Tidali Dal

Dal Chawal back home was everyday food – for dinner. My mom makes different type of dal – for every weeknight and then a side of some vegetables along with rice. There are so many varieties of Dal (lentils) that everyday of the week you can have one and the good thing is they all taste different and you wont get bored of them. Well – If my Mom doesn’t make Dal for me – it is not an everyday food for me ;). I like adding vegetables when making dal – such as brocoli (yummy) or spinach or sometimes make a combination of different types of dal.  Tidali Dal as the name suggests is 3 different types of dals cooked together. (3 dals cooked together). This is mostly made at afternoons in my house as this tends to get a little heavy for a light dinner ;). So let’s get started….

This is what you need:
1/3 cup white gram beans (Urad Dal)
1/3 cup yellow lentils (toovar dal)
1/3 cup yellow split peas (channa dal) or you can also go with mung beans (moong dal)
1 medium onion – thinly sliced
2 tbsp – ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp – oil
1 tsp – turmeric powder
1 tsp – red chilly powder
1 tsp – coriander powder
1 tsp – garam masala powder
2 medium tomatoes – chopped
1 tsp – mango powder (optional) or 1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies crushed
salt to taste
2 tbsp of chopped Cilantro to garnish

This is how you make:
Step 1 – Take a vessel and wash all dals and then soak them for about 2-3 hours. Then using a pressure cooker – add Dal and 3 cups of water and pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles. Once the pressure cooker cools – open it and then mix the dals together. add 1 cup water and put it on low heat.
Step 2 – Now for tempering. Take a frying pan and on medium heat add 2 tbsp of oil. Then add cumin seeds and as soon as they crackle add onions. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Now add dry red chillies and then tomatoes – cook for another minute or so. keep sautéing them as the tomatoes will become pulpy. Then add ginger garlic paste and continue to saute.
Step 3 – Now add – turmeric powder, mango powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and salt. saute for a 2-3 minutes till the oil comes to surface. Once you see oil at the surface of the pan – add this to the dal and mix well.
Step 4 – bring the dal to a boil and cilantro. switch off the heat – cover the cooker and let it rest for 5-10 mins.
Step 5 – Serve with rice – roti or just drink it like a soup.

Enjoy 🙂


Pasta – Desi style

This dish is one of Mom’s weekend dinner special. She knows we love this dish and prepares it at least 2 hours ahead of our dinner time – so that we could snack on it before sitting for dinner. Now that I have been in the US for about 2 years… it feels funny to have Pasta made at home in a very non italian way. But all the pasta set aside…nothing taste better than My Moms homemade Pasta. This is my Mom’s macaroni recipe – I had shelled pasta and used the same for this recipe.

This is what you need:
2 cups shell pasta – boiled
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes – finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
2 teaspoon – coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon – dry mango powder
1/2 teaspoon – red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon – turmeric powder
1/4 cup – shredded carrot (optional)
1/4 cup – bell pepper strips (optional)
2-3 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 cup hot water
salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil

This is how you make:
Step 1 – take a non-stick sauce pan. On medium flame – heat oil, add cumin seeds, red chilli and onion. saute onion for about a minute and add salt. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for another minute. Now add tomatoes – coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, dry mango powder, shredded carrot and bell peppers. Let them all cook together till tomatoes become pulpy.
Step 2 – Once the tomatoes are pulpy – increase the heat and stir for about a minute or so mixing all the ingredients together. Now add hot water and bring it to a boil (Adding hot water will only quicken the cooking process…adding cold water or water at room temperature – slows cooking time.)
Step 3 – Bring it back to medium heat – Now add the pasta and gently stir – mixing it will the all the ingredients in the pan. Add cilantro – cover and let it cook for 5 mins. Taste and check for doneness. Adjust spices accordingly and serve.

All of us in the family had our own way of eating – we used to eat it with rice OR with Dal, Chawal (rice) OR with roti.

I was the early snacker and this is how I ate – 😀

I am sending this recipe to Lisa’s Kitchen – http://foodandspice.blogspot.com/2012/02/celebration-of-indian-food-and-giveaway.html – Come join and celebrate! 🙂

Chicken Curry

Sometimes I feel like experimenting with my basic recipes – to see if changing an ingredient brings in a difference in taste? texture??. And then during the process of working with changing ingredients – it helps me learn what works and what else can be tried :). This time It was the absence of raw tomatoes that made me go for the tin of Hunts Tomato paste and work on my basic recipe (I just keep 1 can – before I get a chance to do my grocery – for just incase I need it moments). The tomatoes really worked and gave me a very nice smooth and tasty gravy!

