Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fresh Garbanzo Beans

When I grabbed those fresh chickpeas from our local Indian stores, I thought they will be "harbhare". We get fresh chickpeas by a bunch in Mumbai markets. They are so fresh, that you can pop the fresh chickpeas as a tasty snack. and if the greens are fresh, you can even make this delicious bhaaji. But when started peeling them, I realized they were bigger and lighter shade than the fresh chickpeas of Mumbai. That's when I realized that they are fresh kabooli chanas.

Recipe coming soon.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Moong ka Moagra

Moagra in Marathi means the fragrant jasmine flower. But today's moagra is from Rajasthan that I found on sanjeevkapoor.com. :-D

Recipe Source -
http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Recipe.aspx?RecipeId=3696&Header=SearchedRecipe&MenuId=0

Friday, February 26, 2010

Watercress Masoor

Honestly speaking, I was all set to make Rakhee's  masoor palak. But at the last minute I realized that I was out of spinach. I mean I didn't even have any frozen spinach in the freezer. But instead, I had a fresh bunch of watercress. Voila! A wonderful new dish was created. Watercress has a spicy flavor that goes very well with the malvani bhazka masala (roasted masala) and masoor.

Watercress Masoor
Ingredients
2 cups masoor sprouts or 1 cup soaked masoor/lentil
1 bunch watercress, roughly chopped
salt to taste

1 tsp oil for roasting
*Roast and grind (See instructions below)
1/2 onion, sliced (approx = 1/2 cup sliced onion)
1/4 cup coconut
1 or 2 cloves garlic (approx 1 tbsp chopped)
1 tsp Malvani Masala (or per taste)
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp


Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida

Method
1. Pressure cook lentils and set aside
2. Heat oil in a cast iron or iron pan. Roast onion and garlic till they are brown but not burnt. Take out and set aside. Add coconut and fry till it is brown. Grind all the roasted ingredients along with 2 tbsp cooked masoor and malvani masala.
3. Heat oil for tempering in a saucepan. Add onion, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Saute till onion is soft. Add chopped watercress. Saute till the watercress is wilted.
4. Now lightly mash the masoor. Add it to the watercress mixture. Also add the ground masala.
5. Add water to adjust the consistency of the curry. Add salt. Bring to boil.
6. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Cover.
7. Serve with chapati, bhakri or rice.

Note -
1. If you do not have malvani masala, use 1/2 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Adjust the chili powder depending on the desired heat.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Elumichham Pazham Quinoa - Lime Quinoa

Quinoa is the South American (originated in Peru) grain which has entered and stayed in my kitchen for quite a while now. It doesn't have any distinct taste of its own. As a result, it can be tweaked into any recipe without giving too much contrast. Besides it has a great texture. I am on a mission to try out Quinoa in all Indian fried rice/pulaos recipes. I have already tried Thakkali Quinoa and Quinoa Khichdi. So next in line was Lime Quinoa.

Now, I found this recipe Elumichham Pazham Saadham in my pressure cooker recipe book. By using the method of elimination (remember that analytical section of GRE, anyone?;-), I replaced "saadham" by quinoa. I meant to say Lime Quinoa. Did I do ok?

Elumichham Pazham Quinoa
Lime Quinoa
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup quinoa
salt to taste
2 limes, freshly squeezed

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp urad daal
1 - 2 red chilies, halved
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
2 tbsp raw, unsalted peanuts

Method
1. Cook quinoa in double amount of water. Set aside to cool down completely.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till urad daal turns golden and peanuts appear crispy.
3. Switch gas to lowest. Add salt and lime juice. Quickly stir in the cooked and cooled quinoa.
4. Stir to mix well.

Note
1. You can increase or decrease the amount of lime juice depending on the desired tartness.

Recipe Credit
http://www.hawkinscookers.com/8.1.receipe.aspx?rcp_cd=30

Some other recipes with Quinoa that I made so far
Thakkali Quinoa
Quinoa Khichdi
Quinoa Appe
Ghugrya

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Zucchini na Thepla - Zucchini Flatbread

Try this unusual flat bread when you are inundated with Zucchinis in the supermarkets or backyard gardens.

