Sunday, 14 May 2017

Dish #449 - Moong Dal Halwa or Split yellow gram dessert


A favorite at home...easy to make and today was the perfect occasion for this...."Mother's day"...
Of course my mom's moong dal halwa is the best...but I have made this using her own recipe so undoubtedly this is also very good :-)

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Dish #448 - Cheesy Soya Pepper Cups


An easy to make snack which you can also make as one of the dishes on your Sunday brunch... 
This dish is especially for those who don't like the taste of soya but want to eat it.
Soya Chunks are also famous with the name of Soya nuggets, nutri nuggets, soy chunks and soy nuggets. Soya chunks are odourless and tasteless food item, but this unique food is highly nutritional and full of rich proteins.
Soya nuggets is a wonder beans for the grown-ups and teenager. Soya chunks are extremely high in protein.They are pure vegetarian beans, hence good choice for the vegetarians and rich in protein diet and essential for complete nutrition. It is proven a healthy food item for young as well as for old people. It is unproblematic food item, especially for diabetics and heart patients. Soya nuggets provides a good amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein for growing children. Soya contains high amount of fiber, it helps in loosing weight as well. It's one of the best non-fish sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, that can help in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Soy protein can provide positive results for people with high blood pressure.

Ingredients:
Colored Bell peppers - 4 (yellow, red, green)
Soya chunks - 500 gms - minced
Onion - 1 large - finely chopped
Tomato - 1 large - finely chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves - peeled and finely chopped
Ginger - 2 inch piece - finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 - finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 1 handful - finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chilly pepper - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon - 1 - juice
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cheese - of your choice which can be easily grated

Method:
Wash the bell peppers and cut into halves so that they resemble cups. Remove the seeds from inside and apply little salt and lemon to the inner part of the bell peppers and keep aside.
Take a large frying pan, add the oil, fry cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, green chilly and onions till onions become translucent. Then add the tomatoes, salt to taste, red chilly powder and the minced soya chunks. Saute' well, switch off the heat and allow to cool a bit. 

Now fill the bell pepper cups with the soya mince, arrange the cups onto a baking tray or dish, generously grate cheese and bake in oven for 10 mins and then grill for 5 mins till the cheese melts and golden.
Serve hot.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Dish #447 - Makki ki Roti, Sarson ka Saag


I don't know why but I find the state of Punjab very intriguing.....the culture, the people and most importantly the punjabi food...now after our visit to Punjab loved the Golden's temple's serenity, the beautiful sarson ke kheth/mustard fields, the golden wheat fields, the warm hospitality, the cool and refreshing lassi, the yummy Beera chicken, the crispy Makhan fish and the golden Makai ki roti and sarson ka saag...(Indian Corn/Maize bread served with Punjabi mustard leaves curry).
Here is the authentic recipe which I got from one of my Punjabi friend's mom.

Ingredients:
Maize flour (makai ka atta) - 2 cups
salt to taste
maize flour (makai ka atta) for rolling
butter for smearing

Method:
Combine the maize flour and salt and knead into firm dough using enough warm water.
Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and roll out each portion into a 125 mm. (5") diameter circle with the help of a little maize flour for rolling.
Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) on a high flame and when hot, place the roti gently over it.
Cook it till small blisters appear on the surface. Turn over the roti and cook for few more seconds.
Cook it on an open flame till it puffs up and brown spots appear on both the sides.
Repeat with the remaining dough portions to make 9 more rotis.
Smear butter on top and serve hot.

Ingredients:
Mustard leaves (sarson ke patte) - 5 cups washed and chopped
Spinach (palak) - 5 cups washed and chopped
Green chillies - 1 1/2 tbsp. roughly chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
Garlic (lehsun) - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Ginger (adrak) - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Onions - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Asafoetida (hing) - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder (haldi) - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder - 1 tsp - optional
salt to taste

For Serving
makai ki roti

Method:
Boil enough water in a deep non-stick pan, add the mustard leaves, spinach and green chillies, mix well and cook on a high flame for 4 to 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Strain using a strainer and drain well.
Refresh it twice in enough cold water immediately and drain well again. Keep aside for 2 to 3 minutes to cool slightly.
Blend in a mixer to a coarse mixture using ½ cup of water. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai and add the cumin seeds.
When the seeds crackle, add the garlic, ginger and asafoetida and sauté on a medium flame for 30 seconds.
Add the onions and again sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the mustard leaves-spinach mixture, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander-cumin seeds powder and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Serve hot with makai ki roti.

Dish #446 - Mutton Rendang (Malaysian Lamb curry)





A lovely lamb curry from Malaysia...which i learnt from one of my Malaysian friends.

