Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sindhi Koki

Did I mention chole curry smells yummy?!!!! Well it does.... My aromatic kitchen thats the reason my blog has this name. Heavenly aroma swirling in and around my kitchen and lounge.
Now its time to prepare some paratha and today as I've mentioned before I'm trying my hand on Sindhi koki.

Sindhi Koki as the name mentions is a sindhi recipe for paratha prepared just like out chappati. Finely chopped onion and parsley along with freshly ground pepper, salt and a table spoon of oil is added to 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Mixing it well, a soft dough is kneaded using warm water. Recipe calls in for warm milk + water in 1:1 concentration but I wanted it to be light at palate and calories so I just used warm water.

Let the dough rest for 20-30 mins. Rolls out kokies out of ping pong sizes dough portions and grill it on hot griddle or tava. Add oil to kokies if you wish but I prefer healthier version of simple roasted koki instead of shallow fried one.

As mentioned before its raita for side dish and that is prepared by tossing in chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onions into bowl of whisked curd and flavoring it with salt, pepper, chopped green chillies and parsley. Simple and Healthy.

Now all I have to do is change tv channels and wait for P to return home.

Chole Curry

Thursday-Fridays are weekend in Riyadh, but this weekend shall be working weekend for us, as P overloaded with work, has to be in office. But this won't stop me from having a nice weekend, I've decided to give P a small treat, which he duly deserves, so I shall be preparing nice Chole curry, Sindhi Koki and raita along with papad and salad for dinner tonight.
During these 5 or so odd years of experimenting in kitchen, one thing I've learnt is that more simpler the recipe, the better the dish tastes. The thing is, limited spices gives greater flavor and aroma to any dish. So I shall be preparing chole with minimum spices but with nice aromatic fennel seeds to give "hmm...." to the dish.
I've tasted chole prepared by adding all spices like bay leaf and cashew and what not, prepared painstakingly, cooked for long time etc but believe me this recipe is one of the best I've tasted. Thanks Mommy, you're the best.

Ground to fine paste:
2 large onions
1 1/2 tbs fennel/saunf seeds
2 tbs sesame/til seeds
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds

1 cup dry chick peas, soaked for 7-8 hours or overnight and pressure cooked/boiled, yields about 3-31/2 cups of cooked chick peas.
1 tsp nigella/kalonji/black onion seeds
2 tbs oil
1 1/2 tbs ginger-garlic paste
2 cups tomato puree or 2 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
handful of chopped fresh coriander/parsley leaves
1 1/2 tbs chole masala
salt as per taste

Heat oil in heavy bottom pan, add nigella seeds to it and once its sputters add the ground paste of onion to it. Let the paste cook for 12-15 mins or till oil starts separating.
Now add ginger garlic paste and cook for 2-3 mins.
Add all dry masala except salt and chole masala and cook for few more mins. add a little water at this stage, if u find curry is too dry and is sticking to the bottom the the pan.
Add tomato puree and let it cook till the raw smell of tomato is gone. which takes almost 10-12 mins.
now add chole, salt and chole masala also add the water if u find curry is too thick. let this come to a boil and keep boiling it on slow flame for around 4-5 mins. this will help chole to soak up all the flavors.
garnish it with chopped coriander/parsley leaves.

serve it hot with rice, chappati, paratha, naan or bhature.

when cooking for party or some guests in evening, prepare this dish in morning itself .... believe me this dish tastes best when it rests for 5-6 hours after cooking.

my plan is to serve this with Sindhi Koki, a type of paratha/flat bread.... but with amazing twist.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vegetable Paratha

Riyadh is hot .... very very hot. P keeps complaining about his car steering giving him burns and his seat belt torturing him like wicked devil but I guess today is the worst day, after just 40 mins on my treadmill I was sweating and panting like hell. This was the sign that temperature outside might be souring around 50 degrees or may be higher. Bless my A/C, poor thing goes on without a complain. And cherry on top, tap water was almost boiling so guess how the shower would have been for me!!. Now I'm to blame for it entirely... as I'm not a early riser.... today I almost envied P, coz he has his shower at around 7 am when the tap water ought to be cool and refreshing. :)
Macbeth said "all the water in the oceans wont cleanse this blood"... I say - all the water in the oceans wont cleanse this sweat. lol.

After all this rambling about heat it would be sarcastic to have a large appetite so I think I shall settle with something like one dish meal and what better than lovely Vegetable Paratha.

Makes 10 parathas


For Filling:
4 medium sized boiled and grated potatoes (put boiled potatoes in fridge for couple of hours before grating)
1 large Carrot grated
1 large Cucumber grated (squeeze out water after grating)
1 large Onion chopped finely
1 tbs green chilli, ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp garam masala or aamchur powder (put garam masala if u like spicy paratha or put aamchur powder if u like tangy taste)
2 tbs chopped coriander or parsley
Salt as per taste.

