Kumaoni Raita/ Pahari Raita

Raita, the unique ways in which yogurt is used in India. Most often than not, fresh raw  vegetables such as tomato, onion, cucumber, cilantro are chopped and added to whisked yogurt, which is then gently spiced up with salt , pepper etc. Raitas are served as an accompaniment with main meals to cool and refresh the palatte. The varieties of Raitas in Indian cuisine are endless, some like it sweet with fruits like pineapples added to yougurt , or some like it with Boondi( fried gramflour droplets ) in it.
Todays recipe THE KUMAONI RAITA comes from the hilly region of north India, UTTARKHAND. And uses cucumber and mustard seeds as the main ingredient.


When you talk about Uttarkhand, immediately you think of beautiful scenic mountains , high up in the clouds, where the  ice caped mountain  kiss the fluffy clouds which seem like Gossamer., and beautiful valleys and Rivers.
Also Known for  the famous pilgramage places such as Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Haridwar and pretty hill stations like Nainital and Mussorie.
Uttarkhand has an awesome variety of food, which is simple and easy to put together.
One day I would love to visit this beautiful province, whose panaromic views have attracted me so much. Sigh!

Growung up in Pune, Yogurt in our home was served plain ,or sometimes it was made into a  potato or Boondi raita with a tadka of Rai and jeera,or if mummy was in a good mood,soft sweet dahiwaras were made , mostly on leisurely sunday afternoons . Those were the days when sunday was an important part of the week . That day was a movie date day for mummy and daddy, after which they took us to the local parks in Pune. Either Sambhaji park, or Peshwa park and sometimes to Bund garden . Childhood pleasures were simple but the memories left behind were priceless.
Koi lauta de mere  beete hue din..nostalgia.

On to the recipe, try to use cucumbers with less seeds.. My suggestion is to make the Raita in the night, to let the awesome flavours  of fresh mustard seeds merge into the yogurt. Or at least make it 6 hours before serving. This is a very simple no fuss recipe which comes together in no time. The tartness of mustard seeds, reminds one of wasabi flavours. Do try it.

Ingredients
300 gms fresh yogurt
300 gms cucumbers/ kheera
1.5 tsps mustard seeds
2 tsps cumin seeds
1 green chillies
1/2  tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp asofoedita /hing
1 tbsp mustard oil
2 dry red chillies..broken into smaller pieces
Red chillie powder and chopped cilantro for garnish

Method.
1. Whisk the yogurt in a bowl
2. Grate the cucumbers,DO NOT squeeze the water from cucumbers.
3. Grind together green chillies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds , turmeric powder.( I have used the mortar and pestle, to grind manually) you could use a mixer grinder.
4. Add the mustard paste to the whisked yogurt and mix well. Season with salt.
5. Add grated cucumbers. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate for minimum 6 hours.
6. Heat mustard oil in a small pan and add hing , dry red chillies.
7. Pour this tadka over the yogurt, garnish with red chillie powder and chopped corriander. Serve chilled.
Kheere ka raita is ready to be served.

I love having this kumaoni raita with Aloo pitika and luchis and sooji ka seera.

.

Ras kalaan

A vegetarian dish which is simple to cook and delicious to eat, describes Ras kalaan, which originates from the southern state of Kerala, inspite of not containing any onions, garlic or ginger, is yet so pleasing to the palette.
In today’s recipe I have added drumsticks, sweet potato, broccoli and green peas. Normally it is made using tubers like yam or potatoes. I like adding different vegetables to this, and at times, have even used mushroons, babycorn etc . Do try this recipe which comes together very quickly.
KALAAN, A name which was so unfamiliar to me years ago, until I stumbled upon it by chance when south Indian food was a big mood with me, it was that particular year when I was cooking a lot of south Indian food. Having been born and brought up In India, I love the regional food which our great country has to offer.
Back to the KAALAN, which is basically a keralite preparation, made with fresh coconut and yogurt. Its fresh and tangy taste is so refreshing , making you want to make it it often. The ideal pairing for this vegetable is rice, though I prefer having it with a roti adai(rice flour roti)or paratha.
Many of us have a image about south Indian food which probably consists of Dosa, Idli, Uttapams etc. Reality is that its a vast platter of numerous dishes which delight the palette. So, on to the recipe. Feel free to replace any vegetables with your favourites.😊

