Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chatpate Chole

Since I have started cooking, I have tried several different recipes of chole.  Each time I add/eliminate some ingredients.  Even the quantity varies each time.  This recipe is not authentic but the result is some thing all my family & friends like.

1 cup Chole(chikpeas)/Garbanzo beans soaked overnight
2 Onions chopped finely
2 Tomatoes chopped finely
1 tsp Red chilli powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 Green chilli slit lengthwise
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Chole masaala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil

Cook the soaked chickpeas with some salt till soft but not mushy, keep aside.
In a pan heat oil and add onion and green chilli saute till onion turns brown.
Add turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder saute.
Now add the finely chopped tomatoes saute till the mixture leaves oil.
Add the cooked chickpeas with the water.  Mash some of the chickpeas with the back of the ladle.
Add the chole masala.
Mix well and let it boil on a slow flame & simmer for 5 minutes 
Adjust salt.
The trick is do all the procedure on a low heat.
Serve hot with Kulcha, tikki, Paratha, Bhatura, Puri or even chapati.
I served mine with Shrikhand & Puri.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Paalakwali Daal

Paalak is the only green leaf veggie my kids eat, so once in every week I cook paalak.  We all love it a lot.
Here is the simple recipe of daal.

1 bunch of paalak/spinach, u can use frozen also.
1/2 cup Toor Daal/Masoor Daal
1 small onion chopped
2-3 green chillies
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp Oil

Cook daal in pressure cooker or in a pan till mushy with little salt and turmeric powder.
Wash & clean paalak, remove the thick stems soft/thin stems are fine.  Chop the spinach leaves.
In a kadhai/pan, heat oil.  Add the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds crackle, add the onion, green chillies and garlic fry till the onion & garlic turns brown.
Add the chopped spinach, sprinkle some salt and close with a lid.
Let the spinach cook at a medium low flame.
Mash the cooked daal and add it to the cooked spinach.
Add the chilli powder and tamaring pulp.
Check the consistency and if u want can add some water & bring to boil.
Check for the seasoning.  Remove from fire.
Serve hot with steamed rice with a dollop of ghee.
Tastes heavenly.  Enjoy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

After a long break,

Sorry and thanks to all those who sent me mails enquiring about my long absence.  Life is full of surpises, some are pleasant and some are not.  I know we should not get startled with either of them but I got. 

Sorry Valli, I could not post any entry for indian cooking challenge for last 2 months though I had prepared them.  Hence here now I am posting the entry for last month Kara Sev.

Kara Sev Recipe 1

Ingredients needed:
2 1/2 cups Gram Flour (Besan)
1 cup Rice flour
1/4 tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp Black pepper coarsely powdered
2 1/2 tsp Ghee
A pinch of Baking soda (optional)
Salt to taste.
2 pods Crushed garlic (optional, I didn't use it)
Oil to deep fry.

Sieve both Gram flour and Rice flour together in a bowl and make a pit.
Add chilli powder, Pepper powder, Salt, Ghee, Cooking soda.  If you are using garlic pods crush them and add at this stage.
Mix thoroughly with hands. It should look like bread crumbs. Divide the dough into 4 portions.
Take One portion of this mixture, sprinkle water, knead like Puri dough.
Heat oil in a kadai, Use a ladle with lot of holes (Kara Sevai ladle) or Sev maker. Put some dough on that and rub directly into oil.
It will be like split string. Deep fry in oil , drain excess oil.
After cooling this off, Store this in an airtight container.
Enjoy with a cup of hot tea.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kobichi Bhaji with chana dal

This is one of my most favourite bhaji (read as bhaaji).  This is one such vegetable available all over the world and at a cheap rate.  It is very versatile also.  It goes well with carrots, peas, onion, tomato, potato, chana dal as well as Moong dal.  Very healthy and I think it is very easily available everywhere.  This is a typical maharashtrian recipe of cabbage.  Almost prepared like a stir-fry.  Chana dal/bengal gram dal in this bhaji gives somewhat nutty taste to this stir-fry.

4 cups Cabbage chopped finely
1/4 cup Chana dal/Bengal gram dal soaked in water for 1 hour
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
5-6 Curry leaves
3-4 Green chilies slitted
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
2-3 tbsp Fresh/frozen desiccated coconut to garnish (Optional)
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped to garnish

Wash and chop the cabbage.
Wash and soak the chana dal in water for 1 hour.
After 1 hour drain the excess water and keep the dal aside.

