Monday, September 30, 2013

Jowar Masala Rotla (white millet Indian flat bread)

Hi Readers,

In my school days, we had a story in English literature in 6th standard as far as I remember, that had a little child taking millet's chapati from his grand mom when he visited wood to collect fire wood. I was really curious as to what is millet's. When I asked my parent, they explained that Ragi ( Mandia as we call in Odia) is one of the millet. Millet has Jowar (white millet) and Bajra ( Pearl millet) and Ragi (finger millet) in its category. My mom sometimes used to prepare Ragi that we used mix with curd and sugar and have as breakfast. But, I had never really tasted the Chapati out of it.

When I came to Bangalore, I had many wonderful dishes made of Ragi (Ragi balls, ragi dosha, Ragi chapati and Ragi Paratha). I started liking it, specially Ragi Masala chapati or paratha. Now, my craze was to taste the other millets. In my near by grocer store, I saw all these flours and my desire increased to make them and taste them. Thanks to internet, I got wonderful Rotla recipe from Gujurat. I tried this with Jowar flour, and the taste was really good. Now, its not always, plain wheat fulka's for dinner everyday or the same variation of paratha's. I now prepare different millet's Roti for dinner occasionally. The taste of Jowar Rotla is quiet similar to Akki roti (Rice flour roti) from Karnataka.

Jowar or white millet or Sorghum is rich source of dietary fiber, iron, phosphorous and thiamine. So, its good to include these in millet's in our meals.

I hope I haven't bored you with my experiment and curiosity so far. Lets now move to the recipe.

1 1/2 cups Jowar/sorghum flour
1/4 cup wheat flour(handful and optional)
3/4 cup grated cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp green chili paste
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste

Take a wide bowl and mix Jowar flour,wheat flour and salt.
Add grated bottle gourd,chopped onions,green chili paste,coriander,cumin seeds,sesame seeds and mix well until the mixture is completely moistened by the water from cucumber and onions.
Now add some warm(to medium heat) water if required and mix well until you get the dough similar to the roti dough and rest the dough for 10-15 mins.You can even use it immediate if required.
Take a handful of dough and make it into round balls of Orange size.
Smear the Rotti tawa(Non-stick/normal dosa pan) with little bit of oil all over the tawa and place the rotti dough in center and press it gently with hands and spread into a thin layer by rotating the pan and by immersing the hand in a bowl of water in between which helps in patting the dough evenly and smoothly on the tawa. If you are not comfortable, you can roll it similar to roti. Make it as thin as not bother if small gaps are there,that makes the rotti even crispier.
Pour little oil over it and cover it with a lid and place it on fire on medium flame.Let it cook for 2 mins.Keep an eye on it to check in b whether it is done or not.Once you see the red patches started forming increase the flame and cook it.Try to rotate the tawa in order to get an evenly roasted rotti. No need to turn it on the other side.
Serve this right off from the flame and on to the plate with a dollop of fresh white butter and some Thokku(smashed pickle type generally made up of either mango or tomato) and masala dahi. Here, I have served with Potala Rasa. 

jhal muri

Hi Readers,
I like the road side Jhal muri, espcially the one that you get in train when you travel across Odisha or Bengal. Puffed rice ( Muri or Bhel) is eaten in many different ways. Mumbai Bhel puri is also very famous. But, this one is from Bengal and does not have any sweet taste like Mumbai Bhel puri. In Odisha, Baripada and Balasore are famous for their Muri recipe especially with Meat gravy. People do not complete their meal without having Muri at the end. It is just like eating curd rice as a custom in south.

Ingredients :-
1 cup puffed rice ("Muri")
1/4 cup chickpea flour noodles (" Sev")
1/4 cup fried lentils (" Channa Dal")
1/4 cup roasted peanuts with skin, crushed
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
1/4 mild onion, chopped
1 tablespoon mixed pickle oil
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon mustard oil

Method :-
Combine the puffed rice, chickpea flour noodles, fried lentils and peanuts in a large bowl. Stir in the mung bean sprouts, cilantro, coriander leaves, ginger, tomato, cucumber and onions to combine. Add the pickle oil, lime juice, serve immediately. I feel even taking pictures hamper the dish, the crunchiness reduces so immediately consume it.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Paneer Jalfrezi

Hi Readers,

I tried Paneer Jalfrezi for Lunch yesterday. It is quite easy dish compared to other Paneer dishes. It is basically a stir fry of vegetables with Paneer and the main distinguishing factor is the manner in which vegetables are cut. All of them are chopped into finger like strips. Lets now have a look at the recipe.

