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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

~ SUPER SIMPLE SPICY GRILLED SANDWICH ~


This recipe is very close to the Veg Sandwich that they serve at 'Just Around The Corner' (Bandra) Though they called it Veg Sandwich, all the ingredients are Grilled Sandwich delights ...

RECIPE MAKES 6 REGULAR BREAD SIZE GRILLED SANDWICHES ( If you can find a supersize loaf of bread that would be 3 Sandwiches Mumbai style )

INGREDIENTS

1 potato (Boil to 4 whistles, cool the cooker, peel & mash)

Add 1/2 cup onion very fine chopped

1/2 cup capsicum very fine chopped

1/2 cup carrot shredded

1 cup cabbage shredded

Add salt to taste, 3/4 tablespoon green chilli paste, 1 teaspoon mustard (rai) powder (dry grind rai with a pinch of salt in a small size blending cup to fine powder)

Addition of mustard gives the sandwich a natural spice which enhances flavor of this Sandwich.

Mix all the ingredients lightly with your fingers such that all spices blend well.

Divide in 6 portions.

In a big tray, keep 6 slices of bread, spread the portions on all the slices, close the sandwiches with another slice of bread. Apply butter/bread spread/margarine on all the top slices of the bread.

Preheat a Grill Sandwich Maker on Medium setting. Once preheating is done, lift a sandwich, turn it upside down & place it in the grill sandwich maker such that buttered side is facing down.

Butter the top slice, If the maker can grill 2 sandwiches at a time, repeat for another one & grill till golden brown.

Repeat for all sandwiches.

Serve hot with Cilantro Chtuney, tomato ketchup, cold drink, cold coffee or hot tea/coffee

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ HOMEMADE GARLIC PASTE ~


Garlic, so good for your heart, so good for your family's health ... again another paste that drives into my refrigerator & sabzis every time ... Gujarati Snack preparations are so full of garlic, ginger & green chilli pastes that these are must haves ...

PEEL GARLIC keep fresh firm garlic cloves. If the garlic cloves have started germinating, degerm the galric by cutting the end edges where germination has started.

GRIND Fill garlic in a blender jar upto half the capacity, add water enough to soak all the garlic, for a cupful of garlic, you will need 1 teaspoon of salt, so add salt accordingly

Blend to a very fine paste in small batches.

Store in a container without lid. Refrigerate this paste & don't put any lid on it. Everytime you open the fridge, fresh air cirulates in the fridge & it will not spoil the paste for weeks.

Also salt acts as a preservative to keep this paste fresh longer. This paste might turn a little green after few days, but the taste is the same, so it can still be added to food preparations without any problems.

~ HOMEMADE GINGER PASTE ~


Another important ingredient in spicy preparations, Ginger has many health benefits. Adding this paste gives every recipe a very unique flavor, hence this is a must have in my kitchen ..

BREAK THE GINGER ROOT into manageable pieces such that you can pick each part & peel it with a potato peeler

Collect all the peeled ginger in a utensil that has holes (in which we soak poha)

WASH the ginger in running water till it is clean & add the fine sand particles are removed.

GRIND Fill ginger in a blender jar upto half the capacity, add water enough to soak all the ginger, for a cupful of ginger, you will need 1 teaspoon of salt, so add salt accordingly

Blend to a very fine paste in small batches.

Store in a container without lid. Refrigerate this paste & don't put any lid on it. Everytime you open the fridge, fresh air cirulates in the fridge & it will not spoil the paste for weeks.

Also salt acts as a preservative to keep this paste fresh longer

~ HOMEMADE GREEN CHILLI PASTE ~


Homemade Green Chilli paste is one of the most essential ingredient in most of my spicy preparations .. making this paste at home is very simple & advantageous because fresh chillies spoil, but this paste lasts longer when refrigerated

STEAM THE GREEN CHILLIES - remove all the stems from the green chillies. Collect all the chillies in a big utensil that has holes in it (in which we soak Poha)

Stem only the fresh firm green chillies. The softer ones are degrading, must be discarded as they spoil the paste.

CLEAN Once all the cillies are stemmed, place the utensil in the sink under running water & wash all the chillies thoroughly.

GRIND TO PASTE Fill chillies in a blender jar upto half the capacity, add water enough to soak all the chillies, for a cupful of chillies, you will need 1 teaspoon of salt, so add salt accordingly & 1/8 teaspoon haldi

Blend to a very fine paste in small batches.

Store in a container without lid. Refrigerate this paste & dont put any lid on it. Everytime you open the fridge, fresh air cirulates in the fridge & it will not spoil the paste for weeks.

Also salt & turmeri act as a preservative to keep this paste fresh longer.

~ URAD & CHANA DAL (ADAD NI DAL) ~


'Bhaisahab aap ki manpasand arhar ki dal banayi hai, zeera hing ka tadka lagaike' this Reema Laagoo's dialogue from Maine Pyaar kiya says it all about this delicious dal ...

RECIPE SERVES 3-4

In a cooker pan, add 1 cup Urad dal (split, white) + 1/4 cup Chana Dal + 8 cups water + 5 teaspoons salt + 2 tomatoes cut in big pieces

Let the dals boil in the water, there will be a white froth formation once it bubbles, remove all the froth, close the cooker lid & cook to 1 whistle.

Don't overcook as urad dal will just dissolve in the water. If you are not comfortable using the cooker, you can just boil the dals in a regular non-stick pan on medium flame till very well cooked. When crushed between thumb & index finger they should break very easily. Dals should remain whole, yet cooked.

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Prepare garlic chutney for vaghaar : Crush about 15 garlic cloves + salt enough for the garlic, crush to a paste. Then add 2-3 teaspoons Red Chilli powder, crush again. Remove this paste in a big spoon.

After dals are done, heat a small saucepan to prepare the tadka (vaghaar) for the dal

Heat 5 tablespoons melted ghee, then add 1 teaspoon jeera, 1/8 teaspon hing, 1 tablespoon green chilli paste (you can add 1/2 tablespoon more if you want to make it more spicy), add the garlic chutney prepared earlier, blend well with a spoon.

Add this tadka (vaghaar) to the dal. Mix well. You might need to add another teaspoon or 2 of salt & 3-4 teaspoons red chilli powder to balance all the flavors.

Add 3-4 tablespoons lime juice in the end to give it a tart fresh flavor.

Heat the dal enough to serve hot. Switch off gas, garnish with 1 cup fresh cut cilantro.

Serve hot with Tadeli Bhakri, Appetizer Chaas (recipes uploaded today) & fresh cut salad.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ TADELI (PAN FRIED) BHAKRIS ~



Tadeli ( Pan fried ) Bhakris are a perfect partner for gravy sabzis or dals. Since these can be made ahead & stay fresh at room temperature for 24 hours, they also make a very good choice for lunch & snack box fillings ...

RECIPE MAKES 13 BHAKRIS ~ SERVES 4

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

5 cups whole wheat flour (if you have bhakri flour readily available in your city, you can add 2.5 cups regular wheat flour + 2.5 cups Bhakri flour. If its not available, even the regular wheat wheat flour would suffice)

5 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup + 1/3 cup oil

Mix all the dry ingredients very well - blend the salt & oil in the whole wheat flour.

Add 2 cups water & make a firm dough. Knead for 3-4 minutes till all ingredients are well blended.

If you have the time, you can apply oil all over the dough, cover & let dough rest for 30 mins.

If there is no time, you can divide the dough into 13 equal portions & make a flat patty of each portion to roll.

Roll as big as a chapati, but this bhakri will be thicker.

Heat a non-stick flat pan on little more than medium fale. Once its hot, add the bhakri to the pan. In few mins, the color of bhakri will change & you see some bubbles formation.

Flip bhakri on the other side & let it cook for few more minutes on the other side too.

Apply less than a teaspoon of oil on top side of the bhakri. Flip & press with the spatula that has a big flat base so the air bubble expands & bhakri puffs up on the pan itself. There will be golden brown spots & should be evenly cooked.

Flip on the other side & let the bhakri absorb remaining oil thats left on the pan.

Keep a dish with holes on a bowl as a base so hot air can circulate out. Keep bhakri on this dish.

Repeat for all bhakris & let them cool to room temperature. Then stack them & store in an airtight container.

Can be made ahead before serving as they remain soft due to pan frying. Stays fresh for upto 24 hours at room temperature. Makes a good lunch or snack box filling too.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ APPETIZER CHAAS ~



An instant Appetizer Chaas recipe that's perfect for warm summer evenings, compliments any Indian meal ... delicious, soothing, super cool ...

RECIPE MAKES 4 CUPS - SERVES 1-2

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Yogurt (dahi)

3 cups very cold water (or 3 cups water + lots of icecubes)

1.5 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Jeera powder

1 sachet Jalani Jaljeera powder (or 3/4 tablespoon if you are using readymade Jaljeera powder out of a bottle or box)

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Blend all the above ingredients with a hand blender or hand churner (valoni).

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

~ TOASTED SANDWICHES RECIPE ~



Jhatpat hot breakfast ? Toasted Sandwiches top my list, the ease of stuffing any favorite filling between two humble slices of bread couldn't be tastier, faster or easier ...

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FILLING # 1 ~ ALOO MATAR TAMATAR FILLING

RECIPE MAKES 8 TOASTED SANDWICHES - SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING ~ 2 potatoes, 1 tomato (cut in very small cubes), 1/2 cup frozen peas, fresh cut cilantro for garnishing

Heat little oil for vaghaar, add jeera, pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1 teaspoon green chilli paste

Add 2 potatoes, 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1 tomato, 1/4 cup water, salt to taste, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 3 teaspoons red chilli powder, 3 teaspoons Everest Pav Bhaji Masala.

Mix all the ingredients very well. Switch flame to medium low, cover the pan with a lid half filled with water, let filling cook for 15-20 mins till potatoes are soft. If there is any water left in the filling, evaporate it so filling is dry to fill in the toasted sandwiches.

