Easy breezy Methi Roti



Fresh Fenugreek Leaves
Picture courtesy:www.planetearthdiversified.com



Kasoori Methi or dried fenugreek leaves

Methi parathas are a very healthy and also easy to prepare. Methi or fenugreek leaves is used as a herb and also the seed is used as spice. They are bitter in taste but very tasty, the dried leaves or what they are called Kasoori methi is so fragrant and if added to any dish it makes the entire dish so delectable and aromatic! Parathas are nothing but flat breads just like chapattis or roti but often stuffed with vegetables or simply kneaded while mixing the dough. They are served with yogurt, pickles, or simply just with a splash of butter! The taste is so delightful!
I got this recipe from my Sister-in-law who lives in Denver, she is a great cook! She had given me this recipe long time back and said I must try this; I had misplaced the piece of paper on which I had noted the recipe & recently found it. Immediately I tried the recipe but not with fresh fenugreek leaves but with dried kasoori methi and also added about ½ cup of freshly chopped coriander leaves to contribute the freshness. It turned out great and we loved it.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting purpose.
¼ cups Kasoori methi/ Dry fenu greek leaves
(You can use fresh methi leaves here, I didn’t have methi/fenugreek leaves so tried using Kasoori methi instead and they tasted equally good)
½ cups finely chopped coriander leaves.
½ tsp Ajwain or Carom seeds
½ tsp Red chilli powder
½ tsp Dhania jeera powder
½ cups of fresh yogurt/dahi
Salt to taste
¼ tsp Sugar
Oil 4 tsp while kneading the dough
Water to knead the dough
Ghee/oil for frying



P.S: You can use fresh methi leaves instead of dried ones and also use green chillies finely chopped and skip on red chilli powder.

Method:

1. In a bowl add salt, ajwain, sugar, kasoori methi, coriander leaves, oil (add ½ while kneading and reserve the remaining half for the end) and little water and mix well.

2.Add the wheat flour little by little and make smooth pliable dough. Pour in the other 2 tsp oil to the dough and again rub well to cover the dough and set aside. Cover the dough and set it aside for about an hour so. The dough should be very much like chapatti dough.

3.Make lemon sized balls and roll it out using a rolling pin just like chapattis. Roll it out slightly thicker than chapattis.

4.Heat a tava or griddle. Drizzle few drops of oil and place the paratha, when it starts puffing drizzle another few drops of oil and flip it and fry the other side. The tava should be medium to medium hot for frying chapathis or parathas, else they won’t turn soft. Be careful not to burn them. When fried on both the sides arrange on a plate or a tortilla box.

5.Serve hot along with curd/yogurt and pickle!

Easy Mushroom Panna Upkari/Saung



Mushrooms cooked in a thick and luscious chilli and tomato sauce is delectable and mouth watering. The spiciness and tanginess from the tomato paste complements very well with the mushrooms.
However this is a quick recipe, if you look for more authentic Panna upkari recipe then a thick chilli paste prepared using dry red chillies and tamarind is used. I also make Egg panna upkari the similar way; just add boiled eggs instead of mushrooms. Also tomato paste really works great in this recipe. I usually buy the 24 oz cans and pour them in the ice cube trays and freeze them in Ziploc bags, trust me they come so handy, I use them in just about any dish like Tomato Rasam, aloo matar etc., whenever I run out of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste cubes comes to my salvage. If you don’t fancy mushrooms or eggs then just add boiled potatoes. The taste is so good and enjoyable.

Here’s the list

Ingredients:

6 White button Mushrooms cut into pieces.
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chilli powder or more if you desire a spicy Panna upkari.
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp dhania jeera powder (optional)
¼ tsp Tamarind paste(optional)
4 to 5 tsp Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel & cut them to small pieces. Chop onions very finely.

2. Heat oil in a kadai, when hot add onions and fry till they are brown,(for about 10 minutes on a medium heat) add tomato paste and fry further for about 2 minutes.

3. Add all the powders and fry till the masala leaves oil on the sides.

4. Add in the chopped mushrooms and mix well. Add salt and tamarind paste very little water may be about ¼ to ½ cup mix. Cover with lid and cook till the mushrooms are done.

Serve hot with rice and daalitoy or rotis.

Chayote Upkari/stirfry



Chayote or choko is a squash like vegetable. This can be found both in Indian as well as American Grocery stores.You can read more about Chayote here or here. They can be found in abundance during December through March here. In Karnataka especially in Bangalore it was available for most part of the year & is known as Seeme badane, I have no idea what it means, and I remember my mom using it in many kinds of preparations like Sāmbhar, BisiBele Baath and in sukke which is a Konkani cuisine which is a dry sabzi made using coconut, chillies and fried urad dal and coriander seeds and blended to a coarse dry paste and also yet another dish konkani dish called Butti which would be again using coconut, coriander seeds, tamarind. I will post a sukke and butti recipe one of these days. They taste very good!
But I had never tasted a simple upkari/stir fry till last year. I learnt this from my sister, and she learnt this from her good friend. I just loved the taste and I love these kinds of simple sautéed vegetables. It’s light and so tasty! I guess any simple upkari tastes just comforting and good after a busy day or just as an accompaniment to the regular daal, rice!