Ingredients :- 
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 large onion, halved and finely sliced
1/2 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 small green pepper, quartered, de-seeded and sliced (150g)
2 ripe Tomatoes, quartered and sliced
150 g paneer, cubed
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped (=cilantro)


Heat oil in a skillet and fry cumin seeds for one minute.

Add onion and fry on low heat until soft. Add more oil if necessary.

Add ginger and garlic paste and fry for a few seconds until well blended.

Sprinkle in the spice powders and some salt and cook on low heat until the oil begins to separate in about 3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.

Add the sliced pepper pieces, stir and simmer gently until they are nearly done but still hold their shape, for about 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and paneer and cook for about 2 minutes until soft but not mushy; the tomatoes will begin to soften at once because of the salt that has already been added.

Check the seasoning (you may need to add a little bit more salt, take off the heat and serve hot, sprinkled with fresh coriander. 
This is a part of main course that served with rice preparations or with roti, chapati or paratha. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vegetable Sevai or Semiya(vermicelli) upma

Hi Readers,

Today,  had prepared Semiya Upma as breakfast. This is easy recipe and can be prepared when you are quite busy. It uses not much spices and is healthy vegetable recipe for breakfast. Here, is the recipe for you.

3 ½ Cup - Vegetables, chopped (I used carrots, peas)
1 ½ Cup - Vermicelli / Semiya, roasted
3 Cups - Water
1 - Onion
1 ½ Tsp – Garlic, grated
½ Tsp – Ginger, grated
1 Tsp - Black Mustard Seeds
2 pinch – Asafetida
1 sprig – Curry Leaves
3 – Green Chilly
¼ Tsp – Turmeric powder
½ Tsp – Jeera / Cumin powder
½ Cup – Coriander leaves/ Cilantro, chopped(optional)
1/2 Tsp – Chat Masala (optional)
2 Tsp – Lemon Juice
10 - Cashew nuts, roasted (optional)
Oil or Ghee (Clarified butter)

Method :- 
Roast the vermicelli and add 1 tbsp ghee when almost done. Turn off flame and keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add mustard seed and allow them to splutter.
Add asafetida followed by onions, curry leaves, green chilly, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent
Mix in turmeric powder, jeera powder and chat masala
Stir in the vegetables, roasted vermicelli and water and season with salt
Cook until all the water has been absorbed.
Take off the heat and add lemon juice and garnish with roasted cashew nuts and fresh chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).
Notes and Tips
Add 2 Tsp of ghee (clarified butter) to the vegetable mixture along with the water and vermicelli. This imparts a great flavor and will avoid vermicelli from being sticky
This is a great dish for kids who like noodles. It is healthy as it has a lot of vegetables. You can add other vegetables like broclli, spinach, corn etc.
Mix the cooked vermicelli with fork.
Make sure you use roasted vermicelli for this dish.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Green Pea Penne Pasta

Hi Readers,

Green Pea and Penne could be cooked in many different ways, but this one is really easy and not much time consuming. I make it for breakfast usually, when I am busy cooking lunch. This hardly takes 15 to 20 mins for cooking.

Ingredients :- 
1 cup Penne Pasta
1/2 cup green pea boiled
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp Italian mixed herbs
Method :- 
Heat 250 ml water in a saucepan. Add Penne pasta and cook on medium flame till pasta is half done. Remove from flame and keep it aside. In a thick bottomed pan , add little vegetable or olive oil. Add all purpose flour and mix it well, add milk and keep mixing till it forms a good white sauce. Add Penne pasta and boiled green peas. Add salt, Italian mixed herbs and cook till pasta is cooked properly. Serve hot. 

Note:- You can add various other Italian ingredients like Zucchini, Squash, Mascarpone  Cheese etc to add to the flavor.

