Tuesday 16 June 2015

Aam ka Khatta Meetha Achar (Sweet Sour Mango Pickle)

aam ka khatta meetha achar

Aam ka khatta meetha achar is an instant achar. You don't have to wait for days for it to be ready. Since this is mango season, why not make the most of it. Earlier I blogged about aam panna which is also made from raw mangoes. This sweet sour achar tastes absolutely delicious. The basic recipe of this achar was shared by my mausi (aunt), Mrs. Lata Mittal, in which I filled in the details.
Recipe of aam ka khatta meetha achar
1 kg kairi (raw mango/kaccha aam)
2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp saunf (fennel) powder
raw mango pieces marinating in salt

How to make aam ka khatta meetha achar/sweet sour mango pickle
1. Wash kairi thoroughly. Wipe with a clean cloth. Leave to dry completely.
2. With dry hands and dry potato peeler, peel all the raw mangoes.
3. Cut into small pieces and discard the seeds.
4. Mix 2 tsp salt into kairi pieces and set aside for 1 1/2 hrs, covered. You will find they have released water.
5. Put a kadhai on heat and add raw mango pieces along with the water they have released and sugar (Remember not to add any additional water). Turn the heat to medium-low.
6. Let it cook for a while stirring in between. When raw mango and sugar have released sufficient water, turn the heat to medium.
7. Let it cook till chashni (syrup) reaches 2 thread consistency. To test this, drop a few drops of chashni in a cup of water. If it settles down your chashni is ready.
8. Add red chilli, garam masala and saunf powders and mix. Let it cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes.
9. Turn off the heat and let the achar cool down. Your aam ka khatta meetha achar is ready. Fill it in glass or plastic jar or bottle.
Note: 1. Your jar or bottle in which you fill the achar should be clean and completely dry and free of impurities.
2. There is no need to refrigerate this achar. It stays fresh for long.
kairi (raw mango)

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Aloo Matar Mangodi ki Sabzi

aloo matar mangodi ki sabzi

Aloo matar mangodi ki sabzi is a Rajasthani dish and is popular among Marwari community. They cook mangodi or moong dal wadis in many different ways. Here is my take on this sabzi.
Recipe of aloo matar mangodi ki sabzi
1/2 cup mangodi (moong dal wadi)
2 medium (aloo) potatoes- peeled and cubed
1/2 cup matar (green peas)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tomato- pureed
1/2 cup curd (yogurt)- beaten
1 1/2 tbsp oil
How to cook aloo matar mangodi ki sabzi
1. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker and add mangodi. Fry mangodi till reddish brown.
2. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup water to the pressure cooker. Close the lid of the cooker without turning on the heat.
3. After 15 minutes, open the lid and add cubed aloo and matar. Add 1 cup water, salt and all the spices except garam masala. Close the lid and pressure cook to 3-4 whistles. Turn off the heat.
4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a tadka pan and add cumin seeds. When they turn darker, add tomato puree and saute till oil begins to separate.
5. When pressure drops down naturally in the cooker, open the lid and add tadka (tempering). Add garam masala and cook for 1 minute.
6. Turn off the heat and add beaten curd. Take out aloo, matar, mangodi ki sabzi in a serving bowl and serve hot with roti or paratha.

Monday 8 June 2015

Shahi Paneer

shahi paneer
Shahi paneer belongs to Mughlai cuisine which is especially popular in North India. Shahi paneer literally means royal cottage cheese. It is truly a royal dish. Indian cottage cheese in rich cashew nut gravy makes it a delectable dish. It features on menu cards of most North Indian restaurants and hotels.
Recipe of shahi paneer
250 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
1 cup milk
2 tbsp cashew nuts- broken
2 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tomatoes
A small piece of ginger
3 green chillies
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
How to make shahi paneer
1. Soak cashew pieces in milk for about 15 minutes. Grind together tomatoes, ginger and green chillies.
2. Cut paneer into 1 1/2 inch wide triangular pieces.
3. Heat oil in a pan or a kadhai. Add tomato puree and tomato sauce. Add all the spices including kasoori methi and salt. Fry till it leaves oil. In the mean time grind cashews with milk.
4. Add the cashew paste and paneer and simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot shahi paneer with naan or paratha.

