Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spicy Bittergourd


This is my mom's Recipe.
I know Bittergourd is not a very likeable vegetable...the name says it all.
But still I tend to somehow like it.
And when I make it this way, it really doesn't taste that bitter!

The recipe is quite simple though.
First of all, Cut the bittergourd into thin roundels.
Apply salt and leave them for around half an hour or so.
Then rinse them well in water a couple of times.
This is supposed to remove atleast some of their bitterness.

Then take a skillet.
Heat some oil and shallow fry the bittergourd pieces till golden.
You dont have to deep fry them so the quantity of oil should be quite less.
Remove and drain them on a paper towel.
Then in the same skillet, in the remaining oil, add finely chopped onions.
Also add, lots of finely chopped garlic.
Saute well till the onions turn brown.
Then throw in some finely chopped tomatoes.
Again, cook till the oil seperates.

Then put in all the dry spices like-
Red chilli pwdr, Coriander pwdr, Cumin pwdr, Turmeric, Garam Masala pwdr and Salt and a pinch of sugar.
Again, roast it well.
Finally add the roasted bittergourd pieces.
Garnish it with a lot of Cilantro.

And enjoy it with hot Phulkas.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Spicy Drumsticks(Saragawa)


Drumsticks are green stick like vegetables.
They are tough from outside but soft and fleshy from the inside.
The only portion that is consumed is the inner seeds and soft flesh.
While the outer stem is discarded after properly sucking the juice out of it!

The drumsticks are normally boiled before use so that they turn softer.
This drumsticks dish is a spicy side dish which is loved by my family.

Its easy to make and tastes great too!

You will need -

6-8 Drumsticks, cut into finger-length pieces
You can peel some of the outer hard skin
(you can use the frozen precut variety too)

Oil, 1 tbsp
Salt, to taste


Hing, 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Pwdr, 1 tsp
Turmeric, 1/4 tsp
Coriander Pwdr, 2 tsps
Cumin Pwdr, 1 tsp
Garam Masala Pwdr, 1/2 tsp
Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 tsp Dry Mango Pwdr
Cilantro to garnish.

Method-

Wash, peel, cut and boil the drumsticks for around 10 mins.
Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add hing and turmeric.
Add the boiled drumsticks.
Put in all the dry masalas and salt.
Mix well.
Roast for around 5 mins.
Add the lime juice.
And Garnish with Cilantro.
And its ready to serve.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Soup and A Stir-Fry




I often make this combo for a vegetarian Dinner.
It is vegetable Soup and Broccoli Stir-Fry.

The recipe of the soup comes from the kitchen of Rachael ray with slight variations and the broccoli stirfry is just a simple Indian variation for a vegetable that I like very much!

All in all this combo is very healthy and low cal.

For the Vegetable Soup-

You will need-

1 big Onion
2 Tomatoes
1 tsp chopped Garlic
1 cup chopped Celery
2 Carrots
A hanful of Green Peas
A handful of Green Beans
1 Potato
Salt
Black Pepper Pwdr
Poultry Seasoning(optional)
Olive Oil

Method-

Chop all the vegetables roughly.
I normally follow-chop and drop principle.
In a big vessel, heat 1 tbsp Oil.
Saute Onion and Garlic for a while.
Add Celery and Tomatoes.
Mix well.
Add the Carrots,Potato, Green Beans and Peas.
Keep stirring it occasionally.
Add salt and pepper and 1 tbsp poultry seasoning.
Instead of poultry seasoning you can also add Italian seasoning or any other combination of herbs of your choice.
Roast well and then add 2 glasses of water.
You can also add vegetable stock.
Boil well and serve immediately.
You can also add pieces of boneless chicken in the soup if you like.
And instead of vegetable stock you can add chicken stock too.

The Broccoli Stir-Fry is a very easy, quick and healthy dish.

You will need-

1 head of Broccoli chopped into florets
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
Salt and Black Pepper pwdr
1/2 tsp Garam Masala pwdr
1 tbsp Oil

Method-

Heat oil in a skillet.
Splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Add the onion.
Saute till it turns pink.
Add the broccoli florets.
Put in all the spices and salt.
Cook on high flame till all the spices coat the broccoli well and it is just tender,but still has a crunch to it.

Serve immediately just like that or with Rotis or Rice.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Black-Eyed Beans Curry


Ingredients-


1 cup Black-Eyed beas/peans/Chawli(dry)
1 big Onion, finely chopped
2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 Green Chilli, chopped
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2 tsps Coriander Pwdr
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp red Chilli Pwdr
1/2tsp Cumin Pwdr
1/2 tsp Garam Masala pwdr
1/4tsp Dry Mango Pwdr
1/4tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste.
Cilantro to garnish.
Oil.

Method-

Soak the black-eyed peas for around 3-4 hrs in water.

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a Pressure-Cooker.
Splutter the cumin seeds.
Add onion and the ginger-garlic paste.
Saute till the onion is light brown.
Then put in the chopped tomatoes and green chilli.
Add turmeric and salt.
Cook till well blended.
Then put in all the other dry spices and mix well.
Then add the soaked chawli(without the water).
Roast for 5 mins.
Then put in a glass of water.
Close the lid and give 2-3 whistles(till the beans are soft).
Open the lid when the pressure drops and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Serve with Roti or Rice.

Since these beans do not need overnight soaking, ,unlike other beans. you need not plan in advance to make this dish.

This is one of the reasons, apart from its good nutritional value and good taste, I like these beans a lot!


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Corn Salad






Asha suggested to me that I must forward this recipe to Hima for her event of What's your Favourite with the theme of Diet Food this month. Thanks Asha.

So this is my contribution for the Diet Food event, Hima.

