28 September 2015

Mirch ka Salan

Mirch Ka Salan, a typical Hyderabadi dish, the very mention of which can get our taste buds tingling!!!
Salan, or curry, is a popular base that is combined with several vegetarian and non-vegetarian options - Mirch, Gobhi, Gosht and many more, list would be endless.
[Note : The original recipe calls for Bhavnagari Chillies, but since I couldn't get those, used the Bajji Mirchi instead. The taste was just as awesome, trust me :) ]

Ingredients :
Bajji Mirchi - 8 
Capsicum (cut into 1" long strips) - 1/2 cup (optional)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Fenugreek (Methi) seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 2 tsps
Dhaniya-Jeera powder - 2 tbsps
Tamarind (Imli) pulp - 1 tbsp
Chopped fresh coriander - 2 tbsps
Water - 2 cups
Oil - 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Dry Masala
Roasted Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Roasted jeera - 1 tbsp
Roasted Sesame(Til) - 2 tbsps

Grind to a paste
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Garlic - 6 cloves
Onion - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Tomatoes - 1 cup (chopped)
Coconut (fresh, grated) - 3 tbsps

Method :
1. Wash and slit the chilies. De-seed and fry in oil. Or you could shallow fry in lesser oil, which is what I did! Drain and keep aside.
2. Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan, add jeera, mustard seeds, methi seeds and curry leaves. Let crackle. Now add the ground paste and stir well. Let cook for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the dry masala mix to this gravy and stir again. Let cook on a medium flame till oil starts to separate. Add 2 cups water and tamarind pulp and bring to a boil.

4. Finally add the green chilies and capsicum , along with chopped coriander. Check for salt and let simmer on low till gravy thickens.
Serve "hot" :)

21 September 2015

Quick fix Pasta with leftover veggies

A quick fix Pasta in White Sauce using ingredients mostly available at home...became an instant hit with my niece and nephew!!! As a plus I used up the leftover Broccoli-peas curry from the morning as well!

                                                       PASTA IN WHITE SAUCE

Our theme for the 6th Foodie Monday Blog Hop - Pasta :)

Ingredients : 

Boiled pasta (Penne or Farfalle works best) - 2 cups
Cold Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Cheese slices - 2
Maida - 2 tbsps
Whole wheat flour - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Olive oil / Butter - 1 tbsp
Garlic powder - 1 tsp
Crushed Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Oregano / Mixed herbs (I used the small packs that usually get left-over each time one orders pizza!!)
Chilli flakes (optional)
Spicy tomato sauce for the garnish

Method : 

1. Heat oil / butter in a pan. Add in the vegetables as desired. For this recipe I used leftover Broccoli-Peas curry from the morning, so I added them along with the pasta, since they didnt need extra cooking!

2. In a bowl, whisk together milk, Maida + Wheat flour and salt leaving no lumps. Pour the milk mixture into the pan stirring all the while.

3. When it starts to thicken add the garlic powder and let simmer. Don't forget to keep stirring. Check for salt and add the pepper powder as well.

4. Drop in the 2 cheese slices and keep stirring till the cheese melts and mixes well with the milk. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chili flakes if you need it extra spicy.

5. Now add in the boiled pasta and stir. [I added the leftover curry at this point.] Cover and let simmer for about 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in between and let cook for a minute more so the sauce coats the pasta well.
Tip : If pasta has cooled down and sticking together, drop it for a split second in hot water and take out immediately, This will shock the pasta and make it easier to mix in with the sauce.

6. Finally sprinkle the oregano and stir once. Remove and serve hot with lightly toasted brown bread.
Optional to half-cook this on flame and bake it with more cheese and tomato sauce(till cheese melts and forms golden brown spots) on top as I have done.
This is the basic sauce. One can also add in chopped and blanched spinach, capsicum, zucchini and so on for the vegetable touch.

14 September 2015

Simple Sooji Halwa

When we talk of Sooji halwa or Sheera, it immediately brings to mind the ghee-dripping semolina delicacy served piping hot with Pooris or on their own in stitched leaf bowls, or 'Donas' .
The South Indian variant that we make is called Rawa Kesari; known to get its name from the Kesar or saffron colour that gets added to the halwa. Also my mother tends to add the water and sugar at separate stages, allowing the sooji to cook first and then stir in the sugar.

Now the halwa in this recipe is as basic as it gets. The ultimate omnipresent sweet that is favoured in most festivals, temples, after-dinner dessert...the list is endless!! 

This goes in for the 5th FOODIE MONDAY BLOG HOP....yayyy, we are on to the 5th week now :) 

So here goes the recipe (credit : vegrecipesofindia.com)


Ingredients : (Serves 4)

Roasted Rawa/Sooji/Semolina - 1 cup
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Sugar - 3/4 to 1 cup
Cashews - a few
Raisins - a few
Saffron strands
Cardamom/Elaichi powder - 1/2 tsp

Method :

1. Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed or non-stick pan. Now add the rawa and stir till ghee coats it evenly. Add the cashews and start roasting both the ingredients in the ghee till they start becoming golden brown and ghee gets fully absorbed. 
Note : Do this patiently on low flame, as we want the rawa to get cooked well without getting burnt.

2. Meanwhile, heat water along with sugar and let boil, only till sugar dissolves. Stir occasionally.

3. To the sooji pan, add raisins and cardamom powder and mix well. 

4. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the sugar syrup to the rawa and stir simultaneously. Mix well, so that the water gets absorbed and no lumps are formed. The mix will start to thicken and slowly reach the halwa consistency. 

When the mixture starts leaving the sides, remove from the flame and serve. 
Note : Some types of rawa might need more water to cook, so you will need to adjust accordingly.

7 September 2015

Quick & Easy Chat

Fourth #FoodieMonday #BlogHop - Kiddie food :) 
Kids love junk food, anything that ir crunchy, crispy, quick to grab and eat, except that it isn't healthy !!! So here's something that is crunchy, tasty, can be put together quickly and is healthier :)


Ingredients :

Boiled potato - 2 (medium), diced
White chickpeas - 1 cup (Soaked overnight and drained)
Fresh Pomegranate seeds - as required
Chopped apple - as required
Brown bread slices - 4 to 5
Boiled sweet corn - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
Green chutney - as required
Tomato ketchup - as required
Sev or other Farsaan (optional)
Jeera powder
Chaat Masala
Chopped Coriander (optional)

Method :

1. Cut the bread slices into squares and roast without using oil till crisp on a tawa, or in a microwave.

2. In a bowl, mix together the diced potato, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, diced apples, boiled corn and brown bread squares.

3. Add the green chutney and ketchup and mix lightly. Sprinkle Jeera powder and chaat masala. Mix lightly again.

4. Just before serving, garnish with the Sev/farsaan, chopped onion and chopped dhaniya. Serve.