Friday, October 15, 2010

Punjabi Kadhi - Indian Cooking challenge

I have been undergoing a 'blogger-idle syndrome', lately. With the impending move and related overload of work, I have not tried reading any blogs; neither have I tried posting in mine. However, the Indian Cooking Challenge is something I thought I should mark my attendance to.

This time it was chosen to try a regular, but authentic recipe. It is very simple to cook up, yet doing it just as the people do traditionally held a charm.

Srivalli took the opportunity to challenge us with Punjabi Kadhi, a recipe shared by Simran who blogs @ Bombay foodie. In Simran's words, it is a recipe that her mother makes often and you can keep leftovers to go with rotis and such after having this with hot steamed rice for your lunch. I did just the same.
As I said earlier, I am running short of time. Hence have copied the recipe Srivalli posted to us, just editing at that might make it nearly in my words, would it not?
I have enjoyed the recipe and relished the flavours. I recommend you do so too.

For Pakoras:
Gram flour - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 medium
Salt to taste
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil for Deep frying

For Kadhi :
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Gram flour/ chickpea flour - 1/3 cup ( I reduced this to 1/4 cup)
Water - 3 to 4 cups
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
Ajwain/ Carom Seeds/ Omam- 1 tsp
Methi seeds/ Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
Onion -1 large
Turmeric powder just a bit
Salt to taste
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Amchur/ Dried Mango powder - 1 tsp

For the Pakoras :
Chop the onion in big pieces. Keep reserve.
Take flour, salt and red chili powder in a bowl.
Add water and make a batter that is slightly thick.
Heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, dip onions in the batter and gently drop into the hot oil.
Deep fry until the pakoras are done evenly crisp.
Remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper.
Keep aside for futher use.

For the kadhi:
Slice the onion in long strips.
Mix yoghurt and gram flour to a smooth lump free paste initially, then add water to achieve a very thin batter.
Heat one tablespoon of oil. Add a teaspoon each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and methi. Allow a few seconds for them to crackle.
Add onion slices, fry till they turn light brown.
Pour in the ready mixed batter, and add to this turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least half an hour.
Keep stirring occasionally.
When it thickens fairly enough, add the reserved pakoras.
Again bring the mixture to a boil.
Add garam masala and amchur powder to the gravy just before removing from stove.
I reserved some Kashmiri chilli powder just to garnish.

The kadhi has to be fairly thick. The thin, watery kadhi is the Gujarati version. For a hearty Punjabi one,make it thick.
Serve the Kadhi with hot steamed rice or with rotis and chappathis. I loved it when the Kadhi had cooled down a bit and the flavours soaked withtin and the pakoras absorbing some of the liquid and puffing up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coconut laddoo

Festival season around there is lot of visiting friends and being visited by friends happening. I try to keep stock of some goodies to entertain. With loads of activities in line with Navarathri, making elaborate preparations and time consuming sweets is a task in itself. I look for quick cooking sweets and desserts.
Having found this recipe for microwave coconut burfi that uses Khoya, I replaced the khoya with condensed milk, left out the sugar and rolled out these delicious coconut laddoos. I halved the coconut quantity given in the recipe and substituted ground almond powder.
You could cook just about two minutes longer and roll out like khatlis too. I have tried this with a very small quantity, hence could not click a photograph on the trial run.
These laddoos were just as quickly consumed as I cooked them. I remember that the Nestle leaflets did have a coconut ladoo recipe in that too. Thus this recipe is an adaption from two sources namely the Nestle India's leaflet with Milkmaid recipes and the LG microwave cookbook.

1 cup freshly scrapped coconut (the finer the scrape the better)
1 cup ground almond powder ( I used store bought)
1/2 tin of sweetened condensed milk ~190 grams
1 pinch of powdered cardamom
1 tablespoon ghee
Reserve a small portion of the grated coconut to roll the laddoos in at the last stage.
Take ghee in a microwave proof bowl. I suggest you use a fairly large bowl to avoid over boiling of the milk.
Add first the condensed milk and heat it on 100% power without lid on, for 3 minutes.
The milk would have become a bit thinner with the boiling. Add the rest of the coconut and the almond powder.
Put the bowl in the microwave and cook without lid, on highest power for 7 minutes.
Stir occasionally. Check the consistency at the end of the set time. Give a brisk stir and cook again on 60% power for a further 3 minutes. Check at every 1 minute interval as the mixture might cook fully even before this time. It took me 3 minutes. Add 1 or 2 minutes depending on the output of your machine.
Remove the bowl from the microwave. Add the cardamom powder.
Allow the mixture to cool down to bearable warmth ( should still be moderately hot).

Grease your palms and roll small size laddoos of the mixture. Roll them in the reserved coconut and serve.
These laddoos, having been cooked during festival season are being sent to Smitha @ Smitha's Spicy Flavours hosting the alltime popular Microwave Easy Cooking with Festive Dishes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It is time to cook it up with Chef In You

Priya hosts this month's Tried and Tasted, an event, the brainchild of Zlamushka currently taken over by Lakshmi. Priya has chosen one of our favourite recipe site, Divya Karthik's (known to most as DK) Chef In You. When I went through Priya's announcement post this morning I found so many comments there and am sure that readers are going to be spoilt for choices.

Last month it was Ria hosting Tried and Tasted with Alka's Sindhi Rasoi. I had cooked on an everyday basis from Sindhi Rasoi and yet failed to post even one entry. You may find random posts appearing in future which have tried from Alka's spot.

Coming back to this month, I am sure I might get caught up in other mundane tasks in the next few days and will certainly not be able to attend to my blog. Hence let me share this recipe just to show my appreciation of the wonderful blogger that Divya is!

The rajma parathas filled with grated paneer and coarsely mashed rajma make a wholesome dinner coupled with simple onion and tomato masal.

Soak and pressure cook rajma beans until tender. Mash coarsely cooked rajma beans. Cook it with salt and spices of your choice. Mix with the grated paneer to make the filling.
Make a dough with wheat flour adding salt and a bit of oil to the flour. Knead to a smooth pliable dough adding enough water.
Roll out small discs with portions of the dough and place the filling in the centre. Roll in a ball and flatten as discs taking care not to spill the filling.

Cook until both sides are done well on a hot girdle.
Serve hot with a lighter side dish.
Enjoy the wholeness of nutrients that have been cooked in one delectable dish.