Alu Methi Paratha or Potato and Fenugreek Stuffed Flatbread Recipe



Food Speaks for itself. A food picture plays a very important role in influencing the hunger appetite of a person. While a clumsily laid out plate can turn you off and kill your hunger, a plate nicely laid can invite you to eat a little extra .

The first thing that I learnt to cook was to make Alu Paratha or Potato stuffed flatbread. Hence, when I started blogging, this was one of my top 5 post. However, back then food photography didn't play that much of role. People were more interested for recipes . Though, people are still interested in recipes, a good picture is what makes an audience stay and read your post before they move on to another source for the same recipe.

I am not saying that I have an exceptional photography skills. However, I am learning and trying to improve each day. Its an art and needs patience and imagination. If you continue to read the post and reach till the end, you will find the original picture which I had posted back in June 2009. Hope you find the difference and above all find the same recipe interesting.






What you need for the stuffing:

3-4 big potatoes boiled, peeled & mashed. Let potato cool down completely before you use them
7 to 8 garlic pod crushed
2 green chili finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp dry mango powder
Parsely 1 tsp
1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
1 tsp roasted cumin powder

1 onion chopped finely and kept separate. Do not mix with stuffing. Onion when mixed with salt looses water and your stuffing may become watery. We will play safe by adding during the stuffing before rollinh

What you need for the dough :
Take 3-4 cups of Atta
Add ¼ tspn ajwain/cumin seeds
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 cup of chopped methi  or fenugreek leaves
1 tsp red chili powder
2 to 3 tbsp white sesame seeds

Knead a smooth dough by adding water little by little. Once you have kneaded a smooth dough, add few drops of oil and knead again. This will keep your dough smooth and make rolling easy. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before you start stuffing them.

Pinch a lemon size ball and make a bowl type mould of it.Now stuff a little potato mixture into it. Next add 1 tsp of finely chopped onion and then stuff a little of the potato mixture again.
Then close the stuffing, flatten and then dust with flour on all sides.
Roll into a flat bread.
Heat a non stick pan . Cook Paratha or flatbread on both sides.
Apply ghee or butter on both sides and cook till done.

Initial Post Picture

Rava Paniyaram | Rava Urad Dal Appe Recipe



Paniyaram is a Tamil Dish which is usually made from the normal Idli or Dosa batter. You need Appe or Paniyaram mould to make Paniyaram. However, you can make alterations in your batter and experiment with pulses to make it more healthy and give variations . Temper it with onions, curry leaves and mustard seeds . You can also little jaggery to it to give it a sweet flavour.

Today on Raksha Bandhan, I made this for breakfast and enjoyed a healthy and fulfilling breakfast and served with some coriander and coconut chutney. You can enjoy it with freshly brewed coffee or some masala chai.




What You Need:

Urad Dal – 1/2 cup
Rava - 1 cup
Chana Dal - 1/3rd cup
Oats -1/3 cup
Methi Dana – 1/2 tsp
Soak above for 4 hours and then grind to a smooth paste adding little water if needed. Let it ferment for 8 hours. Add salt as per taste and mix well. Our batter is ready to use.

For tempering :
1 tsp Oil 
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 green chili chopped
Onion finely chopped
Coriander leaves finely chopped
Grated coconut ½ cup

Heat oil in a pan . Add mustard seeds and let it cackle.
Add curry leaves and onion. Cook till onions turn light brown.
Add it to batter. Add coconut and coriander leaves. Mix well.
Now you will only need a appe maker. Add one drop of ghee or clarified butter in each mould.
Add 2 tsp of batter prepared above in each mould. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes for some time.

Mangalorean Prawn Ghassi Recipe



Did you know that India has a coastal line which stretches about 7500 kilometers. So even if India does not look like a major fish eating country, river fish and seafood is actually a very integral part of people’s diet. Nothing tastes better than a freshly caught fish fried and served with some lime slices and onion. On the other hand, people often make a curry of it and eat with rice. A plate of rice served with fish curry can actually turn a boring weekend afternoon into a delightful weekend.
Prawn ghassi is a very famous and most preferred prawn curry served in most south Indian Restaurant. The best prawns to make it are tiger prawns , large and succulent which is cleaned properly and head and tail removed. I went over many recipes in the internet and also few books and finally settled to use Maria’s recipe from here

I made few adjustments like skipping tamarind as I am allergic to it. However, you can add lemon juice, kokum , tomato or dry mango to get the sourness. Also, I added some fennel seeds(saunf) which gives a nice and distinct flavour to the curry.