Mix all the above ingredients and prepare 10 -12 balls of this filling.

For Coating:
2 Cups Whole wheat flour ie atta
salt as per taste
2 tbs oil
water as per needed.

knead a soft dough of atta with water, cover it and keep aside for 15 - 20 mins.

to make paratha, take a ping pong ball sized dough and roll out into a flat round with the help of a rolling pin, put one ball of filling and place it on rolled dough. now cover the filling with dough and pinch it on top covering all filling inside. dust this ball into flour and roll it into a flat bread.
put griddle or non stick pan on stove and cook this paratha on medium heat untill both sides have small lovely brown patches on it u can apply a dash of oil or altogether avoid oil.

vegetable paratha tastes gr8 with chutney, raita, aachar and sweet dahi.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saucy Spicy Pasta

How should I put it politely?!! but today I woke up with a funny dream in my memory. All night long I had dreamt of making baking and cooking pasta dishes.... I know it sounds funny but happens with me sometimes. So I came to a conclusion that I'm pasta starved!! lolz
These days Parag is unusually busy, works crazy hours, leaves at 8 am and returns at 10-11pm, this has affected my cooking someway.... whatever I cook seems to be too much portion wise and there is always almost half of it left over.
So today we are going to have very very funny dinner of leftover Pav-Bhaji, Cucumber sambar along with Rice and yes, u guessed it right, Spicy pasta. Makes me feel bad spouse but then we have to finish the leftovers.

P loves pavbhaji and sambar rice and likes pasta dishes in moderation, so no problem. I wish I could post my recipes along with lovely snaps but the thing is that I left out my camera back in Baroda during my last visit, so I shall not be posting any snaps till sept end, ie after my next visit to India.

Now back to our recipe.

Now the thing is that we Indians love everything that is spicy, much more spicy than the Mediterranean or continental cuisines, so I have modified the original Italian recipe to a little bit spicy version.

Saucy Spicy Pasta

Serves 2-3

Ingredients :

2 cups cooked pasta of your choice (I have used medium sized elbow macaroni)
(3/4th cup of uncooked pasta yields 2 cups cooked pasta and add salt while boiling them)
1 cup milk
2 tbs all purpose flour or cornflour
1 small onion
1 tbs butter
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp fresh ground peppercorn
1/2 tsp oregano (optional)
pepper jack, cheddar cheese or any other cheese of your choice
salt as per taste
capsicum and tomatoes for garnishing


Cook pasta, drain and run them under cold water. keep aside.
In a heavy bottom pan add water + minced onion and let it boil for couple of minutes. In another bowl add milk, flour, salt, ground pepper, oregano, chilli flakes and whisk to blend them nicely.
Add this mixture to boiling water and onion and keep stirring. once the mix gets thick remove it from the stove and add butter and grated cheese of your choice.
Add pasta to this spicy sauce and mix well.
Adjust salt and spice to your taste.
Remove this mixture to microwave safe casserole and garnish it with rings of capsicum and tomatoes along with more shredded cheese. Grill for 10 mins and serve hot.
those who dont have microwave in hand can enjoy it without grilling coz grilling is just done to attain that semi baked taste to the cheese on top.

Hmm!!! my kitchen has heavenly smell of cheese and pepper right now.... nothing better than this.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cucumber Sambar

Today, is one of those days when i feel a bit needy for some nice sippy food... so here comes in our handy south indian recipes. Cucumber sambar is one of the nicest things i learned after meeting Vani Didi. She just tossed a handful of cucumber along with other sambar ingredients and it came out gr8.... lovely and aromatic.
so here goes the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Toor dal 3/4th cup
Onion 1 small size
Potato 1 medium size
Cucumber 1 medium size
Tomato 1 small size
Fresh Coriander handful
Green chillies 2
Ginger as per taste
Curry Leaves 2 sprigs
Turmeric 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Urad dal 1 tbs
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Hing one pinch
Sambar powder 1 1/2 tbs
Oil 2 tbs

Method :

Wash and soak dal for 30 mins. Pressure cook it after adding turmeric. Also put potato in pressure cooker in a different container.

Cut all veggies and prepare all other ingredients as required.

remove dal frm cooker and mash it with hand mixie or hand churn ladle. add sambar powder, salt and red chilli powder.

In a heavy bottom utensil add oil and prepare tempering, once oil is hot enough add urad dal and mustard seeds, add hing once they start sputtering. Add green chillies and ginger along with cucumber, onion, boiled potatoes and fresh curry leaves. Saute`e for a few mins and then add the mashed dal mixture to it. Bring it to boil and garnish it with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Adjust water and salt as per ur need.

Enjoy it with boiled rice or with dosa or idli of ur choice.

My plan is hearty dish of chaval and sambar along with papad and aachar..... hmmm yummm.