Recipe – Simple Paneer Makhani With Kasoori Methi


I love Paneer or Indian cottage cheese but somehow don’t like the creamy paneer butter masala sold in the restaurants and the paneer makhani is always too sweet for my taste. This dish however has the perfect Dhaba style taste of Paneer Makhni. I learned it from an elderly sardarji who owned a Dhaba in Rudrapur on way to Ranikhet. The dhaba is closed now and ‘darji is no more but the taste of his food and the memories of his tenderheartedness and love still linger in my thoughts.

So if you are looking for a lighter version of Paneer makhani try this recipe. This may not be the authentic or traditional way to cook it but it certainly is delicious. Always use soft fresh Paneer as that’s the star ingredient here. I use either almonds or cashew nuts or a mix of both in this recipe. Usually canned tomato puree is preferred as it has an intense taste but for everyday consumption I use the described method. I absolutely love how the gravy coats the tender paneer cubes turning it into a spectacular lip smacking dish. Did I say Paneer is the star ingredient? No, it is the fresh kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves that spin the magic in this dish. I like the earthy flavor of Kasoori methi and have been using Just Organik’ Kasoori Methi in almost everything. Trust me it is as good as homemade.

Ingredients :

Fresh Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese – 250 gm

Medium size Onion ( chopped)- 1

Minced Ginger+Garlic+green chili – 1 tbsp

Red ripe tomatoes ( chopped)- 3

Bay leaf- 1

Black cardamom – 2

Dry red chili -1 small

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Kasoori Methi – 1 tsp ( lightly roasted, crushed)

Butter + Oil – 1 tbsp each

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder  – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

sugar – 1/4th tsp

Soaked almonds or cashew nut or a mix – 5-6

Fresh cream (Malai) – 2 tbsp (beaten) (optional)

 

Method :

In a heavy bottom pan add the oil and butter together. Doing this will ensure that the butter doesn’t burn.

Once the oil warms up, add bay leaf,  cardamom ( lightly pounded) and cumin seeds.

Once the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the ginger, garlic, green chili mix and stir. I added little extra pods of garlic ( 3-4) as I love the garlicky taste in this dish.

Add the chopped onion and saute it till translucent then add the almonds and or cashew. Stir and add the chopped tomato. Stir nicely and cook till they soften then turn off the heat.

Let this cool and once at room temperature take this mixture in a blender and pulse it till it is a smooth paste.

Now, in the same pan add a little more butter and add this paste. Give it a good stir and when it starts to bubble add garam masala, chili powder, coriander powder, little sugar and salt to taste. Keep the flame on medium and cook it till the rawness of the masala goes and oil separates. If the masala seems too dry add a little warm warm. it should be a thick gravy. Cook it for 10 minutes stirring continuously. once the gravy is smooth and nice add the toasted crushed Kasoori methi and stir it in. Let the gravy cook for another five minutes.

Now add the paneer cubes and gently stir so that every cube is covered in the masala. Let it simmer for another five minutes then turn off the heat.  Add the freshly beaten malai and it is ready to serve. You may garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and a little more smooth beaten malai.

Serve with kulchas, naans or steamed rice or any other breads of your choice.

If you try this recipe please let me know.

Check out another equally delicious Paneer dish Here 

 

Dahi Gujiya | Lentil Dumplings In Sweet Spiced Yogurt – A Festive Recipe


I have not been keeping too well and that is affecting  my writing and other projects badly. Made these traditional UP style dahi gujias for Holi but never got a chance to post the recipe. My apologies for this late post.

Dahi gujia can be called sibling of dahi vadey/dahi bhalle. Melt in the mouth, delicate lentil dumplings especially made in the shape of gujia during festive or auspicious occasions like weddings etc. It is also a Holi specialty in parts of Uttar Pradesh. A bit tricky to make,  it takes a bit of patience and practice to make these. The gujias have a little stuffing inside them unlike the usual dahi badey. Served with sweet tamarind sauce or sonth and ground spices this remains one of my favorite dishes in any season.

I remember my mother making them and arranging them gently in a large ceramic pan then pouring the chilled beaten curd over it and let them rest a while to soak up the curd. She would then decorate them with ground spices and sauces. The gujiyas were so tender hat they would break at the slightest touch. The trick to this softness lies n the making of Peethi or ground lentil paste.

