Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sabudana (Tapioca Pearl) Cutlet

This recipe has been adapted from the all time favorite "Sabudana Khichdi". I have used almost the same ingredients, with minor changes. This dish needs some preparation - it is not something that can be made instantly. With a little planning, this is a super appetizer or snack. Without further ado, I present my version of these yummy cutlets.

Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls)

1 1/2 cup sabudana
3 medium potatoes
1/2 cup peanuts, ground coarsely
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped coarsely
2 green chillies, chopped fine
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Soak the sabudana in warm water for 2 hrs. Drain water and put the sabudana in a strainer and let it hang out for an hour or two till the water has drained completely.
Boil the potatoes. When it cools down, peel the skin and mash.
Add the sabudana to the potatoes. Mix well. Add the chopped chillies, peanuts, lime juice, salt, red chilli powder and mix well. Take a handful of the mix ( about the size of a lime) and roll it between your palms to make a round shape and then flatten it.
Heat oil in a pan and fry till golden brown. Drain excess of oil on a paper towel. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney of your choice.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tandoori Gobhi


My love for Tandoori dishes started with .. no not Tandoori Chicken, but with Fish. When we were kids, as a special treat my Father made this absolutely wonderful Pomfret and served it with Coriander Chutney. We didn't have a tandoor - he applied the spices to the fish, let it marinate and then baked it in the oven. So many years later I still remember the taste. Anyhu, my Ma made a lot of Tandoori vegetarian dishes - Paneer, Mushroom, Potatoes, Cauliflower. This recipe has been adapted from my Ma's version.

1 medium sized cauliflower, cut into large florets
1 1/2 cups yogurt (without the water). I used low fat Greek yogurt available at the local grocery store.
5-6 garlic loves, finely chopped or grated
1" ginger, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp amchoor
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste

To garnish
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 lemon cut into rings
1/2 onion cut into rings
1/2 tsp chaat masala

Boil about 4-5 cups water with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Add the cauliflower florets and cook till almost done. Drain and let dry on a kitchen towel or paper towel.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder, chaat masala, amchoor, pepper, salt. Add the florets to this mix and marinade for about 1 hr.
Preheat oven. Lightly grease a baking pan and place the florets. Bake on 400 F for 30 minutes till the florets are light brown. (Remove one floret at this time and check if the masala and cauliflower is cooked. if not, then cook for a couple of minutes more). Remove from oven and keep aside.
While serving, place the onion rings an lemon rings on the serving plate and sprinkle the coriander leaves. Put the cauliflower florets and sprinkle chaat masala. Serve hot.

Season's Greetings

To all my family, friends and blog readers,wishing you Happy Holidays and a very prosperous New year 2007


Our Christmas tree

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Patta Gobhi (Cabbage) Sabzi

The last couple of days, we have pretty much been eating out, thanks to the many Christmas lunches and dinners. At the end of it, both K and I were craving for something simple that would be easy on the system. This is an easy dish, made in minutes and you can pretty much experiment with any masala and vegetables. I generally add peas, potatoes and bell peppers, but this time I just used peas and cabbage.

1 small cabbage, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they crackle, add the curry leaves and sliced onion. when onion begins to brown, add the green chillies and cabbage. mix well, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add all the masalas and salt. Mix well, cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook till the water had evaporated and cabbage has cooked. Serve hot with Roti/Paratha and enjoy !!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tamatar (Tomato) Pulao

What is red and green and tastes great - could be a lot of things but in my case, it was the wonderful Tomato Pulao that K cooked for dinner. This is a simple recipe but has loads of flavor. If you like Tomatoes, then this is the recipe for you.
Tomato Rice

1 cup Basmati rice, washed and soaked in water
3 tomatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

Make a puree of the tomatoes (adding water, if necessary) to make about 2 1/2 cups puree. Drain the rice and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the onions. When the onions are caramelized, add the bay leaves, cloves, peas, green bell peppers and salt. Cook for a minute and then add the rice. Mix gently and cook for a minute.
Add the tomato puree and salt. Mix well gently, cover the pan and cook on medium low heat till the rice is cooked and water has been absorbed. Fluff gently with fork and serve hot with raita. Enjoy !!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Palak Paneer - Tofu with Spinach

