Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tandoori Black Eyed Peas for the new year

I always serve black eyed peas in some form to ring in New Year. It's an American - especially southern -  tradition to eat black eyed peas for good luck. This time, I have made these crunchy tandoori style black eyed peas. They can be served as a quick snack with drinks.

Tandoori Black Eyed Peas
Recipe inspired from Southern Living
2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tandoori masala
salt to taste (check if tandoori masala already has salt in it)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Combine all the ingredients
3. Transfer in a baking pan in a single layer.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes till crunchy
5. Stir every 10 minutes.
6. Let it cool and store in air tight container.

Note -
1. Make sure that the peas do not get burnt

Recipe Credits
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Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Madeira Cake

Remember, I told you that I was making holiday goodies with a taste of home? One such cake on my list was Madeira cake. We used to get it at Monginis Bakery, Mumbai. I googled it and Wiki says that it's a traditional English sponge cake accompanied by Madeira wine.  I found several recipes too, but I really was looking for the simplest recipe starting from ready made cake mix. Here's what I did -

Madeira Cake
Citrus Flavored Sponge Cake
1 packet Betty Crocker Yellow cake Mix
(water, oil and eggs as mentioned in the instructions of the packet)

2 tsp fresh lemon zest (make sure there is no white part)
1 small lemon pudding mix (I used Jello)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese

1. Mix yellow cake mix with lemon flavored pudding mix.
2. Add remaining ingredients as mentioned on the back of the packet.
3. Prepare batter.
4. Pour in 2 big or 4 mini loaf pans (greased).
5. Preheat oven 350 F. Bake for 45-60 minutes tor till properly baked.

Note -
1. It took longer time to bake. So keep an eye after about 30 minutes so the cake is not burnt or remains undercooked.
2. You can add vanilla flavored pudding mix and few drops of lemon essence.

Some of the recipes of Madeira Cake I found around the web -
Madeira Cake by Gourmet food revolution
Madeira Cake by Cake Crusader
Madeira Cake by All baking recipes
Madeira Cake by Cook almost anything at least once
Madeira Cake by

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Chocolate Chinagrass

When we went back home for Diwali, I did my usual grocery shopping for US. I found chocolate chinagrass and it just took me back to my childhood. Adding 500 ml hot milk to this Blue Bird chinagrass powder results in a yummy milk-jelly. I followed the directions written at the back of the box. So there is no recipe today. But make sure to use at least 2% milk to get the firm consistency. 

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Papdi Chaat

Let me confess something. In spite of being an extreme chaat loving family, my husband and I didn't taste Papdi chaat in Mumbai. Can you guess which city we ate our first Papdi chaat in? Did you guess it as New Delhi? I would have guessed that too. but we tasted our first papdi chaat at New York!! There are several good Indian restaurants in Jackson Heights. Each one has their own version. They all taste good but we are partial to Rajbhog and Raja which are adjacent to each other but they have distinct different flavors. Now, why should I write more, when someone has actually written about the different flavors of Papdi chaat of Jackson Heights?

ok, after eating at those places and reading the above link, here's my recipe -

Papdi Chaat

Few fried pita chips from Whole foods (Green, orange, Beige colors chips)
Chaat chutneys
1/2 cup garbanzo beans or black chickpeas,  cooked with a pinch of salt
1 or 2 boiled, peeled potatoes, chopped
Sweetened yogurt (plain yogurt, pinch of sugar & salt to taste)
2 tbsp chopped red onion (Optional)
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
2 tbsp sev (Optional)
Chaat masala

1. Mix all the ingredients just before serving.
2. Serve immediately

Note -
1. This is one recipe where I add ingredients depending on my mood. I may add onions or sev or next time, I may not. But it always comes out good.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Cardamom-Saffron Pound Cake

I baked a few goodies over the weekend. I wanted to give it as holiday gifts to colleagues, friends and Gudiya's teachers. The first in the series was Cardamom saffron pound cake. I used the basic pound cake recipe and added cardamom and saffron for an Indian touch. I soaked saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk before adding it to the batter.
Recipe Source-
My modifications -
1. I added 5 crushed/peeled cardamoms.
2. I soaked a few strands of saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk. I added it to the batter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fruit Salad/Fruit Custard

My health-conscious boss distributed a huge basket of fruits for holidays which makes me very happy. I mean getting those cloyingly sweet chocolates would have been disastrous. Though I am sneaking in those fruits in the lunch boxes, it's difficult to eat them all. and think about the time, when they all would ripen at the same time. My husband suggested to make Fruit n' Custard as they serve at Amrut Sagar, Bandra.