One must keep in mind to soak the daal  for minimum 4-5 hours preferably overnight. Grind the daal with minimal water to make a whipped cream like paste. It should be airy and light. Check the lightness of the paste by dropping a little batter in the glass of water. If it floats then it is ready to use. Soaking the fried gujias in hot water for a minimum of 30 minutes is essential too. This will help them to fluff up to double the size and remove excess oil too. They can them be gently squeezed and used. One can refrigerate the fried gujias for at least and use them later too.

Ingredients :

For Gujia :

Urad daal (Dhuli) | Split skinned black lentil – 250 gm

Oil for Frying

For stuffing :

Ginger grated and julienne – 1 inch piece

Chironji – 1 tsp

Raisins – 10-15

Freshly Crushed black pepper – 2 tsp

You can add crushed cashews too. I do not.

Other ingredients :

Home cultured Yogurt /Curd /Dahi – 500 gm

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Salt – to taste

Sweet Tamarind Chutney  Sonth – as required

Green Coriander \ Mint Chutney – as required

Roasted cumin seed powder – as required

Salt – as per taste

red chili powder – as per taste

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

 

I just realized I forgot to add the process pic of frying the gujia. Sorry about that. 

Note to self and Tip – when planning to post on blog save pictures separately from Instagram. lol .. here is the pic from the story I rescued. You know where it should have gone in the collage.

Process : 

Wash and soak the skinned and split black gram daal overnight.  In the morning remove excess water and grind the daal into a fine paste ( it should look like whipped cream.) Add a little water to the daal while grinding if it is too thick but the batter should not become runny.

Take it out in a large bowl and whip it with fingers too to incorporate air into he batter. This will help the gujia to stay light and fluffy.

Now, add oil for frying in a kadhayi / wok and put it on medium high flame. Meanwhile in a shallow large bowl take water(not boiling) and add hing/asafoetida and salt to it. Mix well and keep aside.

Spread it into a round shape of 4-5 inch diameter with your fingers. Add a little of stuffing and gently fold the batter with the help of the sheet to make the crescent shape gujia. Join the edges by gently pressing with fingers.

Lift the gujia with the sheet n your left hand and flip the gujia gently in to your right hand. Gently slide it into the hot oil. Be careful while you do this step.

You can make these gujias on your palms too but that requires skill and practice.

Fry it till its color slight golden brown. Remove excess oil and drop it gently into the bowl of hot water.

Repeat the steps for frying all gujias and place them in salted hing water for 15-20 minutes to absorb the flavor. In another bowl beat the chilled yogurt . I prefer to use home cultured one but you can use the market bought one also.

Once it it nicely whisked, add sugar and mix well. The consistency should be flowing but not really thin and runny.

Take out one gujia at a time and gently press it between palms to squeeze out water. Place the gujias in a shallow dish and pour the beaten yogurt on top soaking them well.

Decorate with tamarind sauce and green chutney. Sprinkle roasted cumin seed powder, red chili powder and black salt over it and chill.

Serve when desired. You can also keep the curd separately and make individual servings by putting a little curd as base in a plate then adding 1-2 gujias and spooning some more curd on top. Garnish with ground spices and chutneys before serving.

I make the usual dahi bada with the same mixture many times in summer. It is a complete lunch for me at times and one of my favorites too.

Do give this a try and let me know your experience.

 

Spiced Apple Chutney With Caramelized Onion, Indian Gooseberry & Dried Figs


 

Autumn is a beautiful season and fall recipes warm the cockles of my heart. The market is flooded with variety of apples and the Indian Gooseberry is in the season. I usually make Amla Jam / Apple Jam or a combination but it has been years since I did a proper spiced apple chutney. A perfect accompaniment with roasted chicken, lamb, tenderloin, ham slices, pork chops, pan seared lamb or salmon,  or cheese slices especially Cheddar. You can eat it in sandwiches, quiches, vegetable tarts, parathas or anything that could do with a flavor lift. Add it to your overnight oats bowl, smoothie bowl or parfait if you desire.

Sip a glass of warm mulled wine with a cheese and meat platter served with this lip smacking chutney and you are set for the holiday season.

I have a large quantity of Organically grown, chemical free super sweet and crisp Kinnaur red delicious apples from Farmer Uncle and some sour sweet golden apples lying at home.

Apart from snacking on these daily I am slowly doing some dishes with them.

This chutney is one of my favorite and tested recipes. It is hot, sweet, tangy and stays for at least a fortnight on the table.

Apples have a good amount of pectin in them so the chutney gets a great texture. I have not peeled the fruit but you can.

Two things that make this chutney flavorful without masking the flavor of the fruit are Indian gooseberry/Amla and caramelized red onions. You can omit them if you wish and the chutney will still taste awesome. If you use vinegar or apple cider then omit the lemon juice. You will have to adjust the spice threshold, sugar etc as per your taste. I prefer the natural sweetness of the fruits so add less sugar.

