Friday, December 6, 2013

Yumm Sauce

This recipe had appeared in my local newspaper several months back. I was quite intrigued by one of the ingredients - Nutritional Yeast - and had clipped it to try it out. It took me a while to find Nutritional Yeast (found it at PCC Market) and finally make this sauce.

Here's how I made Yumm Sauce:

1/2 cup store-bought salsa of your choice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup chickpeas (I used canned, drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli pwd
2 tsp cumin pwd
handful of cilantro leaves

Just blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Adjust seasonings if needed.

This will make about 1.5 cups of sauce. This sauce can be refrigerated for few days.

I used this sauce in quesadillas and tacos that night.

The next day I made myself a tortilla bowl salad for lunch and used this sauce between layers of rice, black beans, onions & tomatoes and a dollop of top.

Super Yumm!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sindhi Kadhi

I learnt this recipe from my husband's aunt who visited us over the summer. It was totally new and unusual to me. My idea of kadhi was always buttermilk based, but this one has no buttermilk, but a tangy tomato-gram flour based gravy. Also love the addition of all kinds of veggies. This time I used okra, guvar beans and cauliflower (as done by maami); next time I will be adding more (like carrots, potatoes etc.). The one change I made was to sauté the veggies instead of deep frying them.

Here's how I made Sindhi Kadhi:

Prep the veggies by cutting the okra into 1 inch long trin strips, the guvar beans also into 1 inch long pieces and the cauliflower into flowerets.

Shallow fry each separately in abt 2 tsp oil till lightly browned and almost done.

Take 2 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan. Fry 1/4 cup gram flour in it on medium low heat stirring occasionally until lightly browned and very fragrant, about 15-20 mins.

Slowly add up to 1 cup water. Keep stirring constantly to break up lumps as they form.

Add puree of 1 tomato (abt 1/2 cup). Continue stirring.

Add the seasonings - salt, red chilli pwd, coriander pwd all per taste. Add 1 tsp tamarind paste and 2 tsp jaggery (gul). Add more water if needed to get desired consistency. Bring to a boil, stirring all the time.
Just before serving, add the prepped veggies and let boil once more.
Serve hot with roti or rice.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Karela Bhaji

I was never a big fan of Karela (Bitter Gourd) until I ate it this way. Now I crave this bhaji every week. I think this bhaji is a great combination of flavors - bitter from the karela of course, sweet (gul/jaggery), sour (tamarind), salty, spicy and crunchy (peanuts).

Here's how I make Karelyachi Patal Bhaji (Bitter Ground Gravy Vegetable):

1. Wash the karelas and slit length wise. Deseed and remove remove any pulp in the center. Chop the karelas fairly fine. Sprinkle abt 1 tsp salt and leave for 1/2 hour.

2. After 1/2 hour, squeeze out as much water as possible from the karelas. I like to wrap the karela pieces in a thin cloth or handkerchief to help squeeze out the juice. For about 1 cup of chopped karelas, I got little over 1/4 cup juice. I usually throw this juice away, but I know people use it for medicinal purposes too.

 3. In a pressure pan, make the tempering by heating 2 tsp oil, dropping 1 tsp mustard seeds and after they stop crackling, adding 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp hing. Then add few curry leaves and the karela. Saute for abt 3 mins. Add 1 cup water, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, 2 tbsp. roughly chopped peanuts, salt to taste (remember the karela will already be slightly salty), 1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste, 2 tbsp. gul/jaggery, 1 tsp goda masala, 1 tsp coriander-cumin pwd, 1 tsp red chilli pwd. Give it a good stir, close the pressure pan and cook for 1 whistle.

4. When the pressure comes down, open the pan. You may need to adjust water and seasonings, if needed at this time. I have not done so, but if you add more water/seasonings, give it one boil. Serve hot/warm with polya.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I made Pumpkin bread and was left with over 1/2 can of pumpkin puree. After searching online, settled on making Pumpkin Soup. This is a very quick and easy recipe, ideal for chilly nights.

Here's how I made Spicy Pumpkin Soup:

Heat 2 tsp olive oil and sauté 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped onions in it for 5 mins. Add 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper and continue sautéing another 5 mins. Add 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (chopped). Cook another 5 mins. Then add about 1 to 1.5 cups of the pumpkin puree. Add about 1 cup vegetable broth and the following seasonings to taste - salt, pepper, red chili flakes and Kirkland brand no salt seasoning mix. Add 1 wedge of Laughing Cow cheese of choice (I used Creamy Swiss). Stir well, breaking down the cheese wedge as you stir. Once it starts simmering, take off heat. Let cool, then blend to smooth puree.

