Wednesday, January 28

Rice with Vegetable Nawabi

Nawabi curry, basically a Mughlai dish, characterized by its rich and creamy sauces. This one is one of the Nita Mehta's cookbook recipe. Recently I have been liking all the recipes by her. This one has a medley of vegetables. Although this is a bit low-calorie version, the authentic taste is retained by using an array of selected spices. Rather than fried vegetables, I have used boiled vegetables to cut down the calories. Enjoy this great recipe, rich in taste with plain white rice or hot parathas.

1 1/2 cups vegetables, Chopped in big pieces (Cauliflower, French beans, carrot, Potatoes, Green Peas etc.)
1 big Onion chopped
2 big tomatoes
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Coriander Leaves – 1/2 bunch, small

Cashew nuts 8, soaked
2 tbsp fresh cream
2 tbsp oil/ ghee
Salt to taste

1/2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
2 tsp Aniseeds (Saunf)
2 to 3 Cardamoms
2 Cloves
1 inch Cinnamon

Coriander Leaves – 1/2 bunch, small

  1. Blanch the vegetables in hot water with a little of salt and sugar. Make sure that the vegetables are cooked and not overcooked. Should be crunchy, so as they are done, immediately pour cold water. (Ideally ,we need to deep fry them)
  2. Blanch the tomatoes, for 4 to 5 minutes or till the tomatoes soften. Peel off the skin and keep aside to cool. Later blend in a mixer to a smooth purée. Set aside.
  3. Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan, add all the spices one by one, when done add green chillies and then add cashew nuts.
  4. Later add the onions and sauté on a slow flame for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool and then grid to a smooth paste.
  6. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add ginger garlic paste, when done add onion paste.
  7. Add the prepared tomato purée, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the mixed vegetables, fresh cream and salt to taste, mix well and cook on a medium flame for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with rice or parathas and salad.


Friday, November 25

Mint pulao / Pudina rice

Rice can be cooked in so so many different ways, and pulav is something that's easy to make, and really nice as a one pot meal for lunch/ dinner. I mostly prefer cooking rice separately and then mixing it with masala, so it has nice flavour of basmati rice as well as masala. I have made this mint pilaf ample of times, and this one is always loved by all.


Basmati rice 1 cup
2 tbsp cashew nuts,broken
3-4 cloves
1/2" cinnamon
2-3 green cardamom
1 bay leaf
Onion,1 big,finely sliced
Fresh/ frozen peas 1/3 cup
2 tsp lemon juice
2 potatoes, boiled or 1/2 cup soya nuggets,soaked in hot water
2 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

1 bunch (1 cup) fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1/2" ginger piece
6-7 green chillies
1 tsp oil


Wash and soak the rice in water for 10-15 mins(soaking enhances the aroma of basmati rice) and cook it until done.
Spread the rice over a plate, adding a tsp of ghee all over it ,it will keep the rice granules separate.Let it cool .
Cut potatoes in small cubes(/ squeeeze excess water out of soya nuggets, and set aside).
Clean and wash the mint leaves and let them drain excess water.

Heat a tsp of oil, add mint leaves and saute it for about a minute until they wilt.Add green chillies,ginger and grated coconut and cook it a bit.
Let it cool and then grind it into a paste. Add half of the lemon juice. Adding lemon juice will help retain bright green color of mint.

Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan. Add cloves,cardamom,cinnamon and bay leaf, then add chopped cashews and fry until light brown in color.
Add sliced onions and fry until they turn a bit dark brown in color and then add peas to it and fry well.
Add potatoes/ soya nuggets now and let them roast a bit(brown patches on potatoes/ soya nuggets)
Add ground paste and fry well until the raw smell goes away.This takes a couple of minutes.
Lastly add cooked and cooled rice,salt to taste and lemon juice and mix carefully until everything is mixed well.
Serve hot with raitha.


Can replace potatoes/ soya nuggets with paneer cubes or baby potatoes instead.
I have also tried it with dry dissected coconut too, and i came out equally well.


Sunday, October 2

Navratri series: Singhara Pakodi's

This is one of the delicious deep fried delicacious for navratri, apart from Sabodana Vada's and others. Its very simple , and a real tasty treat .Singhara or Water Chestnut, are eaten raw, or after boiling in most parts of India, and its flour is used for making food during fasting time. For fasting we do not used normal salt , but use what we call Sendha namak, also known as Rock salt. Looking around for info about rock salt, i came across this informative article. Basically , rock salt crystals are larger, less refined, and more discolored than purified ‘table salt’ and does not contain additives such as iodine or anti-caking agents commonly found in table salt.

Ingredients :

Singhara flour(atta) 1 cup
Potato 3 medium, boiled
Green chilly 2 Finely chopped
Cumin powder (Jeera powder) 1/2 tsp(optional)
Sendha namak ( rock salt) to taste
Oil for deep frying


Boil the potatoes and peel the skin, mash the pottoes well.
In a large bowl mix well mashed potatoes, Sindhara flour, chopped green chillies , roasted jeera and salt (Sendha namak for fasting).
Adding little water, make a thick batter.
Heat oil/ghee in a deep pan for deep frying the pakodas.
When the oil is ready , deep fry the pakodas on medium flame. Fry until they turn golden brown in color.
Remove pakora's in kitchen napkin to remove excess oil.
Serve with plain yogurt or chopped tomatoes mixed with little salt.


If not fasting, you can sprinkle a little black salt on top of the pakodas.
Kattu pakora's are also made in exactly same way.
Can check for other fasting recipes, which i poated earlier.
1) Sabodana Khichiri
2) Sabodana vada
3) Dry fruit Kheer


Wednesday, September 14

Navratri fasting series: Dry fruit kheer

Soon Navratri is coming, which is a festival of worship, dance, music and of course - food. ...and like most years, we ( me n hubby) are planning to do the 9 days Navratri vrat, i.e, fasting. The fasting food is all so yummy, that it  itself is a motivation to do fast . ;)  During Navratri fast , we can eat , what we call Faalhari Food only, i.e, fruit based one. So what all comes in faalhari, all fruits, dry fruits, potato, tomato and flour made out of fruits, like singhara (water chestnut), also known as kuttu ka atta, phaphad etc. Soon i shall be posting other upvas recipes too, so can know what all we can eat. :) . This year navratri is from 28th Sep to 6th Oct 2011.

Firstly ,starting with a dessert, here's is dry fruit mix kheer,


Milk 1 L

Dry fruits:
Makhana cut in halves, 2 cups
Almonds 15 – 20, slivered
Cashew nuts 15 – 20, broken in small pieces
Chironji / Chiraunji 2 tbsp
Raisins 10-12
Pistachios, 10-12, slivered

Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Saffron threads a few
Sugar 3 tbsp (or as per taste)


Soak saffron threads in 2 tbsp of warm milk.
Put 1 tsp ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, and stir fry all the dry fruits.
In the same pan heat milk. When it comes to a boil, add all the dryfruit mix.
Let it cook on low heat, stirring occasionally.
When the milk thickens and reduces to almost half add sugar, saffron threads and cardamom powder.
Keep stirring till the sugar is mixed completely. Let it cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
Serve hot or chilled.

Makhana ,are referred to as Popped / puffed Lotus Seeds/ fox nut.
Chironji is also referred to as Chiroli.
Can reduce milk by 250ml, and omit sugar and instead can add ¼ cup condensed milk.
Instead of frying, also can just soak raisins beforehand or also can just add all dryfruits in boiling milk.

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