Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Butter Naan and methi matar malai (Flat bread with green peas & fenugreek in white sauce)

This is one of our favourite veggie combination when it comes to naan. This is a low fat version of the methi matar malai and it tastes really superb. Methi matar recipe was given by a friend of mine who is good in cooking north Indian dishes. Naan recipe was given by my pachi (ma's youngest sis)
This delectable combination goes for the Event Made for Each Other hosted by Asvadha.

Butter Naan:

Maida - 3 cups
Milk - 2 tbsp
yogurt - 2 tbsp
oil - 2 tbsp
honey - 1 tbsp
yeast - 2 tsp
sugar - 1 tsp
salt to taste

In a small cup take ¼ cup lukewarm water and dissolve sugar and yeast. Set aside for 15 minutes till frothy.
In a wide bowl, take maida, oil and salt and mix well to get something like bread crumbs. Now add milk, yogurt, honey and knead to a soft dough. If necessary add only milk and not yogurt. Knead well for 5 minutes. Keep covered in a warm place for 2 hrs. The dough doubles in volume. Knock and punch and knead well again. Make big round balls and keep aside. Dust the ball with flour and roll out into oval shape. Heat a tawa. Meanwhile smear your hand with water, place the naan on the wet hand and place the wet part of the naan on the tawa to fry first. This gives a burnt spots on naan giving the tandoor effect. Smear butter on naan and cook on the other side till the naan puffs up. Serve hot with side dish of your choice!!!

Methi Matar Malai (green peas and fenugreek leaves in white sauce)

Methi leaves - 1 cup, chopped
fresh/frozen green peas - 1 cup
onion - 1 chopped
oil - 2 tbsp
jeera - ½ tsp
tomatoes - 2 large
low fat milk - 1 cup
sugar - ½ tsp
salt to taste
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Masala Paste:
onion - 1
green chillies - 4
ginger - 1" piece
garlic - 3 cloves
cashew - 2 tbsp, chopped
poppy seeds - 2 tsp

Soak cashew and poppy seeds in ¼ cup warm water and leave aside for 15 minutes.
Blend these soaked ingredients with onion, green chillies, ginger, garlic to smooth paste.
Wash methi leaves, add ½ tsp of salt leave aside for 15 minutes and then sqeeze out of water.
Blanch tomatoes in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and blend to a smooth puree.
Heat a tbsp oil, add jeera and fry till it crackes, add the methi leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
Heat another tbsp of oil in a kadai add chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add the masala paste and fry well till the raw aroma disappears. Now add the pureed tomatoes, garam masala and fry. Add green peas, fried methi leaves, milk, sugar, salt and ¼ cup water. Cook covered till thick and saucy. Serve hot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Apple Halwa

Vidhas of Appetizing Recipes has passed me this Award. Its really sweet of her to do so and I am highly oblidged, Vidhas thanks a lot!!!!!

On that happy note I am posting a sweet today!!!
This was that particular sweet dish which I have been waiting to try since a year now. We all like to munch on apples, so I hardly get them in fridge begging to be used. I tried this halwa with green apples. They are not that sweet but slightly sour to taste which my hubby loves and me and my daughter a complete no-no. There were just 3 remaining and I had try this before my hubby would finish it off. By the way this recipe is from Shilpa who needs no introduction to this blogging world. For the step by step neat pictures refer here.

grated green apples - 3, approx 2 cups
sugar/sugar free - ¾ cup
ghee - 1 tsp
Almonds - 8
cardamom powder - ½ tsp

Wash and peel apples. Grate them fine.
Crush almonds with rolling pin.
Heat ghee in a non stick pan, add grated apples and fry till rawness disappears and the mixture is dry.
Now add sugar to the cooked mixture and keep stirring till it leaves the sides of the pan.
Meanwhile add crushed almonds and stir.
Grease a dash of ghee onto the plate and keep ready. Once the mixture comes out dry leaving the sides of the pan put off the flame, add cardamom powder and mix gently. Transfer it to the greased plate and spread evenly with a spatula till the top is smooth and shiny.

Let cool for around 10 minutes and cut into desired shapes and let cool completely.

As I used green apples this halwa was sweet and tangy. I am planning to cook it next time until just done ( not too dry) and use as an accompaniment with chapathis like jam for my daughter.

