Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Khajoor Ke Laddoo

Usually Indian desserts are high calorie food, full of ghee, sugar and/or khoya. But these laddoos are undeniably low-calorie, healthy and easy to make, you can actually make them in no time. They do not ask for any special ingredients or any advanced preparation. Okay, enough of praises. I wanted to make something for Janmashtami, which I can use on my fasting day as well. So here I am..

Makes about 10-12 laddoos
Preparation Time: 10 Minute
Cooking Time: 15 Minute

1-cup dates (About 12 pc)
½ cup walnuts (About 6-7 pc)
½ tbsp ghee
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp grated coconut (optional)

1. Finely chop dates and coarsely grind walnuts
2. Heat ghee in skillet, add dates, sugar and stir for about 8-10 minutes until dates start melting down and they become soft
3. Turn off the heat and add walnuts, mix them thoroughly
4. Make balls while mixture is still warm
5. Roll the balls in grated coconut

Yummy balls are ready. They can be refrigerated for couple of weeks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dahi Puri

Though I am into healthy food (Most of the times :)) I can never say no to any kind of Chat – be it Pani Puri, Bhel,Sev Puri or Dahi Puri. I had some leftover sprouts and puris and it couldn’t be better having Dahi Puri for Sunday evening snacks. It was completely homemade this time, including Puris, Curd and of course, Chutney. I added boiled chickpeas for little twist and it came out indeed yummy.

Makes 25 Dahi Puris
Preparation Time – 15 minute (Provided Sprouts and Chutney are ready)
Cooking Time: Nil

For Stuffing
¼ cup મગ and મઠ(Soak, sprout and pressure cook them)
1/8 cup chickpeas (Soak and pressure cook them)
1/ 4 cup potatoes (Boil and finely chopped)
Salt, Lemon Juice and Cumin Powder per taste

¼ cup Tamarind Chutney
¼ Cup Curd
½ Cup Sev
25 Puris

For Garnishing
Chat Masala
Red Chili Powder
Coriander Leaves

1. Mix sprouts, chickpeas, potatoes along with spices to make stuffing
2. Beat Curd, add pinch of sugar and Salt
3. Prick Puris, put ½ tsp stuffing
4. Add Chutney and Curd, each ¼ tsp
5. Sprinkle Sev
6. Garnish with coriander leaves, red chili powder and chat masala
7. Serve immediately

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Recently I have developed fondness for cherry tomatoes. Now I use them quite often in salads and salsa. And then, I came across pasta sauce recipe made from cherry tomatoes. I adapted just roasting cherry tomatoes part and used them in salad. Cold Pasta Salad is just perfect for Sunday Brunch.

Serves 2-3
Preparation Time: 10 Minute + soaking time
Cooking Time: 15 Minute + refrigeration time

1-cup whole wheat pasta (I used Penne)
1 carrot
1 cucumber
1 small green pepper
1 small red onion
¼ cup broccoli florets
1 cup cheery tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped basil leaves
2 tbsp sweet onion vinaigrette
¼ cup chickpeas
¼ cup red kidney beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Soak chickpeas and kidney beans for 6-8 hours and pressure cook them (Canned ones can also be used)
2. Boil Pasta as per Instruction and keep them aside
3. Steam broccoli and add it to pasta
4. In a baking tray, spread cherry tomatoes, drizzle generous amount of olive oil, chopped basil, salt and pepper
5. Bake them at 450 F for about 10-12 minutes or until tomatoes burst out and become tender and juicy
6. Let them cool down for about 5 minutes, sprinkle cheese and add to boiled pasta
7. Cut carrot, cucumber, onion and pepper into thin slices and add to pasta
8. Add chickpeas and kidney beans
9. Add vinaigrette, salt and pepper
10. Refrigerate for at least couple of hours and serve cold

Friday, August 27, 2010

Alu Mutter Sandwich

I have become little slow in writing recipes since HE stays away for job during weekdays. So my experiments have become limited as he is not around :). This is quite simple, everyday recipe. Still I am putting it here as it happens to be one of my favorites. Both my brother and husband love it and we have had them so many times at Purohit’s in Ahmedabad. Especially, Purohit became our favorite joint during courtship days.

