Friday, August 30, 2013


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mini Meals

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Thaali Meals

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Maharashtrian Cuisine

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Mexican Curry with Mexican Rice

BM # 31   Week 4  Day 3

This is the 4th week and the  last day of this edition , where I am cooking Mexican.  Soon we shall begin the month long marathon . I am sure everyone is waiting eagerly for it.For those of you who are not aware of it , let me tell you for September we have month long marathon, where we shall be posting recipes from A-Z,Sunday's will be a break .Do come back to check this interesting event.

Today I have made Mexican curry and Rice.This is one of my favorite recipes which has been adapted from Jyoti Nikunj Parekh. She is a fantastic cookery author and her recipes are a hit.

Mexican curry
100 gms French beans, chopped into 2" pieces
100 gms carrots, cut into 2" long strips
100 gms fresh / frozen peas
250 gms cauliflower, cut into small flowers
1 cup boiled kidney beans, made into a paste
3 tbsp oil
2 onions, sliced
2 green chillies, finely chopped
3-4 dry red chillies
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp chilly sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the vegetables.
Heat oil.
Fry the onions till pink.
Add green chillies and red chillies.
Pour the stock from the vegetables and boil for a few minutes.
Add the vegetables .
Add the kidney bean paste, ketchup, chilly sauce , vinegar, salt and pepper.
Simmer for a few minutes.
Serve hot with Mexican rice.

Mexican Rice
3 tbsp ghee/ butter
2 onions, sliced
8-10 peppercorns
2 cups rice
1/4 cup kidney beans, boiled
1/2 cup corn, boiled
2 tbsp chilly sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
Salt to taste
1 capsicum, chopped , sautéed
1/4 cup peanuts, fried
Heat ghee / butter
Add peppercorns and onions.
Fry them till pink.
Add rice and sauté.
Add 4 cups water ,salt and cook the rice.
When nearly done, add kidney beans, boiled corn ,chilly sauce and vinegar.
After the rice is 90% cooked simmer the gas and cook till done.
Garnish with sauteed capsicum and peanuts.

This is a combo that I have been making since the past many years and is relished by everyone. The rice tastes very good on its own ,you actually don't require a curry but somehow I enjoy  combo meals.

This post also goes for the weekend cooking where Valli and Champa join me every Monday.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013


BM # 31 Week 4 Day 2

Mexican Cuisine begins with tortillas and they use both flour and corn tortillas. Mexicans serve them for most of their meals in some or the other form.One could say that these tortillas are a base of most of their dishes.

Quesadillas contains a cheese filling,along with various peppers, beans , I have used flour tortillas and stuffed them with fresh corn kernels along with cheese and some herbs.I remember when my son was schooling, this was one of the most prepared recipe for his lunch box.

1 cup wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Mix the flours, oil and salt and bind a dough by adding warm water.
Knead to a semi soft dough and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into 6" diameter thin rounds.
Cook lightly on a griddle.
This is the basic recipe that I normally follow, but this time I have used just wheat flour and it actually does not make much difference.

1 cup corn kernels, boiled
1/4 cup onion / spring onion
2 tbsp red capsicum
Olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup cheese
2 green chilly, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Chilly flakes
Mix all ingredients for stuffing.
This stuffing is enough for 4 quesadillas.
Take a tortilla, place the stuffing on one side and fold the other half on it.
Cook on a griddle.
I toasted them in a sandwich grill.
Serve with salsa.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Corn on the Cob...Mexican Style

BM # 31 Week 4 Day 1

As soon as the monsoon comes one can spot lot of vendors selling corn.It is one of the best street foods one can enjoy..and without guilt. No but let me correct myself, on the guilt part.The corn that we get here in Gujarat has a lot of variety.To begin with we have the roasted corn with nimbu masala.(lemon and spice).The next comes the boiled corn, the vendor removes the kernels and mixes butter to the hot boiled corn, then we have the cheese corn. Now with butter and cheese the guilt comes back !!  This is the scene in Gujarat, but Delhi there is yet another variety...The chatni wala Bhutta. While in Delhi I clicked some pics of this , I would have loved to eat it too, as I have done years back..but unfortunately it started pouring heavily and I could just manage some clicks.

