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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mumbai Mysore Masala Dosa Recipe

mumbai mysore masala dosa
Mysore Masala Dosa comes in my top 5 breakfast varieties on any given day. It is a must for me to have Masala Dosa for breakfast in my favorite joints during my trips to Bangalore. The crisp crust with a soft interior is the key for a good Masala dosa and it is served in that way in Bangalore and if you have ever tasted Masala dosa in Bangalore it is not easy for you to like the masala dosa in any other place and it's the same case with me.I do not like thin masala dosa unless it is a paper masala dosa. Even in Mumbai most of the udupi joints prepare the masala dosa very thin which I am not really fond of,I give them a miss and prepare Masala Dosa at home. But Mumbai street food takes the humble South Indian Masala Dosa to a different level with the addition of various masalas and vegetables and the way they play with the ingredients by mashing them on the dosa and the way it is served really impressed me - it is really fun to watch the way they use the masher to mix the ingredients.
mumbai mysore masala dosa
Now let me explain what the key difference between a regular Mysore Masala Dosa and the Mumbai style Masala Dosa. In Mysore Masala Dosa, a spicy garlic chutney is smeared on dosa and is stuffed with potato curry where as in Mumbai style Mysore Masala Dosa - an extra component of additional vegetables with spices like Pav bhaji masala or garam masala gives a new dimension to it. Also the dosa is prepared thin compared to the regular masala dosa.
mumbai mysore masala dosa
I thoroughly enjoy this Mumbai style Mysore Masala Dosa and I recommend you all to try this at least once and I am sure you would thank me for introducing you to this delicious Mumbai street style dosa.
mysore masala dosa

Check out other Dosa varieties from the streets of Mumbai:
If you are interested in other dosa recipes,check out more varieties here.

mumbai mysore masala dosa

Mumbai Mysore Masala Dosa Recipe:
Yields 6-8 dosas
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:20 mins | Total time:30 mins
Cuisine: South Indian Fusion | Category: Breakfast/Snacks
Ingredients:
2-3 cups Dosa batter
1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
Butter and Oil, to roast

for Potato Stuffing:
2 medium Potatoes,boiled and mashed
1 small Onion,finely chopped
2 Green chillies, chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
a sprig of Curry leaves,chopped
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a pinch of Asafoetida(Hing)
Salt to taste
2 tsp Oil
for Vegetable filling:
3/4 cup of mixed finely chopped vegetables(tomato,onion,capsicum,cabbage)
1/4 cup of grated vegetables(carrot and beetroot)
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Pav Bhaji masala
1/4 tsp Red chili powder
Salt to taste
2 tsp Oil

for Red Garlic Chutney:
3-4 Byadige Red chillies
7-8 Garlic Pods
Salt to taste

Method:
to prepare Potato filling:
  • Heat oil in a kadai/pan and crackle mustard seeds and cumin seeds and then add asafoetida.
  • Add finely chopped green chillies and curry leaves and fry until they wilt.
  • Now add chopped onions and fry well until they turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder to it and mix.Add nicely mashed potatoes and salt to it and mix it properly. Keep it ready.
to prepare Red Garlic chutney:
  • Soak red chillies in hot water for 10-15 mins.Drain them and grind with garlic pods and salt to a fine paste.Add water if needed while grinding.
to prepare Veg filling:
  • Heat oil in a kadai/pan and add finely chopped onions and fry until they turn translucent.
  • Add grated carrots and beetroots and finely chopped capsicum and fry on high heat for 1-2 mins.


  • Now add chopped cabbage and quickly fry for another minute.The crunchiness of vegetables is to be maintained and hence do not over cook the vegetables.
  • Add red chili powder, garam masala, pav bhaji masala and salt to it and mix well and switch it off and keep the mixture ready.
to make Dosa:


  • Keep the masalas- potato masala and mixed vegetable mixture ready. Make the tawa ready for preparing dosa,keep the stove on medium flame and pour a ladle full of batter in the middle of the pan and spread in a circular motion to form a 7-8 " THIN dosa and pour some oil (1 tbsp roughly) all over the edges and in the center cover it with a lid.


  • Add 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp red garlic chutney, 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and 2-3 tbsp prepared potato filling and 2-3 tbsp prepared vegetable stuffing mixture.


