Friday, October 31, 2008

Diwali Treats - Ragi Laddoos, Sooji ka Halwa and Quick bhadang

Hope everyone had a happy and joyous Diwali!

Diwali is the festival of lights and joys, of great food and fun times with the people you love! Diwali is also the time when, having stayed away from India for so long, we miss our parents and relatives the most...

We have been fortunate to have plenty of friends around to share the festivities with on most years and this year too we celebrated Diwali with some good friends here in Rotterdam. We had the traditional Laxmi pujan, lit up lots of candles, played cards and shared lots of laughs during dumb charades and of course had a wonderful potluck dinner of Dal bukhara, Shahi Gobhi, Chane-Aloo, Naan and Gulab Jamuns! I don't have any pictures of the food unfortunately.. we were all too busy eating and forgot to take any pictures! :)

Besides an elaborate dinner, usually I make besan laddoos for Diwali. This year I didn't have much besan left.. but had Nachani / Ragi flour which my mom had got in the summer. so I made Ragi laddoos this time..

I made them just as I make Aate ke Laddoos. This flour was already I didn't even need to roast it for long! Just combined with hot ghee, boora and dried fruits and made some mouth-watering laddoos!

For prasad, I made Sooji ka Halwa with banana in it (called Kelicha sheera in Marathi). I found a great recipe here which I used as is with the only exception of using ripe Banana instead of mango pulp. Turned out so much better than plain sooji ka halwa! :)

Here's the recipe for quick reference

1 ½ cups Sooji/Rava/Semolina (medium coarse)
1 ½ cups Milk
1 ½ cups water
1 ripe Banana sliced
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp homemade Ghee

For the garnishing:
6-7 Cashewnuts chopped
6-7 golden raisins
Few strands of Saffron, soaked in warm milk


1. In a heavy bottom Kadai/wok heat 2tsp of the ghee. Fry the cashew nut pieces and raisins in it, drain and keep aside.
2. In the same ghee, roast the sooji till it turns golden brown and you get a nice aroma. Remove in a plate and cool.
3. In the same Kadai mix milk and water and bring to a boil. Add the roasted sooji and cook stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Cook on low flame for some time stirring in between.
4. Once the sooji is half cooked add sugar. Mix properly and cook for a few minutes more, stirring in between.
5. Now add the banana slices and mix with the halwa, mashing them slightly.
6. Add the remaining ghee (optional) and the saffron strands dissolved in warm milk. Mix properly. Cover and cook for a 1-2 minutes.
Garnish with the fried Cashew pieces and golden raisins. Delicious halwa is ready!

I also made some Quick bhadang this diwali! I used Nupur's recipe with some modifications and the result was a wonderful, delicious, crunchy snack.

Here's the recipe, again repeated here for my own reference..

6 cups puffed rice
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
8-10 curry leaves
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1-2 green chillies chopped


1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add mustard seeds and let them pop.
2. Add peanuts, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and saute till the peanuts are nicely browned.
3. Add salt, sugar, turmeric and chilli powder and saute for a few seconds.
4. Add the puffed rice and raisins and saute on low-medium heat, stirring often till all the puffed rice is coated. Turn off heat after 3-5 minutes.

Cool and store in an air-tight container.

These entries go to Srivalli's JFI-Festival Treats
Also sending this to Priti's Festive Food -Diwali event

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Peanut Chutney

This morning I made Uttapam for brunch along with Peanut Chutney. I looked a lot for a good recipe but had neither coconut nor tamarind as most of them suggested. So I made it without those and put curd instead. It turned out to be pretty good!

Here's the quick and easy recipe


1 cup Roasted Peanuts (remove the skin)
2 green chillies
1 cup yogurt (curd)
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves

1. Grind the roasted peanuts to a coarse powder. I used my trusty hand blender for this.
2. Add the green chillies and curd to the powder and grind some more.
3. Add salt, sugar and mix well.
4. Next heat some oil for tempering. When heated, put mustard seeds and curry leaves in it.
5. Once the mustard seeds pop, pour the tempering over the peanut chutney.
6. Mix well and serve.

