Monday, August 17, 2009

Lasaniya Bataka/Lahsuni Aloo

Few days back Chaitali, my (cousin) sis-in-law requested this recipe, lasaniya bataka. It is a lovely fragrant potato subzi with loads of garlic in it, in fact it is a tribute to garlic in a way and blessing for all garlic lovers like me and P.
So Chaitali here's the recipe for you, cheers to the good times spent together in Baroda. Miss those days dearly.

Ingredients :
3 medium sized potatoes (boiled and cut in cubes)
Oil for tempering
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
Pinch of asafoetida
Handful of fresh coriander leaves/cilantro

Ground to Paste:
1 big Pod of garlic approx 12-15 cloves of chunky garlic
1 tsp salt (remember we wont be adding any salt to subzi later on)
2 tbs sesame seeds/til
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbs water

Preparation Method :

In a heavy bottom pan/kadhai heat oil for tempering, add cumin seeds, let them crackle and then add asafoetida.
Now add all of the prepared ground paste add 1/4th cup water and let it simmer for about 2 mins or till garlic is well cooked and does not smell raw.
Add potato cubes, mix well and cook for few mins till potatoes soak up all the garlic flavors. (adjust salt at this stage, usually you'll have to add about 1/2 tsp more salt)
Garnish it with chopped cilantro and serve hot with fulkas or chapatis.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bharela Ringan/Bharva Ringan

This recipe comes from my M-I-L, she prepares this amazing dish during the time of year when they get green baby eggplants in India. According to her those green eggplants have a specific sweetness in them which makes the dish more likable.
Myself I'm not a huge fan of eggplants green or purple, actually I avoid putting eggplant into my mouth altogether(ask P about it as he is the one who has to eat all bits of eggplant that are on my serving dish :)) but the day she prepared it and asked me to tasted the bharva ringan dish without telling me the name of the dish, I just fell in love with it. It was awesome, simply amazing and out of this world, I could really taste the sweetness of those green luxurious eggplant. I couldn't believe I was eating eggplant dish!!!
There are many versions of this dish starting from kutchhi style to surti style and even hyderabadi style of baghare baingan, which has coastal aroma and taste to it as it is prepared using totally different ingredients like dessicated fresh coconut, onions etc. The version that I'm preparing today is authentic Gujju recipe, it has sweetness and nice aroma of besan to it.

So here goes the recipe:

Take 1 cup besan in a big bowl and add 1 tbs chilli powder, 1 tbs turmeric powder, 2 tbsp sesame seeds/til, 2 tsp aamchur powder or 1 tbs lime juice, 1 1/2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs dhania jeera powder, 2 tsp garam masala, 1 to 1/2 tbs chilli ginger garlic paste, 2 tbs oil, salt to taste and mix well.

Take 5-6 medium to small size eggplants/baingan/ringan and 1 medium sized potato.
Peel dice and wash potato thoroughly.
Wash eggplants and dry them. Slit eggplants length wise and take care not to cut them all through as we intend on filling them with besan mixture.
Fill eggplants with the besan mix. At this stage almost half besan mix should have been used for filling, leaving you with some besan mix still remaining, we shall use that while cooking.
In a Heavy bottom Kadhai/pan add 4 tbs oil, once it starts to smoke add 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera and let it sputter. Add a pinch of asafoetida and add diced potatoes.
Now arrange the eggplants delicately in such a way that each one touch hot oil in the pan.
Sprinkle the remaining besan mix on top of eggplants and potatoes.
Now add 1 cup water slowly frm the sides of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 20-25 mins on medium heat, stirring once or twice in between.
If the water evaporates without cooking all masala, add a little more water.

Remember at the end of cooking, this dish should not be soggy at all, besan should have lovely dark yellow colour and should taste well cooked. Adding right quantity of water, enough to cook this dish but not to make it soggy is the key.

Turn off the heat and garnish it with freshly chopped coriander leaves/cilantro. Serve it with hot roti or thepla or bajra roti.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hari Chutney

Hari Chutney or dhania chutney is the most versatile chutney, used in sandwiches, chaats like bhel, sev dahi batata puri, etc etc etc. It goes nice with aloo paratha or any kinda paratha or dosa and gives nice twist to any bland meal.
I usually prepare this chutney in large bulk, almost 2 cups or more at a time and freeze it in small portions ie in 4 small Tupperware containers which makes it easy to thaw and use only the required quantity of chutney while keeping rest of the batch untouched. Usually if you prepare chutney and refrigerate it, it will change from lovely green to darker green and then to blackish green changing along with it the flavor and taste too. Freezing chutney helps it to maintain its taste, flavor and lovely green colour even after a month of preparing and freezing it.

