Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Daal Palak ..Dry Version

Hi all!
I’m here with yet another healthy version of daal/curry. I’m using both names, daal and curry as it is made using lentils and greens. The version that I have made is a dry one but the same after adding more water can be made as a daal too and can be had with rice. The dry version tastes best with bread, paav, phulka or can be used as a filling to make sandwich too.
It is very tasty as has no extravagantly used spices. It has natural flavours of the spinach, lentils and the other added veggies. The version I’ve made has more of a Noth Indian touch but the same curry can be given a South Indian touch by adding Curry leaves and Asafoetida (heeng) during tempering.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Garlic Oil..Home Made

My family loves Garlic Bread. Whenever we visit a Pizzeria or an Italian restaurant, the first order has to be garlic bread. The garlic bread available in restaurants makes use of butter, which makes the calorie count go high. So to make the garlic bread healthier and still tasty I make this garlic oil at home. using this the garlic bread can be made in a jiffy and what’s better is that it’s low in calories too.
This garlic oil can be used in making other salad dressings too and is quite multi purpose. It stays well for a month provided it doesn’t get over before that. It’s a no effort garlic oil which comes out very handy in cooking and at quite a low cost as compared to the garlic oil available in market.
7-8 thick cloves of garlic
1/2cup EVOO
Crush the garlic in a clean pestle and mortar.
Push the garlic into a bottle and pour  the oil too. Close and shake lightly.
Leave it over night and the garlic oil is ready to use the next day. The flavour gets better as the garlic gets completely absorbed in the oil in the days to come .
Store in air tight bottle/ jar only.


Pesto..With Basil

Come summer and your body starts asking for cooling and freshness producing food products. For me one such ingredient is the Basil, I’m in love with this herb and I use it profoundly in my cooking.
Topping the list is the Pesto, which is nothing but a quick chutney using the basil leaves. It is a good digestive and the freshness it produces on your palate is amazing. It makes you feel fresh and cool in this heat. I highly recommend this to be kept ready for use in the kitchen as it’s a versatile ingredient.
The pesto can be made in a jiffy if you have the pine-nuts ready for use after peeling, else one could use walnuts too. I use pine-nuts as they are very good for eyesight.

Makes-almost 3/4 cup
2 cups basil leaves. loosely packed
4-5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup/ 50gms pine nuts
2tbsp EVOO
salt to taste
Food 4-003
Grind the Pine nuts and garlic together.
Mix the Basil, salt and EVOO. Grind. If required add more EVOO.
Remove in an airtight container. If you want to store it for a few days, spread a layer of EVOO on top.
Variation :-
To make a Classic Italian Pesto, in the above mentioned ingredients add 1/4cup Parmesan cheese and reduce the salt. Grind together.
Tip- The Pesto should always be covered with oil as it oxidises quickly fading the natural green colour, which has happened with mine, while clicking pics.
You can try this
Bi Coloured Italian Sandwich

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chapati..Indian Bread From South India




I’m posting here after a long time. Today I’m posting a simple and yet a little tricky Indian Bread made in South India called Chapati or Chapathi. It resembles the Paratha but is still quite different.

This bread makes use of the excess oil smeared inside and spreads easily and hence is very soft internally. It is rolled out much thinner than the Paratha and uses very little flour while rolling.

It can be served with any curry but it compliments best with the Jhunka.



Preparation Time:5mins

Resting Time:15mins

Cooking Time:20-25mins



2cups Whole Wheat Flour for dough

1/2cup wheat flour for rolling

1/4tsp salt

water for kneading dough

veg oil


Food 4-002

Knead a soft dough using wheat flour, salt and water. Apply oil and rest covered for 15mins.

Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces. Make balls and flatten. Keep covered.

Roll each ball to a 3inch circle using wheat flour and apply 1/2-3/4tsp oil and fold to a ‘D’ shape.

Apply oil to the ‘D’ again and fold again to get a triangle shape.

Apply wheat flour lightly and roll to a 3mm triangular Chapati.

