Tuesday 29 November 2011

Bharwa bhindi (Stuffed Okra)

bharwa bhindi

This recipe of bharwa bhindi belongs to Rajasthan where besan and curd are used extensively in cooking.
Besanwali or bharwa bhindi's recipe was something I learnt from my mausi (maternal aunt). She is such a wonderful cook. I have learnt some lip smacking delicacies from her which I will be sharing with you in my future posts.
       Recipe of bharwa bhindi/besanwali bhindi
       250 grams small bhindi (okra)
       1 tablespoon besan (gram flour)
       Salt to taste
       1 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
       1/2 tsp turmeric powder
       1/2 tsp red chili powder
       1 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
       1/4 tsp garam masala
       1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
       1 tsp coriander powder
       1 1/2 tbsp oil
bhindi stuffed with masala

1. Wash bhindi and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Cut off head and tail and slit lengthwise on one side.

2. Take 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan and roast besan. When besan changes color, add all the spices and roast with besan. Turn off the heat when besan turns red. Let it cool. Add salt.

3. Fill the besan mixture in bhindi.

4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add stuffed bhindi. Cover and cook on low heat till cooked.

5. Remove the cover, increase the heat and stir- fry bhindi for some time so they become crisp. Just see to it that they don't get burned. Serve hot with rotis and a bowl of dal to go with it.

Healthy Bytes- Bhindi is low in calories and rich in fiber, folic acid and vitamin B6. Fiber in okra helps improve constipation and helps to stabilize blood sugar.
Besan or Chickpea flour is an excellent source of protein and also a good source of Iron. 1 cup besan contains 356 Kcal, 53 gm Carbohydrates, 6 gm Fat, 21 gm Protein and 4 mg Iron.

Aloo Parwal ki Sukhi Sabzi (Potatoes with Pointed Gourd)

aloo parwal ki sukhi sabzi

Today I cooked aloo parwal ki sukhi sabzi with phulkas and it really tasted yum. Parwal or pointed gourd is more famous in Bengal and Orrisa side of India. They call this sabzi aloo potol.
Recipe of aloo parwal ki sabzi
200 gms parwal (pointed gourd/parmal/parval/potol)
2 big potatoes- peeled
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp oil
1. Scrape parwal with a knife and wash (do not remove the peel). Cut each parwal lengthwise into 4 pieces. Similarly cut potatoes into fingers.
2. Heat oil in a pan or a kadhai/wok. Add cumin seeds and when they change color, add hing.
3. Add aloo, parwal, salt and all the spices except amchoor. Give it a good mix. Turn the heat to low and cook covered. Stir occasionally.
4. Cook till parwal gets tender. Turn off the heat and mix in amchoor. Serve aloo parwal ki sabzi with roti or paratha.

Vegetable Dalia

vegetable dalia

Vegetable dalia features regularly in our breakfasts. It is healthy, nutritious and filling. The fiber present in dalia and vegetables keeps you full for longer. This breakfast is ideal for people who are watching their diets. What's more vegetable dalia is easy and quick to make. You can also have it as a low calorie snack, lunch or dinner.
        Recipe of vegetable dalia
            1 cup dalia (broken wheat)
            2 cups water
            Mixed chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, french beans, potato, cauliflower, tomato
            1 onion - chopped
            4-5 curry leaves
            1/2 tsp black pepper powder
            Salt to taste
            1 tbsp oil

1. Heat half of the oil in a pressure cooker and roast the dalia. Take out dalia from the cooker.

2. Heat remaining oil and saute onion for 2 minutes. Add mixed chopped vegetables, curry leaves and stir- fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add dalia, water, salt and pepper powder and close the lid of the cooker. Let 3 whistles come. Then, turn off the heat.

4. Let cooker be closed for 10 minutes. Vegetable dalia is ready to eat.

If you don't want your onion to be all mashed up during boiling of dalia, then you can stir- fry the onion till golden and add later to the prepared dalia.

Masala Chai (Spicy Milk Tea)

masala chai

Masala chai is an aromatic spiced tea of Indian origin. It is also sometimes called as hot tea latte. Recipe of masala chai differs from 1 family to another. Masala chai is very delicious and you can make and store chai masala powder to last you a month.
Recipe of masala chai
Makes 4 cups of masala chai
3 cups of water
2-3 tsp loose tea leaves
1 cup milk
1 tsp chai masala
Sugar to taste
1. Boil 3 cups of water in a pan. Add tea leaves, chai masala and sugar. Boil for a couple of minutes.
2. Add milk and bring the chai to boil again.
3. Strain and have it piping hot.

Recipe of chai masala powder
4-5 green cardamom (hari elaichi)
13-14 black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
1/4 tsp crushed nutmeg (jaifal)
1. Combine the above ingredients and grind to a fine powder in an electric blender.
2. Store the chai masala powder in an airtight bottle.

