Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keerai Kulambu/Spinach Gravy

Keera kulambu is the healthy south Indian dish served with rice. Keerai/Spinach is cooked with dal & Indian seasonings. This is my mom’s signature dish. This taste great with potato fry, beetroot poriyal and papad / Appalam. Cooking is just as creative and imaginative activity. Cooking requires the real passion rather than exact measurements.

Spinach / Keerai – A bunch - Separate the leaves and wash well.
Toor Dal – ½ cup
Green chilies – 2
Tomato - 1 (if its small use 2 tomatoes) finely chopped
Salt to taste
Mustard – ¼ tsp
Hing/Asafetida – 2 pinch
Cumin Seeds – ¼ tsp
Red chilies – 2
Water – 1 cup

In a pressure cooker, put toor dal, green chilies, Tomato, spinach, salt and water. After three to four whistles turn off the fire and let it cool down. By using hand blender smash the cooked ingredients in the pressure cooker. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, cumin seeds, hing, red chilies and add it in the Pressure cooker/cooked spinach.

Note : Serve with rice...more of this spinach gravy and less amount of rice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buckwheat Dosa

Buckwheat dosa is a ekadhasi recipe. Usually on ekadhasi people who fast from grains would commonly take milk, milk products, milk sweets, fruits, sabudhana khichdi. Instead of these routine ones we can make crispy dosas made of buckwheat which are as good as the normal dosas made of rice. I got this idea from my friend Vishaka Lila Devi Dasi in Seattle. It is not necessary that one should cook this recipe for ekadhasi only. You can  make it on any other day and enjoy the delicasy.

Whole hulled buckwheat- 1 1/2 cup (available in whole foods)
whole black pepper- 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
cilantro (coriander leaves)- 1/4 bunch
curry leaves- a string
salt to taste
oil/ ghee to make dosa

Wash the buckwheat and put it in a blender. Add black pepper, cumin seeds, cilantro leaves, curry leaves, salt. Add required amout for water to so that the batter's consistancy is appropriate to make dosa. Blend it into a smooth batter. Heat a flat pan. Pour the dosa batter on the pan and spread it evenly in circular motion and then add ghee or oil and allow it to cook. Then flip the dosa and allow it to cook on the other side. Remove the dosa from the pan and serve hot with tomato chutney or peanut chutney or any vegetable curry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paneer with Mixed Veggie Paratha / Cottage Cheese Veggie stuffed Flat Bread

Paratha is our all time favorite and we make different types of paratha. One of them is paneer mixed veggie paratha which is my favorite. I add grated paneer to make mixed veggie paneer paratha. Adding Panner always enhance the food in my kitchen. Traditionally parathas are served with some ghee or butter, simple raita and spicy Indian pickle.

All purpose flour– 1 cup
Wheat flour – 2 cups
Butter – 2 tbs
Water – 1 ½ cup
For Filling
Paneer – 400g grated
Cabbage – 1 cup
Tomatoes – 21/2 chopped finely
Cashews – 10
Mixed veggies – 1cup ( I used frozen )
Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Amchur powder – a pinch
Madras Curry powder- ½ tsp
Garam masala powder – ¼ tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbs finely chopped
Cumin seeds -1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds- ¼ tsp
Salt to taste

Mix all the flour in a bowl, add salt, butter and water. Mix it until becomes a pliable dough. Add more flour if it’s sticky or little oil if it’s too dry. Set it aside for 15 mins.
Grate the panner. In a hot wok, add oil, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cashews and cabbage. Fry it for 3 mins. Now add tomatoes, all the powdered ingredients and fry them for till the tomato becomes mushy. Now add the mixed veggies, cilantro and salt. Leave this for 5 mins. Finally add the grated paneer and mix it for few mins. Turn off the fire.
Take a small amount of the dough and roll it in your hands to make a ball shape. Take some flour for dusting. Now, dust this ball shape dough with little flour and press it with your palms to flatten it a bit. Use a rolling pin to flatten it a bit more. Take a small amount of the filling and make a small ball shape. Place this filling in the centre of the dough. Now cover the filling with the dough by bringing the ends upwards enclosing the filling all sides. Pinch the dough together on the top to cover the filling completely. Make sure the filling is completely covered. Use a rolling pin to flatten the filled dough /bread. In a hot pan /tawa, place the paratha and apply some little oil on all sides and on top. After 2 mins flip to another and repeat the process the rest of the parathas.

