavors - Gujarati and Maharashtrian - flavors of my sasuraal and mayka. But then I thought of my grandmothers from whom I have inherited Malvani and South Canara food heritage...& then hubby dear insisted that I should blog the way I cook, and showcase the recipes that I have gathered from my friends & family and my desire to learn about the regional cuisines of India!! He gave it a name "Enjoy Indian Food"(I had decided a few different names which I really do not even remember now!!) and thus, this wonderful journey began. & in spite of encouraging and almost pushing me into this wonderful world of blogging, my husband hasn't yet read a single post of mine!!:-D

Well, I can't show you my silly collection of recipe brochures and notebooks, but sharing a brochure which may make you chuckle. Remember, Maggie noodles when they were first introduced in India sometime in 1980s? All the school children were given the sample packs? Do you remember, Maggie used to come with some recipe brochures then? My school friends and I had no idea what we were eating as we slurped that first Maggie!!:-D I think some of those flavors don't even exist now like Capsica or Sambhar or Lasanya (not Italian Lasagna but Hinglish garlicky flavor lasanya!!:-D but the recipes are safe with me!!!:-D As some kids are crazy about collecting stamps, autographs, or coins, I was obsessed about the recipes!!:-D

I want to thank all the blogger friends who stop by, and encourage me. I want to thank all the reader friends, who read, comment and email me. I also want to thank all of those who read and criticize me about the recipes not being authentic or traditional or whatever. I want to thank my immediate and extended family & friends for letting me taste various cuisines of India. I want to thank my husband for his pivotal role in this blog. and last but not least, I want to thank my daughter, Gudiya who is my source of inspiration (& harshest critic!) for everything I cook everyday.

& oh, where's the party, you may ask? It's right over there arranged by my lovely friend, Purnima!! :-D

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maanh Sabat

I always saw a huge black urad packet at the Indian stores so I wasn't sure if I could make justice to the whole packet. Last week, to my pleasant surprise, there was a small packet which I grabbed greedily!! and here's what I made.

Serve it with paratha, naan or jeera rice.

Maanh Sabat
Whole Black Urad Curry
Ingredients
1/2 cup Whole black Urad beans
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2" ginger, minced
1 green chili, minced

Salt to taste

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red chili, halved
1/2" ginger, peeled & slivered
A pinch of garam masala
A pinch of asafoetida

Garnish
1 tbsp milk

Method
1. Soak whole urad beans in water for about 2-4 hours.
2. Drain. Add ginger, garlic, green chilies and 1 cup water. Pressure cook for about 3-4 whistles.
3. Pour the cooked beans in a saucepan. Add 1 cup water & salt. Bring to boil.
4. While the curry is simmering, heat another saucepan. Add ghee and oil and the remaining ingredients for tempering.
5. Add the sizzling oil in the curry and cover with a lid. Switch off the gas.
6. Just while serving, stir in milk.

Note -
1. You can substitute black urad daal or white urad daal.
2. For a richer taste, use heavy cream for garnish and use only ghee for tempering.
3. For a low calorie version, fat free evaporated milk can be used instead of heavy cream for garnish.

Jeera Rice

This is the simplest possible flavored rice that goes very well from daal to spicy curries.

Jeera Rice
Cumin scented Basmati Rice
Ingredients
1 cup rice
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 clove
1 cardamom, slightly opened
1/8 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
1 bay leaf

Method
1. Wash and drain basmati rice.
2. Heat oil & ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
3. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
4. As the spices release the wonderful aroma, add drained basmati rice. Saute for a minute.
5. Add 2 cups warm water. Bring to boil. Add salt
6. Cover with a lid. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
7. Now keep an iron pan on the tawa and place the rice pot on top to give indirect heat.
8. Let it cook for another 7 minutes or so.
9. Fluff the rice with a fork.

Note -
1. If you do not have iron pan, you can avoid the step of indirect heat. But pay closer attention so the rice does not get stuck to the bottom of the pot.
2. For the richer taste, use ghee for tempering and also drizzle some more ghee after the rice is cooked.
3. You can add some peas and carrots in the same rice.
4. Use aged rice for making fluffy rice where each grain is separated from other. New rice results in a sticky rice.
5. A friend of mine, first cooks plain rice and then adds the tempering of cumin seeds. This method is especially handy if you do not know the quality of the rice. (whether it is new or aged rice)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vadi ni Kadhi

Gujarati pantries are stocked with the vadis made from mag ni daal (yellow moong daal) or chora ni daal (cowpeas daal). These vadis are sun dried during the summer months and then stored in the airtight containers for the year around use. They come handy for a protein boost in the curries or shaaks.

