Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thai Curry topped with Green Pea Shoots


I first saw these tiny green pea shoots at San Francisco's Farmers' Market. I was wondering how to use them. As luck would have it, the very same day we dined at the "Plant" restaurant in San Francisco's Marina area. I had Thai curry and it came garnished with those same pea shoots. They reminded me of the small methi shoots known as vaLutli methi or samudra methi in Mumbai. I loved this combo.

At home, I grew my own pea shoots by planting dried green peas (hirve vataNe) in old mushroom containers. I generally, sprout the beans but this was actually making the seedlings. I then, used these pea shoots to garnish the curry.


Thai curry topped with green Pea Shoots
6 cups stir-fry vegetables, frozen
Salt to taste
1 can reduced fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tsp sugar

Tempering
1 tbsp dark sesame oil

Grind to a fine paste
1 bunch cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced lemongrass (I used from the bottle)
1/2 tsp galangal (I used from the bottle)
10-12 leaves of Thai basil
2 green chilies (use more for more heat)
1/2 tsp chopped kafir limes leaves (I used from the bottle)

Garnish
Lime wedges
A handful of green pea shoots, remove tendrils

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Jasmine Rice

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Saute stir-fry vegetables till they are cooked.
3. Add green paste, salt and sugar to taste
4. Add coconut milk. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Pour over a bed of plain Jasmine rice in an individual serving bowls.
6. Garnish with green pea shoots. Serve with lemon wedges on sides.

Note -
1. Sometimes I add potatoes, butternut squash to this curry.
2. Green Pea Shoots may be available in your local Farmers' markets.

Homegrown Green Pea Shoots

Credits
Recipe inspired by Plant Organic restaurant, San Francisco

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Bhoplya Mirchicha Kaayras - Bell Pepper salad



Frankly, I am not sure how to translate this dish in English. It's not exactly salad or chutney or dip or curry but it's an accompaniment with the main meal nonetheless. It is generally made as a part of a "saatvik" meal.


Bhoplya Mirchicha Kaayras
भोपळ्या  मिरचीचा  कायरस 
Bell Pepper Salad
Ingredients
3 medium green bell peppers, stemmed/cored, diced about 2 1/4 cup
1 medium potato, peeled & diced, about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup peanuts or cashews - raw & unsalted - soaked in water for 1 hour

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds

Whish till no lumps in a bowl
1 cup water
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/4 cup jaggery powder
1 tbsp goda masala
1 tbsp roasted, unsalted peanut powder/daanyache kooT
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
1 tbsp freshly scraped coconut

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add asafoetida and sesame seeds.
3. As they splutter, add peanuts or cashews. Saute for about 2 minutes.
4. Add bell peppers and potatoes. Saute for 5 minutes. Cover with a lid. Pour some water on top. Cook till the vegetables are cooked just right. Do not let it overcook.
5. Now add tamarind -jaggery mixture. Let the mixture come to boil.
6. Switch the gas to low. Add coconut.  Let it simmer till it reaches desired consistency. It should not be very thin.
7. Serve as an accompaniment with the mail meal.

Note -
1. This kaayrus should not be runny. It should stay in place just like chutney or koshimbeer. But it needs to have a thick gravy.




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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Phavva Upkari - Coconut Pohe



This is a simple "pohe" recipe from my grandmother's kitchen. I made it for the Janmashtami celebration this year. I generally make a pohe dish which does not have onion & garlic for this festival. This year I made "Phavva Upkari" & "Bhappa Doi". This recipe tastes the best with abundant use of coconut.

Phavva Upkari
Beaten Rice with Coconut
Ingredients
4 cups thin pohe
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste without adding any water
1 1/2 cup coconut, freshly scraped
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted
4 byadgi chilies or 2 tsp mild chile powder

1/3 cup jaggery powder

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

Garnish (optional)
1/2 cup freshly scraped coconut

Method
1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Roast thin pohe till they are crisp.
2. Sprinkle salt and mix well.
3. Heat another spoonful of ghee. Add the tempering ingredients. Pour the tempered oil over the pohe. Stir well. Set aside to cool down to room temperature.
4. Meanwhile, roast coriander seeds, cumn seeds and byadgi chilies one after the other.
5. Grind to a fine paste with freshly scraped coconut. Do not add any water.
6. After the paste is fine, add jaggery powder and grind again to make a uniform paste.
7. Add the coconut paste to the roasted pohe mixture. Mix well so the pohe flakes are coated with masala.
8. Add more coconut for garnish - if using.
9. Serve immediately.