Before serving, heat thoroughly and adjust consistency by adding more broth if needed.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Vegetarian Stuffed Turkey Shaped Rolls

Turkey shaped bread rolls (vegetarian)

Made these Vegetarian Stuffed Turkey Shaped Rolls for Thanksgiving yesterday. Wanted to make something in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, but vegetarian of course, to take to a friend's place. Found inspiration here, and decided to do stuffed rolls rather than plain dinner rolls. These were appetizers, so fairly small in shape. The stuffing was pav bhaji style potato.

Here's how I made these Vegetarian Stuffed Turkey Shaped Rolls:

Potato Stuffing: 2 medium russet potatoes (boiled, peeled and grated); 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper, seasonings to taste (salt, sugar, Everest Pav Bhaji masala, red chilli pwd), 2-3 tsp oil.

Heat the oil, sauté onions till softened. Add bell pepper & sauté 5 mins. Add the potatoes and seasonings. Mix well and cook another 5 mins. Take off heat and let it come to room temperature before using.

3 cups Flour/Maida
1 packet rapid rise yeast (abt 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup lukewarm water (110 F)
1.5 tbsp. sugar
1.5 tsp salt
4 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup milk pwd

Warm the water to 110F, add sugar and yeast. Stir gently. Cover and keep for 10 mins. A frothy layer will form on top by then.
Take the yeast/water mix, melted butter, salt and milk pwd in a big glass bowl. Mix gently. Add the flour abt 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well. You may need anywhere from 2.5 to 3 cups flour. The dough will be sticky. Knead it well for 10 mins to make it smooth.
Lightly oil the bowl and keep the kneaded dough in it. Cover and leave for 1 hour.

The dough will double or triple in size by then. Lightly punch the risen dough. Divide into balls and stuff with the potato mixture.

To make the turkey shape, I used a large ball for the body, half that size for the head and slightly smaller ones for the feathers. Used small pieces of the dough (without the filling) for the beak and wobble. Stuck 2 cloves for the eyes. I wanted a good amount of stuffing in each roll, used about 2 tbsp. in the feathers and head and double in the body.

Cover and leave for another hour. The stuffed rolls will again puff up by then.

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the rolls with some milk. Bake them for 30 to 40 mins until golden brown. While still hot, brush the rolls with some butter. These rolls are slightly crisp on the outside (but soften as cooled) and fluffy inside.

Let cool slightly before serving. I lightly cut the rolls along the ridges so people could pull them out and help themselves.

These turkey shaped rolls were well appreciated by all .... for their creativity and taste.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daal Roti

Here's a quick idea for using up left over daal/goda varan which makes a good lunch box item for kids.

Add some seasoning to the cooked daal like salt, coriander pwd, cumin pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd etc.

Add finely chopped veggies - in the picture below I've added spinach on the left, tomatoes on the right.

Add wheat flour, little by little, kneading to a smooth dough with a few drops of oil. Add water only if needed as the daal may already have some.

Keep covered for 1/2 hr. Then divide into balls and roll into circles dusting with flour as needed. Roast both sides with some oil.

Here I have rolled  my rotis laccha paratha style to make them flaky.
Roll up and pack in lunch box.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Khandvi/Surali Chi Vadi

After innumerable attempts over the years, I now feel comfortable making khandvi or surachi chi vadi. I like this stuffed version which I feel gives a better flavor than just garnishing with tempering, coconut, cilantro etc.

Here's how I make Khandvi/Surali Chi Vadi:

Stuffing - 1 cup frozen shredded coconut, handful of cilantro, 1 or 2 green chillies, ginger paste, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Coursely grind the ingredients together. Or finely chop and mix.

Other prep - Spread 3 or 4 sheets of aluminum foil on the counter top. For each keep 1 katori ready. Wet the bottom of the katori with little water.

Khandvi rolls - 1 cup gram flour, 2 cups thin buttermilk, pinch of hing/asafetida, salt and sugar to taste. The buttermilk should preferably be a little sour. Leave it out for a couple of hours before use. Sieve the gram flour, then mix all the ingredients together. Whisk together to get a smooth batter. Put this in a heavy bottom pan and place on the stove on medium heat. Keep whisking as it heats up. In 5 mins., the batter will start to thicken. Whisking will become harder, but its important to keep doing so, to break lumps and keep the batter smooth. In another 3 mins or so, batter will start leaving sides of pan and will acquire a little sheen. This is when it is ready to spread on the foils. You can test by putting a little drop at first. Wait a minute, then try to roll it to see if its ready.

