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Monday, September 30, 2013

Dahi Lau ( Lauki ka raita )

'Kitne ka hai Bhaiya ?', I asked the neighbourhood vegetable vendor. 'Chalis de do madam', he replied with a grin. Forty rupees a kilo for the very humble lauki, I exclaimed. There was a time when my mom used to run after us to feed us lauki-chana or lauki santula and we would go to any lengths to avoid it. But I guess the growing years and Baba Ramdev's claims about this wonder vegetable has turned me into a new leaf. This vegetable is touted to have myriad health benefits ranging from curing heart diseases, lowering blood pressure, curing jaundice,treating gastrointestinal disorders and improving liver function. With 96 percent water and just 12 calories per 100 grams, it is very helpful if you are on a weight loss diet.

Just like another superfood 'Spinach aka Palak', I keep trying to incorporate it regularly in my meals. So, here is another lauki recipe:

Preparation Time - 10-15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 3 cups (peeled and diced) bottle gourd/lauki/doodhi
  • 1 cup fresh yogurt/curd 
  • 1 small onion (optional)
  • 2-3 green chillis
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 3 tbs freshly grated coconut
  • 1/2 mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Preparation - Boil the bottle gourd in a pressure cooker with a little salt for 1 whistle. Remove from flame and keep aside to cool. Do not throw away excess water.

Chop the onion into small pieces.

Take the yogurt in a mixing bowl and add salt, chopped onion and coconut. Beat lightly.

Cooking - Heat oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter and then add the broken green chilli and curry leaves. Add asafoetida after 30 seconds and switch off flame.

Add the tempering to the beaten curd along with boiled bottle gourd pieces and some of the excess water. Mix well.

Serve with rotis or rice and dal.

Note - This is a popular item during Navratri but without the onions.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Berhampur Alu Chips

My husband spent his college days in Berhampore. This has turned him into a huge fan of the local cuisine. He keeps raving about the snack (Jala khia) items which he considers to be out of this world. But there was this place called 'Nandan' that he misses the most and in particular its 'Chattu' tarkari or mushroom curry and 'panner tarkari'. We have been planning to visit this place after marriage but have not found the time to do so.

One of his favorite items from the college days is the vegetable chips, crisp fried vegetables with a generous dose of sesame. Potato being the mandatory ingredient, the other vegetables that can be added are potolo (pointed gourd)/kaanada (spine gourd)/kalara (bitter gourd). However we prefer to use only the potatoes as even my little one likes it. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation time - 20 minutes

Ingredients - 2 medium sized potatoes, 1 tsp rice flour, 1 tsp corn flour, 1 tsp besan, a pinch of turmeric, 2-3 tsp sesame, 1/5 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

Preparation - Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into thin strips ( thinner than those you make for french fries ). Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for oil. Mix together so that all the strips are coated properly.

Cooking - Heat oil in a deep wok.

Add the potato strips in small batches and fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or till they turn crisp.

Remove from wok and keep on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve with rice or have them as snacks/starters.

Note - This stays fresh for a few hours after frying so one can prepare it in advance if any guests are coming over for lunch/dinner.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vegetarian Kheema Paratha

Consuming soya nuggets have many benefits. They are low in fats and have a high protein content. As it provides all the amino acids that are present in meat, it is an excellent choice for vegans. For the same serving size, soya provide more protein than meat. One serving of soya nuggets is enough to provide more than the daily requirement of iron and almost half of the daily requirement of calcium.
Also its mild taste and texture makes it quite easy to incorporate it many recipes.

Read on for one of my favorite recipes:

Preparation Time - 25 mins ( minus 10 mins if you have the dough ready/ if using soya granules )

Ingredients - Whole wheat flour ( 1 1/2 cups or enough for making 4 rotis ), 3/4 cup soya chunks, 1 small onion, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/3 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, 1/6 tsp garam masala or meat masala a pinch of turmeric, salt to taste, 6-7 tsp oil.

Preparation - Take the dough in a open vessel . Add salt and 1 tsp hot oil. Mix together.

Add water little by little to the above mixture and make into a firm dough. Keep it covered and allow to sit for 5 -10 minutes.

Chop the onion into small pieces.

Cooking - Cook the soya chunks with a little salt in a pressure cooker. Allow 1 whistle. Remove and keep aside till steam escapes.

Drain all the water and squeeze out the water in the chunks. Wash twice with fresh water and squeeze the chunks to remove remaining water.

Transfer the chunks to a grinder cup and grind into a coarse paste (kheema).

