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Thursday, July 6, 2023

Nan Khatai

Probably nan khatai are the first cookies I ever baked in my kitchen and so, they are special to me. Over the years I have tried various versions, liking them all even without realizing they had Parsi connection. This time around I tried this semolina-almond version which yield crispy, crumbly delicious nan khatai that are quite addictive. For the uninitiated, nan khatai are shortbread biscuits that have been popular in the Indian sub continent for centuries. They are believed to be originated in Surat, a city in western India during 16th century. The word nan khatai is said to have derived from a Persian word 'naan' meaning bread and an Afghani word 'khatai' meaning biscuit.
According to the ebook Eat, Pray and Live, some of the Parsi cooks who worked for the Dutch in Surat had learnt to bake soft bread by fermenting the dough with toddy, which is supposedly the beginning of the legacy of Parsi bakeries in Surat. Parsis were inspired by the eggless Scottish shortbread, to create nan khatai, one of Surat's famous confections.The Surat bakers realized that the recipe was suitable for Gujarati vegetarians who did not eat eggs and adapted to suit the local populace by adding nuts and cardamom. Here is another interesting read about how nan khatai came to existence.

Ingredients: (Yield 18 - 20 cookies)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina (I replaced half of it with ground almonds.)
2 tbsp. ground almonds (Optional)
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
A pinch of baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp. slivered almonds for garnish

* Sift together flour, semolina, cardamom and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add ground almonds to the same bowl if using and mix to combine,
* Cream butter and sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in small increments and blend until a dough is formed. If for any reason, the dough turns out hard / dry, moisten it with little milk. (I didn't need any milk.)
* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 180 deg C. Grease or line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
* Divide the cookie dough into 18 - 20 portions and roll each portion into a smooth ball. Flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand and decorate with almond slivers. Gently press the almond pieces so that they stick to the cookie.
* Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them an inch apart since they expand while baking.
* Place them in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until they turn light golden in color. (I baked them for about 20 minutes, turned off the oven and left them in the oven for another 6 minutes or so.)
* Let them cool on a wire rack and store them in an airtight container.


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Barnyard Millet Chilka Roti

Chilka roti come from the Indian state of Jharkhand and are prepared using a ground batter of rice and split chickpeas aka chana dal. Chilka roti is a misnomer as they have nothing to do with a roti, an Indian variety flat bread. Instead, they are similar to dosas, the south Indian variety eggless crepe where ingredients are soaked, ground and fermented. These chilka rotis are simpler as the batter used here does not need any fermentation. 

Idlis and dosas seem to me a quick option to me, being a south Indian though they seem to be a daunting task to non locals. However these chilka rotis are very simple to make. They are nutritious and can be served with any spicy chutney.  

The rice and split chickpeas / dal need to be soaked overnight or at least a couple of hours in the morning before grinding them together. These roti can be made immediately using the batter. It takes about only a couple of minutes to grind this batter and there is no need to ferment it.

Rice and chana dal are used in 2:1 ratio but sometimes I use them in equal proportions. I have started to replace the rice with millet recently for a healthier and nutritious version. I have used barnyard millet here but it can be replaced by kodo, proso, foxtail or little millet. They make a quick and filling breakfast if the batter is made the previous night and refrigerated.

Ingredients: (Yield - 18 roti)
1 & 1/2 cup barnyard millet 
3/4 cup split chickpeas / chana dal
Salt to taste
Oil for rotis

1. Add millet and split chickpeas to a bowl and rinse twice with water and drain. 
2. Soak them in water for 3 hours or overnight. Drain the water used to soak before grinding.
3. Add the soaked ingredients and salt to a blender / grinder and grind finely adding water as required to form a thick, pourable consistency batter. (This batter becomes runny very easily and so start adding a small amount of water to grind initially and go on adding as needed). Transfer the batter to a container.
4. Heat a griddle and pour a ladleful batter at the center and spread it thinly with the back of the ladle. 
5. Drizzle oil around the edges and cook until the surface appears 
6. Flip the roti and cook on the other side as well for few seconds.
* Remove it with a spatula and repeat the roti making process.
* Serve them warm with chutney of your choice.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with 'Breakfasts' theme and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Brown Rice Flour & Vegetable Rotti

Rotti is a staple of Karnataka cuisine and these unleavened flat breads are usually prepared using rice flour or finger millet flour or sorghum flour. Jolada rotti / Sorghum flour rotti are a specialty of the North Karnataka region and they are commonly eaten for meals there whereas akki rotti, the rice flour based ones are commonly prepared through out the state with variations. These akki rottis are frequently eaten as a breakfast at homes and they also become convenient lunch box item for kids. ('Akki' is rice in the local language). 

