Monday, 7 August 2017

Instant Bhature



Chhole Bhature is the most famous north-indian breakfast. But making bhaturas at home requires a lot of patience and practise. Today, i am going to share my quick and easy recipe for making instant bhaturas which come out exactly like the ones we eat outside.  The addition of semolina keeps the bhatura puffed up for longer and gives a nice texture.

Preparation time: 5 min.
Passive time: 30 min.
Cooking time: 10 min.
Cuisine: North-indian (punjabi)
Type: Breakfast
Serves: 3-4


INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup semolina (sooji/rava)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1-1.5 cups soda water/carbonated water (to knead)
  • oil for deep frying
METHOD:
  1. In a mixing bowl, take maida, sooji, sugar, salt and oil. Mix well.
  2. Gradually add soda water and knead like chapati dough.
  3. Cover the dough and leave for 30 min.
  4. Apply oil on your hands and divide the dough into equal-sized round balls or portions.
  5. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan for frying.
  6. Roll out the flattened round ball into an oval or round shape.
  7. Gently lift the rolled out bhatura and slip into the hot oil.
  8. Press the centre of the bhatura with a slotted spatula using light strokes, bringing the hot oil over it. This ensures puffing up of the bhaturas well.
  9. Deep fry till nice golden colour.
  10. Serve hot with punjabi chhole and pickle.

Lemon Rice



Lemon rice is a south-indian lemon flavored rice delicacy which is quite very handy to make. Its great to use leftover rice for this recipe and takes only 5 min. to prepare for kids lunch box. This can be accompanied with a variety of dishes like sambhar, rasam or coconut chutney.

Cooking time: 10 min.
Cuisine: South-indian
Type: Main-course
Serves: 2-3

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp split bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 1 tbsp skinless split black gram (dhuli udad dal)
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp cashew nut 
  • 3-4 green chillies (slit)
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
METHOD:
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  2. Add chana dal and udad dal, fry for a min. till golden in colour.
  3. Add peanuts and cook for 30 sec.
  4. Next add, cashew nuts and fry for 10 sec. only.
  5. Add green chillies and curry leaves followed by asafoetida.
  6. Next add turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  7. Immediately add cooked rice and mix well.
  8. Finally add lemon juice and cook for a couple of min.
  9. Serve hot alongwith rasam, sambhar, chutney of your choice. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Methi Matar Pulao


Fenugreek leaves and green pea rice is a very simple and nutritious lunch recipe. I was planning to make matar pulao but then fresh fenugreek leaves lying in my fridge prompted me to use them so i could not drop the idea and at once, i planned to use it alongwith green peas. When not in season, make with two tablespoons of dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) readily available in all grocery stores.

Preparation time:30 min.
Cooking time:20 min.
Cuisine: North-indian
Type: Main-course
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice (soaked for 1/2 hr)
  • 3 tblsp oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tblsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
  • 1 cup onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves (chopped)
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • salt to taste
Method:
  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add whole spices and cumin seeds, cook till nice aroma of spices comes out.
  2. Add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and saute for 30 sec.
  3. Add onions and cook till light golden in colour.
  4. Next add fenugreek leaves and cook till the water released is completely absorbed.
  5. Add green peas and rice and mix well.
  6. Add 3 cups of water, cover and pressure cook till 1 whistle.
  7. Serve hot with curd or pickle.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Vegetable Fried Rice


Vegetable fried rice is a quick and easy to make rice dish that goes along with so many indo-chinese dishes like manchurian, chilli paneer, chilli potatoes and many more. It is preferable to use a day old rice stored in refrigerator so that each rice grain remains seperated from each other. This can be made with numerous variety of vegetables which are available, the choice is endless. Its perfect for kids' lunch box and can be made in a jiffy early winter mornings with the leftover rice. I always make this with vegetable manchurian.

Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 5 min.
Type: Main-course
Cuisine: Indo-chinese
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice (boiled)
  • 1 tsp garlic (grated)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 big spring onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp green chilli (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup green capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tblsp oil
  • 2 tblsp spring onion greens (chopped, to garnish)

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add ginger and garlic, saute for few seconds.
  2. Add spring onion and green chillies, saute for a min.
  3. Next, add all the vegetables and cook for 2 min. on high flame.
  4. Add chilli sauce and soya sauce.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Finally, add vinegar and garnish with onion greens.
  7. Serve hot with vegetable manchurian.

Vegetable Manchurian



Vegetable manchurian is my favourite indo-chinese dish to enjoy alongwith a bowl of fried rice or hakka noodles. It is not at all complicated to be made at home as it looks. The main part of the dish is the balls which can be made with a variety of finely chopped, grated or minced vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, corn etc. It can be made dry, semi-dry or with gravy, the consistency of the manchurian depends entirely on personal choice. I always prefer to make this with gravy and so sharing the same today.


