Sheetal Kamat
I was tagged by Amruth and Naveen for writing the 25 random things about me. Well I gave it a thought and slept over it :) *remembers a dialog from last episode of Grey's Anatomy* And here is my list:
  1. I am in absolute love with Abhi-Niki from Dill Mill Gayye so much so that I make video mixes, write fictional scenes on these characters. I am loving this creative side of mine :)
  2. I like doing something creative after office may it be cooking something new, painting a glass or pot or knitting. Though I end up picking first option most of the time because it is like one arrow 2 birds :)
  3. I am a Lost fan and cant wait for the finale season and the topping to it is I would be watching it live in HD :)
  4. I love hiking and when it comes to hiking I can never find it enough :) Dil always maange more.
  5. Discovered love for cycling after coming to Redmond. Absolutely love coming back from work by cycle (Again 1 arrow 2 birds:)) or cycling on weekends on Sammamish River Trail
  6. I prefer having lunch by desk while browsing some cooking recipes, reading blogs, long mails and fiction updates. I finish lunch quickly and yet feel rejuvenated for post lunch work :)
  7. When it comes to following rules I would want to do it with absolute precision esp driving rules. I hate when people speed, drive rash and make mistakes. Well once in a while I too make a mistake and I cant forget that mistake easily :)
  8. I miss Hussain Sagar Drive very badly especially after late night movie.
  9. I am a music freak but then I can tolerate only certain type of songs which includes old hindi and few new ones which have some meaningful lyrics and soft music.
  10. When I am listening to music, I start of singing along without even realizing. So its absolute torture for people around me when I am listening to songs
  11. I love playing antakshari and the best ones have to be with Milind during our Niagara-NY and Florida drives in 2002.
  12. I hate playing dumbsheras and I am bad at it. :)
  13. I am afraid of dogs (well is that an understatement)
  14. I believe Indian railways should award me for being their loyal customer for years. I have record of traveling Hyderabad -> Pune -> Hyderabad over every weekend for almost 3-4 months continuously.
  15. I never tried English music as a teen and now I adore my music collection so much so that I don't feel like giving it a chance.
  16. I can eat chaat items or anything chat pat items at any time of the day. :) Everyday stuff including rice-chapati-bhaji kind of takes low priority over the chatpat items
  17. The best paani puri I have had till now is from a person who use to sit next to then newly opened MK Ahmad on CMH Road, Bangalore.
  18. I am scared of dentists and nurses who give injections. Probably thats one reason I am totally for homeopathy.
  19. I dont know since when but as long as I can remember I hate hot Tea and cant drink even a sip. But was introduced to Ice Tea by Kushal and you can say as much as I hate hot tea I love the Ice Tea.
  20. Ever since I started watching english dramas I cant watch hindi ones without fast forwarding through them :) The current favourites are Castle, Grey's Anatomy and Flashforward. Also planning to give a chance to V which premiers tonight.
  21. I am FRIENDS fan. Each character was unique and they maintained the traits, behaviors and habits for them throughout 10 seasons. The fun with friends was never been so close to real. Have already watched it twice in order. The random episodes if are airing I can watch any number of times. Wish they could create same magic again.
  22. I have started playing Farmville on Facebook or you can say I started using Facebook for playing Farmville :) I liked that game so much so that I play on Ajoy's behalf too :)
  23. I love rains and the drizzling rain is the topmost favorite. I like hiking, cycling or just taking a walk in drizzling rain :) Foggy weather is another favorite one and it gives heavenly feel to this otherwise earthy world.
  24. I love playing fussball.. I havent played it much but I really enjoy it a lot. Our own fuss ball table is on its way and cant wait to play late night cames on fridays
  25. I am more of listening person than talking one :) I can listen to absolutely anyone anytime than talk and when it comes to stage talk or group talking I am the worst case of shy attitude. Though I can be little better with close friends and family. So don't be surprised if I prefer write/mails/blogs over phone calls or social meetings :)

The rules for the above tagging buisness is:
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. If I tagged you, its because I want to know more about you.

So even though I do not have so many people to tag but I would tag:
Ajit, Ajoy, Atul, Michy, Milind, Nandy, Nitin, Piyush, Prashant, Sameer, Vaidehi, Vishvesh

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Sheetal Kamat

Today morning when I was just thinking about making some sweet, suddenly thought of Kalakand I had when Mehul had taken us to temple for his new car's puja. I searched a little bit for the recipe and found that its very easy one. Oh but when I actually made it, I knew though the recipe is simple, it does take a long time to get to the final product. Especially boiling the milk to half and then drying it completely.

Kalakand
Ingredients
2 Liter Milk
1 Cup Sugar
3 Spoon Vinegar
1 Spoon Pistachio
A drop of Kewada Essence
A Silver Leaf

Method
  • Boil half of the milk.
  • Mix Vinegar with 3 spoon water and add it to the boiling milk.
  • When the whey separates completely remove it from the stove and strain it
  • Wash it through running cold water
  • Put it in the muslin cloth and drain the water. Keep it aside under the heavy pan
  • Boil remaining milk till half in quantity
  • Add in the curdled milk stored aside in it and cook over medium flame till the mixture thickens
  • Add in sugar and kewada essence. Cook till the mixture thickens completely.
  • Spread the mixture on the plate, apply the silver leaf and garnish with chopped pistachios
  • Let the mixture cool. Cut it into cubes and serve

Notes
I tried using non stick pan to boil the milk to half but it didn't work well. So I transferred it to the aluminum pan. It works best for making the sweet.
While boiling down the milk, you need to stir it constantly and vigourously so that it doesnt stick to bottom or sides of the pan.
05Nov: I tried using 2 galons of milk instead of 2 litre today which is approximately 8 liter and I had terrible time boiling down the milk to half and even after adding paneer. I totally missed the fact that since its boiling of the milk the time taken would be increasing and wont be a marginal increase. So be aware if you are making it in bulk. Its too much of work. And it made approximately 16 pieces of sweets with 2 liter and we finished it so fast that I had to make it again :) and thats how I thought of making it in bulk so that we can give it to few others too :)

Sheetal Kamat

Well this time around in Cosco I found fresh cranberries and since I love cranberry juice I thought of buying that packet and trying it out.. The first bite of cranberry and I was sure that I cant have it as it is and have to make something out of it. And then after searching for lot many recipes, none were appealing enough to try out. That is when I decided to try my own one from the few ones I read.

Berry Nutty Chocochip Cake
Ingredients
2 Cup Maida
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Cranberries
1 Cup Choco Chips
1 Cup Mixed Nuts
1 Cup Grapes
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1.5 Spoon Baking Powder
1/2 Spoon Baking Soda
1 Egg
4 Spoon Chocolate Sauce
Salt to taste

Method
  • Chop the mixed nuts, cranberries and mix them with choco chips and keep aside.
  • Sift through Maida, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt couple of times.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C
  • Grease the loaf pan/any other baking pan with butter
  • In a large bowl, take this sift through mixture, add in sugar and mix well
  • Add in melted butter and mix with hands to form a crumbly mixture
  • Grind grapes in the mixie to get its juice. Add in the mixture in bowl
  • Add egg and nuts-berry=chocochip mixture. Mix well.
  • Pour the batter in the previously greased pan and bake it in the oven over 350F/180C for 45 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool down and then sprinkle the chocolate sauce over its top and serve.

