Tag Archives: indian recipes

Stuffed eggplants (Bharli Vangi)

20 Aug

Cooking was not fun for me when I got married, I struggled, I have failed and cried. I felt I am letting down my parents because my dad was an amazing cook, my mother learned late in life but now she is a wonderful cook and I was in no way close to getting there. I felt frustrated so I made a decision to write some recipes down that were dictated by my mother, this is one of them and I always end up making this vegetarian curry better than the last time. So here goes.

Tip : I always cut my eggplants and dunk them in cold water until I get other ingredients ready, this helps in prepping but also helps prevent oxidizing and removes bitter juices if any.

All you need:

  1. 8 small sized eggplants/brinjal – slit lengthwise I prefer to chop off the tops (refer pic)
  2. 1 small onion finely chopped
  3. 1/2 cup roasted peanut powder
  4. 1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  5. 2 tbsp grated jaggery
  6. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  7. 1 tsp sesame seeds powdered
  8. pinch of asafoetida/hing
  9. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  10. 1 tbsp red chili powder(or as required) I use mix of degghi and kashmiri chili powders
  11. 1 tsp goda masala (availale in Indian stores)
  12. salt as required
  13. oil 4 tsbp tbsp
  14. 1/2 cup water
  15. cilantro (garnish)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. In a bowl mix together the onion, peanut powder, shredded coconut, sesame seeds powder, jaggery, 1 tbsp oil, salt, red chili powder, goda masala.
  2. Drain the eggplants and stuff the slit eggplants with this mixture carefully making sure it does not break the eggplants open. Fill only until the slits are filled completely. Hold on to the excess mixture.
  3. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok/pan.
  4. Temper the oil with mustard seeds, as soon as they pop add asafoetida let it sizzle, add turmeric powder and add stuffed eggplants.
  5. Fry them in oil gently for about a minute, turn, fry them again for another minute or so, add half cup of water.
  6. Add the remaining mixture. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes until they turn soft. The onions and eggplants leave a little water of their own.
  7. Remove the cover and cook for another five minutes until almost all the water is evaporated and eggplants are completely cooked.
  8. Season with salt. Stir gently.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with chapati or roti.

Mango Kulfi or pop

25 Jun

IMAG2084Summer means lots of cooling down at the pool, lakes, water parks, dams, and feasting on cold icecreams, pops, smoothies and other cold beverages. You don’t feel too hungry, you are always thirsty and crave for anything cold. I make sure every summer I have pops in my fridge. I love mango pops and when you add cream to it just makes it even better. In India that is called kulfi.   Sharing a well known recipe for Mango kulfi. Next on my list in watermelon cucumber pops.

Tip: I added saffron strands in each mould for the extra oomph! Don’t forget to soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp warm milk or hot water before using them.

All you need:

  1.  3 cups milk
  2.  1/2 cup condensed milk( if you do not have this, increase the cream and sugar quantity)
  3. 1/2 cup cream
  4. 4 tbsp sugar
  5. 1 tsp cardamom powder
  6. 2 ripe mangoes pureed or 1 cup mango pulp
  7. 1 tsp cornstarch

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Mix everything together in a heavy bottom pan except for mango pulp and cardamom powder. Bring to boil carefully not letting the milk stick to bottom stirring occasionally.
  2. Simmer down for 20 minutes.
  3. Cool down. Add pulp and cardamom powder.
  4. Blend in a blender or just mix it thoroughly.
  5. At this point you can either use a sieve for extra creamy texture but I love my lumps 😉
  6. Pour in moulds. Refrigerate overnight.

Mutton Sukha (Dry spicy goat chunks)

1 Mar

Goat meat is not easily available and not even savored as much in America. An alternative is lamb. However, we have a Halal store nearby(lucky me) so we manage to get decent mutton(I prefer calling it mutton than goat meat), never asked where it comes from though….but I am not really worried about it because unlike steaks, we hardly keep mutton rare or even medium rare, it is always well done in Indian homes. Also one major thing I was missing in my life was my Indian mixie(blender here). I tried Ninja, Oster and they failed big time, my friend has the Magic Bullet but the same complaint-doesn’t grind it to a paste. Indian homes need a good blender, so last year I got one from India. The store guy was so nice to adjust the wires as per US requirements of voltage and plugging. Yay! Now I make yummy chutneys, spice paste, juices, everything in my blender. Love it. My mutton received compliments, so I must have done something right. Hence sharing the recipe. The picture does not do justice to the taste because it was devoured quickly I could only manage to click this one on my phone.

mutton-sukha

Tip: You can add 2 cups of water while cooking the meat and reserve the stock to drink it as mutton soup or use it later in some recipe that requires broth.