Zucchini na Thepla
Ingredients
1 medium zucchini, grated coarsely (approx = 1 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds powder (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chili-ginger paste
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp carrom seeds/ajmo/owa/ajwain
water as needed
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
oil for roasting
Method
1. Mix all the ingredients except water and oil. Try to knead using the moisture from zucchini first and then add water gingerly to make a dough. Add 1 tsp oil and knead some more till the dough does not stick to your hand. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
2. Roll into thin flat breads/theplas. Roast on a hot tawa/pan/griddle adding oil as needed. Roast on both the sides till brown spots appear.
3. Keep covered in a clean cotton kitchen napkin or aluminum foil.
Note -
1. While roasting I use oil only for one side of the flat bread
2. I have used both chili powder and chili-ginger paste. For the milder taste, use any of the two.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Parwar chi Bhaji

One of Gudiya's baby books from India describes Parwar as a striped pear gourd. But in India, it goes by parwar in Marathi/Gujarati, Goyanta in Konkani and probably potol in Bengali. What do you call it?


Parwar chi Bhaaji
परवरची भाजी
Parwar Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 lb parwar, ends discarded, cut into slices
1 or 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into slices
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder


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

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)


Method
0. After slicing the veggies, put them in water till tempering is getting ready.
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
2. As the seeds splutter, drain the veggies & add to the pan. Stir fry till oil coats the veggies. Add chili powder and stir again.
3. Switch the gas to medium. Cover with a lid with water on top. Let it cook till veggies are cooked - soft but not mushy.
4. Add salt & coconut - if using.
5. Serve with chapati or ghadichi poLi.


Note -
1. The same bhaaji is also made without using the lid. In that case, it needs more oil where it is stir fried till crisp. This method is called "partun" or "paratleli" bhaaji.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beet Dethi

I came up with this recipe by combining Aluchi Dethi and Beet chi Koshimbeer. Just like Aluchi dethi, this salad has only the stems of beet greens and just like beet koshimbeer, I have also added daaNyache koot - roasted, unsalted peanut powder.

Beet chi Dethi
Beet Stems Salad
Ingredients
10 stems of beet greens, chopped into pieces by removing any threads

1 cup yogurt
1- 2 green chilies, chopped (or per taste)
salt to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanut powder/DaaNyache koot

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida

Method
1. Pressure cook beet stems along with 1 tbsp water for 2 whistles. Let them cool down.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
4. Drizzle tempered oil in the salad. Mix well.

Note -
1. I used fat-free Greek yogurt. Regular yogurt works well too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chanyan Ghashi

As I have mentioned here about South Canara curries, this "ghasshi" needs ubiquitous trinity of coconut, red chilies and tamarind and tempering of curry leaves and mustard seeds in coconut oil. It is as simple to make as it sounds, however the taste is really out of this world. Serve with plain steaming rice and some traditional upkari and nonche! Yum!!

Generally, Chanyan Ghashi was made on Fridays at my grandma's so I decided to blog about it on a Friday as well!

Chanyan Ghashi
Black Chana Curry
Ingredients
3 cups chana sprouts (1 cup raw chana will give about 3 cups sprouts)
1/2 cup yam pieces

Grind to a smooth paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
7 byadgi chilies, roasted quickly in a drop of coconut oil
1 tsp tamarind pulp

Tempering
1 tsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain rice
Nonche/Manglori pickle
Any upkari (e.g. raw banana or green beans)
Roasted papad/happaL

Method
1. Pressure cook chana and yam pieces. Set aside.
2. Grind masala to a very fine paste, adding water as needed.
3. Pour boiled chana and yam in a saucepan. Pour ground masala. Mix adding water to adjust the curry consistency. Add salt. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the gas.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add ingredients for tempering. Add sizzling oil to the curry. Cover with the lid immediately.


Note -
1. If sprouts are not available, you can used soaked chana too.
2. I have reduced the amount of coconut.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kairi kanda loNche - raw mango& onion pickle

As a kid, this sweet-sour-spicy pickle used to be my favorite. For this pickle, aaji used white onion exclusively. In Mumbai, Vasaiwala brings these white onions tied into a braid.

Kairi-Kanda LoNache
कैरी कांदा लोणचे
Raw Mango-White Onion Pickle
Ingredients
1 raw mango, chopped into dice
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste

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

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and fenugreek seeds.
2. As they start spluttering, add onion. Saute for 2 minutes. Now add raw mango pieces. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid. Cook till soft.
3. Add chili powder, jaggery and salt. Let the jaggery melt completely. Simmer till thick achar kind of consistency is reached.
4. Switch off the gas. Let it cool down completely. Transfer in a ceramic bowl.
5. Refrigerate after using. Use within 2-3 days in the fridge.

