Friday 30 December 2011

Medu Vada

medu vada

Medu vada is a delicious South Indian tiffin item. I love most South Indian food and medu vada is no exception. It takes a little time and practice to make perfect medu vada but you won’t regret it, I’m sure.
Recipe of medu vada/ wada
1 cup dhuli urad dal (split, skinless black gram)
1 tsp ginger paste
3 green chillies- finely chopped
1 tsp black pepper powder or freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
1. Wash and soak urad dal for atleast 6 hours or overnight. Drain.
2. Coarsely grind the urad dal in a blender adding as little water as possible otherwise vadas will not hold shape. Grinded dal should not be too smooth but a little coarse.
3. Add salt, green chillies, ginger and black pepper to the dal. Beat well so that air is incorporated in the batter and vada turn out fluffy.
4. Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok or a frying pan. When the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium.
5. Wet your palms and take a small portion from the batter. Shape it into a ball and then poke your thumb in the center so that a hole is formed. The idea of the hole is to increase the surface area where oil reaches so that vada is evenly cooked from all places.
6. Gently invert the vada in the oil. Similarly make other medu wada and place them in oil. Remember not to overcrowd the kadhai.
7. When the medu vada is cooked from underneath, turn them over with a slotted spoon (pauni/ chhari). Vadas should be golden brown from both sides. They should be fried on medium heat otherwise they will be golden from outside and doughy from inside.
8. Drain on an absorbent paper and serve medu vada hot with sambhar and chutney.

Mathri (Salted Crackers)


Yesterday I was craving for some home made savory snack with my evening tea. I remembered mathri which I was pretty good at making even before marriage. My hubby had asked me to make mathri several times but I was worried about the calories as it is a deep fried snack. Yesterday I thought what the heck! Don’t I eat other high calorie stuff bought from the market? So I went ahead.
Recipe of mathri (mathi)
2 cups maida ( all purpose flour)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
2 tbsp oil
Oil for deep frying
1. In a bowl, mix maida, salt and ajwain. Add 2 tablespoon oil and rub mixture between your hands so that oil is evenly mixed in the all purpose flour.
2. Add water little by little so as to knead it into stiff dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
3. Take walnut (akhrot) sized balls from the dough and roll out into a small rounds. Mark these rounds here and there with a fork so that mathris don't puff up like poori.
4. Heat oil in a kadhai (wok) or a deep frying pan and when the oil is hot enough, turn the heat to medium. Wait for 2 minutes. Fry mathri in the oil turning as needed.
5. When the mathri give a cooked look, increase heat so that they become reddish brown. For further batches, keep the heat to medium when frying and increase for the final touch. Drain on an absorbent paper by a slotted spoon. Serve when they cool down and store the rest in an airtight contianer. Mathri stay fresh for weeks.

Mangodi Pulao

mangodi pulao

Mangodi pulao or mangodi wale chawal is a real comforting food for me. Earlier I blogged about mangodi ki sabzi as I am a fan of mangodi. In the recipe below, I have used small granular mangodi. Even bigger mangodis can be used but you have to cook them for 4-5 whistles.
Recipe of mangodi pulao
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup small granular mangodi (moong dal wadis)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt or to taste
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
4 cloves (laung)
2 black cardamoms (moti elaichi)
3 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1. Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes. Drain. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan and fry mangodis till reddish brown. Take out.
2. Heat rest of the ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves and black cardamoms. When they change color, add mangodi, salt, turmeric and water. Let 2 whistles come, and then turn off heat.
3. When pressure drops down, open the lid of the cooker and add rice. Pressure cook to 1 whistle. Let the pressure drop down, open the lid and take out on a serving platter. Fluff with the help of 2 forks and enjoy mangodi pulao hot.

Lobia (Black Eyed Beans Curry)


Lobia is not such a popular dish in Indian kitchens but its taste really depends on how it is cooked or exactly how it is seasoned. If you cook it as per the recipe given below, you will find it a welcome change from the routine meals. It’s a protein packed dish and quite nutritious.
Recipe of lobia curry
1 cup lobia (black eyed beans)
1 medium onion- chopped
2 medium tomatoes- diced
1 inch piece ginger- chopped
3-4 cloves garlic (optional) - chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1. Soak lobia in water for 2 hours. In winters, soak in warm water. Drain. Boil in a pressure cooker.
2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let them crackle. Add onion and sauté till light brown.
3. Add ginger and garlic and fry for 1 minute.
4. Add tomatoes and salt and all the spices. Cook till tomatoes become soft and pulpy.
5. Add this tempering or tadka to the boiled lobia and mix. Cook lobia curry covered on a low heat for 5-7 minutes. Cook till you get the desired gravy consistency. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot lobia curry with steamed rice or roti.

