Thursday, December 31, 2009

mocha matar ....forget about keema matar

Kele ka phool or the banana heart is the bright pink colored tip of the banana inflorescence, this delectable vegetable ( flower ) is cooked into many countries , not only in different parts of India ....that too in many many ways and one thing is sure that all of those recipes must be wonderful.......the reason is , after cleaning those tiny flowers with clinical precision and chopping them like you are handling your own fingers , you will surely do something special with them.... they taste really great when treated nicely.

Some people par boil the flowers and discard the water as the flowers are slightly alkaline , i never do that for alkaline food is good for us ..... many useful minerals are also lost during parboiling and straining the flowers...they are so rich in potassium and iron n B-complex Vitamins ( all water soluble )....

To make them less alkaline to the palate , tomatoes or curds or both can be added for curries ( like this one) , addition of a few drops of lemon juice would be good too....One more trick to make them less alkaline to the palate is cooking them with legumes ...with green mung or with green peas it tastes great , other legumes can also be tried as the possibilities are endless...adding grated coconut also helps in neutralizing the taste...

I had cleaned the florets and kept them for making a kabab with it , the plan got changed and i made a
shallow fried pakoda using the inner heart , while the outer flowers were used for this mocha matar ....made almost like keema matar and is a good vegetarian is a picture of chopped up flowers of banana...

Cleaning and chopping the tiny florets is a bit time consuming but it is well worth the hard work....there are many write ups on how to clean these florets on the net so i did not bother to take the pictures and come straight to the recipe.....kele ke phool aur matar ki subzi.....

cleaned and chopped banana florets 1.5 cups
green peas 1 cup
chopped red onions 1/2 cup
ginger 1 inch piece, 5-6 garlic cloves n 5 green chillies made into a paste
chopped tomatoes 1 cup
coriander greens with stem chopped and kept separately , a cup of both
mint leaves chopped 1 tbsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
everyday curry masala 2 tsp
special garam masala 1 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 2 tbsp
cumin whole 1 tsp
cloves 2

Dissolve turmeric powder and both the masala powders in 1/4 cup of water n keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the cumin and cloves ...wait till they splutter...i love adding a whole dry red chilly too at this point but did not use this time as Arvind had instructed me to cook less hot this time..

Add the chopped onions and let them get lightly browned , add the masala paste and fry till it sticks to the base of kadai , scrape and fry till aromatic...

Add the green peas and sallt , sprinkle some water , mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes..or till the peas are 3/4 done...

Open the lid and add the banana florets along with the coriander stems in the kadai.....

Mix well and stir fry without covering for a couple of minutes ....till the banana flowers look wilted and soft...

Add the chopped tomatoes , mint leaves and the coriander leaves , mix well and cover to cook till everything is well blended , tomato puree can be used if fresh tomatoes are not available or you don't want those red specks into the curry , taste the curry by dipping your fingertip into it at this point....if it still feels alkaline to the palate , add 1/4 cup of thick curds and cook to blend well........

This is a very rich looking curry and you can add ghee on top before serving .......we like it as it is .....the pictures of the cooked curry are not very good as it was steaming hot when i clicked it..........

The curry becomes better the next day , all the spices and the mint n heavy dose of coriander greens make it a curry bursting with becomes very rich in fiber owing to the coriander stems ...the mocha is high on fiber itself too.....all the goodness with great taste...

Monday, December 28, 2009

last minute Christmas cakes : a carrot orange cake and a zucchini and lemon cake, all in a day...

After seeing so many cakes and cookies, truffles and ginger breads all over the blogosphere , I was like be or not to be........I rarely bake a cake or a cookie these days as both of us are off the desserts for some time....that is just one reason, the other reasons being plain procrastination. This recipe proves that cakes are not as high on calories always.

