July 09, 2013

Phulka Rotis | Fulkas - Indian Flat Bread


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This was one post which I thought was not needed. With present day lifestyle rotis / chapatis have become a staple diet for many people . Earlier Rotis were staple to Northern Indian food as Rice was for South Indians,but off late its staple across most house holds..Requests from a lot of my friends came in asking how to make soft rotis and also about the puffing up.So I thought I should be posting the recipe for my friends.

Phulka Rotis are the oil free version of chapathi or Indian Flat bread  where the dough after rolling is first lightly toasted on a griddle / tawa and then cooked on an open flame which helps in Puffing up of the roti, rotis, fulka , chukka rotti , sukka roti , phulkas , phulka , fulka , sukha roti , rotti

Phulka Rotis are the oil free version of chapathi or Indian Flat bread  where the dough after rolling is first lightly toasted on a griddle / tawa and then cooked on an open flame which helps in Puffing up of the roti.  The moisture trapped inside the rolled Out dough tries to escape and enables the cooking  from inside. 
This puffing is known as "PHULNA " in Hindi and hence the name "Phulka Roti"

Phulka Rotis are the oil free version of chapathi or Indian Flat bread  where the dough after rolling is first lightly toasted on a griddle / tawa and then cooked on an open flame which helps in Puffing up of the roti, rotis, fulka , chukka rotti , sukka roti , phulkas , phulka , fulka , sukha roti , rotti


Resting Time for Dough : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 2 mins per roti
Serves : Makes about 8-10 rotis

Step by step video demonstration from kneading to preparation of Rotis



Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour  + 1/4 cup dry flour for dusting
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp oil
1 cup water
Rolling Pin & Strong base for rolling the rotis

Method

Kneading the Dough

  • Mix the salt and wheat flour in a mixing bowl.
  • Knead the dough  by adding water little by little and continuing kneading until all the dry flour is used up and dough like mixture is formed.
  • Now slowly keep kneading and stretching the dough with your palms until you find the dough to be a little light and soft in texture.
  • If you find the dough dry and hard to stretch,just wet your palms with a little water and start kneading.
  • This step of stretching and kneading the dough is very important as the GLUTEN present in the wheat flour will react and provide with the elasticity while rolling the rotis.
  • As you keep kneading the dough,you can see that the texture of the dough transforms slowly and once it is done it will be a nice shiny soft ball of dough.
  • Once the dough is ready,smear oil in your palms and coat the dough all over and keep it covered in cling wrap,muslin cloth or an air tight container for 15 -20 mins.
  • This step again helps in providing  the elasticity and softness.

Making Rotis 

Phulka Rotis are the oil free version of chapathi or Indian Flat bread  where the dough after rolling is first lightly toasted on a griddle / tawa and then cooked on an open flame which helps in Puffing up of the roti, rotis, fulka , chukka rotti , sukka roti , phulkas , phulka , fulka , sukha roti , rotti
  • Pinch out lemon sized balls from the dough
  • Dust the balls with a little dry flour and start rolling it out into a round shape.
  • Ensure that the edges are not thick and the round is evenly rolled out.
  • Place the roti on a hot tawa and cook until light brown spots appear on lower side.
  • Flip over and cook on the second side until brown spots appear.
  • Now take the roti with the help of tongs and put on open flame .Now you can see the roti puffing up.
  • In case you are working on an electric hot plate,then you get a grill on which you can place the rotis for puffing.
  • Take it off the flame and serve hot with a little ghee smeared over it. (Skip for Vegan diet).
  • Always store the rotis in a hot pack /casserole  soon after making them.
It is important to prevent the rotis become soggy and keep it dry and soft until you serve . Check the video below for tips & tricks . 






Notes:
  • Too much dry flour for dusting tends to burn when cooking on tawa,so keep the usage as little as possible.
  • Initially the shape may be a little weird but do not worry ,with practice you can master it.
  • The puffing happens when the moisture gets released from the rotis,do not leave the roti on the tawa for a long time,then the rotis won't puff up.
  • Keep the rotis covered in a foil or a thin muslin cloth to retain the softness.




July 05, 2013

Lachha Paratha / Whole wheat Flakey Flat Bread


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We all love to order this Lachha Paratha when we dine out. But have you ever given a thought ,of making it at home? I have always wondered and stayed back even from the thought of experimenting it at home thinking it will be a complicated process to get the flaky layers. Must tell you,I was proven wrong when I made an attempt to make it at home. First time I tried and Viola!! it was great.. nice flaky paratha with mild crispness here and there.
Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor's show on the television which motivated me to try this at home.I am sure you will also to try this recipe and enjoy the restaurant flavor in the comfort of your home.
I served this lachha paratha with a mix vegetable kurma ,but you can serve it with a choice of your favorite curry / gravy.

Preparation Time : 10-15 mins
Cooking Time : 4- 5 mins per paratha
Serves : makes about 8-9 parathas


July 03, 2013

Punjabi Baingan Bharta / Fire roasted Eggplant Gravy


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Baingan Bharta , Baingan ka Bhurta or Baingan Da Bharta whatever you may call,all it means is a fire roasted mashed eggplant gravy with Indian spices.

A very popular dish in Northern India and a favorite in almost every house hold.There are different ways in which the Bhartha can be prepared. In Lucknow side ,they just fire roast the brinjal ,mash it up and flavor it with spices and mustard oil, something similar to Baba Ghanoush while the Punjabi style Baingan Bhartha is very different as it is cooked in onion tomato gravy after mashing up the roasted brinjal. 



