Monday, August 17, 2015

Tomato Ketchup

While growing up, I have fond memories of my mother buying several kgs of tomatoes in peak season. She would make ketchup in few batches and couple of days later, freeze would be stocked up with ketchup jars. I hardly remember having store bought ketchup.

My daughter has taken up after me and she wants to have ketchup whenever I open the refrigerator. I am always hesitant after certain point as store bought ones are always full of preservatives. Though I always had homemade ketchup during my childhood/teenage days, ironically, it never occurred to me to do the same for my daughter until my mom suggested.

I tried with just couple of tomatoes first. It came out good so I tried in large quantity with farm fresh tomatoes. Result?Happy mother and happy daughter!

Yields: 3-4 cup
Preparation Time: 10 Minute
Cooking Time: 1 Hour

2 lb ripe tomatoes
2 tsp lemon juice

For Spice Bag,
2 dried red chili
2-3 cloves of garlic
4 pc cloves

1. Put all the spices in muslin cloth and fasten it thoroughly
2. Cut tomatoes into large cubes
3. Add salt, lemon juice and spice bag to tomatoes and pressure cook them for 3 whistles
4. once cool down completely, remove spice bag
5. Grind tomatoes into fine puree and strain it
6. Heat the puree in a thick bottom pan. Taste it and adjust salt/sugar quantity
7. Cook it on medium flame stirring constantly
8. To check if it is cooked, pour a drop in a plate. If it doesn't leave water at edges, you are all set and turn off the heat
9. It stays good for at least couple of months in refrigerator

Friday, August 14, 2015

Misal Pav

I have always been a morning person but was never a breakfast one. After I moved to Mumbai for my first job, we had dedicated half an hour for breakfast before official start of the day.  Lunch served at office cafeteria used to be nearly horrible,  so would make sure to have breakfast (the same cafeteria served far better breakfast than lunch). This habit has still stayed with me. These days I don't know when and whether I would have lunch on time with two kids.

Anyway,  the company cafeteria usually served Misal Pav on Thursdays.  We have somewhat parallel dish called  Sev-Usal in Gujarati cuisine. But Misal is very spicy and served with raw/cold Pav. Lately I have been remembering  a lot about my Mumbai days and decided to give this dish a try.

Ideally,  it's made with Math/Matki but I used combination of both green moong and math. I didn't make it very spicy and served with whole  wheat bread. I like my bread toasted and smeared lightly with butter.  Also gravy requires tamarind juice but I stick to my healthier lemon juice.

Serves 2
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

For base,
3/4 cup green moong
1/2 cup math
2 medium potatoes
1 small onion
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of hing
8-10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Lemon juice

For rassa/gravy
1/2 cup dried coconut chunks
1 medium onion
2 medium tomatoes
1 tsp + 1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of hing
10-12 curry leaves
1/2 tsp green chili paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
I/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sugar
Lemon juice

To serve,
Chopped onions
Chopped tomatoes
Farsan mix

For base,
1. Soak moong and math for 8-10 hours and sprout them
2. Pressure cook with little water for five whistles
3. Boil potatoes and dice them
4. Finely chop the onion
5. Heat oil. Add cumin seeds. When crackles, add hing, curry leaves and garlic paste
6. Add onions and saute until they turn translucent
7. Add approx half a cup of water.when water comes to boil, add all spices except lemon juice
8. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and add sprouts and potatoes
9. Mix well. Turn off the heat and stir in lemon juice

For gravy,
1. Dry roast coconut chunks and keep them aside
2. Dice onions and tomatoes
3. Heat 1 tsp oil. Add chili-ginger paste and onions.  When they start turning brown,  add tomatoes
4. Keep stirring until tomatoes turn mushy. Let the mixture cool down and grind into a fine paste along with coconut
5. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil. Add mustard seeds,  hing and curry leaves
6. Add gravy and all the spices except sugar and lemon juice
7. Keep stirring until it starts leaving oil on the edge
8. Now add about 2-3 cup of water and bring it to boil
9. Add sugar, turn off the heat and add lemon juice

To serve,
1. Add sprouts base in the bowl and pour gravy
2. Add chopped onions and tomatoes
3. Top it with farsan
4. Serve immediately

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jada Mathiya/Math Poori

While growing up I had rarely seen my mom buying readymade snacks.  I got my first lesson of importance of homemade stuff from her. And I wish to continue the same with my kids. My little girl always wants to munch on something in between the meals. And I always have both healthy and fried snacks available.

These mathiya are quite popular among Gujaratis, at least in my household. they were must haves while traveling. Being thicker and smaller in size, they are quick and easy alternative of traditional Mathiya.

Makes approx. 60 pc
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

2 cup math flour + 1 tbsp for dusting
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp carom seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp oil
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp soda
A big pinch of asafetida
Oil for frying

1. Mix sugar and soda in 1/2 cup of water.  Heat it up till sugar dissolves. Let it cool down
2. Meanwhile, in a big mixing bowl sieve both the flours. Add all spices and knead a hard dough using sugar water. Add more water as needed
3. Divide dough in equal portion and roll thick poori
4. I prefer resting them at room temperature for couple of hours.  That way they consume less oil while frying. But you can also fry them immediately
5. Fry on both sides on medium-high flame until golden brown
6. Once they cool down store in air tight container. They stay good for couple of weeks

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tutti Fruity Cake

I am no expert at baking but once in a while I do try my hands at it. My little one now and then asks for cake and being a health conscious mommy,  I refrain myself from giving her sugar and cream loaded stuff.

I have very fond memories attached to this cake. When I was working,  we always had this available in our office kitchen from a local Indian bakery.  We would devour a slice of it in dessert. 

There are hundreds of recipes for a simple cake like this.  Here is my version which is eggless and butter less. Also, I have replaced half quantity of plain flour with whole wheat flour.  This guiltfree version stays good for 4-5 days without refrigerator and tastes heavenly when consumed warm.

Makes one small loaf
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes

For the batter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup confectionery sugar
1 cup fresh thick Curd
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the fruit and nut mix
(As per your preference)
1/3 cup tutti fruity or fruit cake mix
1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnut and almond)
1 tsp plain flour

1. Mix fruits and nut mix with flour. Keep it aside
2. In a large mixing bowl,  mix curd and sugar till sugar dissolves.  Add baking powder and baking soda to it. Keep it aside till it becomes frothy and bubbly
3. Meanwhile, sieve both flours and mix them well
4. Add oil and vanilla extract to curd mixture and mix gently so bubbles don't subside
5. Now gradually add flour to curd mixture
6.  Lastly, add fruits and nuts and mix well. Pour the batter into greased baking pan
7. Pre heat oven at 350 F and bake it for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Basil Tomato Vinaigrette

I usually prefer making my own vinaigrette. That way, I can play with ingredients and always come up with new combination. This offers variety in lunch which usually consists of cold salads. We both like vinegar based dressing over cream based. 

In this dressing, I have combined two of my favorite ingredients which assures great taste anytime. Use it with any cold salad, sprinkle some cheese and delicious meal is ready within minutes.

Yields 3/4 cup
Preparation Time: 10 Minute
Cooking Time: NIL

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper

1. Add basil, garlic, vinegar and sundried tomatoes to blender
2. Gradually add olive oil till it become smooth
3. Add salt and pepper