I used my maushi's method and recipe. I didn't bother to peel and grate apples like she always does. I also didn't have chickoos. But any seasonal fruits that would go with milk would work. I also realized that peeling/slicing that whole pineapple is not my cup of tea!!

Fruit Salad or Fruit in Custard
1 banana, peeled & sliced
1 or 2 Apples, cored and chopped
1 Orange/Clementine/sweet lime(Mosambi) - peeled, pith/seeds removed, chopped
A handful of Cherries, pitted
2- 3 slices of Pineapple, chopped
1 tbsp Cashews (unsalted/raw)
1/2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
handful of Grapes, halved
1 Chikoo (Optional)
Few seeds of Pomegranate

For the custard
2 cups milk
2 tbspVanilla custard powder
3 tbsp Sugar

1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Cream crackers/Sugar wafers (optional)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

0. Rinse all the fruit thoroughly.
1. Follow the directions on the back of the custard powder. Make custard ready.
1. Cut fruits & nuts into small, bite sized pieces
2. Peel off apple and grate it
3. Cut cashews, cherries and grapes into 2 pieces
4. Add fruits to the custard which is now at room temperature.
9. While serving, first add fruit salad in a tall dessert bowl, then add ice cream - if using, and then garnish with cream cracker and cherries/chocolate chips.

Note -
1. Chop fruit as close to adding them to custard as possible so they won't turn black.
2. I used Wikfield custard powder which is available at Indian stores. Any custard powder may work. I generally use Indian brand since it doesn't contain any egg.
3. You can add jelly pieces to the  above custard as well. If desired, add it directly into the serving bowl.
4. The custard recipe calls for 500 ml milk. My moushi starts with 1 lit milk. She evaporates it to 500 ml and then proceeds. I used 500 ml milk. But the evaporated milk custard gives a divine taste.
5. I used fat-free milk. But whole milk surely gives a richer taste.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sampan Special Chicken

Today, I made this Indo-Chinese chicken for lunch. Recipe is as below. It was from my clippings that I collected while in college.

My modifications -
I also added bell peppers

Interesting Read about Sampan by busybee

Times of India/Bombay Times

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Guvarsingh nu Shaak - Cluster Beans Subzi

I often think of my MIL when I make this shaak. This is her most favorite vegetable. But like most moms, she hardly cooks it because the rest of the family doesn't like cluster beans so much. So I make it a point to cook this subzi whenever she visits us.

Guvarsingh nu shaak
Cluster beans with Gujarati Vadies
2 cups cluster beans, torn into 2" pieces
Handful of Gujarati vadies, roasted in 2 tsp oil and set aside.
salt to taste
2 tsp dhana-jiru/coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp grated jaggery

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ajmo/owa/ajwain
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp ginger-green chili paste

1. Steam cluster beans in a pressure cooker. Add water as needed. Set aside to cool down. Roast vadies in a spoonful of oil. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add all the tempering ingredients.
3. As they sizzle, add cooked & cooled beans, and remaining ingredients. Add cooking water as well.
4. Simmer till all the water is evaporated.
5. Serve with rotli or thepla.

Note -
1. Traditionally, very tender, small cluster beans are chosen carefully for recipe. They are kept whole by just removing both ends. We do not get tender cluster beans here. So I tear them into 2" pieces.

