Thursday, 27 February 2014

Samosa Chaat

This is a very unhealthy snack but somethings you just got to have it :)

What you need:
Samosa 4 pieces
Boiled white peas 1/2 cup
Curd 1/2 cup
Tamarind chutney 3-4 spoons
Green chutney 3-4 spoons
Roasted cumin powder 1/2 spoon
Red chilly powder 1/2 spoon
Chaat masala 1/2 spoon
Onions 1/2 cup chopped finely
Tomato 1/2 cup chopped finely
Sev/boondi mixture 1/2 cup
Cilantro for garnish

1) Put samosas in plate and smash into small eatable chunks
2) Add boiled peas to the samosas and mix well
3) Add onion and tomatoes to the mix - don't mix
4) Add curd on top - don't mix
5) Add tamarind chutney &  green chutney - don't mix - you can decorate by spreading this chutney in various designs
6) Add chilly powder and chaat masala on top
7) Finally add sev/boondi mixture on top
8) Garnish and serve

Remember not to mix after step 2.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Khandvi - Gujarati snack

This is a popular Gujarati snack which is light on the stomach and healthy as well

What you need:
Besan 1 cup
Yogurt 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Turmeric Powder 1/4 spoon
Hing (Asafoetida) pinch
Ginger paste 1/2 spoon
Green chilly paste 1/4 spoon
Grated coconut 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Sesame seeds 1 spoon
Oil 2 spoon
Curry leaves 3-4
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garishing

1) Mix flour, ginger paste, green chilly paste, turmeric, hing and salt in a bowl
2) Add yogurt and water gradually to form a soft paste. Make sure there are no lumps
3) Cook in pan for 10 minutes, stirring continuously
4) After the mixture is cooked and becomes a smooth paste, switch off gas.
5) Spread the mixture on a flat plate and evenly - let it cool
6) Take oil in pan
7) Add mustard, sesame seeds and curry leaves
8) Let it try for 20-30 seconds
9) Spread this on top of the mixture prepared in 5 above
10) Cut in length to make small rolls
11) Garnish and serve

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sprouts Salad - light meal

This is a very health snack and it can be taken as a healthy meal replacement. Sprouts can be bought from stores or prepared overnight by putting moong dal in warm water. Let it soak overnight or even a day.

What you need:
Sprouts 1 cup
Onion 1/2 cup chopped
Tomato 1 cup chopped
Green chilly 1 finely chopped
Lemon 1/2 piece
Salt to taste
Cilantro and Mint for garnishing

1) Mix the onions, tomato, green chilly, cilantro and mint together in a bowl
2) Add few drops of lemon juice and salt
3) Mix well and serve

You can add chat powder or Amchur powder to make it more delicious

Monday, 17 February 2014

Making soft buttery Naan

This is an Indian bread mostly served in restaurants and goes well with Indian curry dishes (especially paneer dishes)

What you need:
Maida 2 cups
Active dry yeast 1 spoon
Oil 2 spoons
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Water 1/2 cup (lukewarm)
Butter 1 spoon
Salt 1 spoon
Sugar 1/2 spoon

1) Dissolve dry yeast and sugar in water and set it aside for 10 mins (it should become frothy)
2) Add salt, oil and yogurt to Maida and mix well
3) Add yeast mixture to Maida mixture and knead until it forms a soft dough
4) Cover the dough with moist paper/towel and keep in warm place - start empty microwave for 2-3 mins and leave the mixture in the microwave after it stops
5) Preheat oven to the highest temp
6) Make small balls from the dough and flatten into either oval or triangular shape.
7) Place one at a time in over for 2-3mins. Turn around and leave for another min
8) Serve with butter on top of naan

You can also garnish with cilantro

Friday, 14 February 2014

Chivda (semi spicy puffed rice snack)

This is my favorite snack when I feel hungry. It is light and tastes very nice. Also isn't too spicy to cause stomach upset

What you need:
Thin poha 3 cups (should be as flat as possible)
Oil 2 spoons
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Curry leaves 3-4
Green chillies 2 finely chopped
Roasted peanuts 3 spoons
Roasted channa dal 3 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Salt 1 spoon
Sugar 1 spoon

1) Microwave poha for 2 minutes and stir every 20 seconds
2) Heat oil in pan
3) Add mustard seeds, curry leaves & green chillies
4) Add this mixture to poha in bowl
5) Add all remaining ingredients in the bowl
6) Mix it well until it is consistent - preferably cover the pan and toss it up and down, inverting it once in a while
7) Microwave for another minute
8) Let it cool and serve

Add dry pan fried sliced coconut pieces for extra flavor

Monday, 10 February 2014

Nankatai (butter cookies)

This is first time I tried baking and it turned out well. Kids love it and goes well with evening tea/coffee

What you need:
1) Flour - 1 cup
2) Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup
3) Sugar Powder - 1/2 cup
4) Cardomom Powder - 1/4 spoon
5) Baking powder - 1/2 spoon
6) Salt 1/4 spoon
7) Almonds for garnish

1) Mix flour, sugar powder, cardamom powder, baking powder together in a bowl and sift the mixture
2) Take another bowl with the butter and add the mixture from above
3) Take care to add the mixture in parts and mix well into a soft dough
4) Keep in fridge for 15 minutes
5) Preheat oven to 300 degrees
6) Make small balls from the dough and shape it into cookies.
7) Add almonds on top (either sliced or full piece)
8) Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes - should become light brown
9) Let it cool for a while to harden

You can use other nuts instead of almonds for garnish

Friday, 7 February 2014

Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian

Although the name is Chinese this is a more or less an Indian dish. It is spicy and cripy. Goes very well with drinks or just plain Chinese noodles or fried rice.

