Saturday, January 31, 2009

Papaya Marcha

This "chutney" is the common accompaniment with farsan at most of the farsan marts of Mumbai. I learnt this chutney from my MIL. I do not know how the farsanwallas make this chutney. I am just sharing my family's version.

Papaya Marcha
Raw Papaya Chutney
Ingredients
3/4 cup thinly sliced, peeled, raw papaya pieces
2-3 long green chlies with stems, slit
salt to taste
1 small lemon, freshly squeezed

Grind to a coarse paste
2 tbsp fresh coconut

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

Method
1. Grind ganthiya and coconut for a second in a mixer till ganthiyas are crushed. Let the mixture be coarse.
2. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. As the mustard seeds sputter, add green chilies and saute for 2 minutes.
4. Now add papaya slices. Saute again for 2 minutes.
5. Add salt to taste. Remember the ganthiya already have salt in them. So adjust accordingly.
6. Stir in coconut-ganthiya mixture. Saute for 2 minutes.
7. Switch off the gas. Squeeze lemon juice.
8. Serve along with farsaan like kachori, dhokla etc.

Note -
1. Do not overcook papaya or chilies. They need to have a little crunch to it.
2. If you prefer more coconut-ganthiya mixture, you can increase the quantity.
3. American limes/lemons are quite huge. I used 1 key lime for this recipe. You can decide the amount of lemon juice based on the desired tartness.
4. Only raw papaya is needed for this recipe. Ripe papaya will not work.
5. You can use vegetable peeler for making thin slices of the raw papaya.

This chutney goes t o Ramya's Chutney/Dip mania at Mane adige.


This post is also my entry to Sunshinemom's celebration of the color "Yellow".

Friday, January 30, 2009

Shengdanyachi Amti - Peanut Stew


The word peanut stew sounds very dramatic to me. "Danyachi Amti" as it is called in Marathi - is typically served with Varicha bhat. This combo is one of the most popular Maharashtrian home-food for fasting. When I saw "Vari' or "Bhagar" - which also goes by the name "Samo/Morayo" - at our local Indian stores, I felt so nostalgic of my mom's kitchen, that I decided to cook it immediately.


Shengdanyachi Amti (Serves 4)
Peanut Stew
Ingredients
1 cup crushed, roasted,unsalted, peeled peanuts
1 1/2 cup water
1 green chili, slit (Optional)
1/2" cinnamon
3 cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar or jaggery
3 -4 kokums or 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Method
1. Add water to the crushed, roasted peanuts and whisk.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Bring to boil.
4. Simmer for 11 minutes when not too thick not too think gravy is formed.
5. Serve with Varicha Bhat.

Note -

1. You can make a tempering of ghee with whole spices like cloves, cinnamon & cumin seeds instead of adding it directly to the stew.

2. I grind peanuts using spice grinder. Make sure it does not become too fine or peanut butter type mush. The peanut powder should be coarse.


This post is my entry to Let's Go Nuts:Peanuts event at Served with Love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chana Chaat


Who said there is no healthy street food? My friends & I used to munch on this chana chaat walking by the Hill Rd. Our chanawala used to have a big kadai/wok on sighdi with warm chickpeas boiling. And he used to add the rest of the ingrdients as he served the chaat in the paper cones. Good, old days!!:-D

Chana Chaat
Chickpeas Salad
Ingredients
2 cups black or green chana/chickpeas, sprouts or soaked
1 potato, boiled, peeled, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 or 2 green chilies, minced
salt to taste
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
2 tsp chaat masala (or per taste)
1 lemon, freshly squeezed

Method
1. Pressure cook soaked chana or chana sprouts adding 1/4 cup water & salt.
2. After cooked, pour the chana with cooking liquid in a saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water if there is no water. Saute till all the water evaporate. Let chana cool down a little.
3. While still warm (but not too hot!), add remaining ingredients.
4. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. Remember that salt is added while cooking chanas. Adjust chaat masala accordingly as it has rock salt.
2. Sometimes, instead of boiled potato, I add diced avacado. It tastes good too.

This chana chaat is my entry to JFI - Chickpeas at Sometime Foodie.
JFI event is started by Indira of Mahanandi.


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

My friends, Maya & Sudeshna have passed this cool lemonade award to me. Thanks, dear friends. I would like to pass this award to Purnima, Asha, Happy Cook, Priyanka & Vaishali. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pineapple Chutney

I had bought fresh, ripe pineapple for making Navratan Korma. But even after using , there was still a piece remaining. I thought of making this chutney that I had scribbled from Sanjeev Kapoor's show, a while back when I was in India. I have changed the proportions and tweaked the recipe to suit our taste. So I am not claiming about the authenticity of this recipe but we loved the taste.


Pineapple Chutney

Ingredients

1 cup ripe pineapple, diced

salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp water

4-5 curry leaves

1 - 2 tbsp jaggery


Grind to a smooth paste

2 tbsp coconut

4 dry red chilies

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Method

1. Pour pineapple, salt, water, turmeric powder, curry leaves and chili powder in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Let it cook for 15 minutes till pineapple pieces are cooked well.

