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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

~ SPICY CABBAGE SABZI (WITH TOMATOES, POTATO & PEAS) ~


Cabbage is rich in iron and sulfur, is a muscle builder, blood cleanser and eye strengthener, lowers the incidence of cancer. Cabbage contains phytonutrients that work to protect the body from free radicals that can damage the cell membranes. Simple sabzi to cook, its ready in 20 minutes ..

RECIPE SERVES 3

Cut cabbage in thin long ribbons - 4 cups loosely packed (Rest cabbage head on its base, cut in half, hold both pieces together, turn to 90 degrees angle, cut again - 1 cabbage head is now cut in 4 parts .. place one part horizontally on a cutting board & cut in thin ribbons)


Cut 1 potato, 2 tomatoes in cubes

Cut 2 green chillies in bite size peices ( 1/4 cup lossely packed )

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick saucepan. Once oil is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon rai, 1/2 teaspoon jeeru, pinch of hing, green chilli pieces

Add cabbage, tomato, potato, 1 cup fresh or frozen peas.

Add spices 5 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon haldi, 5 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder, 2 teaspoons dhaanajeeru

Add 1/4 cup water, mix all vegetables & spices well. Switch flame to medium heat.

Place a lid that can hold water on the sabzi. Half fill the lid with water.

Let sabzi cook for 10 minutes. Open lid, mix.

After another 10 mins, sabzi will be done. Insert a knife in a potato piece. If it cuts easily, it means sabzi is very well cooked.

Serve hot with chapati or parathas, pickle, raita or buttermilk

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ RADISH MOOLI PARATHA ~


Another simple make ahead paratha that stays fresh for 24 hours .. Radish and their greens provide an excellent source of Vitamin C, help in cholesterol reduction, blood pressure regulation, liver support and cancer prevention.

RECIPE MAKES 11 PARATHAS ~ SERVES 3

Grate 1 cup radish in a dish, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix salt in the radish lightly with your fingers, let radish ooze out water for 10 minutes.

If radish bunch has fresh green leaves, cut 2 cups of loosely packed radish leaves (The leaves should not be thorny) Put the leaves in a sieve, wash well under running water 3-4 times. (If radish without leaves is available, then use only grated radish)

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

3 cups whole wheat flour, 3 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 3 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Ajwain seeds (ajmo), 1 tablespoon Garlic paste, 1 tablespoon Green Chilli paste, 1/2 tablespoon Ginger paste, 1/3 cup oil

Add grated radish with the water that has oozed out of it + radish leaves

Mix all the dry ingredients very well & blend all the spices with the flour.

Since radish oozes out water, little water is required. Add 1/2 cup water first & try to knead into a soft dough. If you can still see dry flour, add 1-2 spoons more of water to knead a soft dough. Knead well for 2-3 mins.

Apply oil on the dough & let it rest for 15 minutes.

Divide in 11 equal portions & press flat like a patty.

Take 1 portion, roll into a thin paratha. You will need some flour for rolling & dusting.

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

Flip paratha 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 paratha. Flip & press with the spatula that has a big flat base so the air bubble expands & paratha puffs up on the pan itself. There will be golden brown spots & should be evenly cooked.

Flip on the other side & let the paratha 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 paratha on this dish.

Repeat for all parathas & 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.

Serve with any sabzi, yogurt & pickle.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

~ WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR BHAKRI ~


Another make ahead flatbread that stays fresh for 24 hours ... Whole Wheat Flour Bhakri goes very well with any Sabzi that has a gravy ... As kids we enjoyed feasting Jaggery & ghee with this Bhakri also Honey mixed with ghee ... much before the times when eating veggies was a part of our life ..

RECIPE MAKES 5 BHAKRIS - SERVES 2

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

5 cups Whole Wheat flour, 5 teaspoons salt, 3 teaspoons jeera, 1 cup oil

(In India, bhakri flour is available at grocery stores - but if you dont hv it, u can use the regular chapati flour)

Mix all the dry ingredients well with oil

Add 1 + 1/2 cup water & make a slightly soft yet stiff dough. Divide in 5 equal portions. Knead each portion well & form into a flat patty.

Heat pan on less than medium flame (4/10 if your gas has markings) To roast this bhakri, the earthern pan works best - in India, its available in the market at the pottery wala who sells Earthern Matkas.

If you are making Bhakri on this earthern tavi, when you buy it new, wash it well under running water, dip it in water overnight, so all the earthern dust settles down & does not seep into the Bhakri.

Next morning, remove from water, let it air dry & then use for making Bhakri.

Since the earthern pans are not available here, I use the regular non stick pan.

Take one portion of the dough, flatten like a patty, the edges will start cracking. With the help of your thumb & first finger of both hands, seal all the edges all around on top. Flip the patty & seal the edges on the other side too.

Roll into a big thick bhakri (medium size like we roll a chapati)

Put the bhakri on the pan. On less than medium heat, it will takes at least 4-5 minutes to cook properly, so dont rush this process.

After 4-5 minutes, flip & let it cook for 4-5 minutes on the other side too.

Lift with a tong, flip the topside down on an open flame & roast on both sides on the open flame.

If your gas does not have a flame, take a kitchen cloth, flip the topside down on the pan, press with a kitchen towel till golden brown. Flip & press on the other side too.

Take off gas - place in a plate that has holes so air can circulate out - apply ghee & make deep indents with knife so ghee seeps inside the Bhakri. Let it cool down. Serve warm or cold (not hot) with jaggery-ghee, honey-ghee or any sabzi that has a gravy.

Repeat for all bhakris. This stays fresh for 24 hours, so can be made ahead. Leftover bhakri tastes good with pickles too.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ SEV TAMATAR (TOMATO SEV) ~


For friends who have shared my lunchbox, this is a very familiar superhit sabzi ... fast to cook, so delicious to eat that leaving a drop of this delicious tomato gravy back in the lunchbox makes you feel like you're wasting food ... serve it hot with chapatis or bhakri or packed as a lunchbox sabzi, its a delicacy both ways ...

RECIPE SERVES 1

In a non stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil, when its hot, add 5-6 garlic cloves cut in small pieces, 1 green chilli cut in small pieces, 1 teaspoon jeera, pinch of hing

Cut 5 tomatoes in slightly big cubes, add to the vaghaar, reduce flame to less than medium

Add little less than 2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 3 teaspoons red chilli powder, 2 teaspoons dhaanajeeru, 2 tablespoons jaggery

Let tomatoes cook in this own juices. After 3-4 minutes, they will soften & start looking mushy.

Switch off flame. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup slightly thick Sev just enough to slightly soak up the tomato juices.

Garnish with fresh cut cilantro.

Serve hot with chapatis or bhakri. If you add little water & make more gravy, this sabzi mixed with plain khichdi also tastes delicious (in this case make sabzi more spicy by adding more of red chilli & green chilli pieces)

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

~ SEV PURI - DAHI SEV PURI ~


Crisp, crunchy, spicy, tart, sweet .. Sev Puris can be served as an anytime snack ... I love to prepare Chaat recipes especially in Summer, its the perfect time when there is craving to eat something really spicy and chatpata ... if you don't want the heat to bother you, Dahi Sev Puri is the right pick ...

