Sunday, December 25, 2011

Winter Break Up-Cycling

I am reluctant to throw away things, may that be a small ribbon that came with a gift or old Indian dress. And this habit sometime creates storing challenges and often is topic of household argument! Recently we had to clean up our garage and I realized my collection has gone beyond control and I have to take decision soon. Last weekend I sorted few things and decided I will take action about most of it in my winter break.
Thursday was last working day, before the madness starts again in new year. I got so excited about the holidays that I could not sleep!! I kept on browsing whole night about ideas of using the fabric swatches, unused chunnis, unused kurti-sleeves, left over yarn, etc. Reusing old/unused items into something fancy is called 'Up-cycling'. I decided to up-cycle my collection into gifts for some close friends. Friday morning I opened my sewing machine and box of fabrics. After working over 6-8 hours I finished making following -

Vegetable/Produce bags from unused cotton voile chunni -

Tea coasters from unused kurti sleeves -

Pot holders and table runner from left over fabric -

I did not pay much attention to cooking while I was working on my projects. I also kept on telling my husband, I will cook once I am done and did not allow him to cook either. By the time I finished, it was  so late that I had to make something in a jiffy. Methi Paratha is something I make often in winter. Despite the name, this is neither the traditions Gujarati style methi thepla nor Punjabi style methi paratha. It needs methi seeds powder and not the leafy green vegetable. Here is how my mother-in-law taught me to make it -

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 tbsp Methi Seeds Powder
2-3 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Fistful of Chopped Cilantro
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
Water as needed

Some more oil to roast chapatis.

Methiche Parathe

Preparation -
Mix all the ingredients except water really well.
Using little water at a time, make soft dough like chapati. It should not be sticky and too soft.
Cover and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
Heat flat griddle on medium heat.
Make about 5-6 golf size balls of dough.
Roll the dough using little flour into a 4 inch round. Smear 1/2 tsp oil and fold into half and then again into quarter.
Now roll this into 6-7 inch chapati using little flour as needed.
Roast chapati on hot griddle from both the sides. Use little oil at the end. Similarly make remaining chapatis.
Traditionally this methi paratha is served with this nistyachi chutney. But you can serve with any pickle, koshimbeer.

Tips -
  • If you do not have methi flour, soak about 2 tbsp methi in warm water for couple of hours. Grind it into paste and use that. 
  • You can use Kasoori methi for more flavor.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

रव्याचे थालीपीठ

English recipe -

हि माझ्या एका मैत्रिणीची रेसिपी. तिच्याकडून मी बरेच कोकणी पदार्थ शिकले. पटकन होणारी हि थालीपीठे कोकणात सकाळच्या नाष्ट्यासाठी करतात.

Spread on griddle

१ कप रवा
एखादी कोवळी काकडी (मोठी असेल तर अर्धी)
१/४ कप बारीक चिरलेला कांदा
२-३  हिरव्या मिरच्या
१/४ कप ओले खोबरे
मुठभर कोथिंबीर चिरुन
चवीप्रमाणे मीठ
पाणी लागेल तसे

Ravyache Thalipeeth

कृती - 
पाणी वगळून बाकीचे सगळे एकत्र करायचे. लागेल तसे पाणी घालत साधारण भज्याच्या पिठासारखे भिजवायचे. नेहेमीच्या डोश्याच्या पिठाहून हे पीठ घट्ट असते आणि आपल्या भाजणीच्या थालिपीठाहून बरेच सैल असते.
तवा तापत ठेवायचा. त्यावर हाताने साधारण १/४ कप पीठ घालायचे आणि हातानेच पीठ पसरवत थालिपीठासारखे करायचे. गरज लागेल तसे थोडे थोडे पाणी लावत एकसारखे थालीपीठ पसरायचे.
एक बाजू भाजून घ्यायची. उलटवून दुसरी बाजू भाजायची.
गरम गरम थालिपीठ लोण्याबरोबर आणि चटणीबरोबर खायचे.
निस्त्याच्या चटणीबरोबर हे डोसे एकदम भारी लागले.

टीपा - 
  1. गरम तव्यावर थालीपीठे लावणे सुरुवातीला थोडे अवघड गेले तरी सवयीने पटापट जमते. 
  2. कलिगडाचा पांढरा भाग खिसुन घालायला हरकत नाही.