2. Add jaggery. As jaggery melts, add ground masala.

3. Keep on sauteing till the water is evaporated and thick chutney like consistency is reached.

4. Serve as a side dish.


Note -

1. The amount of jaggery depends on tartness or sweetness of the pineapple.

This fruity chutney goes t o Ramya's Chutney/Dip mania at Mane adige.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Khaman Kakdi


This is a simple South Gujarati Salad from my MIL's Kitchen. South Gujarat borders Maharashtra and I get amazed by some of the recipes that are so similar between these two cuisines. Sometimes the names are same but the ingredients are different or vice versa. This salad reminds me of Khamang Kakdi but both the salads have their own unique identity.

Khaman Kakdi
Cucumber Salad
Ingredients
1 big cucumber or 3-4 small cucumbers, peeled & grated or minced
1/4 cup Daliya/puffed chana daal, powdered
Salt to taste
2 green chilies, cut
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed

Method
1. Grate the cucumber & squeeze out water.
2. Just before serving, mix in all the remaining ingredients.

Note
1. If you want, you can add a tempered oil of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. However, my MIL does not add any tempering to this simple salad.

This Salad goes to SWC:The Salad under 15 minutes event.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mango Pudding & Happy Republic Day, India!


For celebrating the republic Day of India, I thought of sharing the Mango Pudding from Cooking Light Jan 2009 issue.

Recipe Source -
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1867574

My Modifications -
1. I used mango pulp and didn't use chopped mango for garnish.
2. I also added some cardamom powder for flavor.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 127
Fat: 3g (sat 1.8g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 1.3g
Carbohydrate: 25.9g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Iron: 0.1mg
Sodium: 8mg
Calcium: 15mg

Credits
Cooking Light

Happy Republic Day, India!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kaarela nu Shaak




Kaarela Nu Shaak
Bitter gourd Stir Fry
Ingredients
3 bitter gourds/karelas - scraped/peeled, sliced into 2" thin strips
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/4 tsp amchoor powder

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled, thin slivers
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Method
1. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt on the bitter gourd strips. Keep aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, squeeze out water from bitter gourds. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai. Add turmeric powder, garlic slivers and bitter gourd slivers.
3. Saute for about 12-15 minutes on low flame till bitter gourd changes color. You can make it crunchier if you like.
4. After the gourd strips are cooked, add salt, sugar, chili powder, coriander cumin powder and amchoor powder.
5. Saute for 5 minutes.
6. Serve along with daal and rice.
Note -
1. Make sure to slice bitter gourd strips very thin.
2. Remember that salt in already added to bitter gourd strips. Adjust while cooking accordingly.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kobij -Vatana nu Shaak

Kobij-Vatana nu Shaak

Stir Fried Cabbage

Ingredients

1 small head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup green peas

Salt to taste (if needed)

1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder


Tempering

2 tsp oil

1 - 2 green chili, slit or chopped

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig curry leaves

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Garnish

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, cilantro

Lemon juice, as needed


Method

0. Shred cabbage finely. Sprinkle salt and mix and keep aside.

1. Heat oil in a kadai/wok.

2. Add all the ingredients for tempering.

3. As the mustard seeds start to splutter, add cabbage. Stir fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add green peas. Cover with a lid. Add some water on the lid. Let it cook for about10-12 minutes or when cabbage is cooked.

5. Adjust for salt. Remember we have already sprinkled salt on the cabbage.

6. Garnish with cilantro.

7. Squeeze fresh lemon juice just before serving.


Note -

1. You can also add some grated carrots.

2. The step to sprinkle salt over cabbage helps cabbage cook uniformly & quickly. - MIL's tip.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dahi Bateka nu Shaak - Potato Yogurt Curry


Dahi Bateka nu Shaak
Potato-Yogurt Curry
Ingredients
3-4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled & cubed
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup water
1 tsp jaggery
2-3 kokums (optional)

Mix & keep aside
1 cup plain yogurt (fat free ok)
4 tbsp powdered daliya/dalya/puffed chana daal
1/2 cup water

Tempering
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
3-4 boriya chilies
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

Garnish
1 tbsp freshly scraped coconut (optional)
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped

Method
1. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering except ginger-garlic paste. As the seeds start to pop, add ginger-garlic paste. Stir fry for 1 minute.
2. Add potatoes. Saute till they are coated with oil.
3. Add 1/2 cup water, salt, jaggery, chili powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, kokum - if using. Bring to boil.
4. As the curry boils, switch the gas to low. Add yogurt-powdered daliya mixture slowly. Keep stirring. Adjust the water to get the desired consistency.
5. Bring to a gentle boil. Switch off the gas.
6. Garnish with coconut - if using & cilantro.
7. Serve hot with puri, thepla or chapati.

Note -
1. Make sure that there are no lumps of powdered daliya while whisking with the yogurt.
2. This curry should not be dry. Make sure it has gravy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tindora-Kanda nu Shaak

I love tondli/tendli/tindora/ivygourds/gherkins. So if I happen to reach on time on the "veggie day" at our Indian stores, I always buy this vegetable. After coming home, I think about which recipe I haven't blogged so far, and then decide to cook it so I can blog about it. One such evening, I made this tindora nu shaak.

