Kaashifal ki sabzi

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie)

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie) always reminds me about my father. He always used to prefer kaashifal ki sabzi or pumpkin veggie for dinner, so that all family members can sit together and enjoy it with hot poori, curd and pickle. This used to be my favorite dinner also!

Pumpkin is basically sweet in taste. So chirpy green chillies, tiny pieces of raw mangoes or lemon juice gives this sabzi a perfect mixed taste of sweet, chirpy and slight tangy flavours.

Unlike other North Indian sabzis, kaashifal is not seasoned with our regular ria, hing and jeera. It is seasoned with dana methi (fenugreek). So the moment fenugreek seeds are added in hot oil, the fragrance spreads in the whole house and everyone knows that kaashifal ki sabzi is coming at the dinning table!!

For preparing Kaashifal ki Sabzi I always prefer to buy pumpkin which has green skin. Green ones are very soft and we don’t have to remove the peel while chopping pumpkin. This variety of pumpkin has lots of water in it, that’s why it gets cooked very fast. Nowadays, we are ordering online vegetables, so we get all varieties of mix pumpkin pieces. Other varieties of pumpkin are a little dry so while cooking add little water.

One more thing, while preparing pumpkin vegetable, add slightly more oil than usual. Trust me, you will feel like having chatpata pickle! Probably, I like pumpkin a lot, so either it is kaashifal ki sabzi or Kaashifal ka raita (pumpkin raita) I can just brag on and on…

Try this sabzi once, who knows this might be a new regular entry in your menu!!

Ingrediants:

Chopped pumpkin 1/2 kg
Oil          5 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies 3
Salt as per taste
Raw mango pieces(grated or chopped) /dry mango powder (amchur) /lemon juice
Water 1/8 cup (if pumpkin is dry)

Process:

Wash and chop pumpkin in small pieces along with skin (chilka).

Heat oil in a wok and splatter fenugreek seeds followed by chopped pumpkin pieces and green chillies.

Add salt, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. 

Mix everything and cover it. Let it cook on sim flame till pumpkin becomes soft. In between 2-3 times keep on turning pumpkin upside down for even cooking. When 90% pumpkin is cooked add tiny chopped pieces of raw mangoe or 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.

Mix it well, cover it again and in 2-3 minuets Kaashifal ki sabzi will be ready! Serve hot with poori or parathas.

 

Chane ki daal with louki

Chane ki Daal with Louki (split baby chickpeas lentil with bottle gourd) is traditional North Indian cuisine. Louki (Bottle Gourd) is not a welcome vegetable for most of the kids. Well, if there is Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry) then its a different story altogether. But as kofte ki sabzi involves deep fried preparation we cannot prepare this in our daily regular meals.

Then how to feed kids this very nutritious vegetable? Try to add chana daal along with louki and this dull vegetable will turn into a delicious dish. Just before serving, add one spoon of pure ghee (clarified butter) in this daal and the taste goes to another level.

chane ki daal with louki

There is one more variety of chana daal/split baby chickpea lentil with spinach in the blog – If you are interested, please take a look…Daal paalak (split chickpea lentil with spinach)

Ingrediants:

Chana daal 3/4 cup

Louki 200 grams

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Water 2 cups

Tadka (seasoning)

Rai (small mustard seeds) 1/2 tsp

Jeera (cumin seeds) 1/2 tsp

Hing (Asafotida) 1/8 tsp

Oil/ghee 3 tbsp

Red chilly powder 1 tsp

turmeric powder 1/8 tsp

Puree

2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3-4 green chilies, tiny piece of ginger

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

A few points….
  1. You can reduce the quantity of louki.
  2. Cook chana daal on sim heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes as it takes slightly longer time to get cooked compared to other lentils.
  3. You can also add garlic in the puree.
  4. Ghee can be used to prepare tadka in place of oil.

Process:

Wash chana daal nicely and soak it in two cups of water for an hour. It will puff up nicely in one hour.

chana daalsoaked chana daal

After an hour, wash, peel and chop louki in small pieces. Add turmeric powder and salt in chana daal along with louki pieces and pressure cook it till chana daal becomes soft.

While chana daal is getting cooked, we will prepare tadka.  Wash and chop onion, tomatoes, green chilies and ginger and grind them in a mixer. Heat oil in a pan or wok and crackle rai, hing and jeera.

