Thursday, December 13, 2012

लाल भोपळ्याचे घारगे /Sweet Pumpkin Puri

To finish up the Halloween Pumpkin I made this special treat that my mom makes and use to love it when we were kids. घारगे was one of my favorite after school snack. It surely pleases kids and comes in handy when they come home hungry after school. My mom suggested this easy method of making घारगे, it is so simple and quick that you can make it quite often. Somehow one of my whole Pumpkin from Halloween was still sitting windowsill because of my laziness :). But when my mom suggested this easy method, I thought it's about time to use up that Pumpkin. So here goes the recipe for घारगे.

1 Cup diced Pumpkin
3/4 Cup गुळ/Jaggery
1 Tbs बारिक रवा/Semolina
2 Tbs तांदुळ पीठी/Rice flour
1 Tbs oil
Approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cup कणिक/whole wheat flour
A small pinch of salt
Oil for deep frying

Microwave pumpkin with very little water in a bowl until soft, should take about 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave. Let it cool a bit and remove the excess water. Roughly mash the pumpkin with hand.
Now add Jaggery and let this mixture sit aside for 10-15 minutes. Mash this mixture again so that jaggery and pumpkin are nicely incorporated. 
This mixture will be runny. Add the remaining ingredients except whole wheat flour. Add the flour last little by little as required until a nice semi-stiff dough is formed. Keep aside for 10-12 minutes and divide the dough into equal balls. Roll each ball into round shape puri and deep fry until golden brown color. This recipe will yield approximately 10-11 घारगे.

Quick Tips-: Dust some whole wheat flour while rolling puri if your dough is little bit sticky.

Monday, November 12, 2012


चिवडा/Chivda is a traditional snack item from Maharashtra made during Diwali. It is a spicy mixture of पोहा/flattened rice and peanuts, roasted chana dal etc. Easy to make with minimum ingredients, चिवडा needs a little preparation time and no cooking time at all.

2 lb Thin Poha/Flattened Rice/पातळ पोहे
2 Cup Peanuts
1 Cup roasted Chana Dal
15 Green Chili's chopped
10-15 Curry leaves
5 Tbs Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Chili powder
3 Tsp आमचुर/Dry Mango Powder
Salt as per taste
3/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 Tbs Mustard Seeds
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder

First step is roasting पोहे /Poha. There are several method for roasting. But I find roasting in oven more convenient and gives good results. Preheat the oven to 360 F. First you will need a चाळणी to separate whole poha from crushed poha which is in the powder form, discard the powder that separates from चाळणी.

Then arrange poha on cookie sheets. You may need to do it in batches. I used 4 cookie sheets and arranged poha in even layer and baked for 20 minutes flipping and tossing with spoon half way through until toasted and crisp. Make sure not to burn them. Remove from the oven and spread on newspaper to cool.
After it's done you will need a big pot to make चिवडा/Chivda. Get all the ingredients ready.
 Heat oil in a large pot, fry peanuts until crip and remove them on cookie sheet on top of toasted poha. Next goes roasted chana dal, fry it for few seconds and remove it on toasted phoa. Fry green chili's until it changes color and them remove them on poha. Now add mustard seeds, once they crackle add Asafoetida, Turmeric powder and curry leaves. Throw in toasted poha along with peanuts, chana dal and green chili's. Add rest of the ingredients, sugar, salt, chili powder, dry mango powder. Shut off the gas. Mix together nicely so that all the flavors are combined and each and every poha is well coated with all the spices. Nice and tasty चिवडा  is ready!! Keep it in a airtight container.

ओल्या नारळाची करंजी

Another sweet prepared for Diwali is करंजी/Karanji. It is a kind of fried dumpling stuffed with sweet coconut filling inside. There are two types of stuffing for करंजी, one is made with fresh grated coconut and another is made from shredded dry coconut. I personally like fresh grated coconut filling so let's get started with it.

