Wednesday, May 24, 2017

AMRAKHAND

AMRAKHAND

While mangoes are available in most parts of the country, Maharashtra has a special reputation for producing some of the choicest mangoes. In this State, Shrikhand is a popular dish which is served with puris or even eaten as such.When Shrikhand is made using mangoes it is called Amrakhand.

The secret to making a good amrakhand is the quality of the hung curds and the sweetness of the mangoes you use. The amount of sugar required will depend on the sweetness of the mangoes used as also your taste.

As I was making amrakhand for the first time, I wanted to make a small quantity. I used 400 grams of store bought set curds from which I obtained 150 grams of hung curds. This is nothing but yogurt drained of all the liquid or whey leaving behind a thick mass of curds which is called Chakka.

It is advisable to use the better quality of mangoes like Alphonso for the sweetness, colour and their not being fibrous.

We had Amrakhand as a dessert and it tasted just great!



Ingredients: 
  • Mango Puree, 1/2 cup
  • Hung Curds (Chakka ), 150 gms
  • Saffron, a few strands
  • Warm Milk, 1 tbsp
  • Powdered Sugar, 1/4 cup, or to taste 
  • Cardamom (Elaichi) Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Almonds ( Badam)  Slivers, 1 tbsp, for garnish
  • Pistachio Slivers, 1 tbsp, for garnish
Method:

Place a colander or sieve lined with muslin cloth on top of a vessel and pour the curds ( about 400 gms) in the muslin cloth so that the distilled curds remains on top and the whey drips into the vessel.
Wait till all the whey drains out into the vessel leaving a thick mass of curds in the muslin cloth.
Press the muslin cloth till the liquid whey drains out completely




This process is best done in the refrigerator so that the curds don't become sour.
With 400 gms of set curds you should get about 150 grams of hung curds
Keep the hung curds aside








Combine the saffron with the warm milk in a small bowl and keep aside
In a bowl, whisk the hung curds
To this, add the mango puree, powdered sugar,  cardamom powder and the mixture of saffron and milk,
Whisk till it gets well blended and refrigerate for a few hours
Lastly, garnish with almond and pistachios
Serve chilled





Saturday, May 20, 2017

TAMATAR KI KADHI

TAMATAR KI KADHI

Tomatoes are one of the most commonly used vegetables in any Indian home. You will perhaps know that tomatoes have many health benefits.

In my house, we often make dishes using tomatoes. Elsewhere in this blog, but to name a few,  you will find recipes for Tomato Thokku, Tomato Curry with Dumplings, and Tomato and Carrot Soup.

Today's lip smacking dish is adapted from Tamatar ki Kadhi by the legendary Tarlaji Dalal. This is a simple homely kind of curry. We had this with rice and it was superb.


Ingredients:
  • Medium-sized Tomatoes, 4
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies, chopped, 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 5-6
  • Cloves, 2
  • Besan (Bengal Gram Flour) 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida, a pinch
  • Jaggery, grated, 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander Leaves, freshly chopped, for garnish

Method:

Wash and roughly chop the tomatoes.
In a kadhai, add 1/2 cup of water to the chopped tomatoes and cook on medium flame for about 5-7 minutes
Once the tomatoes are fully cooked, allow it to cool completely
Transfer to a mixer and blend the tomatoes to make a smooth puree. Keep aside
Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadhai and when it gets hot, on medium flame add the mustard seeds and when they crackle add the cumin seeds and saute till it changes colour
To this add the chopped green chillies and curry leaves, cloves and besan
Mix well and cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes stirring continuously so that the besan does not get burnt
Next add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, asafoetida and the tomato puree that you have already made
Add 1/2 cup of water, mix well and bring to a boil stirring from time to time
To this add grated jaggery and salt and mix well
Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes
Finally, garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SWEET CORN SALAD

SWEET CORN SALAD

In our family, all of us are fond of Sweet Corn. As you know apart from being tasty, sweet corn has numerous health benefits. This can be consumed in many ways. We can eat it fresh off the cob, roasted and spiced with chilli powder, salt, and lime or make a soup, snack or side dish out of it. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for Sweet Corn & Spring Onion Soup, Corn Methi Pulao, and Palak & Corn Cutlets.

