Tuesday, February 24, 2009

chenopodium stems in a mish mash curry



this mish mash dish is as healthy as it can be, as i am doing now a days, my food is fiber rich and low cal, mostly fat free (fats are taken in the form of nuts and coocnut).

And this one recipe fulfills all the three criteria, it is spicy as i make sure the food is not dull........i can't eat any dull food, and i have to eat my veggies in large doses...........the husband jokes that my skin will turn green eventually..:D :D....

chenopodium or bathua leaves are healthy...full of iron n Vit A n all of that...i never throw away the soft stems ......such a good fiber ...soluble one..........you know it sponges out all the bad cholesterol.....n some fats too.......you need any more reasons to eat it ........it can be cooked in a spicy curry.........

ingredients

chenopodium stems chopped finely with some leaves 1.5 cup
brinjal small sized 1 no.
tomato big one 1 no.
chana daal ( split chickpea) 1/2 cup
whole urad daal (black gram) 1/4 cup
green peas 1/4 cup
green chillies chopped 5-6 nos.
ginger garlic chopped 1 tbsp each or more
asafoetida a pinch
black pepper powder 1 tsp
red chilly powder 1 tsp
amchoor powder or dry mango powder 1 tbsp or more
salt to taste
turmeric powder

procedure

in a pressure cooker mix the lentils with double the amount of water,asafoetida, salt and turmeric powder
an dkeep it on gas stove.........it is so easy you keep chopping the veggies n go on throwing them into the cooker..........first go the peas ..then the small cubed brinjals ( this one is from my garden)......see here.....



then goes the chopped tomatoes, red n black peppers........i feel so delighted to post it here........as i was when cooking.......see next pic.....



and then put the lid on the cooker and cook till 2 whistles.............let the pressure release........open the pan and add amchoor powder...........though a tadke can be added but i kept it fat free...........it was tasty this way too



garnish with fresh coriander leaves or mint leaves..........these mint leaves are from my garden too...........
enjoy with plain boiled rice or chapatis.......i had it with both.......of course in two different meals..

Make it thinner and enjoy like a soup....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

green roasted cauliflowers



how can i be away from green for long.....here is this green roasted cauliflowers.........i plucked them fresh from the garden and wanted to make some crunchy and hot dry preparation........to be wrapped in chapatis........checked the fridge and found my green curry's paste in the freezer........opened the container and the smell was divine even in frozen form..........dint waste anymore time to decide what am i making for lunch........these fat free bits went inside multigrain chapatis to make kathi rolls , with plain curds on the side............took these pics just after grilling and when the rolls were served with curds.......we both attacked it instantly and i missed those yum pics of it all rolled up......:)


ingredients

fresh juicy cauliflower florets 10-15
green curry paste 1 cup

procedure

smear the paste all over the cauliflower florets and let it rest for 20 minutes or so.......arrange on a ceramic plate or a baking sheet and grill for about 30 minutes , turning the florets once in between.....serve hot as you wish

dahi aalu in bean curd / soy yogurt



I like the slightly beany flavor of soy curd ( soy yogurt ) in salty preparations and i use it in many ways ......i make it at home by adding a curds culture to warm soy milk and letting it ferment in a warm place.........so i get to use the freshest one.

Dahi aalu is a common side dish in north india and many versions of dahi aalu are made , especially for lunch........i make it with soy curd occasionally ......and some people don't even realize that it is bean curd in this dahi aalu.......the tempering and the processing almost masks the beany taste of bean curd in this dish.....


ingredients

beancurd 1 cup
red onion chopped fine 1/2 cup
boiled potatoes , cubed 3/4 cup
whole dry red chilly 2 nos.
cumin seeds 1 tsp
asafoetida , a pinch
curry patta 2 springs
sunflower or soybean oil 1 tsp
salt n pepper to taste

preparation

heat oil in a pan and put in the asafoetida and cumin seeds n let them splutter...now put in the broken red chillies, currypatta and onions and stirfry on medium flame till translucent.....now throw in the potato cubes ant stir fry for 2-3 minutes adding salt n pepper..finally pour in the bean curd and put off the flame immediately........mix well to coat and serve ...


yummmmm.....

home made pizza sauce or tomato concasse | mushrooms in tomato concasse

Tomato concasse is the classic pizza sauce that can be used for tossing up a quick pasta dish or even for mixed vegetable stir fries. Home made pizza or pasta sauce is a must in my kitchen as I find the bottled variety loaded with unnecessary chemicals.

Years ago I had seen a chef on some TV cookery show making authentic tomato concasse, I liked it and started making it regularly and it became a regular in my kitchen. Now I make it in large quantities and keep in the freezer. Needless to say I use it in many ways, it is so versatile that apart from pizzas I use it to make my pastas, in sandwiches and what not, the frozen container of tomato concasse comes to my rescue when uninformed guests come or when the guests stay over for a few days.

I am able to make some quick and tasty stir fries with any vegetables handy in season. Although my version of tomato concasse is a bit different from the recipe I saw on TV. I have omitted cheese from the concasse and add it as required for the recipe I am following for the final dish.

ingredients for the concasse

big red ripe tomatoes 1 kg
red bell pepper 1 no.
chopped garlic 1/2 cup
chopped onions 1/2 cup
red chilly flakes 1 tbsp or more
salt to taste
tomato ketchup 1 cup
sugar 1 tbsp if the tomatoes are too sour
oregano 1 tsp
chopped fresh basil 2 tbsp (optional) as it can be added later
olive or sunflower oil 1 tbsp (oil per serving will be negligible as almost 10 servings can be prepared with this quantity of concasse


procedure

normally tomatoes should be blanched first and skinned and deseeded, but I make it short by using fresh chopped tomatoes........

heat oil in a pan and throw in the garlic , stir and after a minute, the onions too.....fry till translucent and trow in the chilly flakes and then the chopped tomatoes, salt and sugar ....keep stirring n cooking over medium flame till a thick paste is formed.......add the oregano and tomato ketchup and let simmer for 5 minutes........it is ready now........basil can be added during cooking or when making a recipe with it .........cool and keep in the freezer in ziplock pouches.

it can be used fresh for making any recipe too....

mushrooms particularly are the ones which are easiest to process in my kitchen and as I grow my own basil plants..........imagine how aromatic n fresh recipe i get to enjoy.......

this time I made it for lunch with a special side dish which is my next post..........see the pic here............with multigrain chapatis....



ingredients

fresh button mushrooms, sliced
tomato concasse 1 cup
fresh basil leaves 2-3 nos.


procedure

pour a cup of thawed tomato concass' in a pan and simmer for a minute.........add the sliced mushrooms and keep stirring until mushrooms are cooked but not mushy.........serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.......it makes a healthy low fat subzi.....



and the leftovers were used to stuff my multigrain bread sandwiches, grilled ones.......arvind is happy..........me too..

why these weight problems arise? is it our lifestyle??

all the multicuisine experiences of our's have spoilt us for choice.........adding to this is the advertising and deceptive labeling of packaged products.......we don't even realize how we are trapped to eat the crap...........to top it all sitting on computers and watching TV sitting on a couch............and we blame our genes , and the hormones and what not.........

a recent conversation between sweta of bonn nutrition and me , influenced me to write this, although i have been planning to write about this issue for long time now................how and why do we gain weight ? do we ever wonder where we are going wrong? modern researches and surveys tell us many facts and patterns which are good to read but not good enough to follow.................we all are well aware that exercising is good , fries and burgers are bad ....... cakes and pastries are sinful food we normally say , but do we stop eating them..............do we ever try to find ways to strike a balance in our own individual metabolism, what i am trying to say is that health and nutrition guidelines are there for everybody.............how do we follow them is upto us.................as in my case , i am a full time nursemaid to my daughter and i can go out of home only when my husband is there to look after her..........so going out for a walk regularly or joining a gym etc may not be possible for me.....apart from that i have migraines off n on , so i cannot follow any fad diets ........to top it all i am a foodie who likes all the desi indian food , but not having enough time to prepare those traditional fair.................stress depression and lack of exercise piled on a lot of weight on my body.................it took time but i found out a way how i need to go about it.............that is what i want to share with all of you .............

first of all the so called diet plans never worked for me cuz the monotony and boundation to eat a particular thing for a particular meal actually suffocates me..........so i tried n experimented with different ingredients everyday........but kept the cooking procedures healthy, like steaming, microwaving and stir frying...also i use a lot of spices to make the food tasty n to keep my metabolic rate higher........

all that bland steamed food which belongs to some other cuisine is not suitable for me , for any body for that matter, cuz the taste n aromas which we have grown up eating , should be the part of our daily diet.....certain modifications to make it healthier n low fat is what works for me....and it should work for others too....

a very important aspect is our in between meals snacking.........i have been a mindless snacker.........namkeens with my tea , cookies n cakes etc were the culprits.......my fondness of baking made it worse....everybody would praise and i would be tempted to bake some more exotic things.......i stopped it totally.........and whenever i bake a cake or brownie now, i make it in small quantities and give away whatever is left.........not keeping them in my kitchen or fridge is the solution for me........something else may work for others.....

some other very healthy modifications which i did were like using multigrain flour for making my chapatis , increasing the amount of veggies consumed , snacking on fruits and carrot sticks, switching on to fatfree cooking most of the time.............most importantly, not depriving myself from good taste n wholesome food , i still eat stuffed parathas and chillas almost everyday as breakfast and all my cravings are taken care off..........i mean if i eat my favorite breakfast in a healthy way and eat fat free n frequent small meals during the day....it works.

i have knocked off another 2 kgs and i feel this plan of mine is working..........slow n steady wieght loss , keeping my energy levels higher as i need to be active the whole day........i am happy with the way it is working for me........what say???


and yes, now i can flaunt this badge of "top health blogger" from wellsphere on my blog n be happy about it too.........:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

gobhi / broccoli paratha

hey there are lots of cauliflowers in my kitchen garden right now, though they are very cheap in the market right now but the market ones cannot beat the taste of the fresh ones from my garden......these are authentically organic.........and the taste.......you have to eat it to believe it.......here they are.........



wish i could do something with the leaves, but they are too much to handle, moreover they are known to cause uric acid deposition and i am prone to it, forget about it...........

these are so fresh and tasty that they are best when eaten just cooked or half cooked......overcooking destroys the flavor..............best way for me would be to make parathas out of them, moreover,arvind likes stuffed parathas for his breakfast .........

stuffed parathas are considered healthy breakfast in north india and if it is made in minimal amount of oil, it becomes healthy by all standards.................hey , and i am a pro at making stuffed parathas, i can stuff a large amount of veggies in dough and the cooked paratha gets those tiny openings to give a glimpse of the stuffing........yummm.........you get a lot of veggies in each bite and the shell of the paratha is nice and crisp........

years ago my gradma gave me this tip about making stuffed paratha , without the parahta getting torn during cooking.........the dough should be just the same consistency as the filling.....this tip works very well for mushy and binded stuffings.......like potato or paneer etc.

when making gobhi parath my stuffing is crumbly and a bit tough to handle , but a little practice helps a lot..........watch on........

ingredients

cauliflowers 1 head
ginger 1 inch piece
green chillies 4-5 nos.
coriander leaves a handful
ajwain seeds 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
1/2 tsp ghee or any oil to shallow fry each paratha

a medium soft-dough made with whole wheat flour is used to make these parahtas.

preparation

first of all chop the cauliflowers roughly so that pea size crumbly pieces are formed , and chop ginger, green chillies and coriander leaves finely , mix them all together..........salt wouldn't be added to it now..............alternatively, all the veggies can be put into a chopper and given a quick whiz so that it becomes crumbly like this....



this the stuffing mixture without salt.........salt will be added just before stuffing the paratha, individually for each paratha cuz the mixture gets soggy after adding salt........we have to maintain crispness of the C'flower , also a soggy mixture will be difficult to handle........

now take a small portion of dough and make a bowl shaped trough out of it, fill it with mixture and seal it nicely, taking care that no air gets trapped into the stuffed ball........now gently flatten it on rolling stool with fingers , dust it with dry flour and roll a thick round shape , it gets a few punctures into the rolled paratha........it's good......gives good taste n sight........lift it gently and put on the tawa or frying pan and roast using as little oil as you can............tastes good even without oil............serve hot with curds or some nice chutny........



this pic shows how much stuffing it can accommodate.......mmmm.....

broccoli can be used instead of cauliflowers and the rest of the procedure will be same....... see pics of broccoli parathas.........


this one is broccoli paratha with the stuffing and the amla garlic chutny i served it with, stuffed parathas don't need any elaborate side dish curds or pickles or chutnys are just fine, though in north india curds, malai or butter is mostly preferred.........


home made instant dhokla ; the gujrati steamed bread

Dhokla is a protein rich steamed bread I say. Chickpea flour is a great ingredients to make everyday breads and pancakes of the sweet and savory type. This dhokla makes great use of besan or chickpea flour and gives excellent results with a gujrati tempering.


Dhokla is nice as an evening snack, quick to make and light on the tummy. Apart from this when my energy level drops in the evening, this yellow energizing color perks me up, the sweet and sour flavor with that hot chilly kick in between is surely a mood elevator. I have been advised to use more yellows and oranges in my daily routine to keep my energy levels up. By those standards this is a recipe which is appropriate to be here. A break from green monotony, I have been posting only green recipes here.

Though the dhokla also has it's green chillies to show off ;-)

ingredients for the batter

besan or gram flour 1/2 cup
semolina or cream of wheat 1/4 cup
skimmed milk curds 3/4 cup
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
soda bicarb 1/2 tsp
sunflower oil 1/2 tsp

ingredients for tempering

peanut oil 1/2 tsp
asafoetida a pinch
mustard seeds 1 tsp
slit green chillies a few
curry patta 2 springs
lemon juice 2 tbsp
sugar 2 tbsp
water 1 cup
shredded coconut 1/4 cup

preparation

fill water in a deep pan , preferably idly or momo steamer, and grease a flat cake tin.

make a batter mixing all the batter ingredients, except soda bi carb ...which has to be added in the end when everything is ready...the steamer is hot n the batter ready...

now add the soda bi carb and give it a quick mix ....the consistency should be like that of cake, and immediately pour the batter into the tin, place it into the steamer and steam for 8-10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

dhokla can be made in microwave but it get all dried up and chewy, small dhoklas come out well in microwave, may be a cup of batter can be microwaved in a plastic bowl with lid for 2 minutes.

let the dhokla cool , cut pieces only when it is completely cold, otherwise the pieces don't come out clean............ in the meanwhile prepare the tempering .............heat oil in a small pan, throw the asafoetida and mustard seeds into it , when they start spluttering , add the curry leaves and green chillies, wait for a minute and pour water in it and sugar and let it boil..........lastly put in the lemon juice and pour this sweet n sour water over the cooled and cut dhokla pieces....wait for a while till tthe pieces soak all the water........now it is ready to serve.

Monday, February 16, 2009

aalu palak with spring onions

another green coming on the block, this is a simple stir fry which goes well with plain chapatis , is very tasty as a low cal veggie preparation..............moreover it is full of fiber and the goodness of fresh herbs.
aalu palak is my husband's fave sabzi and i keep doing innovations in it so that we can enjoy this subzi in many flavors..........as i believe in simple cooking, my recipes are always quick to make n this style of cooking comes to my rescue when i am engaged in so many things at the same time.

one thing i want to share here is that writing about what i cook in my kitchen here is more like a rejuvenating exercise for me , at least for now, for so many reasons i have been cut off from my own self for a long time and when i started writing this blog i hadn't even thought of taking pics n posting them with the recipes, it is only now that i started visiting so many awesome blogs that i feel how wonderful those photos look............but still cooking the food , serving it on the table , and clicking a pic by my cell phone cam is all i can do right now..................i have to do so much of multitasking that i can't even think of doing up a background or lighting or fancy crockery etc..........cuz being a virgo when i start doing something in detail it becomes something else..........i am shunning myself from that for a while and may be i manage to do all that...........actually varsha has initiated this worm wriggling in my head.............have to have to have to jerk my head hard...............ha ha ....

hey this recipe fulfills all my requirements.......healthy , tasty, quick and wholesome.........



ingredients
potatoes cut in thick wedges 3 nos.( with skin on)
spinach leaves chopped roughly with all the stalks 2 cups
spring onion chopped 1 bulb plus the leaves
spring garlic or garlic greens 2 bulbs and the greens
green chillies 4-5 chopped finely
methi or fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
mustard oil 1 tsp
salt to taste


preparation

heat oil in a pan......i used my cast iron skillet........and put in the fenugreek seeds.
when it turns brown n aromatic add in the potato wedges and stir fry them on low flame , add salt and keep covered till half done , now put in the green chillies and garlic greens and keep stirring till it gets soft........(may be for 2 minutes).....adding the garlic greens later ensures it's aroma in the finished dish.
now add the chopped spinach with stalks and keep stir frying till all the greens wilt and get mushy........the stalks of spinach will get nice n slightly crunchy ........add chopped spring onions just 2 minuted prior to finishing so that it retains it's texture and aroma.......that's it , enjoy with chapatis, i like it with a tablespoon of brown rice too......a bowl full of it actually.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

chicken in a black pepper sauce | murgh kaali mirch


Chicken in black pepper sauce or murgh kaali mirch has been a long time favorite. I often add some or the other green to it just because I like the vegetables so much and including them in one dish makes it easy for me.

Also, I find that greens like baby spinach, spring onion greens and coriander greens with stems really combine well with the flavors of black pepper chicken cooked the Indian way. The yogurt, the onion and the light whiff of spices makes this dish loved by all. I add value to it my own way. This time it was coriander greens and loads of it.

Murgh kaali mirch is cooked in ghee (clarified butter) but most people now a day cook it in refined vegetable oil. You can use any oil you wish but for health viewpoint I am a desi ghee believer, you can use EVOO or any other. Oil of ghee is required in minimal amount, just a tsp of cooking fat to fry the whole spices, so it's not much of a concern.

ingredients

2-4 servings, depending on how it served)

chicken cut in large pieces 600gm
thick curds 100 gm
freshly crushed black pepper 2 tbsp
ginger garlic n green chillies crushed together coarsely 2 tsp
star anise 1 no.
cinnamon 1/2 inch piece
green cardamom 2 nos. crushed
black cardamom 1 no. crushed
cloves 3 nos.
whole red chilly 1 no.
salt to taste
roughly chopped coriander leaves , a handful
desi ghee 1 tsp

procedure

Marinate the chicken with curds mixed with crushed black pepper n ginger garlic green chilly paste for 2-3 hrs in the fridge. Salt can also be added at this stage.

Heat ghee in a pan and put in all the whole crushed masalas and the red chilly. Quickly put in the marinated chicken as the masalas start spluttering, mix well and cook covered on low flame, it will get watery first and then the masalas will be soaked in and a nice brown grilled sort of color will appear, keep turning the pieces after every 2-3 minutes until cooked, it may take 12 -15 minutes.

When the mixture is dry sprinkle the coriander leaves and turn around a bit so that flavors of the masala and coriander leaves get blended. Adjust the thickness of sauce by adding a little water if required.

Serve immediately with plain wholewheat chapatis.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

corn meal and mixed veg cutlets

this is a quick snack shallow fried in nonstick pan , it is full of the goodness of veggies and whole cornmeal...........it is very easy to make if a food processor or a chopper like mine is used to chop all the veggies.....takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.

ingredients


cauliflower 5-6 florets
spinach a handful
spring onion 1 no.
peas 1/2 cup
green chillies and ginger to taste
salt to taste
black pepper powder 1 tsp
cornmeal 1 cup or just enough to bind the veggie mixture
oil to shallow fry ( 1 tbsp is enough to fry 8-10 cutlets )

procedure

put all the veggies into the chopper n give a good whiz to make a crumbly mixture.
now mix it with cornmeal, salt n pepper and bind them together n shape oval cutlets.
heat a nonstick pan , grease with oil and shallow fry the cutlets on low flame till golden brown.
serve with green coriander chutny.

to make chutny make a smooth paste of some coriander leaves with green chillies, ginger, garlic. salt and a dash of lime juice......that's it.

daliya tahiri

hey my weight loss has come on a plateau again, not loosing anymore....i know it is because i have completely stopped any aerobic activity, i am not even going for my evening walks......last two weeks have been really dull and thought congested....now i think is the time to start again with the walking dancing routine......see i even started typing faster :D..............no more cheating now and i will stick to my fruits and vegetables teamed with daliya, poha and mixed grain rotis, all these things work so well for me, now it is time to move to another level............hmmm...

made daliya tahiri today and i like it without any side dish, though plain curds or my amla garlic chutny will go well with it.

tahiri is a rice dish cooked with a lot of vegetables and a li'l lighter than pulav and is a traditional rice preparation in UP. it can be well adapted with daliya or other grains.


i made it without oil of course.



daliya is such a fiber rich and low cal food and of course the nutritional value is what we all are aware of, but most people dislike the taste of daliya especially with vegetables.

i remember when we had ghee soaked daliya halwa as parsada at anandpur sahib gurudwara, everybody licked their hands n slurped even the last bit of parsada within seconds, we take the parsada in both our hands and the amount of ghee is so much that it trickles down from between your fingers.............it is damn tasty n you can't stop yourself once it hits your palms.......:D

another tasty sinful preparation is thick reduced kheer of daliya with lots of cream in it.

healthy daliya dishes are considered to be a challange in terms of taste and texture, it becomes gooyi n lumpy after cooking it with veggies without ghee or oil.......this is one recipe which is oil free and more like upma or poha......let's see if you all like it.
for me it is a non fussy tasty one and many people seem to like it for it's taste apart from it's being nutritious..

ingredients

daliya or broken wheat or burgul 1/2 cup
buttermilk 1 cup
chopped carrots 1/2 cup
2-3 florets of broccoli, halved
chopped spring onions 1/4 cup
peas 2 tbsp
chopped cabbage3-4 tbsp
chopped ginger n green chillies to taste
salt n pepper to taste
chopped coriander 2 tbsp

preparation

soak the daliya in buttermilk for 2-3 hrs, it should get dry after soaking all the buttermilk.

now mix all the ingredients (keeping aside a few coriander leaves n spring onion greens for garnish) together in a microwave safe bowl with a lid and microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir once and microwave again for another 2 minutes.
garnish and serve with amla chutny or green chutny.

dry green peas ghugni with papdi



there are some times when you feel so dull and low that you dunno what to do, having been a foodie all my life i know that food uplifts your mood like anything , but the problem is when you don't want to go out n at the same time you don't want to do any elaborate preparations..........it was such a day for me when i wanted an evening snack which uplifts the mood like the chats of the streets of delhi or banaras.............while going on a stroll in the evening n having those golgappas or papdi chat is the ultimate tangy experience.............sometimes i have to recreate it at home since both of us cannot afford to go together for a stroll.
okay.....so i had to make the chat experience healthy too, so i soaked the dry green peas n started thinking how papdi can be fat free............even thinking about such innovations is quite good for me as i always need a creative surge in my system to come out of the pain.........and the result was so awesome that i thought i could do it more often........
i made some extra papdis to make the regular papdi chat some other day but arvind couldn't resist eating all of them......dinner plans cancelled, this evening snack left no room for dinner for both of us........read on.


ingredients for ghugni

dried green peas 1 cup soaked for 2 hrs in hot water or soaked overnight
red ripe tomato 1 , chopped
ginger 1/2 inch piece
green chillies 3 nos.
coriander leaves 1/2 cup, chopped
salt to taste

ingredients for papdi

whole wheat flour 1/2 cup
salt 1/2 tsp
ajwain seeds 1/2 tsp
oil 1 tsp , just to help rolling the papdi

procedure

in a pressure cooker put in the soaked peas and salt with a cup of water and cook till 2 whisles.
make a paste of the other ingredients and mix with the boiled peas as soon as you open the lid of the pressure cooker, mix well n it is ready.sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves for visual appeal, finely chopped red onions also taste good with it.

for papdi knead the flour withwater to make a hard dough, pinch off small balls from the dough and roll 1 inch diameter roudels using a li'l oil ,pierce with a folk to avoid fluffing of the papdis, spread on a baking sheet or a ceramic plate and bake in preheated oven (i used grill option in my microwave) till golden brown.

it is now ready to be served.

assemble the papdis by pouring a spoonful of ghugni over each papdi and a dash of sonth chutny over that. i did a sprinkling of haldiram aaloo bhujia too, we just could not resist finishing all of it..........yumm.......

to make sonth chutny, just cook tamarind pulp with a equal amount of gur or jaggery in the microwave and add a dash of red chilly powder, garam masala powder, sonth powder n li'l salt while still hot , mix well n serve. it can be made in large quantities n preserved in the fridge for months, i used it from my fridge.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

my green curry



hey it is not the thai green curry.....a lot of alterations and it is a oil free green curry which you will love to cook.......it's so easy to cook n so tasty with plain boiled rice that you eat loads of vegetables without even realizing it is oil free.

ingredients (for 2 servings)

baby corn 6-7
broccoli 5 florets
french beans 8-10
potato peeled n cubed 1 no.

chop all the veggies as desired
any vegetables of your choice can be used

for the paste
coconut 1/5 of a whole
green chillies 3-4
ginger 1 inch piece
garlic 2 cloves
coriander leaves 1/2 cup
salt and pepper to taste

grind all these to make a fine paste, adding water if needed


procedure to cook
mix all the ingredients in a microwave proof dish and cook covered for around 8-10 minutes......stirring 3 times in between to assure even cooking........serve hot with plain boiled rice.......to make it creamier coconut milk powder can be added after cooking......... little lime juice can be added too.........


this one is made with coconut milk and is a rich version of the recipe.......

daal pithi, made my way, in a soup avatar




daal pithi is something i loved during my childhood, can't tell the reason why such a simple food can be the reason for cravings n childhood memories, but somehow it was a recipe which all of us looked forward to, my dadi called it daal ki dulhin because the wheat dumplings resembles the veil of a newly wed girl, the dulhin...............the dish actually is a yellow daal cooked with whole wheat dumplings which resembles a pasta in a soup dish. Gujratis call a version of such a lentil soup daal dhokli.

though arvind doesn't like it much, he is more for all those fancy looking recipes and this kind of recipes he can take very occasionally........so i try and make it with leftover plain daal for myself , cooking something of his choice for him, may be stuffed paratha or something fancy from previous day menu( i always make extra for him)......this way my healthfood routine is maintained and he gets to eat what he wants..........but then i have to make 3 types of food for three of us..food for mithi is always different................hmmmmm but if simple recipes are followed, it is less cumbersome...

this daal pithi has been like a comfort food for me cuz i like anything resembling soup and if there are some nibbles in the soup...........nothing like that, so i make it in different ways adding vegetables and sometimes stuffing the dumplings with different fillings and so on......


ingredients (for one dinner serving)

arhar or tur daal cooked with salt n turmeric powder 1 cup
spring onion 1 no.
broccoli 2 florets
baby corn 2 nos.
garlic 4 cloves
red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
jeera seeds 1/2 tsp
ghee 1/2 tsp
whole wheat flour kneaded with water( just enough to make 4 small thin roundels)

procedure

add 1 cup water to the already cooked daal or cook 1 tbsp of daal in 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker.
now chop all the vegetables in small pieces and put them all in a pan with the cooked daal n let them boil together .
make thin 3 inch diameter roundels from the dough and fold them like a dumpling.......pick up from four sides and join in the middle so that four loops are formed, looking like the viel of a dulhin.ha ha ha......
now put these dumplings into the boiling daal mixture when the veggies are half cooked....continue cooking for 3-4 minutes adding more water if needed, it should be like a soup.
finally for tadka, heat the ghee and jeera till brown n put in finely chopped garlic.....when garlic gets browned, put off the flame n add red chilly powder n pour over the daal mixture......serve hot .............am feeling hungry now......

Sunday, February 1, 2009

lasuni bathua paratha with dal amla chutny

bathua or chenopodium leaves is a winter vegetable and is surly more nutritious than spinach, i use it to make many recipes and this is one of my favorites.

this is a recipe which can qualify for breakfast, lunch or dinner according to your choice and preparation time you have at a given time, but one thing is sure that it is a healthy recipe and 2 parathas with chutny will add up to 250 Kcal, not to mention the loads of iron, calcium and vitC and the combo of carbohydrate-protien-fibre........... interestingly, a paratha lover like me is delighted at a recipe like this as it keeps my cravings satisfied too.

if cleaning and washing of bathua leaves has been done beforehand, it is a simple and quick recipe and the use of amla ensures your stomach absorbs all the iron and calcium in it........who says taste and health don't go hand in hand.........


ingredients for parathas

whole wheat flour 1 cup
bathua or chenopodium leaves microwaved or blanched 1 cup
green chillies 2-3
garlic cloves 5 nos.
ajwain seeds 1 tsp
salt to taste
ghee or any oil to shalow fry the parathas(it can be made without oil too)

preparation

grind the bathua leaves green chillies and garlic in a grinder and knead a soft dough mixing all the other ingredients too, exept oil,a little more flour may be needed if the bathua is watery.
make small balls of the dough, roll out round rotis and roast over a hot tawa or griddle both the sides untill light brown, smear a little ghee or butter, not more that 1/2 tsp for one paratha.........it can be served without smearing ghee and is quite tasty with the chutny combination.this quantity of ingredients will be sufficient to make 5-6 parathas

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ingredients for dal amla chutny

chana dal or split chickpeas 2 tbsp soaked for 30 minutes
amla 4 nos. deseeded
green chillies 4 nos.
ginger 1 inch piece
coriander leaves a handfull
sallt to taste

procedure

first grind the amla in a grinder cuz it takes a little more time , then add all the other ingredients and make a smooth paste adding 1/4 cup of water. ............serve with the parathas , though it can be served with fritters or poha too.