Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Butter Naan and methi matar malai (Flat bread with green peas & fenugreek in white sauce)

This is one of our favourite veggie combination when it comes to naan. This is a low fat version of the methi matar malai and it tastes really superb. Methi matar recipe was given by a friend of mine who is good in cooking north Indian dishes. Naan recipe was given by my pachi (ma's youngest sis)
This delectable combination goes for the Event Made for Each Other hosted by Asvadha.

Butter Naan:

Maida - 3 cups
Milk - 2 tbsp
yogurt - 2 tbsp
oil - 2 tbsp
honey - 1 tbsp
yeast - 2 tsp
sugar - 1 tsp
salt to taste

In a small cup take ¼ cup lukewarm water and dissolve sugar and yeast. Set aside for 15 minutes till frothy.
In a wide bowl, take maida, oil and salt and mix well to get something like bread crumbs. Now add milk, yogurt, honey and knead to a soft dough. If necessary add only milk and not yogurt. Knead well for 5 minutes. Keep covered in a warm place for 2 hrs. The dough doubles in volume. Knock and punch and knead well again. Make big round balls and keep aside. Dust the ball with flour and roll out into oval shape. Heat a tawa. Meanwhile smear your hand with water, place the naan on the wet hand and place the wet part of the naan on the tawa to fry first. This gives a burnt spots on naan giving the tandoor effect. Smear butter on naan and cook on the other side till the naan puffs up. Serve hot with side dish of your choice!!!

Methi Matar Malai (green peas and fenugreek leaves in white sauce)

Methi leaves - 1 cup, chopped
fresh/frozen green peas - 1 cup
onion - 1 chopped
oil - 2 tbsp
jeera - ½ tsp
tomatoes - 2 large
low fat milk - 1 cup
sugar - ½ tsp
salt to taste
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Masala Paste:
onion - 1
green chillies - 4
ginger - 1" piece
garlic - 3 cloves
cashew - 2 tbsp, chopped
poppy seeds - 2 tsp

Soak cashew and poppy seeds in ¼ cup warm water and leave aside for 15 minutes.
Blend these soaked ingredients with onion, green chillies, ginger, garlic to smooth paste.
Wash methi leaves, add ½ tsp of salt leave aside for 15 minutes and then sqeeze out of water.
Blanch tomatoes in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and blend to a smooth puree.
Heat a tbsp oil, add jeera and fry till it crackes, add the methi leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
Heat another tbsp of oil in a kadai add chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add the masala paste and fry well till the raw aroma disappears. Now add the pureed tomatoes, garam masala and fry. Add green peas, fried methi leaves, milk, sugar, salt and ¼ cup water. Cook covered till thick and saucy. Serve hot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Apple Halwa

Vidhas of Appetizing Recipes has passed me this Award. Its really sweet of her to do so and I am highly oblidged, Vidhas thanks a lot!!!!!

On that happy note I am posting a sweet today!!!
This was that particular sweet dish which I have been waiting to try since a year now. We all like to munch on apples, so I hardly get them in fridge begging to be used. I tried this halwa with green apples. They are not that sweet but slightly sour to taste which my hubby loves and me and my daughter a complete no-no. There were just 3 remaining and I had try this before my hubby would finish it off. By the way this recipe is from Shilpa who needs no introduction to this blogging world. For the step by step neat pictures refer here.

grated green apples - 3, approx 2 cups
sugar/sugar free - ¾ cup
ghee - 1 tsp
Almonds - 8
cardamom powder - ½ tsp

Wash and peel apples. Grate them fine.
Crush almonds with rolling pin.
Heat ghee in a non stick pan, add grated apples and fry till rawness disappears and the mixture is dry.
Now add sugar to the cooked mixture and keep stirring till it leaves the sides of the pan.
Meanwhile add crushed almonds and stir.
Grease a dash of ghee onto the plate and keep ready. Once the mixture comes out dry leaving the sides of the pan put off the flame, add cardamom powder and mix gently. Transfer it to the greased plate and spread evenly with a spatula till the top is smooth and shiny.

Let cool for around 10 minutes and cut into desired shapes and let cool completely.

As I used green apples this halwa was sweet and tangy. I am planning to cook it next time until just done ( not too dry) and use as an accompaniment with chapathis like jam for my daughter.

This Halwa is for the following Events:
Recipes for the rest of us - Dessert hosted by Varsha and started by Ramki of One Page Cookbooks &
Diabetic Friendly Sweets hosted by Mythreyee

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choco Carrot Cake

I really wanted to make something really different for Valentine's Day. I also wanted it to be eggless since my daughter should avoid eggs in her diet. I found this recipe on Active Cooking and had to give this a try. It really tasted wonderful and my daughter was happy to see these hearts in her hands.