In a pan heat oil and add mustard sand cumin seeds.
Let it crackle. Add the turmeric powder, asafoetida, green chilies, curry leaves and the chana dal.
Saute for 2 minutes.  Add a little bit salt and cover.
Let the dal cook half way.
Now add the chopped cabbage and mix well.  Adjust salt.
Cook the cabbage with lid on for 7- 8 minutes or till soft on medium flame.
Stir in between.  If you feel that the cabbage is sticking to the bottom, then sprinkle some water.
Garnish with coconut and coriander. Serve hot with chapattis or phulkas.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pani Puri for ICC and my 50th post

Just by hearing the name of pani puri I start drooling.  My elder son & I, both love pani puri.  That's why when I saw Srivalli's Indian Cooking Challenge for this month I decided this will be my 50th post.
Here is the simple recipe of Pani Puri.

For making Puris
1/2 cup Sooji (Semolina )
1/2 tbsp Maida ( Plain Refined Flour)
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Salt to taste
Oil for Frying
For Spicy water:
1 1/2 cups Chopped Mint Leaves
1 tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
1/3 cup Tamarind
1" Ginger
4-5 Green Chillies
1 tsp Ground Cumin Seed (roasted)
1 1/2 tsp Kala Namak (Black Salt )
Salt to taste
For filling
1 Boiled Potato finely chopped /mashed
Salt to taste
Red chilli.
For Red Tamarind Chutney
1 cup Tamarind
1/2 cup Jaggery
2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Dry Roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp Kali Mirch (Black pepper) powder
2 cloves
2 cups Warm water
1 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

For Puris:
In a bowl take semolina, plain flour, Cooking Soda, salt, 2 tablespoons of oil and knead well to make a stiff dough, leave it bit stiffer than normal.
Cover it with a wet muslin cloth and let it rest for 15 mins.
Then pinch out very small balls and roll them into small circles.
Remember you will be eating these as whole, so make small circles
Put the rolled out circles back under the muslin cloth while you are rolling the rest and before they can be fried.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, deep fry the puris.
The idea is to puff them and fry them till golden brown.
Take them out and put them on kitchen paper towel, to get rid of the extra oil.
Allow the puris to cool before storing them in an airtight container. Else they will become soggy.
For making spicy water or Pani
Extract pulp from the tamarind.
Add mint leaves, coriander, ginger, chillies and dry roasted cumin seed to the tamarind pulp. Add little water and blend to a smooth paste.
Add salt and black rock salt to taste.
Put it in the fridge to cool down.
Add water as required.
For making Red Tamarind Chutney
Extract the pulp from tamarind.
In a pan dry roast the cumin seeds and the cloves. Pound them into coarse powder.
To the tamarind pulp add jaggery, sugar, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder, cloves and salt.
Put the mixture in a pan and heat for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Remove from heat and let it cool down.
This will tend to thicken up, so add warm water if it becomes too thick.
Once it cools, blend the contents in a blender to a smooth paste.
Assembling the Pani Puri
Poke a small hole in the center of the Puri
Add a tsp of mashed boiled potato in the middle of the puri. Add a little of the red tamarind Chutney.
Dip it in the spicy water / pour some spicy water in it.  The idea is to fill the puri with water.
Gulp it down.  It's challenging here, you have to put the puri in mouth without breaking it.
Have fun.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chickpeas salad or Chana Chaat

This is one of our new favorite these days.  Every body especially DH loves this than the chola actually.  This is very easy you can use the canned chickpeas or you can soak and boil on your own.

2 cups chana/garbanzo beans/chickpeas soaked overnight/6-8 hours
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 raw mango chopped/grated
1 small potato boiled & cubed
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1/4 th tsp Red chilli powder
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder(optional)
1-2 green chillies, slitted through 
1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds(Optional)
1 tbsp chopped bell pepper (Optional)

Pressure cook the soaked chana/garbanzo beans/chickpeas for 2-3 whistles.  Add salt before boiling.  They should be soft but not too soft/mushy.
Drain the chickpeas.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Now add the potato cubes, onions, tomatoes, mango, bell pepper & pomegranate seeds, if using.  Add the chopped coriander leaves and green chilli.
Add the  Salt, chilli powder. roasted cumin powder and pepper powder.  Sprinkle lemon juice.
You can serve this chilled as salad or for evening snack as chaat.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Healthy protein-Soy Cutlets

I wanted to prepare these for a very long time, but every time I used to make something else.  But this time I did it.  They were a big hit in my home both my kids loved and liked them.  Here is the simple recipe I used from the nutrela soy granules box and I made some changes according to my family's liking.  Here is the simple recipe.

