Pumpkin puri

A visit to a friend's vegetable garden resulted in me thinking about what to do with all the fresh produce I greedily picked from her garden. Amongst  the numerous veggies , was a little pumpkin and  I had no idea what to do with it ! A phone call to mom, and I was all set to make yummy puris with the pumpkin which kids  absolutely love . So here is the recipe for the same. This puri's taste mildly sweet and come out very crisp and tasty.

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Ingredients

  • Pumpkin--1/2 slice
  • Whole Wheat flour -- 2 cups
  • Besan(gram flour)--2 tbsp
  • Ajwain seeds--1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Recipe

Peel  the skin and cut the pumpkin into  tiny pieces.Remove any seeds if present.

Take little oil in a pan and fry the pumpkin for a minute, add salt  and cover it till it gets fully cooked and soft.  This may take 5-6 minutes. Let it cool and add the pulp in the wheat flour, add besan, turmeric,salt, ajwain seeds and knead it without adding any water. Add oil if it gets too sticky and let the dough rest for an hour. Roll out puri's and deep fry them in oil. Serve with ketchup or yogurt(dahi). 

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Spicy Vegetable Chutney

Spring arrived finally and it is a welcome relief from the long lasting winter season. This year  the winter was like a visitor who overstayed his welcome. But come to think of it, if there would be no winter would we value spring as we are right now? Perhaps not!

Spring also means lots of green and fresh produce in the farmers market which was overwhelming after the winter, when we wonder what to cook with the clad produce imported from distant places. All this colorful vegetables made me think of the amazing chutney I ate at my friends party. So shopped everything and made it immediately, the result was a lip smacking tasty chutney that goes well with almost anything. Can also be used as a dip or spread if you like spicy flavor. You can try using any vegetables you have and can alter the quantity of vegetables , it is super simple and takes very little time.

Ingredients

  • Big eggplant--1 (diced into small pieces)
  • Tri colored peppers--3 (diced)
  • Zucchini--1-2 (peeled and diced)
  • Onions--2-3(chopped finely)
  • Tomatoes-4(chopped)
  • Green chillies-4-5 make a paste (according to spice level)
  • Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder--1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder--1/2 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida)--1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind paste--1 tablespoon
  • Oil-1/2 cup
  • Salt-to taste

Procedure

Take a big pan and heat oil in it, add sliced onions followed by ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder,  tomatoes, hing and fry for some time. Add all the diced vegetables and sauté them, do not add water as the vegetables will ooze out lot of it.Add salt, tamarind paste and chili paste. Fry them until all the water is evaporated and it becomes a thick paste. Cool it down and grind it into a paste. For tadka add little oil to pan , add curry leaves (optional) , mustard seeds, hing and add it to the chutney. The chutney will be good for 2-3 weeks when refrigerated.

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Tri-Colored Biryani

Hyderabad is famous for Biryani and whoever comes to visit us expected we take them to  a earth shattering biryani place! We enjoyed exploring biryani joints which cooked the fragrant rice in huge earthen pots with generous amounts of ghee and  the aroma of spices filling the air. The biryani is a complete meal in itself and is a treat for taste buds for rice lovers like me!  

I saw this recipe somewhere and tried it many years back. It was prepared by a chef as an independence day special recipe and hence the tri-colors sybolising our flag.

It was  hard work back then making all three layers seperately and cooking it together but the recipe was very popular among our friends and family and so it was always worth the effort!

Down the lane the recipe was forgotten and I could never find it on the internet or elsewhere so I decided to recreate it again. This time it was so easy with so many ingredients washed , cut and ready to use! The result was awesome as always! Try this recipe for special occasion or for a party and you wont be dissappointed!

Ingredients

White layer

    • Rice- 4 cups ( fry rice in little oil,  and cook it with  around 6 cups of water and salt to taste . After the rice is cooked place it on a big plate so it wont stick )
    • Take 1 tablespoon of milk and soak Saffron in it for about 1 hr.

    Green Layer

    • Spinach--4  bunches(cook in water for 2-3 min and puree in mixer)
    • Onion-1 (pureed)
    • Ginger garlic paste
    • Green chillies--4-5
    • Yogurt--1 tablespoon
    • Cloves--4-5
    • Cinnamon--1 stick
    • Pepper--1 tablespoon
    • Garam Masala -1 teaspoon

    Take some oil and heat it on medium flame.Toss in all the spices--cloves,cinnamon,pepper . Add the pureed onions and fry for some time. Add green chilli paste, ginger garlic paste and pureed spinach paste. Let it cook for around 7-8 minutes and add yogurt and garam masala . Season with salt and keep this aside.

    Red Layer

    • Organic tomato puree- 1 can
    • Paneer cubes --1 cup (deep fried )
    • Onion--1 (chopped finely)
    • Kasoori methi--1 teaspoon
    • Bay leaves--1-2
    • Star anise--2-3
    • Garam Masala--1 teaspoon
    • Salt to taste

    Take a pan and heat oil in it . Add the spices , onion puree and fry for some time. Add the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the paneer cubes, garam masala and season with salt.