  • Mix and spread them using a spoon or spatula or the masher according to your convenience. Level the mixed stuffing using the spatula. Keep the flame on HIGH and let it roast for another minute until it turns golden brown and crispy. Do not over roast it as it will be difficult to fold it as shown.
  • Roll the dosa carefully to form a roll.
  • Remove it from the tawa and cut it into 3-4 pieces using a pizza cutter or sharp edge of spatula or knife.You can even cut it diagonally.
Serve it with Coconut chutney and Sambar. Check out other side dishes for Idli/dosa here.

mumbai mysore masala dosa
Notes:
  • You can basically use any dosa batter recipe to prepare this dosa but make sure you spread the dosa very thin.
  • Do not miss any component in the recipe to enjoy the taste of this fusion dosa.
  • Also do not skip Pav bhaji masala in the recipe which lends a nice taste to the dosa.
  • I did not have beetroot on that day and hence I did not add it.
  • Usually all the vegetables and spices are added directly on the dosa along with potato mixture,garlic chutney,butter and is mashed directly on the tawa. The tawa and the heat plays a major role when comes to home made dosas and hence we cannot do it easily as the street hawkers do, I suggest you to lightly saute the vegetables ahead which not only makes it cook faster but also makes the job easier. If you want to have fun you can still try that method.
mumbai mysore masala dosa

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Raw Banana Kofta Curry | Kacche Kele ka Kofta Curry

raw banana kofta curry
Kofta based curries are bit time consuming as it involves the preparation of kofta along with the gravy part. Hence I usually do not prefer to make it on daily basis and prepare it occasionally. You can prepare various kofta based curries like Cabbage Kofta, Lauki kofta, Malai kofta, Paneer Kofta and Kele ka kofta curry. The preparation process of the gravy is very simple for cabbage kofta and lauki kofta curry which suits the everyday cooking, but for the rest of the recipes the gravy is prepared in a rich and creamy way which is good for occasional cooking.
The options with raw banana are limited, I usually end up preparing a stir fry for rice or a simple sabzi for rotis regularly and these Raw Banana(Kele ka) Pakoras on rare occasions. You can even use raw banana to make cutlets or koftas like I did. These koftas can be served as a snack too,they tastes delicious when deep fried. Another healthy option to fry these koftas is to shallow fry them in Paniyaram pan which consumes less oil compared to deep fried version. I prefer to fry the koftas in paniyaram pan if I am making it for my family, I prefer the deep fried version if I prepare it for a party or on special occasions. The texture of the koftas is definitely better when deep fried but the taste of shallow fried is even good.
kacche kela ka kofta curry

Check out few recipes with Raw Bananas in my blog here:
Raw Banana Kofta Curry Recipe:
Serves 3-4
Prep time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 40mins | Total time: 1 hr
Cuisine: North Indian | Category: Side Dish - Main Course

Ingredients:

for Kofta:
2 large Raw Bananas
1 medium Potato
3-4 tbsp Chickpea flour(Besan)
2-3 tbsp Raisins
1 small Onion,finely chopped
2 Green chillies,finely chopped
1/2" Ginger,finely chopped
2 tbsp Coriander leaves,chopped
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil,to deep fry

for Gravy:
3 medium Tomatoes, make a cross on them
2 medium Onions, quartered
1/3 cup Milk or 1/4 cup Cream
6-8 Cashew nuts
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Sugar,optional
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp Oil

