Archive for June, 2007

Friday Monsoon Magic-Corn Chat

Rains and Corn (especially ‘Bhutta’-Corn on the Cob) go hand in hand. The fresh smell of the mud when it rains urges you to eat something steaming hot with a hot cup of Chai (tea).

Steaming Corn Chat is another favourite ‘Corn-Monsoon’ recipe.

cornchat.jpg 

               Corn Chaat with a glass of garam garam (hot) chai

_________________________________________________________                                                            Corn Chat recipe

servings ~2 _____________________________________________________ 

2 Cups Sweet Corn kernels, parboiled and steaming hot

1 onion chopped

1 tomato chopped

1 tsp butter (optional)

1 tsp Chaat masala

½ tsp red chilli powder

For garnishing:

Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Juice from 1 lemon  

Mix the hot corn corn kernels and butter together. Add the other ingredients.Stir nicely. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Serve when the corn kernels are still hot,with steaming hot Chai.

Variations to Corn Chat: 

CornMasala Chaat : This is without any veggies.Corn + chaat Masala+chilli powder +salt. 

Lime Corn Chaat : Corn+lime juice+pepper powder+salt 

Cheese Corn Chaat : Corn+Cheese+ veggies+chaat masal+salt

June 29, 2007 at 2:19 pm 17 comments

Dal Vanga (Eggplant lentil curry)

Dal Vanga (brinjal/baingan/eggplant) is one of my favourite recipes featuring Dal and the JFI ingredient of the month Eggplant (Vanga).

dalvanga.jpg

It is very simple and easy to make and needs very few ingredients.

You must have already guessed that I am rushing this Dal Vanga recipe to Sangeeta of Ghar Ka Khana, for JFI- Eggplant                                

Here’s my mother’s recipe for Dal Vanga:

_________________________________________________________                                                             Dal Vanga recipe

servings ~4-5                                                                                                 _____________________________________________________ 

1 Vati (katori ~ ¾ cup,see photo) Toovar dal/split yellow lentils

2-3 medium sized Vangi/brinjals/eggplants (I have used the small white-purple brinjals), washed, de-stemmed and sliced 

3-4 Green chillies/red chillies

2-3 garlic pods

½ tsp cumene seeds

1” piece dried coconut

 ½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2-3 tsp oil

Salt as per taste. 

Pressure cook the Toovar dal and the Vangi/brinjal slices along with some water, till the dal is nicely cooked. I usually add a few drops of oil and a pinch of turmeric to the Dal.

Lightly Mash the Vangi/Dal mixture, keeping small chunks of Vangi in it. 

Lightly pound/crush together Chillies, garlic, cumene seeds and the coconut piece. 

Heat oil in a pan.

Add the mustard seeds and then the chilly-garlic chutney-coconut.

Add turmeric and then add the Dal-Vangi mixture.

Mix nicely and adjust the water according to the required consistency.

Add salt and cook for few minutes more till it boils nicely.

Serve hot with rice. 

                                        brinjal.jpg 

June 29, 2007 at 11:43 am 5 comments

Weekend Breakfast Blogging (WBB#13)-July

This July Weekend Breakfast Blogging (WBB) has come blog hopping to My Foodcourt.

This immensely popular event is a brainchild of our favourite Doc, Dr.Nandita Iyer of Saffron Trail (for those of you who don’t know this yet).Nandita, I am absolutely delighted, that I got this opportunity to host this event (my debut as an event host), thank you.

                            oats11.jpg

                                                                   WBB#13 –Oats

This month let us propagate the goodness of Oats with WBB.Yes that’s our theme for Weekend Breakfast Blogging (WBB#13) for July – Oats.

Oats for breakfast is my latest health food Fad. A bowl of quick oats porridge with some raisins and nuts or a bowl of Muesli makes for a wholesome breakfast- to kick start a long day ahead.

Inspite of the well-known health benefits of these Nutraceuticals, Oats do not enjoy much popularity with ‘hardcore Indian palates (like mine.)It took some time for me to become fond of this nutty flavored ‘super grain’ – due to its gooey texture (when cooked) and a comparatively bland taste.

The health benefits of Oats are too many to be ignored. I want you all to come up with some lip-smacking recipes, so that each one of us is tempted to include these ‘wonder grains’ in our regular breakfast.

oatswbb.jpg

                                Quick cooking Oats

You may use Oats in any form – Whole Oats/Oats groats, Oat bran, Steel cut/Irish Oats, Rolled Oats/Old fashioned oats, Quick Oats ,Oat Flour..anything (Pls.let me know if there are any other varieties of Oats) 

If you would like to share any other information related to Oats –health benefits, cooking tips, photos of the different varieties etc..you are most welcome. 