Let the filling cool down for 10-15 minutes till warm.

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Cut 1/4 onion & 1/4 capsicum in thin long slices & keep aside

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PREPARING SANDWICHES

Take a big tray, place 8 bread slices on the tray. Add some thin slices of fresh cut onion first. Add 2-3 tablespoons of filling, press lightly with a spoon so its evenly spread, on top add thin slices of fresh cut capsicum

Close the sandwiches with 8 slices of bread. Apply butter/bread spread/margarine on top side of all the bread slices.

Preheat a Toast Sandwich maker. Once the light is green, hold the sandwich turn it upsde down & place the buttered side down inside the Toast Sandwich Maker.

Butter the top side now. Close the Toast Sandwich Maker lid & cook till sandwiches are golden brown.

Serve hot with cilantro chutney & tomato ketchup

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FILLING # 2 ~ GREEN BEANS (FANSI) FILLING

RECIPE MAKES 6 TOASTED SANDWICHES SERVES 3

Cut fresh green beans (fansi) in small pieces - about 3 cups

In a pressure cooker pan, heat oil for vaghaar, then add 1 teaspoon ajmo (ajwain seeds), pinch of hing, 5-6 garlic cloves cut in small pieces, add the cut fansi, 2-3 tablespoons water, salt to taste, 1/8 teaspon haldi, 3-4 teaspoons red chilli powder, 3-4 teaspoons dhaanajeeru

Cook to 2 whistles, let cooker cool, open & check if there is any water, evaporate it by heating it again so filling becomes dry.

Let it cool for 10-15 mins, fill between bread slices & toast.

Serve hot with cilantro chutney & tomato ketchup

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FILLING # 3 ~ SPICY SAMOSA FILLING (its in the samosa recipe)

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ VEG SPRING ROLLS RECIPE ~



Adopting International recipes to Desi tastes is tough, but think about fresh spring vegetables and the first thing that comes to my mind is the crisp Veg Spring Rolls .. garden fresh vegetables rolled into paper thin spring roll sheets .. an anytime treat :-)

RECIPE MAKES 13 SPRING ROLLS ( with 7.5" X 7.5" readymade Spring Roll Sheets ) SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING ~ Oil, pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste, 1+1/4 cup Jalapeno Peppers cut in thin long slices (you can reduce the quantity to half of this if you eat less spicy food), 1 cup carrot, 1 capsicum, 1 bunch green stem onions (thin, fine 7-8 onions), 3 cups cabbage, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Salt to taste, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

METHOD

Heat 1 tablespoon oil for vaghaar, then add a pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste, 1+1/4 cup Jalapeno Peppers cut in thin long slices (you can reduce the quantity to half of this if you eat less spicy food)

Stir fry this for a minute

Then add the following, thin slice everything in long strips

1 cup carrot

1 big size capsicum (or u can add 1/4 capsicum of 4 different colors to make colorful roll filling)

1 bunch green onions (the thin stemlike onions about 7-8 - cut in rings)

3 cups cabbage

Add 3.5 - 4 teaspoons salt to taste. On medium flame, stir fry everything till its partially cooked & crunchy.

If you like it more cooked, you can almost cook it like a vegetable till all ingredients are completely soft (depends on your taste)

In the end, add a tablespoon of Soy sauce, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder. Mix well. Filling is ready, let it cool for about 30 mins.

At this time, thaw the Spring Roll Sheets to room temperature to 30 mins (readymade sheets 7.5" X 7.5" work best as each makes 1 roll) These are available in any Asian/Chinese (Korean)/Vietnamese store in the Frozen section

FILLING THE SPRING ROLL

Keep a bowl of sealing paste ready - Add 2 tablespoons of wheat/all purpose flour + 4 tablespoons water = thick paste to seal the spring rolls.

On a big size tray, place the spring roll sheet like a diamond, add about 2-3 tablespoons of filling an inch above the pointed tip facing you.

Roll the tip inside the filling. Fold 2 more times.

When you reach the center, fold the sides inside the roll & keep rolling again till you see an envelope like tip at the top.

Make sure folds are very tight so oil does not seep inside while frying.

When you see the top tip like an envelope triangle, apply the thick sealing paste with a spoon, stick the tip of the roll gently so it does not open up while frying.

Repeat this for all the rolls.

FRYING

On medium high flame, heat oil for 10 mins.

4-5 rolls at a time, fry till they are golden brown.

Serve with cilantro chutney & tomato ketchup.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

~ DRY BHEL, BHEL, DAHI BHEL WITH SPROUTS RECIPE ~


~ DRY BHEL, BHEL, DAHI BHEL WITH SPROUTS RECIPE ~

Crunchy kurmura coated with khatta meetha chutneys surrounded by fine crunchy counterparts, tart green mango pieces, sprouts ... an anytime of the day favorite 'the super cool Dahi Bhel' tops my recipe list on warm summer evenings ...

RECIPE SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

9 cups Kolhapuri kurmura (the slightly thick kurmura is better as it does not sog so easily when chutneys are added)

KURMURA VAGHAAR ~ On medium flame, heat 1/3 cup oil, after it heats, add 1 teaspoon jeera, pinch of hing, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, add kurmura, 3-4 teaspoons salt (to taste), mix & keep on mixing till the entire batch of kurmura becomes crunchy to the bite. Once they're done, switch off gas, keep aside. (You can do this days in advance & store in an airtight container & they stay fresh)

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1/2 cup cooked or as is sprouts (soak total 1/4 cup each of moong, math (mooth) overnight. next morning, keep in a utensil that has holes, in which we soak poha, drain all the water out of pulses, cover with lid, let them sprout for 24 hours)

You can add sprouted moong, math to bhel as is OR add 1/4 cup water, cook to 2 whistles with little salt & red chilli powder. When cooker cools down, remove sprouts & let them cool to room temperature.

You can also soak 1/4 cup brown chana, 1/4 cup green chana overnight. Next morning, add to a cooker + 1/4 cup water + salt to taste + red chilli powder, cook to 7-8 whistles to soften them completely.

(You can do this a day in advance & store all the sprouts in the fridge)

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2 potatoes (boil to 4 whistles, after cooker cools, peel, let potatoes cool, cut in fine pieces)

1/2 onion (chop fine)

2 tomatoes (chop fine)

1/2 cup green mango (chop fine)

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, kaaju mix

8 green chillies chopped (or as spicy as you need it)

1/2 to 1 cup mix farsan (tikhi sev, boondi, chana dal, moong dal - any farsan mix)

Crushed 12-15 puris (of sev puri) or tortilla corn chips

4 cups super cool yogurt (dahi) (blend with a spoon so it be added as a topping on Bhel)

Additional salt or red chilli powder (sprinkle to taste)

1/2 cup fresh cut cilantro, fine bhel sev (to garnish in the end)

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In a big bowl, add all the above dry ingredients (except bhel sev & cilantro) & mix very well.

FOR DRY BHEL ~ Serve the dry Bhel mixture, garnish with Bhel Sev, fresh cut cilantro, puri (of sev puri) or tortilla corn chips.

FOR REGULAR BHEL ~ Divide the Dry Bhel mixture in as many servings as you wish to make. Let everyone individually add khatta meetha Tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney, mix & then garnish with Bhel Sev, cilantro, puri (of sev puri) or tortilla corn chips.

FOR DAHI BHEL ~ Divide the Dry Bhel mixture in as many servings as you wish to make. Let everyone individually add cool yogurt, khatta meetha Tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney, mix & then garnish with Bhel Sev, cilantro, puri (of sev puri) or tortilla corn chips.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ BESAN FLOUR KHAMAN RECIPE ~



Edible diamonds, soft, steaming, fluffy Khaman pieces garnished with mustard seeds (rai), cilantro, green chilli pieces, fresh shredded coconut (optional) ... one of the most popular Gujarati snack recipes that's as simple to cook as it is to relish ...

RECIPE MAKES TWO 9" PLATES (SERVES 2-3)

INGREDIENTS TO SOAK 250 grams besan flour, 1 cup yogurt (dahi), 2 cups water, a pinch of Baking soda

If you want to make Khaman the next morning, you have to soak besan flour the previous afternoon .. that is at least 16 hours in advance to ensure good fermentation & soft Khaman.

So the previous afternoon soak the following ingredients in a container that has a lid

250 grams Besan flour (about 3.5 cups loosely packed)

1 cup Yogurt (dahi)

Mix the above with a big spoon & blend the yogurt as much as you can in the besan flour.

Then add 2 cups water (1/2 cup at a time to prevent lumps) + a pinch of Baking Soda, mix well again such that there are no lumps left in the batter.

You can either blend this batter with a hand blender or a valoni (the hand churner) to ensure that the besan flour is very well soaked in the water & yogurt mixture with no lumps at all.

Close the lid & let it ferment undisturbed for at least 12-16 hours.

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INGREDIENTS TO GREASE A PLATE 2 teaspoons oil + a pinch of Baking soda

INGREDIENTS TO MIX IN THE BESAN FLOUR BATTER 1/3 cup oil, 3 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1 tablespoon green chilli paste, 1 sachet Eno (regular or lime = 1/2 tablespoon Eno if you are using it out of a bottle) - Divide the eno in two parts of 1 teaspoon each

INGREDIENTS FOR HOT OIL SEASONING (VAGHAAR) 8 teaspoons mustard seeds (rai), pinch of asafetida (hing), 1/2 cup green chilli bite size pieces, 1/2 cup fresh cut cilantro (dhania), 1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut (optional - if you have it readily available)

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Next morning, the besan flour batter should have fermented. You will see a dome mound shape & lot of air bubbles on it, this is a good fermented batter that would make soft Khaman.

Now fill water in a steamer basket with 1/3rd capacity. Heat it on medium flame.

Take the steaming plate in which batter is going to be poured, add 2 teaspoons oil + a pinch of Baking soda - blend the soda in the oil & grease the entire plate very well, also the side edges.

Keep this prepared plate aside.