Today's recipe is for an easy to make Sweet Corn salad. The beauty of a salad is that you can tweak the ingredients to suit your tastes. For example, some may add chilli powder, pepper powder, vinegar, etc.

I have described how I make this salad and it works fine for me each and every time.



Ingredients:
  • Sweet Corn, 1 corn cob
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Tomato, chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies, finely chopped, 2
  • Cucumber, chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Chaat Masala, 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar, a pinch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Juice, from 1/2 a lemon
  • Coriander Leaves, chopped, 2 tbsp
Method:

Wash the corn cob and pressure cook in water with a little salt, for one whistle and allow it to cool
Once it is cool enough to handle, remove the corn kernels and transfer to a mixing bowl
Add all the other ingredients retaining some of the chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Mix well and lastly garnish with the remaining chopped coriander leaves





Thursday, May 11, 2017

MANGO MASTANI

MANGO MASTANI

Summer time is mango time! We are so fortunate in India to get such a wide variety of mangoes which we use to make many different drinks and desserts. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for Mango & Sago Pudding,  Mango Phirni, and Aam ka Lassi.

In the heat of the summer another dessert made with mangoes which is most welcome has the interesting name of "Mango Mastani." It is particularly popular in Pune and is a rich mango milkshake topped with vanilla ice cream.

For best results, choose sweet mangoes of the better variety. The amount of sugar to be added will naturally depend on the sweetness of the mangoes used, and your taste.

This is the way I make it!




Ingredients:
  • Large-sized Alphonso Mangoes, 2 
  • Cold Milk, 3/4 cup
  • Fresh Cream, 1/4 cup
  • Powdered Sugar, 2 tbsp, or to taste
  • Vanilla Ice Cream, 4 scoops
  • Pistachios, chopped, a few
  • Almonds, chopped, a few
  • Glazed Cherries, for garnish

Method:

Wash and peel the mangoes, de-seed and chop them (Keep aside a few chopped mango pieces for garnish, needed later along with the glazed cherries)
Place the chopped mango pieces in the blender
To this, add the powdered sugar, cold milk and fresh cream and blend till you get a thick smooth puree
Pour this milkshake into tall glasses leaving space for the vanilla ice cream scoops to follow
Top up the milkshake with the vanilla ice cream scoops in each of the glasses
Garnish with a few pieces of mangoes, chopped pistachios and almonds and glazed cherries
Serve chilled

* As another option, in the tall glass you can have a layer of mango pieces to start with, then add a scoop of ice cream followed by the milkshake and top it off with another scoop of ice cream, garnished with nuts and the glazed cherry.







Sunday, May 7, 2017

SHEVGYACHYA SHENGANCHE PITHLA ( DRUMSTICKS PITHLA)


SHEVGYACHYA SHENGANCHE PITHLA (DRUMSTICKS PITHLA)

We are fond of Maharashtrian dishes and elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for some of our favourites like Barli Vaangi Sabudana Khichdi and Shengdana Kadhi..

 Pithla which is made of chickpea flour (besan) is a popular dish in Maharashtra. Today's recipe is of  pithla made using drumsticks which are called "Shevgyacha Shenga" in Marathi.

Hence, this variety of pithla is called, "Shevgyachya Shenganche Pithla." What I made is adapted from the recipe by Aruna Panangipally in Ahaaramonline.




Ingredients:
  • Shevgyacha Shenga (Drumsticks) , 2
  • Besan (Chickpea Flour), 1/2 cup
  • Water, 1 and 1/2 cups to 2 cups
  • Large-sized Onion, chopped, 1
  • Green Chillies, slit, 3
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/8 tsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida) , a small pinch
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, 2 tbsp, for garnish
Method:

Wash the drumsticks and snip off the two ends. Cut the drumsticks into 2 " pieces
In a vessel, cook the drumstick pieces in water with a little bit of salt till they become tender
(Take care that the drumsticks do not get overcooked)
 Drain the water and keep aside the cooked drumsticks
In a kadhai, dry roast the besan for a few minutes till the raw smell goes and the besan begins to change colour
Remove from the flame and allow it to cool
To this add the turmeric powder and mix well
Gradually add 1 and 1/2 cups of water and stir till you get a smooth batter without any lumps
Heat oil in the kadhai and when it gets hot add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the cumin seeds and wait till they sizzle and change colour
Now add the hing, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds
Next add the chopped onion. Fry till it changes colour and turns pink
To this add the cooked drumsticks and mix well
Lower the flame and add the besan batter stirring continuously to avoid it forming lumps
Cook on medium/low flame till the batter thickens
Add some water if required to get the consistency you desire
Finally, garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot with rice, rotis or bhakri.




