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Friday, April 20, 2018

Pineapple halwa

I have eaten pineapple halwa at hotels. I have liked it ...the aroma as also the flavour . I had seen it in some recipe blogs. I tried it & it turned out well. On Akshaytritiya, I decided to make it again.

I looked up the recipe on Veg recipes of India.  In another recipe ( I forgot the blog name )  of pinapple sheera, ghee used is 3 tbsps for making sheera using 1/ 2 cup rava. I decided to use this ratio of ghee to rava.

I got two packets of pineapple slices which is available on Mumbai streets now. Each packet costs 10 bucks & has 4-5 thin slices of pineapple .I used the pineapple slices of both the packets.

Ingredients : 8-10 slices of pineapple, 1/2 cup rava, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 .5 tbsps ghee, 1 cup water, kesar strands ( optional ) , 2-3 cardamoms ( powdered ) , assorted dry fruits thinly sliced ( optional ).

Method : Keep 1 cup of water needed, on slow gas for heating it up.

Cut the pineapple into bits. I pureed the slices. Some pieces ( the middle part ) remained like that only. Keep this mix of pureed & hard pineapple aside.

Meanwhile roast rawa in ghee in a kadhai. Roast it nicely. I had dry roasted rawa nicely earlier. So in ghee, I  roasted it for less than 2-3 minutes. Add the pureed pineapple & the hard pineapple pieces into the ghee roasted rawa in kadhai. Mix all nicely. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Keep a watch by constantly turning the contents of kadhai up & down with a large ladle so that nothing gets stuck to kadhai bottom. Add the heated  water to the kadahi. Mix all contents nicely.  After 2-3 minutes, stir up the contents & continue cooking for 2 -3 minutes. Uncover the lid. Add sugar.Mix all the contents nicely. Add kesar strands. Mix again. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir with the ladle.Add cardamom powder.Mix all contents nicely. Cook for 1-2 minutes. The sheera is ready. If water can still be seen in the kadahi , cook for 2-3 minutes more. Switch off gas.

Cut thin slices of assorted dry fruits & garnish sheera with the slices of dry fruits.I have garnished with thin slices of cashew nuts. Even almonds & pistas can be used as garnish. Some recipes raost dry fruits in ghee & add them to such halwas.

Igfelt that 1/4 cup ghee was a better ratio for making sheera from 1/2 cup sooji so that the sheera looks moist. Mine was some what dry.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Meth amba

I had been introduced to this tangy dish by my Mahrashtrian colleagues whilst I worked at office.I savoured it & was told the recipe. I wanted to try it years later. I googled it & got this recipe .I added a chopped green chilli to the dish .Rest of the recipe remains the same.

Ingredients : 2 tsp oil, 3/4 cup kairi chopped ( raw mango-used here is Totapuri raw mango ), 1 medium sized green chilli washed & chopped, 1/4 tsp powdered hing, 1/4 tsp haldi, 1/4 tsp  mustard seeds, 1/8-1/4  tsp methi seeds, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 2-3 tbsp chopped jaggery , salt to taste.

Method : Take oil in kadahi. Heat it on slow gas.Add mustard seeds.After they pop up, add methi dana. They will change colour & get aromatic. Add hing followed by chopped green chilli pieces. Fry for 10-15 seconds. Add chopped kairi pieces. Fry them nicely.Add hal;di. Mix all contents nicely. Add 2-3 tbsp water. Cover it cooked for 3-4 minutes. Add jaggery & salt. Mix nicely. I had added big chunks of jaggery. So added more water ( approximately 2-3 tbsp water ). Cook it for 10 minutes or till it gets almost dry. The mango pieces would be soft & mushy now. Put off gas. Add red chilli powder. Mix nicely all the contents with red chilli powder. Enjoy with roti & or rice.

This has to be stored in refrigerator.And that would be nearly impossible as this is so tangy that it gets over in no time. It will stay, just for 1 week, in the refrigerator but, believe me, it will get over before that ! It can also be used as a spread on bread.

I used totapuri kairi in this dish. If more sour varieties of kairi are used, jaggery & chilli powder & salt will have to be adjusted ( added more accordingly ) . Totapuri is sour & sweet too.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Pumpkin sabzi :North Indian style.

I have loved the Pumpkin sabzi that is served in Pancham Puriwala at CST, Mumbai. My north Indian friends make it as an accompaniment to puris on festivals.

I made this sabzi last week with green chillies, red chilly powder, methi dana ( fenugreek seeds )  & amchur ( dry mango powder which is a souring agent ),This time , I made this dish by following Sangeeta Khanna's recipe from banaras ka khana .I did add methi dana, jaggery and amchur though she has not added any of these in her dish.