Tindora-Kanda nu Shaak

Ivy gourds-Onion Curry

Ingredients

1 lb ivy gourds/gherkin/tondli/tindora/tendli, cut into quarters

1 onion, chopped

salt to taste

1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

Tempering

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method

1. Cut the tindora/tendli/tondli/gherkins in quarters. Steam in the pressure cooker till 2-3 whistles.

2. Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder.

3. As the seeds sizzle, add chopped onion. Saute on a low flame till the onion becomes light brown. Do not let it burn.

4. Stir in coriander-cumin seed powder, chili powder and salt. Saute for 1 minute.

5. Now add steamed tindoras. Mix carefully without letting tindoras break.

6. Simmer till all the water - if any - from the steamed tindora is evaporated.

7. Serve with chapati/phulka or thepla.


Note

1. This shaak can also be made by cooking tindora in the wok itself. In that case, cover with a lid and keep some water on the top of the lid till tindoras are cooked.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dudhi - Chana nu Shaak

When I was new in the US of A, we had a limited access to Indian vegetables since the local Indian stores was quite far away. One Saturday morning, I dragged my husband to the farmers' market to check out the fresh veggies. My joy knew no bounds when I spotted "Bottlegourd" or dudhi. I was really curious to know what could be the American name of "Bottlegourd" as I had discovered then, that all the English names of veggies were different in American English. e.g. Ladies finger was Okra, Brinjal was eggplant, coriander leaves was cilantro, capsicum was bell pepper. So I asked that farmer, pointing to "Dudhi" what's it called? Do you know what he said -
"Dodhi!!! Something we have started growing recently then and is an Asian vegetable!!!":-D I still do not think that "Dodhi" is an American English name for the bottle gourd, but that's how our American farmer referred to it anyway!

Dudhi Chana
Bottlegourd-bengal gram curry
Ingredients
1 medium bottlegourd/dudhi/ghia/lauki, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chana daal, rinsed and soaked in warm water for 2 hours
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Grind to paste
1" ginger
2-3 cloves garlic
2 green chilies

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

Method
1. Pressure cook dudhi pieces and drained chana daal adding 1/4 cup water for about 3 whistles. Set aside.
2. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and fenugreek seeds.
3. As the seeds start to pop, add ground paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add cooked vegetables and daal mixture. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Add salt, chili powder, coriander-cumin seed powder, garam masala.
6. Simmer till the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Note -
1. You can cook dudhi and chana in the simmering curry instead of pressure cooking. It will take more time.
2. Do not overcook. Chana daal and dudhi pieces should retain their shapes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oil-Free Dalichi Amti

I know that I have already blogged about Dalichi Amti before. But there are many versions of amtis in my family. This Amti is known as "Tai chi Amti". Tai means elder sister in Marathi. None has ever met this Tai. She was my grandmother's friend who had shared this recipe with my grandma. So my grandma too used to make this amti often. She passed down the recipe and title - Tai chi Amti to the next generations.

You know what I like the best? This is actually an oil-free amti. There is not even a drop of oil in the original recipe. This is not even modified recipe by health-conscious next generation. This is the original recipe. So how was it fat-free, a few generations back? Grandma (& probably Tai too!)always served this Amti along with a big katori of clarified butter/ghee/toop. So each can take their own portion of ghee in their bowl. Now a drop or a dollop is entirely your choice. :-)

Tai Chi Amti
Oil-free Daal
Ingredients
Pressure cook all these ingredients together
3/4 cup Toor Daal
1/4 cup Moong Daal
1/2 onion, chopped
1 or 2 green chilies, slit
4-5 pieces of drumsticks, cut into 3" pieces
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

To be added later
1 tsp goda masala
3-4 kokums, rinsed
salt to taste
2 tsp jaggery (or more)
1 sprig curry leaves

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

Accompaniment (optional)
Ghee

Method
1. Pressure cook daal along with all the ingredients till asafoetida. Add about double amount of water.
2. Pour cooked daal in a saucepan. Mash cooked daal with the back of the spoon. Add water to adjust the consistency.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to a rapid boil.
5. Simmer for about 11 - 12 minutes on a low flame. Add more water if daal is getting too thick.
6. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
7. Serve hot with rice.

Note -
1. This daal needs to be simmered nicely on a low flame so all the flavors are nicely incorporated. 2. The consistency should be neither too thick nor too thin.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rice Kheer


This kheer is made in pretty much all parts of India. It goes by many different names. It's a star attraction at our local Indian restaurants.