Heat  2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the chopped onions and fry till translucent. Add all the powdered masalas and fry for 30-45 seconds.

Add the kheema and fry till it turns to a brown color.

Remove from stove and allow to cool down.

Make 4 balls out of the dough prepared earlier. Roll out into rotis.

Divide the soya kheema into two portions. Spread the kheema over one roti and cover with another roti.

Pinch the sides to close the paratha.

Heat a tawa. Place the paratha on the tawa and cook for 1 minute. Flip over and drizzle with oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes till done on both sides.

Repeat the process for making another paratha.

Serve hot with sweetened yogurt.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dahi ke Kebabs

I caught this recipe being aired on 'Khana Khazana'. Since my Little one was hollering at the same time, I might have missed a thing or two. But nonetheless the kebabs turned out fabulous. Also, this recipe does not use any onion and garlic so it can be savored any day.

Preparation Time - 15 min

Ingredients - 200 gm hung curd, 4 tsp besan / bengal gram flour, 1 tbs chopped coriander, 1 tbs chopped ginger, 1 tbs chopped green chilli, 1 tbs coarsely ground pepper, 1 tsp powdered sugar, 2-3 tbs pomegranate seeds, salt to taste, cornflour for dusting, oil for frying.

Preparation - Take all the ingredients (except for oil and cornflour) in a mixing bowl. Mix gently into a soft dough.

Take a small potion of the dough and shape into tikkis. As the dough will be very soft, use cornflour to dust a working surface and make into tikkis.

Cooking - Heat a non-stick frying pan and drizzle with oil.

Place the tikkis on the pan and cook on both sides to a brown color.

Serve hot with pudina chutney/tomato sauce.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chana Jor Garam

Bengal Gram is a rich source of iron, sodium, selenium and small amounts of copper, zinc and manganese. It also provides a good amount of folic acid, antioxidants and fiber. While it is beneficial for diabetics ( improves sugar levels, glucose tolerance and urinary excretion of sugar ), it is also an boon for anemic patients. It has been in use as a cleanser for a long time as established by Ayurvedic texts.

'Chana Jor Garam' is one of the most popular street foods from the North. It can also be found in some pockets of Orissa and Bengal where is also called 'Chepta chana' or 'Chana choor'. It is a crispy and tangy chaat item that can either be consumed with loads of onions and tomatoes or by itself. It was one of my favorite snacks during my school days. Since it is time-consuming to prepare, we used to buy large packets of the ready to eat stuff. While i had given up and almost forgotten the stuff, a packet of the same caught my attention during my last visit to a cousin's place. When I asked her about it, she said that she got the stuff from Rourkela, our common native. No wonder it tasted so familiar and so good. ( You can find it in the Haldiram range, but its not just good enough )

Since I already knew the recipe, I decided to make a small batch at home. It turned out pretty well and got over within a day. Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time : 40-50 mins

Ingredients - 1 cup bengal gram, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/3 tsp turmeric , amchur to taste, a pinch of garam masala, salt to taste, oil for frying.

Preparation - Wash and soak the bengal gram overnight. Cook for 1-2 whistles with salt and turmeric.

Allow to cool down and drain the water. Dry the boiled bengal gram under a fan for 1-2 hours.

Take a small grinding stone ( sila-pua) or a pestle and flatten each bengal gram.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add small batches of the flattened bengal gram to the oil and fry till crisp. Remove from oil and put on a tissue paper to soak all the excess oil.

Repeat for the remaining flattened bengal gram.

Put the fried chana on a plate . Add salt, chili powder,  and garam masala. Mix togather.

Serve as it is or with a smattering of chopped onions, tomatoes and green chillis.

Note - If you plan to store the stuff for a few days, fry the flattened chana for 2-3 minutes initially, remove and keep in the open for 5 minutes. Put it again in the hot oil and fry till crisp. This way all the water in the chana gets evaporated and it does not become soggy when stored.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fish Egg-Sesame Fritters ( Maccha Bihana Bara )

'Maccha Manjee' or fish eggs ( roe ) are a seasonal delicacy and much relished by many Oriya folks. The eggs are usually present in a thin membrane like sac or pouch, which needs to be removed before cooking. It usually takes minimal seasoning and very less effort to prepare them. But one needs to be very cautious while buying them as they can often lead to food poisoning. Never buy fish eggs unless you believe that it has been freshly removed from the fish. Seeing is believing, that is the thumb rule to be followed.

