Monday, May 31, 2010

Tulsi - Holy Basil

Thanks to those who participated in my little guessing game. Though Methi and Curry leaves are equally appreciated by Indians, the mystery plant which I was talking about yesterday was Holy Basil. So Mints, you got it right!

We call it "tuLas" in Marathi. It goes by the name "tulsi" in many Indian languages. There are two varieties of holy basil in India. One is with lighter green leaves and the other is dark, blackish/purplish green leaves. The first one is called "Ram TuLas" and the darker is called "Krishna TuLas" in Marathi. Holy basil has lots of religious significance in Hindu religion. Any offering (naivedya) or teerth is always anointed/garnished with a leaf of holy basil. It also has lots of medicinal properties.

I tried growing holy basil from seeds borrowed from friends and relatives. However, I didn't have much luck. I feel lucky that I found it in our farmers market. So far, the plant is still little. It does not have seeds yet(which we call Manjiri in Marathi).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cuban Oregano - Owa


My last visit to the farmers market was really memorable. While I was browsing through the herbs pots, I came across this "Cuban Oregano". Though I didn't recognize this plant by the name cuban oregano, I knew it was owa. My grandmother used to make delicious fritters with those velvetty leaves. Last year, I even threw some owa/ajwain/ajmo seeds in the soil to see if I get those leaves. But instead, I got these leaves. Now, I know the difference. There are many different varieties of oregano family.

Anyway, I excitedly told the farmer lady that we use these leaves in India and never imagined that I could find it here. "Are you from India? See if you like this!" - She took me at the back of her stall and pointed to a small plant. "Many people who are originally from India, come here to get this plant from me because not many farmers grow it here!". Needless to say, I just went ahead and bought both Cuban Oregano and the prized plant that's favored by Indians!

Any guesses?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Papai Koshimbeer


Raw papaya  is a delicacy. Mom uses it to make bhaaji or koshimbeer. MIL uses it to make muthiya.


Papai chi Koshimbeer
पपईची कोशिंबीर
Raw Papaya salad
Ingredients

1 small raw papaya/papai/popai, peeled & grated approx. = 2cups

1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts - powdered

1 small lemon, squeezed

1-2 green chilies, chopped

salt to taste

1/4 tsp sugar (optional)


Tempering

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp cumin seeds


Garnish

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)


Method

1. Mix grated papaya, salt, sugar - if using, powdered peanuts, lemon and chilies together in a bowl.

2. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering.

3. Drizzle the tempered oil over the salad.

4. Garnish with cilantro and coconut if using.


Note -

1. Do not use ripe papaya.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dudhi Moog daal




This bhaaji can be made dry or with a little gravy. When carrying as a part of lunch box (PoLi-bhaaji cha daba), mom makes it dry.

Dudhi chi Bhaaji (Moog daal ghalun)
Bottle gourd-moong daal Curry
Ingredients
1 medium bottle gourd/dudhi, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup yellow moong daal, soaked in water for 3 hours
(if you are in a hurry, soak it in warm water for 1/2 hour)
salt to taste

Grind to a coarse paste
2 tbsp fresh coconut
1/2" ginger
2 green chilies (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds


Method
1. Heat oil in a kadai or saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As they sizzle, add drained moong daal. Saute for 3 minutes. Add bottle gourd pieces. Saute for 1 minute.
3. Add ground coconut paste, 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil.
4. Switch the gas to low. Cover partially with a lid. Check from time to time sothat the water is not evaporated. Let it cook till bottle gourd is soft. But daal should not be a complete mush.
5. Add salt to taste. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.


Note -
1. If you want a gravy, add more water or for dry subzi, let the water evaporate completely.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pudinewali Kadhi


As I mentioned before, I learnt this Kadhi from my Punjabi friend. I actually have another version of Punjabi kadhi with wadies in the draft. But addition of mint makes this kadhi totally different than the other version. I added mint out of sheer curiosity. It definitely added extra punch and flavor.

This Kadhi seems like a perfect addition to our summer menu especially since my mint is growing outrageously.

