Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kanda Bhaji/Khekda Bhaji !! (Spicy Onion Fritters)

Ingredients :-    

2 Big Red Onions
1 Tsp Chilli powder
1/2 Tsp Haldi (Turmeric Pwd)
5-6 Green chillies (finely chopped)
1-1/2 Cups of Besan (Gram Flour)
1-2 Tsp of Tandalachi Pithee (Rice Flour) *helps in making the Bhaji crunchy*
1 Tsp of Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
1 Tsp finely chopped fresh corainder leaves (fresh Cilantro)
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Serves 4-5 people

Method :-

1. Thinly slice red onions.
2. Add finely chopped green chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd,besan (gram flour), tandalachi pithee (rice flour) and coriander leaves.
3. Add salt to taste and mix well to make batter.
4. 1-2 tsp of water(if at all needed).
5. To make sure the oil is hot enough for frying, take a small portion of the mix at a time and drop it in hot oil. The color of Bhaji that we are looking for here is without a doubt "golden brown".
6. Deep fry the remaining batter in small sized Bhaji until golden brown and drain excess oil-using paper towel.
7. Tadaa !! Your "Kanda Bhaji" is now ready to be served.

* Do not forget to invite your Friends over for that Garama Garam Chaha (Hot Cup Of Cardamom Flavored Tea ) & Kanda Bhaji (Spicy Onion Fritters ) !It's so Worth It ! Trust me on this, the above combination is the most lethal combination for a rainy evening !

Muttonache Kalwan (Mutton (Goat meat )Curry)


 1/2 Lbs Mutton (Goat meat From Halal Market)
1/2 Thinly Sliced Onion 
1 Tomato Chopped

4-5 Green chillies ( vertically slit)
3-4 Tsp of Oil 

1/2 - 1 tsp of Ginger-garlic paste(for marination)
1 tsp of Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp of Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
a pinch of Nutmeg Powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
1 Cup of plain yogurt(use for marination)
For garnishing Mint leaves or Coriander leaves

Serves 2 people


1. Marinate the mutton pieces with ginger garlic paste and yogurt, mix it well and keep it aside.
2. Heat 3-4 tsp of oil in a Pressure Cooker/ Pressure Pan, then  sauté onions till  soft and  

    translucent .
3. Add green chillies and saute for about 30 sec and then add tomatoes, red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala, nutmeg and cinnamon powder and sauté them all together for about 4-5 minutes .
4. Add the mixture from the bowl (mentioned above).
5. Add salt to taste and sauté for about 4-5 minutes on low to medium flame or till very little oil separates.
6. Add a cup of water and cover the lid and pressure cook.
7. Pressure cook until the whistle goes off 5-6 times. After that remove from heat and keep it aside. Empty the Mutton Gravy in a Serving Bowl & Garnish it with mint leaves or coriander leaves.
8. To be served with Chapati/Roti/Naan/Boiled Rice. On the side Pearl onions and lime wedges taste divine with this dish.
* While using the Pressure Cooker/ Pressure Pan - If the mutton is very tender, 4-5 whistles should do, on other occasions (after thawing etc.) averaging about 7/8  whistles mostly should work. If its undercooked, you can cover the pressure cooker again and let it cook more. But make  sure not to overcook the meat. If this whole pressure cooker thing seems tricky, you can cook the mutton regularly in a pan too. It will just take more time (approx. 2 hours) to cook!

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Beginnings !!

Could literally hear "push push push" yesterday before starting my blog - was so nervous initially, but with the help of my loved ones, my friends, my well wishers who so badly wanted me to start writing on my recipes...made it all worth it! Yes encouragement & best wishes definitely do get the best out of you ! 
Was nearly done with excuses, so Thank you all for being motivating and for giving me all that support & taking the initiative to make me believe that I could do it - I know it's just about starting a BLOG (Duh) but still-yeah means a lot to me! 
Using a Metaphor here-Not a Mother as yet so haven't experienced what it is like being there in the labor room where your loved ones, your well wishers are excited & happy for you & your new beginnings ...yes for now my Blog is my Baby :) Now you know why I could literally hear "Push Push Push" :-) ! 
Having said that, I am now looking fwd to nurturing my blog lovingly, gently & steadily! I would love to thank you all for being there for me !  Thank you for that tiny little PUSH! Promise you guys, won't let you down. 
I also do believe that I can bring out the best of me on my blogs, my thought process, my ideas, my experiences which would be of help to anybody and everybody out here in some way or the other- just the way My Mom brought out the best of me with her nurturing, unconditional love and simplicity! It's  because of her that I am what I am today-proud to be a part of a beautiful soul ! It's been a while now that I've been longing to tell her how much  I've missed you her- This is for you Mama, "how I wish you were here with me & could read this, it's been almost 12 yrs now that I've been wishing upon all the stars!"

