Thursday, 11 April 2013

Shredded Raw Mango Pickle


Raw Mango (Peeled and grated) – 1 large
Chilli Powder – 2 teaspoons (or to taste)
Turmeric Powder – ½ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Fenugreek seeds (methi) – ¼ teaspoon
Hing (asafetida) – ¼ inch piece or ¼ teaspoon if you are using powdered
Mustard seeds – 1.5 teaspoon
Oil – 3 tablespoons (sesame oil is preferred; you can use oil of your choice)
Ingredients for the shredded Mango Pickle

Roast the fenugreek seeds on a dry pan and fry the hing in oil. Cool both and grind to fine powder and set aside.

Heat oil in the pan (use a thick kadai if possible) and crackle the mustard seeds. Add the grated mango to the oil. Keep frying the mango till oil starts to ooze out on the sides and the mango is softened. Add turmeric and chilli powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and the powdered hing and fenugreek. Stir for 2 minutes. Your pickle is ready to eat!

Shredded Mango pickle

Note: Since this is a ready-to-eat pickle, it will remain without spoiling for about a month. In case you want it to last longer, you can refrigerate it.

For a winter delight, buy and grate raw mango in summer and freeze it in an airtight bag in the freezer, then you can make this pickle all year around.

Coriander Rice (feeds four)


Basmati Rice - 1.5 cups
Coriander - 1 bunch (destalked and washed)
Coconut - 1/2 (grated)
Ginger - 1 inch piece (peeled and washed)
Green Chillies - 2 
Ghee - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
For the cooked Tomato Raita

Tomatoes - 4 (washed and finely chopped)
Green Chillies - 2 (washed and diced)
Oil - 1.5 tablespoon
Mustard seeds  -1/2 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
Asafetida (hing) - 1 pinch
Curd - 2 cups
Salt to taste

Coriander Rice

Cooked Tomato Raita

Cook the basmati rice as per the instructions on the packet. Get together the coconut, ginger, green chillies, coriander and salt and grind to a semi smooth paste. Mix with rice along with the ghee. Serve with cooked tomato raita. 

For the raita, heat oil in pan, add mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the urad dal, fry till golden brown. Then add chopped chillies and tomatoes. Cook for 8-10 minutes , add the pinch of asafetida and salt. Let it cool before adding it to the curd. Stir well  before serving.

Coriander rice with cooked Tomato Raita

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani (Feeds 4)

Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 2 pods
Onion – 2 large
Tomatoes – 2 large
Cream/curd/coconut milk – 2-3 tablespoons
Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoons
Chilly Powder – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
Turmeric - a pinch
Cloves – 2-3
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece stick
Bay leaf – 2-3
Garam Masala – 1 teaspoon 
Beans (Diced) – 20

Carrots (Peeled and Diced) – 2 large
Peas (Shelled) – 1 cup
Cauliflower (diced) – 1 cup
Fried onions
2 onions large sliced long and thin
Other ingredients

Rice – 1.5 cups basmati
Oil for frying and cooking
Ghee - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Coriander(destalked and finely chopped) - 3 tablespoons
Mint (destalked and finely chopped) – 1 tablespoon

Method of preparation: Normally I make this in three parts, four if you consider the rice used. Cook good quality Basmati rice in the cooker. Follow the instructions on the packet carefully to ensure that the rice comes out white and fluffy. The normal rule of thumb for basmati rice is to use and one and quarter measure of water to one measure of rice.

The next step would be to prepare the vegetables and either cook them in the Microwave on high for 6 minutes with a little salt or if you do not have a microwave, steam the vegetables without water. Make sure that they are not cooked till they are too soft or soggy.

Fry the onion slices in oil till they are golden and crisp. Keep aside. Process or grind the tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger to a rough paste. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan add cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf. Fry for a minute and then add the onion-tomato-garlic-ginger mix. Cook for 7-8 minutes and then add the Dhaniya powder, chilly powder and turmeric. Cook till the oil starts to come out on the sides and then add the salt and garam masala and cook for one more minute. Add Cream/curd/coconut milk and cook till mixture has a creamy texture.

Vegetable Biryani

Onion Tomato Raita
Assembling the Biryani: Take a large flat vessel (it should fit into the cooker for steaming or in case you are microwaving, it should be suitable for that). Spread a layer of rice(one third), sprinkle some of the ghee. Then add one third of the gravy on top, spread over the rice. Spread on third of the steamed vegetables. Then crush lightly with hand and add one third of the crispy onions. Sprinkle with one third of the chopped mint and coriander. Then start the next layer and then the next in the same sequence. Once you are done, cover the vessel with a lid and pressure cook for a 5-8 minutes without the whistle. In case you are microwaving then do it on high for 3 minutes.

Serve hot with a simple onion, tomato, coriander and green chilly raita.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Khaman dhokla

Khaman dhokla

Besan (kadala mavu) - 1 cup (200 gms)
Rava -1 teaspoon
Sugar -2 teaspoons
Lemon juice - 1 spoon
Salt to taste
Ginger and chilli paste - 1 teaspoon
Asofetida -1 pinch
Sour curd -2 teaspoons
Oil  -1and half tablespoons
Turmeric -1 pinch
Eno fruit salt (plain) -1 teaspoon
Water -for mixing

For tadka (tempering)

Oil -1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
Til(sesame) and jeera(cumin) - one pinch each
Green Chilli - 1 finely chopped
Drinking water -4 table spoons
Coriander for garnish

The first step in this item is to oil a flat vessel for steaming the dhokla and boiling the water in the cooker in which it is going to be steamed. The vessel should easily fit into the cooker and should not touch the boiling water at the bottom. So place a smaller vessel; half filled with water to serve as a stand.

