Monday, August 31, 2009

Masala Thepla - Cumin & Ajwain Flatbread



Most of my non-Gujarati friends associate thepla with methi or fenugreek leaves. but my MIL whips out many permutations and combinations where each and every one tastes delicious and unique. With the help of my MIL, aunt and grand aunt, I already have 3 recipes of humble methi theplas. But today, let's see this masala thepla flavored with ajwain and cumin.



Masala Thepla
Cumin-ajwain Flatbread
Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp ajmo/owa/ajwain/carrom seeds - roast for 30 seconds
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera - roast for 30 seconds
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or per taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste


1 tbsp plain yogurt or cream/malai
1 tsp oil


water for kneading
oil for roasting


Method
1. Mix flour with all the dry ingredients.
2. Add yogurt or cream along with water to make a soft dough.
3. Add 1 tsp oil and knead well. Cover and keep aside.
4. Make 18 small balls and roll out into thin discs.
5. Heat tawa/pan. Roast the flatbreads adding oil as needed till brown spots appear on both sides.
6. Cover in a cotton kitchen napkin or aluminum foil till ready to use.
7. Serve with achar/athanu or chundo.


Note -
1. My MIL adds malai as it makes theplas softer. I prefer to use nonfat plain yogurt.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Masalyache Vange - Eggplant Garam Masala

Our farmer at the Farmers market had fresh and big eggplants. They were just 50 cents each. At my super market, these eggplants are sold by weight and this eggplant could have been easily more than a pound and still was just 50 cents. Hard to believe! I greedily took 2 of them. Baingan bhurta, vangyache bharit, ratatouille, baingan subzi - the possibilities are limitless.

Masalyache Vange - (serves 8 - 10)
Eggplant Garam Masala
Ingredients
1 eggplant 1 1/2 lb, cut into thick chunks or slices
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery

Roast* and Grind
15 black peppercorns
9 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
2 tbsp coriander seeds
3 cardamoms
5 garlic cloves
12 - 15 byadgi chilies
1 cup sliced onions
3/4 cup fresh coconut or dessicated coconut
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

Suggested Accompaniments
Rice Bhakri/Chapati
and/or plain rice

Method
1. Place eggplants chunks/slices in a big saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water and turmeric powder. Cook till it is about half done.
2. *Roast each and every spice except poppy seeds separately in 1 tsp oil. After roasting, keep it back in the plate. Add another spoonful of oil. Brown onions. Set aside. Now roast coconut. As coconut becomes brown, add poppy seeds and roast again for few more seconds. Now grind all these ingredients along with tamarind pulp and water as needed.
3. Add ground masala to the half-cooked eggplant. Also, add salt, jaggery and 1 cup water. Bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes taking care that the eggplant doesn't get completely dissolved in the curry.

Note -
1. The consistency of this curry should be thick. But it still needs to have some gravy.
2. Though generally big eggplant is used for making bhurta in Indian cuisine, this Malvani recipe calls for big eggplant for curry as well.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farasbichi bhaji - Green beans stir fry


I met this grand, old American lady at the farmer's market. "Go & grab those fresh green beans!" She told me. She told me that she had come specifically to buy those because last week, she got some and cooked with bacon and they tasted amazing & her husband & brother just loved them. Of course, I thanked her and bought some green beans which were amazingly fresh. But I decided to combine them with green peas and potatoes just like my mom as I just couldn't understand the flavor of bacon with them.


Farasbichi Bhaaji
Green Beans Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 lb fresh green beans/farasbi/fansi/shravan ghevda, chopped
1/2 cup fresh green peas
1 small potato, peeled & chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chilies, slit


Garnish

1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)

Method

1. Steam green beans, potatoes & peas and keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida & turmeric powder along with green chilies.

3. As they sizzle, add steamed beans, potatoes & peas. Add 2 tbsp water, salt & sugar to taste.

4. Let the water evaporate. Garnish with coconut if using.


Note -

1. Mom always uses fresh coconut for this simple subzi. I don't as I do not get good quality fresh coconut.

2. Serve hot with simple daal & rice along with achar/loNche.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Banana Peppers chi Bhaaji

I saw these wonderful banana peppers at a farmer's stall. I bought them immediately. Actually, I had planned to make stuffed chilies or mirchi chi bhuji (fritters) but I was really feeling lazy so I finally made a simple peeth perun bhaaji.

This unique combination of vegetables and besan/chickpea flour is used for various vegetables like raw tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, onions, scallions, fenugreek leaves, cilantro, spinach or even brussel sprouts and leeks - or most of the veggies from the onion family. Though the method appears similar, each vegetable offers a unique flavor. So my non-maharashtrian friends ask me what's the difference between ZuNka, Pithalay & Peeth perun bhaaji. Well, if I just look around in my family, how my grandmothers, mom, aunts prepare these three types of besan & veggie combinations, I have come up with this explanation. Pithalay has soft/semi-soft/watery consistency and it has veggies just for little flavor like garlic or Indian drumsticks (shevgyachya shenga/saragawa). It has some water content for sure. ZuNka as made in my family is the driest of these three mostly made with onions or scallions. The remaining veggies/besan combo is called peeth perun bhaaji. They can be dry or wet based on the water content of the veggies itself. But additional water is not added.

