Saturday, March 5, 2016

Green Tomato Chutney 1


Ingredients:


Green tomatoes - cut into small pieces 1"x1" - about 1cup
Bell peppers -  cut into small pieces 1"x1" - about 1cup
green chilies - 2-3 cut into thin slices
for oil tempering - peanut oil, black mustard seeds, turmeric, hing powder
Peanut powder - 1/4 cup
gud or brown sugar - 1-2 Tb or more if tomatoes are tart.
salt to taste.
chopped cilantro leaves - 2-3 tsps
freshly grated coconut - 3-4 Tb (optional)

Recipe:


Heat pan and add 4-5 tsp peanut oil.  Prepare oil tempering and add green chilies and green tomatoes and 1/4 cup water.  Add salt, gud and stir well. Cover for 5 minutes and let it get cooked. Remove cover and check if the tomatoes are cooked well. Add water if necessary and cook more.  It should not be mushy and all the water should be gone. Add 1/4 cup peanut powder. Mix well. Cover and
cook for a minute or two and remove from the heat. If you cook this longer then peanut powder will get burnt.
Sprinkle with cilantro and freshly grated coconut (optional).
Serve as a side dish with Indian bread, or rice

Notes:


1) You can use this as a chutney or hot condiment. When you are using more chilis always add more oil for the tempering so the hotness of the chilis won't bother your stomach. Just add 1/8 tsp citric acid so it will last for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Add more gud or salt according to the taste. Remember, Maharashtrian food is well balanced with salt, sugar and tartness. Don't add coconut if
you want it to last longer as coconut can go rancid.
Also add cilantro with tomatoes so it will also get cooked.
2) you can grind it to a fine paste so as to use as chutney.



Green Tomato Bhaaji 1


Ingredients:


Green tomatoes - cut into small pieces 1"x1" - about 1cup
Bell peppers -  cut into small pieces 1"x1" - about 1cup
green chilies - 2-3 cut into thin slices
for oil tempering - peanut oil, black mustard seeds, turmeric, hing powder
chopped cilantro leaves - 2-3 tsps
freshly grated coconut - 3-4 Tb (optional)
gud or brown sugar - 1-2 Tb or more if tomatoes are tart.
salt to taste.

Recipe:


Heat pan and add 2 tsp peanut oil.  Prepare oil tempering and add green chilies.  Add cut bell peppers and green tomatoes and 1/4 cup water.  Add salt, gud and stir well. Cover for 5 minutes and let it get cooked. Remove cover and check if the tomatoes are cooked well. Add water if necessary and cook more.  It should not be mushy and all the water should be gone. Add 1/4 cup peanut powder. Mix well. Cover and cook for a minute or two and remove from the heat. If you cook this longer then
peanut powder will get burnt.
Sprinkle with cilantro and freshly grated coconut (optional).
Serve as a side dish with Indian bread, or rice

Notes:


1) If you add 1/2 cup hot chilis cut fine instead of bell peppers...you can use this as a chutney or hot condiment. When you are using more chilis always add more oil (4-5 Tsp) for the tempering so the hotness of the chilis won't bother your stomach. Just add 1/8 tsp citric acid so it will last for 2-3
weeks in the refrigerator. Don't add coconut if you want it to last longer as coconut can go rancid.
Also add cilantro with tomatoes so it will also get cooked.
2) you can grind it to a fine paste so as to use as chutney.


Preparation For Leafy Vegetables


All the leafy vegetables, also called as Palebhaaji ( some can be found only in Indian stores). 
So how do you wash these leafy vegetables and prepare them for cooking?
First wash and pluck leaves and discard the stems. Wash the leaves thoroughly in water as they may have sand/dirt in it. Add these leaves in a big pot filled with water and stir them well. Sand will settle at the bottom of the pan and then remove the leaves to a plate and discard the water. Rinse the pot and fill it with the new water and repeat the process twice. Squeeze the leaves or use a salad spinner to remove excess water and chop them finely.

Glossary of Vegetables - Indian Names

http://www.syvum.com/recipes/indian/glossv1.html

Potato Bhaji 2


Ingredients:

3-4 medium potatoes
2 green chili peppers chopped
8-10 curry leaves
1 tsp grated ginger root + 1 tsp chopped garlic (or 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste)
4 tsp peanut oil for oil tempering
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
handful cilantro leaves chopped fine
3 Tsp freshly grated coconut (optional)

Recipe:


Boil potatoes and peel them. Cut them into 1/2"x1/2" pieces.
Add salt, sugar to potatoes and mix well.
Prepare oil tempering (NO hing powder with garlic).
Add curry leaves and chilli paste and ginger-garlic paste.
Let this cook for a minute while stirring.
Add potatoes and mix well.
Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remember potatoes are already cooked.
Add chopped cilantro leaves.
Add fresh coconut and serve (optional)

Notes:


1) Use as a side dish.
2) Don't add coconut and use as a stuffing for potato wada or samosa.
3) You need more oil for tempering as potatoes absorb more oil than other veggies.
4) Glossary of Vegetables - Indian Names
http://www.syvum.com/recipes/indian/glossv1.html


Preparation for Salads


Prepare Oil tempering:

Heat 2 tsp peanut oil + 1/4 tsp mustard seeds. When they start popping remove pan from heat and add 1/8 th tsp hing powder (also called as asaphoetida) and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Add 1 green chilli chopped and pour over the grated/ chopped veggies. If you cannot eat green chilis or jalapeno peppers don't use them. You can add a pinch of chili powder/ dry red chili instead.

