Archive for the ‘Curries’ Category

Jeera Aloo

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

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

Misal Pav

I remember having Misal-Pav in our office canteen. In Mumbai most people travel at least 1 to 2 hours to office everyday, so it is obvious that not everybody is going to have breakfast at home first thing in the morning. Breakfast menu’s in office canteens like misal-pav, vada pav, idli-sambhar to name a few are very popular. Since, I lived very close to office, I would skip breakfast at home to have Misal-Pav in office.

Misal Pav is another popular breakfast dish in Mumbai. Misal literally means mixture and this dish is a mix of sprouts(dried peas, moth beans and moong beans) which is cooked in onion-tomato-coconut gravy and topped with chopped onion and Farsan or mixture( which is again a  mixture of dried spicy gram flour noodles, roasted peanuts, roasted channa dal). And it is served with none other than our famous pav(bread).There are different versions of Misal like Bombay Misal, Puneri Misal and Kolhapuri. This is my version to the dish. We had this for dinner yesterday night with fresh baked pav bread.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups mixed sprout legumes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp crushed tomatoes
  • 4 green chillies, seeds removed
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asfetodia powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tbsp shredded fresh/frozen coconut flakes
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves for garnishing
  • chopped onions for garnishing
  • lime/lemon quarters for garnishing
  • farsan/Sev/mixture
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp light olive oil/vegetable oil

Method:

  • To start with boil the mixed sprouts in pressure cooker for 1 whistles Or until tender. Strain the sprouts and reserve the liquid. Keep it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of oil, add chopped onions and sauté until light brown in color, add fennel seeds, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and shredded coconut and fry for 2-3 minutes. Once done add chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and grind the mixture into a fine paste.
  • In another pan, heat 2 tbsp oil, add asafoetida powder and add the masala paste followed by turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the reserved liquid(for me it was 1 cup), water( I have added 1 cup) and add boiled sprout to the masala.Check for seasoning.
  • Cover the lid and boil for 5-6 more minutes on low-medium heat.
  • The gravy is ready to savored with pav bread.

Assembing the Misal Pav:

  • Take a large serving bowl , add two big ladle full of gravy in the bowl, topped with chopped onions, mixrure/farsan and coriander leaves. Not to forget the lime/lemon wedge. Serve it with pav. And serve your misal-pav piping hot. Enjoy!!

Note:

For sprouting the legumes, soak them overnight. Next day, wash and drain them with water and tie in muslin cloth or cotton kitchen towel. Keep it under a heavy bottom dish in a kitchen closet. The next day you will have beautiful and perfect sprouted legumes ready.

Misal Pav

Misal Pav

Pindi Channa/Chick peas saute in Indian spices

Pindi Channa/Chick peas saute in Indian spices

We ate this delicious dish of chhole at my sister-in-law’s place , when we were visiting home early this year. Obviously, I asked her for the recipe. It was a simple recipe, using our usual ingredients – garlic, ginger and some indian spices all cooked together with chhole. She served this pindi channa with hot pooris, all puffed up and straight out from the kadai along with fresh homemade dahi(yogurt) and punjabi mango pickle -a typical punjabi breakfast.

I always admire her cooking skills. She loves cooking and make flavorful and delicious dishes in matter of minutes. Whenever she is around, I don’t worry about food or making dishes. She takes care of everything so smoothly and deliciously.

Pindi Channa

Pindi Channa

Ingredients:

For boiling chickpeas:

  • 1 1/2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 tea bag
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • salt to taste

For tadka:

  • 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green chill, defined and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp  chhole masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak dried chick peas overnight in enough water to cover the legumes.
  • Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse it once or twice. Add enough water to cover it by an inch and add all the spices along with the tea bag. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles or cook in a salted water until the chick peas is soft and tender.
  • Once done, drain all the water from chana and discard the whole spices and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaves and let it get brown, add the ginger garlic paste and fry along for a minute. Add rest of the spices and cook for 3-4 minutes without burning the masala.
  • Add the boiled chickpeas and stir well so that everything is evenly coated with masala. Let it cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chopped onions. Serve along with poori, paratha or just as a snack, in either way it’s delicious!
Pindi Channa

Pindi Channa

Mirch Ka Salan

Mirch Ka Salan

When I saw this beautiful jalepeno peppers in grocery store, I immediately grabbed a few without even thinking of any dish. When I was picking up these peppers, from the other side, hubby was looking at me and smiling.

