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Thursday, October 14, 2010

RASILEY GARLIC ALOO

Boiled potato cubes in a spicy tomato garlic gravy ... very handy sabzi when you have no time to go out for grocery shopping .. especially here with anytime rains and snowfall, this is an easy quickfix, sabzi is spicy, hot .. just the right food you need when it is raining or snowing ...


RECIPE SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

2 potatoes, 1 tomato

Spices for Tadka/vaghaar : 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon rai, 1/2 teaspoon jeera, 1/8 teaspoon hing, 1/2 tablespoon garlic paste, 1/4 tablespoon ginger paste, 1/4 tablespoon green chilli paste

Spices for Sabzi : 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teapsoon haldi, 2 teaspoons Red Chilli powder, 2 teaspoons Pav Bhaaji Masala (optional), 3 teaspoons Dhaanajeeru (dhaniajeera - coriander cumin powder)

Optional : Garam Masala (to taste) Lime juice (if you wish to make it more tangy)

1/3 cup fresh cut cilantro for garnish

METHOD

1. Wash, cut the potatoes in half & place them in a pressure cooker utensil. Pour 2 cups water in the pressure cooker pan. Place the utensil that has potatoes in the water.

Close the lid. Cook to 3 whistles. Let cooker cool completely.

After cooker cools down, with a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes on a tray & let them cool to room temperature for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, peel & cut in medium size cubes.

2. Prepare the Tadka. In a saucepan on 5/10 flame setting, add 1/2 tablespoon oil. Once it is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon rai, 1/2 teaspoon jeera, 1/8 teaspoon hing, 1/2 tablespoon garlic paste

Mix once. Add the potatoes, 1 tomato finely cut, add 2 cups water, add spices - 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teapsoon haldi, 2 teaspoons Red Chilli powder, 2 teaspoons Pav Bhaaji Masala, 3 teaspoons Dhaanajeeru (dhaniajeera) Mix well.

Optional: Garam Masala (to taste) Lime juice (if you wish to make it more tangy)

Let sabzi cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes till tomatoes soften and oil starts floating on top of the sabzi.

Lift 7-8 potato pieces with a big spoon, mash them completely with a smaller spoon & add them back in the sabzi. This will slightly thicken the gravy.

Garnish with 1/3 cup fresh cut cilantro. Serve hot with rotis or pooris.

Prepare and enjoy !!!

VEGGIE BURRITOS AND TACOS

Chipotle serves one of the finest Mexican Burritos here ... quite inspired by all the fresh salad and veggies that they add to the Burrito, I tried making a similar version at home ... Unbelievably, this turned out simply spicy and yum ... so here's the recipe ...


RECIPES SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE OUTER COVER/WRAP : Readymade Flour Tortilla pack - the biggest size flour tortilla that you can find in the grocery store

FOR THE FILLING : Cilantro Lime Rice, Pinto or Black Beans, Mild Salsa, Medium Salsa, Hot Salsa, Pan fried Red Onions & Capsicum, Corn, Lettuce leaves, green mango pieces, shredded cheese, guacamole

METHOD

1. COOK CILANTRO LIME RICE : In a pressure cooker pan, add 1 cup Rice, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon ghee or butter, 1 teaspoon lime juice, mix. Close pan lid, cook to 2 whistles. Cool completely.

After cooker has cooled down, open, add 1/2 cup fresh cilantro cut very fine to the rice, fluff the rice with a fork and mix.

2. COOK BEANS : Soak 1 cup Pinto or Black Beans in 3 cups water for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, prepare for the Tadka/vaghaar. In a pressure cooker pan, add 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon jeera, 1/8 teaspoon hing, add the beans and all the water that it is soaked in the pan.

Cut 1/4 cup red onion, 1 tomato and add to the beans.

Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon haldi, 2 teaspoons Pav Bhaji Masala, 2 teaspoons Red Chilli powder, mix. Close cooker lid. Cook to 4 whistles. Let cooker cool completely.

