Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Narkel-er Niramish Ghugni /Yellow peas curry with Coconut from West Bengal

Kolkatta/Calcutta is the only place in North-India, i have visited in India, My maternal uncle was working there so, we cousins along with my mom and aunty visited calcutta, i dont remember how long we stayed, but the fun we had is still fresh!!! There used to be a room  for drying clothes, and will always be wet, wet , wet!!! We used to play hide n seek in that room, and make sure that entrance to the room is full of soapy water, so the person with the eyes closed, poor thing will usually slip and fall and there will be a huge ohhoooo!!! Though i dont have any food memories, since we rarely go out for food. I fadely remember tasting litchi there for the first time. Since, it was looking rather unusual for us, we ate as if we were starving for days and ended up with bad stomach!
Coming to today's recipe, though i wanted to post a sweet recipe to the last day of Indian Food Odyssey, nobody at home was ready for sweet. After tasting Narkol Naru, Mishti Doi, i wanted to try something chatpata from West Bengal. So, i settled with this simple ghugni recipe from Sayantani's Space.
It is supposed to be a street-food, served along with toasted bread as breakfast in the bong city. Oh it was yum, as such, that too with a generous squeeze of lime, it is out of the world. 
source here
1 Cup dry yellow peas/Matara
1 Large potato
1/2 Cup freshly grated coconut
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp freshly pound cumin powder
1 tsp freshly pound coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
generous squeeze of lime

2 tbsp Groundnut oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies, slited lengthwise
2-3 nos cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Turmeric

  • Soak the peas for 3-4 hours. Drain the soaked water, add 2 cups of water to the peas and  cook in a pressure cooker for 10-12 minutes WITHOUT WHISTLE. yes, yellow peas cook very quick and for this dish we want the peas to retain their shape as well. So, cook without whistle for 10-12 minutes, when the cooker releases steady steam, switch it off and put the whistle on. Let is sit until the pressure drops down. Drain the excess water and set aside until use.
  • Peel the potato, wash and cut in small cubes. Keep aside. Mix the ginger paste, cumin- coriander powder, chilli powder with ¼ cup water  and keep aside until use.
  • Heat a tsp of oil given under "Tempering" in a kadai or a big pan. Fry the grated coconut till golden. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan add the remaining oil add the whole clove, cinnamon, bay leaf. Once they splutter add the slited green chili and cumin seeds. When the aroma rises add the cubed potatoes and pinch of salt. Reduce the flame to medium and fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown in colour.
  • Next pour in the mixed spices along with another 1/4 Cup of water and keep frying on low for couple of minutes. When the oil starts to on the sides, add the boiled peas, 1/4 cup of water and turmeric in it and mix thoroughly.
  • Add salt and let it come to a boil, then add the fried coconut pieces. Add another 1/2 cup water coz the end dish should have thick gravy, so adjust the water accordingly.
  • Once the peas soak the flavours,  add the sugar and adjust the seasoning, sprinkle the garam masala powder and mix. Serve with  fresh coriander leaves garnished on top and a generous squeeze of lemon 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jhangore Ki Kheer/Kuthiravaali Payasam/Barnyard Millet Kheer/Pudding from Uttarakhand//Uttaranchal

We are almost finishing our month long marathon, today we are visiting uttarakhand/uttaranchal. This was one of the states which i decided and cooked pretty long before. Fortunately i had a packet of jhangora/kuthiravalli/barnyard millet in hand. Thanks to a friend who brought me a packet from India. When looking for recipes, we landed at this site, featuring recipes from uttarakhand. This kheer recipe attracted my attention and googled to know what is jhangora.
It is very interesting to know many of the traditional cuisines of various cultures across our country use one or many of these millets in their regular diet, which shows that traditional cooking stresses the importance of healthy food and these millets once which were considered as poor man's food are the now considered Super Food and are making way in to every kitchen that recognize their value and health.
Source here
1/2 cup Jhangora/Barnyard Millet/Kuthiraivaali
1/4 Cup Condensed Milk or 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Litres Fresh Milk (i used full fat)
2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
2 tbsp chopped almonds
2 tbsp raisins
2-3 drops of kewra essence/screwpine essence
a generous pinch of saffron
  • Wash and soak Jhangora/Barnyard millet/Kuthiravaali in water for an hour.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, boil milk. Add 2 tbsp of sugar to the milk to prevent burning or you can even add 2 or 3 stainless steel spoons to prevent burning of milk.
  • When the milk starts boiling, Add Saffron and reduce the flame to medium, let this cook  until the milk reduces to half it original volume. Now add Jhangora and stir well to avoid lumps.  
  • After 10 minutes, add condensed milk and mix well. Add Chopped nuts and raisins.Let this sit on the stove for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from flame.Serve Warm or chilled.
  • The Kheer tends to thicken with time, incase it thickens too much, add 1/4 cup of warm milk/glass while serving.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39


