Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mooli patte ki bhurji



This is a typical punjabi dish and the burji leaves a unique bitterness in the mouth. Its typical of a mooli after taste and its really an acquired taste that comes after trying it several times. The first time I enjoyed it was when it was served with makki ki roti that was stuffed with grated white icicle mooli with a blob of white homemade butter and a huge glass of salt lassi at home by my mom. I closed my eyes and was instantly transported to a small farm settlement in punjab.

What you need

• Leaves of 6-8 radishes (preferrable white)
• 2 tbs mustard oil
• 1 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
• 1 tsp ajwain (carum) seeds
• A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
• Salt and chilli powder to taste
• 1 tsp. amchoor or dry mango powder

Wash the leaves thouroughly, drain and chop finelly.
In a kadai (wok), heat the mustard oil and add the jeera, ajwain and hing.

When the seeds are slightly browned and leave an aroma, add the chopped leaves and saute.
The leaves will considerably reduce in qauntity as you cook.

When they are cooked, add salt and chilli powder to taste and amchoor powder.

Serve with raita and a hot phulka. This is my contribution to JFI: Green leafy vegetables by indira of mahanandi.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cream Cheese Crackers

Hmm evening tea time is the most important meal of the day, ahem for me that is! Well, I could skip or rush though any meal of the day, but come 5pm I need my cuppa with a yummy snack. When I am super hungry I know I need to assemble something fast, and my fav thing is to spread some cream cheese or cottage cheese on some salty crackers and throw in some toppings, the results are always yummy and different every time!!!

you need:

salt crackers of any kind (as many as you want to make!)
cream cheese - (as much as you want to smother!!) seriously you just need enough to spread on the crackers, which is maybe half a teaspoon per cracker. Also there are different cream cheese variety available that adds more flavour to each cracker. Some typical flavours found are garlic, spring onion, chives, pepper, plain salted. you could add your choice of flavour to the tub of cream cheese too before using it, like finely chopped coriander.

toppings:

anything really! Here Ive put a thin slice of tomato and thin slivers of cucumber and bellpeppers and topped it with a thin slice of cheddar cheese. Ive crushed come black pepper and sprinkled dried basil.

More tweaks:

You coud put a small blob of ketchup or green mint and coriander chutnet too. You can also experiment with different cheeses on top, try mozarrela instead of cheddar.My other favourite thing to spread on top is avocado salsa (which is just mashed avocado mixed with some lime juice and finelly chopped onion and tomato) which is just divine!! Sometimes I put one or two pearls of chick peas or red kiney beans. Really its about using your imagination here in combination with whatever is leftover in the fridge!

The most important thing: is to eat it as fast as its ready. Thats because you would have added so many wet ingredients on top of the cracker and you dont want it to go soggy at all. This time, I managed to take a quick picture before devouring them!! Enjoy and do let me know the toppings that you've tried so I can try them too!!!!



Sunday, April 1, 2007

Creamy Stuffed Tomatoes

Tomatoes.. I gotta have a bunch in my refrigerator no matter what. Plus they act as a contingency for other cooking plans and recipe disasters. In fact I always find my family members wondering why they appear in every dish I make. Heck, I could throw them into my green salad, who cares if its not green anymore. Contingency because, when I’m in one of those what-do-I-make confusion states or when I’m just cooking for myself, I settle down for a plain good old tomato and black pepper sandwich. Nothing beats that!

So when JFI for April was tomatoes hosted by RP of My Workshop, I jumped up and was like… tomato sandwich? Nah…..I decided on Creamy Stuffed Tomatoes because its so different and my beloved tomato stands out in the sauce like a lovely setting sun in the sky. My, am I getting poetic today or what? I swear it the tomato effect!!!

This recipe is truly a fusion recipe and a first for my blog! Really, my mum takes all the credit for this lick-your-fingers invention. She intended to make her stuffed green peppers and because I had accidentally chopped up her small hand picked dainty peppers in my salad, she decided to take revenge on my stash of tomatoes. The sauce came along with some further tweaks to the recipe and we sat down licking our fingers and laughing on our little veggie war!!!

Ingredients

10-12 medium sized tomatoes cored
Note: Tomatoes that are called ‘Globe’ type are medium-sized, firm, juicy, and like ‘beefsteak’ variety are good raw or cooked. We need tender ones for this recipe and a slight pogginess in the tomatoes disqualifies them from this dish.











Find single serving sized tomatoes to use since we want to stuff them and serve them whole. To core a tomato, use the tip of a sharp knife or peeler to make a shallow cut all around the stem end, and then pop out the core. Scoop out the seeds and the pulp with a grapefruit spoon.

Filling:
2 medium sized potatoes boiled and mashed
75g khoya/paneer
Salt to taste
½ tsp Chilli powder

Sauce:
2-3 tblsp ghee/oil
1 tsp jeera
1 cup (250ml) white sauce or roux
1 large onion finely chopped
100ml tomato puree
Salt to taste
Chilli powder
Pinch of turmeric (to give it a creamish color)
½ tsp dhania powder


1. Combine well the ingredients for the filling. Fill into the deseeded and cored tomatoes. The paneer/khoya can really be excluded if desired, but I feel they add a softness to the filling mixture.

2. Saute the jeera and onions in the ghee until the onions are golden. Add the tomato puree and all the spices except the roux and sauté for a further few minutes. Add the roux when the onions and puree are well cooked with the spices.

Note: To avoid the roux being lumpy, when combining with the milk, it is important that the milk be added very hot and in small quantities to the roux while stirring, to ensure proper mixing.

3. Arrange the stuffed tomatoes in a baking tray. Preferably they should be served in the same casserole/tray. Pour over the creamy sauce and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes to allow the tomatoes to absorb all the moisture.

4. Serve piping hot with Naan or a plain parantha. Its great with a plain phulka too!!