Corn salad has approximately-
200 calories
2 gms Total Fat
0 mg Cholesterol






Corn Salad is one of the easiest and likeable salad/ side dish/ snack.
It is very nutritious too.
It is also called as Corn Bhel.
I make this salad quite often.
You can make it using fresh corn or the frozen variety.
I always have some corn in my freezer, So I quickly make this as a snack in the evenings often.

To make Corn Salad you will need-
2 cups of frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 Onion
1 Tomato
1 Green Chilli
Juice of half a Lime
Half a cup Cilantro, finely chopped
Salt
1 tsp chaat masala pwdr

Method-
First of all, cook the corn in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.
You can also boil it in the pressure cooker.
For that, fill water in the bottom of the cooker, about an inch and place another vessel in the cooker with corn in it. so that the corn does not become too moist. And pressure cook on high for 5 minutes and then let the pressure drop on its own.

Chop onion, tomato and green chilli.
Mix these chopped veggies in the corn.
Add all the Chaat masala pwdr, salt and lime juice.
Garnish it with chopped Cilantro.
Serve it right away or it tastes great chilled too.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Masala Rice


My favourite way of using the leftover rice for a quick and easy and ofcourse tasty lunch.
This rice is made in different ways.
It is called by various names too!
But the end product is somewhat quite similar!

Whenever I make plain rice for dinner, it has to remain!
For I purposely make some extra so I can make masala rice the next day!

What I do to make this Rice is-

Slice an Onion
Slit a couple of green chillies lengthwise
Chop a handful of coriander leaves
Slice a capsicum, if I have one

Heat oil in a pan.
Splutter 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds.
Add 1/4 tsp Hing, 1/4 tsp Turmeric, a few Curry Leaves and the slit Green Chillies.
Then drop in the sliced Onion.
Let it turn pink.
Then put the sliced capsicum.
Add salt.
Saute for around 3-4 minutes.
Then add 2 cups of cooked rice.
Mix well.
Saute for another 5 minutes.
Garnish it with coriander leaves.
Sprinkle juice of half a lime for a tangy taste.
Serve hot with pickle or curd.

It tastes great!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gobi Paratha


Parathas are an all-time favourite at our home.
So I try to make different kinds of parathas every now and then.
Recently I have been making Gobi -Parathas a lot!
I dont follow any particular recipe, but whatever I feel like adding ..goes in!
So this is just a basic guideline you can alter the ingredients according to your taste.

To make 4 Gobi Parathas, You will need-

2 cups grated Cauliflower
1 green chilli, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp cumin pwdr
1/4 tsp garam masala pwdr
1/4 tsp dry mango pwdr
salt to taste
2 cups of wheat flour
Water
Oil.


First of all knead the dough adding salt and water.
It should neither be too soft nor too hard.
Keep it aside for half an hour.

Take a bowl and put in the grated cauliflower, onion, cilantro and all the dry masalas.
Add salt at the end when you are about to roll out the parathas.
Mix all the ingredients well.
Divide this stuffing into 4 equal parts.
Divide the dough also into 4 parts.

Make a ball of one part and roll out a little.
Fill it with stuffing in the centre and roll out again to make a paratha.
Cook on a hot griddle putting oil or ghee on both the sides.
Serve hot with curd or pickle or sauce.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My simple lunch today



Usually for lunch I always have some leftovers from the previous night and I just have to make chappati or rice to go with it.
But at times there are no leftovers or there are days when I feel like making something fresh and simple, even though its for me alone.
Today was one such day!
I decided to make a Gujrati Lunch.
So I made 'Gobhi Sambharo' i.e.cabbage vegetable and 'Gujrati Dal' to go with it.
When I was in school, I often visited my Aunt to spend my vacations with my cousins.
And they were in Gujrat. I enjoyed the train journey from Bombay to Gujrat as much as the stay there. My aunt would make all types of gujrati dishes and farsans like sev tomato, Undhiyo, Carrot sambharo, Khaman Dhoklas, Dhabheli, Kachoris and the list is really endless.Though I was not much interested in cooking then, but I did help her in the kitchen often. And so now I try to recreate those dishes in my way for my family and remember those times!

For the Cabbage Vegetable-

1 small head of cabbage, chopped
2 Green Chillies, slit
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida(Hing)
1/2 tsp Turmeric Pwdr
1 tsp Coriander-cumin Pwdr
Salt to taste
Oil
Cilantro to garnish
A pinch of Sugar
Juice of half a lime.


Method-

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a pan.
Splutter mustard seeds.
Add hing and green chillies.
Put in the chopped cabbage.
Cover and let it simmer till the cabbage is half done.
Keep stirring in between so as it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Then add the coriander-cumin pwdr, salt, sugar, turmeric and mix well.
Cook for a little bit more timetaking care that the cabbage a still crunchy and not over cooked.
Garnish it with cilantro and lime juice.

For making the Dal-

1 cup Yellow Lentils(Toor Daal)
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
5-6 Curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida(Hing)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chilli pwdr
Salt to taste
Sugar, a pinch or more according to your taste
Juice of half a lime
Cilantro to garnish
Water
Oil.

Method-

Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups of water till its done.
Then mash it with a wooden churner or hand blender.
Heat oil in a pan.
Splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Add the curry leaves,hing, tomatoes and green chillies.
Saute for a while.
Then add turmeric, red chilli pwdr, salt and sugar.
Put in the mashed dal.
Mix well.
Add water for the desired consistency and let it boil well.
Garnish it with cilantro and lemon juice in the end.

I had my dal and vegetable with chappatis for a nice, simple and satisfying lunch!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chicken Cigars

One of my favourite hosts on Food Network is Rachael Ray.
I like the way she cooks and talks!
This recipe comes straight from her kitchen.

