Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Soya chunks-Peas Kurma... a pressure cooker recipe

Soya chunks Kurma

  • Mini Soya Chunks– 3 cups
  • Fresh or dried Green peas (if you are using dried one,then soak overnight)
  • Meat Masala – 3 tbsp
  • Red chilly powder – 1 tsp 
  • Onion (sliced) – 1 large
  • Tomato (sliced) – 2 large
  • Green Chillies (slit) – 2
  • Curry Leaves – A sprig
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger Paste -2 tsp
  • Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
  • Tomato Sauce – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • 2 cups milk
  • Coriander leaves/Cilantro – A few
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – As required
  • Water – As required
Preparation Method
  • Soak the Soya chunks in hot water for around 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water and clean the soya chunks and drain out excess water if any. 
  • Marinate the soya pieces with  ginger garlic paste,salt and meat masala powder for 5-6 minutes..
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker ,add sliced onions and saute till the onions are translucent.
  • Add slit green chillies, chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are cooked properly.
  • Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp chilly powder, 1 tsp coriander powder,1/2 tsp pepper powder  and stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Add the marinated soya chunks along with soaked or fresh peas, 1 tbsp tomato sauce and some salt if required . Add some water (around 1/4 cup) so that the gravy has some water content.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 of the chopped cilantro leaves and mix well.
  • Cover and pressure cook  for another 15-20 minutes or take two whistle , till the gravy is fully coated on the soya pieces.
  • After few minutes open the lid and add milk to the gravy and cook again for 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with remaining coriander leaves.
  • Serve along with rice or chapathi.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Saoji mutton

Nagpur and Vidarbha has its own culinary treats. Nagpur itself has its own specialty cuisine like  “Saoji”. Nagpurians are known for their love for spicy food which is prominently evident in popularity of Saoji Food.  Saoji Mutton is cooked in a delicious gravy of dry coconut and whole garam masalas roasted and ground. The key ingredient in this recipe is " Saoji spice powder",which gives very robust flavour to this dish.

“Saoji spice power/garam masala powder” recipe is consisting of varieties of garam masala which enhance the taste of this mutton curry. This is one of best garam masala powder recipe which has best combination of Indian spices. Additionally dry coconut used while cooking brings extra thickness to mutton gravy. This recipe is also famous  because of its spicy flavor and aroma.The recipe may seem long, but is incredibly easy to make. Just make sure you have all the ingredients ready.This curry  powder can even be made a week in advance and stored in air-tight bottles.

  1. 1 kg -Mutton,  (Cut that into small pieces of 1 inch with bone)
  2. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 2tsp Lemon Juice
  5.  Saoji Garam Masala powder
  6. Brown onion paste*
  7. 3 tomatoes ,chopped
  8. 2tbsp+2tbsp  Ginger Garlic paste
  9. 1tsp byadgi chilli powder
  10. 1/2 cup Coriander leaves chopped
Saoji Garam Masala powder*:
  1. Oil- 3 tablespoons
  2. Dry coconut- 1/2 cup ,grated
  3. Black cardamoms- 1
  4. Green cardamoms- 10
  5. Coriander seeds- 4tsp
  6. Shahi jeera- 1teaspoon
  7. Cumin-1tsp
  8. Cloves- 12
  9. Black pepper- 1tsp
  10. Cinnamon- 4 pieces of 1 inch each
  11. Bay leaves- 2
  12. Dry byadgi red chilies-10-12
  13. Khuskhus (poppy seeds) 2 tsp
  14. Stone flower (Dagad phool)- 2 tsp
  15. Mace-1 small
  16. Salt- 3tsp
Method for the saoji masala powder*
Heat oil in a shallow/heavy bottomed pan,add all the ingredient.Roast till copra turns to dark golden brown colour. Make sure to roast on very low flame to prevent burning of the spices.

Method of making brown onion paste:
Slice 3 onions and deep fry in oil till it changes to golden brown colour and drain the excess oil from onions and grind to a paste by adding little amount of water.

