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

 
Aaloo ki kachori

Aaloo ki kachori

Aaloo ki kachori reminds me very delicious food platter used to be prepared by my mother. Whenever at my parent’s house my maternal uncles used to visit us, my mother used to prepare proper UP (Uttar Pradesh) style food. There will be poori, dry potatoes veggie (which used to look like pickle because of extra oil and extra spices) one curry, curd with sugar or boondi ka raita and Aaloo ki kachori….. and sweets- that my uncles always used to bring, so mother never bothered to prepare.

This whole food served in steel thali (big size plate with edges) used to look so delicious that I always used to think that uncle’s visit should be more often ūüėč.

Among this whole platter my favorite used to be ‘aaloo ki kachori’. I have never tasted such wonderful kachori in any restaurant till now.

Aaloo ki kachori

Before marriage I had never attempted to prepare them independently. Actually I never dared to do, because I didn’t want to go through a disastrous attempt. But after marriage as we all do many experiments with food in kitchen, I too tried kachori. Taste was very good but a few of them tore and potato filling came out during frying.

Slowly over the years I continued making them and proudly can say that now I can fry every single kachori in perfect shape!!!!!!

Mother’s recipes and tips are always perfect despite the fact that they used to prepare everything with their guess work!!

For a few more snacks recipes you can check this link also… Snacks

Ingredients:

For preparing dough….

Wheat flour 2+1/2 cups
Salt 3/4 tsp
Carom seeds 1 tsp
Oil 2 +1/2 tbsp
Rava 1+1/2 tbsp (optional)
Water 1 cup +1/4 cup

Potato masala :

Boiled Potatoes
Dry mango powder, garam masala, salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida, chopped green chillies, finely chopped green coriander leaves(optional) and grated ginger(optional).

Oil, to fry

Tips :

  1.   We have to knead slightly loose dough than our regular chapati dough. Loose dough will be easy to roll with stuffed potato mix.
  2.    If you are feeling that the quantity of water is making dough very loose, then you can reduce some amount of water.
  3. Adding rava adds extra crunch to kachori¬† but if you don’t have, comfortably leave it.
  4.    Make sure that coriander leaves have no water in them, otherwise potato mix will be soggy and it will make rolling difficult. Also, mix will seep out while rolling and frying.
  5.   After boiling, keep potatoes in a strainer for some time so that all water drains out. Soggy boiled potatoes are not good for filling.
  6.   Do not prepare potato mixture 2-3 hours in advance. Salt in mixture will turn it soggy.
  7.   If you are preparing kachori first time, fry one kachori at a time, gain confidence and slowly you can do 2-3 at a time.

Process:

Take wheat flour, salt, carom seeds, rava in a broad pan to prepare the dough. Add oil and mix everything together.

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Now start adding water to knead and prepare slightly loose dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep it aside.

dough for kachori is ready

Peel and mash potatoes and add all spices as per your taste along with chopped green chillies, coriander leaves and grated ginger. Mix everything together and potato mix is ready.

aaloo masala is ready for kachori

Start heating oil in a deep pan. During the time oil is getting hot we can start the preparation of filling and rolling kachori.

Take some amount of dough and prepare it like a smooth ball between your palms and roll it little bit with the help of rolling pin . If dough is sticky, use oil to grease your palms and at rolling surface.

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Now add small amount of potato mix on the slightly rolled dough.

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From the edges start collecting the dough with your fingers, bring it at the center, close it and pat it down lightly.

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If required, again grease rolling surfer with oil and very gently roll stuffed dough carefully and evenly from all sides. Evenly rolled kachori will puff up nicely. Be careful that potato mix should not come out while rolling.

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By now oil is hot enough for frying. Make sure that oil is not very hot¬† otherwise kachori will remain raw from inside. You can check the right temperature of oil by putting a tiny piece of dough in it. If it sinks in the bottom of the pan, oil is not hot enough to fry. If dough becomes brown immediately after adding into the oil , it’s too hot. With experience you will learn!!

Now gently slip kachori from the side of the pan and fry it by turning upside down gently a couple of times till it becomes brown and crisp.

deep fry aaloo ki kachori

aaloo ki kachori is ready!

Sometimes while frying kachori might open up and stuffing can seep out. It happens if you have rolled kachori very thin or it is overstuffed with potato mixture. Don’t panic, take out that damaged kachori and all that stuffing which is floating on oil with laddle and continue frying the rest of the kachoris.