Monday 28 November 2011

Shrikhand (Flavored Yogurt)


Shrikhand is a very popular dessert from ‘Maharashtrian cuisine’ and ‘Gujarati cuisine’. It is eaten either as a sweet dish or as a side with puris (Indian bread). Shrikhand is basically strained, thick curd which is sweetened and to which saffron, nuts and sometimes fruits are added. In Maharashtra, mango pulp is also sometimes added to the shrikhand to get 'amrakhand'.
Recipe of shrikhand
3 cups curd (yogurt/dahi)
1 cups grinded sugar
2 tbsp warm milk
A pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp green cardamom (hari elaichi) powder
1 tbsp pista (pistachios)
2 tsp chironji (charoli/sunflower seeds)
1. Tie curd in a muslin cloth and hang in the fridge overnight, with a bowl below to collect the excess water. This way you get thick curd.
2. Dissolve saffron in the warm milk. Soak pistachios in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain, peel and chop the pistas. Clean, wash and pat dry chironji.
3. Take thick, strained curd in a bowl and add grinded sugar. Mix till sugar dissolves completely.
4. Add saffron to the curd and mix. Add cardamom powder and chironji and mix well.
5. Garnish shrikhand with pistachios and serve chilled.

Shalgam ki Subzi (Dry Turnip Curry)

shalgam ki sabzi

Shalgam ki subzi is not quite often made in Indian households but I find it a welcome change from routine vegetables. Shalgam ki sabzi tastes good with any Indian bread like roti and instead of me ranting and raving about it, why not try it yourself to believe it!
Recipe of shalgam ki subzi/ turnip curry
5 shalgam (turnip)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1. Peel and wash shalgam. Chop them into cubes.
2. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok or a pan. Add cumin seeds and when they crackle, add hing.
3. Add shalgam pieces and salt and all the spices except amchoor and garam masala. Mix well. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pan.
4. Cook, stirring occasionally, till shalgam gets tender. Add amchoor and garam masala and after 1 minute, turn off the heat. Serve shalgam ki sabzi hot with roti or paratha.

Bengali Sandesh (Indian Cheese Fudge)


Sandesh, shondesh, sandes are some of the names by which this mithai is called. Recipe of sandesh is very easy and it can be made within no time. Although sandesh is a Bengali mithai, it is loved in other parts of India as well. This soft mithai never failed to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Recipe of sandesh
Makes about 20 sandesh
2 cups chenna (cottage cheese)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1. Add sugar to the chenna and knead.
2. Place the mixture in a kadhai/wok and cook stirring constantly, on a low heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Consistency of the mixture should be that of the very soft dough, neither too dry nor too moist.
3. Remove from heat and mix gently till it cools down a bit.
4. Divide into equal portions and make balls out of it. Garnish with cardamom powder and place in fridge. Serve sandesh chilled.

Bharwa Tori (Stuffed Courgettes) Recipe

bharwa tori

Today, I made bharwa tori for lunch. I used small, slender tori which works best for this recipe. My husband doesn't much care for tori ki sabzi but when I cook bharwa tori, he eats to his heart's content. Stuffed vegetables have a special taste and stuffed tori are a good example.
Recipe of bharwa tori/ stuffed courgette
1/2 kg small, slender tori (turai/ courgette/ ridge gourd)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
3/4 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp oil (preferably mustard oil)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
tori stuffed with spices

1. Peel tori and nip the ends. Wash tori. Make a slit lengthwise without separating the 2 pieces.
2. In a bowl, mix salt and all the spices except turmeric powder and hing. Stuff the masala in toris. Now, divide each tori into 2 pieces, horizontally (not lengthwise).
3. Heat mustard oil to smoking point in a pan. Add hing and turmeric powder and spread them in the whole pan with the help of a spatula. Turn the heat to low.
4. Add stuffed tori and cover the pan with a lid. Turn over tori once lower side is cooked. Let tori cook, uncovered from other side also.
5. If there is moisture in the pan, increase heat and cook uncovered so that all moisture evaporates. Serve bharwa tori hot with rotis.

Friday 25 November 2011

Kulcha Recipe (Without Yeast)


Kulcha is delicious North Indian bread traditionally made in tandoor. Kulcha tastes great with any curry but I usually make matar kulcha or chole kulche which is a popular street and chaat food item.
Recipe of kulcha/ How to make kulcha bread
2 cups maida (all purpose flour)
1/4 tsp soda bicarbonate
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp yogurt (curd/dahi)
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Butter- as needed
1. Sift maida and soda bicarb. Mix yogurt and milk to the flour. Add enough water to make smooth dough. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil and knead the dough well. Cover the dough and set aside for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
3. Divide the dough into 6-8 portions and shape them into balls.
4. Roll out these balls on a lightly floured surface, into 5 inch rounds. Brush lightly with oil.
5. Preheat oven to 220 degree C.
6. Place kulchas on a greased baking tray. Bake them for 6-8 minutes.
7. Brush kulcha with butter and serve hot.
Alternatively you can also cook kulcha in tandoor or griddle (tava).

