Aloo Matar (Peas & Potato)

Wishing Everyone A Very Happy HoliA festival of Colors !!!

potatopeas (2)
Potatoes and peas cooked with tomatoes and light spice, a very simple and one of the most famous combination of ingredients. This dish comes to the rescue when needed something quick, at least with the frozen peas. I normally use matar (dry peas) by soaking it overnight and then preparing the curry. This dish can be prepared with or without lot of spices and will still taste good. !

2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 1/2  cup peas, frozen
4  curry leaves
2 tbsp onions, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tomato, fine chopped
1/8 cumin powder
1/8 turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste, cilantro for garnish

Preparation method
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onions, curry leaves and sauté until the onions turns translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté.
2. Add tomatoes, cumin powder, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder  and cook until oil separates from the side.
3. Add the diced potatoes and cook until soft with little water or according to consistency required.
4. Add peas, salt and cook for few more minutes.
5. Garnish with cilantro & Serve with naan/bread or as a side with rice !

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Serves; 2


Pepper Chicken with Curry Leaves !

Recipe: Sauteed chicken with spices and curry leaves !
 Pepper Chicken
Pepper Chicken is a recipe that belongs to lot of cuisines with their own variations. I did see it in lot of Italian restaurants and then we have our very own South Indian style of pepper chicken. This recipe is no way an authentic pepper chicken but my own version with the ingredients that I had at hand. I love to use curry leaves in my cooking as it gives a nice sweetish flavor to the dish, but never used the curry leaves in meat curries back home. After visiting couple of South Indian restaurants here, for a change I did start to make use of curry leaves for chicken sauté or curries. And of course adding the freshly ground pepper takes the flavor and spice to the next level very much needed to beat the cold. So here is a simple, easy to follow pepper chicken recipe !

2 - 3 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 strand of curry leaves
1 tsp peppercorns, ground (add more if preferred)
2 full cups chicken, cubed
2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/8 tsp turmeric

Preparation Method:
1. Marinate the chicken with the ingredients mentioned under marinate list. Keep it for 15 – 30 minutes or more.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add curry leaves and onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
3. Add the marinated chicken and sautee on high heat till the chicken is cooked and all the water is absorbed.
4. Slightly roast the peppercorns, ground them to a fine powder and add it the sauteed chicken. Stir for few minutes.
5. Serve as an appetizer or as a side.

Pepper Chicken (2)

Preparation Time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Note: I prepared this to a dry consistency, but one can vary it to make  a gravy like consistency.


Almond/Chocolate Rugelach

Recipe: Almond/chocolate filled baked pastry !!

Rugelach (3)
I had got this wonderful gift from foodie blogroll in their contest Comment to Win a Love'n Bake Baking Inspiration Goodie Box on 25th December, a sweet and delicious Christmas gift. I received a package containing 6 of Love’n Bake’s products which included Almond Paste, Marzipan, Hazelnut Praline, Almond Schmear, Cinnamon Schmear, Chocolate Schmear. The first recipe I tried from their collection is the Chocolate rugelach. I did combine both almond paste and chocolate schmear to make these scrumptious rugelach/cookies.
Rugelach is a pastry considered to be of Jewish origin and resemble the french croissant. The cream cheese in this recipe can be replaced by sour cream or think yogurt as well and one can vary the filling with your choice to include fruits, nuts, raisins, cinnamon etc. This goes to the Semi Home Made recipes event and to Joanne, Regional Recipes –Middle East.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks
8 oz unsalted butter(2 sticks), cut into chunks
1/2 can of Chocolate Schmear filling
1/2 can of Almond paste filling
OR 1 can of any filling
1/8 cup sugar (optional)

Preparation Method:
1.Place flour, salt, cream cheese, sugar and butter in a bowl of food processor with metal blade. Process until smooth dough forms.
2. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill at least 1 hour before using
3. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll the dough into 9-inch circle (like a chapati/tortilla), 1/8 in thick.
4. Spread the dough with chocolate and/or almond filling in a even layer. Cut the circle into 16 pie shaped wedges(triangle shape). Roll the dough up starting from wide end. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat for remaining 3 parts of dough.
5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven until golden brown, about 20 – 22 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Rugelach (2)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Baking Time: 20 – 22 mins
Yield: 4 –5 dozen

Tags: baked, almond paste, love n bake, rugelakh, rugulach, rugalach, ruggalach, rogelach (all plural), rugalah, rugala
Recipe Source; Love’n Bake


Ankurit Methi Pulav(Bhaat) / Fenugreek Sprouts Rice !

Recipe: Rice and fenugreek sprouts rice !!