Method for the main curry:

  1. Marinate the pieces of mutton with lemon and turmeric powder for about 3-4 hours
  2. Now take pressure cooker add marinated muttton pieces and saute them on high gas till pieces get light brown.
  3. Then add paste of ginger garlic and fried onions and mix well with the mutton pieces.
  4. Once these pieces gets fried with both the paste add 1/2 of the Saoji masala powder * which is made earlier.
  5. Add salt as per taste and 3-4 cups water and mix well and then cover the cooker with a lid.
  6. Cook this mutton in pressure cooker till three- four whistles depending on the tenderness .
  7. Meantime prepare one more masala paste by adding remaining Saoji masala powder,1/2 of the coriander leaves and tomatoes and grind it to smooth paste.
  8. Take a pan add some oil and saute this ground masala paste and add 2tbsp ginger garlic paste and 1tsp chilly powder and saute till oil comes on top.
  9. Now add the cooked mutton pieces and bring it boil,check the seasoning and cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame
  10. Serve this mutton with bread/ pav or rice bhakri

Capsicum- Rava Bhath

Rava bhath is a popular breakfast made in most of the Indian houses known for its delicious taste and quick cooking process. This dish is very similar to the basis upma with an additional ingredient added .Normally a basic upma dish does not have any other veggies in it but as capsicum is added to this dish hence the name Capsicum bhath. Preparing a basic upma or capsicum bhath hardly takes about 10 minutes hence this is popularly cooked for breakfast or served during marriage functions or get-togethers as this dish is fast and easy to cook. Caspsicum  bhath made with Bombay rava or Bansi rava is served with either peanut chutney or coconut chutney,but i like to relish it plain.
Generally there are many versions of preparing the Capsicum Bhath. It can be made with rice, onions, tomatoes and other spices or with broken wheat cooked in the same way like basic upma combined with capsicum, tomato pieces, green chillies and curry leaves. This recipe of tomato bhath with semolina is prepared with upma rava or Bansi rava, green chillies, onions, tomato, garam masala (optional) and fresh curry  leaves and coriander leaves. You can also add fresh chopped veggies like potato, carrot or green peas to make it nutritious and healthy. Kids would love to eat it as it would look colorful too.
  1. 1 cup  Bansi rava/Kesari Rava
  2. 3 cups of Water
  3. 2 Big Green Capsicum
  4. 1 Small Tomato
  5. 1 medium Onion
  6. 4Tbsp Ghee
  7. 1/2tsp Garam Masala (optional)
  8. 1/2tsp Mustard seeds
  9. 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  10. 1tsp Urad dal
  11. 1/2tsp Chana dal
  12. 5-6 Green chillies,slit
  13. Few curry leaves
  14. Coriander leaves for garnishing

  • First keep a thick bottom pan on the stove and add the ghee.and put mustard seeds,cumin seeds,urad dal, chana dal and curry leaves for Tampering. 
  • After they get fried add chopped onions and green chillis, saute for 2 minutes then add chopped tomatoes and Capsicum. 
  • Saute them for 2-3 minutes ,then add salt and 3 cups of water and let it boil.
  •  When water starts boiling, add the bansi rava or semolina and keep stirring continuously till it is almost cooked.
  • Cover it with a lid and cook on low flame for about 2 mintues.
  •  Then switch off the stove and add coriander leaves .Serve hot.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Broken corn/corn dalia Payasam

Its like a ritual we make payasam /godshe (konkani word for dessert) for every occasion.This traditional south indian dessert  is made using coconut milk,jaggery,ghee and nuts.
I made a vegan version of this recipe for the first time and turned out well.

  1. Broken corn/corn dalia-1 cup
  2. Chana/bengal Dal - 1/4 cup
  3. Coconut -1/2,freshly scraped
  4. Cardamom-4-5
  5. Cinnamon-I small piece
  6. Nutmeg/jaiphal-a pinch
  7. Jaggery -3 cups (adjust according to your taste buds)
  8. Coconut Oil : 1 tablespoon (replace by ghee, if not vegan
  9. Cashews : Few
  10. Almonds : Few