Potala/Parwal Rasa (Diabetic friendly)

Hi Friends,

Today, I am going to post about one of the most well known Odia recipe Potala Rasa. I am very fond of Potala/ Parwal and I like this dish made by my Mom. Well, there is twist that my Mom has come up with, to make it healthy with less oil. The original Potala Rasa recipe uses Potato and cashew nut paste and requires more oil to fry vegetables. In this version, I have not used Potato and cashew nut paste. Taste wise, it does not vary much from original recipe. Look wise it looks more greenish and yellowish as its cooked using Pressure cooker.

When we cook using pressure cooker, the ingredients tend to retain its original color unless we add up spices that change the color. But, yes the smell and aroma of the dish remains the same as in original Potala Rasa. As Odia I really like Potala as a vegetable and thus I try to avoid Potato and cashew to make it healthy.  Next time, I get this vegetable I will prepare the original recipe of Potala Aloo Rasa and post that for your use. One more thing, by cooking with Pressure cooker, you save time and energy. More over it becomes easier to make this. Lets now have a look at the recipe.

Ingredients :- 
Potala/Parwal  - 250 gms -peeled & each one cut into two half's with a tilt as shown in figure 
1 medium size Onion chopped length wise
2 Tomatoes chopped or pureed
1 tbsp coriander power
1/2 tbsp cumin and red chili dry roast powder
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp oil 

Rasa Paste Ingredients :- 
1 cup fresh coconut 
6 to 7 garlic flakes
1/2 inch ginger
2 green chili 
2 tbsp water to grind

Method :- Grind the ingredients for Rasa paste and keep aside.
Heat a Pressure cooker. Add oil (just enough to fry the onions). Add cumin seeds. Add Onion and fry till it turns pink. Add tomato, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder, cumin and red chili powder and cook for 1 min. Add the Rasa paste and cook for another 30 sec. Add the cut vegetables and mix it well, so that the paste sticks to vegetables. Now, if required sprinkle little water cover and cook in medium flame till 1 whistle. Remove and let it cool down automatically. Open and serve hot with steamed rice and dal or chapati.

Note:- you can add potatoes and cashew nut paste as well, but since this is for diabetic I have not used it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chocolate Ganache Cake (Pressure cooker cake)

Hi Readers,

This was my first trial of baking in pressure cooker. I just tried this out of curiosity and wanted to make something delicious for my husband. Thankfully, it turned out to be a successful experiment. I made a vanilla flavored cake and decorated it with chocolate Ganache. One thing I made Ganache quite thick so it covered whole of cake, making it look more like a chocolate cake. You can make Ganache little thinner if you intend to drip it from all sides. Here, goes the recipe for you.

Ingredients for Cake :- 
1 and 1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup refined oil or plain butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for Ganache :-

12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
optional 3 tablespoons flavored liquid

Method :- 
Mix all the ingredients for cake and beat it well, not to leave any lumps.

1. Decide on a good, uncomplicated recipe for your pressure cooker cake. I will share the recipe of the cake in the picture above very soon but I would guess that pretty much all cake recipes will work well in a pressure cooker too. Prepare the batter and set aside.

2. Use a pressure cooker that's at least 5 ltrs .
3. Remove the gasket (the rubber insulation thing) on the lid of your pressure cooker. This is an important step. You also do NOT need the whistle.
4. My pressure cooker came with a perforated stand that goes at the bottom of the cooker pan. It distributes heat more evenly and is especially useful when baking in the pressure cooker. If you don't have, try to find a substitute. Maybe a small, thick steel plate would do the job as well.
It's better not to have the cake pan touch the bottom of the pressure cooker directly since that may cause the bottom of the cake to cook more rapidly. Another option is to place the pressure cooker on a flat griddle or tawa and cook the cake. It's just an insulation between the flame and the bottom of the cooker to protect the cake.
5. Another important thing to remember is, do NOT add any water to the pressure cooker pan for baking a cake. If you do, you will be steaming the cake but here we are trying to create an oven-like environment using a pressure cooker, as much as possible. The heat generated in the pressure cooker will be enough to cook/bake the cake.

