Monday, December 19, 2016

Doodhi Na Paratha/ Lauki ka Paratha

Stuffed with grated doodhi/ lauki/ calabash/ bottle gourd (it goes by many names), this paratha tastes better when served with raita or aloo vegetable curry. Doodhi paratha is another healthy and delicioud flat bread recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Servings: 4 (8 parathas)

Ingredients:

For the Stuffing:
  • 3 cups doodhi, grated
  • 2 teaspoon dry amchur powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon green chilli chopped
  • 4 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • Salt to taste
For the Dough:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flower
  • Salt to taste
  • oil for cooking
Directions:
  1. First, add salt to the grated doodhi and leave it on the side for ten minutes. Then, transfer the doodhi to a cloth and squeeze out the excess water.
  2. Transfer the doodhi to a bowl, add all the above mentioned ingredients under stuffing and mix it well.
  3. Next, combine the wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Mix well and knead into a soft dough using enough water. Make eight round balls.
  4. Roll the dough into a circle 4 inches in diameter. Place the stuffing in the center and bring the edges together at the center to seal tightly.
  5. Roll it out again into a circle 6 inches in diameter using little flour.
  6. Heat the tava or pan on medium heat and cook each paratha, using a little oil, until golden brown spots appear on both sides.
  7. Repeat the procedure with rest of the balls.
  8. Serve hot with raita (yogurt) or potato vegetable curry.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Inside Out Pav Vada

Pav vada is an Indian burger with filling made by deep frying a potato patty, mixed with assorted spices, in gram flour batter. I've tried a little different version of making pav vada in this recipe. Instead of bread on the outside, I've put bread inside the potato stuffing. Everything is same as you would normally make it. It's just a different way to serve pav vada. This dish is great as a party starter/ appetizer. The best part? No bread crumbs! It's tasty and delicious. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 (makes 12 vada)

Ingredients:
  • 3 medium size potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • 3 green chili, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of hing
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablspoon oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 green chili, fried
  • Dry red garlic chutney
  • 6 slices of bread
  • Oil for deep frying
For the Outer Covering:
  • 3/4 cup besan/gram flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dhanajeera powder
  • Pinch of hing
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. In a mortar and pestle, pound the green chilis, ginger and garlic.
  2. On a pan, heat oil and add hing, the pounded mixture, turmeric powder, garam masala and sauté for a few seconds. Then, add the mashed potatoes, salt and mix well. Add green coriander leaves, lemon juice, pinch of sugar and continue to mix well. 
  3. Remove from the stove and cool. Divide the mixture into twelve equal portions. Next, on a chopping board, cut the slices of the bread into four squares. Take two of the squares, apply dry garlic chutney in between two squares and cover the bread with aloo stuffing. Prepare each of the balls in the same way.
  4. For the outer covering, combine all the aforementioned ingredients in a bowl and make a batter using water. (approx. 1/3 cup of water)
  5. Dip each potato ball into the batter and allow it to coat the ball well.
  6. Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry each ball in hot oil until it is golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside. 
  7. Serve hot with fried green chili and dry red garlic chutney.







Monday, October 31, 2016

Baby Potatoes in Yogurt Gravy

I learned this recipe from my sister-in-law, Savita, back in India thirty five years ago. At the time, I was newly married. Once in a while, when I make this dish, my husband, who is very fond of aloo (potatoes), really enjoys it! This is one of the various aloo dishes I make for him when he's craving potatoes. Today, I am sharing this simple family recipe of baby aloo in yogurt gravy with you.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 12 pc. baby potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon green chili, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder (adjust heat level according to your taste)
  • 3/4 tablespoon dhanajaeera powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asofetida)
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilis
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 cup green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups yogurt
Directions:
  1. Boil the potatoes, remove the skin and keep aside. Lightly pierce the potatoes with a fork.
  2. Heat oil in a pan/kadai, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add dry red chili and hing. 
  3. Add chopped ginger, garlic and green chili. Sauté for thirty seconds. Add all the spices and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Make sure you don't burn the mixture.
  4. Add yogurt and stir continuously. When it starts to boil, add the baby potatoes. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the stove and cover the vegetables for five minutes. The dish is now ready to serve.
  5. Garnish with fresh green coriander leaves.
  6. Serve hot with roti and/or rice.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pav Bhaji in a Cone

Pav bhaji is traditionally served with bread as a main course meal. Here I've tried to create the same combination a different way to serve it as an appetizer. I made a cone from all purpose flour dough, baked it and filled it up with traditional bhaji. It came out very handy to serve and quite tasty too. You may also serve the cone with different kinds of fillings. For example, potato stuffing, chiili paneer stuffing, falafal stuffing etc. You may use your own imagination and create a whole new dish. So cook some bhaji, relax and enjoy this version of serving the bhaji in a cone.