Makes 8 sandwiches
Preparation Time: 20 Minute
Cooking Time: 15 Minute

For stuffing
2 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 carrot
1 small capsicum
1 small onion
1/8 cup peas
1 tsp ginger-chili paste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp clove-cinnamon powder
1 tbsp grated cheese

For tampering
½ tsp oil
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp sesame seeds

Prepare a sandwich
16 slices of bread
Green chutney
Cheese Slice
Chat Masala

1. Other than potatoes, finely chop all vegetables for stuffing
2. Heat oil in skillet, add cumin and sesame seeds, when crackles add chopped veggies
3. Sauté them for about 5 minute and then add to mashed potatoes
4. Add all other spices
5. For Grilled sandwich
a. Apply green chutney on one slice
b. Put potato stuff, cheese slice and cover with another slice
c. Brush the top with butter and grill it
d. Serve hot with ketchup
6. For Regular sandwich
a. Cut the crusts off
b. Apply chutney on one slice and butter on another
c. Put potato stuff, cover the sandwich and sprinkle chat masala

This is our all time favorite sandwich and it tastes equally well with white and brown bread. Good for next day lunch and makes a complete meal with salad and juice/milkshake/coffee.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Puri for Pani Puri

If I am asked about my favorite dish, my answer would be ‘pani puri’ without hesitation. In India, we would get readymade puri and job becomes much easier. But after coming to US, I never was happy with store bought ones.

So I started making them at home. It was little tedious and time consuming job as I used to roll individual puris (As opposed to rolling big and cutting). But hard work was nothing compared to satisfaction. Once I became pro (meaning almost all puris will puff up), I invested in tortilla maker. Now my job has become faster and more efficient. 

Makes about 150 puris
Preparation Time: 10 minute
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 lb fine soji
Oil for frying

1. Mix soji and salt and knead soft dough using warm water
2. Dough should be on softer side since it tends to get harder because of soji
3. Divide dough in equal portions, roll them into small puris
4. Before rolling puri, make sure to knead dough as much as you can. Keep it covered using wet cloth all the time
5. Fry puris on medium flame until they are light brown and crispy
6. Store in tight container, they remain fresh for 3-4 months

Vermicelli Kheer

We both love milk-based desserts with Indian touch. When I was talking to my mom, she reminded me about the last day of અષાઢ, which is called દિવાસો and we make kheer-puri this day. I was thinking to make kheer with rice but HE demanded kheer with vermicelli. I did not make this for long time and I wanted to measure everything to make it perfect.

Serves 3-4
Preparation time: NIL
Cooking time: 45 Minute

4 cups whole milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vermicelli, cut into 1” pieces
½ tsp cardamom powder
10-15 pieces sliced almond
10-15 pieces sliced pistachio
3-4 strands of saffron

1. Dry roast vermicelli on low flame for about 5-7 minutes until they turn pink/light brown. Keep it aside
2. Heat milk in thick bottom pan, add vermicelli
3. Stir continuously so it does not stick on bottom
4. When vermicelli is cooked, it’ll start floating on surface, now is the time to add sugar
5. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the heat
6. Garnish with cardamom, almonds, pistachio and saffron
7. Serve cold/warm

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spinach Linguine

I would not dare making pasta without marinara sauce. But then few days back, I overheard Rachel Ray making something with Linguine, Meat and Spinach, an Italian Dish without Marinara Sauce?! I missed the recipe and just saw the complete dish in the end and I thought I could play with the ingredients to make veg version. And I must say, we both were damn happy to have such a wonderful Sunday dinner. We just finished having it and still looking forward to have leftover tomorrow!!

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 10 Minute
Cooking Time: 30 Minute

1 packet Linguine (1 Lb)
3 cup chopped spinach
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (About 20 pc)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp basil
3 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Cook linguine as per instructions and keep it aside
2. Grind spinach in food processor with just little water and make a smooth paste
3. Prepare white sauce and add minced garlic, parmesan cheese and spinach paste to it
4. Heat olive oil in a skillet; add cherry tomatoes, salt and basil
5. Once tomatoes turn soft and look juicy, add linguine
6. Lastly, add white sauce and spinach mixture
7. Serve hot

We had this with Garlic Bread and I felt so good, to try something new, something different which in end turned out delicious. Just the white sauce works equally well as marinara sauce and now I can add more variety to my pasta dishes..

