Festive · Indian cuisine · Mithai/Sweet Dish

Aate Besan ka Laddoo/ Churmundo

At midnight, on ashtami or the 8th day of krishnapaksha in the auspicious month of Shravana, lord Krishna was born… & to celebrate his birth, we perform the Krishna Janmashtami Pooja.

Traditionally as per the norms, all of lord Krishna’s favourite dishes are made & offered to the lord as a mark of reverence after performing the Pooja. Konkani GSBs will normally cook a mix veg dish (gajbaje) or a curry make of collocasia leaves (Alvati) along with rice, dal, fries & a sweet dish (prasadam) for the naivedya. A fast is observed & tulsi leaves are offered to the deity while chanting the VishnuSahastra naam. Only after midnight, the birth time of Lord Krishna, the naivedyam is offered & the fast is broken.

This is how Janmashtami pooja is done at my parent’s place. Traditionally, the prasadam for the lord, is either godu phovu (sweet flattened rice) or Panchkajayee. However today I am sharing with you the recipe of Churmundo or Aate Besan ka Laddoo that I had prepared during Janmashtami. 

It’s an easy recipe, that can be made with ingredients easily available in one’s pantry.

What you need is …

Janmashtami special Churmundu /Aate Besan ka Laddoo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (gehu ka aata)
  • 1/4 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 1 cup sugar, powdered
  • 10-15 roughly crushed roasted almonds & cashews
  • 10-15 raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

Method

In a heavy bottom wok, dry roast the gram flour for about 7 mins. 

To that add wheat flour, roast on low medium heat until lightly browned. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring continuously to avoid the flour from burning.

Add roasted almonds, cashews and raisins, roast for about 3 more minutes. Its important to keep stirring continuously, to roast evenly.

Add ghee and keep roasting, keep stirring continuously, atta will be light brown and will have sweet aroma of roasting. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to another bowl. 

Wait until mix is lightly warm add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well until sugar is incorporated nicely.

To make the ladoos, grease your palms with a little ghee, take about 2 tablespoons of atta mix into your palm. Gently press the mixture between your palms to form a smooth, round ball.

Leave the ladoos on a plate to cool to room temperature before putting into a covered container. The ladoos can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. Make sure that the flour is nicely roasted & cooked evenly. The rawness should go completely & at the same time the flour should not burn.
  2. Do not change the proportions of the ingredients. It might get difficult to bind the laddoos.
  3. Make the laddoos when the flour mixture is warm, once cooled the laddoos won’t bind well.
breakfast · Indian cuisine · Snacks · South Indian · Veg

Instant Bread Medu Vada

Craving for Medu Vadas… But time pressed for the traditional soaking & grinding process?? Worry not… Try these instant Vadas. 
An instant preparation, these Medu Vadas are a saviour when one has to dole out yummy snacks for unexpected guests. What’s better… It’s a great dish that makes use of left over bread slices 😊 . These taste just like the traditionally made ones, crisp on the exterior & soft inside. Made with just minimal ingredients that are easily available in one’s pantry, this dish is a winner all the way…

One can serve these yum Vadas in the traditional way with Sambar &/or chutney. So next time you crave for Medu Vadas, but feel lazy… Try these instant ones to satiate your cravings, you won’t be disappointed for sure…😀😀

You’ll need…

Instant Bread Medu Vada

Ingredients (yields about 4-5 vadas)

  • 4 pieces of white bread
  • 4 tsp rice flour
  • 4 tsp fine sooji/ semolina
  • 4 tsp thick curds
  • 1 small onion fine chopped
  • 2-3 Chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp Grated ginger
  • 3-4 Chopped curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry

Method

Take the bread, make small pieces using your hands. Use the sides as well.

Now in a bowl mix the bread pieces & the rest of the ingredients well to form a firm dough.

If the dough feels soft add a little rice flour & if it feels too stiff add a bit of curd.

Grease ur palms to make small balls. Flatten them & using your thumb make holes in the centre.

Deep fry the Vadas in medium hot oil till browned well on both sides.

