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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mushroom-Peas Pulao

Sometimes I love taking a break from my kitchen!!! Especially when I want my hubby to cook something delicious for me... And on a perfect sunday morning, I demanded him to make one of his specialties for me. As always, he happily agreed to do tat...

I was quite relaxed assuming myself not planning dinner for that day! Few hours passed, he didn't say a word on that... But still I thought he would make something to surprise me (I always expect surprises from him) :P Then, we got into some arguments...  I wanted to have PavBhaji only n he wanted to make 'Baigan ka Bharta' for which he got praised a lot before! And booommmmm.... A big flop-show!!!

I thought of using mushrooms and green peas in dinner! Had fenugreek leaves too, so planned a "Mushroom-Mutter Malai" (my brother shared this dish 2 weeks back) and was almost ready to start making it. He said, he wanted to have something else in dinner... and we reached a conclusion to have this variety of rice - "Mushroom-Peas Pulao" :)

I didn't use much of spices to highlight the flavors of mushrooms in this dish... If you use, share with me :) 


Makes: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup Basmati Rice
6 Button Mushrooms
1/2 cup Green Peas
1 tsp Garlic Paste
1 Onion (chopped)
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Crushed Peppercorn
1 tsp Mint Paste
2 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Wash and soak rice in plenty of water for half hour. Boil it in open vessel with salted water until 80%-85% cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Wash and trim mushrooms properly and cut them into thick slices. 
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel. Add cumin seeds and let it crackle first. 
- After that, add garlic paste and chopped onions into it. Saute it well for a min.
- Add Sliced mushrooms and green peas into vessel along with salt and mix it well. 
- Cook till water from mushrooms is evaporated completely. Add cooked rice and all spices into it.
- Mix everything well and cook for around 5 mins. 
- Transfer to a serving plate and serve with garlicky yogurt.


SJ's NOTE:

- You can use mint powder instead of using fresh mint paste. I usually keep my frozen mint paste handy.
- Another variety of rice consisting mushrooms & caramelized onions - Kumbhi (khumbi) Pulao:




Monday, July 29, 2013

Potato Salad

Kitchen pantry without potatoes is very much like a necklace without diamonds!!! Hehe... I didn't find a better clause on comparative degree instantly in mind. Even though I'm not into wearing any sort of accessories n all, I keep bugging my hubby to plan his gift to me at times. So, I'm sure... this one will never go wrong for the ladies :P

Ohhhooo... Went off-track! Coming back to the point... I can't see my potato basket empty anytime, even if I'm not going to make any dish using it. This time I had only 2 potatoes left, which wasn't enough to make a subzi or paratha... Thought of trying out a cold potato salad, eliminating high-calorie factors from the original recipe! Boiled potatoes mixed with strained yogurt and mustard sauce... along with chopped coriander was a beauty in itself :) Enjoyed each bite of this dish...


INGREDIENTS:

2 Potatoes
1/2 cup Strained Yogurt 
1 tsp Mustard Sauce
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Chopped Onion
1 tsp Chopped Coriander
Red Chilly Powder, to sprinkle
Salt, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Parboil potatoes for 5 mins by keeping into a pan of boiling water or microwaving it. 
- Drain and rinse with fresh water. Cut them into cubes. 
- Mix strained yogurt with rest of all ingredients in a bowl.
- Add potatoes into it and mix everything well.
- Refrigerate for around 1 hour to blend flavors nicely. 
- Serve chilled!!!


SJ's NOTE:

- I have used strained yogurt here to cut down the calories. You can use mayo or sour cream as well. 
- Fresh herbs can be added for more flavors!

Linking this recipe to Guru's Cooking:


Matar-Bhatura

Mum told me several times to join her on a trip to 'Gokul-Mathura', but I never got ready for it before. I visited that place for the 1st time a year back... I had a great company of near-dear ones, especially my sister-in-law, who too believes a lot in Shrinathji like me :) And we both are foodies, so apart from the history and tales of Krishna, Mathura definitely had a lot to offer us!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn't in my pinks to have a bite of any street-food variety lined up there in markets... Huh!!! Bad health didn't allow me to enjoy a single dish even :( I couldn't do anything but observing nearly everything they served... Morning Tea, Mathura ke Pede, Chhole-Bhatura, Matar-Kulcha, Aloo Chat, Dahiwada, Dahi Kachori, Samosa and Chutney... and much more!!!