I replaced a portion of white rice flour with brown rice one in these rotti to make them healthier. (The brown rice flour I buy at 'Whole Foods' is not very fine ground and so need some regular rice flour to bind the dough.) Rotti can be kept simple with the addition of green chilis, salt, onions and coconut, which are called masale rotti in some parts. Or vegetables can be added to add nutition. Fenugreek leaves can be substituted with amaranth or spinach leaves. The combination of veggies I have added here, especially the cucumber helps in keeping the rotti softer longer. 

The dough can be prepared the previous night and refrigerated which saves time during the morning rush. The dough can be taken out and used in the morning even without thawing. The rottis can be made thinner than what I have made here. Each rotti takes less than 10 minutes to make and doesn't even need constant supervision. One standard tawa / griddle sized rotti would be sufficient if packing a kids' lunch box. These rotti do not need any side dishes in general. They are served with jaggery or some chutney pudi (for older kids / adults), which are staples in any south Indian kitchen. 

Ingredients: (Yield - 5 rotti)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup rice flour (Store bought can be used.)
Salt to taste
1 carrot
1 small cucumber
1/4 to 1/2 cup fenugreek leaves / methi leaves
1 or 2 green chili
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded, fresh coconut
A handful of cilantro leaves, finely minced
Oil to make rotti

Preparing the dough:
Peel and grate the cucumbers. If the cucumbers are not tender, quarter them vertically, remove the seeds and then grate.

* Peel and grate the carrot. Wash and roughly chop the fenugreek leaves.
* Chop green chili very finely. (Green chili can be pulsed with  coconut in a food processor / mixer without adding water, to avoid biting on them. This method is helpful, if especially cooking for kids.)
* First combine the flours and salt in a mixing bowl. Then add all the other ingredients except oil in a mixing bowl.

* Add water as needed to form a firm dough. The rotti can be made immediately at this point, following the below method. Or the dough can be refrigerated in a container with a tight fitting lid. Plan to use the dough within a couple of days.
* Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Work with one portion at a time and keep the rest covered. Shape one portion into a ball.
* Pour a tsp. of oil in the center of a griddle / skillet you are going to use to make rottis. Place the dough ball at the center of the griddle and pat with your fingers till you form a thin, flat circle. (There is no need to make it super thin like pancakes.) The rotti size depends on one's preference. Some prefer to make it griddle sized and some go with smaller ones. Poke a hole in the middle with your index finger if you wish or just leave it out.
* Pour a tsp. of oil around the edges of the dough circle and over it. Cover with a lid and turn on the stove. Let it cook on a low - medium flame and flip it when golden brown spots develop on the bottom side and the upper side doesn't look raw. It may take around 5 to 6 minutes. 
 * Add 1/2 tsp.  of oil around the edges again if needed. Cover it again and cook for about 3 -4 minutes or until the other side turns light brown too. Turn off the stove and remove the cooked rotti with a spatula.
* Repeat the above steps with the remaining dough balls. However be sure to turn off the stove and cool the griddle before using it again. If in a hurry, the hot griddle can be held under running water to cool it down quickly. Or simultaneously 2 griddles can be used to quicken the cooking process.
* Rotti are usually served with chutney pudi. Some even serve with butter or yogurt, especially ragi / fingermillet rottis. When serving kids, they go with a combo of jaggery and ghee. The latter combo remains my favorite even though I am no longer a kid. :)

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'Quick Breakfasts'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Hummus - Vegetable Sandwich

Here is a simple and quick sandwich recipe that needs just basic kitchen skills. This easy sandwich is a favorite at our home. It can be packed as a lunch for kids as well besides being a breakfast item prepared in no time. It is a diabetic friendly recipe as well, given that the bread used is a whole grain one.

Any whole grain bread and your choice of hummus can be used to make this bread. I have used oatnut bread and roasted red pepper hummus for this sandwich today. And I have used only cucumber and tomato slices, as my daughter prefers only those in this sandwich. Vegetables of one's choice can go into this preparation.

