Posts Tagged ‘Indian food’

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

Yesterday, when we were just sitting and thinking what to make for dinner or should we go out to eat. Then hubby dear suggested to make some aloo paratha. Hubby loves any kind of stuffed paratha especially aloo paratha. Paratha with some yogurt and pickle…ahh, sounds bliss to me too!

But then I didn’t wanted to make same plain stuffed paratha. Hence this idea came into my mind to use some mint leaves and cucumber. Cucumber, why?? I saw my dear friend adding grated cucumber to thalipeeth (will have that recipe for you soon) which I liked. So I kneaded the dough with this two ingredients. As this was my first attempt, adding mint leaves to the paratha, I wasn’t sure about the end result. But as soon as I made one paratha and give it my son and saw him eating I Knew it must be really good and then followed his comment, ‘yummy mama’. Incidently that is the only word he knows to say after having some food, well I will take it.. 🙂  . But really the parathas were so good that you can eat just as is without any pickle or yogurt on side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated seedless cucumber
  • 2  1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds plus 1 more tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 2 green chillies( you can adjust according to your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

For potato filling:

  • 1 medium Idaho potato
  • 2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mango powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour with yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, green chilli, ginger, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, coriander powder and olive oil. Knead it into a soft dough by adding little water. Once done keep the dough aside covered for 30 minutes or so.
  • Meanwhile pressure cook potato, peel and mash the same.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat, add onions, garlic, green chillies. Cook for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste and cook for another 1 minutes or until the raw smell of the spices disappears.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and mango powder to the masala and mix well and keep it aside.
  • Divide the dough into ball-sized portions and roll between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.
  • Take this ball sized dough and make a small pouch to fill the stuffing and gently close the pouch by joining all the sides together.
  • Press this stuffed pouch in between your palms to flatten it,  and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and roll it into circle about 5-6 inch in diameter.
  • Heat the griddle and fry the paratha by glazing the oil on the surface of the paratha. Repeat this for the other side of paratha too.
  • The paratha is done when both the side is golden brown.
  • Serve  with yogurt and pickles of your choice.

Shrimp Biryani

Posted: June 10, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food, Rice
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Biryani is a rice based dish made usually with basmati rice, vegetable or meat and aromatic spices.This is again a dish brought in India by Mughal emperors. Over period of time the dish was assimilated into regional cuisines and there are various variants of Biryani such as Hyderabadi Biryani, Kerala Biryani etc. – each one adapted to region and taste.

Making biryani is an elaborate process but the end result is always worth it. Vegetable biryani is common in my mom’s house. So, whenever she plans to make this dish she would have a long list of ingredients to get from market. Since I eat chicken, I have tried Chicken Biryani in the same way mom does for vegetable biryani. So, I was familiar with this two types of biryani.

Recently, I had Shrimp Biryani at friend’s house and it was super-duper delicious. When she started cooking this for sunday lunch the whole house was filled with delicious aroma and I couldn’t wait for her to finish the dish. It was so delicious and aromatic. So, thought of making this dish at home.

Ingredients:

For Biryani:

  • 15-16 shrimps, deveined and cleaned, tail on
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced and fried

For marinating shrimp:

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste

For Shrimp Masala:

  • 1 large onion, chopped(Blend onion, garlic, ginger and poppy seeds to a fine paste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped( Make a paste of mint leaves and green chillies)
  • 4 green chillies
  •  1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon Biryani masala powder(I have used sanjeev kapoor’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 whole pepper corns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 black cardamom
  • salt to taste

For Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 whole pepper corns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 star anise
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands

Method:

  • Wash the rice in running water until the water turns clear about two to three times. Drain the water and keep it aside.
  • Marinate the shrimp with turmeric powder, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fry the sliced onions in 1/2 cup of oil until crispy and golden brown. Once down, keep this aside.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the shrimps for about 5 minutes on low flame. Once done, keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add the whole spices and when it changes the color, add onions-ginger -garlic -poppy seeds paste and cook until the onions turns brown.
  • Now add crushed tomatoes, salt to taste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, biryani masala and garam masala and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Once the masala is cooked throughly add yogurt and mint leaves-green chillies paste to the masala and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the shrimps and salt to taste. Mix well so that all the shrimps are coated with the cooked masala and cook on a low flame for 4-5 minutes.Remove from heat and keep it aside.
  • In a separate pan heat 2 tablespoons of butter and fry the bay leaves, whole black pepper corns, cloves and add rest of the whole spices.
  • Add the rice and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Put the lid on the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is almost done on a low flame. Once the rice is done, pour saffron mixture on top and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Add the cooked rice on top of the shrimp masala and mix everything together. Also, add the fried onions to the biryani.
  • Cover the dish and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Once done garnish the biryani with coriander leaves to serve.
  • Serve with cucumber raita and salad.
  • And enjoy!

Memorial day weekend was full of fun, we were visiting our friends place in Ohio for a week. Our memorial day started early friday and we reached there around midnight. Even after a long drive as soon as we saw them we all were fully charged and ready for a long night talk. Even my two-year old does not wanted go to bed. We chatted the whole night almost till the sunrise. Then on memorial day we went for a day trip to an island in Lake Erie and enjoyed day of fun and jet skiing.

Weekend is over and after coming home it was so difficult to go in kitchen and cook something. My friend had made incredibly delicious dishes every day and pampering us with everything. It was like I have visited home and eating all delicious foods made by my mom… Just bliss!!

I still have not cooked anything so far, this dish is one that I made earlier.

