Nawabi Guchhi (Button mushroom in cashew nut gravy – Oil free)

Had been craving for Rich Nawabi Cuisine for the last few days, but was avoiding it thinking about the butter and cream used in the gravy to make it rich.  Simultaniously, my mind was working hard to find a way to solve this dilemma. Finally, inspired by the OIL FREE Event going on a food group in Facebook, I decided to give try to the oil free version of nawabi dish – Nawabi Guchhi.  I cooked and it came out better than expected. Totally oil free!!! The best part is the richness of the gravy was still intact and was full of flavours.

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Serving – 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups  Mushrooms – cut into halves
1/2 cup frozen Peas
2 tbsp Coriander leaves – chopped
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
Salt to taste

For the Nawabi paste

2 medium sized Onion – chopped
1 inch Ginger piece- minced
1/4 cup Cashew nut paste
1/2 tsp Black cumin( shahi zeera)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 Green chilli

METHOD

1. Heat some water in a pan and boil onions and ginger in it for about 10 min. drain the water.

2. Combine and make a fine paste of all the ingredients in a grinder.

3. Heat a pan and to it add the grinder nawabi paste. Fry it until it turns to a rich golden colour, sprinkle a little water now and then to prevent burning.

4. Add garam masala and chilli powder. Stir for few seconds.

5. Add 1/2 cup water and let it come to a boil. Add mushroom and peas. Stir for 4-5 min on a low flame

6. Add 1 cup water and 1 tbsp coriander leaves. Cook covered on low flame, till the mushrooms are done.

7. Remove from fire when the mushrooms are done and gravy is slightly thick.

8. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan, parantha  or rice.

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Guest Post – Paan Bahaar (Betel leaf Raita/Yogurt)

Poojan and I met in the virtual world of Facebook on a food group “Chef at Large”, about 3 months ago. Very soon we started interacting and sharing our love for food. As we got to know each other well, we realized we had so much in common, apart from the love for food. He is a kind soul, humble, polite and super talented. I am amazed to see so much of creativity in him! He loves to cook but is not into blogging. so, I thought of sharing one of his lip-smacking and decent recipe with you all🙂


But before I get to the recipe, here is something about him in his own words.

I am basically from Gujarat, and being a true Gujarati, I am a super foodie, who likes to eat, cook, present and enjoy food in any veg form, as I am a vegetarian. I am having a flair of preparing food since childhood and try to make one or more things in kitchen whenever I get a chance, and sometimes I grab opportunity to do so.

Nicely prepared, neatly presented, colourful dishes always attract me , and I always dig into it to get into detailing. I like to see the food preparations always, and I like to be there and see the total ongoing processes of the fabulous recipes. I like to read and appreciate nicely prepared food stuff always.

I believe having the sixth sense of understanding the wide range of spices, grains, flours and preparation of exquisite and mouth watering delicacies, is the gift of Almighty to the very selected personalities , who conquer the hearts of people, around the world, by selecting and presenting heavenly food to the mankind. And I also believe, a pure heart, a sweet smile and a pinch of love added in the ingredients, at the time of cooking, always helps, making fabulous and out of the world kind dishes, always.


Now comes the recipe!

Ingredients :
Plain whole milk yogurt– 2 Cups
Betel Leaves – 6 to 8
Powdered sugar – 2 tbsp
Gulkand – 1 tbsp
Paan Masala – Sweetened 1 tbsp (tutty fruity, sweet finely crushed betel nuts, sweet chutney, fennel seeds, dried sweetened dates, gulkand)
Roasted Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1/2 tsp
Green Pista Essence – 2/3 drops

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Method :
1. Take 2 cups of the plain yogurt, fresh and not sour, in a bowl.
2. Gently whisk it and bring it to even and thick consistency, there should be no lumps.
3. Finely chop 4 to 5 betel leaves, and keep rest for decoration.
4. Add chopped leaves to the yogurt, and mix gently.
5. Add rest of all the ingredients in curd and mix well, slowly.
6. Take a serving bowl. Transfer the mix in serving bowl, and decorate with chopped betel leaves and a small quantity of sweet paan masala on top.
7. Keep in a fridge, and serve chilled at the time of lunch or dinner.

