Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DHOKLA CAKE


Wow ,,, Look at this yummy Dhokla cake !
This was a treat from my friend Manju, She made this for me because I don't relish sweets and desserts. How innovative isn't it ?

Ingredients:
Rice ................... 2 cups
Urad dal .......... 1/2 cup
Chana dal ....... 1/2 cup
Ginger ............... 1 inch piece
Green chillies ... 3-4
Asafoetida ........ 2 pinches
Baking soda ...... a pinch
Salt to taste

Method:


1. Soak rice and dals for 10-12 hrs.
2. Grind them with ginger, green chillies, salt adding very little water.
. Mix asafoetida and let it ferment well.
4. Add in the baking soda mixed with oil
5. Grease a tin with ghee and pour the batter in it.
6. Steam it in a double boiler for 15-20 minutes.
(Garnish with mint chutney and cashewnuts) .

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CRISPY PALAK PAKORAS / FRITTERS



Any kind of pakoras are relished and liked by anyone and everyone. Who can ever resist them. Some crispy and crunchy spinach pakoras with a cup of masala chai is BLISS !

Ingredients:
Tender Spinach Leaves - 3 cups
Gram Flour (Besan) - 1 tbsp
Rice Flour - 1 & half tbsp
Salt to taste
Baking Soda - 2 pinches
Water .. as needed
Oil  ... for frying.

Method:
1. Mix besan, rice flour, salt, soda in a little water, to make a very thick paste.
2. Add the washed spinach leaves into the paste and rub the paste onto the leaves.
3. Heat oil to medium heat, and sprinkle the coated spinach leaves into the oil, separating the leaves as you put them into oil.
4 .Fry until they are crisp turning them occasionally.

Serve hot as a snack.

HANDVO



This is a very healthy and nutritious snack. I have baked it in the oven but you can even make it in a thick bottomed pan like a Pan Pizza and cut it into pieces.
These days ready to make Handvo Mix is available at the Indian grocery stores.

Ingredients:
Rice ............. 1 cup
Chana dal ..... 1/4 cup
Toor dal ........ 1/4 cup
Urad dal ....... 1/4 cup
Ginger ........... 1 tbsp (grated)
Garlic ........... 1 tsp. (crushed)
Green Chillies .. 3-4 (crushed)
Cabbage .......... 1 cup (grated)
Normally we use bottle gourd but I like to use different vegetables for a change. Sometimes I use grated carrots or mixed grated veggies.
Ajwain/carom seeds... 1 tsp
Sugar ..................... 1 tbsp.
Salt ....................... to taste
Turmeric powder .... 1/4 tsp.
Eno fruit salt ........... 1 tsp.
Yogurt .................... 1 cup
Sesame/ til seeds .... 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds ........ 1 tbsp.
Hing................ 2 pinches
Red chilli powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Oil .................. 3-4 tbsp.
Dessicated coconut .... 1 tbsp (to garnish)
Coriander leaves ........( to garnish)

Method:
1. Wash and soak all the dals for at least 6-7 hours or overnight.
2. Grind them coarsely using the yogurt and leave the batter to ferment for 2-3 hours.( The consistency should be like idli batter)
(you may use it immediately adding a little more quantity of eno)
3. Mix in the crushed chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, ajwain seeds, 1 tbsp.oil and cabbage/ doodhi/any grated vegetable.
4. Just before you are ready for baking, add the eno and mix well.

5. Grease a dish or tray for baking and pour the batter into it little below the brim.
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. Alternately you can also do it in a deep, thick bottomed griddle (with cover)on a low flame. This may take less time.

7. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Meanwhile heat one tablespoon oil and add the asafoetida, mustard seeds and slightly crushed sesame seeds. When the seeds splutter, switch off the gas and add the red chilli powder.( this gives a nice colour). Spread the tempering with a spoon on the prepared handvo.
8. Cut into pieces and garnish with dessicated coconut and coriander leaves. Serve with mint chutney.

BEANS PORIYAL ( South Indian)



This dry preparation of beans is a perfect accompaniment with dal rice, curd rice

Ingredients:
Beans........ 200gms (chopped very finely)
Turmeric powder ....1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ....1/4 tsp
Oil ........................... 1 tbsp
Salt ...to taste
Grated coconut ...... 2-3 tbsp
Roasted gram powder... 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds............ 1 tbsp
Dry red chillies ........... 2-3 (broken)
Curry leaves ............... 1 sprig
Lemon juice ................ 1tbsp

Method:


1. Boil the beans adding salt and strain.( To retain the green colour just add a small pinch of baking soda while boiling)
2. Heat oil and crackle mustard seeds, asafoetida, dry red chillies, curry leaves.
3. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, boiled beans and saute.
4. Add lemon juice and mix.
5. At the end, add grated coconut, roasted bengal gram powder. Mix well.
( for variation you can make the same dish with carrots or cabbage.You can also mix the three vegetables)
This is generally served as a side dish along with rice, sambar, rasam, curd rice.

