Chole (chickpeas with gravy)

Chickpea, kabuli chana, chole…. address them as per your choice, but there is no doubt that this dish has special place in our kitchen.

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We cook them to make our Sunday special, when we have guests for lunch, for birthday parties, kitty parties; they are part of food menu for marriages and restaurants and kids are happy to see them on their plate….

Chole complement rice, bhature and poori very well. Nowadays they are added as a part of salad also. My sister Nandini is a rice eating person. She can have rice every day in lunch and dinner. Except her, my parents and my other siblings are roti lovers. So, rice used to be part of our Sunday lunch followed by chole. Now Nandini is a mother of two children but her love for chole chaawal still remains the same…..😊

Ingredients:

For boiling……

Cabuli chana 200 gm
Water 3+1/2 cups
Salt 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Mix of whole spices (saabut ya khade masale)… Black pepper 6…. cloves 4….. anise flower 1……cinnamon stick 2 medium size….. bayleaf 2 black cardamom pods 2

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For cooking :

Rai 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp
Onion 1 big size
Tomatoes 2 small size
Green chillies 3-4
Ginger 1 small piece
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder 1 tsp (can increase or decrease as per your taste)

Water     1 cup

Process :

Wash kabuli chana twice and soak it overnight in 2+1/2 cups of water.

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In the morning they will look like this…

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Don’t throw away water and boil them in pressure cooker in the same water by adding 1 cup more water along with salt, turmeric powder and all whole spices. Personally I don’t add whole spices directly in the cooker. I tie them in a clean piece of cloth and then I add them with chole to boil. This process will help you in avoiding getting whole pieces of spices in your mouth and at the same time let you enjoy the intoxicating flavor of these spices. Boil chole till they are soft.

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While chana is boiling, we can prepare gravy.

Chop onion, tomato and green chillies separately and grate ginger.

Heat 1 tsp oil and sauté chopped onion till it is brown. Take them out and grind in a fine paste. Keep it separately.

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Now grind chopped tomatoes, green chillies and grated ginger.

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Again heat 2 tbsp oil and crackle rai, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and grated ginger followed by coriander and chili powder.

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Saute it till oil starts leaving the sides – add grinded onion, mix it and add boiled cabuli chana along with its boiled water. Add 1 cup more water, otherwise chole will be very thick. Add salt as per your taste. Keep the heat on sim and let them cook for 10 – 15 minutes

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Switch off the heat and add garam masala. Before serving add finely chopped green coriander leaves.

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Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices)

For the last two days Apoorva was really sick with cold, cough and throat pain – so I wanted to pack something really good for her school lunch box. At 6:00 in the morning I decided to prepare baigan ka bharta. She doesn’t like baigan ki sabzi (though I don’t spare her for that) but she loves bharta a lot! If I prepare bharta for dinner, she keeps the rice aside and wants to have one extra roti to relish with her favorite bharta.

So when she came back from school I asked her if she liked her lunch. She said that she was barely managing to get some baharta for herself because all her friends wanted their share!!!

Who wouldn’t love to hear such nice stories about his\her cooking😂😂.

But honestly there are so many people who don’t want to eat brinjal veggie, but if you cook this bigger size oval shaped balloon brinjal in a different way, they love it. So, if you are interested in learning how to cook brinjal in such a different way that it becomes every one’s favorite, let’s start…….

Tips:
1. Always buy big size balloon brinjal to prepare bharta.

2. Check brinjal by slightly pressing it; if it’s too hard, don’t buy because there will be many ripened seeds inside and they don’t taste good at all. Buy the one which is fresh and soft.

3. Always check minutely if there is a tiny hole – if it is there, don’t buy….. it means insects have entered inside..and it’s their cave, so leave this cave for them……..generally it happens a lot during rainy season.

4. Keep a careful eye while roasting brinjal… burnt brinjal wouldn’t taste good.

Ingredients :

2 big size brinjals
3 medium size chopped onions
2 medium size chopped tomatoes
3-4 choppped green chillies
1/2 tsp grated ginger
salt… as per your taste

 

3 – 4 tbsp oil
5 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/8 tsp rai

1/8 tsp asafotida

Finely chopped green coriander leaves

Process:

Roast brinjal either in your oven or gas top as per your convenience, till it is soft and tender.