Note -
1. Use only white onion for this recipe. I am not talking about spring onion or scallion.
2. Since this pickle needs to be finished within 2-3 days, always make it in a small quantity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bharla Sole - Stuffed Sole (fish)

Bombil which goes by the quaint name "Bombay Duck" is actually a fish. You need to get bombil to make this delicacy. But I have substituted "Sole" fillets for this recipe. Something is better than nothing, right?:-D

Bharla Sole
Stuffed Sole Fillets
Ingredients
6 sole fillets
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
oil for shallow frying

Grind to fine paste
1 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup fresh coconut
2-3 green chilies (or per taste)
1/2" ginger
2-3 cloves garlic
A pinch of salt

for dredging
1/4 cup rice flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp malvani masala

Method
1. Rinse sole fillets. Pat them dry with paper towel. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
2. Grind green masala paste finely, preferably without adding any water. Set aside.
3. Mix rice flour, salt, turmeric powder & Malvani masala in a big plate. Set aside.
4. Take sole fillets out of the refrigerator. Spread one fillet at a time on a plate. Spread green chutney/paste in the middle of the fillet. Roll the fillet like jelly rolls. Dredge the parcel and its sides, evenly in rice flour mixture. Make all the fillets ready.
5. Heat a non-stick pan with oil. Place all the fillets. Shallow fry till they are crunchy from all sides.
6. Drain on an absorbent paper. Serve.

Note -
1. You can even deep fry these fillets. Just take care that the fillets are completely coated with rice flour so chutney doesn't ooze out while getting fried.
2. Note that salt is added to the chutney, fish and the rice flour. Adjust the amount without overdoing it.
3. While spreading the green chutney, do not spread it too much near the sides of the fillets. It should not come out while frying.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MuLyachya Paalyachi Bhaaji (1)- Radish Greens Stir Fry

Addition of besan/chickpea flour to the simple stir fries enhances the taste and flavor of the vegetables. Mom makes several "peeth perun/lavun bhaajya". Spring onions, onions, cabbage, bell peppers, green tomatoes, cilantro and methi leaves to name just a few! However while making radish greens bhaaji, instead of using the usual besan, my grandmother always used wheat flour.

MuLyachya Paalyachi Bhaaji (peeth perun/lavun)
मुळ्याच्या पाल्याची भाजी (गव्हाचे पीठ पेरून )
Radish Greens Stir fry
Ingredients
1 bunch radish greens, finely chopped along with stems
1 small chunk of radish, peeled and chopped finely
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
wheat flour - as needed
1 tbsp oil (optional)

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

Method
0. Clean and rinse radish leaves. Shred them using a knife. Peel a radish chunk and cut into small pieces.

1. Heat oil in a wok or preferably iron kadai. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, green chilies and turmeric powder.
2. As the seeds sizzle, add chopped radish greens with radish pieces. Saute. Let the greens cook. Add salt and chili powder.
3. Now, sprinkle wheat flour - a spoonful at a time, so as the bhaaji starts looking dryish. You may need to add another spoonful of oil at this point to help wheat flour cook a bit. The raw smell of the wheat flour should go away. It should become little crispy.
4. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot with chapati.

Note -
1. Traditionally, this bhaaji is made in iron kadai. After the bhaaji is cooked, keep it in a ceramic container, else it will start turning blackish if kept in the iron container for a long time.
2. More oil enhances the taste of this bhaaji.
3. Make sure the radish greens are fresh for this bhaaji.
 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Beet Greens Thoran

My friend, S used to make this thoran very regularly. After a long time, I found fresh beet greens at Whole Foods. I immediately thought of making this delicious thoran.

Beet greens Thoran
Beet Greens Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 bunch beet greens with stems (the greens come with the beet roots)
salt to taste

Tempering
2 tsp oil (or coconut oil for an authentic taste)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp urad daal
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 -2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 shallots, minced
2 dry red chilies, halved

Garnish
Fresh coconut (per taste)

Method
1. Soak beet greens in water to remove all the dirt and impurities. Rinse in several changes of water.
2. Roughly chop the greens. Chop the stems by removing threads.
3. Heat oil of you choice in a wok or saucepan.
4. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, urad daal. As daal turns reddish, add garlic cloves, curry leaves, shallot, red chilies. Saute till shallot is soft.
5. Now add beet greens and stems. Stir fry. Cover and let it cook till the leaves are wilted and stems are cooked.
6. Add salt to taste and fresh coconut.

