Archive for June, 2010

MASALEDAR ALOO SUBZI – SPICY POTATOES – west Indian style

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Recipe for Masaledar Aloo (Dry Spicy potatoes) – serves 4 to 6

Preparation time: 25 min

Cooking time: 15 min

Ingredients:

 20 Baby Potatoes/1 lb – abt 1.5 inch diameter potatoes work well for this recipe

1 ½ cup green peas 3 firm Red tomatoes

Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)

1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

 3 tsp red chili powder

1 tbsp Ginger paste or grated fresh ginger

 7-8 Curry leaves

1 tsp Lemon juice

 1 tsp sugar

 3 tsp salt or adjust to taste

3 tablespoon oil

To roast and grind to powder:

2 ½ tablespoon Coriander seeds (measure little more than ½ tbsp per serving)

1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds (measure little less than ¼ tbsp per serving)

1 ½ tsp Ajwain (Carom) seeds (measure little more than 1/4 tsp per serving)

3 tsp fennel seeds (measure ¾ tsp per serving)

Method:

1. Wash and clean the potatoes, poke tiny holes with fork on them and soak in 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder water with water about an inch above the potatoes– I like with skin but optionally you can peel-off the potato skin before soaking- give a quick boil and turn off the heat. Let the potatoes remain in the hot water until working on other preparations.

TIP: Soaking in salty water will add more taste to potatoes when cooked by avoiding the blandness on the inside as the baby potatoes are not cut in this recipe

 2. Dry roast the grinding spices on hot non-stick pan. Let cool, coarsely grind the mixture (I used mortar and pestle but coffee grinder also works well with just 2-3 quick pulses) and add to the ginger paste with sugar, red chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 3 tsp water

 TIP: Mom’s trick to avoid burning the ginger and spices while cooking in hot oil for longer.

3. Wash and apply little oil –used extra virgin olive oil (coconut oil also gives good flavor)- over the tomato skins with finger tips–and bake in 300 degree Farenheit pre-heated oven for 20 min turning over 10 min interval to let the skin cook-burn on all sides.

TIP: this method gives a nice flavor to the tomatoes when paste with the peas

4. Heat oil on a frying pan on stove and add hing and curry leaves

5. Add green peas and stir well to coat them evenly with the oil- cover and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally on medium-low heat. Add ¼ tsp salt and mix well.

TIP: I add salt per ingredient for more accurate measurement.

6. Add the ginger mixture to the peas and stir well to coat the peas evenly with the spices. Add the dry ground spices and stir well.

 TIP: the ground spices are added at this later stage because they were already dry-roasted before so require less cooking now to retain the flavors.

7. Remove tomatoes from the oven, chop in very small pieces (you can also remove the tomato skin before chopping if desired – I like the skins) and add to the peas. Mix well and press so that the tomatoes and peas are crushed and combined. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid sticking on the bottom of the pan.

TIP: Avoid pureeing the tomato to retain the baked flavor and the dryness of the subji recipe.

8. Drain the potatoes and them to the peas and tomato and mix well to evenly coat with the peas-tomato mixture. Cover and cook with ¼ cup water stirring occasionally. Add half tsp salt or per taste and stir well. Add lemon juice and stir well.

TIP: Remember there was salt while soaking potatoes, in the peas, in the tomatoes so just add little at the end per taste. The water used to soak potatoes can be used to cook-boil dal later.

9. Serve hot with Roti/Paratha and Raita or Plain/Jeera Rice-Dal/Raita

Variations :

 1. Use tomato without baking for cutting down prep time. You have to compromise with the flavor though

 2. Steam cook potatoes until tender but not mushy after soaking for 15 minutes only OR microwave soaked in salt/turmeric water for 5 minutes. Steaming may cause potatoes to soak in more oil while cooking so I would avoid that method unless you want to try.

