Posts filed under ‘comfort food’

karale (कारळे) /Khurasni(खुरसणी)/ Niger seeds chutney and stuffed Bhindi/Okra

Every time I put a photo of the coming soon recipe on My Foodcourt’s FB page the ‘soon’ never happens. The past month has just zoomed past me (the entire half year for that matter!). Both the kids are back to school after a two month long vacation. The little one started going to her ‘new school’, she is very happy that she finally gets to go to her dada’s school 🙂

The  hot sultry summer has given way to a breezy-rainy weather. The Monsoon has also brought with it the much awaited new season’s of Masterchef Australia and White collar – lots of things to look up to; just like this chutney.

I have been meaning to make this chutney for many days but the easy availability of a readymade/mom-made chutney kept me from making it  till now.

The chutney that I am talking about is made from karale (कारळे) / Khurasni (खुरसणी) in Marathi or as I learned from Shruti on the FB page, they are known as Niger seeds in English. More on Niger seeds here.

The seeds are pound with garlic and red chilly powder to make a very tempting fiery chutney usually eaten with bhakri, Roti or hot rice. This chutney is also used as a filling for veggies like brinjal. I did not have brinjals and hence I added the chutney to the filling I made to stuff Bhindi/okra. The result was a fantyastic tasting spicy side dish. The lad kept asking for more and failed to notice the number of Rotis that went into his tummy. 🙂

Here’s the recipe for the Niger Seeds chutney:

1 cup from karale (कारळे) /Khurasni(खुरसणी) or Niger seeds

~ 10-12 garlic pods peeled (you may use less)

2 tsp red chilli powder (you can add more)

Salt to taste

Method:

Lightly roast the Niger seeds for 1-2 minutes (take care not to burn them)

Grind/ pound together all the ingredients to a dry chutney. I started by using a wooden morter and pestle but pounding the seeds to a fine powder was taking time so gave in and used the mixer.

Serve this with hot BhakriRoti/Rice preferably with a drizzle of groundnut oil.

Recipe for stuffed Okra with Niger seed chutney:

10-12 medium sized fresh and tender Bhindi/okra, washed, dried and slit lengthwise

2 tbsp oil

Juice of half a lemon/lime

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

For the stuffing:

2 medium sized onions peeled and grated

½ cup roasted groundnut powder

4 tsp above Niger seeds chutney

2 tsp Kanda Lasoon masala (optional.I used my mom’s.)

Salt to taste.

Method:

Mix all the ingredients for stuffing.

Stuff the okra with it.

Heat oil in a wide flat bottom nonstick pan. Add the stuffed bhindi carefully.

Cook for 3-4 minutes without stirring.

Stir carefully.

Cover and cook for the next 3-4 minutes. Add a few drops of lime juice and stir once.

Cook uncovered till done (not very soft or mushy ). If you have the time and the patience cook uncovered all the time stirring only occasionally.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Serve hot with Bhakri,Roti or Rice.

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen has started a  series of photography exercises for amateur food photographers. See last month’s exercise for My Foodcourt here.

The theme for this month’s exercise was ‘Less is More’, which is currently my style of photography. The chutney as well as stuffed Okra/Bhindi  photos above was taken with this theme in mind.Keep it simple is currently my photography mantra too.

Thank you again Aparna for coming out with these simple but helpful themes for the exercise.

June 25, 2012 at 10:21 am 4 comments

Ambadichi Bhaji (Sour greens curry)

 ambadichibhaji.jpg

       Ambadichi Bhaji (Sour greens curry)

Type Comfort in MS word, select it, right click and see the synonyms: Soothe , console, reassure, calm, relieve ..This Ambadichi Bhaji (Sour greens/Gongura curry) makes every synonym for comfort sound true:

½        Soothes your palette

½        Consoles you when you are feeling low

½        Reassures you when you dearly miss your mom’s cooking

½        Calms you down when you are upset

½        Relieves your stress

Yes this is one of the recipes I rely on when I am in need of some ‘Comfort food’ (of course provided the greens are available).

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       Ambadi/sour greens/Gongura leaves

Ambadi leaves are sour -almost vinegary to taste. But this tartness is what makes them so tasty and special. I read here that these greens come in two varieties- Red stemmed and Green stemmed. Here we usually get the green stemmed variety, so I have used that. What makes this a quintessentially Maharashtrian recipe is the use of Jowar Kani (broken Jowar grains). The Ambadi leaves are stemed together with the Jowar Kani to make this very special Ambadichi bhaji -which makes me nostalgic and reminds of my mom’s or my granny’s cooking each and everytime I make it.

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Ambadichi Bhaji

Servings :about 3-4

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 Ingredients:

1 big bunch Ambadi leaves (cleaned,washed and chopped)

1 cup Jowar (Sorghum/White millet) grains

2tbsp Toovar dal (arhar dal/yellow lentils), soaked in water for ½ hour

2tbsp Peanuts soaked in water for ½ hour

Salt as per taste

For the tadka:

8-10 garlic cloves peeled and crushed

2-3 tsp oil

½ tsp cumene seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

1-2 tsp Red chilli powder (adjust to your taste) 

To make the Jowar Kani:

kani.jpg

     Jowar Kani/Broken Jowar Grains

Coarsely grind the Jowar grains in the mixer for few seconds. Tranfer to a sieve (used to sieve atta or Maida). Remove the powder which falls at the bottom (this flour can be added to the usual jowar flour for making Bhakris, or add this to the usual Roti atta)Use the broken jowar kani which remains in the sieve to make Ambadichi Bhaji. If any unbroken jowar grains are left in the sieve, run them once again in the mixer and repeat the above procedure. Soak the Jowar Kani in water for ½ hour along with the Toovar dal and peanuts. 