Ingredients : 250-300 gm red pumpkin deskinned , washed &  cubed, 1/ 2 tsp jeera, 6 peppercorns, 1 badi elaichi, 1 green elaichi, 1 star anise, 1 small  cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp powdered hing, 1/4 tsp haldi, 2 -3 byadgi mirchis broken into 2-3 pieces each, 2-3 tsp oil, 1 tsp amchur powder, 1 tsp jaggery sugar, 1/ 4 tsp methi dana, 1/ 2 cup water, salt to taste.

Method : Heat oil in kadhai. Add powdered hing. Add cinnamon stick, slightly crushed peppercorns, slightly crushed badi elaichi & green elaichi , star anise. Fry them for a few seconds.Add broken byadgi mirchi pieces, methi dana & cumin ( jeera ).Jeera & methi will get aromatic. Add Pumpkin cubes. Saute them. Add haldi. Mix nicely all contents of kadahi. Add half cup water. Mix all contents nicely. Cover kadahi with lid. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes. Add jaggery powder & am
chur powder to contents in kadahi. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Put off gas. The cubes must retain their shape & yet be soft enough to melt in mouth. Serve with rotis or puris.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Purple cabbage sabzi

I had chanced upon this purple cabbage in the marjket. I got it as I wanted to taste it. I shredded as small part of it & ate it raw with some poha which has been mixed with chutni powder & til oil & some finely chopped raw capsicum & grated carrot.This was my Ekadashi fasting recipe.It was fresh & crunchy.

Next I googled for a sabzi recipe using purple cabbage...its also called red cabbage...don't know why. Its not red at all. Though I think after cooking , it does turn red or rather pink as can be viewed in the snaps.

I came across this easy recipe which is sans coconut. I added green chillies to it &  added 1/ 3 cup water in installments to tone down the crunchiness !

Ingredients : 250 gm shredded purple cabbage, 1/ 4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp urad dal, 1 byadgi mirchi broken into 2-3 pieces,1-2 green chillies roughly chopped,8-10 curry leaves, 1/4 tsp hing, 1/4 tsp sesame seeds,1 tbsp oil, salt to taste.

Method : Heat oil in a kadahi. Add mustard seeds.After they pop up, add urad dal. Once urad dal turn golden brown , add the broken pieces of byadgi mirchi & curry leaves. Fry them for a few seconds. Add shredded purple cabbage & chopped green chillies. Give all ingredients a good stir by the ladle.Add 1/ 4 cup water. Mix all ingredients again. Let it cook for 5-8 minutes. Add salt to taste. Mix all ingredients again so that salt is nicely mixed up. Add remaining water. Again, give a good stir. Cook for 5-6 minutes or till almost no water is left in kadahi. Put off gas.

Toast sesame seeds in another kadahi till they start spluttering up. Alternatively  toast them in microwave for thirty seconds. Put off the microwave. Again toast them for another thirty seconds.

Garnish purple cabbage side dish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve as side dish for rotis and or rice.

My sabzi was not so crunchy as I wanted it to be softer .Hence, I had added water. It was a little salty. So I added, juice of a quarter of a lemon & then it was good.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Black peas amti

Black peas or kala vatana as it is called in Marathi is a flavourful lentil. I used to cook it earlier. I had not got it for almost ten years, maybe. So , I got some black peas & made this black peas amti .I used Mazedaar Maharashtra spice powder from Madhavi Spices. Goda Masala is named Mazedaar Maharashtra by Madhavi Spices.

I followed this kala vatana chi amti recipe though I tweaked it to suit my cooking.

Ingredients : 1/4 cup black peas, 1-2 tbsp fresh coconut grated, 1 medium onion, a few curry leaves, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 green chilli , 1 medium tomato, 1 tsp goda masala ( Mazedaar Mahasrashtra of Madhavi Spices ) , 1/2 tsp mustard seeds,1 /4 tsp powdered hing, 1/4 tsp haldi, 1 tsp or more of powdered or grated jaggery( optional ),1 tbsp oil, salt to taste.

Method : Soak the black peas overnight.Next day, discard the water & pressure cook the black peas by adding sufficient  water & some salt to the black peas.

Pressure cook the black peas up  to two whistles & then on low flame for 20-30 minutes. Put off gas.

Make a paste of green chilli, curry leaves, ginger & onion in mixer. Keep aside.

Chop a tomato & make  tomato paste in mixer. Keep aside.

In a kadhai take 2 tsps oil.Put mustard seeds.When they pop up, add hing. Mix nicely. Add the green chilli, curry leaves, ginger-onion paste to the kadhai. Saute nicely till raw smell of onion disappears.Add haldi. Mix nicely. Add tomato paste. Mix nicely. Add salt to atste. Mix nicely. Keep cooking till, raw smell of tomatoes goes away. Add pressure cooked vatanas to the kadhai. Mix nicely. Add fresh grated coconut. Mix nicely. Add 1 tsp Mazedaar Maharashtra aka goda masala of Madhavi Spices to the kadhai. Mix nicely.Add jaggery at this stage to kadhai & mix  nicely. If the amti is too dry, add water to it. Depends on how , you want your amti, very watery or thick. Let it come to a boil.Simmer for 4-5 minutes.Put off gas.