Monday, August 20, 2012

BAGHARE BAIGAN


Baghare Baigan is a spicy dish from Hyderabadi Cuisine. Baby brinjals are simmered in a paste made with peanuts and lots of spices. This curry is tangy in taste. This is also another popular accompaniment served with biriyanis.

Ingredients:
Small brinjals ...........1/2 kilo
Onion ........... 1
Poppy seeds .........1tbsp.
Sesame seeds ...... 1tbsp.
Dessicated coconut .. 1 tbsp.
Dry red chillies ... 2-3
Cumin seeds ....... 1tsp.
Coriander seeds.... 1tsp.
Cloves ...................3-4
Cardamoms ..........3-4
Peanuts ................. handful
Yogurt ...................1/2 cup
Turmeric powder ...1/2 tsp.
Salt ...to taste
Tamarind juice .....1-2 tbsp.
Tomato ketchup .... 1tbsp.
Oil

For tempering:
Mustard seeds .....1 tbsp.
Asafoetida ....a pinch
Curry leaves .... a sprig
Dry red chillies ....... 2

Method:
1. Give a slit to the brinjals and put them in water to which a tbsp. of salt is added.
2. Deep fry the brinjals.
3. Fry the onion to golden brown colour, cook for a few minutes adding a little water. Blend it.
4. Dry roast the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chillies, peanuts,cloves and cardamoms. Grind them to a paste adding little water.
5. In a pan put oil and add the tempering. Then add the onion paste, salt and turmeric powder.
6. Mix the ground masala paste with yogurt and add it to the onion paste. Also mix in the tamarind juice and tomato ketchup. Add half cup water to make gravy.
7. Now put the fried brinjals into the masala and simmer for a few minutes.

HOT AND SOUR SOUP



This is one of the most popular soups in the Chinese Cuisine. It is hot and spicy and suitable to our Indian taste buds.

Ingredients:
Chicken ........ 2-3 pieces
Mushrooms.... 3-4 (thinly sliced)
Spring onion ... 1 sprig (choppped finely)
Carrot ............ 1/2 (chopped finely)
Ginger .......... i inch piece..(grated)
Tofu ............ about two tbsps. (cut into small pieces)
Eggs ............. 2
Soya sauce ...... 2-3 tbsps.
Vinegar .......... 1-2 tbsps. (according to ur taste)
Ajinomotto ...... a pinch
Black pepper .... 1/2 tsp (powdered)
Salt .......... to taste
Corn flour ...... 1 tbsp.

Method:
1. Boil the chicken pieces adding salt. Store the chicken stock and shred the chicken.
2. Boil the stock and keep adding the vegetables one by one.
3. Add also the chicken and tofu pieces and salt.
4. Break the eggs and pour them slowly into the soup, stirring continuously to bring a string like consistency.
5. Now add the cornflour diluted in water to thicken the soup.
6. Finally add the soya sauce, vinegar, ajinomotto and black pepper.
Serve immediately.

Friday, August 17, 2012

EGG DOSA



Ever tried egg dosa for a change. Tastes so delicious

DOSA BATTER
See recipe - HERE



Egg Masala:
Egg .... 1
Onion ... 1 tbsp. finely chopped
Green chilli ... 1 chopped finely
Coriander leaves ... 1 tbsp. chopped finely
Salt ...................... to taste
Oil or ghee ... to roast




Method:
1. Mix the egg masala ingredients together.

2. Heat a griddle and spread the dosa batter on it. Apply a little ghee/oil.

3. Spread the egg masala over it and apply ghee/oil.

4. Turn the dosa to cook the other side.(the egg side)
5. You may sprinkle a little podi over it if you like it spicy.

DUM KA MURGH



This is another delicacy from Hyderabad. The actual process is really tedious and time consuming where we leave the chicken to cook in a pan. The lid is sealed with dough and the chicken is cooked on a very low flame for few hours...hence the name...DUM KA MURGH. This requires more ghee to avoid burning and it becomes very rich and heavy. So I have simplified it here by roasting the chicken in the oven first and then adding to the prepared masala.

Ingredients:
Chicken ... 1 whole (1 kg weight)
Eggs ........ 4 (hard boiled)
Garlic ...... 2 pods
Green chillies .. 6
Onions .......... 3-4 sliced
Ginger ..... 2" piece
Raisins ..... 2 tbsp.
Cashewnuts.... handful
Charoli ........... handful
Cloves ............ 5
Cinnamon ..... two 1" pieces
Dry coconut ..... 3/4 cup (roasted)
Poppy seeds ...... 2 tbsps. (roasted)
Yogurt .............. 1 cup
Coriander powder .... 1 tsp
Cumin powder .......... 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder ...... 1/4 tsp.
Ghee ................. 1 cup
Salt .................. to taste.
Chopped nuts ..... to garnish
Method:
1.Clean the whole chicken and marinate it with 1 tbsp garlic paste, 2 tbsp. yogurt and salt.