Next time, I'm gonna leave my calorie-chart behind and get my feet moving in those streets and lanes for the authentic flavors of these dishes... 

Just a few days back, I thought of making something that I couldn't have there :P Tried out "Matar-Bhatura" (I combined Matar-Kulcha n Chhole-Bhatura) for dinner and.... I could smell the same aroma in my kitchen!!! "Mum, count me in for the next trip" :P


Makes: 2-3 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Dried White Peas
1 Boiled Potato
1 Chopped Onion (small)
1 Chopped Tomato (small)
1/2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Jaljeera Powder 
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp Cooking Oil

For garnishing--

Chopped Coriander Leaves
Finely Chopped Onions
Finely Chopped Tomatoes
Aloo Bhujiya (optional)

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Soak white peas overnight in a bowl of water and pressure-cook them in morning with salt and a pinch of turmeric in water.
- Drain excess water leaving a little inside to make a medium-thick consistency of boiled peas. 
- Heat oil in a deep vessel and add cumin seeds. 
- Once it crackles, add chopped onion and tomato into it and cook for a while.
- Add cooked white peas and boiled potato (roughly chopped) into it along with all the spices.
- Mix everything well and cook it covered (with lid) for around 5 mins till peas are mushy in texture.
- Transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish it with chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves as per your taste! Serve it hot with Bhatura or Kulcha :) 


SJ's NOTE:

- Recipe for making Bhatura: 

Take wheat flour and maida (i used 50%-50%) in a big mixing bowl. Add salt, 1 tbsp Semolina (fine sooji) and 2 tsp oil into it. Knead a soft dough using lukewarm water. Cover with a cling wrap and keep it aside for around 15 mins. Roll out to make puri of around 6-7" in diameter and deep-fry in oil (one at a time) till they get light brown in color. Serve these puffed puris! 

- I use semolina to give a crisp texture to bhatura while frying! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Apple Cake for a Healthy Heart


Apple Cake for a Healthy Heart 
by Rashmi Madhan

Rashmiz Apple Cake 
The trouble with recipes is that they can sometimes be misleading.  I still get a smile on my face when I remember what happened to this very simple recipe many years ago……. my daughter was about 8 or 9 years old and getting into her stride with baking!

On this particular day, I was hosting a dinner party and wanted to make Apple Cake for dessert. It was, and remains, a superb recipe given to me by a dear friend and apart from its aromatic sweetness, it is one of the healthiest cake recipes I have come across.  I had some chores to complete that morning so asked Lucy, our wonderful helper,  to gather up all the ingredients for the cake and steep the Apples in sugar, so that it would be ready for baking by the time I got back. I stuck the recipe on the counter, asked Lucy to refer to it for the ingredients, explained what needed doing, and then left the house. When I got back I could not see any steeped Apples anywhere in the kitchen or any of the other ingredients and yet the aromas of sweet Apples and Cinnamon were apparent. Puzzled I asked Lucy where she had kept everything. “Oh, we made it” came the blithe response. “What! You mean you have baked the cake?” I asked. “Oh yes, we did it all. You can see for yourself.”, she responded. “Did you check it with a skewer to make sure it is properly done?”, I asked. “Yes, of course!” came the prompt response. Satisfied with her responses, I went and had a peek at the finished product. Indeed, the cake looked perfect and another skewer inserted into it turned up clean as a whistle. Pleased to have one less thing to worry about, I thanked them both and set about preparing for the evening.

Later that evening, after dinner, when the dessert was served, my friend came up to me and asked if I had tasted the cake. I hadn’t, so I asked her what the matter was. She said it tasted very oily. “That isn’t possible, it only takes one-third of a cup of oil!”, I exclaimed. Perplexed, I decided to try some for myself and sure enough the cake tasted and felt very oily. “When did you bake it?”, she asked. “Sometimes, when you bake this cake in advance the Oil can congeal but even then it shouldn’t be tasting like this.”, she said. I then told her how I hadn’t baked it, and we walked into the kitchen to ask the two Sous-Chefs what had happened. “Could you tell me how much oil you used because the cake tasted a bit oily?”, I asked. To which they proudly responded: “We knew you do not like too much oil so we only used one cup even though the recipe said one or three cups (1/3)!!!!!!!!!
So now the recipe has been altered to give the measures clearly and ensure no such mistakes are repeated J

Apple Cake – The Recipe  (This is double the quantity as single quantity is never enough)