Serve black peas amti with roti or rice. It goes well with both rice as also chapati.

Those who don't want to add onion, please skip the step of adding onion to mixer. Make a paste of ginger, curry leaves & green chilli. Add tomato paste as it is narrated in this recipe.Some people use tamarind paste or kokum as the souring agent instead of tomato. And follow other steps as stated.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Pineapple rasam.

My friend had been talking about pineapple rasam. And I knew I wanted to make it soon. So one morning ,I decided to go & buy pineapple that is available on streets.The pineapple slices-6-7 pieces in a   plastic packet which sells for 10 bucks.I got one packet for this rasam.

I googled & found this recipe on veg recipes. I made it like the recipe with some differences.

Ingredients : 1/4 cup tur dal, 1 packet pineapple slices ( cost Rs 10 ), 1-2 tsps rasam powder, 1 /2 tsp jeera, 1/4 heaped tsp black peppercorns, 1 large tomato chopped fine & pureed in mixer, 1tbsp ghee, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 red dry chilly, 1/4 tsp powdered hing, 1/4 tsp haldi, few kadipattas,salt to taste.

Method : Pressure cook tur dal with haldi & hing for two whistles & then on slow gas for up to 10 minutes. Put off gas.after the cooker has cooled off, mash the tur dal Keep aside.

Take half of the sliced pineapple pieces & puree in mixer. Keep aside.

Remaining slices of pineapple are chopped finely & kept aside.

In small grinder jar, grind the jeera & black peppercorns to a coarse powder. Keep aside.

In a vessel, add 1 tbsp ghee.Put on gas. As the oil heats up, add mustard seeds. After they crackle, break the red chilly into some pieces & add to the oil.Add the curry leaves now. Now add the pureed tomatoes to the vessel.Allow it to come to a boil.Add salt. Mix nicely. Add the coarsely ground jeera black peppercorn mixture to the vessel,.Mix nicely with the tomato puree .Let it cook for a minute or two.Add the pineapple puree now. Mix nicely. Add the mashed tur dal now .Mix nicely.Add rasam powder now. Add water depending on the kind of rasam that is needed...thin or thick.

Add the finely chopped pineapple pieces to the rasam now. Bring it to boil.Put off gas.

Serve pinapple rasam with rice .

I forgot to add jeera pepper powder to the ghee in vagar & hence, added after tomato puree had boiled. And I added pineapple pieces at the end. In the recipe, these are added after tur dal is added.Maybe , if you follow recipe, it would turn out more flavorful.I have used smaller quantities of jeera & peppercorns as I am not used to very pungent flavours.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vegan Lemon Cake

I had been thinking of making a lemon since a pretty long time. I had gone through many recipes. When I finally got down to making it, I choose two recipes....a vegan version & another an eggless version.

I took some steps from both the recipes & tweaked a little. Here is  my recipe.

Ingredients  :

1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup maida , 2 tbsps flax seed powder, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup jaggery sugar ( Patanjali brand ) , 1/4 cup oil,1tsp lemon zest, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt.

Icing : 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup powdered white sugar .

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.Line a baking vessel with butter paper. Keepa side.

Add 6-8 tbsps warm water to 3 tbsp flax seed meal .Mix nicely &  keep aside.This is the flax seed egg mix.

Mix all dry ingredients ..whole wheat flour, maida, baking powder, baking soda, salt.Mix all these with a spoon or fork or whisk many times over so that they get nicely mixed. This is the dry mix Keep aside.

Mix oil, apple cider vinegar nicely. Add the jaggery sugar to this mix. Some chunks of sugar may have to be broken up & mixed nicely. Add the lemon zest & lemon juice to the mix. Add the flax seed egg mix to this mix. Mix al;l nicely.This is the wet mix.

Make a hole in the dry mix & pour the wet mix into it .Mix both wet & dry mix nicely so that a batter is obtained.If the batter is not getting formed, add some water drop by drop. The batter formed must have idli batter consistency.

Bake in convection mode at 180 degrees centigrade for 45 minutes or till a toothpik inserted in cake comes out clean. I bake in microwave mode for 4-5 minutes  after this convection baking to ensure that cake is fully baked.

Take 2 tbsps lemon juice & add 1 cup powdered sugar to it. It will become like a white grainy liquid. Pour this over the cake after the cake has cooled & reached room temperature.The icing got so much that it was poured over the whole cake & so much so that not even a little space of cake was dry .

I should have used just 1 tbsp lemoin juice with 1/2 cup white powdered sugar. Cut the cake into desired shapes & serve.

The cake turned out fluffy, moist& soft. Yet, I found lemon zest wanting. Of course the lemon sugar icing taste makes up somewhat for the lemon zest !