Prepare Butter/Ghee Tempering:


Add 2 Tbsp unsalted sweet cream butter to a pan. Heat the pan on medium heat and let the butter melt and cook until it becomes clear (this is clarified butter or ghee). Add 1/2 tsp cumin. When cumin gets lightly brown add 1/8th tsp hing powder. Add 1 chilli chopped fine and pour over the veggies.  If you cannot eat green chilis or jalapeno peppers...don't use them. You can add a pinch of chili powder/ dry red chili instead.

Prepare Peanut Powder:


1) Use dry raw peanuts - Dry roast peanuts in a pan until lightly brown. Cool and with your fingers 
rub against the skin of peanuts or place them in a dish cloth and fold the dish cloth and rub against it. 
The peels will come off.  Remove peels and grind them coarse and store the powder in a refrigerator for upto 4-6 months. 
2)You can also buy unsalted roasted peanuts that are already peeled and grind and store them in 
a refrigerator (the taste will be a bit different but if you don't have time to labor over roasting and peeling raw peanuts these work just fine). The only worry I have is that they are processed and we really don't know how they do it. I try not to use any processed food as possible but once in a while I give in. 

Grating Veggies:


Try to use hand grater ( when making for many people /party you may use food processor) to grate or
chop veggies with a simple knife for daily cooking. Using our fingers like this prevents from getting 
arthritis in old age. So consider this as an exercise for your fingers and hands and a great way to meditate (you will get healthy and good food as a reward too). My mom says that the love you will pass on to your loved ones via cooking is priceless and that is why it tastes so special. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Tomato Saar (Tomato curry with coconut)


Ingredients:


For oil tempering - peanut oil, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds(1/4tsp), hing powder.
Or use ghee tempering - ghee, cumin seeds, hing powder
Tomatoes - 4 medium or 6 Roma
Green chilies - cut into 1/2" pieces
Curry leaves - 8-10
Chili powder - 1/4 tsp (or to your taste)
Cinnamon stick - flat kind - 2-3 small pieces (about 1" each)
Black peppercorn - 7-8 (powder them)
Sugar - 1-2 tsp (to taste)
Salt to taste.
Chopped cilantro leaves - 2-3 Tbs
Freshly grated coconut - 4-5 Tbsp

Recipe:


Remove stems and cut tomatoes in big pieces. Add them to a tall pan and add 1 cup water. Cover and let the tomatoes cook well. Cool a bit and puree them with a hand grinder (food mill) to remove skins  and seeds.
Heat pan and add 2 tsp peanut oil.
Prepare oil tempering (or ghee tempering) and add green chilies, cinnamon and black pepper.
(For a variation you can add curry leaves after chillies) - optional
Add tomato puree.
Add water to desired thickness of curry.
Add salt and sugar to taste (depends on how tart tomatoes are).
Remember, Maharashtrian food is well balanced with salt, sugar, and tartness.
Let the tomato puree come to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add freshly chopped cilantro and grated coconut.
I use frozen unsweetened coconut when in hurry.
Serve as a side dish with Indian bread, or rice.

Notes:


1) You can use canned whole tomatoes (taste will be a little different).
2) You can add canned coconut milk (1/4 cup) when curry is simmering...do not boil it or curry will curdle/ break.
3) You can add 1 small onion to tomatoes while cooking them.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Cilantro Wadi


Ingredients:


Chopped cilantro leaves - 1 cup chopped
Besan flour - 1.5 cup
Rice flour - 2-3 tsp
Green chilies - 2-3 finely chopped
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp (or to your taste)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Hing powder - 1/8 tsp
Gud or brown sugar - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp +  cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (OR Garam masala - 1/2 tsp)
Salt to taste.
Peanut oil - 2-3 tsp


Recipe:


Wash cilantro and chop it.
(Soak in a pan filled with water. Sand/dirt will settle at the bottom and cilantro leaves will float to the top. Remove cilantro and throw away water. Repeat cleaning cilantro twice).
Add cilantro to a bowl and add all the ingredients except besan flour and peanut oil.  Mix well.
Heat 2-3 tsp peanut oil and add to the mixture (this makes them crisp and absorb less oil while frying).
Start adding besan flour little by little. Start mixing by hand. Add just enough flour to make a dough.
(Do not add more water. You will make the dough with water that has stayed with cilantro after washing it).
Divide dough into 2 parts. Roll each part into 2" cylinder.
Line a pan with a thin fabric or oil it and place the rolls on it.
Steam them in a steamer or a pressure cooker. Cool.
Cut each roll into 1/2" pieces.
Shallow fry them on both sides by adding little oil or deep fry them.

Notes:


1) Serve them as a side dish.
2) Serve them as an appetizer.
3) Use (1/4 cup dill + 3/4 cup spinach) instead of cilantro.