Banana Peppers chi (peeth perun)Bhaaji
Banana peppers - Besan subzi
Ingredients
1 bucket banana peppers, stems removed, chopped to 4 cups
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

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

Method
1. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
2. As they sizzle, add chopped banana peppers. Fry for 5 minutes.
3. Switch the gas to medium. Cover and let it cook for 5 - 7 minutes.
4. Take off the lid. Add salt.
5. Sprinkle besan - a spoonful at a time - while stirring with other hand.
6. As the besan gets mixed with the peppers, add 1 tsp oil.
7. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Note -
1. Banana peppers are mild. But always ask the vendor about the spice level just to be sure. Sometimes, if these peppers are planted near spicy peppers, heat level changes. I read it in a food magazine.
2. If you want, you can remove seeds and veins of the peppers where the spice/heat is. I did not do it because they were really mild just like bell peppers.
3. When you add salt before adding besan, make sure you add the right amount. After adding besan, it's impossible to add salt again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Laal Mulyachi Bhaji - Red Radish stir fry

Whenever I visit the farmers' market, I just go with the flow. All fresh veggies and fruits - I buy whatever catches my fancy. and then after coming home I am in a mad rush to make the dishes one after the other before all the veggies start to get rotten. I always decide that I won't buy these many veggies after all we are just a family of 3 (or 2 & 1/2 really!) but next time, the same story repeats!

Laal Mulyachi (Partun) Bhaaji
Red Radish Stir Fry
Ingredients
3 bunches red radishes, thinly chopped
1 red potato, peeled & thinly chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp mild chili powder or paprika

Tempering

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish (optional)

1 tbsp freshly grated coconut

Method

0. Remove both ends of radishes. Halve them. Again halve and make thin pieces. Similarly chop potatoes. Keep both the vegetables in water.

1. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai or wok

2. Add all the ingredients for tempering

3. Add vegetables by draining all the water. Saute for 10-15 minutes without adding any water or keeping a lid on top.

4. Add salt, sugar, chili powder. Saute again for 5 minutes.

5. Garnish with coconut if using.

Note -

1. Traditionally, this bhaaji is made in an iron kadai using lots of oil. It does taste awesome especially when it gets crunchy in oil.

2. Make sure that there is no water left while it is cooking to get the crunchy taste.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Karela Curry - Andhra Style

As soon as I enter the farmer's market, I always rush to the stall of a Vietnamese farmer. I always see some familiar veggies there. He always has bitter melons. They taste like our bitter gourds but they have softer ridges compared to our bitter gourds. I use these bitter melons for the same Indian recipes that call for bitter gourds.

Today I am featuring one of Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Recipes -

Recipe Source-
http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Recipe.aspx?RecipeId=1532&Header=Searched%20Recipe&MenuId=0

Credits
Sanjeevkapoor.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vaalichi Bhaaji - Yardlong beans

Vaali in Malvani means yardlong beans (it is called chawLi in Marathi). But please do not confuse it with VaaLi of Konkani which means chinese water spinach (or MayaLu in Marathi, Poi in Gujarati). Anyway, I saw some freshest yardlong beans at our farmers market.


By the way, I am planning to give a tribute to our Farmers market this week. and if I remember, next week, I am planning to dedicate my recipes to my kitchen garden. Let's see how that goes!



Vaalichi Bhaaji
Yardlong beans Stir Fry
Ingredients


1 bunch vaali/chawli/yardlong beans, chopped

1/2 cup kala vatana or kala chana sprouts

1/2 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

Tempering

2 tsp oil (preferably coconut)

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

1 small onion, chopped approx = 1/2 cup

4-5 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed leaving each clove in tact

3-4 red chilies, halved

Garnish

1 tbsp - 1/4 cup fresh coconut

1/2 tsp black pepper powder

Method

1. Pressure cook chana or kala vatana. Set aside.

2. Steam chopped yard long beans. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in a saucepan or a wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute til onion is soft.

4. Now add yardlong beans, sprouts along with 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

5. Add salt, jaggery. Cook for 5 minutes.

6. Mix desired quantity of coconut (1 tbsp or 1/4 cup) with black pepper powder. Stir in the pot.

7. Simmer till the jaggery melts and the water is completely evaporated.

Note -

1. Instead of steaming the yardlong beans separately, you can add them in the saucepan after onion is soft. In that case, cover the lid with water and let it cook till beans are steamed and then proceed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Valval - Root Vegetables Stew

Today is Rushi panchami (or Rishi panchami). This is the day when we eat the root vegetables curry or stew called Rishi chi bhaaji. Or sometimes mom makes Khuta. But since I have already blogged about both of them, I decided to make the third root vegetable stew from my family recipes. It's called Valval.

