Thursday, 31 July 2008

Tangy chicken

Since I make chicken only for myself ... unless I am having guests ... I try to make something that is real fast ... but has to be a little spicy too. Am not usually into too much of onion/ginger/garlic paste ... as that again requires a lot of oil to fry with. So here is another superfast chicken dish.

Need :

Chicken pieces,
Sliced onions,
Chopped or sliced green chillies,
Chopped garlic,
Green chilli sauce ( I use Ching's Secret ),
Salt to taste,
A pinch of sugar,
Cooking oil,
A little vinegar

How to :

Marinate the chicken with green chilli sauce ( I kept it only till I made the other preparations).

Heat oil.

Add the onions and fry till translucent.

Now add the chillies and the garlic ... this way the garlic does not burn.

Now add the chicken and salt and toss well.

Cover and cook till chicken is done .... needs very little water.

Remove cover and add vinegar and sugar and fry till dry.

The sugar will burn and make a thin caramel like coating.

Great with fried / plain rice or as a side dish with noodles or pasta.

And of course can be had with the simple roti too. :-)

Kundru ki sabzi

Ever since kundru bashing started on blogosphere I have been dying to try it. I must have bought this vegetable not more than a couple of times in my entire married life. And now ... at the cost of being ticked off as a deliquent ... I admit that I bought these just to try my hands on them.
It was fun ... smashing up vegetables instead of the painstakingly cutting / chopping them and still be able to dish them out perfectly.
I made them as usual ... simple. Instead of adding the powdered masalas later I added them to the kundrus first .... MIL does most of her cooking this way.
Need : Kundrus, haldi powder, red chilli powder, amchur powder, dhania powder, saunf powder, jeera, hing, 1 tbsp cooking oil and salt to taste.
How to : Wash the kundrus and cut off the ends. Crush them. Add all the powder masalas and salt to it.

Heat oil. Add jeera and a pinch of hing. Add the kundrus and fry well. Cover and cook till the kundrus are done .... add a little water if needed.
Great with rotis.

Chana daal vada

This is no novelty ... very common and am sure everybody makes it once in a while. Great with a cup of ginger tea in the rains ... and some close friends. :-)

Need : Chana dal, soaked overnight, chopped onions and green chillies, enough cooking oil to deep fry and salt to taste.

How to : Grind the dal to a coarse paste ... keeping a little whole dal aside. Mix it to the paste and add the chopped things and salt and mix well.

Heat oil. Shape flat vadas and slip them into the oil carefully. Fry on slow heat .... turning them over till both sides are golden brown.

Just as I clicked 'publish' on my last post I remembered Bharti has passed the Rocking Girl Blogger award to me. I could have updated the post ... but was not feeling 'very happy in my heart' ... so let it pass. Today am feeling perky enough to give a wide grin.

Thanks so much dear Bharti. :-)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Savoury French toast (the way I like it)

These Moong sprouts are my all time favourite .... and are omnipresent in my home. Even before I finish one batch I set the next to sprout. And these are a huge help ... not to mention the healthy part too.
Munch them raw, add them to a salad, to any dish, just saute them with butter and black pepper powder, add them to a raita, to a stir fry, a noodles dish or fried rice or to a masala muri ...... the choice is yours.
You add these, you are adding a handful of health to your dishes.

I love to munch these with a little piece of jaggery. :-)

When I made the French toasts I dunked in a few of these. As I do not like anything sweet, I often make these savoury French toasts for myself.

Need :

Finely chopped onion,
Finely chopped green chillies,
Bread pieces,
Oil / butter to cook,
Salt to taste.
Can add any chopped veggies or green peas too.

How to :

Beat the eggs with the rest of the ingredients except bread and oil.

Cut the bread pieces to desired size/shape.

Dip them into the egg mixture.

Heat a pan/tawa and smear some butter/oil. Place the bread peices with some mixture and fry both sides till golden brown. If needed add oil / butter.

Life is in the doldrums these days ... life ... not me. :-(
It is raining and I should be happy. I love rains. But coping with unending power cuts and the cold , damp weather ( yes ... I shiver in 20 degrees ... so go on .... laugh ) has succeeded in killing my spirit.

Inspite of having good fried stuff I hate the snaps for lack of natural light ... so don't feel like posting them.

So am spending the days hogging on calories and the printed stuff ... just read Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" ... (hubby took pity on me finally and got it from a friend). And cursing nobody in particular.