What You Need for the paste :

1 cup grated coconut
2 onions chopped
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp whole black pepper corn
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 or 3 dry red chili (Use Kashmiri or Bedki variety). I had forgotten to mention this in one of my previous recipe and my freind ended up using normal red chili.
1 tsp oil
Fry everything in oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Grind to a very smooth paste adding 1/3rd cup of water.

Other Ingredients:

2 tbsp oil
1 onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
Few curry leaves
Ginger garlic paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few chopped green chili
Marinate Prawns with lemon, turmeric and salt and keep inside refrigerator for 15 minutes.


Steps to prepare the gravy :

Heat oil in a wok
Add mustard seeds followed by onion, ginger garlic paste, curry leaves and green chili.
Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook till it turns pulpy.
Add the fried and ground paste and cook for some more time.
Add marinated prawns to the gravy add salt and water and bring it to boil.
Let it boil till prawns are well cooked and gravy has reduced to a point you can consume with rice.
Enjoy your food.


I am hoping that the pictures have made the recipe look easier to understand the cooking process.

Orange Marmalade Tutti Frutti Cake





They say : Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.



As far as I am concerned, Baking is one thing which keeps me alive. Baking is something which didn’t come easy to me like other cooking skills. I had to bake and re-bake till I came to a stage that my cakes were edible. The whisking of batter, the sieving of flour, the breaking of eggs in the bowl, the addition of nuts and finally the smell of the baking of a sinful cake makes me happy. Yes Baking makes me extremely complacent.


It is sad that I am allergic to Orange and Orange Juice and the moment I drink Orange juice, I hit the bed with 101 degree centigrade fever. However, I love the orange flavor and find it hard to block it out of my life . I have found a safe method to include it in my diet. And that is through cakes. Yes my body does not react to orange cakes. Hence, the last time I baked a cake, I decided to flavor it Narangi .
Added some tutti frutti to it and I must say it was the most brilliant smell with heavenly flavor.

Orange Marmalade Tutti Frutti Cake

Let’s learn how to make this simple cake :

All-purpose flour 2 and ½ cups
Eggs 2
Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
Orange Marmalade ½ cup
Orange Juice 1 cup
Baking powder 2 and ½ tsp
Oil ½ cup
tutti frutti ½ cup
Vanila Essence or Orange Essence 1 tsp


Steps to Make:

Preheat oven at 180 degree centigrade for about 10 minutes
Sieve all-purpose flour and baking powder together.
Whisk eggs, sugar , oil , orange juice and orange marmalade together.
Add the flour mixture one table spoon after another . Finally add essence and whisk for another 15 -20 minutes in one direction.
Add tutti frutti towards the end and mix the batter.
Grease a baking tray and pour the batter.
Put the baking tray inside the pre-heated oven and bake the cake for 35 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.
Allow the cake to cool down completely. Then cut into small pieces and enjoy. Store it in air tight container and inside refrigerator.

Lemon Pepper N Tomato Rasam - A vegetarian treat for those Itching and Sore Throat





In the past, I had posted recipe of Chicken Soup Recipe for Sore Throat which gives immense relief if you are suffering from cold and headache.


However, I want to be fair to the vegetarians who obviously have to find other options when cold. Lemon Pepper Rasam is a an excellent alternative which will help open nose and relief you from a sore and itching throat infection.


I have refrained from adding any tamarind and replaced with lemon instead. That is because tamarind aggravates your cold and also many people are allergic to it. Lemon on the other hand is a rich source of Vitamin C and helps build immunity.





However, be cautious not to feed this to infants or kids below 10 years of age. Try our very own Ayurvedic Kadha for them. I advise all of you to grow atleast one plant in your garden even if you hate gardening and that is basil or Tulsi. It has a lot of medicial property and when consumed daily can keep you away from many diseases. Tulsi is also a good source Oxygen.

















