Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kobichya Vadya

Kobichya vadya (plural) is a delicious accompaniment with daily meal or can be served as a snack. Here's how my mom makes it.

Kobichya Vadya
कोबीच्या वड्या
Spicy Cabbage Cakes
4 cups finely grated cabbage/kobi/kobij/pattagobhi
1 small onion, chopped - about 1/2 cup
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
2-3 green chilies, minced (optional)
1/2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
salt to taste
1 1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour
1/8 tsp owa/ajmo/ajwain/ajowan/thymol seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder (add more if you want spicier version)
2 tbsp. white sesame seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala (or per taste)
1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
1/2 tbsp. powdered jaggery

1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)

1/2 tsp baking soda

Oil for deep /shallow frying and greasing

1. Mix cabbage, onion, coriander leaves, green chilies - if using.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients one after the other.

3. Add water gingerly - as needed - to make a thick batter like you would make for making pancake. Pour in a greased pressure cooker container.
4. Steam in a steamer or pressure cooker. If using pressure cooker, steam without using the weight.
5. Take it out and let it cool completely.
6. Cut the cooled batter into squares or diamonds.
7. Heat a tawa or pan. Shallow fry the squares/diamonds till all the vadies get crispy on both sides.

Note -
1. As always, when deep fried they will taste even better. But I prefer shallow frying to cut back on calories.
2. Sometimes, I use a combination of green and purple cabbage.
3. Chopped onion adds moisture to the batter. Add water gingerly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lasanwali Daal - Pickled Daal

Just usual daily daal gets a kick by the addition of Garlic pickle!

Lasanwali Daal
Pickled daal
1/2 cup toor daal, cooked and mashed
1 tsp jaggery (or to taste)
salt to taste

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

Mash and set aside
1 tbsp garlic pickle

chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Plain rice (preferably surti kolum)
Lemon wedges

1. Pressure cook toor daal adding adequate amount of water. Mash cooked daal and keep aside
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida.
3. As they sizzle, take the saucepan off the heat. Stir in mashed pickle. Give a quick stir.
4. Now return to heat. Add mashed daal and 1/2 cup water. Stir.
5. Add jaggery and salt to taste (Remember pickle already has salt in it)
6. When daal comes to boil, switch the gas to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Note -
1. Take the saucepan off the heat before adding garlic pickle because all the spices in the pickle may burn.
2. You can adjust the consistency adding more water.
3. Pay attention while adding salt since pickle already contains salt.
4. This recipe serves 2 people.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Muth-Wadi nu Shaak - Moth beans with wadies

Muth-Wadi nu Shaak
Moth beans with wadies
2 1/2 - 3 cups muth/matki/moth beans sprouts
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tbsp jaggery (use more or less per taste)
1/2 cup water
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/3 cup moong or chora wadies

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

Mash and set aside
1 tbsp Garlic pickle

2 tbsp Kasoori Methi, crushed by hand

1. Pressure cook muth sprouts, making sure not to overcook.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Fry wadies till they are crispy. Drain and set aside.
3. In the same oil, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder.
4. Take the saucepan off the gas, stir in mashed garlic pickle. Stir it quickly. Add tomatoes and now return to the stove.
5. Saute till tomato is pulpy. Add cooked and cooled muth sprouts, water, salt and jaggery.
6. Add fried wadies. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
7. Switch off the gas. Crush kasoori methi by hand and sprinkle over. Mix. Cover with a lid.

Note -
1. Remember to take the saucepan off the heat before adding garlic pickle. Otherwise the heat will burn the pickle spices and give a nasty flavor.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Tindora-Bataka nu Shaak

A simple stir fry from my MIL's kitchen.