My husband happens to be very fond of these. Today being a Saturday, he religiously made a trip to the nearest Bengali fish stall to shop for 'Maccha manjee' and purposely chose a fish which had eggs in it ( u need to press the belly of the fish and if it yields a bit, then u have got it ). Some people avoid such fish as eggs tend to make the fish less firm. But such argument will not hold water if you are crazy about the stuff.

After getting his prized catch home, he cleaned and seasoned it with much excitement . H decided to experiment ( Surprise : O ) with his much loved recipe. I guess the unopened packet of sesame seeds kept on the kitchen counter was bothering him too much ( well..i am hoarding too much stuff these days thanks to my blogging ). But the sesame added a new and interesting flavor to these fritters and we all enjoyed it.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10-15 mins

Ingredients - Fish eggs ( 200 gm ), white sesame seeds ( 4 tsp ), chilli flakes ( 1 tsp ), 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp besan, 1 tsp corn flour/rice flour, salt to taste, oil for deep frying.

Preparation- Carefully remove the sac from the fish eggs. Mash them and wash thoroughly with water. Add all the remaining ingredients except for oil.

Allow to marinate for 10 mins.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wok. Take spoonfuls of the above mixture and drop carefully into the oil. ( Be cautious as it the oil may splutter )

Fry on both sides to a deep brown color.

Remove and keep on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Serve hot as a side dish with rice or as a snack.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Re-posting: Pariba Ghanta ( Dwitibahana Osa Special )

Dwitbahana Osa is a fast observed by childless women in Orissa ( Do not worry if you are unable to relate to this....this custom started centuries ago before the DINKs first appeared on the scene ) . Once a woman observes a fast, she usually continues the tradition throughout her life. The presiding deity 'Dwitibahana' is offered a variety of fresh vegetables and soaked legumes/pulses to appease him. These offerings are used to prepare 'Ghanta', an Oriya delicacy and consumed the next day by these fasting women and their families. As 'Ghanta' is usually made in huge quantities and distributed among the neighbors.

The sprouts, raw banana and raw papaya used in this preparation are rich in folic acid which is usually prescribed by doctors to women who are trying to conceive. Folic acid is also very important for the early stages of fetal developement.

'Dwitibahana Osa' is being marked on 26th September this year . Though I prepare 'Ghanta' on special occasions, this year it is going to be special as my MIL is here with us. Check out Hypercity @ Kundanahalli ( You can get chopped vegetables here ) or Total @ Murugeshpallya for the vegetables and sprouts. Since the chopping of the vegetables is the most time consuming step, try to do it the day before. Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time - 20-25 mins ( I have excluded 30 mins required for chopping all the vegetables and grating the coconut )

Ingredients - Diced pumpkin/Kakharu ( 1 cup ), Ash gourd/Pani Kakharu ( 1/2 cup ), Raw Banana/Kancha Kadali ( 1/2 cup ), Suran/Yam/Mati Alu ( 1/2 cup ), Colocassia/Saru ( 1/2 cup ), Raw Papaya/Kancha Amruta Bhanda ( 1/2 cup ), Aubergine/Baigana ( 1/2 cup ), String beans/Jhudunga ( 1/2 cup ), Lima beans/Simba ( 1/2 cups ), Oau/Amba ( 1/2 cup ) or Desi Tomato ( 1 cup ), Ripe Cucumber/Budha kakudi ( 1 cup ), Parwal/potola ( 1/2 cup ), spine gourd/kaankada ( 1/2 cup),  Soaked and sprouted mixed pulses 4 cups ( yellow peas/matar, chick peas/kabuli chana, green moong/gota muga, bengal gram/kala chana ), 1 whole coconut ( half grated and half chopped ), turmeric ( 1 1/2 tsp ), ginger (  2 inch ), jeera-lanka gunda ( 2-3 tsp ), ghee ( 4 tbs ), dry red chilli/sukhila lanka ( 3-4 nos ), jeera ( 1 tsp ), bay leaves ( 2 nos ), garam masala ( 1/2 tsp, optional), sugar ( 4 tbs ), salt to taste.

Garnishing - 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup cashews, 4 tbs chopped coriander leaves. (optional) ( You can keep aside 2-3 tbs of the grated coconut for garnishing. )

Cooking - Put all the vegetables into one pressure cooker. Add salt and turmeric and cook for 1 whistle. Remove from flame and keep aside till steam escapes.

Put the sprouts and chopped coconut slices in to another pressure cooker. Add salt and turmeric and cook for 2 whistles. Remove from flame and keep aside till steam escapes.

