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Showing posts with label cooking for beginners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooking for beginners. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Baigana Alu Posto ( Eggplant cooked with Poppy seeds )

The last few days have been tough on me. As if a seasonal flu coupled with throat infection wasn't bad enough, the balmy weather in Blore has been making things worse. The kid does not want to be cooped up inside the house, meals/groceries are getting delayed thanks to rains and traffic snarls, and I am constantly feeling drowsy thanks to a combination of factors.  Even the latest Harry Potter book is not temptation enough for me to keep my eyes open. A few pages ( or rather dialogues coz this book is written for a stage play ) down and I am dozing off blissfully.

So, the meals have been reduced to the very basic dal-chawal or dal-roti with one dry curry. Any cribs from the boys are strictly being ignored. The pickle is accessible to all and hubby dear can just about manage an omelette for himself.

Kid has been busy with figuring out the intricacies of the capital and small alphabets. The gaps in between are taken up by story telling sessions where he just lets his fantasy take flight. To sum it up, my folks are managing rather well by themselves .

But the pace at which I had been working on my blog has slowed down significantly. Last 3-4 weeks, I was editing my old posts, redoing the pics of some of the recipes and rarely finding the time to post new ones. But this week I havn't really managed to get anything done. Except for this very basic recipe which is just an adaptation of our 'Janhi Alu posto'.

This recipe came to exist when I purchased a batch of the green aubergines (long ones) as I could not find any decent veggies at the neighbouring shop. I discovered that they are quite bland and even somewhat bitter in taste. Since I had to somehow use them, I cooked them with potato and poppy seeds paste. It improved their taste by a large extent and I was able to use up the entire batch over 2-3 meals.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup sliced aubergine ( I cut them into a half moon shape )
  • 1 medium sized potato ( chopped into small pieces )
  • 1 small onion ( chopped into medium sized bits )
  • 2 garlic flakes (crushed)
  • 1-2 dry red chili
  • 1/5 tsp pancha phutana
  • 2-3 pinch turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp mustard oil

For the paste -

  • 1-2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 garlic flakes 
  • 1 green chili ( only if you want it to be spicy. I skipped )

Preparation - Dry grind the poppy seeds in the small jar /chutney jar of your mixer. Then add garlic, green chili and a little bit of water. Grind into a somewhat coarse paste. Keep aside.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add broken red chili and pancha phutana. Once it gets spluttering, add the crushed garlic and allow it to turn golden brown.

The onion goes in next. Fry to a translucent.

Add the aubergine and potatoes. Cook on a medium - low flame till 70 percent done.

Now add the poppy seeds paste along with 1/3 cup water, salt and turmeric. Cook covered on low flame till all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from flame. Drizzle with a dash of mustard oil for better flavour.

Serve hot with white rice and dal.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The 15 Minute Meals Series - Post 1

Whether it is beating the morning rush or making more time for one self, 15 min meals can come handy on more than one occasions. Especially when one does not want to order from outside or reheat the Ready to Eat stuff. With a little amount of planning the previous night, one can easily prepare a tasty and nutritious meal like the one shown below.

For this post, I have put together a thali that consists of white rice, pulihora, fried okra, eggplant in yogurt and wholesome tikkis made with cracked wheat(daliya) and sweet potato. Read on how this can be done in 15 mins -

1. Overnight preparation -  Roast the cracked wheat. Peel and dice the sweet potato. Cook together in a pressure cooker with just enough water for 3 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Additionally, one can also peel the garlic and chop the onions, cilantro and green chilis.

2. Cooking rice and chopping veggies - While the rice is getting ready in a pressure cooker or rice cooker (takes abt 8 mins), slice the aubergines and slit the okra. Sprinkle salt on the veggies.

Take some of that boiled sweet potato and daliya mixture, add chopped green chili, onion, salt, garam masala and cilantro. Mash together and shape into tikkis (flat discs) .

Crush a few garlic pods with red chili powder and a pinch of salt. Rub it on the insides and all over the slit okras.

Take the yogurt in a bowl. Add salt and beat it.

3. Take a large skillet. Drizzle with oil. Place the tikkis on one side, the salted aubergines on another and finally the okras in the remaining space. Cooking everything together saves time hence use a cookware that is large enough to accommodate all three.

Heat another wok. Add some oil followed by mustard, green chili, asafoetida and curry leaves tempering. Remove some of it and add to the yogurt bowl. Throw in a few peanuts into the wok. Once they crackle, add tamarind water, jaggery and pulihora powder. Cook for 2 mins before adding the rice. Stir fry for 2-3 mins and pulihora is done.

By this time the tikkis and veggies would also be done. Allow the aubergines to cool for 4-5 mins before adding into the tempered yogurt.

Your delicious meal is ready !!

Have 5 extra mins at hand ?? Take some of that remaining sweet potato and cracked wheat mixture into a thick bottomed vessel. Add a little milk, sugar and ghee. Flavor with cardamom powder or saffron. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 mins for a delicious and very nutritious halwa !

If you looking for any specific recipe, please leave a comment on my blog or FB page and I will be happy to respond :) !

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Capsicum-Mushroom Stir Fry ( Shimla Maricha - Chattu bhaja)

My Odisha trip is coming to an end and the last of these days are turning out to be quite hectic. Hence I am not getting time to do much cooking apart from the regular meals. And I try and stick to quick and simple dishes whenever possible so that we can get more time to spend with family and friends.

This is a simple stir fry I made today with some capsicum and leftover mushroom fry ( simply fried with a bit of salt and turmeric ). Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup mushroom (chopped in small pieces)
  • 2/3 cup green capsicum (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 large onion (chopped into thin long pieces)
  • 2-3 green chilis (finely chopped)
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • 4 tsp mustard oil
  • 1/5 tsp salt or to taste

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the mushrooms along with turmeric and a little salt. Stir fry on high heat till the mushrooms no longer ooze water. Remove from wok and keep aside.

