Thursday, April 30, 2009

Khasta Kachori (Deep Fried Stuffed Pastry)

Khasta kachori is stuffed with spicy chickpea flour (besan), deep-fried at a low to medium heat and is served with Mint chutney, Tamarind chutney and/or aloo chutney.


  • 1 pound Maida
  • ½ cup ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Chilled water
  • 1 cup Besan (Chickpea Flour)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp soda bi carbonate
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 glass water


  • Mix the maida and salt in a mixing bowl. Add ghee, rub until fully incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add yoghurt and chilled water; knead to make smooth and pliable dough. Cover with plastic wrap and keep aside for half an hour.
  • Roast besan in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat; add masala and water to form dough like structure. Remember the stuffing should be damp and not wet. It should be like stiff dough.
  • Divide stuffing into 15-18 portions; keep aside.
  • Now divide the maida dough equally into 15-18 portions. Shape each portion into a patty. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
  • Flatten each patty into a 2-3 inch round structure. Place one portion of filling in the centre of the dough, and then bring the sides of the dough over the filling to enclose completely. Pinch the seams together until thoroughly sealed. Shape and stuff the remaining patties. Cover with a plastic wrap or a moist towel. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok (or kadhai) on medium heat. Slip in 3-4 patties (seam-side down) at a time. Fry until pale golden in color. Remember temperature is the most important part of the kachori making. Keep it medium or low-medium hot. The crust should be delicately blistered and crisp.
  • Drain excess oil and serve hot, accompanied by raita, chutney and curry of your choice.

Do You Know?
Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot oil or fat.
If it is performed properly, it does not make food excessively greasy, because the moisture in the food repels the oil.
During deep frying the hot oil heats the water within the food, steaming it from the inside out; oil cannot go against the direction of this powerful flow because (due to its high temperature) the water vapor pushes the bubbles toward the surface.
As long as the oil is hot enough and the food is not immersed in the oil for too long, oil penetration will be confined to the outer surface.
However, if the food is cooked in the oil for too long, much of the water will be lost and the oil will begin to penetrate the food.
The correct frying temperature depends on the thickness and type of food, but in most cases it lies between 175 and 190 °C (345–375 °F).

Paneer Matar Aloo (Cottage cheese with peas and potato)

This dish can be simplified by using frozen vegetables in place of fresh vegetables.

  • ½ cup cottage cheese cubes
  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup potato cubes
  • 6-7 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 2 chopped green chilies
  • ½ cup tomato chunks
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in curry leaves, onion, green chilies and cook until tender.
  • Add potatoes and cook covered for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add peas and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tomato chunks, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Do not add extra water. Let them cook in their own juice.
  • Add cottage cheese cubes and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Mix lemon juice and garam masala.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with Dal, Raita, Chutney and paratha.

Do You Know:

Potatoes are often broadly classified as high on the glycemic index (GI) and so are often excluded from the diets of individuals trying to follow a “low GI” eating regimen.
In fact, the GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on type (such as red, russet, white, or Prince Edward), origin (where it was grown), preparation methods (i.e., cooking method, whether it is eaten hot or cold, whether it is mashed or cubed or consumed whole, etc), and with what it is consumed (i.e., the addition of various high fat or high protein toppings) (Fernandes et al. 2006).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Masala Puri (Deep Fried Puffed Spicy Flat Breads)

Make stiff dough of wheat flour, semolina and masala; deep fry in hot cooking oil on medium heat until crispy brown, serve hot with curry and pickle of your choice.

  • 2 cup Indian whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina (suji)
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (azwain)
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp chat masala
  • ½ tsp crushed dry mint leaves
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Cooking oil to deep fry

  • Mix all the ingredients (except oil to fry) in a bowl. Add warm water just enough to form a firm dough. Knead the dough smooth. Cover and keep it to rest for at least ½ hour at a warm place. Punch and knead the dough again before rolling out.
  • Divide the dough into small balls about golf-ball size, and roll out into 6" rounds on an oiled board.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a wok or saucepan. Add a little salt to the oil to keep it from smoking.
  • Fry the puri one at a time, holding them under the oil on the first side until they puff. Turn and fry until light brown. Drain and take out in an absorbent paper.
  • Serve crispy puris with potato curry and pickle.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Methi Paratha

This leafy-layered paratha is made with fenugreek leaves. If fresh fenugreek leaves are not available, dried kasuri methi can be used.