For The Cone:

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes (includes 30 minutes of flour rising time)
Servings: 4 (for 8 cones)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Eno (fruit salt)
  • Salt to taste
  • Milk as required (to make the dough)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for applying on the cones)
For the Pav Bhaji:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 

Ingredients : (to make 8 cones)
  • 1 idaho potato (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon boiled green peas (mashed)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green capcicum
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon pav bhaji masala
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
Chiili Garlic Paste:
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dhanajeera powder
  • 1 teaspoon green coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
Directions for the cone:
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a deep bowl and knead to a soft consistency using  milk, as required. Keep the dough aside for at least a 1/2 hour to allow it to rise.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Roll one portion of flour dough into an oblong shape (approx. 8" x 5").
  3. Cut the rolled dough vertically into four equal strips using a sharp knife. Take a strip and wet it with a little water evenly on one surface. Wrap the strip with the watered side facing in and swirl it while slightly overlapping it on an aluminium cone shaped mould (see the picture below).
  4. Repeat with the second portion to make the 8 cones. Apply a little melted butter on the dough on all the sides once wrapped.
  5. Preheat the oven on 325 degrees.
  6. Place the mould on a baking sheet and bake until it gets golden brown. Take out from the oven and let it cool.
Directions for the bhaji:
  1. First, to make the chili paste, add every thing listed in a food processor and blend. Then, add a little water to get a paste consistency and keep aside.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large pan or kadai.
  3. Add the onions, a little salt and saute for a five minutes while stirring occasionally. Once the onions are translucent, add the green capsicum and mashed green peas. Saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Mash well using a potato masher.
  5. Add boiled potatoes, mix well and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Then, add 1/2 cup of water and cook for 2 more minutes while mashing it.
  6. Add the red garlic chili paste, to taste and desired spice level, pav bhaji masala and salt (add very little salt as there is already salt in the garlic paste). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. The bhaji is now ready to serve. Garnish it with green coriander leaves. 
  8. Top the bhaji with butter (optional).
  9. Prepare the bhaji in advance so you may serve it with warm bread cone.
Pav bhaji in cone:


Bread cone:

Aluminum mould:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is a north Indian dish comprised of paneer (cottage cheese) and fresh spinach. The spinach is blanched, pureed and cooked with select spices tossing the paneer in at the end. This dish is one of my personal favorites. It is easy to make and healthy too! Vegans may substitute the paneer with tofu. Try this recipe. I promise you won't regret it!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 bunches of spinach
  • 8 oz. paneer (cubed)
  • 5 to 6 green chillies (adjust according to your preferred heat level)
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon julienne ginger for garnish
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice/ lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (fresh cream)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Directions:
  1. Remove the stems and wash the spinach thoroughly in running water. Then, blanch in salted boiling water for two minutes (use 5 cups of water). 
  2. Strain the spinach leaves and immediately put the spinach in a bowl containing ice cold water. Soak the spinach leaves in the water for two minutes and then remove the spinach from the water.
  3. Put spinach in a blender and add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Blend to make a smooth spinach puree. There is no need to add water while making the puree. When complete, keep the spinach puree aside.
  4. Heat the ghee or oil in a pan and sauté the paneer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the paneer and drain on a paper towel.
  5. In the same pan, with the remaining ghee/oil, add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Then, add the chopped onion and sauté until the onions become golden.
  6. Add the tomatoes, stir and sauté until they soften. Once the tomatoes are softened and you see oil is releasing from the sides of the mixture, add the spinach puree and stir well. Add 1/3 cup water and boil for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the turmeric powder and red chili powder. Simmer for five minutes until the spinach is cooked. Season with salt, which will cause the gravy to thicken. Be sure to keep stirring.
  8. Add the paneer cubes and stir. 
  9. Add garam masala powder and stir gently. Simmer on low flame until the paneer cubes become soft (1 to 2 minutes).
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves, julienne ginger, heavy cream and drizzle a few drops of lime juice or lemon juice
  11. Serve the palak paneer hot with some fresh naan or jeera rice.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Kadai Paneer

Kadai paneer is a tasty and flavorful main dish. It made in traditional Indian style, cooked with an assortment of spices and pastes, and great for any occasion - casual dinner or hosting friends. Kadai paneer is one of my eldest son's (Ravi) favorite dishes. Whenever we go out to an Indian restaurant he always orders kadai paneer. Even when I make the Punjabi cuisine at home, he makes sure that I make kadai paneer, black (urad) dal and palak paneer or aloo palak.  You may eat this dish with naan, roti or rice. I hope you also enjoy this!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound paneer, cut into cubes (may be home made or store-bought)
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon green chili paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small can tomato paste (store bought; use only 3/4 paste from the can)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon green coriander leaves, chopped
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan or kadai on medium heat. Once hot, stir fry the paneer. Take them out before paneer starts changing color. (If you purchased pre-fried paneer from the store, skip this step)
  2. Next, stir fry the bell pepper until they are tender. Do not overcook the bell pepper. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Using the same pan, add asafetida and sliced onion. Sauté the onion until it is light golden brown.
  4. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and green chili paste. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste, two cups of water, coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Stir and cook over medium heat until the oil separates and the gravy become thicker.
  6. Add salt, paneer and the cooked bell pepper. Let it simmer for about four to five minutes on medium-low heat.
  7. Garnish with green coriander leaves. It is ready to serve!
Notes:

If you cannot find a can of tomato paste, you may use tomato puree. Blend the tomatoes (3 medium size tomatoes) to make the puree.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Muthiya

