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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chegodilu-Chekodi - ICC (November) Challenge


Chegodilu / Chekodi is one of the popular snacks in Andhra. Another new recipe from Srivalli for the Indian Cooking Challenge for November’ 09. I was unaware of this recipe and also didn’t know how the final dish will look like as no pictures were specified. I was confused at first, so I decided to search the net and came across some clicks for chegodis / chegodilo and only then understood why Sri was calling them “ring murukku”. From the clicks, the chegodis looked crisp and yummy and so I started to prepare this tasty snack.

I prepared using the second of the two recipes as stated by Srivalli. The chegodis / chegodilu came out perfect and crisp. Here is the recipe, which I followed

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour (chalguri) : 3/4 cup Maida / All purpose flour: 1/4 cup
  • Ajwain: 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder: 1/4 tsp (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Turmeric powder: a pinch
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

How to proceed:

  1. Boil the water in a deep pan and add salt. When the water starts boiling, remove the pan from the fire.
  2. Add ajwain, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and rice flour & maida. Stir well with a ladle to ensure that all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  3. Pour ghee, cover with a lid and leave aside for a few minutes. Once it cools, knead to form a smooth dough.
  4. Take small portions of the dough and roll them like threads between your palms, bring the ends together and seal them to form small rings. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan, slide the prepared chegodis into it. Reduce heat and deep fry until well done. Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent tissues.
  6. Allow to cool and store in airtight containers. Repeat with the rest of the chegodis.

Another way to prepare Chegodi / Chegodilu

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour 1 cup
  • Water 1 cup
  • Split yellow dhal (moong dhal) 2 table spoons
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Ghee/ oil 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

How to proceed:


For the dough:

  1. Soak moong dal in water for half an hour.Drain after soaking, just before adding to the water.
  2. In a deep bottom pan, boil water. Add the salt, ghee and the drained moong dhal.
    Bring to a boil, allow to simmer and stir in the rice flour gradually. Keep stirring to achieve lump- free dough.
  3. When the dough looks cooked (as in outer dough for kozhukkattais), switch the stove off.
  4. Mix well and cover. Keep this aside until the dough cools down, say for about 15- 20 minutes.
  5. Add to the dough the chilli powder, sesame seeds and cumin seeds. Mix them well.

Frying the chegodis:


  1. Make small balls of the dough and roll them in ropes of about an inch and a half. Bring together the two ends of the rope and seal well.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and once the oil is of optimum temperature, slide the prepared rope-rings into very hot oil. Fry only very few at a time.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and fry the chegodis on both side until the sizzling of the oil subsides. Remove from the oil with slotted ladle and place them on absorbent tissues. Allow to cool and store in airtight containers.

Tips:

  1. While moulding the chegodis, keep the rest of the dough covered. Let the dough not dry in the air. Take out just as much of the dough to prepare enough number of chegodis that will fry in the oil.
  2. Keep oil on high heat when you are sliding the rings in and reduce the heat to low as soon as the chegodis bounce back to the surface of the oil. They have to be fried really well or you might end up with oily, soggy chegodis. Proceed with the entire dough.

All the fried chegodis came out crisp, a perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of tea / coffee.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Bloggeraid Cookbook - A cookbook to change the face of famine


Bloggers across the world coming together for a wonderful cause "Changing face of famine" and inspring others to make things happen to eradicate famine.

What is Bloggeraid?
Well, it all started towards the beginning of this year. Two wonderful food bloggers, Val of More Than Burnt Toast and Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen, who co-founded Bloggeraid-Changing the Face of Famine (Online social network of food bloggers) and also came up with the brilliant idea of a unique cook book, where the recipes will be contributed by food bloggers across the globe.
All the members of Bloggeraid (A non-profit community of hundreds of members from diverse cultural backgrounds across the globe) contributed traditional and original recipes from individual regions.
We as the members of BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine, delivered our best to make the world a better place for us and everybody else. The chosen recipes are put together in "The Bloggeraid Cook Book", which is finally published and is now for sale. You can know more or purchase it by clicking here.

Bloggeraid is supporting a wonderful cause, The World Food Programme (WFP). WFP will receive the funds generated by the cookbook, where 100% of the proceeds target children and education through the United Nation's World Food Program called School Meals, which benefits an average of 22 million hungry children each year.

img source

"WFP's school meal programmes work towards achieving several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The programmes directly address the goals of reducing hunger by half and achieving universal primary education by 2015"

I am proud to be a part of this wonderful cause. Aam Panna, a traditional mango beverage is my contribution to the cook book.


You can find the recipe along with over hundred recipes ranging from Starters, Breakfast & Brunch, Soups & Salads, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Beverages and Desserts in the cook book.

I hope that we can all spread the word about the cookbook. You too can help in this endeavour by buying the book and spreading the word about it.

  • You can buy the Bloggeraid Changing the face of famine cookbook from the Create Space estore (the estore is a connection of Amazon) or click the book cover above to purchase a book; Price is $30+s/h.
  • Write about the book and the cause in your blog.
  • Recommend it as a corporate gift to the company you work for or any other organization that does large scale gift-giving.
  • Put the cook book picture and link in the sidebar of your blog, which will directly take you to the order page.
  • Tweet it up on twitter including other social media networks.
  • Join Facebook Fan Page

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Paav Bhaji


A popular and much loved food all over India, Paav Bhaaji is a speciality of Western India. This is a spicy blend of vegetables in tomato gravy & spices, served with pav that is toasted with butter. Paav means "a small bun", while Bhaaji means "vegetable".

Ingredients:
  • 8 paavs (small squares of white bread, about 4" x 5" size)
  • Butter: 4 tbsp

For Bhaji:

  • Mixed vegetables: beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, etc.), finely chopped 3-4 cups
  • Potatoes, boiled & mashed: 1 & 1/2 cups
  • Carrots, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
  • Green Beans, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
  • Cauliflower, finely chopped: 1 cup
  • Capsicum, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
  • Peas, shelled: 1/2 cup
  • Onions, finely chopped: 1 cup
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped: 2 cups
  • Ginger & garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 - 1 tsp
  • Paav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
  • Buter: 4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon (to taste)

To Garnish:

  • Onion, finely chopped: 1 large
  • Coriander, finely chopped: 1 - 2 tbsp
  • Lemon wedges

Method:

  1. Boil water in a pressure cooker, add the mixed vegetables and a little salt and pressure cook the mixed vegetables (except capsicum, onions & tomatoes) till tender and soft. Drain out water and keep aside.
  2. Heat a large & heavy-bottomed pan and melt butter on medium flame. Add chopped onions, saute a little, add capsicums and saute for 2 more mins.
  3. Add add ginger-garlice paste and fry till onion is translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix and cook till oil separates.
  4. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, paav bhaji masala & salt, mix well and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the boiled vegetables, 1/2 cup water, mix with the masala and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer till gravy is thick, continuously stir and mash thoroughly to a course texture using a potato masher / slotted spoon.
  6. Add a table spoon of butter, mix and cook for a 2-3 more mins, Turn off the fire, add lemon juice, stir and mix well. Garnish with chopped onions, coriander, lemon wedges and a block of butter.
  7. To serve, slit the paavs / buns half horizontally (leaving one edge attached) and apply butter. Place the buns open & face down on the heated tawa / griddle till the surface is golden and crisp. Flip and repeat on other side.
  8. Serve the paavs with the hot & sizzing bhaji, garnished with finely chopped onion and lemon wedges.

Paav Bhaji is a wholesome meal with a combination of vegetables and bread. Paav Bhaaji is also a hot favorite Indian street food and you will find scores of vendors in streets all over Mumbai stirring up the dish on huge sizzling pans.


Sending this to RCI-Mumbai guest hosted by Lakshmi and event by Lakshmi Krishnan and
Radhika and Sudeshna's event, Foods for 7 Stages of Life-Kids Special

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chilli Soya


One of my favourite Chinese vegetarian recipe is Chilli Paneer. I also make new recipes by substituting paneer with other ingredients like tofu, assorted vegetables and even soya chunks.
I prepare Chilli Soya (I used Nutrella soya chunks), following the same preparation method as Chilli Paneer and it tasted the same. Well you can also replace the main ingredient and use tofu, vegetables of your choice to have new tasty recipes.

Soya nuggets /chunks are commonly referred to as vegetarian meat and generally used as meat substitutes in several dishes. Soys nuggets are prepared from defatted (DOC) soya flour by the process of extrusion cooking.

Ingredients:
  • Soya chunks / nuggets: 100 gms / 1 cup
  • Cornflour: 50 gms / ½ cup
  • Onion, cubed & layers are separated: 3
  • Capsicum, diced / cubed: 1 large
  • Green chiilies, chopped: 3-4
  • Garlic & Ginger, chopped: 1 tsp
  • Soya sauce: 2-3 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce / ketchup: 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Vinegar: 1 tsp
  • White oil: 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Spring onions, chopped: 1 bunch

Method:

  1. Boil water in a pan, add a little salt, soak the soya chunks. Cover the pan and let the soya chunks soak for 15-20 mins. Press and squeeze out excess water and keep aside.
  2. Take a bowl, combine 1 tbsp of cornflour in a little cold water, soya sauce & vinegar and mix well. Keep aside.
  3. Mix the rest of the corn flour with a little water in a bowl to make a smooth batter. Heat oil in a kadhai, lightly coat the soya chunks in the batter and saute them. Drain and keep aside.
  4. Heat oil once again (add extra oil, if required). Add the cubed onion & capsicum pieces and saute for 3 - 4 mins till the onion and capsicums are tender.
  5. Stir the cornflour and soya sauce mixture, add to the kadhai and keep on stirring. Add soya chunks, chopped green chillies, garlic & salt, mix well so that all the soya chunks get coated with the gravy. Add tomato sauce (optional) and mix well.
  6. Adjust water (as per your requirement of gravy), cook for 5 - 6 mins till the gray become thick. Remove from fire, transfer in a serving dish.
  7. Garnish with grated ginger, chopped spring onions and serve hot with noodles / chowmein or fried rice.

Tip: Some people do not like the smell of soya chunks. To remove the 'smell / stink' in soya chunks, here is a helpful trick. Add finely chopped garlic in the boiling water, release the soya chunks and boil for 5-10 mins. Press and thoroughly squeeze out water and use in the recipe.


This recipe is also nutritious as soya chunks are a rich source of protein and contribute a maximum level of 50% vegetable protein. They are also free from cholesterol.

I am sending this delicious Chilli Soya recipe to Vaishali's IAVW-Chinese event and to Radhika's and Sudeshna's Foods for 7 Stages of Life-Kids Special event....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gobi Parantha - T&T from TongueTicklers


I cooked this delicious Gobi ke parathe from Sunshinemom's Tongue Ticklers. I first tasted this parantha while at my aunty's place in Delhi and also learnt the recipe from her. She used to grate the cauliflower, mix it with some spices and directly used it as the filling.
When I first prepared this recpe, I had the problem with the moisture coming out from the cauliflowers, then I sauted the grated cauliflower to remove the excess moisture. While searching through the blog, I came across this recipe for Gobi ke parathe, which is almost the same as I like to prepare.
Only I like to add chopped coriander leaves and a little red chilli powder to the filling.

Gobi Parantha (Find the original recipe here)

Ingredients:

Dough:
  • Plain flour (maida): 2 cups
  • Water (as required)
  • White oil (for kneading dough): 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

Filling

  • Cauliflower: 250 gms
  • Carom seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • White Oil: 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli, finely chopped: 1-2
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 2 bunch
  • Ginger, grated: 1/2"

Method:

  1. Dough: Take the flour in a bowl and add white oil and salt. Slowly add water and knead to form a smooth dough. Cover and keep aside.
  2. Filing: Discard the stalks and grate cauliflower florets.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan. When hot sizzle the carom seeds, add the chillies and ginger followed by cauliflower gratings, salt and garam masala. Saute for 1-2 mins till the moisture dries up a little. Remove and keep aside.
  4. Rolling the paranthas: Take a small portion of the dough, make a pocket, put a small portion of the filling, gather and close the dough. Roll out the dough carefully and saute and toast with white oil. Serve hot with raita, pickles and any other gravy side dish.
Sending this Gobi Parantha to T&T-TongueTicklers, event started by Zlamushka and guest hosted by The Singing Chef

Aloo Paneer Masala


A delicious and easy to prepare Aloo Paneer Masala / Curry recipe, perfect side dish to have with chapati, parantha and even with rice dishes.

