Monday, December 31, 2012


The first thing I tried in Mediterranean Cuisine was Falafel. Although I had tasted Falafel earlier in India, I liked it only after tasting it here in US - a more traditional version with Pita, Tzatiki dip, Humus, spicy red chutney and salad.

It's a good starter for any party. And recipe is very easy - read on to believe it.

Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 40 minutes

1 Cup Chickpea/Garbanzo beans/Chole Chana
1 tablespoon Gram flour
1 tablespoon Corn Flour
1 tablespoon Coriander leaves/cilantro
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmuric powder
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 tsp crushed green chilis
1 tsp crushed ginger (optional)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 small chopped onion
 Salt to taste

for tempering (optional)
dried red chilis
mustard seeds
sesame seeds
coarsely crushed groundnuts.

Soak Chick peas for atleast 18 hours.  You can also buy boiled garbanzo tins from the market.  Remove the water from the peas and then crush them - not too fine or too coarse. Add all the other ingredients and mix well to form a batter. 

Now prepare the tempering. Tempering is totally optional. Authentic falafel doesn't have tempering. I am just giving it an Indian touch by adding Indian spices, ground nuts and sesame seeds tempering. Add the tempering to the batter.

There are two options to make falafel : deep fry or bake.

To Deep fry: heat oil, make small ice-cream scoop sized balls from the batter and try frying 1 ball first. If it falls apart, add little corn flour.  Fry until golden brown in color. Drain on paper towel.

To Bake: preheat the oven at 350 degree F. Take a deep baking tray. Slightly brush with oil and place the balls in the tray a little apart from each other. Cover the tray with a aluminum foil. Allow them to bake for 20-25 minutes.
I like to use the cup cake tray for baking. After around 20-25 minutes, flip the falafel and place them again uncovered for another 20 minutes or so until they are properly cooked and golden brown in color.

Serve with Tzatiki, salad and/or with pita pockets.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Delectable Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel
Hello Everyone,  i am back after a long break.

I have lot of recipes to share,  but since its Christmas time, i am sharing a quick and easy apple strudel recipe.

Prep. Time : 40 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins

1 big apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4th cup sugar
1/4th cup oats
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
Phyllo sheets

Remove the skin and cut the apple into half inch pieces. Add lemon juice and cinnamon and toss the apples to mix them well. Add some extra cinnamon powder if you like to have strong cinnamon flavor. Lemon juice prevents the apples from changing colour. Leave them aside for half an hour. 
Heat a pan and add half of the butter. Once the butter is melted add oats and mix them well. Turn off the heat. Add sugar and apple mixture. Mix everything properly and set aside. 

Preheat the oven at 350 degree F.

Now butter one sheet of phyllo and place another sheet above the same. Butter the second sheet. Repeat this one more time. This means now you have 3 sheets in total one above the other.  With the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the bottom part of the sheet leaving around 1 inch margin at the bottom.  Fold half inch of sheet from both the sides and roll up like a jelly roll. Place the seam- side down onto the baking sheet.  Brush with butter.

Bake the strudel for around 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Now the most difficult part, allow the strudel to cool for around 20 minutes. 

You can make a single strudel in big size & cut into pieces for serving.  Or  you may also make multiple small serving size strudels. You can also use puff pastry instead of phyllo sheets.

Please feel free to post your comments and reviews. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Eggplant Pizza or Eggplant Parmesan

First new dish I tasted after coming to US was Olive Garden's Eggplant Parmesan. And it was delicious. I am sharing with you all a healthier and simpler version of Eggplant (Brinjal) Parmesan or Eggplant Pizza. Name as you like, eat as much as you wish.. :)

Prep Time:  50 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1 Big Eggplant (Brinjal)
salt to taste
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp  Dried Herbs
1/2 cup Bread crumbs
1 cup Pasta Sauce or Marinara Sauce
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

For Pasta Sauce
1 cup Tomato Paste
1/4th cup Tomato Sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
few springs of fresh Basil
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp Black Pepper powder
Salt to taste

Cut the Eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices in a plate. In a small bowl mix oil, salt, crushed Black Pepper and Dried herbs like Parsley and basil. Lightly brush this mixture on both the sides of the eggplant slices. Allow the slices to marinate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile you can prepare your pasta sauce. You can use the store bought pasta sauce also.

