Potatoshroom Masala

Mushrooms are a rich source of protein, selenium, vitamins and antioxidants. Button mushroom cultivation has become an alternative source of income for the Indian farmer and also a profitable one.

This post though is not about mushrooms. It is for those who are allergic to them as I am. I decided to prepare a Mushroom masala but with potatoes shaped into button mushrooms.

All one needs is an apple corer and a sharp knife. Just slice the tip of a potato and stick the apple corer about 2/3 into it. Cut it in a circle. You can feel the knife touching the metal.. Remove the corer and you are left with a pretty looking button mushroom.

Ingredients:

250 gms baby potatoes

2 large onions sliced

2 tomatoes chopped fine

7 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

2 tbsps Kashmiri chilly powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1tsp Garam masala

4tbsps curds whisked well

3 tbsps oil

2 tbsps ghee/ clarified butter

1tsp cumin seeds

Salt

Method:

Prepare the potatoes into the shape of a mushroom as mentioned above. Wash and drop them into boiling salted water. Switch off , cover and allow to stand till you are able to handle the potatoes. Peel the skin and keep aside. Roast them sprinkled with salta in a little oil so that they become firm. Heat the ghee and oil mixture in a pan. Drop in the cumin seeds and after they splutter add the sliced onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions are translucent and the raw smell of the ginger garlic disappears. Add the chilly, coriander and garam masala powders and saute for a minute. Add the tomatoes and roast till mushy. Drop in the whisked curd and mix thoroughly. Add enough water to bring it to a gravy like consistency. Drop in the potatoes and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and check for salt. Add if required. Cover and cook for about five minutes. Switch off and keep aside for about fifteen minutes for the flavours to infuse. Serve with Jeera rice or roti.

Copyright © 2022 by Vinaya Prabhu. All rights reserved.

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Onion / Pyaz Paratha

Paratha is the most preferred breakfast of the North Indians. These parathas can be made with a variety of fillings depending upon family preference. The most popular ones are with a filling of potato. Today posting a paratha which is stuffed with finely sliced onions. Parathas are normally served with curd and pickle or with a raita.

Ingredients:

500 gms wheat flour

2 large onions sliced fine

1 tbsp Kashmiri Lal chilly powder

1tbsp Coriander powder

1tsp Cumin powder

1tbsp Amchur/ raw mango powder

1tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

A pinch of garam masala

A level tsp carom seeds/ ajwain rubbed lightly between the palms.

Salt

3 tsps oil.

Method:

Take the wheat flour in a bowl. Add required amount of salt and the carom seeds. Mix well. Add hot water a little at a time and bind into a soft dough. Add the oil and keep kneading for another ten minutes. This helps in forming the gluten. Cover and keep aside for half an hour. In the meanwhile slice the onions fine. Add the chilly, coriander, cumin, garam masala, raw mango powders and mix well. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix, cover and keep aside. Salt is to be added only when you are ready to make the parathas or else the onions will release water making the filling soggy.

After the dough has rested for half an hour, knead it again for a couple of minutes and pinch balls out of it. I usually make 12 parathas out of the proportion mentioned. Add salt to the onions. Mix. Divide into 12 portions. Take a ball of dough and roll it out into a circle of three inch diameter. Place the filling in the centre, bring the sides of the dough together taking care to see that the filling is covered from all sides. Similarly finish off with the remaining balls. Dust the stuffed ball with flour and roll out to a thick six inch diameter sized paratha. Finish off similarly with the remaining balls. Heat a skillet/ tava. Place a paratha on the heated tava and dry roast both sides of the Paratha till you see bubbles appearing on the surface. Brush with ghee/ clarified butter and roast till it turns a rich golden brown on both sides. Serve topped with a blob of butter with curd, raita or even pickle.

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Paneer/ cottage cheese paratha

Parathas are the most popular breakfast item all over North India. A variety of them are prepared from the plain paratha to parathas stuffed with veggies and also with paneer. I have posted an aloo Paratha and also one with onions which is called Koki in this website. Today posting a paratha stuffed with paneer.

Ingredients:

1/2 kg wheat flour

300 gms paneer finely grated

1 large onion finely chopped

7 green chillies

2 inch piece of ginger

4 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves

1 heaped tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp chilly powder

1/2 tsp anardana powder/ amchur/ lemon juice

A large pinch of garam masala

Salt

1 tbsp oil to bind the dough

Ghee for roasting the parathas.