Ingredients:
  • Paneer, cubed: 250 gms
  • Potatoes, cubed: 200 gms / 3-4 large potatoes
  • Tomatoes, roughly chopped: 2 small
  • Onions: 3 (grated)
  • Garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 3 tsp
  • Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • White oil / mustard oil: 2 tbsp
  • Fresh cream: 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Coriander leaves, chopped (to garnish)

Method:

  1. Boil water in a bowl and release the paneer cubes. Switch off gas and keep the bowl covered for 10 mins. Drain the paneer cubes and keep aside. (You can also lightly saute the paneer cubes if desired).
  2. Heat oil in a kadhai, add sugar and saute the grated onions, add the ginger & garlic paste, mix well. Add the chopped tomatoes and combine with the masala.
  3. Add the cubed potatoes, turmeric, cumin and jeera powder, salt and garam masala and mix well so that the masala coats the potatoes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup water and cook covered till potatoes are tender.
  5. Add the paneer cubes, mix carefully and adjust water to get a gravy of desired consistency and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh cream, chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.


Sending this paneer dish to the following events, JFI-Paneer guest hosted by Cardamom; Radhika's and Sudeshna's Foods For 7 Stages Of Life-Kids Special and to Think Spice-Think Turmeric guest hosted by Sudeshna, event started by Sunita..

Chaaler Payesh (Rice Kheer)


Chaaler Payesh (Rice Kheer) is one of the most typical authentic Bengali sweets / dessert preparation, loved and cherished by all Bengalis, specially prepared in auspicious occasions like birthdays, pujas and festive times. It always a treat for our birthdays, specially prepared by my mother.

The traditional way to prepare this kheer / payesh is to boil the milk on low heat for and then the rice is added. Boiling is continued till rice is tender. Sugar, raisins and cashew nuts are added to the milk & rice and cooked for some more time till the milk becomes slightly dense or as per your desired consistency. Cardamom powder is sprinkled. This can be served warm or chilled.

A special type of rice called "gobindo bhog rice" is used in this recipe. I prepared this dish with basmati rice in microwave.

Ingredients:
  • Basmati Rice: 1/4 cup (50 gms)
  • Milk: 500 ml
  • Sugar: 100-125 gms
  • Black Cardamom Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Fruits: Raisins, Cashew Nuts, Almonds and Pistachios

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 15-20 mins. Drain the water and keep aside.
  2. In a deep microwave safe bowl, mix milk, rice and boil at 100% for 6-7 mins. (Stir after 3 mins).
  3. Add sugar & cardamom powder and microwave at 60% power for 10-12 mins and again at 40% for 5 more mins. Allow to stand for 5 mins.
  4. Garnish with chopped dry fruits of your choice. Serve warm or chilled.

Sending this delicious rice kheer to EC's WYF - Speciality Food event and MEC-Sweets N Savouries guest hosted by Paru of Brindavan, event started by Srivalli and Radhika's & Sudeshna's Food for 7 stages of life: Kid's Special event.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jeera Rice


Jeera Rice (Cumin flavored rice), is a simple and tasty variation on plain boiled rice made with cumin seeds. Jeera rice can be prepared in 2 ways, one by total absorption of water by the rice and other by draining the water from the rice, where the starch is discarded.

Generally cumin seeds are lightly sauted in ghee / white oil and then the soaked basmati rice is cooked with sufficient water till soft or the parboiled rice is tossed with the sauted cumin seeds to bring out the flavour. Jeera rice is generally served with any veg or non-veg gravy / curry side dishes. This is recipe for Jeera Rice, made in a microwave.
Ingredients:
  • Basmati Rice: 1 cup (200 gms)
  • Water: 1& 1/2 cups
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cloves: 4
  • Cinnamon sticks: 2
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Green cardamom: 2-3
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves, chopped: 2 bunch (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, add the ghee, bay leaves, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks & green cardamom and microwave for 1 min.
  3. Add the soaked rice, water and salt, mix well and boil covered at 100% power for 9-10mins and then at 60% power for 6-8 mins. (Stir in between every 5 mins). Allow to stand, covered for 5 mins.
  4. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves are serve hot with any side dish of your choice along with raita and green salad.

I am sending this rice dish to Srilekha's EFM-Variety Rice event...

I am also sending some rice recipes from my archives, Paneer Peas Pulao, Jeera Peas Rice, Kiribath and Mishti Bhaat

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Paneer Peas Pulao

Paneer Peas Pulao is a delicious North Indian dish. Though pulao is generally cooked by boiling rice in a handi / big bowl, I prepared this pulao in a pressure cooker. The raisins and cashew nuts added to the pulao, bring out the authentic taste in this Paneer (cottage cheese) Peas Pulao.


Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice: 2 cups (200 gms)
  • Paneer (cottage cheese), cubed: 150 gms
  • Peas, shelled: 1 cup (100 gms)
  • Cashew nuts, halved: 50 gms
  • Raisins: 50 gms
  • Bay leaf: 2
  • Cinnamon stick: 1"
  • Cloves: 4-5
  • Green Cardamoms: 2-3
  • Vegetable oil: 3-4 tbsp
  • Sugar: 2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water: 3&1/2 cups

Procedure:

  1. Wash rice thoroughly, let it soak in a bowl for 30 mins, drain and keep aside.
  2. Boil water in a bowl, put the paneer cubes, simmer and soak for 2-3 mins. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan, release the cashew nuts and saute till light golden. Remove and set aside. Similarly lightly saute the raisins, drain oil and keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add whole spices. Stir and saute for 1-2 mins. Add rice, peas, paneer cubes and half the portion of fried cashew nuts & raisins. Lightly saute until all the ingredients are well coated with oil.
  5. Add water, sugar and salt. Stir a little, cover the cooker with the lid and bring the water to a boil. When the water starts boiling (steam comes out of the nozzle), put the whistle cap on the lid and cook till 2-3 whistles.
  6. Let the cooker cool down, gently transfer the pulao to a serving dish. Garnish with rest of the fried cashew nuts & raisins. Serve hot.

Sending this pulao recipe to Sara's Say Cheese event...


I am also sending the following recipes to the event....


Paneer Parantha


Creamy Cheesy Pasta


and some of my favourites from the archives




Classic Cheese Pizza


Navratan Korma


Hariyali Paneer Tikka

Monday, November 2, 2009

Paneer Parantha


Paneer (Cottage Cheese) is the most common type of cheese available, popular in India and a rich source of protein. Generally paneer parantha is prepared by putting a stuffing of paneer & spices inside a dough, sometimes stuffing is placed in between two rolled out doughs, pressed together, again rolled out and cooked in oil. Here is the recipe for Paneer Parantha, prepared in a slighty different way...

