Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Chutney Chana Pilaf or Pulao - Healthy and delicious!


Busy weekdays call for some quick cooking - to put food on the table just in time to satisfy impatient and hungry tummies. This is my go to recipe just for those days and it has a lot of surprises to please everyone's taste buds. It is super easy, healthy and delicious, that is 3 birds in one stone... haha. Here is my version of this fantastic one pot meal.

Ingredients: 
Brown Rice - 2 cups (you can use white rice and adjust cooking time accordingly), Water - 4 cups (adjust as per recommended on rice packet), Onion chopped - 1 large, Tempering - Oil - 3-4 tsp, Mustard seeds - 1 tsp, Asofoetida - 1/2 tsp, ginger/garlic crushed - 1 tsp, turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp, red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp, chana masala - 1 tsp, biryani masala - 1/2 tsp, cumin powder - 1/2 tsp, coriander powder - 1 tsp, Aamchur - 1/4 tsp or few drops of lemon juice, For chutney: grind together 1 cup cilantro, 1/2 cup mint, 1 tsp roasted chana dal, 1 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of sugar and salt to taste. 

Method: 
Heat a pan/ pressure pan and add oil. When hot splutter mustard seeds, add asofoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, chana masala, biryani masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, aamchur powder and half of the green chutney. Saute for a minute and add onions. Cook for a minute and add the brown rice. Add water and cook for 25-30 minutes or as per directions on brown/white rice packet. When ready, garnish with some fresh boondi and cilantro and serve with the remaining chutney and raita. 

Enjoy this yummilicious Chutney Chana Pilaf or Pulao/Pulav - plant based, protein rich and full of flavor for clean eating! Vegan friendly too!!

Till my next post, take care everyone.

I am sending this post off to MLLA#112 Event: Herbsspicesandtradition blog: MLLA#112



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ragda Patties - Mumbai special!


Ragda Pattice is a dish that needs no introduction! It is a classic Maharashtrian/Mumbai street food loved by everyone. My younger one lovingly calls it - potato patties in pea soup :) So without further delay, here is the recipe:

Ingredients and Method:

For Ragda: 
2 cups Green/Yellow Vatana (Dried peas) - Soak it (preferably overnight) and cook in pressure cooker with 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp salt. Mash lightly after cooling. Add water to adjust consistency and adjust salt to taste.



For Chutneys:
You can use Readymade chutneys from Indian store or see procedure below to make Homemade Chutneys:

Green chutney: Grind together 1 cup cilantro, 1/4th cup mint, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp garlic, 4-5 green chillies, cumin powder, 1 tsp lemon juice, pinch of sugar and salt to taste

Sweet chutney: Soak and grind - 15-20 dates, 2 tsp Tamarind paste, 1/4th cup jaggery, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp - cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, salt to taste

Red Chutney: Soak and grind together 5-6 red chillies, 5-6 garlic pods, 1/4th tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, pinch of sugar, salt to taste.

For Patties:
5-6 medium sized potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed), 2 tbsp cornflour, chopped cilantro (optional), salt as per taste, 2-3 tbsp oil for shallow frying. Boil, peel and mash potatoes along with cornflour, cilantro and salt. Make small balls from the dough and gently flatten it with your palm.Take frying pan add oil once oil is hot. Shallow fry the the patties until golden brown and crisp form both sides. Place on paper towel to drain excess oil.



For Topping:
1 onion finely chopped, 1 tomato - finely chopped, any sev variety of your choice, chopped cilantro, chaat masala, red chilli powder.

Assembling the Ragda Patties:
Put some Ragda in a serving dish, put 1 or 2 patties over it and top it with more Ragda, put some green chutney, sweet chutney and red chutney. After that add some sev of your choice, chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, chat masala and red chilli powder as per your taste.

Enjoy this amazingly spicy, tangy, sweet, yummy, healthy and filling dish!!

Till my next post, take care everyone :)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Oats and Vegetable Sanja (Savory Oats with mixed Vegetables)


Hello everyone, I am back after a long time. Busy with summer activities, kids and work!!

'Sanja' - is traditionally made from semolina (cream of wheat) in Maharashtra. It is loved by everyone in our family. This recipe is a twist on traditional since I made it out of Oats today to make it healthier. This was our quick fix lunch today. It turned out to be really yummy and got a thumbs up from the kids too :)

Ingredients: 1 cup - Quick cooking oats, 1 medium onion chopped, mixed veg (any ones that you like - 1/2 cup),  tempering: 3-4 tsp Oil,  1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4th tsp asofoetida, few curry leaves, 1-2 green chillies, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp Sambar masala (optional), Salt to taste.