2. Instead of vadies, potatoes can be added. If you want to add the potatoes, steam them with the cluster beans.

3. If you want, you can keep a little gravy by not letting all the water evaporate.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Makhanwala from Gulzar, Hotel President

During my college days, I was an avid reader of Siddharth Kak's gastronomical articles in Times of India. In his article "The utterly Butter Chicken Debate", Mr Kak explains that he had tasted the best butter chicken at Kwality restaurant in Delhi. He reminisces about the butter chicken of Moti Mahal, Daryaganj, Old Delhi where butter chicken had a perfect burnished golden red color, treading the line between sweet and sour with creamy consistency.  However, he felt that he couldn't get the same taste in other restaurants. In his quest to taste the perfect butter chicken of his youth, Mr. Kak went to the Gulzar restaurant at the President Hotel, Cuffe Parade.

Chicken Makhanwala
From Times of India article by Siddharth Kak
Chicken Tikka 350 gm
Fresh tomato Paste 150 gm
Cashewnut paste 50 gm
Ginger-garlic paste 10 gm
fresh Cream 100 ml
Butter 75 gm
Kashmiri red chili powder 20 gm
Garam masala powder 10 gm
Kasoori Methi 5 gm
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan. Stir fry ginger-garlic paste lightly
2. Add fresh tomato paste, Kashmiri chili powder. Stir fry.
3. Add cashewnut paste till oil oozes out.
4. Add cream, butter, garam masala, kaoori methi.
5. This is the basic makhni gravy recipe.

Note -
1. I used Sanjeev Kapoor's Tikka Masala powder/spice mix to make my chicken tikkas by grilling them in oven and then added them to the simmering gravy.
2. Mr. Kak also shares some readers' contribution/tips etc to make the perfect recipe.

Cafe Gulzar Hotel President
Chef Easaw Johnson & Executive Chef Ananda Solomon
Times of India/Bombay Times
Siddharth Kak

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ghugra Ghari - Besan ladoo stuffed roti

My mother-in-law shared her mom's recipe with me here. Of course, my version is different than the original version. But it's heavily inspired from the original version. It seems, every year after Diwali, Nani (my husband's maternal grandma) used the leftover besan laddoo or magaj to make this ghugra ghari. She would crumble those sweets and stuff them inside the flatbread made with all purpose flour/maida. and then she would deep fry. This new version goes by the name ghugra ghari in the family. I changed the version by using whole wheat flour+all purpose flour and instead of deep frying, I roasted it like puranpoli.

Ghugra Ghari
For stuffing
4 smallish besan ladoos, crush them by hand

For flatbreads
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp oil

For dredging
Rice flour, as needed

1. Mix both flours with salt. Add water to bind a dough. Add oil and keep kneading till the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. It should be elastic. Cover and set aside.

2. Crush the besan laddoos and set them aside. Make 4 equal portions for stuffing.

3. Make 4 uniform balls from the dough. Roll into a puri/disc. Use rice flour for dredging.
4. Stuff the besan crumbles. Bring the ends of the disc together. Roll again to thin chapati/flatbread.

5. Heat a griddle or a pan.
6. Roast the flatbread on a low flame till brown spots appear on both sides.
7. Serve hot off the pan with ghee/toop.

Note -
1. The original recipe requires all purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour.
2. The original recipe also requires to make thick roti for deep frying.
3. I used 4 small besan ladoos for the above proportion. Bigger laddoos may need more dough.
4. Magaj can also be used as a stuffing instead of besan ladoo.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Gobhi Paneer

Sometimes, I get a strange feeling that my refrigerator creates the recipes for me! ;-) When I entered the kitchen to cook for the dinner, I had absolutely no idea about what to cook. I opened the fridge door reluctantly, what do I see? Half of cauliflower, tricolor bell peppers halves, a chunk of paneer from Costco, and ginger-garlic paste. I decided to use them all together. When I added all the veggies, I thought green color was missing. I didn't have green bell pepper but saw a bunch of coriander leaves. So I added those while cooking instead of using them as a garnish. Thus, Gobhi paneer recipe got created. I told you, my fridge did it!!

Gobhi Paneer
Cauliflower and Paneer
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup paneer chunks
1/2 cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala

1. Heat oil in a wok or kadai.
2. Add cumin seeds ad turmeric powder.
3. As the seeds splutter, add ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add all the veggies, cilantro, paprika and garam masala. Keep on frying till veggies are semi-cooked. Now, add paneer pieces. Let it cook together.


