Monday, December 29, 2008

Tropical Cheesecake

It's time of holidays and everybody is baking some goodies. We had series of potlucks during last weekend. I was also thinking to bake something appropriate for Christmas. But then G wanted to eat something different in dessert or sweet. So I decided to try this tropical cheesecake, though it is not summer. Any kind of cheesecake is my favourite. Hope you all start your new year with this dessert!!

For crust
250 gm crushed coconut biscuits
4 tbsp unsalted butter

For filling
12 oz fat free cream cheese
1 cup reduced fat cottage cheese
one and half cup coconut cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
2 tsp gelatin
1/4 cup passion fruit concentrated juice/any other fruit juice

For crust
Bring the butter at room temperature. Take one bowl and add coconut biscuit powder. Add butter in it. Mix it with your hand, till resembles to bread crumbs. Line the base of serving dish evenly and smoothly with biscuit mixture. Put in the refrigerator to set.

For filling
Hung the cottage cheese in cheese cloth/muslin cloth for 2-3 hours. Take one big mixing bowl. Add cream cheese,whipping cream,hung cottage cheese,coconut cream and mix well. Then add sugar in the mixture. Beat it well till it becomes smooth mixture. You can mix everything with electric hand mixer also.

Remove the excess water from crushed pineapple. Make sure there is not any water in the pineapple. Add pineapple in the cream cheese mixture.

Take one small bowl and pour fruit juice in it. Heat it 30 to 60 sec in microwave. Add gelatin in juice and stir it till it dissolves fully in it.

Add gelatin in the cream cheese mixture. Again mix everything well. Pour this filling mixture on the set base. Let it set in the refrigerator over night or at least 4-5 hours.

Serve cold by cutting into triangle pieces. Garnish with coconut flakes, sliced kiwis or any other fruit you like.

To cut the cake easily, run the hot water over the knife. Repeat the procedure before cutting every slice.

This is my entry to Purva's christmas feast event, tasty treat's santa's holiday challenge and yummy food's FIC white event.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Green Bataki (green potato curry)

During cold winter days, hot potato curry sounds a great idea! Though this recipe requires small baby potatoes, I wanted to have this curry so desperately that I made it with regular potatoes. If you look at other posts of my blog, you will think that now a days I am in love with green color...well this is my one more way to eat spinach.

To be grounded into green paste
1 bunch of spinach
2 small onion
1 roma tomato
1 small piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
4-5 green chillies
1 small bay leaf
2 whole black paper

To be grounded into white paste
2 tbsp magastari na bee (optional)
1 tsp fennel seeds(optional)
8-10 almonds
For Curry
5-6 baby potatoes
2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp whole milk
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of fruit soda/eno
salt as per taste

Cut the spinach roughly and wash under running water for couple of times. You can use frozen spinach also and thaw it in microwave. Cut onion and tomato roughly. Make smooth paste of all the ingredients mention above for green paste in mixer.

Soak almonds, fennel seeds, magastari na bee in water for half an hour. Make smooth white paste in grinder.

Peel and wash the potatoes. I used regular potatoes, so I cut them in big pieces. Poke them with fork.

Take one medium pot and put it on medium flame on stove with oil. When oil is heated, add cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add pinch of asafoetida. Add potatoes,salt and cover the pot with lid. Let the potatoes cook till they are fork tender. When potatoes are cooked, add white paste. Let it cook till oil separates. Add garama masala, red chili powder and mix well. Now add green paste and immediately add eno or fruit soda to keep the color green. If needed, add water to get gravy like consistency. Simmer the curry on slow flame for 10 minutes.

I did not want to use cream, so I added whole milk at the end. Milk gave the curry rich texture. After adding milk, again simmer the curry for 5-10 minutes.

Serve the hot green bataki with phulka roti or jeera rice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pav bhaji

Pav bhaji is one of favourite street food. It is originated in Mumbai and now popular in whole India. As every popular dish, it has different type of recipe in different regions. I love mumbai style pav bhaji. Some recipe has brinjal, cabbage, bottle gourd, beet etc as ingredients. When I was new in the kitchen, I also used all these ingredients. But after some trials, now I have my own kind of recipe version. I am sure that most of foodies have their own recipes. I wanted to share my version, hope you all like it!!

For Bhaji
2 cup cauliflower (cut roughly)
3-4 medium size potatoes
1 big green belle pepper (chopped)
2 medium onion (chopped)
5-6 roma tomatoes (chopped)
1 cup green peas
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 to 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 to 2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp coriander (chopped)
3 tbsp butter
For Pav
8 whole wheat buns
1 tbsp vadapav dry masala (optional)

Pressure cook cauliflower, potatoes(with skin), and half of green peas. Remove excess water and keep it in one bowl. Remove the skin of potatoes and mashed them very well. Take boiled cauliflower and peas in one separate bowl, add little bit of water and make a puree with electrical mixer.