And if you think am looking for sympathy writing this boring god-knows-what .... you are right. And I know I deserve that kick. :-)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Egg Bhurji stuffed Paratha

Eggs are my favourite ... cooked any way ... poached, boiled, soft boiled ... but my fav is scrambled, with milk and slightly sweet with a dash of black pepper.... reminds me of very cold winter mornings at home. Better if sandwiched in toasted bread. Hubby can eat eggs only if made into a bhurji ... cooked and battered and spiced to the point of turning it into a sabzi. :-(

So I make the bhurjis at home ... and as usual do not leave a chance to dunk in some veggies. And on principle do not add haldi/mirchi/garam masala. I love the white, fluffy eggie(?) part of the bhurji ... and also the lovely bright coloured veggies.

It was the first day of the weekend and that means eating out for two whole days. I had some kneaded atta in the fridge that I did not want to waste ... besides which I decided that if we have a really heavy breakfast, at least we can skip eating lunch out.

So made egg bhurji stuffed parathas. They actually tasted great. And the pics looked so nice that I uploaded every snap. :-)

Need :

2 eggs beaten,
1 small onion chopped,
1 green chilli chopped,
veggies of you choice( I used finely chopped carrots and tomatoes and some green peas,
salt to taste
1 tsp cooking oil.
And of course kneaded atta.

How to :

Heat oil.

Add the onions and the chillies.

Fry for a little while.

Then add the veggies and salt.
Cook till the veggies are done (but should not be brown and limp).

Now add the beaten egg and keep stirring till lumps form. Keep stirring till they break into smaller lumps and the whole thing looks about done.
Keep aside to cool.

Roll out a roti from the atta and place 2 spoonfulls of the egg mixture and fold over from both sides.
Very carefully roll out just a little, using enough dry atta.
The point is to keep the paratha from opening up.

Heat a tawa and fry parathas with a little oil till brown and crisp on both sides.

Serve hot with ketchup.

Lau Khosa Bhaja

My blog is two months old today ... maybe it will be considered eligible to be on TOI now. :-) If not still ... no parwaa.

I have so many recipes in draft right now ... still this is one recipe that I'd like to share with my blog friends right away. Translated it means Lauki or Bottle gourd peel fry. Our cook used to make it ... and it is one of my favorite bhajas(fry).

It is indeed a wonder how these simple people can come up with the most simplest dishes from the most simplest things. And they are not so educated to know that it is the skin of any fruit or vegetable that contains the most vitamins .... not to mention fibre too. Our cook used to make an awesome jhaal from the stems of cauliflower ... that we would usually throw away. Of course it is another thing that the vegetables should be very fresh ... which is rare in cities.

For this bhaja you must have a fresh and very tender lauki or bottle gourd.
To peel use a knife instead of a peeler ... cut the skin thickly and then slice it. A small potato must be added to give the dish a little body, else the peels tend to turn limp ... and also have a tendency to get burnt while frying.

Need : Sliced lauki peel, 1 small aloo/potato sliced , 1 small onion sliced, 1/2 tsp kalaunji / nigella seeds, whole red chillies, a pinch of haldi / turmeric, salt to taste and 1 tbsp cooking oil ( I used mustard oil).

How to : Heat oil.
Add the kalaunji and chillies. Now add the onion and fry for some time. Add the aloo and fry again for some time.

Now add the lauki peels and haldi powder and salt. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done.
Do keep checking else they get burnt easily ... add very little water ... only if needed.

Remove cover and fry till they turn brownish.

Goes very well with hot rice and dal. Great with rotis too.
Enjoy !!

Rawa Masala Dosa

Need : For the dosa : 1 cup rawa(sooji), 2 tbsp rice flour, juice of half a lemon, a pinch of sambar masala, salt to taste.

For the masala : 2 boiled potatoes, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp urad dal, a pinch of haldi, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, 1 onion sliced, 1 tbsp oil, salt and a little sugar to taste.

How to : Heat oil. Add the mustard seeds and dal. Then add the curry leaves, green chillies and potatoes. Fry well. Add the haldi and salt and fry some more. Remove and keep aside.

For the dosa, mix all the ingredients with water to make a batter. Heat a tawa And apply a little oil. Pour a big spoonfull of batter and spread into a dosa. Wait till one side is done and crispy brown.
Now spoon in a little the potato masala and fold the dosa from both sides. Serve crispy rawa dosa hot.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Nashte ki sabzi

Ever since I had seen Rashmi's 'Benaras ki galiyon ka nashta' I had been intending to make it. The attraction is puris. It is not a novelty in Bengali cuisine though ... as most nashtas or jolkhabar have a mixed veg sabzi and puri or luchi as an accompaniment.
Whenever I pick vegetables from my fridge to make a dish I always leave a couple of the same behind. Finally one day I have enough to make a mixed veg / tawa sabzi / nashta ki sabzi. This sabzi is made the Bengali way ... slightly sweetish (that mostly comes from the veggies like pumpkin/brinjal etc) and no masala. I had no kala chana ... so it was only the veggies.
These days I am conciously substituting maida with atta ... and by the time I had arranged my plate .... the puris had fallen flat. Give me the khasta luchi made from maida anyday. :-)
Need : Assortment of vegetables cut into cubes, 1 onion sliced, paanchphoron, haldi powder, whole red chillies, a pinch of sugar, salt to taste and 1 tbsp oil.

