Saturday, December 4, 2010

Urad daal kachori

There are two kinds of urad daal kachoris. In both kinds, the first step is to soak urad daal over night and the second step is to grind it. However, from here on the procedure differs. In the one with stuffed ural daal kachori, the grinded daal is fried in ghee and masalas and stuffing is made. In the non-stuffed version, the one I am giving the recipe, the daal is actually kneaded with the wheat flour with some masalas. Little suji is also added to make the kachori crisp. Both taste great and are good combination with raita or some light sabji.
Here is my recipe:
1 cup urad daal soaked overnight and grinded
2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup suji
2 tbsp yogurt plain
salt to taste
black pepper powder crushed (1 tsp or as per taste)
1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds crushed in mortar and pastal)
kasoori methi crushed 1 tbsp
1 tbsp oil
oil for frying

Mix salt, pepper, kasoori methi and suji in the wheat flour and add 1 tbsp oil. Rub this mixture. Now add the grinded daal. Mix it well. Now slowly add the yogurt and and make the dough. Adjust the quantity of yogurt to get the dough of desired consistency. It should be softer than the poori dough but harder than the roti dough. Now make table-tennis ball size roughs and roll into 2.5-3 inches kachoris. Heat oil in a pan and fry them one by one. Serve hot.

Moong daal halwa

This is no water halwa which makes is halwa with long shelf life. I made it because I wanted to keep some sweet in my office and this one lasted for about a week at room temperature. I was eating one spoon halwa everyday but on 7th day I could not control myself and finished it all. Well, it could have lasted more, had I not eaten all of it on the 7th day! Again the ratio here is 1:2:1 and you could adjust sugar as per your taste. However, this halwa takes little bit planning in advance as you need to soak moong daal for 4-5 hours.

1/3 cup ghee
2/3rd cup moong daal halwa soaked for 5-6 hours
1/3rd cup sugar

Grind the soaked halwa with as little water as you can manage. Heat ghee in a pan and put grinded daal paste. Keep stirring until all the water is dried up, and moong daal is nicely fried and strats giving the great aroma. At this point add the sugar and immediately switch off the stove. Cover the pan with a lid and let sugar seep in the halwa. This will also make it little crumbly. Serve hot or at room temperature. It does not taste good when chilled.

Besan ka halwa

Warning!! If you are calorie conscious and feel guilty for any extra calorie after the 1200 count, then this halwa is not for you. But if you are calorie conscious but once in a while sit relaxed, close your eyes and let your body enjoy some divine taste, then go for this one!!! Besan halwa is extremely easy to make. I follow the simple 1:2:1:1 rule, i.e. 1 portion clarified ghee, 2 portion besan, 1 portion water and 1 portion sugar. You could certainly adjust the sugar as per your taste. This proportion was perfect for my DH but I like my halwa to be little sweeter (typical north Indian!), I added couple of spoons of extra sugar. I don't like to use any cardamom or nuts because I love the besan aroma. The pistachio here is put just to make the picture more attractive.
As I said ingredients:
1/3rd cup ghee
2/3rd cup besan
1/3rd cup water
1/3rd cup sugar

Heat ghee in a pan/wok. Add besan and keep stirring continuously. When the divine fried besan aroma starts coming and the besan changes its color, add the water. In couple of minutes add sugar and keep stirring until you reach the desired consistency. Eat small portion and hide the rest because you won't be able to control yourself ;)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cream of Cauliflower soup

I had this half cauliflower lying in my refrigerator for many days, waiting for its fate! And then I caught a bad cold. I wanted to eat something hot and delicious and soup, obviously, was my choice. This turned out to be a great soup and my cold was gone in no time (I am not saying there was any connection ;))
Anyway, here goes the recipe:

1/2 cauliflower broken in florets
1 big onion chopped
1/3 bell pepper chopped (optional)
2 green chillies chopped (if you want hot soup)
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp+1tsp clarified ghee or butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 cup milk
3 tbsp whipping cream or fresh cream (optional for richer soup)
salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

In a big pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee. Once ghee is hot add cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add garlic and green chillies. When garlic turns golden brown, add onion and little bit salt. Saute for a minute and then add bell pepper and cauliflower. Let it cook on medium with pan covered until the cauliflower florets are semi-soft. Turn off the stove and let this mixture cool a bit. Now grind this mixture in a grinder. In another pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp clarified ghee. When ghee is hot, add all purpose flour. Saute it and very quickly add milk and grinded paste of cauliflower. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the cream. Let it cook until the desired consistency of the soup is reached. Adjust salt and pepper and serve hot. You can serve with a thin stripe of bell pepper or a dash of cream.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fish with maximum chilli you can handle, Thanks Ushnish!