It is usually served as an appetiser.
But in our home it is not uncommon to make a meal out of appetisers.

So we had this for one of our quick night dinners!

The only changes that I made were-
Substituting Parsley with Cilantro.
And Grilled Seasoning with chicken tandoori masala.

I used Athens Phyllo dough Pastry sheets.

To make a vegetarian version of this dish I think Soya granules would be a nice choice and also grated paneer would go well.

For making these you will need-

1/2 pounds ground chicken breast
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper pwdr
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons Red chilli powder
2 teaspoons Chicken Tandoori Masala
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
4 sheets phyllo dough
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Salt


Method-

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place chicken in a bowl and mix with spices and Cilantro and salt.
Place a piece of phyllo on a nonstick cookie sheet, butter it and top with a second sheet.
Divide the chicken in half.
Form a 1-inch thick log the length of the long side of the phyllo dough.
Roll the log in phyllo tightly.
Cut the chicken filled phyllo into 4 "cigars" and brush with a dab more butter.
Repeat to make a total of 8 chicken and phyllo roll-ups.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden.
And its ready to serve.
I served it with Thai Sweet Red Chilli Sauce.


And now its time for the Awards-

Archana of TriedandTested Recipes was really very kind in forwarding these awards to me-




The Power of Schmooze Award is for bloggers who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.

The Rocking Girl Blogger Award is for bloggers who “are girls or women who blog and who Rock!!!“

I dont think that I really deserve these Awards but nevertheless they are a great source of encouragement.

Thanks Archana for being so thoughtful.

And Now I would like to pass on these Awards to all those bloggers in the blogosphere who have not received them yet!

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kaale chane ki chaat


Grams and Pulses are so very nutritious and healthy to eat. So I try to incorporate them in various forms, to suit the taste buds of my hubby dear. One such recipe is that of Black grams in a spicy and tangy form called 'Chatpate Kaale Chane'. They remind of my favourite Mumbai Street Food. Though this one is not so popular, but I just love it. And it is so easy to make too.
So whenever I soak Black grams to make 'Rasewale Kale chane ', I surely make it a point to soak a little extra for making this chaat for an evening snack or morning breakfast.

For making Kaale chane ki chaat,
You will need-
2 cups boiled kaala chana(Bengal Grams)
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 Green chilli, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp Chaat masala
1/4 tsp Black pepper pwdr
1/4 tsp Red chilli pwdr
Cilantro to Garnish
Juice of a lime.

I usually soak the grams in the night and then the following evening I boil them in the pressure cooker with a good amount of water till they are nice and soft. Dont worry even if you cook them for longer time because they really can never get mushy!
To make the chaat, take the boiled grams in a big bowl.Put in the chopped onion, tomato and green chillies.Add all the dry spices and salt.
Sprinkle lime juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.

And I bet you cant resist yourself from digging a spoon into it to get the nice tangy-spicy taste.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Peas Pulao with Sai Bhaji


'Sai Bhaji' is a traditional sindhi dish that is made with Spinach, yellow split peas(chana dal) and a combination of everyday vegetables like onions, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bottle gourd and so on. We love to have this dish with Peas pulao.

This dish is also very easy and quick to make if you have the vegetables at hand. And when I am not in the mood of making chapatis and I have spinach at hand, I quickly dish out this healthy combo.

To make Sai Bhaji, I used-

1 bunch of fresh Spinach
1 cup Yellow Split Peas(chana dal), soaked for 1/2 an hr in water
1 big Onion, chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 big Potato, chopped
1 cup chopped Bottle Gourd
2 Green chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp grated Ginger
1 tsp chopped Garlic
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric Pwdr
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Pwdr
1 tsp Coriander Pwdr
1/2 tsp Cumin Pwdr
1/2 tsp Garam Masala Pwdr
1 tbsp oil
Salt

Method-

First of all clean the spinach, remove the stalks and wash well and then chop it and keep aside.
(You can also add methi leaves and dill leaves if you have them. Wash and chop them and add with the spinach.)
Heat Oil in a Pressure Cooker. Add the cumin seeds.
After they splutter add ginger, garlic and green chillies.
Then put in the onions and saute well.
Add the tomatoes next.
Also add salt, turmeric and all the powdered masalas at this stage.
Do not overcook the tomatoes.
Put in the potatoes and bottle gourd.
(Sometimes I use potatoes only. As we are not very fond of bottle gourd and eggplant. But you can also add carrots and green beans)
Also add the chana dal at this point.
After roasting all the veggies and the dal for sometime, put in the spinach.
Saute for a couple of mins and add 1/2 a glass of water and put the lid of the cooker and pressure cook it for 2 whistles.
Let the pressure drop on its own.
Then open the lid and churn the vegetable with a wooden churner, till the vegetable is well blended.
And its ready to serve.

For the Peas Pulav-

1 cup Basmati Rice
1/2 cup Green peas, selled and rinsed.
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of Turmeric

Pick and rinse the rice and soak it in water for 1/2 an hour.
Heat Oil in a pan. Splutter the cumin seeds. Add turmeric.
Put in the green peas. Saute.
Drain the water from the rice.
Add the rice to the pan and saute well for 5 mins.
Then add water and salt.
Let the rice cook on medium flame till it is nice and fluffy.
Serve it hot with Sai Bhaji.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Grilled Platter


In India, summer is like any other season. It is not a season that we wait for. But here in the US, summer is something to be excited about! Oh, how everybody waits for this season here is not surprising. After all those cold snowy months comes out the sun, bright and shining, and so come out the grills and the barbeques and the parties!