This Halwa is for the following Events:
Recipes for the rest of us - Dessert hosted by Varsha and started by Ramki of One Page Cookbooks &
Diabetic Friendly Sweets hosted by Mythreyee

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choco Carrot Cake

I really wanted to make something really different for Valentine's Day. I also wanted it to be eggless since my daughter should avoid eggs in her diet. I found this recipe on Active Cooking and had to give this a try. It really tasted wonderful and my daughter was happy to see these hearts in her hands.

Flour/Maida - 1½ cups
brown sugar - ½ cup
white sugar - ½ cup
cocoa powder - ½ cup
baking powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - ¼ tsp
grated carrots - 1½ cups (approx 2 medium)
melted butter - ¾ cup
vanilla essence - ½ tsp
walnuts - ½ cup, crushed
milk - ¼ cup

Grease a cake tin dusted liberally with flour. I used the muffin moulds.
Sift the baking powder, cocoa, baking soda with flour. Mix in the walnuts.
In a bowl, take butter and sugar and beat well.
Fold in the flour mixture, carrots. Mix well add milk to get the pouring consistency.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Preheat the oven at 200 degree centigrade. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degree centigrade. Reduce the temperature to 160 degree centrigrade for further 20 minutes till done.
Remove and allow it to cool completely. Invert and tap out gently and then serve.

This cake is off for the following Events:
My Favourite Things: Love - Heart Shaped Foods hosted by Bindiya at "In Love with Food"
Cook and create with luv for luv since I made this just for my 2 cute hearts in my life!!!! hosted at Asankhana.
Just for You by Alka at Sindhi Rasoi

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chana Poha ( sweet n spicy beaten rice with chicpea sauce)

Chana poha is usually served as an evening snack or as main breakfast dish during the fasting days in Konkani Cuisine. Since this dish is filling and healthy it was prepared frequently among the joint families. At my grandma's place this dish was almost a daily affair as an evening snack. My mother made it a weekly affair during her fasting days( be it Monday or Friday). Thankfully we all liked it during our childhood days and even now. My daughter too adores it. I make it on weekends either as an evening snack or on any other lazy day when I have some cooked chickpeas in my fridge.
I learnt this dish from my mom hence Mamama(grandma)'s Chana-poha for Sakshi.
This dish is for the Event "Cooking for Kids with love" hosted by Pritya.

Poha Chutney(Sweet n Spicy Beaten Rice):
Thin beaten rice - 2 cups
grated coconut - ½ cup
grated jaggery - 2 tbsp
salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
dry long red chillies - 2
curry leaves - 1 sprig
coconut oil - 2 tsp

Heat coconut oil in a small pan. Splutter mustard seeds, add red chillies and curry leaves and rosat on low flame till nice and brown. Let aside to cool.
In a wide bowl, pour this seasoning and crush well. Add beaten rice, grated coconut, grated jaggery, salt and mix well. Sprinkle little water to moisten the poha. Cover and keep for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: In a jiffy, mix sambar powder to the remaining ingredients and season only with mustard and curry leaves.

Chana (Brown Chickpea sauce)
Brown chickpeas - ½ cup
salt to taste
grated jaggery - 1 tsp
coconut oil - 1 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 4 leaves

Pressure cook chickpeas with 2½ cups water till soft and done.
Add salt and jaggery and get to a boil.
Season with mustard and curry leaves.

Note: Raw banana or potatoes can be added as bharshi( to get along with in konkani) with chickpeas to give a thicker consistency.

Serve the poha and then pour chana over it or serve side by side. The gravy from the chana soaks up the poha and makes it soft and delicious to relish!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gulla Bhajji ( Smoked Eggplant dip)

This is my favourite!! Infact I was called guula by my siblings during our childhood days. We would keep names to each other, my favourite was eggplant hence they named me guula just because they hated the look of it. Even now when I go home I ask my ma to make it. Thankfully my daughter also loves it, so I have a company now. This dish is really easy to make. All those eggplant lovers give it a try and you will never repent!!! This dip is specially for the "Chutney/dip Mania Event" by Ramya's Mane Adige.