Simple light meal - Rava Thalipeeth

Recipe in Marathi -

"I really want to make special Konkani meal for you girls before I move from here. When will you all be able to make it at my place?", she said one day. Now that was a very tempting offer! She had too many things on her plate given her move in just 10 days to another city somewhere in the midwest. We insisted her not to make anything but we will just meet somewhere and enjoy our time together. She is a one of the greatest cooks I know! Even simplest meals she cooked, turned out to be the most flavorful. Its been a year already and I still remember everything she made that day. Paan Pole, Ravyache thalipeeth -- which I am going to share with you today, Kalya vaTaNyachi usal, Batata Bhaji, and garlic chutney! She served us 'hot off the griddle'! It reminded me of my mom making rotis and serving us when we were school going kids.

My dear friend, its been a year already, please come back soon. We miss you, we miss our chit-chat, gossips and food talks. The group is not the same without you! Here is her recipe of Ravyache Thalipeeth which I make often when I am in hurry or in mood to eat something different than usual roti-sabji.

Spread on griddle

1 cup Fine Semolina (Rava)
1/2 Cucumber
1 Small Onion or Shallot
1/4 cup Fresh Coconut
Few Stalks of Cilantro
2-3 Green Chilies (adjust per taste)
Salt per taste
Water as needed

Ravyache Thalipeeth

Preparation - 
Finely chop onion, green chilies and cilantro.
Grate cucumber.
Mix everything together except water.
Now heat a non stick griddle on low-medium heat.
Make a dough by mixing little water at a time. Dough should be softer than chapati dough but not as thin as dosa batter.
Divide dough in 5 equal parts. Carefully spread one part/ball in the center of hot griddle. Use little water to spread the dough in pancake shape. Spread it as thin as possible.
Cook on both the sides. Serve hot with any chutney, pickle, or as is!

Tips - 

  1. Do not mix the dough and keep. Mix it just when you are ready make and eat.
  2. I have made this with fine semolina as well as Upama rava. There is not difference in the flavor.
  3. These are usually made for breakfast in Konkan. 

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

KumaThyache Pohe a.k.a. Kalayile Phovu

Kalavalele Pohe

It was about 3 years ago when I had taste of this poha for the first time. I was visiting my cousin in Bangalore and she decided to give me the taste of Kumatha Pohe. Her mother-in-law in from Kumatha and is an excellent cook. I was curiously watching her make this: Few ingredients  - Patal Pohe (thin poha), some jaggery, salt, nice fresh raw coconut and bright and red masala powder. She asked me if I can eat some raw onions that early in the morning, I said - it depends! She decided to make some with raw onion and some without.

That masala was something different from  anything I had tasted before. Around Kolhapur, Belgaum  you get this bright and red variety of a chilies called as 'Bedagi/Byadagi' not very hot but flavorful. If you use even a small amount the whole dish looks very red and this masala had this chili powder.
Finally I had these pohe and believe it or not I totally fell in love with the taste. My cousin offered some masala to take with me to US but unfortunately I forgot the pouch and landed here.  I called her to ask about the ingredients and her reply was simple - It comes from Kumatha! HAHAHA!
 Now I was desperately searching  for the recipe and after about 2 years or so I happened to see it on Shilpa's blog. I tried it immediately and successfully recreated the same taste.

I also followed the same recipe that Shilpa has!! Simple ingredients and so flavorful. Thanks to Shilpa!

Pohe on the way to Nupur's 'MBP July 08: Less is More!' event!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thai style butternut squash soup

Or should I say its 'Thai influenced' soup! 

Marathi version of this soup can be found here.

Farmers markets and grocery stores are flooded with variety of winter squashes. They are pretty to look at and amazingly tasty! I usually buy couple of them keep on the counter for few days as decorative pieces and then cook and eat! I enjoy making soups and fall and winter are perfect seasons to enjoy warm soup and crusty breads. My lunches and dinners are usually start with soup. Recently I had this nice Thai style butternut squash soup in office cafe and I had to recreate it. I once tried it by making my own green curry paste and then using it in the soup as I couldn't find vegan green curry paste in my neighborhood oriental market. But that was too much spice for the fresh taste of squash. So I decided to tweak the recipe and not make the paste instead use the herbs I like. Voila! It resulted in a nice creamy soup that I can keep on slurping! Recipe is quite simple -

Thai style butternut squash soup

1 Small Butternut Squash (should yield 3-4 cups of pulp)
5-6" Thick Stalk of Lemon Grass
1-2 Kaffir Lime leaves
1 tbsp Chopped Ginger
1 tsp Oil
1 cup Light Coconut Milk
Black Pepper and Salt to taste

Preparation -
Peel and remove seeds from butternut squash.
Dice it in small cubes.
Bruise lemon grass and chop in 2" long pieces.
Heat oil in a dutch oven. Add chopped squash, Kaffir lime leaves, chopped ginger and lemon grass. Saute for 5-6 minutes in medium heat until squash turns partially translucent.
Now add about a cup of water, cover and let the squash cook completely.
Remove Kaffir leaves and lemon grass and purée it using hand blender
Add some water if the purée is very thick and start boiling it on low-medium heat. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Slowly add coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Just boil it on low heat.
Enjoy with any crusty bread or croutons.

