Friday, October 3, 2008

Masaledaar aloo aur Kuttu ki Poori


While fasting I prefer to eat more of fruits or light food , but this particular combination is a must have during these Navratri fasts . The spicy curry along with the crunchy and exotic tasting poori not only fill your empty stomach but also bring life your deadened taste buds . This combination is prepared only during these nine days in our house and we do look forward to it . Once again the fast friendly tuber - potato is used in the curry . The gravy is made up only of spices , no onion, ginger or garlic is used in it and that is the reason we call it Masaledaar Aloo .

Kuttu ka atta or buckwheat flour is a popular substitute for the normal wheat flour. This flour is gluten-free and hence potato (once again !) is used to bind the flour together . This flour has a very different taste and the pooris are much more crunchy than the normal wheat flour pooris.
Masaledaar Aloo/Potato Curry :-

Potatoes - 2 large ones , peeled and cubed
Cumin seeds / Zeera - 1 t sp
Green chillies - 2 ( as per taste) , cut length wise
Coriander powder - 3/4 tb sp
Red chili powder - 1 t sp
Turmeric powder - 1 t sp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 t sp
Rock salt /sendha namak - as per taste ( you can use normal salt if you are not fasting )
Water - 2 cups
Oil - 2 t sp
Coriander leaves - for garnishing

Heat oil in a pressure cooker , once hot add the cumin seeds and green chillies . Stir for a couple of seconds then add the potatoes. Stir nicely to coat the potato pieces with the oil . Then add all the spices( except garam masala) and mix for a minute till it becomes fragrant. Add water and close the pressure cooker . Keep on high heat till the first whistle and then lower the heat . Switch off the flame after second whistle. Open once its cool and then add garam masala . Mash some potato to make the gravy a little thick . Bring to a boil .
Garnish with coriander leaves before serving with parathas, pooris , rice dishes.
Kuttu ki Poori :- (makes about 8 pooris)
Kuttu atta / Buckwheat flour - 1.5 cup
Potato - 2 large ones - boiled and peeled
Rock salt/ sendha namak- as per taste ( you can use normal salt if not fasting)
Warm water - if required
Oil - for deep frying

Mash the potato , add it to the buckwheat flour, add a little salt also .Knead with hands till the dough becomes soft . If required you can add a little warm water or a little more potato (You can also add some chopped green chili , coriander leaves to the dough) Once the dough is ready keep it aside for 10- 20 minutes, then form small balls by rolling in your hands . Flatten and then roll them into small circles . Since the flour is gluten free the edges may spilt , do not worry just ensure that the pooris do not break from the centre. Add one poori at a time gently into hot oil . Deep fry till it becomes little golden brown on both sides.

Serve immediately with the potato curry and curd.

These combo goes as my entry for Navaratra-Festive food event being hosted by dear LG of Tasteofmysore.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fried Potato with Cumin - Vrat Ke Aloo


This is that time of the year again when we all fast and pray to Goddess Durga and all her avtars for nine days. Living for nine days with a number of our daily food items off the list means that there are a number of new dishes , different items on the menu.

These vrat ke aloo the recipe of which I am sharing with you is one of the easiest recipes , I usually make these and take them to office . One can make them as spicy as one likes. The recipe goes like this :-


Ingredients -
Potatoes - 2 large ones ( Boiled, peeled and cut into cubes )
Cumin /Zeera - 1 tb sp.
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
Red chili powder - 1 t sp ( as per taste)
Garam masala - 1/2 t sp
Coriander powder - 2 t sp
Oil - 1 tb sp
Rock salt /sendha namak - as per taste
Coriander leaves - for garnishing

Heat oil in a pan , add the cumin seeds followed by green chillies . Let them sizzle for a minute of two, then add the cubed potatoes. Saute them well , add the salt , red chili powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder . Saute the potatoes till the time they become slightly crisp on all sides.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately .

You can top it with yogurt or sprinkle lime juice on it either ways it tastes awesome :-)

This is my entry for Navratri - Festive food event being hosted by dear LG of Tasteofmysore.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soyabean Patties / Tikkis


Soya is something which I try to incorporate in my diet as much as possible. When I came to know that for August'08 the JFI is Soya , I started thinking about what to make . This was an opportunity to make something new ...after all I had a valid reason this time :-) .

I usually make Soya crispies ...which I would post someday soon ...but when we invited a few friends over for an evening tea ... I decided to make my version of soya tikki which I had read somewhere while searching for a good recipe . I made these healthy tikkis using very little oil though you can also fry these tikkis. Everyone loved these tikkis and needless to say that they disappeared as soon as I could make them . I would definitely make these more often , I am glad that now I have a new recipe to incorporate healthy soya in our diet.

Ingredients :-
Soya beans - 1 cup ( soaked and boiled)
Potatoes - 2 large ones
Onion - 1 large ( finely chopped)
Green chillies - 2-3 ( as per taste)
Coriander leaves - finely chopped ( 2-3 tb sp)
Red chili powder - 1 t sp ( as per taste)
Garam masala - 1 t sp
Amchoor / dry mango powder - 2 t sp
Turmeric powder - 1 t sp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tb sp

Soak 1 cup of soya beans over night . Add a little turmeric powder and salt and boil these beans with little water ( I pressure cooked them in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles).
Roughly mash the boiled soya beans , add the peeled and mashed potatoes to it . Add the onion, green chillies,coriander and all the spices , mix them well.

Then form patties / tikkis , shallow fry them in a little oil . Fry till they are golden brown in color.
Serve hot with ketchup or any chutney of your choice.


This is my last minute entry for JFI- Soya hosted by Sia of monsoon spice, I hope she accepts it.

