Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pondicherry Green Beans


RCI or Regional Cuisines of India is one of my favorite events. It has given me an opportunity to explore the cuisines of unknown parts of India. Though Pondicherry - now, puducherry is very well known place for Auroville, Aurobindo Ashram, serenity beach and the French influence, I wasn't familiar with its food heritage. Lavi and Lakshmi have given me this opportunity. Thanks, so much, both of you!!

This recipe is from the book "A taste of Madras" by Rani Kingman. I borrowed this book from our local library.

Pondicherry Green Beans
Ingredients
1 lb frozen French Style cut green beans
1/2 tsp chili powder/paprika
2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin powder

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
A dash of black pepper powder
Method
1. Whisk yogurt and milk together. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a kadai or wok.
3. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till onion is soft.
4. Now add green beans, chili powder. Saute for 5 minutes.
5. Stir in coriander-cumin powder and salt to taste.
6. Now add yogurt+milk mixture. Lower the flame. Let it cook till the liquid evaporates.
7. Garnish with a dash of black pepper powder.
Note -
1. Though I have mostly followed the recipe from the book "A taste of Madras - by Rani Kingman", I have tweaked it a tiny bit as far as the method is concerned.
2. As you know that Pondicherry cuisine is influenced by French Cuisine. But adding french cut green beans is just my whim as it is readily available in the frozen vegetables section of the American supermarkets. The original recipe didn't mention it. And you can use regular, fresh green beans, chop it per your own liking.

Credits -

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Porro - A Parsi Omelet

Parsi cuisine has so many varieties of eggs. So let's start with the simplest one!!

Porro
Ingredients
3-4 eggs, whisked
1 small onion, minced
1 small tomato, minced

1/2 bell pepper, minced

2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
salt to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1/2 tsp kitchen king masala or garam masala

1/4 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder

1/4 cup milk

oil or butter for roasting


Suggested accompaniment

buttered toast made from sliced bread

Tomato ketchup/Spicy tomato ketchup

Shoestring potatoes (optional)


Method

1. Mix all the vegetables, powders and salt together. Keep aside.

2. Whisk eggs with milk.

3. Pour the egg mixture into the veggie mixture.

4. Grease a frying pan with butter or oil.

5. Make omelets of desired circumference and thickness.

6. Serve with tomato ketchup and buttered toast. For a pure indulgence, serve potato salli (shoe string potatoes) with it.


Note -

1. If you need to taste for salt, check it with vegetable mixture. Do not taste raw eggs mixture.

2. You can add green chili instead of bell pepper for spicier taste.

3. You can make this omelet using just egg whites. In that case use 6 eggs whites.

This post is my entry to Sudeshna's first Birthday Event - Eggs

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green Beans Foogath

I love to use French style cut Green beans. I always have at least one packet in my freezer. So when I don't get fresh green beans, that's what I use. Gudiya gobbles it saying "green beans noodles"!

Green Beans Foogath
Ingredients
1 lb green beans, frozen - French style cut
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
2 red chilies, halved
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves

Garnish
2 tbsp freshly grated coconut

Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai or wok.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering except onion.
3. As the seeds sizzle, add onion. Saute till it is soft.
4. Add green beans, 2 tbsp water. Cover with a lid with water on top.
5. Let it cook on a low flame till beans are soft. Add more water if it seems to stick.
6. Stir in salt.
7. Garnish with coconut.


Note -
1. If you don't have access to frozen french cut green beans, simply use fresh green beans.
2. Similar foogath can also be made with yard long beans.


This post is my entry to FIC - Red & Green at Tasty Recipes.
FIC event is started by Sunshine mom of Tongueticklers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rajma Gogji - Kashmiri Rajma


I have tried this recipe many times, from the clipping of some old magazine. Probably it's Femina or Women's era. I do not know the authenticity of this dish. But we like it nonetheless.

I must admit, initially, I used to put potatoes instead of turnips as I thought turnips might be turn offs!:-D But now, I add turnips and they taste pretty good too.


Rajma Gogji
Kashmiri Rajma Curry
Ingredients
1 cup dry kashmiri rajma or regular kidney beans, soaked overnight
2 medium or 4 small turnips, peeled & quartered
salt to taste


Grind to paste
1 1/2 onions, roughly chopped
4-5 cloves garlic
2" ginger
4-5 kashmiri chilies or regular dried chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, chopped


Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves


Method
1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, pressure handi or pressure pan.
2. Saute chopped onions for 5 minutes.
3. Add ground onion paste. Saute for 10 minutes. Add spoonful of water if mixture seems to stick to the bottom of the pan.
4. Now add turnip pieces. Saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add drained rajma/kidney beans. Saute for 1 minute.
6. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a rapid boil.
7. Close the lid. Pressure cook for 6-7 whistles. Let the pressure drop of its own.
8. Open the lid. Add salt. Simmer till gravy of the desired consistency is obtained. Make sure that turnips are not getting totally squished.
9. Garnish with cilantro if desired.


