Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Instant Kolhapuri masala




 I am sharing with you this post from my other blog- sameveggiesmanyways. This is about a most aromatic,traditional Maharashtrian masala from Kolhapur called Kaanda lasun masala (also known as lal tikhat). It is used in everyday cooking. It gives a nice bright red color to gravies (with vegetable, pulses, chicken, eggs or mutton). You can use this to make many stir-fry too.
 It makes a tasty, aromatic, thick gravy. It contains onion, garlic, coconut, oil, red chilli pd with garam masala. The masala looks slightly wet due to onion, garlic and oil. It stays good for few months if stored in a glass jar inside a dark cupboard. You don't have to add any other masalas when you this in a gravy or a stir-fry.

You can enjoy this masala by mix some butter into this and eat this as a side dish along with bread and rotis. Some raw sliced onions along with this makes a quick delicious meal without any cooking or vegetables.


Traditional process of making is highly tedious and usually mothers made these in bulk and send it to their children. As searching , cleaning, drying, roasting  each separately and grinding these masalas into fine powder is difficult, I have simplified it using a single spice mix (goda masala or MTR pulav masala  which contains most of the  numerous masalas that goes into the Kanda lasun masala.Do add 10-12 green cardamoms into this as store brought masalas do not have that many cardamoms.

The masala already has salt so take care while adding salt into gravies.
Read more here...
   
Easy Kolhapuri masala or Kanda lasun masala






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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Instant Bhakar bhaji masala -










Instant Bhakar bhaji masala -
This comes handy when you want to prepare many Indian gravies.
I mix all the ingredients for this stir-fry and this mix in a bottle. It will stay for few weeks at room temperature but has a long shelf life in the refrigerator. This really saves time if you are preparing your vegetable on during busy days or when you are using electric rice cooker.



4 tsp white poppy seeds (khus-khus),
4 tsp roasted dry coconut,
4 tsp roasted aniseed (saunf),
4 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)
8 tsp unroasted cashew pieces
3-4 tsp chilli pd
2 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp garam masala powder or goda masala
3 tsp salt
Tempering-
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp cumin (zeera)


Roast the first 4 (but each separately). Since each has a different roasting time I prefer to roast them separately. Transfer these into a single bowl after each of them are roasted. Some people love to grind these roasted items. But I like it whole. Next add cashew nuts, garam masala pd, salt and chilli pd into this and keep aside. You can mix in garlic powder if you are not adding garlic cloves into the gravy.
Heat oil in a small pan and pop the mustard and cumin seeds in it, pour  this tempering over the nuts and seeds.

Note-
If you are staying in a dorm without a coffee grinder then it would be better if the roasted seeds and nuts are ground into coarse powder at home. Grind them with a pulse motion (stop at regular intervals in between grinding) to avoid the nuts forming of sticky paste. When you make gravies it would be convenient to add this in powdered form. After grinding mix in the rest.


Recipes using this masala-
1. Pumpkin with nuts and seeds -Nagpuri style

2. Tomato Kurma Chettinad style
3. Vegetable pulav from Southern India




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Pumpkin with nuts and seeds -Nagpuri style





For those busy days when time seems to fly, I depend heavily on simple stir-fry with large gourds such as snake gourd, yellow pumpkin, winter melon. These can be easily chopped and peeling them is optional.
There are many ways of cooking yellow pumpkin in Indian style, and this recipe from Nagpur is one of the tastiest ways of doing so. It is cooked with garlic and onions and finished off with the addition of 2 Instant masalas.
The oil of choice as for most Maharastra style dishes is peanut oil, but any other unflavoured cooking oil can also be used. This is usually served on the side with Indian rotis such as various millet breads or chappati, phulkas or with rice and any  preparation like  varan or dal.


You can prepare this by using both Instant masala and Instant dal mix-3. If you are planning to make it without dal then you will have to give it a tempering and also add other ingredients like kokum (tamarind), chilli pd, jaggery. Moreover it is difficult to make tempering in a rice cooker.




If you are planning to make this without Instant masala and the Instant dal mix,  this recipe posted in my other blog- sameveggiemanyways would interest you.

Ingredients- 
  • 2 cups peeled or unpeeled yellow pumpkin (unpeeled ones are tasty if cooked over low heat for long time)
  • 1 onion
  • 5-6 cloves garlic chopped or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Instant dal mix- 3 
  • 2 tbsp Bhakar bhaji masala





 Appliance-
Rice cooker or stove top

Preparation-

1. Mix the Instant dal mix- 3 with 1/2 cup of water and keep ready.
2. Chop the pumpkin peeled or unpeeled into 1/2" cubes or slightly bigger size.

 Method
Heat a non-stick pan and pour 1-2 tbsp oil. Or heat oil in the rice cooker.




