Archive for April, 2007

Tandulkyachi Bhaji(Tandulka curry)

Leafy vegetables have always been a part of our diets ever since I was a kid. When we were growing up my mom always insisted on eating leafy vegetables. She grew up that way-eating home grown greens. Whatever vegetables were grown in their farm would be cooked in the house and served along with Bhakri.

Leafy greens like Tandulka (no idea what its called in English or any other language), Kardi (Safflower Leaves),Maath(Amaranth-red and green), Shepu (Dill leaves),Ambat Chuka(green sorrel) etc..were more popular in those days than Spinach or Methi (so my grandmother used to tell me.)

From their childhood they (my mom as well as my granny) have thus been conscious eaters….unknowingly! That’s the reason I never saw either of them bother much about calories.Because of my mom I too am addicted to leafy veggies , though not home grown. And I am partial towards greens like Tandulka,Kardi,Math!We don’t get greens like Tandulka all year round. There’s a special market here where local farmers sell vegetables on the roadside and we sometimes get these lovely nutritious greens.

 tandulka1.jpg

Tandulka – Its a kind of a potherb.I have no idea what it is called in any other language. Even google failed to help me. I hope some one is able to help me with alternate names.These are small leaves green on one side and a bit pinkish shade on the other. Some times you can also see a small flower head in the bunch of Tandulka leaves.If anyone has information on what it is called in any other language pls. let me know.We make a simple curry with Tandulka leaves. Roasted Peanut powder is added to add crunch to the vegetable. Like most of the leafy vegetables the only time consuming part is when you have to clean the leaves. And the leaves reduce substantially in size once cooked so you need one whole bunch or sometimes even 2 for 2 people.

I thought I will share this Tandulkyachi Bhaji -one of my favourite recipes to celebrate JFI-WBB :Green leafy vegetables ;anniversary celebrations for JFI and in Indira’s words ‘to celebrate the mother earth in this month of Earth Day with a special theme ~ “Going Green with Green Leafy Vegetables”.

For the Tandulka Bhaji (curry) 

1 big bunch Tandulka leaves

1 onion finely chopped

4-5 garlic cloves chopped

2 tbsp roasted groundnut coarsely ground (preferably using a mortar and pestle)

5-6 green chillies slit lengthwise and chopped

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumene seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

Salt as per taste 

As I said earlier clean and wash the leaves and drain out all the excess water. Roughly chop the leaves and keep aside.In a wok heat oil .Add the mustard seeds-cumene seeds-chopped garlic-green chillies and onion in that order and fry for few minutes or till the onion becomes translucent. Add the roasted groundnut powder and then add the chopped leaves. Mix properly and cook covered for few minutes. Add salt once the Tandulka leaves are almost cooked. Cook uncovered for a few minutes more. Serve with Bhakri.

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Tandulkyachi Bhaji (Tandulka Curry) for JFI-WBB:Green leafy Vegetables

April 24, 2007 at 9:16 am 11 comments

Weekend Chaating-From Chaat Street


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Chaat- just the mere mention of the word makes my mouth water. You can’t walk past a ‘Chaatwala’ without sensitizing your taste buds. The last thing on your mind when you enjoy Chaat on the roadside is Hygiene or Health food-That you remember the next day! I have been a ‘Chaat’ person as long as I can remember. When I was small I would argue with my Mom as to why we can’t offer ‘Prasad’(offering to God) of Pani Puri/Bhel Puri to God? Didn’t Gods love it too? J

As I said in my last posts it getting hotter day by day here..temperature soaring to 40-41oC (not usual for us here ,that too in April) People are enjoying Chaat’s and Icecreams on the road side to beat the heat!

We had some guests yesterday; one of our family friend’s daughter is getting married. So I made some Chaat to celebrate her engagement.Once in a while you can indulge (I do this often!) in these spicy, mouthwatering chaats and since they are made at home…you need not count the plates!