  • Pressure cook chana dal with 2 cups of water for 3 to 4 whistles.
  • Let it cool. When pressure subsides open the cooker and make sure dal is cooked well.
  • Meantime take a pan and add some coconut oil and corn dalia,roast for 3-4 mins on low flame.
  • Now transfer the cooked chana dal into a big heavy bottomed deep pan,add roasted corn dalia and 2 cups of water,cook till dalia becomes soft.
  • Heat jaggery with 1/2 cup of water. When it starts melting and heating, pour the mix through a filter over the cooking dal.Cook again for 5-6 minutes till jaggery mixes well.
  • Grind coconut,cardamom,nutmeg and cinnamon to smooth paste using little water.
  • Now add this coconut paste to cooked dalia and let it come to boiling stage.
  • Let it heat for another 3 to 4 mins.
  • In a small pan heat coconut oil, when hot add cashews,When they turn slight golden brown,add almonds pieces and turn off the gas. Add it to the payasam.
  • Serve either hot or cold.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Churmuri/Puffed Rice Laddoo.. a Microwave recipe

churmuri Laddoo
Churmuri/puffed rice laddoo is a traditional sweet I grow up eating and thought it exist only in my native . I came to realized that I could not be more wrong later when i shifted to Belgaum. They too, have a very similar version of this laddoo, though slightly different in ingredients.
actually i love traditional sweets and I am a sucker when it comes to Gud/Jaggery! Just couldn't say no to the earthy smell and taste of it!

Puffed rice laddoo

4 cups Puffed Rice/churmuri 
300 gms Jaggery/Gud
1/4 tsp Cardamom/elichi powder   
1 tbsp ghee
3-4 tbsp water


  • In a microwavable bowl, whisk together jaggery, sugar, ghee and water.
  • Microwave on high for 3 minutes, take it out and stir well, repeat this for 1 more time or till the jaggery melts completely. If it looks dry while stirring, add 1-2 tsp of water. The total cooking time should be not more than 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave, add the puffed rice and cardamom powder mix well.
  • Prepare the laddus while the mixture is still hot.
  • Applying some melted ghee to hands helps preparing the laddus
  • Now grease both the palm with ghee and gently take some mixture and roll into to balls.
  • While making the laddoos if the mixture becomes hard then reheat the mixture in microwave on a low heat and proceed.
Note:Not all microwave created same, you may want to adjust cooking time according to your microwave wattage.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Spring chicken roast

Never-fail recipe for cooking chicken breasts with the bone still on. It's cheaper than buying boneless, in my opinion tastier, and just as quick and easy! And if you prefer, You can leave the skin on the breasts, as you wish, but I think it’s important that the bone be left in. This is just my preference (I think it boosts flavour) but bear in mind that this is a pretty easy-going recipe, and you could use thigh fillets if that’s easier.
Try this recipe ... it's delicious--subtly flavoured and nourishing with lots of fresh herbs...along with this chicken roast ,keeping with the spring theme,you can serve some stir fried half a dozen diced new potatoes with the peas,coloured bell pepper and cauliflower.

Ingredients for the chicken roast:
  1. 3-Chikcen breast halves 
  2. Butter for Roasting
Ingredients For the herb paste:
  1. 1 bunch spring onion ( 3-4) (only the green part), chopped
  2. 3 springs of mint  leaves, chopped
  3. 1/4 cup Coriander leaves/cilantro ,chopped
  4. 10 cloves garlic, peels and crushed
  5. 10 cashew nuts
  6. 150 ml extra virgin olive oil or any vegetable oil
  7.  Salt to Taste
  8. 2tsp Lemon juice
  9. 5 Green chillies (optional)
  10. 1tsp pepper powder
  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and toast cashew nuts lightly for 2 minutes.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a purée (don’t over blend).
  3. Either use immediately or store in a jar in the fridge.
  4. Wash and pat the chicken dry..
  5. Smear the paste all over the meat.
  6. Rub it nicely and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Heat the cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking.add the butter and when the butter is foaming, Place the chicken breasts in skillet and cook  for 2 minutes.
  8.  Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking, occasionally rearranging chicken breasts and flip the pieces so to evenly roast on both the sides, roast until fat renders and golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with stir fried veggies.
Tip-- Use apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan you used on the stove to make sauce! just pour in cider vinegar till the bottom is covered, cook on medium until you can drag a spoon through it and see the bottom for a couple seconds. add salt and pepper to taste.

