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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pyaaj Kachori/ Onion Stuffed Snack With Tamarind-Date Chutney

Now a days it is raining very regularly in Bangalore especially in the evening. The temperature automatically decreases and we feel to munch on something crispy. So keeping in view of the approaching monsoon, I am posting a snack which will surely lift up your spirits in a dull and gloomy evening when the rain is lashing at the window panes. Hope you enjoy this snack as much as I have.

2 cups All purpose flour
1/4 cup Oil/ghee (I've used ghee)
Pinch of salt
Water for kneading

For Filling:
4 Onions, finely chopped
2 tsp Coriander seeds
5-6 Garlic pods, finely chopped
1"inch Ginger, finely chopped
3-4 Green chillies
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Onion seeds
1 tsp Mango powder (amchor)
1 tbsp Bengal gram (besan)
1 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of hing
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

In a bowl, combine flour, ghee, salt with water and knead well to make a soft and smooth dough. For better results knead the dough for 10-12 minutes. Cover and keep the dough aside for 1/2 hour. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts  and cover those balls with a damp cloth to retain the moisture.

To prepare the Filling:
Heat oil in a pan and add hing, onion seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, green chillies, garlic, ginger and fry for a minute. Add onions and saute till light brown. Add gram flour, chopped coriander leaves, red chilli powder, mango powder and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is absolutely dry. Switch off the heat and let this mix cool.

To prepare the Kachoris:
Put flour on your hands and roll out the small balls into a 2" inch diameter round shape. Then slightly give it a bowl shape. Fill the center with 2 tsp onion mixture. 

Then gather the edges and seal. 
Now again roll out the filled kachoris with light hand by ensuring  the filling doesn't ooze out. 
Make 2-3 kachoris in batches and deep fry in medium temperature oil. Within few minutes the kachoris will swell then flip it over. Fry till both the sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and let these kachoris cool for a minute. Serve these kachoris with Tamarind-Date chutney and enjoy this hot snack. Later these kachoris can be stored in an air tight container for a week.


User Comments & Tips:

  • First heat oil in high flame then lower the flame for evenly fried kachoris. You can check if the oil is at right temperature, by pinching a very small dough and dropping it in the oil. Ideally it should rise up slowly.
  • Never fry the kachoris in piping hot oil otherwise the outer crust will be cooked quickly and inside will remain uncooked. 
Tamarind-Date Chutney:

150 gms Tamarind (without seeds)
100 gms Dates
10 gms Jaggery
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp Cumin seeds (roast & grind to powder)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Red chilly powder

Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water for more than 1 hour. In another bowl soak the seedless dates in 1/2 cup water for an hour. Now mash the tamarind water to get the pulp. On the other hand make the pulp of dates in a blender and mix well with tamarind pulp. Add water, jaggery, salt, chilly powder and boil the liquid for 15 minutes. Check the consistency, if you like it little watery then remove from heat. Otherwise for thick consistency let this cook for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add cumin powder and stir well. Let this cool and then it can be stored and use later as and when needed.


read more.. "Pyaaj Kachori/ Onion Stuffed Snack With Tamarind-Date Chutney"

Friday, May 27, 2011

Banana Walnut Bread


My day started with a bad note today. I always start my day reading the news paper, so as usual I opened the door to pick the news paper and was shocked not to find it there. Immediately I called our security guard to check if the person had come today for distributing papers in our building at all. He nodded in affirmative. So it was evident that someone just walked away with our paper!! Later in the morning got a call from my maid to inform me that she wouldn't be coming even  today( for last 2 days she has not been coming). To top as if this wasn't enough, during ironing of my clothes, the iron malfunctioned and blew out the fuse of my house. And mind you my day has not ended till now. God know what is in store for me till midnight!!!  

I have tried preparing different recipes of banana breads mainly to develop the taste of banana in my 4 year old son who is averse to have banana in it's original form. Although this is a small step, however, I am happy to report that he ate two slices of the bread and liked it as well. So now my next step is to prepare banana based recipes in other form till he starts eating it on his own. When I saw this Banana Walnut Bread at my dear friend Suman's blog I made up my mind to follow her recipe for my next loaf session. And believe me it came out so soft, moist and tasty that even my hubby who is not a big fan of banana liked it. I knew I got my perfect banana loaf recipe. Thank you Suman for posting this wonderful recipe. Well Suman had adapted this recipe form Simply Recipes. So here is the recipe .....

