Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Ka Achaar

Gajar Shalgam Gobhi Ka Achaar / Carrots Turnips and Cauliflower Pickle

I have always taken pride in my pickles. My belief is that anything that is edible is also ‘pickle-able’ ! I’ve had the pleasure to pickle most of the things that can be accommodated in the refrigerators. Vegetables, meats everything ! The bases of most pickles would be oils, brine and vinegar but there are some vegetables that can be pickled standalone, merely by salting, take for example lemon. This pickle here is what many households would call as grandma’s favorite. I have been a big fan of this since my childhood. Large ceramic jars filled with Gajar Shalgam Gobhi pickle have more or less of a permanent fixture at my place. It is a kid’s favorite too since it carries an amazing yummy sweet sour flavor and doesn’t pinch the throat a bit. In fact, preparing this pickle is more of a family day in the kitchen due to it’s heavy engagement and preparation time. Read on and enjoy for months to come if you decide to prepare this one !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 jar to last 6 months or as fast as your appetite can spare it 🙂
  • Preparation time : 60 minutes preparation + 45 minutes cooking
  • Serving size : I can eat 1/4th of a small bowl with a meal 🙂

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Cauliflower florets, 1 kg : I would introduce cauliflower as an undergraduate cousin of the post graduated broccoli. Cauliflower is a very nutritious vegetable which helps fight cancer, heart diseases, inflammation & excessive weight. 
  • Carrots, 1 kg : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Turnips, 1 kg : Turnips are amazingly sweet roots. In fact I use their leaves in my kitchen too. But if you allow them to grow larger, they become hard and bitter. A good size would be that of a cricket ball. Turnips are also one of the healthiest foods on earth. It has good amount of fiber, minerals like iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium , potassium omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, K, A C, E and B complex. That’s a big load of wonders 🙂
  • White Vinegar, 750 ml : 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.
  • Nigella, 1 teaspoon : It’s called kalonji in Indian kitchens and is packed with antibacterials, antioxidants, anti inflammatory. It has a slight bitter, onion like flavor.
  • Fenugreek seeds, 60 grams : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
  • Peppercorns, 60 grams : 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, 60 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.
  • Black Cardamom seeds, 12 grams : This is a bigger cousin of green cardamom. The pods have a fragrance which is more earthy and taste which is less sweet that the green variety. It is great in fighting cold and improves respiration hence aiding in asthma. It is good for hair, skin too. 
  • Mustard seeds, 120 grams :Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Fennel seeds, 2 tablespoon : 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.
  • Red Chili powder, 2 tablespoon : Dried red chilies 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.
  • Cinnamon, 2 inch stick : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient. I replace my sugar with cinnamon often.
  • Cloves, 18 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Turmeric powder, 2 tablespoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Salt, 300 grams : I used regular table salt here. It is treated in labs and hence helps as a good preservative to the pickle.
  • Jaggery, 1.5 kg : 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.
  • Mustard oil, 800 grams : 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. 

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

  • Wash and chop all the vegetables. The cauliflowers need to be chopped into 1 inch thick florets, the carrots into 1 & 1/2 inch sticks with 5 mm thickness and turnips into 1 inch cubes.
  • Blanch all these veggies and set under a fan to dry. Traditionally, we spread it over a muslin cloth or a newspaper either under the sun or under a fan and leave  to dry for a full sunny day.
  • While the vegetables are drying, there is sufficient work at hand. Read on
  • Grind and blend the ginger and garlic into a crude paste.
  • Now heat the oil in a skillet and saute the ginger garlic paste for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Meanwhile grind the dry spices (Nigella, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Peppercorns, Cumin, Cardamom, Mustard, Fennel, Cinnamon and Cloves). It wouldn’t be a bad idea to mildly roast the mixture before grinding. Crispier spice mix would grind easily. Grinding well is important else the spices might give an unpleasant chewing experience later.
  • Now add this spice mix in the skillet where the mustard oil and the ginger garlic awaits. Saute’ this for 5 minutes.
  • Add the red chili powder and salt and saute’ for 3 minutes further. Then set the skillet aside to cool.
  • While this cools, take another skillet and pour the vinegar into it. Heat and set the flame on medium. Gradually add pieces of jaggery (or the powder if you have chosen such) in this hot vinegar and stir constantly till the jaggery completely dissolves in the solution.
  • By now the veggies should have dried properly. So mix the veggies, the spiced oil and the jaggery vinegar solution well.
  • Bottle this up in large jars and close the lid tightly.
  • Show this pickle jar a lot of sunshine for a week to 10 days and be ready to see happy faces for months to come 😀

Storage : 12 months shelf life provided that you avoid moisture !