Notes
Dont worry if the batter isn't of flowing consistency, its normal. The batter in this case is more of a moist thick mixture.
I already had the mixed nuts bottle at home so I used that one, but you can combine any kind of nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts.

Sheetal Kamat

Chivada (Mixture) in general is weak point for all most everyone i guess :) This one is very common preparation we end up preparing. Even more than one with thin poha (though i like that one too).

Chivada
Ingredients
2 Cup Thick Poha
2.5 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Sesame Seeds
1/4 Spoon Jeera
1/2 Cup Peanuts
1/4 Cup Pootane Daal(Chanaa Daal)
1.5 Spoon Sugar
7-8 Curry Leaves
4 Spoon Cashews
4 Spoon Raisins
1/4 Spoon Mustard
A pinch of Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Roast jeera and sesame seeds over low flame for around 3-4 minutes
  • Dry grind jeera, sesame seeds and sugar to form fine powder
  • In a big pan, mix the above powder, 2 spoon of red chilli powder, cashews, raisins and salt to taste. Mix well
  • In a pan heat oil over medium flame
  • Fry pohas in small batches by adding them in another strainer (steel or aluminium one) which is dipped in the hot oil
  • Drain them on the kitchen towel and keep adding them to the above masala mixture when 2-3 batches are on towel. Mix well
  • When pohas are fried completely, strain out the remaining oil and heat it in a pan (around 2-3 spoon)
  • Fry groundnut till they turn reddish in it. Keep them aside.
  • In same oil, add mustard and let it splutter.
  • Add Asafoetida, curry leaves and futaane daal(chanaa daal) and roast it for around 2 minutes.
  • Add in fried groundnuts and remaining 1/2 spoon of red chilli powder and add this mixture to the chivada mixture prepared earlier. Mix well.

Notes
Use litte oil at a time and add some more oil when half way though. The oil turns black after frying poha, so it would help in reducing the remaining quantity that we need to throw away.
Using strainer helps in taking out pohas easily after they are fried.
I drained the fried pohas over kitchen towel so that it can soak out oil, but one must make sure to transfer them to masala mixture when it is warm and before it cools down

Sheetal Kamat

This time for Diwali I decided to prepare some faraal - snack items prepared especially for Diwali. So the preparation started with getting recipes from mom. When I looked at recipe for chakali, I just couldn't believe it is going to be so easy to make it and yet so quick. I had fun preparing this one and it tasted awesome. Item that is my and ajoy's favorite.

Chakali
Ingredients
2 Cup Rice Powder
1 Spoon Maida
1/2 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Sesame Seeds
1/4 Spoon Carom Seeds
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
Oil
Salt to taste

Method
  • Mix rice powder, maida, sesame seeds, carom seeds, red chilli powder, salt in a plate
  • Add in the butter and mix well.
  • Make a soft dough ball (not too tight, not too loose but soft consistency) by adding water to it and kneading it well
  • Knead half portion of it and put it in chakali maker.
  • Heat oil on high
  • Turn the heat to medium, make chakalis from the maker on a plate and transfer them to the oil.
  • Fry from both sides till light red in color
  • Repeat for remaining ones, making sure oil is hot enough before adding chakalis to the oil.
  • Let it drain the oil on the kitchen towel, cool it and store it in air tight container

Notes
If you are using homemade butter, then wash it with cold water before use.
The chakalis should be taken out before they turn completely reddish as the color darkens after removing and cooling it down.

Sheetal Kamat

One of the best starters we both love. In hyderabad I use to prepare this with Everest Chicken Tandoori Masala but this time I made it with my mix of masalas. It tasted awesome.

Tandoori Chicken
Ingredients
6 Chicken Leg Pieces
3/4 Cup Curd
2 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1 Spoon Garam Masala
2 Spoon Ginger Paste
2 Spoon Garlic Paste
4 Spoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Spoon Chaat Masala
2 Spoon Oil
1/2 Cup Butter
Salt to taste

Method
  • Make horizontal cuts on the chicken pieces
  • Apply 2 spoon lemon juice and 1 spoon red chilli powder to it and keep aside for 30 minutes
  • In a bowl mix curd, garlic paste, ginger paste, 1 spoon red chilli powder, 2 spoon lemon juice, garam masala, oil and salt
  • Apply the above marination to chicken and store in fridge for 4-5 hours
  • Preheat oven to 395F(200C)
  • Melt the butter and sprinkle some on the chicken and bake it for 15 minutes
  • Turn the chicken to face other side and sprinkle more butter on both sides. Bake for another 15 minutes
  • Again turn the chicken and sprinkle remaining butter and bake for another 10 minutes
  • Sprinkle chaat masala and serve with onions rings and lemon wedges

Notes
Instead of leg pieces you can use 700g mixed pieces as well.
In restaurants, they use color to make it look reddish but I didnt have it neither did I intended to use it.
I baked it over this bakeware set. It helps in dropping off extra marination, butter in the tray.

Sheetal Kamat

My love for set dosa started the very first day i ate it in bangalore. I just love this fluffy thick dosa served in set of three medium sized ones. Finally I did some research for recipe. Most of them were using soda which i didnt want to use. Also found out that they use poha in it. So adapted those ingredients to the my dosa recipe. Outcome was awesome :) Infact I made it like 2 weeks back and before I could click photos, they were over :) And already been asked for repeat. So this week I prepared it again and first thing I did was click the snap :)

Set Dosa
Ingredients
2 Cup Rice
1 Cup Idly Rawa
3/4 Cup Udid Daal
1 Cup Poha
1 Spoon Methi Seeds
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Soak Rice, Idly rawa, udid daal and methi seeds seperately in the morning.
  • In the evening soak poha for an hour
  • Grind the rice to fine paste.
  • Mix udid daal and Methi seeds and grind it to fine paste.
  • Grind the idly rawa to form fine paste
  • Grind Poha as well to the paste.
  • Mix all these pastes really well and keep in warm place overnight
  • Next day morning, add salt and water enough to make free flowing consistency. Mix well.
  • Heat tawa on low-medium flame.
  • Sprinkle few drops of oil and pour a cup of batter.
  • When the one side is one, sprinkle couple of drops on top of the dosa and flip it to cook the other side.
  • When the other side too turns light brown, take it out and serve.

Notes
This dosa is normally served with mixed vegetable, but i dont like it at all so instead i served it with peanut-curd chutney without using optional items. It went well.