Note: The filling should be dry.

Punjabi chole / Spicy Black chick pea gravy

Chole or chenna masala is a spicy gravy with chick pea from Punjabi cuisine. There are two main kinds of  chickpeas namely Desi and Kabuli. Desi varieties are small, dark seeds and rough coated. Kabuli varieties are larger seeds, light coloured and smooth coated. I have used the Desi variety in my recipe. The spices that I have used for my recipe are fresh ground which gives a nice aroma to the dish.

Black Chick pea/ Desi chena/ Garbanzo beans - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 2-3 (medium sized)
ginger (grated)- 1 tsp
hing/ Asafotida- a pinch
Amchur powder/ Dry mango powder- 1 tsp
kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)- 1 tsp
Bay leaf- 1
Channa chat masala- 1 tsp
salt to taste
cilantro (coriander leaves) to garnish
Baking soda- a pich (optional)
butter- 1 tbsp


corriander seeds (dhaniya)- 1 tsp

cumin seeds (jeera)- 1 sp
cinamon stick- 1 (1 inch)
Black pepper- 1/2 tsp
Red chillis- 2
cloves- 3-4
cardamon- 1

Boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker with a pinch of Baking soda. Stain the boiled chick peas and save the stock. Dry roast the ingredients for the masala. Cool it and blend them with a handful of boilded chickpeas to get a fine paste. Heat a pan and add butter. Add grated ginger, chopped tomaotes, hing, kasoori methi and saute them till the tomatoes become tender. Add the masala and amchur powder and fry it for two minutes. Add the chick peas along with the stock and salt allow them to cook. Add channa chat masla and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon wedge.

Note: Chole goes well with pooris and Batura. I can also be serve with rotis and rice.

Health facts: Chickpeas are good source of proteins, folate and zinc. Desi variety in particular has a higher dietary fiber content than the lighter ones and hence it is a healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with diabetes or insulin sensitivity.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fenugreek Rasam/Venthiya Rasam

Rasam is very good for digestion. Greek Hay or fenugreek is a herb which is easily availble in the stores. It is prevalent as a spice to enhance the taste of various culinary dishes. The tanginess of the tomatoes dominated the bitterness of these fenugreek seeds and we love having this healthy, delicious tangy rasam with some simple potato fries, this rasam is quite healthy for diabetic. It can also be served as a soup during cold weather.

Tomato – 2 nos
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Asafoetida – a
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Tamarind – a small ball size ( soak in warm water for 15 mins)
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
Water – 1 ½ cup
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Red Chillies – 2
Pepper corns – 10 nos
Coconut – 2 ½ tbs ( shredded)

In a hot oil pan , fry the masala ingredients till golden brown color and then blend them by adding little water. In a wok add oil when it becomes hot add mustard seeds. When they splutter add asafoetida, chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder fry them well on medium fire until the tomatoes are well mashed. Now, add the tamarind extract, the blended masala,chopped cliantro,curry leaves, with enough salt and water. Turn off the fire after 10 mins.

Note : You can add ghee at the end for nice aroma.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bread Pakora

Bread Pakora is tasty and delicious snack. This Pakora is stuffed with mashed potato, then dipped in besan batter and fried .You can even make a plain bread pakora just by dipping in the besan batter without stuffing too. One can experiment with the filling inside the bread by using paneer/cottage cheese, potato, cauliflower, cabbage, peas or combination of your favorite veggies. Here I have used grated potato. Bread Pakora is an easy snack and simple recipe to prepare when sudden guest come over to serve kids in the evening. Bread Pakora goes well with green chutney and tomato sauce.

