Leftover Plain White Rice get a spicy makeover

Ingredients:

Oil   2 tsp

Desi ghee  2 tsp

Cumin Seeds  2 tsp

Whole dry red chillies  (2)

Onions, finely chopped  3/4 cup

Ginger Paste 2 tsp

Tomato Puree  3/4 cup

Water  2 cup

Salt  to taste

Red chili  powder   1/5 tsp

Coriander Powder ( 1 tsp, heaped)

Cilantro leaves, chopped. a handful (for garnishing)

Method:

1. Set a nonstick pan to heat at medium
2. To the warm pan, add two teaspoon desi ghee and two teaspoon oil
3. To the warm oil and ghee, add two tsp cumin seeds
4. Once the cumin crackles, add two whole dry red chillis (torn into two)
5. Saute for a few seconds until the chilli changes color
6. Add 3/4 cup finely chopped onions. Saute until pink
7. Add two tsp ginger paste
8. Mix and saute until golden brown
9. Add 1/3 of a whole vadi broken into pieces. Fry with onions. Saute for a few seconds
10. Add t3/4  cup tomato puree
11. Saute until the mix starts oozing out oil
12. Add half tsp turmerick powder. Reduce heat to low
13. Add one fifth tsp chilli powder
14. Add one tsp kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix and saute for a few seconds
15. Add one heaped tsp coriander powder
16. Add half tsp salt. Mix.
17. Add two cups of water and mix. Increase heat to medium and bring it to boil.
18. Reduce heat to low-medium
19. Add two cups of leftover cooked white rice to the gravy. Stir
20. Cover with a lid. Cook for five minutes
21. Add chopped cilantro leaves
22. Serve hot.
Tips*
1. If you are not using vadi, spice up the rice using cumin powder, black pepper powder, and garam masala.
2. Adjust the salt and the spices depending on taste.
3. Works best with cold rice.
4. If the tomatoes are very sour, use half a cup of tomato puree

 

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Watermelon rind sweet and spicy chutney

Ingredients

Watermelon rind (grated) 275 g

Oil  1 1/2 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

Whole red chillis (split in two)  (3 or as per taste)

Kashmiri red chili powder  3/4 tsp

Ginger garlic paste  2tbsp

Salt 1/2 tsp

Water 3/4 cup

Method

  1. Set a non-stick pan to heat at medium
  2. Add oil and let it warm up.watermelon chutney pic 7
  3. Add cumin seeds and allow to crackle. Reduce heat to lowwatermelon chutney pic 8
  4. Add split whole red chillis and fry for a few minuteswatermelon chutney pic 9
  5. Add kashmiri red chili powder and fry few secondswatermelon chutney pic 11
  6. Add ginger garlic paste and frywatermelon chutney pic 12
  7. Add grated watermelon rind, water and salt. Cook at low-medium heatwatermelon chutney pic 14watermelon chutney pic 16watermelon chutney ic 17
  8. Cover with a lid and cook. Keep stirring after every half a minutewatermelon chutney pic 17
  9.  After 20 minutes add sugar. Cook with out lidwatermelon chutney pic 18
  10. Keep tossing after every few seconds till it starts oozing out oilwatermelon chutney pic 19
  11. Switch off heat, and remove pan from the gas stove
  12. Let cool on the kitchen shelf. WATERMELON RIND CHUTNEY IS READY!
  13. Transfer chutney to an air-tight container and refrigerate
  14. Enjoy with roti, paratha, poori, kachori, bread, or any namkeen

NOTES

  1. You may leave some pulp of watermelon on to the rind in case you are preparing chutney right after cutting the watermelonwatermelon chutney pic 1
  2.  The green portion of the rind has to be peeled off 

    3. Do not make chutney in ghee/butter

    4. Ginger garlic paste has to be roasted very little..no browning

5. The chutney will stay good in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks

6. I have not added any souring agent to make the chutney sweet and spicy.

For sweet and sour chutney you may add a souring agent (I personally do not like the souring agent in this chutney. I find it tastes best as sweet and spicy chutney)

 

 

Panori : Anti-gravity cooking

Ingredients:

Whole/Split Mung beans (also called dal) 250 g / 1 1/4 cup US measuring cup
Ginger ( 11/2 inch long piece)
Garlic (4-5 thick pods)
Green Chili (2)
Salt (as required) ( I would use 1 1/4 tsp salt for this quantity)
Water (as required for blending) ( i used 1 1/2 tbsp water for blending)
Hing/asafoetida (a pinch, optional)
For serving:
Desi ghee/clarified butter (optional)
Sauce/ pickle/spicy powder of your choice (optional)
Toppings for panori pizza (onion, tomatoes, mushroom, paneer, baby corn, corn , pineapple) (optional)

Method:

1. Soak mung beans in enough water for 7-8 hoursPanori snapshot 1
2. Drain away excess water from soaked beansPanori snapshot 3 jpg
3. Blend beans with ginger, garlic and green chilis to form a thick paste/batter
4. Allow the batter to rest for a few hours (optional)Panori snapshot 4
5. Set a pan with 3 cups of water to heat at high. Use the biggest burner of your gas stove.Panori snapshot 14
6. Allow water to come to a complete boil.
7. Add salt to the batter and mix well.Panori snapshot 5
8. Spread 2 heaped tbsp of batter on the back side of a heat resistant dry plate/tray/thaliPanori snapshot 8
9. Set this plate on the pan in such a way that the batter is directly facing steam.

10. Steam for 7 minutes.
11. Check for doneness by inserting a knife in to the steamed batter which is now called ‘panori’. If knife comes out clean means panori is ready.Panori snapshot 18
12. Cut in to pieces. Spread little desi ghee over the ‘panori’ for that extra delicate taste! Serve hot!

13. Make panori pizza by spreading your favorite sauce and toppings over panori. Serve hot!
Notes:
1. Use as little water as possible to make the paste
2. Use a cylindrical vessel to steam panori (Very important)
3. The paste should be neither very fine nor coarse
4.  Use a dry heat resistant plate to steam panori. I used a steel plate

Instant Dahi Bhalla /Dahi Vada (Kid-friendly, No-cook recipe)

Hindi Video

 

English Video

 

Instant Dahi Bhallas!! No pre-soaking, No grinding, No frying!

Making dahi bhalla, the traditional way, is a time consuming process. Sharing with you a unique idea for making bhallas! This idea was proposed by MasterChef Sanjeev kapoor. A big thanks to him for this unique idea that has made making bhallas a child’s play!

I attended a party in NJ several years back at a colleague’s house. The hostess of the party Anjita had prepared dahi bhallas using this idea. She was kind enough to share her secret of super-soft bhallas. She told that she had read this in an old cookbook by the Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor. A big thanks to her too for sharing her secret!

Sharing with you my recipe that I built around this unique idea to make a lip-smacking appetizer!

Ingredients:

Yogurt( dahi)

Jeera biscuits (special)

dahi bhalla shot 3

Water

White Salt

Pink salt (rock salt)

Red chilli powder

Roasted Cumin powder

Chaat masala

Sugar (optional)

Tamarind sweet and sour chutney

Green chutney

Method:

1. Arrange biscuits in plate as shown in the picture. Heat required number of jeera biscuits in the microwave for 40 seconds. Increase or decrease the time as per the number of biscuits.dahi bhalla shot 4

2. Soak these biscuits in water that is at room temperature, for 2-5 minutes.

dahi bhalla shot 5

3. As the biscuits soften, remove them from water. Squeeze gently between your palms.

4. Whip yogurt to make it smooth. If the yogurt is thick, dilute with water or milk.

dahi bhalla shot 10

5. Gently place the biscuits on the yogurt platter. Drench biscuits with more whipped yogurt.

6. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. See how in 30 minutes, the biscuits swell up to more than double the size!!

dahi bhalla shot for video

7. Spice it up with salt, pink salted chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala.

8. Pour green chutney and tamarind chutney, as per your taste.

dahi bhalla shot 15

Serve chilled!

9. To make Dahi Vada, pour a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and whole red chilies over the dahi bhalla platter. Also add powdered sugar to the whipped yogurt.

10 .To make Dahi bhalla chaat, add toppings of your choice

dahi bhalla shot 16

dahi bhalla 1

 

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The link to the video ‘How to make date and tamarind chutney’

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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.

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.