Showing posts with label Palak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palak. Show all posts

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Craving for simple home food...

Yipeeeeeeeeee....I have completed 50 blog posts! Going down the memory lane, I realized my odd ramblings in the initial posts, my struggle to explain flavors, my triumph with certain dishes, my pictures (and the list goes on). To be honest, I have hardly done anything spectacular compared to the other food blogs I frequent. On the other hand, I am happy to have my own corner where I can put my thoughts on food...it's just a great feeling! I have always enjoyed good food and for me cooking is pure joy and creativity. 


Today, I am in no mood for anything remotely fancy. Just want to eat simple food- the usual vegetables and my roti with dal. After all, nothing beats a simple home cooked food and this is what we come home to...don't we??


Spinach potato curry- (Aloo palak)


Ingredients-
Fresh spinach leaves - chopped/shredded finely(2-3 cups) 
5 large potatoes (boiled, peeled and cubed)
1 large onion (chopped finely)
4-5 cloves of garlic (chopped finely) - need I say anything on my love for garlic??
1 red dry chilli - broken into pieces
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt (according to taste)


Preparation- Once you have assembled the ingredients, it's an easy ride from there. Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin and dry chilli pieces. Allow them to sputter. Add the garlic and stir for a couple of seconds till the oil absorbs the garlic flavor. Add the onions and cook for few minutes till they start turning golden brown. Add the chopped spinach leaves and cook them till they become soft. Spinach tends to reduce in size as they cook. Now add the potatoes, salt, turmeric, paprika powder and coriander powder. Cook them on a low flame (stirring occasionally) for 5-8 minutes till the potatoes blend well with the spinach. Enjoy with roti and dal!











Dal- (lentils) 


I love cooking lentils with minimal flavors. The only flavors I like in my dal are garlic, cumin, crushed pepper, coriander leaves and fiery green chillies. I also like using three types of lentils- mung dal- 1 cup, chana dal- 1/4 cup and toor dal- 1/2 cup. Pressure cook them till they melt into your mouth. In a frying pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add cumin, green chilli pieces (slit them with knife - do not deseed them). As the cumin seeds start to sputter add chopped garlic (4-5 big cloves). Cook them for a couple of seconds before adding the cooked lentils. Add crushed pepper and salt according to taste. Serve them with sprinkled coriander leaves. Some like the dal a bit soupy (like me) and some love it rich and thick. Vary the quantity of water accordingly when cooking your dal! 
    

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stuffed spinach roti!


The dark clouds threatened rain and my stomach was rumbling with hunger pangs- Me gazing the pitter patter of rain drops thought- why not cook something different and spicy? I did not have much time as my television enticed me to the usual drama...I tried out this stuffed spinach roti and took me flat 30 minutes to make them. Rushed to my favorite couch and enjoyed my usual dose of drama junk with piping hot roti's and pickle-



Ingredients-

Wheat flour, spinach, salt for the base
Crumpled tofu/cottage cheese(paneer), finely chopped onions, crushed and chopped garlic, dash of pepper, chopped green chillies, garam masala/curry powder, salt according to taste for the filling.

Preparation-

The spinach has to be washed and boiled in water till they soften. Grind it to a fine paste. In a big bowl mix wheat flour (2 cups), spinach paste (about 1 cup) and salt till they become a smooth dough- the trick is avoid mixing water to make the dough. With the help of spinach paste knead the wheat flour to a smooth dough (if need be use oil to knead the dough).

For the stuffing- In a bowl mix the crumpled tofu/paneer, chopped onions, garlic, chillies, pepper and spices. I used the garam masala to bring in some flavor (you can choose to omit the spices). 
You can add in your own creativity for the filling like ginger, chopped corriander leaves, mashed potatoes...



Cooking- Take a small ball of dough in your fist and flatten it with a rolling pin. Take about two spoons of filling and place it in middle of the flattened dough. Fold the sides with the filling in middle so that it appears as a small pouch.  


                       








Flatten this pouch again with the rolling pin using a bit of flour so that it does not stick to the surface. Cook this roti in a shallow frying pan with oil till they become golden brown on both sides. Enjoy it with yoghurt and pickle!




Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fusion cooking!


Having born to a south Indian orthodox family, I spent major chunk of my life up in North India- I am fully aware of all the cuisines in both the regions and let me assure you that they are vibrantly different! There comes a time when you tend to make a south indian dish and give it a north Indian twist and vice versa. I love fusion cooking- as it brings the best flavors to your dish. So, my dish is a simple palak dal (north Indian dish) completely cooked with flavors of a south Indian sambhar dish. If you are wondering what in the world will it taste like- go ahead and try it :)

Ingredients- Palak (Spinach) about 500 gms , Moong dal (split yellow bean/lentils) about 1 cup, sambar powder, 1 small teaspoon of tamarind paste, salt, 1 tomato diced, 1 cup of cashew nuts and 3 green cardamom pieces.