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Note

  • A couple of drops of essence can be added for colour as well as fragrance.
  • Amount of sugar level can be increased as per required sweetness and taste.
  • I have avoided, but roasted unsalted pistachios can be added in raita, to make it crunchy n nutty. .

Orange Cake with Almond meal

My cousin recently gifted me a cake book “Traditional Family Cakes”. From the time, I had the book in my hands I had been trying to find sometime out of my busy schedule to try out the recipes. And, today I finally could save sometime for myself. Now, came the toughest question “Which cake should I try first??”. After going through the index I opted to go for Orange Cake- A simple, decent and impressive cake that makes a great dessert. I followed the recipe word by word, except for the glazing part and the cake came out nice and soft.

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Here is the recipe (as given in the book) for you all to try!

INGREDIENTS:

2 small oranges
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup superfine sugar (you can bring the regular sugar in a mixer)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp almond meal
3 tbsp light cream

Glaze/Topping
8 tbsp orange juice (The original recipe mentioned using 6 tbsp but i used 8 tbsp)
2 tbsp superfine sugar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease and line a cake pan. (I used bundt cake pan to make it)

2. Pare the zest from the oranges and chop it finely. In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and orange zest until creamy and fluffy.

3. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the above mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition. Gently fold in the flour, almond meal, and light cream. Pour the batter into the cake pan.

4. Bake it for 55-60 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Put the orange juice into a small saucepan along with sugar. Bring to boil. 

6. Drizzle the glaze over the cake until it has been absorbed.

7. Cool before serving.

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Enjoy!

Note: You can also use clementines or tangerines instead of oranges.

Baked Onion Fritters in Yogurt and Chickpea flour Gravy (Punjabi Kadhi)

Kadhi is a North Indian dish, the gravy of which is made from sour curd and chickpea flour. The chickpea flour along with turmeric powder gives it a brilliant golden yellow colour, while yogurt add to its creamy texture.  Every state in India have their own variations of this dish giving it a unique touch. My mum use to cook it regularly and we all loved the typical U.P. style kadhi with plain chickpea flour fritters. After, I got married and moved to Chandigarh, I learned a new spicy version of Kadhi – Punjabi Kadhi. Delectable, simple and decent version with spices to tickle the taste buds!

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No matter, how much I love eating kadhi I always tried to avoid cooking it on a regular basis because of the amount of oil used up during frying. And, one fine day I decided to try baking the fritters, after getting inspiration from my friend Raj baked onion fritters post. The baked fritters came out totally crispy and I loved the intact flavours of the spices. Trust me, this was the best kadhi I ever had in my life. Totally guilt free indulgence!

Do try out this highly pleasing, sinfully spicy version!

Ingredients:

For the Pakoras

1 cup Chickpea flour
1 tbsp Carom seeds
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 Small onion, sliced
Salt to taste
Water to make batter

Method

Preheat the oven at 400 degree F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take a bowl and combine all the ingredients mentioned above. Gradually add water and mix until you get the right consistency of the batter. It should be a little think and not runny.

With the help of a spoon pour out the batter on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between them.

Bake the fritters in the oven for around 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remember to flip the fritters after 15 min of baking to make sure they are cooked on both the sides. The fritters are ready for the kadhi!

For the Kadhi

1 1/2 cup Plain whole milk yogurt, slightly sour
1/2 cup Chickpea flour
5-6 Curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp crushed dried fenugreek leaves (OPTIONAL)
1 tbsp oil (better if you have mustard oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of Aesofatida
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
2 Red chillies
Salt to taste

Method

Take a bowl and to it add besan and yogurt. Whisk it properly to form a smooth batter. Take care to make the batter lump free. Now add turmeric powder, dried fenugreek leaves, salt and whisk it once more.