Oil for deep frying
For Stuffing
3 Cup shredded fresh coconut( I used frozen shredded coconut, if using frozen don't forget to thaw it first)
2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs milk powder
1/2 Tsp Cardamom powder
Pinch of saffron(optional)

Dough for करंजी/Karanji
1 Cup मैदा/Maida
1 Cup रवा/Semolina
1/4 Cup oil
1 Cup milk(approximately) cold or at room temperature

For stuffing combine shredded coconut and sugar in a large non-stick pan and cook the mixture on medium heat for 20 min, stirring occasionally in between. Towards the end of cooking process add milk powder and stir. You will know it's done when coconut and sugar are well incorporated and stuffing becomes thick. Don't overcook the stuffing otherwise it will be dry. Later add cardamom powder and saffron and mix well. Let the stuffing cool completely.
For the dough combine मैदा/Maida and रवा/Semolina together. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a small pan, pour this hot oil over semolina and maida mixture. Mix it and add milk little by little to knead a stiff dough. Keep it covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. After an hour or so take the kneaded dough and break it into pieces and process it in food processor with dough blade on. Or you can also use mixer/blender. This will make the dough soft and easy to roll. Make 1 to 1 /12 inch balls out of this dough and keep them covered with damp cloth to avoid drying.
 Before proceeding further keep your coconut stuffing, large plate and another damp cloth handy. Now take one ball and roll out thin to form a disc.
 Put a spoonful of coconut stuffing on one side of the disc and fold the other side to make a semi-circle. 
Press down the edges securing the stuffing inside. Next cut the edges with the help of  कातण(same spoon that we used for शंकरपाळे ). 
Repeat the same procedure for remaining balls. Keep the prepared Karanji in a plate covered with damp cloth.
 Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry करंजी to light golden brown color.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

बेसन लाडु/Besan Ladoo

Rich and sweet dessert snack, Ladoo is not only made for Diwali but any time of the year. It is made by roasting gram flour in pure तुप/ghee/clarified butter which gives them rich taste. Than you can add nuts like almonds or raisins to make them extra special. Though, I don't add raisins as it is not a favorite item at my house. I always use लाडु बेसन/ladoo bean as I don't like the texture of ladoo's made from regular besan.

3 Cup Ladoo Besan
1 Cup तुप
1/2 Cup milk
2 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Cup chopped Almonds

In a pot combine together तुप and besan. Fry it on low-medium heat. This will take time, as you don't want to burn the mixture. Fry it until you get nice light brown color, will take about 20-25 minutes(it seems a lot but you will need to fry them on medium heat all the way through, color and taste of ladoo depends on this important step). Add chopped almonds half way through cooking besan so that they get nice and toasted. Once done, shut off the gas and add milk(adding milk makes these ladoos soft and delicious). Let the mixture cool slightly and then add powdered sugar, mix it and leave it aside until the mixture is completely cool enough to handle. Later combine the whole mixture with your hand and mix it nicely like you would knead a dough, by doing this ladoo's will be light and soft. Take a palm full of mixture and start pressing it to make round shape ladoo's. This recipe will yield around 20 medium size ladoo depending on what size you make. 

गोड शंकरपाळे/Sweet Shankarpale

Recipe for sweet shankarpale is pretty simple and has same procedure like खारे शंकरपाळे /khare shankarpale. As the name suggests these shankarpale are sweet but not too sweet like लाडु /ladoo. Today's sweet shankarpale recipe will make approximately around 3lb.

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk
3/4 Cup oil
4 1/2 Cup मैदा/All Purpose Flour/Maida
Oil for deep frying

Combine sugar,milk, 3/4 cup oil and bring it to low boil. Once boiled shut off the gas. Leave it aside for few minutes. Next add मैदा/Maida little by little into the liquid to make a stiff dough. You will need only that much maida that will fit into the liquid and stiff dough is formed. 4 1/2 cup maida was required for the above mentioned liquid but it will depend on how heaping cups of maida you take. So just remember to keep adding maida until you get a nice stiff dough. Keep this dough covered aside for couple of hrs. Here are couple of photo's to give you the idea.

 After all maida is added you will get stiff dough like this.

Next procedure is same as खारे शंकरपाळे  You will need that special spoon called as कातण in Marathi. Divide the dough into equal balls and roll out each ball into 7-8 inch circle into medium thickness. Now use the spoon and make shankarpale's out of it. Make a big batch of shankarpale from couple of balls and spread it on newspaper and then deep fry them in batches. Repeat the smae procedure for the the whole dough. Nice and crisp गोड शंकरपाळे are ready for Diwali!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

खारे शंकरपाळे

Another Faraal item that I made today was खारे शंकरपाळे. शंकरपाळे/Shankarpale come in 2 varieties, sweet and savory. Both have same diamond shape and you will need a special spoon or कातण as we say in Marathi to give that shape.
शंकरपाळे is an all time favorite with kids be it savory or sweet. 