Prepares 1 cup

2 cups packed green coriander leaves chopped and washed
8-10 green chillies
2 inches ginger
3 tbs lime juice
2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 tbs sesame seeds/ til
salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients using a food processor or a blender to a fine paste, add a little water if required.
Tip: add salt towards the end of blending process this prevents chutney going all salty.
you can also add 2-3 tbs of fresh coconut to get nice "coastal taste" to this chutney.

Today I'm planning to prepare Chutney Cheese Sandwich. Will Jot down that recipe too later on.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Marinated Potato Capsicum Curry

This weekend I had prepared Marinated Potato Capsicum curry. This recipe is a culmination of two amazing dishes paneer tikka and veg stir fry.
Why on earth I did that?!! I don't have answer to that myself. But let me ensure the result was gr8.

Ingredients :

2 medium sized potatoes boiled and cubed
1 large capsicum chopped into big square chunks
1 onion chopped into big square chunks
1 tomato chopped into big square chunks
oil for tempering
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
pinch asafoetida

Marinating Sauce :
3 tbs yogurt/curd whisked
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fennel seed/saunf powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste

For Garnish :
2 tbs freshly chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
Lemon wedges

Preparation Method:

Whisk the marinade into a big bowl, big enough to contain all the veggies. Now add all the diced veggies and mix well into the marinade sauce. Let is marinate for at least 1 hour.

After an hour of marination our veggies are ready to be stir fried. So in a big non stick pan add oil and let it come to a smoke, add cumin seeds and curry leaves when it starts to crackle add the marinated mix of veggies and saute it for 2-3 mins or till the oil starts to separate. Adjust salt and spiciness.

Garnish it with fresh chopped cilantro and lemon wedges.
This dish goes nice with jeera rice or any kinda biryani. Can also be enjoyed with roti or naan.

This lip smacking dish is easy to prepare and hearty at taste.

Lauki Mung Dal Sabzi

You guys might be thinking whats the deal with me and lauki?!! but the thing is after having junk food all weekend I tend to take shelter under the Bottle gourd tent to relax my digestive track.
As bottle gourd has cooling effect on our digestive system.
Today I'm preparing a dish which my M-I-L cooks to perfection. Her version has that rustic old charm to cooking mine is rather like "cooking in a jiffy" kinda touch. But the end result is almost similar.

so here goes the recipe.

Ingredients :
3 cups peeled and diced bottle gourd/lauki
1 cup washed mung dal
2 tbs green chilli, ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds/rai
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
1 tbs oil for tempering
2 sprig curry leaves
2 dry red chillies
hand full of freshly chopped coriander leaves/cilantro

Preparation Method :

Put Pressure pan on medium heat, add oil and once it starts to smoke add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. let them crackle up, now add asafoetida, curry leaves, dry red chillies and turmeric.
Add diced bottle gourd and ginger garlic chilli paste.
Saute for two mins and add mung dal along with 2 1/2 cups of water.
Add salt to taste.
Close the pressure pan and cook up to 3 whistles.
Once the pressure pan is removed frm the stove and the pressure has subsided, open the pan and remove the sabzi into serving bowl, garnish it with fresh cilantro.
Serve hot with Steamed rice or roti.

Remember to keep this curry simple as possible. Flavors from fresh green chillies, ginger and garlic are the key to this recipe. But in case you want a bit more spicier you can add red chilli powder but rather adjust green chilli paste to get more spiciness. Aroma of curry leaves and fresh chilli along with garlic itself is soothing to gastronomics of our body.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


As the weekend is approaching, I intend to prepare spicy and tasty delhi chaat. Ofcourse I shall be posting that recipe later in this week, but preparation of it has began since today. I've prepared nice crispy hara dhania puri and sev. These two items can be easily prepared in advanced and stored upto 15 days.

Sev, calls in for minimum effort and can be prepared in a jiffy. All you need is Sev Sancho, a kitchen utensil which is found is almost each and every gujju kitchen. It helps in preparing other lip smacking snacks like crispy chakri, ratlami sev, ganthiya etc.