6. Before starting to bake the cake, you need to pre-heat the pressure cooker. For this, just place the lid (without gasket) on the pressure cooker (which should contain no water) and cook on high heat for 2 mins.
7. Now you can put the cake batter in. Make sure to use a cake pan that fits comfortably in the pressure cooker without the sides touching. Use a pot-holder since the cooker will be hot because of the pre-heating.
After placing the batter in, close the lid and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and then lower the flame to just a simmer. The cake, depending on the size of your cake pan and pressure cooker, will take anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake

A pressure cooker is not meant for baking or using in the manner described above so consider that before using it to make a cake.
I don't expect it will burst into pieces while cooking (I was very worried about this though, without reason) but it may compromise the quality of the safety valve on the lid and the high heat may cause the handle and other parts to deteriorate a bit.
Using your pressure cooker to bake once or twice a year is probably okay but not regularly. If you bake anything more than once a month, I recommend buying an oven. It will be worth it and your options are much wider than using a pressure cooker to bake.
Always check manufacturers instructions to make sure your make and model of pressure cooker can handle this. I am not sure how a steel pressure cooker will behave, mine is a basic 5 ltr aluminium one. It's probably best not to do this in a non-stick pressure cooker since dry-heating a non-stick surface without water or oil is not advised.


Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow Ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze. The longer you allow the Ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. Typically I stick mine in the refrigerator so it is slightly cold before whipping. For piping or frosting, allow the Ganache to completely cool and set up. When you are able to spoon the Ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nuggets in Onion Masala

This is a soya nuggets recipe. As Soya is high in fiber and protein, I usually try to include this in main course. Soya nuggets make nice pulao with green peas and carrots. Well, not just rice recipes, but a number of healthy and tasty recipe's can be made out of soya chunks. For this recipe I have used Onion Masla and potato along with nuggets. You can add other vegetables as per choice.

Ingredients :- 

1 cup soya nuggets
3 medium sized onions paste
1 dalchini stick
1 bayleaf
1 green chilli chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 medium sized tomato puree
2 tomato, cut into 4 pieces and de-seeded.
2 tbsp cream (optional)
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp red chili powder
1 potato cubed
1 tbsp garam masla

Method :-
Heat half ltr water , add 1/2 tbsp salt and add nuggets to it. Cook for 2 mins and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add dalchini, bay leaf followed by Cumin seeds. When it starts to crackle, add green chili. Then add the onion paste. Cook till onion smell has been removed and onion paste starts giving out oil. If it sticks to bottom, add few drops of water. Add tomato puree and cook till oil separates. Add potato cubes, salt, turmeric, red chili powder. Mix well, add little water , cover and cook till potato is half cooked. Add soya nuggets, tomato pieces mix well and cook till gravy reduces and masala sticks to each nuggets. Check potatoes and remove from flame when done. You can add cream after removing from flame or add it just before serving. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sweet corn Mac & Cheese


Today, I have an Italian recipe for you today. Sweet corn mac and cheese with herbs.

Two 8-ounce cans creamed corn
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon onion powder, optional
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch ground nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper
Mixed herbs 1/2 tbsp
2 cups elbow macaroni
8 ounces grated mild yellow Cheddar
12 ounces grated mozzarella

Method :- In a saucepan, simmer the corn with the milk and onion powder, if using, for 5 minutes.

Combine the cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons water and stir well. Add the cornstarch to the corn mixture and whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes. Season the corn cream with a little nutmeg, salt, pepper and mixed herbs if using. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.

Boil the elbow macaroni in full rolling salted water for 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the macaroni well and add to the corn cream. Add the Cheddar, half of the mozzarella . Add the sweet corn cheese mix. This can be served now or can be baked over oven and served.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Caramel Pudding

Hi Readers,

I tried this dessert a long time ago, but never posted it. Today, while searching for some photo, I got to get this and then though of finally sharing it. Puddings generally came from Britishers. Its easy to make not too much time consuming. So, here goes the recipe for you.

