Monday, April 14, 2014

Kacche Aam ki Dal

Come summers and the vegetable and fruit shops are decked with my favorite fruit...Mango. As you all might know by now, I am an ardent fan of baking and cooking with seasonal bounties and so you will be seeing a lot of summer fruits recipes in the coming times. Coming to mango, this king of fruits is my all time favorite and I literally survive on sweet juicy mangoes when they are in season. Although ripe mangoes are available in market now, that sweetness is still missing. So instead of the ripe fruit, I got some raw ones and made an Aam Panna first thing :).

Unlike many people, who like to eat raw mangoes as such or with a sprinkle of salt and red chili powder, I get goosebumps at just the thought. But I relish the various preparations made using the raw mangoes which kind of subtle the sourness a bit yet retaining the typical flavor. Kacche aam ki dal is one of those recipes. Very gently flavored with the magoishness, this dal is one of my favorite summer time recipes.

Arhar or tuvar ki dal is cooked with slices of raw mangoes and then a tadka of cumin seeds, heeng and red chili is given. This dal can be enjoyed with rice or phulke or if you are like me, you will make a meal of it, sipping spoon after spoon of piping hot dal. Here is the recipe to make this delicious dal.

All you need is

Arhar dal \ Split yellow peas - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - 1\2 tsp
Raw mango - 1\2 ( medium sized, peeled and cut into slices )
Ghee \ Clarified butter - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1\2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Heeng \ Asafoetida - 1\4 tsp
Dry red chilies - 2-3
Red chili powder - 1\2 tsp
Fresh coriander for garnishing

Method of preparation

Wash the dal and put it in a pressure cooker along with raw mango slices, salt to taste, turmeric powder and 4 cups of water.
Pressure cook it till done. ( Approximately 1 whistle on high and 2 whistles on low )
Mash the dal slightly with the back of a ladle.
Heat ghee in a small pan.
When the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and heeng.
When the seeds starts to splatter, switch off the heat.
Add dry red chilies and red chili powder.
Pour the tadka in the dal.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with rice or phulke.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Aam Panna

Summers have hit Bangalore and the heat is unbearable. My apartment gets the morning sun which during the winters is a blessing, but for now it starts to get hot as early as 8 in the morning. Although I am complaining of the heat in Bangalore, to be fair it is nothing compared to what Northern part of India experiences. Temperature in May and June reaches a scorching 49-50 degree C and with the heat waves accompanying the high temperature, it is even worse.

Aam panna is a very refreshing drink which my mom used to make on a everyday basis in the months of summers and it was the first thing which was served when anyone entered the house, battling the sun and heat. Although the temperature in Bangalore never goes that high but it is still good to sip on this delicious drink once in a while.

As most of Indian recipes, the recipe to make Aam panna differs from person to person. Some add mint and some do not. Some peel the raw mango before boiling and some do not. I personally like to boil the mangoes with the skin on as gives a typical flavor to the drink and the addition of fresh mint paste takes it to a different level.
So here is my recipe to make this refreshing drink. Do give it a try.

All you need is

Raw mango - 1\2 kg
Sugar - 1 and 1\2 cup
Roasted cumin powder - 2 tsp
Black salt - 2 tsp
Fresh mint - 1 cup
Ice cubes

Method of preparation

Wash the raw mangoes and put them in a pressure cooker.
Add enough water to cover them and cook till soft. ( One whistle on high and 2 on low )
Remove the skin of the mangoes.
Mash to take out all the pulp.
Do not discard the water.
Add 5-6 cups of water.
Grind the mint leaves with little water to make a paste.
Add ground mint, sugar, roasted cumin powder and black salt to the mango pulp.
Mix well to dissolve the sugar.
Adjust sugar and salt according to your taste.
Add more water if required.
Chill it for a few hours before serving.
Pour the panna in glasses.
Add some ice cubes.
Garnish with mint leaves.
Serve chilled.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Butter and Garlic Naan

Naan... I love this bread with any kind of Indian curries. It is usually my bread of choice when visiting an Indian restaurant. It was one of the first things that I learned to cook in my kitchen and with time and making it again and again, I have finally got a fool recipe that works for me every single time. I made naan in an electric oven, I made it in a pressure cooker too. But after making it on a griddle which is turned upside down, no other method charms me anymore. I have found my trick. My naan now comes out wonderfully soft and chewy with the most perfect brown spots on the surface. I have already shared the recipe and trick to make plain naan sometime back, but this time I made butter and garlic naan and thought to share it as well. Here it is.