I know every reason for not making cakes will just be a lame excuse. I did not soak my dry fruits in rum in advance so no choice to make a proper fruit cake bursting with goodness of rich dry fruits and mixed peels. Then I thought of making an orange cake and even kept two large oranges on the kitchen platform to remind me of turning them to a cake. And guess what, even they could not prompt me to bake a cake. In the meanwhile I had to tell over telephone the exact measurements and recipes of different cakes to friends who were baking . Several calls followed to tell me the chocolate cake was yummy and that orange cake was an instant hit and that last minute addition of rum worked well...........that was the moment I could not resist.....

I had carrots and I had those oranges, mandarins actually which are called kinnoo in this part of the world. Two large kinnoos were actually waiting for the cake to happen as I told you.....overripe and the skin wrinkled and semi dried ....perfect for this cake as this peel is going to give a texture and taste similar to mixed peels .........and heyIi had a large tender zucchini and lots of lemons too.........

Forgive me for poor photography but it is to show you the dry leathery peels being chopped as one of the friends could not do it just by telephonic instructions...... hey S , this is for you.......I chopped them once more cross wise to make them even finer ........let's see how it was made ...a frugal cake with a rich taste........

mandarin peel chopped finely 1 heaped tbsp ( or more )
( i used peel of two mandarins )
finely and neatly grated carrots 2 cups
all purpose flour 2 cups
sugar 3/4 cup
vegetable oil 3/4 cup
eggs 3
baking powder 3/4 tbsp
baking soda 1/4 tsp
juice of one mandarin orange ( a little more if the batter is too thick)
the juice from the mandarin i used was less but very concentrated as it was an overripe n dried one


Mix the grated carrots and orange juice and keep aside..

In a large dry bowl sieve the flour , baking soda and baking powder  twice to allow proper mixing , keep aside...

In another deep bowl whisk the eggs , oil and sugar together till creamy n fluffy , pop in the chopped orange peel , whisk once again and add the grated carrots with juice , whisk till combined ...

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in three batches while folding it nicely to not whisk vigorously's ready to be baked now...adjust consistency by adding more juice if the batter is not in thick flowing consistency. It will be thick due to grated carrots and not flowing freely but it should be a thick but flowing batter...ribbon consistency will not be achieved here......the picture will make it is with zucchini and lemon which i made just after this cake n took the picture for showing the consistency.......

Pour in a greased and dusted pyrex dish and microwave for 7 minutes on high ( 900 W) , check by inserting a needle , put back into the MW preheat while the cake is still inside the oven ...after two minutes open the door and quickly place the cake dish over the high wire rack to be browned nicely by the hot grill........3 minutes is enough.......i kept it for 4 minutes and it browned a little too much......but the brown part was the yummiest..........see the top and the side......

As I said , after baking this cake I made another with zucchini and lemon using the same recipe ...replacing carrots with zucchini and mandarins with lemons....using two lemons for half of this quantity.......this cake was yummy too and the color is just so beautiful....

The cakes vanished quickly as I sent half of it to a friend too....... and then I made another .....a loaf this time .....

This cake ages well and becomes more rich in taste after a couple of days...that is the reason why I baked the loaf is sitting in the fridge and a fat slice appears on the table was the second day by the way..........for the loaf....

The grated carrots provide a nice fruity texture while the flavors are brought by the rich mandarin peel , I could have added a few nuts to enhance the richness but the orange flavor would have been masked by nuttiness ......moist fruity bits in a fluffy yet dense cake , that is how the carrot and orange cake was.

Zucchini provides softness to the cake and the much loved color to enhance the lemon feel.....lemons are to be used liberally to get a fairly lemony zing ...i used the grated zest of two of my garden fresh large lemons for half the above recipe..........zucchini does nothing to the taste though , but the softness n color it provides to the cake is just so fit for the lemon flavored cake...........

Truly a frugal recipe for great tasting cakes.......

Wishing all my readers for a wonderful year ahead.......

Thursday, December 24, 2009

drumstick curry in mustard gravy

What do you do when you have a glut of drumsticks? Make drumstick curry with mustard or any other spice blend. Or make drumstick flower pakodas.

