Category Archives: food

Charred tomato, green chillies Smitten, Gingery-Skinned-Potatoes

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Rustic old ways. Memories. Earthen. So real. And so inspiring.

When baskety mornings weave unreal dreams. And the thoughts enough to fill the day with shimmery senses.

When the sunlight playing hide n seek in the early morning hours, lure you to wake up to reality mixed with bitter, sweet hopes..waves of emotions that almost give you a headache, a hangover…that can only be cured as the day passes by with assuring and reassuring moments as the clock ticks by…

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Now, coming back to the post..if you want to taste something real different and comforting.. this is the simple recipe to go for.

Charring has such a rusticness and burst of flavours  attached to it. Isn’t it? Never tried. Its never too late!

For this recipe take two big fresh tomatoes and put them over fire. Place it over your gastop directly which is the easiest  to do in an ordinary town kitchen.

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Till the pulp goes all charred and charcolish. Aah.. the words itself now blend with the aroma that fills up the room.

Do the same with three to four green chillies. The green chillies should have heat in them to add to the flavours.

Green chilies and tomatoes..charred make for an impactful flavour together.

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Parellel, parboil few potatoes with their skins on and some salt sprinkled while boiling them!

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Once  the tomatoes and green chillies are ready.. heat a pan and drizzle some mustard oil till smoky!

Mustard oil adds to the real punch of flavours too here!

Add lots of grated ginger (about 2 tbsp) and stir fry on high heat with lotsa chopped coriander leaves.

Stir till they almost turn brownish. Add the tomatoes and mash them with a masher.

And chopped charred green chillies. Lower heat and stir for few secs.

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Add the potatoes and mix them up well. Let the potatoes be stirred for atleast 2 to 3 minutes till it almost gets that roasted texture. Add some turmeric powder and salt. Throw in just a pinch of sugar.

Stir and then add very little water. Cover and let cook in slowly for another 10 minutes.

Squeeze some lemon on top.

The goodness of these charred veggies will beg for you to have these with your loved ones amidst a lot of greenery and love and conversations of fond memories! So, have it with steamed rice sprinkled with mustard oil (blissful combination of rice and raw mustard oil) and bites of raw diced onions sprinkled with some salt, lemon and raw chilly powder. Assuring you an unsophisticatedly lovely, charry, smoky, earthy, rustic, heavenly experience!

Do let me know!

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Crispy leftover lentil rice jeera (cumin) fritters

 

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Invention is always a challenge….Or discovering something that’s experimental and stimulating to the mind and taste buds as well.. Just not with food but with anything don’t we like to wonder if its worth the effort and experimentation and the investment, Well I say sometimes let things be for the joy of it… And if it brings joy to the heart, the returns come to you naturally.. Let the process be fun…no matter what the outcome.

With leftovers sometimes you just want to reheat and have them because else by then they get boring and mundane..

And Leftovers are common. But creatively churning out something that’s worth eating the next day too.. is quite a challenge…

I had left over Dry Spicy Khichdi/ an Indian preparation made from rice and lentils (dal).

Khichdi is commonly considered to be a comfort food, and was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish kedgeree. Khichri is also thought to be the inspiration for the popular Egyptian dish, kushari.

In India Khichdi is usually prepared atleast once a week (Just a guess). An absolute comfort food.
If you are new to this, you must try and have it hot with the family with some pickle of your choice.

A quick recipe of Khichdi would be:

In a pressure cooker, temper in two tsp of hot refined oil, some chopped onions, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and green chillies. Add one cup of lentil (moong/ tuar),one cup of regular rice and three cups of water. Add two pinch of turmeric powder, 1/4th tbsp of red chilly powder, two tbsp or more tomato puree or chopped tomatoes, salt and let pressure cook with two whistles or till rice and lentile are just cooked. Garnish with chopped coriander.

 

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So, since I had these leftovers, I ended up whipping these fritters/ snackers that would go perfect with you cuppa tea or coffee.. Click on the link to get a ginger tea recipe done the Indian way.

You can use left over steamed rice too and play with flavours by adding more spices to the fritters dough

The ingredients used in this recipe have a lot character and Indianess ! By that I mean, they all together add to the final recipe and taste!

To make this mathri kind of fritters or snackers,

Take a quarter plate or a big cup of khichdi.
Add 1 and half cup of sieved maida/all purpose flour.
Throw in 1/4th cup of fine semolina and 1/4th cup of sieved rice flour. And one tbsp of gram flour.
Add dry ingredients like, 2 tbsp jeera/cumin seeds, one tsp ajwain/ carom seeds, one tsp turmeric powder, one tbsp red chilly powder, some dry fenugreek/kasuri methi if you have. Add a pinch of baking soda and a pinch of castor sugar.

 

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Now add two big onions chopped very very finely and a tbsp of chopped garlic. These added an interesting dimension indeed since the touch of onions added a sweet and crunchy taste/texture.

 

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Knead it into a pastry kind of crumble. Do not over knead. Not soft but slightly firm. Add flour as per your judgement here keeping in mind that you would need to roll them and cut into pieces later.

 

Take tiny batches of these kneaded dough and spread on flat surface with a rolling pin. Not too thick. Maintain medium thickness.

Pierce all over.

Cut into pieces of your desired shape.

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In a deep bottomed pan, heat sufficient oil for deep frying.

Once smoky hot, add these bits and let fry till crisp. Golden brown. Place them in paper towel so excess oil gets absorbed.

 

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Let them stand for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy them crisp with a cuppta tea!!

 

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Good to keep in mind:

You can also make soft round  flatbreads /parathas  with them if you do not want to deep fry

Cumin seeds add great taste so add as per your whim

Since these have onions and left overs its better not to store them beyond a day. Have them fresh once slightly cooled.

