June 29, 2020

Veg Cheese Grill Sandwich | Grill Cheese Sandwich


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I love sandwiches in any form, be it as a sub or the regular ones where veggies are stuffed between two slices of bread.  Toast them for an added taste and crunch and enjoy it hot - this is the way I like it .

Those who are familiar with the street foods of Bombay , will definitely know about the variety of sandwiches that are very famous. They have such amazing combinations and fusion sandwiches which one cannot even think off. There is a grilled cheese chocolate sandwich also on the menu which was a recent addition and I was literally blown when I read that combination of cheese , chocolate and bread .
 There is something special about the bread and paav that is available in Bombay,they are soft and fluffy and don't crumble easily.  

The street vendors prepare piping hot toast sandwiches using a hand toaster which is tossed around a traditional coal stove (sigdi) as it is locally called. It is a sight to see how quickly their hands and brain work in tandem and do multi tasking of chopping the veggies , buttering the bread, toasting it on fire and simultaneously serving the customers and collecting the payment.  All done single handedly and with utmost precision and perfection. Now a days the hand toasters are getting replaced with electric grills as the vendors are also turning to modern ways to improvise on their customer needs based on demand. 
You can check out the other famous variation of Toast Sandwich on my blog . 

As a child , I was never allowed to snack on these road side sandwiches because of hygiene factor and mom would dish out the same things for me at home and it was the best way for her to sneak in all the veggies that I won't eat into the sandwich and mask it with some cheese and butter and I would happily eat it and say "Amma yummy sandwich " . It was only later that I realized how smartly and tactfully she managed to hide the veggies I didn't eat in the name of sandwiches or parathas and fed them to me . Moms are always smart aren't they ??

Well coming to today's recipe , this Monday's theme for our foodie bloghop Monday is  #MunchkinMeals; suggested by Narmadha of Nam's corner who wanted us to present healthy meals for kids .  Narmadha has some excellent baked goodies on her blog which are made using millets and I have bookmarked 
 RAGI cookies to try out.

While thinking on what to make for this theme, lot of recipes were going on in my mind which my mom used to make for me and finally I was reminded off Grill Sandwiches which were and are my favorite and since it makes use of 3 slices of bread per sandwich, lots of veggies can be stuffed into it . Grate some cheese on it , which obviously is every child's favorite and you can be a happy mom to see your little one empty his/her plate and probably ask for even one more :-) 

Some delicious sandwich varieties from my fellow bloggers which you must try. There are many more such varieties, but I will reserve them for an exclusive post on breads and sandwich. 

Veg Club Sandwich by Kalyani 



The recipe is a little elaborate and requires some pre preparation, but it is worth all the time . 

Why only munchkins, even elders would love to feast on these sandwiches when served hot with chutney and tomato sauce . We can minus the cheese while making it for elders or reduce the quantity of cheese.  

Preparation Time :45 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins per sandwich 
Makes  3 set of sandwiches 
Complexity: Medium 




Ingredients 

9 slices of bread (brown or white)
3 to 4 medium sized potatoes boiled and peeeled
1 large capsicum finely chopped 
1 salad cucumber cut into thin slices 
2 tomatoes cut into thin slices 
1 onion cut into thin slices (optional)
50gms Salted butter at room temperature 
2- 3 cheese cubes (25 gms chiplet) .
3 tablespoons green chutney/sandwich chutney 
Chat masala for taste 

Method 

Prepare the green chutney by following this recipe link .

Take 3 slices of bread and spread butter and green chutney on each slice evenly .
On the first slice , grate some potatoes, sprinkle a little chat masala and spread some finely chopped capsicum . Grate some cheese. 

** I couldn't get fresh brown bread hence used white



Place the second slice of bread over the base slice such that the chutney side faces up.
Arrange the slices of cucumber, tomatoes and onions (if using) on this second slice of bread . Sprinkle some chat masala and grate a little more cheese . You can skip this cheese if you want to avoid.  For one set of sandwich I have used 1/2 a cube cheese.  


