Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cauliflower Koshimbir

Koshimbir is just another word in Marathi for raita or salad. Though "Raita" is always made with yogurt, "Koshimbir" can be made with or without yogurt. It is a good way of eating raw veggies, you get more nutrients. Koshimbir is quite common in marathi menu, it can be made with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower etc or mixture of different veggies.

Ingredients
1 Cup finely chopped cauliflower
1 Small tomato finely chopped
1/2 tbsp Peanut Powder
Salt as per taste
1/4 tsp Chili powder
1/4 tsp Sugar
Fresh coriander chopped

For Tempering
1/8 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Canola Oil
A pinch of turmeric powder

Method
Mix all the ingredients,except for tempering in a bowl. Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they splutter add turmeric powder. Add this tempering to the above mixture and mix again. Your koshimbir is ready.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

I love Italian Cuisine. It is nice and simple yet elegant. Most of the recipes have 5-10 ingredients, that's why it is gaining popularity worldwide. The most popular Italian Food is pasta. Pasta comes in various length, width and shapes. Each pasta has a different name depending on it's shape and size.
So today's recipe is Fettuccine Alfredo. Fettuccine is a flat thick noodle shaped pasta. It is cooked in rich and creamy Alfredo Sauce. Usually made with heavy cream, I use half and half instead to cut the calories.

Ingredients
8 oz Fettuccine 
1 garlic clove crushed
3 tbsp butter
1 pint half and half
3 tbsp Cream Cheese
1/3 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup chopped spinach
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Sun-dried tomato pesto(recipe follows)
Couple of pinches of nutmeg powder

For Sun-dried tomato and basil pesto
1/4 Cup Sun-dried tomatoes(I like to buy tomatoes packed in olive oil)
1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives(Green olives are fine too)
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 Clove Garlic crushed
2-3 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method 
In a blender/food processor add all the ingredients for pesto except olive oil. Add olive oil in steady stream and start blending until nicely blended. Keep aside.
Start by melting butter in a pan, add crushed garlic. Add cream cheese and let it melt, once melted add half and half. Let it simmer for 10 min to thicken. Meanwhile boil fettuccine in lots of water. Once cooked drain and keep aside. In another pan heat 1 tsp olive oil and saute spinach for few seconds, we don't want it completely wilted. Once the sauce thickens add Parmesan Cheese, followed by 2 tbsp of pesto and mix. Add sauteed spinach and nutmeg powder. Add fettuccine and mix again. Enjoy your nice pasta dinner.


Quick Tips-:
 If you think your Alfredo sauce is not thickening add little bit of more cream cheese. Try using fat free or less fat cream cheese to avoid high calorie intake.
If possible buy Parmesan Cheese block instead of already grated cheese that comes in a jar.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pudina Paratha(Mint Paratha)

Paratha's itself are wholesome meal. Paratha's are usually stuffed although they can also be made by adding finely chopped/grated veggies into the dough and then rolling it to make a paratha. Paratha's are most popular for breakfast but they make a nice meal for brunch, lunch and dinner. They taste good with yogurt,some pickle or just with a blob of butter.

We have a beautiful garden in our backyard. It is easy to grow mint(pudina) plants. They grow in such a short time.

They can simply grow in a large pot too. We have lots of mint plants and therefore made these delicious paratha's. I served these paratha's with paneer curry, recipe for which I will share in coming posts. But it can also be served with Yougurt or nice cool Cucumber raita.


Ingredients (Makes approximately 10-12 Parathas)
2 Cups Pudina washed and chopped finely
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
Salt as per taste
1 Cup water
1/2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Chili powder
Canola oil as required to shallow fry

Method
Mix all the ingredients(except oil to shallow fry). Add water in batches to make a medium soft dough.


 Keep aside covered for 1/2 an hour. Divide the dough into equal portions and form them into balls. Roll out each balls into 3 inch circles, apply little oil and fold it to make a semi circle and fold it again to make a triangle shape. Now roll the paratha into circle shape again or you can roll into triangle shape. Heat tawa/griddle, put a paratha on it. Paratha will start puffing up a bit and then flip it over.Apply some oil all over the paratha, flip over and start pressing with spatula to give a nice color. Repat the same procedure on the other side. Enjoy your Paratha's.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Low Fat Paneer

Paneer, also known as Indian cheese is quite a delicacy. Though it is called as cheese it doesn't melt like one. I remember eating fresh Paneer with some salt and pepper outside US consulate office in Mumbai, it tasted heavenly. I have never known anyone who doesn't like Paneer. It is soft and silky in texture. I know you might think, why make paneer at home when it is easily available in market? But trust me, once you make it at home you won't go back for the store bought one. You don't have to go into lot of trouble to make Paneer,  just boil some milk, add some acidity to it and that's it. Paneer is a great substitute for vegetarians.

You will see lot of paneer recipes in coming posts. I use 2% milk which we get here in US, that way you can enjoy eating it without any guilt :-).

