Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lapsi (Sweet Dalia/ Broken Wheat)


Lapsi or sweet dalia is a nutritious dessert. I have added much less ghee and sugar than the traditional recipe calls for. If you want a richer lapsi, you can increase their quantities. Sweet dalia is made both by adding water and milk. This recipe is with water.
Recipe of lapsi
1 cup dalia (broken wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups hot water
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 tbsp almonds (blanched and chopped)
3/4 tsp elaichi (cardamom) powder
1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add dalia and stir-fry on a medium heat till it turns light brown.
2. Add 2 1/2 cups of hot water and cook partly covered on medium heat. Cook till most of the water gets evaporated.
3. Add sugar, cardamom powder and 1/2 cup water to the daliya and give it a stir. Place a griddle (tava) below the pan. Cook on a low heat for about 8-9 minutes.
4. When ghee starts oozing out from the sides of the pan, your lapsi is ready. Garnish with almonds and serve hot.

Bandh Gobi Matar (Cabbage with Green Peas)

bandh gobi matar

Bandh gobi matar is a very tasty side with rotis or parathas. I also use the left over veggie as a filling in sandwich. Crunchy bandh gobhi imparts a slightly sweet flavor to this simple dish which is quickly made and quickly polished off.
Recipe of bandh gobi matar
1 bandh gobi (cabbage/ patta gobi)
1 cup matar (green peas) - fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3/4 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp oil
1. Remove 2 outer leaves of band gobi, wash and chop.
2. Heat oil in a wok (kadhai) or a pan. Add cumin seeds and when they change color, add hing.
3. Add chopped bandh gobhi and matar. Add salt and all the spices except amchoor. Mix well.
4. Turn the heat to medium-low. Cook covered and stir occasionally. Cook till peas are tender. Just remember that band gobi should retain some of its crunch.
5. Add amchoor and mix. Increase heat and cook uncovered, stirring, till the sabzi gets a roasted look. Serve hot bandh gobi matar with rotis.

Aloo Beans Sabzi (Potato with Green Beans)

aloo beans

Beans are known by many names like French beans, green beans and phalli. Aloo beans sabzi tastes absolutely delicious. We enjoy it with hot phulka but it can also be eaten with boiled rice.
Recipe of aloo beans (phalli) sabzi
150 gms French beans (green beans/ phalli)
2 medium potatoes- peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp garam masala
french beans

1. Remove tips and tails of green beans and string them if there is a need. Chop them in 1/2- 1 inch pieces.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add hing.
3. Add beans and potatoes. Add salt and all the spices except amchoor and garam masala. Mix well. If you cook this subzi on a low heat, you don't need to add any water. Cover with the lid.
4. Stir occasionally and cook till potatoes are tender. You can cook a little further if you want a well roasted sabji. Turn off heat and add amchoor and garam masala. Mix well. Serve hot aloo beans sabzi with roti or rice.

Gajar ki Kheer (Carrot Pudding)

gajar ki kheer

Gajar ki kheer or carrot kheer is a delicious and healthy dessert. Kheer or payasam is my weakness and this one is a treat for me. It does not take too much time to cook gajar ki kheer.
Recipe of carrot kheer/ gajar ki kheer
1 cup grated carrot (gajar)
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 liter milk
4 tsp sugar
Chopped nuts
1. Heat ghee in a pan and stir-fry gajar for 5 minutes.
2. Boil milk till its quantity reduces to half.
3. Add carrot and boil for few minutes.
4. Add sugar and boil for few more minutes. Garnish gajar ki kheer with nuts. Serve hot or cold.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Tadka Dal (Dal Fry)

tadka dal

There are many ways to cook tadka dal or dal fry but this is the one I use as it suits our palate. Tadka means tempering and I have used a standard Punjabi tadka with few variations. You can avoid adding tomato and can use lime juice instead. It won't matter much to the taste. You can also skip onion if you want.
Recipe of tadka dal/ dal fry
1 cup dhuli moong dal (split, skinless green gram) or dhuli masoor dal (red lentils)
1 onion- chopped
1 medium tomato- diced
2-3 green chillies- chopped
2-3 cloves garlic- crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) - for garnish
1. Cook the dal with salt, turmeric powder and enough water in a pressure cooker till just done. Dal should not be too mushy.
2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add hing.
3. Add onion and sauté till transparent. Add garlic and green chillies and fry for 1 minute.
4. Add tomato and cook till tomato become soft and pulpy. Pour this tadka or tempering over the cooked dal. Garnish the dal tadka with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Methi Wali Poori

methi poori

These methi wali poori were something I made for Diwali feast but somehow forgot to post. They were easy to make and liked by everyone. Since we are methi loving people, these poori are always welcome.
Recipe of methi wali poori
2 cups of atta (whole wheat flour)
1 cup methi (fresh fenugreek leaves) - stems removed and leaves washed and chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
2 tbsp oil + for frying
1. In a bowl, mix atta, salt, red chilli powder, ajwain and 2 tbsp oil. Rub flour between your fingers so that oil is evenly spread.
2. Add methi leaves and knead it into stiff dough by adding water. Poori dough should be stiffer than chappati dough. Let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour.
3. Take a small ball (peda) out of the dough and roll it into a 3-4 inch round on a lightly oiled surface.
4. Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok or a deep frying pan. You know the oil is hot enough when a small portion of the dough dropped in kadhai sizzles and rises to the surface. Turn the heat to medium. Poori will be fried on medium heat.
5. Gently slide the rolled puri in the hot oil. Gently press by a pauni (slotted spoon/ chaari). The poori will puff up. Turn over and fry from other side also till golden brown from both sides. Drain by the same slotted spoon on an absorbent paper. Similarly fry other methi poori from rest of the dough.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Aloo Wadi (Potato with Sun Dried Spicy Lentil Dumplings)

