One Pot One Shot (OPOS) · Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Restaurant Style Methi Mutter Malai – One Pot One Shot Recipes.

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“Is Peas a fruit? or a vegetable” ? My daughter asked me one day and I really had to look it up to provide her with an answer. Surprise Peas is a fruit! Pea Pods are considered a fruit as they have seeds and they are developed from the ovary of a flower. Well, there`s a new thing that I learnt for today.  Peas is a favorite with everyone in our home. We add it to everything….rice, gravies, kootu varieties, and some times alongside vegetables too. When I wanted to make a dish where the star ingredient was Peas naturally everyone welcomed it. I was always on the lookout for easy one pot recipes and when I saw this one on Ramki`s blog, I was awash with excitement. I dressed it up with the ingredients that I wanted with, but the root idea is completely his genius. It takes roughly 15 minutes from start to finish and it had the extra ordinary restaurant taste. There are a few points to be noted:

  1. This method works ONLY with a pressure cooker with a solid base. I have a Prestige 5 Lt Pressure Cooker with Anti-Burning Base.
  2. If you are cooking on a coil/ glass top please switch on your burner for about 3-4 minutes BEFORE you place your cooker on it for maximum results and to avoid burning. Once you switch off the cooker, please move it to another burner as on coils, the heat is retained.
  3. Please follow cooking times exactly.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tsp Butter.

1 Medium Onion sliced thin.

2 Green Chillies grated finely.

1 Tsp Grated Ginger.

2  Tsp Grated Garlic.

1/4 Cup Powdered Cashews.

1 Cup packed chopped methi.

1 Cup green peas.

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala.

1/2 Tsp Dhania Powder ( Corriander Powder)

1/2 Tsp Jeera Powder.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Milk Powder (Optional).

Salt to taste.

1/2 Cup Beaten Curd/ Hung Curd/ Greek Yoghurt/ Sour Cream beaten.

1 Tbsp Whipped Cream or Heavy Cream.

1/2 Tsp Sugar.

Milk as needed to dilute.

Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker with weight and gasket.

PREPARATION:

  • The whole concept of One Pot One Shot is to be able to throw in all the ingredients and cook them in their own juices using steam without adding any water. This camelises onions, cooks rice, flash cooks vegetables retaining their nutrients and breaks them down rendering them completely cooked and ready to consume.
  • In the pressure cooker, directly add the butter, sliced onions, grated chillies, grated ginger, grated garlic, peas, chopped methi leaves,  cashew powder, garam masala, dhania powder, cumin powder, milk powder and salt to taste.
  • No need to mix.
  • Now place it on HIGH on the stove with the weight and wait for two whistles. They will come quickly one after the other.
  • Switch off flame and in a few minutes release the pressure.
  • You will see completely cooked veggies inside but they wont be mushy.
  • Now add the beaten curd, sugar, whipped cream (heavy cream) and give it a quick mix.
  • I added a few pieces of pan seared organic tofu to the gravy.
  • Mix, garnish with chopped cilantro if needed.
  • One Pot One Shot Methi Matar Malai can be served with hot rotis, phulkas or Jeera Rice.

 

Poriyals / Kootu Varieties. · Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Nagapattinam Nei Mittai Kadai (Madurai) Kizhangu Pottlam – Spicy Potato Podimas.

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Madurai – Arguably has the most glorious history of all the Indian cities and conjures up images of so many many things for me  – the Meenakshi Amman Temple, crowded roads, my Alma Mater, the station, KPN Bus Stand where I have spent many hours patiently waiting to board the bus which would take me back to Madras, mountains of freshly strung jasmine flowers and hawkers selling them, Dindigul Road where we used to go to buy books etc, and so many many things, As far as being a foodie goes, Madurai was literally food heaven -My favourites here are too many but still I am going to try to put them down as each name brings forth memories that have been buried in the back shelves of my brain! British Bakery, Hotel Guru Prasad, New College House, Hotel Supreme, the Idli Kadai close to my hostel which would dish out steaming hot Idlis in record time accompanied with mint and tomato chutneys, Raja Barley when I would get my favourite macroons and “Kuchi Muttai”, the mess hotel near the station, the bakery near my hostel, and finally the Nagapattinam Nei Mittai Kadai close to the temple.

