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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Dry Fruits Yoghurt Salad

          Here is a nice healthy way to start your day. Enjoy this easy and simple to assemble Dry Fruits Yoghurt Salad first thing in the morning for some energy boost. You can also choose any of your favourite fruit instead. This amazing concoction can also be served as an after meal dessert  or as and when desired at room temperature or slightly chilled.

  • 1 cup hung yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar / honey
  • 1 tsp. kewra water
  • pinch of cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped apricots
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp. melon seeds
  • 1 tbsp. raisins
  • 1 tbsp. tutti frutti

          Mix together the yogurt, cardamom powder, kewra water and sugar. Now take a tall glass and layer 1 tbsp. of the yoghurt, followed by some cranberries, yoghurt, chopped apricots, yoghurt, chopped dates and then the last layer of yoghurt again.

          Refrigerate for some time. Garnish with chopped walnuts, melon seeds and tutti frutti. Your chilled yummy Fruity Yoghurt Salad is ready to relish. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Raw Mango Rasam

          This is a typical South Indian style soup / rasam that is a must-have in the menu. There are many versions to this amazingly refreshing soup. So let me share rasam made with raw mango. It is quite a comforting dish that can be had as it is like a soup or as a side dish with plain steamed rice. 

           Light on the stomach, this tangy and yummy preparation can be made spicy according to individual preference. It is a good appetizer, aids in digestion and wards of cold and congestion. So make best use of the ongoing mango season and dish out this simple delicacy for a nice hearty lunch with your loved ones.

  • 1/4 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil). soaked for 2-3 hours
  • 1 small raw mango, boiled
  • 2 pinches of asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (opt)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped

          Pressure cook the dal with 4 cups water, turmeric powder, a pinch of asafoetida and ghee for 4-5 whistles. Blend along with the boiled mango and keep aside.

          Grind the garlic, cumin seeds and peppercorns along with some water and keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and sauté the ground paste till the oil separates.

          Add the boiled dal, salt and sugar. Bring it to a boil and simmer on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. Switch off the flame and transfer it to a serving bowl.

          Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Temper with dry red chilies, mustard seeds, curry leaves and remaining asafoetida. 

          After it stops spluttering. switch off the flame and pour this tempering over the prepared rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve as a soup or with rice.

Chicken Haleem - Hyderabadi / Telangana Style)

          This is a yummy one-pot meal that has its origin in Hyderabad. This popular dish is usually had during the holy month of Ramzan. It is traditionally prepared with mutton, But I tried the easier method with chicken mince in a pressure cooker. Usually it is cooked on an open flame. It is quite a rich dish with loads of dry fruits and ghee. But it is equally nutritious and wholesome as it contains broken wheat / oats and various types of lentils.

          It also contains chicken which is a lean meat and is better than any red meat. Chicken has proteins and antioxidants that improves our immune system. Mixed lentils and oats have loads of proteins, fibre, has less cholesterol and is heart healthy. This delicacy is best relished with a dash of lime and garnished with fried onions and chopped dry fruits. 

  • 400 gms. chicken mince / keema
  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat / oats 
  • 1 tbsp. each of masoor, split moong, urad and chana dal (red lentils, split green gram, split black gram & Bengal gram lentils)
  • 12-15 almonds
  • 3/4 cup yoghurt 
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil / ghee
  • 1 tsp. shahjeera
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 2" cinnamon sticks
  • 10-15 whole peppercorns
  • 4-5 green cardamoms
  • 6-8 cloves
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. rose essence (opt)
  • almonds, coriander leaves, ginger julienne, lemon wedges and fried onions to garnish

          Soak the wheat preferably overnight. Soak the lentils and the almonds for 2-3 hours. Marinate the chicken mince with ginger-garlic paste, chopped chilies, yoghurt, garam masala powder and red chilli powder for an hour. 

           Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. Temper the same ghee with the cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and shahjeera. Saute for a few seconds. 

          Now add the marinated mince and saute till the oil separates from the sides of the pan. Add the soaked lentils, wheat. almonds, salt, 3/4 of the fried onions and 4 cups water. 

          Pressure  cook for 30-35 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle. After the pressure is released, simmer on a low flame. Keep mashing with the back of a ladle while it is simmering . 

          Serve hot with some lemon wedges, rose essence (opt), fried onions, ginger julienne, almonds and coriander leaves. 


Monday, 23 April 2018

Paneer Pudding

           How about some sweet indulgence? So let me share a yummy pudding made of paneer / cottage cheese. I have made use of store bought Amul Paneer but you can always go in for homemade ones. It is super easy and simple to make and is a perfect after-meal dessert. So go ahead and give it a try. You can also add some caramel for flavour and colour.

  • 200 gms. Amul Paneer 
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups evaporated / thickened milk
  • 1 full egg 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. rose / kewra powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. evaporated milk to drizzle (opt)
  • tutty fruity / chopped nuts to garnish

          Blend the paneer, milk, rose water and cardamom powder. Beat the eggs and sugar separately and combine with the paneer mix.

          Pass it through a strainer and pour into a greased pudding bowl. Place in a pan filled with water and cover with a tight lid. Steam for 25-30 minutes on a low flame. 