Add more oil to the wok. Add the chopped green chilis and onions. Fry till onions turn translucent.

Add the capsicum and the fried mushrooms. Adjust the salt and stir fry for a few minutes on high till the capsicum just starts to wilt.

Remove from the wok and serve hot with rice/rotis.

Click here for more delicious mushroom recipes !!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Special Alu Bharta

Had a very bad experience yesterday!!!! A very popular Odiya website 'http://recipe.fullodisha.com/'  is copying my images ( from very old posts ) and claiming it as own. While I duly sent them a message, they have not reverted back to me. Feel sad when people display a lack of spine. I have been working hard for the last 5 years trying to collect Odiya recipes from various people that I come across and showcase them as a part of our culture. This incident made me feel like going off the public platform. But then we do not throw away the tea cup if a fly falls into the tea. We discard the tea and start afresh. Hence will be 'water marking' all my pics thereafter. Hope this serves as a lesson for all bloggers.

For today, a special alu bharta that my mom used to prepare.............

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 large boiled potatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion ( chopped into mediun sized pieces )
  • 1/2 inch ginger (grated)
  • 1-2 dry red chilli (broken)
  • 1-2 green chilli (broken)
  • a pinch of jeera
  • a pinch of mustard seeds
  • 2 pinch curry powder ( or one can use meat masala /sambar powder - anything that you like )
  • a handful of peanut seeds ( my mom does not add it )
  • 2 1/2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Peel and slightly mash the potatoes.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok.

Add the peanuts and allow to crackle . Then add the mustard, cumin, red and green chillis. Fry for 5-6 seconds.

Add the onion and ginger. Fry till translucent.

Finally add the curry powder and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add the mashed potato and fry till it starts to leave the sides and come together.

Remove from wok.

Serve hot/warm with rice/roti/parantha.

Note - While adding sambar powder, my mom used to add a few curry leaves and some tomato. Though not authentic alu bharta, it tasted great.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Soya nuggets manchurian

So, my maid is on extended leave and hubby has to attend a dinner tonight. Not much cooking on the cards today. A wholesome pongal and stir fried beans for lunch, and panner paratha for dinner is sure to keep little one happy. Only I am in a mood for something spicy (and effortless at the same time). Too lazy to do the dishes later.

Quickly rummaging though the cupboards, I discover a box of Nutrela soya nuggets staring balefully at me. 'Oh! I did not know we had soya at home', I exclaimed. Quickly turning it over, I check the date on the packaging. Still good. Maybe I got it just after coming back from BBSR and it has been lying unused all the while. A quick recipe demonstrated by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor on 'Khana Khazana' is still fresh in my mind. So, 'Soya Nuggets Manchurian' it is got to be.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1 cup soya nuggets
  • 1/2 of a small capsicum
  • 2 tbsp spring onions chopped
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp chilli sauce
  • 2-3 green chillis
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Cooking - Cook the soya chunks in a pressure cooker on HIGH flame for 1 whistle. Remove, allow steam to escape and open lid. Drain off the water and wash 2-3 times in fresh water. Squeeze out all the water.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add the soya nuggets. 

Add salt, 1/2 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp chilli sauce and salt to taste.

Carefully sprinkle 1/2 tsp of corn flour uniformly over the nuggets and add just a sprinkle of water.

Toss well to coat all the nuggets. Remove from pan and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add the chopped onions and fry till a little translucent.

Add chopped ginger and garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes till they darken a bit.

Add the soya sauce, chilli sauce, vinegar and tomato sauce along with 1/2 cup water.

Once it gets to a boil, add the soya nuggets. Boil for 2 minutes.

Add chopped capsicum and half of the spring onion whites.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1/3 cup water and add to it. Allow the gravy to thicken/reduce as you prefer it.

Adjust salt. 

Garnish with spring onion greens . Serve hot with white rice.

Note - Add more cornflour if you want thick gravy.  Similarly, increase the amount of tomato sauce for more sweetness.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dal Rozana (Harada Dali Recipe)

When I am neither fasting nor feasting, I prefer simple meals. A piping hot pot meal with some raita or rice/roti with dal, stir fried vegetables and roasted papad/pickle is enough to make my day. As i usually chop and store the vegetables on the weekends and use pressure cooker for cooking both the rice and dal, the meals take minimum time and effort. ( Tip for bachelors - In order to save time, use a separator to make the rice and dal at the same time. I used to do the same during my bachelor days.)

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 12-15 mins

Ingredients - 1 cup toor/arhar/harada dal, 1 small onion, 1/3 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1 medium sized tomato, 1 tbs chopped coriander roots, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 whole red chillis, 1/5 tsp asafoetida, 2 tsp oil, 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt to taste. (Optional-1 tbs coriander leaves for garnishing)

Preparation - Wash and clean the toor dal under running water. Keep is soaked for 2 hours.

Chop onion into thin long pieces. Finely chop the tomato.

Cooking - Transfer the toor dal to a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups water, salt and turmeric.

Close the lid and cook for 2 whistles on medium flame. Remove from flame and allow steam to escape before opening lid. Take a heavy spoon and swish it around to smoothen the dal.

Heat the oil in a tempering/tadka pan. Add broken red chilli, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once seeds start spluttering add the onions followed by the ginger garlic paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes and coriander shoots. Fry till the tomatoes soften a bit.

Add the asafoetida and fry for 5 seconds. Pour it over the contents of the pressure cooker.

Put the pressure cooker over a low flame and allow the contents to come to a boil.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice/rotis.

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