Friday, March 16, 2012

Pumpkin pie- an eggless dessert

When you throw a ladies party last in the chain, you have to really rack your brains to come up with a great dessert. Thankfully, I was all armed with this amazing eggless pumpkin pie recipe by Anushruti of Divinetaste.

My friend help me serve it, and by the time I came out of the kitchen..all was gone except a teeny-tiny piece for me. And with all the kudos came numerous requests for the recipe. I know I'm a wee bit late in posting this, but here's to all my friends here.

Pumpkin pie
from Anushruti of Divinetaste

For the crust:
○ 140 gm (1 cup) plain flour
○ 1/3 cup cold butter
○ 1/2 teaspoon salt
○ 5-7 tablespoons cold water

For the filling
○ 2 cups (500 ml) Pumpkin puree
○ 400g, sweetened condensed milk
○ 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
○ 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
○ 3/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
○ 1/2 tsp ground cloves
○ 1/2 tsp ginger powder
○ 1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare the crust:

1. Mix the flour and the salt and cut the butter into the flour with your fingers until you get coarse breadcrumbs.
2. Alternatively, combine the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process with short bursts until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
3. Add the cold water and form into a soft dough. Do not handle the dough more than required at this stage.
4. Gather the dough into a ball and chill well for an hour or so.
5. Place the dough on a floured surface. Roll out the dough to a circle, to line a 9-inch pie dish or cake pan with removable bottom. Prepare the edges and chill till you are ready with the filling.

Prepare the filling:
For the pumpkin puree:

1. Cut the pumpkin into wedges.
2. Scoop out the seeds, pith and fibre with the help of a spoon.
3. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
4. Place the pumpkin wedges cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife.
5. Scoop flesh out of the skins and puree with a hand blender or mash well by hand.

To make the pie:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
2. In a bowl, mix in the pumpkin puree, condensed milk,  cornflour, spices and salt and beat until there are no lumps.
3. Spoon or pour the filling into the chilled crust and level with the help of a palette knife.
4. Bake for about 60 minutes (the original recipe says 40 minutes, but i got better results in a longer period of time) or until the filling is set and the top crust is a nice golden brown.
5. Allow to cool, cut into wedges and serve. (I did not follow the cooling step well, couldn't keep everyone waiting!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Home made Hummus

Every once in while we go out to have Lebanese food. Pita bread, falafal, hummus and Zatar are some of the favorites. I used to think that Hummus might be a very elaborate recipe, but I still wanted to know how is it made, so I set out to search for it.

Most of the recipes i had come accross were wanting Tahini which I knew nothing of, then luckily I read the post of Hummus and cucumber sandwich by Soma (of Ecurry). I tried my hand at it and was able to have this delicious hummus at home.

You can find her recipe here. I just omitted the paprika, since I did not have any at hand.

I would have loved to give the recipe here, but sometimes its better to hear from the creator herself..:)

Chapati porridge

As kids, we used to enjoy a porridge made by my grandmother. It was called "khankhre ki khichdi". She used sun- dried chapatis (called khankhra in the local language) and a mixture of veggies to create this tasty dish. We usually had this one in dinner as it tastes best when served piping hot.

    These sun-dried chapatis came from the leftover chapati of the household. After drying they were collected in a box till we had enough to make this porridge. This simple dish was a specialty of the household. We all loved it!
    Since the climate where I live, is humid during the better part of the year, I can’t manage to have sun-dried chapati. To overcome this, I just skipped this step and made my own chapati porridge from the memories of the taste. It’s a great way to enjoy leftovers, as it creates a whole new dish.
    Chapati porridge/roti poha
  1. Chapati-2
  2. Tomato-1, chopped
  3. Onion-1 small,  chopped
  4. Green chilly- 1, small, finely chopped (add more for a spicier option)
  5. Oil- 7 ml  (1 &1/2 spoon)
  6. Rai (mustard seeds)- 1/4 tsp
  7. Haldi (Turmeric powder)-1/4 tsp
  8. Lal mirch (red chilly powder)-1/4 tsp
  9. Dhaniya powder (coriander seeds powder)- 1 heaped tsp
  10. Salt to taste or 1/4 tsp
  11. Note:  You might add other vegetables like beans, potatoes, carrots, peas etc.
  12. Tear the chapatis into bite size pieces. Keep aside.
  13. Heat oil in a fry pan or a small wok. Add mustard seeds.
  14. When the seeds begin to pop, add onions and cook till they are translucent.
  15. Add the tomatoes, green chilies and the remaining spices in that order. Mix them well.
  16.  Let it cook on a medium flame, till you see the oil on the sides. Stir in between, it should not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add water if required.
  17. Add the pieces of chapati. Turn and mix so that all pieces are properly coated with the spice mixture.
  18. You can add a little water if you feel that its turning out to be too dry. I did not add any as my porridge was moist enough for my taste.
  19. Note: You can add boiled potatoes (mash them with back of the ladle/spoon) and water to have thickened gravy in the porridge

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy holi! (and how to make mathari at home)



The festival of colors reminds me of soooo... many good things. The colors, the Dhol(Drum) music, the dancing, the pranks we played, and the food....ahhh..the sweet Gujiya made by mom, the cool thandai at my nani's house and a variety of mathries (flaky, salted or spiced biscuits).

