Sunday, 31 March 2013

SZECHUAN/ SICHUAN SOYA CHUNKS




Ingredients:

Julienne ginger and garlic- 2 tbspns

Red bullets/ cayenne pepper- 1 tbspn

Chopped onion- 2

Soya chunks- 2 cups

Red wine vinegar/ white vinegar- 1/4 cup

Oyster sauce- 1 tbspn(optional)

Dark soy sauce- 1 tbspn

Sesame seeds- 1 tspn

Corn flour- 1 tbspn

Brown sugar/ Jaggery- 1 tspn

Salt to taste

Water- 1/4 cup

Oil- 1 tbspn (preferably sesame oil)

Chives/spring onions- 1 tbspn (finely chopped)






Method:

Heat the pan and add the oil. Add the ginger, garlic followed by onions. 



When they turn partially brown add the soya chunks.






(Soak the soya chunks in warm water for 10 minutes and when you are about to cook squeeze all the water and cook for better results)





Cook the soya chunks with salt and water for 15 minutes under low fire.




Mix the vinegar, sauces and corn flour in a bowl uniformly to prepare a smooth paste.


Add the paste to the soya chunks. Keep stirring to mix the paste uniformly to soya chunks. Add the brown sugar and mix again. Brown sugar give a good brown colour to the dish.


Sprinkle the sesame seeds and serve with carbohydrates of your choice





Monday, 18 March 2013

BABY POTATOES AND VEGETABLES IN GRAM FLOUR GRAVY


This is a creamy vegetable gravy with vegetables and gram flour. This dish is a good calorie watcher. Without coconut and cream I have tried to get the creamy texture with gram flour paste. 

This is more like"Jhunka" a Maharashtrian(India) gram flour paste side dish. Jhunka is cooked as the gram flour paste without any vegetables in it. Another dish from the same region in India is named as "Pithale" in which butter milk is added instead of water. I have used the same base here with a small change by adding vegetables.






Ingredients:

Baby potatoes- 150 gms

Peas- 1/2 cup

Broccoli and cauliflower florets- 1 cup

Onion- 1 (finely chopped)

Tomatoes- 1 (finely chopped)

Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Coriander powder- 1tbspn

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Asafoetida- 1 pinch

Gram flour- 2 tbspns

Water-1/2 cup

Oil- 2 tbspns

Salt to taste


Method:


Steam cook all the vegetables with salt and keep it aside.

Heat the oil in the pan. Add the ginger-garlic paste followed by the onions..

When the onions get browned add the chopped tomatoes followed by all the vegetables and gently saute.

Lower the flame and add all the spices and salt.

Add the gram  flour paste now.(Prepare the gram flour paste by mixing slowly the gram flour to 1/2 cup of water)

Add another 1/2 cup of water to the gravy. Mix all the ingredients uniformly and let it cook for another 2 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with hot phulkas(roti).



CARROT AND RADISH JUICE

This juice is good to cleanse your gall bladder and liver. Radish can be often included in your diet to detox your body. Radish when consumed uncooked provides more health benefits compared to when it is cooked.


Initially I found it very hard to take this juice. Later I started liking since it was helping out with my bloating issues. To get rid of the smell(if you do not like the radish smell) add some fresh  mint leaves.







Ingredients:

Grated carrot- 1 cup

Grated white radish- 2 tspn

Lemon juice- 1 tspn

Black pepper powder- one pinch

Cumin seed powder- one pinch

Water- 2 cups

Salt to taste


Method:

Place the grated carrot and radish in the blender and grind with water.

Filter the juice and pour in a juice glass. Add the cumin seed, black pepper powder, salt and lemon juice and stir with a spoon. Serve fresh.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

MARU BHAJIA'S

To be honest I came to know about his bhajias only after I reached Nairobi. "Maru bhajia's" are very famous in Nairobi. The sight of this bhajia's would just make you forget that you are dieting. With the spicy tomato chutney the taste is just awesome.

From the crowds of  Diamond plaza to the busy streets of city center these Bhajias speak the prominence of  Indian food in the streets of Nairobi. Maru bhajia's is an absolute Gujarati snack. Unlike the South Indian "bhaji" which is dipped generously in the gram flour, this is fried with gram flour paste just coated on the sliced potatoes.







Ingredients: (serves 5)


For the bhajia's:



Potatoes-7(medium sized)

Green chillies-5

Ginger- 2 inches long

Chopped cilantro leaves- 1 tbspn

Gram flour- 1 cup

water- just enough to prepare a smooth paste

Salt to taste


For the tomato chutney:


Tomatoes- 5 (very ripe)

Onion- 1 (small)

Green chillies- 2

Finely chopped cilantro leaves-1/4 cup

Salt to taste


Method:


Chop the ginger and green chillies and add little water to prepare a smooth paste. Keep it aside.




Chop the potatoes to very thin slices.



Add the ground paste, gram flour, salt to the potatoes. Add little water to form a smooth coating of gram flour to the potatoes.



Now the potatoes are ready to be fried. Fry the potatoes in hot oil.






Serve hot with tomato chutney. Prepare the tomato chutney by blending all the ingredients coarsely in the blender. Once ground add the chopped cilantro leaves and mix well.





