Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hara Kaddu Sabji (Green Pumpkin Curry)



This simple dish tastes great with hot parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread). Team with a dal and you've got a terrific vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound green pumpkin chopped in small cubes
  • 1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 dry whole red chili
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil

Method:
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add asafetida, whole dry red chilies and methi seeds.
  • When the seeds begin to splutter, add the garlic and stir-fry till brown.
  • Add pumpkin and fry for a minute. Add salt, chili powder, turmeric and stir to mix well.
  • Add the green chilies and cook covered till pumpkin is cooked. Mix in amchoor powder.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cottage Cheese Salad


One can prepare salad with anything - fresh vegetables, canned vegetables, fruits, eggs and seafood. Here I have prepared salad with cottage cheese along with peas and baby mushrooms. Tomatoes not only provide nutrition but give color also to the salad platter therefore they are added to salad..

Ingredients:
  • ½ pound Cottage Cheese slices
  • ½ pound Green Peas
  • 5-6 Button Mushrooms
  • 2 small firm tomatoes
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Black pepper powder
  • Chaat masala
  • 1 lemon/lime

Method:
  • Heat butter in a frying pan and sauté paneer slices. Take them out in bowl.
  • Stir fry peas and mushrooms in the same frying pan in remaining butter. Take them out in a separate bowl.
  • Crumble the paneer and add salt, chat masala, black pepper powder and chopped green chilies. Mix well.
  • Add salt, black pepper powder and chat masala in peas and mushrooms also.
  • Cut tomatoes in fancy styles.
  • Arrange in a salad plate. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Squeeze lemon over paneer, peas and mushrooms.
  • Serve fresh.

Aloo Matar Gobhi Ki Tehari (Vegetable Pulao UP Style)


Tehri is a rice dish, very popular in North Indian Homes. Rice is cooked with Potatoes, Cauliflower and Peas.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1 large potato peeled cut into big chunks ( around 8 pieces)
  • ½ pound cauliflower cut into chunky flowerets
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

Method:
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add asafetida, bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Stir for few seconds. Add chopped onion and fry till onion is light brown.
  • Now add potatoes and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add in cauliflower and peas, stir fry for another 3-4 minutes. Add all other ingredients along with rice, except water.
  • Stir fry rice for 3-4 minutes. Now add water and stir.
  • Close cooker. Bring to full pressure on high heat. Only one whistle is enough to cook rice (You can cook in covered pan also till rice is done).
  • Remove cooker from heat. Allow to cool.
  • Serve hot with Salad, Onion Raita, Pickle/Chutney and Papad.

Do You Know?

Rice absorbs water during cooking (either by boiling or steaming).
Rice is cooked by two methods:
1. In one method it is cooked in just as much water as it absorbs (the absorption method),
2. In another method it is cooked in a large quantity of water which is drained before serving (the rapid-boil method).
Electric rice cookers, popular in Asia and Latin America, simplify the process of cooking rice.
Rice is often fried in oil before boiling, or oil is added to the water; this is thought to make the cooked rice less sticky.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Moong Dal Halwa


This is a traditional recipe of making Moong Dal Halwa (Green Gram Dal) in which dal is first soaked and ground and then fried in ghee. Although this process is little lengthy but outcome is really good.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups split skinned green gram (Dhuli moong dal)
  • 1 cup ghee ( clarified butter)
  • 1 cup khoya
  • 2 cups sugar ( can be modified according to taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp powdered cardamoms
  • 2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp Rose water
  • Few strings of Saffron

Method:
  • Wash and soak lentils for 1 hour.
  • Blend it with minimum water to a make a thick paste.
  • Fry dal in ghee, in a heavy bottom skillet, on medium fire until it becomes light brown in color.
  • Put the sugar and water to boil in another pan. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves completely. Boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add this sugar syrup to fried dal. Cook, stirring vigorously until the mixture becomes thick. Add khoya, dry fruits, cardamom powder, Saffron, rose water and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Garnish with nuts and serve hot.

Do You Know?
Khoa or khoya or mawa is a dried whole milk. It is normally white or pale yellow, similar to ricotta cheese, but lower in moisture and made from whole milk instead of whey.

There are three types of khoya - batti, chickna, and daan-e-daar. Batti, meaning “rock,” has 50% moisture by weight and is the hardest of the three types; it can be grated like cheese. It can be aged for up to a year, during which it develops a unique aroma and a mouldy outer surface. Chickna (“slippery” or “squishy”) khoya has 80% moisture. For daan-e-daar, the milk is coagulated with an acid during the simmering and has moderate moisture content. Different Khoa is used for different preparation.