All you need is

Maida \ All purpose flour - 4 cups
Baking soda - 1\2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1\2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Yogurt - 1\4 cup
Milk to knead the dough
Oil - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 3 tbsp ( finely chopped )
Butter  - 2 tbsp ( melted )

Method of preparation

Mix maida, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and yogurt in a bowl.
Add milk and knead a soft dough.
Oil a bowl and transfer the dough in the oiled bowl.
Cover the bowl and keep in a warm place for 1 hour.
Heat a griddle ( tava ).
Make small balls of the dough.
Sprinkle a tsp of chopped garlic on the platform.
Dust and roll the dough ball over the garlic to make thin naan.
Apply water on the top surface of the naan.
Keep the naan on the griddle with garlic side up.
The naan will stick to the griddle because of water applied.
Now turn the griddle upside down over the high flame.
Cook till brown spots appear on the naan.
Turn the griddle and cook the naan for 20-30 seconds.
Remove using a tong.
Apply butter generously on the Naan.
Serve hot.
You can make these naans and store in a hot box a few hours prior to eating.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dal Makhani

Dal makhani is a very famous Indian lentil preparation. It is a Punjabi recipe which is very delicious and flavorful. In the ancient times, the dal was cooked overnight to give it a very creamy and rich texture. But to keep up with the modern times, the recipe has been modified and pressure cookers come in the scene. The dal is soaked overnight and then cooked till it is very soft and tender. A tadka of tomato puree and curd with other spices is then added to the cooked dal. Dal makhani is one of my favorite recipe to cook when I have guests at home and it has always been appreciated. Do give this recipe a try. And do not forget to leave your feedback in the comment section. Thnx. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Khadi urad \ Whole black lentil - 1 cup
Chana dal \ Bengal gram - 2 tbsp
Rajma \ kidney beans - 1\2 cup
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1\2 tsp
Onion - 1 (chopped)
Ginger - 1 tsp ( grated )
Tomato puree - 6 tbsp
Curds - 6 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
Cream - 1\4 cup
Kasuri methi - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method of preparation

Wash and soak rajma, urad dal and chana dal in enough water overnight or for 8-10 hours.
Add rajma, urad, chana dal, salt, 2 tbsp ghee, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder and salt in a cooker.
Add 5 cups of water and cook till the dal is done.
Mash the dal slightly with the back of a ladle.
In another pan, add the remaining ghee.
When the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds starts to splatter, add onions.
Fry till they become translucent.
Add tomato puree and curd.
Fry for 2-3 minutes and keep stirring continuously to avoid the splitting of curd.
Add grated ginger and garam masala.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix the dal in the pan.
Add butter and cream and cook for 2- minutes.
Add kasuri methi and cook for another minute.
Garnish with fresh cream and coriander.

Serve hot with naan.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mocha Mini Bundt Cakes

I am a big coffee fan but not a chocolate lover. I cannot eat chocolate as such. But when it makes it's place in cakes and other dessert, where it's not very strong, I love it. This combination of coffee and chocolate is a hit. The cakes turned out very moist and soft and the ganache glaze was just right. These are very easy to make with no fancy equipment required and even a novice baker can bake these with confidence. So go ahead. Here is the recipe.

All you need is 

For the mini bundt cakes

All purpose flour-1 and 1\2 cups
Unsweetened cocoa powder-1\3 cup
Baking soda-1 tsp
Salt-1\4 tsp
Sugar-1 cup
Olive oil-1\2 cup
Brewed coffee-\12 cup ( you can also use 1 tsp coffee granules dissolved in 1\2 cup water )
White vinegar-2 tsp
Vanilla extract-2 tsp

For chocolate ganache

Milk chocolate-100 gm ( cut into small pieces )
Butter- 2 tbsp
Sugar- 1tbsp
Fresh cream- 1\2 cup

Method of preparation

For mini bundt cakes

Pre heat the oven to 180 degree C.
Grease a mini bundt cake pan or line a cupcake pan.
In a bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, olive oil, brewed coffee, vinegar and vanilla extract.
Mix dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients and whisk till combined.
Fill the batter in the pan, three fourth full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the pan after 5 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

For the chocolate ganache

Heat fresh cream, sugar and butter in a pan.
As soon it starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over chocolate.
Whisk until chocolate is melted and there is no lump remaining.
Whisk till chocolate ganache is shiny.
Pour over the mini cakes.

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