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Ginger

Breakfast/ Punjabi/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More

Paneer Paratha

Punjabi cuisine has given the greatest gift to Indian cuisine – paneer. Soft (Indian) cottage cheese full of fat has to somehow translate in any language as ‘yum’! A whole-wheat flat bread filled with mildly spiced paneer served with yogurt is just a breakfast for Punjabis but can be a complete meal for me.

I need a better picture and the only way to get it is to make these parathas when S is not around. Learned from my mistakes 😉 For now this is best capture I have got –

paneer_paratha

[Update] This might be a little better –
paneer_paratha

Gujarati/ Maharashtrian/ Rice & Dal/ Soup

कढी / Kadhi

I was introduced to ‘Kadhi-Khichadi’ combination by S. I completely admit that it’s a marriage made in heaven; not very common among Maharashtrians but adored by Gujaratis.

It goes without saying that there are couple of variations found through out India – Maharashtrian kadhi, Gujarati kadhi, Punjabi kadhi and sindhi kadhi to name a few. The basic idea is to mix besan and buttermilk with some spices to make spiced, flavorful watery accompaniment to other dishes. You will find more sugar in Gujarati kadhi than any other version, punjabi kadhi has more spices and also pakoras while sindhis like to have vegetables in their kadhi.

Here is the basic kadhi, the version I grew up with – kadhi

Punjabi/ Rice & Dal/ Superfoods

Dal Makhani

There are some dishes which you never make at home because you always like to have those at restaurants. Dal Makhani was one of these until I had ‘the best dal makhani ever’ made by S. He was famous for his recipe during his college days and I must admit he did a great job. On a second thought the butter, and more butter, the cream and the masala did a fantastic job. Later, I served him dal makhani made without butter and cream and it was still as fabulous as his version, he looked surprised!

dal_makhani
black-urad-dal

Urad Dal is rich in protein and dietary fibre. It’s also a  great source of minerals especially Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Copper. It also has good amount of Folate and Vitamin B6.

Black Urad is not commonly used in Maharashtrian cuisine. As the name suggests, its a Punjabi dish and extra cream will make it more “Makhani” like any other Punjabi preparation.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

No butter and no cream can still make a delicious dal makhani

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Soak urad dal and kidney beans in water overnight (7-8 hours)
  2. In a pressure cooker, add soaked dal and beans with double amount of water.  Add peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and a bay leaf to the daal. Let it cook with 5-6 whistles.  You can also add a tea spoon of salt.
  3. Meanwhile, you can keep onion, tomato, ginger and garlic ready and start with the tadka.
  4. In a medium pan, heat some oil. Once it becomes hot, add cumin seeds.
  5. Add chopped garlic and let it turn slightly brown.
  6. Add some chopped cilantro and let it fry for a minute.
  7. Now add chopped onion, and cook them nicely. Sprinkle some salt to quicken the process.
  8. Once onions are cooked 80%, add tomatoes and mix well. It takes another 2 minutes.
  9. Smash tomatoes with spatula.
  10. Reduce the heat and add red chili powder and Dal Makhani masala and stir well. You should be able to smell the aroma of the hot masala.
  11. Next, add cooked dal and rajma along with some water.
  12. Add salt if needed and mix well. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes and your dal is ready to serve.
  13. garnish it with chopped onions while serving.

Dall_makhani_bigger

This is going to Vardhini’s Dish it Out – Lentils & Garlic event hosted at nivedhanams.

Breakfast/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy/ Snacks

लाल भोपळ्याचे धपाटे / Pumpkin Paratha

When I saw a small red pumpkin in farmer’s market, it reminded me of my childhood. My gradma (aajji) used to make gharage (घारगे) and dhapate (धपाटे). I used to love eating gharage after coming home from school. ‘Gharga’ is a sweet pumpkin puri and of couse a deep fried puri. Dhapata on the other hand, is a savory version and it’s not deep fried, so it’s more like a paratha or thepla.

pumpkin_paratha

It must be healthy as there is nothing unhealthy – either ingredients or the process. Give it a shot.