Take one pan and put it on high heat on stove. First add butter. When butter is melted add chopped onion. When onion is almost cook, add ginger garlic paste. Then add chopped belle pepper and tomatoes. Mix all of them well and cook till oil separates.

Now add all the dry spices and pav bhaji masala ( I used badshah brand masala). Then add meshed potatoes. After adding potatoes, mix well and keep on the heat for 5-7 minutes. Potatoes should absorbed all the spices well. Then add the puree of cauliflower and peas. Add remaining whole green peas. Add reserved water, as per consistency. (If you like dark red color, at this stage add tomato paste before adding water.) Lower the heat of stove and simmer the whole mixture for 20-25 minutes. Before serving add lemon juice.

Take one tava or flat griddle. Apply some butter on bun and sprinkle dry vadavpav masala. Roast all the buns on medium heat till golden brown in color.

Serve hot pav and bhaji along with onion.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tiramisu Icecream

Tiramisu is my favourite dessert after cheesecake. This recipe is my kind of version of tiramisu ice cream. Though it is not authenticate, I like this recipe because it is quick and easy. This kind of dessert is really helpful for holiday season. The picture of this recipe doesn't look so good, because I was in hurry to cut it fast and eat right away!!

half pound chocolate sponge cake
1 cup mascarpone cheese
2 cup melted vanilla icecream
3 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup water
Take water in one bowl and add 2 tsp instant coffee powder. Heat coffee and water mixture in microwave for 30 to 60 sec.

Take one big bowl with melted vanilla ice cream. Whisk it until smoothen with hand or electrical mixer. Then add mascarpone cheese. Again mix with mixer until ice cream and cheese mixed well.

Cut the cake into thin slices. Make lining of cake slices along the wall and the base of the serving dish. Pour half of coffee mixture on cake lining. Then pour half of cheese and ice cream mixture. Cover the entire surface of ice cream mixture with cake slice. Add the remaining coffee powder into cheese mixture. Mix it well and pour it over the cake slices.

Place the cake tin in freezer until fully set. Cut into the slices to serve. Sprinkle some cocoa powder for garnishing.

This is my entry to mansi's vegetarian thanksgiving event.
Mascarpone cheese is easily available in grocery stores.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Til/Tal ni chikki

Chikki is generally made during cold winter days from various nuts. It can be made either with jaggery or with sugar. I always like jaggery version. It is made in somewhat different way in Gujarat. You may need some trial and error to get the right kind of chikki.

1/2 cup jaggery
1/2 cup tal/til (sessame seeds)
1 tsp ghee (purified butter)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar

Take one wide sauce pan and put it on medium heat. First add ghee. When it is heated, pour water in it. Once water start boiling, add jaggery. Stir it with spatula. Cook jaggery till it turned into brown in color.

To check the type of consistency for jaggery needed for chikki, put one small drop in cold water. If it doesn't get dissolved in water, then jaggery chasani/payo is done. Else cook it some more time and check it again in the same way.

When jaggery is cooked, add tal. Mix all of them well. Take it off from the stove. Sprinkle sugar on one flat surface. Put mixture of tal and jaggery in the centre. Roll it with rolling pin quickly. Make sure to roll the mixture before it is cooled. Roll it as thin as possible.

let it cool completely and enjoy!!

This is my entry to Madhavi's children's day event ,Srilekha's Sweets event and Daily Tiffin's low sugar sweet treats.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mixed fruit and veg salad

I am not great fan of salad. Though I like this one. Sometimes when I don't want to cook anything for lunch, this salad is really helpful. There is not specific type of recipe. You can add any other type of fruits or vegetables which you like.

1/2 cup sprouted mung (whole green gram)
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 apple
1/2 cup grapes
1/2 cup shredded carrot
4-5 red reddish

For dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp chat masala
1/2 tsp black pepper (fresh grounded)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt as per taste

Take one serving bowl of salad and put it in refrigerator for half an hour.

Take one bowl with olive oil. Add all the ingredients of dressing. Mix them well and keep in the refrigerator

Chop all the fruits and vegetables in small cubes. Put them in chilled serving bowl and mix them well. Pour the dressing over it and again mix well.

Serve chilled salad and enjoy!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Capsicum/Belle Pepper Curry

I always love stuffed belle peppers....but somehow I find it inconvenient for eating. So here is another type of recipe which tastes similar but doesn't require stuffing. This is my mom's recipe, G and I both, just love it.

2 green belle pepper
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
1/3 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1 tbsp coriander cumin seed powder
1/2 tbsp red chili powder
1/2 tbsp aamchur powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Pinch of asafoetida
salt as per taste

Roast the peanuts and remove the skin. Grind peanuts in coarse powder. Make sure you grind the peanuts in coarse powder, not in smooth powder.

Roast the besan on slow flame, till it gives nice aroma and properly cooked.

