Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rajasthani style Aloo ki sabzi ~ Dahiwale Aloo ~ Potatoes in yogurt gravy curry

Rajasthani cuisine has  been on my " to try" list for some time now. When we travel to India, our family likes to frequent a restaurant that serves Rajasthani food and we always enjoy the experience. When we get home, I always think this is something I would love to make myself , but somehow I never got around to doing it,  that is, until recently.  

This creamy potato curry is one of my first experiments with making Rajasthani cuisine in my home. This is a super simple curry that is perfect for weekdays or whenever you are short of time. Once the potatoes are cooked and cubed, it takes just a few minutes to get ready. The combination of seeds used in this recipe along with the spices impart a delicious flavor that tastes pretty amazing. If a quick, flavorful curry sounds appealing to you give this one a try and enjoy :) 


Rajasthani Style Aloo ki sabzi ~ Dahiwale Aloo ~ Potatoes in yogurt gravy curry | Veg Inspirations

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Dahiwale Aloo (adapted from this recipe )
3 cups of cooked, peeled and cubed potatoes ( aloo) ( about 8 medium sized potatoes)
I cup fresh plain yogurt ( curds/ dahi)
1 Tbsp chick pea flour ( besan)
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai)
1 tsp cumin seeds ( jeera)
1 tsp fennel seeds ( saunf)
1/2 tsp onion seeds ( kalonji / nigella)
1 clove (laung)
1 inch thin piece of cinnamon (dalchini)
1 bay leaf ( tej patta)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder ( haldi)
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste) ( lal mirch)
1/2 tsp cumin powder ( jeera pwd)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
Salt to taste
2 to 3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ( coriander leaves/ hara dhania)

Cook, cool a little, peel and cube potatoes and keep aside.

Place chick pea flour/ besan in a small bowl. Add a little water and make a smooth paste making sure there are no lumps in it. Add plain yogurt/ dahi to it and whisk together until well blended. 

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat, add mustard seeds to it. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter add cumin, fennel, onion seeds, clove, cinnamon and bay leaf and stir for a few seconds. 


Add yogurt + chickpea flour mixture to it. Then add one cup of water, then add turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.  Cook this mixture on low  heat , stirring frequently until the mixture heats through.

Add cubed potatoes, salt to taste and simmer on low heat stirring frequently for a couple of mins for the flavors to mingle.Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve hot with phulkas/ rotis/ chapathis.



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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oat Banana Brownie ~ Egg Free

The temperatures in our neck of the woods have plunged considerably in the last few weeks. In addition to the cold, some days are cold and wet. A combination that always makes me want to switch on the oven and start baking. On one such cold and wet day, I had a sudden craving to make brownies and ended up making this oat banana brownie. I first started trying out oat brownies when I was working on this 2 min brownie  in a mug. But since then, throughout summer, I've hardly baked and even when I did, I ended up making muffins and such, not brownies.

Once the cold got here and I developed a serious craving for brownies, I decided to not wait any longer and got baking. Only this time I tweaked my earlier oat brownie recipe and added bananas to it. Bananas, I think was just what the brownie needed and it added a wonderful texture to the brownie. In addition, I always love bakes with a combination of chocolate and banana, so this brownie was definitely a winner in my book. This is also very quick to put together and requires a minimum of ingredients making it easy to make on the spur of the moment. If you like the banana choco chip combination too, give this easy brownie a try and enjoy it just on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream :)

 Egg Free Oat Banana Brownie | Veg Inspirations

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Oat Banana Brownie
1 cup oat flour ( see notes)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar ( see notes)

1/2 cup mashed banana ( approx 1 large banana)
1/2 cup milk (use dairy free milk for a vegan version)
2 Tbsp oil + a few extra drops to grease the brownie pan.
3 Tbsp semi sweet mini chocolate chips (use vegan chocolate chips for a vegan version)

Pre heat oven to 350 deg F ( approx 180 deg C ). Grease an 8 inch square pan and keep aside. 

Add oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar and mix well. 


Mix mashed banana, milk and oil in another small bowl and add to the dry ingredients and mix gently until all the ingredients are mixed well. Add chocolate chips and mix into the mixture.


Pour the entire mixture into pre greased brownie pan, place in the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick/ cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


Remove from oven, cool, slice and enjoy:)

Notes :
I just powder my quick oats in my spice grinder until it turns into a fine powder, then measure and use in this recipe. You can use store bought oat flour too here.