Rice Kheer
Rice Pudding
Ingredients
3 cups Whole Milk
1/4 cup Basmati Rice, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup sugar (more or less per taste)
1 cup heavy whipping cream or half n half (optional)
2-3 drops of oil for greasing
4 cardamoms, peeled, crushed

Garnish (Optional)
1 tsp rose water
or
2-3 drops of Almond essence
or
2-3 drops of Ice-cream essence

Method
1. Grease the bottom of a nonstick saucepan. Pour milk. Add rinsed & drained rice.
2. Bring to boil on a low flame. Keep stirring in between.
3. Let the rice cook and milk should reduce in quantity. It may take about 1 hour.
4. When the rice is cooked, using potato masher, mash the rice lightly so the grains are broken into two halves. Make sure that rice does not become a total mush.
5. Add sugar and heavy whipping cream/half-n-half, if using.
6. Bring to gentle boil on a low flame. Keep stirring.
7. Stir in cardamom powder. Switch off the gas. Let it cook down.
8. Keep it in the refrigerator. Serve chilled. Just before serving, add additional garnish of rose water or almond essence or ice-cream essence.

Note-
1. This kheer can also be served hot, warm or at room temperature. If you are not going to serve it chilled, omit the step of additional garnish of rose water or essence.
2. For the creamier and richer taste, heavy whipping cream is used. You can certainly leave it out.
3. You can even use skim milk or 2% milk based on your own healthy choice.
4. You can use saffron to make Kesari Rice Kheer. Saffron will add a beautiful hue and color. If want to add saffron, mix few strands with 1 tbsp warm milk. And stir in the boiling milk along with sugar. To get brighter shade of saffron, you can put it in a spoon and heat it on a flame for a few seconds before mixing with the milk.
5. Greasing the nonstick saucepan, prevents the milk from burning and sticking to the bottom.


This is my entry to Harvest : the festival of Rice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

FodNichi PoLi - Chapati Stir Fry

This is what my mom usually makes when there are leftover chapatis from the previous night. Just a yummy breakfast dish from the leftovers!!


FodNichi PoLi
Tempered chapatis stir fry
Ingredients
5 leftover chapatis, torn and twirled in a blender for a few seconds
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar (or per taste)

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
1/4 cup raw, unsalted peanuts
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1/4 the of lemon

Method
1. Tear the chapatis by hand. Add them to the grinder and grind just for a second to get crushed chapatis. 5 chapatis result in about 1 1/2 cups crushed chapatis for me.
2. Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute for 7-10 minutes till onion & peanuts are soft.
3. Now add crushed chapatis, salt & sugar. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Saute for another 5 minutes.
4. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
5. Squeeze some lemon juice while serving.

Note -
1. This should be soft but it should neither be crunchy nor mushy. So sprinkle water after adding chapatis but do not add too much water.

This post is also my entry to Sunshinemom's celebration of the color "Yellow".

Friday, January 16, 2009

Apoorva's Prawn Gassi


Few years back, Times of India (the city supplement, Bombay times to be precise!) ran the series "Your Speciality". The readers used to request their favorite restaurant recipe and the owner/chef of that restaurant would oblige with their signature recipe. I had clipped all those recipes. I was still studying then, and I couldn't try any of those recipes. Today, while going through that collection, I decided to try these recipes that now make me nostalgic of my city - Mumbai.

Interesting Read -
Eating Out Apoorva - Busybee

Prawn Gassi - Apoorva Style (Serves 4-5)
Ingredients
1/2 kg Prawns, medium size
salt
20 ml coconut oil

Grind to a paste
5 gm garlic
5 gm chili
5 gm ginger
5 gm tomato pieces
25 gm poppy seeds/khas khas
50 gm coriander seeds
20 gm cumin seeds
5-10 gm black peppercorns
15 kashmiri chilies

Grind to make coconut milk
1 grated coconut

Method
1. Boil prawns
2. Season coconut oil with masala paste.
3. Add coconut milk. Bring to boil. Add salt.
4. Pour over the boiled prawns.
5. Garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves
Note -
I used ready made coconut milk.


Credits
Bombay Times
&
Apoorva Lunch Home
Noble Chambers,
SA Brelvi Road (near Horniman Circle),
Fort, Mumbai, India
Phone: 22-2288-1457

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tondli Bhat - Gherkins Rice

As a kid, I was fond of collecting recipes. As if collecting recipes from TV shows and aunts was not enough, I used to collect the free booklets/brochures that used to accompany the cookers, pressure pans, mixers etc. My aunts happily used to give me all that "junk" because probably they never tried any of those recipes. As a result, I got a collection of booklets from various pressure cookers. The other day, I was cleaning my kitchen, and found "Hawkins" recipe booklet. I feel such booklets are a great resource for the regional Indian cooking because they try to cover all the Indian states as well as tastes.

I must say, we loved this recipe of "Tondli Bhaat". I tweaked the recipe a little to suit our taste.


Tondli Bhaat
Gherkins Rice Adapted from Hawkins Recipe Booklet
Ingredients
21 gherkins/tondli/tendli/tindora/ivy gourds, cut into quarters
1 1/2 cup basmati rice
2 tbsp raw , unsalted cashews
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder


Roast & Grind
1/4 cup dry coconut
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves
2" cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp sesame seeds


Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter/toop
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3 green chilies, slit


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


Accompaniments
Ghee/clarified butter/toop
Mattha


Method
1. Wash and drain Basmati rice and keep aside for at least 15 minutes.
2. Roast all the ingredients for masala together till coconut turn light brown.
3. Grind roasted ingredients together to make a smooth paste.
4. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure pan/cooker or handi.
5. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder. As the seeds splutter, add green chilies.
6. Add tondli quarters & cashews and saute for 5 minutes. Add masala paste and stir once.
7. Now, add drained basmati. Saute for 5 minutes.
8. Add 3 cups water. Add salt, sugar, chili powder. Bring to boil.
9. Close the lid of the cooker. Cook for 2 whistles.
10. Let the pressure drop of its own.
11. Pour in a serving platter. Garnish with cilantro and coconut.