Spiked with the warmth of fresh ginger and the heat of red chilli this chutney is a complete winner.

Here is what you need to make it.

Ingredients : 

Apples (Use the ones available in your city), cored and peeled – 1 kg

Indian Gooseberry / Amla, chopped fine – 4 Large

Dates, pitted and chopped – 1/4 cup

Dried figs, chopped fine – 1/4 cup

Sultanas / Raisins – 150 gm

Fresh ginger root, peeled and grated – 3-4 tbsp

Lemon Juice – 3-4 tbsp (adjust as per taste if apples are not sour)

Shakkar/ powdered jaggery / granular sugar / soft brown sugar – 150 gm

Garlic cloves, chopped – 4

Onions, thinly sliced – 300 gm

Cloves- 8-10

Black peppercorns – 10-15

All spice mix – 1/2 tsp

Bay leaf – 1

Homemade garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – As per taste

Fresh Red chilli pepper / Red jalapeno, chopped fine – 2-3

Red chili powder  / cayenne pepper / chili flakes – as per taste

Lightly roasted and ground fennel and cumin seeds – 1 tsp each

Oil – 1 tbsp

Steps – 

Cut, core and chop apples in small cubes. Peel them if you desire.  Add the lemon juice to the chopped apples so that they retain their whiteness.  Add sugar to them and mix well. Let them rest till you caramelize the onions, so that the juices are released.

Coarsely pound cloves and black peppercorns.

To caramelize Onions : Heat oil in a thick bottom large sauce pan and thinly sliced onions.  Fry them on slow medium heat so that they get evenly caramelized. I add a little salt to hasten the process. Once crisp and browned remove them to a plate and when they cool a bit crush them with fingers. (Will add pic later. Forgot to take)

In the same pan add the coarsely ground roasted cumin fennel powder and let it sizzle.

Add crushed onion, garlic, ginger, finely chopped red chili, bay leaf, dried figs, apple sugar mixture, amla, sultanas, dates, raisins, ground clove+black peppercorn and let it all cook on steady simmer on medium high heat. (Add vinegar or apple cider if using at this point.)

Keep stirring so that it  doesn’t catch or burn on the bottom of the pan. Once the apples soften and resemble a puree, add the salt, red chili flakes, chili powder, all spice mix, garam masala and mix well so that the spices coat the fruit properly.

Let it simmer on low heat til it reaches a jam consistency. Keep stirring in between and you will notice the change in texture and consistency. It will become syrupy and the apples too will become caramelized.

Once the chutney has thickened draw the wooden spoon across the chutney and if no liquid fills the gap then it is ready. Otherwise cook for some more time.

Turn off the gas and let it rest for 10 minutes in the pan.

Spoon the warm chutney in sterilized or clean glass jars and seal and store.

Once open, use within a fortnight and keep in the fridge. Though I usually don’t refrigerate.

Enjoy this perfectly savory and chunky side to your meals.

Indian Masala Omelette With Multi Grain Paratha And Spiced Apple Chutney

Note : You can keep this chutney a little syrupy too. Makes it easy to spread. I have kept it dry for a purpose. Add 1/2 Cup –  Fresh Apple along with chopped apples if you like a wet chutney.

Sambar – A Mélange of Textures And Flavours In A Pot


I was talking to someone about Indian cuisine and the ‘authentic’ recipes for various dishes was the main point of discussion. I think the cuisine has evolved so much over the ages that it is difficult to call anything authentic. Each household has their particular way of preparing a dish which can’t be replicated. Even within a state, the taste and method of a preparing a particular dish changes almost every twenty kilometers or so.

Take the utterly delicious sambar, a dish that spans more than one state. The recipe for this humble yet very popular dish varies even in the state of Tamilnadu where it originate from. There are some basic things that go into it but ultimately each sambar is unique in its taste and texture and an assortment of seasonal vegetables goes into it depending on personal taste, availability and season.

I love sambar and eat it with plain rice, idli, vada, dosa or sometime l just indulge in a hot bowl of sambar with no accompaniments. It is filling and nutritious. A one pot meal. Soaked poha stirred in sambar is an interesting combination I discovered. Well, I don’t know if you would like to experiment but I enjoyed the taste.

