The weekend brought with it a craving for the Konkani style of cooking, with fresh coconut and Kokum, hence decided to go and buy seafood but instead we ate a Jumbo Crab lunch at one of the Dubai Restaurants. But the craving for my style of cooking of the malvani curry was still lingering and hence I decided to cook this Hara Chana for dinner, it was supposed to be the next morning breakfast 🙂 .
Green Chickpea that I used is the dried Hirva Harbara/chana as it is called in Marathi. The fresh chana tastes sweet, but even the dried ones taste bit sweeter when compared with the black chana. For this preparation I used freshly grated coconut for the gravy masala, added Kokum for its typical sweetish yet tangy taste, and used my homemade garam masala powder that I grind weekly or fortnightly and keep ready for use. The ground garam masala has Cumin, Black Cardamom, Green cardamom, Star anise, Black Peppercorns, Bayleaf, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Caraway seeds and Cloves. I also used the dried coriander powder that has Cumin added to it while powdering it.
The coconut adds a rich creamy sweetish taste, the whole dried red chili/ red chili powder and the garam masala adds to the perfect hot and spicy taste and the Kokum imparts the necessary sourness that can be adjusted by adding the kokum pieces according to ones taste. This gravy is mouthwatering, very flavorful and yummy to those who love the Konkani or Goan cuisine, one of my favorites.
Hara Chana: 300 gm
Onion: 1 small
Freshly grated coconut: 3 Tbsp
Tomato: 1 Medium
Dried Red Chili: 2 no.
Ginger & Garlic paste: 1 Tbsp
Coriander powder: 2 Tsp
Red Chili Powder: 2 Tsp
Turmeric: 1/2 Tsp
Garam Masala powder: 1 Tsp
Salt: To taste
Kokum: 5 pieces
Cooking oil: 2 Tbsp
Water: As needed for boiling the chana and also to add and adjust the thickness of the gravy.
Wash the dried Hara chana and soak in water for 5-6 hours or overnight. Boil it for 3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker.
Heat Kadai or fry-pan on the gas stove, add few drops of oil, then put the red chili, the chopped onion and saute, then add the chopped tomato and finally add the grated coconut and fry till this masala is cooked. Grind this to a fine paste once it is cool.
If the ginger garlic paste is not ready, then we can add a small piece of ginger and 4 garlic cloves to the above masala while grinding.
Heat another Kadai and add the remaining oil, put the ground masala paste and ginger garlic paste and cook till the oil separates and is seen at the edges of the kadai. Use little quantity of water, if required, to fry the masala as this prevents the masala from getting burnt. Then add the turmeric, red chili powder, kokum, salt and simmer for a minute or two and then add the boiled chana to this masala. Let it cook on slow flame for 10 minutes. This allows the masala to mix well with the boiled chana. Do add all the water that is in the boiled chana when it was kept for boiling.
Add the garam masala just before the gas is to be switched off. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
SERVING OPTIONS: This can be served with Puri or Paratha or Roti, Dosa, set dosa or any bread of choice. I served it with whole wheatflour puris and some finely chopped onions. Rice and Hara chana gravy too can be another option.
NOTE: The home ground garam masala is fresh, stronger in flavor and hence very small quantity is required. If you are using outside store bought one then do adjust quantity as per the taste.
I enjoyed eating this yummy dish and feel happy to share it here with you all. Providing the links below to some other similar recipes that you might find interesting from ashuskitchen 🙂 .
Dill, a green leafy vegetable that can be used as vegetable or a herb , it has a typical flavor that is strong, is aromatic, and was something that I had never tasted in my mother’s house before marriage. My dad never liked the strong flavor of this vegetable and hence mom never made it in our home. I got introduced to this leafy bundle after my marriage, my mother-in-law used to make it perfectly, and I have adapted this recipe from what I have tasted when she cooked it. Both my kids love these greens, and this recipe is the most preferred method of the two that I use to prepare these Dill greens. We can prepare the greens using soaked Mung dal too. I usually do not like to see oil oozing out on to the plate from any sabji that I cook for the day, but for this one I usually add a little extra oil.
Until last month I had eaten Dill leaves in this particular sabji form only, never cooked or tasted its different recipes. But during my recent Georgia travel, I got to taste some amazing recipes using the herb Dill. It is used extensively in other cuisines too, and I loved the versatile uses of it. It was used in soups, salads, as well as rice, and some unique chicken and mutton recipes. I loved the use of it in soups, it enhanced the flavor of the vegetables and chicken so perfectly, the taste still lingers on my tongue. I hope to try out some of these below recipes in my kitchen soon.
These couple food picture below that I am sharing are from my Georgian travel, the soups and Chicken salad that used dill as a herb, it imparted a perfect flavor to these simple recipes.
Now let us get on with the preparation to make the Dill sabji. It is also called as Shepuchi bhaji in Maharashtra in India.
DILL SABJI/SHEPUCHI BHAJI
Dill greens: 2 Bundles
Green chilies: 2 long ones
Onion: 2 Medium
Tomato: 1 Medium
Garlic: 2-3 Cloves
Oil: 3 Tbsp
Turmeric: 1 Tsp
Cumin: 1 Tsp
Salt: To taste
Clean the leafy bundle by separating the tender stems and leaves. Wash and towel dry the Dill greens.
Slice the garlic cloves. Finely chop the green chilies, onions, and tomato.
Heat a Kadai on the gas stove. Add the oil to it, once it gets hot then add the cumin.
Next add the chopped green chilies and garlic. Saute, then add the finely chopped onions. Cook till the onion become pinkish, then add the chopped tomato. Cook till it gets soft and we see oil at the sides. Then add the turmeric and salt.
Then add the chopped Dill greens. Cover with lid for 5 min, and then remove the lid. We cover it for only few minutes because we just want to ensure the tender stalks get cooked but without changing the color of the leaves. If we cover with lid for long, it adds water to the sabji and gives it a dull color, and also the taste is compromised.
Cooking the greens does not take much time, and hence try and be near the stove while it is getting done. Dry up any liquid from the sabji and put off the flame from the stove, and empty the sabji on to a serving plate or bowl.
I had made a simple bottle gourd Dal to go with this sabji, a freshly made cucumber salad, fulka and some red groundnut chutney. This was my simple dinner menu the other day. I have one roasted papad too on the plate.
I will try and make a post of my other Dill greens recipe that I make adding the Mung dal sometime sooner.
This is a simple vegetarian sabji that I make in my kitchen, and am happy to share with you all here on the blog. Hope you like this easy-to-make Maharashtrian recipe.
This is one of the easy-to-make dishes of mine that I often love to make and pack for lunchbox. The family is always happy when this chaat is packed for tiffin. The simplicity and versatile aspect of this dish makes it a favorite of mine too, I have a good scope of adding different ingredients each time. If the chane are kept boiled, ready to be used, then one can end up making a couple preparations out of them. Today for this post I am sharing my chaat recipe.
The chaat is loaded with fiber not only from the Chane but also the vegetables and fruits used. It has the sweet and sour taste of the green apples and hence I have not added lemon juice. The finely chopped onion and the green capsicum gives it a good crunch . We can add any single colored or all the bell peppers and make it a more colorful combination. I have used only the green capsicum as I wanted to impart the capsicum flavor without adding more of its sweetness. The pomegranate pearls add the sweetness as well as the fiber. Any chaat is incomplete without the savory Sev, a must for all chaats, use it as per your own requirement. As this chaat is made of chana and the Sev is also made of gram flour, so we do not need heaps of Sev on this chaat, just a small sprinkle is good enough. One can pack this for school or office snack/lunchbox or can also serve as a chaat accompaniment in the party menu at home. One can keep the boiled chane handy in the refrigerator and can make a quick snack when hungry. It is a good recipe for those who are trying a weight loss regimen, the bowlful chaat is full of protein and fiber and hence gives fullness to the tummy as well and does not make us go for another quick bite of food. The fiber load makes it good for Diabetics too.
