Peas and Cauliflower in Yogurt Sauce

Tender peas and crunchy cauliflower simmered in a mildly spiced yogurt sauce. Matar Gobi or Gobi matar are the Indian names given to them,where Gobi means Cauliflower and Matar means peas.

But what is in a name? what matters is the flavor and deliciousness.

This semi gravy curry goes so smoothly well with rotis or chapatis or any bread for that matter.

I realized my brain works this way. Two days ago me and my Sis-in -law were on the phone having the usual “what’s for dinner” conversation. And she mentioned she had made gobi matar.

Recorded and saved! In my brain! I knew I will make that dish soon :). That is one way of getting inspired to cook, I thought. You just hear the names of the dishes(not even the recipe details). Just the names. Then you make your own recipe using that name. Its fun and innovative ūüôā

But matar gobi is not a new dish. It is quite common in Indian households. It is similar to Aloo matar or Paneer matar with almost similar methods of preparations.

With just a few simple ingredients from the pantry, comes out this warm ,simmering and aromatic curry dish. I cannot thank enough the Rajwadi garam masala( badshaah brand) which takes the dish to a whole new level when ever I use it!

Matar Gobi:

1 small head of cauliflower florets

1 cup of fresh or frozen peas

1 medium onion, finely grated or pureed

4 tomatoes pureed

1  cup Yogurt

Masalas/Spices: 

1 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 tsp Turmeric, 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste, 1tsp Garam Masala, 2 tsp Kitchen King masala, 1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt and 1tsp Sugar and 2 tbsp Oil.

Method:

In a wide thick bottomed pan, pour 2 tbsp oil. Once heated, add cumin seeds, turmeric and onion puree and fry for a minute or until oil separates. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell fades.

Next add the tomato puree. Mix well with the onions. Simmer the flame and cook until the mixture comes to a boil and oil separates. Add salt and sugar. Once cooked, the mixture changes color and turns into a thick red sauce.

Add the Yogurt and 1/2 a cup of water. Add all the spices (garama masala, kitchen king maslaa and red chilli powder) one by one. Mix well. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes

Next add the cauliflower and Peas and mix well altogether with the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer. Cook until the cauliflower turns tender, but not too soft that it crumbles. Sprinkle some water if needed.

Finally, give the entire curry a nice sitr. mix well. Add salt if needed.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with rotis.

Notes:

If  you do not have KitchenKing, substitute with Cumin-coriander powder.

I have used Rajwadi garam masala- But any other variety will also work.

If using frozen peas, make sure you refresh them in cold water before adding to the curry.

Not Your Typical Dosa

So what goes in a typical dosa? Can you tell?

Great!!! You all are right!!!

The typical ingredients are, Urad dal (a.k.a Black gram dal), Rice, Poha (a.k.a flattened rice), and Fenugreek seeds. But you guys, this is NOT your typical dosa!

This is the most simplest, less time consuming and almost instant dosa. The taste??? You ask?

Superlicious, delicious!!!

It has the crispness, the aroma and softness of any other good dosa.

So what is in this Non typical dosa? I will tell you…soon ūüôā

All great discoveries happen by accident. Do you agree?

In this case, it was partly an accident and partly inspired. I had read in many places about new ways of making dosas. Like in this recipe.

And, it so happened that one day I went ahead and soaked some Urad dal, thinking i will make some smooth Idlis. But, life got in the way and I could not make them.  So the soaked dal kept waiting in the corner of my kitchen counter top.

The next day I just rinsed and washed the dal and grounded it into a smooth paste using my wet grinder.

Now what? I thought. “Never mind if I did not make any Idlis. I can still make dosas!!!”, I said to myself and that is how my Non typical dosa was born.

Indredients:

1 cup whole Urad dal(black gram dal) soaked for 6 hours/overnight

2 1/2 cups of rice flour

1/4 cup of very fine Sooji rava( Semolina)

salt

Method:

Grind the soaked Urad dal in the grinder or mixer into a very smooth silky paste adding enough water.

Transfer the batter into a large vessel.

Add the rice flour and sooji rava and mix REALLY well. Pay attention to the lumps. Mix well until all the lumps dissolve.