I had never grilled in India, So I was so excited about this whole grilling affair!

First was the difficult question of what type of grill I want...After much thinking and research I settled on an indoor grill pan rather than an outdoor one. The main reason for me was that if I have a stove top grill then I can grill anytime no matter what the season, rain or shine!

Then the next challenge was the recipes , since this would be my first experience in grilling I didn't want to fail at the first shot. So I brought a couple of good grilling cookbooks from the local library and started going through them.

The most important thing that I learned was that it is a common misconception that high heat would somehow speedup your grilling. It will just damage your grillpan. What is important is that you heat your grill pan over medium heat until very hot.To do this place your grillpan on the stove on medium heat and leave it undisturbed for atleast 5 mins.

The next important thing is that the food that you put on the grill pan should be at room temperature. This is particularly important with poultry, meat and seafood.

And always keep in mind that you dont have to turn food on the grill more than once. Let it rest and cook nicely, dont be in a hurry to turn it. This is very important for all those impatient souls ou there like me!

And the last but not the least is the cleaning of the pan itself. Because of all the ridges that it has, the most effective tool for cleaning the grill pan is a hard nylon scrubber, which allows you to reach between those ridges.

This was enough of that grilling gyan, now lets get to cooking, oops I mean grilling!

I used Boneless chicken thighs and an assortment of veggies that I had at hand, like onions, tomatoes and bell peppers.

Also an important step in grilling is the marination, particularly of poultry and meats.

I marinated the chicken in the morning and kept it in the fridge. While the vegetables were coated with the marinade towards evening, just a while before I started grilling.

For Marination I used-
Chicken tandoori masala(Everest brand)
Salt
Black pepper pwdr
Ginger-Garlic paste
Red chilli pwdr
Lime Juice
This is just a basic outline you can determine the quantity of ingredients according to your requirements.

Preheat the grillpan well before you start.
Then place the chicken pieces on the pan and do not turn them for atleast 5 to 8 mins.
Drizzle them with some oil.
When the flesh is ready to be turned it will lift off the pan easily.
Turn and cook them on the other side and again pour some oil.
Remove them from the pan when they are fully cooked and tender.
Similarly grill the vegetables, but they wont require as much time as the meats.
You can use Paneer, mushrooms and potatoes too.
Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My First MeMe

When good friend Archana of Tried and Tested Recipes tagged me for a meme, I was hesitant to write about myself. But after reading all the memes of fellow bloggers, I thought why not try writing one myself too! When it comes to talking about myself, which I seldom do infront of others, I find it easy to jot it down and let others read it! So here goes my list of 7 Random Facts about myself-
  • The first and the most important fact of my life is that I am extremely God Fearing and I cant stop thanking God enough for all the blessings He has showered upon me. I start and end my day with thanksgiving to God. I try to love God above all things and be obedient to Him in all that I say, hear and do.I read my Bible everyday and never leave an oppurtunity to testify infront of others.I love to pray for my family, friends and relatives.
  • I am a very family person. I love to spend as much time as I can with my hubby and my daughter. I simply adore my daughter and cant imagine her getting married and going away from me one day!
  • I love to cook and more so to eat! I like to watch cookery shows, read cookery books(like novels) and eat home-cooked healthy food and also eating out! I ofcourse love visiting food blogs and trying out new recipes.
  • I am extremely fond of sleeping and can sleep for as long as possible! Once (ofcourse before marriage) I slept for 15 hrs at a stretch! I dont like to be waken up in the morning by anybody and I hate to get up early !
  • I am a very slow eater and keep chewing on my food! When evrybody in the family has finished their dinner and also their dessert, I would be still found gnawing at my food! I believe in drinking my food and eating my milk:). I love to drink milk and coffee but dislike tea anytime, anywhere!
  • I love to read all sorts of Books, Novels, Magazines and especially The Bible and anything under the sun regarding cooking!
  • I love to shop. And I can go on shopping (and ofcourse window shopping) without getting tired or bored for hours on end. I love travelling too. The mere idea of packing and going out makes me excited!
  • The last but not the least I want to do some social service in my life and be of help to people who are not in a position to return the favour.

I really enjoyed writing this meme and thanks Archana for giving me an oppurtunity to do so! I hope everyone would enjoy reading it too and if you feel like sharing your life facts with others then consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fish Curry with Rice


This is a very easy recipe for making fish curry. And it can be quickly made in a jiffy.
This recipe doesn't need coconut so it is different from the usual Fish curry.
This was the first time I made this recipe, usually I make it with coconut, but it was a nice change from the usual.

Ingredients-
2 Sliced Onions
4 Slit Green Chillies
1"piece Ginger
5 cloves of Garlic
2 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 glass Water
4 tsps Fish Curry Masala(store-bought)
1 pound Fish Fillets(I used Tillapia)
Salt

Method-
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan.
Fry the onions, chillies, ginger and garlic well.
Then add the tomatoes.
Saute for sometime.
Then add a glass of water and boil well.
Add Salt to taste.
When the gravy is boiling add the fish pieces.
Reduce the flame and cook for 5-10 mins, till the fish is properly cooked.
Now your Fish Curry is ready to serve.

You can make this Fish Curry using any fish you like.
I used 'Bon Puli Munchi Masala', but you can use any other brand of fish curry masala too.
And if you dont have fish curry masala, then add-chilli pwdr, coriander pwdr, black pepper pwdr and cumin pwdr, it will still taste lovely.
I served this Fish curry with plain white rice.