Khoa was originally produced by heating milk in an open iron pan and placing over a medium fire for several hours. The milk was simmered at 175–180°F (about 80°C), an ideal temperature to avoid boiling and minimize scorching.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paratha Stuffed with Paneer (Cottage Cheese)


We Indians love to eat parathas… especially during winters…for morning breakfasts. Crispy paratha stuffed with paneer is nutritious and easy to prepare. Enjoy it with green coriander chutney and/or pickle.

Ingredients:
For Dough
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup Maida (all purpose flour)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Warm water

For Stuffing:
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp oregano or crushed ajwain
  • Ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil to pan-fry parathas

Method:
  • Mix wheat flour, Maida, salt, oil and knead it into smooth dough using warm water. Cover the dough with moist kitchen towel and keep aside for 1 hour.
  • Mix all the ingredients for stuffing.
  • Follow : Method VI Making Paratha
  • Divide the dough into 6-8 equal sized balls. Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a puri (circle) about 3-4" in diameter.
  • Place a tbsp of stuffing on one puri and cover with another puri. Press the edges together well.
  • Roll out to the size of paratha very gently (sprinkling some whole-wheat flour on the surface where it is rolled out) so that the filling does not come out.
  • Heat a griddle on medium flame and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve with green cilantro chutney and/or pickle.

Churmuri Salad (Grated Radish Salad)


Simple nutritive and quick to make salad made with grated radish, tomato and green chili.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Mooli (radish) peeled and grated
  • ½ tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Green bell pepper and boiled potato for decorating salad plate

Method:
  • Mix all the ingredients and arrange on a serving plate.
  • Add salt just before serving.


Do You Know?
Radishes are suggested as an alternative treatment for a variety of ailments including whooping cough, cancer, coughs, gastric discomfort, liver problems, constipation, dyspepsia, gallbladder problems, arthritis, gallstones, kidney stones and intestinal parasites.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Methi Aloo (Baby Potatoes with Fresh Fenugreek Leaves)


In winter nothing like eating hot crispy parathas in breakfast with vegetable made of fragrant fresh methi leaves (Fenugreek Leaves) cooked with Baby Potatoes.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound baby (small) potatoes (washed and scrubbed well)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 3-4 tbsp mustard oil or any other cooking oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili
  • salt to taste
  • 1 whole dried large red chili

Method:

  • Remove the stems of methi and chop the leaves finely. Wash methi several times in the water. Strain it.
  • Wash and scrub the potatoes. Do no peel them. Cut them into half.
  • Heat oil until it smokes, reduce the flame and add asafetida and whole dried red chili. Immediately add chopped garlic and fry until medium brown. Do not burn the garlic otherwise it will become bitter.
  • As soon as the garlic changes color add potatoes, and fry till pink over low heat. Potatoes should be more than half done after frying.
  • Add chopped methi leaves, turmeric powder, salt, and red chili powder and mix well. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes or till the potatoes are done.
  • Uncover and cook till all water, if it is there, is evaporated.
  • Serve with hot crispy paratha.

Paneer Shimla Mirch (Cottage Cheese with Green Bell Pepper)


This delicious dish is made from a Paneer and Shimla Mirch (Green Bell Pepper). You enjoy more if Shimla Mirch is crunchy. Use tofu instead of paneer, for a vegan dish.

Ingredients:
1 pound paneer/ cottage cheese, cut into 1 ½ " cubes
1 large sized green bell peppers/ capsicum cut into 1 ½ " square pieces
2 large onions sliced thinly
1 tsp ginger grated
1 tsp garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp vegetable cooking oil
Pinch of orange color (optional)
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan on a medium to high heat. Add the onion, garlic and Fry till soft.
Add all the dry ingredients, tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously till masala leaves oil.
Now add the paneer and green bell peppers. Mix well and check for salt. Season if required. Cook for 4-5 minute. Don’t overcook, shimla mirch should remain crunchy.
This dish should have almost no gravy - just a coating sauce. If it is too dry, add 1/4 cup of water and mix well. Mix in pinch of food color if you like.
Turn off the heat and spoon the curry onto a serving platter.
Garnish with some grated cottage cheese and serve with naan or paratha.