Tips - 
  • You can use any winter squash for this soup. 
  • I have used lime zest/ lime rind pieces instead of Kaffir lime leaves and that tastes good too. 
  • I liked this toned down version than Thai curry paste but you can always use that. Please check the labels before purchasing as it might not be vegan/vegetarian. 
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थाई स्टाईल बटरनट स्क्वाश सूप

थंडीच्या दिवसात सूप करून पिणे हा माझा नेहेमीचा कार्यक्रम असतो. गरम गरम सूप आणि एखादा छानसा ब्रेड असेल तर मस्त जेवण होते. वेगवेगळे विंटर स्क्वाशबाजारातसाधारण ऑक्टोबर-नोव्हेंबरमध्ये खूप दिसायला लागतात. ते आणून वेगवेगळ्या सूपमध्ये वापरले कि चव एकदम बहारदार येते. यात मला आवडणारा प्रकार म्हणणे साधारण फोडी करून वाफवून घ्यायच्या, जायफळ, काळीमिरी आणि मीठ घालून मिक्सरवर बारीक करायचे की झाले सूप तयार! अलीकडे ऑफिसच्या कॅफेमधे हा जरा वेगळा प्रकार खाल्ला आणि खुपच आवडला त्यामुळे घरात होते त्या सामानात करुन पाहिला. आता हा प्रकार माझ्याकडे नेहेमी होतो.

Thai style butternut squash soup

१ मध्यम बटरनट स्क्वाश - साले आणि बिया काढून चिरलेला
१ टीस्पून तेल
१ कप नारळाचे दूध
१ जाडसर दांडा लेमनग्रास
१ टेबलस्पून आले बारीक चिरून
१-२ काफिर लाईमची पाने
चवीप्रमाणे मीठ आणि काळी मिरी

कृती -
बटरनट स्क्वाश नीट धुवून सालकाढणीने साले काढून टाकावीत. हा तसा बराच कडक असतो त्यामुळे सांभाळून. मग त्याचे दोन तुकडे करून बिया धागे काढून टाकावेत. बटाटे चिरतो त्याप्रमाणे चिरुन घ्यावे.
लेमनग्रासचे साधारण २-२ इंचाचे तुकडे करून ते बत्त्याने किंचीत ठेचून घ्यावेत.
एका जाड बुडाच्या पातेल्यात तेल घालून त्यावर या चिरलेल्या फोडी, लेमनग्रास, आल्याचे तुकडे, काफिर लाईमची पाने सगळे घालून  साधारण ३-४ मिनीटे नीट परतावे.
त्यावर एखादा कप पाणी घालून झाकण लावून फोडी नीट शिजवाव्यात. साधारण ५-६ मिनीटात शिजतील.
त्यातले लेमन ग्रास आणि लिंबाची पाने काढून टाकावीत.
हँडब्लेंडरने किंवा साध्या ब्लेंडरने प्युरी करून घ्यावी. खुप घट्ट वाटत असेल तर थोडे पाणी घालावे.
आता बारीक गॅसवर पातेल्यात ही प्युरी उकळत असताना त्यात मीठ, काळी मिरपूड घालावी.
हळूहळू नारळाचे दूध घालत जाऊन नीट मिक्स करावे. अगदी बारीक गॅसवर एक उकळी आणावी.
गरमागरम सूप कप मधे अगर बाऊलमधे घेऊन प्यायला सुरुवात करावी.
टीपा -
  • बटरनट स्क्वाशच्या ऐवजी कोणताही तांबड्या भोपळ्याचा प्रकार वापरू शकतो.
  • काफीर लाईमची पाने नसतील तर साध्या लाईमच्या सालीचे तुकडेपण वापरता येतात. त्याचाही स्वाद चांगला लागतो.
  • आवडत असेल तर थोडी थाई करी पेस्ट वापरायला हरकत नाही. पण ही वेगन/वेजीटेरीअन आहे याची खात्री करून वापरावी.
  • मी लाईट कोकोनट मिल्क वापरते.
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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Tomato Biryani

This years tomato crop started late but its going good so far. As I said in this post, I have planted more cherry tomatoes than large tomatoes. I am getting couple of tomatoes every day and that works out better unlike last year! Last year the crop was so much that I have enormous supply of tomatoes, at least 5-6 huge ones day. I love to share the goodies with my friends but with everyone's busy schedule its very difficult to meet. So last year after giving away some, I decided to chop and freeze my dark crimson/almost dark heirloom tomatoes. I simply washed and chopped large tomatoes and stored in food safe, 2 cup capacity freezer boxes. I had supply of homegrown tomatoes until about February of this year! I used it in daily cooking like pasta, daal, soupsubji, as well as tomato biryani I am sharing with you today.

