Friday, May 01, 2015

Muhammara / Roasted Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip

Muhammara / Roasted Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip Roasted bell pepper and walnut dip -specialty from Middle East

Muhammara is a popular condiment in the Middle East, originally from Syria. It is made with roasted bell peppers and walnuts and is served with Arabic mezze items such as pita bread, or any snack or bread of your choice. You may also serve it as a side dish with a regular meal. It has a very nice smoky taste from roasted bell peppers and walnuts and a slight tang from pomegranate molasses.

When I tasted Muhammara at a restaurant I loved the flavors and wanted to try it at home and after searching a lot I made this version. As I don't have pomegranate molasses at home so substituted it with thick pomegranate syrup. This dip is a good and delicious substitute and a change from the regular tomato ketchup.






Prep time- 10 min
Cooking time - 10 min
Difficulty level - medium
Spice level - medium hot
Cuisine - Arabic,Middle eastern
Type - Dip/Chutney

INGREDIENTS-

  • Red Bell Peppers /laal shimla mirch - 3
  • Pomegranate molasses / Pomegranate syrup - 3 tsp
  • Walnuts, chopped /akhrot- 3/4 cup
  • Cumin powder /jeera powder - 1 tsp
  • Fresh Red Chili/tazi lal mirch - 3 *
  • Extra virgin olive oil /jaiton ka tel - 3.5 tbsp
  • Lemon juice /nimbu ka ras - 2 tsp
  • Salt /namak- to taste
  • Bread, slice - 1
PROCEDURE-
  1. Toast the bread and let it cool down then grind to make crumbs.
  2. Soak the walnuts in a cup of water for about 40 minutes.
  3. Roast the whole bell peppers on open flame or under a broiler till charred and blackened from all the sides.
  4. Peel the skin of the bell pepper and discard all the seeds and chop into small pieces.
  5. Roast the fresh red chilies on direct flame and rub to peel the skin and then chop
  6. In the mixer jar add chopped bell peppers, red chili, 2 tbsp bread crumbs,walnuts, salt, lemon juice and cumin.
  7. Grind on slow speed till it become a paste then slowly add olive oil and grind to mix all.
  8. Take out the dip in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.
  9. It remains fresh for a week in refrigerator.
  10. Serve with pita bread or any snack of your choice
NOTE-
You can use chili powder instead of using fresh red chilies.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Methi Corn Malai, Fenugreek and Corn Curry

Corn and fresh fenugreek cooked in a mild and rich curry.

Corn methiwala /Methi corn malai or Methi makai malai is a very popular North Indian style curry. The slightly sweet taste of corn and cashew blend very well with fenugreek in this curry. Though it is made in a quite rich gravy but I have skipped adding cream in it and just added cashew paste and milk but you can add cream if you wish.

Boiled fresh corn or frozen or tinned corn can be used to make this curry.I prefer to use fresh fenugreek/methi if available in the season but you can also use dried kasoori methi to make this ,just add the soaked dried fenugreek in water for 10 minutes ,drain the water and add the soaked methi in the curry.Corn methi is served as a side dish with naan, roti or rice preparations

I have also posted - Methi matar malai which is also a easy and delicious side dish.

Methi makai malai corn curry


Prep time-15 min
Cooking time-15 min
Difficulty level-medium
Spice level- mild
Cuisine- North Indian,Punjabi
Type- side,curry