In the batter, add 1/3 cup oil, 3 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1 tablespoon green chilli paste

With a big spoon blend all these ingredients very well in the batter stirring vigorously for at least a minute.

Divide this batter in 2 parts by splitting them in 2 bowls.

In 1 bowl, add 1/2 sachet Eno = 1 teaspoon eno (regular or lime or 1/4 tablespoon if you are using it out of a bottle) Mix thoroughly well with a spoon till all the air bubbles are incorporated in the batter stirring vigorously for at least a minute.

When Eno mixes with fermented batter, there is a chemical reaction, lot of air bubbles are generated which make Khaman super soft, light and fluffy.

Once Eno blends very well with the besan flour, pour this batter in the greased plate. (The batter should fill about 1/2 to 3/4th level as it rises after steaming, so dont overfill)

Place it in the steamer basket. Close the steamer basket lid, on medium flame, steam for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, open the lid, insert a knife, it should come out clean.

Remove the plate from the basket, let it cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.

The other half batter is another bowl, repeat the same process as you did for the first plate & steam this too (Also add half the Eno sachet to this one too or 1/4 tablespoon if you are using out of the bottle)

Once both the plates cool down, cut the Khaman in pieces - diamond or square.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil for vaghaar, once oil is hot, add 8 teaspoons mustard seeds (rai), once they crackle add a pinch of asafoetida (hing), 1/2 cup water, switch off the gas, add all the green chilli pieces to the hot oil or you can spread the green chilli pieces on the plate.

Immediately take a spoon & start pouring the hot oil spoon by spoon on top of the Khaman plates. Ensure that you pour evenly such that hot oil seasoning is good enough for both the plates.

With the oily spoon, just spread all the mustard seeds, oil & green chilli pieces evenly on the plate.

Garnish with fresh cut cilantro & 1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut (if you have it readily available)

Insert a thin edged spatula at one edge & start removing the pieces while eating.

Serve cooled to room temperature with any chutney of your choice.

Leftover khaman can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

~ STEAMED METHI MUTHIYAAS RECIPE ~


STEAMED METHI MUTHIYAAS

Turn leftover rice or yogurt rice into this very delicious Spicy Steamed Methi Muthiyaas ... another Mother's recipe that is unbeatable when it comes to traditional Gujarati tastes ... For those of you who like Methi flavored recipes, this one is for you ...

RECIPE MAKES 10 MUTHIYAAS - SERVES 2-3

Fill a steamer basket with about 1/3rd capacity water & let it heat on less than medium flame.

Wash 1 cup dry (kasuri) methi leaves in running water 3-4 times to remove all the sand particles. Keep these leaves soaked in a pan full of water.

OR

You can use 1.5 cups fresh methi leaves (clean, cut, wash thoroughly in running water 3-4 times to remove sand particles & keep the leaves soaked in water)

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INGREDIENTS

In a big size bowl add the following ingredients

2 cups leftover yogurt rice ( If you have leftover rice, you can add about 1/2 cup dahi to 1.5 cups leftover rice to make 2 cups of yogurt rice )

1 cup rava (sooji) OR 1 cup coarse ground whole wheat BHAKRI flour

1 + 1/4 cup regular whole wheat flour (which we use for chapatis)

Salt 5 teaspoons

Haldi 1/4 teaspoon

Red chilli powder 2 tablespoons

Dry (kasuri) methi leaves soaked earlier OR the fresh methi leaves

1 tablespoon sugar

Garlic paste 2 tablespoons

Green chilli paste 2 tablespoons

Ginger paste 1 tablespoon

1 sachet of Eno fruit salt (regular or lime = 5 grams)

1/3 cup oil

Mix all the above ingredients lightly with your fingertips such that all the flours, rice, spices blend well.

Switch the flame of gas to medium heat. Grease a steaming plate or utensil with oil & place it in the steamer basket (one that holes works best so steam can properly circulate)

Apply oil on your hands and fingertips. Make 10 equal parts of the mix.

Take 1 portion, make a big firm round ball, place it in your palm & holding it firmly vertically between all your fingers press to a vertical shaped muthiya. (like a small size cucumber)

Place the muthiya in the steaming plate/utensil. Repeat for all muthiyas. Keep little space between the muthiyas as they expand after steaming.

After all muthiyas are done, close the steaming basket lid & steam for 1 hour.

Set a timer to ring after 30 mins to check water level inside the steamer basket. Open after 30 mins, check the water level & add a glassful of water to steam muthiyas for another 30 mins.

After the next 30 mins, muthiyas are done. Insert a knife, it should come out clean with little cooked wheat masala.

Remove plate/utensil from steamer basket. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes.

Serve as is or cut in slices & serve with cilantro chutney & tomato ketchup.

Let leftover muthiya cool completely. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

Whenever you want to serve again, you can keep some oil for vaghaar, add rai, sesame seeds, pinch of hing, cut muthiyas in thick slices, add to vaghaar, mix till all vaghaar is coated well on muthiyas.

Heat on less than medium flame for 5-7 minutes.

Serve hot with cilantro chutney & tomato ketchup

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ VADA PAV RECIPE ~



One of the most popular street foods of Mumbai, vada pav is an easy to make recipe.

Maharashtrian style Batata vadas, spiced with dry garlic red chutney, imli chutney, cilantro chutney, green chillies, Spice Spice Baby ...

RECIPE MAKES 10 BATATA VADAS FOR VADA PAV

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE BATATA VADAS

3 potatoes, 1 onion finely chopped

1 teaspoon urad dal (split, white), 1 teaspoon rai, 1.5 tablespoons green chilli paste, 1.5 tablespoons garlic paste, 5-7 curry leaves, pinch of hing, salt to taste, 3 tablespoons dhaanajeeru, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Everest Garam Masala (optional), 1 cup fresh cut cilantro

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METHOD

1. Boil 3 potatoes to 4 whistles, cool cooker completely, peel off the skin, mash

2. On medium flamme, heat 3-4 tablespoons oil for vaghaar in a non-stick pan, add urad dal (wait till it turns pink) then add 1 teaspoon rai, 1.5 tablespoons green chilli paste, 1.5 tablespoons garlic paste, 5-7 curry leaves, pinch of hing

Add the finely chopped onion + 2 teaspoons salt, let onions cook till they are transparent.

3. After onions are done, add the mashed potatoes, 3 teaspoons salt, 3 tablespoons dhaanajeeru, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Everest Garam Masala (optional), 1 cup fresh cut cilantro. Mix well.

Switch flame to less than medium, let the masala cook for 3-4 mins, mix so it does stick to the bottom of the pan.

4. After 3-4 mins, switch off the flame & let the batata vada masala cool completely.

5. After it cools down, make 10 equal portions, roll into big batata vadas & slightly flatten them to a patty shape so they easily fit in the pav buns.

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BESAN COVER MASALA

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

1.5 cups besan

3 tablespoons rava (sooji) or rice flour (to make the cover more crisp)

3 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon haldi

1/2 tablespoon green chilli paste

2 teaspoons red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon ajmo (ajwain seeds)

Mix all the dry ingredients with a spoon. Little by little, add 1.5 cups water such that there are no lumps in the batter.

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FRYING

Heat oil on medium heat for 10-12 mins.

Dip 1 patty in besan batter, with a big size spoon coat the batata vada completely with the besan mixture. Lift the spoon off the bowl with the patty in it & insert it in hot oil.

Insert 3-4 batata vadas at a time for even cooking. This will take 4-5 mins. Keep turning them often for even color.

Remove from oil. Serve hot with pav buns, spicy dry garlic red chutney (recipe uploaded separately), cilantro chutney (recipe is in Sandwich recipe), Imli chutney, green chillies

You can add any of these chutneys inside the bun or set them aside for dipping the pav buns.

If there is any leftover besan batter, dip some dry bread slices (1 slice cut in 4 pieces) in this batter & fry them.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ SPICY DRY GARLIC RED CHUTNEY RECIPE ~





Spicy dry garlic chutney is added to vada pav or dabeli to give it a distinct dry garlic spicy flavor. This is a very simple recipe and prepared dry chutney stays fresh for almost a year.

This chutney can also be used to fill in dabeli buns, tastes very good with snack items like dhokla & to add to stuffed vegetable preparations.

RECIPE MAKES 2 CUPS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Sesame seeds ( Til - make sure they are picked over for stones )

1 cup Red chilli powder

24 garlic cloves + salt = make a paste

2 teaspoons jeera OR jeera powder

2 teaspoons variyari ( fennel seeds )

2 teaspoons oil

Salt to taste

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METHOD

1. Roast Sesame seeds on little less than medium flame, stirring continously till sesame seeds change color. This will take 8-10 minutes.

Put the seeds on a dry plate & let them cool completely.

2. After they cool down, add the seeds to a blender & COARSE grind them by frequent pulsing.

Add the coarse sesame seeds powder to a big size bowl, add 1 cup Red chilli powder & mix well with a spoon.

3. Dry grind jeera and variyari, add to the sesame seeds + chilli powder chutney & mix well

4. Add crushed garlic cloves, salt enough for the chutney (about 2-3 teaspoons), 2 teaspoons oil & mix these well with the chutney

5. Add 4-5 spoons of the chutney to the blender & grind it to mix all the spices well by constant pulsing.

Remove this spicy dry garlic chutney powder in an airtight container that holds about 2 cups capacity.

Repeat this process for the remaining chutney & store in airtight container.

This chutney will last for a year.

==================================

To make the chutney to add to vada pav / dabeli

Take 1/4th cup of the spicy dry garlic chutney powder + 1/8th cup roasted ground peanut powder + 1/8th cup dry shredded coconut

This makes 1/2 cup of chutney & this has to be utilized as fast as possible as it has coconut & peanuts.

Whatever is leftover after using in vada pav / dabeli, add the remaining powder to a bhindi sabzi as a stuffed bhindi filling OR

In a stuffed egglant & potato sabzi, fill the eggplants & potatoes with the remaining powder.

