Monday, October 31, 2011

Mooli ki chutney

When my parents had gone on their North India tour, they tasted really delicious daal vadas in Punjab - crispy from outside and soft from inside. The most unusual thing was those vadas were served with mooli ki chutney. We would have called it salad. but the vendor called it a chutney. So here's my version, which was created after having a phone conversation with my mom when she was in Jalandhar, Punjab.

Mooli Ki Chutney
Radish Salad
2 white radishes or 2 bunches of red radishes
salt to taste
A generous pinch of black pepper powder
A generous pinch of chaat masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
Lemon juice as needed
1-2 green chilies, minced (or adjust according to the desired heat/spice level)

1. If using white radishes, peel them. Remove both ends of the radishes and minced them very finely.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients
3. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. The above proportion is for 1 cup minced radishes. So adjust the counts/bunches of radishes accordingly.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Purslane chi Bhaaji

I had borrowed a book from the library which talked about some star vegetables and foods that are extremely healthful. This book talked about a leafy greens called purslane which originated in India. I do not remember any leafy greens by that name, but did remember considering it as a weed while picking fenugreek leaves. Later, I spotted this veggie in the farmers market so I wanted to try it. I used mom's general method of cooking leafy greens. Mom generally uses green chili or a combination of red and green chilies. But I was out of green chillies that day. So I used mild chili powder instead.
P.S. Mom informed me that Purslane is called GhoL or GhoLichi Bhaaji in Marathi.

Purslane chi Bhaaji
घोळीची भाजी 
1 big bunch  or 2 small bunches of purslane
1 small potato (optional)
salt to taste
 A pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp paprika

2 tsp oil
3 -4 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed leaving each garlic whole
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp freshly scraped coconut (optional)

1. Clean and rinse purslane.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add garlic cloves. As they change color, add onion and turmeric powder. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add potatoes - if using. Let them cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add pursilane. Fry for 1 minute. Cover with a lid. Pour water on the lid. Turn the gas to low. Let it cook.
5. Add salt and sugar and chili powder.
6. Garnish with coconut - if using.

Note -
1. If using green chilies, add along with the onion.
2. Always add salt after the greens are cooked. When raw, leafy greens appear to be huge in quantity. But after getting cooked, they reduce in proportion. So adjust salt accordingly.
3. Please note that the potato is totally optional for this recipe.

Purslane or GhoLichi Bhaaji

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Diwali ' 2011

Happy Diwali!!

शुभ दीपावली

સાલ મુબારક

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chakkuli (1) - Moong Daal Chakli

Diwali is just around the corner. I generally make 5 Diwali snacks each year. Ever since, I have started blogging, I see to it that these 5 snacks are different than last year. This year, I made my grandmother's chakkuli. It is a Konkani version of Chakli. My grandmother's proportion is given below my version. I made 1/4th of it. It still gave me 4 dozens chakkulis.

Chakkuli - (4 dozen count)
1/4 cup yellow moong daal (without skin)
1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour/maida
1/2 tbsp white butter/I used hot oil instead

1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste

Vegetable oil for deep frying.

1. Pick and rinse moong daal. Add double amount of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
2. Tie all purpose flour in a muslin cloth or a clean handkerchief. Tie a knot. Place in a cooker container. Pressure cook for 1 whistle.
3. When it cools down, break any lumps in all purpose flour, using clean and dry hands.
4. Mix the flour with cooled, cooked daal, add cumin seeds, butter or hot oil.
5. Knead into a smooth dough.
6. Grease chakli mould/saacha. Roll out smallish chaklis. Keep them apart on  a clean , dry plate. Let them dry out for 10 minutes.
7. Heat oil for frying.
8. Deep fry chaklies in a single layer. Do not over-crowd the kadai.
9. Drain on a kitcehn absorbent paper.
10. Let them cool down completely.
11. They get crispy as they get cooled. Store in an airtight container.

Note -
My Grandma's proportion
6 cups all purpose flour
1 cup moong daal

2. My grandmother and aunt would recommend, cooking moong daal for 2 whistles and maida for 1 whistle. But I pressure cooked them together to save on time and fuel.

3. My grand aunt used the same recipe, but used rice flour instead of all purpose flour.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Faggil & Gonytya Fodi

These simple veggie crisps go very well with plain rice, dalitauy, nonche and upkari.

Faggila and or Gonytya Phodi
4 - 5 parwars/gonyta
4 - 5 Kantole/FaggiL
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste

To dredge
1 1/2 tbsp rice flour + 1/2 tbsp fine rava
A pinch of salt

Oil for shallow frying

1. Rinse and cut both ends of the veggies.
2. Cut parwars into 4 slivers. Cut kantola into 4 slices
3. Marinate with salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida and chili powder.
4. Heat an iron tawa/pan. Add oil - preferably coconut oil
5. Mix rice flour and rawa with salt. Dredge marinated veggies, one piece at a time. Remove excess flour mixture.
6. Place the veggies in the oil carefully.
7. Shallow fry turning once till veggies are cooked. Drain on a kitchen absorbent paper.