Cut the belle peppers in small around 1 inch cube pieces. Take one pan with oil and put it on medium flame on stove. You require little bit more oil in this curry because later we will add peanuts and besan which soaks all the oil. Add cumin seeds. When they start spluttering add pinch of asafoetida. Add diced belle peppers along with turmeric powder and let them cook till they are soft. Add some water as per required.

Take one bowl with roasted besan. Add peanuts powder,all spices, sugar,salt and aamchur powder. Mix them well by your hand. Make sure there is not any lump in the mixture.

When belle pepper are almost cooked, add besan mixture with some water. Do not add too much water. Water should be enough to keep the curry moist. Mix everything well and at last add lemon juice.

Add chopped cilantro and serve hot with chapati/paratha/roti.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cereal Chevado/Chivada

Cereal and milk...One of the healthy breakfast. But what if someone doesn't like milk?? Well, that someone is me. I don't like milk cereal chevado is my own way of eating cereals. It is made in similar way like poha chivada. Generally I make this chivada in you can adjust ingredients in your proportion.

one and half cup cheerios or O shape cereal
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup rice chex
1/2 cup wheat chex
1/2 cup corn chex
1/2 cup mini wheats (unfrosted)
4 tbsp oil
4 tbsp dalia
2 to 3 tbsp peanuts
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 to 2 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander cumin powder
1 to 2 tbsp sugar
salt as per taste

Take one big pan and put it on high flame on stove. Add oil in the pan. When oil is heated, add dalia and peanuts. Roast dalia and peanuts for couple of minutes. Add turmeric powder and then add all kind of cereal one by one. Then add all the spices, sugar and salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Make sure all the cereals are nicely coated with all spices and sugar.

Store them in air tight container and enjoy!!

You can add any other kind of cereal of your choice.
You can add few kishmish and cashew nuts also.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Spicy Green Chhole (Chickpea Curry)

Green Chhole?! It sounds something different, when I heard this recipe name. I got this recipe from one of my friend and I wanted tor try it from very long time. This weekend I got the chance to experiment with this recipe. Luckily, experiment was successful. This recipe require green chili for the green color and spice, you can reduce or increase green chillis as per your taste.

2 can chhole(chickpea/garbanzo beans)
1 cup dry chhole
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 tomato (finely chopped)
1 potato (boiled) (optional)
1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder
1 tsp coriander cumin seed powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp chhole masala (easily available in indian store)
1 to 2 tbsp sour cream (optional)
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt as per taste

For green paste
10 green chili
7-8 garlic cloves
1-2 piece of ginger
1 big bunch of coriander/cilantro
3-4 cloves
1 piece of cinnamon

If you are using dry chhole, wash and soak them overnight. Pressure cook them until they are thoroughly cooked. I used the can.

Take all the ingredients of green paste in grinder and make smooth paste with little water or without water.

Take one saucepan and put it on medium flame on stove. Add oil and butter/ghee along with cumin seeds. When they start spluttering, add chopped onion. Saute the onion, till oil separates.
Then add green paste and cook paste also till oil separates. Add garbanzo beans and mix them well in the green paste. Add all the spices, sour cream, salt and water. Add the water as required. Cut the boiled potato in big cubes and add in the curry along with chopped tomato.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve spicy green chhole with roti or jeera rice.

To get the dark green color, you can add pinch of soda or eno. Add the soda as soon as you add the green paste.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baked Chakari/Chakali/Murukku

Chakari is a very popular dry snack in Gujarat....not just Gujarat, it is famous in southern part of india also. Every region has different name and different recipe. I like every kind of chakari. Though my favourite is made by my mom. I used to eat it a lot during my hostel days. I also learned how to make, once I came to US. But for the first time yesterday, I made baked chakari, instead of fried one...

2 cup rice flour
1 cup maida (all purpose flour)
4-5 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp sour cream (optional)
1/2 cup curd
2 tbsp ginger chili paste
1 tbsp til (sesame seeds, I like them, so I added more)
1-2 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
salt as per taste
oil for frying (optional)
You will need an instrument call sev no sancho as shown in picture below. It has different attachment, use the attachment for chakari .(it has one star shape hole in the centre)
Take one big bowl to knead the dough. Take both kind of flour in the bowl. Add all the dry spices ,ginger chili paste, sessme seeds and salt. Mix them well by your hand. Add butter and sour cream and then rub the flour by hand. At last knead the dough with the use of curd and some water. Dough should not be too firm or too loose. I used luke warm water to knead the dough.

For Baking
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Take one big baking tray and line it with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Make chakari with use of sancho and put it in the oven to bake. Bake it for 15 minutes and then turn it around. Again bake it for around 10-15 minutes. Chakari should be a very very light brown in color. Take them out and store in airtight container.

Make sure you put chakari directly in the baking tray, otherwise it will be very difficult to put chakari in baking tray without breaking it.

For Deep frying
Heat oil for frying in frying pan. Make chakari with use of sancho and put them on paper. (if you use newspaper,It will be easy to lift) Put chakari in batches in frying pan and fry them until golden brown, on slow flame. Take them out and drain out excess oil on absorbent paper. Store them in air tight container.

