Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A reason to celebrate with Blueberry Yogurt Cake and Besan ke Paranthe

I RAN MY FIRST MARATHON !! :) :) and I am so proud of it ....

Many of you who would be regular runners might be thinking what is the big deal .... But it is a BIG Deal for someone who would wait for the next bus rather than run to catch the one leaving. I did it not because of any medical conditions or because I could not ...but just because I did not feel like running. But all that has changed over the last few months.

This year I made only one new year resolution..unlike the previous years wherein my resolution list would run for at least a mile :) .

My resolution was to do all that which I have never done before ,..but would have liked to do and experience. Running a marathon was one such thing . I had a mental block about running , I could never imagine myself running ..like all those regular runners and joggers who would pass by me during my walks . I wanted to experience the "runners high" i kept reading about in various magazines . It helped that one of my colleagues wanted to restart running after having a baby and when she asked me whether I would be interested in joining her for post-office runs , I grabbed the offer with both hands. Initially it was painful and humiliating ....a person who could walk for hours could not run for more than ten minutes ...but we persevered and set up a challenge of completing a 10km run in march . The Suburban Run run was on 15th March'09 and we completed the whole 10Km in spite of the energy sapping heat ...... now I intend to keep running :) and to do something new in the coming months.

Hubby dear was very very supportive of this decision to run and he was more excited and proud about my completing the 10km than me . We celebrated this small achievement with a blueberry yogurt cake and simple besan aur pyaaz ke paranthe . I followed the recipe given by Clotilde of chocolateandzucchini . The cake turned out perfect . I forgot to take picture of the slices :) as we were too busy gorging on those .

The recipe for Besan aur pyaaz ke paranhte ( Indian Gram flour and onion bread) is -

Ingredients :-
Gram flour - 1 cup
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Onion - 1 large sized one , finely chopped
Finely chopped green chili - 2-3 as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Water - as much as required

Mix the gram flour and wheat flour. Add all the spices and mix well . Add about 3 tb sp oil and mix well so that the oil gets well incorporated into the dry ingredients. Now add the chopped onion and green chili . Add water and prepare a stiff dough.

Divide the dough into golf ball sized balls . Make into round balls and roll out each ball separately into circular shape.
Cook over a hot skillet , apply oil on both sides and cook till small brown specks appear .

Serve with butter, yogurt and pickles

This is another popular travel food as it lasts for up to 2-3 days. Hence this is my second entry for SWC-Meals on wheels hosted by LG of tasteofmysore.

Bharwan Karela - Stuffed bittergourd

Bitter - is one of the five basic tastes , the other four being sour, salty, sweet and savory. We love karela or bitter gourd, but the time it takes to prepare it is the main reason for us not having it as often as we would like to. When LG of Tasteofmysore announced SWC-Meals on wheels I knew I had to take out the time and make these . I still have memories of train travels which would last for a couple of days and we would eat the stuffed karela packed by my grandmothers . These do not get spoilt for 3-4 days and thus are perfect as food for travels.
I made these after a long time yesterday and here goes the recipe for them -

Ingredients -
Karela / bitter gourd - 6-7 medium sized ones
Onion - 2 sliced
Nigella seeds / kalaunji - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds / saunf - 1 tsp
Fenugreek /methi - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1.5 tsp
Dry mango / Amchur powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder/ haldi - 0.5 tsp
Red chili powder/ laal mirch - 0.5 tsp
Salt to taste
2 tbsp mustard oil
2 tbsp tamarind/ imli pulp (soak imli in half a bowl of water and use the residue )
Thread - as much as required

Peel the bitter gourd with a light hand , slit them vertically and take out all the seeds to create a pocket. Rub lots of salt and keep aside for at least 4-5 hours . Apply salt to the outer peel also and keep aside.
After 4-5 hours squeeze out all the fluid from the bitter gourd and the peels and wash with water.
In a pan heat about 1 tbsp of mustard oil, add the nigella seeds and fennel seeds. Heat till they become aromatic, then add the sliced onions . Saute till the onions become translucent. Then add the squeezed out bitter gourd peel and saute for a minute. Then add all the other spices. Saute for 2-3 minutes then add the tamarind pulp with some water . Saute the mixture till oil starts separating from it.
Now with the help of a spoon, stuff this prepared filling into the bitter gourd. Once well stuffed wrap a thread around the bitter gourd to ensure that the filling does not come out. Once all the bitter gourds are filled and wrapped , shallow fry them till well cooked.

Serve with roti/parantha /rice :)
This is my entry for SWC-Meals on wheels and I hope LG accepts it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kathal ke kebab - Raw Jackfruit Patties

When LG of tasteofmysore announced that she would be hosting AFAM-Jackfruit, this is the first thing, which came to my mind. But due to unavailability of raw jackfruit and time I could not make it in time to send in an entry. Recently my sister in law “V” told me that they are going to make kathal kebabs, I told her to send in the recipe and the photos so that I can blog these.

The first time I made these kebabs after marriage I had to spin a big story and convince my hubby dear that these are shaami kebabs made with minced mutton. All this because he had never eaten raw jackfruit and was not willing to try it. The day before I was going to make these kebabs I told him that I had bought the keema “minced mutton” and that I would be making kebabs. Raw jackfruit is known for tasting and resembling in texture to non-veg and it is often called as vegetarian mutton in our place. I had pinned my hopes on the fact that these kebabs taste almost like shaami kebabs and that my hubby would not be able to make out the difference. When I served these, he relished them and absolutely loved them, that is when I disclosed to him that these were indeed made from jackfruit and not meat. He did not believe at first , and now whenever we serve these to any guests he loves quiz them about the type of “meat” used in these . Till date none of the guests have been able to guess that these are vegetarian kebabs :)

Ingredients :-
Raw jackfruit / kathal – 500 grams
Dhuli Masoor dal / split red lentils – 100 grams
Onions – 2-3 large ones
Ginger – 1-1.5 inches long piece
Green chili – 4-5 – as per taste
Cloves – 5-6
Black pepper – 5-6
Red chili powder – as per taste
Raw mango powder / amchur powder – 1-2 t sp as per taste
Chat masala – as per taste
Coriander leaves – 4-5-table spoon – chopped finely

Cook the raw jackfruit with the lentils, onions, ginger, cloves and black pepper with a little water in the pressure cooker . Cook till 2 whistles. Take off the flame and let it cool. Once cool grind the whole mix to a thick paste in the grinder. Do not add any water while grinding otherwise the mixture will become too thin to be shaped into kebabs. Add salt, red chili, amchur powder /lime juice and coriander leaves and mix well.

Make small balls of this mixture and flatten them, stuff with chopped onion, green chili and coriander leaves. Shape into small discs or oblong shaped kebabs. You can either deep fry them or shallow fry them. We usually grill them with a little oil smeared on them.

Serve hot with coriander chutney or tomato ketchup or with just a little limejuice sprinkled on it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Wishing all of you a very happy and colorful holi !!! May you all have a blast today !!
As for me I am in office ...working :( ...... earning my daily bread . One of the biggest disadvantages of living away from India is that you miss all the festivals and the associated fun . I miss all the excitement, color, food, fun and laughter associated with this festival of colors , I miss my family today . But I take comfort in the fact that we might have an opportunity to celebrate holi on the weekend :) .
Eat well and play safely ...take care :)