How to : Heat oil and add the paanch phoron and red chillies. Add the onions and fry for sometime. Add the vegetables and the haldi powder and salt. Cover and cook till the veggies are done. Remove cover and add a little sugar and keep frying till all water is gone. The dish should be slightly mushy.
Serve hot with puris/ parathas.

Methi paratha

Do not feel like writing much . So no prelude here. :-)

Need :

Finely chopped fresh methi / fenugreek leaves,
Haldi / turmeric powder ,
Red chilli powder,
Whole wheat flour (atta),
Ajwain / carrom seeds,
Salt to taste,
Cooking oil to fry the parathas.

How to :

Knead the flour with all the ingredients (first knead well with the methi leaves ... they tend to lose water ... and then keep adding water as required).

Heat a tawa / gridle.

Roll out round parathas.

Cook them on the tawa with a little oil till both sides are brown.

Goes great with dahi / curd and achar on the side!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Aloo Methi

This dish is a simple one ... made with fresh fenugreek leaves, it is very favourful. I had got some good methi in this season of rains ... which is rare. So made it. And it made its way into my new post. Kept a little aside for methi paratha.

Need :
Fresh fenugreek / methi leaves , picked, washed and roughly chopped,
Potatoes / aloo (boiled and roughly cut),
whole jeera / cumin seeds,
a pinch of hing / asafoetida,
haldi / turmeric powder
red chilli powder,
salt to taste,
1 tbsp cooking oil.

How to : Heat oil.
Add jeera and hing.
Add the aloo and toss for some time.
Now add the methi leaves.
Add haldi, red chilli powder and salt. Cover and cook.
Remove cover after some time and cook till all water dries up.
Serve hot. Goes great on the side with rotis and dal.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Banana Pancakes

The problem with having a lot of fruits in my fruit basket is I tend to overlook a few and stick to my favorite ones. Some are good enough to take their own time to extra ripen ;-) ... but the bananas seem to be always in a rush to over ripen and fill the house with that distinct yucky smell. And this time I decided not to throw away any more fruit.

But what to do with the bananas? The term baking gives me the creeps. So decided to try out malpuas. But again the thought of deep frying gave me cold feet. So thought of making them into dosas ... errrr .... pancakes. :-)

Pancakes in my house are always spread thin ... the thick ones get rejected by hubby ... saying they are 'kaccha' (uncooked) inside.

I used atta instead of maida. I just wish I had some coconut ... these would have tasted lovely with grated coconut and black pepper powder (instead of elaichi powder) in the mix.

Need :

2 grated ripe bananas,
1/2 cup whole wheat flour,
1 cup milk,
6 tbsp sugar,
elaichi (cardamom) powder,
cooking oil / butter.

How to :

Mix all the ingredients to make a batter of pouring consistency. Add a little more milk if batter tends to thicken.

Heat a tawa or a heavy pan. Apply a little oil.
Pour some batter and spread out like a dosa.

Cover it ... so that the atta gets cooked well.

Turn over and fry the other side too till golden brown.

Serve warm with honey drizzled over them.

Dal pakora

After a whole week of eating out and dinners it is back to simple food. Aaaaah .... relief !
Made dal pakoras with a simple dal chawal ... only because I can't eat only dal bhaat. I have to have something with it ... even if it is aloo bhaja.

I had soaked a mix of five dals for dal panchmela with baati (post coming up later : Updated with link ).

Took a little out of it and made the pakoras. Else they can be made from any dal like chana/masoor/urad/moong.

Need :

Soaked dal,
chopped onions,
chopped green chillies,
a pinch of baking powder,
salt to taste and oil for deep frying.
Chopped fresh coriander leaves and whole jeera can be added too.

How to :

Grind the soaked dal into a coarse paste.
( I keep away a couple of tablespoonful from this ... makes for a great face scrub ;-) ).

Add the chopped onions , chillies , salt and baking powder.

Heat oil and fry the pakoras.