Khajur Imli (Date Tamarind) Chutney

khajur imli chutney

Khajur imli chutney or date tamarind chutney is something you must have with chaat items like bhel puri.  Khajur imli chutney is finger licking good.Try it and fall in love with it!!
Recipe of date tamarind (khajur imli) chutney
10 dates (khajur/khajoor)
1/2 cup tamarind (imli)
1/2 cup gur (jaggery)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1. Wash, remove seeds and chop dates finely. Also soak tamarind in 1 cup hot water.
2. Cook khajoor in 1/2 cup water till tender. After mashing them, pass through a sieve to get date pulp.
3. Mash imli, remove seeds, fiber and pass through a sieve into date pulp.
4. Put the pulp on boil and add jaggery. Add salt, red chilli and cumin powder. Cook on low heat till you get thick, smooth, pouring consistency. Remove from heat.
5. Cool and store in a jar or bottle. Store khajur imli chutney in the refrigerator.

Rice Moong Dal Khichdi Recipe


This is one of the simplest recipes of khichdi you can imagine. Great not just for sick people but also when you want to eat light after a heavy lunch. Skip adding ghee on top of khichdi if you are calorie conscious.
Recipe of rice moong dal khichdi/ khichri
1 cup rice
1/2 cup moong dal (split, skinless green gram)
4 cups of water
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1. Wash and soak rice and moong dal for 10 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. When they turn darker, add hing.
3. Add rice, dal, salt, both the spice powders and water. Mix and close the lid of the cooker.
4. Pressure cook to 3 whistles and let the pressure drop down naturally before opening the lid. Serve khichdi hot with ghee on top and curd/ yogurt on the side.

Gujia Recipe


Gujia is synonymous with Holi in Northern parts of India. Holi is said to be incomplete without gujia. Here I am sharing the recipe of gujiya with khoya or mawa. Enjoy!
Recipe of Gujia/ gujiya (makes about 50 gujia)
4 cup maida (all purpose flour)
2 cup khoya (mawa)
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
Ghee or oil for deep frying
2 cup powdered sugar or boora
Mixed nuts like cashews, raisins (kishmish), chironji - 20 gms each
1. Roast khoya in a kadhai on a low heat till pinkish brown. Stir constantly while roasting. Take out in a plate and allow to cool.
2. Add chopped cashew nuts, raisins and chironji in the khoya. Also add powdered sugar. Mix well. This is your filling for gujia.
3. In a bowl, take maida and add melted 1/2 cup ghee. Rub with your fingers so that ghee coats the maida well. Add water little by little and knead maida into stiff dough. Set aside for 1/2 an hour covered with a damp cloth.
4. Divide the dough into 50 portions. While you are rolling out, let rest be covered with a damp cloth.
5. Roll out each portion into 4 inch round or puri. Place 2 tsp filling in half of the portion of the puri and apply a little water on the edges. Fold it and seal the edges by your fingers and give the edges a beautiful shape. Similarly make rest of the gujhia.
OR you can also use a gujia cast to make gujia. Place the puri in the cast, place the filling in the center, apply water on the edges and close the cast. Remove excess dough. Take out from the cast. This way you get uniformly shaped, beautiful gujiya which is also an easier way.
7. Heat ghee or oil in a kadhai and fry gujia on a low heat till golden brown. Fry in batches, about 6-7 gujia at a time, also depending on the size of your kadai. Allow to cool and after eating, store rest of the gujia in refrigerator.

Chukandar ka Raita (Beetroot Curd Preparation)

chukandar ka raita

Chukandar ka raita or beetroot raita is rather unusual raita but quite tasty and nutritious. If you use chukandar only in salad, then try this raita for a change. This raita is very appealing to eyes and also chukandar is rich in Iron which makes it a great raita, good for anaemics.
Recipe of chukandar ka raita
1 chukandar (beetroot)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3 cup curd (dahi/yogurt)
1/2 tsp roasted and crushed cumin seeds
Salt to taste
chukandar (beetroot)
How to make chukandar ka raita
1. Remove top and bottom of chukandar and peel. Wash and grate the chukandar.
2. Beat curd till smooth and lump free.
3. Add chukandar and rest of the ingredients to curd. Serve chukandar ka raita with meals.