I make my version of this South Indian delicacy. In cooking this way, the veggies get infused with the spices and taste incredible. I use both the wet sambar masala and the dry one. Both add a distinct taste to the dish. This recipe uses the dry sambar masala and fresh brown tamarind we find in the northern states. (not the paste)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To make this sambar You will need :

Toovar / Arhar / Pigeon pea lentil – 3/4 cup

Assortment of vegetables –

8-10 shallots

drumstick – 2 cut into  inch long pieces

diced red pumpkin – 1/4 cup

diced bottle gourd – 1/4 cup

diced tomatoes – 1/2 cup (small) 1/4 cup ( bit size pieces)

diced french beans – 1/4 cup

diced red onion – 1/4 cup

diced carrot – 1/4 cup

Fresh ginger and garlic – 1 1/2 tablespoon grated fine

tamarind  extract –  1/2 cup

Powder Ingredients :

red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Sambar Powder – 2 table-spoon ( to taste)

turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

asafoetida powder – 2 pinch

For tempering/ seasoning:

curry leaves – 2 springs (6-10 leaves)

Whole red chilies – 1-2

mustard seed – 1/2 teaspoon

fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

asafoetida / hing – generous amount ( about 3 pinches of powder)

The preparation and collecting ingredients for sambar is the daunting task but after that it’s easy to assemble.

To make tamarind extract :

Take about two tablespoon of tightly packed tamarind and soak it in 1/2 cup boiling water, cover and keep for 10 minutes. Gently massage the soaked tamarind and squeeze out the pulp till all the pulp gets released into the water. Run it through the sieve to remove any particles. You will have a nice extract to add to the dish. You can use the ready-made paste too but the taste will differ than this one. (I use the waste to clean brass artifacts and utensils.)

Instructions :

Wash and soak toor daal ( I use the I-Shakti unpolished daal) fo 10-20 minutes. You can mix yellow moong daal or the pink lentil with toor to get another variation in taste)

Drain the water and rinse it again.

In a pressure cooker add daal, 3 cups of water, 2 pinches of hing, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little salt. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles ( depends on the quality of daal and the cooker) It must become soft when done.

Stir it into a smooth paste with a ladle or the sambar won’t taste nice.

While the daal is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Wash and dice all the vegetables you want to use. As I do not pressure cook them, I steam the drumsticks separately if using. I don’t add it to daal while pressure cooking as sometimes drumsticks are bitter in taste.

Put a deep pan on medium heat and add some oil ( 1 tablespoon). Once it heats up, add a little mustard seeds, half of the curry leaves and 1 whole red chili. When the seeds begin to splutter add the chopped red onion, shallots and stir.

When the onions become translucent, add ginger and garlic ( you can add it to the daal while pressure cooking it too).

Add all the vegetables and give it a good mix. (don’t add the bigger tomato pieces yet)

Add all the powdered spices, a bit of salt and stir. This ensures that the veggies absorb all the flavors of the spices. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook till vegetables become soft but not squishy. Add the tomatoes at this point. Stir it properly and let it simmer for a few minutes. Do not overcook the vegetables.

Now, add the daal and the tamarind extract to this mélange  of vegetables. Give it a good stir and add water as required to make a nice, thick flowing sambar. You can adjust the quantity of water as per your liking. I prefer my sambar slightly thick. ( remember the sambar masala and the veggies will soak up the liquid, so adjust accordingly.

Let the sambar come to boil and then simmer it for some more time.

Meanwhile place a tempering pan on medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Add a hing, mustard and fenugreek seeds, whole red chili, remaining curry leaves and then pour this tempering over the cooked sambar. I divide the tempering in two parts, first while cooking the veggies, then at the end to make it more flavorful. You can choose your own way. Adding tempering at the end ensures a great everlasting aroma and flavor.

Garnish the delicious, aromatic sambar with fresh coriander greens and serve hot with steamed rice, idli, vada or dosa.

Always add the tamarind extract after the vegetables have cooked. I use half of it first and add more if needed.  You can adjust the spices and sourness of sambar according to your taste. Dice all the vegetables the same size to ensure uiniform cooking.

Sambar stays good for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.  I usually make a little extra and keep it in the fridge to use it the next day with some other accompaniment.

Sambar Masala (podi) – Those who use the readymade variety I recommend Catch and MTR. I grind my masala for aamti as well as sambar. Will share the recipe in some other post. I had this yummy sambar with MTR rava idli and dry chutney. Didn’t have time to make the idli batter at home this time. We can later have an idli, vada recipe post too. Not to forget the lip smacking chutnies. 😀

Do let me know if you make this.

Now all this writing has made me very hungry so I am sneaking away to dunk some fresh idlies in the delicious sambar and enjoy my lunch.