Doodhi/ Lauki ka Halwa (Bottle Gourd Halwa)

Doodhi or lauki ka halwa is a rather unusual dessert. It’s nutritious since it contains lauki and milk. We are using very little ghee unlike other halwas. Lauki ka halwa is a very simple recipe yet very tasty.
Recipe of doodhi/ lauki ka halwa
1 medium lauki (doodhi/ ghiya/ bottle gourd/ milk gourd)
2 cups milk
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
7-8 almonds- blanched and slivered
1. Peel lauki, remove its seeds and grate.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee and add grated lauki. Sauté for 6-7 minutes.
3. Add milk and cook till liquid gets dried up, stirring occasionally.
4. Add sugar and cardamom powder and cook stirring constantly.
5. Serve lauki ka halwa cold or hot garnished with almonds.

Saturday 17 December 2011



Kassar is an after prayer offering to devotees in mainly Northern parts of India. This is a sweet offering given in both Hindu temples and homes. Kassar is dry with various fruits added to it and is usually offered with charnamrit. It is mainly made on Purnima (full moon day).
Recipe of kassar
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
4 tblsp ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 cup boora (castor sugar or grinded sugar)
2-3 green cardamoms- powdered
1 tblsp desiccated coconut
1 tsp tulsi (basil) leaves
Mixed chopped fruits like apple, banana, orange segments
1. Heat ghee in a wok or a kadhai. Add wheat flour and turn the heat to medium- low. Roast it till it becomes golden brown and a distinct aroma start coming out of it much similar to baking. Turn off the heat.
2. Mix cardamom powder and allow the flour to cool. Add boora, coconut, tulsi leaves and fruits. Mix well and offer kassar along with charnamrit.

(Bitter Gourd) Karela Sabji

karela sabzi

Karela sabzi is a good travel food since it remains fresh for 2-3 days and tastes equally good both at room temperature and hot. People like me who have a liking for gourds will find karela sabji delicious with its slight bitter taste.
Recipe of karela sabji
250 grams karela (bitter gourd)
2-3 green chillies- slit lengthwise
1 tsp saunf (fennel powder)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small kairi (raw mango/ aambi) - peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 tbsp mustard oil or any other oil
1. Remove tips of karela. Make a slit in karela lengthwise but do not separate. Remove seeds. Cut them in thin rounds.
2. Heat 3 cups of water in a pan and add 1/2 tsp salt to it. Add karela pieces to the pan. Parboil them that is, till they are partially cooked and crisp tender. Strain them in a strainer and wash under running water.
3. Heat mustard oil in a non- stick pan up to the smoking point that is till vapors start coming out of it. Add cumin seeds. Lower heat and add karela pieces. Add salt and turmeric powder and mix well.
4. Turn the heat to medium and cook karela uncovered till they are somewhat crisp stirring occasionally.
5. Add green chillies, onion, raw mango, saunf, red chilli powder and mix. Cook till subji is cooked and karele become crisp. Turn off heat and serve karela sabzi with roti or paratha.

This dish can also be called karela masala or karela fry.

Lemon Rice

lemon rice

Lemon rice is a South Indian favorite where it is known as ‘Chitrannam’. It’s quite delicious and if you love the tangy flavor, then this lime ‘n’ lemoni dish is for you. You can also use left over rice for this dish. Lemon rice can be prepared very quickly and easily.
Recipe of lemon rice
3 cups boiled rice
3/4 tsp mustard seeds (kali sarson)
1 tbsp chana dal (Bengal gram)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black gram skinless)
2-3 dry whole red chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
7-8 curry leaves
1 onion- sliced and separated
1 tbsp oil
1. Gently mix boiled rice with salt and lemon juice. Take care that rice grains do not break.
2. Heat oil in a wok or a kadhai and add mustard seeds and dry red chillies. When mustard seeds begin to pop, add chana dal. Roast for 1/2 a minute.
3. Add urad dal and curry leaves. Roast till dals get light brown. Add onion and sauté till light brown. Add turmeric powder. Add rice; give it a gentle mix and lower heat.
4. Cook covered on a low heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Let it stand for 2-3 minutes more. Uncover and take out lemon rice on a serving platter.

(Pumpkin) Kaddu Ki Sabzi

kaddu ki sabzi

Kaddu ki sabzi or sitaphal sabzi is a family favorite. The best thing is that it can also be eaten in fasts like Navratri and Ekadashi. Kaddu subzi, aloo ki sabzi and kuttu paratha or puri makes a complete Navratra thali. Oops! I forgot to mention, sabudana keer.
Recipe of kaddu ki sabzi
1/2 kilogram kaddu (pumpkin/ sitaphal) - peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chillies- chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1. Heat oil in a pan or a kadhai. Add methi dana and when it changes color, add hing. Add green chillies and sauté for 1 minute.
2. Add kaddu pieces. Add turmeric, coriander powders and salt. Mix well. Lower heat and cook covered till kaddu turns tender.
3. Add sugar, amchoor and garam masala powder and mix well. Cook till all the water evaporates. Serve kaddu ki sabzi hot.

