I have tasted Chole prepared by quite a few of my Punjabi friends and each one was different from the other. Though each one was extremely tasty, yet it lacked that ‘something’ which makes the Chole found in the dhabas in the North a class apart. I always wondered if it was the vegetable oil that they used that gave it it’s distinct taste and flavour. It was by chance that I got to know from my dear friend Simran Kaul that it is Anardana ( dried pomegranate seeds) which takes Chole to the next level. The other is a tadka / seasoning of garlic, green chillies, chilly powder and garam masala which adds flavour to the Chole.
1 cup Chickpeas soaked overnight.
Potli: 2 tsps tea leaves 2 dry red chillies 2 cinnamon sticks of an inch each 6 cloves 6 cardamom 2 Bay leaves Tie all the above mentioned spices in a muslin cloth. This is referred to as a Potli.
3 onions 3 tomatoes 1 inch piece of ginger 6 cloves of garlic
4 tsps of Ghee 4 cloves of garlic 1/2 tsp Garam masala 1 tsp Chilly powder 4 green chillies
Other ingredients required:
4 tsps Ghee 3 tsps oil Salt Coriander leaves for garnishing.
Pressure cook the Chickpeas with a little salt and the Potli in enough water for six whistles on a medium flame or for ten minutes in the Instant pot with natural pressure release. Once cooked discard the Potli. Reserve the stock or water in which the Chickpeas have been boiled. Heat a mixture of four spoons of Ghee and three spoons of oil . Drop in the ground paste of the gravy to make Chole and roast it till the oil separates. Drop in the Chole masala, and roast for a couple of minutes. Add the Chickpeas and the reserved stock or water in which the Chickpeas have been boiled.Simmer on a very gentle flame for half an hour. This releases the flavours . Mash a tablespoon of chickpeas for thickness. Finally heat the Ghee for seasoning in a pan. Drop in the garlic cloves and roast to a golden brown. Drop in the green chillies, garam masala and chilly powder. Immediately pour the seasoning into the chole to avoid burning of the spices. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with Basmati rice, Kulcha, papad, lime pickle and a bowl of salad.
Alwathi is a traditional Konkani preparation made with wild colocassia leaves . During my trip abroad I had no access to Colocassia leaves so prepared it with Palak. Sweet corn added is the icing on the cake. I have not made use of any red chillies which is normally used for spice. Green chillies and ginger make it extremely flavourful. Tastes best with hot rice.
1 bunch of Palak leaves
2 sweet corns chopped into pieces of choice
2 inch piece of ginger
7 green chillies or more as per choice
1/2 of a small coconut grated
1 tsp rice flour ( optional)
1 tsp tamarind paste
For the seasoning:
2 tbsps coconut oil/ or oil of choice
1 heaped tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
Wash and chop the Palak roughly. Tip it into a pan. Add half a glass of water and give it one boil. Cover and keep aside. Pressure cook the sweet corn pieces till they are soft and tender. Once the pressure is released drop it into the Palak and add salt. Grind the coconut, ginger, green chillies, rice flour and tamarind to a smooth paste. Tip it into the Palak corn mixture. Add water to make a gravy of pouring consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer on a gentle flame for a couple of minutes. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter drop in the curry leaves. Pour the seasoning into the simmering Alwathi. Give one boil. Switch off, cover and keep aside. Allow the Alwathi to stand for fifteen minutes before serving to allow the flavours to infuse.
A healthy and delicious dosa which is diabetic friendly. Millets add fiber to our diet and also provide satiety. Here I have used an equal proportion of Jowar/ Sorghum and Bajra/ Pearl millet flour to make the dosa.
1 cup Bajra flour
1 cup Jowar flour
8 green chillies
2 inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp Jeera/ cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Hing/ asafoetida
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped
5 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
Take both the flours in a bowl. Grind the green chillies and ginger to a coarse paste. Add salt , asafoetida, cumin seeds and the ginger green chilly paste to the flour. Drop in the finely chopped onion, tomato and coriander leaves. Pour in enough water to make a batter of pouring consistency. Keep aside for fifteen minutes. Heat a tava/ skillet. Pour a ladleful of batter and swish the tava around. Drizzle a tsp of Ghee or oil. Allow to roast on a medium flame till it turns a crispy golden brown. This dosa need not be flipped and roasted on the other side. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.