So many ways to relish this corn, now lets get to the Mexican way of corn on the cob.They roast the corn and apply a layer of mayo, roll it into chilly powder and coriander leaves,  sprinkle cheese and finally squeeze some lemon juice.Wow..this surely is a treat.I roasted these corns on a Sunday evening while it was pouring.I had plans to roast the corn on coal, but the rain was a spoilsport.

For the fourth week, my theme is Mexican and for the first day it is corn on the cob...Mexican style!

What you need...
Chilly powder
Coriander leaves
Cheese, grated
Salt to taste
Lemon juice

How to go about....
Roast the corn.
Rub in some salt.
Apply Mayonnaise.
Roll in chilly powder.
Roll in coriander leaves and cheese.
Drizzle lemon juice .

These are some of the pics that I took in Delhi...

The vendor is roasting the corn and the big tin box that you see on his cart has boiled corn, which he serves in paper bowls with a red hot tamarind chutney.

Boiled corn ..a peep in that tin!!

The red hot tamarind chutney!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Daal ki Seekh

BM # 31   Week 3   Day 3
Seekhs are very popular in Mughlai Cuisine.Normally these are made with minced meat. These are made on skewers and either roasted or grilled.I have made a variety of these kebabs in the previous marathons , but this daal ke seekh it is something that I relished while I was in Delhi .It tasted absolutely wonderful, full of flavors, I could have had .....I don't know how many.

Any way coming to my theme of meat less recipes here is a seekh kebab, which has been made with daal instead of meat. The seekh had wonderful flavors and accompanied with onion chutney it is actually a treat by itself.

For the seekh
1 cup Bengal gram
2 potatoes, boiled,mashed
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 green chilly , chopped
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp channa masala
Juice of half lemon
Coriander leaves
Soak the Bengal gram for an hour and boil.
Each grain should be separate.
Mixing all the ingredients and shape them into long rolls, inserting a ice-cream stick in each roll.
Deep fry to a golden brown.

Onion tamarind chutney
1 large onion
5-6 green chillies
Tamarind paste as per taste
2 tbsp coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Blend all ingredients to a coarse paste.

One can make this into a complete meal by adding a paratha with these seekhs.

Here are some of the kebabs you might be interested in...

This post also is for the Weekend Cooking, where Valli and Champa join me every Monday.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mughlai Biryani

BM # 31   Week 3   Day 2

For the second day under meat less dishes I have prepared a Mughlai Biryani. The Mughlai Biryani prepared for the Mughal emperors was very exotic.It had big pieces of meat and was cooked on dum. Dum is a cooking method where the dish is cooked on very slow fire .The pot is sealed with dough and the dish is left to simmer for hours.While preparing the Biryani they cook both the rice and the meat separately these are then layered along with the gravy and left to cook on slow fire for a couple of hours on charcoal. Times have changed and ovens have taken place instead of charcoals. The method remains the same.I have prepared the Biryani in a similar fashion.I baked it in the oven .

For the masala
8 - 10 cashewnuts
I tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp melon seeds
1 tbsp fresh coconut, grated

Whole Spices
2-3  bay leaves
2-3 small cardamom
1-2 big cardamom
3-4 cloves
A small piece cinnamon

This is the gravy with vegetables which has been used in Biryani

2 tbsp oil
2 small onions,grated
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
4 medium tomatoes, pureed in a blender
1/2 cup full fat yogurt
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp chilly powder
Salt to taste

For layering
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
1/2 tsp saffron dissolved in ½ cup warm milk
2 tsp ghee

Make a paste of cashew, khus khus,melon seeds and coconut using as little water as possible.
Heat oil in a pan , add bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves.
Add grated onion , cook on low heat till the onions are brown.
Add the ginger and garlic pastes. Sauté.
Add the , cashew paste. Sauté.
Add pureed tomatoes and cook till dry.
Switch off the gas and add curd.Mix well.
Switch back to gas .
Add all spices and vegetables, and about 1/2 cup water .
Simmer for a few minutes, so that all the spices are infused with the vegetables.
Adjust spices to your taste.

