Friday, April 29, 2016

NELLIKAI THOKKU (Gooseberry Chutney)


Indian gooseberry is called as Amla in Hindi, nellikai in tamil and kannada and usirikaya in Telugu. Gooseberry is an immunity booster since it is high in vitamin C and has been used for years to prepare ayuvedic medicines.It is very healthy and has the power to control many ailments.
Try this very easy and quick nellikai thokku recipe which tastes heavenly with hot rice and ghee!!
INGREDIENTS :
  • 1 cup of chopped nellikai/gooseberry pieces
  • 2 tbsp. Sesame seeds 
  • 8 red chilies (adjust more or less as needed)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste

Seasoning :
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves(dint have these:()
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp urad dal
  • 1 broken chilli
  • Pinch of hing

HOW TO MAKE :
  • Roast sesame seeds lightly or chana dal and urad dal till golden. Set aside to cool.
  • Fry red chilies in 1 tsp oil and set aside, add cumin to the hot chilies.
  • Fry nellikai pieces in the same pan on a medium high flame for 3 to 4 mins, do not burn them.
  • Powder the sesame seeds first and add red chilies and cumin. Grind to powder.
  • Once cool, add the chopped nellikayi with salt and grind them without adding water.
  • Add oil to the same pan used for frying nellikai.
  • Add mustard, cumin, dal, red chilli. Fry until the dal turns golden brown. Add curry leaves and hing. Temper on the chutney.
  • Serve with hot rice!


Friday, March 25, 2016

CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

Cream of mushroom soup is a very comforting soup on chilly days.Mushrooms are low in calorie,fat free,cholesterol free,gluten free abd very low in aodium,yet they are a powerhouse with the most important nutrients like vitamin D,Selenium, potassium and more!
Mushrooms were never cooked at our home and it was an unknown veggie for us!First time I tried mushroom in the form of  cream of mushroom soup at a restaurant and just loved it!Tried making the same and it turned out to be great!
Try this yummy soup yourself and let me know what you think!

INGREDIENTS :

  • Button mushrooms - 1 cup finely sliced
  • Onion  (small)-1 finely chopped 
  • Garlic-2 flakes finely chopped 
  • All purpose flour or maida -1 tbsp
  • Milk - 1 1/2 cups
  • Butter- 1 tbsp 
  • Fresh cream -1 tbsp 
  • Oregano powder- 3 tsp
  • Pepper -ground to sprinkle/taste
  • Salt to taste


HOW TO MAKE :

  • Peel the mushrooms,rinse and chop them fine.
  • Take a pan.Add maida and saute it on medium flame for a minute. Keep it aside to cool.
  • Now heat the butter and add chopped onions and garlic and saute fo about 3 minutes. 
  • Once onions turn translucent, add in the mushrooms and saute for abt 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile mix the set aside maida with 3 tbsp milk and make a paste without lumps.
  • Now add this to the pan and mix well.Now add 1 cup water and bring it to a boil.add in oregano and salt. 
  • Now add in 1 tbsp fresh cream and stir well.
  • Serve hot with sprinkled oregano and pepper!
Serves :2
Preparation time:20 minutes 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Palak Methi Aloo Sabzi

    Palak [Spinach] and Methi[Fenugreek] are the most commonly used greens in everyday cooking in the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. It has great nutritional value.. It is a power house of nutrition and one of the must haves for expectant mothers and a boon for Type 2 diabetics. In this particular curry/sabzi we are using Potato to go along with Spinach n' Fenugreek. It balances the taste and gives the dish volume. Have used very less cooking oil and goes well with hot Phulkas/Roti/Indian breads. 

    INGREDIENTS :

  • Spinach/Palak - 2 Big bunches
  • Fenugreek/Methi - 2 Big bunches
  • Potato - 6-7 [smaller ones have intense flavour and suits this dish better]
  • Onion - 2 Big
  • Garlic - 4-5 cloves finely chopped
  • Oil - 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Cumin/Jeera - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies - 2
  • Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Kitchen King Masala or Garam Masala - 1-2 tsp
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  • Amchoor/Dry Mango Powder - 1/2 tsp [Optional]
  • Salt - As per taste

HOW TO MAKE :
  • Clean the greens well and pat them dry. Stack the leaves together and chop them finely. Set aside.
  • Take a thick bottom vessel/kadai, add a tbsp or 2 of cooking oil and heat it. When the oil is hot add cumin and let it splutter. Add diced potatoes and fry till its half done. Add finely chopped onions and garlic. Fry till the raw smell is gone. 
  • Add dry masalas/spices - turmeric, chilli powder, green chillies [optional], kitchen king or garam masala. Fry till the oil separates.
  • Add the yogurt and mix well. This is done to give the dish a wholesome taste and a creamy texture. 
  • Add the chopped greens and salt to taste. Mix well. Turn off the heat as we dont want the greens to lose its nutrition or the taste!
  • Serve hot with Rotis/Phulkas/Parathas.