Jalebi (Indian Sweet)


Jalebi is a traditional Indian sweet which is relished since ages. Some people enjoy it with rabri or hot milk flavored with cardamom powder. We enjoy jalebis hot and crispy, on their own.
Recipe of jalebi
1 cup maida (all purpose flour)
1 tbsp besan (gram flour)
1 tbsp curds (yogurt)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp powdered sugar
A pinch of saffron
Oil or ghee (clarified butter) to deep fry

For syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp green cardamom (elaichi) powder
A pinch of saffron
frying jalebi

1. Mix well all the ingredients of jalebi. Add warm water to get the batter of thick pouring consistency. Beat well so that no lumps are there. Let it rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
2. For syrup or chashni, add all the ingredients to the water and let it boil. After 1 boil, cook it on a lower heat for 5-7 minutes. Remember syrup should be of 1 thread consistency and hot when the jalebi is dipped in it.
3. Fill the batter in a zip lock bag with a small corner cut so that there is a hole in it or you can fill it in an empty ketchup bottle. Heat oil in a pan or a kadhai. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium.
4. In the oil, make circles inside a circle with the batter by squeezing, starting from outside. Similarly make other rounds. Fry jalebi from both sides by turning over using chimta. Fry till golden. Drain.
5. Put these jalebis in the syrup 3-4 at a time. Let them soak for 1-2 minutes. Then take out and serve jalebi hot.  

Friday 16 December 2011

Hara Bhara Kabab

hara bhara kabab

In this recipe of hara bhara kabab, I have shallow fried the kabab but you can also deep fry them in kadhai/wok. This is a healthier version. These kabab are healthy snacking option and can also serve as starter. You can also serve them at a party and win accolades.
Recipe of hara bhara kabab/kebab
3 medium potatoes- boiled, peeled and grated
100 gm palak (spinach)
3/4 cup green peas (matar) - boiled
1 tsp chaat masala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp corn flour
1 inch piece ginger- grated
3 green chillies- finely chopped
Few coriander leaves- chopped
Oil to shallow fry
1. Mash boiled matar. Blanch palak leaves (stems removed) in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Squeeze out excess water from palak leaves and chop finely.
2. In a bowl, mix together, grated potatoes, matar and palak. Add green chillies, coriander leaves, ginger, chaat masala and salt. Add cornflour. Mix together everything really well.
3. Divide the mixture in 25 equal portions. Shape them into balls and then flatten them between your palms to form tikki or patty.
4. Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and drizzle oil on it. Place these kabab on it and shallow fry from both sides till golden. Serve hot hara bhara kabab with tomato sauce or chutney.

Gajar Ka Achar (Carrot Pickle)

gajar ka achar

Gajar is something I enjoy immensely be it in sabzi, halwa, salad or pickle form. My mom always prepares gajar ka achar for me whenever she gets a chance. In fact this is her recipe which I like a lot.
Recipe of gajar ka achar
1/2 kilogram gajar (carrot)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp rai (small mustard seeds) - grounded
4 tbsp mustard oil
1. Peel and wash gajar. Let all the water drain and leave them for drying naturally in air.
2. Cut them in 1 1/2 inch pieces and then divide these pieces lengthwise.
3. Mix salt, red chilli powder, fennel powder and ground rai. Mix these spices with carrot pieces.
4. Fill them in an airtight glass jar 
5. Pour oil over gajar and mix well. keep aside for few days.
In summers, it takes about 2-3 days and in winters, it takes about 4-5 days for gajar ka achar to be ok to consume.
Healthy Bytes- Carrot is a treasure of nutrients. It is high in dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, K. Gajar contain maximum amount of carotene which body converts to vitamin A and hence it is very good for your eyesight.



Charnamrit is a sweet drink offered after hindu prayer meetings both in temples and at home. 'Charan' means feet and 'amrit' means nectar from God's feet. I am sharing here the simple recipe of this divine drink called ‘charnamrit’.
Recipe of charnamrit
200 ml cold milk
1 tbsp curd (yogurt/ dahi)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
1-2 tsp Ganga jal (holy water from river Ganges)
1 tsp basil (tulsi) leaves
1. Take milk in a bowl and mix sugar. Stir in rest of the ingredients. Remember to just stir and not beat. Curd appear in the form of lumps in this drink. Offer 1 tablespoon charnamrit to each devotee after prayers or pooja.

