Kunduru ki sabzi

Kunduru ki sabzi

Kunduru ki sabzi is my favourite as a side dish with daal-chawal, though it is equally good with chapati and plain paratha too. Kunduru is known by many different names, like, ivy gourd, coccinia grandis, tendli, scarlet gourd, tindora etc. I really like this vegetable when kunduru is completely raw and green from inside. When kunduru ripens, they turn red from inside and look fruit rather than vegetable! Though we can still cook ripened kunduru as a vegetable, but that recipe some other time.

kunduru ki sabzi

Kunduru ki sabzi can be cooked with or without onions. Onions enhance the taste, look and make it more appealing. But that doesn’t mean that kunduru doesn’t taste good without onion – my mother is a non-onion-non-garlic person and she cooks finger-licking good food!!

Kunduru ki sabzi

There are a few more posts on different vegetables in the blog – if you are interested, can take a look…

Vegetables (Curries)

Ingredients:

Kunduru 1/2 kg
Onions 2 big sized
Green chillies chopped 3-4
Oil 5 – 6 tbsp
Water 2-3 tbsp (if required)
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp (increase or decrease)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per your taste

Process:

Wash and chop kunduru lengthwise in thin stripes and keep them aside.

Kunduru

Cut kunduru lengthwise

Chop onions and shallow fry them in one tbsp oil till they are slightly more than  translucent.

Chop onions to shallow fry

Fry till onions are slightly transluent

Transfer these onions to a bowl. Add remaining oil and crackle cumin seeds (jeera) and asafotida (hing) in the same wok. Add chopped kunduru, spices and cut green chilies. Mix everything well and cover the wok. Keep the heat on sim.

Add spices for kunduru ki sabzi

Mix spices in kunduru

Stir them twice or thrice. Add 2 or 3 tbsp of water if spices are sticking to the bottom of the wok. Cover again and let them cook till they are soft. Add fried onions, mix them with kunduru and let them cook on sim heat for 2-3 minutes more.

When Kunduru becomes soft add onions.

Kunduru ki sabzi is ready! Serve it hot as a side dish with daal-chawal or plain parathe/roti.

Kunduru ki sabzi is ready!

 
Saim ki fali ki sabzi

Flattened beans with potatoes

Flattened beans with potatoes always reminds me of my mother’s cooking. She cooks the best sabzi of flattened beans with potatoes. In my childhood, we used to get fresh flattened beans (seim ki fali) from the kitchen garden itself. Have you ever noticed that if we pluck vegetables from the plant, then there is a fresh fragrance around it? Vegetables look so good and beautiful that you instantly want to cook them? Whereas, whenever I buy from the market (or online in the current situation), that enthusiasm is not there.

W are doing online shopping for all vegetables and fruits courtesy the pandemic . But for the last two weeks, could not see any variety in vegetables online. I got frustrated and my husband and I went out to buy in a traditional manner, to a brick-and-mortar store. It was sooo good to come out of the house, even though it  was only vegetable shopping. I bought so many and was lucky enough to get very nice flattened beans . They were very tender and seeds were also soft and raw. I didn’t want to keep them in the fridge and decided to cook them for lunch.

Flattened Beans with potatoes

Flattened beans, paired with potatoes, go very well with roti or parathas. As not many ingredients are required to prepare this sabzi, it makes it very easy to cook. If you like garlic, you can add crushed garlic in oil along with rai, hing and jeera. It gives wonderful flavor.

I also have a post on a Clustered Beans in the blog – if you are interested, can take a look…Gwar ki fali (cluster beans)

Ingredients:

Flattened beans 300 gms
Medium sized potatoes 2
Oil 3 tbsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt as per your taste
Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
Green chilies (chopped) 2
Water 4 tbsp
Salt as per your taste

Process:

Cut  both ends of flattened beans, chop them into small pieces and wash. Wash and cut potatoes too.

Wash , cut both the ends and chop flattened beans

Heat oil in a pan and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add potatoes, mix them with oil and let them cook for a minute or two. Now, add chopped beans.

Cook potatoes for a minute or two..