The regulars at Banaras ka Khana know that I have a giant tree of drumsticks in my front garden, they are bursting with their best flavors right now and the sight of those branches heavy with drumsticks are forcing me to pluck them even if I can't consume them all. It gets distributed to neighbors.

Needless to say, I have been using the drumstick flowers and the pods of drumsticks for different types of curries considering it is so healthy. I see that this fruit (vegetable for us) is a favorite of parakeets. Large flocks of beautiful parrots come to the tree every evening, perch just above the fruit, bow down and peck their beaks into the fruit to eat the flesh. When the fruit will be mature and seeds will develop inside, the parrots beautifully slide down the drumsticks to pick the seeds from the splitting pods. I can spend hours watching them doing this. Parakeets use their feet just like we humans use our hands. Earlier I have seen parrots perching on mature sunflowers in my garden to pick the seeds to snack on. They know instinctively what is good for them indeed.

I use drumsticks in sambar mostly as everyone else. This mustard based drumstick curry is a traditional eastern UP preparation, served with plain boiled rice it becomes a satiating meal on its own. The kind of homely comfort meals we need when we come back from travels etc.

drumstick curry in mustard gravy

This particular sehjan ki subzi is my grandmother's recipe but it is made with minor variations all over eastern UP and Bihar as well.

The tender drumsticks are great for this curry as they cook quickly but the mature ones are considred better by many people as they pack in more flavour. It is fun to chew the mature thick pieces of drumstick which are quite fibrous and hard, the flavourful flesh lies in the middle of the stick which has to be either scraped out or you chew the stick to eat the flesh and then discard the fiber. This mustard gravy makes the drumstick curry differently flavorful I must add.

I do not peel the drumsticks if they are home grown or organic. Chopping them in about 2 inch long pieces is better for this curry. Making a bundle of the drumsticks is good if you want to retrieve them together in a curry or even in sambar.



a dozen soft baby drumsticks or 6-7 mature drumsticks
2-3 potatoes peeled and cut in wedges
3 large tomatoes cut lengthwise
everyday curry powder 2 tsp or 1/2 tsp each of coriander, cumin n pepper powders
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
coriander greens a handful

to be made into a fine paste
2 tbsp of yellow mustard seeds ( if using black mustard seeds, pass the paste through a sieve to remove the skin)
4-5 green chillies
6 garlic cloves


Heat oil in a thick base kadai and pop in the cumin seeds and wait till they splutter..

Throw in the potato wedges, stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add the drumstick pieces too, stir fry lightly till the potatoes are slightly brown n the drumsticks are glossy.

Sprinkle the everyday curry powder, turmeric powder, salt and add the chopped tomatoes to it.

Stir fry the mixture for a couple of minutes and then pour the mustard paste, add water to make a curry of desired consistency, and let it boil covered for about 10 minutes, the tomatoes get mushy, the potatoes soft and the drumsticks yield to pressure.

Add the coriander greens, add some lemon juice if you like,cover and put off the flame and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Serve hot over a bed of hot fluffy rice....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

prawns in a nigella n green chilly sauce

This prawn recipe is just so simple , apt for a quick meal ...especially for people like us, who need just one dish to go with our roti ...i am so into just one dish for a meal that i feel i have excelled into making short cut one dish meals fashionable in my own home at least ...either one pot meals or rolling out 3-4 rotis and a bowl of a dryish curry........just that....but hey , i make the curry spicy n hot and no one is complaining...........

just 6 ingredients....... 

prawns 250 gm
nigella seeds 1 tsp
green chillies split 10-12 ( more if you wish )
turmeric powder 1 heaped tsp
salt to taste
mustard oil 1 tbsp

heat mustard oil in a kadai and pop in the nigella seeds wait for a couple of seconds and throw in the slit chillies , turmeric powder and the prawns in that order ...toss and stir for a couple of minutes and add the salt ....keep stiring or tossing the pan to cook the prawns not overcook to avoid the prawns from getting chewy will take about 4-5 minutes only if the prawns were on room temperature add a splash of water to mix and coat the sauce and serve hot with anything of your choice........we need our multigrain roti with everything  ........

