Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Missi Roti (Wheat–Gram Flour Flat Breads)


It is very nutritious; rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fiber; especially good for diabetic people.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup black gram flour
  • 2 tbsp wheat bran
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Warm water to knead flour

Method:
  • Mix wheat flour, gram flour, wheat bran and salt. Knead into soft and smooth dough by adding warm water. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for at least 1 hour. Right before rolling out, punch the dough and knead again without any more water.
  • Divide the dough into equal size small balls. Dip each one into dry wheat flour, and roll out into thin, 6" circles.
  • Place a flat, griddle on the stove at medium-high heat. When hot, place a rolled-out chapati ‘right side’ down on the griddle. The ‘right side’ is the one facing you when you roll it. When bubbles are visible, turn over and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the griddle.
  • If you have a gas stove, hold the chapati with a pair of tongs, and place it directly over the burner flame for a few seconds, with ‘right side’ facing down, until the chapati puffs up. Turn and repeat on the other side.
  • If you have an electric stove, keep the chapati on the griddle. With a towel press gently all around the chapati. Flip the chapati and press gently around the other side. This procedure should make the chapati puff up.
  • Remove the chapati from the heat, and butter with ghee on the ‘right side’.
    Serve hot with curry and dal of your choice.

Do You Know?

Bran is often produced as a byproduct of milling in the production of refined grains.

It is the hard outer layer of grain and consists of combined aleurone (the term is used for the outermost cell layer of the seed coat which is rich in protein ) and pericarp(outer fruit layer).

When bran is removed from grains(rice, wheat etc), they lose a portion of their nutritional value. Bran is particularly rich in dietary fiber and omegas and contains significant quantitities of starch, protein, vitamins and dietary minerals.

Masala Buttermilk


Buttermilk is flavored with ginger, green chili and mint.

Ingredients:

Method.
  • Grind ginger, green chili, mint, asafetida and black salt together to a fine paste in an electric mixture.
  • Add yogurt and 4-5 cups of water and again churn for few seconds till yogurt turns into smooth buttermilk.
  • djust consistency of buttermilk according to your taste by adding more water.
  • Serve chilled.


Do You Know?

In India, buttermilk(widely known as "chhaachh") is known to be the liquid leftover after extracting butter from churned curd.Artificially made buttermilk, also known as cultured buttermilk, is a product where lactic acid bacteria called Streptococcus lactis have been added to milk.
Buttermilk is lower in fat and calories than regular milk because the fat from buttermilk has already been removed to make butter.
It is high in potassium, vitamin B12 and calcium.
Buttermilk is more easily digestible than whole milk.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ghiya Ki Kheer( Bottle Guard Pudding)



Kheer is one such pudding, which is fairly easy and quick to prepare.
Grated ghiya (Bottle gourd) is cooked in milk and flavored with cardamom powder, rose water and saffron.

Ingredients:

Method:
  • Wash and cut the top and bottom of Bottle gourd; peel off the skin and grate it.
  • Heat ghee in heavy bottom pan; add first crushed green cardamoms, when it starts changing its color add grated Bottle gourd and fry on medium heat till it is soft.
  • Add warm milk and allow it to boil. Stir in chopped almonds and cashew nuts. Keep on stirring till the mixture becomes thick.
  • Turn off the heat and add cardamom powder, rose water and saffron.
  • Garnish with almonds, cardamom powder and rose petals.
  • Serve chilled.

Do You Know:
Kheer
is the most common dessert among the Indians prepared at the time of all the major festivals and celebrations.
Traditionally kheer is made with either rice or vermicelli boiled with milk and sugar; but variations are there and you can make kheer, using ingredients like ghiya, kaddu, apple, carrot, sweet potato etc., with different flavors like apricot, mango, fig, saffron and custard apple etc.
The term Kheer (used in Northern India) is derived from Sanskrit word 'Ksheer' (which means milk).