Preparation time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 20 min.
Cuisine: Indo-chinese
Type: Main-course
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

For Manchurian Balls:

  • 1 cup carrots (grated)
  • 1 cup cabbage (grated)
  • 1 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 2 bread slices
  • 1 tblsp all-pupose flour (maida)
  • 1 tblsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt

For gravy or sauce:

  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp garlic (grated)
  • 1 tblsp celery stem (chopped)
  • 2 green chillies (chopped)
  • 1 big spring onion white (chopped)
  • 4 tsp soya sauce
  • 2 tblsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tsp green chilli sauce
  • 2-3 tsp cornflour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tblsp spring onion greens (chopped)
  • 2 tblsp sesame oil (preferably)

Method:

Manchurian Balls:


  1. Squeeze cabbage and carrots to remove any moisture.
  2. Make bread crumbs in a mixer grinder.
  3. Mix all the ingredients and make lemon sized balls and deep fry till golden brown.


Manchurian Gravy or Sauce:


  1. Heat oil in a wok or pan and add ginger and garlic, saute for few seconds.
  2. Add celery, green chillies and spring onion whites.
  3. After a minute, add chilli sauce, soya sauce and tomato ketchup.
  4. Add 1 and a half cup of water and let it boil.
  5. Mix cornflour and remaining half cup of water in a seperate bowl.
  6. Add the cornflour slurry in the boiling gravy, stirring continuously.
  7. Add salt, sugar and vinegar.
  8. Finally add the fried manchurian balls.
  9. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot with fried rice or noodles.

Note:

If manchurian balls begin to break or crumble while deep frying add little cornflour to the balls mixture to ensure proper binding.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Punjabi Rajma Masala (Red Kidney Beans Curry)




Rajma masala with rice is a very popular dish of north-india (Punjab). It is the favourite of everyone at my home. Rajma or kidney beans are a great source of protein and being a vegetarian, it becomes a necessity to cook these often. Two varieties of rajma are available in india. One is lighter called 'chitra rajma' and other one is darker known as 'jammu rajma'. In this recipe, i have used the lighter one which i find more tastier.


Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 1 hr.
Cuisine: North-indian (punjabi)
Type: Main-course
Serves: 2-3


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup red kidney-beans (rajma)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
  • 2 onion (sliced)
  • 4 tomatoes 
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • fresh coriander (to garnish)
METHOD:
  1. Wash and soak kidney beans in 5-6 cups of water overnight.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook for 30 sec.
  3. Add sliced onions and cook till golden brown in colour.
  4. Remove from flame and let it cool.
  5. Grind together browned onions and tomatoes to make a smooth paste.
  6. Add all the spices to the same pan and cook for a few seconds.
  7. Next, add the ground paste into the pan and mix well.
  8. Cook this mixture till oil seperates.
  9. Now add soaked rajma into the cooked masala and mix well.
  10. Add the above masala coated rajma into a pressure cooker alongwith 4 cups of water.
  11. Pressure cook till one whistle and then simmer for 30 min.
  12. Add garam masala and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.
  13. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Note:
  • Kidney beans can be boiled seperately first and then the masala can be mixed. But I like to make my rajma the way i shared.
  • If u forget to soak the rajma at night. Next morning, soak these in hot water for an hour and use in the recipe.
  • Adjust the quantity of water according to the thickness of curry you like.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Lauki Kofta Curry



Lauki kofta curry is a nice option for those who aren't a big fan of bottle gourd as a vegetable but enjoy curries. Even kids enjoy this when made with lesser spices.

Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 45 min.
Cuisine: North-indian
Type: Main-course

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

For the kofta:

  • 1/2 kg bottle gourd (lauki)
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
For the curry:
  • 3 medium-sized onions (sliced or grated)
  • 1/2 kg tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • coriander leaves (to garnish)

Method:

For the kofta:
  1. Peel and grate the bottle gourd. 
  2. Squeeze out juice from the grated bottle gourd.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients except oil for making kofta in the grated bottle gourd and mix gently.
  4. Heat oil on medium heat and make small balls of the kofta mixture and deep fry till golden brown in colour.
  5. Keep aside on tissue paper.
For the gravy or curry:
  1. Heat oil in a pan, add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and saute for few seconds.
  2. Add onions alongwith a teaspoon of salt to speed up the process of browning onions.
  3. Cook till onions turn deep golden brown in colour.
  4. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
  5. Next, add pureed tomatoes and cook till oil seperates from the masala.
  6. Add water gradually a cup of water at a time into the gravy.
  7. Adjust the amount of water according to your liking (thick or thin consistency).
  8. Cook for 15-20 min. till the gravy thickens.
  9. Add fried koftas and sprinkle green cardamom powder.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander.
  11. Serve hot with roti, naan or rice.
Note:
  • Making bottle gourd koftas can be little tricky at times because of the water content present in it. To avoid any hassle, squeeze it well before adding other ingrediens.
  • Squeezed out bottle gourd juice can be later added into the gravy.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Arbi ke patte ke patode /Colocassia leaf rolls


 Monsoon arrives and so is the desire to have something crispy and healthy to snack on during evenings enjoying with a hot cup of tea. Colocassia leaves are available during this season only and these are rich in iron. Today i got some leaves from the market and luckily it started pouring outside... ofcourse i had a big reason to make them immediately. These rolls are known by various names in different places.. patra in gujarat.. alu wadi in maharashtra.. arbi ke patte ke patode in north india which is my native place.. hence the title remains the same.