KALE CHANE KI CHAAT
INGREDIENTS: (For one portion)
Kale Chane: 150 gm
Oil: 1 Tbsp
GingerGarlic paste: 1 Tsp
Onion: 1 Medium
Turmeric: 1/2 Tsp
Coriander powder: 1 Tsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp
Chaat Masala: 1 Tsp
Cumin: 1/2 Tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 Tsp
Capsicum: 1 small
Green Apple: Few slices (1/2 apple)
Pomegranate: 1/2 (as per requirement)
Barik (Fine) Sev: 1 Tbsp
Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp (Finely chopped for garnish.)
NOTE:I have given recipe for one portion only. You can increase the chana quantity and accordingly the rest of the ingredients to make more portions.
Soak the kale chane overnight and bring to boil upto three whistles in a pressure cooker.
Finely chop the onion, capsicum, green apple and green coriander. Remove the pearls from the pomegranate and keep ready. (You can click here to know the easy method to remove the pearls.)
Heat Kadai on the gas stove, add oil and as the oil heats up add the mustard seeds and cumin. As they crackle, add the finely chopped half onion, saute and as it turns pinkish, add the spices.
Then add the boiled chane to the kadai and cook. If little water of the boiled Chana gets added then cook till all the water is dried up. Switch off the gas stove, then sprinkle the chaat masala over the Chana and mix.
Empty the Chane in a bowl or serving plate. Top the Chane with the finely chopped half portion of onion, green capsicum, green apples and the pomegranate pearls. Then sprinkle on top with the fine Sev and finally garnish with finely chopped green coriander.
You can note how easy and fast the recipe can be prepared. If a recipe has many health benefits then it should be definitely tried out at home and encouraged to be eaten by all.
Hope you all enjoy trying out and tasting this quick Chaat dish, and making it a more versatile version by adding your favorite ingredients, provided you keep it as healthy.
Happy eating home cooked food and maintaining a good health. 🙂
The food available during the season decides the menu for most festivals in Indian homes. For us summer is the mango season, the market is flooded with lots of varieties of mangoes. The fruit starts appearing first in the market as the suns intensity increases from end of February to early March. March month sees the Badam variety of mango starting to appear on the fruit stalls. The taste of the mangoes is best as the summer heat peaks up. In today’s times many fruit sellers resort to methods to quickly ripen the fruits, but that alters the taste. With the market flooded with mangoes, the different dishes or recipes of mangoes dominate the dining table menu :). The summer months also is time for school vacations, and it was the best time during my childhood to enjoy as many varieties of mangoes. Too much or over excess of mango eating results in the boils appearing overnight , but still one would not care as it was vacation time. Also we had many local varieties of the fruit available brought directly from the farms, something that is greatly missed now as an adult, something that my kids have never even got to taste, as we reside out and here the supermarkets have fruits supply coming from many countries. Still I try to make the dishes with whichever variety of mango is available in this region.
Aamras is the sweet dish made up of ripe mangoes. It is just mango pulp, sugar and little milk or water added to get a thinner consistency. It is part of the meals as a sweet dish. When the aamras is made, then the kurudi or papad are also deep fried to eat along with the Aamras. Also, boiled homemade Sevai or Vermicelli is eaten along with the Aamras. This becomes a part of the whole vegetarian meal or thali. It is a popular and delicious sweet dish. The many different varieties of mangoes can be used to make Aamras. The best taste would be from Alphonso variety of mangoes, but I equally prefer the Junagad Kesar variety of mango that I used to buy when I was residing in Gujarat, India. The Kesar mango that we get is Gujarat is my personal favorite.
Currently I reside in the UAE, and the supermarket or vegetable vendors have mangoes from many countries being sold here. As I visited my home country in the month of May I was able to relish the fresh mango produce of Alphonso mangoes and also the Aamras. This weekend I got the Chaunsa variety of mango, a produce of Pakistan from the supermarket, and decided to make the Aamras for this post. The taste of this Aamras is definitely different, but when Alphonso mangoes are not around then this or whichever variety is available would do if one craves for the Aamras, right?! 🙂
AAMRAS & KURUDI PAPAD
Ripe Mangoes : 500 gms
Sugar: 25 gms
Milk: 100 gms
Wash and dry the ripened mangoes. Remove the skin using a sharp knife and cut the mango into small pieces and throw away the seed.
Take mixer pot and put the cut mango pulp and sugar into it and whisk the mixer on high speed so that we get a smooth paste. Add milk to it and get the thinner consistency as desired.
The kurudi papad is deep fried in oil and served with Aamras.
NOTE:The amount of sugar used depends upon the sweetness of the mangoes.
The Chaunsa mangoes that I have used were extremely sweet and I had to add very little quantity of sugar for the mango pulp/cubes used to make the Aamras. Do use the sugar quantity as needed depending on the mangoes used and also the sweetness preferred.
Any traditional Vegetarian Maharashtrian or Indian meal for that matter is served in a thali form , a big steel plate with all the dishes for the day served in small portions along with the sweets that form as the dessert and served to the guests. It consists of two to three types of vegetables, curry, pickles, chutneys, papads, roti, rice & dal with ghee, and the sweets. When you serve the Aamras with the Kurudi, the meal served becomes a feast, the guests too are happy. This was the way we ate our meals in childhood, but now mostly only on festival days or special days, as any regular day it is usually not so elaborate but simple and more of regular kind of food.
Nowadays one mostly prefers to make mango milk shakes or smoothies, but do give this dish a try and serve it as part of a vegetarian meal or thali meal and enjoy the different flavors in your meal.
This recipe is my adapted version of the Gujarati dish Muthia. During my stay in the state, I learned couple of Gujarati recipes from my neighbors and friends. The recipes are all cooked according to my preference and hence I have altered the few ingredients that are essential part of Gujarati recipe i.e. Sugar or Gur. I tend to avoid adding sugar to my cooking and hence I do not add it in the tempering too.
I make methi muthia for adding to the Undhiyo dish. This Friday, I made this favorite breakfast version of the Muthia using 4 to 5 different flours and fresh green methi leaves. As it is a steamed dish and oil is used only for tempering, so it is a healthy recipe too. The mixed flours have a little coarser corn and wheat flour, it adds fiber to the recipe. The methi and Sesame too adds the fiber. The carom or ajwain seeds aid in digestion.
Friday being a weekend here in the middle east, the breakfast has to be something special, I added my little touch in the display, the family loved it and we enjoyed a hearty meal. The muthias were served with a freshly ground, tangy, green coriander and mint chutney/dip. I added curd and onion dip too, in case one wished to have the curd taste, I need curds with most of my meals :).
Sharing here my healthy steamed muthia recipe. These are the ingredients that I use for this version in my kitchen, might differ from the traditional recipe and cooking, but I prefer this version for the steamed one.
TILWALE METHI MUTHIA:
Flours: 1/2 katoris each of Rice flour, Makai (corn)atta, Rava (wheat semolina), Bhajni atta (optional) and 1 to 1 1/2 katori of Wheat flour.
(Note: one could use whichever flours they have from above, and it does not matter if one of the flours is not added. You can mix semolina and wheat flour too to make this. Some also use gramflour and semolina only.)
Green Fenugreek/Methi leaves: 1 bunch
Sesame seeds: 50 gms
Curd/yogurt: 2 Tbsp
Red chili flakes/red chili powder: 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1 Tsp
Ajwain (Carom seeds): 1 Tsp
Salt: To taste
Cooking Oil: 2 Tbsp
Long red Chili: 1 nu
Water: 1 glass (as required)
Chaat masala: 1 Tsp (optional)
Take the flours in a bowl or a big deep plate, add the ajwain, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and mix. Make a well in the center and add the finely chopped methi leaves and curd. Mix well and using water make a medium-to-soft dough.