Note
1. Use your clean hands for mixing pohe with coconut paste. Using spoon for mixing will not work well.
2. Instead of ghee/clarified butter, coconut oil can also be used.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Talwala Masala Thepla


I am sharing a simple Gujarati flatbread with spices today. No more description, a busy work week ahead!!;-)

Talwala Masala Thepla - Count 12
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chili paste
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1 tbsp finely minced cilantro
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
salt to taste
A pinch of asafoetida

1 tbsp oil

Rice flour for dredging
Oil for roasting

Suggested Accompaniment
Chhundo/Sweet mango pickle

Method
1. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add water gingerly and knead into a dough. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Make 12 uniform balls.
3. Roll into thin discs using rice flour for dredging.
4. Heat griddle or tawa. Roast each disc till brown spots appear on both the sides. Add oil as needed for roasting.
5. Save in a clean kitchen napkin till ready to serve.

Note -
1. A spoonful of sugar can also be added to the flour mixture.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Indian American Jonnycakes


These pancakes go by both the names Jonnycakes or Johnycakes. They came out pretty well, when I tried them for the first time. However,  my tastebuds refused to accept them with the traditional Maple syrup or honey. I searched for my lasnichi chutney/fiery garlic condiment. So naturally, I had to make the spicy version next time. I used the leftover Idli batter to make this Indianized version.

Indian American Johnycakes
Ingredients
1 cup leftover Idli batter
1/2 cup Masa Harina
salt as needed
water as needed
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Stir in - (optional)
3 tbsp minced red onion
2 minced green chilies
1 tbsp minced cilantro

Oil for roasting

Method
1. Mix Masa harina into the Idli batter. Stir in water as needed to make a thick pancake like batter.
2. Adjust salt.
3. Add onion, chilies, cilantro - if using.
4. Heat pan or griddle.
5. Pour a dollop of batter. Drizzle some oil for roasting.

6. Cover and let it cook. Flip to cook on the other side.
7. Serve hot along with chutney or ketchup of your choice.

Note -
1. Do not make batter too thin.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

American Indian Jonnycakes or Johnycakes



These days, Gudiya has been reading "The little house on the prairie" by Laura Ingall Wilder. To keep up with the pioneer spirit that's been going on in our home, I decided to make some Johnycakes (or Jonnycakes) for breakfast. Now, why the prefix "American Indian", you may ask? Well, just because an Indian American version is coming up next!;-)

American Indian Jonnycakes
Ingredients
1 cup Masa Harina
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup hot water
1/2 - 3/4 cup cold water.

Oil for frying Jonnycakes

Method
1. Mix Masa Harina, sugar and salt.
2. Add boiling hot water. Stir well.
3. Now add cold water so there are no lumps. Adjust water according to the consistency of the batter. The batter should have thick pancake batter consistency.
4. Heat griddle or tawa.
5. Add a dollop of batter. Drizzle some oil for cooking. Cover and let it cook.

6. Flip to cook on the other side.
7. Serve hot johnycakes along with maple syrup, honey or agave nectar.

Note -
1. The batter should have thick pancake batter consistency.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mogrinu Bhart - Radish Stringbeans & Eggplant Bharta

 
Mogri - as we call Radish string beans in Marathi & Gujarati is a delicacy. I have never seen this vegetable at our local Indian or Farmers' markets, although this is readily available in the freezer section of the local Indian stores. I prefer this vegetable fresh so I sow radish seeds every spring to grow my own "mogri".  Typically there are two varieties of these string beans - purple & green. My mother-in-law pairs only green colored string beans with eggplant for making this bharit.
 
A word of caution - this vegetable has a very pungent flavor and smell. This may be an acquired taste.
 