The chutney tasted great with Uttapams and would definitely go well with idlis and sabudana wadas also.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pude / Gulgule

Last Friday was Karwa chauth .. the one day in the year when I fast. This is a fast married women, mostly from north India, keep for long life of their husband by going without food and even water from sun up till moon rise.

I have a fixed menu for this day.. nothing too complicated - Aloo ki rasewali sabji, Poori, Kheer and one dish without which Karwa chauth is incomplete - Pude (or Gulgule as its called by some).

Pude are very easy to make and wonderful to taste. Here is the recipe I follow. Adapted from here

1 cup Atta (Wheat Flour)
1/2 cup Sugar
Pinch of Black Pepper powder
1 tsp Saunf
Oil to fry
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Milk

1. Mix the atta with sugar, saunf, pepper pwd, milk and water to make a flowing batter. The batter should be of the same consistency as that for pakoras.
2. Keep it aside for about 1 hour - this makes the pudas softer.
3. Heat oil for frying.
4. Take a tablespoon full of smooth batter and let it flow into pan. Allow it to take the shape.
5. Deep fry until brown on both sides. You can fry 4-5 pudas at the same time.
6. Remove and drain excess oil on paper towel.

Pude are ready. These taste great with kheer especially after that long fast!

Update: This entry goes to FIC Brown hosted by sunshinemom
and to JFI-festivals hosted by Srivalli

BTW for Kheer I use Anita's recipe from here which is indeed the last word on kheer! I just halve all the quantities but otherwise stay true to her recipe. Couldn't explain it any better than she did there!

Here's what my kheer looked like... and I must say it was pretty well received! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rashmi's Dal Bukhara and Tandoori Roti

Welcome back Rashmi and thanks for bringing me back!! I have no excuse but laziness for being away and slipping back into silent blog hopping.... today when I read your post about Dal bukhara and tandoori roti, I was like I have to definitely try this sometime! I go home, look into the fridge and see my 2 day old atta and go.. well why not now? After checking the recipe I saw that unlike the usual dal makhani recipes, this one didn't need soaking the urad dal overnight.. So here you go.. My version of Dal Bukhara and Tandoori Roti.

I followed your recipe to the T and the result was fantastic! I've made Dal makhani before but it never tasted as good as this! And this was the first time ever I tried my hands at making Tandoori Roti. I was so thrilled when I actually saw the first roti fluff up and get brown, that too without getting burnt ;) !! G. was pretty happy with the result too.. Infact he wouldn't even let me take a picture! he was so impatient to have it... Somehow I managed to get this one before it got gobbled up!

Thanks again Rashmi for the great step-by-step recipe! Let me tell you this is a first for me that I tried out a recipe and even blogged about it the very same day as it was posted!! Well, I had to come back and share my result with you! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mom's recipes: Pakode wali Kadhi

I am back! Had a great time traveling around Europe with my parents.. took tons of photos and ate lots of great food. We went with a tour group.. so it was mostly Indian food which worked out best for my parents who don't even eat egg.. But who can resist Italian pizza and crepes & croissants in Paris. Needless to say I have some serious exercising to do! ;)

My parents are back in India now and I am slowly getting back to the routine. Continuing the new series I started, here is another one of my mom's recipe which she made when she was here - my eternal favorite, Pakode wali kadhi!