For caramel:
Sugar - 20 gms
Water - 3 tbsp

For vanilla pudding:
Milk - 500 ml
Sugar - 50 gms
Eggs - 3
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp

For making caramel :
Add sugar in a dry pan and leave it untouched until the sugar melts down completely and turns slightly brown.Add water and the sugar syrup will start bubbling up.
Do not stir just swirl to heat up evenly.
Once the mixture turns golden brown then pour the caramel into moulds
 or ramekins immediately so that spreads to fill the base. 

For making vanilla pudding:
Beat the eggs and egg yolks together with vanilla essence. 
Add milk while stirring. 
Strain the mixture.
Dissolve sugar and water together until caramelized. 
Line serving dish with the caramel. 
Pour the custard over the caramel. Cover with foil. 
Place some water in a pressure cooker (enough for it to last the length of your cooking time). 
Now place something like a katori in it and then a perforated metal plate (cookers usually have them). 
Over this place the pudding to be steamed. 
The plate should be above the water, not touching it. Seal the pressure cooker and cook without the pressure for about 20 minutes. 
Take the pudding out of the cooker, turn upside down into a dish and serve.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eggless Banana Pancake

Hi Readers,

This is a Indian recipe better known as Pua in India. Its similar to Malpua but less sweeter and is not deep fried unlike Malpua. Healthy recipe as it contains less oil and less sweet. Well, banana pancake is a continental dish that has egg and can be made egg-less too. We Indians do not add baking powder to Pua(banana pancake). Almost all the dosha, cheela varieties would fall under pancake as the process of cooking over the pan remains more or less same.

I want to share a interesting story before I proceed with the recipe. Once, me and my friend visited a well known coffee shop near our locality. Just out of our curiosity we both ordered maple syrup banana pancake with vanila ice-cream. And you could guess what we got, it was banana pancake, almost same taste as our Indian Pua topped with maple syrup and vanila ice-cream. It was an innovative idea to serve the pancake this way. It looks really good and much more sophisticated compared to normal Pua. Here, is plate with same presentation for you. But, yes so much of syrup, makes it too much sweet just like malpua. I prefer little bit of syrup or honey with this dish, just enough to give it a light sweet taste.

Well, yes if want to put in so much of maple syrup, then add very little sugar to your Pancake, or else it will be too sweet. So, here goes the recipe for you.

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk (I Used 2%)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Butter

Whisk together the dry ingredients.
In a liquid measuring mug, measure 1 cup milk. To that add the vegetable oil, water and vanilla extract.
Stir in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Do not over-mix. Lumps are perfectly fine. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
Heat a griddle at medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add the butter and let it melt.
Add the melted butter to the pancake batter and return the pan to the stove. Mix the butter into the batter.
When the pan is hot enough, pour a ladle full of batter on the pan for each pancake. Cook until bubbles appear on the face of the pancake.
Carefully flip the pancake and cook until its golden brown.

For serving:
Decorate with banana slices and maple syrup. You can replace maple syrup with honey. In fact, honey and cinnamon would add more flavors to it. The first photo has the decoration with banana, vanilla ice-cream and maple syrup. But, others are simple without any decoration just with Honey cinnamon topped.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Santula Odia traditional dish

Most Odiya dishes are famous for their simplicity ,low use of oil and spices and down to earth dishes.
I will give the recipe of santula here. Basically many types of vegetables are boiled and a post tempering of garlic , onion , chili and spice is given.I do not like too much of water in it so I have reduced the water to make it look like any other sukhi Sabji. But, yes you can keep little water but not much.

Any vegetable can be used. in Varied quantity 
here I have used
Potato 1 cut to 3/4th inch
Brinjal 2 cut into 1 inch 
Pumpkin 200 gms cut to 1 inch
french beans 6 cut to 1 1/2 inch
Raw papaya 200 gms cut into cubes
2 carots cut into medium size pieces
6 to 7 urad dal badi
1 tbsp paanch phutan
oil 2 tbsp
salt to taste
cumin seeds and red chili dry roast powder 1 tbsp
1/2 cup water

Panch phodon 1 heap tsp
red dry chili 2 
green chili chopped 4 
garlic 8 cloves chopped 
small onion 1 inch dia , chopped fine.
1 tomato chopped
Oil 1 tsp ( I use 1 tsp ghee) 

Heat minimum water, add turmeric and salt, When water comes to boil add vegetables in order of their softening point.  Brinjal will go in last. Cover and boil. DON'T OVER BOIL the vegetables. Sufficient Water will be left with the vegetables. 
Dry roast badi, when it is done add little oil and roast for few seconds and remove from flame. Let it cool and then break them into pieces by pressing.