This sandwich preparation is so simple that no recipe is actually needed. The above picture is self explanatory. This sandwich needs five ingredients - some whole grain bread slices, hummus spread, vegetable slices, salt and pepper.  Toasting the bread slices is first step in the preparation. Spread the hummus evenly on one side of each toasted bread slice. Place the vegetable slices on the hummus spread side of a bread slice. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Cover it with the other bread slice, with hummus side facing down. Chop the sandwich diagonally and serve.

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'Quick Breakfasts'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

'A - Z' Tamil Nadu Recipe Series ~ C for Chettinad Masala Cheeyam / Masala Seeyam

Southern India is predominantly a rice growing region and the various local cuisines reflect the fact. I did not realize until now that the recipes I planned for this week were all rice based. Akkaravadisal is a sweet rice pudding usually served as an offering to god while brinji is a rice and vegetable based spicy one pot meal. Today's post cheeyam or seeyam is also rice based and is a popular snack from Chettinad cuisine.
Chettinad cuisine is perhaps the most well known one among the various regional cuisines of Tamil Nadu, though surprisingly Chettinad / Chettinadu region relatively forms a smaller portion of the state in a geographical sense. It is located mainly in the Sivaganga district and some portion of Pudukottai district. Chettinad is the home of a prosperous banking and business community called Natukottai Chettiars / Nagarathars and in fact, Chettinadu literally means 'Land of Chettiars'.

The Chettiars are known to be traders of salt and spices which is reflected in their cuisine where dishes are made with freshly ground spices. They also use a lot of dried meats and salted vegetables owing to the dry environment of the region. Most of the dishes are either eaten with rice or rice based. The cuisine boasts of both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes.
Some of the dishes I have previously tried from Chettinad region are

Today's masala cheeyam / masala seeyam also come from Chettinad region as I mentioned above. They are a popular snack from the region, made with a ground batter of rice and skinned black gram. This is a spicy version while there is also a sweet version of seeyam. These delicious fritters make a great evening snack and I read somewhere that people who are fasting also prepare this as an evening meal. 

This spicy version needs advance planning as the rice and black gram needs to be soaked for 2 - 3 hours. Grind the batter fluffy and fine like one does idli batter. Remember not to make it runny. Onions and green chilis are sautéed and added to the batter which add flavor to these fritters though I think the step of sautéing onions can be skipped. Adding raw onions to the batter is not  going to make that of a big difference as they are going to be deep fried anyway.
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry 
Ingredients for sautéing:
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 small sprig of curry leaves, finely minced
1 or 2 green chilies, finely minced
1 medium sized onion, finely minced
2 tbsp. fresh, shredded coconut

1. Rinse and soak rice and skinned black gram in water for at least two hours. Drain the water completely after the soaking period.
2. Grind them together into a thick, fluffy batter adding water in small increments. Do not make the batter runny. (Using a grinder would help to use small quantity of water to while grinding. If the batter turns runny, adding a small quantity of rice flour would help but adding too much would turn the cheeyam harder.)
3. Meanwhile, heat a tbsp. oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they start to sputter add, green chili and curry leaves. Stir them for few seconds and add onions and salt enough for the onions.
4. Sauté until onion turns translucent and add the coconut. Stir once and turn off the stove.
5 & 6. Add the sautéed onions and salt to the batter. (Keep in mind that onions contain salt too). Mix the batter well with a spoon and keep aside.
7. Heat oil for deep frying in a frying pan on medium heat. Drop a pinch of batter to the oil. If it swims to the surface, the oil is ready for frying. If not, heat the oil a little more. Dip your fingers / hand into the batter and shape a small ball. Gently drop into the oil. Repeat the step and drop as many balls as the pan can hold, without overcrowding. (There is no need to fret over the shapes. They don't to be exactly round.)
8. First they sink and soon float to the surface. Keep gently flipping them with a perforated spoon. Lower the heat to low - medium setting and fry until they turn golden brown throughout.
9. Remove them when done and transfer them onto a plate laden with paper towels to absorb the extra grease.
10. Reheat the oil if needed and repeat the steps with the remaining batter.
11. Serve them warm and enjoy with a spicy chutney or some ketchup.

