Saturday, November 18, 2017

Methi Na Ladva/ Ladoo

Methi na ladva is a traditional recipe which is more of a medicine than a sweet. This is typically given to mothers after they deliver a baby. It is also used as a, "cure," for back or joint pains during winter months. These ladvas are generally better consumed during the winter season. Fenugreek seeds contain many minerals and vitamins, which are beneficial for bone health. I learned this specific recipe from my mother. I may make a good ladva, but I still can't beat my mother's homemade methi ladva. She is the best at it! As it is currently winter time, it's time to make methi na ladva! Enjoy and stay warm!

Preparations Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 20 ladvas

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups jaggery, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup ghee (for jaggery)
  • 2 cups ghee (for flour)
  • 3/4 cup gund/ gum, finely ground
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (dry coconut; topravatki)
  • 3/4 cup almond, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons methi powder (Adjust methi powder according to your taste)
  • 4 tablespoons ginger powder
  • 3 tablespoons peepramul powder
Directions:
  1. In a kadai, add ghee and wheat flour. Roast the flour until it gets fragrant.
  2. Add gund powder and stir. Make sure the gund crackles. 
  3. Next, add almond, coconut, ginger powder and peepramul powder. Mix well.
  4. Turn of the gas and leave the kadai aside. 
  5. Take another kadai and, on a medium heat, add ghee and jaggery together. Stir continuously, When the jaggery melts (no lumps), turn off the stove. 
  6. Add the melted jaggery into the flour mixture and mix well. Allow it to cool a little bit. Then, add methi powder and mix well.
  7. Shape the mixture into round ladoos using your hands. The size of a ladoo is approximately bigger than golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball. 
  8. Allow it to cool and store in an air-tight container.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Jaadi Teekhi Sev

Gram flour sev is a quick and savory snack often prepared during Diwali. This variation is my mom's recipe of preparing the sev. The taste of this sev is spicy and the texture is crispy. You may make medium spicy sev by adding less red chili powder (adjust the heat level according to your taste buds). Sev may be stored up to two months, but make sure to store in an air tight container. You will also need a chakli press for making this sev (available on Amazon). The discs with slightly larger holes are required for sev. I don't add baking soda when I make sev, but you may add a pinch of it if you want. Spicy, or mild sev, are great munches at any time of the day.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil (for the dough)
  • 1 pinch of baking soda (optional)
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 4 tablespoons water (approx.)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry 
  • Chakli moulds: plate fitted with big holes (Sev no sancho).
Directions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the sifted gram flour and all the spices (turmeric powder, red chili powder, carom seeds, asafoetida, oil and salt). If you prefer using baking soda as well then also add it now. Mix well, add water and knead to a soft-consistency dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Then, knead again for 1 minute. Grease the chakli moulds and discs with a little oil. Place the disc towards the bottom of the cylindrical sev maker. Take a part of the dough and roll it into a log. Gently place in the sev maker and cover the sev maker with a lid.
  3. On high flame, heat oil in a frying pan. Once hot, lower the flame. Into the hot oil, directly press the sev maker to make sev. Move in a circular motion so the sev is equally distributed.
  4. Fry until the color changes to golden on both sides and the sev becomes crispy. Remove the sev from oil and place the fried sev on paper towels to absorb out the excess oil.
  5. Repeat with left over dough. When the sev is room temperature, store into an air tight container. Sev is ready to consume.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Crispy Spicy Puri

Crispy puris are made from whole wheat flour with a few added spices. They are perfect as a tea-time or coffee accompanying snack. The delight of these puris lies in their taste. I usually prefer to make them as a homemade snack, rather than buying from a store, because homemade snacks taste fresher and are more hygienically made compared to ready-made ones. These make for a good and filling snack while travelling as well. The puris taste great with pickle, chundo or pickle green chilis. Have fun!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4  (approx. 25 to 30 puris)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee/ oil (for dough)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil (to smooth out the dough)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons water (room temperature)
  • Ghee or oil for frying
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients well. Knead into a tight and stiff dough. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Knead the dough one more time to smooth it out. Then, make small, tiny balls. Flatten each ball between your palm and roll into a 2" diameter circle. 
  3. The rolled circle should be of medium thickness - not too thin or too thick. Roll all of them and prick the surface with a fork or knife all over.
  4. On medium flame, heat ghee or oil in a frying pan. Deep fry the puris until golden brown in color on the both sides.
  5. Drain and keep them on an absorbent paper. Let cool and store in an airtight container. 
  6. Enjoy! They stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Valor Muthiya Nu Shaak (Hyacinth Beans/ Broad Beans)