Ingredients:
  • Paneer, grated: 1-1/2 cup
  • Wheat Flour (Atta): 2 cups
  • White Flour (Maida): 1 cup
  • Roasted Cumin (Jeera) seed powder: 2-3 tsp (to taste)
  • Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • White oil, frying

Method:

  1. Sieve Atta & Maida together, add salt and mix well. Take a little amount of the mixed flours, add the grated paneer and combine well. Add a little white oil.
  2. Knead slowly, gradually add the rest of the flour to form a smooth dough (Add water if required, but do not add too much water, it may appear sticky at first, coat your hand in flour so that it's easy to knead). Make 10-12 equal balls.
  3. Take a ball, carefully roll out to form a circle (Apply flour to your hand to prevent sticking).
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan, place the rolled dough and toast on both sides. Apply a little oil around the edges and turn on the other sise.
  5. Flip again and cook on both sides till golden brown. Serve hot with raita / chutney.

Sending this delicious Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Paranthas to CFK - Wheat, hosted by Sireesha, event started by Sharmi and to Sara's Say Cheese event...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Creamy Cheesy Pasta


My kid started having pasta after 1 and half years. I used to prepare my own pasta sauce, the kid loved penne pasta with white sauce. Here is the recipe for creamy cheesy pasta.

Ingredients:
  • Pasta: 200 gms / 2 cups (penne, fusille, spaghetti, fettucine)
  • Cheese (Mozzarella / Parmesan), grated: 1 cup
  • Milk: 1 cup (as required)
  • Garlic, finely chopped: 2-3 flakes
  • Butter: 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil / white oil: 1 tbsp
  • Oregano: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  1. To prepare White Sauce, blend ½ the cheese & milk together in a blender to form a creamy cheesy mixture. Keep aside.
  2. Melt butter in a non-stick pan. Add chopped garlic and sauté for a minute.
  3. Gradually add a flour (a little at a time), mix with the butter, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed.
  4. Slowly add milk & chesse mixture to the butter & flour mixture, while stirring continuously. Add a little pinch of oregano and mix well.
  5. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta. Cook al dente (soft but not not too soggy) following the timing instructions on the package.
  6. Drain the pasta, toss immediately with the cottage cheese mixture, and serve hot.
Sending this delightful and light pasta dish to Foods For Stages Of Life-Cooking For Infants & Toddlers event by Radhika & Sudeshna, EC's WYF-Light Meal and Sara's Say Cheese event...

Gulab Jamun - ICC (October Challenge)


Gulab Jamun is a delectable sweet famous among Indian people, specially prepared during festive seasons like Deepawali and happy occasions. I have already posted a recipe on Gulab Jamun, you can catch it here.

Srivalli proposed 3 different ways of preparing gulab jamuns, she choosed from the yum blog, Indo and Alka's blog. I followed the recipe as stated in the Yum Blog, sending this tempting & delicious Indian sweet to Indian Cooking Challenge for the month of October.

Ingredients:

  • Khoya – 1&1/2 cups
  • Maida – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 3 cups (if you want excess syrup, increase by a cup)
  • Water – 1 cup (increase if you’re increasing sugar)
  • Cooking Soda – 3 pinches
  • Cardamom – 4 pods
  • Saffron leaves – a few
  • Oil – 1 cup (for deep frying)

Method

  1. Combine sugar and water in a flat bottomed broad pan and simmer on a low heat until sugar dissolves. Add cardamom powder and saffron leaves and remove from fire.
  2. Knead khoya, maida and soda and quickly shape into balls. (Apply a little ghee to have a smooth texture).
  3. Heat oil on a medium flame. Fry the jamuns till golden brown over a low to medium flame, keeping oil temperature uniform.
  4. Drain the jamuns and soak in the warm sugar syrup. Serve the jamuns after half an hour

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Akuri (Parsi Scrambled Eggs)

I have prepared scrambled eggs before with various chopped vegetables (tomatoes, capsicums, boiled beans & carrots) and spices. While searching for more Parsi dishes, I came across Akuri, a spicy scrambled eggs recipe, a popular Parsi breakfast dish prepared with spices including cumin seeds, black pepper and chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. It is served with pav / double roti.

Ingredients:
  • Eggs: 6
  • Milk: 1/4 cup
  • Onions, finely chopped: 4 medium
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped: 2 medium
  • Capsicum, finely chopped: 1 medium
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped: 2
  • Ginger, finely chopped: 1/2"
  • Green chillies, finely chopped: 2
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 1-2 bunch
  • White oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp

Method:

  1. Beat eggs in a bowl, add salt and milk and whisk well.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan, add chopped onions, saute a little till onions becomes tender and light golden brown.
  3. Add cumin seeds, chopped ginger & garlic, saute a little, add chopped tomatoes & coriander leaves and fry for 2-3 more mins.
  4. Add the beaten eggs, mix well and stir continuously over medium heat till eggs are well cooked and resembles scrambled eggs.
  5. Garnish with sliced capsicum rings, serve hot with buttered bread / rotis.

The dish is somewhat liquid in texture, I dried a bit and it tasted superb with roti. Altough the recipe didn't mention capsicum, I prepared with chopped capsicum. Sending this scrambled eggs to RCI-Parsi Cuisine, guest hosted by Meera of Enjoy Indian Food, event started by Lakshmi.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Masoor Daal (Red Lentil Soup)


In the early stages of life, babies feed primarily on breast milk, which provides all the essential nutrients required by the infants; satisfies their appetite and also protects from susceptible dangers of several diseases. Once babies start growing, their nutritional requirements enhances so the diet has to be rich, providing complete nutrition.
It's important to watch out for iron deficiency after kids reaches 1 year of age as it can affect their physical, mental and behavioral development, sometimes leading to anemia. So once the baby turns a year old, you can gradually reduce the amount of milk (A one-year-old does not need more than half a litre of milk a day) and increase iron-rich foods / solids in your child's diet.

Milk should be given in the morning and afternoon only, and lunch and dinner should consist mainly of the household food, like mashed vegetables with a chappati / little rice and light lentil soup / daal.
Masoor dal is a type of lentil (part of the legume family). Lentils have a very high percentage of proteins, and also essential amino acids (isoleucine & lysine). Masoor daal is also an important source of nutrition as it contains high quantities of iron, adviced for pregnant ladies, adolescents or those who suffers from iron deficiency.
When the infants start to take rice, make a paste with light masoor daal for easy intake of food. Though Masoor Daal can be prepared in several ways using spices like garlic, cumin seed. I used Split Red Lentils and prepared this daal / soup in a very simple way, perfect for your infant and also to have with a sandwich at dinner time.

