Lajawaab turned one a couple of months ago (to be specific on the 17th of May), but with my hectic schedule and with the traveling, i just didnt find the time to do a post. A time to reflect back on the year that was happening and fulfilling in a lot of ways. And i owe it all to my friends and family who have always been there for me. A good friend who introduced me to the world of blogging, opened up doors to a world of learning (discovering different cuisines and learning about different traditions and culture)and friends. I love cooking - a hobby that i nurtured growing up as a kid and watching my aai work wonders in the kitchen. A hobby that was pursued and supported, thanks to my dear hubby dear who loves experimenting with food. But there are times when i dont feel like cooking or posting. Thats why i appreciate all you guys for your encouragement and support. Because of time constraint, its not possible for me to reply to all your comments. However, I really appreciate all the feedback and it means a lot to have someone email you or leave you a comment- it kind of motivates you to keep going forward. So thank you guys. I do try to reply to any queries as soon as possible, by either directly posting on the respective blogs and sometimes on my own (which i should be doing consistently).
Over the year, i did a total of 78 posts- 120 recipes with a varied array of appetizers, soups, entrees and side dishes.
Here's a recap of the previous year's favorite recipes (in no particular order) which have become a regular in my kitchen based on different cuisines-
1. Punjabi- Kadai Paneer, Paneer Makhani, Dal Makhani, Bhindi masala, Dal fry, Baingan bharta
2. Italian- Tiramisu, Six-cheese pizza with pesto sauce, Angel hair pasta with sundried tomatoes, basil and pine nuts
3. Mexican- Mexican sandwich
4. Mediterranean- Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Mujaderrah, Umm Ali
5. Chinese- Vegetable Fried rice, Gobi manchurian, Hot and sour soup
6. Gujarati- Gujarati dal, Gujarati Kadhi, Bharela bhinda, Dal vada, Fadani khichdi (dalia khichdi),
7. Marathi- Jhunka Bhakar- Pithla, Katachi Amti, Puranpoli, Spring onion vegetable, Pattal bhaaji, Thalipeeth, Masale bhaat, Tomato saar, Kelichi bhajji, Kelicha raita, Kairi kanda
8. South Indian- Hyderabadi Qabuli, Mango puliora, mango rasam, Baingan mirchi ka salan
9.Fast food- Pani puri, Chaat, Paneer Chilla
10.Foods for fast
My goal for the next year is to diversify my cooking. There are so many Gujarati dishes that i would love to cook and post- a lot of entrees and farsaan. Also a lot more regional Indian cooking- the only reason that you do not see a lot of South Indian cuisine on my blog is because i am not a great fan of South Indian food (i know- i might only be the odd man out here). There are such diverse methods and foods to cook even within one specific region- i feel like i have not posted enough of the everyday marathi fare itself. Exploring and experimenting with international cuisine- specifically Thai, Greek, Ethiopian (which we absolutely love), Mexican and authentic Italian. There are many other dishes that can be consumed on the days that you fast- apart from the ones i have already posted about (isnt it surprising). The different mouthwatering Indian street foods are yet to be explored by me. Making salads (no not the green leafy American salads)- i am talking about the koshimbirs, chutney and raita and Proteins- the different lentils a part of our regular diet is another thing that i wish to accomplish this year. How consistent i might be about doing the posts is another issue. Since i will be finishing my hospital internship by the year end and sitting for the board examinations, blogging might become even more sporadic than it is now. But i will be visiting your blogs to check out whats cooking in the blog world.
Moving on to the recipes of the week, my first taste of an authentic Rajasthani meal was at the home of a very good friend of ours- who also happens to be from Rajasthan. And apart from that, Kavita also happens to be an amazing cook. There is always something that you can pick up and learn from everything that happens in life- be it a person or a situation. And with cooking- there are so many small and big tips that can go a long way to help you in preparing the dish. Learning one thing is just never enough. So with a lot of small and big pointers from Kavita and my Aai- here's to a smackingly delicious Rajasthani meal of Dal-Bati-Churma-lasun chutney-Kanda hari mirch ka khatta.
