Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Black Bean Salsa - Party Batch

I made this black bean salsa for one of my best friend's baby's first birthday party. It was a huge hit. This made a big foil pan (enough to feed about 45-50 people as an appetizer).

3 big cans (29 oz) black beans
2 big cans (28 oz) petite Diced Tomatoes (Hunts)
2 medium cans yellow golden corn (Del Monte)
3 large green peppers, seeded and diced
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 big red pepper, seeded and diced
1 or 2 bunches of cilantro, finely chopped
3 bunches of spring onion, white and green, sliced
1 big red onion, finely diced
juice of 4 limes
1/4 cup cumin, slowly roasted and coarsely ground
4 tbsp red chilli flakes
3 tbsp Corriander-cumin powder
1 tbsp Red chilli powder
4 tbsp Dried Oregano
Salt to taste.

Mix everything together. Serve with two bags of tortilla scoops.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Methi Malai Matar

Every time I make this, I say to myself - "This is perfect for making for a crowd, since it's so quick and easy and yet Yummy"..but every time I prepare a menu for a party, I never think of this..

Hopefully having the recipe here would help..This is a slightly simplified, no-fuss recipe..hence there's no dry spice to grind etc..I also use frozen Methi (which is the only kind I get and works perfectly).

Soak a small handful of cashew nuts and a table spoon of khus khus in milk. Thow out a handful of chopped Methi leaves and squeeze out the liquid. In a pan with some oil/ghee saute the methi leaves for a couple of minutes. This helps make the final gravy less green. Remove and set aside. Thaw out and lightly cook a couple of handfuls of green peas and set aside. Roughly chop a large onion and grind into a smooth paste (along with one green chilli). You may add fresh ginger/garlic in the paste, or use ready made paste. In the same pan, heat some oil/ghee. Add cumin seeds, followed by the onion paste. Saute till onion paste is on the verge of getting color. Grind the soaked cashew nut and khus khus into a smooth paste and add to the pan. Also add milk, salt, a spoon of sugar and a pinch of garam masala. Simmer for a bit. Add the methi leaves, green peas and some fresh cream and let simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with parathas or Naans.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cheese Straws..quick appetizer

I took these to a friend's birthday party..and worked out well. The recipe is from


Combine 11/2 cups grated sharp cheese like cheddar (I used a mexican blend), 1/2 cup soft butter, 3/4 cup of flour, salt, red chilli flakes, and a table spoon on cream into dough. Roll out and cut into strips. Bake at 350 for 10-15 mins. Cool and serve.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chat Night

So we had friends over, and one of them doesn't eat onions and garlic..so I thought up a chat menu that can be customized both ways..It turned out to be a huge hit..Here's what I came up with..

1. Mung dal wada with or without onions and spring onion dip. Mummy's recipe from here.
2. Khaman Dhokla. Used Talod na Dhokla and followed the package directions exactly (it's important to follow the proportions exactly). Then for the tadka, added mustard seeds, green chillies, sesame seeds, curry leaves and water. Boil and spread. Garnish with cilantro, fresh coconut and Sev.
3. Radga Pattice. Recipe follows.
4. Kulfi - Hugely popular..Ideas from showmethecurry.com, but modified quite a bit. Recipe follows.

Ragda Pattice:


Boil, peel and mash potatoes (use Russet for good results since they have more starch). Add salt, lime juice, chat masala, red chilli powder, chopped cilantro, and corn starch. Make medium sized tikkis and shallow fry with very little oil.

Soak white peas (You get it in the Indian grocery stores under the name "safed matar" or "safed vatana") overnight. Next morning, drain the water, rinse it well and pressure cook till soft with plenty of water, salt and turmeric powder. Soak tamarind in water for about half an hour. Add the tamarind water to the ragda, add some red chilli powder, chat masala and roasted cumin powder (go easy on the spices. Ragda should be very lightly spiced for the flavors of the toppings to shine). Adjust the consistency with water and boil some more.

Salt, red chilli powder, chat masala, fresh grated coconut, chopped cilantro, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, pieces of lime, Sev, three chutneys (recipes follow).

Date Tamarind chutney:
Soak tamarind for about 2-3 hours. Also soak some seedless dates and jaggery. Grind together the dates and jaggery, and sieve through a big strainer, along with the tamarind. Add salt, roasted and crushed cumin seeds and red chilli powder.

Green Chutney:
Grind together cilantro, mint, green chillies, ginger, Dalia (roasted chana), whole raw zeera, hing, turmeric powder, and water. Squeeze some lime juice. May also add garlic.

Garlic Chutney:
Grind together garlic cloves, red chilli powder, salt and water.

To Assemble (can adapt as per your preference):
In a bowl, start with 2-3 tikkis. Ladle out Ragda on top of the tikkis, spread the three chutneys, sprinkle other toppings and serve.


Boil about half a gallon of whole milk on medium heat and stir to avoid scorching. Reduce to almost one third the volume. Dissolve about one tbsp of cornstarch in some cold milk and add to the boiling milk. let the milk thicken slightly more. In the mean time, soak a few strands of saffron in milk for about half an hour, and create a paste using a pestle. Add this to the milk. Add one can of evaporated milk, one can of condensed milk, about a cup of sugar, stir and let cool. Add about 8-10 fl. oz. (3/4 carton of the 16 ounce pack) heavy cream. Add fresh cardamom powder and coarsely crushed cashew nuts, almonds and pistachios. (The flavors can be adapted..think plain malai, Mango, Rose, fruits, etc). Now, fill small plastic disposable cups upto about 3/4th full. Cover with a small piece of aluminum foil, and insert an ice cream stick (The foil helps keep the stick in place before freezing). Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight. Rub the kulfi with palms before serving to release. May use kulfi molds, if available. Enjoy!!

Tip: I didn't try this, but I saw this tip twice in my research: grind a slice or two of white bread and add to the boiling milk to avoid crystals. Cornstarch worked fine for me, though.