Red Pumpkin Paratha / Thepla

Red Pumpkin Paratha / Thepla

Easy to make, no special ingredients and no much preparation.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Cut pumpin into big pieces, wash it nicely and also remove the center part that might contain seeds,
  2. Steam these big pieces for 5-8 minutes, until the pumpkin becomes tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cut green chilis and garlic into fine pieces. Grate some ginger.
  4. Once steamed, let it cool. Rinse it with cold water to quicken the process.
  5. Smash it with hands and make sure there are no lumps.
  6. Add finely chopped chilis, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, turmeric and all the seeds.
  7. You can also cilantro but it's optional.
  8. Add whole wheat flour and besan gradually and prepare dough. Pumpkin should have enough water so add water only if needed. pumpkin_paratha_in_progress1
  9. If the dough feels very sticky, add more wheat flour but also adjust the amount of salt.
  10. Use some oil, to knead the dough.
  11. Now make small balls and roll it into small parathas, use wheat flour for dusting. pumpkin_paratha_in_progress2
  12. Roast them lightly on a tawa using ghee. pumpkin_paratha_in_progress3
  13. Ready to serve!
Breakfast/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More/ South Indian

Pesarattu Dosa / Green Moong Dosa

Pesarattu – a famous dish from Andhra Pradesh. Not only easy to make but also easy to digest. I love these because they are so light and great for breakfast. Savory and nutritious.

Pesarattu - Green Moong Dosa

Pesarattu - Green Moong Dosa

An Andhra speciality

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Soak whole moong and raw rice in water for 6-7 hours
  2. Grind all ingredients together with soaked moong and rice to a coarse paste.
  3. Add water as needed to form dosa batter.
  4. On a hot tawa, pour a ladderful batter and make crispy dosa.
  5. If you like, add chopped onion and cilantro on top. 
  6. Once the bottom side becomes golden brown, fold it in half and serve with ginger chutney.
Punjabi/ Subji / Curry/ Superfoods/ Winter Special

Methi Malai Mutter with Cashew Cream

Winter is here and so is the smell of fresh Methi leaves. Fenugreek, widely known as “Methi” in India, is a leafy vegetable with small green leaves mainly grown in winter. It’s the bitter taste of its leaves and seeds that makes it so unique.

Methi Malai Mutter as the name says, is rich and flavorful. The slight sweetness of green peas (mutter) and the richness of cream (malai) well compliment the bitterness of methi leaves.

Methi Malai Mutter

Since I didn’t have cooking cream, I decided to use a healthier and an easily available  alternative – cashew cream and the result was outstanding. You have to try it to believe me. Here is what you need.

Methi Malai Mutter

Methi Malai Mutter

An aromatic combination of fresh methi leaves with green peas cooked together in cashew cream sauce.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Separate the leaves from stem and wash them well. Sprinkle some salt and keep them aside.
  2. In a small bowl, take cashews and poppy seeds and let them soak in milk.
  3. In a small pan, mix all dry masala (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black peppercorns and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds) and roast them lightly for 2-3 minutes on low flame.
  4. Add roughly chopped onion, freshly grated ginger, garlic, green chilies and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds with a pinch of salt in a grinder and make a smooth paste.
  5. Heat a medium pan and add 2 table spoon of oil. Once oil becomes hot, add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  6. Meanwhile, squeeze out all the liquid from methi leaves and give them a quick chop. Add these leaves to the oil and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Once done, remove the leaves from the pan and keep aside.
  8. Add remaining 1 tb spoon oil to the pan. Now add the onion-garlic paste and fry it nicely for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Strain the milk and add cashews and poppy seeds to grinder and make a smooth paste. Add few spoons of milk if needed.
  10. Add this cashew cream to the pan and fry for 1 minute.
  11. Heat the leftover milk and let it simmer.
  12. Add the fresh garam masala (the roasted masala finely powdered) to the pan and mix well.
  13. Add the milk and some water to adjust the consistency.
  14. Add thawed green peas or boiled if using fresh.
  15. Add fenugreek leaves and mix well
  16. Add salt, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of turmeric and let it come to a boil.

Tips -

  • When you soak the cashews in milk, microwave it for 30 seconds, so cashews absorb the milk quicker and become tender.
  • Once the subji is done, sprinkle a pinch of kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) of additional aroma.

 

Festival Special/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy

गोपाळ काला / Gopal Kala for Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated all over India. In Maharashtra its popularly known as Gokulashtmi and it’s celebrated along with “Dahi Handi” with enormous zeal and enthusiasm. People make a human pyramid by standing on each other and the top most person tries to reach the “handi”, a clay pot filled with curd and aims to break it with his hand. This depicts Lord Krishna’s childhood and his love towards butter.

BalGopal

We worship bal gopal (बाल गोपाळ ) and we prepare his favorite dishes which include sweets and savory dishes. Then on the midnight of Janmashtami, we offer these dishes to Lord Krishna in order to welcome him on the earth. It’s believed that Gopal Kala is one of his favorite treats.

Prepare with Pohe, lahya, curd and cucumber it’s very easy to put together.

