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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ridge Gourd (Heerekai/Torai) and Chickpeas (Channa) Bhaji – A Quick and Tasty side dish for Chapattis

The vegetable which welcomed us in the supermarket with its entire green and fresh look even for the summer was none other than the Ridge Gourd. So happy we brought them home and I was all set to cook.
Today’s bhaji is prepared quite often in my kitchen as its ready in minutes with quite a few ingredients available. While the ridge gourd leaves a soft taste the chickpeas add a lot of filling. Also as ridge gourd is an excellent blood purifier and helps us from constipation it’s a must do in my kitchen.
So here comes a quick and very easy to do bhaji from my Grand Veg Kitchen….
Ridge Gourd (Heerekai/Torai) and Channa (Cheakpeas) Bhaji 
2 Big Ridge Gourd /Heerekai/Torai
½ Cup Chickpeas soaked and pressure cooked till soft (if using a tinned one discard the water)
3-4 Green Chilies finely chopped
1/2 tsp – Urad dal/ black gram split unskinned
1/2 tsp – Mustard Seeds
1 small lemon sized piece of Jaggery
1/8th tsp –Turmeric
2 Tbsp –Oil
1 String Curry leaves
Salt to taste
So fresh & green                                                                         

1. Wash the Ridge Gourd and peel only its sharp edges. Cut into small pieces.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan/kadai and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add urad dal followed by curry leaves and finely chopped green chills & turmeric.
3. Once the urad dal turns light brown add chopped ridge gourd pieces and cover and cook  on low flame for 2-3 minutes till its just soft and cooked.
4. Add salt, cooked chickpeas and jaggery pieces.
5. Mix well and cook covered on low flame for another two minutes and turn off the flame.
6. Serve hot with rotis/ chapatis.
My Notes: To make it more spicy u can add garam masala which I often skip to get the original taste of the ridge gourd.
A garnish with fresh grated coconut also tastes quite good.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mooli(White Radish) & Corn Paratha

The hot air breeze in the evenings tells us yes its summer in the gulf. The changing weather brought with it viral flu leaving us all ill. After the family members had transferred the illness to each other it was time to welcome our summer guests….yes they are the birds who are a regular summer visitors to our balcony …This definitely alarms us that we need to keep a bowl of water for the little birds to quench their summer thirsts.
With the mercury levels rising a little laziness gets in and I start searching for quick but yet filling recipes so that I don’t have to be in the kitchen the whole day long…as a result some easy to do dishes comes out from my Grand Veg Kitchen…So here is one of them….
Mooli(White Radish) & Corn Paratha

For Dough:                                                                   For Stuffing:    
1 & 3/4th Cups-Wheat flour                                             2 Medium sized Mooli (White Radish)
1/4th Cup –Maida (All purpose flour)                                1/2 Cup-Frozen sweet corn 
2 Tbsp-Besan (Gram) flour                                              3-4 Green chilies finely chopped
1/2 tsp-Salt or to taste                                                   1/4th tsp Cumin seeds
1/4th tsp Oil for kneading                                                1/8 tsp Turmeric
Water to knead the dough                                              1 Tbsp Oil
Extra wheat flour for rolling the parathas                          1/2 tsp-Salt
Extra oil for cooking the parathas                                    4-5 stems of coriander leaves finely chopped for garnishing
                                                                                    1/4th tsp Garam Masala
You can make 6 medium sized parathas with this proportion.

1. In a big bowl mix wheat flour, besan (gram) flour, Maida (All purpose flour), salt and mix well. Add water gradually and knead it to a chapatti dough consistency. Add 1/4th tsp oil and kneed and cover and allow it to rest for 1/2 an hour.
2. Meanwhile grate the Mooli (White Radish) and sprinkle some salt on it and leave it for 10-15 mins.
3. In a thick bottomed kadai/pan heat 1 Tbsp oil and add cumin seeds. Once they crackle add finely chopped green chilies. Next add turmeric and the grated Mooli (White Radish) squeezing out all its water. Also add the rinsed and drained frozen sweet corn .Add salt and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes on low flame and take it off the flame. Let it cool down completely and do not cover it as it may turn watery. Add garam masala and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
4. Next make small lemon sized balls from the dough and press it in wheat flour
5. Flatten two small dough balls slightly using the wheat flour and rolling pin/belan and spread around 1 Tbsp of the radish & corn mixture cooked above on one dough circle.
6. Place the other flattened dough circle on it and press the edges and seal them and press it well with your fingers and enlarge the paratha as shown in the picture.
7. Press it in the wheat flour and place it on the rolling board.
8. Roll the pin to make parathas with very soft hands.
9. Pan fry the parathas from both sides using little oil.
Serve hot with yogurt or butter!!
Mooli & Corn layer inside the paratha