To get the perfect taste of Punjabi style Bhartha ,the eggplant has to be grilled  over direct flame or  charcoal to infuse a smoky flavor into the gravy.  People do use microwave or other means to grill the eggplant but for me the stove top version seems the best way as I dont want to fall back on smoky flavor . The highlight of Punjabi baingan bartha is the rustic smoky flavor from the brinjal.

The gravy doesn't use very heavy spices or spice mix and hence it is fairly easy to make and also tastes rustic. 

The outer skin of the grilled eggplant is peeled off and mashed cooked with cilantro,red chilli powder,onion turmeric,onions to a perfect gravy.

Serve with any Indian Flat bread like rotis / parathas , Naans / Kulchas.





Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Grilling Time : 20-25 mins
Serves : 3-4

Notes 
  • Jain version - skip ginger and onions 
  • No Onion No Garlic version - skip the onions 

Ingredients
1 big egg plant / aubergine (Bhartha baingan) 
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 big tomatoes finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
fresh coriander chopped
pinch of turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhania/coriander powder
finely chopped ginger
salt
1 -2 tbsp oil

Method

  • Apply a little oil all over the eggplant and grill on an open flame or over charcoal.
  • If you are using an electric stove,place the eggplant on a grill stand on the electric hot place and grill
  • Keep turning the eggplant over the flame for even grilling.
  • The eggplant will slowly start shrinking and the outer peel of the egg plant will have a charred look,that is when the egg plant is totally done.
  • Allow to cool for sometime and then peel of the outer and mash the eggplant thoroughly.
  • In a heavy bottomed skillet/kadai,heat the oil and saute the onion until pink.
  • Next add the chopped green chillies,tomatoes,
  • chilli powder,coriander powder and saute well.Add salt as per taste.
  • Pour about half a cup of water and cook well until the tomato forms the base of the gravy. You can see the oil ooze out as the gravy is cooking .
  • Now add the mashed eggplant and mix well and cook for about 8-9 mins until the flavors are well incorporated.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rotis / parathas.


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June 28, 2013

Maa Ladoo | Pottukadalai urundai -Roasted Gram Laddu


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If there is a very quick and a no hassle sweet that which is rich and tasty  ,then I must say it is this one . Maaladu ,Maa Ladoo , Pottu kadalai Urundai are all the different ways in which this melt in mouth sweet is known as .

Absolutely no worry about sugar syrup consistency or continuous stirring of ingredients as in case of normal sweets . Totally no cooking involved except for melting the clarified butter which can be done even in a microwave. 

Maa ladoo , diwali spl maa ladu , maa laddu , no cook easy ladoo recipe , easy and tasty ladoo recipe , can we make ladoo without sugar syrup , pottukadalai urundai


For a beginner , this sweet will boost their confidence to try hands at other sweets as this ladoo will never disappoint you .

The ingredients are easily found in the pantry of every Indian household,so making this ladoo is a breeze when you have sudden sweet cravings.

We make this for Diwali , Navratri and Krishna janamashtami without fail in our home. 


Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Makes about 15 laddoos
Complexity - easy 

Maa ladoo , diwali spl maa ladu , maa laddu , no cook easy ladoo recipe , easy and tasty ladoo recipe , can we make ladoo without sugar syrup , pottukadalai urundai

Bean Corn Quesadilla


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Quesadilla is a native of Mexico made using Flour or Corn Tortilla. This recipe gets its name from Tortilla and Queso meaning Cheese in Spanish.

The tortilla is filled with various stuffing like beans,corn,spinach,chicken,meat etc.The primary filling being Cheese. The tortilla is then folded into half with the stuffing in it and is warmed until the cheese within melts.
My recipe makes use of Red Beans and boiled corn as stuffing along with chopped onion and tomatoes.I made use of ready made tortillas available in the market.But the tortillas can be made at home too. If you like a healthier version one can use the usual soft whole wheat roti that is made in the Indian homes and follow the same procedure.

Preparation Time : 45 mins
Baking Time : 5-6 mins per tortilla
Serves : 1 tortilla = 1 quesadilla 


Ingredients

3-4  tortillas
1/2 cup red beans / rajma - soaked for 6-8 hrs
1/3 cup of boiled sweet corn
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
fresh corriander chopped finely
Mozzarella cheese
Lime juice from a lemon
2-3 bay leaves
2 tsp red chilli powder
salt
butter

Method

  • Pressure cook the beans along with bay leaves,red chilli powder and some salt until soft but NOT MUSHY.
  • Boil the sweet corn until soft.
  • Drain excess water from the beans and corn & mix them in a bowl and adjust the level of salt and spice if needed.
  • Do not add too much salt we are going to add the cheese.
  • Prepare salsa by mixing the chopped tomato,onions,fresh coriander/cilantro,salt and 2 tsp lemon juice.
  • Grease the baking tray and preheat the oven at 400F.
  • Lightly butter the tortillas and put the buttered side down on the baking tray.This helps the tortillas to crisp evenly when put in the oven.
  • Spread some grated cheese and top it with the beans ,corn and the salsa. 
  • Spread the salsa and then finally some more grated cheese and then fold the tortilla into half .
  • Push the filling in tightly so that it doesn't spill out.
  • Place the tray into the oven and bake for about 3 mins and then flip it over and cook for another 3 mins.
  • If you need it a little more crisp you can bake for a minute or two.
  • Cut as wedges and serve hot with chips and some salsa.

