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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Bharli Vangi / Maharashtrian Style Stuffed Baby Eggplant Curry Recipe


Bharli Vangi is an authentic  Maharashtrian delicacy. As the name itself suggest, bharli ( stuffed) and Vangi ( brinjals) , is basically an eggplant curry dish in which baby eggplants are stuffed with a spicy filling of onions, peanut powder , ginger - garlic and coconut paste and powdered spices. The stuffed eggplants are then cooked in a gravy with little tamarind paste and jaggery powder .


This is a spicy , slightly tangy curry with nutty flavor from the peanuts. Spicy Bharli Vangi paired with Bajrichi Bhakri is a winter delight . This is my husband’s all-time favorite gravy dish. It can also be served with jeera rice , chapati, urad dal papad and salad or raita. One can add Sesame seed powder also in this curry to give a rich creamy gravy. Vertical pieces of Potato can be added along with Eggplant , as a variation. The same gravy can be used with baby Potatoes also.


 Select light purple baby eggplant with a shiny skin for this recipe which are likely to have less seeds in it. But if you are lucky to get the small green variety with thorns on its stem, the curry will be more delicious. If you do not get small variety, you can cut the big ones into large chunks and add to the gravy. I love eggplant and i make variety of dishes with it like the Baingan Bharta , Baingan Bhaja , Baba ganoush , this bharli vangi , or pair the brinjal with potato , onions and tomato to make a spicy stir fry. All of them taste best with chapati and the gravy dishes go well with plain or jeera rice.

Ingredients: 

  • 8-10 baby Eggplants ( brinjals / aubergines)
  • A small gooseberry sized Tamarind
  • 1 tsp Jaggery (optional)
  • 1 Onion , finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of roasted Peanut powder
  • 4-5 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 inch Ginger piece
  • 2 tbsp shredded dry Coconut
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala / Goda masala
  • 1 tsp Coriander Cumin Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Pinch of Asafoetida / Hing
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped Coriander.
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to taste.
Method:
  1. Wash and slit the baby eggplants lengthways, keeping the stems intact. Soak them in a bowl of water with a pinch of salt for 10-15 minutes , to remove the bitterness. Make a paste of garlic , ginger and coconut in a grinder without adding any water. Keep aside until use. Also soak the tamarind in half cup warm water for 10-15 minutes. Extract the pulp, strain and keep aside.

   2.  For the stuffing, heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Add chopped Onions. Fry them until they turn soft. Now add roasted peanut powder , Garlic Ginger and Coconut paste , Turmeric powder , Red chilly powder , Garam masala , Coriander Cumin powder and Salt. Mix everything very well. Fry this filling on a low flame for 1-2 minutes. Put off the flame.

                          



   3.  Let the filling cool down enough to handle. Now stuff this into the slit eggplants. Filling mixture will be left after stuffing. We will be using it in the gravy. 


  4.  Heat remaining oil in the same wok. Add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle , add the asafoetida powder . Now add the stuffed eggplants and stir fry them for 1-2 minutes on low to medium flame with continuous stirring.      


  5.  Add  the reserved filling , mix well. Now add about 1 1/2 cup of hot water . Give a quick stir and bring the curry to a boil.


  6.  Add the tamarind paste and jaggery powder to the curry.



  7.  Mix and cover cook the curry on a low flame for 10-12 minutes or until the eggplants are tender and the curry thickens slightly. Make sure you stir the curry a few times during cooking so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. 



  8.  Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve the delicious Bharli Vangi with chapati , jeera rice and raita or salad. ( you cannot see coriander in the pics as i did not have it )


  I hope you would love to try this easy recipe. Do not forget to give your valuable feedback.
For more curry recipes from Maharashtian Cuisine , do check my posts on


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Instant Khaman Dhokla / Gujarati Savory Steamed Cake Recipe


 Khaman Dhokla is a delicious , soft , spongy , savory steamed snacks from the Gujarati Cuisine. Made from gram flour , this nutritious steamed appetizer is mildly sweet and tangy and a bit spicy in taste. Can be had at any time of the day , as a light snacks or as a side dish. It is usually accompanied with Tamarind and dates Chutney or the Coriander Chutney.


  The actual method of making Khaman Dhokla calls for allowing the gram flour and yogurt batter to ferment overnight , steam the batter , cut the steamed cake into pieces and then temper it. I do follow this method oftenly , but at times when guest arrive unannounced or i am in short of time or have no veggies in my kitchen pantry , this instant khaman dhokla recipe comes to my rescue.


This instant recipe saves time of overnight fermentation and can be made under 20-25 minutes. This is a vegan ,  gluten free and onion garlic free recipe. Requires minimal and easily available ingredients. This is my Sister -in -law's recipe . The reason behind the fluffy and soft texture of this khaman is use of baking soda just before steaming the batter and the use of water in the tempering mixture.