Ingredients
  • 4 Cups – Cored and Sliced Apples (fairly thin slices) – I leave the skin on but that is a choice you can make for yourself.
  • 2 Cups – Sugar 
(Combine the Apples and Sugar and leave for at lest 2 hours or more. The end product will have a lot of liquid as the apple juices mingle with the sugar.)
  • 3 Cups – Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons – Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons – Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons – Ground Cinnamon
(Sift all the dry ingredients together)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 (Two-thirds) Cup of Oil
  • 1 cup Raisins (feel free to omit these per your preference)

Method

Beat the Oil and Eggs together and mix with the steeped Apples. Mix in all the dry ingredients. Next add the Raisins and mix them. Turn the mixture into a greased and floured baking tin.  Cook in a moderately hot (170 degrees C) oven for approximately 1 hour or till an inserted wooden
pick comes out clean.

Serve hot with fresh Whipped Cream or Ice Cream.
…and remember to give me feedback J


Spinach-Paneer Pizza

If I make a pizza in my kitchen and don't bring those authentic Indian flavors... It's useless ;) 

Expressions on my husband's face were worth-watching when I told him that I was making a 'Spinach-Paneer Pizza'!!! He definitely doubted to have a delicious dinner that time... :P But when he grabbed a 1st bite, I saw a big smile on his face... It was just too yummy to have! 

You too try this 'Indian' topping ingredients for your next pizza bake :)


Makes: 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 Soft-Pizza bases
1 cup Blanched Spinach
1/2 cup Paneer (cottage-cheese) Chunks
1/4 cup Boiled Corn
1 cup Pizza Sauce
1 cup Pizza Cheese
1/4 tsp Kasoori Methi (crushed)
1/4 tsp Kitchen King
Salt, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in pan. Add paneer chunks with a pinch of salt and kitchen king masala into it. Toss it well with spices.
- Turn off the heat in a min and transfer to another bowl. Let it cool down to room temp.
- Chop the spinach into strips and add it into bowl along with boiled corn. Mix everything well. 
- Take a soft-pizza base and spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce evenly over it.
- Arrange 1/2 of the topping mixture onto it. 
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup pizza cheese over it and then kasoori methi. Repeat the same process for another pizza.
- Bake them in preheated oven for around 12-15 mins on 200 degrees. 


SJ's NOTE:

- Blanching: It's a cooking technique where an element is kept into boiling water for around 2-3 mins. 

Follow the same process for spinach. Drain excess water after that and rinse with chilled water to retain the green color or spinach.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mushroom-Onions Pizza

We love pizza, but avoid having them many a times just 'coz that isn't a healthy option to have on menu every now n then! :( After a long time, couldn't control my inner urge to make one at home :P

For the 1st time I had store-bought soft-pizza bases :( Didn't have much time left for dinner to make a dough n ferment n roll n all... Phewwwww!!! Here is a pizza with sliced mushrooms n caramelized onions picked for toppings :) I added a little amount of capsicum n corn too for a crunchy texture, which can be eliminated for sure!


Makes: 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 Soft-Pizza Bases
8 Button Mushrooms 
1 cup Onion (caramelized)
1/4 cup Chopped Capsicum
1 cup Pizza Sauce (I used grilled veggies flavor)
Oregano, to sprinkle
1 cup Pizza Cheese

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Wash and trim button mushrooms properly. Cut them into thin slices.
- Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in pan. 
- Add sliced mushrooms, onions and capsicum into it and sprinkle a pinch of salt. 
- Toss everything on high heat. 
- Take a soft-pizza base and spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce evenly over it.
- Arrange 1/2 of the topping mixture onto it. 
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup pizza cheese over it and then oregano. Repeat the same process for another pizza.
- Bake them in preheated oven for around 12-15 mins on 200 degrees. 


SJ's NOTE:

- Here is a link to follow for caramelizing onions:

- A recipe to make pizza-sauce will be posted soon! :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Quick Connection with RashmiDidi

Huh, I always miss mum while experimenting in my kitchen as she was the one who guided me every time I bugged her, who enjoyed each dish I prepared (best or worst), who encouraged me to keep learning :) I never could imagine having a friendly-guide to sharpen my culinary skills - someone Indian and that too in this country… It was simply impossible :(

I keep reading online, I get so many cook-books to learn more n more! With the same purpose, I joined a foodie-group on Facebook just a week back n started interacting with fellow-foodies! Usually I don’t gel well with anyone so quickly, but this time it was totally a reverse case!