3 cups buttermilk
3 cups water
2 tbl spoons Besan
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1 tsp corriander pwd

For tempering:
1 tbl spn ghee
a pinch of hing
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp whole methi seeds
2-3 cloves crushed

1. Mix besan with buttermilk such that there are no lumps in it
2. Add salt, red chilli pwd, turmeric and corriander pwd to it and mix well.
3. In a large vessel heat the ghee and then add all the ingredients for tempering one by one in the order listed above.
4. Next add the besan-buttermilk mixture and water.
5. Keep stirring this mixture till it starts boiling.
6. Now lower the heat and let the kadhi boil for at least 15 minutes.
7. Keep stirring after every few mins. If necessary, add some more water.
8. Meanwhile make some lightly salted besan pakoras. Soak them in water for some time.
9. Once the kadhi is done, squeeze out excess water from the pakoras and add to the kadhi.

Garnish with some cut coriander leaves and serve hot with plain white rice. Makes a delicious Sunday afternoon lunch!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogging break

I am on a blogging break till August.. Going on a tour of Europe with my parents! More of my mom's recipes when I get back.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mom's recipes: Gajar Parantha

Yay! my mom is here! and I am having a great time eating mummy ke haath ka khana! I am sharing my mom's recipes with you in a special series called "Mom's recipes". These are simple to make and delicious to taste!

Gajar Parantha

3-4 big Carrots
2 cup Whole wheat flour
1 tblspn Besan
2 green chillies chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1/2 tsp ajwain
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
pinch of hing
corriander leaves chopped

1. Peel all the carrots, wash and grate.
2. Mix with all other ingredients and make a pliable dough. Use water only if needed.
3. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes
4. Roll out into triangular paranthas (Swati has a great guide on how to make these here)
5. Cook on both sides with lots of ghee and enjoy!

These are great to make in bulk and carry with you for a picnic or outing. Make sure you cool them before you pack. We took these along when we went sightseeing and ate it rolled up with chunda (sweet mango pickle).

Here's another look at these healthy and delicious paranthas while they were being cooled.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

CLICK: Yellow for Bri

Yellow is the color of hope and enlightenment. And through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.

This month's theme for the CLICK event is "Yellow for Bri". Bri is a fellow food blogger who is waging a war against breast cancer. The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR. I have given my contribution.. Now its your turn if you haven't done so already! Please help Bri in her fight against cancer.

And here is my entry for CLICK

Hope this will cheer you up, Bri! Wish you a speedy recovery!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nupur's Frankie

Nupur's blog has been one of my favorite ever since my non-food-blogging days... I grew up in Pune. So very often I used to feel like eating a Maharashtrian dish or two and more often than not, google search would point me to Nupur's blog. I tried several of her recipes which turned out great! and thats how I became a regular visitor...

When Zlamushka of Burnt Mouth announced that the next blog for Tried and Tasted is One Hot Stove, I knew it was going to be easy! coz I have already tried and tasted so many of Nupur's recipes like Thalipeeth , Misal, Grilled Cheese, Indian Style , Onion Bhajji and Pav Bhaji. Now these were before I started my food blog.. so no pictures! (I did make the Pav bhaji recently but it got gobbled up before I could take any pictures!) Since I started the blog I made Veg. Club Sandwich which I blogged about here.

And most recently, I made Nupur's Veg Frankie which as usual turned out to be great!!!

I made some variations.. I didn't use the egg and sliced up the onion instead of mincing them. Oh and used my "tamarind chutney" .. I just love to use it with anything chatpata ;) Here's my version of the recipe (my changes are in italics)

4 flour tortillas/rotis
2 large/3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and smashed
1 pepper (red or green), diced
1 small onion, sliced
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red chilli powder/cayenne pepper
4 tsp of my tamarind chutney
salt to taste

To make the filling:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
2. Fry the pepper and boiled potatoes till browned and crispy.
3. Remove pan from heat. Add cilantro, lemon juice and all the spices, tasting to check that the mixture is tangy and well-seasoned. The filling is ready.

To assemble each frankie,
1. Heat a tortilla in a non-stick pan.
2. Remove from pan, spread some tamarind chutney on it.
3. Add some filling on top and then add the sliced onion.