I am a vegetarian but usually cook fish and chicken for my husband and many times taste the curry part of the final product too!!! The other day DH asked me to make a different style of hot fish and I stumbled upon Ushnish's blog which I found is the best for non-vegetarian spicy recipes. I immediately chose one of the easy looking fish recipe and it turned out to be one of the most delicious fish I have ever made (thats what DH said :)). Look at my pretty pictures of the final product and please follow the this link for the original recipe. Just one word of caution - take many napkins with you while eating even if you claim you can handle the most spicy food!!!! Even though I used 1 tsp less chilli powder than suggested in Ushnish's recipe, when I tasted the curry it was the fire blast in my mouth!!! I did not have the fish Ushnish suggested so I used 2 big pieces of Salmon fish.

Here is the fish pieces after frying them.

The final product in the pan:
And then served to DH..He wanted me to leave little gravy and he ate it with rotis...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vada-Pav with fried green chili and garlic chutney

Just the title of this post sends me back in Maharastra, my train journeys between Mumbai and Pune and eating vada-pavs all through the journey.... Somehow vada pao tastes best to me when I am traveling. Well, I cannot re-create that here in Canada but could certainly eat vada-pavs and remember those good old days....and to make it like the thela-walas, I made friend chili and garlic chutney too.

For fried chilies:
5-6 green chilies
oil for frying

Just slit the green chilies and deep fry them and then sprinkle some salt on them. Keep them aside.

For garlic chutney:
8-10 garlic cloves peeled
7-8 dry whole red chilies
salt 1 tsp (or to taste)
1 tsp oil

Heat oil in a pan. Put garlic and fry until brown. Remove them. Put red chilies in the same oil and immediately switch off the stove. Grind the red chilies, garlic and salt together. Chutney is ready. This chutney has long shelf life.

I have made pavs in the past and them came out real nice. However this time I just bought them from the grocery store :) I actually bought hamburger buns and roasted them a bit on a tava (a flat pan). When I make pav next time, I will take pictures and post the recipe!!

For the filling:
4 medium sized potatos, boiled and peeled
6 cloves of garlic
4 green chilies
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

For the batter: 
3 tsp gram flour
some water
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala

Oil to fry

There are various versions of making filling for vadas. Some recipes call for many many spices to be put with potato, such as coriander powder, garam masala, amchur, turmeric etc. Some fillings are made by actually frying the masalas and mashed potatoes in a pan. However, I like my vadas to be dominated by garlic and I don't like multiple masalas to confuse the garlic flavor (and when I make aloo paratha, I put all possible masalas availbale on earth!!! Will put recipe sometime soon). So I just put garlic, green chili and lemon juice. Lemon actually enhances garlic flavor and at the same time gives some tangy taste. I can just say that try my recipe and you will not regret :)
Anyway, mash the potatoes. Its okay to have few lumps here and there.  Take garlic and red chilies and grind them with hand in a mortar-and-pestle. The texture which comes from not-so-fine grinding in a mortar-and-pestle actually tastes great when you are biting on vadas. Mix the crushed garlic-chilie in the mashed potatoes. Add lemon juice and salt and mix well. Make 2 inch diameter tikkies  and keep them aside. Now put your deep frying pan on stove and let oil get heated. Now for the batter, mix salt, chili powder, garam masala in gram flour. Pour water such that pancake consistency batter is prepared. I actually like my batter to be a bit on the thicker side so that potatoes are nicely coated. Some like to add baking powder in the batter. I don't add it. If you want, add 1/2 tsp baking powder. Now coat potato tikkies in this batter and deep fry.

And finally cut the pavs in two pieces and assemble the vadas in between pavs and relish with fried chili and garlic chutney. If you wish you could also add coriander chutney . I did not have coriander leaves at home so skipped this part.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Lentil Soup

This recipe is inspired by DSM's food blog .  This caught my eye because the main ingredient here is red lentils. I have few kilograms of red lentil at home and it is never used as none of us like daal of red lentil. I tried to make pakodas in the same way as we make chana daal pakoda or urad daal pakoda but DH didn't like saying it is missing "that" crunchy feeling! I tried tomato-onion-red lentil dry vegetable and had some success (in terms of DH liking) but not to the extent that he wants to eat it again and again. When I came across this Rustic lentil soup by DSM, I decided to give it a try and it was a super-dupar success and I have already made it twice in past 1 month. First time DH liked it so much that it got over even before the remaining dinner was ready. Second time I had to hide it from him. I make some modifications in this recipe as we like this soup little more spicy, more garlicky and thick. So here is my version of the same soup. The original recipe is here .