Mogri nu Bhartu
Radish string Beans with Eggplant Salad
Ingredients
1 big eggplant, bharta variety
1 cup green mogri, cut into bite sized pieces
salt to taste
2 tsp coriander-cumin powder
 
Grind to a smooth paste
3/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
3-4 garlic cloves
3-4 green chilies
1" ginger, peeled
 
Tempering 1
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
 
Tempering 2
1 tsp oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
 
Garnish
1 tbsp minced cilantro

Method
1. Broil, grill or roast eggplant. Remove the outer charred peels. Discard the stem. Mash the eggplant pulp and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add minced onion and turmeric powder. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add green masala paste. Saute for about 10-12 minutes on medium flame.
4. Now, add mogri - radish string beans. Add 2 tbsp water. Cover with a lid and cook till mogries are cooked.
5. Add eggplant pulp, coriander-cumin powder and salt to taste.
6. Cook for 10 minutes.
7. Switch off the gas. Just before serving, heat oil in another small saucepan. Add garlic and saute till it changes a shade darker. Switch off the gas. Add chile powder.
8. Drizzle tempered oil over the eggplant.
9. Garnish with cilantro.

Note
1. Although, authentically speaking, only purple string beans are used in this recipe, you may substitute green radish string beans if they are available.
2. A word of caution - this vegetable has a very pungent flavor and smell. This may be an acquired taste.




Pretty Radish flowers that soon will turn into string beans - from my container garden


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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SuraNachi Taakatli Bhaji - Elephant foot yam with Buttermilk curry


 
This simple curry may resemble "Kadhi" yet it's different. Serve it with plain rice.
 
SurNachi Taakatli Bhaaji
सुरणाची  ताकातली  भाजी 
Elephant Foot Yam with coconut-buttermilk gravy
Ingredients
1 packet cut suraN/elephant foot yam (12 oz)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 spring curry leaves
 
Salt to taste
 
Grind to a smooth paste
1/2 cup Coconut, freshly scraped preferably
3 green chilies
1" ginger, peeled
 
Whisk till no lumps
1 1/2 cup buttermilk - preferably sour
1 1/2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
 
Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2-3 red chilies, halved
 
Method
1. Rinse suraN pieces according to the instructions. Do not keep outside to thaw. Place rinsed suraN with turmeric powder, curry leaves and 1/4 cup water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cover and let it cook till done.
2. Meanwhile, grind coconut with green chilies and ginger.
3. Whisk buttermilk and chickpea flour till there are no lumps. Add coconut paste to the buttermilk mixture and mix well.
4. Pour buttermilk-coconut mixture into the cooked suraN. Add water to adjust the consistency but it shouldn't be watery.
5. Add salt to taste. Bring to boil. Keep stirring from time to time.
6. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
7. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and red chiles. Drizzle the tempered oil over the curry.
8. Switch off the gas and cover with a lid.
 
Note -
1. This curry should not be watery. It should be on the thick side.
2. Always remember to add souring agent like buttermilk, tamarind, kokum etc while cooking suraN.
3. I use frozen suraN due to unavailability of a good quality suraN. Use fresh suraN if available.
 
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

SurNachi Upasachi Bhaaji - Elephant Foot Yam Stir Fry


It was a rare coincidence that I made two suraN or elephant foot yam subzies in one month. I sometimes see this Indian vegetable at our local Indian stores but it almost always looks rotten. So I decided to try the frozen suraN. It was really good.

Always follow the instructions while using the frozen Indian vegetables. You should not thaw these vegetables and rinse it before using.

SurNachi Taakatli Bhaaji
Elephant Foot Yam with Yogurt
Ingredients
1 packet frozen Suran Pieces (12 oz)
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanut powder/daaNyache kooT

Tempering
1/2 tbsp ghee/toop
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 green chilies, minced or slit
1/2 tbsp grated ginger

Garnish
1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
1 tbsp freshly scraped coconut (optional)

Method
1. Heat ghee in a nonstick kadhai/wok
2. Add cumin seeds, ginger and chilies.
3. As they sizzle, switch the gas to low. Add rinsed suraN pieces. Saute till they are coated with cumin and chilies.
4. Add 1 tbsp water. Cook till it is semi-soft.
5. Add yogurt. Keep cooking till it is soft.
6. Now add peanut powder, salt and sugar.
7. Let it simmer till it coats the suraN pieces.
8. Garnish with cilantro and coconut - if using.