Pudinewali Kadhi
Buttermilk curry with fresh mint
Ingredients
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups water
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 small tomato, chopped

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp minced onion
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste

Garnish
6-7 fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 green chilies, minced/chopped/slit - depending on heat, reduce the amount or just add slit the chilies instead of mincing them

Method
1. Whisk yogurt, water and besan together to make a smooth mixture without any lumps
2. Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. Add onion. Saute till soft, add ginger-garlic paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add tomato pieces. Fry for 1 minute. Add garam masala. Mix well.
5. Now add yogurt mixture, salt to taste. Add more water, if needed to get the desired consistency.
6. Keep stirring till it comes to a rapid boil.
7. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
8. Switch off the gas. Stir in mint leaves and green chilies. Cover with a lid. Set aside for at least 5 minutes before serving.
9. Serve with plain rice or khichdi.

Note -
1. My friend advised me to pass the yogurt-water-besan mixture through a sieve to make sure that there is no lump remaining. I don't bother with this step because I am always in a hurry!!
2. If you do not have fresh mint, just skip mint altogether. Do not use dried mint. It will taste totally different.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Bharli Karli


Peanuts, goda masala, tamarind, jaggery, bitter gourd, sesame seeds - add the entire gamut of tastes.


Bharli Karli
भरली कारली
Stuffed Bittergourds

Ingredients
3 medium or 6 small bittergourds


Stuffing

1 onion, finely chopped approx = 1 cup

1/4 cup fresh coconut

1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup roasted,unsalted peanuts powdered/daanyache koot

salt to taste

2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1 tsp grated jaggery

1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tbsp goda masala

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste


Tempering

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Garnish

1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves


Method

0. Scrape the bittergourds. Remove both the ends. Make a lengthwise slit on the gourds.

1. Mix all the stuffing ingredients. Carefully, stuff the stuffing inside the gourds.

2. Heat oil. Add tempering ingredients. As they sizzle, gently place the stuffed bittergourds. Lower the gas. Let them brown for about 5 minutes.

3. Sprinkle remaining stuffing masala around and between the bittergourds. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.

4. Switch the gas to low. Cover and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes or till bittergourds are cooked.

5. Take off the lid. Let it simmer till a thick gravy is formed.

6. Garnish with coriander leaves.



Note

1. After stuffing the bittergourds, there should be remaining stuffing to make the gravy.

2. If bittergourds are fresh and if you really like bitter taste, you can chop the seeds and add to the stuffing.

3. Generally, after scraping and slitting the gourds, salt is applied and bittergourds are kept aside for 10-15 minutes. Then squeeze out the moisture. This step lessens the bitter taste of the gourds. I love bitter taste and I do not find bittergourds, at least available here too bitter for my taste. So I skip this step.

4. In order to expedite the process, you can use pressure pan to steam the gourds.

5. If bittergourds are big, you can cut them into two and then make a slit.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wadiwale Aloo

I made vadiwale (or wadiwale or badiwale!) aloo tonight for dinner. My recipe is simple and it will change every time depending on my whim and pantry. I may cut potatoes differently, use boiled potatoes, may add ginger-garlic paste, garnish with kasoori methi...each change will result in totally different flavor. I recently learnt a wonderful Kadhi recipe from my Punjabi friend where she adds fresh mint leaves after switching off the gas and then covers it with lid. I borrowed that trick and added fresh mint leaves from my kitchen garden.

In a nutshell, this recipe may not be your authentic recipe. It will change with me and my many moods.

Wadiwale Aloo
Potatoes and Punjabi wadis
Ingredients
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled & sliced, soaked in water till ready to use
4-5 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
1 or 2 Punjabi wadis, smacked

salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 small onion, roughly sliced

Garnish
4-5 mint leaves, finely chopped

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients except onion. As they start spluttering, add onion. Saute till onion is soft.
2. Stir in tomatoes and wadies. Saute for 2 minutes.
3. Now add potatoes, 2 cups water, garam masala, paprika. Bring to boil.
4. Switch the gas to low. Cover partially with a lid. Cook till potatoes are soft but not mushy.
5. Add salt. Let it simmer till the desired consistency is reached.
6. Switch off the gas. Stir in minced mint leaves. Cover with a lid

Note -
1. Boiled potatoes can be used.
2. I used grape tomatoes because they were readily available in my refrigerator.
3. Ginger-garlic paste may be added too.