INGREDIENTS-

  • Fresh fenugreek leaves/ hari methi - 2 cup tightly packed/ 80 gms
  • Corn kernals/ makai ke daaney - 1.5 cup
  • Tomato, chopped - 4 small/350 gms
  • Cashews / kaju - 15
  • Full fat milk - 1 cup
  • Mawa or cream - 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Cardamom powder /elaichi powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder/ haldi - 1/3 tsp
  • Chili powder /lal mirch - 3/4 tsp
  • Sugar /chini - 1.5 tsp
  • Salt /namak - to taste
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - 2 tbsp
PROCEDURE-
  1. Remove tender shoots and leaves from the the thick methi stems.
  2. Chop methi and apply a tsp of salt ,cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Now squeeze the methi leaves and wash the leaves very well with freash water .
  4. Pressure cook corn kernels with a cup of water for 3 whistles then drain and keep aside.
  5. Chop cashews and soak them in 3 tbsp milk for 15 minutes or micro for a minute.
  6. Grind the soaked cashew and make a fine paste.
  7. Pressure cook the chopped tomato for a whistle and grind to make a fine puree.(don't add water in tomato while boiling)
  8. Heat oil and 1 tbsp butter in a pan.
  9. Add cumin seeds in it,when cumin start crackling add cardamom powder.
  10. Now add chopped fenugreek leaves/methi and saute for a minutes .
  11. Now add tomato puree,salt, chili powder and turmeric powder.
  12. Cook till oil starts to separate from the tomato masala.
  13. Now add cashew paste in it and cook for a minute.
  14. Add the boiled corn, 3/4 cup warm milk, sugar and garam masala and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  15. Add grated mawa and mix.
  16. Cover the pan and cook for a minutes on low heat.
  17. Serve hot with naan, roti or paratha.
Tips-

  1. If fresh methi is not available then use 4 tbsp of kasoori methi(dried fenugreek leaves).soak it in water for 10 minutes.discard the water ,was again and add it instead of fresh methi.
  2. You can use cream instead of mawa or skip using both.
  3. Home made quick mawa-  Take 3 tbsp of milk powder,add  1/2 tsp of ghee ,mix it ,now add some milk to make a soft dough,wrap the dough in cling film and keep refrigerated for 10 minutes.take out and grate or mash to use .
  4. You can add some more milk or water if gravy thickens.




    Friday, April 24, 2015

    Amchoor ki Methi Chutney, Saunth Chutney Recipe


    Sweet chutney made with mango powder, sugar and Indian spices

    Dips and relishes are an integral part of every cuisine ,but we Indians use and make so many varieties of dips , each with a different twist in taste which cannot be compared to any one else in the world. Among the many varieties , there are many varieties of chutnies which are made with seasonal fruits and herbs which are Delicious but can be enjoyed for a short time as they have a short shelf life.But saunth /methi chutney is a condiment which can be made and stored for a long period and is used with many Indian chats and snacks.

    This mango powder / aamchoor chutney is very popular in Uttar pradesh . Dry ginger powder is called saunth and  as its used to give a different flavor to this chutney so this sweet chutney is popular with the name-saunth .
    In my home town Mathura this saunth is specially made in each and every wedding and festivals and the relatives who come to attend the wedding are more interested to carry a bottle of this chutney with them rather than any other sweet or savories.This saunth/chutney has a long shelf life and can be  easily stored for minimum 6 months at  room temperature .

    Though the ingredients and process are quite easy and simple, the only thing which should be taken care of is the proper cooking and the correct consistency, as it has to be stored for a long time so it should be cooked properly.

    The whole spices should be ground fresh as store brought garam masala contains bayleaf and cinnamon which should not be added in saunth.

    Saunth chutney can also be made with - Aam papad chutney, Khajoor imli ki chutney



    sweet saunth chutney

    Prep time- 5 min
    Cooking time-15 min
    Difficulty level-easy
    Spice level- medium
    Cuisine- North Indian
    Type-side, dip

