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.ūüėä

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.

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.

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.

SARSON(MUSTARD) PANEER AND PEAS WITH CHILLI OIL KULCHA

This recipe which is a fusion recipe, combines the tanginess of mustard and the smoothness of coconut milk. East India  merges with south India.  Mustard is one the most important spice in Bengali cooking, whole mustard seeds, or paste of mustard seeds are happily incorporated into daily cooking, used liberally to coat fish and wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. I have also used  Panch phoran to temper this dish, panch phoran is a combination of 5 spices,  mustard seeds, onion seeds or kalonji as they are called in hindi, cum20171125_10462320171126_151055in seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds are mixed together and used whole to temper the oil in the beginning of the cooking process. The use of mustard oil here imparts a nice nutty flavour. I love using mustard oil , coconut oil or ghee in all my Indian cooking , these oils bring out the true regional flavours of dishes from all over India. The use of coconut milk in this recipe balances out the tartness of mustard and vinegar used.

Paneer, or cottage cheese is so widely used in India, more so in the western, northern and eastern states. We Indians love our paneer in different forms, paneer pakodas, shahi paneer, paneer parathas, paneer bhurji, rosgollas, or kalakhands. Most Indian gatherings or parties will surely have  a paneer dish on their menu. I remember, when my mom magically transformed curdled milk into a delectable sabji, just by adding a paste of green chillies and corriander leaves and some garlic. Paneer has been very subtly introduced into the chindian cuisine in place of tofu, paneer chilli fry and paneer manchurian for example. My love for paneer started with a cold paneer sandwich which was served in Greenfields restaurant in main street way back in the seventies when I was a very young girl, this awesome sandwich had thin slices of paneer sprinkled with only salt and pepper,  sandwiched between 2 slices of white bread, slathered with mayonn20171125_144846aise and topped with crisp lettuce. Sadly, this restaurant shut its doors long ago. Puneites will surely remember this restaurant fondly.

Do try this recipe, and serve it with chilli oil kulchas, recipe of which i will be sharing here.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of diced paneer

1/2 cup of green peas.( I have used frozen peas)

1 big onion, finely chopped

4 green chillies ,finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic. roughly chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, sliced

3/4 tbsp mustard seeds

2 tbsps vinegar

2 + 2 tbsps mustard oil

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp paanch phoran

salt to taste

1/4 tsp sugar

PANCH PHORAN..( 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel (saunf) seeds, 1/ 2 tsp fenugreek seeds and 1/2 tsp onion seeds.. mix. Use as required.) In this recipe I have used 1 tsp.

METHOD

1.. Heat 2 tbsps of mustard oil, add the mustard seeds, when the seeds stop crackling, add chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic. saute for a while, shut the gas, and cool this mixture. When it cools down add 2 tbsps of vinegar and grind this mixture to a fine paste. add water if required, keep aside

2. Heat 2 tbsps of mustard oil in a pan, add 1 tsp of paanch phoran and wait till seeds splutter and there is an amazing nutty fragrance in your kitchen, now add chopped onion and saute till light brown, add the paste of green chillies, garlic and ginger. saute for another 5 minutes.

3. Now add the chopped paneer and green peas, season with salt, sugar and turmeric. and add the coconut milk.

4.. Add half a cup of water and cover, cook  till a thick gravy is left. about 5 minutes.

serve garnished with grated cheese and chopped corriander leaves.

 

CHILLI OIL KULCHAS

Ingredients

1 cup flour

100 gms boiled and grated potato

1/4 cup yogurt

1 tbsp chilli oil

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp chilli flakes

1 tsp shah jeera..(caraway seeds)

METHOD

Mix all the ingredients to form a dough.

Divide into 8 balls and roll out  the kulchas.

Roast each kulcha on a hot tava

Finally brush with chilli oil .

 

 

 

Stuffed Tomato Tikki (cutlet)

20170601_134242The versatile potato, loved by one and all over the world. It is rare to find a person who does not like potato. From french fries to roast baby potatoes sprinkled with italian herbs or the baked potato oozing with melted cheese and herbs in the western part of the world, to the poshto aaloo in Bengal , aaloo parathas of Punjab or the Pao wada which is nothing but a ball of spiced potato dunked in a golden chickpea batter and fried. The favourite street food of maharashtra. This humble root is comfort food.

