Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kamaldandi/bhe ki sabji -Lotus root crisps

Kamaldandi(Lotus root) is also called 'bhe' in north india. Usually it is cooked after boiling it with a curry. But it can also be cooked as a sookhi bhaji and it tastes great with roti. I was lookin for lotus root here in US as i love it but couldn't find it. My good friend Namrata told me to look for it in the Vietanamese market and there i found it!! I was so excited :) thanks Namrata! For the people who are confused , yes this a vegetarian dish...Now this is my mom's recipe and its her favorite too. So here's to you mom :)


4-5 lotus roots/Kamaldandi/bhe, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tomato , chopped
1 green chili, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 inch ginger root grated
salt to taste


1) Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil and add sliced kamaldandi and potatoes. Pan fry them until they become golden brown. Place them on a paper towel so that excess oil gets soaked.

2) Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan and add onions, green chilis and ginger. Let the onions fry until they become golden brown.

3) Add chopped tomatoes and stir for 2 mins. Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. Stir for a few seconds.

4) Add cooked bhe and potatoes to the masala. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about 10 mins on low flame.

5) Serve hot with roti.

Serves: 2-3

Friday, August 22, 2008

Palak pulao

Palak pulao is something that you can make with the leftover spinach. This is a great way to feed greens to people who do not like them. i discovered this dish a few days back when i was bored with the usual sabji-roti and wanted to make a different kind of rice dish ;) I experimented and it turned out pretty well. Here's the recipe.


1/2 bunch spinach, chopped
1C basmati rice
1/2 onion, sliced
1 potato, chopped
2-3 cloves
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp jeera
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder (optional)
1 tbsp oil or ghee
2 tbsp yogurt
salt to taste


1) In a pressure cooker or a deep pot, add oil and let it heat. After it is hot, add jeera , cloves and bay leaves.

2) When jeera starts to splutter add onions and potatoes. Saute them for about 5 mins. Add spinach and saute for 2 mins.

3) Add yogurt, rice, garama masala, coriander powder, salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Mix well.

4) Add water, double the quantity of rice and cover the rice with a lid. Let it cook on medium high until a whistle comes. Let the steam come out on its own.

5) If cooking in a pot, add water, 3 times that of rice. and let it cook on medium low until all the water evaporates.

6) Serve hot with raita and pickle.

Serves: 2

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lauki ke kofte

Lauki ke kofte is simply bottle gourd dumplings in a curry. This is a very tasty way of having lauki/ghiya for the people who do not like it. As for me, i love it and so any lauki dish is a treat for me ! It may sound strange but it's true:-) These dumplings can also be used as an appetizer and give a similar effect as pakoras. I learnt this recipe from my mom who is a great cook for the 100th time ;-) and all her recipes can be followed blingfoldedly and they are garunteed to turn out amazing! Here's the recipe.


For kofte:
1C grated bottle gourd/lauki
3 tbsp gram flour(besan)
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tsp chili powder
1 green chili deseeded, chopped
1 tsp garam masala
1C vegetable oil
salt to taste

For curry:
1 tomato
1/2 onion
2 green chilis
1 clove of garlic
1/2 inch ginger root, peeled
handful of cilantro
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder (optional)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2C milk
salt to taste Method:

Preparing koftas:

1) In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients of kofta except oil and mix well so that no lumps are formed. The consistency should be thicker than pakora batter. If you feel that the batter is watery, add more besan until the right consistency is reached.

2) In a frying pan, heat oil, drop in little dumplings of the batter into oil. Leave space between them. Let them cook until a dark brown color is reached. Flip them to make both the sides brown. Place them into paper towel to remove excess oil.

Preparing curry:

1) In a grinder, add tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic, ginger and green chilis and grind them to form a paste.

2) In a pan, heat oil and pour in the paste. Let it cook until it starts to leave oil.

3) Then add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and cook for a few seconds. Add milk and 1/2C water to form a gravy. Let it come to a boil.

4) Add the lauki dumplings into the curry and let it simmer for a few minutes. turn off the heat.

5) Serve hot with roti or rice.

Serves: Makes about 10 koftas.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Palak Paratha/Spinach tortilla

Palak paratha is something which can be fed to the people who do not like spinach in their meals. It is tasty and nutritious. You can have it with any curry or even pickle and curd. Here's the recipe.

1/2 bunch of spinach or 1/4 of a frozen spinach box
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
2C wheat flour
warm water for kneading.


1) Wash and roughly chop the spinach. Drop them into your blender with a little water and form a paste.

2) Now in a bowl , add wheat flour, ajwain, salt, chili powder and grinded spinach. Knead to form a soft dough. Add warm water for kneading after all the spinach is incorporated and still a dough ball is not formed.

