Monday, February 11, 2013

Creamy dumplings aka Lazeez Malai Kofta

Its been an eternity since I last posted the results of any culinary efforts here. The entree for dinner tonight turned out so lip-smackingly good that I had to share the recipe with you all. Sorry for the long hiatus post baby and Sasha's toddler years. I am hoping that I will be able to post more interesting recipes here from now on.

That said, here is the recipe of the creamy dumplings that mom-in-law made for dinner tonight. That's right, the comeback post does not feature my cooking but that of the master chef in the house.

1 medium sized squash
1 big potato
cashews handful
handful raisins
1/4 c gram flour/besan
turmeric, salt, red chili powder - as per taste

Boil squash and potato. Smash and mix with gram flour and salt, turmeric and chili powder. Cut cashews roughly into chunks as big as the raisins. Mix them along with the raisins in rest of the ingredients. With your hands, make 1 inch balls with the mixture and deep fry in hot oil. Keep aside

2 big tomatoes
1 big onion
2 medium sized green chilis
handful cashews
1/4 c cilantro
1 tbsn ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsn grated coconut

1 tbsn oil
1 tsp curry powder/garam masala
salt and turmeric to taste

1/4 c Cilantro
1/4 c Fresh whipped cream 


Cut tomato and onions into big chunks and boil them. In a blender, add the boiled onions and tomatoes and rest of the ingredients (except those for sauteing and garnishing) and blend to a fine paste. In a saute pan, add mustard seeds. When the seeds sputter, add 1 tsp garam masala (curry powder) and immediately add the blended paste. Cook at low heat till the oil separates from the gravy. Add the dumplings and switch off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve with fresh cream.

Friday, June 15, 2012

VHD - 2/12 Recipe Round Up

A BIG thank you to all our readers and friends for contributing to the Valentine's Heart Drive! We apologize for the unfortunate delay in publishing some of your posts but here's a final(lly!!) Recipe Round Up from the drive.

Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake

   Honey Wheat Bread with Oats

Arachu Vitta Kaara Kozhambu

Hyderabadi Biryani

Vanilla Berry Rosette Cake

Eggless Red Velvet Heart Cake

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Dal Makhani

Sprinkles Cake

Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

Poondu Kozhambu

Bell Pepper Fajitas and Guacamole

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Bell Pepper Fajitas and Guacamole (From Shilpa)

Bell pepper Fajitas and guacamole

Guacamole: Mash 2 avocados with a fork. Then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on it. Then add finely chopped onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro. Add salt and a little bit of jeera pwd.

Bell pepper mix for fajitas: In some olive oil , add onions that have been chopped lengthwise and some chopped garlic Then add half each of red, orange and yellow bell pepper. Cook nicely and then add store bought fajita mix powder. Garnish with cilanto and serve with tortillas and other fixins!

VHD 2/12 - Poondu Kozhambu (From Shilpa)

A big thank you to our next guest contributor - Shilpa Sarang - from Denver, Colorado.

Poondu Kozhambu

10-12 cloves of whole peeled garlic
Medium sized onion (preferably red) chopped lengthwise
Juice extracted from a ping pong ball sized tamarind 
curry leaves
Mustard 1 tsp
jeera 1tsp
chilli pwd (as per taste)
haldi pwd 1/2 tsp
dhania pwd 1/2 tsp

In some gingelly oil, splutter the mustard and jeera seeds. Then add curry leaves, onions and garlic. Fry for a bit till onions are tender and garlic has browned. Then add the tamarind extract, salt and haldi powder and boil till the raw smell of the tamarind goes and the liquid has reduced to half its quantity. Finally add the chilli pwd and dhania pwd and let it boil for a couple more minutes. Then its ready to serve.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Valentine's Heart Drive ... THANK YOU!!!

A quick thank you to all our guests that sent us their contributions. I have been down with the flu and Niti has been busy with some sudden changes at work. So, sorry if you don't see your post(s) here, we promise to put them up along with a Round Up very soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza

Trader Joe's 100% Whole Wheat pizza dough - 1/2 the quantity i.e. 8oz
Fresh asparagus - about 10, I used the top 4"
Frozen broccoli - about 10 florets, thawed
Sun dried tomatoes - 3 T
Basil pesto - 4 T
Cheese - 1/4 C or less of any low-fat variety. I might try nutritional yeast flakes as a substitute next time!
Suggestions for other substitutes are welcome :)

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle some cornmeal over, this helps easy removal of the pizza post baking. Place the dough on the sheet and roll it out, use some flour if required. If you are using your "clean" hand/fingers, rub some EVOO before you start. I rolled it out to about 6-7" but for next time, I might try close to 9-10" because when you bake, it rises/puffs up really well.

Once you've rolled your dough out, brush some EVOO all over including the ends. I used about 1T of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Arrange the vegetables (leaving about 1" all along the corner) as per your choice, crush some salt & pepper over and also grate the cheese over the pizza. Bake for 20-25 minutes. I put it back in for another 5 minutes at 375 F. The baked asparagus and tomatoes along with the cheese provide that delicious crunch! You can also sprinkle some pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese before serving.

Monday, February 27, 2012

VHD - 2/12 Sprinkles Cake (from Maha)

Another guest baker - Maha Ramani - shares her V-day baking adventure. Maha lives in Baltimore, MD and here are some of the pictures of her valentine cake! Thank you, Maha.

Friday, February 24, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Dal Makhani - made easy and healthy too! (From Hema)

Here's another post from Hema.