2 Cup मैदा/All Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp जिरं/Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp मिरपुड/pepper
Salt as per taste
Water for kneading the dough(approximately little more than 1/2 cup)
4 tbs oil
Oil for deep frying

In a pan combine all the ingredients together except oil. Heat 4 tbs oil until smoking hot. Pour this hot oil in a pan with all the ingredients and mix. Now slowly add water little by little and knead it into a semi-soft dough. Keep it covered for 1/2 an hour. 

Next divide the dough into equal balls.
Roll out one ball into 7 to 8 inch thin circle.

Now use that special spoon/कातण and cut horizontally and vertically making diamond shape शंकरपाळे.

 The end result will look like this.
Repeat the same procedure for the remaining balls. Meanwhile heat oil in a Kadhai to deep fry. Fry these diamond shape शंकरपाळे in hot oil over medium heat until golden brown color and crisp. Store them in a airtight container.

Diwali Faraal

'Diwali' popularly known as festival of lights outside India is the most awaited holiday for every Hindu. It is that time of the year where you shop for new clothes, clean and decorate the house with lights and lanterns. Whole house is filled with wonderful aroma of sweet and savory items known as फराळ/Faraal in Marathi  prepared for Diwali. There are five special days in Diwali, each having significance of it's own.
1.  धनत्रयोदशी
2. नर्कचतुर्दशी
3. लक्ष्मीपुजन
4. बलीप्रतिपदा
5. भाऊबीज
I still remember Diwali celebrations from my childhood. Getting up early in the morning before sunrise, getting ready and then lighting up some fire crackers. After that we use to have फराळ made by mom. Those were some good old days. So on this auspicious holiday of Diwali I will be posting all the Faraal/फराळ items that I make.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

कॉर्न कीस

I still remember eating कॉर्न कीस/Corn Kees in Indore at Sarafa Bazar.  Sarafa Bazar is actually a Jewelery market during day time but in the evening food vendors set up their eateries along the road. You get all type of chaat and snack items and sweets like Jalebi, malpua etc. Corn Kees being a Indore speciality I naturally tried that first and it was so creamy and delicious. The star of this recipe is of course 'Corn' and few more ingredients for tempering. Ingredients are simple but preparation might take some effort as we need to grate all the corn ears but the result is totally worth it. 

Ingredients(Serves 4)
13 corn ears(Husk and silk removed)
1/2 Tsp chili powder
1 Tsp sugar
Salt as per taste
1 Tbs Lime juice
For tempering
2 Tbs Canola oil
1/2 Tsp Mustard seeds
1/8 Tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
Couple of pinches Asafoetida
5-6 Green chili's
Cilantro for garnishing

Grate 11 corn and take corn out off the remaining 2 corn cobs. I like to bite on few whole corn when I eat this Kees that's why I took corn out off the couple of cobs. Don't forget to wear apron while grating corn otherwise you will be covered in corn juice :-), this I am telling you from experience.
Now comes the tempering part. Heat oil in a large pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric and green chili's. Next grated corn along with few whole corn kernels goes in. Stir fry it, cover and cook for few minutes. Later add in salt, sugar and chili powder. Adding chili powder is completely optional, I only add it for color and not for spiciness. Cook again for 10 minutes. If you've got lot of juice while grating corn just like mine then it will take some time to evaporate those juices. In that case you will need to cook little bit longer. Consistency of kees should be little thicker. Once fully cooked add lime juice and garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lentil Chutney

This is a typical South Indian chutney. It tastes especially good with Idlis(Steamed round shaped cakes made with fermented rice and urad dal). This chutney is a must at my house whenever I make Idli. Two types of lentils are roasted with chili's and grinded  to make a coarse powder, later add in yogurt and pour over mustard seeds tempering.