Heat 2 tbs of ghee in a large wok. Add the jeera, bay leaves, broken red chilli and chopped ginger. Fry for 1 minute maximum.

Add all the sugar, boiled vegetables and sprouts.

Mix well and cook covered for 4-5 minutes.

Add the jeera-lanka gunda and grated coconut. Mix together and remove from the flame.

Garnish with fried raisins, cashews and chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle the remaining ghee over the ghanta.

Serve with arua (raw) rice and khatta.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Regulating Diabetes/Weight : Getting the Basics Right

Embarking on a healthier lifestyle is easier than we think. Awareness about the right kind of foods ( ie., those with a low to medium GI ), how they drive our blood sugar levels and switching to whole grains help us make a move in the right direction.

Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how fast the blood sugar levels rise after consuming a particular carbohydrate ( starchy food ). Glucose having a GI of 100 is the benchmark against which all foods are rated. High GI foods cause a sudden spike in the blood sugar levels and consequently a sudden drop. While the former puts pressure on the pancreas to secrete more insulin , the latter is responsible for causing hunger pangs. As a result, high GI foods make us eat more. In comparison lower GI foods are digested slowly and hence raise the blood sugar gradually without causing any sudden drop and hence result in a better insulin response (sensitivity). That makes us feel satiated for a longer duration. A diet that comprises mostly of low GI foods with a small portion of medium GI foods is considered to be the healthiest.

Starchy foods and foods that are refined, polished and processed are generally high GI foods. As a thumb rule, all (well almost)that is white ( bread/rice/flour ) is bad. Unpolished or hand-processed grains with their high fiber content and all naturally occurring nutrients are a healthier option. The fiber helps in slowing down the absorption of the sugar, swells up in the tummy and makes us full.

Since rice and wheat form a large portion of the Indian diet, we need to be aware of their GI values. Most of the popular Indian rice varieties have very high GI values, for example GI values of Sona Masuri ( 72.0 ), Kolam ( 77.0 ) and Ponni ( 70.0 ). Switching to brown rice ( it has the germ and underlying nutrients intact)or par-boiled rice ( it is boiled before being milled which forces some of the nutrients into the endosperm ) having low to medium GI values are advisable. Some of the rice varieties that have low/medium GI values are :
Basmati ( 46-69)
Par-boiled Ponni (27-45)
Par-boiled Sona Masuri
Jirasar ( )
Khani Paka
Moolgiri ( 54.1 )

( The individual GI values for each rice variety may vary from crop to crop, cultivation method, age and processing method. )

Bottomline : Though brown rice is the healthiest option followed by par-boiled rice, go for Basmati (aged grains are better) only if you have a very discerning palate. I however prefer the par-boiled sona masuri and ponni rice which goes well with Oriya cuisine unlike the former which stands out like a sore thumb among the mustard flavored curries.

Another factor to be considered is the increase in volume after cooking. Basmati and Ponni are good examples of rice that swell dramatically during cooking. Such a variety will make one satiated while consuming a lesser amount of rice.

Similarly whole wheat which is high in fiber is a healthier option as compared to refined flour or processed wheat flour. However, the mass produced whole wheat flour has the bran and germ removed before grinding which results in a white flour stripped of its fiber and nutrient content. It is later recombined with some of the ground bran and germ to get whole wheat flour.

While in case of 100 percent stone ground wheat flour, the intact (bran, germ and endosperm) wheat grains are ground resulting in a little coarse but nutrient dense flour. This type of flour contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, copper , magnesium and manganese which are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. Consuming whole foods helps prevent weight gain and the onset of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the long run.

Hence it is advisable to ditch those refined flour items like bread, biscuits , cakes and polished white rice, and switch over to whole wheat bread, cookies, muffins and brown/par-boiled rice.

Remember the Golden Rule for leading a healthy life: Eat in Moderation.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Guacamole is a classic Mexican dip that is usually served with nachos and tortilla chips. Ripe avocados mashed just enough with a little bite left, seasoned with salt, lime and chillis, this one is one sure shot winner. Onions, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and pepper are also used to add flavor to this recipe. One word of caution though, it is loaded with calories ( avocado being rich in fats, good ones actually but still it is FAT ).

I have given a little twist to this recipe by using finely chopped avocado instead of the mashed one ( which can also be used as a salad ) and replacing 1/3 of the avocado with crunchy tender cucumbers ( which reduces the total calories consumed ). The cucumber adds a refreshing flavor to this yummy dip. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10 minutes ( + 30 minutes in the fridge )

Ingredients - 2/3 of a ripe avocado ( sliced and seeded ), 1/2 of a small cucumber, 1 small red onion, 1 tsp chilli flakes, juice of 1 lemon, salt to taste, 1-2 tbs chopped cilantro.

