Lahsun (garlic) ki chutney

I have always been blessed with good neighbourhood. After my marriage I moved to Chennai and stayed there for 9 months. Later we moved to Jamaica before settling in Bangalore after three years. At all these places I was surrounded by wonderful people in my neighbourhood.

In Jamaica when suddenly my daughter became sick, along with our Indian friends, my Jamaican neighbours were extremely helpful. At the occasion of Apoorva’s 1st birthday celebration my Jamaican neighbours loved Indian food a lot and they requested to pack some for next day.

In Jaipur my parents’ house is blessed  with kind and friendly neighbours and food is shared between us frequently. We developed a taste for authentic Rajasthani cuisine because Rajasthani neighbours used to bring food to our house or we were the frequent visitors in their house at several occasions.

So this year, during summer vacation when I visited my parents’ house, all childhood memories were revived. And I wad very lucky when we got an invitation from the same neighbours for dinner. We relished all authentic delicacies but I still felt that something was missing in the menu. Then my sister pointed out that garlic chutney is not there. I asked them about the missing dish and got the assurance that before I go back to Bangalore I will surely get “Lahsun ki chutney”.

After coming back to Bangalore I was tempted to prepare this chutney. This chutney is cooked with lots of oil, so we can keep it in an air tight container in the fridge and it will last for at least 2 weeks. We can also use it as a part of gravy for vegetables and tadka for lentils.

In Rajasthan if you have seen this chutney, you will find that oil will be floating in the container and chutney is red in colour as lots of dry red chillies are used here. I didn’t want so much of oil, so reduced the quantity of oil and instead of dry red chillies, I have used raw red chillies as they were available in my kitchen.

Ingredients :

Peeled garlic cloves 100 gm
Red chilli 🌶 50 gm
Oil 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Salt as per your taste
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp
One small onion and small tomato 🍅

Keep peeled garlic cloves, red chillies, tomato and onion together.

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Chop onion and tomato and grind everything together in a smooth paste.

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In a small wok, heat oil, crackle cumin seeds and asafoetida and add garlic paste. Cook it on sim heat for 15 minutes. Let it cool down completely and use it as any part of your meal.

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Sweet tamarind chutney

Indian chats (snack) are incomplete without chutney – either sweet or savoury. Buy samosa or kachori and you will get sweet and savoury chutneys along with them.

Bhel puri, sev puri, dahi puri, papdi chaat or dahi vada; all are incomplete without chutney. At my parents’ house we never bought any chats. My mother used to prepare everything from the scratch. So, after my marriage I also continued the same tradition. Preparing savoury chutney with coriander or mint leaves is regular in my kitchen. But I always felt a little lazy to prepare sweet tamarind chutney at frequent intervals and so instead in enough quantity that it will last for 6 months.

While cooking sweet tamarind chutney you might not be able to figure out exactly how it tastes because flavours really taste better the next day. Therefore, you wait till next day for the developed taste and if you feel something is less or missing, add accordingly.

Ingredients :

120 gm tamarind
3 +1/2 cups water
300 gm sugar/jaggery powder
5 dates

For the rest of the ingredients I am not giving specific measurements as you can add them according to your taste. You can prepare it as sweet tamarind chutney or it could be tangy tamarind chutney by reducing sugar little bit – choice is completely yours!

White salt
Black salt
Ginger powder
Garam masala powder
Red chilli powder

Process :

Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.

In a separate pan soak dates in water.

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After 2 hours, mash tamarind and sieve it. Add rest of the water in tamarind, mash it and sieve it again so that the whole pulp comes out.

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Boil this sieved tamarind water and pulp on sim heat by adding de-seeded dates and sugar for at least 1+1/2 to 2 hours. If you are interested in thick consistency, boil for at least 2 hours but if you like thin consistency, boil for 1 to 1+1/2 hours. Just 10 minutes before chutney is done, add rest of the ingredients as per your taste.

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Let chutney cool down completely before filling in  an air tight container and storing that in the fridge.

