Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dosa-Dakhini Shoro Chakhali and Scottish Baps

The other day when we, I mean me and my daughter were coming out of her school, she pointed to a group of ladybirds in one corner of her school playground, quite near to her classroom and started talking about them.

My daughter with a little giggle -“look Mamma, it looks like these ladybirds are having a puppet show.”
I, quite astonished -“What!! Puppet show, that's Interesting? But some of them are going some another way. Don’t they?
My daughter-“Well looks like to me they are going for some shopping, not interested in puppet show anymore.”
And with that we both burst into laughter.

You know these innocent talks give me so much to ponder and when I look back it reminds me of my childhood days. When we would run in an open green grass field of our school. And after coming back in home, we would hurriedly finish our afternoon snacks. We kids then would meet up in our neighborhood playground area and then there will be no stopping, for couple of hours.We would play till we get dog-tired.
Although, we were told by our mothers to come before the lights on the street would be put on. But most of the time we would forgot that and it would be our mothers who would be coming to the playgrounds yelling at us to come home. They would then give us the final ultimatum that she would complain about this to our dads and that’s it, that would nail us down and like a mannered cow we would follow her to our homes.
But when I see today’s kids so engrossed in play stations and computers games and so active in all the social networking sites, I wonder do they really are missing something here or is it just my conventional small town upbringing which is quite laidback or in Gen “X” language “outdated”.
Are we heading for a society so materialistic and money driven that we don’t have time to sit back and enjoy some good time with our kids doing some simple things?

Anyways now to the recipe now
Dosa –dakhini Shoro Chakhli
Dosa and shoro chakli two similar things but different names. There is a marked difference though i.e. the fermentation process. We do not ferment the batter for shoro chakli and dosa needs a proper fermentation cycle.
Shoro chakli is the batter made with yellow moong dal or dhuli huyi urad dal in Hindi and with the rice flour. If you like to see the recipe for shoro chakli then visit here Here
I tried to add some toor dal in the dosa batter also for the extra touch of lentils. However, only urad dal works fine for the dosa batter.
Ok, an honest confession all the dosa turn out little thick, I was expecting the paper thin restaurant quality dosa, but it seems a far illusion right now for me. They turn out good but not the kind of dosa which are served in restaurant. This is not this time but whenever I have made them in past, they never turn out paper thin and crisp. Looks like I need a lot of work to do. Any suggestion??
For the dosa batter
Roughly 2 and half cups of rice
1 cup of urad dal
¼ cup of toor dal/arhar dal or chana dal
Pinch of salt
1 tsp of methi seeds
Soak the rice and urad dal+ toor dal separately with enough water.Soak some methi seeds with rice also.
After 6-7 hrs, they will bloat up.
Now make smooth paste of rice and dal separately in a food processor with very little water, just enough to rotate the grinder.
Mix in rice paste with the dal paste.Stir it well.
Let it ferment overnight.Don't forget to add some salt.
Other day scoop out some batter, add little bit of water. Check the flow of the batter, the laddle should be well covered with the batter and should not be too runny.
Prepare the tava
Heat up the tava/iron skillet well. Sprinkle some oil and with the end of a cut brinjal or some plain cotton cloth, rub this oil well over the iron skillet well. Sprinkle some water if the water droplets sizzles, Tava is prepared for dosa preparation.
Now scoop 2-4 heaped tbs or one large laddle full of the batter and smear it over tava like this.
Add oil by the sides of the dosa.
Flip the side and cook for 1 mints at medium-high flame also.
Prepare other dosas like this way.

Now finally posting this recipe sambhar with huli podi which is sambhar powder in real. Making sambhar with it was my to-do list for some time now. I am glad it turned out just like any good restaurant style sambhar and that too with home-made sambhar powder.
Prepare the sambhar
1 cup of toor dal/arhar dal
1 onion chopped finely
2 tomato chopped finely
1-2 cups of vegetables of your preference (I put up some Brinjal, Bottle gourd and carrots)
2-3 tsp of huli podi/sambhar podi Huli Podi
1 tsp of red pepper powder
2-3 tsp of mustard seeds
Some curry leaves (optional)
Half cup of tamarind puree
Prepare the tamarind puree
In cup of warm water, soak some tamarind approx 2-3 tsp
Let it sit there for half a hour.Now squeeze the tamarind and mix with the warm water. Microwave for 1 mint if the water is not warm enough.