Lastly , place the 3rd slice of bread with the chutney side over this 2nd slice and slightly press the assembled sandwich with your hand so that the veggies settle in place and it is easy to lift it up .
Heat a grill pan or electric grill and place this sandwich over it and roast it on both sides until crisp and golden brown .Add a little butter to the grill pan for crisp and golden brown toast.


Take it off the grill pan carefully and place it on a chopping board and cut them into triangles. 
If you like you may grate some more cheese over it while serving or serve as is with tomato sauce or green chutney. 


Notes 
  1. Quantity of cheese used for the sandwich is purely your choice.  You may skip the cheese if you want a totally healthy version. 
  2. Butter used for 3 slices of bread put together will be just 1 tsp . Make sure the butter is at room temperature so that it is easy to spread and quantity used is less .
  3. Boiled and sliced beetroot can also be used in the stuffing.
  4. There is sandwich masala also available in the market which can be used instead of chat masala.

Linking this post to Foodie Blog hop Monday week  #253 - munchkin meals



June 28, 2020

Sweet Corn Salad - Vegan


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Salads are very healthy and refreshing and occupy a very important place as a part of any meal . Generally salads are made using fresh vegetables or fruits and served at room temperature.  There are some varieties of salads that are served warm or cold .

Summers are the time when we love to indulge in fresh fruit juices and fresh salads as it is easy to digest and takes care of the hydration of the body and easy to prepare without much hassles .

This month being peak summer in most parts of the world, Kalyani chose the theme as Summer Salads for our facebook food group shhhhh cooking secretly challenge. Check out this fresh watermelon feta salad on Kalyani's blog . It just looks so refreshing and delicious for this scorching summer. 


 This time I was paired with Aruna of Vasusvegkitchen to whom I gave coriander and peanuts with which she has whipped up a healthy salad with yogurt dressing .Try her Veggie and dry fruit salad without fail.  She gave me the secret ingredients pepper powder and lemon juice. We  both had to whip a salad with the ingredients  we gave one another and as usual our fellow bloggers had to guess what could be the secret ingredient in this salad ... isn't it fun to always play the guessing game ? We love that and this time Poonam guessed my secret ingredients in a jiffy .check out her recioe for flavorful Mango Chick pea salad . It looks so yummy and colorful .

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 5 mins
Serves - 3 to 4 
Complexity  - simple 


Ingredients 
2 cups frozen or fresh sweet corn
1 medium sized cucumber
2 medium sized tomatoes
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp pepper powder 
1/2 tsp chat masala
Salt as needed 
Fresh corriander for garnish 

Method
  • Boil the sweet corn for about 5 mins and then drain the water and set aside. 
  • Peel the cucumber and dice into small cubes 
  • Deseed the tomatoes and chop them into small cubes.
  • In a wide mixing bowl, add the cucumber, tomato and corn with salt, chat masala , pepper powder , lime juice and toss it gently .lastly garnish with fresh corriander and serve immediately. 

Note

Add salt and lime juice just before serving else the salad will tend to get soggy. 



June 24, 2020

Kunukku | Dal Pakoda | Lentil Fritters - Traditional south Indian snack


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Kunukku or Kunuku as it is called is a very tasty and delicious snack made using different lentils.  An age old traditional snack of Tamil Nadu which used to be made to satisfy the cravings of some fried snack . Olden days eating out or junk food was something that was not encouraged and the elders at home would prefer to make some healthy yet tasty snack at home for the kids . Most common ones used to be Bajjiyas , medhu vadas or this kunukku. 
With the introduction of various snack options now a days , these traditional ones are slowly being forgotten . 

As 80s kids we never really bothered about eating less calorie food or no fried snack or bothered about something called dieting and losing weight . Running about and playing outdoors would burn all those extra calories and all our parents  bothered about was getting us to sit down to do our homework and studies as we would never like to come home after playtime .

This snack can be prepared using left over adai or idli batter or can even be made fresh by soaking and grinding the lentils.  
Today I will share the recipe of how to soak and grind the batter to make these kunukku .
There is no fixed recipe as such for this snack because it differs from home to home on how their family liking has been.
I shall share the version which has been liked in my place .

