Dal Tadka

Dal is a staple in my house. Hubby loves it, my kid loves it and I am not the exception. I try to make dal every other day. Today’s recipe is simple dal which is easy to make and delicious too. If you are running out of time but still want to make something simple and wholesome, this is definitely for you. Pair this with plain white rice and some fried papads on side and TA-DA, you got a dinner or lunch ready in 30 minutes.

This dal dish will be one of my all time favorite ways of making dal. I make this dal with arhar dal and masoor dal which is pressure cooked together and in the end I temper the dal with cumin seeds, garlic and dried red chill. Hence the name Dal Tadka. Tadka is nothing but a hindi term for tempering. Tempering – It is a method widely used in Indian cuisine, in which whole spices are heated in hot oil and then mixture is added to the final dish to enhance the flavor.

Dal tadka

Ingredients:

For dal:

  • 1/4 cup arhar dal/split yellow dal lentils
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal/split pink lentils
  • 1 small-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • water to cook
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For Tempering/Tadka:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilli
  • 1 big garlic cloves, grated
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing

Method:

  • Mix both the dal together and wash them in several changes of  tap water. Keep it aside.
  • Heat a pressure cooker, add oil and then add chopped onions and cook until it turns light brown in color, add grated ginger, chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, gram masala powder and salt to taste.
  • To the above masala, add dal and sufficient water and cook dal for about 3-4  whistles on medium-low heat. Once the pressure cooker cools down, open the lid and mash the dal until creamy and mashed.
  • Dal will be little thick after mashing up, add water for desired consistency. It should not be too thick or thin. Once the desired consistency is reached, give a boil, add a tablespoon of ghee and check for seasoning.
  • Cover the dal with lid and prepare tadka for the same. At this step you can add the tadka and mix the whole thing together. Or you can serve the dal with tempering on top of it.
  • Heat oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds, dried red chillies, a pinch of asafoetida, grated garlic and cook until garlic turns light brown in color.
  • Once done, pour the entire tempering into dal and serve.  Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves to serve.
  • Serve Dal tadka with plain white rice and  roti. Enjoy!

Dal Rice

Missi Roti

Honestly speaking,  growing up at my house my mom used to make only one or two kind of paratha’s  and that is Aloo paratha and methi paratha. But after marriage, I got introduced to varieties of paratha. My mom-in-law makes many different kind of parathas. Sometimes she will just knead the dough with left over dal or beans curry and make paratha for breakfast.

this recipe is my mom-in-law’s recipe.  When she was visiting us she had made this paratha for breakfast so many times.

Missi roti is made by combining any kind of flour with some spices, greens, chopped onions. I have seen so many recipes for miss roti made by gram flour and whole wheat flour on net but I remember my mom-in-law making this by combining makki ka atta and whole wheat flour.

I have made this for our dinner and served with some yogurt and pickle on side. The way I like to eat paratha, you can also have this with any side dish or sabzi.

Missi Roti

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1  cups makki ka atta/ corn flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh methi leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small purple/red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee to be added to the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon degi mirch/red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds
  • warm water for kneading the dough
  • salt to taste
  • oil, for frying the roti

Method:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine all of your ingredients except the water and oil for frying.
  • Attach the dough hook to your mixer and start on a low speed. Slowly add water to the flour mixture. Gradually increase the speed to medium until a ball forms. If the dough does not release from the sides of the bowl, add some flour. If the dough is very dry and flour-y, add a small amount of water.
  • Once the dough forms into a ball, allow the mixer to knead for 4-5 minutes at medium-high.
  • After the kneading is finished, cover the dough with damp towel and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.
  • Alternatively you can also knead the dough with your hands.
  • Once rested knead the dough for a minute and then divide the dough into 9 equal portions. Make rounded balls with each portion.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Take one dough ball at a time. Flatten it slightly and roll both sides in some whole wheat flour.
  • With a rolling pin, roll the balls into a circle of medium-sized roti about 5-6 inch in diameter.
  • Transfer the rolled out dough circle on the hot skillet. Cook  for about a minute on one side. Flip it over. Grease with oil on the top side.
  • After about a minute flip it over and grease oil on the other side. Cook both sides till brown spots appears on both the sides.
  • Serve it with some pickles and curd or with any Indian side dish.

Missi Roti

Jeera Aloo

Posted: March 5, 2013 by incidentalcooksuman in Curries, Indian Food
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Jeera Aloo

Sometimes the best things are also the simplest. Whenever I run out of dishes to make for dinner or lunch this is one dish that comes to my rescue. Jeera Aloo, the first dish I learnt to cook, and it continues to be my all time favorite.

Jeera Aloo is one of the simplest Indian vegetarian dish, where jeera stands for cumin seeds and aloo stands for potatoes. Potato are so versatile, it can be cooked in numerous ways and no matter how you cook them, a potato dish will always taste great.

This is a dry dish and thus is ideal for taking with you when you are travelling. I remember mom making this for our train journey, it’s not that you don’t get food in trains or at station but to be honest there’s always concern about the hygiene of the food. And nothing is compared to a good homemade meal. We used to have this with pooris or parathas and pickle on side.

There are many different variations to this dish, and you will find various recipes online. This recipe is how my mom makes jeera aloo at home always, simple yet delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 big potatoes, par-boiled
  • 1 small-sized white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon degi mirch
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon light olive oil
  • chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into medium sized cubes.
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Add cumin seeds, once they crackle add chopped onions and green chillies and cook until onions turns light brown in color. Add  turmeric powder, coriander powder, gram masala powder, degi mirch and salt to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cubed potatoes and mix gently so that the potatoes are coated with masala.
  • Check for salt and add chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle the cumin powder and add lime juice. Mix well. Switch of the heat.
  • Serve hot !