Recipe source: This is a basic home recipe – no frills to it. I am sure it is out there in many other houses. 🙂

This is what you need:

– 2 tablespoons oil
– 5-6 chicken drumsticks
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste – (this one really works – if you want to give it a try) – if not then 2 medium-sized tomatoes – roughly chopped
– 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
– 1 medium onion – thinly chopped
– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
– 2 green chillies (slit into half)
– 2 dry red chillies (slit into half)
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
– 1 teaspoon coriander powder
– 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
– 1/2 cup hot water
– 1/2 cup fresh cream/sour cream/milk/yoghurt
– 1/4 cup mint/cilantro leaves
– salt to taste

This is how you make:
Step 1: Take a medium-sized sauce pan (Non stick is good). On medium heat – heat oil and add cumin seeds/green chillies and red chillies. Add onions and saute till onions just start to turn brown – then add ginger garlic paste and saute for about 30 seconds. Now add the tomato paste and saute till for about 2-3 mins.
Step 2 – Now add: Turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder. saute till all these are mixed well with onions and tomatoes.
Step 3: Now add hot water and cook till the water boils (this really should be about a minute or so – since we are adding hot water). Now add salt. Do a taste test here and adjust as needed.
Step 4: Fold in Chicken and let it cook till chicken is tender. keep stirring occasionally.
Step 5: Once the chicken is tender. Add fresh cream and stir it on high flame – till it is completely incorporated. Now add coriander and fresh mint. switch off the heat. cover and let it rest for about 5-10 mins.

I really really loved the color and the texture of this gravy. Serve it with plain rice/roti or naan.
I am a fresh ingredients user – but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to use canned ingredients… all the more a good reason if they turn out this good. 🙂

If you are a vegetarian – you can use choice of any of your favorite vegetables or Tofu??

Enjoy! Have Fun….

Egg Dosa

Cooking with raw ingredients is fun – but cooking using “left overs” is an art ;). I love using left overs and get creative with them… don’t like to eat the same meal twice in less than 24 hours. If the left over is plain rice – its super fun to turn it into fried rice, lemon rice etc etc with it. But this time – I had dosas as left overs and this has never been the case before. We usually eat them as and when we make them. So it was time to be creative with them as our breakfast. So the genius in me got thinking and came up with an idea – scramble the eggs and mix with dosa…yes the ideas kept coming and my mind had started working…the hands opened the fridge and the ingredients started chopping….

Here is what you need:
3 medium dosas
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of oil
1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
1 medium tomato (roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
few curry leaves
1-2 slit green chillies
1 whole red chili (optional)
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
coriander for garnish
1/4 cup of hot water

This is how you make:
Step 1: On medium heat a non-stick pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chillies, red chili and add onions. saute till onions are transparent.
Step 2: Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute. Now add tomatoes, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, red chilly powder and salt to taste. Cook till tomatoes are pulpy.
Step 3: Now move this mixture to a corner of this pan and break 2 eggs in the pan on one side. (You can also break the eggs on the mixture)  I do this so that the eggs can cook a bit and then mix them altogether.
Step 4: Once the egg mixture is ready. Tear the dosas into medium pieces and add it to the egg mixture and cook on medium high heat for a minute or so.
Step 5: Add water and let it cook on medium heat till water is completely absorbed. (You are basically doing this to soften the dosa. and we are adding hot water so that the cooking process does not slow down. adding cold water will slow down the cooking process and make the scrambled eggs tasteless.
Step 6: Garnish with fresh coriander and serve…

P.S. – Dont have leftovers – then go ahead and try it with bread or even chapati.

Have fun – Enjoy Cooking.

I am sending this recipe to – “http://www.simplysensationalfood.com/2012/01/event-announcement-lets-cook-with-left.html

Doodh Peda – Milk Fudge

This “Sweet” is all good milk – made with real milk, milk powder and milk solids (homemade cottage cheese/chenna). I have created it many times – for dessert, gifting or just snacking (sometimes ;)). This recipe has all the goodness of milk and is very tasty…

Recipe Source – Manjula’s Kitchen (I have always followed this recipe – and it has always turned out perfect)

This is what you need:
1  cup homemade cottage cheese (chenna/paneer)
1/3 cup milk powder
1/3 cup milk 1/2  cup sugar
3  tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1-2 tablespoons of pistachios for garnish

This is how you make homemade cottage cheese – Bring 1 litre of whole milk to a boil and add 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice – stir gently and let it curdle – Drain it in a muslin cloth and wash the cheese – removing traces of lemon from it. Remove excess water and set it aside.

This is how you make Peda:
Step 1:Heat the frying pan on medium. Add butter and let it melt.
Step 2:Next add milk, milk powder, and paneer. Mix it well.
Step 3:Cook mixture on medium heat stirring continuously until mixture starts leaving the sides of the frying pan and becomes like dough. This should take about 12 minutes.
Step 4:Transfer the khoya into a bowl and let it cool off until khoya becomes just lukewarm.
Step 5:Mix the sugar and cardamom powder into the khoya and knead it for about a minute until every thing blends together and become soft dough. Note: if you mix the sugar while khoya is hot that will make pedas soft.
Step 6:Divide the mix into about 20 equal parts and roll them into round balls. Lightly press it down so it looks like small patty.
Step 7:Put few pieces of sliced pistachios on every peda.