Note -
1. You can use cauliflower, green peas, potatoes instead of tindora/tendli as well.
2. This rice can also be made in a heavy bottomed saucepan, if you do not have a pressure cooker.


Credits-
Hawkins Recipe Booklet

This post is my entry to the festival of Rice.
This post is also my entry to Sunshinemom's celebration of the color "Yellow".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kulithachi Usal - Horsegram Stir Fry

This usal - as my mom makes it - is very simple. But I absolutely love it.

KuLithachi UsaL

Horsegram Stir Fry

Ingredients

2 cups Kulith/Horsegram sprouts

salt to taste

1 tbsp jaggery

1 tsp chili powder

Tempering

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 small onion, chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, slivered

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish

1 tbsp freshly grated coconut

Method

1. Pressure cook kulith/horsegram and keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds & garlic. As it turns reddish, add onion and turmeric powder. Saute for 5-7 minutes till the onion is soft.

3. Now add cooked horsegram sprouts along with cooking liquid, salt, jaggery and chili powder.

4. Bring to boil. Let it simmer till the water evaporates completely.

5. Garnish with fresh coconut.

Note -

1. You can reduce the amount of jaggery if you do not care for sweetish flavor.

This post is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair - Seventh Helping at Srivalli's.
My Legume Love Affair event is started by Susan of The Well seasoned Cook.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thecha - A Red Hot Chutney

Thecha - the name has it all. I think it can be translated as "smashed". The fresh red chilies are smashed and hence needs to be eaten in moderation because it is very fiery. It is probably also known as Ranjka or Kharda. But it is quite possible that they may have some slight variations in the cooking process.

For the authentic flavor, the chilies need to be smashed using stone mortal & iron pestle. I just used my good old Sumeet. :-D

Thecha
Fresh Red Chilies Chutney
Ingredients
7 fresh, red chilies like jalapenos
2 garlic cloves, peeled
7 fenugreek seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp oil

Method
1. Rinse fresh chilies and dry them completely.
2. Chop coarsely.
3. Roast fenugreek seeds quickly for few seconds. Roast sesame seeds till they are a shade darker.
4. Grind all the ingredients to a smooth or coarse paste.
5. Heat oil. Switch off the gas. Cool the oil completely. Stir in the chutney gently.
6. Store in an airtight bottle. Refrigerate.

Note -
1. Some people prefer this chutney to be coarse while some prefer fine. You decide your own choice.
2. Use within a week.
3. Do not forget to wash hands several times or wear gloves while handling chilies.

This post is my contribution to Click: Red for January 2009 at Jugalbandi.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chicken Hariyali or Palak Gosht Curry

To my pleasant surprise, Gudiya just loved this curry. She can be quite unpredictable when it comes to food. and I guess, for all moms (or dads!), it's a moment of ultimate joy when their kids give two thumbs up!


Chicken Hariyali or Palak Gosht
Spinach Chicken Curry
Ingredients
1 lb chicken, boneless/skinless, cut into chunks
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, minced
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper

Grind to paste1
1/2 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
1-2 green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves
1" ginger

Whisk together
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Grind to paste2
1 bunch spinach, boiled
8-10 cashews
1 tbsp white poppy seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds

Tempering
1 tbsp oil or ghee
3 cloves
1 cinnamon

Also need,
salt to taste
1/2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed
1/2 tsp garam masala
Suggested Accompaniment
Naan or Tandoori Roti or Rumali Roti
Lemon wedges
Kachumbar

Method
1. Grind paste 1 . Mix with yogurt & turmeric powder. Marinate the chicken. Cover. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
2. Clean spinach. Wash it several times in running water. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. As the spinach wilts, switch off the gas. Let it cool down a little. Grind to a smooth paste along with cashews, poppy seeds, coriander seeds.
3. Heat oil in a pressure pan/cooker or handi. Add all cloves and cinnamon.
4. As the spices leave a wonderful aroma, add onion. Saute till golden brown.
5. Add marinated chicken along with yogurt. Saute for 5 minutes. Add crushed black pepper.
6. Now add spinach paste, tomato and 1/2 cup water. Add salt to taste.
7. Pressure cook till 3-4 whistles.
8. Let the pressure drop completely. Open the lid. Let it simmer.
9. Add crushed kasoori methi and garam masala.

Note -
1. The consistency of this curry should be on the thicker side.
2. For richer taste, use ghee for tempering and also add 1/4 cup heavy cream in step 9.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Green Banana Bharit


I spotted a really good-looking raw banana at our supermarket the other day. So I thought of making my Aaji's bharit.

