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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Kashundi - Shojne Data Chorchori (Mustard - Drumstick Curry - Bengali Style)


          Drumsticks are a powerhouse of nutrients like calcium, vitamins and iron. Hence they are recommended in any form. So here is a simple home made style drumstick curry in a mustard based sauce in a Bengali style. It is best relished, mixed with plain steamed rice to enjoy its true flavours.

          I have used the bottled kasundi paste, but you can go ahead and use freshly ground mustard paste. Make sure to soak the mustard seeds in water for a good 30 minutes, It can also be powdered and then mixed with required quantity of water.





  • 4-5 drumstick, cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. kalonji (nigella seeds)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. kasundi (mustard paste)
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped







          Heat oil in a pan and temper with kalonji. Saute for a few seconds. Add the onion and fry till light brown.

          Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for few seconds. Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and the drumstick. Mix well and add 1 cup water.

          Cover and simmer till soft. Add the kasundi and coriander leaves and give it a mix. Serve with hot steamed rice.










Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Arbi Stir Fry (Colocasia Stir Fry)


          This is a quick and a simple stir fry to go as a side dish along with your rice or chapattis. It is a dry version which is both spicy and tangy due to the presence of red chili powder and tamarind. The spice can be adjusted according to preference. This delicious stir fry is absolutely a hit with curd-rice or sambar rice. 

          It takes a matter of a few minutes to dish out this delicacy if the arbi is already boiled and refrigerated to save time. Please note - there is no onion, garlic or ginger, so it is a perfect dish to be had during fasting, though ginger can be included if preferred.





  • 12-15 arbi (colocasia)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind water / lime juice
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped





          Pressure cook the arbi in required quantity of water for 1 whistle. When cool, drain and peel off the skin and press them in between your palm to make them flat.

          Heat oil in a non-stick pan and saute the arbi till light brown on both sides. Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, tamarind water and curry leaves.

          Continue to saute on medium flame for another 2-3 minutes. Add coriander leaves and switch off the flame. 

          Stir to combine well. Close with a lid and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve as a side dish either with rice or chapattis.










Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Dhania - Lauki Sabzi (Bottlegourd cooked with Coriander Stalks)


         Coriander stalks have the most nutrients and so it is sensible to use it in our daily cooking. Hence I incorporated it and made this simple side dish with lauki (Bottlegourd). I ground the stalks along with ginger, garlic and green chilies to form the basic paste. 

          This was later sauteed along with onion and all the dry spices. Just the addition of the stalks enhanced the aroma of the curry. It can be had either with rice or any Indian bread. 






  • 1 medium size lauki (Bottlegourd), cubed
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, fenugreek, mustard, cumin & nigella seeds)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • handful of coriander stalks, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped to garnish







          Grind together coriander stalks, ginger, garlic and green chilies to a paste and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and temper with the cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and panch phoron.

          After it stops crackling, add the onion and fry till light brown. Then add the ground paste, turmeric powder and cumin powder. Saute on a medium flame till oil separates.

         Now add the chopped lauki and salt. Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes till it is well mixed with all the spices.

          Add 1 cup water. Cover and simmer till soft and dry. Add the garam masala powder and ghee. Give it a mix and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.










Baida Roti (Stuffed Keema-Egg Paratha / Flat bread)


          Baida Roti is a street food found in Goa and also in Mumbai. This delicious dish is a complete meal in itself. It is actually a paratha / flatbread stuffed with keema / mince and shallow fried with a coating of beaten egg. 

          Maida or plain flour is used for the making of this roti. But I opted for whole wheat flour for a healthier option. Enjoy this awesome parathas with either kadhi, raita or pickle. So check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.










Dough - 

  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. oil

          In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and knead a stiff dough with required quantity of water. Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 30 minutes


Stuffing - 

  • 200 gms. keema (mutton mince)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • oil to shallow fry
  • 4 eggs beaten along with 1/4 cup water / milk and a pinch of salt
  • 1 big onion, chopped for the stuffing
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves for the stuffing








          Boil the keema in 1/2 cup water for 5-6 whistles. Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies.

          Saute till light brown. Add the boiled keema and all the powdered spices. Continue to fry on medium flame till dry. Add lime juice and mix well. Keep aside.


Method - 

          Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll out each portion into a large circle. Place some of the keema in the centre, followed by the chopped onion, coriander leaves and a little of the beaten egg. Sprinkle some salt over it.