Sheetal Kamat

I loved this dish a lot since my childhood. Probably then I didn't realise it was the healthiest dish that I loved :D Just like the name says it uses almost everything that's in your fridge :)

Khatkhate
Ingredients
1 Cup Beans
1/2 Cup Mutter
2 Drum Sticks
2 Corn Cobs
1 Potato
1 Sweet Potato
1 Raw Banana
1.5 Spoon Tamarind
1/4 Cup Jaggery
1/2 Cup Coconut
1/4 Spoon Corriander Seeds
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Turmeric Powder
A pinch of Asafoetida
2 Spoon Ghee
Salt to taste

Method
  • In a half cup of water add the tamarind and keep aside.
  • In a pan, add beans and 4 cups of water and cook over high flame for 5 minutes
  • Cut each corn cob into 3 pieces and add the corn cob pieces and another 2 cups of water, Cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add drum sticks - cut into pieces, potato cubes, raw banana pieces, pieces of sweet potato and another 2 cups of water. Cook till they are almost done
  • Mean time grate coconut, tamarind (with its water that was it soaked in) and corriander seeds adding half cup of water.
  • Add it and mutters to the almost done vegetables.
  • Add turmeric powder, jaggery, red chilli powder and salt and simmer it.
  • In another small pan, add ghee and let the mustard splutter in it.
  • Add asafoetida and mix the tadaka with the vegetable.

Notes
You can optionally add 1 cup of pumpkin pieces too, but I couldn't as it wasn't available in the store here.

Sheetal Kamat

One of my favorite sweet dish, so much so that every Saturday mom use to make this for lunch and i always looked forward to it. Finally I decided to make it on my own, off course with the recipe help from mom. I modified it a little bit though.

Mangana
Ingredients
1 Cup Harbara Daal
3/4 Cup Jaggery
1/2 Cup Cashews
1/2 Cup Raisins
3 Cup Milk
A pinch of Cardamom Powder
Salt to taste

Method
  • Pressure cook the harbara daal by adding 1.5 cup water over 4-5 whistles.
  • Add jaggery, cashews, raisins, cardamom powder and salt and cook over medium flame for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool down
  • Add milk to the cooled mixture and serve

Notes
Isnt it simplest sweet dish ever :) The taste is amazing esp because of jaggery, daal and dry fruits.
You can use coconut milk instead of normal milk but since mom uses milk I used same.

Sheetal Kamat

Last week I made this but didn't get time to post it. Long time ago Anuja had asked me about preparing the biryaani with something veg. I remember she mentioned that she doesn't want it with paneer but I just couldn't help but make it with paneer. So sorry for fulfilling your wish only half way through but this recipe is just for you. Hope you get to try it and like it :) It turned out a simple affair and yet very delicious. This one is inspired by Spicy Biryaani recipe but I modified it little bit so as to take Paneer taste into account.

Paneer Biryaani
Ingredients
3 Cup Rice
400g Paneer
4 Tomatoes
3 Onions
2 Potatoes
1 Cup Cashews
1/2 Cup Almonds
8 Cinnamon
15 Cloves
15 Cardamons
1/2 Spoon Poppy Seeds
1/2 Spoon Black Pepper
1 Spoon Jeera
1/2 Spoon Saunf
1/2 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1 Spoon Corriander Powder
1/2 Spoon Ginger Paste
1/2 Spoon Garlic Paste
1/4 Cup Curd
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Pinch Saffron
8 Spoon ghee
4 Spoon Butter
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Cut the paneer into cubic pieces
  • In a bowl, mix turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ginger paste, garlic paste, curd and salt to taste.
  • Add cubed paneer pieces in it and mix well so that the marrination is completely covering the pieces. Keep it in dry, cool place for around couple of hours.
  • Soak rice in warm water and keep aside
  • In a pan add butter and shallow fry the paneer pieces to light brown tinge over medium heat. Keep them aside
  • In same pan, in same butter, add 4 cinamon, 5 cloves, black pepper, poppy seeds, jeera, sauf, corriander powder, almonds and 1/2 cup cashews and roast it over low-medium flame till light aroma feels the air. The masalas would be light brown by now.
  • Add one diced onion and cook till onion turns light brown. Let the mixture cool down.
  • In a mixie grind 3 tomatoes and keep aside.
  • Grind the above cooked masala with remaining tomato to form fine paste.
  • In a pan, add 2 spoon of ghee and this masala and roast for a while.
  • Add tomato puree and salt to taste in it and cook till the gravy thickens
  • Add paneer pieces and cook till the gravy dries completely. Keep aside.
  • Pressure cook potatoes, cut them into slices after removing their cover and keep aside.
  • Warm Milk, add saffron and keep aside.
  • In a pan, boil water and add the soaked rice. Cook till almost done.
  • Drain remaining water and run it through cold water.
  • In a small pan, heat 4 spoon of ghee and add 4 cinamons, 10 cloves, 15 cardmom and salt to taste. Roast for couple of minutes and add it to the rice. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Cut the remaining 2 onions into thin slices.
  • In a Pan, add little oil and fry the onions onto medium-high flame till they are light brown in color. Keep aside.
  • In same oil, fry the remaining 1/2 cup cashews and keep aside.
  • Grease the cooker with 2 spoon of ghee and layer biryaani. Spread the potato slices to cover the cooker bottom first. Spread 1/3 of rice, then spread a layer of half of paneer masala, sprinkle some cashews, and browned onions.
  • Do the same layering again (Rice, masala, cashews and onions) and then cover it with remaining 1/3 portion of rice.
  • Sprinkle Some more cashews and onions, keeping aside a few for decoration.
  • Make few through and through holes through the layered biryaani with the back of spatula.
  • Spread the saffron milk in them.
  • Cover with the lid and pressure cook over low heat for 25- 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with left cashews and onions and serve.

Notes
I used 1 layer of rice 1/2 paneer and then again another layer of rice with rice from just 2 cups of raw rice. Also used half quantity of cashews, onions and garnishing spices. Stored the remaining half portion of paneer masala for later use this week. I just had to do the rice and onion portion again and could quickly make the dinner. Helped on the hectic day a lot. :) And it tasted even much better as well because of storing masala for few days :)
I always use the potato layering to cover up cooker so that the biryaani doesnt get burnt while pressure cooking it. I am speechless for that idea, helps a lot.
Also stored the marrinated paneer in fridge since it was quite hot here. But i think even in other time thats a better way so that it dries even further and the marrination sticks to paneer.

Sheetal Kamat

My favorite dish :) esp paneer flavor.. and I so miss it here. Well there is a food chain which has paneer pizza available here but then I really didn't like the flavor. So i had been meaning to prepare this since ages and finally made it yesterday. It turned out quite nice. I also did little r&d and found out how to do wheat base rather than all maida base - little healthier version :)

Tandoori Paneer Pizza
Ingredients
4 Cup Wheat Flour
2 Cup Maida
400g Paneer
2.5 Cup Mozarella Cheese
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1.5 Cup Milk
5 Spoon Curd
2.25 Spoon Active Dry Yeast
1/2 Onion
1/4 Cup Dried Tomatoes
4 Sweet Bell peppers
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Spoon Butter
1/2 Spoon Sugar
2 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Spoon Jeera Powder
1/2 Spoon Corriander Powder
1/4 Spoon Garam Masala
2 Spoon Tandoori Masala
1/2 Spoon Garlic Paste
1/2 Spoon Ginger Paste
1 Spoon Basil Leaves
Salt to taste