In a Khadai , heat oil / ghee , give tempering of red chili and Panch Phootan. When the aroma comes add garlic, green chili saute for few seconds  and onion.Then add tomatoes and fry for 2 mins.

Immediately add the tempering to the boiled vegetables and cover. Mix the tempering. Add cumin and red chili powder. Add fried badi and chopped coriander at last and serve hot with rice or chapati.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paneer Paratha

Hi Readers,

Here is Paneer Paratha recipe for you. In my household, paratha does not go alone. My husband likes to have any kind of sukhi (dry or stir-fried) curry with it. So, I have presented this with french beans and potato curry. As such Paratha goes well with raita/curd and some pickle.

For The Dough
3/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

To Be Mixed Into A Stuffing
1 1/2 cups grated paneer (cottage cheese)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)
1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
few cashew-nuts roasted and broken into pieces
few kis-mis
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
1/4 tbsp ajwain(carom seeds)
salt to taste

Other Ingredients
whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
ghee for cooking

For the dough
Combine all the ingredients and knead into a soft, smooth dough using enough water.
Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Keep aside.

How to proceed
Divide the stuffing into 5 equal portions. Keep aside.
Roll out one portion of the dough into a circle of 75 mm. (3") diameter using whole wheat flour for rolling.
Place one portion of the stuffing in the center of the circle. Bring together all the sides in the center and seal tightly.
Roll out again into a square of 125 mm. (5") using whole wheat flour.
Cook on a hot tava (griddle), using a little oil, until both sides are golden brown.
Repeat with the remaining dough and stuffing to make 4 more parathas.
Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Besan ka Cheela

Besan ka cheela or gram flour based salty pancakes are sure to satisfy your rumbling appetite and demanding taste buds. A simple pancake recipe with besan combined with onions, tomato and chillies and then spread on a pan with little oil. I have used cucumber in this recipe just to make it a little different.

2 cups besan (bengal gram flour)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tsp chopped green chillies
1/2 cup chopped coriander (dhania)
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1/2 cup grated cucumber
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
salt to taste
oil for cooking

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and gradually add (approx 1 1/2 cup) water to get smooth and dropping consistency batter.
Heat a non-stick tava on a high flame then turn the flame to medium.
Add little oil and spread it evenly, pour a spoonfull of batter and rotate the pan clock wise to spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Cover it with the lid and allow to cook for 4 to 5 minutes on a medium flame or till it turns to brown in colour and crisp.
Open the lid, drizzle some oil and turn it upside down and cook the other side till it turns to brown in colour and crispy.
Repeat the same process with the remaining batter.
Serve hot with green chutney or tomato sauce.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bharwa Lauki /Stuffed Bottle gourd

Hi Readers,

This is another Rajasthani dish, that I tried this weekend. This is a nice dish for all those who do not like Lauki(bottle gourd) much. Well, this is a nice dish made of Lauki but I like Lauki ke kofte over this dish. Next time, I get Lauki at home, I will prepare Kofte and share with you the recipe that I learnt from my mom. Now, talking about this stuffed lauki gravy, it is no doubt a better curry over the normal lauki curry, it has nice flavours, but I felt the stuffing over powering Lauki. Though, my husband liked it very much. now, let me share the recipe.

For The Lauki
peeled ash gourd
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil

1/2 cup grated low fat paneer (cottage cheese)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp ginger green-chilli paste
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
1/2 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp finely chopped mixed dry fruits
1 tsp cornflour
salt to taste
Mix the ingredients and keep aside.

For The Gravy
2 tsp oil
1 small stick cinnamon (dalchini)
3 cloves (laung / lavang)
3 Tomatoes puried
1/2 tbsp ginger and chili paste
1 tbsp garam Masala
turmeric powder
salt as per taste
1/2 tbsp red chili powder
sugar (optional)
I have added the scooped out lauki in gravy.(optional)

Method :- 

For the lauki
Combine the white pumpkin, salt and 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.