3) Form small balls of this spinach dough about 1 inch in diameter. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin round flat tortilla.

4) Heat a tava(flat pan )on medium high and place the tortilla onto the tava and let it cook each side, Apply ghee on both sides and let it cook until small black specks are formed.

5) Serve hot with pickle or raita.

Serves: Makes about 12 tortillas

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Dhokla is a gujrati dish and i think every indian household in US makes dhokla at home! Maybe this is because people in US are more calorie conscience and we don't get dhokla in indian markets:-)
This is a steamed dish made of semolina(sooji) or gram flour(besan) or rice flour or different ratios of the three. I make it with semolina and gram flour. I think this is the easiest snack to make and looks as if it took hours to make . You can have it with green chutney or hot sauce. I personally like it with hot sauce. Here's the recipe.
For Dhokla:

1C semolina (suji)
1 tbsp gram flour (besan)
2C yogurt
1 tsp eno
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
chopped cilantro (optional)
a pinch of baking powder (optional)
1/4C cashew nuts, chopped (optional)

For tadka:

1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 sliced green chilis

1) In a mixing bowl, drop in semolina and gram flour. Mix well until there are no lumps in besan.

2) Add turmeric powder, baking soda, cashews, cilantro, salt, sugar and mix well. Then pour in yogurt and mix well to form a cake consistency batter.

3) to steam the dhokla, fill a large pan with 2 inches of water. Keep it on a high flame to form steam. Meanwhile grease a smaller pan or flat container that fits in the bigger pan. I grease a baking pan which is used for making cakes.

4) Now add eno to the batter and mix immediately and thoroughly. Por the batter in the greased pan and keep it in the steam bath. Cover the bigger pan with a lid and let it steam for about 15 mins or until a toothpick stuck comes out clean.

5) In a separate pan, heat oil and add rai and green chilis. When it starts to splutter, turn off the heat. Spread the tadka over steamed dhokla.

6) Cut the dhokla into cubes.

7) Serve hot with green chutney or hot sauce.

Serves: 4

Tip: Add eno just before steaming it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

ghiya/lauki chana daal

Ghiya chana daal is also a punjabi dish which my husband loves. I started liking it recently when i learnt to make it the right way ;-) The consistency of this daal has to be thick for the proper flavor. Bottle gourd in chana daal tastes really good and this is a perfect way to finish up the lauki which nobody wants to eat and is sitting in your fridge. Here's the recipe.


1C chana daal/bengal gram
1C ghiya/lauki , chopped
1/2 onion , chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 inch ginger root, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 green chili, chopped
salt to taste

1) Pressure cook chana daal and lauki together with a little salt and 4 cups of water on high flame. turn the heat on low after 1 whistle and let it simmer for about 10 mins. Turn off the heat and let the steam come out on its own.

2) In a separate pan, heat oil. Add chopped onions and fry until they turn light brown, Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chili and let them cook for 2-3 mins.

3) Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. Let it cook for a few seconds. Transfer the tadka to the boiled daal and mix well

4) Let the daal come to a boil. Add more water if necessary.

5) Serve hot with jeera rice.

Serves: 2-3

Friday, August 8, 2008

Paneer Bhurji

Paneer bhujji is a very common breakfast dish in north india. Anda bhujji is much more famous, but i love this bhujji as it gives the true taste of paneer. It looks rich and can be used as a filling for toasts too. You can also have it with roti/ parantha. This is the first sabji i learnt to cook, when i was a kid:-)
Here's the recipe.


0.5lb paneer (fresh cottage cheese)
1C peas
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green chili , chopped
handful of cilantro (optional)
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

1) Grate the paneer.

2) In a pan, heat oil , add onions, green chili and thawed peas. Let them cook on medium high, until the onions become golden brown.

2) Add salt , red chili powder, turmeric powder and saute for a few seconds. Add the grated paneer and turn off the heat. Mix it well till it is coated with the masala.

3) Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti or bread.

Serves: 2-3

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sweet Mango Chutney/ aam ki meethi chutney

This is my mum's recipe and i love it every time i have it!! Mango chutney goes well with anything spicy, usually with rice and a spicy curry or you can use it as a marmalade. The first time i made it , it became hard as a rock :-) although it did taste good, i tried again it turned out pretty well. Here's the recipe...


4 raw mangoes
2 tsp ajwain, carom seeds (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1) Peel off the skin of the mangoes and remove the pit in the middle by cutting off the pieces. Grate the pieces of mango. Follow this for all the 4 mangoes

2) Measure the grated mangoes in a measuring cup. It came out to be 2 cups for me. In a mixing bowl add the grated mangoes and the same amount of sugar, as the mangoes, which is 2 cups for me. If it is 3 cups then add 3 cups of sugar. The idea is to have a 1:1 ratio.

