Dal Makhni

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I have made this dal quite a few times yet I missed blogging about it. I checked and rechecked the blog to confirm I hadn’t written about it before. Well, I haven’t as yet and so here it is. The best part is that the daughter too loves it and we make it for lunch.

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Recipe from here

Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

3/4 cup Whole black urad dal

2 tbsp Rajma / Kidney beans

3 cups Water

1 Onion, medium

2 Green chillies

2 tsp Ginger garlic paste

2 Tomatoes

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

2-3 Cloves

2 Cardamom

1″ Cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

1/2 tsp Kasoori Methi

1/4 cup Milk

3 tbsp Unsalted butter

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the urad dal and rajma overnight or for 8 hours in sufficient water
  • Pressure cook both with 3 cups of water for 5-6 whistles or till the dal is fully cooked
  • Mash and keep aside
  • Chop the tomatoes and blend in a mixer to a purée
  • Chop the onions finely
  • Heat butter in a pan and add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon
  • After 1-2 minutes, add the chopped onions and green chillies
  • Add the Ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes away
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and red chilly powder
  • Cook till the fat separates, around 5 minutes
  • Add the smashed lentils and 1/2 cup of water
  • Add salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes till it reaches the desired consistency
  • Add more water if gets too thick
  • Add milk and let it simmer for another 10 minutes (usually cream is added but I substitute with milk which is easily available and works well for me)
  • Add kasuri methi and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with rotis or rice
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme,’Indian Regional Dishes’.

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Palak Dal

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My daughter has reached that age where she has become super picky about what she eats and one of the things she doesn’t like is spinach. So I have to find different ways to make her eat spinach. This dal is one of those attempts. She loves the regular toor dal and so I figured it was best to add spinach to it and make life easier for me.

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Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

1 small bunch spinach

1 Onion, large

1/3 cup Toor dal / pigeon pea

1 tbsp Cooking oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

1/4 tsp Cumin seeds

1-2 Green chillies

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/4 tsp Red chilly powder

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the toor dal / pigeon pea with 2/3 cup water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles.
  • Mash the dal and set aside
  • Wash and chop the spinach finely and set aside
  • In a large pan, heat the oil and add mustard seeds
  • Add cumin seeds and slit green chillies
  • Chop the onions and add it to the pan
  • Fry the onions till translucent
  • Add the spinach and fry till it wilts
  • Add the cooked lentils, turmeric powder and red chilly powder
  • Add salt and bring it to a boil
  • Simmer for 7-8 minutes
  • Take off the heat
  • Serve warm with rice or rotis
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Indian Regional Dishes’

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Kadala Thel Dala | Stir fried Chickpeas

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The second dish for the Sri Lankan cuisine theme is a popular snack called Kadala Thel Dala which is quite similar to the sundal prepared in Tamil cuisine. One main difference is the addition of onion to this dish which is not usually added to sundal but which makes this a simple yet delicious bowl of snack.

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Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp vegetable oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • Add mustard seeds and cumin.
  • Once the mustard seeds pop, add the curry leaves and onion and fry for 3-4 minutes or till the onion turns golden brown
  • Add the chickpeas, salt and chilly powder
  • Fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

NOTES

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in sufficient water and pressure cook for 3 whistles and then use in this recipe
  2. The onion will cook faster if sliced very thinly

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Dun Thel Bath | Ghee Rice with Green Peas

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The theme for this week is Sri Lankan cuisine. When I picked this theme, I did not know that the cuisine is very similar to Indian, more specifically South Indian cuisine. Because the country is an island, there must be coconut trees in plenty which is reflected in the cooking too. The same goes for the seafood as well. There is an influence of Malaysian and few other South east Asian cuisines as well which makes the Sri Lankan table a multi flavoured one.

This dish is a ghee (clarified butter) rich rice with green peas which is similar to the Indian Peas Pulao. It is slightly differentiated with the addition of raisins in plenty. I have reduced the raisins and added some cashews because the daughter loves it and she is having an increasing amount of say in what is cooked everyday. This rice pairs beautifully with any vegetable but we had it with some homemade plantain chips which was absolutely lipsmacking.

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Serves 2-3

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

1 1/4 cups Basmati rice
2 cardamons
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup green peas
2 tbsp Cashews & raisins
Salt & Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the rice with 2 cups water and set aside
  • Cook the green peas in hot water for 5-7 minutes and set aside
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan
  • Add the cardamons, cloves and cumin seeds and fry for about a min
  • Add the green peas and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the rice and salt and mix well.
  • Turn off the heat after 3-4 minutes
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.