Add flattened beans in potatoes..

Add all spices, mix everything well, add 2 tbsp water, cover the pan and let it cook on sim heat till potatoes and beans become tender.  In between, keep turning them upside-down for even cooking and if you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom, add 2 tbsp more water and cover it.

Add spices in potatoes and flattened beans

Flattened beans with potatoes is ready to go with roti or paratha.

Flattened Beans with potatoes

 

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

 

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!

 

Rasgulla

I am a complete dessert person who doesn’t need any excuse to gorge on sweets. And if I have homemade dessert, I just keep on searching for an excuse to go again and again into the kitchen.

During summer you just don’t feel like having high calories sweets.You crave for something light which can be digested easily. So I prefer to prepare sweets from paneer during the summer season.

Rasgulla from paneer can be the base dish for many sweets. So you first learn to prepare Rasgulla (believe me, its not so difficult as it seems) and the rest of the varieties will be very easy to prepare.

IMG_20190403_190751132-01.jpeg

 

The secret of preparing the best spongy rasgulla is in the right technique for preparing paneer. While searching for a good recipe for Rasgulla, I found a video by Vahvah chef about preparing rasmalai. After watching this video i mastered (not at all exaggerating) the way to prepare rasgulla. This is the picture of when I made rasgulla successfully for the first time…

FB_IMG_1530604700236

Later I tried rasmalai, rajbhog and cham- cham (malai-sandwich) successfully with the base of all these sweet dishes as rasgulla with little variations. I will be posting all of them in the blog, but first I am starting with Rasgulla recipe …..

IMG_20190403_181515146_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

Ingredients :

I kg full fat milk
I lemon juice(can be replaced with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 cups sugar (granulated)
4 1/2 cup water
Seeds of 2-3 whole cardamom(optional)
Keep ready one tray of ice cubes
Method:
Squeeze out lemon juice, sieve it, add equal amount of water to the lemon juice and keep it separately.
Boil milk and pour lemon juice into it..
The moment milk starts curdling switch off gas…milk is so hot that it will curdle.

IMG_20190403_163429711.jpg
When whole milk is curdled nicely…immediately pour this in a strainer which is covered with muslin cloth … add ice cubes.

IMG_20190403_163537090.jpg
Let the chhena remain in muslin cloth and wash this nicely in running water so that no taste of lemon or vinegar remains. Squeeze out all water from chhena.
Now hang this chhena in muslin cloth for 10-15 min..so that rest of the water drains out.
Still If you feel that chhena is too wet, squeeze it with your hands

IMG_20190403_170724543.jpg

Mash chhena properly.
Rub it nicely with your hands so that all the grains of chhena become soft and you can collect it like a dough.

IMG_20190403_171256912.jpg
Prepare small balls of this whole chhena dough. There should not be any cracks in the balls.
And still if you are getting cracks, rub the chhena ball between your palms and again make the ball, or give it any other shape.

IMG_20190403_171347517.jpg

IMG_20190403_172444250.jpg

IMG_20190403_172845194.jpg
Now in a big size vessel or cooker add water, sugar, and cardamom seeds. Switch on gas on high flame.
Keep stirring water till whole sugar is dissolved…and the moment the water starts boiling, put all your chhena balls into this syrup and cover the vessel and keep some weight on the cover… (if using cooker, let it boil till first whistle and then sim the flame for next 5-7 min.) Gas flame should be high for the first five min….and then reduce it to sim for next 5-7 minutes .

IMG_20190403_173809616.jpg

Let the steam cool down and then open the lid of the cooker. You will see that your small balls of chhena have doubled in size.

Your spongy rasgullas are ready….!!
Shift them in another bowl along with sugar syrup. Let them cool down completely and later keep them in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

IMG_20190403_181515146_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

 

Serve chilled.

IMG_20190403_190737392-01.jpeg

 

Oh, you cook  different dishes also other than just baking bread….!!

