Wednesday, 29 April 2015

POPPY SEEDS HALWA

KHASKHAS KA HALWA


Poppy seeds add colour and crunch to baking foods and these seeds are used to decorate bread, cakes, rolls and cookies. Poppy seeds are also used for making a thick paste for vegetable and meat curries, and for some Indian food for seasoning or tadka. Poppy seeds are considered to be rich in minerals and it is a good source of carbohydrate which gives a lot of energy to the body.


This halwa is a very nutritious, rich and tasty traditional Indian sweet. Hindus on many festival days like shivratri, navratri, ekadashi etc, fast from grain, this is a popular dish for those fasting days, because this is a good source of energy for those days. When I was young we use to wait for these fasting days when will get the chance to eat the Halwa. My mother was making this halwa on Shivatri. This is my mother's recipe, in which I have added mava (Khoya) later.


Poppy seeds have a unique, nutty and aromatic flavour, and pleasant taste, and has a lot of health benefits like sesame seeds. It can be replaced for sesame seeds in cooking for making a paste in curries etc. Though sesame seeds smaller in size compared to poppy seeds, but both sesame seeds and poppy seeds are good and are used a lot in Indian cooking.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS


  • 200 grams poppy seeds
  • 100 grams ghee (Purified butter)
  •  200 grams sugar
  • 200 grams mava (khoya)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 100 grams sliced almonds or pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg powder

METHOD

  • Wash carefully in a sieve and soak poppy seeds for 24 hours, make the paste in the blender with the same water used for soaking.
  • On a medium flame heat the ghee in a thick bottomed sauce pan.
  • Roast the paste of poppy seeds till they are golden brown when you will start roasting, soon the water will start evaporating and the batter will start joining together.
  • When its colour is golden brown, add water then sugar and nutmeg powder, mix well and stir for 5 more minutes, till water evaporates.
  • Add grated mava or khoya
  • Decorate with nuts and serve.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

GUJARATI DHOKLA (SAVOURY STEAMED CAKE)

(SAVOURY STEAMED CAKE)


India is a country of diverse cultures and diverse food. Gujarati snacks are very nice and popular throughout India.


These days because of modern technology (Google and Internet) life is easier and the whole world seems very small. These days dishes from all states of India are common in all kitchens (provided you are interested in trying and learning them). This is the case not only in India but throughout the world.


When I was in Kenya, Africa my Gujarati friends taught me many nice Gujarati dishes long back in the 80s. In Kisumu, where a large population of Gujaratis live, I was forced to learn some Gujarati words for easy communication with Indian people there. Surprisingly, there I have seen some Africans speaking the Gujarati language too, particularly the African vegetable vendor ladies, they knew all the names of vegetables in Gujarati and even the numbers from 1-10. At that time my daughter was going to a pre-school and she was speaking fluent Gujarati because of all her friends in school.


This is a perfect snake for any time whether it is weekend morning breakfast, any day evening snack, for any guests or party. It is very light because we only steam it, and it is soft and spongy. This recipe is the instant one which does not require any soaking overnight. It can be good supper (dinner) with some green salad and chutney of your taste.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 cup full cream yoghurt (dahi)
  • 1 and ½ spoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • salt to taste
  • pinch Eno salt

FOR TADKA (SAUTE)/Garnish

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • pinch asafoetida powder
  • few curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon sugar and ¾ cup water

METHOD

  1. Beat the yoghurt with water to make it in a liquid form.
  2. Take semolina in a bowl, add salt, haldi (turmeric powder) and baking powder, and oil, mix well.
  3. Slowly add dahi (yoghurt) and make the batter which is neither thick not very thin.
  4. On a medium heat, keep a  big pot with two glasses of water in it.
  5. When the water starts boiling, shift the batter in a steaming dish, add the pinch of Eno powder and mix fast, put the steaming pot inside the big boiling water pot. Cover the lid tight.
  6. It will take 25-30 minutes to cook the dhokla.
  7. Take out the dhokla and leave it to cool.
  8. When cold, cut the dhokla into square pieces.
For Tadka/ Garnish
  1. For tadka, heat oil in a wok or fry pan, put mustard seeds to pop and asafoetida powder, add washed curry leaves and green chillies and fry lightly.
  2. Add water and sugar, mix well, once it starts boiling, add dhokla and fold in it, cover the lid and switch off the gas.






Monday, 13 April 2015

GREEN PEAS CUTLET

GREEN PEAS CUTLET


My mother-in-law was a great cook, some of her dishes were awesome. She was totally vegetarian and was not using even onion or garlic in her kitchen. Many of her recipes are still made in my kitchen. Now I am adding onion and garlic to her dishes. This green peas cutlet recipe is my mother-in-law's recipe.


When I got married I was working at Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi, India. In the morning when I was getting ready to go to the office, my mother-in-law was cooking and packing my lunch.