Note -
1. Always add salt after greens are cooked because initially when you add the greens they appear a lot in size. But after getting cooked, they are wilted. So adjust salt accordingly.
2. If you do not have shallot, onion can be used in desired proportion.
3. Note that since everything looks red in this stir fry, pay attention while eating. The red chilies may look like stems of beet. :-D

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vengan na Pooda - Eggplant dosa

When my MIL mentioned about eggplant pancake, I was really intrigued. You may like this unusual pancake if you love your eggplant.

Vengan na Pooda
Eggplant Pancake
Ingredients
1 medium eggplant (bharta variety)
1 cup vada nu loat or besan
1 tbsp finely chopped onion or spring onion
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp rice flour
salt to taste
1 tsp green chili - ginger paste
2 tbsp sour yogurt
water as needed


Oil for shallow frying/roasting


Method
1. Grease eggplant and roast/grill it like you would do for bhurta/bharit.
2. Peel and mash the pulp.
3. Add remaining ingredients except water and oil. Add water gingerly to make a thick batter consistency.
4. Spread on the hot griddle/pan to make thick & small pancakes.
5. Add oil as needed. Flip on the other side. Make sure it's is uniformly cooked on both sides.
6. Serve with any chutney or tomato ketchup.


Note -
1. This pooda has a soft crust.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oondyo

I love to eat oondyo with coconut oil. They can be described as steamed dumplings made from rice rawa.


OonDyo
Steamed cream of rice dumplings
Ingredients
1 cup cream of rice/idli rawa/coarsely powdered rice
2 cups water
salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh coconut

Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
2 byadgi chilies, halved


Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai or saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
2. As they splutter, stir in the cream of rice
3. Fry for 1 minute. Add water and salt.
4. As it reaches porridge like consistency, add fresh coconut. Cover and switch off the gas.
5. When the mixture is still warm, makes small marble sized balls using greased hands.
6. Press each ball with your thumb to make a depression.
7. Steam all the balls for 15 minutes.
8. Serve hot with a dollop of coconut oil


Note -
1. Do not use rice flour. It has to have a coarse semolina like consistency.
2. I have reduced the quantity of the coconut.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ALambi - Batata: Mushroom & Potato curry

My best friend has shared her MIL's recipe with me. Since Gudiya loves mushrooms, this recipe became an instant hit at our home.



ALambi - Batata
अळंबी बटाटा
Mushrooms-Potatoes Curry
Ingredients
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2-3 small potatoes, peeled & sliced
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced


1 tsp malvani masala (adjust per desired heat level)
1/2 cup reduced fat coconut milk


Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped


Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add turmeric powder.
2. Add onions. Fry for 3 minutes. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Let it cook.
3. Now, add malvani masala, mushrooms. Let them cook.
4. Add salt to taste. Add more water if required.
5. Add coconut milk. Let it simmer.
6. Garnish with cilantro.


Note -
1. I used baby portabella mushrooms for this recipe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Malvani Masala

I constantly get this request to post the recipe for Malvani Masala. Unfortunately, I do not have the recipe yet. But I found one recipe source at sanjeevkapoor.com so decided to share it with you all.


Recipe Source -
http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Recipe.aspx?RecipeId=3242&Header=Searched Recipe&MenuId=0

Monday, February 8, 2010

Moogachi MisaL

When I visited S. maushi during my recent India trip, she served this moogachi misaL. She makes it without any onion or garlic. It tasted really good.



Moogachi MisaL
मुगाची मिसळ
Moong sprouts chaat
Ingredients

For UsaL
3 cups moong sprouts
salt to taste
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp goda masala
1/2 tbsp jaggery (or per taste)

Grind to paste

2 tbsp fresh coconut
1/2 cup cilantr0
2-3 green chilies or per taste
2" ginger, peeled & chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric pwoder
2-3 sprigs curry leaves, torn

Also,
1 recipe bhadang

Garnish
cilantro
onion (optional)
sev, boondi
Lemon

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering. As they sizzle, add green paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add moong sprouts, goda masala and 3 cups water. Bring to boil. Lower the gas. Cover with a lid. Let it cook till moongs are soft but not a mush.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, jaggery. Simmer for few more minutes. It should not be completely dry. So add more water if needed.
4. To serve, spread bhadang in a plate. Top it with moogachi usal/curry. Squeeze some lemon juice.Sprinkle some sev, boondi (all or any). Garnish with onion if using & cilantro.

