Monday, December 5, 2016

Mexican Basil Rice

BM # 71
Week 1, Day 3
Theme: Make a Meal

For the last day under Make a Meal theme I have a Mexican Meal. Sometimes I really can't decide which is my favorite cuisine, I enjoy eating Mexican, at the same time I like Chinese and I am a great fan of Italian, if a meal is well cooked it becomes favorite. How many favorites, is another story.

But for today it is a meal where I made Basil Rice , a Mexican curry and some stuffed chillies. Whenever I make. Mexican rice and curry, the curry recipe is the same. I just minus or plus the veggies in it. It is the rice that I like to change, and this time I made rice with fresh Basil leaves. I love the aroma and flavor of this herb, and the stuffed chillies well, I remember eating similar stuffed chillies in a Mexican restaurant in London and since then have been on my to do list, finally I made them.

So let's get to the recipe of Rice today

Mexican Basil Rice

2 cups rice, cooked with each grain separate
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 yellow capsicum , finely chopped
1/2 cup boiled kidney beans
1/2 cup corn kernels, boiled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Chilly flakes to taste
Salt to taste

Heat some Olive oil.
Add onions , toss for a minute.
Add all capsicums and toss for a minute or two.
Add kidney beans, corn, chilly flakes and salt.
Mix well .
Add basil leaves and once again mix.
Cover and cook on slow fire for 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot with curry or enjoy as it is.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Maharastrian Mini Meal

BM # 71
Week 1, Day 2
Theme; Make a Meal

For Day 2 under Make a Meal , I have made a simple Maharashtrian meal. Thalipeeth and Zunka are relished by all in the family. We normally go to Swati Snacks a famous restaurant where you get authentic traditional regional cuisines. The restaurant is pretty expensive but the preparation is very good. Anyway I wanted to replicate their Marathi menu.

For this meal I made Thalipeeth which has enormous variations. Every family makes their own Thalipeeth. From what I have heard and read it is a mix of flours, which is called Bhajani Flour but my Maharashtrian friend makes it with just Jowar flour, so I followed her recipe. I do plan to make the Bhajani Flour soon , which would definitely taste different.

Zunka is made from gram flour  and it should be spiced up really well, Masala Dahi , Thecha and stuffed green chillies are a perfect accompaniment.

For today I shall share the recipe for Thalipeeth, but before I do that let me give you a few tips to make it.

1 . The Thalipeeth dough should always be mixed just before cooking.
2. It should never be kneaded, kneading the dough makes it chewy.
3. Mix only enough flour for making 2 thalipeeths at a time, once done mix for the other two.
4. Cook the first side of the Thalipeeth covered and the second uncovered.
5. Make a hole in the centre or make more holes across the entire surface for quicker and even cooking.


2 cups Jowar flour
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies
5-6 cloves garlic
Pinch turmeric
Salt to taste
Luke warm water for binding

Coarsely grind the green chilly and garlic.
Put the flour in a bowl.
Mix in all ingredients.
Make a well in the centre.
Pour warm water and mix the flour and make a firm pliable dough.
Make small balls and pat them with hands.
Make a hole in the centre.
Heat and lightly oil a griddle, and place the Thalipeeth on it.
Cook covered for 11/2 minutes, till brown, occasionally drizzling oil around edges.
Flip the Thalipeeth over.
Cook uncovered, till brown and crisp, drizzling oil all around.
Serve hot.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chana Masala with Pav

BM # 71
Week 1, Day 1
Theme; Make a Meal

Another new edition of Blogging Marathon and for the first week I have chosen to cook under the theme Make a Meal. Now this is a very wide theme where the meal can have a single dish or it can have a combo of dishes .

For the very first day I have a simple meal, a meal that both my hubby and I love and enjoyed while we were on our vacation to Spain. My hubby loves Chole and while we were staying in Tennerife we bought a pack of chickpeas. Making channa was not a problem the problem was that this kitchen had no pressure cooker. Had I known about it, I would have bought a can of these, but it was too late. I soaked the chickpeas at night and early morning washed them well and placed them in a pot with loads of water, a couple of tea bags and salt and placed them to cook with the stove fire on minimum. We then left for a nice long walk. We came back after nearly 11/2 hours and as soon as I entered I checked the chickpeas. Wow , they were cooked, and very beautifully. So now I discovered that chana can be cooked without a pressure cooker too.

We enjoyed the meal with some bread , salad and a drink

Chana Masala

250 gms chickpeas
2 tea bags
1 green chilly
1 tbsp ginger, juillines
Salt to taste
Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight.
Add all the above ingredients and place them on slow fire with enough water.
Let cook for about 11/2 hours or till done.
Discard the tea bags.
Now the Chana is ready to be made.