Drain on an absorbent paper.

Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar or ketchup.

Tanushree’s Notes 

  1. I have used white bread slices, one can use brown bread too.
  2. For added taste you can add coconut bits too, I haven’t added them here.
Indian cuisine · Veg

Saboot Masoor ki Dal/ Pink Lentil Dal

Lentils or Dals form a major part of the staple food across India. Lentils here are a must with every meal, alongside roti, rice & sabzi.

Like many, Dal forms a part of the daily meal menu in my house too. I cook a variety of dals like tuvar dal, masoor dal, moong dal, urad dal, panchmel dal … The variety helps in killing the boredom of eating the same dal daily. So today I’m sharing a very simple yet flavourful dal recipe… A speciality at most dhabas & roadside eateries – ‘Sabut Masoor ki Dal’.

Saboot Masoor or whole pink lentils (with the skin) like all dals are great source of proteins & the skin adds dietary fibre. In this preparation the dal is cooked with aromatic whole spices, onions & tomatoes to make a wholesome gravy. Rice & rotis both compliment this rich & flavoursome preparation well. With such a delectable side dish, one can easily give the sabzi a miss… 😊

So let’s get started…

Saboot Masoor Ki Daal

Ingredients

  • Chilka saboot masoor (whole pink lentils with skin) 1 cup
  • Onions fine chopped, 1 large
  • Tomatoes chopped 1 large
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Green chillies, 1 tbsp chopped
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilly powder 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder 1 tsp
  • Pinch garam masala
  • Fresh cream 1/2 cup
  • Coriander leaves, 1 tbsp chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil/ghee to cook

Method

Soak the saboot masoor dal for about 2-3 hrs , pressure cook with enough water & salt until tender.

Strain the dal & reserve the cooking liquid. Keep them aside.

In a wok, heat the oil/ghee, add the cumin seeds.

Once they splutter, add the chopped green chillies, chopped onions. Brown the onions a little.

Add the ginger garlic paste, saute well till rawness goes.

Next put in the spice powders – kashmiri chilly, turmeric,coriander & cumin powders. Saute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, cook with lid till the tomatoes go mushy & the masalas leave oil.

Add the cooked masoor dal. Next add the cooking liquid in accordance to the consistency of the dal desired. Lastly adjust salt.

Cook with lid for a rolling boil, turn off the gas & add the fresh cream. Give a quick stir.

Sprinkle some garam masala.Mix well & lastly garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with steamed rice or rotis.

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. The dal should be well cooked but not completely mashed.
  2. Addition of cream is optional, but it definitely improves both the taste & texture of the dal, & so is highly recommended.
  3. Addition of the cooking liquid (Dal ka Pani) depends on the consistency you desire. Traditionally this dal is slightly thick in consistency, like the daal makhani.
Appetizer · Indian cuisine · Snacks · Veg

Corn Methi Seekh Kebab

No Indian get-together is complete without the luscious & juicy kebabs being served as starters. Kebabs typically refer to meaty treats made in the form of skewers or pattice, with meat marinated for hours with delicate flavours & spices and cooked in a tandoor or tawa or grilled. 

Talk of kebabs & one thinks of the numerous non vegetarian options like Galouti, Shammi, Kakori, Malai, Hariyali, Banjara, Reshmi….whereas the vegetarian options are comparatively limited. But then why should only the non-vegetarians have all the fun??

Now if you thought veg kebabs can only be made of paneer… Ahhh you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise 😁 There are a huge variety of veggies that can be transformed into scrumptious, lucious kebabs… Yes! You read right!!