Kachchya Kelyache Bharit
Raw Banana Relish
Ingredients
1 raw banana/plantain
few drops of oil
1 cup plain yogurt (fat free OK)
salt to taste
1 small onion, minced
2-3 green chilies, minced
1 tbsp cilantro, minced

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (optional)

Method
1. Grease plantain with a few drops of oil. Grill or roast on a gas/grill till the peel is black and banana is cooked through.
2. When cooled, peel the banana. Mash the cooked banana to a pulp using potato masher.
3. Stir in onion, chilies, cilantro, salt & yogurt.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds ans asafoetida.
5. Drizzle the sizzling oil over the banana-yogurt mixture. Mix well.
Note -
1. I find roasting the banana over the gas is extremely messy. Moreover I am never sure if the banana is well cooked or not. So I generally pressure cook the raw banana with peels on. and then peel it off and mash to pulp.

2. If made too much in advance, this salad becomes too dry. You may need to add more yogurt while serving.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Moogan Ganthi

Generally, on the auspicious days/festivals, my mom always makes mung beans curry. It can be ghasshi or this ganthi. These curries are chosen probably because they do not have any pungent garlic or onion, which are avoided on such days.

Moogan Ganthi
Mung Sprouts Curry
Ingredients
3 cups Mung beans sprouts
1 tbsp raw, unsalted cashew nuts
1 tbsp fresh coconut slices/khobryachya kaataLya
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 cup water

Roast one after the other and then grind
1/3 cup fresh coconut
1 tbsp coriander seeds
5 byadgi chilies
9 black peppercorns
1 small piece of dry turmeric root/Halkunda (optional)

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida

You will also need,
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
1/4 cup canned coconut milk (reduced fat OK)
3-4 Kokum/Amsul/Sol, rinsed

Method
1. In a saucepan, add sprouts, cashews and coconut pieces. Add water & turmeric powder. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Cover and cook till soft but not mushy.
2. Roast the ingredients for paste one after the other and grind to a smooth paste, adding little water as necessary.
3. Add the masala paste in the cooked mung beans. Add salt, jaggery. Bring to boil. Add more water to adjust the consistency of the curry.
4. Let it simmer for 11 minutes.
5. Add coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the gas.
6. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add sizzling oil in the curry. Cover with the lid. Let it stand for 5 minutes
7. Serve with plain rice or chapati.

Note -
1. I make sprouts this way.
2. Dried turmeric root is called HaLkunda in Marathi. If it is not readily available, simply ignore it.
3. If you do not have kokum/amsol, use tamarind instead. Grind 2 tsp tamarind pulp while grinding the rest of the masala. Do not roast tamarind!:-D

This post is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair - Seventh Helping at Srivalli's.

My Legume Love Affair event is started by Susan of The Well seasoned Cook.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bataka nu Koru Shaak


Gujarati Bataka nu Koru Shaak is almost similar to Maharashtrian Batatyachi Suki Bhaji. Both differ by just a few ingredients here and there, thus resulting a totally different taste/flavor.

Bataka nu Koru Shaak
Potatoes Stir Fry
Ingredients
4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled & cubed
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste
2 green chilies
1" ginger

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

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

Accomapniement
1 tbsp lemon juice

Method
1. Pressure cook potatoes. Peel and cut into small cubes.
2. Heat oil in a kadai or wok.
3. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder.
4. Stir in ginger-garlic-chili paste. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add potato cubes, salt, coriander-cumin pwoder. Mix well.
6. Cover and cook for 10 minutes without adding any water. Keep stirring in between.
7. Garnish with coconut, garlic greens and cilantro.
8. After switching off the gas, add lemon juice and mix well.

Note -
1. If fresh garlic cloves are not available, use usual garlic cloves while making paste.
2. For a different taste, you can also add 1 tsp Gujarati garam masala while adding salt.
3. For the garnish, only green part of fresh garlic is used. If it is not available, simply ingore it.

This post is my contribution to Sunshinemom's celebration of the color "Yellow".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Khichda

As a kid, I loved visiting one of my aunts - mainly because she used to have a stack of glossy Bollywood magazines like FilmFare, Star & Style etc! It used to be my favorite activity as my mom and aunt would catch up on the mundane issues about life. :-D During one such enlightening moments, I was reading about Dimple Kapadia's my favorites or something like that where she mentioned "Khichda" as her comfort food. The first thought that came to my mind was that it was a typo for Khichdi and second, how on earth, gorgeous Dimple loves Khichdi? Well I was wrong and wrong again. Khichda is no Khichdi...And Khichdi can very well be comfort food, but it took me several years and thousands of miles away from my home to realize it.

Later I came to know that Khichda is a Bohri delicacy with meat, whole grains like wheat and lentils. But I must admit, the recipe scared me a bit. I wanted to try it from a long time. Finally I came across Shaan'sKhichda Mix pack at the local Indian stores. So decided to use it. It can be your one dish complete meal. I followed the recipe as given on the back of the pack. I reduced the amount of ghee.

The garnish of crunchy onions and mint gives a special flavor to this hearty strew.