Green brinjal/ mattigulla or purple brinjal - 1 big
green chillies - 1-2
salt to taste
asafoetida/hing water - 1 tsp if powder use ½ tsp
tamarind - marble size or tamarind paste - 1 tsp
coconut oil - ½ + 1 tsp

There are two ways of cooking Brinjals.

1.Wash the brinjlal and wipe it dry. Keep the stem intact. Prick all over with a fork. Smear the brinjal with coconut oil and keep over direct flame till it turns brown first turn over and brown all the sides then wait till it turns black allover(almost burnt). This gives a smoky effect to the brinjals. (as we do for bhartha).
2. Wash and cut the brinjals into big cubes. Add water just enough to cook the brinjals. Cook till done.
Set aside to cool the smoked or cooked brinjals. Then peel off the skin and take the inner pulp in a bowl. Add chopped green chillies. salt and hing water/powder, tamarind and mash well with a potato masher. OR just blend all the ingredients except brinjals and coconut oil to coarse paste. Add this paste to brinjal pulp and mix well. Add coconut oil and mix well. gulla bhajji is ready to be served with rice or can be eaten just like that.

1tbsp coconut can be added while blending or mashing to thicker consistency.
Asafoetida can be replaced by chopped onions and coriander leaves(do not blend).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rava Laddoo

We all have a sweet tooth hence come sweets or chocolates its finished within seconds( hence I don't buy as there is no control over it). But when somebody gifts you with sweets both my hubby and daughter are thrilled and happy to recieve it. Last weekend a friend of mine 'A' had come over with her parents (parents are on visit) for dinner at our place. Her mother had made this laddoo and brought it for us. We ate it all enjoying it till the last bite. Somehow when I saw only 5 laddoos remaining I had to quickly click a shot to send this for the Event " Who's Gona Cook for me". I got the recipe from A's Mom the very next day as the event was meeting its deadline.

semolina/rava - 1 cup
fresh/frozen grated coconut - ¾ cup
sugar - ¾ cup
ghee - 1 tbsp
water - for syrup ( slightly more than the sugar level)
spice powder- recipe follows
raisins - as per the number of laddoos

Spice Powder
Cinnamon - 2"
clove - 6
cardamom seeds - 2 tsp

Dry roast these spices and blend to a fine powder. This spice powder can be stored in an air tight container.

In a wide bowl take rava and grated coconut. Mix well and leave aside for an hour or so.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and fry rava-coconut mixture on a low flame till nice aroma infuses your kitchen.
Now in another pan take sugar and water. Get it to a boil and cook to one-thread consistency. This will take approximately 10 minutes or so. Put off the flame.
Add rava-coconut mixture and spice powder. Let aside to cool completely.
Roll out into laddoos piercing with one raisin per laddoo.

Note: If the sugar-rava-coconut mixture hardens sprinkle milk and roll out laddoos.

Rava Laddoo is on its way to the Event " Who's Gona Cook for me" hosted by PJ at Seduce your Tastebuds

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daal Palak

This is again a simple dish and falls into the category of comfort food and healthy too. There are various ways to make Dal Palak. I got this recipe from a magazine (Food and Location Courtesy: Le Royce, Pune, India). I followed this recipe blindly without any changes and I must say it turned out really good.

yellow lentils/ toor daal - 1 cup
spinach/palak leaves - 1 cup (washed and chopped)
tomato -1
onion - 1
ginger garlic paste - ½ tsp
turmeric powder - ½ tsp
lime juice - 2 tsp
oil - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - ½ tsp
green chillies - 2
red chilli powder - 1 pinch
salt to taste

Wash and soak lentils in warm water for an hour. Meanwhile wash and chop spinach leaves. Peel onions and chop onions and tomato finely. Wash and chop or slit green chillies according to your taste.
Take a heavy bottomed pan and cook the yellow lentils/toor daal in it. OR Pressure cook for 2 whistles. When cooked ¾th, add spinach leaves, onion, tomato, salt, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Cook everything together till done.
In a small frying pan heat oil, add the cumin seeds, green chilli and red chilli powder, temper the daal.
Add lime juice in it and mix it well. Serve hot with rice.
We had it with rice and Aloo methi bhaji. Superb and healthy combo!!!

Daal Palak also goes to the Event Weekend Herb Blogging at Daily Tiffin and also to Haalo's site at Cook (almost) anything at Least Once.