Cut the white pumpkin horizontally into 2 equal portions.
Scoop out the inside pulp, discard it and keep the white pumpkin shell aside.
Stuff both the scooped out white pumpkin shells with the prepared filling and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and shallow-fry both the stuffed pumpkins till brown spots appear on both the sides. Remove and keep aside.

For the gravy
Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai, add the cinnamon and cloves and sauté on a medium flame for 30 seconds.
Add the tomato purée, ginger-green chilli paste, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala, sugar and salt and cook stirring continuously till the mixture leaves oil from the sides.
Add 1/4 cup of water and bring to boil. Keep aside.

To serve
Cut the stuffed white pumpkins into 25 mm. (1") thick slices and place them on a serving dish.
Pour the hot gravy over the stuffed white pumpkin slices.
Serve hot garnished with coriander.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Kaankoda Tarkari

Spine gourd is locally known as Kaankoda in Odia( Khekshi, khekasha, Kantola, Bhat Kerela, Bhat Karola , Kantavli, Kartoli etc). This vegetable is seasonal and we can find it in the markets during summer and monsoon season in India.It is rich in fiber and vitamins and used to make subzi and curries in India.It has many beneficial medicinal properties.It is cooling to the body,easy to digest,good for cough, fevers, increases appetite and good for the kidneys .Lactating mothers can eat this veggie to decrease the problem of vomiting in infants. Recent research shows that it has good for diabetics. Its scientific name is Mormodica dioica.

Ingredients :-

10 - 12 Kaankoda - cut into four pieces each.
1 large size potato cubed.
1 Onion finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 green chilli chopped
2 ripe tomatoes chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp coriander powder
salt to taste
 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp coriander leaves to sprinkle
1 tbsp Cumin seeds or Paanch Phutan (cumin, fennel, Fenugreek, mustard & kala Jeera or Kalonji)

Method :-  Heat oil in a pan and add Kaankoda and potato. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and salt cover and cook till vegetables are half done. Remove from flame. Heat the remaining oil , add Paanch Phutan to it. When it starts cracking add chili, onion and cook till onion turns pink. Add ginger garlic paste and cook till smell is reduced. now add the tomatoes, garam masala, coriander powder and cook till the masala starts separating oil. Add the cooked vegetables and add enough water to make a thick gravy. Cover and cook till vegetables are done. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rava Dosa

Instant and Crispy Rava Dosa Recipe

Prep time - under 5 minutes

Ingredients needed

Rice flour - 1 1/2 cup
Rava - 1/2 cup
Maida/ all pupose flour - 2 tbsp
Jeera/cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Whole black pepper - 1 tsp
Green chilli -1 very finely chopped
Thick Buttermilk - 1/4 cup
Onion -1
Water - 2  3/4 cup
Oil for making dosas
Salt as needed


Mix rava in 1/4 cup buttermilk and leave it for 15 minutes.

Chop onions and green chillies very finely.

First we will see how to prepare rava dosa batter-

In a bowl, mix together rice flour, all purpose flour, cumin seeds, whole black pepper, green chillies and salt needed. Add the rava + butter milk mix to it. Then add approximately 2 3/4 cup of water to it little at a time and mix it well so that there are no lumps.Check for salt. Add if required.

I photographed the rava dosa batter to show you the consistency of the batter.See how thin it is (picture below).It should be like that. Now the batter is ready.

Now let us see how to make onion rava dosa -

First heat a non stick tawa or a cast iron tawa, sprinkle little onions on top of it. Do not add too much onions as you will have difficulty in removing the dosa from the tawa.

When the tawa is heated well, reduce the flame to medium.

Remember for every dosa, you have to mix the batter well, so that the rava will not settle at the bottom. You cannot spread the rava dosa batter like normal dosa.

After mixing it, take a ladle or a small cupful of batter and fill the outer corners of the tawa.(picture-1)

Then the inside of the tawa.(picture -2)

Then fill in big gaps if any (picture-3). See how lacy and beautiful it is. To make it easier to understand, I have explained it in 3 easy steps but you can pour the batter at one go following the same method.

