Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rava sheera

Again, I made this today, along with the kala chana for Dasherra! Enjoy! :)

Happy Dasherra! :)

1 cup rava(sooji, semolina)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ghee(clarified butter)
a pinch of saffron
3/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder
2 tablespoons coarsely ground pistachios and almonds


In a saucepan on medium heat, roast the rava for alteast 10 minutes till it browns up a bit. Then add in the ghee, and saute it till well blended for abou 2-3 minutes.

Add in the saffron in a little bit of the milk, and microwave it for a few seconds to get the color from the saffron. Add this to the remaining milk and add the milk to the rava mixture. Mix it well. Add in the sugar and the cardamom powder and the almond and pistachios. Blend it well for a few minutes. And its done! Yes, you have a desert in no time at all!

Garnish with coarsely chopped almond and pistachios.

Kala chana(gujarati style)

It is Dasherra today, the day Raavan was killed ;)! So, I decided to make kala chana with rava sheera. Both came out really tasty. Ofcourse according to me! :D My mom used to make it at the end of Navratri after she was done with her fasting and I want to continue that tradition that she followed.

So here is the recipe:)

1 cup kala chana(actually red in color)
1 medium sized potato
1 tablespoon chana aata(yellow gram daal flour)
5-6 kadi patta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish


Firstly the kala chana has to soak overnight in a bowl, that has been covered, and also make sure there is enough water to soak it in.

Next day, pressure cook the chana and the potato together, for about 6 whistles. Once done, remove the peel of the potato once cooled down, and cut it into small cubes.

In a small saucepan, on medium heat, roast the chana aata for about 5-7 minutes.

In a saucepan, on medium heat, add the oil and let it heat up. Put in the kadi patta, mustard seeds, asafoetida. Once it starts crackling, add in the ginger chilli paste. Then saute it for a minute. Add the turmeric, chilli, coriander powders. Saute it for a minute. Then add in the chana potato mixture with all the water in the pressure cooker. Let it cook on medium heat. Add in the roasted chana aata. This is done to thicken the gravy of the daal. Add the sugar and salt.

Once it thickens, add in the cilantro for garnish! Eat it with puris! YUM! :)

poha chevdo

This Saturday, I had a sudden urge to make roasted poha chevdo! YES! Roasted indeed!;) less oil, but amazingly tasty!! Its my favorite kinda chevdo, and I love having it with tea in the mornings! YES another weird habit of gujaratis;) lol!!, To have snacks with tea in the morning. But its an awesome combination! Anyways, I went to the indian store and got the ingredients, and made this delicious chevdo. Trust me, it does NOT take more than 1/2 hour to make it!

4 cups thin poha(flattened rice)
1/2 cup broken cashewnuts
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup white raisins
1/2 cup dahlia(yellow gram daal)
6-7 kadi patta
About 4 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 green chillies coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
salt to taste
pinch of rock salt to taste


First in a huge saucepan, roast the poha one cup at a time, till it is crisp for about 2-3 minutes/cup of poha. This is on medium heat. Put this into a large bowl.

Next, in the same saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil at medium heat, and then add the kadi patta and green chillies and fry them. Remove them into a second large bowl. Next, fry the peanuts, remove them into the same large bowl. Next, fry the cashewnuts, remove them into the same large bowl. Next, fry the dahlia, remove them into the same large bowl. Add the raisins to this same bowl.

Now, add the roasted poha to this bowl with all the fried mixture and add the chilli powder, turmeric, salt and sugar, and mix until well blended!

In the same saucepan, remove the dirty oil and add fresh 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and on medium heat, add the entire mixture into this saucepan and mix it well for about 3-4 minutes. Now wait for it to cool down and its ready to eat!!! :))

Friday, October 19, 2007

Gujarati Daal

Another gujarati favorite and my favorite too:) The sweet gujju daal!! YES! I know that most people dont like it sweet, including my dear husband, and I DO make it separately for him by adding the jaggery right in the end for myself! The one without the jaggery tastes awesome as well. Its even better the following day!;) A great combination is the bhinda vegetable, with rotli and this daal!