Do You Know:
Cottage cheese is a great alternative milk protein source that is long been popular with the dieting crowd. It is low in fat and carbohydrates while high in protein

The term "cottage cheese" is believed to have originated because the simple cheese was usually made in cottages from any milk leftover after making butter. The term was first used in 1848.

Cottage cheese should ideally be eaten within 10 days

Bhuna Keema Kaleji (Minced Meat with Liver Curry)

Liver is cooked with minced goat meat and spices.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and add bay leaf and Caraway Seeds. Fry till they turn slightly darker. Add onion and fry until lightly browned.
  • Add garlic and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add liver pieces and fry for 1 minute, now add minced mutton, ginger, green chilies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chili powder.
  • Fry for five minutes breaking up any lumps of minced meat if formed. Add a cup of water.
  • Cover, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add salt and garam masala powder. Simmer covered until minced mutton and liver are cooked well.
  • Add lemon juice, mix, transfer it in a serving Dish.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with Tandoori roti.

Do You Know?

Goat liver has a strong flavor. It should have a bright color with a moist but not slimy surface and a fresh smell. Prepare it the day you buy it, or store it loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for no more than 1 day. Goat liver is available in supermarkets frozen. It is available fresh in butcher shops.
Goat liver can replenish the blood, tonify the liver and improve eyesight.

Soya Flour Paratha


Addition of Soya Flour to wheat flour increases the nutritional quality of the paratha. It also provides a distinctive aroma and saturated feel to the dish.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup gram flour ( Besan)
  • 1 ½ tbsp defatted Soya flour
  • ½ tsp to taste
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil to pan-fry parathas

Method:
  • Mix the wheat flour and besan.
  • Add 3 tbsp cooking oil, carom seeds, green chilies, coriander leaves and salt to taste and mix well.
  • Knead the wheat flour mix into smooth, firm dough and keep aside in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Divide all the dough into equal sized balls.
  • Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a circle about 4” in diameter.
  • Sprinkle some dry wheat flour over it (flattened dough ball). Now roll it into a finger shaped structure. Coil this into a spiral.
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the spiral into a flat circle about 5-6” in diameter.
  • Heat a griddle and put a paratha over it. Flip the paratha when you see tiny bubbles rising on the surface of the paratha. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again and drizzle some more ghee/oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with Salad and/or Green Coriander Chutney and /or any other side dish.


Do You Know?
Soya flour
is a rich source of high quality vegetable protein with low calorie and fat content.
Soya flour is manufactured from good quality soya beans by thoroughly removing husk from the seed, removing fats and then grinding the seeds fine under most hygienic conditions.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stuffed Chicken Breast


Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe with peas, mushrooms and tomato sauce.

Ingredients:
For stuffed chicken breast:

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, skin removed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup green peas
  • ½ cup chopped mushroom
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Tomato Sauce:
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil and add peas and chopped mushroom. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Mix in salt and pepper. Keep aside.
  • Marinate chicken breast pieces in salt, black pepper powder, 1 tbsp oil and lemon juice for 15 minutes.
  • Place each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of butter paper or in a food storage bag. Pound gently to flatten, using a rolling pin or smooth side of meat mallet.
  • Place small amount of peas mushroom mixture in the center of each flattened piece of chicken.
  • Fold ends over the peas mushroom mixture; roll up, beginning with long side. Secure rolls with toothpicks.
  • Place chicken rolls on a plate; cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Fry chicken rolls for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown.
  • In a separate pan heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil and fry onion till golden brown. Now add ginger garlic paste and fry for 1 minute. Add tomato paste; chili, turmeric, coriander powders and salt. Fry till oil separates. Add 1 cup of water and bring it to boil.
  • Add chicken rolls, simmer covered till chicken is tender.
  • Serve with Paratha or Tandoori Roti.

Tips:
Never freeze cooked meat while it is warm. It must be completely cold before it is packed.
Do not re-freeze cooked meat that has been frozen and thawed completely.

Cook the meat again thoroughly and then re-freeze (this is probably not a good idea as the meat will be highly overcooked by this process, but it can be used in emergencies).


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crispy Bhindi / Lady Finger / Okra


Ingredients:
  • 1 pound okra wash, dry, remove top and slit into 2 lengthwise
  • 2 tsps rice flour
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder ( raw mango powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon Juice
  • Cooking oil for frying

Method:
  • Heat the cooking oil on a medium flame. Do not heat the oil too much as okra burns quickly when deep fried.
  • Put the okra in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle all the other ingredients on it. Season with salt just before frying or else the okra will release water and become soggy.
  • Fry the okra a little at a time, until crisp.
  • Garnish with onion or cilantro and serve with plain boiled rice and plain Dal.