All you need:

  1. 1 lb mutton(cut into medium size pieces,washed and cleaned, you can use boneless I prefer using meat with bones)
  2. 5-6 dry red chillies( you can adjust as per your choice but I chose to use Byadgi red chillies, really spicy, you can use Kashmiri red chillies, they give color not as much spice)
  3. 3-4 garlic cloves
  4. Ginger (about 2 inches)
  5. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  6. 1 tsp turmeric
  7. 1 tsp red chili powder
  8. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  9. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  10. 1 tsp black peppercorns
  11. 3 cloves
  12. 1 green cardamom
  13. 1 black cardamom
  14. 1 cinnamon stick
  15. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  16. 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  17. 2 tbsp yoghurt or curd(room temperature as it prevents curdling)
  18. 1 tsp Lemon juice
  19. Salt as required
  20. Oil as required
  21. Water as required
  22. Cilantro for garnish

Ready,Set, Go:

  1. Marinate the cleaned mutton pieces with the dry spice powders, turmeric, red chili powder, salt and ginger garlic paste for about half an hour(you can prep in the meantime)
  2. Heat a pan on medium heat and dry roast the whole spices, dry red chillies first for about a minute and then add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, cumin seeds and roast them until fragrant, be careful not to brown them. Keep the spice mix aside until it cools down.
  3. In the meantime, heat oil in a separate dutch oven or pressure cooker to cook the mutton.
  4. Add in the chopped onion and fry until brown, add the mutton pieces and fry them until they have a sear on them. Add salt and water(little only to cook mutton).Cook the mutton completely in the pressure cooker or the dutch oven. Mine takes about 20 minutes.
  5. Now take the cooled down spice mix and blend it along with lemon juice, ginger and garlic. Add water as needed until it forms a smooth paste.
  6. Heat a pan with oil or ghee(I always use a mix of oil and ghee)
  7. Add the spice paste to it and fry it till oil leaves sides.
  8. Add the yoghurt and mix on slow heat but continue stirring until the paste is bubbly to prevent it from curdling.
  9. Do not add the entire stock, just a little bit to keep the spice mixture moist, add the mutton pieces and fry well until the mixture covers the mutton and the moisture is evaporated.
  10. Cook for about 5-7 minutes and garnish with chopped cilantro

Vangi Batata (Eggplant Potato curry)

4 Apr

I have taken a long hiatus. After Dad passed away last year I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. However today I thought let me share what I have been eating. I have started to eat clean. On my way to reduce a few pounds. Reduced meat intake and piling on the veggies. So wanted to share this simple easy Indian recipe which takes less than 30 minutes to prep and make and is super tasty. Or I am rather too quick! Here goes.

Tip: To prevent oxidization of eggplant/brinjal immediately drop the pieces in cold water after cutting them until you prep other things for making the curry. Remove from the water before using the pieces.

All you need:

  1. 4 medium sized eggplants/brinjal – quartered
  2. 1 potato – quartered
  3. 4-5 garlic cloves – minced
  4. 1 inch ginger – minced
  5. 1 inch jaggery
  6. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  7. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  8. pinch of sesame seed powder (optional)
  9. pinch of asafoetida/hing
  10. 1 tsp turmeric
  11. 1 tbsp red chili powder(or as required)
  12. 1 tsp goda masala (availale in Indian stores)
  13. salt as required
  14. oil 2-3 tbsp
  15. cilantro (garnish)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok/pan
  2. Temper the oil with mustard seeds, as soon as they pop add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric.
  3. Add minced ginger garlic to the oil and fry it for about 30 second or until raw smell disappears.
  4. Add the eggplant/brinjal pieces and potato pieces. Stir well.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients that is the red chili powder, goda masala, jaggery, sesame seed powder.
  6. Season with salt. Stir well.
  7. Add about a cup of water and let the vegetable curry cook for about 7-10 minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with chapati, naan or roti.

Caramel Custard in a Pressure Cooker

16 Dec

One of my favorite deserts is Indian caramel custard, now people may also call it flan, caramel creme and the brother/sister is known as Crème brûlée. My dad always made it in the pressure cooker, I think it helps release the juices and the texture is more dense which I prefer to the light and fluffy ones, melt in the mouth sorts because then my tastebuds are left wanting more whereas this feels mouthful! Okay, I must mention, I have baked this in ramekins in the oven, but this one definitely needs a pressure cooker.

