Baingan Musallam (Brinjal in Tomato Gravy)

Baingan  Musallam

Baingan Musallam (Brinjal in tomato gravy)
Adapted from Sapana

6-8 small brinjals cut into 2
1 medium onion chopped
2 tsp ginger/garlic paste
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 large tomato chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp cream (optional)

Add 2-3 tbsp oil on a flat pan/tava and roast baingans on both sides till half cooked. (Original recipe called for deep frying brinjals, I have cooked them on a tava with little oil keeping in mind the diet).

Baingan  Musallam 1

Heat 2 tbsp oil and add cumin.
When it splutters, add onion and saute till onions start to brown.
Add ginger/garlic paste and saute.
Add coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder and stir well.
Add a cup of water and tomatoes. Cook covered for a few minutes.
Add baingan pieces, mix well and keep covered for a few more minutes.
Take off fire when the gravy is thick and coats baingan pieces.
Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with cream and chopped coriander.

Baingan  Musallam 2


Cluster Beans with Cauliflower, Potato and Peas

Cluster beans with cauliflower

A very tasty North Indian vegetable dish for Chapathis.

Cluster beans with Cauliflower, Potato and Green Peas
Recipe source: my Mother in Law

1 ½ cups cluster beans
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup green peas
1 small potato cut into cubes
1 tomato chopped
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 -3 tbsp oil

To grind:
¼ cup grated coconut (prefer fresh)
4 cloves garlic
2-3 green chilies
¼ tsp ajwain

Cluster beans with cauliflower 1

Make a paste of “to grind” ingredients. Coarse paste will do.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
When it splutters, add curry leaves and then the paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add turmeric powder and coriander powder and saute again for 1 minute.
Add tomato and mix well.
Add 1 cup water along with beans and potato. Add salt. (All vegetables can be added together but addition of cauliflower later ensure it retains its shape)
When it’s half cooked, add cauliflower and green peas. Mix well and cook covered till done.
Check salt and take off fire. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Ckuster beans with cauliflower 2

Cauliflower Pakoda with Almonds

Cauliflower Pakoda with almonds

We have all made cauliflower pakodas; but the addition of blanched almonds and ajwain completely changes the taste of the usual pakodas. Try it.

Cauliflower Pakoda with Almonds
Recipe source: Sanjeev Kapoor (TV)

2 cups cauliflower florets
8-10 blanched almonds crushed
½ cup – ¾ cup gram flour
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ajwain
Oil for deep frying

Place 8-10 almonds in warm water for few hours. Remove skin and pulse them in grinder.(Big pieces are ok)
Make a thick paste of all except cauliflowers. The batter should not be liquid.
Mix cauliflowers and ensure its well coated.
Heat oil and deep fry.
Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Meat Pie

Meat Pie 2

Meat Pie

There are many recipes out there for pie crust….with or without egg, with yogurt, with vinegar etc. The ratio of flour to butter or shortening is also very important. The perfect crust as made by professionals use ½ cup butter to 1 ½ cups flour.

But you get good results with 2 cups flour + ½ cup butter. (Just to be guilt free )

For crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cold butter
½ tsp salt
Ice cold water (keep half cup ready)

1 ½ cup minced meat cooked
1 large onion chopped finely
1 tbsp garlic chopped finely
1 tbsp ginger chopped finely
1 large tomato chopped
½ cup green peas (cooked)
½ cup capsicum chopped
2 tbsp barbecue sauce
1 tsp pepper powder
½ tsp oregano

Egg wash:
Mix 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water or cream

Meat Pie

Saute chopped onions, capsicum, garlic, ginger till onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and mix well.
Add minced meat, green peas, barbecue sauce, oregano and saute till the mixture is almost dry.
Take off fire and let it cool a bit. In the meanwhile, make pie crusts.