Note -
1. You can follow the same recipe with fresh suraN. Just remember to peel and cut the pieces and let them cook before adding yogurt.
2. SuraN always needs a substantial amount of souring agent like yogurt or tamarind. Otherwise, it may bother the throat.
3. For a spicier version, grind ginger and green chilies before adding to the tempering


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cranberry Tea bread

 
 
This recipe is a keeper. The tea bread comes out just perfect. I had baked this bread many years ago during my aunt's visit. We were recently chatting about this recipe and that's when I realized that I haven't yet shared this wonderful recipe from the Sunset magazine with you all. I do not add the sugary glaze and still this "bread" tastes delicious!
 
Cranberry Tea Bread
From Sunset Magazine
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
 
4 eggs
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup sour cream
 
2 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
 
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
 
Method
1. Preheat oven 350 F. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans.
2. Cream butter and sugar till it is light - using an electric hand mixer.
3. Add one egg at a time and mix it
4. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest and vanilla extract. Mix.
5. In a separate bowl, mix all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
6. Add dry ingredients mixture with cranberries to the wet mixture. Mix using a wooden spoon. Do not over mix.
7. Pour in the prepared pans.
8. Bake for 70 minutes. Start checking after 1 hour.
9. Take off the oven. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer to cooling racks
10. Let it cool down completely and then cut into slices.
 

Note -
1. I generally halve the recipe.
2. Instead of usual loaf pans, I sometimes bake this in unusual shaped baking pans - as described in the first picture!

Recipe Credit
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-orange-bread-with-grand-marnier-glaze-10000001559183/

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Palak Thepla



Sheetla Saatam is one of the festivals I came to know only after marriage. Those who observe this festival, eat stale food or food cooked previous day. Generally, my mom-in-law prepares theplas a day before, especially for this festival. Theplas taste good even next day and they don't get rotten. I tasted this Palak Thepla during one such Sheetla Saatam celebrations.


Palak Thepla
Spinach Flatbread
Ingredients
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup bajra flour
2 cups shredded, fresh spianch/palak
1/2 tsp ajmo/owa/ajwain
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste (optional)
1 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp jaggery grated or sugar (optional)
salt to taste
water as needed
 1 tsp oil

Rice flour for dredging
Oil for roasting

Suggested Accompaniment
Chhundo

Method
1. Mix flours with all the dry ingredients and spinach. Knead to a soft dough, adding water as needed.
2. Smear spoonful of oil and knead again. Set aside for 1/2 hr.
3. Heat a pan or tawa. Make 12 uniform balls.
4. Dredge each ball in rice flour and roll into a disc, one at a time.
5. Roast on a hot tawa or cast iron griddle, so brown spots appear on both the sides. Use oil as needed for roasting.
6. Place in an aluminum foil or a clean cotton napkin till ready to use.
7. Serve with chhundo/sweet & spicy grated mango pickle.

Note -
1. Sometimes, I use Ragi flour or a combination of ragi and bajra flour instead of just bajra flour.



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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tricolor Popsicles



I decided to pay tribute to the Indian Tricolor by juxtaposing three Indian patriotic colors.

Tricolor Popsicle
Ingredients
1 cup papaya or mango chunks, frozen
1 cup lychees, cut into chunks, frozen
1 cup kiwi, peeled, cut into chunks frozen

1 tsp sugar each, if required
1 tbsp coconut milk to make canned lychees whiter!

Kulfi or Popsicle molds - as needed

Method
1. Blend frozen papaya or mango chunks, adding sugar if required. Place in the Popsicle mold. Freeze for at least 1/2 hour.
2. Rinse blender and blend frozen lychees adding coconut milk and sugar - if required. Place on top of the semi-frozen orange layer. Freeze for 1/2 hour.
3. Rinse the blender and blend kiwi chunks with sugar - if using. Place on top of the white layer. Cover the lids and freeze till set.
4. Serve and enjoy!

Note -
1. I used papaya for this recipe.
2. My lychees were from cans. So I drained them and soak them in water to get rid of the peculiar odor. I then chopped and froze them.
3. If any or all of your fruits are sweet, do not use sugar.


Happy Independence Day, India!
 


