Friday, September 30, 2011

Vegetable pulao and beetroot raita

I have been making  a lot of one dish meals lately and this was one of them. I made this pulao with lots of vegetables, green tur dal and paneer. It was very flavorful and healthy. I had to add very little water as it cooked in the water released by the vegetables. The rice absorbs the flavors from the the vegetables. I paired it with a delicious beetroot raita spiced with green chilies and garlic.

2 onions sliced
2 diced carrots
1 diced zucchini
about 2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 cup sliced capsicum or sweet peppers
1 cup green toor dal (lilva toor)
1/2 cup cubed paneer
2 cups rice

1 tsp shahi jeera 
3-4 black cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
2-3 bay leaf
a few star anise
1tbsp garam masala
salt to taste

 For the beetroot raita
2 beetroots boiled and chopped 
2 cups yogurt whisked
salt and sugar according to taste
a pinch or roasted cumin powder
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 finely chopped green chilli

Wash the rice and let it soak in water for half and hour. Heat oil or ghee in a pan or pressure cooker add all the dry spices and fry for a minute. Now add the onions and let them get golden brown. Remove half of the onions and keep them aside. Now add  the carrots, cabbage, toor dal, and paneer. Fry for a sometime and add the garam masala and capsicum. Mix the rice in it and stir well. Season with salt and add about 1 cup water to it. You can add more or less water depending on how many vegetables you have. Cover and let it cook till done. Garnish with the fried onions, roasted cashews and chopped cilantro.

To make the raita, add the boiled and chopped beetroot to the whisked yogurt season with salt, sugar and cumin powder. For the tempering, heat some oil and add cumin seeds add garlic and green chilies to it. Let it cook till the garlic gets golden brown and then pour it over the raita.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apricot chutney


Iam not an IT professional or a "tech savvy" person so the thought of blogging was a bit overwhelming in the beginning. Now that time has flown by and in two months, this blog will be a year old, it surprises me but I also feel a sense of accomplishment. I am very grateful to the people who encouraged me and that is what kept me going (Thank you :D). It would be an understatement to say that I love food. I think and dream of food and my conversations keeping coming back to food but I did not think I could handle blogging. It was (is) not an easy feat for me. A few years back I did not even know what blogging meant!  The purpose of this blog was to organize my recipes and share with friends and family a bit of my life through it. However, I soon realized that it is a therapeutic experience for me and I have begun to enjoy this new-found love of blogging. 

This is yet another simple recipe from my kitchen that I enjoyed cooking and clicking

1 cup dry apricots
1/4 tsp each of mustard, cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds
3-4 cloves
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 small cardamom
1/2 tsp smoked paprika or red chili powder
2-3 whole dry red chilies
a sprig of curry leaves
a pinch of turmeric
1/4 tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Soak the dry apricots in water for about half and hour. Drain and chop them in a blender to fine pieces. Heat oil in a pan and drop all the seeds in. Cover the pan and let the seeds splutter. Add the cloves, cardamom, red chili pieces and curry leaves. Stir for a few seconds and add the chopped apricots to it. Add in the turmeric, salt, sugar, paprika, ground fennel seeds and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Cool and serve.  I used it as a spread in sandwich or a relish with crackers and cheese or just with plain old roasted papad.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shakahari shaami kabab (Vegetarian kabab)

Shaami kababs are typically made out of meat but this is a shakahari kabab  (vegetarian kabab).  I have used black chickpeas (kala chana) and sweet potatoes to make the kabab. The kala chana  gives it a great flavor and texture. These kababs have a smooth consistency and literally melt in your mouth. Serve it with green chutney or masala naan and raw onions.


1 1/2 cups black chickpeas
1 large sweet potato
2 large onions
3-4 tbsp. ginger garlic green chili paste
1 tbsp kasuri methi
½-cup mint leaves (finely chopped)
½-cup cilantro (finely chopped)
3-4 black cardamom
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. black pepper powder
1 tbsp garam masala or shaami kabab masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp chaat masala

Soak the black chickpeas overnight. Pressure-cook the chickpeas with black cardamom, bay leaf and salt until soft (4-5 whistles). Drain the water and keep the black chickpeas aside
Boil and mash the sweet potato separately.

Heat oil in a pan and add finely sliced onion to it. Fry until they turn pink then add 2 tbsp. ginger garlic paste, garam masala or kabab masala and kasuri methi to it. Add the boiled black chickpeas and mix well.  Once it cools a little remove the bay leaf and black cardamom from the mix and grind it to a smooth paste. Mix it with the mashed sweet potato and add the rest of the ingredients (cilantro, mint, black pepper powder, finely chopped onion, the remaining ginger garlic paste, chaat masala) Adjust seasoning according to taste. You can add more garam masala, salt of chili powder if desired. Mix everything very well and shape into balls. Flatten them with you palm and shallow fry the kabab. Serve with green chutney and onion rings.