Pressure cook toor/arhar dal with 1 tsp of turmeric powder and salt.
Now in a saucepan, add 2-3 tbs of oil, temper it with mustard seeds.
Now add in chopped onions and tomato. Fry them well for 5-7 mints.
Add in vegetables of your choice and fry them well. Let it cook till the vegetables turn soft. Or you may add the vegetables when you are pressure cooking the dal.Whenever I am running short of time I prefer doing the later i.e. adding with the dal and pressure cooking them.
Now transfer this to the cooked dal.Add approx 2 cups of water to the dal.
Add in huli podi,red pepper powder. Add half of the tamarind puree, taste it if you like more sour and tangy sambhar then add more slowly. We prefer less sour sambhar so half cup of puree worked fine for us.
Sprinkle some freshly chopped curry leaves.

I came across a splendid breakfast bread Scottish Baps at Foodie's Hope and tried making them last week. I just used all purpose flour, well that is what I had in my pantry.However, Asha says to use strong bread flour also.
Scottish Baps
Recipe requirements
3 cups of all purpose flour +some more while kneading the dough
¼ cup of melted butter
2 tsp of active dry yeast
1-2 tsp of sugar
1 cup of warm milk
3-4 tbs of sugar
Prepare the rising agent
Dissolve the active dry yeast in 1 cup of warm milk.
After 10-12 mints the yeast will rise and flourish.
Now make a well in the centre of the flour.
Microwave the butter for 2 mints at med-high. That would melt the butter.
Add this butter which is the “moane” in Bengali.
Now add in sugar
Gently start kneading with the help of milk mixture and if required add more flour.
Let this dough sit there for 2-3 hrs in a warm corner of your home.
Now pinch the dough again and with the help of some flour divide this to 7-8 portions.
Gently roll them into half inch thick and 4 inch diameter small rounds.Cover it let it sit again for 1 hr or till they rise up again.
Now preheat an oven at 180 deg C ,Asha says to bake preheat this at 375 Deg F.
Bake it for 18-20 mints. Serve warm with some jams or marmalade or custard.
This is a lovely accompaniment at the breakfast table. Freeze left-over and when you are ready to eat, just Microwave it for 1 mint at med-high. Soft and delicious Scottish Baps ready for you.

After the hectic 7 day consecutive blogging challenge, I am now little tired and I am planning a month long summer break. Also, I will not be able to visit your lovely space for that reason.

You all take care and enjoy warm sunny days if you are living abroad. And you all people back home, enjoy the rainy season if it has started in your part of the world.Hope it brings some relief from the scorching summer heat waves.
Happy cooking

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chicken Yakhni Pulao

I have been thinking many times to write about this. I would like to ask readers of this blog particularly who are silent readers .I know you have come and spent good amount of time on some pages. But why you keep shying away from posting a comment here. I would really appreciate from those who love checking each post here ,but do not leave their footprints, speak up –what you liked and even if you don’t like. Don’t disappoint me this time.
Anyways, since this is the last day of my 7 day challenge and co-incidentally this is Sunday. And Sunday means some lavish cooking for me. Although, I have made this chicken yakhni pulao last Sunday but I am posting it today. There has been a similar recipe with fish that I published some days back-if you wish you can check that recipe - Here . Keeping that recipe in mind I have come up with chicken yakhni pulao this time with few procedural changes.

Chicken Yakhni pulao
Recipe requirements
For the aakhnir jol- visit this recipe- Here
Akhnir jol/aromatic water- 2 cups
For the chicken gravy
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 -2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
2 tsp of meat curry powder
10-12 black pepper
2 medium size purple onions
3-4 garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2tbs of cooking oil
Now heat up a frying pan/deep bottom pan and add cooking oil.
Temper it with 2 bay leaf and10-12 whole black pepper.
Add in 4-5 chicken wing pieces.(It would be nice to marinate them in little bit of yogurt+salt+red pepper powder mixture for half an hour.)