RECIPES MAKES 12-15 SEV PURIS

Boil 1 big potato to 4 whistles, cool completely, mash - To the mashed potato add the following

1 fresh tomato finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup fresh green mango finely chopped

1 or 2 green chillies finely chopped (depending on how spicy you want)

1/4 cup Nadiyaadi Bhusu/Mix Farsan (any Farsan that has fine sev & dals mix)

1 teaspoon salt

1.5 teaspoons Red Chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon Everest Chaat Masala

1/4 cup fresh cut cilantro/dhania

Lightly mix all the above ingredients with your fingers & blend all the spices well. Check the taste of salt & adjust spices.

Arrange 12-15 Sev Puris or Doritos / Tostitos Chips in a big plate or tray (sometimes outside India, fresh puris for sev puri are not available, you can substitute Corn Doritos/Tostitos chips)

Place a spoonful of the sev puri mixture that is prepared above.

Pour generous amount of Tamarind Date chutney over this.

Add green cilantro chutney (cilantro + garlic + green chillies + salt + little water - detailed recipe in Mumbai Sandwich recipe)

For Dahi Sev Puri - add a small spoonful of yogurt on this.

Sprinkle Bhel Sev/Nylon Sev/any other sev on this. Serve immediately.

Garnish with gresh cut cilantro & pomegranate seeds (if in season)

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

~ ALOO PARATHAS ~


Hem (my husband) says 'Aloo and Falu go together' well, this one sentence simply explains my love for the humble potato & its many delicacies in Vegetarian Cooking ... I call Aloo Parathas 'The King of Parathas' as they are by far the most delicious of all ...

RECIPE MAKES 7 PARATHAS (SERVES 3)

For the cover

In a big bowl, add 3.5 cups whole wheat flour, 3.5 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1/3 cup oil, mix all the dry ingredients very well.

Add 1 + 3/4 cup water & knead for 2-3 minutes into a soft dough (like we make for chapatis)

Apply oil on the dough, let it rest covered. If you are going to make Parathas much later, keep dough in an airtight container, store in refirgerator.

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

For the filling

Boil 4 potatoes in a pressure cooker to 4 whistles. Let cooker cool completely, peel the potatoes & mash them completely (no lumps left at all)

Add spices - 3.5 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon dhaanajeeru, 1 tablespoon green chilli paste, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1 generous pinch of Everest Garam Masala, 1 cup loosely packed fresh cut cilantro

Mix spices gently with your fingertips in the mashed potatoes. Check for spices & adjust tastes. Let mixture cool completely.

Divide in 7 equal portions. Take 1 portion & roll into a big size batata wada, press slightly & flatten like a patty. Repeat for all portions. If you are going to make Parathas hours later, store this in an airtight container & keep it in the refrigerator.

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

Making the Parathas

Heat a non-stick pan (tavi) on medium high flame (7/10 if your gas has markings)

Divide the wheat flour cover in 7 equal portions, take 1 portion & knead it gently in your palms & form a patty. Repeat for all portions.

Take one portion of the wheat flour cover, roll in dry flour all around & roll it in a big size puri. Place a batata wada patty inside, lift from one side upwards & start curling the edges, seal the top pinching the dough tight enough such that the filling remains inside. Press the patty once again. (Just like we make puranpolis)

Roll in dry flour, very gently roll in a circle like we make chapati. You will need dry flour to roll the parathas. If you see some air bubbles inside, insert a fruit fork & remove the air bubbles.

Put the paratha on the hot pan. Once you see 2-3 bubbles, flip on other side. Let the other side cook as well.

Add oil on the top side such that the entire top side has 1 layer of oil. Flip & let the paratha pan fry. Flip & let paratha soak additional oil thats left on the pan.

Remove on a plate. Cut like a pizza cutter in 8 wedges.

Serve hot with chilled yogurt & Cabbage Stir-fry (recipe uploaded today)

Repeat for all parathas.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

SIMPLE CABBAGE STIR-FRY (WITH CARROT, CAPSICUM, GREEN CHILLI)


Crisp, crunchy, popularly called as 'Kobi no Sambharo' in Gujarati, this is a very simple Stir-fry version that goes very well with Parathas or any Indian meal. Since Parathas already have a filling & go well with yogurt, this Stir-fry adds a touch of crunch & spice to the meal ...

RECIPE SERVES 3

In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil, once its hot, add 1 teaspoon rai, pinch of hing, thin long slices of green chilli (3 if u eat very spicy, 2 moderate & 1 chilli for mild spice)

Add 1 carrot (thin slice carrot about half finger length size)

Add 1/2 capsicum (cut in thin long slices about half finger length size)

Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix & let this cook on medium flame.

Side by side, cut about 3 cups of Cabbage in thin long shreds. This is like a Stir-fry so cut as thin ribbons as you can so it slightly cooks in 2-3 minutes.

Once capsicum & carrot soften little but, add the cabbage, add another 1.5 teaspoon salt, 1/8 haldi, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder.

Mix & let this cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes till cabbage slightly shrivels, Stir-fry is slightly cooked yet crunchy.

Serve hot with parathas & yogurt or as a delicious spicy side dish with any Indian meal.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ GREEN BEANS - FANSI SABZI ~


Green beans, while quite low in calories (just 43.75 calories in a whole cup), are loaded with nutrients — an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. And, green beans are a good source of magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin.

The vitamin K provided by green beans — a spectacular 122.0% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in one cup — is important for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin K is known to be needed to maintain proper bone density and to coagulate blood. It plays a key role in proper development of the fetus.

RECIPE SERVES 2

In a pressure cooker pan, heat a tablespoon of oil. Once its hot, add 1 teaspoon Ajwain seeds (ajmo), pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste. Saute for less than a minute.

Add 3 cups green beans (if they are fresh green beans, wash in running water, cut off top & bottom tips, cut in desired length, abt 1/3 of our finger length is good enough)

1 tomato (cut in cubes, optional)

Add spices - 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons red chilli powder, 2 teaspoons dhaanajeeru

If you are using fresh green beans/fansi, add 1/4 cup water. If you are using frozen, water is not required as the frozen beans already has some water content in it.

Close pressure cooker lid. Cook to 2 whistles. You can remove the excess steam off the pressure cooker by raising the whistle with a spoon & open the cooker immediately. or let it cool on it own & then open it.

Serve hot with chapatis. Since this is a dry sabzi, serve with yogurt/buttermilk or dal.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HOMEMADE YOGURT - DAHI


Yogurt or Dahi is an essential part of our meal, rich in Vitamin D, 3 cups of Yogurt a day keeps Calcium related deficiencies away, supports bone health & keeps cartilages stronger. Yogurt is also excellent for preventing yeast infection, strengthening your immune system and relieving ulcers.

RECIPE SERVES 4

Heat milk on medium high heat till it comes to a rolling boil. Switch off flame, put the saucepan away from the heat (on the counter) - let it cool for 45 minutes (during fall & winter) and 1 hour (during spring and summer)

Once milk comes to a boil, add a reminder on the microwave to remind you to add the culture.

When the reminder rings, add 3 tablespoons Yogurt & mix well with a spoon for 2-3 minutes till yogurt has very well blended in the milk.

Let it rest covered for 6-8 hours. Fresh homemade yogurt is ready.