To make Rice-
1 cup White Rice
2 cups Water
Wash the rice well.
Put it in the pressure cooker with water.
Give 2 whistles and its ready to serve.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bombay Bhel




Whenever I make SevPuri, it is always followed by BhelPuri.
The reason being, I am always left with some extra Chutneys and few puris at hand.And what better way to utilise this remaining stuff, than making the BhelPuri!

I remember whenever we use to eat at a 'bhelwala' in Bombay, I would say to my hubby, you order one sevpuri and I'll order one bhel and then we'll share and eat. But no sooner would this first round finish than I would feel like ordering a sevpuri for myself and he would want a bhel all for himself. So we ended up eating more of the junk food anyways!

So when I make Sevpuri we feel like rounding it off with the Bhel!

The recipe for this is very simple again.

Just throw in whatever you have at hand with some spicy chutneys and its ready to go!

Sometimes when I have some dry Farsan(like chivda and ghathia) at home, I just mix it up with some chutneys and throw in some peanuts and sev and it serves the purpose of a Bhel!

But for a more authentic bhel recipe I use-
Kurmure(puffed rice)
Onion, finely chopped
Tomatoes, finely chopped
Boiled and chopped potatoes
Raw mango, chopped
Sev
Peanuts and chana dal
Cilantro
Puris, crushed
Lime juice

The method is extremely simple.
Just put all the above ingredients together and mix well.
Garnish with cilantro, sev and lime juice.
And its ready to enjoy!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sev Puri


Sev Puri is again one of the favourites at my home. When we were in Mumbai such street food was easily accessible, but not anymore:( So the best option is to make on your own, at home:)

I remember even back home we used to think a hundred times before eating at a roadside 'thela'..You know the hygiene part and all. So I started making 'healthy' street food at home!!

And making Sev puri is not difficult at all.

What I do is, I bring the puris and the sev readymade from the indian grocery store and make the chutneys at home...so you see it becomes quite simple!

For making sev puris you will need-

Puris
Sev
Onions, finely chopped
Tomatoes, finely chopped
Raw mango, finely chopped
Potatoes, boiled and chopped coarsely
Peanuts and fried chana dal(ready made from the store, again)
Cilantro for garnishing.
Salt and Chaat masala powder.
Sweet chutney
Green chutney

How to proceed-
To make the sweet chutney I use -
100 gms Dates
1 tbsp Tamarind
1 tbsp jaggery
Salt
Red chilly pwdr
Jeera pwdr
Water.
First of all if the dates are not seedless then deseed them.Soak the tamarind in water for around 1/2 an hour and then extract the juice or you can also use tamarind pulp that is readily available in the market.
Boil the dates and jaggery in little water for around 5 mins or till they are soft.
Cool them and add the tamarind juice and blend them in a mixie.
Then add salt, red chilly pwdr and jeera pwdr to this.
Add water if it is too thick for the desired consistency.

For making the Green chutney-
I blend together -
Cilantro
Ginger
Garlic
Lot of hot green chillies
Salt
Lime juice.

Now for the assembly-

Place the puris on a plate.
Place the potatoes on them next.
Then comes the chopped onions and tomatoes.
Then drizzle with the sweet and green chutneys.
Top up with generous amounts of sev and cilantro.
And scatter Raw mango, peanuts and chana dal on top.
Finally sprinkle salt and chaat masala pwdr and you can't wait to pop them in your mouth, I bet!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ragda Pattice


Ragda Pattice is another street food that is an all-time favourite in our home.
It provides a nice change when we get bored eating the usual ghar ka khana like roti, subzi, dal-rice and miss the mumbai streetfood!

Ragda is the gravy that is made of whole yellow Peas.
And this gravy is poured over the Pattice that is made of potatoes.
And it is generally topped with a spicy Chutney.

For making the Ragda-

You need to soak the whole yellow peas that is 'white vatana' overnight.
In the morning rinse them in 2-3 changes of water and boil them in the cooker till they are soft but not mushy.
For 1 cup of white vatana I chopped-
2 onions, finely and pureed 2 tomatoes.
I also used-
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp jeera(cumin seeds)
1/4 tsp turmeric pwdr
1 tsp red chilly pwdr
salt to taste
1 tsp dhania pwdr
1/2 tsp jeera pwdr
1 tsp garam masala pwdr
Cilantro.

How to Proceed-
Heat oil in a pan and add jeera.
Then put finely chopped onions.
After the onions turn brown, add the pureed tomatoes.
Then add salt, turmeric, red chilly pwdr, dhania-jeera pwdr and roast well.
Then put in the boiled white vatana.
Roast for sometime and add the garam masala pwdr.
Again stir well and roast some more.
Add water to reach the desired consistensy.
Bring to a boil. And garnish with cilantro.

For making the Pattice-
I boiled 6 big potatoes and mashed them well.
Then I added 2 bread slices to this.
And I also added salt and cilantro.
And mixed them well. Then I made small balls of this potato mixture using hands and flattened them a little and shallow fried them in a non-stick pan using some oil.

For the Green Chutney-
Blend together-
1 bunch Cilantro
2 green chillies
juice of 1 lime
salt
little ginger and garlic
1/2 an onion.

To assemble-
Take a plate and place a few pattice first . Then pour the ragda over it and top it with the green chutney and chopped raw onions and enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chole Puri


Chole Puri is a very popular dish in most of the North Indian homes.
It also happens to be one of the favourites in our home.
We eat chole i.e. white chick peas or Garbanzo beans or chana in various forms.
Sometimes I just boil the chickpeas and throw in some chopped raw onions, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, red chilli powder and some chaat masala and eat it for breakfast or as an evening snack.

At other times I cook them in a gravy form that is Chana masala and we have it with pav or sliced bread and chopped raw onions.

But at times when I am not much worried about the fat consumption, I serve it with Puris i.e. deep fried indian bread.