To dry roast and grind

7 to 8 garlic cloves
2 dry red chili
6 to 7 whole black pepper corn
1 tsp whole black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds


Add little water towards the end if it helps gives you a finer paste


Other Ingredients:


Juice of 2 lemons if lemons are not too juicy. Else, 1 is usually enough.
3 tomatoes chopped
3 to 4 garlic chopped
5 cups of water
1 tsp mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Pinch of Hing
2 tsp oil
salt to taste






Method to cook:

Heat oil, add hing, mustard seeds, curry leaves and chopped garlic pods.
Add the masala paste made above.
Add tomatoes and cook till tomatoes turn soft .
Add 2 tsp powdered spice made above and turmeric powder.
Add water , salt and bring to boil.
Add chopped coriander leaves and boil for 4-5 minutes.
Finally add lemon juice.
Rasam is ready to be served.


Trust me it will sooth your sore throat and give you a lot of relief.

The Side Effects of Food Blogging and the Secret to make a Healthy and Tasty Baked Lauki Ka Kofta



I will give you an honest glimpse of the life of a food blogger.

I say proudly to people that I am a food blogger. People ask me so what you do in that. I have a page of my own, in which I post my recipes. People ask, Have you invented those recipe or post the traditional ones . I post the normal recipes, sometimes I change the ingredients. If the output is better, I update my blog with the new ingredient. It’s a continuous learning process. I have owned some recipes for sure like Spring Onion and Cabbage Paratha , Paneer and Methi Biryani , Chocolate and Mango Cupcake etc (There were no recipes around when I had blogged it first time)

Have you actually cooked those recipes and taken its picture or using somebody else. Now serious bloggers know it’s a crime to use and take others pictures. Many bloggers have become the victim of plagiarism. Thanks to the technology , we have finally managed to come out of it.

So yes, I only cook food and post pictures. That's what I do here ..No big deal about it !!

But I will discuss some of the side effects of blogging here :

1)       I have spoilt my husband. Earlier he used to jump in the name of eating outside. Now even if we eat at 5 star, he is not satisfied (which happens when I adamantly say no to enter kitchen) . After paying the bill, he would invariably make this statement- “ I think you can make better than this for the price we paid”. Ok now I know, this restaurant has got a full stop forever.

2)      My husband thinks cooking is like writing ABC to me. I feel he somehow has that over confidence in me than I myself have on me. Even if I am dead tired, he knows I can drag my feet till the kitchen and magically invent some great dish for him.

3)      He feels like the king of house where he will be served all the Shahi Bhog because the dish has to go to the blog, it can’t be bad.

4)      I can never keep a cook. I cannot expect him/her to read my mind when it comes to what to be put and what not to be put. I find it easier to chop/cut/cook up a recipe than spend energy in explaining what I expect him to do.

5)      Loads and Loads of Dishes. One for cooking, one for taking pictures , one for eating and one for storing left overs. Next comes the cleaning part. No Maid sticks at my house seeing the amount of utensils that come out. How can 2 people eat food of 10 people.

6)      Taking pictures is an art and needs skill. Food has to look good because we eat with our eyes first. I keep thinking of lights / angles /plating / aperture /shutter speed/ ISO all the time. I am no technical in those stuff and many pictures of mine are out of focus. I keep taking lessons of photography from my hubby (who is more of a wild life photographer) and my colleague. Thankfully they are always ready to share knowledge.  Some I had even taken with flash light on .How could I do that blunder.

7)      My friends think I am the connessuire. When we go out for food, I am handed over the menu. It’s a big responsibility. I know my taste. I cannot guarantee theirs. However, at the same time , I always get the preference to decide the venue.

8)      Do you know the most difficult part of food blogging. You have prepared the food. You are hungry. Your family is hungry. Nothing can irritate them more if you ask them, please wait I have to take a picture of the food. Till I get a good angle and light, the food is cold. And if its Ice Crème, its already melted. If you wait for all to finish the food so you can take some good shots with a relaxed mind you are at a risk buddy. You might end up with empty plate staring at you.

I will not point them as positive or negative. That’s why  I mentioned Side Effects earlier ..Isn’t it !!!