Cover the container and let it ferment overnight.

The next day, mix well , the batter, adjusting the consistency with water. The batter has to be of pouring consistency(just like the regular dosa batter)

Add salt

On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of batter and spread into a circle, to make the dosas. add a tsp of oil around the dosas.

Once the edges turn golden brown, fold the dosa and remove it on a plate.

Enjoy them with chutneys or butter or pickle.

Spinach Rotis

What gives me motivation to write a blog post?

Motivation! That is right! It takes a lot of motivation to keep  your blog updated.

I have been reading all over the web about how to increase traffic to the blog and how to get your blog noticed. And in most cases, it is said that, it is really important to write well AND write frequently.

But how? Where is the time? where is the motivation?

With two kids around, it gets really hard to do the most basic chores in your day-to-day routine, let alone coming up with a blog post.

A few weeks ago, I was on a cooking spree. I was just whipping things up in my kitchen like a robot. I was so inspired and enthusiastic to cook new dishes and just display them in front of my Hub. I had fresh ideas, innovative dishes on my mind and was dreaming day and night about how I can post all of them on my blog with great pictures. Not everything made it to the blog, but those that have made ¬†it were a result of great enthusiasm. But, all of a sudden , I don’t know what happened, all my spirits went down, just like the air out of a balloon. I felt dull, withdrawn and lazy even to make myself a cup of coffee.

But since food is a basic necessity, I did cook everyday but there was nothing great about it. Just a simple rasam sometimes or the same Baath that I have cooked probably a zillion times so far.

The weather played a major factor too. There were continuous HOT days here in Boston. We had heat wave warnings and it was pretty bad. With the weather so hot ,usually we do not feel like eating much. so we snacked and munched on slices and slices of watermelons and cucumbers. We cooled ourselves with a small helping of yogurt rice during the night.

Things have gotten better now and slowly my attention is turning towards my poor blog. I said to myself, ” I have to do it”. “no matter what”.

Now I had to get motivated myself to cook and blog about it. I thought I will try this strategy.And I did. And it worked pretty well,coz you are reading this post ūüôā

I watched regularly all cooking shows on food network. I read quite a lot of food blogs and ogled at ¬†the beautiful pictures. I browsed through many food websites and just read the names of many many dishes. It evoked my senses. And before I knew it, I was drooling in my mind imagining and tasting some spicy dishes. I also made ¬†a “cook to blog list” while I was watching one of the food network shows. ¬†Next thing I know, I found myself in the Indian store shopping some nice stuffs. My brain was recharged. My senses evoked and my mind motivated.

I physically got up on my feet and headed towards the kitchen with great vigor and made these truly delicious Spinach rotis.

Hope you all will enjoy!

Spinach Rotis:

2 cups of whole wheat flour( I used Sujata atta)

2 cups finely chopped baby spinach

1 tsp turmeric powder

3 cloves of Garlic finely grated

6 green chillies, finely chopped

salt

2 tbsp oil

water for kneading the dough.

Method:

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and knead into a soft pilable dough using little water at a time.

Once the dough is ready, take small portion of the dough and roll them into thin rotis.

On a hot griddle, cook the rotis until they turn a little golden brown on both sides.

You may  use some oil on the sides of the roti while it is cooking.

Once it is done, serve it with pickle of your choice and some cool yogurt.

Note: This roti tastes equally good when eaten cold too. You can store them in a wrapped aluminum foil or in another box for later consumption.

String beans curry, Quickly in a microwave!

This is  a very simple dry curry which is very common in South Indian meals.

The curry concept or ¬†as in kannada we call it ” palya”is very common and has a vital place in the south indian meal. As rice is the main course along with sambar or rasam, the palya is often prepared as a side dish to go with the rice.

Different vegetables and greens can be used to make the Palya, like cluster beans, Amaranth greens, Spinach, Okra etc.

In each case, the cooking process  is similar. The ingredients used are very simple . The coconut garnish is really important to enhance the flavor. Most cases a bit of Jaggery is added to sweeten the curry. But I have omitted it here in my recipe.

This simple stirfry is a great accompaniment with Rotis or chapathis.