Today for holi, I have made these special mathris which my mom used to make. Can't say that it's easy; but it surely is worth all the effort...:)


1. All purpose flour- 2 katori (measure 400ml volume upto the brim)
2. Ghee (clarified butter)-1/5 of the flour
3. Ajwain seeds- 1& 1/2 tsp (you can add cumin seeds also)
4. Salt- 1 tsp (you can increase it to get a more salty flavour)
5. Oil for frying
6. Water for making dough

(Mathari's can be made by adding varied type of spices, this is a simple Ajwain mathari/mathri)


1. Add ghee,ajwain and salt to the flour and mix thouroughly. Add water and knead a little hard dough. Set aside for 15-20 min.

2. Now break the dough into small ball-like pieces.

3. Heat the oil in a wok/kadhai at a low flame.

4. With the help of a rolling pin, flatten the pieces of dough individually into 4 or 5 inch diameter circles. Pierce these circles with a knife or fork in a random manner.

5. When at least 5-6 are done, fry them at low flame. Remove when they become golden brown. Since frying will take time, you can continue rolling the remaining ones. (You can also roll and pierce all of them and then start with frying, but that just increases the time.).

6. Keep them on absorbent paper/paper napkin. Store in an air tight jar. They keep well for a few weeks.

These are usually served with spicy and yummy pickles, but taste pretty good all by themselves. I love them with my evening cup of tea.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gajar matar ki sabzi / carrot-peas vegetable

This is a classic from the winter menu at my home. The juicy red carrots and tender small peas were a tempting combination. It was served on the side with namkeen Khichda/Kheech ( salted porridges made from different grains). It could be eaten just with a normal chapati (Indian flatbread).

I had not made this veg in a long time, just because I did not find the right type of carrots. I usually get the orange/yellow ones in the markets here and many times they did not match up to the taste of the red ones. I was reminded of the recipe by my hubby, who wanted to eat this one. I tasted the carrot and thankfully it had a sweet flavor which is the USP of this recipe.
I decided to give it a try and I'm was pleased by the results ..:)

It brought back the cool winter memories of my home town. I know its nearly Holi (the festival of colours) time and here I'm writing the post for the departing winters.

Gajar- matar (For 2 people)
1. Carrot- 1 big, washed and cut into pieces (half moon shape)
2. Peas- shelled, 1/2 katori (fill a 100 ml bowl)
3. Oil- 10 ml approx (use less oil, if you are preparing in microwave)
4. Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1/2 tsp
5. Haldi (Turmeric powder)-1/4 tsp
6. Lal mirch (red chilly powder)-1/4 tsp
7. Dhaniya powder (coriander seeds powder)- 1 heaped tsp
8. Salt to taste

Take a kadhai/ wok and pour oil in it. Heat it up a bit.
Add jeera seeds and let them sizzle for 10-15 seconds. Add haldi followed by the carrots. Sauté the carrots for a while and add peas. Cook for about 30 seconds. You might need more time if your peas are not tender and small.
Add the remaining spices and mix well, so that spices coat the veggies.
Cover and adjust the heat to medium low. Cook for a few minutes. Keep turning in between. When the carrots become soft but not mushy, then your vegetable is ready.
Serve hot with Khichda, chapati or parantha.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Green salad (Hara bhara salad)

When you are reminded of home and the simple yet fulfilling flavors on your plate, then you end up making something from your memory.
    This is the first and the simplest salad I was ever introduced by the local restaurants'.  As children, when we went out for dinner with my parents my mother always used to order it for all of us. It was served as the first thing on the table. Then she started making it in a similar fashion at home. Here I'm making it from the memories of home. Even though I have made a hurried one ( as is evident in the pic); I've given the recipe of the original I ate long time back.
    Green salad
  1. Cucumber- 1, sliced thinly
  2. Tomatoes- 1 large or 2 small, sliced
  3. Onion- 1, sliced
  4. Green chilies- 2, slit in between to decorate
  5. Roasted Cumin seeds (Jeera)- 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt & pepper to taste (you can add chaat masala also)
  7. Nimboo (Lemon)- 1/2 for squeezing
  8. Method
    Place the cucumber, tomatoes and onion in a plate so that they make no more than 2 layers. You can be imaginative and decorate it with tomato peel (shaped like a rose). Arrange green chilies in a manner you like on the plate.
    Add salt, pepper or chaat masala to it. Sprinkle bhuna jeera or roasted cumin seeds all over it.
    Serve it with lemon on the side. Squeeze it before eating on the servings of individuals. You can also squeeze it just before serving.
    Serve immediately or keep in the fridge till the mealtime.