Method:
to make Koftas:
  • Cut the ends of raw bananas and cut them into 2-3 pieces and pressure cook along with potato for 3 whistles.After it cools down,peel the skin of raw bananas and potato and mash it nicely using potato masher while it is still warm and keep it aside.
  • Dry roast chickpea flour until you get nice aroma from it and let it cool.
  • Add all the masalas - red chili powder, coriander  powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder , garam masala powder and salt to the mashed raw banana and potato mixture and mix it nicely.The mixture would be very soft and mushy at this point.
  • Add finely chopped onion,green chillies and coriander and mix well.Now add roasted chickpea flour and mix nicely,do not add all the quantity of besan at once, add in small portions and mxi until you feel the mixture is not very sticky.Do not add more besan,the koftas would be softer when the dough is slightly smooth instead of stiff dough.
  • Grease your palms with oil and make gooseberry sized koftas and try to stuff raisins in it - by initially making it like a cup and stuff raisins and close it to form a kofta. Refrigerate them for half an hour so that they will firm up slightly,you can use them immediately too if you are short of time.
  • Heat oil in a deep curved pan until it is hot and add koftas and fry them on medium flame until they turn in deep brown color.Remove them with the slotted spoon on to a kitchen napkin.
  • If you are looking for healthy option - you can fry them alternatively in an Aebliskever pan. Heat the pan and add 1/2 tsp of oil in each impression and when it is piping hot keep the flame on LOW and place the koftas in it and fry them by turning them slightly in between until they get roasted on all sides.This is time consuming but a very healthy alternative option. Keep them aside until serving time.
to make Gravy:
  • Boil water and add quartered onions, tomatoes(make a cross before) and cashew nuts and boil them for 2-3 minutes. Drain them and once they become cool, remove the skin of tomatoes and chop them roughly. Grind the tomatoes, boiled onions and cashew nuts to a very smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and add ginger-garlic paste followed by the ground onion-tomato-cashew paste and fry well until the oil leaves in the edges and the masala becomes dry.
  • Add the dry masalas - red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt and fry nicely for 3-4 mins.You can add a tbsp of water if you feel that the mixture would burn. Ensure you fry the masala nicely with out getting it burnt.
  • Add roughly 3/4 -1 cup of water to it and let it come to boil.Add kasuri methi and sugar and let the gravy simmer for 8-10 mins.The consistency of the gravy should not be very thick or very thin, it should be of medium thickness consistency.Aslo remember that the koftas observe the gravy,so prepare the gravy of medium consistency.
  • Switch off the flame and add cream or milk to it and stir nicely.
  • When you are ready serve,arrange koftas in a serving bowl and pour the hot gravy over it and cover it for 10-12 mins to let the koftas observe the gravy.You can add the koftas to the gravy and simmer for 1-2 mins before adding the cream/milk, do not boil the koftas for long it will make them soggy otherwise.
  • Garnish with coriander and cream.
Serve it hot with Rotis/Naans/Kulchas/Jeera rice.

raw banana kofta curry

Notes:
  1. Koftas can be deep fried or shallow fried or oven baked according to your choice.Deep fried koftas has better texture when compared to shallow fried or oven baked ones.If you make this recipe for parties I suggest you to deep fry and for regular cooking you can either shallow fry or bake them in oven.
  2. The gravy consistency is important as the koftas would absorb the gravy. Make sure you add gravy to the koftas before serving, otherwise they will turn soggy if kept for long.
  3. Cashew nuts can be ground and added in the later stage, but for ease I ground along with the onions and tomatoes.
  4. Raw Banana koftas can be served as an appetizer or snack by sprinkling some chaat masala over it.
kela ka kofta curry

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sambar Sadam | Kadambam Rice Recipe

kadambam rice
Bisi Bele Bath is a signature recipe of Karnataka and has gained its popularity all over India. 'Sambar Sadam' of Tamilnadu and 'Kadambam Rice' of Andhra are prepared in the similar lines of Bisibelebath but a very quick version when compared to time consuming Bisibelebath. I love Bisibelebath to the core and as the process is quite time consuming, I do not make it often but in order to satisfy my cravings I usually prefer to make this Sambar Sadam which is a quick version. Though I would say it does not match the taste of Bisibelebath but it tastes good in its own terms and keep me satisfied.The usage of vegetables and masalas differ in both the dishes are different and hence the taste differs quite distinctively.
kadambam rice
'Sambar Sadam' or 'Kadambam Rice' is basically 'Sambar Rice' where we add various mixed vegetables and cooked along with dal and rice and spiced up with sambar powder.It tastes mostly like sambar mixed with rice but as we cook everything together the ingredients blend nicely and tastes better compared to sambar mixed with rice.Vegetables like drumstick, potato and brinjal lends a nice flavor and taste to this rice,so do not miss adding them to it.
sambar rice
As I stock both the Sambar powders- Andhra style Sambar powde and Karnataka style Sambar powder, preparing this Sambar Sadam is a breeze for me as I do not need to prepare the fresh masala.Sambar Sadam is to be served hot with a liberal dose of ghee and is to be paired with potato chips and Tomato-Onion raita which makes a perfect meal.