Catch you later. 🙂

Healthy Stuffed Fat Green Chili Peppers -Recipe


IMAG0755

During the lazy days of summer and the rainy days of monsoon one thing that always accompanies the main course in my home are these healthy sumptuous stuffed green chili peppers.  Full of goodness of  Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate 0r Folic acid, capsaicin, antioxidants , Iron, Vitamin B5-6  and other useful vitamins & minerals these fiery little green chili peppers make a tasty bite with almost anything. The spices add to the benefits as well as to the taste.

As my parents came from two different cultures we always had a perfect blend of food from Maharashtra / Konkan and Uttar Pradesh.  All of us love experimenting with various cuisines, ingredients and spice combinations.

This is my mother’s recipe for stuffed green chili pepper perfected in our kitchen. Summer is incomplete without the fresh green coriander  mint chutney & stuffed green chilies and  their variations.

IMAG0757

 

So here are the Ingredients :

200 gms. – fat green chili peppers

1/4 teaspoon – mustard seeds

1 heaped teaspoon – Saunf (fennel seeds)

3 heaped teaspoon – coriander powder

1 teaspoon – haldi ( turmeric powder)

1 teaspoon – amchur powder (dry mango powder)

1/4 teaspoon – kalaunji ( onion seeds)

Salt to taste and a teaspoon of oil to shallow fry the chilies.

A pinch of red chili powder if you want to add more fire to it.

 

Method :

The Filling  :

Powder the fennel seeds and onion seeds coarsely.

In a shallow bowl mix all these ingredients. Use only half of the powdered fennel seeds.

Make a hollow in the mixture and pour the refined oil (I sometimes use olive oil) in it.

Thoroughly mix and make a crumbly mixture using your fingers.

Cover and keep aside.

 

The Fat Green Chilies :

Pick chilies which are light green and not bruised at any place. Try to choose all chilies of similar size.

Wash them clean and place them on a cloth to air dry. Wipe them with a clean cloth after a while.

Slit each chili lengthwise in the center. You can either cut the stem or leave it.  Remove the seeds or let them be as I do.

Now it is time to fill the stuffing. Make sure you don’t over fill it.

Heat a little oil in a shallow wok  (kadhai) and when it is hot  lower the flame and add  a little mustard seeds and hing (asafoetida)

Immediately add the stuffed chilies and stir so that the fennel seeds don’t burn.

Turn them over a couple of times and cover over low flame.

The spicy tasty lite bite will be ready in five minutes.

Remove from heat and take the stuffed chillies out in a dish. Sprinkle some fennel seed powder as garnish.

Serve as an accompaniment with Parathas, rice, poories or roties.

 

Variations :

1. Instead of kalaunji and amchur add 1 teaspoon of thick tamarind pulp + 1 teaspoon of fine sugar.

2. Do not add Kalounji instead add lightly roasted besan (gram flour) in the final mixture. You may add a sprinkle of buttermilk too in this mixture.

3. You can vary ingredients but make sure not to brown the chilies and keep the oil to a minimum. For stuffing you can use potatoes, mashrooms, cottage cheese, mince meat or any other thing you can dream of but this tangy spicy pickle bite will always stay at the top most favorite.

 

Spice it up and enjoy your meal.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instant Carrot Pickle – Recipe


Winters are here and the market is flooded with red sweet carrots. One can do so much with them- toss in salads, pickle them, make kanji, carrot preserve or mouth watering gajar halwa, mix with potato, fresh green peas or any seasonal vegetable to make a healthy veggie, blend in soups or just wash, peel and munch on them. Full of healthy nutrients carrots are everyone’s favorites. They are packed with Vitamin A,  Vitamins C & B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium.

This instant pickle can be had within a day of making it. One can add a few slit fresh green chilies to it if desired. It would give the pickle a beautiful red and green texture.

Usually this pickle can stay up to a week in the fridge. I make small quantity of fresh pickle as the carrots are cheap and easily available all through winter months.

So, let us embark on this tangy spicy carroty journey 😀

Ingredients :

1/2 kg Medium Size Carrots

1 1/2 teaspoon salt ( to taste)

2 teaspoon full coarsely ground mustard seeds

1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/8 teaspoon asafitida

2 table-spoon lemon juice

2 table-spoon Mustard

Method:

Wash and peel the carrots under fresh running water. Pat dry them and cut into 2 inch long thin julienne.  Place a kitchen napkin or kitchen towel on a tray and arrange the carrot julienne on it to dry. Make sure that not a single drop of water remains or the pickle will go bad. I sometimes pat them with damp cloth to clean instead of washing.