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Strawberry sauce

Strawberry is a beautiful fruit!!! But I never thought of using it in any other way than enjoying it raw. And no one else in the house shares strawberry with me, strange… but true!!! And I am not even complaining ….!

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This winter season I decided to go one step further with strawberries and prepared strawberry sauce. I am planning to freeze it to relish during summer with ice-cream. My husband Manish and daughter Apoorva, both don’t even try to taste this fruit. So after preparing sauce I forced both of them to taste it and to my utmost surprise they both liked it a lot!!

That was an achievement!!!!!

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I guess the reason why they both liked the sause was because it was not completely sweet in taste and lemon juice was also not added because strawberries were little tangy in taste. I didn’t add too much sugar to cover up the whole tart taste. It was a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavor.

In my opinion if you are preparing strawberry sauce, decide the amount of sugar depending on the taste of strawberries. If fruit is sweet, reduce the amount of sugar and add little quantity of lemon juice in the end of preparation.

In case if you are more interested to prepare strawberry compote, follow the same process. The only difference would be that for compote we don’t cook strawberries for a longer time. Compote is ready within 10 minutes of cooking and sauce is cooked on sim heat for 25-30 minutes because we need to thicken it. Later while in the fridge it thickens more.

Ingredients :

Strawberries 1/2 kg

Granulated sugar 1/3 cup

Lemon juice 1/2 tbsp (optional)

Process :

Wash strawberries nicely in running water and keep them on a sieve to drain our all water.

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Cut out green leaves from them and slice each strawberry in 4 pieces.

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In a thick bottomed saucepan combine strawberries and sugar and start cooking on medium to sim heat.

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Keep stirring it until strawberries start leaving their juice and sugar melts completely.

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Now keep the heat on sim and let it cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Occasionally keep stirring them.

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Sauce will thicken up and it will be in deep dark red colour in half an hour.

Switch off heat and taste it. If it tastes very sweet add 1/2 tbsp lemon juice to add slight tangy flavor and let it cool down completely. If you want to use this sauce in between the layers of cake or cheesecake in slightly more refined way, you can puree it.

Store in a neat bottle in the fridge for 10-12 days but I really doubt it will last that long. Your kids will be finding an excuse to stay near the refrigerator to lick it again and again!!!

Are you planning to prepare this delicious kid’s favorite fruit sauce? I think you should.. . because once your first bottle is over, you can again prepare fresh one. After all nothing is better than fresh home made sauce!!!

 

Would love to hear from you all through the comments section ❤️❤️.

 

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Salted Caramel Sauce

Preparing salted caramel sauce was my long time wish. Finally I got a reason to prepare it. I was planning to bake cinnamon rolls Eggless Cinnamon Rolls and was not sure whether I would like such sweet rolls. So to balance the sweet filling of cinnamon rolls I decided to drizzle buns with salted caramel sauce. I started searching for the recipe of caramel sauce and finally decided to try from Sallysbakingaddiction.com as her recipe didn’t require any candy thermometer. Till now I have not purchased any cooking thermometer so this recipe suited me very well.

After preparing and tasting the sauce I found it to be very salty. I guess my taste buds are different from the rest of the world. So I made another batch and instead of using salted butter I used unsalted butter. It tasted great!! Now I was completely satisfied with the result. It went so well with cinnamon rolls!!

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If you have never made salted caramel sauce before, you should definitely try this. It’s just a four ingredients magic and Sally has made it so easy to prepare. You will just keep on licking from the bottle whole day!!

You can follow the recipe given by Sally or can follow my version, depending on your choice of taste..

Ingredients :

Sugar (granulated)      1 cup

Unsalted butter          6 tbsp (room temperature, cut up into cubes)

Milk cream (full fat)      1/2 cup (room temperature)

Salt      1 tsp
Process :

Take heavy bottomed deep pan and heat sugar on medium to sim flame. Keep stirring sugar constantly with long handled spatula to avoid sugar sticking to the bottom and burning.