The tenderness and the natural sweetness of the string beans , makes it melt in the mouth.

The tempering adds a little nuttiness and spice. My favorite way to enjoy this curry will be with some creamy yogurt rice!

String beans curry

1 big bowl of string beans, cut into 2 inch pieces

Salt

For Tempering:

2 tbsp oil

1 pinch Asafoetida

2 red chillies, dry

2 green chillis, chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp black gram( urad dal)

Coconut for garnish

Method:

In a microwave safe bowl, put all the cut beans and fill the bowl with water, just enough to cover the beans.

Cook for about 5 minutes, closing the lid on the bowl.

Meanwhile, work on the tempering.

In a small pan, pour some oil. once it is heated, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, black gram, green chillis and red chillis.

Fry all of them for about less than a minute, on a slow flame. once the seeds splutter and urad dal turns a little golden brown, turn off heat.

Now take the cooked beans, drain excess water from the bowl, add some salt and pour the prepared tempering on top of it.

Mix well. Garnish with fresh coconut.

Onion Pakoras

I want to dedicate this post to my cosister’s mother in law, as it was from her I ever first learnt to make good pakodas.

Thank you, Ma ūüôā

Super simple super spicy!

Lots of onions coated with gram/ chickpea flour and seasoned with all the spicy stuffs like ginger,green chillies, pepper powder.

The curry leaves or mint leaves adds an extra zing for these crisp fritters.

The Carom seeds ( Ajwain) gives a nutty strong aroma, while the turmeric and asafoetida are doing their jobs as well, by adding more depth and flavor for the pakoras.

A superb, all time classic,  tea time snack. A rainy day becomes more cozy and warm with these by your side , served with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Onion pakoras

2  medium white  / red onions sliced lengthwise

1 cup of gram flour/ chickpea/ besan flour

10 green chillies finely minced

1 tsp ajwain seeds( carom seeds)

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 bunch of mint finely chopped/ 1 stalk of curry leaves chopped

1 tsp black pepper powder

salt to taste

water just to sprinkle and bind

1/4 cup of rice flour( optional) for more crispiness.

Oil for deep frying

In a large bowl ,dump all of the above ingredients. Use your hands to mix evenly all of the items in the bowl. make sure the onion slices separate and gets evenly coated with flour.

once everything is uniformly mixed, sprinkle about 1 tbsp of water just so the mixture gets wet. when you form a lump with your fist , everything should hold together.

once the mixture is ready and the oil is hot, take spoonfuls of the onion mixture and carefully slide them in hot oil.

Deep fry until golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or green chuteny.

Microwave Spicy Popcorn

I often make these to quench my craving for salt and spice.

These are also my movie time snack, blogging time¬† snack, play time snack, my daughter’s after school snack…

I really don’t need a reason to snack on these:)

2 tbsp of corn kernels(here I have used white corn)

2 tbsp oil

salt

1/4 tsp red chilli powder

In a microwave safe large bowl, mix all of the above , give a nice mix with a spoon, cover the lid(also m/w safe)

cook for 4 minutes, until you hear the continous popping sound.

depending upon the power of the microwave, the cooking time varies. You can also press the “popcorn” button of your microwave.

Green gram sprouts salad with Avocado

To start with, I made these sprouts at home. It is very simple really. Why to spend those bucks when you can make them right here at home. You don’t really have to stand in front of them and get your hands in there to actually “make” these sprouts.

With a little care the sprouts beautifully pop out from the mung beans all by themselves.

Thanks to my mom-in-law who taught me how to make them.

Soak the green grams in lots of water in a wide bowl, for almost a whole day. Then at night, drain all of the water from the bowl, leaving behind  a little , just enough to wet the green grams.

Cover the bowl and tuck it in for the night in a warm place(I always like use my oven) And, that is it!

The next morning you can see the beautiful white sprouts popping out. If you leave them there a little longer, the sprout grows longer.

Green gram sprouts are not new in my kitchen. I love them. I love the most South Indian version of it called the Usali, where the grams are pressure cooked and then tempered with green chillies and mustard seeds and topped of with coconut and lemon juice.