Serve hot kachoris with your choice of chutney, sauce or dips!!

aaloo ki kachori

 

aaloo ki kachori

aaloo ki kachori

 

 
tamatar ki chutney

Tamatar ki chutney

I like tamatar ki chutney along with poori and paratha a lot in brunch. I like the word “brunch” a lot. It suits occasionally lazy people like me ūüėČ. It allows us to cook just two meals rather than three in a day.

Generally while having poori for brunch I prefer to have curd along with  sukhe aaloo ki sabzi Sukhe aaloo ki sabzi (boiled potatoes with Indian spices). But last weekend I thought of trying salty, sweet, tangy and spicy tamatar ki chutney. My mother used to prepare it as a side dish for stuffed parathas and was my favourite!

tamatar ki chutney

A small tip:

To prepare this chutney, always buy sour tomatoes, instead of sweet ones.

Ingredients :

Tomatoes, green chilies, dry mint powder or fresh mint leaves, salt, sugar, red chili powder, oil, turmeric powder, rai, cumin seeds and asafoetida. You can go with your choice of flavours like parsley, basil, rosemary, garlic, ginger etc…

Process:

Wash tomatoes, green chilies and fresh mint leaves.

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Cut tomatoes into big pieces and chop green chilies.

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In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil (I used mustard oil) and crackle rai, cumin seeds and asafoetida.

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Add tomatoes and green chilies in the oil along with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.

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Cover it and let it cook on medium to sim flame for 15-20 minutes. Tomatoes are very tender so they don’t take long time to get cooked.

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In between turn them upside down but don’t let tomatoes become completely mashed up.

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Once tomatoes are cooked¬† add sugar (according to your taste) and sprinkle dry mint powder for flavor. If you don’t have dry mint powder, chop finely fresh mint leaves and add.

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Tamatar ki chutney tyaar hai!!!

Garnish with green mint leaves.

tamatar ki chutney

tamatar ki chutney

tamatar ki chutney

There is one more Chutney recipe in the blog . If you are interested can take a look…Coriander Chutney (dhaniye ki chutney)

 

Aaloo ki sookhi sabzi

Aaloo ki sookhi sabzi (dry potato sabzi) is everyone’s favourite! Potatoes are cooked in many ways all over the world and liked by all age groups. In my fridge, the vegetable basket can be empty in 3-4 days but potatoes, never ever…..

I use potatoes  to prepare Aalu ki tikiya(potato patties stuffed with spicy peas) dry veggie or veggie with gravy and aaloo ka halva, some snacks and Aaloo ka Paratha (paratha with spicy potato stuffing)

Last weekend my daughter had a get-together in our house with a few of her friends. Preparing lunch for teenagers is a challenge as they are very fussy about their likes and dislikes. So, to be on the safer side I decided to prepare this dish “aaloo ki sookhi sabzi” as I thought that no can says no to potatoes.

We can prepare this sabzi with raw potatoes or with boiled ones. I decided to prepare with boiled potatoes. It’s a very easy and hassle-free dish.

Ingredients :

Potatoes, green chilies, green coriander leaves, rai, cumin seeds, asafoetida, oil, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, dry mango powder or lemon juice.

Process :

Wash nicely and boil potatoes. After boiling keep them in a strainer and let them cool down.

boil potatoes for Aaloo ki sukhi sabziWhen potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel them.

peel and mash potatoes for aaloo ki sukhi sabzi

In a heavy-bottomed pan heat oil and crackle rai, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Mash potatoes in small and big chunks and put them into the pan. Add finely chopped green chilies, salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder and dry mango powder or lemon juice.

mix masala for aaloo ki sukhi sabzi

Keep the heat on the sim and mix everything, cover it and let it cook on sim heat for 1/2 an hour. In between keep on turning them upside down. You may wonder what is the need for cooking so long when we had already boiled these earlier. Additional cooking makes potatoes absorb the flavours of all spices and makes them crispy. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Aaloo ki sukhi sabzi

 

 
Stuffed Capsicum(bharva shimla mirch)

Stuffed Capsicum (bharva shimla mirch)

Stuffed vegetables like Stuffed Capsicum (bharva shimla mirch) add charm to your dinning table! Though preparation takes slightly longer time, but the end result is really really good. Stuffed Capsicum (bharva shimla mirch) can be done with boiled potatoes, paneer, roasted gram flour or simply with some spices of your choice.