4. Roll it up and serve hot!

It was hard for me to not grab the frankie and eat it up right away while I took the pictures. As you can probably guess, it didn't stay for too long on that plate! :)

Nupur, if I didn't say it in my "silent visitor" days, I want to say it now that you have a wonderful blog and I admire the way you present your recipes! Loved your A-Z recipe series.. and am simply in awe of your knitting escapades right now. Your recipes are delicious and your blog is the one, along with few others, that inspired me to start my own blog! So a very, very big THANK YOU to you!!

This is my entry for Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted

It also goes to MBP: Street Food which is being hosted by Sia at Monsoon Spice this month. MBP was the brainchild of Coffee from The Spice Cafe

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Aloo Paratha

Am I on roll or what? 2 posts in 2 days! Thats quite something going by my standards... ;)
Well what can I do.. with so many blog events taking place and Roti Mela just around the corner, I cannot not blog abt my favorite Aloo paratha!

Now I know there are several Aloo paratha recipes out there but I had to share with you this recipe that I learnt from my mom years ago. Mummy used to make these in a jiffy, be it for breakfast or for packing it in my lunch box for school (which of course I didn't get to eat coz my friends used to just pounce on it and finish it in matter of minutes!! oh well, I then ate the maharashtrian goodies or idli chutney in their lunch boxes! so no complains.. but I digress...)

This is a very simple recipe and quick to make if you have the basic hang of rolling out parathas.

2 cups whole wheat flour
warm water for kneading

For filling:
2 potatoes
2 green chillies - chopped fine
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp chili pwd
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp roasted jeera pwd
1/4 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves chopped

1. Knead the dough with warm water. Cover and keep aside.
2. Boil the potatoes - I use microwave for this. Put them in a plastic grocery bag close the top and just heat for 3-5 mins. No water needed. The potatoes get "boiled" in the steam.
3. Peel and mash the potatoes.
4. Now add all the dry masalas, green chillies and coriander leaves. Mix well. Filling is ready.
5. Put the Tava on gas to heat up

Roll out the parathas now as follows:
(and this time I have taken step-by-step pictures!! :)
1. Take a golf sized ball of the dough and roll it out to a 3-4 inches diameter circle
2. Put some ghee in the center
3. Then place some filling on it.

4. Cover the filling and seal as shown in the following pic

5. Now roll it out again to a bigger circle.. using dry flour as needed.

6. Put it on the heated tava now and let it cook for 30-40 sec.
7. Flip it over and apply ghee and flip it back
8. Now it should fluff up. Put ghee on this side too and flip again.
9. Press it with a roti fluffer like in this pic so the other side cooks well.

10. Turn it over, apply more ghee if needed and cook the other side now.

Paratha is done! Serve hot with your favorite achaar and raita.

This goes to Srivalli's Roti Mela.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Tamarind Chutney" from Applesauce!

No chaat item is complete without having tamarind chutney with it.. I like to have this chutney in my fridge all the time to satisfy those sudden urges of eating bhel, pani puri or papdi chaat ;) It goes well with any appetizer too (like the bread rolls in my prev post).

I was spoiled in San Jose since there was no dearth of Indian stores and we used to readily get everything we needed including the chutney. My chachiji, who's been living in NJ for almost 30 yrs, had told me a method of making this chutney from Applebutter by simply adding some spices to it.. but I never tried it because I never needed to.. Since coming to Rotterdam, I'd been struggling to find a good chutney. I tried finding Applebutter too.. but couldn't find it or rather I got applesauce instead of applebutter. Finally, I found a recipe of making tamarind chutney using applesauce here and modified it a bit to use prunes and no tamarind at all!

You can see step-by-step pictures in the original post. Here's the slightly modified version of the recipe that I use.