I had this tomato biryani at my aunt's place in Bangalore few years ago. She had given demo of this recipe somewhere in Bangalore and wanted us to try it. I liked the flavors and I have been making it ever since. Tomatoes, mint and coconut milk gives unique flavor to this dish.

1 cup Basmati or any long grain rice
1 cup Mint Leaves (packed)
1.5 cup Tomato Purée
1-1.5 cup Water (divided use)
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup Cashews (Optional)
1/2 Red Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
1 tsp Oil
Black peppers, Cloves, Bay Leaves, Cardamom - 2 each
1-2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
1.5 tsp Biryani Masala
1 pinch Turmeric 
Salt per taste

Preparation - 
Wash and drain rice and let it sit for 30 minutes. 
Keep cubed potatoes in water. 
Heat oil in dutch oven, add black peppers, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom seeds. Let these sizzle for a minute. 
Add cashews and saute until golden brown. Now saute onion until translucent. Similarly saute potatoes and peas. 
Add salt, chili powder, biryani masala and mix well and then add mint leaves and saute for couple of minutes. 
Add drained rice and saute for another few minutes. 
Now add one cup water and all the tomato puree and mix well. Lower the heat, cover the pot and let the rice cook halfway. 
Now add coconut milk and mix it gently and let the cook thoroughly. Serve warm with any pickle.

Tips - 
  • This rice is very soft and/or sticky. The rice grains are not separate like usual biryani. 
  • You can use any other vegetables like capsicum or cauliflower. 
  • Mint and biryani masala gives it it unique flavor like biryani so my aunt calls it as tomato biryani.

Monday, October 31, 2011

GuL Papadichya Vadya

As I have shared in my previous post, I did make few vegan sweets this year for Diwali. I have been making at least one vegan sweet for Diwali for past few years. And every year I have tried new sweet and consistently gotten great results with exceptions of super flops. I do note down things somewhere so that I can revisit if it goes wrong and I can tweak things when I re-visit that recipe. That habit paid off this year as I was able to make multiple sweets very successfully this year. And I want to document the recipes so I can throw away my post-its.

This particular recipe is my aunts. I have eaten this barfi every time I visited her in Mumbai. Ingredients are readily available in almost all the Indian households. It is very simple to make and taste is to die for.  I learned this from her few years ago and have made it but then forgot about it altogether. My aunts visit in the summer reminded me of her best preparations and this was first on the list.

Here is this very simple recipe -

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup Jaggery
3-4 tbsp Walnut oil (Aunt uses Ghee of course)
3-4 Green Cardamoms
2 tsp Poppy seeds (optional)
Few Walnuts or Almonds
2 tbsp Water

(1/2 bowl water to test the syrup consistency.)

Procedure -
Grease a plate which you want to spread the barfi.
Remove seeds from Cardamom and pound using mortar pestle.
Chop nuts and set aside.
Grate jaggery and set aside, it should not have pieces larger than peas.
Start roasting the flour on low to medium heat and slowly add walnut oil one tbsp at a time.The flour will change color in 5-6 minutes. Roast for another minute and add nuts, poppy seeds and cardamom mix well.
Remove the mixture in a plate and set aside.
Add grated jaggery and water in a heavy bottom utensil. Jaggery will melt into syrup. Take about 1/2 cup of tap water in a bowl. We will use this to test the thickness of jaggery syrup.
Once the Jaggery is boiled, drop one drop it in the cold water bowl. If it forms a candy like ball then the syrup is ready. If not, boil it further till the drop is converted into a *hard candy ball. (Takes about 5-7 minutes on low-medium heat)
Remove syrup from the flame and quickly add roasted flour.
Mix thoroughly but as quickly as possible.
Pour in the greased plate, cut with sharp knife while its hot into 1"x1" pieces.
Let it cool down and separate the pieces. Store in airtight container.

Tips -
  • *Approximate hard candy stage for jaggery is 265-270F. I have rarely used candy thermometer while making these kind of syrups. But if you have one use it.
  • This stage of syrup is also called as 'two thread' or don taaree paak
  • Best way to practice the syrup consistency is making rice crispy brittle or peanut brittle. I learned it with churmure/murmure ladoo. 
  • Traditionally this vadi/barfi is made for kids when they are teething. 
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Almost Vegan Diwali: And Chakali without Bhajani ...