Dadpe Pohe (American Desi way!) - Poha salad


Dadpe pohe is a traditional Maharashtrian breakfast item. Thin pohe mixed with fresh coconut, sprinkled with some coconut water and tucked away for 15 minutes and then mixed with onion, ginger and drizzled with tempered oil. Delicious!

I have two problems. One , I do not get good quality fresh coconut here. Frozen or dessicated is just not right for this pohe! Secondly, even if I get fresh coconut, my calorie requirements do not allow me to use that much coconut. This pohe tastes best with abundant fresh coconut. After all, the fresh coconut makes thin pohe moist and delicious!

So here's my version. Instead of coconut, I used - shredded iceberg lettuce and made my own pohe salad!
:-)

Dadpe Pohe - (serves 2)
दडपे पोहे
Flattened Rice Salad
Ingredients
American Desi way
2 fists thick pohe, rinsed and drained and kept aside for 20 minutes
1 fist shredded iceberg lettuce (add more if you like)

Traditional way
2 fists thin pohe
2 -3 fists fresh coconut

Common ingredients
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp grated, peeled ginger
1 key lime, freshly squeezed
salt to taste

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
1 tbsp roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 green chili, chopped

Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp sev (optional)

Method
1. For American Desi way, wash and drain thick pohe and keep aside with a lid. Do not disturb for at least 20 minutes. Just before serving, mix in iceberg lettuce.
2. For the traditional way, mix fresh coconut with thin pohe with your hand. The moisture from the coconut should make the thin pohe soft. So use plenty of coconut. Sprinkle 3 - 4 drops of coconut water. Cover and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
3. Add grated ginger, onions, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan/foDNichi paLi. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
5. Drizzle sizzling oil over the pohe mixture. Mix well.
6. Garnish with cilantro and sev - if using.
7. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. In my family, we do not use turmeric for this pohe. But you can certainly add it in the tempering along with other ingredients.
2. One fistful of pohe per person is my grandmother's proportion. You can easily make your own changes to the proportion.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Eggless Banana Pudding

What happens when aaji's** eggless banana cake meets aaji's** eggless bread pudding? You get Aaji's** eggless banana pudding. :-)

Eggless Banana Pudding
Ingredients1/2 cup mashed banana (use ripe bananas)
1 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar (more or less per taste)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
A pinch of salt
2 green cardamoms, peeled & crushed


For caramel
1 tbsp. sugar

 
Method
1. Mash bananas. Add yogurt and milk to make a smooth batter.
2. Mix all purpose flour, sugar and salt with baking soda.
3. Add flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix well.
4. Cover and keep aside for 1 hour.
5. Heat water in steamer.
6. Add 1 tbsp. sugar in a pudding pot. Keep on the gas to get the caramelized sugar.
7. Immediately pour the batter or else the caramel will get too hard.
8. Cover and steam in the steamer for 45 - 60 minutes.
9. Take off the steamer. Remove the lid.
10. Let it cool down completely.
11. Loosen from the sides by inserting knife around the edges carefully. Invert on a serving platter.
12. Serve warm with cold vanilla ice-cream

**Aaji = grandma

Note -
1. I have never made or eaten this pudding adding eggs. Addition of eggs and/or butter may result in fluffier texture.
2. I didn't grease the pudding pot and still got excellent result.
3. I used skim milk and yogurt made from skim milk. For richer taste, use whole milk and yogurt made from whole milk.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alla Roganjosh


Gudiya loved butternut squash ever since she was a little baby. So I make butternut squash quite regularly. I had bookmarked this recipe for a long time. I substitute butternut squash for almost all pumpkin recipes with very favorable outcome. I also got an opportunity to use my Kashmiri masala from Katra.

Recipe Source -
http://getahead.rediff.com/slide-show/2009/aug/04/slide-show-1-aromas-of-kashmir-alla-roganjosh-and-more.htm#contentTop

Note -
You may need to click on "Next" on link provided, to go to the last recipe of Alla Roganjosh.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mutter Shufta

This curry seemed to be perfect for a weeknight meal. No grinding masalas , no chopping onions! My kind of a curry for a busy day! I have absolutely no idea about how authentic this dish is, as I have modified it from the Prestige recipe booklet to suit our taste.


