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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paneer Nuggets

Two days back, while grocery shopping, my kiddo was excited to see the 'Milky Mist Paneer' in the store. She said  'Mama, do you know it is the most yummy paneer, that's what they say on TV.' I knew then and there, that my 'TV commercial influenced kiddo', will not let me out of the store today without buying this paneer.
Today when I opened my fridge, I had to do this paneer a favour. So I decide to make nuggets out of it. I went through some recipes, but most of them just cut the paneer in pieces, dip it in the batter and fry. But I didn't want my nuggets to be crispy and flavorful on outside and bland on inside. So I came up with this  recipe, and my little food critic gave it 5 stars....yipeee.
Since I wanted to make it kid friendly, I didn't add a lot of spices or chillies. But you can jazz it up with the spices and chillies if you want to.

Paneer Nuggets
Paneer Nuggets

Paneer Nuggets - Recipe
Paneer - 1 packet (200 grams)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Chaat masala - 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon juice of a small 1/2 lemon
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
Bread crumbs (Scroll down, for the homemade breadcrumbs recipe)
1 Egg (For my vegetarian friends, mix 2 teaspoons of all purpose flour(maida) with 4-5 teaspoons of water and salt and pepper)
Salt and Oil

1. Grate the paneer in a bowl.
Grated Paneer
Grated Paneer

2. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, chaat masala, pepper, lemon juice, sugar and finely chopped coriander leaves to the grated paneer and mix well. Let the flavors blend for at least 20 minutes.
3. Crack open an egg in another small bowl, whisk and add some salt and pepper to it.
4. Spread the breadcrumbs in yet another bowl/plate. Add salt and pepper to them and mix.
Paneer Nuggets Prep
Paneer Nuggets Prep

5. Heat oil in a pan/kadhai for deep frying.
6. Now take some paneer mixture in hand and roll it into a small ball or an oval shape.
7. Dip this in the egg. (or all purpose flour/maida mixture) See that it is coated with egg on all the sides.
8. Then dip this in the breadcrumbs. Again see that the nugget is covered in breadcrumbs on all sides.
Paneer Nuggets ready to be fried
Paneer Nuggets ready to be fried

9. Slowly put the nugget in the oil. The oil shouldn't be too hot, cause the breadcrumbs get brown very quickly.
10. Fry until golden brown.
Paneer Nuggets
Paneer Nuggets

Serve with ketchup or green coriander chutney.

Paneer Nuggets
Paneer Nuggets


Some variations:
To jazz it up for adults or older kids, you can add tandoori masala, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste or kasuri methi.

Homemade Breadcrumbs
Pop couple of bread slices in the microwave oven for 2 - 3 minutes. The bread comes out crispy. Put them in the blender and blend until coarse/powder (depending on your requirement).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde)

Rice is a staple food in Mexico. Though the Mexican green rice is rarely featured on menus in Mexican restaurants, it is often made in the homes. Known as the 'Arroz Verde' (literally meaning - 'Rice Green'), it is full of flavor and goes well with fish or chicken. Moreover it is very easy to prepare.

Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde)
Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde)
Mexican Green Rice (Arroz Verde) - Recipe
Rice - 1 cup
Capsicum (Green bell Pepper) - 1 small (chop and remove the seeds)
Garlic - 2 -3 cloves
Chillies - 2-3 (preferably poblano, if you don't find these use regular green chillies)
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Parsley - few sprigs (If you don't find these, just use more coriander leaves)
Onion - 1 small (chopped)
Lemon juice - 1/4 teaspoon
Oil and salt

1. Wash and drain rice.
2. Blend capsicum, green chillies, onion, garlic, coriander leaves and parsley into a paste.
3. Heat oil in a pan, add rice and saute for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the paste, 2 cups of water, salt and the lemon juice.
5. Lower the heat, cover and cook until the rice is done and all the liquid is absorbed.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon wedges.
This rice goes well with fish, chicken or even tacos.