Vadi ni Kadhi
Buttermilk Dumpling Curry
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste (or per your spice level)
2 tbsp chickpea flour/besan
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar


Tempering 1
2 tsp oil
1/4 cup chola daal ni vadi or mag daal ni vadi


Tempering2
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves
4-5 boriya chilies or 2-3 any other dry chilies


Method
1. Whisk all the ingredients from yogurt till sugar to make sure that there are no lumps.
2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan and saute the vadis till they are reddish in color. Do not let them burn. Set aside.
3. Heat oil and ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chilies.
4. As the cumin seeds change color, add fried vadis. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add whisked yogurt mixture. Add more water if needed.
6. Keep on stirring till it comes to a boil.
7. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring.
8. Switch off the gas. Cover.
9. Serve hot vadi ni kadhi with plain rice or khichdi.


Note -
1. If you do not have green chili-ginger paste handy, you can add chopped chilies and grated ginger. But do add ginger as it imparts a refreshing taste.
2. Adjust the consistency per your liking. But do not make it too thin.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kobi Bhutti



This is one of the many delicious dishes from my grandmother's repertoire. Shredded cabbage is cooked along with Konkani coconut masala. Then it's seasoned with onion and whole coriander seeds using coconut oil.

Kobi Bhutti
Cabbage coconut masala from South CanaraIngredients
2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small potato, peeled & diced
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
 
Grind to a coarse paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
5-6 byadgi chilies, roasted quickly in a drop of coconut oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp tamarind pulp
 
Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, whole

Method
1. Place shredded cabbage, potatoes and turmeric powder in a saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup water and cook till done.
2. Grind the coconut mixture to a coarse paste.
3. Add the paste to the cooked cabbage. Add salt to taste.
4. Let it simmer till moisture is almost evaporated.
5. In another small saucepan, add coconut oil. Add onions and coriander seeds. Let onion turn reddish. Ppour the sizzling tempered oil to the bhutti.
6. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid.
 

Notes -
1. Do not overcook cabbage.
2. Do not let onion burn.
3. You can substitute any other oil for coconut oil per your preference. However, coconut oil adds its own unique & authentic flavor.
4. The consistency of this gravy is thick. Do not make it too watery.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sindhi Besan Ki Curry

I wanted to try this curry from a long time. I had scribbled this recipe from my friend many moons ago but never made this curry by myself. When I noticed that I had all the vegetables in the fridge, I thought of making this immediately. The lotus root also known as kamlkakdi or kanwalkakdi in Hindi ,was the star of this curry. I used the frozen variety from my Indian stores. Please note that this curry - at least the way my friend's mom makes it - has four souring agents - tomatoes, raw mango, kokum & tamarind. So adjust the proportion as per your taste.

Serve this curry with paratha or plain rice.


Sindhi Besan ki Curry
Chickpea Flour Curry
Ingredients

1/4 cup besan
1 small potato, peeled & diced
3-4 okras, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
4-5 green beans, chopped
2 tbsp lotus roots, chopped & baked
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, diced
1 tbsp raw mango, chopped
2 kokums, rinsed
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp jaggery

A pinch of garam masala
salt to taste
4 cups water

Tempering
2 tsp oil

1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp asafoetida
2 red chilies, halved
1 green chili, chopped

Method

1. Heat oil and ghee. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder, asafoetida and chilies.

2. As the chilies change the color, add chickpea flour/beasn. Saute for a few minutes till the raw smell of besan disappears and it looks nicely fried.

3. Now add water and bring to boil. Lower the gas. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Add all the vegetables, garam masala, kokum, tamarind & jaggery. Let it simmer till vegetables are cooked.

5. Simmer for 10 more minutes.

6. Serve hot with plain rice.

Note -

1. I used frozen, chopped lotus roots from the Indian stores. I thawed it in the refrigerator and then drained and air-dried. I used the lotus roots to make baked chips as seen on Jugalbandi.