Valor muthiya nu shaak is a specialty of Gujarat. It is a seasonal vegetable which is rich in fiber and full of vitamins. The beans may also be combined with potatoes or eggplant (brinjal). The most tiring or time consuming job in this whole process is the cleaning the beans. They should be de-stringed and the pod opened. To make this vegetable, deep fried, fengugreek leaves, spices and gram flour muthiya are cooked with the valor. The dish should be served with hot chapatis/ roti or bhakri.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups of valor 
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon carom/ ajwain seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
To make methi/ frenugreek muthiya:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh methi, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gram flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon rava/ semolina
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon green chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon dhanajeera powder (cumin and coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons oil
  • Pinch of soda bicarb
  • Oil for frying the muthiya
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. First, wash and de-string the bean pods. Then, open the bean pods. 
  2. In a bowl, add all the ingredients to make muthiya and mix well. Then, add a little water to make the dough thick. Grease your palms and make small oval cylindrical rolls from the dough. 
  3. Deep fry the muthiya in hot oil on medium heat until golden in color.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add hing (ajwain), turmeric powder and the beans.
  5. Add chili powder, coriander-cumin (dhanajeera) powder, salt, and a pinch of soda bicarb to the pan. Mix well and add 2 cups of water. Now, let it simmer until the beans are half cooked.
  6. Add the fried muthiya to the pan along with chopped tomatoes. Mix and simmer. When the beans and muthiya become soft, turn off the stove.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Serve hot with roti, bhakri or rice with dal.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Diwali 2017 Recipes

As Diwali approaches, I'll be sharing a few recipes to help you celebrate the holiday! In many Gujarati households, it is a custom to make a variety of snacks and sweets during Diwali to enjoy with your loved ones.

The first recipe is for Mathiya, a type of savory papad that has a spicy yet sweet crunchy taste.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mathiya flour / math dal flour
  • 1/2 cup urad dal flour
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour/besan
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds/ ajwain
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white chili powder or coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon papad kharo (soda khar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying 
  • Warm water as needed (approx 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon )

Directions:
  1. In a bowl mix the three flours, ghee, carom seeds, white chili powder and sugar
  2. Add papad kharo to warm water 
  3. Add water to knead the dough. In order to get dough stiff, it will need to be pounded with a stone mortar or with your fists. 
  4. After pounding the dough for at least 15 minutes, create small round balls with the dough 
  5. With a rolling pin, roll out the balls into a thin round shape (slightly bigger than the size of a puri)
  6. In a deep wok/kadai, heat the oil on a medium high setting. Fry the mathiya one at a time until they are golden brown
  7. Mathiya is ready to serve
Notes:
Store mathiya in an air tight container for freshness


Chorafali or fafda is another Diwali specialty in Gujarati households. This gluten free crispy vegan snack is perfect for munching at anytime during the day.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour / besan / chana dal flour
  • 1/2 cup split urad dal flour
  • Pinch carom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Pinch soda (baking soda)
  • Pinch crushed black pepper 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon black salt to sprinkle (mix it in a small bowl)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup water to 1/3 cup water approx
Directions:
  1. Boil 1/3 cup of water and add baking soda into it. In a bowl mix both flours, add salt, oil, black pepper and carom seeds
  2. When water gets warm, add into flour and knead the dough (dough should be stiff ). Keep aside for 20 minutes
  3. If your dough is still dry, add some oil and pound with stone mortar and stretch to make it soft and smooth. do not add more water 
  4. Make small balls of dough and roll out each ball to very thin roti size (about 5 inches in diameter)
  5. Within each circle, make about 4 to 5 cuts in the middle only while avoiding cutting to the edges OR you can cut them all of the way into wide individual strips
  6. Deep fry in oil on medium flame until golden brown 
  7. Sprinkle red chili powder and black salt on top before serving
Notes:
Once cool, store in a airtight container. They will keep fresh for about fifteen days.