Note -
1. Instead of bhadang, vagharela mamra or even readymade dry bhel mix can also be used.
2. 1 cup raw mung beans will give about 3 or 3 1/2 cups sprouts
3. UsaL should not be completely dry. It needs to have some gravy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Cooking with my Indian Mother-in-law" - Review

When I do not get time to visit the library, I just browse through their web catalog and order the books online. One such day, I noticed a new book "Cooking with my Indian Mother-in-law". Without even reading the details, I ordered the book, thinking it's a joint venture of mother-in-law & daughter-in-law team. How interesting, I thought. But when the book arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to read it was actually mother-in-law & son-in-law team. Mrs. Roshan Hirani a.k.a. Rose and her British son-in-law, Mr. Simon Daley have written this beautiful book which represents traditional Bohri cuisine.

Mrs. Hirani in Indian Bohri muslim with roots in Africa. Her recipes are simple. The son-in-law claims that he fell in love with his co-worker (now his wife) who used to bring delicious food made by Mrs. Hirani. and thus this culinary journey began.

Due to their Bohri heritage (as they speak Gujarati), some names were very familiar and the methods (pounding garlic with salt) are quite similar to that of my own MIL. But I can't imagine any non-vegetarian preparation in my MIL's kitchen. So when I read the fish, chicken recipes with Gujarati names, I giggled. Even some vegetarian recipes have very unique name like posho nu shaak for green beans stir fry (we call it fansi in Gujarati at our home) or janjara nu shaak for Rajma.

Just the way recipes differ from home to home, the simple dhoklas and handvos made in our home are different than those mentioned in the book. But we all know that "traditional" food really changes from family to family.

I also loved the photos with Mrs Hirani's beautiful dress in the background.

Some of the recipes that I have tried so far -

Chora nu saak - Our chora nu shaak always has red pumpkin in it and we make it on the auspicious days like new year. Thus we call it "Sukun nu shaak". But Mrs. Hirani's version was different with onion & tomatoes, but it was delicious nonetheless!


Janjara nu saak - I didn't know rajma is called janjaru in Gujarati. I learn something new every day.


Soneya nu saak - I really giggled when I heard this name for prawns. Non-vegetarian food is a strict no-no in my MIL's kitchen. So the name soneyu for prawns was totally different for me. In Parsi Gujarati, they call "kolmi" which is similar sounding to Marathi kolmbi. So this sonyu was totally a new discovery. :-D


Kaarela nu saak - Onion-tomatoes add a different flavor to this curry. Mr. Daley invites you to try it if you love strident flavors.



Spinach and red pumpkin was totally a new combination for me. Worth a try.

Peas pulao - Green peas, eggs, and rice make this dish very tasty. I loved their step by step pictures too. I added more veggies than just green peas.

Check out the book to understand the secrets from the Bohri kitchen. Check it out also for a wonderful culinary tribute to a mother-in-law from her son in law.

Update - A reader, Naina shares the origin of the words posho and janjaro which are in fact, Swahili words.
She says -
"Hi. I too have this book. The words 'posho' and 'janjaro' are in fact swahili words. Swahili is spoken in Uganda and Kenya (E. Africa) where a lot of Indians come from (including myself). Quite a lot of swahili words have become incorporated into our spoken gujarati."
Thanks Naina for sharing this information.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bharela Ravaiyya nu Shaak

I make stuffed eggplants quite regularly in my kitchen. Let's savor the Gujarati style today.

Bharela Ravaiyya nu Shaak
Stuffed Eggplant
Ingredients
4-5 small eggplants
4-5 small potatoes
salt to taste

**Grind to a smooth paste
2 green chilies
1" ginger, peeled
3 garlic cloves
salt to taste

For the stuffing -
1 cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp coriander-cumin seed powder
**Ginger-garlic-chili paste from above
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp Gujarati Garam Masala

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method
1. Wash eggplants and potatoes. Peel the potatoes. Stem the eggplants. Slit both the vegetable in quarters without breaking them completely.
2. Mix all the ingredients for stuffing. Carefully stuff the stuffing into eggplants and potatoes without breaking the vegetables.
3. Heat oil in a prestige pressure pan. Add turmeric powder. Saute till the oil becomes yellow. Carefully place the stuffed eggplants and potatoes in a single layer. On a low flame let them cook for 2 minutes. Flip the vegetables and again cook for about 2 minutes. They should become a little brown.
4. Add 3/4 cups water. Bring to boil. Close the lid. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
5. Let the pressure drop of its own. Now open the lid and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes, making sure that the vegetables are cooked. However, the veggies should still be able to hold their shape.