Ingredients:

2 medium sized Chayote finely chopped to small cubes
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad daal
½ tsp chana dal
2 red chillies (dry) torn into pieces
¼ tsp or even less asafoetida
5 to 6 curry leaves
1 tbsp grated coconut
3 tsp cooking oil
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Clean and core out the seed from the Chayote, and chop finely into small cubes.

2. Heat a kadai or a deep dish pan and add oil. When hot add mustard seeds, when they start crackling add urad dal, chana dal and stir fry for a minute. Add curry leaves, red chilli pieces, asafoetida and fry for 1 minute.

3. Now add the chopped chayote and stir fry on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add grated coconut, salt & about ½ cups of water and cover and cook till tender and make sure the water is absorbed.

Serve with rice and daal or along side chapattis.

Spicy Daal



In this recipe Toor daal is plainly cooked till soft and mushy and then tempered with Indian spices. Toor daal is a staple in all household in India, rich or poor; Dal is prepared everyday in some households and consumed with rice or rotis. It is very healthy and has good amount of protein.
This has become one of my favorites now; this daal is simply delicious and goes well with rotis or rice.
Yesterday I was looking out for a simple Daal tadka recipe, and there were so many pages devoted to Daal tadka. Then when I entered the kitchen to make the dish I tried to experiment with some more ingredients and the result was yummy!



Here’s the list of ingredients

Ingredients:

1 cup Toor daal washed in 2 to 3 changes of water or until the water runs clear.
¼ tsp Turmeric powder

For tempering:

½ tsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
½ small onions finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped spinach or fenugreek leaves
4 small garlic flakes slightly crushed (if big flakes then use 2 and chop it roughly)
1 tsp ginger minced
5 green chillies slit vertically
4 curry leaves torn into pieces.
¼ tsp dhania jeera powder (optional)
¼ tsp garam masala powder (optional)
4 tsp cooking Oil
1 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
Few strands of Coriander leaves for garnish
¼ to ½ tsp lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a thick bottomed saucepan cook toor daal in about 2 ½ cups water, add turmeric powder. Cook till it falls apart and is soft & mushy.

2. Add salt and green chillies to the toor daal and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Now heat 4 tsp cooking oil in a sauté pan. Throw in the mustard seeds and when they start sputtering throw in the cumin seeds and stir for a minute till they sizzle. Add the curry leaves, garlic flakes and ginger & fry further till the garlic is slightly brown.

4. Add the onions, tomatoes and fry both till they become soft. Add the chopped spinach and stir fry till they wilt.Now put in the powders and combine.

5. Finally add the tadka to the cooked toor daal and cover & let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Lemon juice and mix well. Also add water if the dal is too thick.

6. To end with drizzle a tsp of ghee and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis.




Appetizing Spinach Balls



Spinach mixed along with herb flavored bread crumbs, onions, cheese, and eggs rolled into small balls and baked to perfection makes a wholesome appetizer. Very easy and a quick recipe, crammed with flavor and packed with all the nutrients. Since I have a special memory attached with this recipe I just wanted to post it!
However if you Google it out you can find endless pages of spinach ball recipes with different variations.
This is a very popular appetizer and the best thing about this recipe is that these can be frozen unbaked or baked and can be used when needed.
I had first tasted these little appetizers at a Thanks Giving dinner 4 years back. We had been to my hubby dear’s friend Jay’s parents(Gope Uncle & Nancy) place in Baltimore, MD and his mom Nancy a very dear friend of ours had cooked up a whole traditional Thanks giving meal that day. In fact it was my first year here in the US and I was completely new to the American traditions and the food as well! Their whole house was filled with all the aromas with food! I was feeling so home sick and Nancy made me feel right at home. I just cannot forget that day and the memorable occasion. We had so many interesting conversations, played Monopoly which was so much fun, spent a lot of time chit chatting. They made us feel so comfortable and at ease. We had wonderful time that day and today we are like family to them and vise versa and we have been visiting them for every Thanks Giving since then! She is a wonderful cook & makes all kinds of food including Indian!! She had so many varieties of appetizers and this was one such appetizer which had no meat. Since I eat eggs I was happy to try this out! I just loved the taste and flavor of the herbs, cheese, spinach baked all together!

So here’s the list of ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

•1 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
•3 ounces herb seasoned stuffing mix or Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs (I used the Kraft stove top stuffing mix with Traditional Sage flavor)
•1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•1/4 cup butter, melted
•2 small green onion, finely chopped
•3 eggs, lightly beaten
•salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.In a medium bowl, mix the frozen chopped spinach, herb seasoned stuffing mix or Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, butter, green onions, eggs, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls.

