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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Shalgam Ka Saag


Winter is a season of Saags in North India especially Punjab. There are variety of saag cooked ie. Sarson ka saag, chaulai ka saag Or Shalgam ka saag. With lots of butter and Desi ghee accompanied by bajre Or Makki ki roti, saags rule the winters. In rural Punjab, saag is cooked in batches so there are enough servings ready to be consumed anytime of the day. These saags are very Nutritious as well as delicious

Shalgam or turnip by the way is the most hated vegetable. I myself despised it till I ate it at a village in Punjab. Believe me now it is the most liked dish in our family. Years after I came to know that turnips  are loaded with fibres and vitamins and are very nutritious . They are also rich in magnesium, copper, iron , potassium, calcium and omega3 fatty acids as well as protein. 

Shalgam ka saag is made by boiling turnips with ginger, garlic and tomatoes which are later mashed and tempered with Desi ghee and onions. All saags are loaded with ghee and Shalgam ka saag is no exception. So keep the calorie count for summers and enjoy the delicacies of winters. 

We Need:

  • 500 gm Turnips 

  • 2 Medium Tomatoes

  • 2 Green Chillies

  • 6 to 7 Pods of Garlic

  • 2" Piece of Ginger

  • 2 Medium Onions finely chopped

  • 1  Tbsp Sarson Oil

  • 1Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds. 

  • 3  Tbsp Maize Flour

  • Salt to taste

  • 4 Tbsp Pure Ghee

  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

Let us get started:

  1. Wash and peel Turnips. Cut them into medium sized cubes. Peel garlic pods and ginger. 

  2. Grind tomatoes, ginger and garlic together. Make a smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding. Add turnips, tomato paste , salt, turmeric powder and 1 tsp of oil to a pressure cooker.

  3.  Add 300 ml of water. Close the lid and keep it on high flame. After one whistle ,keep the saag for another 15 minutes on SLOWEST FLAME. Let the pressure release on its own. 

  4. After the pressure has been released, open the pressure cooker. Add Maize flour ( Makki ka Atta) to the turnips. Mash them thoroughly till smooth. You can use either a wooden masher or the steel one. Put it again on the slow flame. Place the lid and Let it boil for another 10 minutes. Placing the lid is important as while simmering the saag will come out of the pan after adding Maize Flour ( Makki ka Atta). Be careful while handling this part. 

  5. After 10 minutes when the Maize flour has been cooked, put off the flame. Time for the tempering. Heat a pan and add 2 Tbsp Desi or Pure ghee to it. Add 1 tsp of cumin to it. When the cumin seeds start sputtering, add chopped onions. Fry until golden and then Add red chilli powder to it. Add Mashed saag to the pan. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. 

  6. Now the saag is ready to be served. Take this out in a serving dish. Again heat 2 Tbsp of Ghee. Add Kashmiri Chilli powder to it. Put the tadka on top and serve hot with Parathas or rotis. It tastes best with makki ki roti and radish salad. 

Preparation Time : 15 min

Cooking time : 45 min. 

Cooking Tips: 

Add makki ka atta only after the saag has cooled down otherwise it will form lumps

Keep on stirring saag after adding Makki ka atta otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pan. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Chilli Garlic Mushrooms


Chilli Garlic Mushroom is cooked just like any other Indo Chinese dish. Button mushrooms are cooked in chilli sauce and served as a starter or along with fried rice and noodles. Button mushrooms are deep fried and tossed with capsicum and onion cut into squares. Since mushrooms are full of moisture they need a firm and crispy coating. I have used corn flour and rice flour to make it firm and crispy from outside. This dish is made dry as well as with gravy. I have taken a middle path. I have made it slightly moist and juicy by coating it with a thick sauce. I have not added the ajino motto but if you desire you can add it. 

I suggest using firm and fresh button mushrooms which are full of moisture. As they will then be firm from outside and juicy inside. If you wish you can add more gravy by doubling corn flour slurry and water. Serve them as a snack or accompany them with fried rice and noodles. 

We need:

For Frying Mushrooms

  • 200 gm Mushroom

  • 2 Tbsp Garlic minced

  • 3 Tbsp All purpose Flour( Maida) 

  • 3 Tbsp Corn flour

  • ½ Tsp salt

  • ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • ½ Tsp. Red chilli Powder

  • Oil for Deep frying

For The Sauce:

  • 2 Onions Chopped in quarters

  • 1 large Green Capsicum cut into quarters. 

  • 3 Green Chillies diagonally slit

  • 6 to 7 pods Garlic chopped

  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Ginger

  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour 

  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Soya Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Red Chilli  Sauce. 

  • A pinch of Red food Colour ( optional) 

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil. 


Let us get Started:

  1. Wash Mushrooms thoroughly in water removing all dirt and grime. Rinse and keep it in a strainer to remove all water. When the water is rinsed, cut the mushroom head into quarters and chop the stems separately. 