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'A -Z Series'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A - Z Tamil Nadu Recipe Series ~ B for Brinji / Tamilnadu Style Brinji Rice Cooked in Coconut Milk

Brinji or vegetable brinji is a simple, delicious and easy one pot meal made with rice and mixed veggies, with it's origins in Tamil Nadu. Some believe the dish has Persian roots, since rice is called berenj in Iran, thus indicating that the dish might be a borrowed one. This rice dish is considered to be in existence way before biryani/pulao arrived in the region. Being older, the south Indian ingredients like coconut and pepper are incorporated into the recipe, thus making it different than biryani / pulao / tahiri dishes. Also the Tamil word for bay leaves, brinji elai comes from being generously used in the preparation of brinji.  
South Indian style short grain rice is preferred to make brinji. Flavored rice like seeraga samba would be a perfect fit but Basmati would be a nice substitution which is easy to source. It is possible that the earlier version used little or no vegetables but the modern versions uses the standard vegetables used in a pulao recipe. Also the early recipe must have relied only on pepper for the heat since chilies were still an unknown ingredient in the Indian subcontinent. A garnish of fried bread cubes or soya nuggets chunks to the finished dish is also common.

Over the years, I have been seeing brinji recipe where the standard spices like cloves, cinnamon and cardamom being used and onions get sautéed. I made a small portion following the recipe here which does not use those spices and also onion or tomatoes do not get sautéed. It is hard to even notice the fact that they were not sautéed.  I even skipped the garlic from the recipe as I am not a fan of it's flavor. The recipe still is a keeper as the dish is absolutely delicious and very easy to remember or follow. This is a fuss-free dish where all you do is chop a few vegetables and layer it to pressure cook. The recipe is a quick one if you overlook the one hour wait time that is needed for marinating the veggies in coconut-ginger-garlic paste and soaking the rice part. 

Here are some other rice based dishes from Tamil Nadu for you to enjoy.
Ingredients for marinating: (Yield 4 servings)
1/2 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrot
1/2 cup shelled fresh / frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves (I used both mint & cilantro)
1 tsp. red chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 cup coconut paste *
2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste **(I omitted garlic.)
1 tsp. salt
* Grind 1/4 cup coconut to a paste using 1/4 cup water
** 6 garlic cloves and an inch piece of ginger ground to paste with little water. Use 1 tbsp. paste if using store bought one.

Ingredients for brinji:
1 cup Basmati rice
1 tbsp. ghee
3 bay leaves, crushed
2 medium sized onions, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup light coconut milk
2/3 cup water

1. Add all ingredients mentioned under marination list to a wide bowl and mix well. Cover and leave it aside to marinate for about an hour. The mixture would release liquid after marination.
2. Rinse and soak rice in water for about an hour. Drain the rice after soaking period.
3. Add ghee to a 3 liter sized / small pressure cooker and add the torn bay leaves. 
4. Top it with chopped onions and tomatoes uniformly.
5. Spread half of the marinated vegetables along with the liquid over onion and tomato mixture.
6. Next add rice over the veggies in an even layer.
7. Layer it again with the remaining veggies.
8. Pour the coconut milk and water over it and close the lid.
9. Cook on medium flame for two whistles and turn off the stove. Wait until the cooker's valve pressure is gone. 
10. Wait for 15 - 20 minutes and open the lid. Fluff and serve with raita or vegetable korma.

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'A -Z Series'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.

Monday, January 17, 2022

'A- Z' Tamil Nadu Recipe Series ~ A for Akkaravadisal / Akkara Adisal


Starting from this month, I am going to explore one of the flavorful cuisines from the southern parts of India, from Tamil Nadu to be exact. I grew up in a neighboring state and so, I am kind of familiar with and fond of the cuisine. I am doing a vegetarian recipe series in a 'A- Z' style and each month, three recipes from the region are going to be posted. Previously, I have covered two more southern states, mentioned below.

'A - Z' Karnataka Vegetarian Recipe Series

'A' is the alphabet of the day and here are few 'A' dishes from the state. There is the popular breakfast combo, adai - avial which can also be served as a light dinner. Adai are the protein rich crepes made with rice - lentil batter while avial is vegetable based curry in a coconut base. Azhagar kovil dosai are dosa that are served as a prasadam to devotees in a Lord Vishnu Temple located near Madurai. Arisi upma is a spicy breakfast dish made with cream of rice. There is aadi koozh, a healthy porridge made in the month of aadi (around July). 

