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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Aloo Palda / Potatoes in Yogurt Gravy


Aloo Palda is an aromatic and flavorful potato curry cooked in yogurt based gravy . A local Himachal dish, the curry is thick and creamy and pairs very well with steamed rice or phulka and makes up for a perfect lunch menu. Aloo Palda has distinct flavors from the warm spices like cardamom and cloves, is cooked in mustard oil and is tangy and mildly spicy in taste. The recipe is fuss free , needs basic ingredients and is easy to follow. Aloo Palda also comes to rescue when you have sudden guest or when you are short of fresh vegetables in your pantry :)


Himachal cuisine was the theme for the month of May on Shhhhh cooking secretly challenge, Facebook Group. My partner for the challenge was Archana Gunjikar Potdar di who is a very talented blogger and blogs at Mad Scientist's Kitchen. Check out her blog for healthy and nutritious home cooked food . She gave me mustard oil and curd as my secret ingredients and i gave her Cinnamon and ghee in return. Using the 2 ingredients i made this flavorful potato curry from Himachal cuisine. She made a delicious Tukdiya Bhaat using her secret ingredients.

                                           

I have already shared the Dham- Traditional Food Of Himachal Pradesh , recipes on my blog few months back. Himachal Pradesh cuisine is mild yet flavorful. It has a unique aroma and flavor due to use of lot of yogurt and spices like chilies, cardamom, cinnamon , turmeric and coriander powder. The food is typically cooked in mustard oil and on ;low flame. As availability of vegetables is a challenge in the hilly and cold region, pulses and root vegetables like potato are used in the daily meals. I have followed the recipe roughly from here and served aloo palda with Jeera Rice , Instant lemon pickle and roasted papadam for a comfort mid week lunch.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3- 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup curd
  • 2 tablespoon raw rice
  • 2-3 pods of green cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  •  Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
Method:
  1. Wash , peel the potatoes and chop them in fingers. Immerse in a bowl of water and keep aside until use.
                               

2. Heat mustard oil in a pan. Lower the flame, now add cumin seeds. Once they crackle add the cloves followed by cinnamon, black cardamom, asafoetida and turmeric powder.



3. Add sliced onions and saute for 1-2 minutes. Now add potatoes and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Now cover cook the potatoes on low to medium flame until they are cooked. You may add few tablespoon of water , to prevent them from catching the bottom of the pan.



                            

4. Now while the potatoes are getting cooked , grind the raw rice with peeled green cardamom seeds to a fine powder. Add this powder to the whisked curd in a bowl and blend well.



5. Now add the red chili powder and coriander powder to the cooked potatoes. Stir fry for a minute or so. Next add  the whisked curd rice mixture to it and stir well. Add little water, salt to taste and cover the pan. Allow the gravy to cook on low flame for 5-7 minutes.






  6. The delicious Aloo Palda is ready to serve. I have served aloo palda with Jeera Rice , Instant lemon pickle and roasted papadam for a comfort mid week lunch.


  Notes:
  • If you have boiled potatoes ready at hand, you may use them in the recipe for a quick curry.
  • The curry is mildly spicy, if you wish to have a spicy one , increase the quantity of red chili powder in the recipe.
  • Aloo palda can be served both with steamed rice and chapati
  • The gravy thickens further on cooling , so adjust the consistency accordingly.

I hope you would love to try out this delicious Aloo palda recipe for yourself. Would love to know your thoughts , so feel free to drop any queries, suggestions in the comment section below.

Follow us on  #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. So until i am back with another healthy dish from my kitchen on Monday, eat fresh and stay fit !

For more recipes from Himachal Pradesh cuisine, check the following post from my blog
                                       

 For more potato recipes, check out the following
                                      
                                      
                                     
                                    


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Hung Curd Sandwich Recipe


Hung curd sandwich is a quick , easy and filling breakfast recipe. These delicious cold sandwiches are loaded with healthy goodness of vegetables and protein rich curd. The stuffing of the sandwich is made using colorful veggies , mixed with spiced yogurt/ thick curd. As this sandwich is not grilled or heated , it is a cold sandwich and perfect for Summers.

The Hung Curd sandwich remain fresh for 3-4 hours and can be packed in kids lunch box or served as an after school snack. As it is low in calories, it can be be enjoyed by all age groups. Involve your kids in making this no cook recipe for the added fun. Serve the sandwich plain or with some juice or milk shake. I have served the sandwich with Strawberry milkshake. These hung curd sandwich can also be served as starters for kids play date, birthday , and summer parties.


