Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gujarati Kadhi

Kadhi is a traditional Gujarati preparation of a wonderful sweet and spicy curd mixture thickened with gram flour. Every region in india has their own way of making kadhis like punjabi kadhi, rajasthani kadhimaharashrian kadhi, sol kadhi and so on.


Punjabi kadhi made from sour yogurt and is thick and served with pakoras, different from the gujarati kadhi which is thin and sweet as jaggery/sugar is added to it. Gujarati kadhi goes very well with Khichdi, Jeera Rice or Indian bread.




Ingredients
1 cup Yogurt (preferably a little sour)
2 tbsp. Chickpea Flour/ Besan
5-6 Cloves
1/4 inch minced Ginger
1 finely chopped Green Chilli
1 tbsp. Sugar/ Jaggery
Salt and Water as required

For tempering
1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp. Asafoetida
1 tsp. Fenugreek Seeds

For garnish
Finely chopped Cilantro





Beat the yogurt in a bowl. Once it is smooth, add the chickpea flour. Beat the mixture till it is consistent. Now add a cup of water and set aside. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and add ginger, chilli and cloves.

Take a small frying pan, add oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and let them pop. Throw in the cumin and asafoetida. Next put the curry leaves. Just before turning off the flame, add the fenugreek seeds, to ensure they do not burn. 

Pour the tempering over the chickpea flour, yoghurt mixture and bring to a boil. Add the salt and sugar and mix well. You might consider adding a little lemon juice incase the yoghurt is not sour enough. Adjust the consistency as required by adding more water.




Top with cilantro and serve with any kind of rice, khichdi and papad or roti.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spicy Garlic Noodles

Spicy Garlic Noodles is a delicious Asian recipe served as a Main Course,either by itself or with a side dish of veggies or tofu. These noodles, found in most Indo-Chinese restaurants in India, is a sure shot recipe for all those who miss that flavor in the US! 

This spicy and garlicy dish will not only be good for dinners, but also make a great lunch box and picnic basket meal. A quick and simple meal that you can prepare in a jiffy.



Ingredients

1 packet of dried noodles( I used round noodles from an Asian store)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups assorted vegetables(carrot, mushroom, French beans, colorful cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, baby corn, bell pepper) 

1 cup spring onion greens and onions
1/4 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup tofu
Soy sauce, vinegar
Sriracha hot garlic sauce

Method
Heat water in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles. Cook the noodles till they are al dante or just done. Over cooked noodles will become mushy when prepared. Drain the noodles and put them in a saucepan. Sprinkle little oil on them and mix well, to ensure they do not stick.

Cut all the vegetables into thin slices. This is because the thin slices will blend well with the long noodles. Boil water in a pan( I used the same water that I boiled noodles in) and blanch baby corn, broccoli and cauliflower followed by French beans and carrots.

Take a wok or thick bottom saucepan that is wide enough. Add oil to it and heat the oil. Chinese cooking is always done on high flame for a short time, so ensure that the oil is hot enough. To the regular oil, I added a little bit of chilli sesame oil. This mixture has the perfect flavor of chilli without the overpowering taste of sesame oil. Once the oil fumes, add garlic, bell peppers and onion whites to the oil and sauté. At this stage also put in a spoonful of Sriracha garlic sauce. Then put in the blanched vegetables and cabbage. Also, put the tofu slices and bean sprouts and stir fry.

Now add the boiled noodles, vinegar,soy sauce and salt if necessary. Mix well and turn down the flame. It is now time to add in the spring onion greens. Mix and serve hot!




This dish does not really need any entree by it's side, as it is hot and flavorful by itself. Just make sure to have a lemonade by your side incase the heat is too much to handle!

Make a complete meal by serving noodles with Vegetable Fried Rice.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Khaman Dhokla


Khaman dhokla, a savory steamed cake made from gram flour or chana dal (skinned spilt bengal gram) is a Gujarati delicacy made in most parts of Gujarat. It is soft, porous, mildly tangy-sweet and a great snack anytime of the day.

Khaman dhokla is a great gluten free option as well. It is a really light and healthy snack or farsan dish. Khaman dhokla serve well with some mint or coriander chutney or even raw papaya chutney, accompanied with a cup of masala tea. 