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At the end of the roasting, brinjals will shrink and will be very soft. Make sure not to burn them.

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Keep them aside and let them cool down. Heat up oil in a pan and crackle rai, cumin seeds and asafotida. Add chopped onions and sauté them till they are light brown. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies, grated ginger, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and a pinch of salt. Mix all together and let it cook on sim heat till tomatoes are cooked. Keep on turning this mix upside down in between.

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By now roasted brinjals would have cooled down. Peel out their outer skin carefully and take out all the pulp in a pan and mash it.

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Add this to onion tomato mix and add salt as per your taste. Mix well, cover it and let it cook for 4 – 5 minutes.

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As brinjals are roasted, tomatoes and onions are already cooked, so this 5 minutes time is sufficient to absorb all the flavours by brinjal pulp. Add some finely chopped coriander leaves and mix it. Switch off gas and shift bharta in a serving bowl, sprinkle some more coriander leaves and serve with your meal.

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Besan ki kadi

Besan ki kadi used to be a part of Sunday lunch at my parent’s house. We are four siblings, so quantity was always more, but still my mother used to prepare more than required as before lunch we would have finished some bowls of kadi just like that😋😋

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In Rajasthan consistency of kadi is very thin, which means less besan and more butter milk, whereas in UP kadi is thick. My personal choice is thin kadi, but if someone serves me any kind of kadi I have no complaints🙂🙂
Plain boiled rice is the best match with kadi. My sister Nandini used to have only kadi chaawal for her lunch, and used to make sure to have the same for dinner…. so now if she comes to my parent’s house, we all prefer that she should only prepare kadi. She is the best person in our house to cook savoury food. Here I am posting the recipe for thin Rajasthani kadi, but if you prefer slightly thick, just add little more besan in it…….
Ingredients :

Besan(gram flour) 1/8 cup+1tbsp
Sour curd 1/2litre
Water 4+1/2 cup
Turmeric powder (haldi) 1/4tsp
salt according to your taste

ajwain(jeera) , rai (mustard seeds) hing(asafoetida) jeera (cumin seeds) kali saabut mirch(whole black pepper) , loung (cloves) for tadka
Green chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.
If curd is not sour, then add little bit of dry lemon powder. In Hindi we call it tatri.

Process :
Take curd in your cooking vessel and whisk it.

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After some whisking, add water and again whisk.

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Finally, add besan and haldi and mix nicely.

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In the beginning you might feel that proper yellow color has not come despite adding haldi, but don’t worry – as kadi will start getting cooked, beautiful yellow color will be there. So, don’t add too much haldi.
Keep the vessel on gas and keep on stirring it on full flame till it starts boiling.

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Now keep the heat on sim, add salt and let it boil. In between give a stir.

Pakode:
In a vessel take some besan, add salt, red chilli powder and asafoetida (hing). Add water slowly and prepare thick batter for pakode. Whisk it nicely so that batter is light and pakoda will be soft and light.

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Heat enough oil in a small pan so that pakoda can be deep fried. Some prefer adding chopped onion or boiled or raw potatoes in besan batter. But I prefer plain pakoda in kadi. Drop small pakodas either with your finger tips or with spoon.

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Fry them from all sides, take them out and keep them in a bowl of water.

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Once you are done with all pakodas, take some in your palm and gently squeeze them so that water and extra oil can come out from them.

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Now add them into boiling kadi.

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To test if kadi is ready or not, taste little bit of kadi in a bowl – if you don’t get the taste of raw besan, kadi is ready. It takes almost 1.5 to 2 hours to get kadi ready on sim heat. Switch off gas.

Tadka:

Heat oil in tadka pan and crackle ajwain, rai, hing and jeera, add cloves, black pepper and red chilli powder.

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Add this in ready kadi.

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Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with plain boiled rice.