Method:

Take the wheat flour in a bowl. Add salt as required and bind it to a soft smooth dough with water. Knead the dough for ten minutes. Drizzle a tbsp of oil, pat it over the dough, cover and keep aside for a minimum of half an hour. This helps gluten formation. In the meanwhile make a coarse paste of the green chillies and ginger and tip it into a bowl. Drop in the grated paneer, coriander, cumin and chilly powders, anardana or amchur powder, salt and a pinch of garam masala. If you do not have amchur or anardana a squeeze of lemon works equally well. Add the onions and coriander leaves and mix thoroughly.

Knead the dough again for a couple of minutes and make ten or twelve equal sized balls depending on how large you want the parathe to be. I prefer mine medium sized so made twelve balls. Divide the filling too into twelve equal parts.

Take a ball of dough and dust it with flour. Roll it to a three inch sized circle. Take one portion of the filling and place it in the centre. Cover it by bringing the edges of the rolled dough together. Dust it with flour and roll it into a six inch diameter circle. The parathas are never rolled thin as there is a chance of the stuffing spilling out. Always roll with a light hand. Heat a skillet/ tava and place the paratha gently on the tava. As soon as you see bubbles appearing , flip the paratha. Drizzle with ghee or butter. Flip. Apply butter or ghee to the other side as well. Roast till it takes on a golden brown hue. Serve hot with curd, raita and pickle.

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Paneer Do Pyaza

The term Do Pyaza literally means where the dish uses onions cut in two different ways. In this recipe, the onions are chopped fine while preparing the gravy and sliced into petals for the final seasoning. This is an absolutely delicious and easy to make recipe which goes well with Naan, roti or even bread. Once you get the gravy ready, any vegetable of choice can be sauteed in it. My favourite are Paneer and potatoes, though okra or even mushrooms too taste equally good.

Ingredients:

200 gms Paneer

2 medium sized onions chopped fine

2 large tomatoes chopped roughly

1 small Capsicum sliced roughly

7 cashewnuts

2 tbsps oil

1 tsp Jeera/ cumin seeds

3 cardamom

7 pepper corns

1 inch piece of dalchini/ cinnamon

2 tbsps Dhania/ Coriander powder

1 tsp Jeera/ Cumin powder

1/4 tsp Haldi/ turmeric powder

2 tbsps Kashmiri chilly powder

1 tsp sugar

Salt

For the final tempering:

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp Ghee/ clarified butter

1 black cardamom

1 tbsps ginger garlic paste

2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

Method:

Cut the paneer into cubes. Wash it and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, pepper corns, cardamom and cinnamon. Once they pop, lower the heat to medium, add the finely chopped onions and roast till they turn pink. Add the capsicum and cashewnuts, toss and then add the coriander, cumin , turmeric and chilly powders. Toss for a few seconds and then tip in the tomatoes, sugar and salt. Roast for a couple of minutes till the tomatoes wilt. Pour in two glasses of water and increase heat. Bring to a boil and cover and cook the mixture till the tomatoes are well cooked. Allow to cool and blend it fine. Keep this gravy aside.

Heat the oil and ghee mixture in a pan. Add the large cardamom and then the onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute on a medium flame till the onion petals turn transparent and the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste is gone. Drop in the paneer pieces and toss for a couple of minutes. Add the prepared gravy and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook for just a couple of minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

This measurement serves three.

Copyright © 2021 by Vinaya Prabhu. All rights reserved.

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Shaadi wale Aloo Gobhi

Aloo Gobhi is a very popular dish prepared in North India and is served with hot Roti or Naan. It is a must in most weddings, though the preparation varies slightly than the one made at home. Curd or yoghurt is added to enhance the texture and to make it slightly moist so that it can be easily mopped up with a piece of Roti. The recipe of this delicious Shaadi wale Aloo Gobhi was shared by my friend Pradnya Balwalli.

Ingredients:

250 gms Cauliflower broken into florets

250 gms potatoes peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces

2 tomatoes chopped fine

5 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves

5 tbsps curd/ yoghurt whisked well

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilly powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt

1/4 tsp Garam masala

For the tempering:

4 tbsps oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

Method:

Heat the oil in a pan. Drop in the potatoes and shallow fry them. Remove. Add the cauliflower and shallow fry this too. Remove and keep aside. In the oil left behind, add the cumin seeds and after they splutter, drop in the tomatoes and roast till they are mushy. Add the chilly, turmeric and coriander powders. Toss and drop in the whisked curd. Keep stirring to avoid curdling. Add salt and tip in the cauliflower and potatoes. Cover and allow to cook on a very gentle flame. Add garam masala, mix well and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Serves four.