Do You Know?
Okra is easily dried for later use. Dishes produced using dry okra gives much the same results as does the fresh product.
In some lands the seeds rather than the whole young pods are of most interest. When ripe the seeds yield edible oil that is the equal of many other cooking oils. It is used in Mediterranean countries and the East, where edible oils are produced less.
The ripe seeds of okra are sometimes roasted and ground as a substitute for coffee. A close relative of okra, roselle, is used as a source of fiber for cloth.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Murg Hari Mirch Ka ( Chicken with Green Chili)

A marinated chicken recipe with distinctive flavors of Green chilies and curry leaves

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh coarsely ground black pepper corns
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp Chicken Curry Masala (available at Indian Grocery Stores)
  • 2 tsp All Purpose Flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 4-5 green chilies chopped fine
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tblsp oil

Method:

  • Mix yogurt, ginger garlic paste, black pepper corns, chicken curry masala, all purpose flour and salt in a bowl and marinate chicken in this for about an hour.
  • Now heat oil in a wok and add curry leaves and green chilies.
  • Fry in chicken along with marinade.
  • Cook on slow fire stirring frequently till chicken is tender.
  • Serve hot with roti (Indian Flat Bread)


Do You Know?
Rubs
are concentrated applications of seasoning blends rubbed into the surface of meats.

Rubs give food more flavor than a mere sprinkling of seasoning.

To apply a rub, start by moistening poultry, meat or vegetables with a little vegetable oil, olive oil or water. Rub the dried seasoning onto the surface before cooking.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chicken Reshmi Kebabs


Chicken Reshmi Kebab is one of the most liked foods world over. The nicest thing about this dish is that it's really easy to make.
Prepare and store it. Eat it as such or add in any other dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chicken tikka masala (available in Indian Grocery Stores)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp butter

Method:

  • Cut chicken in 1 ½” cubes.
  • Mix all ingredients with chicken in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  • Bring chicken to room temperature and skewer on bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes).
  • Arrange bamboo skewers on a baking tray which is filled with 4 cups of water.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or till the chicken is just tender.
  • 3 tbsp of butter can be drizzled over for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with salads as starter.

Note:
To make Reshmi Kebabs soft and tender, marinate them for a longer time (I personally marinade them overnight) and don't overcook.
Keeps the pieces bite sized and cook them hot and fast.

Tips:
If chicken kebabs are surrounded with moisture during baking by placing a small amount of liquid (such as water or broth) in the bottom of a baking tray or a closed pan, and letting it steam up around the food, a method commonly known as braising, the kebabs will be cooked really soft.


Do You Know?

Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven.
Grilling and broiling are very similar methods of cooking chicken. They both use a dry heat that quickly cooks the surface and then slowly moves to the middle of the meat. The main difference between the two methods is that grilling applies the heat to the bottom surface of the chicken, and broiling applies the heat to the top surface. Also, grilling infuses the chicken with a smoky flavor from the meat juices that drip during the grilling process. When broiling, this infusion of flavor does not occur.

Mixed Vegetables


This dish can be simplified by using frozen vegetables in place of fresh vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup chopped green beans
  • ½ cup carrot cubed
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, chopped in 1” square pieces
  • ½ cup cauliflower chopped small pieces
  • 1 small potato (small cubes)
  • 12 cup boiled corn kernels (or frozen)
  • 6-7 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 big onion, diced
  • 2 chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup tomato chunks
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp ginger juliennes
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in curry leaves, onion, cook until tender.
  • Add potatoes and cook covered for 3-4 minutes or till half done.
  • Add corn kernels, green peas, green beans, carrot and cauliflower and fry for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add tomato chunks, chopped green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add green bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Garnish with ginger juliennes and serve hot with paratha.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stuffed Dal Paratha

Moong dal and chana dal are used to prepare stuffing for the parathas.

