Sunday, May 27, 2012

Arvi Kachrya


Call it "Kaachrya", "Kaap" or "Fodi", these shallow fried vegetable fritters add a delicious twist to the daily simple meal. Serve it with rice and simple daal (VaraN, Daali Tauy or Daalichi Amti)

Arvichya Kaachrya
अरवीच्या काचऱ्या 
Taro Roots Fritters - Shallow Fried
Ingredients
1 medium arvi/maadi/aLaKund/Taro Root

1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste

For dredging
1 tbsp rice flour + 1 tbsp fine rawa

Oil for shallow frying

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Rice
Daal

Method
1. Peel the root, clean and dry completely. It's little slimey.
2. Cut into thick rounds.
3. Sprinkle salt, chili powder, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
4. Dredge into rice flour and rawa mixture.
5. Heat a tawa or pan.
6. Shallow fry on both sides adding oil as necessary.
7. Drain on a kitchen napkin before serving.

Note -
1. You can add little chili powder, salt in the rice flour mixture to give an extra taste.
2. Any root vegetables like potato, yam, sweet potato or even eggplants, raw tomatoes, bitter gourd, breadfruit , mushrooms can be used for making these fritters.



Friday, May 25, 2012

Kolhapuri Koshimbeer


What is "Kolhapuri" in the good, old koshimbeer - you might ask? Well, I agree - Koshimbeer is a koshimbeer after all. But over the years, I have collected so many recipes from friends and family, that I use my own prefixes and suffixes to differentiate. Now, when we make Koshimbeer, we don't add chili powder in it - so that's one factor which stands out in today's recipe.

Kolhapuri Koshimbeer
कोल्हापुरी कोशिंबीर
Ingredients
1 carrot, peeled & grated or chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled & chopped
1 small white daikon radish/muLa, peeled & grated or chopped
1 small bunch of VaLutli Methi
1 cup yellow corn, steamed and cooled
1/2 of small red onion chopped
1 tomato, chopped

salt to taste
Generous pinch of chaat masala (as desired)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 lemon, freshly squeezed

Method
1. Prepare the veggies by peeling/chopping/grating.
2. Mix all veggies together.
3. Add salt, chaat masala, chili powder.
4. Squeeze fresh lemon
5. Mix well. Serve as an accompaniment

Note -
1. Chaat masala has rock salt so adjust salt accordingly.
2. Instead of yellow corn, freshly shelled green peas can also be used.




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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Masooriche Peeth - Lentil Flour

Masooriche Peeth from Mumbai

I had never tasted or even seen Masooriche peeth or pink/orange lentil daal flour before I accidentally stumbled upon it at Chhedda Stores in Matunga, Mumbai. I have always loved this beautiful colored daal so when I discovered its flour, I had to buy it.

I made -


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Monday, May 21, 2012

Masoorichya Peethache Pithale




Due to this crazy obsession about food, I tend to gather many flours, beans, legumes and grains in my pantry. When I myself start losing track of all the ingredients, I decide to use them up pronto before they get spoilt. In that rush, I feel like a  "Chopped" contestant where you have to come up with an original dish with the given ingredients. One such ingredient yesterday was "Masoor Daal Flour". It has a delicate orange hue. I could think of many recipes where I can substitute this flour instead of besan/chickpea flour. But finally, I went the most rudimentary way - Pithale. I used the basic Kolhapuri Pithale recipe.

Masoorichya Peethache Pithale
मसुरीच्या पीठाचे पिठले
Ingredients
Whisk together :
3/4 cup masoor daal flour/brown lentil flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped, smashed or minced

You will also need
2 tsp Kolhapuri chutney/Masala
1 1/2 cups water

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Rice
or
Bhakri
and
Raw, sliced onion

Method
1. Whisk besan/chickpea flour with buttermilk so there are no lumps. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves. As they start spluttering, add garlic cloves. Saute for 1 minute. Add onion. Stir fry till onion is soft.
3. Now add Kolhapuri masala. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Add 1 1/2 cup water and salt to taste - remember that we have also added salt in the flour mixture. Adjust accordingly. Bring to boil.
5. Switch gas to low. Add whisked flour-buttermilk mixture.
6. Keep stirring, switching gas to medium.
7. Switch off the gas when Pithale reaches the consistency of semi-set pudding.

Note -
1. We are required to add salt in flour + buttermilk mixture and then again in the boiling water. Adjust salt carefully. Also check salt content in your Kolhapuri Masala/chutney. If it already has salt, adjust your seasoning accordingly.
2. After whisking the flour and water, if there is too much foam, just take it off using a spoon.


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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lobster Cutlets


I used the leftover Bhujne to make this delicious Malvani burger.