2 cups boiled Nutrela granules
3 medium potatoes boiled
10-12 french beans chopped finely
2 fistfuls of green peas, blanched/boiled
1 carrot cubed and boiled
6 green chillies chopped finely
3 bread slices/ 1/4 th cup of bread crumbs, I used bread crumbs.
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp amchur powder
Handful of moong sprouts (Optional)
2 tbsp coriander leaves (Optional)
Oil for deep-frying

In a mixing bowl, keep the boiled potatoes, peas and carrots, and thinly chopped french beans.
Add the boiled and squeezed soya granules to the same bowl.
Add salt, green chillies, chaat masala, amchur powder, moong sprouts & coriander leaves if using.  
Mash and bind with the bread crumbs or soak the bread slices in water for few seconds and remove from water and squeeze.  Make like dough.
Pinch balls and shape like patties.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok or frying pan, deep fry. 
Serve hot with onion slices & Coriander-mint dip.

Monday, May 31, 2010

South-India's famous breakfast : Sada dosa & chutney

Do you know anybody who doesn't like dosa?  Atleast I don't know.  I can eat N no. of dosas provided they are off the stove and in my plate.  I cannot eat a dosa once it is cold.  The same habit is in my both sons.  Here is my simple recipe of dosa.

2 Cups short/long grain rice/sona masoori rice, I used zafrani, I got mine from Costco.
1 cup Urid dal/black gram dal
1/4 cup Chana Dal/Bengal gram dal
1/4 tsp Methi seeds/fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Soak rice, dals and methi seeds together for atleast 4-5 hours.
After 4-5 hours, grind it to coarse consistency.  Pour the batter in a bigger vessel.  Mix with hand.  No spoons please. 
You can add salt at this stage or later while making the dosas.
Let the batter ferment for 8-12 hours depending upon the temperature in your area.  At colder places even 18-20 hours.
Heat the dosa tawa/griddle and pour the batter in the center of the tawa and spread it from inside out.
Drizzle little oil around the corners.
After a minute, flip the dosa and remove from heat after half a minute.
Serve immediately with sambar/chutney/milagai Podi.
I served mine with onion chutney and coconut-coriander chutney.
Refrigerate the remaining batter in an airtight container.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ras Malai for ICC and Akshaya Tritiya

First of all I want to say sorry to Srivalli for making this so late.  I made Ras Malai for ICC and for Akshaya Tritiya.  That's the reason I am posting it late.  Since I have already posted Rasmalai recipe in my way, I have pasted the same way it was given by Srivalli in Indian Cooking challenge.


Milk - 3 litres (2 litres for making paneer and 1 litre for making Rasa/Milk syrup.)
Vinegar- 3 tbsps
Water-5 cup's
Sugar- 16 tbsp (8 for Sugar Syrup and 8 for Rasa/Milk Syrup)
Saffron- 8 pieces
Pista-10 finely chopped
Maida flour- 1 tsp
Cardamon-2 (crushed)

Preparation of Whey Water:
Boil Two Litres of milk and let it cool. Refrigerate the milk for 12 hours. The next day or after 12 hours, remove the thick layer of skin/ paal adai/meegada formed over the milk. Now boil the milk, when the milk boils, add vinegar. wait for a minute or two. the paneer will start floating on top and the whey water will stay on the bottom of the vessel. Now with a muslin or a cotton cloth, filter the paneer and pour 2 cups of water on it, to remove the sourness of vinegar and then tie it well and let it hang on for one hour, till the whey water drops out.
II. Preparation of Paneer:
As we have tied and hanged the paneer in muslin cloth to let out the whey water, wait for an hour and squeeze them well. remove from the cloth and shift to a broad vessel. Now just prepare the paneer, as we knead the dough for chapathi/roti, in the same way knead the paneer, for 5 minutes atleast, till you feel it dont have much moisture content in it. now add a spoon of maida flour to the paneer and make it as small small ball's remember the balls will become double in size after putting it and boiling it in sugar syrup. so make a medium size paneer ball's. with 2 litres of milk you can prepare 12 or 13 paneer ball's.
III. Preparation of Sugar Syrup:
In a wide-bottomed pressure cooker, add three cups of water and eight table spoons of sugar. let it boil. Now when it boils, add the paneer ball's one by one on to it. dont afraid of the ball's getting broken. if you have kneaded the paneer well, it wont get broked. let it get pressure cooked for 10 minutes in slow flame or for 2 whistles.
Now let the steam get out and open the cooker and see the double-sized paneer ball's. slightly press each and evry ball to emit the excess sugar syrup.
IV. Preparation of Milk Syrup/Rasa:
When you are starting to prepare sugar syrup. start making milk syrup/rasa side by side. Have one litre of milk in a wide bottomed vessel and let it boil and get reduced into half of the quantity. add eight table spoons of sugar and mix well. add saffron and crushe cardoman to it and mix well. put the paneer ball's into the rasa/milk syrup. cool it down and refregirate it.
Serve with chopped pistachios on top.