Muthiya is an Indian appetizer which may also serve as a snack. The name is derived from the way it is made - the "gripping" action of a hand. They may be cooked and eaten either fried or steamed for the health conscience. Muthiya may be made with a variety of flavors by adding different ingredients. For example, green squash (doodhi) muthiya, rice muthiya, fenugreek (methi) muthiya, cabbage muthiya, spinach muthiya and so on. I made this specific recipe of muthiya with leftover rice and dal. It is a nice way to use leftover food and make another dish for an evening snack or dinner. So here I am sharing this recipe and I hope you will enjoy too!!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For muthiya dough:
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked dal (any type of dal)
  • 2 to 3 green chilis, finely chooped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup soji/semolina
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste
For tempering/vaghar:
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder
  • 5 tablespoons of oil
  • Pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh green coriander leaves for garnish
Directions:
  1. First, remove the extra water from surface of the dal (if leftover). Also, remove any curry leaves, kokum and green chili - large pieces that may affect the consistency of the dal.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients mentioned under the muthiya dough section in a bowl. Knead to a soft consistency. Add extra water, if needed.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 portions. With oiled hands, shape each portion into long cylindrical rolls.
  4. Place them on a well-oiled sieve plate in a steam cooker. Steam for 20 to 25 minutes until they are cooked and then let them cool.
  5. Slice them into equal 1/4" thick pieces and keep aside.
  6. On low flame, heat oil in a pan or kadai. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. As they crackle, add hing, sesame seeds and turmeric powder. Then, add the sliced muthiya pieces, red chili powder, dhana-jeera powder and salt.
  7. Gently toss and finally, garnish them with fresh chopped green coriander leaves.
  8. Serve hot with green coriander chutney, lemon wedges or pickles.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tiranga Rice

For the special occasion of India's Independence Day, which also happens to be my husband's birthday, I would like to treat you to this delicious and nutritious tricolor rice recipe. To make the three different colors, I use mint leaves and coriander leaves for green, tomatoes for orange (kesariya), and plain white with cashew for white. Hope you enjoy this delicious dish!

Soaking time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 30 to 40 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup Basmati Rice

For Green Color Rice:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 to 4 green chilis
  • 1 tablespoon cashew nuts
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste
For Orange/ Kesariya Rice:
  • 2 medium tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
For White Rice:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 piece star anise/ chakra phool  
  • 1 piece Cinnamon stick/ taja/ dalchini 
  • 2 piece cloves/ lavang
  • 2 tablespoon cashew nuts, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge for garnish
Directions:
  1. First, cook the rice such that each grain is separate. Spread it on a tray to cool. Once it has cooled a little, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  2. For orange rice, heat oil in a kadai. Then, add mustard and cumin seeds. As they crackle, add tomato puree, red chili powder, garam masala and salt. Cook until the oil separates from the masala.
  3. Take one third of the cooked rice and toss it in with the masala. Check the seasoning, taste, and then switch off the stove. Orange rice is ready.
  4. For green rice, put mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilis, cashews, lemon juice, ginger and salt in a blender. Get a smooth paste consistency by adding a little water.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard and cumin seeds. As they crackle, add the green paste.
  6. Cook for a few minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add another third of rice and mix well. Switch off the stove.
  7. For white rice, heat oil in a kadai and add mustard and cumin seeds. As they splutter, add the star anise, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Add cashew nuts, fry for few seconds and then add remaining rice. Add salt and toss the rice. Switch off the stove.
  8. Remove the star anise from the white rice for garnish.
  9. Arrange the different colored rice as per India's national flag (orange on top, white in the middle and green on the bottom). On the white rice place a lemon wedge with star anise atop.
  10. Serve with yogurt and/or any curry.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Aloo Masala/ Aloo Bhaji (South Indian Dish)

Aloo masala (also known as aloo bhaji) is a nice compliment to any kind of dosa. It may be rolled within the dosa or served as a side dish. It is an easy and simple dish to transform your meal. Onions are the only other vegetable added to the potato filling. A dosa without masala is a plain dosa, which may be had with coconut chutney and sambar, but in my opinion you'll enjoy it more with the filling! You may also eat this aloo masala with poori or bread of your choice.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Boiling time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 potatoes (boiled, peeled and cubed)
  • 1 big onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon split urad dal
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves(chopped)
  • 3 to 4 dry red chilis
  • 2 to 3 green chopped green chilis
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh green coriander leaves for garnish
Directions:
  1. Boil the potatoes. When they are soft, drain the water and let cool.
  2. Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes.
  3. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal. As the seeds crackle, add dry red chilis, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  4. Add the sliced onion and stir fry until they are light brown.
  5. Add turmeric powder, green chili, salt and the potatoes. Stir fry for a few minutes and turn off the stove.
  6. Add lemon juice and fresh chopped coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with dosa or poori.
Notes:

If you like green peas and carrots, you may add them. Boil first.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Avocado Salad

It is too hot and you are not in the mood to cook! I get it. We've all been there. Especially, during summertime in New York. If you want to eat something light, then this recipe is perfect for the occasion.  A simple summer salad comprised of tomato, cucumber and avocado. I have also added a lemon dressing and a bit of minced basil, fresh mint leaves and fresh green coriander leaves. This salad is ready in under 10 minutes with no cooking required.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber diced (no need to peel the skin)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced green coriander leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber and place into a bowl.
  2. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pit from the avocados and scoop out the flesh from the halves. Preserve the shells and chop the avocados into small pieces. Transfer to the bowl.
  3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, add lemon juice, black pepper, salt, mint, basil and coriander leaves. Mix it well.
  4. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl. Gently stir to combine with the salad.
  5. Spoon the mixture into preserved avocado shells and serve immediately.
Note:

If you like olive oil, you may add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into the lemon dressing and whisk.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Idli

Idli is traditionally eaten for breakfast in south Indian households. It is a savory cake usually 2 or 3 inches in diameter. You may make square idli or round idli. Square idli I usually make for an idli sandwich. You may pick a shape depending on which moulds of idli pan you have. It is made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (split urad dal) and rice. Note: this recipe requires substantial lead time prior to cooking.