     This is more of a Bhaat recipe rather than a pulav/pilaf. As I haven’t used lot of spices into it but rather a quick and simple one pot dish with rice and methi sprouts. Have been busy with some assignments for last couple of days, so you guys haven’t seen me blog hopping. Hopefully will be back to see whats cooking up at everyone’s kitchen. This goes to  CWS-Fenugreek Seeds started by Priya and hosted here at DenufoodSo here’s a quickie if you have some sprouts -

1 cup rice
1 cup methi/fenugreek sprouts
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp goda/garam masala
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 large potato, peeled, cubed
1 tbsp of whole garam masala (optional)
salt to taste
AnkuritMethiPulav (2)

Preparation Method:
1. Soak the rice in water for 10 mins, then drain.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel, add chopped onions and sauté till translucent. Add sprouts and sauté for few minutes. Add cubed potatoes and saute for few minutes.
3. Then add coriander, cumin, chili and masala powder and stir. Add the rice and sauté for few minutes(this helps to coat the rice with oil)
4. Add water(1 3/4 – 2 cups), salt, turmeric and let it cook with the lid closed.
5. Once done, serve with raita and lemon on the side.

Preparation Time: 25 mins
Serves: 2 – 4

Note: Reduce the amount of sprouts if you do not like a little bittery taste
Add more spices for a flavorful pulav or biryani.

Chili Chicken with Mushrooms, Bell peppers & Bamboo Shoots !

Recipe: Shallow fried chicken pieces sauted with veggies and sauce !

ChiliChicken (2)

     This is my first Indo-Chinese fusion recipe on this blog. I am not a big fan of Chinese food and hardly prepare or use ingredients like soy sauce or tofu in my regular cooking. Yeah, I know tofu is good for health and is a better substitute for paneer. Well, I don’t use paneer too. If at all you find some recipes on this blog, then you surely can guess I’ve had some guests at home. Last month I had brought a bottle of soy sauce, my second 7 oz bottle in five years..yes, don’t be surprised, it is occasional with mayonnaise as well, used in this quick spinach dip.
     Coming back to the recipe, I’ve made these after many many months. I’ve use lot of veggies to go along the chili chicken and tastes better if you have raw sliced cabbage on the side. I didn’t have any, so you will find some lettuce !

2 cups chicken, cubed
2 tbsp flour
4 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
oil for shallow fry (3 – 5 tbsp)

1 tbsp oil
1 cup bamboo shoots, canned
1 cup red bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp chili powder or according to taste
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste
chili sauce (optional)
1/2 cup lettuce/cabbage for garnish

Preparation Method:
1. Drain any excess water after washing the chicken and then combine all the ingredients mentioned in list 1) except oil.
2. In a pan, heat oil and shallow fry the chicken pieces in two batches. Keep the chicken cubes separated and fry them till they are cooked, do not brown. Remove on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
3. In the same pan, heat about 1 tbsp of oil. Add the onions and fry till they turn translucent. Add ginger garlic paste, sauté.
4. Add the bamboo shoots and sauté. Then add mushrooms, red bell peppers, soy sauce, chili powder, salt and give a stir.
5. Add the cooked, shallow fried chicken pieces and stir on high heat for few minutes.
6. Serve on a bed of sliced cabbage or lettuce !! A perfect appetizer for your guests !!!

Preparation Time: 30 – 40 mins
Serves: 4


Methi Rassa(Rasam) / Tomato - Fenugreek Seeds Gravy

     Recipe: Tempered tomato puree simmered with methi/fenugreek spice !!

    I must tell, back in Pune, aunty really pampered us with some unique recipes. I googled to find if at all there was a methi rassa recipe on the internet and couldn’t find one, of course with the languages that I know of. Many of my blogger friends, experts in Tamil cuisine will find it very similar to Vendhaya kulambu. Yes, because aunt’s cooking was very much into Tamil cuisine and since we all conversed in Hindi, all those names of the dishes were hindified ???... Very similar to my earlier posting of dhania rassa, this one has few changes with tempering as well as the spice mix. 
     Fenugreek relieves congestion, reduces inflammation and fights infection. Having a warm effect on body, fenugreek contains natural expectorant properties ideal for treating sinus and lung congestion. With so much of cold and the double onslaught of the snow storm in our region already buried under 3 ft of snow, all I had to was to prepare this methi curry to go with a piping hot rice.A perfect entry for the CWS-Fenugreek Seeds started by Priya and hosted here at Denufood.
     This picture from the weekend’s winter storm, hardly did we clear the snow and as I write, there is another storm bringing in more than 2 ft of snow. In situations like this, the good old Serenity Prayer is what to be reminded of !!!!
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Back to the recipe, here is what you need to warm yourself with a healthy and delicious curry !

