Cinnamon French Toast With Citrus Mango Compote


I am a huge fan of french toasts of all kinds but fruit filled ones top my list. I also love to indulge in  toppings made from fresh fruits for french toasts, pancakes and crepes. These french toasts are not for dieters.  Hot from the skillet with a soft thick center and crispy edges these french toasts make a good breakfast or brunch dish. I also feed the four PM hunger pangs with these.

The compote is quick to make and the divine taste of Indian ripe mangoes is decadent.  Put generous amount over the cinnamon flavored french toasts or fill the  toasts with the compote and drizzle some of the liquid from the compote over the stuffed french toasts for a more sinful dish. 

The fresh Malta fruit ( kind of blood orange from the hills of Uttrakhand in India) adds a refreshing tang to the compote along with a little lime and ginger juice. The zest of the fruits goes in the egg bath or the custard. Ginger juice, cayenne pepper enhance the flavors just right.

Overall it is a fabulous combination of flavors and textures.

Use a stale, sturdy, dense bread ( a day or two old) for making these french toast. A french loaf, challah or baguette would be perfect. Cut them into thick slices so the bread soaks good amount of egg mixture without being soggy. The bread needs some heft to hold the milk and egg mix. One inch thick is fine. Two inch for stuffed ones. If the bread is fresh the m dry it out for sometime in oven before dipping them.

These loafs are also good for the stuffed french toast as one can make a nice pocket to fill each toast.  Never settle for soggy and squishy french toasts.

But, if you don’t have any of them and want to use the white bread then toast it up before dunking in the egg bath. You will need to layer the filling between two slices before dunking.

Here are two versions of french toasts with citrus mango compote.

I have used a usual white bread here. The recipe is for 2 people.

Stuffed Cinnamon French Toast 

Mango Compote  – For filling and Topping

Bread – 4 slices (I have used a two day old white bread here)

Cinnamon –  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Eggs – 2

Condensed Milk + Normal full cream milk  – 1/3 cup

( usually I take four tablespoons of condensed milk (milkmaid) and two tablespoons of creamy full fat milk)

Malta fruit Zest – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt- 1/4 teaspoon ( if not using salted butter)

Butter and oil  for frying

I don’t add vanilla to retain the flavor of fruits but if you like it add 1/2 a teaspoon

Steps- 

In a shallow bowl make the custard or egg bath for the french toast. Whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon and zest of Malta fruit . You don’t need to froth the eggs. Just blend well so everything is incorporated well.

Keep your mango compote ready for filling. You can make it fresh or use a previously made too.

Take four thick slices of bread.  Toast and lightly butter them on both sides. I don’t trim the edges. You can use cream cheese too.

Heat a skillet properly on medium heat. Keep it ready for use. You can use electric griddle or oven too.

For normal white bread – On one side spread a few spoonful of mango compote filling and press the other slice on top of it. Prepare two such sandwiches. (Make the other one once the first is cooked and ready). I used white bread so those who don’t get the other loafs don’t feel left out. 🙂

For the french loaf etc –  Cut a 2 inch thick slice and make a 3-4 inch incision halfway into the slice so a pocket is formed. Fill the compote into it. One end should be sealed.

Now the steps are quick or the bread will start falling apart.

Place the sandwich in a shallow plate and spoon the egg custard mix over it till it is properly soaked. Dunking is difficult with the filled one.

Add some butter and oil mix on to hot skillet and place the soaked sandwich in it. Oil prevents butter from burning.

Keep the heat medium low so we get nicely crisp and cooked french toast. No one likes burnt ones.

Cook on one side till it is nicely browned and crisp then flip gently to cook the other side. (2-3 minutes)

Press the sandwich lightly with slotted spatula to make it cook well.

Add more butter+oil mix if the skillet is drying up. Don’t hesitate to be generous. We aren’t dieting here.

Keep a serving plate ready. Place the Lovely citrus mango compote filled french toast in the plate and dust with icing sugar or top with compote sauce and some more pieces of fruit.

Dig in when it is still hot and crisp. Repeat steps for the next one.

You can keep one french toast warm in oven at 200 degrees F while you make the other.

Cinnamon French Toast with Just the topping 

Alternately, you can skip the filling and dunk each bread in the gg bath till it is fully coated then shallow fry in the hot skillet. Keep the french toast warm in 200 degree F oven and once all are made, cut them in triangles or keep them whole when you plate them. Top the crisp french toasts with lavish amount of compote and dig in when hot. you can serve it with a dollop of creme fraiche too.

