Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blogging Break

Dear All,

I am taking a short break from blogging. I want to update myself professionally. But would definitely be back with some good recipes of which i have already taken photos but not posted yet and also many more..
So, till then Bye and Take Care all of you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Aloo Gobi

I was searching for a different recipe for Aloo Gobi on the internet and found this version. I liked the method of giving tadka. Its different and gives a very nice taste and aroma.
Ingredients -
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup potatoes sliced into cubes
1 bay leaf
a pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 inch ginger
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
Method -
1) Grate the ginger in a bowl. Add to it all the powders and 2-3 tsp water. Mix it well to form a paste.
2) Heat oil in a wide skillet and add cumin seeds. Once they crackle add the bay leaf, green chillies and asafoetida. Saute for few seconds and add the paste into it. Mix it well and saute for 2 mins. A nice aroma will rise at this point.
3) Now add the cauliflower and potatoes. Add salt. Mix well together. Cover the lid and let it cook for around 15 minutes stiring it after every 5 minutes in between.
4) Garnish it with chopped cilantro.
5) Serve hot with roti or chapati.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Peas-Cheese Paratha

I was talking with my friend Madhura the other day and she said that she makes Peas Parathas and they come out to be very good. Peas Paratha impressed me and she was very kind for sharing her recipe with me. Thanks Madhura. I decided to try them the same day and when I told this to my hubby, it sounded interesting to him too. He said,"Why dont you try Panner-Peas Paratha instead". That sounded a very good idea to me but I didnt have Paneer in my Pantry so finally, decided to make it with Cheese. So, here goes Peas-Cheese Paratha -
Ingredients -
For the dough -
2 cups whole wheat flour
For the stuffing -
1 cup boiled peas
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies
1/2 inch ginger
a bunch of cilantro
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder

Method -
1) Mix 2 cups of atta. Add enough water to knead the dough. Rest the dough for about 30 minutes and make 8 balls of same size.
1) Boil the green peas and mash it. Keep it aside.
2) Grind the green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and coriander together to form a paste.
2) Heat oil in a pan and add the grinded paste and saute.
3) Add the mashed peas, cumin-coriander powder, salt and mix it well. Saute for some time.
4) Remove from heat and cool the mixture.
5) Once cooled add the cheese and make 8 equal portions of the mixture.

6) Take a ball of dough and roll it to a flat circle. Place one portion of the stuffing in the middle and pull up the edges to cover the filling. Repeat this with all the balls. Do not roll the stuffed balls immediately otherwise the stuffing would come outside. Rest it for a couple of minutes.
7) Now roll each of these balls into a flat and thick circle.
8) Fry the paratha on a hot griddle using few drops of oil to fry from both the sides.
9) Serve hot with curd, pickle, ketchup or any spicy gravy. I served this with curd and garlic chutney.

Thanks Madhura once again if you are reading this. The Parathas were awesome.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Masale Bhat

Masale Bhat is always linked with Maharashtrian marriages. It is a spicy, Marathi version of Vegetable pulao and is usually served after the first course of waran bhat(dal-rice).After the wedding rituals are done, the guests head for lunch where the arrangement is like long orderly lines from one end to another which are called as pangats. The servers are skilled in balancing the trays of food and they run along these pangats serving on every plate with an amazing speed.

First comes the salt, lemon, pickle/chutney followed by the most comforting food waran-bhat-toop(dal-rice-ghee). Then comes the turn of puris and batata bhaji making a short stop at alu or kothimbir wadi, take a sip of the cool and chilled mattha, get a fresh start with Masale Bhat and finally end with Jalebi or Shrikhand

"Lazoo naka"(dont be shy), the father of the bride or groom will tell the guests as he walks by their table. When they can finally eat no more, they make way for another "pangat" and bless the new union as they leave.

Well, coming back to the dish, it is a very simple preparation and can be prepared with any vegetable of your choice.