Tindora Bataka nu Shaak
Ivygourds with potatoes
2 cups tindora/tondli/tendli/ivygourds, ends removed, sliced vertically
2 small potatoes, peeled, sliced vertically
 1 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp dhana-jiru/coriander-cumin powder
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asaofetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
6-7 garlic cloves, peeled, siced vertically

1. Steam tindora and potatoes in a pressure cooker. Take care not to overcook the veggies.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. Saute till garlic appears crispy but not burnt.
4. Add mild chili powder, coriander-cumin powder, salt, sugar.
5. Add veggies along with cooking liquid.
6. Cook for 7 minutes till all the liquid evaporates.
7. Serve hot with rotlies.

Note -
1. You can also cook the veggies in the saucepan itself instead of the pressure cooker. It will take more time. Add water and cover with a lid to cook.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guvar Dhokli nu Shaak

Choose very tender cluster beans for this curry since we keep them whole for the recipe. If you don't find then tender enough, you can break them into 2" pieces.

Gawar dhokli nu Shaak
Cluster Beans with flour dumplings
2 cups cluster beans, both ends removed, strings removed, keep them whole
1 tbsp jaggery/sugar (more or less per taste)
1 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp dhana jiru/coriander-cumin seed powder
salt to taste

Make a dough for Dhokli -
1/4 cup wheat flour
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
1/8 tsp ajwain/owa
1/8 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp oil

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp ajwain/owa

1. Mix flour mixture. Add water carefully to knead a dough. Make small balls and press to make small discs(dhokli). Cover and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add tempering ingredients. As they sizzle, add cluster beans and water. Let them cook.
3. Add 1 cup water, salt to taste, jaggery, mild chili powder and coriander-cumin powder.
4. As it comes to boil, slide discs/dhoklis. Let them cook in the gravy. Add more water if necessary. When they are fully cooked, switch off the gas. Cover.
5. There should be some gravy to this curry.

Note -
1. You can steam cluster beans before adding to tempering. This step will save some time.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lasan nu Athanu - Garlic Pickle

When you buy a huge pack of garlic from Costco, and feel lost about it after coming home - this recipe comes handy. Just remember that this pickle has a short shelf life!

Lasan nu athanu
Garlic Pickle
1/2 cup garlic cloves, sliced vertically

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp Gujarati Pickle Masala
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (Add more if necessary)

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic cloves. Saute on a medium heat for 5-7 minutes without letting them burnt.
2. Take off the heat. Let it cool down completely. Do not cover.
3. Add Gujarati pickle masala. Check for salt. If it has salt, you may not need to add any salt.
4. Stir in lemon juice.
5. Refrigerate. Use within 1 week.

Note -
1. This pickle is used as a condiment as well as an ingredient for several Gujarati dishes.
2. This pickle gets dry when kept in fridge. You may need to squeeze some lemon juice to refresh it before serving.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Punjabi Kobi

This is the recipe I had at my friend's place many moons ago. I gave it  this name "Punjabi Kobi". I tried to recreate the recipe by a dash of this and a smidgen of that. So I am not claiming its authenticity. The subzi has a distinct flavor of ajwain seeds. If you are not fond of that spicy flavor, skip it or use just cumin seeds.

Punjabi Kobi
Cabbage Punjabi way

1 small head of cabbage, chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled & chopped

1 small onion, chopped
1" ginger, peeled & grated
1 tsp Punjabi garam masala
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp amchoor powder
salt to taste

1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp ajwain/owa/ajmo/ajowan
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 red chili, halved or 1 green chili, slit

1 tbsp chopped cilantro or coriander leaves

1. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai or wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As they sizzle, add onion & ginger. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Now, add potatoes and stir fry till they are half-cooked.
4. Add shredded cabbage, chili powder, garam masala. Stir fry till potatoes are fully cooked.
5. Add salt and amchoor powder.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Note -
1. Make sure that potatoes are half-cooked before adding cabbage. Otherwise, cabbage will cook quickly and potatoes will remain uncooked.
2. Since it is a stir-fry recipe i.e. water is not added for cooking, more oil is required. I use nonstick kadai/wok to use less oil.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Whenever we went to any Udipi restaurants in Mumbai, my cousin always ordered Dahi-Idli (just for the record, I always stuck to my Rawa dosa!:-) It almost tastes like dahi vada but you miss all those deep fried calories. Here's my version.