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Himachali Kadhi Pakoda

This Himachali Kadhi pakoda is not to be lightly dismissed as the usual Besan kadhi or the Kadhi Pakoda made with chickpea flour and onions. This Kadhi does involve a bit of work when compared to the other Kadhis which can be prepared in a jiffy. The result of the efforts can be seen when the family takes a second and third serving of this delicious and fragrant kadhi. Make sure you have a pot full of Basmati or Jeera rice and a bowl full of kuchumber or raita ready whilst making this Kadhi. This amazing recipe was shared by my friend Rachna Mallya and it’s a must try!

Ingredients:

For the Pakoda:

1/2 cup/ 125 gms Chana dal/ Bengal gram dal

1 large onion chopped fine

10 garlic cloves

4 green chillies

1 inch piece of ginger

1 tsp Chilly powder

1 tsp saunf/ fennel seeds

Salt

Oil to fry the Pakoda

Other ingredients:

1 cup thick curds

1 inch piece of ginger

4 green chillies

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt

2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves

Water as required

For the tempering:

1 tbsp oil

1 large onion chopped fine

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 dry red chilly broken into two

1 inch piece of ginger jullienes

Method:

Soak the Chana dal for five hours. Drain. Grind it to a coarse consistency without adding any water along with the garlic, green chillies, ginger, fennel seeds, chilly powder and salt. Tip this ground mixture reserving two tablespoons in the mixer itself, into a bowl. Add the finely chopped onions and mix well. Heat oil in a pan. Drop small portions of this mixture into the hot oil and fry to a golden brown. Drain and keep aside. When cool enough to handle, prick the pakoda all over with a tooth pick .

Into the reserved mixture add the ginger, green chillies, curds, salt and turmeric powder. Grind to a smooth paste. Add two glasses of water to this paste, mix and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds. After they splutter add the broken red chilly bits, onion and ginger and roast on a high flame for about two minutes. Pour the ground paste into the seasoning in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Simmer gently for ten minutes. Drop in the pakoda and simmer for five minutes. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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Moong curry

This is one curry which is ready in no time. Moong/ Green gram needs no prior soaking like other lentils do. A couple of extra whistles of the pressure cooker and it’s done. This preparation goes well with Roti, Paratha, poori or even with hot Basmati rice. My heartfelt thanks to my friend dear Rekha Shenoy for this lovely recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup or 125 gms Moong/ whole Green gram

1/4 cup coconut

1 large onion roughly chopped

1 large tomato roughly chopped

15 sprigs of coriander leaves

1 Star anise

4 cloves

2 cardamom

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

2 tsps Red chilly powder

3 tbsps oil

Method:

Wash and pressure cook the Moong with a little salt to five whistles. If you have soaked it the previous night just a couple of whistles is enough. Allow the pressure to release naturally. In the meantime, powder the cumin, star anise, cardamom and cloves. Add the grated coconut, tomato, onion and coriander leaves. Grind to a fine paste along with the turmeric powder.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the ground paste and the chilly powder and roast it on a gentle flame till it leaves the sides of the pan. Drop in the cooked Moong . Check salt. Adjust consistency of the gravy by adding water. Do remember that Moong tends to absorb water so add enough water to make a gravy of pouring consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve hot .

Serves four

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Garlic Kulcha

Kulcha is a soft bread which though traditionally made with Maida/ all purpose flour, is now made with wheat flour which is healthier. One can make a variety of Kulchas, plain and stuffed, but the most popular is the Garlic Kulcha which is fragrant because of the roasted garlic. I thank my friend Krithiga Sathya Narayanan for this lovely recipe.

Ingredients:

2 cups wheat flour

Salt

1/2tsp baking soda

3/4th tsp baking powder

4 tbsps curd/ yoghurt

Other ingredients:

25 garlic cloves chopped fine

5 tbsps coriander leaves chopped fine

2 tsps Black sesame seeds or Nigella seeds. Either one can be used.

Ghee to brush the Kulcha.

