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Thursday, 29 April 2021

Watermelon Rind Shrikhand

 

          Shrikhand is a traditional Maharashtrian Dessert prepared with hung yoghurt. It is a very easy dessert that can be made in no time if the hung yoghurt is ready. It is usually flavored with saffron and cardamom powder for the plain version. However, you can make it a bit healthy and appetizing by adding any fruit of your choice.

          So, I tried with watermelon rind and it turned out very yummy. I used a healthy combination of low fat yoghurt and flavored it with kewra water, cardamom powder and saffron. This fruit based dessert is an ideal party recipe or can be prepared for any festive occasion. It will be a sure hit. Garnish with chopped pista and few chopped watermelon pieces and enjoy it chilled. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this fusion treat.






  • 2 cups yoghurt
  • 2 cups watermelon rind, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 2-3 tbsp. powdered sugar or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. kewra water
  • pinch of saffron 
  • few chopped watermelon, chopped pistachios to garnish







           Pour the yoghurt in a cheese cloth and place on a strainer. Keep this on a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The thick hung yoghurt is used for the recipe.  

           Steam the watermelon rind till soft. Set aside to cool before blending into a smooth paste.

           Heat ghee in a pan and simmer the paste till all the moisture has evaporated. Keep aside to cool. 

          In a bowl, take the hung yoghurt, reduced watermelon rind, sugar, cardamom powder and kewra water. Whisk well till smooth. Add the saffron and give it a stir. Refrigerate till serving time.

          Spoon into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped pistachios, chopped watermelon and dry rose petals. Enjoy!!!


                      Pour the yoghurt in a cheese cloth & place on a strainer. Keep this on a 

                      bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The thick hung yoghurt is then used.  



                     Steam the watermelon rind till soft. Set aside to cool before blending into a 
                     smooth paste.



                     Heat ghee in a pan & simmer the paste till all the moisture has evaporated. 
                     Keep aside to cool. 



                                 In a bowl, take the hung yoghurt,



                                  reduced watermelon rind,



                                 sugar, cardamom powder and kewra water. 



                                  Whisk well till smooth. 


                               Add the saffron and give it a stir. Refrigerate till serving time.





                        Spoon into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped pistachios, chopped

                        watermelon and dry rose petals. Enjoy!!!









Saturday, 24 April 2021

Pepper Mutton

 

          Check out this super yummy and spicy pepper mutton that is incredibly easy to prepare. So try out my version of this mutton curry where I have used lots of fresh pepper powder to come up with this appetizing main course. You can enjoy it with steamed rice, jeera rice, plain biryani, tandoori roti or naan for a sumptuous meal. It is a great party recipe and a restaurant style menu that needs to be tried. 





          The spices used in this recipe are very much the same that one uses to prepare a normal mutton curry. The only exception is of course the freshly ground pepper and another secret ingredient - fresh turmeric that I ground along with ginger, garlic and green chilies. 

          I have used red chili powder, but if you wish to tone down the spiciness, you can use Kashmiri red chili powder instead or totally skip it. The cooking medium in this recipe is mustard oil, my favourite. However, you can use any oil that you prefer. 





  • 500 gms. mutton with bones, curry cut
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms 
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2" fresh turmeric paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt, well beaten
  • 2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • coriander leaves to garnish 
  • 1 tsp. of lime juice (opt)






          Pressure cook the mutton in 1 cup water and salt to taste for 15-20 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle or till tender. 

          Grind together ginger-garlic, fresh turmeric and green chili into a paste and keep aside. 

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves. Sauté for a few seconds. Add the onion and stir fry till light brown.

          Now add the spice paste and all the dry spices (except Pepper powder) and sauté on a medium flame till the oil separates. Add the yoghurt and stir for a couple of minutes.

          Add the cooked mutton and simmer till the gravy is thick. Switch off the flame and add the pepper powder and ghee. 

          Mix well and keep it covered for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and a drizzle of some lime juice. Enjoy with steamed rice, jeer rice, pulao, plain biryani, naan or tandoori roti. 















Cabbage Kheer / Payasam / Pudding

 

            Kheer / Payasam needs no intro. It is very popular during Indian festivals or any auspicious occasions. Traditionally, kheer is made of rice, vermicelli, sago, etc. However, do try this exotic cabbage kheer and surprise everyone. It may sound strange though, but it simply tastes yummy. It is very difficult to guess the core ingredient. 

          The recipe calls for very few ingredients and is prepared just like any homemade kheer, except for the fact that the cabbage has to be boiled and drained well before use. Garnish with chopped pistachios, dry rose petals and few saffron strands and serve chilled. So go ahead and  play the guessing game with your family and friends? Good luck !!