For making the Puris-

4 cups of All-purpose flour
2 tbsps Oil
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp of Ajwain
Water to knead the dough.
Oil for deep frying.

Method-

Mix the flour, salt, oil, ajwain and knead it into a dough using water.
And keep it aside for 1/2 an hour, covered with a damp cloth.
Then make small balls from the dough and roll them into small flat round shapes using dry flour if required.
Simultaneously, also keep oil for heating, for deep frying the Puris.
When the oil gets hot enough, drop the puris one by one. Fry them well on both sides turning once.


Tip
-

Always fry the puris just before serving.
I usually roll out a few puris and keep and then fry them in batches.

For making the Chole-

1 cup dried chick peas
2 big onions, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, pureed
2 tsps ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp Jeera(cumin seeds)
1 green chilly chopped
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chole masala powder(Everest or Badshah or whichever brand you like)
1 tsp Dhania(coriander) powder
1/2 tsp jeera powder(cumin powder)
salt to taste
Cilantro for garnishing.
2 tbsps Oil


Method
-

Rinse the dried chick peas in 2-3 changes of water and soak them overnight.
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add jeera.
Then add chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilly and saute till the onions turn brown.
Then put the pureed tomatoes, salt, turmeric, redchilly pwdr, dhania-jeera pwdr, dry mango pwdr and roast well till the oil seperates.
Then put in the chole sans water. But reserve the water for later use.
Add the chole masala and roast well.
Then put in the reserved water and close the lid of the cooker and give 5-6 whistles or till the chole is properly cooked.
Open the lid of the cooker when the pressure drops.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with hot puris and onion tomato kachumber.




Onion Tomato Kachumber


Every Indian meal is always accompanied by a salad.
In its simplest form the salad can just be a sliced raw onion or wedges of cucumber.

Onion Tomato Kachumber is one such simple salad which can be made in a jiffy.

Ingredients-

1 onion
2 tomatoes
Cilantro
salt to taste
lemon juice (according to your taste)
cayenne pepper(depending on how hot you like)

Method-

Cut the onion and tomatoes into dices and put them together in a bowl.
Add salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and finely chopped cilantro.
Mix well and serve.




Friday, June 15, 2007

Simple Sprouts salad


Sprouts are something that I love to eat! Moong, Matki, vatana, chana....I like all of them in the sprouted form! And we all know the benefits of eating sprouts. They are such a great source of valuable nutrients. And moreover they are just so easy to make and eat too!

In this simple sprout salad I have just used the 2 of my favourite sprouts-moong i.e green gram and matki i.e moath sprouts.

I soaked 1/2 cup moong and 1/2 cup matki overnight in water.
In the morning I drained off all the water and put the soaked moong and matki in a sieve and kept it covered near the stove to sprout. Generally keep the seeds to sprout in a warm place. You can also keep them in the oven with the light on to speed up the sprouting process.

After they were sprouted, I steamed them for just 5 minutes in the cooker.
And took them out and added 1 cup of finely chopped celery, onion and cucumber.
Then I put in salt, black pepper powder,red chilly powder, cumin powder and chaat masala powder.
I also squeezed the juice of half a lime on them and garnished them with cilanrtro leaves on top.

This simple salad can be had as breakfast or as an accompaniment with the main course.
You can also use different types of sprouts in this salad.
You can also add green, yellow and red peppers and tomatoes in the salad.
And eat it right away!




Monday, June 11, 2007

Spinach Chicken


Chicken is an all-time favourite in our home. So I keep making it in various styles.
It is high in protein and low in fat and cholestrol compared to the other red meats.
To make Chicken even healthier, always remove the skin of the chicken before cooking. This will reduce the fat content by almost half. Also a good idea to trim off the excess fat from the chicken while washing it.

To avoid the use of fats while cooking chicken you can also bake, grill or roast chicken.

Spinach, on the other hand is a super-vegetable packed with important nutrients, that children love to hate! It is an excellent source of Iron and Vitamin A.

So when you combine Chicken with Spinach you get an exotic, healthy and delicious meal.

To make spinach chicken, you will need-

8 chicken drumsticks.
1 bunch fresh spinach.
4 tbsps of oil.
2 onions, finely chopped.
2 tbsps ginger-garlic paste.
1/2 cup thick curd.
Salt to taste.
1 tsp Red chilly powder.
1 tsp Garam masala.

How to Proceed

Chop the spinach leaves. wash and strain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for a minute.
Add onions and cook till they turn light brown.
Add chicken and roast till it turns golden brown and all the water evaporates.
Add salt and red chilly powder.
Add curd and stir.
Add the spinach and stir for 2 mins.
Add little water if required.
Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for 2 whistles or till the chicken is tender.
Remove from heat and let the pressure drop by itself.
Open the lid and add garam masala and roast well.
Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mushroom Bhaaji


Ingredients-

1 packet button mushrooms, cut in halves.
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin pwdr
1/2 tsp red chilli pwdr
salt to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnishing

Method-

Heat oil in a pan and saute onions and ginger-garlic paste till golden brown.
Add tomato, garam masala, salt, red chilli pwdr, cumin pwdr and saute for sometime.
Add mushroom and sprinkle some water.
Cook till the mushrooms are tender.
Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Tip-
Do not wash the mushrooms. It will make them soggy. Instead just wipe them with a damp kitchen towel.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Radish parathas



Paratha is a food item that is popular in most of the Indian homes.
Delicious Stuffed Parathas make a wonderful breakfast or brunch.
But I am yet to master the art of making a perfect Paratha!
This is one of my attempts at making a Paratha.
And this is my 'R' entry for Nupur of One hot stove's, Indian vegetable series.