Photobucket

Monday, August 25, 2008

Offering for the Baal Gopal - Nariyal Burfi and Malai Ladoos


One of my favorite festivals is Janmasthami ( birthday of Lord Krishna) mainly because of the memories associated with the same . It is the probably the first festival on which I would have "fasted" . The fast was only for name sakes though and I am sure I always ended eating a whole lot of delicacies .... this was one "fast" we always looked forward to . Another aspect was the "Jhanki" which we would set up every year ... we would use our toys , new figurines bought from the market to depict various events in Baal Gopal's life ... it involved so much planning and use of imagination and we kids would be busy the whole day . Evenings would go checking out other Jhankis.. comparing them , dressing up as gopis and krishna and going to temple. All in all it used to be a fun day for us .

This year I did not fast on this day due to many unavoidable reasons , however like my mom I prepared a few offerings for the Baal Gopal. I prepared a very simple NARIYAL BURFI ( Coconut burfi/fudge) and MALAI LADOOS . I also prepared the Makhana Kheer using the secret ingredient from LG of Tasteofmysore which I had got in the bloggers meet, but that will be a separate post.

They were both very simple and hardly took any time .



Nariyal Burfi -

Ingredients - ( about 10 pieces)
Dessicated coconut - 1 cup
Condensed milk - 1 cup
Powdered cardamom - 1 t sp
Oil - a little

Dry roast the coconut over low flame, till it becomes fragrant. Take care that it does not change color.
Then add the condensed milk and the cardamom powder. Keep mixing it continuously till the mixture thickens and starts separating from the pan. Switch off the flame and let it cool for 10-15 minutes . Take a flat plate and apply oil all over it , then spread the prepared mix over it . Flatten with a spatula . Keep it in the refrigerator for 1 hour and then cut into diamond shape pieces .

Nariyal Burfi is ready :-)

Since condensed milk is already sweet , I did not add any sugar . You can sprinkle this with dried dessicated coconut if you want.


Malai Ladoos -

I read about this recipe in one Sanjeev Kapoor recipe book and had been wanting to make them ever since . Janmasthami seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so :-)

Ingredients : ( for about 10 ladoos)

Paneer/Cottage cheese - 1 cup (I used freshly made cottage cheese which had not been pressed into any shape, if you are using the hardened one then either crumble it or grate it)
Condensed milk - 200 ml
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Dessicated coconut - about 3 tb sp

Take the paneer /cottage cheese in a heavy bottomed pan . Heat it a little and then add the condensed milk . Keep stirring continuously so that it does not stick to the bottom.Take off the flame. Add the cardamom powder and stir well . Once its a little cool form into small ladoos.

I rolled the ladoos in dried dessicated coconut as malai ladoos are a little sticky and hence a little difficult to handle . I rolled the prepared ladoos in the coconut powder and coated them lightly . It also gave a slight taste of coconut to the final ladoo which we liked however you can totally avoid this if you want.

These two go as my entry for the Krishna and Ganesh Chaturthi event hosted by Purva of Purva's daawat



Two men and a chicken - MUGHLAI CHICKEN

What happens when two men get one chicken in the freezer ...... a wonderful chicken curry is served for dinner . At least that is what happened when hubby dear and one of our good friend's R decided to make "special" chicken for dinner . Both of them are big foodies and they undertook this task to prove to me that men are better cooks than women ;-) .... in reality I don't mind them cooking even if it means that I have to keep praising them and nurturing their notion that they are better cooks ;-)

But jokes apart ...this curry came out really well and that is when I asked for their permission to put it on the blog :-) . I think anyone can be a good cook provided they do it with passion and love . As my mother-in-law always says anything prepared with love tastes yum !.

Since they decided on this recipe after an exhaustive internet search , I really don't know where they took the recipe from.


Here goes the recipe for this yummy "MUGHLAI CHICKEN" (Serves 4)

Ingredients :
800 grams chicken (whole)
1 cup(s) yogurt well beaten
1 teaspoon each of turmeric, garam masala and red chili powder
2 green chillies made into paste ( adjust according to taste)
1 tablespoon(s) each of ginger, garlic pastes
4 cloves
1" piece cinnamon
4 brown cardamoms peeled
8 black peppercorns 10 almonds
1 teaspoon(s) cumin seeds
2 teaspoon( coriander seeds
2 large onion(s) finely sliced
1 cup(s) tomato puree
1 cup(s) water
2 tablespoon(s) oil
salt to taste
fresh cream (optional) and finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


Clean the chicken and then make small cuts in it .

In a bowl mix together half of the ginger-garlic paste and red chilli powder. Add the garam masala powder, turmeric powder, yogurt and salt to taste. Mix well. Rub this marinade into the chicken very well and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two.

In a pan roast together cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamoms and almonds till they are aromatic. Fry the sliced onions till brown. Allow to cool. Grind together browned onions, roasted spices, and the remaining ginger garlic pastes with a little water.

Heat some in a heavy-bottomed pan till hot add the chicken (without the marinade) and fry on medium level for about 2 minutes or till the chicken is browned lightly. Remove the fried chicken from the pan and keep aside.

Add about 1tb sp oil, heat it till hot and fry the paste on medium level for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, marinade, tomato puree. remaining red chili powder, water and sprinkle salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for about 25 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked.

Garnish with fresh cream (optional) and finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapati or paranthas.

The gravy is rich and creamy and tastes absolutely delicious. The chicken tasted even better the next day as all the flavors had really mixed together .

Friday, August 1, 2008

Paneer Bbq. sticks

We had a barbeque party in June. This was our first attempt at hosting a barbeque party and hence I was a little nervous about hosting it . Will the food cook properly , will everyone like the seasonings …etc etc. To add to my jitters was the fact that one of the guests was a complete vegetarian who would not have even touched something which was even near any meat.

