Monday, February 23, 2009

Masaledaar Bhindi (Spicy Okra)

Masaaledar bhindi
Bhindi (also known as Okra), is one of the favorite vegetable in our household. It can be cooked cut or whole, plain or spicy. Here, I’m sharing its spicy (not hot), version. Kids love it too, because this recipe has potatoes in it.

Ingredients:For Masaledaar Bhindi [6 servings]
Bhindi(Okra) whole – 1lbs fresh or frozen
Potatoes – 2 (peel and cut long slices)
Onion -1/2 sliced
Fresh chopped Garlic -1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) powder -1/4 tsp
Olive oil – 4 tbsp
Dry Spices: Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Amchur powder(dried mango powder) – ½ tbsp
Salt as per taste

  • Wash fresh Bhindi in plenty of running water and dry it thoroughly with the kitchen towel. If using frozen, thaw the frozen bhindi in microwave for 3 minutes. Cut the tops and tails and slice lengthwise in half.
  • In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add sliced bhindi and shallow fry it till it turns half green and half golden brown. Keep fried bhindi aside.
  • In the same pan heat 2 tbsp oil again. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafoetida powder. When it crackles, add sliced onions to it. Sauté for 2 minutes and add sliced potatoes. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, add chopped garlic, mix well and cover the pan with the lid. Turn the heat to medium-low for 5 minutes.
  • Add fried bhindi to sautéed onion and potatoes. Add all dry spices (turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, amchur powder and salt). Mix carefully without mashing bhindi or potatoes.
Enjoy hot with fresh roti or paratha.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vegetable Chow mein [Indian style Noodles] with Paneer

Vegetable Chow mein [Indian style Noodles] with Paneer
This is the recipe for Indian style Vegetable Chow mein noodles. Kids love it and grown-ups too.
So make it spicy (following the recipe) for adults and less spicy for kids.

For Chow Mein [4 servings]
Packet Noodles (I use Organic flat wheat noodles from Trader Joe’s)
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) – ½ lbs
Sweet Onion – 1/2 Medium size, Sliced
Capsicum (Green Bell pepper) – ½ cup, cut into thin stripes (julienne)
Cabbage – 1 cup, cut into thin stripes (julienne)
Carrot – ½ cup, cut into thin stripes (julienne)
Water Chestnuts – 1 can
Snow peas – ½ cup
Bean sprouts – ½ cup
Spring onions – for garnish
Ginger- 1 tbsp minced
Soy Sauce- 1.5 tbsp
Sugar -1 tsp
Hot & Sour Sauce-1 tbsp
Maggi Hot & Sweet Sauce – 1 tbsp
Garlic chili sauce -1 tbsp
Oil for stir frying -2 tbsp
Salt to taste

  •  Boil the noodles for 4-5 minutes or as the package directions. Do not over cook. Wash under cold water and keep aside.
  •  Rinse and prepare all the vegetables as directed.
  •  Cut paneer into small cubes and shallow fry it. Keep fried paneer aside.
  •  Heat the wok and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced ginger and stir-fry briefly until aromatic.
  •  Add all the vegetables except bean sprouts and stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes.
  •  Add boiled noodles carefully so they don’t break. Add fried paneer cubes to it.
  •  Stir in Soy sauce, Hot & Sour Sauce, Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce, Garlic chili sauce and sugar. Stir in the bean sprouts. Cook for a few more seconds.
Garnish Chow mein with cut spring onions and serve hot.

Note: You can increase or decrease the amount of sauces according to your taste.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Protein packed Punjabi Kala Chana (Black chickpeas)

Protein packed
Punjabi Kala Chana (Black chickpeas)

Kala Chana is a super healthy, protein packed recipe from Punjab (Northern Province of India). They have a stronger and unique flavor. It can be cooked dry or with gravy, here I’m suggesting the gravy version to go with flavorful basmati rice or Paratha/Roti.
For Kala Chana: [for 6 servings]Kala Chana dry – 1.5 cup

Dry Ingredients for gravy:Whole garam masala – 1 tbsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Kasoori methi(dried fenugreek leaves) – 1 tbsp
Chana Masala -3/4 tbsp

Wet Ingredients for gravy: Onion -1/2 (pureed)
Tomato puree -1 cups
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chili -1 tsp (finely chopped) [Optional]olive oil – 2 tbspn
Salt as per taste

Method:1. Wash dry Kala Chana a couple of times and soak them overnight in water.
2. Add soaked chana, turmeric powder, salt and 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker. Pressure cook it for 30 minutes on medium heat.
3. For gravy, heat olive oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala. Let it crackle. Then add pureed onions and sauté it, till turns light golden. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped green chilies (optional). Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add tomato puree, red chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder in the gravy and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes on medium-low heat.
5. Add the gravy to the boiled chana and add 2 cups of water and simmer it on low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Finally, add chana masala and kasoori methi and let it simmer for 2 more minutes.

Garnish the Kala chana with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with halved lemons.
Enjoy with fresh naan, paratha or steamed basmati rice.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shahi Kheer (Rice pudding, Indian Style)

Shahi Kheer (Rice pudding, Indian Style)
Kheer is a very traditional Indian dessert. Shahi means royal. As this recipe calls for Kesar and Badam (Saffron and Almonds), is considered royal.
Ingredients:For Kheer:[serves 6]
Whole Milk – ½ gallon
White Rice – 2/3 cup
Condensed Milk – 1 can
Kesar (saffron) – ¼ tspn
Almonds – 12
Sugar – ½ cup( if you like it really sweet)
  • Wash rice under cold water couple of times. Soak rice in a bowl adding some warm water.
  • Soak almonds in warm water for few hours.
  • In the heavy bottom pan or in the slow cooker add whole milk and let it simmer. Add Saffron to it.
  • Take soaked rice, remove excess water and mix the rice so that it will break in halves.
  • Add the rice, without water, to the simmering milk. Let it simmer on medium low heat for an hour and stir occasionally. Do not let it stick to the bottom.
  • After hour and half add condensed milk and mix well.
  • Add sugar if desired and bring it to a boil.
  • Peel the soaked almonds and cut them into slices.
Garnish the Shahi Kheer with sliced almonds.
Serve it chilled or warm.