Radish Beans Salad / Mongra Salad

Radish Beans Salad / Mongra Salad

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Summers are on while the spring is rapidly vanishing alongwith my veggie greens. So while it’s the time to bring in the beans and gourds in the garden, it’s the time for final harvesting of lettuce, radish etc. some of which have been purposely allowed to bolt. After the radish bolts into white flowers, they develop small beans or pods which are extremely yummy and pungent if harvested in proper time.

This salad is prepared with a handful of radish beans, some green chickpeas, some freshly harvested beetroot and some lettuce. It is so refreshing while I am dug up in my subjects and keeps my burning tummy cool and healthy. Very similar in yumm quotient as the sassy egg chaat which I shared sometime back. I have it for breakfast as well as a 4 pm meal and I bet you will not miss trying it at least once since it’s so simple. So read on, try on and party on 🙂 !!

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 to 2
  • Preparation time : 5 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Radish Beans, Mongra, 1 cupful : Regular radish plants bolts after the root has ripened (i.e. it grows buds and generates flowers). These flowers then falls off giving way to the beans or pods (hindi : mongra). While it is cooked in dishes as a pungent veggie, I enjoy it well in my salad.
  • Beetroot, 2 average sized, 3/4th cup : High in fiber, Vitamin C and manganese to help in immunity, bones, liver, kidney etc. We harvest a decent amount of beet from tubs and sacks in our garden every year. We use the leaves and the stalks as well besides the meaty root.
  • Lettuce, Loose leaves, 1 plateful : Lettuce is amazing in summers (though hard to find in this season). It’s so hot in Delhi in summers that all my lettuce dries up (if any is left) by early march itself. It has over 90% water and very low fiber. It gives us Vitamin C, potassium, calcium to us adding the mild peppery and crunchy flavor to the salad.
  • Green Chickpeas, 1 cupful : Green chickpea is less available as against it’s dried counterpart which  is a rather popular pulse in Indian kitchens. However, if you can get hold of green chickpeas you have better than peas fresh ones at hand. Raw, crunchy, and high in proteins, fibers and folate and anti-oxidants you would supplement them for peas any good day. 
  • Chaat Masala, 1 teaspoon : Again, one of the most popular Indian seasoning for salads etc. Chat masala is typically made by dry grinding coriander seeds, cumin, carom seeds, rock salt, mint, mango powder and a few other things. Again, besides all the digestive and other heath benefits, the chat masala brings in the ‘Xing’ factor.
  • Salt to taste : Regular table salt would do in this.
  • Lime juice, 1 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.

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

  • Get a large light bowl. Large to make space for all veggies and light, so it allows sufficient tossing.
  • Line up the bowl with lettuce and sprinkle salt across.
  • Add the veggies, mix them (beet, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes, radish beans and the green chickpeas) and toss them in the bowl.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice and sprinkle the chaat masala. Toss the salad well to your satisfaction.
  • There you go !!

Storage : Please do not. It looses the crunch .

Missing Something ? : You can grate some mild pepper like jalapeno if you so seek.

Potatoes in Chili Basil Chutney

Potatoes in Chili Basil Chutney

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The festival of Navratras bring glitter in Indian atmosphere, especially so in North and Western India. This is the time when all meat culinary goes for a hibernation and out come the vegetarian conjures. 

This is one such moment  when the last burst of green were being harvested from my garden in the late springs. I came up with the idea of cooking up a chutney recipe with all the basic greens and throwing in some potatoes as well. Easy Peasy – Yummy Tummy !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 to 5
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basil, sweet or Thai, 2 bowlfuls : In this I used sweet or Genovese 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. I grow 4 to 5 types of basil in my garden and am always looking for new things to do with it.
  • Olive Oil, 2 tablespoon : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.
  • Garlic Ginger paste , 1 tablespoon : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Cheese cube, 2 100 gram cubes : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Green Chilies, 4 : 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.
  • Mint, a handful, about 150 grams : Mint is chopped well from our garden since they are extremely easy to grow. They are slightly bitter and sour with an umami essence. It is great for digestion and is a great anti oxidant.
  • Cumin seeds, 100 grams : Cumin 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.
  • Coriander, 100 grams : This comes straight from my garden. Gives an orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Salt to taste : Regular table salt would do in this.
  • Onions, chopped, 1 medium : 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.
  • Lime juice, 1 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.