Basic ingredients for chaat: 

Chaats will not be chaats without these chutneys:

1. Green Chutney : Mint-Coriander-green chilly chutney

2. Sweet sour Chutney : Dates –Tamarind chutney 

Other optional chutney

3. Red Chutney: Red chilly-Garlic chutney

These Chutneys can be stocked up in the fridge and will stay good almost for a week.This chutney is required for Sev Puri,Ragda pattice etc..

chutneys.jpg 

Other ingredients common to most of the Chaats are:

Onions –finely chopped

Tomatoes- finely chopped

Fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped

Raw green Mango –peeled and finely chopped

Potatoes boiled peeles and chopped

Lemon Juice

Sev

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Once you have these basic ingredients you can make your own permutation-combination and make chaats of your choice.

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Green chutney:

1 bunch Pudina (Mint ) leaves washed and roughly chopped

1 small bunch fresh Green coriander leaves washed and roughly chopped

5-7 Green chillies roughly chopped – you can change the proportion as per your taste

¼ tsp salt or salt as required

½ tsp lemon juice 

Grind Pudina leaves, Coriander leaves and Green chillies adding the some salt and lime juice to a smooth fine paste. Don’t add too much water. Add water as and when required. 

Dates -Tamarind (DT) Chutney:

½ cup Dates deseeded and chopped

¼ cup tamarind pieces water 

Boil Dates and tamarind in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes.Cool and blend to a smooth paste in the mixer. Some people add cumene powder,jaggery,red chilli powder etc. to this basic chutney. 

Red Chutney:

5-6 Dry Red Chillies

3-4 garlic podsPinch of salt 

Soak the red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes. Blend together the soaked red chillies and Garlic with salt to a fine paste. You have everthing ready now..what are you waiting for start ‘assemling’ the Chaats!

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Bhel Puri:

2 cups Churmura/Murmura/Puffed Rice

1 Cup Farsam mixture (Assorted savory mixture)

½ cup onion chopped

½ cup tomatoes chopped

½ cup boiled potatoes chopped

¼ cup raw green mango peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp Red chilli powder (optional)

5-6 flat Puris (The ones you use for Sev Puri)

½ tsp turmeric powder

¼ cup green chutney (Add a little water to the above chutney and make it to a watery consistency)

½ cup DT Chutney (Add a little water to the above chutney and make it to a watery consistency)

2 tsp Red Chutney

Pinch of salt 

For garnishing:

Chopped fresh Coriander leaves

Thin yellow Nylon Sev

1 flat Puri

bhel.jpg 

For the Churmura:

Take a wok or a deep pan. Heat a tsp of oil. Add the turmeric and then the Churmura. Mix properly so that the turmeric coats the Churmura nicely. Cool and store in an airtight container. This is my son’s favourite munching snack! This can be made in bulk and stored so that you can use it whenever you want. 

Mix the Churmura along with the Onions,tomatoes,potatoes,mango pieces, in a big vessel. Add the Red chilly powder if you want your Bhel to be really spicy. Crush the puris with your hand and add to the mixture. Add the green chutney , DT Chutney, Red Chutney(optional) and mix nicely. Adjust the salt if required. Once you mix all the ingredients immediately add to the serving plate. Garnish with Chopped coriander leaves and Sev. Serve immediately. Use the Flat Puri as a spoon! It tastes much better! Bhel actually means ‘a mixture’ so you can use your imagination and mix any other ingredient you want. I sometimes also add boiled sprouted green moong beans and Cucumber to the Bhel.

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Sev Puri: 

This needs some patience since you need to assemble all the ingredients on each Puri.

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For 6 puris (that is one plate)

1small Onion chopped

1small Tomatoe chopped

1Potatoes boiled and chopped

Green chutney (use a thick paste of the chutney’s so that they don’t run out of the puri)

DT Chutney

Chaat Masala or Pani Puri masala

Red Chutney

Pinch of salt  So keep as many Flat Puris as you want in a plate (preferably the serving plate0 . Now on each puri place few pieces boiled mashed potato. Top it with chopped onion pieces , chopped tomatoes. Add a spoonful of Green Chutney, then a spoonful of DT chutney and ½ a spoon of Red Chutney. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a pinch of Chaat Masala or Pani puri masala (optional)Generously add the chopped coriander leaves and Sev. Serve these crisp, mouthwatering puris immediately.You will be surprised how fast the Sev Puris perish considering the amount of time you have taken to assemble them!