2. I have substantially reduced the amount of oil and ghee compared to my friend's recipe of besan ki curry.

3. This curry gets thicker if kept for a long time at room temperature. Though it should not have broth like consistency, it should not be very thick either.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chandramukhi

When my friend, R, announced that she is serving Chandramukhi after dinner, we thought she is going to start some Bollywood movie!!!;-). But then this Chandramukhi was different - it was Gulabjamuns dunked in Rabdi/basundi - something like rasmalai but gulabjamuns were used instead of rasgullas. They were out of this world. R made everything from scratch. She made Rabdi and tiny Gulabjamuns. But I, the lazy one, followed the semi-homemade trick!! I used store-bought Haldiram Gulabjamuns. They were huge so I halved them. and I also used a shortcut for making the sweetened milk. If time permits, I would like to make everything from scratch, one fine day!:-D


Chandramukhi
Gulabjamuns with basundi
Ingredients
5 Gulabjamuns, halved
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free version)
1 cup evaporated milk (I used skim milk)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp pistachio & almond slivers or 1 tsp doodh masala

Method
1. Refrigerate condensed milk and evaporated milk. Refrigerate gulabjamuns.
2. Mix condensed and evaporated milk well. Add cardamom powder
3. Halve the gulajamuns. Spread them in a serving plate.
4. Pour the milk mixture so that some part of Gulabjamuns can be seen.
5. Garnish with nuts and saffron.


Note-
1. Condensed milk is quite thick so make sure that it is mixed well with the evaporated milk.
2. You can follow your favorite recipe for making basundi and then refrigerate it. and then add gulabjamun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Laal Rajma ni Daar - Parsi Rajma Curry

I wanted to try something different with the cooked kidney beans that I found in the freezer yesterday. First I thought the usual Punjabi rajma curry but then I didn't want to spend time sauteing which is the most crucial step in making Rajma or at least that's what I think. I thought of "Laal Rajma Ni Daar" that I read in Dr. Katy Dalal's "Jamva Chalo ji". but the recipe asked for Dhansak masala which I didn't have in the pantry and really was in no mood to make it from scratch. So I followed pretty much the same recipe but added kitchen king masala and then some pav bhaji masala. The gravy tasted really good.

Laal Rajma Ni Daar
inspired by Jamva Chalo ji
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups rajma/kidney beans, pressure cooked
3/4 cup coconut milk (I used reduced fat)
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
1/2 tsp kitchen King Masala
1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala
1/4 tsp coriander cumin seeds powder
1/2 tsp chili powder

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves, garlic, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 red chili, halved
1 tomato

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro

Method
1. Pressure cook Rajma or kidney beans and set aside
2. Heat oil. Add red chili, turmeric powder, onion and garlic.
3. Saute till the onion is soft. Add tomatoes. Saute for 5 minute.
4. Now add all the masala powders,beans, salt and jaggery.
5. As the masala coats the beans, add coconut milk.
6. Bring to a gentle boil.
7. Switch off the gas. Garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves.
8. Serve with plain rice, or jeera rice or brown rice.

Note
1. Use Dhansak masala if you have it in the pantry for more authentic taste.
2. The 2 1/2 cups proportion of kidney beans is of soaked & cooked kidney beans and not the dry kidney beans.

Credits
Jamva Chalo Ji - by Dr. Katy Dalal.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rose Pudding

Yet another American Desi creation that is hit among my friends. I do not know the original creator of this pudding as the recipe is travelled from someone's sister, her friend, her aunt and so on.

The original recipe did not have Gulkand. Gulkand is (unsprayed, chemicals & pesticide free, of course!) rose petals jam which is made in India. According to Ayurveda, , it is especially used during scorching heat to cool the body and reduce acidity. A spoonful can be consumed daily or can be used as a spread on a toast.

Here's what I did.


Rose Pudding

Ingredients

2 cups milk

4 tbsp water

1 tbsp unflavored gelatin

1 tbsp Ruh afza or Dabur Rose syrup (or adjust according to your taste)

2 tbsp gulkand or rose petals jam (increase or decrease per your taste!)

