Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Asparagus Kurma


Asparagus - 1 bunch
if using frozen -5 Way veggie mix - 1 cup
else 1 cup of carrot, peas, beans together
Potato - 2 medium
(optional) Onion - 1 medium - diced
(optional) Paneer - 10 medium sized cubes

Masala to Grind
Coconut (wet) - 1 cup
Jeera - 1 tbsp
Clove - 3 nos
Pattai/Cinnamon - 1 stick
Kasakasa - half tsp
Green chilies -5
Tomato- 1 big

To Splutter
Oil -2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
Bay Leaf - 1
Turmeric powder - 2 pinches

Salt to taste
Curd - 1/4 cup
Additional diced green chilli to taste

Method De Prep:
1. Cut veggies into medium sized cubes.For asparagus, take off the tip and the bottom and cut into medium size.
2. Cook Asparagus in the microwave on high for 6 mins. Asparagus cooks pretty quickly, so depending on your microwave you may need more or less time. Check on the veggie every 5 mins.
3. Cook the potatoes. You may choose to leave the skin or peel it off
4. Grind the coconut, jeeera, green chilli, clove, pattai, kasakasa and tomato in a pulp
5. In a thick bottom vessel, add oil, splutter the mustard seeds.
6. Add the bay leaf, green chillis, onions and fry until the onions are transparent
7. Add the paneer cubes and fry till the paneer turns slightly brown (optional line)
8. Add the ground pulp and cook on medium heat. Add salt, turmeric and water as much required
9. Once the gravy comes to a boil, add the cooked vegetables. Slowly turn the kurma so as to not smash the veggies.
10. Add curd, cook on low for 5 mins and turn off.

Delicious kurma is ready to be enjoyed w/ Rice, Roti or Parota!
Bon App!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Simple Veggie Upma

This recipe is a hit with my daughter. It is a regular upma, but thought I'll give it a spot on the blog to preserve this for eternity(!).

1. Rava - Wheat/Rice - 2 cup

2. Mixed Vegetables:
a. Cabbage - 1/2 cup
b. French Beans - 2 or 3 chopped
c. Carrot - 1/2 medium chopped
d. Peas - 1/4 cup

3. Onion - 1 medium - minced

For Tempering
1. Mustard - 1 spoon
2. Curry Leaves - 4 to 5 nos
3. Turmeric - 1 tsp
4. Ginger - to taste
5. Hing - 1 pinch
6. Green chillis - 2 nos

Method De Prep:
1. If the rava is not pre-roasted, gently roast the rava till it turns very light brown.
2. In a wok, heat a spoon of oil. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add Hing, curry leaves, ginger pieces, green chilli pieces and the tsp of turmeric and toss.
3. Add the onions and fry till the onions turn translucent
4. Add the mixed chopped vegetables and toss. Add salt(a little extra to support the rava that will be later added) to this mix and cover with a lid. Let the vegetables cook for about 3 mins
5. Open the lid and pour 2 cups of water. Cover and cook. The water needs to start boiling and the mixed veggies need to cook in the hot water.
6. Add the roasted rava to the boiling mix of water and vegetables and carefully toss the mix.
7. The rava cooks in the boiling water and starts turning into a pulp and then starts solidifying. Cook on medium (ensure the water isn't completely dried out) till the rava becomes soft and cooked.
8. Turn off and garnish with corriander (optional).

Hot and tasty upma is ready to be enjoyed with yogurt or Indian Pickle!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mixed Vegetables Sabji

I'm promising myself to make grocery shopping more planned, less frequent and more healthy. I'm setting a schedule of indian store once in 2 weeks to get vegetables, milk and TJ once a week for fresh bread and fruits. Since I'm conserving and watching,I had some vegetables left from using for other sabijis. With the need to use them quickly and tastily, I cooked up this simple and tasty mixed vegetable sabji and as always, with a surprise element