Ingredients
1 cup gram flour/ chickpea flour/ besan
2 tbsp. semolina
2 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. fruit salt
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. carom seeds
1/2 tsp. Ginger Chilli paste
3/4th cup water

For tempering
Oil

2 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Curry leaves
Green chilli cut into pieces

For Garnish
Cilantro finely chopped
Shredded coconut 

Sieve the gram flour and semolina. Add salt, sugar, carom seeds and mix well. Now add the ginger chilli paste, lemon juice and water. Mix well and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Prepare the steamer by boiling water in the steamer, and applying oil on the pan to be used to steam. I used a springform cake pan. The ease to remove the dhokla from the pan is remarkable!

After five minutes take the mixture, add fruit salt like ENO and mix well. Immediately pour the mixture into the heated pan, and steam for 15- 20 minutes. The dhokla will rise and become soft. To check, insert a toothpick and it should come out clean. 



Cool the dhokla for five minutes, and using a knife with little oil applied to it, cut into square pieces.




Prepare the tempering by heating oil in a pan, adding mustard seeds and letting them pop. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, green chillies. Lastly, add the sesame seeds and pour the mixture on the dhokla.

 The dhokla can be eaten as a snack with spicy green chutney and masala tea, or served as a side dish for lunch or dinner.




Monday, July 28, 2014

Bhune Bhutte ka Shorba


Shorba or Chorba is derived from the Arabic word Shurbah, meaning 'soup'. Bhune Bhutte ka Shorba is a part of traditional Mughlai cuisine. It is a twist to the Sweet corn soup, and tastes much better than the original one.

By roasting the corn, we give the Shorba a rustic smoky flavor and aroma. Adding vegetables in the Shorba gives it the extra nutritional value, and in a few minutes we have a bowl of wholesome goodness to enjoy!





Ingredients

1 to 1.5 corn (white or American sweet corn, frozen or fresh)
2 cups diced vegetables(Carrots, French beans, onion, sweet peas, cabbage)
1/2 cup Corn kernels
2 tbsp. Corn starch
Vegetable Stock/ Water
4 tbsp. Milk
Butter
Salt, pepper
Cilantro to garnish

Method

Apply butter on the corn and roast it on the gas. Keep rotating the corn to roast it uniformly, ensuring it does not burn. If the corn is not completely cooked, microwave the roasted corn for a minute.



Cool the corn and remove the corn kernels. Blend the corn into a thick paste and keep aside. 

Heat butter in a large saucepan, add onions and sauté till they are translucent. Now add the French beans, carrots, peas and sauté. Add corn kernels, cabbage, salt and pepper powder. 



After sautéing for a couple of minutes, add a cup of water/ stock and bring to boil. Once the mixture starts to boil, add the corn purée and mix. Add water/stock as required based on desired consistency.

Mix cornstarch in little cold water and add it to the Shorba, mixing to ensure no lumps form. At this stage also add the milk. The milk can be substituted with cream to make it richer. Bring the Shorba to a boil and turn down the heat. Adjust salt and pepper as required. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot. 



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gnocchi in Creamy Basil Sauce


Gnocchi, a variation of pasta; is generally made from semolina and potato flakes. This dish is eaten as a first course (primo piatto), as an alternative to soups (minestre) or pasta

Gnocchi is generally home-made in Italian and diaspora Italian households. They may also be bought fresh from speciality stores. In supermarkets, industrially produced packaged gnocchi are widely available refrigerated, dried, or frozen. Common accompaniments of gnocchi include melted butter (sometimes fried butter) with sage, pesto, and various sauces.

Here is the recipe of a platter of petite, potato pillows coated with glistening flecks of basil cream sauce and veggies.


Ingredients

Gnocchi 1 lb store bought, frozen
1/2 cup Allpurpose flour/Maida
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup thin slices of vegetables (carrots, mushroom, broccoli, colored cauliflower)
1/2 cup onion and peppers, sliced thinly
2-3 cloves of garlic, cut finely
8-10 basil leaves crushed with little water
1 cup milk
Shredded cheese
Salt, oregano and other herbs
Parmesan cheese and herbs to garnish


Method

Boil water in a large saucepan, add a pinch of salt to the water. Once the water boils, drop in the gnocchi. In a couple of minutes the gnocchi will rise to the surface of water, it is time to turn the gas down. Remove the gnocchi from water and cool it.








Par boil the vegetables one after the other in boiling water with some salt and keep them aside.



In a saucepan, melt butter. Once the butter is melted, add garlic and sauté till it is brown. Add the onions and peppers, sauté till they are partly cooked. 

