Friday, July 31, 2009

Dates Shake


I came across this recipe at Cooking Light that I modified to give an Indian flavor with cardamoms. Later, I came to know that Parsi cuisine has a drink called Dates shake as well.

Dates Shake
Ingredients
7-8 dates, soaked for 2-3 hours, pitted
3 cups skim milk
3 cardamoms
Garnish
3-4 walnut halves, broken into pieces
Method
1. Soak dates in water for 2-3 hours. Drain. Remove seeds/stem.
2. Blend dates along with cardamom seeds and 1/2 cup milk to get the pulp.
3. Now add remaining milk and swirl again.
4. Serve chilled, garnished with walnut pieces.
Note -
1. You can make this drink even richer by adding 2%, full fat milk or using half-half or vanilla icecream. I prefer just skim milk as I think it tastes quite good.

Kolhapuri Misal

I have already blogged about MisaL Pav. But my sweet friend, who sends me her homemade Kolhapuri masala, also sent me a readymade "MisaL Masala". It was by Pilankar brothers, Kolhapur. So while trying to follow the recipe as close to the attached one with the readymade masala, I made my changes to suit the needs of my family.
Please note - This is just my attempt. (There is even 3rd version I have in my note book, that I learnt from my aunt. So do not be surprised if you see more versions of MisaL on my blog. I never said there is one & only one authentic recipe. & I like to try them all).

Kolhapuri MisaL
Ingredients
3 cups matki/muth sprouts, pressure cooked
1 boiled potato, peeled & chopped
1 tbsp kolhapuri masala (or per taste)
1/2 cup water
salt
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 tomato, chopped

for Kut
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 small tomato, chopped
2 cup water
1 tbsp kolhapuri masala (or per taste)
salt to taste

Garnish - As needed
Onion, minced
Cilantro, minced
Sev - Chiwda
Lemon
Yogurt
Fresh Coconut

Method
1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or kadai. Add onions. Saute till soft. Add turmeric powder and tomato. saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add cooked muth sprouts, potatoes, 1/2 cup water, salt, kolhapuri masala, cilantro. Bring to boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes till water is evaporated. Cover & keep aside.
3. Now heat remaining 1 tsp oil in another saucepan. Add onion, tomato and masala. Saute till onion is soft. Now add water and salt. Bring to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes on a low flame.
4. Now spread some sprouts in a plate, top with any or all ingredients for garnish. Serve "kut" on side along with bread/pav of your choice.

Note -
1. Though the recipe doesn't say so, I add a little jaggery to the sprouts.


This post is my contribution to Priya's Sunday Snacks - Spill the beans event.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vangyache Bharit - Eggplant bhurta

In our supermarket, I only get big eggplants (of bhurta variety). First, I tried to make subzis with them, but was not very pleased with the results. I discovered, if you absolutely need to use this variety for making a subzi, you better peel the eggplants. But i generally use these supermarket eggplants strictly for making bhurtas or some delicious Italian eggplant dishes. Today's recipe is a Malvani style preparation of making "bharit" or "Babaganouj". Coconut milk is used to give a delicious flavor and taste. If you do not have coconut milk, you can use yogurt but coconut milk really tastes good.

Malvani Vangyache Bharit
Ingredients
1 big eggplant/brinjal (bharta variety)
5 cloves of garlic , peeled
1/2 tsp oil

1 small onion, minced
1-2 green chilies, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
salt to taste
1/2 - 1 cup coconut milk or yogurt

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

Suggested Accompaniments
Bajri/jowar/rice Bhakri (Traditional)
Pita chips (Modern)

Method
1. Rinse and dry the eggplant. Make 5 slits/pockets around the circumference. Grease the eggplant with 1/2 tsp oil. Stuff each garlic clove in each slit by poking your index finger in the slits.
2. Heat an iron or cast iron tawa/griddle. Place eggplant carefully on the hot tawa. Roast by moving it around from time to time. It may take about 15 minutes or so. Using a skewer or knife, make sure that the inside of the eggplant has become mushy. Switch off the gas. Cover with a steel container. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Take off the container using kitchen towel - it may be hot! Peel the eggplant. Remove the stem.
3. Take the pulp in a mixing bowl. Mash along with cooked garlic cloves. Add onion, green chilies, cilantro, salt to taste.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Drizzle the sizzling oil over the eggplant mixture. Mix well.
5. Just before serving, add coconut milk or yogurt. Mix well. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. Reduced fat coconut milk or fat free yogurt can be used.
2. Adjust the amount of coconut milk based on the eggplant pulp. It should not be too watery.


This post is my contribution to Sanghi's FIL - Brinjal Event.
& per Sanghi's rules, I dedicate this lovely dish to my grandmothers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ambya Saasam

Mango season used to bring all the mango delicacies. I must admit, I didn't care for mango curries as much as eating & slurping the alphonsos/hapoos. But today, when I am away from India, even those curries make my mouth water.