1. Green Bell Pepper - 1 medium - diced
2. Carrot - 1 large - diced
3. Onions - 1 medium - minced
4. Potato - 2 medium - diced
5. Paneer - 10 medium cubes
6. Surprise element - Garbanzo beans = 1 cup

1. Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
2. Jeera - 1 tsp
3. Pepper powder - 1 tsp
4. green chillis - 3 nos minced

Method de Prep
1. In 1 tsp of oil, splutter jeera seeds. Add ginger paste, green chillis, turmeric and quickly give a tish tosh.
2. Add Minced onions and fry till golden brown
3. Add green bell pepper, carrots and potato and toss couple of times. Then cook on medium with a covered lid. The vegetables cook in the steam. About 10 mins later, the veggies will be soft.
4. Now add the paneer and fry till golden brown. You may need to add a tsp of oil
5. Add the pepper powder and toss to spread it evenly. Add salt to taste
6. The garbanzo beans are next. You may use the canned ones (wash well) or pressure cook raw ones. If you are using the regular ones, you would need to soak them overnight and pressure cook them.
7. Toss well and garnish with corriander.
You may add a dash of lemon just before serving. Enjoy with roti or bread!

Bon App!

Moong Dhal with Mint!

A dhal is comfort food. It can be consumed as a soup on a cold/rainy day, enjoyed with roti or mixed with steaming hot rice and a lop of ghee or just simply eaten out of a bowl with a drop of Indian pickle on the side. As a tribute to this multifaceted Dhal, I offer my humble effort at making one more kind: the one with Mint.

1. Moong Dhal - Split green / totally yellow kinds - 1/2 cup
2. Mint leaves - 8 to 10
3. Tomatoes - 1 medium, sliced into 4 pieces
4. Salt to taste

Spices to temper
1. Jeera - 1.5 tsp
2. Turmeric - 1 tsp
3. Green chillis - minced 3 nos
4. Pepper powder - 0.5 tsp
5. Asafoetida/Hing - 1 pinch
6. Ginger paste (Optional) - 0.5 tsp

Method de Prep:
1. The moong dhal needs to be pressure cooked along with the tomato quarters
2. In a wok, heat 1 tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add jeera, hing, green chillis, turmeric and ginger paste and fry till green chillis turn slightly brown.
3. Simmer and then add the mint leaves. Gently toss till the mint leaves are dark green.
4. Add the pressure cooked dhal and salt to taste
5. Simmer and boil for 2 mins
6. Garnish with corriander (optional)

Pipping hot dhal is ready to be enjoyed anyway you like!

Bon App!

Broccoli Curry

One vegetable that I crinkle my nose to is Broccoli. It is the smell more than the taste that bothers me. So this weekend, I decided to conquer the smell with one of my favorite - mint.
I made this sabji to be enjoyed with Roti/Naan

1. Broccoli - 3 medium
2. Onion - 1/2 medium
3. Mint leaves - 8 to 10 leaves
4. Corriander leaves to garnish

Spices to grind:
1. Dhania - 1 tsp
2. Jeera - 1 tsp
3. Black Pepper - 1 tsp
4. Clove - 3 nos (spicy!)
5. Cinnamon Bark - 2 pieces (get the one from Indian store, the smell/flavor is different from the regular cinnamon roll that is available)
6. Optional tomato paste/puree - 2 tsp OR 1/4 tsp of tamarind paste

Method de prep:
1. In a work, heat 1 tsp of oil
2. Fry the spices along with onion and mint leaves. (You can twist it curry by adding Tomato puree/qtr tsp of tamarind paste for a l'll sour kick. )
3. Once cool, grind the spices into a smooth paste
4. Cook the broccoli florets in a container of water in the microwave for 6 to 8 mins
5. Once cooked, drain the water and set aside
6. Now to final assembly, in the wok, add a tsp of oil. Once the oil is hot, add jeera and pour the paste in. Let it cook till the aroma rises
7. Add the broccoli florets salt to taste and simmer.
8. Remove from flame after 5 mins and garnish with Corriander leaves.

Yummy Broccoli curry is ready to be enjoyed!
Bon App!

