Salad

This is super simple and tasty.

Salad leaves 1 cup

Baby tomatoes 1 cup

Two avocado cut into pieces

Cucumber 1/2 a cup

Lemon juice 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Mix everything well in a bowl. And it is ready to serve. 

Dum aaloo 

This is a lovely dish, and is relished by many people. It is simple and yet royal. I made it from my stomach feeling today – experimenting a bit with the spices and it came out just lovely. My husband who is very keen on traditional tastes approved it, so I can now share the recipe.

Ingredients:

Potatoes – large cubes – around 4-5 cups

Water

Oil

1 large onion – chopped into big pieces

1 large tomato – chopped into big pieces

2 cardamon green

1 stick of javitri

1 bay leaf

1 dried red whole chilli

2 cloves

1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon of red chill powder

1/2 teaspoon of deggi mirch

1/3 teaspoon of garam masala

2 tablespoon of cashew nuts soaked in three tablespoons of hot water

salt to taste

2 teaspoons of crushed kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

1 teaspoon of finely chopped coriander (dhaniya)

Method:

Prick the potato cubes with a fork. Heat water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Boil the potatoes in it for approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove the par-boiled potatoes onto a kitchen towel and let it dry. Do not throw the water.

In the same boiling water, add onions, cloves, cardamoms, javitri blade and red chilli (with seeds removed). Boil this for approximately 2-3 minutes. Now filter the onion and spices and throw the water out.

Take the blanched mixture of onions and spices in a blender. Add in the tomatoes. Crush the onion, spices and tomato to a smooth paste.

Now take oil in a skillet and deep fry the potatoes until they are light golden brown. Remove the potatoes on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil.

Remove the excess oil in a dish until you have approximately 3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add bay leaves. Saute for 10 sec. Now add ginger garlic paste. Saute for 30 sec. Now add the blended mix of onion, spices and tomatoes. Fry until this mixture oozes oil on the side. This mixture splutters a lot so i normally cover it and stir from time to time.

On the side, blend the cashews into a fine paste.

When the onion tomato mix starts leaving oil, add cashew paste and stir for a minute. Now add around 1.5 cups of water. You can add more water if needed.

Now add salt, red chilli powder, degi mirch, garam masala, methi and dhaniya. Stir and add the potatoes. Cover and simmer on very low flame for at least 30 min. Always crush the methi in between your palm before adding.

Serve hot with rice or bread of your liking.

 

 

 

Vegetarian dumplings aka Momos

img_1778Vegetarian dumplings is what we commonly know these as today. However these are locally referred to as momos by people in Tibet where this recipe originally comes from. Flow of good food across borders is very common, and so this great recipe has found its way into India. In the north eastern states, this is a staple diet and many times also made in non vegetarian tastes. We will today focus on the vegetarian ones.

 

These beauties are also very famous as street food in northern and west such as the national capital region, Himachal Pradesh etc. I have always loved the steamed momos, though another version is the fried momos. Today I am sharing the steamed momos. This recipe will make around 40 momos.

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Ingredients:

For the filling:

  1. 1 large onion finely chopped
  2. 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  3. 1 inch of ginger finely chopped
  4. 1/2 large yellow capsicum finely diced (it is ok to substitute with green or red bell pepper)
  5. 1 cup of finely chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, beans and cauliflower)
  6. 2 tablespoon oil
  7. 3 teaspoons of soya sauce
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the dough:

  1. 2 cups of maida (all purpose flour)
  2. salt to taste
  3. 1/2 cup of water + 2 tablespoon of water

Method:

I made the filling first. For the filling, take the oil in a skillet. When hot, add the chopped garlic and chopped ginger. Saute for 30-40 sec, and add all the remaining chopped vegetables. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add salt and black pepper. Fry again for 1 minute. now add in the soy sauce. Keep stirring and fry again for a minute. Sometimes this mix can ooze out a little water. Fry to let this water evaporate but at the same time keeping care that the vegetables stay a bit crunchy and do not get mushy. Remove from flame and let this mixture cool.

img_1769On the other side, add the flour, salt and water

slowly and knead into a firm dough. Cover the dough and let it stand for 20 min.

When the dough is ready, divide it into approximately 40 portions. Roll each little portion into a thin circular shape, add 2 teaspoons of fried vegetable mixture and close the momos into crescent shaped moons as shown here.

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Boil a glass of water in a steamed pan. I have a large steamer so please adjust the water as per your steamer. When the steam is formed, add the momos to the steam pan, and steam momos until they become slightly translucent.  It usually takes around 5-6 minutes for each batch of momos. When ready, serve hot with the dumpling chutney or dumpling dip of your choice.

Paneer makhni

Paneer makhni literally would translate to Buttered cheese, and that is precisely what this dish is. One of the most famous dishes on any menu that you will find across all sorts of Indian restaurants around the world. 
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The catch many times is the taste. Most restaurants run by non-Indian or non-native Indian people are not able to do justice to this dish. Many others would fill it with a lot of cream to cover the taste even though that is not the traditional way of doing it. Traditionally butter is added or was added to this recipe however I tried taking that out to make a healthier version of this age old dish. So let us look right in on what is needed.

Ingredients: 

  1. Khada masala (Whole black cardamom 1, Whole green cardamom 1, Javitri stick 1, Cinnamon stick 1.5 cm long, Cloves 2, Bay leaves 2)
  2. Red chilli powder 1.5 teaspoon
  3. Dried coriander powder 1 teaspoon
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Garam masala 1 teaspoon
  6. Kasoori methi 2 teaspoons
  7. Cashews 3-4 tablespoons
  8. Ginger-garlic paste 2 teaspoons
  9. Finely chopped onion 3-4 tablespoons
  10. Fresh pureed tomato 6 serving spoons or 1 bowl
  11. Paneer – 150 gm
  12. Oil – 3 tablespoons
  13. Water – 1.5 bowl

Preparation:

  1. Soak the cashews in around 3 tablespoons of hot water and keep aside for 15 min
  2. Take oil in a skillet and let it heat up. When hot add all khada masala. You will get a good aroma in around 50 sec. Now add in the onions and half teaspoon salt. Saute the onion on medium heat until slightly brown.
  3. Now add the ginger garlic paste, and sauté until the raw smell is gone
  4. Now add the tomatoes and remaining salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the tomato starts to ooze oil on the sides. Make sure to stir the tomatoes in between to avoid it from burning. Best is to use a medium flame for this and you can prudently decide what strength works best for your burner.
  5. While the tomatoes are cooking puree the cashews and the water from step 1 to a fine paste.
  6. When the tomatoes are oozing out oil, add the cashews and stir well. Cook for 30 sec. and add water. Start with around a cup of water and add more if you like your gravy thinner.
  7. Now add in the red chilli powder, garam masala and kasoori methi. For those of you who are not familiar with kasoori methi, it is a dried form of fenugreek leaves which are widely used in Indian cooking. It is flavourful and have medicinal properties associated with reducing body pains. For regular readers, I had started exploring food that helps chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia almost a year back, and methi is a good ayurvedic herb to help combat pain. The trick to using this herb is to slightly crush it between your palms before adding to the gravy. Doing this helps the herb ooze out the amazing aroma and makes the dish very flavourful.
  8. Let this boil on low flame.
  9. When it starts boiling add in the paneer pieces and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for another minute and then switch off the flame.

I usually prepare this and keep it covered for an hour or two before serving. This allows the aromas to blend it completely and also the paneer soaks in the spices.

Serve hot with naan bread.