Add grinded puree in the oil and add turmeric and red chili powder. Cook till the water evaporates leaving only oil.

tadka for chana louki daal is ready

Daal must be cooked by now. Switch off the heat and remove the lid off the pressure cooker once it cools down.

chana daal is ready

Add this louki – daal in the ready tadka. If you feel that consistency is too thick, add hot water. Shift chane ki daal with louki in serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves.

chane ki daalki louki

louki aur chana daal

 
Karele ki sabzi

Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

Karele ki sabzi or bitter gourd vegetable is rarely liked by family members. It is almost an impossible task to make kids eat this. I have hardly seen a family where all family members love to eat and they demand Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd) in their lunch or dinner menu.

Not boasting, but I was always an obedient daughter and used to eat whatever my mom used to cook. Probably that’s how I slowly developed taste for all vegetables. I remember till 5th or 6th class my daughter Apoorva also used to eat every thing. But slowly she also became fussy and I just couldn’t make her eat a few veggies, including bitter gourd.

I love karela in any form – whether it is prepared as sabzi or in stuffed form. It tastes really good if onions are also added, but it is not compulsory. I like bitter gourd with hot parathas or as a side dish with simple daal – chawal.

There are many ways to cook bitter gourd. To eliminate its bitter taste you can peel it and smear it with salt and keep it like this for 2 hours. Later wash it and cook it.

I don’t want to wash away all nutrients of bitter gourd this way. So I never peel it. I just wash it and chop in small pieces and cook it with onions. To reduce the bitterness you can add dry mango powder (amchoor), grated raw mango or lemon juice.

Try this extremely nutritious vegetable in my way, probably you might develop a taste for it …

I have a few more posts on vegetables in the blog. You can take a look…Vegetables (Curries)

Ingrediants:

Bitter gourd(karela) 200 gms

Onions 2 big size

Oil 3 tbsp

Rai  (small mustard seeds ) 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp

Asafotida  (hing) 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp

Coarsely grounded fennel seeds 2 tsp

Finely chopped green chilies 2

Salt  as per your taste

Water  2 or 3 tbsp

Dry mango powder/grated raw mango/lemon juice

Process:

Peel, wash and chop onions.

In a wok heat 1 tbsp of oil and add chopped onions. Keep the heat on sim and let the onions turn light brown. Keep tossing them from time-to-time.

Wash and chop bitter gourd in round shape.

In another wok heat two tbsp oil and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add chopped bitter gourd and rest of the spices, except dry mango powder. Mix everything nicely, cover it and let it cook on sim heat. In between keep turning them upside down a couple of times. If you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom of the wok, add little water and let it cook till it is tender.

Onions would be ready by now – so, switch off heat.

Once bitter gourd is cooked, add onions and 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1 tbsp grated raw mango or 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mix it well, cover it and on sim heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Karele ki sabzi is ready to be served.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd
 

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic)

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic) is a perfect dish for those who want simple food during their fasting days. Black Chana with coriander gravy is rich in nutrients. If you are inviting guests for lunch or dinner during your fasting days, this non-onion-garlic gravy dish might be the best dish in your menu!

Black chana – usually we know this as kala chana – belongs to the family of chickpeas. But kala chana is darker in colour and smaller than chickpea. Kala chana is usually cooked as a dry dish for snacks. But we can also prepare it as a gravy dish to be accompanied with roti (flat bread), poori or rice. Generally, we add onion along with tomatoes in all our gravy-based dishes to add to the volume of the gravy. Garlic is added for flavour. In India, some communities don’t use onion in their food due to their religious beliefs. Usually, new generation of these communities don’t follow these beliefs. But then, cooking two different types of dishes with the same ingredient is a burden.

So instead of using onions, you can use green coriander along with tomatoes, ginger and green chillies and prepare gravy not only for kala chana but for any other gravy based dishes as Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry), Chole (chickpeas with gravy)

Ingrediants:

Kala Chana 3/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Water 1+1/2 cups
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes 3 medium size
Grated ginger 1/4 tsp
Green chilies 3 – 4
Green coriander 30 gm

Oil 2 tbsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) 1/4 tsp
Jeera (cumin) 1/4 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Red chili powder 1/4 tsp
Add some more water and salt if required

Process :

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

Next day in the morning add salt and turmeric powder in soaked chana and pressure cook it with using the same water in which chana was soaked till it becomes soft.

While chana is getting cooked, we will prepare gravy. Wash and chop tomatoes, green coriander leaves, green chilies, grated ginger and grind all of them in the mixer to prepare paste. If required, add little bit of water while grinding.

Heat oil, crackle rai, hing, jeera and add the grinded paste in a wok.

Add rest of the spices. Keep stirring on medium heat until all spices are cooked.

By now chana must be cooked. Switch off the flame and let the steam of the pressure cooker settle down. Open the lid and add chana into the ready masala.