Method

1. Warm water. Sprinkle the gelatin powder in a cup. Pour the water and stir well so it is nicely dissolved.

2. Bring milk to boil. Switch off the gas. Add all the ingredients. Mix well.

3. Pour in a serving bowl or individual bowls.

4. Refrigerate for about an hour to set.

5. Serve chilled.

Note -

1. If you do not have Ruh Afza/ Dabur Rose Syrup, you can substitute rose water and few drops of edible red color.

2. Next time I will set this pudding in a plain bowl rather than scalloped edge bowl that I used. Though it looked pretty, I had hard time loosening the edges as you can clearly see in the picture above.

3. Use 2% or whole milk for richer taste.

4. Ruh Afza as well as rose jam have sugar. So there is no need to add extra sugar. But you can decide it per your requirements.

5. If you do not want to use gelatin, agar agar can be used.

6. If you do not care for Gulkand or rose jam in the pudding, simply omit it and proceed.

Monday, October 6, 2008

KhaparPoLi - Malvani Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

KhaparoLi or KhaparPoLi is a Malvani sweet delicacy. It is made during Navratri at my home. I came to know the origin of this name "KhaparPoLi" recently. My mom told me that it is called "khaparoli" because traditionally it is fried on a terracotta frying pan which is called "Khapar". I looked at the terracotta pan that I picked during my recent trip, but I was not sure if I will be able to use it since it has lots of holes. I think I will use it for roasting bhakri instead.

KhaparPoLi with Ras (Makes about 25)
Malvani Multigrain pancakes with coconut syrup
Ingredients
1 cup urad daal
1/4 cup whole wheat
1/2 cup brown rice or white rice
1/4 cup green mung beans
1/2 cup chana daal
1/8 tsp methi seeds/fenugreek seeds
/2 tsp cumin seeds
coconut water - as needed (optional)
1/4 cup thick pohe/pressed rice
salt to taste
oil for shallow frying
Suggested accompaniment
Method
1. Soak wheat grains separately in water. Soak all the remaining grains, daal and beans along with cumin and methi seeds in enough water. They need to be soaked at least 8 - 10 hours. Check in between to make sure that all the grains are submerged in the water.
2. Next morning, drain & grind all of them to a smooth paste adding water or coconut water. Wash thick poha and add to the mixture and again grind it to make a smooth paste.
3. Take out the ground mixture in a big pot. Cover and keep it in a warm place for fermenting. It will take anywhere between 6 - 8 hours depending on the weather.
4. Now add some salt. You may add some water to make the pancake batter or oothapam batter consistency.
5. Grease a small pan. Pour a ladle of batter. Cover with a lid. Let it fry till brown spots appear. Then flip and cook on the other side for a minute or two.
6. Serve warm KhaparpoLi with coconut syrup or Ras.

Notes -
1. For the traditional decadence, follow these steps. Take a big, deep plate like paraat. Pour half of coconut syrup. As soon as the khaproLi is ready, place it in the plate. Let it soak in the coconut syrup. When next khaproLi is ready, keep the previous one in a serving plate. Follow this procedure till you get a neat stack of soaked KhaproLis ready. You may need to add more coconut syrup if needed.
2. Instead of the above festive touch, you can just serve this pancake with the coconut syrup in a ramekin.
3. Since I am not too fond of sweets, I serve Khaproli with spicy accompaniments as well. They go especially well with simple chutney, Kalya Vatanyachi Amti, or any spicy curry of your choice.
4. You can chop some onions, cilantro, green chilies and mix in a batter to make spicy pancakes as well.
5. If you can't find fresh coconut water for grinding the batter, use plain water. I found coconut water at the whole foods by brand "One" from Brazil with only one ingredient "natural coconut water".
6. You can refrigerate the leftover batter.
7. These pancakes are very soft and porous. Make sure that the batter is well fermented.


This post is my contribution to Vaishali's Sweet Vegan event.

JFI is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

This post is also my contribution to Lakshmi's Navaratri Celebrations.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Stuffed Chili Pickle

I particularly love one stall at the farmers' market the most. This farmer has many Asian veggies. I get bitter melons (not gourds!), water spinach, Thai eggplants, lemon grass. I am always eager to explore the bounty of this stall. When I saw these green thingies, I had no idea what they were. "Flower chili peppers!", the farmer said. I had never heard or seen these before. So I bought them immediately. I wanted to know their heat level. "Moderately spicy!", the farmer replied.While coming home, I kept thinking what can be made with these? The simple answer came to my mind was chutney, but I also wanted to preserve their beautiful flower like shape. So I thought of making a pickle - stuffed chili pickle. I almost knew the recipe but I tweaked a few ingredients.