Sambar Sadam | Kadambam Rice Recipe:
Serves 2-3
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time: 45 mins
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Rice-Main Course

Ingredients:
1 cup Rice(Sona masuri or equivalent)
1/2 cup Toor dal
Mixed Vegetables(1 potato, 1 drumstick, 1 carrot, 1 brinjal, 1 carrot, 5-6 beans)
1 large Onion,diced or 6-8 Shallots
2 small Tomatoes,chopped
1 small lemon sized Tamarind
1/2 tsp Jaggery,grated
1 tbsp Andhra style Sambar powder(or prepare powder as mentioned below)
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
a pinch of Asafoetida
few Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste

to prepare fresh sambar masala:(instead of Andhra style Sambar powder)
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
3-4 Red chillies
1 tbsp Chana dal
5-6 Fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1-2 tbsp dry/fresh grated Coconut,(optional)

Method:
  • If you are preparing fresh sambar masala, roast all the ingredients separately mentioned under 'to prepare masala' section in 1/2 tsp oil until they turn slight red in color.Once it is cooled grind the ingredients to a powder.
  • Wash and soak rice and toor dal separately or together for 10-15 mins.Pressure cook them together or separately.I do it both ways depends on the time availability for me.You should make sure that the rice should not become lumpy.I usually add 3 - 3.5 cups water when pressure cooking both together.
  • Cut the vegetables into 2" pieces.
  • Soak and squeeze tamarind pulp and dilute it with 1/2 cup of water.Add salt and turmeric powder and add cut vegetables and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a big kadai and crackle mustard seeds and add curry leaves, asafoetida and fry until they wilt.
  • Add cubed onions or shallots and fry until they become translucent.Add chopped tomatoes and fry until it becomes pulpy.
  • Now add cooked vegetables along with tamarind water and add turmeric powder, sambar powder, freshly ground powder(or Andhra style sambar powder), jaggery and bring it to a boil.If you feel the water is less add another 1/2 cup of water now.
  • Add cooked dal and rice to it and mix well and reduce the flame and let it cook for 7-8 mins until it becomes thick and all the ingredients are blended well.
Liberally top it with ghee and serve it hot with Potato chips and Onion-Tomato Raita.

sambar rice
Notes:
  • If you have Vangibath powder you can add 2 tsp Vangibath powder along with sambar powder in the recipe.
  • If you like you can add vegetables like red pumpkin, ladies finger, green peas,yellow cucumber to it. You need to saute the ladies finger in oil before adding otherwise it will become slightly sticky. But do not miss potatoes, brinjals and drumsticks in the recipe.
  • I usually keep Toor dal and rice in the ratio of 1:2, if you like you can even increase the dal in the recipe upto 3/4:1 or 1:1 depends on your personal preference.
  • As I prefers this as a quick one pot meal I usually cook rice and dal together taking care that rice would not become mushy.You can cook them separately.
  • If you are using ready sambar powder,add 1-2 tbsp grated coconut and boil it along with rice and dal mixture.However it is optional to add coconut in the recipe.
sambar sadam

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tofu Bhurji Recipe | Soya Paneer (Tofu) Recipes

tofu bhurji
'Soya Paneer' also known as 'Tofu' is a healthy alternative for paneer though the taste of tofu would not match the taste of paneer exactly.As Tofu has less calories I usually buy it often and use it in various recipes like Tofu-Alu Paratha, Chili Tofu, Grilled Marinated Tofu ,Tofu Bhurji, Cutlets(Tikkis), Kebabs etc.Tofu is basically bland in taste and hence it can absorb the flavors beautifully.Today I am sharing a simple Bhurji recipe with tofu,I have prepared it in a similar fashion like how I prepare Paneer Bhurji,just that you need to pep it more with extra seasonings and spices to make it more tasty.