I know he is not a big fan of spicy food but I am glad he tried this and gave me a positive feedback. Let me confess something about him here, my husband is an amazingly easy person to cook for. He will eat anything and everything I set down in front of him, except ghee and butter.Its not that he don’t eat ghee or butter for diet reasons, it’s just that he don’t like the smell of it..weird…right..But that’s how it is…if he don’t smell these two ingredients in any dish, he will happily enjoy the dish.

If you like spicy dishes, this is the one for you…I’ve always eaten this dish in restaurants. I don’t have a single memory of having mirch ka salan at home. Mirch is basically a hindi term for any kind of peppers and salan is the gravy or sauce.The gravy is lightly tangy, and has a mellow and creamy taste because of the spices used. And yes, don’t forget to remove the seeds and membranes from inside of peppers, which is the reason for the hotness of the chillies.It also brings the heat of the chilli’s down a bit..

jalapeño

jalapeño

Ingredients:

  • 6-7  jalapeño peppers, or any green pepper of your choice(I have also used some green bell peppers)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 methi seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp degi laal mirch, sweet paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2  tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 3 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • salt to taste

To be grind into a paste

  • 2 tbsp peanuts, roasted, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
Mirch Ka Salan

Mirch Ka Salan

Method:

  • Wash and slit the peppers lengthwise without cutting the peppers into two. Remove the seeds and membrane(you can do it by cutting at the end), heat a teaspoon of oil in a wide pan and layer the pepper evenly and shallow fry in hot oil until they turn light in color. Drain on paper towel and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add 1 teaspoon of oil, add chopped onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, then add ginger-garlic paste, chopped tomatoes and shredded coconut and cook until the mixture is slightly golden brown. Keep this aside.
  • Dry roast peanuts, once cooled, remove the skin and keep aside.
  • In the same pan dry roast sesame seeds and then grind all this ingredients (including the saute onions) into a smooth paste adding little water if needed..
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, methi seeds and let them crackle. Then add curry leaves and the onion paste, cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, degi mirch(sweet paprika powder) and salt to taste. Cook this masala on medium-low heat until the oil separates.
  • Add 1  1/2 cups of water and tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the fried peppers and check for seasoning, add more salt if needed. Simmer until the gravy thickens.
  • Serve hot with plain white rice. Enjoy!
Mirch Ka Salan

Mirch Ka Salan

Bitter Gourd or bitter melon also called Karela in Hindi, is a popular vegetable in India. Not many people like this veggie but I happen to love this veggie. In order to cook this veggie you need some cooking technique to minimize the bitterness and enjoy the vegetable. Usually I made simple stir fry with lots of onion. But this time I got some beautiful small bitter gourds. So, I thought of making this stuffed karela’s( my MIL’s recipe). I love all the dishes made by her.

Ingredients:

  • 8-9 small bitter gourd
  • 1 big onion, grated
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2-inch of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 green chill, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon pickle masala(I have used carrot & chilli pickle, mother’s recipe brand)
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash and Scrap the rough edges of bitter gourd and keep aside.
  • Make a slit in the center on each gourd for stuffing and scoop out the hard seeds from inside, make sure not to slit all the way.
  • Sprinkle salt on the bitter gourd’s and to the peelings and let it sit for 1-2 hours. Then, wash and pat dry the bitter gourd’s. This process helps to remove bitterness from the bitter gourd. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the peeling.
  • And pound those scoop out hard seeds in pestle coarsely, mix it with gourd peeling, grated ginger and keep it aside.
  • Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in skillet on medium heat. Wait for oil to heat before adding onion and asafoetida, sauté onions until translucent.Now add gourd peelings-seed mixture, turmeric powder, coriander powder, gram masala powder, red chilli  powder, green chill and salt to taste . Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water to the mixture, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.Once the masala is properly cooked, add pickle masala and amchur powder and taste for seasoning. 
  • Add stuffing mixture to the bitter gourds and do not over-stuff.
  • Heat mustard oil in a wide skillet on medium heat.Once heated, shallow fry each gourds until golden on all the sides. Keep turning them gently so that they get cooked  evenly on all the sides. This whole process will take 25-30 minutes on low heat.
  • Serve hot with Dal and Rice. Enjoy!
Note:
  • If you are not using any pickle masala increase the amount of amchur powder or you can also add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • Try to use small bitter gourds.
  • You can also tie the gourd’s with thread after stuffing or else take care while flipping to the sides. I didn’t tie my gourd’s.

Last weekend we went to Edison, New Jersey with our friends to get Ganesha Idol for forthcoming puja at their place, we also visited one Indian grocery store. I was total lost in that store. After so many years I was seeing a big Indian grocery store, with indian music all around and the best thing was I was able to find so many things for which even I had forgotten the names. At first I was like what to take and from where to start. I didn’t expect a indian grocery store that big and full of every possible ingredient you can imagine. Really…even I saw some pan leaves in that store… 🙂 I also got one of my favorite vegetable which brings me to today’s post.

