Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bharelu/ Stuffed Turiya/ Ridge Gourd Nu Shaak

Turiya is a very healthy vegetable, but due to it's mushy consistency kids often don't like eating it. You may make stuffed turiya or you may simply chop the turiya and cook the vegetable. My son likes simple chopped turiya, but I prefer stuffed turiya. So here I am sharing a personal favorite - stuffed turiya vegetable - recipe with you all. It is a relatively simple dish, but great with roti, bhakri and bajra rotla. I hope you like this recipe!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4 long turiya
  • 3 tablespoons dhana powder (coriander powder)
  • 1 tablespoon jeera powder (cumin powder)
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder plus an additional 1/2 teaspoon for later use
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour
  • Pinch of hing
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped green coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  1. First, wash and clean the turiya. Let them dry completely prior to peeling, cutting and cooking.
  2. Once dry, peel the turiya and cut them in halves. Then, slit them lengthwise keeping the other side intact. (Reference the subsequent photographs if unclear)
  3. In a bowl, combine all the spices and salt and mix well. Fill the slit portion of the turiya with the spice mix. 
  4. Heat oil on a pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add hing and the 1/2 teaspoon portion of turmeric powder.
  5. Add in all the turiya and mix well. Cover the pan and cook over low flame for 10 minutes or until the turiya is completely cooked (to taste).
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with roti, paratha or rice.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rotini With Pesto Sauce (Jain)

Making Jain pasta with pesto sauce is surprisingly very easy while maintaining flavor. Obviously, we will make this without garlic, onion and spinach in the pesto sauce. Instead, I use basil, mint leaves and parsley. I use rotini pasta, but you may use any pasta of your choice (i.e. penne). You may also add your choice of vegetables in the pasta. Here, I use broccoli, french beans and green bell peppers. I usually don't have pasta, but I truly enjoy this variation. Try this recipe for lunch of dinner - it's a personal favorite!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 10 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups broccoli (cut into small florates)
  • 1 cup french beans (cut approx. 1-1/2" long)
  • 1 cup green capsicum (cut approx. 1-1/2" long)
  • 6 to 7 basil leaves for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
For The Pesto:
  • 1-1/2  cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add pasta and cook according to the packaged directions. Drain, but save some water from the pasta (1 to 2 cups) and return the pasta to the pot.
  2.  Prepare the pesto by adding basil, mint leaves, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, black pepper and salt in a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped. 
  3. With the machine still running, drizzle in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process until the mixture is a smooth puree. If you feel the mixture is too thick to equally coat the pasta, then add a little more olive oil.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a frying pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli, green pepper and french beans. Stir fry and add the pasta. Season with black pepper and salt. 
  5. Add the pesto and toss until it is uniformly combined/ mixed. If you think it is dry, then add some of the saved pasta water (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
  6. Garnish with basil leaves and top with additional grated cheese (optional).
  7. Serve hot with with a side such as cheese bread or garlic bread. ( garlic bread optional)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Plain Upma

Upma is a quick and common breakfast item originating in the southern part of India. It's preparation involves fusing together a few common ingredients. You may also make it healthier by adding vegetables such as green peas, onions, tomato, corn and/or carrots. However, I like plain upma very much so here I am sharing a plain umma recipe, which I learned from one of my aunt. I like to make upma in ghee, but that is a personal preference. You may use oil.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup rava/ semolina/ sooji
  • 2 tablespoons oil /ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon split urad dal
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat pan on medium high heat and add oil/ ghee. Then, add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add urad dal, chopped curry leaves and green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds.
  2. Add the rava and sauté for a few minutes until the color of the rava changes. Add 4 cups of hot water and salt. Mix well and cover with a lid. 
  3. Cook on a slow flame for a few minutes while occasionally stirring.
  4. Add lemon juice, mix well and cook while stirring continuously for one minute. 
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paneer-Stuffed Green Moong Dal Dosa (Pesarattu Dosa)

This Dosa is made with green split moong dal instead of your traditional batter. It is a delicious multi-nutrient breakfast or lunch option that will provide you energy for the whole day. The paneer stuffing will give you protein, which ensures that you will start the day right (and happy!). While it sounds difficult, the dosa is very easy to make. The best thing about this batter is that you don't need to ferment the dal batter.

Soaking Time: 2 hours
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup split green moon dal
  • 4 green chillies for batter
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 to 4 green chilis (adjust spice level according to your taste), chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled paneer or very finely cubed paneer
  • 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
  • Oil/ ghee for dosa (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  1. First, soak the dal in water for at least two hours.
  2. Drain the water and combine the dal with green chilis and ginger. In a blender, add the mixture and a little water. Blend it until it has a smooth paste-like consistency.
  3. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add salt. Mix it well and keep aside.
  4. Sauté the paneer in a pan with one teaspoon oil/ghee until it is light brown and keep aside.
  5. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons oil/ghee with the gas on medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until lightly brown. Then, add the chopped green chili, green capsicum and tomatoes (on high heat so water doesn't release). Sauté for one minute and then add paneer, salt, chaat masala and chopped coriander leaves. Quickly mix it and turn off the stove. Keep the mixture aside.
  6. Heat a pan or tawa and lightly grease it. Pour one ladleful of batter onto the tawa and spread it around with the back of the ladle. Sprinkle the paneer mixture onto the dosa. Drizzle oil/ghee around the dosa. Cook until the dosa underside turns golden brown. fold the dosa and serve hot with Coconut Chutney or Green Coriander Chutney.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter to make more dosas.
  8. Serve immediately.