Check out few Tofu recipes in my blog.
soya paneer bhurji

Tofu Bhurji Recipe:
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
1 cup crumbled/grated Soya Paneer / Tofu - hard variety
1 medium Onion,finely chopped
2-3 Green chillies,finely chopped
1 Tomato,finely chopped
1 small Capsicum, chopped
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1/3 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Pav Bhaji masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp Chopped Coriander
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp Butter

Method:
  • Heat oil in a kadai/pan and add finely chopped onions and green chillies and fry until the onions turn pink.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and fry well.
  • Now add finely chopped capsicum and fry for a minute and then add chopped tomatoes and saute until it becomes slightly mushy.
  • Now add garam masala,pav bhaji masala,red chilli powder and turmeric powder and fry for a minute.
  • Add crumbled tofu and salt and give a good mix and saute for a couple of minutes.The mixture should be moist and not dry,add a tbsp of water if required and cook for a minute.
  • Add the butter at the end and mix it properly.
  • Switch off the flame and add lemon juice,chopped coriander and mix it.
Serve it hot with toasted bread/pav and also with some sliced onions and lemon wedges.
tofu bhurji
Notes:
  1. Tofu comes in a sealed pack in India. I usually wrap it in a kitchen towel for some time to remove the excess water from it.
  2. It can be placed in a chapati and make it into a roll and serve for kids.
  3. This can be used as a filling for parathas,Samosa,Bread rolls.
  4. You can add colored bell peppers along with capsicum in the recipe.
  5. Instead of Pav bhaji masala you can even add Kitchen king masala in the recipe.I suggest you add this for sure as the tofu is bland it really needs some masala to pep up.
  6. Replace tofu with paneer and follow the same proceed to make paneer bhurji.

You can stuff the tofu bhurji in between two toasted bread sliced to make a healthy Tofu Sandwich.
Tofu sandwich

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Raw Banana Kebab | Kela ka Kebab (Tikki/Cutlet)

raw banana kebab
I usually prefer to prepare cutlets or tikkis over the deep fried pakoras for obvious reasons as they are low fat and bit guilt free to indulge them. The options for cutlets are endless like you can create your own cutlet by adding the ingredients of your choice. Basically you need a base like potatoes or bananas or yam or mixed vegetables or cooked lentils or oats etc and a binding agent like chickpea flour, bread, maida or corn flour and few spices and herbs to prepare cutlets. You can create a cutlet on your own based on your requirements.
 raw banana cutlet
The options with raw banana are limited, I usually end up preparing a stir fry for rice or a simple sabzi for rotis regularly and these Raw Banana(Kele ka) Pakoras on rare occasions. You can even use raw banana to make cutlets or kebabs like I did. As the raw bananas are mildly sweet make sure you added enough spices and herbs to make it spicy and aromatic.These kebabs taste best when deep fried as the raw bananas are slightly sticky in nature but you can make it low fat by shallow frying it.The texture of the kebabs is definitely better when deep fried but the taste of shallow fried is even good. These kebabs make a nice starter in parties when served with tooth pick pricked in them. I had actually prepared them to prepare Kofta curry as I use a same base for koftas as I do for cutlets/kebabs.I would post the kofta curry soon and I thought that I would share a separate post for preparing these kebabs.
raw banana tikki
Check out other Cutlet/Tikki recipes here in my space:
Raw Banana Kebab | Kele ka Cutlet(Tikki) Recipe:
Yields 10-12 Kebabs
Prep time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 20mins | Total time: 4 mins
Cuisine: North Indian | Category: Snacks

Ingredients:
2 large Raw Bananas
1 medium Potato
3-4 tbsp Chickpea flour(Besan)
2-3 tbsp Raisins
1 small Onion, finely chopped
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
1/2" Ginger, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil,to deep fry