I just can’t have enough of these lovely french toasts bursting with summer flavors.

The trick is to keep it simple. Too many flavors spoil the taste. On the other hand dash of Spiced rum, Bourbon and Grand Mariner add perfect taste to the french toasts.

I use less  or no sugar as the mangoes are super sweet and condense milk is sweet too. No maple syrup or honey drizzle is needed.

Enjoy ! 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Twist to Tex -Mex Tortilla Chips


 

Usually Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas and the main dish made from them is Nachos loaded with cheese, sour cream and salsa but I gave it a twist to this famous snack. These chapati chips are prepared from whole wheat and gram flour. Instead or cheese and salsa I served them with freshly made raw grated mango takku. A delightful tangy sweet relish. You can eat them with your favorite dip or have them the traditional way with fresh salsa and sour cream. Hung curd dip pairs well with it.

Ingredients :

  • Leftover Chapatis – 3-4
  • Salt and Pepper – to sprinkle over the chips
  • Chaat masala – To sprinkle (optional)
  • Oil – For Frying. (About 3/4 cup)
  • Your favorite dip | salsa | cheese or sour cream

 

Steps :

  1. Make some whole wheat and gram flour (besan) chapatis beforehand if you plan to make these tortilla chips. If you make fresh ones then dry them for a oil for crisp frying.
  2. Cut the chapatis into 5-8 triangle shaped wedges.
  3. Heat oil for frying in a medium size dry skillet.
  4. Once the oil is heated to medium high heat slip the tortilla triangles in a single layer into the oil.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to keep the chips in single layer so they don’t overlap and are covered in oil completely.
  6. Fry them for 2 minutes or until the chips are slightly brown in color and firm and no longer pliable.
  7. Place paper towels in a plate and remove the chips to paper towel lined plate.
  8. Keep the oil hot by adjusting the heat as we will use less oil.
  9. In a serving place heap the crisps tortillas and sprinkle salt and pepper. You can use chat masala too. I use it only when there is no topping.
  10. Serve the chapati chips hot as nachos with your favorite toppings or with raw grated mango takku / green mint chutney / guacamole any other dip or sauce you like.

 

My Tip: When kneading the dough for these chips you can either use just the whole wheat flour or mix gram flour with it like I did. The proportion I keep is 2:1 You can also use mix grain flour to make them healthier. Instead of frying you can bake them in the oven at 180 degrees for 6-8 minutes . Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper when you line them in baking tray. Do not overlap. Bake till brown and crisp. I also add finely chop green chili and coriander leaves and ajwain ( carom seeds) to the flour before making a dough sometimes. You can be as innovative as you wish. Personally I do not like cheese with these chapati chips. It overwhelms the basic rustic flavor of the chips.

 

Quick And Easy Kairi Kanda Takku | Raw Mango And Onion Relish


 

Each Maharashriyan family has their version of takku.Sweet and sour, this relish is not cooked like South Indian thakkus / thokkus and the use of finely chopped onions gives it a unique sweetness which is different from the sweetness that jaggery gives to the dish.

Summer is the best time to make pickles, chunda, launji etc apart from fresh chutneys. One can see carts full of raw and ripe mangoes all over the city and this year has brought in a very good crop of mangoes of all kinds.

We don’t use the ramkela variety of achar ka aam for these chutneys and relishes but the smaller variety whose skin is softer then the pickling mango of north.

You can eat this relish with almost anything from rotis to curd rice or even mathari etc. I sometimes spread it inside wraps to give them a tangy flavor.

I make it fresh in small quantities because that’s how it tastes best.

To make this lip smacking takku you will need very few simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

Medium Size Raw mango – 2 grated

Onion – 2 medium size

Salt- to taste

Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds brown (rai) – 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds black (sarso) – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds – 2 teaspoon

Oil – 2 tablespoon

Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon

Jaggery – as per taste and sourness of mangoes.

Steps –

Wash, peel and grate raw mangoes. Keep aside.

I like those which are beginning to ripe a little from inside along with completely raw ones. Gives takku a lovely flavor.

Chop the onion very fine. I don’t like grated version. Chopping fine gives takku a nice crunch.

Warm a seasoning pan and dry roast the brown mustard seeds and one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds separately till fragrant. Don’t let them burn.

Remove and grind them into a fine ( but not very smooth) powder. I powder them on silbatta (grinding stone).

Now add this powder mix along with  red chili powder, salt, onion and jaggery in grated raw mangoes and gently mix well with your fingers by tossing the mixture slowly. .