Never knew that I will get in touch with someone who is a skilled home-chef n a lovely human-being… I’m truly impressed… the way she makes anyone visualize her story behind any dish, the way she appreciates or guides efforts applied on any dish… n specially I feel so happy when I find her 1st to comment on any of my posts :) I’m really happy to have her on SJ’s Food Court as a guest writer from today itself… 

A very warm welcome to a lovely lady - Rashmi Didi :) 

Here is her first post with very tempting 'CheeseCake'...


Today, I have been honored by a fellow foodie and now friend Shruti to be a guest writer on her blog.  Her request, indeed more than that, her friendship is a testament to the bonds that can spring up over a day in today’s world of social media. She and I connected over a post on a “foodie” FB page and within minutes had established a commonality and rapport that has been ever so wonderful that within a day I feel as if I have gained a younger cousin :)  
Given the Indian tradition of marking everything auspicious with sweetness, I decided to pass on this recipe and the story to her….
I have a Chilled Cheesecake Recipe, which has been a favorite with my family and friends for many years.  In fact, it remains a special favorite of my youngest cousin sister even today. It started its life from the, not very clearly photocopied pages, of an obscure cookbook by the name “Just Desserts” and had something to do with canned mandarins.  I am sure if I dug into my treasure chest of recipes, I will find a much mangled and yellowed page somewhere to authenticate my claim.  Anyway, the canned mandarins were not very nice and very soon the rest of the recipe acquired various other attributes and morphed itself into many avatars including but not limited to Pineapple, Cherry, Kiwifruit, and various other fruits to form its base and proclaim it as “their” Cheesecake.
Through all its Avatars it has maintained the use of some canned juice that has been extracted and used from tinned Pineapples in Pineapple Juice.  That, McVities Digestive Biscuits and full fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese have featured in its creation.  A period of about 25 years has seen this “Cake” evolve and find its way into the stomachs an hearts of many of my guests.
Now that I have turned a new leaf, my new way of life dictated that I translate it into a “Diabetic Friendly” version.   So, I set about with much gusto to do a Strawberry version of this delectable concoction.  Much to my consternation the best result I got was tasty, semi-set slush!!  Of course, I promptly plunked that into the ice-cream maker and made some really yummy Cheesecake Ice cream and it was all eaten up.  BUT it rankled that all I had managed in my efforts at conversion was a Cheesecake, which was rather loose in character…. 
I originally thought the fault lay in using sweetener and convinced myself that this must somehow interfere with the setting of the cake.  But as remembered the beautifully set Mango Mousse, I could see I had to look elsewhere for my answer.  I knew there was no problem with the gelatin and as I had just used it a few days ago and it worked fine. So, I set about researching every aspect of my conversion and turned to my best friend Google Kaur for answers and consultation.  As usual, she thew up a zillion responses to my single query and much to my surprise I discovered that “Pineapple Juice”, specifically the fresh variety, has a major quarrel with all things gelatin and refuses to allow proper setting when used with it!  So my “Oh so very healthy” and well thought out use of Fresh Pineapple Juice was no good!  
I was determined to try and keep the calories as low as possible and remembered the fresh watermelon juice, left over from breakfast and waiting patiently to be drunk the next morning.  You just struck it lucky buddy, you shall become the cornerstone of my translated Cheesecake :) :) :)
So now, I present to you both the recipes and leave you to make the one you want to.  The featured picture is that of the newly added member of my Cheesecake Entourage… The Strawberry Cheesecake which was almost Lost in Translation.  
As always I shall await your comments and critique…

Original Ingredients

Translated Ingredients

200 grams Digestive Biscuits 200 grams Sugar-free Chocolate Biscuits
50 grams Finely Chopped Walnuts 50 grams Finely Chopped Walnuts
100 gms Melted Butter 100 grams Light Butter Substitute
1 x500 grams Can Pineapple Slices(in Pineapple Juice) 300 ml Fresh Watermelon Juice3 x Punnets Fresh Strawberries
2 Tablespoons Powdered Gelatin 2 Tablespoons Powdered Gelatin
2 x Lemons (grated rind and juice) 2 x Lemons (grated rind and juice)
700 grams Full Fat Cream Cheese (Philadelphia) 700 grams Low Fat Cream Cheese (Philadelphia) 
300 ml Heavy Cream 300 ml Light Cream
150 grams Castor Sugar 150 grams Sweetener
4 Eggs Separated 4 Eggs Separated

Use an 8 inch/20 cms Loose Bottomed or Spring-form Pan 


Potato Hash Browns

I always love adding elements on my weekend breakfast dish! Anything that accompanies my poached or half-fried eggs n toast perfectly... Have already tried sauteed mushrooms, grilled brocolli or paneer, pan-seared french beans, blanched spinach etc. etc. This time I didn't want to have a ready-made just-reheat-hash browns!!! So thought of adding my flavors and making them in-house... 