3 –4 medium tomatoes OR 2 –3 cups of tomato puree
1/2 in ginger
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
5 –6 curry leaves
pinch of asafetida

Roast with 1/8 tsp of oil and powder
1 tbsp methi/fenugreek seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp toor dal/pigeon peas

Preparation Method:
1. Blend tomatoes and ginger with enough water to make a puree.
2. In a deep vessel, heat oil, add mustard seeds. As they splutter, add curry leaves and asafetida.
3. Immediately add the tomato puree, chili powder, salt and the spice mix.
4. Bring it to boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium flame.
5. Serve with hot plain rice, have it as a soup or use it as a sauce for pasta or a sauce base for other dishes !!

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Servves: 2 – 3


Methi / Fenugreek Sprouts Dal /Curry

Recipe: Lentils and sprouted fenugreek seeds curry !!

MethiDal      Using fenugreek seeds in our cooking was not our forte as we just used it in making dosas or a special puri that was made just once a year for some religious event. But this changed when I was a paying guest with a family. I learnt a lot of Tamil dishes while in Pune! Aunty used to make good use of fenugreek seeds in her cooking and we enjoyed some of the typical dishes that she made. Since then its has been of my favorite spices, used in variety of dishes.
    Methi dal is very famous recipe in which fenugreek greens are used. But if you are unable to get the greens, the sprouted seeds will serve the purpose. Unlike the greens these sprouts don't have too much of the bittery taste. I had prepared this dal/curry, combining toor dal and the sprouted fenugreek seeds. The curry had  a nice aroma and methi flavor. This goes well with steaming white rice or just have it as a soup ! This goes to the Yasmeen’s Health Nut Challenge-4 and to CWS-Fenugreek Seeds hosted by me and started by Priya.

1/2 cup toor dal(pigeon peas)
1/8 cup methi seeds( sprouted 1/4 cup )
1 medium size tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder or according to taste
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
pinch of asafetida
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1 strand of curry leaves
minced garlic (optional)

Pre Prep: Soak the methi seeds in water for 5 – 6 hours. Then drain the water. Keep these seeds in closed container and rinse with cold water after 8 – 12 hours. The sprouts will be ready in 24 – 36 hours.

 Preparation Method:
1. Cook toor dal, methi sprouts, chopped tomato, onions with enough water in a pressure cooker or vessel(will take lot of time)
2. Once cooked, heat oil in a deep vessel. Add mustard seeds, as they splutter, add asafetida and curry leaves.
3. Add the cooked dal, salt, turmeric, chili powder and bring it to boil. Let it simmer for couple of minutes. Take off from heat.
4. Serve with rice or just have it as a soup !!

Preparation Time: 25  - 30 mins
Serves: 2 - 4


Bhoplyachi Bhaji / Glazed Butternut Squash

Recipe: Butternut squash pieces cooked with spices and jaggery !
     PumpkinCurry (2)     
     While growing up in our town, this subzi used to be served at a yearly Karthik Ekadashi(11th day of the Karthik month in Hindu calendar) where almost everyone at our town used to partake, atleast the kids. We had to take our plates and after the pooja was over, they served the prasad lunch. The food was simple yet such amazing and tasty. And among the prasad, the bhoplyachi bhaji(kaddu sabzi) used to be my favorite with the sweet spicy taste. Ever since then this has been my favorite preparation with the squash.

3 cups butternut squash, deskinned, cubed
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 pinch asafetida
1 1/2 tsp goda masala
3/4 tsp chili powder
2 cubes jaggery/3 –4 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

Preparation Method:
1. Heat oil in a skillet/vessel. Add mustard seeds, as they pop add the asafetida.
2. Immediately add the cubed butternut squash, goda masala, chili powder, salt, turmeric and jaggery. Stir.
3. Add little water, close the lid and let it cook.
4. Once cooked, let the water evaporate. Serve with roti/bhakri/bread or as a side !


Preparation Time: 15 –20 mins
Serves: 2 - 3

Tags:Pumpkin, squash, butternut squash, bhopla, kaddu, subzi, kaddu ki sabji, pumpkin curry, how to cook pumpkin


Lamb/Mutton Biryani – Hyderabadi Kacchi Biryani

Recipe: Marinated mutton cooked with spices and rice !