Let the dosa get cooked. Rava dosa will take longer time to get cooked than normal dosa, so do not be in a hurry to flip over the dosa. Drizzle a tsp of oil around the dosa.

Let the dosa get cooked evenly on all sides.(You can adjust or move the tawa if needed)

Wait until the bottom turns nice golden brown and the corners start lifting up slightly.

Once the bottom turns golden brown, flip over to the other side. Drizzle another 1/2 tsp of oil around the dosa. Let the other side also get cooked.

Once cooked, remove from flame and serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar or idli podi.

Some important points to be kept in mind

Mix the batter well every time before making dosa to prevent sedimentation of rava.

Batter should be thin. In case the batter becomes slightly thick after making 3-4 dosas, add 1-2 tbsp of water and mix again. Then continue to make dosas.

Once the tawa is heated well, keep the flame in medium through out the process.

Remember rava dosa will take longer time to get cooked.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baigan Bharta

Char-grilled brinjals cooked with a simple combination of spices and herbs. Every region in India has their own version of baingan bharta. In Odisha the char-grilled brinjal is just mashed with raw onion,garlic , green chili,salt and mustard oil.Sometimes, potato and urad dal badi is mixed with it.There are many versions and ways to make the same dish and every version has its unique taste and smell. This is one that's special to the north. Select large brinjals with a shiny smooth surface as these are more likely to be without many seeds. You can also microwave these brinjals instead of cooking them over the flame at step1.

1 large (750 grams) brinjal (baingan / eggplant)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 cup onions
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
1 tsp grated garlic (lehsun)
1 tsp green chillies , finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
For The Garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)

Grease the brinjal with a little oil, make slits all over the surface and cook over an open flame till it is soft.
Cool and peel the skin. Mash the pulp thoroughly and keep aside.
Heat oil and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle add the onions and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry again for a few seconds.
Add the tomato, turmeric powder, coriander-cumin seed powder and cook till the oil separates from the masala.
Add the mashed brinjal, garam masala and salt and mix well.
Serve hot garnished with the coriander.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Laukiwali Chana ki dal

This is the recipe that I learnt from my friend Preeti. I had never tasted this before. In Odisha I just had tasted Chana dal with potato, and frankly speaking I am not quiet fond of it. Yes, Lauki in Chana dal tastes better and considering health this is definitely better, especially for diabetic. As such Lauki has many medicinal properties. It is a good source of carbohydrates, Vitamin A, C and minerals. Lauki helps in maintaining blood pressure and cholestrol; helps controlling diabetes, reduces fats; also useful in weight loss. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It enhances growth of WBC and increases immunity. 

Moreover, Lauki(Lau in Odia)has only a handful of good dishes to name. I like the way my Mom prepares Lauki Kofta curry and Lauki aloo rai. My husband also likes the Kofta curry. Next time, I will prepare the Kofta curry and post you the recipe. I am also yet to experiment on Rajasthani style Bharwa Lauki. So, many dishes for me to prepare and blog. Here, goes the recipe for you.

•Bottle gourd (lauki/doodhi),cut into small pieces
•Split Bengal gram (chana dal) 1/2 cup
•Salt to taste
•Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
•Oil 1 tablespoon
•Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
•Green chillies,chopped 2
•Asafoetida 1 pinch
•Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon
•Coriander powder 2 teaspoons
•Tomatoes,chopped 2 medium
•Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
•Sugar 1/4 teaspoon(optional)
•Lemon juice 2 teaspoons
•Fresh coriander leaves,chopped 2 tablespoons

Method :-
Soak chana dal in one and half cups of water for an hour. Drain. Boil chana dal and lauki with salt, turmeric powder and one cup of water till done. Mash slightly with back of round spoon and mix well. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, green chillies and asafoetida and cook for a minute. Add red chilli powder, coriander power and cook till fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook till they soften. Add cooked chana dal and lauki and stir. Add garam masala powder, sugar and adjust salt. Simmer for two minutes. Add lemon juice and stir. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.