One Day One New Recipe – Simple Baingan Bharta

Baingan (Brinjal) Bharta in an Asian dish mostly made in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is a vegetarian dish and is known for the smoky flavour that it gets due to the procedure of cooking this dish. It has many versions of recipes. You will find a lot of them on the internet. I found a very simple recipe one day but I am not able to find it again. It has only 6 ingrdients including salt.

I do not have step by step pictures. Check this site for most apt pictures. My recipe is very simple. Simplest in fact, compared to the others on the internet but I promise it is a lip smacking as others.

All you need – Ingredients

  • 1 medium size bringal (take only as big as your stove)
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato finely chopped
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Handful coriander finely chopped
  • Red chilli powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Salt as per taste.

Method

  1. Rinse the baingan (brinjal) in water. Wipe it dry with a kitchen napkin. Apply some oil, only enough to grease it lightly and keep it for roasting on an open flame. Use the net shown in the pictures for convenient roasting. Let it cook well on one side. The skin should char and turn into black skin. Rotate on the other sides and let it roast well.
  2. Once done, check with knife. It should pass through easily.
  3. Remove the brinjal from heat and add to a vessel that has water. Let it cool.
  4. Once it is cool enough for you to touch it, remove the skin. Be careful. The charred skin might get mixed with the rest of the pulp.
  5. Take a kadai. Add oil and onion to heated kadai. Stir till onion changes colour. Add tomato and cook it well. Add red chili powder.
  6. Pulp the brinjal and add to kadai. Add salt and stir. Put a lid and let it cook for 10-15 mins.
  7. Add chopped coriander, stir and put the lid for couple of more minutes.

Baigan Bharta is ready to serve. Serve with hot chapatis or a side dish with rice.

Note: 1 medium size brinjal is not enough for 2 serves if you are only planning to have chapati and bharta.

Enjoy cooking and send me pictures!

Picture Courtesy: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/

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One Day One New Recipe – Pumpkin (Lal Bhopla) Soup

Healthy doesn’t necessarily have to be bland and boring. Thanks to Dahlia Sam of Simple Indian Recipes, I discovered something that is tasty and healthy. I have made my variations and added some technique to her recipe. I loved it. So will you.

You can read about benefits of pumpkin here

Let us get started.

All you need – Ingredients

  • Little more than Half of 1/4 kg Red pumpkin sliced (These days you also get pre-cut pumpkin)
  • 1 medium sized Onion sliced
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 5-6 Peppercorns (Adjust spice according to your taste)
  • 1 -2 cups Water
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • Salt
  • Oregano for seasoning

Method

In a kadhai or cooking bowl add butter. Add cloves and peppercorns to that. Cook for 30 secs and add onions. Let it fry till it changes colour. Add pumpkin, salt and a cup of water. Close the lid and let it cook. Check in about 7-8 mins. If the pumpkin seems a little soft then take the kadhai off the heat. If not, let it cook until soft. There is no fear of over cooking but make sure pumpkin is soft.

Cool it. Grind this mixture in a mixer. Make into fine paste. Add a little water if required and grind it. Pour it in the kadhai again and let it cook till it comes to boil. Take it off the heat.

Take a plastic sieve/ big tea net. Sieve the soup in another vessel so that you can get rid of loose fibre that might not taste too good. One loves smooth texture of soup. Once done, add oregano or any of your favourite pizza seasoning.

Your soup is ready to serve. Works well as a replacement for heavy dinner.

Pumpkin Soup

 

 

Notes:

Here is the original recipe. http://simpleindianrecipes.com/Home/PumpkinSoup.aspx

 

One Day One New Recipe – Hyderabadi Kadhi with Pakoda

Things in kitchen are going well but I have had no time to update the new recipes that I have tried. Thanks to the people on internet and the recipe books for all the recipes. My life is much easier in the kitchen because of you guys. I would have been lost without you. It is true that it needs a lot of practice but it is also true that it takes years to be consistent in the kitchen. Although I am just surviving, I am not afraid to try new things and I expect a lot from myself. Yesterday, I faced my biggest fear. Cooking with dahi /yogurt. I most definitely used to feel it will go wrong. Anything with curd or milk. Thanks to this recipe I found in one on a blog called Hyderabadi cuisine, I have conquered that fear. I made some changes in that myself and have also incorporated my experience in making this, in the procedure. Unfortunately, the pictures I have taken are not so good. It is not presentable. I will be sure to take a proper pictures of this, next time I make it.

This dish has a lot of ingredients but they are basic so don’t be scared.

