Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sweet Pumpkin or Yellow Pumpkin Dal

With sweet pumpkin or yellow pumpkin, I normally make sambhar, kootu, dry stir fry with rice flour rotis, raita, but never tried dal. But last week when I was thinking of dinner then I thought of making yellow pumpkin sambhar lying on my kitchen counter. But I was lazy to fry the ingredients and follow the procedure for sambhar and I was also feeling a bit feverish and wanted to keep something light and simple. Then I remembered of reading of pumpkin dal sometime ago, but couldnt remember where, and also the method and ingredients exactly.
So vaguely again I tried to remember, but yet thought to do it just like I do the normal dal.
But was a bit apprehensive about the sweetness of the pumpkin, not to make the dal sweet.
Then I thought of cooking the dal with red chilly powder and fry the pumpkin with green chillies and give the sharpness of red onion as well. So started experimenting as I thought.
Then what I get? a wonderful mildly sweet dal, but the sweetness is complementing with the spice of red chilly powder and the sharpness of green chillies and red onions.
To go with this I made french beans and potato stir fry and had a satisfying dinner. The dal tasted much better the next day.
I am also giving the recipe for simple beans and potato stir fry.
Hope you will enjoy!!!!!

Sweet Pumpkin Dal

Toor Dal - 1cup,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Red chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 8-10,
Green Chillies - 3-4 finely chopped,
Garlic - 1 clove finely chopped,
Red Onion - 1 small finely chopped,
Yellow Pumpkin - 1 cup skin peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes,

Garam Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon finely chopped to garnish.

Cook toor dal with enough water, turmeric and red chilly powder for three whistles or until dal is completely cooked.
Once the dal is completely cooked and cooled, mash with the spoon and keep aside.
In a medium broad pan add oil and heat.
Add mustard and asafoetida and allow mustard to crackle.
Then add curry leaves, green chillies and fry for a minute.
Add chopped garlic and fry until it slightly browned.
Add chopped onion and fry until it is transparent.
Add cubed pumpkin and fry for couple for minutes.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water and simmer and cover and cook.
Cook until the pumpkin is completely cooked, but not mushy, it should hold its shape.
Add the cooked dal. Add salt and garam masala powder.
Adjust the dal to medium consistency by adding water, if the dal is thick.
Boil for couple of minutes and switch off the flame.
Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with hot steamed rice with any stir fry of your choice.

Beans and Potato Stir Fry

Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 5-6,
Beans - 1 cup into 1 inch strips,
Potato - 1/2 cup cut into i inch strips,
Sambhar Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Red chilly Powder - 1teaspoon,
Coriander Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,

In a broad thick bottomed pan, heat oil.
Add mustard and curry leaves, allow mustard to crackle.
Add Potatoes, and fry for couple of minutes.
Then add beans and fry in medium heat.
Turn heat to low and cover cook for 4-5 minutes or until the both the veggies are cooked, yet in shape, that is not over cooked.
Add sambhar powder or if you do not have sambhar powder add red chilly powder and coriander powder.
Add salt and turmeric. Mix well.
Fry for couple of more minutes in low flame.
Remove from heat and serve.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Aloo Tikki

The famous Aloo Tikki...A all time North Indian Snack. Just savour it with chutney or ketchup..go  a step further spread some green chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, some beaten curd , sprinkle chaat masala, onions and sev  ready to savour as chat or the famous ragda patis , if you have left over choley, then heat up choley spread on hot tikkis some green chutney,fresh onions, coriander and ready to serve..Lot of different tikkis later came on, with this basic aloo tikki, like mixed vegetable, beetroot, fresh peas and so on..but potato remains the base for the tikki..Unless replaced by raw banana, but that posts will come later.
Now I love aloo tikkis, while watching a nice movie in the evening on a weekend with family.
These tikkis are soo simple to make, can be made in less then half hour and  even be made low calories by baking them, they also feel less heavy on your tummy.It is up to you however you want to savour. I have shallow fried them with as much less oil I can. Can be sent to kids packed lunch wrapped in foil to keep fresh and crispy.