My Ras Malai was really melting in mouth.  The paneer disks were super soft. and breaking, may be I added little less maida.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mothers Day and Bottal gourd kofta in spinach gravy

Happy Mothers Day!!!!!!

I always buy bottle gourd to make halwa.  But till date I could never make it either it ends in dust bin or it goes into curry/sambar/dal.  But this time, I thought of using it differently.  I thought of making koftas in spinach gravy.  The koftas turn really melt in mouth, and both my sons and dear H enjoyed and ate them without any complain.

For Koftas:
1 cup bottle gourd peeled and grated
1 cup paneer crumbled/grated
3 tbsp Besan/bengal gram flour
2-3 green chillies
2 tsp coriander leaves
salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

For gravy:
2 bunch Spinach leaves
1 medium onion(Chopped)
1/2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup Tomato Puree
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala
1 tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oil

Wash the bottle guard and pill it.
After peeling it, grate the bottle guard, and squeeze it to remove the water.  Add the curmbled paneer.
Put gram flour in bottle guard along with salt, green chilies and coriander leaves. Mix it well .The mixture should be appropriate for making kofte.  Make golf-ball sized ball and fry the koftas on low flame.
You can adjust the thickness by adding or reducing the gram flour.  Remember not to burn the koftas.

Wash the spinach leaves properly.
In a kadhai, add 1/2 tsp oil, add the spinach leaves and a little salt, stir, and close the lid of the pan.
Remove the wilted spinach on a plate and allow it cool down. Then grind it with ½ spoon of sugar.
Now in a pan heat butter and remaining oil, add ginger garlic paste into it. Fry it for 2 minutes.
Then add onion in this and fry till it turn golden brown color.
Once onion turned brown in color add tomato puree and turmeric powder, chilli powder, Kitchen King masala and salt.  Fry it well till the masala starts leaving oil on the sides.  Now add spinach puree in this.
Keep stirring it properly so it should not get burned.
In a serving plate place the koftas and pour the gravy on top of it.
Serve hot with steamed rice/roti/parathas.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stuffed brinjal curry

The other day, when I went to indian grocery store, I saw those green small brinjals.  In last few years, this was the first time I saw the green brinjals in USA.  Immediately I purchased them, because I love them a lot.  This is my aunt's recipe.  For this curry, use small green brinjals as far as possible.  If you can't find the green brinjals you can use the other variety, but it tastes great with the green brinjals.

8-10 Green small brinjals.
2 Med sized onions
8-10 garlic cloves
1 cup peanuts powder
1 inch ginger
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Goda Masala (Recipe some time later)
1 tsp Red chilli powder
2 tsp Coriander Powder
2 tsp cuminJeera Powder
A key lime sized jaggery or according to your taste(Optional)
1 tsp Coriander Leaves chopped
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
4-5 curry leaves

Trim the stems of the brinjals but don't remove them.  Make a deep +-shaped cut without cutting all the way.  Take care not to cut the brinjal in 4 pieces.  Keep the slitted brinjals in salt water.
Chop oniions finely.  Add peanut's powder, grated coconut, Goda masala, Chilli powder, Coriander and Cumin powder, jaggery and lemon juice.  Now grate the ginger and garlic and mix everything.  Add coriander leaves and salt.  Add a tbsp of oil and mix everything together.
Stuff this mixture in the brinjals.
In a small pressure cooker or in a kadhai, heat oil.  When the oil is hot eanough, add mustard and cumin seeds.  Add the curry leaves and all the brinjals one by one carefully.  Sprinkle some salt on the brinjals.
Now this is a most important and crucial stage.  Only experts can do this.  Hold both the handles and shake the brinjals.  In this process, you should lift the cooker/kadhai off your gas and.  Ideally all the brinjals should get turned up side down.
If you have any stuffing left out add now.  If using pressure cooker add 3/4 cup water and close the lid of the cooker.  Switch off the gas after two whistles.  If using kadhai, close the lid and when cooked enough switch off the gas.
Serve hot with steamed rice/chapati/roti/bhakari.

