Beetroot Yogurt

Flavored Yogurt / Chocolate Beetroot Raita

It’s summer time and the kids are at home. Not only are they just at home, they are at home to chill. And “YOU” must provide the chill for them as for everything 🙂 . Well this one is a special and easy one, but mind you it will be a hit one every-time. Hit in fragrance, super hit in looks and mega hit in taste. Make sure that it’s cold and it’ll ensure that you are “cool” !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 cool kids
  • Preparation time : 5 minutes, I promise

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Beetroot grated 2 cups : Grate and squeeze them off their water if you are using yogurt or hung curd. If using regular curd, you may retain the water of the beet. Beet has a typical earthy aroma which it augurs while being underground all it’s life. It goes great with chocolate, coffee and other nuts. It lowers blood pressure, improves stamina and muscle power.
  • Chocolate syrup 1 cup : Want more cheers, add 1/2 cup more. But that’s it, any further and you’ll end up overdoing. …..and to delight your kids, let me share that Chocolate improves cognitive functions, and is a great antioxidant. It prevents diseases and maintains blood sugar and blood pressure.
  • Sugar 1/2 cup, regular white granular : Sugar from fruits is fructose which in itself has no vitamins and minerals but is an extremely essential dietary additive.
  • Curd 4 cups, regular milk’s curd : Digestion, skin, hair, everything benefits from curd. In sizzling summers, it keeps the internals in control. Curd is our basic dish component here.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Separate the curd in 2 bowl for varying flavors. While whisk one portion well, hang the other in a sieve or a muslin cloth to reduce the water off it. This will retain the yogurt part.
  • To one portion add the chocolate syrup and whisk up quick.
  • To the other portion (now dried off), add the grated and pressed beetroot. Add the sugar to it too and whisk hard for a couple of minutes. This will dissolve the sugar and minimize the beet fiber.
  • Serve the two bowls to the kids with some sweet bread. (In my experience, you will have to collect the bread back in 5 minutes 😉 )

Storage : Good life. Can refrigerate for 4 to 5 days easy.

Missing Something ? : You can add some caramel chunks in the chocolate bowl and some strawberry gum drops in the beetroot one.

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Ginger Garlic Mahi Mahi in Soy Sauce

Ginger Garlic Mahi Mahi in Soy Sauce

I recall asking a top Delhi restaurant, why they served a small crusty fillet on a large platter and embarrassing the waiter there. Now when I sat back to serve the Mahi Mahi fillet myself, I couldn’t think of any better than the same setting to magnify the little fillet with a power punch of flavors 🙂 . This Mahi Mahi was so different from the other fish I’ve prepared so far that I intend to reserve it for special instances only. Deserving exclusivity !!

…..need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to 3 forkings each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Mahi Mahi fillet 1 : This fish has a nice mild pinkish sweet and firm meat. I always go for fillets in Mahi Mahi since the fish has such a thick skin. The thick skin actually helps it endure the harsh west pacific waters. Mahi Mahi is also a source of all amino acids that our body needs.
  • Butter 1 tablespoon : Good butter has high soluble fats which are a better grease than margarine. It gives a mild salty taste to the fillet.
  • Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon : Sour effect of the dish comes from here and bring alongwith it, the Vitamin C benefits to eyes, hair and skin.
  • Garlic Cloves Chopped 1/2 teaspoon : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Ginger paste 1/2 teaspoon : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Black Pepper powder 1/8th teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Basil broken 1 teaspoon : Anti aging, anti cancer, anti bacterial herb is a great garnish due to it’s sweet and mixed spice aroma. Here a harvested a handful of sweet basil from my garden. As always, break their leaves and avoid chopping them. This retains their essence best.
  • Soy Sauce 1 teaspoon : It’s a low cal high antioxidant sauce with several good cholesterols. It has a fine salty taste and is widely prevalent in dishes across south east asia and China.
  • Oil 1 tablespoon : Use any tasteless and odorless light grease 
  • Salt : to taste. use sea salt for best flavors.

….let’s cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Mix the butter, lemon juice, black pepper, ginger paste and sea salt well.
  • Smash the garlic lightly with a pestle and add to the spice mix alongwith basil leaves.
  • Mix hard, mix well and maintain the raw essence in the mix.
  • Heat oil in a small pan for a minute and then add this spice mix. Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.
  • To this add the fish and the soy sauce. Actually, gently place the fillet amidst so as to avoid breaking it.
  • Cook on low heat for 6 minutes turning after every 2 minutes.
  • Now serve hot dressed with some parsley.

