February 11, 2015

Peas Pulao

For a very long time, I struggled to make the perfect Peas Pulao, like the ones you get in restaurants. Perfect white & Grainy. I used to cook this as a one pot meal, all cooked together in a pressure cooker until I discovered the method of cooking Rice separately & then mixing it along with other ingredients. Now, My Peas Pulao turns out really well. White & Grainy just the way I like it

This really is very easy to put together and it makes for a quick meal if you have some guests over. Just pair it with a nice Dal or a curry & you are done,

Peas Pulao 

 You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 3/4th  cup Fresh/ Frozen Green Peas (I used fresh)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 green chilies - slit
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • A few cloves
  • 1 tsp crushed Kasuri Methi
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp desi ghee
  • A handful of cashew nuts 

How To:

Clean Basmati Rice in several changes of water. Drain & set aside for about 30 mins. In a small Pressure cooker, heat a tbsp desi ghee, add basmati rice & fry for a couple of minutes on low flame until aromatic. Add some salt & add about 1 1/2 cups of water & pressure cook.

Meanwhile, boil green peas with a bit of salt & set aside. Once the pressure releases, gently transfer the rice onto a wide plate or bowl & set aside to cool. Allow rice to cool completely

In a heavy bottomed Kadhai, Heat Ghee. Splutter cumin seeds, Add the green chillies, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cashew nuts & ginger garlic paste. Fry gently for half a minute. Add cooked green peas along with Kasuri Methi & give it a mix. Next, add the cooked rice & some salt & on a very low flame, give it a gentle mix. Let it stand on low flame for about a minute or so. 

Serve Warm with a nice curry on the side, I usually like to pair it up with a wholesome dal or a mixed vegetable curry

Note:

You may skip adding Kasuri Methi & I don't think its traditionally added here. But I like the flavour of Kasuri Methi so I add it to most of my dishes

If using frozen peas, there is no need to boil the peas separately. Add them directly to the Kadhai as Frozen Peas get cooked real fast

The 1: 1.5 Ratio of Rice:Water works well for me. A lot of people use the 1:2 ratio but somehow I end up with slightly mushy rice. Experiment with the ratio & couple of times & see what works for you. It also depends on the brand of Basmati Rice you use

February 9, 2015

Microwave Crisped Bitter Gourd Rings


As a Kid, I disliked Bitter Gourd while the rest of the family loved it. But somewhere along the line, I grew quite fond of it & I don't even remember since when did I start eating it, We kannadigas mostly make Gojju out of it & I recently learnt how to make a mean Bitter Gourd Sambhar from one of my Aunts :) Believe me, It is quite tasty 

I came across these Microwave Crisped Bitter Gourd Rings from a random website & I tried them almost immediately & they turned out very delicious. They make for a great Tea Time snack or munch a few along with yiur mid morning dose of Green Tea, Much better than those cookies I tell you


Microwave Oven Crisped Bitter Gourd Rings

 These chips stay crisp for about a couple of days & can be stored in a air tight jar for about 2 days I think. Mine have never lasted beyond that, It will only take you about 15 mins from start to finish & you will end up with a bowl full of crispy low fat chips

You Will Need:
  1. 1 large Bitter Gourd
  2. 2 tbsp cooking oil
  3. 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  4. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  5. Salt as per taste
How To:

Wash the Bitter gourd & pat dry. With the help of a knife, slice the bitter gourd into thin rounds, The thinner the discs, the crispier it will be.

In a  bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp cooking oil along with red chilli powder, salt, turmeric. Add the bitter gourd discs & mix well so that the discs get coated with the spice mixture

Grease a large Microwaveable Glass Tray, arrange the discs next to one another, Do not stack the discs or overlap them. Place in the microwave for about 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, take out the tray & give it a shake so that the discs do not stick to the tray, Microwave for another 2 minutes

After 2 minutes, flip the discs & add another tbsp of oil & microwave for another 2 mins, Continue doing this until the bitter gourd discs have crisped well. 

It takes about 10-12 minutes for them to crisp up, depending on your microwave.

Once done, allow them to cool & serve it as a snack of as a side along with Dal & Rice. Enjoi !!!

