Vegetable Curry Puff

August 18th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Carrot/Gajar, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Ginger/Adrak, Hyderabadi special, Kasuri methi, Lemon/Nimbu, Mustard seeds/Rai, Peas/Matar, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, White Potato/Aloo 13 Comments » 10,262 views

Puffs are one easy to make snacks when ready made puff pasty is available, perfect for tea-time, or at iftaar.

freshly baked vegetable puffs, ready to be eaten

Bakeries in Hyderabad sell puffs that vary in shapes and the fillings used. Egg puffs, chicken puffs, paneer puffs and vegetable puffs are a few examples. You can even prepare puff pasty at home if ready made puff pasty is not available at stores.

Vegetable Curry Puffs

Ingredients:

Frozen Puff Pastry – 1 package (2 sheets) [available in the freezer section of most grocery stores or supermarkets]
For Filling:
Canola oil – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Black mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fresh Ginger – 1 tsp, finely grated
Potatoes – peeled and chopped, 1 cup
Carrot – peeled and chopped, 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/8 tsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Frozen green peas – 1/4 cup
Lemon juice –2 tbsp
Garam masala powder  – 1/4 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbsb, finely chopped

Method:

1. Prepare the filling just as you prepare for Samosas.
2. Defrost the frozen puff pastry sheets according to directions. Using a pizza slicer, cut a sheet horizontally in the center. Then again cut the sheet vertically into 3 strips. Place a small ball of the filling on one side of each strip. Cover with the other side of the strip and gently seal the sides. Brush with some cold milk and bake according to instructions. Serve warm along with tomato ketchup.

This is my second entry to the The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival that I am hosting on my blog.
For more details about the event, click here.

Luv,
Mona

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Palak Gosht

May 3rd, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Coriander seeds, Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Lamb/Beef/Mutton/Veal/Sheep, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Spinach/Palak ki bhaji, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 24 Comments » 15,890 views

One of the most usual accompaniments to khatti dal and rice, or parathas at meals, palak gosht is a simple spinach+meat medley that both nourishes as well as satisfies. It is comfort food for me. Give me this combination and I will happily gobble it all up anytime.

Fresh Spinach leaves – Palak

You can even use frozen spinach as it will save both time and effort. However, fresh is best and always recommended. Make sure you wash the fresh spinach leaves well before use.

Palak Gosht – Spinach Meat curry

Ingredients:

Lamb Meat with bone – 500 gms
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1, medium, finely sliced
Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
Green chillies – 6, chopped
Salt – 2 ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato – 1, chopped
Fresh Spinach/Palak – 300 gms (or) Frozen Spinach – 300 gms
Dill leaves/Suva bhaji – 1/2 cup, finely chopped (optional)

Palak Gosht – Spinach Meat curry

Method:

1. If using fresh spinach: Wash the spinach carefully. Cut and discard the thick stems. Hold the leaves together in a bunch and cut into thin strips. Again cut these strips thinly in opposite direction.
2. In a pressure cooker at medium high heat, add oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion. Stir fry until golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. In a minute add the meat with bones and mix well. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Pour in about 1 ½ cup fresh cool water and pressure cook until the meat is tender. Once done, open the lid and cook at medium hight heat while stirring frequently until the mixture dries up and starts leaving oil. Add the chopped spinach and chopped dill leaves and pressure cook for 3 more minutes. Open the lid and cook for 10 minutes at medium high heat. You can cook until the curry is dry, or leave a little gravy if you like. Serve warm.

Luv,
Mona

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Chatpata Chaat

April 5th, 2010 Mona Posted in Black pepper powder, Canola Oil, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, White Potato/Aloo, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz, Yogurt/Dahi 12 Comments » 11,110 views

The mere mention of chaats reminds me of those visits to Gokul chaat bhangaar. It is a popular eatery for fast food snacks in Hyderabad city. Inspite of going through many controversies, this tiny eatery has been able to attract crowds of foodies who come flocking to this place from even across the city and cram on the roadside at King Koti blocking the busy traffic, just to fill up their stomachs with the delicious chaat items that they sell at reasonable prices.

For those of you not familiar with the term, chaat in India refers to all kinds of snack or fast food items that a popular street food with a mingling taste of spicy, sweet, sour, soft, salty and crunchy. For chaat preparation a variety of pre-prepared ready to use ingredients are mixed together just prior to consumption. There exist many regional variations of chaats in India. Pani Puri (also known as Golgappe), Chana Cutlet, Ragda Cutlet, Ragda Samosa, Dahi Puri, Fruit Chaat, Bhel Puri etc are just a few mentions. Today I am writing about Chana Cutlet, Ragda Cutlet and Ragda Samosa.