Chaha !! (Cardamom Flavored Tea)

"Amid, the fast pace of a Modern City (Ahem Ahem), it is still possible to stop for a leisurely afternoon Garama Garam Chaai, an enduring tradition featuring freshly fried Kanda Bhaji and Vada Pav !! "

As an ardent Punekar & a true Maharashtrian, whose not very good when it comes to Marathi-don't blame me:( blame it on the Hindi Film Industry for making and releasing good movies in the 80's. Then as a child I  grew up watching Hindi movies-also was & still am a Hindi film music buff. Was never able to spare time for Marathi movies- well and back then, all I remember watching are  Nilu Phule movies & oh boy Nilu Phule scared the hell out of us! What a fabulous actor he is- that is now what I understand but earlier in our childhood days his accent & his roles were totally beyond us! BUT, in today's day and age- I agree that the Marathi Film Industry has gotten so much better! I do not hesitate to say this Today that I love watching Marathi movies, serials etc etc!
Okay!! Now people I do have a tendency of getting distracted ...yup that too way too easily :). Did not even want to get started on about all this , all I wanted to share was that, Me coming from a Tea Town (that is how Pune is known to everybody),an ardent Punekar  & a true Maharashtrian, our day begins with a " Garama Garam Chaha cha Cup "(A Hot Cuppa Chai) & a Newspaper to read on !
 As I recall now ,outside our homes there were most likely two types of tea for the Punekars to gust upon – the very first was AMRUTTULYA where Amrut means Nectar & Tulya means in comparison to, so both put together means A Drink to sip on which is Comparable to Nectar!! WOW that is something Divine to have every morning while on your way to College/Work/just about anytime & anywhere as we had one at every nook & corner of Pune.
The second best was the peerless IRANI CHAI which was the most rejuvenating beverage, the steaming rich tea brew & hot milk in separate containers & then mixed in just about in the right proportion. Ohh, that makes an inimitable Irani Chai!!! This Irani Chai is mostly served with very fresh & soft Bun-Maska - boy place it on your tongue & you are on your trip to 7th Heaven! This ones served by the numerous Irani Restaurants all over Pune city & camp!
Okay so getting back to where I started :) Promise this won't happen too often, a lil' nervous cuz it's my first blog...and Chaha is all what I wanted to start my blog with. My husband being so supportive went ahead & created this one for me, posted my first recipe for me & got me started! Thank you Parth!! won't let you down :) So, I just want to make sure that I get this right and start my day and yours of course with a " Garama Garam Chaha cha Cup "  Following is the Recipe for " Ek Cutting " A Cuppa Hot Chai !!!

Ingredients:- (For Elaichi Chai)
1/2 Cup Water
3-4 tsp Waghbakri Tea Powder/Brooke Bond /Society Tea
4-5 tsp of Sugar
a pinch of Cardamom (Elaichi)pwd
1 of Cup whole milk

Ingredients:- (For Masala Chai)
a pinch of green Cardamom pwd
1/2 inch of fresh ginger grated
1-2 big size whole black pepper
1/8 to 1/6 cinnamon stick

The Ratio used for making this tea is 2:1 (Milk:Water)

1.Mix both milk and water & bring it to boil-(on low to medium flame)

2.Add Sugar and Tea Powder (you can get the above mentioned tea powder in any Indian Grocery Stores)
3.For Elaichi Chai simply add a pinch of elaichi pwd & for Masala Chai crush the igredients mentioned above for Masala Chai & add them to the boiling mixture.
4.Tadaa your "Garama Garam Cuppa Chai" is Ready to be Served !

* Don't be in a hurry to cut on time while making Chai, be generous with time when it comes to making the Best Chai ! At the end of it, it is the time best spent :)
* On a rainy day nothing can beat the lethal combination of Kanda Bhaji & Garama Garam Chaha ! What's next - Bingo ! My recipe for Kanda Bhaji !


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paalak Paneer (Spinach Curry with Indian Cheese )

Preparation Time :- 15 mins & 
Cooking Time :- 30-40 mins

2-3tbsp of Vegetable oil
Whole Garam Masala (1-2 Bay leaf, 1 Small stick of cinnamon, 2-3 Cloves, 3-4 Black Peppercorns, 2-3 Green Cardamoms )
1 Medium sized red onion, peeled & minced
2 1/2 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1/4 Cup tomato puree(fresh or canned)
2-4 Green chillies minced/chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp Garam masala pwd
1/2 tsp Cumin pwd
1/2 tsp Coriander pwd
1/4 tsp Red chilli pwd (optional)
Salt-to taste
1 (16-ounce) Package Spinach (Blanched & pureed)
1 Cup Paneer Cubes fried (Indian Cheese)
1 tbsp Heavy cream, for garnish

Method :-
1. Blanch the spinach in a big vessel of boiling water.
2. Drain, wash with cold water & blend into a smooth puree.
3. Cut the paneer into small pieces and deep fry in hot oil until golden brown
4. Remove & drain on a tissue/absorbent paper. Keep aside.
5. Heat the oil in a pan, add the whole garam masala ,then fry the minced red onions till they turn translucent.
6. Add the ginger-garlic paste, minced/chopped green chillies,red chilli pwd (optional),turmeric pwd, then fry for some (1-2 mins) time.
7. Add the tomato puree & salt, fry stirring continuously till the mixture leaves oil around.
8. Add the spinach puree, garam masala, 1 cup of water & bring to boil.
9. Add the fried paneer cubes towards the end & keep it on simmer
10.Garnish with heavy cream & Serve hot.

Tandoori Chicken !!

4 Drumsticks,
2-3 tsp of Plain Yogurt
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Red Chilli Pwd
1/2tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
Kasoori Methi very little(crushed/pwd)(Optional)
Orange Color (Optional)
Any Tandoori Masala 

First Marination-
Slit the drumsticks deep, marinate/rub the drumsticks with salt, red chili powder, lemon juice & ginger garlic paste. Keep it aside for 30 mins.

Second Marination-
Add 2-3 tsp of curd to Tandoori Masala, add the color, add garam masala powder & kasoori methi.
Pour this mixture to our 1st marination. Rub the masala to the drumsticks; make sure you marinate well enough. 
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Preheat Oven @ 350-400 F.
Place the drumsticks and Make sure the chicken is cooked through by slipping a knife into the meat!!