Dahi Idli
Idlies with Yogurt
4 leftover idlis

Whisk together
1 cup cold yogurt
A pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar (more or les per your taste)

1 tsp oil
A pinch of mustard seeds
A pinch of cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida

A generous pinch of chaat masala
A pinch of mild chili powder or paprika

A pinch of finely minced cilantro

1. Warm leftover idlies and make sure that they are at room temperature.
2. Divide idlies in 2 serving bowls.
3. Pour sweetened yogurt over each bowl.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the tempering ingredients. Drizzle the hot oil over idlies.
5. Sprinkle the chaat masala and paprika.
6. Garnish with cilantro.
7. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. If yogurt is too thick, you can add a spoonful of water.
2. You can also add a few curry leaves and 1 red chili, halved -  in tempering.
3. I used nonfat, plain ogurt. For creamier/richer taste, you can use full fat yogurt.
4. This recipe serves 2 people. You can easily increase the quantity for more people.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chettambade/Daal Vada

The Konkani word "Chettambade" indicates flat vadas/fritters. It also goes by the name "daal vada" in Mumbai. I tried to recreate my grandma's signature recipe which used to be crispy from outside and soft from inside.

Chettambade/Daal vada
Chana Daal Fritters
1 cup chana daal, soak for 4 - 6 hours

Grind to a coarse paste
Drained daal, leave 2 tbsp daal aside
1" ginger, peeled
3-4 byadgi chilies
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup fresh coconut (you can use more if you please)
salt to taste

Mix in the batter
2 tbsp drained daal
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
2 tbsp fresh coconut pieces/naarLachya KaataLya
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Oil for deep frying
1 tbsp super hot oil for mohan

1. Drain soaked daal. Keep 2 tbsp daal aside.
2. Grind the daal with remaining ingredients for grinding.
3. Stir in  2 tbsp daal and curry leaves, coconut pieces, onion and cilantro.
4. Heat oil for deep frying.
5. Add 1 tbsp super hot oil to the batter. This makes vadas crispy and fluffy.
6. Make 16 small balls. Flatten them with hand.
7. Deep fry the vadas till they are darkish brown in color.

Note -
1. Frying these vadas can be tricky. They will appear to be ready but may not be cooked through. So make sure to fry on medium to low heat. So they are cooked well but not burnt.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pedhe Ghaati Daba

Pedha is pedha, gaaTh is knot in Marathi. Why on earth, the above kind of dabba called PedhegaaThi? I have no idea. The shape of the lid resembles that of a pedha?

Well, Mints! of Vadani Kaval Gheta has shared the name and its meaning. I called it Pedhegathi but it is actually pedhe ghati. Please read Mint's comment. Thanks so much, Mints!

"Mints! said...

Its known as Pedhe Ghaati dabba ... ghaat means shape/ aakaar. It resembles the shape of Peshawar so pedheghati dabba :) "

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vadheli Khichdi na Pooda

This is one way of using leftovers. Whenever there is some leftover khichdi, MIL prepares these poodas for the breakfast next day. In Maharashtra too, we make shiLya or urlelya (stale or leftover respectively) bhaatache thalipeeth which translates to pancake made from leftover rice.

Generally vada nu loat in my MIL's flour of choice for making any such flatbreads. It's nutritious. But if you do not have one, just mix any flours you may have in your pantry. Just make sure that besan or chickpea flour has the maximum proportion.