Can anything be simpler than this for a hot dinner date ???

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

recipe of gajar ka murabba | candied carrots with clotted cream

Gajar ka murabba is an age old recipe that was popular in many parts of north India. Peeled whole carrots were cooked with a jaggery syrup till it gets nicely candied and then was served warm with fresh cream or malai.

 gajar ka murabba

Serving this gajar ka murabba with fresh cream or malai was an urban practice I hear. In rural areas whole carrots were skewered on bamboo sticks and were lowered into the huge kadhais in which the jaggery was made, after harvest of sugarcane crop.

So gur ki kadhai wala gajar ka murabba used to be a special candy that people would enjoy outdoors. Raw papaya was also candied in the same manner and I have heard these stories from friends belonging to Punjab, west UP and even north Bihar. No wonder everyone wanted to recreate that jaggery candied version of gajar ka murabba in their urban kitchens and the malai topping would be a natural thing in the plated version.

 gajar ka murabba

The caortenes of carrots and malai make a great food combination that facilitates nutrient absorption better. So here comes a dessert which is absolutely healthy and is absolutely a traditional dessert I must add.

Murabba generally is a sweet preserve of a fruit and is Indian version of soft candied fruit, the murabba can be made to look like a dry candy when it is made with higher amount of sugar, or it may be made like a chunky jam.

Many fruits are traditionally preserved to make murabba, amle ka murabba is the most common I have seen personally (my dad used to force us to eat the murabba, made in huge quantities every year), seb ka murabba, karonde ka murabba, bel ka murabba (my dad could not succeed in his attempts to make us eat this one), ananas ka murabba and so on ....

Basically any fruit can be preserved like a murabba (some of them having huge health benefits like amla and bel ka murabba). Some murabbas like this aam ka chhunda is used like a sweet chutney or a spread...

Carrots is a less preferred choice to be made into a murabba that stays for the whole year, but it is considered very healthy (tonic food) in winters It is best to be made in season I think and I always prefer making it in jaggery to get maximum flavors  and to make it differently flavored than gajar ka halwa, as we mostly have it with a topping of malai. It can be served without cream too.

Carrot murabba is also considered very healthy and healing food when taken with milk for breakfast, some cereal can be conveniently added to it for good reasons. Here I have made it like a dessert, which is very different from gajar ka halwa.

Traditionally, whole carrots are peeled, forked and cooked in jaggery or sugar syrup till the syrup becomes frothy with bubbles and the carrots look shiny and glazed nicely (600-700gm sugar / jaggery per kilo of carrots). After cooling, the carrot murabba is kept in airtight jars. The murabba can be spiced with cardamom, nutmeg or cinnamon etc according to your choice....

In my instant version, carrot slices are microwaved with crumbled jaggery to make a murabba and then it is served with a topping of homemade malai. I still prefer home made malai because it is fresh and you get more flavor for traditional preparations. Of course you can use fresh cream from a tetra pack if you don't get home made malai but I strongly recommend malai for this.

Microwave carrot murabba recipe

 (for two servings)

2 large carrots sliced obliquely to get large slices (about 500 gm)
1/4 cup of crumbled jaggery (more or less according to choice)
fresh cream or malai to serve 2 tbsp
chopped nuts a handful
candied ginger (optional) one slice


Place the carrot slices in a large ceramic bowl, cover with the crushed jaggery and microwave for 2 minutes, it gets syrupy as the water from carrot slices is drawn out , stir and microwave again for 1-2 minutes. The jaggery syrup should froth into bubbles when you see it cooking. At this stage the carrot slices become almost candied and leathery, giving a nice bite ...

gajar ka murabba (candied carrots)gajar ka murabba (candied carrots)

If you want them softer, you can cook just for 2 minutes and serve after cooling. But if cooked for longer and till the syrup is frothy and the carrots are leathery, it can be preserved and is more flavorful, as is seen in the right side picture.......

