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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Rajma with Masoor Dal (Kidney Beans & Red Lentils Curry - North Indian Style)


          Everyone is familiar with Rajma which is a popular North Indian dish. It is very much relished by most of the crowds in restaurants, dhaba or at home. It is a must have and a favourite side dish to go with your naan or tandori roti. 

          Today I decided to pair it with masoor dal and it turned out simply delicious. I did a simple tempering of cumin seeds and asafoetida. Then sauteed it with garlic, onion and green chilies and finally added all the powdered spices to the dal. 

          Among the spices I added a little bit of chicken masala and simmered till done. Add a dash of lime for some tangy taste and enjoy this sumptuous dish for lunch or dinner with your favourite bread.





  • 1/2 cup rajma (kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentils), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chicken masala
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice or to taste






          Boil the rajma and masoor dal for 10 minutes on low flame after the first whistle. Heat oil in a pan and temper with the cumin seeds and asafoetida.

          Saute for a few seconds and then add the garlic. Saute till light brown. Now add the onion and the green chilies. Fry till light brown.

          Add the turmeric powder and the chicken masala. Mix well and add the boiled dal and salt. Simmer on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add the lime juice and mix well. Serve with rice or chapattis.





                           The boiled dals.




                           Heat oil in a pan and temper with the cumin seeds and asafoetida. 
                           Saute for a few seconds. Add the chopped garlic and saute till light brown.




                          Add the onion and green chilies. Saute till light brown.




                           Add the turmeric powder and chicken masala . Mix well.




                          Add the boiled dal and salt. Simmer for 2-3 minutes on low flame. 
                          Add lime juice and mix well.




                             Serve, garnished with either rice or chapattis.






Raw Mango Chutney - Andhra / Telangana Style


          This is a traditional Raw mango Chutney - the Andhra style. it is called as 'pachadi' in the local lingo. There are many ways of preparing this simple and easy side dish. Sometimes it is ground raw and at other times it is sauteed in oil with other ingredients and then ground to a smooth paste. 

          A tempering of mustard seeds, split urad dal (split black gram) and curry leaves is then poured over the end product. This spicy and tangy chutney is then served as a side dish with dosa, idli, uttpapam, appam, khichdi, rice-ghee combo, pongal or chapattis. 

          During the season, it can be stored in air tight containers in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. In that case, the quantity of oil is increased for preserving it in the form of a pickle. It can also be had mixed with hot steamed rice and ghee. It simply tastes delicious. 

          Be a bit more adventurous and try this amazing homemade chutney as a spread on pizzas and burgers for an Indian touch. It will turn into a finger licking and delectable meal. Please find below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.





  • 1 medium size firm raw mango, grated
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 3-4 garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 fresh green / red chilies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
Tempering - 
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves






          Heat 1 tsp. oil in a pan and fry the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, urad dal, garlic, curry leaves and fresh green / red chilies till it turns slightly brown in colour.

          Add the grated mango and fry for two minutes on a low flame. Add the salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and the coconut. Mix well and fry for a few seconds. 

          Switch off the flame and leave it aside to cool. Then grind with a little water till smooth in consistency.

          Heat 1 tbsp. in a pan for the tempering. Add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Then add the urad dal and curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds till the dal changes colour.

          Pour this tempering over the ground chutney. Mix well and serve as a side dish with dosa, idli, uttapam, appam, rice-ghee combo, paratha or chapatti.





                            Heat 1 tsp. and fry the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and urad 
                            dal followed by the .......




                          ........ garlic, fresh green/red chilies and curry leaves. Saute till light 
                          brown.




                           Add the mango and saute for 2 minutes on a low flame.




                             Then add the salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and the 
                              grated coconut.




                           Combine well. Switch off the flame and set aside to cool. Grind 
                            with required quantity of water into a smooth paste.
                       


                           Heat 1 tbsp. oil and saute the mustard seeds, urad dal & curry leaves 
                           till light brown.



                         Pour this tempering over the ground paste and mix well. Serve 
                         as a side dish with dosa, idli, uttapam, khichdi, appam, rice or chapatti.






Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Achari Chicken (Pickled Chicken Curry)


          This is a very delicious and an easy chicken curry cooked with store bought pickles. I added some red chili pickle that I had. It only requires you to marinate the chicken cubes (boneless or on bones) with the pickle and other ingredients and then saute till done.