I had a number of recipes for meats…but what to make for a vegetarian…what would look great and taste even better. I mulled over this question for a number of days and then one day while browsing through my recipe collection I came across a recipe that I had noted down from a book sometime back. The original recipe was for chicken, I decided to use it with paneer and add some colorful vegetables to make this lovely looking bbq sticks.

I have the pictures of the sticks before we barbequed them, they were consumed before I could click a snap. …and that in itself proves that this was a successful experiment :-)

I hope to make these more often, now that we are confident that we can indeed host a barbeque party successfully. Our friends have been asking us about the next party already J so hopefully I will have more recipes to post in the near future and this time I will click a snap before I allow anyone to eat it ;-)






Ingredients (makes about 9 medium sized sticks)

Paneer / cottage cheese – 400 grams
Red/ Green bell pepper –1 large sized one/ each color
White onion – 2 medium sized ones
Lime – 3-4 depending on size
Bamboo skewers – 9- 10

For marinade
For paneer/ cottage cheese
Crushed fenugreek seeds – 2 t sp
Amchoor powder / dry mango powder – 2 t sp
Garam masala – 2 t sp
Finely grated ginger – 4 t sp
Finely grated garlic – 4 t sp
Chili powder – 2 t sp

Turmeric – 1 t sp
Ground cumin powder – 2 t sp
Ground coriander powder – 2 t sp
Low fat yogurt – 300 ml
Oil - 1 t sp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste

For vegetables –

Olive oil – 1 tb sp
Lime juice – 1-2 tb sp (depending on sourness)
Ground pepper powder (black or white) -1 t sp
Salt – as per taste

Slice the cottage cheese into 1-inch cubes. Dice the bell peppers, onions into squares of 1 inch. Separate each layer of the white onion.

Dry roast the crushed fenugreek seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala, till fragrant. Then blend all the marinade ingredients in a blender. Pour over the cottage cheese cubes. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Then marinate the vegetables with the olive oil, limejuice, pepper powder and salt. Keep aside for 15-30 mins. Also soak the bamboo skewers in water (this prevents them from burning while barbequing)

Then thread the vegetables and cottage cheese, alternating them, as you like. Once all the skewers are done, cook them on a medium hot grill or charcoal. Turn to the other side when one side is cooked or slightly charred.
Sprinkle lemon juice on the ready sticks and serve hot with mint chutney।


This is my entry for MM-Grill It hosted by Sig of Live to Eat

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Spicy Rice - Phodnicha Bhaat




Last month when I hosted SWC- UP , I was very impressed with the participation of my fellow bloggers. I am not a very regular blogger ..my blog gets updated once in a month maybe....I have a number of reasons for the same ....but last month I decided to be more prompt in publishing my posts and also to actively participate in the events happening in the blogosphere.

Here is my first attempt to be more active ....this is my entry for SWC - Maharashtra being hosted by Neha of easyntastyrecipes

Mahrashtrian cuisine is something that we have never tried consciously..while searching for recipes for this event I realised that this cuisine is more a part of our lives than we realise ....the days start with poha ...then we snack on Mumbai - chiwda.... vada pav is a family favorite... it came as a surprise to me that we actually relish so many Maharashtrian dishes without realising this.

I wanted to make something new for the event ... I had the opportunity to introduce a new dish in the menu so why let it go. I did some search and came across this easy breezy recipe . I tried it and it became an instant hit with hubby dear... now it will be a regular dish on the menu ..mainly because it is so easy ....... something which I am always on the lookout for ..


Ingredients -

Cooked rice - 2 cups ( I used left over rice of the previous day, you can also use freshly cooked rice)
Mustard seeds/ rai - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds / Zeera - 1/2 t sp
Turmeric powder - 1 t sp
Curry leaves - 10-15 leaves
Green chilli - 2-3 as per taste ( you can use red chilli powder instead )
Asafoetida / heeng - 1 pinch
Onion - 1 medium - chopped finely
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1/2 tb sp
Coriander leaves - For garnishing

Method - Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot add the asafoetida powder followed by mustard seeds , once they start popping add the cumin seeds. Then add the curry leaves, finely chopped green chillies and chopped onion. Once the onion is a little soft add the salt and turmeric powder.Fry for a couple of minutes then add the rice . Mix well and cover for 2 minutes till the rice is well heated.

Garish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

You can relish it with curd/ raita or just like that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gujhiya - Traditional Indian Sweet Puff




Last month when I was hosting SWC- UP I wanted to publish this post and send as an entry for the event.

Due to lack of time I was unable to publish it in time and so I am publishing it now. As anyone from UP, Bihar would know Gujhiyas are sweet delicacies which are made speacially on Holi . In some households they are also made on the occassion of Diwali . In my house , gujhiyas are made once in a year on holi and that is what made them special and more desirable.
Somehow , holi never seems complete without gujhiyas and hence I always try to make atleast a few that time of the year . My mother would make 100's of gujhiyas and they would all vanish within a couple of days ..... in our household gujhiya making was always a group acitivity with each member of the family having a specific part . Me and my brother moved up the value chain from making small rounds of the pastry to be rolled out to actually rolling it into small circles , then stuffing and folding them . My dad would be the one to fry these beauties ..and I remember all of us happily eating the first two - three lots while "tasting" them . There is nothing to beat a hot gujhiya...fresh from the fryer :-) . When we were teenagers ....my mom even involved all of our friends , we would all sit on the floor working in total synchrony , till date our friends remember the gujhiya making project ..especially those who were from different parts of the country and hence didnot make gujhiyas at home.

Someday I also hope to have a small gujhiya making assembly line at my home and carry forward this tradition :-) . I hope some of you would try this recipe and enjoy this experience as much as we did ...