Cool and serve with a topping of malai and chopped nuts. I had some wonderful candied ginger so that was also chopped and topped onto it :)

gajar ka murabba (candied carrots)

The carrots slices get a good bite after being cooked in a thick syrup, as no water is added and the syrup is formed from the water released by carrots.

Pan cooked carrot murabba 

 gajar ka murabba

 Chop the carrots in 3-4 pieces as per choice and cook with jaggery and some water in low flame. The carrots release their own water and get cooked slowly into shiny candied chunks of deliciousness. The quantities will remain the same as the microwave recipe but you need to add a little water in this case, this quantity takes about 15 minutes on very low flame. 

The jaggery gives it a depth in flavor, the cream makes it so melt in the mouth when you are biting into the candied carrot slices, nuts give it additional texture and the candied ginger bits lend a burst of another deep flavor to it....

I got this wonderful candied ginger from a Uttarakhand stall at trade fair this season, it's so good I can't stop using it in my cooking. In the picture it is below the packet of black currants , those white roundels.

Apart from these candied ginger I bought a lot of sTuff  from trade fair, from stalls of different states. I got black currants, banana chips, methi khakhra, walnuts, cashews with skin on (not in the picture) and that place mat made of palm wood which I have been using since then for my photos....

Delhi international trade fair is a great place to go to when you want to buy authentic stuff form the artisans themselves, apart from these food items I bought a lot of kantha work kurtas, some kalamkari and ikat fabric etc. etc.

India International Trade Fair is a great place to be if you are interested in the traditional arts and crafts of India and some other participating countries. I get my green tea, filter coffee, coconut milk powder from Tea, Coffee and Coconut Boards of India stalls respectively. Getting the real stuff is so easy there, and you can get all types of fruit preserves, achars, spices and murabba too.

But you wont get gajar ka murabba anywhere as much I know. You have to make it at home and you must I suggest. It is tastier than you think and a very convenient quick dessert for family. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

matar ki ghugni lasun wali

Talk about tender peas and any Banarasi will instantly jump to either chuda matar (a peas and pohe recipe, essentially a Banaras specialty) or matar ki ghugni. Tender peas cannot taste better any other way for us. Nimona will be a choice for meals.

matar ki ghugni

Hara lasun is another winter green, available for a short period of time and with this combination it's like hara lasun gets moksh in Banaras. Hara lasun is also called sagga lasun (as spring onions are also called sagga piyaz) and as soon as it is seen here in Delhi I just grab it and my lasun sagga saga begins.

This time I used it for a green mishmash pickled chutney of hara lasun and for this ghugni, a wonderfully flavorful dish, generally a breakfast dish but we can have it any time of the day, with anything as accompaniment or as it is. It is simply delicious any which way you have it.


tender green peas 2.5 cups
potato (naye alu) 1 no. chopped in small bits (here I used about a cup of cubed new potatoes)
garlic greens (shoots) n bulb 2 nos.
coriander greens 10-12 stalks
green chillies 3 nos.
salt n pepper to taste
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
mustard oil 1 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp

Ppound the garlic greens, coriander greens and green chilies together in a mortar n pestle or make a coarse paste in mixie..

Heat oil in a kadai and tip in cumin seeds into it, wait till they splutter and then tip in the chopped potatoes and salt, cook covered for 2 minutes and then add the green peas, turmeric powder, pepper and the green paste. Mix well, add 2 tbsp of water and cook covered till it gets dry. The peas will be cooked quickly as they are tender. Mature peas may take some more time but please don't use mature peas for this matar ki ghugni.

Crush most of the the potatoes after cooking so that the green mixture with mushed up potatoes clings to the green peas beautifully, making it more flavourful and even the texture gets comforting.

The ratio of peas to potato can be changed depending on what you want that particular day, here I have added more potatoes than usual as the husband loves naye alu and wanted to have more of those.

matar ki ghugni lasun wali

Serve hot as you wish, as a side dish, as a stand alone breakfast or a standalone anytime meal, a stuffing in grilled sandwich.