1.  If  you do not have goda masala you can use MTR Multipurpose Curry Powder.
2.  If you have Kanda Lasun masala use that and omit the chilli powder.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baigan with beetroot

This is a very easy and fast recipe.  We all love it very much.

1 small italian eggplant/2 chinese eggplants chopped into little bigger pieces
1 med beetroot cut into bite size pieces
1 onion chopped roughly
1 small tomato
1 drumstick cut in 1 inch pieces(Optional)
1 green chilli slitted through
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander seeds powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
Few curry leaves

In a kadhai, heat oil. Add mustard & cumin seeds.  When they crackle, add curry leaves and onion and
green chilli.  Add the chopped beetroot, drumsticks and mix together.  Add all the spice powders and the eggplant pieces.
Place the whole tomato in the center and sprinkle the salt.  Put a lid on the kadhai. Let the tomato and the veggie cook.  The veggies should cook in the juice of tomato.  After 5 minutes, give a big stir and close again.  Repeat till the veggies are cooked.
Once done, sprinkle the chopped cilantro leaves and serve.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Soya beans Cutlet

This is the most favorite evening snack in my house.  Everyone like to eat this.  Its very easy and it really fast food.  Its vegetarian but still full of proteins.  The recipe is very simple.

1 tin Soyabeans, you can soaked and boiled soya beans
1/2 medium Onion chopped
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1-2 green chillies or according to your taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp Chaat Masala
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp Soya Sauce
A fist-full of moong beans sprouts (Optional)
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Drain and wash the beans in a colander. 
Put everything in a blender except oil and sprouts if using.
Blend till everything comes together.
Don't grind too much.  The soyabeans should be in grain like consistency.
Mix the sprouts if using, and form patties.
Heat a griddle/grill and shallow fry the patties.   
Turn when brown and fry on the other side drizzlling oil around the patties.
Fry on both the sides till done.
Serve with green chutney/ketchup.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sago Murukku

I made these as soon as Valli gave the recipe for this month's ICC.  They were finished immediately on the next day.  They turned really great. 
Today I totally forgot that I have to post the recipe and pictures.  Just now I saw Vallli's post and remembered about it.  Its a very simple recipe Valli has given.

2 Cups Rice Flour
1/2 cup Besan flour
1/2 cup Fried gram flour
1/2 cup Sago
1/4 cup Curd
50 ml Oil
Salt to taste
Chile powder - 1/2 tsp or as per taste

Make buttermilk of the curd.  Soak Sago in Butter milk for 3 hrs, please ensure that you soak it enough else you may risk having the sago burst.

Mix all the flour together, heat 50 gms oil, mix to the flour along with salt and chili powder. Then add the buttermilk soaked sago slowly and knead to a chapati dough consistency
Heat oil for deep frying.In the muruku achu, add the dough. When the oil is hot, press down directly as as murukus.
Cook on medium flame to ensure the muruku is cooked well.

Ensure sago soaks in buttermilk well and is soft or else it will burst when you press it down in hot oil.
Cook on medium to ensure even cooking.
Fried Gram flour is fried channa dal that is available commercially. It is general sold as the dal, we have to powder it at home. This is also referred as chutney dal as it is used in making coconut chutney.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Aloo Gobi means potato+cauliflower, a combination of two generally most loved vegetables.  I said generally most loved because in my home my elder son simply hates gobhi.  Aloo gobi can be found on almost every Indian restaurant menu.  Aloo gobi is a stir-fried vegetable dish, North-Indian style.  Every household in India has it's own version of Aloo-Gobhi.  So this is my version with some basic spices.
1 medium head of cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, sliced
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ginger minced
1 tsp garam masala
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

 In a wide saucepan heat oil on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf, stir until they sizzle.
Add the onion and stir-fry for a few minutes until onion is starting to brown.  Lower the heat and add in the minced ginger, turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Stir to get the spices coated with oil.  Add the potato and cauliflower and stir well to mix in the spices. Add the salt and garam masala.  Cover the pan. 