Donot forget to try out the Karamani Kunukku (lobia pakoras) on the blog which was my grandmother's specialty and also the traditional Moong Bhajjiyas which are a famous street side delicacy .


Soaking Time - 45 mins
Preparation Time -10 mins
Frying time- 20 mins
Complexity- medium


Ingredients 
3/4 cup channa dhall /bengal gram dhall /kadalai paruppu
1/4 cup thoor dhall /pigeon peas /thuvaram paruppu 
2 tablespoon rice 
2 tablespoon  udad dhall /ulutham paruppu (for softness)
3 to 4 dried red chillies
2 green chillies
1 tablespoon grated fresh coconut 
Salt as needed
Pinch of hing/asafoetida 
10 to 15 curry leaves /kadipatha 
Handful of finely chopped corriander

Method 


  • Wash the dals and rice multiple times and soak it for 45mins to 1 hr . The water used for soaking should be 1 inch above the dhalls and rice after washing. Soak the dried red chillies also along with the dhalls. This will make the chillies soft and will grind easily. 
  • After 45mins, drain the water and add it to a blender along with salt , grated coconut, asafoetida and few curry leaves.  Reserve the balance for adding to the batter .
  • Add water little by little and grind to a semi thick batter . The batter has to be smooth and not very coarse and should not be very runny , else you cannot drop them into the oil for frying .
  • Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl, add in the chopped corriander and curry leaves and mix well . You can some mint leaves or chopped onions also if you like . I have not added. 
  • Heat oil in a kadai and when it is heated well, take some batter in your hands and drop them randomly into the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium and fry until they turn crisp and golden brown. Donot crowd the kadai with many fritters as they wont get fried evenly.
  • Drain it carefully and repeat another batch until all the batter is over . Serve hot with some chutney or it can be had as is with some piping hot filter coffee or masala tea.


Notes
  1. Incase you are unable to prepare kunukku after soaking, drain the water and keep it in the fridge and you can grind it the next day and make kunukku. 
  2. Never leave the soaked dals outside as it will ferment and give out a foul smell .
  3. You can also grind the batter and keep it in the fridge and use it later for frying . Try to consume within 24hrs as the batter will begin to turn sour and the sour taste may not be liked by all .
  4. Freshly ground adai batter can also be used to prepare this kunukku.






June 22, 2020

Jain Falafel - Video recipe


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Falafel is a middle eastern/Lebanese delicacy made using chick peas/ kabuli channa/ kondakadalai .
These are deep fried balls or patty made by grinding the soaked chickpeas with lots of spices which are commonly used even in Indian cuisine. You can call falafel as a close cousin of our Dal Vada /Aam vadai /paruppu vada.

Falafels traditionally are served stuffed in  Pita Bread ;which is a pocket type bread with some pickled salad and dips like Tahini and Hummus ;which are also a Lebanese delicacy. 

The first time I had these falafel was at a restaurant in Mumbai called Srinathji which specializes in serving delectable multi cuisine menu without using Onion and Garlic . I liked the taste and crunchy Falafels but soon forgot about it until I tasted it again at a proper Middle eastern restaurant during my stay in the US .

This time for our foodie blog hop Monday event  week #252 ,the theme was  Chana Time by Mayuri  and we had a choice of brown channa or chick peas to select as our main ingredient.  The moment she suggested these two , I jumped with joy and decided then and there that Falafel it is . I have tried to make the Jain version sans Onion and garlic but I shall give the method to prepare the regular Falafel also.  Check the notes section for the details .

Donot forget to check Mango Sriracha Hummus on Mayuri's blog which can be a perfect accompaniment for these falafels. 
Also, don't miss out some lipsmacking recipes from my blog made using chickpeas .



