Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Poori/ Fried Indian Flatbread

Poori who doesn't love this. This soft puffy looking are a delight for my kids. Though I don't do it very often, just because it's deep fried, I do it for festive occasions or when my kids asks for it. I hadn't had a chance to take pictures, since the minute hot ones comes out, kiddos want it. When some of my friends asked me to post this recipe, I took these pictures. So here you go on the recipe.


Whole Wheat Flour - 2 Cups
Suji Rava/ Fine Semolina - 1 tsp. (optional)
Water - About 1 Cup
Hot Water - 1/2 Cup
Oil - 1 tbsp.
Salt - 1 tsp.
Vegetable oil to deep fry the pooris

Method of Preparation:

~ Take wheat flour, suji and salt in a wide mixing bowl.
~ Add hot water and carefully mix the water into dough. You can use spoon to mix at this stage so that you won't burn your hand.
~ Now start adding the regular water slowly until it comes together as pliable dough.
~ Add one tbsp. of oil and start kneading properly. You can use kneading blade and do it this in food processor too. Once you have smooth dough, make lime size balls.
~ While you are kneading, heat oil for deep frying.
~ Roll the dough balls into medium thickness circle.
~ Check the temperature of the oil, by dropping in a small pinched piece of dough. If it rises up immediately that means you are ready to roll and start deep frying.
~ Drop one poori (be very CAREFUL and gentle with hot oil) at a time in the oil. Using slotted ladle gently touch the top of the poori. This makes the poori to puff up.
~ Once a nice brown color has formed on the bottom side, flip the poori to the other side and fry for few seconds.
~ Using the slotted ladle take the poori out onto a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
~ Serve them hot. The best combination to serve these pooris are Batate Song (a konkani style potato curry) or Vegetable Kurma. Pictured above with Batate Song and Tofu Spinach Stir-fry

~ Do not let the dough sit, once kneading. Start making the pooris right away.
~ If the dough is rolled out too thin, it won't puff up properly.
~ Make sure to hold the poori down in the oil with the slotted spoon for few seconds. This makes the poori to puff up.

You might also be interested in -
Vegetable Kurma
Tofu Spinach Stir-fry

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tomato And Mozzarella Salad/ Caprese Salad

This Caprese salad is for the cheese lovers. To be precise mozzarella cheese lovers. Which we are at my place. First time when I had this salad at a American party I was just wowed. Then I realized it's very simple salad and can be prepared in jiffy. Make sure you get good quality mozzarella cheese for this. Also I personally like grape tomatoes, since they are sweeter than cherry tomatoes, but you can always use other types of tomatoes for this. They just have to firm variety and cut them to cube size.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 0 | Serves: 4 to 6 people


Small Grape or Cherry Tomatoes - 1 and 1/2 Cup
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese - 1/2 lb
Fresh Basil Leaves - Big handful (finely chopped)
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp.
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Method of Preparation:

~ Wash and cut tomatoes in half. Pat dry mozzarella cheese (if it's in a tub) and cut it into cubes.
~ Add chopped basil with drizzle of lemon juice.
~ Sprinkle little salt and gently mix everything. Refrigerate for an hour if possible.
~ Drizzle olive oil just before serving.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cranberry Thokku/ Spicy Cranberry Relish

Thokku is one of the south Indian delicacy, which is similar to pickle. Thokku is usually a preserve that's made by reducing fruits or vegetables. I had not tasted these for very long. My mom introduced me to this which she bought from one Brahmin store in Bangalore. This is pretty staple in Tamil community. My favorite is the one made from Nellikayi or Gooseberry. Ummm, they are just so delicious.

Long time back, one of my friend Sowmini had put a status on FB that she made Cranberry Thokku. I was intrigued since I used to hardly use fresh cranberries in any recipe then. I asked her for the recipe and she gladly shared it with me. Since then almost every year I prepare this thokku during cranberry season. Usually cranberry is available during fall and winter season over here in US. So I load up on this and preserve for us to get through next 2 or 3 months.

Prep Time: 5 min | Cooking Time: 15 min | Makes : About 1 Cup


Fresh Cranberries - 12 oz (About 2 Cups)
Red Whole Chilies - 6 to 8
Methi/ Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Hing/ Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp.
Turmeric/ Haldi Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Water - 4 Cups
Salt - 1 tsp.
Sesame Oil - 4 tbsp. *
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Grated Jaggery/ Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp.