And now the healthiest and tastiest lauki ka kofta :



What You Need for the Gravy:


2 onions grated
2 tomatoes grated
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup curd
1 tsp corn flour mixture
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Dry Mint Leaves
1 tsp kasuri methi
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 green chili chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp methi or fenugreek seeds
2 cups water
1 tsp dry mango powder



What You need for the Kofta:

2 small or 1 big lauki grated
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp besan or chick pea flour
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dry mango powder



Steps To Make:

Sprinkle salt on grated bottlegourd. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze water.
Dont remove water completely as balls will become too dry after baking.
Add rest of the ingredients. Mash well.
Make small balls.
Place on a baking tray.Spray some oil.
Bake at 220 degree centigrede for 20-25 minutes.
Roll them at frequent intervals. Kofta is ready.

Heat oil in a wok.
Add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds.
Add ginger garlic.
Add grated onions, green chilies and saute for 5 minutes.
Add grated tomato, red chili powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder.
Cook well till you see oil on the side.
Reduce flame .
Mix curd, cornflour, water, dry mint leaves, kasuri methi and salt to taste.
Add this mixture to the wok.
Cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Your gravy is ready- thick creamy and spicy.
Add you koftas. Serve hot with roti.

ABCDEF Cake








No I am not here to teach English or alphabets to anybody. I have often seen ABC cakes and found it quiet interesting. Hence, I decided to add few extension to it i.e. D, E & F. Are you curious what A, B, C, D, E & F represent here ? They are the core ingredient of the cake. It makes a super moist and super yummy cake and nobody can make out what all has gone into it.

A is for apple
B is for banana , ripe ones
C is for coco powder
D is for dry fruit
E is for eggs
F is for flax seeds

What you need for this unique cake :

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 apple
1 cup milk
1/2 cup dry fruits
1/3rd cup flax seeds
2 eggs
1 and 1/3rd cup powdered sugar
1 ripe banana
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3rd cup oil (use sunflower or olive oil only or a mixture of both)
Vanilla essence about 1 tsp

Steps To Make:

Sieve all purpose flour, coco powder, powdered sugar and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients together.
Peel apple and chop into small chunks. Blend together with milk and banana.
Break 2 eggs in a big bowl, add oil and milk blended above with banana and apple.
Whisk together with an egg whisk.
Add vanilla essence to it.
Next pour the dry ingredients little by little while whisking the batter continuously.
Add dry fruits and flax seeds to the batter.
At this time, preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade for about 12 minutes.
Whisk the batter for the next 10 minutes. Use an electric beater if possible.
Lubricate a cake tin with butter or oil spray and pour the batter to the cake tin. Gently tap the tin from the sides and let it rest for a minute.
Finally, put the cake tin inside the preheated oven and bake the cake at 180 degree centigrade for 40 to 45 minutes.
Do a tooth pick test to check that the cake is baked nicely and evenly.
Let the cake cool down completely before you de-mould and cut it.


Prawns Cooked in Banana Leaves


  



Soft Succulent Prawns marinated with loads of cooked spices, onions n tomatoes , wrapped in banana leaves and pan seared or baked so that when they cook in the steam and spices , don’t lose moisture and at the same time get cooked to precision is what this post is all about. Some food don’t need any story at all. The picture speak for themselves. They make you slobber and make you hungry. What more do you need ? Hmmm.. I think I would need a cup of steamed rice and I can enter into endless ecstasy.

What You Need:

Prawns – Any Size of your choice. Bigger the better. Size does matter here
Banana Leaves – Young and Tender ones. If you don’t find them, you can also use old ones but put them over gas flame for some time to make them soft. Else, the leaves might break when you try to fold them. Clean the leaves nicely before you use them
Ropes of threads to tie the leaves

Onions cut into julians
Tomatoes – chopped to small size
Ginger chopped
Garlic chopped
Green chili chopped
Fennel seeds
Curry leaves
Cumin seeds
Mustard seeds
Oil
Lemon juice
Grated cooconut

You might have noticed that I have not given any quantity here. That’s because, you can add any amount you want here. Depending upon how much prawns you have and how much level of spice you want, you can increase or decrease the quantities mentioned above.