aloo wadi

Wadis in the recipe of aloo wadi are Amritsari wadiyan. Wadi is sun dried spicy urad dal (black gram) dumpling or nugget. When you make aloo wadi, take care not to add too much salt or spices as wadi is already very spicy. I prefer not to add any red chilli powder or garam masala powder. It’s basically a Punjabi dish and very tasty.
Recipe of aloo wadi/ wadiyan
2-3 large wadi (dried spicy urad dal dumplings)
3 medium potatoes- peeled and cubed
1 onion- chopped
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tomatoes- pureed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2+2 tsp oil
1. Break urad dal wadiyan into small pieces.
2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pressure cooker and roast wadi pieces till aromatic but don't roast too much otherwise they will burn. Drain. Soak the roasted wadi pieces in 1 cup of water.
While you make rest of the preparations, let them be soaked.
3. Heat 2 tsp oil in the same pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add hing. Add onion and sauté till onion become pink.
4. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato puree, salt, turmeric and coriander powders. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add potatoes, wadi and enough water. Mix well. Close the lid of the cooker.
6. Let 1 whistle come, then turn the heat to medium. Let 3 more whistles come. Turn off the heat. Open the lid when pressure drops down naturally. Serve hot aloo wadi garnished with coriander leaves.

Aloo ki Sabzi (Potato Curry)

aloo ki sabzi

Aloo ki sabzi or aloo bhaji is a staple in many Indian households including mine. I cook potatoes in many different ways, some recipes I have already blogged about and some I will be sharing in future. Aloo ki sabzi tastes great with roti, paratha, poori and kachori. Some people even have it with rice.
Recipe of aloo ki sabzi
3 medium potatoes (aloo) - boiled and peeled
2 medium tomatoes- pureed
1 onion
1/2 inch piece ginger
3-4 cloves garlic (optional)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp oil
1. Break aloo with your hands to get uneven pieces. Grind together onion, ginger and garlic.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add hing. Add onion paste and sauté till it gets light brown.
3. Add tomato puree and all the spices and salt. Fry till oil begins to separate from the masala.
4. Add potato pieces and mix. Add 1 cup water and lower heat. Cook covered for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot aloo ki subzi with poori or paratha.
aloo bhaji

(Bharwa) Stuffed Parwal

bharwa parwal

Parwal vegetable is a squash like gourd also known as pointed gourd or potol. Parwal is popular in North Indian cooking. There are many ways to cook parwal including aloo parwal that is parwal with potatoes both in curry and dry sabzi form.
Recipe of stuffed parwal or bharwa parwal sabzi
250 gms parwal (potol/ pointed gourd/ parval)
3/4 tsp fennel powder (saunf)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp mustard oil or any other oil
parwal
scraped and slit parwal

1. Scrape parwal in a manner that hard skin remains there. Wash them. Make a slit lengthwise on 1 side of each parwal. Remove any ripe, mature seeds. Keep parwal aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix salt and all the spices except turmeric powder and hing. Stuff them in the parwals with the help of a spoon.
3. In a pan, heat mustard oil to smoking point that is till vapors start coming out of it.
Add hing and turmeric powder and mix with the oil. Add stuffed parwal and lower heat to medium-low.
4. Cook covered for 20-25 minutes turning over twice in between. Cook till done. Serve hot stuffed parval sabzi with roti or paratha.

(Spinach) Palak Soup

palak soup

Spinach soup or palak soup is one of the healthiest soups. It is also an excellent soup for babies. I usually serve palak soup with soup buns.
Recipe of palak soup
2 cups spinach leaves (palak) - washed and chopped finely
1 medium onion- sliced
4 cups water
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Cream to garnish (optional)
1. Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add palak leaves, salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes more.
2. Add water and cook for another 4 minutes till spinach leaves turn tender. Cool and puree the mixture. Strain in a soup strainer. Reheat in the saucepan.
3. Add milk and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat; transfer the spinach soup in the soup bowl. Garnish with cream and Serve hot.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lauki and Mangodi Sabzi (Bottle Gourd with Lentil Dumplings)

lauki mangodi sabzi

This lauki and mangodi sabzi is rather an unusual combination but trust me lauki and mangodi go well together. Mangodi is sun dried lentil dumpling. Here the lentil used is split skinless green gram or dhuli moong dal.
Recipe of lauki and mangodi sabzi
1 small lauki (bottle gourd/ ghiya/ doodhi) - peeled and chopped
1/2 cup mangodi (sun dried lentil dumplings)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 tomatoes- pureed
1 inch piece ginger- chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2+2 tsp oil
1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pressure cooker and fry mangodis in it. Roast mangodis till they turn reddish brown. Drain and keep aside.
2. Heat 2 tsp oil in the same pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add hing. Add ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add tomato puree and all the spices and salt. Fry till masala begins to leave oil from sides.
4. Add lauki pieces and mangodi. Add enough water and close the lid of the cooker. Let 1 whistle come. Then turn the heat to medium. Let 3 more whistles come. Open the lid of the cooker when pressure drops down naturally. Serve hot lauki aur mangodi sabzi with roti or boiled rice.