Stuffed Chili Pickle
Ingredients
Flower chili peppers 20-22
1 tbsp methi kuriya/crushed fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp rai kuriya/crushed mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/8 tsp allspice powder
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup mustard oil

Method
1. Rinse the chilies and let them dry completely.
2. Slit the chilies to stuff the masala still leaving them whole.
3. Mix all the spices and salt together.
4. Carefully, stuff the spices inside the chilies.
5. Carefully place all the stuffed chilies in a clean and dry airtight, glass container.
6. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and oil.
7. Cover with the lid tightly. Shake the bottle vigorously.
8. Keep in a sunny window for 2-3 days, shaking in between. Make sure that the lid is tightly secured.
9. The pickle is ready to be used after 3 days. Refrigerate after opening.

Note -
1. If you are not used to handling spicy chilies, wear hand gloves.
2. Remove seeds and veins of chilies if you can't tolerate any heat.
3. Wash your hands several times with soap after handling the chilies. :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dhondus - Eggless cucumber cake

When I told, Gudiya that I have made "Cucumber Cake" today, she rolled her eyes and quipped, "Why? Is it Broccoli's birthday, today?". At her age of 4, she firmly believes that all the cakes other than chocolate cakes are not qualified to be called cakes. But after hearing her question, I laughed so hard, that she was concerned, "What's wrong, mom?". I just found our conversation too funny. :-D

So here's cucumber cake that is celebrating Broccoli's birthday!! Whatever that means!!:-D

Dhondus
Malvani Cucumber Cake
Ingredients
3 small cucumbers, peeled & grated & water squeezed to make 1 cup
1 cup rawa/sooji/farina/semolina
1 cup jaggery, grated
1 tbsp cashew pieces
1 tbsp fresh coconut pieces/khobryachya kaataLya
3-4 cardamoms, crushed
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used reduced fat, canned coconut milk)
2-3 fresh turmeric leaves

Few drops of oil for greasing the container
Method
1. Roast rawa on a low flame for about 10 minutes.
2. Add grated cucumber, jaggery, cashew and coconut pieces. Keep stirring till all the extra moisture is evaporated.
3. Now add coconut milk & crushed cardamoms. The consistency now should be of a cake batter.
4. Grease a pressure cooker container. Line the turmeric leaves at the bottom of the container.
5. Pour the cucumber mixture and pat evenly.
6. Steam the batter in a pressure cooker without putting the pressure.
7. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice-cream.

Note -
1. Some people also add roasted peanuts in the above recipe. However, I do not care for the taste of roasted peanuts in this particular recipe.
2. Serving with the ice-cream was just an experimental idea which was loved by my family. Traditionally, dhondus is served all by itself.
3. Do not let the rawa or the mixture burn. Keep the flame low all the time while roasting.
4. While measuring the grated cucumbers, make sure that the water is completely squeezed out.
5. While measuring the jaggery, make sure it is grated to get the right proportion.
6. Instead of using sooji/rawa/semolina, you can also use rice rawa or idli rawa.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Patty Pan Daal

Honestly, I was making Patty Pan Stir Fry. I thought it would taste good. As I was about to slice it, I was wondering if it is related more to the pumpkin or yellow squash. As I sliced, it reminded me of a vegetable used in South Canara/Mangalore cooking - called Magge. My grandmother used to make lipsmacking Magge Allepiyyav which was similar to this, but instead of fish, magge was used. This was especially made during auspicious months like Shravan etc, when seafood was avoided.

Anyway, I tempered this patty pan squash with Bengali panchphoran and as it was getting cooked, I think I got carried away doing something else, and it became too mushy. Now we like stir fries kinda crunchy not too mushy. But I wanted to save this stir fry. So I opened the fridge. I found boiled daal. I added it to the stir fry with some more water. it started looking promising but needed some spice, I thought. I opened the pantry & found Amma's KoLumbo masala - just 2 tbsp left, I added that too. Now when you add KoLumbo masala, you have to add tamarind too. So added that as well...Thus generated my own creation of Patty Pan Daal. Serve with just plain rice for a nice comforting meal.

