Friday, 30 January 2015

WHOLE BLACK LENTIL CURRY (DAL MAKHANI)

DAL MAKHANI

(BLACK LENTIL CURRY)

Suitable for vegans 


In punjabi this is called ma-di-dal or sabut ma. In olden days, as you know, knowledge was passed on from generation to generation from word of mouth. When I was young my elders told me that, this “ma” word came from sanskrit language word “maans” which means meat, because the protein content in this dal is equal to meat.



When I started writing this post, an idea came to my mind to check the authenticity of what my elders told me with the help of Google. To my big surprise I checked the protein percentage of this dal, the results were amazing. They are exactly the same as I was told, i.e. in 100 grams of dal makhani there are 25 grams of protein and in 100 grams of beef there are 26 grams of protein. Now I can conclude that ancient knowledge is not only valid and informative but also powerful. That is why this dal is considered to be in the high protein meatless food category.


This famous punjabi dal, is available in almost all Indian restaurants - starting from small one to a five star one. Initially this dal was served in the dhabas (road side small restaurants) throughout India. Later it became so popular that now it is available in almost all Indian restaurants. Normally people eat different types of dal in a curry form with rice, but dal makhani's specialty is that it goes really well with nan or paratha and it tastes very nice and different with a bread.


My mother-in-law told me that traditionally this dal was cooked in an earthen pot on slow fire, on olden days styled charcoal stove/fire. Even now in rural areas in punjab, in India, it is still cooked in that traditional way. I used slow cooker, which is good replacement of traditional slow fire. Soaking reduces the time to cook this dal.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup black lentil (whole urad dal)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 1tsp ginger paste
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • 2tbs butter
  • 2tbs fresh cream (optional)
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • salt and chilli powder to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
METHOD
  • Rinse two three times in water and soak the lentils overnight in plenty of water.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder and boil in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes after the whistle.
  • For garnishing (Tadka) heat the butter in a fry pan, add cumin seeds, then garlic and onion paste, saute for few minutes, add onion and fry them till golden brown. Add tomato puree and mix well.
  • When cold, open the pressure cooker, add more water and boil it again for 20 minutes till you see the lentil and water is mixed very well.
  • Add garnishing (tadka) with cream and garam masala.
  • Serve hot with nan, roti or paratha.
Slow cooker can be used instead of the pressure cooker to cook this dal. This can be served to three-four people.

I am sending this recipe as my blog entry for My Legume Love affair, and for Credit Crunch Munch, and with Meatless Monday,and with Cook Blog Share, and for Tasty tuesday link,and The Hearth and Soul Hop, and The Gluten Free-homemaker , and with Tasty Tuesday creative kids, and with Delicious Dish Tuesday, and with Creative Monday, and with Brilliant Blog post, and with Friday Free for all, and with Happy Healthy and Green blog hop, and with Full plate Thursday and with My two fav things, and with Fiesta Friday and Real food Friday,




























                         


                                                      

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

CAULIFLOWER, CARROT AND TURNIP PICKLE

(Gobhi, Gajar, Shalgam ka aachar)


“One best book is equal to hundred good friends, but one good friend is equal to a Library”.... Dr A.P.G. Abdul Kalam.
What a wonderful quote by our ex-President. I am lucky to have a library, I mean a friend like Meera, she is not only a good friend but also a great cook. I have tried many of her recipes successfully and now they are made in my kitchen on a regular basis. She is very good at heart and she has many good qualities, one of which I admire is that, she is always active. She enjoys two things most, one is playing golf and the other one is walking. She walks everyday around 5-6 km; for her every weather is fine (hot, rainy or cold) for walking.


Last summer when she came to Canada to visit me, her schedule was tight because we wanted to show her all the beautiful places around Calgary like Lake Louise and many more but I told her to keep one day aside for cooking, so that we can all enjoy her fabulous cooking.


This veg pickle is very famous in north India, especially in punjab. Traditionally it was made in winter because the vegetables used in this pickle were only available in winter in olden days, unlike these days when all vegetables and fruits are available in all seasons.


This veg pickle recipe is Meera's recipe. It has very little oil and can last on the shelf for one year. Vinegar and jaggery serve the purpose of being the preservative. Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane sugar without the separation of molasses, this type of sugar is used in Asia and Africa.


RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ kg Carrots
  • ½ kg Cauliflower
  • ½ kg Turnip
  • 70 grams grated ginger
  • 7-8 cloves of grated garlic
  • 100 grams Jaggary or brown sugar
  • 100 ml Vinegar
  • 100 grams coarsely crushed mustard seeds
  • salt and chilli powder to taste
  • 1tbs garam masala
  • 100 grams oil
METHOD
  • Soak jaggery in vinegar and keep aside.
  • Keep water in a big pot for boiling, when it reaches a rolling boil, add the carrots and boil for one minute, then take it out and spread on a kitchen towel to dry in the sun for 2 hours. Do the same with cauliflower and turnip.
  • Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry the ginger and garlic well in oil, add all dry ingredients in it and mix well, leave it to cool.
  • When cold add vinegar-jaggary mixture in it, and fold in all the vegetables.
  • Fill the pickle in a clean dry glass jar, put it in the sun for two days.
  • Now pickle is ready to use, which can last for one year on the shelf.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

MANGO SMOOTHIE

MANGO LASSI



I love mangoes and I always wait for their season, when I will get a chance to eat sweet ripe mangoes. Before the season, I always look out for hard green unripe mangoes in the shops for pickling. Mango pickle is a favorite of everybody in my family, and hence is made on a large scale in my house, see my mango pickle recipe here.


In Indian cuisine a variety of pickles and chutneys are made with unripe, raw and sour mangoes. My favorite chutney is the mango pachadi, made in Kerala style. Sweet ripe mangoes are used not only in Indian cuisine but also in many world cuisines particularly for making desserts, cakes and drinks.


These days, mango smoothie (lassi) is very famous all over the world, in almost all Indian restaurants it is available. It is a nice cool sweet drink, which people normally think as a summer drink but I would say, it is a all season drink. If you ask me, I really enjoy it in the winter too, particularly during lunch time with some light lunch.


In winter the mangoes available here are not very tasty if we eat as it is. But if I use them in smoothies they are very nice. Sometime I use frozen mangoes when fresh is not available. When I need a light version of the smoothie, I use the low or fat-free yoghurt.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:-
  • ½ l yoghurt (Dahi)
  • 1 ripe mango medium size
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 tbs Sugar ( or less to taste)

Method
  • Wash, peel and chop mangoes in small pieces.
  • In a blender add yoghurt, mango and sugar and water.
  • Pulse for 2-3 minutes, pour in a glass and add ice cubes.
  • Serve chilled with or without food as a sweet, cold drink.

This can be served to 2-3 people.

I am sharing this recipe with Weekend Recipe link party, and also with Cook blog share, I am also sharing this recipe with Tasty Tuesday event, and for January family foodie, and Foodie Friday, and for Inspire Me Monday, also with pure blog love party, and with creative Mondays, and with Hearth and soul, and with Food year linkup for Jan, and with Healthy breakfast recipes with Jebbicas world,















           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

   






Friday, 2 January 2015

NO BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

NO BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

Happy New Year, wishing everyone happy and healthy 2015.


Last week I was really down with the flu, my story with the flu is strange the more I hate flu, the more it catches me. To me, the flu seems to be a wild animal and I am the easiest prey for it. It feels like, this wild animal is hiding in the bushes and as soon as it lays its eyes on me, it attacks, and I have no way to escape from this evil sickness. Like every time it took me out for four-five days, and I had no energy to do anything, was just resting.


Last week Friday, my daughter told me that she is expecting a family for dinner on Saturday and assured me that she will do all the cooking herself, knowing the fact that I was down with the flu. But I was not satisfied by her proposal of cooking alone. I thought let me make at least one item, the idea behind it was to help her. So I told her, “look, now I am feeling better so let me make some simple dessert”, she agreed.


Now the question in my mind was, what to cook in which less labour or cooking time is required. Then I decided to make the no-bake strawberry cheesecake, all the ingredients needed being already there in the fridge. It didn’t take very long to make it and everybody enjoyed it.



RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 grams frozen strawberries pureed
  • 3-4 strawberries for decoration.
  • 100 grams chhena (milk cheese separated from water)*
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 100 ml fresh cream
  • 200 grams plain cream cheese
    For graham cracker crust
  • Two cups graham/digestive cracker (Finely crushed)
  • One cup sugar
  • 8 tbs butter
Method

For crust
  • Mix graham cracker, sugar and butter thoroughly.
  • Press mixture into small individual pie trays ( 3 inches )
  • Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes on 180 degrees C.
  • Cool it well.
For cream cheese filling
  • Beat cream and chhena in an electric stand mixer.
  • Add sugar and cream cheese and mix.
  • Add strawberry puree and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture in all the small trays
  • Decorate with some strawberry puree and slices.
It can make 16 -18 small sized ( 3 inches) pie trays or two big trays.

*Chhena is very easy to make, boil one-liter milk when boiling add one tablespoon of vinegar, it will separate the milk solid with water. Sieve and remove the water from milk solid, leave it to drip more water for 15-20 minutes. You can get 100 grams of chhena.

This recipe I am sending as my blog entry for Cook Blog Share event.
And also for showcase-talent-thursday event, and with Tuesday Tutorials,





                      





I am also sending this recipe for Recipe of the week event, and for The Heart and soul Hop event, and for delicious dish tuesday, and with Tasty Tuesday event.
                                                                                                                         
I am also sending this recipe for treat-petite event for February, and with Food year link up for April.,       and with Friday Free for all  and with tickle my tastebuds, and with What's do you do this weekend .