Saturday, December 17, 2011

Veg Manchurian with Chinese sauce

Manchurian is our very own Indian recipe which takes front rather VIP seat in Indo Chinese cuisine. Go to any Chinese restro outside India and Manchurian cant be seen in the menu surprising rite? I guess this is the only Chinese thing that's actually "Made in India" well I am guessing Chinese are yet unaware of it otherwise so far they would have came up with Original Chinese Manchurian to retain the "made in china" tag !! well enough of jabber jabber ..

Here is what we need -

2 cups fine chopped cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot ( save some for sauce)
3 tbs ginger garlic paste ( divide half and save it for sauce)
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
salt per taste
2 tbs corn starch ( 1 tbs to make dumplings+ 1 tbs for sauce)
2 tbs rice flour
1/4 cup cut green bell peppers
soy sauce
red chili sauce
1/2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup onion cut horizontally
tomato ketchup
oil to fry

In a mixing bowl, add chopped cabbage, carrot and cauliflower. add salt and leave it for 15 minutes. It will start to leave out water. Add rice flour and corn flour/corn starch. Rice flour adds the crunch. put ginger garlic paste.

Make small dumplings (add some water if neede) and fry it once the oil is hot enough. Take it out on kitchen paper towel to let it absorb extra oil.

To make sauce - Take 1 tbs oil, add ginger garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot and tomato paste. Let it cook a bit for 5-7 minutes.

In a small bowl take remaining 1 tbs corn flour add some water and make a paste. Add this to the pan. add water depending on how much saucy you want. Add soy sauce ( I have dark soy so I use just 1 tbs), chili sauce and ketchup. Taste it and adjust salt and sauces.

let the dumplings rest or soak in the sauce for 20 minutes.
This is one delightful recipe; enjoy it with Noodles or fried rice !!

You can garnish it with some spring onion ..

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Instant Daal Tadka

This is delicious yet very simple recipe. It goes well with roti and rice both. I will say this is my version of Daal-Tadka.

  • 1 cup toor daal
  • 1 sp mustard seeds
  • 1 sp cumin seeds
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 sp red chili powder
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 3-4 garlic pods
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 green chilies

Pressure cook toor daal till its very well cooked. To help daal cook faster add few drops of oil and pinch of turmeric in it while cooking.

In a pan add oil, once hot add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Lower the heat. As it sputters add chopped garlic, chopped green chilies and tomato paste. Add red chili powder, turmeric. Put daal and add some water to make it thinner. Add salt and let it simmer for a while till it reaches desired consistency.

This is my all time, any time favorite!!


This is insanely famous street food in India - Bhel. It is a mixture of all dry snacks and puffed rice with some tangy, spicy chutneys. I know the description itself is drooling. I always have tamarind chutney handy as Bhel hankering is very common in my house .. Lol

here is what we need -

  • puffed rice
  • mix snack from Indian store ( I like farsan, papdi, gathi and nylon sev)
  • Tamarind chutney
  • 1 sp red chili powder
  • 1 tbs masala peanuts ( I got this from a farmer's market )
  • salt per taste
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tomato

Microwave puffed rice for 30 sec to a minute to get that crunch in the bhel. This is the most important step in making bhel.

Fine chop onion and tomato.

Mix everything together. You can put handful of every snack.

Add 2-3 tbs Tamarind chutney, chili powder ( you can add green chili paste too but red chili powder works for me ), Give everything a good mix. I know you gotta add some more tamarind chutney right? Me too :-) Go right ahead !!

garnish with cilantro, nylon sev and masala peanuts.. Delightful !!!!!!!!

Garden Burger

Burger King & Burger Queen .. right? well fries on the side would go so well but I wanted to go easy on the caloriess :-)

Making Burger is all about making the right tasting patty. I know it is way easier to buy frozen patties but I hate those. :-(

so lets first get started with making patties -

Amongst the places those serve delicious vegetarian burgers with veg patties "Subway" tops my list. So wanted to make one very similar tasting to subaway footlong patty. I will say "Not bad girl" or lemme go easy on myself and say "you go girl" :-)

For patties Gather -
1 big potato
1 small red onion
6-7 baby carrots
beans & corn frozen mix
spinach leaves
nutrela soy crunch
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs ginger garlic paste
1 sp of red chili powder
2 tbs of corn starch
1 tbs garam masala powder

Well, Boil 1 big potato, Chop 1 small red onion, chop 6-7 baby carrots, take out handful of beans & corn frozen mix and lastly handful of blanched spinach leaves ( Spinach brings so much flavor ) ok are you with me so far? Nice!