Baingan ka bharta (Mashed spicy eggplant)

baingan ka bharta
Baingan is also known as Aubergine, Eggplant and brinjal. There are many ways to roast baingan for bharta. You can roast them on naked flame, microwave them or broil in an oven. Baigan bhurta tastes good with phulkas, parathas or even rice.
        Recipe of baingan ka bharta
            2 medium baingan (eggplant)
            2 medium onions- chopped
            3 tomatoes- chopped
            1 inch ginger piece- chopped
            5 cloves garlic- chopped
            3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
            1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
            1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
            salt to taste
        1 1/2 tablespoon oil

1. Prick baingan with a fork and roast on a naked flame till their skin appear blistered and they shrivel in size. Alternatively you can also microwave them on a High for 10 minutes.

2. Cool baingan by dipping them in water. Peel off the skin and mash them.

3. I prefer mustard oil for this dish. Heat mustard oil to the smoking point in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they turn brown, add onions and saute till they are transparent.

4. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder and tomatoes. Cook till oil begins to separate.

5. Add mashed baingan and salt. Cook for 7-8 minutes over medium heat stirring.

6. Garnish baingan bharta with chopped coriander leaves.

Healthy Bytes- Baingan is a source of Potassium and Folic acid. It can help control the cholesterol
levels and can block the free radical formation.

Vegetable Pakora (Fritters)

vegetable pakora

Vegetable pakora along with hot tea was our rainy day treat today. As soon as I spotted dark clouds in the sky, I started mixing my batter as I knew that demand for pakoras will soon be there and how right I was!
Recipe of mixed vegetable pakora
1 cup besan (gram flour)
3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 potato- round thin slices
2 onions- chopped or cut into rings
1 small cauliflower- cut into florets
1/2 tsp red chilli powder or 2 green chillies- chopped
3/4 tsp pav bhaji masala
Oil to deep fry
1. Pass the besan through a sieve so that there are no lumps. Add salt, red chilli powder or green chillies and pav bhaji masala.
2. Slowly add water to the besan mixing by other hand so as to prevent lumps formation. Beat the batter well (you can use a blender) so as to incorporate air and pakora turn out fluffier.
3. Heat oil in a kadhai (heavy bottomed vessel) and when the oil is hot enough, turn the heat to medium. Dip the vegetables in the batter and gently drop in the hot oil. Fry from both sides till pakora turn golden brown. Drain by using a slotted spoon (pauni/ chhari) on an absorbent paper. Fry in batches. Serve hot vegetable pakora with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup.
Note- pakoras will be fried on medium heat. If the heat is high, they will remain uncooked at the center especially gobi pakora.

(Puffed Rice) Murmura Upma


Murmura upma can also be called murmura poha. Murmura upma is cooked in more or less the same way as poha. You can also temper it with urad dal and chana dal to make more like a South Indian dish. This is a breakfast as well as any time snack item which we find quite tasty.
Recipe of murmura upma
2 cups murmura (puffed rice/ moori/ mamra)
1 onion- chopped
2 green chillies- chopped
1 tomato- chopped
Salt to taste
1 potato- peeled and finely cubed
1 tbsp peanuts- roasted
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
5-7 curry leaves
1. Wash murmura in a strainer (chalni) under running water and set aside so that all water drains out.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they pop, add curry leaves. After few seconds, add onion and green chillies. Fry onion till it becomes pink.
3. Add potato, salt, 1/4 cup water and turmeric powder. Cook covered till potato becomes tender and all water dries out.
4. Uncover and add tomato. Stir fry for 1 minute.
5. Add murmura and mix well. Let it cook covered on a low heat for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add roasted peanuts and lemon juice and mix. Serve and eat immediately. Keeping it for some time after making will make the murmura upma soggy.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice)

jeera rice

Jeera or cumin seeds are not only flavorful but also have many medicinal properties. If you are entertaining a few guests and don't want to serve plain boiled rice, then jeera rice is an ideal choice. There is not much fuss and it can be prepared at a short notice. You can also cook jeera rice in a pan or microwave oven.
Recipe of jeera rice
1 cup basmati rice
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp cumin powder
2 cups water
1 onion- sliced
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1. Wash rice and soak for 20 minutes.
2. Heat oil or ghee in a pressure cooker and add jeera. When they change color, add onion. Fry till light brown. Add cumin powder.
3. Add rice with 2 cups of water and salt. Pressure cook to 1 whistle.
4. Take out on a serving platter and fluff jeera rice with the help of 2 forks. 