Here are ammini kozhukattai, steamed and tempered rice balls that make a guilt-free snack. A simple and quick one pot meal from Kongu nadu is arisi paruppu sadam that is prepared with rice and lentils. There is arachuvitta sambhar, a Tambram, lentil and vegetable based side dish made with toasted and ground spices. There is another gravy dish called arai puli kuzhambu. There are arakeerai and avarakkai, amaranth greens and broad beans respectively with which many side dishes are prepared to go with rice. There is aval aka flattened rice that is used to make many dishes such as upma, payasam, laddu, kozhukaatai, etc. Athirasam is a popular and deep fried sweet dish prepared with rice flour and jaggery. Arcot makkan peda is another sweet delicacy. (This is not an extensive list. I have mentioned those off the top of my head.)

And there is a festive dish called akkaravadisal or akkara adisal, with which I am starting this A- Z series. Akkaravadisal is a sweet rice pudding made as an offering to god during auspicious occasions at temples and homes across the state. Akkara means jaggery / sugar in Tamil while the second part vadisal refers to the cooking part, as cooking rice in this instance.

I have made this a few times before and coincidentally had again prepared it a few days back on Sankranthi day. An authentic Iyengar recipe, akkaravadisil sounds similar to sweet pongal or sakkari pongal at first glance. However akkaravadisal is more richer, creamier and delicious since the rice and moong dal mixture is cooked entirely in milk and oodles of ghee also goes into the preparation. 

Akkaravadisal can be prepared in a pressure cooker or in an instant pot, for a short-cut method. The rice, moong dal and milk can also be cooked together in a pot on stovetop until it reaches a creamy consistency. Using a non stick pan avoids the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. The mixture needs to be frequently stirred and the milk quantity needs to be adjusted as needed. Leaving a ladle in the pan prevents the milk from boiling over.

Using jaggery that is darker in color lends an inviting hue to the dish. Warm the jaggery with water until it melts and strain the mixture if it has impurities. Powdered jaggery can be directly added to the cooked rice at the end and mixed if the jaggery is clean. A portion of jaggery can be replaced by sugar. A large quantity of ghee is added traditionally but can be cut down to a minimum. The rice is cooked in full fat milk for a richer taste but again, it can be cooked in fat-free milk to cut down the calories. A pinch of edible camphor added at the end makes it absolutely divine.

 Akkara vadisal is on a thicker side and the mixture thickens while cooling down. Add milk accordingly. I took these images soon after cooking and it thickened to right consistency after cooling down.

Ingredients: (Yield 4 servings)
1/2 cup rice (I used sona masuri rice.)
2 tbsp. yellow moong dal
3/4 cup powdered jaggery
2 to 2.5 cups of milk
2 - 3 tbsp. ghee
2 tbsp. cashews
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom 

* Boil about a cup milk on stove top or in a microwave and let it cool down.
1. Rinse and soak rice and moong dal in water for about 10 minutes and drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat jaggery and about 1/3 cup water in a pan until the jaggery melts. Let it cool a bit and strain the syrup if any impurities are present (I did not have to strain mine.)
3. Heat ghee in a pan and add cashews. Toast them on low flame, stirring continuously until they turn golden brown. (They burn quickly and so keep an eye). Transfer the toasted cashews onto a plate. 
4. To the same ghee pan, add the rice and moong dal mixture and sauté for couple of minutes, on low medium flame. Turn off the stove.
5. Transfer the mixture directly to small pressure cooker or a to steel container that fits into a pressure cooker. Add 1.5 cups milk to the rice mixture. Cook for 6 - 8 whistles and turn off the stove.
6 &7. When the valve pressure is gone, mash the rice-dal mixture well with the back of a ladle.
8. Add the melted jaggery, (boiled and cooled) milk as needed, ground cardamom, toasted cashews with the remaining ghee and mix well with a ladle.
* Serve it warm, as part of a festive meal or as a dessert. 

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'A -Z Series'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

15th Blogging Anniversary ~ Gajar Ka Halwa / Carrot Halwa Without Grating

Time sure flies by. The idea of an online recipe journal gave birth to this blog, 15 years ago. I would never have believed then that I would either be actively blogging after over a decade or I would still retain my enthusiasm and energy towards it. This virtual kitchen has helped me along the way in nurturing my love for cooking, exploring new cuisines and developing new friendships. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my readers who invest their time in going through my blog and drop an encouraging line.  