Mutter Shufta
Recipe inspired by Prestige Recipe booklet
Ingredients
2 cups green peas (I used frozen peas)
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese (or mawa/khoya/khava)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
Tempering
1 tbsp mustard oil
A pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Garnish
1 tbsp crushed kasoori methi
Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As they sizzle, add cheese and yogurt. Stir fry for 15 minutes on a medium flame.
3. Add paprika, kashmiri garam masala and salt to taste.
4. Add green peas and 1/2 cup water.
5. Cook for 10 more minutes. Adjust the gravy consistency.
6. Switch off the gas. Add kasoori methi. Cover with a lid.
Note -
1. If using fresh green peas, pressure cook them before adding to the curry.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vangi Quinoa from Vaishali's Vangi Bhat

Vaishali's blog - Holy cow! is an encyclopedia of Vegan cooking. I have bookmarked many of her recipes. Last week, I tried her vangi bhat with a twist. So I thought it's just right for Nupur's copycat - adaptation theme.


My modifications -
1. I tweaked the original recipe by replacing rice with quinoa.
2. I also threw in some handful of green peas along with eggplants.




This is my entry to Nupur's Blog Bites - Adaptation theme.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shepu chi Bhaji(1)

Dill is called Shepu in Marathi. It has a distinct licorice like sweetish flavor, which is devoured by some and absolutely abhorred by the rest. I fall somewhere in the middle. I am not a great "shepu" lover but I do not hate it either. This is how my mom makes shepu chi bhaaji.

Shepu chi Bhaaji(1)
शेपू ची भाजी
Dill Leaves Stir fry
Ingredients
1 bunch dill/shepu/suva, chopped
1/4 cup moong daal, soaked for 3 hours, drained
3 tbsp roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely powdered/daaNyache kooT
1 tbsp besan
salt to taste

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

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida. As they splutter, add garlic cloves and chilies. Fry till garlic cloves are a golden brown.
2. Add drained moong daal. Saute for 2 minutes. Sprinkle some water.
3. Add chopped dill leaves. Cover with a lid. Keep water on the lid. Cook till moong daal is soft but not mushy.
4. Take off the lid. Add salt, peanut powder. Stir well. Sprinkle some besan. Cook for 5 more minutes.
5. Serve hot with chapati or bhakri.

Note -
1. Each grain of moong daal should be cooked but still separated. It should not be a mush.
 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Moong Daal Pancake and waffles

This is my attempt to make a healthy version of waffles/pancakes by sneaking in daal and turmeric powder. Of course, my little gourmand commented it looks too yellow to be called a pancake!



Moong Daal Waffles & Pancakes (4 count)

Ingredients

1/3 cup moong daal
1/2 cup organic buttermilk pancake/waffle mix
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (optional)

oil for greasing

Method
1. Soak moong daal 4 hours. Drain and grind adding salt and turmeric powder - if using, to a fine paste.
2. Stir in pancake/waffle mix. Add enough water to make pancake like consistency.


For pancakes -
Heat a pan. Grease and proceed to make pancakes

For waffles -
I used Cuisinart waffle maker. I used mark 3


Note
1. It gave me 2 waffles and 2 pancakes

2. I served this waffle/pancake with agave nectar.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wadiwale Chawal

When we picked thoses vadis (or badies) from Amritsar, the shop owner suggested 3 recipes - wadiwale chawal, wadivali kadhi and wadivale alu. So I am on the mission of trying them all.

Wadiwale Chawal
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 cup mixed veggies (carrots, green peas, cauliflower florets etc)
3 cups water
salt to taste
1 tsp Punjabi Garam Masala
2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed by hand
1 Punjabi wadi, smacked

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 cloves
4-5 black peppercorn
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

Method
1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker or pressure cooker handi.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering. As they sizzle, add wadi pieces. Saute till they appear crisp.
3. Add vegetables. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add rice. Fry for 2 minutes.
5. Now, add water, salt and punjabi garam masala.
6. Bring to boil. Close the lid. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
7. Let the pressure drop of its own. Open the pressure cooker. Add crushed kasoori methi. Fluff the rice with fork.

Note -
1. You can make this pulao without using pressure cooker.
2. I use lots of veggies in my pulao recipes. So 1 1/2 cup mixed vegetables is not a typo!;-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Laal Vaal na bhaat

A simple sprouts and rice combo prepared South Gujarati way.