Gajar Ki Kanji

gajar ki kanji

Gajar ki kanji is an appetizing and refreshing Indian beverage. Gajar ki kanji can be prepared and consumed both in summers and winters.
Recipe of gajar ki kanji
250 gms black carrots (kali gajar)
2 tsp salt
7 cups water
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp rai (small mustard seeds) powder
1. Wash, scrape and cut gajar into batons.
2. Mix all the ingredients and fill in a glass jar or bottle. Tie a muslin cloth around the mouth of the jar and keep in the sun for 1 day, then keep in a warm place for rest of the time. Your kanji will be ready in 3 days in summers and around 4-5 days in winter.
3. If the kanji tastes deliciously sour, it is ready. Refrigerate and serve chilled. If refrigerated, gajar ki kanji can be consumed within 10 days.

Dahi Pudina Chutney (Curd Chutney)

dahi pudina chutney

I first ate dahi pudina chutney at a restaurant. It was unique in taste and ever since I wanted to try this at home. It turned out good and had the same taste, in fact better!
Recipe of dahi pudina chutney
1/2 cup hara dhaniya (coriander leaves/cilantro)
1/2 cup pudina (mint leaves)
1 small onion
2 green chillies
1 cup curd (dahi/yogurt)
Salt to taste
A pinch of black salt (kala namak)
1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder)
1. Hang dahi in a muslin cloth for 15 minutes or put dahi in a strainer with a bowl below. This way you get thick curd.
2. Grind together dhaniya, pudina, onion, green chillies with little water to a paste.
3. Beat dahi till lump free and smooth.
4. Add pudina paste, black salt, cumin powder and salt to hung curd. Mix well to get dahi pudina chutney. Enjoy with your meals.
This dahi poodina chutney can also be called curd chutney.

Curd Rice (Dahi Bhath)

curd rice

Curd rice is a delicious South Indian dish which you never get tired of eating. This is a simple recipe of curd rice and makes for a quick fix meal.
Recipe of curd rice
1 cup boiled rice
1 cup curd (dahi/yogurt)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
5-6 curry leaves
1 dry red chilli
2 green chillies- finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
Few coriander leaves- finely chopped
Salt to taste
1. Beat the curd well and add rice to it. Season it with salt. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they pop, add chana dal. After few seconds, add urad dal, curry leaves, red chilli and green chillies. Sauté them till brown.
3. Add rice curd mixture and cook, stirring, till it starts bubbling. Turn off the heat and garnish curd rice with coriander leaves.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Coconut Chutney (Nariyal Chatni)

coconut chutney

This is a very simple recipe of coconut chutney which works out well. Coconut chutney is a must with South Indian dishes like idli, dosa etc. and tastes absolutely yum!
Recipe of coconut chutney/ nariyal chatni
1 cup grated coconut (nariyal)
1 green chilli
1 onion- chopped
1/4 cup roasted chana dal (dalia/ bengal gram)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 inch piece ginger
1 cup sour curd (approx.)

Tempering (tadka)
1 tbsp oil
Few curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies- broken
1. Mix and grind all ingredients of chutney. Take out in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
3. When they pop, add broken red chilli pieces. Turn off heat.
4. Add curry leaves. Pour this tempering over coconut chutney and mix well. Serve this coconut chutney with idli, dosa, vada or any other South Indian dish.

(Colocassia) Arbi Ki Sabzi

arbi ki sabzi

This is a simple recipe of arbi ki sabzi. It’s healthy since arbi is boiled first instead of deep frying as in arbi fry. Deep frying vegetables is an unhealthy practice in my opinion since it destroys the various nutrients of the vegetable as well as adds to the calorie intake. You can also call it arbi masala or spicy arbi.
Recipe of arbi ki sabzi
250 grams arbi (arvi/ taro root/ colocassia)
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp oil
1. Wash and pressure cook arbi to 1 whistle. Peel and cut into 3/4 inch roundels.
2. Heat oil in a non- stick pan and add ajwain. When they change color, add hing.
3. Add arbi. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and turn the heat to medium- low. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally till arbi becomes golden brown.
4. Add rest of the spices and cook stirring for 2-3 minutes. Arbi masala is ready to be enjoyed with puri or paratha.

Toasted Aloo (Potato) Sandwich

toasted aloo sandwich

Toasted aloo sandwich is a delicious and easy breakfast option as well as any time snack. They are also a good option for Tiffin. They are also liked by kids.
Recipe of aloo sandwich
3 boiled (aloo) potatoes- peeled and mashed
Salt to taste
2 green chillies- chopped
1 onion- chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
5-6 curry leaves (optional)
Chopped coriander leaves
Bread slices
aloo masala

1. Heat oil in a pan (wok) and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add hing.
2. Add onion, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté till onion become transparent.
3. Add potato. Add turmeric powder and salt. Roast the potatoes. While roasting, keep removing the scrapings from the pan. Add garam masala, amchoor and coriander leaves and mix well.
4. Take a bread slice and place just enough potato mixture so as to cover the bread. Place another slice over it. Make aloo sandwich either in an electrical or gas top sandwich toaster. Similarly make other sandwiches.  

