Saturday 28 July 2012

Aloo Paratha (Potato Stuffed Indian Flatbread)

aloo paratha

Since hubby dear is a big fan of aloo paratha, it features regularly in our meals.  I try to make aloo paratha as thin and crisp as I can. Aloo ka paratha is the easiest to make stuffed paratha so newbies can also try their hands at it.
Recipe of aloo paratha/aloo ka parantha
2 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

4-5 medium aloo (potatoes) - boiled, peeled and mashed
3-4 green chillies- chopped
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves (cilantro) - chopped

Oil to shallow fry
1. In a bowl, add atta and salt. Slowly add water and knead atta into smooth dough (adjust the quantity of water as needed). Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Mix all the ingredients under filling to make aloo ka masala.
3. Pinch a ball (peda) out of dough and roll out into a 3 inch disk (dusting in dry flour as needed).
4. Grease this disk with the help of an oiled spatula or spoon. Place a portion of aloo ka masala at the center of this disk.
5. Gather the edges and reshape into a ball. Flatten this ball between your palms.
6. Roll out into a 5-6 inch paratha.
7. Heat a tava (griddle) and place this paratha over it (for the 1st parantha, grease the tava).
8. Cook the paratha from both sides applying oil. Cook till brown black specks appear on the surface of paratha. Remove from tava and serve aloo paratha with curd and pickle. Similarly make rest of the parathas with the remaining dough and alu mixture.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Bharwa Shimla Mirch (Potato Stuffed Bell Pepper)

baked stuffed bell pepper

I make bharwa shimla mirch both in an oven and a pan. Below, I have given recipes of both pan made stuffed capsicum and oven made stuffed bell pepper. They taste great any way you make them. I have taken green capsicums but if you take red and yellow bell peppers also, the dish will look very colorful indeed.
Recipe of potato stuffed baked shimla mirch
4-5 shimla mirch (capsicum/bell pepper)
3 medium potatoes- boiled, peeled and mashed
1 onion- chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp garam masala
Oil to grease and spray or a blob of butter
1. Mix all the above ingredients except shimla mirch and oil. Remove stalk and seeds of shimla mirch. Cut them into 4 quarters.
2. Stuff the potato mixture in these quarters.
3. Grease a baking tray and place bharwa shimla mirch on it. Spray oil or you can spoon some melted butter on them.
4. Bake them for about 30minutes at 250 degree C.  Keep checking in between so that they don’t burn. Serve hot baked potato stuffed bell pepper.
You can also make them in a pan. For this remove stalks and seeds of shimla mirch and discard them. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non- stick pan and sauté onion. Add potato and rest of the spices and salt including 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Roast the mashed potatoes. Take the potato mixture out of the pan and let it cool. Stuff this mixture into capsicum. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same pan and place bharwa shimla mirch. Lower heat and cover the lid. Cook till shimla mirch are tender and brownish at places. While cooking rearrange the positions of shimla mirch in between so that capsicums are roasted from all sides.
bharwa shimla mirch

Saturday 14 July 2012

Cooking Tips and Tricks

1. Wipe clean your tawa (griddle) after roasting 2-3 rotis to remove residual flour.
2. After kneading the roti dough, keep it aside for at least 20 minutes before making rotis. This will soften the dough and it will be more pliable.
3. Asafoetida added while cooking reduces the flatulence associated with eating certain foods like beans and legumes.
4. Soaking the legumes like rajma, chana overnight and then draining the water in which they were soaked helps to lessen the gaseousness associated with their consumption.
5. Sour substances like tomatoes, lemon and tamarind prevent the cooking of dal and vegetables so they should be added toward the end of cooking process.
6. You can always use leftover rotis by roasting them in a little ghee (clarified butter) on a tawa and sprinkling a dash of salt and red chilli powder over them. These   rotis can also be called as khakra.
7. You can reheat the rotis in a microwave by wrapping them in a paper towel or cloth and heating them for 20-30 seconds on a High.

Friday 13 July 2012

Cucumber Onion Tomato Sandwich

cucumber onion tomato sandwich

These sandwiches are great for breakfast anytime! Cucumber tastes good in a sandwich and tomato, onion impart a lot of flavor plus nutrition. I have used butter as a spread but you can also use mayonnaise in its place.
Recipe of cucumber onion tomato sandwich
6 bread slices (I used brown bread)
1 cucumber- peeled and sliced
1 tomato- sliced
1 onion- sliced
Butter- as required
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder- to taste

1. With the help of a sharp knife, thinly remove sides of the bread slices. (You can dry them and make bread crumbs from them).
2. Apply a thin layer of butter on 1 side of bread slices.
3. Arrange cucumber, onion and tomato slices on buttered side of 1 bread slice.
4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on them.
5. Cover the sandwich with another bread slice (buttered side down).
6. Enjoy cucumber, onion and tomato sandwich!