You can leave it over night or for instant pickle just keep in sun for two hours or so. Cover it with thin muslin cloth to prevent any dust particles settling on the carrots.

 

IMG_20180307_125018

Once the carrots are absolutely dry put them in a glass bowl. Add all the ingredients one by one except the oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix well.

Mix properly. (At each stage make sure your hands and the utensils you use are clean and dry.)

Heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan till it begins to smoke. Turn off the flame and let it come to a warm temperature.

(if you are using Olive Oil then there is no need to heat it. Just add it along with other ingredients in the bowl and mix well).

Add all the ingredients to it and stir well.

 

Let the pickle cool properly.

Take a glass or stone jar. Wipe it clean and spoon the pickle in it.

 

Keep the pickle in the sun for a day and it is ready to eat.

This mustard spiked carrot pickle goes well with anything from curd rice to parathas and even sandwiches or almost anything. You can make it fresh and toss it in the salad too but use only olive oil dressing for it then.

Preserve the colors of winter in the jar and open the lid to brighten any dull morning.

Recipes – Two Easy Coconut Chutneys


I love coconut in all forms for its nutritive values. The coconut tree is called”Tree of life”  because of its medicinal qualities. Coconut is used  in traditional as well as modern medicines to treat various ailments. Full of fibers, minerals and vitamins which include B, B2, C, niacin and iron it is called “functional food” and either eaten raw or used in various preparations across India and in many parts of the world.

Chutney is a popular condiment  in India and is now served around the world today with all kind of cuisine. Chutneys are made using fruits, spices, herbs and vegetables and compliment the flavor of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Here we will learn to make two simple yet delicious chutneys using coconut. Each has a distinct flavor.  Ingredients used to make basic coconut chutney include grated coconut, fresh green chilies, ginger, salt, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. I have used mint and corriander in one and fenugreek seeds in the other.

Coconut Green Chutney 

Green chutney is made using fresh cilantro (coriander), cumin seeds, fresh green chillies, lemon juice, mint leaves, onions and salt. The vitamin benefits of the fresh mint and lemon juice used to make the green chutney include Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6, E, folate and niacin.

To make coconut chutneys first we need to select a fresh mature coconut. Crack it open and remove the water in a glass. Then the next step is to scrape the tender fragrant flesh.

Method of  making Green Chutney :

Ingredients :

Grated Fresh Coconut – 250 grams

I large bunch of Fresh Coriander leaves – cleaned, washed and chopped. (I use tender stalks also as they contain a lot of nutrients)

I large bunch of fresh Mint leaves –  Cleaned, washed and roughly chopped

4-5 green chilies ( number depends on taste and size of the green chilies )

5-6 Garlic pods – crushed

Cumin seeds – I teaspoon

Sugar – I Teaspoon

Salt – according to taste

Juice of one large lime ( according to taste)

To Temper :

Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Urad dal (white) – 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves – A few

Method :

 Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend coarsely until you have a thick paste, adding a little water if necessary.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Take it out in a bowl and add lime juice.

Heat a teaspoon of oil and let he ingredients for tempering splutter. Pour it over the chutney and serve.

You can keep the chutney in the fridge and even freeze it but I prefer to make it fresh every time. I keep the fresh grated coconut in freezer and use it when needed.

 Coconut Fenugreek  Seed Chutney  

This recipe was handed over to me by a relative who perfected it in his kitchen.

 Ingredients: 

1/2 Medium size coconut grated

Raw green mango – medium size

Jaggery – 1/2 cup crushed

Dry Red Chilies – according to taste

Fenugreek (methi) seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Warm water – 1/4 cup

Method : 

Take the grated coconut in a bowl and keep aside.

Peel and slice/ grate  raw mango

pond and break Jaggery in small pieces

In a small seasoning pan take one tablespoon of oil and stir fry red chilies and fenugreek seeds till slightly reddish-brown. Make sure they do not burn or get over roasted.

Coarsely grind these with the salt and keep aside

Place all ingredients in a plate . The heaps of numbers 2,3,4 should be of  equal quantity.

Now, grind all the ingredients in a grinder placing ground fenugreek- chilies, jaggery, mango and coconut in that order.. ( It is always best to use a traditional grinding slab made of stone to bring out the right flavors and consistency but now a days an electric grinder will do. Make use to keep the paste coarse ) .

The order in which ingredients are added to any dish is very important to bring out the right taste.

Add warm water and salt while grinding.

Water is added according to the desired consistency.