Most of you are already aware of the WBB rules. For those of you who are new to this event here are the rules:

1. Prepare any recipe featuring Oats, servable for breakfast.

2. Post the recipe on your Blog before 25th July 2007.

3. Mail me the link to your post, your blog name and the URL to your blog and a photo (518 x 388 pixels) of your entry at:

m.foodcourt@gmail.com (mdotfoodcourt@gmaildotcom)

4. I will do the roundup by 31st July.

5. Non-bloggers -you are welcome to participate. Just mail me your recipe, photo and any other information and I will gladly publish it for you on my blog. 

I have created a Logo specially for WBB#13 Oats. Please feel free to use it on your blog with your entries.

June 28, 2007 at 12:21 pm 15 comments

Pithla

Pithla is the perennial ‘comfort food’ for most Maharashtrians. Piping hot Pithla coupled with Bhakri or Rice or Roti is like a reward after a long day at work.

This humble dish requires only a handful of simple ingredients and can be churned out within minutes. It’s a handy recipe when you are either out of stock for veggies or guests visit you unannounced or when you long for your Mom’s food!

Like every recipe Pithla has many variations. What I make is the spicy version with lots of onion, garlic and green chillies.

Depending on whether you want to serve Pithla with Rice or Bhakri/Roti, the consistency also varies. Pithla served with rice has almost watery- liquid like consistency. Semi liquid or dry Pithla goes well with Bhakri or Roti. This dry version of Pithla is alternately known as Zunka.

_________________________________________________________                                                            Pithla recipe

_____________________________________________________  

1 cup Besan/Chick pea flour/gram flour

2 onions chopped

4-5 green chillies chopped

4-5 garlic pods peeled

1” piece dried coconut (Khopra)

½ tsp Cumene seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

~ 2-3 cups water

Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Salt as per taste 

pithlaingredients.jpg

Pithla Ingredients – Coarsely ground chutney(Green chillies+garlic+cumene seeds+coconut) ,onion, Besan(chickpea flour) and granite mortar pestle for pounding

In a mortar and pestle pound (or coarsely grind in a mixie) together chopped Green chillies, garlic pods, dried coconut piece and cumene seeds. 

Heat oil in wok/kadai.

Add the mustard seeds and once they splutter add the coarsely ground chutney(Chilli-garlic).

Add the chopped onions and fry till they become translucent.

Add 2-3 cups of water and bring it to a nice rolling boil.

Add salt (at this stage, you can check the salt proportion by tasting the liquid)

Slowly add the Besan with your left hand, constantly stirring with a spoon in your right hand.

Adjust the besan proportion to the required consistency.Remember that after the Pithla cools, it becomes thicker. So keep it a little liquidish (that is actually a word in my vocabularyJ) if you want to serve it with rice.

Boil nicely for a few minutes more.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve piping hot with Bhakri/Roti/Rice.

pithla.jpg

Pithla served with Roti, Green chilli and onion

Pithla, Bhakri and Thecha served with Green chillies and Raw onion make a fabulous combination.

Don’t cut the onion. Take a small onion (preferably white onion).Break it with the base of your palm. Remove the cover and eat it…this tastes much better than the cut onion J 

This assal(meaning- hardcore) Marathi Pithla goes for RCI-Maharashtrain Cuisine hosted by- the versatile and very popular, Nupur of One Hot Stove.

 

June 25, 2007 at 2:09 pm 10 comments

Friday Monsoon Magic-Chaats revisited

My little one’s first day at playschool today. I am not able to post a new recipe today for my Monsoon Magic series. I Promise to post a recipe in a day or two..

Meanwhile, enjoy these mouthwatering Chaats.

[rockyou id=63368031&w=426&h=320]

June 22, 2007 at 10:34 am 4 comments

Nutri-Sandwich

I love sandwiches for breakfast -They are very quick to make, you can sandwich almost anything between two slices of bread (sometimes even leftover curries), and very easy to carry. Usually I have my breakfast on my way to work so I usually end up making sandwiches for breakfast.

This is a spicy but healthy Sandwich.I make it quite often especially,when I am in a hurry with the available veggies.