3. MAKE MILD SALSA : Cut 1/4 cup red onion, 1 tomato - sprinkle salt & a tablespoon of fresh cut cilantro, mix and set aside

4. MAKE MEDIUM SALSA: Cut 1/4 cup onion, 1 tomato, sprinkle salt, red chilli powder & a tablespoon of fresh cut cilantro, mix and set aside

5. MAKE HOT SALSA: In a saucepan, add 24 dry red chillies & just enough water to soak the dry red chillies. Switch on the gas and heat the water till it boils. Switch off the gas & let the dry red chillies soften in the hot water for about 1/2 hour. Then add them to a blender jar and blend the red chillies.

In a saucepan, add 1 teaspoon oil, add 1 can Thick Tomato Puree (2 cups). Add the red chillies paste, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1/3 cup white vinegar. Boil it once, reduce flame to 3/10 setting, simmer for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

6. PAN FRY RED ONIONS & CAPSICUM: Cut 1 red onion and 1 capsicum in thin long slices. Keep a teaspoon of oil in a saute pan, heat it and then add the onions and capsicum. Sprinkle 2 pinches of salt, mix. Set flame to 7/10 setting and brown the onions & capsicum for 2-3 minutes till they partially cook & yet are crisp to the bite. Transfer them in a bowl & set aside.

7. MAKE GUACAMOLE: Mash 1 avacado, add 1/4 cup red onion, 1 tomato, salt to taste, lime juice to taste. Mix & set aside.

8. Place 1/2 cup corn to a bowl. Cut 1/2 cup lettuce leaves in very fine ribbons, place in a bowl. Place 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese in a bowl. Cut 1/4 green mango in very fine pieces, transfer to a bowl.

TO ASSEMBLE BURRITO

Heat the flat pan in which we make chapatis on 6/10 flame setting. Once it is hot, add a flour tortilla. With a dry kitchen towel, cook tortilla on both sides.

Place on a big serving plate. Add about 1/2 cup Cilantro Lime Rice in the center. Top with a big spoonful of beans. Add mild, medium & hot salsa to taste (about a tablespoon of each is enough)

Then add pan fried onions, capsicum to taste, a tablespoon guacamole, sprinkle corn, green mango pieces, lettuce leaves & shredded cheese.

Fold the tortilla from the shorter sides towards the center first. Then fold the longer sides towards the center.

Serve with chilled Cola.

Since all the ingredients are fresh, this can be pre-prepared & stored in the refrigerator (except rice & beans) Hence this also makes a good make ahead dish when you are expecting guests. With the rice, beans & veggies it is a full meal in itself.

FOR TACOS:

Store bought Taco Shells - Add all the above ingredients just about a tablespoon of each. (with very less Spicy Salsa)

All the Burrito leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator & can be served in Taco Shells the next day as a side dish with the meal.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

VEG KUNG PAO

Served as a side-dish with Fried Rice or Noodles, Kung Pao can be made with your own choice of vegetables. We had tasted Kung Pao at Masala Wok ~ an Indo-Chinese Restaurant here ... the first trial at home and its delicious result is here ...


RECIPE SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

1 green zucchini, 1 carrot

Spices for Tadka (vaghaar): 1/2 tablespoon oil, 3 dry red chillies, 2 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts

For Kung Pao gravy: Mix 1 tablespoon Corn Starch in 1/4 cup water (Corn Starch is different from Corn Flour - Corn Flour is yellow in color and is coarse. Corn Starch is white in color and very fine ground - Corn Starch has to be added to thicken Chinese gravies)

1/2 cup water (the water in which vegetables are blanced can be added)

1 tablespoon Ching's Secret Dark Soy Sauce (Ching's Secret sauces are available in Indian grocery stores)

2 teaspoons sugar

METHOD

1. Wash the green zucchini, wipe, cut the tip and end - cut the zucchini with the skin vertically from the center in 2 long pieces. Place them on a cutting board and cut them in big 1/2" pieces. They will look like semi circles.

Peel the carrot, repeat the same step for carrot.

2. Fill a saucepan with water filling half the pan. Let the water come to a rolling boil.

Add 1 teaspoon salt. Add the zucchini pieces. Let it blanch in hot water for about a minute just to slightly cook it, yet it should be very crisp to the bite. With the help of a slotted spoon, remove the zucchini pieces in a bowl.

Let the water boil once again. Then repeat this for carrot pieces. Transfer the carrot pieces to the bowl that has zucchini pieces in it.