The recipe is as follows -

For the pastry -

Maida / all purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Dalda/ Shortening - 4-5 tb sp.
Water - as required

Mix the dalda with the flour and rub it with your fingers , till the flour becomes a little oily and stays firm & retains its shape when you squeeze it between your palms . Then add water ( cold water ) and make a semi - soft dough . Keep it covered with a wet cloth.
For the stuffing -

Khoya/ Mava - 1 cup
Semolina / sooji - 1/2 cup
Dry coconut powder - 1/3 -1/2 cup
Powdered sugar - 1 cup ( as per taste )
Cardamom powder - 1 t sp
Dry fruits - pistachios, almonds, raisins, etc etc
Oil - to deep fry






You can check out the method for preparing khoya/ mava here.
Dry roast the semolina till it becomes fragrant. Keep it aside . Then dry roast the coconut powder till all moisture dries out . Then mix all the ingredients together in a dry pan and keep it aside . You can check the sugar levels as per your taste , as the pastry sheet is bland you will need to have a little more sugar in the mixture , hence adjust accordingly.

Once, the filling is ready , make small balls of the dough and roll them into small rounds "pooris" 10 - 12 cm diameter. Always keep the remaining dough covered to avoid it from becoming dry.

Filling the gujhiya can be the tricky part , as one needs to be careful to close it well . You can use curry puff makers , special gujhiya moulds are also available in India .... they make the task quite easy and also ensure that all gujhiyas are of the same size.
If you are using a mould then keep the poori in the centre of the mould such that the edges are evenly covered from all the side . Put one tablespoon of filling in the centre of the poori. Then apply a paste made by dissolving 1 tsp all purpose flour in 3-4 tb sp of water along the edges . This step ensures that both the sides stick to each other properly. Once the edges are properly covered with this paste , fold the mould and the result would be half moon shaped puffs .

If you are not using the mould then you need to keep the poori on your left hand palm, then put the filling in the centre , apply the paste on the edges and fold one half over the other to make a half moon . You can then leave it like that and press the edges tightly together or you can make a serrated design like I did .
Once you have 9 - 10 ready pieces , deep fry them over medium heat till golden in colour. If you intend to fry all of them at one go then cover these ready to fry gujhiyas covered with a wet cloth.

You can eat them immediately and also store them for upto a week in an airtight container.

Enjoy !!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

SWC - UTTAR PRADESH ROUND UP

It seems almost like yesterday when I posted the announcement for SWC- UP...... infact this is my very next post after the announcement . The last one month has been a whirlwind of activity .... with house hunting consuming all the weekends and packing taking up whatever time was left . Finally we shifted our home to a new one last weekend. Now the herculean task of making a home out of this new house remains to be done . We loved the old house and the convenience it offered...but we are hopeful that this new house would mean new beginnings and happenings for us.


Finding and making "my home" in this new "house" will take some time . Whereas everything had a fixed place in the previous house ..nothing has any fixed place in this house ....and everytime I open a carton I start wondering where to keep all the knick knacks that I have collected over the years ..finally after a lot of hard work the kitchen which is the "engine of the house" is settled and so is the "heart" the living room ..but as they say lots to do before I sleep :-) .


I have had a childhood in which I have moved from one place to another every few years and so shifting is not something new . However what was new was the resposibility of arranging, managing and settling everything . My mom used to ensure we get home cooked dinner on the same day we moved in ...during childhood shifting was more about discovering the new neighbourhood , exploring things ..not about arranging cartons, packing them, deciding what to take and what to leave behind :-( ...Oh I do miss the good old days !


Enough about my shifting ....let us come back to SWC- UP the event started by my good friend Lakshmi di of tasteofmysore. The response of my fellow Singaporean bloggers was amazing .... I tried to answer to all their mails ..however I apologize to those whom I couldnot reply to ... as you can imagine I was a little hard pressed for time ...


Uttar Pradesh is known for its chaats and pakoris ..and this experience is incomplete without the mouthwatering kachoris . Many of my fellow bloggers made kachoris in the past month and they all sent the tempting entries with the photographs to torture me ;-) . Looking at the number of entries I got for kachoris ..they win hands down for being the most popular dish . Have a look at some of these stumptous beauties.







Khasta Kachoris made by Lakshmi of cookingstation or LG as popularly known in the blogosphere made me drool .


Vani of Illatharasi also made kachoris which would make you want to grab a few too and forget all about calories for sometime ;-)


Sheetal of sweety-mykitchen also did her bit to torture me with her khasta kachoris


Once you have had your fill of these kachoris ..you might need to help your system settle down a little with this appetizing aam panna which is my contribtion to the event.


Now that we are done with the chaats and the appetiser we can move on to the main course .... I am extremely proud to say that we have a huge spread here ...... right from simple home-made dishes to stumptous one's which are part of a special meal we have all of these here ..





Priyanka of asankhana contributed all of the below mentioned dishes ... I can imagine the party she has been having all this month ;-) I bet the hubby would have been a very happy and satisfied soul ;-).













Preeti of IndianKhanna sent the following delicious entries . Once you see them I am sure you would also want to be invited over to her place ;-)





Sheetal of sweety-mykitchen sent in the following entries








Anupriya of myspace-mycreativity sent in delicious palak paneer.


Prajusha of icookipost sent in carrot halwa a must have winter dessert.


Rashmi the delhibelle sent in this wonderful Awadhi biryani ....this one can be enjoyed by the vegetarian friends also as it is made of jack fruit.


Shifa of Voizout sent in peas pulav .