Monday, April 28, 2014

Chooda Matar, Banarasi Breakfast from Uttar Pradesh

Today we are visiting the Uttar Pradesh, which houses the Spiritual Capital of India Varanasi. The city of Gods, where The Ganges flows. The Ganges Aarthi is very famous ritual happening at the ghats. though i haven't seen in person, thanks to Discovery Channel, i watched it in one of their programs.  you can find a video of the aarthi  here.
When i wanted to cook something from UP, i decided it will be something from banaras and i went straight to Banaras ka Khana, another blog my Sangeeta Khanna. Though the kachori's and kaddu ke subzi were so scintillating, i chose to make the simple, yet bursting with flavors, Chooda matar or Peas Poha. This flavorful poha is a winter food served in all chaat corners of the city.  Again, i m not crazy to make this in summer, i love poha for their versatility and always stock a big bag, to make something quickerrr, this dish too made into my kitchen the same way, quicker, healthier and tastier!!!
Love all the flavors in this simple dish, the warmth of pepper and ginger, literally travel through your body and mind and keep you feeling cozy . Catching a cold, try this chooda matar, definitely your cold will go choooo!!! 
1 Cup thick poha/aval
1/4 Cup Fresh milk
3/4 Cup green peas ( i used rozen)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp lime juice (optional , i didn't use)
1/2 tsp ghee/serving (iI used only when serving for kids)

2 tsp groundnut oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 no green chili, cut into two
1 tbsp grated ginger


  • Take poha/aval in a colander and wash it under running water for a minute. Let it drain completely. Soak the poha in milk for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a kadai with oil for tempering, crackle cumin seeds, add green chili, shredded ginger and saute for a minute.
  • Next add green peas, sugar, salt and garam masala. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes. Since the i used frozen peas i just gave 4-5 minutes for the flavors to mingle and the peas to become soft. If using, fresh peas, cook until peas are cooked and soft.
  • Once the peas are done, add the milk soaked poha to this, mix well. Add coriander leaves and freshly ground pepper, mix well. Let it sit on the stove for another 2 minutes
  • Serve Hot and feel the warmth of ginger and pepper, encapsulate your senses!!! 
  • You can add a squeeze of lemon to add an extra zing in your poha. While serving for kids, add 1/2 tspof ghee/serving to match the pepper and ginger in the dish.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kothalor Chakoi/Jackfruit seeds with yellow peas & Aam Dal from Tripura

Today we are visiting Tripura, the last of North-eastern states in our Indian Food Odyssey. The name Tripura is Sanskrit, meaning "three cities" (corresponding exactly to the Greek Tripolis). The Sanskrit name is linked to Tripura Sundari, the presiding deity of the Tripura Sundari Temple at Udaipur, one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (pilgrimage centres of Shaktism),However, there have been suggestions to the effect that "the origin of the name Tripura is doubtful", raising the possibility that the Sanskritic form is just due to a folk etymology of a Tibeto-Burman (Kokborok) name. Variants of the name include Twipra, Tuipura and Tippera. 
The Kokborok-speaking Tripuri people are the major group among 19 tribes and many subtribes; Bengali people form the ethno-linguistic majority in Tripura. So, the cuisine of Tripura also has larger impact of Bengali cuisine. 
While looking for recipes in Tripuri cuisine, i was fortunate to stumple upon this facebook page Beautiful Tripura, which had an album called Food of tripura. While going through that album,i came across these recipes and tried them. This Aam Dal is made on Chaitra Sankranti(New year's day), like south-Indian tradition to include 5 tastes in our palate, they too have dishes representing these 5 tastes on that day. 
The next dish is Chakoi, a simple curry made of lentils and any other veggies. This dish is called khar in assamese and Ooti in Manipur. Amitar(Papaya) Chakoi, Spinach Chakoi, Kol Posalo Chakoi are other famous Chakoi recipes. 
Source here
10 nos jackfruit seeds/Kothalor
1 cup yellow peas/matara
2 green chilies (not added in the original recipe)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp shredded ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
Salt to taste

