Monday, April 25, 2011

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora
Punjabi kadhi pakora is yogurt based curry. It is a specialty of northern Indian province "Punjab". It has fried dumplings (pakoras) made up of gram flour. Punjabi kadhi pakora is a great combination with fragrant basmati rice.

For Pakora:
  • Besan (gram flour) – 1 cup
  • Onions  - 1/2 cup chopped
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Green chili – 1 finely chopped
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1 pinch
  • water (to make a smooth batter)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For Kadhi:
  • Besan (gram flour)  - 3/4 cup
  • Yogurt – 2 cups (sour is better)
  • Onion – 1 sliced
  • Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  • Garlic  - 2 tsp minced
  • Green chilies – 2 finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – 8
  • Cumin seeds (jira)  - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds (rai) - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) – 1 tsp
  • Asafetida powder – 1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro – 1 tbsp finely chopped for garnish

To make Pakora:

  1. In a bowl take besan; add onions and all the other ingredients.
  2. Add water to make smooth batter. Mix well.
  3. In a pan, heat oil for frying at medium high heat.
  4. Take batter, one spoon at a time, putting it in hot oil to make pakoras.
  5. Turn them over once. Deep fry till it becomes golden and crispy.
  6. Drain them on kitchen towel. Keep aside.
To make Kadhi:
  1. In a large bowl, add yogurt and besan. Mix well. Now add 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder. Blend well. It should have any lumps
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add cumin, mustard, fenugreek and fennel seeds.
  3. When it crackles, add asafetida powder and sliced onions. Sauté till it becomes translucent. Now add ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves.
  4. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
  5. Add yogurt and besan mix to the pan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir it once.
  6. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in between a few times.
  7. Add already prepared pakoras to kadhi. Mix once gently.
  8. Kadhi pakora is ready to be served.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish kadhi pakora with freshly chopped cilantro and garam masala powder. Enjoy with fragrant basmati rice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot and sweet Lemon pickle

Hot and sweet Lemon pickle
This recipe is for very spicy and sweet lemon pickle. It is a condiment that can be served at breakfast with any kind of parathas or with the meal.

  • Lemons - 15
  • Lemon juice – 1/2 cup
  • Mustard seeds (yellow split) - 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds (methidana) - 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Asafetida (hing) – 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder  - 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt  - 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar  - 2 cups
  • Cooking oil - 1 cups
  1. Wash and dry Lemons thoroughly.
  2. Cut each lemon into 8 pieces. Keep them in a large bowl.
  3. In a pan, dry roast fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Grind the roasted spices in grinder and keep aside.
  4. In a large bowl, take the above roasted spice powder and also add red chili powder, turmeric powder and asafetida powder to it.
  5. Heat oil in a separate pan and add it to the spice mix. Mix well.
  6. Add all the above mixture to cut lemons. Once again mix well.
  7. Now add lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix again.
  8. Take a clean jar; fill it up with the above pickle.
  9. Shake the jar every day for 10 days.
  10. Store it in a clean and dry place. Pickle is ready to eat in a 2 weeks.
Serving suggestions:
Enjoy Hot and sweet lemon pickle with garma garam parathas (Indian bread) anytime of the day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tom kha Soup (Vegetarian Thai coconut milk soup)

Tom kha Soup (Vegetarian Thai coconut milk soup)
Tom kha soup is one of the most commonly served Thai vegetarian soup. This soup is very nutritious and flavorful. It has galangal and lemongrass as main ingredients which has great medicinal values too.