Ingredients:
Paratha Stuffing:
  • 1 cup chana dal( Bengal gram)
  • 1 cup moong dal(skinned split green gram)
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp saunf (fennel seeds) coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp whole dry coriander seeds (coarsely ground)
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

Paratha Dough:
  • 4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup vanaspati ghee or cooking oil for pan frying

Method:
  • Prepare Stuffing:
  • Soak both chana dal and moong dal in water for 2 hours. Grind both dals together with very little water to a smooth thick paste.
  • In a thick bottom pan heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil and add dal paste. Roast it till light pink. Add all spices. Mix well and remove from heat. Stuffing is ready.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method VI
  • Put the flour, salt and oil in a bowl and mix. Gradually add water and bind the mixture into soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 16-18 equal portions, shape each portion into a small ball.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the ball to circles about 4 inches in diameter. Place a little bit of dal mixture on the circle and spread it evenly.Then place another circle on it and press the edges together firmly. On a floured surface roll out the stuffed circles to about 6-7 inches in diameter.
  • Carefully place the paratha on a hot griddle or pan (tava). Allow cooking for a minute then turning it over with a flat spoon, smear a little Vanaspati ghee or oil on the top of paratha. After a minute turn it over again, and spread some move Vanaspati or oil on the other surface of the paratha also.
  • Remove from the griddle. Repeat the same with all the portions, keep on an absorbent paper.
  • Serve hot with Chutney, pickle and salad.

Stuffed Eggs


Make it as a Tea Time Snack or as a Starter for a Dinner. Eggs are stuffed with minced meat coated with batter and deep-fried in oil.

Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs (hard boiled)
  • 3 tbsp minced mutton
  • 1 tbsp ghee / oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped onions
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 green chili (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp corn flour / corn starch
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 1 lemon juice
  • breadcrumbs for coating
  • Oil for deep-frying

Method:
  • Heat the oil / ghee in a frying pan and fry the onions till golden.
  • Add the minced meat, salt, green chili, ginger, tomato paste and lemon juice and fry for about 8-10 minutes or till meat is cooked. Add cilantro leaves and remove from the heat and allow it to cool. Remember meat mixture should be completely dried keep aside for later use.
  • Remove the shell of the hard boiled eggs and cut each egg half.
  • Take out the yolks, break them into small chunks and mix well with the fried meat mixture.
  • Stir the corn flour into the beaten egg, making a batter.
  • Place the breadcrumbs on a flat dish.
  • Fill the meat mixture into the yolk cavity (place from where yolk is separated) of each egg half, cover with another half to make a complete egg shape.
  • Insert a tooth pick in the stuffed egg in such a way that both the egg halves remain intact with each other.
  • Dip the stuffed eggs (with the tooth picks) into the egg, corn flour batter and roll over the breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oil in a wok / deep-frying pan over a moderate heat and fry the stuffed eggs until golden all over.
  • Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  • Serve with chutney or sauce.

Do You Know?
The word 'batter' comes from the old French word 'battre' which means 'to beat', as many batters require vigorous beating or whisking in their preparation.
Batter is a liquid mixture; usually flours are combined with liquids. Egg is also a common component. The viscosity of batter may range from very ‘stiff’, to very ‘thin’. Heat is applied to the batter, usually by frying, baking or steaming, in order to cook the ingredients and to ‘set’ the batter into a solid form.
Batters may be sweet or savory, often with either sugar or salt being added (sometimes both). Many other flavorings such as herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables may also be added to the mixture.

Ghiya Ki Sabji (Bottle Gourd Curry)


This simple dish tastes great with hot Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread). Team it with a dish like Rajma and you've got a terrific vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ghiya (bottle gourd) - scraped and chopped in cubes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 2 dry whole red chilies
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2-3 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil

Method:
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add asafetida, whole dry red chilies and cumin seeds.
  • When the seeds begin to splutter, add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry till brown.
  • Add ghiya and stir fry for a minute. Add coriander powder, salt, chili powder, turmeric, and the garam masala. Stir to mix well.
  • Add the green chilies and cook covered till ghiya is cooked.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Do You Know?
Ghiya has some amounts of Vitamins C and B complex and also a few proteins.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Mooli Paratha (Pan-fried Flat Bread Stuffed with Grated Radish)

Here is a simple recipe of famous Mooli Ka Paratha

Ingredients:
  • To prepare filling:
  • 1 cup fresh grated radish (squeeze the moisture out)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ tsp amchur powder
  • salt to taste

To prepare dough:
  • 2 cups Indian whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • warm water to knead the dough

Method :
  • Prepare Stuffing: Squeeze the moisture out of the grated radish. Mix the radish with all the ingredients required for filling. Divide into 4-5 portions and keep aside.
  • Follow Making Paratha- Method VI
  • Knead the whole wheat flour into a smooth dough using warm water and keep aside for ½ hour. Divide the dough into 8-10 equal sized small balls. Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a circle (like pancakes) about 2-3" in diameter .
  • Place generous amount of stuffing on one circle of dough and cover with the other. Press gently around the edges.
  • Carefully roll out the stuffed circles into paratha, sprinkling whole-wheat flour on the surface, to avoid sticking of paratha with rolling pin.
  • Heat a griddle (tawa) and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve with Chutney and/or pickle and /or curry.