Potato Hash-brown is something that any kid would love to have in tiffin-box! My lab rat (hubby) loves grabbing one anytime (breakfast or lunch or dinner, doesn't matter) so this one was specially for him... :) A quick, simple n  yummy hash-browns!!!
 

Makes: 4

INGREDIENTS:

2 Potatoes
1 tbsp Cornflour
2 tsp Grated Onions
1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder
2 tsp Chopped Coriander
Salt, to taste
Oil, to shallow-fry

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Wash the potatoes and peel their skin properly.
- Parboil these potatoes till they are approx 40% cooked. Drain and dry them with kitchen towel.
- Use big hole grater and grate both the potatoes nicely. Don't mash them at all!
- Add rest of all ingredients into it and mix them well.
- Divide the mixture into 4 portions and give your favorite flatten shape to it.
- Heat some oil in a flat pan and arrange the hash-browns onto it. 
- Shallow-fry them till they show brown crust on both the sides. 
- Serve hot on your breakfast platter :) 


SJ's NOTE:

- I used a round cookie cutter for perfect shape! You can pick your favorite shape...
- Onions are totally optional to add. I added just to give a little crunchy biting to hash-browns!
- You can freeze these hash-browns before cooking only! Arrange them on a freezer tray (no overlapping) for an hour and then freeze them all together in a suitable container.

Linking it to Guru's Cooking - Kids Special Event!!!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Bread Balls

"Something unhealthy is always delicious!!!" That is what I think at times... Can have a baked or sauted version of several dishes too, but having deep-fried is always super-yum! ;)

'Bread Balls' - Nothing new, it's simply a bread roll only but in a ball shape :P I have had it many a times before but nothing can beat bread rolls that my sister-in-law make! I still remember the day she made an original fried version of it specially for me on the previous day of my departure :) And I bet, I will never find the same taste n flavors anywhere else... I missed her so much while making it, so bugged her by a message!  
Wanted to be a little calorie conscious this time by posting baked version ;) But hunger didn't allow me to wait for more than 10 mins, so posting a fried version of the simplest n quickest snack... :P


Makes:

INGREDIENTS:

8 Bread Slices
2 Big Potatoes
1/2 cup Green Peas
1/4 cup Chopped Onions
2 tsp Chopped Coriander
1/2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Amchur Powder
Salt, to taste
Oil, to deep-fry

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Trim the sides of all bread slices and keep it aside.
- Boil potato and green peas separately. Drain excess water and transfer them to a bowl.
- Add rest of all ingredients (except oil) and mash them well. 
- Divide the stuffing into 8 portions.
- Fill a shallow-bowl or plate with water and soak a bread slice into it for 5 seconds on each side.
- Squeeze all water out of it using your palms.
- Put one portion of stuffing onto it and cover it from all sides with bread to make a nice ball.
- Repeat the same process for other 7 balls too.
- Heat oil in a kadai (deep-pan) and deep-fry them in 2 batches till golden brown in color.
- Serve hot with tomato ketchup :) 

SJ's NOTE:

- You can add finely chopped veggies too. Last time, I added french beans, carrots, capsicum, corn etc. :P
- For a variant, add paneer or cheese in the stuffing!
- If not deep-fried, you can bake them for 30 mins on 220 degrees!


My 1st Food-Award

'M so happy to say that I got my 1st Food-Award this weekend :) 

It's nearly 3 years since I started food-blogging, but never got in interaction with the whole community! But now I have a bunch of foodie-friends who're foodie-bloggers too... I have started enjoying this blogville by participating in various food-events n giveaways every month! I have started following a no. of blogs with yummy recipes posted on regular basis :) In short, I'm loving it now!!!

One of my regular follower (I follow her delicious dishes too) n a good foodie-friend is Harini M, running her food blog @ Cook, Click n Devour ... I'm really thankful to her for sharing this 'ABC Award' with me!!! 


