Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sabudane ki Khichdi (Savoury Sago seeds - Indian Style)

This is my mother in law's recipe. She likes to add some sugar and peanuts to it but I decided to omit for health reasons.

This is one high carb dish that serves as a good one pot lunch or heavy breakfast.

1. Sago seeds, soaked in water for 6 hours.
2. Salt to taste

3. 2 cups Hash browns

4. 1 onion, chopped

5. 6-7 Fresh Curry leaves, washed

6. Oil

7. 1 tsp Turmeric powder

8. Sugar (optional)

9. 1 tsp Mustard seeds (rai)

10. 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

11. A pinch of heeng

12. Fresh coriander leaves, chopped

13. Red chili powder


1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Add some mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.

3. Add jeera seeds and let it sizzle.

4. Add onion, curry leaves, turmeric powder, and heeng.

5. Saute until translucent.

6. Add has browns and cook until they turns golden brown.

7. Add red chili powder and mix well

8. Add Sabudane and Salt

9. Turn the flame to medium-low and cook until the sabundana loses its colour and becomes translucent.

10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm as a main dish.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tossed Vegetable Salad

I find this the most guilt free and enjoyable meals. Be it main course, side, or appi - Salad will never leave you feeling wrong. I am still learning when it comes to salad recipes but whatever I make now seems to please Mr. Hubby. This recipe is a basic salad with store bought dressing. You can choose to make the dressing at home. I find the store bought ones very convenient and lasting. I am very fond of Balsamic Vinegar for health reasons and because it gives my salad just the right kick of sourness.

1. Broken pieces of romano lettuce.
2. Fresh tomato wedges
3. 1 cucumber,cut into bite size pieces (whatever shape to like)
4. Red onion, finely chopped
5. Balsamic vinegar dressing

1. Throw it all together.
2. Toss.

Voila. A fresh salad is ready. Check out more salad recipes here.

What do you add to your salad to make it different?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Indian Style Potato Cheese Sandwich

If you are the one who counts calories and carbs, you might want to skip this. However, if you like to indulge in a healthy but tasty carb intake, this one is for you.

I had a bunch of leftovers in my fridge. Namely, half a red onion, boiled potatoes, and curry leaves. This is what I did to them.

1. curry leaves, a few sprigs
2. oil
3. mustard seeds
4. cumin seeds
5. 1 thai green chili, minced
6. 2 pods of garlic, minced
7. 2 boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed.
8. salt to taste
9. 1/2 red onion, chopped
10, heeng, a pinch
11. 2 tsp coriander powder
12. 1-2 tsp amchoor (dry mango) powder
13. 1-2 tsp garam masala
14. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
15. brown bread slices
16. cheddar cheese single/slices. I used kraft.

1. Heat oil in a wok
2.  Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
3. Add cumin seeds and heeng.
4. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add turmeric powder, onion, garlic, curry leaves.
5. Saute until the curry leaves look slightly crisp and covered in oil and the onions are translucent.
6. Add potatoes, coriander powder, garam masala, salt.
7. Mix well and cook until the potatoes are well coated with the spices and onions and start to turn golden brown.
8. Add amchoor powder and mix well.
9. Take 2 pieces of brown bread and line one slice of bread with a cheese single.
10. Top it with this potato mizture.
11. Cover this with the other slice of bread and put it in a sandwich maker.
12. Let it grill until the sandwich maker says it's done.
13. Serve with ketchup.

Perfect for a breakfast, brunch, or snack.
Tip: This potato filling can also be used as a filling for samosas.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vangi Bhaath (South Indian Rice Pilaf with Eggplants)

I was looking for a new recipe. I had eggplants and wanted to try to use it differently. I had heard of Vangi Bhath from my friend and decided to give it a try. This time, I made the spice mix at home and now have a ton to use in the future. But I swear I won't make the spice mix again! It felt like a lot of work and my grinder died in the process :(
This is one expensive Vangi Bhath lol

Serves 4.