Note -
1. Only rice flour or only rawa can also be used. But rice flour makes it crispy and rawa adds a nice texture.
2. For an authentic taste, use coconut oil for frying.
3. Serve with plain rice, daaLitauy and any konkani upkari.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Methiche Ladoo

I always avoided them. They were bitter. But after Gudiya was born, when my mom and mom-in-law told me how important these Methi Ladoo are, I started eating them. Methi - or fenugreek seeds are said to increase the milk supply for the new moms. Even the lactation consultant had recommended using the fenugreek capsules from Whole Foods.

I have observed one more thing within my Marathi and Gujarati family. Maharashtrians make Methiche ladoo, Gujaratis make Methi Paank. Maharashtrians make Dinkache Ladoo, Gujaratis make Gundar Paank. I was fortunate to get pampered by both ladoos and paanks!! Ladoos are spherical balls, paanks are flat squares or diamonds like barfies.

Methi ladoos are also known to help with backaches. I was fortunate to learn this Methi Ladoo recipe from my 91 year old grand aunt, during our last India visit. Please note that expectant moms are not supposed to eat these ladoos. Only after child birth, these laddoos are recommended.

Methi che Ladoo
मेथी चे लाडू
Fenugreek Seeds Balls
2 cup fenugreek seeds/methi powder
2 cups wheat flour (I used 1 3/4 cups wheat flour  + 1/4 cup flax powder)
1 cup ghee/clarified butter/sajook toop
1 1/2  -  2 cups grated jaggery
1/2 cup walnut + almond + dry dates/kharik powder

1. Heat 1/2 of the clarified butter in a heavy bottomed pan. fry fenugreek powder on a low flame. Set aside.
2. Add remaining ghee. Fry wheat flour on a low flame. Set aside.
3. Heat another heavy bottomed saucepan. Add jaggery powder and 1/2 cup water. Let it melt on a low flame. When bubbles start to appear, take off the heat. Add all the roasted powders, flours, nuts powder. Mix well.
4. Grease your hands with ghee. When it is okay to knead the dough, roll into uniform ladoos.

Note -
1. Above mixture gave me about 15 ladoos. This count will vary depending on the size of the ladoos.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ravyachi Kheer/Rava Payas

When we had been to Ram Nayak's udipi Shrikrishna, the sweet du jour was "Rava Payas". I ate it after a long time. So after coming back home here, I decided to make it.

Ravyachi Kheer/Rava Payas
Semolina Pudding
1/4 cup fine rawa/semolina
1 tbsp sajook toop/clarified butter

4 cups milk (use whole, organic for richer taste)
3/4 cup sugar (use more or less per taste)
4-5 green cardamoms, peeled & powdered

1. Heat ghee/toop/clarified butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
2. Roast fine rava or semolina on a low flame till it is pinkish in color. Do not let it burn.
3. Add milk and sugar. Bring to boil on a medium flame while stirring. Let it simmer for 5  minutes.
4. Add crushed cardamoms.
5. Serve warm.

Note -
1. Use whole milk for richer taste.
2. Do not let rawa burn.
3. Do not simmer it for a long time as it shouldn't turn into sheera!;-)

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Tres Leche Cake

Someone very special is turning 4 today so I am posting a tres leche cake. I can't believe it's 4 years since I started blogging.

Recipe coming soon.
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Monday, October 3, 2011



Some plants/trees remind me of Mumbai. Bougainvillea is one such plant. When I spotted it at our local nursery here, I bought it immediately. This plant connects me to my roots.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mahatma @Union Square, NYC

"You should be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Exotic Cupcakes(3) - Rose Cupcake

I made these Rose cupcake by adding rose water and Dabur rose syrup. You could use only rose water if you like. Addition of Dabur rose syrup gave a pink color to the cupcakes.  You can use Rooh Afza if you like. I was really tempted to garnish with edible rose petals but then I thought it might be little too exotic for the audience.

Rose Cupcakes
1 packet Betty Crocker French Vanilla cake mix
1 1/2 tbsp rose water
1 1/2 tbsp Dabur rose syrup (or rooh afza)
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

1/2 tub Betty Crocker Cream cheese frosting
Few drop of red color or rose syrup

1. Using an electric blender, mix cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, rose water and rose syrup.
2. Preheat oven 350 F. Bake cupcakes per directions on the back of the cake mix.
3. Let them cool down completely before frosting.
4. Frost the cupcakes using cream cheese or vanilla frosting.
5. Enjoy!

Note -
1. Do not frost the cupcakes unless they have completely cooled off.

A batch of Rose cupcakes

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