Dal Makhani is a crowd pleaser yet there are so many varieties of this Indian delicacy. I wanted to surprise my hubby with something different today and remembered having urad dal (black lentils) in my pantry, so that was a start. I managed to keep it heart healthy by cutting down on the usage of butter and cream, but making sure the taste was intact.

As always Google came to my rescue and I have tried so many versions. To name a few:
  • Adding “dals" (lentils) to a onion + tomato + ginger gravy
  • Slow cook the lentils in onion and tomato and let it turn into a gravy
But this particular recipe claimed to be from the chefs at Oberoi and I thought that should be great! So here we go with my version. I call it made easy since it’s a simple 3 step process
  1. Cook the dals
  2. Cook the gravy
  3. Mix the 2
A few tips before you start:
  • The dals soaking calls for overnight or at least 6 hours. I made it simple by letting the dals heat in water in the microwave. And then let it soak for 30mins
  • Use a small pressure cooker, that way you can cook the dals in this, just add the gravy later ans let it simmer
  • If you run out of “cream”, just melt 1 tbsp butter and add about 1 oz. of whole milk and stir for about 2mins on low-medium
  • I prefer fresh tomatoes to tomato puree but that’s a personal choice
Dal Makhani – made easy and healthy too!
Adapted from A Life (Time) of Cooking
Serves about 4 cups

1. Urad dal (black lentils) : Rajma (red kidney beans): Chana Dal (bengal gram dal) in the ratio 3:1:1. I used about 150 gms : 50gms : 50gms for the serving size of 4 cups
2. Tomatoes – 2 big
3. Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
4. Garlic cloves – 3 cloves
5. Heavy cream – 1 oz (you can also use 1 extra tbsp of cream to garnish while serving)
6. Jeera (cumin seeds) – 3 tbsp
7. Fenugreek seeds – 1/4th tbsp (Note: please stick to a very small amount given their bitter taste)
8. Garam masala – 1 tbsp
9. Chill powder – 1 tbsp
10. Green chilies – 2 small ones
11. Fresh ginger – 15 (very thin julienne)
12. Oil – 1 tbsp
13. Salt – to taste
14. Sugar – 2 tbsp
15. Coriander – 3-4 tbsp, finely chopped

Preparation method:
1. Wash all the lentils, soak them in water and microwave for about 3mins. Let it soak for another 30mins.
2. Meanwhile in a kadai - heat oil, add jeera, fenugreek and once they splutter add tomatoes
(chopped into small pieces), ginger garlic paste and cook for a few minutes on high.
3. Add about a cup of water and let it simmer for about 10mins with the lid on. Mash it with the ladle on and off
4. Pressure cook the lentils along with the garlic cloves for about 2-3 whistles
5. Once its ready to open, mash it a little, add the tomato gravy, green chilies, fresh ginger, chili powder, garam masala, salt, sugar and give it a good mix
6. Add the cream and mix it well. Let it cook on low-medium for just 10mins
7. Add the coriander and mix it on last time before serving
8. Garnish with a dash of cream, few coriander leaves and serve it with tandoori rotis (or whole wheat Indian breads of your choice to make it more heart healthy)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

VHD - 2/12 Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

This one was fun making, it's always fun to use up leftover vegetables and clear the refrigerator! Also, this dish is packed with the goodness of fresh vegetables and couscous, considered to be one of the healthiest grains-based products.

Top coat:
Potatoes - 4, medium
Butter - 1-2 T
Hot milk - 1/4-1/2 T

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cut the potatoes in half and add them to the boiling water and cook till soft. Drain, remove the peel and put the potatoes back in the pot. On medium heat, mash the potatoes well. Add the butter and milk and continue to mash till all lumps are gone! Add some salt, pepper and some dried basil. I also added a pinch of turmeric powder for some color. You could also add some spring onion greens and chives.

Onions - 1/4 of a big onion, finely chopped
Tomato - 1/2 of a medium, finely chopped (you can be generous here, I am using leftover veggies remember!)
Vegetables - I used a mixture of cabbage, turnip, scallions, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, carrot and peas - all finely chopped, you could use frozen vegetables too!
Couscous - 1 cup, fine grain - heat 1 cup of water in a small non stick pan, add 1 t butter, some salt and bring it to a boil. Add the couscous, turn off heat and cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff it up so the grain are not sticking to each other and set aside. You could use flavored couscous too.

to give you an idea of the amount of vegetables I used .. 
In a non stick pan heat 2 T of butter and saute the onions (till brown), tomatoes, salt and pepper. Add all the vegetables, some vegetable stock, basil, oregano. Mix, cover and cook till the vegetables are cooked. Uncover, make some space in the center, add 1 T of butter and flour, whisk to form a roux and mix in the vegetables. After a few minutes, add the couscous and mix well. Put the lid back on, turn off heat and let it sit for a few minutes.

In the mean time, preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Prepare your baking dish. I just went ahead and greased the dish (2 Qt.). Add the filling and press it down and pack it. Now add the mashed potatoes and spread it with a fork to give a nice top coat.

Bake for 15-20 minutes till the potatoes look nice and brown!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

VHD 2/12 - Eggless Red Velvet "heart" Cake (From Archana)

Here's another guest contribution, from Archana. Archana lives in Singapore and we are glad she found time to share some pictures amidst her busy schedule settling down in a new city and managing her two little kids. Thank you, Archana.

Eggless Red Velvet "heart" Cake
Adapted from: Heritage Red Velvet Cake by Heather @ Sprinkle Bakes
Icing: orange flavored cream cheese and heavy cream icing

right out of the oven!