Some variations:
1. Instead of cooking the rice in water, you can use chicken or vegetable stock. It adds more flavor to the rice.
2. Add peas to make the rice more interesting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chivda (Spicy rice flakes mixture)

Chivda is an Indian any time snack. Traditionally, in Maharashtra it is made with thin poha (rice flakes). It is a common snack item made during Diwali. Even though every house has it's own version of it, so far I have loved  my mom's version the best. It is the most crispiest and tastiest.

Chivda (Spicy rice flakes mixture)
Chivda (Spicy rice flakes mixture)
Chivda - Recipe
Thin poha (rice flakes) - 1/2 kg
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Roasted chana dal (dalia) - 1/2 cup
Dry coconut thin vertical slices - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 8-10 (chopped)
Curry leaves - 1/8 cup
Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Poppy seeds - 2 teaspoons
Cashews - 1/8 cup
Oil, Salt, Sugar and Asafoetida

1. Heat oil in a large pot and shallow fry peanuts, cashews and coconut slices one after the other on a low flame until golden brown. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in the same pot and add little turmeric and salt only enough for the poha you will put in. Shallow fry the thin poha for 10 - 12 minutes. If the pot is small to contain all the poha at a time, do this in 2 batches. This is the key step to get that poha crispy. When done keep aside.
3. This is the final step now. Heat oil again in the same pot.
4. Temper with mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and sugar.
5. Immediately add roasted chana dal, poppy seeds, peanuts, cashews and coconut slices. Fry just for 30 seconds.
6. Then add the poha and mix well. Let the flavors blend for 10 - 12 minutes, keep stirring though and try not to break those flakes.
7. When done let it cool down and then store in an airtight container. This makes it stay crispy longer.

Some variations:
1. You can skip coconut slices or cashews or add sesame seeds, raisins
2. Some people like to add cumin and coriander powders.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Moong Dal Bhaji (Lentil Fritters / Pakodas / Dal Vada)

In India, every state and every city has it's own favorite street side food. Moong dal bhaji or as known in Ahmedabad - 'Dal Vada' is a favorite street side food in Gujarat, especially Ahmedabad, the birthplace of dal vada. There they serve it along with lightly fried, salted green chilies and salted onion pieces. The taste of hot crisp dal vadas with the chillies and the onions is seriously addictive. You can't just have one and stop.
So this is an attempt to create the same taste..

Moong Dal Bhaji (Lentil Fritters / Pakodas / Dal Vada)
Moong Dal Bhaji (Lentil Fritters / Pakodas / Dal Vada)
Moong Bhaji - Recipe
Moong Dal - 1 cup (Split moong lentils)
Green chillies - 4-5
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt and oil

1. Soak a cup of split moong dal for 4-5 hours.
Soaked Moong dal
Soaked Moong dal

2. Grind it into a smooth paste and keep aside.(The paste should be thick enough to lift it into a spoon. So don't add a lot of water.)
3. Grind green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and coriander leaves coarsely.
4. Add this spice paste to the dal paste, add turmeric and red chilli powder and salt and mix well.
5. The batter is ready.
Moong Bhaji batter
Moong Bhaji batter
6. Heat oil in a pan/ kadhai for frying the fritters / bhajis / pakodas
7. Take small amount of batter in a spoon (size of a soup spoon for instance) and drop it slowly into the hot oil. Fry until the bhajis are golden brown and well cooked inside.
Serve it with fried salted green chillies or green chutney or ketchup or salted onions.


Moong Dal Bhaji (Lentil Fritters / Pakodas / Dal Vada)
Moong Dal Bhaji (Lentil Fritters / Pakodas / Dal Vada)


Some variations:
1. You can add garlic or chopped onions if you like to the bhaji batter.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mango Salsa

I first tasted mango salsa at Baja Fresh, a Mexican fast food joint in US. I had already started loving Mexican food at that time. And I loved mango salsa too, but always wanted to try the recipe with Alphonso Mangoes.
So before the mangoes bid bye bye again this year, it was time to experiment Mango Salsa with Alphonso Mangoes. And the experiment was a grand success. This salsa was definitely better. It was sweet and mellow and tangy at the same time...yumm.

Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa


Mango Salsa - Recipe
2 Mangoes (ripe)
1/2 Tomato
1/2 Onion (preferably red)
1 Green Chilly
Few sprigs Coriander leaves
1/8 slice Lemon
Salt
Mango
Mango


1. Finely chop the Mangoes, onions, tomatoes, green chilly and coriander leaves.
2. Mix everything together in a bowl. Add salt and squeeze 1/8 of the lemon juice and mix
3. Let the flavors blend together for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

It tastes great with any grilled fish, fish tacos or just have it with nachos or spicy chips. Try it with Tandoori Pomfret, you will love it.


Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa


Some Variations
1. You can add green or red bell pepper instead of the green chilly. Or if you can find poblano chillies in the market, you can use them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Seer Fish Curry (Surmaiche Kalvan)

My kiddo loves going to fish and meat markets. She is always amazed and busy pointing out different things to me like 'mama, look at the goat's brain' , 'mama, can I touch it's leg'. Today, when I went to the fish market, I noticed her looking at a small seer fish and then she came up with, 'mama, that fish is looking at me. It is telling me to take it home'. And that's exactly what I did...
So here's some Seer fish curry or as we call it in Marathi - 'Surmaiche Kalvan'. This is a common fish curry recipe in CKP households. Pomfret, Mackerel, Salmon, Bombay duck and Shrimp curries are also made in the same way.
Seer Fish Curry (Surmaiche Kalvan)
Seer Fish Curry (Surmaiche Kalvan)
Seer Fish curry - Recipe
Seer Fish - 1 medium
Green chillies - 3
Garlic - 7-8 (small)cloves
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Tamarind paste - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Lemon - 1/4
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Coconut - 1/4 cup (shredded)
Oil and salt

1. Make a paste of 5-6 garlic cloves, green chillies and some coriander leaves.
2. Wash, clean and cut the fish into pieces almost 2 cms thick.
3.  Marinate the pieces with the green spice paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, tamarind paste and juice of 1/4 slice of a lemon and let the fish relax at least for an hour.
Marinated Seer fish / Surmai
Marinated Seer fish / Surmai
 4. Meanwhile, make a smooth paste of shredded coconut with water.
5. Heat oil in a pan and add rest of the garlic cloves (2-3). When the garlic is light brown, add the marinated fish. Try not to break the pieces while stirring.
Add marinated seer fish / surmai to the pan
Add marinated seer fish / surmai to the pan
6. Add the coconut paste and some water. Adjust the salt and spices if you want.
Add coconut paste
Add coconut paste
 7. Boil for 5 minutes.


Seer Fish Curry (Surmaiche Kalvan)
Seer Fish Curry (Surmaiche Kalvan)


This curry tastes equally yummy with rice or chapati.

Some variations:
1. Some like to add ginger in the green spice paste
2. Instead of the shredded coconut, if you have coconut milk in the pantry, go ahead and use it.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Couscous Upma (Indian Fusion Breakfast with Couscous)

Couscous is a staple food in North Africa and Middle Eastern countries, especially Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia etc. It is basically kind of a pasta made from semolina.
For more about couscous:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couscous.
I had bought this packet of couscous in a supermarket in US. In India you will find it in any major supermarket that sells International brand products (such as pasta, pasta sauce, nutella etc.).
I prefer it over Rava to make upma because it doesn't need any roasting like rava does. Moreover, it cooks very quickly and is firm in texture. And if you are planning to have it for brunch, go for it, because it will certainly fill you up.