Assembling the Biryani
Using a large baking dish, grease it either with butter or oil.
First layer..rice
Second layer..chopped coriander, chopped mint
Third layer..all vegetables with gravy
Fourth layer..Rice
Drizzle saffron milk, fried onion, nuts .
Drizzle ghee.
Cover with foil.
Bake at 350 def for 15 - 20 minutes or till done.

The Biryani turned out very exotic, with that creamy paste from seeds and nuts. While the Biryani was cooking in the oven the whole house was filled with a pleasant aroma of saffron.Truly a Biryani fit to be served to the Nawabs  . I served the Biryani with Daal-e-Maharani  and Boondi  raita.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Soya Chaap

BM # 31 Week 3  Day 1

I have been a vegetarian since I was in grade 1. I still remember taking omelet and bread to school for my lunch .My best friend at that time was a Jain girl and the minute I would open my lunch box she would turn and tell me not to eat eggs. She would tell me is a sin and I remember coming home and telling mom not to give me eggs . Mom stopped giving me any kind of non veg, including eggs.I can never forget that friend, a fair looking lean but pretty girl, whom I owe a big Thanks for converting me a vegetarian.

Today while cooking for BM , my theme is meat less dishes. These are dishes which are originally made with meat , but have been substituted with a vegetarian ingredient.

For the first day I have chosen to cook Soya chaaps.These are easily available in Delhi markets. My son is very fond of these and I always get in kilos and freeze them. I have never tried making the chaap it self, but did find a recipe on it, the method seemed authentic, but it was made from wheat flour.I am no fan of these as anything that resembles non veg, I just cannot eat.That is one reason why I have not probed deeply into the basic recipe of soya chaap. These are also available in the dried form, where one has to soak them overnight and then use. I cook these for my son and son in law, they simply love this dish. These chaaps can be fried and served with some chaat masala. Here is how I make these.

6-8 pieces ready soya chaap 
Deep fry the chaaps to a golden.
Immerse them in water for 10 -15 minutes.
Drain and squeeze out the water.
Keep aside till required.

4-6 onions finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
8-10 cloves garlic, crushed
A small piece ginger, grated
8 tomatoes, puréed
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp-coriander powder
1 tsp kitchen king masala
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 tb sp kasoori methi
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add bay leaves and cumin seeds, let crackle.
Add crushed garlic ,onions and garlic.
Cook till brown.
Add the fried chaaps and sauté till oil floats up.
Add about 1 cup water and little salt and close the lid.
Pressure cook the chaaps for 4-5 whistles.
Let the pressure drop, open the cooker and return to full flame.
Add tomatoes and all spices, sauté till the tomatoes have dried up and oil floats up.
Add 1 cup water and pressure cook it again for 4-5 whistles.
Open the cooker after pressure is released.
Crush kasoori methi with hands and sprinkle on the ready chaap sabzi.
Serve hot with naans or rotis.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meethay Ghoday ....Hyderabad Specialty for Indian Cooking Challenge

The last few days have been terribly hectic, I normally have my posts ready much before the scheduled date, my cooking and clicking both were done,for the ICC  but I did not manage to draft  the recipe.I guess from the plus 400 posts that I have done, perhaps this must be one of those rare ones where I am drafting and editing on the day I have to post.

Now I must have a solid reason..yes most of you know that my son got engaged two days back, with all the rituals and ceremonies going on, life has suddenly taken a turn. We are so happy for the couple and there is so much excitement in the family that I actually forgot that I had to post, Thank God for these smart phones that you are updated with all your soon as I saw Valli's post, I realized...anyway here is how I made these Meethay Ghoday, which is a traditional dish from Hyderabad.

The recipe has been adapted from Zaiqa and it happens to be one of those rare recipes, which is made on festivals. Mireille , thanks for suggesting .