  • Peel the white skin of jackfruit seeds. Pressure cook yellow peas and jackfruit seeds along with baking soda and salt with enough water for 3 whistles or until soft.
  • Heat oil in kadai, splutter mustard seeds, add slited green chilies, chopped garlic, ginger and saute for a 2-3 minutes, next add the pressure cooked jackfruit seeds and yellow peas, mix together, add 1/2 cup of water.
  • Let this simmer on the stove for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and serve along with Rice.
Aam Dal
Source here
1 no raw mango(i used thothapuri variety)
1/ 2 Cup Masoor dal
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1 tsp Mustard oil/any other vegetable oil
4-5 red chilies
1/2 tsp Panch Phoran(equal mix of Mustard seeds, Fennel seeds, Fenugreek Seeds, Kalonji/Nigella, Cumin/jeera)
1/4 tsp turmeric

  • Pressure cook masoor dal  for 3-4 whistles or until soft by adding twice the amount of water and little turmeric. Set aside until use
  • Chop the mango into chunks, discard the seed. Take a Kadai,  add the chopped mango and 1/2 Cup - 3/4 Cup water, turmeric and salt. Let the mangoes cook in a medium flame.
  • Once the mangoes are cooked, add the cooked dal to this and another 1/2 Cup water and Sugar. Mix well. Let this simmer for another 10 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Take it off the heat.
  • Heat a tadka pan, add mustard oil, add panch phoran and let the seeds crackle. Next add red chilies and turmeric. Pour this sizzling tempering over the dal. Serve Hot with Rice.

The Seven Sister States also called "Paradise Unexplored," is a name given to the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura in northeastern India. We bloggers doing this Mega Marathon, Indian food Odyssey have explored this treasure to our best to bring out the culinary treasures, a bit adapted to our taste. Though the sisters, gave us gitters when we started, but all is well that ends well!!! It was a great experience reading and cooking from this region of my Bharat Mahan! Here is a condensation of what i explored from this paradise unexplored!!!

Assamese LabraArunachal PradeshManipurMizoramMeghalayaNagaland


Fabulous Feast Friday #12

Welcome to this week’s edition of Fabulous Feast Friday. What are you feasting on this weekend? Join the Link Up Party so we can all feast with you!

My blogger friends and I have teamed up so that every week there are two link up parties – One for Vegetarian Recipes ONLY and one for All Recipes. Vegetarian Recipes can link up to both parties. Let’s  meet the team
This week’s hosts are me for any and 100% Vegetarian recipes(no eggs please) and Saras for all recipes.

There’s only a few simple steps to join the party:
1.   Your post must include a recipe with at least one photo.
2.   You must follow all of the Hosting Team on one social media platform, per your preference.
3.   insert our logo either in the post or somewhere on your site. 
4.   Add your post using the Linky Tool below.
5.   Support each other by visiting and commenting on a few blogs. 

    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Neeraagaram/Pazhaya Saadam/Fermented Leftover Rice Gruel from TamilNadu

Today we are visiting Tamilnadu, deciding what to cook for this state was a real task. So, i took my amma's help. I wanted to make something from the village. While regular chatting over the phone with amma, i told my dilemma and she gave me few options to cook for today's menu. I m planning to do one more post on Tamilnadu, if at all time permits. 