5. Add salt to taste.
6. Serve with chapati or paratha.

Note -
1. For richer taste, you can fry paneer pieces before adding to the kadai. I didn't bother to fry paneer.
2. I used nonstick kadai so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Gobhi Paneer makes an excellent wrap

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

ChaNya DaaLi sannapoLo

When my aunt visited us last summer, she shared many of my grandmother's recipes. I am hoping to feature all of them on this blog soon. Generally, sannapoLo is like a thick & spicy pancake usually made with seeds. But in this recipe chana daal is used. I used my small pancake pan to make 7 pancakes simultaneously. It gave the perfect circular shape. The traditional sannapolo is bigger than above.

ChaNya DaaLi SannapoLo
Bengal Gram Daal Pancake
1/2 cup chana daal, soak in warm water for 6 hours

Grind to paste
Drained daal
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
7-9 red chilies, roasted
2 tbsp fresh coconut
salt to taste

Stir in
2 tbsp finely chopped onion

Oil for frying

1. Grind drained daal with remaining ingredients.
2. Stir in chopped onion.
3. Heat a pan or griddle. Pat a thick pancake.
4. Make a whole in the center. Drizzle some oil in the hole and around the pancake.
5. Let it cook on both sides.

Note -
1. This pancake is meant to be very spicy. It should be hot red in color.
2. It is not served as a breakfast or snack item. Instead it is served as an accompaniment with daaLi tauy and rice.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shenganchi Amti - Drumsticks Curry

Shevgyachya shenga or drumsticks is the star ingredient of this curry. It adds its own unique flavor. Try it if you love drumsticks.

Shenganchi Amti
Drumsticks Curry
20 pieces of drumsticks/shevgyachya shenga/saragawa
2 small or 1 medium potato, peeled & chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
8-9 black peppercorns, roasted
1 tbsp paprika or mild chili powder
1 tsp tamarind pulp

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the tempering ingredients. As they splutter, add veggies.
2. Saute for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid. Keep water on the lid. Let the veggies cook.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the paste by roasting the spices. Make sure to make fine paste, adding water as necessary.
4. When the veggies are cooked, add masala paste, salt and jaggery. Add enough water to get the desired consistency.
5. Bring to boil. As it boils, switch the gas to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1. I used frozen drumsticks. I thawed them before using.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Anjum's New Indian - A review

I received this beautiful book  - Anjum's New Indian to review by Wiley Publications.

The author of this book is Anjum Anand who presents Indian Food made easy on the Cooking channel. I still want to catch that show.

This book is Anjum's interpretation of a vast and diverse culinary heritage of India. In her own words -
"This book is only a snapshot of the breadth and depth of cooking of the Indian subcontinent.   "

The book starts with the introduction to the basic ingredients,recipes and techniques. Anjum has introduced her recipes for black masala, garam masala, Goan red paste, Indian yogurt, Paneer. The book is divided into several parts like light meals & snacks, Fish & Seafood, Chicken, Meat, Vegetables, Beans & Lentils, Rice & Bread, Raitas & Chutneys, Desserts & Drinks.

Anjum has written essays about some states of India. She has tried to include a few regional recipes from these states. She has offered  Misal & Black Masala  From Maharashtra,  Red fish curry, salmon wraps from Kerala, Dhokla & Undhiyu from Gujarat, Amrtsari sol & lamb chops from Punjab, Madras Lamb & Lima beans Sundal from Tamilnadu, shrimp toasts & shrimp caes from Goa, Kashmiri lamb kababs & Roganjosh  from Kashmir, Trout with poppy seeds & Mustard shrimp from Bengal - to name just a few. She has also included the recipes like Tomato soup & Indian shephards pie from the Anglo Indian community, chicken Dhansak  from Parsi  community , Sindhi Lamb curry from Sindhi community, Bengal Gram Curry from Jain community.

Being an Indian cook/gourmand myself, many of the recipes are familiar while some are totally new. I was intrigued by Anjum's Peshawari Bread Salad. I have made various  recipes involiving bread salad/chaat. But in this recipe, Anjum stuffs the bread circles with nuts and then dips them into yogurt.

