Sunday, August 31, 2014

HARIYALI ALOO


This simple aloo sabzi with the flavours and nutrition of all the greens ...
Tastes awesome.. Give it a try !

Ingredients:
Potatoes ... 5-6
Spinach .... 1/2 bunch (1cup)
Coriander leaves ... 1/2 cup
Mint leaves ....... handful
Kasoori methi ... 1 tbsp
Green chillies .. 1-2
Garlic ... 1 tsp
Ginger ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ..... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Oil

Method:
1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into thick slices. Put them in salt water.
2. Heat oil and fry the potatoes until almost done. Remove and set aside.
3. In a pan heat a little oil and add the cumin seeds.
4. When they crackle, add the ginger garlic and saute.
5. Now add the green chillies and greens. Stir fry adding salt and spice powders.
6. Now tip in the fried potato slices and stir.
7 Simmer for half a minute.
Serve with rotis / puris.

ZUCCHINI AND STRAWBERRY PANCAKES ( Sweet Version )


These make a very healthy breakfast and definitely a treat for kids. You can reduce the sugar quantity and pour honey or maple syrup on them before serving.

Ingredients:
Flour .. 1 cup
Zucchini .. 1/4 cup (grated)
Strawberries . 1/4 cup (chopped finely)
Eggs ...... 1
Baking powder .. 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon powder . 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder ... a pinch
Milk ..... as needed
Sugar ..... 4-5 tbsps ( as sweet as you like )
Oil ...  as needed to make the pancakes



Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil. Make a smooth and thick batter adding sufficient milk.
2. Spread with a ladle on a pan and make the pancakes spooning a little oil.


Linking to :


Dish Name Starting with Z @ Learning How to Cook



Saturday, August 30, 2014

ZUCCHINI RICE


Preparing rice with grated vegetables is a nice way to make your kids / spouse eat them without noticing them specially when they don't like some veggies and are picky about them.

Ingredients:
Rice .. 1 cup
Zucchini .. 1 cup (grated)
Garlic ... 1 tsp (optional)
Green chillies ... 1-2 (slit)
Green cardamoms .. 2-3
Cloves ......... 2-3
Bay leaves ... 1
Cinnamon stick ... 1 small piece
Turmeric powder .. 1/8 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Oil ... 2-3 tbsps



Method:
1. Heat the oil and add the whole spices.
2. When they give out a nice aroma add the garlic and green chillies. Tip in the zucchini and saute a bit.
3. Now add the soaked rice, turmeric and salt. Stir fry for a minute.
4. Add 2 cups of water and if you want it a little softer consistency add half cup more.
5. Cook on medium flame and when it is almost done leave it on dum. (low flame).

For variation you can add kasoori methi or coriander leaves.



Friday, August 29, 2014

ZUCCHINI ROTIS / THEPLAS


Delicious zucchini rotis / theplas .. enjoy them with any sabzi or just curd and pickle...

Ingredients :
Wheat flour .. 3 cups or as needed
Zucchini ..... 2 cups (peeled and grated)Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Green chillies .. 1-2 (chopped finely)
Kasoori methi ... 1 tbsp (you can use fresh methi too )
Ajwain ..... 1 tsp
Salt ... to taste 
Curd ... about 1 cup or as needed
Oil or ghee 


Method:
1. Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the grated zucchini for a minute until the water dries up. Mix the salt, turmeric powder, green chillies and kasoori methi.
2. Take flour in a large bowl and add the zucchini, 1 tbsp oil and ajwain. 
3. Knead it using the curd and a little water if needed. 
4. Make rotis brushing a little oil or ghee on them.

Note: Knead the dough just before making them as zucchini leaves water and the dough may become soft and difficult to handle.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

ZUCCHINI PANCAKES ( Savoury Version )


Healthy and easy option for breakfast. These pancakes are quite filling too.


Ingredients:
Flour ... 1 cup
Zucchini ... 1 (peeled and grated about 1 cup)
Onion ... 1 small (finely chopped about 1/4 cup)
Corn .... 1/3 cup
Dry mint leaves ... 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves .. handful
Eggs ... 2
Baking powder .. a small pinch
Salt ... to taste
Cumin powder ... 1/2 tsp
Oil ... as needed



Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients adding water as needed to make a thick batter.
2. Heat a non stick pan / griddle and pour a ladle full of batter to make a small thick pancake.
3. Spoon a little oil and fry both sides until done.
4. Serve hot with ketchup or chilli sauce.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

OATS & ALOO PURIS


I try adding oats to my soups, cutlets as they are so healthy. In this recipe I have added them while kneading the dough along with the mashed potato. The puris were nice and crispy.

