Featured post

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Palak Kofta (Spinach Patty)

       
            Loaded with vitamins, fibre, iron and calcium, these healthy and delicious Palak (Spinach) koftas are simply irresistible. A lovely snack item to be enjoyed with any chutney of your choice or ketchup. They can be served as patties in burgers too, which are perfect for a lunch box meal.





  • 1 bunch spinach, blanched and pureed
  • 2 med. potatoes, boiled
  • 2 raw bananas, boiled
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1" ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp. besan (gram flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • oil to shallow fry


          Take a non-stick pan and saute the pureed spinach till all the moisture is dried up. Cool and combine with all the other ingredients except, oil to make it into a dough. 

          Divide the dough into equal portions and form into round koftas. Be sure to wet your hands for easy handling.

          Heat 1 tsp. oil on a tawa (griddle) and shallow fry 2-3 at a time on both sides on low flame till golden brown in colour. Continue with the rest of the koftas in a similar manner. Serve hot with any chutney or sauce.










Bhindi - Pudina Ka Sabzi (Okra - Mint Stir Fry)

      
           It is a simple and quick bhindi curry with potatoes and pudina. It does not take much time as both the vegetables takes very less time to cook. It is a dry preparation, to be eaten with any Indian bread. The addition of mint leaves enhances it's flavour and is finished off with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. 






  • 500 gms. bhindi (okra), chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2  tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. hing (asafoetida)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 2 tbsp. mint leaves (pudina), chopped



          Heat oil in a non-stick pan and temper with cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the hing and potatoes. Saute till light brown.

          Add the chopped bhindi, green chilies, salt, turmeric powder and coriander-cumin powder. Fry, covered on a low flame. Stir at intervals. When done, add the pudina and mix well. Serve, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.










Moong Dal Fry (Green Gram Lentil Curry)

                  
         Just a simple moong dal fry with plain rice will lift up your spirits. There is nothing like having with some pickles pr papad on the side. It surely is a humble and an earthy meal, complete with all the nutritious benefits. It contains fibre and proteins. 

         This dal can be cooked in many ways. Have it in a dry preparation with chapatis, in a soup like consistency with rice or it can be made into a simple soup. It is a very common dal made in every household in the northern parts especially Punjab. 





  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic, grated
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 whole red chilly
  • pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. coriander & mint leaves, chopped


          Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups water for 3-4 whistles. When cool, blend well. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds, whole red chilly and asafoetida.

          After it stops spluttering, add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute till light brown. Add the boiled dal, green chilies, salt and turmeric powder. Simmer on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Serve, garnished with lime juice, coriander and mint leaves.









Onion Soup with Rosemary

          
          Yet another hearty and healthy clear soup to satiate your appetite. It can be made wholesome by adding a tsp. of oats to it while boiling. The rosemary in it gives it a distinct extraordinary flavour. For more variations, add potatoes and garnish it with cream or butter. Make a similar and nourishing onion soup in a lemony flavour by adding some kafir lime leaves. 





  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 twig rosemary
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder or to taste
  • 3-4 cups chicken / vegetable stock
  • fried onion, croutons or cheese to garnish


          Heat oil and temper with the bay leaves. Add the garlic and fry till it changes colour. Then add the onion and fry till translucent.

          Pressure cook along with rosemary, salt and pepper and the stock for 2 whistles. When cool, discard the bay leaves and blend into a puree. Heat through and serve, garnished with fried onion, croutons or cheese.










Green Papaya Curry - Andhra Style

       
          There are many uses of geeen papaya. It can be used to make a curry, (both dry and with gravy), made into a salad or simply have it boiled in a Bengali style with rice, mustard oil, salt, green chilies and coriander leaves. Here I prepared it in an Andhra style which can be either had with chapattis or as a side dish with curd-rice. I took the liberty of adding some peanut powder for some nutty flavour.





  • 1 small green papaya, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. sambar powder
  • 2 tbsp. peanut powder, 
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Boil the papaya till soft but not mushy. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and temper with red chilies and mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the urad dal, curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute till the dal changes colour.

