December 23, 2008

Sookhi Gobi - Dry Cauliflower Curry

I love vegetables & cauliflower is a huge favorite with me. I just love the very sight of fresh cauliflowers in the market & the very thought of eating those florets, in whichever way delights me.

At my In-laws place, we never buy cauliflower. For some strange reason, my MIL hates using cauliflower in her cooking. It was very shocking for someone like me who ate copius amounts of cauliflower But, Cauliflower is one of the must haves in my pantry. I add it to most dishes, from Upma to Khichdi to Pulaos to Gravies to almost anything that it fits into.


My favorite way of serving cauliflower is this simple stir fry that my mum has been making since ages. Unlike my husband who loves Aloo Gobi, I love this one, mainly because I grew up with this.

This recipe is from Northen India, where cauliflower is used in abundance. This is a very basic recipe & very easy to put together. Hope you like it too,

Preparation Time
: 20 minutes

Ingredients
:
  • 2 cups of even sized cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder ( more if you want a bit more heat )
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of Garam masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Method:
  • Heat oil in a large skillet. When hot, add cumin seeds, when the seeds pop & splutter, add grated ginger, coriander powder, turmeric & red chilli powder. Saute for about 30 seconds on low heat. Do Not burn them.
  • Add cauliflower florets & saute until each floret is well coated with spices. This takes about a couple of minutes.
  • Add very little water & salt as per taste, & cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Let the cauliflower cook on mediun flame. Keep sauting at regular intervals to avoid the florets from getting burnt.
  • Add green peas & mix well. Close the lid again. If necessary add a little bit of water at this stage. Let it cook again.
  • When the cauliflower florets & peas are well cooked( This should take about 15 minutes) thrown in a pinch of garam masala & add lemon juice. Mix well.
Serve HOT with Rotis/Rice. Enjoi !!!

NOTE
: Do Not over cook the cauliflower florets. If overcooked, it tends to get mushy. The florets must retain their crunch

The cauliflower was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of crunch. We enjoyed this mildly spiced curry with some HOT steamed Rice & Dal. It really did make a wonderful side dish with, the otherwise plain Dal.

My trip was postponed by a bit & I had enough time to post another favorite recipe of mine. Iam off for a holiday, the day after. I still haven't started packing & I am happily blogging away my blues, sitting in front of my laptop. I think Iam just Crazy, But I totally enjoy doing things at the last moment, a trait I picked from my husband :)

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year. Have loads of fun :) Will see you guys real soon.

Chao :)

December 13, 2008

Baingan Ka Bharta - Smoked Eggplant Curry

Punjabi cuisine is wholesome & full of rustic flavors. If you love punjabi food, I bet you will love Baingan Ka Bharta. This simple dish from the land of Punjab, has a very distinct flavor because of the use of mustard oil. Smoked eggplant gives it a very earthy flavor that you will love.

Baingan Ka Bharta is relatively healthier as compared to other punjabi dishes as it does not require liberal use of desi ghee or oil. This is simple enough to be tried by a novice too


Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 red onions - finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • A handful of chopped cilantro

Method:
  • Make tiny slits around the eggplant, coat with mustard oil & roast it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 mins, till the eggplant gets charred on all the sides. You could even roast the eggplant on the stove top.
  • Once the eggplant is roasted, allow it to cool. Later, peel off the skin & mash the eggplant with the back of a fork. Add salt & lime juice, mix well & set it aside
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add cumin seeds, once the seeds pop & splutter, add green chillies & ginger garlic paste & saute
  • Add chopped onions & saute until they turn transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, add red chilli powder & saute till the tomatoes are cooked & oil separates
  • To this, add mashed eggplant & green peas. Mix well & cook for a while on low heat.
  • Add salt as per taste. Add garam masala & kitchen king masala, mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro

Serve HOT with Rotis/Rice. Enjoi !!!

Serve as a dip with pita chips for a change. Iam sure your guests will love this.


NOTE:
  • You could use vegetable oil/sunflower oil too. But Mustard oil gives it a very different flavor.
  • DO NOT wash the smoked eggplant in cold water to cool it down. Else, it will lose the smoky flavor.
  • You can even use charcoal to roast the eggplant, It will taste even better.

December 8, 2008

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

I love Pasta. I am a huge pasta eater because it is such a comfort food. I think most of us do love pasta because our bodies are designed to love carbohydrates.

I love all kinds of pasta, Penne being my all time favorite. Speaking of Penne Pasta, Iam sure all pasta enthusiasts, particularly CheeseCake Factory fans will be familiar with Evelyn's Favorite Pasta.


Evelyn's Favorite Pasta is so wonderfully comforting. Tossed with olive oil, some nice roasted vegetables & lovely basil & parmesean cheese, it is sure to please your tastebuds. It is so fully of flavor, hearty & makes a delicious, easy dinner. This is one of the healthier Pasta options if you happen to be a health freak.

Also, I recently discovered that, Whole Wheat pasta tastes exactly like traditional pasta. Why dont you guys switch over to whole wheat pasta too. Its a lot healthier for you.

Since I do not have the option to go over to CheeseCake Factory, Here's my attempt to recreate the pasta magic at home,

Preparation Time: 30 mins

You will need:
  • 2 cups Penne Rigate
  • 1/2 an eggplant - cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper - cubed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp dry basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Boil Pasta in heavily salted water as per package instructions.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add chopped eggplants, broccoli florets & saute for a while.
  • Add chopped bell peppers, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts & saute over medium flame until the vegetables are well roasted. See to it that the vegetables retain their crunch. Do Not over cook the vegetables.
  • Mix in cooked pasta, basil leaves, parmesean cheese & some salt. Mix well & simmer on low heat for about 4 - 5 minutes until the pasta is well coated with vegetables.

Serve HOT with some grated cheese. Enjoi !!!

NOTE:

You could also add some roasted artichoke & olives. I omitted it as I didn't want to mix in too many flavors. I DO NOT recommend adding these. But you can go ahead & add them if you like to.

December 4, 2008

Baby Corn & Green Peas Curry

There is something about Baby Corn. I am sure, most of you will agree with this one. You will very rarely come across someone, who dislikes Baby Corn.

While looking out for a Baby Corn recipe, I came across this dish on Monsoon Spice. The moment I saw the picture, I knew this would be our lunch the next day.

Baby Corn & Green Peas is a killer combination. They compliment each other really well. Let me tell you that this curry is relatively dry as compared to the regular Baby Corn Masala but it really goes well with most dishes.

If you love Baby Corn, this is for you.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

You Will Need:
  • 12-15 Baby Corn - cut vertically into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 red onion - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 small tomato - finely chopped
  • 2 Green chillies - slit length wise
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen King masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil

Method:

  • Boil baby corn juliennes in heavily salted water with turmeric for about 10 - 12 minutes. Baby Corn should be tender fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add cumin seeds, once the seeds pop & splutter, add green chillies & ginger garlic paste.
  • Add chopped onions & saute till they turn transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes & saute for a minute. Add red chilli powder, & cook until oil separates.
  • Add yogurt & kasuri methi & bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add cooked baby corn & grean peas. Add some more water & cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add Garam Masala & Kitchen King Masala. Check for salt. Mix well.

Serve with Rotis/Pulao/Biryani/Jeera Rice. Enjoi !!!

We had our with some plain paranthas, rice & yogurt. It was one wholesome meal for the weekend. This recipe is a definite addition to my list regular recipes. It will definitely be making this again.

How about you trying this for lunch today?

NOTE:

If you do not want to use yogurt, add an additional tomato for the tangy taste. I have added yogurt to get a creamier texture as this dish is rather dry.