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Green Chilis

Appetizers/ Entertaining/ Snacks/ Winter Special

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

 

This recipe is inspired from Sweet Potato and Beetroot balls from Archana’s Kitchen.  A quick, healthy, nutritious snack that looks beautiful and taste wonderful. I just described a kids-friendly recipe, didn’t I? I will be making these for halloween party coming up soon.

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

It tastes great with tangy tamarind chutney or hot-n-sour sauce or you can also try with salad with lots of greens!

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

Sweet Potato & Beetroot Kebabs

A delicious healthy kids-friendly snack 🙂

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. In a small pan, heat some oil and add chopped onions. Fry them until translucent.
  2. Add garlic paste, green chilies and let them fry for a minute.
  3. Add grated beetroot and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder, chaat masala and some salt. Mix well.
  5. Add mashed sweet potatoes and mix well.
  6. Heat Paniyaram Pan and add a few drops of oil in each pocket.
  7. Make small balls and cook them from both sides in the pan. It takes about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve hot with chutney.

Breakfast/ Gujarati/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More/ Snacks

Doodhi Bajra na Thepla / Whole Grain Flatbread with Bottle Gourd

Gujaratis are well known for their snacks and they have all kinds – deep fried, steamed, baked, fermented, roasted. It’s pretty amazing that one single region of India has encompassed so many diverse techniques as part of their daily cooking.dudhi thepla

Theplas are Indian flatbreads made with whole grain flour mixed with seasonal vegetables and some commonly used spices such as green chilies, cumin-coriander powder, ginger-garlic paste. All combined into a dough using yogurt. Since there is hardly any water used in making the dough, these theplas last for couple of days, making them a perfect healthy snack for picnics or long journeys. The dough also contains some jaggery or sugar, which is signature of any Gujarati dish, trust me it actually makes it yummy! Serve it hot with pickle or chundo and yogurt.dudhi bajra thepla

Bajra flour has a very earthy flavor and it combines well with the mild flavor of dudhi. There is a good balance of different tastes of whole wheat, bajra, dudhi and ginger-garlic and jaggery.

Dudhi Bajra Na Thepla

Dudhi Bajra Na Thepla

Healthy breakfast with not so used Bottle Gourd

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel and grate dudhi using wider slots on grater.
  2. Squeeze out all the water from grated dudhi, and I really mean all of it. Dudhi contains lot of moisture and it leaves out more after we add salt to the dough, so it's time to use some muscle power.
  3. Add all ingredients together one by one, except for oil. Initially add 1 spoon of yogurt at a time and add more as needed. But make sure you try to bring the dough together before you add more yogurt.dudhi thepla ingredients
  4. Lastly add oil and knead everything nicely. Oil adds more moisture so do keep it in mind.
  5. Make smaller balls, and roll them flat using a rolling pin.dudhi thepla in process
  6. Cook them on a flat tawa just like a paratha, using oil on both sides.
Rice & Dal/ South Indian

Chettinad Pakoda Kuzhambu

Chettinad is a region in south Tamilnadu and is well know for its unique cuisine which emphasize the use of various whole spices and fresh coconut. This month’s SNC challenge was a savory curry made in chettinad style. This was my first time preparing Chettinad cuisine and since I have not tasted this particular curry, I was not entirely sure about what to expect or how it should really taste. But take my word for it. it was absolutely delicious. The addition of coconut, cashews and roasted chana dal adds a whole new dimension to our regular onion-tomato gravy and also alters its texture in a soothing way. Curry leaves and the roasted chana dal reinforce the south indian flavors while chana dal pakoda with crushed fennel seeds offer a new surprise at every bite. All in all, it’s a wonderful dish, you can serve it with rice or idli or dosa.chettinad pakoda kuzhambu 2

south-vs-north-blue

 

Thanks to Priya from Priya’s Versatile Recipes for sharing this Chettinad speciality with us.