Chickpeas Vathakuzhambu (south Indian delicacy) 



 
Srinathji's have outlets in major cities, so do try visiting them once the lockdown is over and restrictions have been lifted .
For those in  Bangalore , you can try Srinathji's at Indiranagar on Krishna temple street .
 (Not a sponsored post )

Soaking Time - 8 to 10hrs 
Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 30 to 40 mins
Makes 15 to 20 Falafels 


Ingredients 
250 gms white chick peas/kabuli channa
1/2 bunch finely chopped coriander
1/4 bunch finely chopped parsley (optional)
15-20 mint leaves 
2 tsp pepper powder 
2 tsp roasted jeera powder 
3 to 4 green chillies 
Salt as needed 
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Method 

Check the video recipe on my YouTube channel given below and donot forget to subscribe to my channel.


  • Wash and soak the chickpeas for 8hrs or overnight in sufficient water. 
  • Drain the water and wash it once again .
  • In a blender add all the ingredients and grind into a fine paste . Add water little by little and grind . Donot add too much water else the batter will become runny.
  • We need a thick batter so that we can make balls easily.
  • Transfer this ground mixture to a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoons white sesame seeds and mix it well.
  • Refrigerate it for 20 mins before frying .By doing this we can make balls easily and the  balls wont disintegrate while frying.
  • Heat the oil and make small balls and drop the balls in hot oil and fry on medium flame until they turn crisp and golden brown.
  • Serve with hummus or any dip of your choice. 
Notes 
  1. You can add 1 finely chopped onion and 2 to 3 garlic cloves while grinding for making the non satvik version .
  2. Instead of balls you can shape them as bullets or cylindrical  shape and fry. 


Linking it to foodie Monday blog hop week #252 channa Time 






June 19, 2020

Jaljeera | Jaljira


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Jaljeera is an Indian drink which is served as a starter before any meal and a very tasty appetizer.  This drink helps in digestion as well a very good source of hydration in peak summer. 

Jal jeera loosely translates to cumin water.  Cumin as we know has lot of medicinal properties and plays a vital role in aiding digestion and preventing stomach disorders .
Jaljeera is flavored with few other spices like black salt, rock salt, ginger , mint and some lemon juice to make it all the more tasty .
This drink can be easily prepared at home and relished during summers. 
Instead of sugar , I have added jaggery powder which makes it all the more healthy.

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking time : Nil 
Makes 3 to 4 glasses 
Complexity: simple 



Ingredients 

10 to 15 mint leaves 
Small piece of ginger  chopped
2 tablespoon  jaggery powder 
1 lemon
Small piece of ginger  
2 tsp roasted jeera powder
1 tsp chat masala 
1/2 tsp black salt 
1 tsp salt 
500 ml chilled water 

Method 
  • In a blender jar , add the  mint leaves, ginger ,jaggery powder , jeera powder , salt, black salt, chat masala and grind into a fine paste with little water .
  • Strain this using a strainer and collect the extract in a big vessel .
  • Add in the chilled  water to this extract and the lime juice squeezed from the lemon.
  • Stir it well and serve chilled. 

Notes
  1. Adjust jaggery if you want it a little more sweet .
  2. Store bought jaljeera powder can also be used to prepare this drink . In that case, skip the additional usage of chat masala, black salt and roasted jeera powder. 



June 15, 2020

Chow Chow Baath | Kesari Baath & Khara Baath Combo


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I was introduced to some wonderful bloggers by my cousin Kalyani who blogs at Sizzling Tastebuds.  Dont forget to check some of her yummy recipes on her blog. Her recent post is everyone's fav Kela Bajji / Vazhakkai Bajji ; apt for the monsoon now .

While interacting with the lovely blogger friends I came to know about this event  Foodie Bloghop Monday which is a weekly feature that happens on every Monday . Each week a member from the group of bloggers who have signed up for this event , select a theme and the others prepare a lipsmacking and delectable delight based on the theme .I found it really interesting and asked Mayuri about this weekly event and she immediately explained the rules and asked if I would be interested in joining them.   Last week they celebrated a milestone of 250th week with a superb theme "CAKES" . Check out Mayuri's yummy Upside down cake on her blog.