To blanch the spinach; I would cut some handful leaves and microwave it for 4-5 minutes.

I have got this nutrela soy crunch from Indian store. Soak handful of those in warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water and try to crumble it a bit.

In a pan add 2 tbs olive oil. Add 1 tbs ginger garlic paste, chopped onion and chopped carrots. add frozen mix of green beans & corns.Add microwaved spinach. Put 1 sp of red chili powder.

In a mixing bowl mash boiled potato, add soaked soy crunch. Add sauted veggies. Put 2 tbs of corn starch, salt and 1 tbs garam masala powder.

Make medium size patties. shallow fry it till dark brown as it brings crunch to the patties.

Now its time to cut veggies you need to put in your Garden Burger. I like red onion, Cucumber, tomatoes and Lettuce. And a cheesy cheese slice !!

Add spoonful of Mayo, honey mustard and ketch up on one slice.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sauted Broccoli

I know it is the simplest making but I wanted to add this on my blog as many of my friends ask me what do I make outta this cauliflower family green veggie.

I LOVE broccoli as it gives me my dietary fibre and it is so flavorful. I usually make this as a side to daal-rice dinner as they make a perfect trio.

Well separate the florets. chop 2-3 garlic pods. slit 2 green chilies

In a non-stick pan add 2 tbs olive oil. Add garlic, green chilies and in a minute put broccoli florets. Add salt and black pepper. constantly keep stirring. Cover it with lid in between for a few minutes and give good stirs. It takes 7 minutes to cook.

Aloo Ragda Chaat

This is my all time favorite food. I can gobble this for snack or dinner as it is heavy and healthy both.

Well to be honest with you; I don't have a picture of serving dish as I had strong hankering to taste it and decided to chuck the picture. I know .. sorry :-(

Here is what we need -

Lets identify this -

I got chopped onion, tomato and cilantro

I got 2 small boiled, mashed potatoes

I have Indian store bought nylon sev

I have Indian store bought green chutney

I  got Tamarind chutney

And lastly I have my Ragda - Soak the white chana ( Not the chickpeas - It is smaller in size than chick pea & it doesn't have the head like chickpea, it is plain round ) overnight. Pressure cook it to 4 whistles as we really want it to lose it texture and if it doesn't mash it a bit. Add 1 sp garam masala powder, 1/2 sp chili powder and salt to it.

What are we waiting for - Grab a serving plate. Add potato, add ragda like 2-3 laddle full, put onion, tomato, cilantro, Add very little green chutney. Add 2-3 spoons tamarind chutney and finally top it with handful of sev. ummmmmmmmm irresistible guys .. trust me!!

Dry Gobi Sabji

The key to making good Gobi or cauliflower is cooking it just right. If it gets over cooked it will lose its texture and the taste both; well under cooking will hold the texture but would have raw flavor. I feel cooking it without water just makes it so perfect.

Here is what we need -

  • cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 tbs tomato paste ( I use Kroger's brand )
  • 4 garlic pods
  • 1 tbs red chili powder
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt per taste
  • 2 tbs olive oil or make it 3 if you are making a bigger batch
  • 1/2 sp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 sp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 sp onion-garlic red chutney ( you can buy this at any Indian store )

Lets get started -

separate the florets and cut them into half or bite size pieces (not too small though).

Fine chop garlic, onion and tomato

Heat oil in a pan; once hot add cumin seeds. Add garlic. Let it turn slightly brown. Put onion, turmeric and chili powder. Add tomato paste. Give it a good stir.

Add tomato and salt. In 2-3 minutes add cauliflower.

Cook it on medium heat. This needs occasional stirring otherwise the sabji might burn at the bottom.

Cook it without lid otherwise it will turn soggy.

In 10 minutes add garam masala powder and onion-garlic red chutney. These spices bring in the whole flavor.

Serve it with roti or rice.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aloo Sabji

Aloo or potato sabji goes well with Roti, Dosa, bread or Puri. This is very quick to make & potatoes are readily available at all seasons. Potato is dietetically scandalised but once a while it is absolutely healthy to eat potatoes. This devil's food is a great way to avoid binge eating as it helps you keep full for a longer time. Spuds are a great source of fibre, vitamin B..

Well gather 1 small onion, cilantro, 2-3 garlic cloves, mustard seeds, turmeric, oil, curry leaves, green chilies, salt and potatoes.

Pressure cook potatoes & after cooling cut them or mash them in big chunks.