Soaking time: 3 to 4 hours
Prep time: 15 minutes
Fermenting time: 8 to 10 hours
Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup urad dal (split black urad dal)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for greasing the mould plates
Directions:
  1. Soak the urad dal and fenugreek seeds in enough water for 3 to 4 hours and drain. Soak the rice seperately in enough water for 3 to 4 hours and drain
  2. Blend the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together in a mixer until you get the consistency of a smooth paste. Add water, little by little, as required
  3. Blend the rice and cooked rice in a mixer until you get a smooth consistency. Add a little water, as required. Combine the dal paste and rice paste together in a bowl and cover. Keep aside to ferment (8 to 10 hours).
  4. Once the batter is fermented, add salt to the batter and mix well.
  5. Put spoonfuls of the batter into the greased idli moulds and steam for 10 minutes. Take out the idli stands (holding the moulds upright) from the idli pot. Take out the idli from the moulds. Repeat with the remaining batter to make additional idlis.
  6. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Notes:
1. You may make idli sandwiches with leftover idli (Check my blog recipe titled, "Idli sandwich"). Or, you may stir fry idli with vegetables.
2. You may also make stuffed Idli with a vegetable stuffing or poatato stuffing.

Idli


Square idli

Served with sambar and chutney

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Medu Vada (South Indian Dish)

Medu vadas are a traditional South Indian dish. It may be served for the main course, a snack or a side dish. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The vada is typically made with urad dal batter and fried as donut-shape dumplings. They are served with coconut chutney and sambar.

Soaking time: 5 hours
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients: (for about 16 vadas)
  • 1-1/4 cups split washed urad dal
  • Pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • 3 to 4 green chili, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon green coriander, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry
Directions:
  1. Wash and soak dal in water for about 4 to 5 hours. Drain the water and grind the dal in a food processor or a mixer to smooth paste consistency using very little water. Just enough to get the right texture. Blend an additional 2 to 3 minutes more to make it fluffy.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the dal batter including coriander leaves, green chili, hing and salt. Beat the batter for 2 to 3 minutes. This will make the batter light and fluffy.
  3. To check the consistency, put the one drop of batter in a bowl of water. The batter should float. Keeping the right consistency of batter is very important
  4. When you put the batter on your palm, the batter should hold it's shape. If you are not using the batter right away, keep the batter refrigerated (as the batter sitting will get soft).
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. The frying pan should have about 1 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put one drop of batter in the oil. The batter should sizzle and come up.
  6. If the oil is very hot, the vadas will not cook through and will not be crispy.
  7. Wet your palms and take a golf size batter and place over your palm. Flatten to a round shape and make a hole in the center with the other hand. Slowly slide the vada into the oil pan.
  8. Fry the vadas on both sides to golden brown. Take them out over a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  9. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar. ( check my recipes for coconut chutney and sambar)

Medu vadas



Coconut chutney 



Sambar

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Oven Roasted Green Vegetables

Whenever I have a bunch of leftover veggies in the fridge from various dishes I've made earlier in the week, I end up making roasted veggies for lunch. I kept it simple and just use fresh garlic, salt, ground black pepper and red crushed pepper. The best part is that I only use veggies that I like. However, if any of the vegetables listed here are not your favorite, this recipe may easily accommodate other vegetables.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
  • 2 cups string beans (green beans, cut to 2" length)
  • 2 cups asparagus spears (cut to 2" length)
  • 7 to 8 fresh garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon red crushed pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl toss the above mentioned  vegetables with oil, fresh garlic, salt, black pepper and red crushed pepper. 
  2. In a tray, spread the vegetables and roast, stirring at least once or twice during roasting for even cooking and browning. Roast them for at least 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Vegetables are ready to serve. You may also serve with rice or bread.
Note:  
You may add your choice of vegetables like cauliflower florets, carrots, red onions, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, etc.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rice with Corn & Spinach (Palak)

Rice with corn and spinach is relatively easy to make, but is a little time consuming overall. It is simultaneously a very healthy dish. Spinach with sweet corn is one of my favorite combinations. The sweetness of corn fuses well with the slightly bland yet earthy taste of spinach. This corn and palak variation is creamier than your average restaurant entree as I have added a white sauce in place of heavy cream. The white sauce prevents the palak vegetable from having a runny or watery texture. This dish is also a meal in a bowl. So, relax and enjoy!