This year I had planned to vegan sweets for diwali. I have been making couple of things vegan for diwali for past 5-6 years. It is not difficult at all. This year's special I wanted to make more sweets and push myself to make them all vegan. I succeeded! Well almost! My husband loved Besan ladoos and I did not have time to try vegan versions before diwali so I made those for him with ghee. I will share recipes one by one soon.

Another big step for me to make Chakali without my mom's supervision. I have been helping my mom make chakalis for years now. I know most of the details of her way of making these diwali special treats. I do not like deep frying so I have not made these in past 8+ years. This year my husband said he will fry them if I decide to make. But it needs bhajani. Bhajani is mixed grain and lentil flour made specially by washing, drying, roasting and grinding. Everyone has their special proportions and way of making these. I did not have any! I remembered noting down a microwave bhajani recipe from a friend. Her mom combined all the needed flours and roasted them in microwave. I decided to use her basic proportions and make little changes of my own and give it a try. It worked perfectly! As soon as my attempt was successful, another friend of mine decided to try it and it worked for her too!!!

So here is Kolekar kaku's special bhajani recipe with my changes -

Flours - 
1 cup Rice flour
1/2 cup Chick Pea Flour (Besan)
1/4 cup Urad Flour

Spices - 
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Poppy seeds
1/2 tsp Ova/Ajwain/Bishop's weed
2-3 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
2 tsp Salt (or per taste)

Other -
Warm water as needed
Oil for deep frying
Special equipment - Chakali press

Preparation -
Mix all the flours from 'Flours' section in a baking dish. Start oven at 350F and bake the mixed flours for about 25-30 minutes. The oven does not have to be preheated.
Remove the baking dish and let it cool down. Add all the spices and make a well in the middle of the flour.
Heat 1/4 cup oil. Drop a pinch of dry flour, it should sizzle immediately. Now pour this hot oil in the well you made in the flour. cover the oil with remaining dry flour from the side and let it cool down a bit. Mix well with spoon.
Now mix everything properly, adjust salt and chili powder per your taste.
Pour enough oil in a pan to deep fry 2-3 chakalis at a time.
With very little warm water, make the dough. It should just come together and not too soft.
Now take a portion of the dough enough to fill one chakali press. Little water at a time, make it bit softer. It should NOT be as soft as chapati dough but harder.
Fill chakali press, carefully make round chakalis in a plate or on parchment paper.
Once the oil is hot enough lower the heat to medium carefully slide chakalis in oil. Fry 2-3 chakalis at a time till golden brown on both the sides. Repeat for remaining dough.

Tips - 

  • Kolekar Kaku uses soaked and fine ground Urad dal instead of urad flour and uses that to make the dough and water if needed. 
  • You can roast flours in microwave per your judgement. 
  • If you make the dough too soft them the chakali will not look spiky enough and can get softer. 
  • Deep fry chakalis on a medium to low heat as they need to be cooked thoroughly. 

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Diwali Special Photo Feature - Chirote

"Stop playing in the mud, clean up yourself and get the diyas ready for the evening."
"But mummy, we are almost done! We are just finishing with the fountain..."
"Come inside now, both of you. S you start preparing for diyas. Minu, you start with rangoli I will come and see... "
"But ... but ..."
"I said NOW... we have to finish making chirote tonight for tomorrow's faral ..."

My brother and I could never win an argument with her so when she said stop, with little to no resistance we would do what was told. She would finish make all diwali delicacies with our help in 3-4 days. I love everything she makes for Diwali but her chirote are the best! She used to make these for Diwali every year. These days she waits until all of us around to eat. This puff pastry like delicacy is very time consuming and needs skillful hands like my mom. In the past, I have helped her make these under her supervision. Last year I decided to take pictures while she and my sister-in-law were making it.

"Minu, sieve rava, maida properly"
"Yes mummy! It is done. Shall I heat oil?"
"Make nice well in the flour and pour the hot oil in there carefully. Did u add salt and sugar?"
"Use very little water, make the dough stiff."
"USE VERY LITTLE WATER!!! Make a nice ball and cover with wet towel and leave it aside."

Fast forward couple of hours ...

"Pound the dough nicely ..."
"Why cant we use more water and make the dough soft... this is too hard to pound... can I stop now?"
"Is the dough soft like chapati dough?"
"Then keep on going!!!"
"Ok.. done!!!"

Even the stone mortar and pestle look tired to me ...


"Now divide the dough in same size balls... you should make balls in multiples of 3. Cover the rest of the balls while you are rolling the first one..."
"Make the very thin chapati ... as thin as possible ... it should be almost paper thin ..."