1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup whole red lentils
2 green chillies, chopped
1 onion chopped
5-6cloves of garlic, chopped
 2 medium tomatoes chopped
 10 baby carrots, chopped lengthwise
 1/2 cup of white mushrooms
10-12 spinach leaves chopped fine
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
4 cup water (you could replace it with stock..I didn't have it so used water)
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper to taste (1 used 1 tsp)
1 tbsp olive oil

Wash the daals. Heal oil in a pan and put garlic and green chillies. When garlic turns brownish, add onions and carrots and add some salt. When onions turns translucent, add corns and mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook covered for 5 minutes or until tomatoes become mushy. Now add lentils and spinach. Saute for a minute and add 4 cups of water. At this point taste the salt and add as per your taste. If you want a spicier soup, add some crushed black pepper too. Once a boil comes, cook covered at medium-low until the lentils are well cooked. Serve hot. If you wish, you could top it up with a tsp of sour cream.

This time I took more pictures.

Some veggies in the pan....

Soup being cooked...
And the yummy final product :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bread ki kheer (Bread pudding)

Necessity is the mother of creativity!!!! Yes, I wanted to make some dessert for my 1 year old LO and I made this bread pudding and finally ended up eating most of it. But yes, my LO liked it and that was great. Initially I was planning to use bread crumbs for this but since I wanted to make it for my little boy, I used fresh bread crumbs by throwing some breads slices in the food processor. Also while making the pudding, you could add some cardamom powder. I did not add any because I was not sure if my LO will like the strong cardamom smell. Most importantly, I am not a big fan of using cardamom in my cooking as I feel that cardamom smell and flavor is so dominating that the food looses its own shuttle smell and flavor.  So here is the recipe of the bread pudding my LO liked very much.

2-3 slices of white bread (you could use wheat too...its just that I didn't have any wheat bread at that time and also wheat bread may make the pudding little brownish in color)
3 cups homogenized milk
1/4th cup condensed milk
2 tbsp sugar
If you wish you could add 2-3 drops of rose water or kevda water for the flavor and fragrance.

Throw the bread slices in the food processor and make fresh bread crumbs. Before this remove the bread crust from the sides. Now in a thick-bottom pan heat milk. When milk comes to a boil, add condensed milk and stir for 30 seconds. Finally add the bread crumbs and stir constantly for 10-15 minutes. Now add the sugar and mix well. At this stage, you could add some nuts such as pistachio, cashews, almonds etc. I did not add any since I didn't want to give nuts to my LO at this age (the pistachios in the picture were put just to take a pretty picture!!).  Anyway, your bread pudding is ready and it tastes best when served chill.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paneer Pasanda

Agar aap apne pati ko bahut pyar karte hein tou unhe Paneer Pasanda bana ke khilaiye :)
With this motto I made Paneer Pasanda for DH when he was coming home after a hectic tour...and I baked  garlic naan at home....let me let you..paneer pasanda and garlic naan are deadly combination!

1 lb paneer cut in big triangles of same size

For the filling:
1 tbsp crumbled paneer
2 tbsp khoya
1 tsp rasins
1 tsp almond powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
a pinch salt
few mint leaves cut in very very small strips

1 tbsp all purpose flour
oil to fry

For the gravy,
1.5 tbsp almond powder
3 tbsp whipping cream (or malai)
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1" cinnamon stick
1 black cardamom
4-5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup milk

For the filling, mix everything and keep aside. Take all purpose flour and mix in water to make a paste of pouring consistency. Now take paneer triangles and slit them so that the one end of the triangle is still attached. Fill the filling carefully inside the paneer and dip in all purpose flour paste and deep fry them. Take them out in a tissue paper to soak extra oil.

For the curry, there are tons of ways...some make spicy tomato based gravy, some make while gravy with cauliflower paste and some make while gravy with cream. My favorite one is white creamy gravy with almond flavor. Take all the masalas (cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, black pepper) and grind them well. Mix it in the whipping cream and heat it in a pan. When one boil comes, put almond powder and milk. Boil it for 4-5 more minutes. Add salt to taste. Adjust milk as per the consistency of gravy you require. Finally add fried paneer triangles and serve hot with garlic naan.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to make Tandoori masala?

My good friend Surabhi asked this question. Surabhi, there are two ways to make Tandoori masala. Easier way: buy it from the market and use it :)
Difficult way--
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1 3" cinnamon stick
1 tsp dry garlic powder
1 tsp dry ginger powder
10-12 cloves
1 tsp black pepper
2 black cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg (Jaifal)
1 tsp mace(Javitri)
5-6 dry red chillies
1 tsp red or orange food color
Salt (you can add it now or later when you are actually using the masala for marination)

Grind all the above ingredients to a fine powder, sieve it and store in an airtight container. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grilled Paneer tikka

When this post had to follow the tandoori chicken post since I made this for myself when I grilled chicken for DH. I used the same marination as in the tandoori chicken .