For Home made Pasta Sauce Saute Onion in butter until its tender. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add Tomato Paste, sauce, tomatoes, pepper powder, salt and Basil. Allow it to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for around 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Crush the bread crumbs finely and set aside in a plate.
Now coat the eggplant slices from both sides with the bread crumbs and put them for grilling.

Option :  You can also bake them in oven, but i like the grill lines on the eggplant so i prefer to grill them.

After grilling place them on a greased baking tray. Spread sauce over the slices and top them with the cheeses. Bake at 350~ F for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  

Tip : 
1. You can deep fry the eggplant slices by dipping them in a thick batter of All purpose flour (maida), salt, pepper powder, dried herbs, teaspoon of oil and water. Skip the marination and grilling part.

2. You can bake the eggplant slices by dipping them in the thick batter (recipe as in tip 1) and coat them with bread crumbs. Bake them at 350~F for 25 minutes or until golden brown, turning them once. Skip marination and grilling part.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Almond Pretzels

Soft Almond Pretzel
Aroma of hot soft pretzel is irresistible :)

I had tasted normal Pretzels and I didn't like them much. But once I tried these soft Pretzels, I could not resist having them every time I passed by Aunt Annie's shop in nearby mall. Thus me and my husband became huge fan of soft Pretzels, especially Almond Pretzels. And as usual, my cooking passion kicked in and I decided to make these at home.

I searched the recipe on internet but there were many methods of making them. I experimented a bit and result was not bad at all. In fact it turned out to be as good as the one from Aunt Annie's :).

Preparation Time - 1 hr 30 mins
Cooking Time - 30 mins


1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 the packet Rapid Rising Yeast
1 tsp Sugar + 2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp melted Butter
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
2 Tbsp coarsely crushed Almonds

This will make 4 Pretzels.

Dissolve 1 tsp sugar and yeast in 2 tablespoon lukewarm water. Keep it aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile Mix Flour, salt and 1/2 Tbsp butter. Add the dissolved yeast and form a soft dough. Add extra water if needed. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it and keep it in a warm place  approximately for an hour or until it's size doubles.

Mix sugar and almonds in a small bowl and keep aside. Punch down the risen dough and divide into four parts.Roll one part into a long rope.

Make a U shape with the rope, twist the ends of the rope and join them at the bottom of the U shape. Use some flour for dusting.
For nuggets cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. You can also create different shapes; it can be a fun activity for kids - with all the different shapes they can give to a regular pretzel :)

Place the pretzels on a dusted and lightly greased plate.

Boil almost 1 litre of water. Add baking soda to it. In parallel, lightly grease your baking sheet and preheat the oven to 425F.

Add the pretzel into the boiling water and allow it to cook for not more than 1 minute. Remove it from water and place it on the greased baking sheet.  For nuggets, place them in water for 30 seconds.

Brush the pretzels with butter and sprinkle the almond mixture on top. Bake the pretzels for 12-15 minutes. Baking time varies, so keep an eye. My pretzel got baked in 12 minutes.

Take them out and lightly brush them with butter or dip them in liquid butter as done by pretzel shops. The hot soft pretzels are ready :).

Try it and do share your experience.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hasselback Potatoes

This is a new kind of fancy baked potatoes.

Hasselback Potatoes
Potatoes are awesome. You can make numerous dishes from potatoes - few of them involves baking. This recipe can be enjoyed any day and its also a tempting fasting dish. 

If you are french fries lover or not, you will surely enjoy this dish. And most important thing is that it is very easy to prepare with nothing much to be done. 

Since its not deep fried, you can enjoy it without much guilt. 

Preparation Time - 5 minutes
Cooking Time - 30 minutes 

2 large baking potatoes  
2 Tbsp melted Butter 
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp olive oil
Salt  to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.

Take butter, olive oil, black pepper, basil, salt in a small bowl and mix them well. Cut potatoes from one end to other creating thin slices as shown. 

Take a baking pan and put the sliced potatoes. Now apply the butter mixture between each slices of the potato with the help of a brush or spoon. Drizzle rest of the butter on top and the potatoes are ready for baking. Put them into oven & bake for 30 mins or until golden brown as shown. The potatoes should be fork tender. 