Rupali a non-blogger fellow SWC member sent in the recipe for shahi paneer

Ingredients-

- 250gms Paneer
-1 onion finely chopped

-2tsp ginger garlic paste

-3/4 tsp turmeric powder

-1 tsp red chili powder

-1 tsp coriander powder

-1 tsp garam masala

-2 bay leaves

-2 cloves and 2 cardamom

-3-4 tsp cream

-1/4 cup dry fruits

-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup tomato puree

-6-8 tsp cooking oil

-salt to taste.


How to Prepare Shahi Paneer

-Cut paneer into small pieces.
-Pour oil in frying pan.
-Fry paneer pieces on medium flame until light brown,now take out on tissue paper.
-Fry bay leaves,cloves and whole cardamom in remaining oil
-Add chopped onion in oil and fry until it become transparent.
-Add ginger garlic paste and fry until it become golden brown.
-Add tomato pure and cook it for 7-8 minutes.
- Add red chili powder,turmeric powder,coriander powder,garam masala and salt,saute the mixture for 2 min.
-Add milk and dry fruits to the gravy and let it boil,cook it on medium flame untill the gravy turns thick.
-Now add paneer cubes and cook for about 5 min.-Shahi paneer is ready to eat,Garnish with coriander,dry fruits and cream
She also sent in the recipe for methi paranthas -
Ingredients For Methi Paratha

-2 Cups whole wheat flour
-1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
-1/2 tsp red chili powder
-1 tsp Ajwain
-1 tsp cumin seeds
-1 tsp coriander powder
-salt to taste


-1 cup finely chopped fenugreek leaves
-2 tsp Ghee or oil
-Mix the wheat flour and all above ingredients.
-Make a soft dough using warm or normal water,knead the dough well.
-Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes.
-Divide dough into equal parts and make small balls.-Roll out small round parathas from each ball.
-Now apply oil on it and fold it from middle.[u will get half round shape]
-Again apply oil and fold it from middle now u will get triangular shape.
-Make it round with hands.
-Roll out proper parathas[must be slightly thicker compare to chappaties]
-Heat the griddle and cook the parathas from both sides.
-Apply ghee or butter on both sides.
-Hot methi parathas are ready to serve.Taste yummy with curd raita.


We have one entry from a friend in Michigan, USA ...Nidhi of charchechaukeke has sent in this lovely entry of choode matar ki tehari


A sepcial note of thanks to Vani of Illatharasi for making the logo for SWC . Really good work Vani !!

I would like to thank all of you for participating with so much enthusiasm. This is probably the SWC with maximum number of entries till date. I enjoyed hosting this event and interacting with you all immensely ,.As much as I wanted to I couldnot reply to all your mails I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me for that.

I would also like to thank Lakshmi of cookingstation for giving me the opportunity to host this event. I hope I have not let you down and have met your expectations.

I have tried to mention all the entries that I got ..but just in case I have missed out any please let me know and I will include that entry also .

Next round of SWC is being hosted by Neha of easyntastyrecipes , the theme is MAHARASTRA. You will find all the details on her blog. Happy cooking !! :-)



Sunday, June 8, 2008

Announcing SWC-Uttar Pradesh (UP)

Situated in the northern part of India, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has the distinction of being the most populous state of India. In terms of area, it is the fourth largest, among all the states. The wealth of its monuments, mystical call of its mountains and lakes, and the religious fervour that it evokes, have rendered Uttar Pradesh, one of the most fascinating states of the Indian Union. Whether one is on a spiritual quest, or in search of adventure, or just on a curiosity trip,or a culinary adventure Uttar Pradesh has something to offer to everyone.
Uttar Pradesh has been a melting pot of various cultural and religious influneces which came in with the different dynasties - Mughlai being one of the major ones' among them . These influences are visible in the cuisine of Uttar Pradesh ....it ranges from totally vegetarian (without onion, ginger-garlic) food to rich mughlai cuisine. It has the simplicity of dishes like khatte aloo, tehari on one hand and the richness of mughlai murgh and navratan korma. Simple phulkas are cooked in the same place as rumali rotis and sheermal ...... sweets like imarti, balushahi, barfi, rabadi..... the list goes on and on.... make life a little more sweet and bearable. Food is such an integral part of life in UP that almost every major town and city has some food item associated with it . Who would have not heard of the Petha of Agra, the pedas of Mathura, the paan of Varanasi, the kebabs of Lucknow, the list can go on and on.....
When my good friend Lakshmi of thetasteofmysore asked me whether I would like to host SWC- Uttar Pradesh I was thrilled . This is the first time I am hosting an event and I am both thrilled and nervous . Thrilled as this would give me an opportunity to interact with all other bloggers in Singapore , nervous because I have never ever hosted an event and I am afraid that I might miss out on some entry or might not be able to do a good work in presenting the round-up.
Well whatever happens I am sure I will learn a lot and also make some new friends on the blogosphere.. for now I will have to think of something to cook as an entry.
And all that you have to do is :
1.Cook a dish which has its origin in UP/Awadh region
2.Take a pic.
3. Attach a brief recipe with the pic and photo and send it to me at nupur.raizada@gmail.com
The last date for sending in your entries is 30th June'08 , just send in your entries before that .