On to the Diwali sweets! This recipe is for Khajoor (dates) Rolls with nuts. Dates and nuts always make a great combination and provide tremendous amount of nutritious value. While considered a dessert, these rolls are not overly sweet and can also be eaten as a snack. During Diwali, I usually make a roll to add variety to the other snacks and sweets. I just love Diwali as it brings lots of happiness!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 (32 pieces)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates (khajoor)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped almond
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnut
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cashew
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk (optional)
  • Approximately 3 tablespoons Almond, pistachio and coconut powder (to coat the roll)

Directions:
  1. Heat ghee in a pan, add dates, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Mash the dates a little bit using a potato masher
  2. Add chopped nuts, and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes over low to medium heat. 
  3. Add condensed milk (by adding it the texture of roll will be creamy and soft)
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn off the stove. 
  5. Apply ghee on the palm of your hand and shape the mixture into a log. Make sure the log is tight and free of air bubbles
  6. Coat the roll with pistachios, almond and coconut powder mixture, 
  7. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes
  8. Take this roll out of the refrigerator and cut it up into 1/4" thick pieces
  9. Khajoor rolls are ready to serve
Notes:
You can store it into air tight container up to 15 days. You can also mold this roll in any shape you like.


Ghughra is a traditional Gujarati and popular Diwali sweet. It is also known as Gujia or Karanji. Ghughra is a fried dessert in a dumpling shape filled with coconut and dry fruits. You can also use mawa/ khoya to make the filling. This sweet is a "must have" in our family every Diwali as it is Anisha's, my daughter in-law, favorite. I dedicate this recipe to her.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: Make 35 to 40 pieces, depending on the shape

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup rava/ sooji/ cream of wheat
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (dry)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (cut it in half)
  • 1/4 cup almonds (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup cashews (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder/ elaichi
  • Pinch of  nutmeg powder
  • 4 to 5 strands of saffron 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • Ghee for frying
Dough:
  • 2 cups maida flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee
Directions:
  1. Roast the rava in ghee in a pan at low heat, until it becomes light brown in color
  2. Add cardamom powder, almonds, cashews, pistachios, coconuts, raisins, saffron and sugar and mix it all well together. Keep it to a side once mixed.
  3. In a bowl add maida flour, add ghee and mix it well
  4. Knead the dough and divide into small balls (the dough should be stiff)
  5. Keep the dough covered, so it doesn't dry out
  6. Take one ball and roll out into a puri shaped circle. Add some stuffing on the dough and then close it to create a half moon shape.
  7. Keep twisting around the edges to make ghughra in various shapes (you can use ghughra mold to give shape. See picture below)
  8. After you make four to six ghughra, begin frying process. Ghee should be heated in a pan on low/medium heat. Fry thoroughly.
  9. Continue steps 6-8 for remaining dough balls.
  10. Ghughras are ready to serve
Traditional shape and different shapes of ghughra:



Ghughra stuffing:


Ghughra Mold:


Being healthy and staying healthy is easy with this recipe for cereal chevda. It will take care of your munching needs without all the unhealthy calories and fat from fried snacks. This is relatively quick to make and the recipe is easy to follow. It is comprised of a mix of different cereals, some dry fruits and is mildly spiced. It makes quite an enjoyable snack.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups Corn Flakes
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup potato sticks
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted chana dal
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 green chillies chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (mango powder)
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
                          Directions:

                          1. Heat oil in a wide saucepan or kadai over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds.
                          2. As the mustard seeds crack, add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves. Cover the pan for few seconds after you add curry leaves as the mixture will spray outwards.
                          3. Lower the heat to medium low and stir fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add raisins, cashews, almonds, peanuts and chana dal. Stir-fry for an additional minute or two.
                          4. Add fennel seeds, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, amachoor powder, garam masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix well for 30 seconds.
                          5. Add both cereals and potato sticks. Stir the mixture gently and mix it well for a minute.
                          6. Turn off the heat and add sugar. Mix it well. The chevda is now ready.
                          7. Let the chevda cool to room temperature before you transfer into a container.

                          Note:
                          Cereal chevda can be kept for several days in an airtight container.



                          Sunday, October 8, 2017

                          Gram Flour Dhokla (with Bitter Gourd Skin)

                          We all love making different kinds of dhoklas. Why? It's such a versatile dish! Dhoklas may be had for breakfast or with evening tea, but on busy days don't we wish there was a faster alternative? Lay your worries to rest with these easy to make dhoklas using a karela's (bitter gourd) scrubbed skin. This dish simply involves assembling the ingredients, mixing them and cooking. So, it is no fuss after all. Karela skin also provides a lot of iron and other friendly nutrients. Try this recipe - it is very tasty and yummy. In my family, we also call this dish, "Gashelu."