Method
  • Warm a cup of water, add sugar and active dry yeast. Still well, wrap up with the clinging film and keep aside for 10 minutes to let yeast activate
  • In a plate mix wheat flour, maida, olive oil, melted butter, activated yeast and salt to taste
  • Add milk and knead the soft dough. Keep it in a large bowl covered with clinging film for around 2 hours to double in size.
  • In a bowl, mix curd, garlic paste, ginger paste, jeera powder, corriander powder, garam masala, tandoori masala and salt to taste.
  • Marrinate the cubed paneer with this curd mixture and refrigerate it till the time pizza dough is doubling up
  • When the dough is doubled up, divide it into two portions and spread it on pizza pans
  • Spread parmesan cheese, grated mozarella cheese on top of the pizza base
  • Spread the cubed paneer pieces, bell pepper slices, onion slices and dried tomato evenly on top of it
  • Sprinkle basil leaves
  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C
  • Bake the pizza at 400F/200C for 25 minutes

Notes
While activating yeast, the water should be luke warm - just warm to touch otherwise if too hot the yeast would burn up. To know if yeast is activated you need to see if foam is present in the yeast-water-sugar mixture.
When I baked pizza i found that one of the pizza was really risen well and other one was also rised but not as much as the other one. So I binged ;-) a bit and found that the while baking pizza we should be baking only on upper shelve the middle shelf doesnt have enough heat and hence the pizza doesnt rise well in that section. Well tip for me for next time.

Sheetal Kamat

Well, I know its been long since I posted here but I was on a little break from cooking for few weeks. I was busy with work and tired to cook everyday. When I was in India, I use to get this rest when I use to go to pune almost everymonth. Both my mom and mother in law were sweet enough to feed me without doing anything at all :) God.. I miss those days.. Now I had to take this break and rely on MacD/Subway/TacoBell/Husband's cooking once in a while. But now I feel fresh and motivated for cooking again and foremost bored with all the above items.. So here is the new dish that I tried. The recipe is something that I just thought of giving shot and kept on adding ingredients as I felt like. But I am stunned at the outcome. So easy, nutritious and yet good looking dish.

Tri Colored Rice
Ingredients
9 Cup Almost cooked Rice
2 Tomatoes
Handful of Corriander Leaves
3 Handsful of Spinach
1 Green Chilli
1 Spoon Corriander Powder
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoom Garam Masala
Roasted Cashews for garnishing
Ghee
Salt to taste

Method
  • Add salt in the rice, divide into three parts and keep aside.
  • In a mixie grind tomatoes to form the puree. Keep aside
  • Grind spinach, corriander leaves and green chilli adding minimal water in it. Keep aside
  • Boil the Spinach-corriander leaves puree and let it cook till almost dry and thick enough
  • Add corriander powder and 1 part of the rice in it and let it cook and dry completely.
  • Add couple of spoons of ghee and mix and cook for another minute. Keep aside.
  • Boil tomato puree
  • When the puree starts to thicken, add red chilli powder, garam masala and 1 part of the rice.
  • When the rice is done and dry sprinkle couple of spoon of ghee and keep aside
  • Arranage the rice parts in the rice dish and garnish with the cashews

Notes
When grinding spinach i added little water and only 1/3 of spinach at first. When it was pureed I added another part of spinach and pureed it. That saved me with using extra water and while cooking the spinach wasnt over cooked and didnt have to wait too long for it to thicken.
I boiled rice and when it was almost done, just removed the excess water and ran through cold tap water so that each grain separates out from each other.

Sheetal Kamat

I had been so bored eating same type of gravies and all I thought that I have to try something different with paneer this time. Would have loved to make palak paneer but then I didnt have spinach and i was too tired with cycling and too engrossed in DMG - Abhi - Nikki Scenes that I decided to make my own tawa paneer recipe. Well I didnt even look on net for recipes nor did i check in some of the books I have. Just went through adding whatever I felt like. Result was awesome :) So here I am sharing with you my own Tawa Paneer

Tawa Paneer
Ingredients
200g Paneer Block
1 Onion
2 Tomato
4-5 Sweet Peppers
1/4 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Jeera Powder
1/4 Spoon Corriander Powder
1/4 Spoon Aamchur Powder
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Cut the paneer into squared pieces, onions and tomatoes into the medium sized pieces
  • Slice the sweet peppers
  • On a tawa add some oil and shallow fry paneer pieces on high heat but till light brown in colour. Keep aside
  • In same oil add chopped onion and cook till light brown in colour. Separate from oil and keep aside
  • Cook sweet peppers in same oil and keep aside
  • In same oil, add tomato pieces and cook till almost done.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, jeera powder, corriander powder and Aamchur Powder and saute for 2-3 minutes
  • Add paneer pieces, onion, sweet peppers and salt to taste.
  • Mix well and cook for another 4-5 minutes and serve warm

Notes
I didnt want to add any fancy items in there nor i wanted to add more spices etc to make sure it is not too spicy. Well I loved the taste as it was it had perfect combination of mild spices with the soft paneer.
I used nonstick tawa with sides to it - that helped me in managing it while mixing well :)

Sheetal Kamat

These days I end up making parathas too often. Simple reason being, then you dont need to cook other 3-4 items and also ajoy loves parathas. So its good for me too and for him too.. especially on busy weekdays. So here is something I came up with Brinjal. I had tried this lot of times but I think yesterday was the best one with perfect combinations :) Hence its finally making its way out here :)

Brinjal Paratha
Ingredients
1 Medium Sized Brinjal
2 Cup Wheat Flour
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1/4 Spoon Jeera Powder
1/4 Spoon Corriander Powder
2-3 Spoon Corriander Leaves
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Broil the brinjal in the oven at 500F for 25minutes. Let it cool down
  • Remove the cover and smash the brinjal.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, jeera powder, corriander powder, finely chopped corriander leaves and salt to taste.
  • Add wheat flour and make the dough out of it.
  • Apply a spoon of oil and knead well and keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Make lemon sized balls and roll the 3 fold parathas and cook them on the tawa.
  • Serve hot with curd and pickle

Notes
You can roast the brinjal the way we do it for Bharata on the stove. Or you can bake them in the oven but I found that broiling functionality in ovens here is much better than baking when you need the item to be cooked without it oozing out its juices. The last few times I baked the brinjal it oozed lot of juice and then I had to add too much of wheat flour and the parathas lacked the brinjal taste in them.