Vadheli Khichdi na Pooda
Pancake made from the leftover Khichdi
Vada nu loat- As needed
A mixture of (besan +rice flour+Wheat flour+Urad Flour+Jowar Flour)

Onion, thinly chopped
salt to taste
chili powder to taste
handful of cilantro, minced

1. Mix all the ingredients together without adding any water. If too dry, just wet your hands to mix all together. If it appears too wet, add more flour.
2. Form balls. Pat on the hot griddle
3. Make holes with the back of a spoon.
4. Drizzle oil. Cook on both sides till crispy.
5. Serve with tomato ketchup or chutney of your choice

Note -
1. Depending on the type of khichdi , you may need to add more spice powders. If the khichdi is totally bland, you may need to add a pinch of garam masala, or coriander cum  seed powder. If Khichdi already has the spice powders, then do not add those. Though Khichdi may have salt, you still need to add salt for the flours
2. Remove any whole spices that  may have been used in your khcidi. You can keep whole black peppercorns if you like a bite.
3. When mixing the different flours instead of vada nu loat, make sure to take more chickpea flour/besan compare to the remaining flours.

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Indian Pots and Pans

There are many types of pots, pans and utensils used in Indian kitchen. They are made from copper, brass, stainless steel, wood, ceramic, stone etc. Sometimes, when my mom refers to something with a specific name, I get confused. What exactly she means by "Sat" and "Pedhe gaThi"? Last time, I took pictures and wrote the names! Pathetic - on my part,  I admit - that I am forgetting these cute names!! So I thought of showcasing some Indian kitchen utensils with their peculiar names.(mostly in Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati).

Here's the list which will get updated regularly -

Pedhe GaaThi Daba
Shakuntala Paatra
Masalyacha Daba
PoLicha Daba
Dahyacha sat
Chahache Bhaande
viLi -1
viLi -2
Bhaatacha haat
Daav or Daaul
FodNichi PaLi
Khal Batta
Paata - Varvanta
Beedacha Tawa
Appe Patra
Idli Paatra
Puran Yantra
Full Paatra
PoL Paat
DaaL GhoTNi
Handvo Cooker
Dhokla Cooker
Lemon Juicer
Mosambi Juicer
Modak Saacha
Kulfi Saacha

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vegetable Cutlets or Aloo Tikki

I loved the veggie cutlets that my grandmother made. I have seen many cutlets recipes but two ingredients stand out from my grandmother's recipe - fresh coconut and toast powder for dredging. I waited this long to post this recipe because I couldn't find the right toasts in the supermarket. Finally, I came across the plain toasts (without raisins). So even before dunking them in hot tea, I decided to make my grandma's cutlets.

This recipe got changed slightly within our family, when my cousin J Didi took a cooking class. She announced one day, that before dredging it, the "real" cutlets need to be dunked in the egg whites. But I avoided that step here as I wanted to make them eggless. But J Didi also introduced a heart shape. I made mine heart shaped as well.

You can use fine rawa, breadcrumbs or all purpose flour for dredging. But to get the real taste of my grandmother's cutlets, you need to powder those crispy toasts.

With some exclusions (like coconut and sugar), these cutlets are called Aloo Tikki of North India. Serve it with Chhole, sweetened yogurt and sweet-sour tamarind chutney to make Chole Tikki Chaat.

Grandma's Veggie Cutlets
Vegetable Cutlets
5 medium potatoes
Handful of green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 small carrot, peeled & grated

2 slices of breads, crusts removed

Grind to a fine paste
2 tbsp fresh coconut (Use more if you like)
2-3 green chilies
Handful of cilantro/coriander leaves
1 1/2" ginger, peeled & chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

For dredging
2 ready made plain toasts, powdered coarsely

Oil for shallow frying

1. Pressure cook potatoes, peas and carrots. Peel the potatoes. Mash with the potato masher. Set aside.
2. Add green chutney and knead it together.
3. If the mixture feels sticky to hands, add fresh bread crumbs. Use one bread slice a time depending on how sticky it feels.
4. Place all the cutlets on a plate. Keep in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. Heat a pan/griddle or tawa. Add oil for shallow frying.
6. Dredge all the cutlets in toast powder. Remove excess powder. Place gently on the tawa.