3 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Butter at room temperature
3/1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Banana flavour
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tbsp Milk
Pinch of Salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 Degree Celsius and lightly grease the loaf pan. Sift the flour , baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another mixing bowl cream together sugar and butter. Add banana essence to it and mix well. Now add mashed bananas, beaten egg, milk, walnuts and mix till they are uniformly blended. The texture of batter will look like to be curdled but panic as this is natural. Then add the dry ingredients and mix well until blended. Pout the prepared batter into loaf pan and bake it for 50-60 minutes at 180 Degree Celsius. To check if the bread is ready, insert a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean that means it's done. Invert the bread on a wire rack and let it cool down for 15-20 minutes.Cut into slices and enjoy !!!


read more.. "Banana Walnut Bread"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stuffed Okra Fry- Bhindi Bhaja Posto-Narkel-Sorshe Diye

Bhindi (Okra) is a nutritious vegetable which can be cooked in many forms with many kind of cereals or lentils. But today, I am going to post a simple yet tasty preparation called Bhindi Posto. This is a very popular recipe in Kolkata and is particularly relished during afternoon lunch. The stuffing with poppy seeds, coconut and mustard paste adds a different taste altogether to the fry which compliments the Bhindi very well. Well here goes, hope all you friends like it.  
15o gm Okra /Bhindi /Ladies fingers
2 tbsp Poppy seeds
2 tbsp Mustard seeds(yellow)
2 tbsp Coconut, grated
3-4 Green chillies
2 tbsp Gram flour/besan
1/2 tsp Carom seeds/ajwain
Pinch of red chilly powder
Salt to taste
Little water to make the outer batter
Oil for deep frying

Soak poppy seeds in water for an hour. Drain and then grind the poppy seeds into a fine paste.
Wash bhindi thoroughly, drain and pat dry with a dry cloth. Chop off both the ends  and make a slit lengthwise to fill the stuffing. 

To make the filling add mustard seeds, coconut, green chillies and without adding water grind this till you get a fine paste. Transfer this mixture to a plate and keep aside.
Now stuff this filling into each bhindi and arrange it in a plate.

 Make a batter of besan with little water, carom seeds, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Heat oil in a kadai, dip each stuffed bhindi in the batter and deep fry in oil till they are crisp and golden. Serve with Amer Dal and plain rice. 

This Stuffed Bhindi Fry goes to Flavors of Bengal guest hosted by Priya, started by Nanya.
read more.. "Stuffed Okra Fry- Bhindi Bhaja Posto-Narkel-Sorshe Diye"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Luchi ar Aloo Chorchori - Fried Indian Flat Bread & Potoato with Onion Seeds

Luchi is a popular traditional Bengali round bread which is prepared using  Maida( Flour) deep fried in refined oil. Since I could remember as a child 3 or 4 year old this was one of my most favourite bread much ahead of rotis/chapattis because of it’s sheer yummy taste. Moreover, I did not require any kind of side dish to find a reason to eat luchi. Only little amount of sugar was enough to finish off this wonderful preparation. However, this time around , I have included a potato curry (aloo chhochori) which greatly compliments luchi to the maximum. Hope all you friends enjoy preparing it and your family and friends enjoy having it..

To make Aloo Chorchori:
2-3 Potatoes
¼ tsp Onion seeds/Kalo jeera
2-3 Green chillies (slited vertically)
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Water as required

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in small cubes. Heat oil in a kadai, add kalo jeera(black onion seeds) and slited green chillies. Add potato cubes and  fry the potatoes until light brown. Add a pinch of haldi, red chilly powder and mix thoroughly. On high flame add water and cook it on high flame till it starts boiling. Then cover and cook on low flame till the potatoes are done. This preparation doesn’t need to be gravy based, just enough to be coated on potato cubes. This stage is called ‘makha makha’ in Bengali. Turn off the heat and your aloo chorchori is ready to be served with groom groom Luchi.


