Pumpkin Rajma

Rajma is a popular Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy with many Indian spices. Although the kidney bean is not of Indian origin, it is a popular dish in Northern India, and is prepared on several occasions.

This recipe is the usual rajma with a pumpkin twist ๐Ÿ˜€ . No overnight soaking, made without oil, and without any stirring or sautรฉing.

Ingredients:

Pumpkin – 500 gm
Red Kidney Beans – 3/4 cup
Water – 1 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste

Step 1: Wash & chop the pumpkin. Wash the kidney beans. Toss them into a pressure cooker.

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Step 2: Add in all the remaining ingredients. Cook on low flame for about 10-12 whistles.

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Step 3: Mash the pumpkin using a spoon. Serve hot with rice or roti.

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Mutton Curry

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At our place, chicken or fish is always compulsory. But every once in a while, we like to switch it up a bit.

This weekend, it was a simple, yet, lip-smacking mutton curry.

Ingredients:

Mutton – 1 kg
Oil – 5 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 0.5 tsp
Green chillies – 2 (chopped)
Curry leaves – 6-8
Onions (medium sized) – 3 (chopped)
Shallots (small onions)– 6-8 (chopped) //optional
Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp (heaped)
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Water – as required
Meat Masala Powder(I used ‘Eastern’) – 1/4 cup

Step 1: Heat some oil in a pressure cooker, and splutter some mustard seeds.

Step 2: Add in cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves. Saute for a minute.

Step 3: Toss in the onions, shallots and ginger-garlic paste. Cook until translucent.

Step 4: Place the mutton pieces in the cooker, along with all the masala powders. Mix well. Pour water up to the level of mutton.

Step 5: Cover and cook on high flame, up to the first whistle. Switch to low flame and cook for another 4 whistles, or until done.

Hot and Sour Soup

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Marge Kennedy once said, “Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.” Hot and Sour is a perfect example.

In this recipe, pepper and lime are the hot and sour elements.

Ingredients:
Serves – 4

Water – 4 cups
Carrots – 2
Cabbage – 1/2 cup
Spring Onion – 1/2 cup
Capsicum – 1
Garlic – 1 whole
Ginger – 1 inch
Lime – 1
Egg whites – 2 (lightly beaten)ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  // optional
Soy sauce – 1/4 cup (adjust according to taste)
Pepper corns – 2 handfuls (crushed)
Corn flour – 5 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp / as per taste

Step 1: Finely chop/grate all the veggies and add to a sauce pan along with 1 tbsp salt and water. Boil for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Add in the juice of one lime, soy sauce and crushed pepper.

Step 3: Mix 5 tsp of corn flour in about 1/4 cup of water. Pour into the pan. Boil for another 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Turn off the flame. Gradually pour the egg whites into the soup, stirring constantly, until white ribbons swirl through the soup.

Pickled Amla / Gooseberry

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Amla, aka Indian Gooseberry is one fruit that packs many health benefits into a really small package.ย  This humble fruit is known to be a rich source of vitamin C. It contains anti-oxidants, fibre and minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which help improve immunity, protect your heart, improve skin health, control diabetes and its complications, eliminate toxins, improve digestion; The list goes on.

One of several ways to include them in your diet, is in a pickled form. Those like me, who do not like it in its raw, sour and pungent form, can go ahead and pickle them using the following recipe.

Ingredients:

Amla / Indian Gooseberry – 20ย  (Go ahead and add as many as you want. ๐Ÿ™‚ )
Salt – as required
Green chillies – 5 (adjust as per taste)

Step 1: Drop all the ingredients into a large jar. Fill with water.

Step 2: Consume after 3 days. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Beetroot & Mint Chicken Curry

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The weather in Saudi now, is the best I’ve seen lately. Its breezy and rainy.
Last night, I went to bed with plans of waking up early and making something usual for lunch. Rice, moru, beetroot-potato stir fry, and a simple chicken curry. This morning I couldn’t pull myself up.ย  All I wanted to do was stay wrapped in the blanket for as long as I could. So I stayed in bed for an extra hour and then decided to cook a chicken curry with chopped beetroot inย  laban/buttermilk.
Basically, a quick 3-in-1. I had my moru, beetroot, and chicken, all in one. ๐Ÿ˜€

It turned out pretty amazing, so I thought of sharing it with y’all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:
Serves: 2-3

Chicken โ€“ 500 gm
Oil โ€“ 3 tbsp
Mustard – 0.5 tsp
Onion โ€“ 1 (chopped)
Ginger-Garlic paste โ€“ 1 tsp
Maggi Chicken Stock – 1 tablet
Beetroot – 1 (finely chopped/grated)
Turmeric powder โ€“ 1 tsp
Chilli powder โ€“ 3 tsp
Cumin powder โ€“ 1 tsp
Coriander powder โ€“ 2 tsp
Garam Masala โ€“ 1 tsp (heaped)
Laban/Buttermilk – 1 cup ( = 3/4 cup yoghurt + 1/4 cup water)
Mint leaves – 2 handfuls (chopped)
Salt โ€“ as per taste

Step 1: Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds and watch them splutter. Add in the chopped onions and saute until translucent.

Step 2: Tip in the finely chopped/grated beetroot along with some ginger-garlic paste and the chicken stock tablet. Stir until the tablet is well incorporated.