3/4 Cup Chana Dal
1/3 Cup Urad Dal
1 tsp oil
3 Green Chili's chopped
1 1/2 Cup beaten yogurt
Salt as per taste
2 tsp Sugar
For Tempering
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Pinch of Asafoetida
Small pinch of Turmeric powder

Heat oil in a small pan. Add both chana and urad dal along with green chili's. Roast until light brown in color.
Cool and grind it in a blender to make a coarse powder.
Mix in Yogurt, Salt and Sugar. For tempering heat oil in a pan, add Mustard seeds, Asafoetida and Turmeric powder. Pour this tempering over chutney and mix well. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

तळलेले मोदक/Fried Modak

Another sweet made during Ganpati festival. Unlike Ukadiche Modak these Modak are fried and not steamed. Stuffing for these modak is same as Ukadiche Modak but outer covering is different. It is made of  मैदा /all purpose flour. Since stuffing is same I have not included it's ingredients in this recipe. But you can click on link of Ukadiche modak where you will find recipe for stuffing. Stuffing can be made 2 ways using jaggery or sugar. For Ukadiche Modak stuffing is made with गुळ/Jaggery but for fried modak it can be made using either Jaggery or Sugar. I have used Jaggery though for both modak.
As we had guest coming over for गणपती आरती/ Ganpati celebrations I made a big batch of these fried modak. Below recipe will make 55 small size modak.

Saran/Stuffing for modak

Ingredients for outer covering
4 cup मैदा /All Purpose Flour
1/3 cup गरम तेलाचे मोहन/ heated canola oil
Water/Milk as required for kneading the dough

Oil as required for deep frying

Keep your stuffing ready. Click on the link above for stuffing recipe.
For outer covering, heat oil until very hot and pour it on flour. Lightly mix it with your hand. Using water or milk little by little start kneading the dough until it forms into a big ball.
Keep aside the dough covered for an hour. Later divide the dough into equal balls. Roll out these balls into thin puri and put stuffing right in the middle. 

Using your fingers pinch the sides of the puri to make petals in circular motion. Bring all the ends together in form of plates and form a tip and seal it. Continue the same procedure to make remaining modak. Cover the prepared modak with wet cloth so that they don't get dry. This is important because if they get dry the petals will start unfolding. Once done heat oil in Kadhai and deep fry all the prepared modak. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

उकडीचे मोदक (Ukadiche Modak)

                                          गणपती बाप्पा मोरया !!!

उकडीचे मोदक /Ukadiche Modak is a sweet dumpling made with coconut and Jaggery filling. It is very popular in Maharashtra. Usually made during Ganpati Festival which lasts for 10 days, this Maharashtrian delicacy has special importance to widely worshiped Hindu God 'Ganesha' called as 'गणपती' in Marathi. After the worship ceremony 21 or 11 उकडीचे मोदक/Ukadiche Modak are offered to Lord Ganesha.
Modak/मोदक can be steamed or deep fried. Outer covering for both kind of Modaks are different but stuffing is same, made with Coconut and Jaggery. Today's recipe is for Steamed Modak. So let's get started! This recipe will make 21 medium size Modak.

Ingredients for सारण/Stuffing 

4 Cups Shredded Coconut(I use frozen coconut which works out just as great as Fresh Coconut, saves me the hassle of breaking and then shredding the coconut)
2 1/2 Cup गुळ/Jaggery
1 Tsp Cardamom powder

Ingredients for Outer covering 

2 1/2 cup Rice Flour
2 1/4 cup water + as required for kneading the dough
Pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp oil + more as required for kneading the dough

For stuffing, combine shredded Coconut and Jaggery in a large pan(preferably non-stick) and put it on medium gas. Fry it stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes less moist but not completely dry, this will take about 20-25 minutes. Add Cardamom powder and mix well. Shut off the gas and keep aside this mixture to cool.

For the outer covering, heat water just until it starts to boil. Add 1/2 tsp oil and salt. Add the rice flour and stir it with back side of a stainless steel spatula(that's how my mom does it) so without any doubt I follow her instructions :) she is expert in making these Modaks. Now cover the pot and let it cook for 1 minute, uncover the pot stir again with back side of spatula. Cover again for 1-2 min and then shut off the gas. This dough is called as उकड/Ukad. Remove this Ukad from the pot and start kneading it using water and oil. Keep kneading until the dough is soft and shiny. Now divide the dough into small balls(size of a golf ball).
Apply some oil to your palm and by using your fingers in a circular motion start pressing the ball to make thin  and flat puri, this is called as पारी . Take a spoonful of stuffing and put it right in the center of our prepared पारी. Now comes the tricky part, using your fingers pinch the sides of the पारी to make petals in a circular motion.