=================================

One chutney, many uses ... Prepare & enjoy !!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

~ YOGURT RICE & TOOVAR DAL RECIPE ~



Fastest cooking meal on my list, always a life-saver when I'm short of time yet need to prepare a hot, healthy meal for the family

RECIPE SERVES 3

In a cooker that can hold pans, you will need 2 pans.

In 1 pan, add 1 cup toovar dal + 1 chopped tomato + water enough to fill the pan to 3/4th level (you will need 1.5 litres of water in all to make this dal - so add some water to this pan & add the remaining water while cooking dal later)

In the 2nd pan, add 1 cup rice + 3 cups water + 2 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon ghee

Add some water to the bottom of the cooker, keep the cooker plate & place both the pans on it, close the cooker & cook to 4 whistles

Let the cooker completely cool down

======================================

TO MAKE YOGURT RICE

Remove rice pan from the cooker, add 1 cup dahi + 1/4 cup water, blend this well with the rice

======================================

TO MAKE SPICY TOOVAR DAL TO MIX IN THE RICE

SPICE SET 1 : SPICES FOR TADKA Oil for tadka, 1 teaspoon udad dal (split, white), 5 garlic cloves cut in small pieces, 1 teaspoon rai, 2 dry chillies, curry leaves, pinch of hing

SPICE SET 2 : SPICES TO ADD IN THE DAL AFTER TADKA IS DONE 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon dhaanajeeru, 3/4 tablespoon green chilli paste, 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste, 6-8 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Fresh cut cilantro to garnish

METHOD

Heat oil for vaghaar, add spices for tadka mentioned above in spice set 1. Once rai splutters, add the cooked dal. Add remaining water (that was set aside earlier)

Blend with a hand blender or valoni (the one that has a wooden handle & a wooden churner at the bottom)

Then add all the spices mentioned in spice set 2. Boil dal on medium high for 10 mins. Once it starts boiling, reduce flame to medium low, let it cook completely & spices blend well.

After about 10-15 mins, when you see oil floating on top of the dal, thats when its done.

Switch off the gas, add fresh cut cilantro. Serve hot with yogurt rice, salad & papad.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

~ SUPER SPICY DESI SPHAGETTI/PASTA/MACARONI RECIPE ~



Sphagetti, pastas, macaroni ~ some fast foods & one dish meals that can be packed with nature's goodness, fresh vegetables, spices & turned into our very own Desi version ...

RECIPE SERVES 2

1 cup of any pasta or 1 cup macaroni or equal amount of sphagetti

Fill up a big size saucepan with water on high heat & let it come to a rolling boil.

Add pasta/macaroni/sphagetti, salt to taste & let it cook. Do not add oil to water as it coats the pasta/macaroni/sphagetti & then the tomato sauce doesnt coat on it.

Keep stirring so they dont settle & cook evenly.

Depending on size & shape of the pasta/macaroni/sphagetti, cooking times are different. When you take out a pasta/macaroni/sphagetti & cut it with a knife, there should be no uncooked white spot in the center, thats when its completely done.

Drain the pasta/macaroni/sphagetti & run fresh over it to stop further cooking.

============================

Side by side prepare tomato sauce ...

Heat little oil for vaghaar, add 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste, 1/2 tablespoon green chilli paste.

Cut the following vegetables & add to vaghaar

2 tomatoes
1/4 cup cabbage
1/4 cup capsicum
1/4 cup carrot
15-20 olive slices
4-5 pea pods
2-3 Jalapeno Pepper slices (or 2 green chilli pieces)

Add the following spices

1/2 tablespoon Everest Pav Bhaji Masala
2 teaspoons Red chilli powder
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of pepper
Salt to taste

Once tomato sauce is cooked, add the drained sphagetti. Check for salt, adjust spices.

Before serving, add 1/4 cup cheese & mix to coat pasta/macaroni/sphagetti evenly.

Serve hot with any favorite sandwich/salad/soup. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ TRADITIONAL GUJARATI DHOKLA RECIPE ~



In today's times, there are lots of Instant Mix packs, but nothing can beat the traditionally prepared Gujarati Dhoklas, Mother's recipe beats them all when it comes to texture and taste ...

======================================

RECIPE MAKES 6-8 DHOKLA PLATES (depending on the size of your dhokla plate)

INGREDIENTS TO SOAK

3 cups Rice

1 urad dal (white, split)

1/2 cup Chana dal

In a big bowl, add all the above ingredients & wash them 3-4 times thoroughly well in running water.

Soak this overnight at least for 6-8 hours.

Next morning, remove all the water out of the soaked lentils & grind them in small batches.

Add about half a jar of lentils & water just enough to soak them all. Grind to a paste consistency where you get a rava like feel when you rub the batter between a thumb & finger.

In small batches, grind all the batter. Add a cupful of dahi to the batter, mix thoroughly & leave the mixture undisturbed to ferment.

In summer it takes 8-12 hours for the batter to ferment. In winter, it can take upto 24 hours.

=====================================

SPICES TO ADD TO BATTER 4-6 tablespoons green chilli paste (depending on how spicy you like it), 4 tablespoons garlic paste, 3 tablespoons ginger paste, 6-8 teaspoons of salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi

Keep bottle of Eno fruit salt handy while making dhoklas.

=====================================

When the batter is ready, it must have risen well to form a mound on top with lot of air bubbles, thats when the batter is ready.

Add 4-6 tablespoons green chilli paste (depending on how spicy you like it), 4 tablespoons garlic paste, 3 tablespoons ginger paste, 6-8 teaspoons of salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi. Mix well.

Keep the steamer to heat with a water base in it (like you add for any other steaming recipe)

Generally an average dhokla plate holds about 2 cups of dhokla batter. So take 2 cups batter in a smaller bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon Eno (fruit salt - regular or lemon), mix very well till eno has blended well with the batter.

Eno generates a chemical reaction with the batter, generates lot of air bubbles that help the dhokla batter rise & makes them extra soft.

NOTE : Add eno separately for every plate so all the dhoklas come out equally soft & fluffy. If you mix Eno in the entire batter, the effect of Eno subsides after some time.

Grease a dhokla plate. Add the batter in which eno is added. Sprinkle red chilli powder on the batter for a little extra touch of spice.

Keep the dhokla plate in the steamer & steam for 12-15 min on medium high heat. When you insert a knife, it should come out clean, thats when they are done.

Remove the plate, cool for 10-15 mins. Cut into diamond shapes with a knife. Insert a spatula & remove the dhokla pieces from the plate.

Make dhokla plates as needed. You can store the remaining batter in the fridge (if you want to finish it immediately within less than a week) or in the freezer if you want to store upto a month. Thaw & reuse later whenever needed.

Remember to add Eno when you reuse the batter.

=====================================

VAGHAAR

One plate of dhokla needs about 2 tablespoons of oil, so depending on how many plates you have made, heat oil

Add rai, sesame seeds ( til ), some green chilli pieces (depending on how spicy you want) & pinch of hing for vaghaar.

Add all the cooled dhoklas & mix.

Garnish with fresh cut cilantro.

Serve with cilantro chutney.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ MUMBAI STREET STYLE SANDWICH RECIPE ~



Today morning's breakfast recipe, fresh cut salad slices, spicy cilantro chutney, lot of maskaa ... reminds me of my NM days ...

Sandwichwala outside NMIMS made awesome sandwiches, his stall was called 'Anand Sandwich' so I call my Sandwiches by the same name as they sure spread a lot of "Anand" after eating ...

==============================================

RECIPE MAKES 5 SANDWICHES

10 Brown or White Sandwich Bread slices

Butter / Margarine / Bread spread

Spicy Cilantro Chutney ( recipe below )

2 Potatoes, 1 Beetroot (cook to 4 whistles, cool completely & then slice as thin as you can)

3 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1/4 onion (cut into very thin slices)

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons Everest Chat Masala + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder + salt enough for this masala. Set aside.

================================================

CILANTRO CHUTNEY RECIPE (Makes 3 cups - you can freeze the balance for later use)

4 bunches Cilantro (clean, cut & wash thoroughly in running water 3-4 times)
10-12 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons green chilli paste or pieces (you can reduce if you want to make it less spicy)
Salt to taste
1 cup water

Add garlic cloves, salt, water to the blender first. Then pack all the cilantro above it.

Grind to a fine paste. Check & adjust the spices.

===================================================

METHOD (Prepare before serving or the bread slices might sog with the cilantro chutney)

Take a clean & dry big size cutting board.

Butter all the 10 bread slices, apply cilantro chutney on all (more or less chutney depending on how spicy you want) & place on the cutting board.

(First layer) On 5 slices, place 3 big slices of potatoes, sprinkle a generous layer of the chat masala mix prepared earlier.

(Second layer) Slightly overlapping place about 6-8 tomato slices on all the 5 bread slices, again sprinkle a generous layer of the chat masala mix prepared earlier.

(Third layer) Place about 2-3 slices of beetroot on all the 5 bread slices, again sprinkle a generous layer of the chat masala mix prepared earlier.

(Fourth layer) Place 6-8 cucumber slices (if they are round) & if you have cut long diagonal slices (then 3 long slices) on the 5 bread slices, again sprinkle a generous layer of the chat masala mix prepared earlier.

(Fifth layer) Sprinkle onion slices (depending on how much you want) & again sprinkle a generous layer of the chat masala mix prepared earlier.

(Optional Sixth layer) You can add another layer of potato on top if you're a potato freak & again sprinkle a generous layer of the chat masala mix prepared earlier.

Cover the sandwich with another bread slice that is already having butter & chutney on it.

Cut in 4-6 pieces & serve immediately with tomato ketchup.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

~ MOONG DAL PAALAK RECIPE ~



Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses packed with minerals & vitamins that prevent cell damage. This delicious recipe makes eating greens a memorable experience.