In my office, we were three girls working in the same department and we used to eat lunch together. During lunch time both my colleagues used to eat my lunch because it was so delicious and I had to eat their lunch. Many times before lunch, they would enquire, “what is there in the lunch box today?!”


Back to this recipe, this green peas cutlet is one of my favorite dishes and whenever I make in some parties and for some guests, it has become very popular, some of my friends are always asking me when am I making it again.


I have experienced several times that when I fry these cutlets, people tell me that they can smell fish. I do not know what is the connection between these cutlets and fish. I am totally vegetarian and I have never tasted any type of meat in my life. Maybe a fish eater can help me here to verify this theory. That when I combine green peas with garlic, onion, ginger and fold in chick peas flour and fry, why do they smell of fish frying?!!
I have used frozen peas for these cutlets because it is easily available here all year round.

RECIPE
  • 250 grams fresh/frozen green peas
  • 150 grams chickpeas flour ( besan)
  • 200 grams onion (one big)
  • 8-9 garlic cloves
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 5-7 green chillies (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • oil for frying.

METHOD

  • Rinse the peas in cold water or thaw them, put it in the food processor with chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chilli.
  • Pulse for few minutes to make the thick paste. Take it out in a bowl - add salt, chilli powder and fold in the chick peas flour. Batter should be quite thick.
  • Heat the oil on a medium flame.
  • Apply some oil on you palms and make small balls with the paste.
  • When the oil is hot fry the balls on the medium flame till brown from outside. Fry them all in 2-3 rounds.
  • Dry on a paper towel. Leave it to cool little bit.
  • When still warm press individually with paper towel between your palms and give the flat shape of a cutlet.
  • Then fry again, till very crispy and brown. Serve them hot with any chutney of taste.

Around 20 cutlets can be made depending on the size you choose. Can be served to 4-5 people in the evening tea time with any sauce or chutney to taste

I am sending this post as my blog entry for Meatless Monday event, and for Hearth and Soul blog,hop, and for Tasty Tuesday C.Kids, and for tweak it tuesday, and with Saturday spark link party,and for Tickle my Tastebuds Tuesday, and for Lets cook for easter by simple food, and with full plate Thrusday and with Funtastic Friday Party, and with What'd you do this weekend and with Family Bakes and makes, and with Fabulous Friday party, and with Fiesta Friday.and With My two favourite things cooking and craft, and with Cook Blog Share,




























.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

INSTANT LIME PICKLE (WITHOUT OIL)

INSTANT SWEET LIME PICKLE
(without oil)

In olden days, it was the tradition in Indian homes that 3-4 types of pickles were always available in the kitchen for family, friends and guests. In those days ready-made pickles were not available in the market, so housewives were making and keeping different types of pickles at home.

 Indian pickling is different to the way they pickle in the west. Instead of using only salt and vinegar, in indian pickles several spices and oil is also used. Some amount of latent heat is also used to slow cook whatever is being pickled.


This is the recipe of my mother-in-law, in her kitchen this lime pickle was always available. Now I make sure that it is available in my kitchen too. The reason behind is not only that it tastes good but this is a home remedy for stomach disturbance and for nausea. Traditionally in Indian homes, home remedies are used for simple problems we experience in our daily life, before we go and see the doctor.


The best part of this recipe is that neither oil is required in this pickle nor any preservative. Salt and sugar serves the purpose of preservative in pickles in our traditional kitchens.


                  ( This is six months old, which is more drier and more darker)


When my mother-in-law was making this pickle, she was keeping it in the sun light for 10-15 days to get it cooked. She used to remove the lid of the jar and was covering the mouth of the jar with a piece of muslin cloth around the neck, to allow the lemons to breathe in the jar and for easy penetration of sun light.These days, women are working, they don’t have time and we are living in an instant era, so now I am cooking the same pickle on gas stove, and it has no difference in taste or longevity.

It can last on the shelf for 12 months or more, if it is more than 6 months old the colour will change to a little bit darker but the taste will not change.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • l kg lemon or lime
  • 400 grams sugar
  • Salt to taste/50 grams (This much is required for preserving the pickle)
  • 50 grams red chilli powder (optional)
    or Paprika for colour only
  • 15 grams carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 25 grams garam masala
  • You also need a sterilized glass jar for storing the pickle.

Note-If you like less spicy, reduce red chilli powder to 30 grams and garam masala to 10 grams.

METHOD

  • Wash and chop the lemons in very small cube shaped pieces, remove the seeds.
  • Add salt and pepper and leave it overnight.
  • Next morning on a slow fire, cook lemons in an stainless steel pot for 10-15 minutes with lid covered so that lemons are tender and cook properly.
  • When lemons are tender, add sugar, carom seeds and garam masala and cook on slow fire for 30 more minutes or till the sugar syrup is thick enough with nice glaze around the lemons.
  • Leave it to cool. When cold fill in a sterilize jar, it is ready to serve.