Divide the dough into medium balls and make long rolls out of the balls.
Grease a steaming basket, place the rolls in it, brush the rolls with oil so that they do not stick to each other after being steamed.
I steamed these methi rolls for 15 minutes in an electric rice cooker, I find it very easy to use the electric rice cooker. Once done, remove them from the cooker and allow to cool.
Once cooled, our rolls are ready to be cut into even-sized roundels. I prefer cutting them into bite-size portions, easy to eat with a toothpick, also can be served as an appetizer /finger food at parties.
For the Tadka (or tempering):
Heat a Wok or Karahi on the gas stove, add the oil and heat.
Add the sesame seeds and the long red chili slices. Once the sesame starts to crackle then add the cut roundels and stir well so that the Sesame gets evenly coated.
One can add little salt, chili flakes, and chat masala at this stage too, if preferred. Mix well and remove on a serving dish or plate.
I served the muthias with a tangy DhaniyaPudina Chutney and Onioncurd raita.
Give these yummy bites a try and enjoy with friends and family. Wishing you all a good day ahead.
I returned last week from Mumbai, few hectic/busy days in my motherland, spent in the company of my mother and siblings, attending a family function, zooming around the neighborhood on a two-wheeler, and yup clicking loads of pictures too! And I also relished the Pani Puris, an all time favorite street food. As I just returned from Maharashtra, a state in India, so today I bring to you all the Maharashtrian dish called Ragda Patties. This is a wholesome dish that could be a breakfast, or a weekend brunch, or a light & bit different dinner menu. I made it this weekend as our Friday morning brunch menu, yeah, we have a Friday/Saturday weekend here in the UAE, with Sunday being the first day of the week.
Ragda Patties is enjoyed by the kids and hence always makes it to the table as a weekend menu when all members of the family are relaxed and the mood is happy with fun and laughter around the household. This dish is a two in one snack, one is the potato pattie and the other is the Ragda, the legume curry, and together they make what we call as the Ragda Patties. It requires a little pre-preparation, the legume that is used for curry needs to be soaked for 6-8 hrs before they are boiled to make the Ragda.
It also happens to be a favorite Indian street food too, sold on the road side food joints that dole out the piping hot potato patties on the big tava right in front of us, with us drooling till the vendor serves it to us. When one makes it at home, the taste sure differs, the freshness of the ingredients and the love of the person making it contributes to make the dish something that is always welcomed. I am a more particular healthy foodie and hence my cooking uses far less quantity of cooking oil as compared to the general Indian family standards back home. I also try and give the recipe a healthy twist incorporating new ingredients, but at the same time taking care not to change the taste of the recipe as far as possible.
This ashu’s recipe of Ragda Patties uses cooking oats along with the boiled potatoes to make the crisp tikkis or patties that forms one part of the dish. The rest of the ingredients used remain the same. I prefer to use either Canola oil or Extra virgin olive oil in my cooking, but you could use any cooking oil that you use at home.
Potatoes: 4 Medium
Cooking Oats: 3 tbsp
Breadcrumbs: 50 gm
Salt & Chili Powder : As per taste
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Green Chili: 1 (finely chopped)
Chopped green Coriander: 1 Tbsp
Oil: 2 Tbsp
Dried White peas : 250 gm
Cumin: 1 Tsp
Onion: 1 Big
Tomatoes: 2 Medium
Olive oil: 2 Tbsp
Ginger & Garlic paste: 1 tsp each
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Chili Powder: 2 Tsp (As per taste)
Coriander powder: 1 Tbsp
Garam masala powder: 1 Tsp
Dry Mango Powder: 1 Tsp
Sweet Tamarind chutney
Barik (fine) Sev
Finely chopped onion
Finely chopped coriander
Soak the dried white peas in enough water so as to cover them overnight. Pressure cook the soaked legumes to three whistles, this cooks them to soft and mushy consistency.
Boil the potatoes and remove the skin and mash them to smooth texture.
Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, green chili and green coriander.
For making the patties, take the mashed potatoes in a bowl, add the cooking oats, the chopped green chili, green coriander, salt, and mix well. We can also add a pinch of dry mango powder to it.
Take breadcrumbs in a plate. Give shape to the mixture to form patties, coat them with the breadcrumbs. We can either make round ones by hand or use the mould to make heart-shaped ones, as I have done here. Dust away the excess breadcrumbs.
Keep a fry pan on the gas stove and heat, put 1 Tbsp oil and heat. Cook the patties in the fry pan, turning over and cooking evenly on both sides. Remove them when they are cooked on both sides and crisp. Do keep the gas flame from medium-to-slow to ensure that the outer covering does not get over cooked and burnt while the inside remains uncooked. Use more oil if required to make them crisper. Remove and keep the patties on a serving plate once they are done.
TO MAKE THE RAGDA:
Heat a karahi or round bottom pan on the gas stove. Heat the oil in it and then add the cumin, then the chopped onions and fry. When the onion turn pinkish then add the ginger garlic paste, saute and then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes and then add the turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, dry mango powder, and salt. Then add the boiled white peas and mix thoroughly. Add a glass of water, or as required, to make it in a curry consistency. The peas usually dry up the water when boiled, we want the ragda curry with medium thick gravy and hence adjust the water to add. Let this gravy simmer for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the garam masala powder on top and the chopped coriander and cover the pot with the lid and switch off the gas flame. Our Ragda is ready to be used.
(I do not have any pictures to upload as I never took them when I was making the Ragda, I will click and re-upload them on a later date when I again make the Ragda :))
SERVING: Take a deep dish, put 2-3 ladles of the Ragda curry, then place the pattie in the center. To get a sweet and sour taste we can put teaspoonfuls of the green chutney and the tamarind chutney. Sprinkle on top finely chopped onions, fine gram flour Sev and green coriander leaves.
One could also use lemon juice instead of the tamarind chutney, if one does not wish to make it sweet but want it to be tangy. The quantity of toppings used depends on personal preference, hence I have not mentioned the quantity in the ingredients list.
The chutneys add more or enhance the flavors of the dish, making it a Chaat recipe and one usually enjoys it more by adding lots of Sev on top.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT: Legumes are a good source of vegetarian proteins and rich in fiber. The potatoes form the carbohydrate part but when we add the oats we increase the fiber content of the Potato patties and make it a more healthy version.
Hope you all enjoyed going through the recipe, do give it a go to find out if your taste buds get tickled by the combination of flavors used.
Thalipeeth is a flat bread made of a mix of multigrain flours, mixed with dry spices and onion and cooked on the gas stove in a frying pan. It is one of the most loved Maharashtrian breakfast recipes. This multigrain flour mix called as Thalipeeth Bhajani is sold in some grocery stores and also some people make it at home by mixing the pulses and wheat and getting it ground in any nearby flour mill. Most often I do not have this flour readily available at home to use and hence I always make this baked version using only wholewheat flour. We can add Gram flour and rice flour too along with the wheat flour, but for making this thalipeeth I always use only wholewheat flour, it is always readily available and I prefer this taste.
This thalipeeth is the baked version and the dough is made medium soft. Instead of making plain wheat flour fulkas and sabji, one can make this as a wholesome meal alternative.
This is a nutritious and healthy recipe, I have added ingredients to make it one. Using wholegrain and nuts increases the fiber content in the diet. The sesame, and groundnut and flaxseed chutney also adds the nutty taste. The flaxseeds are also good source of fiber and also has the Omega -3s. The fiber or roughage in diet is the undigested part of the plant food that helps with proper bowel movements, forms the bulk of the stools, absorbs water and softens it. It aids to relieve constipation. The caraway seeds too aid in digestion. I have added freshly ground paste of green coriander, green chilies and garlic, and added chopped onions and also greens of spring onions. Yogurt is also added that has milk proteins as well as calcium.