Couscous Upma (Indian Fusion Breakfast with Couscous)
Couscous Upma (Indian Fusion Breakfast with Couscous)



Coucous Upma - Recipe
Couscous - 1 cup
Couscous
Couscous

Onions - 1 (chopped)
Green chillies - 2
Dry red chilli - 1
Curry leaves - 4-5
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Salt - as per taste
Sugar - 2 teaspoons
Asafoetida
Oil
Water

Ingredients for Couscous Upma
Ingredients for Couscous Upma
1. Chop onions and green chillies
2. Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
3. Add green chillies, red chilly and chopped onions.
4. Saute` until the onions are soft.
5. Add salt and sugar
6. Add 2 cups of water. 
7. When the water starts boiling, add couscous. Stir, mix, cover and cook
8. You might have to check water after a minute. Add some more water if it looks too dry.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves.


Couscous Upma (Indian Fusion Breakfast with Couscous)
Couscous Upma (Indian Fusion Breakfast with Couscous)


Some variations:
1. You can add udid dal or turmeric powder while tempering.
2. Add veggies like carrots, capsicum, peas to make a colorful couscous upma.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Whole Masoor Beans Pilaf/Pulao (Masoor Khichadi)

We Maharashtrians (especially CKPs) love our lentils and beans. Curries and Pilafs(pulaos) made from whole beans(of any kind) are very common in our households. This particular dish is called 'Masoor khichadi' (whole masoor beans pulao/pilaf). It is one of my childhood favorites. The aroma of this dish (even while I am making it right now) takes me back to the scenario, where me and my sister are playing and running around; Grandma and Mom toiling away in the kitchen; and my grandpa watching 'amchi mati amchi mansa' (meaning - our soil our people) on 'Doordarshan'. (Well, for those of you from outside Maharashtra, it was a programme that they used to telecast on Doordarshan in Maharashtra in 80s. It was a  farming based show. No my grandpa was not a farmer. But most of the grandpas at that time loved watching that show) 
Anyways, back to the Whole Masoor Beans Pilaf / Pulao. It is kind of a one dish meal, but needs a little pre-planning. You will need to soak the whole masoor beans a day before(7-8 hours) and then drain and let them sprout. After draining you will get nice long sprouts after 5-6 hours. But this differs based on the weather of the place you stay in. In colder weathers, it takes a little longer whereas in warmer weathers, you don't have to wait too long.

Whole Masoor Beans Pilaf/Pulao (Masoor Khichadi)
Whole Masoor Beans Pilaf/Pulao (Masoor Khichadi)


Masoor Beans Pilaf/Pulao (Masoor Khichadi) - Recipe
Sprouted whole Masoor Beans - 1 cup
Sprouted Masoor Beans
Sprouted Masoor Beans
Rice - 1 and 1/2 cup
Onion - 2 Medium sized
Green chilli - 1
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1/4 inch
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 2 pieces - 1/4 inch each
Bay leaves - 2-3
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Poppy seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Grated coconut - 1/8 cup or Coconut milk - 1/4 cup (Store bought is also fine)
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Salt - As per taste
Oil and asafoetida

1. Chop onions and keep almost 3/4 th of that aside. Wash and drain rice and keep aside
2. Heat a little oil in a pan. Fry (shallow fry) rest(1/4) of  the chopped onions. When they turn golden brown, remove them from the pan and keep aside. In the same pan, add coriander seeds, 1 clove, 1 1/4 inch piece of cinnamon, poppy seeds, fennel seeds and fry only for couple of minutes. Don't let any of the spices burn or they will taste bitter.
3. Put all these things in a blender - fried onions, fried spices, garlic cloves, ginger, green chilli and coriander leaves. If you are using grated coconut, add that to the blender as well. Blend it well into a paste.
4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker or pan, temper with clove, cinnamon, bay leaves and Asafoetida.
5. Add chopped onions and saute until soft.
Saute onions
Saute onions
6. Then add the blended spice paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder and sprouted masoor.
Saute the masoor beans and rice
Saute the masoor beans and rice
7. Saute this for a minute and then add the washed and drained rice. If you are using coconut milk, add it at this point.
8. Add salt and water (Almost 4 and 1/2 cups). Check the salt and spices and close the lid of the pan/cooker.
9. Cook upto 3 whistles.