Approx. 5 servings
  • Coconut milk – 2 cups
  • Vegetable stock – 3 cups
  • Lemongrass – 3 stalks, cut into 1" pieces
  • Galangal -  2 inch root, thinly sliced
    Note: ginger can be substituted as galangal, but the flavors are different.
  • Green chilies - 2 finely chopped
  • Sweet onion – 1 medium, cubed
  • Tomato – 1 boiled, peeled and cubed
  • Mushrooms– 1 cup sliced
  • Bamboo shoots – 1/2 cup sliced
  • Baby corns -1/2 cup cut in halves
  • Bean sprouts – 1/2 cup
  • Water chestnuts – 1/2 cup sliced
  • Lime juice – 3 tbsp
  • Soy sauce – 2  tbsp
  • Cilantro – 1/4 cup chopped
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper – 2 tsp
  • Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt as per taste (Soy sauce has some salt too)
  1. In a big pot, add vegetable stock and coconut milk and boil.
  2. Add lemongrass, galangal, chilies, sugar and pepper.
  3. In a pan, heat oil. On high heat, Sauté all the vegetables for couple of minutes except bean sprouts.
  4. Add these vegetables to the coconut milk pot and keep boiling for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Add bean sprouts.
  7. Add lime juice, soy sauce and salt. Stir well.
  8. Soup is ready to be served.
Garnish and serving Suggestions:
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and chilies. Serve hot before meal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Aate ka halwa or Kada prashad (Wheat pudding)

Aate ka halwa is the main offering for ashtami or navmi feast during Navratri. It is also called as kada prashad and is mainly served in all Gurdwaras.

Approx. 4 servings

  • Wheat flour (aata) – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Desi ghee (clarified butter) – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Almonds – 1/4 cup sliced
  • Almonds – 1 tbsp sliced for garnish

  1. In a pan, at medium-high heat add ghee. Now add wheat flour to it. Mix well. Keep the heat medium low.
  2. Now in another pan, dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water on low heat. Stir it till all the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat off.
  3. Keep stirring the wheat flour with ghee on medium low heat, till it turns golden brown and produces good aroma. Keep an eye on it otherwise it burns quickly.
  4. Now add already made sugar syrup carefully to the pan and keep stirring. It all becomes thick and starts leaving the sides. All happens very quickly.
  5. Add sliced almonds to the halwa and it is ready.
Garnish it with 1 tbsp sliced almonds and serve warm.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Navratri Special: Sabudana Kheer (Tapioca pudding)

Sabudana Kheer
Sabudana kheer is a very simple and flavorful dessert. It is mostly prepared for fasting menu, but is can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

For Approx. 6 servings

  • Sabudana (Sago pearls or tapioca pearls) – 1/2 cup
  • Milk (whole) – 4 cups
  • Sugar or sugar substitute – 1/2 cup
  • Saffron (kesar or zafran) – 12 strands
  • Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1/4 tsp
  • Almonds – 12 sliced
  1. Soak sabudana with just enough water to cover it. Soak it for 4-6 hours or overnight. Now sabudana becomes light and fluffy.
  2. In heavy bottom pan, add milk. Bring it to boil once and let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Add saffron strands and stir occasionally.
  3. Add soaked sabudana to the milk and stir gently. Let it cook for further 6-8 minutes till sabudana becomes translucent.
  4. Now add half of the sliced almonds and sugar to it. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  5. Kheer is ready to be served.
  6. Sabudana kheer becomes thick when cools.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish sabudana kheer with remaining sliced almonds and few strands of saffron. Enjoy this wonderful dessert chilled or warm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Navratri Special:Falahari Sabudana Khichadi

For Sabudana Khichadi [4 servings]
  • Sabudana (Tapioca or Sago pearls) – 1.5 cups
  • Potato – 1
  • Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Green chili – 1 Finely chopped
  • Cilantro – ¼ cup
  • Lime juice – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1.5 tbsp
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

  1.  Soak sabudana in just enough water to cover it. Let it stand overnight. In the morning, the sabudana looks nice and fluffy.
  2. Boil, peel and cut potato in small cubes. Finely chop green chilies and cilantro and keep aside.
  3. Coarsely grind roasted peanuts and keep aside.
  4. In a bowl mix, Sabudana with roasted and crushed peanuts.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil in a shallow pan. Add cumin seeds; let it crackle for 1 minute. Add asafoetida powder and turmeric powder. Add chopped green chilies to it.
  6. Add the sabudana mixture to the pan. Now add boiled potato cubes to it. Mix well. Keep the heat medium and stir occasionally. Add red chili powder, salt, sugar and lime juice to it. Cook for few more seconds. Do not add water to the khichadi at any point. It will make it lumpy.
  7. Sabudana khichadi is ready to be served.
Garnish sabudana khichadi with freshly chopped cilantro and some fresh lime juice.

Note: Always try making sabudana kichadi in shallow pan. It prevents khichadi from sticking or getting lumpy.