So today, we shall be making our lipsmacking kebabs with potatoes, fenugreek leaves & corn!! Interesting isn’t it? So if your already drooling at the though of these kebabs, let’s try making some…

What you need is

Corn & Methi Seekh Kebab

Ingredients (makes around 10 medium sized kebabs)

  • Boiled sweet corn: 1 cup
  • Mint and coriander leaves: 2 tbsps each, chopped
  • Methi/ Fenufreek leaves: Handful
  • Green chillies: 2
  • Onion: one small size, finely chopped
  • Boiled potatoes: 3 large sized, properly mashed
  • Grated ginger: 1 tbsp
  • Garlic: 4 cloves, grated
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1tsp or 2 tsp (depends on how spicy you prefer your kebabs)
  • Garam masala: a pinch
  • Amchoor/ Dry Mango powder : 1 tsp
  • Chat masala: 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Rice flour: 2 tbsps
  • Maida: 1- 2 tsp

Method

In a blender, add the boiled corn, methi leaves, mint leaves, coriander leaves and green chillies. Coarsely blend it. Keep aside

In a bowl, add the mashed potatoes, chopped onions, ginger and garlic. Mix well.

Now to this mixture add the paste from the blender out the mixture from the blender. Mix well with hands to make a homogenous mixture.

Add all the masalas- coriander powder, chilly powder, garam masala powder & amchur powders. Mix well.

Next add the maida and rice flour, mash well. 

Add salt, taste & check the spices.

Make a seekh with help of skewers 

Refrigerate the ready seekhs for about an hr so that they firm up a bit. 

Shallow fry on a grill pan until browned well on all sides.

Take it out on an absorbent paper and sprinkle some chat masala.

Serve with spiced onion rings or kachumbar & green chutney

For the Spiced Onion Rings – Saute rings with chilly powder, lemon juice & chaat masala

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. A healthier option is to replace potatoes with raw bananas. Raw bananas are a rich source of fibre, vitamins & minerals.
  2. One can grill the kebabs in a tandoor or an oven too. Those fond of the smoked flavour can add a burnt charcoal piece (dhungar). I have kept it simple here.
  3. Instead of making seekh kebabs one can make Shammi kebabs (Pattice) too out of the same mixture. 
Appetizer · Soup · Veg

Cream of Broccoli & Burnt Garlic Soup

Come monsoons we all crave for soups & hot beverages to add some warmth to the cosy & damp weather outside. So today I shall share a soup recipe, a comforting one for the weather.

Broccoli as we all know is touted as a ‘superfood’ as it is rich in dietary fibre, nutrients & antioxidants. Though not liked by most people, it’s food value can’t be discounted… And so the best way to get your family to eat it, is to camoflague the taste yet keep the nutrition intact. 

Soups are a great way to aid weight loss. They are filling & often low in calories. This wholesome soup is sure to strike a perfect balance between health & taste 😊😊

So let’s get to making a cuppa…

Cream of Broccoli & Burnt Garlic Soup

Ingredients

  • Broccoli florets, 1 cup
  • Potatoes peeled & cubed, 1 medium
  • Onion, 1 small
  • Garlic, 5-6 cloves + 3 cloves for garnish
  • Bay leaf, 1-2
  • Vegetable stock, 1 1/2 cups
  • Milk 1/4th cup
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

Method

Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a pan, add garlic and sauté till the garlic is well browned. 

Add chopped onions and bay leaf. Continue to sauté for a minute. 

Add cubed potatoes, vegetable stock, broccoli florets, salt and pepper powder.

When the mixture comes to a rolling boil, transfer in a cooker and pressure cook till the potatoes & broccolis are done.

Remove the bay leaf & using a hand blender, blend the mixture to a smooth puree. 

Alternatively you can take it off the heat and blend in a mixer-grinder till smooth. 

Add the milk and bring it to a boil.

Heat remaining olive oil in another pan, add garlic bits, brown them well.

Garnish with burnt garlic & freshly ground pepper corns.

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. One can add cream instead of milk to get a richer & creamier texture.
  2. Those who don’t like the flavour of burnt garlic can omit it totally.
  3. The calorie conscious can replace potatoes with Oats. Like potatoes, oats is also known to be a thickening agent & adds to the wholesomeness.
Appetizer · Indian cuisine · Main Course · Veg

Besanwali Bhindi/ Okra Fry with Gramflour & Spices

This Rajasthani delicacy is one of the most aromatic okra fry recipes. A welcome change from the regular bhindi dishes, the bhindi is shallow fried in gramflour & a variety of Indian spices. 