Let it sit for half and hour then taste and adjust sweetness, salt and spices. By now jaggery will melt and get well incorporated with the juices released from mango and onions.

Heat oil in the same seasoning pan and remove from heat once warm enough. Add asafoetida, black mustard seeds (sarso) to it. When they crackle, add the remaining fenugreek seeds and let them brown a little.

When the oil cools down, pour it over the takku and mix.

Your delicious takku is ready to eat.

This keeps good for a week to ten days in the fridge.

There isn’t much oil in this recipe and  unlike other thokku it is not cooked. You will relish the raw flavors of mango and onion in this relish.

Serve with chapati, curd rice, mathari or chapati nachos or use it for layering rolls etc. The tangy sweet taste will always tickle your taste buds.

 

 

 

Poems Of Absence


These poems were first published in Peregrine Muse under a common title ‘Five Remembrances’. 

1

I see you in the slant of light
that streams in from a distant time,
your body translucent as sea,
the river holds your face in watery hands,
your voice shivers on bare stones,
sand sings your songs, your eyes,
emptied of seasons, gaze at me,
wrapping me in a quiet embrace, 
filling themselves with my longings,
my heart, hollowed of words,
weighs heavy with the moments
I did not live with you,
I reach out for you across the mist,
you withdraw in silence.
2
Night shivers on quiet trees,
the silver disc of midnight moon,
torn by the branches of conifers,
drags its light over rustling Deodars,
drops behind houses at the valley’s edge,
the cold air bears the fragrance
of tobacco smoke and timeworn wood,
silence and regret haunt me
as I feel your absence growing
like moss on the walls of our empty home,
when shadows take shape I think it is you,
but I know you never come here now,
every night I wander among your memories,
hoping to feel your presence,
and when time rolls up the night,
like a well used prayer mat,
and puts it away for the day,
I return to my final resting place
carrying the dust of our dreams. 

Savory Red Amaranth Leaves And Sattu Pancakes


This is the season for Amaranth greens, both greens streaked through with shades or red and purple or purely purple red. Both equally nutritious and full of health giving vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, antioxidants and dietary fiber. It is a good source of protein and iron too.

Fresh and cheap, they can be used in variety of dishes from salads, stir fries, it can be  mixed with dal, added to soups, fried as fritters or pan fried like pancakes.with your choice of flour from ragi (finger millet) , buckwheat, bajra (pearl millet), or chickpea flour. multi-grain pancake can be really a filling option. There are numerous way to turn these leaves into vegetable dishes.

I made besan cheela, a crepe like dish made with chickpea flour with red chaulai or amaranth leaves a few days back but here I decided to give the pancakes a twist by adding sattu. I have done a few more posts about the goodness of this roasted gram flour which you can check in the recipe index.

Sattu is again a wonder flour with a lot of nutritive value. You can make it at home too.

As sattu isn’t a good binding agent I have used a small amount of besan or chickpea flour so that our batter turns out well.

This is a gluten free, vegan recipe. The pancakes can be eaten as breakfast or as a tea time snack. One must consume them immediately as they tend to turn soft.

Crisp from outside and soft from inside these pancakes are one of my favorites.

Ingredients : 

  • Fresh Red Amaranth Leaves – 1 Cup chopped
  • Onion – 1 Medium chopped roughly
  • Green chili – 2 chopped fine
  • Sattu | Roasted Gram Flour – 4 tablespoon
  • Chickpea Flour | Besan – 2 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Water – for binding
  • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoon

Steps :

  1. In a large bowl add chopped amaranth leaves, onion, green chilies, sattu, besan, salt, pepper powder, chili powder and mix well.
  2. Rub the mixture with your fingers till the dry ingredients have incorporated well in the veggies.
  3. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The amaranth leaves and onion will release juices and moisten the mixture.
  4. Now add a little water at a time to make a thick batter. It should be just enough to bind the mixture properly.
  5. Sattu can not bind on its own so we use a little besan for binding. Use more of sattu and less of besan always.
  6. Heat a non stick pan and drizzle some olive oil in it.
  7. Divide the mixture in 4-6 small size portions. Spread a small portion of batter and pat with your fingers to spread it like a pancake.
  8. Repeat with other portions as well. Cook on low – medium heat till it crisps on one side then flip carefully.
  9. Brown and crisp the other side too, pressing it gently with a slotted spatula.
  10. Once both sides are nice and crisp, serve immediately with the dip or chutney of your choice. I had them with mint coriander mayo dip.
  11. These pancakes have a lovely flavor of amaranth and sattu and are incredibly crisp so don’t wait to dig in or they will become soggy.