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

  • Grind the greens to a nice paste. You can wet grind it in a processor. There’s not much risk here to loose flavor but the coarseness should not be felt in the chutney later.
  • Mix the cheese grated well and keep it aside.
  • Boil the potatoes firm. Do not overboil else they’ll get mashed badly while cooking. We need to see them in the dish.
  • Heat the oil in a pan at medium heat till it starts evaporating.
  • Now add cumin in it and stir till it crackles.
  • Add the onions and the lime juice and stir for a while. About 4 minutes on medium heat should be good.
  • Now add the chilies (deseeded) and stir for about a minute.
  • Add the green paste now and stir cook on medium to high heat for 8 minutes till well done.
  • Add the boiled potatoes (chopped in an inch cubes). Cook further for 5 minutes. You may cover the pan now.
  •  There you are !!

Storage : Good for storage for upto 3 days at optimum temperature .

Missing Something ? : You can use mustard seeds instead of cumin to cook.

Pinwheel Tiffins (Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Pinwheels)

Pinwheel Tiffins (Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Pinwheels)

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I have always admired the wisdom of the traditional homemakers due to their practical ability to churn out the right dishes for the right moods and within the handful of ingredients in the kitchen. They are the real goto folks who spare not a thought before getting their hands moving and with a confident smile on their faces clearly projecting “I know whatsup and I’ll take good care”. 

This little snack has been a treat for many a parties, gatherings and tea sittings and has never failed to win an applause. These are so quick and simple to prepare that you can almost make them while having tea with your guests. It uses the intrinsic flavors of the core ingredients and allows them to blend with any herb that can be dry mixed with it. These look so much like the Tricolor Tiffins  which I made earlier. Read on and have a great tea time snack recipe or a kids tiffin recipe ready !!

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 to 5 pinwheels each !!
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Carrot, grated, 1 cupful : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor . Color of the carrots do not matter here. Just don’t let them be black ones.
  • Cheese, grated, 1/3rd cup : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Table salt : Keep it low. I suggest less than a pinch per pinwheel. This would enhance the flavor of other seasoning.
  • Pepper, ground : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Oregano, dried : With .Bitter and pungent oregano is a great antioxidant and hence should be added to fried food. It also has anti fungal and antibacterial qualities. Interestingly, oregano when dried dose’nt loose much essence. 
  • Bread slices, 6 to 8 : No specific reason why I chose wheat bread. It’s just the one that we use at our place and that was what I had with me then. BTW, wheat bead is said to have all the great nourishment of  whole wheat like fiber, protein, antioxidants and iron.

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

  • Combine the grated apple/ carrot/ beetroot with salt and keep aside overnight in a fridge. This will make the grated mix shed water which can then be squeezed off and drained.
  • To the squeezed off grated mix, add the dried herb/ oregano.
  • Trim the bread slices by their edges. Now roll them hard using a rolling pin such that it becomes a thin yet single pieces. Meaning, that single bread slices should not be broken while rolling.
  • Now spread the grated cheese on this slice well to cover.
  • Lay out and spread the grated mix on this slice well.
  • Pick up one length of the slice and start rolling tightly. Some surplus mix might falls off. Let it fall.
  • Once these slices have been rolled you may pin them with tooth picks to keep them together and prevent them from opening and falling apart.
  • If your slices are big then you may want to chop the pinwheels into smaller width ones.
  •  Enjoy !!

Storage : Nil . The bread will get stale if kept longer than an hour.

Missing Something ? : You may add dried parsley to the grated mix.

Broccoli Stalks Pesto Dip

Broccoli Stalks Pesto Dip

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I have always confessed the satisfaction of preparing ketchups, dips, pickles etc. since they make flavors last beyond their seasons and last several treats as well. . This one is slightly different from the Basil Pesto I shared earlier by way of the green dominance of broccoli stems/stalks. This is a uniqueness that I am proud to preserve (i.e. the broccoli stems). Recall the recipe of Cream of Celery Broccoli Stalks . Here, I just use the same power packed, nutritious stems of broccoli to prepare this fritter (pakora) accompaniment common at our place, just like the ajwain chutney recipe. Read on and enjoy the treat !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : dip along and dip a long !!
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basil, sweet or Thai, 3 cupfuls : In this I used sweet or Genovese 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. I grow 4 to 5 types of basil in my garden and am always looking for new things to do with it.
  • Olive Oil, 1/3rd cup : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.
  • Garlic, minced, 1 teaspoon : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Pink Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : I prefer coarse Himalayan pink salt here since it is extremely healthy.
  • Cheese cube, 100 grams : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Walnuts, 1/2 cup : Walnuts have a good amount of good fats called polyunsaturated fats or PUFA. They have Omega 3 and decent amount of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and Vitamins like E & B loaded in them. In taste they add a distinct earthiness and nutty essence.
  • Broccoli stems, shaved, 250 grams : Broccoli’s health benefits and earthy flavors are amazing, esp. for kids. I use a rather peculier portion of the plant. The stems. I use the insides of the soft broccoli stems by peeling off the hard outer skin. It tastes like cucumber. you may also use it in salads and many other preparations.