Method:
  • Cut the ends of raw bananas and cut them into 2-3 pieces and pressure cook along with potato for 3 whistles. After it cools down, peel the skin of raw bananas and potato and mash it nicely using potato masher while it is still warm and keep it aside.
  • Dry roast chickpea flour until you get nice aroma from it and let it cool.
  • Add all the masalas - red chili powder, coriander  powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder , garam masala powder and salt to the mashed raw banana and potato mixture and mix it nicely. The mixture would be very soft and mushy at this point.
  • Add finely chopped onion, green chillies and coriander and mix well. Now add roasted chickpea flour and mix nicely, do not add all the quantity of besan at once, add in small portions and mix until you feel the mixture is not very sticky. Do not add more besan, the kebabs would be softer when the dough is slightly smooth instead of stiff dough.
  • Grease your palms with oil and make gooseberry sized kebabs or like regular shaped cutlets and try to stuff raisins in it - by initially making it like a cup and stuff raisins and close it to form a round kebab or flattened tikki. Refrigerate them for half an hour so that they will firm up slightly, you can use them immediately too if you are short of time.
  • Heat oil in a deep curved pan until it is hot and add kebabs and fry them on medium flame until they turn in deep brown color. Remove them with the slotted spoon on to a kitchen napkin. If You have prepared them in the shape of flattened tikkis(cutlets) you can shallow fry on tawa with 1-2 tbsp. of oil and fry them on both sides.
  • If you are looking for healthy option to fry round kebabs - you can fry them alternatively in an Aebliskever pan. Heat the pan and add 1/2 tsp of oil in each impression and when it is piping hot keep the flame on LOW and place the kebabs in it and fry them by turning them slightly in between until they get roasted on all sides.
Sprinkle Chaat masala on them while they are still hot and serve them immediately with Tomato sauce of Green chutney and Meeta Chutney.

Notes:
  • Kebabs can be deep fried or shallow fried or oven baked according to your choice. Deep fried kebabs has better texture when compared to shallow fried or oven baked ones.
  • You can replace raw bananas with yam or arbi(taro root) and follow the same recipe.
  • The addition of chopped cashew nuts would add nice bite to the kebabs, you can add them if you like.
  • If you add the raisins directly to the dough there might be chances of they getting burnt if it is deep fried in oil. I did this mistake and I would not like you to do the same and hence always stuff the raisins inside.
  • You can even add 1-2 bread slices as a binding agent instead of chickpea flour in the recipe.
  • Boiled peas can also be added along with potatoes and raw bananas. In that cade do not mash the peas nicely, leaving them slightly coarse adds a nice bite. to the kebabs.
  • As I prepared this to make Kofta curry I made it round and deep fried otherwise I would go for flattened cutlet and shallow fry. But it is a good idea to serve the kebabs with a tooth pick for parties,it makes a nice starter. 
  • You can use these deep fried kebabs to make kofta curry, which I will post soon.
kele ka kabab

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saffron Rice | Saffron Pulao(Pulav) Recipe | Pulao Varieties

saffron pulao
Saffron is the one of the most expensive spices available. It adds a delicate sweet fragrance to any recipe.It is my most favorite spice and so I ensure that I stock it in my pantry.Unlike other spices, we don't add saffron in large quantities;a tiny pinch of saffron is more than sufficient to make your dish fragrant and colorful.You can spoil a dish, if you add them in more quantity,so adding required portion is also equally important.
saffron pulav
Mostly Saffron is used in sweet varieties and some kind of rich pulaos and biryanis.You need to  crush them slightly and soak them in warm milk for sometime so that it can release its beautiful color and is then added to any kheer/biryani variety.Alternatively, you can crush them to a powder in mortar and pestle and add.I prefer to use the first option, as I like the look of beautiful saffron strands in my kheer/biryanis.
saffron pulav
Indian Cuisine has lots of Rice and Pulao varieties from various parts of the country.However I prefer the spicier versions or mildly spicy pulaos over the sweetened ones,but again it depends on the side dish you prefer.Saffron pulao is a similar version to Kashmiri Pulao but the former is the slightly spicier version where as the latter is mildly sweetened and loaded with dry fruits and sometimes fruits.
On our daily basis, we usually prefer mildly spiced Indian gravies to go with rotis or pulaos.Saffron Rice is mildly spiced and hence you can pair it with spicy or mildly spiced gravies and dal varieties like Mirchi Ka Salan , Mixed Vegetable Kurma, Matar Paneer, Paneer Makhani, Vegetables Makhani,  Dal FryDal Makhani, Rajma Masala and Creamy Lobia.
saffron pulao

Saffron Rice | Saffron Pulao(Pulav) Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time:40 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Rice | Pulav - Main Course

Ingredients:
1 heaped cup Basmati Rice
12-15 Cashew nuts
8-10 Mint leaves(optional)
1/8 tsp Turmeric powder(optional)
12-15 Saffron strands
3/4" Cinnamon
3-4 Cloves
2-3 Green Cardamom
1-2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Shahi jeera (black cumin seeds)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Caramelized onions,to garnish(optional)