BAKED WHOLEWHEAT FLOUR THALIPEETH
Wholewheat flour: 350 gm
Onion: 1 big
Spring onions: 1 Bunch (small)
Green coriander + Garlic + Green chili paste: 1 1/2 Tbsp
Curd: 2 Tbsp
Carom seeds: 1 Tsp
Sesame Seeds: 1 Tbsp
Ground Groundnut + Flaxseeds chutney: 1 Tbsp
Red Chili Flakes: 1 Tbsp (optional)
Dried Thyme: 1 Tsp
Water: 200 ml (use as required)
Oil: 50 ml
Turmeric: 1 Tsp
Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: To taste
Using few coriander leaves, 1-2 green chilies, and 1-2 garlic cloves make a roughly ground paste. You can add roasted groundnut and flaxseeds to this mix while grinding. I keep groundnut and flaxseed chutney ready in my house.
Chop the onion and spring onion greens finely. Assemble all the ingredients required for making the dough.
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Grease a round pie dish with oil and sprinkle with the dried thyme herb and groundnut chutney.
Mix the wholewheat flour with all the ingredients shown in the pic, add the turmeric, salt, 1 Tbsp oil and using water make a medium soft dough.
Spread the dough on the pie dish and press firmly so that we get an even flat thalipeeth. I have shared this recipe using a square oven tin, click here to check that recipe.
Bake this in the preheated oven at 200 deg C for 40 min or until the Thalipeeth is cooked and the sides appear crusty. (Note: Oven used in houses are different, hence the oven timing may be a little less or more, use self-discretion).
Mid way remove the pan from the oven and apply a coat of oil on top. This gives a shine, does not make the top dry, and also makes it crusty.
This is how it should be after it is removed from the oven. Serve it with a dip of choice or with the parsley pesto as seen in the picture.
Click here for the Parsley Pesto recipe. You can also search the archives for my Tomato dip recipe.
I added Tandoori mushrooms and Baked mashed potatoes to the menu to make it a complete meal keeping in view the demand for mashed potatoes from my Jr.
One could also add vegetable or Chicken soup to the above menu. This is one of the baked dinner menus made last week and the family enjoyed it. The freshly made parsley pesto dip added a more enhanced, tangy & herby flavor to the thalipeeth.
Go ahead and try making this ashu’s baked version of the Maharashtrian recipe of Thalipeeth, and have a happy baking time in your kitchen :).
We all know the importance of food in our lives. It is a medium that also helps us to connect with one another. One easily gets connected with like minded foodies through the food that they love, and now with the help of social media through the pictures that one shares. For me the food journey has seen bringing the people together, and one can see the influence of Indian food, its spices and curries spread to so many countries across the globe. It gives great happiness and a fascinating feeling to see the love of Indian cuisine shared by so many non-Indians.
I have always enjoyed this bond that is created by the food I cook. Travelling to places makes us aware of the different landscapes, but also brings us closer to the community or people in that place. This incident happened with me during a sightseeing visit to Cologne, Germany, when I was on a short visit to Frankfurt couple years back. We were visiting the Chocolate Museum in Cologne and during lunch time were seated and had just opened the home packed lunch, an elderly lady stopped by, started talking with us and so we offered and shared our food with her. She was telling us how she loved the Indian food and was so happy to eat with us, and it was this same Cowpea curry that we were eating that noon. Every time I cook this legume, I am fondly reminded of that total stranger who shared the food with us that day. It was the food that had connected us at that moment, and though I am not aware where she must be at this moment but I always get this warmth thinking about that afternoon.
Most Indian families makes use of Lentils and Legumes in their daily food. Most of the legumes are sprouted before use to make them more nutritious, and also for fast cooking and better absorption. The sprouts increase the nutritive value of the legumes. Legumes are a source of good dietary fiber in our diet and also are a good vegetarian protein source. The legumes cooked in the form of usal or curry are eaten with pav, parathas or roti and can be eaten as a breakfast food or main meal and it as well adds as a curry component of the regular vegetarian meal served in hotels or canteens etc.
The cowpeas are usually preferred as a weekend breakfast dish in my house. It is easy and fast to cook, and does not matter even if one forgets to soak them the previous night. All the ingredients required are always present in the house, and hence one does not need any planning to make this dish.
Cowpeas: 250 gm
Onion: 2 Medium
Tomatoes: 1 Big
Ginger Garlic paste: 1 Tbsp
Oil: 2 Tbsp
Chilli Powder: 1 Tbsp
Coriander Cumin Powder: 1 Tbsp
Salt: To Taste
Garam Masala Powder: 1 Tsp
Green Coriander: 2 Tbsp finely chopped
Water: 1 Glass
Boil the Cowpeas/Lobia/Chavli in a pressure cooker upto 2-3 whistle.
Finely chop the onions and tomatoes. Make the ginger garlic paste using 3-4 garlic cloves and small piece of ginger. Finely chop the green coriander that would be used for garnishing after the dish is prepared.
Heat a Kadai or pot and add the oil. Then add the finely chopped onions and sauté till they are pinkish. Then add the ginger garlic paste, and after it is cooked for 1-2 minutes add the tomatoes and cook well till all are completely mashed. Then add all the spices and chili powder and salt and stir, and as soon as we see oil separate from the masala in the pan then add the boiled cowpeas.
Mix everything, add some water and let it cook on slow flame. Once it is boiled and all the masala is mixed evenly and a curry is formed, switch off the flame. Adjust adding the water quantity according to the thickness of the curry required.
Then lastly add the garam masala and finely chopped green coriander and keep it covered for sometime.
TIP: Serve this along with Roti, Paratha, Bread or Pav, or one could also eat this with steaming white rice at lunch time.
This was one more of my favorite foods that I loved sharing with you all. Hope you would try it out someday. Till then enjoy the goodness of eating nutritious, yummy homemade food :). Have a wonderful day friends.
Salads are an essential part of the regular Indian meal. Most meals do have some or the other type of salad, chutney, koshimbirs, raitas etc as a component of the Indian Thali. Foodies who love salads would understand how one is drawn towards the salad table at the buffets. I am very fond of salads and lately have been adding dried fruits too to my salads, it helps us to eat the daily intake that should be part of our food. Fiber is the undigested part of our food that is present in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits, whole pulses or legumes etc. that provide us with the essential roughage or bulk and thus aid in proper bowel movement and helps to prevent constipation .
I won’t be wrong if I write that for most Indians the word Chaat results in instant tingling of the taste buds and sudden mouth-watering moments. Chaats are blend of sweet, sour and spicy taste with the savory factor added too. It is a dish that creates a happy riot in the mouth with the over production of saliva by the salivary glands and one is left drooling till the Chaat vendor serves the ready dish in our hands.
When I am looking out to make easy, yet interesting, menu options at home from the ingredients that are almost always available in the refrigerator, I came up with this simple, refreshing, mouth tantalizing dish that I am sharing with you all.
One can call it a Chaat or Salad as I have added the sweetcorn for the fiber and its sweetness, crunchy salad vegetables, threw in some dried berries to give out the sweetness, sprinkled the lemon juice for the sourness, added the green chili/red chili powder for the spice, added the nuts for the nutty crunch in the bite and lastly sprinkled with the savory food-the fine Sev. I made this as a light dinner menu and served with lot of fine Sev sprinkled on top and savory Papdi and hence I called it Sweetcorn Chaat. If I avoid the Sev, then I would call it a salad and serve it with roasted Papad along with meals.
