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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pakoras - the building blocks for 'kad-hi'!

Hey people!
Thanks so much to all of you who have tried the parathas with chutney, yogurt rice and pasta. I loved your feedback!
Its great to know that this is working - for someone out there!!!
I'll try and post simple stuff with as much variety as possible so you all can try and enjoy these recipes! And I am still taking suggestions and better ways to make these dishes so lets have those comments pouring in.

I love kad-hi (you are thinking why I have a - in between, I just think that helps pronounce the name better, don't you think?!) :) And I love kad-hi with pakoras in it so I thought before I can post the very easy kad-hi recipe, I should post - yes, you guessed it - PAKORAS!
And I'm sure anyone and everyone who has had Indian food has definately had some kind of pakora for sure. There is an amazing range of stuff you can make - if - you just get the batter right!

So without much ado -


Ingredients (for batter)---
1 cup Besan (Gram Flour)
1 chopped green chilli
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder *haldi*
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds *jeera*
2 tablespoons of ginger/garlic paste
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

TIP: Add 2 tablespoons of Pakora Masala - I use Mangal's (i think) and it makes my pakoras just awesome!

Method ---
1. Put all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
2. Add water, small serve at a time and mix the contents. Keep adding water till the mixture is fairly thick and fluffy....*tip* thick enough to easily coat the spoon. (Don't add too much water or the oil is going to spatter a lot!)


Now you can use -
Onion rings for Onion pakora
Potato slices for Aloo pakora
Eggplant slices for Baigan pakora
Cheese fingers for Paneer pakora
Pumpkin slices for Pumpkin pakora
Capsicum rings for Capsicum pakoras
Cauliflower florets for Gobhi pakoras
Can even add chopped spinach or cabbage to the batter - Go crazy with your imagination!!

Just dip the vegetables in the batter and deep fry them in hot oil till they are golden brown- they taste awesome with chutney.

I want to hear "your" version of pakoras - till next time......... with kad-hi!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Pasta - for beginners!

Now I'm sure even before my saying it, you all very well know that there are about a million and one ways of making pasta. So, I'll let you in, on all the kinds that I know how - one by one.

This post - we'll start at the basics to bring those completely inexperienced folks upto speed with making a simple pasta.

Vegetable Pasta in Tomato sauce

Ingredients --

1 packet Penne Pasta
1 jar of Tomato Pasta sauce
-- OR you may just use Tomato puree
-- OR just finely chopped tomatoes - we'll work on it!
1 onion cut in small pieces
1/2 green capsicum cut in small pieces
a few white button mushrooms halved/thinly sliced
a few table spoons of olive oil(preferable)/cooking oil
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Powdered Black pepper
Salt to taste
a few Basil leaves for dressing

Method --
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions in the packet. Drain and put aside.
2. In a wide pan, heat the oil, then add onions to it. Cook till the onions are golden brown.
3. Add capsicum and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add the Pasta sauce and bring the mixture to a steady simmer.

-- Here the ones using the tomato puree or chopped tomato with add that - then cook till the tomatoes turn to paste (Can add a bit of hot water) Also add a very small teaspoon garlic paste *if you like*. If the contents don't seem saucy enough - add some tomato ketchup!! *if you want to cheat! :P*
And bring the whole mixture to a steady simmer.

5. Add the boiled pasta and season with black pepper powder, chilli flakes *yes! I know I love my chilli flakes!!* and salt.
6. Pour in a bowl and dress it with parmesan cheese and basil leaves.


Please Note
- If you don't have/use parmesan cheese then feel free to use mozarella or whatever you have at home - just add that to pasta right before the salt n pepper etc. when it is in the pan and let it cook and blend in.
- The tomato pasta sauce is not essential - which means it should not stop you from trying this recipe. I make my pasta 99% of the time using puree or chopped tomatoes and get the best tasting pasta ever!!

So go...... make urself some.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Curd Rice - well not really!

This recipe is..... I don't know where this one came from. The origins are a bit unclear, coz one day I went into the kitchen, saw some left over boiled rice and yogurt in the fridge and I came out of the kitchen with this! - but I'm sure there are many versions of this recipe known to many of you. So any suggestions or tips will be most welcome!!