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Mangodi ki sabzi

Mangodi ki subzi

Mangodi ki sabzi is a part of traditional Rajasthani and Gujrati cuisine. Rajasthan and some parts of Gujrat state have desert areas where rain is scarce. Getting seasonal fruits and vegetables used to be a big problem. Now because of transportation, you will get all kinds of fruits and veggies in the off-season also. But a few years back during summer getting a variety of vegetables was a major problem.  So people used to have some alternate options. Mangodi ki subzi is one of them.

Mangodi is prepared mostly from yellow moong daal and white urad daal . Daal is washed and soaked overnight and in the morning would be grinded in a thick paste consistency along with hing (asafoetida) and red chili powder. Then a very neat and big size of plastic sheet will be spread on the terrace or any open area of the house where direct sunlight reaches.  Ladies of the house along with their neighboring friends will start preparing mangodis on the plastic sheet. The process is exactly like the way we prepare pakoda in our hands before putting it in the oil. Here,  very small size of mangodis (like marbles) are prepared with the tip of fingers. It’s a tedious task because mangodis are made for whole year. That’s why friend’s will help collectively everyday at someone’s house amidst gossiping and chatting while preparing mangodi. Actually, the term for preparing mangodi is called “mangodi todna”.

I had experienced the same at my mother’s house.  In the evening mangodis will be covered with a dry cloth and in the morning cloth will be removed to let them dry in sun heat nicely. After 4-5 days, mangodis will be nicely dried up and they will be now stored in the kitchen boxes for whole year so that whenever there is a problem of vegetables, mangodis will be handy to use.

Come, let’s prepare this traditional Rajasthani/Gujrati sabzi of mangodi……

Ingredients :

Mangodi                 1/3 cup

Potatoes (medium size) 2

Oil                       3 tbsp

Mix of cumin and small  mustard seeds    1/2 tsp

Asafoetida                             a pinch

Salt                       according to the taste

Coriander powder         1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder            1/2 tsp

Red chili powder              1/4 tsp

Prepare a paste of one big tomato, one small onion (can be omitted) ginger and green chilies and garlic (optional).

Water                     1+1/2 cup

Green Coriander leaves for garnishing

Process:

Mangodi is a complete dry ingredient, so when we cook it, it puffs up nicely. That’s why whole mangodi is not used – they are broken into small pieces by keeping them in a zip-lock bag or clean kitchen towel and crushed slightly with a rolling pin. Take care that we don’t have to turn them into powder form; they should still be in small pieces.

Heat one tbsp oil in cooker and add broken mangodis and shallow fry them on sim heat till they become light brown.

Take them out and keep them separately.

Again heat remaining oil in cooker and crackle mustard and cumin seeds with asafoetida. Add onion, tomato, ginger-garlic and chili paste (I omitted onion and garlic) and sauté it for 5 minutes.

Prepare gravy for mangodi ki sabzi

Add coriander, turmeric and chili powder and sauté till it starts leaving the oil.

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Add water and mangodi in the cooker. Add salt.

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Let it boil for five minutes on medium heat and in between peel, wash and cut potatoes into small pieces and add in the cooker.

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If you feel water is less, add some more and close the lid of the cooker. On medium heat let it cook for 5-7 minutes and switch off the gas.

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When the steam from the cooker cools down completely, open the lid and transfer sabzi in a serving bowl.

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Garnish it with finely chopped green coriander leaves and serve with hot rotis/phulkas.

Mangodi ki sabji is ready!

 

Gatte Ki Sabzi

Gatte ki sabzi

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Gatte ki sabzi is a traditional Rajasthani cuisine.If your vegetable basket is empty in the fridge, gatte ki sabzi is your savior. You just need besan (gram flour) and some spices to prepare this. Nowadays gatte ki sabzi is an essential part of the menu of many hotels and restaurants during their special ‘Rajasthani festival celebration’. In gatte ki sabzi the tricky part is how to prepare soft gatte! I used to prepare very nice gravy, but gatte used to be hard. Then once during my mother-in-law’s visit to Bangalore, Manish requested her to prepare this sabji and requested me to learn how to prepare soft gatte. I learned the trick and since then Manish never complained about my sabzi. In fact, once my father-in-law complimented that I have cooked the best gatte ki sabzi!!!!..
Come, let’s prepare this traditional rajasthani cuisine…
Ingredients :
To prepare gatte :