Thursday 4 June 2015

How to roast peanuts

roasted peanuts

This is a simple recipe of how to roast your peanuts at home. Roasted, salted peanuts serve as a great snack or anytime munchie. They are much healthier than ready-made namkeens. If you use sendha salt, then you can also have them as a snack during Ekadashi or Navratra fast.
Recipe of salted, roasted peanuts
1 cup raw peanuts (kachhi moongphali) with red skin
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
How to roast peanuts
1. Heat oil in a kadhai (wok) and turn the heat to medium-low.
2. Add peanuts and salt and mix them well. Roast them stirring constantly.
3. After some time, there will be crackling sound from the peanuts and they will begin to slightly split.
4. Keep roasting for some time till red skin of peanuts look well roasted with dark red color and slightly black marks. Take care not to burn them.
5. Turn off the heat and take peanuts out of kadhai. Let them cool before sampling your roasted peanuts as they will turn crisp after cooling down.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Aam Panna

aam panna

Aam panna is nothing but raw mango cooler to beat the scorching heat. Aam panna is said to be protective against heat and hydrates the body. Also it's very delicious and stays fresh for few days when refrigerated.
Recipe of aam panna
3 kairi (raw mango/green, unripe mango)
2 tsp kaala namak (black salt)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp roasted cumin powder (bhuna, pisa jeera)
7-8 black pepper (kaali mirch)
How to make aam panna
1. Wash kairi thoroughly. Peel them.
2. Remove the pulp from the seed. Discard the seed.
3. Boil pulp with 1 cup of water for 3-4 minutes.
4. Grind together pulp with water, black pepper, salt and sugar.
5. Mix this mango puree with 1 liter cold water.
6. At this stage, it's up to you whether you want to strain it in a strainer (chhalni) or not. I did not strain it and used it as it is since there is no loss of fiber and other nutrients this way.
7. Mix in cumin powder and serve aam panna chilled.
kairi (raw mango)

Saturday 30 May 2015

How to Cook Rice


This is an easy and quick recipe of cooking basmati rice. Here I have used Indian style pressure cooker used in Indian homes. The rice turns out 'khila khila' that is with open texture.
Recipe of cooking rice
1 cup basmati rice (long grain)
2 cups of water
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)- optional
How to cook rice
1. Wash rice thoroughly in several changes of water till water runs clear. Drain.
2. Soak rice in 2 cups of water for 15-20 minutes.
3. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add rice along with soaking water.
4. Pressure cook to 1 whistle. Turn off the heat and let the pressure drop down naturally before opening the lid of the cooker.
5. Your rice is ready to be eaten with dal, kadhi, rajma or any vegetable of your choice.
cooked rice in pressure cooker

Monday 25 May 2015

Nimboo ka Achar (Lemon Pickle)

lemon pickle

Nimboo ka achar or lemon pickle is a healthy as well as tasty pickle as no oil or chemical preservative is used in this recipe. If you follow the recipe well, your pickle will last for a long time. I have taken about 300 gms of lemons in this recipe but you can take 1/2 kg to 1 kg lemons if you have more consumption. Adjust ingredients accordingly.
Recipe of nimboo ka achar/lemon pickle
7-8 medium sized nimboo (lemon)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black salt (kala namak)
2 tsp garam masala
How to prepare nimboo ka achar/lemon pickle
1. Wash lemons thoroughly under running water. Wipe with a clean cloth.
2. Keep them aside so that they dry completely. There should not be any moisture left on them.
3. Cut lemons into 6-8 pieces.
4. Mix both salts and garam masala in them.
5. Take a clean, dry jar or a bottle and fill lemons in it. Close the lid of the bottle.
6. Keep aside for about 2 months. That much time it takes for lemon peel to soften.
7. After about 2 months, your lemon pickle is ready to be eaten.
Note: 1. there should not be any impurity or moisture in the jar or bottle you are using to fill the lemons.
2. Take yellow lemons with thin peel so that it takes less time for pickle to be ready. Avoid green, unripe ones.
nimboo ka achar

Monday 11 May 2015

Dal Pulao

dal pulao
I love this chana dal and rice dish and enjoy every spoonful. Dal pulao is very easy to put together and
a good option after a tiring day. There is no cutting or chopping involved which makes it easy to make
this pulao.
Recipe of dal pulao
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup chana dal (Bengal gram)
3 & 1/4 cups of water
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 bay leaves (tej patta)
3-4 cloves (laung)
4-5 black pepper (kali mirch)
1 big cardamom (moti elaichi)
How to cook dal pulao
1. Wash chana dal thoroughly and soak in 3 & 1/4 cups of water for 1/2 an hour.
2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, black pepper and cardamom.
3. When cumin seeds change colour and turn darker, add chana dal along with soaking water. add salt and
red chilli powder. Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook to 3 whistles. Turn off the heat.
4. While chana dal is cooking, wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. Drain the water.
5. When (from step 3) pressure drops down naturally, open the lid of the cooker and add rice.
6. Pressure cook to 1 whistle and turn off the heat. When the pressure drops down naturally, open the
lid of the cooker and your dal pulao is ready to be savored.