Stove Top Method
Heat a tava /griddle and place the folded tortilla on the pan and cook on one side until the cheese begins to melt and the flip over and cook on another side till the cheese melts completely.

Notes
  1. Lettuce,spinach,guacamole can also be used as a part of the filling.
  2. I used a little tomato ketchup for added flavor and the mild sweetness.
  3. You can also use chilli sauce or some hot sauce if you prefer to have spicy quesadilla.



Linking to : Kids Delight - Party Ideas of Valli's Event hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds 


June 24, 2013

Kadalai Paruppu Sundal / Channa Dal Stir Fry


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Sundal is a typical south Indian recipe made during the Holy Festival of Navratri.(9 days) . Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Durga , Laskhmi & Saraswati and spread across 9 days. Whole of India celebrates Navratri with full pomp and show in different ways . There is absolute positivity and cheerful vibrance in the air .

Each day a different variety of Sundal is made as an offering to God and then distributed amongst friends and relatives. Married Ladies and young girls are welcomed home and offered Thamboolam.(betel leaves , haldi , kumkum and some small gift ) in a goodie bag along with this sundal .

(Updated the post with new pics and information on 14/10/2020)

Kadalai Paruppu Sundal and Lemon Rice are prepared as Prasad/Bhog on the 7th day of Navratri. 

There is no hard and fast rule that you have to make it on the same day, you can make it as per your convenience too.

Chick peas/Kabuli channa,Bengal gram/channa dhall dhall,split green peas,karamani/lobia/black eyed beans, peanut/groundnut are the commonly used lentils in the preparation of sundal.
Packed with proteins ,it provides the necessary quota based on a daily diet.

This particular sundal is a very healthy choice and quick to make and can be made when we run out of vegetables even on normal days .Serve hot with rotis or rice and some hot Tomato Rasam. A perfect tea time snack as well.

Health Benefits of any variety of DAL

  • An excellent source of protein for  particularly for vegetarian diets. 
  • Dal is typically around 25% protein by weight,
  • Rich in the B vitamins thiamine and folic acid, several minerals, notably iron and zinc.
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Preparation Time : 2 hrs
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins  
Serves : 2-3

Jain Version : Skip the ginger  from the recipe and follow the rest as is.

Ingredients

1/2 cup channa dhall/bengal gram dhall/kadalai paruppu
2 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2-3 green chillies chopped
pinch of asafoetida/hing
few curry leaves
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
fresh chopped cilantro
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

Method

  • Wash and soak the channa dhall for 2 hrs . This helps in faster and even cooking of the dhall.
  • Add sufficient water and pressure cook the channa dal with turmeric and salt on medium flame for 1 whistle.
  • Let the pressure release normally.
  • When you take a piece of cooked dhall between your finger and press , it must get pressed easily but should be holding the shape . The dhal must not get mushy , then we cannot make the sundal.
  • If there is excess water , strain it and let the dhall cool for a while.
  • In a kadai,heat the oil,splutter the mustard seeds,grated ginger,curry leaves,green chillies and asafoetida.
  • Add the cooked dal and saute for 3-4 mins until dry. Adjust salt if needed.
  • Garnish with freshly grated coconut and coriander.

Linking this entry to

Healthy Me,Healthy Us announced by Sizzling Tastebuds

Cook Yellow Event announced by Merry Tummy


 






June 21, 2013

Lauki (Bottlegourd) Curry


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Lauki/Ghiya (Hindi/Urdu) , Sorakkai (Tamil) , Dudhi (Marathi)  is believed to have come from Africa but has procured a very high position in  the Indian kitchens but  has not made a very remarkable place in the western household.
This particular vegetable is not liked by many people especially children for a slightly different and an odd flavor that it possess.Packed with a lot of nutrition and various health benefits ,bottle gourd is gaining popularity.

Some of the health benefits of Bottle gourd that I have read in various health magazines are summarised below.

  • It helps fight constipation, as it is fiber rich. Because of its fiber and low fat content, Ayurveda highly recommends this food for diabetic patients and young children.
  • Ayurveda also recommends the juice of this gourd in the treatment of acidity, indigestion and ulcers .
  • Bottle gourd is also considered one of the best weight loss foods since it is 96 percent water and has a very low calorie content.
  • It is rich in, thiamin, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium  which helps improving overall health.

 I am linking this recipe for the Healthy Me, Healthy Us event of Priya Mitharwal hosted by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds and as per the event title the recipe does not have any added extra calorie content in the form of deep frying which means its the HEALTHIER version :-)

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20-30 mins
Serves : 2-3


June 14, 2013

Corn Capsicum Lasagna


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I am sure,each one of us have a special liking towards cooking pasta-- the comfort dish. Its a quick meal and also sumptuous.Compared to the normal pastas,I somehow have developed a liking towards LASAGNA. Earlier I was very skeptical about even trying to taste this Cheesy Layered Dish smeared with tomato sauce until my hubby forced me to try and thanks to him.. I now LOVE this dish.
The recipe below is my version of making vegetarian lasagna.You can adjust the filling as per your taste. Vegetables like cauliflower,broccoli,mushrooms can also be added . For the non veg lovers,chicken,fish,eggs can be used as per their taste.

Preparation Time :  20 -30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Baking Time : 15 mins


 

June 10, 2013

Vegetable Kofta Curry / Veggie Dumplings in a tangy gravy


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Hey friends..sorry for the long silence.Was out on a small vacation and then again tied up with certain things that did not let me devote time for posting. I know its a lame excuse..but still.. !!
Hope all of you had a lovely summer break and most of you must be back to routine with kids getting back to school in India and well for the other friends living in the western countries..summer is just on and  all awaiting to enjoy the summer break :-)
Without further delay,I would like to jump on to the recipe of the day..