Now, there is this valval which is very mild. and then there is another curry called "VaLVaLayn" which is a fiery spicy curry made with jackfruit seeds. Though both the curries are from South Canara and they almost sound similar, they are totally different.
Anyway, back to Valval, it was easy to prepare even on the working day. and I served it with yesterday's shevya and we almost felt that we are eating some Thai food of rice noodles & veggies in coconut milk. :-D
Valval
Root Vegetables curry from South Canara
Ingredients
2 cups butternut squash chunks
1/2 cup potatoes, chunks or quarters
1/2 cup sweet potato, chunks
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashew nuts, soaked in warm water for 2 hours, drained
1 cup Indian yam/suraN, chunks
1/2 cup green beans, cut into 2" pieces
1/2 cup carrots, chunks
1/2 cup green peas
4-5 green chilies, slit
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1 can reduced fat coconut milk (I used whole foods brand)
salt to taste
Tempering
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn

Method
0. Soak raw, unsalted cashews in warm water for 2 hours. Drain.
1. Add all the veggies along with green chilies, curry leaves and cashew nuts in a deep sauce pot. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
2. As the water is boiling, switch the gas to medium. Cover with a lid. Keep some water in the lid. Let it cook for 12 - 15 minutes. Check in between to make sure there is enough water. If needed, pour water from lid in the saucepan and add more water on the lid. Make sure the veggies do not stick to the bottom of the saucepan. They should be cooked but still should retain their shape. It should not be a complete mush.
3. Now, add salt and coconut milk. Add 3/4 cup water in the empty coconut milk and pour it back to the curry.
4. As the curry comes to a gentle boil, heat a small saucepan. Add coconut oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
5. Add sizzling oil to the curry. Cover with a lid - without any water on top now - immediately and switch off the gas.
6. Serve with plain rice or shevya or just as is.
Note -
1. The traditional recipe calls for fresh cashew nuts called bibbo.
2. Frozen green peas, carrots, green beans are ok to use.
3. Do not overboil the curry after the coconut milk is added as it may curdle or separate.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

ShirvaLya or Shevya & Rosu for Ganesh Chaturthi 2009 - Homemade Rice Noodles

I never thought I could make these homemade rice noodles all by myself. But I think with the blessings of Lord Ganesha, I finally actually made it. These are called ShirvaLya in Marathi/Malvani or Shevya in Konkani (as in South Canara). The most common accompaniment is narlacha rus or ghaatle or rosu. but I prefer them with just a dash of coconut oil and some spicy curry.

There is a special instrument called shevya achcho or saacha. I didn't have it so I used the usual sev press to get the maalle of shevya.


ShirvaLya or Shveya - Rosu
Homemade Rice Noodles
Ingredients
For making the rice dough
2 1/2 cup water
2 cup rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp oil
Some oil for greasing hands and sev press

Suggested Accompaniment

Method
1. Bring water to boil. Add salt and oil. As it boils, switch the gas to low and mix in the rice flour.
2. Keep stirring till it forms a dough. Cover with a lid. and let it cook for 5 minutes on a low flame.
3. Switch off the gas. Keep it covered till it is lukewarm and easy to handle with hands.
4. Grease your hands, and start kneading the warm (not hot!) dough till now lumps remain.
5. Make about 5 - 7 logs or rolls. Keep them covered in another plate.
6. Bring water to boil in a separate container. As it is boiling, drop 2 or 3 logs/rolls at a time. Let them boil for about 7 minutes. At this point, these logs should float on top.
7. Take them out and pass through a greased sev press. Handle the press with a kitchen towel if it is made with a metal and difficult to handle due to heat.
8. As you press the cooked rice dough, fine sev are ready in a plate. These are shirvaLya or shevya.

Note -
1. Use the fine sev cutter for making this delicacy.
2. Traditionally, we used coconut oil for greasing. But you can use any oil of your choice.


Ganapati Bappa Morya

Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa

Rosu or GhaaTle


Rosu
Sweetened Coconut Milk
Ingredients
1 can coconut milk
3 tbsp jaggery, chopped (ore per taste)
3-4 cardamoms, peeled & crushed
Suggested Accompaniments
Rus-Pohe

Method
1. Pour the coconut milk in a ceramic bowl.
2. Add 3/4 cup water in the empty can. Stir to get all the coconut milk. Put this water in a saucepan. Add jaggery. Bring to boil till jaggery is melted.
3. Keep aside till the jaggery-water is completely cooled.
4. Carefully, add jaggery-water & cardamom powder in the thick coconut milk. Stir well.
5. Refrigerate till ready to use.

Note -
1. Full fat coconut milk can be used for the best results.
2. I find the jaggery of my Indian stores very hard. So I use this melting in the water method.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Baingan - Simla Mirch ki Subzi

I had seen this unusual combination in my friend's lunchbox. This is amazingly simple and delicious. Now that summer is bringing all these fresh bell peppers and eggplants in the backyards, kitchen gardens, farmers markets, this is the perfect recipe to try.