Serve as is or as raitas or toppings over dahi vadas or chill & pour generously over chaat recipes.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

CHAWLI - CHODI - CHINESE LONG BEANS SABZI (WITH BRINJAL, TOMATOES


Fresh green long stems of Chawli / Chodi / Chinese Long Beans taste delicious raw & also as a sabzi with brinjal & tomatoes ... this is a very easy Pressure Cooker pan recipe, sabzi is ready is less than 30 minutes ...

RECIPE SERVES 2

In a Pressure Cooker pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, once its hot, add 1 teaspoon Ajwain seeds (ajmo) & a pinch of hing

Then add 2 teaspoons Garlic paste, 1 teaspoon Ginger paste & 1 teaspoon Green Chilli paste

Add 2 cups fresh cut chawli/chodi/chinese long beans (wash the long stems in running water, cut off top & bottom tips, take 8-10 stems together on a cutting board, cut in desired length (about 1/3rd of our finger length is actually good enough) You can freeze the rest of the bunch after cutting the chawli in a ziploc bag for later use.

1.5 cup Brinjal / ringan / baigan pieces cut in cubes

1 tomato cut in cubes

Add 1.5 cups water, mix well

Add spices - 2.5 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons red chilli powder, 2 teaspoons dhaanajeeru

Mix well. Close pressure cooker pan lid. Cook to 4 whistles. Let cooker completely cool down. Once the whistling noise stops, open, mix & serve hot with chapatis.

This sabzi does not have much gravy, so serving it with yogurt/buttermilk/dal is best.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ CHAPATI - ROTI - PHULKA ~


Chapati, roti, rotli or phulka, its the most popular Indian flatbread, a part of every Vegetarian Thaali meal ... mastering the art of making the perfectly puffed chapatis is a journey & my many adventures mastering this are truly hilarious ...

RECIPE MAKES 6 CHAPATIS

In a big bowl, take 2 cups Whole Wheat flour + 1 Cup water, knead into a soft dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes till the water has very well blended and there is no dry flour left in the bowl.

Apply little oil all over the dough & let it rest for 15 minutes before rolling chapatis.

If you want to make them few hours later, best to keep the dough in an airtight container & in the refrigerator so it doesnt soften too much.

While making chapatis, heat a non-stick pan (tavi) on medium high flame (7/10 if your gas has markings)

Divide the dough in 6 equal portions, firmly knead a portion of the dough in your palms & press to make a patty.

Dip in dry wheat or maida flour (rolling in maida flour makes whiter chapatis) Roll into a very thin round chapati.

Once pan is hot, put the chapati on the pan. After 3-4 bubbles are formed, flip the chapati. Let it cook on the other side too.

Hold the chapati with a tong & remove the pan from flame, puff chapati directly on the flame.

If you are not comfortable doing this, keep a dry kitchen towel handy. Once chapati is cooked on the lower side too, flip the chapati on the pan, press with a kitchen towel & chapati will still fully puff up.

Remove from pan. Apply ghee & serve hot.

Repeat for all chapatis.

Chapatis go well with any sabzi, or apply pickle make a roll for kids. Or apply honey & roll for a sweeter roll for the kids.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

~ TINDORA SABZI (WITH POTATOES) ~


Popularly called as 'Tindora batata nu Shaak' in Gujarati, this is a very easy sabzi to cook & delicious to eat because Tindora has a very crisp crunchy taste that is very unique to this vegetable, best cooked in a non stick pan as the pressure cooker pan version gets too mushy ...

RECIPE SERVES 2

In a non stick pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil, once its hot, add 1 teaspoon rai, pinch of hing, 2 teaspoons Garlic paste, 1 teaspoon Ginger paste, 1 teaspoon Green Chilli paste, saute for a min in hot oil

Then add 3 cups fresh cut or frozen tindora (if you are using fresh tindora, wash well in running water, cut the bottom & top tips, cut in center vertically & cut each separated part of tindora in 3 long vertical strips - 6 pieces out of 1 tindora cut vertically)

2 potatoes (same way cut in vertical pieces like french fries)

Add spices - 2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons Red Chilli powder, 3 teaspoons Dhaanajeeru

Add 1/4 cup water & mix all the ingredients very well.

Cover the non stick pan with a lid. Half fill the lid with water.

Cook for 10 mins on little less than medium flame. Open after 10 mins, mix

Cook for another 10 mins, if you see the vegetable sticking to the bottom of the pan, add another 1/4 cup water & mix.

After 10 mins, check if its done, when u cut with a spoon or knife, the tindora & potato should be soft enough to cut immediately, thats when its completely done.

You can cook on a slightly lower flame for 5-7 more minutes if vegetable is undone. Fresh or frozen tindora have varying cooking times, so be patient till its completely cooked.

This is a dry sabzi with no gravy in it. Serve hot with chapati & yogurt, buttermilk or dal.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ PAAPDI SABZI RECIPE (WITH PAAPDI BEANS, BRINJAL, TOMATO) ~


Popularly called as 'Paapdi daana nu Shaak' in Gujarati, this is a very fond Winter Sabzi ... thanks to all the Frozen Vegetables that are available, this can now be enjoyed anytime of the year ... very simple to cook in a Pressure Cooker pan, yum as always ...

RECIPE SERVES 2

In a Pressure Cooker pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, once its hot, add 1 teaspoon Ajwain seeds (ajmo), pinch of hing

Add the following vegetables & spices

2 teaspoons Garlic paste, 1 teaspoon Ginger paste, 1 teaspoon Green Chilli paste, saute for a min in hot oil, then add

5 cups Paapdi (if you are using fresh paapdi, wash all the paapdi in running water, remove top, bottom tips & the long thread like string that pulls out, separate the 2 parts of the paapdi, cut in 2 parts in the center - 4 pieces of 1 paapdi)

Paapdi shrinks to almost 50% when it is cooked, so you will need more of the raw quantity, add less salt as it will become too salty since it shrinks so much.

1 cup Paapdi beans - the beans that are shows in the attached photo (the green beans that are inside the paapdi bean. if you buy frozen paapdi, it does not have enough paapdi beans inside, it has more of the green skin portions, so you can buy another additional packet of the green paapdi BEANS that is sold separately .. OR add frozen green tuvar beans OR Lima Beans available in a Supermarket Frozen Section)

2 cups brinjal / ringan cut in cubes

1 tomato cut in cubes

Add 2 to 2.5 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder, 2 teaspoons Dhaanajeeru

Add 1/2 cup water. Mix all the ingredients well. Close the pressure cooker pan lid.

On medium high flame, 7/10 if your gas has markings, cook to 4 whistles.

Let cooker cool down. Open, mix, serve hot with chapatis & yogurt.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

~ SHARBAT-E-ROOH AFZA ~


Replacing an afternoon Tea with this chilled glass of Rooh Afza is giving your system a quick break from the Summer heat ... make ahead in the morning, chill & enjoy in the afternoon ...

RECIPE MAKES 1 GLASS

In the morning ...

Heat 1/4 cup water, dissolve 1/2 or 1 tablespoon sugar in it (depending on how sweet you like it) Keep aside.

