Friday, January 20, 2006

Aloo Tikki

The ubitquitous potato.There's nothing one can not make with it .Everything from appetisers to desserts can be made with this humble looking, brown, oblong ,smooth and sometimes rough skinned vegetable.

So from the vast array of possible appetisers ,sides, main course dishes and desserts ,I decided to make aloo tikki the other day .Aloo tikki is one of the items from amongst a collection of hot and spicy snacks that is called chaat.(Others being golgappa, bhalle, papdi etc) .Each of these items are particularly spicy and induce a "kick" into a boring day:)

I used to visit the local ‘chaat walla (street hawker) to eat aloo tikki and chaat when I visited the local market with ma and dad .His shop would be abuzz with customers at any given time and his tikkis and chaat always sold like hot cakes . He fried fresh aloo tikkies on a hot griddle or tava .The wonderfully aroma was often enough to set my stomach churning with hunger .
Standing in the line always paid off in the end because the taste made up for everything .

The best part is , one can always make them at home , they are very easy ,delicious and serve as a wonderful appetiser. Let's get started .

You need:
7-8 potatoes boiled, peeled, mashed
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
3 green chillies grouned1/2 tsp.
garam masala
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt to taste
chilli flakes/powder to taste
oil for shallow frying

This is how you cook it
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly
Press gently into rounded flattish patties.
Shallow fry on a griddle, drizzling oil to crispen crust.
Serve hot with tamarind chutney and green chutney. or with tomato ketchup

(you can do an optional filling with boiled chana dal or paneer& peas .This mixture is made with mixing either chana or paneer& peas with ginger, corriander seeds , cumin seed powder, salt and chilli .Take a tbspful of potato mixture, spread on palm and place a tspful of dal mixture in centre.Roll so as to keep dal mixture inside and potato out. Press gently into rounded flattish patties)

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Apparently everyone's being tagged .Its strangely called the Me-Me tag and I have seen various versions -the 4 Me-Me , the 5 Me-Me and the & Me -Me .

I was tagged by Tina for the 7Me-Me and Lera for the 5 Me-Me. I am posting this entry on my second blog Ramblings of the mind where I post about life in general .

Why there? Because,this is not a recipe and belongs on rambling's more than it does here .Coming up on this space , aloo tikki :)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sabut Masoor Dal

I am of the humble opinion that good food belongs to two different categories...simple , wholesome , easy to make, yet delicious .This is food one can make daily and make sure the body and soul are both satisfied. The second category is food that requires a whole bunch of ingredients, time , finesse .The end product is delicious too but also exotic and mostly a visual stunner.Fulfilling for the eyes too.

I like to dwell in both the categories. Depends on my mood, time and the occassion . On a daily basis I really like to keep it short and simple .Coming to which "DAL", is simple .

Dal is known by many names...lentils, legumes and pulses.And then there are tonnes of different kind of daals . Pulses have been around and used as food for thousands of years. The lentil was probably one of the first plants ever to be domesticated by humans. Most pulses prefer warm climates but there are varieties which grow in temperate regions.The awesome thing is that they are rich in proteins and vegetarians dont need to worry too much if they just eat their dals.

The various dals I know of are moong dal(dhuli and sabut), arhar(toor or tuvar dal), chane ki daal, ma ki dal, masoor dal (sabut and dhuli) and urad dal . When a dal is "dhuli"it simply means that the skin has been taken away and the seed is split and exposed and when its "sabut " it means that the whole seed in intact in its covering .

I recently made sabut masoor dal .Masoor dal is also called "Egyptian lentils" and is dark brown in color.Its difficult to look at those dark ,non-descript seeds and beleive that they could turn into such a delicious lentil soup.(if you decide to cook sabut daal ,please remember these seeds take longer to cook because they are whole. )

Alright, lets get started without much ado.

You need :
250 g. sabut masoor dal

For Tempering/baghar/tadka
(this is basically just seasoning the dal by with spices and other ingredients )
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. garlic paste/crushed garlic
2 tbs. (vegatble/sunflower/canola)
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 level tsp. chili powder/flakes
1\2 level tsp. ground coriander-
salt to taste
1 level tsp. garam masala
2-3 tbs. finely chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish

This is how you cook it
Pressure cook the dal , using approximately a half a litre of water .(You can add the salt right now or later after the dal is cooked.Usually it takes about 15-20 minutes in a pressure cooker. You may have to add more water if the lentil is not tender yet and cook for further 8 to 10 minutes). Let the pressure whistle blow about 3-4 times on medium to high heat

Take the dal of the stove and take a pan .Heat the oil and add the ginger paste, garlic, onions and fry them till they become transparent .Then add the tomatoes and fry them till they start losing their moisture and become soft.Now add the dal (if the dal is not dilute enough , you can add more water to get a consistency you want).Add salt, dhania powder and chilli flakes /powder.Stir and cook for few more minutes.