Caution: Though this is easy – be “extremely” careful when you are working on preparing the dough with milk,milk powder and cottage cheese. You will have to continuously moderate the heat from high to medium. Do not leave the pan unattended at any time – the mixture will burn quickly if you don’t stir it continuously. So dedicate your time and attention – they will turn out perfect 🙂

Egg Curry

The ‘Incredible’ egg is used by many of us in many many different ways – omelette, scrambled, boiled etc etc. For breakfast, baking, lunch, dinner and it really in true sense of the word is very VERSATILE. Don’t remember a day when the fridge was out of eggs and maybe that’s why they came to rescue when the fridge was out of supplies. So we were out of all the vegetables and had not done our grocery shopping for the week – the ‘Incredible’ egg made a tasty meal.

This is what you need:
4 boiled eggs – Deshelled and cut into half (horizontally or vertically ;))
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 medium onion thinly chopped
1- 1/2 tomatoes thinly chopped
2 slit green chillies
2 dry red chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-1/2 teaspoon kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
1/2 cup of water

This is how you make:

Step 1: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan. Saute cumin seeds, onions, green chillies and red chilies till onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes, salt to taste, turmeric powder, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste and cook till tomatoes turn pulpy. This should take about 7- 10 minutes on medium heat.

Step 3: Now add in the sour cream and bring it to a boil and stir for about a minute on high heat. (This lets the sour cream cook with the onion and tomatoes)

Step 4: Now bring it back to medium heat and add water – let cook for about 5 mins. At this point, check for consistency of the gravy – it should be creamy and smooth. If it is watery cook for some more time.

Step 5: Once the consistency is creamy – add in garam masala powder and crushed kasoori methi. Bring it to a boil – add eggs. Switch of the heat and cover the sauce pan with the lid for about 5-10 mins. this will let all the flavors settle and come together.

This can be eaten and enjoyed with roti, naan, steamed rice or even with sliced bread.

Enjoy the protein 😉 – Try it and let me know if you like it.

Sending this to Jingle all the way event at http://myedibles.blogspot.com/2011/11/jingle-all-way-event-announcement.html

Butter Paneer Masala

As long as or as far as my memory goes – this has been my forever favorite restaurant dish. My visits to Indian restaurants were well spent on ordering and eating this dish. A super creamy tomato based gravy prepared in butter with cubes of paneer (cottage cheese) – served with naan (Indian bread) or just plain rice. This gravy is very very versatile…once it is ready- it accommodates grilled chicken,lightly sautéed potatoes, or choice of your grilled veggies, tofu etc etc. I like to add a few more veggies to my dish in addition to paneer. Now that I have learnt how to make it at home, it’s a home favorite than a restaurant favorite 🙂

Recipe source: This is generously adapted recipe from Chef Harpal Singh. His tip on cooking tomatoes and then puree them eliminates the process of adding artificial orange color to give a rich color to this dish.

This is what you need:
5-6 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped
20 cubed of paneer -1/4inch cubes (cottage cheese – found in Indian grocery store)
1 medium bell pepper (cut into cubes)
1 medium onion (cut into cubes)
3 tablespoons of chopped garlic(roughly)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
3 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
salt to taste
1-2 tablespoon of red chilli powder
1 tablespoon kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves – found in Indian grocery store)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
This is how you make:
– Heat a frying pan on medium heat – add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute onion and bell pepper for a minute and set aside.
– Now take a sauce pan on medium heat – add 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter – add garlic and saute it for about a minute and then add the tomatoes, cardamom powder and saute them on high heat for a minute or so and then bring them on medium heat and cover. occasionally stir it and then cover again till tomatoes become pulpy. This should take about 7-10 mins. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Now blend it to a fine puree. Strain this puree into a mixing bowl. This will separate the tomato skin leaving a silky puree in the mixing bowl.
– Now heat the sauce pan again on medium with 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons of butter – add ginger paste and saute for about a minute. Add the tomato puree and bring it to a boil.  At this point, add salt to taste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 5-10 mins – Now add the sour cream and let it cook for about 5 more mins. occasionally stirring it. Now bring it to a boil just once more and then add onions, bell pepper and Cottage cheese. Also crush the kasoori methi and it to the dish.
– Taste to check spices and salt and adjust accordingly. If you find it tart then add honey to balance the flavors. You can try adding sugar also to balance the flavors but honey brings the shine to the dish.
Switch off the heat and cover the sauce pan for about 10-15 mins. This lets everything come together and settle. Then it is ready to eat…
– Serve with any type of Indian bread or just plain white rice.

Try it – Enjoy!

Tip: Incase you are wondering why we are using oil and butter – as per chef Harpal, this avoids the butter from getting brown.

I am sending this recipe to http://foodandspice.blogspot.com/2011/11/celebration-of-indian-food-and-giveaway.html – let’s celebrate Indian food…


I am sending this to recipe to My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Kerrygold.