Lemon Rice with a twist

I know I've been MIA since a few weeks. Life has taken me over with a force. An invisible hand guiding me through days. An invisible girdle blinding me from loosing sight of my Things-to-do, appointments to make etc. My parents came over to spend half a year with me and my little one. So, I did not venture outside "traditional" stuff. After they left, I've been cooking on Sun evenings 3 or 4 items to last me through Thurs.

One such sunday, there was an abundance of mint. Since in the past, I've always let the mint to wither before making good use of it, I decided to change. All the mint, one day, 4 dishes. Lets see what all I have

A. Lemon Rice with Mint Leaves

1. Rice - 1 cup
2. Lemon/Lime Juice - 3 tbsp
3. Mint Leaves - 10 medium size
4. Onion (totally optional) - 1 medium

For Tempering/Tadka/Thirumari/Thalikardhu
1. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
2. Peanuts (I love them!) - 2 tbsp
3. Channa Dhal - 1 tsp
4. Asafoetida/Hing - 1 pinch
5. Curry leaves - 2 to 3
6. Green Chilli - 3 nos
7. Salt to taste

Method de prep:
1. Cook 1 cup rice with 1 cup water in rice cooker. The rice needs to be separate pieces after cooking. A mushy lemon/lime rice isn't as enjoyable.
2. In a small frying pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Add Hing, channa dhal and fry a little till the channa dhal is light brown.
3. Add mustard seeds, green chillis and curry leaves and fry. The popping of the mustard seeds must stop.
4. Add the peanuts and fry till they are light brown. (If you are using onions, then fry the onions here)
5. Add the mint leaves and gently cook till the mint leaves are dark green
6. Remove from flame and add this to the cooked rice.
7. Add salt and mix well.
8. Once the rice is cooled, add Lemon/Lime juice.

Delicious, simple, tasty and a new lemon/lime rice is ready to be enjoyed and shared!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

An ode to MB Mess - Bread Pakora

Ola People! It has been quite sometime since I walked into here to talk about my adventures in the kitchen! I apologize! I do miss writing out what I tried in my kitchen and of course, later coming back to check and see how I did it the last time =). Before I loose track of how I made this delish comfort food, I'll pen it all down.

Bread Pakora : The first time I enjoyed this snack was at my hostel- Meera Bhawan (shout out for all the MBites!). We were served this snack as a breakfast(!!!) every Tue morn. This dish immediately brings a flood of memories to all MBites. I craved this oily comfort and whipped it out in my kitchen. This snack is finger food and can be enjoyed with spicy ketchup/chutney

Bread Pakora (the version I've had) is a triangular shaped, potato sabji filled deep fried pakora. Here is how you can cook this delight out:

Ingredients for filling:
To make filling
1. Potatoes - 3 medium
2. Onions - 1/2 medium
3. green chillis - per taste - 2 medium well chopped
4. mustard
5. salt
6. red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
7. asafoetida - 1 pinch
8. Corriander - 1 small cup, chopped
(Optional) 9. Peas - 1 cup
(Optional) 10. tomatoes - 1 small, well chopped

Method de Prep:
1. Pressure cook the potatoes. Peel and dice them.
2. In a pan, add a tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, splutter the mustard seeds. Add the pinch of asafoetida. I add asafoetida as it helps in digestion (trust me, you'll need it considering the size of the bread pakora ;)).
3. Add the green chillis and immediately add the onions. Cook till the onions are transparent.
4. If you are adding peas and tomatoes, add them now. I did not as my bread was already sweet and adding peas and tomatoes will just make the bread pakora a sweet and not savory =).
5. Once the peas and tomatoes are cooked, add the potatoes. Add some water so that the sabji is of mushy consistency. We want to use this as a filling and hence wouldn't help if the sabhji is too dry.
6. Add salt and red chilli powder to taste