Flour/Maida - 1½ cups
brown sugar - ½ cup
white sugar - ½ cup
cocoa powder - ½ cup
baking powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - ¼ tsp
grated carrots - 1½ cups (approx 2 medium)
melted butter - ¾ cup
vanilla essence - ½ tsp
walnuts - ½ cup, crushed
milk - ¼ cup

Grease a cake tin dusted liberally with flour. I used the muffin moulds.
Sift the baking powder, cocoa, baking soda with flour. Mix in the walnuts.
In a bowl, take butter and sugar and beat well.
Fold in the flour mixture, carrots. Mix well add milk to get the pouring consistency.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Preheat the oven at 200 degree centigrade. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degree centigrade. Reduce the temperature to 160 degree centrigrade for further 20 minutes till done.
Remove and allow it to cool completely. Invert and tap out gently and then serve.

This cake is off for the following Events:
My Favourite Things: Love - Heart Shaped Foods hosted by Bindiya at "In Love with Food"
Cook and create with luv for luv since I made this just for my 2 cute hearts in my life!!!! hosted at Asankhana.
Just for You by Alka at Sindhi Rasoi

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chana Poha ( sweet n spicy beaten rice with chicpea sauce)

Chana poha is usually served as an evening snack or as main breakfast dish during the fasting days in Konkani Cuisine. Since this dish is filling and healthy it was prepared frequently among the joint families. At my grandma's place this dish was almost a daily affair as an evening snack. My mother made it a weekly affair during her fasting days( be it Monday or Friday). Thankfully we all liked it during our childhood days and even now. My daughter too adores it. I make it on weekends either as an evening snack or on any other lazy day when I have some cooked chickpeas in my fridge.
I learnt this dish from my mom hence Mamama(grandma)'s Chana-poha for Sakshi.
This dish is for the Event "Cooking for Kids with love" hosted by Pritya.

Poha Chutney(Sweet n Spicy Beaten Rice):
Thin beaten rice - 2 cups
grated coconut - ½ cup
grated jaggery - 2 tbsp
salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
dry long red chillies - 2
curry leaves - 1 sprig
coconut oil - 2 tsp

Heat coconut oil in a small pan. Splutter mustard seeds, add red chillies and curry leaves and rosat on low flame till nice and brown. Let aside to cool.
In a wide bowl, pour this seasoning and crush well. Add beaten rice, grated coconut, grated jaggery, salt and mix well. Sprinkle little water to moisten the poha. Cover and keep for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: In a jiffy, mix sambar powder to the remaining ingredients and season only with mustard and curry leaves.

Chana (Brown Chickpea sauce)
Brown chickpeas - ½ cup
salt to taste
grated jaggery - 1 tsp
coconut oil - 1 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 4 leaves

Pressure cook chickpeas with 2½ cups water till soft and done.
Add salt and jaggery and get to a boil.
Season with mustard and curry leaves.

Note: Raw banana or potatoes can be added as bharshi( to get along with in konkani) with chickpeas to give a thicker consistency.

Serve the poha and then pour chana over it or serve side by side. The gravy from the chana soaks up the poha and makes it soft and delicious to relish!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gulla Bhajji ( Smoked Eggplant dip)

This is my favourite!! Infact I was called guula by my siblings during our childhood days. We would keep names to each other, my favourite was eggplant hence they named me guula just because they hated the look of it. Even now when I go home I ask my ma to make it. Thankfully my daughter also loves it, so I have a company now. This dish is really easy to make. All those eggplant lovers give it a try and you will never repent!!! This dip is specially for the "Chutney/dip Mania Event" by Ramya's Mane Adige.

Green brinjal/ mattigulla or purple brinjal - 1 big
green chillies - 1-2
salt to taste
asafoetida/hing water - 1 tsp if powder use ½ tsp
tamarind - marble size or tamarind paste - 1 tsp
coconut oil - ½ + 1 tsp

There are two ways of cooking Brinjals.

1.Wash the brinjlal and wipe it dry. Keep the stem intact. Prick all over with a fork. Smear the brinjal with coconut oil and keep over direct flame till it turns brown first turn over and brown all the sides then wait till it turns black allover(almost burnt). This gives a smoky effect to the brinjals. (as we do for bhartha).
2. Wash and cut the brinjals into big cubes. Add water just enough to cook the brinjals. Cook till done.
Set aside to cool the smoked or cooked brinjals. Then peel off the skin and take the inner pulp in a bowl. Add chopped green chillies. salt and hing water/powder, tamarind and mash well with a potato masher. OR just blend all the ingredients except brinjals and coconut oil to coarse paste. Add this paste to brinjal pulp and mix well. Add coconut oil and mix well. gulla bhajji is ready to be served with rice or can be eaten just like that.

1tbsp coconut can be added while blending or mashing to thicker consistency.
Asafoetida can be replaced by chopped onions and coriander leaves(do not blend).