Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji has always been an attractive, tempting street food. I always cherished this dish since my childhood. I always liked it with extra butter, cheese. But I have realized not all eateries can make a delicious Mumbai special pav bhaji.

 

 

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 350 gms potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 350 gms tomatoes, de-skinned, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup – green peas, cauliflower florets, carrot pieces
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 200 gms onion, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1-2 tbsp pav bhaji powder
  • salt as per taste
  • red food color (optional)
  • grated cheese (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • finely chopped onion, lemon wedges – for garnish
  • 4-6 bread buns or pav or even slice bread

Method :

  1. In a pressure cooker, boil potatoes, tomatoes, green peas, cauliflower florets and carrot for 3-4 whistles.
  2. Once the pressure is released, remove the boiled vegetables and mash using a potato masher.
  3. In a flat bottom pan, melt 4 tbsp butter.
  4. Before it browns, add the onion, cumin seeds and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the rawness of the paste is lost and onions turn transparent.
  5. Then add the green pepper and sauté.
  6. Add the red chilli and pav bhaji powder. Mix well.
  7. Add the vegetable mash, mix and add salt as per taste. You can also add red food color to impart the street food pav bhaji color.
  8. Add a little water to adjust consistency and mash further if required.
  9. Bring to a boil and garnish with coriander leaves. You can also add a tbsp of butter and grated cheese (optional).
  10. Cut the pav into half, apply butter to all the sides and warm them on a hot griddle  till the butter melts.
  11. Serve the hot pav bhaji, prepared pav with chopped onion and lemon wedges.

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma has been one of our favorites since long. When I was in college, there was a new outlet opened that sold shawarma which was made served with bread as wrap. When we were in Pune, there the shawarma was served with pita bread or roti as wrap. We always got it parceled for our meals during our Pune – Goa trip. Nowadays, we do not find it here in US, so I thought of trying it at home with readily available ingredients

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • around 4 rotis or pita bread

For marination :

  • 250 – 300 gms boneless chicken
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt as per taste
  • pepper powder as per taste
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic cloves, chopped

For yoghurt sauce :

  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • salt as per taste
  • pepper powder as per taste
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce (can use store-bought or homemade)
  • 8-10 mint leaves, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of coriander leaves, chopped

For salad :

  • Lettuce or Cabbage leaves ( I used cabbage leaves)
  • onions, sliced
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • beetroot julienne
  • green pepper julienne

Method :

  1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned under marination.
  2. Marinate the chicken and keep it for around 30-40 mins.img_20170228_185941
  3. Bake them in an oven preheated at 200 C till done.
  4. Once slightly cooled, shred the cooked chicken.
  5. Whisk together all the ingredients of yoghurt sauce. Keep this refrigerated till use.
  6. Take a roti and to it apply generous amount of yoghurt sauce on it.
  7. Place the lettuce or cabbage leaf.
  8. Right at the center put generous amount of shredded chicken. Then add the cut vegetables.
  9. Drizzle some more yoghurt sauce.img_20170228_200133
  10. Roll the roti, wrap it in foil and serve the yummilicious shawarma.

 

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Green Peas Masala

Whenever we visit any pure veg restaurants, we always prefer to order pav bhaji or if roti, then we go for green peas masala. However, this was a case then when we were in India. Nowadays finding an Indian restaurant itself is like finding a pool of water in a desert.

When we stayed in Pune, there was this pure veg restaurant just outside our society. He served really delicious green peas masala. Recently some friend had posted a picture of green peas masala on some food group. The picture of the dish was really tempting and it made me nostalgic. I tried out the recipe, making few changes to it depending on the ingredients readily available in my pantry and my liking 😉


Recipe :

Ingredients:

  • 5 cloves
  • Two 1/2 inch pieces of cinnamon 
  • 1 cardamom 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 tsp green chili, finely chopped 
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped 
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1 tsp red chili powder 
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder 
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder 
  • 1/4 tsp kitchen king masala (optional)
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt 
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped 
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee

Method :

  1. Heat oil and ghee in a pan.
  2. Once hot, add the whole spices – cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and fry for a minute.
  3. Then add the onion and sauté till golden brown.
  4. Add the green chilies, red chilies and ginger garlic paste. Sauté till the rawness of the paste disappears.
  5. Add the tomatoes and allow to cook till mushy. Now add the peas and allow to cook.
  6. Next add all the spice powders – turmeric, red chili, cumin, coriander, garam masala, kitchen king masala, black pepper, yoghurt and salt as per taste.
  7. Cook till the oil oozes out.
  8. Next add 1/2 cup water and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  9. Then remove the lid and cook on medium flame till thick consistency is achieved.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and server with roti or chapatis.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Rice has always been my favorite. I prefer having rice in my main meals over having bread. I always liked Chinese fried rice specially the one an aunt of mine prepared.

I usually prepare it for my hubby’s lunch box on Monday as it’s like one pot meal and filling.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 12-15 french beans, chopped
  • Medium carrot, finely chopped
  • Medium capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks spring onion greens, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Salt as per taste

Method :

  1. In a wok, heat oil. All cooking needs to be done on high flame.
  2. Sauté the garlic till brown.
  3. Then sauté the onion till transparent. Add little salt as it aids in faster cooking.
  4. Then add the other veggies – French beans, carrot, capsicum and cabbage. Sauté well for few minutes.
  5. Now add the five spice powder, soya sauce, vinegar and salt as per taste.
  6. Also add the cooked rice, spring onion greens and toss well till all is mixed well.
  7. Veg fried rice is ready to be served hot.

