Friday, August 26, 2011

Aloo cholae

Just another cholae recipe? nah...this one is with a twist...Yup! this one is with a cashew twist and simply melts into your mouth with a lingering richness of cashew. I have never used the cashew paste in my cooking so far. Now that I have used it, I realise what has been missing in my cooking - the richness and the texture it lends to the recipe. It just elevates the texture and tunes in the richness of the gravy.


Chickpeas/garbanzo - 11/2 cup (Soaked in water overnight)
1 large boiled potato- (peeled & cubed)
2 medium onions- chopped finely
3 tomatoes- chopped
4 garlic cloves
ginger- grated (1/2 tsp)
Cashews- 1 tbsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi leaves- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Salt according to taste
Oil for cooking


Drain the chickpeas (that has been soaked in water overnight), add six to eight cups of fresh water and pressure cook it for half an hour till it is soft. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. As the seeds begin to sputter, add onions and fry till golden brown. In a separate small frying pan, heat oil and saute cashew, garlic, ginger and tomatoes for few minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Grind the sauteed tomatoes, garlic, ginger and cashews to a fine paste. Add this paste to the onions. Cook for few minutes. Add coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Cook the mixture on low flame till oil floats on top. Add the cubed potatoes and chickpeas. Cook for 10 minutes. Add Kasoori methi leaves to give it a nice flavor.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gokulashtami and Rava ladoos....

I love celebrating Janmashtami for two reasons- Making small footprints of lord and festive dishes... (Just kidding, Krishna! Of course for you). This time around I did something different from the usual varieties. The usual salty snack (Uppu cheedai) and rava laddu is on the menu for the lord. So, if you really want a sweet dish that doesn't consume much time and is super tasty, here is a treat-

Rava laddu


1 cup rava (Indian semolina/suji)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
handful broken cashewnuts
Ghee (clarified butter)

Initial Preparation-

Generally, you use super fine rava for this dish. I couldn't find the super fine one in the market and here is what I did- I gave it a spin in my mixer to break it down and make it super fine. Similarly, the sugar has to be powdered (don't use crystal sugar- if you only have crystal sugar, give it a spin in your mixer/blender and make it to a powder).

How did I do it?

Roast rava in a pan with a bit of ghee till it is well roasted- keep the gas on low flame and do not burn rava/suji. Once done, keep it aside. In a small pan heat some ghee and fry cashew nuts till golden brown and keep it aside (you can include raisins as well). In a bowl, mix roasted rava, fried cashew nuts, cardamom powder and powdered sugar. I used warm ghee to blend the mixture well and make medium sized balls out of them. You need to add the ghee slowly - don't dump too much otherwise it will be difficult to make the balls. You can add warm milk instead of ghee as well. Enjoy!

Sending the entry to FSF - Janmashtami hosted by Show and Tell.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What's in a shape? Triangular rotis!

Seriously, who made the rules of cooking? Why follow a set of rules when you know you can do better? Cooking is an art and is dictated by taste buds and nothing else. When I started cooking, I used to be worried about the measure all the time. Am I putting more masala? Am I putting less spices? more salt? Is my roti geometrically round?? Practice and a bit of imagination is all you need to get it right. Now, if someone asks me how much salt should be used, I would have nothing to say- You just have a measure in your sub-consciousness and it will be tough to explain that to anyone. Enough bantering and lecturing on rules now! 

The other day, I finally chucked my regular round shape and created triangular shaped paranthas (roti's/stuffed indian flat bread). It turned out good and I just loved the new avatar of my roti's. Trust me, there is nothing fancy about the shapes and it is pretty easy to make. You don't have to worry about the precision of the triangle (some are hung up on the precision of the round shape, which won't be a problem with the triangular shape). Maybe, I will go overboard with my imagination and come up with star shaped roti's??? Just watch out for this space...

What do we need?
For the base-

Wheat flour

For the filling-

Chopped coriander leaves (around a small cup)
Chopped green chillies (used about 3 green chillies)
Cumin seeds (around 1 tsp)
Salt (according to taste)


Gently crush the cumin seeds and mix it with salt and chopped green chillies in a small cup. Keep the coriander leaves separately. Knead the flour with water and salt to a smooth and consistent dough. I used around 1 & 1/2 cups of flour. 

Method I followed-

Take a small ball of dough and flatten it to a round shape with rolling pin. Spread cumin seed mixture and coriander leaves on one portion of the round dough. Fold the other half over it so that it becomes a semi-circle. Gently fold the semicircle to a triangle. Now, gently flatten this triangle to a medium size keeping the shape intact. (I know it sounds super confusing, but you can get there if you fiddle around with the dough a bit)

Cook the roti (both sides) in a pan with oil/ghee/butter. Serve hot with Mango chutney/pickle and enjoy!!!

Another method- Mix coriander leaves, cumin seeds and green chillies to the flour and then knead the flour to a smooth & consistent dough. Now take a small ball of this dough and flatten it to a round shape. Fold it to a semi-circle. Gently fold this semicircle to a triangle. Flatten this triangle to a medium size keeping the shape intact.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Carrot Curry (Wholesome goodness)

Yeah, yeah, it's been so long since I posted. Not that I haven't been cooking, it's just that I am turning into lazy bones. Too lazy to take a pic, sit down and post.... What inspired me all of a sudden is the movie- Julie and Julia. I absolutely loved the movie! I know, I have been pretty late to catch up on the movie- but the good part is I did not miss it. If you write a cooking blog then the movie is an absolute must. It just talks about cooking in a whole new light and I finally woke up from my slumber to push myself to do this post.
Anyways, I am back on track and it's wonderful to have a space to put my thoughts on cooking.

The dish is a side dish- shredded carrots with lentils (that's why I called it wholesome goodness). This is the first time I tried something different with the carrot- shredded them and used them with steamed lentils to create a wonderful side dish that will work great with roti/rice or simply like a salad. Pretty traditional side dish down southern India, the dish is also known as Carrot thoran/ Carrot poriyal or Carrot curry. I tweaked the traditional recipe to include some lentils and peas and it just tastes divine. So get creative and try something different with carrots-


6-7 medium sized carrots (when grated it gets you around two cups)
1/2 cup frozen green peas - thawed ( take any standard/small cup that is available in your kitchen for measurement)
1 onion (medium sized)- chopped
3-4 slit green chillies
Salt according to taste
Oil for cooking
Mustard seeds (1 tsp)
Split yellow mung beans - 1/2 cup (take any standard/small cup that is available in your kitchen for measurement)
Curry leaves - few leaves (about 4-5 leaves)
Asafoetida powder/hing (dash)
1 tbsp grated coconut
lemon juice- 1/2 tbsp

Cooking procedure-

  • First step will be to boil the lentils till they are soft and tender- you can put them in a cup and microwave it or simply put it in a pan with water and allow it to boil till soft.
  • In a frying pan heat some some oil and add the dash of Asafoetida powder. The oil just picks up the flavor. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • As the mustard seeds begin to pop and roll all around your pan, add the onions, peas and green chillies.
  • Saute them for a couple of minutes till the onions are golden brown.
  • Mix the grated carrots and allow it to cook for 5-8 minutes (till the carrots are cooked and you don't get the raw taste)
  • Blend in the cooked lentils (mung beans/moong dal) and mix them completely.
  • Allow it to cook for a few minutes.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice to the mixture.
  •  Add the grated coconut towards the end and serve!

Couple of points-
Asafoetida powder is completely optional and you can skip it if you don't have it.
You can simply cook the carrots without the lentils and peas.
Peanuts work great with this dish and you can add peanuts instead of lentils or peas.


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