Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tandoori Black Eyed Peas for the new year


I always serve black eyed peas in some form to ring in New Year. It's an American - especially southern -  tradition to eat black eyed peas for good luck. This time, I have made these crunchy tandoori style black eyed peas. They can be served as a quick snack with drinks.

Tandoori Black Eyed Peas
Recipe inspired from Southern Living
Ingredients
2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tandoori masala
salt to taste (check if tandoori masala already has salt in it)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Combine all the ingredients
3. Transfer in a baking pan in a single layer.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes till crunchy
5. Stir every 10 minutes.
6. Let it cool and store in air tight container.

Note -
1. Make sure that the peas do not get burnt

Recipe Credits
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001860217
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Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Madeira Cake


Remember, I told you that I was making holiday goodies with a taste of home? One such cake on my list was Madeira cake. We used to get it at Monginis Bakery, Mumbai. I googled it and Wiki says that it's a traditional English sponge cake accompanied by Madeira wine.  I found several recipes too, but I really was looking for the simplest recipe starting from ready made cake mix. Here's what I did -

Madeira Cake
Citrus Flavored Sponge Cake
Ingredients
1 packet Betty Crocker Yellow cake Mix
(water, oil and eggs as mentioned in the instructions of the packet)

2 tsp fresh lemon zest (make sure there is no white part)
1 small lemon pudding mix (I used Jello)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese

Method
1. Mix yellow cake mix with lemon flavored pudding mix.
2. Add remaining ingredients as mentioned on the back of the packet.
3. Prepare batter.
4. Pour in 2 big or 4 mini loaf pans (greased).
5. Preheat oven 350 F. Bake for 45-60 minutes tor till properly baked.

Note -
1. It took longer time to bake. So keep an eye after about 30 minutes so the cake is not burnt or remains undercooked.
2. You can add vanilla flavored pudding mix and few drops of lemon essence.

Some of the recipes of Madeira Cake I found around the web -
Madeira Cake by Gourmet food revolution
Madeira Cake by Cake Crusader
Madeira Cake by All baking recipes
Madeira Cake by Cook almost anything at least once
Madeira Cake by Cooks.com



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Chocolate Chinagrass


When we went back home for Diwali, I did my usual grocery shopping for US. I found chocolate chinagrass and it just took me back to my childhood. Adding 500 ml hot milk to this Blue Bird chinagrass powder results in a yummy milk-jelly. I followed the directions written at the back of the box. So there is no recipe today. But make sure to use at least 2% milk to get the firm consistency. 


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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Papdi Chaat



Let me confess something. In spite of being an extreme chaat loving family, my husband and I didn't taste Papdi chaat in Mumbai. Can you guess which city we ate our first Papdi chaat in? Did you guess it as New Delhi? I would have guessed that too. but we tasted our first papdi chaat at New York!! There are several good Indian restaurants in Jackson Heights. Each one has their own version. They all taste good but we are partial to Rajbhog and Raja which are adjacent to each other but they have distinct different flavors. Now, why should I write more, when someone has actually written about the different flavors of Papdi chaat of Jackson Heights?


ok, after eating at those places and reading the above link, here's my recipe -

Papdi Chaat
Ingredients

Few fried pita chips from Whole foods (Green, orange, Beige colors chips)
Chaat chutneys
1/2 cup garbanzo beans or black chickpeas,  cooked with a pinch of salt
1 or 2 boiled, peeled potatoes, chopped
Sweetened yogurt (plain yogurt, pinch of sugar & salt to taste)
2 tbsp chopped red onion (Optional)
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
2 tbsp sev (Optional)
Chaat masala

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients just before serving.
2. Serve immediately

Note -
1. This is one recipe where I add ingredients depending on my mood. I may add onions or sev or next time, I may not. But it always comes out good.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Cardamom-Saffron Pound Cake



I baked a few goodies over the weekend. I wanted to give it as holiday gifts to colleagues, friends and Gudiya's teachers. The first in the series was Cardamom saffron pound cake. I used the basic pound cake recipe and added cardamom and saffron for an Indian touch. I soaked saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk before adding it to the batter.
Recipe Source-
My modifications -
1. I added 5 crushed/peeled cardamoms.
2. I soaked a few strands of saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk. I added it to the batter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fruit Salad/Fruit Custard


My health-conscious boss distributed a huge basket of fruits for holidays which makes me very happy. I mean getting those cloyingly sweet chocolates would have been disastrous. Though I am sneaking in those fruits in the lunch boxes, it's difficult to eat them all. and think about the time, when they all would ripen at the same time. My husband suggested to make Fruit n' Custard as they serve at Amrut Sagar, Bandra.

I used my maushi's method and recipe. I didn't bother to peel and grate apples like she always does. I also didn't have chickoos. But any seasonal fruits that would go with milk would work. I also realized that peeling/slicing that whole pineapple is not my cup of tea!!

