Sunday, May 31, 2009

Seviya Upma & WaterMelon juice

It was Friday night and my fridge was empty. I was thinking what can be made for dinner and then thought of this dish. I wanted to try it since a long time. It can also be a great dish for weekend brunch or even breakfast. Its light, nutritious and healthy. Here is what you need -
Ingredients -
1) 1 cup Vermicelli
2) 1 small onion chopped finely.
3) 1/2 cup mixed vegetables of your choice
4) mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric powder for seasoning
5) 2-3 green chillies finely chopped
6) 1 inch ginger minced
7) 1 tbspn raw peanuts
8) 1 tbspn cashews
9) 1.5 cups boiled water
10) Salt to taste and Oil
Method -
1) Heat 1 tbsn oil in a skillet and roast the vermicelli till they become light golden brown. Keep them aside.
2) Heat little more oil in the same skillet and add the seasoning ingredients.
3) Add the peanuts and saute them for about a minute.
4) Add cashews and saute for 30 seconds.
5) Add onions and saute them. Add green chillies and ginger and saute for some more time.
6) Meanwhile boil the water in the microwave. It saves time.
7) Add the veggies. Add salt and mix well. Cover and let the veggies cook for some time.
8) Now, add the boiled water and let it boil nicely. Check the salt at this point and add little if required.
9) Add the roasted vermicelli. Mix well. Cover the lid and let it cook for around 4-5 minutes. Stir occassionally.
Upma is ready. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mango Icecream

Its summer season. Summers are always associated with mangoes. Summer vacation and mangoes goes hand in hand. We are dying to eat mangoes. Back home in India, we used to get boxes of Alphanso mangoes at home. And then there used to be a series of all Mango recipes - Aamraas, mango milkshake, mango icecream. But i simply loved cutting the mango into pieces and having it. Wow, Once you taste Hapoos Amba (Alphanso Mango) you will never eat any other mangoes. They are just perfect, juicy, sweet. In simple words, tasty!
I bought the Mexican mangoes from Farmers Market but still we were not satisfied. I started searching for some Mango recipe and found this on I am a big fan of Hetal and Anuja of and without a second thought i gave it a try. And it was just awesome suiting our tastes...This is also a nice make ahead desert. And you can surprise your guests with it. Its very very simple and easy with very few ingredients needed.
Ingredients -
1) 1 can Alphanso Mango Pulp
2) 14 oz can of Condensed Milk
3) 8 oz Cool Whip
4) few pieces of ripe mango
Method -
Pour all the ingredients except the mango pieces in a big mixing bowl. Mix it well very nicely. Transfer it to a container with a lid and freeze it for 2 hours. After 2 hours, mix in the mango pieces and return the dish to the freezer. Freeze for 3 hours.
Serve and Enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ragda Patties

I love chaats and i am sure everybody does. I can eat chaats anytime. I miss those days when we used to hangout with friends just to eat chaats. Back home in Pune, there are so many chaat joints. How can i forget the most famous Bheleshwar near SNDT college backgate, Ganesh Bhel in Kothrud and yeah the chaat basket at Manmeet on FC Road! Ohh, I miss those days :(
I have started preparing chaats at home Ragda Pattice being one of them. And ofcourse they are hygenic. But having chaats on thelas at the roadside has a different fun in it. Isnt it? You all would agree to this!!
So, Here comes Ragda Pattice. Ragda is a thick gravy of white peas which is served with pattice which can also be called as a potato patty or patato cutlet. You would need -

For the Pattice -
Ingredients -
1) 5-6 medium potatoes boiled
2) 2 bread slices
3) Salt to taste and Oil for shallow frying
Method -
1) Mash the boiled potatoes. Soak the bread slices in warm water and immediately squeeze it out. Add the slices to the potato mixture.
2) Add salt and mix well.
3) Take a golf size ball of the mixture and flatten it on your palm to make a pattice.
4) Shallow fry the pattice on a tava/skillet using 1 tbspn of oil. Drain on a paper towel.