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

  • Wash well and break the basil. Breaking works better than chopping the basil. Chopping is said to be detrimental to the flavor.
  • Wash and dry the walnuts since they are quite dusty when fresh.
  • Grate the cheese and mix with olive oil loosely.
  • Shave off the broccoli stems using only the inner less fibrous meaty part. It would seem quite like a cucumber.
  • Now add all ingredients in a kitchen grinder and make a paste of it. I would prefer not to add water to loosen it to your requirement, instead ad 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  •  There you are !!

Storage : Good for storage for upto 3 months at optimum temperature .

Missing Something ? : You can replace the walnuts for groundnuts and even better with pine nuts for max authenticity.

Rui Macher Kalia / Rohu Fish Curry

Rui Macher Kalia / Rohu Fish Curry

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I have often written as to how being in North isn’t the best place to lay hands on the best seafood, however considering the modern logistical wonders and also appreciating the fact that India has one of the largest coastlines of the world with the caches of Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal we can hardly complain about the seafood shortage, in any weather condition i.e. India also has one of the largest coverage of rivers in its plains, so freshwater fish is also never elusive.

The winters however brings a flood of carps, catfish etc. in the river plains which sometimes become hard to distinguish if you are not a subject matter expert 🙂 !

Rohu fish or Rui maach is a very popular fish in Bengal state. I mention it’s bengali name since the dish I offer here is bengali too. It is a common carp that prepares many a sprawling spreads on tables. Rui Macher Kalia is one such dish that I first remember having over a lunch in a delhi restaurant and feeling it’s taste lingering throughout that day thereon. It uses your simple kitchen spices and leaves a bowlful of absolute pleasure. So, read on ! 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish to delight 3.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes + 15 minutes to prepare
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat, serve it with steamed rice and some Kimchi Salad as I did.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Rohu fish, cleaned, 250 grams approx. : Rohu has better quality meat and higher in Vitamin C than other carps. This is one of the most commonly eaten fish in our country.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use coarse salt for authentic essence .
  • Potatoes, 2 round cut : With virtually no sodium, no fats and no cholesterols and packed with potassium and Vitamin C  this fibre rich tuber veggie is undoubtedly one of the most famous ones across the globe.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 and 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/3 teaspoon : Cumin 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.
  • Garlic, 4 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Green Chilies, 2 slit : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin..
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Onion, chopped, 1/2 cup :  As in Red Onions for us Indians, 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.
  • Parsley, 5 to 6 twigs : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Bay Leaf, 1 : Also from my garden’s bay leaf plant. Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon : Light coarse jaggery can also work.
  • Mustard Oil.

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

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and keep aside for 15 minutes at least.
  • Use this time to get your potatoes etc. ready and laid for later use.
  • Grind the onion and ginger garlic paste.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a non stick pan and allow vapors to come out. The moment it steams, put the gas on medium heat and place the fish pieces in the pan to stir fry mildly without breaking or sticking. Do so for 5 minutes and then take off heat and keep aside.
  • Now heat cumin over a separate pan. Heat till it crackles.
  • Add ginger to it and saute’ for 30 seconds.
  • To this add garlic and onions and saute’ further for 2-3 minutes till they turn golden brown.
  • To this, add tomatoes and stir cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add remaining turmeric, salt, sugar, red chili, green chilies and saute’ further for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 glass water (about 200 ml.) and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes to it and cook further for 10 minutes or till your fish is well done.
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : This one can be stored for a couple of days easily, but then you are making just 250 grams ??

Missing Something ? : You can use some cinnamon and black cardamom to enhance the flavors !!

Pan Fried Tilapia / Jalebi Fish

PAN FRIED WHOLE TILAPIA

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While I have been taking some days off being neck deep in my current project, the winters have slipped in cautiously. Cautiously yes, since the farm fires cloud this season so bad in North India that every breath makes you feel it very evidently. Gone are the fears of the industrial pollution, it is the farm pollution which is beating us flat now.