Ingredients:
Wheat flour ..... 2 cups
Potatoes .......... 2 small
Oats ................ 4-5 tbsps.
Green chillies .... 2 crushed
Coriander ......... handful (finely chopped)
Cumin seeds .... 1 tbsp.
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp.
Amchoor powder ... 1/2 tsp.
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp. (optional)
Salt ................ to taste
Oil

Method:
1. Boil the potatoes and mash them.
2. Roast 2 tbsps. of oats with 1 tsp oil.

3. Knead the dough adding the mashed potatoes, roasted oats, green chillies, cumin seeds, coriander leaves, turmeric powder, 1 tbsp oil, amchoor powder and salt.

4. Roll out puris dipping in oats instead of flour. Make the dough little soft so that the oats stick to the puris while rolling them.

5. Deep fry the puris. They turn out crispy and crunchy with oats.
Serve them hot with curd or pickle.




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.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ZA'ATAR PUFFS


I had some left over puff pastry sheets.. made these  simple tangy rolls using za'atar spice powder and sliced olives for the stuffing. These easy to make puffs / rolls are good to serve as a cocktail snack in the parties.


Ingredients:
Puff Pastry sheets .. as needed
Olives ..... thinly sliced - as needed.
Zaatar spice mix .. You can get it in the Middle Eastern grocery stores or  make it at home.
See the Za'atar recipe  HERE 




Method:
1. Cut out the puff pastry sheets into small rectangled pieces.
2. Sprinkle the za'atar spice powder over them.
3. Arrange the olive slices.
4. Roll them and place on a greased baking tray.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven until crisp. ( about 10 - 12 minutes )

 Note: You can even make folded puffs in any shape you like. The baking time will vary accordingly and also depending on the size of the oven.




1 MINUTE MICROWAVE MUG CAKE ( Eggless Recipe)


This cake recipe is such a blessing when you have some unexpected guests and want to make quick dessert. You can divide the quantity into 2 microwave safe serving bowls instead of a mug so that you can serve a bowl each for everyone individually.

Ingredients:
Flour .... 2 tbsps
Sugar .... 1 tbsp
Baking powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt .... a pinch
Chocolate chips .. 2 tbsps ( you can add 1 tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp chocolate chips if you like a chocolate flavoured cake)
Jam .... 1 tbsp. ( I added apple jam )
Milk .... 2 tbsps
Oil ..... 1 and 1/2 tbsps


Method:
1. In a microwave safe mug mix all the dry ingredients with a spoon.
2. Add all the wet ingredients and mix well with a spoon or a small whisk until there are no lumps.
3. The cake will be double the size after baking so use a right size mug filling it half.
4..Place it in a microwave for 1 minute.
5. Remove and let it cool.

Note: depending on the type and the size of the microwave the time may vary by 5-10 seconds.You can bake it for 10 seconds more.


Monday, August 25, 2014

JEERA PANEER RICE


This is a simple preparation of rice with paneer, flavoured with jeera and whole spices. It tastes really good with all the Shahi side dishes. This is a perfect party dish.

Ingredients:
Rice  .........  1 cup
Paneer ..... 1/4 cup (cut into tiny cubes)
Cumin seeds or caraway seeds ... 1 tsp
Cinnamon .... 1 inch piece
Black cardamom .... 1
Green cardamoms ... 2-3
Bay leaf ....... 1-2
Salt .... to taste
Oil / ghee .. 1 tbsp or as needed.

Method:
1. Wash the rice and soak for 1 hour.
2. Fry the paneer pieces to a light golden colour. Set aside.
3. In a pan heat oil or ghee and add the whole spices except cumin / caraway seeds.
4. When they give out an aroma add the rice and saute. Add 2 cups water.
5. Season with salt and cook until 3/4 th done.
6. Tip in the fried paneer pieces.T
7. Heat a little ghee. Sprinkle the cumin / caraway seeds on the rice and pour hot ghee over them.
8. Keep on dum for a minute.

SEVAIYAN AUR SABUDANA KI KHEER



Kheer with a comination of sevaiyyan (thin vermicelli) and sabudana (sago). I have made this kheer with milk powder but you can use the normal full cream milk too.


