Sunday, December 30, 2012

BASARA MEI SEYALA BREAD ( Masala Bread )


This is a very common breakfast made in most of the Sindhi homes.. a nice way to make use of stale bread..

Ingredients:
Bread slices .... 7-8
Onion ............. 1 small (chopped finely)
Tomato .......... 1 large or 2 small ( about half cup chopped)
Green chillies ... 1 -2
Garlic paste ..... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ... 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ....... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp (as per taste)
Salt .............. to taste
Coriander leaves .. handful
Oil
Mint leaves... to garnish


Method:

1. Heat oil in a pan and saute the garlic paste and onion for 2 minutes.






2. Add the chopped tomato, salt and all the spice powders and mix well crushing the tomatoes.






3. Cut the bread into pieces and tip it into the pan. Sprinkle a little water over the bread pieces and stir carefully to incorporate the masalas. Add coriander leaves.





4. Simmer it for half a minute. Garnish with mint or coriander leaves and serve immediately.






5. This is a quick and healthy dish with very little oil, and can be served for breakfast or as an evening snack.

Friday, December 28, 2012

VANGANA JA PAKORA ( Brinjal Pakoras )


Try out these yummy baby brinjal pakoras with chatpata stuffing. You will love them so much that you can't stop with one or two.

Ingredients:
Baby brinjals ... 10 - 12
Besan / Gram flour ... 2 cups
Baking soda ............ a pinch
Salt .................... to taste
Mint Chutney .... For stuffing.


Method:
1. Slit the baby brinjals and leave them in salt water for 1 hour.
2. Drain the water and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
3. Stuff them with mint chutney. Make the chutney very spicy.
4. Grill the stuffed brinjals for 5-7 minutes. You can also do it in the microwave or in a pan / griddle leaving them on low flame taking care not to over-cook them. Let them cool before frying. The grilling/cooking time depends on the size of the brinjals.
5. Mix the besan with water adding salt and baking soda to a thick batter.
6. Coat the brinjals with besan and deep fry them.
Serve them hot with any sauce.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

PAKORAN JI BHAJI (Sindhi Pakora Curry)



This is a very nice way of using the left over pakoras. Tastes delicious too. You can make the onion masala ready and add the pakoras and enough water to cook just before you serve. Otherwise the pakoras become mushy.


Ingredients:
Pakoras ...  10-12
Onion ..... 2 small (1 cup - sliced)
Tomatoes .... 1 (chopped)
Green chillies ... 1-2
Ginger ............. 1 tsp
Garlic ............ 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ... !/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt ..... to taste
Chopped coriander leaves .. handful
Oil ...... 2-3 tbsps



Method:
1.Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion until light brown in colour.
2. Add the ginger garlic pastes, green chillies and tomatoes. Stir until tomatoes are cooked.
3. Add the salt and the spice powders. Mix well and set aside.
4. Just before you are ready to serve, tip in the pakoras and stir carefully taking care not to break them. Add half of the coriander leaves while cooking.
5. Pour about half cup water. Bring to a boil.
6. Tranfer it into a serving dish, preferably a flat one.
 Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rotis.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ALMOND PASTE



 Soak the almonds for few hours and remove the skin. Easier way is to put them in a bowl with water and microwave for a minute and peel. Grind them to a smooth paste adding a little water. You can freeze this for using it in gravies for Shahi curries, sweets, halwas, kheers etc. etc.

Tip: In order not to defrost the entire thing each time, divide the paste into small quantities and store in small zip-lock bags making it easier to use.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ALOO BAIGAN


This is a very simple sabzi, perfect for day-to-day cooking. It can be served with rotis.

Ingredients:
Potatoes ....  2-3 (cut into cubes)
Baby brinjals ... 6-7 (cut into big pieces.. you can use a big brinjal too)
Onion ............. 1 (chopped finely)
Garlic ............ 1 tsp (crushed)
Green chillies ... 1-2 (chopped)
Tomato ............ 1 (cut into pieces)
Besan / gram flour .... 1 tbsp (roasted)
Cumin powder ........ 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder .... 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Salt ........ to taste
Oil...... 2 tbsps

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic and saute.
2. Add the onions and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
3. Now tip the the tomato and green chillies and simmer for the tomatoes to be cooked.
4. Put the chopped potatoes and brinjals.
5. Add the salt and spice powders and roasted gram flour/besan. Mix well and sprinkle a little water and simmer on low flame until done.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rotis.