Let the vegetables cook until tender. Cook the veggies in their own juices which are released due to the salt and turmeric.  Sometimes the veggiesget browned at the bottom, keep stirring at the interval of 2-3 minutes to evenly cook the veggie.  If you feel that the veggies are not cooking due to poor/less steam building, add 1/4 cup of water. Check a potato cube to test for tenderness. Turn off the heat once vegetables are tender (do not over-cook).  Let the subzi (vegetable) rest for 10 minutes, then serve warm.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kaala Chana-Aloo Masala

When I was a child every friday my mom used to make this something with kala chana.  Either kala chana Aamati or masala curry or just boiled with salt and sprinkle some chat masala and chili powder over it.  Sometimes she used to add some chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander and serve as chaat.  In the evening while returning from office my Dad used to get some salted and roasted chana-shengadana,
packed in a paper cone still little warm.  As soon as he is home we all used to sit together and finish our share while it is still hot/warm.  Oh, those olden, golden days will never be back.

This friday I made this curry to go with some pooris. 

1 Cup kala channa soaked overnight and cooked
2 Medium Potatoes boiled, peeled and diced
2 Tomatoes diced
1 big Onion finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1.5 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
2 tsp Dhania Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Jeera
1 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Ghee (Optional)
2 tbsp Chopped cilantro to garnish
Salt to taste

What to do: 
Heat the oil and ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and season with jeera. Add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till dark brown. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till soft.  Add the diced potatoes.
When the tomatoes turn soft, add turmeric, chilli powder, dhania powder, cumin powder and salt. Add the cooked channa and a cup of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add garam masala, cover and cook till oil separates.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with puris/rotis/pulav varieties.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Manga Thokku

I always buy some raw mangoes from grocery store and after dumping them in fridge I throw them in trash. But this time I bought the mangoes and really wanted to use them.  I was thinking of making chunda but finally I made some pickle.  This is a very simple but delicious recipe.

What I used:
2 raw mangoes
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1/2 cup Olive oil
4 tsp Salt
5 tsp Red Chilli Powder or according to your taste
1 tsp Methi/fenugreek seeds dry roasted till light brown
A big pinch of Hing roasted

What I did with :
Peel the mangoes & grate.  I did with the hand grater.  You can use the food processor but I don't like because it leaves more water when grated in food processor.
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan when heated add mustard seeds.  Then add the grated mangoes stir once.  Add turmeric powder and again give a nice stir.
Now add the salt and the red chilli powder.  Mix and turn the heat to medium low.
Let it cook for 40-50 minutes.  You will know with the texture of the thokku if it is cooked.
Meanwhile, roast the methi seeds and the hing.  Grind to a fine powder.
When the thokku is cooked fully, add the methi-hing powder.  Now mix everything and turn off the heat.
And taa-daa your mango thokku is ready.
Store it in a completely dried glass/plastic bottle.  I prefer to store pickles in glass bottles.  If  refrigerated can be kept for few months, but ours will be finished in a week or 10 days.
Have a look of my mango thokku/pickle.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vegetarian Shami Kabab

Last week we had snow again.  I was cleaning my freezer and I found this pack of frozen Suran.  My kids and DH was asking something to eat and I got this idea of using the suran.  My mom used to make them as for evening snack.  

340gms Suran cut into cubes (I used 1 full bag of frozen Suran)
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1-2 green chilies
2 tbsp cilantro
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs


Oil the hands and then peel and cut the suran.  I need not do this since I was using frozen and cubed suran. 
Boil them in water added with turmeric and salt till soft. I microwaved the suran cubes with salt and turmeric.
Drain the water completely.
In a food processor put the cooked and cooled suran, ginger-garlic paste, coriander leaves, lemon juice, all spices and grind to a fine paste.
Remove in a bowl, adjust the salt and then gradually add bread crumbs till you get a binding texture.
Make flat Kababs about 2 inches diameter and shallow fry in oil on a medium flame till it turns golden brown in colour and nicely crispy on one side and then turn over to the other side.
These are very delicate and needs gentle handling, especially while turning over. 
A perfect veg version of Shami Kabab.
Serve with pudina chutney and raw onions.  I will post the recipe of pudina chutney sometime later.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Khasta Kachori for ICC

The Indian cooking challenge of Srivalli for this month was Moong Daal kachori or Raj Kachori.  It's one of my favorite snack.  Back in India, whenever I am hungry, we will go to the Farsaan Shop on the corner & eat these kachoris.  I never tried to know how to make them.  My job was just to eat.  But when I saw this month's challenge I immediately made them.  It has become a regular evening snack in my home.