Here is some yummy halwa to celebrate the occasion. Carrot halwa which is called gajar ka halwa in Hindi and gajrela in Punjab is a popular sweet dish from the Indian sub continent, with it's origins in northern parts of India. This popular dessert is prepared especially during winter months as the red carrots which are the most preferred variety to prepare this halwa are available during the time. 
Carrot halwa tastes super delicious, even though it is made with only basic ingredients like carrots, milk, sugar, ghee and flavored with cardamom. Red carrots are preferable for the preparation if available but halwa is prepared with orange ones mostly as red carrots are not available everywhere. Forget about calories and use full fat milk for this halwa preparation. The grated carrots are simmered in milk until the milk is completely reduced, which takes time and patience if preparing in large quantities. There are versions made with khoya (milk solids), condensed milk etc. which are richer. Here are some versions I posted previously.
I have come across versions which involved no grating carrots and decided to try a small portion this time. The carrots are cut into chunks instead of grating and sautéed in ghee and then pressure cooked and slightly mashed in this method. I did not miss the taste but surely missed the texture of the grated carrots which I am more used to but this method definitely saves the time and work.
Ingredients: 2 - 3 servings
1 pound carrots / 2 cups, peeled carrots cut into chunks
1 cup full fat milk
2 to 3 tbsp. ghee
1/2 cup sugar (I used about 2 tbsp. less sugar)
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom 

* Heat ghee in a pan, preferably a non-stick one. Add carrot chunks to it and sauté for a couple of minutes.
* Add the sautéed carrot chunks and milk to a steel vessel and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
* When the valve pressure is gone, remove the carrots and mash them with a masher or back of a wooden spoon.
* Add the mashed carrots along with the milk back to the pan and cook, stirring now and then. Mash if any big chunks of carrots are seen. 
* The mixture begins to thicken as the milk  starts to reduce in quantity.
* Add sugar and cardamom when carrot-milk mixture begins one big mass or only a lit bit of milk is left in the pan.
* Keep cooking as the mixture again becomes loose because of the addition of sugar. Cook until the mixture slightly thickens and turn off the stove. 
* Garnish with nuts. Halwa can be served either chilled or warm. 

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'Winter Produce'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Aloo Gobhi / North Indian Style Potato & Cauliflower Curry

 (Originally published on 2/23/2011)

Aloo gobhi is a delicious, home style vegetable preparation from North India that has become popular through out the Indian subcontinent. In fact, it is so popular that it has made its way into the Indian restaurants everywhere. This is reflected in the fact that it is one of the mandatory side dishes you will find on any Indian restaurant menu in the western hemisphere and an equally ubiquitous one even in our blog world. :) Simple enough in terms of preparation even to a novice cook and palate pleasing, it's no surprise that aloo gobhi is a favorite to many.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to aloo gobhi preparation. It can be prepared dry or with some gravy clinging to potato - cauliflower mixture. Onions & / tomatoes can be added or omitted. It can be prepared according to one's taste preference and here is my version of our favorite "aloo gobhi".

Ingredients: (Yield - 4 servings)
1 big sized onion (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 tomatoes (1 cup chopped)
1 small sized cauliflower (2 cups florets after the leaves and hard parts removed)
3 medium sized potatoes (2 cups peeled & cubed potatoes)
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
Salt to taste
Minced cilantro to garnish
* Heat oil in a kadai / pan and add grated ginger and cumin seeds to it. Add turmeric powder and chopped onions when they slightly brown. Cook them covered until they turn translucent. 
* Next add the tomatoes and cook until they turn slightly mush.
* Add potato cubes and about a cup of water and. Continue to cook until potatoes are 3/4th done. 
* Add the cauliflower florets and salt. Add some more water if needed. When the cauliflower turn almost tender, add chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala to it and mix well. Mash  cooked potatoes cubes slightly without mashing cauliflower. Simmer the curry for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Garnish with cilantro. (I add cauliflower almost at the end as cauliflower gets cooked in about 5 to 6 minutes and softens furthen even after turning off the stove.) 
* Serve the curry warm with some hot roti / phulka and yogurt for a complete meal.

This is going to be my contribution to this week's Blogging marathon, with the theme 'Winter Produce'. Check the page link to see what other marathoners are cooking.