There is no need to write about Hyderabadi Biryani, as it is one of the famous non-vegetarian dish as most of the people will know about it. The preparation is very similar to the Chicken Biryani that was posted earlier. The only thing one needs to take care of is to make sure the meat is cooked properly, so use a meat tenderizer(prefarably papaya). This goes to EFM-Mutton Series hosted by Siri of Me and My Kitchen.
Step A: Marinating the Mutton: Method: Combine all the below mentioned ingredients and set aside for 1 – 2 hours at least.
3 cups mutton/lamb (1 kg, ~ 2lb)

2 cups yogurt
1 1/2 cup fried onions *(see note below)
1/4 cup green chilies, cut (these were not that spicy,so use according to preference)
3/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
3/4 cup cilantro/coriander, chopped
1 tsp
pepper corns
1 tsp
cumin seeds
1 tsp
caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
black cardamoms
green cardamoms
5 mace (javitri)
bay leaves
4 in
cinnamon stick, broken
1 1/2 tsp
chili powder
3 tsp
coriander powder
2 tsp
cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1  1/2 tbsp garlic paste
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste

MuttonBiryani (2)
Step B: Preparing the rice: While the mutton is kept for marination, prepare the rice and keep aside. The rice should be half cooked so that it can absorb water while cooking in the next step and doesn't become mushy. Ingredients:
3 cups
basmati rice
3 tsp oil
some whole garam masala (3 cardamoms, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 cloves)
salt to taste
1. Boil water with required amount of salt and any masala if you prefer.
2. Add rice and bring it to boil, let it boil for a minute more. Then remove from flame, drain water and keep the rice aside.

MuttonBiryani (3)
Step C: Preparing the final Dum Biryani: Ingredients:
Marinated mutton from Step A
Half cooked rice from Step B
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fried onions

1 tsp garam masala powder
pinch of
saffron mixed in a tbsp of water or milk
2 –3 tbsp
ghee/clarified butter Method:
1. In a heavy bottom pan, add the marinated mutton
2. Layer it with half cooked rice
3. Top the half cooked rice with mint, cilantro, fried onions,ghee and sprinkle the saffron water.
4. Keep on high heat till you see the steam vapors, close the lid and lower the heat.
5. Let it cook on low heat for at least 40 – 50 minutes and biryani is ready!!(make sure the meat is cooked)

MuttonBiryani (4)
Note: Since i did not have a heavy bottom pan, I kept the vessel on tava/griddle during the dum**step 5.
MuttonBiryani (6) Preparation Time: 1hr 30 minutes
Serves: 4 - 6
For tenderizing the meat, use a meat tenderizer or papaya

*To make a cup of fried onions, slice atleast 3 -4 large onions and saute till they turn brown with enough oil
** I used a vessel with a tight lid. Alternatively one can use a dough to close the gaps between the lid & vessel


KaLya Chanyachi Amti / Bengal Gram Curry

Recipe: Cooked chickpeas/bengal gram simmered in spice mixture !
    BlackChikpeasCurry (3) 
     Bengal Gram, also known as Chana is one of the most important pulses in India. Also known as chickpeas, these are slightly different than the garbanzo/kabuli chana and come in black, brown and green colors. The bengal gram variety of the chickpeas are considered to have more fiber than the garbanzo beans and therefore a low glycemic index which make them suitable for people with diabetes or sugar problems.
     This is a regular preparation at home and the use of goda masala gives the curry a nice sweetish aroma. Soak these beans for 6-8 hours before starting to make the curry as this helps in reducing the cooking time. Although the ingredients list looks lengthy, it is not that tough to make it.  This goes to this month’s MLLA-20 hosted by The Crispy Cook and started by Susan.

1 cup chana/bengal gram/chickpeas
1/2 tomato
1 tsp chili powder (or according to taste)
1/8 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
pinch of asafetida
1 strand of curry leaves
1/2 cup onions,chopped
 Grind to Paste:
1/4 cup dry coconut, roasted
1/4 cup cooked chana/gram
1/2 cup onions, chopped, roasted
2 –3 big garlic cloves
1 in ginger
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tbsp goda masala/(if unavailable use garam masala)

Preparation Method:
1. Soak the chana/bengal gram/chickpeas for about 6 –8 hours or overnight.
2. Pressure cook them with enough water. (This reduces cooking time significantly)
3. Combine all the ingredients mentioned and grind to a fine paste.
4. Heat oil in a deep vessel, add asafetida, curry leaves and onions. Sauté till the onions turns translucent.
5. Add the cooked chickpeas, tomatoes, salt, chili powder, turmeric and bring it to boil. let it simmer for 10 –15 minutes on med flame.
6. Garnish and serve with hot white rice or with bhakri/bread

BlackChikpeasCurry (2)
Preparation Time: 30 -40 minutes
Serves: 2-4

Tags: garbanzo beans, kadle kaal saaru, kadle kaal usal, kale chane, harbare, kale harbare, bengal gram, black gram, whole gram, curry, gravy, kattin saar, katachi amti, usal, masala, goda masala, kala masala,
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