          Let it come to room temperature before refrigerating it for 3-4 hours. Pass a knife around the edges and demould it on a serving plate. 

          Drizzle some evaporated milk and garnish as desired. Serve as an after meal dessert or enjoy whenever desired.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Instant Beetroot Appam

          Appams are delicious Kerala Style breakfast made out of fermented rice-coconut batter. But this is an instant version where I made use of some store bought idli / dosa batter and eno fruit salt to make it the easier way. 

          They are prepared in a special pan called an Appam Chetti and are traditionally had with veg. or non-veg. stew. Today I made these nutritious appams with beetroot puree and relished with some mixed veg stew. You can have with any side dish of your preference.

  • 2 cups Idli / dosa batter
  • 1-2 tbsp. beetroot puree
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt
  • oil to grease

           In a bowl, combine the batter, beetroot  puree and required quantity of water to make a thin batter. Just before preparing them, add eno fruit salt and mix well.

          Heat an appam chatti and grease with some oil. Wipe clean with a tissue paper and drop a ladleful of the batter. 

          Immediately swirl it around. Cover and cook on a  low flame for 1-2 minutes or till the edges turns crisp.

          Transfer to a serving plate. Make similar appams with the rest of the batter. Serve with veg. / non-veg. stew or any side dish.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Foxtail Millet Idli

          As millets in general are very popular these days, I keep experimenting with various types of them. So let me share a idli recipe made with foxtail millet. This wonder grain is both diabetic and heart friendly. It is a great substitute to rice and has a lot of health benefits and antioxidants. So do try this yummy foxtail millet idli and relish for breakfast / brunch with coconut chutney and sambar.

  • 1 cup foxtail millet
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds 
  • 1 tsp. oil to grease the idli moulds
  • coconut chutney & sambar to serve

           Soak the millets, dal and fenugreek seeds in sufficient water overnight. Grind into a smooth paste and make a batter of pouring consistency.

          Keep in a warm place to ferment overnight. Grease the idli moulds and ladle the batter into it. Steam for 12-15 minutes. 

          Set aside to cool for some time. Then demould with the help of a spoon and serve them hot with coconut chutney and sambar for a healthy, sumptuous breakfast.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Bhapa Sondesh Paturi (Steamed Sandesh in Banana Leaf)

           These are sugar free and yummy sondesh made with homemade paneer and dates. So time to indulge in some desserts guilt free. What say? So go ahead and give it a try. It is a very simple and a healthy steamed delicacy that can be made to surprise your loved ones. It is perfect for weight watchers and is diabetic friendly too. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 1 litre milk (made 6 parcels)
  • pinch of saffron
  • juice of 1 lime diluted with 1/4 cup water
  • 12-15 dates, soaked in warm water for an hour
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • banana leaf as required

          Add the saffron to the milk and bring it to a boil. Switch off the flame and pour in the lime juice. Give it a stir and cover for a minute. The milk will start curdling. Drain on a muslin cloth and place it on a colander for 30 minutes. 
          Puree the soaked dates and mix with the paneer and cardamom powder. Cut the banana leaf into desired shapes and place them on the fire for a few seconds to make them pliable.

          Place a small portion of the mix in the centre and gently fold them into a parcel. Do the same with the rest of the paneer-date mix.

           Steam them for 10-12 minutes and set aside to cool. Serve these steamed delicacies at room temperature or chilled as an after meal dessert or when desired.

                                            Mix with the paneer and cardamom powder. 

                                      Place a small portion of the mix in the centre.

                       Fold them into a parcel. Do the same with rest of paneer-date mix.

                                     Steam them for 10-12 minutes and allow them to cool. 

                                            The steamed bhapa sondesh.

                             Serve these steamed delicacies at room temperature or chilled 
                             as an after meal dessert or when desired.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Bhapa Posto Paturi (Steamed Poppy Seeds Paste in Banana Leaf)

          Bengalis love for posto (poppy seeds) is quite well known. They have this incredible knack of dishing out amazing recipes with it. So let me share my version of just a simple and homemade delicacy where I have steamed the poppy seeds paste along with other ingredients, wrapped in a banana leaf. It is just divine and is best relished with plain steamed rice. A drizzle of some extra mustard oil does wonders to this dish. So go ahead and give it a try by following a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 1/2 cups poppy seeds (makes 3-4 parcels)
  • 1-2 fresh green / red chilies
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. mustard oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • few banana leaves, cut into desired sizes

          Grind the poppy seeds with very little water into a paste. Mix with the remaining ingredients and keep aside. Place the banana leaves on the fire to make them pliable.

          Now take one leaf and place some of the posto paste in the centre and gently fold them. Do the same with the rest of the mix.

          Steam for 10-12 minutes and serve them with plain steamed rice. 

Note - 
1.  I had the opportunity of preparing this dish during an earlier visit to India. So I recreated it in my kitchen today with sesame seeds as the main ingredient is unavailable here. 
2.  Fresh grated coconut and / or a tsp. of kasundi too can be added.

                     Grind poppy seeds paste with very little water into a paste. Mix with
                     the remaining ingredients and keep aside. 

                               Take one leaf & place some of the posto paste in the centre 
                                & gently fold them. Do the same with rest of the mix.

                                              Steam for 10-12 minutes.

                                Serve with plain steamed rice. 

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