7. Shallow fry on medium low heat till all are uniformly browned from both sides.

Note -
1. You can use egg whites to dunk the cutlets before using toast powder.
2. Fine rawa, all purpose flour, rice flour or bread crumbs can be used for dredging.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fish Stew

One super cold evening, after coming home from work, I had no idea what I was going to cook. Somehow, this recipe got created. It tasted good enough to feature on our table many times. So I have decided to blog about it here as well.

Fish Stew
2 salmon fillets
1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika or chili powder
salt to taste

12 button mushrooms, cut into 4
1 bell pepper, chopped into big squares
1/2 bottle ready made pasta sauce (I use Mario Batalli)
1/2 can reduced fat coconut milk (I use whole foods, organic reduced fat)
A pinch of garam masala (or more)

Freshly squeezed lemon juice
black pepper powder, fresh

1. Clean and cut salmon fillets in bite sized chunks.
2. Marinate with ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, salt  and turmeric powder
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Saute mushrooms and bell peppers.
4. As they get soft, add marinated salmon. saute for 30 seconds without breaking it.
5. Add pasta sauce, coconut milk and water as needed. Add a pinch of garam masala.
6. Bring to boil. Simmer for sometime.
7. When serving in individual bowls, drizzle fresh lemon juice and black pepper powder.
8. Serve hot fish stew with crusty french bread or sourdough bread.

Note -
1. You can vary the recipe by adding onion and/or ginger-garlic paste in tempering.
2. This recipe serves 4 people.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gujarati Veg. Pulao

When family and friends invite us for dinner/lunch during our India visit, I always request them to let me help them in the preparation so I get to learn new things. Of course, it's not always possible for me as well as for them as time is so short and we have to do so many things. But one such lucky afternoon, I got a chance to visit my husband's aunt and I could help her in the preparation as well as I learnt many new things. This Gujarati Veg. Pulao was one of the many things I learnt that day. It's nothing fancy just a simple pulao but what stood out was the addition of generous amount of lemon juice and sugar combo.

Gujarati Veg. Pulao
1/2 cup basmati, rinsed, drained
1 1/2 cup mixed veggies
2 tsp Gujarati Garam Masala
1 tsp Coriander-Cumin seed powder
1 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
salt to taste
2 cups warm water

Mix together
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 tsp green chili-ginger paste (or to taste)
1 tsp garlic paste (optional)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp ghee/clarified butter

1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add all the whole spices for the tempering.
3. As the spices sizzle, add onion. Fry till onion is soft.
4. Now, add pastes. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add drained basmati rice. Fr for 1 minute.
6. Add veggies and remaining powders. Fry for 1 minute.
7. Add water, salt and bring to boil.
8. Stir in lemon-sugar mixture.
9. Lower the gas to medium. Cover and let it cook.
10. Cook for 15 minutes or till rice is cooked.
11. Switch off the gas. Drizzle some clarified butter on top. Cover and set aside.

Note -
1. I generally use less rice and more veggies in my pulao recipes. For the traditional version, use 1 cup basmati and 1/2 cup veggies.
2. I used green beans, carrots, potatoes, green peas, yellow corn & colored bell peppers.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Boiled Turichya Shenga? Nope - Edamame

Winter arrives in the vegetable market of Mumbai with green fresh garlic (oli lasooN, leeli lasan), fresh toor in pods (turichya shenga), purple yam (kand, konfaL), fenugreek leaves (methi), freshly harvested grains (hurda, ponk), green peas, carrots. This is also the season for preparing Undhiyu - a Gujarati mixed vegetable delicacy. If you go in the Gujarati populated areas of Mumbai, the vegetable vendors will actually keep  tokries - baskets ready with all Undhiyu related veggies.

