Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
A different variety of this is the Bhajniche Thalipeeth where a special flour called Bhajni is used which consists of different lentils. Learn more about it and the recipe here.
Finely chopped coriander
Drizzle some oil on the sides & also apply on each side & cook.
Serve with raita, any chutney, ketchup or pickle and don't forget that dollop of butter on each Thalipeeth! I served it with Chutney Pudi and Dal.
Another version of the same Thalipeeth is made in a small cast iron butti/kadai. It is smeared with oil and the dough is spread in it to take the shape of the kadai. This kadai is then kept on slow flame, covered and cooked, turning the Thalipeeth to cook the other side as well. There is no change in the dough but this tastes so divine that even during my 'Non Thalipeeth' days I would easily devour 2-3 of them and then ask for more, to be reminded by Mom that it will then surely give me a stomachache :)
Friday, 25 April 2008
The things I was looking forward to when I shifted was having a good time with friends & of course the convenience in commuting. I did not know that I would be getting an extended family there. I was comfortable & felt at home instantly. This was the first time I was staying away from home, but it never felt as if I was in a different place, staying with N & her family seemed completely natural. Although everyone made me feel like a part of them, the one person I became very close to, of course apart from N, was her mother. Everyone called her Manni, meaning Mami in Tamil. So I did too.
learned the sambhar powder from Manni, I went back home & made it and my Mom was really impressed :). Till date I am using the same recipe for the Sambhar powder & my sambhar is always a hit with everyone. I will be posting it soon on this blog.
The recipe that I am going to share now is for Mysore Paak, which is again a Manni speciality!
- 1 cup Besan
- 1 cup Toop/Ghee/Tuppa/Clarified butter
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 tblsp Milk
Grease a plate and pour in the mixture and cut into blocks before the mixture gets hard. Allow to completely cool. This recipe yields Mysore Paak which is slightly soft to bite and not like the store brought ones.
This is my entry for JFI, an event started by Indira of Mahanandi and being hosted this month by Jigyasa & Pratibha at Pritya. They have chosen Jihva for Love as the theme.
Its only fitting that I write this now & make this sweet delicacy because its Manni's Birthday on 4th May. This is a very special day for me as another of my best friend's Birthday also lies on the same day. This ones for Manni & Swaps! Happy Birthday to both of you in advance!
When we came to Bombay the language shock was the first thing I experienced. Being used to the 'Haan ji, Pehle aap etc' Hindi, it was a very odd to find people referring to someone elder to them by saying 'Kya be' and 'Tu kya kar raha hai' etc not to say anything about the Tapori language! But slowly I got used to it and even my day to day language started sounding like theirs :) but I made sure to talk the 'North Indian' Hindi whenever I was talking to someone from that region, partly because I did not want to lose touch with the 'Real Hindi' and partly because of my experience I knew they would not like it if I called them 'Tu'. But for a long time I could not get used to calling elder people by their names. In Delhi even if the person was just a year elder to you it was either 'Didi' or 'Bhaiyya' and Uncle/Aunty for the others. But here in Bombay the word 'Bhaiyya' took on a totally different meaning and whenever I called someone Didi they would give me looks which said 'what a weird girl!' and some actually laughed on my face.
- 1 bunch of Methi (Fenugreek) leaves, plucked and chopped !
- 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into big pieces
- 1-2 tblsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1-2 Green chillies, finely chopped
- a pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
- 1 tsp Haldi (Turmeric Powder)
- 1 tsp Lime juice
This tastes best with hot Phulkas.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
This might have been devised to utilise the leftover chapati/Poli but we like it so much that I actually plan to make it and make fresh chapatis for the purpose. But it tastes best with the left over ones since the chapatis become a little crunchy. While the fresh ones are a little softer, the dish is great nevertheless.
I don't know if its the flour we get here, the climate or simply the way I make them but the chapatis do not remain soft once they go cold. Its best to have them while they are really hot straight from the tawa. I have tried almost everything now, kneading the dough with warm water, using a little oil while doing so, storing the chapatis in a proper container, wrapping them in cloth/kitchen towel/Aluminium foil etc but nothing seems to work. Of course the quality differs with the brand of flour that I get. So maybe it is the flour and not me! I do make good chapatis whenever I am back at home in India....:)
But whenever I am making PCP, that's GM's way of calling Phodni chi Poli, I like it that the chapatis are not very soft :).