When I was a kid, my Ma would have trouble getting me to eat Spinach. This green leafy vegetable was not something I relished. I got hooked on to Spinach when I moved to New Delhi to work. The dhaba near my apartment would serve Spinach regularly, be it Palak Paneer, or Palak Parathas or some other dish. No matter what dish it was, the taste was awesome.
For having an ardent dislike for Spinach, now I love this green, leafy vegetable. it features regularly in my house, in many forms :)

Recipe Source : Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's cookbook

1 packet frozen chopped spinach
1 packet extra firm tofu
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 green chillies
10-12 cloves garlic
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
Salt to taste
Oil
Heavy cream to garnish (optional)

Grind the spinach, garlic cloves and green chillies to a fine paste using 1/4 cup water. Drain the water from the tofu and cut into 2" cubes.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle, add the spinach paste. Cook on medium heat till the spinach begins to bubble. Add the milk and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the tofu and salt and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with cream and serve hot.

French Toast

2 slices of french Toast with Ketchup

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chole Methi- Garbanzo beans with Fenugreek leaves

I found a fresh bunch of Methi leaves on my last trip to the Indian grocery store. I had soaked a cup of dry garbanzo beans overnight, so I had all the ingredients that I needed to make this simple, yet delicious dish.

1 cup dry garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in warm water (You can use the canned ones too)
1 bunch, methi leaves, picked and cleaned
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1" ginger, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil

Heat oil in a cooker. Add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the onions and cook till golden brown. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and cook for a minute.Add the chopped tomato, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and cook till the pil separates and the tomato is cooked. Now add the methi leaves and garbanzo beans. Mix well, add about 2 cups of water, and cook for 3 whistles. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once the steam has been released, add the garam masala powder and cook on medium low heat for about 5 minutes. With the back of the spatula, mash some of the beans (thickens the gravy and gives a nice texture). Serve with Rice/Roti and enjoy !!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jhatpat Aloo


This is a simple yet tasty dish. This is my contribution for Pooja's Vegetable of the week.

3 potatoes, microwave till done.
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil

Peel the skin of the potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces.
Heat oil in a pan. add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the chopped onion and green chilli. Cook till the onion begins to turn brown. Add the potatoes, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lentil Soup

Recipe Source : Giada De Laurentis : Everyday Italian, Food Network
It has been raining cats and dogs here, just the weather for some soup. I had seen this soup on the show "Everyday Italian" (love the show) and had been wanting to try it for quite some time. I had to modify this recipe a little since I was out of a couple of ingredients, but the end result was delicious. Vegetables, Lentil and Pasta make this a wholesome and hearty soup.

1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 cup Lentils (I used 1 cup whole masoor dal)
11 cups low salt chicken broth (I used 9 cups water)
4-6 fresh Thyme sprigs (I used 1 tsp dried Thyme)
2/3 cup elbow pasta (I used a handful of spaghetti and broke it to small pieces)
1 (14 1/2 oz) can dice tomatoes (I used 2 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (I used a 1/2 cup of 3 blend Mexican cheese)
Oil

Heat oil in a pot and add the onion, carrots and celery. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook till all the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer till the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils and mix well. Add the broth and thyme. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and simmer on low heat until the lentils are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Stir in the Pasta. Simmer until the pasta has been cooked al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into the bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy !!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Keema-Matar

This dish is in my list of comfort food. My memories of this dish is always associated with fun times. My Ma (with some help from my Dad) would always make this when we went for day trips to the beach or even to the Zoo. Keema-Matar with Pooris and boiled eggs - these were a constant presence. As a special treat we were allowed to have Coke and then this feast would end with a generous slice of home made Marble Cake.
K had been having a stressful couple of weeks and I wanted to make something special for him. I was lucky to find ground chicken in the grocery store and I decided to surprise him with this dish. Looking at the smile on his face was worth the time spent in the kitchen. :)

1 lb ground chicken (you can use ground Turkey too)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 large onion, finely chopped
1" ginger, finely grated
4 pods of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 potato, cubed
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp yogurt
3/4 cup water
Salt to tate
Oil

To garnish

Handful of chopped coriander leavs
1 hard boiled egg, sliced

Heat oil in pan. Add cumin seeds and the dry red chillies. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the ground chicken. Cook till the chicken is evenly browned. Remove from heat and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion. Cook till the onion begins to turn brown. Then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Add turmeric powder, red chilli pwder, cumin powder, coriander powder. Cook till the tomatoes are cooked and the oil separates. Now add the browned ground chicken. Cook till the chicken and tomato have mixed together (about 10 minutes) stirring frequently. Add salt, yogurt, water and the potato. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer till the potato is cooked (about 20 minutes). Now add the peas and garam masala powder, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and sliced hard boiled egg and serve with Roti / Paratha and Raita. Enjoy !!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Coriander Chutney

Bhindi (Okra) Bhujiya


K and I both love Bhindi (Okra). Lately I haven't been able to find good quality fresh Okra, so I have started using the ones from the frozen section at the grocery stores. This recipe is easy to make and tastes good. Enjoy it with Roti and/ or Rice.