    Cook and cool the chicken as above, then freeze in airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in fridge and reheat as above.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lajawab Paneer Rolls/Wraps

Finding new ideas for kids lunch boxes can be a challenging job.Many children skip their breakfast or lunch. They prefer the food to be dry so that it can just be gobbled up without much fuss.And of course,we parents are always trying our best to make their food nutritious.
Keeping this in mind wraps or rolls seem like a good lunch or breakfast option.Wholesome and filling ,they look interesting and are a great way to make kids eat different vegetables. Using Wheat flour or multigrain flour or soy flour to make the rolls healthier.

These rolls are great,easy to make and great tasting. 

Ingredients for Suffing:

  1. 250 gms of Paneer/cottage cheese( cut into cubes)
  2. 2 Large onions
  3. 10-12 Garlic cloves
  4. 2 Tomatoes,
  5. 6-7 Red chillies
  6. 10 Cahewnuts
  7. Kitchen king masala powder or any garam masala powder
  8. 2 cardamom pods
  9. 1/2 cup red or green Capsicum (bell peppers)
  10. 2tbsp Butter or oil
  11. 1tbsp coriander leaves chopped
For Roti Roll/wraps

  1. 1/2 Cup Sprouted Soya flour or plain soya flour (In this recipe  I've used Manna Brand sprouted soya flour)
  2. 1 Cup Multi grain flour 
  3. 1 Tablespoon Yogurt (Optional)
  4. 2 Tablespoons Ghee or oil
  5. Salt to Taste
  6. Oil for Frying
  7. 1/4 Cup Wheat Flour, for rolling

For Salad:
  1. 1 Tablespoon Green Bell Pepper (capsicum), diced
  2. 2 Onion,sliced
  3. 1 Tablespoon Cilantro (Coriander Leaves), chopped
  4. 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder (optional)
  5. 1/2 Chat Masala
  6. Salt to Taste 
For Green chutney:

  1. 1/2 Bunch Mint leaves
  2. 1/4 Bunch Cliantro (Coriander leaves)
  3. 2 Tablespoon Peanuts
  4. 1 Clove Garlic
  5. 1/2 inch Piece Ginger
  6. 4-5 Green Chilies
  7. 1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
  8. 1/2tsp Black salt
  9. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  10. Salt to Taste

Method For Lajawab Paneer Suffing :

  • Grind together garlic cashewnuts ,tomatoes,cardamom pods  and whole red chillies into a fine paste.
  • Heat some oil or butter,in a heavy bottomed pan,add the onions. Saute it on a low flame till it turns translucent.
  • Add the capsicum and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add the ground masala paste, and cook till the oil seperates.
  • Mix in some garam masala or kitchen king masala and add about 2 tbsp of water and salt to taste and mix well.
  • Now its time to add our Paneer cubes and cook till the gravy is fairly dry.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
Method For Roti rolls/wraps:

  1. In a big bowl mix both the flours.
  2. Add yogurt, Ghee or oil and salt, using enough water make a semi soft dough.
  3. Knead the dough very well, cover it and keep aside for 1/2 hour.
  4. Knead again and divide the dough into 5 equal portions.
  5. Make ball and flattened it. Take each ball dust it in dry flour from both sides.
  6. Place a skillet on medium heat so it will be a little hot by the time you are ready to cook the first roti / wrap.
  7. Roll into a 7 – 8 inch roti, then place it on skillet.
  8. When it starts bubbling on one side, apply little oil,turn it over.
  9. Apply little oil on the other side, cook until golden brown, keep it aside.

Method For Salad:

  1. In a bowl mix cabbage, tomatoes, green capsicum /bell pepper,coriander leaves
  2. Sprinkle red chili powder, chat masala and salt, toss lightly.
  3. Divide into 5 equal parts, keep aside.

Method For Green chutney:

  1. In an mixer crush  peanuts, garlic, ginger, green chillies,black salt and cumin powder.
  2. Add coriander leaves and mint leaves and little water, grind it to a smooth paste.
  3. Add Lemon juice, salt and pulse it one more time.
Method For Kati Roll:

  1. Spread green chutney evenly on each roti / wrap.
  2. Spread one portion of the "Lajawab paneer"filling in the centre of each roti / wrap.
  3. Spread one portion of the salad on top paneer filling and roll up tightly.
  4. When you want to serve, cook the rolls on a hot tava/griddle.
These versatile roll-ups can be stuffed with chicken or other kinds of fillings.