Thursday 12 July 2012

Gujarati Kadhi

gujarati kadhi

Guarati kadhi is little different from other kadhis like Punjabi kadhi because of the addition of sweetness to it. Gujrati kadhi is sweet sour in taste since jaggery or sugar is added to the kadhi. This kadhi is part of Gujarati thali and is very popular in Gujarat.
Recipe of gujarati kadhi
2 cups curd (yogurt/dahi)
1/4 cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 dried red chillies
1 inch piece cinnamon (dalchini)
3 cloves (laung)
Few curry leaves
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Salt to taste
1 green chilli- chopped
1 lemon sized piece of jaggery (gur) - grated
1 tbsp oil
1. Whisk together curd and besan till smooth and lump free. Add 4 cups of water and mix.
2. Add jaggery and green chilli to curd-besan mixture.
3. Take a kadhai/wok or a pan and pour the above mixture in it. Cook stirring, till 1 boil comes.
4. Turn the heat to low and cook stirring occasionally for about 20-25 minutes. Add salt to kadhi. Turn off the heat.
5. In a separate small pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds, red chillies, cloves, asafoetida, cinnamon and curry leaves.
6. When they splutter and cumin seeds begin to change color, pour this tempering or tadka over kadhi and mix. Serve gujarati kadhi hot.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Potato Cutlet Recipe

potato cutlet

Potato cutlet can also be called as aloo tikki. This is mine and hubby’s favorite snack item. It’s not that I deep fry frequently but once in a while, it’s ok. This is a simple recipe of potato cutlet with no frills attached but works out well. The idea is to use 1 bread slice per medium size potato so that cutlet binds well and doesn’t break up in the hot oil.
Recipe of potato cutlet/aloo tikki
5 medium size potato (aloo) - boiled, peeled and mashed
5 bread slices (I used brown bread)
4 green chillies- chopped
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1/2 tsp garam masala
Oil to deep fry
cutlet before frying

1. Dip each bread slice in water and immediately take out. Squeeze to remove excess water and mash them.
2. Mix all the above ingredients (including mashed bread) to mashed potato except oil.
3. Pinch small balls from the above mixture and make round balls. Flatten them between your palms.
4. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadhai/wok or a pan. When the oil is hot enough, turn the heat to medium. Wait for 2 minutes.
5. Place the cutlets in the oil (a few at a time) and fry from both sides, turning as needed.
6. Fry cutlet till reddish brown. Drain on an absorbent paper. Serve potato cutlet with tomato ketchup or green chutney.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Moth ki Dal (Turkish Gram Curry)

Moth ki dal

I cook moth ki dal once in a while as a variation to regular food. I serve it with roti but you can also serve it with rice. Moth dal is known as matki in Marathi and is very popular in Maharashtrian cuisine where it is sprouted and used in salad, usal and misal.
Recipe of moth ki dal
1 cup moth dal (matki/Turkish gram)
1 onion- chopped
2 tomatoes- chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A small piece of cinnamon (dalchini)
2 big cardamoms (moti elaichi)
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
Fresh chopped coriander leaves- for garnish
1. Wash and soak moth dal for 2-3 hours. Drain.
1. In a pressure cooker, boil moth dal with sufficient water and salt, turmeric and red chilli powders, dalchini and moti elaichi. Boil till moth dal turns soft. (At least 8 whistles will be required).
2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds and tej patta. When they splutter, add chopped onion.
3. Sauté onion till light brown. Add tomatoes and fry till oil begin to separate from the masala and tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
4. Add this tempering or tadka to the boiled dal. Mix and add garam masala. Let 1 boil come, then turn off the heat.
5. Serve hot moth ki dal garnished with coriander leaves.  

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Eggless Apple Cake Recipe

apple cake

This is a very simple recipe of very delicious apple cake. Who says you can't bake cakes without eggs. I bake all my cakes without egg and all turn out very tasty and soft. Try this apple cake and you'll agree with me.
Recipe of eggless apple cake
1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
1 cup all purpose flour (maida/refined flour)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups apple puree (unsweetened)
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda-bi-carbonate
100 gms melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree C.
2. Grease a cake tin of 1 kg capacity and dust with maida. Keep aside.
3. Sieve together atta, maida, baking powder, soda-bi-carb and powdered sugar.
4. Mix together apple puree and milk. Blend till well blended.
5. Add butter and mix.
6. Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing with other hand to prevent lump formation.
7. If the cake batter appears too thick, add a little milk.
8. Pour the cake batter in the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven at 200 degree C. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Insert a toothpick or a knife at the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done.
9. When the apple cake has cooled down, invert onto a plate and cut as desired.

Microwave Masala Peanuts

microwave masala peanuts

Earlier I made a blog post of masala peanuts in microwave. This time I tried making microwave masala peanuts in a different way. You can try both ways to find out which suits you better. This is a low calorie guilt free snack since it uses very less oil. I find them better than store bought ones coz they are not deep fried.
Recipe of microwave masala peanuts
1 cup peanuts (moongphali)
Slightly less than 1/4 cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Oil to grease and drizzle
1. Take peanuts in a strainer (chalni) and wash under running water so that all peanuts are wet. Shake off excess water.
2. Mix besan and all the spices and salt.
3. Mix spiced besan with wet peanuts such that all peanuts are coated with besan.
4. Grease a microwave safe plate and arrange peanuts on it. Drizzle some oil on the peanuts.
5. Microwave them on a High for 4 minutes. Take out and wait for 10 minutes for it to cool down. Your crispy crunchy masala peanuts are ready. Store them in an airtight container.