Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tinda ki Sukhi Sabzi with panch phoron and saboot masoor dal masala- Whole brown lentil dry stir/fry

We are into November? You would say am I asking or telling? Yes I know you all know it’s November, but it’s me who needs to confirm. Couple of days ago I heard a mention of “November Rain” some where...and from then it started echoing in my mind it’s November – it’s November. Well November reminds me, October is way past, it had come and gone- bye -bye .But then in October a significant history turning event was happening in my life. 
Now, I am telling you, not asking you .October meant festivals and togetherness, as we were away from our homeland then, feeling little sad that we missed out eating all those delicious festivals foods etc – I did wrote an absurd blog post just in half an hour and published it right here October 10th 2006, and then second right after two days here ,on this space which is now known to you as “Spice and Curry”, a blog name, which just came into my mind, right in a splash of moment out of no- where. 
I should say I have been here for 8 years , being sometimes active in updating this blog , some times passive- active( below normal updating) , sometimes active-active, I mean double active( super-action –packed updating) and sometimes total passive ( hibernating and sleeping).. ..But I tried to hang around here for 8 years, am I glad in doing it? Yes, absolutely!
Actually I should have wrote a big emotional  post on completing eight years of food blogging in October and blah blah but it looks like I missed the train, and I am not even a good runner like Geet aka Kareena Kapoor in “Jab We Met”, although, I liked the movie but that running part……

Anyways here I am with 8 years of food blogging and with lots of memories, especially food memories and blog post which I sometimes do go back and read, and wait, I guess may be I am not the only person reading those odd and absurd ,old posts. Sometimes I do get queries like this, this ,this and this …and many questioning the recipe like  this and this and then some appreciating the efforts like this and this ... and many more like these, makes my day, glowing and shining. Sometimes, I do read it aloud to dear hubby and also sometimes to my daughter who themselves have different opinions about these recipes…All in true spirits.

Anyhow, it gives me happiness coming here, writing and talking to you with recipes, pictures, food memories and our family memories, and I do hope you also share the same feeling. If you have been reading this far, may I ask you to drop few lines in comment section. As our leisure time slot is getting busy, but I do hope we shouldn’t stop doing things which gives happiness and spread happiness around us.
As  this blog is all about home-cooking  by a homemaker cum home-cook writing some of her recipes with food memories inter-woven.And home-cooked meal means simple stir/fry recipes that should accompany with rotis or rice, as that is what our main food is all about.

I have been cooking many vegetables and regular blog readers know that well and todays it’s tinda’s  turn.I was not sure what tinda is called in English or other languages  so goggled it and found that it’s Indian round gourd or apple gourd/Indian baby pumpkin in English.In Hindi it’s tinda or tinday ..Can anyone tell me other regional language names for tinda?
I am even tempted to add a whole brown lentil aka sabot masoor dal masala recipe as well.”Ek- ke- sath- ek- free” types of offer as its blog anniversary, sorry belated blog anniversary.We like the dry stir/fry preparation of whole brown lentils, and I don’t need to add the nutritious food values whole lentils are loaded with.
I know you all will be thinking where that cake slice or that sweet is. I will say, save it for some other day, soon it will be December, and you will find them everywhere in food blogosphere. As of now, it’s a tinda recipe and whole masoor dal /brown lentil recipe for you.

Tinda ki Sukhi sabzi with panch phoron
Recipe requirements
Serves – 3-4
About 500 Gms of tinda or large 3-4 /medium size 5-6 tinda-tinday
2 medium size potatoes
Half medium size tomato-or 6-7 cherry tomatoes
1 cup of green peas
½ tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of panch phoron/or cumin seeds
Pinch of hing/asfoetida
2-3 dry red peppers
Salt as per taste
3-4 tbs of cooking oil- mustard oil or sunflower oil
Cut tinda and potatoes in cubes. Wash them in water well.
Now heat up a pan, add in cooking oil.
Now add in panch phoron, pinch of hing and dry red peppers. After half a minute later, add in cubed tinda, potatoes and green peas. Keep on stir/frying for about 7-8 mints. Add in dry seasonings-turmeric powder,red pepper powder and salt.
Now add in finely chopped tomatoes, and two ladles full of water. Cover the pan, and let it cook at medium flame for about 10-12 mints.
When potatoes are soft, with the help of the ladle, just mash and mix the potatoes with tinda.If you don’t want to mash and mix, leave them as it is. Sprinkle cumin powder now and mix.
Sprinkle dhaniya patta/coriander leaves. Take it off from cooking further.
A simple sabzi is ready to go well with rotis.

Saboot Masoor dal masala – whole brown lentils dry stir/fry
Recipe requirements ( serves 4)
2 cups of whole masoor dal/brown lentils
3 tsp of grated ginger
3 tsp of grated garlic
1 medium size onion chopped finely
1 medium size tomato
1 tsp of coriander powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
 1tsp of garam masala
5-6 tbs of cooking oil
½ tsp of cumin seeds
½ tsp of fennel seeds
1 tsp of ghee
Soak whole brown lentils in enough water for about 3-4 hrs. Discard the water.
Now heat up a pan/kadai/wok. Add in cooking oil, add in cumin seeds and fennel seeds, stir/fry them till they just starts to swell.
Now add in finely chopped onions, grated ginger+garlic and keep on stir/fry for 4-5 mints.
Add in salt and all the dry ingredients- red pepper, turmeric, coriander-cumin powder and salt. Coat well with the spices.
Add in soaked whole brown lentils and keep on stir/fry for 4-5 mints at medium flame.
Add in about a cup of water. Cover the pan/kadai/wok and let it cook for 15-18 mints at medium-low flame. Add in finely chopped tomatoes and garam masala.Check in between if they are cooked or not and if still needs to be cooked then add in ½ cup of warm water again if the water has dried up and cook for 8-10 mints.

