Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ZUCCHINI RAITA


If you are a raita fan you may like to try out something different each time. Here is a simple zucchini raita with tadka.


Ingredients:
Zucchini ... 1 cup (grated )
Curd ....... 1 cup
Salt ... to taste

 For Tempering:
Mustard seeds .. 1/4 tsp
Urad dal ........ 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida .... a pinch
Curry leaves .. few 
Oil ... 1 tbsp


Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.
2. When they crackle, tip in the grated zucchini.
3. Add a little salt and saute until the water dries up. (about half a minute)
4. Let it cool. Then add the yogurt and mix well.
You may also add coriander leaves, mint leaves if you like.



PONGANALU / PANIYARAM


This is a South Indian breakfast dish usually made from the left over dosa or idli batter by adding onion, chillies and tempering to it. We get a special pan for making these. In Andhra we call them Ponganalu whereas in Tamilnadu & Kerala it is Paniyaram. There is a sweet version of this also made with jaggery. 



Ingredients:
Dosa batter ... 2 cups
Baking poswer .. a pinch
Onions .... 2 small ( about 1/4 cup)
Green chillies ... 2
Coriander leaves .. 2 tbsps
Curry leaves .. few ( chopped)
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Asafoetida .... a pinch
Salt .. to taste
Oil ... as needed

Method:



1. Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When they crackle, add the onion,
green chillies and saute for a minute until it becomes translucent. Let it cool.


2.Mix the onion, coriander & curry leaves, salt and baking powder to the batter.


3. Grease the ponganalu pan and spoon the batter into the holes. Place it on the gas.


4. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 & 1/2 to 2 minutes.


5.Open the lid and flip the ponganalu with a pointed spatula ( you get this with the pan) and cook the other side until done.






Serve with coconut chutney or groundnut chutney.

Click here to see the chutney & batter recipes :

Dosa Batter

Coconut Chutney

Groundnut Chutney


Monday, April 28, 2014

MAKHNI DAL - PURI


This is a traditional Sindhi breakfast. And yes we call this moong dal preparation as Makhni dal .It is served with puris.This is my childhood favourite.
This is how we make it:

Ingredients:
Yellow Moong dal ... 1 cup
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt ................ to taste
Oil ...... 1 tbsp

For garnishing or tadka take a little of each as per your liking..
Cumin powder..
Coriander powder
Red chilli powder
Black pepper
Amchoor powder or anardana powder
Garam masala powder
Oil .... 2-3 tbsps



Method:
1. Soak moong dal for at least one hour. Wash it well.
2. In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil and add dal. Saute for half a minute and add 2 cups water.
3. When dal comes to a boil remove the froth. Add turmeric and salt. Simmer to cook on low flame.
4. Keep stirring in between and add water if needed. The consistency has to be thick.
5. When it is done mash it. It takes about 20 -25 minutes to cook.. You may cook in the pressure cooker also. ( 2-3 whistles) But the texture is perfect when cooked in a pan.
6. Just before serving sprinkle all the masalas mentioned above and pour a little hot oil over the masalas.
(for kids you can serve plain or with just cumin powder and black pepper.



This is usually served with puris. But you can relish it with rotis also.(for lunch & dinner)


Puris :
To make puris, knead the dough adding salt and a little oil. Roll out the puris and fry them.

Tip: Do not dip in the flour while rolling the puris. Instead rub a little oil to the rolling pin and roll them out. This keeps the oil from turning black and remains clean.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

PHOOL KOPIR POSTO BAHAR ( Bengali Style Cauliflower with Poppy Seeds & Mustard Paste )


Cauliflower is known as kopir in Bengali language. Today's dish is a simple curry prepared in a traditional Bengali style using poppy seeds and mustard paste. This is for the potluck event hosted by Jagruti . This month I am paired with Sutapa and this recipe is from her blog - Sutapa's Indian Cuisine.