To make Luchi:
1 cup All purpose flour
2 tbsp refind oil / moyen
Pinch of salt
Water as required
Oil for deep frying

In a large bowl take flour, pinch of salt and 2tbsp oil and mix thoroughly. We Bengalis use oil as shortening to knead the  flour which is also called ‘moyan/moin’. Add little water at a time to knead the dough. The longer time you knead the dough the softer and fluffier your luchis will come out. The magic of having soft luchi lies here only. Cover this dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for ½ hour.
Now divide the dough into equal sized balls. Heat enough oil in a kadai to smoking hot then on low flame. And roll the balls into 5 inch diameter. Prepare 4-5 and place these on a oil smeared surface. At a time only one luchi has to be fried, so drop one luchi in kadai and start flicking hot oil over the top of luchi. Within seconds it will swell and then gently flip it to the other side. Just when the surface starts yellow golden spots remove from heat and drain with an absorbent paper. Follow the same procedure with the rest of the rolled discs. Serve these soft and gorom(hot) luchis with aloo chorchori and enjoy the simple bliss !

This Luchi ar Aloo chorchori combination goes to Flavors of Bengal guest hosted by Priya, started by Nanya.
read more.. "Luchi ar Aloo Chorchori - Fried Indian Flat Bread & Potoato with Onion Seeds"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Peas Pulao with No Onion & Garlic

Here is one such rice preparation which you can rustle up in no time. I use shahi jeera in this preparation as the aroma is magnificent. And serve as a light meal too alongwith raita. 

1 1/2 cups Basmati rice (long grain rice)
1 cup  green Peas (I've used frozen peas here and soaked in water for 5 minutes)
1 tsp Shah jeera (black cumin seeds)
1 tsp Cumin seeds + 1/2 Cumin powder extra
3-4 Cloves
5-6 Black pepper balls
2 Green cardamom
1 Black cardamom
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
2 Whole red chillies
1 " inch Cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tbsp Cashew nuts
Salt as per taste
3 cups of Water

Wash the rice and soak it for 20 minutes. After 20minutes drain the water and keep aside.
Dry roast the 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, cool and grind to a fine powder. Now heat ghee in a kadai/ heavy skillet and fry cashew nuts till light brown and keep aside. In the remaining ghee add cloves, cardamoms, black pepper balls, shahi jeera, cinnamon, whole red chillies, bay leaves and saute over medium heat till few seconds. Add peas and roasted cumin powder, red chilly powder and saute for a minute. Now add rice to the kadai and mix well with all the spices. Fry for a minute and then add 3 cups of water, add salt and let the first boil come on high flame. After first boil, simmer the flame, cover and cook the rice for 12-15 minutes. Garnish the peas pulao with fried cashew nuts and serve hot with raita or with any side dish. 
read more.. "Peas Pulao with No Onion & Garlic"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mango Halwa- Semolina & Mango Pudding

Halwa is a very popular Indian dessert which is prepared in various forms and flavours in most part of the country. This being the summer season, mangoes are out in abundance. So by combining the wonderful taste of mango with the most easily available cereal - semolina, I am posting this halwa recipe. Hope all you Blogger, friends like the recipe. 

2 riped Mangoes
1 cup Semolina(fine)
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cardamom powder
A handful of raisins
1 tbsp Ghee
1 -1.5 cups of Water

Slice off the upper and bottom portion of the mangoes and try to shred off till the flat seed. Now with the help of knife try to cut the remaining flesh off the mango seed. Mix it in a blender till you get a fine smooth paste. Keep it aside.
Take a pan, add sugar, water and cardamom powder and heat over low flame. Bring it to boil and set aside.
Heat ghee in a kadhai, fry raisins till you get a golden color and set aside. Add semolina, stir continuously and fry until it is light brown. Add mango mixture, sugar syrup and stir continuously to avoid any lumps. Add golden raisins and turn off the heat when it reaches desired consistency but do not let this thicken as with time the halwa may become dry. Pour into a greased dish and serve hot.

read more.. "Mango Halwa- Semolina & Mango Pudding"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nutella Sandesh

After the success of Nutella Filled Gulab Jamun I got encouragement to blend my favorite nutella again with a sweet dessert. So here I've added nutella in Bengalis most famous sweet Sandesh. 