In 1/2 cup water, soak 1/2 tablespoon Takmariya (Sabza) seeds, after 1 hour, the sabza will fluff with a white coating on it. (Sabza is available at any Indian Grocery Store)

In a container, add 2 cups very cold milk, 2 tablespoons Rooh Afza (the Rose Sharbat), 1/4 teaspoon Elaichi powder, 1/4 teaspoon Cinammon Powder. Mix well. Leave this in the fridge to chill till afternoon.

After sugar mixture cools down, add that to the Rooh Afza Sharbat. Add Sabza to the Sharbat only after they are fluffed well.

Let this drink chill in the fridge till afternoon. Serve cold with 1-2 icecubes. Garnish with slices of almond, pista.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ BREAD PAKODA ~


Bread Pakodas are slices of bread deep fried with spicy besan coating. Makes an anytime snack when you have unexpected visitors ... or when you have leftover besan batter after making batata vadas ..

RECIPE SERVES 2-3

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

1 cups besan

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

2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon haldi

1/2 tablespoon green chilli paste

1 teaspoons red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon ajmo (ajwain seeds)

Mix all the dry ingredients with a spoon. Little by little, add 1 cup water such that there are no lumps in the batter. You might need 2-3 spoons of more water if batter looks very thick.

With the help of scissors, cut criss cross on 5 bread slices to get 4 triangles out of 1 bread slice. Cut all slices & keep aside.

Heat oil on medium high flame for 10 mins. In small batches, fry the bread pakodas.

Dip a traingle in the besan batter, evenly coat & deep fry till golden brown.

Serve hot with Cilantro chutney & Tomato Ketchup.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ AJWAIN PURI (MATHRI) ~


Ajwain Puri popularly called Mathri in North India are simple to make & so crispy crunchy that no one can eat just one ... made them last evening & they are almost running out of stock ...

RECIPE MAKES 60 PURIS

In a big bowl, add & mix the following ingredients

2 cups Maida (All Purpose Flour)

6 tablespoons Melted butter OR ghee OR Dalda ghee

1.5 teaspoons Ajwain seeds (ajmo)

2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

You will need slightly warm 2/3 cup of water to knead a dough of puri consistency.

If the dough looks dry, add 1-2 spoons more water. If dough feels sticky, add 1-2 spoons of dry flour, apply oil on your palms & knead for 2-3 minutes.

Apply oil on dough & let it rest for 30 mins.

Then divide in 60 equal portions, press them flat to roll into puris. Spread a newspaper sheet on the counter or ground to keep rolled puris.

Roll a puri (not too thick, not too thin) with a fruit ork/fork/sharp edge of a knife, make some deep indents so puris dont puff up while frying. Repeat for all puris.

Heat oil for 10 mins on medium high flame. Keep a newspaper sheet next to the frying area. In small batches, fry the puris till cooked, light golden.

Let them cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container. Stays fresh for almost a month, but sure does not last that long.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

~ DAL DHOKLI ~


Dal Dhokli can be explained in simplest terms as Gujarati's Pasta ... a traditional recipe that is wholesome and my favorite Gujarati Dish ... reminds me of every Sunday afternoon in Mumbai when my Mother prepared hot Dal Dhokli for the family ...

RECIPE SERVES 3-4

Take a cooker that can hold 2 pans. In 1 pan add 3/4 cup Toovar dal + 1/2 litre water + 1/4 cup plain Peanuts (singdana)

In the 2nd pan, 1 cup Rice + 2.5 cups water + 1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon Ghee

Put water in the cooker, add cooker plate, keep dal pan, tightly fit the rice pan on top. Cook to 4 whistles, let cooker cool completely.

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

DHOKLI DOUGH

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

2 cups Whole Wheat flour, 1/4 cup oil, 2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder

Mix all the dry ingredients well first. Then add 3/4 cup water + 1-2 spoons more & make a very soft dough like we make for chapatis.

Knead well. Apply oil on dough. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Then divide in 6 portions, press like a patty. You will need additional flour to roll this.

Dip 1 portion in dry flour. Roll into a very big & very very thin chapati (it should almost cover the entire paatli (base) on which you are rolling it)

Dust dry flour on this & keep it in a big plate (so the next dhokli placed on top of this does not stick)

Repeat for all dhoklis. Cover & keep aside.

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

When cooker cools down, keep rice aside to mix in Dal Dhokli later. Remove the dal pan to do vaghaar. Blend dal with a hand churner (valoni)

Heat 1/3 cup oil in a big non-stick saucepan. Once oil is hot, add 3 teaspoons Sesame seeds (til), 5 dry chillies, pinch of hing (This needs little more oil than regular vaghaar to ensure that the dhoklis dont stick to each other when they are cooking in the dal)

Add the cooked dal + 1.5 litres water to make a very thin consistency dal. Blend with a hand churner (valoni) once again.

Add spices 6-7 teaspoons salt (to taste) + 1/8 teaspoon haldi + 1/2 tablespoon Ginger paste + 1/2 tablespoon Green Chilli Paste + 1/2 tablespoon Garlic paste (optional, if you like garlic flavor)

Mix all the spices very well in the dal. Let dal come to a rolling boil.

Reduce flame to medium low (3/10 if gas has markings)

Place a rolled chapati on the base on which it was rolled. Cut with a pizza cutter in medium shaped diamond pieces. Tilt the base & put all the cut dhoklis in the dal. Mix lightly.

Repeat for all dhoklis.

Place a lid that can hold water on the saucepan.

Let dhoklis cook in the dal on medium low flame. After every 8-10 minutes, open lid & mix till dhoklis are completely cooked.

Do not cook this on high heat as dhoklis will not cook properly. The last step of slow cooking is very crucial to preparation success of this dish, so have patience.

After 25-30 minutes, dhoklis will be very soft, when cut with a spoon, they should break very easily.

In the end, add tamarind paste. 1/4 cup of very diluted Tamarind paste should be enough, but if you like it more tangy, you can add more. Add little by little, spoon by spoon, taste & add on how tangy you like it.

If you are using the readymade Tamarind Concentrate, you will need very little about 1/4 teaspoon diluted in little water.

Serve hot. Garnish with fresh cut cilantro.

You can add 1/2 cup rice to a bowl. Top it with Dal Dhokli, mix & serve.

Or if you like only Dal Dhokli, then serve in a bowl, add a spoonful of plain oil on it, mix & serve.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ ANTIOXIDANTS SALAD ~


Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from harmful free radicals. Carrots & Beetroot reduce cholesterol and ward off certain cancers. One serving a day keeps the doctor away ...

RECIPE SERVES 4

1 cup Red Cabbage - cut in thin long ribbons

1 cup Green Cabbage - cut in thin long ribbons

1 Carrot - grated on thicker side, like julienne sticks

1 Beetroot ( Pressure cook to 4 whistles, cool, peel, grate on thicker side, like julienne sticks )

In a big bowl, mix all the above ingredients. Toss some salad oil, salt, pepper & any favorite salad dressing.

One serving a day is enough to keep the doctor away ...

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ KHEER ~


Another very simple dessert to make at home ... if you are wondering what to cook with that leftover rice,

this is the perfect Summer recipe ... and who can forget Maa ke haath ki Thandi Kheer, so here's my easy to

make version ...