Stuffed pepper or more precisely in Indian term Bharva mirch is one of my all time comfort dish, hubby loves this too. This is another one of those dish which looks like they take a lot of time and effort to put together but it is very easy. There are different variation to this recipes but traditionally this is stuffed with mashed potatoes which is seasoned with some indian spices and herbs. And you’ve got yourself a perfect, healthy and delicious side dish to serve along with roti or rice.

Ingredients:

For stuffing:

  • 1 large Idaho potato
  • 3 medium-sized green bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  •  1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  •  1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  •  2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  •  2 tablespoon white onion
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  •  1 teaspoon coriander powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  •  1/4 teaspoon raw mango powder
  •  handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  •  Salt to taste

For Masala:

  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash the green peppers well and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and membranes inside and make a hollow.Keep all cleaned peppers aside for later use.
  • Wash the potatoes and then boil till soft. Peel, mash roughly and keep aside for later use.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cook till spluttering stops. Now add  chopped onions, green chillies and garlic and fry till the onions turns light golden.
  • Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder garam masala powder and fry for 1 minute. Add the mashed potato and mix well to blend with all the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the fire, add dried mango powder and salt to taste and mix well. This will be our potato stuffing . Cool of the mixture before stuffing the peppers.
  •  Fill each green pepper to the top with the mashed potato mix. Press down and top up to ensure they are well filled.
    Heat the remaining cooking oil in a pan on a low flame. Add  the onions, garlic, green chillies and cook until the onions are soft.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder and cook for 4-5 minutes. Place the stuffed bell peppers in the pan on the masala and cook them covered on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  •  Turn them to sides in-between so that they could get brown on all sides. Place the peppers on a serving dish carefully and drop the rest of the masala on top of it to serve.
  •  Serve this scrumptious dish along with roti..

Enjoy!!

I think every one is familiar with samosa, one of the most loved and enjoyed snack of every Indian. Chaat is a street food very popular in India, there are different types of chaat. Basically chaat is a plate of savoury snack which has a base of some fried dough top with chutney and some other ingredients and masala. The common ingredients in the chaat is yogurt, tamarind chutney, green chutney, chaat masala, red chilli powder, kala namak, red chilli powder and some greens to garnish the plate. Chaat is something you can’t say no to, the name itself makes you crave for it.

Last week when we were dinning out in one of the indian restaurant, hubby ordered samosa chaat as an appetizer and it was not as good as it should be. Hence without any second thought I made this and the verdict was amazingly delicious. You can decide just looking at the pics how amazing it was!

Samosa (Click here for the recipe)

Chhole Masala Gravy ( Click here for the recipe)

Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

To serve:

  • 6 samosas
  • Chhole Masala Gravy
  • Tamarind date chutney
  • Mint chutney
  • Chaat masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt/kala namak
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup yogurt and salt beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fine sev
  • Dried cranberries for garnishing
Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

Method:

  • Take a serving plate, place two samosa on it, mash or poke the same lightly.
  • Pour a ladle full of chhole masala on top of samosa. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and onions on top.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of mint chutney and sweet tamarind date chutney and yogurt on top of this.
  • Sprinkle black salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala.
  • Garnish with chopped mint leaves, cilantro leaves, dried cranberries and sev.
  • Serve hot!
Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

Dal Pulao

Posted: May 9, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food
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Since childhood my body is programmed in such a way that I need to have rice once in a day. If I don’t have rice once, it feels like I didn’t had anything to eat and will start craving for some. Whenever we used to travel and after reaching home, the only food you want to have is simple dal chawal(rice).  Atleast this happens to everyone in my house.
Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking from the scratch but still wanted to have something simple which requires not much cooking and still satisfy my palate. For those days this one pot meal is perfectly fits in the menu.  This dish is simple pulao with orange lentil and some veggies. You can add or omit whatever you have in your hand and make this.Hence made this version of pulao which is truly satisfying and delicious at the same time.
Dal Pulao

Dal Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper+green bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon corinader powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
Dal Pulao

Dal Pulao

Method:

  • Heat oil in a deep skillet, add cumin seeds and let it get brown.
  • Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, green chillies and cook until onions turns slight brown in color.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, carrots, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Wash rice and dal together for 2-3 times in running water and then add it to the pan and mix everything together.
  • Add 2 cups of water, cover the pan and cook on medium heat untl the rice is done and all the water is evaporated.
  • In between the half way of cooking rice, add chopped pepper to the pan and mix everything and cook.
  • Once done, uncover the pan and fluff it with fork and serve hot with raita and pickle of your choice. Enjoy!!
Dal Pulao

Dal Pulao

Masala Shrimp

Posted: April 18, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food
Tags: , , , , ,

Masala shrimp is one of the easiest preparation of this fish I have tried recently. Also, I have never cooked this fish from the scratch, I mean starting from cleaning,  deveining and then preparing this for our dinner…impressive atleast for me. I always get the cleaned shrimp from the store but this time thought of cleaning by myself. And to my surprise it was not that hard of work to do… 🙂

Without further delay here’s goes the recipe for deliciously yummy masala shrimp.

Masala Shrimp

Masala Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and devined
  • 3 small white onions
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 1 green chilli, deveined and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cilantro leaves, for garnish

Method:

  • Heat oil in pan over medium high heat, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let it get splutter.
  • Add chopped onions followed by garlic and ginger,cook until onions are lightly brown.
  • Add tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder , curry leaves and salt to taste and cook until oil separates.
  • Now add cleaned shrimp to the masala and cook for  2-3 minutes or until the shrimp turns opaque.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle cilantro leaves on top to serve.
Masala Shrimp

Masala Shrimp