Monday, July 18, 2016

SHAHI APPLE KOFTA CURRY


Sometimes it is fun to cook with fruits and I have tried out some recipes with apples. Here is a unique apple kofta curry in rich gravy made with onion and cashew nut paste. If you are making it for a party you can even stuff the koftas with some chopped dry fruits.

Ingredients:
Apples ....  1
Potatoes ... 1 large
Corn kernels .... ¼ cup
Bread crumbs ... 4-5 tbsps
Salt ............. to taste
Onions ......  cup sliced
Green chillies .... 1
Cashewnuts ........ ½ cup (soaked )
Cream ............. 4-5 tbsps
Turmeric powder ... a pinch (optional)
Cumin powder ..... 1 tsp
Garam masala ..... ½ tsp
Oil

Method:
1.       Boil the potato and mash it.
2.       Boil the corn kernels with a little salt. Mash or grind it coarsely.
3.       Peel and grate the apple.
4.       Mix the grated apple with mashed potato, boiled and crushed corn.
5.       Add salt, 2 tbsps of bread crumbs and cumin powder. Mash it together and make lemon sized balls.
6.       Coat them with the bread crumbs and deep fry.
7.       Boil the sliced onions with one cup water and add the green chilli. When the onion is cooked grind it to a paste adding the soaked cashew nuts and little water as needed.
8.       In a pan add a little oil and sauté the ground paste.
9.       Add salt and one cup water and cream. Add the garam masala and boil just for half a minute. The consistency of the gravy can be as per your liking.
10.   Just before serving place the koftas in a flat serving dish and spoon the hot gravy on top.
11.   You can garnish with chopped dry fruits and cream if you like.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

CHINA GRASS PUDDING / AGAR AGAR PUDDING


China grass or agar agar pudding is a very popular dessert in Sindhi homes probably because it tastes so much like Colostrum pudding. After giving birth to a calf the milk which is produced by the cow or buffalo is known as colostrum milk. This is very nutritious and you can make puddings with this by steaming it after adding any kind of flavours you like. Generally we add cardamoms and saffron. Getting this milk is not very easy so the best substitute is agar agar which comes in granule form and also dry weed like substance which is cut, soaked in water and then cooked with milk to give the firm texture to the pudding.


Ingredients:
Milk ... 1 litre
Agar agar ... 15 gms (about 2 cups after cutting into pieces)
Sugar ......... 1/4 cup (adjust as per your liking)
Cardamoms ... 3-4
Saffron ..... 2 pinches
Pistachios ... few . crushed for garnishing.


Method:
1. Cut the china grass into small pieces and soak it in a bowl with one cup water for at least one hour.
2. Boil the milk adding cardamoms and saffron.
3. Now add the soaked china grass and continue stirring on low flame until it melts completely.
4. Finally add the sugar and simmer for a minute.
5. Pour it in a flat serving dish sprinkle the crushed pistachio powder.
6. Allow it to cool and then you can refrigerate it until it sets.
7. Cut it into cubes and serve or you can even set it in small individual bowls.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

KHICHDI - KHANDVI FUSION / GUJARATI FUSION


A warm bowl of khichdi is what you crave for on a rainy day. I have tried creating a Gujarati fusion dish with khichdi and khandvi stuffed with spicy oats masala paste.


Ingredients for  Khandvi:
Besan (Gram Flour)……1 cup
Buttermilk………………….2 cups (Whip SOUR yogurt with water and make it into thin consistency)
Ginger………………….1” piece
Green Chillies…………. 3-4
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder……….1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds………….1-2 tsps,
Asafoetida ..... a pinch
Coriander Leaves………for garnishing
Coconut (grated)………..for garnishinglli powder .. 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder .... 1/2 tsp

