December 26, 2012

Laungwala Gajrela Chawal | Clove-infused Carrot Rice | Quick One Pot Meals

Yes, the title is rather long, but the method couldnt be quicker. For a quick one pot meal, this is a wonderful variant you can have for parties / potlucks too. The usual Carrot Rice is flavoured, rather steeped with the wonderful earthiness of clove, one of my favourite spices. The whole house came alive when I made this, and  my picky daughter who doesnt take to new dishes that easily asked for a second helping. That's half the battle won, isnt it :-) You can make this with ginger and garlic paste too, but I totally skipped it. However, adjust spice to taste as the clove tends to be overpowered with other spices if used. 

Finish with ghee (clarified butter), and serve it with any Raitha and you have a rich Nawabi meal by itself that's both flavoursome and filling :) The addition of clove is totally your choice, for you can make Carrot Rice without it too, but trust me the winters are quite inviting to use up this spice, and the sweetness  of Gajar (sweetish carrots, a winter special) was offset with this combo. Let's get cracking then, shall we?

Prep time : 20 time | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 2
Spice level : Medium
Difficulty level : Medium
Serving Suggestions Raitha & Papad

Long Grained Rice - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium - slit lengthwise
Carrots - juilenned - 1 medium
Green peas (shelled) - 2 handfuls
French Beans - cut into 1 inch long pieces - 1/2 cup
Cloves (whole)- 2 nos, tied in a small muslin cloth
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 TBSP
Shahjeera - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry Masala Powders (each 1/2 TBSP) : Red Chilli Powder, Garam Masala Powder, Pav Bhaji Masala Powder
Spice Powder : Clove (4 - 6 nos), Elaichi / Green Cardamom - 1, Cinnamon - 1 inch long
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Garnish : Fried Cashews, Coriander and mint (I didnt use Mint) & Ghee

Wash and soak rice for 10 mins. Drain and cook with 1.5 cups water and the whole cloves tied in a muslin cloth till done. Once done, remove the muslin cloth pouch and fluff the grains till separate in a large wide plate. Cool.
Dry roast the ingredients and cool. Powder finely. Keep aside
In a pan, heat oil. Splutter Shahjeera, add onions and fry till translucent. Now add the peas, beans and juilenned carrots, salt and saute. Sprinkle little water and cook till the veggies are done, but are mushy.(alternatively, you can blanch these veggies separately with a little salt and drain and keep ready)
Now add the ground spice powder, turmeric and all the dry masala powders. Mix till the spice powders coat the veggies well. 
Check for salt and spice, and add the rice and mix gently, taking care not to break the grains. 
Switch off flame, add lemon juice and garnish with coriander, mint leaves and fried cashewnuts :)
Fit for a royal feast, served with Raitha and papad :)

December 25, 2012

Carrot and Pumpkin Chutney

As already Outlined in my post on Carrot -dill Paratha yesterday, our family loves carrots in most forms. Although Gajar Halwa did feature once in a while, we love the savoury twist to carrots , especially in everyday cooking. Like this yummy carrot-pumpkin chutney. So tasty n easy to make, with that light hint if garlic, you can choose to make this with or without coconut too.

Proteinicious, healthy and made in a jiffy, we even added stored carrot peels to add to the fibre. Went deliciously well with Oats Dosa for our morning breakfast. Linking this to Blogging Marathon day under " 3 ways to use carrots". Check out the other marathoners here.

Prep time : 10 mins, cook time : 5 mins, incl grinding
Serves : 3
Spice level : medium
Difficulty level : easy
Serving suggestions : Idli, Dosas or Uttapams, Upma or even plain steamed rice


Carrots - 1/4 kg or2 medium ones- washed, peeled and grated
Red pumpkin or squash - 1/4 cup, cubed
Channa dal / split Bengal gram dal - 2 TBSP
Methi seeds / fenugreek - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies -2
Green chillies -1 (adjust spruce)
Tamarind - very small roundel or 1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
Garlic - 2 pods
Oil - 2 TBSP
Coriander leaves - a handful
Grated coconut - 3 TBSP, optional

Tempering : oil (1tsp), urad dal, curry leaves, broken red chillies(1)

Heat oil, add fenugreek / methi seeds. When it slightly browns, add the channa dal and fry till golden brown, then add grated carrots, garlic and pumpkin and fry till the raw smell of the veggies disappear, about 3-4 mins. Then lower the flame further and add coriander leaves n tamarind and fry till the coriander wilts, about 30 seconds. Switch off flame, transfer and cool.

Grind the ingredients coarsely. Prepare the tempering as per ingredients listed, pour on to chutney and serve immediately.

Keeps well for 1 - 2 days under refrigeration.

December 24, 2012

Carrot & Dill Paratha

Parathas are welcome anytime in my family, be it for breakfast or lunch.. Considering that it takes a Herculean  task to get my elder daughter to eat veggies now,they get disguised in parathas. This simple no fuss Carrot-dill Paratha is simple to make, pairs well with simple yoghurt and pickle. Carrots are also a favourite at my place, and we love the low fat Carrot-Raisin Bonda , the Carrot Cheese Burger as much as Carrots-Oats Muffins, with the eternal favourite being Carrot Kosambari (or salad) - more for its simplicity and taste than ease of making it :)

These parathas go well especially for those mornings when you need the energy of an elephant to manage one crying newborn all the while managing the school going daughter. More on that story soon, but first to Blogging Marathon with theme "carrots in 3 different ways" that's on this blog this week ! Stay tuned to more from this wonderful veggie ! Check my co bloggers here...