Tuesday, 12 March 2013

FENUGREEK AND WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR BONDAS

"Bonda" is a South Indian snack usually made from mashed potatoes dipped in gram flour paste and deep fried. It is served with any "chutney-dipping" like coconut, mint, coriander. "Keerai bonda " is made out of any  greens available in that particular season. A  very yummy snack on a cold day.

I have tried to make a healthy bonda with whole wheat flour and fenugreek leaves and relished it with tomato and coconut chutney.







For the Bondas:


Chopped fenugreek leaves- 2 cups

Whole wheat flour- 2 tbspns

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1tspn

Garam  masala- 1 tspn

Coriander/ curry powder- 1 tspn

Cumin seeds- 1 tspn


Salt to taste


For the coconut chutney:


Coconut- 1 cup(cut into uniform slices)

Tomatoes- 2

Green/ red chillies- 1

Garlic- 1 clove

Salt to taste



To temper:



Oil- 1 tbspn

Mustard seeds- 1 tspn

Curry leaves- 1 sprig



Method:


Bondas:

Mix all the ingredients for the Bondas in a bowl. Sprinkle little water and prepare a dough. Pinch lemon sized balls and deep fry them until golden brown.

Coconut chutney:

Grind all the ingredients in the blender to prepare an uniform paste. To temper heat the pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and wait to splutter. Add the curry leaves now followed by the ground chutney. Add salt and mix uniformly and switch off the fire.


Bondas in coconut chutney



























Thursday, 7 March 2013

PANEER THEPLAS

There is no need for an introduction to "Theplas". There are so many versions. The "Gujarati thepla" is very simple with curd which is often carried while travelling or goes in the picnic basket . Theplas stay longer. The "Rajasthani Thepla" really amused me. "Radish" in chapati? what? I was slightly happy because"I CAN TRICK MY BOYS BY HIDING THE RADISH IN THE CHAPATHI. SIMPLY WOW!"

My boys have very good "sense of smell". I had to use ginger- garlic paste to get rid of the radish smell. It tasted very good. I did not travel anywhere,I just wanted to try this out. I added some paneer to enhance the taste. End result= Everyone liked it.








Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour/ chapati flour- 2 cups

Grated radish- 1 cup

Finely chopped fenugreek leaves- 1/4 cup

Finely grated paneer- 1/2 cup

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Cumin seeds- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Yogurt/ curd- 1 tbspn

Ginger- garlic paste -1 tspn

Salt to taste


Method:


Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix all the ingredients uniformly. There is no need to add water while preparing the dough. The water released by the radish is quiet enough to knead the dough.

Knead the dough very gently and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Pinch lemon sized balls roll it and prepared the theplas by brushing with little oil. Trust me the theplas were very soft and loved by my kids. Try it and tell me your opinion.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

EGGLESS NUT COOKIES

This cookies has been my kids favourite for the past 2 years. My little son Brian always asks me "almost everyday"- "Mom, where is your famous cookies?". When we visited India my boys happened to eat "Good day" biscuits which is a rich biscuit with cashews in it. My boys started telling me" Mom, someone is baking biscuits and selling it with your recipe"- you know their world is so small.


Surely, every time I eat this cookie it reminds me of  "good day" biscuits and what my kids commented about them. I have tried to be little bit conscious about the calories by adding brown sugar and oil instead of butter.









Ingredients:

All purpose flour- 2 and a half cups

Brown sugar- 1/2 cup

Unsalted cashews and almonds- 1/2 cup(coarsely chopped)

Grated coconut- 1/4 cup

Cooking oil- 1/4 cup

Yogurt- 1/2 cup

Baking powder- 2 tspns

Baking soda- 1 tspn


Method:


Pre- heat the oven at 180 degrees.


Place the flour in a wide bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda and sugar and mix the ingredients uniformly. You can also substitute powdered white sugar for brown sugar.

Add the yogurt followed by grated coconut, chopped nuts. Add the oil and mix all the ingredients uniformly to prepare the dough.

Refrigerate the dough for l hour.(not in the freezer)

Dust the working surface with flour. Place the dough and roll it to half an  inch thickness. With the cookie cutter of your choice cut out the dough and place on the greased baking tray. 

You can also be creative to make this cookies more interesting for your kids by using fun filled cookie cutters. Please follow the step by step instructions in the above picture starting from the far right end corner finishing at the pic on the left down corner.


Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees until crisp brown.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

AUBERGINE AND POTATO SIDE DISH

                          


Ingredients:

Potatoes- 2 cups(diced)

Aubergine/ egg plant- 1(medium sized, diced)

Onion- 1(finely chopped)

Tomatoes- 2(finely chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Chilly powder- 1tspn

Garam masala- 1tspn

Oil- 2 tbspns

Salt to taste


Cilantro- to garnish


Method:

Heat the pan and add the oil. Add the ginger- garlic paste followed by onions. When the onions turn brown add the tomatoes.

Now add all the spices and salt. Mix all the ingredients. Cover the pan and cook under low fire for 2 minutes.

Add the aubergine and potatoes now. Give a gentle stir. Add a cup of water and let the vegetables cook for 15 minutes under low fire. Keep the pan closed with a lid.

Open the lid now and gently mash the potatoes and aubergine with the cooking spoon. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with rotis or chapatis.