I m presenting you today with this Simple rice gruel breakfast made from Leftover rice/Pazhaya Saadam. Now-a-days, we throw any leftover rice fearing bacterial growth/food poisoning. But actually, when prepared properly this leftover rice serves the best of nutrition. 
Those days, none knew what is a refrigerator, all they do is to soak the leftover rice in water and leave it on the kitchen counter. Next day morning, they just add home-set curd, salt, onion and green chilies and little of arisi kanji/water drained from cooked rice.  The mild fermentation promotes good bacteria which helps to maintain good gut health. 
This healthy breakfast is known by different names in different cuisines. Like Pazham Kanji in our neighbhouring kerala, Saddi Annamu in Telugu and Panta bhath in Bengali. So, this recipe is like God, known by different name but promotes nothing but good health!!!

1/2 cup Leftover rice
Water to soak the rice (1/2 cup Maximum)
1/4 cup Curd/yogurt
1/4 Cup arisi kanji/water drained from cooked rice
4-5 pearl onions
1/ 2 a green chili
salt to taste (optional)
1/2 tsp shredded ginger (optional)
  • Soak Leftover rice in water and leave it on the counter overnight or atleast 8 hours. The Water should just soak the rice, do not add more water.
  • Next day morning, take the water soaked, add yogurt, arisi kanji, salt, ginger, green chili, chopped onions. Mash it well with your hands, or use our modern day blender and blend once. Eat/Drink it to your heart content.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Kodo ko Roti & Tomato achar from sikkim

Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state located in the Himalayan mountains. The state is bordered with Nepal, tibet and west bengal. So naturally their cuisine large impacts of Chinese, tibetan and Nepalese Cuisine. Sikkimese are traditionally rice eaters. Sikkim is the only state in India with an ethnic Nepali majority and for this reason, Nepalese cuisine is very popular in Sikkim.
Himalayan traditional foods are an integral part of the dietary culture of the various ethnic groups of people consisting of the Nepalese, Bhutias and Lepchas. Rice is the staple food. Meat and dairy products are also consumed depending on availability. Besides these, various traditional fermented foods and beverages, also forms major part of their meal.
The dietary-culture of this region is mostly reflected in the pattern of food production. Depending on the altitude variation, finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetable, potato, soybeans are cultivated.Today i m bringing you a simple bread Kodo ko roti. It is a typical pancake prepared from finger millet locally called Kodo which is served with different varieties if pickles. I m serving it with a simple but hot tomato achar.

Source here
Kodo ko roti
1/2 Cup Ragi Flour/Finger millet flour
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 Cup - 1 Cup Luke warm water
Ghee for making the roti.

  • Mix finger millet flour-sugar with of lukewarm water and make a thick batter. 
  • Heat a Tava/frying pan, Pour a laddle full of batter in the center and spread to make a round roti.
  • Dot the edges with ghee, cook thoroughly on both sides over medium heat. Remove and serve hot with Tomato achar.
Source here
Tomato Achar
2 large red tomatoes
3 green chillies
Salt to taste

  • Boil  2 Cups of water, add the tomatoes. Remove from heat, cover and keep for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the tomatoes and peel the skin. Mash the pulp roughly with potato masher
  • Roughly mince green chilies using a mortar and pestle, add this to mashes tomatoes. Mix well. Serve with Kodo ko Roti or can be served along with piping hot momos too.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rajasthani Panchmel Dal

Today we are travelling to the State of Pink city, Rajasthan. Literally meaning, The land of Kings, previously known as Rajputhana, is a land of rich cultural heritage, handicrafts and arts. The Capital city Jaipur,also known the pink city, housing the famous hawa mahal and udaipur also known as the Venice of the East or City of Lakes and also White City.
Magic of Folk Music, all totters, spell-bound!!!! :)
I had a chance to taste their cuisine @ Choki Dani, a rajasthan type model village setup near chennai. We had fun time with the kids and the food was awesome.
Our Chakuli, My Sister's daughter, Gargi darling, showing her Veer Maratha Style !
I m bringing you a simple dal from this state. The Famous Panchmel dal, amazing combination of 5 legumes with a hint of spice, serves an awesome combo to Steaming hot rice and a dollop of ghee.
1/4 Cup Split Bengal gram/chana dal
1/4 Cup green gram/Sabut moong
1/4 Cup Split black gram skinless/Dhuli urad dal
1/4 Cup Split pigeon pea/toor dal/arhar dal
1/4 Cup Whole red lentils/sabut masoor
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 no green chili
1 tsp shredded fresh ginger
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
2 medium Tomatoes,chopped
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 nos Dried red chillies,broken
fresh coriander leaves,chopped