250 gram paneer cut in 1.5 inch cubes
1 cup colorful bell peppers cut in 1.5 inch squares
1 cup onions cut in 1.5 inch squares.
Few skewers

Put oven on broil. Marinate paneer and bell peppers overnight. For marination, see tandoori chicken . Put paneer, bell peppers and onions in skewers. Grill these in the top most rack for 8-10 minutes. Turn and grill for another 3-4 minutes. You want the edges to become black. Eat hot with green chutney.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tandoori Chicken

I rarely cook non-veg at home. Being vegetarian myself, its not very motivating to cook for my DH and not able to eat myself! However, I have already cooked this recipe few times at home. My friend Preeti once made it and posted its pics in her blog. DH went crazy seeing the pics and I decided to give it a try and it was a great success. Recently DH came back from Germany trip so I made it again for him and made some tandoori paneer for myself in the same marination (recipe coming soon). So here I am basically reproducing Preeti's recipe:

1 lb chicken legs (no skin)
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup yogurt
handful of coriander leaves
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp Tandoori masala
2-3 green chillies

Wash and pat dry chicken pieces. Make some slips in the pieces. Put some salt and lemon and let chicken pieces soak salt and lemon for 30 minutes. In the meantime mix all the ingredients in a grinder and marinate chicken in this paste for 5-6 hours or overnight. Now you can grill it. But we are not allowed to use grill in our apartment building so I have to use oven. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease a tray and put chicken pieces in the tray and put it in oven for 45 minutes. If you want more spicy tandoori chicken, you can rub some chicken masala on marinated chicken pieces and then put them in oven. After 45 minutes turn the pieces and bake for another 10 minutes. Now to get the burn effect at places, put the oven on broiler and put chicken pieces in the top most shelf just for 4-5 minutes and remove them. Serve with green chutney, lemon and onions soaked in vinegar.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The best Chocolate Lava Cake

Am I exaggerating when I am saying that I made the best Chocolate lava cake?? Not at all. You have to taste it to believe me. And I got it right in the third attempt. I cannot wait to show the pictures so here are the pictures. This is how my lava cake looks..

Here is the closer look at the outer crust...soft yet crispy..

And best part...look at the lava of chocolate oozing from inside...isn't it perfect!!!! It was heavenly...really...

So here is the story behind the lava cake. I happened to see this ad for Domino's choco lava cake on you tube and wanted to eat right away. Sent my DH to few Domino stores here in Kingston and got to know that these lava cakes haven't been introduced in Canada as of yet. But I had to eat it so tried making and failed in first two attempts. I was not getting as gooey center as in the ad. Finally I made ganache and inserted inside every ramekin while baking the cake and...viola! Got the perfect lava cake. So here is the recipe for making 4 medium sized chocolate lava cakes.

For cake:
200 gram dark chocolate
1 stick (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
5 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4th cup sugar
A small pinch salt

For ganache:
2 ounce chocolate
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
a pinch sugar
1 tsp butter

We need to make ganache well ahead of time. For ganache, melt chocolate in microwave and mix well with the whipping cream, butter and pinch sugar. Refrigerate it for couple of hours so that it becomes hard. Now make 4 rounds of this and keep it in freezer so that it does not melt.

For the cake:
Put chocolate in double boiler over hot water and melt it. Add butter and stir until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk eggs and sugar for 8-10 minutes. Add flour and salt and mix well. Now put this mixture in melted chocolate and butter and fold in until mix. Generously butter the ramekins. Pour this mixture in 4 ramekins. Keep these ramekins in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Now heat oven at 375 F. Take the ramekins out of refrigerator and and ganache from freezer. Insert one ball in the center of each ramekin. Bake for 15 minutes. Let the ramekins cool for 15 minutes. Now run knife on the sides of ramekins and gently remove the cake. Best way is to put the serving plate on top of a ramekin (after you have run the knife on the edges). Now bring it upside down and pat the back of ramekin and gently remove the ramekin. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Serve hot.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lauki (Bottle gourd) ka kofta

Again thanks to Madhuri for bringing such fresh lauki. I had many dishes in mind with lauki but finally I settled for Lauki ke kofte. The trick is to make plain lauki kofta in a spicy gravy. Here is the recipe.