250 mL applesauce, unsweetened
1 1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar, either white or brown (packed)
10-12 Prunes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black salt (kala namak), heaped
1/2 tsp red chili powder, heaped
1 tsp lemon juice or to taste
1 tsp coarsely ground roasted cumin seeds

1. Place applesauce in microwavable bowl.
2. Break up the prunes and place them on top of the applesauce.
3. Add the sugar and spices on top also.
4. Add the water but do not mix.
5. Place this in the microwave for 1 minute at max power. Remove from microwave and stir.
6. Next microwave the mixture for 1 1/2 minutes and then stir well for 1 minute.
7. Microwave it again for 2 minutes and then stir
8. Next cook for 3 minutes but stop every minute or so and stir or it may boil over
9. Finally, remove the bowl and stir for a minute or two mashing up the prunes.
10. Cool it a bit and then blend using a hand blender to thicken the chutney
11. Finally add roasted cumin seeds and lemon juice to taste and mix well.
12. Cool completely and refrigerate.

This can easily be made on stove top too... just keep heating (on medium-low) and stirring the mixture till prunes are all mashed up. Then cool and blend with a handblender.

Now I have my fav "tamarind chutney" in fridge all the time! Thanks burekaboy for the original recipe.

This is my entry to Srivalli's MEC:Bottled event. My first entry to an MEC event :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bread Rolls

One of our favorite snack which often finds its way on the table nowadays, even for brunch, is Bread Rolls. I always loved this and remember learning to make it from my mom in my teens itself. After I got married, I figured, this is G's favorite as well! Whenever we go to India to his Nani's place, this is the first thing that gets served for breakfast!! :)

I didn't make it too many times in San Jose, since I used to avoid frying stuff.. But here, with the weather being cloudy and rainy all the time, I've been making it quite often, sometimes for brunch and sometimes with tea. And since we walk and bike so much here (its Netherlands, we have no cars, but cycles!) I don't even feel guilty of eating all the fried food coz we burn those calories in a jiffy!

So here are some droolworthy bread rolls followed by the recipe

1 large boiled potato - mashed
1/2 onion - chopped fine
1 green chilli - chopped fine
4 bread slices - edges removed
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp dried mint powder
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil as required

1. Mix mashed potato, chopped onion, green chilli and all the dry masalas well.
2. Wet a bread slice with water slightly and then squeeze out excess water by pressing the bread slice (flat) between the palms.
3. Take a small ball of the potato mixture and put it in the center of the bread slice. Seal all the edges of the bread. Use little water to seal if needed.
4. Gently roll it between your palms to give it an elongated shape. Ensure that the potato mixture is completely covered with the bread slice.
5. Similarly make all the 4 bread rolls.
6. Heat oil in a deep frying pan on high. Reduce the heat.
7. Deep fry the bread rolls until golden brown.
8. Remove on paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
9. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or chilli sauce!

I served it here with some home made "tamarind chutney" made out of applesauce. Will post that recipe soon.

This recipe is my entry for Monthly Mingle - Appetizers & Hors D'oeuvres being guest hosted by Mansi . Monthly Mingle was started by Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey?.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Palak Paneer

Here is my last minute entry to the Fortune Cooking event being hosted at SpicyTasty. I have chosen Sagittarius as the zodiac sign and Spinach as my ingredient. My hubby G. is a Saggi and he simply loves Palak Paneer! I take so long (well at least half hr) to make it and he laps it up in less than 5 mins! So this recipe totally fits the bill for the fortune cooking contest!

Here's a little something about Sagittarius from Wikipedia - Sagittarius folks are supposed to be highly free-spirited, optimistic, adventurous and energetic people who love to travel! All of these hold true for G. He is so much fun to be around, has a great sense of humor and hardly gets bothered by small details (unlike the Leo me!). We both, however, share the love for travel and have been to several great trips all around the world, with many more to come I am sure!