Note:
Completely squeeze out water from the grated radish before filling in parathas.

Do You Know?
Radishes are reported to help in dissolving excess mucus or phlegm. They may help clear sore throats. Radishes are said to help in promoting the production of digestive juices when eaten with starches. Radishes feature high amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene. They are rich in fibre and very low in calories

Tilapia Tomato Curry



Here's a spicy, tasty, truly delicious tilapia recipe. Serve it with naan or piping hot plain boiled rice.

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds Tilapia fillets cut into 2" thick slices
  • 6 tbsps cooking oil
  • 1 tsp paanch phoran
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2 large onions ground to a paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • 4 large tomatoes ground to paste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp fish curry powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dry fenugreek (methi)leaves
  • Chopped coriander to garnish

Method:
  • Rub 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder on fish. Marinate fish for 10-15 minutes. This will help the fish maintain its color and add to its flavor.
  • Heat the oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan and add the paanch phoran and curry leaves. When they stop spluttering, add the onion paste and fry till light brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and green chili paste; fry for 3-4 minutes. Add red chili, turmeric, coriander and fish curry powders along with salt; fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Add 2 cups of hot water and bring the gravy to a boil and then simmer. Mix in lemon juice.
  • Gently add the fish to this gravy. Add methi (fenugreek) leaves after crushing the leaves between your fingers.
  • Cook till fish is done. Remember Tilapia takes less time in cooking as compared to other fishes.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with naan or plain boiled rice

Tips:
Before adding the herbs to the food, crush the leaves between your fingers. This helps in releasing volatile oils and increases the herb's flavor.
When cooking in the Crockpot, add dried herbs (and fresh herbs too) at the end of cooking time. Long, slow cooking times can diminish the herb's intensity.
Mix all five spices of panch phoran in equal amounts.

Do You Know:
Panch phoran (also known as Bengali five-spice) is an Indian spice blend typically consisting of five whole spices in equal measure:
Fenugreek (methi)
Nigella seed (kalonji)
Mustard seeds (rai)
Fennel seed (saunf )
Cumin seed (jira)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

‘Yolk Up’ Egg Curry


Boiled eggs are cut into half and served with tomato based gravy and green peas.

Ingredients:
  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1” ginger chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • Cilantro leaves chopped for garnishing

Method:
  • Grind onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili in a mixer to make paste.
  • Cut the eggs into half and sprinkle little salt, red chili powder and black pepper on each of them.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Reduce the heat and fry eggs with egg yolk facing the top. Then slowly make the eggs upside down and fry the other side till light golden brown in color
  • Remove the fried eggs from pan and keep aside
  • Add bay leaves, cloves and fry for 30 sec
  • Add onion tomato paste. Fry until oil starts separating
  • Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for a 1-2 minutes and then add 3 cups of water to make gravy. Bring the gravy to boil and let it simmer for 5 minute on low heat.
  • When the gravy becomes thick, switch off the gas
  • Place the fried eggs (with egg yolk facing the top) in a dish and pour this gravy over the eggs
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Tips:
After adding the eggs, bring water to boil, reduce heat as soon as it starts boiling and simmer for 10 minutes approx. When done, dip the eggs in cold tap water. It will stop the cooking and will make it easier to peel the shell.