I followed the recipe from Medhaa & her Aunt.  Thanks Medhaa and Srivalli.

For the Dough

2 Cups All purpose flour / Maida
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Water for kneading

For the filling
1/2 cup Moong Dal
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Hing
2 tsp Curry Leaves chopped fine (opt)
1 tsp Green Chilli - Ginger paste
1 tsp Sauf / Fennel seeds powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 tsp Mango powder / Amchur
1 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
Oil for frying.

Wask and Soak dal in water for atleast 1 hour. You can go upto 4 hours not more.

Mix the flour and salt, Add the oil/ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture.

Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes.
Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.

Drain the dal remove maximum possible water.  Grind the dal coarsely like rice rawa.  Heat oil in a  pan.      Add the hing and cumin seeds.  Once the seeds splutter add the curry leaves.  Add the dal.  Lower the heat and keep stirring for 5 minutes till the dal stops sticking to the pan.  Cook for another 10 minutes on low till the dal turns slightly brown.   Add all the masalas.  Cook for few minutes till the flavor of the spices fills your kitchen.  Add Salt.  Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.

Make a small ball from the dough. Roll out into a circle. Or flatten the ball using your fingers having the center thick and sides little thin.  Place about 1.5 tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough.  Cover the filling with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling. Seal the ends and remove excess dough. Repeat with all the balls and keep aside for 5 -7 mins.  Then using your palm, flatten the balls by lightly pressing it.  Keep aside covered. Repeat with the remaining dough. 

Meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying. The oil should not become smoking hot. Drop a tiny ball of dough dropped in oil if it rises slowly the temperature of oil is right.  Drop the kachoris in batches of 3-4 gently into the oil. It should rise up slowly. If you don't want to use lot of oil, use just enough for two or three at a time and fry them.  After it rises up (about 2 minutes), turn it over.  Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes till the down side gets a golden brown color.  Turn and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or till its golden brown in color.

I served mine like chat.  You can serve with just the tamarind dates chutney.

To serve:
1 Med sized onion chopped finely
1 small tomato chopped
Tamarind chutney
Green Chutney
Cilantro leaves chopped (Chopped)
Sev for decoration

Break the kachoris like we do for pani puris.  Stuff the kachoris with onion, tomatoes, green chutney & tamarind dates chutney.  You can add some cilantro leaves also, but I didnot had them.  Top with beaten yogurt/curd & sev.  Seve immediately.  Have fun.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Malai Kofta

This is one of my favorite dish in indian restaurants.  From childhood I used to eat this in restaurants and appreciate the cook who makes them really soft & like melt in mouth.  Now a days, even my 3 yr old also knows what to order in a desi restaurant first is "cheese balls in gravy". 

List of ingredients:

For the koftas
2 Red Potatoes, boiled 
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 small carrot grated
1 cup soft & freshly made Paneer grated
2 tbsp Besan/chana flour
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

For the Gravy
1 red onions, medium sized
2-3 tomatoes, big size
1 tsp homemade ginger paste
3-4 green chillies ground to paste
10 cashews soaked in water for 30 minutes
1/4 cup grated paneer (Optional)
1tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1 cup, whole milk or 1/2 cup cream

Peel the skin and cut onions to chunk pieces. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add onion, and saute to brown on high heat, stirring in-between.  Blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin.  Make a paste of the onions and puree the tomatoes.  Keep aside.
Make a fine paste of cashew, ginger and chillies.  Adding a little water if required.
In a bowl, mash the boiled potatoes, grate the carrot & paneer.  Add the chopped green chilli and besan flour.  Mix everything together. Shape the koftas, either round or cylindrical shape.  If making round they should be about ping-pong ball size. 
Heat oil in a kadhai or deep frying pan.  Deep fry the koftas till light brown.
Place a wide, deep pan on the stove-top. Add and heat a tablespoon of oil. When oil is hot, add the roasted onion paste, cashew paste. Saute for five minutes on medium heat, constantly stirring. Add the tomato puree, turmeric, milk or cream. Combine well. Have a taste and add salt and garam masala. Cover and simmer the sauce on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring in-between. Avoid high heat and take care not to blacken the sauce at the bottom of the pan. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off the heat.
Place the koftas in the serving dish, pour the gravy on the koftas 10-15 minutes before serving.  Decorate with the left out grated paneer if using.
Delicious malai kofta ready to be served with any flat bread or flavoured rice like Saffron rice or Jeera Rice. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ambaadichi daal aka Gongura Pappu