Chana Dal Palak (Split Bengal Gram with Spinach)


Chopped seasoned spinach is folded in cooked Chana dal (split Bengal gram).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Chana dal, washed
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 tsp garlic chopped
  • 3- 4 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
Seasoning:
Garnishing:
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chat masala (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped

Method:
  • Clean spinach, remove stems and chop it fine.
  • Thoroughly wash the Chana dal and put into a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water to it. Add all ingredients (except spinach). Stir well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set on the stove at a high flame. After the first pressure release, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for two more pressure release or cook it till the dal is soft. Turn off the fire and open the pressure cooker when it is cool.
  • Stir it well; add some warm water if dal is too thick.
  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and mustard seeds and fry till spluttering stops. Quickly add chopped spinach and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add dal and fold the spinach in it gently. Cook until all the spinach is blended in with the dal.
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice, chat masala and chopped cilantro.
  • Garnish with little ‘tadka’ (ghee with little red chili powder).
  • Serve with Roti (Indian flat bread ) or rice.


Do You Know?
Bengal gram
is also known as Black Chickpea, from which Chana dal and Besan (chickpea flour) are made.
Bengal gram is very rich in proteins and fiber. It has very low glycemic index which makes it suitable for people with blood sugar problems.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tamaate Ka Kut (Hyderabadi Tomato Curry)


This particular curry is an accompaniment to Biryani or Baghara Khana or Khubooli.
I have here simplified traditional recipe of making Tomato Ka Kut.
It is very simple to cook; it can be made anytime and can be eaten with plain rice also.

Ingredients:
  • 10 medium red and ripe Tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 2 tbsp Besan/Gram Flour
  • 2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Dry Roasted Coriander Seed Powder
  • 1 tsp Dry Roasted Cumin Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Mint finely chopped
  • 4 Hard boiled Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind pulp (soak in 1 cup water for 1/2 hr and remove seeds)
  • ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Dried Red Chilies each split into two
  • 7-8 Curry Leaves
  • 4 tbsp Cooking oil

Method:
  • Put the quartered tomato pieces in a large non-stick saucepan on medium low heat.
  • Add a cup of water to it, and cover with the lid. Let it cook till the tomatoes are mushy and soft. Keep giving it a stir every once in a while.
  • Let it cool. Once cooled, pour into a blender container and add the gram flour.
  • Blend till pureed. Strain this mixture through a wire mesh strainer back into the saucepan. Throw away the left over seeds and skin in the strainer.
  • Add 3 cups water to it and let it cook on simmer.
  • Heat 4 tbsp oil into a small frying pan at medium heat and add the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, whole red chilies, and curry leaves. As they start to splutter, add ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Now remove from heat and add this to the Sauce being cooked in the saucepan.
  • Add the cumin and coriander seed powder, red chili powder, tamarind pulp and salt to the sauce and mix well.
  • Bring it to a boil, and let it cook at medium low heat until the raw aroma of gram flour is gone. You can add a little water to it if required. Pour it into a serving bowl.
  • Cut boiled eggs into pieces and add these to the tomato sauce before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and mint.
  • Serve it with Biryani or Baghara Khana and Dahi Ki Chutney.

Do You Know?
Bagara Khana is a rice delicacy prepared in Hyderabad, India. The long grain rice, along with spices and green chilies, is used to prepare Bagara Khana.

The side dish for it can be either Bagara Baigan or Dalcha.
The dish makes up for the vegetarians who miss out on the
Hyderabadi Biryani.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kaleji Seenkhs (Goat Liver Kebabs)


This simple dish can be made ahead of time and grilled quickly when you're ready to eat. It makes a great appetizer.