Preparation- Wash the Spinach leaves and boil them in water till they become tender and shrink in size. Allow it to cool and grind it to a paste. In a wok, boil the lentils with two cups of water. After half an hour of boiling, the lentil becomes soft and thick in volume. (don't forget to keep stirring to avoid it from sticking to your wok/pan). Once the lentils are cooked, add the spinach paste and keep stirring for five minutes till the lentils completely takes in the flavor of spinach.

Now comes the spices- add in the sambar powder, tamarind paste, diced tomato and salt to the mixture. Sambar powder is a spicy south Indian powder readily available in any Indian store- Allow the mixture to boil for a good 10 minutes so that the spinach takes in the spices- I will add around 1 big teaspoon of sambar powder to get a strong flavor. Now comes the finishing touch- grind the cashew nuts with cardamom pieces to a fine powder and mix this powder to the palak dal to give it a rich taste. In a separate frying pan, heat a bit of oil. Once the oil is warm toss in some cumin seeds and 2 pieces of dry red chillies. Once the cumin seeds start sputtering, remove the pan from fire and pour this oil in to the palak dal. As usual don't forget to blend in some chopped corriander leaves to enjoy Palak dal with rice.



Check out a variation of this spinach dish with almost the same ingredients (with coconut minus spices)-                                   http://eq-myblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/keerai-molaghootal-with-vendakkai-puli.html


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Spinach cooked with cottage cheese...

I love Paneer (cottage cheese) and any recipe tastes great with it! Especially if you are not a huge fan of spinach, then try making it with paneer and boy you will love it. This recipe is very popular in northern India. Here is my take on palak paneer- Enjoyyyyyyy


Ingredients- Spinach (about 500 gms), cottage cheese (cubed- about one big cup)
For the Gravy- you need 2 onions (finely chopped), garlic (3-4 cloves-crushed and chopped), grated ginger (about a small tablespoon), medium sized tomatoe (finely chopped)- the spices that go in are- cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, bay leaves, a little bit of ajwain (carom seeds), garam masala, corriander powder, amchoor powder (dried mango powder), dried red chillies (2 pieces) and of course my favorite chopped corriander leaves!   

Preparation is simple- We need to wash the spinach leaves, and boil them a bit in water till they become soft- once they are soft blend them in a mixer to a paste and keep it aside- Now get the gravy ready- In a wok, pour oil (liberal dose), and once it becomes hot add the cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, a bit of ajwain or carom seeds-When the garlic is golden brown add the chopped onions, dried red chillies and roast them till they are golden brown. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and keep mixing the ingredients till the tomatoes blend with onions and becomes a paste. 



Now comes the spices- Put in the garam masala, corriander powder(about a big tablespoon each) and amchur powder (just a dash of it). Cook the ingredients till the masala blends and the mixture starts to become a thick consistency of a gravy. Add salt according to taste. 



Add in the blended spinach to the gravy and cook till spinach loses its raw taste and takes in the spices. Add the bowl of cottage cheese towards the end and cook it on a low flame for around 5 minutes. Before removing it from fire, add a big tablespoon of butter and blend in till the butter melts. Garnish it with chopped corriander! There is a slight variation in this recipe- Usually, the cottage cheese is deep fried (separately) in oil before mixing it with spinach. I simply love to keep the flavor of cottage cheese and mix it without frying it in oil. 



Serve it with hot rotis- yum!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blend that Spinach...




Spinach with corns- This is my take on a north Indian recipe and pretty easy to make- The main ingredients required are spinach & corn- For the gravy you need 2 onions (finely chopped), garlic (3-4 cloves-crushed and chopped), grated ginger (about a small tablespoon), medium sized tomatoe (finely chopped)- the spices that go in are- cumin seeds, bay leaves, garam masala, a dash of cardamom powder, corriander powder, chopped green chillies and of course my favorite chopped corriander leaves!                        



Preparation is simple- We need to wash the spinach leaves, and boil them a bit in water till they become soft- once they are soft blend them in a mixer to a paste and keep it aside (take about 500 gms of spinach)- Now get the gravy ready- In a wok, toss in the oil (liberal dose), and once it becomes hot add the cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and bay leaves- I know a lot of people tend to add the garlic and ginger later- but I tend to put in early when the oil is hot as the oil takes in the flavor of garlic and bay leaves! When the garlic is golden brown add the chopped onions, green chillies and roast them till they are golden brown. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and keep mixing the ingredients till the tomatoes blend with onions and becomes a paste. Now comes the spices- Put in the garam masala and corriander powder- (about a big tablespoon each), dash of cardamom powder. Cook the ingredients till the masala gets blended and the mixture starts to become a thick consistency of a gravy. Add salt according to taste. Now put in the corns (tinned sweet corn that you get in the local market) and the blended spinach- Cook the mixture till spinach loses its raw taste and takes in the spices. Before removing it from fire, add a big spoon of butter and chopped corriander to enjoy the dish! If need be you can put in additional masalas (like curry powder or aamchur) but I love the simple flavor of garam masala and tend to keep this dish simple- Enjoy this with piping hot parantha...Yummy :)

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