Bread slices – 4

Besan Batter /Chick pea batter
Besan – ½ cup
Red chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
Amchur powder – 2 pinches
Garam Masala – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Water for the batter

Potato – 3
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Green chilies – ½ finely chopped
Ginger- Finely chopped (few pieces)
Red chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
Cilantro leaves - 2 tbs
Salt to taste

Boil the potatoes; peel and mash the boiled potatoes. In a hot oil pan add cumin seeds, green chilies, ginger, red chilli powder, coriander powder, smashed potatoes, salt, and cilantro. Fry it for 2 mins. The stuffing will become dry. Now take besan in a bowl, add salt, amchur powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and add little amount of water ( 1 ½ tbsp) and mix well to make a smooth paste. Now cut the edges of the bread and spread the potato mixture on the bread slices. Cover it with another bread slice. Cut the bread into four slices/ two slices. Heat the oil for deep frying. Take the prepared bread slices and put them in the oil. Fry them two sides till they turn golden brown in color.

Note: Popularly white bread is used, however brown bread can also be used.

Baked Masala peanuts

Masala Peanuts is a favorite Indian snack that makes the round at every party. Peanuts coated with a spicy besan mixture and give a crunchy taste. I love them when they are made spicy. Traditionally, these masala peanuts are fried, but here is a more convenient Oven version.

1 cup Peanuts
½ cup Gram flour
3 tsp Rice flour
¼ tsp grated ginger
¼ cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Ajwain
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1tsp Red chilli powder
Asafoetida a pinch
1tbs chopped coriander leaves

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl expect peanuts, add little water (2tbs to this mixture. Mix it until it has no lumps and the consistency should be thick. Now add the peanuts and mix it well, consistency should be dry. Spray little oil on the baking tray and place the peanuts mixture. Preheat the oven to 350 degree and bake it for 20 mins or until it turns golden brown.

Note: Peanuts is rich in protein.

Khandvi / Chickpea flour rolls

Khandvi is a delicacy from the Gujarati cuisine which is made of Chickpea flour (Gram flour).This can be served as a snack or a light fast food or as an appetizer. I learnt to make Khandvi from Srimurti Devi Dasi, who cooks amazing preparations for Their Lordships Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakdish, at Los Angeles ISKCON temple.

Gram flour/ Chickpea  flour- 1 cup
yogurt- 1 cup
water- 1 cup
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
hing/ asafoetida- a pinch
green chilli- 1
ginger- 1 inch
salt to taste

Mustard- 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Hing- 1/2 tsp
curry leaves- 1 string
shredded coconut- 3 tbsp
oil- 2-3 tsp

cilantro for garnishing

Shift the chickpea flour and mix it with yogurt, water, salt, turmeric powder, hing. Grind the green chilli and ginger to make a paste and add it to the chickpea flour yogurt mixture. Mix them well and make sure that no lumps are left. Pour the mixture in a heavy bottomed vessel and cook it on a medium flame stirring continuously to make sure that the paste doesn't burn at the bottom. Continue to cook until it becomes a thick paste and starts leaving the side of the vessel. Turn off the heat and with a spatula spread the paste immediately on a clean  flat surface evenly. Leave it for 5-6 minutes. Cut them vertically and roll them to desired size. To prepare the seasoning for khandvi, heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, sesame seeds. When the mustard seeds splutters add shedded coconut, curryleaves hing and turn of the heat and pour over the khandvis. Garnish with cilantro(coriander leaves). Serve them with Tamarind dates chutney and green chutney.

I'm dedicating this recipe to my mom for Mother's day. This is one of her favourite dish which she herself has never made at home and I learnt to make it. "Amma you have done so much to me for which I'm indebted". I dedicate this Khandvi dish to you as a token of love.

Sending this recipe to Mother's day event hosted by Panchpakwan

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Palak Paneer/ Cottage cheese in Spinach sauce

A rich and healthy delicacy goes well with any kind of roti. Palak Paneer is also known as saag paneer. If paneer is not on hand and you want a diary free option you can also use Tofu or veggies like potato/Cauliflower. Spinach is one of the good sources of vitamins and also the most nutrient-dense vegetable. Palak Paneer is absolutely wonderful with naan / Basmati Rice.