Method:
1. Grind ginger & green chillies to a fine paste.
2. Whisk besan with buttermilk, salt, turmeric powder, ginger-green chillies paste. There should be no lumps.
3. Transfer onto a thick bottomed pan, cook on medium flame (without adding oil) stirring continuously till it thickens. Remove from fire and the next step has to be done very quickly before the mixture hardens beyond spreading.
4. Pour the mixture on a clean, flat kitchen top surface or the back of a thali. Now, quickly spread into very thin layer (This should be done immediately after removing the pan from fire or else the mixture will harden.)
5. The spread mixture sets immediately in about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile make the stuffing:
Ground oats .. 1/4 cup
Yogurt .... 2 tbsps
Salt .... to taste
turmeric powder .. 1pinch
Red chithi powder .. 2 pinches
Finely chopped fresh coriander.. 2 tbsps
Oil ..... 2 tbsps

Method:
1.Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute the oats powder.
2. Add the whisked yogurt and a little water. Stir with a spatula quickly to avoid lumps.
3. Add the mentioned spices, salt and coriander leaves.
4. Remove when it is thicker (spreading consistency)

To assemble Khandvi:
1.Take the plate in which you spread the khandvi mix. 
2. Spread the prepared stuffing with the help of a spatula evenly.
3. Mark 2 or 3 inch strips as desired. Roll each strip carefully.Set aside.

To make Khichdi:
Mix dals ... 1/2 cup (I used green split moong and toor)
Rice ....... 1/4 cup
Oats ....... 3/4 cup
Grated ginger .. 1 tsp
Green chillies .... 1-2
Cinnamon stick ... 1 inch piece
Cloves ............ 4-5
Asafoetida.... 1 generous pinch
cumin seeds .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/8 tsp
Salt ............ to taste
Water ......... 3 cups
Oil or desi ghee ... 2 tbsps (or use half and half)


Method:
1. Soak dals together and boil them with a little salt.
2. In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. 
3. When they crackle tip in the whole spices.
4. When they give out an aroma, add the oats and saute.
5. Now add the soaked rice, boiled dals, salt, green chillies and grated ginger.
6. Add 3 cups water and close the lid. Cook for 3 whistles and switch off the gas. Let it cool for 5 minutes before opening the cooker.

To assemble the Gujarati Fusion Bowl :
1.Spoon out the khichdi in a bowl.
 2.Arrange the stuffed khandvis on the top. 
3. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, grated coconut and some mustard tempering.




Monday, July 11, 2016

APPLE RASAM


Rasam can be classified as a South Indian soup.. It is usually served with plain rice but you can just relish a bowlful of hot rasam specially on a rainy day. In South Indian homes it is made every day with a different flavours like garlic, shallots, ginger, tomato, pineapple etc etc.... Today I have tried out with apple.The taste is really unique. 


Ingredients:
Cooked toor dal ... 2-3 tbsps
Apple  .............  1 (peel and cut into small pieces)
Rasam powder .... 1 tsp
Tomatoes ............. 1
Coriander leaves .. 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt ............. to taste
Sugar ......... 1/2 tsp or a small piece of jaggery (optional)
Tamarind .. soak lemon sized piece in a small bowl of water

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

Method:
1. Peel and cut the apple into small pieces. Cook about 1/4 cup of it along with toor dal. 
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.
3. When they crackle, add the crushed garlic and saute until it is fried.
4. Now add the tamarind water and the toor dal cooked with apple.
5. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and handful of apple pieces.
6. Season with salt, sugar, rasam powder and turmeric powder.
7. Allow the rasam to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
8. Add the coriander leaves. and remove from the gas.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

APPLE PAKORA CHAAT


I was participating in some event where we had to try out innovative recipes with apples. I tried out this pakora chaat with thin apple roundels. It was so delicious. I am definitely  going to make and serve this in my next party.