My Tip: You can use both green or red amaranth leaves but I prefer the red ones for their high iron content and earthy texture. This is a low fat snack as we use just a little olive oil to cook it in pan rather than frying. You may omit onion and the pancakes will taste awesome.

I also realized that the leaves to flour ration should be 2:1 so we get more crunch from the leaves. Here as i used sattu I kept it a little more than usual. Both ways it tastes yum.

Banarasi Ras Wale Aaloo Aur Poori


A simple yet flavorful potato curry recipe from Banaras. This is traditionally eaten with Bedmi kachori or poori. It also brings fond memories of the station ke aaloo poori which I still relish during my train travels. Travelling by train meant preparing poories and aaloo subzi either dry or raswali. Everything was neatly packed with pickle and some other snacks and sweets. Later, when I discovered the joy of station wali aaloo poori and everything changed. We gorged on the hot spicy curry with pooris and never once bothered about the dripping oil. The taste was unique at each station.

In Haridwar I discovered dubki wale aaloo which were served with poori or kachori or bedmi poori. Another variation that is lip smacking.

This particular raswale aaloo is made at our home very often. A simple soul food with the flavor of spices that tickle your tongue as you eat. It balances the oily poori in the meal.

In Banaras even the average food stalls have delectable kachori and raswale aaloo. There are some other sabzis also that go with kachori like alloo and kaddu ki sabzi. 

Ingredients :

  • Boiled Potatoes – 4 Medium size
  • Grated Ginger – 1 tablespoon
  • Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Amchoor Powder (Dry Mango Powder) – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Fennel Seeds ( Moti Saunf) roasted – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Banarasi Rai ( Small Mustard seeds) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chopped Fresh Coriander Greens – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – to taste
  • Mustard Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Water – 2-3 Cups

Step :

  1. Wash and boil the potatoes in pressure cooker. Once they are done, take them out, peel the skin and roughly break them with hand. Keep aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix all the powdered spices except salt. Add grated ginger to it and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Mix properly to make a paste.
  3. Heat a pan and add mustard oil to it. Bring it to smoke and reduce the heat.
  4. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida and just as the seeds crackle add the fennel seeds and the spice paste.
  5. Stir it and let it cook till the oil separates.
  6. Now add the broken potatoes and stir to coat them uniformly.
  7. Add 2-3 cups of water and salt. Mash the potatoes with the back of the ladle.
  8. Let it curry boil for five to ten minutes or till the desired consistency is achieved.
  9. Check for the spice and salt levels and add more if needed.
  10. Once done, turn of the gas and ladle the spicy Banarasi raswale aaloo in a serving dish.
  11. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
  12. Traditionally the vegetable has a thin gravy. The kachori or poori is dunked in the spicy vegetable curry and eaten.
  13. Serve with hot poori/ kachori and curd/raita.

Delhi Street Style Egg Paratha


 

Egg parathas or Anda Parathas bring back a lot of memories from college days and later when mid night hunger pangs took us to moolchand parathewala and various other roadside paratha joints which catered to the night owls like us. It was the preferred choice of meal along with other stuffed parathas.  There can be no other soul satisfying meal than this when the city sleeps and the streets are almost empty except for  people like us and the dogs. The coveted time between 11 PM to 4 AM was the playground for these parathewalas and hungry night owls. You will always find people to tell you interesting stories related to their night- outs and paratha eating adventures.

Street food is an art. It is an experience to watch these street vendors conjure up delicious dishes right in front of you.  I have watched the art of making anda paratha but what we make at home doesn’t come closer to what the street side vendors sell. Still, for the love of it I started making a few variations of this famous paratha at home. My boys were sucker for this treat and it would be a choice of single egg or double egg, sometimes even a stuffing of anda bhurji or scrambled egg, keema would go in and the paratha would instantly become a  complete meal.

Crisp , flaky, packed with the goodness of eggs and spices egg paratha is a great thing to satiate your hunger. The stalls make this no frill delight and diligently serve you with pickle and onion rings. Sometimes even a dollop of butter.

Unlike usual stuffed paratha the street style egg paratha is slightly tricky to make. The beaten egg is gently folded into the layers of the crisp paratha and then it cooks inside them. Usually, in a good paratha you won’t be able to see a trace of egg outside and only when you tear it to take a bite the deliciousness of the cooked egg will come to light.