Sheetal Kamat

Few days back I made 'Khatakhata' - a special mixed vegetable dish from konkani cuisine. It needs pumpkin and I looked for it through all grocery stores, super markets, indian stores but every one said its out of season. But Wholes food had canned pumpkin and I thought of giving it a try. But when I opened the can I found that it was mashed one and not cubed ones. So I couldnt use that in the khatkhata. (Yes recipe will come for it when I cook it next time as this time I forgot to take pics). Then I was looking for all pumpkin recipes that can use puree of Pumpkin and found that cupcakes use them. So finally after reading lot I came up with this my version. Once it started baking it spread so much of aroma that I just couldnt wait for them to get ready. What a nice way to eat Pumpkin :)

Pumpkin Almond Cup Cakes
Ingredients
2 cup Pumpkin Puree
3 Cup Maida
1 Cup Butter
1.5 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Castor Sugar
2 Spoon Baking Powder
1/2 Spoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Spoon Cinnamon Powder
1/2 Spoon Cloves Powder
1/2 Spoon Nutmeg Powder
1/4 Cup Almond Sliced
1/2 Spoon Pistachio Essence
2 Eggs

Method
  • Sieve through Maida, baking powder, baking soda few times.
  • Mix Nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and cloves powder. Keep aside
  • In a bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and castor sugar together untill mixture is fluffy and sugar is completely mixed
  • Add in each egg at a time and beat them into the mixture.
  • Now add the sieved maida-bakingpowder mixture little at a time till completely accomodated. Stir with a spatula and dont use blender here.
  • Add milk and mix well. Mixture will thin down a little
  • Add pumkin puree and pistacheo essence and mix gently using the spatula
  • Mix in the almonds except few to decorate in the batter.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
  • Grease the cup cake trays and fill in the mixture upto 3/4th level in each cup
  • Garnish with remaining almonds
  • Bake in the oven on 350F/180C for 20 minutes. Knife inserted should come out clean.

Notes
If you are using fresh pumkin, just steam the pumkin and then mash it in mixie. I guess that should work too.
Made around 16 medium sized cup cakes

Sheetal Kamat

I was thinking about something new yet simple for dinner yesterday. I thought of parathas as ajoy loves it.. But then I didnt want to cook something that we always eat.. So came up with this idea. Turned quite nice.

Carrot Paratha
Ingredients
1.5 Potato
2 Cup Grated Carrots
2.5 Cup Wheat Flour
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
3/4 Spoon Corriander Powder
1/4 Spoon Carom Seeds
1/2 Lemon
Salt to taste
Oil
Ghee

Method
  • Mix wheat flour, salt to taste and 2 spoons of oil.
  • Add water to it and make the dough. It shouldnt be too loose or too tight.
  • Add another couple of spoon of oil and knead well and keep aside for half an hour atleast.
  • Cook potatoes in the pressure cooker and let them cool
  • Mash the potatoes and mix with carrots
  • Add red chilli powder, salt, corriander powder, carom seeds and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Prepare the balls of small lemon size out of this mixture
  • Make same size balls from the dough and prepare the cup shape.
  • Stuff the carrot ball in the cup shape dough and close the ball. Roll the paratha
  • On medium flame, heat the tawa and cook the paratha from both sides till brown. Spread few drops of oil while its cooking.
  • When completely done apply few drops of ghee and serve with pickle and/or curd

Notes
I prefer to use only few drops of ghee at the end of cooking of paratha but if you like you can fry them in ghee itself.

Sheetal Kamat

Right now we get so many variety of berries out here that I thought it would be a good idea to try out this cake.

Very Berry Cake
Ingredients
3 Cups Maida
4 Spoon Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Milk
2 Cup Rasberry
2 Cup Blue Berry
3/4 Cup Black Berry
6-8 Strawberries
Salt to taste

Method
  • Mix the butter and sugar with the handheld mixer.
  • Add Egg and mix again till thick and smooth paste
  • Sieve the maida, baking powder and salt together.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C
  • Add the maida-baking powder mixture in to the egg-butter-sugar mixture with constant mixing using handheld mixer
  • When the complete maida and baking powder mixture is mixed it would be quite thick. Add milk and mix well
  • Add all the berries (used whole berries except for stawberries which i chopped in to four pieces as they were big ones) and mix with a spatula
  • Grease the baking pan and pour in the mixture.
  • Bake for 35 minutes at 350F/180C

Notes
I used powdered sugar so that it can dissolve in quickly.
Also I used the fresh fruits directly from fridge so that they dont over cook.
You can also use frozen berries available in the market. I might try freezing the fresh berries and using them unthawed next time.
Also I used salted butter and added salt to so it tasted little extra salt. So if you are using salted butter dont use salt or vice-a-versa.

Sheetal Kamat

We get lots of corn out here and I think its good source of fiber and roughage :) So we eat in abundance. But its normally after roasting it and sprinkling salt and lemon. This time I decided to try something different with it and here is the recipe I came up with.

Corn Sikh Kabab
Ingredients
4 Cobs with the corn
2 Potatoes
4 Spoon Corn Flour
6 Cloves of Garlic
2 Green Chillies
1 Onion
1/4 Cup Corriander Leaves
Salt to taste
Butter or Ghee

Method
  • Add water to corn and cook over medium flame for around 25 minutes or till the corn is cooked. Keep aside to cool down
  • Pressure cook potato in the cooker and keep aside to cool down
  • In a mixie grind garlic, green chillie and onion to smooth paste
  • Grate the corns, Mash the potatoes and mix them
  • Add the grinded mixture, finely chopped corriander leaves, corn flour and salt to taste.
  • Make the elongated kababs from this mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 400F/200C
  • Grease the baking tray with butter/ghee and spread the kababs
  • Bake at 400F/200C for 15 minutes
  • Flip the sides of the kabab and bake for another 15 minutes. Server with tomato ketchup

Notes
While making the mixture I tried to use less spicess as possible so that i can retain the taste of the corn and it worked well with hint of onion-garlic-chilli paste. But if you like you can add other masalas as well.
Just for completeness, the given quantity of corn flour worked best for my kabab mixture to be firm. You can add more or use less according to the consitency of the mixture.
You can also cook the kababs over tawa on medium to low heat but oven cooking worked best as i could manage other work while it was getting cooked :)

Sheetal Kamat

Almost a month back I got the big pineapple from costco. I just remembered mom's pineapple muramba and thought of giving it a shot. Called up mom and asked for recipe.. And it turned out that it was quite easy to make it and hence prepared that night immediately :)

Pineapple Muramba
Ingredients
5 Cups Fresh cut Pineapple
3 Cup Water
1.5 Cup Sugar

Method
  • Mix pineapple pieces with water such that it barely submerges pineapple
  • Cook the mixture over medium flame keeping a lid till pineapple are cooked.
  • Strain the mixture and separate out pineapple and water
  • In same water mix the sugar and bring to boil
  • With constant stirring keep heating water over medium flame till it becomes 1 string consistency syrup
  • Now add pineapple pieces and boil once again
  • Let it cool down and refrigerate in the fridge

Notes
The muramba needs to be stored in fridge and it would stay for few months.
Good side dish to eat with chappati/paratha
I dont like too much of sugar syrup and hence the above recipe gives very less sugar syrup mixed pineapple muramba.. If you like you can add another cup of water + 1/2 cup of sugar to get traditional version which has more liquid

Sheetal Kamat

Ajoy loves gobi so we always have it at home. This time I thought of trying something different that the usual preparations and end up preparing this dish

Aalu Gobi
Ingredients
2 Potatoes
1 Gobi
1/2 Spoon Mustard
1 Spoon Jeera
1 Spoon Jeera Powder
1 Spoon Corriander Powder
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Spoon Garam Masala
1/4 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1/4 Spoon Powdered Sugar
Corriander Leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them in cubic shapes
  • Separate out the florets of medium size from the gobi
  • Heat oil in a pan and let the mustard and Jeera splutter in the oil.
  • Add potato pieces and gobi florets in the oil and cook on medium flame with constant stirring.
  • After 5 minutes add turmeric powder and keep cooking
  • When the potato and gobi is almost done, add corriander powder, jeera powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, powdered sugar and salt. Mix well and cook till completely done
  • Garnish with finely chopped corriander leaves

Notes
This simple dish gives different flavour than the tomato gravy kind of gobi preparation. The vegetable is quite dry and goes well with phulkas or parathas.