All you need – Ingredients

Base

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 onion (if you wish to have with chapati / roti) (omit this if you want to have with rice)
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger paste & Garlic paste
  • 2.5 – 3 tbsp Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 5-6 Curry leaves
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • Salt to taste

Ground Masala

  • 1 tbsp black mustard (Rai)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 4-5 green chilies

Pakoda

  • 1 cup Besan (Gram Flour)
  • 1 tbsp Red Chili
  • 1/4 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • Pinch of Baking Soda Powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger paste & Garlic paste
  • Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves (finely chopped) (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup oil for frying

Takda (Seasoning)

  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 tbsp Black mustard seeds (Rai)
  • 2-4 Garlic Cloves (optional)
  • 1 Dried Red chili  (optional) (I used it)

Let us get started –

Roast the masala first so that you have time enough to cool them before grinding. Take a tadka spoon, add black mustard and cumin seeds. Roast on low flame till cumin seeds change colour. Keep aside.

Make the base now. In a large bowl add the yoghurt; beat it with the spoon or a whisk to make it smooth. Then take a small cup, add a little water, mix Besan and whisk it to make a paste (much like peanut butter but thinner) so that there are no lumps. Pour over into the yoghurt mix it well without lumps. Add ginger & garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt, and mix it well.

Once the roasted masala has cooled off, grind it to powder. Take it out and then grind the chilies. Remember, since the chilies and the roasted masalas are so few / little they will not turn to paste instantly. So grind them as fine as you can. Do not worry if it is not in the finest form. Mix them all together and keep side.

Method 1:

In a large cooking bowl (kadhai – iron ones are the best. Non stick kadhais sometimes are not that great. But you can use one if you have only that), pour yoghurt mixture. Original recipe said you will have to pour it over a net so that the coarse mixture is separated. I did not; it turned out well anyway. Just telling you so that you can try if you want to. Then add sliced onion, green chilies (optional), curry leaves (teat with fingers for better fragrance) and garlic cloves (crush with stone or with a pakkad / chimta) into the cooking bowl. Add half a cup or little more water and leave it on low heat till its thick paste. Stir often to prevent burning, if required, from time to time. Switch off the gas when the consistency seems right.

Method 2: Alternatively, you can add all the ingredients except for yoghurt batter in the kadhai and fry it in a little oil and then add the yoghurt mixture. I prefer first method because you are cutting down the need for oil there. So use method 2 if you do not mind that extra tsp of oil.

 

Let us now make the pakodas

Honestly, I did not get what the method is like from the original recipe. I have made the way I understood it. It was yumm so I will not complain. I would love it if someone can tell me a better way to make the pakodas or rather correct way of making these pakodas for kadhi.

In a bowl add besan, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, only a pinch of baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients well. Add water little by little and mix to form a thick, smooth batter (like you make for making potato bhaji or brinjal bhaji but little thicker), add ginger paste and garlic paste, chopped coriander and mix well. Keep it aside

Meanwhile in a saucepan add oil at medium high heat. Add the batter slowly in the pan with a small table spoon, otherwise they will not form into pakoda. They will separate and become big boondis. (Amateur tip of confidence – Doesn’t matter. You can add those boondi type fried stuff as well. They might not be aesthetic but they taste the same) Let batter fry until it is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Keep adjusting the flame from low to medium. The batter separates in very hot oil. Make bite size so that it is easy to pop it in the kadhi and the frying time per pakoda is less and they cook well.

WARNING: Keep them away from fried-food lovers because they might finish the pakodas before you get time enough to add them in the kadhi. Or make an extra batch. I bet they are THAT tasty.

If you are successful in saving them, then add into the yoghurt batter right before eating. You can save this step for right before when you are about to eat. The pakodas will be crispier.

Now time for seasoning –

Take a tadka spoon.  Heat oil add cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, after few seconds add garlic cloves (optional) & dried red chilies and stir for few seconds remove from the heat. Add this to the yoghurt batter and put a lid on it. Let it cook for 3-5 mintues and take it off the heat

Serve hot with chapatis / rotis / steamed rice.

Serve the pakodas separately so people can add as many as they wish to.

Note: Make the kadhi thinner if you want to eat with rice. Make it thicker if you want to eat with chapati or roti. Add onions to yoghurt batter only if you are eating with chapati.

Original Recipe Courtesy: http://hyderabadicuisinerecipes-angel.blogspot.com/2011/07/dahi-ki-kadhi.html

 

 

How to make Khaman Dhokla

Khaman dhokla is a savory steamed item like idli made from besan. I love the tangy sweet flavour of this dish! It is a rather filling snack and is popular as a Gujarati dish. The recipe that I am going to write down is an instant one. Since, the time I have made this on my own it has become my favourite snack. Initially, I heard from a lot of people that it is difficult to make but when I tried it this way, it was a piece of cake, quite literally. So go ahead and try it today!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups besan/gram flour
  • 1 tbsp rava or semolina (optional)
  • 3 tsp ginger-green chili paste (You may use  a whole chili and ginger and grind it together with the batter in a mixer)
  • 1 sachet of regular eno (for 1 cup of besan) or fruit salt or ½ to ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 2 to 3 pinches of turmeric powder (very little. it reacts with the soda or fruit salt and turns red)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • Salt or as required
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 cup water (adjust the water according to the requirement) or you can use ready made diluted buttermilk
For tempering:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, about 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 green chili, chopped (optional)