The reason I put up a snap of my lunch plate is to show off my achaar.
It came out perfect. :-)

Shorshe Bata diye Dharosh / Lady's Finger cooked in mustard sauce

Another veggie jhaal. The recipe is exactly like Daatar jhaal, just replace the drumsticks with bhindi (lady's finger). Of course, aloo is optional. :-)

Anybody who finds the taste of mustard too strong and overwhelming can add posto(khus khus) to the mustard while making the paste / powder.
The ratio of mustard and posto will be 2:1.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Cheese garlic toast

A rainy evening ... felt like munching on something . And did not feel like counting calories. So just let go and grabbed whatever was at hand. And am sure it was enough to raise my LDL to levels that would have taken at least six months to get to.

Anyway ... by the time this snack was done the whole house was filled with the aroma of garlic in butter. :-)

Need :

A few bread slices,
grated cheese,

a couple of cloves of garlic, paprika / chilli flakes.

A little oregano / thyme can be crushed in too .... I do not as the aroma of the herbs overwhelm the delicate aroma of butter.

How to :

Butter the bread slices.

Grate in the garlic into the cheese.

Add the chilli flakes and mix well.

Spread on the bread slices and grill for around 7-10 mins (better if oven is preheated for 5 mins).

Enjoy with hot tea / coffee / cocoa. :-) Will go very well with any heavy soup too ... will make for a complete meal.

I used very little butter. And since was in a hurry did not wait for the cheese to melt properly ... which shows in the snap. But tasted like heaven.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Custard for breakfast

Did not feel like making breakfast today. I had some Raspberry flavoured custard in the fridge and decided to cheat out with it as my ally. After all anything that looks good ... and of course tastes good, can be categorised under 'edible'.

I always make free flowing custard. That way it can be used in different ways or recipes. And always with a little less sugar.

For this breakfast I did not have to do much.
Just chopped up an apple and pear ( any fruit will do) ... I just had these two. Dunked them into the custard.
Had some sugar free muesli with dry fruits. Spread them all over. Done. :-)

Since the custard was cold ... the muesli stayed crunchy .... there was no fear of chewing on soggy stuff. Tasted great !

Aloo Capsicum Tomato fry

Of late I have noticed my snaps look kind of dull. I attribute this to the dull weather ... and of course my lack of expertise with the camera. Till now I have lucked out as the brightness outside that fills my home always helped me in getting great snaps. That is one thing with digital cameras ... good light.

But what with the weather outside turning ... and staying .... dull , I am not happy with my snaps. Even my great looking Ragda Patties look like a dud. :-(
Today the sun ... if not shining brightly ... has been generous enough to bestow us with some light .. and in the process dry weather. So got a good enough catch in my another fast and easy dish. :-)
Another thing I have noticed is I have been clicking snaps on the same plate. This I will attribute to my subconcious ... guess it knows better than me ... that food makes for a great snap when served on a white background (read plate). Hmm ... if there's anything else into it ... will have to consult Freud .... or at least any of his theories.
For now ... am happy with my snaps .... and this easy dish of mine. It takes just about 10-15 mins to make this. I have no name for it .... so called it a fry.

Need : 2 medium sized boiled potatoes, 2 capsicums, 1 medium sized tomato, 1 medium sized onion, 1 tsp cooking oil, a pinch of sugar and salt to taste.
How to : Cut all the vegetables lengthwise.

Heat oil. Add the onions and after frying for a little while add the potatoes. Add just a pinch of sugar and keep tossing till the potatoes start to turn brown (the sugar starts to caramelise).
Now add the capsicum and tomatoes together. Add salt and keep tossing for one more minute. Serve hot with rotis.
That's it. I don't use any jeera etc for tempering. We can use haldi powder and garam masala too .... but I love the veggies bright colour and also the flavour the capsicum and the tomatoes release ... so I don't use any masala too. Garlic lovers can add chopped garlic though ... just be sure not to burn the garlic.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Ragdaa Patties & another award

Aloo tikki with ghugni is what I call these. Hubby calls it aloo tikki chaat. In Maharashtra it is called ragdaa patties ( i have no idea what ragdaa is ... nor what is the correct spelling for this). All I know is this tastes heavenly.

I usually boil aloo/matar/chana etc in bulk and store them in the fridge. They come very handy when there are unexpected guests or anytime when you want something chatpata ... not to mention when you don't want to go through the rigmarole of making a complete lunch/dinner.

Anyway ... I had some of these boiled aloo and matar. So made this as a snack for a rainy evening. I made the ghugni spicy this time to complement the slightly bland aloo tikkis. Great combi. And follows my motto ... simple cooking. :-)

Need :
For the tikkis : Boiled potatoes, grated ginger,chopped green chillies, fresh coriander leaves, salt to taste, around 2 tbsp oil to fry the tikkis.