Heat oil in a non-sticke heavy bottom pan/pot.  Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, ginger, curry leaves and whole red chillies.

Now, slowly pour the chickpea-yogurt mixture into the pan and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture come to a boil.
As soon as it comes to a boil, lower down the heat and let it cook for about 25-30 min. The gravy will gradually thicken. Now, add in the fritters and cook for another 5-10 min.

The kadhi is ready to serve. Enjoy with plain rice or chapati!

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Red Apple and Beetroot Minty Raita (A cold yogurt accompaniment)

Indian food is quite spicy and so yogurt is served to cut down the spiciness. Instead of serving plain yogurt, everyone prefers to serve Raita- a cold yogurt accompaniment, to counteract the spice in the food. There are so many variations in Raita,and nobody can ever run short of ideas to present it in a new avatar, to please friends and family. The fun part is its easy to make and can also be used as dips for snacks🙂❤

Today, I am sharing one absolutely delectable and colourful Raita- Red Apple and Beetroot Minty Raita!

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Ingredients

2 cups plain whole-milk Yogurt ( I used Natural yogurt)
1 small Beetroot (grated)
1/4 cup Mint (chopped)
1 small Red apple (Thinly sliced)

For the tempering –
1 tablespoon Mustard oil
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
2 Green chillies (Slit horizontally into half)
Black salt to taste
A pinch of Asafoetida

Preparation

Whisk yogurt and to it add grated beetroot, chopped mint and sliced apples. Season it with black salt. (You may add a little water if the yogurt is too thick. Take care not to make it watery)

For the tempering heat mustard oil in a pan. Add Asafoetida, green chillies, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Take care not to burn it. Take it off the heat and pour it over the prepared yogurt mix. The raita is ready!!

Keep it in the refrigerator and serve cold!

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Enjoy!

 

Baked Indian Dumpling (Gujia) with Semolina, Condensed milk, Coconut and Nuts Filling

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Ohhh…these beautiful dumplings filled with sweet filling makes me feel so nostalgic! My mum use to make so many of these little devils on Holi and Hartalika Teej. She has magic in her hands! No matter how many times I make them its impossible to get the very same taste. It’s the magic of her hands that makes gujias even more delicious🙂

Gujia is a North Indian delicacy, particularly Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The filling and form of gujias vary from region to region. In the Northern parts of India (Where I come from🙂 ), the filling is usually made with sweetened khoya, coconut and dry fruits.

On the occasion of Hartalika Teej this year, I decided to make it. I wanted to go for the filling that my mum use to make, but I soon realized I was running out of Khoya😦 . I looked for the option of making Instant Khoya, but soon I found that I was running out of Milk powder too.

“Now what???” I asked myself

I started searching for other option on Google and came across an interesting filling made with condensed milk. I had brought few cans of condensed milk the day before and it got me all excited to give it a try.

This was the most delicious gujias I have ever had in my life, after my mum’s. Crisp from outside, soft and juicy from inside, Just the way it was meant to be! Totally in love with the baked version❤❤

Won’t keep you waiting for the recipe any longer. So lets start!!

 INGREDIENTS

For the covering:

1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
4 tbsp Oil
1/4 cup Water or as required

Instructions:

Take the flour in a bowl and add oil to it. Rub oil into the flour with soft hands until it resemble bread crumb like texture.  Gradually add water and mix it  to form a stiff dough. Knead the dough till pliable. Keep aside covered for half an hour.

INGREDIENTS

For the Filling

1/2 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (If you don’t have sweetened condensed milk you can also add 1/2 cup sugar)
1/4 cup Semolina
1/4 cup grated Coconut
1/4 cup Almonds, Cashewnuts (chopped) + raisin
1/2 tbsp Green Cardamom Powder (Grind it fresh if you can)
1 tsp oil

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Add semolina and roast it on slow heat till it changes colour. Mix in all the other ingredients for the filling.