 

 

Chettinad Pakoda Kuzhambu

Chettinad Pakoda Kuzhambu

Chana dal pakodas dipped in South Indian gravy makes a perfect pairing with rice.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

For preparing Pakoda -

  1. Soak chana dal for at least two hours. 
  2. Grind chana dal with some fennel seeds and dry red chilis to a coarse paste. Add water only if needed.
  3. Heat enough oil in a pan so that you can deep fry multiple pakodas at a time. Make pakodas with your fingers and drop them in hot oil on low-medium heat. Fry them until golden brown. Keep them aside.chana dal pakoda

For preparing gravy -

  1. Grind all ingredients listed under "To Grind" above to a fine paste with some water.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan / kadhai, heat some oil and all whole Garam masala listed under "For Seasoning" and fry for a minute or so or until you can smell it.
  3. Add chopped onions and garlic and fry it for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add chopped tomato and let them cook for  sometime.
  5. Now add the coconut paste and also add 4 cups of water. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt and give it a stir. Let it cook for 5 minutes with lid on.
  7. Add pakodas and let it simmer further for 2 minutes. Add more water if needed. Pakodas will absorb the water so make sure you add enough.

Serve it hot with rice / idli or dosa.

chettinad pakoda kuzhambu 1

Breakfast/ Events/ Gujarati/ Snacks

હાંડવો / Handavo / Savory Lentil Cake and Bake Fest June 2013 Announcement

Gujaratis are known for their variety of farsan – snacks – dhokla, khaman, shev-khamni, khandvi, gote, lochyo, kachori, mathiya, muthiya …. it’s a long list. I have previously posted two recipes for muthiya – dudhi na muthiya and palak-methi na muthiya. Handvo or Handawa is yet another healthy Gujarati snack which is not deep fried. It’s actually baked!handvo

Traditionally this savory lentil cake is baked in an aluminium pot filled with sand in the bottom, which when heated, provides dry heat just like our modern ovens. I found it quite interesting. It’s prepared with a mixture of different dal flours such as chana dal, toor dal and urad dal and rice flour. The veggies such as dudhi (lauki), lilwa tuwer – which is a speciality of Gujarat and mutter maintain the moisture and yogurt helps it ferment before you bake it. It cannot be classified as a Gujarati dish until it’s seasoned with oil tadaka! You might be tempted to try it without the oil but please don’t unless you want to miss the real charm. The oil seasoning with mustard seeds and sesame seeds makes it very special and very Indian.

I used handwa flour I bought at an Indian grocery store. If you want to make it at home, please scroll down I have mentioned the proportions of the dals and rice. Don’t use the instant handvo mixtures, they contain lot of citric acid and the taste is nowhere close to an authentic dish.

Handavo / Handwa / Savory Lenti Cake

Handavo / Handwa / Savory Lenti Cake

Savory non deep fried lentil cake!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Prepare batter using handvo flour, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, ajwain seeds, turmeric powder, chopped green chilis, salt and a pinch of sugar. 
  2. Let it sit for 6-7 hours or overnight.
  3. Then add grated doodhi and other vegetables.
  4. Add fruit salt and whisk it in one direction until the batter becomes light.
  5. Pour this batter in loaf pan or muffin pan and bake it at 350 F for 30-35 minutes for a loaf pan and 20-25 minutes for muffin pan.
  6. In a small skillet, prepare tadka with oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds. Add this on top and serve it warm.

Notes:

You can more veggies like fresh methi leaves, spinach leaves or zucchini.

For Homemade Handavo Flour soak all these ingredients for 3-4 hours and grind toa fine paste.

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup tour dal
  • 1/4 cup chana dal
  • 1/4 cup urad dal

Sending this to Dish it Out event.