The days I am craving for some real authentic gujarati food, I make the above combination and its so satisfying!! There is nothing like home made food! :)

1 cup toor daal(yellow lentils)
3 cups water
2-3 tablespoons jaggery
1 tablespoon ghee(clarified butter)
4-5 kokum pieces
10 - 15 raw peanuts
5-6 kadi patta
6 small cinnamon pieces
6 cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic
2 green chillies finely ground
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon methi(fenugreek) seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish


First wash the daal and then pressure cook it with the water, kokum and peanuts for about 7 whistles. Once the pressure cooker opens, use a hand blender to blend the daal into a paste. The kokum might break in the process as well but that is OK. It just adds to the flavors ;) I usually add the jaggery while pressure cooking it. You can jolly well eliminate it!!:)

In a saucepan, on medium heat, put the ghee till it melts. Then add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, methi seeds, kadi patta, cinnamon and cloves and let it crackle. Once that is done, add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste and saute it. Add in the turmeric and salt, and saute it for a minute. Add in the daal and mix it well. Add the garam masala, and keep heating it until it gets a nice consistency, where in it is NOT watery, NOR is it too thick. Garnish it with cilantro and be ready to indulge!!:)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bhinda Bateta nu shaak(Okra potatoes vegetable)

This is such a simple vegetable, and so damn yummy!! Especially with yogurt and rotli, it tastes so good! It has always been my brother and my favorite vegetable, and as kids, we would fight over the burnt pieces of bhinda! That was the best part about bhinda! ;)

Bhinda or Okra or Lady fingers :), can NEVER be washed directly under water! The best way is to take a wet paper towel, and clean individually to remove the dirt! Yea tedious for sure, but the end result is awesome ! ;) That's what keeps me going in cleaning it;)

Once that is done, cut the top and bottom of each bhinda. Then start chopping them horizontally into small pieces.

Another TIP while picking bhinda, that my mom had mentioned is that while picking bhinda in the grocery store, take each one in the hand, and snap the end of it with your thumb. If it cracks easily, its good! Another tedious job. LOL, well bhinda sounds like a very tedious vegetable to eat, but as I said, you will NOT regret the effort !! :) I used to go grocery shopping with my mom, and I would observe her, smelling fruits, cracking the ends of bhindas, and various other quarks;)! I get it all now!!

2 pounds bhinda
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
pinch of asafoetida
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic chilli paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder(more if you like it spicy!:) )
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
salt to taste
1/2 tomato diced into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon sugar! (I am gujarati after all!;) )
cilantro to garnish


Firstly, microwave the diced potatoes for about 2 minutes. They will be soft.

In a saucepan, put oil on medium heat. After 2 minutes, put in the potatoes, and fry them till they brown up a bit. Add in the asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds until they start splattering. Then add in the ginger garlic chilli paste. Saute it for about a minute or two. Then add in the cut okra, and saute it. You MAY need to ad in a little more oil to get them to crisp up! Add in all the remaining spices, like turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder and salt and saute it. Let it cook and crisp up. DO NOT saute it too often else it will become mushy! Add in the tomatoes after about 15 minutes.

This may take about 1/2 hour to cook up completely, in total. But ITS WORTH it! ;) add in the sugar and saute it. Add in the cilantro on the top as garnish. Ready to eat with rotlis and yogurt! YUM! :)

To make it punjabi style, I add in about 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced, when adding in the ginger garlic chilli paste and wait for the onions to become pinkish. It gives a great taste!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vegetable Pulao

This is my family creation, started by my grandmother and it goes delicious with the gujarati kadhi! It is so simple and delicious that it can be eaten alone with yogurt or with the kadhi and it would taste just as good! Great for taking to work for lunch as well ;)

1 cup basmati rice
1 carrot, peeled and diced into tiny pieces
1/2 cup peas
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced into tiny pieces
4-5 small cinnamon pieces
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
a pinch of asafoetida(hing)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt to taste


Soak the rice in a pan with 2 1/2 times the quantity of water, for about 1/2 hour.

In a large saucepan, put oil on medium heat. Put cumin seeds, asafoetida and cinnamon pieces and let them be till you hear a crackling sound. After that put in the carrots, potatoes and peas and saute them for a couple minutes. Add in the garam masala and salt and saute again. Put in the rice and the water and let it cook, keeping the saucepan covered!

After about 20 minutes, stir the pulao mixture to remove any stuck pieces at the bottom. Keep stirring occasionally till all the water has evaporated, and the rice does NOT appear sticky! Its ready to eat! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Beet goat cheese salad

This is our favorite salad to make! Its simple, does not take much time, filling and amazingly delicious!:)

1 bag mixed greens
1 beet boiled and cut into thin slices
1/2 log goat cheese
1/5 cup walnuts pieces
1 scallion cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing(more or less depending on the way you like your salad!)

Put the mixed greens, scallions, beets into a bowl and add the dressing. Toss it until all the greens are covered in dressing. Plate it into 2 plates, and top is with walnuts and goat cheese, equally distributed!