  • Soak the dals together in water for at least two hours. Then drain and take them in a pressure cooker, add green chli and tumeric and salt. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until soft.
  • Once the pressure is down, remove the cooked dal from the cooker. Now for tempering, heat oil in a kadai, crackle cumin seeds, hing/asafoetida, broken red chilies, saute for a minute
  • Next add chopped tomateos, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and 1/4 cup of water. Let the tomateos cook until soft and mushy.
  • Now add the pressure cooked dal to this and add 1/2 cup water. Taste check and adjust salt, let this simmer for 10 minutes in a  for the flavors to mingle.
  • Finally add garam masala powder and fresh coriander leaves, take it off the stove. Serve with Steaming hot rice.

This goes to this week's Cooking from Cookbook Challenge, happening @ +srivalli jetti.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Alsi Pinn/Alsi ke Pinni/Alsi Ladoo/Flaxseed Laddu, from Punjab

April is almost coming to an end, and we have only a week left to complete our month-long marathon!! Today we are visiting the state of lively, thumping Balle Balle, Punjab! Punjab to me is how bollywood has shown it!! Fields of Mustard (Sarson ka kheth), every occasion celebrated like a festival, with lots of decoration around, ladies sitting together playing dholak, singing foot thumping punjabi songs!! If this is not the scene in the real, please do not blame me!! Blame Dilwale dulhania le jayenge, Jab we met, pyar tho hona hi tha, and many more bollywood movies in this list!!!! 

Coming to today's recipe, i choose a very simple, but healthy and a delicious snack from this Land of the Golden Temple!!  Alsi ke pinni/Flaxseed laddu's a delicious winter snack made to protect our body from cold/cough and other winter ailments.
you must be thinking that i should be mad to make this now in summer, but serioulsy, the ingredients are so temptingly healthy, that i didn't bother the season. 
1/2 Cup Flax-seed Meal/Flax-meal
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat flour
1/2 Cup Powdered Jaggery
1/2 Cup Ghee
3 tbsp gond/edible gum
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup chopped almonds (mixed nuts can be used)

  • Heat 3 tbsp of ghee in a kadai. Add Whole Wheat flour to this and roast in a medium flame, until it gives out a nice aroma. Take care not to burn the flour. Transfer to a flat plate.
  • Next add another 2 tbsp of ghee, add the edible gum/gond and fry it in a medium flame, until it flowers up nicely. Take care while roasting, the flame must be medium to ensure proper frying or else you will end up with gum that is still raw in the center. Transfer to a flat plate. Crush it well using a roller-pin to powder. Set aside until use.
  • Nest add 2 tbsp of ghee, add flaxmeal to this and saute for a minute. remove on a flat plate and set aside until use. In the same add the nuts and roast them with a tsp of ghee.
  • After roasting all the ingredients, add powdered jaggery to the pan, add 1/4 cup of water, let it dissolve, boil until it reaches 1-string consistency. 
  • How to check this: When the jaggery syrup bubbles up and froths nicely, check a drop of syrup with a laddle, stretch it between your thumb and index finger, it should easily form a single-string.
  • Once this stages reaches, act fast, Remove the pan from fire, add all the roasted ingredients to this and mix well. 
  • Let it cool a little, Start making golf-sized balls out of the mixture, by pressing it tightly in your palms. If needed, decorate each ball with a roasted cashew on top. 
  • Remember to switch off the flame, once the jaggery syrup reaches single-string consistency or else the syrup will reach hardball consistency fast and the mixture will turn hard.
  • In case the mixture turns hard, do not worry, run it in the mixer once, it will return to powder form. Add litte ghee and make the pinni/balls.
  • You can even make squares out of the mixture, just keep it on the stove for 2 more minutes, the mixture will start coming together, immediately pour it on to a greased flat-plate and smooth-en the top and make markings for squares using a serrated knife, once it cools, cut into squares.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39


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