December 18, 2014

Spiced Turmeric Milk

The Weather in Bangalore is now so pleasant, just the way I like it :)  It's cold early mornings & there is a bit of sunshine later in the day, And, it again gets cold at night. Chill enough to snuggle under a warm blanket.

 I love everything about winter especially the food, Waking up to some nice & hot Masala chai to warm soups, Maggi & some good old Pakoras. But winter does bring it share of woes. One does catch a cold very easily especially in a place like Bangalore. The child is down with a runny nose & a bad cough, We are off on a holiday next week & I do hope that he recovers by then


Spiced Turmeric Milk

So, there's the World Famous Haldi Wala Doodh a,k.a Spiced Turmeric Milk for such days. Turmeric is known for its medicinal properties & is widely used in everyday Indian cooking. And, this Spiced Turmeric Milk does bring some relief to sore thoats & runny noses. It's tried & tested :)

The recipe is a no brainer anyways, I am going to document it :) The usage of saffron is optional but it does bring a nice hue & taste to the milk. I used milk with 2 % fat, You can use skimmed milk or even full fat milk. Shankar's Granny use 1 part milk & 1 part water. It's entirely up to you 

You Will Need
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp good quality Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • A small piece of cinnamon
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Sugar as per taste

How To:

In a sauce pan, Pour milk, Add all the ingredients mentioned one by one except saffron, Allow the milk to boil. Turn off the stove

Strain out the cinnamon stick & ginger. Add saffron & mix well. Pour into a glass & serve Hot 

October 21, 2014

Poha Chivda

The Deliciousness from all those lovely Indian Tea Time Goodies doesn't come without its share of calories, fat & loads of guilt later post indulgence. But we love those Farsans don't we?

This Poha Chivda that I have for you today scores relatively low on the calorie count, This involves no Deep frying, has about 2 tbsp of oil & It does not contain APF :) How better can it get?

Hope your Deepavali preparations are in full swing this year. I just recovered from a nasty case of flu & I am still resting.. I am going to give those deep fried goodies & sweets a miss this year, Wishing you all a cracker of a Diwali :)

Poha Chivda


You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Paper Thin Poha
  • 2 tbsp Raw Peanuts
  • 2 tbsp Raw Cashews
  • 4 tbsp Roasted Chana Dal
  • A handful of Curry Leaves
  • 8-10 Dry Red chilies - broken
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

How To:

In a fairly wide heavy bottomed kadhai, heat oil. Splutter mustard seed. Add curry leaves & red chilies & fry for about 30 secs. Add peanuts & fry for a minute. Later, add roasted chana dal & fry for another minute, Add Cashews A fry for a minute more. Add turmeric powder, salt & sugar. mix well & fry on low flame for a minute or so until the peanuts are nice & croio

Add Poha & give it a good mix till it is coated with spices. Once donce, turn off the heat & allow it to cool. once cool, transfer into an air tight jar

It goes amazingly well with coffee or Tea !! Stores well for about 10 days.

August 12, 2014

Aloo Gobi Wrap

I love wraps. They are quick, to -go & non messy kinda food & not to miss the deliciousness. Wraps make a great lunch box/snack box option & they are a breeze to make if you have the filling ready.
Dry curries/subzis are a staple in most Indian households, and they make great fillings for wraps

Aloo Gobi Wrap

Aloo Gobi, Dry Chana Masala, Paneer subzis all make great fillings for Desi Version of a wrap. I had leftover Aloo Gobi & I used them to make these delicious Desi Wraps using wholewheat Phulkas. 
These Wraps make a great option for your kiddo's lunch box & you can cleverly sneak in vegetables if you kids are fussy eaters. 

You Will Need:

  • Phulkas ( Tortilla/Naan will also do )
  • 4 tbsp leftover Aloo Gobi ( Recipe for Aloo Gobi Here )
  • 1/2 onion - thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp butter
  • A few lettuce leaves

How To:

Warm the phulkas slightly to soften them, if you have made them beforehand. Spread a little butter evenly. Spread lettuce leaves.  Scoop about  2 tbsp of Aloo gobhi  in the center. Add sliced onions on top. 