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chia Seeds Thepla - A flatbread with Chia Seeds



As I was parking in the parking lot of "Trader Joes'", a random thought came to my mind - Can chia seeds be cooked or are they meant to be eaten raw? What if I sneak them into making flatbreads or cakes? Even before I take my question to google, I found that the answer was staring right back at me from the shelf of Trader Joes.  Right there in front of me, was a pack of "Chia seeds tortilla". I conjured up this chia seeds flatbread with spices or thepla.

Chia Seeds Thepla - Count 12
Chia Seeds Flatbread with spices
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tsp oil
water as needed

oil for roasting

Method
1. Mix all dry ingredients. Knead to a dough using water as needed. Add spoonful of oil and knead again.
2. Cover and set aside - preferably for 1/2 hour.

3. Make 12 uniform balls.
4. Dredging each ball into a flour as needed, roll into thin flatbread.
5. Roast onto a hot griddle/tawa/pan, using oil as needed. Make sure that there are brown spots on both the sides.

Note -
1. Wrap these roasted flatbreads in a clean kitchen napkin (cloth) till ready to use.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mirchiche Lonache (2)


My grandmother's Mirchiche LoNche was very popular within the family and friends. Unfortunately, I never tasted it. But I try to recreate the same magic , carefully following her recipe. Needless to say, it's spicy and pungent. It's Chile pickle after all. So please take care not to overeat.

Mirchiche LoNache (2)
Chile Pickle
Ingredients
Long green chilies, cut into 1" pieces about 3 cup
3/4  - 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp salt or to taste

Roast and powder
1/4 cup mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Tempering
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric powder

Method
1. Rinse and dry long chilies. Remove stems. Cut into 1" pieces.
2. Mix in salt and set aside.
3. Roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, separately.
3. Powder them in a small mixie.
4. Now, add 3/4 cup lemon juice to the mixie container and again grind it.
5. Pour above mixture over the green chilies. Mix well.
6. If needed you can add additional lemon juice.
7. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Let it sizzle. Switch off the gas. Do not add to the pickle as yet. Let the tempered oil cool down completely.
8. Now, add it to the Chile mixture. Mix well and set aside.

9. Let it marinate for at least a day.
10. Next day, you will notice that the chilies are lighter in color and they have mellowed down a bit.
11. Now, you can taste the pickle. But it will taste better after 3-4 days.

12. Refrigerate.


Note -
1. Refrigerate the pickle and use within 2 months.


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Navalkolachi Partun Bhaaji - Kohlrabi Stir Fry

 
I found some extremely fresh baby kohlrabies at the Farmers' Market the other day. They are perfect for this "partun bhaaji". If they are too big, then it will take forever to get cooked. You will know if the kohlrabies are fresh or not, by the ease with which you can cut them. If they are taking too difficult to chop or if you have to exert too much pressure, then they are not the right candidates for this bhaaji.
 
Navalkolachi Partun Bhaaji
Kohlrabi Stir Fry
Ingredients
6 baby kohlrabi/navalkol/alkol - peeled and very thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled & very thinly sliced
salt to taste
1 tsp Chile powder
 
Tempering
2 1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
 
Method
1. Heat oil in a wok - preferably an iron kadhai.
2. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. Drain the vegetables and add to the kadhai, taking care there is no water.
4. Add chile powder. Keep stir frying till vegetables - especially, kohlrabi is cooked.
5. Add salt to taste.
 
Note -
1. Use only fresh baby kohlrabies for this recipe.
 


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Monday, August 5, 2013

Kothimbeer Vadi (2)

Kothimbeer Vadi is featured prominently in most of Mumbai's Maharashtrian restaurants. But I think almost always, it's deep fried. Maharashtrian home cooks actually pan or shallow fry this delicacy.
 
 
Kothimbeer Vadi (2)
Cilantro Dumplings
Ingredients
1 big bunch of coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped - about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup chickpea flour/besan
2 tbsp. rice flour
1 tbsp. goda masala
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. asafoetida
salt to taste
2 tbsp daaNyache kooT/powdered unsalted peanuts
1 tbsp. white sesame seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tbsp. garlic paste
 
Mix
1/2 tsp. tamarind pulp
1/2 tbsp. powdered jaggery
1 cup water
Oil for shallow or deep frying
 
Method
1. Mix all the ingredients - except oil for frying -  to make batter.