 

 

Instant Basil pesto & red chilly Zucchini, Bellpeppers Veg

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Watching the sunlight seep in secretly and undeclared into the kitchen can fill ones heart to brim.

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Also a trip to the greens and sunsets to the town outskirts, had added a craving for something green and unique!

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The idea popped up for some Sunshine and smiles and colours. And something instant.

I was a fan of basil pesto from the day I had Pasta in basil pesto with garnish of pinenuts and cherry tomatoes.

I had ordered these ready made pestos after confirming their quality just for such a Situation! 😉

Basil Pesto and red chilly dip

Basil Pesto and red chilly dip. The ancient Romans ate a paste called moretum, which was made by crushing cheese, garlic and herbs together.Basil, the main ingredient of modern pesto, likely originated in India and was first domesticated there. (Source: wikipedia)

Red Chilly Dip ingredients!

Red Chilly Dip ingredients!

Green pesto Goodness

Pesto is traditionally prepared in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. First, garlic and pine nuts are placed in the mortar and reduced to a cream,then the washed and dried basil leaves are added with coarse salt and ground to a creamy consistency. Only then is a mix of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino added. To help incorporate the cheese a little extra-virgin olive oil is added. In a tight jar (or simply in an air-tight plastic container), covered by a layer of extra-virgin olive oil, pesto can last in the refrigerator up to a week, and can be frozen for later use. (Source: wikipedia)

This recipe is good for a different menu in the middle of the week and a fresh change to the taste palate. NOT MUNDANE. No NO!

1) To prepare these unique yummies cut one zucchini, two yellow and red bell peppers and one small cauliflower into square half cubes.

2) Add one tbsp oil (olive/sesame or refined) into a preheated pan

3)Once smoky hot, add the zucchinis. Stir on high heat for 30 secs.

4)Now add the bellpeppers and cauliflower florets. Stir on high heat for another minute

5)Reduce heat, cover for a minute

6) Remove the lid to add two tbsp of basil pesto and two tbsp of red chilly dip with a dollop of tomato ketchup or puree

7)Stir to let it all cuddle up well with each other with sprinkle of salt and black pepper

7)Add chopped fresh parsley and cover for another minute with a squeeze of lemon on top

And that’s ready to serve !

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Zucchini and parsley

Serve with raw onions and lemon and flat bread or rice of your choice

Colours!

The zucchini, also known as a courgette, has origins which can be traced back more than 9,000 years to Mexico. Zucchini is a type of summer squash. They’re available in green and yellow varieties. Both have soft, succulent flesh. Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamin C, and provides some beta carotene and folate. Select firm zucchini with glossy skin. Store in an sealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to three days. (Source: taste.com.au)

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Sweet Mushy Banana Coconuty Fritters

Banana fritters

 

 

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Happens to me a lot..but these fritters… I tell you they are delicious if you have the slightest of sweet tooth!

 

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I enjoy very particular kind of sweet stuff.

And I love these. Have always done. Sweet, savoury, deep fried,  with a lingering soft taste in the mouth and something you can pop in the mouth the next day too…and the next…

Nostalgia. Family. Togetherness.  The fritters personify these things and more…

HOW  DO I MAKE IT ?

Take two almost ripe bananas to prepare this recipe. Mash them and keep aside.

3/4th cup all purpose flour / maida

Two tbsp wheat flour/ aata

One tbsp rava/sooji/semolina (For crispiness)

Two tbsp rice flour (For crispiness)

l/4th cup of ready made desiccated coconut or better still FRESHLY GRATED COCONUT..

3/4 cup of milk

1/4th cup of condensed milk

half a cup of sugar

2 tbsp jaggery

1 tsp baking powder and a punch of baking soda (Just avoid if you don’t want to use these)

 

 

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Mix mashed banana, sieved all purpose flour, sieved wheat flour, sieved rava (semolina), sieved rice flour, coconut,  and sieved baking powder and soda together.

Now, preheat a deep bottomed solid pan to melt the sugar and jaggery. I usually screw up sugar caramelization process so got to be careful if you are new at this too..

Once slightly preheated add the sugar granules. Let them turn brown from the edges. Stir initially and then stop stirring to avoid them from getting crystallized. These sugary lil things can turn evil and go all sticky and hard within miliseconds.. Add the jaggery pieces after 10 secs or so . Just when the sugar granules are slightly light brown add the milk and stir till it all mixes well into a smooth consistency.

Add this beautiful liquid to the dry mixture of flour. Add slowly and keep mixing with a whisk  to avoid lumps. Add the condensed milk and let it cuddle up well too.The consistency should be slightly runny like a pancake batter but not too thin or thick. Add milk accordingly.

Now, while this liquid rests, take a deep bottomed pan in a gastop  and fill with two cups of oil for deep frying. I like to add 1/4th of clarified butter or ghee too for a beautiful flavour.  Let the oil get smoky on medium flame.

Now, take a ziplock plastic bag and fill it with the banana, flour mixture that you have already gotten ready. Or use hands!

In the hot oil deep fry by slowly adding little rounds of the mixture. See how they puff up ! 🙂 Dont worry about the shapes 😉 its okay to have uneven shapes. They add to the rustic memories…and traditions of cooking homemade recipes..

 

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Do it in a batch of 4 to 5 fritters if you are new at this.  Keep an eye to make sure the oil doesn’t get so hot as to burn up, so keep lowering the heat as and when you feel the fritters are going too dark. Look for golden brown . Try different shapes if you want.

Some like to shallow fry it too like tiny pancakes…

Let the oil get absorbed in a paper towel every time you take they off the pan after frying.

 

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