"Slightly flour these and carefully fold and set them aside ..."


"Okay, this is the last chapati, now start spreading oil and fine rice flour alternately. Spread uniformly..."
"How much oil should I use? I remember you used to whip homemade butter and rice flour in the past."
"Yes!! Traditionally you beat sweet butter until fluffy, add rice flour and mix well. I used to spread this mixture between the chapatis. But recently I decided to give it a try with oil. It comes out great too with oil."
"Approximately how much oil do you use?"
"About 1 tablespoon oil and little less rice flour than that for 10-12 inch chapati."
"How much butter if someone wants to use it?"
"Approximately same amount."


"Now carefully spread 2nd chapati over it and repeat oil-rice flour layer"


"Repeat with 3rd chapati ..."


"Now make nice roll. Very carefully press every fold, and the folds should stick to each other. The roll should not be loose."


"Press the roll..."

"Repeat these steps with remaining chapatis. Cover all the rolls with wet towel."


"Now cut one roll. Make each piece approximately 1" thick"


"Press one piece vertically so that all the layers of the roll look like a rose."

Stand up

"Roll the piece lightly into a rose"


"Make one chirota at a time ..."

Ready for deep frying

"Fry it before making the next one ..."


"Press in the middle, make sure the center is covered with oil. Center should be fried thoroughly. Use medium hot oil so it stays golden brown and center is gets fried properly.."


"Each layer should be nicely separated and crisp ..."


"Sprinkle powdered sugar ... and enjoy"

1 cup All purpose flour
1 cup Fine Semolina (Rava/Suji)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
3 tbsp hot Oil
Water as needed
Oil for spreading and deep frying
Powdered/confectioners sugar to sprinkle

Tips -
  • Given measurements should yield 10-12 chirote.
  • Some people make thick sugar syrup and dip deep fried chirote immediately to make 'Pakatale chirote'. We like sprinkled more than syrupy.
  • You can use one food color and make alternate colored chitore. 

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ambat Chuka Or Green Sorrel Bhaji

(Link to Marathi Recipe)

I love all the leafy greens we get in India green sorrel, red sorrel, amaranth, fenugreek to name a few. There are various vegetables I know by Marathi names but haven't had time to find English names like Chakvat. I make sure I eat them as much as I can in my India trip. The bhaji I am going to share today is my most favorite. I love it for its sour taste as well as the bright green color. My mom's versions is my most favorite.

1 Bunch of Green Sorrel
1/8 cup Chana Daal (or toor+Chana daal mixed together)
1/8 cup Peanuts
1-2 tbsp Roasted Peanut Powder
Small piece of Jaggery
Kanda Lasun Masala (or Goda Masala + red Chili Powder)
Salt per taste
2-3 large cloves of Garlic
2-3 tbsp Dried Coconut
For Tempering - 2tbsp Oil, 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, Pinch of Turmeric, Pinch of Hing, Few Curry leaves
Water as needed

Ambat Chuka 2

Preparation -
Pluck leaves and tender stems of the greens. Wash thoroughly, drain and chop.
Mix daal and peanuts, wash thoroughly in a pressure cooker that can hold chopped greens and daal together.
Add chopped vegetable. add about 1/2 cup of water.
Pressure cook until done.
Once pressure cooker is cooled down, whisk the vegetable and daal thoroughly.
Grind garlic and coconut.
Make tempering as usual in a tall utensil.
Add coconut-garlic paste, saute for few seconds. Do not burn it.
Add daal vegetable mix, salt, kanda lasun masala, jaggery.
Add more water if needed. Boil it over low heat.
Mix in peanut powder just before shutting the heat off.
Enjoy with chapati, jowar roti or rice.

Tips -
  1. It is a very sour vegetable so it s mixed with Taro leaves to make sabji like I have shared here. 
  2. Please boil on lower heat and try to make it in a taller pot as it splutters while boiling.

आंबट चुक्याची पातळ भाजी (Green Sorrel Maharashtrian Style)

(Link to English Recipe)

भारतात गेले कि वेगवेगळ्या पालेभाज्या खाणे हा एक मोठा कार्यक्रम असतो. इथे खूप नवीन भाज्या मिळता असल्या तरी लहानपणापासून खाल्लेल्या भाज्यांची चव जिभेवरून हलणे शक्य नाही. तिकडे गेले कि सकाळ संध्याकाळ घरीच जेवणे हा माझा मुख्य कार्यक्रम असतो. त्यातलीच हि एक आंबट चुक्याची भाजी. मम्मीने केलेली असेल तर अगदी स्वर्गसुख! 