Just don't make any changes if you make this matar ki ghugni for the first time and you will see that it has become a favorite in your family too.

This time it was a weekend brunch in the garden for us. Masala chai and this garlicky alu matar ki ghugni, weekends mean the simplest of foods in my home, flavors not to be compromised.

And it's not difficult when you choose the season's best ingredients.

Friday, December 11, 2009

hari tahiri akhrot ki chutny ke saath

Tahiri or teheri is a rice preparation cooked along with vegetables, a perfect one pot meal which is usually served with raita. It is cooked like a pulav but addition of a lot of vegetables makes it healthier. I remember I used to cook tahiri quite often in my hostel too and girls used to take a dabba for their boyfriends much to my annoyance :-)

It has been a childhood favorite for me and my husband both but the flavors we like in a tahiri are different unfortunately. He likes his tahiri little bland, with potatoes and peas essentially and aromatic with loads of ghee. While I like it very spicy with lots of vegetables into it, no potatoes, mostly greens like spinach, sowa, methi etc.

Needless to say I have to make it somewhat in between, not too spicy not to bland and  I find it very easy to sneak in a lot of veggies into it by adding vegetables of different types, like here the potatoes and cauliflower pieces retain their shape while the spinach and dill greens get wilted and mixed up with rice to give it a nice green color. This kind of a preparation is a good way to make one eat a lot of vegetables without even realizing.

I would emphasize that It is actually a great way of eating a lot of vegetables with small quantity of rice. Sometimes I add paneer or soy nuggets when there is no other source of protein in the meal. But here the akhrot ki chutney fills that gap.

This time we enjoyed it with akhrot ki chutney which is a kashmiri specialty. I used to love it at one of my aunt's place where it was served with biryanis and elaborate Kashmiri meals. Later on I made many versions of this akhrot ki chutny adding ginger and green chillies to it because I did not remember exactly how my aunt used to make it. I had apparently lost the recipe.

But recently I found this recipe by Gaurav and it tasted exactly like that one I had been craving for and it's much simpler too. It is a regular chutnyy at my place this season (we eat more walnuts in winters out of habit ).........

ingredients for the tahiri ...
basmati rice 1/2 cup
cauliflower florets 10-12 nos.
potatoes cubed 2 nos.
green chillies chopped 2 tbsp
ginger julienne 2 tbsp
spinach leaves chopped finely ( or processed ) 3 cups
dill leaves chopped 1 cup
shahi jeera 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper corns crushed coarsely 1 tbsp
star anise 1 flower
cinnamon stick 1 no.
cloves 4 nos.
black cardamom crushed lightly 1 no.
salt to taste
ghee 1 tbsp
everyday curry powder ( or a mix of coriander, cumin, black pepper n bay leaf  in 4:2:2:1 ratio powdered together ) 2 tsp

procedure for tahiri...

Heat oil in a pan, preferably a stock pot or a thick flat base pan. Throw in all the whole spices and the cut vegetables together and stir fry till the aroma of whole spices comes through and the veggies look slightly translucent ..

Add the green chillies, ginger julienne and the rice and stir fry till the rice gets fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, add the powder spices  mix well and turn a couple of times and then tip in the chopped greens. Mix well and let the greens wilt and mixed up...

Add salt and a cup of boiling water (double the quantity of rice), mix well and cover, let it cook on lowest possible heat for 10 minutes or till cooked. Let it rest for another 5 minutes and serve hot with a raita or salad and chutney...

ingredients for akhrot ki chutny...
walnuts 100 gm
curds 150 gm
salt to taste
red chilly powder 1-2 tsp as per taste 
water if required to adjust the consistency

to make the chutny... just powder the walnuts in a mixie first , them mix all the other ingredients and give it a quick's ready to be savored with a tahiri , a biryani or any kind of tandoori tikka etc...addition of grated radish to this chutny tastes yummy but it should be added at the time of serving as it can not be stored in the fridge....without adding radish the chutny can stay fresh for a couple of days in fridge.....