Method: Roast the quick cooking oats in a pan till they turn very light golden in color. Heat oil in the pan and add  mustard seeds and let them crackle, then add asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder. Add chopped onion and cook for 2-3 mins till the onion is soft. Then add the mixed vegetables, and cover and cook for additional 2-3 mins till the vegetables are soft. Add sambar masala (this adds an interesting flavor) and stir and add the roasted oats and salt and 1 &1/2 cups water. Cover and cook it on medium low heat for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy Oats and Vegetable Sanja (Savory Oats and Vegetables) with yogurt or pickle!! 

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bharleli Mirchi or (Aloo Bharwan Mirch) - Potato stuffed Anaheim Peppers


If you love spicy food like me, you will love this dish as much as I do. Actually, the Anaheim peppers you get here are not all that spicy, they just lend a mildly spicy and peppery flavor that goes really well with the potato stuffing. This is also a great party dish if you want to make something exotic.

Ingredients: Anaheim Peppers - 5-6 (any other large variety will do as well), Potato - 4-5 - boiled, turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp, ginger-garlic paste, Coriander powder - 1 tsp, Cumin Powder - 1 tsp, Mango powder - 1/2 tsp, Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds - 1 tsp, Asofoetida - 1/4 tsp, Ginger/garlic coarse paste - 1 tsp, garam masala - 1 tsp, Salt - as per taste, Cilantro - 2 tbsp finely chopped, Oil - 2 tbsp


Procedure: For Stuffing: Boil and peel potatoes and mash them finely. Take oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add asofoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, mango powder and mashed potatoes, Add garam masala, mix well and add salt.Stuffing is ready.


Stuffing the chillies: Slit the Anaheim peppers only on the top half of the pepper, so that it forms a pocket for stuffing. Stuff the filling into it with so that it fills the pepper entirely. Press down it gently to make sure that it is not loose.


Cooking the stuffed peppers: Take oil in a shallow pan and add the stuffed peppers one by one. Cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the mirch/chilli peppers over and cook till they are a little brown and done on all sides. Garnish with cilantro.


Delicious Bharleli Mirchi/Bharwan mirch or Potato stuffed Anaheim peppers are ready. Enjoy your spicy creation!!


Till my next post, take care everyone!!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tindora Cashew Masala (Ivy gourd cooked in spicy masala and Cashews)


Tindora or Tondla or Ivy Gourd is a rather plain vegetable with no special flavor of it's own. No one in our family is particularly fond of this vegetable. My little one was really sad the other day when I told him that I was about to make that vegetable for dinner. His sadness inspired me to add some exotic flavor and ingredients to make it really appealing to everyone's taste buds. The result was amazing and this vegetable is now "second favorite on his list" :) Nothing can topple Kale with Tofu, at least for now. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients: Tindora or Tondla or Ivy gourd - 1 packet about 300 gms (I used the frozen packet from local Indian grocery store), grated coconut - 5-6 tbsp, onion - 1 medium chopped, cumin seeds - 1 tsp, fennel seeds - 1 tsp, coriander seeds - 1 tsp, Ginger/garlic crushed - 2 tsp, mustard seeds - 1 tsp,Asafoetida - 1/4th tsp, Oil - 4-5 tbsp, cashews - broken - 1 tbsp, turmeric powder - 1 tsp, red chilli powder - 1 tsp, garam masala - 1 tsp, salt - as per taste, sugar - 1 tsp, lemon juice - few drops, chilli and cilantro for garnish, 

Method: Take a pan and add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds and dry roast them. Set them aside. In the same pan, add 1-2 tbsp oil and fry chopped onion till it turns golden brown. Add crushed ginger/garlic (crushed - 1 tsp) and fry for a minute. Then add grated coconut and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the dry roasted seeds to this at the end and grind to a smooth pasted upon cooling. Take another pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle, add asofoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sugar, salt, garam masala and ground masala to it. Fry for 3-4 minutes till oil leaves the masala. Then add the frozen Tindora or Ivy gourd to this.Cover and cook for 4-5 mins on medium heat. When tindora is soft, add broken cashews and cilantro. Mix well and cook for another minute or two. Tindora Cashew Masala is ready to serve! 