1. 2 cups steamed white rice, cooled.
2. 1 brinjal/eggplant/baigan cut in wedges
3. 6 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
4. 1 fist of cashewnuts
5. Oil
6. 1 cup and 1 tbsp chana dal (split yellowgram)
7. 3/4 cup and 1 tbsp urad dal (white lentils)
8. Salt to taste
9. 4-5 Dried red chili
10. 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp Heeng
11. 1 thai chili, minced
12. 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
13. Pulp of a small ball of tamarind.
14. 8-10 tsp Coriander powder
15. 3-4 cloves
16. 3 1 inch cinnamon sticks
17. 1 tbsp poppy seeds
18. 1 tbsp jaggery
19. 1 tsp, mustard seeds

1. Dry roast 1 cup chana dal, 3/4 cup urad dal, cinnamon sticks, cloves, poppy seeds, 3 dried red chili.
2. Set aside and let it cool.
3. Heat oil in a wok and fry 3 sprigs of curry leaves until crisp.
4. Grind the above dry roasted ingredients with crisp curry leaves, coriander powder, 1/2 tsp heeng, 1 tsp salt. Set aside this spice mix.
5. In a wok, heat oil and then add mustard seeds.
6. When it splutters. add 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp urad dal, 3 sprigs of curry leaves, 1/4 tsp heeng, thai chili, 1/2 dried red chili, cashewnuts and fry until the lentils turn golden brown.
7. Next add turmeric powder, jaggery, tamarind pulp, and eggplants and cover and cook until al-dente.
8. Add 1 tsp spice mix and steamed rice.
9. Mix and cook on low heat for 5-10 mins.

Serve with cucumber raita and garlic papad.

Source: Monsoon Spice.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Restaurant Style Paneer Bhurji (Spicy Scrambled Cottage Cheese)

A lot of people would like to call this the vegetarian option of scrambled eggs. You can choose to make this with a little less gravy than I did and have it for breakfast. But I'd rather keep it the way it is and devour this satisfying side for dinner.

Mr. Husband and I both agreed that the dish turned out truly restaurant style and tasted delicious! Another addition to our dinner menu choices.:)

1. half a block of cottage cheese (paneer), shredded, appx 250g
2. 1/4 cup frozen peas
3. chopped coriander leaves, 3 tbsp
4. Kitchen King masala, .5 tsp
5. Garam masala, 1.5 tsp
6. Shahi paneer masala, 2 tsp
7. Salt
8. .5 tsp turmeric powder
9. a pinch of heeng
10. 1/2 a medium onion
11. 10 cashewnuts
12. 3 tbsp tomato paste
13. 3 pods of garlic
14. Oil
15. Jeera (cumin seeds), 1 tsp
16. red chili powder, 1/4 tsp
17. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
18. Milk, 3-4 tbsp

1. Make a paste of onion, cashew nuts and garlic.
2. Heat a wok and add oil in it.
3. Add cumin seeds and heeng
4. Add the onion paste and cook until it turns brown.
5. Add tomato paste and cook until it leaves the oil.
6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, kitchen king masala, coriander/dhania powder, shahi paneer masala, salt.
7. Cook covered for a 5 mins on low heat. Mix well.
8. Add grated/shredded paneer/cottage cheese, peas, milk.
9. Cook and cover for 5 mins or so.
10. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

Serve with Indian flatbread (roti) and mint cucumber raita (yogurt)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Penne Alfredo

Pasta with Alfredo sauce and cooked chicken is a perfect dinner option. The carbs come from the pasta, the protein from the chicken, and to please the palate is our very own Alfredo sauce. Alfredo sauce can be cooked at home just like any other pasta sauce can be. I have previously made basil pesto sauce from scratch at home but figured that the efforts are not quite worth it. I prefer store bought sauces unless it comes to spaghetti where I like to make my own sauce.

This dish can be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken with some vegetables. In fact, this is my first take at a non veg pasta. I was pleased with the result. It was a nice change from the regular Indian cuisine that we have been eating.

1. Olive oil or butter. I used olive oil for health reasons.
2. 2 pods of garlic, minced
3. 1/2 red onion, chopped (optional). This gives the dish a nice crunch.
4. 1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast
5. Red chili flakes
6. Oregano
7. Basil
8. Black pepper
9. Salt to taste
10. 2 pinches of ground nutmeg
11. Whole wheat pasta penne or fettucine
12. Parmeson cheese
13. Alfredo sauce (home made or store bought).

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, boil water.
2. Add the pasta penne and cook until al-dente.
3. In the meantime, heat a wok.
4. Add olive oil to the heated wok.
5. Throw in red onion and garlic and saute until the red onions become transclucent.
6. Then add basil, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, nutmeg, and chicken.
7. Cook covered on medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked.
8. Go back to the pasta and drain the water and add it to the chicken sauce.
Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on top.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ceaser Salad

I am so glad I am back on track with healthy eating and healthy living. I signed up for yoga classes and went to the gym today. Such a great feeling!