RECIPE SERVES 6

If you have leftover plain rice (cooked without any salt added), then you will need 3 cups cooked rice.

If you wish to make fresh rice & then cook Kheer, add 1 cup rice + 2 cups water to a cooker pan, cook to 2

whistles, let it cool completely. Open whistle, fluff rice such that all grains are separate.

Heat 1.5 litres milk on medium flame. Heating milk in a big size aluminium cooker or pan ensures that milk

does not stick to the bottom while its heating, so preferably use this for making Kheer.

When milk is hot & starts to boil, add the cooked (or leftover rice) to the boiling milk.

We have to heat the milk till it reduces to almost half the quantity, this will take about 45 mins to 1 hour

on medium flame.

After every 4-5 minutes, keep stirring, so mixture evenly cooks.

After about 45-50 minutes, you will see that milk is almost reduced to half.

Switch off the gas, add sugar as desired (add about 1.5 cups, mix & taste) If you want Kheer to be more

sweet, you can add more. Mix well so sugar dissolves in the hot milk.

Add 1/4 teaspoon Saffron strands, 1/4 teaspoon Elaichi (cardamom) powder, 1/8 teaspoon Jayfal powder (Nutmeg

powder) Mix well.

Let Kheer cool to room temperature. Then fill it in a container & chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Serve very cold the next day. Garnish with sliced almonds / walnuts / pecans

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

~ SPICY CAULIFLOWER SABZI (WITH PEAS, TOMATO, POTATO) ~


This sabzi goes very well with theplas, parathas ... it is spicy with a light gravy flavored with tomatoes & pastes. Ready in 20 minutes, fast to cook, delicious to eat ...

RECIPE SERVES 2-3

Heat 2 tablespoons oil for vaghaar, once it heats add 1 teaspoon rai, 1 teaspoon jeera, pinch of hing. For a more spicy version, you can add 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 2 teaspoons garlic paste, 2 teaspoons green chilli paste

Add 4 cups cauliflower florets, 1 potato (cut in cubes), 1 tomato (cut in cubes), 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

Add spices 3 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/8 teaspoon haldi, 3 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder, 2 teaspoons dhaanajeeru

Add 1 cup water, mix all vegetables & spices well. Switch flame to medium heat.

Place a lid that can hold water on the sabzi. Half fill the lid with water.

Let sabzi cook for 5 minutes. Open lid, mix.

After another 10 mins, sabzi will be done. Insert a knife in a potato piece & cauliflower piece. If it cuts easily, it means sabzi is very well cooked.

Garnish with 1/4 cup fresh cut cilantro. Serve hot with theplas, parathas, pickle, raita or buttermilk

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ LAUKI-DUDHI-SQUASH-ZUCCHINI THEPLA ~


Yet another popular version of theplas in which either can be used lauki (dudhi), any other squash (like zucchini) without compromising on the taste ... make ahead theplas that stay fresh for 24 hours, a good choice for lunch/snackbox fillings too ...

RECIPE MAKES 12 to 14 THEPLAS

In a big bowl, add the following ingredients

1 cup grated lauki (dudhi) or any other squash (like zucchini)

1/4 cup fresh cut cilantro or spinach leaves or methi leaves (whichever flavor you like)

3 cups Whole wheat flour (you might need another 1/2 cup wheat flour if lauki is oozing out too much water)

1/3 cup oil

4 teaspoons salt (to taste)

1/8 teaspoon haldi

4 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder

1/2 tablespoon Ginger Paste

1 tablespoon Garlic Paste

1 tablespoon Green Chilli Paste

Mix all the above dry ingredients very well to blend all the masalas, oil in the flour.

Lauki (dudhi) oozes out lot of water, so check the consistency of dough. If its still dry, just add another 1/4 cup water & knead the dough.

If lauki has oozed out lot of water, you might not even need additional water. The dough will bind on its own with lauki water.

If dough feels very sticky after kneading, add 1/2 cup dry whole wheat flour on the dough, apply oil on your palms & knead the dough again. This will absorb all excess moisture & make a soft dough.

You can apply oil on the dough & let it rest for 30 mins (if it feels too soft, keep it in the fridge)

OR you can put it in an airtight container & make theplas in the morning for tiffin box fillings.

Make 12 to 14 equal portions depending on how thick you want it. You will need additional dry flour to roll the dough.

Roll one portion into a thepla. (like chapati)

Heat a non stick pan (tavi) on little more than medium flame. Once it heats, put thepla on the pan. Let it cook till color changes & 2-3 bubbles appear.

Flip, cook on the other side. Apply about 1 teaspoon oil on top side, flip & press with a spatula that has a wide base, puff up the air bubble in the thepla completely.

Flip thepla on the other side. Let it absorb all the oil thats left on the pan.

Keep a dish that has holes on a bowl. Keep thepla to cool on it so air circulates out of the thepla.

Repeat for all theplas. Once they are at room temperature, stack & store in an airtight container.

Serve hot with any sabzi, pickle, dahi, raita & salad. Leftover theplas taste great with spicy pickles.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ SEV MAMRA (MASALA KURMURA ~


Crisp crunchy kurmura (mamra) ... since its pan roasted this stays fresh for many weeks. Enjoy as is with tea, or as Sev Mamra, this makes a good tiffin box snack for kids too ... or mix in dry or regular bhel to prepare an anytime snack ...

RECIPE MAKES 12 CUPS SEV MAMRA

Heat 1/2 cup oil on medium flame. Once its hot, add 1 teaspoon jeera powder (or jeera), pinch of hing, 1/4 teaspoon haldi to the oil

Add 12 cups Mamra, 3 teaspoons salt (to taste) & with a spatula keep on mixing the Mamra till they are evenly coated with all the masalas.

Keep mixing for at least 7-10 minutes till Mamras are crisp, crunchy to the bite.

Switch off gas, Add 2-3 teaspoons Red Chilli powder & mix very well in the end to make them more spicy. Let this cool down to room temperature, store it in an airtight container.

(Do not add chilli powder first because it will burn while roasting, so add in the end after switching off the gas so its color & flavor stay as is)

Add Sev, mix farsan & enjoy as a tea time snack. Makes a good snack box filling too.

Or add bhel ingredients & make dry / regular / dahi bhel

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ DAHI VADA ~


Dahi vada ... one of the oldest & simplest dessert recipes to make at home ... chilled Yogurt poured on cold vadas & lots of masala toppings ... adds a cool touch to any warm summer evening ...

RECIPE MAKES 28 DAHI VADAS ~ SERVES 7

PREPARE YOGURT Heat 2.5 litres milk till it comes to a rolling boil, switch off gas & let milk cool for exactly 1 hour.

After an hour, add 2 tablespoons Yogurt (merwan) & let it set for 6-8 hours overnight.

Next morning, keep it in the refrigerator to chill for 8-10 hours before serving

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

INGREDIENTS FOR THE VADAS

Next morning, wash 1 cup Urad dal (split, white) + 1/2 cup Moong dal (yellow, without skin, split) in running water 3-4 times.

Soak for at least 1 hour till dals are very soft & can break easily when crushed with a fingernail.

When dals are soft, drain out all the water, add to a blender (grinder), add 1/2 cup fresh water & grind to a thick coarse paste.