Add chopped onions,garlic and ginger.Fry for 3-4 mints med-high flame.
Add turmeric, red pepper powder and salt. Add in all the other dry ingredients-cumin, coriander and meat curry powder.
Fry the chicken with the above spices for 10-12 mints. Add some 2-3 tbs of water if necessary.
Keep frying till the oil separates out. Cover it and cook for half and hour.
Now to frying the rice

Recipe requirements for rice
2 cups of basmati rice/gobindo bhog rice
2 medium size onions chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger chopped
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 tsp of mixed garam masala ingredients whole like mace/dalchini/cloves/black pepper
¼ cup of shelled pistachios
½ cup of cashews
¼ cup of raisins(optional)
1 tbs of yogurt
1 tsp of sugar
Salt as per taste
3 tbs of cooking oil
Wash rice thoroughly in water for 2-3 times. Soak it in water for 30 mints; meanwhile work on the aakhnir jol /aromatic water and frying fish pieces etc.
Coarsely chop cashews and pistachios .Heat up a cooking pan or a vessel big enough to hold the entire contents listed above.
Add 3 tbs of cooking oil, add bay leaf and chopped garlic, ginger.Fry them well for 5 mints till they turn out nice golden colour.
Add in chopped onions, fry till they turn out nice brown. Add cashews and pistachio. Fry them well for another 5 mints. Add 1 tbs of plain yogurt.
Add in soaked rice and keep frying for another 5-7 mints without stirring much as this break the rice garins.

Now assemble the pulao
Preheat the oven at 190 deg Celsius (fan assisted).
In a oven-proof dish, layer about 2-3 tbs of rice mixture first.
Now keep the chicken pieces and then again layer rice mixture over it.

Layer this way till all rice mixture and chicken wings are used up.
Now add in 2 cups of aakhnir jol/aromatic water to it by the sides of the dish. Cover it with foil and bake it for 20 -25 mints.

Take out .Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle half lemon juice over the baked pulao, mix in gently. Keep it covered. Let it sit there for 1 hr and then serve.

Enjoy your delicious chicken Yakhni pulao.
It’s been a really challenging week for me but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you all liked the recipes I published during this week. Thanks for leaving your valuable footprints here. See you all on Tuesday.
Happy Cooking

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Peshwari Naan

Hi all, finally it’s weekend. Those of you, who have joined me today, let me tell you about my 7 day consecutive blogging challenge . Tomorrow will be the last day of my 7 day challenge. Thank you to all who are coming to cheer me up.
Although I have made these Peshawari naan’s last weekend, I am posting it almost after one week.These Peshawari naan, turned out soft to my surprise.Probably I have come with a good recipe for the naan dough finally. The recipe is now a keeper recipe for me and I can too surprise my guests with these home-made naans.I have tried many times making naans in ovens but they failed. Yes, that happened many times and last time may be I did the entire right thing with correct amount of rising agent and then the temperature at which it was baked. These are just guidelines for making naans that worked well for me.
Peshawari naan is a naan stuffed with dried fruits like cashews, pistachios, almonds. I had some roasted pistachios and desiccated coconut, which made a perfect filling for this naans.To the recipe now.

Peshwari Naan( stuffed with pistachio and coconut filling)
makes-7-8 naans
Recipe requirements
2 cup of all purpose flour +1/2 cup of wheat flour
2 tsp of dry active yeast
½ cup of warm water
2 tsp of sugar
½ tsp of baking powder
3-4 tbs of yogurt
3-4 tbs of oil or ghee
¼ cup of milk (optional) or water
½ cup of crushed pistachios and desiccated coconut mix
For preparing the yeast
In a warm half cup of water, add 2 tsp of sugar and 2 tsp of active dry yeast. Let it sit there for 10 mints.
Now after ten minutes, a white froth will be formed in the cup, mix in well.
Now in a large kneading bowl, mix all purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder.
Make a well in centre.
Add in ghee or oil, yogurt and the prepared yeast.
Start kneading for the semi soft dough, if necessary you may add milk or water and some more flour.

Preheat an oven for 60 deg C and then turn off; keep the dough covered in the oven.
If you have a warm corner of your house, you may let it sit there for 45 minutes to one hour.
The dough will rise to double its quantity.
Now pinch the dough and work it again to make semi-soft dough. Keep the bowl covered for another half an hour or till the dough rise again.
Check after half an hour, if the dough has risen.
Divide the dough into 8-9 equal proportions.

Fill the pistachio+coconut filling into the rolled dough and then flip the other side over it. To make the filling, chop the roasted pistachios and then with the help of your rolling pin, crush them by rolling the pin over chop pistachios and desiccated coconut. You can make other filling with almonds and cashews similarly.

Sprinkle some nigella seeds/kalaunji/kalo jeerey.

and then roll into tear shaped naan with dusting some more flour.

Preheat oven at 210 deg C or at 400 deg F. Line a wirerack with butter paper/grease paper.