This store is probably more than 60 years old but have maintained their quality and their demand. Their all time favourites are their Wheat Halwa which is served in dried lotus leaves piping hot, and the “Kizhangu Pottlam”. Literally translated to parcelled potatoes, these are deliriously spicy potato preparation thats only available for an hour in the mornings. People apparently bought them as a substitute when they are unable to cook the vegetable side at home. They simply buy a packet and almost used to function like a packet of chips would do in the present day. My mother used to have it when she was a little girl and her dad bought it for her. I had heard so much about this preparation and on my recent trip to India, I actually got a chance to try it. It was incredibly spicy yet delicious. I did recreate it at home but had to downgrade the spice levels on account of the kids 😦

INGREDIENTS:

1 Big Onion sliced long and thin.

4-5 Potatoes Boiled with salt.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

2 Tsp Besan/ Kadalai Maavu/ Gram Flour.

Salt to taste if needed.

Oil as needed.

A pinch of Kari Masaal ( Garam Masala)

Seasoning:

1 Tsp Mustard.

1 tsp Broken Urad Dhal.

2 Red Chillies broken in to half.

10 Curry Leaves torn.

4-5 Grated Garlic.

1 Tsp Grated Ginger.

3 Tsp Fennel Seeds.

PREPARATION:

  • Mash the potatoes after removing the skin from it and patting it dry. Set aside.
  • Slice the onions in to thin yet not too long pieces.
  • In a kadai, add 2-3 tbsp oil and allow it to heat up. This recipe has the gramflour added at the end, which might make it dry so its imperative that we don’t scrimp on the oil that’s used for seasoning.
  • Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the broken urad dhal, fennel seeds,ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Instantly the aroma of fried fennel seeds wafts in the air and that’s the time you tip the diced onions in.
  • Saute until slightly brown and then add the roughly mashed potatoes.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and adjust salt if needed.
  • Mix them up roughly and when they come together, add the 2 Tsp of besan and a pinch of Garam masala powder  to make them bind with each other.
  • Garnish with another spoon of oil and a chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot with Vengaya Sambar, Tomato Rasam and Curd Rice.
Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Simple Onion Tomato Subzi

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“Cooking is like love – It should be entered into with abandon, or not at all”

Some of the best and my most favorite dishes, are the ones that are made at home with love,  over unhurried conversations. I remember the days when I was a little girl and would sit on the counter top while my mom would be busy cooking the evening dinner. I would fill her up on the days events, gossips, stories of friendship, exams and little fights at school, all the time I would be aware of all the ingredients that go in to a dish and its special secret steps which would have otherwise gone unnoticed! This is a favourite dish made by my aunt and all of us would gorge on it. Whenever there was a long drive or a train travel, we would actually look forward to this simple subzi and pooris, more than anything else. Its profound flavors are built on simple everyday ingredients and it tastes simply amazing. This is my entry for this month`s Shh Secretly Cooking Challenge , my secret ingredients being Onion and Sugar!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Onions chopped fine.

4 Tomatoes Chopped Fine.

2 Tsp Sugar.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

1 – 11/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

Salt as needed.

1/4 Tsp Garam Masala.

PREPARATION:

  • This has got to be the most simplest of all the subzis that you make for pooris, parathas and roti. This is also a great option when you want to take it as a side dish for long drives or train travels.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of oil to a kadai and allow to get hot enough . Check by adding one or two cumin seeds, if it sizzles,the oil is just right.
  • Add the onion and allow to saute for a few minutes.
  • Now add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt to taste and allow to the tomatoes to cook and get mushy.
  • Add the sugar and let it melt and mix in.
  • When you see the mixture has come together, switch off the stove and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Saute for a little more time so it preserves longer for travel times.
  • Great side for Dosa, Poori and Chappathis.