Ingredients-

For the dough-
3 cups wheat flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
water

For the stuffing-
1 big radish, grated
1 tsp ajwain
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp mango powder(aamchoor)
1/4 tsp garam masala
salt

Method-

Mix the flour,salt and oil and knead the dough using water.
Keep it aside for half an hour.

Add a little salt to the grated radish and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Then squeeze out the water nicely till it is completely dry.
(I used the squeezed out water from the radish for kneading the dough)
Then add the cilantro,chillies,ginger,mango pwdr,garammasala,ajwain,salt and mix well.
Divide the stuffing into 6-8 equal parts.

Divide the dough also into 6-8 parts.
Make a ball of one part and roll out a little.
Fill it with stuffing in the centre and roll out again to make a paratha.
Cook on a hot griddle putting oil or ghee on both the sides.

Serve hot with pickle or chutney.
I like to eat mine with curd. It tastes awesome.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Quick Quesadillas


My recipe for Nupur's 'Q' of Indian vegetables is Quick Quesadilla.
Quesadilla is a dish in Mexican cuisine that involves a cheese filling inside a corn or wheat tortilla.

I have given this dish the name 'Quick' Quesadilla as this recipe involves minimum preparation and can be made quickly when you are in a hurry. But I was not in a hurry though! So I made the tortillas at home.

Cheese and Baked beans really make a great filling for quesadillas

For making the tortillas,
Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour(maida)
2 tsps oil
salt

Method:
Mix the above ingredients to make a soft dough by adding enough water.
Knead the dough well.
Divide the dough into 10 portions.
Roll each portion into a thin round.
Cook lightly on a griddle and keep aside.

Now for the filling,
Ingredients:
1 can of chili beans(you can use any baked beans of your choice)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tbsps chopped cilantro

How to Proceed:-
Mix the above ingredients for the filling together.
Divide the filling into 5 portions.
Spread one portion of the filling on a tortilla.
Cover with another tortilla.
Repeat the same with the remaining tortillas and filling to make 4 more quesadillas.
Heat a griddle and using a little butter, cook the prepared quasadillas on both the sides until golden brown in colour.
Serve hot with salsa.

For making salsa,
1 Jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 fresh tomato
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp vinegar
salt
pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Blend all the ingredients together into a sauce.

Variations:
For the filling you can also use minced meat or scrambled eggs instead of the baked beans.
Alongwith the baked beans you can also put some finely chopped onions and capsicum, it will add a nice crunch to the quesadillas.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Carrot Spinach Rice





This is a very easy, colourful and tasty dish for kids but the grown ups would love it too!!

You will need:-

2 cups of cooked Rice
2 cups of chopped Spinach
2 carrots, grated
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 big onion, sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsps ghee or oil
1 maggi seasoning cube(optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:-

Heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds.
When they crackle, add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots and Spinach and saute for another 3 minutes.
Add the cooked rice, seasoning cube, salt and pepper and mix well.
Cook on a low flame for 5 minutes or till the moisture evaporates.
Serve hot with curd or just like that!



Thursday, May 10, 2007

Palak Paneer


There are many recipes of palak that I make often.Peas Palak, Aloo Palak, Spinach salad but I had never tried Palak Paneer until recently.
One fine day when I opened my Refrigerator(which is usually overflowing with meats and vegetables) I only found a bunch of spinach and some paneer staring at me. So I immediately decided to try my hand at Palak Paneer.
So I scurried through my recipe books to find a quick recipe for Palak Paneer.
And I was successful! The book of Nita Mehta came to my rescue and the dish was ready in less than 30 minutes!!

Ingredients:-

1 bunch spinach(palak)
200 gms paneer-cut into cubes
1 medium onion-finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger-chopped
5 flakes garlic-chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
a pinch of asafoetida(hing)
1 tbsp ghee
salt

Method:-

Boil the spinach leaves for 5 minutes in 1/2 cup of water.
Cool. Blend in a mixer to a puree.
Heat ghee in a pan.Add Hing,Chopped ginger and garlic.
Saute for sometime and then add the finely chopped onion to it.
Reduce flame and fry onion till light brown.
Add tomato puree and mix well.
Then add the diced paneer.
Increase the flame and fry for 2 minutes.
Then add the palak paste to it.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
Remove from fire and serve hot with Chappati or rice.

TIP:-You can also add 1 tbsp fresh cream in the end before serving.

And this is my entry for Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables.



Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Chilli Chicken with Fried Rice and Asparagus






Oh how we love chinese food! I mean the Indian chinese food!!
So I try to make chinese food often at home.
I had started with fried rice and noodles. Then went on to make manchurian which turned out pretty well.
This week I tried my hand at Chilli Chicken. It was really delicious. And I served it with vegetable fried rice and Asparagus.


Chilli Chicken

You need:-
2 Chicken Breasts(boneless,skinless)-cut into bite sized pieces
1 large green bell pepper - cut in quarters
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp All Purpose Flour(Maida)
soya sauce
vinegar
1 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 egg
A dash of salt and black pepper powder
Oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 pod of garlic finely chopped
1 bunch of scallions(green onions)
2 small green chillies-finely chopped
Cilantro to garnish

Method:-
First marinate the chicken chunks with cornflour,maida,1 egg,1 tbsp soyasauce,1 tsp vinegar,salt and black pepper powder.Keep aside in the fridge for atleast half an hour.
Take a generous amount of oil in a pan and fry the marinated chicken pieces till they are golden brown in colour. Remove from the pan and keep them on a tissue paper to drain out the excess oil.
In the same pan, add chopped garlic,ginger and saute for sometime. Then put in the finely chopped scallions leaving aside the green part for putting in the end.
After 3 mins or so put in the bell pepper and green chillies.
Then add the fried chicken pieces. Mix well.
Add a tsp of soya sauce and vinegar.And 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup.
Then add salt and pepper to taste.
And garnish it with green part of the scallions and finely chopped cilantro.