Method:

  1. Mix the baking soda, baking powder, salt and the wheat flour in a bowl. Tip in the curd and adding a little water at a time, mix all the ingredients to a smooth and soft dough.
  2. Cover with a cloth and keep it aside for two hours as it has to rise.
  3. Knead the dough again and pinch a medium sized ball of dough. Roll it into a little thick circle of about six inches in diameter. Apply a little water on the surface of the Kulcha facing upwards and sprinkle chopped garlic, coriander leaves, and the Nigella or sesame seeds. Run the rolling pin once over them so that they adhere to the Kulcha.
  4. Heat an iron tava/ skillet. Gently place the Kulcha over it . Sprinkle a little water around it and place a lid over it. Cook over medium flame for a few minutes. Flip. Apply a little ghee. Roast the other side too and serve hot with a blob of butter.

This proportion makes 7 Kulchas.

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Chole Palak/ Chickpeas with Spinach

This recipe is a really old one , dating back to the times of undivided India. People from Punjab (Lahore, Karachi which is now in Pakistan) used to relish this dish, and even though it is still loved, it’s kind of forgotten as it has been replaced by the more popular Chole Bature. I thank my friend dear Rama Ananth for sharing this traditional recipe with me.

Ingredients:

2 cups Chickpeas/ Kabuli chana

3 tbsps of Yellow Split peas

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder


1 bunch Spinach


2 tsp of Lemon juice


2 Onions chopped fine


3 Green chillies chopped fine


12 cloves of Garlic, chopped fine


1 inch piece of Ginger chopped fine


1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder


Salt

1/4 tsp sugar


1 tsp Garam Masala

Ginger jullienes for garnish.

For tempering:


3 tsps oil


1 tsp of Cumin seeds


1 small Bay leaf

1/2 inch piece of Cinnamon

3 Green Cardamom crushed

Method:

Pressure cook the Kabuli chana and the split peas with turmeric and salt to four whistles or till they are done.

Boil sufficient water in a pan and add the spinach. Blanch it for just half a minute. Drain and transfer it in a bowl filled with cold water or running water (this helps to retain the green color of the spinach)

Drain water and drop the blanched spinach in a blender along with salt, sugar, 1 teaspoon of lime juice and grind it to a fine puree.

Heat oil in a pan. Drop in the cumin seeds and whole spices. Toss. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Toss. Drop in the onions and roast till translucent. Add the spinach puree and the remaining lemon juice. Drop in the cooked chickpeas and the garam masala.

Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Switch off and keep aside for about ten minutes for the flavours to infuse before serving.

It goes well with Parathas, Roti and any Bread.

Serves six.

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Shahi Tamatar/ Tomatoes in a rich gravy

This recipe of Shahi Tamatar was shared by a friend Bharti Ahuja Dar and it is right royal as it’s name suggests. She had used the regular tomatoes and snipped off the upper end for the juices to sink in. I had cherry tomatoes with me, so just pricked them with a toothpick and used them. This preparation goes well with both Roti and Basmati rice.

Ingredients:


4 Medium sized Tomatoes or 25 cherry tomatoes

2 tbsps Peanuts


2 tsps White sesame


2 tbsps grated fresh coconut


2 Green chillies chopped fine


1/4 tsp Hing / asafoetida


1 tsp Kashmiri lal chilly powder


1 tsp Cumin seeds


3 tbsp oil


1 large onion sliced

1 inch piece of ginger grated

5 cloves of garlic grated

2 dry red chillies, each broken into 2


1 cup beaten Curd


1 cup water or as desired


Salt


1 tsp Garam masala powder


10 Curry leaves

A large pinch of Haldi/ turmeric

3 tbsps oil

Method:


Dry roast coconut, Peanuts and sesame seeds to a golden yellow.
Grind them with chopped green chillies and a little water to make a smooth paste.
Pour in rest of the water in the mixer jar, to make a thin paste of the remnants and keep it aside.
Cut the head of the Tomatoes, and prise the top from 3-4 places. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds, Hing and the dry red chillies.
Once the cumin stops crackling, add the sliced onion, grated ginger and garlic and saute till the onions turn brown.
Add salt, garam masala, Kashmiri lal chilly powder and the turmeric.
Drop in the curry leaves ,toss and then add the ground paste.
Bring to a boil, keep on low flame and cook till the gravy thickens.
Add little more water if required. You can use the thin water kept aside at this point.
Add the beaten curd and mix well.
Bring to a boil, add tomatoes, cover and cook on low flame till the tomatoes are soft, but still retain their shape.
Turn off heat, and transfer to a bowl.
Serve hot with paratha or boiled /steamed rice.

Serves four.

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