  • Mix the whole-wheat flour, Bengal Gram Flour, fenugreek leaves, cilantro leaves, chopped green chilies, Ajwain, ginger garlic paste and salt together.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil; knead with enough water to make smooth dough. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes. Knead again and divide the dough into lemon-sized balls.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method II
  • Roll each out to a 5” disc; smear some oil on the top surface, dust some flour over it. Fold disc into a finger shaped structure. Coil this finger into a spiral structure (blob).
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the spiral blob (pedha) into a flat circle about 7-8” in diameter.
  • Heat a griddle or ‘tawa’ and carefully put a paratha over it. Allow to cook for a minute then turn it over. Drizzle a bit of oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha.
  • Smear a little oil on the surface of griddle or ‘tawa’ along the edges of the paratha. Flip and drizzle some more oil on this surface too. Continue to flip the paratha frequently, pressing with a spatula on any unbrowned areas until browned all over on both the sides. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with Green Coriander Chutney, Salad and Butter Milk.

Do You Know:
(Trigonella foenum-graecum) is used both as an herb (fresh and dried leaves) and as a spice (the seed).
The famous name of Fenugreek is Kasuri Methi, which belongs to City Kasur – Pakistan. It is used as vegetable in various eatables. Fresh Kasuri Methi does not contain any smell but after drying, it becomes fragrant and possesses a strong characteristic smell.

Gaajar Ki Kheer (Carrot Pudding)

It takes very less time to prepare and is highly nutritious. Cooked carrots are pureed and boiled with milk until it thickens.


  • Two pink carrots
  • 6 cups whole milk boiled
  • 1 green cardamom whole
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ cup sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp rose water


  • Cut the carrots and cook in a pressure cooker with a cup of water till just tender. When cooled grind them to paste.
  • Heat one tbsp ghee in a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame.
  • Add one green cardamom, when it releases flavor add carrot paste. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add boiled milk and reduce the heat. Boil until it thickens.
  • Add sugar, cardamom powder and chopped nuts.
  • Cool, add rose water and serve.

Do You Know?
Consuming carrots is reported to increase the skins resistance to ultraviolet light, so it helps in protecting against skin cancer along with premature ageing. Carrots are rich in fiber and may help reduce blood cholesterol and are said to combat constipation.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chicken Lollipops

Chicken wings are given shape of Lollipops. Nowadays these are easily available in the market.
Chicken Lollipops are marinated in chicken masala and ginger garlic paste; coated in a spicy red batter and deep-fried in oil. Serve hot as appetizer with salad.

  • 10-12 Chicken Lollipops
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Chicken Masala
  • 1 tsp green chili paste
  • 1 tsp cilantro leaves paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp Maida (or All Purpose Flour)
  • 2 tbsp Corn Flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp red food color
  • Cooking Oil for deep frying

  • Put all the chicken lollipops in a bowl.
  • Add ginger, garlic, cilantro leaves and green chili paste to the chicken. Mix well.
  • Add maida or all purpose flour, corn flour and chicken masala to the same. Break one egg into the bowl, add red food color, and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Keep aside for 1 hour to marinate.
  • Heat some oil in a kadhai or wok on medium flame. Deep-fry chicken lollipops in the hot oil by holding the tip of the bone and placing the meaty section of the lollipop in the oil. Discard marinade.
  • Serve hot with salad as a appetizer.

Do You Know?
Chicken lollipop is an appetizer served before the main courses of a meal. It is made from the middle (and sometimes inner) segments of chicken wings. The middle segment has one of the two bones removed, and the flesh on the segments is pushed to one end of the bone. These are then coated in a spicy batter and deep-fried. It is also a popular item in Indian Chinese Cuisine.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tamatar Ki Chutney (Tomato Chutney)

This tangy chutney is a real replacement of tomato ketchup. Enjoy it with any snack.

  • 1 cup red tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic finely chopped (modify according to taste)
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 4 whole red chilies (dry or fresh)
  • 3-4 green chilies chopped
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds

  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil, add the spring onions; sauté over a slow flame for 2-3 minutes till they are light brown.
  • Add the garlic and red chilies and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and salt; cook for 10 to 12 minutes over a slow flame till the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the coriander and green chilies; grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste in a food processor.
  • In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil; when hot add asafetida and the mustard seeds; when they stop spluttering, add to the tomato chutney. Mix well.
  • Serve tomato chutney with Snacks.

Do You Know:
While cooking garlic, caution must be taken not to overcook it. When it has been cooked too long or on too high of a temperature, it burns and turns bitter.

To bring out the nutty flavor of garlic, it can be sautéed in oil or butter. For this try to use a pan or skillet with heavy bottom because that will provide even heating.

One has to be careful while using butter because it burns much faster than oil. The garlic should be stirred often while sautéing to prevent burning.

If cooking with other ingredients that take longer to cook, such as onions, start cooking the other ingredients and allow them to start to cook before adding the garlic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Paneer Kofta Palak Curry (Paneer dumplings in Spinach Sauce)

Cashew nuts stuffed Paneer Koftas are simmered in thick spinach base masala gravy.
Curry goes very well with Naans (tandoor-baked flatbread) or Paratha (Pan-fried Flatbread) or Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice).