As a young bride I soon learnt that sunday brunch at my new home, every week without fail ¬†was khichdi and potato sabji , always accompanied with fried papad. and a bowl of yogurt. Potato is used as the base for many indian snacks, like samosas, tikki, chaats, as a filler in dosas etc. But the tikki is a favourite in any sindhi household, ¬†it was a must on sundays in our home in Pune. my mother prepared the tikki in the most basic manner, boiled the potaoes, peeled mashed and added some dry spices and bread to bind the potato, shaped and of course deep fried the tikkis , served them with bread slices and chutney… the famous sindhi tikki dabroti. This snack was served during the interval of sunday movies run on doordarshan. The good old days.

Tikkis are also a popular chaat item sold as ragda pattice, which is a heart shaped potato cutlet, pan fried till crisp, and served with a tangy chickpea gravy and accompanied by slices of onion marinated in lime juice, a tamarind sauce and fresh green chutney.. oh so delicious. the recipe I will share with you today is a fusion version of the tikki, tiny cherry tomatoes hollowed out, filled with a green paneer filling and engulfed with potato, breaded and deep fried till crisp,its tasty as well as easy on the eyes.. do try it out.

Stuffed tomato tikki

Ingredients for the potato covering

1 kg boiled, peeled and grated potato

3 slices grated bread

Red chilli powder to taste, about 1 tsp should be enough

1 tsp caraway seeds. ( shah jeeri)

Salt to taste

Method for potato covering..

Mix everything together and divide into 15 balls and keep aside.

We also need 15 cherry tomatoes, preferably oval in shape, cut off the top and reserve it. now scoop out the pulp with a tiny teaspoon and use this pulp to make the filling. keep the tomatoes upside down to drain any liquid remaining.

Ingredients for tomato stuffing

Tomato pulp from cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup corriander leaves

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 green chillie

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp cummin seeds

A little turmeric powder and salt to taste

1/2 cup grated paneer..( cottage cheese)

Method..

Grind together corriander leaves, garlic and green chillie.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add cummin seeds and green paste.. also add corriander powder, salt, and turmeric.

Mix well and add grated paneer.. shut the flame.

Assembling..

Fill the paneer mixture into the cherry tomatoes and cover with top of tomato.

Take a ball of potato mixture in your hand and hollow it out to form a bowl.Put the stuffed tomato into the bowl in and upright position and gently cover the whole tomato , pressing to make it tight.

Dip each tikki into a medium thick  batter made with flour and water and roll in fine breadcrumbs. Keep refrigerated until needed.

To serve, deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Cut into two pieces and serve.

 

 

The sindhi beeh(lotus stem) pakora

The Sindhi kitchen revisited! ¬†Sindhi food is rather simple to make , in the sense that basically onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chillies is what would be required to start cooking and dish, we normally don’t have complex pastes made of various spices and the usage of cream or nuts is kept to the minimum while cooking. All the recipes handed down in my family are very simple and sometimes I myself get surprised when the food turns out to be delicious in its simplicity. Growing up in Pune , where most of my mom’s family used to live, we frequently visited my mami kala’s home, which was the headquaters of the mohinani family, many ¬†beautiful memories are attached to the nanaron( nani’s home) at kanyashala road.. those lazy afternoons where all the aunties and cousins gathered ¬†for scrumptious lunches arranged by my aunt, the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen where the cooks (bhaiyas) literally cooked up a feast, everyone just laughing and ¬†talking,memories of that bygone era are beautiful .Those were the days when the only way to have a group chat was to meet..:) and of course the admin was aunty kala. The snacks were ¬†more often than not fried, but no one cared, we just enjoyed the delicious food and company.