Steps To Make:

Marinate prawns
In lemon juice, salt, turmeric powder and keep aside for atleast 30 minutes. This helps prawns to lock any odors while cooking.
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds.
Add curry leaves, green chilies, ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute.
Next add onions and cook till it turns brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till it turns soft and pulpy.
Switch off the flame.
Add marinated prawns, grated coconut and mix well. Our prawns are ready now to be wrapped.
Take a considerable size of banana leaf and put about 2 tbsp of prawns.
Wrap the banana leaf from all side and tie them down so the prawns are locked inside.
If you have small leaves, wrap small portions.
Now, you can heat a pan and cook the wrapped leaves from both sides in 1 or 2 tsp of oil.
Enjoy with steamed rice and masala prawns .
And then if you enjoy this dish, don’t forget to leave a comment on this post.

Mutton Sukha | Mansa Kasa | Mangsho Kosha



It is a common saying in Orissa and Bengal that people here live to eat and it stands true to this day. We love our food. We don’t have any particular choice of food and love to eat our veggies and meat equally. Mostly, we balance it out almost every day. If you see a typical oriya/bengali thali, it consists of rice, dal, salad, green leafy vegetable, one dry curry, one gravy, salad, curd , khata (equivalent of chutney) and fish fry (on a regular day) and mutton or chicken curry (on Saturday and Sunday). Sometime, prawn fry and prawn curry also become a part of the platter.



Well, mutton/mansa/mangsho definitely holds the highest place when it comes to consuming non veg. It has to be a part of marriage function, a part of family Sunday lunch or any other special occasion. Though, mutton curry or mansa jhola is what is prepared more regularly , people equally love their mansa kasa. Mansa Jhola has thin gravy which people love to eat with loads of rice while Mansa Kasa or Mangsho Kosha has a thick gravy or a gravy which is almost reduced to enhance its taste.


Well cooking mutton is no easy job. If you are making it like Mansa Jhola or mutton with gravy, it can easily be prepared in pressure cooker and it gets ready in 30 minutes. However, mangsho kosha or mansa kasa needs a lot of patience. The real taste comes out if you are cooking it in an earthern pot and the mutton is khasi. Oriya people will drool and salivate over khasi mansa jhola or khasi mansa kasa.
Khasi Mansa is a male goat whose testicles have been surgically removed and people claim that it tastes much much better.

And friends, the trend these days is to have Mansa Kasa with Pitha or Chakuli. If you have not tried it yet, I think this has to be in your to do items for next Sunday.


What You Need:

Mutton 1 kilo nicely cleaned and fat removed if possible
2 Onion cut into julians
3 onions + 1 inch ginger + 15 garlic pods + 3 green chili + 1 tsp roasted cumin + 1tsp roasted coriander + 3 cardamom + 1 cinnamon + 3 cloved ground to fine paste
4 tomatoes blend to puree
4 tbsp mustard oil ( very very critical to recipe to give the authentic kasa taste)
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 dry red chili
2 bay leaf
2 or 3 medium size potatoes cut into 4 parts each
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Juice of 1 lemon


Steps To Prepare :

Marinate mutton in lemon, salt and turmeric powder for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a heavy base pan till smoking point. Reduce temperature. If you have an earthen pot, then cooking mutton in it will elevate its taste.


Once, temperature is reduced, add sugar to it. This will give a nice color to the curry at the end.
Add bay leaf, dry red chili and cut onions. Cook till onions turns light brown.

Add the onion paste at this point and cook nicely on high flame till the onion is well cooked.


Next add the tomato puree to it.
It needs to be cooked extremely well. This is why we call it Kasa. Cooking masala needs to be done with patience and without burning. Add few drops of water while cooking if you think your gravy is burning.

Add mutton marinated with salt and turmeric powder to the paste.
Mix it nicely so the mutton is well coated with spices.
Cook it on slow flame for 15 minutes.


At the same time, cook potatoes with skin on in 1 tsp mustard  oil to give it a nice golden color.

Add half littre water to the mutton being cooked,check salt,cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
Now add the potato pieces, add about 2 cups of water additionally. cover and cook till mutton is nicely cooked, gravy is reduced completely and you have a nice aromatic mutton Kasa or Kosha.

Serve with onion, lemon wedges and chakuli pitha. 
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves chopped



Note: Traditionally, people dont like to add tomatoes to it. However, adding tomatoes does not harm either.