Monday, June 23, 2014

Dahi Wada

Soak Urad dal in sufficient water overnight. Next morning, grind to a coarse paste in the food processor with salt and just a bit of fresh water. I had freshly ground ginger paste which I used, otherwise, you can grind the ginger and chillies with the dal. I added green chilli paste, ginger paste, hing to the mixture. I also added (optional) whole cumin seeds + fennel seeds + lightly crushed whole dhania seeds. Beat the mixture with your hands to make a light batter. Heat oil in a kadai and fry vadas tilll golden brown. Add them to warm water, press with hands to remove the water and set aside. Beat yogurt with water and salt and spread over the wet wadas. Garnish with red and green chutneys, red chilli poweder, roasted cumin powder, chat masala (optional. I didn't use it this time), and cilantro. Serve chilled. 

Tadka Dal

Boil Toor dal with salt and turmeric. Heat some oil. Add mustard seeds (let splutter), cumin seeds, curry leaves, slit green chilli, hing, chopped red onion, fresh ginger and garlic paste. Let the onions brown well. Then add red chilli powder, turmeric, a bit of dhania powder, amchur, finely chopped tomatoes and salt. Let the tomatoes cook well (almost mashed). Then add this to the dal and serve garnished with fresh cilantro. 

Phudina Paratha

Whole wheat flour + salt + oil + freshly chopped mint + milk whey (optional). Make a soft dough and let it rest. Make laccha-style (roll out into a small disk, apply ghee and flour, roll into a tube, roll into a ball and roll it out again). Make like regular paratha with oil.

Onion + Raw Mango Salad

1/2 large red onion, finely chopped + about 1 cup worth very finely chopped raw mango + red chilli powder + roasted cumin powder + salt. Try to make it ahead, so you get a bit of the juices out. Super hit. 

Mango Kulfi

I ended up making a much bigger batch than I intended to..but oh well..

2 can of mango pulp + 2 cans of condensed milk + 1 cup of sugar + 1 medium size (1/2 pint?) of cream whipped + 2 tbsp of freshly ground cardamom. Mix everything (fold the whipped cream carefully), fill in molds and freeze. 

Paneer Makhni (Restaurant Style)

This turned out to be super super easy (and not exactly healthy)

Grind around 4-5 tomatoes. In a pan, heat abour 2 tbsp butter. Add 1 1/2 tbsp each of fresh ginger and garlic pastes. Fry for a few seconds. Add the ground tomatoes. (I didn't strain out the seeds...was ok..but you should for a smoother finish). I added whole garam masala later (should have added to the butter initially). A couple of cloves, 1 stick of indian cinnamon and a couple of green cardamoms. Add one small can of tomato sauce. Add a handful of kasuri methi. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp dhania powder,  1/2 tbsp garam masala powder, 1 tbsp sugar, and salt to taste. Cover and let cook for a couple of minutes, till oil starts to separate. Add water and let cook for a couple more minutes. Add another 2-3 tbsp of butter + about 1/2 cup of fresh cream. Simmer on low heat for a few minutes. Cut paneer into desired shape (I did really small thin triangles). Add to the gravy, mix and serve hot.

Stuffed Baby Eggplant and Potatoes

I used about 12 really tiny, tender and fresh baby eggplants (no point making this dish if you can't find good ones). I also used the same number of baby red potatoes (again, important to use fresh ones). The skin was so thin, I didn't bother peeling (actually, I was feeling lazy, so just gave them a good scrub). Wash the veggies and remove the eggplant stems. make one deep slit on each one. You could make two (on either side, cris-cross), but these veggies were so small that one seemed enough.

There are different variations of the stuffing. I made two different ones in two days. Here's the one with peanuts:
For the stuffing: Combine about 2 cups fresh coconut + roast and grind about 1 1/2 cups peeled peanuts + 1/2 cup sesame seeds + 1 cup freshly chopped cilantro + 1 tbsp freshly ground ginger + 1/2 tbsp freshly ground green chilli paste + 3-4 tbsp dhania jeera powder (I used 1 tbsp home made dhania jeera and 2-3 tbs of dhania powder) +  1 tbsp turmeric powder +  1 tbsp red chilli powder (as per taste) + 1 tbsp amchur powder + 1/2 tbsp garam masala powder + 1 tbsp sugar (usually we use a lot more sugar, but this version has less) + 3/4 tsp hing (yeah..I lot of hing) + salt to taste. Mix everything properly and stuff the veggies with it.

In a shallow pan, mix about 2-3 tbsp oil + 1 cup water + 1 pinch of baking soda and swirl together and heat. Arrange the veggies snugly in the pan, and sprinkle the remaining stuffing over the top. Sprinkle some more water over the top and cover with a tight lid. Cook on medium heat till the veggies are tender (check with a knife). Sprinkle more water during cooking if required. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm.

Another thing to stuff is smallish onions (which I can't easily find here), and maybe add some green peas towards the end.

The second variation of the stuffing:
Coconut + cilantro + green chilli-ginger paste + dhania jeera powder + turmeric + hing + sugar (good amount) + salt.
I also added frozen Ratalu (purple yam) + frozen lilva (pigeon peas) while cooking the vegetable. Could also add peas.

Mummy's simple green chutney

I've always found it very difficult to make chutney like my mom-in-law..but here's a close approximation.

About 1 bunch cilantro (including some of the tender stems) + 1 big handful of fresh mint + 1 green chilli + 3 cloves of garlic + a handful of chopped raw mango (can use lime instead) + salt to taste. Grind together using as little water as possible. 

Shahi Paneer Kabab

Makes about 18-20

For the outer covering: 5-6 medium sized potatoes (I used mostly red). Boil, peel and grate. Soak two slices of bread in water, and press out the water. Add to the potatoes. Add about 2-3 tablespoon of cornstarch, and salt to taste. Knead lightly to combine everything and make balls about the size of a lemon.

For the stuffing: I used home made paneer from about 1/2 gallon milk. Roughly one and a half cups. To this, I added another half a cup of crumbled store bough paneer. Add a big handful of chopped fresh Mint, and some chopped cilantro. Add about 3/4 cup of finely chopped cashew nuts, about 1/4 cup of finely chopped almonds and about 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup (as per taste) of chopped golden raisins, about 1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger, 2 finely chopped green chillies, 1 tbsp garam masala, 1 tbsp sugar (not too heavy on the sugar), and salt to taste. Mix everything and let chill.

Flatten out the potato ball with wet hands, fill with about 2 tbsp of the filling, and close carefully. Flatten and shape into an oblong. Set aside. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry till golden brown. (My usual instinct is to shallow fry, but they end up being more oily that way. Whereas deep frying at the right temperature make them less greasy). Serve hot with green, red chutneys and ketchup.