3.Arrange the balls in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Snake gourd in a yogurt and coconut sauce/Majjige Huli



Vegetables cooked in a mild yogurt & coconut sauce is very light and refreshing. This is a South Indian dish almost similar to the kadhi versions prepared in the North India. Again each state has its own variation and also it is known by unique name in each state. In Karnataka it is knows as Majjige huli, in Andhra Pradesh Majjige Pulusu , in Tamilnadu its known as Mor Kozhambu & in Kerala its known as Avial. Correct me with the names here if I have gotten them wrong.
It is usually prepared with vegetables like pumpkin, bottle gourd, cucumber, ash gourd or white gourd, snake gourd, okra to name a few. So far I have tried preparing this dish using snake gourd, ridge gourd and ash gourd. The results were good and I was very pleased by the taste and it is equally soothing. It’s easy to prepare and also my hubby dear liked it a lot so now it’s a regular dish in my kitchen. I learnt this particular recipe from a good friend of mine. I remember my mom preparing this dish with slight variations in the masala. This dish is usually prepared using sour yogurt or buttermilk. It gives a nice tang and flavor to the whole dish and there is no necessity of adding tamarind.It is often served with rice.

Method:

Snake gourd peeled and chopped into pieces about 1cup (I have used snake gourd here, you can use any veggies you prefer)
Yogurt whisked or Butter milk ¼ to ½ cup (Use sour yogurt/buttermilk)

For Masala:

Chana Dal 1 tablespoon (soaked in water for ½ to 1 hour)
Coconut gratings ¼ cup
Cumin seeds or jeera ½ tsp
Coriander seeds or dhania ½ tsp
Green chillies 4 or more if you like it spicy
Coriander leaves 5 strands
Turmeric powder a pinch

For tempering:

1 to 2 tsp cooking oil
Asafoetida ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Curry leaves about 5 to 6
Dried red chilli 1

Method:

1. In a saucepan cook the vegetables you intend to use separately.

2. Meanwhile grind together the mentioned ingredients under the masala to a fine paste.Use as little water as possible to grind.

3.Once the veggies get cooked add the grounded masala and mix well and season it with salt and bring it to a good rolling boil.

4.Once it starts boiling add the whisked yogurt or buttermilk and let it sit on stove for sometime on a medium heat.

5. Lastly heat oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds, when they start to crackle add asafoetida followed by curry leaves and red chilli pieces.
Serve hot with rice along side pickle and pappads.

Mighty Mushroom Fry



Mushroom covered with just the right amount of spices and shallow fried on a griddle to crisp is the best!! Tender on the inside and crisp on the outside makes every bite just enjoyable. My hubby dear loves mushroom in its any form and any given variety!In my household everybody loves mushrooms and this was one of the easy ways to satisfy particularly my husband. Especially on those tiresome days fixing up some Mushroom fry, dal and rice can be so satisfying than any frozen or take out meals!! I can be proud about this recipe since I created this mushroom variety to please my hubby dear. I really didn’t have any more recipes than the usual konkani varieties like butti, ambat, panna upkari/saung and the north Indian types like the kadai mushroom etc.,
And to my pleasure everyone has loved this easy recipe! In addition to taste this is an ideal recipe with very little oil and you are guilt free of eating a deep fried snack.
So here come’s the Mighty Mushroom Fries from my kitchen to your’s…

Ingredients:

6 large white button mushrooms
Red chilli powder ½ to 1 tsp
Coriander-cumin powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
3 to 4 tsp Oil for frying OR cooking spray.
Corn meal or sooji rava for breading about ¼ to ½ cups (I use corn meal and it really makes the fries crisper and well breaded)



Method:

1. Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel. Slice them about 1 ½ mm thick. (I don’t wash mushrooms. Washing makes them too soggy and also it looses its natural flavor. If you intend to wash them, then use a paper towel or a cloth to pat dry)

2. In a wide mixing bowl add the sliced mushrooms and sprinkle salt and toss the mushrooms lightly till it’s completely coated with salt. Let it stand for about 15 to 30 minutes. (This helps the mushrooms to absorb all the salt and they release the water naturally. Don’t add water to mushrooms as they release water themselves.)

3. Now discard all the excess water released and add red chilli powder, dhania jeera powder and toss again lightly till the spices are coated well and again let it stand for about 10 minutes.

4. Heat a griddle, (I use a cast iron griddle, you can very well use a non-stick pan also.)Drizzle 2 tsp of oil/spray evenly the griddle and let it coat all through out the pan.

5.Bread the mushrooms evenly using corn meal or sooji rava which ever you have on hand and fry on a medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done.
Over frying/cooking will make them rubbery and also loose its texture.
Serve on the side along with rice and dal or just as appetizer!



P.S:In the same way you can prepare potato fries and eggplant fries. In addition to the above ingredients I add asafoetida and the method is very much same, but only thing is I make a thick dry mixture of red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, salt and asafoetida with few drops of Luke warm water and coat this mixture to the vegetables and let it stand for about 15 to 30 minutes and follow the same step for frying. Potatoes and eggplant might take a minute or 2 extra on each side.