Thursday, February 24, 2011

Matar Bhaath (Peas Rice)

Matar Bhaath is my dad's favorite dish. It is a quicker version of the traditional Masale Bhaath. My kaku always used to make it the day before Ganesh Chaturthi when we all gathered and brought the Ganpati idol home. Here's how I make it:

1 cup basmati rice - washed & drained
1 cup frozen peas
For tempering - oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafotida, turmeric, few curry leaves
2 tsp goda masala
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
Salt to taste
1 tsp jaggery
grated fresh coconut and chopped cilantro to garnish

Make the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients. Then add the rice, saute 2 mins on medium heat. Add 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a quick boil. All salt, jaggery and the masala pwds. Mix well, reduce heat, cover and cook about 10 mins. Add the frozen peas, mix gently, cover and continue cooking till rice is cooked, about 5 more minutes.

Serve warm, garnished with grated fresh coconut and chopped cilantro and some papad on the side.

This is ideal comfort food.

This quick Matar Bhaath goes to the Flavors of Maharashtra event at Seduce Your tastebunds.

This event was started by Naina.

Updated 9/27/16 - Here's a recent photo of my ever favorite Matar Bhaath with an easy garnish idea. The tomato flower is from this YouTube video. The cucumber leaves ridges were made merely by running a fork down all sides of the cucumber, then thinly slicing it.

Amrakhand (Mango flavored Shrikhand)

I have posted an amrakhand recipe before. This was the first time I made it with Greek yogurt. Also, I found a can of Alphonso mango slices in the Indian store, I used that in this recipe as I wanted a thick shrikhand rather than a runny one. Here's how I made it:

1 32 oz container of plain Greek yogurt
1 can Alphonso mango slices (replace with any other kind of fresh mango or mango pulp if desired)
1/2 cup sugar (adjust per sweetness of mango)
1/2 tsp cardamon pwd.
pinch of saffron
pistachios to garnish

Empty the yogurt onto a sufficiently large cheesecloth. Tie ends loosely and hang up to drain. I hung it up overnight in my fridge. Keep a bowl to collect the whey that drains. Though this is not used in the recipe, you can use it in your roti dough.

Next morning, place the drained yogurt, along with the cheesecloth covering it, between several layers of paper towels. Place this package between few newspapers on a plate and top with something heavy, like the can of mango I used here. Keep in the fridge again for 2-3 hours. This gives really thick shrikhand.

Thereafter, put the well-drained yogurt, drained mango slices (or pulp), sugar, cardamon pwd and saffron in the food processor and whip well till blended. Taste and adjust sugar as desired. Empty into a bowl, top with chopped pistachios. Chill till ready to serve.

Enjoy with hot puris.

This Amrakhand goes to the Flavors of Maharashtra event at Seduce Your Tastebuds. This event was started by Naina.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Microwave Kofta Curry

I almost always use my microwave to heat food. Only once in a blue moon, I actually cook something in it. On my trip to India in Dec., I had noted this MW kofta curry recipe down from a Tarla Dalal magazine. When Srivalli annnounced her MW curry event, I immediately thought to try this curry out.

Here's how I made it:

For the koftas -
1/2 of a russet potato - boiled, peeled & mashed
1/2 cup chopped spinach
Salt, cumin pwd, coriander pwd, red chilli pwd, chaat masala - all to taste
1 tbsp gram flour

Mix all the ingredients well. Shape into koftas. These made abt 15 koftas for me. Microwave for 2 minutes each side.

For the curry -
2 tsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onions - grind to a paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp cashew pieces
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk
Salt, 1/2 tsp cumin pwd, 1/2 tsp coriander pwd, red chilli pwd per heat desired, pinch of garam masala, sugar to taste, pinch of kitchen king masala, 1 tbsp kasuri methi
1 tbsp soy flour or corn flour

Mix the oil and onion paste in a microwave safe glass bowl. Cover and microwave for 3 mins, stirring once or twice in between. Add the ginger and garlic pastes, mix well and again microwave (covered) for 2 mins.