Bhatura (Fried Puffed Indian Bread)

chole bhature

Those of you, who are making the bhatura for the first time, may find it difficult to roll out the bhatura as the dough sticks. So, an easy way out is to roll out between greased plastic sheets or a polythene bag teared into 2 halves and oiled. Keep one part on the rolling platform, place the dough ball on it and cover with the second half. Roll out and remove from the plastic sheet and fry. Bhatura tastes best with chole or chana masala.
Recipe of bhatura/ bhature
2 cups maida (all purpose flour)
3/4 cup curd (yogurt/ dahi)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
Oil to deep fry
1. Sieve flour (maida). Mix salt and baking powder to maida.
2. Mix yogurt and sugar in another bowl. Add this to maida.
3. Add lukewarm warm water to knead the flour into smooth, soft dough.
4. Keep the dough in a warm place for 3 hours so that the dough rises.
5. Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok. While the oil is heating, take a ball from the dough and flatten between your oiled palms. Roll out this ball on an oiled surface using rolling pin (belan) into a 5 inch round.
6. Place the bhatura in the hot oil. Press with a slotted spoon (pauni/ chhari), it will puff up. Turn over and fry form other side also. Deep fry this round or bhatura in the hot oil till golden brown from both sides. Drain on an absorbent paper using the same slotted spoon. Similarly make other bhature from rest of the dough.
7. You can also roll out the bhatura in an oval shape. Serve hot bhature with chole and sliced onion sprinkled with salt and lemon juice.

Apple Kheer (Pudding)

apple kheer

Recipe of apple kheer/seb ki kheer
1 liter milk
4 medium sized sweet apples (seb) - peeled and grated
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp almonds- sliced
1/4 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan. Add sugar and cook till the milk is reduced to 1/2 its original quantity.
2. Add grated apples and bring the kheer to boil. Turn off the heat.
4. Add cardamom powder and almonds. Enjoy apple kheer hot or cold.

Aloo Baingan Sabzi (Potatoes with Eggplant)

aloo baingan sabzi

Aloo baingan sabzi is one dish which can be made very easily and you don’t have to do fine chopping for it. Big sized pieces work just fine for this sabzi. I frequently make aloo baingan with few variations here and there like sometimes I also add garlic and ginger to it for enhanced flavor.
Recipe of aloo baingan sabzi
1 medium round baingan (eggplant/ brinjal/ aubergine)
2 potatoes- peeled and cubed
1 big tomato- roughly chopped into big sized pieces
1 onion- cut into 8 pieces
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 1/2 tbsp mustard oil or any other oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1. Wash and cut baingan into 1 inch pieces. In a pan, heat mustard oil to smoking point that is till vapors start coming out of it. Add cumin seeds and when they change color, add hing.
2. Throw in all the vegetables including onion and tomato. Add salt and all the spices except garam masala powder. Mix well and cover the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low.
3. Cook till done, stirring occasionally. Add garam masala powder and increase heat so that all moisture evaporates if there is any. You have to frequently stir at this stage so that the aloo baingan sabji doesn't get burnt. Turn off heat and serve hot with roti or paratha. You can even have aloo baingan sabzi with steamed rice.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Besan ki Barfi (Chickpea Flour Fudge)

besan ki barfi

Besan ki barfi or besan burfi is chickpea flour sweet which originated from Punjab. It is a popular dessert which is not only sold on sweet shops but also made in many Indian households. This is my maternal aunt's (mausi) recipe who makes heavenly besan ki barfi. Enjoy!
Recipe of besan ki barfi
1 cup besan (gram flour/ chickpea flour)
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
Chopped nuts like almonds, cashew nuts
1. Sieve besan so that there are no lumps. Heat ghee in a kadhai/ heavy bottomed pan. Add besan and roast on a low heat stirring constantly. Roast till besan turns deep golden brown. Keep breaking any lumps if they get formed. Turn off the heat.
2. Add cardamom powder and nuts to besan and mix.
3. Heat water in a pan and add sugar. Cook till sugar dissolves and syrup (chashni) thickens.
4. Add this syrup to roasted besan and mix well.
5. Pour this mixture on a greased tray. Let it cool down. Allow it to set and harden.
6. Cut squares or diamonds. This is now called besan burfi.  

Aloo Tikki (Potato Patties)

aloo tikki

Aloo tikki is one of the most popular chaat and street food of Northern India. It is served drizzled with hari chutney, tamarind chutney and beaten yogurt. Aloo tikki is also served as tikki chole chaat when it is with white chickpeas (kabuli chana). Potato patties shallow fried to golden makes for a delicious snack.
Recipe of aloo tikki
6-8 medium aloo (potato) - boiled, peeled
2 green chillies- chopped
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Salt to taste
1 inch piece ginger- grated
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Oil to shallow fry
1. Mash the potatoes well or you can grate them. Mix all the ingredients except oil and make smooth potato dough.
2. Make small balls from the aloo dough and flatten them between your palms to make round patties or tikkis.
3. Heat a non- stick flat pan or a tawa (griddle) and drizzle oil on it. Place the tikkis on it and shallow fry till golden brown. Then turn over and cook from other side also. Place as many tikki on the pan or tava as their surface area allows and you can manage easily. Serve hot aloo tikki with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney.