I am so happy to let you know that I am hosting Vardhini’s Bake Fest event for June 2013. Teh event is open from June 1st till June 30th. Here are some rules –

  • Send in any recipe which has been baked / broiled.
  • Only vegetarian or vegan recipes please.But Eggs are okay for baked dishes.
  • Usage of the logo is mandatory as it helps spread the word.BakeFest-200
  • Linking to original Bake Fest page and this announcement is mandatory.
  • Leave a comment below.
  • You can link your old entries if they are reposted with the below links and the logo.
  •  You can send in any number of new entries and a maximum of 2 old entries.

Looking forward to your innovative creations. Happy baking!


Breakfast/ Events/ Punjabi/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More/ Winter Special

मुळ्याचे पराठे / Muli Paratha and WTML April 2013 Event Announcement with a Giveaway!!

मुळा / Muli or White Radish and शेपू / Savaa or Dill, the two vegetables I hated from my core white I was little. I gave my mom hard time since she either had to convince me for eating it or make something else . Convincing me was a harder task than preparing something else. She tried many ways to hide these vegetables in other dishes. the characteristic smell the two vegetables have turned out to be my biggest advantage.

It was quite rare to have my mom open the door for me as I return from school since her office timings never coincided with my school hours. It was one of those lucky days during Ganapati Festival. The rains were unstoppable and my mom decided to come home early. When I saw her at the door, I could not stop smiling. She then served me a ‘garama-garam’ (hot from the pan) paratha with mango pickle which is her ultimate speciality I have yet to conquer and some yogurt. It was so yummy and so satisfying. You can imagine, the slight coldness in the air with continuous pouring rains, the background Ganapati music which does not stop until power is completely disrupted (including generators)  and these soft, hot yummy parathas. I gave my mom a tight hug and said thank you for such delicious “aloo parathas”. Her smile only became bigger at that point. She replied, “Sure only if aloo was a new name for muli in my dictionary” Duh! Well since then muli paratha has been a permanent entry in our house menu and my favorite dishes.

Muli Paratha

 

Muli Paratha

Muli Paratha

Healthy and hearty Indian flat bread with white radish stuffing!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Method:

  1. Prepare chapati dough by adding chapato flour, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, oil and warm water. 
  2. Add a tsp of hot oil and knead well.
  3. To prepare stuffing, in a medium bowl add grated white radish and boiled and smashed potatoes.
  4. Now add other spices and finely chopped coriander and mix well.
  5. The actual paratha is similar to any other parathas. For detailed instructions follow this procedure.
  6. Serve it hot with pickle and raita.

Tips:

White Radish sometimes has very strong smell. You can squeeze out the water from grated radish by adding some salt to it. By adding fennel seeds and ajwain seeds  help to reduce the strong smell.  Be careful with the salt if you add it to the grated radish, the stuffing and the dough.

 

muli parathaAnd now the Event Announcement! Last year I came across this wonderful event called WTML – Walking Through Memory Lane”. The event is a brainchild of Gayathri, a lovely lady and super innovative cook who writes about her culinary creations at Gayathri’s Cook Spot. As the name suggests, the event is all about recreating your childhood favorite dishes prepared by your mom, gradma, aunt or anyone special in your life. This is our chance to pay a small tribute to their cooking. I was instantly drawn to this idea and I submitted my “Rava Cake” recipe to her event and luckily I was the winner for that month’s giveaway. I received the wonderful book – Chocolate Cookbook by Tarla Dalal from Gayathri.

Long story short, Thanks to Gayathri, I am hosting this month’s WTML event at MyHomeMantra. Here are some simple rules.

  • Make your favorite dish which makes you cherish your childhood moments and also tell us a small story about the dish. Not just the recipe!
  • No restrictions on the number of story telling entries.
  • Only vegetarians dishes please.
  • You can link your old entries if they are reposted with the below links and the logo.
  • Link your post to my announcement page and Gayathri’s  WTML event page. That’s mandatory.
  • Add this logo to your posts, it helps spread the word.
  • Non bloggers can send me your recipes at myhomemantra [at] gmail [dot] com
  • The event is open from April 1 to April 30th

And the Big Giveaway – Gayathri will select an entry through random selection and give away the book for the selected entry.

