Dahi Balle - Deep Fried Lentil Dumpling in Velvety Yogurt Sauce

Deep fried lentil dumplings which is traditionally added to yogurt and transformed into delicate and wonderful raita. Holi, the festival of colour is incomplete without it. Stuff your lentil batter with some pistachio, raisins and coconut and then deep fry to turn them more delicious. Soak them in hot water before you add the watery yogurt to it. Finally spice up with roasted cumin powder, red chili powder and tamarind chutney. Very simple recipe yet finds a place in every Indian Heart.

What You Need: 

1 cup Urad Daal soaked for 8 hours and then blended without adding any additional or very little water. Let it ferment for 8 hours and your batter is ready.
Add salt, some pistachio, some grates coconut and some raisins.
Make small dumplings and deep fry in hot oil.

At the same time, start boiling water in a separate pan. Boil for 5 minutes and close the flame.
Add the deep fried dumplings in hot water so it becomes soft.

Now take enough yogurt,whisk with a whisker and then add some water if required to get a thinner consistency if your yogurt is very thick. Add salt for seasoning.

Take your dumplings out and place in a flat plate.
Pour yogurt dressing over the dumplings
Sprinkle roasted cumin powder, red chili powder and tamarind chutney.

Have a colorful Holi

Chenna Shakarkand aur Thandai Ke Gulab Jamun - An Indian Dessert for all ages that is worth the calories!

Gulab Jamun will always find a place when Indians will vote for India’s Top 10 Favourite And Traditional Dessert. It is a milk or khoya based dessert which is deep fried in the shape of donut balls and then soaked in cardamom and saffron flavoured Sugar Syrup. Yes, this is the foundation of all Gulab Jamun Ideas.

However, it does not harm to break free from the stereotype and try something new and different. Holi is around and it’s the flavor of Thandai which is dominating the world of Indian Food Bloggers . The Thandai mania bit me too because of which I finally decided to divert from the tradional gulab jamun and make some chenna and thandai gulab jamun. Added some sweet potatoes to increase the softness factor. The gulab jamuns were mouth melting and luscious.

What You Need for the Jamun :

100 grams crushed chenna (Paneer - home made)
50 grams mashed sweet potatoes
25 grams all purpose flour
25 grams thandai powder
½ tsp baking soda
Oil or Clarified butter for deep frying

What You Need for the Syrup
500 ml water
475 grams sugar
2 or 3 cardamom
Few Saffron Strands
½ tsp Rose Water (optional)

Steps to Prepare Syrup

Boil sugar in water and add kesar, cardamom powder to it.
Once water starts boiling, lower the flame and heat on simmer on low flame.
Close the gas and add rose water to it.

Steps to Prepare Jamun
Mash everything together. Add little milk if it is getting dry.
Grease your hands with ghee and make small balls out if it.
When you prepare the balls, make sure you place them in a container which you can cover at the same time.
This will prevent moisture to leave and the balls will not form cracks.
Deep Fry the jamuns in oil and soak them in syrup. Garnish with chopped Pista.

Punjabi Samosa - The Country's Favourite Snack For Every Occassion

Punjab is the home of Tandoori Dishes where marinated meat,paneer and seafood are cooked in clay oven called Tandoor which are positioned over charcoal or wood-burning fires. Modern homes rarely use tandoori ovens, so the grill or outdoor barbecue is commonly used. Purists say that results are not the same but the food is still dry on the outside and tender and succulent inside.

Similarly, Punjabi Samosas always tops the Snack List in India whether you are planning a full scale dinner party, informal buffet or a nourishing family meal. And when you do, they become an excellent appetizer to tempt the taste buds and becomes a palate-enticing dish when served with Tamarind Chutney or Pudina Chutney. They become the perfect finger food to be served with drinks.

Since, Holi is very near, plan to include these crispy Samosas in your Holi Special Party Menu and get ready to collect your accolades.

The amount of ingredients given below will make 12 to 13 samosas of medium size.

1 cup Maida
1 tsp warm oil
1/4th tsp Salt
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4th cup water

4 medium size boiled potatoes
1 tsp oil
1/2 inch ginger crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 th tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp dry mango powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
Green Peas(optional)
Coriander chopped(optional)

Method to Cook :

For the stuffing:

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, turmeric powder and crushed ginger.
Add boiled and mashed potatoes, salt, dry mango powder and garam masala.
Cook for 3 minutes and allow it cool. Keep Aside

For the outer crust:

Mix maida, warm oil and salt together. Add water little by little and mix the ingredients with a spoon. Once, all water is added, remove the spoon and mix it with fingers and knead to a smooth dough.
Keep the dough covered fr 20 minutes and knead again.

For making Samosa:

Divide it to 3 equal Portions and make smooth balls. Take a little maida for rolling out the balls into 5 inch Diameter chapatti.
Cut the chapatti into two equal halves.
Apply water on the straight edge and fold it to give a Cone shape. The Flat side should come one over other. Press the joints with finger so that won't open while frying.
Fill the pockets with potato filling prepared above. Apply water on the round edge of the cover and press them together.
Similarly make the other 5 samosas as well.