RECIPE SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

1 cup moong dal (yellow, split) (you can either add it directly or soak for 30 mins & then add)

5 cups fresh cut spinach leaves (paalak)

2 tomatoes (finely chopped)

SPICES Oil, 1 teaspoon jeera, pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 2 tablespoons green chilli paste, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt to taste, 4 teaspoons red chilli powder

METHOD

Heat oil for vaghaar, then add jeera, pinch of hing,1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 2 tablespoons green chilli paste - fry for 2 mins on medium flame

Add moong dal, 2 tomatoes, 1 litre of water, salt to taste, 4 teaspoons red chilli powder

Cook on medium flame, keep stirring after every 5-7 mins. Let moong dal cook for 12-15 mins.

Then add paalak & mix well. Switch gas to little less than medium heat & let the dal palak blend with spices.

Keep stirring every 5-7 mins.

When dal is completely done, dal will be well cooked, slightly mushy (will start breaking) so it thickens & forms a gravy on its own & paalak leaves will cook & wilt to dark green color.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice in the end. Check taste & adjust the spices.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ VEGETABLE CUTLETS RECIPE ~



Deep fried spicy vegetable Cutlets loaded with potatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, corn dipped in tomato ketchup ... sheer delight !!!

RECIPE MAKES 10 CUTLETS

==========================

INGREDIENTS

2 big potatoes (boil to 4 whistles, mash)

1.5 cup mix vegetables (peas, carrots, green beas, corn) Steam till cooked - we need 1 cup of mix vegetables, but take 1.5 cups before steaming as vegetables will settle later

After steaming, put all the vegetables in a thick paper tissue & press lightly to remove as much moisture as you can.

2-3 tablespoons fresh cut cilantro dhania)

3/4 tablespoon green chilli paste

1/2 tablespoon garlic paste

1/2 tablespoon ginger paste

salt to taste, pinch of turmeric, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

6 tablespoons all purpose flour (maida), 1/2 cup water

2 cups breadcrumbs + 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (you can buy readymade or remove the thick edges off regular bread & pulse in a food processor or blender to make your own breadcrumbs)

==================================

METHOD

In a big bowl, add mashed potatoes, mix vegetables, 2-3 tablespoons fresh cut cilantro dhania), 3/4 tablespoon green chilli paste, 1/2 tablespoon garlic paste, 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste, salt to taste, pinch of turmeric, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

You can lightly mix all the ingrdients with your fingers & blend all the spices. Cutlets can be made now.

But if you feel that the moisture out of the steamed vegetables was not completely removed, add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs too (this is to ensure that the cutlets dont break in the hot oil while frying, breadcrumbs binds them together well)

I prefer to add breadcrumbs to the mix just to avoid disasters in the hot oil later.

Make 10 equal portions & press lightly in any shape (round or oval)

Mix 6 tablespoons of all purpose flour & 1/2 cup water in a bowl to make a paste like mixture. Mix well so there are no lumps.

Keep a bowl full of 2 cups breadcrumbs next to this.

Take a cutlet, dip it in the all purpose flour paste mixture, let it completely coat the cutlet.

Immediately dip the cutlet in breadcrumbs & press lightly with your hand.

Turn the cutlet, repeat on the other side & the sides.

Do this once again (pressing twice on breadcrumbs to get a firm crisp layer over the vegetables)

Once all the cutlets are ready, heat oil on little more than medium heat.

Fry cutlets till golden brown. Serve hot with cilantro chutney & tomato ketchup

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ ONION UTTAPAM & 4 VARIATIONS ~



Pan fried glazed fresh onions loaded on a medium thick Uttapam ... variations include addition of fresh tomatoes, green chilli pieces & fresh cut cilantro (dhania) to this ... add salt & red chilli powder to this salad mixture for more flavor ...

INGREDIENTS : fresh cut onions, tomatoes, green chilli pieces, cilantro (dhania)

Prepare the dosa batter as mentioned in the Plain Dosa recipe.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat, season it with 1 teaspoon oil, sprinkle water & wipe with a damp cloth/rubber spatula

Make a medium thick round uttapam. Immediately sprinkle onions, green chilli pieces & fresh cut cilantro on top. (you can add toppings of your choice)

Take a spoon & press all the salad mixture in the uttapam so it gets cooked very well.

Apply a teaspoon of oil on the sides & around the center over the onion mixture. Spread all the oil over the onion mixture well so they get cooked properly when you flip the uttapam.

Let uttapam cook till you see bubbles all over & the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Flip & cook on the other side as well with onions are well cooked & golden brown.

Serve hot with coconut chutneys & sambar.

Before making the next uttapam, season the pan once again with 1 teaspoon oil, sprinkle water & wipe with a damp cloth/rubber spatula. This ensures that the pan is clean, the next uttapam gets cooked well & is easy to flip.

Repeat for all uttapams. Making small poori size uttapams is a great idea for kids so they can lift & eat it like a small pizza.

======================================

VARIATIONS

1. After spreading the uttapam you can add the Masala Dosa sabzi to make 'Masala Uttapam'

2. Or else you can cut fresh green onions, cabbage, shredded carrot, capsicum (add salt & red chilli powder to this mixture) spread this over the uttapam & cook to make a 'Chinese style uttapam'

3. Or you can make a spicy samosa filling kind of mixture & press that to get a 'Samosa stuffing uttapam'

4. Or you can add leftover Pav Bhaaji to this & make 'Spicy Uttapam'

The variations are endless so work with what your family loves the best :-)

=====================================

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

~ PAAPDI CHAAT RECIPE ~



Super cool dahi loaded imli chutney, cilantro chuntney, chat masala, dhania, boondi, sev & many other mouthwatering ingredients ... sounds familiar ???

RECIPE SERVES 3

FOR PAAPDI

Either of this works best : Pani puri/Sev Puri/Tortilla chips broken in bite size pieces

FOR TOPPING

4 cups Super cool fresh yogurt (dahi) blend it with a spoon

Imli chutney (either add chat masala to this or separately on the plate)

Dhania chutney

1 boiled potato (cut in cubes) sprinkle salt & red chilli powder on it

1 small onion (chopped very fine) sprinkle salt & red chilli powder on it

2 tomatoes (chopped very fine) sprinkle salt & red chilli powder on it

1/2 cup fresh dhania

1/2 cup sev, 1/2 cup boondi

FOR FILLING

Soak 1/2 cup Moong, 1/4 cup Mooth (muth, math) overnight

Soak 1/4 cup green chana, 1/4 cup brown chana overnight

Next morning, in a vessel that has holes (in which we soak poha) drain the moong, math, cover it with a plate & let it sprout for 24 hours

In a separate vessel, leave green & brown chana to sprout

After they sprout, add moong, math to a pressure cooker, add 1/2 cup water, salt to taste, 2 teaspoons red chilli powder & cook to 2 whistles

After this is done, add green, brown chana to the pressure cooker, add 1/2 cup water, salt to taste, 2 teaspoons red chilli powder & cook to 6-8 whistles till they completely soften.

FOR SERVING

Keep paapdi in the plate (either pani puri/sev puri/tortilla chips broken into bite size pieces)

Add the sprouts - moong, math, green, brown chana

Add chilled dahi, chaat masala, imli chutney, green dhania chutney, potatoes, onion, tomato, dhania, sev, boondi & serve

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ GREEN COCONUT CHUTNEY RECIPE (FOR IDLI/DOSA) ~


Too tough to break a Coconut ? Put it in a hot oven for 15 mins or place it in the freezer for 30 mins & the shell & coconut inside get dislodged. Then hammer it & you can get an entire coconut in minutes ...

Scrape the brown outer skin of the coconut with a potato peeler.

Shred the coconut & its ready to turn into yum chutneys.

GREEN COCONUT CHUTNEY RECIPE (Thanks to Smitha for sharing this recipe, this version is more spicy)

Recipe makes about 3 cups of chutney - enough to serve 3-4

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil, add 1 tablespoon Chana dal, 2 dry red chillies, 2.5 tablespoons green chilli paste (or pieces) (less to make it less spicy), pinch of hing/asafetida.

Add 1/2 of the shredded coconut (1/2 pack frozen coconut (thawed), salt to taste & saute on medium flame for 2-3 mins.

If you want to make it less spicy, you can add less of dry red chillies & green chillies.

2. Put this mixture in a blender, add 2 cups water & blend to a coarse/fine paste. (depending on your liking)

3. Tempering for chutney - Heat 1 teaspoon oil, then add 1/2 teaspoon urad dal (white, split) & curry leaves. Add this to the chutney, mix & serve.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ RED COCONUT CHUTNEY (FOR IDLI/DOSA) ~



Too tough to break a Coconut ? Put it in a hot oven for 15 mins or place it in the freezer for 30 mins & the shell & coconut inside get dislodged. Then hammer it & you can get an entire coconut in minutes ...

Scrape the brown outer skin of the coconut with a potato peeler.

Shred the coconut & its ready to turn into yum chutneys.

RED COCONUT CHUTNEY RECIPE (Thanks to Smitha for sharing this recipe, this version is more spicy)

Recipe makes about 3 cups of chutney - enough to serve 3-4

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil, add 6 dry red chillies, 1/2 of the shredded coconut & saute on medium flame for 2-3 mins. Add salt to taste.

If you want to make it less spicy, you can add 3 dry red chillies.

2. Put this mixture in a blender, add 2 cups water & blend to a fine paste.

3. Tadka for chutney - Heat 1 teaspoon oil, then add 1/2 teaspoon rai & curry leaves. Add this tadka to the chutney.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ MASALA DOSA SABZI RECIPE ~



The 'Made for each other' combination ... a crisp Dosa & its sabzi, talk about South Indian food & Masala Dosa is almost a universal favorite ...

Simple to cook, wholesome, delicious, so let's get started ...