Do You Know?
Sometimes, a greenish ring appears around egg yolk in a boiled egg. This is a manifestation of the iron and sulfur compounds in the egg which is formed due to overcooking of egg.
Greenish ring can also be formed due to abundance of iron in the cooking water. Although the green ring does not affect the egg's taste; it harms the quality of the protein. Chilling the egg for a few minutes in cold water until the egg is completely cooled prevents the greenish ‘ring’ from forming on the surface of the yolk.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chukandar (Beet Root) Paratha


Made from beetroot, this colored…yummy…paratha (pan-fried bread) goes well with Raita/Plain Yogurt and Green Cilantro Chutney/Pickle. Try it out on any weekend for breakfast.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup besan (chick pea flour)
  • 1 small boiled beetroot or 3-4 slices of canned beetroot
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • Pinch of asafetida (optional)
  • ½ tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 2 tbsp oil to knead with wheat flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup ghee or cooking oil to pan fry
Method:
  • Peel the boiled beetroot and grate it fine.
  • Take whole-wheat flour in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients along with grated beetroot, (except ghee or cooking oil). Add water to knead the flour. Knead softly till you get a smooth, medium-soft dough.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil now and continue to knead. Once the dough is done, put it in a closed container and keep it in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a small pan mix, 2 tbsp of oil with 1 tsp wheat flour and keep it aside.
  • Divide the dough into equal sized portions and roll each portion into a ball between your palms. Use dry flour or oil to make smooth dough balls.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method III
  • Lightly flour a rolling board and roll out each ball into a 6-7” circle. Now grease the top surface of this flattened dough circle with oil flour mixture prepared in small pan and fold it in a half circle in such a way that oily surface remains inside. Apply some oil flour mixture again on the folded surface of the half circle and fold it again to make a triangular structure.
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and roll out the triangle into a flat big triangular paratha.
  • Heat a griddle (tawa) and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top of the paratha and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on other surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve hot crispy beetroot parathas with raita/yogurt and cilantro chutney/pickle.

Do You Know:

The color of red/purple beetroot is due to a variety of betalain pigments known collectively as betacyanin pigments). Betacyanin in beetroot may cause red urine in some people who are unable to break it down. This is called beeturia.
The pigments are contained in cell vacuoles. Beetroot cells are quite unstable and will 'leak' when cut, heated, or when in contact with air or sunlight. This is why red beetroots leave a purple stain. Leaving the skin on when cooking, however, will maintain the integrity of the cells and therefore minimize leakage.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lime and Lemon



Lemons and Limes are the edible fruits of shrub like trees belong to the genus Citrus (family Rutaceae /orange family) that originated in tropical and subtropical Southeast Asia. The Lemons and Limes are modified form of berry fruit called hesperidium.

A hesperidium has a tough and leathery rind. The peel contains volatile oil glands in pits. The fleshy interior is composed of separate sections, called carpels, filled with fluid-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells. The outer ovary wall becomes the thick spongy layer, while the inner ovary wall becomes very juicy with several seeds.

Unlike most other berries, the rind of hesperidium is generally not eaten with the fruit because it is tough and bitter. The outermost, pigmented layer of rind contains essential oils and is known as the flavedo. When scraped off and used as a culinary ingredient it is called zest. The inner rind (known as pith or albedo) of the lemon is candied in sugar and called succade.

The color of citrus fruits only develops in climates with a cool winter. In tropical regions with no winter, citrus fruits remain green until maturity. The lime plant, in particular, is extremely sensitive to cool conditions; thus, it is usually never exposed to cool enough conditions to develop a color. If they are left in a cool place over winter, the fruits actually will change to a yellow color.
For cooler winter areas, lemon and lime trees should not be grown, since they are more sensitive to winter cold than other citrus fruits.

The Lime fruit tends to be smaller and rounder (globular) than the Lemon. It has a thinner rind and a sweeter and more acidic pulp. Limes, actually contain less vitamin C than lemons.


Lime

Lime plants are characterized by a spiny or thorny stem; green and leathery leaves; small and aromatic white flowers; juicy, oval, small and typically green or yellowish green fruits even when mature.

Limes are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium, and high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, iron and copper. Limes are low in calories. A tablespoon of lime juice contains about 25 calories. Limes have antioxidant properties: they contain flavonoids called flavanol glycosides. These flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many types of cancer cell lines, and also to have antibiotic effects. Lime extracts and essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy.

Varieties of Lime:
There are essentially two species of limes in common use. One is smaller, yellower key lime and other is larger, greener Persian lime. Other limes include the Mandarin lime (Citrus limonia), Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix), the various Australian limes, sweet lime (Citrus limetta), and Palestine sweet lime (Citrus limettioides).

The name lime is also used for some species that are not part of the Citrus genus, such as Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus), wild lime (Adelia ricinella), and musk lime ( X Citrofortunella mitis).