Atte ka Halwa (Wheat Flour Halwa)

atte ka halwa

Atte ka halwa is one of my favorite halwas. It's very delicious and while preparing it, don't skimp on ghee or water otherwise you may end up getting lumps. Atte ka halwa is an any time dessert since atta or wheat flour is available at all times in most Indian households.
Recipe of atte ka halwa
1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups of water
Chopped and toasted nuts for garnishing
1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel (kadhai). Add atta and roast it till it turns brownish.
2. While roasting atta, heat water in a separate pan and add sugar to it. Let it come to boil and cook till sugar melts completely.
3. Add sugar mixed water or syrup (chashni) to the roasted atta. Cook stirring, till water gets completely absorbed. Turn off heat. Take out atte ka halwa in a serving bowl and garnish with nuts like cashew nuts, raisins and almonds.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Instant Wheat Dosa (Pancake) Recipe

wheat dosa

Instant wheat dosa is a very easy to make, anytime dosa or pancake. No need for soaking and fermenting. Wheat dosa can be eaten as a breakfast or anytime when hunger strikes. This dosa is also known as ‘Godhuma Dosa’. Wheat dosa can also be called as wheat chilla or wheat pancake.
Recipe of instant wheat dosa
1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
1 onion- finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
Oil for shallow frying
1. Take wheat flour in a bowl and add water, mixing, so as to prepare a lump free, smooth batter. Batter consistency should be dosa batter (pancake or chilla batter) like.
2. Add rest of the ingredients except oil to the wheat batter and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Beat the batter well. Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and for the 1st dosa smear the tava with oil and wipe off the excess oil with a paper napkin.
4. Turn the heat to medium and spread a ladleful of batter in an outward, circular motion (dosa will be cooked on medium heat).
5. Drizzle oil on it. When the edges look brownish from underneath, remove the dosa from the tava gently and then cook from the other side also. When dosa look brownish from both sides, remove from the tava and serve hot. Similarly make rest of the wheat dosas from the remaining batter.

Tomato Chutney (Tamatar ki Chatni)

tomato chutney

This is tangy South Indian tomato chutney. Tomato chutney can be served with dosa, idli or steamed rice.
Recipe of tomato chutney
6 medium tomatoes (tamatar) - chopped
4 whole dry red chillies
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp jaggery (gur) - grated
Salt to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan and add chana dal. Sauté till dal turns golden brown.
2. Add cumin seeds to the pan and when they turn darker, add hing.
3. Add tomatoes, dry red chillies, jaggery and salt. Cook till tomatoes turn mushy. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.
4. Grind this tomato mixture to a paste. Your tomato chutney is ready to be served.

Malpua Recipe (Pancake in Syrup)


Malpua is a very popular dessert prepared mainly in North India. It’s a pancake dipped in sugar syrup. Malpua is also served at wedding buffets. If you don’t want to prepare the batter with milk, you can also do it with water. In some households, malpua is made on the occasion of Holi, the festival of colors.
Recipe of malpua
2 cups maida (all purpose flour)
1/2 ltr full cream milk
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup water
Few almonds- blanched and sliced
200 gms ghee (clarified butter) or oil for frying
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp elaichi (green cardamom) powder
1. Reduce milk to 1/2 by heating it on medium-low heat. Stir frequently. When it's half in quantity, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
2. Sift together maida and baking powder. Add cool milk to maida and make a batter of thin, pouring consistency. Batter should be like that of pancake (chilla). Set aside for 15 minutes.
3. In the meantime, prepare sugar syrup or chashni. Boil sugar with water to 1 string consistency. To test this, dip a spoon in syrup, touch carefully with your forefinger. Press your forefinger against your thumb. When finger and thumb pull apart, a thin string should form between them. It should not be 2 or 3 strings but just 1 string.
4. Add cardamom powder to syrup and keep it warm on very low heat.
5. Heat ghee or oil in a non-stick frying pan. Drop 1 tablespoon batter in the ghee, it will spread out in a round shape. No need to try to give it a shape, it will take a round shape on its own. Fry from both sides till brown.
6. Drain out this round or malpua and place it in syrup for 15 minutes. Similarly make other malpua from rest of the batter.
7. Remove malpua from syrup and place it on a serving plate. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Bharwa Tinda (Stuffed Apple Gourd)

bharwa tinda

Yesterday, I made bharwa tinda or stuffed tinda with dal to go with rotis. I cook tinda both bharwa and sliced since I am a fan of gourds and this is no exception.
Recipe of bharwa tinda
300 gms or 7-8 small tinda (apple gourd/Indian baby pumpkin)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp oil
tinde stuffed with spices

1. Peel and wash tindas. Make '+' shaped cuts on each tinda without separating them from the base.
2. Mix salt and all the masalas (except turmeric powder and hing) in a small bowl.
3. Fill this masala in all tinda (as shown in picture).
4. Heat oil in a pan and add turmeric powder and hing. After few seconds, add bharwa tinda.
5. Cook, covered, and on a low heat till tinda gets lightly browned from the underside. Turn over tinda and cook, covered till other side also gets cooked.
6. Serve bharwa tinda hot with roti or paratha.