You may add 1/4 cup water extra if its tough to grind but not more as it will be difficult to make vadas if batter becomes very runny.

With the help of a rubber spatula, remove all the batter in a bowl.

Add 3-3.5 teaspoons salt (to taste) + 1 teaspoon jeera. Mix well.

Heat oil on medium high for 10 minutes to fry vadas.

Side by side, take a big bowl, half fill with water, add 2-3 tablespoons yogurt & blend it in the water. Keep aside to soak the fried vadas.

Keep a big emplty plate next to it to keep the soaked vadas.

Once oil is ready, take 2 spoons (regular spoon with which we eat) & place them in the batter.

Fill 1 spoon with the vada batter, lift & with the second spoon, scoop the vada inside the hot oil. Since the batter will be thick, it wont scoop out of the spoon, so dip vadas in hot oil like this.

Depending on your frying pan size, fry a batch of vadas till they are golden brown. Keep turning them for even color.

Remove from frying pan in an empty plate. After all vadas are in the plate, tilt & put all the vadas in the bowl of water.

Let them soak in this water for at least 10 minutes.

Fry the next batch of vadas till then.

After 10 mins, place a soaked vada in the palm of your left hand, with your right hand, lightly press on it, so most of the water is drained out. Repeat for all soaked vadas. Keep all the soaked vadas in an empty plate.

Repeat this for all batches. Keep the soaked vadas plate in the refrigerator to cool till evening.

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

SERVING

Churn the yogurt with a valoni (hand churner) so to even the consistency.

NORTH INDIAN STYLE Keep vadas in a deep dish, pour yogurt generously over all the vadas, sprinkle, salt, red chilli powder, jeera powder, tamarind khatta meetha chutney. Serve cold.

MY MOTHER'S STYLE Heat 2 tablespoons oil for vaghaar, once oil is hot, add 5-6 chopped green chillies, curry leaves, 3 teaspoons jeera

Add this vaghaar to the yogurt + 8-10 tablespoons Sugar & mix well. Yogurt gets a spicy flavor because of green chillies & slightly sweet because of sugar.

Keep vadas in a deep dish, pour yogurt generously on it, sprinkle salt, red chilli powder, jeera powder. Serve cold.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

~ QUICK FRUIT SALAD ~


With the arrival of Spring & all the warmth, all I am doing now is cooking & talking about Summer recipes. Fruit Salad has been a part of my fondest childhood memories, enjoy the recipe ...

RECIPE SERVES 4

1 litre very cold milk

1 can Condensed Milk ( chill it overnight in the refrigerator )

Readymade Mix fruit cans OR cut any fresh fruit of your choice - apples, bananas, grapes, cherries, kiwi, chikoo .. the best firm fresh fruits you can find .. cut in cubes

Elaichi powder 1/4 teaspoon

Mixed dry fruits - raisins, almond, walnut, kaaju, pista, pecan slices

You can also add dry papaya, dry pineapple cut in small cubes - they give a very nice tutty fruity flavor to the fruit salad

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

METHOD

In a big bowl, add 1 litre very cold milk, 1 Can Condensed Milk, 2-3 tablespoons sugar & mix

Drain water out of 3-4 Mix Fruit Cans (the small Coke size cans) & mix in fruit salad

OR

Add all the cubes of the fruits that are fresh

Add dry papaya/dry pineapple pieces if readily available

Add raisins

Add elaichi powder. Mix well.

Garnish with sliced dry fruit ~ almond, walnut, kaaju, pista, pecan slices

Chill for 8-10 hours.

If you like Fruit Salad with Jelly, also make Jelly & chill as per package instructions.

Serve cold as a dessert or with any meal .. top with cubes of Jelly.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

~ SAMBAR ~


Toovar dal ... an all-time favorite in my home is prepared in various ways & top ranking on the list is Sambar ... be it Idlis, dosas, medu vadas ... everything dipped in this delicious Sambar is pure delight ...

RECIPE SERVES 4-5

In a big size pressure cooker, add the following ingredients

1 cup toovar dal + 1 litre water - heat on medium high flame. While water is heating, cut & add

1 cup dudhi/lauki/squash cubed

1 cup eggplant/brinjal cubed

1 big white onion cut in thin vertical slices

Mix in all the vegetables in the water. Close the lid, boil to 4 whistles. Let the cooker cool completely.

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

Side by sde, fill 1/2 litre water in a saucepan, heat on medium high flame - add 12-15 pieces of finger length cut drumsticks (fresh or frozen). Add a teaspoon of salt & let it boil for 15-20 mins till soft when pierced with a knife. Switch off gas after 15-20 mins, let the drumsticks cool as is with the water in it (Later on this water will also be added to Sambar)

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

TEMPERING

You can use coconut oil, butter, ghee or vegetable oil for the tempering. Coconut oil or ghee tempering adds extra flavor to the Sambar.

Heat a big size saucepan, add 6 tablespoons oil on medium flame, once it heats, add

1 teaspoon methi (fenugreek) seeds,
1 teaspoon rai (mustard seeds),
2-3 dry chillies,
pinch of hing (asafetida)

Add the boiled Sambar, you will need to another 1/2 litre water to the Sambar to get the right consistency - not too thick, not too thin. Mix water in the Sambar.

Drain all the water out of the drumsticks & add to this Sambar. Press the drumsticks with your thumb & index finger - the drumsticks will break in 3 parts - split all the 3 parts & add all of them to the Sambar.

Mix drumsticks in the Sambar & add the following dry spices

7-8 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 5 tablespoons Everest Sambar powder (you can add less to reduce the spice)

Mix & taste Sambar - if you want to make it more spicy, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of Red Chilli Powder.

Finally taste, adjust all spices & then add Tamarind paste depending on how tangy you want. ( 1/4 cup of a diluted kind of Tamarind paste is enough, but if you use readymade Tamarind Concentrate, you will need very less as its extremely tangy. So add little by little, taste & adjust flavors)

Mix tamarind paste well in the Sambar, heat on medium low till you see some oil floating on the Sambar, thats when its done.

Serve hot with Idlis / Dosas / Uttapams / Medu vadas

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ IDADAS ~


Simply stated, Idadas are Dhokla's first cousins minus the chana dal ... also if you are wondering what to do with that leftover Idli/Dosa batter, transform them into this delicious anytime Gujarati Snack in just 10 minutes ...

If you have leftover idli/dosa batter, follow recipe from Steaming stage as mentioned below.

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

If you want to prepare batter & make this is the recipe ..

RECIPE MAKES 3-4 PLATES ( ABOUT 7" PLATES )

Soak 2.5 cups Rice + 1 cup urad dal (white, split) Wash this is running water 3-4 times, soak overnight.

Next morning, drain all the water out of the rice & urad dal.

In small batches, grind in the mixer. Fill mixer with half the capacity with rice & urad dal, add water enough to soak this & grind.

Switch off the mixer every few seconds & mix. When you rub the batter between your thumb & index finer, it should feel like rava.

Remove the batter in a container that has a lid. Repeat for all the soaked rice, urad dal & grind to batter, add to the container.

Add 1/2 cup Yogurt, mix well & let it ferment for 8-10 hours.

There should be a mound & air bubbles when its well fermented.