Ingredients:
Cauliflower ... 1 (medium sized)
Green peas ... 1/2 cup
Mustard paste ... 2 tsps ( Soak and grind)
Poppy seeds ... 4 tbsps (soak and grind)
Tomato ....... 1
Red chilli powder ... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Sugar ... 1-2 tsps
Oil .... 1/2 cup
Ghee / clarified butter .. 1 tsp


Method:
1. Cut the cauliflower into big florets. Boil them for one minute adding salt and turmeric.
2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the cauliflower florets to golden brown colour. Set aside.
3. In the same oil fry the chopped tomatoes, salt, sugar and chilli powder. Simmer to cook until the tomatoes are soft.
4. At this stage add the mustard paste and poppy seeds paste and cook until the masala starts leaving oil. Now add the ghee and garam masala.
5. Tip in the cauliflower, green peas and saute lightly taking care not to break the florets.
6. Add about half cup water. Simmer until done.



Serve with rotis or rice.

Linking to :
Potluck Party Event @ - Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey.




Monday, April 21, 2014

SWEET DATE & TAMARIND CHUTNEY


This is a sweet and tangy chutney made with dates and tamarind. It is served with almost all the Indian snacks and chaats.

Ingredients:
Dates .....            1/2 cup
Tamarind pulp .. 1/2 cup
Sugar / jaggery .. 1 tbsp
Salt ..................... 1 tsp ( you can also use rock salt )
Red chili powder .. 1/4 tsp
Dry ginger powder .. 1/2 tsp
Oil ................ 1-2 tbsps

Method:
1. Cut the dates and soak them in water for few hours. If the dates are fresh then you don't need to soak for long. Cook them for 4-5 minutes and let them cool.
2. Soak the tamarind and extract the pulp.
3. Grind the dates and tamarind to a smooth paste.
4. In a pan heat the oil and cook the mix for a minute or two adding the rest of the ingredients. The sugar or jaggery depends on your taste, how sweet you like your chutney.
5. Cool and refrigerate. This is a nice accompaniment with snacks like samosas, kachoris, chaats and dahi wadas / bhallas.

You can even freeze this if you like.




Sunday, April 20, 2014

DATE & NUT ROLLS



This sweet always will remind me of my friend Chandni. In Mumbai we used to go out for shopping together. She was buying all the ingredients to make date and nut laddoos. I found the recipe so simple and very healthy and tried out at home with a little variation. I made them into rolls. Chandni remarked that these looked more attractive than the laddoos.
Ingredients:
Dates ........ 200 gms.
Walnuts .... 1/4 cup
Almonds ... 1/4 cup
Pistachios.. 1/4 cup
Cashewnuts... 1/4 cup
Poppy seeds ... 2 tbsps.
Ghee (clarified butter) ... 1 tbsp.
Method:

1. Cut the nuts into pieces and dry roast them for 1-2 minutes on medium flame.

2. Dry roast the poppy seeds for half a minute.

3. Take a level spoonful of ghee in a non-sticky pan and add the chopped dates. Stir fry the dates crushing them with a wooden spatula on medium flame for 5-7 minutes until they become soft and pulpy.(if the dates are not fresh it may take a little more time)

4. Reduce the flame and add the nuts and mix them well.

5. Remove this into a plate and allow this mixture to cool a bit. Rub a little ghee to your palms and make a cylindrical shape.

6. Spread the poppy seeds on a flat surface and roll it in this.
7. Refrigerate it for one hour. Cut into round slices.
This is a very healthy and sugar-free sweet


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SPINACH SOUP WITH CHICKEN CAPELETTI


Here is a simple and healthy soup with a little twist... No oil or butter added to it .Like the Chinese soups have wontons, I have added the capeletti pasta with chicken filling. These are tiny stuffed pasta that look like little caps.. hence the name capeletti.  You get the vagetarian ones too. Tried this soup for the first time and I really liked it. Serve with soup sticks or garlic bread.