  2. Take a bowl and add cornflour and all purpose flour. To this add salt, red pepper powder, turmeric powder and minced Garlic. Add a little water and make a batter of coating consistency. 

  3. Heat oil for frying. Coat the mushrooms with the batter and deep fry them till crisp on medium heat. All the water in the mushrooms should dry up. Otherwise the mushrooms will turn soggy . Drain them on paper towel and set aside.  

  4. Heat a wok or nonstick pan. Add  2 Tbsp of cooking oil in it. When the oil is heated add garlic and ginger to it. Saute till the raw smell of garlic goes away. 

  5. Add capsicum, green chillies and onions to it. Saute till vegetables are bit transparent but crunchy. The capsicum should not lose their colour . It will take around 2 minutes. 

  6. Time to add all the three sauces ie tomato, soya and chilli sauce. and mix everything properly. 

  7. Dissolve 2 Tbsp corn flour in 100 ml water and add this slurry to the vegetables in the pan slowly, stirring constantly till glossy. Avoid lumps. When the sauce starts boiling, add fried mushrooms to it. Coat them well with sauce . 

  8. Serve hot and Enjoy this snack with noodles, fried rice or simply on its own. 

Tips:
While washing mushrooms don't leave them for too long in water as they will retain too much water. 
As there is enough salt in the sauces, there is no need to add salt. If you are making the gravy version only then add a little salt after tasting. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Malai Kofta ( Cheese Dumplings)


Malai Kofta is a vegetarian dish made on special occasions. There are so many recipes for this lip smacking dish.  But the authentic one is fried cottage cheese dumplings in rich onion, tomato and cashew gravy finished with cream. The cottage cheese is crushed with the palm of a hand till it achieves a creamy smooth texture just like malai. The gravy is also silky smooth. Both koftas and gravy melt in the mouth. The dumplings are fried on a slow flame so that they are cooked well from inside but should not get brown from outside. 

Cook this dish on festivals and special occasions and surprise your family and friends. Happy Cooking


We Need:

  • 200 gm Cottage Cheese

  • 2 Tsp All purpose Flour

  • 1 Tsp Corn flour

  • 2 Tsp Milk Powder/ Khoya. 

  • 6 pieces Cashew Nuts

  • 8 pieces Raisins. 

  • ½ Tsp Salt

  • Oil for frying

For Gravy:

  • 1 Big Onion

  • 4 Tomatoes

  • 8 pods Garlic

  • 1" Ginger piece

  • 1 Green Chilli

  • 12 pieces Cashew Nut

  • 2 Green Cardamom

  • 2" Piece Cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil

  • ¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi. 

  • 1 Tsp Sugar

  • Salt to taste

  • 100 gm Cream


Here We Go:

  1. Grate or crumble Cottage cheese in a wide bowl. Add all purpose flour, corn flour & milk powder or khoya. Now with the help of your palm mash and mix everything till  smooth. The whole dough should be very smooth just like malai. Add a little salt. 

  2. Chop cashew nuts and raisins finely. Set aside. 

  3. Now grease your hands with oil and take a small ball out of the dough. Flatten it. Put a small amount of cashew and raisin mix. Now cover the mix with the dough shaping it like a ball. Prepare all the koftas like this. This mix will approximately make 10 koftas . 

  4. Heat oil in a pan. Keep the flame to low and fry all the koftas till they are fully cooked and are of golden brown colour. Set aside. 

  5. For the gravy roughly chop onions, ginger ,tomatoes, green chilli and garlic. Heat oil in a pan and add onions to it. When these are transparent add ginger, garlic, cashews and tomatoes.

  6.  Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Saute till the tomatoes are mushy. Add 1 cup water and cover the pan. Cook for ten minutes turning it in between. After ten minutes, switch off the flame and let it cool. 

  7. When the masala is cooled completely add it to a grinder jar and grind to a smooth paste. 

  8. Heat a pan , add butter and oil. When heated add green cardamom and cinnamon. Roast for ten seconds till the flavours are incorporated in the butter. 

  9. Take out the masala from the mixer jar and add it to the pan. Adjust the consistency with milk or water. I prefer milk. Crush kasoori methi in your palms and add this to the gravy. Cover the pan and let it simmer for five minutes on low flame or till the gravy leaves oil. 

  10. Finish the gravy with cream and switch off the flame. 

  11. To serve line up koftas in a pan and pour hot gravy on it. For garnish pour some fresh cream over it. Serve hot with garlic naan for awesome results. 

Tips:

Add cream after Switching off the flame otherwise it will curdle. 

The Cottage cheese should be mashed vigorously to achieve a perfect smooth texture of the Koftas. 