You can make pie crust dough either with hand or a food processor. Of course, with food processor, the whole process takes less time. If you use hand to make the crust, work quickly and make sure butter doesn’t melt.
Add flour and salt to the food processor bowl.
Cut the butter into 8-10 cubes and add to the bowl and pulse till butter is chopped to small pieces. It’s ok if few big pieces remain.
Add ice cold water little by little and pulse. It should not become dough in the processor. Squeeze little with your hand and see if the dough holds shape.
If yes, tip the whole flour mixture onto a clean surface and gather to form a ball. Don’t over mix. (Control the temptation to add more water…the pie will not be flaky)
Divide into 2 and wrap in a cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Brush little butter on a pie plate. (I used deep glass plate)
Keep the dough at room temperature for 5 minutes to make rolling easy.
Roll one piece of dough into 8” or 9”circles and carefully place on the pie plate. Flatten with your hands so sides are covered.
Put the filling on the pie and spread evenly.
Roll the other dough and place on top of filling.
Join the edges and use your thumb and forefinger to form curve shape.
Brush the surface with egg wash and make 3-4 small slits with a sharp knife to let the steam escape.
Bake in preheated oven at 170 degree Celsius for 35- 40 minutes. The top would have become a golden colour by now.
Cool a little before you slice and serve.

The butter should be very cold and should not melt during the process. Cut into cubes and freeze for a while before adding to the flour. You can even grate the frozen butter into the flour.
The water too should be very cold; preferably add ice cubes in it.

Meat Pie 1

Paneer Paratta (cottage cheese stuffed paratta)

Paneer paratta 1

Paneer Paratta (cottage cheese stuffed paratta)

2 cups wheat flour or all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
Water as required
2 tbsp oil (if using all-purpose flour)

1 ½ cups grated paneer (or pulse in a grinder)
3 tbsp coriander leaves chopped fine
1-2 green chilies
1 small onion chopped finely
¼ tsp garam masala

Mix all filling ingredients and make walnut size balls.
Make a soft dough with flour, salt, oil and water and keep for 15 minutes.
Make small balls of the dough, slightly larger than the paneer balls.
Flatten dough in your hand enough to hold a paneer ball. Fold the dough over the paneer and seal completely.
Flatten with your hand again, dip in flour and roll using a rolling pin to form chapathi shape.
It’s ok if some filling spills out….
Place a paratta on a hot tava/griddle. When bubbles start to appear, flip the other side.
Flip again and smear some olive oil on both sides with a spoon.
When brown spots appear on both sides, remove to a plate.
Serve hot.
If you use ghee, instead of oil and use slightly more amount, you will get paratta tasting exactly like you get in restaurants.

Paneer paratta

For freezing – stack them neatly, wrap nicely in butter paper first and then wrap in aluminum foil.
Defrost lightly and toast on a tava to get the crispy fresh texture.

Dahi Vada (Urad dal dumplings in yogurt)

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada (Urad dal dumplings in yogurt)

10-12 uzhunnu vada
2 cups yogurt
¼ cup water
4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sugar

You can either make uzhunnu vada and follow the steps below or follow an easy method. Easy in the sense, you don’t have to make vada shape; just drop spoonful of batter into hot oil.
As soon as you take out of oil, drop it into a pan of warm water.
Take out after few minutes and slightly squeeze out the water and keep on a plate.
Whisk yogurt, water, sugar and salt. Check salt.
Pour half on a serving dish. Place vadas on top and cover with remaining yogurt.
Sprinkle coriander leaves, chili powder and cumin powder on top.
Chill and serve.

Dahi Vada 3

Hara Bhara Kabab/Green Kabab

Hara Bhara Kabab 1

Hara Bhara Kabab (green kabab) is made of spinach, green peas and potato with few other ingredients. It’s a very tasty vegetarian starter.