Potatoes - 4 Medium boiled, cooled and skin peeled,
Onion - 1 small finely chopped.
Green Chillies - 2 finely chopped,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Plain Flour - 2 tablespoons,
Cumin Powder - 11/2 teaspoon,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Lemon Juice - 1 medium lemon,
Bread crumbs - 1/4 to 1/2 cup,
Oil for frying.

Boil the potatoes until they are well cooked.
Cool them well and peel the skin.
Keep in mind, before mixing the ingredients, make sure that potatoes are well cooled, or else hot potato mashed and mixed for tikkis, make the tikkis dry.
Then mash the potatoes with masher, or grate them.
Mix rest of the ingredietns with mashed potato and make a pliable dough.
No need to add water.
Heat a inch high frying pan, pour some oil, say about a 2 teaspoon for a tikki.
Make round balls of the dough, like you make for chappatis, you can take the same size as you take to make chapaptis or a bit bigger than it.
Roll them over bread crumbs well.
Place them on the hot oil, on a medium low flame.
Cook them both sides until golden brown , carefully flipping on both sides.
Take care to flip to the other side, only when it is properly cooked, or you will end up breaking the tikkis.
Serve hot with ketchep and green chutney.

For some reason, if your tikkis becomes soggy and not able to handle and make tikkis then refrigerate for an hour and then try making tikkis and fry them.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Avarekaalu/Mochakottai/Surti Papdi Masala bhat

Avarekaalu so very popular in Karntataka, especially in Mysore, Bangalore..people crave for it. Now during november december and up till february people enjoy...It is at its best flavour during these dew days...the aroma spreads the whole house..and it is overnight left in the dew..In bangalore during this season avare mela is conducted hundred and thousands of raw, cooked and different of varieties of dishes are made with this beans in the mela...The most popular house hold dishes are upma, rice flour rotti, pulao, dosa, sambhar, usili, nipattu and some even make payasam...except for tea and coffee during the season this beans is used literally in anything and every is a sin to not have this bean. There is a special dish called chidikida avare gojju is very popular which I will be posting in my future post...heavenly to go with poori, parboiled rice idlis and raagi balls.

Basmati Rice - 2 cups soaked for 20 minutes,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Ghee - 2 tablespoons,
Onion - 1 large sliced,
Above said Beans - 11/2 cups,
Boiling Water - 4 cups.

To Grind:
Cinnamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 5,
Cardamom - 2,
Green Chillies - 8-10,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Mint - 1/2 tablespoon,
Ginger - 2 inch,
Garlic - 4 pods,
Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoon(optional).

Pressure Cook the beans, with enough water, little salt for 3 whistles.
Grind the ingredients, under the grinding table with water to smooth paste.
In a broad pan, add oil and ghee and heat it.
Add sliced onions and fry until glossy.
Add cooked beans, water completely drained beans and fry for couple of minutes.
You can save beans cooked water, later to cook rice, as it adds aroma to the rice.
Add ground paste and fry until raw smell evaporates.
Add boiling water and adjust salt.
Drain completely water from rice, and add to boiling water.
Cover and cook, until rice completely is cooked and fluffy.
Approximately it takes 15-20 minutes, depends on the rice.
Serve with any raita.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Spinach Masoor Dal

One of the best dals with spinach that I love to savour..the masoor dal gives a lot of body unlike moong dal which makes you heavy after eating..the masoor dal though gives lot of body to the dal...but you will still feel light on your tummy. The wonderful taste of  masoor adds flavour and also nutritious.
The dal is cooked with turmeric and red chilly powder and then spinach  is cooked in the dal. Then tempered with spices. This goes well with rice as well as roti. Spinach adds more nutrition to the dal.

Masoor Dal/Red Lentils - 1 cup,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Spinach - 2 cups loosely packed,

To Temper:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
Whole Red Chillies - 2,
Cumin - 2 teaspoons,
Garlic - 2 cloves finely chopped,
Green Chillies - 2 finely chopped,
Red Onion - 1 medium finely chopped.