Deep fry the samosa in low flame for 20 minutes or till they turn brown. Do not fry in high flame as the samosa will be brown from outside but soft and uncooked from inside.
Serve with your favorite chutney. I usually serve with ketchup :)

Maharashtrian Style Stuffed Okra | Ladies Finger

Okra or Ladies finger or Bhindi  is the most common and loved Indian vegetable. It is also the favorite of the person who is accountable of the Kitchen at Home. Why? Because it is easy to chop and slit and cook. A simple tempering can always do marvels when harmonized with lentil curry and flat bread thereby aiding to a quick meal arranged in minutes. However, the same vegetable can also be prepared to diverse ways to turn it to multiple delicacy.

When Okra is sit and stuffed with Maharashtrian spice, it becomes a classic and delightful recipe which is extremely appealing to eyes and intense to taste buds. The process is tedious and end result brilliant.

What You Need:

Bhindi 500 grams
Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Grated Coconut 1/2 cup
Roasted Skinless Peanuts 3/4th cup
Garlic 4-5 pods
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Salt To Taste
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 12

Steps To Make:

Ground peanuts along with garlic and red chili coarsely in grinder.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a work.Fry grated coconut, ground peanut and little salt for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
Allow mixture to cool down completely.
Wash and pat dry bhindi properly.
Remove the head and pointed tail of bhindi and make a deep long slit in the center.
Make horizontal slit and regular intervals.
Fill the bhindi with the stuffing which you have made earlier.
Now starts the cooking process.
Heat remaining oil in a flat and big non stick pan.
Add curry leaves and mustard seeds.
Add cumin seeds , turmeric powder, coriander powder and stuffed bhindi in the pan.
Add little more salt.
Cover and cook till done.
Serve Hot with Rice and Daal.

Mawa Gujia | Mawa Karanji | Holi Recipe

Holi, The festival of Colors and Good Food is one of the most awaited vibrant festivals in India. It is the festival which celebrates the eternal love of Lord Krsihna and Radha. It is the festival to forget old grievances and meet everybody with warmth and good spirit.  It is the festival of delicious food like Thandai, Gujia, Kachori, Gulab Jamun, Dahi Balle, Samosa, Sev, Ladoo etc etc etc (The list is never ending)

It is the most loved festival among kids when they pester their parents to buy Gulal and Pichkari and start playing much before the real festival. I was no exception. Being the kid of 80s, I was not allowed new pichkari every year. I used to ask my Mother for my old pichkari which she used to take out from one of her storage trunks and used to play with plain water every day after school which started almost a week before the arrival of festival and the hang over continued at least a week post the festival or till I was scolded to finally get over it. Those were the days when we didn’t realize the importance of water or the need to save it :(

Though I don’t play with colors or water anymore, the spirit still remains the same. Holi brings lots of memories with it every year. The fun days spent with friends, the lip smacking delicacies which we had when we dropped by our friends place to color them and then my cousins who would land up at the end of the day when I would have already taken a shower to color me with permanent colors( we called them Varnish which stayed for a week and then only it was agreed that yes played a good Holi :P) . Oh they were sweet devils, My father’s Special Mutton Curry  made only during Holi , My mom’s special Gujias, Dahi Balle and Gulab Jamun and then the entire family including all distant relatives united to spend the entire day together enjoying food, playing cards (that was a must at our place) and the entire house filled with Madness.

The recipe posted today is dedicated to all the memories, to my entire family, to all my friends,  to old days and to the spirit of Holi..Cheers..This is my Mom’s Gujia Recipe which we call Karanji

What you need for the filling:

Freshly grated coconut – use 1 whole
½ cup dry coconut called khopra
1 cup milk powder
1 and ½ cup powdered jaggery or gud
½ cup raisins or black currant
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup roughly chopped almonds or almond slivers
Some pecans or walnuts
So basically your choice of dry fruits
2 tbsp ghee
A pinch of cardamom powder

Steps to make the filling:

Heat ghee in a pan. Add freshly grated coconut and jaggery. Cook till jiggery melts and coconut is cooked. Cook in small flame so it does not burn.
Now add milk powder, dry khopra, all dry fruits.
Add cardamom powder and mix everything well.
Your stuffing is all ready. Let it cool down completely before you start stuffing

What you need for outer crust :
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp warm ghee
Water to knead
Steps to make :
Warm the ghee and add it to all-purpose flour. Mix flour and ghee nicely. Rub with hands.
Now add water little by little and knead a tight dough.
Cover in a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes

The final step:

Divide the dough into small balls, almost half the lemon size.
Roll them out. Fill with sufficient amount of stuffing.
Damp the sides with water. Lift one side and put it on other half. Use  a fork to seal the sides. Use your hands only if you are an expert. If you cant manage with fork, then just use a mould.
Heat oil in a pan. Heat on a slow to medium flame.
Fry the gujias in batches till nice golden crispy on both sides.
Make a syrup with sugar , water, few saffron strands and kesar.
Pour the syrup over the gujias when they are still hot and garnish with finely chopped pistachios.
When the gujias cool down, the pista with stick to it.
Your gujias are ready.