Ragda Cutlet
Other names: Ragda Patties, Ragda Pattice, Ragda Tikki, Ragda Pattie

Ragda Cutlets used to be one of the hot sellers at the Gokul Chaat Bhandaar. Every once in a while, while on the way to Pura Shahar/Old City (Hyderabad, India), we used to make a stop there and enjoy the yummy chaats. To make this wholesome snack, a spicy peas mixture is made and is served along with aloo cutlets, tangy chutneys, some sweetened yogurt and chopped onions.

dried green peas and dried yellow/white peas~ available at Indian grocery stores
Note: Split yellow peas that are available in the market are neither Tuvar ki dal or Chane ki dal

Ingredients:

For Ragda:
Dried Yellow/White Peas – 1/2 cup
Dried Green peas – 1/2 cup
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 2, medium sized, finely sliced
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 3, finely chopped
Roasted Coriander seed power – 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin seed powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes – 3, medium sized, finely chopped
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
For Cutlets:
Potatoes – 6, mediu sized, peeled and quartered
Water
Black pepper powder
Salt
For Garnish:
Kothmir Pudina Chutney
Tamarind chutney
Chopped Onion
Sev (store bought ready made, or home made)
Sweetened Yogurt

Ragda Cutlet

Method:

For Radga
1. Soak the dried peas in fresh cool water overnight. The next day, drain the peas and wash them. Add them to the pressure cook add pour in water to cover the peas by 2 inches. Add 1 tsp salt and pressure cook until they are soft but not mushy.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet at medium high heat add oil and as soon as it is warm, add the onions and stir fry for a few minutes until they are soft. Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, green chillies, coriander and cumin seed powder and stir continuously and let cook for a minute or two. Add tomatoes and mix well. Cover and cook while stirring in between until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Add red chilli powder, salt and chopped cilantro and stir to mix.
3. Once the peas are done, add the contents of the skillet to the peas in the pressure cooker and mix well. Add more water if needed. Mash up the mixture just a little bit leaving some peas whole in the mixture. Let the mixture cook for some time until you get a gravy consistency. Remove from heat and keep aside.
For Cutlets:
4. In a microwave safe bowl, add the quartered potatoes and about 1/2 cup water. Mix and microwave on high for a few minutes (5-8 minutes or more, keep a watch) until the potatoes are soft. Once soft, mash them using a fork. Add black pepper powder and salt to taste and mix. Shape into cutlets and shallow fry all the potato cutlets on both sides. Keep aside.
To Assemble:
5. Arrange two warm potato cutlets on a plate. Pour two (or more if you wish) ladlefuls of warm ragda on them. Pour a few tablespoons of kothmir pudina chutney, tamarind chutney and sweetened yogurt. Sprinkle chopped onion and sev over it. Serve immediately.

***

Below are a few variations of chaats you can prepare using the method above with a few substitutions here and there.

Chana Cutlet:
For chana cutlet, prepare cholay, and while assembling instead of adding ragda, add cholay and follow the rest of the procedure.

Ragda Samosa:
For ragda samosa, prepare aloo samosa and while assembling instead of adding cutlets, break two samosas for each person and follow the rest of the procedure.

Luv,
Mona

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Fish Maheqalya

January 22nd, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Curry leaves (fresh), Dried Red Chillies, Dry Desiccated Coconut, Fenugreek/Methi seeds, Ginger-Garlic paste, Groundnut/Moomphalli, Hyderabadi special, Poppy seeds/Khus-Khus, Rainbow Trout, Red Chilli powder, Salmon, Salt/Namak, Sesame seeds/Til, Snapper, Tamarind/Imli, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 21 Comments » 9,763 views

Hyderabad does not boast of many seafood preparations. However come rainy season or the winter, we hyderabadis love to prepare a few very special close to heart dishes that are very specific to the Hyderabadi trpe of cooking. Today I am writing about one such fish curry. One of my most favorite fish curries, Machli ka Maheqalya, never fails to remind me of my grandmother. She used to prepare the most delicious Maheqalya ever.

Red Snapper Steaks

I usually prepare a mutton maheqalya or a fish maheqalya. Maheqalya is basically a sauce made with a range or aromatic spices and seasonings. It is a regional recipe from the city of Hyderabad usually prepared by Muslims. If you do not like fish or mutton, you can add add boiled eggs to the sauce to make it ando ka maheqalya, or you can also add sautéed bitter gourd rounds into the gravy for karelon ka maheqalya, or just opo squash pieces for kaddu ka maheqalia.

