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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Guar Aloo (Cluster Beans & Potato) Bhaji – A quick side dish for Rottis

The love for greens makes me bring Gaur (Cluster beans) reguraly and cook in my kitchen. As this dish is ready in minutes and can be taken in lunch boxes with chapattis prefer to make it quite often.

So here comes from my Grand Veg Kitchen……
Guar Aloo (Cluster Beans & Potato) Bhaji – A quick side dish for Rottis

Guar (Cluster beans)-80-85 medium sized
(Measures 2 Cups when cut into 1 inch pieces)
1/4 Cup Peanuts
1 Big Onion finely chopped
1 Big Potato
1 tsp - Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp - Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp - Garam Masala
1/2 tsp - Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp - Cumin Seeds
Small Lemon sized Jaggery piece
4-5 Curry leaves
1/8 tsp - Asafetida (Hing)
2 Tbsp - Oil
Salt to taste
A veiw of lovely green Cluster beans

In a thick bottomed pan/kadai roast peanuts on low flame till light brown and crisp .Once cooled remove the skin and powder it coarsely in mixer.

Remove ends of Guar (Cluster beans) and cut into 1 inch pieces.

Peel potato and cut into small cubes. I use potatoes unpeeled as I like it that way.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add hing, mustard seeds and once they crackle add cumin seeds, curry leaves, onion and sauté till onions are pink.
Add coriander powder and red chili powder and mix well.
Next add Guar (Cluster beans), Potato, Salt, Garam masala mix well.
Add 1/4 th cup water and pressure cook just for one whistle.
Open the pressure cooker lid once the pressure is settled and add jaggery and roasted peanuts  powdered and mix well and cook on low flame for two minutes.
Serve hot with rottis!! Its also a good bhaji to be taken with chapattis for lunch boxes.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Girmit – Quick Specialty Snack of Hubli-Guilt Free

A request for the recipe from a friend and the chilling weather here all called for quickly preparing this snack. Girmit the word bring loads of memories of my days at Hubli where its very famous and is found at every road hawkers wrapped in a paper cone. Spicy with full of taste are the words to describe it.
So here comes from my Grand Veg Kitchen……
Girmit – Quick Specialty Snack of Hubli-Guilt Free 
Girmit-Quick Specialty Snack of Hubli-Quilt Free
Girmit is prepared in two stages -the seasoning and the final mix
The seasoning can be prepared at your leisure as it lasts for 4-5 days if refrigerated and the final mix just before we serve.
Final mixing is done per plate as it needs to be served immediately or turns soggy.

Ingredients for Seasoning:                          Ingredients for Final Mix:
2 Medium sized Onions                                 2 Plate Puffed rice (Approx. 4 hands full per plate)
1 Medium sized Tomato                                2 Tbsp –Roasted Bengal gram (Putani) powdered
5-6 Green chilies                                             1 Tomato small finely chopped 
1 tsp –Jaggery powder                                   1 Onion small finely chopped
1/2 tsp -Turmeric                                            Coriander leaves finely chopped & thick Sev to garnish
1/2 tsp -Mustard Seeds                                                
1 Tbsp -Tamarind water                            
2 Tbsp-Oil (Refined Sunflower or canola)
1 tsp –Salt or to taste
Method For seasoning: Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and once they crackle add green chilies followed by onions and sauté till onions are pink. Next add tomatoes, salt, turmeric, tamarind water and jaggery and cook covered on low flame till tomatoes turn soft. Turn off the flame once its reached gravy like consistency and allow it to cool.
Method for final mix:
Keep ready finely chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, roasted Bengal gram (putani) powder, sev, seasoning gravy ready in different bowls.
Put a plate full of crispy puffed rice in a vessel easy to mix and add 2Tbsp seasoning and 1 Tbsp Roasted Bengal gram (putani) powder and mix well with hand.
Put it on the plate and garnish with chopped tomatoes, onions, sev and coriander leaves.
Serve immediately and then work the mixing process for second plate.
For this recipe please do use thin layer puffed rice
To make puffed rice crispy keep it under the sun for an hour or heat it up in microwave for 30 seconds.
Roasted Bengal gram (Putani) can be easily powdered using mixer.
For preparing the tamarind water soak an inch of dry tamarind in 2-3 tablespoon of water for 15 mins. And then squeeze out the pulp.
All the ingredients in the recipe can be altered as per your tastes and can be done mild or spicy.
The remaining seasoning can be used to make more Girmit plates or as I used it as sandwich fillings. They tasted yummy!
Enjoy Girmit with split chilies or Mirchi bhajis!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dhabe Ki Dal –A healthy fusion of three dals