Ambya Sasam
Mango Coconut Curry
Ingredients
4 mangoes
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery (or per taste)

Grind to paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
5 byadgi chilies

Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 curry leaves sprig, torn

Method
1. Press mangoes around. Take off the stem. Pour mango pulp along with the seed in a container. Repeat for the remaining mangoes. Put water in the remaining peels and take out the juice as much as possible. Discard the peels.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering. Add ground masala, mangoes and pulp and water.
3. Add salt & jaggery. Bring to a gentle boil. Switch off the gas.
4. Serve & Slurp!;-)

Note -
1. Traditionally, raiwaL mangoes are used for this recipe. I used champagne mangoes from Costco.
2. Though mangoes are sweet, some amount of jaggery is needed to balance the taste of this sweet-sour-spicy curry.
3. Do not let the curry overboil.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dalimbi Usal - 2

This is one of the simplest usaL as you do not have to chop any onion or garlic or chilies. Of course sprouting and peeling vaals is the laborious task. But it is worth it if you love the unique taste of it.

DaLimbi UsaL -2 (without onion)
Bitter Field Beans Stir Fry
Ingredients
3 cups kadu vaal sprouts
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder (or per taste)
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery


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


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


Method
1. Heat oil in a deep bottomed saucepan or kadai.
2. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. as they sizzle, add vaal sprouts and 1 cup water.
4. Bring to boil. Cover and let it cook for about 15 -20 minutes till the vaals are cooked but not mushed.
5. Add salt and jaggery. Let the water evaporate completely or keep some for gravy like consistency.
6. Garnish with coconut.


Note -
1. While vaal sprouts are being cooked, check in between to make sure that the water is not already evaporated. In that case, add more water for cooking vaals.

Shravani Somwar

Growing up, Shravani Somwar was one of the most important Mondays in the month of Shravan. This month used to come with some special rules - no non-vegetarian food and lots of fasting, feasting and festivals. That also meant, lots of traditional food. We kids were not allowed to fast. Shravani somwar used to be the special one. There used to be delicious fasting food like sabudanyachi khichdi, upasache thalipeeth, varicha bhaat - danyachi amti, danyacha ladoo, danyachi usaL and the dinner was taken in early evenings instead of usual nights. The dinner used to be vegetarian saatvik food without onion and garlic. My grandmother used to make everything by herself. Her kitchen used to be full of uncles, aunts, cousins devouring the most delicious saatvik food.

Generally, the "taaT" comprised some raw salads like koshimbeers and chutneys, some deep fried delicacies like fritters of seasonal vegetables and/or papads, at least one sprouted beans (Usal), at least one seasonal vegetable curry, daily daal, some rice delicacy, and one sweet.


This is just my attempt to document the 4 ( or 5 depending on the month)shravani somwar menus as practiced in/by my family. Now the times have changed. I can't put together all these items on a single day. and even if I do, there are not as many people around to eat. So this is going to be just a nostalgic list!

Shravani Somwar 1
Menu
1)ALu chi PataL Bhaaji/Phatphatay (Leafy Greens Curry)
2)VaraN - Bhat - Toop - Limbu (Daal & Rice)
3)Shevyachi Kheer (Sweet)
4)Purya (Puri) or Poli/chapati
5)DaLimbi UsaL w/o onion (Field Beans Stir Fry)
6)Khamang Kakdi (Cucumber Salad)
7) Kairi Methamba (Sweet pickle)
8)Kobichi Bhuji (Cabbage Fritters)

Shravani Somwar 2
Menu
1) Moogachi UsaL
2) Dalichi Amti w/o onion or Garlic
3) Purya /Chapati/PoLya
4) Shrikhand
5) Gajarachi Koshimbeer
6) Bhaat (Rice)
7) Gilki chi bhuji (Spongegourd/ghosaLe bhujiya)
8) Chutney

Shravani Somwar 3
Menu
1) Olya Vatanyachi UsaL
2) Batatyachi Suki Bhaaji
3) Purya /Chapati/PoLya
4) Jilbi/Jalebi
5) Kachcha Kobi
6) Masalay Bhaat or KaLa Bhaat
7) Sandage/SaalPapdi/Kurdaya
8) Maththa

Shravani Somwar 4
Menu
1) ChawLi chi UsaL
2) Kutachi Amti
3) Kantolyachi Bhaaji
4) PuraN PoLi
5) Tomato chi koshimbeer
6) Bhaat (Rice)
7) Papad
8) Panchamrut

Eggplant/Auburgine/Brinjal Plant

Baby Eggplant

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Laal Vaal from Valsad

Laal vaal is a speciality of South Gujarat. They are cultivated there and are considered very sweet in taste (probably, compared to other vaals). The outer peel is quite thin and is edible if you have gotten them from a reliable source. or you can remove the peels if you prefer. Many times, it is coated with oil - generally castor oil - which acts as a natural preservative as well as a mild laxative.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dahi Ni Khichdi

When my MIL mentioned about Dahi ni Khichdi, I was little hesitant to try it. I mean, I thought it's going to be the usual bland khichdi with a dollop of yogurt on top or may be something like "Dahi Bhutti" made from the leftover khichdi. But this was totally different and delicious. I loved it.