I have been trying to post about salads but was not able to for many personal reasons. It is about time this post makes its way to you.

This recipe is a standard recipe. I use store bought ingredients for convenience. It's an easy to make, in a jiffy, cold side that are great contributions for picnics, barbecues, or a quick lunch.

1. Romaine lettuce, washed and broken into bite size pieces
2. Garlic Croutons
3. Parmesan cheese
4. Dressing (I used Kraft Ceaser)

1. Throw everything together.

You can also add pieces of baked chicken for a plus to the protein factor.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bhindi Do Pyaaza (Okra with Onions)

I know, I know - this looks more like Aloo Do Pyaaza or Aloo Bhindi. But what is in the name? The more important part is that this recipe is a sure shot road to success. Never has this one let me down. Although the original and traditional Bhindi Fry recipe may be a common but a more well known preparation, Bhindi Do Pyaaza has an appeal of it's own. The addition of Pyaaz (onion) in double proportions to Okra and Potatoes gives this dish an interesting twist. The caramelized onions bring out a sweet and crunchy flavour to the rather soft potato and okra vegetables. This one, too, is a typical North Indian dish. Glad to be from that part of India!

1. Okra, 1.5 pound, chopped
2. 2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
3. 3-4 onions, chopped
4. oil
5. mustard seeds
6. cumin seeds
7. heeng
8. turmeric powder
9. salt to taste
10. red chili powder, to taste

1. Heat a wok and add oil to it.
2. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
3. Add cumin seeds and when it sizzles, add heeng.
4. Add turmeric powder and onions.
5. Caramelize the onions.
6. Add potatoes.
7. Cover and cook until the potatoes start to appear somewhat translucent.
8. Add okra and cover and cook.
9. When about done, add red chili powder, salt and mix well.

Serve warm with Indian flatbread.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tinda Fry (Baby Pumpkins with Caramelized Onions)

Tinda is a vegetable that my mom discovered after we moved to Northern India. I've never seen it at grocery stores in North America or other parts of India. Also, I've never had a chance to cook it. The other day, my eyes spotted these fresh baby pumpkins sitting comfortably at my usual grocery stop. Variety, I thought to myself, would make dinner interesting. And off I went to pay for these lush green vegetables. Later that day I gave a call to mom for the recipe. This is what turned out.

1. 5-6 baby pumpkins/Indian round gourd/apple gourd, peeled, sliced, seeds removed.
2. 1 large onion, chopped or sliced
3. oil
4. Salt to taste
5. mustard seeds, 1 tsp
6. cumin seeds, 1 tsp
7. amchoor powder (dried mango powder), 2 tsp
8. red chili powder, .5 tsp
9. Heeng, a pinch
10. turmeric powder, 1 tsp

1. Heat a wok and add oil to it.
2. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
3. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle then add heeng.
4. Add onions and turmeric powder.
5. Caramelize the onions.
6. Add Tinda and cover and cook till the veggie is all dente.
7. Add amchoor powder, salt, red chili powder and cook for another few mins.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Restaurant Style Dal Makhni (Buttery Lentils)

The Queen of all Dahls - Dahl Makhni is sheer indulgence. The literal translation in English is Lentil Butter. Righly so due to it's thick, rich, and creamy texture. It's one of those dishes that are a must-have on the menu for a special occasion or festive mood. In fact, this charmer has enough magic to transform a simple afternoon lunch or daily dinner in to a sinful special feast.
Dal Makhani or Maa ki Dal is a signature North Indian number that will get you rave reviews from your house guests.  Try it once and enjoy the extravaganza!

1. 1.5 cup whole urad dal (black gram)
2. .5 cup rajma (kidney beans)
3. .5 cup chana dal (split yellow gram)
4. 6-8 pods of garlic.
5. 1 inch ginger peeled.
6. Ghee, 3 tsp
7. 100ml or 1 can of tomato paste
8. Fresh cream, 10ml appx
9. Salt to taste
10. Cumin seeds
11. Heeng
12. Garam masala, 2-3 tsp
13. Red chili powder, 2 tsp appx
14. 2 tbsp butter or more as per dietry restrictions
15. 2 thai chili, minced

