Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bhoplyachi Bhaaji

Mom makes this bhaaji for the fasting days.

BhopLyachi Bhaaji
भोपळ्याची भाजी
Pumpkin-Peanuts Stir Fry
1/3 cup raw peanuts, soaked in water for 2 hours
1 piece of pumpkin or 1 small butternut squash, peeled, cut into cubes - approx  =  3 cups
salt to taste

2 tsp ghee/clarified butter/toop
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, slit

1 tbsp scraped coconut

Suggested Accompaniment

1. Soak raw peanuts (preferably from Indian stores) in water for 2 hours, drain and set aside.
2. Heat ghee in a saucepan.
3. Add cumin seeds and green chilies. As they sizzle, add peanuts. Fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add squash or pumpkin pieces. Saute for 5 minutes.
5. Cover the saucepan with a lid. Pour water in the lid. Let it cook on a medium flame till squash pieces are cooked.
6. Add coconut to garnish.
7. Serve with yogurt.

Note -
1. You can add 1 tsp grated, peeled ginger in tempering for a refreshingly different flavor.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Masoor Daal Ambat Varan

As a kid, I always thought that orange masoor daal was magical. The pretty orange color used to change into yellow when this daal was cooked. and for this magical reason, I used to request mom to use masoor daal often. :-D

Masoor Daal Ambat Varan
मसूर डाळीचे आंबट वरण
3/4 cup masoor daal
salt to taste
2 tsp jaggery
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp (ready made)
1 tsp roasted cumin power

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped onion

Grind coarsely or use mortar and pestle
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp fresh coconut
2-3 green chilies (more or less per required heat level)
1/2" ginger
2 cloves garlic

Suggested Accompaniment
Ghee/Toop/Clarified butter
Plain rice

1. Pressure cook masoor daal. Mash it lightly and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida , curry leaves sprig and turmeric powder.
3. As the seeds splutter, add chopped onion. Saute for till the onion is soft.
4. Now add coarsely ground paste and cumin powder . Saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add 1/4 cup water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add cooked daal, salt,  jaggery, tamarind pulp and 2 cups water.
7. Bring to a rapid boil. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 12 minutes.
8. Serve hot with plain rice & ghee.

Note -
1. 3-4 kokum petals can be substituted instead of tamarind pulp.
2. Toor daal can be used instead of masoor daal.
3. You can also add 1 chopped tomato if you like.
4. This recipe is vegan by itself. But it is enjoyed with a spoonful of clarified butter/toop/ghee.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kobi cha ZuNka

ZuNka is a simple dry dish made with the vegetable of your choice and chick pea flour. You need more oil than usual to make sure that chickpea flour gets well roasted.

Kobi Cha ZuNka
कोबीचा झुणका
Cabbage-Chickpea Flour Stir fry
1 small cabbage, finely shredded about 12 oz
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 tbsp oil

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

2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai or a wok. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
2. As the seeds splutter, add cabbage. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Cover and let it cook.
4. After getting cooked, add salt, sugar, chili powder. After adding salt, cabbage may water a little. Let that water evaporate.
5. Now sprinkle besan/chickpea flour, a spoonful at a time, while stirring the cabbage mixture. The cabbage will absorb the besan.
6. After adding all the besan, add 1 tbsp oil. Saute on a low flame till the zunka becomes dryish and besan turns golden and appears cooked.
7. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro.

Note -

1. I like to use less oil and hence I used 1 1/2 Tbsp + 1 tbsp for getting the best taste at the cost of less oil. But more oil you can add, better the taste will be. So choice is yours. I generally use nonstick kadai for making this bhaji.
2. If made with less oil, this ZuNka tends to get very dry. If you are going to serve with chapati, use little yogurt as an accompaniment. In that case, it's no longer vegan!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rasawala Bataka (1) - Simple Potato Curry

Throwing potatoes together with some spices is a favorite backup plan for any Indian home cook. When you travel through the various states of India, along with landscapes, spices and taste change. Simple potato curry takes this form in my MIL's kitchen.

Rasawala Bataka
Potato Curry
4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, cut into pieces, approx. 3 1/2 cups
1/2 cup green peas (optional) - I used frozen variety
2 tsp coriander cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp pavbhaji masala (optional)
1 tsp sugar
3-4 kokums, rinsed
salt to taste

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp green chili-ginger paste

Suggested Accompaniments
Rotlis or Theplas
Chundo or Athanu (Pickle)
Roasted papads
Lemon wedges

1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add all the tempering ingredients except paste. Add paste after mustard seeds sizzle. Saute for 1 minute.
3. Add potatoes. Fry for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups water. Add green peas if using.
4. Add all powders, sugar, kokum & salt. Bring to boil.
5. Switch gas to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
6. Switch off the gas. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
7. Serve with hot rotlas or theplas with lemon wedges and roasted papads.