Baked Atta Mathri (Whole Wheat Savory Crackers)

baked atta mathri

Recipe of baked atta mathri
Today I woke up at 4:00 in the morning bitten by baking bug. For the past few days, I had been thinking of baking mathri instead of deep frying. Today I woke up fresh and tried my hands at baking mathri. To my surprise, they turned out delicious. I used whole wheat flour (atta) instead of all purpose flour (maida) to make them even healthier but you can use maida as per your choice. Here is how I went.
1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp curd (yogurt/ dahi)
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 tsp baking powder
Cold water for kneading
1. In a bowl, mix atta, salt, ajwain and baking powder. Add ghee and rub between your fingers so that atta gets coated with ghee.
2. Add curd and slowly add cold water just enough to knead the atta into stiff dough. Keep aside, covered, for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
4. Take ball out of the dough and roll out into a big round. Prick them here and there with a fork. With the help of a cookie cutter or anything like this (I used lid of a bottle), cut small rounds from the big one. Repeat for rest of the dough.
5. Grease a baking tray and place these rounds on it. Bake them at 180 degree C for 20-25 minutes or till they turn golden brown.
6. Cool these baked atta mathri (I call them gold coins) completely before storing them in an airtight jar.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Lahsun ki Chutney (Garlic Chatani)

lahsun ki chutney

We sometimes enjoy our chilla with lahsun ki chutney or garlic chutney. I generally make lahsun ki chutney in winters. Lasun ki chutney is quite delicious and serves as an accompaniment to meals.
Recipe of lahsun ki chutney
15 flakes lahsun (garlic/lasun/lassan) - finely chopped
3 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1. Remove the stems and break red chillies into small pieces. Remove the seeds by tapping. Soak the red chillies in 1/4 cup hot water for 1/2 hour.
2. Grind lahsun, coriander powder, cumin seeds and soaked chillies along with the water in which they were soaked. Grind them to a coarse paste.
3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add lahsun paste. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, till oil separates. Turn off heat and add lemon juice to the prepared lahsun ki chutney.

Vegetable Grilled Sandwich Recipe

grilled sandwich

This recipe makes for tasty vegetable grilled sandwich. I used hand blender chopping jar to finely chop the vegetables and grill plates of sandwich maker to make this grilled sandwich. It's quite simple and makes a satisfying and nutritious breakfast as it contains vegetables.
Recipe of vegetable grilled sandwich
1 onion- chopped finely
1 capsicum (bell pepper) - chopped finely
1 tomato- chopped finely
1 carrot- grated
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Few bread slices (I used brown bread)
masala for sandwich

1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Sauté onion till it turns translucent.
2. Add capsicum and carrot and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Cook till it turns soft. Turn off the heat.
4. Take 1 bread slice and spread some of the above cooked vegetable mixture on it. Cover it with other bread slice and make grilled sandwich or simple sandwich in a sandwich maker. Similarly make other sandwiches from rest of the bread and vegetable mixture.

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

vegetable hakka noodles

Vegetable hakka noodles are a popular Chinese food which is also a street food in India where it is cooked in Indo-Chinese style. Here is an easy recipe of this fusion food which makes for a delicious plate of hakka noodles. Enjoy!
1 packet (200 gms) hakka noodles
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion
1 medium capsicum (bell pepper/shimla mirch)
1 medium carrot
1/4 small cabbage
Green part of 1 green onion (spring onion/hara pyaz)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1. Boil 6-7 cups of water with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil. Add hakka noodles to boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain. Refresh in cold water and drain. Sprinkle 2 tsp oil over noodles and mix lightly. Spread them in a big plate or tray and set aside.
2. Slice onion finely. Deseed capsicum and cut into long strips, cut carrot into long strips. Chop cabbage into long, thin strips and chop green part of green onion.
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadhai/wok. Add onion and stir fry for some time. Add carrot, capsicum and cabbage and stir fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add hakka noodles, soya sauce, salt, vinegar and white pepper powder. Mix well and cook on high heat for few minutes. Serve vegetable hakka noodles hot garnished with chopped green onion leaves.