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Tip: My dad insisted on buffalo’s milk for a better texture, but I have made this one with cow’s milk. I wish I had buffalo milk. Also, while caramelizing sugar, use a tablespoon of water to spread sugar evenly.

All you need:

  1. 2 cups whole milk
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1/3 cup sugar or castor sugar (separately required)
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. On low to medium heat, dissolve 1 cup sugar in milk. Keep stirring until sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Whisk eggs until the color is lightened and start forming soft peaks.
  3. Gradually pour eggs in the milk making sure that you are stirring slowly with the other hand. Let the mixture thicken not boil, just heat it. We don’t want to scramble the eggs. The custard is ready.
  4. In a flat bottomed vessel (one that fits in the cooker), melt the 1/3 cup sugar and add a tablespoon of water which will help in caramelizing the sugar evenly. Spread the mixture evenly in the vessel tilting the vessel back and forth making sure the sides are also covered.
  5. Get the pressure cooker ready by pouring enough water at the bottom just like a warm water bath you’d create in the oven for ramekins.
  6. Pour the egg and milk mixture in this vessel and place it in the pressure cooker. Cover it with another vessel so the condensed water does not enter the caramel custard.
  7. Let it whistle once and reduce the heat to low for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the vessel and let it cool down to room temperature.
  9. Flip it on a plate and cool it in the fridge before serving it.

Guvar Batata (Indian Cluster beans vegetable with potato)

25 Nov

Guvar is not a very famous vegetable or I’d call it a neglected vegetable in the plethora of Indian vegetables. Mostly consumed in western areas of Maharashtra, it is liked by other communities and added as a part of Sambhar (lentil dal of South India) but it is definitely not popular as okra or eggplants. I personally love it and can eat it any given day. The frozen variety of cluster beans cooks quickly and saves time but if you buy it fresh, traditionally it is washed then the ends are trimmed and the beans are broken into pieces by hand as cutting does not remove the fibers that may get stuck in the teeth or throat when you chew these beans. The older the beans the more fibers that come off, the younger the beans, the fresher and less fibrous ones. Make sure the color is vibrant green and not yellowish green or a faint green. This recipe is typically cooked in parts of western India. So here goes.

Tip: You can boil the beans for 8-10 minutes with a pinch of turmeric and salt if you are in a hurry to cook.

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All you need:

  1. 1 lb Guvar or Cluster beans (washed, trimmed and chopped into long pieces)
  2. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  3. 1 tsp cumin seeds(optional)
  4. 6-8 curry leaves (optional)
  5. pinch of asafoetida or hing
  6. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  7. 1/2 tbsp goda masala (can be substituted by 1 tsp of Garam Masala + 1 tsp of red chili powder)
  8. 1-2 inch pieces of jaggery(can be substituted by 1 tsp of sugar)
  9. 1 medium sized potato(washed, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces)
  10. 1 tbsp of peanut powder (optional)
  11. salt to taste
  12. 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Heat oil in a deep pan or wok and add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  2. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves(optional) and hing or asafoetida. Let it all sizzle.
  3. Add turmeric and the chopped beans along with the potato. Stir well.
  4. Cover the pan with a flat plate and pour some water over it so that the vegetable is steamed and the vegetable does not burn.
  5. Cook this until the cluster beans and potato are tender about 20-25 minutes (less time will be required if it is half-boiled), stirring regularly in between making sure the vegetable does not stick. Also, if the water evaporates add more on the dish and a few teaspoons inside until it gets cooked.
  6. Add goda masala or red chili powder + garam masala.
  7. Add jaggery, adjust salt. Mix well. Cook until the jaggery melts in the vegetable and is combined well. Turn off the heat.
  8. Finish off with sprinkling peanut powder(roasted peanuts ground into powder). Serve with roti, rice and dal, chapati or naan.

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Kappa (Yucca root) fry Kerala style

6 Oct https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/

I should be grateful for the number of followers I have on this blog and I should have titled this post as apologetic because I have been so lazy to post! I have been concentrating more on my other blog. But I honestly want to say sorry to all the ones who believe in me and have followed my blog as faithful readers! Sorry! I have backdated this post but I will be try to be more consistent.

My husband has his roots in Kerala as I have mentioned before. It took me time to learn some of the delicacies of Kerala cuisine but I have definitely caught up with a few. I may not have mastered them since the people in Kerala are generous with the use of coconut oil but it will be difficult to guess that a Maharashtrian has made the South Indian delicacies. Well if anyone wants to see the optimum use of a coconut they should definitely visit a native of Kerala.