I am joining them from the 251st week- a 5yr journey;indeed a milestone, but for me it is the 1st week , so starting this week's theme with a sweet .

Theme for this week is Rava Raaga initiated by Aruna Saraschandra where Rava/sooji/semolina is the star ingredient.  

Rava is a very staple ingredient in our pantries and a versatile ingredient and we can make a lot of sweets and savories using rava . 
In my blog also there are many recipes posted using rava which I will list below and you can check them out as well.

When I was thinking what to present for this theme, it suddenly flashed to me about a  unique breakfast combo which is very popular in Karntaka especially Bangalore. 
The udupi restaurants or the Darshinis here serve a platter of piping hot Upma called Khara Bhaath and a sweet Kesari Bhaath called as Chow Chow Baath . Chow chow or chou chou has no actual meaning per say. It is colloquially used to denote hotch potch or mix and match .
As this combination of a sweet and savory is kind of mix and match, probably this name of Chou Chou Baath got attached to it.
This specialty is mainly found in Bangalore but recently restaurants in Mumbai , Chennai and other places also serve this combo occasionally.

The kesari baath that is served is mostly orangish in color just as the name suggests. Recently I have come across even yellow color kesari Baath.  Well with time , preferences do change and restaurants cater to people liking accordingly. 

Today I shall share the making of kesari baath while the method for making Khara Bhaat is already blogged and you can check it out here

The key to getting the perfect kesari/sheera is roasting the rava to the right consistency in perfect temperature. 

The flame should be medium and you should keep roasting the rava till you get a nice aroma and the rava will appear granular (dhanedhaar as said in hindi ) 


Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves-  2 to 3 
Complexity- medium 



Ingredients 
1 cup rava 
1.25 cups sugar 
2 cups water 
Few strands saffron 
Few cashews chopped 
1 tsp cardamom powder 
1/4 cup ghee  
Few drops orange food color (food grade)

How to know if the rava is roasted perfectly?
When you begin roasting the rava in ghee initially you will feel the heaviness while sauteeing the ladle but as you keep roasting, the rava will feel lighter and sauteing will become easy .
The rava will move back and forth easily as if it is dancing and a very nice aroma will waft through.  This is the indication that you are on the right track .
One min more and you will end up with burnt rava .So we have to be very vigilant and keep sauteing continuously so that the rava doesnt stick to the pan and burn and all the granules get roasted evenly.
We dont want to end with some granules that look black, dark  brown and cream.

Method
In a thick bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons ghee and simultaneously place the 2 cups of water for boiling.

Begin roasting the rava on medium flame and continue roasting till the rava appears granular .
During this time , the water would have started boiling , to this add the few drops of food color so that it will mix evenly. 


Pour this boiling water carefully to the roasted rava while you turn the flame to slow.The water will tend to splutter with rava so be cautious . Let the rava cook well and absorb the water nicely . Stir occasionally so that the rava doesn't stick and burn .



Add half tsp ghee and mix it well once the water is fully absorbed by rava.


Now add the sugar and mix it . 



The mixture will again appear watery as the sugar melts , carefully keep stirring on and off and continue cooking till the sugar is well absorbed into the rava and the kesari forms a nice mass and begins to leave the sides of the pan .



Now add some more ghee , saffron and cardamom powder and mix well .



By this time, the entire kesari would appear glossy and will not stick anywhere to the pan or ladle . Check the video below for a quick demo of how the kesari wont stick to the ladle or the pan.



Turn off and allow it to set for a while.
Roast some cashews in ghee and add it to kesari bhaat and mix well. Serve it warm with the combination of Khara bhaath and some coconut chutney. The sweet and spicy combination is definitely a treat to the taste buds.