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Peanut Porridge

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I just finished a mega marathon of Protein Rich Dishes but I am clearly not over it. My theme for today is ‘Dishes from the Caribbean’ and what do I pick? Another protein packed dish. This one is so simple and delicious, not to mention easy to make with most ingredients readily available in your kitchen. It is a breakfast dish but I had it for lunch and felt content for the next 4-5 hours. This is surely getting into my breakfast roster.

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This peanut porridge is popular across all of the Caribbean. It started out as street food and is very popular with vegetarians. It has now gained popularity at restaurants with locals and tourists alike. There are different versions to make it – with condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk.

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 1-2

WHAT WE NEED

Quick cooking Oats                            1/2 cup

Raw peanuts                                        1/2 cup

Wheat flour                                           2 tsp

Cornmeal                                               1 tbsp

Condensed milk                                    2-3 tbsp

Ground cinnamon                                1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg                                     1/2 tsp

Water                                                       1 1/2 – 2 cups

A pinch of Salt 
WHAT TO DO

  • Heat 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt 
  • Grind the peanuts in to a fine powder and set aside
  • Grind the oats into a fine powder
  • Mix the ground oats and peanuts in a bowl
  • Add the cornmeal and wheat flour and mix well
  • Add 1 cup of water and stir to form a smooth paste
  • Pour this paste into the boiling water and mix well to ensure there are no lumps
  • Simmer and let it cook covered for 6-7 minutes
  • Stir frequently to avoid the porridge sticking to the base of the vessel
  • Add the condensed milk, nutmeg and cinnamon 
  • Mix and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Serve warm with some fruits for a wholesome tasty breakfast
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. If you only want a mild sweetness to your porridge, add 2 tbsp of condensed milk else add 3 tbsp
  2. The porridge will be slightly runny immediately after cooking but will thicken when let to cool
  3. You can replace the water with part milk 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Carribean’.

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Protein Rich Dishes Recap – Mega Marathon BM#80

Sept roundup

We come to the end of another Mega Marathon when we blog for all days of the month except Sundays. The theme, as we know, is Protein Rich Dishes and I have showcased 26 different proteins of which 25 are vegetarian. This is my third Mega Marathon after –

September Cooking Carnival 2016 where I posted 26 different soups; &

A to Z Baking around the World where I blogged about 26 different breads, one for each letter of the alphabet.

The research for this topic taught me a lot about the nutrition in various ingredients that I was not previously aware of. I discovered new tasty dishes to get my daughter her daily protein fix and I enjoyed making and devouring some fabulous dishes. Here is a recap of all the recipes this month –

Sprouted Mung Soup

Karamani Kuzhi Paniyaram
Beans Parupu Usili

Hummus

Dal Khichdi

Rajma Masala

Black gram dosa with black gram chutney powder

Roasted Chana Dal


Amaranth flour Pizza topped with Broccoli 


Mushroom Egg Rice

Peas Paneer Paratha

Corn & Tomato Crostini with Cashew Cheese

Thai scented Asparagus Soup

Spinach Dosa

Cashew Cheese

Honey Roasted Almonds

Dry fruit Milk / Masala Doodh

Chia Seed Cookies

Flaxseed Malaga Podi

Poppy seed Waffles

Mor Kozhambu

Goan Egg  Curry

Spelt flour & Spinach Loaf

Chocolate Chia Overnight Oats

Quinoa Chocolate Mug Brownie

Ras Malai


This is my recap of the Mega Marathon with the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.

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    Ras Malai

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    This is the last post for this mega marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’. I can’t believe how quickly the month went by and I am so glad that I successfully completed my third mega marathon in a row. My protein for today is my favourite, that I was saving up to be the final post to finish with a flourish. I was not able to decide what dish to make with paneer. The choices are too many and I love all dishes that have paneer in it. So I kept postponing making this dish till it was time to go to Mumbai for my week long vacation. I completely forgot that I was yet to cook the 26th dish and made a distress call to my mom. She, as usual, made a million suggestions in under a minute and confused me more than ever. Then, as I was reading and drooling over Valli’s post (our boss lady, for the uninitiated), I figured it has to be a paneer based Bengali sweet and since mom makes an awesome Ras malai, I finally decided on my dish.

