Sabudana (Tapioca) Khichdi

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Sabudana

Sabudana

I have been observing fasts for nine days during Navratri for quite sometime now. I stick to eating phalahaar or non cereal food. I believe it is the time to follow a tradition of cleansing, detoxifying and getting my body rested. I have seen both my mother and mother in law fast for these days and I guess it is just in me to follow them.
Different people observe different rules. I have just tried to follow some common rules and go ahead with preparing what’s commonly eaten during fasts.

I have learnt to prepare Sabudana ki Khichdi from my mother in law. Whether fasting or not, my husband loves to have it!

Here is the recipe-

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

1 Cup Sabudana
2/3 Chopped Green Chillies
1/2 Cup Roasted Groundnut Powder
2 Tbsp oil/ghee
1 boiled potato chopped
Salt to taste
Red Chilli to taste
1 tea spoon Cumin seeds
Chopped Cilantro for garnishing

Method:

In a sieve take Sabudana, wash it and thereafter drain the water. It is very important drain the water for at least 4 hours. Make sure that no water remains or else the khichdi becomes sticky while cooking. You can sprinkle some water after draining. I usually soak it the night before.
Boil and chop the potatoes in small cubes.
Take ghee/oil in a pan and heat it, add cumin seeds, once they crackle, add green chillies, let them fry for a minute. Add chopped potatoes and sauté them for 5 minutes. Add the roasted ground nut powder, now add Sabudana, salt and red chilli. Mix and let this fry for 5-6 minutes. Stir it. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro for garnishing.
Serve hot with curd.

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Khichdi

Ridge Gourd (Torai) Rice

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Ready to Eat- Ridge Gourd Rice

Ready to Eat- Ridge Gourd Rice

After a hectic day I did not feel like making Chappatis and a side dish to go with them. The easy alternative was to make rice. I saw a lone Ridge gourd in my refrigerator and decided to use it with the rice.
I must admit they were not out of the world but were quick to prepare and different from the usual “Pulao” that we have.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup Basmati rice
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup shredded ridge gourd (with skin)
• 1 tablespoon of oil
• 1 teaspoon of butter (adds taste)
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed (jeera)
• 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed (rai)
• 1 Big Onion
• Garlic Paste (3/4 cloves)
• 2-3 red peppers whole
• 2 Bay leaves (tej patta)
• Salt to taste
• Small piece of cinnamon stick about 1/2 inch (dal chini)
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Method:
Over Medium heat, take a saucepan, add oil and butter to it. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to oil; if the cumin cracks the oil is ready. Add mustard seeds, once the mustard seeds crackle, add bay leaves, cinnamon stick and whole red chilli. Now add the onion and garlic paste. Fry them while stirring continuously till the oil separates from the masala. Add rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Now add the shredded Ridge gourd, lemon juice, salt and water. Let this come to a boil. Cover with a lid and let this cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the rice is soft and water has evaporated.
Enjoy your meal with curd/pickle. You can replace Ridge gourd with spinach too.

Happy Navratri!

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Kalakand Recipe

Navaratri, one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals started yesterday. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi i.e. female divinity are worshipped. The festive spirit around this time of the year catches up everybody. I love going to Devi Mandir, the vrat menu comes out in full during these days, and how can one forget the Dandiya nights, the colorful traditional attire and loads of fun!

It is a long week end in Hyderabad and I have been busy with guests.
I made this super quick, super tasty, awesome Kalakand, the recipe comes from my dear Mom.

Here it goes-

Ingredients:

250 grams Soft Paneer (Crumbled or grated) or 3 lt Full Cream Milk for Chenna
Sweetened Condensed Milk (I used Milkmaid)
Pistachio for garnishing

Method

To make Chenna at home-
Bring the milk to boil in a pan. Add citric acid solution as the milk boils. The milk will start to coagulate. Cook for some time (6-7 minutes approximately) Once you see the Chenna settle, sieve this through a muslin cloth. Pour cold water over Chenna.
Let it drain. Cold water helps in eliminating stickiness and prevents further hardening. Let it drain about half an hour. And Chenna is ready!