 3/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp ghee
Water for kneading
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
Chopped almonds
Combine flour,salt, ghee and water to knead the dough.
Cover with damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into two and roll it into thin discs.
Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut these discs into small squares.
Holding the corners and bring them together at the centre, thus forming a flower shape.
Leave them to dry for 6-8 hours .
Heat the ghee in pan and deep fry till to golden.
Drain them on kitchen towel.
Heat the milk  .Let boil.
Cook for a while and then add sugar.
Now add shallow fried almonds  transfer into serving bowl.
Let  cool . Serve at room temperature.

However hard I tried I just could not get the actual shape, so finally I settled for this shape.I made a few and had to ask for help as I found this quite time consuming.I did not cook them much as I wanted a slight crunch while eating them.Also I kept them dry , it was as though these were coated with a mild sugary syrup..something like condensed milk.The taste was something like the Rajasthani Malpua.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Daal Baati

BM # 31 Week 2 Day 3

Daal Batti is a perfect main course from Rajasthani Cuisine This is a dish which is a very traditional one and enjoyed in winters. The Baati 's are small round balls of wheat flour ,baked in charcoal and then immersed in clarified butter/ ghee. After they have absorbed the ghee they are removed and served with a daal. The combination is with Choorma, which is a sweet made from wheat flour. Lassan ki chutney or garlic chutney is kind of must.This completes the meal.I did not make the Choorma, as no one is very fond of sweets. I made a stuffed Baati along with daal and lassan ki chutney.I did not immerse all the baatis in ghee as the family is very health conscious, but at the same time does want to enjoy these dishes.

1 cup split green gram ( chilke wali moong daal )
1/2 cup Urad daal
1/2cup Bengal gram ( chane ki daal )
Wash and soak the deals for 20 minutes.
Boil with salt and turmeric powder.

2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
5 cloves , coarsely ground
5 green chillies, crushed
1 tsp cumin seed
Pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Heat ghee .
Add cumin seed and asafoetida.
Add rest of the spices and temper the daal.
Drizzle some lemon juice.

4 cups coarsely milled wheat flour 
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup ghee
Salt to taste.
Mix the flours.
Add warm ghee.
Rub with hands.
Knead to a medium to hard dough.
The dough should be on the harder side, but not very hard too, it should be pliable.
Make round balls, flatten them a little .
Place the stuffing and remake the ball by sealing it.
While placing them to bake make sure to place the seal side down.
Bake in the oven turning in between a few times for even roasting.
Bake at 200 deg for 15 - 20 minutes, or till golden.
Remove and dip them in hot ghee for at least 10 - 15 minutes.

2 -4 boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes.
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder
2-3 green chilly , crushed
Salt to taste.
Mix all spices with the boiled mashed potatoes.

Normally the baati's are made without the stuffing, but ever since I have had the stuffed ones, I make these only .This is a recipe which has been shared by my son's friend's mom.They are from Rajasthan and make one of the the best Daal Baati's .

The lassan ki chutney is available at all grocery stores , but this time I hand pounded the chutney.You could use your mixxie though. 

This post also goes to Weekend Cooking where Valli and Champa join me every Monday.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Banarasi Bharwaan Lauki / Stuffed Bottle Gourd

BM # 31   Week 2  Day 2

For the second day under main course I have prepared a combo platter.This was an inspiration from a cookery show by Vineet Bhatia. Vineet Bhatia runs a Rasoi restaurant in London and Geneva and gives his own twist  to the local flavors. The stuffed lauki is from Banaras , which is filled with a very rich stuffing, I served this with khichdi, which was drizzled with some ghee .The dahi wale aaloo and the lassan ki chutney completed the meal.

1 medium side bottle gourd
Peel the bottle gourd and cut this into 6" pieces.
Scoop out the center from the gourd, thus making it appear like a cylinder.
Reserve the scooped flesh.
Keep a pot of water to boil.
After the water boils, add the cylindrical  gourd pieces.
After 1 minute remove the gourd pieces and immerse them in cold water
Remove these pieces and using a kitchen towel dab all the moisture from the gourd.
Apply salt and red chilly powder and keep it aside.