Semi dry & crisp in texture, this dish makes a great accompaniment with rotis or daal chawal. People who are not too fond of okra too tend to enjoy this since the shallow fried okra lose its sliminess in this preparation, making them crisp, unlike the regular bhindi sabzis. 

Easy to make & great to taste, this dish can be made effortlessly in a jiffy. Savour it as a side/appetizer or main dish … Choice is yours 😊😊

What you would need is…

Besanwali Bhindi

Ingredients 

  • Bhindi / okra halved lengthwise – 250g
  • Oil – 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Green chillies – slit
  • Gram Flour – 3 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seed powder – 1 tsp
  • Dry mango powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chilly powder- 1 tsp 
  • Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)

Method

Wash okra with water and pat dry with a cloth. Cut the stalks of okra & halve them lengthwise and cut them into 2 parts.

Put oil in a pan and heat it, add cumin seeds, asafetida in hot oil, let the cumin seeds splutter.

Now add roasted cumin, turmeric powder and add chopped green chillies, saute well.

Lower the flame & add gram flour , next add the coriander and fennel powders. 

Roast the gram flour until light brown and till the rawness goes.

Put in the okra, add in dry mango powder, salt, red chilly powder and garam masala, mix well until all the spices coat the okra well.

Cook on low flame cook for 6-7 minutes with the lid so that the okra moistens, do not add any water, the okra will cook in its own juices.

Open the lid, cook without tge lid for another 2-3 mins, add chopped coriander & mix.

Your Besanwali bhindi is ready !

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. The preparation is dry, so keep a watchful eye, don’t let the spices burn.
  2. Gramflour tends to burn quickly, keep stirring the spice mix at close intervals to avoid this.
  3. Do not add any water to the okra, this will make the preparation slimy & sticky.
  4. If you wish to have crispier okras, you could shallow fry them in the oil pre-cooking the dish, this would also reduce the cooking time (since okra is already fried).

RC : Nisha Madhulika

Indian cuisine · Main Course · Veg

Jeera Aloo/Cumin flavoured Baby Potatoes 

The name itself makes one salivate, isn’t it?? Simple yet delicious, jeera aloo is one of the best quick indian meal recipes that can be made in minutes & pairs up well with almost all Indian breads.

This easy vegan recipe of jeera aloo uses the routine spices. However what sets it apart from the other aloo curries is its dry yet delicately spiced taste. The finely balanced blend of spices, specially the unique aroma of pan fried ‘Jeera’ (cumin seeds) makes this dish irresistible.

Making you drool, right?? 😉 So let’s get started…

Jeera Aloo

Ingredients

  • 12-15 baby potatoes par boiled
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • Roasted powders – 2+2 tbsp coriander & cumin seeds roasted, coarsely ground
  • 2 whole red chillies
  • A pinch asafetida
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp amchur powder/ 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Oil to cook
  • Salt to taste

Method

Par boil baby potatoes ensuring that they retain their shape & don’t break or crack.

Peel the potatoes, prick them with a fork & smear some salt.

In a wok add the oil, shallow fry the potatoes till they are lightly browned.

Drain them on a kitchen napkin, keep aside.

Next add in the cumin seeds.When they splutter, add the whole red chillies breaking them into pieces.

Add the roasted spice powders, turmeric & a pinch asafetida.

Switch off flame & add the chilly powder or alternately you can add a tbsp water & make a paste ( idea is to ensure that the chilly powder doesn’t burn)

Toss in the potatoes, mix well till the masalas are incorporated well.

Sprinkle amchur or add the lime juice

Adjust salt, sprinkle some cilantro!

Serve hot with phulkas/ rotis or puris!!

Tanushree’s Note

  1. Baby potatoes work best for this recipe but one can use cubed boiled big potatoes too.
  2. Since this is a dry preparation, be careful not to burn the spices. If you feel the spices are on the verge of burning, add a few tbsps of water to moisten.