Soaking time: 20 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients for Rice:
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 to 6 cups of water 
Ingredients:
  • 2 bunches of spinach (will create approx. 3 cups of puree)
  • 1 cup boiled corn
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 3 to 4 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 to 5 green chili, chopped (adjust according to your tolerance for heat)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste
Ingredients for White Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
Ingredients for Veg Saute:
  • 1 small onion, cubed
  • 1 tomatoes seeded, cubed 
  • 1 small green pepper, cubed
  • 1 small red pepper, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red crushed pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oilve oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. First, we will cook the plain rice. Start by washing the rice and soak for 20 minutes in warm water. Then, drain the water. In a pot, add the rice, water, salt, lemon juice and ghee. While the rice is cooking, rinse the spinach very well in water. When the rice is cooked, drain the water and keep the rice on the side.
  2. Boil water with some salt. Add chopped green chili, ginger, garlic and the spinach to the boiled water. Switch off the flame and let the leaves be immersed in the water for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain and quickly immerse the spinach in ice cold water. 
  4. Boil the corn and keep it on the side.
  5. In a blender, make a smooth spinach puree by adding a little water. Keep it on the side.
  6. To make white sauce, in a pan, melt butter and stir in flour and salt. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 more minutes and the sauce is ready.
  7. To make corn and spinach mixture, in a pan, heat the oil or ghee and add cumin seeds. When it crackles, add hing (asafoetida) and chopped onion. When onion turn medium brown, add all spices, mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, add spinach puree and boiled corn, mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add the white sauce, mix it well and cook for another 1 minute. The corn and spinach is ready.
  9. For saute veg, in a pan, add olive oil, cumin seeds and onion and cook on high medium heat. Then, add all other vegetables. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add salt, black pepper and red crushed pepper. Vegetables should be crunchy, not overcooked. Turn off the gas.
  10. The dish is ready to serve! In a plate, first, place the rice. Then, place the corn spinach vegetables. Finally, add the sautéed vegetables on the top of the spinach. Serve hot and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bhaat Na Rasawala Muthiya

Bhaat na rasawala muthiya is an option for you during those times you've cooked too much rice and want to utilize it for another meal (that or you may make extra rice on purpose if you enjoy this!). This is a family favorite recipe originating from the Gujarat region of India. The muthiya are made from cooked rice simmered in a yogurt spiced gravy. As they are boiling, the muthiya will soften and subsequently melt in your mouth when you eat them. The gravy may be slightly sour and medium spicy, but you may add to or subtract from the ingredients as you see fit to tailor to your own taste. In the end, I garnish it with chopped onions, tomatoes and green coriander leaves. Yummy! Hope you enjoy it.

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

Ingredients:

For Muthiya:
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 3 tablespoon chickpea flour/ besan
  • 3 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chili (adjust according to your heat level)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhanajeera powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
For Gravy:
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves 
  • 2 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-1/2 cups water (approx.)
  • 1 small chopped onion, for garnish
  • 1 small tomato, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh green coriander leaves, for garnish
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, take all the ingredients listed under muthiya and mix well to make it thick and doughy without adding any water.
  2. Shape them into small sized muthiyas (see photo below) and keep aside.
  3. In a bowl, take yogurt and add red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well and make the batter thin by adding water.
  4. Heat oil in a pan or kadai on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and when it starts to crackle, add hing/ asafoetida. Add green chili and ginger paste and saute for few seconds before adding curry leaves.
  5. Add prepared yogurt mixture and bring it to a boil.
  6. Once it starts boiling, add muthiya one by one. Let it boil and keep cooking.  If it dries up, then add more water. Keep cooking until muthiyas are cooked (approximately 15 minutes, minimum).
  7. Once cooked, turn off the stove.
  8. Garnish with onion, tomato and coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot.



Shape of muthiya

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Marwari Bati/ Thetha

Bati, a hard bread made of wheat flour, is a popular accompaniment in the Rajasthan Region of India. The wheat flour is mashed with little bit of salt, ghee and water or milk. Subsequently turned into tennis ball sized round spheres, the mixture is put into a well heated oven. When the bati becomes golden brown in color, it is stuffed with ghee and served hot with dal and gatte ki subji. You may make different kinds of bati like stuffed potato bati, plain bati, stuffed green peas bati, stuffed paneer bati or stuffed gram flour bati. Essentially, the dough is same, but you get variations with different stuffings. In some parts of India, it is known as thetha. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 50 minutes
Serving: 4 (8 Batis)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 8 tablespoons melted ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup warm water or milk (Approx.)
  • Ghee (to soak bati)

Directions:
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead well to make the dough stiff similar to bhakri dough. Divide it into 8 equal portions.
  2. Knead each portion well for a smooth finish and shape them into round balls.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Arrange the batis over a cookie baking sheet about one inch apart and place the pan in the middle oven rack. Bake for about 25 minutes, turn them over and further bake until batis are golden brown.
  5. Break a bati from one side to make sure they have cooked through.
  6. Once complete, break all the batis and pour the ghee over the bati or soak the batis in ghee and served with bowl of hot dal.


Bati served with dal, Gata nu shak, Batata nu shak and various condiments.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Mug Ni Fotrawali Dal ( For Bati )

The recipe for this dal is a family favorite. I make this dal at least once a week and we enjoy it with roti and vegetables. Most Rajasthani make punchkuti dal with bati (see recipe for Bati), but in my family we make this dal with bati. My friends also prefer this dal with bati. Whenever I invite them over for dal-bati, they insist that I should make mug ni fotrawali dal, not punchkuti dal. So enjoy a favorite of my family and friends!!!

