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 🙂

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.

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 🙂

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.

Navratna Pulav

Nav- Nine, Ratna- gemstones. That is what it means. nav ratna – nine gemstones. Except we are not cooking with gemstones here. But the nine important ingredients that come together in this recipe are nothing less than gem stones, that makes this dish rich aromatic and flavorful .

There was a time, when I was not web savvy, I used to jot down recipes the moment I heard it from some one or watched it on TV. I used to just grab a notebook lying on the coffee table and start quickly jotting down the recipe. The recipes would find spaces in those last pages of the book or in the corner of an already filled up page or sometimes I even used to rip a tiny bit of paper and used to cram it with words almost illegible.

It was the excitement of finding a new recipe or the fear that if I miss it at that moment I would never learn that recipe ever. Those days were fun when I wanted to learn to cook and was all ears when my friends or family  talked about the dish.

Now times have changed so much that if I want to know about a recipe I know I will get it for sure, on the world-wide web. Well, most of the times.

This pulav  is one such recipe which I found  on the back pages of an old notebook when I was doing some closet cleaning. It was funny to see how I had almost squeezed the writing on the edge of the paper that I had to almost guess what those last ingredients are.

But don’t fear, now that I am quite a seasoned cook, I am confident about what I put in the dish and it is all safe.

Now, I am not exactly sure, to which place or culture this dish is indigenous to. I am guessing it is a Kashmiri cuisine. But please correct me if I am wrong about that.

Typically, this dish is rich with ghee, nuts like Pista, almonds and raisins for garnish. and also the dish is typically a combination of 9  fruits, vegetables and nuts. That is what makes it Navratna in a true sense.But I am forgoing all of that, reason simply  being I did not have those ingredients on hand and also I don’t like mixing sweet and spice together.

Oh Bummer, eh?

Introducing the Nav-ratnas:

Fresh grated Coconut- 1 cup

Cashewnut- A handful soaked in water

Poppy seeds- 1 tbsp soaked in water along with cashews

Cinnamon 1 stick

Star anise -1

Cloves- 3

Cardamom pods- 2

Saffron- I generous pinch soaked in warm water/milk

Yogurt- 1 cup

Others:

2 cups of Basmati rice, cooked and cooled for the grains to separate.

1 red onion grated

1 tomato pureed

1 cup of parboiled mixed vegetables( Cauliflower, beans, carrots peas)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 tbsp oil

salt to taste

Method:

For Grinding: Grind in to a smooth paste, coconut ,cashews and poppy seeds. ( the soaking of cashew and poppy seeds aids in smooth fine grinding)

In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil. To that add Cinnamon , cardamom, star anise, cloves and fry for about 30 seconds until flavors pop out.Add ginger-garlic paste and fry until raw smell is gone.

work on medium heat through out.

Next add grated onion and fry for about 2 minutes until the rawness goes away and onion paste separates from oil.

Next, add the tomato puree and fry for about a minute until the paste cooks and separate from oil.

Next add the ground coconut paste and mix well . Let it cook for about a minute.

Next, add the parboiled vegetables and mix well for about a minute.

Add salt and chilli powder and mix well.

Finally add yogurt  and let the whole mixture cook for another 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat.

Mixing:

In another wide pan spread the cooled rice .add the soaked saffron all over the rice. the beautiful warm orange color starts spreading.  Pour the spicy vegetable mixture on top of the rice. I like to work with my hands at this point. Mix with your hands thoroughly the rice and vegetables and the gravy altogether, so that the mixture evenly coats all of the rice.

Add salt if needed. If the dish is dry, mix in some olive oil on top. Cover the pan with aluminium foil.

Now turn on the heat to  medium low. Keep the pan on heat for about 10 minutes and let the whole dish cook through.

Serve warm with some raitha on the side.

Chickpea salad with Yogurt dressing

phew!!! Finally!!! I put my baby down for a nap and my first one went and snuggled next to her Appa. My back hurts and my feet aches. Its Saturday afternoon 2 pm. and I still have a day and a half to get over with the weekend.

With two little cubs in the house it is a jungle out here 🙂 At first, I thought I too will take a nap next to my baby, then I realized I have one more child to attend to. My sweet little blog. A newborn.

Ever since I started to blog, it seems like a big responsibility. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that blogging can take so much of my time ,thinking and attention. Blogging needs discipline and organizing. Specially, if there is food involved. On one hand I have all the food pictures sitting in the folder, but no content related to it. And on the other hand I have drafted the content of a few posts, but there are no appropriate pictures. Yesterday, I drafted out a beautiful post for my Spicy yogurt rice with Dijon Mustard and in just one shot my cruiser started banging on the keyboard of my laptop and my post got deleted 😦

I screamed, noooo. I just wanted to dive into my computer screen and save my post, but alas..

Please dear YOU ALL,come back for the recipe again.

But, I love this new child of mine. It is very very comforting, relaxing and peaceful when I am writing. It just reflects me and my beautiful life . It is a companion, a friend, a child, a joy. Most importantly this blog reaches out to YOU. It is FOR YOU. I have plans, I have dreams about this blog. I want to make sense with this blog. I will just hope for it to happen, one day.

Now are you ready for the recipe?

I made this salad as a side to go with rice. My husband is a kind of guy who always wants something on the side for his meal. So, it was for him.

This salad is so simple and so summery. It iseasy to put together specially if you already have some cooked chick peas.

Waht we need:

1 cup of cooked chick peas/ canned chick peas

1 tomato finely chopped

1 small onion finely chopped

1 cup of finely chopped cucumber

finely chopped cilantro

For the dressing:

1 cup of lowfat yogurt

1tsp roasted cumin powder

A pinch of chilli powder

1 tsp Chaat masala

salt

A pinch of sugar

Method:

First in a bowl wisk together all the dressing ingredients and keep it aside. The dressing ahs to be creamy. So beat the yogurt well.

Next, In another bowl put all the chopped vegetables together with the chick peas. As you can see, I have used this plastic container.

Just pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and mix well. serve chilled or immediately.

Hey, my daugther loved it. Oh and so did my hub 🙂