2. Heat the ghee and fry all the ingredients one by one including the boiled eggs.( except the poppy seeds and dry coconut. Dry roast them.)

3. Fry the whole chicken turning the sides carefully to give it a brownish colour.Cook the chicken in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.

4. Now grind the dry masalas and the wet ones seperately.
5. In a pan take the left over ghee and saute the wet masala first for 5-7 minutes.Add the chilli, coriander,cumin, turmeric powders and salt.Now add the second masala and saute further for a few minutes.
6. At this stage tip in the roasted chicken. Using a spoon push a little masala inside the chicken.
7. Add the eggs. Simmer for 4-5 minutes on a low flame.
Garnish with chopped nuts.
Serve with nans or rotis:

SHAHI HYDERABADI BIRIYANI


Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular among the biryani recipes. Mutton or chicken cooked with yogurt, mint and spices is layered in between half boiled rice and kept on dum by sealing the handi or pot with dough.

Ingredients:
Mutton - 1 kg
Onions – 5 to 6 chopped onions
Garlic (peeled) - 1/2 cup
Ginger (pieces) - 3/4 cup
Green Chillies -  8-10
Mint Leaves - 1 bunch
Coriander Leaves - 1 bunch
Cloves - 10 to 15
Cinnamon - Three 5” pieces
Nutmeg or Jaiphal - Less than ¼ piece
Mace or Javitri - 1 piece
Small Cardamoms - 10
Black Cardamoms - 1
Tomatoes - Approx. 3
Yogurt - 3 to 4 tbsp
Lemon Juice - About ½ lemon’s juice
Red food colour
Salt to taste

For Rice:
Rice - 6 cups
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon – 1” stick
Small Cardamoms - 2
Mint Leaves - a handful
Coriander Leaves - a handful
Lemon juice - Juice of 1 lemon
Water - 12 cups
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Grind cloves, cardamoms, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon to a fine powder. To this add garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies and salt and grind to a smooth paste. Add water if necessary.
2. Marinate mutton with this paste for atleast 15 minutes.
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee. Fry onions till light brown. Keep aside some onions for garnishing.
4. Add marinated mutton and cook for a while. Add tomatoes, yogurt, lemon juice and little water and cook till mutton is tender.
(Take care not to make too much gravy)
5. Meanwhile, keep 12 cups of water to boil. Add cloves, cinnamon, small cardamoms, mint leaves and coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt and let it boil. Add rice and let it cook.
6.When rice is 3/4th done, strain & transfer over mutton.
7. Do not mix. With big spoon, make slits for air. Add ghee & red colour. Cover first with wet cloth, then with lid, and keep a weight over the lid. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Garnish with fried onions and cashewnuts. Add boiled eggs if you like.
Serve with raita.


Raita:
Beat 1 cup yogurt. Add 1/4 cup water, finely sliced green chillies, finely chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves and 1/2 tsp salt. Beat well and serve with biryani.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

AMBOTIC SPICE PASTE ( from Goa )


This is a nice spicy paste from Goa to make your delicious curries..

Ingredients:
Dry red chillies ....... 10
Cumin seeds ........... 1/2 tsp.
Cloves ...................... 5
Cinnamon ............... 1 inch piece
Black pepper .......... 1 tsp.
Ginger ...................... 2 inch piece
Garlic ....................... 10 cloves
Salt ........................... 1 tsp.
Malt vinegar ........... 1/2 cup

Method:
Dry roast and grind to a paste using vinegar.
Store this paste in the refrigerator.
Vinegar helps it to last for months.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ALOE VERA CURRY (Rajasthani)


Aloe vera plant is well known for its medicinal properties.These days it is found in health and cosmetic products.Ever thought that it could be used as a vegetable too.In Rajasthan it is known as Gawar Patha and a curry is made with its pulp.This recipe is quite close to the Rajasthani one, but I have not used mustard oil which is generally used in Rajasthan for cooking and I have added a couple of ingredients which I thought give a better taste to the curry.