Note that the books Gayathri gives are not sponsored and it is her own contribution to the event. You get a whole year’s subscription of Tarla Dalal’s Cooking and More as the giveaway. I am not eligible for the give away.

On the first of May, Gayathri will select a lucky winner and send a mail. After receiving her mail,you can give an address to which she has to ship the book. She will ship the book within India so if you reside abroad, please give an address in India for her to ship.

Let’s cherish our childhood memories with this wonderful event!


Rice & Dal

Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani

Paradise Hotel, a landmark on Sardar Patel Road in Secunderabad which is so hard to miss. A crowded road with equally crowded biryani house which has been serving thousands of people day and night since 1953. I still clearly remember,  6 years back when I first visited Hyderabad; lunch at Paradise was ranking very high on our must-to-do list. Their signature biryani was truly succulent, flavorful and aromatic! It was a delicious experience.

When I first came across the recipe for Hyderabadi Birynai at Swasthi’s Indian Healthy Recipes, I knew I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to cherish my experience in my own kitchen. And the reason I came across this wonderful recipe is SNC – South Vs North Challenge started by Divya Pramil. She is a versatile cook and blogs at Youtoocancookindianfood.blogspot.com. Divya has created two groups – Southern Group and Northern Group as you can guess you become part  of a group based on the region you belong to in India. I liked the idea and it’s quite unique. This is my first time participating in SNC and I am so excited about it.

I will be part of Northern Group. You can read more about the challenge on Divya’s blog. Being from Maharashtra, I feel this is a great opportunity for me to learn both South Indian and North Indian dishes.

south-vs-north-blue

So here it comes, my vegetable biryani

Hyderabadi Vegetable BiryaniIt’s easy to prepare but has multiple steps and if it’s your first time it will take little longer. My rice was cooked little longer  but the flavors and the taste was quite up to my expectation.

Here’s what you need.

Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani

Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani

One pot meal with simple ingredients yet exotic flavors

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Take a deep breath. It's a long list of ingredients and an equally long list of steps, quite daunting when you read it first time. Stay with me and it will be done in 45 minutes!

  1. Wash rice grains and soak them in cold water before starting with other preparation.
  2. Keep all vegetables ready by washing them and chopping as desired. I used some asparagus but that's optional.Vegetable Biryani prep
  3. Next thing is to prepare the vegetable masala. In a medium pan, heat 2 tbspn of oil or Ghee and add all whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, shahee jeera, star anis) and let them roast for a minute or so until you can smell their distinct aromas.
  4. Now add ginder garlic paste and green chilis.
  5. Add diced potatoes and  saute them for a 1-2 minutes.
  6. Now add all other vegetables and mix them.
  7. Add biryani  masala, red chili powder and sail and mix well.
  8. Now add 1/2 cup yogurt, mix everything and let it cook for 5 minutes. keep a lid on so that it cooks faster with the steam.
  9. We want the dry masala so cook it uncovered for another 3-4 minutes until all the moisture goes out. Add some chopped mint leaves and cilantro leaves and keep it aside.
  10. Heat 1/4 cup milk and add saffron to it. Keep it ready.
  11. In a small kadhai or pan, add 4 tbsp of oil and fry the onion slices until they turn dark brown. It takes around 10 minutes.Fried Onions
  12. In another bigger pan, add 4 cups of water and the soaked rice. Add a tsp of Ghee or oil, some salt and cumin seeds. Let it simmer for a while until the rice is 3/4th done. This is important as we are going to cook the rice again so make sure it's not well done.
  13. As soon as rice is ready, place a tawa on a low flame and a big steal pan or cooker on the tawa. You may call it as a modern way of cooking "dum" biryani.
  14. Add half of the vegetable masala cooked earlier, add some yogurt and some fried onions. Then add some rice. Make two such layers. On top add cashews, raisins and fried onions and chopped cilantro leaves.
  15. Pour the saffron milk on top.
  16. Now you have two options, you can seal the top with wheat dough or you can use a thick towel with a heavy lid on top it. I used the latter option.
  17. Let the rice cook for another 10 minutes on medium flame and then switch of the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
  18. Serve it hot with raita.