          Then add the boiled papaya, salt, turmeric powder,sambar powder and peanut powder. Saute for a minute or two till well combined. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves as a side dish with chapattis.












Arbi & Peas Curry (Colocasia)

          
          This lesser known root vegetable is not too common in many household. But, if prepared the right way, it simply tastes delicious. Potatoes can be easily replaced by arbi. It contains a good amount of fibre, protein and calcium and is more nutritious than potatoes with low cholesterol. It is usually prepared dry to be had with chapattis.





  • 500 gms Arbi, boiled aldente
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Heat oil in a pan and temper with kalonji. Add the boiled arbi and saute till light brown. Add the peas and fry for a minute.

          Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder, red chili powder, salt and garam masala powder mixed with little water.

          Saute till well combined for a couple of minutes. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves as a side dish with chapattis.










Healthy Oats Idli (Steamed Oats Cake)

         
          Bored with the same urad dal-rice idli? Then try this healthy version of Oats Idli. Laden with fibre, these delicious, instant breakfast menu is not only nutritious, it is also a treat to the eyes and also your tummy. You can be more creative and use grated carrot, beetroot or any other veggies to enhance the flavour. Enjoy this wholesome delicacy with sambar and coconut chutney or any chutney of your choice. Please check for a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.         







  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt
  • buttermilk as required
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped




          Dry roast the oats  for a few seconds. When cool, grind into a fine powder and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies.

          After it stops spluttering, add the sooji and fry till light brown. Add the powdered oats, salt, coriander leaves and enough buttermilk to make into a batter like consistency.

         Just before steaming, add the eno salt and a little water over it and mix well. Grease the idli mould and ladle the batter into it and steam for 12-15 minutes. 

         When cool enough to handle, demould and serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.






                                Dry roast the oats to light brown.




                               When cool, grind into a fine powder.



                                Temper the oil with mustard seeds.



                               Add the curry leaves, green chilies, asafoetida and urad dal.



                               Add the sooji (semolina) and saute till light brown in colour.



                Mix the roasted oats powder. salt, coriander leaves to the semolina mix & make
                a batter with required quantity of buttermilk. Keep aside for 20 minutes.



                Just before steaming, add the eno fruit salt and mix well. Ladle into greased 
                idli moulds and steam for 12-15 minutes.




                               Enjoy with coconut chutney and sambar.








Saturday, 30 August 2014

Rajma & Chana Salad with Avocado (Kidney Beans & Chick Peas)

          
          This wonderful salad is a quick fix for a lazy and late dinner. Loaded with proteins, iron and fibre, it is a healthy substitute to any fried snacks. It can pep up your life and give you a feeling of lightness, thus satiating your appetite. Have a bowlful of this delicious salad with the dressing which will add a punch to your dish.





  • 1/2 cup rajma (red kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup black chana, soaked overnight
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. mustard sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder


          Pressure cook the rajma with enough water for 10-12  minutes on low flame after the first whistle.

          Drain and keep aside. Similarly, pressure cook the chana too in enough water for 6 whistles. Drain and keep aside.

          For the dressing, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard paste, salt and pepper powder.

          To serve, combine together the boiled rajma, chana, avocado, cucumber and coriander leaves. Pour the dressing over it and toss well. Serve as it is or with some garlic bread / soup.

 
     









Mulligatawny Soup (Anglo-Indian Style)

       
           It is a well known fact that this soup has its origin from the British Raj. It is also called as  an Anglo Indian Soup. The name derives from the Tamil word 'Milagu' & 'Thanni', meaning 'Pepper Water'. Whatever the reason, this soup tastes simply superb and very filling too. It is a curried soup with the flavours of lentil, rice, apple and all other spices. 

            It is finished off with coconut milk and lime juice to get a tangy taste. So if you are looking for a light meal then go for this amazing curried soup. For this you need to check a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.

         









  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal (split pigeon pea lentil), soaked for an hour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, soaked for an hour
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 4-5 cups water / vegetable stock 
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fried onions





          Heat oil and saute the onion till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, and all the dry spice powders mixed with a little water. Saute till oil separates from the sides of the pan.