1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Chopped reserved flesh of gourd
100 gms cottage cheese
150 gms khoya
2-3 boiled potatoes, mashed
1 green chilly
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp dry mango powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tsp almonds , chopped
3 tsp pistachios, chopped
3 tsp raisins
Fresh coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan.
Roast the nuts and raisins and keep aside.
Add cumin seeds, let crackle.
Add ginger garlic paste and green chilly.
Add the gourd flesh and sauté.
Add salt and turmeric and after cooking for 2 minutes, cover and cook till tender.
Add khoya and sauté.
Add grated cottage cheese .
Add boiled mashed potatoes.
Add nuts, raisins, dry spices including salt.
Mix well.Remove from fire and add coriander leaves.
Let cool.

Place the cylindrical gourd up right on your work surface.
Fill in the scooped portion, making sure the stuffing is compact and has no gaps.
Heat a pan .
Add ghee and then place the stuffed gourd pieces in the pan and simmer the gas.
Cook covered tossing and shaking the pan once in a while.
Once the cylindrical gourd is cooked, remove from the pan and cut into slices.
Serve hot.


1 cup rice

1/2 cup split green gram

Small pinch alum

2 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
Wash rice and daal.
Soak for 15 minutes.
Put all ingredients in the pressure cooker and add 4 cups of water.
Cook for 1 whistle and simmer the gas for 10 minutes.
Let the pressure release.
Open the cooker and give the khichdi a few vigorous stirs.
Add more water if it is dry.
Top with some more ghee.

Dahi wale Aaloo
4 potatoes, peeled chopped into cubes
Salt to taste
Pinch turmeric
Pinch red chilly
Boil the chopped potatoes with salt, turmeric and red chilly powder till tender.
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seed
1 cup tomato purée
1/2 cup beaten curd
1-2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Heat ghee add cumin seeds.
Add the boiled potatoes.
Sauté .
Add the tomato purée.
Add spices and mix well.
Switch off the gas and add beaten curd.
Place back on fire for a few minutes.
Serve hot.

The combo which was served in the show was with rice, but I served Khchdi, which is typical Sindhi style. The gourd was very rich , khichdi, very humble and mild, but tasted awesome with that ghee , Aaloo in any form go well with anything and lasasan ki chutney complimented the dish.Overall a very delicious and satisfying platter.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Thai Red Curry

BM # 31   Week 2  Day 1

Week 2 begins and for this week I have picked Main Course as the theme .When we say Main Course , it gives you such a wide variety.It was rather difficult to choose, but I have tried to put together  some mini platters  for the coming two days.For today it is Thai Food.Thai food is one of my son's favorite food, it's light and if one has the ready paste and ready coconut milk, it is such a quick affair.

 I have always made the Thai Green Curry, so this time I decided to make the Red one, I made the paste myself, but I used ready coconut milk.One can use different veggies for the curry as per one's taste.

Red Thai Curry Paste
10 red chilles , soaked in warm water for minutes and drained
1 onion , chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger
2 lemongrass
6 stalks of coriander leaves
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp cumin seeds powder
1/2 tsp white peppercorn
1/2 tsp salt
Grind all the ingredients to a paste in a mortar or a food processor using a little water.
Store in an airtight container (for upto 1 month). Alternatively, freeze for upto 3 months.
Use as required.
To obtain a bright red curry paste, use red Kashmiri chillies.
adapted from Tarla Dalal

6 to 7 tbsp Red Curry Paste
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp cornflour , mixed in water
1/2 tsp soy sauce
15 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup French beans
12 cup carrots
1/2 cup tofu
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Mix the cornflour and coconut milk.
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the red curry paste and fry for a few minutes.
Add the coconut milk, soya sauce, basil leaves and all the vegetables.
Simmer for 10 minutes till the vegetables are tender.
Add salt.
Boil for 1 to 2 minutes till the curry thickens.
Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles.

This curry has a very subtle flavor , of course one can make it really fiery, but I like it milder.You could add more red chillies if you wish .

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