Monday, August 13, 2018

PALAK KA SHORBA


Palak ka shorba is an Indian version of spinach soup. The flavours of whole spices added while cooking give a lovely taste to it. Spinach is loaded with nutrition which makes this soup the most healthiest one. For variation sometimes people like to add tomatoes or lentils to it. You may also add milk or cream to it.

Ingredients:
Baby spinach ... 2 cups
Onion .... 1 small
Garlic [aste.... 1 tsp
Ginger paste .. 1/2 tsp
Black or white pepper .. 2 pinches
Black cardamom .. 1
Bay leaf ............... 1
Cinnamon stick .... 1 small piece
Salt ................ to taste
Butter or oil .... 1 tbsp
Vegetable stock or water .. as needed.
Cream ......... 1 tbsp (optional)

Method:
1. In a pan melt the butter (or add oil)
2.Tip in the back cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf.
3. When they give out an aroma add the ginger garlic followed by diced onion.
4. Saute until translucent.
5. Add the spinach and salt.
6. Stir fry for a minute and add cumin powder 2 cups of vegetable stock or water.
7. Simmer to cook for about 8-10 minutes.
8. Discard the whole spices and blend the shorba.
9. Adjust the consistency to your liking.
10. You may add cream at this stage if you like.
11. Garnish with black or white pepper powder before serving.

Monday, August 6, 2018

SRILANKAN CURRY POWDER / JAFFNA CURRY POWDER


The Srilankan curry powder is very easy to prepare and home made fresh powder gives a better taste to the curry. This has an ingredient called pandan leaf which is not easily available everywhere. I have skipped it. Kashmiri chillies are mild. If you like your curry spicy then you can add some normal dry red chillies.
This spice powder can be made in large quantity and stored for later use.


Ingredients:
Dry red Kashmiri chillies ... 5-6
Cumin seeds .................... 1 tbsp
Saunf / fennel seeds ........ 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds ............... 1 tbsp
Black pepper corns .......... 8-10
Green cardamoms ............. 4
Cinnamon stick .............. 1" piece
Fenugreek seeds ............ 1/2 tsp
Rice ............................... 2 tbsps
Curry leaves .................. 1-2 sprigs
Pandan leaf .................... 1 small piece (add if available)

Method:

Dry roast all the ingredients on medium flame until they give out a nice aroma.








Grind them to make a slightly coarse powder.










Note: This quantity is for 1 kg chicken . You may add less or more according to your liking. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

SRILANKAN CHICKEN CURRY



Here is a recipe of delicious Sri Lankan Chicken Curry. This is one of my favourites as it has a nice and flavourful gravy to go with plain rice. The freshly grounded spice mix adds to the flavours. My version is not very hot as I have used Kashmiri chillies for the colour.  You can increase the spice level by adding spicy variety of red chillies if you like.


Ingredients:
To Make the Ceylon Curry Powder:
Coriander seeds .. 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds ...... 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds ...... 1/2 tbsp
Methi seeds ....... 1/4 tsp
Raw rice ............. 2 tbsps
Black pepper corns ... 1 tsp
Green cardamoms .. 5
Cloves ................... 5
Mace /Jaiphal ........ 1 small piece
Cinnamon stick ..... 2-3 small pieces
Dry red chillies ... 3-4 (I used Kashmiri chillies)
Curry leaves ....... 1 sprig

For the Curry:
Chicken ... 500 gms
Onions...... 1 cup finely diced
Tomatoes .... 2
Ginger paste .. 1/2 tbsp
Garlic paste ... 1 tbsp
Tamarind juice ... 3-4 tbsps
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder ... 1 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves ...  handful
Curry leaves ......... 1 sprig
Cinnamon .... 1" piece
Black cardamom... 1
Bay leaves .... 1-2
Salt ................... to taste
Coconut milk ..... 1/2 cup (I used ready milk 1 sachet of 200 ml)
Oil ............... 5-6 tbsps

Method:

Clean the chicken and marinate with salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chilli powders, salt and tamarind juice.








Mix well and set aside for couple of hours in the refrigerator.









Dry roast the spices in List 1.









Grind them and store in a sterilized dry container.









Heat oil in a clay pot or a pan.Add the cinnamon, bay leaves and black cardamom.








Next add the ginger garlic paste and saute.









Tip in the onions and saute until translucent.









Now add the curry leaves and tomatoes.









Simmer until the tomatoes are cooked.









Stir in the marinated chicken pieces.









Season with salt and the freshly prepared curry powder 2-3 tbsps. The quantity depends on your liking







.
Stir well and simmer for about 20 mins stirring in between.









The chicken gets cooked in its own juices.









When it is almost done add the coconut milk.