Ingredients:
Aloe vera leaves ..... 2
Red chilli powder ... 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder .... 1 tsp.
Asafoetida ............... a pinch
Fenugreek seeds ..... 1/2 tsp.
Aniseeds ................ 1/2 tsp.
Amchoor powder .... 1/2 tsp.
Jaggery .................. 1/2 tsp.(a small piece)
Black cardamom ...... 1
Star anise ............... 1
Cinnamon stick ....... 1 inch piece.
Tomato puree ........... 1 tbsp.
Yogurt ..................... 1 tbsp.
Salt ................... to taste.
Oil

Method:

1. Peel and cut the aloe vera leaves into cubes.

2. Boil them for 2-3 minutes with salt. Drain and set aside.

3. In a pan heat a little oil and add the whole spices.Now add the asafoetida, red chilli powder,jaggery, salt and coriander powder. Add a little water and put the aloe vera cubes.Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

4. Mix the beaten yogurt to the curry and keep stirring on medium flame for 1-2 minutes.
This curry goes well with missi roti and plain rice.

CHICKEN FRIED RICE


This is the most popular dish of the Chinese Cusine loved by one and all. Make it the way you want with just vegetables or add chicken, prawns, ham etc etc..

Ingredients:
Rice .......... 1 & 1/2 cups
Carrot ..... 1 small
Beans ....... 6-7
Capsicum ... 1
Spring onion ... handful
Celery ........... 2 inch piece
Eggs .............. 2
Chicken ....... 1/4 cup (boiled & shredded)
Garlic ... 1 pod (crushed)
Salt ........... to taste
Ajinomoto .... a pinch ( optional)

Method:
1. Boil the rice adding salt and strain it. Run under cold water so that the grains remain seperated.

2. Chop all the vegetables very finely.
3. Scramble the eggs adding a bit of salt.

4. In a wok, add oil. Put the garlic, saute and add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute.(add ajinomoto at this stage. But you can avoid it too as some people are allergic to it.)

5. Add salt, shredded chicken, scrambled eggs and rice.
6. Mix well. Serve with any chinese side dish.

CARROT RICE



Often kids refuse to eat some vegetables like carrots and this is a nice way to make them eat. This dish is mildly spiced and perfect for kids lunch box. However if you like it spicier you can adjust accordingly.

Ingredients:
Cooked rice ... 1 cup (we can use the left-over rice too)
Grated carrot .. 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/8tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/8 tsp
Garam masala ........ 1/2 tsp
Salt .... to taste
Oil

For Tempering:
Cumin seeds .... 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds ... 1/2 tsp
Urad dal / chana dal ... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ......... a pinch
Dry red chillies ... 1-2
Curry leaves ....... a sprig

Method:

1. In a pan heat a little oil. Add the tempering ingredients. When the seeds crackle, add the grated carrot.

2. Season with salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala. Saute for a minute.
3. Add the cooked rice and mix well.
Serve hot.

LEMON RICE



This is the most popular dish made in South Indian homes. You can make use of your left over rice too. Because of the tanginess from the lemon juice this does not spoil easily and hence it is always a preferred dish to carry during journeys and picnics.

Ingredients:
Cooked rice .......... 2 cups ( Can also use the left over rice)
Ginger .................. 1 tbsp. (grated)
Green chillies ....... 1-2 slit
Lime juice ............. 2-3 tbsp.
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp.
Salt .......................... to taste
Oil

Tempering:
Mustard seeds ......... 1 tbsp.
Cumin seeds ............ 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies ......... 1-2
Asofoetida .................. a pinch
Curry leaves ............. 8-10
Chana dal .................. 1 tbsp. (soaked for 1-2 hrs)
Peanuts ..................... 1 tbsp.

Method:

1. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.
2. Fry till the seeds crackle and then add ginger and green chillies.
3. Mix the lime juice into the rice and add turmeric powder. Check the salt.

4. Now add the rice to the tempering and stir well.
5. Finally add the coriander leaves.

JOWAR KI ROTI ( Millet)



Jowar ki Roti or Bhakri is an Indian flat bread made with Sorghum flour. This grain has incredible health benefits.  One roti itself is quite filling and keeps you going for the day. This is the reason why it is mostly consumed by the people in the villages who do a lot of physical work. Unlike the wheat flour this one has to be handled very carefully.
Knead it with warm water just before making the rotis. Traditionally they were made by hand patting them which is very tricky. You can roll them between two plastic sheets to make your task easy.

Ingredients:
Jowar atta ...... 1 cup ( millet) Jowar also is known as Jowari, Juar
Wheat flour .... 1/4 cup
Salt ................... to taste (optional) In South India geneally salt is not added in this roti.
Ghee/oil ..... to smear on top.

Method:
1. Mix both the attas and add salt if desired.

2. Knead the dough with luke warm water.Set aside for at least half an hour.
3. Roll into rotis...before rolling check the consistency of the dough and sprinkle a little water and knead again if required.....rolling this roti is a bit difficult. You can also roll in between the plastic sheets.

4. Roast it on a griddle until half done and finish it off directly on the gas using tongs. This gives a rustic look and taste.


5. Smear ghee on top and serve hot. Here I have served it with MIRCHI KA SALAN.



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