Put some cheese between each slice and on top to get that cheesy flavor :). Cook it to impress your near and dear ones :) 

In case you are making as a fasting recipe, you can substitute ghee for butter. 
You can prepare a similar dish using sweet potatoes. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sabudana Kheer or Tapioca Pudding

Sabudana Kheer or Tapioca Pudding
Sabudana is also known as Tapioca or Sago. Its  a kind of processed starch eaten mostly on fasts. Sabudana kheer or call it Tapioca Pudding, is a simple, easy and quick recipe.

Prep Time - 30 mins
Cooking Time - 15 mins


Milk - 2 cups
Sabudana - 1/4th cup soaked
Sugar - 1/4th cup or to taste
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Finely sliced Almonds - 8-10

Soak sabudana for atleast 30 minutes. Meanwhile you can dream of having a tasty kheer in next 45 minutes. :) 

Take milk in a fat bottom pan. Bring milk to boil on medium heat. Then add soaked sabudana and stir well. Add sugar and cardamom powder. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir occasionally not allowing the milk to stick at the bottom and sides of the pan. Add half of the sliced almonds. Stir the milk occasionally until the sabudana are transparent and the kheer has thickened as shown.

Take the kheer in a bowl, garnish with the remaining almonds and enjoy it hot. :) You can allow this to cool down and enjoy it as a pudding :).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pudla (Chickpea Dosa) or Chilla

Besan Pudla or Chilla
If you thought the last few recipes were a bit time consuming, then here is an instant & quick recipe. These savory pancakes can be made anytime and are great for a quick breakfast or even for fast dinner after a long day at work. This is a traditional Indian recipe that I have modified slightly so that everyone can enjoy eating something new. :)

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking time : 15 mins

For the pancakes
Chickpea flour - 1 cup
Sooji or Semolina - 2 Tbsp
Chopped Green Chilies -  to taste
Minced Ginger - 1 tsp
Cilantro or Coriander leaves - few
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil  - 1tsp & for pan frying

For Stuffing

Grated panner or tofu - 1/4th cup
Crushed black pepper - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Parsley & basil leaves - 1 tsp (optional)
you can also use chopped cilantro or coriander leaves

Add the Chickpea flour, Sooji, Turmeric powder, Red Chili powder and Garam Masala in a bowl. Mix them well. Add water, little at a time, to make a batter with pouring consistency. Whisk well so no lumps remain. Add green chilies, ginger, cilantro, oil and salt to the batter, mix well and set aside. 

In another small bowl mix all the ingredients for the stuffing and set aside.

Heat a skillet or tawa and sprinkle some oil or oil spray. When the tawa is hot, pour some batter on the skillet and spread it to form a big circle approximately 6-7 inches. Sprinkle some more oil or spray on the top and sides of the Pudla. Allow it to cook.

Check the bottom of the Pudla, if it has changed to golden brown color, flip it and allow the other side to cook. You can also make some indents with a fork to know whether it has cooked or not. If batter sticks on the fork, it is uncooked.

Remove from the skillet and continue making Pudlas from the remaining batter. 
Pudla Paneer Pancake

Once the Pudlas are made, take one Pudla and apply ketchup on one side. Applying ketchup is optional. Spread 1 tsp of the Paneer filing on the Pudla.  Put two slices of fresh tomatoes. Put another Pudla on the top of them.

Pudla Sandwich
Cut the sandwich into two or four pieces, as you wish and enjoy with Ketchup or pickle. You can also spread some pickle on the Pudla instead of or even in addition to ketchup. 

If you want to make this heavier, Toast two bread slices and put the stuffed or plain Pudlas in between. Enjoy with ketchup or green chutney. :)

This one works even for those of you who are health freaks. So go on, try it and let me know how you like it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fafda with Papaya Chutney & Spicy Yogurt Dip

Fafda, Papaya chutney & Spicy Yogurt Dip
Fafda is a popular Chickpea snack. It is a typical Gujarati Street Food served with savory papaya chutney and a spicy yogurt dip.  Follow this easy recipe and enjoy home made Fafdas.