Ingredients:
Spinach / palak .... 1/2 bunch ( 2 cups chopped - I used frozen one 4 chunks)
Water .. 2-3 cups
Milk ............ 1/2 cup ( I used low fat )
Chicken capeletti .... 8-10  ( you get them ready in the stores)
Salt .... to taste
Black pepper ..  2 pinches - (freshly crushed )

Method:
1. Chop the spinach and blanch the leaves. Grind in a mixer adding 2 cups water. Strain and set aside.
2. Pour the strained spinach in a pan and bring to a boil.
3. Add the chicken capeletti and salt to taste.
4. Simmer until the pasta is done but not overcooked.
5. Add the milk and a pinch or two of freshly ground black pepper. You may also add the dry herbs if you like,

Note : Adjust the consistency of the soup as per your preference.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

AMARANTH LEAVES SABZI / CHAULI KI SABZI


Amaranth leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. We can include them in our diet in many ways like making sabzis, raitas or soups. You can add them to the dough and make rotis or just add a few leaves to any other curry or dal.

Ingredients:
Amaranth leaves ... 1 bunch (2 cups )
Chana dal .......... 1/4 cup (soaked)
Onion ............ 1
Tomato ......... 1
Green chillies .. 1-2
Ginger ... 1 tsp (grated)
Garlic .... 1 tsp (crushed)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp (optional)
Coriander powder .... 1/2 tsp
Salt .. to taste
Oil ... 2  tbsps

For Tempering:
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ..... 1 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 1-2
Curry leaves ..... few
Asafoetida ...... a pinch
Oil ........... 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan and saute the sliced onion for 1 minute.
2. Add the ginger, garlic, tomato and green chillies and stir until the tomato is cooked.
3. Now tip in the chopped amaranth leaves and the soaked chana dal.
4. Add the salt and the mentioned spice powders. 
5. Add 1 cup water and simmer to cook.
6. Check to see if chana dal is cooked. It should remain whole and not mushy. Add water if needed.
7. Now heat oil in a small pan and add the tempering ingredients.
8. Stir them into the cooked sabzi.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SAAWA CHAANWARA ( Sindhi Greens Pulao )


This is a simple pulao recipe which we call Saawa Chaanwara in Sindhi.. It is usually served with sai bhaji or methi patata.



Ingredients:
Rice ....  2 cups
Tomato .. 1
Ginger ... 1 tsp (grated)
Garlic ... 1 tbsp (crushed)
Green chillies .. 2-3 (slit)
Coriander leaves .. 1/2 cup
Methi leaves ....... 1/4 cup (or 1 tbsp dry kasoori methi )
Mint leaves ... few (optional)
Black cardamoms .... 1-2 (slit)
Cinnamon stick .. 1 inch piece
Cloves ..... 3-4
Green cardamoms .. 3-4 (slit)
Bay leaves .... 1-2
Shah jeera / caraway seeds ... 1 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Oil ...



Method:
1. Wash the rice and soak for 30 minutes.
2. In a pan heat 2-3 tbsps of oil and add the mentioned whole spices except caraway seeds (shah jeera)
3. When they give out aroma add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute.
4. Now tip in the greens and the chopped tomato. Add salt, turmeric and chilli powder.
5. When the tomato is cooked, add the rice and saute for a minute.
6. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the rice until done.
8. Heat a little oil or ghee in a small pan. Spread the caraway seeds on the cooked rice and pour the hot oil over them.
9. Place the pan on a hot tawa / griddle for dum.

Note : You can also a few leaves of any greens available at home.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

KURKURI BHINDI


Crispy and crunchy fried bhindi is a perfect accompaniment to dal chawal  and pulaos.

Ingredients:
Bhindi / ladys fingers ..... 200 gms
Besan / gram flour ........ 2 tbsps
Rice flour ..................... 1 tbsp
Salt .................... to taste
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp
Turmeric ............. 1/4 tsp
Amchoor powder.. 1/4 tsp ( add more if you like )
Chat masala ..... 1 tsp ( to sprinkle on top )
Oil .......... to fry



Method:



1. Wash the bhindi well and wipe them with a kitchen towel.







2. Chop off the edges and cut the bhindis into thin long strips.







3. Sprinkle all the ingredients except chat masala on them.







4. Stir them well to coat evenly.







5. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the bhindi strips to a crunchy golden colour. Drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle the chat masala on top.