Storage : Whaaaatt, you’re cooking just 1 fillet !!

Missing Something ? : Can’t change this one. No variation in timing, ingredient and their proportions.

Veg Beetroot Chops

Beetroot Chops / Beetroot Cutlets

If there’s a delight for all seasons and for kids and adults equally, THIS IS IT ! Some call it railway style, some Bengali style, I would just like to call it the “MCMH-G-man” original style which is purely made of love (check out the shape of the heart). Breakfast, brunch or evening snack. With or without bread. With sauces, chutneys and ketchup these cutlets just rock the party. The berry red color just adds to the presentation looks. Do try and earn many happy compliments !!

 

…..need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 for sure
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to 3 chops each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Beetroot grated 1/2 cup : High in fiber, Vitamin C and manganese to help in immunity, bones, liver, kidney etc. Beet gives a bright and cheerful color to these cutlets.
  • Onions chopped 1/2 cup : Strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Carrots grated 1/2 cup : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Potatoes boiled mashed 1/2 cup : With virtually no sodium, no fats and no cholesterol and packed with potassium and Vitamin C  this fiber rich tuber veggie is undoubtedly one of the most famous ones across the globe.
  • Saunf (Fennel seeds) 1 teaspoon : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion.
  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon : Probably the most famous Asian spice ginger is also famous in Oceania and Caribbean and brings out the woody and pungent aroma. Benefits of ginger accrue from relieving throat infections, pain and nausea.
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) 1 teaspoon : One of the most popular musky and earthy spices, cumin also enhances respiration, immunity, diabetes control and has anti viral, anti bacterial properties.
  • Coriander seeds 1 teaspoon : Balances digestion. Another popular seasoning.
  • Green chilies ground to paste 1/2 teaspoon : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly.
  • Amchoor (dried raw mango powder) 1/2 teaspoon : Amchoor is a sour, fruity spice which is a good antacid and antioxidant. I add it here since the kids would love anything with amchoor in it.
  • Black pepper powder 1/3rd teaspoon : Black pepper is another skin friendly antibacterial agent, antioxidant which brings in hot pungency in the dish.
  • Oil to pan fry : Use any non flavored light vegetable oil with no fragrance of it’s own.
  • Salt to taste : I used 1/3rd teaspoon here

….let’s cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Dry grind the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a mortar pestle. I avoid the mixer with a fear to loose the authentic essence.
  • Saute the onions in a pan for 2 minutes on medium flame till they turn golden brown.
  • Add ginger paste and green chilies paste to it and stir further for a minute.
  • To this add grated carrot and beetroot and stir further for 2 more minutes.
  • Now to this, add the earlier ground spice mix (fennel, cumin and coriander), salt to taste, amchoor powder and 1/4th cup of water. Mix well and cook well for 2 minutes on medium flame to allow the water to evaporate completely.
  • Take this off the flame now and allow to cool. Add potatoes and ground black pepper to this and mix the entire mixture well.
  • This can be then used to make raw chops/cutlets in shapes of your desire.
  • Now grease the same pan and heat for a minute. Cook these chops now for around 4 minutes till they are red brown.
  • Serve with chutneys, sauces, dips, ketchup and await the yum filled applause !!

Storage : Can keep refrigerated for 1 week (if you can manage to save them 🙂 )

Missing Something ? : Please do not iterate or you’ll miss the fun.

Som Tan Thai Green Papaya Salad

Som Tam Thai Green Papaya Salad

This one just comes naturally. It’s almost a regular fixture on south Asian tables. It’s so different than the zesty Raw Papaya Salad, which I shared a few weeks back. In come the crunch and earthiness through peanuts and the sticky tang through the tamarind here. Another motivation for making raw papaya salads in different forms is that I live in a monkey infested area and obviously, I want to relish my papayas before the monkeys do, so better green than yellow. As you may have guessed correctly, the kids ensure that there is no shelf life of this salad :-D…. Do make this in a few minutes and have fun !!