Fruit Salad or Fruit in Custard
Ingredients
1 banana, peeled & sliced
1 or 2 Apples, cored and chopped
1 Orange/Clementine/sweet lime(Mosambi) - peeled, pith/seeds removed, chopped
A handful of Cherries, pitted
2- 3 slices of Pineapple, chopped
1 tbsp Cashews (unsalted/raw)
1/2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
handful of Grapes, halved
1 Chikoo (Optional)
Few seeds of Pomegranate

For the custard
2 cups milk
2 tbspVanilla custard powder
3 tbsp Sugar

Garnish
1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Cream crackers/Sugar wafers (optional)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)


Method
0. Rinse all the fruit thoroughly.
1. Follow the directions on the back of the custard powder. Make custard ready.
1. Cut fruits & nuts into small, bite sized pieces
2. Peel off apple and grate it
3. Cut cashews, cherries and grapes into 2 pieces
4. Add fruits to the custard which is now at room temperature.
9. While serving, first add fruit salad in a tall dessert bowl, then add ice cream - if using, and then garnish with cream cracker and cherries/chocolate chips.

Note -
1. Chop fruit as close to adding them to custard as possible so they won't turn black.
2. I used Wikfield custard powder which is available at Indian stores. Any custard powder may work. I generally use Indian brand since it doesn't contain any egg.
3. You can add jelly pieces to the  above custard as well. If desired, add it directly into the serving bowl.
4. The custard recipe calls for 500 ml milk. My moushi starts with 1 lit milk. She evaporates it to 500 ml and then proceeds. I used 500 ml milk. But the evaporated milk custard gives a divine taste.
5. I used fat-free milk. But whole milk surely gives a richer taste.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sampan Special Chicken


Today, I made this Indo-Chinese chicken for lunch. Recipe is as below. It was from my clippings that I collected while in college.


My modifications -
I also added bell peppers


Interesting Read about Sampan by busybee




Credits
Times of India/Bombay Times
&



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Monday, December 13, 2010

Guvarsingh nu Shaak - Cluster Beans Subzi



I often think of my MIL when I make this shaak. This is her most favorite vegetable. But like most moms, she hardly cooks it because the rest of the family doesn't like cluster beans so much. So I make it a point to cook this subzi whenever she visits us.

Guvarsingh nu shaak
Cluster beans with Gujarati Vadies
Ingredients
2 cups cluster beans, torn into 2" pieces
Handful of Gujarati vadies, roasted in 2 tsp oil and set aside.
salt to taste
2 tsp dhana-jiru/coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp grated jaggery

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ajmo/owa/ajwain
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp ginger-green chili paste

Method
1. Steam cluster beans in a pressure cooker. Add water as needed. Set aside to cool down. Roast vadies in a spoonful of oil. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add all the tempering ingredients.
3. As they sizzle, add cooked & cooled beans, and remaining ingredients. Add cooking water as well.
4. Simmer till all the water is evaporated.
5. Serve with rotli or thepla.


Note -
1. Traditionally, very tender, small cluster beans are chosen carefully for recipe. They are kept whole by just removing both ends. We do not get tender cluster beans here. So I tear them into 2" pieces.

2. Instead of vadies, potatoes can be added. If you want to add the potatoes, steam them with the cluster beans.

3. If you want, you can keep a little gravy by not letting all the water evaporate.


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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Makhanwala from Gulzar, Hotel President

During my college days, I was an avid reader of Siddharth Kak's gastronomical articles in Times of India. In his article "The utterly Butter Chicken Debate", Mr Kak explains that he had tasted the best butter chicken at Kwality restaurant in Delhi. He reminisces about the butter chicken of Moti Mahal, Daryaganj, Old Delhi where butter chicken had a perfect burnished golden red color, treading the line between sweet and sour with creamy consistency.  However, he felt that he couldn't get the same taste in other restaurants. In his quest to taste the perfect butter chicken of his youth, Mr. Kak went to the Gulzar restaurant at the President Hotel, Cuffe Parade.

Chicken Makhanwala
From Times of India article by Siddharth Kak
Ingredients
Chicken Tikka 350 gm
Fresh tomato Paste 150 gm
Cashewnut paste 50 gm
Ginger-garlic paste 10 gm
fresh Cream 100 ml
Butter 75 gm
Kashmiri red chili powder 20 gm
Garam masala powder 10 gm
Kasoori Methi 5 gm
Salt to taste

Method
1. Heat oil in a pan. Stir fry ginger-garlic paste lightly
2. Add fresh tomato paste, Kashmiri chili powder. Stir fry.
3. Add cashewnut paste till oil oozes out.
4. Add cream, butter, garam masala, kaoori methi.
5. This is the basic makhni gravy recipe.

Note -
1. I used Sanjeev Kapoor's Tikka Masala powder/spice mix to make my chicken tikkas by grilling them in oven and then added them to the simmering gravy.
2. Mr. Kak also shares some readers' contribution/tips etc to make the perfect recipe.