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

POHA CHIVDA (MICROWAVE VERSION)

POHA CHIVDA (MICROWAVE VERSION)

One of the most popular snacks in India has to be Poha Chivda. This is a mildly spiced savoury which is easy to make more so these days when the microwave oven has taken a key spot in everyone's kitchen.

This snack is served at tea time or almost on any occasion, It complements the sweets which are traditionally served in any Indian household.

In the old days, we would usually deep fry the chivda or roast it in a kadhai. Now, the microwave does this task faster with less consumption of oil. You now have a more healthy version.

When you make it in bigger quantities, please ensure that the Poha Chivda is cooled fully before storing it in an air tight container.



Ingredients:
  • Pathla Poha or "Nylon" Poha, (Beaten Rice of the thin variety), 2 cups
  • Groundnuts, 1/3 cup
  • Curry Leaves, 10-12
  • Daria (Roasted Chana Dal), 2 tbsp  
  • Kishmish (Raisins), 2 tbsp
  • Copra, (dry Coconut), cut into thin slices, 2 tbsp
  • Powdered Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies, finely chopped, 2
  • Haldi (Turmeric) Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp, or to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
Method:

Firstly, in a microwave safe dish,  microwave the poha for 2 minutes 
Transfer the roasted poha to another bowl and keep aside for it to cool
(The roasted poha becomes crisp only when it is cooled)
Add oil in the microwave safe dish, add the mustard seeds and microwave for 1 minute
To this, add the finely chopped green chillies, curry leaves, and turmeric powder
Mix well and add the groundnuts, stir well and microwave for 2 more minutes
Next add the thin slices of copra, daria, and raisins and mix it thoroughly
Add the powdered sugar and salt and microwave for 1/2 minute 
Take out the bowl and once again mix well
Lastly, add the poha which you have roasted and kept aside
Mix thoroughly so that the poha gets evenly mixed
After it cools completely, the Poha Chivda is ready to be served.





Saturday, April 29, 2017

RICE RAVA DOSA

RICE RAVA DOSA

Most people who are not familiar with South Indian cuisine are astonished at the wide variety of dosas that we make in our homes. The ingredients vary and consequently the texture. Most require the batter to be fermented while some do not. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for a few types of dosas such as the basic "plain" Dosa, Masoor Dal Dosa, Poha Dosa, and Pancharatna Dosa.

This recipe is adapted from Rice Rava Dosa shared by my friend, Archana Vinay in a cooking group in which we are members. The dosas turned out to be soft, fluffy and porous. We enjoyed them with Raw Mango Thokku.



Ingredients:
  • Dosa Rice/Raw Rice, 2 cups
  • Sooji Rava ( Semolina), 1/2 cup
  • Cooked Rice, 1 tbsp
  • Yeast, 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Salt, taste
  • Oil, for making dosas
Method:

Wash and soak the raw rice for 3-4 hours. Drain the excess water.
In a mixer, grind this soaked raw rice, along with the cooked rice, to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside
Boil the sooji rava in 1 and 1/2 cups of water to form a paste and allow it to cool to room temperature
Soak yeast in a little warm water along with 1 tsp of sugar and stir till the yeast fully dissolves
Next, in a large vessel, mix the ground paste of rice, the cooked and cooled sooji rava paste, salt, and the yeast
Mix well such that there are no lumps of sooji rava in the batter
Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding water only if required to get a consistency which is not too thick or too runny
Set aside this batter for fermenting for about 6-8 hours or overnight
When the batter is fermented, you will find that it has increased in volume 
Heat a tawa, lightly grease it with oil  and when it gets hot pour a ladle of the batter
Lightly spread the batter (though not as much as you would for the regular dosa) 
Cook covered on medium flame for a few minutes. You will notice holes appearing in the dosa
Drizzle oil around the dosa and fry till the bottom of the dosa gets done
There is no need to flip them on the other side
Serve the soft and fluffy dosas hot with thokku or chutney of your choice