Other ingredients
2 onions,finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato purée
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp lemon juice
Heat oil.
Add chopped onions, cook till they are nearly brown.
Add the tomato purée.
Cook till moisture evaporates.
Add all spices and then the cooked chickpeas.
Add lemon juice and adjust the consistency by adding water. ( if required)
Heat a tsp of oil, add a pinch of red chilly, temper the Chana with this.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#71


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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mathura ke Dubki wale Aaloo

BM # 70
Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Special Theme

For the third and the last day of BM #70 under the special theme I have yet another curry from Uttar Pradesh. The name itself is so interesting. Mathura ke Dubkiwale Aaloo. I have been to Mathura city and had these Aaloos there, but that was years ago when I was no where near blogging. It has been so long but trust me the flavor of these potatoes is still very vivid and still lingers in my mind. The flavor is inviting and that is one reason why I want my blogger friends to relish it too. Enough of virtual treats, it is high time we go there and enjoy the actual Dubkiwale Aaloo. Yes, our BM team is meeting in Feb for our 75 th BM meet and that is the time we are taking a trip to Mathura . Of course there will be much more than these aaloos , but let me give you all a glimpse of these delicious potatoes for now. These were a part of the Uttar Pradesh Thali that I posted in the first week.

Mathura ke Dubkiwale Aaloo
4 large potatoes, washed and chopped with skin on.
2 tbsp pure ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A large pinch asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Make a runny paste of the following
1/2 tsp dry mango powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/8 tsp coarse fennel powder
1/4 tsp coarsely pounded coriander seeds
1/2 cup water

Heat ghee.
Add mustard and cumin seeds, let crackle.
Add asafoetida.
Add turmeric and immediately add the potatoes.
Add salt and saute for a couple of minutes.
Add enough water so that the potatoes are well covered.
Cook for one boil, then simmer and cook till they are well cooked.
Check in between , there should be enough water.
Once the potatoes are well cooked, add the prepared paste .
Mash a few potatoes and enough water to get the desired consistency for the gravy.
Serve hot with pooris, Kachori or Bedmi Poori.

The Mathura ke Dubki wale Aaloo were a part of the Uttar Pradesh Thali that I posted in the first week of this BM.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#70

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Paneer Pasanda

BM # 70
Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Special Theme

I have chosen to post Uttar Pradesh Thali recipes for this last week. Yesterday it was Bhindi ka Saalan, the UP ites are very fond of Pasanda recipes and among these Panner Pasanda is a big hit. The paneer is sandwiched with a rich stuffing , coated and deep fried. These batter fried pieces are then dunked into a rich gravy. While eating this paneer, one experiences many flavors. The paneer has a nutty, slightly tangy and a hint of sweetness from raisins. It is simply a burst of flavors. I had made this for a formal dinner and my guests flooded me with compliments.

Paneer Pasanda
200 gms cottage cheese
1 tbsp cashew nuts
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp green chutney 
salt to taste
4-5 tbsp corn starch

2-3 tbsp oil
2-3 bay leaves
2" stick cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2-3 onions, boiled and pureed
1 tsp red chilly powder
11/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp green chilly paste
1-2 cup fresh cream
Salt to taste

Chop the cashews and raisins finely
Grate about 1/2 cup paneer.
Add green chutney, salt and mix all ingredients.

Cornflour batter
1/2 cup corn flour 
Pinch salt water
Make a paste and keep aside.

Preparing the paneer
Take a slice of paneer and spread the stuffing. Cover with the other slice.
Similarly spread the mix on the rest of paneer slices to make sandwiches.
Cut into triangles.
Dip in corn flour mix and deep fry lightly and keep aside

Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel.
Add bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and Saute.
Add onion paste, saute till translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste , Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato purée and all dry spices, including salt.
Add the green chilly paste too.
Let cook till oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Add enough water to get the desired consistency of the gravy.
Add the paneer pasanda triangles.
Garnish and serve.

The Paneer Pasanda was a part of the Uttar Pradesh Thali that I posted in the first week of this BM.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#70

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bhindi ka Saalan

BM # 70
Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Special Theme

Last week of BM 70 and this week I have chosen the special theme, where I shall be posting recipes from the Thali's that I posted in the first week.The first Thali was a Janamashtmi Chappan Bhog Thali, fortunately the Thali had dishes which have been cooked during previous marathons.The second Thali that I posted was from Uttar Pradesh. I know I cannot post all the recipes from it but I have decided to post the curries from this state. So for the first day I have Bhindi ka Saalan.The gravy is different than the Mirch ka Saalan, which is also on my posting list. I made that for my third Thali which was from Hyderabad. I wish Valli had announced a regional theme in this BM , so I could have posted more recipes, but never mind they are in my drafts.For now you enjoy this delicious curry from Uttar Pradesh.