Hari Mirch ka Achar (Green Chilli Pickle)

hari mirch ka achar

Hari mirch ka achar is quite popular with my hubby and in-laws especially my FIL. So I make it often. Hari mirch achar is liked by people who like their food hot and spicy. It's very simple to make and can jazz up a bland meal.
Recipe of hari mirch ka achar/ green chilli pickle
200 gms hari mirch (green chillies)
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp rai (small mustard seeds) - grinded
4 tbsp mustard oil
1. Wash and wipe hari mirch. Leave to dry in sun till completely dry.
2. Remove caps of hari mirch and divide them into 2 lengthwise.
3. Mix salt and masalas with hari mirch. Fill them in an airtight bottle and pour mustard oil over them. Close the lid of the bottle and shake it so that everything gets mixed properly.
4. Keep the bottle aside for 3-4 days. Your hari mirch achar is fit for consumption.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Sabudana Vada (Sago Patties)

sabudana vada

Sabudana vada is mainly eaten during fasting period especially Navratri or Ekadashi fasts (vrat). They are so delicious that I sometimes make them with our evening tea. Some vrat ka khana are so tasty that everyone wants to eat them fasting or non- fasting. Sabudana vada is more popular in Maharashtra.
Recipe of sabudana vada/ sago patties
1 cup sabudana (sago/ saboodana/ tapioca)
1/2 cup peanuts- dry roasted and coarsely grinded
2 potatoes- boiled, peeled and mashed
3-4 green chillies- chopped
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves (cilantro) - chopped
Oil to shallow fry
1. Wash sabudana in a colander or a strainer. Drain. Soak sabudana in that much water in which it is 'just immersed' and no more. Let it soak for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Mix well all the above ingredients in a bowl except oil.
3. Wet your hands and take tennis ball size balls from the sabudana mixture. Flatten them to form patties.
4. Heat oil in a flat, wide pan and shallow fry these patties or wada in it till golden from both sides. Drain using a slotted spoon, on an absorbent paper. Shallow fry vadas in batches. Serve sabudana vada hot.

Spicy Baby Potatoes (Masaledaar Charra Aloo)

spicy baby potatoes

I love baby potatoes. They are so beautiful to look at. In hindi, they are called charra aloo. Baby potatoes are not just used for ‘dum aloo’, there are many ways to cook them. This is a very very simple and easy recipe and can be made quickly. Tastes absolutely delicious.
Recipe of spicy baby potatoes
About 15 baby potatoes (charra aloo) - washed and scrubbed thoroughly under running water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 bay leaves (tej patta)                                              
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1. I used plastic scrubber to remove any dirt from baby potatoes as I do not peel them.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds and bay leaves. When cumin seeds turn darker, add hing.
3. Add baby potatoes, salt and all the spices except amchoor. Mix well. Add 2 tablespoon water and close the lid of the cooker.
4. Let 4 whistles come. Let the pressure drop down naturally before opening the lid. Burn any excess water as it is a dry dish.
5. Add amchoor and mix. Take out in a serving bowl and serve hot spicy baby potatoes with roti or paratha.

Shalgam ka Achar (Turnip Pickle)

shalgam ka achar

I find shalgam ka achar very tasty and as an accompaniment to my meals. In fact many people spruce up their meals with pickle. I follow my mom's recipe and it works out fine. You can also make gajar shalgam ka achar by adding gajar pieces and adjusting the salt and spice level accordingly.
Recipe of shalgam ka achar
1/2 kg shalgam (turnip)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp rai (small mustard seeds) - grounded
1 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
4 tbsp mustard oil
1. Peel and wash shalgam. Let them dry naturally in air.
2. Cut shalgam into pieces.
3. Mix together salt and all the spices. Mix them with shalgam pieces.
4. Pour mustard oil over shalgam pieces.
5. Store turnip pickle in an airtight bottle and keep aside for few days.
Note- It takes about 2 days in summers and 4-5 days in winters for the shalgam ka achar to be fit to consume.

Saturday 19 November 2011

(Sweet Potato) Shakarkandi ki Chaat

shakarkandi chaat

To prepare shakarkandi ki chaat, if you don't want to grill shakarkandi, you can just boil it till tender and prepare shakarkandi ki chaat by mixing the given ingredients to it. It's really a mouth watering chaat and sweet potato is in season now. So, enjoy!
Recipe of shakarkandi ki chaat
1/2 kg shakarkandi (sweet potato)
1 tsp chaat masala
Black salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
1. Wash shakarkand and pat dry. Smear some oil on them. Pressure cook to 1 whistle.
2. Peel and cube shakarkandi. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place shakarkandi cubes on tray.
3. Grill them in a preheated oven till edges of shakarkandi becomes brownish.
4. Take out in a bowl and add black salt, chaat masala and lemon juice. Mix well and serve hot. You can also garnish shakarkandi chaat with coriander leaves.

Bharwa Pyaz (Stuffed Onion)

bharwa pyaz

Bharwa pyaz is made from small sized red onions. My mother-in-law used to cook them really well. My family likes bharwa pyaz as we like to eat onion in all its form.
Recipe of bharwa pyaz
6-7 small sized red onions- peeled and washed
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
pyaz stuffed with spices

1. Make cross like slits in the onions without separating from the base (as shown in the picture).
2. In a small bowl, mix salt and all the spices except turmeric powder. Stuff this spice mixture in the pyaz using a clean knife.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add turmeric powder. Cook for 2 seconds and spread it in the oil using a spatula. Add stuffed onions.
4. Lower heat and cook covered. Turn the pyaz over when the underside is cooked so that onions are roasted from all sides. Do not overcook.
5. Serve hot bharwa pyaaz with roti or paratha.