In the meanwhile, blend together the cashews, milk, yogurt, flour and seasonings. Add this to the onion mixture. Again cover and microwave for 5 mins, stirring every minute or two. Add some water if required, to get desired consistency.

Just before serving, drop the kofta balls into the gravy, stir gently, cover and microwave for 2 minutes until heated thru.

I was pleasantly surprised by this curry dish. It came together so easily and tasted pretty good. I served it in the same bowl, so cleaning was a cinch.

Roasted Red Pepper - Carrot Soup

I tried this soup from a recent issue of Vegetarian Times and found it quite delicious, kinda like the roasted red pepper tomato soup from Trader Joes. BTW, any leftovers would make a good base for a pasta sauce as I posted here.

Heres how I made it:
  • Roast one large red bell pepper at 350F for 1 hour, turning occassionally until the skin is wrinkled and blackened all over.
  • Place it in a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and keep for 10 mins to steam.
  • Then rub off the skin and seeds.
  • In the meanwhile, heat some olive oil. Saute 1/4 cup onions until softened and one or two cloves minced garlic and saute another 2 mins.
  • Add diced carrots (abt 1/2 cup), 1 bayleaf, salt, pepper, cumin pwd, coriander pwd and curry pwd.
  • Add 1 cup broth, cover and simmer for 1/2 hour till carrots soften.
  • Cool slightly and blend with the roasted pepper.
  • Pour back into the pot and heat thru. Check and adjust seasonings. Squeeze in some lemon juice and garnish with finely chopped parsley.
This Roasted Red Pepper - Carrot Soup goes to the Show Me Your Soup event at Divya's Dil Se.

I've already posted a Veggie Noodle Soup for this event.

Here are some of my other favorite soups, all going to Divya's event:

Broccoli Soup
Beans Soup
Minestrone Soup
Quinoa Soup

Stuffed Bread Buns

Since last year I have started baking different kinds of breads at home. I've already blogged about a couple of them - braided bread and zucchini bread. I just enjoy the whole process - kneading the sticky dough, watching it rise, the aroma filling the whole place as it bakes and finally ofcourse the taste of fresh, homemade bread.

This time around, we wanted to have some hot fresh stuffed bread buns for breakfast...right after we rise late on a lazy Sunday morning. But who will get up early enough to knead the dough, let it rise (twice) etc? Certainly not lazy me! I vaguely remember reading someplace that the twice risen bread can be refrigerated, then brought to room temp and baked before serving. So thats what I did this time, with great results. Infact, I didn't even completely bring it to room temp, just left it out for 5 - 10 mins, before sticking it in the oven. So the buns were ready right as the tea was boiling - what great timing, if I may say so myself! From now on, this will be the way to go for me.

I followed the bun recipe from Versalite Kitchen, which I have used a few times in the past, always had good results. I just halved it to make about 7 buns. For the stuffing, I just made a simple potato-onion mix.

These Stuffed Bread Buns go to the Only Cooking with Bread event at Foodelicious.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spaghetti in Soupy Sauce

I've only recently discovered that some ready-made soups make great sauces for pasta. I'm sure people have been doing this forever...but it was a new discovery for me! I especially like the roasted red pepper and tomato soup for this.

The preparation is really simple and versatile. You can experiment with different soups, veggies, seasonings and pastas.

 Here's how I made the Spaghetti is Soupy Sauce last week.

For the sauce - Saute some onions & garlic in a little olive oil. Add leftover roasted red pepper & tomato soup. Add frozen peas and carrots. Seasonings I used were - salt, pinch of sugar, black pepper pwd, store-bought Italian Herb seasoning mix and some red pepper flakes. Once this simmers, add 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb cheese. Stir till dissolved and well mixed with the soup.