Well, our whole house was filled with the aroma of spices and everyone was really eager to try out the new exotic dish. I am really glad that this experiment was a huge success. The best reward was the smile on my little one's face  - priceless :)

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Achari Makai Tamatar Subji (Corn and Tomato Vegetable in pickling spices)


This Bhaji was a result of a random kitchen experiment that was very successful, so it made it to the blog :) That particular day, we had returned from a trip and had nothing on hand but frozen corn and some leftover tomatoes. I decided to add flavor to the bhaji by adding pickling spices and presto, this recipe was born. It tasted absolutely yummy and was certified blog worthy by my family [read guinea pigs :) - sorry family]. Well here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
Corn - frozen or fresh ( 1 cup), Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped, Onion - 1 medium chopped, Ginger/garlic - 1 tbsp crushed (1/4th inch ginger and 4-5 cloves of garlic), Oil - 4-5 tsp, Methi/fenugreek seeds - 1/4th tsp, Fennel seeds - 1 tsp, cumin seeds - 1 tsp, asofoetida - 1/4th tsp, turmeric powder - 1 tsp, red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp, apple cider vinegar - 1 tbsp, sugar - 1 tsp, salt - as per taste, garam masala - 1/2 tsp, cilantro chopped - to garnish.

Method: Boil the frozen corn for 5-8 mins till tender, (fresh corn will require less cooking time), take oil in a pan add methi seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and chopped onion. Fry till onion is golden brown. Add chopped tomatoes and saute till cooked, then add turmeric powder and red chilli powder, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Saute for 1 min and add boiled corm, Add garam masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 3-4 mins on medium heat. Add cilantro at the end. Yummy Achari Makai Tamatar Sabji is ready. Enjoy with Chapati or as a side dish with rice.

Till my next post, take care everyone!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spinach Tortilla Pinwheels


Today I am sharing a recipe I had whipped up for our office St. Patrick's day potluck lunch. This recipes feeds a lot of people with little effort. To fit in with the green theme, spinach tortilla was the natural choice. I love the southwestern veggie mix that you get in the frozen section of local grocery store. Used that for the filling along with other flavors I love and was ready with a yummy dish for the potluck. Here is the recipe. 

Ingredients: Spinach Tortilla - 3-4 large size, Southwestern veggie blend - (Black beans and chopped - red pepper, green bell pepper, corn, Anaheim peppers) - you can use your own veggies in case you don't have this blend - 2 cups, green lettuce leaves chopped - 1/2 cup,  Cream cheese - 1 16 oz tub, Ranch dressing - 1/2 cup, Sriracha sauce - 1 tsp, Chives fresh or dried- 2-3 tsp, Garlic powder - 1 tsp, black pepper - 1/2 tsp, taco seasoning - 2 tsp, salt as needed. Plastic wrap - to wrap the tortillas.

Method: Cook the southwestern blend as per instructions on the packet. If using your own beans and veggies, cook till everything is soft but not mushy. Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Blend with ranch dressing with a whisk or hand mixer. The mixture should not be too runny. It should only be soft (pliable). Add Sriracha sauce, chives, black pepper, garlic powder, taco seasoning and salt (if needed) and whisk. Add the southwestern veggie blend and chopped lettuce to that mixture and blend everything together. Apply that mixture to the tortillas. Roll them up and wrap them in plastic wrap. Chill overnight (or for 3-4 hrs of short on time). In the morning, cut them up in desired size pieces and serve cold.

This recipe is really versatile and could be made with any other type of tortilla. It is great for picnics or other potlucks too.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my readers. May your lives be touched by a little Irish luck :)

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dahi Vada (Dahi Wada) or Dahi Bhalla


Dahi Vada is my family favorite. We just can't get enough of the cool and refreshing vadas that simply melt into your mouth. The sweet and tangy tamarind and date chutney adds to the burst of flavors in the mouth. So today I am sharing the recipe for this amazing dish, that is especially popular around the colorful Holi festival in Northern India just as Puran poli is ever so popularly made for Holi in Maharashtra.

Ingredients: 

For Vadas: Urad dal - 2 cups, Moong dal - 1/2 cup, green chillies - 2-3 (optional), Cumin seeds - 1&1/2 tsp, asofoetida - 1/4th tsp. Salt to taste, Oil for frying.

For Dahi mixture: 5 to 6 cups, yogurt, 1 teaspoon, roasted cumin powder, salt to taste, sugar - adjust as per sourness of dahi or yogurt, Cilantro - for garnish, red chilli powder - to garnish (optional) and some boondi to garnish (optional), Chaat masala (optional) - few sprinkles to garnish and add chatpata taste.

