Masaledaar Kala Chana Curry/ Black chickpeas

Hindi Video

 English video

Kala chana is a variant of chickpeas and is widely used in the Indian cuisine. Its high protein content makes it very desirable, especially to those wishing to lose weight. Its soup is very healthy and is recommended for quick energy. This can be made either dry or as a curry.

Ingredients:

Kala Chana/Black chickpeas (1 cup)

Split Bengal Gram (1 1/2 tbsp)

Water ( As required)

Oil (2 tbsp)

Desi Ghee (1 tsp)

Bay Leaves ( small 2)

Cumin Seeds (2 tsp)

Turmeric Powder (1/3 tsp)

Coriander Powder (3/4 tsp)

Red Chili Powder ( 1/3 tsp / as per choice)

Salt (1 tsp/ as per choice) Garam Masala (1/2 tsp)

Ginger garlic Paste (1tbsp)

Tomatoes (chopped 3/4 cup)

Onions (chopped 3/4 cup)

Coriander leaves ( for garnishing)

Method:

1. Soak kala chana and dal in 3 cups of water for 10 hours.

2. Drain and discard the water.

3. In a pressure cooker, warm 1 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds. Add bay leaves and fry till cumin is nicely fried.

4. Add all spices except garam masala.

5. Add drained chanas and dal, and fry for 2 minutes.

6. Cover cooker with a lid and allow steam to build up to maximum ( or 2 whistles in a conventional cooker).

7. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 20 minutes. Allow natural release of pressure.

8. In a pan, warm 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp desi ghee.

9. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté.

10. Add onions and fry till golden brown.

11. Add tomatoes, mix and cover with a lid.

12. Keep stirring after every few seconds.

13. Saute till the tomatoes are soft and oil leaves the sides of the masala.

14. Add a tbsp of water. Switch off the heat and allow to cool.

15. Blend the masala in a mixer. Blend till neither very fine, nor very coarse.

16. Add the blended masala to the boiled chanas. Add garam masala and few chopped cilantro leaves.

17. Cook for a few minutes, till gravy is desired consistency. If need be, add more water to achieve desired quantity of gravy.

18. Serve garnished with onion rings and chopped cilantro leaves.

Enjoy with roti, poori, paratha, naan or rice.

Advertisements

Tomato Soup with a twist/Hot and cold soup

Orange and tomato soup is a very healthy, nutritious, versatile soup that can be served both, cold and hot. Serve it hot as an appetizing soup or a light curry with rice , else serve it chilled as a welcome drink.

Ingredients:

Butter (2 tbsp)
Bay Leaves (2small)
Cinnamon stick(1 small)
Onions (coarsely chopped 1 cup)
Potatoes (diced 1 cup)
Tomatoes (coarsely chopped 4 cups)( You may use frozen tomatoes as well)
Orange Juice (½ cup)
Orange Zest (1 tsp)
Salt (2 1/2 tsp or as per taste)
Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
Water/ Chicken stock/Vegetable stock (1 ½ cup or as per desired consistency)
Sugar (1 ½ tbsp)
Tomato Ketchup( 2tsp optional)

Method:

1. Set a pan to heat at medium.
2. Melt butter, and add bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Saute .
3. Add onions and fry till they turn transparent.
4. Add potatoes and cook for a minute.
5. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, orange juice, orange zest, and water/stock.
6. Transfer to a pressure cooker, and cover the lid.
7. Once pressure builds to a maximum, reduce heat to low and pressure cook for 7 minutes.
8. Allow natural release of pressure.
9. Uncover the cooker. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
10. Blend to a smooth puree. If blending in a mixer allow to cool a little before blending.
11. Transfer back to the cooker ( now rinsed) and heat.
12. Add sugar and ketchup. Mix well, and bring to a rapid boil
Serve piping hot garnished with cilantro/ orange slices/ cream/ croutons.
OR serve chilled garnished with mint leaves and orange slices.
To cook in a pan:
A. Begin with chopping onions, potatoes, and tomatoes small in size so that they cook faster.
B. Proceed as in method given above till point 5. Add an extra cup of water/stock. Cover the pan with a lid.
C. Allow to come to a rapid boil and reduce heat to low-medium.
D. Stir once every few minutes for even cooking.
E. Cook till all the veggies become very soft and mushy (approximately 20-25 minutes.
F. Uncover the pan and allow to cool a little, before blending.
G. Proceed as in point 12 above.
soup grid for fb

Fresh Ginger and Green Chili Pickle

Ginger Chili fresh pickle is a jackpot pickle!! It not only enhances the taste of food with its tangy and mildly hot and gingery flavor, but also helps in the digestion of food by promoting release of digestive enzymes.  It also acts as a detoxifying agent. By de-toxifying our taste buds, it helps them become more effective and we are able to enjoy true flavors of food. This takes only a few minutes to put together, and gets ready to be enjoyed in a few hours.