Ingredients:
Milk powder .. 1 cup
Water ..... 4 cups
Sabudana .. handful (soaked)
Thin vermicelli .. 3/4 cup
Sugar ... 1/2 cup or little more  (as per your liking )
Saffron
Salt .. a pinch
Cardamom powder .. 1/4 tsp
Chopped nuts ( unsalted pistachios and almonds)
Ghee .. 1 tbsp





Method:
1. Mix the milk powder and water. Bring it to boil and simmer.Keep stirring it until it reduces.
2. Break the vermicelli and lightly fry it with a spoonful of ghee.
3. Add the saffron and cardamom powder to the milk and tip in the soaked sabudana first.
4. Stir it and cook until the sabudana is done.
5. Now add the sugar and a pinch of salt and stir to mix.
6. Finally add the vermicelli and cook for one or two boils. Since the vermicelli is fine it gets cooked fast. If you are using the thicker variety cook a little more.
7. Garnish with chopped nuts before serving.
You can serve it warm or chilled. You can also add some chopped nuts while cooking if you prefer.




MACARONI UPMA / TADKA MACARONI


Pasta is such a versatile dish which can be created with a twist in any way to suit your palate and taste buds. I try it out  in so many different ways each time. Today I have made it with South Indian tadka.. upma style.

Ingredients:
Macaroni ... 1 cup
Onion ...... 1 ( about half cup  finely chopped)
Green chillies ... 1-2
Coriander leaves .. handful
Salt .. to taste
Turmeric powder .. 1/8 tsp

For Tempering:
Asafoetida .. a pinch
Mustard seeds .. 1 tsp
Cumin seeds .... 1 tsp
Curry leaves ... few
Oil ... 2-3 tbsps

Method:



1. Take 3-4 cups of water in a pan. When it starts boiling add salt and 1 tbsp oil to it.
2. Tip in the macaroni and after 2-3 boils switch off the gas and cover the lid.
3. After 12 - 15 minutes open the lid and the macaroni will be puffed up and ready for use. Drain the excess water using a strainer.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.
5. When they crackle, add the onion, green chillies, turmeric and little salt. Saute.
6. When it is translucent, add the macaroni and mix
7. Add the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot immediately. You can serve it with garlic bread.

Note: You can go ahead and add anything as per your taste, more chillies, ginger, garlic, spices, a squeeze of lime juice.... anything.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

DAHI VADAS


Perfect dish for summer ! ..

Ingredients:
Urad dal .... 1 cup (soak for few hours )
Yogurt ...... 2 cups or more if needed
Raisins ..... handful
Baking powder ... 1/8 tsp
Salt ......... to taste
Sugar .... little to add in the yogurt.
Oil ..... to fry
Roasted and ground cumin powder and red chilli powder (for garnishing)
Sweet Date and tamarind chutney (for garnishing)

Method:
1. Wash and soak the urad dal for a few hours.
2. Grind to a thick batter adding very little water.
3. Mix the raisins, salt and baking powder to the batter just before frying.( the salt leaves water and it will make the batter watery)
4. Heat oil in a kadai / frying pan and fry the vadas.
5. Drop them into water for soaking.
6. Churn the yogurt adding salt to taste and sugar to balance it.
7. Squeeze out the water carefully with light hands and put them into yogurt and let them soak again.
8. When you are ready to serve add some more churned yogurt if needed. Garnish with cumin and chilli powders and sweet chutney.  



Saturday, August 23, 2014

MINI CHAKLIS


Chakli is an irresistible snack which you can never stop munching. Ideal for party knick-knacks too. I made mini chaklis for my party and they were super hit. I am sure kids would love these mini chaklis for snacking in their lunch box.


Ingredients:
Flour / maida --- 1 & 1/2 cups
Rice flour ...... 1/4 cup
Besan / gram flour .. 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds ... 3 tbsps
Crushed cumin seeds .. 1 tbsp (or use 1 tsp ajwain )
Salt ... to taste
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp or more if you like.
Ghee or butter ... 1 tbsp
Oil ... for frying


                                                            Chakli Mould




Method:
1. Mix the 3 flours, salt, cumin seeds and red chilli powder.
2. Tie them in a muslin cloth ( before kneading) and steam in a double boiler for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the cloth into a large bowl. Crumble with your hands well until it resembles bread crumbs.
4. Now mix the melted butter or ghee and  knead adding water carefully to a soft and pliable dough. ( it takes about one and quarter cups of water )
5. Pour oil for frying into a broad frying pan.
6. Grease the chakli mould and put a lump of flour into it.
7. Spread a plastic / foil sheet and make chaklis on them until the oil is heated.
8. Drop the chaklis one by one into the frying pan. Keep the heat high first and then reduce it.
9. Fry them to a nice golden brown colour until they are crisp.
10. Drain them on a kitchen paper. Store them in a dry container once they are cooled.