I always prefer using hung curd over mayonnaise in my recipes. I have made the hung curd at home, which is very easy. But you may use store bought yogurt instead. Feel free to add any veggies of your choice in the stuffing. I have used carrots, onions, cucumber and sweet corn in this recipes, all the veggies except sweet corn are raw. I have steamed the corn and have kept the seasonings simple and just added crushed black pepper and salt to taste. You may use Italian herbs, chili flakes or any other seasonings of your choice. You may add a little powdered sugar to the hung curd if you feel it is sour. I did not add . Always use fresh curd which is not very sour in taste. The sandwich can be made using brown bread or multi-grain bread.


I had made these hung curd sandwiches as starters for my son's birthday party and they were a big hit among kids. If you have hung curd and chopped veggies ready at hand, making this sandwich is a breeze. Stay tuned for more kid friendly recipes, as i will be sharing the recipes of all the dishes i served at the party :)

Preparation time: 10 minutes ( does not include the time for making hing curd)
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Servings : 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup thick curd
  • 6 bread slices
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion 
  • 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cucumber finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
Method:
  1. To make the hung curd, line a colander with a muslin cloth or any clean cotton kitchen towel. Keep another bowl below the colander to collect the whey. Now pour the curd over this cloth. Gather the sides of the kitchen towel and tie a knot. Leave it hanging over the kitchen sink for 2-3 hours or till all the water drains out. If the temperature is very hot, keep the setup (curd tied in the cheese cloth in a colander and a bowl below it to collect the whey) in the refrigerator so that the curd does not turn sour. 






2. Now once the hung curd is ready, we can prepare the veggies for the stuffing. Wash peel and grate the carrots, peel and finely chop the onions, peel and chop the cucumber, steam the sweet corn kernels for 4-5 minutes ( i have done it in a microwave), crush the black pepper.


3. Remove the brown edges of the bread slice using knife and cut each bread into two parts. I have kept rectangular pieces, you may slice the bread diagonally to make triangular sandwiches.


4. In a large mixing bowl take the hing curd and add all the veggies. ( Squeeze as much water as you can from the chopped cucumber before adding it to the hung curd) . Blend  the veggies well with the hung curd. Now add the crushed black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well. Our stuffing is ready.



5. Place half of the prepared bread slices over a board or plate and spread enough stuffing over each of them. Cover each of the slice with another bread slice, press a bit and you are done. Healthy and delicious hung curd sandwiches are ready to serve !



Recipe Notes :
  • Brown bread or multi-grain bread may also be used to make hung curd sandwich.
  • If you do not have time to make hung curd, you may use store bought yogurt to make the sandwich.
  • Feel free to use veggies of your choice in the stuffing.
  • I have kept the seasonings simple and just added crushed black pepper and salt to taste. You may use Italian herbs, chili flakes or any other seasonings of your choice. 
  • Always use fresh curd which is not very sour in taste. You may add a little powdered sugar to the hung curd if you feel it is sour.
  • This is a cold sandwich so it is not grilled, but if you wish you may toast the bread slice and then fill the stuffing.
I hope you would love to try out this delicious and healthy recipe for yourself. Involve kids for the added fun. Would love to know your thoughts , so feel free to drop any queries, suggestions in the comment section below.
Follow us on  #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. So until i am back with another healthy dish from my kitchen , eat fresh and stay fit !

This recipe is featured in the #146th #FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme for this week is #Bread Recipes .
                        
For more bread recipes from my blog, do check out the following posts
                           
                          
                          
                         


Thursday, 24 May 2018

12 Best Mango Recipes


Summers in India are incomplete without relishing on the king of fruits - Mango ! Ripe, sweet and juicy mangoes are in season right now and  mango lovers like me cannot miss any change of enjoying this tropical fruit. Apart from having it , whole as a fruit, there are countless ways in which one can enjoy mangoes. Raw mangoes are used in Chutneys , dips, salads, coolant drinks, pickles and jams whereas ripe mangoes are used mostly in desserts and drinks.

I try to include both ripe and raw mangoes in our daily diet while they are in season. There are many varieties of mangoes available in India, dasheri, langda, totapuri, safeda , neelam to name a few, there is nothing like Hapus aamba ( Alphonso) . Non fibrous, juicy and most delicious of all mango varieties and yes costlier too. Many scrumptious dishes can be made using mangoes in both raw and ripe form. Here is a collection of few mango recipes from my blog to try out this season.
  • Aamrakhand / Mango Shrikhand: Amrakhand is a popular Maharashtrian variation of Shrikhand ( a yogurt based dessert) . As the name suggest, Amra means related to Mango ( in Marathi) so a Mango Shrikhand ( ripe mango pulp blended with Shrikhand) is Amrakhand. This exotic sweet dish is one of the easiest Mango desserts that can be made in a jiffy ( if we exclude the time for making hung curd). I make this creamy , soft and delicious sweet dish on special occasions and on festival like Gudi Padwa and more often during Summers as we get fresh Mango pulp , though it can be made using canned Mango pulp.
                               