Preparation time: 10 min.
Cooking time: 20 min.
Type: Tea-time snack
Cuisine: North-indian
Serves: 5-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10-12 colocassia leaves
  • oil for frying
For batter:
  • 2 cups gram flour
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Water as required
METHOD:
  1. Wash colocassia leaves thoroughly under running water and pat them dry.
  2. To make batter, in a bowl add gram flour, turmeric powder. red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and lemon juice.
  3. Mix them well and make sure the batter is of dropping consistency neither too thick nor thin.
  4. Place bigger leaf on a flat surface keeping the darker side down.
  5. Spread the batter on the leaf generously using a spoon or hands.
  6. Place another leaf on top of it and spread the batter again.
  7. Repeat this process with 5-6 leaves depending upon their size keeping the smaller inside.
  8. Now start rolling the leaves from one end and make a roll.
  9. Repeat the process with other leaves to make another roll.
  10. Steam the rolls for 15 min. on high heat till a knife inserted comes out clean.
  11. Let the rolls cool down completely and then cut 1/2" thick slices.
  12. Deep fry the slices in hot oil for 1-2 min. till golden on both sides.
  13. Serve hot with coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.
Note:
  • Once steamed, the rolls can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.
  • Number of leaves to make a roll can be increased or decreased depending upon the thickness of roll you like.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Punjabi Raw Mango Pickle



Making mango pickle is a homely ritual in most of the households during summer. Mango pickle  is a tangy and spicy condiment which adds an extra zing to your meals. The best thing about mango pickle is that it goes along very well with any meal of the day whether its paranthas in breakfast or chhole puri in lunch or biryani in dinner. There are many childhood memories associated with making mango pickle when i used to help my mother in spreading raw mango pieces for drying in sun light and grinding spices for it. I am very fond of all kinds of mango pickles but this one is my all-time favourite. I hate buying pickles from market which are more acidic and are prepared with added preservatives. Home-made pickles are best as they are hygenically prepared and are preserved using salt and mustard oil.
Today i am sharing my mom's recipe of mango pickle which can be stored for upto a year.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 kg raw mangoes
  • 3 cups salt
  • 6 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 100 gms fenugreek seeds(methi)
  • 100 gms yellow mustard seeds(sarson)
  • 3 tbsp onion seeds (kalonji)
  • 1 tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • 500 ml mustard oil
Method:
  1. Wash the raw mangoes thoroughly and pat dry using a kitchen cloth.
  2. Cut each mango into 8 pieces of 1" size each.
  3. Dry the pieces in sunlight for few hours.
  4. Coarsely ground fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds.
  5. Mix together all the spices with salt.
  6. Put all the spice mixture over the dried mango pieces.
  7. Pour mustard oil over them and use your hands to mix them thoroughly over all the mango pieces.
  8. Put all the marinated raw mango pieces into sterilized container.
  9. Keep in sunlight for few days until the mango pieces get pickled and become soft and juicy.
  10. Enjoy with roti, parantha or rice.
Note:
  • Always sterilize the container with hot water and then dry in sunlight to remove all the moisture before storing mango pickle into it.
  • Mix the pickle every day using a dry spoon and press them tightly to remove any air pockets for few days.
  • Always insure to keep the pickle immersed in mustard oil at all times.
  • Never use a wet spoon to take out the pickle.
  • Keep in sunlight once a month after it is fully prepared.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Jam Thumbprint Butter Cookies


Try these butter cookies with the goodness of your favourite jam in the centre making them kids favourite snack. Indulge your kids while making them and they will love to do the filling part.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125 gm soft butter
  • 125 gm sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • strawberry jam as required

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree celcius.
  2. Line a baking sheet with butter paper.
  3. Sift together maida, baking powder and salt.
  4. Beat together butter and sugar for 5 min. well till fluffy add 1 egg and vanilla essence beat well.
  5. Gradually mix in dry ingredients till resembles bread crumbs and stop the beater.
  6. Gently mix to make dough.
  7. Scoop out 1 inch balls using cookie scooper on the lined baking sheet.
  8. Press a thumb print into the centre of each cookie about half inch deep.
  9. Fill each centre with 1/2 tsp jam using spoon or piping bag.
  10. Bake at 180 degree celcius for 12-15 min or until edges turn golden in color.
  11. Let these cool on a wire rack and serve.