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Frying Time : 20 mins
Serves : 3-4

Vegetable Kofta Curry

May 11, 2013

Pudina Paratha / Mint Flat Bread


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Mint /Pudina has a very distinctive flavor and taste. It enhances the taste of any recipe and the outcome is simply great. Considering the many medicinal effects that Pudina possesses its best if included in some for or the other in our daily diet. After having seen the use of Pudina in Pudina Thuvayal,Mint Corriander chutney for chats / sandwiches,now let us see how we can make tasty parathas with this wonderful herb. Perfect for patients with diabetes and fitness freaks. The parathas can be made oil free too.

Preparation Time : 45 mins
Cooking Time : 15 - 20 mins
Makes about 8-10 parathas

Pudina Paratha

May 10, 2013

Achaari Pulao / Indian Pickle Flavored Rice


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Achaar(Hindi)/Oorgai (Tamil)/Lonche(Marathi)/Uppinkayi(Kannada) are some of the terms used for Pickle in various Indian languages.
Inevitable and must have as a part of any meal,popular varieties of pickles used are Lemon,Mango,Gooseberry,Carrot,Mixed vegetables etc.Offlate due to various medical reasons,the consumption of pickles has reduced considerably but still people do like it indulge in having pickles with parathas,poori,dal rice etc.
I am not a great fan of any kind of pickle,but this Pickle flavored Pulao was something that created interest in me to try after having read Achari Chana Pulao in one of Tarla Dalal's cook book. I did not have boiled chick peas in store,hence I tweaked the recipe by adding vegetables instead of Chick Peas. The tangy flavor of Mango Pickle was infused in every grain of rice and perfectly cooked vegetables,the aroma was very appetizing and the room was filled in with the "aam ka achaar" smell.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3

Achaari Pulao

Bhindi Masala / Spicy Okra


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This recipe is from my mom,who used to serve it with hot fluffy phulka rotis when I would be back from school with a hungry tummy. The aroma of Phulka rotis and this Masala Bhindi would fill the entire home and that would increase my hunger manifold . Quick and simple to make,it tastes really awesome with the various flavors from the spices infused into the Bhindi /Okra when cooked on slow flame.

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4
Bhindi Masala / Spicy Okra

May 07, 2013

Aloo Saunfwale / Fennel flavored Potato


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It has been pouring cats and dogs since Saturday here and it continued all the way until Sunday.. so you guessed it right it was a RAINY WEEKEND with no much excitement . The week started with a gloomy and cloudy weather and this calls for a piping hot lunch and some yummy spicy treat to the taste buds.
Potatoes are my very good friends when it comes to sizzle my taste buds on a gloomy dull day.
I made this grilled potato on skewers by soaking them in a marinade of hung curd and home ground spices and paired it with piping hot Dal Khichdi and Raita.
Sending this to MM#17 event hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Marination Time : 45 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins

Aloo Saunfwale / Fennel Flavored Potato

May 03, 2013

Missi Roti


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Missi Rotis are an inevitable part of Rajasthani Cuisine.Consumed all round the year except for in winters where Bajra(Pearl Millet) Rotis are prepared.
Missi Rotis are easy to make and the low fat version also tastes good i.e while cooking the rotis,they can be made with or without using oil / ghee . I tried the No Fat version and it tasted no different from the Ghee dipped ones that I had earlier tasted in authentic Rajasthani cuisine restaurants.
Now off to the recipe :)

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 15 - 20 mins
Makes about 8-10 rotis

Missi Roti


May 02, 2013

Pudinewalla Masaledar Lobia / Minty Black Eyed Bean Gravy


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Lobia (Hindi),Chawli(Marathi),Karamani(Tamil) is widely used in North Indian as well as South Indian cuisine. South Indian cuisine makes use of lobia in Sambar,Erissery,Sundal,Nombu KaaraAdai and any form of kootu.Whilst,North Indian cuisine uses lobia in preparation of dals,gravy which are served as an accompaniment to rotis,naans,rice and any kind of Indian Flat bread.

An absolute co incidence to what I prepared for lunch and the event announcement of MLLA hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds with Legumes as the star ingredient. The very next thought was What best can fit into this theme and here I am linking the recipe to Susan, the creator of this wonderful event and to Lisa who is currently managing MLLA.

Today's recipe is lobia served in a gravy with a flavor of tomatoes,mint and ginger.I paired it with hot Missi Rotis and Curd .You can serve with normal rotis or even with steaming jeera rice,pulao or regular rice.

Preparation Time : 8 hrs
Cooking Time : 25 mins
Serves : 3-4

Pudinewalla Masaledar Lobia

April 27, 2013

Aam Ras | Aapus Aamras | How to make Aamras at home


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Aam (Mango) ; Ras (Juice /Pulp) is the extract of the ripe mango fruit consumed in the western states of India like Maharashtra,Gujarat ,Rajasthan.Aamras is a very typical and traditional dessert of the Indian Subcontinent and a summer season special.

 Traditionally the pulp would be extracted by softening the ripe mango and squeezing the fruit with hands.But now a days the juice is extracted using blenders to make the process hassle free and mess free.

In Karnataka ,aam ras is known as Seekarne ,Rasayana or Maavina Hannu Sihikarne . In place of milk, some people add coconut milk which makes it vegan friendly. 