Mix Chenna/Paneer with Condensed Milk. Heat this mixture over medium low heat and stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick. (You can add saffron if you wish to give this a color) Spread it on a greased plate and decorate with finely cut pistachio, or a cherry in the center. Looks good, tastes even better!

Cut into pieces after it cools down.

Kalakand

Kalakand

Once again wish you all a very Happy Navratri!

Microwave Cupcake (Eggless)

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I saw this quick cupcake recipe on eCurry- and wanted to try it for my son. Try I did and the results were awesome.
It is a “must try” recipe. Very easy, very quick and the kids just love to be around while one does it. You can also make this with an egg, as in the original recipe (In that case Milk Cream and Milk Powder are optional add ons)

Microwave Cup Cake

Microwave Cup Cake

Ingredients: (makes 1 Coffee Mug Cup Cake)
1. 3 Teaspoon Plain Flour
2. 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3. 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
4. 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
5. 2 Tablespoons Castor Sugar
6. 2 Teaspoons Cocoa Powder
7. 3 Teaspoons Milk Powder
8. 1 Tablespoon Malai/Milk Cream
9. 2 Tablespoons Milk
10. Dusting sugar, ice cream, cherries or chocolate sauce

Method:
Mix all the ingredients above in a bowl and transfer this to a cup. You can put them in the cup directly as well and mix them. In either case please remember to grease the cup/container in which you are making the cake with a thin layer of ghee/butter. Cook this cake in the microwave for 2.5 minutes approximately (depends on the microwave power) that’s it! The cake is ready.
My son wanted it to be taken out so that he could cut and we could sing the “Happy Birthday” song for him, so I took it out, put some chocolate sauce and cherries on it and his dessert was ready! It hardly took five minutes to bring that smile on his face.

Matar Mushroom

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Mushrooms, also known as Khumb or Dhingri in Hindi. I don’t cook them often as I am not a very big fan of this dish. However my family likes mushrooms and matar mushroom is always a hit with them.
Here is the recipe for it-

Ingredients: Serves four
1 Cup Peas (Fresh or frozen)
200 grams Button Mushroom (Khumb/Dhingri – Indian)
2 Large Onions (Ground to a paste)
2-3 Medium Sized Tomatoes (Blended to a paste)
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
50 grams nut paste (Cashew nuts preferably, boiled for 5 minutes and ground to a paste)
1 Large Bay Leaf (Tez Patta – Indian)
2-3 Cloves (Laung)
Cumin Seeds (Zeera)
1-2 Whole Red Chilli
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Red Chilli Powder as per taste
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash the mushrooms and blanch them in boiling water for 2/3 minutes. Wash the peas and boil them for 5/10 minutes until they are soft.
Take oil in a pan and heat it. Add cumin seeds, after a minute add bay leaf, whole red chilli and cloves. Add onion paste. Sauté this for five minutes and then add ginger garlic paste and cashew nut paste. Keep stirring this so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Let this cook until the paste is light brown (approximately ten minutes) now add the tomato paste and cook and stir until the oil starts separating from the gravy. Add garam masala, salt and red chilli powder. Add the cooked peas and mushroom. Cover the pan and let the gravy cook for five minutes.
Matar Mushroom is ready to be served. You can serve it with hot chapatti, naan, bread, or rice.

Matar Mushroom served with hot Chapatti

Matar Mushroom served with hot Chapatti

Bharwa Baingan

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Baingan- usually people love it or hate it.
My Mom loves Baingan, but my Dad does not have them in any form. That’s the only vegetable my Dad does not like, otherwise he is not a fussy eater. Growing up, I remember I never saw brinjals in our refrigerator…Mom stopped buying them as I and my brother also refused to eat them in any form, not even in sambhar.
It is only at a friend’s house that I agreed to taste Baingan Bartha and then on it became one of my favorite side dishes. Here is a recipe for another baingan dish that I learnt from my Mom in law and this is my husband’s favorite.