 

 

 

Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Chettinadu Vegetable Kurma in 5 Steps!!! (Aromatic Gravy with vegetables cooked in a spicy coconut curry base)

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I love curry! Period! In all its glory, I enjoy all gravies that have a redolent coconut or coconut milk base and enjoy the rich creamy taste it imparts to the dish. The Saravanaa Bhavan Vegetable Kurma is my all time favorite as it has a delicate yet complex flavours that punch you in layers as you feast on this dish. This Chettinadu Vegetable Kurma is a little differnt – Its simple, its fuss free, its one pot, and the pressure cooker does all the work for you. Its my go to choice, when I have to make a large quantity! Don`t get detered with the long list of ingredients – they all get bunched in to the mixer !!!Its super yummy and goes so well with Dosa, Parotta, Chappatis, Phulkas and even Pooris! And Dassana, thanks a ton! I love it!!!

This is my entry for this month`s Shhh Cooking Secretly Event where my secret ingredients are Corn and Tomatoes!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Medium Onion Chopped.

1 Medium Vine Tomato Chopped.

1 Potatoe cubed.

1 Crown Cauliflower  made in to florettes ( I substituted with broccoli).

1 Carrot cubed.

Handful beans sliced in to 1 inch pieces.

1/2 Cup Peas.

1/2 Cup Corn.

1/2 Tsp Turmeric.

Salt as needed.

2 Tbsp Hung Curd/ Greek Yoghurt/ Thick Curd/ Sour Cream.

Chopped cilantro to garnish.

Grind Together:

1/4 Cup Grated Coconut.

Handful Cashew Nuts.

1 Tsp Fennnel Seeds.

1 Inch Cinnamon.

3 Cloves.

2 Cardamom Pods.

1 Tsp Poppy Seeds.

1 Tbsp Pottu Kadalai.

1 1/2 Tsp Dhania Seeds.

3 Red Chillies.

1 Inch Ginger.

4 Garlic Pods.

1/3 – 1/2 Cup Water as needed.

PREPARATION:

  • Take all the ingredients required to grind to make the masala base. Pulse them roughly and add water only as needed to make a smooth paste. The consistency should not be runny – just smooth.
  • Since all the veggies are already diced, set them ready near the work area. The vegetables should not be super small, they need to be slightly bigger as they provide texture to the kurma.
  • Take a heavy bottomed pressure pan/ pressure cooker , add oil and when hot, season curry leaves and add the diced onions.
  • When the onions begin to sweat and turn slightly translucent, add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Keep stirring until the tomatoes turn mushy and the onion- tomato is fused together.

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  • Add the ground paste and mix it in. Keep stirring on medium low flame until the mixture leaves oil.  The masala base is now completely cooked and well done.
  • Add all the cubed veggies and the sour cream and mix well. Using sour cream helps as it does not curdle in heat. When its well incorporated in to the gravy after 3-4 minutes add about 1.5 cups of water, salt as needed and stir well.

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  • Close the cooker with the lid and cook for 2 whistles.
  • When its safe to open the cooker after releasing the steam, check the consistency. If its too thick, add about 1/2 cup of hot water and stir.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro.

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HINTS:

  1. This is about the most delicious, yet most simple method of making Vegetable Kurma.
  2. Its a very forgiving recipe as you can add whatever veggies you have on hand .
  3. Using greek yoghurt/ sour cream is great as it provides the creaminess you need for the dish, along with the zing.
  4. If the recipe comes out spicy, serve with lemon wedges.
  5. Its a great potluck recipe as it can be easily multiplied for a larger group. Finishing the kurma is on the cooker, so that keeps it simple too!
Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings. · Poriyals / Kootu Varieties. · Salads/ Recipes for the Calorie Conscious.