Today I would like to share a recipe of beehyan ja pakora  with you , which is not commonly served nowadays. This snack is quite simple to make and is my mothers recipe, making use of lotus stem or beeh as we call it in sindhi. My amma(paternal grandmom) was fond of this snack and would ask my mom to make it. This vegetable was served on special occasions   at home, especially when some  important guests were invited for lunch and dinner. Mom always cooked it in a rich onion gravy, topped with raw onion slices and a squirt of lime and some sev sprinkled over the curry, and served it with bread buns or pao, to make it easier to dunk into the delicious gravy.  Lotus stem on its own is a rather bland vegetable , but it blends and adapts the taste of any spice that it is cooked with.

Lotus stem is easily available here in Jakarta because a lot of chinese people also use it for cooking. In Pune it was a seasonal vegetable, because i remember the man who used to bring lotus stem and  pabharees( seeds of the lotus plant) all the way from Pimpri a small satellite town of pune. Nowadays it is more easily available throughout the year.  In those days I was not really too fond of the vegetable but have grown to rather like it. so here is the recipe, do try it and enjoy it.

Bheeyan ja pakora

Ingredients for the besan batter(chick pea flour)

1 cup besan ( chick pea flour)20161109_123703

1 tsp each cumin seeds/ ajwain(thymol seeds)

1 tsp red chillie powder

salt to taste.

1/8 th tsp of soda bi carb

Method..

Make a smooth batter of all above ingredients by adding cold water, make sure the batter is smooth and of dropping consistency. keep aside for half hour.

Ingredients for the beeh wada

I beeh stem about 25 cms long, peeled , cut into thick circles and boiled till tender.

1 tsp each ginger/ garlic/ green chilie paste

finely chopped corriander leaves

1 boiled and peeled potato

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp amchoor powder

1 tsp shah jeeri

salt to taste

Method

Take a big bowl and roughly crush the boiled potato and the boiled beeh(lotus stem) , the beeh(lotus stem) and the potato should be chunky,  add all the dry spices, salt  and the ginger, garlic and green chilie paste and the corriander leaves

Make small balls and keep aside

Heat a wok half filled with cooking oil.

Now, dip the lotus stem balls in the besan batter( chick pea) and slide gently into the hot oil.. fry the balls until just light golden in colour, remove and keep aside.

When you want to serve the snack,  press each ball gently between your two palms until flattened and cracked.. now deep fry the flat wadas till golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with cold mint chutney.

 

 

 

 

The sugar rush

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Something about the addiction to sugar; everyone has heard of the saying, girls are made up of sugar and spice and everything nice, this is also true in the case of so many desserts! We have desserts with oodles of sugar laced with so many spices like cinnamon, cardamom , saffron, cloves to name a few. Be it Indian desserts like our kheers, payaasams, kulfis or the baklavas of the middle east, the apple or pumpkin pies of the west….. some spice is always added to balance out the flavours. How many of us have followed our noses to the tempting aromas coming from bakeries and given in to the temptation to a piece of St. cinnamon? I confess that I have, because I have a sweet tooth which is rather well known…

Sweets are something which we grew up on, since my full family had a sweet tooth. Winters in pune were cold.. and to fortify us during the chills, mom always served sweet breakfasts, proper sindhi sweets.. on most sundays during winter we always got a plate full of mithyun seyun( sweet vermecilli or sevaiyaan.. and every mouthful was a burst of flavours, cardamon being the most prominent…and to balance the sweetness , this dish was always accompanied by small cubed fried potatoes sprinkled with chillie powder and salt..sindhi cuisine has many rich sweets to offer like lapi, malpura, mitho lolo etc… here i share my moms version of the mithyuoon seyun and tariyal patata…

INGREDIENTS

200 gms roasted fine vermicilli 170 gms sugar

1/2 cup ghee

1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts like almonds, pistas, chironji..

1 tsp cardamon powder

METHOD Heat ghee in a nonstick pan, and add vermicilli and nuts , saute till aromatic, when vermicilli turns golden brown add enough hot water to cover the seyuoon, cover and cook for a few minutes. add sugar and cardamom powder..cover once more and cook on a low flame till water dries up..shut the flame and leave covered for abt 5 mins.. serve hot sprinkled with sliced almonds and pistas…accompanied with tariyal (fried)potatoes sprinkled with salt and chillie powder.