Shevandanche Daangar
Lobster Burger
Ingredients
1 recipe leftover Lobster Bhujne
1/4 cup fine rawa
1/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
1/4 cup rice flour
Oil for shallow frying

Method
1. Remove whole spice and bay leaf from the bhujne.
2. Mix in rawa, chickpea flour, rice flour.
3. Add salt to taste. Though the bhujne already has salt, you may need some more to adjust for the flours addition.
4. Make 10-12 balls and flatten them to disc shapes.
5. Heat a pan,tawa or griddle.
6. Pan fry/shallow fry till the patties are brown on both the sides.
7. Serve as an accompaniement with a typical GSB meal or serve as a lobster sandwich.

Note -
1. I used readymade lobster meat from Costco



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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lobster Dry Curry


I have never eaten lobster in India. But I do know that it goes by the name "ShevanD" in Marathi and I know several lobster recipes. My mom and aunts have told me the stories about succulent lobster curries.
When I had gone to Costco, I saw lobster meat pack. So I decided to revive some old family recipes.

Shevandanche Bhujne
Lobster Stir Fry
Ingredients

Marinate
2 cups lobster meat, cooked (I used it from Costco)
1 tbsp Malvani Masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt
3-4 kokums or 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp


Tempering
1 tbsp oil
3-4 cloves
1 bayleaf
4 black peppercorns
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp garlic paste or minced garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
1/4 cup freshly scraped coconut
1/4 cup minced cilantro

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add whole spices. As they sizzle, add onion, turmeric powder and garlic
3. Saute till onion is soft.
4. Add marinated lobster meat.Saute till all the liquid is evaporated.
5. Stir in coconut and cilantro/coriander leaves
6. Serve with Rice Bhakri

Note -
1. Since cooked lobster meat is used, reduce the cooking time accordingly.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kolhapuri Vaal


This recipe is exactly similar to Kolhapuri Okra seeds curry. But I will repeat the recipe here for reference.



Kolhapuri style Vaalachi Amti
कोल्हापुरी वालाची आमटी
Bitter Field Beans Curry
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup Vaal sprouts/DaLimbya
salt to taste

Grind to paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
3-4 cloves garlic

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp Kolhapuri Masala/Chutney (or per taste)
* Coconut paste

Thickener/Indian Roux
1 tbsp jwari/jondhLa/jowar/sorghum flour
1/2 cup water

Method
1. Follow the instructions given here to sprout the field beans.
2. Grind coconut with cilantro and garlic cloves. This paste does not need to be too smooth.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients till curry leaves. As they splutter, add onion and saute till onion is soft. Add Kolhapuri masala and coconut paste. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add vaal sprouts. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Switch gas to low. Cover and let it cook.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. In a small container, whisk sorghum flour with water till there are no lumps.
8. Drizzle slowly to the boiling curry while stirring continuously with other hand.
9. Simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Adjust water consistency as needed. Switch off the gas.
11. Serve with Bhakri

Note -
1. If you can't get vaal sprouts, lima beans sprouts can be substituted.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day 2012

This song beautifully emotes what I feel every morning when I wave  good bye to Gudiya. I realize that my mom must have felt the same when she waved me good bye every day when I was growing up in Mumbai and also when she waved me good bye when I stepped on that airplane to come to the United States.

"Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile"
--- ABBA

Happy Mothers Day!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Methichi Bhaji


My mom's Methichi bhaaji is exactly similar to VaLutlya Methichi bhaaji. However, since there is a difference between the flavor and texture of two fenugreek vegetables, the result has a different taste.

Methichi Bhaaji
मेथीची भाजी
Fenugreek Leaves Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 Bunch of Fresh fenugreek Leaves
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup chopped onion
2-3 green chilies, slit
1 smallish potato, peeled and chopped

Garnish
2 tbsp freshly scraped coconut

Method
1. Pluck the leaves of the fresh methi/fenugreek. Rinse it thoroughly. Chop the leaves roughly
2. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the tempering ingredients.
3. As the onion gets soft and potato is cooked, add chopped fenugreek leaves.
4. Sprinkle some water. Cover with a lid. Pour some water on top of the lid.
5. Let it cook on medium heat.
6. Add salt after the greens are cooked. Add a pinch of sugar.
7. Garnish with fresh coconut.

Note -
1. Always add salt after the greens are cooked. Generally after cooking, the greens get wilted and result in very small amount.
2. Mom says it's okay not to add mustard seeds in this recipe as well. In that case first add onion and green chilies and then add turmeric powder in the tempering. Stir for few minutes and then add the potato.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kolhapuri Pithle


Pithale is the simplest and quickest dish in the Maharashtrian home cook's repertoire. It's basically a back up plan when the guests arrive unexpectedly. After all, it takes mere 15 minutes to make this dish and with plain rice, a wholesome fresh meal is served in no time. However, there are many avatars of this ubiquitous Maharashtrian dish. I am sharing my friend's Kolhapuri version today.