In any case, without further ado, here's the recipe for Palak Paneer

1 bunch fresh Spinach - chopped (or 1 packet chopped frozen Spinach)
250 gm Paneer - cubed
1 medium Onion - chopped
1 Tomato - chopped
1 inch Ginger - grated
2-3 Green Chillies - chopped
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt to taste
1-2 tbsp Oil

1. Cook chopped spinach with green chillies in 1/2 cup of water till it wilts and turns soft. (Thaw frozen spinach before cooking).
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
3. Add grated ginger and roast for 1 min.
4. Add chopped onion and cook it till it turns transparent
5. Once the onion is done, add chopped tomato. Cook it till it turns mushy.
6. Turn off the heat. Add cooked spinach and mix well
7. Now use a hand blender and blend the mixture to a smooth paste
8. Add salt and cook this mixture covered for 5-10 minutes more
9. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and add Paneer cubes to it
10. Shallow fry them for a few minutes till they turn golden brown.
(If using frozen paneer, then thaw the paneer, cube it and microwave it in some water for 5 mins to make it soft. I don't shallow fry the paneer then.. it can be added straight to the spinach.)
11. Add fried Paneer cubes to the cooked spinach mixture and cook covered for another 5 mins
12. Palak paneer is done! Serve hot with rotis or parathas

Friday, May 23, 2008

Vegetable Club Sandwich

Here is a simple club sandwich I made using Nupur's recipe from One Hot Stove.

Club Sandwiches are amazingly delicious sandwiches sold on almost any street corner of India! I still remember eating it frequently at a sandwich place close to home. Usually the sandwich came covered with loads of shredded cheese!! Somehow it never tasted the same when I tried making it at home.. maybe coz I was not that generous with cheese? ;)

When I used Nupur's recipe, it came very close to the real thing!! She has step-by-step recipe with pictures on her site. I am just repeating the recipe here for reference with small variations. Thanks a lot Nupur for an excellent recipe!

Green chutney (grind together 1 bunch coriander leaves with few mint leaves, 3-4 green chillis and some salt using as little water as possible. Add lime juice to taste)
3 bread slices with brown edges removed
Sliced vegetables (boiled potato, tomato, cucumber)
Shredded cheese
Softened butter
Chaat masala
Salt and Pepper

1. On the lowest slice, spread some butter and then chutney.
2. Layer the potato slices and sprinkle chaat masala on top.
3. Top it with second slice.
4. Spread chutney on the second slice and layer cucumber and tomato slices.
5. Sprinkle salt and pepper and then put the shredded cheese (as much as you want!)
6. Top this with buttered third slice.
7. Slice the Sandwich diagonally and you're done!

Serve with lettuce leaves and ketchup!

I am submitting this to Sandwich Mela being hosted by Anupama at Food-n-More . Thanks Anupama for hosting this event!! I am looking forward to the roundup!

Update: Also submitting this entry to Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted event for month of June which features Nupur's One Hot Stove

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moth bean / Matki salad

When I heard about this month's MBP theme, I was thrilled! I love to eat salads in various forms. In fact, when I was in bay area "Sweet Tomatoes" and "Fresh Choice" were one of my favorite restaurants where you get a variety of salads and that too "All you can eat"! When it comes to making salad at home though, I am not very creative. Its the usual slice the cucumber, onion and tomatoes, sprinkle some salt pepper and nimbu and you're done. So naturally, I am thrilled and looking forward to the roundup of MBP-Soups n Salad for more creative ideas!

My contribution to MBP Soups n Salad which is hosted by Raaga this month is a moth bean / matki salad which I made using the recipe from Neelam's Recipe Factory with a little variation

I used only matki for my salad and put onion and tomatoes instead of cucumber and celery. Here's how I made it.

1 cup moth beans / matki
1 small onion - finely chopped
1 green chilli - finely chopped
1 small tomato - finely chopped
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chilli pwd
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chaat masala
little black pepper pwd
lime juice
fresh coriander leaves

1. Wash and soak the moth beans overnight in water.
2. Next morning, drain the water and wrap the beans in a wet cloth. Put it in a seive and let it sprout.
3. Once sprouted, cook the beans in cooker with very little water and only salt and turmeric for 5 mins. (Let the steam out .. don't wait for pressure to go down on its own.. we don't want to cook it too much!)
4. Now add onion, green chilli and tomatoes.
5. Add the masalas - red chilli powder, black pepper and chaat masala
6. Mix it all together and then add lime juice
7. Garnish with Coriander leaves. I also added some bikaneri bhujiya.