Spinach /Palak - one large packet/ 3 bunches
Tomatoes - 3 large tomatoes ( finely chopped tomatoes)
Paneer - 10 - 15 cubes
Green Chilies - one ( slit length wise)
Ginger - Finely chopped
Nutmeg Powder - A pinch ( Optional )
Coriander powder - 2 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Fenu greek Leaves-1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 3 pinch
Cumin Seeds- 1/4 tsp
Whipping cream - 1/2 tbsp (Optional)
Salt to taste

Wash the spinach and put in boiling water. Let it boil for 4 mins and turn off the heat. Wait few minutes to cool and put them in the blender. In a hot oil pan add cumin seeds, ginger, chillies, and tomatoes. Fry it for 2 mins . Now add coriander powder,cumin powder, Chili powder, Turmeric, Garam masala and salt. Cook it on a medium flame till the tomatoes cooked / mashed well. Then add fenugreek leaves, nutmeg powder and blended spinach into the tomato sauce pan. Saute till the masala and spinach cooked/ cook it on low flame till 10 - 15 mins. Add the paneer cubes at the end. Let it simmer for 2 - 3 mins and turn off the heat. Add little cream to the palak paneer and give slight stir.

Note: Lightly sauté paneer cubes in one teaspoon of ghee till they are golden brown. (This is optional; you can add paneer cubes just as they are.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chole Masala/ Chickpea Gravy

Chole gravy is also known as chick pea in tomato gravy and it is a common side dish in the state of Punjab and it is usually served with Batura. Garbanzo beans/ Kabuli channa/ white chick peas belong to the pea family. Chick peas are very good source of proteins as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. As a good source of fiber Chick peas help low cholesterol and improve blood sugar level. This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin resistant individual.

White Kabuli Channa - 2 cups
Tomato - 6
Ginger - 2 inch
Green chillies - 1
Turmeric - 2 pinch
Cilantro (coriander) - 1 tbs finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - a pinch
Garam Masala - a pinch
salt to taste

Coriander seeds- 1 1/2 tbs
Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Amchur powder - 2 pinch
Mace - 2
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Anardhana powder - 3 pinch
Red Chillies - 2
Bay leaf - 1

Soak the white Kabuli Channa for 10 hours, with little * soda bi carbonate *,  green chillies slit in length wise, turmeric and cook it in the pressure cooker with enough water for nearly 20 mins.
Blend tomatoes and Ginger together in a blender. Keep aside
Dry roast the masala ingredients and powder them in a blender. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds when it splutters, add hing immediately followed by tomato paste. cook it for 5 mins then add the ground masala, salt. Mix well and turn the flame on low to medium heat and after 10 mins/ until thickened.
Open the pressure cooker and smash few chickpeas, now add the chick pea in the pan and give a mix. Add a pinch of garam masala. Boil till the thick gravy enough to serve. Just before turn off the heat, stir in finely chopped fresh cilantro.

Note: You can also avoid sodium bi carbonate. Keep the remaining leftover refrigerated. This curry taste very good the next day.

Malai Muttar Paneer / Creamy cottage cheese curry

Malai Muttar Paneer is a delicious dish from the Punjabi cuisine. Malai  means cream, muttar refers to green peas and paneer is Indian cottage cheese. This paneer dish is very rich and creamy and there are high chances that you get addicted to it. This is not a very complex recipe and is relatively easy to cook, but does not compromise on its quality and taste. When I learnt about this recipe I was just amazed how such simple recipe could taste so great.