          Fold the paratha from all the four sides like an envelope. Heat 1 tsp. oil on a tawa / griddle and shallow fry them one at a time by drizzling some beaten egg so that it coats the paratha. 

          Let it brown on both sides and transfer to a serving plate. Make similar parathas with the remaining dough and fry them till done. Serve with raita, pickle, chutney or kadhi.






                               The prepared keema stuffing.




             Place some of the keema in the centre of each rolled out roti, followed by onion, 
             coriander leaves and a little of the beaten egg. Sprinkle some salt over it.





                                Fold the paratha from all the four sides like an envelope.






                  Heat 1 tsp. oil on a tawa / griddle and shallow fry them one at a time ......






                              ....... by drizzling some beaten egg so that it coats the paratha.  
    



                               Fry on both the sides.






                                Serve with raita, pickle, chutney or kadhi.












Monday, 13 July 2015

Bhindi Kadhi (Okra in Yoghurt Sauce)


          Kadhi or Yoghurt Stew is very common in all the North Indian Regions. Sometimes it is prepared with some veggies added to it. Today I bring to you Bhindi Kadhi or Okra in Yoghurt Sauce. This particular dish is very popular in Gujarati and Punjabi cuisines. The tempering differs from one region to the other. 

          This is my version of this delectable Kadhi where I tempered with panch phoron (Bengali 5 spice mix). The okra is shallow fried separately and added to the prepared sauce just before taking off the fire. It is served along with any form of rice preparation. When made into a slightly thick consistency, it can also be relished with any Indian bread. So check for a step by step method with photos to prepare it.

          





  • 200 gms. Bhindi (okra), cut into 1" thickness
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. besan (gram flour)
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, cumin, fenugreek, mustard & nigella seeds)
  • 1 dry red chili
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • coriander leaves to garnish





         In a bowl, mix together yoghurt, besan, water, salt, turmeric powder, ginger, green chilies, garam masala powder and cumin powder. Keep aside.

         Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the okra till light brown. keep aside. Heat remaining oil and temper with panch phoron, red chili and asafoetida.

         Now pour the yoghurt-besan mix and simmer on medium flame, stirring at intervals till it gets slightly thick.

         Add the fried okra and simmer for another 2 minutes. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.





                              Stir fry the okra till light brown and keep aside.




                            Heat oil and temper with panch phoron, asafoetida & dry chily.




                              Add the prepared yoghurt-besan mix and simmer till thick.




                             Add the fried okra and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve, garnished with
                             coriander leaves.











Sunday, 12 July 2015

Kousa Mahshi (Stuffed Baby Marrow - Middle Eastern Cuisine)


         This is a Middle Eastern delicacy where baby marrows are stuffed with a mix of soaked rice, mince meat, herbs and seasonings. It is then cooked on a bed of tomato sauce. There are a lot of variations regarding the stuffing which differs slightly among the Middle Eastern countries.

          Traditionally, it is simmered in an open pan, but I tried it the simple way by pressure cooking. This ultimately saved me a lot of time. This classic dish is then served accompanied with Labneh (thick yoghurt). It can be relished either with rice or pita bread. So go through a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.......






                               After reducing the gravy....



                               Before reducing the gravy.....




  • 5 baby marrows, washed and dried
  • 100 gms. mutton mince, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30  minutes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 2 fresh red chilies, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • coriander leaves to garnish




                               After reducing the gravy......

                           

                              Before reducing the gravy......





          In a bowl, mix together rice, mince, salt, onion, pepper powder, garam masala powder, fresh chilies, coriander leaves and olive oil. Keep aside.

          Boil the tomatoes along with 3 cups water, red chili powder and salt for 2 whistles. When cool, blend it and strain. Keep aside.

          Half the baby marrows and score them with the help of a knife or an apple corer to make them hollow. 

          Fill the marrows with the prepared rice-mince mix. Now pour the prepared tomato sauce in a pressure cooker and gently place the stuffed marrow on it.

          Close the lid and pressure cook for 6 whistles. Let stand for 10 minutes before opening. 

          Carefully, transfer the cooked marrows to another dish and simmer the tomato sauce till it reduces to half of its quantity.

          While serving, pour the liquid on a serving dish and place the cooked marrows over it. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with pita bread.






                        Cut the baby marrows into half and core them with a knife / corer.