Missing Something ? : Did I actually miss any spice in your Indian kitchen, let me know and we can discuss whether you can add that too 😀 . You can add thin cuts of raw turmeric or ginger as additional ingredients.

Tricolor Tiffins

Tricolor Tifins

The Tuesday was busy with business squabbles. Works were stuck, moods were clogged and then came a time one realized that tomorrow was Independence Day. Must be some little treat to match the moods. Then I came across some wonderful Independence Day treats that my fellow bloggers had created that I was extremely impressed. and just couldn’t sit back.SO I dug into the kitchen cabinets to check out all that I could lay my hands upon and lo behold ! I have in platter some great treat for all within a jiffy. Do try and enjoy 😀

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to three rolls each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Wheat bread slices, 4 :  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.
  • Crude pesto : You would say, NOW ! thats not an ingredient. But look ! I’m not really selling a recipe here, it’s a treat snack for the JIT (Just In Time) moment. I prepared this by just blending 2 cups lime basil from my garden with crushed mixed nuts, 5 cloves of garlic with 2 cubes of cheese in 2 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Flax seed chutney : It’s a more or less of a fixed condiment in my refrigerator now. Recall my recipe for this yummy and healthy chutney. Click here

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

  • Cut off the edges of the bread slices. I never liked them anyways 🙂
  • Roll them hard with a rolling pin into 2 mm thick slices. If they are crispy, I suggest you move them in the microwave for 15 seconds. If they are crisp, they will crack either while rolling or while serving.
  • On one slice spread the flax seed chutney well.
  • On the other slice, spread the pesto dip.
  • Place one atop the other such that there is a layer of bread between both spreads.
  • Now roll them into tight rolls.
  • Now you a long roll with you. Chop it into 1 inch or 2 inch smaller rolls and serve with tea. Be appreciated 😀

Storage : You can store for 1 heating (if they manage to escape the treat 🙂 )

Missing Something ? : Try putting some dried oregano as a outer seasoning. Will seem good. Also, you may add red chili powder to the flax seeds chutney.

Yam Traditional / Ratalu ki Sabzi

Yam Traditional / Ratalu ki Sabzi

Yam is one of the prettiest plants that can grow in any garden. It has such distinct heart shaped leaves or big elephant ear leaves which stand out very pretty among the rest of the foliage. You should see the dew drops collect over them after sunrise in monsoons, they sparkle like little diamonds. Yams are tubers like many other of my favorite ones like sweet potatoes, beets and carrots.

I am not too charmed by this ugly looking vegetable which is harvested from an amazingly beautiful plant, but I do know some wonderful ways to cook them into delicacies. You would’ve gone through a well appreciated recipe Ratalu Nawabi Style where I made a version of Yam (Jimikand) in a quite different attire. When you get tired of looking at the ugly looking, out of shape Ratalu in your kitchen/refrigerator, you can use this recipe to dish out a lip smacking feast which goes well any type of bread. Read on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4, with sufficient bread stock
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : 1/2 a bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Yam, 1 medium sized, would be around 400 grams : 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.
  • Mustard oil, 2 teaspoon : 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. 
  • Mustard (yellow or black), 2 teaspoons : Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/4th teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc.
  • Fenugreek seeds, 1/4th teaspoon : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
  • 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 🙂
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 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.
  • Garlic cloves, 3 : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Turmeric powder, 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. Though I’ve started growing turmeric in my garden, it’s not been used as a dried spice yet.
  • Coriander, chopped, 1 tablespoon : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives an orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Red Chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Red chilies 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.
  • Lemon grass, 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.
  • Green chili, 1 deseeded : 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. I pick the less bitter ones from my garden.
  • Ginger, 1 teaspoon, chopped : 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.
  • Table salt : I used 1/2 teaspoon here