After batter is fermented, add salt to taste to this batter, 1 tablespoon of Green Chilli paste (more if you want to make it more spicy) Mix well.

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

Generally an average idada plate holds about 1.5 to 2 cups of idada 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 idada batter rise & makes them extra soft.

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

Grease a idada plate (same plate that you use to make Dhoklas/Khaman). Add the batter in which eno is added. Sprinkle black pepper powder on the batter for a little extra touch of spice.

Keep the idada 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 idada pieces from the plate. Serve warm with Cilantro chutney.

Make idada 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 (if you have any leftover idada or like idadas with vaghaar)

One plate of idada 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 idadas & mix.

Garnish with fresh cut cilantro.

Serve with cilantro chutney.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ COOL CUCUMBER RAITA ~


Cooool cucumber, two words that say it all about the cooling effects of cucumber .. perfect Summer Raita when you want to beat the heat out of your system ... absolutely love it ...

RECIPE SERVES 2-3

1 cup grated Cucumber ( grate in a bowl, press with a spoon, remove as much water out as you can & discard. If you mix the cucumber water in the raita, it leads to upset stomach, so make sure you are right on the 1st step itself )

Also make sure you taste the grated cucumber - sometimes even fresh cucumber is bitter & it can ruin the whole raita, so also do this check before mixing in Yogurt.

1.5 cups Cold Yogurt (dahi)

1-2 teaspoons Salt (to taste)

1/4 teaspoon powdered rai (mustard seeds) (Take 1/4 cup rai, add a pinch of salt & grind it in a small mixer cup - store this powder to add to raitas )

For spicy Raita - add 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped green chillies or 1/4 teaspoon green chilli paste

For sweet Raita - you can add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar to make it sweet

1/4 cup fresh cut Cilantro (dhania) for garnish, sprig of mint for garnish

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

In a big bowl, add the grated cucumber (after cucumber water is removed)

Add 1.5 cups Cold Yogurt, 1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1/4 teaspoon powdered rai, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

For spicy Raita - add 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped green chillies or 1/4 teaspoon green chilli paste

For sweet Raita - you can add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar to make it sweet

Mix well ... Garnish with a sprig of mint, Serve with any Indian meal as a sidedish ...

Prepare & enjoy !!!

LAUKI CHANA DAL SABZI (DUDHI CHANA NU SHAAK)


Replacing Carbohydrate loaded 'Potatoes' with light & health friendly ' Lauki/Dudhi/Squash' is one of the biggest weight loss triggers, try it ..

I had a Pav Bhaaji with Mashed Lauki instead of potatoes & it was so tough to tell the difference & it works wonders on your weight loss program ...

Try replacing dudhi instead of potatoes in all your potato recipes for 6 months & you will see miracle results in weight loss

RECIPE SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

3 cups lauki / dudhi / squash ( choose a fresh green squash, peel, cut in cubes )

1/4 cup chana dal (soak in 2 cups of water for 30 mins before adding to the sabzi)

1 tomato finely chopped

2 tablespoons oil for vaghaar, 1 teaspoon rai, pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon Garlic paste, 2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 4-5 teaspoons red chilli powder (depending on how spicy you want), 1 tablespoon dhaanajeeru

1 tablespoon Tamarind khatta meetha chutney (optional)

1/4 cup fresh cut cilantro for garnish

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

METHOD

Soak 1/4 cup chana dal in 2 cups water for 30 minutes. While dal is soaking, make preparations for the sabzi.

Peel, cut lauki in cubes. 1 tomato - chop fine

After 30 mins, heat oil for vaghaar in cooker pan. Once it heats, add 1 teaspoon rai, pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon Garlic paste

Add the lauki, tomatoes, soaked chana dal with all the water thats in it.

Add spices - 2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 4-5 teaspoons red chilli powder (depending on how spicy you want), 1 tablespoon dhaanajeeru

Close the cooker pan, on medium high flame, cook to 4 whistles.

Let cooker cool completely, open, mix. If you like a slightly khatta meetha sabzi, you can add 1 tablespoon Tamarind khatta meetha chutney.

Garnish with fresh cut cilantro.

Serve hot with chapati, parathas ..

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

~ WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR CHAKLIS ~


This Chakli is my Mother's speciality & we used to make so many of these crisp tasty Chaklis during Diwali that our fingers used to stiffen holding the Chakli press ... but its so yum that its worth all the effort ...

INGREDIENTS

4 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oil

1/4 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons Salt (to taste), 8 teaspoons Red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon Green Chilli paste, 2 teaspoons Ajmo (ajwain seeds), 3 teaspoons Sesame seeds ( til )

1.5 cups water

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

METHOD

Take a very thin cotton cloth. Add the 4 cups whole wheat flour to it, tightly tie the flour in the cloth with knots on top.

Keep little water at the bottom of a big cooker, put the cooker plate at the bottom. Once the water inside the cooker begins to boil, keep a cooker pan & keep the cloth inside the cooker pan.

Close the lid. Remove the pressure cooker whistle (siti).

On medium flame, let the wheat flour steam inside the cooker for exactly 10 minutes. Keep a timer or alarm & switch off flame. Let all the pressure steam out & open the lid immediately.

If the flour is oversteamed, the dough will not make good chaklis, so the steaming step of 10 minutes is very crucial.

Remove the cloth from the cooker. Let it cool enough to handle. Open the knots, once flour is warm to touch, take a big sieve & sieve the flour in a big bowl.

Add 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 teaspoon haldi, 4 teaspoons Salt (to taste), 8 teaspoons Red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon Green Chilli paste, 2 teaspoons Ajmo (ajwain seeds), 3 teaspoons Sesame seeds ( til )

Mix all the dry ingredients very well. Add 1.5 cups water & make a stiff dough like we make for puris.

Spread a newspaper in a single sheet on a counter or ground. Apply oil inside the Chakli press, fill it completely & make Chakli shapes on the newspaper. Repeat for the entire dough.

Heat oil on little more than medium flame for 10 mins, in small batches fry the chaklis till done. Lift the chaklis from the newspaper with a sharp edged spatula so the shapes remain intact. Slide the chakli in the hot oil with the spatula so shapes stay intact.

Spread a newspaper sheet next to the frying area. Keep fried chaklis on the newspaper. Let them cool to room temperature.

Store in an airtight container, stays fresh for almost a month.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ BAIGAN BHARTA ~


Roasted or boiled mashed Eggplant in a saucy onion tomato gravy floating in spicy masalas ... Even those who have never really liked eggplants in their life will flip for this recipe ...

RECIPE SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

2 Big Eggplants (as shown in the attached picture)

1 Onion (finely chopped)

4 tomatoes (finely chopped)

2 tablespoons Garlic Paste

2 tablespoons Ginger Paste

2 tablespoons Green Chilli Paste

1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder, 1 tablespoon Pav Bhaaji Masala, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, Salt to taste

4 tablespoons Oil for vaghaar, jeera, pinch of hing

1/2 cup fresh cut cilantro

( This makes a very spicy baigan bharta, so if you eat less spicy food, then you can reduce the quantity of Garli, Ginger, Green Chilli paste, red chilli powder & Pav Bhaaji Masala to half of the mentioned quantity above )

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

METHOD

Traditionally Baigan is roasted on a flame or oven with oil coated all over it & long cuts inserted with a knife to cook evenly.