Baingan -Simla Mirch Ki Subzi
Eggplant-Bell Pepper stir fry
Ingredients
1/2 red bell pepper, cored & sliced = 1 cup
1/2 orange bell pepper, cored & sliced = 1 cup
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cored & sliced = 1 cup
1/2 green bell pepper, cored & sliced = 1 cup
1/2 big onion, peeled & sliced = 1 cup
1/2 big eggplant, peeled & sliced = 1 cup
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp amchoor powder/dry mango powder


Tempering
2 tbsp oil


Garnish
1/2 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped


Method
1. Heat oil in a big iron kadai or wok. Add onions. Saute for 2 minutes.
2. Add eggplants. Saute for another 2 minutes
3. Now, add bell peppers. Saute on a high flame for 12 minutes making sure veggies do not stick to the bottom of the wok. If needed, add more oil if desired.
4. Add garam masala, salt and amchoor powder. Mix and fry for 5 more minutes. Veggies should be cooked but still not be too mushy.
5. Switch off the gas.
6. Garnish with cilantro and chaat masala.


Note -
1. This subzi tastes great with rotis/chapatis. But also makes an excellent filling for toasted submarines, fajita, quesidilla or just add it in the cooked fusili or penne.
2. This is one subzi which loves more oil. I try to curb it. But definitely, more the merrier type.
3. Chaat masala has rock salt in it. Since we are using both salt and chaat masala, adjust salt accordingly.

4. If you are wondering what I made with the remaining bell peppers and eggplant - I made ratatouillie. The recipe source coming soon on Enjoy World Food.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kotambir Menthi - Seafood Curry

When I first went back home from US, I was so eager to meet our fisherwoman - koLiN.
She is a very lively person. Very animated and full of life. She won't call her "mhavara" - (fish )just simple fish but she calls them "chandi aahe chandi" - it's shiny silver! It's fun to watch the conversation between my mom and her.

I went to meet her and told her that I missed her and her fish. She said with pride - "Ag, kuthepan jagaat mazya mhavrasarkhi mhavra gaavaychi nahi" - you will never get fish like this anywhere in the world - I agree with you K.bai!

Though Urad-Methi is a well known seafood curry, my grandmother made Kotambir Menthi too. It has simple coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds for roasting along with ubiquitous coconut, red chilies (byadgi) and tamarind. This delicious curry is traditionally made with Indian mackerels which we call Bangda in Marathi. But Mahi-Mahi fillets or trout steaks can be substituted.

Kotambir Menthi
Fish Curry South Canara style
Ingredients
3 mackerels or 6 steaks of rainbow trout or 6 pieces of mahi mahi
salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
9 - 11 byadgi chilies (yes, it's spicy!)
few drops of coconut oil for roasting

Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil

Suggested accompaniment
Turmeric scented plain rice

Method
0. Marinate fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
1. Heat a few drops of coconut oil. Roast coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and byadgi chilies one after the other.
2. Grind the above roasted spices with tamarind paste and coconut, adding water as needed. This masala paste should be fine.
3. Place the marinated fish pieces in a saucepan - preferably wide - so all the fish pieces are placed in a single layer. Spread the masala paste on top. Add 1 cup water to get the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
4. Bring to boil. When the curry comes to boil, drizzle coconut oil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Serve with turmeric scented rice or plain rice.

Note -
1. Though the fish pieces are marinated with salt, some more salt is needed for the curry. Adjust accordingly.


This post is my entry to Indrani's Fish event.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sungatha Fanna upkari - Fiery Prawns Curry


It may sound straight from Jhumpa Lahiri's book "The interpreter of the maladies" especially the story about Mrs. Sen. Well, I am not Mrs. Sen but I share the same passion for seafood. and I went through the same trauma of finding the "proper" fish when I came to US. Well, initially, I was so busy and without much of the kitchen equipments, that I never bothered to cook seafood by myself. I survived on Burger King's Fish fillet minus cheese and tartar sauce, but with lots of black pepper and Tabasco. I know, I was pathetic but what can one do? I can live without meat, poultry or even eggs, without touching them ever again. but seafood - naah! Probably it's in my genes - the GSBs were supposed to be seafood eaters. Anyhow, my husband who was brought up a vegetarian (who now eats fish because of its healthy Omega3 benefits!) - helped me to find the fish store. So after coming from work, I used to flip through the yellow pages, call the fishmongers and pester them with questions about "pomfret", "mackrel", "king fish"... They would give up and invite me to their stores which was a polite way of saying come here and see for yourself about whatever you're talking...Hubby and I used to drive to the different corners of the city and I could never get whatever I wanted. Later, I discovered a Chinese stores, found pomfrets and mackrels, they never tasted the same, so I compromised on the American fish and now give me Tilapia, trout or salmon and I can totally give them a desi makeover!:-D
I remembered all this as I was getting ready to post fish recipes for my friend, Indrani's fish event. Well, the first bump was the month Shravan. I had decided not to eat anything nonveg this month. Frankly, that should not have stopped me from blogging about seafood, but it just slipped through the cracks. And now, with Lord Ganapati's arrival next week, I have to submit these recipes pronto before the festival starts.
Sungatha Fanna Upkari
Fiery Prawns Curry - South Canara Style
Ingredients
1 lb medium shrimp/prawns, washed, peeled, deveined
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp hot chili powder (or more!)
1 tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste


Tempering
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 onions, chopped finely approx. = 1 cup


Method
1. Marinate shrimp/prawns with salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai/pan.
3. Add finely chopped onion. Saute on a medium flame till the onion is dark brown but not burnt.
4. Now add chili powder. Saute for 30 seconds without letting the powder burn. Add tamarind paste and 1 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Add marinated shrimp and salt to taste.
6. Simmer till you get a gravy of thick consistency.