Now add the allpurpose flour and let it cook for a minute or two. Whisk vigorously to ensure lumps do not form.Once the flour begins to brown, add milk to it slowly, mixing and ensuring no lumps form. Add the cheese in and whisk till a thick sauce forms. Now add the boiled vegetables, basil extract and seasonings. Lastly, add in the boiled gnocchi and mix well.

Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese and enjoy with garlic bread.


You might also like Summer Vegetable Lasagne. Soft pasta sheets made with cheesy Alfredo sauce and fresh summer veggies.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pani Puri

Panipuri,whether you call it पानीपूरी or Gol gappa in Hindi‎, pani ke bataashe in Urdu, पाणीपुरी in Marathi or પાણી પુરી in Gujarati; this dish is sure to remind you of one of the streets of India! It is sold as Panipuri in Western India, Phuchka in Bengal, GupChup in Orissa and Chhatisgarh and Pakodi in several parts of Kutch.
Panipuri; as the name suggests, consists of 'puri', a fried crisp sphere stuffed with a mixture of flavored water, 'pani' along with tamarind chutney and a salty mixture of potato, mung beans, chickpeas and black gram beans.  
One of the unfortunate things of living away from India is the lack of getting the same taste in chaat as in India. The closest we could get to the taste of Indian Panipuri was making it at home!


Ingredients
Puri as required
Spicy Pani
Dates-Tamarind Chutney
Filling such as Potato, Chickpeas, Mung beans, Gram beans
Chat Masala

Spicy Pani
Take 2 cups of mint leaves, 1 cup of cilantro leaves, 1 cup of chopped green chillies, 2 inch piece of ginger. Add 2 tbsp. of cumin seeds, salt and lime juice. Mix 4 cups of water and let the mixture soak for a few hours. After the mixture is soaked, sieve the water and keep aside. Grind the mixture into a smooth paste, using water from the water that is kept aside. Mix rocksalt and lemon juice if required. The spicy mint pani is ready for the panipuri. 



Dates-Tamarind Chutney
Take 2 cups of dates, with pits removed. Mix with 1 cup of tamarind, half cup jaggery, a pinch of cumin seeds and 2 cups of water. Pressure cook the mixture till 3-4 whistles or till the mixture is cooked. Cool the mixture, and make a thick paste. Add Chat Masala and ground Roasted Cumin powder. This can be stored for several days by freezing the mixture.




Mixture for stuffing
Soak Mung beans, Chickpeas and Black gram separately overnight, or for a few hours. 

In a pressure cooker, add 2-3 potatoes cut into pieces and a little salt.cook them till 2-3 whistles. Peel the potatoes, cool them, and mash them. Add cilantro, cut green chillies, lime juice, Chaat Masala and ground roasted cumin seeds to the mixture. 

Next, boil the Mung beans in the pressure cooker with a pinch of salt, and cool them. Remove excess water. Add little oil in the skillet, put mustard seeds in it, followed by cumin and curry leaves. Add the mung beans, salt, rocksalt, lime juice, turmeric powder and cilantro. 

Repeat the same for Chickpeas and black Gram beans and the ingredients for the panipuri are ready!



Filling a lip smacking Panipuri

Add boondi to the pani, and keep all the ingredients in a plate. To make a serving, take a puri, make a hole on one side of the puri. Stuff the fillings in, followed by the sweet dates-tamarind chutney and spicy pani. 


The street vendors in Mumbai give six puris in one plate of Panipuri, but the dish is so tempting that no one can eat just one!!


Try out Bhel Puri, another famous Mumbai street food!





Thursday, July 24, 2014

Surti Undhiyu

Undhiyu, a seasonal Gujarati specialty is generally made in the winter months. It is made in winter as the vegetables used in it are available in India only during winter. During my recent trip to an Indian store, I happened to find all the vegetables at this time of the year. So be it! Undhiyu in July.




Undhiyu was traditionally made in an upside down clay pot, mixing seasonal greens and vegetables with spices and flavorful garlic greens. That's where the dish derives it's name, overturned meaning Undhu/उन्धू /ઊંધું in Gujarati. Served with Puri and shrikhand, this dish is a sure find at all Gujarati weddings in the winter months!

The recipe consists of three parts: Methi Muthiya, preparing vegetables and greens and final assembly.



Methi Muthiya

Mix 1 cup of wheat flour with 1/4 cup of gram flour. Add 1/2 cup chopped methi (fenugreek leaves), few sprigs of chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp. haldi powder, 1 tbsp. chilli garlic ginger paste, 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 1 tsp. carom seeds and a tsp. of oil. Mix everything well. Add 1 cup water slowly, and knead into a firm dough. make either round or log shaped muthiya and keep aside. These can either be deep fried and added to the undhiyu, or shallow fried to avoid excess oil.