Paneer- 200 gms
Peas- 1 cup
tomatoes( chopped)- 2 (medium size)
ginger- 1 inch (grated)
cabbage (chopped)- 1/4 cup
whole cashews- 10
broken cacshews- 5
blanched almonds- 5 (chopped)
raisins- 6-7
fresh cream/ whipping cream- 1 cup
milk- 1/2 cup
coriander powder- 1 tsp
cuminpowder- 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder- 1 tsp
garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)- 1 tbsp
cardamon powder- 1/4 tsp
hing/ asafotida- 1 pinch
butter- 2 tbsp
cilantro (coriander) leaves to garnish

Grate the paneer. Soak the whole cashews for half an hour. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a pan. Add the chopped cabbage witha pinch of hing until golden brown and then add the chopped tomatoes and ginger and fry them until they become tender. Allow it to cool and grind them along with the soaked cashews into a fine paste. Now heat 1 tbsp of butter and add the broken cashews, blanched almonds, Kasoori methi and cardamom powder and fry them until golden brown. add the raisins, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and fry them for a minute in medium heat and then add the ground paste. Add required water so that the paste doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and also to get a perfect gravy consistancy. Add green peas, grated paneer and salt and allow them to cook for 5 minutes. Then add milk and cream and cook for 5- 10 minutes. Remove from heat and granish with cilantro leaves.

Note: Malai paneer can be served as a main course with roti, naan, pulav for lunch and dinner. It is also party favourite.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Broccoli soup

Broccoli is high in vitamins as well as dietary fiber.This recipe is thick and favorable. Its simple and delicious and quick to make. My husband loves spinach,broccoli and all the green veggies. Today, I decided to surprise him with this soup. This soup, I first tasted in Govinda's restaurant Los Angeles.

Broccoli - 1 cup ( cut into small florets)
Butter - 2tbs
Water-1 1/2 cups
Asafoetida- 2 pinch
All purpose flour- 1/4 cup
Warm Milk - 1 cup
Parmesan cheese- 1 tbs
Pepper - 1/4 tsp ( freshly grounded taste better)
Salt to taste
Cilantro/Parsley - 1tbs ( optional)

In a hot pan add the water and broccoli, bring it to boil over moderate heat. Now, reduce to simmer and cook until the broccoli is just tender.
In another sauce pan melt the butter in moderate heat. Sprinkle asafoetida and add the flour. Cook it stirring continuously until it darkens slightly. Now add the warm milk and stir it with a whisk until it thickens. Add cheese, pepper and salt. Pour the broccoli and water in the sauce.
Sprinkle in the chopped parsley or cilantro and serve hot.

Lemongrass Coriander(cilantro) soup

Lemongrass is a stalky plant with lemony scent that grows in tropical climate in south-east Asia.  Lemongrass is an important ingredient in many Thai dishes. Lemongrass is commonly used in tea, soup and curries. I had first time heard about lemongrass coriander soup from my mom who tasted this soup in a restaurant in India. I found it to be interesting and thought of giving it a try.  I have adapted this Lemon coriander soup from Tarla Dalal cookbook and made some modifications.

Lemongrass- 1 stalk

carrot- 1
cabbage- 1/4 cup
green peas- a fist full
green beans- 4
ginger- 2 inch
soy sauce - 1/2 tsp
maggi seasoning- 2 drops (optional)
ajnamoto- a pinch (optional)
black pepper- to taste
salt  to taste
butter- 1 tsp
lemon juice- 1 tsp
cilanto (coriander leaves)- 2-3 tbsp
water- 4 cups

Grate the carrot and ginger. Chop the green beans and cabbage finely. Remove the outer covering of the lemongrass and chop the bulb. Heat the butter in a pan. Toss in all the vegetables and saute them for 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce, maggi seasoning, ajnamoto. Add 4 cups of water and allow it to boil. Add salt and pepper. Boil for 2 minutes. Turn off  the heat and add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.

Health facts: Lemongrass has medicinal properties and is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps in relieving cough and nasal congestion. In 2006 a research team from Ben Gurion university from Israel found that lemongrass has anti-cancer properties.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tomato rasam/ Tangy Tomato Tamarind Soup

Rasam is my favorite comfort recipe and its a easy recipe. South Indian lunches is not complete with out Rasam. This goes well with rice and accompanied by papad. This can also consumed as soup.

Tomato - 2 1/2 finely chopped
Water- 4.5 cups
Tamarind - lemon size ( soak in hot water for 10 mins )
Cilantro leaves few
Turmeric- a pinch
Rasam Powder - 1tbs
salt to taste
Red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/hing - 2 pinch
Curry leaves - few

In a hot oil pan add mustard,cumin seeds,curry leaves,hing. Now add water and tamarind and let it boil for few mins then add tomato, rasam powder, salt, turmeric. Boil this for some time and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Note: You can also add cooked dal to the rasam.