Nilakadalai Sundal / Kadalai Sundal/ Peanut Sundal ( Steamed Raw Peanuts tossed in quick seasonings)

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Navarathri is a celebration of the Goddesses that protect us and are the very epitome of power and knowledge. I have already a detailed post explaning the significance of this beautiful festival. Celebrating Navarathri also brings with it beautiful visions about Golu Dolls, celebrations,  rustle of silk sarees, little girls decked in beautiful silk pavadais, excitement of visiting friends and families, singing songs in praise of Devi, and of course Sundal! When we were in college, it was even more exciting as we got to visit our friends every evening, for “vethalai paaku”. For the uninitiated, this is the customary practice of calling married women and unmarried girls to  their homes for Golu – the festival of dolls. These women are offered the daily “prasadam” , and along with that “thamboolam” consisting of betel leaves, betel nuts, kumkum, sandalwood powder, turmeric, and many times a small gift.

As kids , it was always interesting to get all decked up and visit our friend and families for Golu. One of my aunts always made it a point to gift me glass bangles for Navarathri. She is not with us anymore, but I can never forget the little things that she would do for me on these special days. Of all the sundals that we make at home, TH and my kids love Nilakadalai sundal hands down. I love the fact that its so easy to make with no prior soaking and no fuss at all.

INGREDIENTS:

`1 Cup Raw Peanuts.

1 Tsp Salt.

1 1/2 Tsp Idli Molagaipodi.

Seasonings:

2 Tsp Coconut Oil.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

1 Tsp Urad Dhal.

Curry Leaves.

Hing as needed.

PREPARATION:

  • Wash the raw peanuts and transfer to a cooker vessel. Add just enough water to cover the peanuts, add salt and steam cook it for about 2-3 whistles. It should be soft and well cooked, but not mushy.
  • Drain the excess water but save it as you could use it in rasam, sambar etc.
  • Take a shallow kadai and add the coconut oil.
  • Add seasonings when hot and allow to fry in oil.
  • Once the mustard seeds have crackled. add the cooked peanuts.
  • Swirl for a couple minutes until the peanuts are coated well with the oil and the seasonings.
  • Finally add the 1 1/2 – 2 Tsp of Idli Molagappodi and mix well.
  • Crunchy Peanut Sundal packed with protein and nutrition is a very tasty snack and an easy Neivedhyam for Navarathri as it involves no prior soaking.
  • On days when your green vegetable is less, add Peanut Sundal as an extra protein source.

 

 

Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Saravana Bhavan Vegetable Kurma. ( Vegetables in spicy coconut fennel gravy)

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Vegetable Kurma is a popular accompaniment for Chappathi , Parotta, Aappam and Phulkas. Generally, a kurma is a coconut based stew, with vegetables and whole spices. The very first time I ever had kurma was when my mom made it for us one day to go with rotis. I was floored by the aroma of fennel in a gravy, as it was the first time that she had ground up fennel and coconuts to use as a base for the steamed veggies. I was hooked. After marriage, TH loved parotta and kurma and his favorite was the version available at Saravana Bhavan. I was working in Chennai at that time and during lunch, there was the usual talk about recipes, and swapping notes on making them. One of my colleagues, was unarguably the expert in making this particular kurma. She was kind enough to share this with me and I remember scribbling it behind a payment counterfoil and had assumed to have kept it safely…It was too safe that I could never recollect where I had kept it before trying it even once. Many years later, after many moves, and many more homes, I found this counterfoil. safely stuck to the inner pocket of my diary! I made certain modifications referring to this page, and tried this out over the weekend. The aroma of hot kurma and parottas at home, really reminded me of Saravanaa Bhavan, back home in Madras!

INGREDIENTS:

 Vegetables:

1 Carrot Diced in to cubes.

1 Cup Beans diced in to 1 inch long pieces.

1 Cup Cauliflower Florettes.

1/2 Cup Peas.

1 Onion Diced FIne.

1 Tomato Diced.

1 Tsp Freshly Grated GInger.

1 Tsp Freshly Grated Garlic.

2 Tsp Dhania Powder/ Corriander Powder.

3/4 – 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

1/4 Tsp Garam Masala Powder.

2 Tsp Lemon Juice.

Salt to taste.

Seasoning:

2 Bay Leaves.

2 Mace Pieces.

Handful Curry Leaves.

2 Tbsp Mint Leaves. ( If using dried mint limit to 1 Tbsp).

Grind to a Smooth Paste:

1/2 Cup Coconut Grated.