Chickpea Flour or Besan - 1 cup
Cooking Soda - 1/4th tsp
Water -1/4th cup
Asofetedia - 1/2 tsp
Coarsely Crushed Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Oil for frying
Turmeric powder - 1/8tsp

For seasoning

1/2 tsp of black salt,
1/4th tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder,
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste.
Mix all the seasoning ingredients and keep it aside.

Take cooking soda in a small cup. Add 1/4th cup water into it and allow the soda to dissolve in the water.  In another bowl mix flour, asofetedia, crushed pepper, ajwain, salt, turmeric powder and oil. Add the soda water and make a tight dough. 

Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and knead the dough well. Make equal size small balls from the dough. Heat the oil at medium heat.

Take a wooden surface. Grease it with oil or an oil spray. Take one small ball and place on the greased surface. With the help of the base of your palm, press and flatten the dough ball into a long strip.
Tip : Making strips from the dough with hand comes with practice. Dont panic if you are not able to do so. You can use a rolling pin to make strips. Roll the pin in only one direction, from bottom to up.

Fry the strips over medium heat until golden brown. Take them out and put them on Tissue paper. Sprinkle the seasoning mix. Repeat the process for all other dough balls.

For Papaya Chutney recipe check my post on Chutneys.
For Spicy Yogurt Dip visit my post on Yogurt Dips.

Yogurt Dip

Spicy Yogurt Dip

Yogurt - 1/4th cup
Water 1 1/2 cup
Chickpea flour - 1Tbsp
Sugar - 4 tsp
Crushed Green chillis - 1 tsp
Minced ginger- 1 tsp
Asofetidia - 1/8th tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 
Whole red chili broken into 2 pieces
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder-  1/4 tsp 

In a bowl mix yogurt with water and whisk well. Add chickpea flour and whisk again so that no lumps remain and everything is mixed well.

Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds and coriander seeds. When the seeds begin to sputter add asofetideia, red chilis and curry leaves. Saute for around 30 seconds. Add green chilies and minced ginger. Saute for a minute. Add the yogurt mixture and stir well. Add salt and turmuric powder.  Allow the mixture to cook, stirring occasionally. Cook until the mixture gets thickened.  Serve Hot with pakoras or fafdas. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Forever delicious Chutneys

There are virtually limitless number of chutneys that can be made from almost any combination of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. Chutneys are usually grouped into either sweet or hot forms, both forms usually contain various spices but differ by their main flavours. I am sharing my version of some of them.

1. Coriander / Cilantro Chutney

Coriander chutney can be served with any dish. Its a flavory chutney with simple ingredients.

Ingredients :

1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro or coriander
2-3 chopped green chillies, adjust according to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4th cup peanuts
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

For tempering
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
Curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
Dry Roast the peanuts and finely crush them. Put Cilantro, chillies, ginger and process to a smooth paste. Add some water if required. Now add crushed peanuts and salt. Process to combine. Transfer to a bowl.

Place a small saute pan over medium heat and add oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add mustard seeds. When they begin to sputter, add urad dal and saute until its lightly browned. Add asafoetida and curry leaves, and immediately pour the tempering over the chutney. Stir well and serve.

2. Mint and Coriander / Cilantro Chutney

Use the ingredients of the coriander/ cilantro chutney. Add 1/2 cup of mint leaves and 1 teaspoon of amchur powder. In mango season you can substitute lemon juice and amchur with raw mango slices.

3. Imli Ki Chutney / Tamarind Chutney 

This is a quick and easy version of tamarind chutney. 

1 cup Tamarind pulp
1 cup Jaggery
1 tsp Cumin powder  
Salt to taste
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp red chili powder

Add jaggery to the tamarind pulp. Mix well. Let the jaggery dissolve in the pulp. Add some water to get the desired consistency. Once the jaggery is dissolved well, add cummin powder, black salt and chili powder. Mix well. Taste it and add salt as per taste. Mix well and the chutney is ready to use. :)

In case you do not get tamarind pulp do not worry. Take some tamarind in a bowl and add 3/4th cup of luke warm water. Set them aside for half an hour. Now mash the tamarind removing seeds if any. Strain to remove any residue or seeds. Your tamarind pulp is ready. :)

4. Dates and Tamarind Chutney

This is really a flavourfull chutney, with less efforts.