Ingredients:
  • 20 Fresh Kaleji (Goat Liver) pieces cut into cubes
  • 8-10 Raspberries or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 medium onions (scale leaves separated and cut into 1" square pieces)
  • 3 large capsicum cut into 1” square pieces
  • 3-4 medium hard red tomatoes cut into 1”square pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  • Mix the yogurt with the chili powder, turmeric powder, green chili paste, ginger paste, garlic paste and salt. Whisk to get a smooth paste.
  • Add the cubes of Kaleji (Liver) to this paste and coat well. Allow marinating for 4-5 hours.
  • In a non-stick pan add 1 tbsp of oil and add only marinated Kaleji pieces (without marinade). Cook covered till Kaleji pieces are almost tender.
  • On wooden barbecue skewers, alternate cubes of Kaleji with the onion squares, tomato squares and green bell peppers squares in a combination of your choice.
  • Use raspberries or cherry tomatoes for the tips of the barbecue skewers.
  • Grill on a barbecue or in the oven until the vegetables are soft as per your liking. I like crunchy half cooked vegetables.
  • Garnish with lemon juice and serve.

Do You Know?
Animal livers are rich in iron and Vitamin A.
Cod liver oil is commonly used as a dietary supplement.


Kanji Vaday Ki



It is not only a tasty drink but also a digestive. It is usually prepared during Holi festival. During this season the vadas are fermented well and give a tangy taste.

Ingredients:

For Vadas:
  • 1 cup Urad dal (Split Skinned Black Gram)
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil for deep-frying
For Kanji:
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 pinch of asafetida
  • 1½ liters of water boiled and cooled
  • 1 earthen pot (if not available take any other clay pot)

Method

For Vada:

  • Wash and soak dal for 4-5 hours.
  • Grind to a smooth thick paste with minimum water.
  • Add salt and a pinch of asafetida. Whisk the mixture to make it fluffy.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and make dumplings of the size of ping-pong balls.
  • Fry till golden brown on medium heat.
  • Drain and keep aside.

For Kanji:

  • Heat griddle and put a pinch of hing on it.
  • Take an earthenware pot, wash it nicely. As soon as the hing starts emitting aroma (smoke), turn the pot upside down on the griddle to soak up the smell.
  • There is another method of smoke seasoning- Take a glowing charcoal and put a pinch of hing on it, as soon as the hing starts emitting smoke, put it in the earthen pot. Close it by a lid.
  • After 10 minutes take out the charcoal and fill the pot with water and mix mustard powder, salt, turmeric powder and chili powder. Mix well.
  • Put the vadas in water. Cover the earthen pot with muslin cloth and tie it.
  • Keep the covered pot in sun for 3-4 days. When it tastes sour it is ready to be served.
  • Serve the vadas with the kanji.

Note:

Earthen pot provides typical flavor to Kanji. But if it is not available, you can take any other clay pot, which is used to make pickles.
The aroma of asafetida produced by Smoke seasoning is imbibed by the pot, which enhances the taste and flavor of Kanji.

Do you know?

Asafetida is used in Indian cuisines, mainly in vegetarian curries or lentil dishes.
It is a very powerful seasoning; use only a pinch, the tiniest quantities, at one time; otherwise, it has a bitter aftertaste. Asafetida is extremely unpleasant if tasted on its own.
Asafoetida has certain medicinal uses and most commonly is used as a digestive aid. It is reputed to lessen flatulence. It is also said to be helpful in cases of asthma and bronchitis.
In Thailand and even in some parts of India, it is used to aid baby’s digestion and is smeared on the child's stomach.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Grapes Spin



Blend grapes with orange juice and mint leaves; add ginger extract and chill it before serving.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Orange Juice Chilled
  • 1 cup Fresh Green Grapes
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger juice (optional)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • Pinch of black salt
  • Pinch of chat masala
  • Few green and black Grapes for garnishing

Method:
  • Pour all ingredients in a Blender and blend well at high speed.
  • Pour drink in glasses and garnish with grapes skewers.