For koftas
1 medium size lauki
1/4 cup besan (gram flour)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch salt
Oil for frying

For gravy:
1 onion
6-7 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or as per your taste)
Few coriander leaves to garnish

Grate lauki and add a pinch salt and keep aside for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, sqeeze grated lauki to remove  water. Now add besan bit by bit until the lauki starts binding. Add some chili powder and mix well. Make big lemon size rounds and fry them. Now keep them on a tissue paper to absorb extra oil. Your koftas will look like this:

Now grind onion and garlic together and keep aside. Grind tomatoes and keep aside. Heat oil in a wok/pan/kadai. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add onion garlic paste. Add some salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder and fry until the paste leaves oil. Now add grind tomatoes for another 6-7 minutes. Now add garam masala and saute for 2 more minutes. Add water and let it come to a boil. Add koftas carefully so that they do not break. Cook i ton sim for 5 minutes and garnish with coriander leaves. It goes best with rice or roti.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crispy spicy eggplant

Last week DH was not home so I was being lazy in cooking. I was cooking food for my infant DS and was eating the same stuff! One day I cooked daal-rice for both of us. I was frying some papad to eat with daal-rice and I realized that papad is to boring and I need something better to spice it up. I looked into my fridge and fresh small eggplants brought my Madhuri were lying there. Since my pan with oil was still hot so I quickly cut the eggplant in small rounds and fried it. And then made it spicy adding some masalas. If you are watching calories then this is not for you since it is fried eggplant. But I would say that its okay to forget calories once in a while, especially when the final result is so crispy, spicy and mouth watering! So here is the simple recipe:

4-5 small eggplants (cut in rounds)
oil for frying
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
salt to taste
4-5 whole red chilies
1/2 inch tamarind soaked.

Fry eggplants in a pan with hot oil and keep them in a tissue paper so that the extra oil is absorbed.
In another pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. When oil is hot add whole red chilies and ginger garlic paste. Now add salt and fried eggplants. Saute them for few minutes and then add soaked tamarind and saute it for few more minutes. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stuffed bhindi (okra) with besan

As I mentioned in my last post that my friend Madhuri got me lots of veggies from Indian store in Toronto. She got me very very fresh okra and I love okra in any form. This time I decided to make stuffed okra with a twist of besan (gram flour). And then I freeze it for a week as my DH was in Germany and I didn't want to relish it alone! When my DH came back, I served it with daal-rice. I simply re-heated it on my stove. Surprisingly it was very fresh even after it stayed in freezer for a week. So here is the recipe of this delicious dish. Finally decorate with some coriander leaves and serve hot (unless your hubby is out of town! In that case freezing it and reheating before serving is fine too :)).

1/2 lb okra (slit and head removed)
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp crushed roasted cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fennel powder
2 tsp kasoori methi
1/2 tsp amchur powder
red chili powder to taste
salt to taste
2 tbsp besan (gram flour)
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

In a bowl, mix cumin, coriander powder, fennel powder, kasoori methi, amchur powder, red chili and salt in 1 tbsp oil. Now stuff okra with this mixture and leave it for 30 minutes. Now take a pan and heat
2 tbsp oil. Add the besan and fry for few seconds and add stuffed okra in it. Cook on sim for 10 minutes with lid covered. The mositure from okra will be trapped inside and make okra soft. Now remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes or until the okra is crisp. Keep stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Crunchy parwal dry

Well, you must be thinking why so many parwal recipes suddenly! Yes, you guessed it right. I had some good stock of parwal at home, thanks to my good friend Madhuri who shopped lots of Indian veggies for me from Toronto. So needless to say, next few recipes will be all various kinds of veggies. Anyway, this parwal recipe is very simple and yet very delicious and goes very well with parathas or with rice-daal. And here is the simple recipe:

8 parwals cut in 4 pieces lengthwise (don't peel them)
1 onion chopped length wise
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp chana daal
a pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
4 whole red chillies
salt to taste
1/2 tsp amchur powder

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard seeds cracle, add chana daal. After 1 minute, add whole red chillies. Now add onions and salt and fry well. Put parwal pieces and cover the lid and keep it on medium-low for 5-8 minutes. Remove the lid and let parwal cook slowly at sim. It takes long time (30-40 minutes) but makes parwal really crispy. Finally add the amchur powder and cook for another minute. Serve hot.

Parwal ki Mithai

Initially I wanted to name this post as "Dessert Disaster"! Thats because when I started making it, I had multiple failures. My knife was very wide so while I was suppose to make just a slit in parwal and remove the seeds, I ended up breaking every parwal in two!!! Then when I was preparing the filling, my khoya burned a bit- thanks to my DS. Still I decided to make this and take as best photo as  I could. When my DH came back from Germany, I happened to offer this sweet to him and to my surprise he liked it..and liked it so much that finished all in 24 hours!  I simply followed Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe for this. So if you want to make a better 'Parwal ka meetha' then please follow his recipe, which in short is as follows (my version of his recipe):

6 Parwal
2 cup lime water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp clarified butter
1 tsp chopped almonds
1 tsp chopped pistachios
1 tsp chopped cashews
1/2 cup khoya

Take 6 parwals. Peel them, slit them and remove seeds. And if you happen to break them into half, then thats fine too. Soak them in lime water for 4 hours. I used around 1/2 lemon in 2 cups of water. Drail parwal from lime water and boil them in plain water for 10 minutes. Drain the water from Parval. Now make 2 string sugar syrup using 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Boil parval in this syrup for 10 minutes and drain them. Put these parwal pieces in a nice looking plate. Now for stuffing, chop almonds, pistachios and cashews. In a pan, heat ghee and fry them. Now add 1/2 cup khoya and fry until pink. Add 1 tbsp sugar and cardamom powder. Put this stuffing carefully in parwal pieces and chill them in refrigerator.