In the meanwhile, cook the pasta per package directions. Drain (save about 1/2 to 1 cup of the cooking liquid) and return to pot. Immediately add the soupy sauce. If you use up all your sauce and the pasta seems kinda dry, use the saved cooking liquid as required. If the prepared sauce seems too much for the quantity of pasta, save it for later. Remember, the pasta will absorb some of the sauce, so if required, u can add some more sauce later.

Top with some grated parmesan cheese and serve with warm garlic bread.

This Spaghetti in Soupy Sauce goes to the Presto Pasta Night # 201, started by Ruth and hosted by Pia.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This is a Mumbai street-food version of a wrap. I've enjoyed frankies many times at the Tibbs stall @ Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai as a kid/teenager. I thought of making a healthier version at home for my daughter.

Here's how I made it:

Filling - I made a potato-paneer filling. For this, I grated 1 boiled potato and about 1/2 cup paneer. Heated 2 tsp oil, sauted some cumin seeds, then added the grated potato and paneer. Seasoned it generously with salt, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd, coriander pwd, chaat masala, pinch of sugar and lemon juice.

Chutney - I had some green cilantro chutney leftover.

Salad - This was my addition to the regular frankies that I have eaten. I used some chopped lettuce, cukes, tomato, red onion & carrots.

I used store bought whole wheat tortillas, home-made rotis will certainly work too. BTW, the frankies at Shivaji Park use APF rotis I think, so this was another change I made to make them healthier.
Here's a picture of all the ingredients, waiting to come together.
To assemble the frankie, heat the tortillas per package instructions. Smear with some green chutney. Evenly pile the potato-paneer mix, top with desired veggies.

Roll into a tight roll as shown in the first picture.

...and also to the Fast Food not Fat Food event at Priya's Now Serving.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kothimbirichya Wadya (Cilantro Squares)

I make these quite often when I have a big batch of cilantro on hand. As you all know, cilantro does not stay fresh too long, so rather than have it go brown on me, I like to make these kothimbirichya wadya. They make a good snack or side dish for varan-bhaath.

Here's how I make them:

2 cup cilantro - packed
1 cup gram flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup mix of other flours like jowar, bajra, soy etc.
Seasonings to taste - salt, red chilli pwd, pinch of turmeric pwd, cumin pwd, coriander pwd, ginger paste, garlic paste (optional), sugar, lemon juice/amchoor pwd.
handful of broken cashews

Blend all ingredients, except cashew & oil, with sufficient water to form a thick batter.
Stir in the cashews.
Oil a microwave-safe square or rectangular utensil.
Pour the batter into this.
Microwave for about 8 - 10 minutes (in 2-3 minute intervals) or until the batter firms up to touch.
Cool completely, then cut into squares or desired shapes.
The above picture is of the kothimbir wadis at this stage.
Just before serving, you can either shallow fry or deep fry them.
I took them to a friend's place where we fried them up for lunch, hence I don't have the final picture.

These Cilantro Squares go to the Green Palette event at Torview.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Strawberry Cobbler

Strawberry Cobbler is a wonderful warm dessert for cool nights. The reicpe is from the Vegetarian Times magazine. Here's how I made it:

2 cups strawberries - halved
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar depending on sweetness of strawberries
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp APF
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of baking pwd
pinch of bking soda
pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter - at room temperature

Preheat oven to 375F.
Coat a 6x6 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix together strawberries, about 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp APF and the lemon juice. Empty into the baking dish.
In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup APF, about 1 tbsp sugar, baking pwd, baking soda and salt. Add the butter, mix with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Stir in 1/4 cup water, mix well. Pour over the strawberries.
Bake for 30 mins until bubbly and flour is slightly browned. Let stand for 10 mins before serving.
You can also serve it warm with vanilla ice-cream.

This Strawberry Coobler goes to the AFAM - Strawberry event at Foodelicious. This event was started by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan Recipes.

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