    Note-- Check the tomato puree you are using by tasting it before use. It should not be too sour. 

    Tri-Colored Biryani

    Take a big pan or pressure cooker. Place the white layer of rice, and then alter red and green layers between white layer of rice. Add some saffron milk on top . Place aluminium foil around it and cover it tightly with lid of you are using pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes on low flame. If making in over place at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Garnish with fried onion or coriander leaves and serve hot.

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    Vegetable Manchurian

    The Indo-Chinese dishes available in India are extremely popular and very different from authentic chinese food. Our cooks have shown creativity in molding them to suit the Indian taste and came up with tasty dishes like Chinese bhel ,manchurian, different kinds of soups which pleases the taste buds and adds desi taste to the chinese cuisine.

    Manchurian

    This recipe of vegetable manchurian was very popular in my house back in India. I learnt it from some cookery show and my mother was apprehensive about frying the vegetables -- raw ! But the results were amazing and soon I found myself going to my friends  and demonstrating how to make this dish!! There was no internet bak then and we relied on learning it from each other which was so much fun. This is very easy to make and though the manchurian are deep fried in oil they dont absorb too much oil and taste great with the tangy sauce.

    Ingredients

    • Shredded cabbage --3 cups
    • Grated Carrots--1 cup
    • Corn Flour--4 -5 tablespoon
    • All purpose flour--1 tablespoon
    • Chilli powder --1 teaspoon
    • salt to taste
    • For the Sauce
    • Spring onions--1/2 cup (chopped finely)
    • Ginger --1 teaspoonchopped finely
    • Tomato ketchup--2 tablespoons
    • Schezwan sauce--2 tablespoons

    • Knor's chinese chilli powder--2 tablespoons (you can use any of the packets like manchurian, chinese chili, or even hot and sour soup powder )
    • A paste of 1 teaspoon corn flour mixed with water --1/2 cup
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Recipe

    For making sauce-- Heat some oil in a sauce pan, add chopped ginger and fry before adding the chopped spring onions. Fry for very little time and add all the sauces and knorr powder and mix it together. Add the corn flour paste to thicken the sauce and add salt and pepper as per taste. 

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    For making manchurian balls-- Mix cabbage, carrot, salt and chilli powder till it oozes out water. Leave for 10 minutes. Mix corn flour, all purpose flour slowly as you mix the vegetable. Add a spoon of water only if necessary. Make round flat balls and keep aside. Heat oil on medium heat and deep fry the manchurian balls until brown and crispy. Fry on medium to low heat so that they get well done from inside and increase the heat before taking them out for crispy texture.

    Place the manchurian balls in a bowl and pour some sauce over it . Serve hot.

    Note--You can buy the shredded cabbage and carrot combo from grocery store and use it directly to save time and effort.

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    Chana Masala (chickpeas in tangy sauce)

    Chana masala or chole is a common dish available in every Indian restaurant. It is very popular among hosts as it is easy to make and loved by one and all.

    Growing up in South India I was always fascinated with the north India culture especially punjabi. Everything punjabi from dresses to cuisine is loved by the entire nation and is spread across the world. Indian food is symbolised in India restaurant with majority of punjabi dishes of paneer, tikka masala, paranthas and the list goes on.

    Everyone has their own version of chana masala and I was never happy with my  version and hunted for recipes to get that perfect chana masala recipe until one my punjabi friends mom made this dish. I loved the tangy creamy gravy which complimented the bland taste of the protien rich chole. Tried it myself after getting the recipe and quite pleased with the result ! Make this dish when you have guests over and it will surely be a hit !

    Ingredients

    • Chickpea (chole or chane )-1 1/2 cup ( soaked overnight and cook in the same water until  soft )
    • Onion- 1 -2 (chopped finely)
    • Tomato-- 1-2 (chopped finely )
    • Potato --1 small ( boiled and mashed )
    • Organic tomato paste --2 tablespoons
    • Kasoori methi--1 tablespoons 
    • Chilli powder--1 teaspoon
    • Turmeric powder--1/2 teaspoon
    • Everest chole masala (1/2 teaspoon) --optional
    • Masala-- (dry roast on pan and grind it )
    • Coriander seeds--1 teaspoon
    • cloves--3-4
    • Peppers--1/2 teaspoons
    • Shahjeera- 1 teaspoon
    • Jeera--1 teaspoon
    • Dried red chillies--3-4
    • cinnamon stick--1/2

    Recipe

    Take  a wide pan and add oil to it . Fry the chopped onions, turmeric powder ,jeera powder and fry  until oil seperates, add the tomatoes and kasuri methi. Fry for some time in low heat and add tomato paste along with the masala powder. Fry this for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture is cooked and oil leaves the sided of the pan. Add the chole along with the water, mashed potato and add salt. Cook for another 8-10 minutes and take it off . Add some lemon juice when cool and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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