Laal vaal na bhaat

Ingredients

1 cup laal vaal ni daal

1 cup rice

salt to taste

1 tbsp raisins

1 tsp Gujarati Garam Masala

1/2 tsp sugar

3 cups water



Grind to a fine paste

1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2" ginger

3 green chilies



Tempering

2 tsp oil or ghee/clarified butter

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 sprig curry leaves, torn

1/8 tsp ajmo/owa/carrom seeds/ajwain

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method

1. Rinse and drain rice.

2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the tempering ingredients.

3. As they sizzle, add raisins. When they puff up, add ground paste.

4. Fry for 5 minutes. Add rice and vaal daal. Saute for 2 minutes.

5. Add 3 cups water, salt, sugar, Gujarati garam masala. Bring to boil.

6. Close the lid. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

7. Serve hot with chhas or yogurt.



Note -

1. Basmati or Surti Kolum rice can be used for this recipe.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stuffed Japanese Eggplants


I found these beautiful, long baby eggplants at our farmers market. So I tried my MIL's delicious curry.

Stuffed Japanese Eggplants
Ingredients
6 baby eggplants (long variety)
Grind to paste
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 green chilies (more or less per desired heat)
1/2" ginger, peeled
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
Method
1. Rinse and dry the eggplants. Make 4 - 5 slits width wise keeping the stem in tact.
2. Stuff the ground masala in the slits.
3. Heat oil in a pressure pan. Add the tempering ingredients.
4. As they sizzle, carefully place the stuffed eggplants and remaining masala. Fry eggplants from all the sides for about 9 - 11 minutes on a low flame.
5. Add 1/4 cup water. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
6. When the pressure drops of it own, open the pan. Adjust the gravy adding more water if needed.
Note -
This curry can also be made without pressure pan. However, pressure cooking ensures uniform cooking and expedites the overall cooking process. If not using pressure pan, you can cover the saucepan with a lid and let it cook checking for doneness of eggplants from time to time.

Japanese Eggplants (Dark purple variety)


Japanese Eggplants - What's their Indian name?


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Arvi



These are the roots of taro or colocasia leaves. They are known as arvi/arbi/aLkuDa/maadi in different Indian languages.

Snake Gourd



Snake gourd/PadwaL
 
These snake gourds that we get in India are really long. They have a different lighter green shade too. I get the above types of snakegourds here. Something is better than nothing, right?

(faux) Champa ni Gotli nu Shaak


These Gujarati words - champa ni gotli means jackfruit seeds. I don't get these seeds here. I followed Indira's instructions for roasting fresh chestnuts last fall. I thought they taste just like or very close to jackfruit seeds. So I used those seeds to make this shaak.

(Faux) Champa ni gotli nu shaak
fresh chestnut Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 lb fresh chestnuts, roast according to the instructions here, peel & cut into slices/slants
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled & sliced
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder/dhaana-jiru
1/2 tsp chili powder/or per taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. As they sizzle, add garlic cloves. Fry till they change the color slightly.
2. Now add all the powders. Stir fry for 1 minute without letting them burn.
3. Add peeled & sliced roasted chestnuts and salt. Saute for 5 minutes, till all the powders coat the nuts.
4. Take off the heat. Serve as a side dish with chapati/rotli.

Note -
1. If you are lucky enough to find the jacksfruit seeds/champa ni gotli/faNsachya aThalya/bikanda, pressure cook them, peel them, slice them and follow the same method.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sabudana vada

I craved for some Sabudana vada when I read the NY times article about Prakash - a restaurant in Dadar, Mumbai. Have you ever been there? Do not miss their sabudana vada, batata vada, misal, upasachi misal, thalipeeth, dudhi halva, piyush, upasachi kachori...Hey, looks like I am writing their entire menu! Oh, they also have awesome puri-bhaaji and dalimbi usaL.

So I decided to make my version. I didn't want to deep fry it so I made disc shaped vadas instead of the usual spherical balls. Yes, deep fried version is crunchier and crispier but I preferred mine shallow fried to satiate the craving.



Sabudana Vada - (18 count)

Sago Fritters

Ingredients
1 cup sago/sabudana, soaked for 6 hours, drained

1 medium potato, boiled, peeled & grated

1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, powdered coarsely

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 1/2" ginger, peeled & grated

2-3 green chilies, chopped

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

1 key lime, squeezed

salt to taste

1/2 tsp sugar


Oil for shallow or deep frying

Method

1. Pick sabudana/sago for any impurities. Soak in ample water for 6 hours.

2. Drain the water completely and keep aside for 15 minutes. When you touch each grain, it should be soft and should not have any hard interior.