With this quantity of sugar the brownie is mildly sweet, if you like a more pronounced sweetness, increase the quantity of sugar to 1/2 cup. Also if your sugar is more granular like Indian sugar/ turbinado sugar, powder it in a mixer/ blender 

If you are looking for brownie recipes, here are a few more



2 Min Egg Free Brownie in a mug

Egg Free Avocado Brownies

Low fat Egg Free Black Bean Brownie
Read more ...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pindi chole ~ Pindi chana ~ Vegan Chickpeas Curry

Pindi chole is a type of curry made with chana/ chickpeas with a light coating of spices/ gravy. It tends to be a tad bit drier than the conventional chole or chana masala. While I was reading up about this chole I came across various sources that mentioned that this chole originated in Rawalpindi. I also came across a few that stated that this kind of chole originates from villages in northern India known as pind, hence the name.  I am not sure about the origin of this chole , but I am sure about about one thing this is one amazingly tasty chole variety and I am always happy to have this on my menu :)

Just as for so many other recipes, this chole too has a lot of versions, some with onions, some without, some with tomatoes and some without,  so on and so forth. I have tried a few versions myself, but this version is the one I like the most and make most frequently.  Cooking the chickpeas with spices and tea infuses it with a light flavor and aroma from the spices and a lovely hue from the tea leaves. Try this delicious chole with some rotis/ kulchas / phulkas or even some puris/ bhatura if you are not counting calories and enjoy :)


 Pindi Chole ~ Pindi Chana ~ Vegan Chickpeas Curry | Veg Inspirations

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Pindi choley ( Adapted from this recipe)
1 and 1/2 cups chickpeas/ kabuli chana
1 onion cut fine ( pyaaz)
1 cup tomato purée ( I needed 2 med tomatoes for this ) ( tamatar )
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut fine ( or to taste ) ( hari mirch)
1 and 1/2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp  ginger garlic paste ( adrak / lehsun)
1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste) (lal mirch)
2 tsp chana masala ( or to taste)
Salt to taste

For the spice bag
1 and 1/2 tsp loose black tea ( chai patti)
1 and 1/2 stick of cinnamon ( dalchini)
2 black cardamom ( badi elaichi)

A thin muslin cloth/ cheese cloth to make the spice bag

Soak chickpeas/ chana overnight in sufficient water. Make a spice bag/ potli with cinnamon, black cardamom and loose tea.  That is, place the spices in a thin muslin cloth, or 2 layers of cheese  cloth and make into a small bag by bringing opposite sides of the cloth and making a knot in the center. Keep this aside.


Drain chickpeas, fill with  fresh water, add 1 tsp salt and spice bag, close with a lid, place in a pressure cooker and cook until soft. It usually takes me about 4 to 5 whistles in the pressure cooker.  Allow pressure to subside before opening the cooker. Discard the spice bag and keep the cooked chickpeas aside.


Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add onions and green chilies and sauté until onions turn translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and stir a few times.

Add tomato purée, chana masala powder and stir until the mixture thickens a little. Add cooked chickpeas along with any water it was cooked in, adjust salt to taste and simmer until gravy thickens just enough to coat the chickpeas.

I forgot to take a pic of the chole just as it got done, will try and update it when I make it again :) 

Remove from heat and serve hot with phulkas / puris / bhaturas / Indian bread

If you are looking for recipes with chickpeas/ chana here are a few more


Chana Masala ~ Vegan Chickpeas curry

Chana Palak ~ Spinach and Chickpeas Curry

Chana Poha ~ Beaten rice flakes with chickpeas

Aloo Chana Chaat ~ Potato and Chickpeas Snack
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Carrot kosambari ~ Carrot and mung bean salad

Festival season with all it's sweets and snacks always leaves me craving something light, healthy and nutritious. Something that is healthy to the core and is completely unlike all the rich calorie laden food that is inevitably an integral part of any festival season. Something like...... this kosambari. Kosambari is a salad that originates from South Indian cuisine. It is made with either cucumbers, cabbage or carrots. Kosambari usually combines one kind of vegetable with some soaked split mung beans/ moong dhal, making it a good combination of nutrition and protein. 