Ingredients:

Ginger (150 g or as required)

Green chilies (a few) (optional)

Lemon Juice ( 2 tbsp)

Salt (1 tsp)

Method

  1. Peel, wash, and dry the ginger pieces. Cut them in to juliennes
  2. Wash and dry green chilies. Cut off the stem and slit lengthwise in to two halvesIMG_0050
  3. Transfer juliennes and green chilies to an air-tight glass jarIMG_0096.JPG
  4. Add salt and lemon juice.  ginger blog 1ginger blog 2
  5. Close the lid and shake the jar well.ginger blog 3
  6. Store at room temperature on the kitchen shelf.
  7. Pickle is ready to be enjoyed within a dayginger blog 4ginger blog 5
  8. The pickle will last for 5-7 days. Shake the jar two to three times everyday so that the juliennes stay juicy.

 

 

Masala Chana Dal Khichdi (made in a pan)

Masala Chana Dal Khichdi is a spicy peppy version of khichdi made in a pan. No pressure cooker is required for cooking this. Khichdi is a one-pot meal made with the combination of rice and lentils. A great way to enjoy a protein rich food in your meals any time of the day!!

 

 

Ingredients:
Rice 1 cup
Bengal Split Gram (Chana Dal) ½ cup
Water 3 ¼ cup
Oil 3 tbsp
Ginger Paste (1 tbsp)
Bay Leaves (2)
Cinnamon Stick/dalchini  (1) small
Cumin (Jeera) 2 tsp
Sliced Onions 1 cup
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Kashmiri Lal Mirch 1tsp
Green Chili (2)
Coriander powder (1 ½ tsp)
Hot Red Chili Powder (3/4 tsp)
Salt (1 ½ tsp)
Garam Masala (3/4 tsp)
Lemon Juice ( 1 tbsp)
Fresh Coriander Leaves (handful)

Preparations:
Wash and soak chana dal for atleast 4 hours
Wash and soak rice for maximum 15 minutes ( Practically to be soaked just before starting cooking)
Cooking:
1. Set a wide pan to heat at medium on the large burner of gas stove.
2. Add oil and let warm.
3. Add bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Saute.
4. Add cumin seeds and allow to crackle. Reduce heat to low.
5. Add turmeric powder, and sauté.
6. Add all spices and sauté.
7. Add soaked and drained chana dal, and roast for a minute.
8. Add soaked and drained rice and roast for 2 minutes.
9. Add water. Increase heat and cover with a lid in such a way that there is space for excess steam to escape.
10. Once water boils, reduce heat to low, and allow it to cook for 10 minutes.
11. Add cilantro leaves and lemon juice. Toss gently.
12. Cook for 2 more minutes.
13. Switch off the heat when little water is left. Keep the lid on, and move away the pan from the hot burner.
14. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Optional: You may temper with hot desi ghee to which whole red chillis/ green chilis have been added.
Enjoy Masala Chana Dal Khichdi with pickles, green chilies, chopped onions, curd or a dash of lemon juice.

Homemade Cough Drops (No chemical preservatives, no corn syrup)

Homemade cough drops are free of chemical preservatives, added colors or any added flavors. These are made of natural ingredients in a  sugar based syrup. These ingredients are usually available in most home kitchens. Chew on these drops for soothing relief from cough and dry throat.