Gopal-kala

Gopal kala

Gopal kala

Lord Krishan's favorite and so is mine 🙂

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Soak Pohe in water for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl mix pohe, lahya, chopped cucumber and curd and grated coconut, Add chopped cilantro and salt and sugar. Mix well.
  3. In a small pan, melt ghee for preparing "fodni" / tadka. Add cumin seeds, green chilis and grated ginger.
  4. Once done, pour this ghee over the mixture and mix well.

|| Jai Shri Krishna ||

 

Breakfast/ Continental/ Quick n Healthy/ Snacks

Spinach Pancakes

Hearty and Healthy twist to traditional pancakes

Imaging a light fluffy pancake topped with butter, maple syrup, whipped cream and fresh berries…. Yum! Pancakes are great for breakfast pleasures but they are not healthy! Today I decided to transform this classic American breakfast into a savory, healthy dish with Indian touch.

I used multi-grain flour instead of all purpose flour. I substituted sugar with salt and red chili powder, stirred in lots of  veggies like finely chopped spinach, cilantro, tomatoes and red onions with some coriander-cumin powder together with fennel seeds and ajwain seeds for an extra kick. The result? Outstandingly tasty and healthy pancakes – made from scratch!

Spinach Pancakes

Spinach Pancakes

Hearty and Healthy twist to traditional pancakes

Ingredients:

Method

You can buy multi grain flour in Indian stores or Whole Foods Market in bulk section. Whole wheat flour works too.

Finely chop spinach leaves, a tomato and about a half medium red onion.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk an egg in a separate bowl and add it to the dry ingredients. Next goes milk. Whisk until smooth batter forms. Then stir in all veggies. The batter should be spoonable but not pourable. Adjust the consistency by adding either spoonful of water or flour as needed.

Heat a skillet over medium-high flame, add little oil or use non-stick oil spray.

Place a ladle full of batter on the skillet and spread it into a pancake. Cook until the wet side of pancake bubbles. Flip and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes until brown.

 

These savory pancakes are packed with flavor, good amount of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A and fibre.

Sending this to Kiran‘s “Cooking with Whole Foods – Spinach” event hosted at cook’s joy.

HITS – Iron rich foods started by Sangee.

And to “Healthy Diet – Breakfast” by Priya’s Versatile Recipes hosted at Roshni’s Kitchen.

Maharashtrian/ Smoothie/ Upvasache Padarth

ताक / Chaas / Buttermilk

A pure, simple summer refresher

Buttermilk has always been an integral part of traditional Maharashtrian meal. Imagine coming home from scorching heat and sipping on a glass of cold, lightly spiced homemade buttermilk. There is no better thirst quencher!

 

It’s very simple, just takes 5 minutes to mix everything together.

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Churned yogurt wil a pinch of cooling spices and herbs. A natural summer refresher!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Beat the yogurt nicely and mix with water
  2. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Serve cold. (You may also add ice)

If you like you can also add finely chopped cilantro and mint leaves. In South India, it's served with curry leaves.

Surprisingly not everyone knows about buttermilk. One of my colleagues thought it was made by adding milk to butter. It actually referes to the liquid left over after extracting the butter from churned yogurt. The churning process causes some of the lactose – milk sugar, to be converted into lactic acid by the bacteria, which gives the buttermilk a slightly sour taste and makes it easier to digest by lactose-intolerant people. In USA this is called “traditional buttermilk” and of course this is how we make it at home.

The buttermilk we get in supermarkets is called “Cultured Buttermilk”. t is prepared from pasteurized skim or low-fat milk by fermentation with bacteria that produces lactic acid.

source – http://www.webexhibits.org/butter/buttermilk.html

Off to Radhika’s Chilled Delights, Tomato Blues Summer Spirits, Preeti’s Jump n Jive, Surabhi’s EP SEries – Mint n Coriander started by Erivum Puliyum.

South Indian/ Subji / Curry

Potato Subji with South Indian flavors

Quick and Easy with flavors you don’t want to miss!

Urad daal and curry leaves are very prominent in South Indian preparation. The two ingredients add distinct aromas making any dish instantly tempting.

Potato Subji with South Indian Falovors

Potato Subji with South Indian Falovors

The south Indian flavor is infused by Urad daal and curry leaves.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

A frying pan works better than a deep pan or kadhai due to larger surface area.

  1. Prepare tadka in a pan over medium flame.
  2. Add urad daal to tadka. Let the daal turn golden brown.
  3. Next goes red chilies and finely chopped ginger and turmeric powder.
  4. It’s time for curry leaves, let them fry for a minute.
  5. And then add chopped potatoes. Sprinkle some salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4-5 minutes with lid on.
  6. Remove the cover and let them cook further.

Garnish with fresh coconut and chopped cilantro.

Tip –

The subji tastes better if potatoes become slightly crispy. Once potatoes become tender, remove the cover and let them cook further for a two – three minutes. This way potatoes don’t become soggy.

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