Store the water to add in Kung Pao gravy later. Rest of the water is vegetable stock - store it in the refrigerator, it can be added to dals later.

3. Keep 1/2 tablespoon oil to heat in a saucepan. Once it is hot, add 3 dry red chillies, 2 tablespoons dry roasted peanuts.

Add the Corn Starch preparation (Mix 1 tablespoon Corn Starch in 1/4 cup water (Corn Starch is different from Corn Flour - Corn Flour is yellow in color and is coarse. Corn Starch is white in color and very fine ground - Corn Starch has to be added to thicken Chinese gravies)

Add 1/2 cup water (the water in which vegetables are blanced can be added)

Add 1 tablespoon Ching's Secret Dark Soy Sauce, mix well.

Add 2 teaspoons sugar. Mix gravy well. You can add little more sugar if you prefer a slightly spicy sweet gravy.

Add zucchini, carrot pieces and mix well.

Heat Kung Pao for 2-3 minutes and serve hot with Fried Rice or Noodles.

Prepare and enjoy !!!

FRIED RICE

Stir-fried vegetables flavored with red chilli sauce, dark soy sauce and tossed with rice ... Fried Rice is a very simple recipe, so fast to cook when you are looking for quick meal options ...


RECIPE SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

To cook Rice: 2 cups Rice, 4 cups water, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ghee or butter, 1 teaspoon lime juice

Stir-fry vegetables
1/2 cup onions cut in thin long slices
1 capsicum cut in thin long slices (you can use 1/3rd each of red, yellow and green capsicum for a colorful fried rice)
1.5 cups cabbage cut in very thin ribbons
Shred 1 carrot in very thick shreds
1/2 cup loosely packed baby corn
8-10 tender pea pods
8 green onions - clean the tips, wash & cut in round rings - for garnish
1 teaspoon salt to add to stir-fry vegetables

Spices for Tadka (vaghaar): 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon garlic cut in pieces or paste, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 green chilli cut in thin long slices

Spices for Fried Rice: 2 teaspoons red chilli flakes, 1 teaspoon Ching's Secret Red Chilli Sauce, 1 tablespoon Ching's Secret Dark Soy Sauce (Ching's Secret Sauces are available in Indian grocery stores)

Additional Ching's Secret Red Chilli Sauce - serve separately for those who wish to add this and make Fried Rice more spicy.

METHOD

1. COOK RICE: In a pressure cooker pan, add 2 cups Rice, 4 cups water, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ghee or butter, 1 teaspoon lime juice. Close pan, cook to 2 whistles. Let cooker cool completely. After the cooker cools down, fluff the rice with a fork.

2. STIR-FRY: Add 1 tablespoon oil in a wok on medium high flame. Add 1 tablespoon garlic cut in pieces or paste, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 green chilli cut in thin long slices.

Add 1/2 cup onions cut in thin long slices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix and stir-fry onions for a minute till they are partially cooked.

Add 1 capsicum cut in thin long slices, 1.5 cups cabbage cut in very thin ribbons, shred 1 carrot in very thick shreds, 1/2 cup loosely packed baby corn, 8-10 tender pea pods, 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix and cook for another minute or two till they are stir-fried and crisp to the bite.

3. After all the vegetables are done, add 2 teaspoons red chilli flakes, 1 teaspoon Ching's Secret Red Chilli Sauce, 1 tablespoon Ching's Secret Dark Soy Sauce (Ching's Secret Sauces are available in Indian grocery stores) Mix well to coat all the vegetables.

4. Add the fluffed rice, mix well.

5. Garnish with green onion rings, mix once and serve hot with Kung Pao or Manchurian.

Additional Ching's Secret Red Chilli Sauce - serve separately for those who wish to add this and make Fried Rice more spicy.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

HEART FRIENDLY & HEALTHY OATMEAL CEREAL

The #1 heart and weight loss food ... A number of health benefits are attributed to regular intake of Oatmeal. These include lower blood cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease, healthier metabolism, stabilized blood glucose levels, healthy weight control, normalized blood pressure. Oatmeal has a lot of soluble fiber content. This property helps to lower cholesterol and aids weight loss.