CORN & SPINACH SALAD


This is a simple and healthy salad..just perfect for a light lunch along with a bowl of soup or a sandwich !

Ingredients:
Spinach ....  1 small bunch - about 2 cups (tender leaves)
Corn ......... 1 can - 200 gms
Tomato .... 1 small (finely chopped after removing the seeds)
Salt ......... to taste
Black pepper .. 1/4 tsp
Garlic ............ 1 tsp
Olive oil ...... 1 tbsp
Lemon juice .... 1-2 tbsps (as per your liking)


Method:
1. Pour oil in a pan and saute the garlic.
2. Add finely chopped spinach and stir fry for half a minute.
3. Drain the water from the corn and add along  with the finely chopped tomatoes.(seeds removed)
4. Season it with black pepper, salt and lemon juice.

Note: It tastes just perfect with this simple seasoning...however you may add roasted &; crushed cumin, chaat masala...if you like.

Friday, December 14, 2012

MUTTON CHOPS (Snack)


This snack brought back memories of my childhood. We always had these on Sundays whenever mom cooked mutton she used to take out the chops, dip them in the egg and fry them. I have marinated the chops and cooked them in a pressure cooker before frying them. You may also grill them instead. The quantity mentioned here is for 4 chops. You can increase it if you are making in a large quantity accordingly.

Ingredients:
Mutton chops ... 4
Eggs ................. 2
Bread crumbs.... 2 tbsps
Salt ............. to taste
Oil ............. to fry

For Marination:
Garlic  .....        1 tsp
Yogurt .....         2 tbsps
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Dhaniya jeera powder ... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ......... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala .............. 1/2 tsp
Salt ............... to tatse
Oil ............................ 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Clean the mutton chops and marinate with the ingredients mentioned above for 3-4 hours.
2. In a pressure cooker, cook them on low flame until done. You don't need to add any water. If the meat is not tender, you may sprinkle a little. Alternately you may even grill them if you find that convenient. Let them cool.
3. Beat eggs with a little salt.
4. Dip the cooked chops in the egg and coat with bread crumbs.
5. Shallow-fry them in a wide based frying pan.
Garnish with chopped coriander,onion rings and serve hot immediately.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

KANDA POHA


The most popular breakfast of Maharashtra ! 
Hardly takes time to prepare. We usually serve it with a topping of finely chopped onion, coriander leaves and Bikaneri sev and a squeeze of lemon juice over it. Tastes Divine !

Ingredients:
Poha (rice flakes)..... 1 cup
Potato... 1
Onion ..... 1 ( sliced)
Green chillies ... 2 ( finely chopped)
Curry leaves ... a sprig
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp.
Cumin powder ...... 1/2 tsp.
Salt .... to taste
Oil

For tempering:
Cumin seeds ... 1 tsp.
Asafoetida ...... a pinch
Dry red chillies ... 2

For garnishing:
Coriander leaves .... handful
Onion ...... 1 finely chopped
Bikaneri sev ...... ( optional)
Lemon juice.


Method:


1. Put the poha in a colander/sieve and wash lightly under running water. Set them aside for 5-10 minutes, sprinkling a little water over them once or twice. They should be soft but not sticky and mushy.
2. Meanwhile boil the potato and cut it into small pieces. Set aside.

3. In a sauce pan. heat a little oil and add the tempering ingredients. When they crackle add the sliced onion. Saute it add the boiled potato pieces, green chillies and curry leaves. Add cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt.

4. Now put the soaked poha into the pan and stir lightly until everything is mixed well. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

5. Serve it in individual plates, garnishing with coriander, onion and Bikaneri sev. Squeeze out a little lemon juice on top.

Serves ... 2-3
Preparation time ... 20 minutes
Spice level ..... 3 out of 5

Monday, December 10, 2012

MASALA AZUKI


Azuki are tiny kidney beans like rajma. We find these abundantly in Brazil. I have tried cooking these in many ways, dry version, with gravy like Rajma, made chaat and the taste is really awesome. I also use these as a substitute to kali urad dal/ black dal/ maah ki daal.

Ingredients:
Azuki beans .....  1 cup
Onion ............... 1 small
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ..... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ....... a pinch
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp (add less or more as per your taste)
Salt .................. to taste
Lime juice ...... 1-2 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. handful
Oil ..... for tempering

Method:
1. Soak the azuki beans for at least 5-6 hours. (preferably overnight)
2. Boil them adding salt in a pressure cooker. Drain the water.
3. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the asafoetida, mustard and cumin seeds.
4. When they crackle add the sliced onion and saute for a minute.
5. Add the boiled azuki beans and the spice powders.Check the salt and add if needed.
6. Add the lime juice and coriander leaves.
It can be served as a side dish with rotis or cold like a salad.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

HUMMUS


Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern food dip usually served with pita bread. The chickpeas are rich in protein and the tahine paste made with sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of amino acids, make this a protein rich healthy snack.