Ingredients :
1 1/2 cups besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1 tbs lemon/lime juice OR 1/2 tsp citric acid crystals/nimbu phul
3 pinch Soda bi-carb
oil for frying

Preparation Method :

Take chickpea flour in a broad bowl. Remove all the lumps in the flour, add salt and lemon juice, in case using citric acid, dilute the crystals in 1 tbs water before adding to the flour this will ensure its uniform distribution within the flour.
Now make a batter frm it adding little water at a time. Remember batter should not be too liquidy but should not form a dough too. How can I explain it better!!! Ok if you try forming a lump it should spread .... sorry for this but this is the best I came up with.
Now in a spoon full water add soda and add this to the batter and whisk the batter using your fingers and palm.
Place this doughy batter into sev sancha.
Heat oil in deep frying pan and once it reaches the smoking point, reduce the heat to slow and start making sev by turning the handle of sancha directly on frying pan.
deep fry for 2 mins and make sure it is fried evenly on both sides.

Don't know how many times I shall repent over the forgotten camera, but I really wished I could have posted the snaps of method of making sev.

I know I'm sweating over nothing as most of those who shall read this blog would know how to use sev sancho, funny me!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mag/Saboot Mung/Green Bean Dal

Mag or Saboot mung is highly nutritious in terms of dietary fiber and protein. As in India, Chinese and Indonesian cuisine uses this green gram pulse in variety of dishes starting from snacks to desserts. Actually wide spread use of this pulse is found all over south east asia.
Today I've prepared a very healthy and filling Mung dal.

Ingredients :
1 cup green gram/mag (washed, soaked for 30 mins and pressure cooked for 3-4 whistles)
1 medium sized onion chopped length wise
3 green chillies slit
1 tbs ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 tbs oil for tempering
2 tbs coriander chopped finely
2 sprigs curry leaves

Preparation Method :

Pressure cook the gram and keep aside
In a heavy bottom pan add oil for tempering, once hot enough add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they start to crackle add asafoetida, curry leaves, slit green chillies and chopped onion.
Saute for 2 mins.
Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and ginger-garlic paste along with some water.
Saute for 1 min.
Then add cooked green gram. Adjust the consistency of it by adding a little water and let it come to a boil.
Turn off the heat and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or chapati, this dish goes nice with aloo paratha and koki too.

Hara Dhania Puri

Hara Dhania Puri is the creation of my imagination. I had this bunch of green leafy coriander in my refrigerator and I desperately wanted to be creative with it. So I started thinking of making some kind of dip which made me further think of something what I can dunk in a dip. And an idea struck why not make puri using green coriander chutney.
Actually I have already prepared the dough and is awaiting its final stage to glorious green munchy snack. I have a great feeling for this recipe coz the dough came out to be beautiful green coloured and tastes gr8 too (I know I tasted it raw ...but I couldn't help it, it looked so inviting).
Now I shall get back to my eagerly awaiting experiment and shall write all about it when I'm done rolling, cutting, frying etc.

Well friends I have some gr8 news, it came out yum, its a lovely golden brown puries with a ting of green shade in it. Smells heavenly too.

So now that is recipe is tried and tasted, I'm confident that this recipe can crunch (I mean melt) anyone's heart who is in visual vicinity of it.

Ingredients :
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4th cup semolina/sooji
5 tbs oil

Oil for frying

Ground to paste
2 cups chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
8-9 green chillies (hotter, the better)
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbs salt (this contains the part of salt to savour the flour too)
1 1/2 tbs lime juice

Preparation Method :

Blend the ingredients mentioned for paste adding 1/4th cup water.
Mix semolina and wheat flour nicely, also add in 5 tbs oil and mix it well until crumbly texture is achieved.
Now add the ground coriander paste to the flour mix and knead a stiff dough, adding little water at a time (if needed).
Cover the kneaded dough in a moist cloth and let it stand for 10-15 minutes.

After the stand off time, Pinch a ping pong ball sized dough and rolling it into a circular chapati. With the help of puri cutter, cut it into small circular shaped puries. Dent this puris with the help of fork. Use all the kneaded dough with the same procedure.


After rolling circular chapati dent it with fork and just cut diamond shaped pieces frm it with the help of a knife.

In a frying pan add oil, enough for deep frying. Fry those lovely green puries till they are golden brown in colour.