Step 3: Toss in the chicken, mint leaves, laban/buttermilk and masala powders. Mix well.

Step 4: Cover and cook until done. Add salt according to taste.

 

 

 

Kerala Appam / Pal-Appam (Milk Appam)

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Appam or Palappam is my favorite South-Indian breakfast.ย Appam is a type of pancake made with fermented rice batter and milk. Some people like to have it with just sugar. I like to have it with stew or egg curry. You can even eat it just by itself. Doesn’t matter because it is that good.

Mom was making appam the other day and I just asked her the recipe out of curiosity. I never thought making appam was so easy.

Ingredients:
Makes about 8-10

White Rice (uncooked) – 1 cup
Brown rice (uncooked) – 2 tbsp

Milk – as required
Yeast – 0.5 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp + 3-5 tbsp
Salt – according to taste
Step 1: Soak the white rice and brown rice in water, for a minimum of 5 hours.

Step 2: Wash, rinse and strain the rice. Add this rice to a blender. Pour milk up to the level of rice in your blender. Blend along with yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Adjust the thickness with more milk if required.

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Let the batter rest overnight. This allows it time to ferment.
Now, adjust the salt and sugar. Add salt according to taste. Add about 3-5 tbsp of sugar, again, according to taste.

Step 3: Heat a curved non-stick pan. Pour about half a cup of batter to make each appam.

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Step 4: Hold the handles and spin the batter around the pan. Cover and cook until done.

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Note: If you don’t have the kind of pan to make pal-appam, you can make it make on a regular pan, and it would like this.

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Honey Oat Cookies

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Ingredients:
Makes about 15 cookies

Oats – 3/4 cup
Wheat Flour – 1/2 cup
Cinnamon – 1 pinch
Nutmeg – 1 pinch
Baking powder – 1/4 tsp
Sugar – 1/4 cup
Honey – 2 tbsp
Butter – 4 tbsp
Milk – upto 4 tbsp (optional)

Step 1: In a bowl, mix the sugar, honey and butter.

Step 2: Add in the dry ingredients and make a soft dough out of it. You could add upto 4 tbsp of milk, in case the dough isn’t holding well.

Step 3: Roll into tiny balls using your palms and press flat to form the cookie shape.

Step 4: Bake for about 15 minutes or until done.

Carrot Cake (made with oat flour)

Oat flour is rich in soluble fibre and low in saturated fat. Carrot cake made with oat flour is a simple healthy treat which doesn’t taste any different than the kind of cake made with white flour.

Ingredients:

Powdered Oatmeal (Oat Flour) – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Grated Carrot – 1 cup
Crushed Pineapple – 1/4 cup (I used the canned one)
Egg (beaten) – 1
Oil – 2 tbsp
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1/2 cup
Cinnamon – 1 tsp
Nutmeg – 1 tsp
Salt – a pinch

Step 1: Grab 2 separate bowls. In one, combine the dry ingredients. In the other, mix together the condensed milk, egg, and oil.

Step 2: Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Now stir in the grated carrot and crushed pineapple.

Step 3: Bake for about 20 minutes or until done.

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Allow it to cool and top with a little bit of cream. Optionally, dust a bit of coffee powder over the cream.

Note: The brown bubbles are actually due to a little bit of over-baking. Please ignore. ๐Ÿ˜›

Be careful to watch yours, to avoid this, or you could bake for an extra minute on top to get this look. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kiwi and Pomegranate in Melted Chocolate

This one’s a quickie dessert. Hardly any prep time required.

Chocolate mixed with pomegranate and kiwi. I’ve always loved a simple bowl of chopped kiwi and pomegranates. Adding chocolate to it just takes it up several notches.

Ingredients:
Serves: 4-5

Kiwi – 5 (chopped into into pieces)
Pomegranate – 1 (de-seed-ed)
Milk Chocolate bars – 2

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Step 1: In a microwave safe bowl, break 2 chocolate bars and heat until they melt.

Step 2: Mix in the fruits. Refrigerate.

Step 3: Serve cold.

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Note: These fruits tend to release a lot of water, so the chocolate will not harden, on the whole. You may find a few chunks here and there, which add to the texture of this dessert.

 

Kerala Style Easy Chicken Curry

In Kerala, chicken curry is cooked in coconut oil, and one of the major highlights of this curry is the strong flavor imparted by the curry leaves you add to it.

Every time we go to India for our summer vacations, Dad goes on and on, praising my aunt’s chicken curry. This one is her recipe, which I’ve tweaked a little, here and there, based on the ingredients I had in hand.

Ingredients:
Serves: 2-3

Chicken – 500 gm
Coconut oil – 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – 5-6
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Green chillies – 2 (chopped)
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 (chopped)
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1.5 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp (heaped)
Water – 0.5 cup (boiled)
Salt – as per taste

 

Step 1: Heat coconut oil in a non-stick pan. Add in curry leaves. After a minute or two, add in the onions and saute until translucent.

Step 2: Tip in the green chillies and ginger garlic paste.

Step 3:ย  Stir in the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander powder. Mix well. Cook until the raw tomato flavor is lost.

Step 4:ย  Add in the chicken pieces, and coat well with this prepared masala. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 5: Now add the boiled water to this along with the garam masala powder andย  continue to cook until the chicken is done. Add salt according to taste.

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