Ras Kalaan
Ingredients
4 drumsticks..scraped,cut into 4 to 5 pieces , and boiled.
1 small sweet potatoe, boiled and cubed
1/2 cup green peas( I used frozen)
1 cup broccoli flowerlets, par boiled.
(Roughly about 200 gms mixed vegetables)
1 cup fresh grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
2 cups fresh yogurt
1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
1 tsp raw rice(washed)
2 tbsps palm sugar( gur) jaggery
1 or 2 green chillies
FOR TEMPERING
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, broken into pcs
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urad dal
Few curry leaves
Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Method
1. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a pan and add 1 tsp methi seeds and 2 dry red chillies(broken). Saute for 2 mins.
2. Grind 1 cup grated coconut, 2 cups yogurt, 2 green chillies, 1 tsp raw rice, the sauted methi seeds and dry red chillies. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat 2 tbsps coconut oil in a pan, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp chana dal and 1 tbsp udad dal, curry leaves. Saute for a while till fragrant.
4. Add the vegetables and coconut paste along with turmeric powder, salt, 2 tbsps palm sugar and half cup of water.
5. Cook for 5 to 10 mins. Untill oil seperates.
Serve hot with steamed rice, or parathas.

Achari Brinjal Moju

Achari Brinjal Moju
Brinjal lovers will love this dish which has its roots in Sri Lanka, and is a staple in most Sri lankan homes and restaurants. This is basically a fried brinjal pickle, which is served at meals normally with rice, but I prefer having it with a chappati.(flatbread). This dish comes together in no time . The crunch of deepfried brinjal and shallots, subtle tangyness of vinegar and mustard and sweetness of sugar give this simple dish a balance which is amazing. There are many twists to this recipe, each one having its own charm. In my recipe today, I have added dijon mustard to enhance the tartness and sweet mango pickle instead of sugar. You can add honey or sugar instead. Tweak the recipe at your will.
This purple coloured vegetable called eggplant or aubergine is popular in many cuisines world wide. Be it the bhaigan ka bharta in north India, where the brinjals are flame roasted, mashed and cooked in an onion tomato gravy. Or the Greek Mousakka, where aubergine, minced meat sauce and potatoes come together to form a hearty casserole. As for me, my childhood memories of eating Brinjal are not very great😊the only way I really liked it was fried and sprinkled with dry spices. Mom would cut the brinjals into round pieces, give small cuts on the surface, and soak them in salted water for a while. Then squeeze the water out and deep fry till crisp. This was normally served with khichdi or pulav. It was much later that I developed a taste for brinjal cooked as a sabzi. And today its one of my favourite vegetable.😊 The aroma of brinjal being fried in the kitchen always draws me in to grab a few pcs of fried brinjal ..top on my list😊

Do try this simple and tasty recipe.

Ingredients
250 gms purple brinjal
2 tbsps flour
2 tbsps cornflour
10 shallots
2 green chillies and 2 red chillies ( cut slantingly)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsps chopped garlic
1 tbsps finely chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp freshly powdered mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsps black pepper powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp homemade sweet mango chutney or achaar (pickle) or honey or powdered sugar. I have used my homemade sweet mango achaar.
2 tbsps fried onions
2 tbsps coconut oil
Some chopped corriander leaves.
Salt to taste

Method..
1..Cut brinjals into finger stick size.
Soak in salted water for an hour, squeeze dry, roll in a mixture of flour and cornflour. Deep fry till crisp. Keep aside.
Also deep fry the shallots and sliced chillies.

2… Mix mustard seed powder, dijon mustard, vinegar and sweet mango chutney together in a small bowl.

3…Heat 2 tbsps of coconut oil and saute curry leaves, ginger, garlic till fragrant. Shut the fire and add cinnamon, pepper and salt..mix well

4..Add the dijon mustard mix, fried brinjals, fried shallots and chillies.
Stir well and serve garnished with chopped corriander and fried onions.

** can be eaten at room temperature.
***best made at time of serving and consumed immediately.

Sindhi fusion Dal pakwan

This delicious dish of sindhi origin, barely needs an introduction,as it is so well known , almost like a trade mark for us sindhis. Crispy Pakwan( fried flat bread) topped with a creamy dal chana, garnished with citrusy onion relish, and a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, with a sprinkling of red chillie powder, its a match made in heaven, in terms of gastronomy.