Coorg special Chicken masala / Spicy Chicken delicacy from Coorg

Nowadays I have stopped eating much of fish and moved my appetite inclination towards chicken. Every week coincidentally almost every Thursday, I tend to prepare some chicken delicacy. However I try that every week it should be something new so that by repeating similar dishes we should not end up getting bored with eating the same.

Many years back when I was just out of college and waiting for my MNC joining, I had a long vacation in between. During this time I got an opportunity to visit a small town named Coorg, equidistant from the cities Mangalore and Bangalore in the state of Karnataka, India. We had booked a cottage stay there and one of the meals during the stay was offered by the cottage owner. Their cook had prepared all Coorg delicacies. One of them which I could recollect I guess was the Pandi curry or Pork curry served with rice balls. I actually could just recollect the color of the delicacy which had created the temptation, but I also remember it was some non veg item that I didn’t eat then and so didn’t relish the dish.

After so many years, I remembered it and started my research during which I came to know about Pandi curry. Nowadays though I have started eating lamb/goat meat, I still not eat other red meat. So I decided to try out similar dish but with chicken. So let’s hop on to the recipe.


Recipe :

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms chicken, cleaned, washed and cut into small pieces. I marinate the pieces with salt and turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp ghee ( you can also use oil)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5-6 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2-3 small pieces of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cardamom
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/ cup water
  • 2-3 tsp tamarind juice

Method:

  1. In a pan, heat a tbsp of ghee.
  2. Add the whole spices – cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Sauté for a min or two on high flame.
  3. Then add the green chillies and onion. Sauté for another few minutes.
  4. Add coriander powder, coriander leaves (1/2 cup) and mix well.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool.
  6. Grind the mixture to a fine paste by adding 1/2 cup water.
  7. In a pressure cooker, heat the remaining ghee.
  8. To this add the curry leaves and ginger garlic paste and sauté till the rawness of the paste is lost.
  9. Then add the chicken pieces, mix and fry for few minutes.
  10. Add the ground masala, salt as per taste and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles.
  11. Once the pressure is completely released, check the taste and consistency of gravy.
  12. Add salt and water if required.
  13. Add tamarind juice and bring to a boil. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  14. Serve hot with roti/chapati or rice.

Vegetable Cheese Burst Pizza

I am pizza fan for quite a long time now but am very fuzzy about the toppings. Also I like it to be a cheese overload with cheese oozing out from all sides. However most pizza specializing outlets sell pizzas in larger sizes which happen too much for th two of us – my hubby and me.

So we had been avoiding visits to pizza shops. But that’s not a solution. I just wanted to have a cheese burst pizza dominos style so decided to try it out myself at home. The attempt was a success and we both enjoyed the pizza.


Recipe :

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 pound frozen pizza dough
  • 1 small tub cheese spread (8 oz)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup green, yellow, red, orange bell peppers, julienned
  • 2-3 button mushrooms, sliced
  • Zip lock bag

You can include more variety of veggies like olives, jalapeños, etc

Method :

  1. Roll the dough into a log and divide into two equal parts. One part makes one medium-sized pizza.
  2. Take one half and divide it in such way that one is slightly bigger than other (like 2/3 and 1/3).
  3. Grease baking tray with oil and pre-heat oven to 350F.
  4. Take the bigger dough piece and roll it into a thin disc. Place this on the greased tray and keep it covered for 10 mins.
  5. Roll the other piece into a thin disc as well. Roast this very lightly on a tawa. 
  6. Put half the cheese spread in a ziplock bag or piping bag and cut the tip.
  7. Pipe out the cheese spread on the roasted disc leaving the edges. Spread if required.
  8. Invert this on the other disc that was kept covered such that the cheese applied side faces the other disc and is at the center.
  9. Now pipe out the a cheese border along the edge of the roasted disc.
  10.  Then use the edge of the larger uncooked disc to cover and seal the piped out cheese.
  11. Apply around half a cup of the pizza sauce on the prepared pizza base.
  12. Next as per your liking put the cheese or veggies first. I put 1/4 of the shredded cheese.
  13. Then sprinkled the veggies and over which spread another 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.
  14. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10-15 min.

 

Shimla Mirchi Salan / Bell Pepper tangy curry

I wanted to prepare a gravy dish that would go well with roti/chapati and even with rice/biryani as a side dish as I had some left over chicken biryani.

I searched through my veggie storage in the refrigerator and found two medium – big sized bell peppers. Recently I had tried and posted Eggplant Salan recipe. I decided to follow same only replacing the eggplant with bell peppers and reducing a step or two. It turned out to be yum and my purpose was also met.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 3 medium-sized bell peppers (any color – green, red, yellow), cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp roasted coarse peanut powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp desiccated coconut powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds(jeera)
  • 1/4 tsp kalonji (onion seeds)
  • 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/ 4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 heaped tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method :

  1. In a pan, dry roast, peanut powder, sesame seeds and coconut powder.
  2. Once cooled down, grind into fine paste using water as required. Keep aside.
  3. In a pan heat the oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, methi, kalonji, red chillies and curry leaves.
  4. Once they crackle, add the onion and green chillies and sprinkle little salt as this aids in cooking for the onion.
  5. Once the onion become transparent, add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till the rawness of the paste is lost.
  6. Now add the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and mix well.
  7. Now add the ground peanut-sesame-coconut paste and little water. Cover and cook till the oil separates.
  8. Then add the yoghurt and salt as per taste and give it a good mix.
  9. Now add the chopped, mint and coriander leaves and also the cubed bell peppers. Cover and cook till the bell peppers are well cooked and soft but not mushy.
  10. Serve hot with roti/chapati or biryani. Enjoy!