I also loved Anjum's clever presentation of Misal pav. She has served it like a sandwich stuffed into two crusty breads.

The book has 256 pages and contains hundreds of recipes. There are many colorful pictures.

I will surely let you know when I try some of the recipes from this book.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Pohe

It's that time of the year again. Gudiya is very excited about this Thanksgiving feast. "What's the key to have a happy thanksgiving? - Turkey!!" -  Gudiya has been saying this riddle to everyone at least a million times! However, we do not have turkey as her mom doesn't know how to make the turkey. But our menu today is as follows -

Sweet Potato Rolls from Cooking Light
My aunt's Russian salad
Black beans rice from the back of the Black Beans can
Green beans bhaaji with daanyache kooT
Chocolate pie

So far, I have made chocolate pie. Scalloped potatoes are assembled but need to be baked. I am chopping veggies for the salad. Sweet potato dough is resting. Wish me luck!

As I woke up this morning, I opened the fridge to make a hearty breakfast. I found a frozen packet of Southwestern veggies blend (black beans, bell peppers, onions, corn). Now, nothing is more satisfying than a hot plate of pohe for us. So decided to add the veggies to this pohe and voila! we really liked this combo. Looks like we just created a new tradition for Thanksgiving breakfast. I served it with hot tea and cut cantaloupes.

Thanksgiving Pohe
1 1/2 cup thick pohe, cleaned and washed, drained for 15 minutes
salt to taste
sugar to taste

1 cup frozen southwestern veggie blend, thawed
2 tbsp yellow corn
2 tbsp red/yellow/orange/green peppers
2 tbsp black beans, cooked

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chillies, chopped or slit
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh coconut, scraped

Lemon wedges per serving
Handful of Sev

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till onion is soft.
2. Add all the veggies. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add drained pohe, salt, sugar. Mix well.
4. Cover and keep cooking on a low flame for 5 minutes.
5. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
6. Serve with lemon wedges and sev

Note -
1. Black beans are precooked in this recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

GuLacha Shira

Using jaggery instead of sugar can be considered as one of the secrets from the Sarswat kitchens. It makes the ubiquitous shira so different in color as well as flavor.

GuLacha Shira
गुळाचा शिरा
Jaggery Semolina Sweet
1 cup semolina/rawa
3/4 cup grated jaggery (use more or less per taste)
A small pinch of salt  (optional)
1 tbsp ghee/toop/clarified butter

1 cup water + 1 cup milk

1/4 cup fresh coconut

2-3 cardamoms, peeled & powdered
A small pinch of nutmeg powder

1. Heat ghee. Roast semolina on a low flame till it changes color slightly
2. Boil milk and water mixture.
3. Dissolve jaggery in boiling milk mixture.
4. Keeping the gas low, add salt if using and sweet milk mixture. Keep on stirring till desired consistency is reached.
5. Stir in coconut and garnishing powders.
6. Serve warm.

1. Instead of serving in a bowl, you can pour the mixture in a greased plate. Cut into squares or diamonds and serve. When served as later, it is called ravyachi khantoLi.
2. When this shira is made with coconut milk instead of milk-water mixture, it is called soji.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Green Beans plant

My container garden produces a modest harvest of veggies. We enjoy them immensely.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yardlong beans

Isn't that a pretty color?
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Purple Beans

Aren't they cute?

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Khatti Meethi Masoor Daal

I have adapted this recipe from Global Vegetarian cooking by Troth Wells. This recipe was contributed by Dinyar Godrej. I have modified the original recipe to suit to our tastes.

Khatti Meethi Masoor Daal
Red Lentils with Spinach
1/2 cup red lentils/ masoor daal
1 cup shredded spinach

Grind to paste
3-4 garlic cloves
1" ginger, peeled
2 red chilies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp oil/ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

You will also need,
salt to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar or jaggery
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tbsp minced cilantro

1. Pressure cook red lentils & spinach adding 1 cup water. Mash lightly and set aside.
2 Heat oil/ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds and turmeric powder.
3. Add ground masala and fry for 2-3 minutes adding spoonful of water if masala sticks to the bottom of the pan.
4. Now add cooked daal, brown sugar/jaggery, salt and tamarind. Add enough water to adjust the desired consistency.
5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1. Do not mash spinach to a  puree.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Yellow Watermelon

The watermelons with yellow pulp are quite common in the Farmers' market. I find them totally crazy!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

MuLyachi DaaL

I know you are wondering about exactly how many bunches of radishes I bought from the farmers' market!! But the truth is that I do get carried away when it comes to shopping at the local markets!