Note -
1. 1 cup dry kidney beans yield about 3 cups soaked and swelled kidney beans.
2. Discard the water in which kidney beans are soaked as it is said to be toxic.
3. You can pressure cook rajma separately and then make the curry in the pot. Many people add a pinch of baking soda while cooking rajma or garbanzo beans. I soak these tough beans overnight. Next morning, I discard the water. Soak again with fresh water and immediately keep in the refrigerator for another 8 hours. By this double soaking, the beans get cooked beautifully without any need for soda. I use refrigerator because over soaking at room temperature will make the beans stink.
4. You can add potatoes instead of turnips for a variation.
5. You can shallow fry potatoes or turnips before adding to the curry.

Chitra -Rajma from foothills of Himalayas

This is "Chitra Rajma" that my mom got for me from Mumbai. She knows my fascination for the Indian regional cooking, so whenever she sees something different, she wastes no time picking it for me.


Per the documentation on the back of the bag of this lovely rajma - it is grown in the foothills of Himalayas. They are called "chitra" or picturesque because of the intricate shading/design on these beans. They are used in Kashmiri cuisine. They reminded me of the "pinto beans" in appearance but the taste wise they were more close to the regular rajma. Or little better than the regular rajma with very soft texture & more subtle taste.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Marble Cake


My friend's mom used to bake excellent cakes. I had her recipe for marble cake which I have misplaced. I still have many of her other recipes for cakes except the marble one. I am so annoyed with myself. I don't bake cakes that often now. But for Gudiya's play date with her friends, I had thought of baking a cake. Since I spent some countless hours looking for the recipe, finally, I was not in any mood to bake the cake from scratch. Betty Crocker to the rescue!! I followed her French Vanilla cake recipe, as given on the back of the cover. I, then, divided the batter. I added 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. First poured the vanilla batter in the cake pan. and then added chocolate batter. Then I swirled a knife (fork will work too) to get that marble effect.

Back home in Bandra, Mumbai, we were surrounded by wonderful local bakeries. We could make the batter for cakes and cookies and get it baked from the bakeries for a nominal charge. I feel the cakes baked in those bakeries used to taste really good. I wouldn't have blogged about this cake since this is almost ready made or semi-homemade with Betty Crocker cake mix. But then, out of habit, I took the picture after the cake was ready. and then I liked the picture so much that I thought of posting it here. Bundt cake pan definitely adds that "wow" factor, that's what I gathered from my little guests.

Marble Cake
Ingredients
1 packet Betty Crocker French Vanilla flavor
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup water

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

oil spray for greasing the cake pan

Method
0. Preheat oven to 350 F
1. Mix cake mix, oil, eggs and water using electric hand mixer or wire whisk till smooth batter is formed. There should be no lumps.
2. Divide the batter into two mixing bowls.
3. Add cocoa powder in one bowl and whisk again to get brown batter.
4. Grease the cake pan. Pour white batter first. Pour brown batter on top.
5. Swirl the batter using a knife or a fork to get the marble effect.
6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake

Note -
1. Follow the directions on the back of the Betty Crocker cake mix to get the exact baking time for different types of pans.

Check Spelling

Bengali Chiwda - my way!

This is just my version of making chiwda bengali style by using mustard oil and panch phoran (5 spices). Please note that I have no idea about the authenticity as this is just my experiment.


Bengali Chiwda - my way
Trail mix with a bengali flavor
Ingredients
2 cups puffed wheat
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
sugar to taste
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp kalonji
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 red chilies, halved

Method
1. Heat oil in a deep, heavy bottomed wok or kadai
2. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. As they sizzle, add peanuts. Roast for 5 minutes.
4. Now, add puffed wheat, sugar & salt.
5. Make sure wheat is coated with the spices. Switch off the gas.
6. Let it cool down. Store in an airtight container.


Note -
1. Before pouring the puffed wheat, switch the gas to low.
2. You can add some chopped onions and lemon to make an impromptu dry bhel.
This post is my entry to Think Spice: Kalonji at Ammalu's kitchen.
Think Spice event is started by Sunita of Sunita's world.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mini Oothapams


I got this cute pan from India. It's like "Appe pan/patra/kayili" but instead of deep holes, it has shallow holes to make oothapams or mini pancakes.