          Add the chopped apple, soaked tuvar dal, soaked rice and the stock. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.

          When cool, blend to a puree. Adjust the consistency as desired. Simmer on medium flame till it comes to a boil. 

          Switch off the flame and add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and fried onions for an exciting light meal.






Note-

1. Carrots and potatoes are also used in this soup, but I had to skip the former as it was not readily available at that moment. And I substituted rice for potatoes.
2. For a non-veg. version you can add chicken stock / mutton yakhni.




                               Soak the dal and rice in sufficient water for an hour.




                               Heat oil and saute the onion till light brown. 




                  Add the ginger-garlic paste, and all the dry spice powders mixed with a little 
                  water. Saute till oil separates from the sides of the pan.



                               Add the chopped apple, soaked tuvar dal, soaked rice ....




                               ...... and the stock. 





                               Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.



                When cool, blend to a puree. Simmer on medium flame till it comes to a boil. Switch
                off the flame and add the coconut milk and lemon juice. 



                Serve, garnished with coriander leaves & fried onions for an exciting light meal.











Curd Rice (South Indian Breakfast)

       
          This happens to be my comfort food. There is nothing like having a bowl of this humble curd rice for a simple lunch when time is a constraint. It is not only filling and soothing to your tummy, but it also tastes delicious with any pickle of your choice and papad. A little bit of curry leaves podi or any gun powder sprinkled over it does wonders to this wholesome dish.

          






  • 1/2 cup rice, cooked till soft and mushy
  • 1 cup yoghurt, whisked
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 whole dry red chilies, broken
  • 2 tbsp. roasted peanuts
  • few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. gun powder (idli podi)





          Mix the rice with the yoghurt and salt and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and temper with whole dry red chillies, mustard seeds and urad dal.

          After it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves and peanuts and mix well. Take it out from the flame and pour over the rice-yoghurt mix. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of gun powder.










Laal Maans (Mutton Curry - Rajasthani Style)

       
          This is a very popular and a traditional Rajasthani non-veg cuisine.. It is mutton cooked in a fiery and spicy gravy because of the use of red chilies. But to minimize it, you can go ahead with kashmiri chilies. This is definitely not for the faint hearted. This dish is one of the speciality of Rajasthan and is considered as a royal dish. It can be had both with rice or any Indian bread. For a more tangy taste, add a dash of lime.

          



  • 500 gms mutton on bones, cubed
  • 3-4 med. onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt, whisked
  • 4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. rose water


          Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and fry the chopped garlic till it changes colour. Keep aside. Heat remaining oil and temper with cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. Then add the onions and saute till lightly brown.

          Add the mutton cubes and continue to fry till well browned. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute followed by the red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt mixed with a little water.

          Stir fry till oil seperates from the sides of the pan.. Next add the yoghurt, 1 1/2 cups water and pressure cook for 20-25 minutes on low flame after the first whistle. When it cools down, remove the lid and further simmer on high heat till the gravy turns slightly thick.

          Serve, garnished with fried garlic, coriander leaves and rose water. Best had with tandoori roti, naan or plain chapatti.










Curry Leaves Podi (Gun Powder)

          
           Curry leaves podi varies from region to region. This aromatic and simple powder, which can be easily made at home is taken along with dosa, idli, upma and also with rice. Do not forget to add some ghee to it. For a more healthier version, olive oil can be used.

           Another innovative use of this, is that it can be prepared and stored away to be used later. To make your meals more interesting, try using it as a spread on bread and chapatti along with some melted butter or for a more Indian version, spread it on pizza's, hot dogs and burgers. 






  • 2 cups curry leaves, sun dried or pan roasted
  • 3 tbsp.  chana dal (bengal gram)
  • 3 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 8 whole red chillies or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. amchur
  • 1 garlic clove (opt)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp.  asafoetida (hing)



          Dry roast the urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, garlic, methi and red chilies. When cool, grind along with curry leaves.  Then mix with amchur, salt and hing.