Now to the bread sleeve for Pakora

1. Soft bread slices - 10 (makes 10 pieces of bread pakora)
2. Besan Powder - 5 tbsp
3. Rice Powder - 1.5 tbsp
4. Red Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
5. Salt - to taste
6. Asafoetida - one pinch
7. Oil - To deep fry

Method de Prep
1. Head oil in a deep frying pan
2. Cut the crust off the bread slices. Then cut them across to make triangles
3. Mix the besan powder, rice powder, salt, red chilli powder and hing. Add water 1/2 a cup at a time to make a batter, The batter shouldn't be of medium consistency
4. Slightly wet your hand. Take one triangular slice, add a spoon of the cooked sabji, place the other slice on top and seal the edges with just the water in your hand. Voila! you have an uncooked pakora. Dip this uncooked pakora in the batter.
5. Check if the oil is hot enough (you can put in a drop of the batter and it should immediately sizzle, cook and rise). If it is hot enough, add the uncooked pakora.
6. When the pakora is medium brown, remove it from flame.
7. Serve with spicy chutney!

Bon App!

Important Tip: Make the pakora as needed. If you dip the bread in the batter and leave it aside, it will all mush up. So, it should be dip and fry, dip and fry cycle.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tangy Bagala Bath

I drew inspiration for this recipe from another Chutney recipe posted by my friend. You can find her recipe here.

B is not a big fan of Eggplant. I am always looking for ways to incorporate it in our diet without him ewwing at it. Knowing his love for pulav style food, I decided to try this recipe. The core idea was to make it tangy and flavor it enough so that the eggplant doesn't play the main character.

1. Eggplant - I used the big fat one. 1/4th of it. Diced into cubes
2. Mango - 1/2 a medium. Shredded
3. Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
4. Onion - 1 medium- well chopped
5. Green chilli - 2 for taste/flavor
6. Mustard - 1 tsp
7. Salt to taste

For spice powder:
1. Dhania - 1 tbsp
2. Jeera - 1 tbsp
3. White sesame seeds - 1 tsp
4. Curry Leaves - 4 to 5 nos
5. Asafoetida(hing) - 1 pinch
6. Vendiyam - 1 tsp
7. Peanuts - 1/4th cup
8. Gingelly oil - 1 tsp
9. Bengal Gram Dhal - 1 tbsp
10. Red Chillis - 3 to 4 nos (spicy)

Method de Preparation:
1. Heat gingelly oil in a tava. Add the raw ingredients for the spice: Bengal Gram dhal, vendiyam, hing, dhania, jeera, red chillis, white sesame seeds, curry leaves and fry well. After the lentils turn slighly orange, add the peanuts and fry. The peanuts need to turn slightly brown. Remove from flame and cool
2. Meanwhile, you can cook the basmathi rice in the rice cooker. I use 3/4th cup of water for 1 cup of basmati rice. The rice needs to be cooked to end as separate grains (mushy rice wouldn't suit).
3. While the spice mix is cooling, heat some vegetable oil, add mustard and let it splutter. Add the minced onions and fry until transparent. Add the mango and eggplant pieces and cook on low flame. You can add just a little bit of water. Keep the vessel cover so that the vegetables cook just in steam.
4. While the veggies are cooking, grind the spices into a dry powder. The powder can be coarse.
5. Now, time to relax till the eggplant and mango veggies are cooked. Usually about 15 mins tops. Make sure that all the water is evaporated and the veggie mix is slightly dry. Once the veggies are cooked, you are ready to mix them all for a fantastic bagala bath
6. In a serving bowl, put a layer of cooked basmati rice, add the cooked veggies on top, sprinkle salt to taste and add the dry spice powder. Mix well. Continue to do this for the rest of the basmati rice you have. If you want a spicer bagala bath, just add more of the dry spice powder.
7. Decorate with some curry leaves. Your yummy, tangy bagala bath is ready to be enjoyed! This can be served with cucumber raita.
Bon App!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lettuce Wraps

