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!