Ingredients:
  • Masoor dal (Red lentil): 1 cup
  • Onion, finely chopped: 1 small
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil: 1 tsp
  • Water: 2 - 3 cups
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Wash the Masoor Daal, drain well and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the chopped onions and saute a little till light golden brown (do not fry too much or else they may turn blackish).
  3. Add masoor daal, turmeric powder, water and salt, mix properly and bring to a boil.
  4. As soon as the water starts boiling, put the lid and cook the daal until 2-3 whistles.
  5. Check whether the cooked daal is complety soft or not (or else cook till 1-2 whsitles more).
  6. Check the salt & sugar and water consistency when the pressure cooker cools, pour the Masoor Daal in a bowl and serve hot.
Sending this healthy and nutritous Masoor Daal / Red Lentil Soup to Radhika's & Sudeshna's Foods For Stages Of Life-Cooking for infants & Toddlers & to EC's WYF-Light Meal...

Parsi Pora (Parsi Omlette)

Parsi Pora is a popular Parsi Omlette, prepared with lot of spices to give an authentic taste. It tastes best, served between two pieces of toasted & buttered bread (white / whole wheat) along with tomato / mango chutney.

Ingredients:
  • Eggs: 5-6
  • Onion, finely chopped: 3 medium
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped: 1 large
  • Green chilies, chopped: 2-3
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 1 cup
  • Dhana jiru powder (fresh coriander seeds & cumin seeds ground to form powder): ½ tsp
  • Ginger & Garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly grounded: 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chili powder: 1/2 tsp (to taste)
  • Turmeric (optional): 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee / white oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs well to combine egg whites & yolks. Add the chopped ingredients, dhana jiru powder, ginger & garlic paste and salt and mix well.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add 1-2 drops of ghee / oil and coat on al sides. Pour a ladleful of the egg mixture in the centre. Carefully tilt and rotate the pan so that the egg mixture forms a perfect circle. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 mins.
  3. As soon as the lower side is cooked and turns light brown, gently turn / flip the omlette and let it cook the other side.
  4. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Serve with hot bread / toast.

Traditional parsi way to cook poras is to shallow fry one at a time in oil without folding to form a rich dark brown pora. Different types of Poras can be prepared by adding raw / ripe mangoes, boiled potatoes (cubed) with a little gram flour.

This is my second entry to RCI - Parsi Cuisine, hosted by Meera, event started by Lakshmi.

Khara Papeta

The Zoroastrian Parsi community is a prosperous, peace and fun-loving community. Their cooking combines techniques and ingredients from across the globe, specially known for the unique blend of spices & flavours that makes the food very appetizing, nutritious and wholesome.

At present, Parsi cuisine or Parsi Bhonu (feast fit for a king) is a delicious blend of western and eastern influences. Parsi community in India adopted foods and recipe cooking processes, procedures and ingredients from the Persians, British, French, Germans, Portuguese, Irish, Italian including several others.
They settled in India, first at Sanjan, Udvada, Navsari and Surat in Gujarat and later spread to Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and other places and adopted the regional cooking techniques. Parsis are known to prefer non-vegetarian (Iranian cuisine) dishes like fish, meat and chicken. They also have a large selection of delectable vegetarian (Gujarati - Indian cuisine) recipes.

The basic feature of a Parsi lunch is rice, eaten with lentils / curry. Dinner would include a meat dish, often accompanied by potatoes / other vegetable curry. Onion-cucumber salad, known as Kachubar is a must for most meals in Parsi household.

Here is the recipe for Khara Papeta, a popular Parsi recipe, made of papeta (potatoes) and tomatoes.


Ingredients:
  • Potatoes, peeled and diced: 4-5 medium sized
  • Onions, finely sliced: 2 large (sliced)
  • Tomato, roughly chopped: 1 large (chopped)
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
  • Garlic, finely chopped: 4 flakes
  • Ginger, finely chopped: 1” size
  • Green Chiili, finely chopped: 1-2 (as per taste)
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • White Oil: 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped: 2-3 bunches
  • Chopped coriander leaves & tomatoes and a little grated ginger, for garnishing

Method:

  1. Heat oil and fry the onions until translucent / golden brown in colour.
  2. Add cumin seeds, chopped ginger & garlic and saute for 1-2 minute.
  3. Add potatoes and salt and saute for 2 minutes (I didn't use turmeric, if you want, you can use a pinch for a yellowish tinge).
  4. Add a little water, lower flame and cook until potatoes are tender. Try to dry the water. (Basically this is a dry curry / sabji, but if you want a little gravy, adjust the water accordingly).
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Remove from fire, garnish with chopped coriander leaves & tomatoes. Sprinkle some grated ginger on top and serve hot.

Sending this recipe to RCI - Parsi Cuisine, hosted by Meera, event started by Lakshmi.

Capsicum Rings


Capsicum rings, a light and crunchy dish, perfect for a hot cup of tea / coffee. The mint leaves provide unique flavour to the dish.

Ingredients:
  • Capsicums, firm: 3 medium sized
  • Paneer (cottage cheese), grated / crumbled: 1 cup
  • Raw Potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed): 1/2 cup
  • Mint (pudina), finely chopped: 4 tbsp
  • Green chillies, finely chopped: 1-2
  • Cornflour: 1-1/2 tbsp (as required)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cornflour (for coating capsicum rings)
  • Oil (for deep frying)

Method:

  1. Wash the capsicums, cut the stems and deseed them. Cut the capsicums into medium sized thick rings and keep aside.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Hold one capsicum ring in between the palms, carefully stuff the mixture and press tightly.
  4. Coat the capsicum ring with cornflour form all sides and deep fry in hot oil till they are golden brown. Repeat with the remaining capsicum pieces.
  5. Serve hot sprinkled with the chaat masala.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chire Bhaja (Fried Pressed Rice)

Chire Bhaja (Fried Presse Rice / Avalakki) is a light snack, perfect for a rainy evening accompanied with a steaming cup of tea / coffee.
Chire (pressed rice) can be either dry roasted (to give a crispy taste) or fried in white oil to give a crunchier taste.

One thing to remember while frying, that you have to get the correct temperature, or else if the oil is too hot, the chire will get burnt (turn deep brown in colour) or it will be sort of soggy with oil (if the oil is not heated properly). As the chire / pressed rice tends to soak oil, always fry each batch with little oil.

