Friday, December 28, 2007

Dum Ka Karela

Serves: Four
Time required: One hour 15 minutes plus baking time
12 bitter grounds (karelas)
Salt to taste
15 g ginger paste
15 g garlic paste
1 tsp (5 g) turmeric powder
Butter for basting and greasing.
For the filling:
150 g paneer, grated
60 g groundnuts
1 tbs (15 g) sesame seeds
15 g coconut
1 tsp (5 g) cummin seeds
2 (120 g) large onions
5 cm ginger, julienned
1 1/2 tsp (7 g) coriander powder
1 tsp (5 g) chilli powder
Salt to taste
2 tbs (30 ml) tamarind pulp
15 g jaggery, crushed
For the tempering:
3 tbs (45 ml) sesame oil
1/2 tsp (2 g) cummin seeds
1/2 tsp (2 g) mustard seeds
1/4 tsp (1 g) fenugreek seeds
24 curry leaves
WASH and slit the bitter gourds on one side. Remove the seeds and rub with salt.
Arrange on a tilting tray and keep aside for at least an hour. (Keep the bitter gourds overnight if you prefer them to be even less bitter).
Put enough water in a pan. Add salt, ginger paste, garlic paste, and turmeric powder.
Stir and bring to a boil. Add the bitter gourds and blanch them until soft. Drain and keep aside.
To prepare the filling:
Remove the brown skin and roughly chop the coconut. Dry roast the coconut,
groundnuts, sesame seeds and cummin seeds in a frying pan until each emits its unique aroma. Hold the onions with tongs and roast them directly over the flame until the skin is charred. Cool, peel and roughly chop the onions. Grind all these ingredients, except paneer, with 1/4th cup water to fine paste.Add paneer, ginger, jaggery, corriander powder and chilli powder to the paste and mix well.
To prepare the tempering:
Heat oil in a frying pan and season with cummin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Stir over medium heat until they begin to crackle. Add curry leaves and stir.
Pour over the paste, mix well and divide into 12 equal portions. Put a portion of the filling into each of the blanched bitter gourds. Arrange them in a greased roasting tray
with the slit side on top. Cover with foil. Punch a few holes in the foil and cook on dum in the pre-heated oven at 275oF for 30 minutes, basting at regular intervals. Remove and uncover.
To serve: Remove to a serving dish and serve with cummin-tempered whole potatoes and buttered seasonal vegetables on the side.

Khatti Arvi Ka Saalan

Serves: Four
Time required: 50 minutes
16 medium sized arvi
2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
5 tbs (75 ml) oil
8 flakes (16 g) garlic
1/2-tsp (2 g) mustard seeds
1/2-tsp (2 g) cummin seeds
1 tsp (5 g) urad dal
4 whole dried red chillies
16 curry leaves
200 g onions, chopped fine
3/4 cup (180 ml) fresh tomato puree
4 tbs (60 ml) Tamarind pulp
3 tsp (15 g) coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 g) chilli powder
1 tsp (5 g) turmeric powder
1 tbs (15 g) jaggery
Salt to taste
WASH the arvi thoroughly and cook with enough water till done. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil again. Drain. When cool, peel and quarter lengthwise and reserve in a panful of water.
Grate the jaggery and reserve in three tbs water.
Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and saut over medium heat until light brown. Add mustard seeds, cummin seeds, urad dal and whole red chillies. Stir until the seeds begin to crackle. Add curry leaves. Stir for a minute. Add onions and saut until golden. Add tomato puree, tamarind pulp, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir-fry until the oil floats on top. Add salt and three cups water. Bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, add arvi and jaggery. Bring it to a boil again. Lower the heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, until the gravy reaches thin sauce consistency. Remove and adjust the seasoning.
To serve: Remove to a serving bowl and serve with steamed rice.

Aloo Gobhi Methi Ka Tuk

Serves: Four
Time required: 35 minutes
4 (500 g) large potatoes with skin
200 g fenugreek
Salt to taste
5 tbs (75 ml) oil
2 g mustard seeds
24 curry leaves
20 g ginger paste, strained
10 g garlic paste, strained
800 g cauliflower, cut into medium sized flowerettes
1 tsp (9 g) yellow chilli powder
1 tsp (9 g) amchur powder
1/2 tsp (2 g) cummin powder
1/2 tsp (1.5 g) fresh black pepper powder, coarsely ground
A generous pinch of kasuri methi
For the garnishing: 30 g fresh pomegranate seeds
QUARTER the potatoes and then halve each quarter lengthwise. Blanch in salted
boiling water until al dente (almost cooked, but not soft and squishy). Drain and keep aside. Sprinkle salt over the fenugreek and rub between the palms to reduce some of the bitterness. Wash in running water, drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai or wok and season with mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves. Stir for some time. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste. Stir-fry until the moisture evaporates. Then add fenugreek and stir for a few seconds. Add cauliflower, yellow chilli powder and salt. Stir well. Lower the heat. Cover and cook (for about six minutes) until al dente. Uncover and increase to medium heat. Add potatoes and stir-fry for five minutes. Sprinkle amchur powder, cummin powder, pepper powder and kasuri methi. Stir well. Check the seasoning and remove from heat.
To serve:Remove to a serving dish, garnish with pomegranate and serve with tandoori paratha, bidari paratha or puri.