Bhindi ka Saalan
3 onions
10-15 Bhindi, washed, wiped, ends trimmed and slit
5 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup yoghurt
1 tsp yellow Chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander seed powder
Pinch turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder 
1/2 tsp black cardamom powder 
1/4 tsp saunf powder 
1/2 cup water

Slice the onions and boil them in salted water.
Drain out water, blend them to a fine paste.
Heat oil and deep fry the Bhindi to a nice crisp golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place them on a kitchen towel.
Using a heavy bottom pan add oil, ginger garlic paste. Let cook till brown.
Add onion paste, let the paste roast till pink.
Now make the yogurt paste by mixing yogurt, yellow chilli powder, coriander powder, cuminseed powder and turmeric and the rest of condiments.
Whisk the yogurt and add to the onion paste.Add salt.
Mix well and once the mixture is totally dry and starts leaving sides add a cup of water.
Let simmer.Add Bhindi just before serving.

The Bhindi ka Saalan was a part of the Uttar Pradesh Thali that I posted in the first week of this BM.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#70

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Puchka / Paani Poori from Kolkatta

BM # 70 
Week 3 ,Day 3 

Theme:Cooking for One 

Kolkatta is a dream destination on my travel list. People say it is not a very clean city, but it is the food of the city that is inviting me. I have been longing to eat the authentic Jhal Muri and the Puchkas there. Next month I am traveling to Sikkim and we have a about 4 hours halt in Kolkatta, hopingly I can go to the city and enjoy these two street foods that have been on my wish list. 

Puchkas are same as our golgappas or pani poori or batashas. Every state has a different name , but basically these are puffed crisp balls, which are filled with a spicy mix of potatoes , some lentil, and a nice tangy spicy water. The flavor of the water varies in each state. The water here in Gujarat is made by using citric acid, though the water which is made at home lemon is used. The water at the Delhi vendors has dry mango . ( I still have to post that one ! ). The water in Kolkatta is made with tamarind. Since the main ingredient changes , the flavor of the water changes drastically. Paani Poori has always been my weak point and given a chance I would eat it everyday. ( no jokes, I am serious ). 

One of the days while I was all by myself and my evening hunger pangs came up I made one portion of puchka water from Kolkatta. The recipe source naturally was from Sandeepa's blog. I always have paani poori pooris in stock. Boiled potatoes too are a must in the frig , so I was sorted with my evening snack. I loved the tangy tamarind water which is so simple and quick to make. In fact it reminded me of my MIL who used to make tamarind based water. Now that is another version ! Will post that too sometime , but for now let's check these Puchkas , which is my Day 3 post under the theme Cooking for One.

Ready made Poori or home made pooris

Puchka water

Puchka water
To make 500 ml water
What you need
A small ball of tamarind 
Paste of 2 green chilly
Kala namak
Roasted cumin seed powder
Red chilly powder
Lemon juice
Pinch sugar
Finely chopped mint and coriander leaves

Soak the tamarind and extract pulp.
Add more water and dilute the water to get the watery consistency.
Add green chilly paste, all spices and a pinch of sugar.
Sugar will cut down the sharp tanginess, but it should be just a pinch.
Add lemon juice and chopped coriander and mint leaves.
You can use the water right away but it is always best to let the flavors infuse for a couple of hours to get a better taste.
Chill the water, do not use ice .


Boiled mashed potatoes
Boiled white peas ( vatana ) ( I used desi channa instead )
Kala namak
Paani poori masala
Red chilly powder
Roasted cumin seed powder
Chopped mint leaves
Mix everything and use as stuffing.

Assembling and enjoying the Puchkas
Take a puffed Poori.
Tap it in the centre to make a whole.
Stuff about half a teaspoon of stuffing.
Fill the Poori with the tangy water.

Enjoy the puchka.

You have to taste the water to adjust the spices, you could make the water more spicy or more tangy.
It is totally a personal taste , so adjust according to your taste.
The white peas stuffing is authentic when we talk of Puchkas, but you could also used black Desi Chana, or Moong sprouts or just potatoes is also fine.

I have a couple of versions of this paani poori . Check out !

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#70

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