Achari Baingan (Eggplant in Pickling Spices)

achari baingan

This recipe of achari baingan uses baingan without deep frying them. This is a healthier version of traditional achari baigan. Achari means using spices which are used in pickling. This recipe uses 5 exotic spices which are also called 'Panch Phoran'. I am a fan of baingan or eggplant so I try new recipes to cook it in a tastier way and this is one recipe which I recommend for all baingan lovers.
Recipe of achari baingan
3-4 long slender chinese eggplants (baingan/ brinjal/ aubergine)
1 medium onion- chopped
2 tsp ginger- garlic paste
3 tomatoes- chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji/ onion seeds)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (kali sarson)
1/4 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1 1/2 tbsp mustard oil
1. Cut baingan in thick pieces. Heat mustard oil to smoking point in a pan.
2. Add kalonji, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, methi dana and saunf. When they change color, add onion. Sauté onion till light brown.
3. Add ginger- garlic paste and sauté for 1 minute.
4. Add tomatoes. Add turmeric, coriander and red chilli powders and salt. Cook covered till tomatoes turn soft and pulpy.
5. Add baingan pieces and mix well. Cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat. Serve hot achari baingan with roti, paratha or steamed rice.

Bhuna Chana Murmura (Roasted Chickpea and Puffed Rice)

bhuna chana murmura

Feel like munching in between meals, especially with evening tea or coffee. Well, I have a low calorie snack which will satiate those hunger pangs without adding to your waistline, roasted or bhuna chana murmura or roasted chickpea and puffed rice.
Recipe of roasted chana murmura
150 gms bhuna chana (roasted chickpeas without skin)
200 gms murmura (puffed rice/mamra/kurmura/borugulu)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp oil
1. Heat oil in a big kadhai or a vessel. Add curry leaves and sauté them for 1 minute till they crisp out.
2. Add chana, salt and all the spices. Roast on a medium heat till chana turns slightly darker (but not too dark) stirring constantly.
3. Add murmura and mix everything well. Roast, stirring till murmura turns crisp (you can check a few grains of murmura).
4. Turn off the heat and take out chana murmura out of the kadhai and let it cool down completely before storing in an airtight container. Your low calorie snack is ready which will last you for days.

Coconut Rice

coconut rice

Coconut rice is a South Indian dish which is really fast to put together. If you have the ingredients at hand, you can prepare this flavorful rice dish any time. Coconut rice is really very tasty, try it!
Recipe of coconut rice
1 cup rice
1/2 coconut- grated (scraped)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 dry red chillies
2 tsp urad dal (split black gram)
1 tbsp cashew nuts
1. Cook rice and set aside to cool.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, hing, dry red chillies, urad dal and cashew nuts.
3. When mustard seeds start spluttering, add coconut and sauté till golden brown. Add salt. Mix this with rice and serve hot coconut rice with poppadums (papads).

Instant Microwave Dhokla

microwave dhokla

Instant microwave dhokla is really an instant and delicious snack. If you take the measurements as given in the recipe below, you get excellent results. Here, I have made the microwave dhokla just like we make microwave idli using microwave safe idli stand except that the batter is different, of course. Earlier, I also made a blog post about khaman dhokla made traditionally that is steamed on a stove. You can check out that too.
1 cup besan (chickpea flour/gram flour)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1 tsp Eno fruit salt

Tempering (tadka)
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
100 ml water (1 small cup)
3-4 green chillies (slit vertically)
1 tsp lemon juice
1. Take besan in a bowl and add water little by little, mixing with other hand so as to prepare lump free batter.
2. Add salt, turmeric powder and ginger-green chilli paste to the dhokla batter. Let the batter rest for 20 minutes, covered.
3. Take a microwave safe idli stand and after washing it in running water, don't wipe clean it. Take 1 cup water in the plate of the stand.
4. In a small bowl, take lemon juice and add 1 tsp oil to it. Add eno fruit salt and mix quickly. Add this to the batter and mix.
5. Pour dhokla batter in the moulds of the idli stand immediately. (Don't let the batter sit after adding eno).
6. Cover with the lid which comes with the stand and steam on a micro High for 4 & 1/2 minutes. Take out from the microwave and after 1 minute, remove dhokla from the moulds.
7. For tempering or tadka, heat oil in a small pan on a stove and add mustard seeds. When they pop, add green chillies. Add water and sugar and let it come to boil. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice.
8. Pour this tadka over steamed dhokla and refrigerate it. Let the water from the tadka gets absorbed turning the dhokla soft. You can serve the dhokla garnished with fresh coriander leaves and grated coconut.
Note- You can cut each idli shaped dhokla into 4 pieces and serve.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Paneer Tikka (Grilled Marinated Cottage Cheese)

paneer tikka

Paneer Tikka is a fancy food which many people think can be made only at restaurants and hotels. Believe me with this simple recipe you can make delectable paneer tikka at home and surprise everyone.
Soft pieces of paneer marinated in spiced yogurt and grilled to perfection make it a protein packed low calorie tasty food.
Recipe of Paneer Tikka