Sweetcorn Chaat/ Salad:
Sweetcorn: 2 Corn cob (Boiled)
Bell Peppers: 1/2 each Red/Yellow/Orange
Cucumber: 1 Medium-sized
Onion: 1 Medium-sized
Tomato: 1 Medium-sized
Fine Sev: 100 gm
Mixed nuts: 30 gm (Almonds, Pistachios, walnuts)
Dried Berries: 2 Tbsp (Blueberries/Cranberries)
Raisins: 1 Tbsp
Lemon: 1 Medium-sized
Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp finely chopped
Green Chilli: 2 or Red Chilli powder 1 Tsp
Salt: To Taste
Pepper: 1 Tsp
Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp
Boil the corn in a Pressure cooker, 2 whistles. (I used raw corn and hence preferred to boil it in cooker). Then remove the corn from the cob.
Finely chop all the salad vegetables (bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, green coriander, chili as shown in the picture below.
Take a big glass bowl, add the boiled corn, the cut vegetables, the dried chopped nuts, the dried berries, raisins, the seasonings, chopped chilli and green coriander, sprinkle the lemon juice and then mix/toss all the ingredients. Check the seasoning and adjust according to ones taste. I have also added sliced almonds. (I oven roasted the Almonds, coarsely chopped and then added.)
Just before serving add the fine Sev on top and give the final toss and serve along with papdi.
This chaat tasted so yum and ended up becoming the dinner menu. As one can note the salad is full of fiber and hence it becomes filling for the tummy. The fresh berries might not be regularly available at home, as here in the UAE it is not locally produced. We all are aware of the importance of including the berries in our diet and I keep the dried ones handy, works well to toss them into lot many dishes. These dried berries and raisins impart the necessary sweetness to the chaat, hence we do not need to add any sweet chutney which is essential for any chaat preparation. If one has mint and coriander chutney handy, one could also use that or the freshly chopped herbs too work well as they add the required freshness. Do give this sumptuous healthy dish a try to enjoy with each bite the different flavors and texture of this delicious Sweetcorn Chaat or salad from ashuskitchen :).
I wanted to share a healthy, nutritious snack menu with you all and hence the post for this March month. Do also give importance to include some part of physical activity in your daily schedules, apart from eating healthy meals.
Greetings from Ashu to all the readers. It has been a sudden unexpected absence from this online space of mine and I sure missed posting new posts. Starting this new day of March with one of my healthier recipes, Green Papaya Paratha that uses raw papaya as the main ingredient of the recipe.
Parathas are a common menu item in the Indian household, a well accepted food by all, be it the kids, young or old folks. One can have any number of possibilities or types of parathas. It is one of my favorite dishes to make for breakfast, nothing beats the hot stuffed parathas and achar/pickle on a chilly winter morning. I have very fond memories of the yummy parathas that I used to make in the winter months during my stay in North India.
Breakfast happens to be the most essential meal of the day and hence one should try and make sure to eat a wholesome, healthy one on a regular basis. The necessity to make a nutritious breakfast made me try out this different paratha, making use of the raw papaya that I had got from the market. Papaya fruit has lot of health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that work against free radicals, is great source of Vitamins A, B, C and K, a good source of fiber, also has the digestive enzyme Papain and thus helps in digestion too. It is also rich in calcium and some other minerals. The taste of grated raw papaya is also very refreshing and one can make use of it to make many dishes, but here I incorporated it to make the filling of the parathas and with little addition of oil, the crispy and hot parathas were heartily devoured. If you have not tried this paratha then I suggest you to try once and then decide.
Many a times one is faced with taking care of a sick loved one and is faced with the question to what type of food to include in the regular diet. This Paratha would make an excellent snack or meal menu option as it is wholesome, with vegetable that has fiber, vitamins, is good for digestion and as is a regularly made food item in Indian houses hence one does not have to put extra efforts in its preparation. When cooking for family or loved ones, do make the food with a smile and add loads of your love to it.
Recipe for Green Papaya Paratha:
Raw Green Papaya: 1 Small
Green Chilli: 2
Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp
Sesame seeds: 2 Tbsp
Carrom seeds: 1 Tsp
Wheat Flour: 250 Gm
Water: 1 Glass
Oil: 50 ml
Turmeric: 1 Tsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp (Optional)
Salt : To Taste
Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp
Wash and dry the raw papaya. Cut into half and remove the seeds if any. Grate both the halves of the papaya and put in a bowl.
Finely chop the green chilies and green coriander and add to the bowl of grated papaya.
Add sesame seeds, carom seeds, red chili powder, salt, turmeric, and mix all the ingredients of the bowl.
In another bowl make a medium-soft dough of the wheat flour using water. For method of making wheat flour dough click here.
Make lemon-sized balls of the dough. Take a dough ball and roll out a small round puri and add the raw papaya filling, close the edges and again roll to make a circular Paratha.
Heat a Frypan or Tava on the gas flame and cook both side of the paratha, apply oil as per taste.
Once the parathas are ready, one can sprinkle Chaat masala powder over them and serve with either a yogurt raita or a mint yogurt chutney or Tomato Ketchup.
Thank you to all who have appreciated and liked my yesterdays post of Vegetarian Dough Balls: Recipe 1. (Click here for the recipe.)
Today I am posting another recipe of Dough Balls, but with a different filling inside. As mentioned in the previous post the choice of filling makes as many varieties of the Dough balls as we choose to experiment. Small changes in ingredients gives each recipe the necessary twist and makes it unique in its own way. It is sometimes the simple ingredients available in the refrigerator that are sufficient to give us a complete new dish, we just need to let our imagination led us to create. I believe this is true in our day to day life too, one must not get into the routines of following the same pattern, we should always keep room for some change. To explain better giving an example, the same settings in the house over a long period makes it very dull and unappealing, and just a shift of position of the same furniture, and/or of the wall hangings, paintings, or even adding fresh indoor plants gives the same old room a complete makeover. For this one needs to make it happen, and unless we do not make the changes one would not know the difference it makes. Try it out for yourself and notice the change it brings. For me, adding lots of green indoor plants works the magic, makes the room more fresher and just makes the whole environment a more happy place.
The current recipe uses vegetables and cottage cheese. I was asked by my vegetarian friends to post vegetarian recipes too, this is for all those friends and my readers. I loved experimenting with these ingredients and the result was loved by all who ate, and sharing here I wish to spread this happiness to all of you who would give it a try.
Baking is a joy that needs to be experienced, I know how fast the baked dishes disappear from the plates, but the aroma that fills the house lingers on. These moments are the simple pleasures of life.
VEGETARIAN DOUGH BALLS:
Pizza Dough: 500gm (Please click here for the dough recipe).
French Beans: 100 gm
Green Peas: 50 gm
Onion: 1 Small
Cottage Cheese/Paneer: 150 gm
Oil: 1Tbsp (for cooking the vegetables)
Salt: To taste
Chili Flakes: 2 Tsp
Black pepper powder: 1 Tsp
Dried Oregano: 1 Tsp
Mint Chutney: 1 Tbsp
Dice the Paneer and Carrot into small pieces. Finely chop the onion, and cut the French beans.
Heat a pan or Kadai over gas flame and add little oil and put the cut vegetables and peas and cook for 10 min. Add the seasonings and mix well. Add the grated/diced paneer and mix. Remove the pan from the gas stove and empty the contents into a bowl. As this cools add the mint chutney and mix well. (Recipe of the chutney to follow in the next post.) This is the filling for the dough balls.
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
Knead the pizza dough and make small balls of equal portion. Roll out each dough to form a circular shape puri and spoon 1-1/2 Tbsp filling in it.
Close the circular ends together giving it a ball shape. Let all the ends of the circular shaped dough meet, pressing firmly to join so that they do not open when getting baked and spill out the filling. Brush each dough ball with some olive oil or any cooking oil.
Keep all the dough balls on a greased baking tray or tray lined with butter paper and put in the oven that is preheated to 200 deg C and bake for about 30-45 min, or until they are baked to perfection. The baking time would depend upon the size of the dough balls made. One can apply Olive oil again after they are half baked, this ensures they do not look dry. I applied oil after the baking was complete.
I served these baked delights with an oil dip. Recipe of the dip will be my next post, do visit again and check it out and leave your thoughts about the posts.