Chop onion, chilies, garlic and curry leaves. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds; once they sputter add chopped veggies, turmeric, cilantro and salt. I like to add a little lemon juice too. Finally add potatoes and give it a good mix.

Enjoyy !!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Methi Paratha

This is one of my favorite kinda paratha. Methi or Fenugreek is bitter in taste so the first thing is to get rid of its bitterness; to do that chop fresh methi leaves and soak it in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water and take the methi leaves in a mixing bowl.

For this preperation the ingredients vary as per your liking but I use this -

1/2 bunch of fresh methi or fenugreek
2 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup besan or chickpea flour
1/2 sp ajwain
1/2 sp cumin & coriander powder (I like to make it fresh by dry roasting & grinding the cumin+coriander seeds)
pinch of turmeric
1 sp red chili powder
1 sp ginger garlic paste
salt per taste

Knead everything with yogurt to make a soft dough and roll slightly thick parathas using rolling pin.

Fry these on the griddle by dropping a little oil by the side.

Serve it hot with yogurt, pickle or chutney !!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Patra Leaves Sabji

Colocasia  or Patra leaves or in regional way "Aloo" is very Traditional Maharashtrian dish.

Here is what we need -

  • 3 to 4 Patra leaves
  • handful of peanuts
  • handful of chana daal
  • 2 green chilies
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt per taste
  • 1 lemon size tamarind
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs jaggery

Preparation -

Soak peanuts and chana daal in warm water for 5 to 6 hours. Wash the leaves and chop them. I make this curry in pressure cooker. It saves a lot of time and cooks well.

Soak tamarind for 1 hour. And extract the pulp.

In a pressure cooker add oil. Once hot add slit green chilies. Put soaked chana daal and peanuts. Put turmeric. Add chopped leaves, tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt.

Pressure cook it till 3 whistles. It gives wonderful aroma as the sabji itself is so flavorful.

This goes very well with Chapati. Bone Appetit!!

Stuffed Paniyaram - Chinese Style

I wanted to eat Indo Chinese Manchurian the other day however the oil in it .. sigh* so I decided to get the Chinese flavor with my favorite Paniyaram.

To check how to make Paniyaram please visit my another post - How to make Paniyaram

Well to make Chinese style paniyaram you need - Paniyaram batter for sure :-) apart from that ..

  • Soy sauce
  • hot chili sauce
  • carrot
  • onion
  • tomato
  • green chilies
  • green peas
  • green bell pepper
You can add or avoid any of the ingredient as per your liking. I love mushrooms but PJ doesn't so this time I did not add Mushrooms but it goes well.

This is the batter after adding fine chopped veggies and sauces. You can add 2 green chilies; it brings a lot of flavor to the dish.

Put some oil in each compartment and put a spoonful of batter. The heat should be on Medium.

Flip the side and put little oil again.

Well Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chana Palak/ Chickpea Spinach

Spinach and chick pea is a very Healthy duo spinach being a very rich source of vitamin A & Chickpea is full of fibre & Iron .. so a way to eat healthy & tastilicious is to mix them both.

Spinach goes well with Paneer, Aloo, lentils and chick-peas or garbanzo beans as well.

Here is what we need -

1 bunch fresh spinach or frozen spinach
handful of garbanzo beans/chhole
1 Cinnamon stick
1/2 sp turmeric powder
3-4 black peppercorns
1 sp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilies
1 sp coriander powder
1/2 sp garam masala powder
salt per taste
1/2 sp sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream ( You can boil milk to half and use that instead)
1 tbs olive oil

To make this you have to soak handful or a little more chhole overnight. Pressure cook it till they become tender.

In a big pot boil some water and blanch spinach leaves in it to semi-cook. Let it cool a bit.

Puree spinach with green chilies.

In a pan add oil, once hot add Cinnamon stick, peppercorns and ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder. Turmeric helps to retain the green color of the spinach.

Add garbanzo beans. Give it a good mix. Add pureed spinach. Add coriander powder. Add some water if required. Let it cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add cream. Add garam masala powder and switch off the stove.

Serve it with roti or rice. Quite restaurantee style :- )

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cucumber Sandwich

I love these sandwiches. I like to make these with white bread.

First make the green chutney. In the blender, blend 3 green chilies, cilantro, some mint leaves and 1 sp cumin seeds. Add dash of salt to it.

Peel and slice the cucumber in circles.

Spread spoonful of mayonnaise, some chutney on either sides of the slices. place some cucumber pieces in it. you can add tomatoes too. Add some ketch-up and eat it up.