And, here the the pretty pictures :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chili Paneer

Chilli-paneer is a mouth watering Indo-chinese dish. A fresh paneer cooked with Indian spices in Chinese style!!!! And compliment this spicy dish with cream of tomato soup and french baguette sprinkled with olive oil and shredded cheese.

1 lb Paneer cut in 1 inch cubes
1 egg
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
a pinch salt
oil to fry

2 tbsp oil
1 cup various colors bell peppers cut in 1 inch pieces
1 onion cut in big pieces
3 green chillies chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp chilli-tomato ketchup
1-2 tsp lemon juice (as per your taste)
salt to taste

Heat oil for frying in a pan. In a bown, mix egg, all purpose flour, ginger garlic paste and salt. Dip paneer pieces in this mixture and fry till golden. Now in a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Once oil is hot, put cumin seeds. Now add minced garlic. When it is golden add chopped chillies and onion.  Saute it for a minute and add bell peppers. Now add salt, chilli sauce, soya sauce, vinegar and ketchup. Stir occasionally. Now add the lemon juice. Finally add the fried paneer pieces and saute it for 2 minutes. Juicy chili paneer is ready. Serve this HOT dish hot!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


There are mainly two types of kadhi in India- one gujarati and one north Indian. I personally like the north Indian kadhi and I blindly follow Manjula Aunti's recipe to make kadhi. Her kadhi is really the best! So basically I am reproducing here recipe here.

For kadhi:
2/3 cup besan
1 cup plain yogurt
7 cup water
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric paste
3 tbsp clarified butter
3 whole red chillies
2 bay leaves
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp deggi mirch powder
1/4 tsp  fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida

For pakodas:
3/4 cup besan
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
1/4 tsp baking powder

Oil to fry

For kadhi, in a bowl mix besan, yogurt, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well and then add 3 cups of water and mix again. Keep it aside.
In a pan, heat 2 tbsp clarified butter. When ghee is hot, add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds. Now add whole red chilli and bay leaves. Now put the besan yogurt mixture in this. When first boil comes, put the gas on medium and add 4 more cups of water. Let it cook on low-medium heat for 45-50 minutes. Stir occasionally and in the meantime prepare the pakodas.
For pakodas, mix all above ingredients under pakodas. Adjust water to require desired consistency (that of a melted chocolate consistency!). In a pan add some oil and heat it. Make around 1 inch round pakodas by deep frying in hot oil. Put pakodas in water for 30 seconds and then press it softly and squeeze the water oil. After kadhi has been cooked for 45-50 minutes, add pakodas and cook for another 10 minutes. Now switch off the flame and take the kadhi out. Take another small pan and heat 1 tbsp ghee in it. Add red chili powder and deggi mirch and add 1-2 tbsp water. Tamper kadhi with this.  It is important to let kadhi cook for long time. This makes it order of magnitude more delicious. Serve it with rice.

Chhole Bhature

The signature dish of North India! The best tasting Chhole Bhatures are at railway stations, sold in leaf donas!!! They adds fun to the long boring train journeys. Whenever we used to travel as children, this was what we used to look forward to! Now I make at home, it tastes great but I still miss those days. Anyway, here is the recipe:


For Chhole:
1 can garbanzo beans
1 big onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 inch ginger chopped
3 green chillies chopped
1 tbsp MDH Chhole Masala
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1 tsp kasoori methi

For Bhaturas:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp semolina
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil

Oil for frying Bhaturas
(Bhaturas dough needs to be kept for 5-6 hours, so start early!)

For garnishing:
1 medium sized onion cut in small pieces
1 lemon cut in 4 pieces

To makes Chhole, in a pan heat oil. When oil is hot, put cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add onions, ginger and green chillies. When onion are golden brown, add coriander powder and red chili powder. Add tomatoes. One tomatoes are cooked, put salt and Chhole masala. Finally add garbanzo beans/chhole and put desired water (1 cup is enough). Cook for 15-20 minutes at medium low heat and towards the end, put some kasoori methi.