The fried chire can be served as it is or you can add ingredients as per your choice to make a perfect crunchy and savoury dish like fried peanuts & papads, mixed with sliced onions, chopped green chillies.




Ingredients:
  • Chire (pressed rice): 100 gms
  • Peanuts: 2 tbsp
  • Plain / Masala Papad: 2-3
  • Onions, sliced: 2
  • Green chillies, chopped / whole: 2 (as per taste)
  • White oil: 3-4 tbsp (as required)
  • Mustard oil: 2-3 drops
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper, freshly ground (optional)
  • Bhujia / chanachur (to garnish)
  • Coconut slices (optional) (to garnish)

Method:

  1. Heat white oil in a deep bottomed frying pan. Make sure that the oil is of right temperature (fry a little pressed rice to see whether it puffs up in the oil). Fry the remaining chire (add oil as required), drain quickly remove from fire. Keep aside.
  2. Lightly fry / saute the peanuts and papads in a little oil and keep aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine fried pressed rice, peanuts and papads. Add sliced onions, chopped green chillies, bhujia, salt and a few drops of mustard oil (be careful, otherwise everything will be soaked in oil) and mix thoroughly.
  4. Garnish with a some more bhujia and coconut slices and consume immediately to retain the crispiness.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Methi Aloo Parantha


Fenugreek is used both as a herb (leaves) and spice (seeds). The plant is mainly consumed and cooked as a vegetable, “Methi Saag”. Fenugreek leaves and seeds are rich in minerals like potassium, calcium and iron. The leaves have ample amount of vitamins, specially Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
Fenugreek leaves add flavor to the cooking and it can be added to a variety of coking like dal, vegetable, rice or wheat flour (atta). Here I prepared this parantha as more of a chapati / roti and toasted with a little oil, so it's healthy as less oil is consumed.

Ingredients
For dough:
  • wheat flour (atta): 1 cup
  • salt: ½ tsp
  • oil: 1 tsp
  • water (as required)

Stuffing:

  • Fenugreek (Methi saag) leaves, finely chopped: 1 cup
  • Potatoes (Aloo), boiled & mashed: 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
  • Ginger paste: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • White oil: 1-1/2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

Method:

For the dough:

  1. Combine the ingredients, knead into a soft dough with enough water. Cover and keep aside.

For the stuffing:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek leaves and saute for 2-3 mins.
  2. Add the ginger paste, spices and salt and mix well.
  3. Add the potatoes and saute for another 2-3 mins. Cool completely and keep aside.

For rolling paranthas:

  1. Divide the dough and the stuffing into equal portions (5-6).
  2. Roll out one portion of the dough into a circle. Place one portion of the methi stuffing in the centre of the rolled out circle.
  3. Gather together all the sides in the centre and seal tightly.
  4. Roll out again into a circle (use wheat flour to prevent sticking).
  5. Place the rolled dough on a non-stick hot tawa / griddle, lower heat and slowly cook till brown spots appear on the sides.
  6. Use a little oil on the sides, flip the parantha to coat evenly and fry till golden brown.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough and stuffing and serve hot.
As I prepared the parantha with whole wheat flour and coriander powder, sending this delicious and nutritious recipe to CFK - Wheat, hosted by Sireesha of Kidz Delight and Think Spice-Think Coriander seeds guest hosted by Priya, event started by Sunita.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tangy Rajma Curry


Rajma curry is a typical North Indian recipe, usually served with rice as it's famously known as "Rajma Chawal" It can also be served with Paranthas / Chapatis. While cooking rajma one day, I happened to see that the tomato was not available in sufficient amount, so I added a little tomato sauce to give a tangy flavour to the dish. I also do not use turmeric and I like the reddish colour of the dish. So now, I substitute the requisite amount of tomato with half the amount of tomato and the other other half by adding tomato sauce. Here is the recipe for Tangy Rajma Curry.

Ingredients:
  • Red kidney beans: 2 cups (soaked overnight, preferably 12 hours)
  • Baking soda: ½ tsp
  • Bay Leaf: 1
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1 tsp (to taste)
  • Garam Masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Water (as per gravy)
  • Tomato sauce: 1 - 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped tomato, coriander leaves, onion rings (for garnishing)

Ingredients to grind:

  • Onion, medium sized, chopped: 2
  • Tomato, medium sized chopped: 1
  • Ginger, crushed: 1 tsp
  • Garlic, crushed: 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon: a small stick
  • Green cardamoms: 2
  • Cloves: 2

Method:

  1. Soak the rajma for overnight, drain and keep aside. Add enough water in a pressure cooker, add a little salt and baking soda and pressure-cook the soaked rajma.
  2. Cook it on high heat level, lower to sim after 2-3 whistles and further cook for 15 mins or until the rajma is soft and tender.
  3. Grind the above mentioned ingredients in a mixie to form a paste (do not grind too much, keep a little coarse). Keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a kadhai / frying pan. Add bay leaf and the onion-ginger & garlic paste. Saute till oil separates from the sides of the kadhai.
  5. Add the soaked rajma and mix thoroughly with the paste.
  6. Add the remaining dry spices and mix well. Check the salt (be careful in adding salt, as the rajma is already pressure cooked using salt).
  7. If you want more gravy, add water as per your requirement. Add the tomato sauce, mix well. Finally add garam masala, mix well and remove from fire.
  8. You can either keep the dish a litle dry or make gravy as per your liking (only check the amount of tomato sauce you are adding or else the whole dish will be too tangy).
  9. Garnish the rajma curry with finely chopped tomatoes and onion rings. Serve hot with rice, parantha / naan.
Sending this Rajma dish to JFI - Rajma, hosted by Divya Vikram, started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Murukku - ICC September


Murukku is an all time favourite crunchy snack for every Indians. It can be prepared in various ways and it is generally prepared on special festive occasions. Srivalli stated the Murukku recipe using rice flour and roasted urad dal flour.......