For the Ragda -
Ingredients -
1) 1 cup vatana or white peas soaked overnight
2) 1 medium onion chopped finely
3) 1 tspn turmeric powder
4) 1 tbspn ginger-garlic paste
5) 1 tbspn cumin-coriander powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder each
6) Salt to taste and Oil.
Method -
1) Pressure cook the peas. Heat oil in a wide skillet and add the ginger-garlic paste.
2) Add the onions and saute for sometime.
3) Add all the dry powders and saute for some more time.
4) Now add the cooked peas with little water. Add salt. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Ragda is ready!!
While serving, take 2-3 pattice in a plate. Pour the ragda over it. Put some tamarind chutney on top of it. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander. Enjoy!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Comfy Food, Kadhi-Khichadi

Kadhi-Khichadi is supposed to be the most comfort food in Maharashtrian cuisine and ofcourse it is. We had this for dinner last night. This combination is perfect on a cozy wintery night or when its raining heavily outside.
I have posted the recipe for Kadhi earlier. We will see whats needed for Khichadi -
Ingredients -
1) 1 cup rice
2) 1/2 cup split moong dal
3) 1 small onion chopped lengthwise
4) 2-3 curry leaves
5) 1/2 tspn mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida for seasoning
6) 1 tspn cumin-coriander powder and chilli powder each
7) Oil and salt to taste
Method -
1) Wash the rice and dal and soak it for about half an hour.
2) Heat oil in a pressure cooker and do the seasoning.
3) Add onions and saute for a minute.
4) Add the dry powders and saute again for a minute.
5) Add the soaked rice and dal and mix them well.
6) Add around 3 cups of water. Add salt to taste.
7) Pressure cook till 3 whistle. Let the cooker cool down.

Serve hot with Kadhi and pickle of your choice.

Saturday Night Pizza

Pizza always brings back childhood memories. I remember eating Pizza for the first time at home prepared by my mom. We liked it and then it was a regular item at our place. My mom had this small and tiny round oven which was taken out only to bake cakes on birthdays or to make the delicious baked Karanjis for Diwali. Pizza became popular later and then the oven also was used up more frequently. Since here I have the privilege of having a full size oven at home, I decided to make this much awaited dish on a Saturday Night.
Initially, I thought of buying the pizza base from stores. But then thought that this would not be fair enough for my little cooking skills and hence decided to give it a try finally. Let's start with the Pizza Sauce.
For the Sauce -
1) 6 mediium tomatoes
2) 2-3 garlic cloves minced
3) 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
4) 1 tbspn fennel seeds powder
5) 2 tbspn Italian Seasoning
6) Salt to taste and Olive Oil
Method -
1) Blanch (Put the tomatoes in boiling water for 3 minutes and immediately put them in cold water. The skin comes out very easily) the tomatoes. Chop half of them finely and puree the rest.
2) Heat olive oil and add the minced garlic. Saute and add the chopped bell peppers. Saute for about a minute.
3) Add the diced tomatoes and the puree. Mix well. Cover and let them cook for around 5 minutes.
4) Add salt, fennel powder and the Italian seasoning. Mix well. Cover and let it cook for around 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remember, the sauce should not be watery and not too thick also. It should be able to spread evenly on the pizza base.
Now, lets see how the Pizza Base was prepared. I searched for lots of pizza base recipes on the internet. I found many recipes using All Purpose Flour. I decided to add little wheat flour with it and thats how the Pizza Dough was formed.

For the Pizza Dough -
Ingredients -
1) 1 cup All Purpose Flour
2) 1 cup Wheat Flour
3) A packet of dry Active Yeast
4) 1 tspn sugar and salt to taste.
5) Olive oil
Method -
Take 1 cup of warm water (not hot,yeast bacteria would die in hot water.) and mix the yeast and sugar in it. Let it rest for 10 mins. Mix the flours in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast solution, salt, around 1 tbspn olive oil and knead well with the help of warm water if required. The dough would be little elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 1 hour. The mixture will be doubled in size. Knead it again and let it rest for another 30-45 minutes covered with a damp cloth. Divide the dough in two parts to have 2 pizzas.
Assembling the pizza -

