Wednesday, 23 March 2016

CARROTS AND DRY FENUGREEK SIDE DISH AND A POST ON A SPICE/HERB -FENUGREEK (METHI)



CARROTS AND DRY FENUGREEK SIDE DISH AND A POST ON A SPICE/HERB -FENUGREEK (METHI)

GAJAR AUR KASOORI METHI SUBZI

EDITED: This post was featured as one of the best recipes on 29th March 2016 at the round-up of Cook Blog share



Fenugreek is a very important herb and a spice, which is used a lot in Indian cuisine. All four forms of this herb - seeds, seed powder, dry leaves and green leaves, are used in different recipes. This is a versatile herb, and its numerable uses are there in Indian cuisine because its enormous health benefits were recognized long ago in Ayurveda. Check this website-15-health-benefits-of-methi.


Green methi leaves are cooked with many vegetables as a side dish, and with many lentil curries, it is also added in different types of roties (Indian flat bread). The seeds and their dry powder are also used in many curries and dry side dishes. Dry green leaves which are called kasoori methi in Hindi is also used, in many savoury snacks, and tandoori and rich curries to give awesome taste and aroma.


This herb has a lot of medicinal values. As I have already mentioned in another post, fenugreek leaves and seeds are considered a very good home remedy for many health issues. Traditionally in our homes, we make fenugreek fudge or laddoos (balls) for pregnant women and give them in the ninth month to induce labour. They also help to reduce menstrual pain, pain in legs and waist after delivery and for milk production in lactating women.


According to this website- breast feeding online, fenugreek seeds have been used for milk production since biblical times. Fenugreek capsules are also available at many health shops and at pharmacies, which many women buy and use during lactation time.


In Ayurveda (traditional Indian healing system with natural things), it is considered as the most beneficial medicinal herb, and there are endless health benefits of eating this herb. It is particularly good for diabetic patients as well, check here -Ayurvedic talk.


Whenever I find fresh green methi leaves available in Indian grocery shop, I always buy and use them in different dishes and make sure everybody in the family is eating and getting the benefit of its nutrients.


India is the largest producer of this herb. In my long stay in Africa, I was always growing this herb in my kitchen garden and was using it straight from the garden. Their seeds can germinate in seven days, if the area is hot and humid, it can grow very fast. Fresh green leaves can be stored easily in the freezer, which can last for months. Green leaves can also be dried in the sun and can be used as a herb for a very long period of time.



In Indian cuisine many herbs and spices are used, some of them for daily consumption, fenugreek is one of them. We keep some spices in a spice box for our essential daily use. As you know my blog's name is also “Herbs, spices and Tradition”. When I started this blog, my son-in-law, who is also a professional photographer, took a lot of pictures of spices. He took my spice box photo which, till today, I am using as the profile picture on my blog's Facebook page. You can see fenugreek as the small yellow seeds on the front left side of this box. This is my son-in-law's webpage.


Coming to the recipe, this is a very simple recipe, which can be made with both green methi leaves and dried methi as a herb. I made this one with dried methi leaves, which imparts a very nice aroma and taste in this dish. If the same dish is cooked with green methi leaves, the taste and flavor are the same, and the dish looks more greener because of the green colour of the leaves.



RECIPE
INGREDIENTS
  • 400 grams carrots, peeled, washed and sliced into small pieces.
  • 3 tbs dry fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp mango powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbs oil



METHOD
  • Heat oil in a fry pan, when hot add cumin seeds.
  • When seeds will change colour add carrots, methi and all spices except mango powder.
  • Mix well and cover the lid, leave it on medium heat for 8-10 minutes till carrots are cooked well.
  • If you see some extra water when carrots are done, open the lid and let it evaporate for 5-7 more minutes.
  • When carrots are done, add mango powder.
This can be served as a side dish with roti, dinner bun or naan. It goes well with any raita or any lentil curry.

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry for Hearth and soul blog hop, and with Cook blog share, with Full plate Thursday, and Yum yum link party,, with welcome Home Wednesday party, and with My two fav things on Thursday,, with Funtastic Friday, and with Real Food Friday, and with and with Fiesta Friday, with Food year link up for March 2016, with Sunday fitness and food party and with what'd you do this weekend, and Meatless Monday,, and with happy healthy and green blog hop, and  Tasty Tuesday, with way wow link, and with Welcome home Wednesday  and with sweet Inspiration link party


































Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Baloo Shahi (Indian styled doughnut)

Baloo Shahi (Indian styled doughnut)

Happy Holi (the festival of colours) to those who are celebrating.


Many people including me think that cooking is an art, an act that is as creative as an artist making a painting from scratch to final product. When an artist starts a painting, the first thing is for him/her to plan, and organise the items, the kind of paint/material required in the painting. Then he/she will start sketching, and then finishing touches here and there before he starts to colour the painting. Suppose he/she is making a painting of a person’s face. He makes sure to give special attention to specific areas that need it, like the eyes. Then he will start thinking about colouring the painting.

Choosing the right colours and the right brushes is a very important decision he/she should make because colours play an important role in the painting. So you see, from beginning to the end, every single step is very important, and nothing can be ignored or avoided. There is no short cut and a single mistake can lead to a disaster. The other thing, which is extremely important for an artist, is to be patient during the whole process of sketching and coloring, till the whole job is done. The last thing is the satisfaction and feeling of relief he/she gets after completing the item to his/her own satisfaction before he/she shows it to the world.

The same principles can be easily applied to the cooking of a dish. In cooking first we plan, what to cook, planning also includes the arranging and organizing of the ingredients as well. Then the cook will decide what type of spices and herbs to be used in the dish. The choice of right spices and herbs for the dish and their correct proportions is like choosing the right brushes and colours for the painting. The choice of correct ingredients is as important as choosing the medium to paint on. The correct time of adding these spices to the dish is like giving final touches to a sketch and painting the right colours at the right time to get the best results.