          Your curry leaves podi is ready. Store in an airtight container and serve along with some ghee or oil with dosa or idli.











Friday, 29 August 2014

Couscous & Bell Pepper Salad

          
          It is quite an easy and quick salad that can be made into a jiffy. Quite filling and nutritious, it can be had by every one. It can be stuffed into parathas too and rolled up for a quick lunch  As it is made of wheat, it is very healthy and can be substituted for white rice. Other ingredients, like boiled and shredded chicken pieces, cucumber, corn, grated carrots, etc can also be added.






  • 1/4 cup couscous
  • 1 capsicum, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fried chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 1 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves
  • 1 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. yoghurt
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil   


          Soak the couscous, covered in 1/4 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Fluff it up with a fork. Keep aside. Mix the yoghurt with olive oil, salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside.

          Mix the couscous with capsicum, fried chana dal, mint leaves, coriander leaves and green chilies. Just before serving, pour the dressing over it and toss well. Serve along with some soup for a light dinner.










Cauliflower Stir Fry With Prawns

       
           A simple and a yummy side dish to be had with chapattis. This curry can be stuffed in parathas and made into a frankie roll. It also serves as a side dish with dal-chawal, sambar-rice or curd-rice. For a veg. version, prawns can be substituted with some soya bean chunks.

     




  • 1 med, size cauliflower, cut into small florettes
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/2 cup prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • few curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the urad dal and saute till it changes colour. Then add the prawns and fry for a few seconds.

          Now add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, green chilies, curry leaves, salt and turmeric powder and cook, covered on a low flame. Sprinkle water at intervals and stir. Cook till the cauliflower is soft. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.




       


 


    

Gobi Paratha (Shallow Fried Cauliflower Flat Bread)

       
          A nice way to start your day with these delicious and sumptuous breakfast on a weekend. It satiates one's appetite till lunch time. To deviate from the usual masalas, I used sambar powder and some chopped curry leaves, a la South Indian style, instead of coriander and mint leaves. The end result was very tasty and something different. Try having it with butter for a change.

       



  • 1 small cauliflower, washed and grated
  • 2 tbsp. roasted gram flour
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/ 2 tsp. sambar powder
  • few curry leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 cup atta (wheat flour)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • oil to fry the parathas


          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the cauliflower and all the dry masalas, (except atta, oil and gram flour) till dry. When cool, add the roasted gram flour and mix well and divide into 5 portions. Keep aside.

          Knead a dough with the atta, pinch of salt, 1 tbsp. oil and enough water into a tight dough. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Then divide the dough into 5 equal portions and roll each one into a small circle.

          Place a portion of the mix into the centre and close the edges together. Now roll out as usual into a circle. You can also place the stuffing between 2 small circles and then roll.

          Heat a tsp. oil and shallow fry the stuffed parathas on both sides till golden brown in colour. Continue to fry the rest of the parathas in the similar way. Serve hot with pickles or yoghurt.




 





Thursday, 28 August 2014

Thai Tom Yum Soup with Prawns & Mushrooms

       
          This is a traditional Thai clear soup which has all the flavours - hot, sweet and tangy. It is simply delicious, spicy and mouth watering. The prawns and mushrooms brings out the true flavour. Prawns can also be substituted with boiled and shredded chicken.

          For a more filling version, try with noodles. It is a complete meal and a bowl of this appetizing soup gives complete satisfaction. It is almost like an Indian rasam.

           This is a Thai street food which is found all over the country. It has become very popular here now and can be found in many restaurants and eating joints. But a homemade Tom Yum soup is simply just out of this world. I also experiment with rajma (kidney beans), pasta and chicken balls.





  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 7-8 kafir lime leaves
  • 2" galangal (Thai ginger), sliced
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass, each sliced into four 
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Bring the stock to a boil.  Add the kafir lime leaves, sliced galangal and lemon grass and simmer on low flame for 8 minutes.

          Add the mushroom, prawns, salt, red chili powder, green chillies, tomato paste and tomato sauce and simmer further for 3-5 minutes.

          Add lemon juice and simmer for a minute. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.




     





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...