Monday, February 20, 2012

Lauki/ Doodhi/ Ghiya Curry (bottle gourd cooked with tomatoes)

Lauki or Bottle gourd is called by various names at various places in India. This humble vegetable is somehow skipped when we talk about delicious foods.

Here I'm sharing a simple recipe which is a regular feature of our household as both me and my hubby relish eating this one. Usually when we both want a light, regular, home cooked meal; this is the one which comes to our mind. Though it can be cooked as a dry vegetable also; we usually use the curried one.

  1. Lauki- 1 (cut into medium sized pieces)
  2. Tomatoes- 1 big (chopped)
  3. Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1 tsp
  4. Ghee (clarified butter)- 1 tsp
  5. salt to taste
  6. Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Haldi (Turmeric powder)- 1/4 tsp
  8. Dhaniya (coriander seeds powder)-1 &1/2 tsp approx.
  • Take a pressure cooker and add ghee to it.
  • Add Jeera and wait till it sizzles.
  • Add Lauki and chopped tomatoes and toss it around.
  • Add the remaining spices and 1 Tbsp water (optional).
  • Cover and cook at medium flame
  • After one whistle, the curry is usually cooked. You might need to cook more if the gourd was very stiff in the beginning.
  • Serve hot with Chapati or rice.

This simple vegetable it can be transformed into a delicacy by making 'Koftas'. Will write about that some other time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweet Corn soup

This is one of those recipes which are handy and tasty. When the weather is cloudy and you want something to cheer you up...this soup can do that. The simplicity of the recipe is alluring and you can add more sauces/seasonings as per your taste.
2 cups sweet corn ( I used the frozen ones)
A few carrots- small size
1 small capsicum
Shredded cabbage-3-4 leaves (blanch them)
Salt to taste
White pepper (freshly ground)

  1. Boil sweet corn. Crush/blend with a hand blender.
  2. In a wok/kadai, take oil and sauté carrot ,capsicum  and blanched cabbage.
  3. Add the blended sweet corn and add water/stock. Cook it for a 7-10 min.
  4. Add salt and freshly crushed white pepper.
  5. Serve hot.
Taste tip: You can also add ketchup or soy sauce to it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Laapsi (Sweet Bulger)

    This is a traditional Rajasthani sweet.  Whenever I have to serve something special and traditional, this one comes real handy. It's easy to make and is usually bang on target!
    In my home, it was usually made in the Diwali (Popularly known as, the festival of lights) "Annakoot" poojan (the traditional prayer with offerings during Diwali time). A lot of times it was a feast-feature when we had gathering of the whole family (yes, I happen to have a huge joint and extended family).
    This recipe is associated with old memories of childhood, where we just went running about the place and ate everything served on our plates (since we were at least 4 kids sharing a big plate).The kitchen would be crammed, because most women would be in there with aroma of goodies floating around.
    Those were the days…
    Recently my hubby got a taste for it! So he requested me to make it and I happily obliged. With a recipe that tasty & easy…who wouldn't?
  1. Daliya (broken wheat, Bulger)-1/2 cup
  2. Jaggary/ gur-1/2 cup
  3. Clarified butter/Ghee- 1 Tbsp
  4. Green cardamom (crushed)- about 1-2 pinch, discard the shell
  5. Dry fruits- (optional)
  6. Water for cooking

  1. Heat ghee and soak jaggary in water
  2. Roast daliya in this ghee till its golden brown.
  3. Pour water and let it cook on medium flame for a 5-10 minutes
  4. Strain the jaggary soaked in water and collect the water. The remaining jaggary can be kept for further use.
  5. When the daliya is cooked add jaggary water to it
  6. Let is cook for a few min. The visible water should evaporate.
  7. Add the crushed cardamom. You can also add dry fruits (almonds, cashews, raisins etc.) to this mix.
  8. Serve hot.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tamatar ka salan (Blanched tomatoes in creamy cashew gravy)

When you are bored stiff of cooking the same things again and again..and again..what do you do?

I try a new recipe!

Fortunately, this one came out to be very tasty and for the keeps. The aroma of the curry cooking on the stove was mouth watering.

My hubby had 3 second helpings ;P
And now you know why I dont have pics of this one. I'll click them next time...promise.

Tamatar ka salan 
For blanching tomatoes
Take 2 firm tomatoes and immerse them in boiling water. Remove from flame when the skin cracks. Drain water and remove the skin. Let it cool a bit. Keeping them joint at the base, make 2 cuts crossing each other.

For the gravy
You'll need:
1. Tomato-1
2. Cashews- 1 Tbsp, Steeped in water for 30 min.
3. Green chillies- 1
4. Ginger- 1" piece
5. Whole white pepper (Safed mirch)-5-6
6. Cloves (Lavang/laung)-2
7. Cinnamon (dalchini)- 1/2" piece
8. Black cardamom (badi elaichi)- 1
9. Musturd seeds (rai) -1/4 tsp
10. Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1/4 tsp
11.Asafoetida (Heeng)- 1 pinch
12. Red chilli (Lal mirch) powder-1/4 tsp
13. Coriander (dhaniya) powder- 1/2 tsp
14. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
15. Salt- 1/2 tsp or as per taste
16. Oil- 1 Tbsp
17. Milk (I used full cream)- 1 Tbsp

Let's start cooking:
  1. Cut tomatoes, green chillies and ginger and grind it to a paste in a blender.
  2. Take a wok/kadhai and dry roast white pepper,rai, jeera, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Drain the cashews, mix them with the roasted spice mix and black cardamom. Blend them with about 1 spoon of water.
  4. Pour oil/ghee in the wok/kadhai. Add Heeng and jeera. When jeera crackles and rises, stir in the tomato paste and cook in moderate flame for about a minute. Lower the flame a little and cook till the oil seperates on the sides.
  5. Now add the cashew spice mix and milk. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add water (as per your preferance) to adjust for the consistancy of the gravy and let it boil.
  6. Now add the blanched tomatoes and let it cook for 1 min. Don't overcook as they might become soggy. Just let the flavors seep in.
  7. Serve hot with roti, rice or any favorite bread.
You can use black pepper instead of the white ones. 
Makes for 2 hungry people.
 Tasty tips
1. Instead of using blanched tomatoes, you can use boiled potatoes, paneer or even tofu !
2. For a richer gravy, use cream instead of milk.
3. Perfect for a party, people will be marvelling at your cooking for days.