Aloo Methi Bhaji (Fenugreek-Potato stir fry)

Fenugreek/methi leaves are enriched with Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C and has good dietery fiber. Though these leaves are bitter in taste it has always been our favourite!!! Whenever I find it in the market...I buy it immediately. This time I got a huge bunch of it. Hence you guys can look forward for herbal posts...;))for few more days. This is a simple dish my ma makes and goes well with rice as well as chapathi.

Potatoes - 2 medium, peeled and diced
fenugreek(methi) leaves - ¼ bunch, approx- 1½ cups washed and chopped
onion - 1 finely chopped
green chillies - 1 , slit
cumin seeds - ½ tsp
turmeric powder - ½ tsp
red chilli powder - ¾ tsp
salt to taste
oil - 1 tsp

Cook potatoes in a pressure cooker till done or microwave for 7 minutes HIGH.
Thoroughly wash methi leaves and chop them fine. Place them in salted water for 5 minutes. Rinse and use.
Peel and chop onions and slit green chillies.
Heat a kadai add oil, splutter cumin seeds and then add onions. Saute till brown.
Now add methi(fenugreek) leaves and saute on medium flame till methi leaves are wilted and rawness is gone.
Now add red chilli powder. turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Add cooked potatoes, mix and cover with a lid. Cook on low flame for 5 to 10 minutes stirring in between. Aloo methi bhaji is ready to eat.

Aloo Methi Bhaji is off to the Event Weekend Herb Blogging at Daily Tiffin and also to Haalo's site at Cook (almost) anything at Least Once.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vermicilli and Sabodana kheer

Lost in the process of posting recipes...I didn't even realise that I had crossed 50 posts..Only today when I saw my 55th post...I did!!! Hence on this Happy Occasion I thought nothing better than kheer to sweeten your tastebuds. This kheer is my hubby's and kiddos all time favourite. My daugher just adores these white pearls with vermicilli.

vermicilli- 1 cup
sabudana - ¼ cup
sugar - 1 cup
milk - 2½ cup
water - 1 cup
cashew and raisins for garnish
cardamom powder- 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

Soak sabudana in 1 cup of water for half an hour. Cook till the sabudana turns into transparent
pearl- like.
Get the milk to a boil in a milk pot.
Heat ghee in a kadai, fry cashews and raisins and keep aside.
In the same ghee add vermicilli. Fry on low flame till light brown. Now pour hot milk into the kadai and cook vermicilli. When they turn soft add cooked sabudana and get to a boil.
Now add sugar and cook further till the sugar melts down. Sprinkle cardamom powder and turn off the flame. Let rest for a while and have it warm or cold as you like.

Note: The consistency of the kheer should be thinner since the kheer thickens as it cools.
Adjust the sweetness according to your taste.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mixed Salad

This salad is a meal by itself for those keen on eating healthy and light dinner. I had prepared this salad for a get together we had last week. This was an instant hit, liked by everybody. As I said earlier I always have a stock of cooked chickpeas, green gram and black chana sprouts in my fridge.

onion - 1 big
tomato - 1 big
cucumber - 1 medium
green apple - 1
cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas - ½ cup
mixed sprouts - 1 cup
frozen sweet corn - ¼ cup
frozen or fresh peas - ¼ cup
coriander leaves - 1 handfull, chopped

Olive oil - 1 tsp
lemon juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
Freshly crushed pepper - 1 tsp

Peel and dice onions. Wash and dice tomatoes, green apple and cucumber.
Defrost frozen sweet corn and peas or MW HIGH for a minute.
In a Microwave safe bowl, take cooked chickpeas(I do not add salt while pressure cooking chickpeas), mixed sprouts, sweet corn and green peas. Add salt and Microwave HIGH for 1 minute.
This step is optional. If using canned chickpeas omit this step.
In a small bowl, take the dressing ingredients and whip well till oil is well mixed with lemon juice and salt-pepper dissolves completely. Dressing should be added just before serving. This imparts a fresh flavour.
Take a salad bowl, take diced onion, tomato, cucumber, green apple, chickpeas, sprouts, sweet corn and peas. Mix well. Now swirl in the dressing and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

This salad is on its way for the Event SWC- Salad under 15 minutes at Cooking Station by Lakshmi

Monday, February 2, 2009

Onion Kulcha and Mushroom Masala

Dinner is always simple no rice affair at our home. Its either chapathi with subzi or stuffed parathas or dosas but no rice. Yesterday I saw this recipe for Onion Kulcha on Active cooking which seemed to simple enough to be tried. Mushroom Masala is my daughter's favourite. I have tried many recipes and this particular recipe is inspired from Spicy Tasty which I found while browsing through google. I havn't made many changes except for a few. And yes it tastes like the one made at restaurants.