Sheetal Kamat

I had prepared this couple of weeks back but got the chance to post now.. The item was amazingly crispy and tasty :) Yet a quick prepartions :)

Crisp Indianised Hash Brown
Ingredients
2 Potatoes
1 Green Chilli
1/4 Cup Cucumber Pickles
A pinch of Black Pepper Powder
Salt to taste
Ghee

Method
  • Grate the potatoes and wash them with lots of water to remove all starch.
  • Drain all the water from the grated potatoes and let them dry on a paper towel
  • Mix the grated potatoes with finely chopped green chillies, picled cucumbers, black pepper powder and salt.
  • Heat the tawa and spread ghee to coat it.
  • Spread the potato mixture on the tawa to form a thin layer
  • Cook on medium flame on both sides till the colour turns to brown

Notes
I used the medium sized grater for this so that the pototo pieces arent too thin/thick. Thicker version will not give as much crisp as this one did.
The green chillies gave it nice firy - spicy touch

Sheetal Kamat

Bhel being one of my favourite snacks we end up preparing it often. I also prefer it during outings :) Preparing it at some nice picnic spot is the best, easiest and tastiest food :)

Bhel
Ingredients
6 Cup Churmura
2 Cup All in One Mixture
1 Cup Shev
1 Cup Boondi
1 Cup Navaratna Mix
1.5 Cup Tamarind
2 Cup Jaggery
2 Green Chillies
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Spoon Jeera Powder
4-5 Dates
2 Onions
2 Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Corriander Leaves
Salt to taste

Method
  • Soak the tamarind and dates in water for an hour or so
  • Grind the mixture with jaggery, red chilli powder, green chilli, jeera powder and salt
  • Strain the mixture and keep it aside
  • In a big pan mix churmura(puffed rice), navaratna mix, all in one, shev, finely chopped onion, tomatoes and corriander leaves. Mix well
  • Add the tamarind mixture prepared earlier and Mix well
  • Garnish with boondi and serve immediately

Notes
Garnish it with Raw Mango pieces during mango season. It would be more fun :)
Its good idea to make the bhel in batches so that it doesnt become soggy while serving it.
I normally prefer to keep some tamarind mixture aside instead of mixing the full quantity. That helps giving the personal touch :) The taste depends on what one likes.
Very good item for picnics and parties. You can keep everything ready and mix all of the items just before eating

Sheetal Kamat

Its been quite a few months since I had Raskadam one of my favourite sweet. So thought of giving this a shot. The recipe was adapted from 'Ruchira' a well known recipe book in Pune.

Raskadam
Ingredients
3.5 Cup Milk
1 Spoon Vinegar
1.5 Cup Sugar
1.5 Cup Powdered Sugar
4 Cup Khoya
A pinch of Saffron
1 Cup Grated Paneer

Method
  • Warm couple spoon of milk and add the safron. Keep aside.
  • Heat the remaining milk
  • When the milk starts to boil add vinegar mixed with a spoon of water and stir continuously.
  • When the milk cudles and water is separated out, throw out excess water and run it through the cold water
  • Squeeze this mixture in a cotton cloth and drain out the water.
  • Mix it thourghly and make the dough out of it.
  • Prepare around 25 balls out it (small sized
  • Mix the sugar with the 6 cup water in the cooker and boil it
  • Add these small balls in it and let it boil for around 5 minutes
  • Cover the cooker with lid and boil for another 5 minutes
  • Remove the lid, add half cup of water and boil for another 5 min. Let the balls cool down. Take out these balls and spread them on the plate and keep aside
  • In a nonstick pan on medium flame cook the grated paneer till golden in colour and keep aside to cool down
  • Mix grated khoya, powdered sugar, safron-milk and make the dough out of it.
  • By now the paneer would be cooled and crispy. Powder it in the mixie and spread it in a separate plate.
  • Now is the time to assemble the raskadam. Cover the cooked ball with the khoya mixture by froming a cup shape around it and closing it after inserting a ball in it. Roll the ball in the powdered paneer

Notes
Be careful not to burn the paneer and stir it continuously while cooking, I did that so that it was easy to powder the paneer and the raw smell from it goes away.
The ball preparation for the raskadam is similar to the rasgulla except prepare small sized balls and quantity of sugar-water.
You can add orange or pink - red colour in the khoya mixture but i didnt have it and hence didnt use it.

Sheetal Kamat

Yesterday I tried this something different dry item from boiled eggs. Turned out quite nice and a good change from routine egg dishes.

Egg Slices
Ingredients
4 Eggs
1 Onion
2 Green Chillies
1/4 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Corriander Powder
A pinch of Black Pepper Powder
A pinch of Cinnamon Powder
Corriander Leaves to garnish
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Boil eggs in water, slice them and keep aside
  • In a flat pan, heat oil and add finely sliced green chillies in it
  • Add onion and cook till onion is translucent
  • Add black pepper powder, corriander powder, cinnamon powder, sliced eggs and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes with constant stirring.
  • Garnish with finely chopped corriander leaves and red chilli powder

Notes
I didnt want to use to many masalas and also the usual combination of masalas in it as I wanted to give it different taste. Cinammon was great choice as it did distinct it from other routine dishes.

Sheetal Kamat

When I was india I had done lot of R&d to prepare the Puff. I tried it couple of times but it didnt become fluffy. It was very messy too. So for a while I thought lets try to use the readily available Puff Pastry Sheets out here in the market. The outcome was amazing. But I would be happy the day I get this outcome when i can make those sheets too :)

Prawns Puff
Ingredients
2 Puff Pastry sheets
1 Cup Prawns
1 Tomato
2 Onions
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Spoon Corriander Powder
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Garam Masala
1/4 Spoon Jeera Powder
1/2 Spoon Black Pepper Powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 Egg
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Take out the pastry sheets from the fridge and keep them aside to thaw.
  • In the mean time, heat the oil and add finely chopped onion to it. Cook till onion is translucent
  • Add finely chopped tomato in it and cook till tomato is almost done.
  • Add prawns and garlic to it and cook for couple of minutes.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, jeera powder, black pepper powder and salt to taste. Cook till oil seprates out.
  • Add corriander powder to it and again cook for a minute or two. Keep aside
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F
  • Grease the baking tray.
  • Cut each baking sheet into 3 vertical and 2 horizonal pieces to give you 6*2 = 12 pieces. On each piece of the sheet add in the prawns mixure and fold it and keep it on the baking tray.
  • Beat the egg, dip a tissue in it and spread the egg over the puffs
  • Bake in oven at 400F/200C for 15 minutes and your puffs should be ready to serve.