Cook on slow flame, stirring occasionally, till the mixture is dry. ( Stirring is very important or else the mixture will stick to the bottom of the pan).

Divide the prepared dough into about 20 balls.

Roll each ball into a thin flat round. If you have the mold, place the rolled dough onto the mold, covering it. Place a teaspoon of the filling onto the rolled dough. Apply little water on the edges to seal it and fold it into semicircle. Close the mild tightly.

Alternatively, take the rolled dough in your palm and put about 1 tablespoons of the filling mixture in the center and fold it into a semi-circle. Now press the edges together with your fingers or a fork. Make sure the edges are completely sealed

Bake them in a preheated oven at 400 deg F by placing on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper, for about 25 min. Tun them over after 25 min to cook on both the sides. You can Bake for around 25 minutes and then broil them for one minutes so that they get a nice golden brown colour.

Serve hot or cold. You can also drizzle over some condensed milk or chocolate sauce while serving.

Enjoy!

Baked Schezwan Chilli Potato

Baked Schezwan Chilli Potato….Doesn’t that fill you with excitement???

I always had those fried chilli potato so far in my life. But now, I guess I am done!!  I am really sick of all the fried version of dishes. To avoid this, lately I have been trying to bake everything possible just to make it healthy. I was a bit hesitant of trying the baked version of Schezwan Chilli potatoes, but when I took my first bit it tasted heavenly. Perfect blend of sauces gave a spicy, sweet and tangy flavour making it lip-smacking. Guilt free indulgence, as everyone says🙂

Happy me, Happy family and no compromise in health!

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This recipe is an adapted version of Sanjeev Kapoor.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Baked Potato Wedges:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Rice flour (optional) (Gives an extra crunch to the baked potatoes)
2 medium sized potatoes
2 tbsp cornflour
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil (if you don’t have sesame oil you can use regular oil)

Instructions:

Cut the potatoes into wedges.
Keep the potatoes in cold water for 30 mins. Drain well.
Take a bowl and add all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, oil,  salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add a little water to form a paste.
Drain the potatoes and coat them well with the paste.
Arrange the dated wedges in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake at 350° for around 45 minutes or until crisp from outside and tender/cooked from within. Make sure to turn the potatoes once after 25 minutes to ensure they are done on both the sides.

For the Schezwan Chilli Sauce:

Ingredients:

10 to 12 dry red chillies (soaked in water for an hour)
6 to 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch ginger piece, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp red chilli sauce (store bought)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
Salt to taste
Water

Instruction:

Grind the soaked red chillies into fine paste by adding little water.
Heat oil in a pan, add chopped ginger and garlic  to it. Stir and cook for a minute.
Add chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the chilli paste, vinegar and keep cooking for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to keep stirring.
Add ready made red chilli sauce, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, black pepper powder  and salt
Cook till oil seperates.
Cool it down and it can be stored in the fridge for few months.

 For the Sauce:

Ingredients:

1 medioun Onion, sliced
5-6  Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Schzewan Chilli Sauce
2 tsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Tomato ketchup (optional)
1/2 tsp Sugar
4-5 Spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Vinegar
Black Pepper Powder to taste
Water as required
1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Cornstarch
1t tbsp Sesame seeds
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add in the chopped onions and sauté for few seconds.
Add garlic and saute well.
Now add Schezwan chilli sauce and little water. Mix well.
Add soy sauce, tomato ketchup, sugar and salt. Stir and mix well.
Take 1 tbsp cornstarch and mix it in little water to form a paste. Pour this mixture into the sauce prepared. Mix and the sauce will start to thicken. (If its too thick then you can a little water)
Add the baked potato wedges into the pan and mix well so that each of them get nicely coated with the sauce.
Add the vinegar, spring onions and roasted sesame seeds and mix well.
Serve it hot with fried rice, noodles or even chapati.

Note: Always make it when you are ready to eat or else the wedges will turn soggy.

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Enjoy!!