Dahi Ni Khichdi
Ingredients
1 cup rice
1/2 cup masoor daal
1/2 cup moong daal
1 1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder, (lightly roasted and powdered, preferably fresh)
2 small potatoes, peeled & diced
7-9 small pearl onions, peeled

salt to taste
1 cup plain yogurt

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

Tempering
1 tsp oil/ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asaofetida
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, chopped

Garnish
1 tsp coconut
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

Suggested accompaniements
Homemade Ghee
or
Plain yogurt
or
Vadi ni Kadhi or white Kadhi
and
Papad

Method
1. Wash rice & daal together and let it soak in water for 15 minutes.
2. Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker or handi.
3. Add all the spices for tempering. As they start spluttering, add onion. Saute till onion is soft.
4. Now add coriander-cumin seed powder ground paste & yogurt. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
5. Add drained rice-daal mixture, potatoes, pearl onions. Saute for 2 minutes.
6. Add 3 1/2 to 4 cups water. Add salt and sugar. Stir.
7. Bring to boil. Put the lid of the pressure cooker on.
8. Switch off the gas after 3-4 whistles. Let the pressure drop of its own completely before opening the lid.
9. Garnish with coconut & cilantro.

Notes -
1. For the authentic & rich taste, use ghee (actually oodles of ghee!) for tempering. I feel that much ghee is not necessary as yogurt in the khichdi provides the necessary moisture for cooking. 2. Traditionally, the consistency of this khichdi is like a porridge due to yogurt and water. If you like dryer version, reduce the amount of water.
3. Instead of coriander-cumin powder, Gujarati garam masala can be used.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Papaya Na Muthiya - Papaya dumplings

Last time, when I wanted to use a raw papaya, I used the white part of the ripe papaya. Some of you suggested to try Thai/oriental stores. But as luck would have it, next time when I went to our regular Indian stores, I found a big wedge of raw papaya. Needless to say, I bought it quickly. and tried MIL's this recipe -

Kacha Papaya na Muthiya
Raw Papaya Dumplings
Ingredients
2 cups raw papaya grated
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste
3/4 cup vada nu loat
1 tsp Gujarati garam masala or coriander-cumin seed powder
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp owa/ajmo/ajwain seeds
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp hot oil for moaN or mohan

Oil for shallow or deep frying, as needed

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil for frying. Knead it to a dough using moisture from the papaya. If needed, add water carefully.
2. Make small rolls. Steam in a pressure cooker without using pressure. or steam in a colander kept over a boiling pot of water.
3. When the rolls are cooked and are at the room temperature, shallow ( or deep) fry in a pan.
4. Serve with a sweetish chutney or tomato ketchup.

Note -
1. If you just go by taste, deep fried ones taste better. However, I prefer them shallow-fried.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tendli Kaju Upkari

A simple tendli/tondli/tindora/ivygourd/gherkin gets a royal treatment having paired with cashewnuts & smothered in the basic tempering. Yummo!!


Tendli-Kajubiye Upkari
Gherkins - Cashew Nuts Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 lb Tendli/Tondli/Tindora/Gherkins/Ivygouds, quartered, both ends chopped off
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashewnuts, soaked for 4 hours
salt to taste


Tempering
2 tsp coconut oil (or any other oil of choice)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 red chilies, halved
1 green chili, slit
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn


Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut


Method
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add all ingredients for temepring.
2. As they sizzle, add drained cashewnuts. Saute for 2 minutes.
3. Now add gherkins and spoonful of water.
4. Cover with a lid. Keep water on the lid.
5. Let it cook on a medium flame till gherkins are soft.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. Garnish with coconut


Note -
1. You can use bibbo - fresh cashews instead of cashewnuts.
2. You can pressure cook tindora/tendli and then proceed to save time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chanki - Methi Corn Roti

Summer is in full swing here. We see fresh corn everywhere. You don't even need to go to the farmer's market. Farmers park their trucks near the supermarkets and you can get directly from them. As a result, I get a little carried away. After the usual roasting, boiling, I was thinking of some other ways of cooking. This recipe appeared just perfect.

Chanki
Fresh Corn - Methi Leaves Flatbread
Ingredients
1 cup fresh corn
1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves/methi
2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
water as needed

oil for roasting

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil & water. Add water carefully to knead a dough.
2. Make equal balls. Press them between saran wrap to form a disc.
3. Roast on a tawa/pan using oil as needed till brown spots appear on both sides.
4. Serve hot with chundo or achar/athanu.

Note -
1. If you do not have fresh methi leaves, kasoori methi can be used. However, fresh methi leaves taste better.
2. For spicier version, you can add chili-ginger paste while kneading.
3. You can scrape the corn niblets from the corn cobs or grate them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Danyanchi UsaL - Peanuts Stir Fry

A simple stir fry of peanuts makes a protein packed snack.
Danyanchi UsaL

Peanuts Stir Fry

Ingredients

1 cup raw peanuts with skin, soaked for 4-5 hours

salt to taste

Tempering

1 tsp ghee/clarified butter

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 green chilies, slit (or per taste)

Garnish

1 tbsp fresh coconut

1 key lime, squeezed

Method

1. Rinse raw peanuts (with peels). Soak in sufficient water for about 4-5 hours. If some peels are floating, discard them. But do not take the peels by peeling or rubbing hands.