3) Soak the mixture overnight. By morning the sugar dissolves and becomes liquid.

4) In a pan, heat oil, add ajwain and turmeric powder. Pour in the sugar and mango mixture. Add salt and keep stirring the mixture on medium low heat until the sugar becomes thick and light brown and mangoes become tender.

5) The chutney will harden more when it cools so leave it a little watery. Turn off the heat. Add garam masala and chili powder and mix well.

6) Transfer into a bottle and refrigerate it. It lasts as long as a year. Enjoy!

Tip: You don't need the mangoes to be soaked overnight. I do it to cook the chutney faster and save some energy :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homemade Yogurt/Dahi

This is a very basic recipe. Although store bought yogurt tastes great, there is something tasty about the homemade one :-) This is also a very simple recipe and homemade yogurt contains 1/2 of the calories of the store bought one!!
Here's the recipe.


3C milk (whole is always better but you can you use 2% or 1% too)
2 tsp yogurt (store bought / homemade after the first setting)


1) In a pot, heat water about 1 cm in level , till small bubbles appear. Heat water so that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

2) Pour in milk slowly so that the water layer is not totally gone. Heat the milk until small bubbles appear.

3) Turn off the heat and let it cool, for about 20 mins until your finger goes in without getting hot.

4) In a bowl, add yogurt. Pour the cooled off milk, cover and let it set in a warm place for about 8-9 hours. Remember to keep it in a warm place or coverred in kitchen towels.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sarson ka Saag aur Makki ki Roti

Saag and Makki ki roti is the traditional Punjabi dish. Saag is made out of a mixture of mustard greens and spinach. Makki ki roti is made of coarse corn flour. Until now i haven't been able to find the coarse corn flour anywhere in indian grocery stores. So i get it from india but if anybody knows where can i get it here, that would be great.
For now, here's the recipe.


For Saag:

2 bunches of mustard greens
1 bunch of spinach
1 inch of ginger root, peeled
1/2 onion , chopped
3 green chilis
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp butter

For Makki ki Roti:

2C corn flour
2 boiled potatoes
1 tsp ajwain
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
7 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

1) chop the spinach and saag roughly. Drop them in a pressure cooker with green chilis, chopped ginger and sugar. There is no need to add water as spinach and mustard greens will leave water.

2) Pressure cook until one whistle and turn off the heat. Let the steam come off on its own.

3) Take the lid off and mash the boiled saag.

4) In a pan, heat oil , add chopped onions and garlic and fry them for a while until they turn brown. Add salt and chili powder. Add the saag and cook until the water from the saag disappears. Add a tbsp of butter and turn off the heat.

5) Serve hot with makki ki roti and fresh butter on top.


For Makki ki Roti:

1) Mash the boiled potatoes and add to corn flour, ajwain, chili powder, garam masala and salt. Knead with warm water to form a dough. The dough will not be sticky as a regular dough. So it will be a little difficult to roll it out. So, the potatoes work as a binder.

2) To make the rolling easier, place a damp cloth underneath a medium dough ball and one damp cloth over it. Out out with a rolling pin. Remove the damp cloth.

3) Heat tava and apply ghee on it , remove damp cloth from underneath by pulling it out gently.
Place on the tava and apply ghee, about a tbsp for eah roti till it becomes brown on both sides.

4) Serve hot with saag.

Makes 7 Makki ki rotis

Tip: You can also use grated radish(mooli) instead of potatoes.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Low calorie banana bread

Recently my husband has become very health cautious. Although he has a sweet tooth, he wants his desserts to be low calorie. Now, thinking of a low calorie dessert is difficult because anything without butter and sugar might not taste as good. Anyway, my friend Namrata got an eggless and low calorie date cake once when she came home and it was fantastic!! I didnt realize that it has no butter.
This gave me an idea to make low calorie banana bread. I added splenda instead of sugar and buttermilk instead of oil or butter. Here's the recipe.


3 ripe bananas, medium
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/4 C+2 tbsp splenda/ 3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 C buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
1/4C raisins, optional

1) In a mixing bowl , beat eggs and sugar together with a hand mixer for about 5 mins till the eggs become fluffy.

2) In a separate bowl mash the bananas and add oil and vanilla and mix well. Add the banana mixture to the egg bowl and fold in flour , baking soda and salt.

3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread loaf pan and add the batter to the pan. Pour some raisins on the top

5) Bake the bread for 45 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.