Tag Archives: recipes’

Cauliflower Stem Pakoras

Cauliflower is a much-loved vegetable. Most people use only its florets in cooking and discard the hard stem (danthals, as they are known in Hindi) as it does not soften very easily and has thick fibers that are difficult to digest.

In summer, however, when prices of vegetables start skyrocketing, you need to ensure that every bit of the vegetables that you buy is utilized. That’s the time when you need to be able to use the danthals as well.

My recent experiment with making gobhi ganthal pakoras met with great success and I was pleasantly surprised to find them so wonderfully delicious. I reallh wonder why they are not as well-known as they deserve to be. It gives me great pleasure to share the recipe with you today.

Here are the step-by-step pics.

Wash the danthals thoroughly.

Place the cleaned pieces in a vessel. Cut them into smaller pieces and remove the hard parts and fibers.

Grind these in a mixie. Add some water , if required.

Take out the paste and put it in a vessel.

Add to it some besan (chana dal flour), ajwain, hing, red chilli powder, garam masala, amchur, and salt according to taste.

Mix well.

Scoop out portions of this batter with a tablespoon and deep fry these in hot oil in a karahi.

As soon as they turn brown all over, take them out and place them on tissue paper to remove excess oil.

Gobhi danthal pakoras are ready now. Enjoy them with a dip of your choice.

You can use them further as dahi wadas or koftas…

Happy eating!☺️

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Gavar Paratha

 

Last Sunday, during my weekly stock-taking in my kitchen, I noticed that my fridge contained a 4-day-old cooked Gavar Phali (Cluster Beans) dish. We had already had it several times already and none of my family members wanted to eat it any more. Gavar is not a very popular vegetable anyway. But I hate to waste food items, so I had to find a way out and turn it to into something else that could be eaten with great relish.

Another item sitting idle was pudina (mint). I  had bought fresh pudina 3 days ago for making chutney. But the mixie conked out at the last minute, leaving me with a bowlful of pudina that couldn’t be stored in the fridge for too long. Its leaves turn black very soon. So I dried the leaves in the microwave oven. I used a little bit of this in a few dishes, but a lot of it was still remaining…

I decided to apply my Mom’s style of cooking that day and combined both of these items with atta, onions and spices. I kneaded the whole stuff into a dough and made parathas with it. They were delicious and all the items were over in a jiffy. Here are the pics…

  1. Mix atta (mixed grain preferable), cooked gavar vegetable (you can use boiled gavar also), chopped onions, dried pudina (you can use fresh pudina also), and spices (ajwain, salt, etc). I added only salt and ajwain, since my cooked gavar was already well-spiced.
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2. While kneading the dough, remove the gavar threads that you come across, since they might upset your stomach. This bowl that you see here contained the cooked gavar earlier, as you must have guessed from the oil and spices sticking to it. The idea of writing this post came to me only after the gavar and pudina had got mashed inside the dough…

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3. Take out rolls of dough.

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4. Roll each of these balls on a chakla like this.

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5. Shallow fry the paratha on a tawa and remove it after it turns brown on all sides.

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6. Serve the parathas with a chutney/dip of your choice.

Experiments with Oats – Part 2

Oats Upma:

 

Inspired by my recent success with Saffola Oats tikkis, I recently tried to make oats poha. Like I do with chirwa, I put the oats in a sieve and put it under running water. Unlike chirwa, however, it became too soft and when I put it on the sauted mixture of boiled potatoes, tomatoes, onions, curry leaves, green chillies, and spices, it turned into an upma! Well, something is always better than nothing,  isn’t it? To my pleasant surprise, not only was it quite edible, it was quite tasty.

Here are the step-by-step pics.

  1. Put oats under running water.
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2. Peel the potatoes.

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3. In a karahi, add some oil. When it gets hot, add turmeric, 1/4 teaspoonful sugar, some dry fruits,  chopped onions, curry leaves, sarson, and some green chillies.

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4. Stir a little bit and then add tomatoes and roughly mashed potatoes. You may also add some jeera powder and coriander powder.

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5. Then add the oats, stir the whole stuff well, and turn off the heat. Voila! Oats upma is ready!

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Oat Poories

A few days later, on a relaxed, leisurely Sunday, I made a second attempt at making oats poha. This time, I put Saffola oats straightaway on the fried mixture without wetting them under running water. My daughter didn’t like it at all. She said it was too “dry” and felt like eating sand mixed with potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. I accepted her judgement gracefully with a smile, but I didn’t have the heart to discard it. So I quietly put it in a utensil and kept it in the fridge. While keeping the bowl there, I noticed that it had good company. It sat right next to a 2-day old black chana curry containing all the rich flavours of tomatoes, onions, and spices. An idea came to my head at that moment and I decided to use it at the earliest.