Here are the rules to follow:

- Add the ABC logo to your new blog post.
- Write one word or a phrase about yourself that begins with A, B, C, etc.
- Nominate some blogs and leave a comment on those blogs to let them know! 

I already followed the 1st rule, you see :) 

For the 2nd rule - What's the right word to describe me, lemme think!!! 

I always stay excited while stepping into mine or any other's kitchen... Learning new cooking techniques, variety of dishes, presentation styles, photography etc. are the factors tagging me as "CURIOUS"

And here are those food-bloggers (friends) I nominate for sharing this award :) 

- Shruti Di (a lovely lady sharing the same name) of Shruti's Blog

- Akshara running Ashu-Cooks :)

- Abhilasha Kothari of Welcome Foodie!!!

- Divya of Dishing With Divya


Keep Cooking!!! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Who doesn't love cheese??!!! And specially if you talk about kids, they hate veggies but love cheese :) A combination of both in one casserole - "Cheesy Cauliflower Bake"! Very mild flavors of Italian seasoning... Smoky flavors of baked cauliflower n creamy texture of cheese... Yummm, a perfect bake to include as a side on main course!

Already had a half head cauliflower in veggie rack n I got one more! Couldn't think of anything else than combining it with cheese n simply bake, to accompany my creamy shell pasta for dinner :P



INGREDIENTS:

15-20 Cauliflower Florets
2 tbsp Grated Cheese
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Chilly Flakes
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Preheat the oven on 200ยบ for 5 mins.
- Take cauliflower florets in a big bowl and add olive oil, oregano, chilly flakes, lemon juice and salt into it.
- Mix everything well and transfer it to a baking bowl.
- Put this bowl in oven to bake for around 30 mins (turning it once in between).
- Sprinkle cheese over it and bake it for 5 more mins.
- It's ready to serve as a side for your family dinner! :)


SJ's NOTE: 

- Adjust the amount of cheese as per your taste. Kids would love it more!
- I used a combo of 3 cheese: Mozzarella, Cheddar & Parmesan here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rajma Masala

I keep trying to use 'Red Kidney Beans' in variety of dishes... Rajma Kebab, Dal Makhni, Tacozza etc. And yes, that too with different types of Rajma available in market :P

But here is a recipe of the most famous North-Indian subzi - "Rajma Masala", which has been one of my favorite dish to cook!!! Used here is a dark-red kidney beans which is known as Kashmiri one...

 

Makes: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup Red Kidney Beans (Rajma)
1 Brown Onion (medium) 
1 Tomato (big)
1/4 cup Curd 
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Crushed Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp Cooking Oil

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Soak rajma overnight in water. Pressure-cook it for 3 whistles and keep it aside.
- Cut the onions into long thin strips and finely chop tomato separately.
- Heat oil in a deep-pan and add cumin seeds, hing into it.
- Once it crackles, add ginger-garlic paste and onions. Saute it for around 30 seconds. 
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook again for a min.
- Add cooked rajma, curd and all the spices into it. Mix everything well.
- Cook it for 3-4 mins. Make sure it's not mashed at all.
- Serve hot with Naan/Paratha :) 


SJ's NOTE:

- Add a little water while adding rajma, if you are planning to serve it with a plate of steamed rice :)
- If want to make Tacos with Indian touch, keep it dry and mash a little for stuffing.  



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chana Dal Stuffed Paratha

I'm fond of trying various stuffed paratha!!! I never prefer having leftover items on the next day and so I hardly have something in freeze from previous lunch/dinner :) A little extra rice I had this time, which I definitely wasn't going to have on plate again... So I thought of making quite a different paratha stuffed with a combo of chana dal n leftover rice! 

On the very 1st bite, I got negative vibes from my husband, so was disappointed a little. But the next moment, he said... It's super-tasty n healthy one, I was so relieved! Making sure of his expressions, I gotta know he was expecting it to be Aloo Paratha, so the expressions changed :P 

Paratha-lovers, try it out! This is definitely a healthy n delicious alternate of 'Aloo Paratha' :)


Makes: 6

INGREDIENTS:

For Dough--

1/2 cup Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Plain Flour (Maida)
1 tsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
Salt, to taste
2 tsp Oil