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

  • Peel off the yam and shave well so as not to have any skin sticking. They grow inside the soil so may never be clean enough. Slice them into rounds not increasing 1 centimeter in thickness and 1 & 1/2 inch in width.. Now put it in a pressure cooker and boil for 1 whistle. Then take it off and allow it to cool.
  • While the yam cools, add the garlic cloves, the ginger, the green chili, turmeric, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, some salt and the lemon grass in a blender and grind well into a masala paste.
  • Now shallow fry the yam slices using mustard oil till they have lost all their sap. Recall, how I explained (Jimikand ki Sabzi) , that this was a critical step to prevent the sap biting in your throat at ready stage. Fry till it turns golden brown and then set aside.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a pan (enough to shallow fry). To this add the cumin, mustard (remaining), fenugreek and bay leaf and stir on medium flame till sputtering starts.
  • Now add the earlier ground masala paste and saute’ for 3 minutes on medium flame till well cooked.
  • Add your Yam slices to it now and 1/2 a cup of water. Mix well and cook covered for 7 – 9 minutes till well done. Stir a few times during the cooking to prevent sticking.
  • Platter your dish, garnish with freshly harvested and chopped coriander, squeeze the lemon juice over it and serve steaming. You are ready to miss the count of the breads that disappear fast now.

Storage : This can be refrigerated for 4 days.

Missing Something ? : Skip the chilies or vary it’s quantity if you have have kids being served.

Pan Fried Octopus

Octopus Pan Fried

There are always a few things that one comes across and take upon as a challenge to do. Cooking octopus was one such challenge. Every step of cooking an octopus was a learning for me. Right from the type of octopus that cook best to the safety steps involved in it. Octopus cooking is no sweet deal if you do not know how. Every part of an octopus is unique hence you tend to learn a lot about the creature as well. Just to startle you with its introduction, an octopus has 3 hearts, 9 brains and blood which is blue in color ! 9 brains, should make it the most intelligent creature on earth right ? Wrong. Only one of its brains is primary and rest eight are attached to each of its tentacles and have limited functions. Not that we are bothered about with that much, we get right to our skillet to take up this challenge !

Read on and pardon me for any errors in the dish 😦 since it’s literally my first attempt at Dr. Octo  😀  !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Octopus 2 to 3 medium small, would be around 500 grams : I ordered some and lo behold, I got delivered fresh full-bodied octopus. Octopus have a mild rubbery, chewy texture. I felt there wasn’t much taste of its own in an octopus, so it was quite open to cooking styles and use of spices. It is extremely low in fats and has good amounts of minerals, Vitamin B12 and protein.
  • Red Chilies, ground, 1/3rd teaspoon : Red chilies are good for skin and eyes and are great anti oxidants. Here I use them for their extreme flavor and earthiness over a bland octopus meat.
  • Oil, light, unflavored : I would prefer light oils like coconut or olive here to grease my pan.
  • Coarse sea salt granules : Coarse sea salt granules are more authentic and full of minerals which the regular table salt is lacking. Use it to your taste.
  • Onions, chopped, 1 tablespoon : I generally use the red, mild onions with white layers inside. They have a fair taste and are great in controlling blood sugar.
  • Tomatoes, 2 tablespoon, chopped : Filled with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A, C & K, tomatoes form the cooking flavor essence in this dish.
  • Lemon, 1/2, cut : 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.
  • Cherry tomatoes, 2 – 4, cut in halves : Has high sugar concentration so is very sweet and cute to look at too. I grow them in pots and in my garden, but they are easily available at stores as well. Packed with powerful nutrients like Vitamin A, C and K and potassium. I grow them in abundance in my garden.
  • Garlic cloves, roasted, 5 – 6 : My King Pungent ! Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon : Parsley is the best mouth freshener and tomato is the right natural condiment with seafood. I grow at least 4 varieties in my garden hence am pretty keen to use anytime.