Jeera Aloo

Guacamole

Posted: February 25, 2013 by incidentalcooksuman in Snack
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Guacamole

I remember having guacamole for the first time in some restaurant and to be honest I didn’t like it much. It was recent that I started making guacamole for hubby’s evening snack and fell in love with this dip. That doesn’t mean I love avocados.  I just like avocados in guacamole and that too made my way with lots of fresh grated garlic and lime juice.

There are lots of different ways to make guacamole. I make my guacamole with, ‘ The secret ingredient’ , yep you guessed it,  garlic. In my opinion, its one of the simple and delicious recipe – although you can feel free to experiment with other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Thai green chilli, seeded, ribbed, and finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated

 Method:

  • Split the avocados and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Mash with a fork or back of spoon lightly. Leave some chunks of avocados here and there.
  • Stir in the onion, cilantro,  chopped chillies, lime juice, salt, and gently stir all together.  Adjust seasoning to your taste.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with finely chopped red onions.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Guacamole

My Notes:

I usually prepare guacamole and store in fridge prior to serving. Don’t toss out the avocado pits, instead toss them back into the finished guacamole and hide in center. They will help to keep your guacamole from turning brown.

Use ripen avocado for guacamole. Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe. For speeding ripening process, place the fruit in brown paper bag in a cool, dark place.

How to get fruit/pulp out of Avocado skin?

Take a sharp knife and cut all the way around the avocado (the long way).  Gently twist it and it will come apart into two pieces. On the half part (without a pit) – use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh. Use a sharp knife to tap into the pit lightly, twist it and it will come right out of the avocado. Then you can scoop out the flesh from the other half.

Oreo-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkles!

When I saw these cookies here from Sprinkles bakes, I had to make them right away. There is something amazing about these cookies. The giant balls of red dough stuffed with Oreo cookies, rolled in a generous amount of powdered sugar lined up on a baking sheet. And then in oven they are transformed magically into something amazingly pretty with the beautiful cracks on top. So, if you are looking for a pretty and decadent treat these would definitely fit the bill!

These cookies are deliciously soft, brownie-like texture in center with crispy outside. And they are perfect with a cup of milk or tea. The best part of these crinkles would be biting in those hidden Oreo treat – YUM! And let me tell you they are pretty addictive too. Someone also needs to keep me away from the cookie jar –  after baking this I keep sneaking on these here and there.

Oreo-stuffed Red Velvet Crinkles!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 24 Oreo Cookies
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch

 Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat and set aside. Combine powdered sugar and cornstarch in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and pale in color, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs to the bowl one at a time and beat to combine. Beat in buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. The dough will be sticky and very soft. If it is very sticky then add 1/4 cup more all-purpose flour and stir again. Cover and chill in the fridge until the dough is cold and easy to handle.
  • Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of a Oreo Cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on the bottom of Oreo cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is covered with dough.
  • Drop balls of dough into the powdered sugar-corn starch mixture and roll to coat heavily. Place dough balls on a baking sheet about 3-inch apart.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes, until the tops have cracked and have set (the centers will still be gooey). Allow to sit for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Pancakes

Posted: February 17, 2013 by incidentalcooksuman in Breakfast
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Pancakes

Pancakes

I know this place has been quiet for long time now. It’s high time I should post something and make my blog alive. So, cheers to my  first post of 2013, hope to bring lots of new and delicious recipes in coming months.

Growing up, breakfast in our house used to be an elaborate affair everyday. Till now the tradition continues. But after moving to US my vision towards breakfast has totally changed.

On weekdays, breakfast is mostly granola, cereal, an egg or oat meal but on weekends I love to cook something special like pancakes, french toast, omelette or any Indian breakfast. I love weekend breakfast especially because I can sit down with my family and eat something yummy.

I had made this pancakes couple of weekends ago and thought of sharing the recipe here.These pancakes were incredible – so thick and fluffy and truly delicious. And these are easy to make too, with the ingredients from your pantry.In my opinion that’s bonus, right? And the only thing that could possibly make this breakfast even better would be tons of maple syrup on top and yes some fresh fruits too..! So, make this for your loved ones and they will love you more.

Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Method:

  • Whisk the lemon juice and milk together in a measuring cup. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. (Alternatively, you can use 2 cups of buttermilk in place of the milk/lemon juice.)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the egg and melted butter to the milk and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk gently just until combined (the batter will be lumpy, that’s fine).
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a 1/4 cup measure to pour the batter into the skillet. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping the skillet with the paper towel(dipped in oil) after each pancakes.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter. You can keep the finished pancakes on a heat-proof plate in the oven at 150°F.
  • Serve them stacked high with maple syrup and fruit of your choice. Enjoy!

This is a great, every-day cake. The kind you can make on a whim, when you feel like having a simple  cake with your cup of tea. What I love about this recipe is that none of the ingredients are fancy. I almost always have everything I need on hand. Of course not the cherries, it happened that I had some fresh cherries in the fridge. So, I have used those, but you can use whatever berries or stone fruit you have in hand. It really doesn’t matter. Next time I am thinking of making this with fresh plums or apricots…hmmm …can’t wait to try!

The cake is moist, buttery, light and super delicious. And the aroma that fills your kitchen, and home, when the cake is in oven is amazing. Serve this with a cup of tea or coffee or as a  lovely simple dessert with some whipped cream or ice cream, whichever way you prefer. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped cup pitted dark cherries, cut in halves

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Lightly butter a 9-inch cake pan.Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the softened butter, sugars, and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy and the sugars have completely dissolved.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. 
  • At low-speed, mix in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the yogurt-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Scatter the cherries evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Bake for about 60 minutes, or until risen, and cooked through.  A skewer inserted in the centre will come out clean when it is ready.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the cake pan on to a serving dish.