Ingredients:
Apple ............ 1
Besan/gram flour .... ½ cup
Red chilli powder .... 2 pinches
Cumin powder ....... ¼ tsp
Baking soda .......... 1 pinch
Ajwain/carom seeds ... 1/8 tsp
Salt ............... to taste
Chaat masala .... ½ tsp
Yogurt ............... ½ cup
Boiled potato ... 1 (cut into small pieces)
Sev ................ 2-3 tbsps
Onions ........... 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves .. for garnishing
Sweet tamarind chutney .... 2-3 tbsps
Mint and coriander chutney ... 2-3 tbsps
Oil .... to fry the pakoras


Method:
1.       Wash and wipe the apple. Cut into thin roundels. Sprinkle a little salt, red chilli powder and cumin powder.
2.       Mix the gram flour to a thick batter adding as much water as needed,  little salt, a pinch of baking soda and ajwain.
3.       Heat oil in a pan. Dip the apple slices in the batter and deep fry them. Drain them on a kitchen tissue.
4.       Whisk the yogurt with little salt.
5.       Place the fried apple pakoras on a serving platter. Place the boiled potato pieves on them and spoon the yogurt, sweet chutney and mint chutney.
6.       Sprinkle the chaat masala powder and red chilli powder if you like it.. Garnish with sev and coriander leaves.
7.       Serve immediately.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

VAZHAI THANDU KOOTU / BANANA STEM CURRY WITH LENTILS AND COCONUT


Vazhaithandu or banana stem has lot of health benefits. In South India a variety of dishes are prepared using this part of the plant. Kootu is a preparation of vazhaithandu with dal. You may use any dal you like following the same method. This goes well with plain rice and some stir fry.


Ingredients:
Banana stem ... 1 cup
 Toor dal ......... ½ cup
 Tamarind .... lemon sized ball
Grated coconut ..... ¼ cup
Dry red chillies ..... 2
Coriander seeds ... 1 tsp
 Cumin seeds .... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ... ¼ tsp
Salt ................ to taste

 For Tempering: 
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ...... 1 pinch
Dry red chillies .... 1 (broken)
Curry leaves ....... 1 sprig
Oil .................... 2 tbsps


 Method:
 1. Cook toor dal in a pressure cooker with little salt and turmeric powder.
 2. Cut the banana stem removing the fibres and soak it in buttermilk until you cook.
3. Boil the chopped banana stem adding a little salt and turmeric powder until done. You can also pressure cook it .
4. Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and grated coconut. Grind it adding sufficient water.
5. Now heat a little oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.
6. When they crackle, tip in the ground masala paste and sauté for a minute.
 7. Add the boiled banana stem and dal. Check the salt and add if needed.
 8. In a small pan heat oil and add the tempering ingredients. When they crackle, stir them in the prepared curry.

How to cut the banana stem :

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

APPLE PICKLE / APPLE KA ACHAR


Tried out this sweet sour and spicy pickle with apples today. It is really very delicious. If you want to serve it instantly just simmer for little more time sprinkling water as needed.

 Ingredients: 
Apples ..... 2 or as or as needed)
Saunf / fennel seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds .............. 1 tsp
Mustard seeds ........... 1 tsp
Kalonji / onion seeds ... 1/2 tsp
 Methi / fenugreek seeds .. 1/2 tsp
 Dry red chillies ........... 2-3
Turmeric powder ..... 1/4 tsp
 Crushed jaggery ....... 1 tsp
Vinegar .................. 1 tbsps
 Salt ........... to taste
Oil ....... 2 - 3 tbsps


 Method:
 1. Wash the apples well and wipe them with a kitchen cloth.
 2. Cut them into small cubes or desired size pieces.
 3. Now dry roast lightly all the spices mentioned in the list and grind them coarsely.
 4. Heat oil in a pan. Reduce the heat and add the jaggery and vinegar.
 5. Stir until jaggery melts. Tip in the spice powder and salt.
6. Add the apple cubes and mix well to coat the masala.
7. Simmer for a minute.
 8. Allow it to cool and then put it in a sterilized jar.
Serve with Rotis / Puris / Theplas


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

OATS AND APPLE PORRIDGE

 

A perfect breakfast option to start your day in a healthy way. Even kids will love it. A hot bowl of porridge is so comforting on a rainy day.

Ingredients:
Oats ...... 3/4  cup
Apples .... 1
Jaggery ... 1/4 cup (grated or crushed)
Cinnamon or cardamom powder .... 1/8 tsp
Salt ............. 1 pinch to balance the taste (optional)
Ghee or butter ... 1 tbsp

Method:
1. Melt butter or ghee in a pan and saute the oats.
2. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil.
3. Tip in the jaggery and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Now add the peeled and chopped apple pieces and continue to cook on low flame until done. Keep the apples slightly crunchy and do not overcook them.
5. For flavouring you can add cinnamon or cardamom powder.