                          Preparation time: 10 minutes
                          Cooking time: 10 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
                          • 3/4 cup scrubbed skin of karela (bitter gourd)
                          • 1 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder 
                          • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder for tempering
                          • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder
                          • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
                          • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
                          • 2 tablespoons green coriander leaves, chopped
                          • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
                          • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds for tempering
                          • 1 tablespoon oil for tempering 
                          • Salt to taste
                          • 2 tablespoons oil
                          • 1 teaspoon oil for greasing
                          Directions:
                          1. Combine all the ingredients, except fresh coriander leaves, mustard seeds, hing and oil (as noted above) in a mixing bowl. Add four cups of water and make sure that no lumps remain. The batter should be thin.
                          2. On a nonstick pan, at medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add hing. Then, add the batter and stir continuously until the batter gets to a thick consistency similar to soft-rice khichu.
                          3. Grease a thali or plate with oil. Spread the batter evenly. 
                          4. In a small kadai, add 1 tablespoon oil at medium heat. Then, add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle, turn off the stove. Add 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder and sprinkle the mixture on top of the dhokla. Let it cool a little bit. Then, cut into diamond-shaped or square-shaped pieces. The taste should not be bitter, but pleasant.
                          5. Sprinkle the dhokla with fresh coriander leaves and serve.
                          Note: If you want, you may also add garlic, ginger and green chili paste to gram flour batter.


                          Saturday, September 30, 2017

                          Bharela Bhinda (Stuffed Okra)

                          Bharela Bhinda is a Jain-friendly recipe comprised of spices, bhindi, yogurt, salt and oil. This recipe is easy in terms of steps, but is time-consuming when it comes to rinsing, drying and then stuffing the bhindi. There is no garam masala powder added in this recipe. Only regular spices such as red chili powder, turmeric powder and dhana-jeera powder. I learned this recipe, using yogurt, from my mother-in-law. Adding yogurt into the masala allows the bhinda to stay green and adds to the taste as well. This bhinda recipe goes well with roti and dal. Enjoy!

                          Prep Time: 20 minutes
                          Cooking time: 25 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 4 1/2 cups Bhinda/ okra
                          • 4 tablespoons oil
                          • 2 tablespoons red chili powder (adjust your heat level)
                          • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
                          • 1 teaspoon jeera/ cumin powder
                          • 3 tablespoons coriander (dhana) powder
                          • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
                          • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
                          • 3 tablespoons yogurt
                          • Pinch of hing
                          • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped green coriander leaves
                          • Salt to taste
                          Directions:
                          1. Wash, wipe dry and trim both ends of the bhinda/okra.
                          2. Combine all the spices in a bowl with yogurt and salt. Mix well.
                          3. Slit each bhinda vertically without breaking 
                          4. Fill each bhinda with the spice mixture and then cut each bhinda in half.
                          5. Heat oil on a pan/ kadai. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add hing. Then, add the stuffed bhinda and cook on low heat until they are cooked per your preference (my son liked them a little burned).
                          6. Do not cover the bhinda otherwise they will get slimy or gooey.
                          7. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
                          8. Serve bharela bhinda hot with roti/ chapatis.


                          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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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)

                          Ingredients: 
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 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
                          Directions:
                          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.

                          Monday, June 5, 2017

                          Nachos (Mexican Dish)

                          Nachos is one of the most widely eaten dishes in my home. What is it? Some sort of salad, a snack or something in between? My zesty nachos are comprised of Indian flavored kidney beans (rajma), spicy salsa, lots of vegetables and cheese arranged atop corn chips. It bursts of flavors and textures! Garnish it with spring onions and jalapenos to add a colorful layer of appeal to this tasty snack. You may use a variety of vegetables based on your preferences. I used green pepper, red pepper, spring onions, jalapenos, tomatoes and coriander leaves. If you like, you may also use olives, lettuce etc. Enjoy with some football in the fall!