Pooja of Creative Pooja has announced that the vegetable for this week is Bhindi. This is my contribution for the event.

1 packet frozen Bhindi
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2" ginger, finely minced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp amchoor powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil


Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onion. Cook for a minute and add the frozen Bhindi, chopped garlic and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the dry masalas - cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder. Add salt and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes till all the masalas are mixed and the stickiness lessens. Add salt and chopped tomatoes. Lower heat and cook till the Bhindi and tomatoes are cooked. Add the Amchoor powder, cook for a minute or two and remove from heat. Serve hot with Roti or Rice and enjoy !!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tomato Chutney

This recipe is courtesy Mythreyee of Try This Recipe. I had made it last week and K had loved this Chutney, so much so that he requested it today morning at Breakfast. I was out of Mint, but the Chutney was awesome even without it.

5 tomatoes, chopped fine
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp Urad dal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of Hing
Salt to taste
Oil
Heat Oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. When the mustard begins to splutter, add the cumin seeds and Urad dal. Then add the chopped tomatoes. When the tomato is half cooked add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, Hing and salt. Cook till the tomatoes are cooked.
Remove from heat and cool. Grind to a smooth paste without any water. Serve with Dosa or Parathas. Enjoy !!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

16 Pulses/Bean Dal

This recipe is from my elder sis. Full of the goodness of 16 different types of beans and lentils, this dish is easy to make and tastes really good. You can add any variety to beans and lentils, but to make life easier, you get this in all the grocery stores.

Beans soaked overnight in warm water

1 cup beans-pulses, soaked overnight in warm water
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Oil
Coriander leaves, for garnish


In a pressure cooker, add the soaked dal, salt, 1/2 tsp oil, salt and water and cook for 1whistle. Remove from heat and let it cool down.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion. Cook till the onion turns golden brown. Add the green chillies, tomato, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and cook till the oil separates and the masala-tomato mix is well cooked. Add the dal to the pan and let it simmer on medium low heat for 5-7 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice or Roti. Enjoy !!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Asparagus-Mushroom-Peas Bhujiya

I had half a packet each of Peas and Asparagus and some fresh white Mushrooms. I decided to combine all three and make a dish and it came out really good :) Even K gave this dish his sign of approval :)

Asparagus-Mushroom-Peas
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 packet frozen Asparagus
10-12 white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Oil

Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and cook till the onion begins to turn brown. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook till the water in the mushrooms dries up. Now add the peas, asparagus, pepper and salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes or till the veggies are cooked and the asparagus retains a slight crunch. Serve with Rice / Roti. Enjoy.

Pizza

Tired after a long day of running errands and household chores, I wasn't really in a mood to cook dinner. K, bless him, took over the kitchen and made this simple and delicious Pizza. I had the Pizza dough and the Pizza sauce from Trader Joe's, so assembling the pizza with the rest of the ingredients from the pantry was easy.
Pizza

The final Product


Assembling the Pizza - look at all that cheese - Yummy :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Paneer / Tofu Bhujiya

My brother calls this dish the Vegetarian version of scrambled eggs. It is easy to make and tastes wonderful.

Paneer
1 packet Paneer / Tofu
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Oil
Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish (optional)

Paneer
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. Cook till it turns light brown. Add the green chillies, chopped tomatoes, salt, cumin powder and coriander powder. Cook till the oil separates. Crumble the paneer / tofu and add to the pan. Mix well and cook for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with Roti / Paratha. Enjoy !!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Peas Asparagus Pulao

Pulao
Both K and I wanted to have a light lunch since Thanksgiving dinner was going to be huge. I had half packet of frozen peas and Asparagus ... pefect for making a light pulao. We had this with Paneer Bhurji (recipe will be posted later) and Masoor Dal.