Note -
1. Though salt is added while marinating the shrimp, you still need a little more for the curry.
2. Traditionally, byadgi chilies are roasted in coconut oil and ground with tamarind before adding it to the curry.
3. If possible, use iron kadai for making this curry. But after the curry is ready, transfer it to a ceramic bowl.
This post is my entry to Indrani's Fish event.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alu Potoler Dalna


I tried this classic bengali dish from my favorite pressure cooker recipe booklet. I find these booklets as a treasure of regional Indian recipes. I am not sure if it is authentic or not. but I enjoy making these dishes from these booklets and change them to suit to our likings.

Alu Potoler Dalna
Potato-Parwar
Ingredients
1 lb parwar, quartered
1 potato, peeled & sliced
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

Tempering
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp panch phoron
2 bay leaves
2 red chilies, halved

Mix together
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp water

Method
1. Heat mustard oil in a saucepan.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering
3. As the seeds splutter, add the masala mixture
4. Now add the veggies and 1/2 cup salt. Cover and let it cook till soft but not too mushy.
5. Now add salt and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Serve immediately

Note -
1. Panch phoron is a bengali mixture of fenugreek seeds (methi), nigella seeds (kalonji), mustard seeds (rai/sorshe), fennel seeds(badishep/saunf/variyali), cumin seeds (jira) - generally used for tempering. I had read something about randhuni being a part of panch phoron so I asked Soma of e-curry about it. She mentioned that it is celery seeds. Just the other day, I found these celery seeds at out local spice stores.

Credits
http://www.hawkinscookers.com/8.1.receipe.aspx?rcp_cd=5

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dafu/Dakhu - Gujarati Colocasia Leaves Curry

As I mentioned here, taro/colocasia leaves are very easy to grow. Just plant those taro roots/arvi in the soil and wait for the magic to happen. They love moist soil so water them regularly. and they just keep growing. I have been making almost all the taro leaves dishes. I take their abundant leaves and within 10 days, the next batch of leaves are ready for me to harvest.

My MIL shared this taro leaves curry which is a South Gujarati & probably one of the forgotten recipes.


Dafu /Dakhu
Gujarati Colocasia Leaves curry
Ingredients
1 bunch taro leaves/aLu/colcasia leaves, shredded along with stems
1/4 cup raw , unsalted peanuts, soaked in water for 2 hours
1/2 cup toor daal
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
3 kokum, rinses
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp green chili-ginger paste
1 tsp coriander - cumin powder

Tempering 1
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig of curry leaves, torn
2-3 boriya chilies or red chilies, halved

Tempering 2
1 tsp oil
3-4 cloves garlic, slivered

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

Method
1. Pressure cook toor daal in one container and leaves along with stems and peanuts in the other container. Mash the toor daal and set aside.
2. Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering1. As they sizzle, add mashed toor daal, leaves and peanuts. Add 1 1/2 cups water, kokum, salt, jaggery, tomato, chili-ginger paste & coriander-cumin seed powder. Bring to boil.
3. Add coconut if using and cilantro. Let it simmer. Adjust water depending on the desired consistency of the curry.
4.Heat oil in another saucepan. Add garlic slivers. As they turn a shade darker, drizzle the garlic oil over the daal. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid.
5. Serve hot with rice.


Note -
1. Spinach can be substituted for taro leaves.
2. Dafu-chokha (rice) is considered as a delicacy in South Gujarat.
3. This recipe works well with the taro leaves which are meant for making curry and not paatra/aluvadi.

Update -
My friend, Madhavi shared that this is also called "Dakhu" so I have updated this post. Thanks a bunch, Madhavi.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Turiya Mag nu Shaak


Ridgegourd is known as Turiya in Hindi and Dodka or ShiraLe in Marathi. Well, whatever you call it, I didn't like it a bit when I was growing up. But now, I have managed to actually like most of my veggies. It's either because I miss mom's food/kitchen miserably or looks like I have finally grown up!:-D

Turiya-Mug nu Shaak

Ridgegourd-Moong daal

Ingredients

1 ridgegourd/dodka/shirale/turiya, peeled & cut into 2" long strips

1 tomato, chopped

1/4 cup yellow moong daal, soaked in water for 2 hours

salt to taste

1/2 tsp coriander-cumin powder

1 tsp green chili-ginger paste/watela aadu-marcha

1/4 tsp sugar


Tempering

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

4 boriya chilies or 2 dry red chilies, halved


Garnish

1 tbsp fresh coconut


Method

1. Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Add all the ingredients for tempering.

