Sunday, May 19, 2013

Zucchini Paratha

'When it rains, it pours' - this idiom is literally true for zucchinis in summer. Once the plant established well, yield is very steady through out the summer. I once went through the trouble of distributing zucchinis to friends etc and then decided not to plant them. It is just too much!!! Now a days I am at the receiving end so I get to try various recipes. One another favorite recipe from last year is vegan zucchini cake.

People in India who grow Ghosavale / Turai / Gilake / Luffa can totally relate to this. I remember my mom once. just once, planted two seeds for luffa and we ate that sabji almost every alternate day! Later my brother and I just refused to eat! Next year the vines came back from the dropped seeds from previous year, repeating experience. I have not heard about it from mom in past couple of years, so I am assuming plant is no longer thriving in our backyard in India.

I have been making these zucchini parathas for years now but never thought of sharing. Recently few of my friends asked me to share as they loved the flavor combination when they made it themselves. It showcases mild zucchini flavor with touch of spice. These go well for breakfast or quick dinner special.

Zucchini Paratha

Here is how I make them -

2 Zucchinis (should yield 2 cups after gating)
2-3 Green Chilies (or per taste)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
1.5 tsp Salt
1 1/4  cups of Wheat Flour
3-4 tbsp Oil
Water if needed

Preparation - 
Wash the zucchinis cut the head and stems off.
Coarsely grate these, sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt, mix and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
Grind cumin, garlic and green chilies into fine paste.
Squeeze out all the juice from zucchini, do not throw away.
Mix grated zucchini, wheat flour, chili-garlic paste, salt and cilantro. Knead the dough, use zucchini water as needed. Do not make the dough soft. Zucchini makes it softer by releasing more water.
Divide the dough in 6 equal size balls.
Heat griddle on medium heat. Roll each ball to make thick paratha. Roast on griddle from both the sides on medium heat. Spread little bit of oil on each side while roasting.

Tips - 
  1. I like to eat them with these two lime pickles, or nistyachi chutney
  2. I make these with green zucchinis that I get from friends or bought from farmers market. So they don't release too much water. But I have noticed that zucchinis from traditional grocery stores release too much water. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kobichi Bhaji

Kobi - Cabbage

Cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, large eggplants are very common vegetables cooked when one first lands from India. Gradually trying to experiment with other greens like chard and kale and moving to fresh local vegetables from farmers markets. I am no different here! I now go to farmers market and occassionally go to traditional grocery stores for my weekly fix of vegetables. But there was a time when I did not know about farmers markets and I survived mostly on mentioned vegetables for months.

My mom makes cabbage bhaji with soaked chana daal and my grandma makes it with fresh green peas. I like both the versions but prefer peas version. It is easier to get frozen peas than in India so I often use that. This is a traditional recipe from Maharashtra.

Quick and Easy Cabbage Bhaji

4-5 cups of Chopped cabbage (approximately 1/2 lb)
1/2 cup Green Peas (I use frozen)
3-4 Green Chilies
2-3 tbsp Oil
Salt per taste
1/2 tsp Sugar
1-2 tbsp Grated Fresh Coconut (or frozen)
1-2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
For Tempering - 1/2 tsp Mustard and Cumin seeds, Pinch of Turmeric

Chopped Cabbage

Preparation -
Thinly slice cabbage, like picture above. Slit green chilies. 
Heat oil in kadhai, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.  Add slit green chilies once mustard seeds start spluttering.
Let the green chilies fry until almost crispy then add turmeric.
Add greed peas and saute for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Add half of chopped cabbage, add salt and then add remaining cabbage.
Carefully saute everything on medium to high heat. Do not cover, just keep stirring constantly until cabbage is just cooked and not mushy.
Add sugar, grated coconut and cilantro. Mix well and remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. This stops further cooking cabbage and getting it mushy.

Tips -
  1. I usually buy small blob of cabbage so I can finish it in one use. 
  2. I just very little turmeric just to enhance the original pale green color of cabbage. 
  3. I do not use hing. I sometimes put few curry leaves. 
  4. Soaked chana daal version is made exactly same way by replacing green peas with soaked chana daal. 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Belated Bloggiversary with Vegan Chocalate Chip Cookies

I started this blog six years ago on Gudhi Padava with the hope that I will write down few things I know. There was and still is no specific format or agenda on my mind when I write. I do not cook for the blog nor I cook because I want to share something. Quick and simple homely meals are my favorites. I try out nce new recipes from various blogs or from books. I do spend more time in kitchen during weekends and that is when I experiment more with new things.

My cousin and his family visited me last month for few days. I was meeting him after 5+ years.They were planning to visit national parks and such during their visit. I decided to take this opportunity to make chocolate chip cookies for my nephew. I have bookmarked so many recipes and got very confused with what should I make. Then I looked into my pantry and decided to go with the recipe from Hell Yeah It's Vegan as I had everything needed for these cookies. It turned out to be really good. I made half batch chewy and half batch crunchy. I liked them so much that I will make them again. 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Based on a recipe from Hell Yeah It's Vegan! 

2 cups All Purpose Flour (I used unbleached)
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Agave Syrup
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
6 oz Applesauce
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts  

Preparation -
Mix all purpose flour, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Sift couple of times to combine and set aside.
Mix brown sugar, oil and agave syrup together in a mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly, preferably with hand mixer until smooth.
Add apple sauce and vanilla and beat for another 3-4 minutes.
Add flour mixture into the wet mixture and mix well.
Add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Fold in nicely.
Preheat oven at 350 F.
Make 1" balls and keep them 1-1.5" apart on greased sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
Cool on cookie rack once once.

Tips -
  1. Bake for 10 minutes if you like crunchy cookies like me. 
  2. I had only 1 cup chocolate chip cookies to I added walnuts, you can always make them only with chocolate chips. 

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