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Slowly there will be small clumps of sugar… keep stirring….Soon these clumps will starting melting and white sugar syrup will start changing into amber colour.

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Don’t stop stirring – by now whole sugar would be melted. Immediately add butter. The moment butter is added, caramel will bubble rapidly, so be careful.

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Keep on stirring till butter is completely melted and slowly add milk cream. Again caramel will bubble up – so again be careful!

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Let the whole mixture boil for a minute and switch off the gas. Add 1 tsp salt, mix it properly and let it cool down completely before filling in a clean and dry bottle.

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After cooling down completely, caramel will thicken up. You have to keep this caramel in the fridge and can store for 15 days. Warm it slightly before using it for drizzle or filling in your dishes!!!

 

 

Moong ki daal ke cheele

Mostly people associate chilka moong daal with khichdi vaali daal. My mother used to prepare this lentil with spinach on sim heat of “mitti ka chulha” during winter. Later she used to add dhaba style desi ghee ka tadka.  No matter how much I try, but I can never get that heavenly taste in my pressure cooker cooked daal.

During winter sometimes my mother used to prepare “cheele” (Indian style pancake with green lentils) with moong daal for dinner along with any green chutney or pickle. Moong daal cheela is a very popular snack during North Indian marriage feast. There they also add grated paneer to make it look like a part of marriage celebration feast. You can witness a long queue of people inside the shamiyana (place where marriage ceremony happens) to have hot moong ki daal ke cheele.

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These cheele could be a part of any meal of the day – but generally they are prepared for breakfast. As lentils are very good for our health, this breakfast will be a good option for all age group members of the family.

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Ingredients

Green split moong daal 2 cups
Water 4 cups
Salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida (hing), chopped green chillies and ginger.

Ingredients :

Wash and soak moong daal overnight or for three hours in the morning. It will puff up nicely after soaking.

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Don’t throw away water and grind daal along with fresh ginger, green chillies, Asafoetida, red chilli powder and salt. Use very little quantity of the saved water while grinding. Grated daal should have dropping consistency, neither too thin nor too thick .

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Heat tava, grease it with little quantity of oil.

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Spread two small size spoons of batter on it.

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Reduce the heat to medium. When it starts looking dry from the top, spread some oil around the edges of cheela. With the help of flat spatula, start scrubbing from the sides and turn it to the other side.

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Apply oil on the roasted side of cheela and follow the same process for the other side too.

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When cheela is properly roasted on both the sides, serve it hot with any chutney, pickle or sauce.

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Tomato Soup

Tomato is a great versatile fruit or vegetable. They are kept in fruit category, but I always find it odd to call it fruit. Just like all other vegetables we add tomatoes in salads, they enhance the flavor of vegetables and they can be cooked separate in the form of chutney,  dips, stuffed , roasted and of course as soup. I guess tomato soup is one of the easiest soup to be prepared by anyone. Just boil, sieve, cook and add your choice of flavours. My favorite flavor with tomato is mint, but  basil also works very well. When I was young, during winter my father used to give us 4-5 fresh basil leaves to eat everyday as a protection cover from cold. So now, in my tomato soup I add home grown dry and fresh basil leaves. It gives beautiful warm flavor to soup!

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Adding flavors in a soup is completely an individual choice, so you can try basil, mint, ginger, cinnamon, garlic or any other ingredient of your choice.

Ingredients :

5               Big size tomatoes

1 cup         Water (for boiling)

1 +1/2 tsp          Salt

1 tsp          black pepper powder

1/2 tsp       dry basil powder

8-10            fresh basil leaves

Water        1 +1/2  cup

Process :

Wash and cut big pieces of tomatoes and boil them in one cup of water.

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After boiling let them cool down in a bowl, later grind them in a mixer and sieve the pulp.

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Add 1+1/2 cups of water and salt and boil this pulp on sim heat for 15 minutes.

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After 15 minutes switch off gas, add black pepper powder and dry basil powder. While serving add fresh basil leaves.

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