Monthly Archives: September 2012

Quick(est) Aaloo Tamatar

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This is a quick fix – when I am short on both, time and ingredients in the fridge. It goes well with parathas or pooris and when served, looks pretty decent (does not give away the fact that you made this as you had not much alternatives). I have got a pretty elaborate recipe of the “aaloo ka rassa” prepared at my home in Indore, which involves boiling potatoes separately and sautéing tomatoes for a long time. But this worked well for lazy Sunday lunches, when there was a lot of time on hands. In my version, everything goes from the blender- to the pressure cooker- to the plate.
I don’t know from where did I pick this up, prolly hubby N might have made this at some point of time. I think if I jot down all my recipes on this blog, I will have to have a category “coached by hubby N” and half of the dishes I cook would figure there!

Ready to be eaten with pooris or parathas

Ingredients –
Potatoes – 3 medium (peeled, washed, cut into big chunks)
Green Peas – a fistful (fresh or frozen, optional)
Tomatoes – 3 medium or 2 big ( ripe, red ones)
Ginger – half an inch piece (washed, peeled)
Green chilies – 2 (stems removed)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Jeera, Rai, Ajwain – half tsp each
Haldi – half tsp
Garam masala/ Kitchen King masala – 1 tsp
Dhania powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Sugar – a pinch or two

Method –

1. Cut the tomatoes into halves. Put them in a blender jar along with the ginger and green chilies. Blend it to a paste.
2. Take a dry clean pressure cooker. Put in the oil and heat it.
3. Once the oil is hot, add jeera, ajwain, rai and let them pop and sizzle for a few seconds. Add haldi.
4. Put the tomato paste from the blender jar and mix in the oil and spices. Let this cook till the rawness of tomatoes is gone and the deal starts to look shiny (the oil kinda oozes out). This took 10 minutes for me. You need to keep moving around the paste every few minutes, lest it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
5. Add the garam masala, salt, dhania powder and sugar. The sugar balances out the tartness of the tomatoes.
6. Now, add the potato chunks and peas (if using).
7. Add in water to make the deal watery. We need enough water as this will be cooked in pressure, but not so much as to make things runny. Use your experience and judgment.
8. Close the lid of the cooker and let this cook on a sim flame, upto two whistles. We don’t want the potatoes to turn into a mush.
9. Once the cooker cools down, open it and check the consistency. The tomatoes and potatoes should look like a single entity. If too watery, keep the cooker pan on a sim flame and let this cook in open.
10. Serve with parathas, pooris.

Chawal ka Paratha (made of cooked rice!)

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My paratha stack!

Yes I did it again! I made parathas and when hubby N enquired about the ingredients, I did not know where to look. Parathas made of rice? No, not rice flour – that sounds totally alright. But out of cooked rice – that sure can raise a few eyebrows and I witnessed a pair of such raised eyebrows this morning.
Well , it happened so that I made some rice for baby A’s dinner. It was on the mushier side on purpose, as baby A often chooses to eat her rice sans any daal – only sugar suffices. I had a good quantity left, which went to the refrigerator. First thing I do every morning – open the refrigerator door and brood! (My mom says I should rather go out , look at the rising sun. But my argument stands that there is no sun rising at 4:45am and even if it did, it won’t help me prepare meals for the entire day. Suggestion turned down!). So! In the refrigerator sat this big bowl half full with cooked, mushy rice. I had to make parathas, a veggie side and three regular baby meals. The rice was not fitting in anywhere and I did not want to keep it there for another 8 hours. So I decided to be brave and make parathas out of the rice. Though I started with a bit of apprehension, the result totally amazed me! The parathas were soft as well as crispy – and the best part was – were not at all messy to roll out. No complaints from hubby or the baby – and I was a happy camper. 🙂

Dough Ready – see the rice sticking out?

My mom who is a regular listener of my kitchen adventures, says I am evolving into a paratha queen of some sorts, but I wish she browsed through the food blogosphere to see for herself – there exist real paratha queens – with more than 50 paratha recipes on their respective blogs…so that just makes me the queen in my own kitchen – and I am pretty happy with that at the moment. 🙂

Ingredients –
Cooked rice/ Boiled Rice – 2 bowls
Wheat Flour – 3 bowls
Salt – 1 tsp
Paneer – Half a bowl, grated ( optional – I have this habit of throwing it in, in any breads I make)
Water – to knead the dough (I dint need any)
Oil – to roast the parathas.

Rolled out paratha – ready for the tava

Method –
1. Take wheat flour in big bowl.
2. Add salt and mix. Add in the grated paneer, if using.
3. Now, add the cooked rice, two spoons at a time and keep on mixing. Add all the rice this way.
4. Keep on kneading and add some water if you think it is required. My rice was too mushy and I dint need any water.
5. In the final stages, add some drops of oil to the kneaded flour and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
6. Roll out parathas by applying dry flour as you would for chapattis.
7. Cook on a hot tava/ griddle till brown spots start appearing. Apply some oil.
8. Reverse and cook the other side. Apply oil on the other side too.
9. Once it is cooked uniformly, store it in the hot case or the plate waiting on the dining table. 🙂
10. Enjoy with curd/ a veggie side/ pickle of your choice.

Shimla Mirch Besan – healthy option!

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While I raise my concerns about being overweight and the need to change our eating pattern at home, potato still remains the most frequently sought out vegetable in my household. This is done usually as for baby A, sabji = potato and potato = sabji. So, the potatoes in the veggie are usually picked out and heaped in baby A’s plate, which she chomps down with her roti – giving us a look which says – ‘ aren’t you guys proud of me? I am eating adult food – daal, sabji, roti!’. However, when I have got something else set up as her menu, I prefer to leave the potatoes alone and reach out for my favorite ingredient (maybe every maharashtrian’s favorite ingredient) – besan.
Back in my mom’s home, while addition of potatoes to vegetables is a crime, a liberal sprinkling of besan is the usual practice. It makes the vegetable delicious and healthy. Though I have seen besan being used very often in maharashtrian, rajasthani and gujrati cusine, it is not used in everyday cooking in north Indian food. No wonder hubby N had never eaten this version of shimla mirch ever before. It is great that he likes it as much as I do. Still waiting for baby A to get a taste of non-aaloo delights such as this one!

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Ingredients –
Shimla Mirch / Capsicum – 4 big (washed, deseeded, chopped to bite sized chunks)
Besan / Chickpea Flour – 3 tbsp (flat, not heaped)
Oil – 1.5 tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – half tsp
Ajwain / Carom seeds – half tsp
Salt – as per taste
Haldi/ Turmeric Powder – half tsp
Laal Mirch / Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Dhania / Dry coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala/ Kitchen King Masala – 1 tsp

Method –
1.Heat oil in a wok / non-stick pan.
2. When hot, add jeera, ajwain and let them splutter for a few seconds.
3. Add haldi, red chili powder and give it a stir to blend them with the oil.
4. Put in the shimla mirch chunks, mix gently to coat them with the oil mix.
5. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes / till the capsicum wilts.
6. Open and add salt. Cover and cook again for 5 minutes.
7. Open and sprinkle coriander powder and garam masala. Sprinkle the besan now. Mix gently so that the besan coats all the pieces. If you see things getting too dry, sprinkle some water.
8. Cook for 5 minutes in the open, so that the besan is cooked, moisture evaporates and the deal looks crisp and shiny.
9. Serve with rotis, or pack for lunch.