White Sauce

Yields about 3 cups
Preparation Time: NIL
Cooking Time: 15 Minute

3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2.5 cup whole milk
Salt and Pepper

1. Heat the butter in sauce pan on medium flame
2. Add flour to it and continuously stir it to avoid any lumps
3. Once flour starts changing color to light brown. add milk
4. Add salt and pepper
5. Stir for about 10-12 minute until mixture is thick and consistent

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pineapple Mocktail

My mom always made a habit to have fresh juices whenever possible, especially during summer. Now I am also trying to continue the great legacy and HE also loves it. Be it a simple juice just with chat masala or a sophisticated mocktail, I love experimenting with combination of fruits, ice cream and soda. Recently when I bought a pineapple, it was not at all juicy and sweet. So I had to come up with something unusual. I am not even sure how to name this recipe :)

Yields two 16 oz glasses
Preparation time: 15 minute
Cooking Time: NIL

3 cup fresh pineapple cubes (1/3 of a big pineapple)
1 cup orange juice (I used store bought, fresh is better)
¼ cup red seedless grapes (About 8-10 pieces)
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Sugar, if required

1. Mix above all ingredients and liquefy them to make juice, add water if required
2. Serve immediately

Alu Methi Paratha

We both just love parathas, be the stuffing contains Alu, Gobi, Cheese, Corn, Paneer, Spinach or Methi. Even when I was in Mumbai, ‘Only Parathas’ in Bandra was one among my favorite restaurants. I try to have lunch/dinner once a week that includes Methi and/or Spinach. And sometimes, you get tired of Methi Thepla, Alu Methi or Methi Malai Mutter and then you have to come up with creativity. I thought to prepare stuffing for parathas using Alu and Methi.

Make 10-12 parathas
Preparation Time: 20 minute
Cooking Time: 30 minute

For stuffing
2 cup washed and chopped Methi
2 large potatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp oil
2 tbsp grated cheese
½ tsp aamchur
½ tbsp chili-ginger paste
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafetida

For Dough
2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp oil

Oil for making parathas

1. Sieve the flour in oil and make roti like soft dough
2. Boil, peel and mash potatoes. Make sure not to leave any lumps. Keep them aside
3. Heat oil in skillet and add cumin seeds, asafetida and onions
4. When onions turn lightly golden brown, add Methi and salt
5. Cook it uncovered on low flame until mixture becomes dry
6. Let this mixture cool down for a while and add it to mashed potatoes
7. Add rest of the spices, cheese and mix well
8. Divide dough in equal balls, add stuffing and make parathas
9. Serve with chutney, raita or pickles

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Khasta Kachori

This kachori reminds me of my childhood days. We knew a Marvadi cook who was expert at making snacks and farsan He would come probably 3-4 times a year to make different types of snacks. Whenever he would come, we made sure to ask him making this kachori and he would prepare both versions – one you can eat right away and another you can save for a month or so like other dry snacks. Mom would make us a kachori chat by adding tamarind chutney, green pudina chutney, curd, chat masala and sev, which was simply irresistible.

This time when I went to India, mom made a simpler and less complicated version of this kachori. Couple of days back I tried myself and both of us indeed enjoyed it.

Makes about 20 kachoris
Preparation Time: 30 minute
Cooking time: 90 minute

For Filling
250 gm store bought moong dal snack
Whole spices
1.5 tsp whole coriander seeds
1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds
1.5 tsp fennel seeds
1.5 tsp sesame seeds
1.5 tsp kalonji seeds
1 tsp ajwain

Powdered spices
1.5 tsp aamchur
1 tsp black salt
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp clove-cinnamon powder

For Dough
1.5 cup maida
1 tbsp oil

Oil for deep-frying

1. Make a puri-like dough and keep is aside
2. Coarsely grind moong dal
3. Roast whole spices for about 8-10 minute and grind them, add to crushed dal
4. Mix all powdered spices
5. Divide dough into equal portions.
6. Roll puri, add filling, cover the ball and gently roll it again to give a flat shape
7. Deep fry these kachoris on low flame on both sides until they are golden brown
8. Serve hot with chutneys.

This filling can be refrigerated for 3-4 months.

Chunky Avocado Salsa

Salsa and Dorritos was my favorite snack during my earlier days in US. Every week when we would go for grocery, we would make sure to buy salsa and chips. But after sometime, I lost crave and also realized store bought salsa is full of vinegar and preservatives. So using avocado I tried making it home and now I think it’s up to the mark to share recipe on my blog.

Yields 1.5 cup
Preparation Time: 15 minute
Cooking Time: NIL

1 medium avocado
1 tomato
1 onion
2 hot jalapenos
2 stems of cilantro

For dressing
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp lemon juice (Vinegar is better option though)
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt and Pepper

For Garnishing
5-6 cherry tomatoes (optional)

1. Mix all ingredients for dressing and whisk them thoroughly
2. Finely chop tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro
3. Mash avocado with potato masher and add to dressing
4. Garnish with cherry tomatoes cut in halves
5. Refrigerate for couple of hours before serving