Dal chana( lentils)is cooked to a creamy consistency, normally bland with just salt and turmeric. But I have been making the dal with a green twist since years, and its remained an earmarked recipe im my cook book.My version is slightly different , as I have added ginger, garlic and green chillies, and the addition of cardamom powder as it brings a subtle rich flavour to the dal, this is my fusion version😊
Mostly served for breakfast on lazy sundays.Growing up in pune, mummy usually made the dal at home, and prefered getting the pakwans from the sindhi uncle at babajan chowk, who sold dal pakwan from his cart only on sundays., It was something we looked forward to. In India it is sold in carts, in sindhi dominated areas, or even sweetmeat shops. That is not to say that only sindhi people relish this soul satisfying dish😊. People from all walks of life love and appreciate the deliciousness of dal pakwan.
Try making this at home and listen to the satisfying sighs around your table…😊
Yes, making pakwan is time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Ingredients for dal
1 cup dal chana ( Rinsed and soaked in water for 4 hours)
2 green chillies
5 pods garlic
1 inch pc of ginger
12 curry leaves..chopped finely.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1/2 tsp saunf( fennel seeds)
1 tsp finely ground cardamon powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt, or as needed.
Method.
Boil the dal till soft, but not mashed.
Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies with little water.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ajwain, saunf, curry leaves, add cardamon powder and turmeric powder.
Add the ginger garlic green chillie paste and saute for a while.
Now add the boiled dal and salt.
Add 1 cup water and let it cook on medium flame till the dal reaches to a thick consistency, but not mashed. Pour in a bowl and garnish with khatti meethi chutney, kechumbo kotmir and a sprinkle of red chillie powder.
Serve with pakwan,

Ingredients for Pakwan
1 cup flour( maida)
1 level tsp salt
1/2 tsp jeeri( caraway seeds)
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1 tbsp oil
Cold water to knead the flour.

Mix flour, jeeri, ajwain, salt and oil.
Add some cold water and knead a stiff dough. Dough should not be soft nor very hard. Medium hard dough. Knead well till pliable . Cover with a wet napkin and keep aside for half an hour. Now make small balls of the dough, roll out into thin puris. Prick with a fork.
Fill a wok with oil to upto half level
Heat till oil is medium hot.
Slide in the puris, press with a sloted spoon,for few seconds. Then let the puri continue to cook untill its crisp and golden brown.
Each pakwan takes upto 5 mins on a low to medium flame. Remove and keep aside.

Serve with a onion relish( kachumbo)
Cut one onion finely, add sliced green chillies, add little salt. Then wash under running water. Strain properly, add little sugar, vinegar and salt.

Khatti meeti chutney( sweet and sour sauce)
Boil together 4 tbsps thick tanarind paste with 4 tbsps grated jaggery. Abd about 10 tbsps water. Cook till medium thick.. strain into a bowl, add little salt, red chillie powder and jeera powder.

Asian fusion noodle omelette

Eggs, world wide favorite ingredient for countless recipes. You name it and an egg is most often present in most cakes, custards, souffles, in savoury dishes and the list goes on.
At our home eggs in some form are always present at breakfast time.
My favourite anytime dish is bedo dabroti( an omelette and a slice of bread).
Today’s recipe incorporates instant noodles mixed with beaten eggs and some vegetables to give you a noodle omelette. The slight difference here is that I have not cooked the noodles. So the omelette has a bit of crunch. A hearty snack or an accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a crunchy salad .
Do try this simple to put together recipe. Feel free to add or change the vegetables. A bit of crunchy bacon or ham will surely high light this simple wholesome dish. Came across this idea on a tik tok video and played around with the additional vegetables and realised that we used to make a similar omelette using cooked noodles. Flash back mode.😊. Do try this recipe.



Ingredients

2 packets of any brand instant noodles… maggie, indomie etc
Spice mix sachets( included with noodles)
2 tbsps finely chopped carrots
2 tbsps finely chopped cabbage
2 tbsps finely chopped paprika
2 tbsps finely chopped spring onions and celery.
3 big eggs or 4 small eggs.



Method..
Put the noodles from the 2 packets in a food processor and blitz for few seconds. You will get crushed noodles. Alternately you can crush the noodles manually while still in the packet, with your hands or a rolling pin.
Transfer broken noodles to a big bowl, add the spice mixture from both the packets. At this point you can add some chillie flakes or chopped chillies if you wish.
Add the carrots, cabbage, parika and spring onions celery to the noodles.
Beat the eggs seperately and add to the noodles. Mix well and add to a preheated nonstick frying pan to which about 3 tbsps oil have been added.
Spread the egg mixture evenly.
Cook on a low flame for few mins, untill golden brown.
(Do not cover)
Gently flip the omelette. Cook for a few more minutes.
Remove onto a platter and cut into wedges.
Serve hot…
** as we are using the spice packets which are included in instant noodle packets, there is no need to add salt or any other spice. Unless you wish to make it more spicy.