Ingredients

A. For the syrup

Ginger juice (3-4 tbsp)

Honey (1 tbsp)

Sugar (1 cup)

Water (1/2 cup)

Cinnamon Stick small/ Cinnamon powder (1 tsp)

Licorice stick/powder (1 tbsp) (optional but highly recommended)

Cloves (6)/clove powder (1/5 tsp) (optional)

Black peppercorns (5)/ Black pepper powder (1/5 tsp)(optional)

Turmeric Powder (1/6 tsp) (optional)

Star Anise (1) (optional)

Lemon juice (1 tbsp) (optional

B. For coating:

Powdered sugar (2 tsp)

Dry Ginger Powder (1 tsp) optional

Cinnamon Powder (1 tsp) optional

 

Method:

  1. Set a thick bottomed pan to heat at medium.
  2. Add sugar and water. Melt sugar.
  3. Add all ingredients marked for syrup, except honey. Adjust heat so that the syrup keeps boiling. Keep stirring so that the sugar doesn’t burn.cough drop image for blog 1
  4. Cook the syrup till a hard ball stage is reached. Immediately remove from gas stove, but keep stirring.cough drop for blog 2
  5. Once syrup is warm, add honey. Stir in well.
  6. Drop small quantities (1/2 tsp) of syrup on a parchment paper/butter paper/wax paper/ greased plate/greased aluminium foil.cough drop blog 4IMG_E4944
  7. Mix the three powders marked for coating.
  8. Sprinkle little powder on each drop.cough drop blog 5
  9. Allow to set. It takes 15-20 minutes for the drops to set.cough drop blog 6
  10. Store cough drops in an air-tight container.

IMG_0029

Chew on these cough drops whenever you have a dry throat or having a bout of cough. This would give soothing relief.

 

Egg Paratha (Traditional style)(Tips for a puffed-up paratha without spilling out of egg)

Ingredients: (for 4 parathas)

Whole wheat flour dough ( with 1 cup flour)

Whole wheat flour (for tossing and rolling)

Eggs (4)

Salt

Red chili powder

Garam Masala

Ghee/oil

Method:

  1. Roll a ball of dough to 3-4 inches diameter.
  2. Apply ghee at the center.
  3. Sprinkle generous pinch of flour over the ghee.
  4. Sprinkle salt, chili powder, garam masala or any spices of your choice.
  5. Pull together the edges and close the ball.
  6. Roll to a disc of 5-6 inches diameter.
  7. Transfer to the tawa warmed at medium heat.
  8. In a bowl, beat an egg and add spices/herbs as per choice.
  9. Puff up the paratha when it is partially cooked, and make an opening in the paratha.
  10. Drop in the egg mix into the paratha through the opening.
  11. Let egg cook inside the paratha. Cook and fry on both sides.

Serve hot!

Notes:

Notes:
1. It is not essential to roll the dough on a rolling board. You may roll it on the clean kitchen shelf.
2. You could stuff a variety of finely chopped food items along with the egg. eg. onions, green chilli, beans, carrots, jalapenos, spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, or grated cheese.
3. You could spice up the paratha by adding crushed black pepper, chilli flakes, or chaat masala. You could also add herbs like oregano, rosemary,or dill.
4. You may choose to stuff in less/ more egg in each paratha.

Spinach and Corn Rice

Ingredients:

Rice (1 cup)

Spinach leaves (3 cup)

Corn (¾ cup)

Onions (chopped ¾ cup)

Desi ghee/ Unsalted butter (1 ½ tbsp)

Oil (1 tsp)

Water (2 cups+ 3 cups)

Salt (1 tsp+ ¾ tsp+ 1/5 tsp)

Cumin Seeds ( 1 tsp heaped)

Red Chili Powder (1/4 tsp)

Turmeric Powder ( a pinch)

Coriander Powder ( 1 tsp)

Garam Masala (1/3 tsp)

Walnuts/Almonds for garnishing

 

Method:

  1. Soak rice in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain.

2. Boil 3 cups of water. Add 1 tsp salt and strained rice. Add 1 tsp oil.

3. Stir and partially cover with a lid.

4. Boil until 90% cooked (approximately 4 minutes)

5. Strain and leave uncovered so that surface moisture evaporate.

6. Set a big pan to heat at medium.

7. Add desi ghee, reduce heat and let ghee melt.

8. Add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.

9. Add turmeric powder

10. Add onions. Sauté till pink.

11. Add coriander pwder, red chili powder. Saute.

12. Add chopped spinach. Mix.

13. Add corn. Mix. Stir fry for two minutes.

14. Add strained cooked rice.

15. Toss gently till mixed thoroughly.

16.Add garam masala. Mix

17.Cover with a lid, and cook till done (approximately 1 minute)

img_6148-new

18. Serve hot garnished with chopped walnuts/ almonds!