But when eating the raw sprouts became more and more popular, I started to make less and less of the cooked version.

Ever since I read this post, I have been wanting to make this salad. Specially since I love Avocados and I am always trying new ways to use them.

I have changed the recipe a bit to make it more “desi”, by adding a lot of finely chopped green chillies.

1 cup green gram sprouts

1 small onion finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

1 ripe avocado, cut into small cubes

salt, lemon juice

4 finely minced green chillies

Toss all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix together and serve.

Wheat Flour Tortilla Wrap

Whoo hoo!!! Long weekend!!! Great weather. Going to NY to meet friends and family ūüôā

That is bringing me back memories

When we were living in Westchester county, NY, we frequently visited the mall and used to grab a bite at this Mexican joint called the DESERT MOON CAFE.

We always loved one and only one thing at this place, the HARVEST WRAP. It was the tortilla wrap, loaded with veggies, rice, beans and served with guacamole and chips on the side with hot sauce.

That was the first time I had ever tasted Mexican food, back in 2002. Down the lane I started making my own wraps at home and I am still continuing to do the same.

This time in Whole Foods I found the Wheat flour tortillas. The package said all the good stuff about it. Organic, non GMO, etc. So home I brought them and decided to make these juicy wraps.

It took 20 minutes for me to put together this wrap. I had store-bought ingredients on hand and few veggies to saute and in no time I was enjoying them as my dinner. But I did make my own guacamole. 

What we need:

Wheat flour tortillas

roasted red pepper Hummus

1 small can of black olives

Jalapeno hot sauce (TraderJoe’s brand)

1 Red bell pepper cut into long strips

1 Zucchini cut in to  long strips

!/2 a cup of sweet corn

Pickled  jalapeno from a bottle

guacamole

salt

ground black pepper

Lemon juice

Method:

In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. place the long strips of zucchini and red pepper and roast them until they become soft and a little charred. remove and keep aside

In another pan, warm the tortillas for just about a minute.

Next it is time to assemble

Place the tortilla on a plate.

Spread a tbsp of Hummus all over the tortilla

Place the veggie strips on top of the tortilla

Add the sweet corn and black olives

Add one or two pickled jalapeno

Next top a spoon of prepared guacamole.

drizzle some Hot sauce. Sprinkle salt and pepper. squeeze some lime juice.

Finally, roll the tortilla carefully. Cut it into two halves.

Enjoy while it is still warm.

Variations:

You can omit any ingredient if you please to do so. I love spicy. Hence there are jalapeno, hot sauce and pepper. Please modify the taste according to your palate.

Instead of Hummus, you can spread some sour cream.

Creamy Garlicky Dal

No dearies. There is no cream or milk involved in this recipe. And Yes, it does turn out to be creamy in texture and consistency due to the mashing involved.

A very simple, succulent dal to go with warm Basmati rice. I made this dal for our dear friends Yen and Cheewee. They were visiting us after a very long time. I remembered not to make anything too spicy or rough to the palate. They love Indian food, but their only complain was that, when they eat at restaurants, the dishes are overboard with masalas and pungent flavors which they are not comfortable with.

I was happy, that night, the Dal was a big hit and so was the light cumin flavored Basmati rice.

So I wanted to share this winner with you all too.

What we need:

1 cup of toor dal

1 cup yellow moong dal

2 green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

6 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp roasted coriander powder

1 tsp roasted cumin powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

2 red chillis

Finely chopped cilantro

lemon juice

2 tbsp oil

1 pinch asafoetida

Method:

1. Wash and soak the two dals in sufficient water for about an hour

2. In a pressure cooker add the dals, tsp of cumin, 2 green chillis and turmeric. you can use the same soaked water for cooking ( or fresh water too).Make sure the quantity of water is right for pressure cooking.

3. Pressure cook the dal until 3 whistles. Once done, allow the cooker to cool.

4. Once cooled, transfer the dal into a wide pot. With a masher, mash the dal a couple of times, until it reaches the creamy consistency. The green chillis will be soft and mashes easily.

5. Add 2 cups of water to the dal and on a medium flame bring the dal to a boil. Add salt

6.While the dal is boiling get the tempering ready.

