Moong Dal Dhokla

We all love besan dhokla. But what to do when you are craving for it and there is no besan at home and you don’t want to go out in this heat to get it from the store? Here is what I did.

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Make perfect dhokla with moong dal. Here is how.

Ingredients
For Dhokla
1 cup split moong dal
2 green chillies
1/2 inch ginger
2 Tablespoons curd
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon asafoetida
1 Teaspoon fruit salt
Salt to taste

For Tempering
8-10 curry leaves
2 green chillies split into half
1 lemon
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon rai
1 Tablespoons oil

Method
Soak moong dal for 30-40 minutes. Wash properly and drain. Blend it to a fine paste with green chillies and ginger. Mix curd, salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida in the moong dal paste.

Now heat steamer or heat some water in a pressure cooker. Oil the vessels in which you are going to make dhokla.  At last add fruit salt into the dhokla mixture and mix properly. Now pour it into the tin and place it in the hot steamer or pressure cooker. Let it cook for around 15 minutes. Check by pricking a toothpick in the dhokla. If it comes out clean that means dhokla is ready. Or else let it cook for few more minutes. Once ready, take the tin out of steamer and let it cool before unmoulding.

In the meanwhile prepare tempering. Heat oil in a pan, add rai and let it splutter. Now add curry leaves and chillies and switch off the flame. Now add sugar, juice of lemon and almost half cup water. Switch on the flame again and let the sugar dissolve. When sugar dissolves completely switch off the flame and pour the mixture over unmoulded dhokla. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Cut into pieces and enjoy with green chutney.

Hope you will like the recipe. See you soon with another interesting recipe. Till then happy cooking!

Besan Laddo

Raksha bandhan is around the corner and like always I am making sweets for my brother. Yes, I can buy them from shop also but that’s just not me. I like to give a personal touch to every thing and what better way to show your love & affection for your brother. Especially when he is crazy for sweets.

Every year I make different sweets for him. This year it’s Besan Laddo. Hope he enjoys having it and give me some nice big present 😆.

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Here is how I made it.

Ingredients

2 cups besan/chickpeas flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup ghee/clarified butter
4-5 green cardamoms crushed
Almonds as required for garnishing

Method

Start with dry roasting besan in a heavy bottom kadhai or pan on low flame. Keep stirring so that it does not get burnt. Roast for around 10-15 minutes until you get desired brown colour of besan and it starts to give a nice nutty aroma.

At this stage add melted ghee and mix. Keep stirring for 5-6 minutes more. The mixture will start to leave ghee from sides. At this stage add powdered sugar mix well and turn off the flame.

Let the mixture cool down a little then add cardamom powder and mix everything together. Grease your hand with some ghee and start to shape the Laddo by rolling it between both your palms. Garnish with almonds.

You can keep this laddo for almost 3-4 days in an air tight container. I am going to surprise my brother with these laddos. What are your plans?

Oats & Vermicelli Pancake

Post child birth, all a woman wants is to get back in shape. However, she is left with very little time for herself and thus, eating right bacomes the only key to fitness. Oats, which is high in fiber, is one such ingredient that helps in weight reduction and is at the same time very good for lactation. Also this is an interesting recipe for those who don’t like oats.

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Here is how I made it.

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup medium thick vermicelli
1 cup vegetables finely chopped (carrot, capsicum, peas, french beans, tomato)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-2 green chillies (as per taste)
Salt as required
Water as required
Olive oil as required

Method

Dry roast vermicelli in a pan till it turns slightly brown. Boil water in a pan and drop vermicelli in boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until they turn soft. Remove from fire, drain and run it through cold water immediately. Drain and keep aside.

In a large bowl mix oats and 1 1/2 cup water and leave it for five minutes so that oats soak up all the water and becomes sticky. Now add vermicelli,  vegetables, salt, turmeric powder, green chillies and mix everything well. Let the mixtue reast for five minutes. Check the consistency of the batter. It should not be dry. Add water if required for a medium thick consistency.

Heat a non-stick pan and add a little olive oil. When the pan is hot drop a ladle full of batter and spread. Cover and let it cook for two minutes on medium heat. Remove the lied and flip the pancake. Brush some oil before flipping if you think it is required. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Cook on medium to high heat till the pancakes become crisp and golden from both the sides.

Serve with ketchup or any chutney of your choice.

Hope you like this healthy recipe and keep your weight in check. See you soon with another recipe, till then happy cooking.

Namkeen

One day I was feeling too lazy to cook anything and hence I ordered pizza at home. So as usual the pizza delivery boy handed me 4-5 sachets of mixed herb seasoning and chilli flakes. I then realised I have a habit of keeping these sachets and have stored a lot of them in my kitchen. Instead of throwing them I thought of using them for a recipe and that is when I thought of this namkeen. It was an instant hit in my family.

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Ingredients –

1 cup Maida (Refines flour)
1 cup Besan (Gram Flour)
1 cup Suji (Semolina)
2 tablespoon red chilli flakes
2 tablespoon dry basil leaves
2 tablespoon mixed herbs (you can use the herb seasoning that you get with pizza)
1/2 teaspoon crushed black paper
Salt to taste
5 Tablespoon oil. Extra for deep frying

Method –

Add maida, besan, suji, red chilli flakes, dry basil leaves, mixed herbs, black pepper and salt in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients together. Now add 5 tablespoon oil in the mixture and rub it well till you get bread crumb like consistency. Keep sprinkling water as required and make a stiff dough. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Now make lemon size balls of the dough and slightly flatten them by pressing them with your palm. Or you can give them any shape of your choice.