8-10 Cashew

1 tsp Poppy Seeds/ Khus Khus.

1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds/ Somph.

2 Green Chillies.

3 Tsp Pottu Kadalai/ Chutney Dhal.

1 Inch Cinnamon Piece broken in to pieces.

1 Tsp Cardamom Powder or 2 Cardamom Pods.

PREPARATION:

  • Half cook the diced veggies in water, adding a spoon of salt. Drain the veggies and save the water.
  • Grind all the ingredients under ” Grind to a Smooth Paste” , adding little water. The paste should be completely pulsed and smooth.
  • In a wide mouthed kadai or wok, add about 2-3 tbsp oil and pop in the seasonings – Bay Leaf, Mace, Mint, Curry Leaves and allow to saute in the oil. The aroma of the mint getting fried is unmistakably fresh and inviting.
  • Add the diced onions, ginger paste, garlic paste and allow to saute well.
  • When its well done, add the chopped tomatoes and saute for a couple minutes. After a few minutes add the ground paste.
  • Now add the dry powders – Red Chilli Powder, Dhania Powder, Turmeric Powder, and Garam Masala and mix in well.
  • Keep stirring the kadai,  until they are well done and  there is no raw smell from the spice powders.
  • Add the lemon juice and keep stirring.
  • At this point, care should be taken to make sure that the gravy does not burn or stick to the bottom of the kadai. Keep the flame on medium and contuinue sturring until yuou see the oil slightly leaving the sides if the gravy.
  • Add the half cooked veggies, as well as the water in which the veggies were cooked.
  • Adjust the water content, depending on the consistency of the kurma thats desired.
  • We dont prefer it to be too thick, or too runny.
  • Garnish with finely chopped corriander leaves and serve it piping hot with Hot Parottas/ Garlic Naan!

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Poriyals / Kootu Varieties.

Aloo Fry (Baby Potatoes marinated in dry spices and seared to perfection).

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Baby Potatoes have always been a favorite at home. Whenever we find them at the local indian store, my older daughter immediately scoopes them in to a bag. She loves the Kashmiri Dum Aloo that I make to pair it with simple Jeera Pulav, or sometimes I settle for this simple Aloo Fry with traditional sambar and rasam. This is the best thing  you can have for a sunday lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Pounds Baby Potatoes.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Dhania Powder.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

Hing as needed.

Salt as needed.

Seasonings:

Oil as needed.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

1 Tsp Urad Dhal.

Curry Leaves.

Hing.

PREPARATION:

  • Baby potatoes are very interesting to make as they are bite sized wonders. Every potatoe thereore has to be filed with the goodness of the flavourings that will ultimately compliment the entire dish.
  • I always cook my potatoes in my electric rice cooker with water and salt. This is of course, after poking every potato with a fork to enable the salt to reach them.
  • Once they are cooked, drain all the water and allow to sit on a wide plate. Check to see if the potatoes are well done and if the salt has seeped into the vegetable.
  • Mix hing, little more salt, red chilli powder and turmeric in to a powder. Add about 3 Tsp of oil and make a paste.
  • Marinate the spice paste over the cooked potatoes and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a wok and add the seasonings – mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves and hing.
  • Slowly add the marinated spiced potatoes in to the oil and allow to sear on a medium low flame.
  • Keep moving the potatoes around until they get cooked and seared on all sides.
  • When well done, remove the flame and garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
  • Serve Aloo Fry with Vengaya Vethal Kuzhambu and Kalyana Rasam.
Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Restaurant Style Paneer Butter Masala ( Paneer/ Tofu cooked in silky rich tomato sauce).

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Paneer Butter Masala is an all time favourite for all kids and adults alike and they never miss an opportunity to order it when they go to an Indian restaurant. Another favourite for my older daughter these days is the creamy Mughlai Malai Koftas!  These days we hardly ever go to Indian restaurants here in Dallas, as the dinner portions are really too much for us to handle. I still love the Panner Butter Masala at the Taj Chat House here in Plano. Whenever we feel we want to eat out at indian restaurant, but cant handle the heavy portions and the grease, I always go here . This version is of course my own, but liberally influenced by Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

INGREDIENTS:

Paneer Cubes or Extra Firm Organic Tofu.