  • 500 ml. full cream milk
  • 1 cup cabbage, grated / finely sliced 
  • 1 tbsp. ghee 
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 2-3 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • pinch of dry rose petals 
  • few strands of saffron






            Boil the cabbage in sufficient water for 4-5 minutes. Drain well and keep aside. 

           Heat ghee in a pan and sauté the cabbage for a 1-2 minutes. Do not brown them. Keep aside. 

          Bring the milk to a boil in a pan. Add the sautéed cabbage and simmer on a low flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring at intervals.

          Then add the sugar and the chopped pistachios (reserve some for garnishing). Simmer further for 5 minutes or till it comes to a desired consistency. 

          Add the rose water and the cardamom powder. Give it a stir and switch off the flame.

         Cover and keep aside to cool. Refrigerate till serving time. Garnish with the remaining pistachios, dry rose petals and saffron. Serve chilled.














Thursday, 22 April 2021

Prawn & Sausage Bhel

 

          Bhel Puri is a very popular Mumbai style street food / chaat liked by young and old alike. This is my favourite too. The main ingredient is puffed rice, which is served along with chopped onion, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, chilies, sev, papdi, farsan and various types of spicy and tangy chutneys. 

          However, I gave a slight twist by adding some sautéed prawns and chicken sausages. I skipped the chutneys though and kept it dry. It turned out super yummy and appetizing. This fusion non-veg. bhel is a must try recipe. Instead of the mandatory chutneys, I relished with some chili mayo and it turned out to be a mind blowing combo. So do give it a try and I'm sure you'll enjoy this delectable chaat.





          You can enjoy this bhel as a snack or anytime of the day. In fact, I sometimes like to have it as a light dinner. 

          It is an absolutely easy recipe and best enjoyed immediately before it turns soggy. Apart from the ingredients I used, you can also add sprouts, chopped bell pepper, capsicum or dry fruits.




  • 10-12 prawns, deveined & cleaned 
  • 2-3 chicken sausages, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil
  • pinch of salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder
  • 2-3 cups puffed rice 
  • 2 tbsp.  fine sev (savoury noodles)
  • 8-10 small papdis, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. mixture (farsan)
  • 2 tbsp. plain boondi
  • 2 tbsp. roasted peanuts
  • 1-2 tbsp. roasted chana dal
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small potato, boiled & chopped
  • 1/4 cup kabuli chana, boiled
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut 
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chaat masala 
  • 1 tsp. lime juice






          Marinate the prawns with a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder for 5-10 minutes. 

          Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and sauté the sliced sausages till light brown. Keep aside. In the same oil stir fry the prawns for 2-3 minutes. Drain and keep aside to cool down. 

          In a large bowl, mix together all the mentioned ingredients. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls and serve immediately for a yummy evening snack. 















Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Chanar Payesh (Paneer Kheer / Pudding - Bengali Dessert)

 

          Chanar Payesh is a very popular Bengali sweet dish made of milk and crumbled paneer. Chana means paneer / cottage cheese and payesh refers to kheer / pudding. It is very easy and simple to prepare. So impress your loved ones with this delectable homemade dessert. 

          Sometimes, instead of crumbling the paneer, it is shaped into balls or squares before dropping them into the thickened milk. The consistency of this dessert can be adjusted to your preference. Just garnish with some chopped pistachio, dry rose petals and few strands of saffron and enjoy it chilled. It is pure divine.  

          



          This Bong style dessert is traditionally made with homemade chana or paneer, but I went in for a quick method and used some Amul paneer instead. It did turn out very yummy. This has remained purely a homemade sweet and is not much found in sweet shops.

          The quantity of the paneer may be increased if you wish. It is a great party recipe and can also be enjoyed as an after meal dessert, during festivals or any special occasions. 




  • 3 cups full fat milk 
  • 1 cup paneer, crumbled / grated
  • sugar to taste 
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 2 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • pinch of dry rose petals 
  • few saffron strands






          In a thick bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and simmer, stirring at intervals, till it is reduced to half. 

          Add sugar, cardamom powder and chopped pistachios (reserving few for garnishing).  Simmer till the sugar is dissolved. 

          Then add the paneer and mix well. Simmer further till it comes to a boil. Switch off the flame and add the rose water.

          Allow it to cool down before refrigerating it till serving time. Garnish with the remaining chopped pistachios, dry rose petals and saffron. Enjoy !!!















Sunday, 18 April 2021

Pothichoru

 

          This is my first try at preparing a traditional Kerala style packed meal recipe in a Banana leaf called as Pothichoru. Pothi means packet and choru means cooked rice. It is a balanced diet of rice, one or two veg. curry, coconut chutney, fish fry and omelette. Kerala Matta rice is generally used in this recipe, however, I used a small grain rice called jeerakasala. This unique lunch is ideal while travelling or as a lunch box meal.