Do You Know:

A grape is the non-climacteric fruit (they ripen without ethylene and respiration bursts), that grows on the perennial (means a plant that lives for more than two years) and deciduous (means falling off at maturity or tending to fall off) woody vine (climbing or trailing plant which produces extensions).
Concord grapes are a cultivar variety which are used as table grapes, wine grapes and juice grapes.The skin of a Concord grape is typically dark blue or purple, and often is covered with a lighter colored "bloom" which can be rubbed off. It is a slip-skin variety, meaning that the skin is easily separated from the fruit. Concord grapes have large seeds and are highly aromatic. The grape is sometimes used to make wine.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Khasta Paraton Wala Paratha (Multi Layared Pan-fried Flat Bread)



This Paratha was specialty of my mother. I can say with pride that no one can make Paraton Wala Paratha as tasty and khasta as my mother used to make.
It is a multilayered non-stuffed Paratha. The rolled dough is folded over in a specific way, which is demonstrated here by still pictures. When the Paratha is cooked, the steam puffs up separating the layers. Serve it with curry of your choice.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 2 cups maida
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp ghee or cooking oil
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup of ghee or cooking oil for pan frying

Method:
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method I
  • Mix wheat flour, maida, salt, yogurt and 4 tbsp cooking oil. Knead into soft and smooth dough by adding warm water. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Divide and roll into 10 equal balls. Dust lightly the rolling surface and roll the dough balls into 7-8-inch discs. Apply 1 tsp oil evenly over one side. Dust dry maida over the oiled surface. Now form blob (pedha) by folding round disc in a manner shown in the picture, each time applying some oil and dusting maida over the surface.
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the blob (pedha) into a flat circle about 7-8” in diameter. Refrigerate these flat circles for about 15 minutes on butter paper.
  • Heat a griddle and put a paratha over it. Flip the paratha when you see tiny bubbles rising on the surface of the paratha. Drizzle a bit of oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again and drizzle some more oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with any curry of your choice.

Tips:

The following points should be noted:
  1. Use a 2" wide soft bristle pastry brush to apply ghee on the surface of the dough disc while making layered paratha. You may use oil, if that suits your taste. You may also use slightly melted Butter. The moisture in the butter will create more steam.
  2. Apply Ghee only to one surface. You do not need to baste both surfaces within a layer.
  3. Number of layers makes the paratha flaky. If you want flakier paratha, increase the layers in the paratha.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mixed Fruit Punch

ncalt give it a unique flavor.

It is a refreshing non-alcoholic flavorful drink. Mint and black salt give it a unique flavor.


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Orange juice
  • 1 cup Apple juice
  • 1 cup Pineapple juice
  • 1 cup Guava juice
  • 2 cups Mango juice
  • 2 tbsp small pineapple chunks
  • 2 tbsp grapes chopped in small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Ginger ale
  • 1 tbsp Black Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds roasted and powdered
  • 1 tbsp Chat Masala
  • ¼ cup Mint Leaves finely Chopped
  • White salt according to taste

Method:
  • Mix all ingredients in a punch bowl. Add ice cubes.
  • Garnish with mint leaves.

Do You Know?

Punch is a general term for any of a wide assortment of mixed drinks, either soft or alcoholic.
It is typically served at parties in large, wide bowls known as punch bowl with punch glasses.
The drink was brought from India to England in the early seventeenth century, and from there it was introduced into other countries.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fried Goat Brain



Fresh Goat Brain fried with a little ginger garlic paste, salt and pepper makes a good appetizer. It can be a part of main stay if cooked with more spices.

Ingredients
  • 2 whole Goat Brains (fresh)
  • 2 medium onions sliced thinly
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Method:
  • In a pan boil about 5-6 cups of water. Add 1 tsp salt, turmeric powder and brains in it. Cover the pan and off the heat. After 10 minutes drain and cool the brains.
  • Now remove the outer transparent skin of brains carefully.
  • In a frying pan heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Fry onion, ginger garlic paste, green chilies till golden brown.
  • Add brains, and mix in black pepper powder, salt (as per taste) and lemon juice. Fry for 7-8 minutes on slow heat. Break the brains in pieces with the help of spatula so that brains are completely fried.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Sprinkle little more fresh lemon juice if required.
  • Serve hot as an appetizer.


