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.

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Banana Blossom Vada

Just like any child I don’t have much affection for vegetables. And if they happen to be some unusual one’s I will just run away.

One day we were invited at a friend’s place for dinner. It was vegetarian dinner as our friend’s family was celebrating some festival. Our friend’s wife served us some deep-fried vada. They tasted just awesome. When I asked her what they were made of, she mentioned “banana blossom”. I was like dumbstruck. Can this vegetable taste so good? My mother always made a dry version vegetable recipe of it, served with rice.

I was really surprised and happy too. However, I didn’t know how to clean the banana blossom. Now as my mom is here with me and the blossom was available at the grocery store, I decided to make these vada.

The base recipe was shared by my friend to which I have made few changes. I will share how to clean banana blossom sooner.

Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup banana blossom, cleaned and chopped
  • 3/4 cup bengal gram ( Channa dal)
  • 2 tbsp black gram (urad dal)
  • 2 tsp rice
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder ( Indian curry powder)
  • dash of asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • Coriander and curry leaves, chopped
  • Oil for frying

Method :

  1. Soak the dals and rice overnight.(I usually prefer soaking them overnight but if you want to prepare them quickly then they need to be soaked at least for 3 hours.)
  2. Drain the water from the above and grind them coarsely along with cumin seeds without adding any water.
  3. Remove them in a bowl.
  4. Now drain water from the chopped banana blossom and grind this too without any water. (The water in the soaked banana blossom and the dals is enough for grinding).
  5. Remove the above in the same bowl as ground dals. Add rest of the ingredients except oil and mix well.
  6. Heat oil in a saucepan for deep-frying. Grease your palm with water and make medium-sized vada or patties.
  7. Fry them in hot oil till golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Saanjori/Sweet Semolina dessert stuffed tortilla

As I had mentioned in the Puranpoli recipe that I would be soon posting another stuffed tortilla recipe. So here I have come up with Saanjori – ‘Saanjo or Saano‘ means dessert made from slightly butter roasted semolina (most commonly known as Sheera or Sooji Halwa) stuffed into ‘Puri’ – tortilla or mini tortilla.

So here goes the recipe!

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

For the Semolina dessert/Sheera :

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 big banana or 2 elaichi bananas/small bananas (Optional)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ghee (melted butter)
  • few strands of saffron (optional)

For the covering :

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5-6 tbsp ghee (melted butter)

Method :

  1. Mix the ingredients for the covering and knead into a soft dough using water as required. Cover and keep aside the dough.
  2. In a non stick pan, heat ghee. Add the semolina and fry for few minutes. Do not allow the semolina to turn brown.
  3. Add the saffron and mix well.IMG_20160727_103819
  4. Add the hot water to the semolina. Close the lid and let it cook.
  5. Once the water is a little evaporated but not completely dry, mash the banana and add to the softened semolina.
  6. Then add sugar and salt. Mix well and check the taste.
  7. When almost about to dry, add the cardamom powder and turn off the gas.
  8. The sheera stuffing is now ready. Allow it to cool.IMG_20160727_104620
  9. Take a golf ball size amount of dough and roll into a small disc.IMG_20160727_170319
  10. Take a small ball of sheera and put it in the middle of the dough disc.IMG_20160727_170418
  11. Cover the sheera ball joining the edges of the dough disc which will turn again into a ball.IMG_20160727_171935
  12. Roll this ball again into a disc.IMG_20160727_172049
  13. Fry on hot griddle applying ghee on either sides.IMG_20160727_171913
  14. Repeat for rest of the dough and sheera.IMG_20160727_172020

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Vegetable Spring Rolls

We had invited my hubby’s colleague and his family over dinner to our place. They happened to be vegetarians. So the menu had to be veg. We are core non-vegetarians and if need to eat veg then we both, me and my husband require traditional festival type vegetarian food. I was thankful though that my parents are here and my mum being a vegetarian helped me in finalizing the menu and preparing it too.

One of the special items was spring rolls which I was going to try out for the first time. I took reference from Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana with a little additions of my own ;).

