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Monday, 29 December 2014

Rajma & Kabuli Chana Stir Fry (Kidney Beans & Garbanzo Beans)


          These beans stir fry is not only nutritious, but at the same time it is healthy and packed with full of proteins and fibre. Quite filling, they can be had on its own, as a side dish or with chapattis.

         It is cooked dry but they can also be had as a salad with a sprinkle of salt, pepper powder and curry leaves powder. The addition of dill leaves gives a completely new flavour and a dash of lime towards the end gives a zing to this dish.





  • 1/2 cup Rajma (Kidney Beans), boiled
  • 1/2 cup kabuli chana (Garbanzo Beans). boiled
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. curry leaves powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup dill leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. of lime juice
  • lemon wedges & a sprig of dill leaves to garnish


          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the asafoetida. onions. green chilies and garlic. Saute till light brown.

          Now add the boiled Rajma, Kabuli Chana, salt and turmeric powder. Saute for a minute or two on medium flame.

          Add the curry leaves powder, lime juice and the chopped dill leaves. Saute for a few seconds till well combined. Serve, garnished with a sprig of dill leaves and lemon wedges.








Sausage Roll Snacks


          Sausage Roll Snacks are very popular and a favourite one too with the kids. They can be made in various combinations. In this recipe, I used a filling of sliced onion and bell peppers, tomato sauce, mayonnaise and with a sprinkle of some pepper powder. They can be served as perfect evening snacks or can be included in any home-party menu.





  • 3/4 cup atta (wheat flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 sausages
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers, sliced
  • oil to shallow fry


          Knead a dough with the atta, salt to taste and required quantity of water. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and shallow fry the sausages till light brown on all sides. Drain and keep aside.

          Divide the dough into equal portions and roll out each portion into a chapatti. Heat a tawa / griddle and shallow fry the chapattis with a tsp. of oil for each chapatti, on both the sides.

          Pour 1/3 of the beaten egg over one side of the chapatti and move in a circular motion so that it spreads all over. Flip it over and cook for a minute till done. Keep aside. Fry the remaining of the chapattis is the same manner.

          To assemble, spread a tbsp. of the mayonnaise on each of the chapattis. Place a sausage, followed by some chopped onion, bell peppers, a sprinkle of pepper powder and tomato sauce. Roll it over around a piece of foil and serve.





Sunday, 28 December 2014

Delicious Cheese Dosa Snack (South Indian Breakfast)


          
         These are delicious Dosa snack filled with cheese. A hot favourite with the kids, they are also relished equally by all. You can let your imaginations run wild with the filling. Here I have sprinkled some idli podi and chopped coriander leaves over the cheese.

         Grated paneer, crushed kasuri methi, grated carrot, chopped spring onion, etc. too can be added for the filling. They are best served, cut into small bite size pieces along with some tomato sauce rather than with the usual chutneys. They can also be had as appetizers, evening snack or any light meal. So check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.





  • Dosa batter as required
  • grated cheese as required
  • idli podi / curry leaves podi as required
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • oil to shallow fry






          Heat 1/2 tsp. oil in a pan and sprinkle some water over it. After it sizzles off,  pour a ladle of the dosa batter. Spread it into a round circle with the back of the ladle.

          Spread some cheese over it followed by some idli podi and chopped coriander leaves. Cook on a low flame till one side is lightly browned. Roll it over and serve with some chutney or sauce.





                   Pour a ladle of the dosa batter. Spread it into a round circle with the back of 
                   the ladle. Spread some cheese over it followed by some idli podi and chopped                                    coriander leaves.




                               Cook on a low flame till one side is lightly browned. 




                               Roll it over and cut into small pieces if desired.




                               Serve with some chutney or sauce.












Turkey Ham Sandwich


          These quick and easy Turkey Ham Sandwiches are a great treat for a quick meal on the go. Mustard sauce or tomato sauce can be replaced instead of mayo. Few slices of cucumber and bell peppers can also be added for the filling. These also serves as a light lunch or dinner. Great for outdoors for any picnic or lunch box meals too. Turkey Ham can also be replaced by Chicken Salami.





  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 slices of Turkey ham
  • 2-3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • shredded lettuce leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp. cheese, grated
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter


          Heat oil in a pan and saute the Turkey Ham for a few seconds on both the sides till it is lightly browned. Keep aside.