Do You Know?

The brain is rich in cholesterol because the nerve tissue, with which it is made up of, largely contains fat (about 60% of the total make up of the brain). This fat is due to the presence of large quantity of myelin present in the nerve tissue. Myelin is largely made up of fat and it acts as insulator around the axons of the nerve tissue.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gatte Ki Sabji (Gram Flour Dumplings Curry)



It is a Rajasthani speciality made with gram flour in stages- Kneading, Boiling, Shallow frying and finally preparing the gravy in yogurt. However, its worth the effort and time.

Ingredients:
For Gatte:
For gravy:
Method:
  • Add ajwain, red chili powder, coriander powder, kasoori methi, salt and oil into besan and mix well with your palms.
  • Now add little water at a time to make a medium to stiff dough and knead well.
  • Divide the dough into round balls of equal portions and roll into long cylinders( stick shaped) with your palms.


  • Heat 6-8 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add the cylinders and boil for 10-15 minutes.


  • Remove cylinders and set liquid aside. When the cylinders are cool, cut into one-inch pieces.


  • Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a kadhai or wok and fry the gatte pieces till golden brown.
    Now, to prepare the gravy, heat oil in a skillet and then add bay leaf, cloves, asafetida, and cumin seeds; and allow it to crackle. Add ginger garlic paste with onions, turmeric, coriander powder and red chili powder. Add water if needed. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add whisked curd and stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. Add kasoori methi, and keep stirring till the gravy starts boiling or oil separates.
  • Now add garam masala powder, salt, fried gatte and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of the reserved liquid, bring to boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve hot with Sabji and roti or Puri.

Do You Know?
The Rajasthani cooking was influenced by the availability of ingredients in this region. Cooking in Rajasthan has its own distinctive taste and the simplest ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes.

Dearth of water and fresh green vegetables has had a huge impact on the cooking of Rajasthan especially in the desert areas of Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Barmer. Instead of water the women prefer to use milk, buttermilk and clarified butter.
Gram flour is a major ingredient and is used to make delicacies like khata, gatte ki sabzi and pakodi.

Dried lentils and beans from indigenous plants are used liberally.
The staple grains of Rajasthan are bajra and corn, which are used to make rotis, rabdi and kheechdi.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Matar Bhara Paratha (Green Peas Stuffed Pan-fried Flat Bread)


This shallow fried unleavened bread stuffed with green peas can be enjoyed with green cilantro chutney.

Ingredients:
To prepare dough:

To prepare stuffing:
  • 1 cup green peas
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp chat masala powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger or ½ tsp dry ginger powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped

To pan fry:
  • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil to pan-fry parathas

Method:
  • In a pan heat two tablespoons of the ghee/oil, add green peas and all the spices given for stuffing. Stir-fry peas mixture on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until soft; remove from the heat and cool it. Stuffing is ready.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method VI
  • Put the maida flour, wheat flour, 1 tbsp cooking oil and salt in a bowl and gradually add water to bind the mixture into soft dough. Keep the dough for 15-30 minutes in refrigerator in a closed container.
  • Divide the dough into 8-10 equal sized small balls. Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a circle (like pancakes) about 2-3" in diameter.
  • Place generous amount of stuffing on one circle of dough and cover with the other. Press gently around the edges.
  • Carefully roll out the stuffed circles into paratha, sprinkling whole-wheat flour on the surface, to avoid sticking of paratha with rolling pin.
  • Heat a griddle (tawa) and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve with chutney / plain yogurt / pickle / aloo sabji (curry).

Note:
If you are not using fresh peas on the day of purchase, which is the best way to enjoy them, you should refrigerate them as quickly as possible in order to preserve their sugar content, preventing it from turning into starch.
Unwashed, unshelled peas stored in the refrigerator in a bag or unsealed container will keep for several days.
Fresh peas can also be blanched for one or two minutes and then frozen.