Method:
  • Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10 mins.Do not wash more than twice as it looses its fragrance. 
  • Crush the saffron strands slightly in hand and soak them in a tbsp of warm milk for 10-15 mins.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a thick kadai/pan(or cooker) and fry cashew nuts until they turn golden in color and remove them and keep aside.In the same oil add shahi jeera and let them crackle.
  • Add cloves,green cardamom,cinnamon and bay leaves and fry them for a minute.Slighly open the cardamom pods before adding so that they do not splutter.
  • Add drained basmati rice and turmeric powder and fry well for a couple of minutes until its dry,do this step carefully as the rice might get broken.
  • Add saffron strands soaked in milk to it.
  • Add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil and add salt and mint leaves and cover it and let it simmer for 12-15 mins until done.If you are preparing it in cooker,pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer it for 5-7 mins.
  • When the pressure drops,leave it for 10 mins and then gently fluff it up using a fork and add fried cashew  nuts and mix.
  • Garnish with fried onions(optional) and cashew nuts.
Serve it hot with any mild gravy like Paneer Makhani,Vegetables Makhani or dals like Dal Fry,Dal Makhani ,Creamy Lobia and raitha, papad. I served it with Matar Paneer.

saffron rice
Notes:
  1. Mint leaves are optional in the recipe.I usually add it if I have them otherwise I ignore adding them.
  2. This is a mild spiced rice recipe which pairs well with any spicy curry.
  3. You can add vegetables like carrots,peas,potatoes,beans,capsicum and make vegetable pulao following the same recipe.
  4. The addition of ghee enhances the flavor of rice and pulaos,hence do not skip it.
  5. You can even add 1/2 cup milk and reduce the  water by 1/2 cup in the recipe.
  6. You can even add fried raisins for a slight sweet variation of this pulao.You can pair with rich gravies with Navratan Kurma,Paneer Butter Masala,Malai Kofta,Shahi paneer etc.
  7. To caramelize onions fry thinly sliced onions in a tbsp of oil or ghee for few mins.Add a tsp of sugar to it and fry until it turns golden brown in color.You can even deep fry onion slices until golden brown and crisp.
 saffron rice

Friday, November 8, 2013

Idli Milagai Podi | Idli Podi Recipe | Homemade Chutney Powder

milagai podi
Apart from Chutneys and Sambar,Idli podi makes a nice accompaniment for south Indian breakfast items like Idli and Dosa.In general Idli podi or Karapodi is to be mixed with a liberal quantity of ghee which makes it more tasty to relish with idli. I have already posted the famous Andhra Nalla karam podi and also Tamilnadu style Milagai podi using Whole black gram. Today's version is almost like Milagai podi(with black gram) and uses white urad instead of the whole black variety.

Check out various Chutney Pudis for Idli/Dosa:
milagai podi

Idly Podi / Milagai Podi:
shelf life:2-3 months

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Urad dal
1/2 cup Chana dal
10 Guntur Red chillies
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing), use the rock variety
Salt to taste
1 tsp Oil

BoldMethod:
  • Heat oil in a kadai and add urad dal and chana dal and fry them separately until they turn golden brown and keep them aside and let them cool.
  • In the same pan add red chillies  and asafoetida and fry them until they turn crisp.Remove them and keep them aside.
  • Now add sesame seeds and roast them until they pop up and remove it and keep aside.
  • Grind all the above ingredients with enough salt to a coarse powder.
  • Spread the mixture on a plate and once it is cooled pour into the air tight container and store it for a couple of months. 
Serve it with Idli /Dosa. Mix the powder with a liberal quantity of ghee or sesame oil while serving.