Alphonso / Aapus variety of the mango is generally used,but any sweet ripe mango can be used. Apart from Aapus,I have tried making aam ras using Raspuri  ,Badami and Mallika varieties which are very popular in  south India. 

Aam ras and Puri is a very favorite combo relished by most people in summer.  If you have spent a few years of your life in Bombay, Gujarat you can feel and experience the unconditional love for Aam ras puri that people have in this season. 


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Makes about 2-3 servings.

Ingredients

3-4 Fresh ripe mangoes  (preferably Alphonso / any ripe variety)
Sugar as needed
2-3 strands of saffron
1/4 cup milk or coconut milk (optional)

Before making aamras make sure the mangoes are ripe and  sweet and not tart .Even one tart mango can change the taste of the aamras and hence ruin the total experience. 

Method
  • Wash and peel the skin of the mangoes and cut them into cubes.
  • Add the mango pieces,saffron,milk and blend into a smooth puree in a blender.
  • If you feel the juice needs a little more sweet,add in the sugar and blend again or you can add some powdered sugar as well.
  • Traditionally some dried ginger powder is sprinkled over the aam ras just before serving. This helps in easy digestion and also prevents bloating or gas .
  • Serve chilled or with hot hot puris or fulkas .
Serving suggestions

Almond slivers can be added just before serving.

Freshly powdered cardamom can also be added for extra flavor .

To know how to make soft and tasty fulka ,click this link below



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April 26, 2013

Mumbai Style Veg Toast Sandwich


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Living in Mumbai,one can experience a lot of street food items.Believe me its a treat to our taste buds.How much ever people crib about hygiene and cleanliness,people simply forget all of that when at a Pani Puri Stall or any Chat Stall and just get immersed in enjoying the chat. Not to forget ,that there are stalls that sell chat items made using Mineral Water  !!! Yes ,Yes ,you read it right..Mineral Water :-)
The traditional Dosas have been  adjusted to fit into the taste of the North Indians with varieties like Pav Bhaji Dosa,Veg Chopsuey Dosa,Schezuan Dosa etc etc.Such is the spirit of Mumbai and its Ever growing Food Lovers.
Now coming to the blog post..Sandwich...ahh!! the name itself makes me  drool.Again,its not just one variety.Go to a Sandwich Stall and you see a menu with atleast 10 different varieties..Club Sandwich,Grill Sandwich,Samosa Sandwich,Aloo Tikki Sandwich ,Plain veg sandwich,Toast Sandwich et al.
Even with so many varieties,the toast sandwich has been an evergreen hit among people of all age
groups.The specialty is that the sandwich is toasted using a hand toaster slowly over the charcoal which helps in slow cooking of the veggies inside and infuses a smoky flavor which is simply amazing.Here ,I have used the electric sandwich toaster,which gives a very close taste to what the hand toaster would give. There are various brands that manufacture the hand sandwich toaster,available in India.
Nostalgia !! Nostalgia !! Nostalgia !! I can go on and on about Mumbai and its street food ...
How much I miss .....
Now off to the recipe..

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Makes about 3 sandwiches

Mumbai Style Veg Sandwich


April 25, 2013

Veggie Fried Rice


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After my hands on making Hakka Noodles, I went ahead to make Fried Rice which was a long due.
Doesn't sound good to blow my own trumpet,but I have to say it,..it did turn out well and compliments were given by my hubby saying "The Flavor is really good" . :-)
Indeed a big feather on my cap. To go with the fried rice,I made Chilli Baby Corn - semi dry gravy.

Preparation Time :10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-45 mins
Serves : 2-3


April 23, 2013

Moong Dal Pakodas / Yellow Split Lentil Fritters


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Who would not like to treat the taste buds with a palate of crispy,hot snacks and a piping cup of tea?Well,this is an apt snack for tea time,weekend parties or any get together.
Try this very famous street food of Mumbai aka Bombay which is served very very hot from the frying pan to the plate . This is a go to snack for many office goers on their return home as it is filling and tasty .

Requires some 3-4 hrs of preparation time and about 15 mins for grinding and frying you have the best snack with you to please your tummy :-)

Cripsy from the out and soft from inside,serve with tomato sauce or Mint Corriander chutney.

Preparation Time : 3-4 hrs (minimum 1hr soaking is needed)
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Makes about 24-30 pakodas / bhajias/ fritters


April 20, 2013

Neer Mor / Neer Majjige (Spiced Butter Milk)


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Traditionally buttermilk is the residue that is left after churning out the butter/cream from yogurt.
Buttermilk / Mor / Chaas is a favorite summer cooler in most parts of Indian sub continent.

Come summer, we can find stalls along the streets serving cool buttermilk  churned out from huge earthen pots to the weary travelers during the scorching summer months.



Neer Mor (Neer - water ; Mor - Buttermilk) is the South Indian version of  savory flavored butter milk. During summer even temples serve Neer Mor as prasadam to the devotees after the daily veneration and pooja rituals at the temple.
In South India the flavor of curry leaves and ginger will be predominant in the buttermilk while in North India ,roasted cumin powder ,black salt, chat masala etc are used for flavor 

 In North India  Masala chaas  and Pudina Chaas are the favorite versions of savory buttermilk..Sweetened version of buttermilk is called Lassi and it is slightly dense and creamier than the chaas /mor.




Neer Mor is offered as a Prasadam /Neivedhiyam along with Panakam ,Kosamri (Vada Paruppu) on Rama Navami- Birth of Lord Sri Rama.