Do You Know?
Green peas are a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, foliate and thiamin (vitamin B1).

They are also a good source of vitamin A, phosphorus, vitamin B6, protein, niacin, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), copper, iron, zinc and potassium.

Aloo Ki Kachori (Deep fried pastry stuffed with Potatoes)


Aloo Kachori is very common in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab especially during winters.

Kachoris are made from the dough made of maida and whole wheat flour with a little oil added, stuffed with boiled potato mix, rolled out thin and round with a wooden roller and deep-friend in clarified butter or vegetable fat.

Ingredients:

For the stuffing

  • 1 Pound Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tbsp Ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Green Chilies paste
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp dry Mango powder
  • A pinch of asafetida (optional)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt To taste
  • 2 tbsp Oil

For the Kachori

  • 2 cups Maida
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Cooking Oil for deep-frying

Method:

  • Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a frying pan.
  • Add asafetida and cumin seeds. When cumin stops spluttering add ginger, garlic, green chili paste and fry for2-3 minutes. Add red chili powder, garam masala, raw mango powder and salt. Mix well
  • Add the mashed potatoes and stir-fry it well. Now add chopped cilantro leaves and keep aside.
  • Mix wheat flour, maida, salt, and 4 tbsp cooking oil. Knead into soft and smooth dough by adding warm water. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Make small balls of the dough. Press one of the balls to about 3 to 4" diameter. Place a part of the stuffing on top.
  • Gather the dough around folding the stuffing in. Make sure most of the air escapes. Press down again making it flatter. Roll it lightly, slightly thicker than puri with oil.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or kadhai on medium heat till it starts smoking. Slip in a kachori (seam-side down). Deep-fry Kachoris 2-3 at a time, till they are golden brown.
  • Drain excess oil and serve hot with pickle and /or green chutney and sabji of your choice.

Note:

The most important thing in making kachoris is the right temperature at which these are deep-fried. Try to start frying when oil just starts smoking. High temperature will make kachoris soggy and at low temperature kachoris will absorb oil.

So first fry only one kachori; 2-3 kachoris can be fried at a time later on, till they are golden brown.

Tips:

  1. To make the kachoris khasta and tastier, add one-tablespoon semolina for each cup of wheat flour while preparing dough for kachoris.
  2. Heat oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat. When oil starts smoking, add 2-3 kachoris. Deep-fry the kachoris on medium heat until golden brown.
  3. When you put the kachori in oil for frying, keep the folded side downwards. The kachori will never burst during frying and no stuffing will come out and mix in the oil.
  4. Frying the Aloo masala for stuffing can be avoided to save fat intake without sacrificing much of the taste.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kheema (Minced Meat) Biryani



Kheema Biryani is rice cooked with minced meat and spices. The proportion of rice to minced mutton is usually 2:1 by weight.

Ingredients:
  • 2 pound mutton (Goat/Lamb) minced
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 Bay Leaves
  • 1” stick of Cinnamon
  • 2 Green Cardamoms
  • ½ tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 Large Onion finely sliced and fried brown
  • 2 Green Chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala Powder
  • ½ cup Yogurt
  • 4 tbsp Mint Leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro Leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp saffron soaked in ½ cup of warm milk (Can use saffron food color)
  • 4 tbsp ghee (Clarified Butter)

Method:
  • Wash and soak the rice for half hour. Boil soaked rice with salt and half the whole garam masala till almost done.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan; add the remaining cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves, and sauté.
    Add caraway seeds (Shahjeera) and when they crackle add ginger garlic pastes and sauté.
    Add chopped green chilies and a little browned onion.
  • Add the minced mutton and cook on slow heat until tender.
  • Now add yogurt, red chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder, salt and finely chopped cilantro leaves, and stir to mix well. Take it off heat. At this stage minced meat is completely dry (bhuna hua).
  • Transfer half of the minced meat mix into another pan.
  • Spread half the rice over the minced meat mix, spread ½ browned onions, ½ tsp garam masala powder, 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp saffron dissolved in milk.
  • Spread the remaining minced meat mix over this followed by remaining rice, browned onions, garam masala powder, chopped mint leaves, lemon juice and saffron milk. Melt ghee and pour over rice.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid. After 2-3 minutes lower the heat and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve with Dahi Chutney and Tomato Kut.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tomato Rice