Yucca root or cassava or tapioca is what we call Kappa in Malayalam(language spoken in Kerala). Its starchy and can replace potatoes. It is high in carbs and low in protein. It is low in fat and cholesterol-free! So I love it and my husband loves it with beef-fry. I will share the recipe soon. Let’s get down to this one.

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Tip : A clean kappa is one with close ends and has no spots or growth on it. To clean kappa, you will need a sharp knife, strong board and strength! Cut the ends, cut in half, peel, or peel first with a peeler and cut in half and then cut half in half lengthwise. You will see the thread that you see in the pic. It also resembles the core of the pineapple. Trim the core where you see the thread. Cut the remaining part into cubes or quarters.

All you need:

  1. 1 whole Kappa/Yucca root/Cassava
  2. 1 tsp turmeric
  3. 4 red whole dried chilies (I also add finely chopped green chili as I love it hot)
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1/2 tsp cumin(optional as its not traditional)
  6. 4-5 cloves of garlic, remember to crush the garlic for it to release its oil and coarsely chop it.
  7. 1 small red onion or 3-4 pearl onions chopped finely
  8. 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  9. 2 tbsp oil preferably coconut
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 2 tbsp Shredded coconut to garnish
  12. Water for boiling

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Clean, peel, cube and wash Kappa.
  2. Boil Kappa cubes in water that covers the cubes for about 10 minutes or until tender. Remember to add salt and half the turmeric to the water. Drain the water.
  3. Now comes the tempering. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, once they crackle add the cumin(optional), curry leaves and red chilies.
  4. Now add garlic and onion and saute till onions turn pink(you can even brown the onions if you like).
  5. Add remaining turmeric. Adjust salt.
  6. Add the kappa cubes and mix well. Let the kappa get coated evenly with the entire mixture.
  7. Turn off the heat and garnish with shredded coconut.

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Chicken Biryani in a pressure cooker

30 Sep

Pressure cooker is probably the most important vessel to cook for Indians. Its easy, quick, and healthy as well. But whoever makes biryani in a pressure cooker, honestly, I do. I am always looking for quick meals and I love hosting Indian non-vegetarian meals. In my 30 years of life, I never have and probably never will find anything close to the Mutton Biryani that my dad cooks, but I had to find something that I can replicate yet be quick and easy. Indians have all the spices needed for the recipe at home, you can easily find the spices in Indian stores. It is not the healthiest dish but very very tasty and royal, if you want it to be! I am not sure if everyone knows how to eat  Biryani because you don’t have to eat the whole spices but making is a fun process, and probably you can never get it right the first time, honestly, even I mess up a lot of times. But  a word of caution, if it comes out perfect, the aroma will get your taste buds craving for just that one more serving! If you know your cooker well, and if the meat is tender enough, this recipe will make you a really yummy Biryani.

https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/chicken-biryani-in-a-pressure-cooker/

Tip: To make it royal, just fry dry fruits like cashews, almonds in ghee and garnish the biryani with additional dry fruits like raisins and even pistachios if you like!

All you need:

  1. 2 1/2 cups rice, preferably long grain
  2. 1 lb chicken pieces preferably with bones
  3. 1/2 cup yogurt
  4. 2 green chillies, slit
  5. 2 large or 4 medium onions, finely sliced
  6. 1 tomato, sliced
  7. 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  8. Powdered spices : 1 tsp turmeric powder,1 tbsp coriander powder, 1/2 tbsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala
  9. Whole spices : 1 bay leaf, 1 black cardamom, 1 anistar, 1 mace, 3 green cardomom, 4 cloves, 6-8 black peppercorns, 1 tsp cumin, 1 inch cinnamon
  10. 6 and 1/2 cups of water
  11. 1/2 cup oil
  12. 1/4 cup melted ghee(clarified butter)
  13. few saffron strands dissolved in 2 tbsp warm milk
  14. 2 tbsp chopped cilatro for garnish(optional)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Wash gently and soak rice for half an hour.
  2. Marinade chicken with powdered spices, yogurt, salt, green chilies and ginger garlic paste.
  3. Meanwhile heat entire oil and half ghee. Drop in the onions and fry onions till crispy. Reserve remaining oil.
  4. Bring about 6 cups of water to boil. Add whole spices and little salt. Add rice.
  5. Boil for about 3-4 minutes making sure rice is not fully cooked. Drain. Do not throw away the whole spices.
  6. In the pressure cooker, heat the remaining oil and layer some of the crispy onions in the bottom of cooker, make a layer with chicken, rice, onions every layer add little water feom the remaining half cup and little salt. Reserve little onions for garnishing.
  7. Pour warm milk with saffron on top, rest of the ghee, orange food color if you’d like.
  8. Cook on medium low heat with lid on 4 heat for 5 mins. Turn down the heat to lowest possible for the remaining time on 2. Turn off heat and let it sit for about 10 mins.
  9. Add remaining fried onions, cilantro.
  10. Serve with raita if possible.