Patty Pan Daal
Ingredients
2 Patty pan squash, chopped
1 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup boiled toor daal

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1/2 tsp kalonji
1/2 tsp badishep/fennel seeds/variyali/saunf
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 red, dry chilies, halved

Method
1. Heat oil. Add tempering. As the seeds splutter, add chopped patty pan.
2. Saute. Stir fry till it is cooked.
3. Add boiled daal, salt, kolumbo masala, turmeric powder. Add water to get the desired consistency. Bring to boil.
4. Let it simmer for 7-9 minutes.
5. Serve with plain rice.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kothimbeerichi Bhaaji - Cilantro Subzi

Well, I signed up for http://nablowrimo.blogspot.com/ That means I will be writing every day!! Well, what's new, you may say?:-D

My dear friend, Purnima, sent me an encouraging email with the link to Amy's blog as well as Manisha's post. She thought I can do it. Hopefully, I will be able to keep up with the challenge. Let's see. Thanks Purnima, for your encouragement & friendship.

Let's go to today's recipe. Try this bhaaji when you get or grow fresh bunches of cilantro in abundance. If you like that peculiar flavor of cilantro, you may like this bhaaji. or else use spinach or spring onions or any other greens of your choice.


Kothimbeerichi (Peeth Perun) Bhaji

Cilantro Stir Fry

Ingredients

2 big bunches cilantro/coriander leaves, rinsed, chopped

9-11 spinach leaves, chopped (optional)

3/4 - 1 cup besan/chickpeas flour or as needed

1/2 tsp chili powder

salt to taste

1/2 tsp sugar (optional)


Tempering

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Method

1. Roast besan on a low flame for about 10 minutes or till a wonderful aroma wafts through your kitchen. Keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a kadai/wok. Add the ingredients for tempering. Let the mustard seeds splutter.

3. Now add, chopped cilantro. Saute for a few minutes till the cilantro is wilted and appears to be cooked. It may take about 5-7 minutes.

4. Now add salt and sugar with chili powder. Stir well.

5. Add roasted besan, 1 tbsp at a time. Keep stirring while adding the besan. The bhaji will absorb the besan.

6. Add another spoonful of oil - if using - and let the bhaji cook for few more minutes on a low flame.


Note -

1. This bhaji can be made in nonstick kadai or wok to avoid more oil.

2. Spinach, spring onions, methi/fenugreek leaves can be added to the same bhaaji or can be made of them own alone.

3. You can increase or decrease the amount of besan based on your own taste. Add more besan if you want a very dry version. But let the bhaaji cook for some more time after the besan is added otherwise it will taste raw.

4. I try to use less oil but this bhaji tastes even better if you add more oil.

This post is my contribution to Siri's Herb Mania: Cilantro.

Herb Mania event is started by Dee of Amalu's Kitchen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Owa Plant

I threw some owa/ajmo/ajowan seeds from my pantry, expecting, I will get thick, velvety leaf plant like this. I was dreaming of making the delicious fritters just like grandma used to make...Instead I got the above herb like plant. Life is full of surprises after all!:-D

Related Recipes -
Ajmo Masala Rotli

Methi Seeds & Rice Dosa

My friend, S regularly brought this dosa (along with shallots rice & beets greens thoran) for me after Gudiya was born. With a heaping amount of fenugreek seeds, this dosa is considered good for the new mothers. S is just 4 years older to me but she took that role very seriously and cared for me like a big sister that I never had. May God bless her. Now, S has moved back to India. I learnt most of my Kerala recipes from her.

If anyone knows the name of this dosa, please let me know.

Methi & Rice Dosa
Rice-Fenugreek Seeds Dosa
Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
1 tbsp methi seeds
salt to taste
oil for shallow frying

Method
1. Soak rice and methi/fenugreek seeds in water for 6-8 hours.
2. Grind to a smooth paste adding enough water.
3. Add salt and make the batter of pancake or dosa batter consistency.
4. Heat the pan and spread thin dosa. Use oil as needed.
Note -
1. This dosa needs to be soft and thin.
2. Regular white rice can also be used.
3. 1 tablespoon of methi seeds make this dosa flavored with the characteristic bitter flavor. If you do not like it too bitter, reduce the amount of fenugreek seeds.

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