1 cup Basmati Rice
1/2 red Onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup Peas
1/2 cup Asparagus
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Oil
2 cups Water
Salt to taste

Pulao
Wash and soak the basmati rice.
Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle add the sliced onions and cook till it turns light brown. Add the peas, asparagus and salt and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Drain the water from the rice and add to the pan. Mix well. Add 2 cups water, cover the pan and cook on medium-low heat till rice is done. Remove from heat, stir once, cover and keep aside for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves (optional) and serve hot.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends and family, Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dhaba Dal

My brother and his friends would go to one of the many Dhabas on the outskirts of the city and get dinner from there home once a week. It would give my Ma and the cook a break from cooking for a bunch of ever hungry young adults. Food from the Dhaba was something my Dad also enjoyed. We were unanimous in our love for the Dhaba Dal. I present to you our version of this delicious Dal. Enjoy it with steaming rice or Naan.


2 cup urad dal, picked and cleaned
3/4th cup chana dal, picked and cleaned
2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp butter
2 medium sized onions, chopped
6 green chillies, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
Oil
Salt to taste
Handful of mint/coriander leaves, chopped to garnish
2 eggs (optional)

Cook the lentils in a pressure cooker with salt, 1 1/2 tbsp ginger, 1 1/2 tbsp garlic and butter. Once the cooker cools down, mash the Dals against the side of the pan. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and fry till golden. Add the remaining ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of seconds. Add the green chillies and tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are almost cooked and mushy. Add the dal to this and mix well. Add the coriander / mint leaves. If using eggs, make scrambled eggs and add to the dal. Mix well and serve hot with naan or Rice. ENJOY :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Easy Shrimp Curry

Both K and I love shrimp. This is an easy breezy recipe with loads of flavor.

1 lb uncooked shrimp, cleaned and deveined (I used the frozen ones for this)
2 potatoes, boiled, and cut into pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" ginger, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp red chilli pwdr
1 tsp coriander pwdr
1/2 tsp jeera pwdr
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
1 cup Water
Oil
Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish

Heat oil in a pan and fry the shrimp till light pink. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan, add more oil, if necessary and add the jeera. When it begins to sizzle, add the chopped onion. Cook till onion begins to turn brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Now add all the powder masalas, salt and tomato and cook till the masala gets cooked and oil separates. Add the boiled potatoes, shrimp and 1 cup water. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice / Paratha. Enjoy !!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Onion Pakoras / Pyaaz Pakora / Pyaaji


Rain, piping hot Tea and Pakoras go hand in hand. The weather here today was just right for this combination. Dull dreary gray skies plus K had come home tired after a day long trip to SFO ... the pakoras with tea was my idea of a perfect pick me up. I like all kinds of pakoras but one of my favorites is the Onion Pakoras or Pyaaji as we called it back home in Orissa. Many a evening during Monsoon in India would be spent sitting on the patio, having tea and pyaaji, watching the rain do their pitter-patter dance

1 onion, sliced thin
1 cup besan ( chickpea flour-available at any Indian grocery store)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. In the meantime mix the first 4 ingredients with a little water to make a batter. (The batter shouldn't be too thick or thin). Take tablespoons of the batter and drop it into the oil. Fry on medium heat till golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with Chutney/ Ketchup and a piping cup of tea. :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dahi Vada

I enjoy dahi vadas. Back home, my Ma and her friend Aunty N would make the vadas with a filling - it was so good. I still haven't mastered how to make a whole in the center of the Vadas - believe me it is a learning in progress.

My recipe for the Dahi vadas has been adapted in part from my Ma's version and my elder sis D's version.



1 cup urad dal, picked, washed and soaked overnight in warm water
2 green chilli, finely chopped
4 cups yogurt + 1 cup
1 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp Tamarind-Date chutney (available in the Indian grocery stores)
1 tbsp each of chopped coriander and mint leaves
Oil

Grind the urad dal with little water to a smooth paste. Add the chopped green chillies, hing and salt and mix.

Heat oil in a pan. Take about a tbsp of batter in your palm and roll it into a ball. Flatten it slightly and drop the batter carefully into the hot oil. Fry till golden. Remove and keep on Paper towel to drain off the extra oil.

Fill a pan with water and soak the vadas in it for about 2-3 minutes. In another pan, mix 1 cup yogurt with water to make a mix that is thinner or almost of buttermilk consistency. Squeeze the vadas gently to drain out the water and put them in this yogurt-water mix for a minute. Squeeze gently to remove water.