RECIPE SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

2 onions ( cut in long vertical thick slices )

2 potatoes ( boiled to 4 whistles, cool & mash with potato masher )

SPICES 1 teaspoon Chana dal, 1 teaspoon Urad dal (white, split), jeera, pinch of hing, 2 tablespoons green chilli pieces ( or paste), 8-10 curry leaves, 1 tablespoon kaaju/cashews (optional), salt to taste, pinch of turmeric, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 cup fresh cut Cilantro (dhania) for garnishing

METHOD

1. In a non stick pan, on medium flame, keep 3 tablespoons oil for tempering. Once its heated, add 1 teaspoon Chana dal, 1 teaspoon Urad dal (white, split) - the dals turn pink, crisp

Add jeera/cumin seeds, pinch of hing/asafetida, 2 tablespoons green chilli pieces ( or paste) (you can add less to make it less spicy), 8-10 curry leaves, 1 tablespoon kaaju/cashews (optional)

2. Add onions & salt enough for onions to cook. Cook onions till they are partially cooked, slightly crispy.

3. Add mashed potatoes, salt to taste, pinch of turmeric, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, mix well, check taste & adjust spices.

4. Let it cook on low flame for another 5-7 mins till all spices blend well with sabzi.

5. Switch off gas, garnish with fresh cut cilantro (dhania)

6. Serve hot with Plain Dosa.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ PLAIN/SAADA DOSA RECIPE ~



There is no crepe in this world that compares to a crisp lentil Dosa, my all time favorite since childhood, now a weekend recipe that equally delights my family ...

RECIPE SERVES 6

===============

INGREDIENTS

4 cups long grain rice (I use Riceland Rice from Costco)

2 cups Urad dal (white, split)

1/2 cup Chana Dal (Chana Dal & dry methi seeds give the dosa a deep golden color when cooked & make it easier to lift off the pan)

1 teaspoon dry methi (fenugreek) seeds

===================

METHOD

Mix all the above ingredients in a big utensil/tub. Wash this mixture under running water 3-4 times.

Let it soak overnight for 8-10 hours. Next morning, mixture is ready to grind. Drain all the water out of the mixture.

You will need 1 litre of water (32 oz) - this will be required to grind the dosa mixture. You can add fresh water if the soaked water is less than 32 oz.

In small batches, add the soaked mixture to a grinder, add water enough to grind the mixture (just enough that the mixture soaks in it)

The soaked mixture will need 1 litre (32 oz) water in all to make a fluffy dosa batter, so if there is any water left, add it to the empty mixer jar, close the lid, clean it up & add it to the dosa mixture.

Give the batter a good mix with a big spoon for 3-5 minutes, aerate it well.

Cover & let it ferment undisturbed for 12-18 hours (during fall & winter) and 8-12 hours (during spring & summer)

Batter should have risen & there must be air bubbles in it - this is a good dosa batter.

Add 7-8 teaspoons salt (to taste) to the batter.

Batter is ready to make dosas. Heat a big size non stick pan/cast iron dosa pan/a big non stick rectangle griddle to make super size dosas

Season the pan with 1 teaspoon oil, sprinkle a handful of water, wipe dry with a damp cloth/paper towel/rubber spatula

Spread the dosa batter with a ladle, from the center outwards, make a big circle. Apply little oil on the edges & around the center. Let dosa cook - the top side will look cracked & the edges will be golden brown.

If the dosa is too thin, just flip, turn over & serve.

If its thick, you might have to cook it on the other side too.

After every dosa, sprinkle water & little oil on the pan, spread with rubber spatula to reduce the temperature of the pan & help spread the batter. Cook on medium flame for golden brown dosas.

Serve hot with coconut chutney, spicy sambar.

Prepare & enjoy !!!


~ VEG PUFF PASTRY (SPICY & SWEET) RECIPE ~


Counting calories is not important when you are savoring these delicious puff pastries. Paper thin sheets loaded with butter just melt in your mouth ... so close your eyes to calories & open your mouth for a delicious treat ...

RECIPE SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

Readymade (Pepperidge Farm) Puff Pastry Sheets (available in US)

Thaw (bring puff pastry sheets to room temperature) Leave the 2 sheets on a big tray at room temperature for 30 mins before baking.

========================

FOR THE FILLING

3 potatoes, 1 cup frozen/fresh green peas, 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh dhania finely chopped)

SPICES : Salt to taste, jeera, pinch of hing, pinch of turmeric, 1.5 tablespoons green chilli paste, pinch of Everest Garam Masala, 3 tablespoons Dhaanajeeru (dhaniajeera powder), 1 tablespoon Jeera powder

Take 3 tablespoons of All purpose flour/wheat flour in a small bowl & add water enough to make a thick paste to bind the pastries

==========================

1. Boil 3 potatoes to 4 whistles, when cooker cools down, mash them completely.

2. Fill a saucepan with 4 cups of water & add 1 cup frozen or fresh peas to cook. Add pinch of salt & turmeric. Boil for 10-12 mins till cooked.

Drain in a sieve, let peas cool to room temperature.

3. Keep 4 tablespoons oil for vaghaar in a wide non stick pan, once it heats, add jeera, pinch of hing, 1.5 tablespoons green chilli paste.

Switch gas on medium heat. Add mashed potatoes, salt to taste (3-4 teaspoons), pinch of turmeric, pinch of Everest Garam Masala, 3 tablespoons Dhaanajeeru (dhaniajeera powder), 1 tablespoon Jeera
powder. Mix well. Cook for 3-4 mins stirring well.

4. Add peas & fresh cut cilantro (dhania), mix & switch off the gas.

5. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature (takes about 30 mins - so you can remove the puff pastry from the freezer once filling is ready - so filling cools & puff pastries thaw at the same time)

METHOD

Once Puff pastries thaw, place 1 sheet on a big tray. If it is in folds, open all the folds.

With a pizza cutter, cut along the lines of the fold. Then cut vertically depending on how big pastries you want to prepare.

I make 3 horizontal cuts along the fold & 4 vertical cuts - so that makes 12 two bite size pieces per sheet.

Place a spoon of filling on one side of each piece of cut puff pastry.

On one half side of the pastry, apply the thick all purpose flour/wheat flour paste with a spoon. Lift the piece, flip the other side over it & bind it tightly with your fingers & seal it completely.

Repeat for all the pieces.

Grease a baking tray & place all the pieces on the baking tray. Place the tray in the fridge to cool down till you prepare the second sheet of the box. (Place the second tray also in the fridge till it is ready to bake)

Once all the pastries are filled, preheat oven to 400 F

Once oven is heated, place an empty baking sheet & then the baking sheet that has all the filled puff pastries (the one that was placed first in the fridge)

Placing 2 baking sheets ensures that the bottoms of the pastries don't burn

On the middle rack, place the baking tray to bake for 20 mins.

Puff pastries will be golden brown, all puffed up, ready to serve.

Repeat for the second sheet.

Serve hot with Cilantro chutney (dhania chutney) & tomato ketchup.

===========================

FOR SWEET PUFF PASTRY

Place a spoonful of any favorite Fruit Jam as filling - Apple / Strawberry / Mixed Fruit Jam

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

~ HOMEMADE FRESH FRUIT/DRY FRUIT ICECREAM RECIPES ~




Making endless flavours of Icecream at home without an Icecream Maker is possible & its the easiest dessert you can prepare in Summer & delight the family / surprise your guests ...

Get a big tub of Plain Vanilla (store bought) Icecream. Scoop out about 4 cups of icecream in a big bowl & let it soften at room temperature.

FRESH FRUIT FLAVOR OPTIONS

For every 4 cups of icecream, you can add about 1 to 1.5 cups of fresh pureed fruit.

Mango, Strawberry, Raspberry, Kiwi fruit, Chickoo ... any family favorite fruit can work.

Clean the fruit & cut 2 cups of the fresh fruit in a bowl. Add sugar equal to the amount required to sweeten that much fruit.

Mango will need less sugar, Raspberry/Strawberry will need more (so taste after mixing)

Let the fruit & sugar combination sit at room temperature till the plain vanilla icecream softens.

Once vanilla softens, blend the fresh fruit + sugar combination in a blender. Add it to the softened icecream.

You can finely chop nuts of your choice & add too .. Some good options are Elaichi powder, Cinnamon powder, walnut, almonds, kaaju, pista (any combination that your family likes alongwith fresh fruit)

Mix everything thoroughly well. Put the blended fruit icecream in an airtight container to set again.

After 12-18 hours, serve delicious fruit & dry fruit flavored scoops :-)

You can also add about a cup of chocolate chips to make your own chocolate chip icecream.

Crush chocolate cookies (like Oreo) & add for a cookie kind of flavor

The possibilities & combinations are endless to explore when you use this method of Icecream making.

Get readymade Cones from the market & serve the delicious scoops on cones.

Or in a sundae glass, add different flavors, pour chocolate syrup over it, insert a wafer biscuit & a flavorful sundae is ready to eat !!!

Prepare & enjoy !!!!

~ GUJARATI KADHI RECIPE ~




Traditional Gujarati Thaali is never complete without this aromatic sweet Gujarati Kadhi. Compliments any meal with its very unique flavour ...

RECIPE SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

3 cups Yogurt (Dahi - if you like the Khatta-meetha taste, leave dahi out of the fridge for 6-8 hours)

5 cups water

4 tablespoons Besan flour

SPICES

4 tablespoons ghee, jeera, pinch of hing, 1 teaspoon dry methi seeds, 2 dry red chillies, 10-12 curry leaves (kadhipatta), 5-6 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 1 teaspoon Red Chilli powder, 1/2 tablespoon each of garlic & ginger paste, 1/4 teaspoon green chilli paste, 6 tablespoons sugar (or more) depending on how sweet you like it ( OR 1 mashed ripe banana)

Fresh cut cilantro (dhania) for garnishing

METHOD

1. In a big non-stick pan, add yogurt + 4 tablespoons Besan flour, with a wooden spoon, blend the besan in dahi such that there are no lumps left

2. Add 5 cups water & mix again to make a thin buttermilk consistency

3. Switch on the gas on medium heat & heat this mixture.

Add 5-6 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 1 teaspoon Red Chilli powder, 6 tablespoons sugar (or more) depending on how sweet you like it

Mix all the ingredients well & let mixture cook well. If the mixture starts boiling, reduce the flame.