 To make the Bhaji:

Steam the chopped Ambadi leaves and the soaked Toovar dal, Peanuts and Jowar Kani. For steaming I use a stainless steel sieve kept on a steamer-a deep vessel filled with 1/3 water. Alternatively you can use a pressure cooker without the whistle. Cover the sieve and steam till the leaves are well cooked (takes about half an hour) 

steaming.jpg

Ambadi leaves,soaked  Jowar Kani,Toovar dal and peanuts in SS sieve for steaming

Remove the bhaji from steam,add salt and mix nicely. In a small pan heat oil ,add the mustard seeds, then the cumene seeds,then the crushed garlic. Fry nicely till your kitchen smells of the garlic, switch off the gas ,add the chilli powder and immediately pour this tadka on the bhaji so that the red chilli powder does not get charred.Mix nicely and serve with Bhakri or Roti!                    

May 15, 2007 at 1:40 pm 18 comments

Diwali special-Anarsa

The festival of lights is here. The entire city is lit up with colorful lamps and lanterns.I don’t need to mention that the fireworks have already begun. I love this festival.Diwali also brings along my favourite treats (Faral).I am really glad Vee has chosen JFI theme as Diwali treats.

Anarsa is one of my most favourite snacks for Diwali.I remember how we would eagerly wait every Diwali for my Grandmother to make them. The ingredients are quite simple..Rice and jaggery …the taste amazing…This recipe needs preparation in advance.But is worth the effort.

So go on and enjoy my grandmothers recipe this Diwali for Anarsa

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To make 10- 12 Anarsas you need

2 Cups rice (the older the better)

1 ¼  Cup jaggery finely grated (change the proportion as per taste)

Ghee made from Cow’s milk for frying

2 tbsp poppy seeds

1 tbsp milk

Wash and soak rice in water for 3 days. Change the water everyday.Drain the rice and spread it on a cotton cloth and let it dry nicely.Grind this to a fine powder and sieve it through a fine mesh(the one you use for sieving all purpose flour).Add the grated jaggery and mix nicely. Press the mixture nicely and keep it closed /covered for 5-6 days. Knead this mixture into a pliable dough sprinkling a little milk if required.

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 You will need very little milk. So just sprinkle the milk and knead. Take a plastic sheet and sprinkle the poppy seeds on it. Make small lemon sized ball from the dough and press it lightly on the poppy seeds. Flatten the dough into a round.Apply some ghee to your hand if the dough sticks.

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Meanwhile heat the ghee. Fry the Anarsa in the Ghee with the poppy seeds side up.Keep on splashing ghee over the upper side of the Anarsa with the ladle without disturbing the Anarsa. Fry till the Anarsa is golden brown. The poppy seeds side of the Anarsa will have a siort of a mesh on it once it is fried.You have to be careful with the oil temperature here.Heat it on medium flame or else the Anarsa will break.

Remove the Anarsa and drain the ghee. To drain the ghee keep the Anarsa in a vertical position. Cool nicely…5-6 hours or till crisp and store it in an airtight container.

 

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Happy Diwali to all of you. May this festival sparkle your life with joy and happiness. Have a safe Diwali.

See you on 28th October.

October 18, 2006 at 10:56 pm 30 comments

Ambat Chuka Bhaji (Green sorrel curry)

I found Ambat chukka on my last visit to the market. It is a tangy cousin of Palak(Appearance is  like Palak but is very sour to taste.) In fact I googled to find out what it is called in other languages and was surprised to know that in Hindi it is actually called Khatti Palak. In English it is Green Sorrel and for other Indian languages see this page here

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Ambat Chukka with hot plain rice is one of the top listed comfort foods for me.

For ambat chukka bhaji you need

 ½ a bunch of Ambat Chuka leaves with stems

¼ cup of peanuts soaked in water for 2 hrs

1 tbsp Chana dal (split yellow gram) soaked in water for 2 hrs

1 tbsp Besan (Chana dal flour)

1 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

For the tadka(tempering)

3-4 garlic cloves

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumene seeds

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

Cook the chukka along with the peanuts and Chana dal in a pressure pan for 1 whistle. In a pan heat oil and then add the mustard seeds, once they crackle the cumene seeds. Add the garlic cloves and green chillies. Add the turmeric and then add the cooked Chuka. Add salt and jaggery and cook for a few minutes.Adjust the water quantity to the required consistency (usually this is made to a dal like consistency which can be eaten with rice)Once the water starts boiling add the Besan stirring continuously.Cook for a few minutes more .

Sweet and sour and a little spicy Ambat chukka is ready to eat. Serve hot with Bhakri or Plain rice (with ghee of course)

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October 15, 2006 at 9:42 pm 19 comments


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