Chana Dal Recipe (Split Bengal Gram Curry)

chana dal

My family likes chana dal in its various avatars like chana dal curry, urad chane ki dal, lauki chana dal etc. In West Bengal part of India, chana dal is known as cholar dal and cooked in a different way with coconut and all. Here I have cooked it with Punjabi tadka and addition of chana masala gives this dal, added flavour.
Recipe of chana dal

1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
3 cups of water
2 green chillies- chopped
1 onion- chopped
2 medium tomatoes- chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 inch piece ginger- chopped
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chana masala powder
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

1. Wash and soak chana dal for 1 hour. Drain.

2. Place chana dal in a pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water, salt, ginger and turmeric powder.
Pressure cook to 5 whistles and let the pressure drop down before opening the lid of the cooker.

3. For the tadka or tempering, heat ghee in a small pan and add cumin seeds. When they change colour, add hing. Add onion and green chillies. Sauté till onion turn light brown. Add chana masala powder and fry for 1 minute.

4. Add tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turn soft and pulpy.

5. Add this tadka to the dal and cover with a lid so that tadka seep through the dal.

6. Add garam masala and give 1 boil to the chana dal. Let the dal simmer on a low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Turn off the heat and garnish chane ki dal with chopped coriander leaves. Chana dal tastes great with both rotis and rice.


Dal Palak (Spinach with Lentils)

dal palak

Dal palak really packs a nutritional punch. You get the benefit of dal and green leafy vegetable in the same dish. Dal palak is not just healthy but very tasty too.
Recipe of Dal palak
¼ cup moong dal (split green gram)
¼ cup arhar/ toor dal (split pigeon peas)
½ kg palak (spinach)
1 onion- chopped
2 tomatoes- chopped
2 green chillies- chopped
3-4 cloves garlic- chopped (optional)
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
½ inch piece ginger- chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp garam masala powder
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
A pinch of asafetida (hing)
Salt to taste

  1. Remove stems of palak and wash thoroughly in running water. Chop finely. Wash and soak dals for 15-20 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a pressure cooker, place dal, palak, salt, green chillies and water. Let 2 whistles come. Then cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and after pressure drops, mash the dal lightly.
  4. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add hing. After few seconds, add onion and sauté till they are light brown.
  5. Add garlic and ginger and cook for ½ a minute. Add coriander powder and garam masala. After 2-3 seconds, add tomatoes and cook till they are soft and pulpy.
  6. Add this tempering (tadka) to the dal and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat. Enjoy dal palak with roti or paratha.

Healthy bytes- As far as health benefits of spinach go, you must have already heard a lot about it. Let me add a few more words. Palak contains large quantities of Magnesium which is anti-ageing. Adequate Magnesium through diet keeps you young.
palak (spinach)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Aloo Naan (Potato Stuffed Naan Bread)

aloo naan

Naan itself is delicious bread and when you stuff it with aloo or gobi (cauliflower) mixture, its taste increases manifold. Be it aloo naan or plain naan, tastes best when served hot. With aloo naan, you don’t even need a side. You can enjoy it all by itself.
Recipe of aloo naan
Dough
3 cups maida (all purpose flour)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
Filling
3 medium potatoes- boiled, peeled and mashed
3 green chillies- chopped finely
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves

1. Take a bowl and mix flour, salt and baking powder in it. Make a well in the center.
2. Mix milk, sugar, 1 tbsp oil and baking powder in another bowl. Pour this mixture in the centre of bowl containing flour.
3. Knead it into soft dough adding warm water if needed..
4. Add 1 tablespoon oil and knead again. Keep it in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
5. Mix all the ingredients of the filling to make potato mixture.
6. Take a ball out of the dough and roll out on a floured surface into a 2 inch round dusting with dry flour.
7. Place a lemon sized potato filling in the center and gather the edges. Reshape into a ball. Again roll out into a disk. Similarly make other naan from rest of the dough.
8. Preheat oven and bake these aloo naan till they puff up and become golden brown with brown-black specks here and there. Grease them with butter and serve hot.
You can also make aloo naan in electric or gas tandoor which is a much faster way to cook naan.
aloo naan

Meethi Roti (Sweet Indian Flatbread)

meethi roti

Meethi roti is very easy to make and satisfies your craving for sweets as well as fills your stomach as it is made from whole wheat flour. It is liked by both adults and kids.
Recipe of meethi roti
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp saunf (fennel seeds)
1/2 cup sugar (vary according to taste)
Melted ghee (clarified butter)
Ghee or oil to shallow fry
1. Knead flour adding water into smooth, pliable dough. Let it rest for 1/2 an hour.
2. Take a ball (peda) out of the dough and roll it into a 3 inch round dusting with flour.
3. Spread melted ghee on this roti. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp saunf and 1-2 tsp sugar on it.
4. Gather the edges and reshape into a ball. Roll out again into a 5-6 inch round.
5. Heat a tawa (griddle) and shallow fry this roti on both sides applying ghee. Fry till golden brown. Similarly make other meethi roti from rest of the dough. Serve hot.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Lachha Pudina Paratha (Layered Mint Indian Flatbread)

lachha pudina paratha

Lachha paratha is a type of crispy parantha with multiple layers. I have also added pudina to make lachha pudina paratha. This paratha is traditionally made in tandoor (clay oven) but can also be made on a tawa (griddle). Lachha paratha is a part of Punjabi cuisine and features on most Indian restaurant’s menu.
Recipe of lachha pudina paratha
1 1/2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
Pudina (mint) powder- as needed
Ghee (clarified butter) - as needed
Oil to shallow fry
folding roti making pleats
rolling into spiral