Tempering:

In a small  non stick pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Once oil is hot, add asafoetida, red chillies and minced garlic. fry for a minute. next quickly add the cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder. fry for less than a minute. Watch out, lest it might burn.

Now add the whole mixture to the boiling dal. Mix well. Continue boiling for another 2 minutes. Add water if the dal starts getting too thick in the process.

turn off heat. Squeeze a wedge of lemon juice and garnish with cilantro(coriander)

Serve with rice.

p.s: I am a little ashamed of the wilted cilantro during the process of photo shoot ūüôā

Hot and Hot Hot and Sour Soup

Noticed that this soup is three times Hot?

Hot in terms of temperature
Hot in terms of Spiciness
And Hot because of the very name of the soup ūüôā

The sourness is from the white vinegar, which I have used in this recipe.
It is important that this soup needs to have the above attributes in order for it to really work.

You have to , as Emeril¬† used to say , ” Kick it up a Notch”. Since this soup is mainly a broth with some spices it is very easy for it to go bland and tasteless.

Ina¬† Garten¬†from Barefoot contessa said in one of her shows, be cautious while making soup with just broth as it can easily look¬† like dirty dish water if you don’t treat her right.

So , spice it up with bold flavors and no doubt you will be smacking your lips away and By the end of the last spoon your eyes will be filled with tears and nose all watery, you can feel the heat running down your throat and you will be feeling good.

I have decided to make peace with the grim cloudy weather. The Sun seems to have taken a sabbatical. It has been 2 weeks and it has been incessantly raining and it is cold.

How do I make peace with the weather and with myself who has been denying that it is cold outside?

By¬† preparing this ” Three times Hot soup”!!!

only three soups have made it to my favorites list so far. 1 The classic  tomato soup 2. Sweet corn soup and 3. The Hot and sour soup

My husband made me experiment with the Beetroot and Carrot soups which turned out pretty good too, but for me they do not provide comfort during such weather conditions

so here it is.  Its pretty simple  really. Browse around your refrigerator and couple of cabinets and you will have all the things needed for this soup.

This version is greatly inspired by the recipe of Chef Harpal¬†Singh¬†sokhi¬†from Sanjeev¬†Kapoor’sKhazana

What we need:

1/4 cup of shredded cabbage
1/4 cup of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of shredded cauliflower florets
1/4 cup of string beans very finely chopped
1/4  cup of shredded shitake mushrooms

5 cups of water

salt to taste
Soy sauce…( I picked up a nice , organic, low sodium soy sauce from Trader’s joe)
1tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp red chilli sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp finely minced Garlic.
1 tbsp sesame oil.
2 tbsp Corn starch mixed in water to form a thick paste

Method:

1. heat a thick bottomed wide pot and add the sesame oil.
2. once heated add ginger and garlic and saute for few minutes
3. add the shredded vegetables and  fry for a minute. Not more!
4. Now add 5 cups of water, reduce the heat to simmer and let the water boil.
5. Once the water starts boiling , its time to spice it up
6. Add salt, Soy sauce, chilli sauce, black pepper and vinegar and let it boil further for few minutes
7. lastly add the corn starch paste to the boiling soup. It thickens the soup. You can adjust the thickness by adding more or less water.

Sprinkle some fresh spring onions and serve right off the stove.

Note:
I am not using any broth here. Since I am using raw vegetables with fresh water the broth is made by itself while it is boiling. That way it has fresh and natural flavor of the vegetables and we will be consuming less salt/sodium

do not overcook the vegetables. They are already shredded. All they need is one quick stir.

Please be cautious while adding salt as the soy sauce may be too salty depending upon the type you are are using.

To kick it up a notch, add more chilli sauce, black pepper and vinegar.

Missal Masala Puri

Let me begin with a little introduction about Masala puri.

It belongs to the same family as sev puri, pani puri, chaat papdi, dahi puri etc. ¬†it belongs to the “chaat family”.