          All the dishes are first prepared and arranged on a banana leaf. It is then folded like a packet. However, before folding, the leaf is first wilted on an open flame to make it pliable and soft.

          It is than relished directly from the banana leaf for a nice comfort meal. Do give it a try and enjoyed this unique and non-messy packet meal.




1.  Cabbage Thoran - 

  • 1/2 of a medium cabbage, sliced finely
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chili, broken 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut







          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, red chili and cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the onion and curry leaves and sauté till translucent.

          Now add the chopped cabbage, salt, turmeric powder and green chilies. Cover and cook on medium flame till soft. Do not add any water.

          When the cabbage turns soft, add the coconut and switch off the flame. Stir well to combine and serve as a side dish with rice.


                     All the dishes are arranged before folding the banana leaf into a packet.



2.  Avial (Mixed Vegetable Curry) - 

  • 1/2 cup each of mixed veggies (Raw banana, bottle gourd, green papaya, sweet potato, yam), chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • salt to taste 
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves




          In a pan cook, covered, all the veggies in 1 cup water and turmeric powder till they turns soft, but not mushy. 

          Meanwhile grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chilies to a coarse paste. Keep aside.

          Once the veggie are cooked, add the yoghurt and the coconut paste. Mix well and simmer on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Adjust salt and switch off the flame. Transfer to a serving dish.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves and switch off the flame. 

          Pour this tempering over the prepared avial and serve with steamed rice (preferably Kerala Matta rice).



3.  Parippu (Lentil Curry) - 

  • 1/2 cup split moong dal 
  • salt to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4-5 tbsp. fresh grated coconut 
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, chopped




          Dry roast the lentil for 1-2 minutes. Soak in sufficient quantity of water for 30 minutes. Wash and drain well. 

          Add 1 cup water and pressure cook along with salt to taste and turmeric powder for 3-4 whistles.

          Blend the coconut, green chilies and cumin seeds by adding some water. Add it to the cooked dal along with 1 cup water.

          Let it come to a boil and simmer for a minute. Switch off the flame. 

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with red chilies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. After it stops spluttering, add the onion and sauté till light brown. 

          Switch off the flame and pour this tempering over the prepared dal. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice. 




4.  Fish Fry - 

  • 2 king fish steaks, cleaned 
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil to marinate
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. oil to fry


          Make a paste of all the ingredients with little water (except the fish and oil to fry). Rub this paste on the fish steaks and marinate for an hour. 

          Heat oil in a pan and fry the marinated fish on both sides till well browned. Add more oil if required. When done, keep it aside to be assembled with rice and rest of the dishes.




5.  Omelette - 

  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil


          In a bowl, mix all the ingredients (except oil).

          Heat oil in a pan / tawa and add the egg mix. Cook on both sides till it is well done. 

          Keep it aside to be arranged in the banana leaf along with rice and other prepared dishes. 



6.  Tenga Chamanthi (Coconut Chutney) - 

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 7-8 dry red chilies 
  • 4-5 sambar onions
  • 1" ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • salt to taste



          Transfer all the ingredients to a mixer jar and grind it coarsely. Sprinkle some water if necessary and grind again into a coarse paste. Your spicy and tangy Tenga Chamanthi is ready.










Saturday, 17 April 2021

Tomato Upma - Fusion style

 

          Tomato Upma is a very common breakfast dish in many South Indian homes and Restaurants. It is prepared with roasted semolina / sooji and there are many variations to this simple and extremely quick breakfast. Chopped mixed veggies or tomatoes are added to make it more healthy. So this is the latter version. Quite wholesome and nutritious, it can be a great evening snack or a lunch box meal. you can enjoy it with coconut chutney as an accompaniment.

          However, I gave a slight makeover to this upma by giving it a round shape and coating with some nylon sev for a visual treat. It looked quite appetizing and can be a great party recipe. As usual, you can relish with coconut chutney or any homemade chutney of your choice. 









  • 1/2 cup semolina / sooji 
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. roasted peanuts
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. nylon sev 









          Heat a pan and dry roast the semolina for 2 minutes or till you get a nice aroma. Keep aside. 

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and dry red chilies. Sauté for a few seconds.

          Now add the onion, curry leaves, ginger and green chilies. Stir fry till light brown. Add the tomatoes and peanuts. Continue to sauté till well mashed. 

          Add all the dry spices and give it a stir. Then add water and bring it to a boil.

          Add the semolina, little at a time and keep stirring continuously till it turns thick and starts to leave the sides of the pan. 
 
          When done, switch off the flame. Add coriander leaves, ghee and lemon juice. Mix well and serve with coconut chutney for a nice comfort breakfast. 

          Alternatively, you can give a round shape to the upma, coat with nylon sev and serve it in an innovative style.



























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