1. Add salt to atta and rub in 1 tsp ghee. Add enough water to knead it into soft, smooth dough. Cover and set aside for 20-25 minutes.
2. Divide this dough into 4 equal portions. Shape them into balls.
3. Take 1 ball and roll out into 7-8 inches round roti. Brush the surface of the roti with ghee and sprinkle pudina powder.
4. Pleat the roti, making folds, to make a long strip. Roll this strip into a spiral. Press lightly between your palms to flatten it.
5. Roll out into a 6 inch paratha. Heat a tawa (griddle) and shallow fry this paratha on both sides applying oil till golden brown.
6. Place this pudina lachcha paratha on a kitchen napkin and press lightly with napkin sides so that layers become a little separate. Similarly make rest of the lachha parathas with remaining dough balls.

How to make pudina (mint) powder
Take few bunch of pudina and wash thoroughly under running water. Pick out leaves discarding the stems. Spread out on a plate and cover with a metal sieve (chhalni). Leave out to dry in the sun. When completely dry, crush pudina leaves with your fingers and store pudina powder in an airtight bottle.

Matar Paneer Paratha (Green Peas and Cottage Cheese Stuffed Flatbread)

matar paneer paratha

Matar paneer paratha is an excellent breakfast option and you don’t need any curry or vegetable side dish with it.
Recipe of matar paneer paratha
Dough
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
Water as needed

Filling
1 small cup paneer (cottage cheese) - grated
1 small cup matar (green peas) - boiled and semi-mashed
3 green chillies- finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger- grated
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Few coriander leaves- chopped

Oil to shallow fry
1. Add salt to atta and adding water, knead it into soft, smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for 25 minutes.
2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add ginger and green chillies. Sauté for few seconds. Add boiled and mashed matar. Sauté for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
3. Add paneer and chopped coriander leaves to matar masala and mix well. Let the masala for filling cool down.
4. Take a ball from the dough and dusting with dry flour, roll it into 3 inch round. Grease it with an oiled spoon.
5. Place 1 portion of matar paneer masala on the rolled roti and mix salt to it. Gather the edges of the roti and shape it into a ball.
6. Flatten this ball between your palms and roll out into 6 inch round paratha, dusting with dry flour as needed.
7. Heat a tawa (griddle) and place this parantha on it. Shallow fry paratha from both sides applying oil. Fry till golden brown and brown-black specks appear on it. Similarly make other parathas. Serve matar paneer paratha hot with chutney, curd or pickle.

Matar paneer (Peas and cottage cheese curry)

matar paneer

Matar paneer is a popular dish from North Indian cuisine. I have always found it in North Indian wedding buffets and parties on big and small occasions. Matar paneer is quite delicious and easy to make. You can also use paneer in this dish without shallow frying it, to cut back on calories of course.

            Recipe of matar paneer

            250 grams paneer (cottage cheese) - cut into cubes
            1 cup shelled green peas (fresh or frozen)
            1 onion
            2 tomatoes- pureed
            1 inch ginger piece
            3-4 cloves garlic
            2 tablespoon oil
            1/2 tsp cumin seeds
            1/2 tsp turmeric powder
            1 tsp coriander powder
            1/2 tsp red chili powder
            1/4 tsp garam masala powder
            Salt to taste
            Coriander leaves- chopped

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan and shallow fry the paneer pieces till golden. Take paneer out of the pan and keep aside.

2. Grind together onion, garlic and ginger in a blender.

3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and add cumin seeds. When they turn brown, add minced onion paste and sauté till light brown.

4. Add coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder and fry for 1 minute.

5. Add tomato puree, 1 cup water and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add peas and cook covered till peas are soft.

6. Add paneer cubes and garam masala. Simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Garnish matar paneer with coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve hot with any Indian bread like roti or naan.


            

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Quick Stir Fried Paneer (Cottage Cheese)

stir fried paneer

This dish is not exactly chili paneer but tastes somewhat like that. Stir fried paneer is very quick to make and results are very satisfying. Addition of soy sauce gives it a nice, appetizing color. 
Recipe of Stir Fried Paneer
200 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
1 capsicum (bell pepper)
1 onion
1 tomato
2 tbsp tomato puree
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp soy sauce
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1. Cut paneer in long thin strips. Deseed capsicum and remove pulp of tomato and cut them in long, thin strips.
2. Heat oil in a pan (wok) and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add onion and stir fry for 1 minute.
3. Add capsicum and stir fry for 1/2 minute.
4. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
5. Add paneer, tomato puree, soy sauce and salt. Mix them gently till paneer is well coated with puree and sauce.
6. Cook till it becomes thicker. Add tomato slices and cook for 1 more minute. Garnish stir fried paneer with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Paneer Puri (Cottage Cheese Stuffed Fried Flatbread)