MuLyachi दाल
मुळ्याची  डाळ
Radish Daal Curry

Pressure cook
1/2 cup toor daal
1 big piece of daikon radish, peeled & chopped into semi-circles
1 tbsp chopped onion
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to paste
2 tbsp fresh coconut
1 tbsp onion
5 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriader seeds

1 tbsp oil
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

You will also need
1 tsp jaggery
3 kokums, rinsed
salt to taste

1. Pressure cook toor daal with remaining ingredients under pressure cook, adding 1 cup water. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add tempering ingredients
3. As they sizzle, add daal, coconut paste and water to adjust the consistency.
4. Add jaggery, kokum and salt.
5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve hot with plain rice and ghee/clarified butter.

Note -
1. You can mash cooked daal but take care not to mash the radishes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MuLyachi Kadhi - Radish buttermilk Soup

Mom often adds some flavorful veggies like radishes or drumsticks/shevgyachya shenga to her usual kadhi. Each veggie adds a unique flavor to the kadhi.

MuLyachi Kadhi
मुळ्याची कढी
Radish Buttermilk Soup

Whisk together
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups water
2 tbsp chickpea flour/besan

2 tsp oil or ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, not torn/use the whole sprig
2 green chilies, slit
1 tsp grated ginger

You will also need,
A generous pinch of sugar
salt to taste

1. Heat oil or ghee in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. Add cut radishes, 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 10-12 minutes till radishes are cooked.
3. Add buttermilk mixture. Stir continuously.
4. Add salt and sugar. Bring to boil.
5. Switch off the gas.

Note -
1. Keep stirring the boiling kadhi so it won't curdle. 

Baby Radishes

Fresh baby radishes from my farmers' market
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Friday, October 22, 2010


I made this simple radish salad with the baby radishes that I got from the farmers' market.

Radish Salad
1 medium radish or 1 bunch of baby radishes
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp ginger, minced

Grind to a paste
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp fresh coconut
2 green chilies

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

1. Peel and chop radishes very finely.
2. Stir in all the remaining ingredients including coconut paste.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the tempering ingredients
4. Drizzle the tempered oil over the salad.
5. Mix well and serve as a side dish.

Note -
1. The name kochchoLi suggests finely chopped so do not grate the radishes for this recipe.
2. Traditionally, coconut oil is used for tempering.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tomato che Saar(2)

Fall is the perfect season to slurp this delicious "saar".

Tomato che Saar(2)
Tomato Broth/soup

salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp jaggery

Pressure Cook
4 medium tomatoes, washed, make X with a knife on each tomato
1 cup water

Grind to a fine paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2" ginger
1 - 2 green chilies (or to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp toop/ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida

1 tbsp chopped cilantro - optional

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain rice

1. Make a X slit on the tomatoes and pressure cook with water. Let them cool down. Now peel the tomatoes starting from X
2. Grind coconut paste and set aside.
3. Grind peeled tomato pulp and set aside.
4. Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
5. As it splutters, switch the gas to low. Add tomato pulp and coconut paste.
6. Add 2 -3 cups water to get the desired consistency.
7. Add salt & jaggery. Switch the gas to high. Bring to a rapid boil.
8. Switch gas to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro - if using.

Note -
1. Scouring X mark on tomatoes while boiling is the tip I saw on the food network. It helps to peel boiled tomatoes faster.
2. You can pass the boiled tomato pulp into strainer to avoid any seeds. I think of it as a good source of fiber. To be honest, I do not peel tomatoes either. But then it's a personal choice. Because peeled & strained saar willl taste better.
3. Instead of adding coconut in grinding, you can also add thin coconut milk when the curry is simmering.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Khotte - my way

My grandmother's house in South Mumbai was admired by all of our Konkani relatives. The reason was a big jackfruit tree within the compound(fence). The tree was so planted that its branches used to peer in grandma's kitchen balcony and window. What else does a Konkani want when jackfruit leaves are just within your arms reach? I mean devouring Khotte by just plucking those fresh jackfruit leaves right outside the kitchen window was a dream come true for the people in Mumbai.