Note -
1. Small eggplants used for stuffing are called Ravaiyya in Gujarati.
2. The curry needs to have a little gravy so add water and bring to boil if the water is evaporated in the pressure cooking process.
3. I have substantially reduced the amount of oil.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dudhi Mutter nu Shaak


Last weekend, I went to the newly opened oriental market. I found some amazingly different and delectable veggies and fruit there. They even had "tadgola" - unfortunately it was not cut and I have no idea how to extract the fruit from it. So though I was really tempted to buy it, I just bought bottle gourd (dudhi), bittergourd (karela) and eggplants.
As I was driving home, I thought of the curry which I have not blogged it yet. So here it is -

Dudhi Mutter nu Shaak
Bottle gourd-green peas curry
Ingredients
1 medium bottle gourd, peeled, seeded, chopped approx = 3 cups
1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 tomato, chopped

1tsp ginger-green chili paste
1 tsp Gujarati garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
A small pinch of sugar

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

Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmercic powder.
2. As the seeds splutter, add chili-ginger paste, dudhi pieces, tomato and green peas.
3. Add 1 cup water. Cover and let it cook till dudhi is soft.
4. Add salt to taste, sugar, garam masala, chili powder.
5. Add more water to get the desired consistency. Let it simmer.
6. Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. You can even make this a dry curry by letting the water evaporate completely.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ALuchi Dethi - Taro Stems salad


Mostly, the general rule of thumb in any Indian kitchen, is to respect food and use the resources without leaving too many carbon footprints. When the veggies are used, the new recipes are created to use the stems, peels & seeds. One such recipe, that my grandmother used to make is "ALuchi Dethi". Stems are called "deTH" in Marathi (to be pronounced as "they - TH"). If paatalbhaji is to be made, then those stems are chopped and used in the curry along with the leaves. But when you make pathrode or AluVadi then what will you do with the stems? Well, you chop them and make a salad just like this -




ALuchi Dethi
अळूची देठी
Colcoasia Stems Salad
Ingredients

1/2 cup colocasia/taro stems, chopped

1 cup plain yogurt


Grind to a coarse paste

1 - 2 green chilies

1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds


Tempering

1 tsp oil or ghee

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida



Method

1. Pressure cook stems or cook till they are soft. Let them cool down.

2. Add yogurt, salt, green chili paste. Stir and set aside.

3. Add oil/ghee in a small saucepan. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida. As they start splutter, drizzle over the salad.

4. Mix well before serving.


Note
1. I used fat-free, organic yogurt.
2. Taro stems are chopped by removing the peel like you would do for the drumsticks vegetable.

Monday, February 1, 2010

ALavati - Konkani taro Leaves Curry

My grandmother used to make this delicious curry from ALu/Taro leaves/Colocasia leaves. Every spring, I throw some taro roots in a pot of soil and in no time, beautiful taro leaves come out ready for ALu vadi, paatra, pathrode, paataL bhaaji/phatphatay, ghasshi and aLwati.

This curry has a beautifully refreshing flavor due to the addition of ginger.

ALwati
Taro leaves-Ginger curry
Ingredients
20-25 taro leaves, shredded along with stems, approx = 3 cups
1 tbsp peeled & minced fresh ginger
1-2 green chilies, slit


Grind to a smooth paste
1/3 cup fresh coconut
4-5 byadgi chilies, roasted in few drops of coconut oil
1 tsp tamarind pulp


Tempering
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves


Method
1. Pressure cook leaves and stems adding ginger, chilies and 3/4 cup water. Set aside.
2. Grind masala to a fine paste.
3. Mix ground masala and cooked leaves. Adding water to get curry like consistency, bring to boil
4. Add salt to taste. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer.
5. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
6. Pour sizzling oil over the simmering curry. Cover immediately with a lid. Switch off the gas.


Note -
1. I have substantially reduced the amount of coconut and coconut oil.
2. These were the homegrown leaves. I needed 20-25 leaves to get 3 cups of shredded leaves.
3. There are two types of taro leaves available in market. The ones with light green color with smaller size are used for curries. The bigger darker green with dark stems are used to make paatra and ALuwadi.
4. You need to add some sour agent in any dish made with taro leaves. Sometimes , after consuming, they give an itchy feeling to the throat. Souring agent like tamarind, kokum, yogurt etc. removes that itchy characteristic of the taro leaves.
5. You can add some corn on cobs in this curry. In that case, pressure cook along with the taro leaves.

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