But this is a recipe where Eggplants are boiled to avoid the long wait of roasting.

In a big cooker, add water, cooker plate & a pan - Cut 1 Eggplant is 8 big peices & arrange all the pieces inside the cooker pan. Repeat for 2nd eggplant.

Cook to 4 whistles, let cooker cool down, open lid, strain all the eggplant pieces in a big strainer & remove all the water that settles in the pan (as water has a very bitter taste, it should be discarded)

After all the water is drained out, mash the eggplant completely. If the skin part of it is not getting mashed, beat a sharp knife so its all one consistency.

Heat oil for vaghaar, add 1 teaspoon jeera, pinch of hing, then add 2 tablespoons Garlic Paste, 2 tablespoons Ginger Paste, 2 tablespoons Green Chilli Paste

Stir fry for less than a minute, add the chopped onions, a teaspoon of salt & let them cook on medium flame till they are very well cooked & transparent.

Then add the finely chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon of salt & let them cook completely till a thick gravy is formed. You will see some bubbles & oil oozing out of it, this is when gravy is done.

Add the mashed Eggplants, 2 teaspoons salt (to taste), 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder, 1 tablespoon Pav Bhaaji Masala, 1/8 teaspoon haldi, mix all the ingredients well, switch flame to medium low & let spices blend.

Once you see oil bubbles, sabzi is ready.

Garnish with 1/2 cup fresh cut cilantro.

Serve hot with Chapati, Paratha or Naan.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ KUTCHI DABELI ~


Kutchi Dabeli is another popular street food of Mumbai ... spicy potato filling garnished with fresh cut onions, pomegranate seeds, cilantro, sev & savory spicy chutneys ... so simple to make this in the comfort of your own home ...

RECIPES MAKES 9 DABELIS - SERVES 4

FOR THE FILLING

Boil 2 potatoes to 4 whistles, cool the cooker, peel & mash them completely.

1 tomato finely chopped

Heat a tablespoon of oil for vaghaar - add jeera, pinch of hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1/2 tablespoon ginger paste, 1/2 tablespoon green chilli paste

Stir fry for a minute, then add the tomatoes. Sprinkle very little salt & let tomatoes cook completely on medium flame.

Add the mashed potaotes, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon haldi, 1 tablespoon dhaanajeeru, 1 tablespoon Pav Bhaji (or Dabeli) masala, 1 tablespoon Red Chilli powder, 2 tablespoons of Tamarind (khatta meetha) chutney

Mix all spices well & cook on medium to low flame till you see mixture bubble & some oil oozing out of bubbles. This is when its completely done.

This filling has to be spicy as it has be filled between buns. Let it cool down for 10-15 mins.

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

9 hamburger or Soft Buns

Butter for pan frying

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

GARNISH

1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/2 cup sev or nylon sev
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate (anar) ( if these are not in season, u can add finely chopped green mango pieces OR finely chopped red or black grapes for the tart flavor OR Aamchur powder )
Dry garlic chutney (recipe already uploaded earlier)
Tamarind khatta meetha chutney
Cilantro chutney
3-4 Green chilli pieces (to make it more spicy)

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

ASSLEMBLING

1. Slice the burger buns into halves horizontally and cook the buns in a pan using a little butter.

2. Apply 1 coat of Cilantro chutney. Place a portion of the filling on the lower half of each bun.

3. Top with the chopped onion, peanuts, coriander, sev, pomegranate , fresh garlic chutney, green chilli pieces and khajur imli ki chutney (you can apply this chutney on the top part of the bun)

4. Sandwich it with the top halves of the burger buns.

Serve fresh with cold drink / cold coffee.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ MASALA THEPLAS ~


Plain and simple, have it as a breakfast with pickles or with any meal as a substitute for chapati ... its a make ahead thepla & stays fresh for 24 hours, makes a good choice for snack or lunchbox filling too ...

RECIPE MAKES 12 THEPLAS

In a big bowl, add the following dry ingredients

4 cups Whole Wheat flour

4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon haldi

6 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder

1/2 teaspoon Ajmo

1/2 teaspoon Jeera

1/3 cup oil

Mix all these ingredients very well. Then add 1 + 3/4 cup water & make a soft dough. Knead well for 2-3 minutes till all spices have blended well.

If you feel dough is slightly sticky, sprinkle a tablespoon of dry flour on dough, apply some oil on your hands & knead the dough again.

Make 12 equal portions. Make a flat patty like we make for chapatis.

Take 1 portion, roll into a thin thepla. You will need some flour for rolling & dusting.

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

Flip thepla 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 thepla. Flip & press with the spatula that has a big flat base so the air bubble expands & thepla puffs up on the pan itself. There will be golden brown spots & should be evenly cooked.

Flip on the other side & let the thepla 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 thepla on this dish.

Repeat for all theplas & 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.

Serve with Mango pickle / Mango chunda or any other sabzi.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ GINGER TEA (MASALA CHAI) ~


My day starts with this cup of Ginger Tea, has been my lifelong companion ... friends who have visited my house will remember this tea & our never ending conversations that go along with this. If you are prone to colds very often, this is the Tea for you ...

RECIPE MAKES 3 BIG MUGS

Heat 2 big mugs of water, add

1.5 tablespoons Black Tea (1/2 tablespoon more if you prefer a more stronger tea)

2 tablespoons fresh crushed ginger

3 pinches of Masala Tea Mix (recipe below)

Masala Tea Mix: (Makes 24 cups of tea)
Crush 24 green cardamoms (with skin),
18 whole black peppercons (or replace 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder)
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (you can skip this if you add fresh ginger)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

After this comes to a rolling boil, add 1 big mug of milk, switch flame to medium or medium low, let it simmer for 8-10 minutes till the masalas blend well with the tea.

Strain, pour in tea mugs & add as much sugar as you like.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

~ COLD COFFEE FLOAT WITH ICECREAM ~


Ice cold coffee with a generous scoop of Icecream, nothing can beat this cooling drink on a hot summer day ... though I'm not a coffee fan, this sure is quite a temptation ...

RECIPE MAKES 1 TALL GLASS COLD COFFEE ~ SERVES 1

Boil 1/4 cup water + 1 teaspoon Instant Coffee + 1 tablespoon sugar (you can add more coffee or sugar if you want a stronger & sweeter Coffee)

You can also add 1 tablespoon of Hot Chocolate Mix powder if you prefer a Chocolatey taste to the cold coffee. Mix & keep aside

In a bottle that has a tight fitting lid, add 2 cups ice cold milk (or 1.5 cups cold milk + 1/2 cups icecubes)

Add the coffee water prepared earlier. You can also add 1 tablespoon of Hersheys Chocolate Syrup to this if you prefer a chocolate flavor (& if Hot Chocolate powder is not added to the water earlier)

Mix well, if you like a frothy coffee, put a tight lid over the bottle & shake, shake, shake

Pour this ice cold coffee in a tall glass with a wide mouth - add a generous scoop of Chocolate Icecream or Vanilla Icecream or Vanilla Chocolate Icecream.

You can sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of Cocoa powder on the Icecream for more flavor.

Serve ice cold with a straw & spoon.

Prepare & enjoy !!!