Dhaba chicken

Many years ago, I happened to come across a concept to making a meat dish similar to the recipe I will be sharing with you all today. This particular dish is really very tasty, and best eaten with parathas or phulkas. For those of you who are eggetarians, can substitute paneer for chicken. Just imagine a delicious chicken curry, topped with beaten and seasoned eggs, then steamed for a short time.
Please try and use boneless chicken fillet or thigh .
The name which I have given to this dish, not a very original name for sure, but thats how I have written it in my cook book. And also because I always make it in a stainless steel container, which is also called a dhaba. Today’s reference picture also contains a small glass ramekin, in which I made it, just for you all to see how it looks.
Do try this recipe, and serve it with kechumbo( onion relish).

Dhaba chicken

500 gms boneless chicken cut into cubes.
150 gms finely chopped onions
2 tomatoes
4 pods garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 sprig curry leaves(12 leaves)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp chicken tikka masala or any box masala you have handy
Salt to taste
1 cup thick yogurt
Chopped corriander leaves.
2 eggs .
Grated cheddar cheese.

METHOD.
Take a bowl, add yogurt, red chillie powder, turmeric, corriander powder, garam masala, chicken tikka masala, chicken cubes. Mix well and keep aside.
Now heat 4 tbsps oil in a pot, and add finely chopped onions .
Saute till golden brown , remove and keep aside. When cool, blend together with 2 tomatoes and keep aside.
In a mixer jar, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Add little water and grind to a fine paste.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan and add the curry leaf paste, saute for 5 mins and add marinated chicken..cook till almost dry, then add the fried onion tomato paste. Cook till oil seperates. Add salt and corriander leaves. Check the gravy.
Consistency of gravy should be thick, but not dry.
Lastly smoke it.( optional) ( picture is included)
Now, put the chicken curry into a steel or heat resistant glass container. Beat eggs in a bowl , season with salt , and pour on top of the curry. Top with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle red chillie powder and chopped corriander leaves.
Steam in a hot steamer for 10 or 15 mins. Serve hot with parathas or phulkas. And onion relish.

ONION RELISH/ KECHUMBO
Cut one big onion into slices, grate one carrot, and thinly sliced paprika. Mix with with 2 tsps salt. After sometime wash under running water, squeeze out all water, and add lime juice, salt and sugar to taste.

Tofu, egg and sprouts Salad with Peanut sauce

( Tofu ,beansprouts and egg salad with peanut sauce)

ALSO KNOWN AS TAHU TELOR .

This delicious dish can be called a cousin to the famous gado gado salad of Indonesia. Easy to make and assemble.
Having lived in Indonesia since 35 years, my taste buds have got used to the delicious food available here except for tofu or tahu as its known here. For me given a choice between tofu and paneer, paneer wins hands down anyday. But on the other hand, tofu and tempe are staples in the Indonesian diet, and a good source of protein . Both tofu and tempe are also present at afternoon meals in our home too. Fried, sauted, steamed..any which way. So, i have learnt to befriend tofu in some dishes.
Growing up in India, we did not really know much about tofu, even with the advent of chinese restaurants, which started mushrooming all over India during the 1970’s., tofu was not part of thier menu. Chinese food was of course egg fried rice, hakka noodles and veg manchurian😊. The awesome chindian food, especially catering to the Indian Palette. Frankly speaking, I still love that particular chindian food which i definetely make it a point to have when in Pune. The spring rolls at chinese room are my favourite. Tofu is now easily available in India, and many people have replaced paneer with tofu in the new fad vegan diets.
So on to today’s recipe..pls do try it.
Best eaten with warm sauce.