250 grams paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
1 medium green capsicum (bell pepper)
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
1 cup thick yogurt (curd/ dahi)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tandoori masala
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tsp ginger- garlic paste
2 green chillies- crushed
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

  1. Cut paneer, onion, tomato and capsicum into 1&1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Mix yogurt, turmeric powder, tandoori masala, chaat masala, ginger- garlic paste, green chillies, salt and oil to a smooth paste.
  3. Add paneer cubes to this marinade. See that paneer is well coated with it. Keep in refrigerator for 2 hours.
  4. Soak a few bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. Take out, pat dry and grease them with few drops of oil.
  5. Put onion, tomato and capsicum pieces in the marinade and coat them well. Thread pieces of marinated paneer and veggies one after the other on the skewers.
  6. Cook on an oiled grill turning the skewers a few times. Or you can set your oven to Broil. Preheat your oven broiler to high. Broil till you see brown- black spots on the paneer and vegetables and paneer is slightly charred on the edges. Or you can also cook on Barbecue. Or you can also make paneer tikka in an electric or gas tandoor if you have one.

 While cooking paneer tikka just don’t go anywhere and keep an eye on it so that they don’t get burned. Also don’t over cook it.

Sweet Milk Dalia (Cracked Wheat) Recipe

sweet milk dalia

This is a very healthy recipe and can satisfy your craving for sweets. Sweet dalia or meetha dalia can be served as a breakfast and is also ideal for kids. Sweet dalia called ‘lapsi’ is also made without milk but as you can see, in this recipe, I have used milk.
Recipe of sweet dalia/ meetha dalia
1 cup dalia (cracked wheat/broken wheat/wheat rava)
2 cups water
4 cups milk
1 cup Sugar
A pinch of cardamom (elaichi) powder
Few nuts like raisins (kishmish) and chopped almonds
Few strands of saffron
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and roast dalia. Roast till it turns aromatic and a little brown.
2. Add water and pressure cook to 2 whistles.
3. In a separate vessel, bring the milk to boil. Add sugar and dalia. Cook for few minutes stirring occasionally. Cook till dalia reaches desired consistency. It tends to get thicker upon cooling down.
4. Add elaichi powder, raisins and saffron strands. After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and take out sweet dalia in a serving bowl.
5. Garnish with almonds and serve sweet dalia warm.
sweet dalia

Tomato Corn Bruschetta

tomato corn bruschetta

Tomato corn bruschetta is a delicious appetizer which can be made pretty easily. You can skip the sweet corn or American corn and make ‘Tomato Bruschetta’ using tomatoes only. You’ll love it any way you try.
Recipe of tomato corn bruschetta
1 French bread- cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (about 12 slices)
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups tomatoes- deseeded and finely diced
1/2 cup sweet corn- boiled
1/2 tsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
1 tsp oregano
Salt to taste
Red chilli flakes to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1. In a bowl, mix garlic paste, salt, pepper, butter and olive oil.
2. Apply a thin layer of this paste on each slice of French bread. Heat a griddle (tava) and lightly toast these slices on it. Set aside.
3. Now for the topping, heat olive oil in a pan and add tomatoes. Stir fry for few seconds.
4. Add sweet corn, oregano, salt, red chilli flakes and crushed peppercorns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
5. Spread 2 tsp topping on each slice of toasted bread. Preheat oven at 180 C for 10 minutes.
6. Bake these bread slices in preheated oven at 180 degree C for 5 minutes or till crisp. Serve tomato corn bruschetta hot.

Gujarati Methi Thepla (Indian Fenugreek Flatbread)

methi thepla

 Gujarati cuisine is mainly vegetarian and thepla have a special place in it. You can also call them methi parathas. Thepla is a delicious item and addition of methi or fenugreek leaves make it even more irresistible. Methi leaves have a unique and slightly bitter flavor and they are also rich in Calcium and Magnesium which is anti- ageing. Methi thepla remain fresh for 2-3 days at room temperature. Stack them one over the other after cooking them. They are both healthy and tasty.