Mini Oothapams
Mini Pancakes
Ingredients
oil or ghee/clarified butter for greasing

Garnish
2 tbsp yellow corn
2 tbsp green peas
2 tbsp carrot chunks
(or any other veggies/cheese of your choice)
Method
1. Heat the pan.
2. Add a spoonful of idli batter. Place veggies of your choice. Add a drop of oil around the edges.

3. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Flip over and let it cook on the other side.
5. Serve hot off the pan with tomato ketchup or chutney of your choice.
 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Masoor Garam Masala


I have blogged about "Masooriche Tikhale". Today's recipe is similar yet different. I am writing it down just as mom makes without making a single modification.


Masoorichi Amti - (Garam Masalyachi)
Masoor Garam Masala
Ingredients
3 cups Masoor sprouts (1 cup uncooked masoor yileds about 3 cups sprouts)
salt to taste
2 tsp jaggery
1 1/2 tsp tamarind

Roast one after the other and then grind to a smooth paste
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds/dhane
2 green cardamoms/velchi/veldode/elaichi/Elchi
5 cloves/lavang
1" cinnamon/dalchini
1/2 tsp black peppercorns/miri
1 cup dessicated coconut/suka khobre
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 byadgi red chilies
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Method
1. Pressure cook masoor for 2-3 whistles and set aside.
2. Heat a spoonful of oil in a roasting pan.
3. Add spices one at a time, and slowly roast them on the lowest flame without letting them burnt.
4. The spices should turn a shade darker and a nice aroma should waft through the kitchen.
5. After roasting the spice except poppy seeds, set them aside in a plate.
6. Now add onions. Add more oil if needed and roast onions till brown, on a low flame. Set aside.
7. Now add dessicated coconut. Again, roast till brown. Set aside.
8. Roast dry red chilies. Now add all the spices, coconut, onion back to the pan. And roast again for 1 minute.
9. Switch off the gas. Add poppy seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Stir without gas.
10. Now put all the roasted mixture in a heavy duty grinder/mixer. Add 2 tbsp cooked masoor , tamarind and about 1/2 - 3/4 cup water. Grind to a finest possible paste.
11. Pour the remaining cooked masoor in a saucepan. Add masala paste & about 2 cups water. Bring to boil.
12. Add 2 tsp jaggery & salt to taste.
13. Simmer for 10 minutes.
14. Serve with rice bhakri and/or plain rice.
This post is my entry to EC's WYF - Side Dish for gravies.

Masoor from Belgaum


There are many different types of masoor or lentils. Our American supermarket carries masoor which is flatter and bigger than the desi counterpart. The Indian stores carries one with the name "masoor matki" which I am not sure what it means. because matki is another bean. Then there is French puoy lentil which is darker in shade. In Mumbai, mom always stocks a masoor variety called "Belgaum Masoor". It is supposed to be smaller and tastier than the rest. It is seasonal. I love it the most.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Soorna Koot

This is an awesome salad that my grandmother used to make. I tried to modify a little bit by baking the suran or yam pieces. But for the authentic flavor, you can shallow or deep fry the yam dices.

Soorna Koot
Yam Salad
Ingredients
1 piece of yam/suran or 1 packet frozen suran/yam
1 tbsp olive oil
salt

Garnish
1-2 green chilies, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated coconut
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tsp raw coconut oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon (you can use more if you like)

Method
1. If using chunk of suran/yam, wash it, peel it and dice it. If using frozen packet, thaw it completely. Dice it.
2. Soak the suran dice in the salty water.
3. Dry them on the paper towel.

4. Pre-heat the oven 350 F. Add mix olive oil with the yam pieces. Mix thoroughly so the yam pieces are evenly coated with the oil. Bake the yam pieces for about 15 minutes till they are nicely browned.
5. Mix with the rest of the ingredients.
6. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. Traditionally, this koot is made by deep frying the yam pieces.

2. You may need to check from time to time if you are baking to see the right consistency of the yam pieces. Do not bake for a long time as it will turn too hard. and it will be difficult to chew.

3. You need to serve this immediately otherwise it will turn soggy and wilted. So keep the yam ready (baked or fried) and then mix the rest just before ready to serve.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Roasted Potatoes with Indian Spices


Recipe Inspiration -
Roasted herbed potatoes with Indian spices
Ingredients
2 lb new potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
Method
1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. Mix all the ingredients together.
3. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 40 min, flipping once, or till the potatoes are tender.
Note -
1. Since new potatoes have very thin peel, they are not needed to be peeled. Just rinse them thoroughly.
Credits

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Navratan Korma

My friend Amy, who is very fond of Indian food, said that she has read the restaurant recipes in many Indian cookbooks but would like to know it my way. So here's my attempt to document restaurant recipes my way!!