The word Dhaba brings to my mind the thought of resting ourselves on the wooden chairs and tables with the joy of viewing busy highway with speed moving trucks, buses and enjoying the tasty and spicy food that lingers on your fingers during a journey break. On one of our trips we came across this Dhaba on the Poona Bangalore highway which had amazing dal know as Dhabe Ki Dal. We liked the dal so much that we just asked on its preparation method and the server there was kind enough to narrate. I prepare it often as it has the combination of three dals packed with nutrition and also it goes well with both rice and chapattis.
So here comes from my Grand Veg Kitchen…..
    Dhabe Ki Dal

1/2 Cup - Sabut Urad dal /Kaali Dal (Black Gram)

1/2 Cup - Channa Dal (Split Bengal Gram)
1/2 Cup - Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)

1 Big Onion - Finely chopped
2 Medium sized Tomatoes - Finely chopped

2 Green Chilies - Finely chopped
5-6 Cloves of Garlic –Finely chopped

1 tsp - Cumin (Jeera) Powder
1 tsp - Red Chili Powder

1/8 th tsp - Turmeric
1 tsp - Butter

1 Tbsp - Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
5-6 Stems of Coriander leaves finely chopped

2 Tbsp – Oil
Salt to taste

Soak the three dals together with enough water overnight or for 7-8 hrs.
Transfer the soaked dal along with water to a pressure cooker and add more water to cover the dal well in water .Cook on high for two whistles and on low flame for five minutes or till the dal is soft enough.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai /pan and add finely chopped green chilies followed by finely chopped garlic and onions. Sauté till onions are pink in color.
Next add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric and salt and mix well.
Cover and cook on low flame for two minutes or till the tomatoes are soft.
Next add cumin powder and red chili powder.
Add the cooked dal along with its water and mix well.
Check for salt and chili at this stage and add more salt and red chili powder if required as per your taste.Cook on low flame till it gains thick gravy like consistency.
For  garnish heat butter in a small pan and add hand crushed kasuri methi and chopped coriander leaves .Sauté for half a minute on low flame and add it to the cooked dal gravy.

Mix well and serve hot with plain rice, jeera rice or chapattis!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dry Coconut Chutney Powder – An accompaniment for Dosa, Idli,Toasts & Rotis!!

Sometimes life becomes very demanding and we find no time for doing elaborate cooking like chutneys for dosa, sambar for idlis, fillings for sandwiches and bhaaji for our rotis….
The only dish that comes to my rescue is the quick Chutney powder done and stored at my leisure.
I use this Chutney powder with a little of butter for dosas, idlis, sprinkle it on our toasts, top it on our curry to spice them and have rotis rolled with the fillings of chutney powder.
We have a little coconut tree which yields some tiny coconuts at my mom’s place. My dad usually packs a dozen of coconuts for me to carry every year so that I don’t miss home much. They are fresh and full of taste hence add a good flavor for some of my preparations. One or two gets dried up eventually and I use these dried ones to make Chutney powder.
So here comes from my Grand Veg Kitchen…..
Dry Coconut Chutney Powder – An accompaniment for Dosa, Idli,Toasts & Rotis!!

1/2 Cup Dry coconut grated

4 Cloves of garlic

1 tsp - Urad dal (Split black gram)

3 Tbsp - Channa Dal (Bengal gram)
1 tsp - Red Chilli powder

1/4 tsp - Salt
In a thick pan/kadai dry roast channa dal and urad dal on low flame until light brown and transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool.

In the same pan dry roast grated dry coconut and garlic on low flame for a minute. Turn of the flame and transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool.
Grind all the roasted ingredients with red chili powder and salt using a mixer to a little coarse texture.
Dry coconut chutney powder is all ready.
Store it in an airtight container.

You can alter the quantity of red chili powder and salt to your taste.
This preparation can be easily stored up to fifteen days.