Notes

It's very important to keep everything ready when your rice is about to be done else it will cook more than what you want and the grains will not remain separated. I did this mistake and my rice was little overcooked. So plan it ahead.

 

 

Dips & Raita/ Maharashtrian/ Winter Special

लाल भोपळ्याचे भरीत / Bhopalyache Bharit / Pumpkin Raita

I think this is the easiest and quickest recipe you can make with Pumpkin. It has very few ingredients and it does maintain Pumpkin flavor. “Lal Bhopla” in Marathi translates to Pumpkin and since this recipe has yogurt in it, we can call it raita but more traditionally it’s called भरीत / Bharit.

BHoplyache Bharit pumpkin raita

 

It’s cooked pumpkin mixed with yogurt seasoned with flavorful tadka using mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, hing and curry leaves and green chilis. Some sugar and some salt. That’s it! The simplicity of ingredients really elevate the pumpkin flavor.

लाल भोपळ्याचे भरीत / Bhopalyache Bhareet / Pumpkin Raita

लाल भोपळ्याचे भरीत / Bhopalyache Bhareet / Pumpkin Raita

Soft, sweet sour and savory raita.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Peel and dice the Pumpkin into big cubes. 
  2. Steam it until it becomes really soft. It takes about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Yogurt should not be too sweet, a little sour yogurt works well for this recipe.
  4. Once cooked, let it cool down. Smash it with forks and mix it well with yogurt.
  5. In a small pan, heat the ghee and prepare tadka byadding mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, curry leaves, green chilis and hing and turmeric powder.
  6. Add this seasoning to the above mixture.
  7. Add salt and sugar to taste and mix well.
  8. Serve with chopped cilantro leaves on top.
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/ Maharashtrian/ Snacks

पोहे / Pohe / Poha

No Marathi food blog can be complete without “Pohe” (flattened rice flakes). It’s not just a comfort food but also an intrinsic part of our culture. When a prospective groom and bride families meet together for the first time, the girl serves pohe and tea. Hence “kanda-pohe-meeting” (poha with onion) does bear a special meaning in Maharashtrian culture.

It goes without saying that it’s a very easy recipe and probably that’s why making it delicious is an art. Warm, comforting, great for breakfast and as a tea-time snack.

Batate Pohe

Batate Pohe

Maharashtrian Comfort Food

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Instructions:

1. In a sieve, gently rinse Poha with running water for 1 minute or so.
2. Drain excess water and sprinkle Salt and Lemon Juice and sugar. Gently mix with hand and leave aside.
3. Dice two small potatoes and microwave them for 2 minutes. So that they cook faster.
4. Heat Oil in a medium pan / kadhai on medium heat.
5. Add Mustard Seeds and let them pop.
6. Add Cumin seeds, Hing, Turmeric powder. Then add peanuts and fry them for a minute. Now add curry leaves and green chilis.
7. Add onions and let them cook for 1-2 minutes. I don't like onions in pohe so I skip this step.
8. Add potatoes, mix well. Cover and let them cook for 1-2 minutes. They should be tender but not mushy.
9. Fluff up Pohe with a fork and add it to the pan.
10. Mix well. Sprinkle with a little water if Pohe have dried out too much.
11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and freshly grated coconut. Fine shev also goes well with Pohe. Serve hot.

Tips

1. You can add some chopped cilantro while making tadka. It adds nice flavor.
2. Add just enough sugar to balance salt and lemon juice.
3. Chopped mint leaves also add nice flavor to this dish.

Poha is made from rice paddy. Once they clean paddy, they soak it in hot water for about 45 minutes. They they roast wet paddy in large iron skillets to make poha or flattened rice flakes. And that’s why it contains more iron than rice.

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.
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