Place the rolled naans gently over it.
Bake them for 5-6 mints .Take out and flip the side and bake them again for 3-4 mints or till barely golden. Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking and don't forget to check the last day of my 7 day blogging challange tomorrow.Take Care

Updated on 09/08/2010.

  • Made naans but this time without any stuffing, so here is some new change. 
  • For the dough I didn’t use baking powder or milk. I made the dough this time with 2 tabs of yogurt+2-3 tbs of oil (moyen) and salt. And the yeast solution.
  • Dissolve about 1- 1 ½ tsp of active dry yeast + 1tsp of sugar to half cup of luke warm water. Let it sit there for 20-25 mints till frothy. Now knead this with the flour (Atta in this case).
  • Then let the dough sit in a warm place may be in direct contact of sun rays. Or preheat oven at 40 deg C for 1 mints.Switch of and then place the kneaded dough in oven .Let the dough rise and puff up to double.
  • When the dough is puffed up, pinch and then knead it again. Divide the dough to about 1 inch rounds and then roll like small puri or luchis. Preheat oven at 220 deg C.
  • Transfer the rolled naans to the wire rack lined with foil or grease paper.
  • Bake it for 5 mints, then turn off the oven..Open and flip the sides of naan , bake further for 3-4 mints.Take out and serve hot straight from oven.
  • I can’t say how happy I was seeing all the naans puffed up like puris while baking them in oven.They turned out soft also.

Updated on 2/03/12

  • Made Naan again this time with self rising flour.Got the recipe from a cookbook.And believe me it just taste like the ones served in restaurants.This is however is a improvised version of that recipe.
  • About 2 cups of self rising flour, 2 tbs of cooking oil, salt as per taste and 2 tsp of sugar.Yes sugar is required.
  • Now knead it all together with hands using little bit of warm water or milk.Work well for about half an hour or till the dough becomes smooth and pliable.
  • Now let it sit there for 2-3 hrs or till the dough rise.
  • Preheat oven at 220 deg C.Line up a baking tray with foil. 
  • divide the dough in equal balls.Roll the balls to small discs or make tear -shaped whatever way you prefer.
  • place them over the baking tray and bake it for 5 mints.Take out and flip the side and bake again for 5 mints.
  • Take out and cover them with kitchen towels and keep in the serving plate.Serve hot and immediately.Wrapping up in kitchen towels makes them soft and they remain hot.

Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, June 4, 2010

Methi Huli Podi Paratha

Hi all,day 5th of my 7 day challange.Good to see many of you droping by to encourage me.Thanks for that.
Alright by now you have well understood that I am hooked to the flavor of Huli Podi . Now, last night when I was making these thought it would be better if I post it tomorrow. I tried to include some chopped methi leaves also. I was little skeptical how my folks would react to this new type of paratha, but overall they have given thumbs-up to me.

Here is how I made them

Methi Huli podi paratha
Fresh Methi leaves- half a bunch or roughly 1 cup of chopped leaves
Huli Podi - 2-3 tsp
1 tsp of red pepper powder
Salt as per taste
1 tsp of oil
2 cups of wheat flour/atta

Clean methi leaves and chop them up finely.
Now knead wheat flour with all the seasonings-huli podi, red pepper powder and salt and also methi leaves.
Divide the dough into small rounds
And working with your rolling pin, make rounds of 4-6 inch diameter rounds.
Heat up a tava and make the parathas one by one.
Cook each side till they turn nice golden. With a help of a spoon, smear some oil over each side. Serve hot with some subzi or chutney.
You may add any left-over dal and knead with the flour mixture also.This way the paratha's turn even more soft.

So far I have survived. Two more days to go now, to finish off my 7 day challenge. I am pulling up my socks and with all the steam that I have left I have decided to climb the uphill ahead. Check here tomorrow if I have posted something to be in this challenge.
Happy Cooking

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cute Duck Poris for Kids

Hi there, are you still with me? Good to hear that.Thank you for being here on day 4th of my 7 day challange.
This recipe is shared by my friend K who will be going back to India soon.
Last time when we went to their home for a small get –together, she had made these cute duck poris for kids. Her daughter N and my daughter A are very close friends and are in same class. In fact we became friends as our daughter’s have become friends over a period of one year now. I am sure my daughter is going to miss her friend and so do I.
K, wish you and your family all the best in your future if you are reading this, thank you for being part of our small world here.
Any large shaped cookie cutter can do wonder.
Little ones had a nice time eating their favorite duck Pori.