Method of Preparation:

~ In a pan dry roast red chilies and methi seeds. Switch off the heat and add haldi and hing and fry for few seconds. Let it cool and then grind them into fine powder.
~ Boil 4 Cups of water with salt. Add cranberries, stir and leave for a minute. Drain the water and keep cranberries aside.
~ Heat sesame oil in a wide pan, add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
~ Add ground powder, cranberries and jaggery. Mash cranberries gently using a potato masher. Let all the ingredients mix evenly. Add half a tsp. of salt and keep mixing for about 5 minutes on a low flame.
~ Cool and store it in a clean, dry jar. Use it only after couple of days since it tastes better after that. This stays well for months in the refrigerator.
~ You can use it as a pickle or just add to the rice with hot ghee.

* You can use other refined oil or olive oil. Sesame oil really brings out the flavors in the dish.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cabbage Bhajia/ Gobi Bhajji/ Cabbage Pakora

Arctic wind has been the word for past few days. It's sweeping in US in its' brutal cold grip. Too cold is what I used to complain. Now I don't know what else to say because "too cold" doesn't seem to do justice. But what we can do is to stay warm and have hot pakoras or bhajia's. When your cold afternoon is filled with chat-pata snacks, all the cold day blues runs away.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 15 min | Serves: 4


Cabbage/ Gobi - 2 Cups Shredded fine
Coriander - handful
Ajawain - 1 tsp.
Besan - 1 Cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp.
Chili Powder - 2 tsp.
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Baking Soda/ Ino Fruit Salt - 1 tsp.
Salt - 1/2 tsp.
Vegetable Oil - 4 Cups to deep fry

Method of Preparation:
~ Mix all the ingredients except Vegetable oil meant for frying. Keep it aside, since the vegetable will leave some water.
~ In a deep frying pan, heat oil. Meanwhile check the mixture to make sure you can form little balls which doesn't hold shape once you put it back. If you think it's too thick mixture, add few tablespoons of water and mix.
~ Oil is ready for deep frying when a small amount of mixture is dropped in the oil, it immediately sizzles and floats back up.
~ With your hand carefully drop small golf size ball amount into the hot oil. Be CAREFUL not to splatter the oil by dropping too high. Continue to to fill the frying pan.
~ Once they turn golden, turn on the other side and let it cook. Take out the cooked bhajia's with a slotted spoon and lay it out on paper towel to soak extra oil.
~ Serve it immediately with ketchup/ Chutney.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Paneer Makkhanwala/ Butter Paneer Masala

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all have a very lovely New Year's, whether you partied hard all night or snuggled in before the clock hit 12:00, am sure you enjoyed in your own way. Here is a wishing for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Paneer dishes are always a party and kids pleaser. I have met very few who don't like this dish. I use almost the same recipe for Butter Chicken too and it turns out finger-licking-delicious! I use cream for this recipe and also tomato sauce can. This makes the preparation very quick. If you do not want to use canned tomatoes, you can blanch the tomatoes, remove skin and make a puree to use it in the recipe.

Prep Time: 10 min | Cooking Time: 20 min | Serves: 5


Paneer Cubes - 2 Cups
Butter - 2 tsp.
Oil - 1 tsp.
Bay Leaf/ Tez Patta - 1
Ginger Paste - 2 tsp.
Garlic Paste - 2 tsp.
Tomato Sauce - 1 Can
Chili Powder - 1 tbsp.
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Cream/ Heavy Cream - 1 Cup
Kasoori Methi - 1 tbsp.
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - 1/2 tsp.

Method of Preparation:

~ In a thick kadai, heat butter and oil. Add the bay leaf, ginger and garlic. Saute till the raw smell goes away.
~ Now add the tomato sauce and fry until it starts to leave the sides of the pan. This takes about 10 minutes.
~ Add chili powder, turmeric powder and two cups of water. Again bring everything to boil.
~ Reduce the heat, add cream, kasoori methi and garam masala. Gently mix all of them together.
~ Finally add the paneer cubes, add very little salt and heat until it just starts to bubble.
~ Take it out of heat and serve with hot Roti, Dosa or Paranthas.

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