Preparation - Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and finely chop it. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Peel the cucumber and finely chop it. Repeat the process for the onion. Transfer both to the mixing bowl containing the avocado.

Add salt, chilli flakes, lemon juice and cilantro. Mix nicely.

Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Spoon on some over your chips/nachos or serve as a salad.

Tip: If you are desperate for sinking your teeth into some guacamole and the avocados are still green, throw in one or two ripe bananas into a paper bag and put the avocado into it. Store in a cool dark place . The avocados will ripen within a day or two. But remember to put the ripe ones in the fridge else they get spoiled very soon.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Doodh Peda

Ganapathi Bappa is known to be partial to laddoos, his favorite sweet. 'Til ke laddoos in particular' retorted my MIL. But since i did not have any til or sesame in stock, I decided to offer something different to the Lord on this Ganesh Chaturthi. One quick recipe that came to my mind was 'Doodh Peda'. Not the traditional variety which takes hours but an improvised version with condensed milk and milk powder. Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - 1 cup condensed milk ( milkmaid/mithai mate ), 2 cups milk powder, 2 tsp ghee, 14-15 almonds, almond essence.

Preparation - Take the condensed milk and milk powder in a heavy bottomed vessel ( preferably non-stick ). Mix well till no lumps remain.

Cooking - Put the vessel on a low flame. Add the ghee. Stir continuously for 9-10 minutes till the mixture thickens and just starts to leave the bottom and sides of the vessel. ( if the mixture is cooked for longer time, the peda turns hard )

Remove from flame and allow to cool down till it is bearable to touch.

Take small balls of the dough. Roll into small balls without any cracks and flatten with the thumb. ( If it is too hard, add 5-6 drops of warm milk and knead well. If it is still hard, repeat the process till dough is pliable enough )

Stick a almond into the middle of each peda. Allow to cool down.

Store in a airtight container in a fridge. Stays fresh till one week to ten days.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Badam Pakoda ( Peanut Fritters )

Peanuts, also known as ground nuts or monkey nuts are loaded with essential nutrients. They are a rich source of Vitamin E, niacin, folate, magnesium and phosphorus. With a high MUFA or 'good fat' content, zero trans-fat and zero sodium content, they are a boon for people suffering from cardiovascular problems. It's manganese content also helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Another reason to munch on peanuts ( other than being pocket-friendly ) is the presence of p-coumaric acid and resveratol, both powderful anti-oxidants that fight the aging process and the sundry aliments associated with it.

Peanut pakora is a snack that is equally loved in the North as well as South India. Here's the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15-20 mins

Ingredients - 3/4 cup raw peanuts, 2 tsp corn flour, 3 tsp besan or gram flour, 1 tsp red chilli powder, pinch of asafoetida, salt to taste, 2 pinch amchur, 1/4 tsp jeera-lanka powder or roasted cumin powder, oil for frying.

Preparation - Dry roast the peanuts for 3 minutes in a pan. Remove from pan and allow to cool down.

Take the corn flour, gram flour, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, asafoetida and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the peanuts and mix well.

Add 1 tsp of hot oil. Sprinkle a little water at a time and try to form into a loose dough. It should be just enough to coat the peanuts and not watery.

Cooking - Heat oil for frying in a wok. Add the peanuts in small batches, while separating the peanuts with your fingers before adding to the oil.

Fry on low to medium flame till the sizzling sound dies away. (3-4 mins)

Remove from wok and keep on tissue paper to absorb excess oil. Repeat for remaining peanut dough.

Add the remaining chilli powder, jeera-lanka powder, amchur powder and pinch of salt to the roasted peanuts. Shake well to coat the peanuts.

Allow to cool down for becoming crunchy. Store in a airtight container.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Palak Paneer ( Cheese in Spinach gravy )

Palak or spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods available to us in abundance and at an economical rate. Along with a high water content and soluble fibre content, it is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc and copper. Also it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

But since it is loaded with pesticides and fertilizers ( common problem with most leafy vegetables as they grow so near to the soil ), one should prefer the organic version whenever possible. I myself buy the 'Gopalan' brand that is stocked by Bigbasket.com.