2. Pressure cook peanuts up to 3 whistles.

3. Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds and chilies. As they splutter, add boiled peanuts, cooking liquid and salt.

4. Let all the liquid evaporate.

5. Garnish with coconut. Just before serving, squeeze lemon juice.

Note -

1. Pressure cooker expedites the cooking process. You can cook peanuts in the saucepan as well.

This is my entry to JFI - Peanuts at Cook's Hideout.

JFI is started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tikiya Kabab

These kababs can be used as the burgers sandwiched between the buns. I prefer mine on the bed of lettuce as a part of salad.

Tikiya Kabab
Ingredients
1 lb chicken mince/ground chicken
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 green chili, minced (or per taste)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 packet Shan kabab masala
1 tbsp cilantro, minced

Oil for shallow frying

Garnish
Chaat Masala

Suggested Accompaniments
sliced onion
sliced tomatoes
lettuce
lemon wedges
with
Rumali Roti


Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil and knead to a homogeneous mixture. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
2. Take out. With wet hands, make balls and press them lightly to flatten to make tikiyas.
3. Shallow fry on a tawa/griddle by adding oil as needed.
4. Sprinkle some chaat masala while serving.

Note -
1. I get my chicken mince from Whole Foods.
2. You can re-heat the tikiya kabab by placing them in a preheated oven for 5- 10 minutes.
3. Shan masala already has salt in it. So do not add any salt.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Roasted Garlic Chutney

This simple chutney does not appear as bright red as the other one due to roasting. It tastes delicious nonetheless.


LasNichi Bhajki Chutney
Roasted Garlic Chutney
Ingredients
1/2 cup dessicated/dry coconut, grated
5-6 red chilies
5-7 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar


Method
1. Roast coconut on a hot pan - preferably iron one, till it is brown in color. Make sure it's not burnt.
2. Roast dry red chilies and garlic for 2 minutes.
3. Let it cool down. Grind everything together in a blender/mixer.


Note -
1. If you can pound the chutney in stone or iron mortal and pestle, it will taste even better. However, I used Sumeet. :-D

This post is my entry to Let's go nuts - Coconut hosted by Padmaja of Seduce your tastebuds.

Let's Go Nuts - event is started by Aquadaze of Served with Love.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Patra ni Machchi


Use fresh pomfrets for this recipe, if you can. I don't get good quality pomfrets here. and then Salmon is good for health too. We love salmon all smothered with green chutney and baked or steamed, wrapped in banana leaves. Those leaves also add a distinct flavor to this delicious delicacy.

Patra ni Machchi
Banana Leaves wrapped fish
Ingredients
4 salmon fillets
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 key lime juice

Grind to a fine paste
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
2 green chilies (or per taste)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp white vinegar (or per taste)
7-9 mint leaves

Also,
1 tsp oil or 4 puffs of oil spray

Method
1. Clean and rinse salmon fillets.
2. Marinate with salt, turmeric powder and freshly squeezed key lime juice. Refrigerate till ready to use.
3. Take 4 pieces of banana leaves. The leaves should be such that each fillet will be wrapped from all the sides.
4. Spray some oil on the banana leaves or spread oil with a spoon.
5. Place each fillet and apply green chutney, both sides.
6. Wrap into 4 parcels.
7. Bring water to boil in a wide saucepan. Place a colander on top.
8. Place fillets in a single layer. Cover tightly. Let it cook for 15 minutes on a high flame.
9. Lower the gas. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.
10. While taking out, tilt the parcel to get water out. and serve along with lemon wedges.

Note -
1. You can even bake these fillets in pre-heated oven (400 F) for about 25 minutes.
2. When they are cooked, there is some water gathered inside the leaves envelope. I like to take it out before serving.
3. If you do not have banana leaves, aluminum foil can be used.

























Thursday, July 16, 2009

Golyanchi Amti - Malvani Kofta Curry

Golyanchi Amti is a Malvani style kofta curry. Vegetarian koftas made from besan/chickpea flour and onions, are placed in the boiling water and then simmered in the coconut based spicy-tangy-sweetish curry. Serve with just plain rice.

Golyanchi Amti - (serves 6-8)

Malvani Kofta Curry

Ingredients

For Gole (balls)

1/4 cup onion, minced

2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp asafotida/hing

1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp tamarind paste

1/4 cup water + 1 tbsp


Grind to fine paste

1/3 cup fresh coconut

1/2 cup onion, sliced

1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

5 byadgi chilies

7 black peppercorns

1 tsp tamarind pulp

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

water as needed to grind to fine paste


Tempering

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafeotida

3 cups water

You will also need,

salt per taste

1 1/2 tsp jaggery, grated

Suggested Accompaniment

Plain rice

Method

1. Mix the batter for making "gole" adding 1/4 cup water first. Whisk to form a uniform batter without any lumps. Add another spoonful as needed. Set aside.