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Beat the Heat with Aam Panna - Refreshing Mango Drink


Summers are here with a vengeance ......the days are hot and sultry and the fans are churning hot air ..giving no relief. Singapore summers have started reminding me of the Indian summers and I am truly convinced that it was not this hot last year .Call me paranoid....... but every hot and sweat filled day makes me feel surer that Global warming is a present reality and not some distant phenomenon which you see the weathermen and scientists discuss on Discovery channel. I have always been very pro -recycling and having lived in areas where regular water supply was a dream .....I try to be very careful about the amount of water that I use ..... I am sure that each one of us is trying to do our bit for the environment ...but now its the time to join hands and do something more ....make more people realise what is going on and convince them to make changes in their habits ............ I know its easier said than done ...but Please do try ..and let me know what are your ways of trying to save our precious planet.
Well coming back to the heat and the means of beating it .....my mother always used to make jugfuls of this delicious drink ...needless to say it was happily consumed throughout the day and it kept all of us safe from the dreaded heat strokes even when the temperatures neared 50 degree Celsius.
As the name suggests the main ingredient is Raw mango..... traditionally these deliciously sour unripe mangoes are used as an antidote for heat and heat strokes ( the pulp of grilled or roasted raw mangoes is applied on the forehead , palms and soles of people suffering from heat stroke to bring down the body temperature ). The other ingredients mint ( another herb used to prevent body heat) , green chillies , salt, sugar all help in replenishing the lost body salts and restore the energy levels .


The recipe is as follows -

Raw mangoes - 2 medium sized
green chili - 3 -4
Mint - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 4 tb sp.
Salt - as per taste
Black salt - 1/4 t sp.
Water - 4-5 glasses
Ice cubes - lots

Roast or boil the mangoes with their peels on . Once cooked remove the peel and remove all the pulp .

Grind the mint and green chillies to a fine paste . Add this paste to the mango pulp , add the sugar and salt . Mash everything well , then add water ( about 2 glasses ). Mix the contents in a blender . If you want you can strain it through a strainer to remove any fibres . You can store this liquid for 2-3 days in the fridge .This concentrate should be sweet - sour , with salty taste and a little tinge of heat from the chillies . The sweet and salt should be more as this is later going to be diluted with plain water.

As an when required , mix this concentrate with cold water and add ice cubes . Serve !!
This is my first entry for the event SWC- Uttar Pradesh which has been started by my dear friend LG of tasteofmysore and is being hosted my yours truly.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mooli Paranthas - Stuffed Indian Bread with Radish Stuffing

I have been thinking of publishing this recipe since a long time . Hubby dear has been quite insistent that I post it .....and so one fine day when I was making these ....hubby dear came with the almighty camera and clicked some snaps . Needless to say they are one of our favorite foods....they make for a filling breakfast / brunch/ dinner . Simple , easy to make , filling and completely satiating these paranthas represent the best things about Punjabi cuisine ....

Now that my friend LG decided to host the RCI -Punjab on her new blog Cooking Station I knew I had to take out these photos from the cold storage and publish this post. After having promised her umpteen times to send the entry I am finally sitting just a minutes away from the deadline ....I hope that she would accept this entry with my sincere apologies for being such a lazy bone .


Ingredients -



For the filling :

Radish/ Mooli - 2 ( medium size, grated coarsely)
Green chili - 2-3 ( as per taste)
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Carom seeds / Ajwain - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 2 tb sp
Salt - as per taste

For the dough :

Wheat flour - 2 cups
Water - as required

Oil for frying

Method :

Make the dough with water , knead it with hands or in a food processor to a medium firm dough ( it should not be soft otherwise it would be difficult to roll it into a parantha after stuffing)

Wash and peel the radishes to remove the outer skin. Then coarsely grate the radish , leave it as it is for 5-10 minutes . Then firmly squeeze the grated radish and drain all the water , keep repeating this till the time almost no water is squeezed out.

Then add the coriander leaves, chili powder, carom seeds and green chili. Mix well the whole mixture . Add salt at the end ( the salt and chili should be a little on the higher side , because it will be compensating for the salt less dough )


The final filling
Make a small ( slightly bigger than a golf ball ) ball from the dough and roll it into a circle after dusting with plain flour. Then take this rolled out dough in one hand and put about a tbsp. of filling at the centre . Then bring all the sides to the centre and pinch them tightly . Then roll it into a ball , dust with plain flour and roll out into a circle with very light hands .



Simultaneously heat a girdle /tava and once hot put the rolled out parantha on it . Once slight brown specks appear at the bottom of the parantha turn it over and apply oil all over the surface . Then turn over to the other side and apply oil . Cook evenly on both sides till you get brown specks on the surface of the parantha.
Serve immediately with a dollop of butter / fresh cream or Pickles and Curd.


I am also sending this as an entry for the Roti-mela being hosted by Srivalli of cooking4allseasons.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yogurt Potato In Sago Boats


First of all let me begin by wishing all of you a very happy Navratri !

For the information of all those who do not know or celebrate this festival - Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated twice in a year all across India . The first Navratras are celebrated in September/ October , generally with a lot of revelry , night long dances and songs , whereas the second navratras celebrated in March/ April are traditionally more sombre .

Navratra - when literally translated means "nav" - nine and "ratra" - nights . Devotees fast for nine days giving reverence to Goddess , Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped for three days each . You can know more about this festival here .

This year I also decided to fast for all the nine days . I have done this before and did not think it would be too tough . I mean how tough would it be to live on fruits and tubers ...I love fruits ..I can have them anytime of the day . But six days down the line I have realised that this requires a lot of determination and will power to go without your favorite foods . Also the fact that this time around its me who is doing all the cooking and that I have been unable to find the traditional food that we have during this period has made it a tad more difficult than I anticipated .

After sustaining myself for six days on fruits , potatoes , sweet potatoes and sabudana (Sago) , I got a little sick of having boiled , grilled , fried potato or sabudana Khichdi ( I will be sharing the recipe for that also .... but some other time ) . So while I was thinking about how to make my dinner a little more interesting I took out all the things that I can eat ..which is not much basically the things I have already listed above . I took out some sabudana papad ( which I got from India ) and tried to microwave them by brushing them with oil ( forever trying to limit the fat intake ...that's me !! ) and what I got was these saucer shaped papads ......and then it struck me ...why not make something that looks like katori chaat ...and this recipe was born :-) . It definitely looked great and tasted different , I can also experiment a little more when my choices are not so restricted , they can be perfect starters ....the ideas are floating around in my mind ....uuummm ! well maybe I can write about them some other time.