That night, I mixed the leftovers, oats poha and black chana curry, with some water in a mixie and turned the whole stuff into a paste. I mixed this paste with some atta and kneaded it all into a hard dough for making pooris. I added some salt and ajwain and kept this in the fridge.

Next morning, I made pooris out of this dough and served them hot with dry potato subzi and dahi.

Here are the pics.

The ill-fated Oats poha

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Dough of Oats poha and black chana curry

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Pooris, the end-product. (I took out little balls from the dough, dipped each one a little bit in hot oil in a karahi and flattened it with a rolling pin on a chakla. Then I deep fried each one of these and took them out after they turned brown on both sides).

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Accompaniments (dry potato subzi & curd)

Culinary Experiment No.2 – Dalia Tikki

About 5 years ago, I bought a packet of pre-roasted dalia (coarsely ground wheat) and made porridge with it. My family didn’t like it at all and the idea of making some other dalia dish, such as dalia khichdi, didn’t seem to be worth it. So the jarful of dalia remained un-utilized and its presence kept on tormenting me. Being a home-maker, I hate to see food items getting wasted. Every grain, after all, takes a lot of resources and efforts to create.

Yesterday, I checked this jar and to my utter amazement, I found the Dalia as fresh as it was 5 years ago! An idea then took shape in my mind. Inspired by my recent experiment with Murmure, I decided to make Dalia tikkis. As I had expected, they were a great hit! I had some pudina chutney in my fridge, which I had made the previous day. The two together made great company.

The best part of it, as far as I was concerned, was that I could turn an unused food item to something of great value. My jar of Dalia is empty now and I feel as though a great burden has been lifted off my shoulders.

Here are the step-by-step pics.

Step 1: Grind roasted dalia in the mixie and mix this powder with the boiled potatoes.

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Step 2: Add spices (salt, chilli powder, amchur, ginger-garlic paste), cut green chillies, green coriander leaves, chopped onion) and mix into a dough.

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Step 3: The dough is ready now.

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Step4: Take out balls from this dough and turn them into tikkis.

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Step 5: Deep fry the tikkis as I did. But if you wish, you may shallow-fry them on a non-stick pan.

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Step 6: Keep turning them over till they turn golden-brown on all sides and take them out.

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Step 7: Place the tikkis on tissue paper to drain out excess oil. Serve them with green chutney or any other dip of your choice.

 

 

Culinary Experiments

Starting point…

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This week I tried out something new in the kitchen. It was a great success and  filled me with immense joy and satisfaction. Before you jump to conclusions, let me make it clear that I am not a cooking expert and my knowledge of cooking has more to do with experience than any real interest. I cook because I have to and cooking day in and day out as a daily routine is such a mundane affair, isn’t it?

Appreciation from my family did, of course, contribute to my happiness. But more important to me was the fact that I managed to save a food item from being wasted and turn it into something that everyone found tasty. Isn’t that such a wonderful thing and environment-friendly too?

Alright, let me clear up the suspense. I am talking about the trivial, lowly murmure that gets left over from pujas at home or when we bring it home as Prasad after visiting big temples. Most of it catches fungus in the end and that’s when it is discarded. To avoid this situation, I started giving it all to my maid servant. But every time I did so, the expression on her face indicated that she did not feel very obliged. It was obvious that even she did not know what to do with it and probably just threw it away into the garbage.

What I made was the aloo tikki with a difference. Instead of using bread as the binding agent, I used the left-over murmure. First, I dried the murmure in the microwave oven and let it cool outside for about 15 minutes. Once they became crisp, I ground them in the mixie. I then mixed this powder with the boiled and peeled potatoes and rest of the procedure was as usual for tikkis, that is, adding all those ingredients (salt, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, sliced onion, green coriander, jeera powder, dhania powder, garam masala powder, and amchur) and kneading the whole stuff into tight dough. From this dough, I took out average sized balls which I rolled into tikkis.

Next step was the frying part. I used the deep frying method as it’s faster. I read somewhere that deep frying isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be vis-a-vis shallow frying. But you don’t necessarily have to accept this; it’s a democratic, free country, thank God; shallow fry your tikkis on a non-stick tawa, if that’s how you like them…

Here are the lovely tikkis, shedding their excess oil on tissue paper.

The End-products

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I would also like to add that 2 days ago, my husband brought home a fresh stock of murmure, some dry fruit, batashe, and mishri from his visit to Vaishno Devi. I mixed up some of this stuff into a bowl and had it distributed as Prasad in my office. My latest best friend in my office, a new joinee, loved it so much that she asked me to bring all the remaining once again to office especially for her. And she loved the tikkis too.

Well, that’s how I finished up my murmure this time, spreading joy and happiness all the way through…

6 April 2016