4. After about 10 mins, do vaghaar.

In a small pan, add 4 tablespoons ghee. When ghee heats, add 1 teaspoon dry methi leaves, then add jeera, pinch of hing, 10-12 curry leaves, 2 dry red chillies, 1/2 tablespoon each of garlic & ginger & 1/4 teaspoon green chilli paste.

Mix all the ingredients well in the vaghaar & let them cook for less than a minute.

Add this vaghaar to the boiling buttermilk mixture. Stir well.

Cook on little less than medium heat, let kadhi boil for about 10-15 mins.

Once ghee starts floating on top of the kadhi, switch off the gas & garnish with fresh cut cilantro.

Serve hot with steamed rice/pulao/rice recipes or just like a side dish with chapati sabzi.

==============================

VARIATION : LAGAN NI KADHI (Gujarati Kadhi made during marriages)

This version is much sweeter than what we cook at home. Instead of adding sugar to the kadhi, they add mashed ripe bananas, this thickens the kadhi & gives it a natural sweet flavor.

So if you want to avoid sugar, you can add a ripe mashed banana to the above recipe & just about a spoon or 2 of sugar to make it little extra sweet.

==============================

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ PAV BHAAJI RECIPE ~




One of the most popular street food of Mumbai ... there was a restaurant opposite Shoppers' Stop 'Waikiki' which served delicious Pav Bhaji ... this is a very close version ..

RECIPE SERVES 3-4
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VEGETABLES

2 potatoes, 1 onion, 1 capsicum, 4 tomatoes, 1 cup of cauliflower florets, 1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 cup fresh cut cilantro (dhania), whole green chillies, fresh cut onion & lemon wedges for garnishing

SPICES

Oil, jeera, pinch of hing, 1/2 tablespoon each of garlic, ginger & green chilli paste, salt to taste, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 1 tablespoon Red Chilli powder, 2 tablespoons Everest Pav Bhaji Masala

PREPARATION

1. Boil potatoes to 4 whistles - after they cool down, peel skin & mash

2. Boil to 1 whistle with 1/4 cup water OR steam cauliflower till cooked - mash

3. Blend to paste or chop - 1 onion, 1 capsicum, 4 tomatoes separately.

If you blend pav bhaji will have a paste like consistency.

If you chop in fine pieces, pav bhaji will have some texture, so depending on how you'll like - blended/chopped

4. Add about 4 cups water to a pan, add fresh/frozen peas, 1 teaspoon salt & let it boil for 7-10 mins till peas are cooked. Place a sieve, drain all the water out & let peas cool down.

METHOD

1. Keep 4 tablespoons oil for vaghaar, once its hot, add jeera, pinch of hing

2. Add 1/2 tablespoon each of garlic, ginger & green chilli paste

3. Add onion paste/chopped onions, 1 teaspoon salt, mix & switch gas to medium heat, cook till onions are transparent 5-7 mins

4. Add capsicum paste/chopped capsicum, 1 teaspoon salt, mix & let this cook for 2-3 mins

5. Add tomato paste/chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, mix & let this cook till tomatoes are completely cooked 5-7 mins & you see some oil floating on top of the gravy

6. Add mashed potatoes, cauliflower, 3 cups water, 2-3 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder, 2 tablespoons Everest Pav Bhaji.

Mix well, switch gas to less than medium heat & let Pav Bhaji cook till oil floats on top. This is when its completely cooked - takes 10-15 mins.

Add peas in the end, give one good stir & bhaji is ready.

===================================

STREET STYLE SERVING

In an open pan, add 1 tablespoon butter, heat & let it melt completely.

Add 1/4 teaspoon garlic chutney (crush fresh garlic cloves with salt to taste + red chilli powder as spicy as you want)

once garlic chutney blends well in the butter, add about 2 cups of bhaji in this & mix it well. This makes the bhaji buttery & spicy.

Serve hot with pan fried butter pav.

Garnish with fresh cut cilantro. Serve with fresh cut onion, lemon wedges, whole green chillies & a chilled cold drink.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ (VEG & EGGLESS) TOMATO OMLETTE RECIPE ~


Fast to cook, delicious to eat ... had prepared this in the morning for Breakfast ... sharing the recipe with you'll ...

RECIPE MAKES 5 TOMATO OMLETTES

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups Besan flour

1/4 cup Rava or Rice flour (just to make it more crisp)

2 + 1/4 cup water

4-5 teaspoons salt (to taste)

1/8 teaspoon haldi

2 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder

1/4 teaspoon ajmo (ajwain seeds)

1/2 tablespoon garlic paste

1/2 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon green chilli paste

1/4 cup fresh cut cilantro (dhania)

Blend 1/4 onion + 2 tomatoes in a blender to a paste

METHOD

1. In a big bowl, add all the dry ingredients (except water & onion tomato paste) & mix well

2. Add the onion tomato paste & very slowly add water to the mixture ensuring that there are no lumps.

Blending the onion & tomatoes ensures that the batter is even & is easy to spread on the pan. Also makes thinner omlettes.

In case of chopped onions & tomatoes, the omlettes come out quite thick - but its your choice, chopped or blended.

3. Taste the batter & adjust spices (you can add more garlic/ginger/green chilli paste to make it more spicy)

4. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat.

5. Once pan is hot, add a teaspoon of oil, spread on the pan & add a ladle full of the besan batter, spread it like a dosa. You might need 2 ladles full of batter if your pan is big.

6. Spread oil with a spoon all around the edges & around the center.

7. If the pan has a glass lid, close the lid & let it cook on medium flame.

8. Once the top side starts showing bubbles, looks cooked & edges are golden brown, flip on the other side.

9. Cover the pan with the glass lid & let it cook on the other side as well.

10. Serve hot with tomato ketchup & cilantro chutney.

=========================

VARIATION : You can cut the Tomato omlette in 4 parts with a pizza cutter & spread the pieces between 2 slices of bread.

Serve with Tomato Ketchup & Cilantro Chutney

========================

~ (VEG) MASALA RICE RECIPE ~



Steamed Basmati rice with your choice of fresh vegetables ... fast to cook, healthy, wholesome ..

I had prepared this Rice for dinner yesterday, sharing the recipe with you'll ..

=================================

RICE

Cook Rice separately for this recipe. In a pressure cooker or Rice Cooker, add

1.5 cups Basmati Rice

3.5 cups water

1 tablespoon lime juice

2-3 teaspoons salt (salt enough for the rice)

1 teaspoon ghee

1 teaspoon jeera

1 clove

Cook to 2 whistles in the pressure cooker. After pressure cooker cools down, remove the lid & let rice cool down to normal room temperature.

=================================

VEGETABLES FOR VAGHAAR (you can add any 4-5 vegetables of your choice)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 small potato (cut in cubes)

1 carrot (cut in cubes)

1 capsicum (cut in cubes)

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

METHOD

1. Keep 2 tablespoons ghee/oil for vaghaar

2. Add jeera, pinch of hing

3. Add 1/2 tablespoon each of garlic, ginger & green chilli paste. Stir this well in hot oil.

4. Add all the vegetables listed above + 1/4 cup water, 2-3 teaspoons salt enough for the vegetables, 2 teaspoons red chilli powder, cover the pan with a lid.

On less than medium flame, let all the vegetables cook for 10-15 mins. Open & stir once after 5-7 minutes.

5. Once vegetables are cooked completely, remove the lid & stir so water, if any evaporates.

If you want to serve immediately, you can add rice. If you want to serve after few hours, mix rice before serving.

6. With a big spoon, separate all the rice grains till rice is separated & fluffy.

7. Add rice to the vegetables, add 1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder, 1/2 tablespoon Pav Bhaaji Masala & mix well.

8. Serve Masala Rice immediately with chilled yogurt or your choice of dal/any gravy.

==========================

VARIATION : Vegetable combination of green onions, onion, cabbage, capsicum, corn makes Masala Fried Rice - you can add Soy Sauce to this recipe

==========================

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

~ PLANTAIN - KELA CHIPS ~


Plantain/Kela Wafers (yellow plantain salted chips)
=============================================================

INGREDIENTS : Raw plantains (snap attached to this note), salt, any other seasoning of your choice

UTENSILS NEEDED : thin slicer, kadhai, oil, slotted spoon
big vessel to store peeled plantains, thick dry kitchen cloth, plate, paper tissue, an airtight container to store chips

1. buy raw plantains from the market (the snap of the kind of plantains to buy is attached to this note, they are available in all supermakrkets. buy plantains that have fresh totally green skin, preferably no black spots)

2. the quality of chips is best when the chips are done on the very same day that you buy the plantains. so buy it & make the chips the same day if possible. if the plantains start ripening, its difficult to slice them or get crispness. at the most, leave it in the refrigerator for a day, but make sure you fry them the next day.

3. in a big open mouth vessel, fill cold water (fridge type cold water), add little salt to this water, mix well & keep this water ready to soak the peeled plantains. (this helps prevent the plantains from getting black while you are making other chips)

4. cut the top & bottom tip of the plantain with a knife. cut the plantain in the center so you have 2 equal parts of 1 plantain (this makes it easier to peel & fry) then run a small sharp knife vertically to cut through the thick skin, insert the small knife edge inside the plantain & start pulling the entire thick green color skin out to get the inside pulp of the plantain. be careful not to break the inside pulp of plantain. make sure no skin remains on the plantain, otherwise it will be difficult to slice chips. once u hv nicely peeled the raw plantain, soak it in the cold water that is prepared earlier.

5. repeat this process for all the raw plantains that you have got.

6. now plantains are ready to fry. to make the chips, you will need a slicer (the one we use to make potato chips while making bhajiyaas, a slicer that will slice thin chips like lays chips) & oil.

7. keep the slicer clean, dry & ready to use.