Ingredients

1 gallon of  2% milk
1/4 to 1/3 Cup Distilled White Vineger

That's it you need only 2 ingredients to make Paneer :-)

Method

Boil milk in a thick bottom pot. Once boiled turn off the heat and add 1/4 cup vinegar, curds will start separating from whey. If not, you might need more Vinegar. But overall it should look like this.


Drain the curds in a muslin cloth or if you have a cheese cloth use the same.


 Wash it with cold tap water. Make a round ball shape by twisting and turning the cloth and remove little excess water by pressing the ball. This is quite important because if you remove all the excess water your Paneer will be dry. Place a heavy weight on the curds that is wrapped in cloth for example I used the same pot filled with water and placed it on top of the cloth.


 Leave it for an hour and your paneer is ready.


 Cut into desired size.


Paneer is ready to use in curries and many more dishes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bread Pizza with Spring Mix Salad

Originated in Italy, Pizza is now famous all over the world. I love to make pizza at home, there are endless toppings once you know how to make a Pizza. "Bread Pizza" is just a different kind of pizza. I use regular wheat or white bread instead of traditional crust and use different kind of toppings. It is quick and easy to make. Serve it with Spring Mix Salad for a complete meal.

Ingredients For Pizza
10 Bread slices
1 Cup finely diced red and green bell peppers
1/2 onion finely diced
1 small tomato finely chopped(pulp removed)
Fresh Basil(optional)
1/8 tsp Pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning.
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese(Approximately one 8oz package)
Salt and Pepper
Ketchup as required

Ingredients for Spring Mix Salad
1 8-10 oz package of Spring Mix Salad(ready to eat ones)
1/3 Cup Croutons
10-12 Grapes(cut in halves)
8 Toasted Walnut halves
1/2 Cup Cucumber diced into big chunks
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tbsp Honey
Pinch of Sugar
Salt and Pepper.

Method for dressing
Mix together all the ingredients except Olive Oil. Start whisking Olive Oil in a steady stream into the rest of the ingredients until nicely incorporated. Your Vinaigrette is ready.

In a salad bowl mix together all the ingredients for salad and dress it with Vinaigrette.


Method
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Mix together all the ingredients except bread, cheese and ketchup in a bowl.



Arrange bread slices on a baking tray. Start by spreading ketchup evenly on all the slices followed by cheese. Top it with the above mixture. Then sprinkle more cheese.


Pizza is ready to go in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until cheese melts and bread is nice and crusty.
Serve it with fresh Spring Mix Salad and you can have a complete satisfying meal in minutes.


Quick Tips-:
Italian or Pizza seasoning is just a mixture of different herbs. If you don't have it simply use salt and pepper.
You can use store bought pizza sauce, or even Pasta sauce is fine. Sometimes I use Maggie hot and sweet tomato chili sauce. So go ahead and be creative :-).
Jalapenos and pineapple is another interesting topping for spice lovers.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Curry Leaves Chutney (कढीपत्ता चटणी )

Chutney can be made, wet or dry. Chutney come in so many varieties, here in US wet chutney's are more popular than dry one. Wet ones are made with combination of vegetables, fruits, vinegar and different spices.

The recipe that I am sharing with you today is a dry one. This recipe is great when you have extra Curry leaves on hand and don't know what to do with it. It goes well with Rice, Parathas or Rotis. Overall it's a great condiment to have on your dinner table.It is easy to make and come together in minutes.

Ingredients


1 1/2 Cup Curry leaves
1/3 Cup Sesame seeds
1/3 Cup Dry shredded coconut
1/3 cup Powdered Peanuts
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt as per taste

Method


Wash and pat dry Curry leaves. Fry them in 1 tsp of oil until crisp. Dry roast shredded coconut and sesame seeds until light brown.

Grind together all the ingredients except peanut powder in a mixer. Lastly add powdered peanuts and grind it once again. I like a little coarse texture for this chutney, but you can make fine texture if you want.

  





Monday, August 8, 2011

Gatte Ki Kadhi

Gatte ki Kadhi is a Rajasthani Dish. I had this at my friend's place for first time and instantly loved it. My husband is big fan of gatte ki kadhi, he never gets tired eating it. This recipe calls for buttermilk, I made buttermilk at home by mixing yogurt and water used for boiling gatte together.  Buttermilk that we get here in US is thick, so if you are using it make sure you add lots of water to make it thin.

Ingredients 

For Gatte

1 1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour
4 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup luke warm water

For Kadhi

4 Cups Buttermilk
1 tbsp Chickpea flour
Salt as per taste
Chopped Coriander for garnish

For tempering

2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 Green Chilies
Curry Leaves


Method

For gatte, heat oil until smoking hot. Mix together Chickpea flour, oil, chili powder, salt. Pour water and knead it into a medium soft dough. Roll it on a flat surface like cutting board to make cylindrical shape.

 Add these gatte into salted boiling water and let them boil for 10-12 min.

 

They will start floating when done.  Let them cool and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Keep aside.



Meanwhile mix buttermilk and 1 tbsp of Chickpea flour. Heat oil, add mustard and cumin seeds, once they crackle add Asafoetida and Turmeric following by chilies, curry leaves and chili powder. By adding chili powder in tempering, will give nice color to your kadhi. Then add the prepared buttermilk. Once it starts boiling add gatte and let it boil for 10-12 minutes. Turn of the heat and garnish with chopped coriander.