Vegetables

The following vegetables are used in undhiyu:
  • Greens like Lilva Tuvar, Val Papdi and Surti Papdi 1/2 cup each
  • Baby potatoes-10, Purple Yam-1/2 cup, White Yam(ratalu)- 1/2 cup, Baby Eggplant-6, Sweet Potatoes-1/2 cup
  • Green masala prepared below
  • Shredded coconut-1 cup
  • Methi leaves finely chopped-1/4 cup
To make the green masala, add 1/2 cup green chillies, 1 inch ginger piece, 5-6 garlic cloves, a bunch of green garlic shoots along with the garlic, 2 cups cilantro, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp. carom seeds, 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tsp. sugar in the blender. Add as little water as possible and make a thick green paste. Keep aside.

Next, take the baby potatoes, deskin them and slit them with a '+' shape on one side. Ensure it is not cut through the other side. Repeat for baby eggplants. Cut the remaining vegetables into cubes, about the same size as the potatoes and eggplant. 

Mix the green masala with shredded coconut and use 1/4th of the masala to stuff the potatoes and eggplant. 



Assembly

Heat 5 tbsp. oil in a big and deep pan. If the muthiya is to be shallow fried, use this oil to shallow fry and make the undhiya in the same oil. This gives the oil an extra flavor!

Once muthiya is crisp and golden brown on the outside, remove from the oil onto a kitchen towel. Add a tsp. each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds, sesame seeds and a pinch of asafoetida in the oil. Once the mustard seeds pop, add half of the remaining green masala and let it sizzle for a minute or two. Then add all the greens to the oil. Sprinkle little salt and sugar on them, to avoid discoloring. 

Next layer the potatoes, yams and sweet potato. Put the remaining green masala on the top and finally add the eggplants and muthiya. Top the mixture with fenugreek leaves and some shredded coconut. 

Make a mixture of 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar and half cup water. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the undhiyu and cover it. Let it cook for 30-35 minutes till the vegetables are soft. 

In order to serve, mix the undhiyu well, top with shredded coconut and cilantro and serve with puri or phulka. Also, to complete the meal, add shrikhand, salad and steamed rice.







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cupcake Handvo


Handvo is a Gujarati baked dish made from various dals and rice, vegetables, sesame and spices. This savory cake is served either as a meal by itself or as an accompaniment. Generally made in a big baking dish and served as pieces, today we give it a little twist. Pouring the batter into a cupcake moulds, we get single serve pieces, that are just right- Crisp on the outside and soft and savory inside!









Makes 24 cupcake

Ingredients

2 cup Handvo flour/ dhokla flour
4 tbsp. yoghurt
2 tbsp. Sour cream
1 cup water
2 cups grated vegetables (bottle gourd, onion,carrot, sweet corn, green peas)
3 tbsp. cilantro
4 tbsp. chilli garlic ginger paste
2 tbsp. red chilli powder
1 tbsp. haldi
2 tbsp. fruit salt (eno)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tbsp. sugar

For tempering
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp. asafoetida
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
4 green chillies chopped into 1 inch pieces

Method

Mix the flour, yoghurt and sour cream in a pan. Add a cup of water or little more if required to soak the mixture. Add salt and let the mixture rest overnight.Add little salt to the grated vegetables and let it stand. After a half hour, squeeze the water out of the vegetables and dispose the water.Take the fermented mixture and add the vegetables, chilli garlic ginger paste, cilantro, oil, chilli powder, haldi and sugar. Mix well.

Prepare the tempering: heat the oil. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Now add asafoetida, cumin seeds, chilli and curry leaves. Once the mixture is boiling, add the sesame seeds and turn the heat down.


Grease the cupcake tray with vegetable oil and keep it ready. Preheat oven to 300 F. Divide the flour mixture in half, and add half the quantity of fruit salt. Mix we'll and pour it equally into the moulds. Fill the moulds upto 2/3rds. ( I used a 12 cupcake mold, if using a 6 cupcake, take 1/4th mixture at a time). Add the tempering on each of them.





Bake the handva for 20 minutes or till the crust is golden brown and the handva has shrunk a little from the sides.




Remove the tray from the oven and cool for ten minutes. Then remove the cupcake handva and serve with spicy mint and coriander chutney, sweet imli chutney and tomato ketchup.