TahitianLime: Tahitian Lime (Citrus x latifolia), is the main variety found in American markets. The Tahitian type is known as the Bearss lime in California and the Persian lime in Florida. It is larger than the Key lime, has virtually no seeds (unlike the Key lime), but it is less aromatic and less flavorful than the Key lime. Persian lime is generally sold only when it is still a green color (technically it is fully ripe when the skin is pale yellow).

Key Lime:
Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle), is also known as the Mexican Lime, West Indies Lime and Bartender’s Lime. "Key lime" is an American retronym, as the original fruit known in English as a "lime" was Citrus aurantifolia, derived from the Persian name limu (the fruit was introduced to Europe during the Crusaders).

It is smaller and rounder with a thinner, more leathery skin that ranges from light green to yellow and straw yellow flesh, full of small seeds. This highly-aromatic Key lime is grown in the Florida Keys, Mexico and the West Indies. It also has a distinct, tart, but less acid, juice than the Persian lime. Key limes are more sensitive to cold and need more heat to fully develop their flavor. When conditions are right, the fruit becomes highly aromatic and more intensely flavorful than Persian limes.


Culinary uses of lime:
  • The use of lime juice and lime zest (the outer, colorful skin of citrus fruit) to enhance the flavor of rice, potatoes, salads, and cooked vegetables. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican and Southwestern American dishes.
  • Lime juice is excellent in marinades, beverages, salad dressings, seafood and barbecue sauces, sorbets, jams, and pie.
  • It is rich in Vitamin C.
  • Dried limes are used as a flavoring in typical Persian cuisines.
  • It is the ingredient of soft drink, Sprite etc.

Lemon

The Lemon (Citrus × limon) is a hybrid in cultivated wild plants. Lemon juice is about 5% citric acid, with a pH of 2 to 3, which gives lemons a tart taste.

Lemon trees bloom and ripen fruit every month of the year. The most fruit is produced between January and May. Lemons are usually handpicked when they are about 2½ inches in diameter and still relatively green.

The best lemons have skin of an oily, fine texture and are heavy for their size. This type is more apt to be full of juice, with a minimum of seeds and waste fibers.

The top-five lemon producing countries are the United States, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and India. Lemons are more partial to the subtropical in part because they are quite susceptible to disease if grown in wet climates.

Lemons are high in potassium, vitamin B1, and vitamin C. Lemons aid in digestion and can strengthen resistance.


Culinary uses of lemon:

  • Lemon juice is used to marinate the meat before cooking. It partially hydrolyzes the tough collagen fibers in the meat, thus helps in tenderizing meat.
  • Fish are marinated in lemon juice. The acid present in lemon juice neutralizes the amines in fish by converting them into nonvolatile ammonium salts thus helps to neutralize the odor of fish.
  • When lemon juice is sprinkled on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados. The acid acts as a short-term preservative by denaturing the enzymes that cause browning and degradation.
  • The grated rind of the lemon, called lemon zest, is used to add flavor to baked goods, puddings, rice and other dishes.
  • Lemons are used to make marmalade, lemonade, and as a garnish for drinks.
  • Pickled lemons are a Moroccan delicacy. A liqueur called limoncello is made from lemon rind.

Friday, November 14, 2008

‘Sunny Side Up’ Egg Curry


This is a simple egg curry, prepared in minutes.

Ingredients:
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp diced green pepper (capsicum)4 baby mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Chopped Coriander leaves
  • Salt To taste

Method:
  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan or a non sticking pan and fry onion on medium flame until soft and light brown.
  • Add all of the ingredients except coriander leaves.
  • Cover and cook until tomato is pulpy.
  • Spread the tomato onion masala evenly on the bottom of the pan.
  • Break the egg and slowly drop on the masala one by one. Don't stir. Cook on slow flame for 4-5 minutes.
  • Once the egg white solidifies and egg yolks are settled at their places cover the pan and off the gas. Leave it covered on the burner for 2-3 minutes.Remove the lid and carefully slide the egg curry in a serving flat dish.
  • sprinkle pinch of salt and black pepper powder over the eggs.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with parathas.


Do You Know?

Yolk color is dependent on the diet of the hen; if the diet contains yellow/orange plant pigments known as xanthophylls, then they are deposited in the yolk, coloring it. A colorless diet can produce an almost colorless yolk. Farmers may enhance yolk color with artificial pigments, or with natural supplements rich in lutein (marigold petals are a popular choice), but in most locations, this activity is forbidden.