Serves 2



Monday, July 4, 2016

KARELA PEELS THEPLA


We all know the health benefits of karela. We should try to cook it without removing the outer skin. If in case you want to remove then don't throw away the peels. We can make use of them in many ways apart from making juice. I have sauteed the peels with some spices and made theplas kneading the dough with yogurt. They turned out so soft and delicious. You can serve them with any sabzi or just pickle.


Ingredients:
Karela peels ... 1 cup
Coriander leaves .. ¼ cup
Green chillies ...... 2-3
Wheat flour ........2 cups or s needed
Yogurt ................ ½ cup
Turmeric powder ..... ¼ tsp
Coriander powder .... ¼ tsp
Cumin powder ......... ¼ tsp
Salt ....... to taste
Oil or ghee


Method:
1.       In a pan heat one tbsp oil and sauté the finely chopped karela peels.
2.       Add chopped or crushed green chillies,  salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
3.       Stir fry until the water is dried up.
4.       Knead the dough adding a little salt, fried peels masala, little oil and yogurt.
5.       Make theplas of desired size. Brush a little ghee on them.
6.       You can serve them with any sabzi or even just pickle and curd.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

HARISSA SAUCE


Harissa sauce has become quite popular these days and is used in various marinations. It can be used as an accompaniment with snacks as well. Tunisia is the origin of this dish and  Harissa is sometimes described as "Tunisia's main condiment" or " Tunisia's National Condiment" . Recipes of Harissa vary according to the household and region. Variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic,coriander and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, harissa can have a smoky flavor. 
I saw this recipe in Chef Ranveer Brar's TV show and have followed the same method. 

Ingredients:
Dry red cillies ... 15  (I have used Kashmiri chillies)
Garlic ............... 1 pod (10 - 12 cloves)
Red bell pepper .... 1/4 cup (chopped)
Coriander seeds ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds ........ 1 tbsp
Vinegar ............... 2 -3 tbsps
Salt .................... as needed
Sugar ............... 1 tsp
Oil ................... 1/4 cup

Method:
1. Wash and soak the red chillies for 6-7 hours or overnight.
2. Boil the chillies for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
3. In a pan heat oil and add the cumin, coriander seeds and whole garlic cloves (peeled)
4. Saute until they become light brown and give out an aroma.
5. Tip in the finely chopped bell pepper. This is added to give thickness to the sauce.
6. Add the boiled chillies, sugar and salt.
7. Stir in the vinegar and a little water as needed. Simmer for a minute.
8. Allow it to cool and grind it to a paste.
9. If you want to store it for a longer period just add enough oil to cover the sauce.
Traditionally this sauce was stored in earthen pots.

Information Source - Wikipedia
Recipe Credits - Chef Ranveer Brar

Friday, July 1, 2016

FRUIT CHAAT


I have joined a group – Ssssssh Cooking Secretly Challenge.  Here every month we are paired with another blogger and we give each other two secret ingredients. Using these we have to create our dish for the month. This month the theme was “ Summer Treats “
I was paired with Shoba Srinivasan (www.anubhavati.wordpress.com) She has a lovely collection of recipes. Do check out her blog.
Now getting back to the recipe of the month, my two ingredients were fruits and chaat masala . These were very easy and I made fruit chaat with seasonal fruits. 



Ingredients:
Mango
Cherries
Pear
Banana
Chikoo
Take any seasonal fruits available (1/2 cup each or as needed)

(For the dressing)
Chaat masala .... 2 tsps (I made it at home combining rock salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, ginger powder and amchoor powder)
Honey ... 1 tbsp
Lemon juice .. 1 tbsp
Mint leaves ... few

Method:
1. Peel the fruits and cut them into cubes.
2. Whisk  all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Crush a few leaves and add to the mix.
3. Mix them into the fruits and stir gently.
4. Garnish with some mint leaves.
5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.