Traditionally, pizzas are made on pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, you can make it in a pan or use a baking sheet.
Preheat the oven at 470 degrees Farenheit. Take a portion of the dough on a pan and strech it with your hand with little pressure covering the pan. Spread the pizza sauce on the base leaving the edges unsauced. Now, add toppings of your choice. I used some onions, green and red bell pepper and mushrooms. Olives and Jalepenos would also taste lovely. Spread in the Mozarella cheese above it. Add few drops of olive oil over the cheese. Apply some olive oil to the unsauced edges also. The pizza is now assembled. Keep the pan on the stove on low flame till it gets hot and the dough starts cooking. Then transfer it to the oven. Let it bake for 15-20 mins or till the cheese starts melting and the edges are crisp and slightly brown.
You can also spread the dough on a baking sheet coated with olive oil and directly put it in the oven.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and then cut it with the pizza cutter and Enjoy!!!
This is worth giving it a try. You will definitely like it and above all you feel immensely satisfied. Have a Nice Week Ahead!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

7 layer bar cookies

These 7 layer magic bars are just awesome. I fell in love with them the moment i tasted them. For a girl like me, who is not at all fond of sweets, could not resist eating just 1 cookie. These bars are a hit in every party. I ate them at a potluck party and immediately asked for the recipe to my friend. Could not believe this recipe is so simple. Tried them out last week.
Ingredients -
1) 13*9 baking pan
2) 1 stick unsalted butter
3) 1.5 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
4) 1 cup (6 ounces) Chocalate chips/Semi sweet chocalate chips (I used Hersheys packet of 12 ounces)
5) 1 cup (6 ounces) Butterscoth chips (Hersheys pack of 12 ounces)
6) 1 cup crushed pecans/walnuts/peanuts (I used crushed walnuts)
7) 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
8) 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
Method -
1) Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Farenheit.
2) Melt the butter in the pan. I put it in the pan while its preheated.
3) Once the butter melts spread the crumbsto cover it and press it with a fork to form a nice layer.
3) Now, start layering the rest (chocalate chips, butterscoth chips and walnuts).
4) Then pour the condensed milk over it starting from the ends covering the entire pan.
5) At the last, pour the coconut flakes over the milk.
6) Bake it for around 20 minutes or till the coconut turns golden brown.
7) Refrigerate it for few hours. Cut it slices and enjoy!!!

I bet you can't eat just one. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dahi Wada

Dahi Wada, is a North Indian snack/appetizer but now famous all over. It tastes awesome and also a reliever from this scorching heat.
Ingredients -
1) 1 cup urad dal washed and soaked overnight
2) Dahi/Yogurt whipped well
3) Salt to taste and oil for frying
4) red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder to taste
5) Tamarind chutney to taste
Method -
1) Grind the urad dal with very little water required to a smooth paste.
2) Take this mixture in a bowl and whip it nicely for about 2-3 minutes until the batter becomes smooth and fluffy.
3) Heat oil in a wide skillet. Drop a spoonful of batter and fry them very little until they are just light brown. Remove immediately. Drain on a paper towel.
4) Once the wadas are cooled, soak them in luke warm water for about 20 minutes.
5) Take the whipped yogurt in a bowl. Add salt to it. Now, squeeze the water out from the wadas and put them in the water. Do this very carefully. Squeeze just a little bit and make sure you are not breaking the wadas. Soak these wadas in the yogurt and refrigerate.
While serving, first prepare the extra yogurt by adding water and salt to it so that it is of pouring consistency. Take out the wadas in the serving dish and pour this yougurt over them. Sprinkle chilli powder and cumin powder as per taste and pour about 1 or 2 tbspn of tamarind chutney. Serve chilled. Enjoy!!

