Feb 29, 2008

Recipe - Chat Pata Aloo


Spicy Potato

Summary

This dish can be cooked in 10 minutes, if the potato is already boiled. This dish taste yummy with Rasam (soup made with tomato and lentil).

Ingredients:

  • Potato - 2 medium size
  • Green Chillies - 1 Serrano pepper (optional)
  • Dry red chilly - 3 - 4 (according to the spice level)
  • Dhania powder (coriander powder) - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
  • Amchoor powder (dry mango powder) - 3/4 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon (according to spice level)
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt 3/4 teaspoon (according to taste)
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon

Process:

Boil potatoes for 5 -6 minutes in Microwave. Pierce the potato with a knife before you cook in the microwave so that the potato is done quickly.
or Pressure cook it for one whistle.

Peel the Potato, cut them into small pieces about an inch size.




Process:


In a medium size skillet preheat the oil and add the seasoning seeds, mustard and cumin seeds. Let it splutter add Green chillies (optional) or Red chillies and hing.

After few minutes add Potatoes and add coriander (dhania) powder, dry mango (amchoor) powder, turmeric, salt and chilly powder and saute for 5-8 minutes.


The temperature should be medium high. Let all the spices cook well with the potatoes and serve hot with rice or roti for a quick meal.


# Servings 2

Feb 28, 2008

Recipe - Swiss Chard and Toor dal (Akkura pappu)


(Swiss Chard cooked in Pigeon Peas)

Summary

Swiss chard is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods. It has an excellent combination of phytochemicals, chlorophyll, other plant pigments, and soluble fiber. It also contains a generous amount of Vitamin K that is especially beneficial in the maintenance of bone health.

This dish can be eaten with roti or rice. Chana Dal can also be used as variation for Toor dal. Different kinds of greens can be used as variation for chard.

Ingredients:

  • Chard - 1/2 bunch (approximately 4 cups)
  • Toor Dal - 1 Cup
  • Green Chillies - 1 Serrano pepper or 3 small Indian chillies cut in stripes (optional)
  • Dry red chillies - 2 (optional)
  • Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon (according to spice level)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon (for seasoning)
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Hing (Asafoetida )- 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons (according to taste)
  • Ghee/Oil - 2 teaspoon
  • Tamarind 1 teaspoon (concentrate) or 5 small tamarind stalks.

Chard cutting:



Wash and Cut chard into thin leaves.

Slice green chilli in circles or long slices.


Process:

Wash dal and add 2.5 cups of water and add chard leaves, salt, turmeric and green chillies.

Pressure cook dal for 3 whistles. The temperature should be medium high to high.


Seasoning:

Preheat with oil in a kadai (skillet). Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds for seasoning. After you see the seasoning seeds splutter, add red chillies (optional) and hing (Asafoetida). If you are using red chillies and green chillies, better to avoid red chilli powder.

Add the seasoning to the dal and add the tamarind pulp/concentrate to dal. Cook it for 2-3 minutes.

For Tamarind pulp:

Take 5 small stalks of tamarind, add half cup of water and microwave it for 2- 3 minutes. The water will decrease to 1/4cup. Let it cool and then mash the tamarind pulp with a spoon and filter it.

Preparation time: 30minutes.
# Servings 3 - 4

Feb 27, 2008

Recipe - Vegetable rice with Tofu



Mixed vegetables cooked with tofu and Rice

Summary

This rice is very simple to cook. This Rice can be served as a meal. Kids love this dish as it has everything in it and very tasty.

Ingredients:

* Rice - 1 cup
* Mixed Vegetables - 1 pound bag
* Tofu - half the cube ( this is sold in one pound cubes)
* Salt - 1 or 1 and 1/2 teaspoon (according to taste)
* Black pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
* Ghee (clarified butter) - 1 teaspoon
* Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon (Optional for flavor)
* Water to cook - 2 cups

Process:


Wash rice and keep it aside. Preheat the cooking pot with ghee, add cumin seeds. Let the seeds splutter add the mixed vegetables and fry them for a minute or two. Add rice, tofu, salt and black pepper and fry for two minutes.


Add two cups of water and bring it to a boil. Taste the water and add salt or pepper according to taste.


Pressure cooking:

Pressure cook it at medium high temperature for one whistles. Turn off the stove.

Open Vessel:

Cook at a medium high temperature and bring it to a boil. As you notice the rice is boiling, simmer the temperature and stir for a minute or two.


Cover with the lid and let it cook for 20 minutes on the lowest flame and turn off the stove. Serve hot.


Serve hot.
# Servings : 2 - 3

Feb 26, 2008

Recipe - Lauki / Dudhi Kofta (sorakaya/anapakaya bajji)


(Bottle Gourd/Zuccini/Lauki Squash dumplings) (Malai Kofta)

Summary:

A dish for special occasions, Malai Kofta is the Indian vegetarian alternative to meatballs. It goes very well with naans, roti or rice. Paneer, mixed vegetables, or any other kind of variation can be used to make the dumplings. Kofta is a very popular dish that is served in every north Indian restaurant.

Ingredients for making Koftas:

Doodhi/Lauki - 1 med. sized, tender (grated) (approximately 2.5 cups)
Besan (chick pea flour)- 1/2 cup (you can always add more if you would like)
Green Chillies - 1 Serrano pepper
Dry Methi leaves 1 Tablespoon (fresh methi is always the best)
Salt - 1 teaspoon to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method:


Grate Lauki and leave it aside for 5 minutes
Drain excess water by pressing it between your palm. You can also evaporate it in a pan on medium heat, stirring continuously.
Mix besan, green chillies, methi leaves and salt (add salt when you are ready to deep fry the dumplings).