Reduce the heat to sim and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Stir in between and add some water if you feel that consistency is too thick. Taste a bit, and if required, add some salt. After 10 – 15 minutes of cooking, kala chana with coriander gravy is ready to be served!!

 

Mooli ki bhujiya (sabzi)

Mooli ki Bhujiya sounds as if we are talking about a snack recipe. But when we add leaves and roots of radish together and prepare vegetable (sabzi), it is called Mooli ki bhujiya (sabzi). In North India, radish is available only during winters. But, here in Bangalore, good quality radish is available during summers too.

Initially, around 16 years back when we shifted to Bangalore, it was really difficult to find radish with leaves. Leaves used to be cut and thrown away from radish by the vegetable shop owners. But now in front of my apartment a vegetable vendor sells radish with all the leaves. In fact, whenever I show interest to buy leaves too, the sellers are amused and give me plenty of leaves free of cost. Probably they are relieved that their garbage is being cleaned up by customers!!

This sabzi requires raw radish – so be careful while choosing. Radish will not remain tender when it starts ripening and will not taste good. Remove the stems if they are too thick and attached with the leaves. Use soft leaves and soft raw radish.

I have one more recipe with radish in the blog – if you are interested can take a look…Mooli ka paratha (wheat flour flat bread stuffed with spicy radish)

There are a few more posts on different vegetables in the blog. You can check this link to look at them Vegetables (Curries).

Ingredients

Radish with leaves

Oil 2 tbsp
Tiny mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp

Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 +1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Green chillies chopped 2
Salt as per your taste

Process :

Take radish and leaves, wash them nicely in the running water and chop them separately.

Heat oil in a wok and crackle tiny mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Add chopped radish and leaves along with all spices except salt – mix this nicely and cover for 5 minutes.

When we prepare leafy vegetables, their volume gives an impression of large quantity. But leaves shrink while cooking – so always add salt once the leaves settle down after 5 minutes of cooking.

Now add salt – mix it well and again cover the wok.

Keep on stirring sabzi continually till radish becomes tender and all moisture dries out. Mooli ki Bhujiya (sabzi) is ready!

 

Kairie ki loungi (raw mango dish)

‘Kairie ki loungi’  (raw mango dish) sunte hee muh mei paani aa jaata hai (mouth starts watering after listening to the name of the dish). This dish is prepared with raw mangoes.  Kairie ki loungi is one of my favorite raw mango dishes during summer since childhood. It is a side dish with your regular meals or you can have it with paratha during breakfast.

Sour taste of raw mango is balanced by sugar/jaggery, salt and red chilli powder. Seasoning with fennel seeds gives sweet fragrant flavor. When sugar melts and gets mixed with the rest of the ingredients, the look of the dish and taste reaches to another level altogether!! You have beautiful caramelized raw mango dish which will get over by licking directly from the pan. Oh, I can really write a poem on this!!!

Am I exaggerating too much?? Not at all… Try this recipe and experience the wonderful taste of my favorite raw mango dish ‘Loungi’ during summer!!

The whole credit for this recipe goes to my younger sister Nandini. Amongst the three sisters she is the one who started cooking very early. So her culinary skills are excellent. Last year during my Jaipur trip she prepared loungi and since then I have been waiting for the summer season to get back that wonderful taste!!!

You can check one more post from raw magoes in the blog. It is traditional Indian cool summer beverage Kachhi keiri ka pana/panna (raw mango beverage)

Ingredients :

400 gm kairie (raw mango medium sized peeled and sliced)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sauf
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt or as per your taste( can take a mix of white and black salt)
Water 1/4 cup
1/3 cup Sugar

You can reduce or increase the quantity of salt, sugar and chilli powder as per your preference.

For oil, my preference is mustard oil for its pungent flavor.

Process :

Wash, peel and cut raw mangoes in long pieces. The seed of raw mango is tender. While slicing kairie, the seed will also be sliced. Remove the seed after cutting kairie into pieces.

In a broad pan heat oil and crackle funnel seeds.

Add cut pieces of kairie and rest of the spices, except sugar.

Add water, mix everything and cover the pan.

Raw mango gets cooked very soon – so after a minute keep stirring in between. When the kairie is 80% cooked and needs a few more minutes, add sugar and keep stirring very gently till sugar melts. Switch off heat.

Be careful here – don’t let kairie cook completely before adding sugar. If it is completely cooked, it will become mushy when sugar/jagegery is added. Slight crisp and soft pieces of kairi taste really nice.

Loungi wouldn’t last more than a day, but if you want to save it for the next day to eat it with paratha for breakfast, keep it in the fridge.