Heat the griddle cook the Chapati lightly on either side and then roast on each side again using 1/2tsp oil.

I prefer the Chapati soft so I do not over roast, for crispy Chapati cook on low flame on either side.

Serve hot with curry or Jhunka.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How To Make Restaurant Style Makhani Gravy For Curries


Makhani sauce, as the name suggests is a sauce made in makkhan (butter). It is a delicately flavoured sauce which has a taste of tomatoes, aromatic spices, butter and cream.

It’s a rich gravy, loaded with calories but extremely flavourful and very popular. One can find it dominating the menu cards of any Indian Restaurant serving North Indian Food. As a child it was my favourite and now it is my kid’s. I make both the low and high calorie version of it but here I’m sharing the high calorie version. If you want to try a low calorie version, check here.

This sauce is popularly used to make paneer (paneer makhani), dal (dal makhani), vegetables (veg makhani). One can check out my innovation with this sauce here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jeerige Kattu ( Traditional Karnataka Style Jeera Daal)




Today I’m posting a traditional kannadiga preparation which is very popular at my place. It is an excellent accompaniment with spicy curries and is S’s and my elder son’s favourite. Recently when my elder son was visiting us I made this several times for him.

It’s an easy lentil preparation has a strong aroma and flavour of Jeerige (cumin seeds/ Jeera). The word kattu in kannada means daal from which all the excess water has been removed. Ideally it should be a thick lentil preparation but my family likes it made a little thin.I made it with Alasande Palya and Huruduperi which is again a family favourite and  for which  I will post the recipes soon.


2 katori cooked tuvar daal

1/2-3/4tsp turmeric

2tsp cumin seeds

3-4 green chillies finely chopped

1tsp ginger chopped

1tbsp coriander leaves chopped

1tsp cumin pwd

salt to taste

oil for cooking


Cook tuvar daal in a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric and a drop of oil. Both turmeric an.d oil help cook daal faster.

Let the pressure drop, remove the daal and mash it.

Heat about 2tbsp oil in a pan and once it is hot, lower the flame and add cumin seeds. This prevents the cumin from burning and turning black in colour.

Once the cumin has spluttered add chopped green chillies, chopped ginger, coriander and saute for a few seconds.

Now add the cumin pwd, cooked daal and mix properly. Season the daal with salt and add about 1-1/2cups water.

Bring the lentil/daal to a boil and simmer.

Let it boil for 7-8mins.

Serve hot garnished with ginger juliennes.

I personally love this daal with a dash of lime.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Indian Round Gourd applied with garlic and coconut …Lasoon Khobra Lavoon Dhenashi


Hi friends!

Summer season offers a variety of gourds which are excellent source of water and minerals. Though many gourds are available, not many people like them as they can be quite bland and hence avoid eating them. At the same time, it’s always challenging to cook everyday meal as the food has to be tasty, healthy and not repetitive. I took a big challenge by using gourd and tried to make it tasty too.

The gourd I used is called Indian round gourd commonly called Tinda in Hindi and Dhenashi in Marathi. I used a standard Maharashtrian style of applying a mix of fresh coconut and garlic to the veggie and to my surprise the gourd turned out delicious. My fussy eater ate it eagerly and demanded more. What more can a Mom ask for!!!??


Oil for cooking

about 3cups Indian round gourd chopped

3-4 green chillies roughly chopped

about 1/2 cup fresh coconut

3 garlic pods

1/2tsp Marathi goda masala

1/4tsp turmeric

1/2tsp red chilli pwd

1-2tsp coriander pwd

salt to taste

1/2tsp mustard seeds

a pinch of good quality asafoetida


Grind coconut and garlic to make a paste.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds followed by green chillies, asafoetida and turmeric. Do not let it burn and add the chopped vegetable, salt to taste and mix.

Cook covered, when half done add the coriander, chilli  powders.

Now add the coconut- garlic paste and goda masala. Cook for another minute or two.


Serve hot with chapati.