Ingredients -
1 cup rice. (i used Basmati but this would best go with Sona Masoori)
1 cup vegetables of your choice. (i used cauliflower, peas and carrots)
2-3 tsp ghee
2 cups warm water. (double the qty of rice)
1/2 ts[ mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of asafoetida
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp Goda Masala
Salt as per taste
For garnishing -
fresh coconut scraped, a bunch of fresh cilantro finely chopped.

Method -
1) Wash the rice, drain excess water and keep it aside for half an hour
2) Heat ghee in a rice cooker. Add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves.
3) Add the vegetables and stir for 2 mins.
4) Add the rice. Mix it well with the vegetables and stir for 2 mins.
5) Now add the coriander-cumin powder, chilli powder and goda masala. Stir fry for 2 mins and add warm water.
6) Steam it till the rice is done and the vegetables become tender. Do not pressure cook the rice.
7) Remove the rice in a bowl and garnish it with coconut and coriander. Serve hot with a dallop of ghee.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Shrikhand is an Indian desert made of strained yogurt. It is one of the main deserts in Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisines. The yogurt is tied and hung until all the water is drained off and the result is a thick and creamy yogurt. Such a simple recipe but i was hesitating to attempt this since many days as my hubby likes only the Chitale chakka that we get back home in Pune.(Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale is a famous shop in Pune for sweets. They have the Chakka available which is very famous. Chakka is the whey or the resultant thick and creamy strained yogurt). Still I decided to give it a try and make this on account of Gudi Padwa and it turned out to be just delicious and perfect. 'A' also liked it very much and said that this is in competition with Chitale. :)

Ingredients -
3 Cups whole milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp milk
1 tsp powdered cardamom
a pinch of saffron
2-3 tbsp powdered almonds and pistachios

Method -
1)Set a large strainer/colnader on a bowl and place a muslin/cheese cloth on it. Put the yougurt in the cloth. Tie the ends of the cloth tightly and squeeze the excess water. Place this in the strainer and put some weight on it. Or you can simply hang it in the sink. I placed the strainer in the refrigrator overnight.
2) Take the whey(thick strained yogurt) in a deep bowl and whip it well.
3) Add sugar, 2-3 tbsp at a time stirring everytime so that it dissolves evenly.
4) In the meantime add saffron into warm milk and let it soak for 10-15 mins.
5) Finally add the cardamom powder, saffron and the dry fruits. Stir and refrigerate until you serve.

Mostly, this is served at feasts in Maharashtra with puri-bhaji.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Happy Gudi Padwa!!!

Gudi Padwa is celebrated as the first day of the Chaitra month according to the Hindu Calendar. It is also celebrated as the New Year's day by Maharashtrians. This is supposed to mark the beginning of the spring season. This is one of the 3 and a half days in the Indian calendar whose every moment is considered auspicious.

On this day the houses are cleaned and rangolis are drawn on the doorstep. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is the time for family gatherings. This is begun by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. A paste of neem leaves is made by mixing ajwain, jaggery and tamarind. All the family members consume this paste which is believed to purify the blood and increase our immune system against diseases. The main attraction is the Shrikhand Puri which is prepared specially for this ocassion.

The Gudi is hoisted in every household. A bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) is tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gathi (a type of sweet), neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. This is then hoisted by placing a silver or copper pot placed in the inverted position over it. You will find such gudis hanging out of windows in traditional Maharashtrian homes.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Corn Palak

I just love corn and i always think of using corn in some nor the other dish. Since, corn kernels are easily available here in US i try to use them quite often. Today i used it with Spinach and made Corn-Palak. Tasted lovely. Here it goes...

Ingredients -
2 cups spinach washed and chopped finely
1/2 cup corn kernels. (I use the frozen ones)
2 green chillies
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion finely chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida and turmeric powder.
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste and

Method -
Heat oil in a wide skillet and once hot add the cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Stir for few seconds and add green chillies, garlic and onion. Saute the onions and add the spinach and corn. Mix well. Cover and let it cook for few minutes. Add salt, chillie powder and cook for some more time.

Serve with hot chapatis.