Archive | July 2012

Gujarati Handvo

“Handvo” is a traditional Gujarati snack made with number of lentils and rice. You can’t find them easily in restaurants. It’s a healthy homemade snack usually taken for breakfast. Although you find lot of  readymade handvo mix I never tried one. Coz making handvo at home from scratch is very much easier and nothing can taste as good as homemade. 
I and my friend were recollecting our days at Surat couple of weeks ago. We were drooling over some of the gujarati foods during our talk. What else can make a discussion more nostalgic?? Can’t stop ourselves talking about our favourite few like Khaman, Dhokla, Idhra, Khandvi, Handvo etc.. These are very few of gujarati delicacies. Gujarat is more famous for its breakfast and snacks. While on chat she asked me “why don’t you post one of these??”.. Yeah That’s true. Shame on me!! It totally got skipped out of my mind and being blogger since 5 months now how could I miss out such goodies..

Hmm.. I promised her I would soon post few of them. So here I am with one of the healthy & delicious gujarati snack “Handvo”. I’ll make sure I post rest of the luscious & yummy food from Surat asap. Hope you guys enjoy this classic and elegant snack along with us :).


Ingredients:

Rice 60 gm
Urad dal (Split blackgram) 60 gm
Mung dal (Split Greengram) 60 gm
Besan (Gram Flour) 4 Tbsp
Bottle gourd (Grated) 200 gm
Curd/ Yogurt 200 ml
Asafoetida a pinch
Green chilli 2 nos
Ginger 30 gm 
Garlic 3 Cloves
Coriander leaves 3-4 stems
Salt as req
Baking soda 1 Tsp
For tempering:
Oil 2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds ½ Tsp  
Sesame seeds (White) 1 Tbsp
Dried red chilli 4 nos 


Method :
1. Soak rice and all dals together for about 5- 6 hrs.
2. Grind them together along with besan, curd, asafoetida and salt in a blender. The consistency
    of the batter should be like of dosa batter. Not too watery or too thick.
3. Keep the batter overnight for fermentation or keep it for 6-8 hrs before cooking.
4. Make a coarse paste of ginger, garlic and green chilli. Add the grated bottle gourd, chopped
    coriander leaves and ginger garlic paste to the batter after fermentation and mix well. Add the
    baking soda and give a quick stir.
5. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. When hot add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and red chilli.
    Allow the mustard and sesame seed to splutter.
6. Now pour the whole batter to the pan without disturbing the tadka.
7. Cook on low flame by covering with a lid for approx 6 mins.
8. Check for doneness in the bottom and flip it carefully and cook the other side for about 5 mins
    without lid.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm with some ketchup or green chutney.

Notes:

1. Usually channa dal is used in place of besan. Due to unavailability I started using besan. Using
    channa dal adds more texture to the handvo. So if you like to use channa dal  (60 gm) soak them
    along with other lentils & rice and follow the same instruction except adding besan.
2. I found the grated bottle gourd to be more watery. So I always squeeze them and remove excess
    water and use the water while grinding.  
3. You can serve by cutting them like squares or like pies.
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Kumbalanga Moru Koottan / Ash Gourd in Yogurt Gravy (Kerala style)

Yet another mom’s signature dish straight from Kerala. Moru kuttan is very common in Kerala and easy to make. This is a yogurt based vegetable curry flavored with coconut. Traditional tempering adds more flavor to the curry. This simple yet yummy curry will woo you for sure.


Servings :  2

Preparation time: 10 mins 
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Ash Gourd 250 gm
Turmeric powder ¼ Tsp
Salt as req
Red chilli powder ½ Tsp
Water ½ Cup 
Curd  ¾ Cup
For grinding:
Coconut (Grated) ½ Cup 
Cumin seeds ½ Tsp
Green chilli 2 nos
For tempering:
Coconut Oil 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds ¼ Tsp
Fenugreek seeds ¼ Tsp
Curry leaves A stem
Dried red chilli 2 nos

Method :

1. Peel the skin of ash gourd and chop them into cubes.
2. In a pan add water, chopped ash gourd, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Place it
    on medium heat and cook for 10 mins.
3. Grind the grated coconut with cumin seeds and green chillies by adding little water to a coarse paste.
4. Add the coconut paste to the ash gourd and mix wel. Cook further 5 more mins in low flames.
5. Turn off the heat and add the beaten curd and mix. Transfer to serving bowl.
6. For tadka take a small frying pan and heat oil. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds,
    dried red chillies and curry leaves respectively.
7. Pour the tadka on to the curry. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes:

  1. This recipe can be used to make Yam, raw mangoes, raw plantain, pumpkin moru kootan.
  2. I haven’t used curry leaves as I don’t get it here. 
  3. Adjust the quantity of curd according to the sourness.