2. As the seeds splutter, add drained moong daal. Saute for 30 seconds. Add tomato. Saute again for 30 seconds.

3. Now add ridgegourd strips. Let it cook in its own juice.

4. Add salt, coriander-cumin powder, sugar and chili-ginger paste.

5. Once the gourd is soft, garnish with coconut

Note -

1. Do not need any water. Let the gourd cook in its own juice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

ALambi Masala - Mushroom Garam Masala

I can't believe that I haven't blogged any mushroom recipe yet. Mushrooms are called ALambi in Marathi/Malvani/Konkani. So let's slurp this delicious curry.

ALambi Masala
Mushroom Garam Masala

Ingredients

8 oz (by weight) button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashewnuts, soaked in warm water for 2 hours

1 tsp tamarind paste

1/2 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

Tempering

2 tsp oil

1 small onion, chopped = 1/4 cup

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Roast one after the other adding oil as needed

1 tsp oil

2" cinnamon/dalchini/taj

3 green cardamoms/Velchi/Veldoda/Elaichi/Elchi

4 cloves/lavang/Long

9 black peppercorns/Miri

1 tbsp coriander seeds/Dhane

1 tbsp white poppy seeds/Khus Khus

7 byadgi chilies

1/2 cup coconut

2 small onion, sliced = 1/2 cup

6 garlic cloves, peeled

Suggested accompaniments

Rice Bhakri

and / or

Plain Rice

Method

1. Rinse mushrooms. Slice and keep them aside.

2. Soak cashew nuts in warm water for 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat iron or cast iron pan. Add a few drops of oil. saute all the whole spices - except poppy seeds - one after the other. Set aside. Add more oil, fry onions and garlic till both are deep browned but not burnt. Set aside. Now last add coconut. Saute till it is uniformly brown. Then add poppy seeds. Saute for another minute. Saute byadgi chilies for a minute. Let it cool down a bit and then ground all these roasted ingredients with tamarind paste and water as need to make a fine paste. Keep aside.

4. Heat oil in a pot. Add onions and turmeric powder. fry till the onion is soft. Now add mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes. Now add drained cashew nuts. Saute again for 2 minutes. Mushroom will leave lot of water at this point. Switch the gas to low.

5. Add ground masala paste and 1 cup water. Switch the gas to high. Add salt and jaggery. Bring to boil. As the curry boils, switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 7 minutes. Switch off the gas. Cover and keep aside till ready to serve.

Note -

1. I have used the 8 oz mushroom pack that is available at American supermarkets.

2. I have seen the cooks (on TV) advise not to rinse mushrooms but just wipe it off with a kitchen towel. I just have to rinse everything from the supermarket. So I rinse them. Please use your own judgement.

3. You will not need any oil while roasting coconut.

4. Use white poppy seeds for this recipe. Do not substitute with black poppy seeds. if you don't have white poppy seeds, leave them out.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Patiyala Lassi & Happy Independence Day, India!


I got this beautiful earthenware pot at our Indian stores. The store owner suggested making "khichdi" as it adds a special flavor. I am definitely going to try it. but I thought of making something special for Lord Krishna yesterday and made some homemade yogurt in the earthenware pot. Now, that summer is here, the yogurt was set beautifully so I decided to make lassi.

Patiyala Lassi
Yogurt-Saffron Smoothie
Ingredients
2 cups plain yogurt
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar or sweetener of your choice (like honey or agave nectar)
4-5 cardamoms, peeled & crushed
1/4 tsp saffron strands
1/8 tsp salt
Method
1. Whisk all the ingredients together.
2. Serve chilled.
Note -
1. For richer taste, use milk and yogurt with a higher fat contents.
2. I used yogurt made in the earthenware container. It surely adds a special taste & touch! But ready made yogurt will work too.
3. Use more or less sugar per your taste.
4. Instead of sugar, sweetened condensed milk works well too.
Happy Independence Day, India!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rus Pohe for Janmashtami 2009

Gudiya was looking forward to BaL Krishna's birthday. She remembered it from the last year. We took out the small cradle that my moushi sent me from India. We place baby Krishna and said the prayers. I narrated Gudiya the story of "Dahi Handi". I do not know how much she understood but she liked it. I was nostalgic telling her about the "Dahi handi -Govinda aala re..." in Mumbai. (wonder if there will be any dahi handi this year, due to the Swine flu?)

Generally on this day, we make some pohe recipes like kalya undo or dahi pohe, doodh pohe or guL pohe or rus pohe and panch kaday or rava ladoo.

This time for the prasad, we made the simplest Rus pohe. It's just thick pohe in the sweetened coconut milk.

Rus Pohe

Cereal & coconut milk

Ingredients

1 cup thick pohe/pressed rice

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

2 tbsp jaggery, grated (or per taste)

1/8 tsp salt

4-5 cardamoms, peeled & crushed

Method

1. Rinse pohe and keep aside for 10 minutes.

2. Dissolve grated jaggery in the coconut milk along with salt and cardamom powder.

3. Mix pohe with the "rus" - sweetened coconut milk.

4. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Note -

1. If you keep this pohe for a long time, it will absorb the coconut milk. It tastes good that way too, but if you want some liquid in it, you can add more coconut milk.