 

…..need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 5 to 6
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to 3 tablespoons

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Papaya grated 500 grams, approx. 2 cups : Papaya which is generally a ripened food product is rich in fiber, Vitamin C and improves digestion. Here we use raw grated papaya which is quite like a less watery and less sweet but firmer melon.
  • Carrots grated 2 : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Garlic cloves chopped 4 : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Tamarind 2 tablespoon : This is the real tangy flavor in the dish. It also has beneficial effects like easing stomach ache, helping in digestion, fever etc.
  • Peanuts crushed 3 tablespoon : The nutty and earthy nuts are good for heart and a good source of protein and fiber. 
  • Jaggery 2 teaspoon : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.
  • Soy Sauce 1/4th teaspoon : It is the most popular umami fixture I guess.
  • Basil broken 2 tablespoon : In this I used lime basil leaves which I pluck-wash at my garden. Basil is the “King of Herbs” for many reasons. It is a strong anti oxidant. It fights virus, bacteria and other microbes in the body. Besides the regular peppery flavor, the lime basil has sweet and citrus essence too. Since I wanted to enhance the tanginess, I used this basil.
  • Salt to taste : I used 1/3rd teaspoon for this. 

….let’s cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Pound the chopped garlic cloves with a rolling pin or using a light mortar pestle.
  • Add the carrots in the mortar (remember, its already grated) and pound a little more to soften the crispiness.
  • To this add the grated green papaya and mix well. Crush the entire mixture a little more by twisting the pestle rather than pounding it.
  • Now loosen the mixed salad by tossing lightly using a fork.
  • Now mix honey, tamarind, soya sauce and salt well into a dressing.
  • Dress the salad with this prepared tamarind dressing.
  • Add broken basil leaves and peanuts and toss well again.
  • Salad ready to please !!

Storage : Don’t store please. The salad will shed water and spoil itself.

Missing Something ? : Try Himalayan pink salt instead of regular salt. It will give a much earthy and authentic essence.

Seasoned Fried Squid Rings, Fried Calamari

Seasoned Fried Squid Rings / Fried Calamari

Quick, easy and different seafood lead me to look for some South Indian cuisine and as always, I tried my variations to suit my table. The squids are a food of which I use only the tubes or tentacles chopped in small rings. They came out amazingly well. Though till date, I’ve not tried another dish with squids, I’ve had the culinary delight to make this one 2 to 3 times over. They come out as a great evening snacks and the kids love it too (they love everything fried as it is, don’t they 🙂 ). Do try, am sure there’ll be lip smacking faces all around once you serve !

Seasoned Fried Squid Rings, Fried Calamari
Squid Rings marinated in milk

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 500 grams of squid rings would be a treat for 4
  • Preparation time : 2 hours of marinate + 6 minutes of frying

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Squid Rings 500 grams : Rings are separately available at local fish markets or as whole tubes (which are the tentacles of the squids). If you get whole squids, you can chop off the tentacles about an inch away from the main body of the squid and then chop them into rings. Calamari has a mild sweet and nutty flavor with a firm meat. Like most seafood, it is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B complex, magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron. Just make sure you buy fresh, clean properly and buy always from reliable sources.
  • Cornflour 4 tablespoon : Cornflour’s starchiness binds the spices to the squid rings. It also absorbs the milk to sweeten the batter well. Always choose a good quality of cornflour, it will good source of fiber and an antioxidant.
  • Garlic mashed 5 cloves : 70% of my dishes have the “King Pungent” in them with tremendous health benefits like preventing sickness, common cold and regulating blood pressure.
  • Lemon juice 1 tablespoon : This is a great digestive with Vitamin C providing skin and hair freshness and aiding in digestion and weight loss. Brings the essential sour taste to the dish.
  • Milk 4 tablespoon : Milk is an earthy condenser to the marinade in this dish. It softens the otherwise firm meat of the squid.
  • Parsley chopped 2 teaspoon : Freshly plucked parsley act as wonderful garnish with amazing breath freshening properties too. I have moss green, dark curled parsley almost all throughout the year in my garden.
  • Salt ‘n Pepper : To taste 
  • Olive oil : Enough to deep fry

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Marinate the squid rings with milk, salt and pepper and mashed garlic cloves and keep aside for 2 hours. You will see that the milk would have condensed by then and the spices well immersed into the squid rings.
  • Now coat the squid rings in cornflour and salt.
  • Heat the oil in a pan on high for 2 minutes.
  • Deep fry the squid rings in this oil till they are golden brown in color.
  • Take off the squid rings from the skittle and place them in a tray lined with paper towels. This will soak dry the extra oil from the squids. Sprinkle the lemon juice over them.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve hot along with your favorite sauce. I use the Cherry Tomato Ketchup in Basil which I make for the entire season in one shot.