I’m going to share with you my favorite sabzi recipe for parora/parwal, also known as pointed gourd. Parwal is a popular vegetable in India, especially in Eastern and Northern India. Parval is very popular among the Bihari Cuisine and a healthy vegetable, as my mom will say.  This vegetable looks like tiny cucumbers or squash, with tapering ends. Parwal, belongs to the family of Cucurbits (cucumber, squash, etc.).  It is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Back home, my mom used to prepare this vegetable a lot. During the season, mom will make simple stir fried to go with dal(lentils) and rice. She will also make spicy curry to go along with indian breads(roti or paratha). The crispy nature of this vegetable even after it has been cooked along with potatoes, gives the unique taste and crunch, which I love.

Pointed Gourd (Parwal) Sabzi

Pointed Gourd (Parwal) Sabzi

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 parwal, cut in big cubes
  • 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-inch of ginger
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tawa masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder
  • salt to taste
Pointed Gourd (Parwal) Sabzi

Method:

  • Wash the parwal and cut the ends, slightly scrape the outer skin and slice lengthwise into four quarters or big cubes.
  • Take half of the chopped onion, garlic, green chillies, ginger and grind them into a fine paste in a blender.Keep it aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium high heat, add the parwal and fry on medium flame till it obtains a nice color on the skin. once done, transfer the fried veggies in a plate. In the same pan sauté the cubed potatoes till they get a slight golden color. Again transfer to a plate and keep it aside.
  • In the same pan heat the remaining oil. Add cumin and let it splutter, later add bay leaves. Sauté. Add the remaining chopped onions, give it a stir and fry till they get a light color and turn translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and the onion puree you made earlier and cook for 3-4 minutes more .
  •  Add chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala powder, tawa masala, sweet paprika powder and stir. Cover and cook for 4 min. You will notice the tomatoes have softened and the oil has separated.
  • Add the fried parwal and potatoes and mix well, stir and cook for 2 min. Add  water and let it simmer for 5 min or till gravy is of desired consistency. Sprinkle the amchur powder and mix well.
  • Serve hot with roti and enjoy!!
Pointed Gourd (Parwal) Sabzi

Pointed Gourd (Parwal) Sabzi

Moth Sprout Beans Curry

Posted: July 22, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Curries, Dal/Lentils soup, Dinner, Indian Food
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Moth sprout beans curry was very often made in our home.The one thing I like about this sabzi does not need any special ingredients.Once you plan the sprouting routine in advance it’s a easiest meal to put together, so it’s perfect  for those days when you don’t feel like having any veggies. I have adapted my mom’s recipe here which is super simple and extremely delicious. Mom used to make this sabzi with different sprouted beans like green moong beans, white and green dried-sprouted peas and whatever she can think of… 🙂 . Really you can use any kind of sprouted beans or combination of all. It’s all up to you to make it delicious and healthy at the same time.

Mom makes one drier version and one with plenty of gravy. Usually she serves the drier version  for sunday breakfast with jam, butter and bread. It is healthy, full of protein and has a high nutritional value. I like both the version. Gravy one is served hot with roti for lunch or dinner. It is really hard to believe that sometimes some simple dishes are so delicious and addictive that you can’t stop eating it. Whenever mom makes this and if I am at home I will start tasting this one bowl at time. Make this for yourself and enjoy a hearty bowl of healthy bliss dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups matki or moth beans,  sprouted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 potato, diced
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • To sprout, soak the moth/matki beans overnight in plenty of water. Next day, drain the water, rinse the beans and keep all the beans in a clean cotton cloth and tie the cloth lightly. Keep it in warm place under a basket or any heavy dish. Don’t let the cloth dry, spray water to supply moisture necessary for sprout growth. Usually within a day, you will see nice, long sprouts appears. Before using this for sabzi wash sprouts thoroughly through running water.
  • Grind together sesame seeds and half of the chopped onions to a fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a pressure cooker or in any large sauce pan with a lid. Add cumin seeds and dried red chillies and wait for them to get lightly brown.
  • Add chopped onions, crushed ginger-garlic, green chillies, onion-sesame paste and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste and cook covered until the oil separates.
  • Add the potatoes and cook covered for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the sprouted  moth/matki beans and cook covered until the beans are tender but not mushy about 20-25 minutes or so.
  • Add the grated coconut and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves, some onions and lemon.
  • Serve piping hot and enjoy  this with roti.