Palak paneer (Cottage cheese in spinach gravy)

palak paneer

Palak paneer is really yumm…I like the subtle hint of sweetness in the dish. When I was a kid, I never liked spinach. My mom always used to tell me “Eat it, it’s good for you”. Later in adult life when I realized its goodness, I began liking spinach. I now try to have it in various forms like Palak paratha, Dal palak and aloo palak.
Palak paneer is very popular dish from North Indian cuisine. Its popularity reaches North America where it is known as Saag paneer. Indian cottage cheese in a rich, creamy spinach curry makes this dish, a gastronomical delight.
Recipe of palak paneer
200 gm Paneer (cottage cheese)
500 gm Palak (spinach)
5 cloves garlic
2 medium onions
1 inch ginger piece
3-4 green chillies
2 tomatoes- pureed
4 tsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ cup malai (cream of milk)
Salt to taste

  1. Cut stems of palak and wash thoroughly in running water. Blanch palak leaves in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes. Refresh them in cold water.
  2. Puree the palak leaves along with green chillies.
  3. Grind onions, ginger and garlic in a blender.
  4. Cut paneer into pieces and shallow fry them in 2 tsp oil in a non- stick pan till golden. Drain.
  5. Heat 2 tsp oil in a separate pan and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add onion paste. Sauté till light brown.
  6. Add coriander powder. After 2 seconds, add tomato puree. Stir in salt and garam masala. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  7. Add palak and a little hot water (you can use the water in which palak was blanched keeping in mind that it contains salt). Cook covered on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  8. Add paneer pieces and cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Stir in malai and cook further on low heat for 2 minutes. Serve palak paneer hot.

Gond Panjiri (Tree Sap and Whole Wheat Fudge)

gond panjiri

Gond ki panjiri is a popular Indian sweet which people eat during winters. It is given to lactating women. Gond panjiri is believed to improve lactation. Gond which is tree sap is available in Indian stores in packets.
Recipe of gond panjiri
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
¼ cup gond (tree sap)
1 1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp magaz seeds (melon seeds)
1/4 tsp saunth (dried ginger powder)
1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp almonds- chopped
1/2 cup grated dry coconut
1. Heat ghee in a kadhai/ wok. Fry gond. Grind it in a grinder. Fry one by one, magaz and almonds.  Drain and set aside.
2. Add atta to the ghee and turn the heat to medium. Roast flour till golden brown stirring constantly. Take atta out of the kadhai.
3. Mix all the ingredients together. Your panjiri is ready to be eaten. Store rest in an airtight container.

Palak Pakora (Spinach Fritters)

palak pakora

Usually pakora is not considered too healthy since it is deep fried but this one has a health angle to it. If you are craving pakoras then why not have palak pakora. At least you are consuming healthy palak this way and you are not compromising taste since palak pakora are delicious too.
Recipe of palak pakora/ pakoda
3 cups palak (spinach) - washed and chopped
1 cup besan (gram flour/ chickpea flour)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
Oil to deep fry
palak (spinach)

1. Mix besan with salt and all the spices.
2. Take palak in a bowl and add besan mixture. Mix well. Add 1-2 tablespoon water if needed. The mixture should be thick and such that round balls can be made from it.
3. Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok and when the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium.
4. Drop small portions of the palak mixture in the oil. Fry palak pakora till golden brown from both sides turning as needed.
5. Drain on an absorbent paper and serve hot palak pakora with komato ketchup or chutney.   

Mooli Paratha (Radish Stuffed Flatbread)

mooli paratha

Today I made mooli paratha or mooli ke parathe for breakfast. Some people enjoy them with white butter on top but we had our mooli paratha with curd. They are best enjoyed hot and crisp straight from the tava (griddle).
Recipe of mooli paratha
3 mooli (white radish/ diakon) - peeled and grated
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
3 green chillies- chopped
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
Coriander leaves (cilantro) - chopped
Salt to taste
Oil to shallow fry