          Spread mayonnaise on the bread slices and keep aside. To assemble, take a slice of bread and place lettuce leaves over it followed by 2 slices of the turkey ham.

          Then place the tomato slices and sprinkle cheese and pepper. Place another bread slice on top of it. Heat 1 tsp. butter in a pan and heat the sandwich through on both sides. Slice in half and serve.














Saturday, 27 December 2014

Pasta In Tomato Sauce (Italian Cuisine)


          This is an Italian classic dish of Pasta in Tomato Sauce. I usually prepare the sauce before hand and keep it refrigerated so that I can dish out this one pot meal at a short notice. For a non-veg. version, you can add chicken / mutton mince or some sausages. Spaghetti too can be used in the place of paste or macaroni. Either ways, it tastes simply delicious.





  • 1 cup pasta, boiled al dente
  • 1/4 cup water in which it was boiled
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp. cheese, grated
  • 1 bay leaf


          Heat oil in a pan and saute the bay leaf, onion and garlic till translucent. Add the tomato puree, salt and pepper  and saute till oil leaves the sides of the pan.

          Add the boiled pasta and the water in which it was boiled. Simmer for 2 minutes. Serve, garnished with the grated cheese.









Thursday, 25 December 2014

Sri Lankan Mutton Curry


          This is a traditional hot and spicy Lamb curry cooked in the Sri Lankan style. It is very delicious and full of flavour. Cooked with coconut milk, this dish can be had either with rice or chapattis. It is a very simple and an easy preparation where the mutton can be marinated with all the required spices the previous night to save time,

          



  • 500 gms Mutton on bones
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp. red chili powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted  coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • coriander leaves to garnish


          Marinate the mutton with ingredients starting from ginger-garlic paste to lemon zest overnight preferably.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the fenugreek seeds. Allow it to splutter and then add the onion, green chilies and the curry leaves. Saute till light brown in colour.

          Now add the marinated mutton and continue to saute on low flame till dry. Add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 20-25 minutes on low flame after the first whistle.

          When cool, open the lid and add the coconut milk. Simmer on med flame for two to three minutes till the gravy thickens a bit. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.











Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Macher Chop (Fish Cutlet - Bengali Style)


          Macher Chop or Fish Cutlet is a very simple and an easy to prepare recipe, that serves as perfect appetizers in any in-house party. They are usually made with Rohu or Bhetki fillet. They are coated with egg wash and bread crumbs and deep fried. 

          Potatoes can be used for the binding, but here I have used some brown bread and paneer. A very favourite snack, they are a common sight in almost all street corners in Kolkata. These yummy snacks are relished with ketchup and some onions as accompaniment.










  • 1 1/2  cups fish fillet, boiled & flaked
  • 2-3 tbsp. paneer, grated
  • 3 brown bread, soaked in water for a few seconds & squeezed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • oil to deep fry





          In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients, except oil, egg and bread crumbs. Divide into equal portions and shape each into small round balls. Refrigerate for an hour.

          Dip each of the balls in the egg and coat with the bread crumbs. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the chops, few at a time till golden brown in colour. Drain on a paper napkin and serve, hot with tomato ketchup.






















Chicken Noodles


          This is a very simple and an easy noodles stir fry with chicken. An universal favourite, there are many versions to preparing noodles. It is adapted according to individual preference and taste. It is a healthy and nutritious dish which has lots of veggies and chicken in it. Best had as a meal in itself any time of the day.





  • 1 pack of noodles, boiled al dente
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8-10 french beans, sliced finely
  • 1/4 cup carrot, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 dry red chily, broken into half
  • 2-3 tbsp. red chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp. oil


          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and saute the chicken till light brown. Drain and keep aside. Heat the remaining oil and saute the red chili and garlic till they changes colour.

          Add onion, carrot and beans and saute for a minute. Then add the spring onion (leaving some for garnishing) and saute further for a minute.

          Now add the noodles, salt, pepper, sauce and the fried chicken. Continue to saute for a minute or two till well combined. Serve, garnished with chopped spring onions.













Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Calamari / Squid Stir Fry


          This is a simple Calamari Stir fry which goes very well as a side dish with either rice or chapatti. Green olives are optional but if added, adds a slightly different taste to the dish. Cooked just with garlic, onion, salt and pepper, this dish tastes simply divine. Not to forget a dash of lime as a garnish.





