Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Butternut Squash/Pumpkin Fry

We used to harvest 'n' number of pumpkins, cucumbers, melons and lemons during our summer holidays at my grandmother's place. The pumpkins would be man sized, huge and heavy and I remember my grandfather selling them to the wholesalers at the weekly farmer's market. Pumpkin fry would be on the menu list during our harvest festival's feast in the month of January. I have shared my grandmother's version of the recipe. Enjoy!
Butternut squash/pumpkin - 1 cup (cubed)
Green chilli - 2 (split lengthwise)
Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry leaves - 10
Urad Dahl - 1/2 Teaspoon
Channa Dahl - 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt  - to taste

1. Peel the outer skin of the pumpkin using the peeler and cut it into two and remove the seeds. Cube the pumpkin of your desired size.
2. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter in it. Then add the green chillies and curry leaves followed by the Channa and urad dahl.
3. Add the cubed pumpkin along with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and sauté until the pumpkin becomes soft. (approx. 8 to 10 mins)
         Pumpkin fry is ready to be served.

* Do not overcook the pumpkin else it becomes too mushy and unpleasant to eat. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Gulab Jamoon

Gulab Jamoon is one of  my all time favourites and I cannot resist with just one or two at a time. This soft, smooth and spongy dessert will literally melt in one's mouth. The ingredients are very simple but it turns out to be a very rich dessert. Enjoy!
Whole milk powder - 1 cup
Plain flour - 1/4 cup
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) - 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 Teaspoon
Warm milk - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1 Tablespoon
Oil - For deep frying
For sugar syrup
Sugar - 3 cups
Water - 3 cups
Cardamom - 4 pods (crushed)

1. Mix the plain flour, milk powder, baking soda and salt along with the warm milk into a fine dough (like chapatti dough) and keep it aside covered for 10 minutes.
2. Make the sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in water and boiling it for 15 minutes. Once it is done add the crushed cardamom pods to the syrup.
3. Now heat the oil for deep frying in a thick and wide bottomed pan on a medium heat.
4. Make small roundels out of the dough by touching the ghee now and then to avoid the stickiness of  the dough.
5. Now drop a pinch of the dough into the oil, if it springs to the top in a second or two the oil is ready for frying.
6. Drop 8 to 10 roundels into the oil at a time, allowing enough space for each roundel to get cooked. Fry until the jamoons turn into a nice golden brownish colour (approx. 2 to 3 minutes) and sieve them out of the oil and place on the kitchen towels to absorb excess oil.
7. Allow 2 minutes for the oil to heat up and drop the roundels again.
8. Once the jamoons are cooled drop them in the sugar syrup. Leave them for an hour or two and serve the jamoons along with the syrup.
* Oil should be only on medium heat else the roundels will be burnt outside and uncooked in the inside.
* Allow 2 minutes for the oil to heat up between each batch else the jamoons will break if the oil is not hot enough and start absorbing excess oil and become too crispy on the outside.
* Readymade jamoon mixes can also be used. I usually prefer MTR brand.

Fiery Red Hot Chilli Chutney

Red chilli chutney is one of my all time favourites which would obviously tease one's taste buds. It is a very very hot chutney which serves as a compliment with piping hot idlis and dosas. A hot tea or coffee after having this chutney will sure satisfy the palates which crave for hot stuffs. Enjoy!
Shallots - 15 to 20
Garlic - 3 pods
Dried Red Chilli - 20
Tomato - 1
Salt - to taste
For Seasoning
Gingelly oil - 3 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Urad dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Channa dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Curry Leaves - 20 leaves

1. Grind the shallots, garlic, tomato and dried red chillies along with salt into a fine or coarse paste by adding little or no water.
2. Heat oil in the pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the curry leaves followed by the dahls.
3. Now add the ground paste and cook for 5 minutes until the raw smell goes away. Stir constantly else the chutney will be splattered all over.
4. Turn off the heat, allow it to cool and store in a air tight jar. This chutney would stay for weeks if refrigerated properly.
* Using gingelly oil will ease the take of the chillies in your tummy.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Red Beans & Egg Plant Curry

Beans are the good source of proteins but they should be cooked properly. Uncooked or half-cooked beans will be hazardous to our body. Here I have shared a tangy curry combining the red kidney beans and baby aubergines. Enjoy!
Egg plant - 5 (cut lengthwise)
Red kidney beans - 100 g (soaked and boiled)
Shallots - 10 - 15 (peeled)
Garlic pods - 10 (peeled)
Tomato - 2 (medium, puréed)
Curry leaves - 10
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dried red chilli - 2
Salt - as required
Tamarind juice - 2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Sambar powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
1. Wash and soak the red kidney beans for aleast 8 hours. Pressure cook the beans along with little water and keep aside. It takes at least 8 whistles to get completely cooked.
2. Heat oil in a pan allow the mustard seeds to crack. Now add the fenugreek seeds followed but the curry leaves and dried red chillies.
3. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the cut aubergines and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Now add all the masalas along with salt and fry for a minute until the raw smell of the masalas go away.
5. Add the tomato purée and cook for another 3 minutes and add the cooked beans along with the water and add the tamarind pulp as well.
6. Add little water if required and reduce the heat to medium and cook until oil separates from the gravy.
     Red kidney beans with baby aubergines curry is ready to be served.
* This curry goes well with rice.
* Allow this curry to stand for atleast an hour after cooking to get better taste.
* Make sure the beans are completely cooked else they can be fatal.