Saturday, April 5, 2014

PAV BHAJI ( Juhu Beach Style )


Pav bhaji is a popular street food of Mumbai. Unlike other street foods which are mostly fried, this is a healthier option as it has all the vegetables and is made with butter.


Ingredients:
Carrots ..... 1
Potato ...... 1
Cauliflower... 3-4 florets
Green peas ... handful
Green beans ... 7-8
You may add even other vegetables of your choice.
Tomato puree ..... 1 cup ( 200 gms. pack )
Onion .............. 1 + 1
Lime ................ 1
Coriander ...... to garnish
Oil ................ 2 tbsps.
Butter ......... 3-4 tbsps.
Salt ............. to taste
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp. ( or more )
Pav bhaji masala ...... 1 tbsp.
Tomato ketchup ... 1 tbsp.
Pav Bread



Method:
1. Wash and cut all the vegetables into very small pieces. Boil them adding salt. Strain and set aside.
2. Cut the onion finely.
3. In a pan heat the oil and saute the onion until pink in colour.
4. Now add the puree ( you may also use the home made puree from blanched tomatoes) and all the vegetables along with the spice powders. Stir well and keep mashing the veggies. Check the salt and add the tomato ketchup.
Spoon a little bit of butter on the hot bhaji.
5. Slice the pav bread, apply butter and toast it on a griddle.
6. Serve hot with the prepared bhaji and finely chopped onions and lime juice.



Thursday, April 3, 2014

CARROT & TOMATO SOUP


This is a very simple and healthy soup with no cream or thickener added to it. Just salt, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper and dry herbs bring out the flavour. I have served it with healthy quinoa sticks bought from a store.

Ingredients:
Carrots ...    1 big or 2 small
Tomatoes ... 2  or 3 (depending on the size)
Salt .. to taste
Dry herbs like oregano and basil
Crushed black pepper

Method:
1. Clean and scrape the carrot and cut onto pieces.
2. Wash the tomatoes and cut them.
3. Pressure cook them with 2-3 cups of water. You can also cook simmering them in a pan... it takes longer.
4. Blend them using a hand blender or in a mixie.
5. Strain the soup adding a little water.
6. Bring it to a boil and add salt and dry herbs. Keep the consistency according to your preference.
7. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

KANKA JI SOOJI JO SEERO ( Wheat Semolina Sheera )


Sheera is usually prepared on festive occasions as an offering ( Prashad / Bhog ) to God. It can be prepared with various ingredients like flour, semolina, besan etc etc.. Today's recipe is made with thick wheat semolina.or sooji. The consistency of this semolina is thicker and it takes a little longer to cook. I have used jaggery to sweeten as I like it better, but you can also use sugar. It tastes better when made with desi ghee. If you feel it might be heavy you can use half ghee and half oil.



Ingredients:
Wheat semolina - 1 cup ( yield is 3-4 cups after cooking )
Jaggery or sugar .. 1 cup 
Green cardamoms . 5-6
Saffron ..... few strands
Ghee or oil .........3-4  tbsps 
Salt ...... 1/8 tsp ( 2 pinches)
Almonds and pistachios ... few chopped


Method:
1. Melt the jaggery / sugar in 2 cups water. Remove the dirt and strain it. 
2. In a pan heat ghee and tip in the slit cardamoms.
3. Add the semolina and saute with a spatula until golden brown.
4. Add  one cup water and simmer it to cook. Add a pinch of salt.
5. When it is half done add the strained jaggery or sugar syrup and saffron. Cook on low flame stirring from time to time until the semolina is cooked. 
6. Towards the end place the pan on a tawa for dum. If you wish you can add a little more ghee at this stage.
Garnish with chopped almonds and pistachios.

Note: If you like a softer consistency of sheera you can add more water.The above quantity makes a grainy consistency.Also note that the sheera becomes drier after a few hours as the wheat grains absorb the moisture. The quantity of sugar / jaggery can also be adjusted according to your preference.


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