Here in US, I haven't seen jackfruit leaves. I have seen the whole jackfruit in Chinatown, but am not so lucky to see the jackfruit leaves. Banana leaves are easily available in Chinatown. I use them to make panki, pannoli, ghavan etc. When I made pannoli, I thought of adding idli batter just the way I made pannoli. When I did it next time, I wanted to be even more adventurous. I decided to make a coneshaped roll of banana leaves, twisted a little at end so the batter won't drip and used a toothpick to hold the shape. (My grandmother used jackfruit leaves to make a cup and used small sticks called - choi -in Konkani to hold the shape). I poured idli batter and steamed it. Though it didn't have the same flavor of jackfruit leaves, it gave the flavor of banana leaves. It was unique as well. It sure was a delicacy and everyone was excited to open their individualized idli wrapper!

Khotte with Banana Leaves
Idlies steamed with banana leaves
Idli batter
Banana leaves

1. Cut  banana leaves into 4 rectangles each.
2. Roll into a cone shape. Twist at the bottom of each cone.
3. Use toothpick so each cone holds its shape. Keep all the cones ready.

4. Pour water in a steamer. Bring to boil.
5. Pour idli batter in each cone.
6. Place vertically so the batter won't drip. Cover with a lid
7. Steam for 25-30 minutes.
8. Serve hot khotte with chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. For a traditional flavor, serve khotte with a few drops of coconut oil.
2. First I tried steaming for 20 minutes. But it wasn't cooked the whole way. So I steamed it for 10 more minutes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trevti Daal

Trevti means 3 daals. This daal tastes good with rice or rotla/bhakri.

Trevti Daal
Three daals
1/4 cup toor daal
1/4 cup yellow moong daal
1/4 cup chana daal

Salt to taste
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp Gujarati garam masala

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomato, chopped

1. Wash and pressure cook 3 daals. Mash and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the spices. As they sizzle, add onion and garlic. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add tomato and saute again for about 5 minutes.
4. Now, add chili powder and garam masala. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add mashed daal and water to adjust the consistency.
6. Add salt and bring to a rapid boil.
7. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Note -
1. Paprika can be used as a mild chili powder.

Check out
Jagruti's version

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Bikanda VaLValayn - Jackfruit Seeds Curry

Jackfruit seeds are devoured in Maharashtrian, Gujarati and Konkani cuisines. They are called "Phansachya aaThaLya, Champa ni gotli and bikand" in those languages. I am sure they must be having many different names in different Indian languages.

You may find fresh jackfruit seeds at your Chinatown. Daily Delight brand sells frozen jackfruit seeds.  You may even susbstitute fresh chestnuts. I think they taste pretty close to the jackfruit seeds.

In South Canara cuisine, the basic masala/ground paste have three basic ingredients - coconut, byadgi chilies and tamarind. But as I tried to explain here, the consistency of curry(thick/thin), consistency of ground paste (coarse/fine), heat (mild/spicy/fiery), tempering(onion/garlic/curry leaves etc) change the taste & name. So in spite of using the same masala, the result is totally different.

Now, there are 3 types of curries that use the same masala, same seasoning(garlic) but still have different names (koddel/bendi/vaLvaLayn). But here, the main differentiating factor is the heat level. Bendi is hotter than koddel and vaLvaLays is the hottest. If you are a Konkani, you may have witnessed your grandmother calmly taking out 30-40 red chilies for making some super spicy curries! VaLvaLayn, Fanna Upkari are such fiery hot curries. You can decide your own heat level.