Winters also brings the best fishes to the pools, rivers and the seas and hence auto speeds up my dishing out fish based delicacies. And though however tied up I may be to write up and share, I always squeeze time to cook up some great treats. Here’s sharing one that I managed to make for myself at midnight while writing up a case study. It made the stressful night so much more enjoyable 🙂 ! Read on, this meaty tilapia recipe will surely tickle your taste buds !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish to delight 2.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Tilapia fish, cleaned, scaled and slit diagonally 500 grams approx. : Tilapia is a very popular fish in Asia and Africa though is also common near the Caribbeans. It’s not the most tasty of fishes but is chunky, pretty looking decently good for immunity. Remember that unlike most expectations, this fish is not rich in omega 3 and is a low fat fish.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon or from 1 average sized lemon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Aniseed, 1 & 1/2 teaspoon : Anise is a sweet and fragrant spice very similar to the essence of cinnamon. It has wonderful antiseptic property and help in clearing the respiratory track.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon : Cumin 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.
  • Garlic, 6 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Black peppercorns, 8 : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Onion, chopped, 1/4th cup :  As in Red Onions for us Indians, 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.
  • Parsley, 5 to 6 twigs : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Paprika, 1/3rd teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.
  • Oil, light vegetable or coconut oil would be good.

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

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt, pepper, turmeric and lemon juice and set aside. Salt and turmeric takes away the foul smell of seafood.
  • Dry grind the whole spices i.e. aniseed, pepper, paprika, salt, cumin. 
  • Separately wet grind ginger, garlic, lemon juice and onion and make a paste mixing the dry ground spices to it.
  • Marinade the fish with this paste for 30 minutes. 
  • Heat a non stick pan not less than 10″ in diameter. Pan fry the fish well for 15 minutes on medium heat till well done. A well done fish would be soft and separate easily near the bones.
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : Surely, a 500 grams fish is enjoyable in one sitting only.

Missing Something ? : Dress it up with a lemon wedge and enjoy with a homemade pesto dip  or a nice sweet homemade cherry tomato ketchup !!

Cream of Celery in Broccoli Stalks

Cream of Celery in Broccoli Stalks

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Think of a family which loves its daily soup and think of me who loves to grow greens in my garden. There will be some creative combinations indeed. We would not like to throw away stuff in the composter (which we have recently placed in our backyard) as long as there is any chance of using its flavor and richness in our food. You remember how I use the beetroot stalks in Cranberry Pickle and Sweet Beet Stalks Pickle and also Fries . It’s almost winters here and the large elephant eared broccolis will be coming up if all goes well. Look in the pictures how they are a gardener’s delight with beautiful green flower heads. Also, around the same time the celery will also start getting tall and harvest ready.

With the same spirit of using all possible and stirring out kitchen creatives, I bring this cream soup to enjoy. 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 a bowl, let that be the rule
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Celery chopped, handfull, about 5 to 6 stalks would be good : I grow celery for around 5 months in a year and they grow well in tubs, bags and small planters. They have one of the healthiest foliage & excellent antioxidant. It gives good bitter pungency to the stock. 
  • Table Butter, 1 tablespoon : The cheesy butter absorbs the basil’s herb flavor very well. Regular table butter is a good source of fats soluble vitamins and saturated fats. They are better in taste and health than margarine. 
  • Onions, diced, 1 : As in Red Onions for us Indians, 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.
  • Garlic minced, 3 to 4 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Broccoli stems, 500 grams : Broccoli’s health benefits and earthy flavors are amazing, esp. for kids. I use a rather peculier portion of the plant. The stems. I use the insides of the soft broccoli stems by peeling off the hard outer skin. It tastes like cucumber. you may also use it in salads and many other preparations. 
  • Oregano, 1/2 teaspoon : Bitter and pungent oregano is a great antioxidant and hence should be added to fried food. It also has anti fungal and antibacterial qualities.
  • Bay leaf, 1 : Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Milk / Cream, 1 cup : A cream bowl would be better since the texture of the soup would be more to your liking and would require less thickenning while cooking.
  • Salt, to taste : Regular table salt would do good.
  • Black Pepper Powder, 1/4th teaspoon : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.

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

  • Take a pressure cooker and heat it on a medium flame with pen lid. Put the butter in it and melt well.
  • Add onions to it and brown them well. To this add chopped celery and garlic minced and stir cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add chopped broccoli stems and stir further for 2 miutes. Now add oregano, bay leaves and stir for a minute.
  • Now add 3 cups water and shut the pressure cooker and cook on low flame for 10 to 12 minutes. Switch the gas off after this.
  • Now open the lid after the steam has relaxed and switch the gas on to medium heat. To this add milk or cream and cook for 10 minutes further. This should reduce the broth to a nice creamy fluid about 40% of how you started earlier.
  • All the while stirring it, add the salt and black pepper to it.
  • Serve steaming now. Do not garnish.