It is popular and widely available in Bangalore and Mysore and surely  in other parts of Karnataka, in various eat outs, restaurants, chaat centers and at those corner side street carts.
Dimly lit by a lantern and people of all ages thronging around by late evening, the subtle aroma of the peas boiling wafting through the air, the  street side cart at the Vidyaranyapuram circle in Mysore was my favorite hangout spot during my high school / college days. 
         The Masala puri and pani puri combination here was to die for and the number of plates and the number of visits to this place has been countless. I could just drown in the Pani and the Masala here! 
 Our whole family were regulars here. my brothers, parents, cousins everyone.
 When I was engaged to be married, the first place I took my then would -be hubby was here! We also invited the Masala puri guy for our wedding! 
The Masala puri, which is our subject matter here , is a plate of crushed chaat papads, topped with crushed boiled potatoes , finely chopped tomatoes and onions and the very key item, which is the sauce , comprising of boiled green peas / white peas.

It is this sauce , which makes the Masala puri  the star that it is! What goes into this sauce, I have no clue. In Some  places the sauce is green and some places it is red. I have even tried to get the recipe from one of the street vendors for the sauce. He gave me some random names of spices like Garam masala, ginger, chilli powder etc, but he did not reveal the procedure or the exact recipe. He frankly said that if he gives out the recipe he would lose customers.  Ofcourse, there is something as trade secret!

So the recipe remains a mystery even today . Also Masala puri is not available in any of the restaurants here in the Usa. Pani puri and other chaats , yes, but Not M P. This makes us miss and crave for masala  puri like crazy. My husband and I even tried to make the sauce in our very own way, but the end result was nothing like the one available back home. 

Disappointed, we had learnt to live without Masala puri here in the USA, until recently and luckily our dear friends N and S introduced us to this very new (new for us) and authentic Marathi dish called the Missal. 

Its a super hot and super spicy gravy of spices and moth beans to be eaten with chopped onions, tomatoes and spicy mixture with a combination of pav

The very first time I tasted this Missal  I was super excited because  1.It was extremely spicy 2. It was delicious and 3. it was so so close in taste to that of the gravy of the Masala puri.

The moment My husband I tasted the missal at our friend’s place, we exchanged looks , which were the looks of a great discovery , the looks of great achievement !¬†

And there we had it, the Missal Masala puri. Now, when ever we miss the Masala puri from back home, we have an immediate solution!
The Missal Masala puri.

What we need:

1 packet of Rasoi  magic Missal mix

1 finely chopped onion

1 finely chopped tomato
1 cup of boiled white peas

1 pack of chaat papad/ flat puris

1 small pack of very spicy mixture of your choice

salt, red chilli powder, lemon juice and cilantro finely chopped.

Method:

First make the Missal rassa according to the package instructions, which is very very simple.

Once the Missal is done you are steps away from enjoying the masala puri…ssslurp….

 1.In a  wide bowl, crush about 6 flat puris
2. Pour on top of the flat puris, the prepared missal gravy
3. top with finely chopped onions, boiled white peas and  tomatoes
4. Top it off  with the very spicy Indian mixture

Just before serving, sprinkle some salt, chilli powder and garnish with Cilantro.

It is so nostalgic. Brings back old memories, the place, the teen years, the laughs, the giggles…….drift away ¬†back in time…..
Notes:
When you cook according to package instructions the sauce turns out very watery. So keep boiling for a few more extra minutes to reduce the water content
OR you can mash some boiled peas to thicken the sauce.
Variations:
If you have regular bread, its a great accompaniment with the sauce.
Add Onions and tomatoes as per your taste.

Spicy Gaucamole with Cumin

 

 

A great dip for your chip or a great spread on your bread.

Super simple and super delicious, yours truly Gaucamole!

What we need:

2 very ripe Avocados

1 onion very finely chopped

2 ripe tomatoes very finely chopped

salt

ground black pepper

1 tsp of red chilli sauce

roasted and ground cumin powder

Lemon juice

Finely chopped cilantro for garnish

minced garlic(optional)

Method:

Remove the seed and separate the ripe avocado flesh and cut them into very small pieces.

Now, in a large bowl combine avocado and the rest of the above ingredients. squeeze some lemon juice and add some finely chopped cilantro. With a large spoon or a muddler mix/muddle all of the ingredients until it forms a nice smooth and creamy paste.

Enjoy!