Though this super spicy, fiery hot curry goes by this quaint name vaLvaLayn, it's not same as another south canara curry valval which is very mild. Go figure!;-D

BikanDa VaLvaLayn
Jackfruit seeds curry

2 cups jackfruit seeds or fresh chestnuts
salt to taste

Grind to fine paste
3/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp super hot chili powder or 12-15 byadgi chilies roasted in a few drops of coconut oil

1 tbsp coconut oil
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled/smashed

1. If using fresh jackfruit seeds, pressure cook the seeds, peel and halve them. Set aside. If using fresh chestnuts, roast them according to Indira's instructions. Cut into 2-3 pieces. If using frozen jackfruit seeds, place them in water. They are pre-cooked. Set aside.
Frozen Jackfruit seeds
2. Grind coconut, tamarind and chilies or chili powder to a smooth paste.
3. Add ground masala paste and seeds to a saucepan. Add water and salt.
4. Bring to boil.
5. In another small saucepan, heat oil - preferably coconut oil - add smashed garlic cloves. Fry till they are reddish in color.
6. Pour the tempered oil and garlic over the curry. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid immediately.

Note -
1. Traditionally,  consistency of this curry should be on the thick side. Adjust the consistency per your liking.
2. This curry should be very hot. But you can use your own judgment.
3. Any oil of your choice can be used. But traditionally, coconut oil is preferred.
4. Make sure that when smashing the garlic, you are not making a paste. Each garlic should still be able to hold its shape.
5. Frozen Jackfruit seeds are available by Daily Delight brand. They are precooked.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Khajoor Halwa/Dates Pudding

I use dates or khajoor instead of sugar in many of the desserts recipes. I use Sanjeev Kapoor's halwa recipe to make kheer by adding more milk. Today for Dasra/Vijayadashmi, I made this sweet.

Recipe Source - Recipe&MenuId=0

Happy Dasra!
विजया दशमी च्या शुभेच्छा

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cabbage Sambharo

 Though the method of preparation is somewhat similar to making subzis, this is actually the recipe of a salad. Hence, make sure that cabbage remains crunchy as you stir fry quickly on a hot flame.

Kobij sambharo
Stir fried Cabbage Salad
1 small cabbage head, roughly shredded
1/2 tsp ginger, roughly shredded

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil (or more!)
1 tsp mustard seeds
12 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 lemon, freshly squeezed

1. Heat oil in a wide saucepan or kadai or a wok. Add spices. As they sizzle, add shredded ginger and cabbage.
2. Stir fry quickly on a high flame till the cabbage is coated with oil.
3. Add salt and switch off the gas.
4. Do not cover with a lid.
5. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice as the cabbage cools down.

Note -
1. This salad needs to be crunchy. Covering with a lid may make it mushy.
2. You can also add shredded carrots and bell peppers.
3. The traditional recipe needs more oil as the crunchy cabbage appears to be glistening with oil.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Mag ni Daal

There are two ways of making mag ni daal. One is this wet version and the other is dried version (kori daal).

Mag ni Daal
Yellow Moong Daal
1/2 cup yellow moong daal
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
Grind to paste
2 green chilies (or per desired heat)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 small onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1. Pressure cook yellow moong daal and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. As they sizzle, add onions. Saute till onion is soft. Now add tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes.
3. Now, add ground paste. Fry for 5 minutes.
4. Add mashed daal, coriander-cumin powder, chili powder, salt.
5. Add water to get the desired consistency. Bring to boil.
6. Switch the gas to low.
7. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Note -
1. MIL suggests using more oil for the traditional way of making this daal.
2. Though this daal has curry like consistency, do not add too much water to get broth like results.
3. Adjust chili powder depending on the number of green chilies used in this daal.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vada Paav

My birthday menu always had two mandatory items on the list. One was batata vada and the second was cake. The first was always homemade and the second one was from the local bakery. Now, I have blogged about batata vada, laadi paav and even garlic chutney. But I have never put a picture of the magical combination of all three together. So here it is - Vada paav for two birthdays today. Happy birthday, my blog and happy birthday, self!

Vada Paav
Mumbai's Own Burger!
1 recipe batata vada
1 recipe laadi paav
1 recipe garlic chutney

1. Slit paav open.
2. sprinkle some garlic chutney.
3. Place/stuff a vada.
4. Take a big bite!!

Note -
1. You can make your own variations by adding green/sweet-sour chutney instead of garlic chutney.

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