Heat sufficient oil in a deep pan and fry the namkeens on medium heat till golden brown. Remove from oil and keep them on kitchen towel or tissue paper. Serve with sweet chatni or tomato ketchup with a hot cup of tea.

It is a great tea time snack that you can store for 4-5 days.

Chinese Pizza

I know it sounds bizarre to have a fusion of Chinese and Italian cuisine, which is totally different from each other in preparation and in taste. But, just one bite of this Chinese Pizza and the combination of flavours will explode in your mouth. The crispy noodles with melted cheese oozing over it, combined with the crunch of some delicious toppings. It is just wow!

Just like any other Sunday evening I was in my kitchen trying to cook something nice to celebrate the weekend and I was in two minds between pizza and noodles. That is when it clicked me, why not combine both. And there it was, an exciting pizza with some great flavours in front of me.

Pizza

Here is how I cooked it.

Ingredients –
100 grams noodles (parboiled in salted water)
6 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon red chilli sauce
2 cloves of garlic
½ cup sliced vegetables (Onion, Green, red, yellow capsicum, black olives, deseeded tomato, sweet corn or baby corn)
¼ cup paneer or sausage cut into small pieces and fried
A handful of mozzarella or any pizza cheese you like (enough to cover pizza base)
½ teaspoon mixed herbs
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 table spoon butter
3 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste

Method –
Parboil noodles in six cups of water, 2 tablespoon oil and two table spoon of salt. When it is done, drain the water and keep the noodles aside. For making sauce, heat a pan and add ½ teaspoon oil add garlic and sauté for a minute, add tomato sauce, chilli sauce, mixed herbs and chilli flakes. Mix for another minute and turn off the heat. In another flat bottom non-stick pan add half the butter and sauté the vegetables for a minute and remove from heat.

In the same pan add the remaining butter and a teaspoon of oil. To make the pizza base spread the noodles in the pan cover and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Turn over the pizza base and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on high heat. Now spread sauce, cheese and toppings on the base, cover and cook on high heat until the bottom of the pizza base becomes crispy and the cheese melts.

Slice the pizza, sprinkle oregano & chilli flakes on top and serve the Chinese pizza piping hot.

Navratan Korma

We had organised a puja at our house the last fortnight and had invited few guests. Since it was a spiritual day so the menu in a true Indian style was kept veg. Needless to say that the food that day had a divine taste. But, one dish that stood out amongst the rest and that was relished by all was Navratan Korma – A gravy dish with very little spices but full of flavours.

Navratan Korma

Here is how I cooked it.

Following preparation will serve 4.

Ingredients –

2 medium carrots cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6-8 florets of cauliflower
2 medium potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup green peas
6-7 french beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8-10 button mushrooms halfed
1/2 cup paneer (cottage cheese) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup boiled onion paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1/2 cup yogurt
2-3 green chillies chopped
1/2 cup fresh cream
1 tablespoon raisins
1/2 cup cashewnut
Handful of makhana (lotus seeds)
2-3 cloves
2 green cardamom
1 inch stick cinnamon
4-5 black pepercorns
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon oil + for deep frying
salt to taste

Method –

Boil carrots, cauliflower, French beans, potatoes and green peas in three cups of boiling salted water and tuemeric powder till done and then immediately put them in cold water. Drain and keep aside. Ideally termuric powder is not added in the original recipe, but I like to add it for colour. Soak half the cashewnuts in half cup of warm water for ten minutes. Drain and grind to a fine paste. Chop the remaining cashewnuts.

Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry makhana for two minutes. Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a kadai. Add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and cardamoms. When they begin to crackle, add boiled onion paste. Cook the onions for five to eight minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes. Add chopped green chillies and cashewnut paste. Now add yogurt and stir well. Cook on low heat for five minutes.

When masala is done, add mushrooms and other boiled vegetables. Cook for two to three minutes and add salt and three fourth cup of water. Add the fried makhana and paneer pieces, stir and cook for half a minute. Bring it to boil and finish with fresh cream. Garnished with chopped cashewnuts and raisins and serve hot.

Tava Pulao

Did you know? The “Rice” that we eat today was a wild grass that most probably grew in the continent of Gondwana at least 130 million years ago. From this ancient grass, two mother species evolved and they parented approximately 120,000 varieties of rice that grow all over the world today. An astonishing 20,000 of those varieties come from India. (From – How the Banana Goes to Heaven And Other Secrets of Health from the Indian Kitchen by Ratna Rajaiah)

Tava Pulao
Following preparation will serve 2 or 3.

Ingredients –
1 ½ cup basmati rice
2 tomatoes pureed
1 large onion chopped
½ cup chopped capsicum (green, red, yellow)
1 tablespoon red chilli paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
½ tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoon pav bhaji masala
1 table spoon cumin seeds
3 table spoon oil
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to sprinkle

Method –
Wash and cook rice in plenty of water. When the rice is just done, stain the water and keep the cooked rice aside. Heat a non stick pan and add oil. When the oil heats up add cumin seeds in the pan, when they begin to change colour add onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add ginger and garlic paste and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes more. Now add tomato purée in the pan and mix well. After this, add red chilli paste, pav bhaji masala and salt and sauté till the oil separates add capsicum and mix again. Add the cooked rice at this stage and mix well very gently for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Note: Its better to use a flat bottom pan for this recipe.

Hope you enjoy cooking as well as having this tava pulao, will await your response. Till then happy cooking!