Idli podi
Notes:
  1. You can replace plain urad dal with the whole black urad for a healthier version.
  2. You can add 2-3 garlic pods in the last round of grinding the powder.It adds a nice flavor,however it is optional.
  3. Addition of a fat pinch of hing also enhances the flavor of this podi,so do not miss it.
  4. You can also add some byadige red chillies for a deeper red color powder.
Idli podi

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pindi Chole | Rawalpindi Chana Recipe

pindi chole
I prepare Chole or Rajma at-least once a week and if I run out of them, I end up with options like Lobia, black peas etc.TH prefers black chickpeas over the white one, as he likes the nutty taste of the black chickpeas; hence the black chickpeas get featured at our place more than the kabuli chana does.Though my ideal option for chickpeas would be the Punjabi Chole version,but it is quite boring to prepare the chole in the same way hence I always look out for various options.You can prepare chickpeas in various forms like Pindi Chole, Kadai Chole, Chana masala(with coconut), Kala chana masala, Punjabi Chole, Methi Chana, Chana Palak, Kadala curry etc. This post is on the preparation of Pindi Chole recipe. I will post the other varieties later.
pindi chana masala
Pindi Chole or Rawalpindi Chana emerged from the name of Rawalpindi, a place in Pakistan. Pindi Chole is prepared in a different way from the usual chole recipe. In Pindi chana there is no onion and tomato used and it is totally prepared with the spices and is made dry unlike the regular chole.The addition of freshly pound spices and dried anardana powder along with amchur adds a nice tang to the recipe.I have adapted the recipe from SK's site but I toned down the spices and masalas to suit our taste buds.Pindi chana is a great combination with parathas or pooris/bhaturas. Serve it along with onions,green chillies on the side and add lemon juice to the chole; this combination will elevate the taste to a different level.
pindi chana

Pindi Chole | Rawalpindi Chana Masala Recipe:
Serves 2-3
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Total time: 25 mins + 25 mins of chole cooking time
Cuisine: North Indian | Category: Side Dish - Main Course

Ingredients:
to cook chole:
1 cup white Chickpeas(Kabuli Chana)
1 Tea bag
1 Biryani leaf
1" Cinnamon + 2 Cloves

Spice mix:
1 tbsp Coriander powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Amchur(dried mango) powder

to roast and grind:
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Anardana(dried Pomegranate seeds)

other ingredients:
2-3 tbsp Oil
1-2 Green Chilies,roughly chopped
1 tbsp Coriander leaves,to garnish

to serve:
Onion,finely chopped
1 Green Chilli,finely chopped(optional)
Lemon wedges

Method:
  • Wash and soak chickpeas for 7-8 hrs or overnight. Drain the water and rinse it again and add fresh water (2-3 cups) and add biryani leaf, tea bag, cinnamon, cloves and salt and pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer it for 20-25 mins.Once the pressure drops, fish out the spices and tea bag and drain and reserve the cooked water.
  • Dry roast cumin seeds until they are dark brown in color and remove it aside,do not burn them.In the same pan dry roast anardana and keep it aside.Once they come to room temperature grind to them a powder,slightly coarse is fine.
  • Meanwhile mix red chili powder, coriander powder and amchur powder and keep it ready.
  • Heat oil in a deep curved pan and add ginger-garlic paste and cut green chilies and fry for a minute until they loose their raw smell.
  • Reduce the flame and quickly add mixed masala of red chili powder,coriander powder and amchur powder and fry for half a minute.Be careful and make sure you do not burn the masala.
  • Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooked water to it and let it boil until the oil floats.Add the boiled and drained chickpeas and enough salt(remember we added salt while cooking chickpeas as well) to it and cook until the water evaporates.
  • Add garam masala, roasted cumin and anardana powder to it and mix well and cover it and cook for 3-4 mins.If you want you can add a tbsp of water and cook if the chole is very dry.
  • Garnish with coriander.
Serve it hot with Poori/Naan/Phulka/Bhatura with chopped onions,green chillies and lemon wedges. Mix the chopped onions and green chillies and add lemon juice to the pindi chana before eating.
pindi chole
Notes:
  1. You can prepare this with black chickpeas.I usually prefer black chickpeas over the white ones.
  2. If you like you can add a chopped tomato along with the garam masala and other spices at the end as the original recipe suggested.
  3. It tastes nice when it is made spicy but you can adjust the spices according to your wish.Instead of chopping the green chillies,you can add slit green chilies in the recipe.
  4. I used home made Garam masala and Ginger Garlic paste, if you are using store bought ones increase them to 1 tsp garam masala and 1.5 tbsp  ginger garlic paste in the recipe.
  5. If you want you can add 1 tsp Chole masala along with the other spices in the recipe. 
rawalpindi chana
 
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