Storage : Nopes, this is a cook and consume recipe. Holding it might sour the cream or thicken the butter.

Missing Something ? : This is an Orginal G-Man, MCMH recipe. This is my creativity, you may try yours 🙂

Ajwain Ke Pakode / Carrom Leaves Fritters

Ajwain Ke Pakode / Carom Leaves Fritters

Before we start with this one, let me introduce you all to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here ..   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtCkBgnsCo   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn7n9nuI85fuaZZiblobDOA?   https://www.facebook.com/gunnmaymarwaha/

Now this one is certainly my most talked about serving among my guests. I’ve had repeated demands to serve these and also for sharing some offshoots of carom plants which I have so gladly fulfilled. These pakoras are so unique, for 1, you can’t get them in the market, next, you won’t know how they are made and most of all, something like this even exists till they turn up at your serving.

So read on, enjoy, am sure you’ll be tempted with this !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 plateful only good for 2, seriously 🙂
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Carom leaves, freshly taken, about 20 in numbers : Carom seeds are a common spice in Indian kitchens. Here we use the carom plant’s leaves for this chutney. Easy to grow and has a tremendous oregano like flavor. Carom is an excellent digestive, pain reliever, antiseptic and cure of common cold. Practically every part of the carom plant is edible. I even use the soft stems for making Ajwain ki Chutney which is my ever popular condiment.
  • Salt, normal table salt, 1/2 teaspoon : You may use normal table salt here, reason being, that we are looking the flavor of carom leaves to pout and nothing else to interfere.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Gram flour/ Besan, 1/2 cup : This is a very popular marinade. Ground from raw or roasted chick peas, besan has a very nutty and rustic flavor besides being good for heart, controlling diabetes and lowering cholesterol.
  • Oil, vegetable or seed oil, for deep frying : Try to use a light vegetable oil.
  • Butter, melted, 1 tablespoon : The cheesy butter absorbs the basil’s herb flavor very well. Regular table butter is a good source of fats soluble vitamins and saturated fats. They are better in taste and health than margarine. 

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

  • Pluck the carom leaves off it’s stems. You will note that the stems are soft and crunchy enough to fry them. You may as well do so or may use them in the Ajwain leaves Chutney which I often do.
  • Wash all well in a strainer and then keep aside to dry  well.
  • Take the gram flour and mix well with salt, turmeric and melted butter.
  • Now add water to it gradually while flicking the batter so as not to form dry puffs within.
  • When your paste is made, dip your carom leaves in it.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet and bring to vapors.
  • Now take the batter covered carom leaves and deep fry them within the skillet. Do not over-brown and do not allow them to stick together. There is a trick to doing this properly. Always take 3 to 4 batter coated leaves and make a soft sandwich of sorts before frying them. This will enhance the original flavor of carom and it will not tend to get lost in deep frying.
  • Now pull them out and wipe them off extra oil with a tissues and place them on a plate to serve hot. You will note, the butter in the batter will make the pakoras puff out very beautifully and the original heart shaped leaves will make an almost compulsive pick among all your snacks 🙂

Storage : You can refrigerate for a couple of days easy. May also fill in your kids tiffins.

Missing Something ? : You may add some ground Kashmiri chilies also known as degi mirch to spice up the flavor and brighten in color, I didn’t use it since I have younger guests on board 😀

Mutton Stock in Celary Garlic

Mutton Stock in Celery and Garlic

Monsoons are confusing for the kids. Parents want them to be cozy and covered while they are all sweaty and sultry. They need more showers in the day of humidity while the parents want them to be quick and covered so as to avoid them from catching cold.