My mom makes two delicacies with the fresh toor in pods. One is fresh toor ambat. You can always make toor ambat by soaking dry toor beans but the taste of this fresh toor ambat is really out of this world. and the second delicacy is just ukdalelya turichya shenga - boiled toor pods. The fresh toor beans in pods are rinsed and then steamed with salt and turmeric powder. The boiled pods are then placed on a big dining table. The entire family gathers around it. There is another empty container placed to keep all the peels. It's a family bonding time - peeling, snacking, devouring the fresh bounty of the winter while chitchatting/laughing/catching up with the daily escapades of life . I have very beautiful childhood memories associated with this whole winter ritual. (just like fresh toor pods, boiled peanuts - bhuimoogachya shenga are also used for this event)

I have never seen fresh toor pods at our local Indian stores here. So I planted some last year. I got really beautiful toor plants. But I think what went wrong was the weather. When I try to analyze, the toor pods grow during winter time in India. and here I was expecting them to come up in the deadly summer heat. So I think instead of planting in spring and expecting them for summer, next time, I will plant them in summer and see if fall weather helps them to come out. Anyway, I will keep you posted.

Thought I can't steam fresh toor pods, I think the whole ceremony of eating this healthy snack while catching up with near and dear ones is a wonderful family event. I discovered edmame - fresh soybeans in pods a few years back at our Japanese friend, P. Saan's house. She had steamed the fresh edmames with some sea salt. What a nice gathering it was to peel, eat and chat away just like fresh toor pods back home. So till my toor doesn't grow, I will use fresh edmami!:-D

Steamed Edamame
1 packet organic edamame (I used from Costco)
1  tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric powder

1. Place the edamame - green soybeans in pods in  the pressure cooker container. Add salt , turmeric powder, enough water to submerge the pods.
2. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Do not overcook.
3. Take out. Drain in the colander just before serving.
4. Transfer into a big serving bowl.
5. Serve warm. Enjoy with friends and family around the table!!:-D

Note -
1. Do not forget to keep a common container or individual containers to keep the peels.
2. If you do not have pressure cooker, these pods can also be steamed by placing them in a colander. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place colander on top. Cover and let them steam till done.
3. Drain the pods just prior to eating. So till then let them soak in the salty/Turmeric water. It will enhance the taste.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Batatyachi Suki Bhaaji (2) with Onion and Garlic

There are many versions of batatyachi suki bhaaji  in my mom's kitchen. This one is made with onion and garlic.

Batatyachi suki Bhaaji - 2 (With onion and Garlic)
बटाट्याची सुकी भाजी (कांदा आणि लसूण घालून )
Mashed potatoes with onion and garlic
5 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, diced
1/3 cup minced cilantro/coriander leaves
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp green chilies, minced

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger -garlic paste
2 curry leaves sprigs, torn

1. Using clean hands, mash potatoes lightly. Add cilantro, salt, sugar, lemon juice and green chilies. It should not be a complete mush. At least 3/4th of the potatoes should be able to retain their shape. Mix well.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the spices & curry leaves. As they pop, add onion. Saute till onion is soft. Add ginger-garlic paste. Fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add potato mixture. Fry for 5 minutes till the potatoes are coated with turmeric.
4. Cover and let it cook on a low flame for 5 more minutes.
5. Serve with chapatis or roties.

Note -
1. This potato bhaaji tastes like the stuffing of batata vada.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quinoa-Kale Thalipeeth

Quinoa - Kale Thalipeeth
Quinoa-kale Pat-a-cake
1/2 cups Quinoa BhajNi
2-3 Kale leaves, rinsed, shredded finely
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tsp minced green chilies (more or less per heat)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp goda masala

oil for frying

1 Mix all the ingredients except oil.
2. Adding water as needed, knead to a dough.
3. Make 7 small balls.
4. Heat a griddle or tawa or pan. Using wet hand, place a ball of dough directly on the pan. Pat into a small circle, taking care not to touch the hot pan. Alternatively, you can use a saran wrap and pat the ball on a plate and then transfer to the hot pan.
5. Using the back of a spoon, dig holes into the thalipeeth. Drizzle oil around the thalipeeth and in the holes.
6. Cook till crispy. Flip and cook  on the other side.