Saturday 28 March 2015

Sooji Halwa Recipe

sooji halwa
Sooji halwa is liked by young and old alike. It is also made for bhog-prasad that is offering to the Lord and then distributing among devotees. Sooji ka halwa is also known as 'sheera' in some parts of India. If you add saffron to it, then it is known as 'rava kesari'.
Recipe of sooji ka halwa
1 cup sooji (rava/semolina/suji)
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup sugar
4 cups of water
Few cashewnuts and raisins (kishmish)
1. Heat a kadhai or a pan and add a little ghee. Add cashews and raisins. Toast them a little and take them out of kadhai. Keep aside.
2. Add rest of the ghee and add sooji. Roast sooji on a medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Roast till sooji turns a little brownish (not chocolate brown). Sooji should not burn.
3. Add water and sugar. Mix and cover the kadhai. Let it cook on a medium-low heat till all the water is absorbed. Mix in cashews and raisins. Turn off the heat and let it stand for a few minutes, covered.
4. Uncover, take out in a bowl and serve sooji halwa hot.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Sabudana Vada

sabudana vada
Here is a simple recipe of sabudana vada with no frills attached and with minimum of ingredients. If you follow the recipe completely, you can make delicious sabudana vada. BTW sabudana vada is a Maharashtrian  food which is mainly eaten in fast. You can make these vadas for Ekadashi or Navratra fasts. I have used sendha salt in this recipe as I made them for Ekadashi fast, you can use common salt if you are not making them in fast.
Recipe of sabudana vada
3/4 cup sabudana (sago)
5 medium sized potatoes
3 green chillies- finely chopped
Sendha salt to taste
Oil to deep fry
1. Wash sabudana under running water. Soak in 'just enough' water in which sabudana is immersed and no
more. Soak for at least 1 & 1/2 hour.
2. Boil, peel, cool and mash potatoes. Add soaked sabudana, salt and green chillies and mix well to form a dough.
3. Pinch a ball from the dough and flatten it between your palms to form a patty or tikki shape called vada. Similarly make rest of the vada from the dough.
4. Heat oil in a kadhai (heavy bottomed vessel) and when the oil is completely hot, add the vada to it. Deep fry till the vadas are reddish brown from both sides. Also fry in batches. Serve hot sabudana vada.
Note: Sabudana vada is fried on high heat. If the oil is not hot enough, your vadas will break in the oil.

Thursday 26 February 2015

How to Cook Brown Rice

brown rice
This is a recipe of long grain brown rice or brown basmati rice. Here I have used Indian style pressure cooker used commonly in Indian households. This is a simple and easy to follow recipe which gets the result you want. Brown rice is much healthier than white rice. It's as good as eating roti. So, if you are fond of eating rice and can't have your plateful for health or diet whatever reason, try this recipe of brown rice for guilt free indulgence.
Recipe of brown rice
1 cup long grain brown rice (brown basmati rice)
2 1/4 cup water
1. Wash rice thoroughly under running water.
2. Soak in water for 1 hour. Drain.
3. Put brown rice and 2 & 1/4 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Let 1 whistle come. Then turn the heat to lowest point.
4. Cook for 15 minutes no matter how many whistles or no whistle comes in cooker.
5. After pressure drops down naturally, open the lid of cooker and your brown rice is ready.

Friday 20 February 2015

How to Make Paneer

Paneer is nothing but white colored Indian cottage cheese. Usually people buy it from store but it cannot be compared with soft, healthy and hygienic homemade paneer.  Here I have used  cow's milk with 4% fat but 3% milk or single toned milk will also do. Try it and I am sure you will start making your paneer at home from then on. What's more it's economical too.
Recipe of homemade paneer
1 ltr. milk
2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1. Take a heavy bottomed vessel and put milk in it. Bring the milk to boil.
2. Lower heat and add lemon juice or vinegar to milk while stirring the milk.
3. Milk solids will curdle and greenish colored water will separate from them, which is called whey.
4. Line a strainer with muslin cloth or a very thin cotton cloth. Pour whey along with milk solids in it.
5. What you get now is milk solids or chhena. Gather the edges of cloth, tie them and hang from the tap (faucet) for about 20-25 minutes so that all water is removed from chhena.
6. Put this chhena in a plate and keep a heavy object on it (I use my marble chakla) for about 20-25 minutes.
7. Now, remove that object and untie the cloth. You get a block of homemade paneer. You can cut this paneer into pieces and use it for a variety of dishes like matar paneer, shahi paneer and palak paneer.

milk solids curdling      

homemade paneer