Fabulous Blog ribbon

Woo hoo!! I am here with a blog ribbon award passed to me by our own fellow blogger R.Punitha from “http://southindiafoodrecipes.blogspot.com/” ….She got a wonderful space to visit. It’s a place where you’ll find awesome South Indian delicacies from her kitchen. Thank you so much for passing it to me and making me feel so happy.. Loved the award. 
By the way the blog ribbon has few rules to follow.. And here it is..
Rules of this ribbon:
Rule 1 : Post rules on my blog.
Rule 2 : State ‘5 most fabulous moments either in real life or blogosphere’
Rule 3 : State ‘5 things I love’
Rule 4 : State ‘5 things I hate’
Rule 5 : Pass this ribbon to ‘5 lovely blogger friends’ (leave a comment in their blog to notify that you’ve passed them this ribbon).

Rule 1
Already accomplished above.

Rule 2 : ‘5 most fabulous moments either in real life or blogosphere’
  1. Being with my mom, dad, bro & family. 
  2. When I was selected in campus interview.
  3. When I decided to marry my very best friend..
  4. The very first trip to China..
  5. Realizing my passion for food & cooking and started my own food blog 🙂

Rule 3 : ‘5 things I love’
  1. Family & Friends
  2. Food – Cooking, cuisine, restaurants
  3. Photography 
  4. My iPad 2
  5. Roller coaster 😉
Rule 4 : ‘5 things I hate’
  1. Bugs
  2. Dentist 
  3. Waking early morning
  4. Sex discrimination
  5. Noisy people

Rule 5 :  ‘5 lovely blogger friends’ 

  1. Sonali Pradhan – http://www.onlyfishrecipes.com
  2. Kavi –  http://myedibles.blogspot.com
  3. Abhilasha –  http://carrotsandcherries.blogspot.com/
  4. Sangeetha Nambi –  http://recipe-excavator.blogspot.com
  5. Vimitha Ananad –  http://vimithaa.blogspot.com/
Hope you guys accept this award.. 




Dates Cake (Eggless & Butterless)

Hi!!
Here is a kind of healthy baking.. The fancy words “eggless” & “butterless” doesn’t mean so much to me…However I would prefer to use less fat as much as I can. We may have read in many health articles that “Butter” has high calories from its saturated fat and also has high cholesterol which is bad for heart.. So nowadays I am using Olive oil instead of butter. And “eggless” was unintentional. I didn’t have egg in my fridge so I didn’t use it. But the cake turned out just fine and super moist. Unbelievable!! Therefore I have to admit that we can also go healthy in baking without losing the divine taste of real baking.For me healthy baking is all about no butter, no white sugar and no white flour..Rest all fine..
Since I cook eggs daily in various form, a piece of advice for you guys out there..Do not ignore the eggs if you ain’t vegan or allergic. Egg is a good source of protein. In fact many agree that it helps to reduce weight 😉 Good news isn’t it?? Why wait?? Try it out !!

Servings: 3
Preparation time: 15 mins + 30 mins soaking time (optional)
Cooking time: 30 – 40 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Dates 12-15 nos
Whole Wheat Flour ½ Cup
Milk ½ Cup
Brown sugar 50 gm
Olive oil / Canola oil 30 gm / 2 Tbsp
Baking soda ½ Tsp
Walnut 10 nos
Raisins 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon Powder ¼ Tsp

 

Method:

1. Soak the dates in warm milk for about 30 mins if it is too dry.
2. Preheat oven to 175° C.
3. Sieve the flour along with baking soda & cinnamon powder and keep it in a large bowl.
    Add the sugar and chopped walnuts. Mix to combine.
4. Grind together the milk and dates to a paste.
5. In another bowl pour the dates paste and oil. Whisk to combine well.
6. Pour the dates mixture to the flour and mix to form batter with no lumps.
7. Grease the cake pan with little oil and pour the batter.
8. Sprinkle some raisins on the top.
9. Bake for 30 -40 mins or till toothpicks comes out clean when inserted.
10. Serving option: Serve with maple syrup or chocolate syrup or condensed milk or whipped cream
      or honey..