I make variety kind of green leafy veggies with dal but everything my son eats is spinach.  Any leafy veggie is spinach for him.  While eating it his comment will be "this spinach is tasting different" and I say,"Yaah I bought it from different shop".  That's my way of making him eat all leafy veggies.  I don't know how long I can do this, but till the time he is eating its ok.

2 cups of chopped gongura leaves
1/2 cup of dal
1 medium sized onion diced
4 or more according to your taste garlic cloves crushed
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
3-4 green chillies
salt to taste

For the tadka/seasoning:
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp of Asafoetida/hing
3 red chilies
Take the dal, turmeric and the leaves in a pressure cooker.  Add green chillies, onion and garlic.  Cook until 3 whistles . Once done , remove from heat and keep aside.

I use garlic while cooking dal and the leaves because it gets mashed with dal and becomes very difficult to pick it out.  My DH & Kids don't like the garlic seen in dals or any curries except for Kaara Kuzhambu.  But I really love the flavor of curshed garlic in the tadka, this is done at my mom's place.
In a wok , heat the Oil and do the tadka/seasoning by adding Urad dal, mustard seeds, hing, red chilies.  Once the mustard seeds pop,then add the tadka to the dal mixture .

Add salt, chili powder and let the dal simmer for atleast 5 minutes and remove from heat. Serve hot with rice and a dollop of ghee.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Republic Day

Happy 60th Republic Day to all my readers and their families.  I request all of you to stand up and sing our national anthem today.  Thanks you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mung Daal Halwa for ICC

When I saw this month's ICC, I was excited.  Because I have never tasted Mung Daal halwa ever in my life.  But then we went on vacations I totally forgot about it.  Suddenly on the day of Bhogi, a day before Makar sankranti or Pongal, I wanted to prepare something sweet.  I remembered about this month's indian cooking challenge.  Immediately, I decided to prepare this mung daal halwa.  And when we tasted it was my right choice on the cold winter day.  Thanks to Srivalli for starting such an event ICC.

Ingredients Needed:

1 cup Moong dal
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Clarified Butter / Ghee
1/2 cup Khoya
Cashew nuts and raisins for garnish

Method to prepare:
Lightly roast the 1 cup of moong dal, wash, soak overnight and ground to a fine paste adding very little water.
Take a thick bottom pan, heat 1/2 cup ghee and fry the moong dal paste till it turns brownish and releases the ghee. Add sugar and khoya.
Stir fry until both the sugar and khoya are well absorbed. Turn off the heat, then mix in cashew nuts and raisins.  I could not use the raising because I was out of it.

Tip: You can make any quantity with this as long as you keep this ratio constant : equal amounts of dal and sugar, half the ghee and khoya.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sheera/Sooji Halwa/Rava Kesari for New Year

Hi everybody, In the year 2010, this is my first entry.  I was missing for so many days because of other obligations.  Thanks to all those who enquired about me.  Thanks for caring.  We all are well and doing good.  I am still not out of the vacations we had this winter to Hawaii. 

On the new year day I made this simple halwa since I was still not in the mood of any elaborate cooking.  This is my elder son's most favorite dish.  Anyways, here is the recipe of sooji halwa.

1 cup upma rava/sooji
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Ghee/clarified butter
A pinch of cardamom powder
1 tbsp Raisins
few broken cashewnuts and almonds(Optional)

In a kadhai, heat ghee and roast the rava/sooji and the nuts if using on the medium low flame.
At the same time on other gas or in microwave keep the milk for boiling. 
Roast the rava till pink.  Add raisins.
Add the milk in rava keep stirring.  Add the sugar, raisins and the nuts.
Give a big stir and cover the kadhai.  Keep on low flame for 5 minutes.  Switch off the gas. 
Serve hot.

Always use boiling milk for sooji halwa or else you will find lumps in the halwa.
Add nuts to the kadhai with rava so that no need to roast them seperately.
Add raisins before adding milk.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

I wish all my readers and their families and friends a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2010.  May all your dreams come true.  Have fun and enjoy.