Monday, March 23, 2009

Green Butterfly Pasta

This recipe is from an old edition of Tarla Dalal's monthly cooking magazine.

Here's how I made it:

1/2 lb. farfalle/bow-tie pasta - cooked per directions on box

1 cup spinach puree

1 spring onion - finely chopped with the green part

1 small garlic clove - finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded chedder cheese

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp butter

Salt & pepper to taste

For the spinach puree, if using frozen spinach, thaw it then blend. If using fresh spinach, blanch it in salted boiling water for a minute, drain & refresh in cold water, drain & then blend till smooth.
Heat the butter, saute the spring onion & garlic for 2 - 3 mins. Add the spinach puree, milk, cheese, salt & pepper. Mix well. Simmer for a couple of mins, stirring continuously. Add the cooked pasta, toss together and serve.

I was so glad I tried this, my daughter loved it. I'll definitely be making it again. It was a bit bland for my dad's typical Indian palate though.

This Green Butterfly Pasta goes to Aquadaze's Presto Pasta Night # 106 event.

This event was started by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.

This kid-friendly dish also goes to Srivalli's Monthly Mingle 31 - Kids Lunches.

This event is the brain child of Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cucumber dosa with cucumber chutney

My aunt makes this cucumber chutney quite often. Since it uses just the inside pulp of tender cucumbers, I thought of using the rest of the cucumber to make this cucumber dosa that I had book-marked from Ramya's Mane Adige.

The two went very well together for a delicious, relaxed Sunday breakfast.

For the Cucumber (Sowthekai) Dosa, I pretty much followed her recipe to a tee.

Here's how I made the Cucumber chutney, my aunt's way:

1 English cucumber or any tender cucumber - use only the tender inside pulp portion

1/2 cup grated coconut - fresh or frozen

1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

1 serrano pepper or to taste

Few springs cilantro

Salt to taste

1 tsp Sugar or jaggery

1/4 tsp tamarind diluted in some water

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy with dosas, idlis, adais etc.

This Cucumber Dosa and Cucumber Chutney are off to the AFAM: Cucumber event at Neha's Tasty Recipes.

This event was started by Maheswari of Beyond the Usual.

Tandoori Aloo

This recipe is from Tarla Dalal's Microwave Desi Khana, with some modifications by me.

10-12 small baby potatoes

2 tsp oil

1-2 tsp degi mirchi pwd

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp coriander pwd

1 tsp cumin pwd

1/2 tsp kasoori methi

3 tbsp yogurt

salt to taste

Wash the potaotes, pierce them with a fork 2-3 times and place around the circumference of the microwave turntable. Place a glass of water in the center to prevent the potatoes from getting wrinkled. Microwave on high for 5 mins till the potatoes are soft. Next mix the dry pwds with the oil in a bowl & microwave for 30 secs. Stir once and microwave another 30 secs. In a glass microwave safe bowl mix the potatoes, oil masala paste, salt, kasuri methi and yogurt together. Marinate for 1/2 hr, then microwave for 2 mins.

I cut some of the bigger baby potatoes into wedges.

Stick toothpicks in each & serve as appetizers.

This event was started by Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons.

Rice Crispies Chivda

I found this recipe on Meera's Enjoy Indian Food and made it for Diwali faraal last year. Ever since, I have been hooked on to it and make a fresh batch the moment the earlier one is over. Here's how I made it this time around:

5 cups Rice Crispies cereal

1 cup shev/aloo bhujia

4 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

a generous pinch of asafotida

1 tsp turmeric pwd

2 dry red chillies - broken & deseeded

Handful of roasted peanuts

Handful of roasted cashewnuts

1 tsp coriander pwd

1 tsp cumin pwd

1 tsp fennel/saunf pwd

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1/4 tsp cloves pwd

1/4 tsp cinnamon pwd

1/2 tsp amchur pwd

Salt & sugar to taste

Heat the oil in a large wide pan. Temper it with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafotida in that order. Add the turmeric pwd & red chillies. Fry for a minute. Add the peanuts and cashewnuts, fry another few mins. Add all the dry masals, salt, sugar, rice crispies & shev and mix well. Saute on medium low for 5 mins. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Puran poli

Updated 10/24/12 - Recently, I have gathered some good techniques from friends/online to make this dish even better. Hence updating this post.

Puran poli is a traditional sweet dish wherein maida rotis are stuffed with a sweet jaggery-chana dal mix.

Here's how I make it:

For the puran or filling -

1 cup chana dal

1 to 1.5 cups light color jaggery/gul

1/2 tsp cardamon pwd

1/4 tsp nutmeg pwd

Wash the chana dal and soak in 2 cups water for atleast 4 hours. Then pressure cook it for 8 whistles. Once the pressure comes down, open the cooker and remove the cooked chana dal. Mix it with the jaggery in a heavy bottom pan and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the water dries up. This can take anywhere between 15 to 30 mins, depending how watery it was to start with. My MIL taught me that the test for this is that the stirring spoon should stand upright when stuck in the mix. That's when the mix is dry enough. Add the cardamon and nutmeg pwds at this time, mix well and take off heat. Once the mix cools, it has to be mashed completely. If you have the traditional puran yantra (manual sieve for mashing puran), use that. But I do not have that, so I have found that a gadget called ricer (available at Target/Walmart/Bed Bath type stores) works very well too. In the absence of this, you could also use a potato masher. The idea is that the mix has to be thoroughly mashed, no piece of dal or jaggery should be visible. I usually make this puran a day before I plan to actually make the puran polis since the puran should be completely cooled before stuffing. I refrigerate it overnight and thaw it to room temperature before use the next day.

For the dough -

1/2 cup wheat flour

1/2 cup plain all purpose flour

a pinch of salt

Warm water

Few drops of oil

Mix all except oil and knead into a soft, pliable dough. The consistency should be much looser than regular roti dough, almost to the point of sticking to your hands. Then add few drops of oil and knead till smooth.

To proceed -

Pinch of some dough, about the size of a small lemon and flatten it on ur palm. Take a ball of puran, double to size of the dough you took. Stuff into the dough, bringing the dough around the puran in a bowl-shape. Be sure to press the puran down gently so as to get maximum quantity of puran into the bowl shaped dough. Then bring the edges of the dough together and pinch them shut. Flatten between palms. Roll out gently into a thin roti using flour to dust. Roast on a tawa until brown spots appear on both sides. Smear with ghee and serve warm.

I always make these puran polis for Holi and this time they are off to Purva's Holi Hai event.

Masala puri

My aunt always made these masala puris for family outings/trips. Today I made them for my daughter's lunch box. She loves puris in her dabba and most often polishes them off. Hence I give her different kinds of puris quite often - the sweetish squash puris, palak puris or leftover dal/dal palak/dal subji puris where I just mix wheat flour into leftover dal etc. and roll out the puris. Anyway, coming to today's puris, here's how I made them.

1/2 cup wheat flour

1 small boiled potato - mashed

Salt, turmeric pwd., red chilli pwd., coriander pwd., cumin pwd. and kasuri methi - all per taste

Mix all the ingredients together. Adding a little water, knead into a fairly stiff dough. Roll our into about 8 small puris. Deep fry in hot oil.

These can be enjoyed hot or cold, by themselves or with accompaniments like raita, pickle, ketchup etc.

They make ideal picnic food and are hence off to the Recipes for the rest of us - Picnic Eats event at Recipe Center for all. This event was started by Ramki of One Page Cookbooks.
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