This is one of my favorite salads and I could easily have a big bowl of this salad anytime :) With a hint of heat from the chilies, natural sweetness of the carrots and coconut, hint of tartness from the lemon juice, every bite of this salad is just bursting with flavor. If you are craving something light and healthy, this might be just the salad for you too :)

Carrot Kosambari ~ Carrot and Mung Bean Salad | Veg Inspirations photo af68d324-efdd-4505-9236-8b5f561454d1_zps41f3ed53.jpg

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and method to make carrot kosumbari
1/3 cup split mung bean lentil ( mung dhal / paytham parappu)
4 med large carrots grated 
3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut ( or frozen thawed to room temperature ) (nariyal/ thengai)
3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ( coriander leaves/ hara dhania / kothamalli )
Salt to taste
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice ( or to taste ) ( nimbu ka ras/ elimbicham pazham)

Seasoning
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai/ kadagu)
2 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut finely ( hari mirch/ pachai molagai)
Pinch of asafoetida powder ( hing / perungayam) (optional)

Rinse mung thoroughly and drain. Soak mung in sufficient water for at least 1 hour or a little longer.


Grate carrots and add to a large bowl. Drain soaked mung thoroughly and add to grated carrots. Add salt to taste, coconut and cilantro/ coriander leaves and mix well. 




Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds to it. When the seeds begin to splutter, add green chilies and asafoetida if using and stir a few times. Pour entire seasoning on the salad. Add lemon juice to salad and mix again. 



Serve immediately. 


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Easy Chocolate Pedha in under 5 mins ~ Indian chocolate fudge ~ Easy Diwali recipes.

You know how it is some days, you just want something with chocolate in it :)  One such day when I was tinkering in the kitchen , and was in the mood for something chocolatey,  I decided to try modifying my earlier doodh pedha recipe and make a chocolate version of pedha.  It was the perfect chocolate fix and was so quick and easy to make that I could not resist adding this to my Diwali menu this year :)

Initially I was not planning to post this, since there are already a few other pedhas in this space.  But just as I thought I might not post this, my friend called me up and asked me if I could suggest something really quick and easy that she could make within a few minutes for Diwali. And this was the first thing that came into my mind :)  So if you too are looking for a really quick sweet, that is also delicious, chocolatey and kid friendly, this might the pedha for you :)

 Easy Chocolate Pedha in under 5 minutes ~ Quick Diwali sweet ~ Indian chocolate fudge | Veg Inspirations
 
Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Chocolate pedha
1 and 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk (one 14 oz can)
1 and 1/4 cup dry milk/ milk powder (I used carnation brand)
1 and 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 and 1/2 Tbsp clarified butter + a little extra to grease hands (ghee/nei)
Optional garnish
a few slivers of almond

In a microwave safe glass bowl mix together all the ingredients thoroughly.




Place in microwave and heat on high in 1 minute increments for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, making sure to stir the mixture every minute. To check if done, cool the mixture slightly and if you are able to roll a little of the mixture between your fingers you know it is done. Try not to overcook the mixture too much as it will result in hard pedhas.  
Allow the mixture to cool a little until it is touchable.Grease palms and roll into a small ball, flatten gently and press with the thumb at the center to make a little dent. Proceed with the rest of the mixture in the same manner. Garnish with slivers of almond if using.



This recipe yields approx 20 med/ large pedhas. The yield will depend on the size of pedhas.
Store pedhas in an airtight container. It does not require refrigeration if used within 2 to 3 days .

Notes:
My microwave strength is 1000 watts, so if yours is more powerful you will need to microwave it for lesser time and if yours has less strength it will take a little more time.

The milk powder I use has a very fine texture, if you have one that has a granular texture, give it a turn in the blender/ mixer/ spice grinder so that it is a little more fine texture. 

Other pedha recipes in this space,


2 minute almond pedha ~ Badam Pedha

Doodh Pedha ~ Indian fudge


If you are looking for Indian sweet recipes, here are a few more


Besan Kaju burfi ~ Chickpea cashew fudge

Badam Halwa ~ Indian almond fudge

Kaju Katli ~ Burfi ~ Indian cashew fudge


Moong dhal ladoo ~ Indian sweet made with mung bean lentil

Besan Ladoo ~ Indian sweet made with chick pea flour

Easy Rava Ladoo without sugar syrup 
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