For Stuffing--

1/2 cup Chana Dal (Bengal Gram)
1/2 cup Boiled Rice (I used leftover-rice)
1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilly Flakes
1/2 tsp Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)
Salt, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Soak chana dal in water for an hour and pressure-cook it for 1-2 whistles only.
- Drain excess water and rinse it. Keep it aside.
- Mix all the ingredients of dough in a big bowl and knead a soft dough by using lukewarm water as required.
- In another mixing bowl, take cooked chana dal and add rest of all stuffing ingredients. 
- Mix everything well but make sure it's not completely mashed.
- Divide the dough and stuffing into 6 portions. Take one ball, roll it out to make 4" in diameter. 
- Place a stuffing ball onto it. Fold it from all the sides to make a lemon-sized ball again.
- Roll it one more time to make paratha of 7"-8" in diameter. Repeat the same process for other balls.
- Pan-roast it by drizzling a little oil every time till you find brown-spots on both the sides.
- Serve hot with Coriander-Mint Chutney or a Yogurt bowl :)


SJ's NOTE:

- You can add one small-sized boiled potato for binding, if you are not using rice.
- For rich flavors, use clarified butter (desi ghee) to replace oil. 


Chickpeas-Potato Patties

Protein packed, low fat and delicious patties to add a different element on your burger bun or pita bread! I have previously posted the recipe for Falafel and here is a sibling of that... 

Tiny chunks of chickpeas gives a lovely taste n texture to these patties and that worked for me! You can add finely chopped veggies (carrots, beans etc.) if you wish to make healthier one. I kept them simple n loved serving them as an appetizer or evening snack. 


Makes: 6-8

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Boiled Chickpeas (Qabuli Chana)
1 Boiled Potato (medium)
1/4 cup Onion cut into thin strips
3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1/2 tsp Mint Powder
2 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt, to taste
Oil, to shallow-fry

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

- Grind boiled chickpeas coarsely and transfer it to a big bowl.
- Mash boiled potato and add it along with onions into it. 
- Add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs with all spices and mix everything well.
- Divide the mixture in 6-8 portions.
- Give a desired shape to all patties and coat them with remaining breadcrumbs for extra crispness.
- Heat oil on a shallow-fry pan and put 3-4 patties at time.
- Let it be golden-brown and crunchy on both the sides. Take them out on an absorbent paper to drain excess oil and remain crunchy.
- Serve hot with Coriander-Mint Chutney!


SJ's NOTE:

- You can add fresh chopped mint leaves instead of using mint powder!
- Add more breadcrumbs if it's hard to shape the patties. 
- Arrange a lettuce on burger bun, put this patty and top up with your salad slices n cheese! Burger is ready to serve... 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Qorma Baamia

Baamia is nothing but our bhindi/okra in Afghan. 'Qorma Baamia' - Baby Okra cooked in rich tomato-onion puree! We had this gravy a few weeks back at Afghani Restaurant, and it was finger-licking good.

We are Okra-Lovers!!! I love experimenting on this versatile vegetable - Okra (bhindi) every now n then... I tried Achaari Bhindi, Dahi Bhindi, Paneer Stuffed Bhindi, Stir-fried Bhindi n many more!!! But so far, I never imagined myself cooking bhindi in gravy directly :P Tried to make a ditto copy of the dish for dinner & BINGO! It was as good as that restaurant served...



Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

500 gm Baby Okra (Bhindi)
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 Ripen Tomato
1 Big Onion
2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
2 tsp Pomegranate (Anaardana) Powder
1 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 cup Hot Water
2 tsp Cooking Oil
Salt, to taste

METHOD:

- Wash and pat dry baby okra with a kitchen towel. (Thaw baby okra if frozen)
- Trim them from top (remove the cap of okra) and end points.
- Roughly cut tomato, onion into cubes and make a smooth paste in mixture jar.
- Heat oil in a deep-pan and add ginger-garlic paste.
- Mix tomato-onion paste along with hot water into it and cook for around 2 mins.
- Add baby okra (bhindi) and salt, turmeric powder. Mix everything well and cover with a lid.
- Cook it for 12-15 mins till they are soft and tender.
- Add rest of all spices into it with tomato ketchup and stir well. Cook for 2 more mins.
- Transfer it to as serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. 
- Ready to serve with any sort of paratha or naan!!!

SJ's NOTE:

- A smooth gravy is required for this subzi so add water as required.
- It's traditionally served with 'Afghani Naan', recipe for which will be posted soon :) 
Find the recipes for many other roti/paratha/bread @ 

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