    Mom has these phases where she masters 2-3 sweets and feeds them to everyone who visits our home for a 2-3 month duration. Then those are forgotten for the next 2-3 dishes. Her Ras Malai phase happened just as I got married and so I wasn’t a frequent beneficiary though I remember her stuffing the husband with it during our first Diwali. She was only too happy to make it again, especially after I mentioned that the husband is a huge fan. ( I might have exaggerated a bit). So this is my mother’s dish and her recipe. I helped her with most things but all my cooking and food blogging experience was not sufficient for her to trust me with the kneading of the paneer. Mothers! 

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    Protein – Paneer

    Serves 7-8

    WHAT WE NEED

    Milk (to make the paneer)                      2 litres

    Lemon                                                         2

    Water                                                           1 litre

    All purpose flour / maida                        1 tbsp

    Milk (for the soaking paneer)                 2 litres

    Sugar                                                           200 gms +60 gms

    Saffron                                                        a pinch

    Almond and cashew slivers for garnish

    WHAT TO DO

    • Heat 2 litres of milk in a large vessel till it comes to a boil
    • Simmer and squeeze the juice of the lemon on to the milk and mix well
    • The milk will separate into fat and whey (greenish liquid) 
    • Transfer the fat / paneer to a cheesecloth and tie it. 
    • Let the balance whey drip out of it. It should take approximately 2 hours
    • Transfer the paneer to a large plate and knead it for 15-20 minutes
    • When you make balls from this paneer, it should be whole and soft and without any cracks. 
    • Then it is done else continue to knead for another 3-4 minutes
    • If it is your first time, it is better to add 1 tbsp of all purpose flour while kneading the paneer. This ensures that the paneer doesn’t scramble when cooked
    • Heat the water along with 60 gms of sugar
    • Divide the paneer into small balls and roll them into balls. 
    • The paneer balls will expand once cooked and soaked in milk which needs to be considered before deciding the size of the individual paneer balls. 
    • Press the balls to form discs 
    • Once the water is hot, transfer the paneer balls in batches to the water and let it cook
    • After 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the paneer disc and let it cook on the other side
    • When the paneer starts turning pale in colour, around 5 minutes, remove it from the water and set it aside
    • The milk for soaking the paneer can be done simultaneously in another large vessel
    • Heat the 2 litres milk till it is reduced to half its quantity 
    • Add the 200 gms sugar and saffron strands and let it cook till the sugar is fully dissolved
    • Add the cooked paneer balls to the milk 
    • Serve chilled and garnish with almond and cashew slivers
    • Enjoy!



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    This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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    Spelt flour & Spinach Loaf

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    My original plan for this Mega Marathon was to bake 26 protein rich breads. But I did not find the time to do that and then I modified it to protein rich bakes. Finally I figured I would showcase different vegetarian proteins because quite a few vegetarians I know are tired of the question, ‘What is your protein source?’ But I wanted to have at least one bread in the list. When I saw that spelt flour is protein rich, I knew I had to bake with it.

    Remember that Spinach dosa I made last week? I had some of that purée left and needed to use it somewhere before I left for Mumbai. So the idea of a spelt flour bread with spinach was born. I baked it the last day before leaving and so it had to be a quick bread and not my usual yeast bread. 

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    Whenever I try a new recipe and make modifications to it, my thought is ‘what is the worst that can happen?’ And then I plod on trying to cook it. This time the results were good but the bread was a little dry. It works great with some butter / cheese. The next time I plan to try it with a 2 tbsp more spinach puree / oil to make it a loaf that can be eaten as is. 

    Protein – Spelt flour and spinach

    Recipe adapted from here and here

    Makes one 7″ loaf

    WHAT WE NEED

    Spelt flour                    1 1/2 cups

    Salt                                1/2 tsp

    Baking soda                 1/2 tsp

    Honey /maple syrup  1 tbsp

    Coconut oil                    5 tsp

    Spinach puree            1/2 cup + 1 tbsp

    Quick cooking oats      2 tbsp

    Sunflower seeds           1 tbsp

    WHAT TO DO

    • Preheat the oven to 175C and grease a 7″ loaf tin
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt
    • In another bowl, mix the honey, oil and spinach puree
    • Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients to form a dough
    • Shape the dough into a loaf and transfer it to the loaf pan
    • Sprinkle the oats and sunflower seeds on top
    • Bake for 30- 35 minutes till golden brown on top
    • Let it cool for around 20 minutes before cutting it
    • Enjoy with some butter / cheese!