A perfect accompaniment to Maheqalya is Khadi dal and rice. My Ammi used to prepare and serve this for lunch or dinner usually on Jummah during my childhood.

Machli ka Maheqalya ~ Fish Maheqalya

Ingredients:

White/Yellow Onion – 2, large, sliced thick
Groundnut/Moomphalli – 3 tbsp, ground into a fine powder
Dry Desiccated Coconut – 3 tbsp
White poppy seeds/Khuskhus – 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds/Till – 3 tbsp
Tomatoes – 3, large, red and ripe, roughly chopped
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 or 2 fresh sprigs
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Dried red chillies/Baghaar ki mirch – 3, each broken into two
Dry Roasted Coriander seed powder – 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Tamarind paste – 2 tbsp
Red Snapper steaks – 5-6 steaks (I had a medium sized red snapper cut into steaks) (preferred fish are rohu and murrel which are easily available in India, or you can also use salmon (wild) or king fish or any that you like with or without bones)
Cilantro/Kothmir – 1 tbsp, chopped finely

Machli ka Maheqalya ~ Fish Maheqalya

Method:

1. Take a large heavy bottom non-stick skillet on medium heat, and pour a tablespoon of oil into it. As it gets warm, add the sliced onions and a teaspoon of salt. Mix well and half cover with the lid. After 2-3 minutes, give a good stir to the onions, add 1/4 cup of water, and again half cover it with lid. Keep repeating this until the onions are all soft and browned evenly. Remove the pan from heat, and let them cool down. Once cooled, add the chopped tomatoes and the caramelized onions into a blender container or food processor and blend till pureed smooth adding a few drops of water if necessary, just to aid in the process. Keep aside.
2. Put a small non-stick frying pan on medium heat and dry-roast the groundnuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, shredded coconut, khuskhus each individually without oil till they are golden brown in colour. Do not burn them. Remove them into a cup (you can dry roast a handful of almonds and cashewnuts and grind them together along if you want a richer gravy). Once cool, grind them all together or individually until very fine. Make sure the obtained spice powder is very fine.
3. Take a large non-stick heavy bottomed saucepan and add a tablespoon of oil to it and put it on medium heat, add oil and keep it on medium high heat. Add cumin seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds to the oil and let them splutter. Now add the onion+tomato paste to it and cover the lid immediately for 3-5 minutes and remove the saucepan from heat, so that the aroma of the tempered oil with spices gets absorbed by the onion mixture. Remove the lid, put the saucepan back on stove and add the ginger-garlic pastes to it and stir to mix it all completely. Add the spice powder which we prepared earlier, the red chilli powder, salt and turmeric and stir it well. Lower the heat to medium low and let cook until it starts leaving oil. Pour in about 3 cups of water, and add the tamarind paste and give it a stir. Close the lid and increase the heat and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and gently lower the fish steaks into the gravy. Let it cook half covered for 15 minutes until the fish is done. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve warm.

Luv,
Mona

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Rejuvenating Sprouts

January 4th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Coriander seeds, Lemon/Nimbu, Masoor Sprouts, Quick fix meals, Red Chilli powder, Red Lentils/Masoor ki Dal, Salt/Namak, Tomato/Tamatar (fresh), Turmeric/Haldi, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 9 Comments » 4,911 views

Sprouts, which are germinated seeds are living foods that are highly nutritious and can be prepared very easily to enhance any recipe. They are good sources of proteins, vitamins, trace minerals and low in calories. They aid in digestion, reduce stress, boost immunity, prevent cancer and hydrating to the body.

Whole Masoor sprouts

I usually prepare a simple sautéed side dish using sprouts which I also enjoy as a snack along with a cup of hot chai. You can even substitute the whole masoor sprouts here with moong sprouts.

Sautéed Sprouts

Ingredients:

Sprouted Whole Masoor – 1/2 cup
Yellow/White Onion – 1, small sized, thinly sliced
Tomato – 1, medium sized, finely diced
Dry roasted Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Canola oil – 1 tsp

Sautéed whole Masoor sprouts

Method:

In a pressure cooker at medium high, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and let cook for a few seconds until just lightly softened. Add tomatoes, salt and half cup water and cook them for a few minutes until mushy. Add the sprouted masoor. Also mix in red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix well and pressure cook for just 5 minutes or less. Open the lid and cook for a further 3-5 minutes and serve. You can also sprinkle a little bit of fresh lemon juice if desired.

Luv,
Mona

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