This is very easy to make and tastes great too.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp ghee or cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chilies finely chopped
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ mustard seeds
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

Method:

  • Drain the rice which were soaked for 15 minutes.
  • Heat the ghee in a thick bottom pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. When spluttering stops add curry leaves and onion and fry till onion turn light brown.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste , stir fry for another 2-3 minutes on low flame.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and all the spices with salt. Stir fry for another 4-5 minutes till oil separates.
  • Now add the rice and fry or another couple of minutes.
  • Add 3 cups of water. Add the lime juice and more salt if needed.
  • Cook on low heat till rice is ready.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.


Do You Know?

Canned tomatoes are available in several different forms. The traditional forms are whole peeled tomatoes (packed in juice or puree); ground (sometimes referred to as "kitchen-ready", and not to be confused with puree, which is similar but more cooked); crushed tomatoes, made by adding the ground tomatoes to a heavy medium made from tomato paste; diced tomatoes, which are chunkier. In recent years, the Petite Diced form have become the fastest growing segment of canned tomatoes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Amla Kadhi (Indian Gooseberry Sauce)

It is a tangy, tempered sauce prepared by mixing chickpea flour (besan) with water in which Gooseberies are simmered over medium heat.
Tangy flavour in kadhi comes from sour Amla (Gooseberries). Cooked Amla pieces are utilised to make Pakodis (fritters) with besan.

Ingredients:

For the Pakodis (fritters):

  • 1 cup Gram flour (Besan)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup of fresh finely chopped coriander
  • Cooking oil for deep-frying
For the Kadhi:
  • 2 tbsp Besan (Bengal gram flour)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • 2 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 4 whole dried red chili
  • Pinch of asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
Method:

  • Put the Gooseberries in a pan with 8-10 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft. Now these boiled gooseberries will be used to make Pakodis for Kadhi and drained out water (in which gooseberries are boiled) will be used to make Kadhi.
  • Mix Gooseberries water, 2 tbsp of Bengal gram flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Whisk to ensure there are no lumps.
  • In a deep pan heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When it stops spluttering, add cumin and fenugreek seeds, green chilies and garlic and cook till pale brown. Now add Besan mixture to it and stir continuously. First cook on a high flame till the mixture boils. Simmer then and allow cooking slowly. Add water if necessary.
  • While the Kadhi is getting cooked as above, mix all the Pakodi ingredients together to form a thick batter (as for fritters).
  • Deseed the boiled gooseberries and cut them into small pieces. Add these pieces to the Pakodi batter.
  • Heat the oil for deep-frying, on a medium flame. Use a tablespoon (or your hand if you are more comfortable with that) to drop portions of batter into the hot oil. Fry till golden, drain, remove from the oil and add to the simmering Kadhi.
  • Adjust sourness of Kadhi by adding lemon juice if needed.
  • Tempering: To make ‘tadka’, heat ghee in a small pan, add asafetida and whole dried red chilies. Now add ½ tsp red chili powder and immediately pour over simmering Kadhi and Pakodi mix before chili powder gets burned. Now turn off the fire. The Kadhi should have thickened slightly by now.
  • Take out Kadhi in a serving dish and garnish with more ‘tadka’ ghee.
  • Serve with piping hot plain boiled rice.

Do You Know:
Chick Pea Flour is wonder flour in the Indian kitchen. The flour, milled from hulled and roasted Kala Chana and is called variously as chickpea flour, gram flour or Besan.

It is second only to wheat flour in popularity. It is not only protein-rich, but also flavorsome.