3. Use 5 cups of finely chopped cabbage (marinated with salt and turmeric powder without water) instead of potatoes.

 4. If using larger potatoes, you can cut them into appropriate size of scoop off balls using ice-cream scoops once cooked/boiled in water and softened. Then use in the cooking with the dry gravy mix

5. Add 1 more tomato and cook with ½ tsp more each of chili powder, sugar and salt. And once the potatoes are cooked, add 1 tbsp of well beated creamy yogurt (like Stonyfield or Greek yogurt which is not sour) instead of lemon juice. Heat 1 tsp oil and add black mustard seeds. When spluttered add it on top of the prepared masaledar Aloo in yogurt Gravy subji and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

 6. Sweet and Tangy firm Mangoes replacing potatoes will also make a nice variation. I love tangy mangoes and have tried this version as well. Add ½ cp more peas and reduce ½ tomatoes if using mangoes. It can be accompanied with Parathas and Shrikhand instead of Raita for a combination of sweet and sour platter!!!

 7. Raw bananas substitute of potatoes will work for the Jainism followers.

8. My sister’s favorite variation – bake tomatoes after removing top stem portion and removing the seeds – add some cheese – take out chop/mash and add to the peas mixture. Add potatoes and cook for 5 min covered.. ready to eat!!! Kids will love the cheesy food

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Eggless Cake – Kalakand – Milk & Paneer cake

Kalakand cake – No eggs!!!

Ingredients

4 cup milk (whole milk preferable)

2/3 cup fresh paneer/cottage cheese

1 ½ cup sugar

¼ cup crushed corn flakes

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup fat-free dry milk

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Method:

  1. Boil milk on medium heat stirring very frequently until the milk reduces about 1 ½ cup – it will take about 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  2. Grease a 9 inch round pan with 1 teaspoon softened unsalted butter or ghee –clarified butter.
  3. Preheat oven on 375 degree Farenheit and place the pan with softened butter. Once melted take out the pan and apply butter evenly with spatula on the pan.
  4. Grate and smoothen the fresh paneer and add to the reduced milk with sugar and dry milk, corn flakes and raisins. Mix well but slowly. Do not overbeat. – I mixed with hand like preparing dough with batter like consistency.
  5. Mix flour and baking soda well in a bowl.
  6. Pour the milk mixture over the flour and mix well with spoon. Mixture is not required – one less cleaning job!!!
  7. Add the cake batter to the greased pan and bake for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean cake is ready else let bake for another 3-4 minutes until the cake is baked.

Variation:

  1. Use store-bought kalakand instead of boiling milk and adding paneer. Reduce the sugar to ½ cup.
  2. Skip the corn flakes, flour, baking soda and baking to prepare Kalakand sweet. Put the milk/paneer/sugar/raisins/fat-free milk mixture over greased plate. Let cool for few minutes and cut into pieces. Ready to serve!!!
  3. Add grated coconut to #2 variation and make ladoos!!!
  4. Use ½ tin condensed milk instead of boiled milk and sugar for faster preparation.

Note: this is not the regular cotton-like smooth cakes but it is still very soft and delicious. No eggs so good for vegetarians.

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Ragada for Gujarat ka Sev Usal And Mumbai ka Ragada Pattis

Ragada – dried peas gravy

Ingredients:

2 cups dried green peas (‘Suka Vatana’ available in Indian grocery store)

2 tablespoon oil – I like to use peanut oil but canola oil also works fine

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Pinch of asafetida

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 teaspoon paprika

1 ½ teaspoon ginger paste

1 ¼ cup tomato paste

2 tablespoon jaggery OR 4 teaspoon sugar

1 cup water

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoon amchoor (dry mango) powder

2 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

 Method:

  1. Soak dried peas with pinch of salt and baking soda for 6-8 hours with at least 2 inches of water above the peas level OR soak overnight.
  2. Drain and pressure cook with water (1 inch above peas level in the cooker) with pinch of salt and baking soda.
  3. Mix ginger paste, paprika, turmeric, coriander and cumin powder with 2 teaspoon water
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let splutter. Add sesame seeds and let splutter. Add asafetida. Add ginger mixture. And stir well. Let cook for a little less than a minute on medium heat.
  5. Add tomato paste to the oil and mix well with the ginger mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the tomato gravy leaves the sides of the pan and is seen floating in oil.
  6. Add boiled peas and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add jaggery/sugar and stir well. Add 1 cup water and cook on medium-high for 3-4 minutes until most of the water is absorbed/evaporated.
  7. Turn heat to low and cook for 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally. Add salt, garam masala and amchoor powder and lemon juice. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

TIP: If there is too much water then mash a few peas. This will cause it to absorb more water and thicken the gravy.

8. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.

 Variations:

  1. TO serve as Gujarati Sev Usal – add sev (thin plain besan bhujia available in Indian grocery store)and finely chopped onions.
  2. To serve as Gujarati chaat dish – add sweet date chutney, coriander green chutney, hot garlic chutney, finely chopped raw mango (or unripe avocado pieces in lemon juice!!!), fresh pomegranate fruit seeds, sev (thin plain besan bhujia available in Indian grocery store) and finely chopped onions.
  3. To serve as Mumbai ka Ragada Pattis – take the ragada in a deep dinner plate and add pattis, date chutney, coriander green chutney, hot garlic chutney and finely chopped onions.

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Jaljeera – sweet and tangy summer drink of India

Jaljeera

Ingredients

1 Raw mango – cut and boil

2 tablespoon Jaggery –Gud (available in Indian grocery store)

1 cup fresh Mint leaves

1 tablespoon Ginger paste

4 teaspoon Black salt – or adjust per taste

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

2 green chillies OR 2 teaspoon paprika or adjust to taste

5 cups of water

1 tablespoon Lemon juice or adjust to add required tanginess (Optional)

Sugar per taste (Optional)

 Method:

  1. Wash, peel, cut mango slices and boil with jaggery and 1 cup of water
  2. Roast cumin seeds in dry pan on medium-low heat for 1 min and grind to fine powder

TIP: Roasting cumin seeds gives more flavor when used in the drink

3. Blend Mint leaves, Ginger, cumin powder

4. Add chilies and boiled mango mixture (with all the water left from boiling) and blend for more time

5. Add Black salt, cumin powder and Stir well

6. Add water to make the drink per the consistency u want – if want thicker then add less water

7. Add lemon, sugar, salt, pepper if needed more per ur taste

8. Served chilled or add ice to drink immediately.

Variations:

 1. Mangoes and jaggery can be cooked in microwave on high for 10 minutes with enough water to dip them in. Stir every 3-4 minutes. Potato setting works fine too – 2 cycles needed.

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Moong Dal halwa – West India Dessert

Moong dal halwa – makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 cup yellow moong dal

1 1/4 cup ghee – clarified butter

1 cup milk

1 cup water

Pinch of kesar (saffron) strands

1 cup sugar

Almond slices

Method:

  1. Wash and soak yellow moong dal in water for 6-8 hours or overnight with water being at least 2 inches above the moong dal level

TIP: Moong dal soaks water so lesser amount will not make it softer as needed

2. Drain and grind moong dal to coarse consistency. Add few teaspoons of water to help grind but not too much to make it liquid.

3. Heat ghee in the pan on medium heat and then add the moong dal. Keep stirring very frequently for 6-7 minutes until the dal leaves aroma.

4. Lower the heat to low and let cook for 40-50 minutes stirring occasionally.

5. Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup milk and let it boil. Add saffron and stir well.