Friday, August 22, 2014

GUJARATI KADHI



Ingredients:
Sour curds ....... 1 - 1 & 1/2 cups.
Gram flour (besan)... 1 tbsp.
Water ............ 4 cups
Ginger ........... 1 tsp. (crushed)
Green chillies .... 1 tsp (crushed)
Fenugreek seeds .... 1 tsp.
Cumin seeds ........... 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder .... 1/4 tsp.
Jaggery ............... a small piece... or (1 tsp sugar)
Asafoetida ........... a pinch
Cloves .................. 2-3
Cinnamon stick ... a small piece.
Salt ..................... to taste
Curry leaves ........ 1 sprig
Coriander leaves ... handful.
Oil

Method:
1. Blend the curd with water and gram flour.

2. In a pan heat some oil and add the fenugreek and cumin seeds.When they crackle add the crushed ginger, curry leaves, green chillies, cloves, cinnamon and asafoetida.
3. Now pour the curd mixture into it and add salt, turmeric powder and jaggery.

4. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quantity is reduced to 3 cups.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with plain rice.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

VEGETABLE AU GRATIN / BAKED VEGETABLES



Vegetable Au Gratin is an Italian dish made with vegetables baked in Bechamel Sauce, commonly known as White Sauce. This is not a spicy dish and perfect for kids. You can make many variations of this dish by replacing the vegetables with Corn, mushrooms, chicken, pasta, spinach etc etc... The white sauce is made with butter, flour and milk and tempered with black pepper. Today I have tried making it with olive oil for the first time and the taste was very much the same. You may use butter instead. This dish is complete meal by itself.


Ingredients:
Potato .... 1 small
Green beans .. 1/4 cup
Carrots ......... 1/4 cup
capsicum ..... 1/4 cup
Broccoli ...... 1/4 cup
Corn ........... 1/4 cup
(All the vegetables to be cut into small pieces and boiled adding a little salt until half cooked)
Cheese .. 1/2 cup grated to spread on top before baking.
Olive oil / butter .. 1-2 tbsps
Italian spice / basil / oregano - 1 tsp

To make Bechamel Sauce / White Sauce
White flour .... 1 tbsp
Olive Oil / butter .. 1 tbsp
Milk ............... 1 & 1/2  TO 2 cups
Cheese ......... 1 tbsp (optional)
Black pepper .... 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder .. a pinch (optional)
Salt ............. to taste

1. Heat oil / butter and add the flour. Fry on medium flame for half a minute taking care not to make it brown.
2. Pour the milk and continue whisking to avoid the lumps. Cook until it becomes thick and add the rest of the tempering ingredients.
3. Grease the casserole dish and layer the vegetables and sauce.
4. Spread the grated cheese and drizzle some oil or melted butter. Some people add bread crumbs also, you may add if you like.
5. Sprinkle some Italian spice / basil / oregano

6. Bake in a pre-heated oven until the cheese gets a nice golden colour.
It takes about 20 minutes.
.
Note: Time may vary a little depending on the size and type of the oven.


ZUCCHINI BOATS



This zucchini preparation is definitely a party dish.. You can serve it with or without the gravy. The dry version can go well with rotis / phulkas..whereas the curry can be served with rice / pulaos



Ingredients:
Zucchinis .. 3 (or as needed) - select slightly curved ones.
Onion ... 1 small (finely chopped)
Green chillies ... 1-2
Kasoori methi .. 1 tbsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp
Tomato puree .. 4 tbsps
Thick coconut milk ... 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds .. 1 tsp
Garlic paste .. 1 tsp
Salt ... to tatse
Oil ... 3 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. to garnish
Red pepper strips .. for garnishing (to make oars)