I made baked chakari first time. It does not same taste like fried one though it was not bad also. (normally my fried chkaris are cruncy outside and soft inside, but this baked one are not soft inside) So it is upto you to decide...

Sooji Uttapa (semolina pancake)

This recipe is perfect for weekdays evening one dish meal or weekend breakfast. It can be made in just 10-15 minutes. It does not require any grinding or fermenting lot of work has been cut. It tastes so good with coconut chutney or dalia chutney.

one and half cup sooji (cream of wheat)
3/4 cup curd
1 tsp fruit soda
1/2 cup cabbage (shredded)
1/4 cup carrot (shredded)
1/3 cup green onion/spring onion(finely chopped)
1 tomato (finely chopped)
1/2 yellow belle pepper (cut thin and long strips)
1/2 orange belle pepper(cut thin and long strips)
2 tbsp green chili paste
2 tbsp coriander chopped
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
salt as per taste
oil for cooking

Soak the sooji in one bowl with curd, soda,green chili paste and salt. Add water as required. It should have batter consistency like idli or dosa. Keep it for half an hour.

Take one big bowl and add all the cut vegetables. Just before you start to make uttapa, add soy sauce and salt and mix well along with all the vegetables.

Take one flat griddle or tava and put it on high flame on stove. Take ladle full of batter and spread it on the tava in circle of around 100 mm dia. Put some oil around edges. Take approx. 2 tbsp of chopped vegetables and spread by your hand. Cook both sides till golden brown.

Serve it hot with coconut chutney or tomato chutney.

You can add any other vegetables, also you like.
Uttapa is much thicker than dosa,so pour sufficient amout of batter.
You can use any kind of belle pepper.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Daldhokali (whole wheat dumplings in lentil soup)

Daldhokali... we gujjus are famous for our love for this dish. It is also one of my favourite dish. Daldhokali is basically made from tuvar dal(split pigeon peas) and dumplings of whole wheat flour. Sometimes the dhokali(dumplings) are stuffed either with potatoes or different spices. My mother use to make different type of daldhokali. Though it is very time consuming, it is worth to try.

For Dhokali dough
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp til (sesame seeds)
1 tsp ajwaiin (carrom seeds)
red chili powder
turmeric powder
coriander-cumin seed powder
salt as per taste
water to knead the dough

For Dal
3/4 cup tuvar dal
1 to 2 tbsp jaggery/sugar
1 tsp aamchur powder (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
2-3 pieces of dried kokum
1 to 2 tbsp peanuts
1 to 2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 to 2 tsp coriander powder
salt as per taste
2 tbsp coriander(chopped)
For tempering
3-4 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
pinch of asafoetida

For Dal
Wash the dal with water for couple of times. Pressure cook the tuvar dal with water for 3-4 whistles. Make a smooth puree of boiled dal with blender. Add water before blending, to get the consistency like soup. Take one big pot with boiled and pureed dal and put on the stove on medium flame. Add jaggery(sugar),lemon juice, peanuts, kokum, aamchur powder, salt and all the spices. Mix all of them well in the dal and let it boil for 4-5 minutes.

Take one small sauce pan for tempering with 3-4 tbsp of oil. First add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add fenugreek seeds. At the end add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Add the tempering in the boiling dal.

For Dhokali
Knead the dough with all spices and salt. Dough should be little tight than usually we make for chapatis. Keep the dough cover for half an hour.

Grease your palm with oil. Take one part of the dough and roll it into a cylindrical shape. Now take a pinch of dough by your thumb and first finger. Press it with your thumb on flat surface. Repeat this procedure with all the dough. (This part is really time consuming but believe me it is worth trying!!)

Add the dhokali in batches in boiling dal. Make sure you stirr in between while adding dhokalis. They should not stick with each other in the dal, so dal must be boiling. Pressure cook the dal dhokali in cooker for 2 whistles only. Else you can cook them in pot until the dhokalis are thoroughly cooked.

Garnish with corinader and serve hot with rice.

If you don't want to spend so much time then divide the dough into 6-8 equal parts. Roll one portion on flat surface into circle of 150 mm dia. Cut it with knife into diamond shapes and add them into boiling dal. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough.
Make the dhokalis first and then make dal. At the end add dhokalis in the dal.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Methi bhaji nu shak (fenugreek leaves curry)

Fenugreek leaves (methi ni bhaji) and fenugreek seeds are two different things. You can make different variety of dishes from leaves like : curry,thepalas(parathas), muthiya(steamed dumpling), gota(fried dumplings) etc. The leaves has pleasant bitter edge, once you get used to with the taste. This is my mom's recipe and I love this curry. It has besan(chickpea flour), to reduce the bitter taste of leaves. You can easily grow this in your garden, just by planting seeds.