Ingredients.
Tofu/ paneer 300 gms cut into small cubes.
3 eggs
100 gms fried peanuts with skin or without
Plus 4 tbsps fried peanuts.
100 gms beansprouts, blanched.
4 tbsps chopped celery
4 tbsps finely chopped spring onions
4 kaffir lime leaves ( middle stock removed)
1 big cucumber slit and chopped in semi circles.
4 tbsps fried onion
1/2 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste
Veg stock powder, or msg 1/4 tsp
3 bird chillies, 3 red chillies
3 pods of garlic
30 gms palm sugar( I have boiled the palm sugar with little water , and strained to get rid of impurities.)
3 tbsps tamarind pulp

Method
1. Saute the red chillies, bird eye chillies and garlic in 2 tbsps oil.
2. In a mixer jar, add fried peanuts, chillies and garlic. Add salt, pepper and veg stock powder., the kaffir lime leaves. Add some water and blend to a thick paste.
3. Heat 2 or 3 tbsps oil, and put the peanut paste. Saute for a while, and add palm sugar and tamarind water. Also add about one cup water and let it cook till oil starts seperating.
Keep aside.
4. Now beat 3 eggs, season with salt and pepper.
Add tofu cubes to the eggs and mix.
Heat 1 tbsps of oil in a wok, slide in a laddle of the egg and tofu mixture., you can do it it in batches.( I got about 8 small omelettes)
Stir for a bit and let semi set. After a while flip it over.
Slide onto a serving platter.
Top with cucumber, beansprouts, peanut sauce, celery leaves,spring onions, fried onions and some fried peanuts.
Serve warm. Enjoy.

Aloo ka Salan with Khameeri Roti

ALOO or POTATO, one of the most popular and versatile vegetabe in the world. This wonderful root vegetable, takes on all flavours beautifuly, when teamed with meat or vegetables. Today’s recipe is based on a recipe from the book DAASTAN E DASTARKHAN by Sadaf Hussain. I loved reading this book which has awesome recipes . A cook book well written with each recipe having its own small memory attached to it.

In India, every region has its own popular recipes for aloo sabji/ salaan. The sookha aloo puri served in maharashtra, which is a popular dish to take on long train journeys, or the aloo or potato chaats of Banaras which are oh so spicy and tangy, the Dum aloo of Awadi cuisine and so on.
Potatoes are a favourite with children and adults. Also considered to be healthy carbs, unless fried.
But the pleasure of eating french fries dipped in different sauces, or biting into a piece of sindhi aloo tuk, double fried crispy goodness is something which I love. So when I came across this interesting recipe incorporating anjeer( dried figs) I knew I had to make this. And believe me it was a very tasty sabji which I paired with Khameeri Roti.

INGREDIENTS For Aloo Salan
4 boiled potatoes, cubed.
1 big onion finely chopped
2 +1 tbsps of mustard oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
4 medium tomates, finely chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
2 tsp khus khus(poppy seeds) soaked in 1 tsp water, then ground to a paste.
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turneric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 or 3 dried figs , diced.
Salt to taste
Fresh corriander leaves.

METHOD.
Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a pan and sauted the boiled potatoes till crisp.
Remove and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsps mustard oil , when it smokes add onions and saute till translucent.
Add cumin seeds, and ginger garlic.
Cook for few mins before adding the tomatoes, green chilli and all the dry spices.
Add the khus khus paste and diced figs.
Season with salt to taste.
Toss in the potatoes, and about half cup of water.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer covered for about 10 mins.
Adjust the gravy as you wish, I prefer a thick gravy which can be mopped up with a soft roti.
Garnish with corriander leaves.
KHAMEERI ROTI
In a deep bowl take 250 gms flour
Add 1 tbsp instant yeast, 1 tsp powdered sugar , 1 tsp salt.
Mix the dry ingredients and add 1 tbsp of oil. Rub with finger tips.
Add 100 ml of warm milk and 50 ml of warm water.
Knead to a smooth dough adding 1 tbsp oil as you go.
Cover with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for 1 hour.
After one hour, DON’T punch down the risen dough.
Just divide into 6 and roll out thin rotis.
Heat a tawa and put one roti, cook on high heat.
Flip after few mins and baste with flavoured oil, pressing with a spatula as you go.
Sprinkle corriander leaves .
And flip again.
Remove onto a plate.
Serve hot.
# Basting oil..
Take 1/4 cup oil, add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and 1/4 tsp red chilli powder.

Fusion Indian caramel flan

Caramel, the name itself will get you imagining a beautiful golden river of sugar . Endless are the desserts which have caramel incorporated into them. Its a world wide favourite. Be it the salted caramel icecream or the luscious flans. Not to forget the alpenliebe caramel candy or the carmello cadbury chocolate both my favourites. Call this a flan, or a caramel custard , or a pudding, this dessert is always drool worthy.
Today’s recipe is my version of the caramel flan with a indian twist to it.