From my childhood, I had always liked boiled potatoes filled stuffed capsicum a lot. I have experienced that the taste of capsicum is not much appreciated by everyone, but if you serve it in stuffed form, people really like it. After our marriage, in Chennai Manish and I had invited some of  his colleagues at home and I had cooked stuffed capsicum and I remember that everyone liked it a lot!
In Bangalore also my dear friend Padmaja had called me once to her house to cook stuffed capsicum, so that she can see the entire process.

Not exaggerating, but my mother-in-law also very much likes stuffed capsicum prepared by me. Once I packed for her when they were going back to Jaipur from Bangalore and got rave reviews.

So now you have enough reasons to give stuffed capsicum a try……

There is one more post in the blog in the category of stuffed vegetables, you can take a look at Stuffed chillies

Ingredients :

Green Capsicum

Potatoes

Finely chopped green chillies

Oil

Spices: salt, red chilli powder, dry mango powder(amchoor), garam masala, asafoetida(hing) and turmeric powder.

Process :

Boil potatoes in pressure cooker. Never let potatoes become over boiled where they get a big crack in between – this way water seeps in and they become soggy.

boil potatoes

Keep boiled potatoes in a strainer so that all water seeps out.

let potatoes dry

Peel potatoes and once they cool down, add all spices, mash them and mix everything together.

add spices

Mash potatoes along with spices

Heat a pan and add 1-2 spoons of oil and add ready mix of boiled potatoes. Keep on turning them upside-down from time to time to avoid potatoes sticking to the pan. Don’t add too much oil here as we just have to roast them lightly for 10 minutes.

roast potatoes little bit

Potatoes will stick to the pan as we have added only couple of spoons of oil. To avoid this use small pan support – it’s very helpful in slow cooking.

pan support

Once they are done, let them cool down.

potatoes are ready for stuffing in capsicum

Wash and dry capsicum. Always buy¬† vertically shaped small sized capsicum for preparing stuffed capsicum. With vertical shape,¬† it’s easy to deseed them.

Green Capsicum

To remove seeds, make a vertical cut.

make a vertical cut

Fill in the prepared potato filling. Don’t stuff too much filling, otherwise while cooking it will start seeping out.

stuff capsicum with potatoes mix

Heat the pan and add 4-5 spoons of oil, spreading all over the pan. Next, place all the stuffed capsicums and cover the pan.

cover the pan

Stuffed capsicum should be cooked on sim heat, so you can use small pan support again.

Keep on turning them upside-down till they are tender from all sides and done.

stuffed capsicum

Serve with roti, plain paratha or rice.

Stuffed capsicum is ready!

Bharva shimla mirch

 

Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergine

Stuffed brinjals/eggplant/aubergine is one of those dishes from brinjal which is loved by all those members of your family who do not like this vegetable a lot. To make family members eat brinjals is a very difficult task. So stuff them with onions, their choice of spices, or roasted gram flour. Personally I love vegetables in stuffed form a lot. Stuffed form  just add on glamour in simple veggies! Try lady finger, bitter gourd, tinda or even tomatoes or chilies- all these vegetables tastes fantastic in stuffed form. Slowly I will be posting recipes for all these vegetables with stuffing in the blog. But till then you can check this recipe   Stuffed Chilies(Bharva Hari Mirch)

These stuffed eggplant can be served with plain paratha, roti or side dish for rice. This dish will enhance the flavor of your meal!!!
(Pardon the picture quality of ready stuffed brinjals, had guests in the house and I was feeling awkward to take pictures at the right frame.

Ingredients :

Small size brinjals
Oil
Spices : coriander powder, red chilli powder,turmeric powder  salt, a pinch of asafoetida (hing), garam masala, dry mango powder (amchoor), grinded fennel seeds(kuti hui sauf)

Process :

Wash and dry brinjals.

small size brinjals

Now collect all spices in a bowl and add one or two tsp oil in it and mix everything together.

masala for stuffed brinjals

Cut brinjal horizontally and vertically – But make sure not to cut all the way, that is from end-to-end.

cut brinjals horizontally and vertically

Fill in little quantity of spices mix in the gaps – both horizontally and vertically.

stuff brinjals horizontally and vertically

Heat one non stick or heavy bottomed  pan and pour 4-5 spoons of oil in it. Place all spices filled brinjals in it.

cook stuffed brinjals in a non stick pan

Reduce the heat to sim, cover the pan and let them cook on sim flame

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Keep on turning  brinjals upside down for even cooking till they become tender from all sides.

cook stuffed brinjals evenly from all sides

Serve with roti, nan, plain paratha or rice!

stuffed brinjals are ready!

stuffed brinjals are ready to be served!