Put in the garlic pieces, fry these till slightly golden.





Add chopped onions and fry till they are translucent.

 



You can now add pumpkin pieces, stir and roast them for few mins and then pour 1 cup hot water.






Cover and cook till the pumpkin becomes dark in shade and cooked.
Add the Instant dal mixture and  cover-n-cook again for 10 mins..
Lastly add the Instant Bhakar bhaji masala, mix all and check whether the salt is enough.  Cover and cook for 5 mins.






It will taste good if you eat it after 20 mins, by then all the flavors will blend together giving you an aromatic curry.
  
Note-
This version is ideal for busy days and for new cooks.
Adding dal gives a nice velvety gravy. 
Add water and adjust the consistency of the gravy.




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Monday, 17 March 2014

Instant milk masala or Indian dessert topping





I love to sprinkle this masala over gulab jamuns, jalebis, any kheer or payasams, malpua, sheera (sooji halwa) and even on bread pudding's etc.
You can sprinkle them over vanilla/ mango/ or chocolate  icecream when you want Indian flavor. Mix 2 spoons in a glass of cold milk or yoghurt for an instant drink  it will taste similar to thandai or lassi. If you feel like having a cup of masala doodh or badam milk just mix this milk masala in hot milk.


Ingredients-
2 tbsp almond/ badam (unroasted and unsalted)
2 tbsp pistachios/ pista (unroasted and unsalted)
1-2 tbsp cashew pieces
3 green cardamoms (elaichi) don't peel them, use with its peel
1/4- 1/2 cup sugar grains (use more sugar if your are mixing it in milk or yoghurt, use less if using it as a sprinkle
1/2 tsp saffron strands

Method-
  • Powder the sugar and the cardamom in a coffee grinder or dry grinder. 
  • Next add all the nuts  into this. Grind it into coarse powder. Grind it with a pulse motion (i.e., keep stopping every few secs, open the jar and stir the nuts and restart again). This will prevent the mixture from turning into an oily mass, and also the mixer jar does not heat up. Sugar helps the nut powder to remain dry.
  • Remove this powder from the jar and mix in saffron strands (you can lightly crush them with fingers) into this.
  • If you grind the cardamoms along with the nuts you might find that some of the cardamoms might remain as it is. So it is better to grind them before adding the nuts.
  • Store it in a dry air tight jar inside a dark cupboard.
  • It will stay fresh for more months if refrigerated.

For thandai- In addition to this powder you can mix in ground black pepper corns (kali meeri), ground saunf  and dried rose petals or rose water.

Bread halwa using this mix



Chocolate bread pudding with mik masala





Check out the some recipes from my other blog- sameveggiemanyways.
You can cook these in rice cooker too.



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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Chocolate Bread Pudding






You can make this chocolate bread pudding using white bread, wheat bread or chocolate bread or chocolate chip bread with yeast. It's so simple but so good – and even better prepared two days in advance. You can eat them in large portions because it is not very rich. Though I doubt if there will be any left over, it's also wonderful cold.
If the bread is a milk bread or brioche or any rich bread you can use less sugar. I have hardly used any butter so did not want to call it Bread butter pudding. It is easy to make and tastes delicious too.
Most of the bread pudding contains evaporated milk/condensed milk/ whipping cream, butter, chocolate instead of cocoa. If chocolate is used then you will have to melt it over hot water and beat the eggs separately. I have simplified the recipe and this tastes equally great too.
I have used chocolate hazelnut bread which I had baked the day before. This was made with yeast. Don't use quick bread as they are similar to cake.

Chocolate banana hazelnut bread with yeast
Appliance- Rice cooker / Oven

Ingredients-

20 dried cherries (you can use raisins or cranberries or dates or figs)
1/2 loaf of bread (milk bread/ brioche/ chocolate bread with yeast not quick bread)
2 tbsp chopped nuts (hazel nuts/ pistachios/ roasted peanuts/ cashew nuts) (use if your bread does not contain nuts)
1 tbsp melted butter or ghee (clarified butter)
3 tsp Instant milk masala/ Indian dessert powder


For chocolate mixture-

3 tbsp cocoa for white bread (use 2 tbsp if you are using chocolate or chocolate chip bread with yeast)
2-3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp grated orange rind /1.5 tsp vanilla essence/ 1 tsp instant coffee powder
2 cups (400 ml) toned milk or full fat milk
1 egg  (you can replace it with 2 tbsp custard powder or pudding powder or cornstarch)
1/2 tsp apple pie spice/ pumpkin pie spice or (1/4 tsp each of cinnamon pd & grated nutmeg (jaiphal)

Method-

1. Soak the dried cherries (or other dried fruits) in little milk (2 tbsp) for 1/2 hour and cut into 2-3
    pieces. Raisins need no soaking.