Result : An amazing, nutritional salad, which could even go as a snack on its own!

MBP is the brainchild of Coffee from The Spice Cafe

Now this month's CLICK theme is beans n lentils. Even though it does not compare with some of the photos I have seen out there, I would like to submit my photo to the CLICK event hosted by Jai and Bee at Jugalbandi. So here it goes! my first entry to CLICK.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Gatte ki sabji

I got introduced to Rajasthani food at a very early age of 6. Our upstairs neighbors in Delhi were from Rajasthan and from them I got to taste some spiciest home-cooked Rajasthani food ever. Once we moved to Pune, we lost touch with them and rajasthani food. But recently several rajasthani restaurants and speciality outdoor "villages" like "Chokhi Dhani" and "Sanskriti" have come up around Pune getting us closer to the taste of Rajasthan once again. Now, no trip of ours to Pune is complete without a visit to Sanskriti! And in our last trip to India, we took some extra days off and visited the real Rajasthan!! Starting from Jaipur, we made it via a long train journey to Jaisalmer where we got to taste some real authentic jaisalmeri food straight from the kitchen of an 80 yr old lady!

We avoided touristy places and visited as many "local" restaurants as possible. Daal-bati-churma, Ker Sangri, jaisalmeri chane, Gatte, kadhi, bajre ki roti.. you name it.. we had it all :) Even now as I write this, my mouth starts watering! Take a look at a thali we had there. We visited Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ranakpur and Mt. Abu as well after that. And the only place where the food came close to that thali in Jaisalmer was the Gujarati food we had in the dharamshala of Ranakpur.

One dish I liked the most was Gatte ki Sabji. I have tried making it at home before with varying results ;) . Now, with the deadline for RCI Rajasthan coming close, I made it again.. this time with excellent results!

Here's how I made it..

For Gattas:
1.5 cup besan
1/2 cup fresh methi leaves chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2-3 tsp oil

For curry:
1 onion chopped fine
2 tomatoes pureed
2-3 green chillis chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
oil for tempering
little milk


1. Mix besan with chilli pwd, garam masala, salt and 1 tsp oil.
2. Knead it well adding little water as necessary.
3. Now divide the dough in 3 equal portions and roll them into cylinders like this

4. Boil some water in a big bowl.
5. Once the water is boiling, put the above cylinders in it and boil them for 15-20 minutes (They will start floating on the top)
6. Take the cylinders out (save the water for later) and cool for sometime
7. Cut them in 1/2 inch pieces.
8. Now heat some oil in a non-stick pan and roast the gattas on both sides

These crunchy gattas could be eaten as is. But we're making a sabji here!

1. Heat some oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, put the cumin seeds in it.
2. Once the cumin seeds are roasted, add chopped onions and fry them till they become transparent.
3. Add the tomato puree and green chillies next and roast till oil separates
4. Add the masalas now and some of the water used for boiling gattas.
5. Boil the gravy for 5-10 minutes. Add some milk to make it creamy.
6. Now add the gattas to the gravy and boil for some more time

Gatte ki sabji is ready! Serve with hot parathas

This is my first entry for an RCI event!! I am submitting it to RCI: Rajasthan hosted by Padmaja

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sabudana Vada

Even though I was born in Delhi, we moved to Pune when I was 9. So I basically grew up in Pune and with a taste for Maharashtrian food. Sabudana khichadi was my favorite snack-time meal besides pohe and upma. And when I was in mood for eating something fried, I would love to have Sabudana vada. I still remember, once I was unwell for quite some time and had to be on a diet of boiled vegetables and soup for days together. The first thing that I asked to eat once I was certified fit and fine was Sabudana vada!!