    INGREDIENTS-

    • Sugar - 1.5 cup
    • Mango powder /amchoor - 4 tbsp
    • Chili powder/lal mirch - 1 tsp
    • black salt /kala namak- 1 tsp
    • Table Salt - to taste
    • Roasted cumin powder /bhuna jeera -1.5 tsp
    • Ginger powder /saunth - 1.5 tsp
    • Dry dates /chuhara /kharik ,chopped - 6
    • Raisins /kishmish - 1.5 tbsp
    • Melon seeds /magaz/ kharbooj ke beej - 1.5 tsp
    Grind together-
    • Cloves /lavang- 5
    • Black cardamom/ badi elaichi - 4
    • Pepper corns/sabut kali mirch -15
    • Green cardamom / hari elaichi - 5
    PROCEDURE-
    1. Peel black cardamom and green cardamom and take out the seeds .
    2. Now grind the cardamom seeds along with cloves and pepper corn and make a powder and keep aside.
    3. Soak dry dates for 4 hour ,remove the seed and chop to make thin slices.
    4. Add 1.5 cups of water in a pan.
    5. Add mango powder and mix well and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
    6. Add sugar, salt, black salt, saunth,chili powder and simmer for 10 minutes.
    7. Then add chopped dates, kishmish, ground garam masala, roasted cumin and mix.
    8. Simmer till it started to thicken.
    9. Now remove from the flame,it will thicken further when it cool down completely,so cook according to it.
    10. When it thickens it will look like honey.
    11. Store in a glass jar when cool down completely.
    12. Stay well for minimum 6 months at room temperature if cooked properly.
    NOTE-
    1. You can also use jaggary instead of sugar.
    2. Freshly ground garam masla gives a very nice flavour so avoid using store brought garam masala.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Orange Tutti Frutti Cake - Eggless

    Orange tutti frutti cake

    Like cooking I do have interest in baking , but now baking is not which I often do ,as my kids are grown up and don't like sugary and fatty things any more,so what ever baked at home have to finish by two of us grown ups :) so  now baking cakes and cookies are not done often, may be on some special occasion or celebration.
    I have done a lot of baking when the kids are small and still love to bake.Today is a very special occasion as its my son's birthday today.I made a orange cake for him though he is not here with me but at least he can enjoy it virtually.

    I have posted few more cakes -  Chocolate cake,   Microwave Oreo Cake,  Pineapple upside down cake , 1 Min Chocolate Mug cake

    eggless orange and tutti frutti cake


    eggless orange cake

    Prep time -15 min
    Cooking time - 40 min
    Difficulty level - medium
    Cuisine - International
    Type - dessert,snack

    INGREDIENTS-
    • Refined flour /maida - 1+1/4 cup
    • Condensed milk - 1 cup
    • Fresh orange juice - 3/4 cup
    • Butter - 4 tbsp
    • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
    • Baking powder -1.5 tsp
    • Salt - a pinch of
    • Tutti frutti - 1/2 cup
    • Orange zest - 2 tsp
    PROCEDURE-
    1. Preheat the oven on 160 degree temp .
    2. Grease the cake tin with butter and keep aside.
    3. Mix tutti futti with a tsp of refined flour/maida and keep aside.(keep aside 1 tbsp seperatly to sprinkle on top)
    4. Mix refined flour,baking powder,baking soda, salt and sift together.
    5. Take a big bowl and add butter (at room temperature) and condensed milk in it and whisk well.
    6. Now add orange juice and orange zest in the milk mixture and mix.
    7. Add the refined flour mixture in it and mix well (add little flour at a time and keep mixing))
    8. Add tutti frutti and mix gently.
    9. Pour the batter in the greased tin and tap it gently to level it .
    10. Sprinkle some tutti frutti on the top of the cake.
    11. Put the tin in the middle rack  of the hot oven with both(upper and lower) rod on.
    12. Bake for about 35 minutes.
    13. To Check if it is done or not  - Insert a tooth pick in the center,if it come out clean then cake is done,else cook for 5-8 more minutes.
    14. Wait for 5 min then take out the tin from the oven.
    15. Un-mould cake from the tin after 5 minutes.
    16. Cut the cake into slices and serve.
    NOTE-
    1. You can substitute tutti frutti with chopped nuts or candid orange peel or skip adding any of these.
    2. You can slightly adjust the quantity of condensed milk according to the sweetness of orange juice as some oranges are more sweet and some have slightly sour taste
    3. Use fresh orange juice to make this .