Ingredients:
6/8 Small Brinjals (Baingan)
2/3 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)
2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder)
1/2 to 1 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Cumin seeds (Zeera)
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Red Chilli powder as per taste
Salt as per taste & 2 Tbsp Oil
Chopped Cilantro

Method

 
 
 
 
 
 

Stuffed Baingan- Raw

Stuffed Baingan- Raw

 
Slit the brinjals vertically. Mix the Gram Flour, Coriander powder, Amchoor, Garam Masala, Cumin Seeds, Red Chilli Powder, Salt and chopped Cilantro.

Now stuff the above mixture into the vertical cut made on brinjals.
Heat oil in a pan; add 1/4 tsp cumin powder. Put the stuffed brinjals in the plan, cover the lid, and let them cook for sometime. Serve with hot Chappatis.

Stuffed Baingan- Cooked

Stuffed Baingan- Cooked

Vegetable Kebab

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One of my favorite breakfasts on lazy Sunday mornings is Vegetable cutlets. My husband does not prefer cutlets as they are deep fried and therefore he avoids the same. So we both usually have kebabs which can be shallow fried and make you feel less guilty about the calorie factor.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients:(Serves 4)

Ingredients

Kebab- Ingredients

2 Medium Potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1 Cup Green Peas (boiled and mashed)
2 tbsp Paste of Raw Papaya (boiled and mashed)
3 tbsp Chana Daal/Bengal Gram (boiled and mashed)
1 Slice of Bread
2 Green Chillies chopped
1 small onion (cut to small pieces)
Garlic Paste
Coriander
Mint
1/4 tbsp Garam Masala
1/2 tbsp mango powder/amchur
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Cumin powder
1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds

Method:

Vegetable Kebabs

Mix and mash together the boiled potatoes, papaya (makes the cutlets soft), green peas, chana daal, crumbled bread (for bonding).
Add Green chillies, onions, garlic paste, coriander, mint, salt and the dry spices. Mix well. Now shape this mixture into patties. Heat the oil in the pan and shallow fry these patties until golden brown. Place them on a paper napkin so that it can absorb the extra oil. Serve the kebabs with Mint chutney, tomato sauce with a dash of lemon!

Vegetable Kebabs

Vegetable Kebabs

Gobhi Parathas (Cauliflower Paratha)

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Paratha Stuffing

Gobhi Paratha Stuffing

I love rains….and look forward to the arrival of monsoons. I recently made Gobhi (Cauliflower) Parathas for breakfast and they were a perfect match for the lovely weather we have here in Hyderabad!

Ingredients

For stuffing:
1 medium sized Gobhi ( Cauliflower) grated
Salt to Taste
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
2 Green chillies, chopped finely
2 tbsp Cilantro
1 tbsp Ginger (paste)
1/4 tbsp thymol seeds(Ajwain powder )

For dough:
3 cups Wheat flour
Salt to taste
Water As needed
Oil for frying parathas

Method:

P9074074

Gobhi Stuffing Spread over the base Chapatti

 
DOUGH:

Add salt to wheat flour. Add water and knead to stiff dough. Cover and keep aside.

FILLING:

Mix the ingredients mentioned above for filling. Some people like to shallow fry this mixture and cook until the cauliflower is tender. However I skip frying the filling as it increases the oil content in parathas.
Take some dough and roll out two small chapattis (roughly the same size), spread the stuffing on one of these chapattis and use the other chapatti to cover this base.
Roll this with a rolling pin and dust liberally with more flour as you are rolling. When done, pat out the excess flour.
Heat a tava and fry the gobhi paratha both sides to crispy and brown. Put some oil over the paratha as you do this.
Serve the stuffed paratha hot with dhania chutney/curd/pickle.