In India, it is used as a binding agent for Koftas, kebabs (meatballs or vegetable balls), in a batter for fritters and as the base for countless savory snacks.
Besan is also used as a kitchen beauty ingredient. Indian women regularly make homemade face packs to use as a face scrub and toner, mixed with milk and cream and drops of rose water.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Panchratan Dal (Five Lentils Mix)




This dal is the combination of five different types of dals (lentils) and is therefore known as Panchratan Dal. If you want to enjoy this dal fully then use tadka (tempering) liberally.
Serve dal with Nan or Tandoori Roti.

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup Arhar Dal (split yellow Pigeon Pea)
  • ¼ cup Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram)
  • ¼ cup Moong Dal (split Green Gram)
  • ¼ cup Split skinned Urad Dal (split skinned Black Lentil)
  • ¼ cup Sabut Masoor Dal (whole Red Lentil)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onions finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1” ginger finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies
  • ½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp Panch Phoran
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Chopped fresh coriander to garnish

Method:
  • Mix Sabut Masoor and Chana Dal in a bowl and wash thoroughly. Soak the washed dals in water deep enough to cover them completely, for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours wash remaining dals – Arhar dal, Moong dal and dhuli Urad dal in a bowl and mix them with soaked sabut Masoor and Chana dal; and put into a pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water to it.
  • Now add the green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Stir well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set on the stove at a high flame. After the first 'whistle' or ‘pressure release’, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for one more ‘whistle’. Turn off the flame and allow the pressure cooker to cool.
  • Open the pressure cooker when cooled and stir the boiled lentils very carefully. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir carefully until the consistency is right.
  • In a small pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee on medium heat. When hot, add the Panch Phoran and fry till spluttering stops. Now add the asafetida, chopped ginger and garlic, chopped tomatoes, and fry for 4-5 minutes. Remove from fire and add to the dal mixture. Stir to blend and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from fire, put into serving dish, mix fresh lemon juice and garnish with tadka and cilantro leaves.
  • Serve with hot tadka ghee (tempering).
  • Tempering: In a small pan, heat the ghee (clarified butter) on medium flame till hot. Add the onions and fry till pale golden in color. Now add whole red chilies and a pinch of red chili just to give it a beautiful color. Serve this tadka along with dal.

Do You Know?
Lentils
can be stored indefinitely but after a year their color will begin to fade and they will become dryer and take longer to cook.

Also, keep in mind that it is uncertain how old the lentils are when they are purchased so it is a good idea to only store lentils for six months.

Do not mix newly purchased lentils in with the lentils you have stored at home because the lentils you have been storing will be dryer than the ones you just purchased.

Different degrees of dryness will cause the lentils to cook unevenly.

Remember to store lentils in a seal able bag or airtight container in a cool dry area out of the direct sunlight.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Khasta Besani Paratha (Chick Pea Flour Stuffed Pan-fried Flat Bread)


It comes under the category of stuffed Paratha. The stuffing is prepared with Besan (Chick Pea Flour) and various spices.

Ingredients:
To prepare dough:
To prepare stuffing:
To pan fry:
    To pan fry:
    • 1 cup ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil to pan-fry parathas

    Method:

    • Mix wheat flour, salt and 2 tbsp cooking oil. Knead into soft and smooth dough by adding warm water. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes.
    • In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients required for stuffing. Add cooking oil to this and mix until the besan flour resembles breadcrumbs.
    • Follow Making Paratha - Method II
    • Divide wheat dough into equal balls. Dust lightly the rolling surface and roll each ball into 10-inch disc. Spread besan mix on the disc evenly and generously. Fold disc into a finger shaped structure. Coil this finger into a spiral structure (blob).
    • Flour the rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the spiral blob (pedha) into a flat circle about 7-8” in diameter.
    • Heat a griddle and put a paratha over it. Drizzle a bit of oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip and drizzle some more oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
    • Serve with Butter Milk, Aloo curry and pickle.