Serves 6 (makes enough for 14-15 Batis)
3 cups Panch dal mix (available at Indian grocery stores or else substitute at home with Toor dal-red split masoor dal-yellow split mung dal- chana dal- split black urad dal- majority of the mix should be made up of urad and chana dalor you can just use urad, toor and chana dal depending on what you have on hands)
1 small red onion- chopped (optional- Not all Rajasthanis add onion to the dal)
1-1/2 inch piece of ginger-crushed
4 cloves garlic-crushed
3 green chilies-crushed
1/2 inch piece of ginger-finely chopped
1 green chilli-chopped
1 dried red chili
3 small tomatoes-finely chopped
1 tsp jeera
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/3 tsp chili powder
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp ghee
salt to taste
1. Boil the dal in a pressure cooker with the turmeric, asafoetida, chopped ginger and chilli added in. Do not overcook the dal- the lentils should be soft yet not mashed.
2. Heat ghee, add in the jeera and when it cracks, add the onions and red chili and saute till the onions turn transluscent and slightly golden brown.
3. Next add in the crushed ginger-garlic-green chili paste and saute for 5-8 more minutes. (If not adding the onions then, this should be your second step).
4. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute till the mixture releases the ghee. Add the red chili powder, garam masala and salt and saute for 5 more minutes.
5. Add in the boiled dal mixture, add 2-3 cups water (depending on how thick it is- the dal should be moderately thick in consistency), mix well and let cook for 20-25 more minutes.
6. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with the bati.
5 cups Coarse whole wheat flour/Laddoo flour (available at Indian grocery stores- however you can substitute with regular whole wheat flour and semolina/rava/sooji)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
1. Add in the salt and baking soda to the coarse whole wheat flour and mix well. Next add in the oil and mix.
2. Next knead the flour into a hard dough (a little harder than you make for the puris)- with water.
3. If the dough keeps breaking, then knead it with milk- it has the stickiness to help keep the dough together.
4. Roll into small balls and slighlty press. Keep covered till baking.
5. Have the oven preheated to 400 degree farenheit. Place the rolled balls on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes. When you see the top turning golden brown, turn them over and bake for 15-20 more minutes. Based on your oven the time may differ. If the bati turns golden brown earlier flip them over and if not, bake them a little more.
6. When the batis turn golden brown all over and puff up a little, remove from the oven and pour ghee over them. Alternately dip in a bowl filled with ghee so that the ghee gets absorbed into the bati.
7. Serve hot with the dal
1. Add ghee to the coarse wheat flour, mix well and knead a dough with milk to resemble the consistency of batis.
2. Make very small balls and fry them in ghee till golden brown(alternately, bake in the oven and then mix with ghee).
3. Crush the balls in a mixer to a coarse powder, add sugar (i added 3 tsp) and serve with ghee on the side.
1 whole bulb garlic (crushed into a fine paste)
1/2 tsp jeera
3 tsp oil
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or as per your spice level)
1/3 tsp cumin-coriander powder
salt to taste
1. Heat oil, add in the jeera and when it pops, add the red chili powder and pour this mixture over the gine garlic paste. Or anltenately, add the garlic paste to this mix and saute for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add cumin-coriander powder, salt and (additional) chili powder -if required and serve the the Dal-Bati.
Kanda-Hari Mirch ka Khatta
This recipe is from the Taj Chef's vegetarian favorites. The green onions lend a wonderful taste to the kadhi.
3 cups dahi/yogurt made into buttermilk (consistency should be moderately thick)/ 1 liter buttermilk
3 tbsp gram flour/besan
150 gm green onions-chopped
2 tsp garlic paste
2 green chilies
1 whole dried red chili
2 tbsp coriander
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/3 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1/3 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida'1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1. Mix the besan with the buttermilk, so that there are no lumps.
2. Add the salt and turmeric and keep aside.
3. Heat oil, add the cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds and when they pop, add the asafoetida and the green onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes- Do not let the onions turn brown.
4. Pour in the besan-buttermilk mixture and cook on medium heat till it starts boiling.
5. Reduce heat, add the garlic paste and green chilies and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
6. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rice.