April 23, 2011

Kokam Sarbat / Mangosteen Sharbat

With the mercury levels rising here, I felt the need for kokam (mangosteen) sarbat (sharbat). Back in India we always buy a sarbat concentrate from supermarket and sarbat is at our tips instantly whenever we want. I decided to experiment kokam sarbat on my own over here. The result was an authentic and ideal drink for the summer.

Kokam Sarbat 010

Ingredients:
For Kokam concentrate
20g amsul / mangosteen
1/2 glass water

For sarbat
1 glass cold water
2 tsp. sugar (or as per taste)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch chaat masala

Method:
  1. Soak the 20g in water for about 30-45 minutes.  Scramble the amsul with hand and strain out the concentrate.
  2. Take 2 tbsp. of concentrate in a serving glass, add sugar, salt and chaat masala. Add enough water to fill the glass and mix well.
  3. Kokam sarbat is ready to serve. Add ice if you want it extra cool.
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March 22, 2011

Chakolya/Varan Fal (Indian Pasta)

Chakolya is one of the comfort foods in Maharashtrian families. Its easy to make, tastes good, made up of whole wheat and requires less oil. So its an overall a healthy and tasty combo :)
 

Chakolya 007

 

Ingredients:

 

For Amti (Sauce):

1/2 cup toor Dal (Pigeon Pea/Pulses)

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. asafoetida

1 tsp. turmeric powder

2 tbsp. roasted desiccated coconut

2 tsp. or to taste red chilli powder

1 tsp. or to taste Goda Masala

2 tsp. tamarind juice (or to taste)

1 tbsp. jaggery

Salt to taste

1 tbsp. oil for tempering

 

For Chakolya Dough (Pasta strips):

1/2 cup Wheat flour (Chapatti atta)

pinch of salt

1 tsp. oil for kneading

Water for kneading

 

Serving suggestions:

Coriander leaves finely chopped

Dollop of homemade ghee (toop)

 

Method:

  1. Prepare the chakolya dough – knead the wheat flour along with salt, oil and water with consistency similar to Chapatti dough. Keep it aside covered for 30 min.
  2. Till then, cook the toor dal (with water) in pressure cooker giving 3-4 whistles and then 10 min on low flame. Whisk it thoroughly with ravi or beater into a uniform mixture.
  3. Heat oil in a cooking pot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. As both seeds crack up add asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  4. Now add the cooked dal, remaining seasoning – chilli powder, goda masala, salt, jaggery, desiccated coconut and tamarind juice.
  5. Mix well and add a cup (or more) of water to reduce the consistency. (Don't worry, consistency thicken in the end) Bring it to boil.
  6. Divide the dough in to 2-3 equal portions, dust with some flour and roll each portion not very thin round (up to 3-4 mm thickness ). Cut it into 1x1 inches diamonds or squares.
  7. Slide all squares/diamonds into the boiling amti. Let it cook for next 8-9 min. Keep stirring in between to avoid sticking to bottom.
  8. Serve hot with coriander leaves and dollop of homemade ghee.

 

Tip: To reduce toor dal cooking time, soak it for 30 min before cooking. This makes daal soft and cooks faster

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February 20, 2011

Daliya Upma (Cracked Wheat Upma)

Cracked wheat or Daliya is a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels. It is easily available in any Indian grocery stores and makes a healthy dietary option. Apart from Upma, Daliya contributes to many interesting recipes like Daliya pudding, salad, lapshi or even Daliya khichadi. Daliya Upma is the simplest recipe of all these and tastes awesome.

 

Daliya Upma 001

 

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

1 cup cracked wheat (daliya)
1/2 cup mix veg (peas, finely chopped carrots, broccoli, etc.)
2 finely green chillies
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
salt to taste
2 cups water (twice the quantity of daliya)

 

For tempering:
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

 

For Garnishing:
Finely chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
grated coconut (optional)

 

Method:

  1. Roast daliya in wok on slow flame for 3 minutes till colour changes to light brown. Remove from wok and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and all ingredients under tempering. Once tempering starts spluttering, add green chillies. Fry them till colour changes.
  3. Then add chopped onions and sauté it till golden brown.
  4. Now add the roasted daliya and mix vegetables. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame.
  5. Transfer the mixture to pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and salt to taste.
  6. Pressure cook it unto 3 whistles and let the cooker cool down.
  7. Before serving upma, garnish it with lemon juice, coriander leaves and freshly grated coconut.

 

This goes to 'Flavours Of Maharashtra' event hosted by Seduceyourtastebuds.

 

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February 13, 2011

Aluchi Vadi/Paatra (अळूची वडी)

Aluchi Vadi also known as Paatra is a popular dish in Maharashtra & Gujarat. It is made from Colocasia leaves. Apart from making Vadi, Alu is also used in making curry (Aluchi Bhaaji). But Aluchi Vadi is my favourite one. I have myself tried it for the first time and turned out really tasty. What a tea time snack!