I am sending my Nutri-Sandwich all the way to Newfoundland & Labrador for Trupti’s WBB#12 –Spice it Up. 

nutrisandwich.jpg

         Nutri-Sandwich for Trupti’s WBB#12 -Spice it Up

_________________________________________________________ 

Nutri-Sandwich recipe

Makes- 2 sandwiches

_____________________________________________________ 

Ingredients: 

4 slices spiced Multigrain Bread 

multigrainbread.jpg

        Spiced Multigrain bread from our local Bakery

2 tbsp Paneer grated or mashed nicely

¼ cup carrot peeled and grated

¼ cup Beetroot peeled and grated

¼ cup Moong sprouts parboiled

¼ tsp Pavbhaji Masala

A pinch of red chilli powder

A pinch of pepper powder

¼ tsp cumene seeds

Hot and sweet -Tomato Ketchup

Butter

Cheese

Salt to taste 

Heat a little butter in a pan and add the cumene seeds. Add the carrots and bettroot . Add salt, stir and cook covered for a few minutes.Don’t overcook the vegetables. Sprinkle pepper powder and mix nicely. Add the moong sprouts and mix well.

Take the mashed paneer in a bowl.Add a pinch of chilli powder, the pavbhaji Masala and little salt. 

Coat the bread slices with butter. 

Spread the mashed panner on one of the bread slices.

Add the vegetables and spread nicely.

Top with Tomato Ketchup and Grated Cheese.

Cover with another slice of bread.

Grill for 3-4 minutes and serve hot. 

June 20, 2007 at 4:21 pm 6 comments

Friday-Monsoon Magic

Just few light pre-monsoon showers (monsoon starts anytime now) and I am already craving for spicy, hot, Bhajia’s..Samosas -all those Monsoon specialities. 

The cooling monsoon showers however, also bring along increased susceptibility to a lot of health problems and diseases, peculiar to this season.

I like to start my day with a glass of Warm water (with honey and a dash of lime juice )alongwith a spoonful of Morawla (Amla Murabba/Amla Jam) to keep the doctor away. J

morawla.jpg

       Warm water and Morawla to keep the doctor away!

Benefits of Awla/Amla (Indian Gooseberry) are well known and Morawla is a home remedy (from good old grandma’s days) we resort to for health problems such as indigestion, mouth ulcers etc.. etc..-  

Let’s start the Friday Monsoon Magic series with Morawla (Auspicious start J) 

_________________________________________________________                                                            Morawla recipe

_____________________________________________________ 

We get two kinds of Awla’s/ Amla’s here –the small pebble sized sweet and sour ‘Rai Awla’ and the big lemon sized less sour Awla.

Use the big Awla to prepare Morawla.Wash and nicely dry the awlas. Using a fork prick the Awlas uniformly from all sides. This will make them a little soft.

Pressure cook the Awlas without adding water (Keep them in a vessel , cover the vessel without adding water and then keep it in the cooker) for 2 whistles and then cook for a few more minutes on minimum flame.

Meanwhile prepare the ‘Paak’ or the sugar syrup for the Murabba.

Take sugar in a pan (proportion of Amla to sugar is 1:2 i.e. if you take 1 kg Awla you have to take 2 kg sugar) and add little water. Water should be just enough to dissolve the sugar.

Heat this sugar-water mixture till you get a saturated solution (we call this pakka pak) or till the sugar almost starts recrystalizing.

Add the cooked awlas to this ‘Paak’ and cook stirring in between. Once you add the Amlas the mixture will become a little watery. Bring the Murraba to a rolling boil – about 7-8 times.

Switch off the gas and cool the Morawla .

Store in a sterilised glass jar.

This Morawla lasts for a long time (the one you see in the photo is almost 1 year old ). So this can be made in bulk quantities.

Have a spoon of this Magic Morawla everyday to ward off many health problems.

June 15, 2007 at 5:13 pm 4 comments

Kurdai-Gavhacha Cheek-Gavhachya Saalacha Upma for RCI June: Maharashtrian Cuisine!

 Translating that title in English is rather difficult so read on…

No Maharshtrian feast is complete without accompaniments such as Papad and Kurdai.

In fact summer is the time the business of making Papads, Kurdais etc..flourishes in many households here.

Kurdai is a delicious snack akin to papads, but made from Wheat. These are usually made during the summer time,sun dried and stored in every household, just like papads and fried whenever required.You need lots of patience and time to make these pearly white, noodle like Kurdais.

  

             Sun-dried Kurdai                                               Deep Fried Kurdai

We usually get these made from someone (usually housewives who run household business making Papads, Masalas and Pickles)- lack of time and laziness being the main reasons. 🙂

To make Kurdai, Wheat is soaked in water for three days and then finely ground. The milky white extract (it is called as Gavhacha Cheek- Gahu means Wheat and cheek means extract) is separated from the wheat skin.

This milky white extract is then cooked with water to make a soft stiff dough called Ukad, which is inturn passed through a press(Thin Sev press) to get the kurdais. These are then dried and stocked. 

The cooked soft dough used to make Kurdai is very tasty by itself- It makes for a delicious, healthy and filling snack. We call it Gavhacha Cheek. I am very fond of this Cheek and even if I don’t make Kurdais at home, I make this Cheek as an evening snack once in a while.The left over Wheat skin (Gavhacha saal; saal means skin) is used for making a scrumptious spicy Upma. 