          It is that simple. I usually make it dry to be relished as a side dish. It tastes awesome with plain Biryani, rice, paratha, naan or chapatti. It can also be wrapped in tortillas / chapattis / parathas as a roll along with some sliced onion and coriander leaves for a lunch box meal too.





  • 500 gms. boneless chicken, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. red chilies pickle
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil



           Marinate the chicken with the pickle, yoghurt. ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder for 1-2 hours.

          Heat oil in a non-stick pan and saute the onion, garlic and curry leaves till light brown. Add the marinated chicken and cook, covered on a low flame for 15-20 minutes or till the chicken is tender.

          Sprinkle water if required and stir at intervals. Serve with Biryani, parathas, chapattis or naan.










Instant Maida Dhokla (Steamed Cake - Gujarati Cuisine)


          Dhoklas are very popular Gujarati snacks that are mostly relished as an evening tea-time snack, lunch box meal or for breakfast. They are generally prepared either with besan (Gram flour), sooji (semolina) or both combined. This is an instant version and can be dished out in no time.

          Today I decided to combine sooji with maida, It turned out extremely fine without any problem. So there is absolutely no need to worry if besan is unavailable. Do go ahead and try with maida and relish with green chutney for an enjoyable light meal.








  • 1/2 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 1/2 cup maida (plain flour)
  • 2 tbsp. yoghurt
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • 1 tsp. chicken masala
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • green chutney to serve





          In a bowl, whisk together sooji, maida, salt, yoghurt, turmeric powder, kasoori methi, red chili powder, chicken masala and 2-3 tbsp. oil with required quantity of water to form a smooth batter of pouring consistency. Leave aside for 30 minutes.

          Just before steaming, add the eno fruit salt and combine well. Pour this into a greased steel container / plate and steam for 15-17 minutes (5 minutes on high flame and the remaining on low flame).

          When it has cooled down, cut into desired shapes. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter.

          Now add the asafoetida, curry leaves and sesame seeds. Saute for a few seconds and switch off the flame.

          Add 2-3 tbsp. water to it and pour this tempering on the steamed dhoklas. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and coriander leaves. Serve with green chutney.















Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Sambar Dhokla (Gujarati Steamed Semolina Cake with South Indian Flavour)


             Dhoklas are a very popular Gujarati snack item that are enjoyed as a light breakfast or as an evening tea-time snack. As they are steamed, they are an healthy option for young and old alike. They can be made more nutritious by adding spinach, carrot, beetroot or tomatoes all in a pureed form.

          This is an instant and a very easy version prepared with sooji (semolina) which can be dished out in no time. Today I gave a twist to the original Dhokla by adding some sambar powder for a South Indian flavour. 

          The procedure remains very much the same as Dhoklas are generally prepared, except for the change of few ingredients. I gave a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, sesame seeds, Asafoetida and split urad dal (black gram). 

          Serve this delicacy, garnished with fresh grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves. These healthy fluffy bites can be enjoyed anytime of the day with some green chutney. They are not only wholesome but they can be packed for a lunch box meal too.











  • 3/4 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 2 tbsp. yoghurt
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. sambar powder
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped







          In a bowl, whisk together sooji, yoghurt, salt to taste, turmeric powder, chili flakes, sambar powder and 1 tsp. oil with required quantity of water into a smooth batter of pouring consistency. Leave aside for 30 minutes.

          Just before steaming, add the eno fruit salt and mix well. Pour the contents into a greased steel container / plate and steam for 15-17 minutes (first 5 minutes on high flame and the remaining on low flame.

          When cool, cut into desired shapes and keep aside. Heat remaining oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. 

          After it stops crackling, add the sesame seeds and saute for a few seconds. Switch off the flame and add 2-3 tbsp. water to it. 

          Mix well and pour this tempering on the prepared dhokla. Serve, garnished with coconut and coriander leaves.






                         Mix together sooji, yoghurt, salt, 1 tsp. oil, turmeric powder, red 
                        chili flakes and sambar powder with required quantity of water......




                         .......into a smooth batter of pouring consistency. Keep aside for
                          30 minutes.



                           Just before steaming, add the eno fruit salt and combine well.