 

Notes:

  1. Increase/decrease the qty of sugar according to the quality of dates and its sweetness. If your dates are too sweet reduce the sugar. 
  2. If you want more moist add some more milk.
  3. You can use spices like nutmeg, clove, ginger along with cinnamon.


Aloo Palak / Spinach & Potato Masala

Aloo palak is a subtle spinach dish with potato. This is a healthy and delicious veggie delight to go with roti or any other Indian bread. I have seen some people use pureed spinach in this. But I use chopped spinach along with stems. I believe pureeing would kill all the nutrition the spinach holds. Anyways thats all upto to you.. For me I like the texture of my aloo palak more than that of pureed spinach masala.. And also I use to saute them in brief so that I can get most of its vitamins 😉 Such a health freak huh??… So here’s my Aloo palak in my style.. 

Servings: 2
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level : Moderate
Ingredients:

Potato 250 gm (1 Big)
Spinach 250 gm
Onion 200 gm (1 Medium)
Tomato 150 gm (1 Medium)
Garlic 4 cloves
Ginger 15 gm
Green chilli 2 nos
Musturd seeds ¼ Tsp
Cumin seeds 1 Tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric powder ¼ Tsp
Red chilli powder 1 Tsp
Coriander powder 1 Tsp
Kasoori methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) ½ Tsp
Garam masala (Optional) ½ Tsp
Salt as req
Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp
Preparation:

1. Clean the spinach in cold water and drain the water. Chop them roughly.
2. Boil the potatoes with skins on and cube them into large chunks.
3. Finely chop the onion and tomato. Chop one green chilli.. 
4. Grind together garlic, ginger and one green chilli
Cooking:

1. Heat oil in a large pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
3. Now add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
4. When cumin seeds stop spluttering, add in the onion and green chilli with little salt.
5. Stir fry till onion turns brown and nicely fried. 
6. Add ginger,garlic & green chilli paste and saute well for 1-2 mins.
7. Add turmeric powder and tomato now.
8. Saute for few more mins or till the tomato softens.
9. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder and fenugreek leaves. Saute well. 
10. Now add the spinach and drizzle some water.
12. Cook in medium flame till the spinach gets cooked well.
13. Add the boiled potato and stir well.
14. Check for seasoning and adjust salt .
15. Let the gravy thickens a bit. Turn off the heat and add garam masala.
16. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with rotis.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Crostini

It’s been a while I made this luscious appetizer. This is one appetizer never be left lonely on the plate at the end of a meal. Creamy & nutty red pepper pesto is divine, comfort & lip smacking sauce I ever made. Goes well with pasta, as a dipping sauce and in crostini. The roasted red pepper adds more flavor to the pesto. Never be lazy to roast the pepper.

Whenever I see the vibrant red peppers I just dream of the pesto I used to make long back when we were in North China. You find ample quantity of red pepper there. I used to make in large quantity and freeze them for later use. Here in Guangzhou I see them on & off. So I bought them last week when I found them in farmers market.

Here we go with nice & crisp crostini with red pepper pesto. I am bit unhappy that I totally lost the original recipe owner as I have been making this pesto since long time & never had any record of the original recipe. Anyway I am very much grateful to the person who shared this awesome recipe in web. 🙂

Servings: 3-4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Baguette 1 loaf
Red pepper 3 nos
Walnut 10 nos
Basil (Dried) 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
Garlic 3 Cloves
Parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp
Salt & Pepper For seasoning
Mozzarella 2 Tbsp

Method:

  1. Slice the baguette (Narrow French stick loaf) into thick slices.
  2. Preheat oven to 210° C. 
  3. Wash the red peppers thoroughly, cut into halves and remove the seeds.
  4. Place the peppers on the baking tray and sprinkle half the quantity of following ingredients : olive oil, finely chopped garlic, basil, salt & pepper on the top.
  5. Bake for 30 mins or till the peppers are roasted well.
  6. Transfer to mixer jar along with walnut, Parmesan cheese, and remaining olive oil, chopped garlic, basil, salt & pepper. Blend them to a rough paste. 
  7. You can toast the baguette slices first and top with the pesto and mozzarella cheese. Or else top with pesto, cheese & basil and toast till cheese melts. 

Notes:

  1. Tastes good when used fresh basil. Since it is unavailable in here I have used dried basil. 
  2. You can try with different nuts like almonds, pine nuts etc. instead of walnut. If you would like the pesto more heavy add more cheese/cream.
  3. Also discover some unique flavors by including different Italian herbs.
  4. You can also roast the pepper on direct fire.
  5. This pesto goes well with pasta too.