2. Grind coconut masala to a fine paste adding little water as needed. Set aside.

3. Heat a wide & heavy bottomed saucepan. Add oil. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. As they splutter, add 3 cups water. Bring to boil on a high flame.

4. As the water boils, drop spoonful of batter, one at a time. Keep enough space between the droplets of the batter. Do not disturb while they are simmering. In about 4-5 minutes, these "gole" will start floating. This is the sign that they are cooked. If they do not float, give a light nudge with a spoon. That should help. Lower the gas.

5. Add ground masala, jaggery and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Serve with plain rice.

Note -

1. Though salt is added in the "gole", more salt is needed for the curry.

2. The success of this curry is getting the "gole" floating. For that, you need the batter of the right consistency. Also, make sure that the water is boiling before adding the batter.


3. I have reduced the amount of coconut. My family recipe calls for 1 cup coconut for the above proportion.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bhujiya/Pakoda - Onion & Potato fritters

Mostly, your vadapav cart will also have bhujiyas and samosas. and people also love the combination of bhuji-pav and samosa-pav. However, I am just vadapav fan and never ventured to taste those two combinations. Mom sometimes made bhujis at home - especially if it was a rainy day. Any vegetable like potatoes, onions, mayaLu, spinach, gilki/ghosaLe - sponge gourd, cauliflower, cabbage can be used. But onion bhujis are almost synonymous with monsoon in Mumbai. They are also called "Khekda" bhuji. Khekda means crab in Marathi. Though these bhujis do not have any crabmeat their crooked shape may remind you of a crab and hence the name. Actually, you can make onion bhujis to form 3 different shapes.
1) Crooked - Khekda bhuji
2)Spheres - Mince the onion and add the besan and masala and make small vadas and fry them.
3)Rings - Make onion rings and dip in the batter and fry them.

But today's recipe is for the simple khekda bhuji.


Kanda Bhuji/Khekda Bhuji
Onion Fritters
Ingredients
1 big purple/red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt
1 tsp hot oil
oil for deep frying

Method
1. Slice onion thinly. Sprinkle salt and set aside for 10 minutes. It will leave moisture.
2. Now add besan and remaining ingredients except oil for frying.
3. Using the moisture of the onions, knead the ingredients. You may need some water to make the batter. Make sure that the batter is thick and is coating the onion slices.
4. Heat oil in a wok or kadai.
5. Making sure that the oil is hot, drop few fritters at a time. Do not overcrowd.
6. Deep fry on both the sides.

Note -
1. Hot oil is added to make the bhujiyas light.
2. Sometimes, rice flour or rava is added to make the bhujiyas crunchy. However, I haven't added any this time.

Batata Bhuji
Potato Fritters
Ingredients
2 yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
3/4 cup besan
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/8 tsp baking soda
oil for deep frying

Method
1. Make a batter of besan, powders and salt adding little water at time. The batter should be such that it should coat the potato slices without exposing the inside potato.
2. Heat oil in a kadai or wok.
3. When oil is hot, dip potato slices one at time in the batter and drop carefully in the hot oil. Do not overcrowd.

4. Deep fry on both sides.
5. Drain and keep on the absorbent paper towel.

Note -
1. You can peel the potatoes. I generally keep them unpeeled.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Garlic Thepla

My MIL has taught me many different varieties of theplas. Lasan na thepla or garlic thepla is one of them. It's simple to make. If you have gresh green garlic, it's even better but regular garlic cloves will work too.

Lasan na Thepla - makes 12 count
Gujarati Garlic Flatbread
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or per taste)
1 tbsp cream or plain yogurt

Crush with a mortal and pestle
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5 garlic cloves
salt

Also,
oil for frying/roasting
wheat flour for dredging

Method
1. Crush garlic cloves, salt and cumin seeds with a mortal and pestle.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients. Add above ground masala, yogurt or cream. Knead adding some water as needed to make a dough.
3. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.
4. Make 12 equal sized balls. Using wheat flour for dredging, roll into thin discs.
5. Roast on both sides on a hot tawa/pan using oil as needed.

Note -
1. Cream makes this theplas softer. However, I prefer to use non-fat organic plain yogurt.
2. If using green garlic, use the fresh white cloves for punding with mortal and pestle. Chop the greens and use it for kneading with the flour.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Green Beans Upkari

Serve this very simple stir fry with sheeth - plain rice and dali tauy for a heartwarming simple meal.


Farasbiye Upkari

Green Beans Stir Fry

Ingredients

1 lb fresh green beans, both ends and strings removed, chopped

salt to taste

Tempering

1 tsp oil or coconut oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp urad daal (optional)

2-3 red chilies, halved

Garnish

1 tbsp fresh coconut

Suggested Accompaniment

Plain Rice

Dalitauy

Method

1. Heat oil in a kadai.

2. Add all the ingredients for tempering.

3. As they sizzle, add green beans and 2 tbsp water. Cover with a lid. Add some water in the lid. Let it cook till green beans are tender.