Prep time : 20 mins (I prefer doing the dough overnight)
Cook time : 20 mins
Makes : 8 medium sized parathas
Serving suggestions : Mixed veg pickle , plain yoghurt
Difficulty level : medium

Click for Printable recipe here

  • Carrot (medium sized) - 2
  • Fresh dill leaves - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
  • Besan /Gram flour -2 TBSP (optional but recommended)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Ajwain/carrom seeds - a pinch
  • Warm water - to make the dough
  • Oil - to cook the parathas
For the covering:
Sift whole wheat, besan and salt. Add warm water litte by little to make a dough. The dough shoud be neither too soft or too hard. You can make this dough overnight too or just an hour before making the parathas. As it contains besan, its preferable to give it minimum rest time. If you are not adding besan, then overnight dough works fine. Just remember to knead the refrigerated dough before using

For the filling: 
Wash, peel and grate carrots. In a non stick pan, dry sauté the carrots for 2 mins along with the chopped dill. Cool thoroughly in a plate
Add ajwain, red chilli powder, salt and mix. Divide into equal sized portions.

To make the parathas:

Pinch out a small portion of the dough. Dust in dry flour and roll out into a small disc.

Place the filling in the centre and close up like a potli / pouch
Dust again lightly and roll gently into a round slightly larger disc. You can make it as thick or thin as required. Meanwhile heat a tava (skillet) and roll out the remaining parathas till you exhaust the filling.
Place the Paratha on the hot tava. When few bubbles start appearing, drizzle some oil around. After a min flip over let it cook on both sides.
Serve hot with pickle and yoghurt

December 10, 2012

Tomato Onion Rasam | Onions in spicy tomato broth

With winters almost upon us, Rasam (or in simple english - mild broths) are a favourite anytime. I love mine without too much tamarind, while kiddo loves hers with loads of tomatoes. So this quick and tasty Rasam with shallots (pearl Onions) and Tomatoes is here. Team it with hot steamed rice and some roasted Chettinad baby Potato curry. And heaven's upon you in all its glory ! You could also sip it warm as a broth for snacktime, and trust me, its wonderful on a cold, wintery evening !

 I usually use homemade Rasam Powder to make this Rasam, but some people I know use a combination of Red Chilli powder and Rasam Powder. Addition of garlic is also optional (I haven't added) and is said to enhance the flavour. See what works for you, it can't go wrong either way. So, shall we go ahead :)

December 5, 2012

Nawabi Kabab | Dry fruit stuffed Kebab | Zero Oil Snack

One of the serious after effects of being married to a foodie husband is the leeway to experiment with different kinds of food as long as they are less fatty and healthy. Of course, there are indulgences like today's post - Nawabi Kebab - which is otherwise deep fried that found its healthy avatar at home. I replaced most of the fat with something that was not only filling but completely oil free.Everyone loved it at home and the foodie kept guessing the main ingredient too. 

With my current state of convalescence, mom has packed away the OTG (oven), so I experimented with pan roasting it on a slow flame on a non-stick pan and found the result very satisfying. Thanks to Blogging Marathon # 23, I found a new way to rustle up anew dish today with Nawabi Kabab after Zero Oil Palak Paneer & Steamed Ragi Dosa. Check out my fellow marathoners here.

Prep time : 30 mins | Cook time : 20mins | Makes : 10 Kebabs
Serving SuggestionsGreen Chutney or Tomato Ketchup
Difficulty Level : Easy

December 4, 2012

Steamed Ragi Dosa | Zero Oil Finger Millet Pancakes | Diabetic friendly Recipe

Ragi (or finger millet) was never my favourite grain. Amma used to try to feed us the Ragi Mudde aka Sankati (finger millet roundels) or Ragi rotti (flatbread of finger millet). While the latter gained acceptance slowly (thanks to her packing it religiously every week for our school lunch boxes, where you had no option but, I still found every excuse under the sun to avoid Ragi Mudde. No amount of entreaties or threats worked for this - its quite an acquired taste to eat Ragi. Now, I do eat this with some grudge and my waistline thanks me for this versatile and calcium rich grain, although my favourite would remain Ragi Sevai (or Finger Millet String hoppers). Linking this to PJ who is hosting my event “My Health, My Way” – Theme :Calcium Rich recipes

All this blabbering for what, one might wonder. Mom made this amazing steamed Ragi Dosa (without a drop of oil) while I was (read am) convalescing from the birth of my little one. Contrary to popular preferences of eating crsipy Dosas, I somehow prefer my dosas soft and fluffy (like the Set Dosa or even Poha Dosa- another two of my favourites) and this Steamed Ragi Dosa fit the bill perfectly. Served with a generous helping of coconut chutney and Molagapudi, this dosa has my vote on the perfect morning breakfast. Linking it to Blogging Marathon after yesterday's Zero Oil Palak Paneer. Check the other marathoners here.

December 3, 2012

Zero Oil Palak Paneer | Cottage cube chunks in spinach gravy

Paneer is often a very favoured ingredient in my pantry, thanks to my daughter loving it immensely. Blogging Marathon with the challenge of "Zero Oil Cooking" brought out this popular dish in a zero oil avatar. We found absolutely no difference in the taste, and in fact loved it more thus. Traditionally paneer is shallow or deep fried and added to the simmering spinach gravy. But I just tossed the cubes on a dry pan (you need to keep flipping them from time to time) and also dry roasted the blanched tomatoes for the gravy. 

I experimented with a mixture of baby spinach and normal spinach for this and used a handful of peas, and the dish was totally filling with Chapatis and some salad. With the winters upon us, am sure more greens and fresh veggies along with crunch salads would appear at our dinner table. Now, lets get to the recipe.

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