  • 250 gms Calamari / squid, cut into roundels
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. plain flour (maida)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 4-5 green olives, sliced (opt)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 bsp. lime juice

          Mix the calamari with the flour, salt, pepper, olives and coriander leaves. Heat oil and saute the garlic till it changes colour.

          Then add the onion and fry till light brown. Now add the calamari mix and continue to saute on low flame for 10 minutes. Serve with a dash of lime.









Spanish Paella (A Rice Dish Cooked With Prawns, Chicken & Sausages)


          Paella is a signature dish of Spain. It is rice cooked with prawns, sausages and chicken or any sea food. It is gently simmered in low flame in chicken / fish stock and flavoured with saffron. It is served, garnished with tomatoes, bell pepper and lime wedges.

          It is a very delicious and a healthy one pot meal. There are many versions to this dish and can be cooked in various ways like seafood Paella or mixed paella. A special kind of rice called Arborio rice is used to cook Paella, but in the absence of it I used short grain rice.







  • 1 cup Arborio rice / any short grain rice
  • 1 cup boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup medium size prawns 
  • 1/2 cup sausages, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, grated
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron
  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 2 1/2  cups chicken stock / fish stock or as required
  • chopped parsely to garnish
  • chopped tomatoes to garnish
  • lime wedges to garnish






          Heat 1 tsp. oil in a non stick pan and saute the chicken cubes till light brown. Keep aside. Heat 1 tsp. more oil and fry the prawns and saute till it changes colour. Drain and keep aside.

          Heat 1 tsp. oil and saute the sausages till light brown in colour. keep aside. Heat the remaining oil and saute the onion and garlic till translucent.

          Now add the rice and bay leaves and saute for 2 minutes till the rice turns translucent. Add the stock, saffron, salt, chili flakes, half of the fried chicken, prawns and sausages. Simmer on low flame till the rice is cooked. Add more stock / water if required.

          When done, arrange the prawns, peas, chicken, sausages and the bell peppers over the rice and keep it covered for 15 minutes. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley, tomatoes and lime wedges.
















Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sri Lankan Egg Curry


          For all the Egg lovers, here is a delicious Egg Curry in the Sri Lankan style. It is more or less like any other egg curry. But the only addition is the coconut milk and the dry fish flakes. 
Instead, I added some fresh prawns which I shallow fried and ground to a paste. This curry is simply yummy and spicy too, which can be relished with either steamed rice, appam or idiyappam.





  • 3-4 eggs, boiled & shelled
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Maldive fish flakes / dried fish washed well and ground
  • 1 cup ccoconut milk
  • coriander leaves to garnish



          Prick the boiled eggs all over with a fork. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and shallow fry them till light brown in colour. Keep aside.

          Heat the remaining oil and temper with the bay leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds. Allow it to splutter.

          Then add the onion and saute till brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, fried fish paste and all the dry masalas mixed with a little water. Saute well till the oil separates from the sides of the pan.

          Add the tomatoes and fry till well mashed up. Add the coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, curry leaves and green chilies and bring it to a boil.

          Gently drop the fried eggs and simmer, covered on low flame till the gravy is slightly thick. Serve with plain steamed rice,  garnished with coriander leaves.




       






Thursday, 18 December 2014

Shukto (Veggie Curry with Bitter gourd - Bengali style)


          Shukto is a traditional Bengali cuisine and is considered as a delicacy. This is a mixed vegetable curry which has a fair amount of bitter gourd in it. It is cooked into a mustard and milk based gravy. It is mildly spiced with the addition of one whole dry red chilly and tempered with the Panch Phoron, the popular Bengali five spice.

         Drumstick, french beans, eggplants and carrots too can be added. It is served with hot steamed rice at the beginning of a full course meal as it is believed that the bitterness helps in purifying the blood.






  • 1 cup raddish, diced
  • 1 cup green plantain, diced
  • 1 cup green papaya, diced
  • 7-8 broad beans, chopped into half
  • 1 cup yam, diced
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup bitter gourd, sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 6-7 bori (lentil dumplings / mangodi / vadials)
  • 1 whole dry red chilly
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantity of fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek & nigella seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. mustard paste / kasundi
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (opt)





          Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the bori till golden brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. In the same oil fry the sliced bitter gourd till light golden brown and keep aside.