4. Add salt to taste.

5. Garnish with coconut.

Note -

1. When sauteed in coconut oil, this upkari gets that authentic flavor and taste.

2. If fresh green beans are not available, frozen french cut green beans can be substituted.

Dhoddak - Konkani Oothapam



Dhoddak is thick pancake made from fermented idli/dosa batter. The batter needs to have a distinct sour taste. And after it is ready, you need to drizzle the tempering of coconut oil, curry leaves and mustard seeds all over the pancake. You can serve it as is or with some chutney of your choice.

Dhoddak
Konkani Pancake
Ingredients
1 recipe leftover idli batter
oil for roasting

Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil (or ghee)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
1/8 tsp asafoetida
2 byadgi chilies, halved

Method
1. Heat a griddle/tawa/pan.
2. Add 2-3 ladlefuls of fermented idli/dosa batter.
3. Drizzle some oil around. Cover and let it cook on a low flame.
4. Once it is browned from one side, take it out.
5. Prepare the tempered oil in another small saucepan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, chilies and curry leaves. As they sizzle, drizzle it over the pancake.
6. Serve by making wedges along with chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. If you like, you can roast this pancake on both sides.
2. The fermented batter should be on the sourish side. (more sour than that of idli/dosa)
3. If you do not like or are not familiar with the flavor of the coconut oil, you can use ghee or any other oil of your choice.

 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kolumino Pullao


This recipe is a combination from the Hawkins recipe booklet and my friend's recipe. We enjoyed the outcome.

Kolumino Pullao - (Serves 6 - 8 )
Parsi Prawns Rice
Ingredients
2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed & drained
2 cups or 1 lb shrimp/prawns, deveined & cleaned
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp Dhansak masala or Kitchen King masala (or per taste)
4 cups water
salt to taste

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
3/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
2 garlic cloves
3 green chilies (more or less per taste)
5 cloves
2" cinnamon
5 green cardamoms

Tempering
1 tbsp oil or ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup thinly sliced onion

Suggested Accompaniments
Lemon wedges
Ghee

Method.
1. Rinse and drain rice and set aside.
2. Grind green masala to a smooth paste & set aside.
3. Clean prawns or shrimp. Add salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
4. Heat oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
5. Add sugar. As the sugar caramelizes, add onion. Fry till onion is golden brown uniformly.
6. Add ground masala paste. Saute for 5 minutes.
7. Now add shrimp, dhansak or kitchen king masala. Saute for 2 minutes.
8. Now add drained Basmati rice. Saute for 3 minutes.
9. Add 4 cups water. Add salt* to taste.
10. Bring it to boil. Switch the gas to low. Cover and let it cook till rice is cooked. It will take about 15 - 20 minutes.
11. Switch off the gas. Keep covered for 10 minutes.
12. Open the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork without breaking the rice grain.

Note -
1. *Though some salt is used for marinating the prawns/shrimp, you will still need more salt for the overall pullao.
2. I didn't have Dhansak masala so I used Kitchen King masala.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lavlele pohe...err...kamut



Traditionally, thin pohe or pressed rice is used for this recipe. I used puffed kamut - a variety of wheat instead of pohe. I used sugar less kamut cereal in the cereal aisle of the health food stores.

Lavelele pohe is a breakfast delicacy from Belgaum.

Lavlele Kamut - serves 4
Puffed Kamut Salad
Ingredients
4 cups puffed sugarless kamut or thin pohe
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
1 tbsp metkoot
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 tomato, chopped finely
1 green chili, minced (or per taste)
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, minced
2 tbsp fresh coconut, grated
1" ginger, peeled & grated
2 key limes, freshly squeezed

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 dahyatlya mirchya
1/4 tsp chili powder

Garnish
Sev (Optional)

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering except chili powder. When it sizzles, switch off the gas and add chili powder.
3. Now pour over the kamut mixture.
4. Serve immediately with sev - if using.

Note -
1. Thin pohe are used in the original recipe instead of kamut.
2. The recipe has green chili, yogurt chilies and chili powder. So adjust the heat per your taste.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Patrode -1

I can close my eyes and feel I am with my maushi when she shared this recipe with me. This recipe has travelled from India to United States, from torn pages to a neat diary to Microsoft word document and now to this blog. Patroda is probably derived from the word - patra vada where patra means leaves and vada is fritters or used as dumplings here. That's the first sentence my maushi said while narrating the recipe. She loves to add twist and make mundane things very dramatic. I really do not know if it is indeed patra-vada or it's my maushi's own dramatic interpretation. but I love all this drama. :-D


You know, when people say patrode is same as Maharashtrian aluvadi or Gujarati paatra, I just squirm in my own chair. I do not want to start any debate about food. I respect food. and love patrode, aluvadi and paatra - everything equally! but still patroda is different. You can say aluvadi and patra are same but patroda is definitely deliciously different - at least for me. I mean all of them are steamed colocasia leaves rolls with masala stuffed inside. but still...Well, you see, for aluvadi or patra, you need "vadichi paane" - the taro leaves that are dark green and little rougher than the "bhajichi paane" - which are light green and delicate. Also, patroda has the ubiquitous konkani masala of coconut, byadgi chilies and tamarind along with moong or chana daal - as made in my home. It is unique! and oh so delicious!!