Whisk yogurt, salt, sugar and red chilli powder together till smotth. If the consistency is thick and just a little water. Now place the vadas carefully, covering them with yogurt. Garnish with a little red chilli powder, a little tamarind-date chutney and the coriander-mint leaves. Enjoy !!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kadhai Paneer



Kadhai Paneer was one of my favorite dishes during winter back in India. The rest of the year we would have Paneer in Parathas, as Paneer Bhurjee, Paneer Aloo .... The taste of ground spices coupled with the mellow flavor of green bell peppers, fresh Methi leaves and paneer was as close to gastronomical heaven as I could get.

I found a pack of red bell peppers at Trader Joe's and I had a green bell pepper at home with a pack of paneer. K loves this dish, so I decided to make this and surprise him at lunch :)

1 packet paneer (you can substitute Tofu), cut into finger sized strips
2 bell peppers, cut the same size as the Paneer
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp kasoori methi
4 dry red chilli
4 garlic cloves
4 small tomoatoes or 2 large tomatoes, chopped
1" ginger, chopped fine
Salt to taste
Oil
Chopped coriander, to garnish

Grind the garlic, dry red chilli and coriander seeds coarsely.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic-chilli paste. Cook for a minute and then add the bell pepper, ginger and green chilli. Cook for a minute and then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are done and the oil separates.



Add Kasoori methi and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the paneer slices, lower heat and cook for abt 5 to 7 minutes. Garnish with chopped corander leaves and serve hot with Paratha. Enjoy !! :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Guguni



As kids and even now, street food is something all of us enjoy. One of my all time favorite was Guguni. Ma used to serve this with Aloo Tikki's and some Sunday's Poori and Guguni used to be our brunch. Loved it then, love it now :)

1 cup dried yellow peas
2 potatoes
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium onion
1" ginger
2 cloves garlic
4 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Salt to taste
4 cups water
1 tbsp oil

Soak the dried peas overnight in warm water. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 1/2" pieces. In a pressure cooker, cook the peas and the potato with 4 cups of water.

Grind the onion, garlic, ginger to a fine paste with a little water.


Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. when the seeds begin to sizzle, add the onion-garlic paste. Add the green chillies and cook till the onion turns a light brown. Add the cumin pwdr, coriander pwdr, red chilli pwdr, turmeric pwdr, salt and tomatoes and cook till the masalas are cooked and the oil separates. Add the boiled peas and potato mix and cook for 10 mts till all the flavors have blended. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Aloo Tikki (recipe on this blog) or with Pooris. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Besan Chillah



After a long day at work, I just did not have the energy to cook anything that required more than 15 minutes from start to finish. Unfortunately I was out of eggs, so K suggested Besan Chillah- the North Indian version of the Dosa :) or like K says "It is the vegetarian's omlette" :)

1 cup Besan (Gram Flour)
1/4 cup non fat/low fat yogurt (optional)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli chopped (you can increase the quantity depending upon your heat tolerance)
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Cooking spray
Water

In a bowl mix the gram flour and yogurt till smooth and there are no lumps. Add the onion, tomato, green chilli, salt and coriander leaves. Add water and mix well. The consistency should be thinner than that of Dosa batter - similar to the consistency of beaten eggs.

Heat a flat bottomed pan and spray it lightly with the cooking spray. Take the batter in a ladle and pour it into the pan. Turn the pan in clockwise - anti clockwise direction till the batter spreads. Cook till the bottom turns light brown. Flip the Chillah over and cook for a minute or two. Serve with Chutney/ Ketchup or have it plain :) Enjoy !!

Sarson Saag

Indira of Mahanandi had posted such a lovely picture of the Mustard leaves, I knew I had to share this wonderful, super delicious Sarson Saag recipe that my friend T had shared with me. Her Mom Aunty C would always make this when I visited their home. Before that I wasn't a big fan of this dish but in Aunty's hands, the taste would be awesome. Served with the traditional Makki Di Roti, it was a gourmet delight. At the end of that stupendous meal, we would have a glass of tall cool Lassi ... Mmmm Mmmm good. :)

1 1/2 bunch Sarson Saag (mustard greens), washed and chopped
1 bunch Palak (Spinach), washed and chopped
1 medium Mooli (radish) with leaves, washed and chopped
2 medium sized onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1" ginger, finely chopped
1 green chilli, minced
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

For the tadka
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp ghee

In a pressure cooker cook all the ingredients (except the ones for the tadka) for 2 whistles, with 1/2 cup of water.
Let it cool and then grind to a smooth paste.