RECIPE SERVES 2

1/2 cup Oatmeal ( Quick Oats are best if you do not have the time to cook Oats )

1 cup water

1 cup cold milk

2 teaspoons honey

1 banana cut in small cubes

1 apple cut in small cubes

2 teaspoons dry raisins

2 teaspoons dry cranberries

4-5 slices almonds

1/8 teaspoons elaichi & cinnamon powder each

METHOD

Add 1/2 cup Oatmeal to a bowl. Add 1 cup water, mix and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Mix. Microwave for 30 seconds once again & mix.

If you do not have a microwave, you can heat water in an open saucepan, add the oats to hot water & cook for 1.5 minutes.

Add 1 cup cold milk to the cooked oats.

Then add the following -

2 teaspoons honey
1 banana cut in small cubes
1 apple cut in small cubes
2 teaspoons dry raisins
2 teaspoons dry cranberries
4-5 slices almonds
1/8 teaspoons elaichi & cinnamon powder each

Mix well & enjoy as a Breakfast Cereal ...

Prepare & enjoy !!!

ROUND WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR PARATHAS

Chapati dough can be rolled in a variety of ways ~ Double layer the dough to roll a Round Paratha or roll into a 3 layered Triangle Paratha or 4 layered Square Paratha ... the key is to get kids to eat better, healthier foods in each and every bite ...


RECIPE MAKES 6 PARATHAS ~ SERVES 3

In a big bowl, add 3 cups whole wheat flour. Add 1.5 cups water & knead to a soft dough for 2-3 minutes.

After the dough is well kneaded, apply oil & cover for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, knead lightly once & divide the dough in 6 equal portions.

You will need dry flour for rolling (whole wheat or all purpose flour will do)

Take 1 portion of the dough, press into a patty, roll in dry flour & start rolling it - roll it in a medium round shape like a Poori shape.

Apply oil on it with a spoon, lift it, turn it upside down such that the oil applied portion is facing the dry flour. Let dry flour coat on the oil in one layer.

Put the paratha back on the rolling pan.

Hold one edge of the dough & start gathering it like we do for a stuffed paratha or puran poli. Gather all the edges in the center, fit them tightly & press down lightly to form a patty.

Start rolling it like a regular chapati - only this will have a round shape with 2 layers as it has been folded over once.

Heat a pan on 6/10 flame, once it is hot, add the paratha on it.

Once you see bubbles appearing on the top side, flip it over, it will start puffing up on the pan itself. Let it cook on the other side too.

Then lift paratha with a spatula, turn it upside down, press with a kitchen towel & puff it up completely till light golden brown.

If you have a gas that has a flame, it can be cooked on an open flame on both sides.

Transfer to a serving plate - apply ghee or butter, indent with fork so all the ghee gets soaked in the paratha.

Serve hot with any Sabzi, yogurt & pickle.
Prepare & enjoy !!!

SQUARE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR PARATHAS

Getting kids to eat hot healthy homemade food is sometimes the biggest challenge - adding fun to everyday food helps & this recipe of Square Parathas does just that ... Drishti loves different shapes, so the same chapati is either round, triangle or square as she wishes everyday ...

RECIPE MAKES 6 PARATHAS ~ SERVES 3

In a big bowl, add 3 cups whole wheat flour. Add 1.5 cups water & knead to a soft dough for 2-3 minutes.

After the dough is well kneaded, apply oil & cover for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, knead lightly once & divide the dough in 6 equal portions.

You will need dry flour for rolling (whole wheat or all purpose flour will do)

Take 1 portion of the dough, press into a patty, roll in dry flour & start rolling it - roll it in a medium round shape like a Poori shape.

Apply oil on it with a spoon, lift it, turn it upside down such that the oil applied portion is facing the dry flour. Let dry flour coat on the oil in one layer.

Put the paratha back on the rolling pan & fold the top side upto the center. Also fold the lower side upto the center.

Again apply oil, hold the oil side down on dry flour & coat it with dry flour.

Put it back on the rolling pin & fold the right side till the center & fold the left side overlapping it to form a square - the square shape patty is formed.

Start rolling it like a regular chapati - only this will have a square shape & many more layers as it has been folded 4 times.