And remember we can’t slip and go off the wagon on any single step, no ways, not a single or simple or even tiny mistake is allowed. It can spoil the whole show. Now comes the patience part. We cooks cannot rush in cooking or even in any step of cooking. The more a cook is patient during the whole process of cooking, the far better results he/she will experience, I mean, the much tastier the dish will be made. The last, but not the least, is to taste the dish to satisfy our taste buds, the way we wanted the dish to come out before it is offered to anybody.

Even in this recipe, a lot of patience is required when frying the ‘Baloo Shahi’. I tried making this dish a few times before, but I was never satisfied, it didn't come to my level of satisfaction. I wanted to make the best Baloo Shahi for my son, who really likes them. Then I tried the recipe of famous Indian Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's, which came out very nice. Now I make sure that once in a while or on festivals I make these.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter or ghee
  • 4 tbs full-fat yoghurt (dahi)
  • 1/4 tsp soda-bi-carb
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Sliced pistachios to decorate
  • Oil/ghee for frying

METHOD

For Sugar syrup
  • Mix water and sugar together with Cardamom and boil it till it mixes together well and make thick sugar syrup.
For Baloo Shahi
  • Add butter/ghee into the flour and mix well, then add yoghurt and make the soft dough, sprinkle little water to mix the dough properly. As soon as the dough is mixed, leave it to set for 20 minutes. Do not over mix the dough.
  • Heat oil on a medium-low flame in a frying pan, when hot, slow down the flame.
  • Pinch small balls from the dough and give round shape and flatten it on your palm. Press in the middle with your thumb to give slight bend shape in the middle.
  • Start frying in a batch of 10-12 on the slow flame, turn after few minutes when changing the colour.
  • When they are golden brown on both sides, take them out and leave it to cool a bit, when still warm put it in the warm sugar syrup and leave it for 5-10 minutes, then take it out.
  • Decorate with pistachios and serve.
20-22 Baloo Shahi can be made depending on the size you make.


I am sending this recipe as my blog post entry for Way wow link party, and Tuesday Tutorials, and with Cook blog share and Hearth and Soul blog hop, and with welcome home Wednesday party, with Full plate Thursday, with Yum yum linky and My fav Two things on Thursday, and with Real Food Friday and with Fiesta Friday co-host Naina and Juliana, and with Sunday Fitness and food party, and with Meatless Monday and what do you do this weekend, and with Tasty Tuesday, and with Happy healthy and green party,








































Friday, 4 March 2016

SEMOLINA MATHRI, CRISPY SAVORY SEMOLINA COOKIES



SEMOLINA MATHRI
CRISPY SAVORY SEMOLINA COOKIES

This is a famous Indian traditional savory snack. My mother always made this dish on festivals like Diwali, Holi etc. In Delhi, India, it is still popular as a weekend breakfast/brunch with potato curry.


I remember, in my youth, in India, how we youngsters enjoyed this mathris during weddings in the family. In those days, whenever we had a wedding in the family, the tradition was to distribute big sized mathri and laddus (sweet balls) to all friends, far and close relatives, neighbours etc. after the weddings. A big amount was also given to the groom's family by the bride’s family as well.


During those days, professional cooks were arranged to do all the cooking well in advance at the bride's house and these items were made on a very large scale to distribute, to offer to guests and family members.





Those days, I had really enjoyed this awesome snack with something like Indian pickle, chutney or potato curry etc. This was one of my favorite morning breakfasts for many days before or after the wedding, LOL, when we are young we eat a lot! As culture and traditions are dynamic, so this tradition has also changed and now at the time of weddings, people prefer to distribute sweets or nuts which they buy ready made from the shops.


Some people use white flour to make these mathries instead of semolina. But the taste of the semolina one is much better than the white flour one, as they are crispier and healthier as well. According to Indian traditional belief, semolina which is a cream of wheat is considered much better to use in different recipes compared to white flour because it is the purified form of wheat and is very good for digestion. Many other savory snacks and sweet items are also made with semolina, which is very popular throughout India.




RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg Semolina, finely coarse
  • 2/3 cup oil for the dough
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbs Kasoori methi leaves (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 cup water or more
  • Oil for frying


METHOD

  • In a big bowl, mix semolina, salt, methi leaves and 2/3 cup of oil.
  • Mix well for ten minutes, add slowly one cup of water or more and make hard dough.
  • If you find the dough is too hard you can sprinkle some more water. Cover and leave it for 10 minutes to set.
  • Divide the dough into 5-6 pieces.
  • Take one piece and divide it into 15 pieces and make around 15 small balls out of it and flatten them on the palm.
  • Roll them in round shape and size like small cookies.
  • Heat the oil on a slow flame in a big fry pan or wok.
  • First, fry these 15, on slow fire till the color is light brown.
  • Take it out on a paper towel, leave it to cool.
  • Fry all of them like this in batches. Finish the whole dough in 4-5 rounds. Leave it to cool.

Serve hot or cold with tea or coffee. It can be also served with any chutney or pickle of taste or even with potato curry, as a light meal or breakfast time.


Pack in an airtight container, they can last for a month or more, on the shelf. 60-70 mathri can be made with this dough, depending on the size you make.

I am sending this recipe as my blog post entry for meatless Monday, and What do you do this weekend and Sunday Fitness and Food link, with Happy Healthy and green party, and Tasty Tuesday,, and with Cook Blog share and Hearth and Soul blog hop, and with Tuesday Tutorial,, and with Way wow link party, and yum yum linky, and with Fiesta Friday, and with Real Food Friday,, with Full plate Thursday and My two fav things on Thursday