अंबटचुक्याची एक पेंडी
मुठभर हरबरा डाळ (किंवा तुरीची आणि हरबर्‍याची निम्मी निम्मी)
मुठभर शेंगदाणे
१-२ लहान चमचे दाण्याचे कूट
लहान खडा गूळ
लाल तिखट
गोडा मसाला
२ पाकळ्या लसूण + २ टेबलस्पून खोबर्याचा छोटा गोळा एकत्र वाटून (वगळण्यास हरकत नाही)
फोडणीसाठी - तेल, कढीपत्ता, हिंग, जिरे, मोहरी, हळद, हिंग
पाणी लागेल तसे

Ambat Chuka 2

कृती -

भाजी निवडून, धुवुन, चिरुन घ्यावी.
डाळ आणि दाणे धुवुन घ्यावेत.
कुकरला डाळ(किंवा डाळी), दाणे, भाजी आणि थोडे पाणी घालून शिजवुन घ्यावे.
शिजलेली भाजी नीट घोटुन घ्यावी.
उभ्या पातेल्यात तेलाची फोडणी करुन घ्यावी. त्यात लसुण खोबर्‍याचा गोळा घालावा. लगेच वरुन घोटलेली भाजी घालावी.
मीठ, तिखट, मसाला आणि थोडे पाणी मस्त उकळी काढावी.
शेवटी गूळ आणि दाण्याचा कुट घालून एक उकळी आणून गरम असताना वाटीत घेउन मस्त ओरपावी.
भाकरी, चपाती, भात कशाहीबरोबर मस्तच लागते.


  • ही भाजी नावाप्रमाणे अंबट असते. पाने कडक आणि गोलसर असतात. देठदेखील बरेच मौ सतात. भाजीचे एखादेच पान किडके असते. आणलेल्या जुडीतले अगदी कमी वाया जाते.
  • याला मस्त बेझिलसारखे पण लालसर दिसणारे तुरे येतात. याच्या बिया देखील शेवरीच्या कापसासारख्या असतात.
  • चुका आणि आळूची एकत्र भाजी करतात कारण आळूमधला खाजरेपणा चुक्यातल्या अंबटपणामुळे जातो. ती भाजी अशी करतात -
  • चुका-चाकवत देखील एकत्र भाजी मस्तच लागते.
  • शिजवलेला चुका एकदम मस्त मिळून येतो.
  • भाजी शक्यतो मोठ्या उभ्या पातेल्यात करवी कारण खुप उडते भाजी ही :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade and B&W Wednesday

Original Marathi recipe is here -

Farmers markets are again overflowing with strawberries. This is late summer or early autumn crop and is best for making jams etc. We currently have nice warm weather to give justice to these beauties. It is just perfect weather for strawberry lemonade. Here is instant crowd pleaser recipe -

 Strawberry cubes -
10-12 Large Strawberries
10-15 Mint Leaves
1-2 tbsp Sugar (per taste)
pinch of Salt

Lemonade -
1 Large Lemon
3 cups of Water
Sugar per taste
* Salt per taste
Preparation - 
Wash and hull the strawberries. Quarter these roughly.
Grind washed mint leaves, chopped strawberries, salt and sugar per taste.
Pour in ice trays and freeze them until set. Strawberry cubes are ready.
Make lemonade as usual by squeezing lemon in water and then stir sugar and pinch of salt in until dissolved.
Chill lemonade until you are ready to serve.
Pour lemonade in a glass and add strawberry and serve. Strawberry cube will start flavoring the lemonade while its melting.

Here is a B&W picture capturing beauty of perfect California Strawberries for Susan's Black and White event that happens every Wednesday.


Tips - 
  • * If you are an Indian like me then you might want to add pinch of salt in your lemonade :) 
  • You can make the cubes with any one type of berry or mixed berries. 
  • These cubes can be frozen for future use.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

हरभर्‍याच्या पानांची भाजी (Stir Fried Tender Garbanzo Leaves)

हरभर्‍याची पेरणी साधारण ऑगस्ट सप्टेंबरमधे केली जाते (आठवा इयत्ता ३-४ मधली रब्बी पिके). साधारण ऑक्टोबर-नोव्हेंबरमधे पिके वाढून ५-६ इंची होतात. या झाडांची खुडणी केली नाही तर फुले कमी येतात परिणामी घाटे/हरभरे कमी येतात. ही खुडणी म्हणजे झाडाचे शेंडे तोडायचे. खुडणी करण्यासाठी मोलाने बायका लावतात किंवा घरचे सगळे मिळून जर करता येत असेल तर मग तसे मिळून केले जाते. तुम्ही खुडाल त्या भाजीतला चवथा/पाचवा हिस्सा तुमचा आणि वर थोडी हजेरी असा साधारण व्यवहार पूर्वी असे. हे एका झाडाला एकदाच केले जाते. अलिकडे १० वर्षात त्यात नक्की किती आणि काय बदल झालाय कल्पना नाही.