Onion Kulcha

Whole Wheat flour or Atta - 1 cup
onion - 1 medium
green chillies - 1
coriander leaves - 3 sprigs
mint leaves - 6 leaves
carom seeds/ajwain - 1 tsp
red chilli powder - ½tsp (optional)
pomegranate seeds - 1 tsp, coarsely ground
salt to taste

Prepare a stiff dough with flour and water. Allow to rest for an hour. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and make round balls.
Peel and chop onions finely. Wash and chop green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves finely
Prepare stuffing using chopped onions, green chillies, coriander and mint leaves. Add salt, red chilli powder, crushed carom and pomegranate seeds.
Take a dough ball and flatten each with a rolling pin into a round disc. Place a portion of the filling in the middle of the disc, fold in the filling and pinch off the excess dough to seal the edges. Then flatten again with a rolling pin into a large disc.

Place each kulcha on a plate and put it in a microwave to grill each side for 5 minutes or till brown spots appear on the kulcha. One can also tawa fry as for chapathis. Dab with a dash of butter for kids and serve hot with Mushroom Masala.

Mushroom Masala

Mushrooms - 1 packet around 8 big sized
Onions - 4 medium
garlic - 6 cloves
ginger - 1" piece
cashewnuts - 10-12
cardamom - 2
cinnamon- 2
Bay leaves - 2
Red chilli powder - 2tsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Hung yogurt - ½ cup
Tomatoes - 2 medium
coriander leaves - handfull
butter/oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp

Hang yogurt in a muslin cloth for 15 minutes to drain off the excess water.
Blanch tomatoes in hot water for 5 minutes. Peel off the skin and puree to a smooth paste.
Peel and chop onions, garlic and ginger roughly into small pieces.
Boil a cup of water and add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and cashews. When onions becomes soft enough. Put off the gas and let aside to cool.
Meanwhile heat a pan and dry roast cinnamon and cardomom seeds on a low flame. Powder them into a fine powder using mortar and pestle.
Wash mushrooms thoroughly in running water. Pat dry the mushrooms. Slice Mushrooms into thin slices. Heat a tsp of butter in the pan and saute mushrooms till nice and brown.
Blend the boiled mixture to a smooth paste.
Now in the same pan, heat butter/oil add cinnamon-cardamom powder and bay leaves. Saute for a while and add the smooth paste. Fry on medium flame till the oil comes to the sides of the pan.
Now add red chilli powder, garam masala, salt.
Add hung yogurt and mix thouroghly. Now add tomato puree and cook for another 8 minutes till the gravy is nice and red. Now add stir fried mushrooms and mix well. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Onion Kulchas and Mushroom Masala is off to the Event
Healthy Family Dinners at What's for Lunch Honey? and Monthly Mingle Page

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Kurle Gashi (Crab in coconut gravy)

This is a konkani dish for non veg lovers. Simple yet delicious and lip smacking. My daughter is a great crab fan and me too. My hubby doesn't have the patience to work on the peeling of crab shells and eat it. So we just buy a little just to satisfy our taste buds.

Crab - 10
grated coconut - 1 cup
dry red chillies - 6
tamarind - lemon size ball
Onions - 1 medium
salt to taste

Clean and wash the crabs. If the crabs are too big cut them into two. Crush the legs lightly(hammer or pestle) to ensure ease while eating.
Blend coconut, red chillies and tamarind to smooth paste.
Take this masala in a pan/kulle(mud pot). Add salt and get to a boil. Now add crab pieces and chopped onions and cook till the crabs are cooked.

Just before putting off the flame add a tsp of coconut oil and cover with the lid. Kurle gashi is ready to be served with boiled rice or white rice.