Friday, October 14, 2011

डाळीच्या पीठाची चटणी (Chickpea flour chutney)

My mother-in-law makes this chutney. In marathi we call chickpea flour as डाळीचे पीठ or बेसन.
As I had said before, chutney can be dry or wet, this chickpea flour chutney has a yogurt base . My husband loves this chutney and finally after making it for few times, got the recipe perfect. It goes great with your everyday lunch of  Roti, Sabzi, Dal and Rice.

1 Cup Yogurt
1/4 Cup Chickpea Flour
Sugar and salt as per taste
1 1/2 tsp Chili powder

For tempering
1 1/2 tbsp Canola oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
Pinch of Asafoetida

Beat yogurt in a bowl add sugar and salt, mix well. Sprinkle chickpea flour evenly over yogurt. Now sprinkle chili powder evenly over chickpea flour(most importantly, do not mix this mixture).
For tempering heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add turmeric and asafoetida. Pour this tempering over the above chutney mixture evenly.
Now cover the bowl with a plate and keep aside for around 45 min or up to 1 hr. Later mix it and serve.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quick and Easy Pasta for Kids(Serves 2 kids)

Pasta is an all time favorite food for kids of all ages. Adding finely diced vegetables makes this Pasta healthier. Children enjoy fun shapes of Pasta, so in this recipe I have used zoo animals Pasta.


1 cup Pasta
1/2 cup Pasta Sauce(I use Ragu but any of your favorite brand is fine)
1/4 cup vegetables finely diced(like carrots,broccoli,zucchini)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

For White Sauce

1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Milk
salt and pepper as per taste


Boil water for Pasta with lid on. Once boiled add salt and little bit of olive oil and then Pasta, stir. When Pasta is almost done add veggies and let it boil, until pasta is cooked and veggies are tender. Drain and keep aside.

Method for White Sauce 
Meanwhile melt butter in a sauce pan on medium heat and add flour. Stir with whisk until butter and flour are well combined and mixture is bubbled. Pour milk and stir until it thickens. Add more milk depending on the desired consistency. This is your white sauce.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Combine white sauce with pasta sauce and add drained pasta. Mix everything together, sprinkle cheese on top and bake it in the oven for 10 min or until cheese melts. Let it cool and serve.

Quick Tip -:

If you have fresh basil on hand, cut thin slices through it and toss it in the sauce.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Instant Dadpe Pohe (Flattened Rice)

My mom makes this instant and delicious dadpe pohe. The word "Dadpe"  means keeping it covered. There are so many different preparations of pohe from Maharashtra and Dadpe Pohe is one of them. I call it instant Dadpe Pohe because unlike traditional recipe, these pohe can be prepared withing minutes. This recipe is quick and delicious. Perfect for snack or dinner. These Dadpe Pohe are great for weeknight meals when you want something quick and filling.

2 1/2 Cup Thin Poha toasted in preheated oven of 370 F for about  10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted and crisp
2 Tbsp Raw Peanuts
1 Small onion chopped finely
1 tomato finely chopped
2-3 green chili's finely chopped
Salt as per taste
1 tsp Sugar or as per taste
1 tbsp Lime juice
Chopped cilantro for garnishing

For tempering
1-2  Tbsp Canola oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
Pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except for tempering. Juices from tomatoes and onions will make pohe moist and super tasty. Heat oil in a small pan, fry peanuts until crisp, remove on paper towel and keep aside. You can also roast peanuts in oven. In same oil add mustard seeds, once they splutter add Asafoedita and Turmeric powder. Pour this tempering all over the above mixture of pohe and add peanuts. Mix well and serve.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Sandwich is one of my favorite meal and especially this grilled veggie one. Colorful veggies are grilled perfectly and arranged on bread with pesto and cheese. These sandwiches tastes out of this world. They are so mouthwatering, you will want to pick one when you see them.
I love Basil. We have a beautiful basil plant in our garden and I always find a way to use basil in different dishes cause it's so refreshing and colorful. And Pesto is a good way to use up that basil.
Basil Pesto used for this sandwich can be store bought or you can make at home, I will be sharing the recipe for pesto as well. You can make pesto, freeze it and use it when required. Bread that I use for this particular sandwich is Pain de Campagne Round Bread from Wegmans(which is a grocery store chain). If you want, check out this link. The best part is they will slice the bread for you :-)
But you can use nice crusty bread like Ciabatta, Tuscan or any other Italian bread.
You will need a gas grill to grill vegetables or you can grill them in preheated oven at 375 F for about 20-25 minutes.