Heat the ghee in a small pan and add the garlic. When the garlic turns light brown, add the Saag. Cook for a minute and serve hot with Makki Di Roti/ Roti/Paratha. Enjoy !

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dal

Tur Dal
Tur dal on a bed of Basmati rice, with Aloo Gobhi sabzi

For our everyday meals, Ma used to make Tur/Arhar dal. Sometimes plain dal, sometimes Tur dal with Spinach or Khatti Dal (with Gongura leaves). I still do not know what Gongura is called in Bihar or for that matter in Orissa, I just call it Khatti (sour) dal. This recipe is for the simple, no frills Dal. Just tempered with ghee, cumin seeds and dry red chilli, the dish was a gastronomic delight.

1 cup tur dal, picked and washed
2 1/2 cups of water
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
Salt to taste
2 dry red chilli, broken into two
Chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

Pressure cook the dal with 2 1/2 cups of water, turmeric and salt. When the dal is cooked, whisk it once to make the dal mix semi smooth.

In a small pan, heat ghee. When it heats up, add the broken dry red chilli and jeera. When the jeera begins to sizzle, add the tadka to the dal. Mix well, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice. As Rachel Ray would say, Yummo !! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Kabuli Chana


Garbanzo beans figured quite often in our meals back home. From Pani Puri's to Hummus, the versatile chickpea was to be found everywhere. When I was in school a bowl of rice and chickpeas with Spinach was a staple meal.
You can soak the garbanzo beans overnight and cook it in a pressure cooker, but I generally use the canned ones and they taste good too.

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and washed
1 large onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" ginger, minced
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp kasoori methi
Salt to taste
2 cups water
Oil
Coriander leaves to garnish (optional). I love this herb so add it generously to all the cooking I do :)

Heat oil in a pan and add the jeera seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions. Cook till the onion turns golden. Now add the green chillies, minced garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute. Add jeera pwdr, coriander pwdr, turmeric pwdr, salt and tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes and the masalas are done. Add the drained chickpeas and saute for a minute. Add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Now add the kasoori methi, lower heat and cook for 5 minutes. Using the back of the cooking spoon, mash some of the beans to make a thicker gravy. Remove from heat, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Rice/Roti/Paratha. Enjoy !!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Saboot Masoor Dal

This recipe has been adapted from Nita Mehta's cookbook. it was one of the first cookbooks I had brought when I started cooking and this dish always came out tops. It is an easy to make dish and delightful to taste.

1 cup Saboot (whole) masoor Dal
1 large onion - half onion chopped and the other half finely sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp whole coriander
1 1/2" ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies
Salt to taste
Oil
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Pick and wash the Masoor dal. Pressure cook it for 3 whistles with 5 cups water and the chopped onions.
Make a paste of the garlic cloves, ginger, dry red chillies, cumin seeds and whole coriander seeds.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the sliced onion and cook till onion turns light golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic-chilli paste. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and cooked. Add this mix to the dal and on low flame cook for 10 minutes. garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice/ paratha. Enjoy !

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Diwali

Wishing all of you a very bright and happy Diwali.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sooji Upma

This dish is a favorite with almost everybody. Easy to make, this is one dish that almost all newbie cooks learn. Everyone has their own take - my sis adds a little sambar masala; my mom used to add the veggies of the season; my sis in law adds a handful of cashews ... I got this recipe from K's Mom. It is easy, quick and delicious.

1 cup sooji
2 tbsp chana dal
1 medium onion, sliced finely
2 green chillies, chopped fine
1" ginger, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
Oil
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice

Heat a pan over medium heat. Add sooji and roast till light brown, stirring constantly. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves and chana dal. Then add the sliced onions. When the onion turns golden brown add the ginger and green chillies. Cook till the ginger begins to brown, 1-2 minutes.
Now add the sliced tomato and cook till the tomato is almost done. Add salt and water and bring to boil. Bring heat to low and add sooji slowly stirring constantly. Cover and remove from fire and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with Coconut or Green Chutney. Enjoy !!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Methi Aloo

This dish is one of my all time favorites. Anything that has potato in it, I love and the Methi leaves just take it to another level. This is my Ma's signature recipe.