Hara Bhara Kabab
Makes 6-8

1 bunch spinach (15-20 leaves)
1 medium potato boiled
½ cup green peas boiled
2-3 tbsp paneer grated (optional)
1-2 green chilies chopped
¼ tsp garam masala
½ tsp chat masala
Salt to taste
6-8 cashewnuts
3-4 tbsp oil for shallow frying
1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs if required

Boil 2 cups of water and blanch the spinach for 2 minutes.
Drain and cool.
Squeeze out excess water and chop finely or grind in a mixer.
Mash green peas and potato with a fork. (no need to make smooth paste)
Add rest of ingredients (except breadcrumbs and cashewnuts) and mix well.
Add breadcrumbs only if the dough is too soft to shape.
Make small round patties and put one cashewnut in the middle of each.
Shallow fry in as little as 3-4 tbsp of oil and serve hot.

Murg Malai Kabab/Chicken Malai Kabab

Chicken Malai Tikka

Murg Malai Kabab is definitely one of the signature dishes of India. This is a favourite of many Indians as well as non-Indians. Chicken Malai Kabab is boneless chicken marinated in cream along with very few spices. Usually, they are threaded on a skewer and grilled, barbecued or baked but can be made on a pan as well like below. Making on stove top will not compromise on the taste.

If you want melt-in-the-mouth texture, use chicken thighs; though chicken breasts works fine as well. If using skewers, soak them in water for an hour before using.

Murg Malai Kabab / Chicken Malai Kabab

500 gms chicken pieces boneless (I used chicken breast)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
½ tsp pepper powder (prefer white)
½ tsp cardamom powder
3 tbsp cream
2 tbsp cashewnut paste (or grate few cashewnuts)
Salt to taste
Few pieces of red, green and yellow capsicum (optional)
1-2 tbsp oil

Marinate all ingredients (except capsicum) for 1hour or overnight.
Heat a non-stick pan and add chicken pieces one by one. Don’t overlap.
Flip them after few seconds. Put 1-2 tbsp oil over the chicken pieces.
After a few minutes add capsicum pieces and mix well. Ensure all sides are turned and cooked well.
It should not take more than 8-10 minutes. Chicken will cook faster if marinated overnight.
Serve with green chutney.

Chicken Malai Tikka 1

Stone Fruit Cake

Stone Fruit Cake

Stone Fruit Cake
Recipe Source Wendy

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ cup sugar (add 1cup if you want sweeter)
½ cup butter
1 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
2 cups chopped fruits (mix of plums, nectarine, apricot, peaches etc as per your choice)

Sieve flour and baking powder.
Beat butter and sugar. Add a tbsp of hot water. Beat well for approx. 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla and mix. Scrape the sides once in a while.
Add flour in 3 additions.
Divide the dough into 2 portions in the same bowl, one slightly more than the other.
Grease and put butter paper on a 9” round baking tray or a square tray.
Spread the larger portion on the tray.
Distribute the fruits evenly on top of the batter.
Dollop spoonsful of batter over the dough leaving spaces I between.
Bake for 30-35 minutes in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celsius or until the top becomes light golden in colour.
Cool and serve….or eat hot warm as I did!

Stone Fruit Cake 1

Idichakka Thoran

Idichakka Thoran

Idichakka Thoran

2 cups idichakka shredded
½ – ¾ cup grated fresh coconut
2-3 green chilies chopped
3 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds (optional)
1 tsp urad dal
2-3 whole red chilies
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp oil

Chop the outer skin of idichakka and cut into big cubes. Steam them for 20 minutes or cook with little water till tender. Don’t overcook. (They cook fast).
When cool, pulse (3-4 times) in grinder or crush them with pestle if you have it.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
When they splutter, add urad dal, cumin seeds (if you are using), and whole red chilies and stir.
Add idichakka, grated coconut, green chilies, curry leaves and mix well.
Add salt and turmeric powder.
Cook covered for 2-3 minutes. No need to cook for long as idichakka is already cooked.
Stir nicely and take off fire.
Serve with rice.

Idichakka Thoran 1