Monthly Archives: June 2014

Chole with Palak and Kale – Iron Shakti!

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Since the time the doctor suggested Aditi needs more iron, I spent two days on the net reading up all I could about sources of iron. Though it was convincing to know that most of the plant sources do contain iron – the sad part is that it is all ‘non heme’ iron, which means that the body does not absorb it easily. One good way of having iron absorbed better is to combine your food with vitamin C sources like lemon, orange juice.
Now, we have always been green lovers, but this call for iron brought into my fridge bags of spinach, methi, mint, kale and collard. The leaves have started to appear in everywhere – daal, paratha, sabji, cheela and most recently – the humble chole. I had been making palak chole often, but addition of kale was Nilesh’s idea and the result was different and interesting. While pakal loses all its form (and water) when cooked, kale gave body and bite to the dish. I wish kale was available in India too – till that time, try adding any greens you can find to chole and you will be delighted with the result.

Ingredients –
Chole/ chickpeas/ chane – 1.5 cups (source of iron)
Spinach and/or Kale leaves – 2 to 3 cups, cleaned chopped roughly (source of iron)
Tomatoes  – 2, chopped small or pureed (source of iron)
Onions – 2 small or 1 large – chopped small
Ginger  – half inch piece, grated
Garlic – 2 cloves (optional), grated
Kasoori methi – 1.5 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Chana masala/ garam masala – 2 tsp
Jeera – half tsp, Rai – half tsp
Oil – 3 tsp

Method –
1. Soak the chole overnight or 6 to 8 hours with lots of water. Wash them and boil in a cooker with a pinch of salt. I dont like them too mushy, so 3 to 4 whistles on a medium flame are good.
2. Heat oil in a non stick kadhai.
3. When oil is hot, add jeera and rai. When they pop and sizzle, add ginger and garlic and let them leave their raw small.
4. Add the onion pieces and keep stirring. The onions should get pale and soft and start browning.
5. Add the tomatoes, chana masala, turmeric, red chili powder, salt and let the tomatoes cook till they get all mushed up and the masala starts to give a good aroma.
4. Now add the kasoori methi, and chopped greens. Cook them for just a minute and add the boiled chole. We want the chole to cook in the juices of kale and spinach – this brings out the flavor and blends everything well.
5. Cook covered for 5 minutes. No need to add water as greens release lots.Taste and adjust the salt etc.
6. Eat with roti/ paratha.

Back with Badam Peda

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Badam Peda - soft n chewy

Badam Peda – soft n chewy

So here I am – back to my dear space – from a different world altogether. When I left behind my big kitchen in Delhi with all my gadgets and fancy props, I was nearly sure I wont make it to Aroma of Spices again. My fears were confirmed when I landed up in a small town in Canada, with a student apartment kitchen – 6 plates, 6 spoons and fewer cooking utensils. Now that I look at the past eight months, while the kitchen feels as much my own as was my older one – irrespective of size, I realize I have been cooking more than I did in the past so many years. Thanks to no avail to Indian food restaurants – we were eating fresher and healthier food. I reasoned this was a bigger reason to blog – plus I have started to discover different ingredients which I have started to incorporate in my cooking and am really excited to share my finds with friends!
So here is the first one – badam peda made without blanching almonds. I found this blanched almond flour on sale and could not resist picking it up. Back home, I just used it the traditional way and the results were awesome – soft chewy badam peda. With just 15 minutes of cooking time, it is a must try for anyone who can find this flour in the store.

Found this in Walmart!

Found this in Walmart!

Ingredients:
2 cups of blanched almond flour/ ground almonds
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
3 – 4 generous pinches of cardamom powder (optional)
1 tbsp pistachio slivers (optional)

Method:
1. Mix the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan. Heat till small bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Should take 5 to 7 minutes on a medium flame.
3. Stir gently and let it come to a rolling boil. No need to check for string consistency etc of the syrup.
4. Pour in almond flour and cardamom powder and stir well to avoid lumps. Keep stirring for a few minutes and you should notice the mixture getting a little thicker.
5. Put a little drop on a chilled plate and test to see if it hardens slightly. You should be able to roll it into a loose ball.
6. If it does, switch off the heat and move the pan away from the hot surface.
7. Let it cool on its own. I forgot about it till I had cooked entire dinner.
8. Just spread the pistachio slivers on the dough. Pull out small balls of the dough, roll and flatten a bit with with your palms using your hands.
9. Store in the fridge. 2 cups of flour gave me 15 bite sized pedas. They are soft and chewy – totally worth the fifteen minutes of time and five bucks you spent on it!