 

Aluchi Vadi 004

 

Ingredients:

6 Alu/Colocasia leaves

 

For coating:

1 cup Chickpea flour (Besan)

1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste

2 tbsp. tamarind pulp

1 tbsp. grated jaggery

1 tsp. cumin powder

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. red chilli powder

1 pinch asafoetida

1 tsp. turmeric

1 pinch sodium bi-carbonate

1 tsp. ajwain/ova (optional)

Salt to taste

Water to requirement

 

For frying:

Vegetable oil for deep frying

 

Method:

  1. Wash the colocasia leaves and chop off the stems. The stems produce some juice which may cause throat irritation in some cases. To counter this effect, cut off the steams and coat the leaves with half of tamarind pulp and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Till then, prepare the coating. Mix all ingredients given under coating (except water). Mix well, add water bit by bit to make the coating ‘spreadable’.
  3. Take a leaf, keep it upside down. Generously apply the coating on to it. Keep another leaf over it covering it half way. Again apply the coating over it.
  4. Once both leaves are fully coated, start rolling from one end towards the other. Repeat the process for other two pair of leaves.
  5. At this step, you will have 3 rolls. Steam them in a pressure pan (without whistle) for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let it cool down.
  6. Cut the rolls into equal sized pieces and deep fry them oil. Serve hot with tea.

 

This goes to 'Flavours Of Maharashtra' event hosted by Seduceyourtastebuds.

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February 12, 2011

Laal Bhoplyachi Bhaaji (Red Pumpkin Curry)

This bhaaji is one of my favourite ones. Red pumpkin cooked along with sesame, peanuts, tamarind and jaggery makes really chat-pata (tangy). This is one of the comfort foods for most of the Maharashtrians.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 red pumpkin
1/4 cup roasted desiccated coconut
1 tbsp. roasted sesame powder (तील कूट)
1 tsp. roasted peanut powder (दाण्याचा कूट)
1 tsp. maharashtrian goda masala
2 tsp. red chilli powder
1/2 tsp. tamarind pulp
salt to taste
1 tsp. jaggery

 

Lal Bhopla Bhaji 004

For tempering:
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds (methya)
4-5 curry leaves
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp. turmeric powder
3 tbsp. oil

 

For garnishing:
Coriander finely chopped

 

Method:

  1. Scrape out the hard skin of pumpkin and cut into slices (kachrya). Keep immersed into water for 5 min.
  2. Heat oil in a wok. Add all ingredients under tempering one by one in a sequence. First add mustard and fenugreek seeds. As they pop up add curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  3. Then add chopped pumpkin (drain out the water) and stir well. Sprinkle few drops of water and cook covered until just cooked (about 7-8 minutes).
  4. Then add all flavourings - desiccated coconut, sesame and peanuts powder, red chilli powder, goda masala, salt jaggery and mix well.
  5. If mixture is too dry, sprinkle few drops of water and keep covered for 2 minutes.
  6. Bring it off flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with chapati or bhakri.

 

This goes to 'Flavours Of Maharashtra' event hosted by Seduceyourtastebuds.

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February 1, 2011

Char Grilled Tomato & Cream Salad

I like tomato in all forms, be it in curries or pizza or even Panini pesto. Recently I did this experiment - chargrilling tomatoes and serve it as a salad. It came out very well, the taste of all herbs together blended nicely with chargrilled tomatoes. This is a must have item in a get together. Try it out all tomato lovers.
 
Tomato Salad 002
Ingredients:
2 medium sized vine tomatoes
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp. red chilli flakes
1 tsp. black pepper powder
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary finely chopped
1 tsp. parsley finely chopped
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh cream (optional)

Method:
  1. Chop tomatoes into wedges. In a flat glass bowl, add 2 tsp. olive oil, chopped garlic and green chilli, vinegar, red chilli flakes, black pepper, little salt.
  2. Mix well and to this add chopped tomatoes. Gently toss it so that tomatoes get covered with dressing.
  3. Keep the dressing glass bowl untouched for 15 minutes so that flavours blend well in tomato.
  4. Heat a chargrill pan or metal tawa on medium heat. Transfer the marinated tomatoes along with dressing.
  5. Cook for 4 minutes or until tomatoes are just tender. Keep turning tomatoes gently with tongs.
  6. Bring it off flame and at this point, drizzle the finely chopped parsley, rosemary, oregano.
  7. Transfer it to the serving dish and garnish with a blob of fresh cream.
  8. Serve as a side dish with any Italian cuisine.
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January 13, 2011

Tilgul – Makar Sankrant special

I have been away from blogging since a long time and I felt Makar Sankranti (मकर संक्रान्ति)is the best occasion to make a come back. Sankranti is the Sanskrit word, which refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one Rāshi(zodiac in Indian astrology) to the other. Maharashtrians celebrate Sankranti by exchanging Tilgul – a sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery. While exchanging tilguls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other saying – ‘til-gul ghya, god god bola’ meaning ‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’. The under-lying thought in the exchange of tilguls is to forget the past ill-feelings and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends.

Sankranti 011

Ingredients:
2 cups roasted sesame seeds
1 cup roasted peanuts powder
1½ cups jaggery
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tsp ghee (toop)
2-4 tsp desiccated coconut (optional)

Method:
  1. Take a microwave safe bowl, add jaggery and 2 tsp ghee to it. Spray some water over it and microwave for 2 minutes on high power.
  2. You will notice that jaggery liquefies and starts bubbling. Now add remaining ingredients – sesame seeds, peanuts powder, nutmeg powder and cardamom powder.
  3. Mix well to form homogeneous ball. Transfer the ball over a greased platform or even aluminium foil.
  4. Roll it into desired thickness, press some desiccated coconut over it and cut it into square or diamond shape using a pizza cutter.
  5. Give it 5-10 minutes to cool down. Enjoy – तीळ गुळ घ्या आणि गोड गोड बोला (‘accept these tilguls and speak sweet words’)
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