This was the instant reaction I got from my dear hubby in the evening when he saw the bowl of rasgullas on dining table … 😀😀😀

 

IMG_20190403_191017922-01.jpeg

Would love to hear from you about this  spongy paneer sweet dish ❤️❤️

 

 

 

 

 

Moong ki daal ke pakode (green lentil fritters)

I love Makar Sankranti festival the most! In Jaipur Makar Sankranti is celebrated in its full galore. Before a month itself you can feel the vibes of the festival in the air. Even a small street corner general store starts selling kites. Immediately after coming back from school, kids will be seen on terrace with their kites till their mother starts calling them to come down because it is going to be very cold – after all it’s peak of winter season. Mothers will be drying up sesame seeds in hot sun for preparing sweets as til ki papdi and til ke ladoo. 

Kids keep their kites ready the previous night of Sankranti itself. Gaajar ka halwa is prepared and split green moong daal is soaked previous night of Sankranti. I remember at my parents’ house we used to take bath with cold fresh tap water early in the morning on the day of Sankranti (a religious custom). Mother used to be busy with her pooja preparations and we used to wait for Sun to come so that sky can be clear of fog. I remember, once my brother, Sunny, and I, tried to fly kite very early in the morning when it was still dark. We found some neighbours also along with their kites on their terrace. But unfortunately because of fog kites became wet and everyone returned disappointed.

Sankranti is the best day to be soaked up in the Sun. Whole day family members are on the terrace. If guests or neighbours visit you, they also join you on the terrace.

Streets are also full of kids – some will be there to fly kites and others to catch the kites. Have you ever caught a kite flying in from somewhere in the sky, and somehow you guessed that it’s going to cross through your territory…it creates such a wonderful scene!! Everyone on your terrace is on full alert, sometimes including your parents, not to leave no stone unturned to catch the incoming kite!!!! And the person who succeeds in catching that kite will have a wonderful sense of proud feeling!!

Whole day will be gone in watching and flying kites, making loud hullabaloo if you are successful in snapping others kite’s string, gossiping, and munching roasted groundnuts, gazak, revadi, til papdi and hot moong ki daal ke pakode /vade.

Oh, I miss so much Makar Sankranti celebration in Jaipur, 😢 I guess I can write a lot about this festival. It is that one festival which is celebrated from morning till night. After sunset also some people fly kites with lamp, even though it gets very cold.

After shifting to Bangalore I hardly saw kids flying kites. But a few days before Sankranti I read that at some place kite festival was being organized. And today when we went out to our nearby shopping complex in Banashankari 3rd stage, I was amazed to see kites being sold in shops. Just like rakhi now there were kites to attract kids with their favorite cartoon characters like Doremon, Dora, Barbies etc. Even our honourable Prime Minister Modi kite was there.

mk3

mk 2

I really hope that in coming 3-4 four years we might see sky of Bangalore filled with colourful kites on Makar Sankranti.

The main attraction of food in the whole day of Makar Sankranti is ‘chilke vaali hari moong ki daal ke pakode‘. Daal is soaked the previous night, and in the morning it is ground, spices added and this batter is used the whole day for family members and guests to have hot pakode. These are very tasty and crispy and you can have them with your hot evening tea.

Ingredients :

Split green moong daal,  green chillies, ginger, salt, red chilli powder, salt, asafoetida and water.

Process :

Wash nicely and soak daal overnight or just for 2 hours in the morning – it puffs up nicely.

IMG_20190115_084051694.jpg

Add salt, red chilli powder, green chillies, asafoetida and ginger. Without water grind it in a mixer. We need thick batter, so don’t add water while grinding.

IMG_20190115_085535368.jpg

Heat oil in a deep pan and with your finger tips take very small quantity of daal batter and drop it carefully in the hot oil. If this tiny pakoda/fritter floats in the oil, it signifies that oil is hot enough to fry. In the same way fry rest of the pakode. You can use spoon also to drop the batter in oil.

 

IMG_20190115_092532969.jpg

 

On medium heat fry pakode nicely by turning them upside down.

IMG_20190115_092929737.jpg

Take them out with a handled sieve to drain out extra oil.

IMG_20190115_093350014

Serve hot and crispy pakode with any sauce or chutney.

pakode daal

 

 

.