Sugar syrup:

  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tsp sugar
  • 1 glass water

How to make:

First prepare the batter –

  1. Grease a steamer pan nicely with ¼ to ½ tsp oil. Dhokla will come out as a cake only if the pan is greased properly.
  2. Take 1.5 to 2 cups besan or gram flour in a mixing bowl or pan.
  3. Add 2 to 3 pinches of turmeric powder, a generous pinch of asafoetida, 1 tsp lime juice, ginger, green chilies and salt in a mixer along with the besan. Add a little diluted buttermilk.
  4. The batter should be thick yet free flowing. the amount of water/ buttermilk required depends on the quality of flour, so add as required.
  5. Stir and then add 1 tbsp rava or sooji if you think the batter is too runny. Rava will soak some water. Stir so that there are no lumps.
  6. Bring to a boil 2 to 3 cups of water in a steamer. Keep the pan in the steamer for a while so that it heats up as well.
  7. Add fruit salt / baking soda to the dhokla batter. It will fluff and foam will form. Baking soda gives the soapy aroma if used in excess and the dhokla makes you feel uncomfortable behind your throat. So I prefer Eno /Fruit salt.
  8. Stir quickly. The fruit salt should be mixed evenly with the batter. Make sure the texture is not uneven.
  9. The batter would froth and become bubbly. You will quickly have to pour it in steamer pan.
  10. Your dhokla is now ready to be steamed.
  11. Leave it for 15-20 mins. Check once in 15 mins by inserting a toothpick. If the batter sticks to the toothpick steam it a little longer.
  12. Once, it is perfectly steamed, take it out of the steamer. Take a small knife and gently slide along the edges and turn it on the plate. It should look like a cake. Cut it in squares.
  13. Make sugar syrup by adding water sugar and lemon juice. Slowly pour it over dhokla. It will take in water. After sometime, add some more.

Tempering:

  1. Heat oil and add mustard when the oil is heated.
  2. Add cumin, curry leaves, green chillies and sesame seeds (til)
  3. Once done, pour it on the dhokla.
  4. You may garnish it with coriander leaves and grated coconut

There is a recipe to make the dhokla in microwave as well but I have not tried it. You can check this website for recipe.

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Cooking Tips for Indian Cooking #1

I have decided, I will learn one thing about Indian cooking everyday. I will refer to Internet, ask my Mom or remember tips from people and note them here. You are free to share some of your tips as well. Let us learn together.

Today’s Tip – Tip #1

When frying, the oil should be in the correct temperature. If its too hot, the outside will get browned up too quickly before the inside gets cooked. If its not hot enough, the fried food will absorb too much oil before getting cooked.

Quick and Simple Basundi

My husband just loves Basundi. People used to tell me it is difficult to make. Even my mom has not tried making it. Someone told me this simple recipe for what I think is one of the most delicious creation by human beings. There is a lot of effort but the procedure is simple.

Ingredients –

  • 1 litre full fat milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • dry fruits (optional)
  • Kesar optional

How to make –

  1. Pour milk (1 litre full fat milk) in a thick bottomed sauce pan or kadai.
  2. Keep stirring on low flame and stir till it thickens
  3. Once it thickens slightly add sugar and keep stirring.
  4. You will have to stir often so that it does not stick to the bottom. Milk also has a tendency to turn brown or burn.
  5. Let it thicken. There will be milk solid stuck to the vessels. Scrape it and put it back in the basundi mixture.
  6. Add dry fruits if you wish. I like it plain.

Honestly, I got a little tired of the stirring, so don’t go by the picture. But it had a homely taste to it, so it was lovely anyway. For correct reference of how it should look. refer some pictures on the internet.

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How to make Pitla?

This is a Maharashtrian comfort food had with rice bhakris or any other bhakri or even chapatis. Only thing you need to chop is the onions and chilies.

Ingredients –

 

  • 1 cup Gram Flour / Besan
  • Water 4 cups
  • 3 tsp Oil
  • 6 – Green Chillies
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic (depending upon how much you like the flavour)
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Corriandar leaves for garnishing
  • Salt to taste

How to make?

 

  • First take besan, add a little water and make a smooth paste. Keep rest of the water aside for using it later.
  • Heat oil add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and onion, saute till onion becomes translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder and garlic and green chilli paste, fry for a minute. (You may add chopped garlic, ginger and chilies, instead of paste. In that case, be careful how much red chili powder you put. It might become very spicy.)
  • Add besan paste, mix and keep on adding small amount of water till you get right consistency. There is another method. You can add all the water and then boil it till it gets the consistency of paste.
  • Add salt and garnish with coriander leaves.

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Click here for another recipe for Pitla if you want to try.

Tip: While cooking you might think it is a little watery but it pulls in more water as you keep for longer hours. You might have to put a little more water and reheat it before serving.