Clean the spinach by rinsing it number of times with water and chop it finely and keep it aside.
Wash the masoor dal twice and pressure cook it with enough water, turmeric and red chilly powder for three whistles. Once the pressure cooker cools blend the dal.
To the blended dal  add the chopped spinach and cook it until spinach wilts.
No need to add water to dal while cooking spinach as the, water in dal and also spinach leaves a lot of water while cooking, it is sufficient to wilt the spinach.
In another small pan, heat oil and ghee.
Add Red chillies and allow it to blacken.
This gives the smoky, sharp flavour to the dal, which enhances the taste of the dal.
Then add cumin, when it crackles, add green chillies and garlic.
Fry until garlic turns light brown.
Add onions and fry until glossy and add to dal.
Cover the dal immediately and rest it for couple of minutes, for the spices to seep into the dal.
You can squeeze a juice of lemon if you want to.
Serve with hot steamed rice or rotis with papad pickle or any sabji and enjoy. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Whole Wheat Flour Laddus

Whole Wheat flour laddus are nutritious snack for growing children. The nutrition is even more increased by adding almonds and flax that way you can also add other nuts like even pistachios . I have given it to my children and still do. They enjoy in the name of laadus.
It is really great snack for kids and yes grown ups can also indulge sometimes with the goodness.
The best part is it can be made easily without any hazzle, within half hour and can be stored up till a week. Yes of course if it is there any. Trust me they are not only tasty but healthy and nutritious too.
Whole wheat flour with ghee and sugar. I do not finely powder the sugar, I keep it a bit grainy as it gives the crunch to these balls. Now it is up to you to finely powder it or keep it grainy.

Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup,
Ghee - a little less than 1/2 cup,
Sugar - 3/4 cup,
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Flax Seeds Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Almond Powder - 1 tablespoon.

Melt the ghee and keep aside.
In a thick bottom medium big kadai, add the whole wheat flour.
Fry the whole wheat flour in medium low heat, until the raw smell of the flour evaporates.
This takes approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add ghee for about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and keep frying.
Keep the heat in low medium, as this ensures even frying and avoids burning of the flour.
Continue to add ghee and fry the flour, until the flour mixture turns to a grainy lump.
This stage takes approximately 6-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While it it still warm, add almond powder, cardamom powder and flax seeds powder and mix well.
Immediately also add sugar.
Now if you want you can, like me, add a bit grainy sugar or finely powdered sugar.
Remember to add sugar, when the mixture is still warm, this will make the sugar to loosen a bit and forms binding with the flour mixture and makes easier to make balls.
Make equal shaped sized balls and allow to rest.
Store in airtight containers and enjoy.
You can also send for your children's packed lunches for snacks, or after school snacks.

Eggless Plum Cake/Dry fruit Cake

Plum Cake is one of my favourite cakes, even my husband's.
I always wanted to bake this cake without rum and eggs.
I still remember when I was little, my dad use to spoil me, with these plum cakes. I have very fond memories of plum cake of my childhood.
I was trying different recipes but nothing came close.
Then I came across different recipes of cakes of sanjeev kapoor, but many had eggs in them.
Then again I sat with a scratch pad and pen and started chocking out what measure of ingredients and egg replacer, to get the right texture and taste of plum cake.
I tried them with the measurements I has scribbled , voila they gave me a perfect Plum cake in taste as well in texture. So here I am sharing it now.

Dry Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour - 2 cups,
Baking Powder - 11/2 teaspoons,
Bio Carbonate of Soda - 11/2 teaspoons,
Clove Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Nutmeg Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Wet Ingredients:
Unsalted Butter - 100 grams in room temperature,
Powdered Sugar - 6 tablespoons,
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 400 grams,
Milk - 1 cup room temperature,
Vanilla Essence - 1/2 teaspoon,

Dry Fruit Mix:
Dates, Cashew, Almonds, Raisins, Pistachio, tutti fruiti and any other dry fruits you need - 1Cup.
Mix the dry fruits with a tablespoon of plain flour and keep aside.
This is to ensure that the dry fruits do not sink to the bottom of the cake.