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a deep fried spiced Indian cottage cheese dumplings in a creamy tomato gravy. This is a traditional recipe from Punjabi cuisine.This recipe is my special curry for special occasions due to its richness of cream and aromatic flavors. Malai Kofta is best when accompanied with plain rice, naan or any parathas. The recipe will serve for fivc people.

Potatoes - 4 boiled and smashed
Bread - 3 ( cut of the ends)
Cabbage- 1/4 cup ( saute in the tava for few mins)
Paneer - 5 tbs ( grated )
Ricotta Cheese - 2 1/2 tbs ( baked * Microwave it for 30 secs)
Cashews - 15
Cilantro leaves chopped -few
Turmeric-2 pinch
Heavy Whipping cream - 2tbs
Corn Starch - 2 tbs
Salt to taste

Masala ( i used the same masala for kofta)
Cinnamon - 2 sticks
Poppy seeds-1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns - 10
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Nutmeg powder -less than 1/4 tsp
Bayleaf - 2
Chilli powder -1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 2 pinch
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Ginger- 2 tsp ( grated)
Cashews - 10 ( blended into paste)
Tomato puree- 9 tomatoes
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Dry methi leaves - 3 pinch
cilantro leaves - few springs
Whipping cream - 2 tbs
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan add cabbage and cashews, fry well and set aside.
In a bowl add the boiled and smashed potatoes, grated paneer, baked ricotta cheese, bread slices, cilantro leaves, heavy whipping cream, cabbage ,cashews, turmeric, salt, 2 tsp grounded masala and corn starch. Mix well. Make small balls. Deep fry these koftas in oil or shallow fry them on medium heat. Take them out and put it on a paper towel. Keep aside the kofta balls.

Heat oil in pan add cumin seeds,asafoetida, ginger and the spice paste, fry for few mins. Followed by cashew paste , cook for a min. Now add the tomato puree, salt ,turmeric powder. Leave on a low fame for 30 mins. If the gravy sticks to the bottom of the pan add 1tbs of water time to time. Sprinkle dried fenugreek leaves crushed by hand. Add cream at the end and few cilantro leaves( optional). The gravy starts to become thick. Add koftas and cook for 2 - 3 mins.

When u deep fry the koftas make sure the oil is hot enough.
Its better to add the koftas just before eating else till will become soggy

Green Chutney/Cilantro chutney

Coriander/Cilantro flavored chutney which is great for tikkas,sandwich spreads,Pakoras,Dhokla and samosa and its a Ekadhasi recipe too.

Cilantro - 2 bunch ( washed and chopped )
Nuts - Hand full of Cashews/Almond/Pistachio/Walnut ( Any two Optional /four also you can add)
Ginger - 1 inch
Green chillies - 1
Salt As per taste
Lime Juice - Two drops

Put all the ingredients in a blender and grind into a smooth paste. Add lime juice at the end. The green chutney is ready to serve.

Potato Tikki / Potato Fritters

Sometimes I think ekadhasi is the best day of all , when i get to make recipes like this. This tikki recipe has long list of ingredients but simple to make!! You can enjoy these tikkis with tomato soup and chutneys.

Potato - 4 ( boiled and grated )
Panner - 1/4 cup ( grated)
Cauliflower - 1/4 cup ( grated)
Cilantro leaves - a fistful ( chopped finely)
Cabbage- a fistful (chopped finely)
Cashews - 10
Sago/Sabudhana - 1/4 cup ( soak it for long hours and add them dry)
Ginger - 1/4 tsp ( grated)
Quinoa - 2 tbs
Hing - 2 Pinch (Grain free)
Whipping cream - 1 tsp
Salt as per taste

Coriander seeds - 2tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 6
Fennel seeds-1/4 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cardamom - 1
Poppy seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 2

Blend the masala finely by using blender. In a hot pan add oil followed by hing/asafoetida, cabbage, cashews. Combine the boiled potatoes,grated paneer, cauliflower,sago,cilantro, cabbage mixture, ginger,blended masala salt ,quinoa and whipping cream in a bowl. Mix well. Roll the tikkis in between the palms of your hands in such a way there are no cracks on the surface. Press firmly on the top to make flat tikkis. Shallow fry on both the sides in a hot oil pan until golden brown in color.