1. Squeeze hard the grated mooli to remove excess liquid. Heat a pan and sauté mooli till light brown. Purpose is to evaporate the water of mooli.
2. In a bowl, take atta and add 1/2 tsp salt to it. Add water and knead it into smooth, pliable dough. Set aside for 20 minutes.
3. Add rest of the ingredients except oil to the mooli and mix.
4. Take a small ball (peda) out of the dough and roll out into a 3 inch round putting more pressure on the outer side so that outer edges are thinner than the inner portion of the round.
5. Grease this round with an oiled spatula. Put 2 tsp stuffing in the centre. Gather the edges and reshape into a ball. Pat between your palms to flatten the ball.
6. Roll out, dusting with dry flour, into a 5-6 inch paratha.
7. Heat a tava (griddle) and place this paratha on it. Shallow fry from both sides applying oil. Fry till golden brown. Similarly make rest of the mooli ke parathe. Serve hot mooli ka paratha with curd and pickle of your choice.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Masala Vada Recipe (Deep Fried Lentil Dumpling)

masala vada

Masala vada is a popular variety of vada from South Indian cuisine. Masala vada can be eaten as a snack or as part of the meal.
Recipe of masala vada/ wada
1/2 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
1/2 cup arhar dal (toor dal/red gram/pigeon peas)
1/2 cup dhuli urad dal (split, skinless black gram)
1 onion- chopped
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
8-10 curry leaves
1/2 inch piece ginger
Salt to taste
4 green chillies- chopped
Oil to deep fry
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1. Wash and soak the dals together for 1/2 an hr. Drain. Keep a handful of chana dal aside.
2. Add ginger, salt, curry leaves and little water to dals and grind to a coarse paste. Do not add too much water, add very little just sufficent for grinding.
3. Take out grinded dal in a bowl and add hing, onion, green chillies, coriander leaves and that handful of intact chana dal to it and mix well.
4. Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai/wok and when the oil is hot enough, turn the heat to medium. Vada will be fried on medium heat.
5. Shape the batter into 1 ½ inch round on your palm and lightly press them to flattish shape. Fry these vadas in oil till golden brown from both sides turning as needed. Drain on an absorbent paper and serve masala vada hot.

(Mumbai) Bombay Bread Sandwich

Mumbai bread sandwich

As the name suggests, Bombay bread sandwich is popular in Bombay now called Mumbai. This sandwich is also sold by street vendors in Bombay. It’s a spicy sandwich and healthy one at that. You can skip the butter if you want, it still tastes delicious. I have also tried its toasted version but personally I prefer it untoasted and preferences vary, of course.
Recipe of (Mumbai) Bombay bread sandwich
Serves 2
4 slices of bread
1 boiled potato- cut into roundels
Few slices of onion, tomato and cucumber
Butter- as needed
Green (dhania pudina) chutney- as needed
ingredients of Bombay sandwich

1. Remove edges of bread slices.
2. Take 1 slice of bread and butter it. Spread green chutney over the butter.
3. Place potato roundels over it. Arrange cucumber, onion and tomato slices on it.
4. Take another bread slice and apply butter on it. Apply chutney over the butter.
5. Now, place this 2nd bread slice above the 1st, chutney side down. Similarly make other sandwich with rest of the slices. Serve Bombay bread sandwich as it is or lightly toast it.

Healthy (Corn Flakes) Cereal Chivda

cornflakes chivda
Cereal chivda or corn flakes chivda is a healthy alternative to deep fried namkeen available in the market. At times we all want to munch on crispy, crunchy, salty snacks but are afraid of putting on weight or their adverse effects on health. So, this is my kind of guilt free snacking. Try it!
Recipe of cornflakes chivda
150 gms murmura (kurmura/ mamra/ puffed rice/ moodhi)
50 gms bhuna chana (roasted chickpeas)
50 gms peanuts (moongphali)
Few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp salt or to taste
75 gms corn flakes (unflavored)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp oil
How to make cornflakes chivda
1. Heat oil in a big kadhai/wok. Add mustard seeds and when they pop, add curry leaves and cook till they crisp out.
2. Add peanuts and bhuna chana. Roast till they change color but don't burn them.
3. Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powders. Cook for few seconds.
4. Add murmura and corn flakes. Mix them really well and on medium heat, keep mixing them for 2-3 minutes till murmura turns crisp. Turn off the heat.
5. Let the cornflakes chivda cool down completely before storing it in an airtight container.

Dal Shorba Soup Recipe

dal shorba

Dal shorba is a delicious and nutritious soup of dals or Indian lentils. Dal shorba is light and protein rich soup. I crave this soup on a cold winter day. It acts as a true comforter.
Recipe of dal shorba/ how to make dal shorba
1/4 cup chana dal (Bengal gram) - boiled
1/4 cup dhuli moong dal (split, skinless green gram) - boiled
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper powder
2 cloves garlic- crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
Chopped coriander leaves- for garnishing
1. Grind together boiled chana dal and moong dal to a coarse paste adding little water.
2. Add 3 cups of water to the ground dals and mix.
3. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add crushed garlic and fry till it turns light brown.
4. Add the dal paste, salt and pepper powder. Mix well.
5. Add coriander leaves and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, mix in lemon juice and serve dal shorba hot.