Mix all the ingredients well (if needed you can add little bit of water but not too much) and make small balls/dumplings. Add salt when you are ready to deep fry the dumplings in oil or else the batter will be too loose and will leave excess water.



Mix well and make small balls/dumplings.


Preheat oil in a pan and drop the dumplings/koftas slowly into the oil from the side of the skillet with a spoon.

Fry the dumplings till golden brown. drain them on a paper towel and set aside.


Ingredients for Gravy


Onion Chopped - 1 small/1 cup
Garlic grated/minced - 1/2 teaspoon or 2 small pods ( optional)
Ginger grated/minced - 1 teaspoon
Tomatoes chopped - 2 medium size or 1 and 1/2 cup (Tomato puree can also be used 6 oz can)
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Green chilly - 1 Serrano pepper
Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon ( do not use chilly powder if green chilly is used in the gravy)
Salt to taste - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seed - 3/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Cilantro - 2 tablespoons (Garnish)
Cream - 1/3 cup

Gravy Preparation:


Preheat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Let the seeds splutter and add chopped onions, ginger and garlic. Saute well until all the ingredients turn to golden brown.

Add tomatoes and green chillies and fry them well until you see oil leaving the walls of the skillets. If you don't like so much frying, you can just let the tomato cook and then let it cool on the side.


For creamy sauce, grind all the ingredients in a blender.

Pour the sauce back in the skillet. Add salt and pour 2 cups of water. Let it boil to a liquid consistency.

Boil it on medium heat for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Do not worry too much about the consistency. You can always add more water if you want it more liquidy. Add the dumplings/koftas to the gravy just before serving, either directly or in the cooking skillet.


You can also boil the gravy and pour it over the dumplings (For dumplings to soak, they will have to sit for 5-10 minutes)


You can add cream and adjust the consistency of the dish. Garnish with cilantro before serving. You can always adjust the spiciness and consistency according to your liking.


Preparation time: 45 minutes
# Servings 4 - 6

Tips: Instead of tomatoes, you can use tomato paste or tomato sauce.

Feb 25, 2008

Recipe - Spicy Paratha (Namak-Mirch ke Parathe)

(Spicy Flat Indian Bread)

Summary:


Parata is normally eaten with dal. curries or spicy pickle. Plain parata dough can be used to make Poori's. In North India, spicy parata's are also served as breakfast.


I make plain parata (namak parata) for my kids by adding ghee, ajwain and salt. And make spicy parata by adding chilly powder. I always keep the roti dough ready in my refrigerator, and make parata's out of it according to the demand of my family, spicy/plain parata's or use the dough for plain roti or to roll any kind of stuffed paratas.

Ingredients for the making dough:

For desired results use standard measuring cups:

  • Wheat flour - 1 heaping cup.
  • Water - 1/2 cup (important to know the quantity)
  • Salt - 1 pinch
  • Ajwain (carom seeds) - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder
  • All purpose flour or wheat flour- 1/2 cup (to flip the dough while rolling the roti)
  • Ghee (clarified butter) or butter for brushing the roti (optional)

Process:

Take one cup of wheat flour in a mixing bowl.

Slowly add water to the flour. It's better not to add all the water into the flour, you may want the dough a little tight (hard) for parathas. Knead it by hand or use any kind of dough mixer/electric appliance. I always do it the old fashioned way by hand, so you can't go wrong! After the dough is kneaded, take a teaspoon of oil in your hand and apply it all over the dough. This way the dough won't stick to the walls of the container the next time you use it, and you can store any leftover dough in any air tight container. Set the dough aside for 20-30 minutes before making paratha.



Method to roll Partha:

Get the tools ready - Tawa on the stove with medium high temperature. Rolling pin to make/roll rotis/parathas. All purpose flour in a 3/4 plate to lightly flour the dough in between during rolling the paratha dough. Salt, Red chilly powder, and carom seeds (if you are using roti dough).

Make a small lemon size ball out of the dough.


Slightly flatten the ball sized dough and dip the flatten ball in the all purpose flour plate which is placed in the side. Place it on the lightly floured/clean surface and slowly roll the dough in a circular motion from the center.

To prevent sticking of the paratha dough when rolling, you can continuously rotate the dough on the surface (lift it up and throw it back down just like a frisbee). Remember not to fling it across the room!

Brush the half rolled paratha with some ghee or oil and sprinkle salt, red chilly powder. Fold the roti in the desired shape, square/hexagan/traingle.


Continue rolling and lightly dust the paratha with flour if the paratha is sticking to the surface. Too much dusting may spoil the taste of the paratha too. It is important to roll the dough on one side only. Make sure not to apply too much pressure while rolling. Try not to roll the paratha too thin (if you're a beginner at this). Soon you will see the small ball of dough expand to 3 inches in diameter (just like a disc)

Method to cook Paratha:

Preheat the tawa/cast iron pan on medium high. Transfer the ready paratha on to the pan and wait for 10-15 seconds. You will see small bubbles forming on the paratha. Flip the paratha on to the other side and wait for 15 seconds.


You will see the paratha puffing up little.

Flip the paratha onto the second side, just to make sure the paratha is cooked well. Do not leave the paratha too long on the tawa or else it will burn.

Transfer the paratha into a plate and brush it with ghee. Parathas taste good when served hot.

To retain the warmth of the Parathas, you can store them in a casserole/hotbox to keep them moist and soft.

# Servings - 2

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Disclaimer

Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.