Dum aaloo without tomatoes

You know food is one of the best things in the world. It connects, it rejoices and adds love to life. So today I experimented with my Dum Aaloo recipe yet again. This is more of less the same recipe minus the tomatoes.

Why did I take out the tomatoes – to try! And my husband is Pubjabi so thought to try out the Pubjabi Dum aaloo today.

Ingredients:

Fried small potatoes – 4 cups

Chopped onion – 2 large

Black cardamom (badi elaichi) -2

Green cardamom (Choti elaichi) – 4

Cinnamon stick – 1 inch

Javitri – 1 stick ca. 1 inch 

Whole black pepper – 4

Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tsp

Crushed ginger – 1.5 tbsp

Crushed garlic – 1 tbsp

Oil for frying the potatoes and for cooking

Cashew – 5 tablespoons

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Red chili powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam masala –  1/3 tsp

Kasoori methi crushed – 1 tsp

Water 

Method: I half boiled the potatoes and pricked them with a fork. Then I deep fried them on medium flame until they had a nice golden brown crust. This step took around 30 min of preparation to end. When done remove the potatoes on a tray.

Now take 4 tbsp of cooking oil in a pan. Add black cardamom, green cardamom, javitri, cinnamon, black pepper and jeera. When the spices are fried, then add the thin long chopped onion. Fry until the onions are dark brown. Add this stage add the ginger and garlic paste. Stir and fry for 30 sec.

Now add the turmeric, coriander, red chili, garam masala and stir for 30 sec. Switch off the flame and let the masala mixture cool.

In the meantime soak the cashew in hot water for 5 min and grind to a fine paste.

When the masala mixture is cool, grind it to a fine paste and sieve through a sieve to remove the threads from cardomom and other whole spices.

Now take the pan again and pour in the sieved masala mixture. Add water and bring to a boil. Then add the potatoes and let it stay for 30 sec. Now add the salt to taste and kassoori methi. Finally add the cashew paste with a bit more water and stir to mix well.

At this stage I lower the burner to the least and cover the pan with a lid. Let this cook at simmering heat for another 5-10 min. Then switch off the flame. 

Dum aaloo is ready! We loved it with zeera rice. 

Pindi chole

White chickpeas (kabuli chana): 2 small cups

Baking soda: 1 tsp

Spices for boiling:

Cinnamon stick: 1.5 inch long

Bay leaves: 2

Black tea leaves: 2 tbsp

Green cardomom: 2

Black cardomom: 1

Spices for final dish:

Turmeric (Haldi): 0.5 tsp

Red chili powder: 1 tsp

Dried coriander powder: 2 tbsp

Pomegranate powder: 1 tbsp

Dried mango powder: 1 tsp

Salt: to taste

Black salt: 1 tsp

Kasoori methi: 1 tbsp 

For the tadka (sizzling):

Oil: 3 tbsp

Carrom seeds (ajwain): 1 tbsp

Ginger finely chopped: 4 tbsp

Green chilies slit into two halves: 2

Garlic crushed: 2 cloves

Method:

I soaked the chickpeas in normal water for around 7-8 hours. Most people leave them soaked overnight. Then I take them in a pressure cooker, add soda and salt to taste. Then I took the rest of the spices used for boiling and packed them in a little muslin cloth bag. If you don’t have a cloth, then you can susbtitute the tea with a tea sachet (remove the paper label) and then place the spices directly to the peas. I normally use Lipton black tea if I need to do this. The purpose of the tea is to balance the acidity from soda. Then an added advantage is the colour that it gives which is a signature need for pindi chole. Then pressure cook the peas for 7-8 whistles. The peas should be cooked until they are absolutely soft and crush easily between the fingers. 

Once boiled, drain out the peas but don’t throw the water. Keep the water aside. Spread the peas in a pan and then add all the spices for final dish in the order that has been mentioned in the ingredient list. Just sprinkle each spice all over the surface without mixing.

For the final sizzling, take oil in a pan and heat it. Add carom seeds, ginger, chili and garlic and sauté until the ginger is slightly brown. Make sure that this doesn’t burn. Pour the hot oil tempering uniformly over the spiced chickpeas that we prepared just before this step. 

That’s it!! Pindi chole are ready. If you have coriander garnish with that. And some might like to garnish with finely chopped onion and lemon. I usually make a mixture of onion and lemon and keep it separately if someone wants it.

You can enjoy pindi chole with poori, paranthas, kachauri or rice 🙂 it is yum! 

Samosas

Today is New Years!! 2017 couldn’t have been a more confusing year for us emotionally as a family where while we suffered many loses while at the same time we were blessed with a new little person. So morning after morning I wake up and think of my son up in the clouds. My child who is not in my arms anymore, not in the human shape and form. But as they say life keeps going on. But really!!! How can life be moving on? Sometimes such questions bother me, but then the next second I come to the wise words of someone who said, “Despite what may, the courage lies in saying YES to life”

So this morning we woke up, and the very first instinct was to eat Samosas and Jalebi. This is a typical breakfast menu, though definitely not the lightest or the healthiest menu. However all that is not so healthy is super yum. Well so we enjoyed the morning today and have retorted to lighter meals during the rest of the day.

Today I am penning down the recipe for Samosa’s which was a mixed effort from my husband, mother in law and me. Well why not take help from experience of my mother in law. She is an awesome cook so we followed her tips.

For the filling:

  1. 6-7 boiled potatoes – chopped into small pieces
  2. 1/2 cup of steamed peas
  3. 2 tbsp cooking oil
  4. 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds (split into halves)
  5. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  6. a pinch of asafoetida
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 2 tbsp dried ground coriander
  9. 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  10. 1 tsp garam masala
  11. 1.5 tsp dried mango powder
  12. 1 tsp black rock salt
  13. 2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh coriander

For the shells:

  1. 225 gm of all purpose flour (i.e. maida in hindi)
  2. 3.5 tbsp ghee
  3. 0.5 tsp carom seeds
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. Less than half a cup of cold water

 

Method:

Mix the flour, ghee, carom seeds and salt. Mix the flour well rubbing between your fingers such that all the ghee is nicely soaked and mixed with the flour. To check if the ghee is sufficient, take a lump of mixed flour in your palm and close your fingers. The flour should slightly stick together. If this is so then the ghee is sufficient. If not add another tbsp of ghee and mix well using your fingers.

Next add the water little by little and make a tight dough. Too much water is not needed otherwise the samosa shells will not become crispy. I usually give the final task to my husband who then takes the flour and kneads it nicely until it is soft and smooth. The surface of the dough will become smooth and not have cracks.

Now for the filling, take the oil in a pan. When hot, add the split coriander seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds. Once they crackle add the potatoes and mix. Now add all the spices and mix well. Finally add the peas and let this mixture get roasted for around 3 minutes on medium flame. Stir once in a while. Finally switch off the flame, garnish with freshly chopped green coriander and mix well. Let the mixture cool down before filling into the samosas.


For the final step, divide the dough making small portions of the size of a golf ball. Take each little ‘golf ball’ portion and roll it into a thin round circular shape. Now carefully slit this circular flour base into two halves. Take one of the halves, add just enough filling and apply little cold water on the sides with your finger. The water in this case is used to glue the samosa together. Make all the samosas. Finally deep fry them on low-medium flame until golden brown.





Serve hot with your favourite chutney.

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