2 cups fenugreek leaves(finely chopped)
1/4 cup coriander/cilantro (finely chopped)
1/4 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
pinch of asafoetida
4 tsp oil
salt as per taste

Take one pan with besan and put it on gas stove with slow flame. Dry roast the besan, till it gives nice aroma of roasting. Take it out in one dish and let it cool. Wash fenugreek leaves with water.

Put the same pan again on stove and add oil for tempering. Add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add asafoetida and minced garlic. Immediately add fenugreek leaves. Add 1/4 cup of water and all the spices. Mix everything well and let it cook for 5-6 minutes. When it is almost cook add cilantro,chick pea flour and little bit of water. Mix everything well again and cook for 4-5 minutes. This is dry curry,so do not add too much water.

Serve it hot with chapati.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veggie Hummus Wrap

Hummus is the dip made from chick peas/garbanzo beans and it is famous dip of middle eastern cuisine. I love hummus and falafel both. I came up with kind of fusion of both recipe together. Hope you all also like this fusion....

For Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans
1-2 tbsp sour cream/curd
2 tbsp tahini sauce (I used the store bought)
2-3 garlic cloves minced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt as per taste
parsley (finely chopped)
cayenne pepper powder

For Wrap
1 packet whole wheat pita pockets
2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
1/2 cup cucumber (finely chopped)
1/2 cup green or red belle pepper
1 cup lattes (chopped)
2 tsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp curd
hot red chili sauce
For Hummus
Wash garbanzo beans under running water. Make smooth puree of all the ingredients except parsley. Do not add any water or if needed add just 2-3 tbsp only. Take one bowl or serving dish and take out hummus. Make one hole in the centre and put parsley in it. Drizzle the hummus with some olive oil and sprinkle some cayenne pepper.

For Wrap
Take one bowl with tahini sauce, mayonnaise and curd. Mix all them well to make smooth sauce, which has white color.

Open the pita pocket and Spread hummus all around it. Add some chopped tomato,cucumber,bell pepper and lettuce. Add spoonful of white sauce on it. If you want to have spice wrap then add some hot red chili sauce as per taste.

These wraps can be made very quickly, so it is one of the weekday comfort meal.
You can serve only hummus with any chips as an appetizer also.
In Hummus except garbanzo beans, other ingredients can be varied in proportion as per your taste. If you like roasted garlic then you can add roasted garlic. If you like tahini sauce more, add it more as per your taste.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sev Usal

Sev Usal is traditionally from Maharashtrian cuisine, but it is alo popular in Gujarat. Usal is kind of ragda made with dried green pease(lila vatana). It is served with sev (fried noodles made from chick-pea flour) or toasted bread. This is the great way to eat pulses full of fibre and protein. You can easily cut down the calorie by just eating with whole wheat bread instead of sev.

2 cups dried green peas
1/2 to 1 tbsp ginger chili paste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp aamchur powder/lemon juice
2 tbsp jaggery or sugar
1 to 2 tbsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
oil for temering
salt as per taste

To serve usal
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 tomato (finely chopped)
green coriander/cilantro chutney
red garlic chutney
khajur imli chutney
cilantro(finely chopped)
toasted whole wheat bread
1 cup sev (available in indian store)
Wash the green pease and soak them atleast 6-8 hours. Pressure cook them till soft for 3-4 whistles.

Take one pot and put on stove on medium flame. Put 2-3 tsp oil and mustard seeds. When they start crackling add ginger-chili paste and turmeric powder. Immediately add 1/2 cup water. When the water start boiling, add boiled green peas. Then add all the spices, salt, jaggery and aamchur powder. Add water as required for consistency like ragda or gravy. Mash some green peas with ladle and simmer the usal on slow flame for 15-20 minutes, so dried green peas are well marinated with spices.

To serve Usal
Take some Usal in one big bowl. Add chopped onion,tomato, cilantro and all the chutneys(as per taste). Sprinkle some sev on top for crunch and Serve hot with toasted bread.

This Usal/ragda tastes great with alu tikki/pattis also as ragda patis. The leftover tastes good with roti also.
This whole dish can be made very quickly, if you have all the chutneys ready or you can easily buy them ready made.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dal vada/Moong vada

It was raining here and we both want to eat something hot and spicy with tea or coffee. What could be better option than dal vada? Dal vada is typical gujju finger food. They make from different type of dal/lentils. This is my mother's recipe and I love it from my childhood.

2 cups moong dal (with skin)(green gram)
8-10 garlic
1-2 piece of ginger
5-6 green chili
oil for frying
pinch of asafoetida
salt as per taste.

Wash the moong dal couple of times with water. Soak it overnight in the water. Grind the moong dal coarsely in the grinder with very little water. Don't make smooth paste, it should be coarse. Grind ginger, chili, garlic and add to the moong dal batter. Add the salt as per taste. Add asafoetida and mix all of them very well with your hand.