I try to keep on incorporating it my diet and often come up with new combinations. But today i am sharing a popular and all time favorite recipe 'Palak Paneer'. Read on :

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients - 350 gm paneer, 1 bunch of spinach ( 2 1/2 - 3 cups ), 2 medium sized onion, 1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste, 1-2 green chillli, 1/2 teaspoon jeera-lanka powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 2 tsp Fortune Rice Bran oil, butter, salt to taste, turmeric.

Preparation - Cut the paneer into cubes.

Remove the stems from the spinach and chop roughly. Cut the onions into large pieces.

Cooking - Heat water in a pan. Add salt and turmeric and bring to a boil.

Add paneer cubes and boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain water and keep aside.

Boil fresh water in another pan. Add the spinach leaves and boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain the water and wash in cold water. Keep aside to drain off all the water.

Heat oil in a wok. Add half of the chopped onions and fry to translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the green chilli and spinach leaves with salt to taste. Fry for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to a blender cup, allow to cool down a bit and grind into a smooth paste.

Add some butter to the same wok. Add the remaining onions and fry till translucent. Add the green paste prepared earlier with jeera-lanka powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add paneer cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with pulao rice/basmati rice/rotis.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cheese Veggie Strips

Kids love all kinds of fried stuff. Though they are high on calories, i do give in at times and make something for my little one. This time i used some veggies and cheese along with a little seasoning to make these easy snacks. The strips can be made and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days .

Preparation Time - 20-25 minutes

Ingredients - 1 medium sized boiled and peeled potato, 2 tbs finely chopped carrots, 2 tbs finely chopped beans, 2 tbs sweet corn, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp finely chopped garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder or 1 tsp chilli sauce , salt to taste, 2 tsp finely chopped coriander.

For the outer layer - 1 cup freshly made bread crumbs, 1 tbs cornflour, little cornflour for dusting, salt to taste, oil for shallow frying.

Preparation - Take all the ingredients ( except those for the outer layer ) into a mixing bowl. Mix well and shape into long flat strips.

Take the 1 tbs cornflour and mix it with 3-4 tbs of water. Add a little salt and form a thin batter.

Take the breadcrumbs in a flat plate. ( To make fresh bread crumbs, take 2 slices of bread, cut off the sides and transfer to a food processor. Buzz for 1 second. Fresh breadcrumbs are ready. )

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok.

Take each strip, dust it with a little cornflour, dip in the thin batter and roll in the breadcrumbs.

Dip in the hot oil and fry till light brown on both sides.

Serve with chilli & tomato sauce.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Happy Ganesh Chaturthi To All !!! Ganapathi Bappa Moriya!!

Panchamrit can be literally translated as 'five nectars'. It is used as an offering during pooja. After doing the abhisekha with it, it is distribute among the devotees as prasadam.

Preparation time - 5 mins

Ingredients -  2 tsp milk, 2 tsp curd, 1 tsp ghee, 1 tsp honey , 1 tsp jaggery/sugar.

Preparation - Take a clean vessel and add milk, curd, honey and jaggery/sugar. Mix well. Add ghee at the last.

Note - Tulsi leaves can also be added to the above prasadam.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Korua (milk solids ) Ladoo

I usually make ghee at home every month. After cooking the butter and draining off the golden colored liquid ( ghee ), one is left with these brown colored nutty flavored sediments/residue. They are quite nutritious and i almost always end up incorporating them in my meals/snacks/desserts. This time Ganesh Chaturthi being around the corner, i incorporated them into laddoos ( Ganeshji's favorite snack ). This is an easy breezy recipe. Read on:

Preparation Time - 10-15 mins

Ingredients - Milk solids ( 2 cups ), whole wheat flour ( 3/4 - 1 cup ), powdered jaggery ( to taste ).

Preparation - If the milk solids are a little lumpy, freeze them. Take into a grinder cup, buzz for 20-30 seconds and turn into coarse powder.

Cooking - Heat a non-stick vessel on low flame ( i had reused the vessel in which i made the ghee ). Add the milk solids. Fry for 1 minute.

Sprinkle the flour, a little at a time and mix well. The contents of the vessel should look like one whole mass/lump and not powdery ( else the laddoo will not have binding ).

Fry for 5-6 minutes till the flour is roasted.

Add the powdered jaggery, mix thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from flame and allow to cool down till it is bearable to touch.

Take small amounts of the mixture into your palm and shape into balls/laddoos. If they are not binding or too powdery, add 1-2 tsp of melted warm ghee to the mixture.

These laddoos can be stored in the refrigerator for a month.

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