Jantikalu or Murukku

Preparation Time : 20 - 30 mins
Cooking Time : 20 - 30 mins
Makes : app 250 kg of Muruku
Cuisine: Andhra & Tamil Nadu

Utensils needed:
Muruku /Chakli Press
Kadai

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice - 4 cups
Urad Dal - 1 cup
Water - app 1/2 cup or more

For Seasoning

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Asafetida/ Hing - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter - 75 gms

Method to prepare:
  • Wash and drain the rice. Shade dry the Rice for 1/2 hr. Dry roast the Urad dal to light brown. Allow it to cool (If you are using more quantity, you can get it ground in rice mil, else use your mixie to grind both Rice and Urad dal).
  • First grind rice into a fine flour, keep it aside. then grind the urad dal to fine powder.
  • In a wide vessel, take both the flours along with salt. Mix well. Add cumin, Sesame seeds to the flour, mix well.
  • Whether you use Asafetida powder or the solid ones, you got to mix it in water, make sure it is dissolved before adding to the flour. If its not dissolved properly, when deep frying the muruku, there are chances for the hing to burst our due to air bubbles.
  • Mix in the hing to the flour and finally add the butter. Gather everything well and you will get more of a crumbling mixture. Now slowly add water and knead a dough which is little more softer than the puri dough.
  • Heat a kadai with oil enough to deep fry. Once the oil is hot enough, simmer to low flame.
  • Take the Muruku Aachu, wash and wipe it clean. Then divide the dough into equal balls. Fill the Muruku maker with the dough. You can either press it directly over the flames or press over a paper and gently slide it down the hot oil. But since the quantity mentioned here is less, you can press it directly over the kadai.
  • Cook over medium flame, using a slotted spoon, turn it over to other side to ensure both sides turn golden colour. You will know by seeing the colour that its cooked.
  • Remove to a kitchen paper and store it in a air tight container.

I pressed the dough over a paper and then released the murukkus in the oil.

Thanks to Srivalli for choosing this savoury snacks as the ICC Challenge for September......I prepared exactly as she stated and got the perfect crunchy Murukku....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Durga Pujo Celebrations

Durga Puja also referred to as “Durgotsab”, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates worship of Hindu Goddess Durga.

Durga Puja is widely celebrated in the eastern part of India, specially in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura. Apart from Eastern part of India, Durga Puja is also celebrated in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala. Durga Puja is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Goddess Durga is the widely worshiped deity of Sakti including various forms corresponding to her two aspects benevolence and fierceness. She is the personification of tender love, wealth, power, beauty and all virtues. She is also known as Parvati, Uma, Gauri, Ambika, Jagatmata, Bhairavi, Chandi and Kali in different avatars.

During Durga Puja, God in the form of the Divine Mother is worshiped in Her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati together. Though the Goddess is one, She is represented and worshiped in three different aspects.


On the first three nights of the festival, Durga is worshiped. Lakshmi is worshiped on the following three nights and then Saraswati is worshiped on the last three nights. The following tenth day is called Vijaya Dashami.

The complete image of Goddess Durga represent destruction of evil and protection of good. Goddess Durga arrives in all her finery astride a lion, with her 4 children, Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge), Kartikeya (God of beauty as well as warfare) and Ganesha (Siddhidata / the starter of everything in good sense).

She is usually depicted as having ten arms, 8 arms carrying a separate weapon in them (Sword, Conch, Discus, Rosary, Bell, Winecup, Shielf, Bow, Arrow, and Spear) and the rest two holds the spear which has been struck into the chest of the demon, Mahishasura.

The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding the festival is called Debi Pokkho. Durga Puja spans over a period of 10 days starting from Mahalaya till Bijoya Dashami.

Mahalaya ushers in the aura of Durga Puja and heralds the advent of Devi Durga, the goddess of supreme power. The midnight chants of various hymns of 'Mahishasura Mardini' reminds one of the beginning of Durga Puja. Thousands offer prayers to their ancestors at the city's river banks, a ritual called Tarpan. The inauguration of the deity Goddess idol starts on Mahashasthi. The main puja is for three days - Mahasaptami, Mahaastami, Mahanavami.
Maha Shasthi
On this day Goddess Durga arrives from her heavenly abode, accompanied by her children. She is welcomed amidst the beats of dhak. The main ritual is unveiling the face of the idol. Kalaparambho, the ritual performed before the commencement of the puja precedes Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas.

Maha Saptami
Saptami is the first day of Durga puja. Kola Bou (Nabapatrika) is given a pre-dawn bath. This is an ancient ritual of worshiping nine types of plants. They are together worshiped as a symbol of the goddess. The main Saptami Puja follows Kalparambho and Mahasnan.

Maha Ashtami
The day began with a recital of Sanskrit hymns. Thousands of devotees offer anjali to the goddess. Kumari Puja (worship of little girls) as the Mother Goddess is a special part of the rituals observed in several traditional pujas. Sandhi Puja is an important aspect, which links Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami.

Maha Navami
The concluding day of Durga Puja. The main Navami puja begins after the end of Sandhi Puja. The Navami Bhog is offered to the Goddess, which is later taken as the prasad by the devotees.

Vijaya Dashami
Dashami (the last day), a tearful farewell is offered to the Goddess. Most of the community pujas postpone the farewell as long as possible and arrange a grand send-off. The images are carried in processions around the locality and finally is immersed in a nearby river or lake. Vijaya Dashami is an event celebrated all over the country.


Different Forms of Durga
  • Durga Shailputri (Daughter of Mountain): She is Parvati – Hemvati, daughter of Himalaya and first among nine Durgas. In previous birth she was Sati - Bhavani, the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Lord Shiva.

  • Brahmacharini: The second Durga Shakti is Brahamcharini / Uma. Brahma (One who observes penance). The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous. There is rosary in her right hand and Kamandal in left hand.

  • Chandraghanta: The name of third Shakti is Chandraghanta. There is a half-circular moon in her forehead. She is golden coloured goddess, charmful and bright, astride on a lion. She has three eyes and ten hands holding ten types of weapons.

  • Kushmanda: The name of fourth Durga is Kushmanda. She has eight hands and rides a lion. Seven types of weapons are shining in her seven hands and she helds Rosary in her right hand. She resides in solar systems, shines brightly in all the ten directions like Sun.

  • Skanda Mata: Fifth name of Durga is "Skanda Mata". The daughter of Himalaya, after observing penance got married with Shiva. She had a son named Skanda (Leader of the army of Gods). Skanda Mata is a deity of fire, she has three eyes & four hands and is seated on a lotus.

  • Katyayani: Sixth Durga is Katyayani. Rishi Katyayan had observed penance with a desire to get paramba as his daughter. As a result she took birth as a daughter of Katyayan. Therefore her name is "Katyayani". She has three eyes & eight hands and is seated on a lion.

  • Kalratri: Seventh Durga is Kalratri. She is black like night. She has three eyes and she rides on Shava (dead body). There is sharp sword in her right hand. Her lower hand is in blessing mood. The burning torch (mashal) is in her left hand and her lower left hand is in fearless style, by which she makes her devotees fearless. Being auspicious she is called "Shubhamkari."