These puris can be enjoyed with any dips like salsa or guacamole, chutney or ketchup or as I did with hot cup of tea.

Use these puries to make yummy papdi chaat or delhi chaat .

I shall be storing my batch in nice air tight container and shall use it in many different ways. Of course all different uses and recipes shall be posted duely.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tomato Soup

Who said we can't enjoy a bowl of pipping hot soup in summers?!! Just turn on your air conditioners to high and see the fun. ☺

Tomato soup can be prepared in various ways... with cream, without cream etc. I prefer a healthier version of without cream. This recipe again calling in for minimum ingredients, remember lesser the ingredients, more the aroma and flavor.

Ingredients :
3 large tomatoes
1/4th tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4th tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp corn flour or all purpose flour (add whole wheat flour if want to make it more healthier) add a ladle full of water and turn it into a floury paste.
salt as per taste

Preparation Method :

Boil tomatoes in plenty of water till the skin starts to wrinkle and crack. Turn off the heat and let it cool a bit. Do not throw away the water in which you have boiled tomatoes in.
Remove the skin of tomatoes and blend it into a smooth puree.
In a pan add puree and all the spices along with the flour paste, keep stirring it at regular intervals as the soup starts getting a bit thicker and bring it to a boil. Adjust the water level of the soup using the tomato stock that we had preserved.
Once its thick and its water adjusted boil for a minute or so and turn off the heat.
Serve hot.

As you have noticed I haven't added any butter or oil to the soup also I had prepared my soup using whole wheat flour to make a wholesome dish low in calories.

Tip : you can also add a spoonful of cream to make cream of tomato soup out of the above recipe.
Remember to add very little salt the first time, taste and adjust, this is done coz soups require almost half the quantity of salt for that "restaurant like" taste.
You can also add ground cumin to this soup for a homely taste.

Ringan Bataka nu Lashkari Shaak

Thinking what to cook everyday, is a daunting task, ask any momma if you don't believe me!! Also have to keep in mind its not too rich in calories but also has all nutrients, shouldn't be junk food but should be tasty enough, so today amongst the turmoil of 'what to cook?' I simply grabbed some eggplants, potatoes and onions and started slicing and cubing them without thinking what to do exactly. I prepared this dish as if I was Camping out on hills and had bare minimum stuff to prepare my food, hence the name of the dish 'Ringan bataka nu lashkari shaak', I know its funny name but my mom used to say this all the time that so and so dish she prepared is lashkari version.

here goes my recipe.

Ingredients :
2 medium sized potatoes
1 large or 2 medium sized eggplants/ringan
1 medium sized onion
salt to taste
turmeric 1 tsp
red chilli 1 tsp
oil for tempering
mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida

Preparation Method :

In a pressure cooker add 2 tsp oil, mustard seeds and once they crackle add asafoetida.
Now add chopped onions and saute for 1 min.
Add chopped potatoes and eggplants along with all masala.
Add 1 cup water, shut the pressure cooker. Cook for 2-3 whistles.

Garnish it with Cilantro/Coriander leaves, serve with rice or chapati.
You can also add a bit garam masala to this dish to give it nice curry aroma.

Wasn't it fast and easy?!!
I also plan on preparing Tomato Soup keeping in mind the eating healthy regime. Although this dish supplies with nice veggies like eggplants and antioxidant donating onions, I would love to have some nice bowl of soup with it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gajar Ka Halwa

These days P is working crazy hours and nothing lifts up his spirits as sweets especially Indian Mithai. He is crazy over Sukhdi, Seera, Soan Papdi, Magas, Rossogulla, Phirni, actually the list is endless.
Hot Gajar ka Halwa is one of the things he loves.
So today, I thought, as he isn't having his regular portion of meals, I should prepare some mithai to compensate his lack of appetite. Hence I attacked my ladder to find something to make some nice Mithai, I came across a tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk and I remembered I had a few Carrots in my fridge too. And so within 45 mins I had a casserole full of Gajar halwa decorated with saffron and dry fruits and cardamom on my counter-top.