So why this natter? Let's go straight to the recipe.

Patrode
Konkani Taro Leaves rolls
Ingredients
24 Taro leaves/colocasia leaves/aLuchi paane - bhajichi

Grind to a coarse paste
1 cup moong beans, soaked overnight
1/4 cup fresh coconut
2 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste
5-7 byadgi chilies
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp musstard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Method
1. Soak moong beans overnight. Next morning, drain the beans.
2. Grind beans along with coconut, byadgi chilies, asafoetida, salt, tamarind to a coarse paste.
3. Remove the stems of the taro leaves and set aside for other use. (recipe coming soon for using the stems).
4. Wash the leaves thoroughly. Make sets of 4 with 6 leaves each.
5. For the first set, take the biggest leaf. Keep it on a working surface with stem side up. Spread the ground mixture generously. Place another leaf on top. Spread again. Repeat till all 6 leaves are used up. Roll up from all 4 sides to make a roll. Keep aside. and repeat the procedure for the remaining leaves, thus making 4 rolls.
6. Take a pressure cooker container. Place all the rolls carefully. Steam for 15-20 minutes without using the pressure.
7. Let the rolls cool down. Cut into slices.
8. Heat the ingredients for tempering. Drizzle the sizzling oil over the rolls.
9. Serve & enjoy!

Note -
1. The original recipe had much more coconut than mine. If desired, you can use 1 cup coconut.
2. Leftover patrode - if at all there is any leftovers - can be used to make a simple upkari by chopping the rolls and using the tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida and byadgi chilies.
3. Instead of using moong beans, moong sprouts as well as chana daal can also be used. If using chana daal, soak it only for 4 hours.



RCI-Udupi & Mangalore

This post is my contribution to Sia's RCI - Udupi & Mangalore.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisines.

Taro Leaves Plant

Each year, I throw in some taro roots/arvi in the soil, to get these beautiful Taro/colocasia leaves. Every time, I anxiously wait when the leaves come out. You see, there are two types of leaves which we differentiate as "Vadichi paane" and "Bhaajichi paane". The first one is a darker shade of green with dark stems and has bigger leaves. They are specifically used for making aLuvadi or paatra. The second type has smaller , lighter green leaves and stems. They are more delicate and are used to make Maharashtrian phatphatay or paataL bhaaji, Konkani patrode & Gujarati dafu. So far, whenever I have thrown in the roots, I have always gotten the second variety which makes me very happy!!

P.S. Fresh taro roots or arvi/arbi are easily available at the local Indian stores.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nanchnya Khadi - Ragi Jelly

Nanchanya Khadi was made at my home when someone fell sick. It is considered very good digestive as well as an energy booster. I didn't think much of it when I was growing up. However, especially after I started blogging, I was having a huge craving for it. But till last week, I never saw ragi at any of the Indian stores. So I just couldn't believe my eyes when I finally saw it. I have seen the ragi flour but never the whole ragi seeds. I bought that packet immediately.

It's amazing to see how these khadis have a jelly like consistency without any gelatin, pectin or corn starch. As I was making it, I realized that it's a vegan recipe as well.

Nanchnya Khadi - (Serves 8 - 12)
Ragi Jelly
Ingredients
2 cups whole ragi seeds
2 cups coconut milk
1 - 1 1/2 cup jaggery , grated (or per taste)
1/4 tsp salt
9 cardamoms, peeled & crushed
Method
1. Pick ragi seeds. Pour in a big bowl. Add water and let it stand. All the impurities will float on top. Get rid of them without spilling the ragis. Repeat twice.
2. Add 6 cups water and let ragi soak for 8 -12 hours.
3. After 8 - 12 hours, drain the ragi.
4. Grind drained ragi, coconut milk and jaggery along with 2 cups water, preferably in 2 batches.
5. Pass through a sieve, by pressing the mixture. Discard all the ground ragi that is in the sieve. Wait, you can use those ragi seeds for another use given by Rakhi of Recipes from ma's kitchen. Please read below.
6. Pour the ragi malt in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir in salt and cardamom powder.
7. Stir continuously for about 30 minutes on a medium flame till the mixture is thick.
8. Spread in a big metal plates.
9. Let it cool down completely.
10. Cut into squares or diamonds.
Note -
1. My grandmother always used fresh coconut instead of coconut milk. Because of the unavailability of a fresh and good coconut, I used coconut milk.
2. Please note that the proportion for this recipe can feed a big crowd.
3. Ragi flour should not be used for this recipe.
4. Rakhi of Recipes from Ma's Kitchen shared "...Ma would mix the ground ragi (which remains after strainig the mixture)along with rice or wheat flour,add chopped onion,green chilly, coconut, little bit of jaggery and make delicious bhakris. Ma had one policy never waste any part of food". Thanks so much, Rakhi , for sharing this fantastic trash-to-treasure recipe.