Once the batter in ready to be spread, it is time to act fast. Take off heat, drop a ladleful of batter on one foil. Using the moistened katori bottom, spread it as evenly and thinly as possible on the sheet. Use gentle pressure when doing so. Keep ladling the batter on all the foils, spreading as you go, before moving to the next ladleful.

Once all the batter is spread, let it  rest for a few minutes.

The one step I am still working on is spreading the batter fast enough. I still end up wasting some batter which cools down before I can spread it.

As the spread batter cools, make tempering with oil and mustard seeds.

Spread the coconut stuffing and the tempering evenly on the spread batter. Then start cutting strips about 1.5 to 2 inch wide. Roll from one end to the other. Note that you will need to trim edges to get even shaped strips.

Serve at room temperature. These will be gone in minutes, so be sure to save a couple for yourself.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Diwali Party

Menu for our Diwali party potluck this year was:

Appetizers - Faraal from Mumbai (Bhajni chakli, shev, besan ladoo, mini baked bakarwadi); I made Khandvi/Surli chi vadi ( recipe coming soon), Rava Ladoo and Badam Katli; friends brought other yummy snacks
Drinks - Mango lassi
Dinner - Made Kofta Curry and Veg. Biryani; friends brought other delicious accompaniments & desserts

Here are couple of quick ideas to add a Diwali touch to the party:

For keeping the kids busy, we had Cookie decoration with Diwali theme.

We used store-bought sugar cookies and decorated with sparkly gel icing that comes in tubes (purchased at Jo-Anns).

The salad arrangement featured cucumber and carrot diyas.

Cut the cucumbers into slices and lop off a small part to make the diya shape. For the light, cut a baby carrot on the bias.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Badam Katli (Almond Burfi)

I made a big batch of Badam Katli a few months back for a puja in the local temple. The 2 kinds in the picture above are both Badam Katli - the darker one is made with Trader Joe's Almond meal which had almond skin and the lighter one is made with Bob's Red Mill brand Almond meal. Both taste pretty similar and use the same methodology.

Here's how I made these Badam Katli:

1 packet of Almond Meal (4 cups)
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1.5 cups dry milk pwd
1 to 2 tsp cardamom pwd per taste

Take the Almond meal in a large mixing bowl.

Boil some water in a pan. Place another pan on this such that it stays firmly over the larger pan with the water. Add the sugar and milk pwd to this top pan. Mix together well for 5 mins. The idea is to slightly warm the sugar + milk pwd.

Add the sugar + milk pwd to the almond meal. Add the cardamom pwd.

Mix well using a little pressure till it all comes together in a dough-like form. You can use a few drops of milk if the mixture is too dry and not coming together. But I think the oil from the almond meal is sufficient to bind it all together.

Roll this dough into a circle with a rolling pin. Use parchment paper under the dough while rolling to make it easier to roll. Cut into desired shapes. Store in the fridge. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

To cut them into evenly shaped diamonds, I use my 2 fingers as a measure. First I cut the rolled dough with a pizza cutter vertically into strips (each 2 finger-wide). Then I cut it diagonally again using the 2 finger measure. This gave me pretty consistent shaped katlis, except the end pieces which were happily gobbled up by my daughter and me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Meetha Paan

Few weeks back we performed Shri Satyanarayana Puja. I had bought betel leaves and had some left over, so made Meetha Paan for the friends who had come over. They were very well appreciated, so the next day I made the one pictured above with the only left over betel leaf I had.

Here's how I made it:

1. Trim off the lower broader end of the betel leaf and lay it with the shinier side down. My betel leaf did not have the top pointed end, but ideally that should be left on.

2. I have added the following on top of the paan - shredded coconut, roasted fennel seeds, mixed store-bought saunf mix (without betel nut), 1 cardamom pod, pinch of my badishoap pwd.

3. Top it off with a generous dollop or two of gulkand. I do not have the real gulkand, but have a jar of rose preserve that tastes pretty similar, which I used.

4. Folding technique is per the following pictures.


I pierced it with a clove to hold it together.

This Meetha Paan can be quite addictive. Even now as I write this post, I can taste it and want to pop one in my mouth right now!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shevai Kheer

This is a quick dessert that can be cooked up in a hurry when unexpected company arrives. Here's how I make Shevai Kheer:

2 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup assorted chopped unsalted nuts (cashew/almonds/pistachio)
few raisins
1/2 cup shevai (vermicelli)
1/2 cup condensed sweetened milk
1 cup milk
big pinch of cardamom pwd
few strands of saffron

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan on gentle heat. Fry the nuts for 5 mins. Add the raisins and vermicelli. Fry till vermicelli gets golden brown, about 5 mins. Add the milk and sweetened condensed milk. Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, till vermicelli is cooked. Add the cardamom pwd and saffron. Take off heat.