For bhaturas, mix all the ingredients and mix dough of medium consistency. If you require, add some water to reach desired consistency. Leave this dough for 5-6 hours covered with a damp cloth.
When you have to make bhturas, heat 1 cup oil in a deep pan at medium flame. Make table-tennis sized balls of dough and roll it with a rolling pin. Deep fry it. The soft crispy bhaturas are ready.
Serve Chhole and bhaturas with onion and lemon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vada Sambhar with coconut Chutney

Believe me there are thousands of ways of making Sambhar! And all are delicious. My Sambhar recipe is a quick sambhar recipe and probably not the most authentic one. For more traditional and authentic sambhar, I will rely on my good south Indian friends like Ravali and Jayasri. But this sambhar is quick and goes well with Vada. So here is the recipe for all three:

1 cut urad wash
A pinch salt
A pinch black pepper
1 tbsp coconut pieces chopped in small sizes
1/2 onion chopped finely
1 green chilli chopped
Water at room temperature
Oil to fry

Soak urad wash in lots of water overnight. In the morning, grind it with minimum amount of water (I put little more water so my vadas are not in great shape, as you will see image below). Once grinded all the urad daal, you need to do this most important step (which will make vadas light and very crispy). Take little water in a bowl. Put just a drop of grinded urad daal, it will sink in water. Now take the grinded mixture and mix it with hands vigorously to make it very fluffy and aerated. Now if you put a drop of this in water, it will float! Now add all other ingredients (except oil and water). Heat oil for frying in a pan. Wet your hands with water. Take a table spoon of this mixture, flatten it a bit and make a hole in the center and carefully put it in the pan. Similarly fry all the vadas.

2 tbsp oil
1 drum stick cut in 2 inches pieces
10-12 shallots ( mini onion )
1 onion chopped
2 green chillies chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp MDH sambhar masala
1.5 inch tamarind soaked in water (or 2 tbsp tamarind paste)
few curry leaves
1/2 cup toor daal
salt to taste
A pinch asafoetida
2-3 whole red chillies (dry)

In a pressure cooker cook toor daal with turmeric powder and salt. In a deep pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add curry leaves and red chillies. Now add chopped onion and green chillies. When onion becomes transparent, add shallots, drum sticks, tomatoes. Add 2 cups of water and salt and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked, add tamarind paste. Add sambhar masala and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Now add the cooked toor daal and add more water to require desired consistency and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve sambhar hot with vadas. You can add as many veggies as you want in it!

Coconut chutney:
1 fresh coconut peeled and grated
1-2 green chillies
2 tbsp roasted chana daal
1/2 inch ginger
a pinch salt
1 tsp tamarind paste

For tampering
1 tsp clarified butter
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad wash
5-6 curry leaves
2-3 red chillies whole

Grind all the ingredients listed above except for the ones listed under tampering. Now transfer it in a bowl. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Add all the ingredients listed under tampering. Fry for 1-2 minutes and put it in the same bowl where chutney is. Mix it with a spoon. Serve Vadas with sambhar and chutney.

Here I really apologize to my south Indian friends who can make this much better and more authentic and your inputs are always welcomed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Egg-Mushroom Curry

Whenever I make egg-curry, I miss my old friend Neeraj from NCRA days. Once Neeraj was visiting me in Charlottesville and I made egg curry. He liked it and ate it on two consecutive days and eventually had stomach upset :) Well, he probably ate too many eggs :) Well, here is the recipe:

4 eggs
2 medium potatoes
1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
1 medium onion
4-5 garlic cloves
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste
red chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
1/2 cup coriamder leaves chopped (optional)

In a grinder, grind onion, garlic and green chillies and keep the paste aside. Boil eggs. Boil potatoes. Keep 1/2 boiled potato aside and cut 1 inches cubes from remaining potatoes. Heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot, shallow fry eggs and potatoes. This is important because this gives that crispy delicious outer layer of egg and potato which tastes wonderful in the curry.  This is how your shallow fried eggs and potatoes will look like this:

Now poke these eggs and potatoes with a fork (so that curry goes inside when we put it in gravy).
In the remaining oil, put cumin seeds. When they crackle, put the grind paste of onion, garlic and green chili. Let it fry for few minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili and salt. Now mash that 1/2 potato which you kept aside and mix it well in the pan with the other masala. This mashed potato thickens the curry and gives a very good texture. Put mushrooms and 1 cup water and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the fried eggs and potatoes. Cook it for another 7-8 minutes on medium-low heat. Add garam masala and garnish it with coriander leaves. I did not have coriander leaves so I could not garnish my curry :) It tastes great with plain rice or naan.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick and Healthy dessert

If it is one of those days when you either have to write proposal or work on writing a paper, you just don't feel like cooking. This recipe is for one of those days - my accidental discovery yesterday! Turned out to be quite decent. And again, you can modify it according to your taste very easily!!! The good thing is that this dessert is healthy and has items from 3 food groups : dairy, fruits and carbs. This is how I made it.