6. Add to the cooked dal pouring slowly and continuously stirring the dal while pouring the liquid.

7. Cook on medium for 2-3 minutes and then add sugar. You will see sugar forming syrup like liquid. This is okay to happen

8. Let cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes stirring continuously.

9. Lower the heat to low and let cook for another 15-20 min stirring occasionally.

10. When all the sugar seems to be absorbed and halwa is leaving ghee on the sides turn off the heat.

11. Add almond slices and serve hot! This halwa can be stored in refrigerator for 15 days and warming up portions when ready to eat OR freeze for use within 1 month.

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Sabudana khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi – serves 4-5

Ingredients

2 cups Sabudana (Tapioca) – available in Indian grocery store

1 medium sized Russet potato

½ cup peanuts – optional

7-8 Curry leaves

2 green chillies

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 tablespoon ghee

2 tablespoon oil

1 ½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup water to soak sabudana

Method:

  1. Wash and soak sabudana in water overnight or 6-8 hours. It will be wet and fluffed up to about 2 ½ times than its original size after soaking for enough time.
  2. When ready to prepare khichdi wash, peel & cut potatoes in tiny cubes and chop green chillies
  3. Heat oil and ghee mixed in pan
  4. Add cumin seeds when oil is heated. Let it crack, add potatoes and stir well to coat potatoes evenly with the oil.

TIP: coating potatoes well with hot oil helps to avoid being sticky when cooked due to its starchy form

5. Add curry leaves and green chillies and stir well

6. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom on the pan

7. Meanwhile crush peanuts coarsely (I use mortar and pestle – spice grinder or mixie can also be used with fewer pulses)

8. Add the soaked sabudana in the pan and stir well to coat evenly with oil. You will notice that sabudana will become less opaque now and silver-like in color. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid sabudana sticking to each other.

TIP: sabudana also has lot of starch so coating well with oil will avoid it from being sticky

9. Add crushed peanuts to the sabudana and mix well. Add salt and garam masala and stir well.  Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally

10. Serve Hot with Yogurt or Buttermilk!!

Variations:

  1. Soak sabudana in warm water for 3 hours if wanted faster. Make sure water is not very hot just right warm – otherwise the sabudana will be come sticky
  2. This recipe can be consumed during fasting when salt is allowed. Replace table salt with Black Salt.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ tablespoon Lemon juice for the sweet and sour taste of Gujarati style instead of garam masala.
  4. Instead of cooking potatoes first fry potato cubes in 1 tablespoon oil until golden brown and crispy and drain oil, add to sabudana khichdi with salt in step 9 above. This will give a soft and crunchy texture to the dish – soft sabudana with crunchier potato chips – YUMMY!!!

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SingPak – Indian style Peanut bar – quick, easy and yummy!!!!

Singpak: Indian style Peanut bar

Ingredients

  1 cups Peanut

  1 tablespoon jaggery/gud – available in Indian grocery store – a healthy sweetener

   ½ tablespoon ghee

 Method:

  1. Roast peanuts in dry pan on medium-low heat until the skin becomes dark brownish-black. Remove from heat, let cool & remove the skin by rubbing between the palms of your hands. You can also use store-bought roasted peanuts (additional flavorless and skin removed)
  2. Crush the peanuts coarsely into half-sized or grind with mortar & pestle to half each peanut.
  3. Heat ghee in pan and if not already melted – let it melt to give oil like consistency.
  4. Add crushed peanuts and coat well with ghee. cook for 3 minutes stirring continuously.
  5. Add jaggery, stir well with the peanuts and let it melt for just 1 minute on medium heat.

TIP: do not melt jaggery for longer otherwise it will become stretchy like the Chiki sweet

6.  Grease a plate with little ghee and add this hot peanut/jaggery mixture

7. Within 1 minute of cooling cut into pieces like Kaju Katli

8. Remove pieces from plate when completely cooled down and store in air-tight container for use within 1 month. Should be consumed earlier if the jaggery or peanut are not fresh enough when cooked.

 Variations:

  1. Can be eaten warm also in cold weather – just within few minutes of making the pieces.

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