Yields: about 12-14 fresh cheese sandesh, Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

1 ltr Full cream milk
2 tbsp Lemon juice
3/4 cup Powdered sugar
Pinch of Cardamom powder
1 1/2 tbsp Nutella

Besides this you will need a cheese cloth and a wooden spatula.

In order to prepare paneer cottage cheese the most important method is to heat  milk on medium flame and stir continuously so that the milk doesn't get burnt at the bottom . After the first boil add lemon juice. Use the other hand to gently move the wooden spatula and stir the milk continuously. Now you will see the milk splitting  big clumps of cheese floating around in lots of whey. Switch off the burner immediately. Strain the mixture with a clean cheese cloth and hold the assemble cheese in muslin cloth under running water for a minute and now squeeze out the excess water (this will remove the sourness).
Hang the cheese cloth for 1/2 hour so that all the whey is drained out.

Now to proceed further knead the cottage cheese well with your fingers till you get a smooth mixture (this will take about 7-8 minutes). Now add powdered sugar and pinch of cardamom powder and knead well to make a smooth round dough without any crumbly look. Now heat a non stick pan and cook this on low heat, stirring continuously for few minutes. Initially it will leave water because of the presence of sugar in chenna but don't panic this will evaporate soon. As soon as the water dries up switch off the burner. This is a very crucial stage as cooking this mixture for too long will dry the content and the cheese should not be too moist or sticky also.
Now immediately transfer this paak to a dry wooden tray and knead well when it is warm. Now this paak is ready to be mold in your desired shape. Divide the paak/mixture into equal parts if you want to make just like how is appears in the pictures. Gently roll the walnut size mixture between the palms of your hands and make small thumb impression at the center. Fill it with nutella and let it set in the refrigerator for 2 hours and then serve. I don't think you want to know how to store these sandesh as these will be vanished in minutes :-)

   Sending this Sandesh recipe to Priya's Flavors of Bengal event, started by Nayna                                                                    
read more.. "Nutella Sandesh"

Monday, May 9, 2011

Raw Mango Chutney / Kancha Aamer Chutney

This particular dish is not only useful to beat the summer heat but it also tastes tangy and delicious to crave for it after a heavy meal.
 1 Kancha Aam / Raw mango
1/3 cup Jaggery (you can adjust the amount of jaggery according to the sourness of mango)
2 whole Red chilly 
1/2 tsp Panch Phoron (roast dry & then ground to powder)
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Saunf / fennel seeds
1/2 Red chilly powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups of water
1 tbsp Mustard oil

Wash and peel the mango. Cut into small pieces and do not discard the pit. Heat oil in a pan and add mango pieces, sprinkle little salt and red chilly powder and fry till light brown. Now keep these fried pieces aside. In the same pan add whole red chillies and  mustard seeds, when the seeds starts spluttering add saunf and fried mango pieces along with 2 cups of water simultaneously . Cover and cook till the mangoes soften. Add the jaggery and stir well till it gets dissolved. Cook till it thickens to your desired consistency. I prefer it little runny texture. Remove from heat and transfer the chutney to a serving bowl. Once the chutney is cooled sprinkle panch phoron powder over this and serve chilled.


This aamer chutney goes to Flavors of Bengal guest hosted by Priya, started by Nanya.
read more.. "Raw Mango Chutney / Kancha Aamer Chutney"

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coffee Cake

This has a very mild flavor of coffee as I'm not a big coffee lover. But aroma of this cake will certainly  make you go crave for it. Walnuts adds that extra zing in this preparation.