Ingredients:

For the Batter
  • 1 1/4 cup gram flour / besan
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 green chilies 
  • 1/2 inch ginger piece
  • Oil for greasing
For tempering 
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 sprigs of Curry leaves( 10-15 leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp white Sesame seeds
  • 1-2 whole red chilies (optional)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water
For garnishing
  • 1 tbsp of scrapped fresh Coconut
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh Coriander leaves.
Method for preparing Dhokla batter:
  1. In a bowl take 3/4 cup water , squeeze out juice of 2 lemons into it followed by addition of 3 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well and stir until the sugar dissolves in the water. Keep aside until use. Now grease the steamer pan / plates each with 1/2 tsp oil. Also add 2-3 cups of water in a steamer or pressure cooker and heat it on medium flame.

  2.  In another mixing bowl , take the gram flour , add crushed green chilies and ginger to it. Now add the prepared lemon juice from step 1 to this flour slowly to make a batter . The consistency of the batter should be such that it should have no lumps , is thick and flowing at the same time.


  3. We will be adding the baking soda to the batter just before steaming it, so ensure the steamer or cooker is heated at least 5 minutes prior to placing the plates with batter to it. Now in 2-3 tbsp of warm water add 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Mix well and pour it to the batter. Stir the batter well to ensure the soda mixes evenly. The batter will rise in volume. 



   4.  Immediately pour the batter to the greased plates or pan and place it to a preheated steamer or cooker in which water has already started boiling. You can place the dhokla plates to its stand and place it in a cooker. 



  5.  If using a pan without a stand in cooker, place a bowl filled with water below in the cooker with water and place the pan with batter over it , this ensures the boiling water from the cooker does not enter the pan.


  6.  If using a pressure cooker , remove the whistle and cover the cooker tightly with its lid. Steam for 12- 15 minutes on a medium to high flame. 


  7.  Check the doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the dhokla. If it comes out clean, the dhokla is done. If toothpick has batter on it , steam it for 4-5 minutes more.


   8.  Once the khaman is warm , slide its edges with a butter knife,  place a flat plate over the pan and invert it. If the greasing on the pan is good, the khaman will come out easily on the plate. 


  Tempering for dhokla:
  1. In a small non stick pan , heat 2 tbsp oil . Add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle , add the curry leaves and de seeded red chilly pieces followed by the sesame seeds .


  2. Allow the sesame seeds to change their color slightly , now lower the flame and add 1/2 cup water to the mixture. Stir well , add sugar and lime juice. Give a quick stir and allow the tempering mixture to come to a boil . 



  3. Pour the tempering mixture evenly on the khaman dhokla. 


   4. Garnish the dhokla with scrapped coconut and coriander leaves. Cut it into desired shapes and serve immediately .


  5. Enjoy the deliciously soft , fluffy and moist khaman dhokla with Dates and Tamarind Chutney or the  Coriander Chutney and enjoy with your loved ones !


   I hope you will give this recipe a try . Do not forget to give your valuable feed back :)
   You can check my post on Kutchi dabeli for more recipes from Gujarati Cuisine.



Monday, 18 July 2016

Kanda Bhaji / Onion Fritters / Indian Street Food Recipe


It is raining here in Gurgaon and after an exhausting Summer , finally the weather is cool and pleasant. I love Monsoons for many reasons , one of them is undoubtedly the yummy monsoon treats that i get to feast on . There is no other joy than to enjoy the crispy , spicy onion fritters along with a piping hot cup of Masala Chai on a rainy evening with family and friends !

Onion fritters are known as Kanda Bhaji in Marathi. It is popular street food in Mumbai. Kanda means onion and bhaji means fritter in Marathi, and hence the name of this delicious snacks. A delectable starter , Kanda bhaji can be enjoyed as a tea time snacks or can be had as a side dish with chapati or bread. Though one can have these crispy treats any time, they taste best during winters and monsoons. The best part is they can be easily made at home.


The recipe for Kanda bhaji or pyaj ke pakode ( Hindi name ) calls for a simple preparation, in which thinly sliced onions are mixed with gram flour (Besan) and flavoured with some Indian spices and herbs and then deep fried until crispy. A perfect kanda bhaji has more of onions and less flour which makes it flavorful and less stodgy. Deep fried , salted green chilies are served as accompaniment with these fritters along with a green chutney or Tomato sauce.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Chickpea flour / Besan
  • 1 tbsp coarse Semolina / Suji
  • 2 -3 large onions , thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander /Dhaniya
  • 2 green Chilies finely chopped + 2 green chilies for serving.
  • Pinch of Asafoetida / Hing
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder / Haldi
  • 1/4 tsp Carom seeds / Ajwain
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
Method:

  1. In a bowl take the gram flour and semolina. Mix them together and set aside.

    2.   In another bowl , take the thinly sliced onions, finely chopped coriander leaves, carom seeds , asafoetida , turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. keep aside for 5-10 minutes. 