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Pani Puri:  

As the name suggests these are Puris filled with ‘Pani’ (water). These are also called as ‘Gol Gappas’ in
North India.This beats all the Chaats when it comes to my favourite Chaat! And it does not need many ingredients.You get special round hollow puffed puris specially to make Pani Puri.
 

  panipuri1.jpg 12-15 Pani Puris

1 cup Green chutney (The consistency should be watery for both the chutneys since the Puris are to be dipped in it)

1 cup DT Chutney

¼ cup boiled sprouted green moong beans

¼ cup potato boiled mashed

1 tsp chaat masala 3-4 tsp Panu Puri masala  Add the Pani Puri masala to the watery Green ChutneyKeep the Puris in a Plate. Serve the chutneys, moong sprouts in wide mouthed bowls. Add the chaat masala to the potato and keep it in another bowl alongside the chutneys. 

To eat: Make a small hole in the centre of each puri with the nail of your thumb. These puris are  quite delicate so be careful while breaking them-you want the whole puri intact except a small hole. Add the ¼  spoon moong beans , ¼  spoon mashed potato to all the Puris. Now you get rewarded for your patience. Without thinking twice dip the first puri in the Green chutney(remember it is spicy) fill the puri as much as you want, then proceed to the DT chutney fill the puri and put it straight in your mouth-full puri. Repeat for other puris.

Enjoy the spicy mouthwatering Pani Puris!Bliss personified!

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April 8, 2007 at 4:12 pm 10 comments

Green Mango Rice

This is one more recipe from my Mother-in-law’s ‘Khana Khazana’ (Food treasure). I love the taste of the raw mango coupled with coconut and coriander…..refreshing during these summer days.So enjoy this Green Mango Rice with any of your favourite Salads!We made this for Ramnavami.

 greenmangorice.jpg

For Green Mango Rice you need:

1 ½ cups rice  

To be ground to a fine paste:

1 medium sized raw Green mango washed, peeled and cubed (depending on how sour the mango is the proportion can be adjusted.)

½ cup fresh coconut grated

Few sprigs fresh coriander leaves 

For the Tadka Seasoning:

1” piece cinnamon stick broken into pieces

½ tsp cumene seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

4-5 green chillies chopped

5-6 Black peppercorns (optional)

2 tsp oil 

Salt as per taste 

Wash the rice and soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water after 30 minutes and then cook in 3 cups of boiling salted water till done. Add a dash of oil if required so that the grains are well separated. Remove the rice in a plate and cool. 

Grind together green mango pieces, coconut and coriander leaves to a fine paste. (Don’t add water). Keep aside. 

In a Kadai/Wok heat oil. Add the mustard seeds,once they splutter, add the cumene seeds, then the cinnamon pieces and the peppercorns. Add the green chillies and then add the mango-coconut-coriander paste. Cook for a few minutes. Add a little salt.(Rice already contains salt so be careful) .Add the rice and mix nicely. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Serve with any Salad of your choice.

April 6, 2007 at 9:32 am 2 comments

Tomato Cooler

This year it looks like we are going to have an early and a very very hot summer-The mercury is already soaring to 38-39 oC and its only March end! This is not one of my favourite seasons.

Though I have a few reasons to look forward to summer: -it’s the time to enjoy luscious ,delicious ‘King of fruits’ -Mangoes and it’s the time to enjoy chilled juices, shakes, icecreams and all things cold!

Tomato cooler is a very healthy, tasty and a hassle free juice. I learnt it from one of my friends. She made it often for me when I was pregnant.Now we make it regularly and today I specially made it for JFI Tomato hosted by the wonderful RP of My Workshop.

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For Tomato Cooler you need: for 3-4 glasses 

4-5 Red ripe tomatoes

1 tsp sugar 

1tsp cumene seeds roasted and slightly crushed

½ tsp table Salt

Black salt as per taste 

Cook the tomatoes with 1 glass of water, sugar and table salt  in a pressure cooker.Cool and blend the tomatoes to a smooth paste. Sieve if required. Adjust to a juice like consistency using cold water. Season with roasted, crushed cumene seeds and black salt. Serve Chilled tomato juice-to beat the heat! 

Tip:You can also add 1-2 pieces of Beetroot while cooking the tomatoes for a nice red colour.  

Other Tomato recipes: Green Tomato Chutney

April 1, 2007 at 9:17 am 5 comments


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