  • Maha Gauri: The Eighth Durga is "Maha Gauri." She is as white as a conch, moon and Jasmine. She is of 8 years old. Her clothes and ornaments are white and clean. She has three eyes. She rides on bull She has four hands. The above left hand is in "Fearless - Mudra" and lower left hand holds "Trishul." The above right hand has tambourine and lower right hand is in blessing style. She is calm and peaceful and exists in peaceful style.

  • Siddhidatri: Ninth Durga is known as Siddhidatri. There are eight Siddhis, they are - Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva & Vashitva. Maha Shakti gives all these Siddhis. The Goddess drives on Lion. She has four hands and looks pleased.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rui Machher Kalia (Rohu Fish Curry)


An all time favourite recipe for fish loving Bengalis...It is prepared with onion paste, sometimes yogurt is also added. Here is the recipe for typical Bengali Rui (Pona) Machher Kalia (Rui Fish Curry).....

Ingredients:
  • rohu fish: 250-300 gms / 6-8 pieces
  • bay leaves: 2
  • ginger paste: 1 tsp
  • garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • onion paste: 2 tbsp
  • tomato: 1 (finely chopped)
  • green chilli: 1-2 pieces (slit)
  • salt to taste
  • turmeric: 1-2 tsp
  • garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • mustard oil for cooking
  • sugar: 1 tsp
  • water: as required for gravy
Procedure:
  1. Wash the fish pieces, apply salt and turmeric and coat well. Heat oil in non stick kadai and shallow fry the fish. Keep aside the fried fish pieces.
  2. Heat oil (add a little more oil, if required) again and add sugar. Reduce flame when the sugar starts to caramelize, add the bay leaves, green chilli.
  3. Add the onion paste, saute a little, add the ginger and garlic paste, mix well and saute a little more. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt and mix all the spices.
  4. Add a little water, after the oil comes out from the masala. Add the fried fish pieces into the curry / gravy, let it come to a boil. Check the sugar and salt and adjust accordingly.
  5. Reduce the flame, simmer for 2-3 mins and remove from fire.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

Sending this to Spotlight:Fish event conducted by Indrani of Appyayan
Also sending these 2 recipes from my Archives.....
Bengali Fish Curry (Microwave)

Microwave Chicken Soup


A nutritious and filling Chicken Soup prepared in microwave.....a perfect dish to savour on a cold day...

Ingredients:

  • chopped chicken: 1/2 cup
  • water: 3 cups
  • cornflour: 1 tbsp (mixed with 1/2 cup cold water)
  • butter: 1 tbsp
  • milk: 1/2 cup
  • garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cream: 1 tbsp (whipped / beaten)
Procedure:

  1. Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 100% power for 30 secs.
  2. Add chicken pieces, water, salt & garam masala and microwave at 80% power for 4-5 mins. Allow to stand in the oven for 5 mins.
  3. Take out the bowl, remove the the chicken pieces from the stock and shred to small pieces.
  4. Add the shredded chicken pieces, milk, cornflour mixture to the stock and microwave at 100% power for 3-4 mins. Allow to stand for 5 more mins.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with cream and freshly ground black pepper and serve hot.



Sending this soup to MEC-Potluck Party, hosted by Sri of Cooking 4 all Seasons.

Ganesh Chathurthi Specials - ICC August Challenge

Ganesh Chathurthi special dishes (Festive Cooking) from various regions across India were finalized as Indian Cooking Challenge for the month of August' 2009.
Each member was supposed to try out apart from dishes famous in their homestate atleast one more from another state.
Well! all the recipes were new to me and I tried the following recipes...
  1. Panchakhadya (from Maharashtra)
  2. Boorelu (Sweet filling dipped in savory batter from Andhra)
  3. Kudaalu (from Andhra)


Panchakhadya

Ingredients:

  • Grated Dry Coconut / Copra - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 4-5 tbsp powdered
  • Poppy seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Dried Dates - 4-5
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tbsp
  • Mixed Nuts (almonds,cashews, pistachios) - 4-5 tbsp coarsely powdered
  • pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)

Method to prepare :

  1. Heat a thick bottom pan/ Kadai and dry roast the grated coconut on low flame till it starts turning golden. This takes about 4 -5 mins, once done set it aside.
  2. Dry roast poppy seeds and grind them coarsely after cooling them for 5 minutes.
  3. Pit the dried dates and grind them coarsely as well.
  4. Mix all these ingredients including nuts powder, cardamom, nutmeg, powdered sugar together and offer Panchakhadya to Ganesha as prasad.


Boorelu:

Ingredients

For the outer layer: Black gram dal/ Urad dal - 50 gms

For the Filling:

  • bengal gram / channa dal - 1 cup
  • grated Jaggery - 1 cup
  • fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup (opt)
  • cardamom powder - 3/4 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying

Method to prepare:

  1. Wash and soak Urad dal for 4-5 hrs. Place in a big vessel as it will expand after soaking.
  2. Then drain water from the Urad dal and grind to fine paste adding very little water. Infact just about a teaspoon of water should be enough. The batter is almost like the thick dosa batter before you make dosas. Add salt and leave it aside covered.
  3. For the filling, pressure cook the channa dal with just enough water to cover it. Even if excess water is there, you can always use the water for chaaru. But less water is better.
  4. Cook the jaggary to remove any scum. Then once the dal is well cooked, drain and cook it along with the jaggary. It should become very soft enough for you to mash well.
  5. You can either grind it to a smooth paste or mash it with the lentil masher. If you find the purnam is very loose, you can cook this in sim to get a thick paste.
  6. Add Cardamom powder and grated coconut. You will know its done when the dal starts to leave the sides. Remove and cool. Divide them into equal balls.
  7. Heat a thick bottom kadai for frying. Once the oil is hot, turn to sim. Then dip each ball in the Urad dal batter. ensure its coated on all sides.
  8. Then gently drop them into the hot oil. Turn and cook on all sides. Once couple of batches are done, strain the oil to remove the scum. It hardly takes more than 2-3 mins to get cooked. Drain them on to a kitchen towel.


Kudaalu:

Ingredients:

For filling: Same as Booleru
For outer layer, use a stiff dough made with maida as you make for puri.

Method to prepare:

  1. Knead a stiff dough using maida, salt and water. Divide into small balls of equal size.
  2. Roll them out and place the sweet filling in middle and cover as shown in the Kajjikayalu.
  3. Deep fry in oil. Drain and store.

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