Ingredients ( makes 6 boats )

Sago/ Sabudana papads (poppadum) - 6 ( I used the salt less version , you can use the salted ones )
Potato - 1 large ,boiled and sliced
Cumin seeds - 1/2 t sp.
Yogurt - 2 tb. sp.
Salt - as per taste ( I used sendha namak , you can use plain iodized salt)
Red chili powder - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 t sp.
Green chili - 2 finely chopped
Garam masala - 1/4 t sp.
Oil - 1 tb sp.
Coriander leaves - chopped for garnishing

In a pan heat the oil , add the cumin seeds ... let them brown a little , then add the green chili . Then add the chopped potato , add the salt , red chili powder, turmeric. Mix everything and let the potato get a little fried . Then add the garam masala powder and saute a little more . Then lower the flame and mix in the yogurt . Once mixed , switch off the flame .

Lightly brush the Sago papads with oil and microwave them for 1.40 - 2.00 mins till all the sago granules have popped . Keep them aside. You can also fry the papads , although the size would increase in that case...but nothing beats the taste of fried papads ...Right !! ( Too bad I have to watch my fat intake :-( )

Now take each papad , scoop out the potato and put a scoop in the centre . Garnish with the coriander and sprinkle a little red chili powder . The heat of the chili powder tingles your taste buds and the red color makes the dish look oh! so appetizing.

The final dish was great looking , it also had the crunchiness of the papads , the smooth texture of the potato with the sourness of the yogurt . All in all an interesting way to have the "Vrat ka khana ".


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Split Pea Soup



Off late I have been trying to eat healthy ...tell hubby dear that and he would respond by wondering when did I cook something that was unhealthy ..... Thanks to me his intake of favorites like fried food and sweets has become almost zero :-) .

Split peas or dried peas were used as a alternative for fresh peas long before technology gave us the convenience of using fresh peas whenever we felt like irrespective of the time of year. When we were kids I remember mom making aloo-matar and other dishes using these dried peas , we were not exactly crazy about dried peas back then. But now things have changed ever since I have read about the health benefits of having dried peas I have tried to incorporate them into our meal .


Dried peas can lower cholesterol and also manage blood sugar due to their high fibre content which prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of four important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein--all with virtually no fat. In addition they also have isoflavones the consumption of which has been linked to reduced risk of certain types of cancers.

You can read more about the health benefits here

Well recently hubby was travelling and I was looking for recipe which was new and healthy .... I had soaked some dried peas without having any definite idea about how to use them, I didn't want to make the usual dal we make and so I thought of making a soup . I did some net surfing and came across a number of soup recipes ..... but almost all of them used some meat . I didn't feel like having meat and so decided to make a completely vegetarian soup . The results were great to say the least , the soup was filling and satisfying and I am definitely going to make it again.

Ingredients (serves 2 )


Dried peas - 1/2 cup

Carrot - 1 large chopped into large pieces

Onion - 1 large one

Coriander leaves and stalks - a fistful

Freshly ground black pepper - as per taste

Salt - as per taste

Water - 4 cups

Soak the dried peas for 4-6 hours . Cook the peas with chopped carrots, onion and the coriander stalks . Traditional recipes call for cooking the peas over a slow flame for 4-5 hours just letting it simmer at a low flame , but I just pressure cooked them with about 3 cups of water . I cooked it over medium flame till I got two whistles and then let it cool . Once cool separate the water and puree the peas, carrot and onion etc with just enough water . Mix the contents with the rest of the stock ( you can strain the mixture to separate the hard skin of the peas and the fibrous part of coriander stalks) . Again simmer the soup at a low flame till the desired consistency is achieved . Add salt and crushed pepper . The soup is ready to be served. Garnish with heavy cream , bread croutons and coriander leaves.

P.S. :-The non-veg lovers can add chicken sausages while cooking the peas , or at a later stage while simmering the soup. I tried it another time and it just adds to the flavor .

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Red Lobia Beans Curry



I love red lobia beans ....... its very nutritious and very very tasty . There are many ways of enjoying these beans ....Curry being one of them .

Recently when I went grocery shopping I found these favorites of mine occupying a small shelf. Needless to say I was extremely happy to see them there and I couldn't wait to come home and soak them up for a great meal the next day .

These beans need a little planning as they need to be soaked at least for 3-4 hours and preferably overnight before being cooked, but I truly think that it is worth the effort .

We make a number of dishes with them , dal , curry , dry subzi , soup, salads etc etc.... today I want to share with you one of my favorites ways of cooking these beans .

Red lobia beans curry




Ingrediants - ( Serves 3 )

Red lobia beans - 1/2 cup

Onion - 1 large

Tomatoes - 2 medium

Green chillies - 2

Ginger - 1/2 inch piece

Garlic - 3 large cloves ( 8-9 small ones )

Cumin seeds - 1/2 t. sp

Asafoetida - 1 pinch

Coriander powder - 1 t. sp.

Red chili powder - 1/2 t. sp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 t. sp.

Garam masala - 1/4 t. sp.

Oil - 1 tb. sp.
Salt -as per taste

Water - 2-3 cups


Soak the reb lobia beans overnight in a lot of water , they will increase in size . Next day remove the water and wash the beans well . Keep them aside.