A view of our little coconut tree

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Poha / Awlakki Chivda (Thin Flattened rice /beaten rice flakes mix) – A Guilt Free Munching

The region of Hubli in Karnataka where I spent my childhood and college days is very famous for this snack. The local people here are so warm, welcoming and have always to offer you tea with this famous snack Poha Chivda known there as Awlakki Chuda accompanied with some besan laddoos. Looking at our love for these chivdas my mom learnt how to prepare this snack from our neighbor aunty and like every other recipe she narrated it to me as well.
My mom makes it a point to keep the snack dabbas fully loaded with   chaklis,shakkarpara,namak paras, matris ,bhadangs, chivdas etc .so that everyone at home & our guests always have homemade snacks.
Even when we would be back from school we would wait for our mom to give us these tasty snacks along with milk.
I generally avoid buying snacks from markets & I love to store this snack during the cold seasons as it tastes yummy with tea.

So here comes from my Grand Veg Kitchen with all love & sweet memories of Hubli…..
Poha / Awlakki Chivda (Thin Flattened rice /beaten rice flakes mix) – A Guilt Free Munching


1 Kg – Patla Poha (Thin Flattened rice /beaten rice)
1/2 Cup – Peanuts

1/2 Cup – Roasted Channa Dal (Putane)
3/4th Cup– Oil (Refined Sunflower /Canola)

10-12 – Green Chilies
2 String –Curry leaves

2 – Dry Red Chilies
1 tsp – Mustard Seeds

1 tsp – coriander powder
1 tsp – cumin powder

1 tsp - Turmeric
4 Tbsp –Sugar powdered

1 lemon
2 Tbsp- Salt or to taste
In a thick bottomed kadai /pan add two-three handfuls of poha and roast for 2 minutes or till it is crisp and keep transferring  it into a large bowl or vessel. Repeat the process till the entire poha quantity is roasted crisp. Using two spatula helps.
  Once done add salt and powdered sugar on it.
  Mix well by tossing the poha slowly in the vessel.
Next in the thick bottomed kadai/pan heat oil on low flame and add mustard seeds .Once the splutter add peanuts, roasted channa dal and fry well till the peanuts are slightly brown.
Next add finely chopped green chilies curry leaves and fry for two minutes or till the chili and curry leaves are crispy.
Now add dry red chilies cut into pieces,coriander powder,turmeric and cumin powder and mix well.
Next squeeze the lemon on the mixture. Stir well and fry for a minute but do not allow the mixture to burn.
Take it off the flame and add to the poha placed in the vessel.
 Again mix well by tossing it slowly till each flake of poha gets coated well with the spice mixture.
Store in airtight plastic bag to retain its crispiness.
So now you are all ready for some guilt free munching on & on without any reason reading novels, watching TV, working with laptops, chatting with friends and family with tea & coffee!! Enjoy!!
Tips & Variation:
You can use different ingredients like dry coconut pieces, garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, thin sev etc and have your own taste variations.

Also adjust the spices & salt as per your family tastes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Carrot Gravy – A perfect healthy side dish for chapattis & pooris

Last week we had exhausted all veggies in the fridge and were only left with carrots as a visit to supermarket was not happening due to all of us falling ill due to weather changes. So had no option left but to cook carrots .

So here comes from my Grand Veg Kitchen……Carrot Gravy – A perfect healthy side dish for chapattis & pooris 


2 Medium sized Carrots
1 Big Onion finely chopped
1 Big Tomato finely chopped
1 inch Cinnamon
3-4 Cloves
1 inch Ginger piece
5-6 Cloves of Garlic
2-3 green chilies
1/2 Cup fresh grated coconut
10-15 small pieces of broken cashew nuts
1 Tbsp Oil
1/8th tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped for garnish
Serves : 2 People

Soak cashew nuts in 3 tbsp of water for 15 minutes.

Cut the carrots in small pieces after scraping.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan /kadai. Add slightly crushed cinnamon and cloves.
Once they emit aroma add chopped onions and sauté till onions turn pink.

Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric and mix well and cook on low flame with closed lid till tomatoes get soft .Slightly mash the tomatoes with the help of a spatula.
Add chopped carrot, salt and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for three minutes or till carrots turn soft.
Mean while grind together freshly grated coconut, green chilies, ginger, soaked cashew nuts with soaked water  to a smooth paste adding little water.
Add the paste to the carrots and mix well.
Add 1/4th cup water, mix well and cook with closed lid on low flame till it forms thick gravy. Check for salt at this stage, add more if required as per your taste.
Turn off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.

A perfect gravy dish for chapattis & pooris!!