Ingredients for marination:
Mutton - 500 gms
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
Crushed garlic - 1 tsp
Salt
Method:
Marinate the mutton with all the ingredients and keep covered overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients for tempering oil:
Dried ginger - 1”
Cinnamon stick - 1”
Green cardamom - 4-5
Nutmeg - 1 pinch
Cloves - 4-5
Mace - 1
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Method:
Make powder of cloves, cinnamon stick, green cardamom and nutmeg and dried ginger by using grinder and keep aside.
Ingredients for main dish:
Onion - 2 large
Garlic - 7-8 cloves
Dried red chillies - 5-6
Lemon grass - 3-4
Ginger - 1 inch, make a paste of it with very little water
Desiccated coconut - 1 ½ cups
Coconut milk - 1 ½ cups
Warm Water - 8-10 cups
Salt
Sugar - pinch full
Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Method:
Roughly chop onions.
Add chopped onions, garlic pods and dry red chilli in a blender and make a smooth puree of it.
Take a separate pan, heat well. Add desiccated coconut and fry on medium flame. Stir continuously.
Keep frying on medium flame until it becomes brown in color.
Keep aside to cool down in a separate bowl.
Take a large heavy bottomed pan. Heat oil in it.
Add mace, and rest of the powdered spices with pinch of sugar. Fry until fragrant.
Now add onion-garlic-chilli paste. Keep frying the paste until it is mixed well with the spices.
Add ginger paste and little crushed garlic.
Mix it with the gravy and keep frying.
When you can spot oil is oozing out near edges, understand this is the time to add your mutton.
Add mutton with 3/4th of the desiccated roasted coconut and mix well so that all the pieces get coated with the spices.
Keep it covered on simmer for 30-40 mins.
After certain time (about 30 mins) you will see most of the moisture got evaporated. And oil is floating on top.
This is the time to add coconut milk.
Pour coconut milk little by little by with one hand and keep mixing with other hand.
Add warm water with salt and mix well. Keep it covered on simmer and let it cook.
It will take approximately 2 hrs. to cook the meat completely. (Do not use cooker if you want authentic taste).
Use a fork or toothpick to check whether the meat is done or not. My mutton was so tender that it actually parted in two pieces when I tried to check the meat.
If there is any gravy in the pan, cook for few more mins. on high flame to evaporate all the moisture from the pan.
Once done, remove it immediately from flame and transfer it to the serving bowls. Sprinkle rest of the desiccated coconut over the top of the mutton pieces and serve it hot/warm.
You can use any kind of meat for this very same recipe. Only the cooking time will vary depending on your choice of meat.
It makes a good pair with Jasmine Rice, Indian Peas Pulao, Herbed Rice or even simple Steamed Rice.

I made a quick Peas Pualo and served it with my Mutton Rendang.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Dish #445 - Lemon Pepper Lamb


A tangy peppery lamb dish... which if you eat once, will keep you asking more...

Ingredients:
Lamb/Mutton - 1/2 kg/500 gms - cut into medium pieces (with bone)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Lemon - 2 large - juiced
Green chillies - 1
Black pepper - whole - 2 tbs (around 40-50 gms)
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 5
Black cardamom - 2
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 large - sliced

Method:
Marinate the lamb with salt and turmeric powder.
Take a pan, dry fry the cinnamon, cloves and pepper till it gives out nice aroma.
Wet grind the green chilly, lemon juice, fried black pepper, cinnamon, cloves to a fine paste with very very little water. If lemon juice is enough to make the paste, then do not use water.

Take a deep pan, add oil,  fry the sliced onions till translucent and very soft, add the ground paste and fry for 1 min. Then add the marinated mutton, 1/2 cup water and cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until mutton is well cooked and soft. If pan is used, please check from time to time so that water doesnt evaparate and mutton doesnt burn.
If required you could use cooker instead of a deep pan, it will save you time and supervision.

Serve hot.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Dish #444 - Kadhi Pakora (Gram flour fritters simmered in Spicy Sour Yogurt Gravy)



Kadhi Pakora... perfect Comfort food....made in so many different states in India...there is the Punjabi Kadhi pakora where the besan fritters have some onions in them... then there is the Gujarati and Rajasthani version which has no onion or garlic... and then a Maharashtrian version...but whatever it is, having this with steaming white rice is such a comforting and fulfilling feeling, that cannot be explained but can only be experienced...
Very easy to make...needs very basic simple ingredients...try it and am sure you will make it every other day...

Ingredients:
For The Pakoras 
Besan/Bengal gram flour - 1 cup
Fresh coriander  - 2 tbsp finely chopped
Turmeric powder) - 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - a pinch
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Green chillies - finely chopped - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - for deep-frying
For The Kadhi

Curds - 2 cups
Besan/bengal gram flour - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon (dalchini) - 1 stick
Cloves (laung / lavang) - 2
Dry kashmiri red chillies - whole - 2
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - grated - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4 to 6
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Method:

For the pakoras
Combine all the ingredients along with approx. ½ cup of water in a deep bowl and mix well.
Heat the oil in a deep pan, drop spoonfuls of the batter into it and deep-fry a few pakodas at a time on a medium flame, till they turn golden brown in colour from all the sides. Drain on an absorbent paper. Keep aside.
For the kadhi
Combine the curds, besan, turmeric powder, salt and 2½ cups of water in a deep bowl and mix well using a whisk. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan, add the cinnamon, cloves, red chillies, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds, ginger, curry leaves and chilli powder and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.
Add the curds-besan mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
To Serve
Just before serving, add the pakodas to the hot kadhi, mix gently and cook on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Serve immediately with steaming white rice.




Sunday, 22 January 2017

Dish #443 - Tzatziki - A Greek Dip


A lovely Greek dip usually made for dipping any grilled vegetables, sea food or pita bread....

Ingredients for "Tzatziki":

Cucumber - large - 1/2 (use English cucumber as they have less seeds)
Garlic - 2 cloves
extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
strained Greek yoghurt or any full fat thick youghurt - 1 x 500g tub
fresh dill - 1 small bunch
fresh mint - a few sprigs
lemon - 1
optional: 1 teaspoon dried mint

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