Sunday, July 5

Bhadang and Dry Bhel - Perfect for summer time

Bhadang is a snack you would find in every household of Western Maharashtra region in India.It's basically seasoned puffed rice. They make it with different flavors. In recent India trip I discovered that they now make it in Tomato, Tamarind and Chilly flavor too.

I would still like to stick to the basic version of Bhadang which I used to eat when I was a kid.

1 pack of puffed rice ( You can get it in any Indian store in US).
2 teaspoons of Cumin and Coriander powder.
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons of red chilly powder. (My Version is less spicy. You can adjust the chilly powder according to the taste)
1/2 teaspoon of dry mango powder.
2 cups of peanuts (More the better!! )
Oil for tempering
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds.
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
1/4 teaspoon of asafetida

How to Make -
1. In a big bowl take puffed rice and mix in sugar, salt, cumin and coriander powder,red chilly powder and dry mango powder.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and cumin seeds. Add asafetida when the seeds start crackling. Add turmeric powder and peanuts.
3. Add this tempering to the puffed rice once it cools down.
4. Mix well and enjoy this easy snack.

You can add garlic slices in the tempering and make it garlic bhadang.
Some people like to add green chillies, curry leaves and dry coconut in the tempering for a little spicier taste.

Add chopped onions, tomatoes, chopped coriander and little lime juice and you have what they call 'Dry Bhel' - the most famous street food in India.

You can as well make it with Kellogg's Rice Crispies (Cereal section in any grocery store) instead of puffed rice.

Kairiwali Bhindi

Amber Indian restaurant in Santana Row, San Jose serves great Indian food. Being Indian myself I am pretty picky about Indian restaurants and the food they serve. Amber is an exception and is one of the favorite restaurants too.

They serve what they call 'Kairiwali bhidi'- Okra slivers, fennel seeds, tomatoes, green mangoes &
dry mango powder. This is my version of my favorite Kairiwali Bhindi.

2 pounds fresh Okra
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon Shaha-Jeera
1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder
1/2 cup raw mango shredded.
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds.
1/2 tomato chopped.
1/2 teaspoon garam masala.
Salt to taste.
2 teaspoon of oil.

How to make -
Cut Okra in thin slices. Approximately 8 slices of a single okra.
Cut onion thin and long.
Add a little salt to the raw mango and keep it for a while .Squeeze out the liquid as much as possible.
Heat oil in pan
Add shaha-Jeera, fennel seed to the oil and fry till onion is little brown in color
Add chopped tomato and fry for a while. Make sure it stays dry and not turn into gravy.
Add dry mango powder, garam masala, salt and the dry raw mango and fry on medium to high heat.
Add the chopped okra and fry continuously for 5 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning ( Salt and dry mango powder especially) accordingly.
Enjoy with hot roti ( bread).

Saturday, July 4

Garlic Naan - My (Bread) Love!

I love carbs (and it shows too..hehe!). There is 101% chance of me ordering garlic naan in any north Indian restaurant irrespective of what's the curry. It has garlic and carbs. It's one of those 'Why not!' recipes.
( 'Why Not?' - If there is nothing bad in the ingredients, the final outcome has to be good! Why won't it be good!)

1/8 teaspoon of Dried Yeast.
1 cup all purpose flour.
1 teaspoon sugar.
salt to taste.
1 teaspoon crushed garlic.
1/2 teaspoon of onion seeds
Chopped coriander for garnishing.
Butter ( If you are really happy about something!)
1 cup Warm water.
1/2 cup yogurt.

How to make-
1. Add yeast to the warm water and keep aside for a while. You would notice a brownish looking froth in 10 minutes ( I know it does not look that appetizing)
2. Add sugar and salt to the yeast and water mixture. This stops the fermentation process.
3. Add flour to the mixture and kneed the dough. It is not going to be a normal dough. It's going to be sticky.
Add yogurt and continue kneading.
4. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and keep aside for 10 minutes.
5. The dough would rise and become almost doubt in 10 minutes. Kneed it again removing as much air as you can and cover again for 10 minutes.
7. Moist your palms with a few drops of oil or warm water. This would prevent the dough from sticking to your palm.
8. Make the oval shaped naan on your hand ( You don't need to roll it).
9. Preheat the oven at 300 degrees. Spray cooking oil on the baking sheet and place the naan on it.
10. Add the crushed garlic, onion seeds and coriander on the naan. Push the garlic little in the dough before putting it in the oven.
11. Cook for 10 minutes. Check in between to make sure your naan are not turning into toasts.
12. Remove from oven and cool for 2-3 minute. Spread the butter on the naan and enjoy with your favorite curry.