If you don't have pressure pan or cooker, you can make this pilaf in a big pot with a lid.


Whole Masoor Beans Pilaf/Pulao (Masoor Khichadi)
Whole Masoor Beans Pilaf/Pulao (Masoor Khichadi)

Serve it with ghee, stuffed chillies, papad, and pickle.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Capsicum with gram flour (Mirchichi Pith Perun Bhaji)

This is another very common Maharashtrian dish. We call it 'Mirchichi Pith Perun Bhaji'. Well, its made just like any other dry veggie dish but with besan(gram flour) being added at the end.
Capsicum with gram flour (Mirchichi Pith Perun Bhaji)
Capsicum with gram flour (Mirchichi Pith Perun Bhaji)



Capsicum with gram flour-Recipe
3-4 Capsicum/Green Peppers/Bell Peppers
Capsicum/Green Peppers
Capsicum/Green Peppers

1 Tomato (small sized)
Gram flour (Besan) - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - As per taste
Sugar - 2 teaspoons (or Jaggery - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons)
Oil
Mustard seeds  - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon

1. Wash and chop capsicum and tomato. Remove the seed part from the capsicum.
2. Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. Add the chopped capsicum and tomato. Then add rest of the spices and stir.
4. Cover and cook until the capsicum is little soft.
5. Add sugar/jaggery and salt. Cover and let it cook for some more time.
6. Then add besan/gram flour. Add more spices/salt if required and mix
Add some more oil, so that the flour doesn't stick and doesn't become lumpy.
7. Cover and let the flour cook. Keep stirring though.
Capsicum with gram flour tastes yummy with chapatis/bhakri.



Capsicum with gram flour (Mirchichi Pith Perun Bhaji)
Capsicum with gram flour (Mirchichi Pith Perun Bhaji)





Indian flat bread with fenugreek leaves(Methi Paratha)

Sometimes at the end of a long day, when you are tired but still want that home cooked meal, parathas are the best option. I like to make different kinds of parathas, hubby's favorite being methi parathas. Have them with yogurt or pickles. We also love to have them with leftover chicken curry. Trust me, really tastes yummy.:)

Indian flat bread with fenugreek leaves(Methi Paratha)
Indian flat bread with fenugreek leaves(Methi Paratha)


Methi Paratha - Recipe
1 bunch of methi leaves (Fenugreek leaves)
Wheat flour - 2 cups
Gram flour (Besan) - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder- 2 teaspoons
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
Ajwain seeds - 2 teaspoons (Carom seeds)
Salt - As per taste
Oil

1. Pick, wash and chop methi leaves finely.
2. Add rest of the ingredients and make it into a dough using water. Please adjust the spices and salt according to your taste
3. Let the dough rest for half an hour
4. Take a small ball of dough and roll out flat round parathas.
5. Cook both the sides on hot tava. Drizzle oil on both sides while doing that.
And you have nice hot parathas ready.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mango Mastani (Mango Milkshake with Mango Ice cream)