3 large potatoes (I use the white skin potatoes), chopped into 1" pieces with the skin
2 bunch Methi leaves, washed and chopped roughly. If fresh Methi is unavailable, use frozen
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1" ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Oil

Heat oil in pan. Add the ginger and green chilli and cook till the ginger turns golden brown. Add the coriander powder, cayenne powder and salt. Add the potatoes and mix well. Cook the potato is about 80% done. Add the Methi leaves, cover and cook till the methi and potatoes are fully cooked. Keep stirring so that the potato-methi does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Serve hot with Roti / Paratha and enjoy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mix Vegetable - Soya Nugget Pulao

I lived on this dish for the most part of my college days in New York. It was easy to make and very nutritious. Especially during those days when I came home after class really late in the night, it was a meal that I could make in a jiffy. This and a bowl of yogurt - aah ! bliss :)

1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 20 mts
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup Nutrela soya nuggets - soaked in hot water
1 green chilli finely minced
3 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/4 cup green peas (I used frozen)
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 potato, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chopped green beans
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp Oil
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Some chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seed, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. When it begins to sizzle, add the chopped onions. Cook till the onions are a light golden brown. Add the garam masala, cayenne pepper, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Cook for a few minutes and add all the veggies. Drain the soya nuggets, wash with cold water and squeeze the water out of the nuggets. Add to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain the rice and add to the pan. Add the 2 cups of water. Cover and cook till rice is done. garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with a serving of plain yogurt or raita. Enjoy !!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mushroom and Corn Soup

Yesterday was the perfect day for a steaming bowl of soup. One of my favorite soups is Mushroom soup. It is so hearty and so comforting. I found a recipe for Mushroom soup in a magazine and fiddled around a little to make it my own. Took a little long to make, but the end result was enormously satisfying.

2 lb assorted mushrooms (crimini, button, portabella, shiitake) sliced into thick pieces.
1 cup corn ( I used frozen corn)
1 cup onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk (The recipe asked for 1/2 cup heavy cream, but I used 2% milk)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, and cook 5 minutes till onion is soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, increase heat and cook till all the moisture evaporates from the mushrooms. Lower heat to medium.
Add sherry, lemon juice, paprika and pepper. Cook till the sherry has almost evaporated. Add broth, frozen corn, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Add milk and bring to boil.
Whisk corn starch and soy sauce together to dissolve and stir into the simmering soup to thicken. Add salt and the fresh dill. Mix well.
Serve in a bowl and enjoy. It is sure to keep the cold away. :)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Gobi Manchurian

Like kids in school, we share our lunch box at work too. At the stroke of Noon, we sit down for lunch trading anecdotes while sampling each other's lunch box. The day before yesterday, BD had an idea to have a pot luck lunch on Friday and it was a suggestion that all of us happily agreed to. My contribution - Gobi Manchurian and Noodles. K loves this combo and he was more than happy helping me dice, chop and slice all the ingredients. I will be posting the recipe for the Noodles over the weekend.

Gobi Manchurian
Oil for deep frying
1 medium sized cauliflower

For the batter

1/2 cup refined flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Salt to taste
Water

For the sauce

2 tbsp oil
2 spring onions chopped fine
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1" ginger, chopped fine
2 green chillies, chopped fine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
Salt to taste

Wash and cut the cauliflower into florets and set aside.
Combine all the batter ingredients to make a thick batter. The batter should not be too thick.
Heat oil in a pan. Dip the florets into the batter and deep fry till golden brown. Put on paper towel to absorb the oil and keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Cook for 1 minute and add the stock/water, pepper, soy sauce and salt. Simmer till it begins to boil. Add the cornflour mixed with water and stir continuously. Cook till the sauce becomes thick. Add the cauliflower and mix well. Serve with noodles and/or fried rice. Enjoy !!

Kumhro Saag ( Pumpkin with Greens)

As a kid, I was not too fond of Pumpkin (Kaddu). I would eat it but not with relish. The only thing I loved was the fritters Ma used to make with the Pumpkin flowers. We had a pretty large pumpkin patch and in season I would go with my dad to pick the flowers.
But this dish I always enjoyed. Ma used to cook the pumpkin with Greens and potatoes and the dish was always yummy. In Bihar, where I come from, Pumpkin is called "Kumhro" and any Green Leafy veggie is called "Saag". Hence the name "Kumhro Saag". I have used Spinach and Butternut squash for this recipe.