  • Mango Halwa : A delicious variation to the regular halwa is this Mango halwa, where Alphonso mango puree is added to the suji halwa to make it all the more flavorful and appealing . 
                               
  • Mango Ice cream : Mango Ice Cream can be easily made at home and that too without an ice cream maker. There are many methods and this ice cream can me made using heavy cream or milk maid. But in this post i have stuck to the traditional method, using full cream milk and cream. Have reduced the milk to half its quantity, used little corn flour as a thickener , Fresh cream , mango pulp and sugar. The ice cream came out to be super soft. 

                               
  • Mango Falooda 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 :)
                               
  • Aamras Aamras is a delicious sweet mango treat , popular in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Basically it is a pulp or puree of a ripe mango which is usually flavoured with Saffron and Cardamom. Aamras is usually consumed with hot Pooris or chapati. In many parts of Maharashtra, Puran Poli and Aamras are served together during summers as a part of festive meals . 
                               
  • Mango Coconut Fudge : A tasty variation to the regular khoprapak is this Mango coconut fudge . This fudge made from classic combo of mango and coconut is simply irresistible. The barfi is crumbly yet soft and delicate and the best part is that it does not become hard after setting. Have used fresh scrapped coconut and Alphonso pulp in this recipe. Addition of fresh cream  makes the fudge soft and rich and Cardamom powder compliments it very well.
                               
  • Soft Mango Bites : These are very handy, flavorful and ready to pop candies , great for kids and serve best to satisfy sweet craving for all age groups. I have used Alphonso Mango pulp in this recipe which imparts rich golden colour as well as an irresistible aroma and the Saffron and Cardamom add to the richness of this candy !
                              

For tongue tickling, raw mango recipes, do check my posts on
  • Spicy Raw Mango Pickle : Raw mango pickle or Aam ka achar is loved in nearly every house hold in India with lots of variation as we move from region to region.Here i am going to share the Authentic Maharashtrian Style Ammbyacha Lonacha (name in Marathi) recipe. This recipe is close to my heart as this is been passed on to every daughter from her mother from generations in our family and also as none of us dare to modify it even a bit. 
     
                            
  • Aam Ka Murabba : 
    Aam ka Murabba or Ambyacha Muramba is a simple sweet and tangy preserve made from raw mangoes. It is served as a side dish with spicy curries and goes well with chapati and khakras. 
    I am sharing here  a typical Maharashtrian recipe of muramba generally made from hard and sour unripe mangoes. 

                            
  • Methamba / Kairas Methamba  or Kairas is a tongue ticking summer special Maharashtrian recipe made from raw mangoes. Methamba word can be split as Methi ( Fenugreek) + Amba ( which means Mango) . Also Kairas originates from two words, kai coming from kairi (raw mango) and ras (juice). So basically Methamba or Kairas is a raw mango preparation seasoned with fenugreek seeds and simmered in its juices. Kairas is sweetened with jaggery and gets its spicy kick from red chilly powder. So it has bitterness from fenugreek seeds, is sweet , spicy and tangy all at the same time. 
                            
  • Raw Mango Chutney
    Kairi in Marathi means Raw Mango and this chutney is prepared using soaked Chana dal , hence the name. This raw Mango Chutney is also called Ambe dal or vatli dal and is very popular spring delicacy from Maharashtra.
                            
  • Kairi Panha / Raw Mango DrinkKairicha Panha is a traditional Maharashtrian raw mango drink . It is called Aam (mango) Panna in Hindi. One can find this healthy and refreshing summer coolant drink in almost every house in Maharashtra in hot summer months of March and April when , raw mango is easily available. A perfect thirst quencher ,  Kairi Panha is offered to guest as a welcome drink. It is also in the fixed menu of Chaitra Gauri Haldi kumkum and is served along with Kairichi Dal.
                            

Note: Click on the highlighted words of the dishes for the respective recipes.

I hope you like to try out some of these scrumptious mango recipes for yourself. If you do so, feel free to drop in your thoughts and feedback  in the comment section below. Also let us know if you want me to share a mango recipe, which is close to your heart.
Follow us on  #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. Would come back on Monday with yet another interesting recipe, so till then eat healthy and stay fit !


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