2. Begin by tearing or cutting the bread into pieces. You should get about 2 soup bowls of bread
    cubes.

3. If your bread does not contain nuts and you want to add them, you can mix them with the bread
    cubes.

4. Next, place the egg, cocoa, toned milk, orange rind, sugar, grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder in
   a bowl and beat with an egg beater or an hand held beater till the sugar has completely dissolved.
   Remove the beater and give the mixture a good stir till all the ingredients mix and starts looking
   like a chocolate milkshake.

5. Grease a flat bottomed cake pan or any aluminium bowl. I wanted small bread puddings so used
   6 aluminium cupcake tins.

6. Lightly grease the pan or cups with melted butter or ghee and arrange half the bread pieces over in
    overlapping rows so that it evenly covers the bottom.

7. Now, pour half the chocolate mixture all over the bread as evenly as possible, then arrange the
    dried cherries over this.

8. Arrange rest of the bread pieces over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate mixture. Use a
   fork to press the bread gently down so that it gets covered very evenly with the liquid. Keep this
   pan aside for 1/2 an hour to let the bread soak up the chocolate mixture. If you have a refrigerator,
   chill this for 1 hour.

arrange the cups as we did for semolina cakes

9. Place water in the rice cooker pan and place the steamer basket on it. Cover with the lid and press
    the 'cook' button. Brush the top of pudding with little ghee using fingers or place a small piece of
    butter. When the water gets heated, place pan or cups in the steamer basket. See that there is
    enough space for the steam to move about.

10. Steam the pudding for 20 mins. If you have used a single pan then it will take 30-40 mins to cook.
      You can see the liquid setting and pudding rising up.


Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving.




Remove them out and you can eat it right from the bowl. If you want to take them out lightly loosen it with back of a fork (try to loosen it from the bottom too) and invert it on a plate.





You can sprinkle Instant milk masala /dessert powder on it to make it more delicious OR  eat plain OR with chocolate/vanilla ice cream.





Note- You can bake this in a preheated (150 C or 320 F) for 30 mins (for cups) and 50 mins (for a single cake pan). Bake for 30-35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy and the inside soft and squidgy. It will be easier to place or remove the small cups from the hot oven if they are placed in a cake tin.

I will post step by step pictures when I make this again. If any of you are interested in the bread recipe here it is-





 Sharing with- Yeast spotting








Check out the some recipes from my other blog- sameveggiemanyways.
You can cook these in rice cooker too.



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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Soft Scrambled eggs in rice cooker






Eggs Scrambled Soft means the eggs are a tad on the shiny side, have a soft pillow like texture and they even might be a little watery to look.


You can make excellent scrambled eggs in the rice cooker and it is even easier if it has a non-stick pan inside.

You can make them very soft, moist and creamy but not runny or you can make them slightly solid, whichever way you prefer.

The trick is to add milk or water in the mixture. The eggs should be at room temp. Cooking should be done slowly and only mix in the salt when they just start to firm up.






Ingredients-

1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1 tbsp water
Salt and pepper

Appliance-
Rice cooker or Stove top with a nonstick pan


Let start making it. Before you start  make sure to bring the eggs to room temperature (i.e., if they were refrigerated ).

1. Break one egg into a bowl, add 1 tbsp milk and 1 tbsp water. Beat well.





2. Put 2 tbsp milk in the rice cooker and cover with a lid. Start the cook button.





3. When the milk becomes hot and just starts boiling pour the beaten egg and sprinkle salt on         the surface. Do not mix.




4. Cover and cook for 2 mins.



5. The egg starts to solidify. Gently start pulling the egg from corner to centre with a wooden spoon.   Do not stir, if you do, all the air inside the beaten egg will escape.




6. Slowly start pull and push and bring them to the centre when they start getting firm in the bottom.




7. Cover again with the lid and cook 1 or 2 mins. Open and flip each large pieces of scrambled egg to other side.




 8. Switch off the electric rice cooker and keep it covered. It will cook in the hot rice cooker even after it is switched off.
There will be few tsp of liquid remaining in the pan along with the eggs and you know the eggs are done.



Remove onto a plate and sprinkle ground black pepper corns and enjoy with some Whole Wheat or   Wheat oat bread.




Tip-
Cooking the proteins on slow heat for a longer time makes them soft. So we have added milk and water to slow down the process. Use the same trick when you are cooking on the stove top too.








Check out the some recipes from my other blog- sameveggiemanyways.
You can cook these in rice cooker too.


Easy Kolhapuri masala -Kaanda lasun masala
This masala is used in various gravies and stir-fry.



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