2. I think this pohe taste best if served chilled.

3. Homemade thick coconut milk tastes the best for this recipe. I do not get good quality coconuts here. So I used store-bought reduced fat coconut milk.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tomato Pithalay

My maushi makes this excellent tomato pithale which is entirely different than the usual pithale. I have seen my maushi making it all my life, but my version never ever comes even close to hers. So when I asked her why my pithale never tastes as good as hers, she retorted, "well, you try to cook everything in a few drops of oil and expect to get the same taste?". Craving for the same taste, today I used more oil than usual. It's still the second best tomato pithale I have eaten in my life.

Tomato Pithalay
Tomato-Besan Curry
Ingredients
6 roma tomatoes, chopped to 2 cups
3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder

Tempering
2 tbsp oil (or more)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
Garnish
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
Suggested Accompaniment
Bhakri or chapati/poLi
Sliced raw red onions

Method
1. Heat oil in a wide kadai or a pan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the curry leaves sizzle, add tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder. Saute for 30 seconds.
3. Cover and cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes. Do not add water. The tomatoes need to be cooked in their own juices.
4. Add salt. Mix well. Now with one hand stirring the mixture, pour besan a spoonful at a time till all the besan is absorbed by the mixture. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Cover and let it cook for 2 minutes.
6. Switch off the gas. Just prior to serving, garnish with chopped cilantro.
Note -
1. Very basic ingredients are needed for making this simple pithalay. However, do not substitute anything else or miss any ingredient mentioned above to get that simple taste.
2. This pithalay gets ready fairly quickly. Do not make it in advance. Make it just before ready to eat and serve hot with hot bhakri.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alur Dum

I have modified this recipe from my Hawkins Recipe Booklet.


Alur Dum - (Serves 6)

Baby Potatoes Curry

Ingredients

24 baby potatoes, scrubbed & pressure cooked

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 tbsp mustard oil


*Grind to paste

1 small onion, roughly chopped to approx. 1/2 cup

1" ginger, peeled and roughly chopped


Tempering

2 tsp mustard oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 bay leaf

1 onion, finely chopped approx. = 1/2 cup

1 tomato, sliced

Ground onion paste*


You will also need

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp clove powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder

1 tsp sugar

salt to taste

1 cup water


Garnish

1 tsp ghee/clarified butter

1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped


Suggested accompaniment

Puri a.k.a. Luchi

Method

1. Rinse and scrub the baby potatoes. Apply salt and turmeric powder. Pressure cook adding 1/4 cup water. Set aside to cool down completely.

2. Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a pan. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer. Shallow fry till they are browned from all sides.

3. Heat 2 tsp mustard oil in a saucepan. Add spices, onion and onion paste. Saute for 15 minutes till the raw smell of onion disappears. Add tomatoes and rest of the spices. Saute for 5 minutes. Now, add sugar, salt and water. And add fried potatoes. Bring the gravy to a gentle boil. With the help of a spoon, pour the gravy on the potatoes as they are simmering.

4. Add more water if necessary. Switch off the gas. Pour ghee on top and garnish with cilantro.


Note -

1. If the peels of the potatoes are too rough, you can peel them else keep the peels on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Samosa Quesidilla

It irks me that Samosa, Tandoori chicken and Naan sum up the Indian Cuisine in the US. But that doesn't mean, I don't like them. When I was searching for a quesidilla recipe at my favorite cooking site, I came across this recipe of Samosa quesidilla. Needless to say, I tried it immediately.

Recipe Source -
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=223548

Credits
Cooking Light July 1998

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kaarlyache Kaap - Crunchy bittergourds

The secret of making these bitter gourd strips or kaarlyache kaap is to make thin strips of the bitter gourd. Of course, as everything else, if you deep fry them, they will be even more delicious. However, I shallow fried them which takes a long time to achieve that crunchiness!

Kaarlyache Kaap
Crunchy Bitter gourds
Ingredients
3-4 bitter gourds, rinsed, scraped, cut into thin strips
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 - 1 tsp chili powder (or per taste)

1/4 cup semolina/rawa/cream of rice
or
2 tbsp semolina/rawa/cream of rice + 2 tbsp rice flour

oil for shallow or deep frying

Method
1. Apply salt and other spices to the bitter gourds.
2. Dredge each strip in the rawa or rawa+rice flour mixture.
3. Heat oil in a pan.
4. Keep bitter gourd strips in a single layer of shallow frying. or add gently for the deep frying.
5. Fry till they are crunchy.

Note -
1. Sprinkle salt on the thin strips of bitter gourds. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Squeeze the juice and then use the strips if you want to remove the bitterness of the gourds. However, I did not follow this step as the bitter gourds that I get here are not that bitter and I like bitter taste.
2. If you are shallow frying with minimum oil, then making crunchy strips takes longer than usual. The strips should be crunchy, the bitter gourds should be cooked and rawa should not be burnt.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Osaman

The regional cuisine of India is diverse and at times, even mutually exclusive. Osaman is not made in my MIL's Gujarati kitchen but it was an integral part of my grand aunt's Gujarati kitchen. We just love to slurp this healthy broth during the winter months.