Serve warm or cold. This kheer (pudding) will thicken as it sits. Add more milk and reheat if too thick.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Soy Nuggets Bhaji

Soy Nuggets are a good vegan alternative to paneer and my daughter loves them just as much as she loves paneer. I usually buy the Nutela brand soy nuggets from the Indian store.

Here's how I make Soy Nuggets Bhaji/Subji/Curry:

2 tsp oil
Tempering ingredients - 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of hing (asafetida), 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
2 handful of soy nuggets
1 to 2 cups other chopped veggies - I have used onions, potatoes, green beans, carrots and tomatoes
Salt to taste
Other seasonings to taste - 1 tsp coriander pwd, 1 tsp cumin pwd, 2 tsp goda masala, 1/2 tsp red chilli pwd, 1 tbsp. gul (jiggery)

Drop the soy nuggets in boiling salted water. Cover and take off heat. Let soak for 5 mins. They will soften and almost double in size. Drain the water (you can use this later in the bhaji). Squeeze the soy nuggets to release some of the soaked up water. Cut the nuggets into smaller pieces.

Heat oil in the pressure pan. Drop in the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add the other tempering ingredients and sauté 2 mins. Add the chopped onions, fry 5 mins. Add the potatoes, fry another 5 mins. Add the beans and carrots, fry a few more mins. Add the tomatoes, soy nuggets, salt and other seasonings. Add about 2 cups water, including that in which the nuggets were soaked. Give it all a good stir and increase heat to high. Close the pressure pan and cook for 2 whistles. After the pressure cools down, your bhaji is ready to serve. Garnish with some chopped cilantro.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Sprouts Chaat

This is a healthier version of regular bhel, a popular Indian street food. A friend had made it a few months back for a dance practice for our kids. It was appreciated by young and old alike. Her version had chana, I decided to add other sprouts too. So here's how I made this Sprouts Chaat, no specific quantities here, just a handful of this & that:

Sprouted mung, Sprouted matki
Boiled black chana
Canned chickpeas - drained and rinsed
Other veggies - boiled potatoes, onions and tomatoes - all chopped
Chutneys - Mint Chutney and Dates/Tamarind Chutney (home made or store bought)
Roasted kurmure (puffed rice)
Puris or crushed chips (I have used crushed tortilla chips)
Chopped cilantro
Pinch of chaat masala

Prep the basic mix by combining the sprouts, chana, chickpeas, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and the chutneys. Mix lightly, check and adjust chutneys.
Just before serving, add the roasted kurmure, shev, crushed puris/chips, cilantro and chaat masala. Again mix lightly and serve.

This was our dinner last night.

I had some leftover mix of sprouts and veggies, which I used in today's chaat salad for lunch.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Vegetable Khichadi

Khichadi is a rice and mung dal preparation, a great comfort food, quick and nutritious. I have previously posted Mung Daal Khichadi. Recently I have started added veggies to it - onions, potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, peas, tomatoes etc are all good choices.

The basic procedure is similar to the one I posted earlier. After making the tempering, add the onions, potatoes, carrots, green beans and cauliflower or any of these that you are using. Fry for 5 minutes before adding the soaked rice and mung dal. Add water and seasonings, bring to a quick boil. Cover and cook on medium heat. I add veggies like tomatoes and frozen peas after about 10 mins as these cook quickly. Continuing cooking for a total of about 20 mins. till rice, daal and all the veggies are well cooked.

Serve hot as a one-pot meal or with accompaniments like simple kadhi/papad etc.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Zucchini Thepla

Thepla is a flatbread made with wheat flour, gram flour, spices and some combination of veggies like fenugreek (methi) leaves, grated bottle gourd, zuchhini etc. My aunt always gives me a bunch of theplas when I leave Mumbai for US. They make excellent travel food as they stay good for 2 - 3 days and taste good eaten as is.
Yesterday I made theplas with grated green and yellow zucchini. Here's how I made them:
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup gram flour
About 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1/4 tsp amchur pwd
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. crushed kasuri methi
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of hing
3 tbsp. yogurt
3 tbsp. oil
Take all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl.
Mix well and knead into a smooth pliable dough. Use only a few tbsp. of water to knead. The dough should be slightly firmer than roti/poli dough, but softer than puri dough. Cover the dough with a wet towel and keep for 15 mins.
Then divide into 7 balls. Roll each into a round shape.
Roast on a skillet until brown spots form on both sides. I have roasted 2 without oil, rest with oil. This made 7 theplas for me.

Related Posts with Thumbnails