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Recipe :

Ingredients:

  • 2 fat bulbs of spring onions, chopped,
  • 2 stalks of spring onion greens, chopped
  • 1/4 of big capsicum, cut into juveniles
  • 1/4 cabbage, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 big carrot, cut into juveniles
  • 1/4 cup sprouts
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp schezwan sauce
  • 8 spring roll sheet squares (I divided each into two to form rectangular sheets 16 in number)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • water
  • oil for deep frying

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Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. To it add the onions, capsicum, carrot, cabbage, sprouts and saute.IMG_20160715_123514-COLLAGE
  2. Then add pepper powder, salt, soya sauce and schezwan sauce. Check the taste.
  3. Garnish with spring onion greens. Your filling is ready.IMG_20160715_180827
  4. To the 1/4 cup all purpose flour, add 4 tbsp water and prepare a sealant paste to seal the spring rolls .
  5. Take one sheet. Place a spoonful of filling at one shorter edge of the sheet. Apply the sealant paste at the corners of the sheet and also at the center of each of the longer edge. Then fold the longer edges by around 1 cm and start rolling from the shorter edge, the side having the feeling towards the other shorter edge. Apply sealant paste at this edge and seal the roll. Please refer pictures for more clear understanding.IMG_20160715_181551-COLLAGE
  6. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the rolls.IMG_20160715_183300
  7. Remove on a paper towel and allow to cool for some time. Cut them diagonally in the middle.
  8. Serve hot with schezwan sauce.

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Puranpoli / Sweetened bengal gram stuffed tortilla

Puranpoli is a sweet form of chapati – a chapati(poli) stuffed with puran – a mixture of boiled bengal gram and jaggery. It is an item prepared in most states of India like Goa, Maharastra, Gujrat, Karnataka,etc during festivals. If I need to translate it in English, I would name it as sweetened bengal gram stuffed tortilla. There is another form of stuffed tortilla – Saanjori whose recipe I shall share in future.

Some people in some states even use sugar instead of jaggery. You can even use botth in equal proportions. My mum-in-law bears the expertise in making puranpoli. When she made and fed us, I never bothered to indulge in noticing the recipe. But after coming here, I decided to attempt it on my own to surprise my hubby, my parents and my mum-in-law too.

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Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/4 cup bengal gram (channa dal)
  • 1 1/4 cup jaggery
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder (If the cardamom powder is too strong, use only 1/2 tsp of it)
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder (haldi)
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • salt , oil for kneading the dough
  • extra flour for making the polis

Note : Remember that to make the best puran, you need to take bengal gram and jaggery/sugar in equal proportion. Eg. for 1 cup bengal gram, use 1 cup jaggery or 1 cup sugar. If you intend to use both jaggery and sugar, then for 1 cup bengal gram, use 1/2 cup jaggery and 1/2 cup sugar.

Also, many use same quantity of maida as that of bengal gram. But I preferred using a little more so that I should not fall short of . 😉

Method :

  1. Wash channa dal thoroughly well, soak for 5 hours and then pressure cook it for 5-6 whistles.
  2. Once pressure is completely released, remove the dal and drain any water that remains.
  3. Put this dal in a non stick pan, to it add the jaggery and turn on the gas. Keep stirring occassionally so that the mixture does not get burnt and stick to the bottom of the pan. The jaggery will melt down.IMG_20160712_114510
  4. Add the cardamom powder, tumeric powder and salt as per taste. Mix well.
  5. While the mixture almost begins to dry but still has slight watery consistency, put off the gas.
  6. Transfer the mixture into a mixie jar and grind it. After grinding, it will ideally dry on its own and form a lump. If not, then again tranfer to the saucepan and heat till puran dries up, leaves the sides and forms a lump. Take care that it doesn’t get burnt or stick to the pan.IMG_20160712_115156
  7. Knead a soft dough with all purpose flour, oil and salt as per taste. You can also add little of turmeric powder(optional) while you knead the dough to enhance the color of the final poli. Coat the kneaded dough with excess oil and keep it covered for half an hour. I usually keep the dough wrapped in wet but squeezed muslin cloth.
  8. Make golf size balls of puran and similarly make equivalent number of balls of dough.IMG-20160712-WA0025-COLLAGE
  9. Take a dough ball and roll it into a small roti just enough to cover up the puran ball.
  10. Put the puran ball in the middle of the roti and cover the puran with the roti.IMG-20160712-WA0033-COLLAGE
  11. Cover the puran stuffed dough ball with more than enough flour and start rolling into a medium sized disc. Keep applying enough  flour while rolling.WhatsApp-Image-20160712_10
  12. Tip : Sometimes, some find it difficult to achieve step 8-10. Alternate for this is – divide the dough into twice the number of puran balls i.e. two dough balls for one puran ball. Take two dough balls and roll each ball into small discs ( around 2-3 inch in dia., enough to accommodate the puran ball). Flatten the puran ball into a patti and place it in between the dough discs. Seal the edges of the dough discs together such that the puran is well sealed and locked between the dough. Roll this stuffed dough disc further into a medium sized disc, applying enough flour while rolling.
  13. Cook the poli on a hot tava or griddle on both the sides by applying ghee (butter) and flipping over only once.IMG-20160712-WA0041
  14. Serve hot with melted ghee for breakfast or snacks.

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