It is a two step process - one for making fried Cauliflower balls and the second to make the gravy and mix it up

Step 1)
What you need:
Cauliflower - 1 - chopped into eatable chunks
Maida - 2 spoonfull
Corn flour - 2 cups
Chilli & Black pepper power - 1 spoon each
Salt - 1 spoon
Water to prepare batter
Oil to fry

1) Put the cauliflower is hot water for 5 mins
2) Prepare batter by mixing all ingredients above - keep it in semi solid state - not too thick or thin
3) Dip cauliflower pieces into batter and then fry in pan until light brown and cooked

Step 2)
What you need:
Onion 1 medium sliced
Garlic 3-4 cloves (chopped finely)
Ginger small cube finely chopped
Tomato sauce 3 spoons
Green chili - 2 finely chopped
Chilly sauce 1 spoon
Soy sauce - 3 spoons
Oil 2 sppons
Cilantro for garnishing

1) Pour oil in pan and saute onion, garlic and ginger until onion is light brown
2) Add Tomato, chilly and soya sauce and mix well
3) Add cauliflower and mix well
4) Add garnish

Try it with Chinese hakka noodles or fried rice.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Curd Rice - best digestion dish

Whenever I feel bloated or had a severe dose of spicy food, I turn back to this dish for rejuvenating. Curd Rice is extremely good for digestion and can be had anytime of the day. It can made quickly either in its simplest form or the more exotic type found in southern restaurants. It is most popular in southern India and many a times eaten as the last course before sweets.

What you need:
1) Rice 1 cup (not basmati, regular rice)
2) Water 3 cups to cook rice
3) Cold Milk (optional, if you don't want milk just use some curd mixed with water)
4) Curd 1.5 cup
5) Salt as per taste
6) Coriander (finely chopped)
7) Green chilles (finely chopped) 1/2 to 1 piece depending on taste
9) Mustard seeds 1 spoon
10) Chana dal 2 spoons
11) 1 spoon oil

1) Cook rice with water in either microwave or cooker. It is ok to leave it soggy and not drain out all water
2) Add milk to rice and mix well. Let the mixture cool down.
3) Add curd to rice after it cools down and mix well. Preferably break the rice so that it forms a uniform mixture. Don't make a paste out of it though.
4) Add one spoon oil in pan on low flame
5) Add mustard seeds and chana dal. Stir until dal is brown in color
6) Add green chillies and salt to taste
7) Add rice/curd mixture and mix well for 2 mins on low flame
8) Let it cool and garnish with Coriander

In addition to make it health you can add peanuts, cashew nuts, grapes and chopped vegetables like carrot.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Tofu Pasta

For people who love continental food here is an awesome dish I love to have on weekends. It is light and filling. It hardly takes 10minutes to make and is very healthy.

What you need:
Pasta 1/4 kg - I prefer penne.
Tofu 1/2 cup sliced into cubes. I use fried tofu. Health conscious people can try fresh soft tofu
Garlic 1/2 spoon chopped 
Capsicum/Bell pepper - 1/4 bowl chopped into small pieces or cut in length
Onions 1/4 cup finely chopped
Carrots 1/4 cup finely chopped (you can add more vegetables as per your liking)
Soy Sauce 1 spoon
Lemon Juice 1 spoon
Chilly Garlic Sauce (as per taste, usually 2-3 spoons)
Olive Oil 2 spoons
Garnish with mint, crushed peanuts and/or sesame seeds

How to make:
1) Cook pasta along with water (similar quantity) for 10-15mins in microwave or stove. Drain and leave to cool down
2) Fry onions in pan with olive oil until light brown
3) Add Tofu and fry for 2 mins (or more if you want it crisp)
4) Add garlic and mix well
5) Add all vegetables and stir fry for 3-4 mins
6) Add soy sauce, lemon juice, chilly sauce and mix well
7) Immediately add pasta and mix well until it seems like a consistent mixture
8) Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 mins.

If you want it more spicy add chilly sauce and/or chilli flakes along with the garnishing

This goes along very well with some red wine and garlic bread.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Bhelpuri (Spicy Snack)

Bhelpuri is a very tasty snack popular throughout India. Depending on location it acquires a different flavor and taste. Chinese Bhel is also popular in India but has nothing to do with China. It was originally made in India but given the name Chinese bhel to differentiate it from the common bhelpuri.

What you need:
1) Puffed rice 3 cups
2) Potatoes 2 nos - boiled and chopped (not finely)
3) Onion 1 - chopped finely
4) Tomato 1 - chopped finely
5) Green chillies 2 chopped finely
6) Coriander leaves chopped
7) Tamarind chutney 1/2 spoon
8) Green chutney 1 spoon
9) Chaat Masala 1 spoon
10) Fine sev - thick sev can be used but fine sev gives better texture and mixes well
11) Papdi 2-3 (crushed into small pieces)

1) Mix all ingredients in a bowl except puffed rice, sev and chutneys
2) Add chutneys and mix well. Chutney should be as per taste
3) Add puffed rice and mix well
4) Garnish with sev and serve immeditely

It is best to prepare just before eating otherwise the puffed rice will become soggy. For extra flavor add some sliced green mangoes. It will give a tangy taste to it.