I stayed in Pune for about 6 years, before I got married. Nevertheless I have always been fascinated by Puneri food, jargon, people and everything else. No offense to anything or anyone, but people who have stayed in or visited Pune will know what I am talking about.
When I first stepped in this wonderland, I would learn a new word everyday...SPDP, Mango Mastani, awaraa, maaz, chowpaty etc... I used to wonder, 'where the heck is chowpaty in Pune?' and 'why is mango milkshake called mango mastani?' and SPDP just means 'Shev Potato Dahi Puri'.
And slowly but surely I fell in love with Pune, just like everybody else does. I have been living elsewhere since 8 years now and I miss my Pune so much. I miss the food, the people, all that jargon, and of course the Mango Mastani .
So here it is..
Mango Mastani (Mango Milkshake with Mango Ice cream)
Mango Mastani (Mango Milkshake with Mango Ice cream)
Mango Mastani - Recipe
1. Blend a Mango, preferably alphonso with about 3 glasses of milk and 3-4 teaspoons of sugar.
2. Chill and serve with 2 scoops of mango ice cream on top
3. Garnish with chopped pistachios.
And you have yummy Mango mastani ready.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stuffed Baby Eggplants Curry (Bharli Vangi)

If you have ever been to any Maharashtrian wedding that serves the traditional fare for the feast or if you have any Maharashtrian friend, then I am sure you would have had this dish at least once. But of course there are different ways to prepare the dish. 
One of the ways is to use the roasted onions and coconut mixture (we call it 'Talala masala'), but a little time consuming. Another simpler way, that is the recipe that follows, skips the coconut and roasting. So it is less time consuming. Just mix the ingredients, stuff, temper and cook...

Stuffed Baby Eggplants Curry (Bharli Vangi)
Stuffed Baby Eggplants Curry (Bharli Vangi)
Stuffed Baby Eggplants Curry(Bharli Vangi) - Recipe
Eggplants - 6-8 baby eggplants
Onions - 2 medium sized
Tomato - 1 small
Green chillies - 1-2
Garlic - 3-4 small cloves
Ginger - 1/4 inch
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon (or as per your taste)
Goda masala - 1/2 teaspoon (Goda masala is a mixture of few spices just as the garam masala. It can be easily found in supermarkets. I usually prefer 'kepra' brand.)
Peanut Powder - 3 tablespoons (Roasted peanut powder)
Jaggery - 1 tablespoon (or as per your taste)
Salt - As per your taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon

1. Chop the onions and tomatoes very finely.
2. Make a paste of garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander leaves(green masala paste)
3. Make a mixture of onions, tomatoes, green masala paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, goda masala, peanut powder, jaggery and salt. Mix it well. The aroma of this mixture is very appetizing. Gets your juices ready for the awesome 'bharli vangi'.
Bharli Vangi mixture
Bharli Vangi mixture

4. Then, get the eggplants ready to be stuffed. Cut the stem part. On the other side, make 2 slits but don't cut till the bottom. Make the slits in such way that they look like a plus.
5. Stuff this mixture inside the slit eggplants.
Eggplants stuffed with the mixture
Eggplants stuffed with the mixture

6. Time to make the curry. Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds and asafoetida
7. Slowly add each eggplant, put in the leftover mixture and 1/2 cup of water.
8. Cover and cook. Add more water if required.
If you are using pressure pan, cook for 3-4 whistles.
Garnish with coriander leaves. This curry pairs well with chapati, bhakri or rice.

Stuffed Baby Eggplants Curry (Bharli Vangi)
Stuffed Baby Eggplants Curry (Bharli Vangi)


Please adjust the spices and salt as per your taste.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tandoori Pomfret(Indian grilled pomfret with Tandoori marinade)

If you are fish lover, then this is the dish you must try. Unlike other traditional fish dishes, this one brings out that fabulous fish flavor. Serve it as a side or a main course. Replace it with any fish like mackerel, salmon, seer fish etc.