1. Soak 1-3 overnight.
2. Coarsely grate the garlic and ginger.
3. Boil the the soaked dal in a pressure cooker with 3/4 portions of the garlic ginger paste.
4. When the lid of the cooker opens, mash the dal with the back of a ladle.
5. In a deep bottomed vessel, heat ghee.
6. Add cumin seeds to the ghee and let it sizzle.
7. Add heeng, kasuri methi and the rest of the coarsely ground garlic ginger paste and chili.
8. Saute for a few mins.
9. To this, add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook until the tomato leaves the oil.
10. Add in the mashed dal and mix again.
11. If needed, add water to the dal and then boil it on low heat.
12. Add red chili powder, garam masala, salt, butter, and cream.
13. Simmer on low heat for an hour or more, stirring occasionally. If and as required, add water.
Note: This will give the dish the right texture and taste. Note that the consistency should be rather thick and not runny.
14. Adjust seasonings as necessary and to taste.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and fresh cream.
Serve with Indian flatbread or white rice.
A gourmet's delight!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

(Gobhi) Cauliflower and Peas in a Tomato Onion Sauce

1. 1 small cauliflower
2. 1 small onion
2. few pods of garlic
3. 50 ml tomato paste
4. a pinch of heeng
5. salt to taste
6. turmeric powder
7. cumin seeds
8. oil
9. garam masala. 1 tsp
10. red chili powder
11. dried red chili, a few
12. frozen green peas, 1.5 cup

1. Make a paste of onion and garlic. You can also add a few cashew nuts.
2. Heat a wok and add oil in it.
3. When hot, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
4. Add broken red chili and heeng.
5. Then add a pinch of turmeric powder and the paste.
6. Mix well and cook until the onion paste turns golden brown,
7. Add tomato paste and cook till it leaves the oil
8. Add cauliflower florets and mix with the sauce.
9. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins until tender. Stir occasionally.
10. Add garam masala, salt, red chili powder, and peas.
11. Mix well and simmer for another few mins. Add water if needed.

Serve with Indian flatbread.

Dosa (Indian crepe)

Dosa is a crispy savoury South Indian delicacy. It can be understood as a lentil and fermented rice wrap filled with spicy potatoes. In the modern day, the filling has also become meat or cottage cheese. Some people like to call Dosa a pancake but I disagree because pancakes are typically sweet whereas Dosas are not. I would not call it a wrap either because Dosa is much more crispy and thin. So, in my understanding, crepe would be the best English name for Dosa :) These days dosa mixes are available in the market that can be used instantly. In this post, we follow the traditional procedure.

For my intrigued local readers, try House of Dosa on Kingsway on Mondays for a cheap and tasty dosa.
You wil not regret the food!

I made Dosa after about 5 years and so glad I did.

Needs preparation. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients for the filling:
1. potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
2. Salt to taste
3. 1 onion chopped
4. 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
5. 2 tomatoes, chopped
6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
7. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
9. 1 teaspoon garam masala
10. 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
11. 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
12. 1 fist chana dahl, soaked for about 30 mins in hot water
13. 2 dried red chili
14. 6-7 fresh green curry leaves
15. 1/2 teaspoon heeng
16. 2 teaspoon coriander powder

Instructions for the filling:
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Ad mustard seeds and let splutter.
3. Add cumin seeds, red chili, and curry leaves, and chana dahl.
4. Add ginger and onion.
5. Sautee until they turn golden brown.
6. Add tomato, red chili powder, garam masala, heeng, coriander powder, amchoor powder.
7. Cover and cook until tomato almost starts leaving the flavoured oil.
8. Add potato and salt.
9. Mix well and cook uncovered for about 5-10 minutes.
10. Set aside and let cool.

Ingredients for the crepe
1. 1 heaping cup rice, ground
2. 1/3 cup urad dahl, ground

Instructions for the crepe.
1. Mix 1 and 2 with water such that they are just immersed.
2. Soak 1 and 2 overnight. Then grind it in a food processor until a batter of medium consistency is formed. Leave this batter overnight to ferment and add some salt to it.
Note: You can consider pre heating an oven and then turning it off. Leave the batter in the oven overnight to ferment in the warmth.
3. On a non stick pan, spread the batter in a circular motion evenly to form a thin layer.
4. When the top layer dries, oil the sides of the sides of the crepe.
5. Using a wooden stick, detach the crepe from the pan and check the bottom layer. When brown, place potato at the center of the crepe.

Fold and serve hot with chutney and sambhar.

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