I usually make variations of this same salad, by adding tomatoes and/or cranberries, or even use red wine vinaigrette instead of balsamic vinaigrette. Especially in the summer this salad is so light and refreshing! Too bad that summer is over, and its cold again,, back to hot preparations!!

Balsamic vinaigrette

Once you understand how vinaigrettes are made, its very simple to create your own vinaigrette recipes, like I created this one and its simply delicious!! :) Key is the acid should be half quantity of the extra virgin olive oil, and you can use any acid you want, like lemon, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar.

1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste


In a blender, put the balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic and blend it until well blended. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil while blender is on, and make sure its completed blended.

Make any salad you like with this dressing. Its so good!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Olive Tapenade

I am a huge Giada fan, and hence have learnt a lot of italian terminologies, as well as dishes cause of all the Everyday Italian shows that I have seen so far!! I modified this recipe with parsley and capers. I have made crostinis as well as veggie sandwiches with this spread. It is delicious! Meat lovers, can make meat sandwiches with this spread, cheese, and thinly sliced meats and ofcourse some arugula for freshness.

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1/3 cup pitted green olives
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 cup roasted peppers
1/2 - 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend it for a couple minutes. Make sure the consistency is not too fine. Its ready! As simple as that!

For crostinis, take a baguette, thinly slice it, and lightly toast it in the oven brushed with olive oil. Once toasted, put the tapenade on it and its ready to serve!

For veggie sandwiches, take a baguette, slice it horizontally but not through the entire baguette. Spread the tapenade evenly all over. Layer it with tomatoes, grilled red onions, grilled zucchini, cheese(mozarella or provolone), and arugula! Sounds delicious! isnt it! :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Papdi chaat

Here is the recipe for papdi chaat! This recipe is crazy delicious as I mentioned in my previous entry!

2 boiled potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
About 20 puris broken into big pieces
(One can even use tortillas, cut into small squarish pieces and fry them till cripsy golden brown)

1/2 cup sev
Dahi wadas(Recipe for Dahi Wadas in label: Appetizers, Snacks)


In a serving dish, plate the puris at the bottom, then spread the potatoes all over. Then plate the dahi wadas as in the dahi wada recipe method. After putting the yogurt, date tamarind chutney, and spices, sprinkle sev generously on the top and then garnish with cilantro.

You will NOT have leftovers! ;)

Dahi wadas

I had some friends over yesterday for dinner, and I had decided to make dahi wadas since they are so popular with everyone! I dont know anyone who does not like dahi wadas!! It is a perfect blend of fried wadas with yogurt, tamarind chutney and spices! I learnt how to make these from my dear mom, who made the best dahi wadas!

So coming back to last night's dinner, I had friends over and decided to make papdi chaat instead of serving dahi wadas, and they turned out amazingly delicious! :) Papdi chaat is made with puri and sev, where puri is fried small rotis made with white flour. You can even make puris out of tortillas, cut them into small pieces and fry it. I will post the papdi chaat recipe next :)

1 1/2 cup urad daal
2 green chillies
1 teaspoon ginger minced
salt to taste
oil for frying

2 cups nonfat yogurt
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder(make sure the cumin seeds are roasted and freshly ground)
1-2 tablespoons date tamarind chutney (Recipe in Label : Chutneys)
Chopped cilantro for garnish


Soak the ural daal in water overnight. Next morning put all the ural daal in the grinder with very little water, and grind it along with the green chillies and ginger until it is pasty and of smooth consistency. It should NOT be watery at all! it should be of thick consistency for the wadas to be fried well. Add salt to taste.

Heat the oil at medium to high heat in a large frying pan. Wait till the oil is really hot. You can ensure this by putting a drop of the batter into the oil and if it rises up quickly, you know that the oil is ready. Now drop in tablespoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry the wadas till golden brown. Let them rest on a plate for a couple minutes.

Keep a large bowl with water next to the stove. Next soak the fried wadas into the water for 2-3 minutes and then squeeze them between your hands, till the water is drained out. Put them in a container and let them sit in the fridge for an hour for them to be cold.

In a medium bowl, take the yogurt and mix it with a little water, and a pinch of salt and the sugar, and mix it until it is well blended. It should again NOT be of runny consistency. It should be smooth.

When ready to serve, in a serving dish, place the wadas neatly. Now pour the yogurt mixture all over the wadas. Drizzle the date tamarind chutney all over it. Sprinkle salt, chilli powder and the cumin powder all over evenly. And finally garnish it with cilantro! Its ready to eat!:)