Khichdi

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredient

1 cup small split yellow dal, pre-soak for 30 minutes
1 cup of rice
2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of asafetida (Kayam) powder (found at specialty Indian store)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small piece of ginger, grated
2 green chilies, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 red potato, small dice
1 medium onion, small dice
½ cup of green Indian peas or frozen green peas
4 cups of water
Salt to taste

Directions

Wash and soak the split yellow gram and rice together for 15 minutes. Drain till water is clear. Heat the water until it is boiling and keep aside. On medium heat, add ghee in a large heavy pot (cast iron will work) until the hot. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafetida, turmeric, ginger, peppercorns and cloves. Stir for a minute or till fragrant. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Add potatoes and onion with salt. Cook until onions become translucent. Add the split yellow gram and rice, mix well. Add peas at the very end. Add the hot water to this and bring to a boil. Cover and keep on low heat for 25 minutes or till the mixture is slightly mushy. Taste to make sure dal is cooked all the way.

Khichdi is traditionally cooked in a pressure cooker which is much faster. If you happen to have one, in the last step after adding all the ingredients, cover and bring to maximum pressure on high heat. Pressure cook on high heat for 4 whistles. Put off the flame and set aside till all the steam escapes.

*Recipe Property of Palak Patel

Indian Cheese in an Herbed Green Sauce

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the paneer

1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
½ to 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the green sauce

1 pound bag fresh spinach, stemmed and washed, or 1 pound frozen spinach, unthawed
1 tablespoon ghee, butter, or canola
3 whole dried red chiles
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
7 green cardamom pods
7 whole cloves
¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the tempering oil (optional)

1 tablespoon ghee or canola oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 whole dried red chile
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the paneer, preheat the oven to 450°F. Spread the ricotta evenly in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake until the cheese is lightly browned on top and firm but not dry, about 40 minutes. Let cool (the cheese will firm as it cools), then cut into 1 to 1½-inch squares. Reserve half, and refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use.

Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add as many squares of paneer as will comfortably fit, and brown the squares on all sides. Drain the cheese on paper towels. Continue this way to brown all of the paneer, adding ½ tablespoon more oil as needed. Set the paneer aside.

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spinach, cover, and cook, stirring every now and then until fresh spinach is wilted or frozen spinach is thawed, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and puree in a blender or food processor, adding a few tablespoons of the cooking water if necessary for pureeing.

Heat the ghee, butter, or oil with the red chiles, cumin, cardamom, cloves, and fennel seeds in a large wok, kadai, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin turns a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the asafetida, if using. Then add the ginger, and cook, stirring, 45 seconds. Add the spinach puree and the salt. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 5 minutes. Gently place the paneer squares on top of the greens. Cover, and cook gently 5 more minutes. Halfway through the cooking, use a large spatula to gently turn the paneer in the spinach. (Careful, the paneer will break easily). Taste the green for salt.

For the tempering oil (if using), heat the ghee or oil with the cumin, fennel seeds, and red chile in a small frying pan or kadai over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the seeds, until the seeds turn a golden brown color, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asafetida, if using, and cayenne and pour immediately into the spinach mixture. Give it a stir, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Corn Curry

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For green paste

1 fresh hot green chile, stemmed and cut in half
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
12 fresh or 16 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro sprigs (with tender stems only)
2 tablespoons water

For the main dish

1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons canola oil
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional)
3 whole dried red chiles
¼ teaspoon turmeric
6 fresh or 10 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 ears) or frozen corn

DIRECTIONS

For the green paste, combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor, and process into a paste. Set aside. Combine the milk and the half-and-half in a 2 cup measure or small bowl. Combine the oil, cumin, and mustard seeds, if using, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover if using mustard seeds (they pop and splatter), and cook until the cumin turns golden brown or you heat the mustard seeds crackle, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chiles, turmeric, curry leaves, and asafetida (if using) and stir. (Stand back if using curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.) Immediately add the green paste, and turn the heat down to low. Then cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the flour, and cook, stirring, 1 more minute, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the flour from sticking. Gradually add the milk mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time at first, to make a smooth paste. Start to add the milk more quickly, adding the final cup all at once. Stir in the salt and the corn, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes. Taste for salt, and serve hot.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Aloo Bonda Potato Dumplings

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 dumplings

INGREDIENTS

For the filling

2 pounds (about 5 medium) red potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
24 curry leaves
3 to 6 dried chiles, coarsely crushed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely diced
Juice of ½ lime

For the batter

4 cups canola oil, for frying
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
½ cup water

Tomato Chutney or Ketchup

DIRECTIONS

To make the filling, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 25 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.

Heat the oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1½ minutes. Add the chiles, and cook until the curry leaves become brittle, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the ginger and jalapeños cooking for 30 seconds. Then add the mixture to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes against the sides of the bowl until they are semi-smooth. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons salt and the lime juice. Take 2 tablespoons of potato mixture, and roll into a small ball. Set the ball on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.

Heat the canola oil to 350°F in a medium saucepan. To make the batter, whisk together the chickpea flour, cayenne pepper, salt, and asafetida (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk in enough water so it resembles a thick pancake batter. Dip each potato ball in the batter, and roll it in your hands to coat evenly. Gently drop a few battered balls into the hot oil, and fry until they are golden brown, turning often for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the dumplings to a paper towel-lined plate, and serve hot with Tomato Chutney or ketchup.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Warm Lentil Salad with Coconut and Tomato

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2½ tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon yellow split peas
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole dried red chiles
8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 fresh hot green chile, cut corsswise into thin slices
1 red onion, sliced
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup split peas or lentils simmered in water to cover until tender, and drained
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, the mustard seeds (if using), and yellow split peas in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mustard seeds crackle and/or the dal begins to color, 1 to 2 minutes. (Cover the pan if using mustard seeds; they pop and splatter.)

Add the cumin and cook, stirring, until the cumin turns golden brown, about 1 minute.

Add the dried chiles, curry leaves, and asafetida (if using), and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. (Stand back when using the curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.)

Add the fresh chile, onion, and salt, and cook until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the cooked lentils, lemon juice, and cilantro, and stir until the lentils are warmed through. Taste for salt. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl, and serve warm or at room temperature.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Not-so-dull Dal

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 dried red chiles
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1½ cups washed masoor dal or yellow split peas (channa dal)
6 cups water
Juice of ½ lemon

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil with cumin and chiles in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 1½ minutes. Add the asafetida (if using), and cook for 20 seconds, and then add the onion and jalapeño. Cook for 1 minute, stir in the kosher salt, and cook until the onion and jalapeño have softened, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and lentils, and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, 1 to 1½ minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of the water, cook until the pan is dry, and then add an additional 5¾ cups water and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover, and stir every 10 minutes until the lentils are soft and break apart easily but are not completely broken down, 25 to 35 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and serve with rice.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

Tamarind Chutney

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 1¼ cups

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
2 cups water
1¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until the spices are fragrant and lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Whisk in the water, sugar, and tamarind concentrate until completely dissolved, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer until the sauce turns the color of chocolate and is thick enough to leave a trail on the back of a spoon, 20 to 30 minutes. (While still warm it will look like chocolate sauce, and it will thicken a bit as it cools.) Taste for seasoning, transfer to a covered plastic container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or ladle into dry and sterilized jars and can according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

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