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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/ South Indian

उपमा / उप्पीट / Upma

Upma doesn’t really need any introduction. It’s as famous in Maharashtra as in South India. We also have a slight modified version of Upma + Turmeric powder which we call “सांजा  / Sanja”.  Very simple, yet wholesome healthy dish  great for breakfast. Upma with a bowl of soup has become our favorite choice for dinner.

Upma

It’s actually quite versatile recipe and can be made with semolina which is made of wheat, idly rava (made with rice),  vermicilli and even oats or couscous. Also you can add veggies if you like. I am giving our traditional home recipe.

 

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/ Subji / Curry

Moong, Kale Chane, Chavali Usal

Usal is a very common main dish in Maharashtrian homes and especially useful when you don’t have a full pantry. It contains any sprouted grains such as moong, kale chane or Chavali (black eyed peas) mixed together with sautéed onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. The special Maharashtrian touch comes from Goda masala + grated coconut and a bit of jaggery.

This recipe can be used for any grains or combination. The other day I didn’t have enough moong or kale chane so I mixed them and it turned out just perfect!

You need to soak moong and kale chane overnight and preferably use warm water. I used Kepra’s Onion Garlic Masala with some homemade Goda masala. You can easily get these in Indian stores.

Moong Kale Chane and Chavli Usal

Moong Kale Chane and Chavli Usal

The same recipe applies to matki usal.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

I use two special masalas- Kanda lasun masala (Onion-garlic)  and Kala or Goda masala. Both are easily available in Indian grocery stores. You can also use whole garam masala if you like.

  1. Mix all sprouted grains in equal amount of water in a pressure cooker, add whole Garam masala and a small piece of raw onion with 1 tsp of salt and cook for 3-4 whistles. Mixing whole Garam masala and onion while cooking really induces nice flavors.
  2. Usal does not need much oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing powder in order to heated oil. Add chopped garlic and curry leaves and onions. As usual add some salt to make the frying process quicker. Saute the onions till they become translucent, now it’s time for grated ginger and diced tomatoes. Smash the tomatoes as they start cooking.
  3. Lower the heat and all the masalas. I used onion-garlic masala. (This could be very strong and may overpower other flavors so taste it first) and Goda masala for the taste of home cooking! Add chili powder and salt to taste. Make sure this mixture is not dry which can cause masala to burn easily.
  4. Mix everything and add water as needed.
  5. Add shredded coconut, and let it boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add a bit of jaggery (or sugar) and squeeze some lime juice for just a punch it needs to be perfect.
  6. Garnish it with freshly chopped coriander. It’s ready!

Sprouted grains make up for the lack of protein in vegetarian diet, so enjoy yourself!

Entertaining/ Subji / Curry

Pav Bhaji – Yum O!

Pav bhaji is my weak point. It tastes best when you have it at a road-side place or not-so-healthy place It was a long time since I made it so when we invited Kandy for dinner, pav bhaji was our first choice. He loved it. This is how I made it.

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

Ingredients:

Instructions:

If you are not making khada pav bhaji, roughly chop green pepper, carrots and potatoes. Add these veggies and also cauliflower florets to a pressure cooker with enough water to soak all veggies and let them cook for not more than 3 whistles. Add some salt and whole garam masala to the pressure cooker, if you like.

While that’s happening, finely chop onions and tomatoes, and also garlic and grate ginger. Heat oil in a big pan. I like to add some Amul butter with the oil, but feel free to skip this step. Add cumin seeds, don’t wait long till you add garlic else cumin seeds start burning. Let the garlic pieces turn brownish and then add onion. Add some salt which helps quicken the frying process. Once onions are done, add tomatoes and let them cook down. Add tomato puree, if you have it.

At this point, you are ready to add the masala. Add red chili powder and half of pav bhaji masala and let that mix nicely with the oil and rest of the ingredients. Don’t let it become dry, add some water if needed. And now it’s time for all other veggies and green mutter. If you are using frozen mutter, you can add them directly to the pan else you might want to cook them in advance. Drain the water and mash down the veggies using a wooden / steal masher. That’s makes that process very easy and add it to the masala. Also add the water you used for cooking the veggies. Now add salt and more masala if you like and let it come to a boil with lid on. Let it simmer for a few minutes and keep the lid on to lock down all flavors.

 

Now comes the best part, just before serving, heat some butter in a small tadka pan and add some pav bhaji masala and let it fry nicely. The smell is out of the world! Add this masala butter to the bhaji and mix it. That’s makes it restaurent style.

 

Garnish it with chopped onions mixed with finely chopped cilantro and lemon juice! Enjoy with hot toasted pav and be gentle with the butter, just for that day

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