Have fun baking and enjoy these warm comforting vegetarian snacks and spread the happiness to your family members.
Early November I had a get-together at my place with my girl friends coming over for a lunch meet, our monthly fun-time together. When it is party time at home, I always believe in making and/or serving food that is a bit different from the routines. This is one of the dish that was served as a starter or finger food. It is a tasty and much appreciated recipe and I am glad to share it here with you all. As I started writing this post and was writing the title, I thought for a moment to decide on a different name, but I have always called these flavor filled yum bites by the name Dough Balls and hence I thought it was the most appropriate name and am going to stick to it. Dough Balls that I make are essentially made of pizza dough and are filled with filling of our choice. This gives us a lot of scope to experiment and we can have many varieties of the same dish but each bite becoming a different eating experience.
Italian food is favorite food at home, and Pizza is something that is welcome at any given time of the day. Pizza is my weakness, something that is difficult for me to resist, yeah even on days when I am consciously watching the calorie intake. It was a time before I started the blog that I had tried making something different of the left over pizza dough, and my familiarity with Indian tea-time snacks Samosa and Kachori had led me to try filling the pizza dough with a chicken filling and shape it like a ball that was later baked. The kids had absolutely loved it. Thus the new snack got added to the list of my homemade recipes. (Check out my Instagram for the pictures of the homemade recipes).
I make use of the pizza dough for making Pizza, Calzones and these yum Stuffed Dough Balls. You can check the Calzone recipe here.
Salads using bell peppers are a favorite and to make a filling for stuffing these dough balls using the different colored peppers gives it a very appealing and colorful appearance, not to forget the sweetish taste they add. It is healthy eating to incorporate colorful vegetables in our diet, and by using the different bell peppers we are adding color, taste and texture to the filling. Using the personal favorite cheeses and adding a dash of the seasoning of chilli flakes and dried herbs makes a very delectable bite of these yum baked goodies.
To make these we need the pizza dough.
CHEESE AND BELL PEPPERS STUFFED DOUGH BALLS:
Pizza Dough: 500 gm (Please click here for the dough recipe).
Bell Peppers: 1 small each (Red/Green/Yellow)
Onion: 1 small.
Cheddar Cheese: 100 gm
Paneer/Cottage Cheese: 50 gm
Parmesan Cheese: 50 gm (optional)
NOTE: As I love Parmesan cheese, I try to make use of it very often.
Salt: To taste
Chili Flakes or black pepper powder: 1 Tsp
Dried Oregano: 1 Tsp
Grate the cheeses. Finely chop the Bell peppers and onion. Take a bowl and mix the cheeses and the chopped vegetables and add the seasoning. Season according to personal taste. Mix well. Our filling is ready for use.
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
Knead the pizza dough and make small balls of equal portion. Roll out each dough to form a circular shape puri and spoon 1-1/2 Tbsp filling in it. Close the circular ends together giving it a ball shape. Let all the ends of the circular shaped dough meet, pressing firmly to join so that they do not open when getting baked and spill out the filling. Brush each dough ball with some olive oil or any cooking oil.
Keep all the dough balls on a greased Aluminum foil or baking tray and put in the oven that is preheated to 200 deg C and bake for about 30-45 min, or until they are baked to perfection. The baking time would depend upon the size of the dough balls made.
Serve these dough balls with sauce or dip of choice. I had made three dips/chutneys to serve for my house party: Mint Dip, Red Chili Chutney, and Plum Chutney.
I am not very happy with the picture quality of the snaps but when cooking for a party and trying to finish up the baking work, I could manage only with this quality. My friends appreciated the appetizers that I served them and loved eating these yummy cheesy bites of delight.
If you are a pizza lover and a foodie like me then I would strongly recommend giving this recipe a try in your kitchen, it is not a complicated recipe and worth all the efforts that goes in home cooking. I believe it is always a fruitful experience to eat something unusual occasionally, and one does not necessarily have to enter the restaurants for that. Cooking at home gives us the opportunity to eat right and make use of the best products and minimize or eliminate the artificial products and flavors used in packaged, frozen, or processed foods. When we have control over what we are feeding to the body, we are on the correct path by being more responsible for the welfare of our health. It is rightly said: Health is Wealth.
Last week we celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali. It is the big festival that brings with it an excitement all around with lot of preparations, lot of household work from cleaning to painting the walls, shopping for gifts, new clothes, some utensil or silverware and/or gold, lot of festive cooking of meals, as well as the traditionally associated snacks that one is so fond of eating. A Diwali without the traditional savory and sweet snacks and loads of Mithais and ladoos would be incomplete.
I grew up with fond Diwali memories of the customary rituals followed by my mother, her homemade snacks, the fire crackers, the new clothes, the visiting relatives and the good food being served to all. It was a time with lot of activities and family gatherings. I have tried to continue the rituals that I grew up following, and thus every year Diwali is a busy time, occasion that brings with it lot of festive mood and celebrations. The past week was thus family time, with diyas being lit, handmade rangolis done on the floor and colored, tried making first time a sweet that I like a lot but had never tried making in my kitchen. Yeah, this was my first try of making Anarsa, a sweet that is made of rice flour and sugar. I was under the impression that it involved a lengthy process and needed perfection to make and hence had never tried making it ever. But, this time I tried and they turned out just the way I like them.
Sharing here some snaps from my Diwali this year.
Anarsa: A sweet made from rice that is soaked for 3 days, then wiped dry and finely ground to flour. Sugar is added to the flour and a tight dough ball is made and Anarsa is made from this dough. It is deep-fried on slow flame. The frying takes a bit of patience and expertise and technique, but nothing that a beginner cannot follow. I was able to get the perfect shape, so anyone who knows how to fry them can do it. I have used fine Semolina coating, a change from the regular recipe ingredients.
Traditional snacks for Diwali include Chakli, Chivda, Sweet and salty Sankerpala, Besan Sev, Mathri, Anarsa, Karanji or Gujjia, Ladoos, and Barfis. Above are some of the snacks that I made this Diwali.
It is a different type of Chakli I made this Diwali, a family recipe that uses rice flour and sesame seeds and are shaped by hand. I have started making this type of Chakli since last two months, a never tried recipe before that is getting mastered with frequent attempts. This rice Chakli making is a bit tedious process, but a favorite of my daughter and hubby and hence the extra efforts to master it.
Rice Chakli, a family recipe that is being mastered with frequent attempts of making it, since September’15.
The handmade décor of rangoli design at the door during the festival, a ritual followed by making this Rangoli. The design is inspired from internet images.
The Laxmi Puja day Prasad:
Diwali festivities have now come to end. It was a week of food indulgence, lot of tasty snacks and yummy and rich food eaten, both at home and at parties. Now, with the end of the festival, it is time to start the fitness regimen and go for walks with friends. Yup, the weather is turning out perfect for outdoor activities and hence no excuses.
The food cooked in my kitchen has a good mix of spices that are used in most Indian households. The kitchen masala box is the most essential or rather my magic box that is opened for adding its contents to each dish that I am preparing, and a good amount of turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala etc. gets used on a daily basis for making the vegetables or non-vegetarian food of the day. I add turmeric to all the sabjis and dals that I make, but of course with some exceptions like the Dal Makhni and some legumes etc. I have always marveled at the magic of the different spices and herbs in our Indian cooking that makes each dish so unique and different. India being a big country comprising of different states, with the methods of cooking varying from region to region, it sure is my pride to belong to this wonderful nation. The south style of cooking varies from the Maharashtrian style, the state from where I belong. Having moved residence within few states of India since the time I got married, yeah you can say the time since I started cooking on a daily basis, resulted in a little bit of adaptation of cooking styles of those particular regions. Having lived in Gujrat I was able to learn the Gujrati cuisine, new dishes for me then, from my friendly neighbors, now they have become part of my frequently cooked menus, with the Undhiyo a vegetarian delicacy made during the winter season being the most favorite. Similarly, living in the north of India, the cold weather during winters saw me making a whole lot of paratha varieties that were definitely never eaten during my own growing up days. The point to emphasize here is that travelling from one place to another definitely enriches our lives as well as benefits our food habits, we get to learn a lot and include a lot of variety in our regular home menus. So those who all love travelling do keep venturing out to new destinations, and those who have not moved from place to place then folks it’s high time that you need to start exploring new places.