Bring all the ends together in form of plates and form a tip and seal it. Continue the same procedure for remaining Modak. Put a wet muslin cloth in a steamer. Dip the prepared modaks in water and keep them in a steamer. Steam Modak's for 12 minutes. Don't overcrowd the steamer with modak. Steam them in batches if your steamer is small. 
After steaming let them cool a bit so that it will be easy to handle them. Wet your hands in water and then remove them on a plate. Serve it with तूप /Ghee and simply enjoy them!!

1. You will notice one colored modak in between. I have used red+yellow mixed food color to give this orange color to modak. Use this color in one of the balls and just mix it in until nicely blended and colored ball is formed. Use the same procedure to make modak out of this colored ball!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tomato Carrot Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This is a perfect kid friendly meal. Kids love this combination of tomato carrot soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Soup is simple and delicious. Grilled cheese sandwich is an all time favorite in kids. Just by pairing it up with nice tomato and carrot soup they will have a nice and filling meal. Grilled cheese sandwich is also good when your kid needs a quick snack. I have used American cheese slices as it is mild in flavor and kids can easily adapt to its taste. But if you want to try different kind it is perfectly all right.

Ingredients(serves 2)
(For Soup)
3 Fresh Tomatoes quartered
2 Carrots washed, peeled and diced
Salt as per taste
Sugar 1 tsp
Pepper as per taste
(For Grilled Cheese Sandwich) Makes 2 sandwiches
4 slices of bread
2 slices of American cheese slices
Butter as required for grilling

Cook tomatoes and carrots in a pressure cooker along with water. After 3-4 whistles shut off the gas. Let the pressure drop and let tomatoes and carrots cool a bit. Reserve water and remove skins from tomatoes and blend them along with carrots to make a fine puree. Sieve the puree through a mesh strainer leaving all the seeds and tomato skins (if any) behind. Add the reserved water to make the desired consistency for soup. Heat the soup on medium heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and sugar and pepper. Shut off the gas and soup is ready.
For Sandwiches,  spread butter on all 4 slices of bread on one side. Take a cheese slice and place it on Unbuttered slice of bread. Now place the second Unbuttered slice on top of cheese. Preheat the griddle and place sandwich on it. Let it brown a little and flip the sandwich and immediately flip ligtly browned side of bread on top of cheese and lightly butter the non grilled side of bread. Now flip the sandwich, buttered slice down and let it brown evenly. Use the same procedure for other side. I know it sounds little bit complicated but grilling both the sides of bread makes this sandwich extra special. Repeat the same procedure with remaining 2 slices of bread to make another sandwich and serve it with soup.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vegetable Mayo Sandwich

This sandwich is simple and delicious. I would love to share a story about this sandwich :). Couple of weeks ago we were on Vacation in Blue Ridge Mountains. On our way to a hike we stopped at this old Country store to pack us some sandwiches for lunch. We asked the old lady in that store if they have any Vegetarian Sandwich on menu, they didn't had any. But that sweet old lady made this customized sandwich for us which I re-created when we came back home from our Vacation. The sandwich was made with simple ingredients as mayo, cucumbers, onions etc but it was so delicious and Celery added a nice crunch to the Sandwich.

Ingredients(Make 5 sandwiches)
10 Bread Slices wheat or white(lightly toasted)
2 Medium tomatoes sliced
1 Cucumber sliced
2 Stalks from Celery (washed, peeled and cut into 3 inch sticks)
1 Red Onion sliced
5 Cheese slices
Iceberg Lettuce Leaves
Mayonnaise as required
Salt and pepper as required

Spread mayonnaise on all the slices of bread. Take on a slice of bread and keep lettuce on it followed by cucumber, tomato, onion and last but not the least celery. Add salt and pepper and cheese slice and top it with another slice of bread.
Cut in half and enjoy. Apply same procedure for the remaining slices of bread. Simple and delicious Vegetable Mayo Sandwich is ready!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

दाण्याची चटणी /Spicy Peanut Chutney

Another recipe for dry chutney. This spicy peanut chutney can add a nice kick to your everyday meal. Make it even more special by adding तुप/ghee, oil or plain yogurt on it while enjoying your meal of पिठलं भाकरी  or as simple as आमटी भात/Dal Chawal. I sill love this chutney as much as I use to love it in my childhood.

1 Cup roasted peanuts
1 1/2  tsp chili powder(or according to your taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of amchur powder                                  
1 tsp oil                                  
Salt as per taste                             
Method can't get any easier than this. Just grind all the ingredients together in blender and your chutney is ready. Don't grind it too fine keep it little bit coarse, it should have a little bite to it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gobhi/Cauliflower Paratha

Paratha's are gaining popularity worldwide. Most popular name for Paratha is Indian flat bread.  Gobhi paratha is a type of paratha which is stuffed with spicy cauliflower mixture. I had them at my friend's house for the first time few years ago. Serve it up with some nice cool plain yogurt and it tastes scrumptious! Kids  love these gobhi parathas , rather than plain old gobhi ki sabzi.

3 cup grated Gobhi/Cauliflower
2 tbs oil
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder(dry mango powder)
3 tbs chickpea flour
2 tbs freshly chopped cilantro
Oil as required to pan fry paratha's
For The Dough
1 1/2 Wheat whole wheat flour(Approximately) plus more for dusting
Water as required to knead the dough
Couple of pinches salt
1 tsp of canola oil + few for kneading

Combine wheat flour, salt, oil and water as required little by little to make a soft dough. Rub some oil onto the kneaded dough and keep aside covered for 1/2 an hour.

Slightly remove the excess water from grated gobhi by pressing it between your palm, keep aside. Heat a pan add oil, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric powder. Add in grated gobhi. Cover and cook for few minutes. Add salt, amchur powder, chili powder and cook again for couple more minutes. Later sprinkle chickpea flour and stir so that it is nicely incorporated with cauliflower. Cook covered for 7-8 minutes stirring in between to cook that raw chickpea flour. This is your cauliflower stuffing for paratha's. Let this mixture cool.
Make a medium sized ball of the dough and roll it into a 1/2 inch circle using more wheat flour as required. Stuff it with Cauliflower mixture and bring together all the ends to form a ball again. Roll this ball evenly in a circular motion dusting more flour as required so that your paratha doesn't stick. Put your rolled paratha onto a heated griddle/tawa. Cook it on both sides by spreading oil  until it gets a nice brown color. Repeat the procedure for making more paratha's. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kulith Pithla(कुळीथ पिठलं )

पिठलं/pithla is a comfort food for most of the Maharashtrian  people. Pithla made from chickpea flour is more common than Kulith Pithla. Many Maharashtrian people are unaware of kulith pithla. English name for kulith is horse gram. In Kokan region kulith is more popular, it is used to make pithla as well as उसळ . Kulith powder is easily available in market in India. I have looked for it here in US but still no luck, have to get it from India every time I visit. For some people it takes time to adjust to its nutty and strong flavor. When you need a quick bite of comfort food, Kulith pithla will certainly satisfy your taste buds and plus it will come together in minutes. Serve it hot with white rice or पोळी/roti.

Ingredients(Serves 3-4)
1/2 Cup Kulith Powder
1 Small onion chopped
2-3 Garlic cloves(diced if big)
1 Tbs oil
1/4 Tsp mustard seeds
1/8 Tsp turmeric powder
Pinch or two of asafoetida
2 Amsul(dried Kokum)
1/2 Tsp chili powder
3 Cups water
Fresh cilantro chopped for garnishing

Heat a medium pot and add oil. Put in mustard seeds, after they splutter add asafoetida and turmeric. Add garlic and chopped onions. Fry for some time until onions turn translucent. Pour in water and add salt, chili powder, amsul and let it boil.

Once boiled reduce heat to medium-low and tablespoon by tablespoon add kulith powder and keep stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Once you are done adding kulith pith let the pithla boil for 7-10 minutes and then shut off the gas. Garnish it with freshly chopped cilantro and serve piping hot with rice or roti. It tastes especially comforting in winter :-).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Paneer with Peppers and Onions

In Indian Chinese Cuisine all the Chinese seasoning and techniques are adapted and used to suite the Indian Palate. All the Chinese flavors in this recipe blends perfectly with Paneer and peppers. Good to eat with plain white rice or fried rice. Spiciness can be adjusted by adding more green chili's and chili sauce. The  colors in this dish are so tempting that you should definitely try this out.

1 cup diced Paneer
1/2 cup diced green peppers
1/3 cup diced red peppers
1/2 cup red onion diced
3 green chili's slit lengthwise
1/2 tbs oil
Salt and pepper as per taste
1/2 tbs green chili sauce
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tbs cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water

Heat oil and saute peppers and onions until nicely charred but crisp to eat. Add green chili's and saute for couple more minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Mix together green chili sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and sugar. Add this mixture to the above pan and stir for a couple of minutes. Add 3/4 cup water, bring it to boil. Later add cornflour and water paste and continue boiling. Keep stirring so that no lumps are formed. Sauce will start to thicken up. If you think sauce is too thick add some water and if sauce is too thin add more cornflour dissolved in water to thicken up the sauce.


Saturday, April 28, 2012


Avocado is this soft and buttery fruit which is green in color. When hold and squeezed gently it should feel soft then it's the perfect ripe avocado. If you buy green one it will ripe in 3-4 days. The flesh of the fruit is prone to go brown in color if not consumed immediately, although that can be delayed by adding lime juice to peeled avocados. Avocados are base for famous Mexican dip called "Guacamole". This recipe is super easy to make, serve it as a appetizer with tortilla chips or along side Quesadilla your guests are sure going to love this tasty dip.

2 ripe Avocado
1 small onion diced finely(preferably red)
1 small ripe tomato chopped finely
1/2 jalapeno chopped(if not handy use two green chili's)
1 1/2 tbs lime juice
Salt and pepper as per taste
Chopped fresh cilantro

Cut avocados in half remove the pit. Dice the flesh of avocado and scoop out the pulp using a spoon into a large Ziploc bag. Add chopped onion, tomato, jalapeno, lime juice, salt and pepper. Zip close the bag and mash it with both your hands. Mash it well and cut one corner of the bag and scoop out guacamole into a serving bowl and throw away the Ziploc bag. This method is clean and not messy and all the flavors blend together perfectly. Serve with Tortilla/Multigrain chips or Quesadilla.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Citrus Quinoa Salad

Few days back I was in World Market, which is a home furnishing and decor store but it also has food and drink section. That's where I came across Quinoa . I had seen few cooking shows in which Quinoa was used to make salads and more. So I bought it and tried making this citrus salad as there was grapefruit and orange left in my fruit basket.
Citrus Quinoa Salad is  light and refreshing and very high in protein. Perfect for hot summer days. It has light and fluffy texture and small tail can be seen on each grain once cooked.  Don't overcook quinoa, should still have a bite to it.

Ingredients(Serves 2)
1/3 cup dry Quinoa(wash and rinse 2-3 times until water runs clear)
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
1 Orange peeled and segments removed(reserve juices while segmenting)
1 Grapefruit peeled and segments removed(reserve juices while segmenting)
1 tbs toasted and chopped walnuts
1 tsp cilantro chopped
1 tsp mint chopped
For Dressing
1/4 cup juices from orange and grapefruit
Salt and Pepper as per taste
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

To cook quinoa boil 1/2 cup of water and salt and add rinsed quinoa. Boil for a minute or so, reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed and tail or ring can be seen on each seed. Shut off the gas and keep aside covered for 10 minutes.
Reserve the juices while segmenting orange and grapefruit. We will be using that juice for our dressing. To segment an orange you will need a small sharp knife.
1. Place orange/grapefruit on a flat surface and cut off both the ends including the white part. You should be able to see only flesh of orange/grapefruit and not the white.
2. Next step is to start peeling the orange/grapefruit working from top to bottom and again make sure that you remove the white part.
3. For this step take a small bowl to collect all the juice which we will be using to make dressing. Cut the membrane on both the side of segment. This will easily release the segment. Continue working the same way to make remaining segments.
To make dressing mix together orange-grapefruit juice and olive oil and salt and pepper.
Combine together cooked quinoa, orange-grapefruit segments, walnuts and dressing. Garnish it with mint and cilantro and serve. Nice and cool citrus quinoa salad is ready!!!