Some street parathas are made differently where the egg is broken on top of a large roti made with maida and cooked on hot tawa then folded with some keema or egg stuffing like a mughlai paratha but that is a different story.

The Delhi style egg paratha is different and unique in taste. Here are the two ways you can try to replicate the awesome street food at home.

Ingredients : (Serves 4)

Whole wheat Flour – 2 cups

Eggs – 4

Coriander greens –  4 tablespoons

Green chili – finely chopped 1 tablespoon

Salt and black pepper – to taste

Red chili powder – to taste.

Onion –  1/2 cup chopped fine

Water – to kneed the dough

Oil / Ghee – for cooking paratha

Steps : – 

The paratha for this recipe needs to be flaky so that when it puffs up the layers separate and you can slide the egg mixture inside by lifting the top layer. Regular paratha makers will not find this difficult and the new enthusiasts can learn from trial and error , it is all worth the effort. Trust me. 😀

In a bowl take wheat flour, add salt and a little oil and kneed it into a nice dough using water as required. Keep aside for 15 minutes and then kneed again with your fist to make a nice soft dough. Softer dough will yield great parathas. Keep it under a moist muslin cloth till ready to use.

In another bowl break one egg and add the coriander leaves, green chili, chopped onion and other spices.

Whisk it well and keep aside.

Divide the dough in four equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.

Dust the ball in dry flour and roll it into a circle with a rolling pin. Now apply some oil/ ghee and fold it in half circle , then fold again to make a triangle. brush oil/ ghee between each layer and sprinkle the dry wheat flour slightly. This will keep the layers separate.

Heat a frying pan or tawa, flat griddle on medium heat and cook the paratha till one side gets brown spots, flip and cook the other side similarly. Apply a little oil/ ghee on the sides.

When you see the edges becoming crisp and the paratha splits into layers  gently lift the top layer or make a incision with a sharp knife to pour the egg mixture between the two layers. Tilt the paratha a little so the mixture is evenly distributed.

Cover it again with the layer of paratha and let the egg cook inside.

Gently press it with the spatula to ensure the egg cooks well inside. Do it on both sides. You can keep the flame low and cook covered for a minute too.

Once done remove it in a serving plate and serve with pickle or chutney and a nice cutting chai. Yes, you need to have kadak chai with it. Coffee won’t do.

Sprinkle some chaat masala for that street style taste.

Repeat the procedure with other egg parathas.

They need to be eaten fresh but wrap them in paper towel or butter paper if you want to take them in your lunch box or pack them for your kiddo.

Method 2 

It is simpler and though parathas for me are always triangular and not circular but you can make it this way too.

The ingredients are the same So is the cooking method. What changes is the shape of the paratha.

Don’t worry if the egg comes out. Perfection is not always essential. The parathas taste just as awesome even with a little spillage from side.

Be careful while filling as the steam from the paratha can give you burn.

It takes a little practice to make these but once you learn it you will want them every day. We will make the famous Kolkata Mughlai paratha or the Baida roti soon

Usually the street stalls use refined flour or maida to make the paratha but this healthier version with whole wheat flour is better.

 

Important Tip – It is good to learn from people sharing their food adventures and recipes perfected over time. It is better to make your own stuff and share than copy paste someone else’s. Not everyone is a professional or seasoned food photographer so it is cool to take pix as it is in your kitchen than to steal from other blogs etc.

Don’t be scared to share the way food looks in your kitchen or plate. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Summer Special – Healthy Green Plantain Raita


Summer months are for eating light and healthy. Yogurt based dishes especially raitas are cooling and nutritious too. I often make a big bowl at lunch and pair it with simple zeera rice or mixed grain roti & sabzi. Green plantain is cooked like potatoes and used in many recipes as it can not be eaten raw. One can make cips, kebabas, koftas, stir fry, raita and various types of curried or dry vegetable dishes from it. These are nutritious and rich in dietary fiber among other things.Packed with carbohydrates, Vitamin A (more than ripe banana), B Vitamins esp B6, potassium, iron, magnesium these are a good choice to add to your meals.  Raw Onion gives this raita a little crunch and it is good to eat raw onion during summer as it has a cooling effect on the body.