paneer puri

Paneer puri is loved by all the paneer fans. It's a full meal in itself and there is no need for a side dish. You can even enjoy paneer poori with a pickle. It's very easy to make and tastes yummy.
Recipe of paneer puri
1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
1 cup crumbled paneer (cottage cheese)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil + for deep frying
1. Mix atta, 1/2 tsp salt, ajwain and 2 tsp oil in a bowl. Rub oil in flour with your fingers. Add enough water so as to knead into stiff dough. Keep aside for 20 minutes.
2. Add salt, red chilli, cumin and garam masala powders to crumbled paneer. Mix well.
3. Take a ball out of the dough and roll out into a small round. Place 1 tsp paneer mixture in the centre. Gather the edges and reshape into a ball. Flatten between your palms.
4. Again roll out into a 3-4 inch round or puri.
5. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok or a frying pan and deep fry paneer puri from both sides till golden. Drain on an absorbent paper. Similarly make other paneer puri.

Mushroom Stir Fry

mushroom stir fry

This is a simple yet tasty recipe of mushroom. Mushroom is not so commonly cooked in Indian kitchens so whenever it does get cooked, it makes a nice change to the routine meals and as they say ‘variety is the spice of life’.
Recipe of mushroom stir fry
250 gms button mushrooms (khumb/ dhingri)
2 big onions- sliced
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
3/4 tsp black pepper powder (kali mirch)
1. Wash and slice mushrooms. Slice onions.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mushrooms and onion. Stir fry them for 4-5 minutes.
3. Add salt and black pepper powder. Lower heat and cook covered till mushrooms are tender.
4. Uncover and cook till all moisture dries up. You can add chopped green chillies at this stage. Serve mushroom stir fry hot.

Aloo chana salad (Potato- chickpea salad)

aloo chana salad

Aloo chana salad is a very healthy salad as no oil or dressing is used in this recipe.
Chana or chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans in Spanish and kichererbse in Germany. They belong to legume family and are healthful. They contain high amounts of protein. Half cup of chickpeas contain 140 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, slightly more than 1 gram of fat, Iron and Potassium. Canned chickpeas can be full of sodium so it's better to rinse them before consuming. You can also use black chickpeas for this salad.
        Recipe of aloo chana salad
            1 cup kabuli chana (chickpeas)
            2 aloo (potatoes) - peeled and cubed
            2 small onions- chopped
            2 small tomatoes- chopped
            2 tsp lemon juice
            1 tsp chaat masala
            Salt to taste
            3 green chillies- chopped

1. Soak chana overnight. Drain and boil with aloo, salt and water in a pressure cooker.

2. Strain the remaining liquid. You can use this liquid for some other dish.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to chana and toss.

4. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve aloo chana salad cold.
black chickpea salad

Coconut Rava Laddu (Sweet Semolina Balls)

rava laddu

Rava laddu or sooji laddu are made by themselves as well as by adding coconut. Here I am sharing the recipe of coconut rava laddu. They are more popular in Southern part of India but now also available at North Indian sweet shops. Rava laddu are especially made on festive occasions.
Recipe of coconut rava laddu
1& 1/2 cups Semolina (Rava)
3/4 cup fresh coconut- scraped
4 tbsps ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup Sugar
2 tbsps Raisins (kishmish)
1 & 1/2 tbsps Green cardamom powder
1. Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed kadai, stir-fry rava on very low heat, till it just starts changing color to light golden.
2. Add scraped coconut and continue to stir-fry for one more minute.
3. Cook sugar with half a cup of water on medium heat, stirring continuously till it dissolves. Increase heat and bring the syrup to a boil. Cook without stirring for about five minutes or till it reaches single thread consistency.
4. Add the warm roasted rava mixture and green cardamom powder to the sugar syrup and mix well. Cover the mixture with lid and keep aside for thirty minutes, stirring the mixture at regular intervals.
5. Divide the mixture into twelve to fifteen equal portions, shape into laddus by rolling them with your hands. Decorate rava laddu with raisin.


Monday, 13 February 2012

Dahi Shorba (Yogurt Soup) Recipe

dahi shorba


Dahi shorba or yogurt soup is an Indian style soup with Indian tadka. Dahi shorba is very easy to make and increase the quantity if you want more servings.
Recipe of dahi shorba
1 cup dahi (yogurt/curd)
 1 tsp besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)

 ½ tsp red chilli powder
 ½ tsp haldi (turmeric) powder
1/4 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water  
½ tsp rai (small mustard seeds)
 ¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)
3-4 curry leaves
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) 
 ½ tsp ginger-chopped finely
Fresh coriander leaves -
chopped
1. Mix together dahi, besan, water, red chilli, turmeric powder, amchoor & salt. Beat well & sieve.
2. Heat ghee. Add rai, when it splutters, add hing, curry leaves and ginger.
3. Add the besan-dahi mix, stir till it boils and cook further for few minutes.
4. Sprinkle chopped coriander and remove from fire. Serve hot dahi shorba as a soup.