Odia Badi Chura

My Odia Friends are going to laugh at this post. It is so simple to make that even a 10 year old kid can make this in a jiffy. We all grew up having Badi or Badi Chura. Badi or Wadi is made with soaked , spiced and ground Urad Dal. It is then dried and stored in air tight containers. Generally, the ladies of the home make it in big batches so they can be consumed throughout the year. Later they are fried and consumed as it is. Sometimes added to different curry dishes or made to a powder , spiced and is a must item during the summer season. 

I was in mood for some real Odia Food Today. I give you a glimpse of the normal odia thali. We generally have food in steel trays which have various compartment to hold the various items prepared. These trays come in various size and shapes. So , when I am in mood of authentic oriya food, I get them out from the pantry. The only thing missing is a green leafy fry. Else, the Sunday Tray mostly looks like the pictures I have posted here. You replace with Prawns with Fish or Chicken or Mutton.

What You Need:
10 to 12 Badis 
3 tsp oil
1 onion chopped roughly
3 to 4 garlic cloved
Green chili roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Steps To Make:
Fry the Badis in oil
Put everything in a blend and pulse for 2 to 3 seconds.
You badi chura is ready. Sprinkle over rice and enjoy your meal.

If you are looking for Badi Recipe, Click Here

Khasta Palak Puri with Chawal Ki Kheer

One of the most favorite and preferred Indian Dessert which goes perfectly well with Puris, the round and thin deep fried flat-bread.It is also the most chosen Prasad Item which we Indians also love to have in breakfast.

I must admit that making perfect puri is tricky. Otherwise, you end up in oil dripping puris and feel heavy just after having one or two. Personally, its a daunting task for me to get those perfect khasta puri which do not soak much oil and still come out fluffy and crunchy.

Chawal ki Kheer is the simplest Indian Dessert to make. You need milk and very small amount of rice which is soaked and coarsely ground and cooked together in lowest flame and then finally some sugar is added to bring the sweetness. Finally, it is garnished with dry fruits for the extra richness.
Still, if you need the recipe, click on the link here

For the Khasta Palak Puri , follow the recipe exactly. Puris should not soak too much oil while frying. The perfect puri nicely puffs up and drinks very little oil. Rice flour will help you achieve that.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp semolina
1 cup finely chopped spinach leaves
salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
1/4th tsp ajwain
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp oil

Add water little by little and make a tight dough.
Next put your kadai on the gas stove, pour generous amount of oil and heat it in medium flame.
Add a tiny pinch of dough to the oil. If it comes up, it means your puris are ready for frying.
Squeeze out small lemon size balls . Use your hands to make a perfect round balls.
Roll them out to small thick puris,slightly thicker than roti.
Roll out 4 to 6 puris in a batch.
Fry them one after another. If your oil is hot, each khasta puris will take about 6 to 7 seconds only for frying.

For details on how to fry with pictorial representation, check here 

Methi Thalipeeth : Authentic Maharashtrian Preparation

A multigrain savory pancake which is regional to the State of Maharashtra. Once, you get the technique right, you can develop your own combination based upon your favorite set of grains and leafy green vegetables or grated vegetables. Unlike a roti or naan where you use a rolling pin to spread the dough, you use your hands in this case to spread the pancake. However, the dough is also different the normal naan or roti dough. It is more watery and must stick to the hands. Hence, your hands needs to be damp when you use your hands to spread the pancake on a wet cloth. So we take a damp cloth and place in on a plate which is turned upside down.

Then we heat a pan and grease it with oil or clarified butter (ghee)
Next, we take a big lemon size ball of the thalipeeth dough and start spreading in a round shape using your damp fingers.. You don’t have to make a perfect round thalipeeth. You don’t have any exam to pass here. Make small holes so the cooking is even and quick.
Lift the entire cloth instead of lifting the thalipeeth. No don’t worry, the dampness in the cloth will not let it fall off. Now turn it upside down on a hot pan. The cloth will automatically leave the thalipeeth in the pan as the hot pan will cause the thalipeeth to stick to it and the damp cloth will come out clean. May be I will upload a video next time..It is very fascinating way to cook flat bread to see how crispy and perfectly cooked the thalipeeth comes out.

What all I used :

Equal portions of whole wheat flour , Corn Flour (makki ka atta), bengal gram flour (besan), Jowar and Rice Flour (Other options : Soy Flour, Bajra , Ragi are also available)
Finely chopped fenugreek leaves
Finely chopped cabbage
Sesame seeds
Finely chopped onion
Finely chopped green chili
Salt to taste
Garlic paste
Turmeric powder
Red chili powder
Coriander powder

Portions and measurement are purely at your discretion . Increase and decrease as per your requirement. Make the dough little watery. Wet your hands before you squeeze a good portion and start working on it. It will ease your life. Many people use damp aluminium foil or plastic sheet. However, I have tried all three and found using a damp cloth better than the later two.