Heat a pan on 6/10 flame, once it is hot, add the paratha on it.

Once you see bubbles appearing on the top side, flip it over, it will start puffing up on the pan itself. Let it cook on the other side too.

Then lift paratha with a spatula, turn it upside down, press with a kitchen towel & puff it up completely till light golden brown.

Transfer to a serving plate - apply ghee or butter, indent with fork so all the ghee gets soaked in the paratha.

Serve hot with any Sabzi, yogurt & pickle.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

TRIANGLE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR PARATHAS

Getting kids to eat hot healthy homemade food is sometimes the biggest challenge when there are so many junk foods options - adding fun to food helps & this recipe of Triangle Parathas does just that ...

RECIPE MAKES 6 PARATHAS ~ SERVES 3

In a big bowl, add 3 cups whole wheat flour. Add 1.5 cups water & knead to a soft dough for 2-3 minutes.

After the dough is well kneaded, apply oil & cover for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, knead lightly once & divide the dough in 6 equal portions.

You will need dry flour for rolling (whole wheat or all purpose flour will do)

Take 1 portion of the dough, press into a patty, roll in dry flour & start rolling it - roll it in a medium round shape like a Poori shape.

Apply oil on it with a spoon, lift it, turn it upside down such that the oil applied portion is facing the dry flour. Let dry flour coat on the oil in one layer.

Put the paratha back on the rolling pan & fold it in half (like a semicircle)

Again apply oil, hold the oil side down on dry flour & coat it with dry flour.

Put it back on the rolling pin & fold it in half again - the triangle shape is formed.

Start rolling it like a regular chapati - only this will have a triangle shape & many more layers as it has been folded twice.

Heat a pan on 6/10 flame, once it is hot, add the paratha on it.

Once you see bubbles appearing on the top side, flip it over, it will start puffing up on the pan itself. Let it cook on the other side too.

Then lift paratha with a spatula, turn it upside down, press with a kitchen towel & puff it up completely till light golden brown.

Transfer to a serving plate - apply ghee or butter, indent with fork so all the ghee gets soaked in the paratha.

Serve hot with any Sabzi, yogurt & pickle.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

ALOO MATAR SABZI

Aloo and matar in a saucy tomato flavored gravy ... this sabzi goes well with any Indian Bread preparation .. pooris, chapatis, plain parathas .. added to Rice recipes like Dal Rice or Khichdi gives the regular rice recipes a delicious yum ...

RECIPE SERVES 3

3 medium size potatoes

2 tomatoes cut in cubes

1 cup peas

Spices for Tadka (vaghaar) - 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon rai, 1/2 teaspoon jeera, 1/8 teaspoon hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste

Spices for Sabzi - 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder, 2 teaspoons Pav Bhaaji Masala, 3 teaspoons Dhaniajeera powder, 1/4 teaspoon haldi

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

METHOD

1. Peel & cut potatoes in small cubes. Wash & cut tomatoes in small cubes. You can use fresh or frozen peas for this recipe.

2. On 5/10 flame setting, keep 1 tablespoon oil for tadka (vaghaar) Once it is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon rai, 1/2 teaspoon jeera, 1/8 teaspoon hing, 1 tablespoon garlic paste & mix well.

3. Add potatoes, tomatoes & peas. Add 2.5 cups water - Add all the spices for the Sabzi - 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder, 2 teaspoons Pav Bhaaji Masala, 3 teaspoons Dhaniajeera powder & 1/4 teaspoon haldi; mix well.

4. Cover the pan with a lid that has edges & can hold water OR close with the glass lid of the saucepan.

Let it cook undisturbed for 10 mins - then open & mix once.

Let it cook undisturbed for 10 mins once again - after this when you mix & check, insert a knife in a potato cube, it should cut the potato easily.

Sabzi is ready - if you want to serve right away, then take 6-7 potato cubes in a big spoon, mash them completely with a smaller spoon & put the mashed potatoes in the sabzi - this will thicken the gravy.

If you are serving the sabzi later, you may not do this as the gracy thickens on its own.

Serve hot with any pickle, yogurt & pooris, chapatis or parathas ... goes well when mixed in Dal Rice or Khichdi recipes.

Prepare & enjoy !!!