Wednesday, 9 May 2018

WATERMELON RIND HALWA

WATERMELON RIND HALWA

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MOTHERS




Thankfully spring is finally here, for which we Calgarians have waited for a very long time. It was supposed to be here beginning of March, but we waited till about the end of April. Even in past winter months, temperatures were much lower than average and the amount of snowfall was much higher than average. Even some people, like my neighbour, who loves snowfall and winter were tired of this year’s winter and said enough is enough. I have a habit of watching the evening news on the television, but this winter I was tired of watching the evening local news because after every five minutes they show the weather report, and it was depressing to watch the temperature in minus double digits (Celsius) for months.



This spring will also bring new leaves and flowers in the trees, birds have already started their conferences on the trees, snow is already melted. Soon we will be sitting in the gardens and enjoying the evening tea and dinner outside. This spring is also bringing some new fruits in the market like watermelon. Now I am already thinking about summer when we will get lots of more fruit, particularly my favourite one like cherries, mangoes and many more.


Last year, in the summer, when we were getting a lot of watermelons, as I was chopping it for everyone to enjoy, my daughter and I were chatting about how we don’t consume the rind of the watermelon and is actually so versatile to use. She informed me that she had once made a curry with watermelon rind, which was very tasty and everybody enjoyed it. I was surprised and couldn’t believe that I had not thought of that before. Soon after that talk, I decided to make something very nice with watermelon rind that is when I made this recipe the very first time, and it turned out fantastic.



RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams watermelon rind
  • 200 grams red portion (fruit) of watermelon
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 200 grams khoya/mava ( solidified milk)
  • 3 tbs ghee/unsalted butter
  • pinch cardamom powder
  • 2 tbs green pumpkin seeds/any other nuts

METHOD

  • Slice watermelon rind and watermelon in small pieces and grate the khoya.
  • Heat heavy bottomed pan and add ghee/butter in it, when hot add watermelon rind pieces and let it boil and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes till they are soft.
  • Add watermelon pieces and sugar, let all the water evaporates, it can take 15-20 minutes then add grated khoya in it.
  • Add pumpkin seed for garnishing and serve hot or cold as desired.

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry with Hearth and soul blog hop and with full plate Thursday and with Meatless Monday and cook once eat Twice and with Fiesta Friday and Sweet Inspiration link party










Thursday, 5 April 2018

BABY EGGPLANT WITH SWEET AND SOUR GRAVY



BABY EGGPLANT WITH SWEET AND SOUR GRAVY

HYDERABAD STYLE BAGHARE BAIGAN


Hyderabad is the capital of an Indian state of Telangana and the fourth most populous city in India. Hyderabad is famous for its tourist attractions and historical monuments like Charminar etc. Hyderabad is also famous for its cuisine, particularly for chicken and mutton biryani, and lots of other sweet and sour Mughlai dishes, baghare baigan is one of its popular dishes. In many restaurants in India and abroad, anyone can find these famous Hyderabad dishes in their original names because of its awesome taste, these dishes are very popular.

 

A few months back when I was talking to my brother on the phone, who lives in Delhi, India, we talked about his tour to Hyderabad, he told me that apart from so many other things, he really enjoyed the food there. During his visit to Hyderabad and while eating in restaurants, he saw the famous biryani being packed in nice takeaway packaging, which people were taking even on long distances. He told me that he also decided to take a packet of the famous biryani to Delhi which is very far, around 1500 km, at that time he was travelling back to Delhi by air. So he called the restaurant, one hour before and gave the order of two packets of biryani of his choice, when he boarded in the taxi to the airport, on his way he collected the packets of biryani for his kids, and his kids in Delhi, really enjoyed this tasty and unique gift from their father.



A few years ago in Botswana, during my holidays, I travelled around 600 km and visited my friend and stayed with her for a week. At that time, she was living in a beautiful town called Maun and my family and I enjoyed visiting the beautiful surroundings of the town and of course the world-famous Okavango Delta. During the stay, my friend's neighbour who was originally from Hyderabad invited us for dinner; we enjoyed the dinner and talked a lot about Hyderabad cuisine. The next day we invited her over to come and demonstrate the cooking of a few dishes from Hyderabad. That is when I learned this recipe of baby eggplant in sweet and sour gravy. I have made this recipe in many gatherings and parties at our house after that, and every time, people have really enjoyed it and appreciated the recipe.




RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

  • 500 grams baby eggplant/brinjal
  • One big onion (200 grams)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 3 tbs raw peanuts
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 3 tbs lemon juice/tamarind juice
  • 2 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 1-2 tbs sugar or to taste
  • salt and chili powder/flakes to taste
  • 1 tbs coriander powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • few fresh green curry leaves OR Coriander/Cilantro
  • 3 tbs oil

METHOD


  • Finely chop or grate onion, garlic and ginger. Slit the eggplants lengthwise.
  • Dry roast peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds and let it cool.
  • Heat 1tbs oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter, then add eggplants with salt, turmeric, chili and coriander powder and cook till they are soft and cooked properly by covering the lid.
  • Till eggplants are cooking make a paste of the roasted peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of water in a blender.
  • Take out the cooked eggplants in a plate and in the same frying pan heat the 2 tbs oil and roast curry leaves, ginger, garlic and onion till brown in colour on a medium heat, then add the paste of peanuts etc. in it. Now add the lemon juice and sugar in it; mix well and fold the cooked eggplants in it.
  • Serve hot with rice, naan or any other flat bread.
I am sharing this recipe with the following link parties-Cook once eat Twice and Fiesta Friday
and Full plate Thursday and Hearth and soul blog hop and Sweet Inspiration link part, with Meatless Monday












Friday, 16 March 2018

CREAMY SPINACH CURRY

CREAMY SPINACH CURRY


This is one of my favorite recipes, which is regularly made in my kitchen. I use different types of spinach to make this recipe and enjoy it every time. In my long stay in Africa, I used white silver beet spinach, which was the only type that was locally available there. I even enjoyed cooking with this type of spinach straight from my kitchen garden in Africa. This type has long and hard leaves like kale, takes more time is chopping, cooking and the taste is also a little bit different. There I had no choice but to use that type only because tender baby spinach or English spinach was not available, I even tried to grow the soft and tender baby spinach in my kitchen garden but failed, I think the harsh African sun, the dry and hot climate there was not suitable for it.


Here in Calgary, baby spinach is available in plenty throughout the year and if I buy a big packet, it is triple washed, which I am also using in my salads. Because of its availability in abundance, I am using it a lot in my old recipes which were already made in my kitchen and trying some new recipes as well.


I tasted this recipe, the very first time, in a four-star hotel, around 20 years ago, where I stayed with my family for 2 and half months. It was a long time ago, isn’t it? I was staying in the hotel after getting transferred from a town to a city, I couldn't get accommodation in teacher's houses available in my school. The head chef of that hotel was very nice, I met him personally and informed him that all four members of my family are vegetarian. He really made our stay enjoyable with his lovely and tasty vegetarian dishes, which were made by him personally every day. Some of the days he really surprised us by serving some tasty Indian vegetarian dishes as well.


This recipe is not only my favourite recipe but the whole family likes it, even my grandchildren. Spinach is one of the vegetables which they really enjoy, so I try to use spinach in different curries, salads and lentils as well so that they get the health benefit of this green vegetable. This is a simple recipe, which can be enjoyed with rice, naan, Indian flat bread or even with dinner bun.



RECIPE
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 kg fresh baby spinach (frozen can be used in this recipe)
  • 500 ml fresh/whipping cream
  • 1 big onion (200 grams)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 2 green chili (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs coriander powder
  • salt and chili flakes to taste
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 tbs tomato puree

METHOD

  • Chop and wash the spinach thoroughly.
  • Grate or finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chili.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, once changing the colour add the ginger, garlic, onion and green chili and saute till onions are brown.
  • Add spinach and salt, chili and coriander powder and cook for 8-10 minutes till spinach is cooked and the extra water evaporates.
  • Add cream and let it boil for 2-3 more minutes, then add the tomato puree, mix well and switch off the stove/gas.
  • Serve hot with rice, naan, roti or dinner bun.