Storage : No storing please. The food is as fast as the squid in an ocean itself 🙂

Missing Something ? : You can choose to use white pepper powder instead of black. That’s almost all the change you can do with this. Happy Cooking !!

Orange Rinds

Orange Rinds

All of us with a love to cook are often looking for things that are multi utility, i.e. they are great with many dishes. I am always vying for such creations. I love to prepare Jams, Pickles, Sauces and now this is the recipe of orange rinds which go well with many complimenting deserts and can be stored for as long as 3 months. Believe me, if you have an active kid in your house, you’ll be making it for 3 months but he/she will wipe it off in 30 days max :-D… Enjoy making this and storing it as a great side for weeks to come !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : No counts available for happiness and smiles that these will bring
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes of cooking + 60 minutes of preparation

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Orange peels of 2 oranges : Top flavor for a candy across countries. Best tangy essence.Did you know that 1 orange gives you over 125% of Vitamin C that you require for a day !! It helps in the betterment of the health of your skin, heart, blood sugar etc.
  • Sugar, white, 1 cup granules : Keep it clear to allow the orange colour to shine prime. For that white sugar does the job best. It’s completely neutral and a great enhancer to the orange flavor.
  • Water 3/4th cup : Clear, fresh

….let’s cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash and rise the orange peels well and then pat dry them completely. Let them not retain their own moisture.
  • Lay these peels as flat as possible on a chopping board and slice thin strips off them. A good size would be around 1/2 cm wide. Too wide will allow some bitterness to reside in your rinds.
  • Blanch these peels now. My way is quick. Can choose this one. Take 2 sauce pans. Pour cold water in one and regular in the other. place the pan with regular water on gas flame till it starts boiling. Let it be there. Now put all rinds in a steel strainer. Alternatively dip the rinds for 2 minutes each in both the sauce pans. Do it 3 times each. This blanching takes away all the bitterness of the orange peel.
  • The peels may now look faded a bit. Do not worry. The color will brighten once coated with sugar syrup.
  • Now take fresh water in a sauce pan (3/4th cup) and bring to boil. Add the sugar to it and stir well to mix completely. Boil it further for 2 minutes to reduce it slightly and allow the syrup to thicken.
  • Add the orange peeled strips to it and move on medium flame till the syrup reduce to 20% of what we started at. It can take around 10 minutes of stirring.
  • Then take off the flame and allow to cool off completely.
  • Here we are with our orange candy strips.
  • Refrigerate and enjoy for 6 months !

Storage : Can keep refrigerated for 20-25 weeks while using it.

Missing Something ? : Some whole (uncrushed) peppercorns and cinnamon stick (1/2 inch) can be added to the sugar syrup before adding the orange peel strips. This enhance the fragrance to a whole different zone.

Masala Mackerel in Curry Leaves & Tamarind Gravy

Masala Mackerel in Curry Leaves & Tamarind Gravy

Mackerel is not just one fish, it is in fact a breed of different types of fishes all living across coasts of Pacific and Indian oceans. Wherever the fish can’t swim, the cans of mackerel are found easily. Without much ado, mackerel is one of the most popular fishes across the globe. That being said, the dearie is high in sodium, vitamin D & B12. In summers in North India, the red meat goes off as an option in the 45 degrees + temperatures so my favorite seafood reveals itself as an excellent option. Easy to handle, quick to prepare and compatible to most spices of our planet, seafood just rocks. This dish I prepare whenever I have no other option and want to “tangify” my senses in a few minutes flat. Read on & enjoy making it yourself !!