Fresh HarabaRyaachi bhaaji

हे खुडलेले शेंडे म्हणजेच हरभर्‍याची भाजी. वाट्यातून आलेली भाजी काही बायका विकायला नेतात तर काही घरी करतात. शेतकरी मात्र भाजी बरीच असेल तर विकायला बाजारात नेतो. या भाजीवर पूर्वी औषध फवारणी होत नसे कारण भाजी खायला वापरतात. त्यावर आळ्या वगैरे असण्याची शक्यता असल्याने भाजी आधी झटकून घ्यायची असते. साधारण १ फुट आंतरावरून एकेक ओंझळभर भाजी कट्ट्यावर आपटायची त्याने पानांना चिकटलेली आळी वगैरे असेल तर बाजूला जाते. अशी सगळी भाजी करून घ्यायची.

काही भाज्यांमधे थोडे जून झालेले दांडे काढून टाकावे लागतात. त्यासाठी त्याही बारीक पाने उजव्या हाताने ओढायची. दांडा टाकून द्यायचा. अत्यंत किचकट काम पण पुढले फळ अत्यंत चविष्ट असल्याने करायचेच. हे असे सगळ्या वाट्याचे करून झाले की मग भाजी करण्यासाठी तयार!!

Even more closeup

पूर्वी एखादा रुपायाला ओंझळभर भाजी येत असे आता त्याच ओंझळीचा दर साधारण ५-७ रुपये झाला आहे. काही ठिकाणी किलोच्या मापात (म्हणजेच वजनी हो!) मिळते. पण शेतकर्‍याला कष्टाच्या प्रमाणात मोबदला हवा असेल तर शक्यतो ढिगाच्या मापात विकलेले परवडते!

सातारा, सांगली, कोल्हापूर भागात साधारण ऑगस्त-सप्टेंबरमध्ये रब्बी पिकांची पेरणी सुरु होते. त्यामुळे ऑक्टोबर-नोव्हेंबर भागात ही भाजी बाजारात काही आठवडेच मिळते. बाकीच्या ठिकाणी पण मिळत असावी पण मला कल्पना नाही. तेव्हाच आणून ताजी करायची किंवा मग पुढे वर्षभर वापरण्यासाठी वाळवून ठेवायची. सुकवलेल्या हरबर्‍याची भाजी थोड्या वेगळ्या पद्धतीने करतात.

हरभर्‍याच्या भाजीचे २-३ वाटे     
२-३ हिरव्या मिरच्या किंवा लाल मिरच्या
५-६ लसूण पाकळ्या
२-३ टेबलस्पून दाण्याचे कूट
चवीप्रमाणे मीठ

HarabaryaachI Bhaji Tayyar!

भाजी निवडून घ्यावी.
स्वच्छ धुवून १०-१५ मिनीटे निथळायची.

प्रकार १ -
मिरचीला उभ्या चिरा देऊन घ्यायच्या. लाल मिरची वापरणार असाल तर मोडून तुकडे करून घ्यायच्या.
एका लोखंडाच्या कढईत/तव्यात तेल तापवून त्या लसूण पाकळ्या ठेचून घालायच्या.
मिरच्या घालून एखादा मिनीट परतून घ्यायचे.
त्यावर भाजी घालायची, मीठ घालून झाकण घालून ठेवायचे.
साधारण २ मिनीटांनी झाकण काढून नीट मिसळून घ्यायचे. पाणी खुप सुटलेले असेल भाजीला त्यामुळे नीट परतून भाजी सुकी करायची. शेवटी दाण्याचे कुट घालून परतून गरम गरम भाकरीबरोबर खायला सुरुवात करायची.

प्रकार २ -
भाजी कोरडी करून त्यात कच्चे तेल, मीठ, लाल तिखट आणि दाण्याचे कुट घालून कालवायचे. हे तोंडीलावणे म्हणून खायचे असते.

टीपा -
  1. या भाजीला परतत असताना खूप पाणी सुटत नाही. त्यामुळे एखादेवेळी लागला तर एखादा पाण्याचा हबका मारायला हरकत नाही. 
  2. भाजी निवडायला बराच वेळ लागतो त्यामुळे आदल्या दिवशी टीव्ही पहाताना वगैरे भाजी निवडून ठेवायची.

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भाजीचे सांडगे

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