Enjoy a simple and healthy tahiri with a nutty hot chutney that can be used like a dip for crackers or vegetable crudites too.

With this hari tahiri this chutney feels like a perfect companion, much better than the hostel wali tahiri.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

kaali mirch noon

Mutton is something we eat very occasionally and i do not like the liver , i have posted a liver recipe cooked with coriander greens earlier but most of the times i cook it along with the meat , i was not aware of the fact that liver cooks faster n i used to cook it as long as the meat , so it used to get a bit hard ..... i came to know about it on Ushnish's blog that liver should be cooked just for 5-7 minutes ( i cooked it for 15 minutes here ) to retain it's texture.

Keeping that in mind i added liver in the curry in the last phase of cooking and even marinated the liver separately....this is a tried and tested recipe which i saw on TV some years back when i was a new meat eater , the recipe is simple and at that time a new meat eater n a reluctant cook could do it well and the result was very encouraging.........needless to say it has been repeated quite often ........

Along the time i have tweaked the recipe according to our liking .....i use only the coriander stems to avoid making it green n for a greater coriander taste , also i have minimized the use of oil ....the recipe needs more oil because there is no water used during cooking n the meat sticks to the base of kadai , but i keep sprinkling water in between to prevent this , also i have added slit green chillies to it as the recipe does not use any chillies in it ...i add them in the end so they don't give the curry any flavor or heat , but they are yummy when a piece of roti is used to wrap it n mop the scant gravy........


mutton 500 gm ( i used with bone but the recipe specifies boneless )
100 gm coriander leaves ( i used the stems only )
1 tbsp black pepper whole
1 tsp black pepper powder
2 inch piece of ginger
15 flakes of garlic ( indian ones )
lemon juice 1 tbsp
ghee or oil 1 tbsp ( the recipe specifies 1/2 cup )
10 slit green chillies ( not used in the original recipe)
ginger julienne 1 tbsp


Apart from mutton , green chillies , pepper powder , ginger julienne  and oil .....grind everything into a fine paste and keep aside..

The recipe requires the mutton pieces to be pounded with a hammer , i do not follow's already dead man !!  aur mat maaro usko !!

Marinate the meat ( i marinated the liver pieces separately )  into the paste for an hour or more if you wish ( may be overnight in the fridge)...

 Heat oil in a heavy base kadai ( i used my cast iron one )  and dunk all the meat into it , stir and cook on very low heat till cooked .....i cooked for 50 minutes , turning and stirring every 15 -20 minutes and sprinkling 1/4 cup of water each time i stirred .......after 35 minutes of cooking i added the liver pieces and cooked till done .......sprinkle the pepper powder , half the ginger julienne and slit green chillies  , mix well and keep covered for 10 minutes...

And yes , the liver pieces were good this way...i am going to do it always...

It's ready to eat with roti or naan or any kind of flat bread....serve garnished with the remaining ginger julienne.....i love those ginger sticks with the gravy.......and those green chilies too , i picked them all and wanted more of them....any one out there who likes green chilies like this ??

Enjoy a healthy mutton you know that the stems of coriander are good for improving you cholesterol profile ??
See i fixed the problem with mutton...100 gm coriander stems with 500 gm not think about cholesterol now..........what say....

Monday, November 30, 2009

daal bhari puri UP style | chana dal stuffed poori and recipe of green papaya stew

daal bhari poori recipe

This is an old traditional recipe of stufffed poori from eastern Uttar Pradesh called as daal bhari poori, made for festivals and on arrival of a new daughter in law in the family as that is seen as the arrival of laxmi too (this is my guess as I am terrible regarding wedding traditions and rituals). Daal ki poori or puri is unlike any other poori as it is bigger and fatter than other pooris, softer when it comes on your plate and feels like a stuffed paratha but not quite a paratha.

One thing is for sure that this poori is considered auspicious and I remember this being made on the day of Anant chturdashi, Dussera and Raksha Bandhan, probably a few more religious rituals.  