Heat the oil in pan for frying. Grease your hands with oil and drop 3-4 vada(or use spoon) at a time in the pan and dry them till golden brown. When you put the vada, keep gas on high flame. Then fry them on slow flame, to get the crispy texture outside and soft inside.

Serve them hot with onion and fried green chili. Dal vada were so tasty, we finish them all with cup of tea and coffee.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spring onion tofu paratha

Being vegetarian, Tofu is my first choice for Chinese dishes. I am also attracted to tofu bcs of it nutritious value. I always want to use tofu, in some Indian way. Then I got this paratha recipe from one of my friend. But as always I did some variation, I add spring onion to add some crunch in parathas. I use soft silken tofu, so it can be mixed easily and makes paratha soft.

Whole wheat flour
3-4 tbsp coarse suji (cream of wheat)
200 gm tofu(soft, silken)
7-8 spring onion (finely chopped)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1 tbsp ginger chili paste
1 to 2 tbsp til (sesame seeds)
oil for cooking
salt as per taste
red chili powder
coriander powder
turmeric powder

Take one big bowl and put some whole wheat flour and suji. Add all the spices,spring onion,onion, ginger chili salt in the flour. Add all the spices, as per your taste. As such tofu has no taste.Finally add the tofu in the flour. Start kneading the dough, If you feel dough is too soft, add some more wheat flour. Add the salt as per taste. Knead the dough without water or with very little water.

Divide the dough in 10-12 equal portion. Roll out one portion on flat surface into approx 100 mm circle. Use wheat flour for dusting. Cook both the side with little oil till golden brown.

Serve hot with tomato chutney, dahi or raita.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dal Makhani

It is not possible that you don't find Dal Makhani in menu of any Indian restaurant serving Punjabi food!!! It is one of the great winning recipes on the table again and again. I always wanted to make same restaurant style at home. Finally tried it at home and get my kind of dal makhani recipe version. The main key ingredient in this dal is cream, which gives it creamy texture. But if you want to cut down calorie, you can just simply avoid it or instead add some curd(without water) or combination of both. In most of the dal makhani recipe which I found, cream was lot more required. But being on health n taste, I just add little bit of cream. Traditionally this dal is cooked for hours on slow flame, so I cooked it for around 45 minutes to 1 hr for my kind of version. (I don't have that much patience!)

one and half cup sabut udad(whole horse gram)
2 tsp rajma (kidney beans)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1-2 tomatoes (chopped)
1/4 cup tomato sauce or puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dahi (curd)(without water)

To be gound into paste
6-8 garlic cloves
4-6 green chili
1 piece of ginger

For tadka (tempering)
4 tsp ghee or butter
2-3 curry leaves
1-2 tejpatta (Bay leaf)
3/4 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 /2 to 1tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
salt as per taste

Wash both lentils couple of time and Soak them in water for 6-8 hours. Add salt and Pressure cook both of them together for 3-4 whistles. Let the cooker cool. Remove the excess water and collect the excess water in one bowl.

Take one pot and put it on medium flame on gas. Put ghee in it and once it is heated, add cumin seeds. When they start spluttering add curry leaves, tejpatta and hing. Add finely chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add grounded paste of ginger, garlic and chili. Finally add chopped tomatoes. Mix all them well and saute the mixture till fat starts to leave the mixture.

Now add the boiled lentils and then add all the spices. Add tomato puree or sauce. Add the salt as per requirement. Now add the collected water as per required consistency and simmer the dal on slow flame for 10-15 minutes.

Finally add the curd and cream, Simmer the dal for 30 to 45 minutes on very slow flame.

Garnish it with ginger juliennes and cream, serve hot with roti or jeera rice.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spinach Coriander(Cilantro) Pulav

Whenever I want to eat something healthy, spinach is the first thing in my mind. I always search for recipes in which I can add vegetables. Spinach pulav is one such dish. But today I wanted to something different with normal Spinach Pulav, so finally I add bunch of coriander(cilantro) in it. Guess what...Pulav was really awesome. I also twisted the recipe a little bit more, by putting it in the oven at the end to give it touch of biryani also. I added red and yellow belle pepper to make this green colored pulav more colorful.

2 cups Basmati rice(or plain rice)
1 bunch of spinach(palak)
1 bunch of coriander(cilantro)
1 medium piece of ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic
4-5 green chili
butter for cooking
2-3 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion
1/2 cup red & yellow belle pepper(cut in thin-long strips)
1/2 tsp garam masala
oil for cooking
salt as per taste

Soak the rice in water for half an hour. Add salt and water in the rice.Take one large crock pot and cook the rice on medium flame or else cook the rice in rice cooker. Make sure rice is just partially cooked. Take out the rice in colander and put it under cold running water to prevent further cooking.

Roughly chopped the spinach and coriander. Make smooth puree of spinach, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili in grinder.