This would be dry chicken chilli. If you wish to make it with a little gravy then add a tsp of cornflour in a cup of water and add it in the pan and bring it to the desired consistency.

Fried Rice

You need:-
2 cups cooked Rice(not fully cooked but almost 3/4th done)
2 carrots finely chopped
1/2 a cup of green peas(fresh or frozen)
a cup of finely chopped green beans
a pod of garlic finely chopped
1 large onion sliced
oil
salt and black pepper powder
soya sauce
chilli sauce
vinegar

Method:-

Take 2 tbsps of oil in a pan. Put finely chopped garlic and sliced onion.
Roast it for a while on high flame and then put in the carrots,peas and green beans.
Saute well for around 5 mins.
Then add a tbsp of soya sauce and chilli sauce and vinegar.
Then sprinkle salt and pepper.
Then add the cooked rice and mix well.
And its ready to go!!




Asparagus


I simply trimmed off the hard ends of the asparagus and immersed them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then removed them from the water and sprinkled salt and black pepper on them. Believe me they taste awesome!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Recipes from the Net


During the week I made Rasam, Missi Roti and Gujarati Batata Bhaji ! It was a great blend of various regional Indian cuisines !
I found the recipes from the net and had fun trying them out !


Stir Fry Vegetables



To make Stir fried vegetables you will need:-


10 florets of cauliflower
10 florets of brocolli
10 baby carrots or 2 medium carrots, cut lengthwise
1 big onion sliced
1 pod of garlic cut into slivers
2 green chillies cut into slivers
half a cup of sweet corn kernels
a cup of baby spinach
Slivered peppers(green,red,yellow, all or whichever is available)
1 tbsp stir fry sauce (optional)
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp vinegar
a dash of salt and pepper
Olive oil or vegetable oil.


Method:-

Heat oil in a wok. Add garlic and roast it well, be careful not to brown it.
Add the sliced onions and chillies and fry them.
Keep the flame of the stove on high.
Then add the cauliflower florets and carrots.
Stir fry for sometime and then put in the brocolli,spinach,corn kernels and peppers.
Now add all the sauces, vinegar, salt and pepper.
And its ready to serve!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Favourite Street Food

Mumbai Pav Bhaji
This is my most favourite food of all times. Yummy Pav Bhaji. I can eat it anytime, anywhere!
And whenever I am in the mood of eating some healthy street food, so this is the first choice.

For making the Bhaji for the Pav you will need -

The following vegetables in whatever proportion you prefer,
  • Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Peas
  • Carrots
  • Capsicum
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

Apart fom the vegetables u will also need-

  • Pav (Bread)
  • Butter
  • Pav Bhaji masala (I use Everest or Badshah, you can use any brand)
  • Red Chilly Powder
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Lime

First of all boil the potatoes, cauliflower, peas and carrots till they are tender.
Then mash them coarsely and keep aside .
Heat oil or butter in a pan .
Add minced garlic then add finely chopped onions and also finely chopped capsicum and saute till they turn brown.
Then add the grated tomatoes and blend well.
Add the red chilly powder , salt and pav bhaji masala and saute well.
Then put in the boiled and mashed vegetables.
Add little water if required.
Cook well.
Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Preparing the Pav-

  • Slit the pav across the center, apply butter (generously) and warm it on a griddle .
  • Serve the Bhaji with buttered pav, chopped onions and lime slices.

Enjoy !!



Monday, April 23, 2007

Veggie Salad


I was not very fond of salads until we were invited to a friend's place for dinner. She had prepared an exotic salad and we just loved it . And that is the day I realised that there is much more to salads than meets the eye. So I immediately phoned her the next day for the recipe. I made the same salad a couple of times and then started experimenting various combinations and dressings and the result each time was really very good. So today I will share with u the recipe of a very simple yet delicious and a healthy salad.




This simple salad needs veggies like- Lettuce (any kind that u like), cucumbers,onions,tomatoes,red cabbage,Oranges,apple,pineapple,carrots. Basically whatever u can eat raw and have in ur fridge ! And the quantity of each ingredient can also be as per ur liking. I usually take 1 each of all the veggies and fruits. u can use any fruits or veggies that u like. For the dressing u need olive oil,honey,salt,vinegar and ground black pepper. I also use a store bought dressing for a change at times like the thousand island dressing.

Wash all the vegetables and fruits well. Cut the lettuce in bite sized pieces and put them in a big salad bowl. Cut the cucumbers,onions,tomatoes,apples,carrots,cabbage in thin strips (juliennes) and add them into the bowl.Peel the skin of the orange and cut the slices into cubes,Half a cup of pineapple cubes (either fresh or tinned ) add them all in the bowl.

Then prepare the dressing. Take a tbsp of olive oil,a tsp of vinegar,a tsp of honey,a dash of salt and pepper and whisk them all together and pour it over the salad and mix them all together and serve.

Instead of the above dressing sometime I use the thousand island dressing and it tastes really great. I also add asparagus to the salad sometimes. Cut off the hard ends of the asparagus and cut them into 2" long sticks.wash them and put them in boiling water for 2 mins , remove and cool and put them in the salad bowl along with the other veggies.

Health Tip - When eating an orange make sure not to remove the 'white thread like' fibres (pericarp) surrounding the fruit with its rind removed. According to Wikipedia the pericarp is an excellent source of dietary fibre and has equal amounts of vitamin C as the fruit.