1 cup pitted dates
1/4th cup deseeded tamarind
1 large size tomato
1 tsp Cumin powder  
Salt to taste
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp red chili powder

In a pressure cooker, cook dates, tamarind and tomato upto two whistles and then turn off the heat. Allow it to cool. Remove the tomato skin. Make a smooth paste of dates, tamarind and tomatoes. Strain the paste using a strainer. Add cumin powder, black salt and chili powder. Add salt to taste.  Mix well and serve. Enjoy this khatti meethi chutney. :)

5. Chili Garlic Chutney 

This chutney is my dad's favorite. The best part of this is that it lasts long. No water is used. 

10-12 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoon Red chili powder
1 tablespoon grated Dried coconut
Lemon juice
salt to taste.

Put garlic, grated coconut, red chili powder, salt and lemon juice in a mixer. Add lemon juice enough to combine the chutney. If you do not wish to store the chutney for long, you can add some water.

6. Papaya Chutney

This chutney is made from Raw Papaya. Its an all time favourite Gujarati snack served as a side dish with Fafda.


Grated Green Papaya - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4th tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4th tsp
Chopped Green chilis- 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8th tsp
Curry leaves
Red chili – ½

Grate the green papaya after removing its skin and seeds. Add salt to taste and 1 tsp lemon juice and keep it aside for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes squeeze out water from the grated papaya.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add asafoetida, red chili and curry leaves. Add green chilis, turmeric powder and the grated papaya. Mix well.  Add remaining 1 tsp of lemon juice, if required. Serve with fafda.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spicy Vegetarian Pizza

Home made Pizza
From a kid to an adult, every one loves Pizza. A dish of Italian origin, which has now made its place in almost every country of the world. Me and my husband are also pizza lovers. But the high calories and fat content used to make us feel guilty after eating. So then i was inspired to make this less calories pizza at home. This recipe is very less time consuming too. So hope you guys enjoy this world famous mouth watering dish. :)

For making Pizza you need to prepare three (3) things; Pizza dough, Pizza sauce and the most interesting - your choice of toppings. You get Pizza dough or ready made base very easily in the market. But making them at home is not only healthy but at the same time you can add your favorite herbs in the bread.

For Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour or maida
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil or any other oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup of luke warm water
1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
salt to taste

Add sugar and yeast into luke warm water and let it sit for 5 mins or until the yeast is dissolved. Meanwhile in another bigger bowl mix both flours, olive oil and salt. You may add finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice. Add the dissolved yeast mixture. Knead the dough well adding some extra water, if needed. Knead into a soft dough. It would be little bit sticky, reason being the whole wheat flour. you can sprinkle some all purpose flour to remove the stickiness. Now take the dough in another bowl and drizzle some olive oil on it and turn the dough around so that its lightly coated with oil. now cover the bowl and place it in a warm place. I normally put the bowl in my oven and switch on the oven light. The light is sufficient to give warmness to the dough. Allow it to stay for almost an hour or until it has doubled. Once it is doubled, take the dough out, punch it down and place that back again in the bowl covered and let it rest. Let the dough rest until it gets doubled again. It will almost take another 45 mins to 1 hour.  Meanwhile, you can prepare your Pizza Sauce and toppings.

For Pizza Sauce

There are variety of Pizza sauces available in the market. You may use them or even a basic tomato sauce gives a great flavour. I like my sauce to be little bit chunky.


1 cup tomato puree strained
1 chopped tomato
1 chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup multi coloured bell peppers
chopped green chillis to taste
fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add minced garlic and chillis. Saute for a minute. Add onions, bell peppers. Mix them well. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Add salt and basil. Allow the sauce to cook. Donot overcook the sauce. Its going to be cooked again in the oven. Just cook to get desired consistency of the sauce. Add oregano. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool.

I have added chillis to add some spice. Indians love spices and being an indian how can i ignore that :)

For Pizza Toppings
Use the toppings of your choice. I have used tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and fresh corn kernels. You can add mushrooms, baby corns & olives also. Mozzarella cheese is must.

The three processes have been completed. Now comes the final task. Once the dough has risen for the second time. Take the dough out. Punch and form a soft ball. Preheat your oven at 400 F.