1 medium sized Butternut squash, peeled and diced into 2" pieces
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced the same size as the pumpkin
1 packet frozen spinach
2 tbsp oil
2 dry red chilli
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin and turmeric powder . Add the dry red chillies and saute it for a minute. Add the pumpkin and potatoes and cook for 5 mts. Add the cayenne powder, coriander powder and the spinach. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and 1/4th cup water. Cover and cook till the potatoes are done. Serve hot with rice/roti.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Methi Chicken

This one too is courtesy Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe collection. It is such an easy dish to make and has so much of flavor. What I liked was that the curry was without the usual tomato base.

750 grams chicken
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2" ginger, finely chopped
10-12 cloves garlic, chopped, ground to a paste
3 green chillies, chopped fine
1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
2 tbsp oil
2 Bay leaves
5 green cardamom
2 black cardamom
3 cloves
1" stick cinnamon
5 Peppercorn
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp kasoori methi
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Few sprigs coriander leaves, chopped

Clean and cut Chicken into medium sized pieces.

Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaves, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns. Saute till peppercorns begin to crackle.
Add onion and cook till light golden brown. Add chooped ginger, garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and chooped green chillies. Saute for a minute.
Add the chicken pieces and yogurt and cook on high heat for 7-8 minutes. Add kasoori methi and 3/4th cup water. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 10 mts. Add garam masala, salt and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and serve hot with rice/roti.

Lahsooni Tinda

K had been working hard all weekend, finishing a report and he deserved a good Sunday night dinner for all his hard work. Ma had sent Sanjeev Kapoor's cookbook ( an easy to make delicious compilation of recipes)and the recipe for the Chicken Methi and Lahsooni Tinda looked delicious. I had some Tindora from the Indian store and some Chicken left from the last trip to Costco. Needless to say that both dishes were polished off with much relish.

Lahsooni Tinda

Tinda : 2 cups
Garlic : 20-24 cloves
Ginger : 1" piece
Coriander leaves : a few sprigs, chopped
Salt to taste
Cumin seed : 1/4 tsp
Whole red chillies : 4-6
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1tsp
Oil : 1 tbsp

Wash the tinda and cut them into quarters lengthwise.

Peel, wash and pat dry the garlic cloves. Peel, wash ginger and gring to a paste with 10 cloves of garlic. Chop the other 10 cloves of garlic.

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, whole red chillies broken into two and the ginger-garlic paste. Cook for a minute. Add the remaining garlic cloves and cook for a minute to lightly brown them.

Add the tinda and cook stirring continuously, until they are crisp. Add salt, coriander powder, turmeric powder and mix well. Redusce heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with Roti.
(We had this with Methi Parathas, and it was delicious. I will be posting the recipe for Methi paratha soon)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dal Makhni



This recipe is from Aunty M. Every time she visited, we would ask her to make this in a large batch. She would freeze the dal in a couple of Ziploc bags and we would enjoy this dish for the next month or two. This dish and Bhein (Lotus root) were her signature dishes.

Generally Rajma (kidney beans) is added to the dal makhni but Aunty M would make it only with Sabut (Whole) urad dal. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup sabut urad dal, washed, picked and soaked overnight
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 chopped garlic
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste/puree
1 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
Milk (if using 2 cups water to cook the dal, use 1 1/2 cup milk)
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

In a pressure cooker, add urad dal, onion, garlic, ginger, powders: cumin, cayenne, coriander, garam masala, tomato paste, salt, ghee and 2 cups water. Cook till dal is done. Remove from heat, stir the dal well, set aside and let it cool.



Once the dal mixture has cooled, add 1 1/2 cups of milk (do not use Fat free milk). cook the dal for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly till the dal thickens. Add the coriander leaves, cook for a minute and remove from heat. Serve hot with Rice/ Roti or Paratha. Enjoy !!

Baingan (Eggplant) Bharta



My friend T had come from India to visit and she gave me this recipe for Baingan Bharta. At home, we would add garlic, tomatoes and peas to make the "masala" Bharta, but T made this with lots of ginger. The end result was absolutely yummy.

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
2" ginger, chopped fine/grated
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust acc. to taste)
Salt to taste
Oil



Roast the oven on the stove or in an oven. When it cools down, remove the skin, mash the pulp and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add onions and cook till onions are golden brown. Add the grated/chopped ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt, cayenne pepper and cook till tomotoes become mushy and the spices are well mixed.

Add the roasted eggplant and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped coriander leaves, cook for a minute and serve hot with roti/paratha. Enjoy