Recipes like these are becoming almost extinct, just like sparrows. Very few households now make these authentic Maharshtrian dishes.

This is my humble attempt to keep the traditional offbeat recipes alive. 

Nupur I hope you enjoy these authentic yet offbeat recipes for Gavhacha Cheek and Gavhachya salacha Upma for RCI –Maharshtrian Cuisine 

_________________________________________________________                                                            Gavhacha Cheek recipe

Servings :~ 4-5 _____________________________________________________ 

Ingredients:

5-6 Cups Whole wheat (the older the better)

½ tsp Cumene powder

¼ tsp Asafoetida powder

Salt to taste      

 1. Soak Wheat in water for 3 days changing the water everyday.

2. After 3 days finely grind the wheat till all the wheat grains are properly crushed and the milky extract separates out.

3. Take some water (about 3-4 cups) in a large vessel and add the crushed wheat to it. Remove the wheat skin with your hands and squeeze tightly so that the milky extract remains in the water and the skin is separated. Repeat this procedure one more time with fresh water –put the skin in another lot of freah water (3-4cups) and squeeze out the extract with your hands.

4. Take a thin fresh clean cotton cloth and filter the extract through it. Use your hand to press the liquid through the cloth.

5. Don’t throw the Wheat skin. Keep it aside.

6. Keep the Milky extract (Cheek) covered overnight.

7. A layer of thin yellowish watery liquid can be seen on the dense White Cheek which is settled at the bottom.Discard the supernatant water and measure the lower dense Cheek using a cup. (You may need a spoon to remove the white cheek since it is quite dense.

8. Boil equal amount of water in a pan and add little salt, cumene powder and Asafoetida.

9. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the Cheek to it with one hand and stir with a wooden spatula with your other hand, taking care that no lumps are formed.

10. Cook till the milky white cheek becomes translucent. Cover and cook for a few minutes more stirring in between.

11. Serve hot.

12. This can also be served by adding a little sugar and milk on top, but I prefer it as it is.

 

_________________________________________________________                                                            Gavhachya Salacha Upma recipe

Servings: ~ 3-4 _____________________________________________________ 

Use the leftover Wheat skin from the Gavhacha Cheek to make this slightly sour and spicy Upma. 

Heat oil in a pan. Do the tadka (mustard seeds, cumene seeds, curry leaves, green chillies-in that order). Add some chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add the leftover wheat skin and cook covered for few minutes. Stir this Upma nicely and add little fresh grated coconut. Mix well and let some moisture evaporate.

Garnish with coriander leaves and lime juice (optional). The Upma is already slightly sour so addition of lime juice depends on how sour you like it.

Serve hot.

You can also wrap it in a soft Roti and serve as a Frankie.

June 11, 2007 at 2:21 pm 41 comments

Friday Cooler

 [rockyou id=72346305&w=426&h=319]

That’s a Round up of all the Friday – summer coolers posted on my blog so far.Summer’s almost over here, we already had some pre0-monsoon showers.

Next Friday stay tuned for some Monsoon Magic here on my Blog. 

Hope you enjoyed all the Summer coolers.

June 8, 2007 at 4:49 pm 1 comment

Thecha (Green Chilli -Garlic Chutney)

T has to be for Thecha– a must try for any chilli enthusiast.

Fiery Hivya Mirchicha Thecha (Green Chilli- garlic chutney) is enough to spice up any meal.

Bhakri with Thecha for this weeks A to Z of Indian Vegetables hosted by Nupur at One Hot Stove

Spicy green chillies are pounded (Thecha means to crush or pound in Marathi) together with lots of garlic and some roasted peanuts in a mortar and pestle (only) to make this much loved irresistible Chutney-Thecha.

_________________________________________________________                                                            Thecha recipe

_____________________________________________________ 

Ingredients: 

8-9 green chillies, de-stemmed and washed.

8-9 cloves garlic peeled

A handful of peanuts roasted and skins removed

Rock salt as per taste (or common salt/table salt)

1 tsp Oil 

Heat a tsp of oil in an Iron skillet/Tava. Add the green chillies and garlic and roast evenly till you see brown-black spots on them.

Let it cool.Lightly Pound the roasted green chillies and garlic together with the peanuts and some rock salt. (Optionally you can use table salt)

Iron Mortar pestle-we call it Khal-batta for pounding Thecha. A wooden Mortar pestle can also be used.

Serve with Bhakri or Roti.

Note: Shelf life of Thecha is about 1 week if refrigerated.

June 8, 2007 at 2:08 pm 36 comments

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