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.

Jhatpat cabbage sabji

One of the most humble and quick cooking vegetable. Cabbage can also be used raw in salads like coleslaw where purple and white cabbage leaves are mixed with mayonaise and carrots…served cold this is an amazing summer salad. Todays recipe is an amazingly quick sabji, have this with phulkas, and a raita. Based on gujrati cooking, I have added crushed peanuts for added crunch, and besan to absorb the water let out when our cabbage is cooking.

Growing up in Pune, I remember my mom making cabbage in sindhi style, which she always served with pan fried boiled eggs. Then it was not my favourite vegetable. I started loving this humble vegetable after I ate coleslaw at a restaurant, when it was served as a side dish with burgers.

Years later, it has found a niche in my kitchen where it is used in stir fries, soups and yes in my Indian cooking also. True to my love of regional indian cooking, this recipe has a permanant place in my cook book. Do try it.

Ingredients

200 gms finely sliced cabbage

1 finely sliced green paprika

1 boiled, peeled and cubed potato

1 tbsp besan, ( chick pea flour)

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp hing

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsps mustard oil

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

2 tbsps roasted and coarsely crushed peanuts

1 tsp kitchen king or pao bhaji masala

1 sprig curry leaves

Chopped corriander leaves.

Method

Heat oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

Next add hing, curry leaves and garlic.

Saute well

Add the cabbage, paprika and saute for a minute.

Add the boiled potato, sugar, lime juice, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, pao bhaji masala and stir till cabbage lets out water and becomes limp…about 5 mins. Now add the besan and stir.

Lastly mix in peanuts and chopped corriander leaves.

Serve piping hot with chappatis/ phulkas and a raita.

The cold sandwich cake

The cold sandwich cake

When sandwiches are mentioned everyone has thier own favourites. Sandwiches eaten during our school days in the Seventies , were very basic, as every Indian school going child will remember. Mostly white bread with butter and jam, or if you were lucky cheese and butter.Cheese was a luxury which not everyone had, especially in India. If you were lucky and had relatives staying abroad, then you would recieve small tins of kraft cheese😊. Of course Amul cheese cubes were already around, but were a little out of reach for an average middle class family. Back to sandwiches, my grandfather always had a slice of bread with green corriander and mint chutney as his evening snack. Those were the days when chutney was made using a grinding stone. The aroma of fresh mint and corriander leaves being crushed with green chillies and garlic is till today etched in my memory..

Whoever has lived in Pune, even for a short time will surely know about the Marzorin sandwiches. Soft crustless bread, filled with chicken, eggs, tomato and chutney… I crave these sandwiches even today…and they are a must on all my visits to Pune.

Todays recipe is a mixture of all my childhood memories..

Credit for the chicken pate filling goes to my friend hilda mascarenhas, who writes a wonderful food blog, hildastouchofspice.com. Do visit her food blog .

The cold sandwich cake

Basically you will require 3 types of fillings, and 16 slices of crustless bread

Ingredients..for chicken pate.

1 chicken breast

3 to 4 tbsps mayonaise

1 tbsps mustard paste

1 tsp honey

2 tbsps grated cucumber( helps to keep the filling moist)

Salt, pepper.

1 tbsp chopped celery leaves.

Method…

Boil the chicken in water which has been seasoned with salt and pepper.

Dispose the chicken bones, and put the meat in a food processor along with chopped celery..Pulse it and transfer the shredded chicken to a bowl, and add mayonaise, mustard, honey and cucumber. You should have a moist mixture. Keep aside.

Ingredients for second layer

4 Boiled eggs, sliced.

Sliced tomatoes

Sliced cucumber

Butter

Ingredients for 3rd layer

1/ 4 th cup mayonaise

1/ 2 cup basil leaves

2 green chillies

2 cloves of garlic

Juice of one lime

Salt

4 slices of cheese.

Method…

Blend basil leaves, chillies, garlic, lime and mayonaise together to get a pretty green spread, season with salt and a pinch of sugar.

Other ingredients are, finely sliced radishes, shredded carrot, shredded lettuce leaves, alfalfa sprouts and mayonaise.

Method

Keep 4 slices of bread on a serving platter, in a neat square.

Apply butter thinly, and add the chicken pate, level till all the 4 slices of bread are covered.

Cover with 4 slices of bread, and apply butter lightly, top with sliced tomatoes sliced eggs, and sliced cucumber…season with salt and pepper.

Cover with 4 slices of bread, apply the basil mayonaise and top with 4 slices of cheese in a single layer..

Lastly, top with 4 slices of bread, whose underside is spread with basil mayonaise.

Press down gently, and apply mayonaise all over the sandwich, covering it from all sides.

Gently press shredded lettuce, carrots all over sides and top…decorate with radish slices, cucumber slices, and alfalfa sprouts.

Chill thoroughly, cut into wedges and serve

A beautiful centerpiece is ready for your parties..