Once the chutney is ready , take it out in a ceramic or glass bowl and serve.

          Note : Never use steel or any other metallic utensil for keeping sour things.

Recipe : Fun with Stuffed Capsicum


Stuff yourself silly with this delicious recipe.

Stuffings add colour and life to any vegetable and bell peppers are a favourite choice, be it Green, Red, Yellow or Orange. They look gorgeous and each stuffing has its own special flavor and aroma. Here I have used the basic boiled potato stuffing. You can bring a healthy twist to bell peppers in your own creative way.

Ingredients:

4 medium-sized Green Capsicum (bell pepper)

4 medium-sized potatoes

6 table spoon cooking oil

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

¾ teaspoon whole coriander deeds

¾ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 large onion finely chopped

1 green chilli finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp raw mango powder

Freshly chopped coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Wash the green peppers well and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the top off about 1″ from where the stem is attached. Remove all the seeds and pith and discard.

Boil water with salt and blanch the peppers for 5 minutes. Take them out in a colander to cool.

( Sometimes I do not blanch especially hen putting on grill/ oven and never with the Red and Yellow peppers)

Wash and boil the potatoes. Peel and cut into small cubes (or mash) and keep aside for later use.

For the stuffing:

Heat 3 tbsps of cooking oil in a pan on medium flame, till hot.

Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds till they splutter. Put fenugreek seeds. Turn them golden brown.

Now add the green chillies and garlic and fry till the chillies turn whitish and the garlic turns light golden.

Add the onion and fry till soft and golden.

Now add all the powdered spices and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cubed potatoes and mix well to blend with all the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the flame; add salt to taste and mix well.

Add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Method to prepare the vegetable:

Fill each green pepper to the top with the mashed potato mix. Press down and top up to make sure they are well filled.

Heat the remaining cooking oil in a shallow pan (I use non stick flying pan so that the peppers can be lined up nicely and turned without breaking) on a low flame. When hot add the peppers (face down) and fry till golden. (Keeping the peepers this way will ensure sealing of the stuffing.)

Keep turning them in the pan so that they brown from all sides.

Once done, take them off the flame and place them on a plate lined with paper towel to allow excess oil to be soaked up. Add remaining fresh coriander leaves.

Serve hot.

Note:

There is so much variation one can do with the stuffing. You can use cooked masala Keema( minced goat meat) , sausages, lean ground beef, brown rice, scrambled Cottage cheese veggie, Mixed veggies ( carrots, tomato, beans, potatoes, soya granules, mushrooms chopped finely and cooked) etc. The options are endless.

You can also bake/ grill the peppers. Preheat oven to 225º C and once the peppers are ready to bake, do them at 225º C for 15 min. Or till done nicely.

You can top it up with any processed cheese (I like Cheddar)

You can use any colour bell pepper and turn the dish into summer carnival of colours.

So flirt with these beauties and enjoy a healthy meal.

Recipe – Sprouted Fenugreek and Potato Vegetable


Sangeeta khanna is one of the best Food Bloggers in Delhi and a friend. Over a phone conversation I asked her about healthy vegetarian food that could help me get over my Iron deficiency among other things.  I make all sorts of sprouts at home and use them in various ways like in salads, pulao, vegetable combinations and as stuffing for sandwiches etc.

I knew about roasted fenugreek being used for making ladoos mixed with whole wheat flour but had never used them as sprouts.

Usually I use it as seasoning in veggies, dal etc. Fenugreek is very nutritious herb both as a leafy vegetable and as seeds. It contains protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, copper, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and diosgenin (which is a compound that has properties similar to estrogen) among other active ingredients.

The herb which is a rich source of anti oxidant, minerals and photo nutrients  is a store house of nutrients is highly beneficial to cure many ailments like high cholesterol, Diabetes (do not eat without consulting the physician), appetite loss, heart burn, constipation, inflammation, muscle and joint pain, erectile dysfunction , baldness etc. It helps in production of milk in lactating mothers. Pregnant women should not use Fenugreek  as it  increase uterine contractions.

Sprouting fenugreek seeds crates enzymatic reaction which produces easily digested proteins.

To make Fenugreek sprouts and other sprouts with no contamination read this  Making sprouts at home by Sangeeta Khanna.

I used her recipe to make this vegetable and did some changes to it according to my taste.