8. fill half the kadhai with oil to fry the plantain chips on medium to high heat (like you would use to do any frying). on the cooking range here, i keep the gas mark to 7. if your cooking range is same as US, you can do this too. oil will heat after about 7-10 minutes.

9. keep a dry clean thick cloth ready. pat dry a plantain from the cold water to slice chips.

keep salt & seasonings ready for sprinkling on chips.

keep one airtight container dry, ready & open to put batches of chips.

10. method to make chips - once oil is heated, hold the slicer, little above the hot kadhai, place plantain vertically on the slicer & directly make the chips in the hot oil kadhai. the flat base of the plantain cut from the center is where you start so you get round chips.

after slicing half the plantain directly in the oil, check the kadhai, there should only be one thick layer of chips in the kadhai. be careful that the hot oil does not spurt on u while slicing, so adjust the slicer on the kadhai accordingly. pat the chips with the slotted spoon if you feel that the chips are sticking to one another.

11. let them fry well on one side, slowly turn them over & fry them all till the oil almost stops sizzling, by then the uncooked plantain chips will be well cooked & will look like market quality thin deep fried chips. one batch of chips fries on both sides in less than 5 minutes, so its real fast if ur slicer is nice & thin..

12. remove from oil in a clean dry plate. u can keep layers of paper tissue on the plate so it soaks excess oil. while there is little oil on chips, sprinkle little salt, seasonings & mix the chips well with hand so salt, seasonings stays on the chips.

13. repeat the slicing of plantains in the hot oil kadhai for other plantains. while doing this, remember to take only plantain out of the cold water at a time, pat dry before slicing & keep the remaining plantains soaked in cold water so that they dont start turning black.

14. while the next batch of plantain chips is frying, put the previous salted batch of plantain chips that is in the plate in an airtight container. keep repeating this process for all batches.

if u wait to salt all the chips after they fry, the chips hv soaked the oil, so the salt does not stay on the chips, so remember to salt every batch of chips on the clean dry plate & keep transferring every batch to an airtight container while the other chips are frying.

15. after the chips cool down, u will find that the taste & crispness is exactly like the chips that we get in the market.

16. since we are making the chips at home & no preservatives, i usually make chips of 6 plantains at a time, stays crisp & fresh for at least 15-20 days, so u can try this too.

one plantain makes over 100 chips, so its lot of fun food for kids, quick & easy snack anytime..

~ HOMEMADE POPCORN ~



1. Add 2-3 tablespoons oil or butter in a big size saucepan/kadhai - heat on medium heat

Once the corn pops it occupies a lot of space, so in a big size kadhai/saucepan, add abt 1/2 - 1 cup dry corn kernels - this will fill the entire saucepan/kadhai

2. Once oil or butter fumes, add the dry corn kernels (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup) keep stirring the corn kernels on medium heat. Within few minutes, corn will start popping.

Snap of the dry corn kernels to buy is attached to this note.

3. Take a lid (without holes) & cover it on top of the saucepan/kadhai - Increase the flame to medium high ~ The popping sound will continue for about a minute till all the corn is popped.

4. Once the popping sound almost stops, switch off the gas & remove the lid.

5. Add all your favorite seasonings - salt, paprika etc. & enjoy !

~ SPICY SAVORY SAMOSAS ~


SAMOSA RECIPE - Makes 12 Potato & Peas Samosas

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COVER:

3 cups Maida
3 tablespoons Rava
3 tablespoons warm melted Dalda Ghee
2-3 tsps salt to taste
small spoon ground jeera powder
small spoon ground ajmo - ajwain seeds
about 3/4th cup water to knead the dough

Sieve maida, rava, add the remaining ingredients & prepare dough with water like we make for puris. Knead the dough till everything blends well, apply little oil, cover & keep it at least for 30 mins before preparing the samosas.

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING: This is a Potato & Peas filling mixture, but if you prefer a Vegetable Samosa, you can add a cupful of steamed chopped green beans, carrots, corn etc. to this mixture & adjust spices accordingly.

500 gms potatoes (1 medium size potato makes upto 2 samosas, so if you dont have a weighing scale, u can estimate the number of pcs u want to make like this & boil potatoes accordingly)

250 gms peas (here i use frozen peas - add water in a saucepan, add peas, little salt, haldi & boil it on medium flame till peas are cooked - takes abt 7-10 mins. Pour this in a strainer to remove the water & peas to dry out before getting added to the potato mixture)

1 bunch finely chopped & washed cilantro (fresh dhania)

1/2 to 1 tablespoon Garam Masala Powder, you can add 1/2 tbsp first & add more if required later (optional, only if you use, I make samosas without this)

1/2 to 1 tablespoon Chat Masala Powder, you can add 1/2 tbsp first & add more if required later (optional, only if you use, I make samosas without this)

4 tablespoons oil for vaghaar

Salt to taste

Prepare Spicy Green Chilli paste by grinding green chillies, salt, haldi together with little water ~ this depends on how spicy u wish to make, so u can add accordingly. You will need at least 3-4 tablespoons, so add this first & then more if required later

a small piece of ground fresh ginger

Dhania seeds (the full small green seeds) 3 spoons (optional if you have or u can add more dhania jeera powder)

Jeera 3 spoons

Anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) 20 gms (optional only if u can find them as sometimes Indian stores abroad dont hv them - it gives a tart flavor & black color to the samosas filling mixture)

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PREPARATION & VAGHAAR FOR THE SAMOSA FILLING MIXTURE:

1. Boil potatoes, mash them

2. Steam & drain green peas as mentioned above

3. Finely chop cilantro, wash & keep aside

4. In a kadhai or pan, add Anardana, Jeera, Dhania seeds & roast on a slow medium flame till they are lightly toasted. Cool for half an hour, grind to fine powder

(If you are in a hurry & dont hv time to do this, you can add equal amount of readymade Dhaniajeera powder & Jeera powder to the mixture, little chat masala to replace anardana if its not available readily)

5. Prepare Green Chilli paste & Ginger paste. You will need at least 3-4 tbsps Green chilli paste for this quantity & small piece of fresh ginger ground with little salt

6. Add 4 tablespoons Oil in a kadhai, add little jeera, add mashed potatoes, ground masalas (4 & 5), garam masala, chat masala, salt to taste, haldi & mix thoroughly on slow flame.

Cook on medium heat for 3-4 mins, keep mixing.

Finally, add the fresh chopped cilantro, green peas & mix thoroughly.

7. The filling mixture has to cool completely before it can be filled in the samosa. So u can spread it out on a big plate or tray or baking sheet

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FILLING THE SAMOSAS

1. Knead the dough again & make 6 equal parts. Keep dough covered as it tends to dry out.

2. Prepare wheat paste to seal samosas - Take 3-4 tablespoons wheat, add little water to make a thick paste to seal samosas.

3. Roll 1 part of the dough in a long oval shape. Cut it in the center. Take one half of the piece & roll again, stretch it on the sides & downwards to get an almost V like shape.

The folding of samosa is explained in the attached photo.

In step C, cover should slightly overlap over the cover as shown in step B. In the inside portion of the overlap, apply the wheat paste with a spoon & seal it thoroughly so the samosa does not break open while frying.

Now you have a cone. On the left hand, form a lightly closed fist in which the thumb tip touches the finger tips, turn the cone upside down so tip of cone is pointing downwards & cone lies loosely between fingers & the thumb.

Take a small eating spoon & start filling the samosa - About 2 - 3 spoons is enough to fill a samosa.

Add 1st spoon inside the cone & shape the tip of the samosa by pressing lightly on the cover of the tip from outside. Should be sharp, pointed like the market samosa.

Add 2nd spoon & shape the center by lightly pressing on the center of the samosa & give it a good shape.

Add 3rd spoon & press it lightly with the spoon.

DO NOT OVERFILL THE SAMOSA OR ELSE IT WILL BREAK OPEN WHILE FRYING.

On one half of the open cover thats left, apply the wheat paste with a spoon & with your right hand, flip the back of the cover to the front & seal the base thoroughly.

Keep a greased tray ready. Keep the filled samosas on a greased tray so they dont stick to the base because of the wheat paste.

Fill & prepare all the samosas.

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FIRST FRY:

Heat oil on medium to high flame for about 10 mins (like we heat before we fry anything)

Take the holes laddle, place a samosa on the laddle & slowly insert in the hot oil. One batch should be able to fry about 3-4 samosas.

Let it lightly fry on 1 side, turn & lightly fry on the other side - Just about 2-3 mins so the outer cover cooks slightly with pinkish tinge. Remove from oil.

(At this step, u can also let them cool & store in the refrigerator & deep fry before serving. Stays good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days at least, so you prepare a bigger batch & store them too)

Let it cool for 10 minutes at least before deep frying.

Repeat for all samosas.

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DEEP FRYING : Heat oil for at least 10 mins before frying on medium heat.

Add samosas to hot oil by keeping them on the holes laddle one by one. Deep fry for at least 7-10 mins, turning them upside down every few mins to ensure even golden color & no black spots.

Serve hot with cilantro chutney, imli chutney, tomato sauce

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If you have the cover mixture left when u try to make a big batch, you can roll the rest of the dough in thin round chapatis & make Sakkarpara out of it, fry it on medium flame at the end of frying all the samosas, another quick snack is ready.

If the filling mixture has leftover, you can make Toast sandwiches out of this, tastes very good...Take a plain bread, put some fresh cut onion & capsicum pieces, add the filling mixture, press evenly with spoon, top again with some fresh cut onion & capsicum pcs on top of the filling mixture & toast ... enjoy with tomato sauce & cilantro chutney.

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SAMOSA BHEL:

fresh dahi - blend it with a spoon/blender/valoni so its like thick yogurt

sweet imli chutney (imli & jaggery or sugar)

cilantro chutney

fresh onion chopped

fresh tomato chopped

fresh cilantro chopped

farsan spicy sev, chana dal, moong dal

sprinkle little salt, red chilli powder, cut green chilli pieces

1. Mash a samosa lightly into several pieces with a spoon.

2. Pour dahi over it & add all of the above.

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