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 per fish as per my appetite 🙂
  • Preparation time : 20 mins total

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Mackerel, cut & cleaned 1 : Mackerel is like any other fatty fish, good in Omega 3, Vitamin D & B12 hence is anti aging, anti cardiovascular diseases, anti prostrate cancer etc. It has a milder taste. So where I would cook tuna dry or blanched in salads, I know my mackerel flavors best with ground spices.
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar.
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 inch : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient which I often use in seafood.
  • Peppercorns 4 to 5 : Pepper aids respiration and digestion. It is also an antibacterial, anti oxidant and improves skin texture. They have the obvious mild fiery flavor.
  • Cumin seeds 1/4th teaspoon : It has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Cloves 3 to 4 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, [ain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Red Chillies 2 : Dried red chillies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Tamarind paste 1 teaspoon : Tamarind fights cancer and helps in digestion. It is a good source of Vitamin C and anti oxidants. It brings the basic sour and tangy flavor to the gravy of the dish.
  • Ginger 1 inch piece : Ginger is consumed by us dried, fresh and chopped, ground dried or as a paste. It can be stored for very long and is extremely easy to grow in your garden It relieves nausea and is a pain killer. It has a warn, sweet and woody.
  • Garlic cloves 5 to 6 : Pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure.
  • Onion chopped 1 : I generally use the red, mild onions with white layers inside. They have a fair taste and are great in controlling blood sugar.
  • Curry Leaves 1/2 a twig of about 6 to 7 leaves : There isn’t a household in India which does not have a curry leaves plant. They have high amount of calcium, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B, C and A hence helping heart, hair, skin and fighting infections. Here I add them for their extreme spicy aroma.
  • Mustard Oil 1 tablespoon : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages. 
  • Salt : to taste, Mr. Congeniality, extremely adjustable

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Marinade the fish in turmeric powder and salt. This takes away the smell of the sea. Keep covered for 10 minutes in fridge or 30 minutes at regular temperature.
  • Now, coarsely grind cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin seeds, cloves, dried red chilies, tamarind, ginger and garlic using the vinegar as the liquid base. You may add a tablespoon of water if your paste seems to dry and powdery.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a pan. As it crackles add the curry leaves to it and saute over medium flame for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions to this and stir till golden brown.
  • Now add the masala paste prepared earlier and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 & 1/2 cup water to it and cook on high for 3 minutes.
  • Add the marinated mackerel to the pan now.
  • Bring the flame to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Storage : Are you kidding me ? I couldn’t keep my hands off it till the last slurp.

Missing Something ? : Keeping all the spices same, you can add a teaspoon of sugar to the dish to bring in a slight variation. This can be added along with the fish in the final step. Happy Cooking !!

Yam cooked in Nawabi Style

Ratalu Nawabi Style / Yam cooked in Nawabi Style

Yam has many names, types, faces and places that it comes from. None of its shapes is attractive and it also has a rather peculiar style of cooking. What yam has been blessed with is the amazing number of ways it be cooked and the amazing dishes that can be conjured with it. The idea to cook this one came from headstrong drive in me to just go and do it. I mean, I have been considering yam as one of the tough cooking stuff, so I took it head on and peel chop flame cook = slurp !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4 for a wholesome meal
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes to get a sumptuous meal