This post is my contribution to Sia's RCI - Udupi & Mangalore.
RCI event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisines.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Matar Bhat - Green Peas Rice


When fresh green peas start arriving in Mumbai during the winter months, mom makes several green peas dishes. Matar Bhat is one such simple dish, that is devoured by my family.


Matar Bhat - Serves 4
Green Peas Rice
Ingredients
1 cup Basmati Rice
3/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 fresh lemon squeezed

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup coriander leaves/cilantro
2 sprigs of mint (optional)
1 - 2 green chilies
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 " ginger

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
A pinch of asafoetida
2-3 cloves
2 star anise
1" cinnamon
2 bay leaves
5-7 black peppercorn
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamoms, slightly opened



Accompaniment
Plain yogurt
or
Ghee

Method
1. Rinse and drain basmati rice for 1/2 hour.
2. Heat oil & ghee. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Sauté till your get a wonderful aroma
3. Add sliced onions. Sauté till onion is cooked but not burnt.
4. Add green masala and sauté for 5 minutes.
5. Add drained rice. Stir so the masala coats the rice but the grains are not broken.
6. Add 2 cups water, salt & sugar to taste. Bring to boil.
7. Add green peas. Cover the rice with a lid.
8. Cook on a low flame for 15 minutes or till rice is cooked.
9. Switch off the gas. Let it stand for about 5 minutes before opening.
10. Just before serving, stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice.
11. Serve with ghee/plain yogurt or Kadhi or any yogurt based raita.

Notes -
1. If using frozen peas, make sure they are thawed and drained, otherwise the water proportion needs to be changed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kaarela ni Daal

A simple daal paired with bitter gourd, that I learnt from my MIL.

Kaarela Ni Daal
Bitter gourd Daal
Ingredients
1/2 cup toor daal, rinsed
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 bitter gourd, scraped, cut into circles , remove seeds
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp jaggery
1 small tomato chopped or 1 tsp tamarind paste or 2 dried raw mango pieces
salt to taste

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

Suggested accompaniment
Plain rice & Ghee

Method
1. Rinse Daal. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, bittergourd pieces and 1 cup water. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Set aside.
2. Heat oil. Saute all the ingredients for 1 minute.
3. Pour cooked daal, 1 cup water & all the remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to boil. Lower the gas and simmer till daal gets little thicker.
5. Serve with rice along with a few drops of ghee/clarified butter.
Note -
1. Instead of coriander-cumin seed powder, Gujarati garam masala can also be used.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wheatgrass Lemonade

My husband got two sachets of wheatgrass powder from Whole Foods. He announced that he's going to consume everything healthy from now on. So after trying those small sachets, he would go ahead and get a humongous container and drink wheatgrass on a daily basis. This was in January and those poor sachets were still in the fridge. They were to get expire in July so I picked them up and stirred a lemonade. The only concern was the powder does not get dissolved properly so you have to keep stirring even while drinking.

Wheatgrass Lemonade
Ingredients
2 sachets wheatgrass powder
1 or 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
1" ginger, grated and squeezed to get the juice
Agave nectar (per taste)
A generous pinch of chaat masala
3 - 4 cups water

Method
1. Stir everything together.
2. Chill and serve.

Note -
1. I used agave nectar as a sweetener. Sugar can also be used.
2. For the really fresh wheatgrass juice & growing wheatgrass at home, follow this.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Masala Bhenda - Malvani Okra Curry

Around the month of Shravan/monsoon, a different variety of okra appears in the markets of Mumbai. They are long and a lighter shade than the usual okra. Though they look big, they still are very fresh and tasty. My grandmothers used that variety of okra to make masala bhenda and bhenda sagalay. Here, I have used the usual okra.



Masala Bhenda
Malvani Okra Curry
Ingredients
1 lb fresh okra, remove both ends, slit & left whole
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery
1 tsp tamarind pulp


Tempering
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Roast & Grind
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
9 black peppercorn
3 cloves
5-7 byadgi chilies
1/2" piece of cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 - 1 cup coconut
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 small onion - approx. 1/2 cup sliced

Suggested Accompaniment
Rice Bhakri
or chapati
or plain rice


Method
1. Trim okra on both ends. Make a slit while leaving each okra whole. If okra is too big you can make two pieces and make a slit. Set aside.
2. Roast all the spices one after the other and set aside. Roast coconut. As it gets brown, add turmeric powder & poppy seeds. Roast for 1 minute. Set aside. Roast sliced onion till brown but not burnt.
3. Grind all the above roasted ingredients adding little water and tamarind pulp. Make sure you make a fine paste.
4. Heat oil in a saucepan. Saute chopped onion and turmeric powder. Add okra and 2 tbsp water. Cover with a lid. Let it cook till okra is soft.
5. Now add the ground masala paste with 1 cup water, salt & jaggery. Bring to boil.
6. Let it simmer for 7 minutes.


Note -
1. The gravy should be neither too dry nor too watery.
2. This gravy should be on the mild side with sweetish taste with jaggery.

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