On a clean surface roll the soft ball with enough dusting. Form a thin disk from the same. The thickness of the base should be less if you like a crunchy base. Coat some oil spray on the Pizza baking dish and dust some flour on it. Now shift base on on the baking dish. I like my edges to be little bit more crunchier. You can press the edges as i have done. This will make the edge crisp. Now brush olive oil on the base.  This will stop the sauce from soaking your bread base. Now spread the Pizza Sauce on it. Now arrange your toppings and generously spread grated mozzarella cheese on top.

Now put the baking tray in the pre-heated oven and cook for around 25 minutes. Do keep a check on your Pizza as baking time may differ based on the oven used.

Enjoy you Fresh Home Made Pizza :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dabeli or Double Roti

Dabeli or Double Roti
Dabeli or Double Roti is a famous street food originally from Kutch region of Gujarat. Its a mouth watering dish and has plenty of flavors in it. All ages of people enjoy having Dabeli. Today i am sharing a total home made simplified yet very tasty dabeli.


Potatoes Boiled & mashed - 3 big
Green Chilli & Coriander Paste - 1 Tbsp
Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Red chili powder 
Garam Masala
Dhania jeera Powder - 1 tsp
Amchur Powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 3 tsp
Pav or buns

To Serve 
Onions Chopped
Date & Tamarind Chutney
Chili & Garlic Chutney
Coriander Chutney
Fresh chopped coriander leaves
Masala Peanuts
Nylon Sev
Pomegranate Pearls

Heat oil in a pan. Add chili- ginger paste and saute for a minute. Add mashed potatoes. Add salt, lemon juice, sugar, red chili powder, Garam masala, dhania jeera powder. Mix everything well. Turn off the gas. Now add amchur powder, and 2 tsp each of tamarind and garlic chutney. Add some of the masala peanuts, pomegranate pearls. Give it a good mix. 

Slit the buns horizontally without cutting through. Toast the buns upside down on a hot tava using butter. This makes pavs really soft and tasty. Spread red chilli-garlic chutney, coriander chutney and sweet date and tamarind chutney on both sides of the pav. You can increase the amount of chutney as per your taste. I love coriander and tamarind chutney so i use them more. Then top the mixture with chopped onion, pomegranate pearls, masala peanuts, nylon sev and fresh green coriander leaves. Its optional, but i also love to top it with grated cheese. You can use mozzarella or processed cheese. Close the both sides of the pav. Place the stuffed pavs on a hot tava. Press slightly and toast on both sides, with a little butter if you wish. (If you are calorie conscious you can avoid using butter again. Its optional.) Serve hot.

Following are some tips for dabeli recipe 
For tastier dabeli, you can use fresh dabeli masala in place of Garam Masala. For making dabeli masala dry roast 2 dried red chilies, 1 tsp whole green corriander seeds, 3-4 cloves, 1 tsp jeera,3-4  pepper corns, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 cinnamon stick. Dry roast all the ingredients and make a fine paste.) 

If you don't get masala peanuts,then don't worry. Dry roast the raw peanuts till they are light brown. Allow them to cool. Remove their skin and break into halves. Heat a pan with one tsp of oil. Once the oil is hot add peanuts,1 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder and 1 tsp of chat masala. mix them well and cook for a minute. Now allow them to cool and set aside for later use. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chocolate dipped Strawberries

A treat for all occasions !!
Chocolate dipped Strawberries

Though not very famous in India, chocolate dipped strawberries are very popular in US. They are a perfect gift for any occasion. The ones that i have shown are simple ones made using white chocolate. You may use dark chocolate or combination of both.

Fresh Strawberries
White Chocolate or any other chocolate you like.

Wash and dry the strawberries, making sure the berries are fully dry as water will not allow the chocolate to set on the berry.
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
For melting methods, please check my post on how to melt chocolate.

Dip the strawberry in the white chocolate, holding onto the stem of the strawberry. Alternatively, you can also use toothpicks. Insert the toothpick vertically starting from the stem. Give it a quick little twist and then place on a piece of wax paper or butter paper. Allow them to set at room temperature for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, place them in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Now they are ready to be enjoyed. Best eaten the day they are made.
You can use any type of chocolate you wish, you may also use chocolate chips in place of chocolate bars. I used Bakers Corner Almond Bark. 