For Koftas:
  • ½ pound paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 2 small potatoes boiled and peeled
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Broken cashew nuts
  • Cooking oil for frying

  • Grate paneer and boiled potatoes together. Add salt, garam masala, corn flour and mix well.
  • Divide the paneer mix into equal sized portions. Apply little oil on your palm, take one portion of paneer mix, keep 5-6 pieces of cashew nuts and roll it into a round smooth ball. Prepare all the Koftas like this.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Fry paneer balls in the oil till brown in color (Frying few at a time).
  • Put onion, spinach, ginger, garlic and tomatoes in a blender. Add ½ cup water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy wide pot over a medium flame. Add bay leaf and the contents of the blender to the ghee. Add red chili, turmeric, coriander, and garam masala powders.
  • Fry, stirring constantly, for about 10-12 minutes, or until paste (masala) turns dark, greenish brown shade and the ghee begins to separate from the masala. Add salt and cashew nut powder. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  • Now add 2-3 cups of the water and bring to a boil.
  • Slowly add Paneer Koftas. Lower the heat, and simmer gently uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Do not over cook.
  • Garnish with fried onion slices and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve Paneer Koftas with Dal, chutney and hot paratha.

Do You Know:

Paneer, a special favourite with North Indians, is used all over India to make delicious dishes ranging from curries to desserts.It readily takes on the flavor of the spices in which it is cooked.
When used to make desserts it gives a rich creamy flavour.
In Oriya cuisine or Bengali cuisine, use of paneer (called as chhana or chhena) is mostly restricted to sweetmeats, for which this region is renowned.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Aloo Ka Raita (Potato Raita)

Raita has a cooling effect on the palate and hence is preferred to be included in the main meal especially during summer.
Mix boiled diced potatoes with seasoned yogurt.

  • 1 large boiled potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chat masala
  • 2 cup yogurt beaten well
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Salt Mix to taste


  • In a bowl mix yogurt, chopped tomato, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, chopped cilantro, chat masala and salt.
  • Add boiled diced potatoes.
  • Garnish with red chili powder and cumin powder.
  • Serve chilled.

I always prefer to keep boiled potatoes in refrigerator for 3-4 hours before making raita. Extra moisture is removed in the refrigerator and it becomes easy to dice potato in neat small cubes.

Do You Know?

Yogurt has nutritional benefits beyond those of milk. People who are moderately lactose-intolerant can enjoy yogurt without ill effects, because the lactose in the milk is converted to lactic acid by the bacterial culture.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to metabolize lactose (a sugar found in milk and other dairy products). The required enzyme lactase, to metabolize sugar, is either absent in the intestinal system or it is lower in availability. It is estimated that 75% of adults worldwide show some decrease in lactase activity during adulthood.

Aloo Bhare Tamatar (Stuffed Tomato Curry)

Tomatoes are stuffed with boiled potatoes and peas; and cooked in spinach gravy.

  • 6 medium size Tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • Finely chopped Cilantro leaves to garnish
  • 1 tbsp fried crispy onion slices to garnish
  • 1 cup boiled diced potato
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 green chili chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped green cilantro leaves
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • ½ cup spinach leaves chopped and boiled
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Gram Masala to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • Prepare stuffing: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry onion until golden brown. Add green peas, cook for 3-4 minutes; add all other ingredients required for stuffing. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Cut the top of tomato like a cap. Gently scoop out the centers. Chop the centers and cap; keep aside to be used later for gravy.
  • Fill scooped tomatoes with the ‘matar aloo’ mixture.
  • Put all the ingredients for gravy along with chopped tops and centers of the tomatoes, in a blender. Add ½ cup water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a heavy wide pot over a medium flame. Add the contents of the blender to the oil.
  • Fry, stirring constantly, for about 10-12 minutes, or until paste (masala) turns dark, greenish brown shade and the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Now add 2-3 cups of the water and bring to a boil.
  • Slowly add stuffed tomatoes. Cover the pan, lower heat, and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes are just tender. Do not over cook.
  • Garnish with fried onion slices and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve the stuffed aloo matar tomato with hot paratha.

Do You Know?
Tomatoes are low in calories.
They contain a high level of Antioxidants. Some recent studies tend to show that antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Superoxide dismutase will slow the process of aging by preventing free radicals from oxidising sensitive biological molecules or reducing the formation of free radicals.
They are also linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and they are a good source of vitamin C and E.
The main phytochemical found in tomatoes is lycopene.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cucumber Raita

The phrase "cool as a cucumber" is not without merit. This vegetable's high water content gives it a very unique moist and cooling taste.
Just grate the cucumber and mix with yogurt.