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Yam (Ratalu) 250 gms to 300 gms : Yam is a tuber and is harvested as a root. It has a distinct starchy taste and a very earthy fragrance. Yam is very high in Vitamin C & B and hence makes the bones strong, fights cold, is anti aging and enhances our immunity as well.
  • Curd 150 gms, it’ll be around 1 cup : Curd marinades and brings the sour and cheesy taste to the dish. A natural antacid, curd is loaded with calcium, potassium, vitamin B12 etc. and settles your stomach very well in summer luncheons.
  • Dry Mint, crushed 1/3rd teaspoon : Mint has a strong, pungent yet pleasant fragrance. Mint is a great appetizer, treats nausea, inflammation and is extremely re-invigorating.
  • Heeng, any clarified asafoetida, 1 pinch : Heeng has a pungent garlicky fragrance and gets breathing and blood sugar in control. 
  • Cumin seeds, 1/3rd teaspoon : Cumin has thymol which aids digestion, is anti viral and anti bacterial, is good for skin, sugar and respiratory system. It adds a nutty essence to the dish.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Orange, pungent and bitter spice, turmeric is added to the dish here due to its strong antioxidant properties.
  • Coriander, chopped, 1/2 teaspoon : Coriander provides the garnish to the dish and takes off any unwanted smell. Coriander is also a great digestive and also aids in the digestive and blood system of our body. The sweet coriander is one of the most popular garnish across fat cooked dishes. I pluck the whole plant from my garden since roots give the best flavor in the coriander plant.
  • Ginger paste, 1/2 teaspoon : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Garam Masala, 1/2 teaspoon : The ever popular Indian concoction of spices helps in weight loss, pain fight, immunity boost etc. True to its name, it’s hot and powerful. Imagine being the blend of around 10 powerful spice essence.
  • Green Chilli, 1 : Most indian dishes need some tingling of your senses and green chillies are best and healthiest way of doing so. Chilies are great for your eyesight and skin too.
  • Ghee (or any saturated fat), 1/4th cup : Unlike popular belief, ghee actually helps in weight loss. It is also a great soluble of most vegetables and strengthens bones doing so. We use ghee here for cooking for its great buttery essence.
  • Oil (preferably mustard), 1/2 cup for deep-frying the yam : Mustard has that tardy pungency which enhances the flavor of the dish. In many cases, mustard oil is an anti inflammatory, cardiac healthy, antibacterial and antifungal oil which is great for hair and skin.
  • Salt : Mr. Variable, always as per taste.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Peel the ratalu and dice it into small semi circles. Thicker than a potato chip but not more than 1 cm in thickness.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the slices well till their stickiness goes away. ** This is a very critical step in cooking any type of yam. Take off the flame once done.
  • Now in a separate pan heat the ghee till it is hot and molten. Add the cumin seeds in it and stir till it crackles.
  • Add the heeng powder and mix well. Now carefully add the ginger paste (so as not to make it sputter and burn you). Mix all well and saute on medium flame for 2 minutes.
  • Now in this pan, add the garam masala, turmeric powder, green chilli and mint powder. Stir mix well and saute for 1 minute.
  • To this add the curd and simmer cook for 5 minutes further till the rawness from the spices and the curd is gone.
  • Add yam, salt (I added 1/4th teaspoon of salt in this) and cook for 10 minutes. Dim the flame and simmer for 5 minutes further covered with a lid.
  • Take off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander and serve joyfully.

Storage : Refrigeration up to 5 days wont spoil the dish, but then why over cook so much?

Missing Something ? : All I can think of appending is probably allowing some lemon zest to the dish. +/- nothing in this please. You can always maximise the secret ingredient in any dish i.e. LOVE.

Cranberry (Karonda) Baby Corn & Beet Root pickle

Cranberry Pickle in Baby Corn and Beet Root

In my boyhood days, I recall a 40 feet hedge across our front yard with red and white pearl like fruits. The bushes had thorns enough to deter the random pickers and the fruits had ugly, sticky milk flowing across its stem. The thorns and the milk kept all kids away from this hardy fruit. Later we realized that this was in fact the ‘Cranberry’ or the karonda fruit. Due to its initial put offs, the fruit is not a very popular one but people in arid regions know multiple usage and benefits of a cranberry. Eaten like a fruit, used in veggies, chutneys, pickles and salads this one is an amazing fruit along with other sides or main dishes. Here I prepare a pickle of he cranberry using its sharp sour taste and baby corn and beets. 10 minutes of preparation is giving me delight a year after it’s preparation. Try this and you will want to share your iterations of the same, I promise !!

 

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : It’s a pickle, goes with any snack and bread
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes of preparation + 5 minutes of cooking + 2 weeks of bottled sunshine. That’s it

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Cranberry (Karonda)  1 cup, chopped half ways : Super sour berry of the bush it has a sharp acidic flavor that is sure to make you pinch yourself once in the first bite for sure. 🙂 . White when ripening and red when ripened completely. You will generally find then in half pink half white shades. But they are best flavored when deep red in colour. They help in reducing blood pressure and clear urinary system. 
  • Baby corns, slit in the middle & chopped in 1 inch pieces, 1 cup : Baby corns bring in the crunch, the earthiness and the starchiness in the pickle. It is very beneficial for hair and skin and gives energy while building body cells too.
  • Beetroot, chopped to 1 inch slices, 1/2 cup : Beetroot is my favorite garden vegetable. I use every bit of it apart from the root skin to conjure up my dishes. Beetroot gives me ideas in colour and flavours. Beet is extremely healthy too. Beet improves stamina, is a good antioxidant and contains overall balance of minerals.
  • Celery stalks, 1/2 cup, chopped to 1 inches (don’t exclude the stem parts, add all edible shoots) : Super shot of health benefits, celery is an excellent antioxidant and loaded with vitamin C, K and B6. I make sure that ample celery survives in summers in my kitchen garden. Celery brings in the pungency in the pickle without adding the garlic in it.
  • Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoon : One with no flavour and no taste will draw out those from the ingredients best.
  • Salt to taste : Try to use a coarse salt here since the salt has a big role in making this pickle sour. I used Himalayan pink salt for its amazing earthy essence.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Heat a skillet and heat 1 tablespoon of oil in it.
  • Add the celery and saute for 1 minute.
  • Now add the rest of the veggies (beets, cranberries and babycorn) and mix well. Saute this for 2 minutes. Minor cooking is enough if you are looking for a crunch in your pickle.
  • Sprinkle salt over it and the rest of the oil (i.e. remaining 1 tablespoon). Mix well and cook further for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Take off the flame and allow to cool. When well cooled, bottle your pickle in a sanitized bottle.
  • Place your bottle/jar in direct sunshine for 2 straight weeks, then enjoy for months !