I call them "Dahi ke chawal" = Curd Rice or Yogurt Rice.
And I know that there is a different south-indian rice dish called 'Curd Rice' as well, that one has tamarind juice/lemon juice in it. So, if thats the one that you know, then this isn't the same.
May be I'll call it Yogurt Rice to keep the two different. This is a much much simpler version I think and oh so easy to make!

Dahi ke Chawal OR Yogurt Rice

My favourite snack/meal in a rush!

Ingredients --
3 bowls of boiled Rice, preferably Basmati as that tastes n smells nice! And yes, left overs will do!
1 cup yogurt, beaten to a smooth paste with a spoon. Can add 1/4 cup water to the yogurt if its very thick.
1 chopped chilli
2-3 table spoons of oil
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder *haldi*
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds *rai*
a few curry leaves
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

Method --
1. Add oil in a hot pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and leave for a minute till they begin to splutter.
3. Add the chopped chilli, turmeric powder, curry leaves and chilli flakes.
4. Add the boiled rice to the pan and mix well.
5. Add the beaten yogurt to the rice in the pan and salt to taste. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
6. ENJOY - with or without pickles!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Spinach Paratha and Coriander Chutney

Ok.... finally! *you say!* ;)

Right, after quite a few weeks of disappearence from the scene since the launch of my "Kit*chen*blog" I'm here to share my first recipe with you today. By way of explanation for the delay, I wanted to post real pics of the food and what it looks like when I make it. This is because for me Good Food = 30% Taste + 30% Smell + 30% the Look and 10% the chef!! ;)

And so I really wanted to publish my pics too. But then I misplaced the CD to load the mobile manager software and later cable to connect my mobile to the laptop.. ! :( *I'm soo careless!!*

Anyways.... cutting the long story short, I have decided to post the recipes with pics from google. I'll do my best to give you as tempting a pic as possible but please bear with me till I find a way to post my own pics.

Please note, that having tried the recipes soo many times, I have stopped measuring any thing, I just pop it in using my 'intuition'. That could also mean that some measurements may not be entirely accurate.
So, those who are regulars visiters to their kitchen *and actually cook* please use your discretion too, and others - God knows!! :D



Spinach Paratha or Palak Paratha.

(No - Gals n guys who don't like green veggies - don't make faces. You can take it from me *who hated anything green - yeah I wonder how I survived being a veggie n hating greens!* that this paratha is addictive, so easy to make too that you'll make it any chance you get.

100 -150 gms of frozen chopped spinach (thats like half the box)
OR Fresh spinach (but thats just too hard for me, to pick the leaves, then wash a zillion times, then chop etc..)
2 cups of Wheat Flour
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional)
1 finely chopped onion (optional)
2 teaspoons of turmeric powder *haldi*
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds *jeera*
1 spoon of Ginger + Garlic paste (aah! What would I do with out my ginger n garlic paste? I have a huge jar full of it and it runs out in no time)
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

Method --
1. Put the box of frozen spinach in the microwave for a minute or till it thaws so the ice has nearly melted.
2. In a big bowl add flour, green chilli, chopped onion, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, ginger+garlic paste, chilli flakes and salt.
3. Add the thawed spinach to the bowl of dry ingredients. And water to the whole mixture and make the dough. Let it sit for an hour *if you can wait*
4. Make small balls and roll into parathas and cook on a hot tava with oil or butter.
5. Serve hot with pickles, yogurt and/or coriander chutney.

Coriander Chutney or Dhaniya Chutney

This is quick if you have it all ready to go.

Ingredients --
A bunch of fresh corinader leaves
1 spoon of dried mint flakes OR a few mint leaves
2 to 3 green chillies
Chilli flakes (optional or how hot u'd like)
Salt to taste

Method --
1. Add all the ingredients in a chopper/blender/food processor. Add some water if the mix is too dry, to get a thick chutney like consistency. Pour the paste in a bowl.
2. Heat 3-4 spoons of oil in a little pan and add this to the bowl of chutney. *I didn't know this trick, learnt from a friend here - this makes the chutney more... saucy!*
3. Enjoy with hot parathas, rotis or anything Indian.

I hope you guys get a chance to try this dish. Let me know how you go.
Take care!