I have added cardamon and saffron with rose essence highlighting the pudding.
Recalling childhood days when we did not own an oven. Mummy made this pudding by steaming it . Of course she did not call it a flan, instead named it as bedhe ji pudding( egg pudding). And she always used cardamom as a flavoring . I never tried making this delicious pudding, only because either my mom or my sister always made this on my trips to India. This custard is also very popular in Parsi cuisine, called the lagna nu custard, normally served during weddings. The Parsi variation is more richly made. One of the best caramel custard pudding,I have ever eaten would be at the Dorabjee and sons Restaurant which is situated at dastur meher road , Pune. You can find the best authentic Parsi food here.
In recent years I have tried many receipes to get a good caramel flan, and this method is top rated in my diary.This flan be made by either baking it in an oven using a water bath, or by steaming it directly in a steamer.
Do try this recipe and relish it cold.

Ingredients
3 cups of full fat milk
200 ml condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs( at room temperature)
1/2 tsp saffrons strands soaked in a little hot water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp rose essence

Method
1. Boil milk and condensed milk together with the cardamom powder. Once it boils, shut the flame and keep aside. Cool completely.
2. To make the caramel, put 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a pan and heat on high heat untill sugar melts and starts browning .At this point lower the heat and allow the sugar to turn to a beautiful golden brown liquid. Try not to stir in between. Transfer this caramel to either one big oven proof dish or divide it into 2 dishes. Allow the caramel to cool.
3. Beat 4 eggs lightly and add to the cool milk mixture. Mix well and strain this mixture.
4. Add the saffron liquid and rose essence to the milk and egg mixture.
5. Pour into the caramelized bowls , cover the bowls with aluminium foil .
Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celcius for 60 mins.
Cool completely before transferring to the fridge..

Overturn the caramel onto a serving platter at the time of serving.

Garnish with sliced almonds and pistas.

* For the water bath baking, I put the flan dishes in a baking tray and poured hot water into the tray , to come upto 1/4 level of the dishes.
Using this method, the flan does not dry up and retains its moisture.

Pahadi aloo sabji

Todays recipe is based on potatoes which are cooked in the hilly regions of north india. I came across this recipe years ago and since then its been marked as a favourite in my diary. Simple to cook and made in a jiffy. Best eaten with a soft phulka, the aromatic flavours of saunf( fennel seeds) just hit your palatte in a burst of tasty goodness. I have used baby potatoes in this dish as I find they hold their shape well after steaming or boiling.

Potatoes in any form are a favourite all over the world and adapt so well to any cuisine. Be it the american hash browns, french fries , mashed potatoes.. or the swiss pototo rosetti..or our own Indian cuisine. From the delicious aloo ka parantha in the north to poshto aloo made with poppy seeds in the east to pao wada in the west upto the aloo sabzi stuffed in crispy dosas in the south.

Memories of the humble potato ruling my mothers kitchen still linger. Sundays normally meant having fried potato tikkis in the evenings for snacks while door darshan played some old bollywood movies on our black and white tv sets. Of course the tikkis were served with slices of white bread and fresh mint chutney. And most often than not this snack was filling enough not to have anything more for dinner. Only to wait eagerly for the jelly and custard which was a favourite dessert at home. Left over uncooked tikkis were sometimes made into aloo toasters. Sandwiched between two slices of bread buttered on the outside to be toasted manually on the gas stove in a quaint sandwich toaster. This served with tomato ketchup was good to go for breakfast. No one was fussy about carbohyderates or calories..life was fun and happy go lucky…simple pleasures of life were the norm….oh those good old days….

Do try this recipe, team it up with sindhi dal makhni or any of your favourite dal.

Ingredients

Pahadi aloo sabji

250 gms baby potatoes boiled, peeled and halved.

( or normal boiled potatoes, peeled and cubed)

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp saunf ( fennel seeds)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsps freshly ground saunf powder

2 or 3 dry red chillies broken

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 sliced onion

2 tbsp thick tamarind paste

2 tbsp honey

Salt to taste

Chopped corriander leaves

2 tbsps mustard oil

Method

Heat oil in a pan, and add cumin seeds and saunf.

Saute till fragrant.

Add ginger, garlic, dry red chillies and sliced onion

Now add the potatoes and salt

Saute for few mins

Add saunf powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder

Finally add tamarind paste and honey

Mix well…and serve hot , garnished with chopped corriander leaves and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.