A nice looking glass (important!)
3-4 tbsp flavored yogurt (I used vanilla)
2-3 tbsp frozen fruits (I used berries and melons)
1-2 tbsp granola/cereal/wheat crisps
1 tbsp whipped cream (optional)

Take a beautiful transparent glass. Put 1 tbsp yogurt. Add a layer of fruits. Add another layer of yogurt. Now add few more fruits, some cereals (I used wheat crisps as I did not have any other cereal). And for the kick top it up with some whipped cream. Just keep it for 5 minutes and have it with spoon and enjoy the delicious taste of all the wonderful ingredients :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Janmashtami Sweets

Last week was Janmashtami - celebration of birth of Lord Krishna. I wanted to celebrate it but did not have enough time to do elaborate cooking. I needed to make 5 sweets. Finally I made these 5 sweets which were very easy to cook and tasted great. I made Nariyal Katli, Potato halwa, Suji kheer, Panjeeri and Charnamrat. Here is my quick recipe of each of these (I am sure you can make much elaborated version of each of these, but with small baby at home this is so great!):

Charnamrat:  In a glass put 2-3 tbsps plain yogurt and fill the glass upto 3/4th level with milk. Add 1-2 spoons of gangajal, a drop of rose water and few pistachios cut in pieces. Add 2-3 leaves of basil.

Aloo Halwa: Boil 2-3 potatoes and mash them well. In a pan take 2 tbsp clarified butter and heat it. Fry the mashed potatoes well. When they are golden red, add few cut cashews and sugar to desired taste.

Panjeeri: In a pan on medium flame, heat 2-3 tbsps clarified butter (be generous in using clarified butter). Take 1/2 cup wheat flour and roast them well in that ghee. When golden brown take away from pan. In a separate pan roast some chopped coconuts and raisins. Finally mix these dry fruits and desired sugar in the roasted wheat flour and panjeeri is ready.

Suji Kheer: Take a tbsp clarified ghee. Add 3-4 tbsp suji (semolina). Roast it well and then add 3 cups of Milk and let it boil on sim for 20-30 minutes. When desired consistency is reached add 3-4 tbsp sugar and dry fruits of your choice. Roast the dry fruits before adding in the kheer. It gives great flavour.

Nariyal katli: In a pan take 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Keep stirring it at medium-high flame. Take a bowl filled with room temperature water with you. Every few minutes drop little sugar syrup in this water. If it spreads in the water, the syrup is too thin. After a while the syrup drop will maintain its shape and thats when your syrup is ready. Immediately put chopped coconuts in this and stir vigorously. Set it on a plate and let it cool. You can put any dry fruit available to you. The best one along with coconut are makhanas (lotus seeds) and kharbooja seeds.

All these dishes can be modified to your own taste. And if you have time you can make these in a more elaborated way. I had just one hour to make all so I did this quick job. And you have to go generous in using clarified butter. But thats okay once in a while. It boosts your metabolism to have high fat foods once in a while. Really.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maggi Bhel

The credit goes to my two good friends Shubhli and Surabhi for introducing me to this yummy evening snack. This is so easy to make and yet so delicious. Thanks Surabhi and Shubhli. So here it goes:

1 packet Maggi Masala
1 boiled potato cut in small pieces
1 tomato chopped finely
1 small onion chopped finely
1 green chiili chopped finely
1 tsp chunky chat masala
1/2 tsp lemon juice (or as per your taste)
1 tsp oil

First take the Maggi packet and beat the hell out of it (literally!). This is important to make the noodles very small! Take a shallow pan and out 1 tsp oil in it. Open the Maggi packet and put the noodles on the pan and roast it until they are golden brown. Let it cool. In a big bowl, mix potato, chilli, onion and tomato. Add roasted Maggi noodles. Now take the masala pouch from the Maggi packet and mix it well. Add all other ingredients i.e. Chunky chat masala and lemon juice and mix well. Eat this delicious bhel.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Falooda Shake

This requires lot of preparation in advance. But for the final taste, I bet its worth it! No time wasting, here is the recipe:

1 tbsp tukmaria seeds (you can get it in any Indian grocery store)
A handful of falooda sev (basically corn starch noodles)
Rooh Afza
1 lt homogenized milk
Falooda Kulfi
2 tbsp sugar
1 lt water to boil the falooda sev

Soak Tukmaria seeds in water for 3-4 hours. Refrigerate it. Boil falooda sev with water  until they are soft. Drain remaining water.  Put the sev in Ice-water in refrigerator for few hours.
Mix sugar in milk and boil milk. Let it remain on medium heat until it becomes half of its original quantity. Keep stirring occasionally. It will take about an hour. Refrigerate this milk for few hours.
Make kulfi as per my falooda kulfi instructions. When you have to prepare shake, do the following:
Take a fancy glass. Put 1 tbsp Rooh-afza. Add 1/3rd of milk. Add some falooda sev and some soaked tukmaria seeds.  Now add 2 tbsp kulfi. Serve chilled.