Note -
1. Traditionally, thalipeeth is served with homemade white butter(loNi). I like to serve mine with tomato ketchup.

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Quinoa Thalipeeth Bhajni

During holidays, I made my annual staple of Thalipeeth Bhajni. But this time, I used different grains. Following recipe gives a huge yield. If you are trying it for the first time, please reduce the proportions based on your needs.

Quinoa Thalipeeth BhajNi
Quinoa Pancakes Flour

Whole grains -
2 cups Quinoa
1 cup Bajri/Bajra/Millet
1/2 cup brown basmati
1/4 cup wheat
1/3 cup barley

Daals and beans -
1 cup chana daal

1/2 cup urad daal
1/3 cup green moong
1/3 cup black eyed peas/chawli

1/2 cup coriander seeds/dhane
1/4 cup cumin seeds/jire
1 tsp fenugreek seeds/methi

Spice Powders-
2 tbsp Turmeric powder/haldi
1 tbsp paprika/mild chili powder

1. Roast each grain, daals, beans separately one after the other. They should not be burnt. Use heavy bottomed steel pan or cast iron skillet. Spread on a flat plate or baking sheet in a single layer to cool down.

2 Roast spices one after the other. Spread on a flat plate or baking sheet in a single layer to cool down.

3.Roast spice powders just for a few seconds.
4. Using a heavy duty grinder like Sumeet, combine all the roasted ingredients and grind to a smooth powder. You need to proceed in batches.
5. Store in an airtight container.

Note -
1. Do not grind unless all the roasted ingredients are cooled off.
2. There should not be any steam during the grinding process.
3. The steam will generate moisture and it will destroy the flour.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Green Peas Dhokla (1)

Since my Edamame Dhokla recipe was based on the original green peas dhokla, this recipe is word-to-word similar to edmame dhokla. Just swap edmames for green peas.

Green Peas Dhokla
Green Peas & Daal dumplings

1/2 cup urad daal
1/2 cup chana daal
1/2 cup rice

1 cup fresh shelled green peas - frozen, thawed
A handful of cilantro/spinach (optional - use this for getting dark green shade)
1" ginger, peeled
2-3 green chilies (optional)
1/2 tsp asafoetida

salt to taste

Just before steaming
1/4tsp - 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds

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

Suggested Accompaniment
Baafela Marcha

1. Soak rice & daals overnight.
2. Next morning, drain and grind with ginger, green chilies - if using, asafoetida and green peas. If using frozen green peas, make sure they are completely thawed.
3. Pour the batter in a big bowl. Cover and keep for fermenting for 7 - 8 hours.
4. Stir in salt. Add oil and baking soda. Add some water to make idli like consistency.
5. Grease the dhokla plates. Steam in a pressure cooker, steamer or any big container for about 15 minutes or till dhokla pieces are cooked. If using pressure cooker, do not use pressure.
6. Let the dhokla cool down completely before cutting.
7. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add seeds and drizzle oil over the dhokla.
8. Garnish with coconut - if using and cilantro.

Note -
1. The amount of baking soda depends on the degree of fermentation. If the batter is fermented well, use very small amount of baking soda. In any case, do not exceed 1/2 tsp.
2. I didn't use coconut for garnish.
3. You may add a handful of cilantro or spinach while grinding to get greener dhokla. Using just green peas will give a pretty light green shade while addition of cilantro or spinach will give a lovely darker green hue. You decide what shade you are looking for depending on your mood that day!:-D

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baafela Marcha - Steamed Green Chilies

This simple accompaniment is served with Gujarati farsans/snacks. Use long, green chilies for this recipe.

Baafela Marcha
Steamed Green Chilies
5-6 long, green chilies, cut into 4 pieces, slit and keep stems (available in Indian stores)

Boil together -
4 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1. Rinse and dry chilies. Cut into 4 pieces. Keep the stem for the rustic look. Make slits on the chilies.
2. Boil water with salt and turmeric powder.
3. Add chilies. Boil for 5 minutes. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Switch off the gas. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain completely.
5. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add asafoetida. Drizzle the sizzling oil over the chilies. Give a quick stir.
6. Bafela marcha is ready to be served with farsans - snacks like dhokla and khandvi.