Let us get cooking our today’s recipe. The Spicy Mushroom is my method of cooking and giving them the perfect spicy taste that works best as a filling in rolls, wraps, and even Sandwiches. The mushrooms used are the ones that are abundantly seen in the supermarkets here. The spices used are all easily available at home, used in my daily cooking. This is a very easy and Zatpat cooked sabzi, and this is one of the many that is made for kids school lunch, which they have always loved eating.
Chili Powder- 2 Tsp
Coriander & Cumin powder- 1 Tbsp
Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or kitchen towel. Dice them or cut them into small size.
Heat oil in a pan or Karahi on the gas stove. Add the mushrooms and sauté, the gas flame should be on high. This helps to dry the water that is seen while cooking mushrooms.
Then add the spices and salt, and cook till all the water is dry. Cooking on high flame with continuous stirring helps to dry the water and the mushrooms get cooked fast without becoming too soggy and limp.
Mushrooms do not take long to cook and after adding the masala care should be taken as to not burn the spices by reducing the flame of the gas stove to medium, if required. The sabzi is ready once all the spices are mixed with the mushrooms . Remove the karahi from the gas stove and empty the contents into a bowl. Our spicy mushroom filling is ready for use.
Tips: The mushrooms could be used as filling in Roti Rolls/Wraps, along with other salads, chutneys, or sauces. Check the Fulka/Roti recipe here. It can be eaten along with plain roti, ghee roti or parathas too.
Do look out for my future post of how I make use of this spicy mushroom filling for my breakfast dishes. Until next time, have a great culinary experience friends.
Greetings from ashu to all my lovely readers who keep me connected to the blog on a daily basis, in spite of me not being regular in my blog postings. It is an overwhelming feeling and gives me a sense of satisfaction to view that maybe someone out there is trying out my style of cooking😃. Thank you folks.
June month saw me visiting my homeland for the wedding of my dearest nephew, a tall handsome young man. It was a week full of fun time with my ever-increasing family, the innumerable wedding functions, grand meals, the dancing, and not to forget all the decking up in lovely saris etc. Weddings in my family have always been grand affairs and the trend still continues even for this generation of kids. All in all it was a fantastic time spent with the whole extended family. The month also brings with it the advancing Monsoons to my homeland, the much awaited rains after a harsh summer. Living in this part of the world where there is scant rainfall and extreme summer months, the home bound trip during the harsh summers is always most cherished. The parched dry land gets soaked in the heavy downpour of rain, petrichor emanating from the ground makes it a heavenly experience. The markets are flooded with fresh stocks of seasonal fruits and vegetables, the foodie in me is on a drooling junket all along. Though it turned out to be a short trip, but I enjoyed some fantastic food dishes, Amrakhand being one of the most favourite. I will be posting my homemade Amrakhand recipe as July post, do look out for it.
Today I share here my way of preparing dry Bhindi masala(Ladies’ finger) recipe with you all. This recipe is on my list as one of dishes when I plan a vegetarian meal or as a vegetable portion while planning a non vegetarian dish. It is extremely simple and is one of the easy-to-make-dishes. When buying the Okra do select the small variety as they can be kept full length and not cut into small size. In case small variety is not available then take which ever you get and try to cut even sized portions.
Preparing the vegetables before starting to make the dish is convenient and prevents burning of the ingredients that are in oil.
Onion: 1 Medium
Garlic: 2-3 cloves
Turmeric: 1/2 Tsp
Salt: As per taste.
Oil: 3 Tbsp. (As per preference, but it is always healthy to eat as less oil as one can)
Chaat masala Powder: 1Tbsp
Red Chilli Powder: 2Tsp
Dry Coriander Powder: 1Tbsp
Cumin Powder: 1Tsp
Garam Masala: 1 Tsp.
Wash, clean and pat dry the okra with a kitchen towel. Cut and discard both the ends of each okra and give a slit to it so we can apply dry masala paste to the insides. Peel and slice the garlic. Slice the onion.
Take a small bowl, put 1 tbsp oil and add and mix the dry masala powders with it. (Mix these with oil-chaat masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, little red chilli powder, salt, pinch of turmeric, and the garam masala.)
Apply this masala paste inside the slit okra and keep aside for 10-15 min.
Heat a Kadai or pan on the gas stove. Add the remaining oil to the kadai. Add the sliced garlic, onions and saute till the onions are pinkish in colour. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, and salt. Then put the prepared okra and cover the kadai or pan for 2-3 minutes with a lid and remove the cover. Cook the okra on slow heat for 10-15 min or till they are just soft. Once done empty into a serving bowl and garnish with freshly chopped green coriander.
Tip: One could also sprinkle some red pomegranate pearls on top as garnish to give it a more inviting look.
Each kitchen has its unique way of preparing the vegetables, though the ingredients might be same but a difference in method results in different taste, and this is my favourite method for preparing the small okra. I prepare a lentil combination or Dal Tadka to go along with this dish as a lunch or dinner time meal. Do give it a try and leave a comment if you like it.
Kothimbir Wadi or Sambar Vadi: We call it Sambar Vadi in my household. All of those who are familiar with this snack would know how tasty it is and eating one wadi is never enough, we always eat more than one. I remember mother used to buy 1-2 kgs of the green coriander, patiently clean the bundles, wash the leaves, dry them and then finely chop them. The dry coconut needed to be grated. The onions needed to be finely chopped. Uff, that was too much of work to do. These were my thoughts in childhood and I had made up plans then that I will never ever attempt to make this, I never ate the inside coriander filling during childhood so it was beyond me to understand the trouble mom undertook to make this. But things do change over a period of time as we grow, the eating preferences to some extent for me. A foodie does go the extra length to satiate the taste buds, provided it is something that one likes a lot. I am sure you all would agree that the taste of the food cooked by mothers always stays with us forever.
Growing up in a big family with specific recipes associated with particular festivals, time or season remain as fond memories. With ever shrinking family size, one might not indulge making certain dishes. The company of elders make us relive those eating moments, mom’s visit allowed me this privilege. The month gave me the opportunity to not only be under her loving care but also allowed me to meet the woman she is, whom I have always admired. The experiences and rigors of life transforms lives and make them what they become. It was overwhelming to see my mom, even at age 77, so full of enthusiasm and abundance of energy to enjoy each days moments. Her zeal for adventure, the spirit to explore and learn, to still keep caring and loving and giving, even now, when she should be the one receiving it, to still be so positive in spite of the situations and above all to lead a life that still makes a difference in other people’s lives makes me salute her, and I feel it is a blessing to be her daughter. Her strong persona gives strength in life’s weak moments. I loved each moment being with this amazing woman, my mother. I just wonder whether at her age I would be that active and zealous, I know not. But I would do my best because Yeah, I owe it to her.
Now it is time to start cooking this yummy snack from the state of Maharashtra in India. Reading the recipe you would come to know that it is not an instant dish, but does need some pre-preparation and a bit of efforts to make. But trust me, it is definitely worth trying and eating. We do get this ready-made in snack shops, on menus in hotels, but I can say the homemade ones are always the best. Though I make this every winter season or even otherwise when the taste buds crave, but I have to mention that my mom’s Sambar Vadi is the best for me. I have tried to make it as much like hers, but due to unavailability of some essential ingredient I have not added that. The post is essentially posted with the intent that the recipe needs to be saved for the next generation kids of my family. Happy cooking 😃!!!