Pre Heat Oven at 180 degree celsius/gas mark 4.
Sieve together all the dry ingredients twice, to ensure the flours are lump free.
Start with creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add condensed milk and beat well to blend.
Slowly add the milk and mix well.
Add vanilla essence and mix.
Now slowly add the dry ingredients and fold gently as to not air out the mixture.
Make sure the flours are well folded.
Now gently fold the dry fruits and do not over mix.
Grease  an 8 inch baking tray and pour the batter gently to the tin.
Bake it for 35 - 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Remove from oven, cool for five minutes and place it on a wire rack and cool it completely.
Cut into slices and serve and enjoy.

All the ingredients especially milk and butter should be in room temperature.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Kidney Bean and Black Chickpeas in East Indian Bottle Masala

This is my friends V's recipe. When I tasted her mixed beans gravy in East Indian Bottle Masala..It tasted awesome..something very different and very tasty then our normal beans gravy. When I asked her the secret..she revealed that it was done in a special spice mix called 'east indian bottle masala' that she get's it from mumbai, when she visits. Then I googled and tried to make the masala recipe.. I coudn't, then again I asked her to get me the recipe..She got it from her aunt..
I will post the recipe for the spice mix recipe in one of my later posts.
Trust me it really makes a difference. Your gravy with beans will never be the same boring taste.
Though the original recipe is very simple, but I made changes to suit for both roti and rice.
To give the body to the gravy, I have added some coconut and grounded with rest of the spices and finally flavoured nicely with East Indian Bottle Masala.

For Grinding:
Dry Red Chillies -  4-6,
Onion - 1 medium,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic - 3 cloves,
Cloves - 3,
Cinnamon - 2 inch.

Red Kidney Beans/Rajma - 1 cup(soaked overnight or 8 hours),
Black Chic peas - 1/2 cup(soaked for overnight or 8 hours),
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin - 2 teaspoons,
Tomatoes - 5 medium Skin Peeled and pureed,
East Indian Bottle Masala - 1 teaspoon,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

Pressure both the kidney beans and chic peas with enough water and little salt, for 3-4 whistles and keep aside.
Ground the ingredients under grinding table with water to smooth paste.
In a Medium pan sauce pan, heat oil.
Add cumin, when it crackles add ground paste.
Fry the paste until, the oil leaves the sides.
Add pureed tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tomatoes are well cooked and raw smell evaporates.
Add East Indian Bottle Masala Powder and add the cooked beans with water and adjust salt.
Simmer the gravy for 15 minutes, until you get the medium consistency and garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with rice or rotis.

Take care while adding salt, as you have already added some while cooking the beans.
The beans cooked liqueur
r is too much, then add as much, for desired consistency.  Either to medium thickness or thick consistency as you desire.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Eggless Dry Fruits Cake

After a long time I was craving for this dry fruits cake, as christmas is around, so more reasons for the craving. But I had no patience to soak the dry fruits, so cooked up in my head which would go closer to this christmas cake..once the cake was baked the kitchen was smelling dry fruits and cake...hhhmm tempting. I had tried quite a few recipes for this instant christmas cake without need to soak, but after many tries this recipe gave me the satisfaction of having instant christmas cake..even if you dont have all the nuts and fruits at home, you can make do with the available dry fruits at home and enjoy.