Khichda
Meat-Whole Grains Casserole
Ingredients
1 packet Shaan Khichda Mix
(It has two parts. One is grains/lentils mixture* and the other is a spice sachet**)

Tempering
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
1 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
Shaan Masala Sachet**
10 cups water

1 cup mint/pudhina/phodina - chopped

Garnish

1 tbsp oil

1 big onion, thinly sliced

few sprigs of mint, chopped

Method

0. Marinate chicken pieces with ginger-garlic paste.

1. Soak the whole grains packet* in water for 1 - 2 hours.

2. Brown thinly sliced onion in 1 tbsp oil or ghee. Stir in chopped mint leaves - few sprigs. Keep aside for garnish.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker.
4. Saute marinated chicken, masala sachet for 5 minutes. Add soaked/drained grains.

5. Add 10 cups water.

6. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure drop of its own.

7. Open the lid. Add mint leaves. Simmer for 7 minutes.

8. Switch off the gas. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.

9. Serve in individual bowls, garnish with browned onion-mint mixture.

Note
1. Shaan Khichda Mix packet yields in a huge amount of Khichda. So make it when you have company or be ready to freeze the leftovers. Otherwise, you may need to use half of the khichda mix.
2. I like to serve this as a one dish meal on the wintry nights. You can also serve it along with Naan or Pita bread.
3. For richer taste, use ghee/clarified butter instead of oil.
4. I reduced the amount of chicken needed for the recipe.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Khuta - Mixed Vegetable curry

I think mostly it is called as "Khutkhute" everywhere, but for some reason, it is called "Khuta" at my home. I wonder, if someone, few generations back, made an abbreviation and that's how the name got stuck? I will never know. What I do know is that my aaji used to make this curry for the naivedya for our family deity Shri Shantadurga.

Khuta
Mixed Vegetable Curry
Ingredients
1 cup red pumpkin, peeled, big chunks
3/4 cups potatoes, peeled, big chunks
1/2 cup raw bananas, peeled, big chunks
1/4 cup green beans, 1" pieces
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 cup carrot, peeled, diced
1/2 cup sweet potato, peeled, big chunks
3-4 pieces corn on cobs
salt to taste

1 tbsp jaggery

2-3 kokum, rinsed

7-9 tirphals, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water

Grind to paste

3/4 cup coconut

3-4 red chilies

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp tamarind pulp


Method

1. Place all the vegetables in a big saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Cover with a lid and let it cook.

2. Grind masala to a paste adding little water.

3. Pour masala in the cooked vegetable along with salt, soaked tirphals & water, jaggery and kokums.

4. Adjust water to get the desired curry like consistency.

5. Bring to boil. Simmer for about 12 minutes.


Note -

1. You can add any vegetables of your choice. Do not add sticky veggies like okra or eggplant.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lima Beans Usal - 2



This is my maushi's - maternal aunt - recipe. Every time, I call her before making it just to make sure that I am adding everything correctly. This time, I decided, I better blog about it so I have the exact recipe with me. Next time, I will call her after making it just to let her know that it came out superb.

Oh, I also realize that I am blogging about Lima Beans Usal - 2 but I haven't blogged about Lima beans usal -1 yet!! Well, Usal-1 as mom makes, shall appear soon!!:-D


Paavtyachi UsaL
Lima Beans Usal
Ingredients
1 packet frozen baby lima beans 16 oz
salt to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped


1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp jaggery

Grind to a fine paste
3-4 sprigs mint
3-4 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
11/2 " ginger
1 green chili (use more to make it spicier)

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

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
2. As the seeds sizzle, add onion. Saute till it is soft.
3. Add tomatoes. Saute till it becomes a mush.
4. Now add green masala paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes till a nice aroma fills the kitchen.
5. Stir in lima beans, 1 cup water, jaggery, salt, chili powder, garam masala, coriander-cumin seed powder.
6. Bring to boil. Let it simmer on a low flame for about 11-12 minutes.

Note -
1. This curry should have a little gravy. So do not let the water evaporate completely.

2. You can also add a potato (peeled & diced) in this usal. That can be added after onion. Make sure it is partially cooked before adding lima beans.

This post is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair - Seventh Helping at Srivalli's.
My Legume Love Affair event is started by Susan of The Well seasoned Cook.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kerala Prawns Curry

My friend served this curry with plain rice. It was lipsmackingly good. I had to take the recipe!!:-D

Kerala Prawns Curry
Ingredients
1 lb shrimp, cleaned, deveined
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fish masala *

1/2 tsp fish masala ** (Yes, you need it again!)
1 tomato, roughly chopped

Roast and grind to fine paste
1 onion, roughly chopped
1" ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
5 dry, red chilies
1 tbsp coriander seeds


Tempering
1 tbsp oil
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Garnish
1/2 tsp coconut oil


Method
1. Marinate shrimp with salt, turmeric powder and fish masala*.
2. Roast all the ingredients for paste one after the other and grind to a fine paste adding little water if neccesary.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves.
4. As the mustard seeds start sizzling, add the ground paste, fish masala** & chopped tomato. Saute for 30 minutes on a medium flame. Add spoonful of water if the masala appears to stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. Now add marinated shrimp and 1 cup water. Add more salt for the gravy per taste.
6. Switch the gas to high, bring to a rapid boil. As the curry starts boiling, drizzle coconut oil.
7. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with plain rice.


Note -
1. My friend had reccommended "Periyar brand" fish masala for Kerala style seafood cooking. But I couldn't find it so I used Badshah fish Masala.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Falafel" Kofta Curry


My American friend, Amy is very fond of Indian food. She has requested me to share some Indian dishes which are available in Indian restaurants in America. She has even given me 2-3 menu cards from the popular Indian restaurants here so I get some inspiration. :-D She wants to cook Indian feast for the Valentines' day celebration. She requested me to help her with the recipes or even develop a few for her taste. While developing this recipe, I gave preference to simplicity, mildness and short-cuts.
So this is semi-homemade curry which Amy loved a lot. Now you know, what is she cooking for the main course on the Valentine's day this year!
"Falafel" Kofta Curry
Ingredients
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar (or more)
2 tbsp oil
Grind to smooth paste
1 big onion, sliced, pressure-cooked
1 tbsp white poppy seeds
12 unsalted, raw cashews
1 tbsp fresh or dry coconut
5 dry, red chilies - mild like kashmiri chiles
2 roma tomatoes
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
Garnish
1/2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed by hand
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp heavy whipped cream (Optional)
Suggested accompaniments
Lemon wedges & salad
and
Method
1. Take frozen Falafels out and keep them handy while you make the rest of the curry ready.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai or wok. Add the onion-tomato paste.
3. Saute on a low flame for 45-60 minutes. Yes. This is the crucial step for the right flavor. If the paste appears to stick to the bottom on the wok, add spoonful of water from time to time.
4. When the oil appears to leave the masala, add 1 1/2 cups water. Stir in garam masala, salt & sugar. Bring to boil.
5. As the curry boils, switch the gas to low. Place the falafels carefully in the gravy. Bring to a gentle boil.
6. Sprinkle kasoori methi crushed by hand.
7. Pour in a serving platter/bowl. Garnish with heavy whipping cream - if using and cilantro.
Note -
1. Kashmiri chilies are mild in flavor but add a wonderful color to the gravy. If not available, use byadgi chilie - which are generally available in the local Indian stores.
2. Those who like their food hot, can add more chilies or chili powder. But this curry is supposed to be mild.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bhappa Doi


A very simple Bengali sweet which is immensely enjoyed by my family.

Bhappa Doi - Serves 4
Steamed Yogurt Pudding
Ingredients
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
3-4 cardamoms, crushed
A few strands of saffron

Method
1. Whisk yogurt, milk, condensed milk together so as they are nicely incorporated.
2. Add in crushed cardamom, saffron and doodh masala.
3. Add water in the pressure cooker like you would usually add to cook rice.
4. Pour the yogurt-milk mixture equally in steel katoris/wati/watki/ramekins.
5. Invert a pressure cooker container. and place the containers on top of the inverted container as shown below.
6. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.

Note -
1. You can pour the mixture in pressure-cooker container instead of individual ramekins.
2. Some people just steam this pudding instead of putting pressure - just like steaming dhokla or idli.
3. The step of inverting pressure cooker container is just to isolate the ramekins from the boiling water below, in the pressure cooker.
4. You can easily increase the proportion by maintaining 1:1:1 ratio for yogurt, milk and condensed milk.
5. For this recipe, I used low fat plain organic yogurt, fat-free sweetened condensed milk and whole milk.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chawlichi Amti

As the new year approaches, all the American supermarkets start displaying "Black Eyed Peas" prominently in their shopping aisles. "Black Eyed Peas" are supposed to bring in good luck and hence they are eaten on the New Years Day Party every where - especially in Southern parts of - America. This always reminds me of my family's Gujarati tradition. Yes, Black eyed peas are eaten on "Bestu Varas" or new year's day and the curry is called "Sukun nu shaak" i.e. Good Luck Curry!!

I don't want to go in any philosophical or cynical view about how black eyed peas bring in good luck etc. instead how about embracing a new tradition and participating in the new year fun wishing each other a wonderful new year.

ChawLichi Amti
Black Eyed Peas Curry
Ingredients
2 cups chowli sprouts
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 medium onion, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery


Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, torn


Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped


Method
1. Pressure cook black eyed peas for 2 whistles. Do not overcook as they turn into mush quickly.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for the tempering.
3. As the seeds sizzle, add onions. Cook till onions are soft.
4. Add ginger-garlic paste & tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes.
5. Add all the powders and 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
6. Add boiled chowli/black eyed peas, salt and jaggery.
7. Stir with care not to break the sprouts. Simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
9. Serve with rice or chapatis.


Note -
1. You can adjust the consistency of curry by adding water. If the curry is too watery, mix 1 tbsp besan/chickpeas flour with 1/2 cup water. And add to the boiling curry. Let it simmer for 5 minutes till the curry thickens.

May this New Year bring lots of happiness, good luck and peace to you and yours.

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