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

  • Wash the octopus well several times.
  • Take off (chop) the head part, refer snaps. This is very critical since the head contains the beak part. The beak is the part from where the octopus not only eats, he also defends himself by releasing the toxic blue blood from its beak. So stay from trouble and chop its head off the tentacles.
  • Take these tentacles and wash well again. Now pat dry them and soak them in cold milk for 30 minutes. Soaking in milk enables the white soft texture to retain its tenderness and not turn rubbery and unchewable when cooked.
  • Now heat the oil in a non stick skillet/pan. Add salt and red chilies (ground) and mix well.
  • Now add onions to it and stir till golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes (not the cherry tomatoes) to the pan and saute’ for two minutes.
  • Now carefully add the chopped octopus tentacles. Stir cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cook covered for 7 – 8 minutes. Now switch off the flame and keep it covered for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Now take off the lid and serve in a platter. Garnish this with chopped parsley.
  • Mild roast the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes and keep as sides on the platter to give the correct essence.
  • Mildly squeeze some lemon juice and serve immediately.

Storage : Like most of my dishes, do not store. Coook only as per requirement.

Missing Something ? : Feel free to iterate.

Gurda Kaleji Taka Tak

Gurda Kaleji Taka Tak

There are mughlai dishes in India that make the premium breads here, called Naan, disappear one after the other. This is true surrender to your sin of the palate as I would call it. Loaded and sumptuous and full of rich spices, the aroma of this dish converts any regular dining table to a feast of richness. Needless to say, I was tempted to make this one in monsoons, though winters would be a better time to relish steaming Gurda Kaleji Taka Tak. One plate of this sufficed to full stomachs for me and my kid. Have fun while you go through the recipe and hoping that you are mesmerized enough to cook a round of this street delicacy with it’s roots in mughlai cuisine. N’joy 😀

 

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3 spice starved, eager, famished guests
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes
  • Serving size : Half a bowl and any stretch to this would be a WoW !

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Gurda Kaleji (Liver & Kidneys) of mutton, 250 grams : We all know that liver is the most nutrient rich organ and is filled with Vitamin A hence great for eyes. Kidney is extremely high in several minerals and Vitamins but is a cholesterol loaded food. So not recommended for the weight watchers 🙂 .  They taste like regular mutton but with less fiber hence disintegrating sooner than rest.
  • Onion, red, chopped, 1 : 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.
  • Tomatoes, chopped, 2 : Tomato not only acts as a great anti oxidant and giving us Vitamin K – C etc., it also gets the sweet & fresh essence on a high in this dish. I use the regular round ones from my garden generally.
  • Green Chilies, 3, deseeded : 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.
  • Ghee, 1 tablespoon : 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.
  • Garlic cloves, 5 : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Ginger, 1/2 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.
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon : Quite unlike me, still used regular table salt here.
  • Red chili powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : 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.
  • Cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc. Roasting it makes it easy to mix in the salads and chaats. A non roasted seed would need irritable grinding by teeth while eating.
  • Garam Masala, 1 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.
  • Coriander, chopped, enough to garnish : 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.

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

  • Heat the ghee in a pan, keep it on low flame. Take it a bit beyond melting point ( till you see vapors ).
  • Chop the ginger and garlic cloves in tiny pieces and add to the pan. Add them to the pan and saute for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Ad the chopped onions to it and saute’ till they turn golden brown in color.
  • To this add half the chopped tomatoes (1 in number) and stir saute’ for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • To this add the cumin powder and red chili powder and mix well.
  • Now add the remaining tomatoes, gurda and kaleji and salt and mix well.
  • Put in the green chilies now and add 1/2 cup of water to the dish. Stir mix well.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala over it and cook covered for around 10 minutes or till your desired texture is reached. Keep stirring after every couple of minutes.
  • Now take off the flame, garnish with chopped coriander and serve steaming. I bet, you’ll get the platter back while it’s hot as well. The dish will relocate within greedy tummies in a moment or two 🙂

Storage : Yes, this can be stored for 2 to 4 days in your refrigerator.

Missing Something ? : Please do not iterate here. This is just too good and authentic !!

Jhatpat Seekh Rolls

Jhatpat Seekh Rolls

A lovely exhaustive evening, everyone out together, there was laughter there was shopping, there were friends there were moments. But, THERE WAS NO FOOD…..

So you walk in the home, switch on the lights, and where do you head to expectantly…. The Kitchen or The Refrigerator !! And who’s cooking 😦 No one. Here’s the troubleshooter for the moment. You just need some cheese slices, a chapati, some basic available seasoning and the world is at your feet 🙂 ….