                          Preparation Time: 20 minutes
                          Cooking Time: 25 minutes (15 minutes for beans and 10 minutes baking time)
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1 bag of tortilla chips, 14.5 oz.
                          For Beans:
                          • 1 can red kidney beans, 19 oz.
                          • 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
                          • 1 small onion, chopped
                          • 1 small plum tomato, chopped
                          • 1 jalapeno, chopped
                          • 2 garlic cloves
                          • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
                          • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
                          • Salt, to taste
                          For Toppings:
                          • 2 tomatoes, chopped
                          • 2 to 3 jalapeños, sliced
                          • 1 small red onion, chopped
                          • 1 small green capsicum, chopped
                          • 1 red capsicum, chopped
                          • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
                          • 1/2 cup spring onion, chopped
                          • 2 bags of mozzarella cheese (16 oz. each)
                          Directions:
                          1. To make the beans, heat oil on a pan and add the chopped onion. Sauté until medium brown. Then, add chopped garlic and jalapeño and sauté until it is tender. Lastly, add chopped tomatoes and when they are softened, add cumin powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix well.
                          2. Rinse and drain the kidney beans from the can (or rinse, soak and boil, if from a bag). Mix well and cook for another five minutes. Keep it aside.
                          3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
                          4. On a baking plate, arrange the tortilla chips/ corn chips. On the top of the chips, spread the cooked kidney beans first, then layered with half of the chopped veggies listed above. Put cheese on the top and then layer with other half veggies.
                          5. Put the chips with toppings inside the preheated oven and bake until cheese melts.
                          6. Serve hot with sides of Salsa, green hot Mexican (El Yucateco) sauce and fresh guacamole. (For Fresh Homemade Tomato Salsa check the recipe on my blog.)

                          Thursday, May 18, 2017

                          Mexican Nacho Sandwich

                          For a small gathering or with family, create a nacho sandwich buffet by setting out all the ingredients noted below (add others, if desired) for a customized experience. Let the diner choose the toppings they like and you may make unique sandwiches for each person. In my family, we prepare them that way due to varying levels of spice and vegetable preferences. The sandwich is very easy to prepare once you have all the ingredients in front of you. Enjoy!

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

                          Ingredients:

                          Bread Preperation:
                          • 4 pieces of Italian bread (6" long)
                          • 1/4 cup olive oil
                          • 1/4 cup melted butter
                          For Beans:
                          • 2 cans of kidney beans
                          • 2 medium onions, chopped
                          • 3 small plum tomatoes, chopped
                          • 6 cloves garlic, minced
                          • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
                          • 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
                          • 3 tablespoons oil
                          • Salt to taste
                          Fillings:
                          • 4 tomatoes, sliced
                          • 2 onions, sliced
                          • 1 romaine lettuce
                          • 4 jalapeños, sliced
                          • 1-1/2 green capsicum, sliced
                          • 1-1/2 bags of Mexican cheese (16 oz.)
                          • 4 cups cheese 
                          • tortilla chips
                          • 3 cups of salsa (Fresh Homemade Tomato Salsa)
                          Directions:
                          1. Preheat the oven on 350 degrees.
                          2. First, we will cook the beans. Heat oil on a pan and add the onions. Sauté until medium brown. Then, add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes. When they are softened, add red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well and add the kidney beans. (drain and rinse the beans prior to adding.) Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
                          3. Slit each bread horizontally into halves so you have 8 pieces. Scoop out the middle inner portion of the bread. It will look like a boat after. 
                          4. Mix the olive oil and butter and brush the bread with the mixture. After, toast the bread lightly in the oven and remove. 
                          5. Put the chips in a Ziplock bag and crush. 
                          6. Next, on the bread, spread the beans and add salsa on the top. Then, add the crushed nacho chips, shredded cheese and sliced jalapeños (to taste). Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted. 
                          7. Take it out of the oven and put atop the veggies of your choice: lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and green peppers. If you like a spicy sandwich, then sprinkle some hot sauce, preferably of the Mexican kind (i.e. El Yucateco).
                          8. Nacho sandwich is now ready to serve

                          Sunday, May 7, 2017

                          Rasam (South Indian)

                          This is a simplified recipe for Rasam made without storebought rasam powder. I learned this recipe  from one of my uncle's Madrasi cook in India. Rasam is a thin lentil soup made with tamarind pulp, chopped tomatoes and spices. Whenever my husband has a cold, he always asks me to make rasam. It is spicy and soothing! You may enjoy the rasam as a soup or have it with idli and medu vada.