Note -
1. This is the basic recipe. It can be made many different ways. Use raw potatoes instead of boiled ones. Use a little tomato ketchup instead of kokum. Use chopped tomato instead of kokum. Use onion in tempering. Throw some boriya chilies in the tempering. Though pav-bhaji masala is not the part of the traditional recipe, it adds an extra kick to the simple recipe.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Thandai for Holi

I am not sure when my blog will see the title "Puranpoli for Holi"? I have made Puran Poli - Mangaluru style, I have tried it Gujarati style. But I haven't yet tried it Maharashtrian style. The only reason is that I am very intimidated. It's a daunting task for me to make Maharashtrian Puran Poli - the one which my grandmothers, aunts and mom have put it on the pedestal. Holi without Puran Poli is a showstopper and every year, I promise my blog that next year, I am making it. But this year, bloggie, let's just have Thandai. Let's make Puran poli next year!!

2 tsp Thandai powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp sugar (more or less per taste)

1. Mix all the ingredients together. I used my "Bru Shaker".
2. Pass through a sieve/strainer.
3. Serve chilled.

Note -
1. For richer taste, use full fat milk. I used skim milk.

Recipe Credits -
After making Thandai powder, I referred to Tarla Dalal's recipe.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thandai Mixture from Mumbai

This Thandai mixture has following ingredients -
1. Dry edible rose petals
2. Char Magaj seeds
3. Almonds
4. Pistachios
5. White Peppercorns
6. Black Peppercorns
7. Cloves
8. Green Cardamoms
9. Fennel seeds
10. Poppy seeds

Method -
1. Powder all the ingredients together in a dry spice grinder. Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eggless Pineapple Bread Pudding

Gudiya and her daddy picked up some pineapple bread from Costco. There were 5 slices left in the refrigerator which I decided to put to use as follows.
Eggless Pineapple Bread Pudding
5 slices of pineapple bread, crushed
1/2 tsp pineapple essence
1 tsp sugar for caramelizing
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup sugar (use more or less per taste)
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1. Whisk warm milk , butter and sugar till sugar is dissoloved.
2. Pour over bread crumbs.
3. Let it cool down. Add pineapple essence.
4. Grease pudding molds. Sprinkle sugar and heat the mold till sugar is caramelized.
5. Pour pudding mixture.
6. Steam in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes high and 12 minutes low.
Note -
I used individual serving pudding moulds which gave the shape of pineapple slices.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tomatochi Koshimbeer (2)

There are 2 major salad dressings in Maharashtrian cooking. One is lemon based and the other is yogurt based.  Since I have already blogged about tomato with lemon dressing, I am blogging about tomato with yogurt today. You can also add onion in any of the above salads for the extra crunch. However, whenever this salad is made for any religious/festive meals, onion is always avoided.

Tomato chi Dahyatli Koshimbeer
Tomato-Yogurt Salad

4 ripe but firm tomatoes, chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1 cup firmly set plain yogurt
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

1/3 cup roasted, unsalted peanut powder/daaNyache kooT

1 tsp oil or ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/ 2 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Garnish (Optional)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh coconut

1. Mix tomatoes, salt, sugar, peanut powder, chilies and yogurt.
2. Heat oil or ghee in a saucepan or foDNichi paLi. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Drizzle tempered oil over the salad.
4. Garnish with coconut and cilantro - if using.

Note -
1. Mom adds tempering to the tomato mixture first without adding yogurt. and then she adds yogurt. Sometimes hot tempered oil/ghee curdles yogurt.
2. Add more yogurt if you like.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kela Methi Thepla

Ripe banana and fresh fenugreek leaves make an unusual combo, that is enjoyed immensely in Gujarati kitchens.

Kela Methi na Thepla
Banana-Fenugreek Leaves Flatbread
2 ripe bananas, peeled & mashed with a fork approx = 2 cups
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup ground flax powder (optional)
1 tsp oil

1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves, rinsed and chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ginger-green chili paste

1 1/2 cup wheat flour

Oil for roasting
More wheat flour for dredging

Suggested accompaniment
Chundo or pickle

1. Mix all but last 3 ingredients.
2. Add wheat flour to bind the dough
3. Make about 11 uniform balls.
4. Roll into thin flatbreads using wheat flour for dredging
5. Heat a griddle or tawa.
6. Roast on a hot tawa, using oil as needed so brown spots appear on both sides.
7. Store in a clean cotton kitchen napkin or aluminum foil.

Note -
1. Do not use any water for kneading.
2. Do not keep dough for a long time as it may turn black due to the ripe bananas.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Salmon che Daangar - Salmon Burger

Daangar means cutlets/patties in Malvani. There are various types of daangars made from seafood. Most popular are clams and prawns. Surmai or king fish and Rawas are also used for making these cutlets. Here, I have used salmon since it's readily available here.

Salmon che Daangar
Salmon burger
3 fillets of salmon (I used from Costco)
1 tsp malvani masala
3-4 kokums, rinsed
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup fresh coconut,
1/4 cup besan/chickpa flour
1/4 cup rawa/sooji/cream of rice

2 tsp oil
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1. Marinate salmon with salt, malvani masala, turmeric powder, kokum, chili power. Set aside
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the whole spices, turmeric powder and onion.
3. As onion is soft, add marinates salmon fillets. Let them cook. Let them cool down completely.
4. Discard whole spices and kokum.
5. Using a fork, mash the salmon fillets.
6. Now, add cilantro, coconut, besan/chickpea flour and rawa/sooji/cream of rice
7. Make small balls. Flatten them to make small discs.
8. Heat oil for shallow frying.
9. Shallow fry all the daangars till they appear crunchy on both sides.
10. Drain and serve as an accompaniment with a meal.