Few other recipes made using rava featured in my blog 

Avarekaalu Uppit (vaal/ mochhai/ hyacinth beans Upma) 









Linking this kesari Bhaath recipe to Foodie Monday Bloghop week #251 


June 12, 2020

Motiya Pulao | Moti Pulao


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Motiya Pulao is a very fragrant pulao that is topped with some spicy fried paneer balls . Served with some chilled raita or a simple gravy .
I had this at a restaurant here in Bangalore much before the lockdown days and loved the taste and texture of this pulao .Though this was on my to do list for a long time, it was just getting shelved due various reasons ,but now with restaurant hopping totally come to a stand still, I decided to make it for our dinner a few days back.

Traditionally this Awadhi cuisine speciality is a non vegetarian delicacy made using Gosht /mutton but today we will see the vegetarian version .
This will be sure shot hit if served at parties , get togethers or any special occasion. 

I have given a twist to this recipe in making these little fried dumplings or Motiya as it called.  I had run out of paneer so I made use of the ready made gulab jamun mix and added some spices to it and made the fried balls.
Trust me they were equally crisp from out and soft from inside and melt in mouth as if they were made out of paneer .

Preparation Time - 20 mins
Cooking Time - 40 mins
Serves- 2 to 3 
Complexity- Medium



Ingredients 

For the Motiya (Fried Dumplings)
1 cup gulab jamun mix 
1 tsp red chilli powder
Finely chopped coriander 
2 green chillies finely chopped
Salt a pinch .

For the pulao 
1.5 cups rice 
10 to 15 beans chopped 
1 medium carrot chopped 
Handful of green peas 
Few cashews 
Salt as needed 
2 bay leaves 
3 cloves 
3 cardamom 
Small stick cinnamon
1 tsp Shah jeera 
2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon ghee
1/2 tsp haldi
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp finely chopped ginger 
Few strands of saffron 
2 tablespoon milk .




Method 

Preparation of Motiya 
  • In a mixing bowl , add the chopped corriande , green chillies , salt and red chilli powder and crush them well with your fingers. 
  • Add the gulab jamun mix and gently mix it along with spices such that the masala gets mixed well with the flour. 
  • Sprinkle water little  by little and knead a dough as you would do for gulab jamun. 
  • Grease your palms and make small balls from the dough. Ensure that there are no cracks on the balls you are rolling .
  • Refrigerate it for 15 to 20 mins and then fry them until golden brown on medium flame and keep ready. 
Preparation of Pulao
  • While the Motiya balls are resting in the fridge, let us make the pulao. 
  • Wash the rice multiple times , soak it in clean water for 15 mins and drain it .
  • Soak the Saffron stands in warm milk and set aside. 
  • In a cooker , heat the oil and 1 table spoon ghee .
  • Once the oil is heated, add the shahi jeera , cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and cardamom and fry on low heat till you get a nice aroma .
  • Add the ginger and chopped green chili and fry it for 30 to 40 seconds. 
  • Now , add the chopped beans, carrots and peas and give it a quick stir.
  • Add salt, haldi, red chilli powder and garam masala and stir it once .
  • Add water depending on the rice you are using and let it boil  .
  •  For basmati rice for 1 cup rice 1.5 cups water is  needed. 
  • I used normal sona masuri rice , so I used 3 cups water .
  • As soon as the water boils, add the rice and cover the cooker and on medium flame pressure cook for 1 whistle and turn off .
  • Let the pressure release normally. Don't rush up to open the rice.
  • After the pressure releases, open the lid, add 1 tablespoon ghee, chopped corriander and the soaked saffron over the rice and lightly fluff it with a fork .
  • Close it again  for 5 to 10 mins so that flavor of saffron is infused into the rice. 
  • Transfer it to a serving bowl and top it with the fried dumplings and serve it hot with raita or a gravy of your choice .

Notes 
You can add some fried onions or roasted cashewnuts as garnish .

Blanched florets of cauliflower also can be added along with the other veggies .


June 10, 2020

Vegetable Kofta - No Onion No Garlic


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Vegetable Kofta curry has 2 parts 

1. A rich gravy made using tomatoes and cashew nuts .

2. Koftas are fried dumplings using mixed vegetables and some spices .

The preparation and cooking time is a little elaborate for this particular recipe , but the final product is worth all the time that goes into the making of this Kofta Curry . 