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

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1/2 cup toovar dal
                          • 1 tablespoon tamarind (paste/pulp)
                          • 1/4 cup fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
                          • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole jeera
                          • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper (adjust according to your spice preference)
                          • 2 to 3 dried red chilli
                          • 2 dry red chilli (for tempering)
                          • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
                          • 8 to 10 curry leaves
                          • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
                          • 2 tablespoon ghee
                          • 5 cups of water
                          • Salt to taste
                          Directions:
                          1. On a pan, roast whole jeera, black pepper and red chilli. Grind them into powder after.
                          2. Wash the dal before cooking. Drain and cook the dal with 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker. When it has cooled down, open and strain only the dal water from the top. Do not use the dal. Keep the water on the side. ( you can use the dal for your another meal, don't throw it)
                          3. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan/pot. Add hing and two chopped tomatoes. When the tomatoes become soft, add the freshly grinded powder from step 1. Saute for two to three minutes. Put this mixture in a blender to make the paste.
                          4. In another pan/pot, add 1 tablespoon ghee, two dry red chilli, hing and the paste. Sauté for two to three minutes. Add the strained dal water, tamarind paste, curry leaves and one chopped tomato.
                          5. Cook for five to seven minutes. Add salt to taste and cook for one more minute. Turn off the stove. Add chopped coriander leaves.
                          6. Serve hot as a soup or with Idli and Medu Vada.

                          Monday, April 17, 2017

                          Rava/ Sooji/ Semolina Na Dhokla

                          Rava dhokla, a popular Gujarati dish, is very easy to make and may be served for breakfast or as a snack. There is no soaking, grinding or fermenting involved. Just mix the rava with sour yogurt and  eno salt to make the dhokla spongy. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

                          Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
                          Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1 cup rava/sooji
                          • 2 tablespoons gram flour
                          • 1/2 cup sour yogurt
                          • 4 teaspoons green chilli paste
                          • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
                          • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
                          • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
                          • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
                          • 1 tablespoon oil
                          • 1 teaspoon Eno salt
                          • Salt to taste
                          • Water (a little more than 1/2 cup)
                          • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
                          For tempering:
                          • 2 tablespoon oil
                          • 1-1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
                          • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
                          • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
                          Directions:
                          1. In a bowl, mix rava, add gram flour, green chili paste, ginger paste, salt, turmeric powder and oil. Then, mix in the yogurt and get it all to a smooth paste-like consistency.
                          2. Add water, little by little, so there are no lumps. Mix well and cover the batter for five minutes.
                          3. Prepare the steamer by adding a little water and let it come to a boil. Grease the dhokla tray (3 tier tray) or thali with oil.
                          4. Add Eno on the batter. It will start to bubble up. Stir and immediately pour the batter into greased dhokla tray.
                          5. Sprinkle red chilli powder, cumin powder and chopped coriander leaves on all three trays. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes on medium heat. Check to see if it is cooked by inserting a knife and if it comes out clean, then it is ready.
                          6. Remove the tray from the steamer and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then, cut it into pieces.
                          7. For tempering, heat the oil in small pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then, add sesame seeds and hing. Turn off the stove, drizzle the tadka over the dhokla using a spoon.
                          8. Serve with green chutney.

                          Sunday, April 9, 2017

                          Rava Uttapam/ Instant Sooji Uttapam

                          Rava uttapam is essentially a simple pancake formed with a mixture comprised of rava and yogurt and topped with some vegetables. When you are hungry and short on time, it may be made rather quickly. You may eat this for breakfast or lunch.

                          Prep time: 10 minutes
                          Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1 cup rava/ sooji/ semolina
                          • 1/2 cup yogurt 
                          • 1 cup water
                          • 1 medium onion, chopped
                          • 1 medium small tomato, chopped
                          • 1/4 cup green capsicum, chopped
                          • 1/4 cup red capsicum, chopped
                          • 1/4 cup carrot, grated
                          • 1/4 cup cabbage, grated
                          • 3 to 4 green chili, finely chopped
                          • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
                          • Oil
                          • Salt to tate
                          Directions:
                          1. Soak rava in one cup of water and set aside for 10 minutes. In the meantime, chop the veggies.
                          2. Add yogurt and salt to the rava mixture. Mix the batter to a not too thin or too thick consistency. If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of water to bring it to the right consistency.
                          3. Grease and heat the pan. Pour a laddle of the batter and spread it gently. Sprinkle the veggies and press with a spatula.
                          4. Add oil around the edges and cover with a lid. Cook on medium heat. 
                          5. Cook until the rava uttapam is lightly crisp (browning bottom) and the veggies are cooked. Follow the same directions for rest of the batter.
                          6. Serve hot with coconut chutney. (Check the recipe on my blog for Coconut Chutney.)
                          Vegetable uttapam:

                          Friday, March 31, 2017

                          Bread Disc Pizza

                          I usually make pizza bread as a snack, but one day I got into the mood to try something different. I had seen vegetable discs somewhere, so thought of creating those with a pizza filling. It is quite easy to make and takes little time in case you ever need a snack or need to whip up something fast for unplanned guests.