(write up and photos updated on April 8th 2022)

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time: Nil
Serves : 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup thick curd / non flavored yogurt
1 tsp grated ginger
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves finely chopped
corriander/cilantro leaves chopped
pinch of asafoetida
4 cups water
salt to taste

Method

  • Add the ginger,  green chillies and curry leaves in a blender jar and give it a  quick pulse in your blender to a form a paste.
  • In a big pitcher or wide mixing bowl whisk the yogurt along with the green chilli paste, salt and asafoetida till they mix well.
  • Slowly add the water and using a manual whisk or hand blender, blend it until frothy.
  • Garnish with fresh corriander and serve chilled.
Note:
  • In case,you donot have a hand blender,beat the curd well along with other ingredients except water using a spoon until creamy.
  • Slowly add the water and stir well until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Mustard seeds,seasoned in oil can also be added to the buttermilk for added flavor and taste.

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April 19, 2013

Rajma Masala / Red Kidney Bean Curry


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Rajma (Hindi ) / Red Kidney Bean (English) ,though not a native of Indian bean variety,has gained popularity in North Indian Cuisine and is an inevitable part of any North Indian feast.
This bean was brought to the Indian sub continent from Central Mexico and Guatemala.
Some of the best grown rajma is from Jammu,India. They are small in shape and deep red in color with a slightly sweet taste.

Rajma  is a hard bean and takes time to cook,hence needs to be soaked for more than 10-12 hrs.
The gravy/curry is made using whole Indian spices and is a perfect accompaniment with steaming hot rice or rotis.

Nutrition Facts
100 grams of boiled Rajma beans contain 140 calories. 5.7 grams of protein, 5.9 grams of fat and nearly 17.8 grams of carbohydrate

Preparation Time : 12-24 hrs
Cooking Time : 40 mins
Serves : 3-4

Rajma Masala / Red Kidney Bean Curry

April 17, 2013

Southekaai (Vellarikaai) Kosambri / Indian Style Cucumber Salad


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Southekaai (Kannada) / Vellarikaai (Tamil) / Khira (Hindi) / Dosekaya (Telugu) / Cucumber is a sought after vegetable used in most Salads or curries which have a lot of vitamins and health benefits.
Fresh green cucumbers may be had as it is without any additions.The yellow cucumber variety also popularly known as Indian Cucumber is widely used in South India in stews,curries and gravies.

As a child ,cucumber has always been a summer special vegetable where in we would have the cool cucumber slices with a little salt and paprika sprinkled over  to beat the afternoon scorching sun.Now that it is summer now,you can include this simple salad in your daily meal.Quick to make and provides the necessary nutrients required .
This salad is a part of any South Indian festive meal especially during Rama Navami,a handful of soaked moong dhall is added to this salad and is offered to Lord Sri Rama as Neivedhiyam / Prasadam. This salad is also called as Vadai Paruppu in most Tamil house holds.


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Serves : 3-4

Ingredients

2-3 medium sized green cucumber
2 tbsp grated coconut 
1 tsp pepper powder  
Finely  chopped corriander
salt 
For Tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dhall
1/2 tsp channa dhall
pinch of asafoetida 

Method

  • Peel and wash the cucumber. Ensure that,you trim of the ends using knife and rub the ends to bring out the sticky, off-white, fluid like oozing substance. It helps to lessen bitter taste from the cucumber.
  • Cut them into fine small cubes and put it in a mixing bowl.
  • Prepare the tempering using the ingredients listed under Tempering .
  • Add the grated coconut,tempering,pepper powder to the mixing bowl and toss well.
  • Add salt just before serving and not well in advance else the salad will become soggy and the crispness of the cucumber will be lost.
  • Garnish with fresh corriander. 
  • Salad can be served chilled or in room temperature.
Notes :
  • For those who love tangy flavor,a teaspoon of lime juice or small bits of raw mango can be added for that extra taste.


April 16, 2013

Dal Palak / Spinach Lentil Gravy


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Palak Dal or Dal Palak is a very comforting side dish for plain rice,rotis (Indian Flat Bread) or any flavored rice.

Dal Palak is a very popular and frequently ordered item at the restaurants . It tastes really delicious when mixed with hot steamed rice and ghee . An absolute comfort and nutritious meal option which can be made quickly without any complex preparations.  I love to have palak dal with rice more than rotis . I feel when mixed with rice or jeera rice, the flavor of palak dal is even more evident and enjoyable .


Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins and we don't need any special introduction to the health benefits of consuming spinach/palak on a regular basis . Kids generally detest from having greens on a regular basis but we can always incorporate palak in our meals in various ways so that it doesn't get boring. 

I try to use palak in different ways like Sambar , keerai masiyal , parathas and all time favorite palak paneer or Aloo Palak .

The hot tempering of cumin seeds and red chilli powder when mixed with the palak dal ,the dal gets a fantastic flavor ,aroma and a beautiful color from the chilli powder fried in oil 



Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3

Ingredients
1/2 cup thoor dal / split yellow pigeon peas
2 cups packed chopped spinach
1 tomato chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped (optional) 
ginger finely chopped
1 tsp garlic paste (optional) 
3-4 green chillies chopped
1 tsp ghee / cooking oil  
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 dry red chillies
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
pinch of turmeric
salt

Note - 
  • Skip the onion and garlic if you are making a Saatvik version or No Onion No garlic version of dal palak.
  • Skip ghee for vegan diet followers 
  • To make it Jain friendly ,donot use ginger ,onions and garlic .