   3.  Mix the gram flour - semolina mixture with onions and spice mix . Add little water at a time to make a batter, which is sticky and wet enough to coat all the onions properly. 


    4.   In a deep wok / kadhai , heat oil enough for deep frying the pakodas. Take about 2 tbsp of this hot oil and add to the pakoda batter. Mix well with a spoon. This steps make the fritters more crispy. 


   5.  Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and deep fry for 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Turn the pakodas a few times in the oil to make sure they color evenly. 


   6.  Remove the fritters with a slotted ladle and drain on the kitchen paper. Repeat the same for rest of the batter. Slit 2-3 green chilies into 2 parts , making sure the parts do not fall apart. Deep fry the chilies in the same hot oil.  Remove on an absorbent paper and sprinkle some salt on them . 


   7.  Serve the Kanda Bhaji hot with the fried salted green chilies , a dip or chutney of your choice and piping hot Masala Chai. Enjoy these monsoon treats with your loved ones !


  For more Indian street food recipes, do check my posts on


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Mango Falooda Recipe


Mangoes and Summers go hand in hand and you would agree with me if i say that , hardly there would be anyone , who has not fallen in love with this sweet delicious summer delight :) Be it the summer coolant , Kairi Panha , the tongue tickling Mango Pickle , the sweet preserve, Murabba, Rice dishes or chutneys and dips made from the sour , raw mangoes or the endless range of desserts made from the ripe ones , there is no end to the mango delicacies . If there is someone , who has yet to experienced the mango mania , Mango Falooda is a dish to try for sure.


Mango Falooda is a North Indian rich pudding like dessert , which is layered beautifully with mango puree , mango custard , chopped mango chunks and mango ice cream. An absolute palate pleaser , i would rather call it a heavenly mango dessert. The rose syrup and the sabja seeds give a cooling effect and the falooda sev adds in to the different textures in the layers of this falooda. You can both drink and eat this multi layered beverage cum dessert :)


So before the official Mango season ends in India , tried my hands on this delectable mango dessert , yesterday on my birthday. The results were far better than my expectation , we first ate it with our eyes , as the tall glasses clearly revealed the different colors and layers of the falooda and it was a visual treat for sure. Each bite of it was a treat to the taste buds as well .

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp Sabja / Tukmaria ( sweet basil seeds )
  • 3 tbsp Falloda sev
  • 4 tbsp Rose syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup mango Puree
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3-4 tbsp of sugar or as per taste
  • 1 medium mango , peeled and chopped into small cubes
  •  1-2 tsp Tutti Fruti
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 3-4 scoops of ice cream ( mango or vanilla )
 Method:

  1. Preparing Sabja Seeds :
  • Soak the sabja seeds in 1 cup water for about 20 minutes. The seeds will bloom . Strain the bloomed sabja seeds with a tea strainer and keep aside until use.




      2.    Preparing the Mango Custard :

  •  Take 1/4 cup milk and add 2 tbsp of custard powder to it . Mix well and keep aside. Now heat the remaining milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Once it boils, add sugar and lower the flame and let it reduce for 4-5 minutes. To this add the custard powder mixed milk while continuously stirring to avoid lumps.
  • Let the custard boil and then cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the flame , add 1/4 cup of mango puree to it and stir well and let the Mango custard cool down to room temperature. Refrigerate it until use.


       3.  Preparing Falooda Sev :

  • Cook the falooda sev as per the instructions on the packet. Drain excess water using a sieve. Add chilled water to stop further cooking of the sev. Cool and refrigerate until use.
  • Falooda sev is easily available in market. In case you do not get it , use the normal vermicelli and cook it as per the package instructions.

       4.  Other preparations:

  • Chill the Falooda serving glasses in the fridge for about 1/2 hour before layering the falooda. Preferably use tall glasses as it shows the layers of the falooda distinctly.
  • Peel and roughly chop the mangoes. Blend them with some sugar ( if required) into a smooth puree. Chill until use.

       5. Layering the Mango Falooda :

  • To each chilled serving glasses first add the 2 tbsp of rose syrup , followed by the 2-3 tbsp of mango Puree. Now add 2 tsp of sabja seeds.
  • To it add the mango custard followed by the falloda sev. Again add the mango puree and repeat the layers until the glass is 80% full .
  • Now top it with 2 scoops of mango or vanilla ice cream , mango cubes and tutti frutti.
  • Serve the Mango falooda immediately.

Try out this heavenly royal mango dessert for your loved ones and you are sure to win hearts ! Do not forget to give your valuable feedback.

For more Mango recipes, do check my posts on 


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