                           Pour into a greased container and steam for 15-17 minutes.



                          When cool, cut into desired shapes.



                          Heat remaining oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and curry 
                          leaves. After it stops crackling, add the sesame seeds and saute for a few 
                          seconds.



                          Pour this tempering on the prepared dhokla.



                           Serve, garnished with fresh grated coconut & coriander leaves.










Bengali Aloo Dum (Potato Curry - Bengali Style)

              
          Bengali Aloo Dum and Luchi (pooris) are an anytime favourite and a typical breakfast menu in most of the Bengali household. It is also popular during special occasions. Small baby potatoes are best suited for this recipe. There are many versions to this popular dish. In whatever way it is prepared, it simply tastes delicious and divine. Please check below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.









  • 500 gms. small round potatoes
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • coriander leaves to garnish (opt)










          Pressure cook the potatoes in enough water for 3 whistles. Drain and discard the skin. Prick with a fork all over and keep aside. 

          Put all the ingredients starting from onion to turmeric powder and grind into a paste. Keep aside.

          Heat 1 tbsp. oil and saute the potatoes till light brown. Keep aside. Heat remaining oil and temper with the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and cumin seeds.

         Saute for a few seconds. Then add the ground paste and continue to fry on low flame till the oil separates from the masala.

          Now add the boiled potatoes and salt. Mix well and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for a minute or two. 

         Sprinkle the garam masala and ghee. Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with either poori, paratha, chapatti, pulao or plain steamed rice.





                         Pressure cook the potatoes in enough water for 3 whistles. Drain 
                         and peel the skin. Prick with a fork and keep aside.




                           Heat 1 tbsp. oil and saute the potatoes till light brown. Keep aside.




                          Heat remaining oil and temper with bay leaf, cumin seeds and the 
                          whole garam masala. Saute for a few seconds.




                           Now add the ground paste and fry on low flame till the oil separates.




                           Add the fried potatoes and salt. Mix well.




                         Add 1/2 cup water and simmer, covered on low flame for a minute 
                         or two.




                          When done, sprinkle garam masala and ghee. Mix well and serve, 
                           garnished with coriander leaves.











Sunday, 25 October 2015

Beerakaya - Pappu Koora (Turai / Ridge Gourd & Lentil Curry - Andhra - Bengali Fusion Style)


          This is my version of a simple homemade style Tuvar dal / Pigeon Pea lentil cooked with Turai / Ridge gourd in a tangy Andhra style preparation. But I gave a twist to the end product by sprinkling some Bengali spice powder called Bhaja Moshola.  So there was a fusion of spices. It can be relished with plain steamed rice or with chapattis if made in a slightly thicker consistency. Please find below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.








  • 3/4 cup Tuvar dal (Pigeon pea lentil). soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups heaped Turai (Ridge gourd), sliced into roundels
  • 4-5 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh green / red chilies, slit
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste / 1/2 cup tamarind juice
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves to garnish







          Dry roast the red chilies and the cumin seeds for a few seconds. Cool and grind. Keep aside. This is the Bengali Bhaja Moshola / spice mix.

          Pressure cook the soaked lentil, a pinch of turmeric powder and the ridge gourd in 2 cups water for 4-5 whistles. 

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the garlic and saute till it changes colour.

          Add the onion, fresh chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Saute till light brown. Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Mix well and saute for a few seconds.

          Now add the boiled dal and salt. Simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Add the tamarind paste mixed with some water or the tamarind juice and simmer further for a minute. 

          Sprinkle the ground spice powder and serve, garnished with coriander leaves. 




                          Dry roast the dry red chilies and cumin seeds for a few seconds.



                          Cool and grind them. This is the Bengali Bhaja Moshola / spice mix.



                           Pressure cook the dal & ridge gourd with a pinch of turmeric 
                           powder for 4-5 whistles.



                                The boiled dal.



                           Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops 
                           spluttering, add garlic and saute till it changes colour.



                         Add the onion, slit chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves.



                             Add the turmeric powder, coriander & cumin powder. Saute
                             for a few seconds.



                           Add the boiled dal and salt to taste. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.



                          Add the tamarind paste mixed with some water or the tamarind
                          juice. Simmer further for a minute and serve, garnished with 
                          coriander leaves.












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