Combine besan, rava, sugar, lemon juice, salt, ginger-chilli paste, asafetida, sour curd, oil, turmeric and enough water to make a batter that is similar to that used for Bhajjis or pakoras (almost like dosa/idli batter). It is easier to do this with a tablespoon. When the batter is smooth add Eno. The batter will froth a little. Immediately transfer it to the oiled flat vessel and steam for 15-18 minutes.

Check with a knife to see if it is cooked. The knife should come out dry.  Remove from fire. Prepare the tadka by heating oil and adding mustard seeds, jeera, til and green chillies. Remove from fire and add the drinking water to the tadka and pour over the khaman. The water will get absorbed and soften the khaman. Cut into cubes once cooled and garnish with coriander.

Note: Ensure that the Khaman Dhokla is cooled before cutting otherwise the pieces may not come out intact as you can see from the picture.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Quick and Easy Pizza

Quick and Easy Pizza (without using oven)

Quick and easy pizza
Pizza Toppings


Whole wheat pizza base - 2 (medium)
Smith and Jones Pizza sauce - 2 table spoons (you can use any pizza sauce of your choice)
Sweet corn (boiled) - 2 tablespoons
Tomato (de-seeded and cut into small dices) - 1 large
Onion (peeled and cut into small dices) - 1 large
Capsicum  (de-seeded and cut into small dices) - 1 medium
Rajma (kidney beans- soaked overnight and boiled)/ rajma curry - 2 table spoons (optional)
Pizza masala -a mix of 1 clove grated garlic with a teaspoon of dried oregano and a teaspoon spoon of chilli flakes.
Cheese (of your choice) - 50 gms grated ( I personally prefer Britannia Milkman)
Butter  - 1 teaspoon
Cooking oil - 2 teaspoons

Method of preparation:

Mix sweet corn, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped capsicum and rajma with Pizza masala. Add salt to taste. Adjust for the saltiness of the cheese. Spread pizza sauce on to the Pizza base. Spread half the topping mixture and cover with cheese.

Heat butter (1/2 spoon) and oil (1 spoon) on the cooker pan. To add zing you can throw in  some grated garlic. Gently place the prepared pizza on to the heated butter-oil-garlic mix. Lower the flame to the lowest setting possible and cover with lid. The pizza should be ready in 5-8 minutes. The base should be crisp and the cheese should have melted. Cut into slices and serve hot.

If you wish the same topping-sauce-cheese combination can be used for sandwiches also. Just butter the outside of the sandwich and grill on the stove using a nonstick sandwich press.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Rustic Roti

Rustic Roti ( makes 14-16 rotis)
Rustic Roti

Wheat flour – 2 cups
Besan (gram flour) – 1 cup
Dried or kasuri methi – 3 table spoons
(if you are using fresh methi a medium bunch destalked and cut finely should do)
Green chilly – 1
Ginger – 1 inch piece (grated)
Grated Garlic – 1 clove (substitute with a pinch of asafetida if you prefer)  
Turmeric – a pinch
Oil  - 2 teaspoons
Jeera – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste ( 1 and quarter teaspoons approx)
Grated Bottle gourd (Lauki/ sorakka) – 2 tablespoons
( you can avoid adding this if you are using fresh methi instead of kasuri methi)

Method: Mix all ingredients together to make a firm dough. Divide the dough into 14-16 rounds. Roll into relatively thin chapattis. Roast the chapatti on a dry tawa like a phulka. Apply a drop of ghee if you want. Serve hot with subzi or can be eaten as a snack.

Stuffed Brinjal

Stuffed brinjal

Stuffed Brinjal

Raw ingredients

Roasted ingredients

Peanuts -  2 table spoons
Dried Coconut (grated) - 2 table spoons
Dhaniya seeds - 1.5 table spoons
Jeera  - 1 teaspoon
Til or sesame seeds – 1 table spoon
Tamarind - 2 inch pieces
Jaggery – a lemon sized ball
Red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
Asafetida – 1 pinch (substitute with one grated garlic if you prefer)
Turmeric – ¼ powder
Garam masala – one pinch
Oil for cooking – 3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Brinjal – 500 gms. (pick ones which are small and tender and if possible of the same size)
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing – 1 table spoon

Raw stuffed Brinjals
Roast all the ingredients, except for the chilly powder, turmeric and jaggery. Cool and grind to a powder along with chilly powder, turmeric and jaggery. You can prepare a double batch of the stuffing and keep it in an airtight box or bag in the refrigerator. Remove the stalk of the brinjals after washing. Slit carefully on top ensuring that the bottom is still closed. Make two or three cuts to make about 6 sections. Stuff the prepared powder into the slits. Heat oil in a cooker pan, add the mustard seeds and once they crackle lower the flame and add asafetida/ garlic. Then gently place the stuffed brinjal in the pan. Pour 1 cup of water and let it cook for one whistle. Open the cooker once the pressure is released and fry the preparation till most of the excess water is gone. Add garam masala and chopped coriander (if desired) and serve hot with rotis.