          Heat the remaining of the oil and temper with the dry red chilly, bay leaves and the panch phoron.

          After it stops spluttering, add the chopped veggies and saute on low flame for 5-7 minutes till light brown. Add  11/2 cups water, fried bori, salt and turmeric powder.

          Cover and cook on low flame till the veggies turns soft and the gravy is slightly reduced. Now add the milk, ghee, sugar and mustard paste. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and serve with steamed rice.






       




Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Dahi Bhalla (Fried Lentil Dumplings In Yoghurt - North Indian Style)


          A North Indian delicacy, 'Dahi Bhalla' or 'Dahi Vada' is an universal favourite. There are many versions to it. It is served in South India too but with a different name - 'Curd Vadai' minus the chutneys. My personal favourite, I can never get tired of it.

         They are not only light on the stomach, but is also a very nutritious and a healthy snack. It is basically vadas or dumplings made of soaked urad dal (split black gram), deep fried and served dunked in beaten yogurt, green chutney, tamarind sweet chutney, coriander leaves, etc.








  • 1 cup urad dal (split black gram), soaked overnight
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 cup yoghurt, beaten with some salt
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves, choppd
  • 1 tbsp. aloo bhujia (opt)
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil to deep fry

Green Chutney-

  • 2 cups of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilly
  • salt to taste

Tamarind Chutney-

  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. roasted cumin powder








 For the Green chutney, grind all the following ingredients from coriander leaves to salt to taste with very little water into a paste. Keep aside.

          For the Tamarind chutney, mix together the tamarind paste, sugar, cumin powder and the chili powder along with some water. Keep aside.

          Grind the soaked urad dal, ginger and green chilies into a smooth  batter by adding some water. Add salt and asafoetida and mix the batter well. This makes the vadas very soft.

          Heat oil in a pan. Take some batter on your palm and give it a patty shape . Slide them gently in the hot oil and fry on low flame till golden in colour. Drain on a paper napkin and immediately drop them in water for 20 minutes.

          Then squeeze them between your palms and keep aside. Now to serve,  place the vadas on a plate and pour the beaten yoghurt over it.

          Then add the coriander chutney, tamarind chutney, roasted cumin powder and red chili powder. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and aloo bhujia.



   

















Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Handvo (Steamed Semolina Cake - Gujarati Style)


          Handvo is a traditional and a healthy Gujarati snack, which can be either had as an appetizer, tea-time snack or for breakfast. It can be cooked through various methods - by baking, steaming or pan frying. This is the steaming method.
         
         It is generally cooked with rice-lentils combo, but I went in for semolina which is an instant version. Lauki / bottle gourd is traditionally added to the batter, but I tried out with green papaya. So if you are craving for some nutritious snack, then go ahead and prepare this simple fare by following a step by step guide with pictures.








  • 3/4 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 2 tbsp. besan (gram flour)
  • 3/4 cup green papaya, grated
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1/ 4 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt
  • chopped coriander leaves and grated fresh coconut to garnish





          In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients from sooji to kasuri methi. Add required quantity of water to make it into a thick batter.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops popping, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and sesame seeds. Saute for a few seconds and switch off the gas.

          Pour half of this mix to the batter and mix well. Just before steaming, add the eno fruit salt and combine well. Pour the batter onto a greased steel container.

          Steam in a pressure cooker (without the vent), in a steamer or in a deep pan for 10 minutes on high flame and 5 minutes on a low flame. (Make sure to pour some water in the pan and place the container over a stand or a small vessel).

          When cool, cut into desired shapes and pour the remaining tempering on the handvo. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and grated coconut.




                In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients from sooji to kasuri methi. Add 
                required quantity of water to make it into a thick batter.



                 Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops popping, add the                              asafoetida, curry leaves and sesame seeds. Saute for a few seconds and switch 
                 off the gas. Pour half of this mix to the batter and mix well. Just before steaming, 
                 add the eno fruit salt and combine well. 





                                Pour the batter onto a greased steel container.



                  Steam in a pressure cooker (without the vent), in a steamer or in a deep pan 
                  for 10 minutes on high flame and 5 minutes on a low flame. 




                               When cool, flip it over on a serving plate. 




               Cut into desired shapes and pour the remaining tempering on the handvo. Serve,                               garnished with coriander leaves and grated coconut.







       







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