Credits
Cafe Gulzar Hotel President
Chef Easaw Johnson & Executive Chef Ananda Solomon
Times of India/Bombay Times
Siddharth Kak


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ghugra Ghari - Besan ladoo stuffed roti



My mother-in-law shared her mom's recipe with me here. Of course, my version is different than the original version. But it's heavily inspired from the original version. It seems, every year after Diwali, Nani (my husband's maternal grandma) used the leftover besan laddoo or magaj to make this ghugra ghari. She would crumble those sweets and stuff them inside the flatbread made with all purpose flour/maida. and then she would deep fry. This new version goes by the name ghugra ghari in the family. I changed the version by using whole wheat flour+all purpose flour and instead of deep frying, I roasted it like puranpoli.

Ghugra Ghari
Ingredients
For stuffing
4 smallish besan ladoos, crush them by hand

For flatbreads
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp oil

For dredging
Rice flour, as needed

Method
1. Mix both flours with salt. Add water to bind a dough. Add oil and keep kneading till the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. It should be elastic. Cover and set aside.


2. Crush the besan laddoos and set them aside. Make 4 equal portions for stuffing.



3. Make 4 uniform balls from the dough. Roll into a puri/disc. Use rice flour for dredging.
4. Stuff the besan crumbles. Bring the ends of the disc together. Roll again to thin chapati/flatbread.


5. Heat a griddle or a pan.
6. Roast the flatbread on a low flame till brown spots appear on both sides.
7. Serve hot off the pan with ghee/toop.

Note -
1. The original recipe requires all purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour.
2. The original recipe also requires to make thick roti for deep frying.
3. I used 4 small besan ladoos for the above proportion. Bigger laddoos may need more dough.
4. Magaj can also be used as a stuffing instead of besan ladoo.


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Gobhi Paneer

Sometimes, I get a strange feeling that my refrigerator creates the recipes for me! ;-) When I entered the kitchen to cook for the dinner, I had absolutely no idea about what to cook. I opened the fridge door reluctantly, what do I see? Half of cauliflower, tricolor bell peppers halves, a chunk of paneer from Costco, and ginger-garlic paste. I decided to use them all together. When I added all the veggies, I thought green color was missing. I didn't have green bell pepper but saw a bunch of coriander leaves. So I added those while cooking instead of using them as a garnish. Thus, Gobhi paneer recipe got created. I told you, my fridge did it!!

Gobhi Paneer
Cauliflower and Paneer
Ingredients
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup paneer chunks
1/2 cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala

Method
1. Heat oil in a wok or kadai.
2. Add cumin seeds ad turmeric powder.
3. As the seeds splutter, add ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add all the veggies, cilantro, paprika and garam masala. Keep on frying till veggies are semi-cooked. Now, add paneer pieces. Let it cook together.

 

5. Add salt to taste.
6. Serve with chapati or paratha.

Note -
1. For richer taste, you can fry paneer pieces before adding to the kadai. I didn't bother to fry paneer.
2. I used nonstick kadai so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Gobhi Paneer makes an excellent wrap


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Sunday, December 5, 2010

ChaNya DaaLi sannapoLo


When my aunt visited us last summer, she shared many of my grandmother's recipes. I am hoping to feature all of them on this blog soon. Generally, sannapoLo is like a thick & spicy pancake usually made with seeds. But in this recipe chana daal is used. I used my small pancake pan to make 7 pancakes simultaneously. It gave the perfect circular shape. The traditional sannapolo is bigger than above.

ChaNya DaaLi SannapoLo
Bengal Gram Daal Pancake
Ingredients
1/2 cup chana daal, soak in warm water for 6 hours

Grind to paste
Drained daal
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
7-9 red chilies, roasted
2 tbsp fresh coconut
salt to taste

Stir in
2 tbsp finely chopped onion

Oil for frying

Method
1. Grind drained daal with remaining ingredients.
2. Stir in chopped onion.
3. Heat a pan or griddle. Pat a thick pancake.
4. Make a whole in the center. Drizzle some oil in the hole and around the pancake.
5. Let it cook on both sides.

Note -
1. This pancake is meant to be very spicy. It should be hot red in color.
2. It is not served as a breakfast or snack item. Instead it is served as an accompaniment with daaLi tauy and rice.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shenganchi Amti - Drumsticks Curry

Shevgyachya shenga or drumsticks is the star ingredient of this curry. It adds its own unique flavor. Try it if you love drumsticks.

Shenganchi Amti
Drumsticks Curry
Ingredients
20 pieces of drumsticks/shevgyachya shenga/saragawa
2 small or 1 medium potato, peeled & chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
8-9 black peppercorns, roasted
1 tbsp paprika or mild chili powder
1 tsp tamarind pulp

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

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the tempering ingredients. As they splutter, add veggies.
2. Saute for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid. Keep water on the lid. Let the veggies cook.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the paste by roasting the spices. Make sure to make fine paste, adding water as necessary.
4. When the veggies are cooked, add masala paste, salt and jaggery. Add enough water to get the desired consistency.
5. Bring to boil. As it boils, switch the gas to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1. I used frozen drumsticks. I thawed them before using.


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