Take off the stove .The dal is now ready .As a finishing touch add the garam masala and garnish with the chopped corriander .

its Yummy :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Paneer bhurji

I love paneer in all shapes, forms and dishes ..For those of you who read my blog and don't know what paneer/cottage cheese is (Its a dairy product.Paneer can be prepared at home or bought at the market .I buy mine at the local Indian store .The easiest way to make Paneer is to squeeze a lemon in hot milk and let it separate .Take the white residue and tie it up in a muslin cloth and let all the water drip .What remains is, paneer.You can crumble this or cut it up in cubes....)

Paneer is pretty versatile .There a tonnes of recipes out there and the ones that come to my mind are pudina paneer, handi paneer, paneer in coriander garlic sauce, matar paneer, saag paneer, achari paneer, paneer palak bhujia/bhurji, kesari paneer, goan paneer pea curry , mughlai paneer, kaju paneer masala, paneer kebabs, and paneer pasanda..I plan to try them all soon and Iam sure they are just minor variations in all the recipes .

Paneer bhurji is simple easy to make and takes almost no time .And It tastes delicious. I usually have it either some kind of dal , chappati and raita .I will put up the daal that I cooked with the Paneer bhurji in my next blog entry ...

Till then enjoy this one :-)

You need :
200 gms paneer - crumbled
1 large onion chopped finely
2 green chillies chopped finely
oil - 1 tablespoon
salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
chilli powder/flakes to taste
corriander to garnish

This is how you cook it :
Heat the oil and fry the onions till they become transparent .Add diced green chillies and saute them for a while .Then addthe paneer, followed by turmeric, salt and chilli flakes.Mix thoroughly and add just a little water to the mixture .Be sure not to add too much water .Wait for water to evaporate and then take off the stove.Paneer Bhurji is ready to serve. Garnish with chopped corriander.

If you feel like adding finely chopped tomatoes along with the onions at the onset , feel free to do so.That's just another variation to the recipe and tastes great as well

Sunday, January 08, 2006

To 2006 and new recipes....spicy meatball curry

A very happy New year to all of you who read foodies unite
Hope the New year brings you joy , happiness and gastronomic delights , taking you on new food journeys and introduce you to fascinating and wonderful cuisine from different regions of the world.
And on that note let me begin with ......Spicy meatball curry
Yeah ,I have always loved meatballs with spaghetti or meatball curry with rice .Theres something about chunky meatballs , cooked in tomato sauce thats whets and satiates the appetite at the same time.
Apparently there are many different ways to make meatballs ..Meat balls are made with lamb, turkey , veal , pork or beef . While Finnish meatballs are made with (ground beef, prok , breadcrumbs, thyme , garlic , onion , eggs) , Frikadeller or Danish meat balls are made with veal and pork and served with potatoes and stewed cabbage.Swedish meatballs on the other hand could use beef, veal or pork and are typically served with brown sauce, potatoes and lingonberry jam(reminds me of what they serve at the Local Ikea-the retail assmebly furniture giant ).
Let me present you with an Indian take on these:)
You need
2 tablespoons vegatable oil
30-36 meatballs
1 cup of boiled peas
Half a can of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
Chilli flakes to taste
2 teaspoons of corriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
Here's how I made it:
Heated the vegetable oil and popped the cumin seeds in it.Added half a can of crushed tomotaoes to which I added turmeric, chilli flakes, salt , corriander powder and salt .Stirred it on slow heat till the oil seperated .(this is a sign that the sauce is now cooked) .Added meatballs and some boiled peas and sauted them in the sauce till they were covered in it .Then added two cups of water and kept it on medium to high heat. Cooked the meatballs in sauce till sauce reduced and meatballs floated to the top after having absorbed juices and spices from the sauce .
VOILA ..there you go

And a very happy New year to you Again :)
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