1 cup Wheat flour
1/2 cup Unsalted butter
1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
1/4 cup Walnuts

For the coffee buttercream:
1/2 cup Unsalted butter, softened
1 cup Icing sugar
2tsp coffee granules mixed with 1tbsp boiling water, let it cool

 In order to prepare the coffee buttercream, put the softened butter in the mixer bowl and add dissolved coffee and the sifted icing sugar. Then beat the butter till you get a smooth light and spreadable consistency. 

For the Cake:
Pre-heat to to 180 Degree Celsius  and grease a 8 inch round pan. Sieve flour and baking powder together. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixture till light and fluffy. Add vanilla essence and gradually add the beaten eggs one at a time. Now gently fold the flour mixture and mix with light hand. Add the coffee liquid. Sprinkle some flour over the walnuts and mix well with the cake batter.
Shift the batter to the greased pan and level the batter with the back of a spatula. Bake at 180° C for 30-35 minutes minutes. 

You can check if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake, if it comes out clean that means your cake is done. Serve the above butter cream over the cake and sprinkle few walnuts for decoration. Serve this coffee cake during brunch or with a cup of coffee.

read more.. "Coffee Cake"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sabodana Vada / Sabodanar Boda / Sagoo Fritters

Today I am about to post a healthy and wholesome snack called as Sabudana Vada. Sabudana is none other than tapioca and vada means balls. sabudanas individually look like tiny white balls also coloured as pearls. They are very high in starch and therefore provides energy for a long day's work.Hope you like this simple yet tasty snack.

2 Cups Sabodana / Sagoo
2 Potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Peanuts, roasted and slightly crushed
4-5 Green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Red chilly powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Amchor powder
1 tbsp Green coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Wash sabodana in a strainer in running water and drain out the water. Shift sagoo to a big bowl and pour water till it reaches the level of sagoo in the container. Let it soak for 2-3 hours. Later squeeze out the excess water from the sago by your hands and transfer the sagoo to a big vessel.
Now mix in the mashed potatoes and all the above mentioned ingredients except oil ;-). Mix well till you get a light and soft dough. Take little quantity in your hand and roll it into small balls (you can also flatten the round ball with your palm and make it patties shape).
Now heat oil in a pan and deep fry over medium flame till they turn light brown. Place these on paper tissues. Prick each ball with a toothpick and serve with tomato ketchup or with Green chutney.


read more.. "Sabodana Vada / Sabodanar Boda / Sagoo Fritters"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kanji - Spicy Carrot Beverage


When I was living in Delhi , there  used  to be this lovely purple – black colored carrots which was not only so tasty but also filled with several vitamins, anti oxidants and other nutrients. These carrots used to last till end of winter season and one can prepare many kinds of preparations. However , one of the most popular amongst is called as “Kanji” which is an extremely tasty , healthy and colourful drink made out of  carrots and other additives to enhance the taste. Since Black carrots are hard to find here so made this with red carrots only. This is a tangy spicy drink in which mustard seeds acts as a pickling ingredient. Once you mix carrots and all the spices in the jar, the mouth of the jar has to be wrapped with muslin cloth and has to be keep in sunlight for 5-6 days. Basically taken on Holi.

2-3 Red carrots
1 tbsp of Mustard seeds powdered + 1 tbsp Small mustard seeds
1 tbsp Rock salt powdered (kala namak)
6-7 glass Water
5-6 Pudina leaves (mint leaves), finely chopped

Besides these ingredients you will need a big glass jar to store the liquid and a small piece of muslin cloth.

Wash and peel the carrots. Cut carrots into finger sized length. Pour 7 glasses of water in the jar and add all the spices. Stir well with a long thin spatula. And place this jar where you get maximum sunlight. For the next 5-6 days let this jar sit in sunlight and bring it inside before sun set. . This will allow the mixture to be fermented. By now you will see how the water has turned into bright red color and the carrots will be tender. This liquid mix can be stored in the fridge till 5-6 days. Serve chilled. 

Sending this Carrot Kanji to Radhika's Fun N Sun and you know what she is celebrating her fourth year of blogging:-)
and also to Kurinji's Healthy Summer event.

   Last but not the least to Kiran's Cooking With Mustard Seeds Event.
read more.. "Kanji - Spicy Carrot Beverage"