Soaking time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup split green moong dal with skin (wash and soak)
  • 1/4 cup split yellow moong dal
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chille powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder
  • 3 to 4 pieces kokum (washed and soaked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 slit green chillis
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 4 teaspoon ghee plus 1 additional teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilli
  • Pinch of asafoetida 
  • 5 cups of water (approx.)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Directions:
  1. Mix both types of dal in a bowl and wash and soak for 30 minutes. Drain the water, add salt, turmeric powder, dhana-jeera powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, curry leaves, kokum, slit green chilli and 1 teaspoon ghee. Mix it well and keep aside.
  2. In a pot, boil 5 cups of water on a stove. Add dal mixture once boiling. Stir occasionally.
  3. Cook and simmer until the dal is tender.
  4. Mix the dal with an Indian mixer made of wood called RAI (see image below) in India. Dal and water should be of similar consistency. The consistency of dal depends on individual preference (not too thin or too thick).
  5. For tempering, heat ghee in a laddle, add mustard seeds and as they crackle, add cumin seeds and hing/asafoetida. 
  6. Add dry red chilli and chilli powder and pour the tempering into the dal mixture. Stir and turn off the stove.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with bati, roti or rice.
Note:

Add extra water, if required. In this dal, if you add garlic-ginger dressing (Rotla Dressing) it will be tastier. For rotla dressing, check the recipe on my blog.


Mug ni fhotrawali dal

Add all spices

Mix it
Boil the water and add the mixtures

Photo of a RAI

Monday, April 18, 2016

South Indian Sambar

This South Indian staple requires no introduction. It's traditionally prepared and balanced with staple dishes such as idli, medu vada, dosa and uttapam among others. The recipe is quite tasty and the cooking aroma will make your mouth water. At heart, it is a medley of vegetables, which makes it easy to eat and relatively healthy.

Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients for Sambar Powder:
  • 6 to 7 dry red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper seeds
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 8 to 9 fenugreek seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toovar dal (yellow pigeon peas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 6 to 7 dry curry leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
Ingredients for Sambar:
  • 3/4 cup toovar dal
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced and steamed 
  • 7 to 8 drumsticks, steamed 
  • 1/4 cup green capsicum, diced
  • 1/4 cup red capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 cup dudhi (calabash), diced and steamed 
  • 1/4 cup squash/zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1/4 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida 
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons green coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water (depending on how thick you want the sambar)
Directions:
  1. First, for the powder, roast all the ingredients noted above except hing and turmeric powder. Do not burn any of the spices as you roast them. After a few minutes, add hing and turmeric powder and let it all cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, grind them together in a mixer to make the sambar powder.  (You may also use store-bought sambar powder, if you are short on time)
  2. Wash the toovar dal thoroughly and soak for 20 minutes before draining. Combine the washed dal and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the cooker. Keep the dal aside.
  3. In a large pan/pot, heat the oil and add jeera, mustard seeds, urad dal, dry red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida/hing.
  4. Once they are well fried, add tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix well and close the lid for a couple of minutes until the tomato becomes soft and boiled.
  5. Add capsicum, zucchini, all of the steamed vegetables, the toovar dal paste and mix well.
  6. Cook on low flame, add tamarind paste and water. Mix it well until everything is boiled.
  7. Once boiled, add 2 teaspoons of the sambar powder prepared earlier, mix well and cook on a slow flame for 10 to 15 minutes. (You may keep the extra sambar powder in your refrigerator for next time)
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and the sambar is ready to serve.

                  Sambar

                  Sambar powder

                  Tuesday, April 12, 2016

                  Kanki Nu Khichu

                  Kanki Khichu is one of the easier recipes you will read about on this blog. It involves a little bit of time, a few ingredients and a pressure cooker. Something so easy to make and ultimately delicious will have you making this frequently. I learned this recipe from my aunt Daksha in India. However, I've added my own twist to it. My Gujarati friends, who typically make khichu with rice flour, will love this recipe. Give it a go!

                  Soaking Time: 30 minutes
                  Prep Time: 5 minutes
                  Cooking Time: 15 minutes
                  Servings: 4

                  Ingredients:
                  • 1 1/2 cups kanki / broken rice
                  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
                  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
                  • 3 teaspoons green chili minced and adjusted according to your spice level
                  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped + 2 additional tablespoons for garnish
                  • 3 tablespoon oil or ghee for garnishing (your choice)
                  • 3 teaspoons salt
                  • 1 1/2 teaspoon papadia khar
                  • Pinch of asafoetida
                  • Methi masala for garnish
                  • 7 1/2 cups water
                  Directions:
                  1. Wash and soak kanki in water for 30 minutes. Once soaked, drain the water. 
                  2. In a pot, add the soaked kanki and all the ingredients mentioned above, including water, except the methi masala and garnishes. Mix everything together with a spatula.
                  3. Put the pot in a pressure cooker and cook to eight whistles on medium heat. (Don't forget to add water in the pressure cooker and then place the pot in)
                  4. Let cooker get cool. Open and stir the khichu before serving.
                  5. Garnish with methi masala, coriander leaves and oil/ghee.
                  Notes:
                  If you like, you may also add minced ginger (1 tablespoon) and minced garlic (2 cloves)

                  Sunday, April 10, 2016

                  Urad ni Dal

                  As you’ve been reading the blog for a few months now, I hope you have found happiness in these home cooked food recipes. When we eat a traditional Indian meal at home with roti, a vegetable dish (shaak), and rice, we always have a bowl of dal (lentils) as well. The dal recipe below, Urad Dal, is comprised of mild spices with a ghee tempering. It goes well with Bajra Rotla during the cold winter months. Enjoy!