3. Mash sago lightly with potato masher. Now add all the ingredients except oil for frying. Knead well.

4. Using wet hands, make 18 balls or discs.

5. Heat a nonstick pan. Place the discs in a single layer. Using oil as needed, shallow fry till they are brown on both sides.

6. Serve with upasachi chutney.


Note -

1. For the authentic flavor, deep fry the sago balls till they are crispy brown.

Upasachi Chutney

This chutney goes very well with sabudana vada.

Upasachi Chutney
Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2 cup roasted peanut powder/daaNyache kooT
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
2-3 green chilies
1" ginger
1/4 cup cilantro


Mix in
1/2 cup yogurt


Method
1. Grind all the ingredients together except yogurt.
2. Stir in whisked yogurt.
3. Mix well & serve.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Surti Mag

A simple mung beans dish from Surat, tastes good as a snack all by itself.

Surti Mag
Ingredients

1 cup moong beans, soaked for 8 hrs
salt to taste

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

Garnish (optional)
1 tbsp minced onion
1 - 2 green chilies, minced
or
1 tsp Gujarati sambhaar/Pickle masala
1 tsp raw peanut oil

Suggested accompaniment
Chokha na rotla
or
bhakri

Method
1. Pressure cook maung beans and set aside to cool down completely.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the tempering ingredients. Fry till garlic is golden brown.
3. Add cooked beans along with cooking liquid and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes or till all the liquid is evaporated.
4. Just before serving, add some garnish in the individual servings.

Note
1. Though it's not necessary, I use mung sprouts (instead of just soaked mung beans) for this recipe.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tomato Methamba -Sweetened Tomato Pickle

Methamba is a classic sweet pickle, traditionally made with raw mangoes flavored with fenugreek seeds. Mom makes methamba of tomatoes or carrots too. When I was in school, I always used to question mom why this tomato pickle is not called meth-tomato instead of tomato cha meth-amba?:-D

Tomato cha Methamba
टोमटोचा मेथांबा
Sweet Tomato Pickle
Ingredients
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped approx = 4 1/4 cups
1/4 cup grated jaggery
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder

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

Method
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the seeds sizzle, add tomatoes. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
3. Now, add chili powder and jaggery.
4. Let it cook in its own juices for 12 minutes.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Let it simmer for 12 minutes. Switch off the gas.
7. The pickle will thicken in about 10 minutes.

Note
1. Fenugreek seeds are important in this pickle. Do not replace or omit them to get the correct flavor.
2. Refrigerate after using. Use within 4 days.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Methi (& Matki) Bhaat


Methi bhaat is a Maharashtrian rice dish made from methi seeds sprouts. This is especially beneficial for new moms. Addition of matki sprouts is optional.


Methi (& Matki) Bhaat
Fenugreek seeds-moth sprouts rice
Ingredients
1/4 cup methi sprouts
1/4 cup matki sprouts
1/2 cup rice, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp goda masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1 tsp grated jaggery or brown sugar

Tempering
1 tbsp oil or ghee/toop
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 or 2 star anise
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tbsp minced garlic

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

Suggested accompaniment
lemon wedges
Papad
ghee/toop/clarified butter
or
plain yogurt

Method
0. Sprout methi seeds and matki per instructions here.

1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering. Saute till onion is soft.
2. Add goda masala. Fry for 1 minute. Add methi and matki sprouts.Fry for 3 - 4 minutes.
3. Add drained rice. Fry for 1 minute.
4. Add 2 cups warm water, chili powder, salt and jaggery or brown sugar. Stir.
5. Bring to boil. Lower the gas. Cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes or so till rice is tender & cooked.
6. Add spoonful of ghee at this point. Switch off the gas. Keep covered for at least 5 minutes.
7. Garnish with fresh coconut and chopped cilantro.
8. Squeeze lemon juice while eating.

Note -
1. This bhaat is meant to be made with just methi sprouts and rice. If the taste is too bitter, add some matki sprouts.
2. I generally use rice:sprouts ratio 1:1. You can reduce the amount of sprouts if you wish.

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