Instant Sooji Uttapam

sooji uttapam

Sooji uttapam is a fast and easy snack to prepare. You can also have it for breakfast or brunch. It’s very delicious as well as healthy option. Sooji uttapam is also known as rava uthappa or rava uthappam.
Recipe of sooji uttapam/ rava uttapam
Batter
1 1/2 cups moti sooji (rava/ coarse semolina)
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups curd (yogurt) - preferably sour
3/4 cup water

Topping
2 tomatoes- finely diced
2 onions- finely chopped
2 green chillies- finely chopped
Coriander leaves- chopped
Salt to taste

Oil to cook
1. Mix together all the ingredients of the batter. Keep the batter aside for 1/2 hour.
2. Before cooking, beat the batter well and adjust water to get the thick pouring consistency. Batter should be thicker than dosa batter.
3. Mix all the ingredients of topping and keep aside.
4. Heat a non-stick tava or a skillet on medium. Grease it and wipe it clean with a small napkin.
5. Turning the heat to low, pour 2 tablespoon batter in the centre of the tava. With a gentle, outward motion, spread it with the back of a ladle (karchhi) to get a round shape. Keep it a little thick.
6. Turn the heat to medium and after 2 minutes, sprinkle some topping on it. Press the topping gently. Pour a tsp of oil on it and cover it with a lid of some height.
7. After the underside is cooked, remove the lid and turn over the uttapam gently so that top side also gets cooked. When the onions turn little brown, remove from the tava. Serve hot sooji uttapam with sambar or chutney.
rava uttapam

Sukhi Urad Dal (Dry Split Black Gram)

sukhi urad dal

Sukhi urad dal is also known as Amritsari dal as this dal is very popular in Punjab. This dal is so delicious that my husband Rahul licks the bowl to the last crumb.
Recipe of sukhi urad dal
1 cup dhuli urad (split, skinless black gram)
1 onion- long slices
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp + 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp garam masala
1. Wash and soak urad dal for 20-25 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. When they change color, add urad dal. Add salt and all the spices. Stir fry on a low heat for 1 minute.
3. Add 1 cup water and pressure cook to 1 whistle. Lower heat and cook for 1 more minute. Turn off heat.
4. Heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan and fry onion till light brown. Add over cooked urad dal. Mix gently. Serve hot sukhi urad dal with roti or paratha.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Churma (Rajasthani Sweet)

churma

Churma is a very popular sweet from Rajasthan. Churma or churma ladoos are made in most households in Rajasthan on big and small occasions. As you start eating this sweet, it grows on you. Churma satisfies your sweet tooth completely and makes you feel connected to your vast inheritance.
Recipe of churma
1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
3 tbsp sooji (semolina/ rawa)
6-7 tbsp powdered sugar (vary according to taste)
4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp elaichi (green cardamom) powder
Mixed chopped nuts like almonds, raisins
Ghee for frying
1. Mix atta, sooji and ghee. Adding warm water, knead it into stiff dough.
2. Take small balls (pedas, muthias) from the dough and deep fry in ghee. Heat should be medium for frying. Fry till brown. Shape of the balls is not important. When fried, drain by a slotted spoon.
3. When the fried balls have cooled down, grind them in a mixer to a coarse powder.
4. Mix powdered sugar, chopped almond, raisins (kishmish) and elaichi powder. Store this churma in an airtight container. It stays fresh for some days.

Friday, 10 February 2012

(Matar) Green Peas Soup

matar ka soup

This green peas soup or matar ka soup is an easy, breezy soup. It's very easy to make and quite a comforter on a cold, wintry day. As days are getting cold, this soup is a welcome change from summer salads.
Recipe of (matar) green peas soup
2 cups shelled green peas (matar) - fresh or frozen
6 cups water
Salt to taste
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
A blob of butter
1. Boil the green peas or matar with 6 cups of water, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Cook till peas turn tender. Let it cool down a bit.
2. Blend the mixture in a blender to a smooth consistency.
3. Pour in a saucepan and reheat on a medium heat. Add milk, black pepper and butter. Mix well.
4. Cook for 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat. Pour in the soup bowls and serve hot matar ka soup.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Quick Microwave Besan Ladoo


besan ladoo


Microwave besan ladoo is a very easy and quick substitute for traditional ladoos in kadhai. You don't have to go for endless stirring lest the besan burns. You can get accolades without going through the grind. They taste absolutely great and you cannot tell the difference between microwave besan ladoo and those made the traditional way.
Recipe of microwave besan ladoo
2 cups besan (gram flour)
1 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
4-5 pods hari elaichi (green cardamom) - crushed
2 tbsp chopped nuts like almonds, cashew nuts and raisins
1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix besan and ghee.
2. Microwave on High for 6 minutes. First stir after 2 minutes, then after 2 minutes, then after 1 minute, then after 30 seconds till you get desired brownness. Let it cool.
3. Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder and chopped nuts.
4. While the besan mixture is still warm and comfortable to touch, make ping pong size balls using your hands. These are now called besan ka ladoo. Store besan ladoos in an airtight container. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Dal Paratha (Lentil Flatbread)

dal paratha

Have some leftover dal from last night's dinner. It's sitting pretty in your refrigerator with no takers. Don't know what to do with it? I have an idea. Make delicious dal paratha out of it.
            Recipe of dal paratha
            1 cup cooked dal (lentils)
            1 1/2 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
            Salt to taste
             ¼ tsp turmeric powder
            2 green chillies- finely chopped
            1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
            Chopped coriander leaves
            Oil to shallow fry
1. In a deep bowl, mix all the ingredients except oil. Don't add any water. Use dal to knead the dough. Add enough flour to make pliable dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Take a ball (peda) out of the dough and roll out into a 6 inch round paratha.
3. Heat a tava (griddle) and cook this paratha on it from both sides brushing with oil. Cook till golden brown and crisp. Do the same with rest of the dough making several dal
paratha. Serve hot dal paratha with curd.