Chinese potato is called Kooka, Koorka, Sambrani gadde depending on the region from where it comes from. Two places in the South of India grow it in abundance. There is a slight difference in the flavour as well as the texture of the Chinese potato grown in these regions. The Konkani community prepares a variety of dishes from it. Posting a spicy and tangy upkari today. Thanks to my friend Vinanti Gauri who shared this recipe with me.
500 gms Chinese potato
1 heaped tbsp chilly powder
1 heaped tbsp Coriander powder
Juice of one lemon or 1 tsp of Amchur
1 heaped tbsp Jaggery syrup / powdered jaggery
For the seasoning:
2 tbsps oil
1 tsp Mustard
1 tsp Urad dal/ split black gram
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/4 tsp of powdered Hing/ asafoetida
Wash the Chinese potato well and pressure cook to three whistles. Allow to cool and peel. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard. After it crackles add the urad dal. After it turns golden, switch off the flame so that the spices that will be added into the seasoning do not burn. Drop in the curry leaves, asafoetida, chilly powder and coriander powder and toss. Immediately add the Chinese potato and salt. Give it a good stir, turn on the flame and heat the upkari, stirring gently all the while. Drop in the lemon juice and jaggery syrup or powder, cover and allow the flavours to infuse. All the while the flame must be extremely gentle so that the upkari does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once it’s thoroughly heated switch off and serve hot with rice and dal.
Makar sankranti , Pongal, Lohri… Different names in the different regions of India… The harvest festival is celebratedby preparing sweets, bathing and adorning the cattle and distributing Tigul/sesame and jaggery. Posting the two most favoured sweets prepared during this festival. Puffed rice Ladoo and Sesame and peanut Ladoo. Recipe links to both the items are given below.
Sharing a Thali today of Chapati, Jeera rice, Dal fry, Palak and baby corn masala, boondi raita, Tree sorrel pickle, slices of onions, a wedge of lemon, pomegranate and bananas. Recipe links to all the items are given below.
Dig into this heavenly Palak and baby corn masala and savour the fragrance of the mildly aromatic spices. Best served with either hot Basmati rice or Roti, slices of cucumber and onions, a dash of lime and a Boondi raita, this is my idea of a soul soothing meal on a cold afternoon.
1 medium sized bunch of Palak
9 baby corns
2 medium sized onions
1 large tomato
2 inch piece of ginger
5 green chillies
5 cloves of garlic
1/ 4 tsp of Garam masala
A pinch of Haldi/ turmeric
A few sprigs of coriander leaves along with their tender stems.
1 tbsp of Ghee/ clarified butter
2 tbsps of oil
1 tsp Jeera/ cumin seeds
1 heaped tbsp fresh cream.
Wash and blanch the Palak. Immediately dip it into ice cold water. Remove and keep aside. Cut the baby corn into bite sized pieces and boil them with a little salt till they are done. Slice the onions, ginger, garlic , green chillies and tomatoes roughly. Heat the ghee and oil mixture in a pan. Add the cumin seeds. Once it crackles, drop in the sliced onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Roast till translucent. Add the tomatoes, garam masala, salt and turmeric. Saute for a couple of minutes. Remove from flame and allow to cool thoroughly. Tip in the Palak, the roasted onion tomato mixture and coriander leaves into a blender and blend to a smooth paste. Tip it into a pan. Add the boiled baby corn and bring to a boil. Simmer for a minute and finally tip in the cream. Switch off and serve hot.
Sharing a breakfast platter today of Onion Uthappa, masala appe and Dahi appe. Chutney is the roasted gram and coriander one which goes well with most dishes. Recipe links to all the items are given below.
A hearty breakfast of Masala appe and chutney for breakfast today. I had soaked a little extra as the cold delays the fermentation process , but as luck would have it the batter has fluffed up well and I am left with a big batch of urad and rice batter. So it’s going to be a variety of breakfasts from the same batter for the next two days. Sharing the recipe link to the basic Appe recipe. Once this batter is ready ,you can add spices of your choice. Today I just took a little of the batter and added some crushed green chillies, ginger, finely chopped onions and coriander leaves to the batter. Feel free to experiment with other vegetables like tomatoes, sweet corn and finely chopped capsicum as well.
Sharing a Thali today of Rice, Jeere mirya kadhi, Tomato and onion chutney, Eggplant, potato and onion subzi, Avakai, and masala butter milk. The cashewnut burfi is from the packet of sweets sent over by a friend, but you can find the recipe on my website. Sharing the recipe links to all the items below.