Cut the onion in long and thin strips. Fry it till golden brown in oil and take out on absorbent paper. Saute the red and yellow belle pepper in the same oil. (Don't cook the belle pepper too much, keep it just half cooked)

Take one medium size sauce pan and put it on medium flame. Add butter in it. When butter is melted, add cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering, add curry leaves. Then add spinach and coriander puree. Add some salt,garam masala powder and coriander powder and mix all them well. Cook the puree for 5-7 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Take one oven safe pan. At the bottom make one layer of half of the rice. Make another layer of puree on the rice layer. Sprinkle sauteed belle pepper on it. Make the layer of remaining rice on top of it. Sprinkle fried onion on it, just keep some for garnishing. cover the pan with lid and put it in preheated oven. Cook it for 12-15 minutes.

Garnish the pulav with friend onion and serve hot with dahi(curd) or raita.

This is my entry to srivalli's Rice Mela event.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Puran Poli (stuffed lentil flatbread)

Puran poli is one of the famous sweet dish of gujarati and maharashtrian cuisine.It is my brother's favourite sweet dish. It is flatbread stuffed with lentils. Normally it is served with lot of ghee(purified butter). Normally it is made with tuvar dal(red gram) in gujarat and chana dal (bengal gram) in maharashtra. I use both of them and result was good. I also suggest use of jaggery if available, because it really makes difference in the taste when you use jaggery instead of sugar. Though it requires a lot of time and patience, believe me it is worth to try!!!

For Puran(stuffing)
1/2 cup tuvar dal(red gram)
1/2 cup chana dal(bengal gram)
1 cup jaggery of sugar
1/2 tspn cardamom powder
1/2 tspn nutmet powder
2-3 tspn ghee

For dough(for cover of stuffing)
3 cup whole wheat flour

Soak the tuvar dal and chana dal for 2-3 hours. Pressure cook both the dal in the cooker for 3-4 whistles. Let it cool for some time. Remove the extra water from the dal.

Take one big sauce pan and put it on the medium flame. Put 3-4 tspn ghee in it. When ghee is hot add jaggery in it. Once jaggery is melted, add the dal in it. Now keep the flame slow. Keep stirring the mixture continuously, so there is not any lump and to prevent it from sticking in the sauce pan. Be careful while stirring, because this mixture splutters a lot. It is done when the spatula can stand still in the mixture. At the end add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder and mix well. Take of the mixture from gas and let it cool completely.

Knead the dough using water. (dough should be soft and easily pliable life chapati dough.) Divide the dough into small balls. Roll out one ball on the flat surface into approx 75 mm dia. circle. Now place spoonful of puran(stuffing) in the centre. Fold the edges of the dough over stuffing mixture and pinch the edges together to cover the stuffing. Flatten the dough again with rolling pin into approx 100 mm dia. circle.(Apply gentle pressure while rolling otherwise stuffing will come out) . Cook it on the tava or flat griddle till the both sides are golden brown.

Smear it with ghee and serve hot with any curry or just puran poli itself.

You can make puran in microwave to save your cooking time.
Normally in gujarat puran poli is served with kadhi and moong dal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Medu Vada/Vadai(lentil dumplings)

Winter has been almost started in this part of US. In this cold weather, let's have some spicy medu vada along with hot sambhar. From my childhood, I was always fascinated for this vada because of the hole in the centre. Once I started my experiments in the kitchen, I always wanted to try this recipe but hesitated because of the 'hole'. After some trial and error, I was successful to make perfect medu vada with hole in the centre.

2 cups split black gram(skinless udad dal)
2-3 tspoon ginger chili paste
pinch of asafoetida
oil for frying
salt as per taste

Wash and soak the udad dal for 18-20 hours. Make sure udad dal is soaked well in the water before grinding because that is the key for good medu vada.(you have to grind it without water, make sure it soaked good amount of water). Before grind it remove all the water from udal dal. Grind it in small batches without any water and make smooth fluffy paste. Paste should have thick consistency (you should be able to hold it in your palm and give shape).
Add all the spices and salt in the paste and mix them well in the paste.

Take one deep pan for frying and add oil in it. Put the pan on medium flame on gas. Wet your palm with water. Then as shown in the picture, take some paste in your hand and give it a shape with another palm. Then make one hole in the centre with your finger.

Put it carefully in the deep frying pan. Fry it till the golden brown, on slow flame.

Serve it hot with sambhar and coconut chutney.

Make sure you wet your hands everytime for new vada.
Fry it on the slow flame, for crispy outer texture

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dudhi chana nu shaak(bengal gram and bottle gourd curry)

During these diwali festival days, after eating lot of sweets and fried items, yesterday I want to to eat something simple yet nutritious. I found bottle gourd(dudhi/lauki) in my refrigerator. I am not big fan of bottle gourd, but I like this curry because of bengal gram. This curry tastes good with chapati(indian flat bread) as well as rice. (I don't have to make dal!!!). This is one of the best curry for diabetic person because of the lower glycemic index of bengal gram.