 Add a little water depending on how much gravy you like. Allow it to simmer for a minute or two and add the coriander leaves.


Monday, July 30, 2018

RAJASTHANI BAJRE KI RAAB / RAABDI / RABRI


Bajre ki raab is a traditional drink of Rajasthan made with pearl millet flour and yogurt. It is very nutritious. Raab is served warm in winters and cold in summers There is also a sweet version of  Raab that has jaggery, ghee and nuts.
In the dessert regions during summers when the vegetables are scarce, people make do with dried vegetables like Ker Sangri or Raab  They make a thicker version of Raab to dip the Rotlas.


Ingredients:
Bajra flour .... 2 tbsps
Yogurt .......... 1/2 cup
Ajwain ........ 1/8 th tsp
Cumin seeds ... 1/8 tsp
Salt .............. to taste
Roasted cumin powder.. 1 pinch

Method:

Whisk the yogurt with 2 cups of water.Add salt, cumin and ajwain seeds.Now blend in the bajra flour and whisk it well to avoid any lumps.








Place a pan on the gas. Pour the liquid into it.









Keep stirring for 5-7 minutes until it thickens.







Now add 1 more cup of water and continue to stir on low flame. The flour has to be cooked properly so that there is now raw taste.
When you get the desired consistency remove from the gas.






Pour it into the serving glass and sprinkle a pinch of roasted cumin powder.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

BESAN KI MACHLI / BESAN KI SABZI


This is a very popular vegetarian curry made with gram flour from Bihar and Jharkhand region. This vegetarian delicacy is also nicknamed as Besan ki Machli  (Vegetarian Fish Curry) because it tastes as good as fish curry.
I made this curry for our monthly event in our group , "Shhhhh Cooking Secretly" . This month the theme is Jharkhand Cuisine. My partner is Poonam Bachhav. Do visit her blog Annapurna to check out some delicious dishes.

Ingredients:
Gram flour ... 1 & 1/2  cups
Yellow or black mustard seeds .. 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds ..... 1+1 tsps
Fenugreek seeds ... 1/4 tsp
Saunf / aniseeds .... 1 tsp
Black pepper corns .. 8-10
Garlic .................... 12 cloves
Turmeric powder .... 1/4 + 1/4  tsp
Red chilli powder ...... 1/2 tsp
Salt ............... to taste
Kasoori methi ......... 1 tbsp (I used fresh methi 3 tbsps)
Mustard oil ............ 1/4 cup


Method:

Mix together gram flour, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and salt.








Make a smooth and thick batter adding water little by little. Set aside.









Dry roast the mustard seeds, saunf, pepper corns, cumin seeds.








Grind them to make a coarse powder. Add garlic and little water. Grind together to make a paste.







Now heat a griddle. Pour ladleful of gram flour batter and make thick pancakes.







Spoon a little oil to cook them .Fold the sides to make a roll and flatten it.







Repeat until the batter is finished.







Cut them into slices.










Now heat mustard oil in a pan to smoking point. Reduce the heat. Add fenugreek and cumin seeds.








When they crackle, add the ground masala and saute.









Add salt, 1/4 tsp haldi and red chilli powder.









Continue to stir until the oil is separated and the masala is fried well.









Add about 3 cups of water.









When it starts to boil tip in the gram flour pieces.









Add kasoori methi or sauteed fresh methi and simmer for about 12-15 minutes.
Keep the consistency of the gravy thinner as the liquid is soaked up on keeping the curry for a longer time.







Monday, July 23, 2018

DAHI VADA KULFI


If you have some leftover dahi vadas from a party you can give them a makeover and serve in some innovative way. I have lightly mashed the vadas and set them in kulfi moulds. Place them in the freezer until they are firm and easy to unmould. You don't have to completely freeze them to a solid form like a kulfi. Garnish and serve.

Ingredients:
Dahi Vadas .... 2
Yogurt ...........  4-5 tbsps
Sweet Tamarind chutney ... 2-3 tbsps
Thin sev .................. for garnishing
Salt .................... to taste
Mint leaves ....... for garnishing
Pomegranate seeds ... 2 tbsps
Red chilli powder .. 2 pinches
Chaat masala ... as needed
Ice cream sticks .. as needed

Method:
1. Take the left over dahi vadas and mash them lightly.










2. Spoon the mixture into kulfi mould. 









3. Cover the mould with a foil paper and insert a stick. Place them in the freezer for about one hour or until the mixture is set.







4. Remove it on a serving plate. Whisk the yogurt with little salt and spoon it on top. Garnish it with sweet tamarind chutney, pomegranate seeds, mint leaves. Sprinkle some fine sev, red chilli powder and chaat powder. 

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