Thursday, September 25, 2014

Potato-Yogurt Vrat Chat

Happy Navratri to everyone... This is one of the festivals, for which most of the Indians mostly like me, wait for the whole year...10 days of celebration, with so much of good food... Though many of us, are in fasting mood. Every family has their own traditions.... Some people, do the fasting of all 9 days, and eat only dairy products and fruits... Some of them, do the fasting by eating fruits in a day time, and takes 1 complete meal in 24 hours.... Some eat everything, just substitute regular Salt with RockSalt.... And Some do fasting, only for any 2 days....

Well, we follow a different tradition.... We stop eating Onions and Garlics, for full 9 days... All the curries and soups and cooked without Onions and Garlics... No eggs and non-veg, for these 9 days... And, on 10th day, in our ancestral house, a flag is hosted on the name of Goddess ShitalaDevi early in the morning... Everyone in family worships her, and we celebrate by cooking feast on 10th day i.e. on Dushhera... 

When I got married, and got to know about these rituals... The biggest trouble for me, was how to cook meal without onion and garlics, and that to, it should be yummy as well...

So, in the process of learning and experimenting, I learnt quite few things.... Sharing, 1 of the easiest and yummiest snack, which I make on these days.... You can increase the quantity, and make a full meal out of it...


Ingredients - 


  1. Potato - 3 (small, boiled, sliced)
  2. Oil to spray in pan
  3. Peanuts - 1 handful (roasted and crushed)
  4. Yogurt/ Curd - 1/2 cup (beated)
  5. Salt/rocksalt to taste
  6. Jeera powder to sprinkle (optional- omit if you do not eat in fasting)
  7. Red chilli powder to sprinkle (optional- omit if you do not eat in fasting or substitute by chopped green chilli)
Directions - 
  • Spray oil in a pan...
  • Roast the potatoes either side on medium flame... you are making them crunchier...
Boiled Potatoes

Crispy potatoes

  • Place the Potatoes in a serving plate....
  • Beat the curd, add salt, and transfer this curd above crunchy potatoes as another layer..
Beaten yogurt

Yogurt on crispy Potatoes

  • Sprinkle, jeera powder and red chilli powder/ chopped green chillies...
  • Top with crushed roasted peanuts...
Roasted peanuts

Crushed Peanut

Delicious Vrat chat

  • Serve immediately...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Shahi Paneer

Guests are coming over for dinner...Do not have much time to cook... Well, thanks to my hubby for not informing me beforehand.... Have 3 hours in hand, and had to cook complete dinner.... I definitely love cooking, but then I like to decide my lunch/dinner menu, 1 day in advance... And if I am inviting guests over, I make a menu couple of days in advance, so I have enough time in hand, that I can do all the preparation, and my food is ready before time... And I can spend time with the guests, rather than spending it in kitchen.... I wanted to serve them the best food ever.... Though, the recipe got developed accidentally, but I will confess it's the delicious Paneer curry ever....

After taking 1st bite, my friend asked me, " Hey, did you made this curry by yourself, or you ordered it from somewhere"... Well, my only reaction was to smile....My mission accomplished....


Ingredients for 2 people
  1. Paneer - 6-8 pieces per person 
  2. Onions - 1/4 Big onion ( sliced)
  3. Garlic - 4 cloves
  4. Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  5. Tomato paste - 3 tomatoes (medium size)
  6. Cumin Powder - 1 Teaspoon  
  7. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
  8. Coriander Powder - 1 Teaspoon
  9. Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
  10. Cashew - 12-15 pieces
  11. Cream- 1/2 cup 
  12. Cooking oil- 1 Tbsp
  13. Water as reqd.



Directions-
  • Fry sliced Onions in a pan with Zeera, Badi Elaichi and Gol Mirch... Transfer it in a bowl, and let it cool.... 



  • Now, in a blender make a paste of fried onions with garlic, ginger and Cashew....

  • Add 1tbsp of oil to the pan, and let it heat for couple of minutes. Now, add this paste to the heated pan.... Add salt, turmeric powder, Chilli powder, cumin powder, Coriander powder to the pastte and Saute for about 5 minutes....
  • Meanwhile, make a puree of tomato, add in this paste and cook till there is no more raw smell of tomatoes.....

  • Make triangular slices of Paneer.
  • Add the pieces of paneer in this gravy. Stir it softly, as Paneer might can break.
  • Cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes...

  • Switch off the flame, and add 1/2 cup of cream to the curry.....   

  • Enjoy it with tortilla/ roti/naan/ Jeera Rice.....

NOTE - Check out the way to make a Paneer at home.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mutter ka Nimona (Potato cooked in Peas curry)

It was a cloudy day... Kids were playing.... We planned to go out for lunch.. But, then it started raining.... Taking Kids out was a big risk.... Do not want them to get wet.... 

When I was small, about 7-8 yrs old, I use to wait for rainy season.... And never use to miss 1st rain of the season, getting wet, or I should soaked in rain was my favorite game.... but, then it leads to cold, sneezing, running nose, fever... And then, me in bed for couple of days.... The story was same for almost every year.... I do not want, my kiddo doing same.... Well, she is also like me... It runs in our blood.... She loves to get wet in rain...