 

 

I prepared a large bowl of sprouted fenugreek and kept the unused part in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make the Potato fenugreek ( methi) vegetable you need ;

Ingredients :

2 large Potatoes

I cup Fenugreek Sprouts

I Medium Onion

2  Fresh Green Chilies

4 table-spoon chopped Fresh Coriander

1 table spoon mustard oil or any other oil to cook

A pinch of asafoetida

Pinch of cumin seeds

Salt to taste

Red chili powder

Dry mango powder – 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon lime juice

Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon (optional)

 

Method : 

Make the sprouts as given in the link above. (I don’t throw the water in which the seeds were soaked, I drink it usually. Also I do not wash them so often if hygienically prepared. )

Wash and boil potatoes ( I steam them in a steamer) and cut into small cubes.

Chop onion lengthwise or in rough pieces

Chop green chilies in small pieces

 

In a non stick pan add mustard oil and let it smoke. If you are using any other oil let it heat and turn the flame low.

Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add chopped onions , grated ginger, green chilies and sprinkle asafoetida powder over it. Putting it early will burn it.

Saute the onion till light golden and then add potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes and also 1/2 of the fresh coriander leaves.

Stir and add salt, turmeric powder, toss well till done . Add the sprouts after this step. Cooking sprouts too much destroys its goodness. Add dry mango powder.

Toss for a few minutes and take out in a bowl .

 

 

The other variation with kasoori methi is in the link I provided earlier in the post.

Add rest of the freshly chopped coriander and a green chili split into half . Add lime juice while serving  if you don’t use dry mango powder.

Eat hot with Rotis, Indian flat bread or any other bread. Use it as a stuffing for grilled or plain sandwich if you like)

So eat healthy and stay well.

Enjoy!

The Pumpkin Delights : Two Recipes


Rich in Beta -Carotene  which helps us fight free radicals , potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, and many top quality essential nutrients, Pumpkin is one of my Favorite vegetable. I love its flashy orange color and the brighter it is the better it is. The best part is this gorgeous veggie is very low in calories too.

It is a super food and the only richest  single source of   carotenoids. Rich in dietry fiber Pumpkin helps us prevent and cure many diseases.

I just love it for it’s taste and the variey of dishes one can make from it. Pies, cakes, soups and our own Indian sweets kaddu ka meetha ,Kaddu ki Kheer, and also mouth watering khatti sabzi ( sour vegetable) with grinded mustard seeds. It goes very well with Poories.

I got a remarkable bright orange pumpkin today and converted it into cooling Kaddu raita ( Pumpkin Raita) and Kaddu ka meetha ( pumpkin Halwa or sweet)

Sharing the recipes with you. Both things were instant hits as my boys are very well aware of their heavely taste.

Pumpkin Sweet ( Kaddu Ka Meetha )

Ingredients:


Grated Pumpkin – 2&1/2 cups

Milk -1/2 cup

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Cardamom – 5

Cashew nuts – 10

Almonds ( blanched) – 1o

Raisins – 10

Ghee – 1/4 cup (melted butter)

Method:

Soak the almonds in warm water, peel the skin and cut very fine . Keep Aside with raisens.
Roast the cashews in ghee until it becomes golden brown.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat 1 tsp ghee, add the grated pumpkin to it and stir well in low flame till the raw flavor is gone and the color changes slightly golden.
Add milk and cook till the pumpkin is tender and the mixture thickens a bit.
Add sugar and stir constantly on low flame .
Add 3 tsp ghee to it and stir well, put in low flame till the mixture leaves the sides and the aroma comes.
Add the roasted cashews, almonds, raisins  and grounded cardamom mix well and leave it for 5 minutes.
Serve hot or warm.
One variation of this meetha is without the milk. One can just roast the grated , steamed, mashed pumpkin in Ghee and add sugar and dry fruits. It all depends on how coloie concious you are 😀
I love it rich 😀
Pumpkin Raita  ( Kaddu ka raita )

Ingredients
2 cups red pumpkin (kaddu), peeled, steamed and mashed

1 teaspoon cumin seed power roasted (jeera)

2 to 3 green chillies, chopped

1 cup fresh curds

1 Onion – finely chopped

1 teaspoon ghee
salt to taste
For the garnish
2 teaspoons chopped coriander

For the seasoning

saron seeds ( mustard seeds) – 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh Kari patta – 5-6 leaves

Asafoitida ( Hing)  – a pinch

Method

Heat the ghee and add asafoetida, mustard seeds, kari patta.

When they crackle, add the green chilles and saute for 15 seconds.

keep it aside

Peel, steam and mash the bright yellow pumpkin.

Let it cool completely.

Whisk the curds till smooth and add to the cooked pumpkin, onion, salt and the seasoning. Mix well.

Serve chilled, garnished with the coriander and roasted cumin powder.