Saturday, 10 September 2016

Khatte Teekhe Aloo (Tangy and Spicy Potatoes)

Potatoes/Batate/Aloo whatever you like to call it, is that one ingredient which is always available in my kitchen and I am quite sure that is the case with most of us. Potato is such a delicious, versatile and easy to use ingredient and you can make so many varieties of dishes with it mashed potatoes, hash browns, stew, indian sabzis, stuffing for parathas, french fries, chips, baked potatoes, hasselback potatoes...the list is endless. "Batate ki sabzi" is my savior when I run out of all other vegetables :P :P.  
Today I will be sharing a very simple recipe for baby potatoes which is jazzed up with chili some other spices and tamarind. There is no specific name for this dish so I am going to call it "khatte theeke aloo" which literally means "tangy and spicy potatoes". This is a very common and popular ramadan snack dish at my in-laws place. And no prizes for guessing on how I got the recipe :P. However this potato dish can be enjoyed any time of the year and my hubby devours it. The recipe is so easy that you simply cannot go wrong with it. 



Serves 3 - 4

Ingredients:
Baby potatoes - around 600 - 700gms (If you cannot find baby potatoes just use the regular white or gold potatoes)
1 to 2 tbsp tbsp of oil
1 - 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 - 1/2 tsp of chili/mirchi powder
1/2 tsp of cumin/jeera powder
1/2 tsp of coriander/dhania powder
1/3 cup of tamarind pulp (made my soaking the tamarind in warm water)
Salt to taste
You may increase or decrease the amount of tamarind and chili powder as per your liking.

Method:

1) Start off by washing the potatoes thoroughly. Add the potatoes in a stock pot and add enough water so that the potatoes are completely submerged. Add some salt and then cook the potatoes on a medium flame until they are nice and tender. 

2) Once the potatoes are cooked transfer them into a colander and hold it under cold running water for few minutes. This will help stop further cooking of the potatoes. Once the potatoes are warm enough to handle, peel off the skins of all the potatoes. Cut them in half and keep them aside. You can keep them as whole also but make sure that you poke a few holes in them with the help of a fork or toothpick to ensure that all the goodness of the tempering is absorbed by the potatoes.

3) Now lets prepare the tempering. Heat oil in a saute pan. Once hot add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now to this add the tamarind pulp, chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Saute this for a min and cook the spices until the oil starts to separate. 

4) To this tempering add the halved potatoes and salt to taste. Mix everything together nicely so that all the potatoes are nicely coated with the spices. Close the pan with a lid and let the potatoes cook in the spicy tangy masala for around 4 - 5 mins. 

5) Finish off by garnishing with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves. 

Serve hot :)





Saturday, 3 September 2016

Rava Besan Ladoo

Rava besan ladoo is a yummy melt in your mouth ladoo/dessert that doesn't need any special introduction. This ladoo is very simple yet super delicious and is equally liked by kids as well as adults. Rava besan ladoo is a popular item on the menu in almost all Indian households during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali. I am sure everybody has their own methods and techniques of making this dessert and so today I will be sharing with you all my version that is passed on to me by my mother in law. 

This is a very easy recipe that requires very basic ingredients that are readily available in our pantry. 


Makes around 20 medium sized ladoos
Recipe Courtesy: Mother in law :)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Semolina/Rava (fine quality)
3/4 cup of Gram Flour/Chickpea Flour/Besan
1 cup of ghee/clarified butter (1/2 cup of ghee for roasting the semolina  and 1/2 cup of ghee for roasting the gram flour) 
2 - 1/2 cups of sugar (I used the regular cane sugar)
1/2 tsp of cardomom/elaichi powder 
1/2 tsp of jaifal/nutmeg powder  
1 cup of water (for making sugar syrup)
Few raisins and cashewnuts cut into small pieces




Method:

1) In a not stick skillet or tava add 1/2 cup of ghee and once the ghee is hot add the semolina and roast it on a low flame. Keep on stirring it frequently so that the semolina is roasted evenly and doesn't burn from the bottom. Roast semolina till it becomes nice golden in color. This will take anywhere around 20 - 25mins. Transfer the roasted semolina into a plate and keep this aside. 
Remember that the semolina will brown quickly when roasted on a medium flame but it will not be cooked thoroughly and will be raw . So be a little patient and cook it on a low flame until you see it change color. 