Paratha served with Curd

Gobhi Paratha served with Curd

Kadhi Pakoda

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Well this is one dish I make for myself! I love Curry Pakora. So without wasting anymore time here is my recipe for it-

Ingredients: Serves Four

Ingredients

Ingredients- Kadhi Pakoda

For Pakora:
1 cup Besan (gram flour)
Pinch of cumin seeds
Coriander Seeds
1 small chopped onion
a pinch of turmeric powder
red chilli powder (as per taste)
water (to make a smooth batter)
salt to taste
Oil for frying

For Kadhi:
2 spoons Vegetable Oil
1 cup besan
3 Cups yoghurt
2-3 tsp minced garlic
4-5 Dry Red chillies
7-8 Curry leaves
1 tbsp mustard seeds
½ tbsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2-3 cloves
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp red chilli powder
1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
3/4 Cinnamon Quillings
Cilantro
Salt to taste

Method:

Pakora:
Mix besan and all the other ingredients in a bowl. Add water to make a smooth batter. Make round balls and deep fry them to make pakodas. Take them out on a paper napkin so that the paper soaks all the extra oil. Keep aside.

Kadhi:

I use the egg beater to whisk besan, yoghurt and water. I also add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder at this stage (Some people add salt after the Kadhi is cooked). For 3 cups of yoghurt you can take 6/7 cups of water (water should be double or more of the yoghurt quantity). The mixture should be of butter milk consistency. Put this mixture in a pan and bring it to boil 2/3 times. Then lower the flame and let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Keep stirring all the time.

Kadhi Tadka:
In another pan take oil and heat it. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon quillings, minced garlic, cloves and let them pop. Add curry leaves, green chilli, and dry red chilli to the above. After this has fried for a couple of minutes add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and fry. Add this tadka (spics infused oil) to the Kadhi above.
Let this boil for another 5 minutes and then add the pakoras. Stir a couple of times carefully so that pakodas don’t break and boil for another 3-5 minutes.
Sprinkle cilantro and serve hot with rice.

Kadhi Pakora

Kadhi Pakora- Besan Curry

Stuffed Sponge Gourd (Gilki)

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Sponge Gourd pieces slit vertically

Sponge Gourd pieces slit vertically

As a kid I always used to avoid eating bottle gourd (doodhi), bitter gourd (Karela), ridge gourd (Torai) and other vegetables which belonged to the “gourd” family. I would pull a long pace at the very mention of these vegetables and convince my Mom to make another side dish for me and she would usually yield in.
I started eating these vegetables after my marriage. It so happened that my mother in law had made Torai Sabji that day, and I did not have the heart to tell her that I don’t eat it, so I ended up trying it. Somewhere down the line I gradually started liking these vegetables and am glad that I eat and relish all of them now. I often thank her for introducing me to the “world of gourds”
The dish here is sponge gourd (also called Gillki in Indore) Sponge gourds thrive well in sunny locations in well-drained soil base
My family enjoys this dish a lot and I am glad that my four year old son loves it too.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Sponge Gourds 7/8
For the Stuffing-
Grated Onions 3
Grated Tomatoes 1
Chopped Coriander 1 tsp
Garlic Cloves 6/7
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tbsp
Coriander Powder 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder to taste
Vegetable or Canola Oil 3 tbsp

Stuffed Sponge Gourd Pieces

Stuffed Sponge Gourd Pieces

Method:
Grate the onions and tomatoes
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, after they are brown, add garlic cloves and let them turn golden brown. Add the grated onion and salt. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes and then add the tomato pury. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Let them cook nicely, until the raw smell goes away and the oil separates from the stuffing. This will form the filling, so make sure that all the vegetable water dries up while cooking. Once done, put it aside and let it cool. Add chopped coriander.
Peel the sponge gourd and cut it into 3 inch (approx) long pieces. Spilt these pieces lengthwise for stuffing. Add the filling to the sponge gourd pieces.

Stuffed Sponge Gourd

Take oil in a pan, put some Cumin Seeds and once they are brown put the stuffing filled gourd pieces one by one in the pan. Put a lid and let it cook until the skin of the vegetable is soft. Stir a couple of times.
Serve with hot Chapattis!

P9084096

Stuffed Sponge Gourd Served with Hot Paratha

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