Squash Dessert

Remember the Butternut Squash soup???  We had kept some roasted pumpkin pulp for some experimental dishes. There you go .. the dessert  :-)

Butternut squash itself is sweet in taste so it made a perfect dessert.

In a pan add some unsalted butter and cook roasted squash pulp for 5-6 minutes. Add little sugar and some milk. You need to adjust sugar as per your taste and sweetness of the squash. Add pinch of cardamom powder. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Garnish it with some chopped dry-fruits.

Shaam-Savera with rich gravy

I love to lay the table. The way to the stomach is through eyes! so my belief is, it should look good to the eyes before your belly gets to enjoy it. This was Diwali Night Dinner.

I tried sanjeev kapoor's shaam savera recipe for the first time. It was not difficult to make but just needed some hours' work.

Shaam implying back color where savera is white. ( This is not to vilify any community but just kitchen names )  :-)

These are paneer dumplings coated with spinach coating dipped into rich cashew-tomato gravy.

Lets make the dumplings first.

Make the paneer. (check my Home made paneer recipe) You don't have to form cubes of it as you need crumbly paneer to form lemon size balls.

Blanch 2 cups spinach in the water. drain the water and chop it. In a pan take 1 tbs oil, add 1 sp ginger garlic paste, pinch of turmeric and 3 chopped green chilies. In a minute add chopped spinach to it. add 1/2 sp coriander powder and some salt. Keep stirring to take off any water. You need dry spinach. Let it cool off.

To make the rich gravy take 3-4 tomatoes and 1 onion. Heat some water and add those tomatoes and onion in boiling water. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Tomatoes and onion become tender. Let it cool down.
Peel the tomatoes.

In a blender take onion, tomatoes and handful of cashews. Add 2 back peppercorns, 1 cardamom, 1 Cinnamon stick. By adding water blend it to a smooth paste.

In a pan take 2 sp butter, Add the above paste and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup fresh cream to it. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 spoon garam masala powder. Add some salt.

In another pan, slightly brown the dry kasuri methi. let it cool off a bit. crush the leaves using your palms and add it to the gravy. switch off the stove. Add 1 sp honey.

To make the dumplings take some paneer and make lemon size balls. Coat them using some spinach. This way make all the dumplings ready.

In a heavy bottom pan take a very little oil and fry the dumplings. Once they cool off refrigerate the dumplings for 1 hour. Cut it into half. and drop it in the gravy. make sure the dumplings float in the gravy so don't use deep pan. If needed divide the gravy in 2-3 pans and then add the dumplings that way you get to see shaam-savera. :-)

Let the gravy simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes. The gravy is ready to serve. This should make a perfect entry to your special occasion dinner.

Instant Akha Masoor

People who have experienced the joy of eating at the road side dhabas in India would need no introduction of this dish. But for the rest  - There is nothing like Akha Masoor on the rainy, gloomy, sunny, chilli ... ohh leave it;on any day :-) My absolute favorite .. Well I personally feel some vegetables in the kitchen don't gel with some of its counter parts and so is Masoor and Onion. So when I made it I decided to make variation to the traditional recipe by leaving onion out and using mere ingredients. Believe me I never looked back; I found my perfect yet instant recipe.

The secret ingredients - 1 spoon tomato puree ( I use Kroger's ), 3-4 curry leaves, 2-3 garlic pods.

Boil 1 cup whole masoor in the pressure cooker. The best part of masoor is you don't have to soak it unless you need to sprout it.

In a pan add 1 tbs Olive oil, once hot add mustard seeds. Once they start to sputter add chopped garlic. Let it turn golden brown. Add chopped curry leaves and tomato puree. Add boiled masoor. Put pinch of turmeric and 1 sp red chili powder. Add 1 cup water and let it boil for 8 to 10 minutes. The curry thickens as you boil it.

This goes very well with roti as well as rice. If you are wondering what is the foil doing in the pic. I just had wrapped chapatis in it to keep it hot till we eat it :-) .. hot chapatis just double the taste!!

Butternut Squash or Pumpkin Soup

The beauty - Butternut squash or pumpkin. This is a fruit that grows on a vine. The skin and seeds are edible but are usually discarded. This is best eaten roasted. I saw this beauty during fall season in Kroger and couldn't stop myself from buying. I knew in my mind that PJ is not gonna vouch for squash soup idea so I was not sure what I was gonna make outta it. But I kinda had my heart settled on soup ..

Well lets prepare it then. Cut the squash lenghtwise. The skin is slightly hard so be careful while cutting it. For baking convenience I cut it again making 4 pieces of it. lightly brush some olive oil on the pulp side.