Note -
1. Refrigerate any unused portion and use within 2 days.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Pavbhaaji Panini

I wanted to try this when I first had those hot garlicky subs/panini. Panini is referred to the Italian grilled/toasted sandwich in America. My leftover pavbhaaji was handy to make this delicious sandwich.

Pavbhaaji Panini
Leftover Pavbhaaji
1 Mini French roll or Cibatta
Few fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp chopped onion or caramelized onion
1 Mozzarella cheese slice/s
Few drops of olive oil to brush the bread
1 garlic clove, peeled & cut into half

1. Heat your Panini press per instructions.
2. Meanwhile slit the roll lengthwise.Brush both outer sides of roll with olive oil.
3. Place cheese pieces, spinach, bhaaji, onions and cheese pieces again.

4. Place into the Panini press. Grill for 5 minutes or per manual.
5. As soon as hot panini is out, smear garlic half on both outer sides. (Saw it on Food Network once!)
6. Cut into 2 -3 pieces.
7. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. If you use more cheese, it will taste better. I generally just use one cheese square by making smaller pieces.
2. First time, I added just cheese and bhaaji. Next time, I decided to add spinach and onions as well. The picture above shows the first panini.
3. Make sure that pavbhaaji is placed right on the cheese pieces and do not over stuff it. Else it will ooze out.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Besan no Shiro

Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. I wish you all a wonderful new year 2011. As always, this years resolution is to eat healthy, be happy and exercise more. However, as the tradition goes, it's mandatory to serve something sweet on the new years day. and there you get your first excuse just hours after taking the new years resolution!;-)

Of course, these days whenever I make something sweet, I carefully decide what I haven't blogged so far and then make the dish which will give me the opportunity to showcase some family recipe. So today's recipe is from MIL's kitchen - besan no shiro.

Besan no Shiro - (serves 6 - 8)
Chickpea Flour Pudding
Mix and set aside
1 cup besan
1/4 cup fine rawa

You will also need,
1/2 cup clarified butter/ghee/toop

Boil together
2 1/2 cup milk
1 1/4  cup sugar (increase or decrease per taste)
1/4 tsp saffron threads

Pound in a mortar and pestle
5 green cardamoms, seeds only
A pinch of nutmeg

few almond slivers (unsalted)
few pistachio slivers (unsalted)

1. Melt butter/ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
2. Saute rawa and besan mixture for 30 - 45 minutes on low flame. Keep on stirring continuously without letting the mixture to burn. This is a tedious process but if you keep the flame too high or do not stir, it will burn. If not sauted for long time, besan tastes undercooked. So remember, more you saute, better it tastes!
3. Boil milk, sugar and saffron mixture in another small saucepan. Keep aside.
4. Keeping the gas still low, add milk mixture to the besan. Now use a wire whisk and keep on stirring so there is no lump of besan. If there is even a single lump, it will not taste good. After a good whisking, the mixture will resemble an evaporated milk.

5. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens to a pudding like consistency. Sprinkle cardamom and nutmeg powders.
6. Garnish with nuts.
7. Serve warm.

Note -
1. As the shira gets ready, switch off the gas. Let the shira cools down a bit and then cover it. Otherwise the steam from the inside of the lid will gather the moisture.
2. Do not keep shira without lid after it has cooled down. Else it will form a film of besan.
3. This shiro has to be served warm. So if it has cooled down, you will have to warm it to enjoy the taste.
4. Rawa adds some texture to this pudding. If only besan is used, it will stick to the roof of your mouth. If you like, you can also keep proportion of besan and rawa to 1:1
5. I have actually reduced the amount of ghee for this recipe. The original recipe calls for a whopping 1 cup ghee as this pudding just oozes out ghee. You make your own call.

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