Doodhi Halwa

Another sweet entry. It was an awesome dessert. So, without writing much lets directly go to the recipe. You would need -
Ingredients -
1) 2 cups doodhi/bottle gourd grated.
2) 2 cups milk boiled
3) 3 tbspn ghee
4) 1/2 cup sugar
5) roasted cashews for garnishing
Method -
1) Heat ghee in a hard bottomed pan and add the grated doodhi in it. Stir it until it changes its colour and become soft.
2) Now, add the boiled milk and keep stirring continuously till the milk is evaporated.
3) Add sugar at this point and mix well. After adding sugar it will leave some water. Keep stirring till the water evaporates.
4) Garnish with cashew nuts.
Refrigerate and serve cool. It can be refrigerated and kept for almost a week.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spinach Rice

I had bought a box of baby spinach from Costco. The spinach leaves were nice fresh dark green and tasty. As the quantity you get in Costco is always in wholesale, I was worried that the spinach would not last long. But surprisingly it did and it was fresh for almost around 2 and a half weeks. I made Palak Parathas, Aloo Palak, Spinach Raita, Corn Palak, and Spinach Rice and all the dishes were awesome. The spinach had its original natural taste and I loved it and now I have decided to bring Spinach only from Costco. If anybody of you have not tried it, go ahead.
Here is what you need for Spinach Rice -
Ingredients -
1) 1 cup rice washed and drained
2) 1 cup spinach
2) 2-3 green chillies
3) 2-3 garlic cloves
4) 1/2 onion chopped finely
5) 1 medium tomato chopped finely
6) 1 bay leaf
7) 2-3 cloves and black pepperons each
8) 1 tspn garam masala powder
9) Salt to taste and Oil
Method -
1) First, blend the spinach, green chillies and garlic to a smooth paste adding very little water if required.
2) Heat some oil in a vessel and add the bay leaf, cloves and black pepperons and saute for few seconds.
3) Add onions and fry till light brown. Then add the tomatoes and saute till they are mushy.
4) Now add the Palak paste. Mix well and add garam masala. Saute till the oil leaves and add the rice.
5) Mix well and add 2 cups of water. Add salt and bring it to boil till the rice is completely cooked.
Spinach Rice is ready!!! Serve hot with some raita.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Caramel Pudding

This counts as a perfect dessert after a tasty lunch/dinner. And specially when the food is non-vegetarian or anything spicy this one's the best. Well, i tried it for the first time and i was actually worried and was praying that this should not be a disaster. But finally, it was just as perfect as my mom used to make it and we both loved it. So, here is what you need -
Ingredients -
1) 6 tbspn sugar divided
2) 1 egg
3) 1 bread slice
4) 1 cup milk
5) dryfruits for garnishing
Method -
1) Blend the egg, bread slice, milk and 3 tbspn sugar together and keep aside.
2) Take the remaining sugar in a pan and caramelize it. Remember this is the very important step. Keep stirring the sugar continuously and make sure it does not turn black. Pour the caramelized sugar in a vessel in which you want to set the pudding.
3) Pour the blended mixture over it and garnish it with dryfruits.
3) Keep this vessel in a pressure cooker and steam it for 20-25 minutes.
4) Remove and refrigerate. Serve cool.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eggless Dates Cake

Here is another sweet entry from me. My husband bought these larger dates packet from Indian Stores and i was wondering what can be made out of that. Cakes came to my mind and I tried out this simple recipe and it was great. And its eggless too. So, its very easy. Just mix together the ingredients and bake your cake. Here is what you need -
Ingredients -
1) 25 seedless dates approx
2) 1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour (Maida)
3) Sweetened Condensed Milk (a can of 14 oz)
4) 1 stick unsalted butter
5) 1 tspn Baking Soda
6) 1 1/2 tspn Baking Powder
7) 1/2 cup mixed dryfruits of your choice(walnuts, almonds, cashews raisins)
Method -
1) Soak the dates in warm water for around half an hour.
2) Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.
3) Melt the butter stick in microwave for 20 secs and add to the bowl. Also add the can of sweetened condensed milk.
4) Blend the dates with 4-5 tbspn water and add this puree to the bowl.
5) Lastly add in the dryfruits and mix well.
6) Preheat the oven at 350 degrees farenheit.
7) Grease a baking bowl with the baking spray and pour in this mixture in it.
8) Bake it for about 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
You can substitute the dates with any other fruit. I think strawberry would also work better or pineapple. Enjoy!!!