Photos of green moong dal batter, cubed paneer, sautéed paneer,sautéed onion, next is added green capsicum and tomatoes, ready paneer mixtures.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Punjabi Chole Masala

One of my personal favorite dishes is Punjabi style chole. It allows for a high protein recipe with great flavors that totally transform otherwise mundane chickpeas. I really like the texture and combinations of spices that go into it's making. Especially anardana, which adds a tangy punch to the nuttiness of chickpeas. This recipe goes great with bhature (Recipe), puri or rice. There are many ways to make chole, but in the end color of the dish should be dark brown for this specific style. Enjoy this recipe!!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1-1/4 cups kabuli Channa (soak in water overnight)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 to 4 green chilis, slit
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2" Cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole black cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tea bags 
  • Large pinch of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice level)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon anardana powder (dried pomegranate seed powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Dry masala powder:
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 2 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper corns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Dry roast all the ingredients on low to medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes and grind to a fine powder
  1. In a pressure cooker, add the chickpeas and approximately 3 cups of water, large pinch of baking soda, a tea bag, cinnamon stick and black cardamom. Cook the chickpeas until they are soft (4 to 5 whistles). 
  2. Let the cooker cool before opening. Then, drain the water from the chickpeas, but keep the water aside for later use. Discard the tea bag, cinnamon stick and black cardamom.
  3. Heat oil on a pan and add green chili, grated ginger and bay leaf. Sauté for few seconds.
  4. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are transparent. Add red chili powder and salt. Mix well. 
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft and the oil separates (approx. 15 minutes).
  6. Add the ground masala powder, anardana powder and mix well. Add the boiled channa and cook on simmer for at least 5 minutes. Add the leftover water and bring to a boil. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the gravy gets slightly thick.
  7. Adjust the salt (to taste) and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bhature (Punjabi Bread)

Bhatura is a very popular Punjabi bread eaten all over India. It is a popular breakfast dish in north India. It has a crisp exterior, spongy inside and a mild sour flavor. It is very easy to make and has no yeast, but instead yogurt and baking powder. Typically, bhature is served with chole and has all the essentials of a great brunch. It is filling and makes for a complete meal. In simple terms, bhatura bread is nothing but a fried bread served with chickpeas curry. So enjoy the recipe!

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 (8 bhature)

  • 2 cups maida flour
  • 2 tablespoons sooji/rava
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 tablespoons yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Water to knead into the dough
  1. Except the oil for frying,  mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Make the dough soft, but it should not be overly soft or too hard to knead.
  2. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and keep aside for at least four hours.
  3. Make lemon sized balls and roll into thick round rotis. They should not be too thick or too thin.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan with the gas on medium high. Once the oil is hot, slide the bhature onto the oil. With a ladle, press the center and along the edges and it should puff. Flip over and fry the other side until medium or light golden brown. Remove onto absorbent paper.
  5. Serve hot with chole, yogurt, fresh onion and salad of your choice.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mixed Dal Handvo

Mixed dal handvo is a spicy baked cake made of rice and lentil fermented batter mixed with spices. It is crispy on the outside and soft inside. I learned this recipe from one of my childhood friends from school and it is popular in the Indian state of Gujarat. You may add your choice of vegetables into it such as doodhi/ bottle gourd/ lauki, zucchini, carrots and also fresh spinach. In this recipe I used only grated doodhi. Follow these instructions and you are sure to end up with the perfect handvo.

Soaking Time: 4 hours
Fermenting Time: 8 hours
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup toovar dal (arhar dal)
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal (split black lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon moong dal (split green gram)
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (split bengal gram)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup sour yogurt
  • 1 cup grated doodhi
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • A pinch of soda bi-carb
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chiili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger and chilli paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing/asafoetida
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Clean, wash and soak the dals and rice together in enough water for at least 4 hours. Drain and keep the water aside. Blend the dal and rice together in a mixer to a smooth consistency. Use the kept water as needed.
  2. Transfer the batter into a bowl and add yogurt. Mix well and cover and keep aside to ferment overnight.
  3. When ready, add doodhi, 1 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, soda, sugar, ginger-chili paste, salt and mix well.
  4. Grease a baking pan with an oil spray or spread oil generously. Pour the handvo batter into the greased pan. Tap the tray as you pour as it will help spreading the batter evenly.
  5. Heat oil for seasoning in a small pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and hing. As the seeds crack, turn off the heat.
  6. Drizzle the seasoning over the handvo batter. Sprinkle sesame seeds as well. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until top of the handvo is golden brown. To check if it has cooked through, insert a knife into the center of the handvo. When removed, it should come out clean.
  8. Let the handvo cool. Then, cut them into pieces. It is ready to serve with chutney and/or pickle.