Tomato Chutni

31 Aug

Tangy, spicy with a hint of sweetness and most of the times a great accompaniment like salsa which goes with Idli, Dosa, Chapati, Rice and Dal or Puri. Most Indian recipes need tomatoes, what better way than using them all in one recipe! There are a few variations but finders keepers losers weepers, just kidding. Here’s the recipe that my mom makes and its her birthday this month so Thank you and Love you mom.

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Tip: You can keep roasted peanut powder handy, it tastes great when added as a garnish.

All you need:

  1. 4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  2. 1 large onion finely chopped
  3. 2 green chilies slit and chopped
  4. 4-5 curry leaves (optional)
  5. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  6. pinch of asafoetida(optional, can be found in Indian stores)
  7. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  8. 1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  9. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  10. 1 tsp garam masala(optional)
  11. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  12. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  13. 1 tsp sugar(optional)
  14. Salt (as required)
  15. 2 tbsp oil
  16. 2 tbsp cilantro chopped (garnish)
  17. 1 tbsp roasted peanut powder (optional garnish)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Heat oil in a wok or sauce pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, as soon as they pop add cumin and let it sizzle and change color.
  2. Add asafoetida, curry leaves, let them crackle, add green chilies and saute for half a minute.
  3. Add chopped onions and saute them until they are pink in color. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute it until raw smell disappears.
  4. Toss in spices one by one except the garam masala. Stir well. Let this mixture fry well and keep stirring in between making sure nothing sticks to the pan. If you feel the mixture is sticking add a tablespoon of water. Cook it until it starts leaving oil on the sides about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes finally, make sure they get covered with all the spices. Mix well but gently.
  6. Add salt and sugar.
  7. Cook the tomatoes for about 5-7  minutes or until they just begin to soften. You can mash a few pieces gently. I leave them this way, you might choose to cook them down entirely, you will need to cook them for a longer time.
  8. Add garam masala as a finishing spice and let it cook for a minute or two. Skip this step if you are not using garam masala.
  9. Turn off the heat and add the garnishing. Combine.
  10. Serve hot with chapati, roti or naan.

Rice Fritters or Pakoda (Bhaatachi Bhaji)

21 Jul

Yup, original recipe of my mom. Well, honestly there is nothing really original about it. It is just simple, plain, Indian bhaji(fritters) batter and the leftover rice is dipped in it and fried. So why is it special? Because, it brings back memories. Memories of me being so bored to be told to do my school homework, or told to do some daily chores, or study for the exams and I was always tempted by my mom that she would make these fried delicious bites for me! Who doesn’t love snacks! I couldn’t resist, I got through everything, thanks to my mom and these fritters. I consider them personal comfort food and not something that can be shared in a party or something.  On a rainy day with a cup of tea, they are good, even on gloomy days, even bright sunny days the smell of barbecue or anything fried just makes it a perfect day in summer.

Tip: For a different taste every time, you can vary the additional ingredients by adding chopped spring onion, garlic or ginger or chopped tomatoes or cilantro or shredded coconut, etc.

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All you need:

  1. 1 cup of steamed/boiled/leftover rice
  2. 1 cup Chickpea flour/Besan
  3. 1/4 cup Rice flour
  4. 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  5. 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  6. 1 Green chilli, finely chopped (I use 2 because I love spicy food)
  7.  1/4 tsp Carom seeds
  8. Salt (as required)
  9. Water
  10.  Ketchup (to serve)
  11. Oil for deep frying

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Using a little water or oil on the palm of your hands shape balls out of the leftover rice. If the rice is already sticky, do not use water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the batter by mixing all dry ingredients together and then add water little by little till you form a smooth batter with no lumps.
  3. Heat oil almost till boiling point. Test by dropping in a drop of batter, if it sizzles and comes on top immediately, its ready to fry. Maintain the heat on medium flame.
  4. Dip the balls in the batter using a spoon or if you don’t mind getting messy, get your clean hands in there. Make sure you coat all sides with the batter.
  5. Fry the balls till golden turning once.
  6. Remove on an absorbent paper.
  7. Serve hot with ketchup.

For the batter to make any pakodas, click here.

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