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 roll each will douse the fire in the bellies
  • Preparation time : 5 minutes, literally

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Chicken seekh kebabs, whole, 2 : Skewered mince meet, mixed with chili flake, cumin, crumbs, yolk and several other things. You will forget asking about any health benefits once you bite into a seekh kebab on a cold rainy evening 😀 
  • Chapatis, 2 : A wheat rolled bread which is inadvertently a staple of India, a chapati is a health powerhouse. It is high in calories, proteins, fiber, carbohydrates while moderate in fats. Chapatis and veggies make a complete north Indian platter.
  • Cheeses slices, 2 : These bring the oomph factor. Cheese slices will good amount of saturated calories or carbohydrates. Not everyone will appreciate, but the kids and the famished adults will adulate !
  • Onion rings, 1 medium onion : High in Vitamin C, the fresh raw onion rings will bring in the juicy crisp feeling in the rolls.
  • Green chutney, 3 teaspoons : Green chutney is typically made of coriander, mint, green chilies, cumin, ginger, salt and lemon juice. Again, you can hardly not find it in a family restaurant pre order served. It has all the health benefits of the herbs ground and also is extremely refreshing and helps in digestion.
  • Chaat masala, for seasoning : 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 in the rolls.

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

  • Lay the chapatis flat and place the cheese slices. 1 each in the middle.
  • Cover each chapati now with a layer of onion rings, crisp and fresh sliced.
  • Sprinkle sufficient chat masala to tingle your senses enough.
  • Place small dollops of green chutney all across the layout now. Do remember, whatever comes last in the layer actually sinks deepest in your roll.
  • Now place your seekh kebabs, 1 in each chapati and rolls well.
  • Use ketchup if you want and gobble them up !!

Storage : You don;t store your hurry up snacks, do you ?

Missing Something ? : Change the seasoning to oregano if you want to but do not replace green chutney with pesto. That will reduce the ‘Xing’ and make it too cheesey.

Mangalorean Pomfret Curry

Mangalorian Pomfret Curry

It’s  no secret now that I am a seafood FANATIC ! The pomfret is my favorite fish of all. For me it rates above all tuna, salmon, mackerel and surely above all carps. Being seasonal and illusive, the pomfret also plays pricey with me :-D…

Pomfret has been my go to fish for so long now, but I have made it a point to stick to just 3 to 4 ways of cooking it. That way I keep bettering the experiences every-time. The silver pomfret is so pretty that it practically glistens and draws me across any meat shop 🙂 …. This is a mangalorian style curry with whole pomfret unlike cut pieces and I’ve managed to make minor iterations in it giving in to my palate’s preference !!

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 active kids or 2 greedy adults 😀
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes to cook + 5 minutes preparation

….and we need (ingredients)

  • White/Silver Pomfret 1, about 400 grams : Pomfret is so good looking, soft silver white fish. Due to their round shape, they look so good as a whole on a platter, so I always cook it without cutting. In India, most pomfrets come from the Indian ocean’s coastal area. It is also very popular in Indo Chinese countries lie Indonesia, Thailand etc. White pomfrets are great for your heart, bone joints, skin and respiratory system.
  • 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.
  • Salt : Try to use only coarse sea salt for seafood.
  • Lemon 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.
  • 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.
  • Curry leaves 4 – 5 : 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.
  • Tomatoes chopped 2 small : Filled with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A, C & K, tomatoes form the base of the gravy.
  • Leek / Onion greens : Onion fragrance without the strong pungency. Good source of fibre and antioxidants.
  • Garlic 4 – 5 cloves : Simply my Pungent King, pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure.
  • Coriander powder 1 teaspoon : Coriander lowers blood sugar and pressure and is a great digestive besides bringing light citrus flavor to the gravy.
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc.
  • Coconut oil, 2 teaspoon : Odourless, tasteless so as to only grease the pan for the curry.