Note -
1. These daangars are traditionally served as an accompaniment with a meal and not with burger buns. You can decide how you would like to serve them.
2. If you do not have malvani masala, use some garam masala and chili powder.

Check out
Ashwini's version of Salmon Croquettes
Pooja's version of Sungthache Daangar

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Buckwheat Flour Ghavane

Ghavane are lacy rice flour pancakes. They are served with coconut chutney or spicy curries. When I discovered the buckwheat flour in my fridge (Yes, I store it in the fridge!), I decided to make spicy version of Ghavane.

Buckwheat  Flour Ghavane
1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup flax meal/ground flax seeds
salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, chopped/minced
1/2" ginger, peeled & minced or grated
3 cups water (add more if needed)

Oil for shallow frying

1. Mix all the ingredients except oil
2. Heat a nonstick pan/griddle
3. Pour a ladleful of batter. Drizzle some oil around it. Cover and let it cook.
4. Flip and let it cook on the other side.
5. Proceed with remaining batter.
6. Serve hot with a chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. You can add some finely chopped onion to the batter if you like.
2. Make sure that the pan is hot to get the characteristic holes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kolhapuri Gawarichi Bhaaji

I loved this bhaaji when I had it first at my friend's place. I had never tasted cluster beans with peanut powder (daaNyache KooT) before. You can use green beans or any other string beans of your choice instead of cluster beans.

Kolhapuri Gawarichi Bhaaji
Cluster beans with peanut powder
2 cups pieces of cluster beans, both ends removed and cut by hand into 2" pieces
salt to taste
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, powdered/daaNyache koot

Grind to fine paste
3-4 garlic cloves
2-3 green chilies (use less or more)
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup chopped onion

2 tbsp coconut (optional)

1.Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering. As onion turns soft, add green paste.
2. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add gawar/cluster beans. Mix. Cover with a lid. Add water on the lid.
4. Let it cook stirring in between.
5. Once cooked, add peanut powder, salt and coconut - if using.
6. Serve with ghadichi poLi

Note -
1. You can steam cluster beans before hand to save time.
2. If you need to have a pinch of sugar/jaggery, add it along with salt.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011


MaThTha makes a wonderful accompaniment with kaLa bhaat. Do not forget to serve Jilbi as a dessert to complete the traditional meal!:-D

Spiced Buttermilk
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
4 cups water
salt to taste
sugar to taste (optional)

Grind to fine paste
1" ginger, peeled
2 green chilies (use more or less)
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves

2 tsp toop/ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 curry leaves sprigs, torn

1. Churn yogurt with water, salt and sugar - if using.
2. Add green paste and churn again.
3. Heat ghee in a small saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
4. Drizzled the tempered oil. Mix
5. Serve with kaLa bhaat

Note -
1. If yogurt is naturally sweet, do not use sugar.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hinga Chutney

This chutney has a distinct flavor of hing or asafoetida. It goes very well with idlis and dosas.

Hinga Chutney
Asafoetida chutney
3/4 cup freshly scraped coconut
salt to taste

Roast in 1 tsp coconut oil
4 byadgi chilies
Switch off the gas and add 1/4 tsp asafoetida

1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp urad daal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida (Again!)
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn

1. Roast red chilies in coconut oil. Switch off the gas. add asafoetida. Stir till it sizzles.
2. Grind with coconut, salt and water as needed. Pour in a serving bowl.
3. Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add tempering ingredients.
4. Drizzle the tempered oil over chutney.
5. Serve with dosa and chutney

Note -
1. Use any other oil of your choice. But coconut oil gives an authentic flavor.
2. Use chilies per your taste.
3. The consistency of chutney is not too thick not too thin.
4. You need to switch off the gas before adding asafoetida for roasting otherwise it may burn and will give bitter flavor.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rajgiryachi Dushmi

As I have mentioned before, when a flatbread is kneaded using milk instead of water, it is called a  "Dushmi" in Marathi. For fasting, special flours like rajgira/rajgaro (amaranth flour), shingada (water chestnut) flours are used. Today I am blogging about Rajgiryachi Dushmi

Rajgiryachi Dushmi
राजगिर्याची दशमी
Amaranth Flour Flatbread
1 cup rajgira flour
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
milk as needed to knead
salt to taste

1. Mix flour, cumin seeds and salt.
2. Using milk as needed, knead into a dough.
3. Roll into 4 - 6 small flatbreads.

4. Roast on a griddle or tawa till brown spots appear on both sides.
5. Serve along with batatyachi upasachi bhaaji or Ratalyachi bhaaji or Bhoplyachi bhaaji or Mirchichi pasachi bhaaji.

Note -
1. Many people, especially Gujaratis use rock salt called sindhav or saindhav for preparing fasting food.


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