Ingredients:
Chickpeas/chana/garbanzo beans ..... 1 cup (boiled)
Garlic paste .................. 1 tsp
Tahine ................. 1 tbsp
Olive oil ................. 1 + 1 tbsp
Lemon juice ........... 2-3 tbsp.
Salt ................ to taste
Water ............. about 1/4 cup

Method:



1.Blend all the ingredients (1tbsp oil, save the other for garnishing) in a food processor.
2. Remove it in a serving dish and pour 1 tbsp. olive oil. Garnish with red chilli powder.
3. Serve with pita bread.

Friday, December 7, 2012

GUACAMOLE



Guacamole is a Mexican dip. It is served with Corn chips.

Ingredients:
Avocado .... 1 (ripe)
Onion ....... 2-3 tbsps (finely chopped)
Tomato ..... 2-3 tbsps (finely chopped, after removing the seeds)
Coriander leaves... 2-3 tbsps (finely chopped)
Jalapeno chillies ... 1 tbsp (finely chopped. you may use the normal green chillies also.Reduce or increase the quantity according to your taste)
Lemon juice .... 1 tbsp.
Salt .... to taste
Method:


1. Cut avocado into half and remove the seed. Spoon out the pulp.

2. Take the chopped onion, tomato, coriander leaves and green chillies and mix them together.

3. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. Serve with corn chips.
Note: Avocado flesh discolours when exposed to the air. To help prevent this, bury the avocado seed in the dip and cover with plastic wrap. Remove it just before serving.

MURGH BADAMI



Murgh Badami is a Shahi dish from the princely state of Hyderabad. This is not a spicy preparation.The base is almond paste along with aromatic herbs, cream and onion paste all cooked in pure ghee. It is then garnished with slivered almonds. I have substituted the cream with milk and used oil to make it lighter. You may also use coconut milk. But definitely using ghee and cream is a better choice when you are serving it to your guests..go for it. The taste is divine !

Ingredients:
Chicken ..... 1/2 kg ( I have used boneless thigh portions)
Almonds ... 1/4 cup (about 20)
Onions ...... 2 small
Green chillies ... 3-4
Ginger .............. 1 inch piece
Garlic .............. 8 - 10 cloves
Cumin powder .. 1 tsp
Garam masala ... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Yogurt ................ 1/4 cup
Salt ..................... to taste
Cream ............... 5-6 tbsps  ( I used 1/4 cup milk)
Oil / ghee

Method:

1. Soak the almonds for few hours and  remove the skin. Easier way is to put them in a bowl with water and microwave for a minute and peel. Grind them to a smooth paste adding a little water.

2. Cut the chicken into cubes and marinate with a little garlic paste, yogurt, salt and turmeric.
3. Cut the onion into big chunks. Boil the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies, adding water to cook. Cool and grind it to a paste. Use just sufficient water so that you don't have to drain it away.


4. Heat ghee/oil in a pan and add the onion paste. Keep stirring until the oil separates.
5. Now add the marinated chicken. Saute it for a couple of minutes and simmer. Add a little water if required.
6. When the chicken is three-fourth done, add the almond paste, cumin powder, garam masala and cream/milk.
7. Check the salt and simmer it until done.
Garnish with slivered almonds.

Note: Another method is to grill the chicken first and then add to the gravy and let it simmer.

BASARA MEI BHINDI PATATA ( Sindhi Bhindi Aloo ki Sabzi)


This is simple and traditional bhindi aloo sabzi from the Sindhi Cuisine. We serve it with rotis.

Ingredients:
Bhindi / okra / lady's finger ...  250 gms
Onion ................ 2  ( chopped finely)
Potatoes ............  2 ( cut into cubes)
Tomato ............. 1 ( cut into cubes)
Garlic ............. 1 tsp crushed
Green chillies ... 1-2
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Cumin powder ....... 1 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp
Salt ................  to taste
Oil
Coriander leaves ... To garnish


Method:

1. Cut the bhindis into 1 inch size pieces. Sprinkle a little salt. Cut the potatoes into cubes and put them water to which a little salt is added.