Friday, July 3

Chicken Biryani - No-nonsense meal

I have a friend who believes that Biryani can only be Mutton Biryani. He believes that Chicken Biryani or Vegetarian Biryani are just by-products. Anyways as I don't eat Mutton, when I say Biryani it is always Chicken Biryani.

Recipe Courtesy : Kunal

1. 6 Drumsticks ( You can make it with Chicken breasts or Thighs but it tastes best with drumsticks).
2 Medium Sized Onions thinly sliced.
2 Medium Sized Tomatoes diced.
1 Cup of finely chopped coriander.
1/2 Cup of finely chopped mint.
1 tablespoon of MDH Bombay Biryani Masala ( Or any other masala if you like)
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger.
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic.
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
2 teaspoon of salt.
1/2 cup Yogurt.
2 cups of Basmati Rice.
1 teaspoon Shaha-Jeera.
1 Cinnamon stick.
2 Masala Cardamoms.
4 Green Cardamoms.
Oil for Biryani
1 teaspoon of Ghee ( Clarified butter) for rice.
1/2 cup of Cashew nuts

How to make-
Note : This recipe requires you to cook it on medium flame all the time

1.Clean chicken and marinate in the mixture of Yogurt, turmeric powder, ginger,garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of MDH masala and salt (to taste) for 30-45 minutes.
2. Soak basmati rice in water for 10-15 mins.
3. Heat to the pan, add shaha-jeera, Cinnamon and Cardamoms to that. Add soaked rice and roast for a while.
4. Add 3 cups of water to the rice and cook it just enough ( Cook 70%. Rest 30% would be cooked along with chicken)
5. Add oil in the heavy bottom pan. Add sliced onions and fry till light brown. Take care not to burn it. Burnt onion is not a nice thing to smell in your kitchen :-)
6. Remove from oil and keep it on a kitchen towel to soak the extra oil.
7. Fry Cashews in the same oil, just enough to make them golden in color.
Set aside on the kitchen towels along with onions.
8. In the same oil add the marinated chicken. Do not add all the marinate at this point. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
9. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Add the chopped coriander. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
11. Add the chopped mint. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
12. At this point you would have some gravy in the pan.
13. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of MDH masala to the chicken. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
14. Remove some gravy ( 1/2 cup approximately) from the chicken and keep aside.
15. Layer the 70% cooked rice on the chicken.
16. Spread the gravy ( kept aside in step 14) over the rice.
17. Spread the fried onions and Cashews on the rice.
18. If you like your biryani spicy you can add chopped chilies at this point and layer them on the rice.
19. Cover tight and cook on lowest flame/heat for 15 minutes.
20. Serve it with Raita or just plain yogurt. Enjoy the succulent taste!!!

Dadape Pohe (दडपे पोहे) - Perfect snack for any day.

I always remember coming back from school when I think of दडपे पोहे (daDape Pohe). My mom would be waiting with something yummy everyday for 5 o' clock snack. It used to be a surprise everyday with homely delicious snacks like Chiwada(चिवडा), Bhadang, Bhel, Upama etc. My favorite would always be daDape pohe (दडपे पोहे).

After many years, today I craved for it. It was a lazy Friday evening and I decided to make daDape Pohe.

2 Cups of Thin Pohe
1 Medium onion finely chopped.
1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut
1/2 cup Peanuts ( it's never enough really!!)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime juice ( Freshly squeezed is always better).
Salt to taste
Red chilly powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
a pinch of Asafetida ( Hing)
1 teaspoon of oil.

How to make-
1. Roast pohe in a pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. This is just to add a little crunch to them. Keep seperate.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds,turmeric powder, asafetida in the same orde r. Add peanuts and fry for 2 minutes.
3. Cool this tempering for a while and add to the pohe. Mix it with hands crushing it softly in between. Add sugar, salt and red chilly powder as per the taste.
4. Add chopped onion, coconut and lime juice and mix again ( preferably with hands. Believe me it tastes better!! )
5. Serve it with a little yogurt or shev!! Enjoy!!