Bhindi masala with gravy/ Spicy Okra with Cashewnut gravy

Bhindi or okra lightly spiced with cashewnut gravy makes a wonderful side dish for rotis and rice. I made this bhindi masala for rice. I had adapted this recipe from Mallika Badrinath's cookbook.

Ladys finger/ okra/ Bhindi- 2 1/2 cups ( chopped about 1 inch)
Tomatoes- 3 (chopped)
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
corriander powder- 1 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1 tsp
chilli powder- 1 tsp
fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp
hing/ asafoetida- a pinch
poppy seeds (Khus-Khus)- 2 tsp
cashews- 10
yogurt- 2-3 tbsp
salt to taste
oil - 3 tbsp
cilantro( coriander leaves) to garnish

Soak the cashews in water for half an hour and grind it to paste along with poppy seeds. Wash the bhindi and dry it so that the bhindi doesn't become too slimy when you chop them. Cut them lengthwise about 1 inch. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and pan fry the bhindi until brown and set it aside. Heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add fennel seeds, when it splutters add a pinch of hing, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and the ground paste and fry them for a minute. Add the tomatoes and a little water and fry them until they become tender. Now add the yogurt and the fried bhindi and allow them to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.

Note: Instead of pan frying the bhindi can also be deep fried.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cabbage Pakoda

Pakoda is usually served as a evening snack during winter along with a cup of herbal tea. The usual pakodas are cashew pakoda and cauliflower pakoda. Today am gonna share the recipe for cabbage pakoda.

Cabbage -2 1/2 cup ( 2 inches length )
Besan flour - 3tbsp
Rice flour - 1 1/2 tbsp
Corn flour - 1 1/2 tbsp
Pakora Masala - 1/2tsp
Chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 2 pinch
Orange food color - 1/4 tsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for deep frying

In a vessel add all the flours, pakora masala, chilli powder, turmeric, food color, asafoetida, salt then add the chopped cabbage. Mix well and sprinkle few drops of water. The flour should just stick to the cabbage. Heat oil in a wok.Take the mixture in the hand and sprinkle them on to the hot oil. Deep fry the pakodas. Crispy pakodas are ready to serve.

Note : Sprinkle very little water at one portion of the mixture and then mix completely.


The samosa family is large and varied and spread across five continents. The limitless possibilities that the samosa offers — the opportunities to play with tastes and textures; size and seasonings, fragrances and fillings — has inspired cooks down the age. 
Samosa is considered as one of the popular snack not only in India but throughout the entire Indian sub-continent. It makes a great appetizer. Traditionally samosas are triangular or conical in shape. It consists of a shell,  made of all purpose flour, and a spicy filling usually made of potatoes and green peas and deep fried. There are wide varieties of filling for the samosas. In Bengal the samosas are filled with sweetened reduced milk. But whatever the fillings are- samosas are treasured snack and goes well with a cup of hot herbal tea.
My mom is an expert in making samosas. I learnt it from her. I made my samsoas with the routine potato filling.

Maida/ all purpose flour- 1 cup
Semolina/ sooji rava- 2 tbsp
oil- 2 tsp
salt to taste
warm water to knead the dough

Potatoes- 4
Green peas- 1 cup
green chillis- 4
Coriander powder- 2 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 2 tsp
Amchur powder/ Dry mango powder-  1 1/2 tsp
 Jeera/ Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Cilantro (coriander leaves)- 2 tbsp