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

  • Start with the traditional criss cross cuts on both sides of the fish.
  • Coat the pomfret with turmeric, salt and lemon juice and keep aside for 10 minutes. This takes away the foul smell if any. Now wash off mildly.
  • Grind the garlic cloves in salt and vinegar coarsely and coat your pomfret with it and keep aside
  • Heat a pan now. Add some oil (preferably coconut) on medium flame. Add the cumin to it and let it crackle.
  • Now add the leek or onion greens to it and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes to it and stir further for 3 minutes till the onion greens and the tomatoes are dried off water.
  • Add 2 cups of water and the curry leaves and cook for 2 minutes till all spices are well absorbed and a loose curry is formed.
  • Now add the fish to it and cook for 10 minutes turning twice (carefully enough not to break the fish). If you want more steam, you may cover you pan and check the cury after every 3 minutes.
  • Serve steaming hot with steamed rice and the treat is all yours.

Storage : No chance, even if you are alone you’ll wipe it off clean :-P.

Missing Something ? : Use sea salt was authenticity. May add cinnamon or sugar (1/2 teaspoon), to enhance the fragrance and make the taste more kids friendly. Little pepper powder (1/4th teaspoon) can also be done. After all, we are trying all iterations here, right !!

Surmai / Kingfish in Tangy Masala

Kingfish in Tangy Masala / Surmai South meets West fillet

Nearing the end of FIFA World Cup 2018 and welcoming the monsoons in Delhi, it’s a wash time literally. The plants get washed, the city gets washed, the toxicity in the sir gets washed and most so, the heat gets washed. So much washing pulls me to my favorite pass time, experimenting with seafood.

Seafood is so easily gobbled since it’s light, nutritious, filling and amazingly tasty. I have tried here to blend the two essences of southern and western coastal Indian cuisines so as not to make a mess of each, rather to create a nice new flavor. Am sure you can chip in with your variations and suggestions. Read on !! 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving Size : 2 to 3 pieces each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Kingfish fillet, 2 – further cut into 10 pieces total. Will be around 500 gms  : Kingfish is popularly known in Indian markets as Surmai. This is a pinkish fish with firm texture and high fat content. Its popular and easy for kids to eat since it has very less bones. It is also caled king mackerel and is found in South & Central India. High in protiens,this would be slightly expensive than the regular carp in the market.
  • Coriander seeds, 2 teaspoon, roasted : With a warm, nutty and orange essence the coriander seeds are great for eyes, digestion, joints, skin and abdomen. 
  • Curry leaves, 10, broken : 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.
  • 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.
  • Tamarind, 3 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.
  • Coconut oil, sufficient for pan frying, should be around 3 tablespoons in a 10 inch pan : Keep the pan frying with cocnut oil at a low to medium heat only, else it evaporates quickly. It does not leave any flavor or color on the dish and is great for cholesterol control.
  • Garlic cloves, 10 – 12 : Pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure. Clearly my pungent king 🙂
  • Green chilies, 2 long ones : The pinching tougue biter, the green chilies are great for skin, hair and eyes due to their high Vitamin C & E content. I grow at least 3 varieties in my garden much to the kitchen’s delight.
  • Ginger 2 teaspoons : 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.
  • Onion/Leek greens, 1 cup chopped : I grow leek in my garden. It grows super easily in any garden and requires minimum taking care. They are milder and more flavored than an onion. It is also very healthy for blood vessels, bones, heart, digestion, vision etc. I am always inclined to use leek for the sweetness instead of red onions and also the leaves of these leeks. 
  • Coriander, for garnish : The reasons for garnishing with coriander would be so as to compliment the coriander seeds ground and added in the marinate for the dish.
  • Salt to taste : 😀  Use sea salt to make the flavor more authentic.

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

  • Coarsely grind the ginger, garlic, chilies and coriander seeds in a mortar and a pestle. Be coarse for a grounded feel.
  • Add salt, turmeric and tamarind to it and mix well.
  • Coat the fillet pieces with the spice paste and keep aside for 10 minutes, while you do the next steps. It will be great if you poke the fish with a fork lightly but densely. This would take the flavor deep inside but not enough to disintegrate the fillet.
  • Now heat the coconut oil in a non stick pan.
  • To this add the onion or leek greens and saute well for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add curry leaves and saute further for 2 minutes.
  • Now place the fillet pieces in the pan gently and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 cup water and cook well for 8 minutes till the water dries off completely.
  • Take off flame, garnish with coriander and serve.

Storage : Make small portions, they are an easy cook. I don’t suggest refrigerating this.

Missing Something ? : You can skip garnishing and may replace regular salt with some coarse sea salt for more authentic essence.

