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Monday, 27 July 2020

Baingan Ka Dalcha


       
          This is a traditional Hyderabadi cuisine where eggplants are cooked along with tuvar dal (split pigeon pea lentil) called "Baingan Ka Dalcha." Baingan means Eggplant / Brinjal in the local lingo. It can also be cooked with Chana Dal (Bengal Gram Lentil).

           There are many versions to this tangy eggplant - lentil gravy. However, I have cooked with Tuvar Dal. which is a perfect side dish to pulao, biryani, plain steamed rice or Jeera Rice. It is cooked in the same way as Mutton Dalcha and kaddu (Bottle Gourd) dalcha. the two other popular Hyderabadi dishes. 

          A tempering of mustard seeds, dry red chilly and curry leaves in ghee is poured over the cooked Dalcha and served, garnished with coriander leaves. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.











  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentil), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 long eggplant, chopped 
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt to taste 
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 green chilies2
  • 2 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped








           Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups water for 4-5 whistles. Whisk and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. After it stops crackling, add the onion and saute till light brown in colour.

          Now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute. Then add all the dry spices (except salt). Saute for a minute.

          Add the chopped tomato and fry for a minute more. Add the chopped eggplants and fry till half done. 

          Add the boiled dal. salt to taste, tamarind water, mint leaves and green chilies. Bring it to a boil and simmer till the eggplants are well cooked. 

          Check the consistency. Add extra water if more gravy is desired. When done, switch off the flame and keep aside. 
      
          Heat ghee and temper with mustard seeds and red chilies. After it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves and switch off the flame. 

          Pour this tempering on the prepared Dalcha. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with jeera rice, Plain biryani or hot steamed rice.




                    Heat oil & temper with cardamoms, cinnamon & cloves. After it stops 
                    crackling, add the onion & saute till light brown in colour.



                                 Add ginger-garlic paste & fry for a minute. 



                                Add all dry spices (except salt). Saute for a minute.



                                 Add chopped tomato & fry for a minute more. 



                                  Add chopped eggplants & fry till half done. 



                                 Add boiled dal. salt to taste,



                                  tamarind water,



                           mint leaves & green chilies. Simmer till eggplants are well cooked. 



                Heat ghee & temper with mustard seeds & red chilies. Then add curry leaves 
                and switch off the flame. 



                      Pour this tempering on the prepared Dalcha. 



                 Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with jeera rice, plain biryani or hot 
                 steamed rice.















Sunday, 26 July 2020

Cabbage Pakora / Fritters


          Tea time without some fried snacks is just meaningless. One can't resist the temptation of deep fried pakoras. A bowl of hot and crispy pakoras is anytime welcome. So here are some easy to make yummy cabbage pakoras / fritters. 

          These crispy treats are just perfect with your evening cuppa. They are absolutely easy to make as it requires only some basic ingredients. I made them both spicy and tangy. However, it can be adjusted accordingly. You can serve them as appetizers too, with chutney, sauce, labneh, hummus or cheese spread. 






          If it happens to be a rainy day or a cold winter night, then the excitement of having these pakoras reaches to another level. 

          Any leftover pakoras can be made into Kadhi Pakora the next day and enjoy with hot steamed rice / jeera rice for a great comfort meal. You can also dish out pakora chaat for a light dinner.





  • 2-3 cups cabbage, finely sliced
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. amchur powder
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • oil to deep fry





          In a boil, combine all the mentioned ingredients (except oil). Add water. little at a time, and make a slightly thick batter. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

          Heat oil in a pan and drop spoonfuls in it. Deep fry on a medium flame till golden brown. Drain on a kitchen towel.

           Enjoy as a tea time snack or as an appetizer with any chutney, sauce, labneh, hummus or cheese spread.


















Saturday, 25 July 2020

Oats Thatte Idli (Tumkur Special Plate Idli)


          These are traditional Karnataka special Thatte idli, which literally translates to plate idli as they are steamed in a plate. I steamed in a greased steel tiffin box. They can also be steamed in dhokla plates. 

          They are a speciality from Tumkur region in Karnataka and is a very popular breakfast in and around Karnataka. You can enjoy these Thatte Idlis with sambar and chutney. So go ahead and give it a try by following a step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this healthy delicacy.


          






          I came across this type of Idli in one of the eateries here and I simply loved its amazing shape. So thought of giving it a try, but with a slight twist. Instead of the usual rice, I added some powdered oats and a tempering to the urad dal batter. This is an instant version as there is no fermenting required. So there is a lot of time saving. It is a great evening snack and a lunch box meal too. 








  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup urad dal (split black gram))
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt 

Tempering - 

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves








          Soak the urad dal overnight. Then add some water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

          Heat 1 tsp. ghee and roast the oats for 2 minutes or till you get a nice aroma. Set aside to cool and then blend into a powder.