So, not to make kids exposed to rain, Bhabhi (sis-in-law) decided to cook lunch at home... And I am glad that she made it.... It was definitely too yummy....

Delicious and yummy way to have veggies of your meal... Do you know, Peas are lots of health benefits... It provides us protein, fiber, anti oxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.... And hence, regular intake of peas helps in weight management, strong immune system, regulates blood sugar....


So, here is a step-by-step new recipe of Nimona for you to try - 



Ingredients-
  1. Onion - 1/2 big (chopped)
  2. Ginger - Garlic paste - 1.2 tsp
  3. Potato - 2 (medium- diced)
  4. Peas - 1 bowl
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Green tomatoes-  3 nos.
  8. Red Tomato - 1 no.
  9. Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
  11. Aamchur Masala - 1/2 tsp
  12. Garam Masala - 1/2 tspsp
  13. Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
  14. Ghee/ Unsalted butter - 1tsp
Directions - 
  • Add cooking oil in a heated pan. Add diced potatoes and fry them, till it turns nice golden brown in color.


  • Now, add chopped onions to the same pan, and fry them...

  • Meanwhile, grind 3/4 bowl of peas with 1/2 cup of water.. and then transfer them in an empty bowl..

  • By this time, ur onions have started turning translucent, add ginger-garlic paste, saute... And add all the dry masala except garam masala...

  • Saute, and grind tomatoes in same grinder..


  • Add this tomato puree to the pan.. and keep sauteing..

  • When, paste starts leaving the edges of Pan, add Peas puree, and mix...

  • Let it simmer for 5 minutes, on medium flame...

  • Now, add fried potatoes and peas...

  • Mix and Cover for 10 minutes, or till the potatoes get cooked...


  • Garnish with hopped Cilantro...

  • Add 1tsp of Ghee or butter to this curry, just before serving...
  • Enjoy with piping hot white rice...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baked Thekua (Traditional sweet All Purpose flour Cookies)

Hello People,

How is everybody doing today? Myself doing great... And I am very happy as well... While growing up, few snacks and dishes, my mother use to cook very regularly... My Mom is  a great cook, and I love to make dishes, in her way.... It has those typical taste, which I really love it... I try my best, but never able to reach perfection in those recipes... Some of them, are Nimki (Salty Biscuits), Thekua, Gujia (A sweet dessert made of All purpose flour and Milk Fat), Eggplant curry.. Well, she is the mom, and may be the taste of food changes, because of the love she adds in her cooking.... Some of those dishes are my favorite... and Thekua is among them... It's a wheat flour cookie, which is deep fried... We basically, belong to that part of India, which loves "Thekua", and can eat any time of year as a Snack... Now, regular or you can say traditional "Thekua", is deep fried on low temperature.... Normally, it takes me about an hour and half to make these Thekuas....

Well, these traditional recipes, has reached us after travelling few generations.... No doubt, they are very yummy to eat.... But, Now since I am trying to implement healthy food in my diet, then this is just not perfect for me to eat.... I am a sweet toothed girl... Not, everytime I want to eat sweets, but whenever I crave for sweet, I cannot stop myself...And "Thekua" is my childhood favorite snack, how am I suppose to stop myself.... And after eating, there comes a heavy weight of guilt.... So, after some experiments, I discovered this yummilicious "Baked Thekua", which is equivalent yummy but not deep fried... Yayyyyyy, I have done it.....


I wont say, it is completely healthy, but yes no more guilt feeling of consuming deep fried food.....

I have learnt lot about blogging, through my fellow bloggers... I follow few of them religiously... My friend, Anshie Dhar's blog "Spice Roots" is one of them... I love all her stories, and the way she present them.... I got the inspiration to join this group of "Creative Cookie Exchange" through her...

I became the member of Creative Cookie Exchange, and I was surprised that how much variety of Cookies can be made from these innovative Ideas.....

The theme this month is Comfort Food Cookies! What cookie says comfort food to you?  If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:




So, here I am presenting you our healthier version of traditional Cookies, which is a Comfort Food for everyone in my family, " Thekua"....The name of this Cookie, is followed from few generations, so did not wanted to change it, and it is very well known, as "Thekua" in the eastern part of India....


Ingredients you need to make 10 Cookies- 

  1. All Purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Sugar (powdered) - 3/4 cup
  3. Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
  4. Olive oil - 1/2 cup
  5. Warm water - 1 cup
Directions - 

  • Mix all dry items..... 

  • Add Olive oil, and mix... 
  • Add warm water in small portions, to this mixture, and knead.. Add water as required, and make a tight dough...

  • Cover the dough, and let it sit for an hour...

  • Now, divide the dough in equal 10 portions...
  • Roll the dough in a ball, press it by palm to 1/2 inch of thickness and place it in a greased baking tray...
  • Do same for all the dough...

  • Place this baking tray in a preheated oven at 375 degrees, for 20 minutes, or till the cookies start turning golden brown...

  • Take it out, and let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring it to the airtight container...
  • When kept in airtight container, remains fresh for 10-15 days...

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