Dry Ingredients:
Maida/All Purpose Flour - 1 cup,
Corn Flour - 2 tablespoon,
All spice Powder - 1/2 teaspoon(clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom powder mix),
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon,
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Wet Ingredients:
Condensed Milk - 3/4 cup/tin/300 grams,
Butter - 125 grams melted,
Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon,
Fresh Orange juice - 2 tablespoons.
Dry Fruits - 1/2 cup.(I had store bought dry fruit mix which had papaya, raisins pistachio cherry, almonds, cashew and others),

Pre heat the oven at 180 degree celsius.
Grease an 8 inch cake pan.
Put the parchment/butter  paper at the bottom of the cake tin.
Sieve all the dry ingredients together couple of times, to ensure no lumps.
Cream butter and condensed milk.
Add vanilla and Orange juice.
Blend Together.
I would suggest to use freshly squeezed orange juice, rather than store bought orange juice for the fresh and citrusy, bitter taste.
Fold the sieved flour slowly as to not air out the batter.
Once you fold the flour and just before you put it to bake fold the dry fruits slowly and carefully.
Do take care not to over mix the batter.
Slowly transfer into the baking tin and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.
Remove from oven and cool it on a wire rack and serve with coffee or tea.

Cooking time varies according to your oven, so keep an eye after 20 minutes of baking, remove when the inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Paneer Paratha

Parathas are the most famous punjabi breakfast.
Though I am not a punjabi, but I love most of the vegetarian punjabi food, like, dal makhani, parathas, samosas and so on..the list is long.
My family also loves paratha..I like them with nice spicy mango pickle, yogurt and butter.
Paneer is also my family's favourite, so what better it can be for a meal than paneer paratha.
So here it is,..

Whole Wheat Flour - 1cup,
Water - 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon,
Oil - 2 teaspoons.

For Stuffing:
Home made or store bought Paneer - 1 cup grated or crumbled,
Salt a pinch,
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 2 very finely chopped,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon finely chopped.

In a large bowl mix whole wheat flour and salt, mix well.
Make a well in the flour.
Pour water slowly into the flour well and bring all the flour together and make a soft dough.
The quantity of water given above will  be sufficient to make the soft dough.
This is slightly soft dough than normal chapathi  dough.
Knead the dough at least for 10 -15 minutes, this will ensure nice soft and crispy parathas.
Rub the oil on outer surface of the dough and cover and rest for 20-30 minutes.
Rubbing oil to the dough will avoid the drying up of the dough.
Mix all the ingredients under stuffing and divide into equal size balls and cover and keep aside.
Now make pedas of dough, roll it to your palm size.
Place the stuffing in the middle of the rolled dough.
Bring all the sides of the dough, to properly cover and seal the stuffing.
Make sure that the stuffing is intact inside the dough, and then roll out into medium thick chapathis.
Heat the tawa, place the rolled chapathis on the heated tawa and cook it both sides with few drops of oil.
It should be cooked in medium heat.
Serve hot with your choice of pickle, butter and yogurt.

Masala Puri

One of the favourite house hold snacks in south India..It is so apt for this winter evenings with coffee or tea. Spiced with red chilly powder and garlic. the fresh flavour of curry leaves, the crunch from the peanuts and roasted can also add fry shavings of dry coconut along with other ingredients to give with extra crunch and mild sweetness from the coconut(I couldnt add, as I didnt have them) makes it a perfect tea time snack or to munch whenever you want to. You can store in a airtight jar up till for a week. It stays fresh, above all it can be made in minutes and enjoyed.

Kadale Puri/churmuri/murmura - 1cup,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 20,
Garlic - 5 crushed(optional),
Peanuts - 2 tablespoon,
Dry Coconut Shavings - 1/4 cup,
Roasted Gram - 1 tablespoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 11/4 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon.

In a broad kadai, heat oil.
Add asafoetida and curry leaves and fry.
Add crushed garlic and fry until lightly brown. Take care not to burn garlic, as it will taste bitter.
Add peanuts and fry until roasted.
Add add dry coconut shavings and fry until crisp.
Add roasted gram and fry for a minute.
Switch off the flame.
Add salt, red chilly powder and turmeric. Mix well.
Add the Puri and mix well. Allow this to sit for few minutes in the same kadai.
The heat of the kadai will make the puri crisp.
Remove from the kadai and spread on a paper.
After it cools a bit, store in a airtight jar and enjoy.