This soup really helps in the monsoons. Super tasty and energy giving, it maintains the body temperature and avoids the unwanted shivers in the rainy weather. Takes not much of an effort but we have here a winning concoction. Try it and have a sumptuous and confident evening 🙂

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 for the party
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Celery stalks, 4, chopped : I grow celery for around 5 months in a year and they grow well in tubs, bags and small planters. They have one of the healthiest foliage & excellent antioxidant. It gives good bitter pungency to the stock.
  • Garlic cloves, 3 – 4 : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Vegetable oil, 3 teaspoon : Sunflower seed or groundnut oil would be good. We are looking for an average greasing here.
  • Mutton Stock, 4 cups : Healthiest broth is prepared with mutton. It builds bones and is abundant in calcium.
  • Soya Sauce, 2 tablespoon :  It is the most popular umami fixture I guess.
  • Lemon grass, chopped, 1 teaspoon : I learnt that lemongrass is a mild astringent and helps controlling fever, cough, digestion, blood pressure etc. besides adding a wonderful citrus zest to the dish. Now I have sufficient lemongrass in my garden throughout the year.
  • Black pepper, 2 pinches : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Table salt, 1/2 teaspoon : Regular table salt would o good
  • Coriander, chopped, for garnish : This comes straight from my garden. Gives a orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.

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

  • Preparing the mutton stock is a pre-recipe exercise here. A simple mutton stock that I make is by pressure cooking 3 pieces of mutton with a teaspoon of garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon salt. We can also add a bay leaf , 1 small black cardamom and 1/2 inch of cinnamon to enhance.
  • Now heat oil in a pan. When it steams, add the chopped celery and chopped garlic and stir saute’ for 3 minutes on low medium flame.
  • Add half the stock in it and cook for 5 minutes..
  • To this add the soya sauce, lemongrass, salt and pepper and stir cook for 2 minutes to mix well.
  • Now add the remaining stock and boil cook for 10 minutes on low medium flame.
  • This should reduce the stock to about 1 & 1/2 to 2 cups.
  • Serve in hot bowls garnishing with roughly chopped coriander. Enjoy 🙂

Storage : You can refrigerate for a week, no sweat in the monsoons with that 🙂

Missing Something ? : You may add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to increase your heat quotient but do not add any spice which overwhelms your basic flavors of celery and garlic !!

Snapper Grilled in Basil and Lemon Zest

Snapper Grilled in Basil and Lemon Zest

Being a seafood lover, it’s always a pleasure experimenting with mild spices and churning out indigenous recipes. When they are appreciated across the table, it is truly an inventor’s pleasure. So it was a Eureka Eureka moment for me when I picked up anything that I could lay my hands upon this weekend morning and converted two leathery snapper fishes (they were red, I recall) and grilled some fruits alongwith to have a delightful feast. If there’s your favorite sport on TV, enjoy the loud cheering since this feast will cheer you up sufficiently enough 🙂

Remember, snappers are have leathery skin and hardy bones. While the bones are easy to get rid off, the texture needs a good soaking followed by a diligent cooking.

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 for the party today 😀
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 fish each and no less would satisfy

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Red Snappers, 2, small to medium size, cleaned well :Red snapper is a very good looking elegant fish. It looks amazingly good lying whole on a platter. It is extremely tasty too but due to high levels of mercury in it, I do not offer them to the kids. Once a month, sinning make no difference 🙂 . 
  • Fruits, cut and peeled : Lovely yummy sides !
  • Basil, handful broken : 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.
  • 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. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Lemon juice, 2 tablespoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Black Pepper, 1/4th 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.
  • Garlic cloves, chopped, 4 : 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.
  • Paprika, 1/2 teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.
  • Coriander, 2 teaspoon, chopped : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives a orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Parsley, 1 teaspoon, chopped : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Oil to cook : Use something with a low heating point. A good one would be coconut oil due to it’s odorless, tasteless quality.
  • Salt to taste : As always, I would suggest coarse sea salt with seafood to enhance the authenticity.

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

  • Wash the fish well and make deep slits in a criss cross pattern on each side. This is very important for the proper and flavorful cooking of the leathery fish.
  • Using a mortar and pestle grind together black pepper, paprika, coriander, garlic, basil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt.
  • Apply this coarse paste all over the fish using your fingers to insert the marinate well inside the fish. Now cover it and set it inside a refrigerator for two hours.
  • Meanwhile, with just 20 minutes from the completion of 2 hours of marinade, you may grill your peeled fruits and yummy sides. The best fruits would be bananas, papaya and apples. Sprinkle them with sea salt. Grilling of fruits would take not more than 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Now set your fish in the grill and set the timer for 15 minutes. Turn the fish a few times during it’s grilling process. You may increase your time if the fish is not flaky enough but do not give your fish a funeral 😀
  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve hot with grilled fruits as sides. Party on !

Storage : This fish has an already firm texture. Refrigerating may not be the smartest thing. Cook as much as you want to eat.

Missing Something ? : This was my adventure. You can do all your fun at the kitchen table too !!