Thursday, November 12, 2009

Versatile Apple

Fall is all about falling leaves, crisp weather and fruits like pears, persimmons and apples. While I can practically live on fruits, apples is something I used to avoid as much as I could. I stopped buying apples after seeing GIANT supermarket fruits. I eventually found out about the farmers market and started buying various varieties of apples along with other luscious fruits. But still apple is something that I used to ignore as much as I can. Then I found out about green apple raita that my friend Priya makes and and methapple that TC makes and apple crisp that ET makes. I make panhe by steaming fresh apples and making my own apple sauce for instant version. I also tried making this apple pie filling that my classmate from pottery class taught me but that is tad sweet for my palette.

Now coming back to the recipes, I am going to share a quick fix pickle and koshimbeer from varieties of apple.

Fuji Apple Pickle -

Apple Pickle

1 Apple
1 lime
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp jaggery or brown sugar
salt per taste

Preparation -
Heat oil in a small kadhai, add mustard seeds and methi seeds. Mustard seeds will start spluttering in a minute or so. Turn off the heat and add turmeric and asafoetida. Let this tempering cool down to room temperature.
Meanwhile. core and chop the apple to small pieces. Immediately squeez lime juice to prevent the pieces from turning brown. Now add chili powder, salt and jaggery/brown sugar and mix it well.
Add cooled down tempering and mix it well. Adjust seasoning if needed and enjoy with simple daal rice or any elaborate meal.
This stays good for about 4-5 days in fridge.

Granny Smith Apple Koshimbir -
(Marathi Version of Koshimbeer)

Granny Smith Apple Salad

1 Granny Smith Apple
1 tbsp Peanut powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice/orange juice
salt and sugar per taste

Preparation -
Core apple and grate it. Squeeze lime juice or orange juice immediately to prevent from turning it brown. Now add peanut powder, salt, sugar and chopped cilantro. Mix it well. Serve immediately.

Tips -
  • Pickle or koshimbeer tastes great with any kind of apple. I just named what I tend to use more.
  • You can quarter cored apple and immerse in bowl of water and add tbsp of lime juice.
  • In koshimbeer, add orange juice instead of lime juice to make it more tastier.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Chane Pindiwale

It was about 10+ years ago when I tasted this. I was visiting my aunt in Mumbai and her neighbor who usually used to send almost everything that cooked at her place for taste. Very simple and tasty food. I was told that was Pindiwale Chane. I always thought pindiwale chane was a special dish from Ravalpindi! How ignorant! I tried to recreate that taste but never could get that exact flavor. I totally forgot about it in last few years. And it all came back recently. One of my colleague who is from Delhi got me a packet of Chole masala/chana masala from local market in Delhi. He told me that pind means small village and chane made in villages usually made with minimal ingredients so the name 'Pindiwale Chane'. And I am the last person to talk about the punjabi food so please pardon me if this is not true!

Chana Masala

I tasted the masala I got and I distinctly could taste coriander, cumin, black pepper, aamchur, bit of kala jira, black salt/rock salt and red pepper. It might have badi ilaichi. I have enough masala to go for a year, so I am not going to bother to recreate it so early ;)

1/2 cup black chane
1 tbsp Chole/chana masala
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chilies optional
salt per taste
few sprigs of chopped cilantro

Preparation -
Pick over and soak chane in warm water. Let them soak overnight.
Pressure cook soaked chane, salt in enough water until soft.
Drain the water and keep it aside.
Slit green chilies.
Heat oil in kadhai and add cumin seeds. Once cumin seeds start sizzling add green chilies and stir for few seconds.
Then add cooked chane and chana masala. Mix it well and on lower to medium heat cook it for 3-4 minutes. You can add couple of tablespoons of drained water and cover the pan.
Sprinkle chopped cilantro & mix it well. Adjust seasoning if needed and serve hot with roti or with daal-rice.

Tips -
  1. You can use store bought chole masala and add more aamchur.
  2. Add jaljira powder to drained water and that makes a nice drink on the side.

Monday, November 02, 2009

7 cup barfi

(7 cup barfi in Marathi)
This barfi is extremely rich in taste and makes a perfect sweet for Diwali. Recently a friend made it to distribute as a diwali treat for her colleagues. One of her colleague liked it so much that she wanted the recipe. So here is the recipe with some changes I made along the way -

7 cup barfi with carrots

1 cup Chick Pea Flour (Besan)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup milk
1/2 cup clarified butter
2 cups sugar (may be a bit more)
1 tsp cardamom powder
chopped almonds (optional)

Preparation -
Grease a cookie sheet with butter/oil and set it aside.
Heat a thick bottom saucepan on medium heat and add all the ingredients.
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Mixture will start leaving sides of the pan in about 15-20 minutes. It should start forming ball in the middle of the pan.
Pour the mixture on greased cookie sheet and spread with spatula. Please avoid touching the mixture as it is extremely hot.
Using sharp knife cut 1 inch squares and let them cool.
Separate the barfis when its cooled down completely and store in an airtight container.
Can stay fresh up to a week.

Tips -
  1. You have to constantly stir the mixture to avoid getting it burnt. Also do not increase the heat as color will not be as pretty.
  2. Original recipe calls for 1 cup freshly grated coconut but I like the one with carrots.
  3. Original recipe calls for 3 cups sugar which makes it tad sweeter.
  4. Original recipe also calls for 1 cup of clarified butter but adding less doesn't change the taste.

(Photo Courtesy: Priya)

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