Tightly roll phulkas & secure with a toothpick or roll using a paper napkin towards one half of the wrap, so that it holds the wrap tightly. 

Serve Immediately. If Serving later, warm them for a few seconds in the Microwave Oven.

NOTE:

  • Make sure the filling is dry else the wrap will get soggy in no time
  • You can use Tortillas, Parathas, Theplas. Naan, Kulchas or even Rotis to make wraps. I used Wholewheat Phulkas for a lighter & a healthier version
  • Instead of Butter, you can spread a thin layer of green chutney, cream cheese, tomato ketchup or Hummus. 
  • You can also make miniature Wraps & serve them for Tea 
  • If using toothpicks, make sure you remove them before eating

July 29, 2014

Spaghetti in a Super Quick Tomato & Cashew Sauce


I didn't intend to take such a long break from blogging but juggling hazaar things with an active toddler is by no means an easy task. Whenever I take a look at some of my favorite blogs/cookbooks or even food shows, I realize, how much I miss food photography & blogging. I do plan to work on that soon. 

Pasta is not my Dad's favorite dish but this post is for him because every time I visit him, he makes it a point to ask me about my long forgotten blog. And Every Single time, I make a mental note to come back home & then it never happens. He asked me the very same question last evening so this afternoon  I made this simple pasta for lunch & quickly did all the photography & the recipe is here. 

Thanks Dad, for being the first one to read my posts, every single time :)

Ok so, Pasta does feature in my list of comfort foods. And, this super quick sauce made with tomatoes & cashews is my go to recipe. I picked up the recipe from VeganYumYum many moons ago & it has been a favourite since then.



Spaghetti in a simple Tomato Sauce with Red Peppers & Olives


The sauce uses very few ingredients that are easily available in the pantry & is very very quick to whip up. The weather in Bangalore is at it's awesome best currently & the weather does demand for a bowl of  nice & creamy pasta 


You Will Need:

1 Packet Spaghetti 
3 large ripe Tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 cloves of Garlic
A handful of cashews
1 tsp cracked pepper
Salt as per taste
Black Olives
1 red  Bell pepper - diced
Fresh Parsley or Basil for garnish
1 tbsp Olive Oil 

How To:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil & cook paste according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, Add roughly chopped tomatoes, garlic, tomato puree, garlic & cashews in a blender & blend until smooth. 

In a heavy bottomed pan, Heat olive oil  & saute diced peppers for a couple of minutes. Later, pour the sauce from the blender into the pan. Add some salt & let it simmer for about 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally. Add some water or milk  to get the desired consistency, if the sauce thickens too much

Once pasta is cooked, drain water & set aside. Add drained pasta into the pan, add some freshly cracked pepper & olives. Add chopped Basil or Parsley ( I used parsley) & toss to coat

Serve Immediately 

Note:

  • Replace Spaghetti with any other pasta of your liking
  • You may replace cashews with almonds or even fresh cream
  • Use whole Wheat Spaghetti for a healthier option


April 8, 2014

Raw Mango Dal

This space has been silent for a very long time, much longer than intended. I haven't got my blogging mojo back as yet but I will still manage a post once in a while. Also,it's been so long since I wrote something, I have a major writer's block & I seem to have nothing much to say :)

Summer is here & so are the Mangoes. And along with it comes loads of mango based dishes. This Raw Mango Dal is easily one of my favorite summer recipes.

Raw Mango Dal 

My Neighbour makes a killer Mango Dal & this recipe is hers. I have of course tweaked it a little to suit outr taste buds. The only change I have made is the addition of garlic which in my opinion takes this dish to a different level


DSC_1047


How To:

Peel the skin & dice the mangoes & set aside. Pressure cook Toor Dal with a tsp of cooking oil & turmeric along with diced mangoes. Let the pressure drop. once cool, give it a gentle mash. Add 1 cup of water, red chilli powder & some salt & bring to a boil. Add more water if required to bring it to a pouring consistency. Simmer on low flame for 5 mins.

Heat Ghee in a small pan. Temper with cumin seeds along with chopped garlic & dry red chillies. Pour over dal & garnish with fresh coriander before serving.

Serve with warm steamed Rice.