Preheat the oven for 350 F. Place this and roast it for about 30 to 35 minutes. Let it cool off.

Take off the seeds & skin. I figured the whole squash was gonna make too much soup for just 2 of us (PJ being reluctant ) so I just used this 1 cut portion and it made me more than 2 servings of soup. I refrigerated remaining pulp for my some other kitchen experiments. sigh ..

In a blender take the pulp, add 1 cardamom, 1/4 cup canned vegetable stock and fresh cream. Grind it to a smooth paste. This soup is usually thick. Ohh I remember having it in Wolfgang punk .. hats off to the chef .. he proved that beauty is skin deep right to the pulp : -)

well my attempt was not bad either  ; - )

In a heavy bottom pan take some butter and pour the blended soup into it. Add some black pepper and salt.


P.S - PJ enjoyed the soup too .. slurp!!

Healthy Bread Roll

I used Pepperidge Farm whole wheat bread to make this. The bread is so flavorful itself. I saw this on Tarla Dalal website and could not wait to try it myself.

Well this would make a perfect dinner when you are not starving or a tea time snack. Chop off the brown sides of the bread and cover it under a damp paper towel.

You can make a filling of your choice. I had a boiled potato in the refrigerator so I decided to use it. Mash the potato. In a small pan take 1 tbs Olive oil and add chopped carrot and green pees. Let it cook for 5-8 minutes.

Mix it to the mashed potatoes. Add some red chili powder, salt, 1/2 sp garam masala powder, pinch of chaat masala powder. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Take a bread slice and flatten it using rolling pin. fill a spoonful of filling in the middle. Apply some water on all the sides and using a little pressure seal all the sides. Make all the breads ready this way. Brush a little olive oil on both the sides of the rolls. Place it the oven for 5-6 minutes. Turn it over to the other side. This should have a brown tinge.

This could make a lovely appetizer or a snack. It made me a perfect dinner; I poured some orange juice with it.

Healthy Cabbage Pakoda

In a bowl take 1 cup chopped cabbage, around half chopped Green bell pepper, 2 chopped green chilies. Add salt and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. It will start to leave water.

Add 2 tbs corn flour, 2 tbs rice flour and 5 tbs chickpea flour. Add 1/4 sp or as per your liking red chili powder. Add some water to form dough. Make small balls and flatten it as shown in the picture.

Heat griddle, once hot put some olive oil and place it on the griddle. In about 5 minutes flip it. Cover it with lid for 3-4 minutes. from sides put some oil to fry it well. It should take around 10 minutes to shallow fry it. The heat should be Medium high. High heat will burn it leaving the inner part uncooked.

Take it out in the serving plate and serve with some ketchup or any chutney.

Traditional Flat Bread or Bhakri

Roasted rice flat bread or in regional way Bhakri is type of Roti. This is simple yet amazingly tasty and healthy. The traditional way of making this is on the earthen stove which brings a unique flavor to the dish. This is enjoyed with various curries; my favourite is "Pithal". Pithal is maharashtrian chickpea flour curry.

To make this we need -

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup hot water
salt per taste

In a mixing bowl take rice flour. add salt. Add spoon by spoon water to make crumbly dough. Kneed the dough to a very smooth ball using hand. This should take 4-5 minutes.Cover this dough under wet paper towel or cloth.

Generally traditional cast iron griddles are used to make this however I used my old non-stick chapati griddle which is no more Non-stick :-)

On one stove heat griddle and on the other stove heat chapati grill.

before starting to roll the bhakaris keep 2 things ready :

a small pot with some water in it (We are going to use it while roasting the bhakris on the griddle)
some rice flour to dust on while we are rolling the bhakris

How to flatten the bhakri without rolling pin - Take a big size ( bigger than tennis ball) dough. Dab some rice flour on the kitchen counter (It will prevent dough from sticking to the counter) and place the dough on it. put some flour to your hand & palm; slowly try to spread/flatten the dough into around 6 inch circular bhakari. Make sure the bhakri is evenly flattened. Lift slowly with both hands and place it on the hot griddle with top surface up.

Immediately sprinkle some water on top. In about a minute the water starts to evaporate. Flip the bhakri. In 30 seconds or so remove the bhakri using turner and place it on the hot chapati grill (make sure the watered surface goes on the flame). The bhakri will slowly puff up.

Turn and roast the other side as well. It should have nice brown/black spots.

Put a dollop of ghee on the bhakri. Serve it with pithal.

In the picture you have Spinach pithal .. It goes very well with Bhakri.