Notes
I used medium sized prawns so that I dont need to cut them and neither are they too small to recognise and loose their taste in the masala.
Also I used the egg to get the golden brown effect of the puff as mentioned on the puff pastry sheet box.

Sheetal Kamat

Couple of weeks back I tried this unique experiment. I had one old melon sitting in the fridge so was curd, so thats what lead to this recipe.

Melon Lassi
Ingredients
1 Melon
6 Cup Curd
5 Spoon Sugar
A pinch of Vanilla Essence
Salt to taste

Method
  • Chop the complete melon into small piece
  • Keep aside few pieces for garnishing and grind rest of them in the mixie to make the juice.
  • Strain the juice and add it to curd.
  • Add sugar, salt, vanilla essence and again mix in the mixie
  • Garnish with the melon pieces and serve chilled.

Notes
I used sweet thick curd, and didnt need to add any water because the melon juice was enough to lighten the curd to Lassi

Sheetal Kamat

This was salad that I did impromptu with all the ingredients I had at home. The result tasted good and lettuce too this time was quite good.

Garden Salad
Ingredients
1 Cup chopped Lettuce
1/2 Cup Pineapple
1/2 Cup Mango
1 Boiled Potato
1 Tomato
1 Fresh Red Chilli
1/2 Spoon Oregano
1/4 Cup Pickled Cucumber
2 Spoon Vinegar
Salt to taste

Method
  • Add chopped lettuce to the bowl
  • Add chopped pineapple and mango in it.
  • Add finely chopped tomato in it.
  • Remove the cover from boiled potato and add the small cubes in the bowl
  • Add finely sliced red chilli in it
  • Cut the pickled cucumber into small pieces and add in it.
  • Add Salt to taste, oregano and vinegar
  • Mix well and serve.

Notes
I had cut all the stuff and added to the bowl and then around half an hour before dinner I mixed in oregano and stuff well. I thought otherwise all the flavors might get mixed in each other and wont taste as good as I would like :) and that proved right because the next day in lunch box it didn't taste as good as it was for dinner :)

Sheetal Kamat

I have seen quite a few people buy the readymade dosa or idli batter. But I guess I dont like the taste. There is nothing as good as compared to home made stuff. And Idli is something very very easy to prepare. You just need to plan a day ahead thats all it takes. Rest is easy.

Idli
Ingredients
1 Cup Udid Daal
2 Cup Idli Rawa
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Soak Udid Daal and Idli Rawa for atleast 8 hours.
  • Strain the water from the Udid Daal and grind it in the mixie to fine paste.
  • Strain water from the idli rawa and grind it to fine paste too.
  • Mix rawa paste and udid daal paste well and keep aside for atleast 8 hours
  • In the morning, mix in salt really well
  • Heat the water in a cooker - without lid
  • Grease the idli pan and add the idli mixture in there.
  • When the water in the cooker starts to boil put the idli stand into the cooker and cook for around 10-12 minutes on high flame with lid closed but no whistle.
  • Open the cooker and let the idlis cool down a little. Separate idlis from the pan and serve with chutney/sambar

Notes
Here since everything is AC and we maintain low temperature, I did keep the mixture on top of hot water container at night. That works perfectly well.
Dont forget to remove the cooker lid immeidately after idli is done so that the vapour doesnt cool down inside the idli making it moist

Sheetal Kamat

I was very inclined to prepare the burger at home but didnt want to try any meat burger. So thought of preparing paneer one. But then the indian grocerry store was little far from my place so thought to try it on tofu. The burger turned out quite well and the mildness of tofu vanished in the spcies and other things that I added.

Tofu Burger
Ingredients
4 Burger Buns
100g Tofu
2 Onions
1 Tomato
1 Fresh Red Chilli
4 Cheese Slices
1/2 Cup Lettuce
Ranch Dressing
Salt and Pepper
Oil

Method
  • Cut the Tofu into cubes
  • Heat oil and keep the flame on low.
  • Add tofu pieces and cook till light brown in colour.
  • Add onion slices, red chilli into it and cook till onions are slight brown in colour
  • Add salt and pepper and stir well. Divide the mixture into 4 portions
  • On each bun keep the cheese slice and add the portion of the cooked tofu mixture.
  • Spread the lettuce, tomato Slice, couple of drops of tomato ketchup and one circle of the ranch dressing.
  • Close with the upper portion of the bun and serve.

Notes
I cooked tofu on very light heat which helped me keep it soft. The Spicy Chilli, ranch dressing helped in supressing the mildness of Tofu.

Sheetal Kamat

This Spicy daal was something I just experimented out when I was in pune. It turned out great. Actually mom dad loved it and then when I came here even ajoy liked it :) So thought of posting the recipe

Masala Daal
Ingredients
3 Cup Tur Daal
1 Onion
1 Tomato
6-7 Garlic cloves
1/4 Spoon Mustard
1/4 Spoon Jeera
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1/2 Spoon Jeera Powder
1/2 Spoon Corriander Powder
1/4 Spoon Garam Masala
Corriander Leaves for Garnishing
Butter cubes
Salt to taste
Ghee

Method
  • Cook tur daal with 1 cup water in the cooker.
  • Heat the oil and let the mustard and jeera splutter in it
  • Add finely chopped onions, garlic pieces and fry till onions turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, jeera powder, corriander powder and garam masala and mix well.
  • Add tomato and cook till tomato is completely done.
  • Add in cooked tur daal, salt and mix well. Cook for couple of minutes with constant stirring
  • Add enough water for getting desired consistency to the daal and bring it to the boil.
  • Garnish with corriander leaves.
  • While serving serve with little butter cubes on top.

Notes
While cooking daal I dont mix too much of water, that way the cooked daal when added to masala completely soaks the taste and aroma.

Sheetal Kamat

I prepare these kind of bhaji very few times as I always loved those Crab style bhajis more than these. But when I felt like eating these last weekend, I prepared them and turned out quite well.

Onion Bhaji
Ingredients
2 Onions
1/2 Cup Bason
1/4 Cup Corriander Leaves
1 Spoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1/2 Spoon Corriander Powder
1/4 Spoon Jeera Powder
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Finely chop onions and add the salt to it. Keep aside for 5-10 minutes
  • Add Bason, corriander leaves- finely chopped, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, corriander powder, jeera powder and mix to form the paste. Add water if needed.
  • Heat the oil in a pan, and add a spoonful of it into the paste.
  • Mix the paste well and fry the Bhaji's of small size to crispy brown colour.