Somehow, I had never tried making the vadas at home before. I made sabudana khichadi a few times. But with the sabudana bought here, it became a gooey mess so much that G refused to eat more than a few spoonfuls of it. I had some leftover sabudana and didn't want to use it for another gooey khichadi. So I decided to made Sabudana vadas out of it.

I used the recipe from Adhi Potoba. So I am not posting it here again. I used only one potato though and added roasted cumin (coarsely ground) instead of plain cumin seeds. and the peanuts were coarsely ground too. Also I used my small non-stick frying pan for frying the vadas 2 at a time coz I was a bit afraid that they might stick! As suggested, I served these with sweetened yogurt. Now, G sure liked this version of sabudana!

Monday, April 21, 2008

MBP - One Pot Wonders : Vegetable Pulav

When I started this blog, I wasn't sure if I would be able to participate in all of the blog events requiring authentic recipes. But one thing I was sure of that I will definitely be able to participate in Monthly Blog Patrol! coz thats basically what I keep doing.. looking at other blogs for great recipes to cook!

April's theme, One Pot Wonders is a great theme. Quite often, when I get home from work, I'm too tired (or lazy!) to make a full meal and cook up a quick pulav or khichadi.

Here is a pulav I tried recently from TongueTicklers. Thanks Sunshinemom for a great recipe!

I didn't use the turmeric. And instead of the pressure cooker, I just used a normal pot. I cooked everything on high without the lid till the water started boiling and then turned off the heat and let it cook covered for 10 minutes. Now I have a hot plate and not gas.. so the plate stays warm for 10 mins and in that time the rice is all cooked nicely each grain separate!

This is my entry for MBP - One Pot Wonders hosted by Pavani this month

I'm looking forward to the roundup to get some more ideas.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rasgulla, Rasmalai & Tulips!

My hubby (G) loves Rasgullas and has been pretty spoilt having grown up on the K.C. Das Rasgullas in Bangalore which you get in those cute Matkas! In US (as well as here), all we got were the Haldiram canned Rasgullas. They were very dry and no fun. While Bengali recipes were floating around in the food blogosphere for RCI Bengal, I too tried my hands at making Rasgullas.

I used the recipe from Manjula's kitchen. She makes it look so simple in her video that I thought why not. But it ain't that simple! My Rasgulla's didn't quite turn out the way I expected. I followed the recipe to the T (so I am not going to repeat it here). But when I opened the cooker, I saw no balls, the paneer was all scattered out!!! Now there was no way I was gonna let all that effort go to waste.. So I scooped it out with a Tea Strainer, made the balls again and let it cool.. Then put some of the sugar syrup on top of it and put it in the fridge. What I got was a cross between Sandesh and Rasgulla and didn't taste bad! and most of them were gulped down by G in one single day :)
Not a pretty picture.. but still worth putting it here I think!

When I discussed my attempt at Rasgulla making with my mom, she said I should put some Maida in the paneer while making the dough.. I'll probably try that next time.. coz I did feel that the dough was not smooth enough and was little brittle... maybe I didn't rub it for long enough?

Anyways, I made Rasmalais after a few days.. but this time I used a shortcut and just got the Gits Rasmalai packet. I used to make these in US as well.. but some times they used to be hard in the center. So this time I let them boil in the water for 20 mins (double the time given in the recipe on the box). They came out real well! all fluffy and soft. Take a look!

The best Rasmalais I've had? Nah.... That award would go to (no not K.C. Das) but Vik's Chat Bhandar from Berkley!!! Yeah they were the best Rasmalais I've ever had. Sigh, how I miss California :(

But Rotterdam is not bad nowadays! The tulips are flowering and its getting sunnier! yay! here are some pictures I took today.. Thought I would share these even though they have nothing to do with my "culinary" adventures ;)