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 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 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


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 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


- 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 !! :-)