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp haldi (Turmeric powder)
7-8 Curry leaves
1-2 Green chillies
1 small Onion
1/2 tsp Sugar
Fresh Coriander leaves
Tear the chapatis into very little pieces. This is the only time consuming part of the recipe.You can make big pieces and then coarsely grind it but I feel that the handmade pieces taste better.
Heat oil in a kadai/pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they start spluttering add the curry patta, haldi, green chillies and onion one by one. Fry for sometime. Add the tomatoes and fry some more till the tomatoes are a little tender.
Now add the salt and sugar and mix. Mix in the torn chapatis. Cover and cook for 2-3 min. Add the fresh chopped coriander leaves and cook for 1-2 min.
You can skip the tomatoes and add a little lime juice at the end. This version also tastes great.
This makes for a great one dish meal when
a) you have some left over chapatis but don't have the time to make a curry/bhaji to go along with it.
b) you are in the mood for something different from the daily meal
c) you simply want to have PCP!
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Being a complete snacks person, I always welcome recipes which I know will taste great but are also health conscious. When it comes to evening snacking time, most of the things that come to mind are either deep fried or full of cheese etc.
And again majority of them have potato in it. Not that we don't like Potato, in fact we love it! Potato is one thing that I have to replenish every 3rd day in my kitchen and I am always looking for the biggest pack available in the store :) A dear friend A, was almost shocked on hearing about our potato consumption! We generally go on these grocery shopping sprees together and had bought a big bag of potatoes each. About 12 days down the line & there I was buying my 3rd bag & she had not even reached half of the earlier one!
But you really need a change sometimes. So this snack recipe without any potatoes & not deep fried seemed perfect. I had made these quite some time back but somehow did not blog about it. So here it is now.
- 1 cup Sweet Corn
- 1/2 a Capsicum, Green/yellow/red (I had a red one)
- 1/4 cup Peas, boiled
- 4-6 Mint leaves
- 1 tsp Lime juice
- Bread slices
- Pepper powder
Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C.
Reserve about 1 tblsp of the corn and course grind the rest. Mash the boiled peas. Finely chop the capsicum. Mix all of these in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper powder and lime juice. Finely chop the mint leaves and add them to the above mixture. Also add the reserved sweet corn. Mix properly and keep aside.
Cut the bread slices in desired shape. I cut them into round slices with the help of a bowl with sharp edges. They can also be shaped into oval patties. Dip these slices in cold water and then squeeze out the water. On one slice place the earlier prepared mixture. Cover with another slice and then press to seal the sides properly. Apply butter generously on all the sides. Place on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes (turning the patties halfway through) or until the patties are crisp & brown. Serve with any dip of your choice.
Monday, 21 April 2008
I didn't have to search at all for this. I had come across this recipe for Cauliflower Biryani when I was going through Maheswari's Beyond the Usual even before the MBP-One pot meal was announced. I had liked the simplicity of the recipe & knew that this one would turn out great.
I followed the exact recipe barring just one change. I added some Garam Masala just before putting on the lid of the Pressure Cooker.
This was the simplest Biryani recipe I have ever come across but finger licking delicious all the same. As suggested, I served it with some Boondi Raita. Cauliflower Biryani will now be a regular part of our meals whenever we are in the mood for some rice. Thanks a lot Maheswari for sharing this recipe. There are many more recipes on her blog that I am definitely going to try very soon.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
A vendor carrying a steel container, with a small tap, on his shoulders and paper/plastic cups ready in his hand, shouting " Chaiiii Garam Chaiiiii" in that typical tone (I wish I could replicate that tone here!)
I call him towards my window & ask " Coffee hai kya???"
I was never a great fan of tea. In fact I did not even know how it tasted until just 3 yrs back. Give me coffee any time and any kind cold/hot, instant/filter and home made/bought at cafes and any number of times at that. During my working days I was called 'The chain Coffee Drinker' analogous to the Chain smoker! But I was never enthusiastic about Tea. One of the reasons for this could be that my mom had never had tea all her life as well! and maybe that got imbibed in us kids. This posed a small little problem when we visited someone. Everyone invariably offers you tea & when you say that you don't drink tea at all, they start giving you other options. coffee? Juice? Nimbu Pani? plain milk? If you don't accept any of the other options, they feel odd that when everyone is sipping away at the Tea & munching biscuits, there you are just looking at everyone and not having anything. If you accept them, you feel odd that the host had to go out of the way to make/arrange something for you! Just over 3 yrs back at one of the family friend's place, the lady just assumed that everyone drinks tea & came with the cups full. Now it seemed very rude to say No at that time so I reluctantly took the cup & gingerly(ahem..) took a sip expecting it to be very repulsive & odd tasting. But to my pleasant surprise it was quite nice. I started having Tea once in a while after that day. Now I enjoy my cup of Tea which I drink regularly.