2) In the same pan add the remaining half cup of ghee and once the ghee is hot add the gram flour /besan. Stir it nicely and roast it on a low flame till gives out a nice aroma and changes color to light brown. This will take around 10-15mins. Switch of the flame and keep this aside. 

3) Now in a sauce pan add 1 cup of water and 2 - 1/2 cups of sugar. Keep this on a medium flame. Stir the sugar nicely. Let the sugar dissolve completely in the water. Once the sugar is completely dissolved let the sugar syrup come to a boil. Once it starts boiling let it boil for 1 minute. And then immediately switch off the flame. 
Such kind of ladoo recipes requires something called as a one string consistency sugar syrup. However some people find it rather difficult to get this correctly. The above mentioned method is what my MIL follows and this method has never failed. This ladoo was prepared the same way. 

4) Now add the roasted semolina, roasted gram flour/besan, cardomom powder and nutmeg powder to the sugar syrup. Mix everything thoroughly. Keep this mixture aside for half an hour. 

5) After half an hour the mixture will harden a bit. Break the lumps with a spatula or with hands evenly. At this point the mixture will be warm to touch. 
Make sure that that the mixture is a little warm to touch while shaping the ladoos. Else they wont bind tightly and will crumble.  

6) Start shaping the ladoo by taking a handful of the mixture. Add a small piece of cashew in between the mixture and then start pressing it tightly between your palms and fingers. Keep doing it till you get a nice round shape ladoo. Use both hands if you find it difficult to make them using one hand. Do not fret if they are not perfectly round. :P. 

7) Finally place a raisin on top of the ladoo and press it lightly. This step is optional. You can also mix the cashews and raisins in to the mixture and make ladoos. 

8) Keep making the ladoos until the entire mixture is used up. This recipe will yield around 20 medium sized ladoos. 

9) Transfer the ladoos in an air tight container. The ladoos will stay good for 8 - 10 days. Keep them in the refrigerator to increase the shelf life. 

Wishing all my dear friends and blog readers a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

Stay blessed everyone. :)



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Tendli Sabzi (Ivy Gourd Stir Fry)

Tendli, tindora, kovakai or ivy gourd is a vegetable which is prepared in almost all Indian households. There are many ways of preparing this nutritious vegetable. The most regular or popular way of using this vegetable is by making a stir fry. Tendli is also used to make chutneys which I still have to try and hoping to share that recipe as well sometime soon. 


Today I will be sharing an everyday side dish recipe that can be served with rotis or phulkas. This is  a no onion, no garlic and no tomato recipe which is very easy and quick to put together and can be prepared in a jiffy. Chop the tendli the night before and prepare the stir fry in the morning for your lunch box or for a quick lunch at home.  




Ingredients:
3 - 4 cups of tendli/tindora/ivy gourd washed and chopped lengthwise
2 tbsp of oil 
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1 green chili chopped 
4 - 5 curry leaves 
A pinch of hing or asafoetida
1/4th tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 -1 tsp of chili powder 
1/2 tsp of jeera powder 
1 - 2 tsp of coriander powder 
2 - 3 tsp of roasted peanut powder (optional)
1 - 2 tsp of fresh coconut (optional)
Coriander/cilantro leaves for garnishing

Method:

1) Wash the tendli thoroughly. Trim off the ends and chop the tendli length wise and keep this aside.

2) In a pan (preferable a wide fry pan), heat oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the cumin seeds and let it splutter as well follow this by adding the asafoetida. At this point reduce the gas flame to low. 


3) Now add all the spice powders followed by green chili and curry leaves. Saute this for few seconds. 

4) Increase the gas flame to medium and add the chopped tendli/tindora to the pan and mix everything nicely. Add salt to taste. 


5) Cover and cook for 10 - 15 mins on a low to medium flame. Cook until the tendli is nice and tender. For this recipe further cook the tendli for 5 more minutes until it is a little golden brown and a bit crispy. 

6) This step is optional. Add the roasted peanut powder, freshly grated coconut, chopped cilantro and mix everything. Keep the sabzi for an additional minute and then switch off the flame. If you do not prefer roasted peanut powder and coconut simply finish off with chopped coriander leaves/cilantro. 

Simple tendli sabji is ready. Serve hot with fulkas or rotis. 




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