2 Zucchini sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
1 Red Bell Pepper seeded and halved
4-5 Button Mushrooms
1 Large Red Onion Sliced into thick rings
1 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese cut into slices
Salt and Pepper
1 loaf Pain de champane bread or any nice crusty Italian bread
1/2 cup Basil Pesto (approximately)
 E.V.O.O(Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

For Pesto(Makes 1 cup)
2 Cups tightly packed fresh basil
3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup walnuts or 2 tbsp of Pine Nuts
1/2 garlic clove
Salt and Pepper as per taste

Method For Pesto, blend together all the ingredients for Pesto in a blender/food processor and keep aside.

Now let's start by grilling veggies. Put the grill on medium high heat. Brush all the Veggies with E.V.O.O and season with salt and pepper. Start grilling veggies on grill in batches. Grill until tender and charred all over. Red bell pepper will take more time than other veggies so make sure you put them first on grill. Keep an eye on Zucchini as they cook fast.
Place grilled bell pepper in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for few minutes, this helps to remove the skin. Cut Zucchini's in half and bell pepper lengthwise. Slice Mushrooms. 
Drizzle bread with olive oil and grill it.

To assemble, slather pesto on one slice and top it with grilled veggies and then fresh mozzarella slices.
Broil the above sandwiches in oven on high for couple of minutes until cheese starts to melt. Top it with other slice and cut in half and enjoy.
Serve it with some chips and pickle.

Quick Tips-: 
Try adding crushed red pepper flakes on your sandwich for a little heat.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mix Vegetable Pickle

Pickle is a great condiment on any Indian dinner table. It is usually super spicy,sour and salty. Pickle also know as लोणचं in Marathi and Achar in Hindi is nothing but a mixture of vegetables and/or fruits combined with a spices. Pickling is just a process of preserving food by marinating in some sort of brine. Indian Pickles are marinated in lime juice, oil and salt along with spices. 
Green Mango pickle is quite popular in India. Green Mango is a summer fruit, so my mom makes green mango pickle in summer. One of my friend shared this mix vegetable pickle recipe with me. I have used pickle masala, which is nothing but a blend of aromatic spices. It is easily available in any Indian store.

2 Cup Cauliflower washed and  finely chopped
1 Carrot peeled,washed and finely chopped
10-12 Green Beans washed and finely chopped
1 Cup frozen peas
15-20 Green chili's washed and finely chopped
1 tbsp Salt or as per taste
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp Pickle Masala
2 1/2 Tbsp Mustard Seeds Powder( To make Mustard powder, grind some mustard seeds in a grinder to a fine powder)
Juice of 3-4 limes

1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

Keep all your vegetables and spices ready.

To make the tempering, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, once they splutter add Asafoetida, Turmeric Powder. Shut off the gas and then add chili powder. Let it cool completely.
Combine all the vegetables, salt, pickle masala and lime juice. Add the above cooled tempering all over the vegetables and mix together. Give it a taste, it should have a nice balance of sour, spiciness and should be properly salted. Adjust the taste accordingly.

Pickle is ready. Keep this pickle in a airtight jar and refrigerate. Enjoy it with Paratha, Roti or any Indian rice preparations. It will take couple of days for all the flavors to blend together. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shahi Paneer

North Indian Cuisine is famous for it's rich and tasty gravies. And Shahi Paneer is one of them. The word "Shahi" means rich and royal. Shahi Paneer is made with cream, tomatoes, spices and of course "Paneer". North Indian style "Meat" gravies are also quite popular. But  Paneer is a good alternative for Vegetarian people. You can either make paneer at home or you can get it from Indian store. This recipe will serve 4-5 people.

1 1/3 Cup cubed paneer (Home made paneer recipe)
2 Medium onion quartered
2 Big red tomatoes pureed
1 tsp tomato paste
2 inch ginger diced
4 Garlic cloves smashed
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
Salt as per taste
1 tsp Garam Masala(A blend of Indian spices)
1/2 Cup Light cream or half and half
1 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dry Fenugreek)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/4 Cup water

Heat 1 tsp oil into a large skillet and saute quartered onion, ginger and garlic until soft. Once cooled puree it in a blender and keep aside. Now add remaining 3 Tbsp oil in the same skillet and saute onion puree until golden brown color. Add tomato puree and tomato paste and saute again until oil separates. Now add garam masala, sugar, salt and water and let it boil. Once boiled simmer for 10 min, add paneer and cream and simmer again for 5-7 minutes until paneer is nice and soft. If curry seems too thick add little water or if it's too thin add a little bit of more cream. Last but not the least, crush kasoori methi between your palm and sprinkle it over the curry and mix, this will give a nice aroma and restaurant like taste to your Shahi Paneer.

Serve with hot Tandoor Naan or Paratha of your choice.