          Mix together dal paste, oats powder, salt to taste and required quantity of water to form a semi-thick batter. Keep aside. 

          Tempering - Heat oil in a pan. Temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the urad dal, asafoetida, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds and switch off the flame.

          Pour this tempering over the oats batter. Add in the chopped coriander leaves and fresh grated coconut. Combine everything well.

          Just before steaming, Add the eno fruit salt to the batter and give it a stir. Pour the batter into a greased steel plate / tiffin box with a lid. 


          Steam for 15 minutes and set aside to cool. Then demould it and serve with sambar and chutney.




                       Mix dal paste, oats powder, salt & some water to form a semi-thick
                       batter. Keep aside. 



                       Heat oil & temper with mustard seeds. Then add urad dal, asafoetida,
                       green chilies & curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds.



                       Pour this tempering over the oats batter. 



                       Add coriander leaves & coconut. Mix well.



                       Add eno fruit salt to the batter & give it a stir. 



                       Pour batter into a greased steel plate / tiffin box with lid. 



                      Steam for 15 min. When cool, demould it.






                                 Serve with sambar and chutney

















Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Garlic Pepper Labneh (Middle Eastern Dip)


          Labneh is a traditional Middle Eastern dip prepared from strained yoghurt. It is seasoned with some mashed garlic (raw or roasted), pepper powder and salt, then served with a drizzle of olive oil. Herbs like mint, parsley, coriander or dill can be added as a garnish. This healthy tangy dip is best enjoyed with any Arabic bread, veggie crudites, fried foods, bread sticks or bread croutons. I like relishing it as a spread on sandwiches or parathas, a la Indian style.






          Labneh can also be turned into easy to make balls, which are a great addition to a Middle Eastern themed lunch, not because they are yummy but also because they are very pretty to look at. The Labneh balls can be rolled in spices or herbs and served as topping on salads or toasted bread. Alternatively, you could also place the balls in a tight fitting glass jar with generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. It can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks. Thaw for an hour before using.








  • 400 gms. yoghurt
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • a sprig of mint to garnish











          Pour the yoghurt in a cheese cloth and place it on a strainer. Keep a bowl underneath and fold up the ends of the cheese cloth. Refrigerate it for 24 hours. The thick strained yoghurt is used in the recipe. 

          Roast the garlic on an open flame and mash it well. In a bowl, mix the strained yoghurt, garlic, salt and pepper powder until well blended.

          Garnish with mint and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy as a dip with Khubz (Arabic Bread), veggie crudites, bread sticks or bread croutons. It can also be served as a spread on sandwiches or parathas.
























Friday, 17 July 2020

Mutton Dhansak


         Mutton Dhansak is a signature Parsi dish. Spicy and tangy, no menu is complete without this delicacy. This is a great party recipe and is generally prepared during special occasions and festivals. In this recipe, mutton is cooked with a combination of two or more lentils, veggies and basic spices. I have only added eggplants. However, pumpkin and potatoes can also be added.

          This delicious lentil curry is relished either with Parsi Biryani or any Indian flat bread. Without the mutton, this dish can be termed as a very nutritious dish and also a gourmet delight on a vegetarian platter. It is definitely a must try recipe. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this lip smacking comfort dish. 








  • 1/2 cup chana dal (Bengal gram)
  • 1/4 cup tuvar dal (split pigeon pea lentil)
  • 10-12 mutton cubes, boiled
  • 1-2 long eggplants, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped (opt)
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
      





           Pressure cook the lentils, eggplants, turmeric powder and mint leaves in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes on low flame after the first whistle.

           Whisk the boiled dal. Add the boiled mutton and salt and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions till light brown. Add the tomatoes and fry till it is mashed.

          Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the remaining dry spices mixed with some water. Sauté till the oil separates.

          Add the boiled dal and tamarind paste mixed with 1/4 cup water. Cover and simmer on a low flame for 3-4 minutes. 

          Adjust water according to the consistency desired. This dish calls for a semi thick gravy. Garnish as desired and serve with any type of rice preparation or Indian bread.




Pressure cook lentils, eggplants, turmeric powder & mint leaves in 2 cups 
water for 5 minutes on low flame after the first whistle. 



                                  The boiled dal. 



                                  Whisk the boiled dal. 



                                  Add boiled mutton & salt & keep aside. 



                                  Heat oil & sauté onions till light brown. 



                                  Add tomatoes & fry till it is mashed.



                   Add ginger-garlic paste & all remaining dry spices mixed with some water. 
                   Sauté till oil separates.
                   


                                 Add boiled dal & tamarind paste mixed with 1/4 cup water. 



                                 Cover & simmer on a low flame for 3-4 minutes. 






                           Garnish as desired & serve with any type of rice or Indian flat bread.
















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