Matar Ka Paratha (Green Peas Flatbread)

matar ka paratha

Matar paratha is a good option for breakfast especially for those who have parathas in their breakfast. Pressure cook matar to 1 whistle and mash it.
Recipe of matar ka paratha
For the dough
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
For the filling
1 cup matar (green peas) - boiled and mashed
2 green chillies- minced
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 inch piece ginger- grated
2 tsp oil

Oil to shallow fry
1. For the dough, take flour in a bowl and mix salt. Add water to knead into smooth dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 20- 25 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add ginger and green chillies. When they turn light brown, add matar. Add salt and spices. Cook for 10-12 minutes on low heat till matar mixture turn dry. Let it cool down.
3. Take a ball (peda) out of the dough and roll into a 3-4 inch disk. Place 2 tsp matar mixture in the center. Gather the edges of the disk and seal it so that mixture doesn't come out.
4. Roll out gently into a 7-8 inch disk or paratha, dusting with flour.
5. Heat a tava (griddle) and place the parantha on it. Roast from both sides applying oil. Roast till matar paratha turns golden brown with brown- black specks on it. Serve hot matar ka paratha with curd and pickle of your choice.
matar paratha

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Rice Kheer (Pudding)

rice kheer

Rice kheer or chawal ki kheer is one of the most popular desserts of Indian Subcontinent. It is even offered as prasad. It’s very delicious and my family prefers it chilled. So after the kheer reaches room temperature, we refrigerate it.
Recipe of rice kheer (payasam)
1 liter milk
1/4 cup rice
1/4 tsp elaichi (cardamom) powder
4-5 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp almonds (blanched and slivered)
1 tbsp kewra water (optional)
1. Soak the rice for 1/2 an hour. Drain.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, bring the milk to boil. Add rice and lower heat.
3. Cook stirring in between till rice is cooked and kheer thickens. Cook till the desired consistency is reached.
4. Add sugar and cook stirring till sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and add almonds and cardamom powder. When the kheer has cooled down somewhat, add kewra water. Serve rice kheer hot or cold.
kesari kheer

Tomato Soup

tomato soup

This is a very simple and fast recipe for the delicious, ever popular tomato soup. There is nothing like home made fresh tomato soup. It can beat the canned soup anytime. It is very healthy and can be given to the babies and also to sick people.
Recipe of tomato soup
6 tomatoes- chopped
1 small onion- chopped
2 tsp sugar
4 cups water
Salt to taste
2 tsp butter
1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
1. Melt butter in a pressure cooker. Add onion and sauté till it turns light brown.
2. Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and close the lid of the cooker. Cook to 2 whistles. Cook further on low heat for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
3. Blend this mixture in a blender to a smooth puree. Strain through a sieve or a soup strainer.
4. Reheat soup in a saucepan and add salt, sugar and black pepper powder. Serve hot. You can also garnish tomato soup with cream and bread croutons.

Tamarind Chutney (Imli Ki Chatni)

imli ki chutney

Imli ki chutney is a sweet and sour Indian sauce which is used as a dip with savory snacks like samosa, pakora or kachori. It is also a must to pour over dahi bhallas. It is very easy to make and tastes absolutely lip smacking. You will end up licking your lips and asking for more.
Recipe of tamarind chutney or imli ki chatni
1/2 cup tamarind (imli)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 red chilli powder
1/4 tsp kala namak (black salt)
1/2 cup jaggery (gur)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1. Soak imli in 2 cups of hot water for 20-25 minutes. Mash imli and strain through a seive. Remove seeds, fiber and husk. Again pour some hot water on the remaining imli and extract all the juice by mashing well and straining.
2. Boil this juice in a pan and add all the spices, salt and gur. Bring to a boil, then simmer on a low heat till imli ki chutney thickens and you get the desired sauce like consistency.

(Cluster Beans) Gawar Ki Sabzi

gawar ki sabzi

I have cooked gawar ki sabzi in a very simple and easy way but trust me, it tastes delicious this way. Today I cooked it with toovar dal and phulkas and the meal was enjoyable.
Recipe of gawar ki sabzi
250 grams gawar ki phalli (cluster beans/gvar ki phalli)
1/4 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1 tbsp mustard oil or any other oil
1. Wash, remove tips and tails and string gawar ki phalli. Chop them in 1 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Heat mustard oil in a kadhai or a pan, to smoking point that is till vapors start coming out of it. Add ajwain and hing. When carom seeds change color, add gawar.
3. Add red chilli and coriander powders and salt. Give it a good mix and lower heat. Cook covered till done, stirring occasionally. You can make them crisp by cooking further. It's entirely your choice. Turn off the heat and add amchoor powder. Serve hot gawar ki sabzi with roti or paratha.