Ingredients :
4 large or approx 1 1/2 pounds carrots (washed, dried, peeled and shredded)
1/3 tin sweetened condensed milk (approx 130 gms)
1 cup full fat milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbs dry raisins (soaked in warm water for about 10-15 mins)
slivered almonds and cashew 2 tbsp
1 tsp saffron (soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk)

Preparation Method :

In a wide heavy bottom pan add shredded carrots along with 1 cup milk and let it cook for around 12-15 mins or untill carrots are soft, tender and almost cooked. Keep stirring occasionally.
Add sweetened condensed milk and sugar. Let it cook for another 10 mins or until required consistency of Halwa is achieved.
Now add saffron, slivered dry fruits and drained raisins along with cardamom powder to halwa. Mix well and turn off the Heat.
Remove Halwa into a Storage or serving utensil like a casserole or microwave safe bowl (which makes it easy to store and reheat in case of leftover) .

Tips :
In case condensed milk is unsweetened, increase the sugar quantity as per taste.

In case of absence of any kind of condensed milk altogether, increase the quantity of milk to 2 cups along with sugar. If u have milk powder on hand add 2 tbs to halwa along with 2 cups of milk, this will increase the aroma and will give nice chunkiness to halwa.

Wish I hadn't forgotten my camera in India, wish I could have posted snaps of this lovely adventure of mine. Sheer sight of the casserole makes me drool. ☺

Aloo Lauki ki sabzi

Simple eating and healthy living, this is the fact that is being forgotten in this age of drive-thru and dial a pizza. Aloo lauki or as we gujju's call it dudhi bataka nu shaak, is a simple dish but with tons of flavor borrowed from garlic and ginger along with a dash of garam masala. Simple to make, easy on stomach, low on calories and lots of fiber. What else do we want from a dish which almost does workout in gym for us?!!!

Ingredients :
1 medium sized potato cut into cubes
1 pound Lauki/bottle gourd cut into cubes
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 green chillies slit
2 sprigs kadhi patta/curry leaves
2 tbs chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 pinch
1 tbs oil for tempering
salt as per taste
1 to 1 1/2 cups water

Preparation method :

In a pressure cooker add oil, cumin, mustard. once the seeds start to crackle add hing and curry leaves. Then add ginger garlic paste and slit green chillies. Saute for a 20 seconds, add cubed potato and bottle gourd, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and water.

close the lid of pressure pan and cook it untill 2 whistles on medium heat and there after 3 mins on low heat.

let the pressure subside, which takes almost 15 mins or so, then open the pan and add garam masala and chopped coriander leaves.

serve hot along with chapati or rice.

For those who are on diet regime, they can subtract potato frm this dish and prepare only lauki sabzi. Also reduce the oil to 1 tsp.

Gujarati Chai Masala

Tea or chai, is a single most powerful word in my life. It is one of the top most item in my survival list, without which I really really have bad headaches and sometimes even nausea.... don't want to even think about it. P knows this and every weekend (almost every weekend) I'm awaken by him with a tray bearing that heavenly concoction. Actually I think he too has started liking tea, which he rarely used to have before our marriage, he is rather a coffee person that too hot and black.

Back in India, my side of family, my parents and my siblings, we all are huge chai fans, never a day goes by without we guys having two cups of tea in morning and one in evenings. My mom prepares chai either by adding ginger to it or adding chai masala and sometimes both. My bro used to prepare chai adding just cardamom. But what ever the way, Chai is all we need.

Here is My Mommy's way of blending chai masala. Tip of teaspoon full is all you need in 1 cup of tea.

Ingredients :

2 tbs dry ginger powder
1 1/2 tbs black peppercorn
1 tbs cardamom
1 tsp cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon

Blend all the ingredients into a fine powder and what you have is aromatic chai masala. You can adjust the spiciness by adding or reducing the quantity of peppercorns.
In a way you can adjust quantity of each and every spice as per your taste and preference.

Orange flavoured kitkat cake

This recipe is borrowed from one of my condensed milk tins.... surprisingly simple and hearty delight it seems.

Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking time 55 mins
Serves 8-10

Ingredients :
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups or 210 gms plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup or 150 gms melted butter
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
Zest and juice of 1 small orange
3/4 cup or 150 gms sugar
1 bar or 65 gms chunky kitkat caramel chopped

Preparation method :
Combine all ingredients except the kitkat in an electric beater (If you dont have an electric blender, place the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them using a wooden spoon).
Beat on low speed for 2 mins then on medium speed for another 2 mins or until the mixture is smooth.
Pour mixture into a 30cm x 11cm greased baking loaf tin, then sprinkle the chopped kitkat on top.
Bake in a 175° c preheated oven for 55 mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Pretty simple hmm....... ☺