1 cup bengal gram(split chana dal)
1/2 cut cup bottle gourd
1 tsp jaggery(gud) or sugar (optional)
1 tsp amchur powder or lemon juice
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dry red chili
1 tsp dry red chili powder
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp of oil
pinch of asafoetida
salt as per taste

Soak the bengal gram dal for 4-5 hours. Cut the bottle gourd into small cubic pieces. Pressure cook bottle gourd and bengal gram together with water for 4 whistles. Bengal gram dal should be cooked nicely. (you should be able to break it with your fingers)

Take one sauce pan and put 2-3 tsp of oil in it. Keep the sauce pan on gas on medium flame. Add mustard seeds. Once mustard seeds starts spluttering, add cumin seeds. Then add cumin seeds, asafoetida and dry red chili.

Add turmerid powder and immediately add boiled bottle gourd and bengal gram (I always add turmeric powder immediately after tempering for better color). Now take 1/4 cup water in one bowl and add all dry spice in it. Mix spices well in the water and pour the water in curry.

Add jaggery or sugar (optional). At last add aamchur powder or lemon juice, along with salt.

Simmer it low flame for 20- 25 minutes. Make sure the curry has consistency like gravy, so if needed add extra water inbetween.

Garnish it with cilantro and serve hot with chapati or rice.

Dabeli (Gujarati vadapav)

Dabeli is one of my favourite street food. Especially I always miss "Karnavati Dabeli" of my home town. It is kind of gujarati version of vadapav. Though it has not fried vada so it has less calories compare to vadapav and very easy to make. The main ingredient in dabeli is dabeli masala. You can easily buy it from indian store or you can make it at home also.

Dabeli Masala (makes 2 tspoon)

1 red chilly

1 tspoon corrainder seeds (dhania)

2 cloves

1 cinnemon stick

1/2 tspoon cumind seeds (jeera)

For Filling

one and halfcup boiled and mashed potatoes

2-3 tablespoon kahjur imli chutney (date tamarind paste)

1/2 tspoon corrainder powder

1/2 tspoon red chilly powder

salt according to taste

10 hamburger buns

1 onion chopped

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

1/2 cup fresh pomegranate (anar,dadam)

2-3 tablespoon garlic chutney

6 tablespoon corriander chutney

6 tablespoon khaju imali chutney

1/2 cup sev

oil or butter for cooking

Dabeli masala

Dry roast all the spices on slow hear for around 2-3 minutes. Grind it dry and make smooth powder.

For filling

Take one bowl and add boiled and mash potatoes. Add dabeli masala as required. Add khajur imali chutney. (Keep the consistency of khaju imli chutney thick, so potatoes filling doesn't get sticky or liquid). Then add salt and other spices as per your taste.

Take one tava or flat griddle and dry roast the peanuts. Once peanuts are roasted, remove peanut skin. Take same tava and heat 2-3 tspoon oil on it. Add some dry red chilly powder and dhania powder. Then add roasted peanuts and mix peanuts with spices. Make sure peanuts are nicely coated with masala.

Take one tava or flat griddle and put it on medium flame. Cook hamburger buns with little oil or butter. Spread corriander chutney on two buns. Place portion of filling on one half of the bun. Top it with peanuts,fresh garlic chutney,khajur imli chutney, pomegranate,sev, onion. Sandwhich it with another half of the bun and enjoy it!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palak Paratha

Hello friends, this is my first post on this bit nervous and a lot of exicitement!!! I will try to share my recipes and in return expect your feedbacks.

Being a vegetarian, I always try to add as many vegetables in my food as possible. Paratha(Flat bread) is important part of indian cuisine. Aloo paratha are my favourites. Though Palak paratha is my recent favourite and also try to add nutritious spinach in my dish. Especially I love green color of this paratha. Parathas can be enjoyed with pickles,curry,raita,chutney,sauces!!!

4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tspturmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp corriander powder
garama masala(optional)
2 tsp sessme (til)
1 tsp sugar(optional)
1-2 small boiled potatoes
some oil for cooking

To be ground into paste
2 cup roughly chopped spinach
1 small onion
3-4 green chilly
1 small piece of ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic

First of all grind a smooth paste of spinach,onion,green chilly,ginger and garlic in mixer grinder.(without any water)

Now take a one big bowl to knead the dough. add all spices and sugar in the whole wheat flour. Mashed the boiled pototo and add in to the flour. Mix the potato in flour nicely with your hand. Add 4-5 tbsp of oil in the flour. Add the salt according to taste.

Add the grinded paste of spinach in the flour and mix all of it well. Knead smooth dough without water or with a very little water.dough should not be too firm or too loose. ( If you feel, the grounded paste is more then add some flour.)

Now divide the dough into small portions. Using a rolling pin roll each portion on a flat surface into a round shape paratha. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle the whole wheat flour on flat surface.Take a pan or griddle and cook both the side of parathas with little oil.

Serve it hot with curd,pickle, raita, or chutney. It is wholesome meal for dinner and then you can enjoy leftover as breakfast in morning also!!