2. Fry the bhindis and potato cubes until almost done. Set aside.


3. In a pan heat a little oil and saute the garlic and onion. Simmer until translucent.
4. Now add the green chillies, tomatoes and also the fried bhindi and aloo.
Add the salt carefully as the bhindi and aloo have salt already. Also add the dry spice powders.

5. Mix carefully and simmer for a minute. (or even less depending how well the aloo and bhindis are done.)
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
This goes well with rotis.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

CREME DE PAPAYA



This is a very popular dessert in Brazil and the most easiest one that I have ever come across. Ideal for summer. A spoonful of Cassis liquer is  also added. Cassis is a sweet liquor made from black currants. It is dark red in colour also used in many cocktails. However if you prefer to have the dessert non-alcoholic, you can serve without adding it. This dessert has to be prepared just before serving.

Ingredients:
Papaya ...  1 medium sized ripe one
Vanilla Ice-cream .... 2 scoops
Cassis .................. 2 tbsps

To Garnish
Berry or a sprig of mint leaves.


Method :
1. Blend the papaya with ice-cream until smooth.
2. Pour into individual serving bowls.
3. Pour a spoonful of cassis liquor on top and garnish with berry or mint.


Note: The quantity of ice-cream can be reduced or increased as per your liking and you may skip adding cassis.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

KIBBE / KIBBEH


Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern snack made with bulghur, minced onions and ground red meat, usually beef, lamb, or goat. Kibbeh can be made in two different ways..one is the baked version, where we spread the mix in a tray with a filling and bake it. The other way is to shape into croquettes with a filling of cooked meat to which spices and nuts are added. Traditional recipe is with pine nuts but if they are not available you may use pistachios and almonds.
My recipe of kibbeh here is with some minor changes. Though I have tried making with meat earlier, today I have used chicken mince and the taste is as good as the ones made with red meat. I also like to add a spoon of Zatar to this as I love it's tangy flavour.


Ingredients:
Bulghur ...        3/4 cup (soak it for a couple of hours)
Chicken mince ... 250 gms (you can use meat mince too )
Onions ............. 2 small (sliced)
Pine nuts ........... handful (can substitute with other nuts)
All spice ........... 1 tsp (can substiute with garam masala)
Cinnamon ........ 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder .. 1 tsp
Zatar ................. 1 tsp
Black pepper .... 1/2 tsp
Baking powder ... 1/2 tsp
Bread crumbs ..... 2 tbsp (my addition to the recipe)
Salt ................ to taste
Oil

To make the filling:


1. Heat oil in a pan. Saute half of the onions (save the remaining for grinding with the meat )
2. Add about 50 gms of the mince and stir fry. Add salt and a little cumin, black pepper and all spice powder. Cover it for a few minutes on very low flame and it is done.
Since we are using chicken mince it cooks fast. If you use beef or goat meat you may have to add a little water to cook. It has to be completely dry in texture. Add the roasted or fried pine nuts.

 To make Kibbeh:


1. In a food processor grind the remaining onions. add the mince, spice powders mentioned above, salt bread crumbs and baking powder.
2. Take a large bowl and remove the mix into it. Add the drained bulghur and knead it with wet hands to mix it well.
3. Now take a little portion of this on your hand and flatten it. Place a little stuffing in the middle and seal it pressing firmly into a roll shape first. Pinch the corners to give it the kibbe shape as shown in the picture. Refrigerate them until you are ready to fry.
4. Heat oil and deep fry the kibbeh to a nice golden brown colour.
5. Serve them with Pita bread and  Hummus or Baba Ganoush

See the following recipes by clicking on the name:

ANARDANA MASALA STUFFED BHINDI



Stuffed bhindi with a nice tangy masala makes a lovely side dish.. serve with rotis or dal chawal. It makes a perfect accompaniment.

Ingredients:
Bhindi ............... 1/4 kg (select small ones)
Anardana .......... 1 tbsp. (Ground)
Cumin powder ... 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp.
Dry ginger powder ... 1/4 tsp.
Red chilli powder ..... 1 tsp.
Roasted and ground peanuts ... 2 tbsp. or ( You may use dry roasted besan )
Salt ............. to taste
Oil ............ 2-3 tbsp.

Method:
1. Wash the bhindi and remove the ends. Give a slit in the middle with a knife.

2. Mix all the masala ingredients well and stuff the bhindis with the mix.

3. Heat the oil in a shallow saucepan and put the stuffed bhindis.
4. Simmer on very low flame and turn it once carefully. Sprinkle a little water and simmer until done.