Roughly chop the onions , ginger and garlic and then blend them with little water make a coarse paste . Also blend the tomatoes separately into a paste . Keep them separately.
In a pressure cooker heat the oil, once the oil is hot add the asafoetida followed by the cumin seeds . Once the cumin starts crackling add the green chillies ( slit horizontally into two) . Then add the onion , ginger and garlic paste . Saute it well so that the onion becomes translucent , then add the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder . Saute for a couple of minuted then add the tomato paste .

Keep the flame medium and let it reduce , saute the masala till the oil starts to separate , now add the garam masala powder and saute the masala for a couple of minutes till you start getting a nice fragrance from it . Then add the lobia beans , mix well , add salt and then add about 2 -2.5 cups of water . Close the pressure cooker . Turn on the heat till the cooker gives out one whistle , them lower the heat to minimum and let it cook for 2-3 whistles after which switch off the heat and let cooker cool down.

Once the pressure is gone then open the cooker and mix the Subzi so that some beans get mashed up . Simmer it to the required consistency. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with chapatis or paranthas.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sookhi Moong Dal


This is one of those dishes which always reminds me of my aunt C......whenever we would got to visit her during our summer holidays this would be one of the items on the breakfast table...this was one of those dishes which my mom would rarely make and hence I would always take spoonfuls of this whenever I got an opportunity.


I like this dish because its a simple , healthy and light breakfast item which is a great side dish , though I can have it all by itself for breakfast.


After I got married , I made this and it turned out slightly mashed ...as I had added too much water , so I ended up having to cook something more acceptable for breakfast . Then I never tried it again for a long time ...then one day when I was all alone ( hubby dear having gone for a business trip ) I gave it another try this time being very careful about the amount of water I added and it turned out perfect ..... that gave me the courage to try it once again when hubby was around. But it was rejected .. much to my sorrow .. as it was perceived as a dish from UP and anything that was not Punjabi was not acceptable .


So this dish again got pushed to the background , with paranthas and other dishes hogging the limelight of the breakfast table .


Then suddenly one day a miracle happened ....hubby dear mentioned one evening that I can make this dal for breakfast .....I was amazed at this change of heart and could not believe my ears ...


After much deliberation I decided that the unthinkable had actually happened ....and so after 3 long years of humiliation ..the moong dal finally got its position on our weekend breakfast table..


The dish would require some planning in the sense that the dal needs to be soaked for atleast 30 minutes , but the rest is real simple.


Split moong dal - 1/2 cup

Onion - 1 big ( finely chopped )

Ginger - 1/2 inch piece ( finely chopped)

Green chilli - 2 finely chopped

Zeera / Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder - 1/4 t sp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 t sp

Salt - as per taste

Oil - 1 tb sp

Water - 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup

Finely chopped coriander leaves - for garnish

Lemon - 1



Soak the split moong dal in water for 30-60 minutes, the dal would increase in size after soaking . Drain all the water and keep the dal aside.


In a wok/ karahi ( wide mouthed utensil ) heat the oil , once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds . Once they start spluttering add the ginger followed by the onion and green chilli.


Stir for 2 mins till the onion becomes translucent , then add the drained split moong dal . Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric and mix it with a light hand . Then add 1/2 cup of water and cover the vessel . Reduce the flame to medium , after 5 minutes open the cover and check the dal , if it is not cooked ( it should retain its shape but at the same time would be soft) then add a little more water and again cover ( add only a little water , if you add more water then the dal would get overcooked and break ) . Once the dal is cooked , stir it lightly with the ladle and wait for all the water to evaporate and fry the dal a little ( go light on stirring , as the dal would break with vigorous stirring).


Check for salt then garnish with coriander leaves. Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Grilled Garlic Chicken


Garlic ...wow ..... !! That was the first thought which came to me when I came to know that Garlic is the chosen one for Think Spice . Images of big garlic pods and smell of garlic...man was I happy and excited.

But this initial euphoria was followed by a thoughtful phase ...what do I make which is different and new ?? That was the million dollar question . Then while I was trying to make a low oil grilled chicken as a part of a week long detox that it hit me .....why not have chicken which is infused with garlic . Since I was the only one who was going to have it ..I could afford to take the risk ...even if it didn't turn out to be good ... it would be one of those experiments about which no one needs to know. ;-)

But this one did turn out to be good ...in fact it turned out so good that I made it the next day ..as a special request ;-)

As all other much loved recipes it is a simple and healthy one....and here it goes

For 2 adults -

Chicken breasts - 2
Garlic - 6-7 cloves ( big ones)
Lime juice - 2 tb sp
Olive oil - 1 tb sp
Pepper powder - 1/2 t sp
Chili flakes - 1 tb sp
Salt - as per taste
Polythene zip lock pouch - 1

Clean the chicken breasts , removing all the extra fat that might be there . You may pound the breasts a little to ensure that they are equally thick all over . This would ensure equal cooking throughout and also helps in getting the seasoning into the chicken.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and make small incisions ( 3-4 / breast) . Take the garlic cloves and pound them so that they break open . Mix the olive oil, garlic pods, lime juice , chili flakes , pepper powder, salt to make the marinade . Put the chicken breasts in it and mix them well .Then insert the garlic pods into the small incisions on the chicken. Pour the whole thing into the polythene zip lock pouch and seal it . Refrigerate for 30 mins. to 2 hours .

When you want to have your meal , take out the chicken and put it on the grill ( I use my good old frying pan ) Let the chicken sizzle on the pan ... turn it after 3-4 minutes and cook on the other side. Ensure that the garlic stays inside the incisions ..this will ensure that the garlicky taste and aroma gets well inside the chicken

Cook both sides till they are brownish ...serve this chicken with oven roasted vegetables, salad ..rice ..almost anything you fancy .

You can drizzle it with some lime juice if you want to .

I am sure anyone who likes garlic would love this chicken.

This is my entry for Sunita's Think Spice - Think Garlic event .