Notes
I normally apply salt to onion and keep aside as that helps in seperating water and then the paste doesnt loosen after some time.
Since I add the heated oil I dont use eating soda, heated oil is good enough for giving crispiness

Sheetal Kamat

I wanted to eat something chatpata and hence had prepared Pani Puri. So i had plenty of pudina remaining. So was frozen chicken waiting for being cooked in freezer. Ajoy wanted to eat biryani and I wanted to get over the freeze items... Thats when this recipe was born :) and became super hit for its different taste and fragnance :)

Hariyali Chicken Biryani
Ingredients
6 Leg Pieces of Chicken
2 Cup Basamati Rice
1/2 Bunch of Pudina
1/2 Bunch of Corriander Leaves
2 Green Chillies
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1/4 Spoon Black Pepper
4 Cloves
4 Cardamoms
1/2 Cup Ghee
3 Onions
1 Tomato
1/2 Spoon Garlic Paste
4 Spoon Curd
1 Spoon Red chilli powder
A Pinch of Turmeric Powder
Salt to taste

Method
  • Marinate chicken with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garlic paste and curd and keep aside for couple of hours.
  • Warm around 6 cups of water and soak the rice in it and keep aside for half an hour.
  • In a mixie grind pudina leaves, corriander leaves, tomato and green chilli to fine paste.
  • Keep aside 2 spoon of ghee and heat remaining ghee in a pan.
  • Chop one of the onion into thin slices and fry it to light brown colour into the ghee. Keep aside.
  • In remaining ghee from frying, add cinnamon, black pepper and remaining onions - grated and cook them till light brown in colour.
  • Add this mixture to mixie along with green paste and grind again to smooth paste
  • In same pan add this ground paste, 1.5 cup of water and marinated chicken and cook till completely dry with stirring in between. Add salt to taste and keep aside.
  • While chicken is cooking, drain the water from the rice, cook it with another 2 cups of water and salt to taste till almost done. Drain the water and keep aside for cooling down.
  • Heat 1/2 spoon of ghee and add cloves and cardamom to it. Fry them for a minute on low flame and then add this ghee to the rice and mix well.
  • Grease a thick bottom pan or cooker and layer the rice and chicken mixture alternating. Also add fried onions in between while adding chicken.
  • Cook on low flame for 15 minutes and serve hot

Notes
I had leg pieces of chicken so used them all but you can substitute it with equal grams plus little more of normal chicken pieces too.
Here the electric stove has variations of 8 degrees so I used 2 for cooking the layered biryani instead of my usual cooker on top of tawa and a layer of potato down the biryani. So if you are using regular stove you would need to follow same procedure so that biryani doesnt burn.

Sheetal Kamat

When we were about to leave from temporary housing, we had so many stuff remaining and we didnt want to carry too many items from there to permanant one. So thats what is the inspiration behind this experiment. Quite tasty and unique :)

Khima Egg Masala
Ingredients
450g Khima
4 Tomatoes
2 Onions
3 Eggs
1 Spoon Garam Masala
1.5 Spoon Red chilli Powder
1 Spoon Turmeric Powder
1/4 Spoon Black Pepper
2-3 Cinnamon
1/4 Spoon Garlic Paste
1/4 Spoon Ginger Paste
1/2 Spoon Corriander Powder
A pinch of Jeera Powder
Corriander Leaves for Garnishing
Salt to taste
Oil

Method
  • Hard boil eggs and keep them aside.
  • In a pan heat oil and add washed and drained Khima to it.
  • Cook till it turns brown in color and oil separates out. Keep aside.
  • In same oil add black pepper, cinnamon and let it turn light brown in color.
  • Add finely chopped onion, garlic paste, ginger paste to this
  • When onion is completely cooked, add 1/2 spoon turmeric, 1 spoon red chilli powder, garam masala, corriander powder and jeera powder
  • Mix well and cook for couple of minutes
  • Let it cool down and grind the mixture in mixie.
  • In same pan in a spoonful of oil add this grinded mixture and grated tomatoes and cook till tomato is half done.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of water in it, Salt to taste and the fried keema to it. Cook till completely done and almost dry. Keep aside
  • Grate the eggs, add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt to taste to it and keep aside.
  • While serving, add small portion of keema masala into the bowl, top it with grated egg mixture and garnish with corriander leaves.

Notes
One can actually add, cheese or paneer as well instead of egg but I thought egg would be the best one to go along this recipe flavour.

Sheetal Kamat

When I came to US there were so many new ingredients that were easily available that I decided to try something different than I have always tried :) So here was my experiment with the first salad. I would name it Green Salad for I used Green Leaf Lettuce :)

Green Salad
Ingredients
10 leaves of Green Leaf Lettuce
1/2 Cup Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Pineapple
1/4 Cup Corn
10 Cucumber Pickels
5 Jalapenos
1/2 Spoon Oregano
2.5 Spoon Ranch Dressing
Salt to taste

Method
  • Cook the corn in boiling water or microwave in a cup of water for 5 min. Drain the water and keep aside.
  • Cut the green leaf lettuce into medium sized pieces
  • Halve the grape tomatoes and add them to leaf lettuce.
  • Add Pineapple after chopping it to small pieces
  • Halve cucumber pickle and add to it
  • Add chooped jalapenos and corn that was set aside.
  • Add Ranch Dressing, Oregano and Salt. Mix well and serve.

Notes
This was something quick, healthy and yet tasty. The ranch dressing and oregano went well together :) Need to try some other fruits, vegetables and dressings. :)

Sheetal Kamat

I was always fascinated by chocolate icings these bakers have. I always fancied to become as good with it as they are.. And my impression about this was its some art. But actually if you have little patience and know a knack it can be very easy too :) and that's what I found out when I tried this cake. Check this out.

PS: Now I had written this in January when I baked this for my mom but due to busy schedule with moving etc I just couldn't post it. So here it comes.. More on their way :)

Bday Chocolate Cake
Ingredients
7 Spoon Butter
1 Cup Castor Sugar
3 Eggs
Salt to taste
1/2 Cup Maida
300g Chocolate
8 Spoon Coco Powder

Method
  • Boil water in a small pot and keep a glass bowl over it. Add 100g of chocolate and melt it completely. Add 4 Spoon coco powder and keep aside
  • In another bowl mix 6 spoon butter and 1/2 cup of castor sugar till its fluffy
  • Add the melted chocolate and beat.
  • Separate the egg whites and egg yolks
  • Add egg yolks one at a time into the choco-butter mixture and beat well.
  • Sieve Maida and keep aside
  • Beat the egg whites with salt to taste separately till it is stiff
  • In earlier choco mixture add a spoonful for egg white and spoonful of maida, fold in well. Repeat till all maida and egg whites are accommodated in the choco mixture.
  • Preheat oven at 180C/350F
  • Grease the cake tin and pour the above mixture into it
  • Bake the cake at 180C/350F for 45 min
  • Keep aside for cooling overnight
  • Next day, Heat water in a pot and keep a glass bowl over it. Melt remaining butter and chocolate together in it and keep aside.
  • In a pan, add remaining sugar and 1/2 cup of water and bring it to boil.
  • Bring the heat to lowest possible and mix in the chocolate-butter mixture as well as remaining coco powder and cook.
  • Take out a drop of mixture and test if it thickens after cooling. If so icing is ready
  • Pour the chocolate icing in the center of the cake and spread it across the cake to cover it fully.
  • Decorate with white butter icing and choco chips/flakes

Notes
Yes you read it right this doesn't need baking soda or powder :)
I had my mom by my side when I tried this so with her patience and suggestions I needed 4 spoon of coca for 200gm chocolate so I guess that should help but if you still seem to run into issues like the mixture isn't thickening then add some more coca or if it thickens too fast and is too hard add little more warm water. The mixture after cooling should be of icing consistency and should not flow or thicken more than that.

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