For the ghugni : Dry white matar (soaked and boiled), haldi powder, red chilli powder,amchur powder, a pinch of roasted jeera powder, a little water, salt to taste.

How to : Mash the potatoes with ginger, chillies, coriander leaves and salt. Shape into round sized tikkis. Heat the oil in a a tawa or a shallow pan and put in the tikkis. Fry till they turn brown on both sides.

In another kadhai or pan put in the matar with a little water ... yes ... no jeera or tempering ... so no oil .... :-) . Add the haldi powder, chilli powder, jeera powder and the amchur powder. Adjust salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for a while to adjust gravy thickness.
Pour the ghugni in a dish and arrange the tikkis on it. Sprinkle chopped onions and coriander leaves on it.
Hetal has passed on the "Yummy blog award" to my blog. Thanks Hetal.

"Yummy blog award is the award given to the blog with most yummy recipes/photos".

Unfortunately I do not like sweets at all ... in any form .... leave alone desserts. So I cannot immediately mention any such desserts that I have found 'yummy-licious'. I'll try to come up with a few very soon ... hopefully.
Am supposed to pass this on to four other bloggers whose blogs I find yummy ... will update this post as soon as I scan through and select 4 .... which is not only going to be difficult ... but also unfair.
Anyways ... till then enjoy the ragdaa patties.

Besan ke cheelay & a declaration

Weekend started with me showing off hubby my blog, pics, awards, friends and what a big job am doing by sending stuff to events (only 2 till now... but did not say that ;-) ) ... etc. etc. He was ok ... patiently listening and making the right, appreciating noises. And I had that 'am so great' kind of smirk on my face.

Winding up, I asked my ususal question of every morning ... "Naashte mein kya banaoon?" ... expecting his ever helpful answer of "Kuch bhi!". Nah ... not so this morning. He turned around and said "Kyon ... itne saare breakfast recipes toh hain .. koi bhi bana lo". !

And all my gloating and smirking vanished.
Looked back from the corner of my eye ... he was still standing behind me ... so I scrolled down the page. No luck ... he immediately said "Besan ke chilay hain ... banao" ( maybe coz chilay are familiar to him) . But I had never made them. No go at all .... he said "Main banaoonga".
So we had besan chilaas for breakfast. And so we do often now. Only I make them now.

Besan ka cheela or besan ka chila is a savoury pancake made from bengal gram flour. Nutritious and filling, these are quick to make and a great help when the fridge is bare or you are too tired cook dinner. Yes, they are great for dinner too.
I often add vegetables or sprouts to the cheela. This time it was grated carrots and some moong sprouts.

Need :

Besan - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium, chopped into small pieces
Green chillies - 1, chopped
Red chilli powder - a pinch
Turmeric powder - a little
Ajwain / carrom seeds - a pinch
Grated carrot ( optional)
Moong sprouts ( optional )
Salt - to taste
Water - enough to make a thick batter
Oil - to fry the cheelas

How to :

Mix everything, except the oil, together to make a thick batter.

Smear a hot tawa or flat pan with some oil.
Pour in a ladle full of the batter and spread it a little.

Cook on low flame till one side is browned well.
Flip it over and cook uncovered ... till crisp and done.

Serve hot. Goes great with tea.

Sunshinemom has officially declared me as her friend. Cute :-) Thanks a lot.
I did not know there was such a declaration .... so now I can make one .... am declaring Rashmi as my friend. Funny .... coz I know I don't have to do this .... she is already a friend I am proud and very happy to have.
Rashmi ... this is for you buddy. :-)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Cabbage fry

This is another of my simple recipes. When I have run out of onion/ginger/garlic paste (which I usually make in bulk, cook and store in the freezer) and am in no mood to make any, I make cabbage this way.
It has a flavor like South Indian food (I know am antagonising many purists) but I am no expert in south indian cooking ... so hope to be excused and corrected.

I did have some freshly grated coconut ... so added that too.

Need : Finely sliced cabbage, fresh curry leaves, whole green chillies, mustard seeds, 1 tsp urad dal, freshly grated coconut, a pinch of sugar, salt and a little cooking oil.

How to : Heat oil. Add the mustard seeds, whole greenchillies, the dal and the curry leaves.

Then add the cabbage and fry for sometime. Add salt, a little sugar and cover and cook till
cabbage is done. Sprinkle the fresh coconut and serve hot.

Gets done in a jiffy ... and goes great with both rice or rotis.