Don't over Brown the Koftas . They will taste bad and spoil the aesthetics of the dish  

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Methi Matar Malai


Methi Matar Malai is a much sought after dish in North Indian Restaurants. It is made with fresh methi in the winter season when fenugreek is in abundance. However in summers it is made with dry fenugreek. Both the versions taste good. But since winter has started and fenugreek is in abundance in the vegetable market so today I am making it with fresh fenugreek. The peas also are available fresh and frozen also. If using frozen ones, just microwave them for 2 minutes. But if you are using fresh peas then boil them till tender. As the name suggests it is basically made with three ingredients ie Methi, malai and matar. Malai is made with cashew paste and cream. I am using malai which is cream collected from milk. But the store bought cream is a good option too. 

Cook this special North Indian delicacy and enjoy it with Rotis or paranthas. 

We need:

  • 150 Gm fresh fenugreek leaves

  • 1 Cup Peas

  • 2 Tbsp Malai / Cream

  • 10 pieces Whole Cashew

  • 1 Big Onion Sliced

  • 8 to 10 pods Garlic

  • 1" Piece of Ginger

  • 2 Green Chillies

  • 1 Tsp Cumin seeds

  • 1Tsp Garam Masala

  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper Powder

  • ¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 2 Green Cardamoms

  • 4 Tsp Cooking Oil

  • Salt to taste

  • ½ Cup Milk for gravy. 


Here We Go:

  1. Wash fenugreek Leaves two to three times till all dirt is gone. After drying Pluck the leaves and chop them finely. 

  2. Boil these leaves for 5 minutes with ½ Tsp of salt or till tender. Drain the water and set aside. 

  3. Heat a pan and add 1 Tsp of oil. Add Green Cardamoms and saute for 30 seconds. Now add sliced onion, garlic pods, chopped ginger, chopped Green chillies and Cashews. Saute till onions are transparent. Do not overcook. Remove from flame and let it cool.

     

  4. Boil peas till tender and set aside. 

  5. When the onion masala has cooled, put it in a grinder jar and grind to fine paste. 

  6. Meanwhile Heat oil in a pan. When heated add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start sputtering, add ground onion masala. Saute till it leaves oil. 

  7. Add turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and black pepper powder to the onion masala . Saute for a minute. 

  8. Now add boiled peas and boiled fenugreek leaves to the onion masala. Saute for 2 minutes. 

  9. Time to add our third ingredient and ie. Malai. Mix everything together. Add half a cup of milk to adjust the consistency. Keep it on low flame for two to three minute. 

  10. Switch off the flame and serve hot with rotis or paratha. 

Tips:

Use fenugreek leaves only for best results. Discard stems. 

Sprinkle kasuri methi when the dish is cooked for extra taste. 

You can cook it without turmeric also




Friday, November 6, 2020

Farm House Eggs ( Shakshuka)


Breakfast is the first meal of the day and therefore should be nutritious. It keeps you charged for the day's work. Today's recipe fulfills all the requirements. It has fibre, protein and carbs as well. It is inspired from Mediterranean dish Shakshuka, which is basically poached eggs made in tomato gravy. As the kids don't like vegetables therefore I have incorporated some vegetables as well to make it more nutritious. While cooking shakshuka you make pockets in tomato gravy and break the eggs. But in this dish I have spread the egg whites on top of the vegetables so as to hold the vegetables together. But you can cook it either way. It will taste good. So let's explore a healthy option for breakfast. 

We need:

  • 6 Eggs

  • 1 medium Onion chopped finely

  • 6 to 7 pods garlic chopped 

  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger 

  • 2 medium Tomatoes

  • 1 green Capsicum

  • 1 Carrot

  • ¼ Small Cabbage

  • 8 to 10 French beans. 

  • 3 Tbsp Coriander leaves

  • 1Tsp Red pepper powder

  • 1Tbsp Coriander Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Oregano

  • ½  Tsp black pepper powder

  • 1 Tbsp Chilli Flakes

  • 1 Tbsp Greens of onions

  • 1 Tbsp Butter

  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil. 

  • Salt to taste


Here We go:

  1. Chop all the vegetables finely. 

  2. Heat a pan. Add butter and cooking oil. Immediately add chopped garlic. Saute till translucent

  3. Add onion and saute them until transparent. 

  4. Time to add all the chopped vegetables, tomatoes and grated garlic. Saute a while till the vegetables wilt a little. 

  5. Add salt, red pepper and coriander powder. Mix everything together . Saute till vegetables are a bit soft. 

  6. Add half a cup of water and cover the pan. Let the vegetables simmer on low flame for 5 minutes. Keep on checking in between. 

  7. When vegetables are done, Spread them in the pan and make a layer. Make a small depression in the layer. Gently break eggs one by one on top of the layer of vegetables keeping the yolk intact. 

  8. Sprinkle salt, black pepper powder, oregano and chilli flakes. Cover the pan. 

  9. Keep the flame on low. When the white and yolk are cooked, switch off the flame.

  10. Serve it hot with toasted bread. 


Preparation Time 10 minutes

Cooking time 15 min

Tips:

You can chop vegetables in a chopper to save on time. 

You can also keep your eggs a little raw if you want them juicy.