Method:
1. Wash the zucchinis well and wipe with a kitchen towel.
2. Cut a long and curved strip on top of each zucchini.
3. Scoop out the inside portion with the help of a knife. Do not throw this. Chop it very finely and keep it aside for the filling.
4. Now mix together the finely chopped onion, scooped out zucchini portion (chopped very finely), kasoori methi, green chillies, salt and the spice powders.
5. Fill the zucchini boats with this mix. Use as much is required and save the rest to add in the gravy.
6. Place them in a greased baking tray and bake in the oven until the zucchini is done. It takes about 40-45  minutes. Towards the end use the top grill for 5-7 minutes until the colour is brown. ( now this can be served as a side dish with rotis )


For the gravy:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
2. When they crackle, add the garlic paste and saute.
3. Now add the left over chopped vegetable filling and stir fry.
4. Add the tomato puree, little salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil.
5. Finally add the coconut milk and stir to mix.
6. Pour the gravy in a shallow serving dish and place the grilled zucchini boats.
7. Garnish and serve.

Note: If you like to peel the skin of zucchini you can do so.. The baking time will be less.




EASTER BUNNY BREAD ROLLS


Recently I saw the picture of these Easter Bunny Bread Rolls .. perfect for the season... I thought I'll give it a try. Aren't they cute ???

Ingredients for the dough:

Maida/white flour ........... 2 cups
Fresh yeast ... 1 cube (if using dry yeast-1 tablespoon)
Salt ............ 1 tsp.
Sugar ......... 2 tsp.
Ghee/butter .......... 1 tsp.
Luke warm water for kneading.( you may use milk + water )


Method:
1. Take the flour, make a well in the middle. Put only the sugar and crumble the yeast on top of the sugar.
2. Sprinkle the salt on the side (there should be no contact between the yeast and the salt)
3. Knead the dough using the luke warm water.Add the ghee and knead it well for 2-3 minutes.
4. Cover it and leave it in a warm place till it is risen to double.
(about 15-20 mins. in summer....in winter it takes a little longer)
5. Knead the dough again and make buns.
6. Using scissors give a snip on two sides to make the ears.
7. Pierce with a straw for eyes.
8. Leave them for 5 minutes to rise.
9. Bake them in a pre-heated oven on medium temperature (200 degrees) for
8-10 minutes or until done.

Note: The temperature may vary a few minutes depending on the size and type of the oven.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

THANDAI / THAADAL


Thandai ( Thaadal in Sindhi ) is a very refreshing drink made with almonds, poppy seeds, cardamoms, rose petals  and many other ingredients which are soaked overnight and ground adding water and milk the next day. It is then strained and taken chilled.. Traditionally in olden days we had special thick earthen containers with rough surface ( like sand paper ) and a heavy wooden pestle to grind this ( just like a pestle and mortar) In Sindhi we call it " Dando - Kundo."  (see the image at the end of the post)
I have memories from my childhood helping my mom and grandma in doing this and it required a lot of time and patience. In my moms place we never added milk but added more almonds to get the richness. This drink is specially made in summers and on the festivals of Maha Shivratri &  Holi.


Ingredients:
Almonds .. 12 - 15
Pistachios .. 10 (optional ) Not in the recipe but I add them.
Green cardamoms .. 6-7
Musk Melon seeds .. 1 tbsp (peeled)
Poppy seeds (khus khus) ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds .. 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) . 1 tsp
Black pepper corns .. 1 tsp
Saffron .... few strands
Rose petals .. handful (use desi pink rose with fragrance. If you don't have you may use a tsp of rose syrup or a drop of rose essence)
Sugar .... 1/4 cup (or as you like it)
Milk ... 1 cup (can add more if you like)
Water .. as needed for grinding, straining and diluting)



The colour of the soaked ingredients is due to the saffron. If you want to keep it white then don't add it while soaking.Just add to the drink after it is ready just for flavour and garnishing.

Method:
1. Soak all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (except milk and sugar) with enough water to cover them.
2. Grind them in a mixer adding water. Strain in a jar using a muslin cloth or a strainer.
3. After straining you may grind the residue second time adding more water to extract everything properly.
4. Now add the sugar and the required quantity of milk ( and water if needed) and mix well with a spoon. Alternately you may also add the sugar while grinding.
5. The consistency of the drink depends on your liking and preference.
Refrigerate and serve it chilled or add some ice cubes.
This quantity should make about 8-10 glasses.



Note: You can grind the ingredients with water and store in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. Add milk and more water before serving as shown in the above picture.



You can see the Sindhi Dando Kundo that was  used for grinding Thaadal in this picture above.
Dando Kundo Image Source - Google.