Tandoori Pomfret(Indian grilled pomfret with Tandoori marinade)
Tandoori Pomfret(Indian grilled pomfret with Tandoori marinade)


Tandoori Pomfret - Recipe
Pomfret fish - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp.
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Besan - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt

1. Make incisions on a clean fish and apply salt and lemon juice on both sides and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, yogurt and besan. Adjust the amount of besan and yogurt to get a nice thick paste.
3. Apply this marinade to the fish on both sides and keep it for a couple of hours in the fridge.
4. Preheat oven to 180 Degree Celsius (356 Degree Farenheit).
5. Grease the pan or rack with oil. Drizzle some oil on the fish  and cook it for 8-10 minutes.
Sprinkle some more lemon juice and relish.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Besan Ladoo(Indian gram flour sweet balls)

Besan Ladoos are scrumptious sweet delights with the least ingredients. The key is to roast besan at the correct temperature and time and use ghee generously. 
DH is a die hard fan of these ladoos. He can survive on them for days. 

Besan Ladoo(Indian gram flour sweet balls)
Besan Ladoo(Indian gram flour sweet balls)

Besan Ladoo - Recipe
Besan (Chick pea flour) - 4 cups
Castor Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 cup
Milk - 2 teaspoons
Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon
Saffron - Few strands
Nutmeg powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Cashews and Raisins - for garnish (optional)

1. Roast besan in ghee on a low flame until the color of the besan changes to light brown and the house is filled with the roasted besan aroma.
2. Meanwhile, soak the saffron strands in warm milk and add this to the mixture.
3. When the besan is done, let it rest for a while. When its still warm gradually add to it the castor (or powdered) sugar. Mix well so as to avoid any lumps. Hands are the best tools here.
4. Then add cardamom and nutmeg powder.
5. With the help of some more ghee, make small balls of the mixture. Garnish with cashews and raisins.
Make it a kiddie pleaser with these smiley faces.
Smiley Besan Ladoos
Smiley Besan Ladoos


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oatmeal Bars (Oat Breakfast Bars)

In my house, weekday mornings are always a rush with very little or no time for breakfast. So my DH would always end up eating something unhealthy in the morning(he is very lazy to sit and eat a bowl of oatmeal). The boxes of oatmeal that I used to buy always stayed sad and unopened in a corner. So, I decided to make something that he can eat on the go but would be still healthy.
And my special oatmeal bars were born. They carry all the healthy ingredients - oats, flax seeds, walnuts, black raisins, applesauce, honey etc. You can easily modify them to suit your needs. Add chocolate if you want to make them for kids.

Oatmeal Bars (Oat Breakfast Bars)
Oatmeal Bars (Oat Breakfast Bars)
Oatmeal Bars - Recipe
Rolled Oats - 1 cup
Oat Flour - 1/2 cup
(made by grinding oats in the mixer)
Applesauce - 1/4 cup (Store bought or scroll down for the homemade applesauce recipe)
Apple/Orange juice - 1/2 cup (I prefer homemade)
White/brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Honey - 4 tablespoons
Dried fruit - 1/2 cup (Black raisins/Prunes/Apricots/Currants, whatever is available in your pantry)
 Walnuts - 1/2 cup (Coarsely ground in the mixer)
Flax seeds Powder - 1/4 cup
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 teaspoon
 Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Vanilla - 1 teaspoon

1. Preheat oven to 375 Degree Fahrenheit (190 Degree Celsius).
2. Grease 8x8 pan with oil or butter and keep aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients first(Rolled oats, oat flour, sugar, cinnamon powder, flax seeds powder, walnuts, dried fruit and salt).
4. Then gradually add the wet ingredients (Applesauce, juice, honey and vanilla).
   The mixture should be moist enough to form a ball, without any extra liquid dripping out.
5. Put the mixture in the prepared pan and spread evenly on the baking pan or dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and cut into squares when cool.
Enjoy the healthy on the go breakfast oatmeal bars.

Storage : Store the bars in the refrigerator in an airtight box, preferably individually wrapped in a plastic wrap. When stored in the freezer, these bars last for a couple of months.

Applesauce Recipe:
Peel and cut apples into small pieces, boil couple of apples with 3 cups of water. Boil until the apples are soft, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon powder. The water should be reduced to almost 1/2 cup. Blend all these to get smooth applesauce.