                  Prep time: 5 minutes
                  Cooking time: 25 minutes
                  Servings: 4

                  Ingredients:
                  • 3/4 cup split black beans (urad ni dal)
                  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
                  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
                  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
                  • 1 small tomato, chopped
                  • 3 to 4 pieces of kokum (washed and soaked)
                  • 2 to 3 green chillies (cut it in half)
                  • 3 to 4 curry leaves
                  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
                  • 3/4 teaspoon dhana jeera powder
                  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
                  • 2 tablespoons ghee
                  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
                  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
                  • Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
                  • Salt to taste
                  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh green coriander leaves to garnish
                  • 4 cups of water (approximately)
                  Directions:
                  1. First, wash and drain the dal.
                  2. On a medium flame, in a pot or pan, boil the pre-soaked dal in 4 cups of water.
                  3. Stir occasionally for 15 minutes or so until the dal is tender
                  4. Add salt, turmeric powder, kokum, green chili, chana, jeera powder and curry leaves
                  5. Stir and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes
                  6. On a separate low flame, heat ghee in a ladle for tempering. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. As they crackle, add hing and onion. Sauté the onion until it gets light brown. Then, add ginger and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Finally, add red chili powder.
                  7. Pour the tempering into the dal and mix well. Simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
                  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with bajra rotla or roti.

                  Note:
                  For Jains, you may omit the onion, garlic and ginger.


                  Guvar Nu Shaak

                  Guvar nu Shaak (cluster beans) pairs well with Bajra na Rotla. The recipe to cook Guvar is short, simple and easy to prepare. Variations to the recipe include making Guvar Dhokli nu Shaak and Guvar Batata nu Shaak. I personally like it to eat it plain with Bajra Rotla.

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

                  Ingredients:
                  • 3 1/4 cups cluster beans (guvar)
                  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
                  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dhana jeera powder
                  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
                  • Pinch of asafoetida (hing)
                  • Pinch of soda bicarbonate (optional, I did not use)
                  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
                  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
                  • 3/4 teaspoon carom seeds
                  • 1/2 teaspoon amachoor powder (mango powder)
                  • Pinch sugar
                  • 3 tablespoons oil
                  • Salt to taste
                  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
                  Directions:
                  1.     Wash and string both ends of each Guvar bean. Then cut each one into 2 to 3 smaller peices.
                  2.     On a low flame, heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add asafoetida, carom seeds, beans, and a little water.
                  3.     Mix well, and cook until half done. Add turmeric powder and salt. Cover with a lid.
                  4.     Keep the inside of the lid moist (rinse a little water, if needed, onto the underside) to let the Guvar steam. You may also use a thali with water on top.
                  5.     Keep the pan slightly uncovered
                  6.     Cook until tender and then add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
                  7.     Garnish with fresh coriander leaves 
                  8.     Serve hot with roti, bajra rotla or bhakri


                  Note: You can also boil the guvar first and then temper.



                  Bajra Na Rotla

                  Bajra Rotla, aptly named as it is made with bajra (millet) flour, is one of my favorite Gujarati comfort foods. I top it off with ghee and jaggery and eat it with some baingan bharta on the side. However, it also goes very well with urad dal, guvar nu shaak (cluster beans), and garlic chutney. For the health conscience, the flour used to make this rotla is quite nutritious. It’s a nice filling meal ideal for the winter time. Be sure to plan a nice nap shortly after!

                  Prep Time: 2 minutes
                  Cooking Time: 25 minutes
                  Servings: Makes 6 Rotlas


                  Ingredients:
                  • 2 cups Bajra/millet flour
                  • Water for dough
                  • Millet flour for dusting (as required)
                  • Melted ghee (to apply on rotla)
                  • Salt to taste
                  Directions:
                  1. Sieve the Bajra flour and salt together in a bowl. Add lukewarm water and knead into a semi soft dough
                  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions (take one portion and apply pressure using your hand and knead it for some time)
                  3. Dip one portion of the dough in the extra millet flour, flatten, and pat it on the rolling board with your palm to make a round of 5' diameter
                  4. Pre-heat the griddle/tawa on a medium heat. Once hot, place the rotla on the griddle and make sure there are no bubbles on the rotla
                  5. Cook until small blisters appear on the surface. Apply some water on the top surface so that the rotla doesn't get dry. Flip the rotla on other side and cook for few more seconds
                  6. Now take the rotla off the tawa/griddle and place it on direct flame. Let the rotla puff up like a phulka roti with brown spots appearing on both sides. Place aside on a plate.
                  7. Generously spread ghee on top of rotla
                  8. Follow the same steps for the remaining rotla pieces
                  9. The rotla is now ready to serve!
                  Bajra rotla served with guvar nu shaak, a dad ni dal, garlic chutney and jaggery