Please don't try to rush into making this recipe .prepare it only when you have good amount of time on hand . 

There are various ways in which the Kofta can be prepared , but I am going to give you a  very very simple method with easily available ingredients in the pantry. 

Preparation Time - 40 mins
Cooking time- 30 mins
Frying Time - 20 mins
Serves- 2 to 3 


Preparation of Curry 

Ingredients
3 medium sized tomatoes - roughly chopped
8-10 cashews soaked in warm water
1 tsp ginger finely chopped
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
2 tsp dhaniya powder / coriander powder
Salt
Pinch of sugar
1 green chilli finely chopped .
1/2 tsp jeera

Method
  • In a wok/kadai add some 2 tsp of oil and splutter the jeera . 
  • Now sauté the tomatoes and green chilli with 1/2 tsp ginger until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy . 
  • Blend into a fine paste once the tomatoes cool down.
  • In another mixie jar , blend the cashews into a fine paste and keep aside . 
  • To prepare the gravy, heat a little 1 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter in a frying pan . 
  • Add turmeric , red chilli powder and dhaniya powder and fry it well , do it on low flame
  • and donot burn the spices .
  • Quickly pour in the tomato paste and mix it well , you will get a bright color . Allow the tomatoes paste to cook well until the oil begins to separate from the gravy . Sprinkle some water , if you feel the gravy has become dry .
  • Add the cashew paste and 1/4 cup water ; mix well . Add salt , garam masala and a pinch of sugar and cook till the raw flavor of cashews is lost . The gravy will look bright orangish and the aroma will be wafting through your kitchen . 
  • You may adjust some water and spices if you feel it is too dry or spices are less . 
  • The gravy is ready when you can see the oil has separated well and is floating on top . 
  • For the Kofta curry , the gravy has to be little watery because when we put in the koftas into the gravy , the koftas will absorb the gravy and the gravy will thicken. So adjust water accordingly while cooking .
Preparation of Koftas 

Ingredients 

2 medium sized potatoes boiled  and peeled
1 medium carrot grated 
1 cup grated paneer 
2 to 3 finely chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
Salt as needed
Freshly chopped corriander 
1 tsp chat masala
Pinch of kala namak 
Half a lime 
1 tablespoon  maida /APF
1 tablespoon besan /gram flour 

Method
  • Grate the boiled potatoes and set aside. 
  • In a mixing bowl, add the chopped chillies , salt , coriander, red chilli powder, chat masala,lime juice and kala namak and mix it well such that all the flavors are released nicely. 
  • Now , add the grated potatoes, carrots, paneer to the spice mixture along with maida and gram flour and mix it well and knead to a soft ball.
  • No need to add any water while kneading . The dough should not be sticky or watery..if it is a little watery add some rice flour or corn flour to absorb the moisture. 
  • Grease your palm and make small balls and refrigerate these balls for about 20 mins. 
  • Fry them on medium heat until they turn golden brown and crisp. 
  • Alternatively, you can fry them in the appe pan /paniyaram pan/aebelskeiwer pan .
  • Drain in an absorbent paper and keep aside .

Serving the Kofta Curry 
In a bowl, pour the warm curry and add 2 to 3 koftas to the gravy and pour some gravy on top of it and serve hot with naan , roti , jeera rice or pulao. 


June 07, 2020

Pav Bhaji Pasta


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Pasta is an absolute favorite for kids as well as adults . Though I make the traditional red sauce or white sauce based pasta , today I wanted to try some variation and used pav bhaji masala instead of the usual italian herbs and spices. 
Even when I started making , I never expected it would turn out to be lipsmacking ; juicy and tasty. 
This will definitely be a super hit in Children's parties or even with those who avoid pasta due to the Italian seasonings .
Cheese is optional , you may or may not add it while serving .
I had a spoonful with cheese and without cheese and both tasted equally delicious .
Any shape pasta can be used , I used elbow pasta but penne, twisted or even spaghetti will taste good .