                Mix together mince, rice, salt, coriander leaves, garam masala powder, pepper 
                powder, olive oil, onion and fresh chilies for the stuffing.



                                Fill the hollow marrows with the prepared stuffing.



                  Arrange the stuffed marrows in the pressure cooker and pour the prepared 
                  tomato sauce over it.



                  Pressure cook for 6 whistles. Let stand for 10 more minutes. Serve, garnished 
                  with coriander leaves.




                               After reducing the gravy.....
      


                               Before reducing the gravy....










Shahi Moong Dal (Rich & Creamy Split Green Gram Curry - Mughlai Style)


          This is another way of preparing Moong Dal (Split Green Gram Lentil) in a Mughlai style. It has a rich and a creamy texture due to the addition of yoghurt, milk and cream which is added to the boiled moong dal for a smooth delicacy. 

          A tempering of cumin seeds and garlic in ghee is then poured over the end product for some added flavour. It can be relished either with any rice preparation or any Indian bread. Please find below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.








  • 1/2 cup split moong dal (green gram), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp.  of turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp. cream
  • pinch of saffron soaked in milk/water
  • coriander leaves to garnish
  • pinch of red chili flakes to garnish





          Pressure cook the soaked moong dal in 1 cup water for 5-6 whistles. Mash well and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, cardamoms and cloves. After it stops spluttering, add half of the garlic and saute till it changes colour.

          Add the onion and turmeric powder and fry till light brown. Now add the boiled dal, yoghurt, milk, cream, salt, green chilies, pepper powder, 1/2 cup water and garam masala powder.

          Simmer on a medium flame for 4-5 minutes. Add the saffron and mix well. Remove from the flame.

          Heat ghee and temper with the remaining cumin seeds. Let it splutter and then add the remaining garlic. Saute till light brown. Pour this tempering on the prepared dal and garnish with coriander leaves and chili flakes.






                              Heat oil and temper with cumin seeds, cardamoms and cloves.
                              Then add garlic and saute till it changes colour.




                               Then add onion and turmeric powder. Saute till light brown.



                              Add the boiled dal, yoghurt, milk, cream, salt, green chilies, pepper
                              powder and garam masala powder.



                               Simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the saffron milk and mix well.



                              Heat ghee and temper with remaining cumin seeds. Let it splutter.
                              Then add the remaining garlic and saute till light brown.



                              Pour the tempering on the prepared dal and garnish with coriander 
                              leaves and chili flakes.






Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sultani Dal (Rich Lentil Curry - Mughlai Cuisine)


          This is a rich and creamy lentil preparation in a true Moghlai style. Tuvar dal / pigeon pea lentil is cooked along with yoghurt, milk and cream for a smooth texture. The addition of cardamoms, cloves and saffron takes you to another level. 

          A small live charcoal is used to give a smokey flavour to the dal. Then a tempering of cumin seeds, dry red chili and garlic is poured over the final product for a distinct aromatic flavour. This delicious dish can be had with any Indian bread or Biryani.








  • 1 cup tuvar dal (split pigeon pea lentil), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 green cardamoms
  • 10 cloves
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt, beaten
  • 1/2 cup  milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • pinch of saffron mixed with 2 tbsp. milk/water
  • 2 betel leaves
  • 1 small charcoal
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ghee





          Dry roast the cardamoms and cloves for a few seconds. When cool, grind it and keep aside. Keep the charcoal on the open flame and let it burn till it turns red.

          Pressure cook the lentils in 2 cups water, turmeric powder and red chili powder for 4-5 whistle. Blend well with a hand blender till it is well mashed.

          Heat butter and oil in a pan. Temper with 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds and saute till it stops crackling, Add 1 tsp. garlic and saute till it changes colour.

          Add the onion and fry till light brown. Add the cooked dal, salt, yoghurt, milk and green chilies. Bring it to a boil and add the cardamom powder, saffron and cream. Mix to combine well.

          Now place the betel leaves on the cooked dal and place the live charcoal on it. Pour a tsp. of oil over it and immediately cover with a lid for 10 minutes. This is how you will get a good smokey flavour.

          Remove the betel leaves and the charcoal. Heat ghee in a pan and temper with the remaining cumin seeds and dry red chili.  After it stops crackling, add the remaining garlic and saute till it changes colour.

          Pour this tempering on the dal and serve, garnished with coriander leaves and a drizzle of some cream.

          









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