Procedure: Soak Urad dal and moong dal in 8 to 10 cups of warm water for 6-10 hours - preferably overnight. Next morning, drain the dal and add green chilies, cumin seeds, asofoetida, little salt and and blend it until smooth.  The batter should not be too runny. You should be able to form vadas. Add water accordingly while blending. Whisk the batter and set it aside for 30-40 mins in a refrigerator.

Heat enough oil in a pan or a kadhai. Slide the batter balls into the hot oil as per desired size of vadas. Fry them on medium heat till golden brown on both sides to ensure that they are well cooked. Drain them on an absorbent towel and then soak them in water for 1-2 mins. Give them a gentle squeeze and remove the oil and them put them in yogurt mixture.

Procedure to make yogurt/dahi mixture: Take yogurt/dahi in a bowl , add water depending upon the thickness of the dahi you desire to make. Add sugar, cumin powder and salt to taste and whisk well.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, red chilli powder, boondi and chaat masala and serve.

Serve with Tamarind Date chutney

Procedure to make chutney: Soak 15-20 dates in warm water for 20 mins, grind with 1 tsp tamarind pulp, 2 tsp jaggery, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4th tsp chaat masala and salt to taste.

Enjoy!! Happy Holi to all my friends.Till my next post, take care everyone. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rava Idli with Mint Chutney


Whenever my kids desire to eat idlis and there is not enough time to go through the whole fermentation process associated with making the traditional idlies, rava idli saves the day. My kids love to feast on the soft, spongy idlis that are ready in a jiffy. They are definitely more flavorful than the traditional idlis and are diabetic friendly too since we do not have to use rice to make them.

Rava Idli Recipe:

Ingredients: Coarse Rava - 2 cup, Yogurt - 3/4 cup, Water 1&1/2 cup (adjust as needed), Salt to taste Eno Fruit Salt - 1 tsp (or baking soda - 1/2 tsp),Cilantro chopped - 2 tbsp (optional), Oil for greasing idli maker.

For Tempering: Oil - 2 tsp, Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp, Urad dal - 1 tsp, Chana Dal - 1 tsp, Asofoetida- 1/4 tsp, Green Chillies - 1 or 2 finely chopped (completely optional), Broken cashews - 2-3 tsp (completely optional)

Method: Heat a pan and add 2 tsp Oil, then add mustard seeds when hot till they splutter. Add rest of the tempering ingredients. Then add the rava and roast everything till light golden brown. Let it cool. After it cools, add yogurt, salt, water, cilantro and mix everything. Now add in yogurt and water and mix well till it is of the right consistency. The batter should not be too thick or thin. At the end add the eno fruit salt or baking soda and mix. Fill in the greased idli moulds and steam it for 10 to 12 mins on medium high heat.

Remove the idli stand and let it cool for 5 mins. Now dip a thin spoon in water and gently unmould the rava idlies.

Serve with mint or any other chutney of your choice.

Mint Chutney recipe:

Ingredients: Mint leaves - handful , Cilantro - handful, shredded coconut - 3-4 tbsp, Dalia (orroasted chana dal) - 5-6 tbsp, green chillies - 3-4 (adjust as per desired level of spiciness), salt to taste, few drops of lemon juice.

For Tempering: Oil - 2 tsp, Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp, Asofoetida- 1/4 tsp

Method: Grind all the above ingredients in a mixer and pour tempering over it.

Serve with Rava Idli.

Enjoy!!!

Till my next post, take care everyone.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Healthy Vegetarian Italian Salad - Valentine's Day special!


The day of love otherwise known as Valentine's Day is upon us. Instead of going to overcrowded, noisy restaurants, sometimes it is better to spend quality time with your significant other at home and enjoy a hearty and healthy salad along with chocolates and wine :)

Ingredients: Mixed baby greens - 2 handfuls,  Baby spinach - handful, Mixed peppers (orange, yellow and red) - cubed 15-20 pcs total, green bell pepper - 1 cubed, Cucumbers - 3-4 cubed, Grape tomatoes - 15-20 halved, Olives - 1 can, onion (optional) - 1/2 sliced, Italian cheese mix - 3-4 oz (about 3/4 the packet), Ranch dressing - 1 bottle - 16 oz - any brand of your choice (I used yogurt based ranch), balsamic vinegar - few drops, crushed red pepper - 1/4 tsp, black pepper to taste, Croutons - to garnish.

Procedure: Wash and chop all the vegetables according to instructions above. Mix Ranch dressing, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper and black pepper in a separate bowl. Take a big bowl and assemble everything together. Garnish with croutons. Healthy and delicious salad is ready. Chill and serve.

I made a tomato heart decor specially for Valentine's day :) 

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Till my next post, take care.