Besan 1cup
Oil(for moyan ) 2+1/2tbsp
Whole black pepper 5
(crushed)
Red chilli powder 1/4tsp
Turmeric powder 1/8tsp
Salt 1/4tsp
Ajwain(carom seeds) 1/4tsp
Sauf (crushed) 1/4tsp
(fennel seeds)
Water 1+1/2 tbsp
Water (for boiling) 3cups
Oil (to prepare tadka)

To prepare gravy:
Oil 3tbsp
Onion (finely chopped or grated) 1big size
Green chillies 2
Grated ginger 1tsp
Coriander, red chilli and turmeric powder
Mustard and cumin seeds
Hing(asafoetida)
Long(cloves) 4
Tejpatta (bay leaf) 1small size
Lemon juice 1tsp
Finely chopped green coriander leaves

Procedure :

In a broad vessel take besan and add black pepper, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, sauf,ajwain and oil. We add oil so that gatte can be soft.

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Now how do we figure out that how much quantity of oil is enough? It’s very simple: just try to bind besan mixture in your palm. If it is dry, it will spread, so add carefully little more oil, mix it and try to bind it again.

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After this take little mixture and rub it between your palms. Do this process for the whole mixture of besan. This rubbing-the-mixture process and the right quantity of oil in besan will ensure that you get the softest gatte ever.

Now slowly add water and prepare tight dough.

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In a pan keep three cups of water to boil.

Now divide the dough in equal parts and with each part make long rolls.

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When water starts boiling, put all the rolls in boiling water and cover the vessel 3/4th only.

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Keep the flame on medium. Keep on turning gatte upside down in between.
Within 15 to 20 minutes, they will be cooked.
DO NOT THROW AWAY THE WATER OF BOILED GATTAS.

Take out the rolls and cut them in small pieces.

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Heat the oil in a pan and crackle rai, hing, jeera, long and tejpatta.
Add finely chopped onion and fry it nicely.

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Then add ginger, chilly paste (I don’t use garlic, so didn’t add).
Add coriander powder, red chilly pwd and turmeric powder
Add little water in this masala and fry this nicely till it starts leaving the oil from the sides.
Add small pieces of gatte along with boiled water.
Add salt.

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If required add some more water according to your choice of thick or thin gravy.Let it boil on sim heat for 15 to to  20 minutes.

Switch off gas and add some garam masala. Squeeze some lemon juice in this and garnish with green coriander leaves.(I ran out of coriander leaves so did not add).

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Note :
1. Adding onion is completely optional. While boiling gatte, the water becomes thick enough for gravy.
2. If you feel that boiled water is less, can add some thick butter milk and keep on stirring on medium flame until gravy starts boiling.Then sim the heat and let it cook for some more time.
3. If you are adding butter milk, avoid lemon juice.

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Chillies

Chillies, with a twist

Few days back I bought some big sized  chillies to prepare them in stuffed form with spices. I washed them all and kept in a sieve. Three days passed and those chillies were still in the sieve. Finally, Manish teased me that green chillies are turning red with anger as I was neglecting them….ok… ok I will cook them today for sure! But by now I was not in a mood to stuff them. I prepared them in a different way and Manish liked them a lot……

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Ingredients :
Green big sized chillies
Potatoes
Oil, salt and dry mango powder (amchoor) or lemon juice.

Procedure :

Wash, dry and cut chillies.

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Peel and wash potatoes and cut them in small and thin pieces.

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Heat one tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add cut potatoes and keep on stirring to avoid them sticking on to the bottom. Once potatoes start turning brown, sprinkle salt, mix it properly and take them out in a bowl

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. Now put cut chillies in the pan, add one tbsp oil and let it cook till it becomes slightly soft.

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Sprinkle salt, mix it properly and add potatoes in it.

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Stir for 4-5 minutes sprinkle lemon juice or amchoor powder, mix and done!! Crispy chillies with a twist are ready. Serve it with plain prantha in breakfast or as a side dish with rice.

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