Method

  • Wash the toor dal well under running water and clean it thoroughly.
  • In a pressure cooker,add the dal,chopped spinach/palak,onion,tomato,ginger,garlic paste,turmeric with sufficient water and pressure cook for about 2 -3  whistles or until the dal is cooked well.(Soft and mushy).
  • Wait until the pressure is released and then open slowly and stir well. Add the required amount of salt. Mash the dal using a masher once to get a nice consistency. 
  • If the dal is still watery ,you can boil in the same cooker for about  3-4 mins until the excess water is reduced.
  • Prepare the seasoning using ghee and cumin seeds and pour over the dal and serve hot with rotis or rice.  Add the chilli powder to the hot oil after turning off the stove.  This will prevent the chilli powder from burning and retain the bright red color .
  • If you like the flavor of garlic ,you can fry one small clove of garlic finely chopped while frying the cumin seeds .

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Puli Aval / Gojju Avalakki/ Tamarind Poha / Huli Avlakki


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Puli Aval (Tamil : Puli - Tangy ; Aval - Beaten/Pressed Rice)
OR
GojjuAvalakki (Kannada : Gojju- Tamarind sauce with spices ; Avalakki - Beaten/Pressed Rice)-- popular dish from Karnataka.

 A quick snack which can be made either for breakfast or evening tea time snack .Comes very handy even if you have unannounced guests who drop in suddenly.
 
This is my mom's recipe and I just love this. Since it is my favorite,it used to be a part of lunch box menu during school days. I had quite forgotten about this snack until one day when my mom reminded me of this yummy dish when I was asking her to suggest me a quick sumptuous breakfast.

**Picture updated on Oct 9 2021


Gojju avlakki is also prepared on festive days in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as an offering for the lord .  Puli aval is prepared during Navratri , Narsimha Jayanthy and  Krishna Janmashtami.




Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 2-3

Jain Version : Use roasted cashewnuts in place of peanuts.

Ingredients

1.5 cups thick poha /flattened rice
4-5 tbsp tamarind extract (soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice)
1 tbsp sambar powder or rasam powder 
1 tsp grated jaggery
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric
For Tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp udad dhall
handful of peanuts/groundnuts
2-3 dry red chillies
curry leaves - few number
pinch of asafoetida

Method

  • Wash the poha twice well under running water in clean the dust and unwanted particles.
  • To this soaked poha add tamarind water,sambar powder,turmeric,jaggery,salt and mix well with a fork.Rest for about 7-8 mins.Do not mix too much as it will break the poha.
  • If you need  a little more spice ,add in some more sambar powder according to your taste.

  • In a kadai/skillet,heat a little oil . First fry the groundnuts until the skin separates.
  • Next add the mustard seeds,as it crackles add channa dhall,udad dhall,red chillies ,curry leaves & asafoetida.
  • Add in the marinated poha and mix well and cook covered for about 4-5 mins.
  • Sprinkle some water lightly if the poha feels too dry.
  • Serve hot with some cool curd and roasted papads / potato chips.

Notes:
If you like you may add a little grated coconut just before serving.





April 13, 2013

Dal Tadka / Tarka Dal - Vegan , Jain , Saatvik friendly


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Tadka / Tarka / Chhaunk/ Thaalippu are various terms used to denote seasoning  or tempering which is added to a dish either just before serving or at the beginning before the actual cooking commences.


Ingredients typically used for tadka /tarka are mustard seeds, cumin seeds,dry red chillies,asafoetida,cloves,fenugreek etc. Every region has some additions or subractions to the ingredients which form the seasoning.South Indian cuisine has black mustard seeds,urad dhall and channa dal as ingredients for tadka while the North Indian cuisine uses more of cumin,fennel,cloves,bay leaves,cardamoms for seasoning.

Phodni(Marathi),Thallipu(Tamil),Oggarne(Kannada),Vaghaar(Gujrati) are some other terms which are used to denote seasoning/tempering.

Dal Tadka is a simple but healthy side dish cooked using a single variety of lentil or a combination of lentils with medium spices and then finally seasoning it with cumin seeds,asafoetida,red chillies in ghee.
A perfect accompaniment for fulka rotis,jeera rice ,pulav or even simple steamed rice.


A Saatvik version of Dal Tadka can be easily made by skipping the use of Onion and Garlic and follow the other method as is .

To make the Dal Jain friendly ,omit the ginger ,garlic and onions. 

Vegan friends can also enjoy Dal tadka by using cooking oil in place of Ghee /clarified butter.


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves : 3-4

Ingredients

3/4 cup toor dhall /split pigeon peas
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2-4 green chillies chopped (adjust spice level as per your taste)
small piece of ginger chopped finely
1 tsp garlic paste / one pod garlic chopped finely
pinch of turmeric
fresh corriander chopped
For Tadka
2-3 tsp ghee / cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2-3 dry red chillies
pinch of asafoetida

Method

  • Clean and wash the toor dhall.
  • In a pressure cooker,add the thoor dhall,onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic,green chillies and turmeric.
  • Add sufficient water and pressure cook for about 2-3 whistles or until the dhall is cooked well and mushy.
  • Release the pressure and check for the dal's consistency.If too thick add a little water and adjust.You can decide what consistency you prefer. Add required amount of salt.
  • Prepare the seasoning using the ingredients listed under the Tadka section and pour all over the cooked dhall.
  • Serve hot with rice,chapati or any flavored rice.
Notes
  • Instead of using just toor dhall,combination of channa dall,moong dhall and toor dhall can be used.
  • After you release the pressure,mash the dhall with the back of a ladle or with a masher before adding the tadka.
  • Add just the necessary amount of water to cook the dhall,else it will be too watery.
**Photos and write up edited on 2nd Oct 2021