                          Prep time: 15 minutes
                          Cooking time: 30 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 16 slices of bread (for 8 discs)
                          • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
                          • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped 
                          • 1 jalapeno, sliced
                          • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
                          • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (store bought)
                          Directions:
                          1. First you need two bowls. One should be bigger than the other (you may also use a cookie cutter). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
                          2. Cut all 16 slices with the larger cutter. Then, cut 8 breads with the smaller shaped cutter in round shaped slices so that you get a ring shaped crust. (See the pictures below)
                          3. Apply pizza sauce on the 8 big round slices. Place the crust rings on top of the large round slices.
                          4. Spread cheese on the pizza sauce. Then, sprinkle the chopped green pepper and onion. Place a jalapeño on top. (Note: you may use toppings of your own choice.)
                          5. Place all the rings in a tray and place the tray in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the rings are golden brown.
                          6. Pizza disc are ready to serve, serve them hot.




                          I used two small bowls. One is a little bigger than the other one.

                          Cut the round discs with big bowl

                          Cut half the round discs with small one

                           
                          Apply the pizza sauce, then put the ring on top

                          Place the ring on top

                          Before baking it should look like this






                          Saturday, March 18, 2017

                          Stuffed Bread Rolls

                          It is relatively straightforward and quite easy to make stuffed bread rolls. You may use different kinds of stuffing to make the rolls. For example, you may use paneer stuffing, green peas stuffing, potatoes stuffing, chili paneer stuffing or even pizza stuffing. The desired ingredients are stuffed inside the bread, rolled and shallow fried, or baked. In this recipe I used potato stuffing because my husband loves potatoes.

                          Prep time: 10 minutes
                          Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 16 slices of bread
                          • 2 cups potatoes, boiled and cubed
                          • 1 small onion, chopped
                          • 2 green chilis, chopped
                          • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
                          • Pinch of turmeric powder
                          • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
                          • 1/2 teaspoon amchur/ dry mango powder
                          • 2 tablespoon fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
                          • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
                          • Salt to taste
                          • Oil as needed
                          • A little water
                          Directions:
                          1. Steam the potato cubes until they are cooked. Then, mash them.
                          2. In a pan, add one tablespoon oil on medium heat. Sauté the onion until it is light brown.
                          3. Add the chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, amchur powder, green chili, ginger, salt and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
                          4. Add in the mashed potatoes and turn off the stove letting the mixture cool down. Divide the mixture to 16 equal balls and make them oblong or oval shaped balls. Set aside.
                          5. Trim the edges of the bread and roll the slices individually to flatten them. Place one ball towards an end and begin to roll. Stick the edges together and seal the inner filling by applying a little water on the corners of the bread. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry them until they are golden brown. 
                          6. Serve the bread rolls with green and sweet chutney.
                          Bon Appétit!


                          Roll the bread with rolling pin:

                          Potato stuffing:
                           

                          Place the ball on bread:


                          Make the roll:










                          Monday, March 6, 2017

                          Matla Undhiyu (Umbadiyu/ Ubadiyu)

                          Matla undhiyu is a very popular entree in the southern part of Gujarat. It is also known as umbadiyu or ubadiyu. The dish is comprised of vegetables, which are steam cooked in a traditional matla (clay pot). The deliciously rich veggies are usually enjoyed in winter. Surti papdi and tuvar lilva are required to prepare the veggies and they are only available during the winter months. Here in America, I've made matla undhiyu using a gas stove. If you'd like to buy a matla, it is available via Amazon.