Navratan Korma
Nine Jewels curry
Ingredients
1 frozen pack (16 oz.) of mixed vegetables (carrots, green peas, green beans, corn)
5-6 cauliflower florets, chopped

1 potato, peeled, diced
1 cup paneer cubes/Indian cottage cheese1/4 cup pineapple, peeled, diced

salt to taste
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp Mughlai garam masala , preferably freshly made
2 tbsp. fresh cream

Grind to a smooth paste
1 onion, roughly chopped, boiled
2 tomatoes, chopped, boiled
12 almonds or cashews
5 kashmiri chilies, soaked in water for 1 hour, drained
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
10 black peppercorns
2 cardamoms
2 tbsp coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

Tempering
1 tbsp ghee or oil

Garnish
2 tbsp. cashews, fried in few drops of oil
1 tbsp. golden raisins, fried in few drops of oil

Garnish (optional)
7-8 red cherries

Method
1. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Add salt. Add cauliflower and potatoes. When they are half-cooked, add frozen veggies. Cook till all the vegetables are done. But veggies should not be too mushy.
2. shallow or deep fry paneer cubes and set aside.
3. Pressure cook or boil onion/tomatoes and grind along with the rest of the ingredients for paste.
4. Heat oil or ghee in a kadai or wok or saucepan. Add the ground paste. Stir fry on a low flame for 11- 15 minutes. Add spoonful of water if the masala seems to stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. Add all the cooked veggies, pineapple chunks and 1 cup water.
6. Add salt & sugar, cream, Mughlai garam masala and bring to boil.
7. Add fried paneer pieces. Let it simmer for 7 minutes.
8. Pour the curry in a serving platter. Garnish with cherries -  if using, cashews and raisins.

Note -
1. The consistency of this gravy should not be too thick or too thin.
2. You can also pressure cook peeled , whole onion and whole tomatoes. Peel the skin off of the tomatoes and then grind. I roughly chop these and boil them to save time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brussels Sprouts ZuNka


Initially, I was not sure if Gudiya would eat Brussels sprouts. but this ZuNka just hits the home run every time I make it!!

Brussels Sprouts ZuNka
Brussels sprouts - besan stir fry
Ingredients
1 lb Brussels sprouts, shredded
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 key lime

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

Method
1. Heat oil in a deep, heavy bottomed or nonstick kadai or wok.
2. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. As they sizzle, add shredded Brussels Sprouts.
4. Saute the veggies for 5 minutes. Cover without adding any water. Cook for about 11 minutes or till cooked. Stir in between to check the veggies are not burned.
5. Sprinkle salt, sugar & lime juice. Stir well.
6. Now sprinkle besan, a spoonful at a time and keep stirring as you add besan. The Brussels sprouts will absorb the besan. Keep on doing it till the besan is over.
7. Saute on a low flame for 10 minutes till besan appears cooked.

Note -
1. Rinse Brussels sprouts thoroughly. Sometimes there is lots of dirt on the dark outer leaves.
2. Adding more oil, enhances the taste of this ZuNka especially after besan is added. I omit this step for health reasons.
3. Cabbage, spring onions, cilantro, chopped onions are some of the vegetables that can be used to make zuNka instead of Brussels sprouts.
4. If cooked for a very long time, brussel sprouts emits undesirable odor. Do not overcook.
5. Trader Joe's shaved Brussel sprouts can be used in this recipe.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Papayani ChheeN - Raw Papaya Salad


In Mumbai, Vasaiwala used to bring the raw papaya or Vasaiwali used to have raw papaya in the market. I have never seen a raw papaya in the US. Just the other day, I spotted a big red Caribbean papaya at our local Costco. Expecting it to be juicy, I bought it. I even let it ripen for a 2-3 days. But only upper part was ripe. So i carefully removed the ripe part for eating and then removed the raw looking white part, wondering if I could make a couple of raw papaya recipes with it. My first attempt was my MIL's Papaya ni ChheeN. I tried it and it worked for us.

Thanks so much, Maya, for all your help with the watermark and script for my blog.

Papaya ni ChheeN
Grated Raw Papaya Salad
Ingredients
1 small raw papaya, peeled, seeds discarded, grated about 1 - 1 1/2 cup
salt to taste
1 or 2 green chilies, minced
1 knob fresh turmeric root, peeled & grated or minced
1 key lime, freshly squeezed

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

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except tempering.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida.
3. Pour sizzling oil over the salad. Mix well.

Note
1. Adjust the amount of the lemon juice based on the tartness required.
2. Please note that ripe papaya does not work in this recipe. If the ripe papaya has whitish part, you can grate it and use it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bhappye Salmon

Thanks friends, for all your support regarding the plagiarism that I blogged about yesterday. Two pictures have been removed. The third one is still there and the last one - my blog is mentioned for the pictures credit. I love cooking and sharing recipes. Many of you had already suggested about watermarking. But I was a bit lazy. I really am not into that much photography. But I will explore all those options now. But as some of you said, even the watermarked pictures can be lifted.

Anyways, back to today's recipe. I got this recipe from the Prestige Pressure Cooker booklet. Though they have (obviously) used pressure cooker for cooking fish, I just steamed the fish in the colander over a boiling pot. The original recipe called for pomfrets but I am not so lucky!! So I have substituted salmon but am very happy with the results.

Bhappye Salmon

Steamed Salmon inspired from Prestige Pressure Cooker booklet

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless salmon fillets, cut into bite sized chunks

1/2 tsp salt or to taste

2 green chilies, chopped

Grind -

4 red chilies

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

You will also need,

1 tsp mustard oil

Method

1. Marinate salmon pieces with ground powder, green chilies and salt. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

2. Heat water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low

3. Place a colander on top. Place marinated salmon pieces on the colander. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the salmon pieces and cook for another 5 minutes. Make sure that the fish is cooked OK.

4. Take in a serving bowl. Drizzle some raw mustard oil on top.

5. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
Do not substitute any other oil. Use only mustard oil for the authentic flavor.


Credits

Prestige Recipe Booklet

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pressure Cooker Lemon Pickle

;I love to take Gudiya for grocery shopping. It does take longer than usual when she is with me. So I take her when I am in no hurry. We explore each & every vegetable, we greet all (yes, each & every!) shoppers, cashiers, fish mongers, helpers, lobsters, and toys. Gudiya has to check on everything, & I mean, everything!!

"I think we need this", she declares and promptly puts whatever catches her fancy, in the shopping cart. I generally, make sure and keep it back in its place when she is busy exploring. But last time, I needed a bag of key limes. So I put one and Gudiya put one - probably when I wasn't looking. When we came home, I discovered 2 bags of key limes. They were fresh and juicy. & after spending a lot of time grocery shopping, I was just too lethargic to go back & return it. "I will use all of these!" I promised myself. So we had lots of lemonade (in winter!), lemon rasam, lemon rice, lemon cake...

When I ran out of all options, I thought of making some pickle. But it was winter time with snow outside, so couldn't make the traditional pickle using the natural solar power. So I decided to make my MIL's instant version.

This pickle has shelf life of 2 days in the fridge. So I just used 5 limes and used MIL's sambar masala (pickle masala). I made fresh batch every time we craved for some more pickle. After all, the cooker does all the work.


Pressure cooker Lemon Pickle
Ingredients
7 juicy & fresh key limes, quartered
1/4 cup Gujarati sambhar masala/pickle masala

2 - 3 key lime, squeezed

Method
1. Wash the key limes. Dry & quarter them.
2. Keep them in a pressure cooker container without adding any water.
3. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
4. Take out. Let them cool down completely.
5. Add pickle masala and mix with all the cooking liquid & fresh lime juice.

6. Pickle is ready to eat.
7. Refrigerate the leftovers.


Note -
1. This pickle should be consumed within a week. So make accordingly.
2. Gujarati sambhar masala is a special pickle masala containing all the spices and salt. Please do not confuse it with the south indian sambar powder.
3. If the pickle appears dryish, add more lime juice (freshly squeezed).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Purple Cabbage-Almond Koshimbeer

I love purple cabbage. I first tasted it in Mumbai, at a small, quaint restaurant called "Vandana" at Mahim - probably behind the by lanes of Victoria Church. Siddhartha Kak made this restaurant famous by writing an article "Wah re Vandana" in Times of India. So for our next event in the family, we headed to sample Vandana's food. I wonder if that restaurant is still there. If I am not mistaken, it offered coastal seafood probably from Tulu community.They had some rare delicacies like ladyfish etc. and the fried fish came with purple cabbage salad. For the first time in my life, I paid more attention to the salad than the fish!!:-D My mom was surely happy to see my interest in the salad and promptly included purple cabbage in our diet.

The other day while making the usual "koshimbeer" using purple cabbage, I discovered I was out of "daanyache koot" - roasted , unsalted peanut powder which is a staple in the Maharashtrian pantry. I love that crunch in my salad, so I made some "badamache koot"!!! I just ground a handful of raw almonds in the blender and used them instead of peanuts. We loved the taste!!

Purple Cabbage-Almond Koshimbeer
Ingredients
1 purple cabbage, finely shredded, chopped or grated
salt to taste
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, powdered
2 key limes, squeezed
2 green chilies, chopped
Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Method
1. Mix all the ingredients together except tempering
2. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add all the seeds. Add the sizzling oil to the salad.
3. Mix it together. Adjust for salt and lemon juice.
4. Keep in the refrigerator till ready to use.
Note -
1. This delicious & crunchy salad can be eaten by itself for some light meal.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Methi-Mushroom-Makai Pullao


Methi - Mushroom - Makai Pullao
Ingredients
1 cup basmati rice
salt to taste
1/2 tsp Garam masala(or to taste)
1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup fresh methi/ fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup yellow corn

Tempering
1 tbsp olive oil
2"cinnamon
4-5 black peppercorn
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped

Grind to fine paste
1/4 cup cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1" ginger

Method
1. Heat oil. Add seasonings
2. add onion, tomato & green paste. Saute for 5 minutes till soft.
3. Add musrooms. Saute for 5 minutes
4. Add corn - frozen, & methi leaves. Saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add drained basmati. saute for 3 minutes.
6. Add 2 1/2 cup water, salt to taste
7. Bring to boil. Lower the flame.
8. Cover and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or till cooked. Switch off the gas.
9. Keep covered for 5 minutes

Note -
1. I added frozen corn. So sauteed till it is thawed.
2. I added frozen methi - fresh methi that I froze.
3. Discard whole spices before serving or packing lunchboxes.

This rice goes to Monthly Mingle - Kids Lunches hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all seasons.

MM event is started by Meeta of "What's for lunch, honey?"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kaarela nu Amiri Shaak

Kaarela nu Amiri Shaak
Bitter gourd-Cashew nut fry
Ingredients
3 medium bitter gourds/kaarela/karli/karela, scraped, chopped

salt for sprinkling + salt to taste

1 tbsp jaggery

1/2 lemon

Tempering
1 tbsp oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp raw, unsalted cashews

1 tbsp raisins

1 red chili, halved

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method

1. Scrape the bitter gourds and chop into fine pieces.

2. Sprinkle some salt over the chopped pieces and keep aside for 15 - 20 minutes.

3. Squeeze the juice out of the gourds, wash them and set aside.

4. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion & red chili. Saute till it is golden brown.

5. Now add cashews and raisins. Saute for 2 minutes.

6. Add bitter gourd pieces & turmeric powder. Saute till they are crisp.

7. Add salt to taste and jaggery. Saute till jaggery melts.

8. Switch off the gas. Add lemon juice.

Note -

1. Traditionally, before adding bitter gourd pieces to the saucepan, they are deep fried. I saved some oil & calories!!

Kismoor - Smoked Mackerel Dip

Dried mackerel is considered a delicacy in the coastal seafood communities. I do not have any access to it. I have seen dry mackerels at the oriental stores here, but they looked too huge to my eyes and I dared not buy it. So when I came across this smoked Atlantic mackerel at Whole Foods, I bought it out of curiosity.

I made kismoor with it. This mackerel was smoked but was not totally dried, so it was more like a dip.


Bangdya Kismoor
Smoked Mackerel Dip
Ingredients
1 can smoked Atlantic Mackerel
1 small onion, minced
2-3 green chilies, minced
1 tbsp fresh coconut

salt to taste
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or 1 tsp tamarind pulp

Method
1. Using a fork, mash the mackerel slightly to get the flakes.
2. Mix all the ingredients together.
3. Serve immediately.

Note -
For the authentic flavor, you can make a well in the center of the kismoor and keep a live charcoal, pour a spoonful of oil and cover it immediately with a steel katori/ramekin to trap the smoke to get the smokey flavor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Panchratna Pooda


The "ratnas" or jewels in this recipe are protein packed daals!

Panchratna Pooda
Five Daals Pancake
Ingredients
1/4 cup urad daal/black gram daal
1/4 cup chana daal/bengal gram daal
1/4 cup masoor daal/pink daal
1/4 cup moong daal/yellow daal
1/4 cup chora daal

1/2 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste

1 cup chopped methi/fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped

oil for greasing

Method
1. Rinse & soak all the daals together with enough water, overnight.
2. Next morning, grind the daals to a fine paste adding asafoetida.
3. Cover & set aside for 2 hours.
4. Stir in chopped methi leaves and salt to taste. Mix well.
5. Heat a frying pan/gridle/tawa. Grease and spread a ladleful of batter.
6. Cover with a lid. Let it cook on one side. Flip and let it cook on the other side. Add oil as needed.
7. Serve hot with chutney or tomato ketchup.

Note -
1. You can adjust the quantity of methi leaves based on your own liking.
2. Spinach can be substituted for methi.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blue Corn Bhakri


I wanted to try that blue corn meal from a long time. It has lots of health benefits but for me, even the color was attractive. Actually, it really results in purplish bhakri or tortilla. Per this article at WebMD, blue corn is better than regular white/yellow corn meal as it has lower GI. First experiment in my kitchen was this basic bhakri. The next is going to be baked blue corn tortilla chips.

Blue Corn Bhakri - Makes 4 counts
Ingredients
1/2 cup Blue corn meal
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp wheat flour
warm water as needed

wheat flour for dredging

Method
1. Mix flours and salt.
2. Adding water little at time, bind a dough.
3. Using wheat flour as needed, pat the bhakri using only the palm. It should become bigger as it moves in a circular manner.
4. Heat a pan. Place the bhakri on the pan. Apply some water with wet hand.
5. As it cooks and bubbles appear, flip & cook on the other side.
6. Now place directly on the flame as it puffs up.
7. Serve hot bhakri with curry of your choice.
Note -
1. Knead the dough as soon as you are ready to make bhakris. Do not keep the kneaded dough for a long time.
2. More information about blue corn -

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Black Radish


Black Radish

Papeta nu Rasa

Simple potato curry made Parsi way this time.

Papeta nu Rasa
Parsi Potato - Green Peas Curry
Ingredients
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, diced
1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen

Tempering 1
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Tempering 2
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafeotida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 green chili, chopped
1 red chili, halved
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger - crushed or grated or minced

Also,
salt to taste
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1 cup water (more or less per desired consistency)

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp coconut (optional)
1 tsp Amul Butter (Optional)

Method
1. Heat oil in a nonstick saucepan. Add sugar. As the sugar caramelizes, add onion and garlic cloves. Saute on a low flame for about 5 minutes till onion is dark brown but not burnt. Drain and keep aside.
2. In the same oil, add tempering2.
3. Saute till tomato become pulpy. Add garam masala, coriander-cumin seed. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Now, add potatoes, peas & 1 cup water. Add salt to taste. Bring to boil.
5. Stir in tomato ketchup, caramelized onion leaving a spoonful aside for garnish.
6. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add more water if you want more gravy.
7. Add cilantro, coconut & Amul butter - if using.
8. Garnish with caramelized onion.
9. Serve hot with simple bread toast.

Note
1. Traditionally, the onions are deep fried.
2. Use ghee instead of oil for variation. I used olive oil for this recipe.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Purple Hull Peas chi UsaL

I would have happily assumed that purple hull beans or peas to be the black eyed peas in the American supermarket. But then, there was a packet of black eyed peas too. I guess, purple hull peas must be the first cousins of the black eyed peas. They resemble a lot. Purple hull peas have greenish outer peas with purplish tinge in the middle. When I googled, I found they have beautiful purple string beans.

Purple Hull Peas chi UsaL
Ingredients
1 packet (16 oz) Purple Hull Peas, frozen
1 medium potato, peeled & chopped
salt to taste
2 tsp jaggery
2 tbsp plain yogurt

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig, curry leaves, torn
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp goda masala
1 clove garlic, chopped

Garnish
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Method
0. Pressure cook purple hull peas for 2 whistles. Set aside.
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add all the seeds & curry leaves and chopped garlic clove for seasoning.
3. Add onion and saute for 5 - 7 minutes till soft. Add a spoonful of water if it tends to stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
4. Now add goda masala. Saute for 2 minutes. Add potato and 1/4 cup water. Let it cook till potato is soft.
5. Add yogurt.
6. Add cooked purple hull peas, salt, jaggery. Add 1/4 cup water. Bring to boil.
7. Let it simmer till water is evaporated. Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. Black eyed peas can also be used.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Millet cha Chiwda

Ever since I discovered puffed wheat at the supermarket, I am eager to try the different puffed grains. These days whenever I go to Whole Foods, I pay special attention to the cereal aisle. and every time, I discover a new puffed grain (sugar & salt free). They are just right for making some healthy snacks for the afternoon cravings. Last week, I discovered "Puffed Millet". Here's what's written on the pack about Millet -

"Millet - the little giant - the smallest of all grains, has been cultivated in the East since 4000 BC. With its complete protein and fat free composition, millet has been a staple longer than wheat and rice. It makes a tasty, puffed cereal to be enjoyed every time."

I had to temper it with spices to make it spicy though!

Millet cha chiwda
Puffed Millet Trail Mix
Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
6-7 garlic cloves, chopped
3-4 green chilies, chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida

1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp metkoot
2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method
1. Heat oil in a wide pan. Add garlic and chilies. Saute till all the moisture is evaporated and garlic and chilies appear dry and crunchy.
2. Now add mustard seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida. As they splutter, add peanuts. Saute again for 5 minutes on low flame till peanuts get crunchy.
3. Now add chili powder, metkoot, salt and sugar. Stir for 1 minute.
4. Add puffed millet. Keep on stirring on a low flame till millet becomes yellow.
5. Saute on a low flame for 5 minutes without letting it burn. It should be heated thoroughly but not burnt.
6. Switch off the gas and saute again for few minutes because the bottom of the pot/pan will have some heat retained and that may spoil/burn the chiwda.

Note -
1.I used Arrowhead mills brand for the puffed millet.
2. Metkoot is a dry roasted powder/podi which is used in Maharashtrian kitchens. It is generally served with plain rice , lemon wedges & ghee.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Parsi Khicheree


Most of the times, I write "recipe coming soon" and then forget about it. So before I forget, I wanted to publish this accompaniment with the Parsi Dahi ni Kadhi.

Parsi Khicheree
Ingredients
1/2 cup masoor daal
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Mix and set aside**
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs of mint, torn

Tempering
1 tbsp oil/ghee/clarified butter
1 small piece of cinnamon
1 - 2 star anise
6 black peppercorn
2 cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamoms
1/2 tsp sugar
onion+garlic+mint mixture **

Method
1. Rinse and soak daal and rice in water for 1/2 hour.
2. Heat oil or ghee in a thick bottomed saucepan.
3. Add all the spices & sugar. As the sugar changes color, add onion mixture. Stir fry till the onion caramelizes. Use medium heat. Do not let it burn.
4. After the onion is nicely browned, add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Drain rice & daal mixture. Add it to the above saucepan. Saute for 2 minutes.
6. Add 2 cups water & salt to taste. Bring to boil. Lower the gas.
7. Cover the saucepan partially on low flame for about 20 minutes or till it is cooked.
8. Fluff with a fork.
9. Serve with ghee & Dahi ni Kadhi.

Note -
1. Though the moong daal can be substituted, orange masoor daal adds more authentic taste. That's what I think.

Dahi Ni Kadhi

Probably, every community in India has its own version of kadhi - a buttermilk soup. Today I am sharing the kadhi made Parsi way.

Dahi Ni Kadhi
Parsi Buttermilk Soup
Ingredients
Whisk & Set aside
1 cup plain yogurt (I used fat free organic)
1 1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
Tempering 1
2 tsp oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp sugar

Tempering 2
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chili, minced
1 red chili, halved

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Note -
1. Heat oil in a nonstick saucepan. Add sugar. As the sugar caramelizes, add onion and garlic. Saute on medium flame, till the onion becomes deep brown but not burnt. Drain the onion mixture and set aside.

2. In the same oil, add tempering2.

3. As the cumin seeds splutter, add yogurt mixture. Bring to boil on a low flame while stirring with a ladle or spoon.

4. As the curry comes to a gentle boil, add onion mixture, cilantro and black pepper powder.

5. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve with plain rice or Parsi brown rice or Khicheree.

Note -

1. Because of the caramelized onions and no turmeric powder, this kadhi has a color of the evaporated milk.

2. If you do not like thinly sliced onions due to its length , you can chop them.

3. Serve this kadhi with Parsi Khicheree.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mooga Usli

My grandmother used to make this simple moong stir fry. Since turmeric powder is not added, it has a light greenish hue. Serve it as an accompaniment with dalitauy and rice or serve it as a snack all by itself.

Mooga Usli
Moong sprouts stir fry
Ingredients
2 cups Moong sprouts
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red chili, broken
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut

Method

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.

2. As the seeds splutter, add the moong sprouts. Saute for 1 minute.

3. Add 1/4 cup water. As the water boils, switch the gas to low.

4. Cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes or till the sprouts are cooked. Check in between and add more water if necessary. Do not let it burn.

5. Add salt and coconut. Simmer till all the water is evaporated.


Note -

1. Serve with a lemon wedge on side.

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