April 11, 2013

Avial | Aviyal - Kerala Special


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Avial - a very popular Kerala dish at the same time has a very prominent role in Tamil Cuisine as well.Served as a part of any festive menu or a feast .
A thick mixture of vegetables,curd,coconut gravy and coconut oil seasoning,is a must for Keralaities as a part of their Onam or Vishu Sadhya (Vegetarian Feast Menu).
Vegetables such as Plaintains,elephant yam,carrots,beans,peas,snake gourd,drumstick
pumpkin,potato are used in the preparation of Avial.
Needless to say,I am a fan of Kerala cuisine and this is another favorite of mine. With Ugadi,Vishu and Tamil new Year round the corner,I am sure avial would be a part of your festive menu :-)

Wishing all my readers best wishes for Ugadi,Vishu and Tamil Varusha Parappu . May god bless you and your family with good health,cheer and prosperity.


Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity - medium 



Ingredients

1-2 medium sized potato
1 raw banana / vazhakkai
2 carrots
1 drumstick 
100 gms french beans
100 gms elephant yam
150 gms pumpkin / ash gourd
100 gms peas (fresh /frozen)
3/4 cup grated coconut coconut (fresh/frozen)
4-5 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 -2 tbsp coconut oil
curry leaves few
3 tbsp thick curd /yogurt


Method

  • Cut all the vegetables into thick and long pieces.
  • Grind the coconut,green chillies and cumin into a fine paste
  • In a thick bottomed vessel,add the vegetables with required amount of salt  and very little water and cook until the vegetables are cooked . The vegetables must be firm and not turn mushy.
  • (Add vegetables like beans,carrot,yam,drumstick,potato in the bottom as they take more time to get cooked and then add the pumpkin,peas,raw banana over them as cooking time is less.)
  • Drain excess water if any after all the vegetables are cooked,add the coconut oil,ground coconut paste,curry leaves ,mix well simmer and bring to a boil.Turn off the stove.Cool well.
  • Once cooled,add the yogurt and mix well.
  • Do not add the curd when hot,it will not taste good and turn watery.
  • Serve with hot sambar and steamed rice as a side dish. If you like you may mix avial and rice as well.
  • Adai and Avial is another classic combination

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A thick mixture of vegetables,curd,coconut gravy and coconut oil seasoning,is a must for Keralaities as a part of their Onam or Vishu Sadhya (Vegetarian Feast Menu). Vegetables such as Plaintains,elephant yam,carrots,beans,peas,snake gourd,drumstick pumpkin,potato are used in the preparation of Avial.



April 10, 2013

Appalam Vatha Kuzhambu/Papad in Spicy Tamarind gravy


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Tamilians need no introduction to Vatha Kuzhambu/Kulambu and for others who are wondering as to what is this..let me tell you,its a spicy ,tangy tamarind gravy with home ground spices which is boiled and reduced to a slightly thicker consistency in comparison to sambar.
Veggies like bhindi/okra /lady's finger ,pumpkin,drumstick ,onions can also be used in the preparation.
This new version of using Papads/Appalam in the vatha kuzhambu ,I tasted after my marriage when my MIL had prepared  and she taught me. I am a huge fan of vatha kuzhambu,so goes without saying I liked this form of vatha kuzhambu too. :-)


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
Serves : 3-4


 

Vegetable Dum Biryani


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Sorry Folks ,for a long silence. I just dont know kept me off from posting one of my favorite recipes which I have been meaning to do from a long time.Certain unexpected things cropped up which needed my attention.

Biryani has been a very sought after dish in the Indian cuisine slowly gaining popularity world wide.
There are ever so many varieties which are famous such as the Hyderabadi Biryani,Awadhi(Lucknowi Biryani),Ambur Biryani, Malabar Biryani ,Bombay Biryani and the list is endless.
The non veg variety consists of chicken,mutton,egg in addition to the veggies and spices.
The flavour from fresh spices and home ground spice powders fills it with all the flavor and makes the recipe all the more inviting and appetizing.

Without further delay,I shall post the recipe for vegetable biryani.For the non veg lovers,you can use chicken,mutton or egg in combination to the veggies.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 60 - 90 mins
Serves : 3-4

Veg Dum Biryani

April 05, 2013

Watermelon Nei Appam / Watermelon Dumplings


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I prefer eating plain watermelon or watermelon juice. I had never even thought of using watermelon in any other form or a cuisine.
On seeing Sizzling Tastebuds' event Magic Mingle #16 (MM16) with main ingredients as Rice and Watermelon, is when I started to think how to use it with rice so that the flavor and taste of watermelon is not lost on combining with rice.
I finally decided to make "Nei Appam" using watermelon. The traditional Nei appam is made by soaking the rice and grinding it with jaggery and then pouring them in the paniyaram pan and cooking on slow fire.I tweaked this recipe a little bit to accomodate the flavor of watermelon.I was a little doubtful while making wondering about the taste and texture. To my surprise it turned out really well and the flavor and taste of watermelon could be felt in each bite.The softness of the appams was also retained.

Preparation Time : 2 hours
Cooking Time : 15 20 mins
Makes about 15-20 appams

Watermelon Nei Appam