Preparation time - 20 mins
Cooking time - 15 mins
Serves - 2 to 3
Complexity- medium 



Ingredients 
2 cups pasta 
1 medium bell pepper chopped (any color- I used red)
Handful of green peas 
Handful of frozen corn 
1 medium onion chopped (optional)
2 medium tomatoes 
2 tsp pav bhaji masala 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
1 green chilie finely chopped 
2 tablespoon butter 
Salt as needed 
Fresh corriander chopped

Method 
  • Cook the pasta aldente according to the instructions on the pack .
  • Drain the water through a colander and run it under cold water and set aside .
  • Boil the corn and peas and keep ready.
  • Puree the tomatoes in a blender. 
  • In a pan , melt the butter , fry the green chillies and know flame fry the pavbhaji masala and red chilli powder taking care  not to burn .
  • If using,Saute the onions in the masala until soft  followed by the bell pepper.  
  • Now , add the tomato puree , peas ,corn , some salt and let it cook well till the raw flavor of the tomato is lost .
  • Adjust water if needed . After adding the puree cook until it reaches a sauce like consistency. 
  • Add the cooked pasta , toss it carefully so that the pasta doesn't break and turn mushy. The sauce must coat the pasta well.
  • Lastly garnish with fresh corriander and grated cheese and serve hot.

June 04, 2020

Pav Bhaji - easy version


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Pav Bhaji basically needs no introduction.  It is one of the most liked and favorite street food for many . Though it is loaded with vegetables which are healthy the downside is the oodles of butter that goes into the making of this lipsmacking street food . In my opinion, if you have to eat it right and you are diet conscious or a health freak keep this for your CHEAT DAY and enjoy it the way it is to be eaten ....yea you got it right...buttery bhaji with butter toasted paav .. aah am drooling even as I am writing this .

I already have 2 versions of pav bhaji mentioned in my blog which you can check 
Pav Bhaji (regular)
Pav Bhaji (half Jain- sans Onion and Garlic)

Today's version was shared by my good friend Priyadarshini .As we were casually chatting, she said she prepared pav bhaji using layering technique to cook the veggies and then finally roasted the pavbhaji masala in butter to which the mashed veggies are added and viola we have yummy lipsmacking pavbhaji in less than 30 mins. 

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 25 to 35 mins
Serves  - 2 to 3
Complexity- easy 



Ingredients
2 to 3 medium sized potatoes 
1 medium sized capsicum 
1 cup fresh or frozen peas 
3 to 4 medium sized tomatoes 
10-15 Cauliflower florets 
1 small onion
1 lemon
1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste (optional)
Or
1 tsp ginger paste 
Salt as needed 
1 tsp turmeric powder 
2 tablespoon pav bhaji masala 
2 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp dhaniya powder 
1/2 tsp jeera 
100 gms salted butter 
Pinch of sugar 

Method 
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium sized cubes .
  • Chop the  onion,tomatoes and capsicum into cubes 
  • In a cooker,start layering the vegetables 
  • Layer the bottom with onions , garlic paste followed by tomatoes over it and then the peas , capsicum, cauliflower and lastly the potatoes. 
  • Sprinkle some salt and haldi powder . You can sprinkle some water and then close the lid and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles and let the pressure settle down.
  • Open the cooker and finely mash the vegetables with a masher or electric blender .
  • In a pan , melt about 2  to 3 tablespoons of butter and fry the jeera , followed by the dry spice powders and carefully fry them on slow flame without burning it . 
  • Now , add the mashed veggies to this flavored butter  with a pinch of sugar , mix it well and let it cook till the butter starts oozing out . 
  • Roast the paav in butter and serve the bhaaji with a garnish of fresh corriander , half a lime and freshly chopped onions .


Notes
If you want to make it sans onion and garlic, skip those two ingredients and follow the process as is. 

If making Jain version, skip the onion, garlic , ginger and use raw banana instead of potato . Process remains the same .

If you have a cast iron wok/kadai , use that for the traditional touch . It gives a very nice flavor to the pav bhaji .