Most of the time I make plain tea or just add Ginger and Lemon grass to enhance the flavour. But once in a while we are in a mood for more 'Spicy' Tea & that's when I make this Masala Chai. I made just one change to the regular combination of masalas this time. I am going through a phase where I am sort of bugged up with the taste & smell of cardamom. I am not even using this in any of the desserts I am making, even kheer or shira. So even for the Masala Chai, I did not want to use it & instead added some grains of saunf(Fennel Seeds). The Tea actually tasted very refreshing & totally different but very nice.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the vegetables and fry them till they are tender. Add the ground paste and saute for sometime.
I served this with steamed rice. Since we are using Bitter gourd as one of the vegetables, the curry has a mild bitter taste.
Friday, 11 April 2008
Things to be considered while deciding the menu for breakfast on a weekend...
It wont be any time earlier than 11.30am or 12 noon that we are ready to eat
We might not have any lunch at all that day
The weekly grocery shopping is yet to be done so there might not be many things available at hand.
We have to go out, even if it is only to roam around the town center.
The favourite one to fit all the criteria is Poha. Filling yet not requiring too many things to make it and this can keep us going for at least 2-3 hrs before we have any time or inclination to fit in the 'Lunch' which could be anytime between 3 & 5 in the evening. If it crosses 5 it is just snacks before the dinner..:)
Occasionally we plan out the weekend, so we can decide in advance what to have for breakfast & so Dosa/Idli/Wada etc happen. But on days when nothing is planned this recipe of my Mom's comes in very handy. As the name suggests this Dosa is Instant, requiring hardly 15 min of preparation time for the batter.
I have made a couple of changes to my Mom's original recipe, arriving at the presented recipe by trial & error method.
Makes 8-10 Dosas
- 2 cups Rava (Semolina)
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 2 tblsp Maida (Plain flour)
- 1 cup curd (better if it sour)
- 2 tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds)
- 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
Crush the jeera between your palms and then add to the batter along with the green chillies. Finely chopped onions can also be added to make 'Onion Rava Dosa' :)
Heat a tawa (griddle) preferably a non stick one. Take a ladle full of the batter & spread it as thin as possible on the tawa. Drizzle some oil on to the sides and let it cook for 2-3 min. Flip the Dosa & again cook for a minute.
This can be served with coconut chutney or any chutney pudi mixed with oil/ghee.
The maida makes it easier for the batter to be spread on the griddle but too much of it could spoil the consistency & crispiness of the Dosa. The rice flour makes the Dosas crispy.
I am sending this off to Srivalli at Cooking 4 All Seasons for the Dosa Mela.
PS: This is my 10th Post! Its not a big deal considering that so many of you have crossed 100s & 200s but a milestone for me nevertheless....
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Make way for the star of all recipes. This dish is what Shahrukh Khan is for movies or Sachin Tendulkar is for Indian Cricket (Alright, Sachin may get rusty now & then but he still is the Master Blaster!).
OK! I might have taken the analogy a bit too far, but what I mean is that just as a movie with Shahrukh in it, is least likely to flop (I admit this very grudgingly...), in the same way any meal with this dish is a sure shot hit with everyone. GM loves it, my guests have always given me compliments for this dish and I love making it because of these reasons :) I do have to keep in my mind not to repeat it with the same set of friends !
I don't remember where I got this recipe from but I stumbled upon it on the Internet search when I was looking for some good Paneer recipes. This was just after my marriage when I was in high spirits to start running my own kitchen. Of course my experiments in the kitchen were a regular happening earlier also but they were restricted to Sundays & Holidays. My mom was always happy to hand over the kitchen to me, a welcome break for her! But this was different and I was so excited that I wanted to try out everything at once. This was the first Paneer dish I made, so it has a lot of sentimental value attached to it as well.