Storage : I finished my jar in 5 months. You can push the timeline for 12 months easy.

Missing Something ? : 4 veggies, oil & salt.. You’re not using much, what can you replace 😀 . I actually added some slit and deseeded green chillies but don’t suggest so if kids would eat this one.

Pak Choy in Garlic Sauce

Pak Choy in Garlic Sauce

Growing up, I only saw this vegetable across select stalls in the market. Pak choy is not a traditional Indian veggie. Time makes the boundaries go thinner and last year’s winters saw over 200 pak choys in my kitchen garden, sufficient for many meals, snacks and giftings. It is quite a charm to harvest and cook your own meals the organic way. This dish in garlic sauce is a favorite of many at my place esp. my sister for whom I try to cook up goodies myself whenever she visits. With an investment of a few minutes and even fewer ingredients, you can charm your guests and kids with this amazing dish. I cook it up in the evenings for a snack but it is a great accompaniment as a side dish to noodles or fried rice. I can promise you that you can do this one sooner than the time taken to read it’s recipe 😀 !!

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes, that’s all

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Pak Choy 250 gms, that’ll be 2-3 medium sized pak choy with leaves and stalks plucked from the base : True to it’s green leafy genre, pak choy has good amount of fibre, calcium, iron, protein and carbohydrates. In taste it is quite like cabbage and in looks it rules the sight of your kitchen garden with it’s lovely spouting leaves from the base.
  • Ginger 2 inches : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Garlic 8 cloves grated : The king pungent as I call it, garlic provides the base flavor of this dish. Garlic is highly nutritious. It combats sickness, heals sore throat and regulates blood pressure as well.
  • Sesame Oil 1 tablespoon : korean dishes = sesame (oil or seeds). It is more of a flavor than a cooking oil here with it’s nutty essence. It is rich in copper, manganese, magnesium and calcium hence being a great antioxidant and skin toner.
  • Refined wheat flour (maida) 1 tablespoon : This provides the viscosity to the sauce yet maintaining it fine texture.
  • Soya Sauce 1 tablespoon : It’s a low cal high antioxidant sauce with several good cholesterols. It has a fine salty taste and is widely prevalent in dishes across south east asia and China.
  • Sugar 1 tablespoon : Gets necessary sweetness to the dish adding fibre and aiding digestion too.
  • Salt to taste : Did you know 90% of dishes are cooked in salt. Am actually amazed that there are 10% others as well 🙂 
  • Water 5 tablespoons : Needed for cooking to soften the veggie.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Heat the sesame oil in a non stick pan for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Now add the ginger after chopping it in tiny bits and fry it for a minute.
  • To this add the grated garlic cloves and stir for another minute.
  • Add salt and pak choy leaves in this, set the flame on high and toss around the veggies for a minute till well greased. You can increase the cooking time to 3 minutes if you want your dish well done or if your pak choy is aged.
  • Now set this aside and heat a fresh pan.
  • Cook the flour in it till brown and start adding water & soya sauce in it slowly so as not to form chunks of flour. if they start forming break them with your stirring spoon. Make a loose sauce out of it.
  • To this add sugar, salt and cook till dissolved. Should take around 4 – 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Now pour this sauce over the pak choy done earlier and serve quickly.
  • Done !! Told you, it’ll be done while your reading is done.

Storage : Cook only as much as you can eat. This won’t store much, refrigeration will spoil the veggie.

Missing Something ? : Slit and deseeded green chillies will be great in the veggie while initial cooking if there are no children to be served. With 4- 5 ingredients, you really shouldn’t try any iterations.