                  Bajra na rotla

                  Monday, March 21, 2016

                  Multi-Color Aloo Tikki

                  Aloo Tikki (potato cutlet/patty) is a versatile recipe you will find yourself making and eating in a variety of ways. For example, you can eat it as the main ingredient in a burger, or with ragda, with chole, or just plain with any chutney. Aloo Tikki can be made and stored away for a rainy day or as a snack. In honor of Holi, I've tried a slight variation and created a multi-color Aloo Tikki with assorted pureés. While the tikkis I've made are large in size, you may adjust the size as you best feel appropriate. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

                  Prep Time: 30 minutes
                  Cooking Time: 20 minutes
                  Servings: 4  (makes 4 big tikkis)

                  Ingredients:
                  • 4 potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed)
                  • 1 small beet root (boiled and puréed)
                  • 1/2 carrot (boiled and puréed)
                  • 1/2 cup blanched spinach for puree
                  • 1/3 cup chopped green coriander leaves for puree + 2 tablespoons for potato stuffing
                  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves for puree
                  • 4 to 5 green chili paste (adjust accordingly based on spice preference)
                  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
                  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
                  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
                  • 1/4 teaspoon black salt
                  • 1/8  teaspoon ground black pepper
                  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
                  • Salt to taste
                  • Oil for shallow fry
                  • Few strands of carrot, beet root and deep fried spinach for garnish (optional)

                  Directions:
                  1. Peel and mash the boiled potatoes
                  2. Create three separate purée groups and keep aside
                    • spinach, coriander leaves, and mint leaves purée (green)
                    • Carrot purée (orange)
                    • beet root purée (red)
                  3. To create aloo stuffing, mix chili paste, ginger paste, lemon juice, black pepper, salt, coriander leaves, corn starch and black salt. Mix well.
                  4. Divide the mixture into four equal parts and place in four separate bowls.
                  5. In the first bowl, add turmeric powder to the potato mixture (yellow). In the second bowl, add the green purée. In the third bowl, add the orange purée. In the fourth bowl, add the red purée. Make sure to mix each bowl well.  
                  6. If the mixture is too sticky, add more corn starch.
                  7. Within each bowl, divide the mixtures into four small equal sized balls. Join one ball of each color by pressing together, shaping all four into a larger tikki round, about 3.5" in size. 
                  8. In a pan, add oil on medium heat and shallow fry the tikki patties
                  9. After frying, place the tikkis on a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.
                  10. Serve with green coriander chutney and sweet sour chutney.
                  Colorful Aloo Tikki

                  Three purées - 1) Spinach, coriander and mint puree (Green), 2) Carrot puree (Orange) and 3) Beet root puree (Red)

                  Potato Mixture divided in four parts

                  Puree added, fourth one is turmeric powder
                   
                  Tikkis created by joining four colors of aloo mixture together

                  Saturday, March 5, 2016

                  Chaptiwala Rotla / Jada Rotla/ Khoba Roti

                  For any family that enjoys a traditional Sunday meal, I highly recommend chaptiwala rotla. When I was growing up in India, we had this every Sunday not just at my house, but also at my relatives' too. My siblings and I especially love this meal. My friends and family in New York have also taken to eating rotla, which is essentially a thick flour flat bread inlaid with a pattern of pinchmarks made using your fingers. I hope you enjoy this recipe the same way I always have.

                  Prep Time:  15 minutes
                  Cooking Time: 45 minutes
                  Servings: 4 people

                  Ingredients:
                  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
                  • 8 tablespoons ghee
                  • 6 tablespoons ghee to smear the rotla
                  • Salt to taste
                  • Warm water as required

                  Final Product - Traditional rotla served with masala drumsticks, yellow moong dal, rotla dressing, chutney, fried chili, lemon and salad.


                  Directions with pictures:
                  Step 1: Add 8 tablespoons ghee and salt to the flour. Knead the flour with warm water and make a stiff dough (same as Bhakri dough)
                  Step 2: Make 4 balls with the dough
                  Step 3: Roll each dough ball out to 7 inches in diameter (1 to 1.5cm thick)
                  Step 4: Place one rotla piece on a hot tawa/griddle on low heat, make marks with a knife on upper side of the rotla, so the rotla surface doesn't bubble too much

                  Step 5: 
                  When the color changes on the top and tiny bubbles appear, turn the rotla over
                  Step 6: Pinch the rotla on upper side in a circular motion, working your way towards the center. Let the bottom side get crispy golden brown.
                  Step 6
                  Step 6

                  Step 6
                  Step 6: Top side, after you are done pinching
                  Step 7: Remove the rotla from the tawa/griddle and repeat the procedure with rest of the dough balls.

                  Step 8
                  Step 8

                  Step 8: With a double metal grill/papad grill/chapati grill, roast the other side of the rotla. You can also roast the rotla on a tawa with low heat as another option. (Put the metal grill on stove, let it get hot and then roast the rotla)

                  Step 9: Smear the rotla with the ghee and it's ready to eat! You can also add the rotla dressing to add more flavor and taste.