  • 2 cups grated cucumber
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Raita masala or Dahi Vada Masala (available in Indian Grocery Stores)
  • 2 cup yogurt beaten well.
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro to garnish
  • Salt Mix to taste


  • In a bowl mix yogurt, grated cucumber, chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, Raita masala and Salt Mix.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve cold with Dal, Sabji and Roti.

Do You Know?

The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone.
Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin.
Cucumber's high water content makes it naturally hydrating substance, which is must for glowing skin.
Cucumbers are also used topically for various types of skin problems, including swelling under the eyes and sunburn.
Two compounds in cucumbers, ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, prevent water retention, which may explain why cucumbers applied topically are often helpful for swollen eyes, burns and dermatitis.
Caffeic acid has been shown to act as a carcinogenic inhibitor. It is also known as an antioxident.

Mint Garlic Chutney

Do you want to make chutney more flavorful and more nutritious? Just grind peels of cucumber, apples and green stalks of mint along with green chilies and mint leaves.


  • Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste in a food processor.
  • Chill it before serving with cutlets, Kebabs or Bhajjia.

Do You Know?
contains several potent antioxidants, and there is evidence that its addition to the diet may help reduce the incidence of gastric and colorectal cancers.

The chemicals in garlic can help reduce serum cholesterol, hypertension, blood clotting, blood sugar, bowel parasites, respiratory and other infections, and the aging process itself.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kidney Masala (Lamb Kidney Masala)

It is a simple recipe in which Lamb kidneys are cooked with tomato puree and fried onions. Deghi Mirch gives it a color and freshly ground garam masala gives it aroma.


  • Clean, trim, wash Lamb’s kidneys and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Dip in boiled water for 2 minutes, strain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add bay leaves, cloves, Caraway seeds, Brown Cardamom and fry for 4-5 seconds. Add sliced onions and sauté till onions turn brown in color.
  • Add chopped ginger, chopped garlic and chopped green chilies, coriander powder, Deghi Mirch powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder and tomato puree. Stir well.
  • Add kidney pieces and 2-3 tbsp water; cook covered on medium heat till kidney pieces are almost done. You may add some water if needed while cooking.
  • Add salt and garam masala powder; cook without lid till all the water is evaporated and kidney masala is dry ‘bhuna’ (fried).
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and lemon juice.
  • Serve with Tandoori Roti or Paratha.

Do You Know:

Garam Masala is the heart of most Indian dishes. A combination of different spices, it probably has as many recipes as there are families in India. Once you get a feel for the taste it gives your cooking, experiment and alter it to suit your needs.

Some common ingredients of garam masala are black & white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, long pepper (also known as pippali), black cumin (known as shahi jeera), cumin seeds, cinnamon, black & brown & green cardamom, nutmeg, mace, and star anise, coriander seeds. I have mentioned one recipe of garam masala in this blog in the secion-‘Do You Know’.

Garam masala can be used in two forms: the whole and individual spices purchased separately, and the ground mixture made from the spices.
When commercially ground garam masala is used in dishes, it is often added at the end of cooking so that the full aroma is not lost.
Whole garam masala, however, is added with the fat/oil/ghee for a more pungent flavour.
These are heated in oil to release their aroma before being combined with food.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chicken – Tandoori Style

The nicest thing about this dish is that it is really easy to make. Chicken is marinated in yogurt; seasoned with tandoori masala and cooked in non stick pan.

  • 1 small chicken cut into four pieces (Tandoori style) with skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Tandoori Masala
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi (Dry Fenugreek Leaves)
  • Pinch of Tandoori food color
  • ½ cup fresh yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Onion rings to garnish
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • Make shallow diagonal slashes in the chicken pieces, rub orange Tandoori color on chicken pieces and keep aside.
  • Mix the Tandoori masala, dry fenugreek leaves, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, 1 tbsp cooking oil and salt with the yogurt and make a smooth paste.
  • Smear this paste all over the chicken pieces, ensuring you rub it well into the slashes you made earlier and that the pieces are well coated.
  • Put all the pieces and marinade into a deep bowl and cover. Refrigerate and allow marinating for 10-12 hours (over night).
  • Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan and add chicken pieces without marinade.
    Cook covered on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Open the lid and flip chicken pieces. Cook covered till chicken is almost tender, flipping every time you open the lid of the pan.
  • Once chicken is almost tender dry out the juices if any left.
  • Place chicken in a platter and garnish with lemon juice and onion rings.
  • Serve piping hot with green cilantro chutney and Paratha.

Do You Know?

Modern metal cooking pans are frequently coated with a substance such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating in order to minimize the possibility of food sticking to the pan surface.
Nonstick coatings tend to degrade over time, and require vigilant care and attention.
In order to preserve the nonstick coating of a pan, it is important never to use metal implements in the pan while cooking, or harsh scouring pads or chemical abrasives when cleaning.