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    This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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    Goan Egg Curry

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    Any decent cook needs to have tried and tested recipes for classic dishes which are used so frequently that one can make it in her sleep. I have been searching for a fool proof egg curry recipe for quite a while now but somehow the recipes I tried so far failed in one of the key criteria – husband and kid should like it, has to be easy to make, should not involve tough to get ingredients. Finally I found this one and it has succeeded on all three counts. Except coconut milk, all ingredients are usually always available in my kitchen and thanks to my everlasting love for Thai curries, I have coconut milk as well. If you don’t have coconut milk, increase the grated coconut quantity by 3-4 tbsp and add regular milk. 

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    Protein – Egg 

    Recipe from here

    Serves 3-4

    WHAT WE NEED

    Coconut milk                    1/2 cup

    Tamarind paste                      1 tbsp

    Green chillies                          2-3

    Cumin seeds, roasted             2 tbsp

    Dried red chillies, roasted    2-3

    Coriander seeds, roasted       2 tbsp

    Poppy seeds, roasted              1 tbsp

    Coconut, grated                       3/4 cup

    Garlic cloves                            6

    Chopped ginger                      1 tbsp

    Oil                                             1/4 cup

    Onions, finely chopped         2 cups

    Curry leaves                            2 sprigs

    Tomatoes, finely chopped    2 cups

    Garam masala                         1 tsp

    Turmeric powder                   1 tsp

    Eggs, boiled & shelled            6

    Salt

    Coriander leaves to garnish

    WHAT TO DO

    • Grind together the grated coconut, ginger, garlic, green chillies, roasted cumin seeds, roasted dried red chillies, roasted coriander seeds and roasted poppy seeds to a fine paste
    • Heat oil in a pan and add onions and curry leaves
    • Cook until onions are translucent and add the tomatoes
    • Cook till the oil separates, around 6-7 minutes
    • Add the ground paste, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt and cook till the oil separates again
    • Add two cups water and cook till it boils
    • Simmer for 10 minutes and add coconut milk and tamarind paste 
    • Let it come to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes
    • Add the eggs and garnish with fresh coriander 
    • Serve hot with rotis or paratha
    • Enjoy!

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    This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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    Mor Kozhambu

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    This is me saying hello from Mumbai. I got here over the weekend to spend a week with my parents. Every time I plan a visit to my parents’ place, I have visions of having strong filter coffee while reading the newspaper in the morning, lounging around the sofa the entire day watching pointless television serials, getting my favourite dishes piping hot and fresh and spending time with my friends talking about everything and nothing. But what actually happens is I am rushing from one place to another cursing the Mumbai traffic, gulping down the coffee in a minute,  shopping in a frenzy and meeting so many people but talking jut a few sentences and rushing again. The only thing that remains constant is mom managing to make all my favourite dishes despite any crazy schedule we have.

    One of my favourite dishes is this mor kozhambu. I love my mom’s version but I never manage to nail it and so I picked this recipe online despite my mother fuming. This is the last week of this Mega Marathon and I am showcasing miscallenous proteins – from diary based to flour based to eggs. 

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    Mor Kozhambu ( curd based sambhar) is a creamy concoction of curds, coriander seeds, some lady’s fingers and few spices. It goes very well with beans parupu usili and rice.

    Protein – Curds

    Recipe from here 

    Serves 3-4

    WHAT WE NEED

    Lady’s fingers                     5-6

    Canola oil                            2 tsp

    Curds                                    3 cups

    Turmeric                             1/4 tsp

    Salt

    Coconut, grated                  1/2 cup

    Green chillies                      3-4

    Split pigeon peas                 1 tsp

    Coriander seeds                  2 tsp

    Cumin seeds                         1 tsp

    Raw rice                                1/2 tsp

    Coconut oil                            1 tsp

    Mustard seeds                      1/2 tsp

    Curry leaves                          2 sprigs


    WHAT TO DO

    • Soak the split pigeon peas, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and raw rice in hot water for 10 minutes
    • Cut the lady’s fingers into 3″ pieces and fry them in the canola oil for 4-5 minutes with salt till it is cooked
    • Drain the water and grind the soaked ingredients along with green chillies and coconut to a fine paste. Add little water, if needed
    • Take the curds in a vessel and whisk it well
    • Add the turmeric powder and salt and mix well
    • Add the lady’s fingers and ground paste and mix well
    • Cook on medium low flame till it comes to a boil
    • Simmer for 3-4 minutes and take off the heat
    • Heat coconut oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds and curry leaves
    • Pour it over the mor kozhambu
    • Enjoy it with rice, Adai or sevai

    NOTES

    1. The lady’s finger can be replaced with ash gourd or chow chow. These do not need to be sautéed. Cook them in a little water for 5-6 minutes and add to the curds

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    This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’
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