The usual hype is that any Paneer dish requires a lot of preparation and/or involves elaborate cooking steps. But on the contrary I have found that it is very easy, simple & quick to make most of the Paneer items. For one, the cutting & chopping is reduced & also the cooking time is less as paneer need not to be cooked for a long time as with other vegetables such as potatoes.
So here it is, a simple & easy Paneer delicacy...
- 120 gm Paneer
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 Tomato, chopped
- 1-2 Green chili, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp Ginger paste
- 1/2 cup Cream
- 1/4 cup Curd
- 1 tsp Haldi
- 1 tsp Red Chili powder
- 1-2 tsp Garam Masala
- 8-10 Mint leaves (Pudina), finely chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tblsp butter
- milk as required
In a pan heat the butter. Add the chopped onions & saute until they turn translucent. Now add the Ginger Garlic paste, Green chilli and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes sort of form a paste with the onions. Now turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Add the paneer cubes and all the other ingredients, except milk, and mix properly. Cover & keep for approx 1 hour.
After 1 hour, add the milk, turn on the flame & cook for approx 5-7 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency.
For some reason this dish tastes better the next day. So I always make it in large quantities & we have it the next day as well accompanied by a Dal or raita.
Monday, 7 April 2008
Ugadi/Gudipadva denotes the New year day according to the Hindu calendar. One of the major memories of this festival being celebrated at home is the 'Prasad' made on this day. It mainly consists of 'Neem flowers' & 'Jaggery'. Me & My brother D, used to devise new means every year to escape having to eat that. This prasad actually denotes the 'sweet' & 'bitter' things in life in the coming new year.
The festive meal usually consists of Shrikhand - Puri. Shrikhand is a sweet made from Curd and it can be served as a dessert as well as one of the main dishes along with Puri. We rarely get good Shrikhand here in London. So I prefer to make it at home. Although the taste is not quite the same as what you get in shops in India, I at least have the satisfaction of having made it myself at home :)
I so wanted to participate in the Monthly Mingle that I made a slight change in the recipe to accommodate Strawberries in it :) and now it is called Berrykhand, just like there is Amrakhand. For those of you who don't know, Amrakhand is a Mango flavoured Shrikhand and one of my favourite desserts.
But for now here is Berrykhand!
Makes about 4-5 bowls.
1 kg Curd
1/2 cup Sugar
1-2 pinches Nutmeg powder
Almonds (As many as you like)
Tie the curd in a muslin cloth. Place it on a height & put some heavy object on the cloth such that the curd is hanging down loose. Place a container beneath this to catch the water. This has to be kept for approx 2-3 hours till the curd looses all the water. Sorry I completely forgot to take snaps of this stage.
Meanwhile blend the strawberries to get a puree. Pass this through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.
The curd obtained after the first step is called the Chakka (the 'ch' pronounced as in 'church') and looks something like this...
Add the sugar to this chakka & stir till all the sugar is dissolved. Now add the Strawberry puree, nutmeg powder and mix again. You may have to adjust the sugar a bit if the strawberries are a little sour in taste. I had to add 2-3 spoons more of sugar. Add the chopped almonds and refrigerate. You can also use other nuts, I think Pistachio would be very nice but I had run out of them yesterday. Serve chilled.
This Berrykhand tasted a lot like Strawberry flavoured Yogurt :) but we liked it.
This is my entry for the Monthly Mingle - Spring Fruit Sensation being hosted by Abby of Eat the Right Stuff. I am also sending this off to Simple Indian Food for the 'Fun n Sun' Event.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Apart from being tasty, Garlic contains a lot of medicinal value as well. Garlic is known to have antibiotic properties. I remember my granny used to give us dry roasted garlic whenever we had cough or cold. It is even suitable for young babies. I have myself used Garlic when S had cold when she was just 5 months old. A Garlic clove was immersed in boiling water for 2-3 min & removed and this water was used for her formula milk.
I found this recipe on the packet of Moong Dal that I had bought. I made it for the first time to just check out the recipe & it turned out so good that we have this Dal almost every alternate day now. Since Toor Dal is usually the staple Dal in our diets, it takes a while to get used to the taste of moong Dal.
In a pan heat oil. Add mustard seeds, when they start to splutter add the remaining cumin seeds & garlic. Fry for sometime.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
1 cup of Peanuts (The pink skinned ones are preferable)
Roast the peanuts & allow them to cool. Now remove the skin by rubbing them between your palms.