I have loved this appetizer from P.F. Changs and have always wanted to try it at home. I have had something very similar at some Burmese restaurants, but the filling came with some rice noodles. From my earlier post, it must be clear that I'm not a big fan of scrambled eggs. But when eggs needs to be included in the diet, this method of enjoying them makes it fun and entertaining. Here is a very quick and healthy recipe to enjoy lettuce wraps

1. Eggs - 3 nos; chilli powder - 1 tsp; turmeric powder - 1 tsp; milk - 4 tbsp
2. Carrots - 1 nos shredded
3. Onions - red, half a medium, finely chopped
4. Green capsicum - one medium or half large, finely chopped
5. Lime/Lemon juice - 1 tsp, just for the zing
6. Salt to taste, oil
7. Fresh Lettuce - 8 medium wraps

Recently, my husband B got into Salads and we were buying a lot of ready-made salads for his lunch. After reading an article about money saving tips, I realized how expensive chopped lettuce is and decided to buy the veggie myself to try it out. This was the first time I bought the entire lettuce as-is from Trader Joe's. Much to my surprise, the veggie is pretty simple to cut and clean. Peel the layers, almost like you peel onions. You can peel just the right amount that you need, wash and cut or use it for this recipe. The deeper you go, the more crispy the layers are!!

Method de Prep:
1. Beat 3 eggs with milk, chilli powder and turmeric powder till it froths a little.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the finely chopped onions, green capsicum and fry till onions are golden brown.
3. Add the beat eggs and salt. Scramble well depending on preference.
4. Peel and wash lettuce wraps.
5. On each wrap, place 1 tbsp of scrambled eggs, some shredded carrot and a tsp of lime/lemon juice. Roll it like a burrito. You may use a toothpick to hold the wrap. You can serve it with some peanut sauce.
6. Other flavors I tried are mint sauce, soy sauce and even with the Peanut Salad spray from WishBone

It is a cool, simple and a healthy recipe for entertaining.
As always, Bon App everyone!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scrambled Tofu

I don't enjoy eggs necessarily, but I do like the way scrambled eggs look on a plate, along with a piece of toast, piece of cheese and a glass of orange juice! That'z breakfast parfait! I made this simple, delicious and healthy breakfast this morning!

1. Firm Tofu - 1 box
2. Onions - 1/2 medium diced
3. Jeera - 1 tsp
4. Oil
5. Salt to taste
6. Green Chillis - 4 nos well chopped

Method De Prep:
1. Dice the tofu into small cubes
2. Heat oil and splutter jeera
3. Add the onions and green chillis and fry well
4. Add the diced tofu and break them up unevenly. Add salt to taste
5. Fry the mix for couple of mins. The mix needs to be dry like scrambled eggs
6. Empty on a plate and garnish with chopped corriander.
7. I placed a slice of cheese and some fresh avacado along with 2 toast slices.

Voila! a yummy breakfast ready to be devoured.

Bon App!

Chow chow Kurma

I personally like this vegetable: Chow Chow or Chayote. B isn't a big fan of this vegetable. I wanted to get him to enjoy this vegetable and could think of no other way but to try a kurma with it. Here is what I did

1. Chayote: 2 nos peeled and diced
2. Coconut - wet - 1 small cup
3. Green Chillis - 5 nos
4. Jeera - 1 tsp
5. Oil - 1 tbsp
6. Clove - 3 nos
7. Pattai/Cinnamon stick - 1
8. Bay Leaves - 2
9. Onion - 1 medium diced

Method De Prep
1. Cook the diced chayote in pressure cooker without the whistle. Once the spout of the cooker starts steaming fast, you can remove the chayote. Chayote is high in water content and doesn't need to be completely pressure cooked
2. In a mixie, blend coconut and green chillis
3. In a pan, splutter jeera, add clove, cinnamon, bay leaves and fry. Add the onions and fry well till the onions are transparent
4. Add the ground mix of coconut and chillis
5. If you want some color, you may add a pinch of turmeric
6. Add the cooked chayote and simmer. Add salt to taste
The Chayote Kurma is ready to be enjoyed!

Bon App!