Bhakar Wadi

(Spicy gram flour snack)
Serves: Four
Time required: One hour
240 g. gram flour
120 g. wheat flour
salt to taste
a pinch of asafoetida
oil for deep frying
100 g. grated coconut
60 g. sesame seeds
60 g. poppy seeds
a pinch of sugar
salt and chilli powder to taste
100 g. coriander leaves, chopped fine
a marble sized ball of tamarind, soaked in a little water
black masala powder (branded curry powder) to taste
MIX together gram flour and wheat flour. Add salt, asafoetida, 60 ml. hot oil and
enough water. Knead to a stiff dough. Keep it aside.
Roast the grated coconut, sesame seeds and poppy seeds and grind to a powder.
Add sugar, salt, chilli powder and coriander leaves to the masala powder to
prepare the filling for bhakar wadi. Add tamarind pulp and black masala powder
and mix well. Divide the dough into small portions and roll each portion into a thin rectangular shaped chappati. Spread the filling all over the chappati and roll up the dough with the filling into a tight cylindrical shape. Seal the edges with a little water.
Cut into three cm. long pieces and deep fry in hot oil till brown and crisp. Remove
from oil and store in an airtight container.

Ravva Dosa

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Required Ingredients:
Yoghurt (preferably sour)-1 cup
Rice flour --1/2 cup
Moida --1/4 cup
Semolina (Bombay Ravva)-1 cup
Chopped Ginger --1 inch piece
Chopped Coriander --fistful
Crushed Cashew nuts --15
Finely Chopped Green Chilies--2 (about 1.5 tsp)
Chopped Fresh Coconut--2 tbsp (very small pieces)
Cumin Seeds --1 tsp
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Mix everything except oil. Add enough amount of water and mix well such
that when you pour batter on the frying pan, all you have to do is tilt the frying
pan for the batter to spread out thinly and evenly. You shouldn't use an
implement to spread the batter. It should spread on its own.

Masala Vada

Cooking time: 30 minutes (with soaking time of 1.5 hours)
Serves 4-5
Required ingredients:
Split Bengal Gram (channa dal)-1 cup
Split Green Gram (moong dal) --1/4 cup
Cinnamon -half inch stick
Coriander Seeds Powder (dhaniya powder) --1 tsp.
Ginger Paste --1 tsp.
Garlic --1 tsp.
Nutmeg Powder-1/4 tsp.
Chopped Onion -1/2 cup
Chopped Green Chili --1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry
Mix the two dals and soak for 1.5 hours.
Drain water from the soaked soal. Add salt to taste and put it in a mixture and grind into a semi-soft paste (do not make too soft; do not add any water).
Crush cinnamon stick and cloves into powder and add to the paste. Add coriander seeds powder, nutmeg powder, onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Mix well. Make this dough into small balls (roughly half the size of a
golf ball) and keep aside.
In a deep skillet warm oil and deep fry the balls on lo w heat until brown.

Pulihora (Tamarind Rice)

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
Required ingredients:
Rice --3 cups
Tamarind Extract--5 tbsp.
Split Bengal Gram --2 tbsp.
Peanuts-0.5 cup
Mustard Seeds --0.5 tsp.
Dried Red Chile--5
Green Chile --4
Black Pepper Corns --8
Turmeric Powder --0.5 tsp.
Oil --0.5 cup
Water --5 cups
Coriander Leaves --1 bunch
Curry Leaves --20
Sesame Seeds --1 tbsp. (powdered)
Asafoetida --0.5 tsp.
Salt to taste
In a large bowl, add water and rice and cook until well done. Remove from heat and in a wide, large bowl spread out the rice. Add turmeric, half of the curry leaves and three tablespoons of oil to the rice and mix thoroughly. Keep it aside.
Meanwhile in a skillet, heat remaining oil on low heat. To this add black mustard seeds, split bengal gram, red chile, pepper corns and peanuts. When the bengal gram turns light brown, add coriander leaves,remaining curry leaves,asafoetida, sliced green chiles and tamarind extract. Stir well. Remove from heat. Now add salt and sesame seed powder to the skillet and add it all to the bowl containing rice. Mix thoroughly. Serve with Verusanagapappu Pacchadi or plain yoghurt.
Note: You can adjust the amount of tamarind extract according to your taste.