Step by step picture courtesy my friend K.

Knead approx 2 cup of all purpose flour or wheat flour.
Then roll out the dough into long slabs and cut it into small rounds. Make these small rounded balls to make puri.
On a greased surface or you may use flour for dusting the surface.
Gently roll the dough to small rounds

Now cut with duck-shaped cutter or you may use any other shaped cookie cutter.

Fry them in hot oil. Let it puff up like this

Take out when both sides are fried. Serve with any Korma/subzi /torkari.

Happy Cooking friends and come again tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rui mach'er Do Pyaza

Hi all,it's day three of my 7-day challange.
A true Bengali in me was saying me to prepare something traditional with Rui fish pieces, but one other deep feeble voice in me, was telling me to try something new. That something should be spicy and should go well with warm cooked rice. I have always wondered how would a particular recipe will turn out, when the main ingredient is substituted with another ingredient like a chicken recipe made with fish or vice-versa. Here I have always heard so much about chicken do pyaza but never Rui mach’er do pyaza. Now would you all allow me to take this liberty to make the above recipe with Rui Fish( a carp variety)? Or even if you don’t, I guess that wouldn’t stop me from making Rui Mach’er do pyaza,isn’t ? If you have ever tried making anything similar with fish ,do let me know at the comment section.
Rui mach’er do pyaza

serves 3-4

Recipe requirements
Rui fish-5-6 pieces
3-4 medium size onion
2 fat garlic cloves
1 tsp of chopped ginger
Following to be made into a thick paste with ¼ cup of water
2-3 tbs of cumin powder
1 tbs of coriander powder
2-3 tbs of meat curry masala (optional)
2 tsp of turmeric powder
2-3 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of black pepper powder
½ tsp of sugar
Some cinnamon pieces from 1 stick of cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
5-6 black pepper
Cooking oil-2-3 tbs+ for frying fish pieces
Salt as per taste

Prepare the fish-marinating in turmeric powder and salt
Then deep fry them in hot oil for 3-4 mints each side. Take out and drain in tissue paper.
Heat oil; add in cinnamon pieces, black pepper, and cardamom pods. Add in sugar.
Add chopped garlic and ginger.
Fry it well for 1-2 mints at med-high
Add chopped onions. Fry till they change color.
Make a thick paste in ¼ cup of water. Add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder, cumin and coriander powder, black pepper powder and meat curry masala powder (optional) and salt.
Now add the thick masala paste to it.
Fry it well for 9-10 mints med flame, if you need, add little bit of more oil. This step is crucial so don’t hurry up otherwise over burnt masala wont taste well.
Fry another 5 -7 mints till the masala paste changes to dark colour gravy.
Add about 1-1 ½ cup of lukewarm water.
Let the gravy come to one boil, add the fried fish pieces.
Add 2tbs of cream. Lower the flame and cook for 10-15 mints till they turn dry or we say in Bengali “Makha-makha”.
Enjoy with warm cooked rice.
You may use Tilapia steaks for this recipe also.

Happy Cooking and I want you all to be here tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quinoa with scrambled egg

Hi all, it's day second .I was in a mood to re-create something experimental, so thought of making quinoa pronounced as “keen-wah”.Quinoa is considered as whole-grain but in real it is a seed.This can be cooked like rice.This provides all 9 esential amino acids and is gluten free and is cholesterol free.
Don’t forget to read another light-hearted Post by Sra on Quinoa.
I had mine in a small bowl with scrambled egg to accompany. Fried some onions and added some chopped vegetable available in my pantry and viola I was ready with my lunch in about half an hour.
So, here is how I prepared.
Quinoa Upma with scrambled egg bowl
Serves -3
1 cup of quinoa
Cook according to package direction. It will make double the quantity.
Or in a boiling salted water in a saucepan , add washed quinoa and cook at medium flame for 10-12 mints til the germ separates out.
Now to the tempering
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2 tbs of oil
Heat up a saucepan, add oil and temper it with mustard seeds.
Add in 1 medium size chopped onion.
Now add in the cooked vegetables of your choice or you may use any frozen vegetables (it takes less time to cook frozen vegetables like corn and green peas.)
Now to the seasoning
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2-3 green chilly
And salt as per taste
Add all the seasoning to the fried vegetables. Mix in well.
Add in cooked quinoa. Mix in well with the seasonings.
Serve with scrambled egg.

Happy Cooking and see you tomorrow