You can also coat cookies, apples, bananas and orange slices similar way. But nothing beats dipped strawberries. Do try, impress your loved ones and don't forget to let me know how it turned out.

How to melt Chocolate?

Melting chocolate can be accomplished in a microwave or in a double boiler. There are a few fundamental guidelines to successfully melting chocolate: 
  • Make sure the chocolate is chopped into uniform pieces to ensure even melting. Never try to melt large bars or big blocks of chocolate. 
  • Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat. Chocolate is very delicate and can become lumpy or grainy if overheated. 
  • Stir the chocolate frequently with a spatula.
  • Chocolate retains its shape when melted, so the only way to know if it is truly melted is to stir it.
  • Avoid all contact with water! Chocolate will seize and become unworkable if it comes into contact with even a few droplets of water. Make sure your bowls, workstation, and spatulas are completely dry.

Melting Chocolate in the Microwave

The microwave is a great tool for melting chocolate. If used properly, it can melt chocolate more quickly than a double boiler with minimal effort and mess. If you have overheated your chocolate, immediately pour it into a cool bowl add chunks of unmelted chocolate, and stir continuously. It is preferable to melt your chocolate on a low (50%) power setting, to avoid scorching or burning it. If your microwave does not have this option, heat the chocolate in shorter intervals and stir between each interval. 
It is very difficult to determine exact microwaving times, as it can vary depending on microwave wattage, quantity of chocolate, and even the cocoa butter content of the chocolate.
Run the microwave intervals of 20 seconds, stirring in between every interval and rotating the bowl if necessary. Finish heating when most, but not all, of the chocolate is melted. Stir the chocolate continuously until it is completely melted. 

Melting Chocolate With a Double Boiler

The traditional method of melting chocolate is to use a  double boiler. A double boiler is a set of pans consisting of a saucepan that holds hot water, and a bowl that fits securely over the saucepan. Chocolate is placed in the top bowl. 

Begin by filling the saucepan with water.  Water should be enough to provide heat, but it should not touch the bottom of the top bowl in which chocolate is placed. Heat the saucepan over low heat until it just begins to simmer,  place the chocolate bowl over the water. If you are melting large amounts of chocolate, begin with 1/3 of your final quantity and melt in batches, waiting until the chocolate in the bowl is melted before adding more unmelted chunks. Once the chocolate begins to melt stir it gently with a spatula. When almost all of the chocolate is melted, take the top bowl from the saucepan and place it on the counter. Stir continuously until it is shiny, smooth, and completely melted.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Eggplant Curry or Baigan Curry

Eggplant Curry or Baigan Curry
This recipe is for eggplant lovers.

Eggplant - 3 -4 medium sized
Tomato puree - 1 cup
Curd or yogurt - 1/2 cup
Green pepper (shimla mirch)
Oil - as required
Green chili - chopped to taste
Ginger - grated to taste
Mustard seeds  - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dry Red chilli - 2
Red chili powder
Turmeric powder
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Corriander leaves - to garnish

The recipe is very simple yet great taste is guaranteed. Take the eggplants and cut them into half inch pieces. Put them into a bowl. Add salt to taste, 1 tsp red chili powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Mix them well and set aside for 30 mins.

Meanwhile cut tomatoes and make a puree. Cut green pepper into half inch pieces.

After 30 mins, take oil in a pan and shallow fry the blanched eggplants. Place fried pieces onto an absorbent paper and set aside.

For gravy, take a pan & add two tablespoons of oil. You can use the oil left after shallow frying the eggplants. Add mustard seeds and ajwain seeds.  Once the seeds start crackling add dry red chilli. Add ginger and chopped green chillis and saute for a minute. Then add green pepper and mix well. (Those who eat onions can add chopped onions at this time. Saute them well until they start changing colour.) Add tomato puree and let it cook. Once oil starts separating, add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and half of the garam masala. add salt for the portion of gravy. Mix well. Add fried eggplants and yogurt. Mix well. Add water to get desired thickness of the curry. Add remaining half of the garam masala and allow the curry to cook for 5 mins at medium heat.  Add coriander leaves and serve hot with bread, naan, paratha or rice.

Try it & do let me know how it turns out. :)