        Recipe of Methi Thepla (Paratha)

            1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
            1/2 cup besan (gram flour)
            1 cup methi (fresh fenugreek leaves) - chopped
            2 tsp oil + for shallow frying
            Salt to taste
            1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
            1/4 tsp turmeric powder
            1/2 cup yogurt (curd)
            1/4 tsp fennel powder (saunf)

1. Mix together atta, besan, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and fennel powder.
Add methi leaves, 2 tsp oil and mix. Add yogurt and knead into stiff dough. Use as little water as possible to knead the dough. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

2. Take a ball (peda) out of the dough and roll out into a 5- 6 inch round tossing it in dry flour while rolling out.

3. Heat a tava (griddle) and cook this round on it from both sides brushing with oil.
Cook till light golden brown. Do the same with rest of the dough. These are now called thepla or paratha. Methi thepla taste great with green chilli pickle and yogurt.

Aloo Sem (Potato with Broad Beans)

aloo sem

Today's menu was simple, aloo sem, moong dal and phulkas. I like sem and my husband likes to chew on it's seeds. This recipe is simple and healthy. I like to blog about simple everyday cooking and this recipe is my humble attempt at that. If you cook on low heat, you don't need to add any water but if feel the need, you can add 1 tablespoon water while cooking.
Recipe of Aloo Sem
200 gms Sem (Broad Beans/sword beans)
2 aloo (potatoes) - peeled and cubed
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp oil (preferably mustard oil)

1. Chop sem with tips removed and stringed.
2. Take a kadhai/wok or a pan and heat mustard oil to the smoking point i.e. till vapors start coming out of it. If you don't like mustard oil, then any other oil will also do. Add cumin seeds and when they change color, add hing.
3. Add sem and aloo. Add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix well and cover. Lower heat to medium- low.
4. Cook till potatoes are tender while stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and add amchoor and garam masala powder. Mix well. Serve hot aloo sem sabzi with rotis or parathas.

Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potatoes)

jeera aloo

If you keep boiled potatoes in your refrigerator, jeera aloo can be ready in a jiffy. After trying and tasting it, no one can say it was so easy to make. Jeera aloo is spicy and tangy.
Recipe of Jeera Aloo/cumin potatoes
4-5 medium boiled aloo (potatoes)
2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
5 black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
2 green chillies- chopped
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil or pure ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

1. Peel and cube the boiled aloo.
2. Heat a pan and add 1 tsp jeera and black peppercorns. Dry roast them till jeera turn dark brown and nice aroma comes out of them.
3. Turn off the heat and take them out of the pan. Pound them in a mortar with a pestle. Make a coarse powder.
4. In the same pan, heat oil or ghee. Add the remaining 1 tsp jeera and green chillies. Fry them till jeera change color.
5. Add aloo. Add salt, pounded masala and coriander powder. Mix well.
6. Roast the potatoes till their surface become somewhat crisp. Turn off the heat and add lime juice and mix. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot aloo jeera as a side dish.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Brown Bread Pizza

brown bread pizza

This brown bread pizza is loved by kids. I usually prepare them for breakfast but it can also be had as an anytime snack. Brown bread is used so as to incorporate fibers but bread pizza can also be made using regular white bread.
Recipe of brown bread pizza
6-8 brown bread slices
1 Capsicum- deseeded and finely chopped
1 tomato- pulp removed and finely chopped
1 onion- finely chopped
1 tbsp corn kernels
3/4 cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese- grated
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
Butter- as needed
1. Mix half of the grated cheese and rest of the ingredients except bread in a bowl.
2. Apply a thin layer of butter on one side of bread slices. Place this mixture over them. Sprinkle rest of the cheese on top of all bread slices.
3. Bake these bread slices at 250 degree C for 3-5 minutes or till the cheese melts and turn golden brown. Serve bread pizza hot.

Monday 5 December 2011

(Courgette/ Ridge Gourd) Tori ki Sabzi

tori ki sabzi

This is one of the simplest methods of making tori ki sabzi. You don't need to add water since tori has lot of water. Add 1 tablespoon water if you are cooking in a pressure cooker and cook to 2 whistles. Tori is a light summer vegetable and can also be given to sick people. Being green, tori is full of nutrition.
Recipe of tori ki sabzi
4-5 tori (courgette/ ridge gourd/ snake gourd/ turai)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1. Peel, wash and cut tori in small rounds.
2. Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok or a pan and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add hing.
3. Add tori pieces and all the spices and salt. Mix and lower heat to medium-low. Cook covered, stirring ocassionally.
4. Cook till tori turn tender. Turn off the heat and serve tori ki sabzi hot with roti.

Instant Meethi Chutney

meethi chutney

Imli ki khatti meethi chutney takes some time. However this recipe of meethi chutney is really fast to make and you generally have these ingredients in your spice box or spice rack.
Recipe of instant (quick) meethi chutney
1 tbsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp roasted cumin seeds (bhuna jeera)
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp sugar
1. Heat a small heavy bottomed pan and mix all the ingredients in it.
2. Cook on a low heat till everything dissolves. Cook till you get the right chutney consistency. Turn off the heat and let the chutney cool. Serve khatti meethi chutney with snacks like samosa, pakora etc.