Green Coriander: 400 gm (in weight after cleaning and chopping)
Onion: 1 Big
Green chilies: 4-5 nu. (finely chopped)
Fresh Coconut (grated): 1/2 to 3/4 of a fresh one or 150-200 g if dried one used. (one could use the dry grated coconut too instead of fresh)
Cumin: 1 Tsp.
Carom Seeds: 1 Tsp
Garam Masala: 1 Tbsp
Gram Flour: 250 gm
Rice powder: 1 Tbsp
Oil: For frying
Turmeric: 1 Tsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp
Salt: To taste
METHOD: Prepare the ingredients. Clean the coriander bunch, wash thoroughly, then dry the leaves and then finely chop the green coriander. Grate the coconut and keep ready for use. Chop the chilies, onion and keep ready.
Heat the pan, put half the quantity of the chopped coriander and give it toss or two and remove from the pan and keep in a bowl. This is just done for a minute or so, to remove the raw taste.
In the heated pan add 1 Tbsp cooking oil, then add cumin, chopped chilies and fry. Then add the chopped onion and cook till they are pinkish in color and are cooked. Once done then empty it on a plate and let it cool.
Once the heated coriander cools, add to it the remaining chopped coriander that is raw. Add the cooked onion and chili to this mix. Add the turmeric, grated coconut, salt, and 2 Tsp of garam masala powder. Mix all these ingredients well so that the spices are evenly coated. (For more spice one can add red chili powder as per taste) This mixture is the filling.
In a bowl take the gram flour, 1 tbsp rice powder, add salt as per taste, carom seeds, 1 Tsp red chili powder, and 2 Tsp oil and add water to make a tight or stiff dough. Cover and keep it for sometime and then knead well. Make even- sized small balls and roll out puri’s. Apply garam masala paste (mix the garam masala powder with little water) on the puri and then put 1-2 Tbsp of filling in the center. Fold the sides and seal the ends. Little water can use used to seal the sides, if required. The ends should not open while frying in oil.
Heat oil for frying in karahi. Fry the rolls until they become crisp and then remove and drain on a tissue roll. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.
These were the only pictures that I could click, the wadis had a very crispy outer coat (adding more oil to the gram flour results in the outer coating becoming very crisp), but mom liked them. I wish you all to give it a try if you are fond of making something new.
Sprouted Moong Tikkis:This is another of my highly nutritious, healthy and low-fat recipes. These tikkis can be made in minimal oil to reduce the fat calories. I like the taste of the sprouts and hence kept the list of ingredients minimal in the recipe.
Sprouts are the vegetable source of proteins in our diet, and are also rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The sprouting process makes the seeds, lentils easier to digest.
Ingredients: Sprouted Green gram: 1 Bowl
Onion: 1 Small
Cumin: 1 tsp
Green Chilli: 2 no
Salt to taste.
Coarsely ground the sprouted moong and green chillies in a mixer bowl and empty it in a bowl.
Chop the small onion finely, and add it to the coarsely ground moong. Dry roast the cumin and add to this mix.
Season the moong mixture with salt.
Heat a fry pan on the gas stove and add 1 tsp oil for greasing the pan. Scoop spoonful mixture and put in the pan, give it a shape of tikki. Cook the tikkis on medium to slow flame, and evenly on both side by turning it.
Serve it hot with green chutney or any sauce of choice, though I prefer to eat them plain.
These healthy tikkis can be served as a power-packed breakfast dish or as one of the dishes for a brunch menu on weekends.
Hakka noodles; it is one of the first few recipes that I had learned when I started cooking. Hakka Noodles, the name itself starts a tingling in the mouth, is a dish that is wholesome and loved by all; the best part is though it looks very complicated, is the easiest to cook. Well, I guess I write easy for almost all the recipes that I make/post, but trust me and try them, and find out for yourself whether it is easy or difficult to make. Do let me know the feedback.
Going by the look of the dish, it does look time consuming for a first timer, but the noodles will be ready to eat within 30 minutes, provided you have all the ingredients handy. Once the vegetables are cut, then it does not take much time.
This can be enjoyed as part of Chinese meal or as a brunch menu too. I make it as breakfast menu. The noodles serve as carbohydrates, oil as fat, vegetables as fibre and vitamins & minerals, eggs (if we include in the ingredients) add to the protein and fat content. Non-vegetarians can include chicken and/or eggs to the dish. The choice of ingredients depend on the personal taste and liking. We can add mushrooms and baby corn too; I add when they are stocked in the fridge.
For this post I have used Chings Veg Hakka Noodle (150g) packet and the total vegetable portion was also kept 150g. The picture of the ingredients given below will give the idea of the vegetable quantity used. Let’s get cooking this yummy dish. Kids, and adults of all ages will love it!
VEG HAKKA NOODLES:
Chings Vegetable Hakka Noodle- 1 pkt 150 g (boiled)
Total vegetables- 150 g- Carrots, Green/Red/Yellow Bell pepper, French beans, Spring onions(for garnish), Cabbage. (All the vegetables should be finely shredded)
Chilli Sauce-1 tsp (5g)
Soy Sauce-1 tsp (5g)
Aji-no-moto- 1/2 tsp
Green chilli- 2
Salt/Pepper for seasoning.
Boil the noodles and pour few drops of oil on them, toss, and keep ready to use.
Shred finely the cabbage and all the vegetables. It is important to shred the vegetables fine so that they get cooked fast and the overall dish should look appealing.
Heat a wok, add oil and fry the vegetables adding one at a time. Add first the garlic, green chilli, carrots, French beans, peppers, and finally the cabbage as it takes the least time to cook. The vegetable that takes more time to cook needs to be added first. I like the flavour of garlic and hotness of chilli in the vegetables, hence I add them first to the hot wok. (Follow the given order of adding vegetables to the wok.)
Note: The vegetables should be cooked just enough to remove the rawness, they should have the crunch, hence all the vegetables are to be cooked keeping the Wok on full gas flame, with continuous stirring.
Season all the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Add the boiled noodles to the vegetables, add both the sauces, and give it all a good stir so that all the ingredients gets mixed.
If eggs are to be added, make a scramble of 2 eggs and add it to the noodles or omit this step.
Finally sprinkle Aji-no-moto on the noodles, mix it well. Garnish with shredded/finely chopped green onions, and serve hot.
The chilli sauce added is as per choice. Vinegar- too can be added if preferred.
If it rains, then the first food that comes to the mind is pakoras, and Chai (tea) to go with them. Unseasonal rains resulted in me ending up making the chilli pakoras and they got served as the dinner menu. It’s always good to eat something different for dinner once in a while!
Long green chilli- 4
Potato- 1 Big (Boiled)
Gram Flour (Besan)-1bowl/cup
Carom Seed (Ajwain)-1/2 tsp
Oil- For frying
Salt/ Turmeric/ Chat masala/ Cumin/ Coriander- As per taste.
Bicarbonate of soda- 1 g (one pinch)
Wash and pat dry the green chillies on a kitchen towel.
Slit the chillies and remove all the seeds, and apply lemon juice on the inside.
Mash the boiled potato and add the ingredients-finely chopped onion, green coriander leaves, salt, turmeric, cumin, chat masala and mix it to make a filling for the chilli.
Fill the potato mixture inside each chilli.
Take 1 cup/bowl of gram flour (besan) in a bowl, add salt, turmeric, and water to make a batter of medium thickness. Add 1 pinch of Bicarbonate of soda to this batter and mix well.
Heat oil in a karahi.
Dip the chilli in the besan batter and deep fry on medium flame. Fry the chilli till they are cooked and crispy in appearance.
SERVING OPTION: Serve the hot bhajias with tomato sauce or green chutney.
I enjoyed them for dinner with buttered baguette, hummus and mint chutney. Enjoy!!!!