The version of daal bhari poori made in my parental home was a bit dry, the stuffing used to scatter on the plate and one always needed some patience with it.

I made a few changes in the process of making the pooran (filling) while keeping the ingredients same, the result was better than I expected and this procedure became a permanent fix in my recipe of daal bhari poori.

My mom used to boil the chana dal and discard the water ( to be used in a yummy soup), grind the chana dal with tempering and then filling the almost powdery crumbly dal to the pooris.

I did not throw the water and blended it with dal with the help of a stick hand blender, tempered it and cooked for a while to make it dough like. Read on to know how this pooran or stuffing is made.

Boil the chana dal with double the amount of water salt and turmeric powder till soft and mushy (in a pressure cooker 8 minutes after a whistle) blend with a stick blender when it is still hot, you can do it in a mixie jar too but keep the lid covered with a towel as it may spill n splatter...

Make a tempering by heating mustard oil, popping a tiny piece of asafoetida and some cumin seeds in it, add finely chopped garlic and green chillies to it and let them brown a bit. Add this to the chana dal batter and cook till a soft dough like consistency is achieved, it takes about 4-5 minutes and keep it in fridge to become firm as it will be easier to fill it in the dough....

A normal chapati dough is used to make this poori and you have to take care of the consistency of the dough. 

It is a tip I learned from my grandmother that if you keep the consistency of the dough and the filling same , it will be easier to stuff, roll and lift the stuffed poori  from the chakla (rolling board), the stuffing will be distributed equally throughout the poori and it will not get ruptured in frying oil.

This precious tip helps me always. So make a dough which is of the same consistency as the filling you made, and use freshly made dough for good results. I hope all the pictures showing the stuffing process will be useful as many people find it very tough. The poori gets ruptured while frying and can't be used after that. Shallow frying using a tawa is the only option left then, but the texture becomes very different.

The pictures below show how the stuffed poori is flattened first and then rolled.

Fry in hot oil to get puffed up, making fluffy soft daal pooris.

We enjoyed them with low oil green papaya masala stew as I did not have pumpkin that day which is the traditional pairing with this poori.

The poori tastes very good the next day too, so make it in good quantity as you may want the basi poori too. It is a keeper recipe from simple ingredients and great flavors, just like all traditional recipes.

finally the list of ingredients.....

chapati dough as required
chickpea skinned or chana dal 1 cup
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp
oil for deep frying ( mustard oil is used traditionally but is optional )

for the tempering...
 mustard oil 1 tsp
hing or asafoetida 1/8 tsp
whole cumin seeds 2 tsp
green chillies chopped 1 tbsp
garlic finely chopped 1 tbsp

Puran pori or puran poli is a sweet version of a chickpea stuffed poori, a maharashtrian-gujarati recipe. This dal bhari poori seems to be a cousin of puran poli.

Here we had it with beetroot raita, raw papaya stew and ambde ka achar. 

daal bhari poori recipe

green papaya masala stew recipe...

It is a very healthy and appropriate side dish with any kind of poori (or chapati) as it is very low on fat and makes the meal balanced regarding calorie and fat consumption.

You need 400 gm of raw, peeled and cubed papaya, 1 tsp of mustard oil, 1 tsp whole cumin seeds, 12 whole peppercorns, 1 black cardamom, 2 green cardamoms, 3-4 cloves and a small piece of cinnamon, a tbsp each of garlic, ginger and green chillies chopped, 1 whole red chilly, turmeric powder and salt to taste....

All you have to do is, heat oil in a pressure cooker pan and throw in all the spices and ginger garlic and green chillies together into it, followed by turmeric powder after a few seconds and then the papaya cubes and salt. Add 2 tbsp of water so that steam can be formed and pressure cook till one whistle. Cool to release pressure and serve hot with or without garnish of mint or coriander leaves.

The same stew can be made with pumpkin too, just replace green papaya with pumpkin.

Again simple ingredients resulting into a yummy healthy stew.

Remember this daal bhari poori tastes great the next day too so make some extra.