Raw Papaya Salad

Raw Papaya Salad

Raw papaya is a common vegetable. Here we show you how this can be grated into an amazing meal accompaniment. Mild sour and pungency is an easy and big draw anytime. And if by chance your guests are hungry, then be ready to hear them thanking and praising you for this sallad all your life. Of course, have some good spirit and share the recipe with them, better so, share this link and ask then to subscribe 🙂 

…..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 2 cups : Papaya which is generally a ripened food product is rich in fibre, Vitamin C and improves digestion. Here we use raw grated papaya which is quite like a less watery and less sweet but firmer melon.
  • Garlic chopped 2 teaspoon : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Black mustard seeds 2 teaspoon : Good for hair, skin and Vitamin A filled, we use mustard seeds here to bring out the pungency to an all new level.
  • Lemon juice 4 teaspoon : Sour effect of the dish comes from here and bring alongwith it, the Vitamin C benefits to eyes, hair and skin.
  • Mustard oil 2 tablespoon : Enhancing the mustard quotient in the grease too.
  • Basil chopped 1 teaspoon (use lime or cinnamon basil) : Anti aging, anti cancer, anti bacterial herb is a great garnish due to it’s sweet and mixed spice aroma.

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

  • Heat the mustard oil in a skillet. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to sputter on medium flame.
  • Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Now add papaya and saute for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add lemon juice and mix well. Take it off the gas burner now.
  • Toss it in the pan to lighten and loosen it’s texture.
  • Garnish with the chopped basil and refrigerate.
  • Serve when mildly cold.

Storage : Can keep refrigerated for 1 week while using it.

Missing Something ? : You can add grated green chillies if your guests prefer so. Can’t substitute or afford to miss any further.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls

Spaghetti Cheese Balls

Cheese balls filled with spaghetti ! This is the kind of party snack that doesn’t need much convincing to promote among high energy and loud kids on a weekend afternoon or any long evening. They pack such an energy punch alongwith high grease flavor that it is an instant hit amongst kids of all ages ( 6 to 66 😉 )

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes preparation + 20 minutes of cooking
  • Serving size : 2 would for an average adult or a hungry child. Remember ! it’s loaded with cheese.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Butter 2 tablespoon : Good butter has high soluble fats which are a better grease than margarine. 
  • Wheat flour (maida) 1/2 cup : Maida provides the layer of the batter material.
  • Spaghetti boiled 1 cup : Well made spaghetti is a good source of vitamins and minerals if they are made of whole grains. They are a fun food for the kids and a great filler to our dish.
  • Peas boiled and crushed 1/3rd cup : Peas are a great health food. They are believed to be low fat, low calorie and anti aging food. They also act against alzheimer and arthritis. They add the mush to our mash in this dish.
  • Oregano dried 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.
  • Cheese 3 cubes : With all the calcium and protein benefits, cheese here is added for it’s creamy texture and nutty essence.
  • Bread crumbs 1/2 cup : Crumbs stick to the batter to prevent the filler to burst out of the ball.
  • Milk 1 cup : Creamy and sticky wetness would be best to add the health benefits in this deep fried fish.
  • Oil light vegetable only : This would not interfere with the flavor
  • Salt to taste : Keep it low. I suggest less than a pinch for 2 cheese balls. This would enhance the flavor of other seasoning.

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

  • Crush the peas with a light rolling pin so as not to mash them completely.
  • Grate the cheese cubes and keep aside.
  • Heat the butter in a pan till it melts. Add the flour and cook on low flame it the maida (flour) turns pinkish.
  • Add milk to this and mix well continuously stirring so as not to forms clumps. Cook like this on low flame for 4 to 5 minutes or till the flour thickens into a loose batter. Then take it off the flame and allow to cool.
  •  Till then mix the boiled spaghetti, crushed peas, the cheese, oregano and salt and shape them into fist size balls. (fists better be a kids and not a boxers 🙂 )
  • Take each ball and dip them into the cold batter and roll it into the bread crumbs. Do this routine for all the alls and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Bring to high temperature and the deep fry the balls.
  • Serve hot and flavorful

Storage : You can refrigerate the cheese balls (non fried) for a week easily and deep fry them as and when required.

Missing Something ? : You can skip the peas and replace the oregano with a seasoning of your choice too.