To make this cooling raita you will need :

Ingredients :

Raw green plantains – 2 Medium size

Onion – 1 medium (Optional)

 

Green chili – 1

Grated Ginger – 1 inch

Salt = to taste

Red Chili Powder – (For garnish)

Roasted Cumin Powder ) For garnish

Curd / yogurt – 1 cup whipped

For tempering :

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig 5-6 tender leaves)

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Red whole chili – 1/2

Asafoetida – 2 pinches ( optional but it gives a nice flavor)

Oil – 1/2 teaspoon

Steps – 

Wash and steam or boil green plantains in steamer or pressure cooker. Three whistles are enough but it depends on the size of banana.

Take out , peel the skin and roughly mash the plantain. Some people mash it smooth but I love small soft chunks in the raita.

In a bowl whip the curd till smooth. Add salt to taste.

Add the mashed plantain, grated ginger and chopped onion. Mix well. Raw onion is good to eat in hot summer days.

You can add a little roasted cumin powder and red chili powder too.

Add fresh coriander leaves and mix.

To prepare the tempering :

Take a seasoning pan and put it on low flame. Add oil and when it warms up add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds start to crackle add curry leaves and red whole chili and chopped green chili. Don’t let the seasoning burn.

Pour it over the raita.

Serve chilled with rice or roti.

Some recipes call for chana dal and / or washed urad daal in tempering. I have not used them here but they do enhance the flavor. Use 1/2 teaspoon of each if desired.

 

Summer Special – Roasted Bell Pepper Raita


It is hot and humid here in Delhi and to beat the heat I always prefer to keep my meals light and include loads of simple yogurt based dishes, dips, raitas etc. I love the cooling effect of cucumber raita, pumpkin raita, lauki or bottle gourd raita, bathua raita, raw plantain or kacche kele ka raita and the everyday tomato, onion raita. Sometimes with poories etc I make the boondi ka raita as well. Fruits or veggies with select spices and whisked yogurt is all it takes conjure up this lovely side dish. The yogurt based condiment is one of the most favored side dishes all across India and forms an integral part of most of the traditional Indian meal. .The cool raita often balanced the hot spicy main dishes in our cuisine and also tones down the intense flavors of main dishes.  I use home cultured yogurt which I think is the best but sometimes I also use the mother dairy dahi which is great for making raitas. The better the yogurt the better the raita.

When I saw the recipe of Roasted Bell Pepper Raita posted by Monika Manchanda on twitter I immediately hopped over to her fantastic blog Sin-a-mon Tales. It looked so appetizing and colorful that  I decided to try it out the very next day. The flavor of charred sweet peppers was mind blowing.

I have used roasted bell peppers in yogurt dips but not as a raita. They gave this raita a very beautiful texture too apart from the burst of colors. The seasoning made it super delicious. Like her, I too love to season my raitas. It just takes the raita to another level of deliciousness.

Though you can click the link above to read the original recipe by her I am still posting mine here.

Roasted Bell pepper Raita :

Ingredients :

Red Bell Pepper – 1

Yellow Bell Pepper – 1

Yogurt – 1 Cup

Salt – to taste

Roasted Cumin Powder – 1 teaspoon

Red Chili Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Fresh Coriander Greens – 2 tablespoons finely chopped

For Tempering :

Olive Oil – 1 teaspoon

Mustard ( sarso) Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Whole Dry Red Chili – 1-2

Cumin ( zeera) Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Asafoetida – a pinch

Steps :

Take yogurt in a deep bowl and whisk properly so no lumps remain and it is nice and smooth in texture. Add salt, little roasted cumin powder and a little red chili powder and finely chopped coriander greens. Stir and keep aside.

Wash and pat dry the bell peppers and brush a little oil on them.

Roast them on direct flame or in oven , turning now and then to achieve uniformed roasting. They should not burn but cook evenly.

Once done, place them in a zip-lock bag or wrap in clig wrap to sweat for a few minutes. I find that this makes it easier to peel the charred skin off the peppers.

Remove the charred skin and wash so that all the black skin is cleared.

Chop the peppers and add to the whisked yogurt.

Mix it well.

Heat a small frying pan and  warm the olive oil . Once warm, add asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add  whole red chili pieces. Saute for half a minute. Nothing should burn but give out a nice aroma.

Tip the seasoning over the raita and garnish with more coriander greens.

Serve with parathas, biryani, rotis, poories, pulao or just have a big bowlful all by itself.

I paired it with khatti meethi kaddu sabzi and roti on day 1 and then again with sattu ka paratha and baingan chokha on day 2. This one wasn’t seasoned but tasted as awesome as the first one. 😀

Trust me this is one hell of raita and you will always love to make for any of your lunches, dinners for family and friends.