                          Prep time: 30 to 40 minutes
                          Cooking time: 50 to 60 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 2 sweet potatoes
                          • 8 small red potatoes
                          • 1-1/2 cup purple yam (ratalu)
                          • 2 cups surti papdi
                          • 1 cup surti lilva dana
                          • 1 cup tuvar lilva dana
                          • 4 small eggplants (optional)
                          • 8 to 9 green chilies
                          • 2 inch piece ginger
                          • 1 tablespoon ajwain
                          • 2 tablespoons oil
                          • Gram flour sev to sprinkle
                          • Salt to taste
                          • Few cabbage leaves
                          • Green chutney (check my blog for recipe)
                          • Garlic chutney (check my blog for recipe)
                          • Kotha chutney (check my blog for recipe)
                          Directions:
                          1. Wash and peel the sides of surti papdi, but leave it whole and don't cut.
                          2. In a food processor, add chopped tuvar lilva, surti papdi lilva, green chili and ginger. Don't make it into a paste - roughly chop. Mix it with surti papdi and one tablespoon oil.
                          3. Cut the small potatoes in two pieces. Then, cut the sweet potatoes to the same size.
                          4. In the variation, I didn't use eggplant, but you make two cross silts on the small eggplants prior to adding them in step 5. I used frozen purple yam.  You may use frozen or fresh - depending on availability.
                          5. In a bowl, add cut potatoes, sweet potatoes and purple yum. Add salt, ajwain and one tablespoon oil. Mix together very well.
                          6. Wash the matla under tap water and arrange some cabbage leaves on the bottom and sides of matla.
                          7. Add half of the surti papadi mixture as the first layer, then add the potato, sweet potato and purple yam mixture. 
                          8. Add the other half of the surti papdi mixture on top.
                          9. Cover it all with cabbage leaves.
                          10. Put the clay lid on the matla and seal the lid and matla with flour paste so the moisture stays in.
                          11. Cook on the stove for 45 to 50 minutes in medium high heat.
                          12. Remove the seal with a knife and open the lid. The undhiyu is ready to serve. You may keep the pieces whole or traditionally mesh everything (I kept it whole).
                          13. Add green chutney, garlic chutney and kotha chutney on the undhiyu. If you like, you may also drizzle sesame oil on top.
                          14. Sprinkle some sev and serve hot.



















                          Monday, February 20, 2017

                          Kotha Chutney

                          Kotha chutney is made from its namesake, a fruit known as kotha. Kotha is also known as, "wood apple." In Rajasthan, kotha chutney is very popular and in Gujarat it is used to accompany the traditional dish known as undhiyu/umbadiyu. I made this chutney from dry kotha powder since it is not available in America. The chutney is very easy to make with a few simple ingredients.

                          Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes
                          Cooking time: 5 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 2 tablespoons dry kotha powder
                          • 1 tablespoon grated gol/ jaggery/ gud (optional for sweetness)
                          • 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
                          • 1 medium red capsicum
                          • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
                          • Salt to taste
                          Directions:
                          1. In a mixer, add red capsicum (cut the stem), cumin seeds, red chili powder, gol, kotha powder and salt. 
                          2. Add a little water (2 tablespoons) and blend it in the mixer. 
                          3. Chutney is now ready to serve.
                          4. Serve with matla undhiyu or any Indian meal. Also works well with any kind of chaat.

                          Thursday, February 9, 2017

                          Chili Paneer Pinwheel

                          Chili paneer pinwheels are a great party treat for an appetizer or finger food. They are relatively easy to make and provide for an interesting twist on an Indian snack. You may make different kinds of pinwheels using the same dough. For example, a samosa pinwheel or green peas pinwheel. You may make pinwheels out of any vegetables. They are a mouthwatering snack!

                          Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
                          Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1 frozen Crescent dough roll (8 oz.)
                          • 1 cup paneer, crumbled or shredded 
                          • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
                          • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
                          • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
                          • 1/4 cup green coriander leaves, chopped
                          • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
                          • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped
                          • 1/2 teaspoon green chili, chopped
                          • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
                          • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
                          • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
                          • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                          • Cooking oil spray
                          • Salt to taste
                          Directions:
                          1. While going through steps 2 through 6, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
                          2. For the stuffing, in a bowl, add all of the above-mentioned ingredients except for the cooking oil spray. Mix well and keep aside.
                          3. On a wooden surface, place the crescent roll and flatten it out with a rolling pin. 
                          4. Add the chili paneer stuffing in the center and spread evenly. 
                          5. Next, roll the dough gently with the stuffing. Slice the roll into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
                          6. Take a baking tray and spray some oil over it. Place the chili paneer rolls in the tray about one inch apart.
                          7. Bake the pinwheels in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
                          8. Serve hot.
                          Note: If you cannot find crescent roll dough, then you may use puff pastry dough sheet as an alternative.




                          Photo of Crescent roll used:  
                          Alternative puff pastry sheets: