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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Daal Moth

Daal Moth
This is again my favorite snack thing. My mom always use to make this during Diwali time and we would just munch on it and the banana chips she used to make.

I made this partly at home and got one of the ingredient ready made from the Indian grocery store.
You will need:

1 cup soaked whole masoor
1 cup nylon sev ( I used ready made) you can use home made too
salt to taste
amchur to taste
black pepper powder to taste
a pinch of citric acid crushed into powder
Soak the masoor overnight and next day spread it on a towel after draining it. Let it become dry so when you fry them they won't splutter.
Once they are dry fry them in medium hot oil, till they are crisp. It takes about 5-7 minutes.

Drain them on a paper towel and let it cool.
Once they are cool enough mix everything in a bowl and adjust the seasonings and store it in an airtight container for up to a month.

Garlicky Black-eyed peas

Ask any Italian and they will agree: there is no such thing as too much garlic! Garlic is health, garlic is life, garlic is good. (Keeps the in-laws away, too!)”

Well I am absolutely in love with garlic. It's smells heaven when you cook garlic. I cannot imagine certain dishes without garlic, it's my lifeline.
This dish is a simple dish which I make often. I put garlic twice in it so I named it garlicky.

You will need

1 cup dried black eye peas (equals two cups soaked)
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup onions chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp garlic minced finely
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dhania powder
1/4 tsp jeera powder
1/4 tsp haldi
garam masala to taste
salt to taste
oil as needed.

Pressure cook the black-eyed peas with salt and set aside to cool. Now heat oil in a pan and add onions to it, stir fry till translucent and then add minced garlic and stir fry for another minute. Now add the dry masalas except garam masala and fry for a minute. Now add the tomato puree and cook till the oil floats on top. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for half a minute and add the cooked peas in it. Add water about half a cup and adjust all the seasonings. After 10 minutes sprinkle the garam masala and stir and serve with rice or roti.

Simple yet delicious.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Spinach, Mushroom, and Artichoke Lasagna

Ever since I was introduced to Italian food (when I was 10 yrs old), I am in love with this cuisine, simple, and satisfying. I know I haven't explored the non-vegetarian aspect of it, but I still love it. Be it cheese or the tomatoes or the conspicuous use of herbs, it is mouth watering.
Italians introduced some of the finest things to the culinary world, like best wines, cured meats , cold cuts, cheese and last but not the least, variety of pasta.

I have tried to make this dish a little different than what it is normally made with.
Most of the time we eat lasagna that is made with veggies, ( if it is vegetarian) ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and herbs. And otherwise with meat (non-vegetarian) cheese and sauce.

I have tried to make this lasagna with different ingredients, not only the veggies, but also the cheese and sauce.
I have made this lasagna with cottage cheese instead of ricotta and I have used white (Bechamel sauce) instead of the regular tomato sauce.
In northern Italy, many lasagna recipes often use a creamy white sauce rather than the tomato sauce, so I thought of giving it a try.
You will need:
1 pound lasagna noodles (I used the no boil lasagna noodles)
2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 pounds spinach (frozen)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can of artichokes chopped
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
3 tbps or more olive oil

For the white Bechamel sauce:
Makes about 3 cups

5 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.
For the spinach mixture:

Heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped onion and saute till translucent, add the minced garlic and saute for about a minute. Then add mushrooms and fry for about 5 minutes till the mushrooms are wilted. You might need more oil as mushrooms are like sponges, they soak up all the oil. Now add the spinach and saute it till the spinach is half cooked. Add the artichokes and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the crushed red pepper depending on the heat you like in the dish. Once the mixture gets incorporated and slightly cooked. Turn the heat off and set it aside.

Now assembling the lasagna:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

In a bowl add the cottage cheese and the spinach mixture and mix well. Adjust the seasonings.

Now grease a glass pan or any other pan you use to make lasagna and pour a little bit of white sauce and spread it. Now arrange the lasagna sheets and spread the spinach mixture on it. Pour little of the white sauce and top it with other lasagna sheets. Layer all the sheets and mixture accordingly. Once you layer it pour the half cup water around the edges of the pan, that will help the lasagna noodles to cook, pour the remaining white sauce over the lasagna noodles, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes.Let it cool for 10 minutes, then cut and serve with garlic bread.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Chana Daal Khaman

I know I am just going on and on with my list of favorite comfort foods. But there are so many. It's like 365 comfort dishes for 365 days.

This one is out and out Gujarati dish. In Ahmedabad where I use to live they call it Vateli Daal na Khaman. The shop which use to sell this Khaman was always busy.
I don't know why other people apart from gujarati confuse Khaman-Dhokla. They always say Khaman Dhokla together. Khaman is different then Dhokla, they are two indigenous Gujarati dishes. So it is always either Khaman or Dhokla, you cannot say both together. If you make both then you can say I made khaman and Dhokla.
For this dish:

1 cup Chana daal
1/2 cup yogurt
salt to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 tbsp oil
3 green chilies
1/4 tsp hing
grated fresh or dry coconut to garnish
chopped cilantro to garnish

Soak the chana daal for 4 hours. Then drain and grind it with little water to a fine paste in a processor or blender. Don't add too much water as you will be adding yogurt to it. Now add yogurt to it and let it ferment overnight.

Next day add salt and 1 tsp of lemon juice to the batter, save the other tsp of lemon juice for the tempering. Add the baking soda and give it a good stir. (you can add 1 tsp of Eno and omit the lemon juice and baking soda part). Adjust the salt and sour taste and pour the batter in a greased thali (about 3 inches deep) and steam it for 15-20 minutes. Once the khaman is done, let it cool.

Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds once they pop add hing and then the sliced green chilies. Add the remaining lemon juice to the tempering and pour the tempering over the khaman. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Then cut into pieces and garnish it with chopped coriander and grated coconut.
Is it tea time now? This is so good with tea.

Green Peas Pulao

This again is one of my comfort food dish.
When I was little I didn't like any food with too much of Red chili powder. Not to mention spicy.
So I and my sister use to tell mom to
make the peas pulao.
Times have changed, now my son tells me to make this. He is in love with this pulao too.

You will need:
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup green peas (fresh, frozen any)
1 big potato diced
2 cups water
few curry leaves (optional)
1/2 tsp haldi
salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee

Soak the rice for 1 hour. Heat the ghee in a pan and add curry leaves and then add rice (drain the water) and fry rice till its golden brown. Now add the green peas and potatoes and haldi and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the water and salt and bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat and cover and simmer till the rice is done about 10 minutes.

We eat this with yogurt. We don't need anything else with this pulao, it is so good.
Pure and simple pleasures of life.
Isn't it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


This again is a gujarati staple. We are in love with this dish. You could eat it as a snack, or in brunch or light dinner. I prefer to make this atleast once every 10-15 days. Because we love Handvo so much. I am also using grated Dhoodhi (lauki, Ghian, bottlegourd), so it covers the "eat your veggies" part. I have tried adding corn, fresh methi leaves and other vegetables to it and it tastes good.

You have to do some prep work before you make this dish.
For preparation:

2 cups of rice (regular long grain rice)
1 cup chana dal
1 cup yogurt
Soak the rice and chana dal separately for good 4-6 hours. Then grind them separately using very little water. Rice should be finely grounded. And chana daal should be coarsely ground.
Then mix them together and add one cup yogurt
and let it ferment overnight.
If it's during winter months, I put the container near the heat vent to let the mixture ferment and, during summer I just let it sit on the kitchen counter to ferment it.

Now for the baking and tempering:
1 small dhoodhi (bottlegourd, lauki), grated.
4 cloves of garlic, crushed, or chopped finely
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp haldi
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
few curry leaves optional
few cloves and cinnamon optional
1/2 tsp hing
salt to taste
4-6 tbsp oil

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Once the batter is fermented, you can add salt and dhoodhi to the batter and stir well.
Then add the haldi and garlic. Again give it a stir. Now in a small pan heat the oil and add cloves and cinnamon (if using) then add mustard seeds. Once they pop add hing. Turn the heat off and then add curry leaves, chili powder and stir. Add half of the oil mixture to the batter and set the other half aside.
Now grease a pan (you can use any shape of baking pan either glass or metal or non-stick). I prefer to use glass pan as the Handvo doesn't stick to the bottom.
Add the batter to the greased pan and pour the rest of the mixture on top and spread it all over the batter.
Now sprinkle the sesame seeds on top all over and bake the mixture for 30-40 minutes in the oven. And you have a wonderful tea-time snack.

For a different dish, I seasoned the batter with the oil and other seasonings and then I make pancakes (adai) out of it for a different feel of the dish and trust me it tastes wonderful.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Besan and drumsticks

Sorry for not posting anything since five days as my two year old was sick. He is much better now so here I am again with a new dish of mine.

Drumsticks are a regular in my family. In gujarati we call it Saragava ni Shing, in hindi it is known as Saijan ki phali.

This is a very unusual combination but we have been eating this in our house and my mom's for years. One more recipe from my comfort food list.

You will need:

1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
Water as needed (you need to make a not too thick nor too thin batter)
1 pound drum sticks (I used frozen ones)
salt to taste
4 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp haldi
1/4 tsp hing
2 tbsp oil

If you are using fresh drumstick then you need to peel and wash and cut them in pieces and boil or steam them.

If using frozen ones than you just need to steam them in a steamer or boil them in salted water.

Now in a bowl take chickpea flour and add water and yogurt to make a not too thin batter, add salt to it.

Now heat the oil in a pan and add hing, then add haldi and chili powder, stir a bit and then add the chickpea flour batter and keep stirring, make sure it doesn't stick the bottom and there are no lumps in it. After about 10 minutes you will have the besan mixture cooked, it shouldn't taste raw. Now add the boiled or steamed drumsticks to it and give it a good stir. The dish is ready to eat with roti or rice.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hummus scoops

I bought this Tostitos scoops 2 days ago and was thinking of what should I do with it apart from eating with just regular salsa. So after a bit of thought process, I came up with this idea.
Tostitos scoops filled with Hummus. And boy that tastes yummylicious!
Here is how I made it

For Hummus:
1 can of chickpeas
3 garlic cloves
(if you do not like too much garlic
you can use 2 or may be just one)
1/2 small red onion
handful of parsley leaves
handful of cilantro leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
1 tps ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 jalapeno chopped
1 tbsp tahini

Put all the ingredients in a food processor except olive oil. Turn the food processor on and while it's running drizzle olive oil from the feeder or you can just put everything in the food processor and run it. But drizzling olive oil while it's running will give you a creamier hummus.

Take the hummus out in a bowl and taste, adjust the seasonings and serve with pita chips or serve the way I serve it. One picture is with olives on top and the bottom picture also shows the scoop with salsa. I couldn't believe how good hummus tasted alongwith salsa.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Orange Burfi

My entry for Coffee's monthly blog patrolling event.

I have religiously followed the recipe for "Orange Burfi" from the blog indianfoodrocks.

The only thing I want to mention is that the original recipe calls for zest of two oranges, which I personally think is too overpowering.

If you are making this recipe I would suggest, just use zest of one orange.

Broccoli-Green Pepper and green peas

I don't know about others but I have to be in a mood to cook broccoli and eat broccoli. I kinda think of broccoli as a delicate vegetable, which needs an expert touch to cook.
I don't consider myself as an expert but I have a certain way of cooking broccoli.
If you really want to have all the benefits of eating broccoli, do not microwave it or boil it in water, as both the techniques will kill all the vital nutrients from broccoli. "Always, always steam the broccoli" (hear the echo)!
I love this combination because the green pepper gives it a nice background and green peas gives it a sweet balance of taste.

You will need:

1 pound broccoli florets (fresh or frozen) fresh tastes much better
1 green pepper
1/2 cup green peas
1 medium onion chopped
2 tbps tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

If you are using fresh broccoli, you got to steam it. If using frozen (please do not thaw in the microwave). Just let the broccoli sit on you counter to thaw till you do the other preparation.

Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and let it splutter, now add the chopped onion and saute till its translucent, now add the chili powder and saute for another minute or two and add the tomato paste, now the technique is to caramelize the tomato paste, it's going to stick to the bottom but you have to constantly stir and caramelize it.
This imparts such a nice flavor to the dish. You can add just a bit of water if you think it's sticking too much.. Now add the green pepper and stir fry till the green pepper is kind of soft, then add the green peas and fry for another minute and now add the steamed broccoli and salt and cover just till the masala incorporates into the vegetables. This is kind of a stir-fry vegetable so, serve it on a bed of plain rice. You can also eat with regular chapati, dal and rice.

Chickpea and Corn salad

This is an all time favorite salad in my home. Not only is the salad healthy, it is very simple to make also.

You will need:
1 can chickpeas or ( 1 cup boiled chickpeas)
1/2 can of corn (1 cup corn if using frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber (optional)
1 tsp minced jalapeno
1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
salt to taste
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice

Whisk olive oil and lime/lemon juice together, add salt and mix well. Now add rest of the ingredients and adjust seasonings. You can use chili powder and black pepper for a different kind of heat in the salad. You can serve it at room temperature or serve cold. Tastes equally good.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cabbage and Tuvar Lilva shaak

Here is another variation to the regular boring cabbage sabji.
It tastes really good and it's not too complicated to make.
I love tuvar lilva (pigeon peas) in any form. Be it along with eggplant, or by itself, or in khichri or with papadi.

Here is the recipe:
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup tuvar lilva (pigeon peas) canned, frozen or fresh.
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil or more if you like the sabji oily
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dhania powder
1/2 tsp haldi.

Boil the tuvar lilva separately in a pressure cooker with little water and salt As they take more time to cook. Don't need to boil the lilva if you are using canned stuff.
Now heat oil and add mustard seeds, as they pop add cumin seeds, once they crackle, add garlic and saute for about 1 minute then add haldi and the shredded cabbage and stir fry for a minute and than add chili powder and dhania powder and saute till the cabbage wilts. Add salt and boiled tuvar lilva and cook the sabji for 10 mintues. Serve with roti, dal and rice.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chauli-Makai nu Shaak

Mélange! (Medley of life)
That's going to be the buzz this week.
No I am not teaching you french, rather it's about the combination of vegetables you try to get a new dish.I always experiment dishes to see how the combination of vegetables taste like and can I call it a dish of my own. Well the following vegetable is just that.

All gujaratis know chauli ( for others it is the long beans sometimes also called chinese long beans and in hindi it is called lobia). I made a combination of chauli and corn to see how they taste together, and it worked out well. I was bored eating chauli just by itself or mixed with potatoes, so I tried this one. I know corn is so versatile that it can be mixed with almost any thing, but sometimes corn also makes the dish sweet overpowering the dish with the sweet taste but with this it was just perfect.

The recipe:

1 pound of chauli (long beans) chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
3 garlic clove minced
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dhania-jeera powder
1/2 tsp haldi
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, as they splutter, add cumin seeds, once they pop add the minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes, add the tomato paste, and all the masalas except garam masala. Add a little water so the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom. Simmer till the oil floats, now add the chopped chauli beans and corn and add 1/4 th cup of water and salt, cover the pan and let the vegetables cook for about 10-15 minutes or till the choli is fully cooked. Once done, sprinkle the garam masala and mix well. The sabji should be semi-dry. Squeeze some lemon juice and serve it with hot phulkas as I did.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you !!

My 4 year old made me a Mother’s day card at school.
Tears welled up in my eyes, as I did not have words to express how I felt when I saw the card and the poem written on that card. The whole thing looked like his palm grew like a flower from that pot with a little heart in it.

Here is the poem :

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pav Bhaji

I think this week it's gonna be like series of comfort food.
The other day I made this, my all time favorite PavBhaji.

Here is the recipe:

4 potatoes boiled and mashed
1 cup tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup green peas boiled
1/2 cup green beans chopped boiled
1/2 cup carrots chopped boiled
1/2 cup cauliflower florets boiled
1/2 cup green pepper chopped
1 big onion chopped
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp haldi
2 tsp pavbhaji masala
1/4 cup oil or butter
salt to taste

You can boil all the vegetables together or you can boil potatoes separately and then boil the other vegetables together.

Heat the oil or butter in a pot or a broad pan and saute the onions. Once they are golden brown, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for about a minute or two. Then add the chili powder and fry for 1/2 minute. Add the tomatoes and fry till the oil floats on top. Add the chopped green pepper
and haldi. Fry for sometime. Now add the boiled vegetables and fry the bhaji for about 5 minutes and add the pavbhaji masala and salt and stir so that the masala blends with the bhaji.
Cover and simmer the bhaji for 10 minutes on low flame. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
Serve with chopped onions, pav ( I used hambuger buns ) and lemon wedges.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Aloo Mutter

Today I was in a mood for comfort food, and cheese or any food made with cheese tops the list of my comfort food, I was trying to stay away from the cheesy stuff and was considering the second best, third best in my food list, choley, (no preparation) khichri (out of question), aloo mutter, yes , I checked my pantry and was fully equipped with what required for aloo mutter.

So here is the good old Aloo mutter my style.

You will need
4 medium size potatoes boiled and cubed
1 cup shelled green peas (I was lucky I had fresh green peas I bought a day ago from Indian grocer, but you can use frozen peas as well)
1 cup chopped tomatoes ( I used the diced canned tomatoes, you can use fresh if you don't want the canned ones)
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp Dhania-jeera powder
1 tsp haldi
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp gound cumin (jeera powder)
1 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
3 tbsp oil or ghee

Heat ghee or oil in a pan and add jeera, once it splutters, add chopped onion and saute it for 5 minutes, till its golden brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry for a minute or two and add haldi, chili powder, dhania-jeera powder and fry the masala for about 2 minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry the mixture till the oil floats on top. Now add the jeera powder and yogurt and again fry the mixture till the oil floats. Now add the chopped potatoes and green peas and simmer the sabji for about 5-10 mintues, now add the garam masala powder and salt and adjust the seasonings according to your taste.

Sprinkle chopped coriander/cilantro when you serve it.

I ate it with paratha, you can serve it with naan/ rice whatever suits you.


Khatte Jimikand

Ya, I know I haven't been that regular in posting new recipes. But can't help it. My kids have just took over my life. But still I haven't been that irregular, right?.

Well the other day I was viewing trupti's new post and saw the list of what she craves to make and saw the name Khatte Jimikind and besanwali puri. So instantly clicked on that and came across musicals blog. Now once I saw the picture of it, I had to make it because it looked fantabulously good. So here it is. I just followed musicals recipe.
As she mentioned about using Jimikand they were
sweet potatoes, they are called
yams in the US.
I also used sweet potatoes as I had them on hand.

Here is the link to Musicalskitchen recipe for Khatte Jimikand