Osaman
A Gujarati Daal Broth
Ingredients
1/2 cup toor daal pressure cooked with 2 cups water
1 tomato, chopped
salt to taste
1 small piece of raddish, peeled and cut into semi-circles - approx. 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp chili powder
4 kokums
1/2 tbsp jaggery (or per taste)
Tempering
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
4 cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, minced

Method
1. Follow the instructions for Kathan Daal. Add more water to cooked daal to get 6 cups daal water. Pass the cooked daal through a sieve. Set aside the cooked daal for making kathan daal.
2. Heat ghee in a big saucepot. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. As the cloves and cumin seeds sizzle, add daal water, tomatoes, and the remaining ingredients.
4. Bring to boil. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Serve piping hot with some ghee on top.
Note
1. My grand aunt didn't use pressure cooker for cooking daal. It used to take a long time, but she would keep adding more and more water to get daal water while it was cooking. I use pressure cooker and can't add too much water for cooking the daal. So I use more amount of water than usual and then add some more water to the cooked daal and mix & then pass through the sieve to get the daal water for osaman.

Kathan Daal


Kathan Daal is a variation of Modi daal. Though the ingredients are similar to modi daal or even VaraN, the texture and consistency is totally different. My grand aunt used to make this daal. The only requirement for relishing this regional delicacy? A huge dollop of homemade ghee/clarified butter!:-D

The word "Kathan" means hard. Here, it means that water is totally evaporated.
Kathan DaaL

Hard Daal
Ingredients

1/2 cup toor daal

2 cups water

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 tbsp jaggery

1/2 tsp coriander-cumin powder (fresh)

Suggested Accompaniments

OsamuN

Ghee

Chapati/rotla or rice

Method

1. Pressure cook daal adding 2 cups water.

2. Drain water from cooked daal. Pass through sieve. add more water. Set it aside for osamun.

3. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and jaggery to the boiled daal.

4.. Boil daal till water is entirely evaporated. Switch gas to lowest. Let it cook till it becomes dry and jaggery is completely melted.

5. Serve hot with a huge dollop of homemade ghee and chapatis/rotlas/fulkas or rice.

Note -

1. Make sure that you serve this daal right off the flame. It has to be fresh and hot to enjoy the real taste.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Green Tomato Chutney

This is a simple recipe that gives a wonderful tribute to those fresh, green tomatoes in your backyard - or in my case, pots. We love to eat this chutney with idlis and dosas. But it can also be served as a part of the meal. If I have to serve it with idli/dosa, I add some yogurt else I don't! But this is just my choice!

Hirvya Tomato chi Chutney
Green Tomato chutney
Ingredients
7 raw tomatoes, approx 2 cups chopped
2 green chilies (or per taste)

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

Grind with
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1 tbsp jaggery, grated
salt to taste

Stir in (Optional)
3/4 cup plain yogurt

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and cumin seeds. As they splutter, add sesame seeds. Saute on a low flame till sesame seeds slightly change their color.
2. Now stir in chilies and tomatoes. Saute for 7 minutes.
3. Let the tomato mixture cool down.
4. Grind coarsely with coconut, jaggery and salt

Note
1. While serving this chutney with idli/dosa, I always add some yogurt.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ninave - A besan fudge?

Indian cooking is so vast, that one can never claim that one knows everything about Indian cooking. In spite of being a Mahrashtrian I can never claim that I am familiar with the entire Maharashtrian cooking. Because even within the state of Maharashtra there are so many different ways of cooking the food that it's almost impossible to master it.

I first tasted Ninava at my aunt's place. I remember how meticulously she made this delicacy. So I postponed it till today thinking I can never make any justice to this regional delicacy. But today, I decided to give it a shot. I won't claim it was the best ninava I had eaten but it was not bad either. I had the basic recipe with the ingredient list and the cooking method so I used my own proportions. I think I probably used less ghee. I bluffed (to Gudiya) that it's a fudge. "Chocolate fudge, mumma?" - she asked. "Yeah, try it. You will love it!" -I said. She took first bite skeptically and loved it. She was still not convinced and she told me solemnly, "Mumma, chocolate fudge never has any cardamoms!". :-D


Ninave
Besan Fudge
Ingredients
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 - 1 cup grated jaggery (or per sweet taste)
1/4 cup ghee/clarified butter
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 cardamoms, peeled/crushed
Garnish
12 charolis (optional)
Method
1. Melt ghee in a heavy bottomed kadai/saucepan.
2. Add besan/chickpea flour. Saute on the lowest flame for about 20 - 30 minutes. Stir continuously without letting the flour burnt.
3. Now, Mix coconut milk, jaggery & salt. Pour over the besan mixture. Stir so there are no lumps formed. Saute till a homogeneous mass is formed. Sprinkle crushed cardamoms. Switch off the gas.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F
5. Grease a cake pan. Pour the besan mixture and spread uniformly. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
6. Take out. Let it cool down. Cut into squares.
7. Garnish with charolis if using.
Note -
1. I have reduced the amount of ghee.
2. Sauteing the besan carefully is the most delicate and time consuming job in this delicious delicacy. Extreme care needs to be taken so as it is not burnt but well roasted at the same time.

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