When the lentils are cooked and the water has dried, take it off from the flame.Add in ghee now and sprinkle chopped herbs of your choice and enjoy. Alternately you can use pressure cooker to cook whole brown lentils, just one whistle at high and lower the flame and let it cook 4-5 mints. Take it off and when the pressure inside pressure cooker subsides, open the pressure cooker lid. And then temper it with the masala- spice that you prepare separately.Have it with rotis.And in case you crave for gravies with dal , then increase seasoning contents and add more water to make gravies, but then that's another recipe.

Happy Cooking and have a relaxing weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Home-made pizza recipe

The colourful autumn season is upon us and this brings such vibrancy to our monotonous routine over here. A leisure stroll into the parks and you are surrounded with such vibrant and colorful display. Sometimes, all you need is these little moments, moments where you can rejuvenate yourselves.
Time to bounce back to activity as with fall season, many recipes need to be tried and tasted. Baking and then of course soup preparations are all lined up these past days in our home. How about your home? What recipes you have been cooking this fall season?

It’s almost weekend so thought of posting a home-made pizza recipe. This pizza recipe had been our escape-route, when ever we don’t feel like going for the take-away pizza. And in due course of time, we have almost stopped doing pizza take-always these days. But, then when you have this craving for cheesy pizza, mid-week or weakened is just an excuse, right?
For us when it’s a pizza day, that means it’s a family day as we all work together, kneading the dough, chopping the vegetables and choosing the toppings. My dear husband and dear daughter- duo also equally share responsibility in making the pizza that day.Ok that’s another excuse for a laid –back time off for me.
This recipe has worked well for us many times. This has been worked and tweaked many times, as with the use of making with white bread flour, whole wheat; plain-flour etc, all resulted in different types of pizza dough recipes. But what worked best is the use of self raising flour mixed with fine semolina flour. I really liked the tip of adding semolina to the pizza dough as suggested by Jamie Oliver in his website as this gives a brilliant texture to the usual pizza dough. But from then onwards this pizza dough recipe has been modified with self raising flour. I am sure with bread flour it will be little different.

Anyways, this is our recipe now as we only make the pizza dough with self raising and semolina flour mixture but the toppings keeps on changing, even the flavouring part as well. Some days it’s chicken tikka flavor, and some days it has Caribbean influence.And even some days we see ourselves having veggie pizza with mushroom,bell peppers, onion and even asparagus.

Here is how we made the pizza dough recipe
Home-Made Pizza with Caribbean Flavour
Recipe Requirements
12 oz or 1 and ½ cups of self raising flour
4 oz or ½ cup of fine semolina
½ tsp of salt or as per taste
2 tsp of oil
2 tsp of sugar
3 tsp of active dried yeast
Lukewarm water about a cup or as per needed for kneading
For the toppings of the pizza
1 cup of sliced Jamaican Jerk Chicken pieces- recipe is Over Here
About 1 cup of chopped mushroom
½ cup of chopped onions
2-3 West Indian red pepper sliced
Any other vegetables of your choice
3-4 heaped tbs of any pasta sauce
 2 cups of mozzarella cheese or pizza cheese
In a big mixing bowl – mix in self raising flour+fine semolina. Make a well in the centre and now we will add salt, sugar and oil. Add in active dry yeast and mix well. No need to prepare the yeast separately.
Now with the help of Luke-warm water, start mixing in the dry ingredients and knead till it starts to come together well.
Keep this dough covered with a damp cloth for about 2-3 hrs to rise and puff up. Don’t worry if it turns out sticky or very soft.
After about 3 hrs when you see the dough has puffed up well or technically have risen well.
Then on clean and spacious surface sprinkle enough self raising flour, start kneading the dough on this, about 15-20 mints. The hands motion should be going outside while pressing the dough to flatten it and then roll back the dough. Repeat the process and keep on kneading this way. If required sprinkle more flour so that it doesn't gets sticky.
After a while of kneading the pizza dough, you will see the dough starts to collect well and the stickiness is gone, also the dough turned soft and smooth. Now press a finger tip over the dough, it should feel soft and smooth, the pizza dough is almost ready.
Keep this further resting for about 1 hr. Now divide this into two equal portions.You can increase the flour quantity to make 4 portions as well.
Now while the dough is resting, cut and chop the desired vegetable as toppings.
Roll the dough at least about at the time when you are ready to eat it about half an hour just before that. As the baking time is roughly 15 mints and also the preparation time is 10-12 mints.
Roll out into a flat sphere considering the width you want for your pizza base and smear pasta sauce; any pasta sauce. Place chopped vegetables over it. I have used West Indian red pepper which has a very fiery hot flavor as toppings for that Caribbean influence.
Now preheat an oven at 190 deg C. Bake the pizza for about 6-7 mints. Take it out and sprinkle generous amount of mozzarella cheese over it and again bake it for 7-8 mints. Take out and have it.
You can even make the dough in bulk and store in deep fridge. And when you are ready to eat, then take it out and allow it thaw for about 1-2 hrs, then roll and add your preferred toppings and bake.

Enjoy your weekend with home-made pizza recipe.

Happy Cooking Friends