Oil to deep fry the samosas

Mix the all purpose flour, water salt and oil and kneed it into a dough and allow it to stand for 15 minutes. 
Boil the potatoes and peel the skin and cut them in to small pieces.
Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp of oil. Add cumin seeds. When it breaks add the green chillies, corriander powder, amchur powder, garam masala and fry them for a minute and then add the green peas and saute it. When the green peas becomes tender add the potatoes and salt and saute it for 2 minutes. Remove it from the heat and garnish with cilantro leaves. Now the filling is ready. Allow it to cool for sometime. 
Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. Knead the dough nicely for 2 minutes and divide them into 8 equal balls. Roll each ball using a rolling ping of about 6 inch diameter and cut it into two equal halves. You would get 2 semicircles. Spread few drops of water on to the sides of the semicircle and fold it into a cone shape. Now stuff the cone with required amount of filling and close the cone by pressing the ends. Repeat the same steps for the remaining dough. Check the heat of oil by dropping a tiny bit of the dough in the oil. When the dropped bit comes up on to the  surface of the oil slowly then consider that as the correct heat for frying the samosas. Now fry the samosas slowly on a medium flame until golden brown. Serve with tomato sauce or dates- tamarind chutney or coriander chutney.

Note: Samosas should be fried on a low medium flam. When it is fried on a high flame the inner layer of the patties doesn't cook well.

Boondi Raita

Boodi raitha is the easiest side dish which anyone could make. Raita is an Indian condiment made of yougurt mixed with spices and cilantro leaves. Vegetables like carrot, cucumber, tomatoes and even fruits like pineapple are commonly used. In this recipe I have used boondi. 

Boondis are small, crispy, fried droplets made of gram flour (chickpea flour). Although they are available in all Indian grocery stores, its very easy to make it at home. The boondi raita is so special due to the crunchiness of the boondi and the cooling effect of the yougurt and the mild spices that gives an exotic taste. I learnt this recipe from my mom Geetha Sundaram. She often  makes this kind of raita at home and it's my husband's favourite too.

chickpea flour(gram flour)- 1/2 cup
oil to fry the boondi
yogurt- 2 cup
red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
chat masala- 1 tsp 
cilantro (corriander leaves) to garnish

Mix chickpea flour with water to a  dosa batter like consistency. Heat the oil in a pan enough for deep frying. Hold the boondi karandi ( a ladle with small holes) on top of the hot oil and spread the chickpea batter on it. Fine droplets of chickpea batter falls through the holes of laddle in to the oil. Fry the boondi until golden brown and drain it to remove excess oil. Take yogurt in a bowl and beat them. Add salt and mix well. Add the boondi and sprinkle the chilli powder and chat masala on top. Garnish with cilanto.

Suggestion: Boondi raita is served as one of the best condiment for Pudina pulav. 

Tomato Bath/ Tomato Rice

Biriyani is a rice recipe that is cooked on special occasions such as festivals, parties, celebration. This is my mom's recipe and truly delicious and also it makes a wonderful pairing with raita, vegetable semi gravy and papad.

Basmati Rice - 1 Cup
Tomato - 4 medium size ( chopped )
Cabbage - 2 fistful ( finely chopped)
Mint leaves - 1 fistful ( chopped)
Coriander leaves- 1 fistful ( chopped)
Green Chillies - 2 ( slit length wise)
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Coconut - 2tbs
Cloves-4 ( 2 for the paste and the rest for seasoning)
Cinnamon - 2 sticks ( 1 for the paste and the rest for seasoning)
Cardamom - 1
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp ( 1/4 tsp for the paste and the rest for seasoning)
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Bay leaf - 1

Wash and soak the basmati rice for half an hour. In a blender add ginger, coconut, fennel seeds,cinnamon, clove and make a fine paste. In a hot pan add oil followed by bay leaf, cumin seeds,fennel seeds,cinnamon,cloves,cardamom, green chillies, asafoetida and finely chopped cabbage. Fry them well for 2 mins and add the paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. Add the chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves and give a good mix followed by tomatoes, salt, turmeric and cook on a medium flame till the oil comes out. Drain all the water from the vessel where the rice was soaked and add tomato paste, water, few drops of ghee in the rice cooker. Once the rice is cooked add fried cashews and bread pieces.

Note: Once the rice cooked , you can see the tomato masala layer on the cooked rice so mix gently.