2. Steam in a pressure cooker without using the weight.
 
3. Let it cool down completely.
4. Cut into squares or diamonds.
5. Deep or shallow fry the "vadies" till they are crispy.
 
Note-
1. Serve it as an accompaniment with the main meal or as a snack.
2. Rice flour makes "Kothimbeer Vadi" crispy.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Buttermilk Cake




My extreme chocoholic daughter does not let me bake a simple Vanilla Cake. So as a compromise, I tend to bake the marble cake or zebra cake or such black and white cakes.  I came across this recipe of "Black & White" cake at the Cooking Light website. Since this recipe calls for buttermilk, Gudiya calls this a Buttermilk cake.

Gudiya helped me measure the ingredients. She has studied fractions this year. So this recipe put her fraction skills to work. I gave her 1/4 cup measuring cup and asked her how many such cups were needed to make 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour. She seemed to enjoy this process far more than the usual fractions homework. While whisking the cake batter, she asked me if I knew any cake related historical story? and thus started our hour long discussion about French Revolution.

Buttermilk Cake
Ingredients
To dust the pan
2 tsp All purpose flour
Cooking spray

Whisk
6 tbsp buttermilk, melted
1 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

Mix
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, levelled

For the remaining half
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

Method
1. Preheat oven 350 F. Using cooking spray and flour, coat/dust your bundt pan.
2. Whisk egg whites, sugar, butter, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
3. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda and salt.
4. Mix wet and dry ingredients.
5. Spread half of the batter into your prepared pan.
6. Stir in cocoa powder and almond extract - if using.
7. Pour the remaining batter over the white batter in the pan.
8. Bake for 30 minutes.
9. Take out of the oven. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
10. Invert the cake.
11. Serve with vanilla ice-cream or any ice-cream of your choice.

Note -
1. The original recipe calls for 8 x 8 square pan.

Credits
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/black-and-white-cake-10000000226633/







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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Daal Palak (4)


I love to sneak in the vegetables along with daal. But this daal-palak is not my experiment. It is actually a very traditional combo. Make sure to make this daal on the thicker side for the authentic flavor.

Daal Palak (4)
Spinach with daily daal
Ingredients
1 cup toor daal, pressure cooked
2 cups shredded spinach
salt to taste
1/2 tsp jaggery or to taste
3-4 kokums, rinsed
1 tsp goda masala

Tempering1
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 green chilies, slit
2 red chilies, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped onion

Tempering2
2 tsp oil
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed

Method
1. Pressure cook toor daal adding adequate amount of water. Do not mash.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. As they sizzle, add chilies & onion. Saute till onion is soft.
4. Now, add spinach and saute till spinach is wilted.
5. Add goda masala. Saute for 1 minute.
6. Add cooked daal, goda masala, jaggery and kokum with salt.
7. Add 1/2 cup water.
8. Let it come to a rapid boil. Switch gas to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
9. Heat another small saucepan for tempering. Add oil and saute smashed garlic cloves. Fry till garlic is a shade darker.
10. Add to the daal and cover with a lid.
11. Serve daal with chapati or plain rice.

Note -
1. This daal has thick consistency.



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Thursday, August 1, 2013

MuLyachi Koshimbeer


My mom makes this simple koshimbeer with white radish. It goes very well with the daily meal.

MuLyachi Koshimbeer
मुळ्याची  कोशिंबीर 
Daikon Radish Salad
Ingredients
1 white radish, peeled & grated
1 cup plain yogurt

Mix together
2-3 green chilies, chopped (increase or decrease the quantity per taste)
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Tempering
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Method
1. Peel and grate radish.
2. Mix chilies, sugar and salt.  Traditionally, this mixing is done by hand.
3. Add it to the radish.
4. Stir in yogurt.
5. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
6. Drizzle over the salad. Mix and serve.

Note -
1. Traditionally, after grating the radish, it is squeezed to remove any excess moisture. I don't bother to do this step.
2. Generally my mom uses ghee/toop/clarified butter for tempering this salad.




Various types of radishes and other root vegetables at San Francisco Farmers' Market



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