Your gatte ki kadhi is ready. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Spicy Potatoes

My friends parents were visiting from India and so I invited them over for lunch this weekend, thought of making a nice Maharashtrian meal for them. So I put together bunch of dishes. But I wanted some spicy vegetable to go with lunch menu. I came across a recipe in Sanjeev Kapoor's book made a few changes in recipe and it turned out good. Though this is not a typical "Maharashtrian" style vegetable but it went nice with the menu. And as the name suggest they are nice and spicy.

Ingredients


5 medium Potatoes
2 medium Onions
1 tsp Lime juice
1/2 cup water
Salt as per taste
Coriander leaves chopped for garnishing.

For tempering

Mustard seeds
2 1/2 tbsp oil

Spice Mixture

2 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric  powder
1/4 tsp Kasoori Methi(dry fenugreek)
1/4 tsp Garam Masala


Method


Wash and peel Potatoes, cut them into cubes(little bigger than usual). Blend together all the Ingredients in Spice Mixture with little bit of water to make a smooth paste.
Chop onions, same size of potatoes and saute them with little oil on high heat until they soften a little.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. Once they crackle add potatoes, fry them a little and then add 1/2 cup water. Put lid on and cook potatoes until half done. Then add the above spice mixture and cook potatoes until they are fully done. Add the above sauteed onions and lime juice, mix together and garnish it with chopped Coriander.



Monday, August 1, 2011

Quesadilla with Mango Salsa

Quesadilla is a Mexican dish.  Savory mixture and cheese is stuffed inside tortilla and folded in half to make a half-moon shape. Quesadilla's are quite easy to make as all the ingredients are readily available in stores.

I love watching Food Network and one day I saw recipe for meat Quesadilla's and I thought why not make it at home with Veggies. So I made it and my husband liked it, it has become a family favorite ever since, even my kids love it .

Ingredients

4 Medium size flour tortilla's
1/3 Cup sliced Green Pepper
1/4 Cup sliced Red Bell Pepper
1 Small Onion sliced
3 tbsp frozen Corn
1/2 Cup canned Black Beans
1/2 Jalapeno cut into semi circles(remove seeds if it's too spicy for you)
1 Cup + 1/4 cup  Mexican blend Cheese
1/2 tsp oil
Salt and Pepper as required
Butter as required
Mango Salsa (Recipe follows)
Hot sauce as required(I prefer Cholula but any brand is fine)

Mango Salsa

1 Mango diced finely
1/3 Cup chopped Red Onion
1/4 Cup chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
1/2 tbsp Lime juice
1/4  Jalapeno chopped finely
2-3 drops of hot sauce
Salt and Pepper as required

Method

Mix all the ingredients for salsa in a bowl and mix. Make salsa couple of hours or more in advance if possible so that all the flavors blend in. This is your Salsa.



Heat 1/2 oil add Peppers(except Jalapenos) and Onions and saute on high heat for few minutes. Then add Corn and Jalapenos and saute again until all the veggies are nice and charred but not softened. Shut off the gas and add salt and pepper. Keep aside.

For assembling, take tortilla, heat it just enough to make warm. Keep it on a plate, spread hot sauce(as much you desire). On half side of the tortilla sprinkle cheese, 1 spoon veggies, 1 spoon salsa, 1 spoon black beans and finish it off with Cheese and fold over the other side of tortilla.



Spread little butter on both sides and grill it on griddle or in a frying pan until lightly brown. Let it cool a bit and cut Quesadilla's into wedges and serve with sour cream and Salsa.


Quick Tips

You can explore by using different flavored tortillas, they come in so many flavors. 

Kothimbir Vadi(कोथिंबीर वडी)

Kothimbir Vadi is another Maharashtrian delicacy. It works great as an appetizer or even for snacking. Kothimbir Vadi tastes especially good when they are hot. It feels so good to eat them when it's raining outside with some tea or coffee. Now, my mom used to steam Kothimbir vadi in pressure cooker but I steam them in microwave, it's fast.

Ingredients
4 Cups chopped Coriander (about 4 bunches)
1/2 tbsp Chili powder
1 1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour(बेसन)
1/4 Cup Rice flour(तांदुळाचे पीठ)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida 
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp Sesame seeds(तिळ)
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Cumin powder(जिरे पूड)
1 Cup water
1/2 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
Oil for deep frying

Method
Mix all the above ingredients together except Oil for frying. This mixture should not be too thick or too thin. 

Spray microwave safe baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour the mixture in it. 

Microwave it for 3 minutes and then again for 3-4 minutes. Remove dish from microwave and let it cool. Then  cut it into squares.

Deep fry them to golden brown color and serve them hot.


Enjoy your Kothimbir Vadi!!!

Quick Tips-:
You can steam Kothimbir Vadi a day in advance, cut into cubes and store them in a container and refrigerate it. Next day deep fry them and serve hot.