Kolhapuri Pithale
कोल्हापुरी पिठले
Ingredients
Whisk together :
3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped, smashed or minced

You will also need
2 tsp Kolhapuri chutney/Masala
1 1/2 cups water

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Rice
or
Bhakri
and
Raw, sliced onion

Method
1. Whisk besan/chickpea flour with buttermilk so there are no lumps. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves. As they start spluttering, add garlic cloves. Saute for 1 minute. Add onion. Stir fry till onion is soft.
3. Now add Kolhapuri masala. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Add  1 1/2 cup water and salt to taste - remember that we have also added salt in the besan mixture. Adjust accordingly. Bring to boil.
5. Switch gas to low. Add whisked besan-buttermilk mixture.
6. Keep stirring, switching gas to medium.
7. Switch off the gas when Pithale reaches the consistency of semi-set pudding.

Note -
1. We are required to add salt in besan + buttermilk mixture and then again in the boiling water. Adjust salt carefully. Also check salt content in your Kolhapuri Masala/chutney. If it already has salt, adjust your seasoning accordingly.





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Monday, May 7, 2012

Bread & Butter Pudding


Sometimes, I feel like making the western desserts that we ate during our childhood days. Bread and Butter pudding was one such dessert. I used oven to bake the pudding but in India, pressure cooker was used to steam the pudding.

Bread & Butter Pudding
Ingredients
5 oatmeal bread slices - preferably day old, cut into 4 strips
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar

Whisk together
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar


Garnish
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Method
1. Preheat oven 350 F
2. Grease a Pyrex baking dish.
3. Spread butter on both sides of bread strips.
4. Arrange Bread slices in the greased baking dish, making vertical and horizontal patterns.
5. Add whisked egg mixture and raisins & walnuts pieces. Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar on top.
6. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or till the pudding appears to be ready.

Note
1. Serve warm bread and butter pudding with cold vanilla ice cream.
2. I used oatmeal bread because that's what I had it. Use any white bread of your choice. If you use richer bread like Brioche, it will taste even better.
3. As a variation, you can smear your favorite jam or orange marmalade along with butter.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Buddha Purnima 2012


Buddha Statue, Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco


बुद्धं शरणं गच्छामि!

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Black Bean Burrito for Cinco De Mayo


"I need to buy a Mexican dress for tomorrow! It's Cinco De Mayo!!" Gudiya announced cheerfully yesterday. I do not know where to buy that colorful Mexican frock for her but I sure wanted to cook Mexican feast to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.

Cinco De Mayo simply means May 5th in Spanish. It is celebrated in the United States to celebrate Mexico's victory.


This is how we celebrated Cinco De Mayo at our home. Along with Black Bean Burrito, I also made Flan which goes by the name "Caramel Custard" in India.

Black Bean Burrito
Ingredients
For Black Beans
1 cup black beans
1/2 medium purple cabbage, roughly shredded
1 cup Jack's Salsa from Costco
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder

Rice
1 cup cooked white or brown rice

For Garnish
1 tomato, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
few sprigs of cilantro
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 lime,
2 cups shredded ice burg lettuce

Tortilla
4 medium tortilla of your favorite brand. [I like Whole foods whole wheat or red chili or Ezekiel brand sprouted wheat tortilla]

Optional Garnishes
Hot sauce
Salsa
Guacamole

Method
1. Soak black beans overnight. Next morning, drain the beans. Combine all the ingredients under black beans. Pressure cook in a pressure pan. Let the pressure drop. Let it simmer till water is evaporated. Let it cool down to room temperature.
2. Keep all the garnishes ready by chopping.
3. Cook white or brown rice. Let it cool down at room temperature.
4. Warm tortillas over a cast iron griddle.
5. Place lettuce, rice, black beans, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado. Squeeze fresh lime juice.
6. Fold two ends (top and bottom and then roll into a burrito. If the stuffing is too much to roll, just roll into a half and serve it as a soft taco.

Note -
1. Once I added purple cabbage to black beans stew and Gudiya loved the flavor. Since then  I always add purple cabbage to this recipe. I think it works together. But if you have doubts, you can hold the cabbage.
2. You can add more garnishes like sour cream, grated cheese etc. But I went ahead with a vegan option.
3. I like Jack's salsa from Costco as it has very fresh flavor. If you don't have it or don't want to use readymade salsa, simply add chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro in the pressure cooker with black beans.
4. I add turmeric powder wherever possible to add that anti-oxidant boost. So I don't claim this recipe to be authentic but this is how I make the black bean burrito.



FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

LasNiche VaraN


Varan that I grew up with is a very mild, daily daal. It has just a few basic ingredients. However, I tasted a different varan seasoned with garlic at my friend's house. So I am sharing this garlicky varan recipe today.

LasNiche Varan
लसणीचे वरण
Simple Daal with Garlic
Ingredients
1/2 cup toor daal
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
5 fenugreek seeds
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced


Method
1. Pressure cook toor daal adding adequate water. Mash and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients but garlic.
3. When it sizzles, add minced garlic. Saute without letting garlic burn.
4. Add mashed daal, 1 cup water and salt to taste.
5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Note -
1. This recipe will be sufficient for 2 people.


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