    I have added excerpts from relevant websites to throw more light on the nutritional aspects..
    Nutritional Value of Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline. Spinach - The World's Healthiest Foods [Source: www.whfoods.com]
    Nutritional Value of Fenugreek contains a wide variety of beneficial nutrients, including iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper, as well as vitamin B6, protein, and dietary fiber. Fenugreek also contains a number of powerful phytonutrients, including choline, trigonelline, yamogenin, gitogenin, diosgenin, tigogenin and neotigogens.[Source: www.organicfacts.net]

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Salted Crackers with Cheese and veggie toppings (Kid Friendly Recipe)

Crackers with toppings has always been a tea time favorite across countries. Crackers are of different types.. cheese crackers.. salted.. salt n sweet.. and many more.. comes in interesting shapes too. Cheese and Veggie toppings on crackers make it an healthy, nutritious, colorful and interesting combo and as mentioned in the title of this recipe its fire free cooking and is safe for kids to try and encourage their creativity! This can be eaten guilt free as the calories are very few compared to heavier options like Pizzas! This can be served as one of the starters in a party.. Kids especially love them! So.. Lets get cracking! :)


INGREDIENTS :
  • Crackers of your choice (I have used the Salted ones)
  • Vegetables finely chopped (Onions n' Tomatoes)
  • Chopped Green olives/Jalapeno 
  • Cheese (any.. i have used the bits from cheese slices)
  • Mixed Herbs, Ground pepper and salt for seasoning.
HOW TO MAKE :
  • Take a colourful plate and place the crackers.
  • Take bits of cheese and place them on the crackers.
  • Carefully take finely chopped veggies and top them on the cheese.
  • Next comes the olives and jalapenos (any pickled veggie)
  • Season the crackers and the toppings with mixed herbs .. freshly ground pepper and salt (salt is only if needed...check for the salt as its already present in the crackers and cheese) 
  • Ready to serve!
Optional:
  • A drop of mayo/tomato ketchup also can be used on each cracker to make it look/taste good!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

ALOO PARATHA

Aloo paratha is a Popular breakfast /brunch dish.
INGREDIENTS
(measure 1 cup = 250 ml)
for the aloo or potato stuffing:
  • 3 to 4 medium potatoes or aloo, boiled and mashed
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped finely
  • 3/4 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder 
  • ½ to 1 tsp amchur
  • 2 to 3 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves (optional)
  • salt as required
  • oil or ghee as required for roasting parathas

for the whole wheat dough:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 tsp oil or ghee
  • water as needed

HOW TO MAKE :
To prepare the aloo stuffing:
  • first boil the potatoes and peel them. 
  • Now mash the potatoes very well, there should be no lumps or small pieces in it.
  • Now add the chopped green chilies, garam masala powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder and salt.
  • mix the spices and green chilies with the mashed potatoes very well. check the taste and add more salt or red chili powder or dry mango powder as per your taste.

To prepare whole wheat dough:
  • Take a bowl and add whole wheat flour. make a well in the center. add salt, oil and about half of the water.
  • bring the mixture together and knead into a smooth soft dough. cover and keep the dough aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Aloo paratha preparation :
  • pinch a medium ball dough. roll and flatten it. dust with some flour and roll it in a circle of about 5 to 5.5 inches in diameter.
  • place the potato stuffing in the center, keeping about 2 to 2.5 inches space from the sides.
  • take the edge and start pleating as well as bringing the pleats in the center.
  • join the pleats together. the pleats have to be joined well, as otherwise there will be gaps while rolling and the filling comes out. in case you do see the filling, then just take a small piece of dough and cover the gap. roll to smoothen out the small piece of dough.
  • press the pleats from center.
  • sprinkle some flour and roll this version of stuffed paratha to about the same size as that of a chapati or roti.
  • On a hot tava/skillet ,place the rolled paratha. the tava should be hot and not at a low temperaure.
  • when the base is partly cooked, flip the paratha.
  • spread some ghee on the partly cooked part.
  • flip again and this time this side has to be cooked more than the previous side. you will see brown spots on the aloo paratha.
  • spread some ghee on this side too. a well made and well roasted paratha will puff up.
  • flip again once or twice till both the sides are cooked properly. you should see crisp brown spots on the paratha. you can also press the paratha edges with a spatula or spoon, so that they are fried well.
  • Serve hot with yogurt and pickle!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Beans Badam Bahaar:)

Try this exotic side dish with chapathis or rotis for your guests and I am sure that they will go gaga!!

INGREDIENTS :

Beans -cut in to small chunks-1 big cup
Oil -1 tbsp
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
Jeera seeds -1tsp

To grind :
Almond powder - 4 Tbsp
Chillies - 3 to 4
Ginger - 1 small piece
Tamarind paste -3/4 tsp
Jeera seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 3 to 4 strands
Salt to taste

HOW TO MAKE :

Take a kadai.
Add oil and when it is hot add mustard and jeera seeds.
Add in the washed cut beans and fry for about 10 mins with little water n salt.
Meanwhile grind all the ingredients under"to grind" with about half a cup water and keep it ready.
Now add the ground mixture to the beans and fry it for about 2 to 3 mins.
Simmer it for 2 mins and switch off.
Serve hot with rotis or chapathis.

Serves 4
Preparation time:15 mins

Thursday, November 26, 2015

RAW BANANA KOFTA CURRY

Tried this raw banana curry with a variation and it tastes great with rotis!

INGREDIENTS :

Raw bananas - 2
Onion chopped -1
Besan mixed with water ,chilli powder and salt.for dipping the raw banana)
Jeera 1 tsp
Mustard seeds  1 tsp

To grind:

Onion  1
Tomatoes 2
Cinnamon 1 inch
Cloves 4
Jeera 1 tsp
Chillies 4 to 5

HOW TO MAKE :

Take a kadai.
Add oil and when it is hot add mustard and jeera seeds.
Add in the cut Raw banana after dipping in besan and fry for about 10 mins .keep it aside.
Meanwhile grind all the ingredients under"to grind" with about half a cup water and keep it ready.
Take one more kadai and add oil and Mustard seeds.fry the ground mixture for couple if minutes until the raw smell vanishes.
Now add the ground mixture to the fried raw banana  and fry it for about 2 to 3 mins.
Simmer it for 2 mins and switch off.
Serve hot with rotis or chapathis.