1 Large or 3 Small Sized  Red Onions.

2 Large Tomatoes.

1 1/2 Tsp Freshly grated ginger garlic zest/ paste.

1 Ripe Avocado.

6-8 Cashew Nuts.

1/3 Cup Milk + 1/3 Cup Milk.

2 Tsp Kasoori Methi.

1 1/2 Tsp Dhania Powder/ Coriander Powder.

1 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/4 Tsp Sugar.

A pinch of turmeric.

Salt to taste.

Chopped Cilantro to garnish.

Seasoning:

2 Tsp Butter.

2 Cloves.

1 Inch Cinnamon.

A pinch of  Ground Elaichi.

3-4 Whole Black Pepper.

2 Dried Red Chillies.

PREPARATION:

  • Heat a kadai with a spoon of butter and saute the onions until they turn a dull golden color. Grind the fried onions along with the tomatoes and one avocado to a smooth paste. You need not add water as the tomatoes help in providing the water content. Set aside.
  • Soak the cashews in a little warm milk. Add a few saffron strands if necessary and the sugar and grind to a smooth paste.
  • In case you are using frozen paneer, thaw and add it to hot water so it gets soft and spongy. If using extra firm tofu, drain from water and allow to dry for a couple minutes. If you have fresh panner, that you have made at home , use as is.
  • As I don’t prefer to eat tofu soft, I normally slice them in to loaves, smear lemon juice, red chilli powder and salt, and allow it to roast/ grill on a tava for a couple minutes, until there is a good sear. Remove and slice in to 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Once again, heat up the wok, add a little oil/ butter and the whole masalas – cloves, cinnamon,cardamom powder, red chillies and couple whole black peppers. When its slightly roasted, add the ground onion tomato avoacado paste. (You could completely omit the avocados – they dont add any flavour only silly smooth texture and of course good fats! Avocados, due to their mono and polyunsaturated fat content, are a great substitution for foods  rich in saturated fat.)
  • Add the ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, dhania powder, salt and turmeric and mix in well.
  • Allow the ground paste to cook until the raw smell is gone, and a little of the butter leaves the sides. This should take about ten mins or so.
  • Add the ground cashew paste and stir in well until the mixture loosens up a little.
  • If you need the gravy to be a little more runny, adjust by adding warm milk/ heavy cream/ Half & Half.
  • Crush the kasuri methi between your fingers and add it to the gravy.
  • Add the chopped panner/ tofu pieces to the gravy and mix it in.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve HOT with Jeera Pulav or Peas Pulav.

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Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Restaurant Style Malai Kofta ( Fried Vegetable Balls in Creamy Sauce)

Restaurant Style Malai Kofta.
Restaurant Style Malai Kofta.

Malai Kofta is a rich mughlai dish which consists of panneer/vegetable balls floating in a tomato cashew based gravy. It`s garnished with heavy cream/ malai and served with Jeera Rice, Naan, or Parathas. My older daughter S loves Malai Koftas from restaurants and would never ever give it a pass. Comfort food on weekend nights are almost always Malai Koftas with steaming hot Peas Pulav or TIranga Pulav. This is a combination of methods and madness from many sources which has been adapted to suit my taste buds. The panneer from this recipe has been omitted and I have used simply boiled potatoes as I was out of panneer completely.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE KOFTA:

3/4 Cup boiled potatoes.

1/2 Cup boiled carrots, beans, peas.

1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs. ( I simply pulsed one loaf in the mixer)

2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

1 Tsp Cumin Powder.

3/4 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

10 Cashews broken in to little pieces.

Finely chopped cilantro.

Salt to taste.

INGREDIENTS FOR MALAI SAUCE:

1 Onion chopped fine.

3 Tomatoes grated or chopped fine.

3/4 Tsp Freshly Grated Ginger.

3/4 Tsp Freshly Grated Garlic.

A pinch of turmeric.

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala.

2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

1 Tsp Cumin Powder.

3/4 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

10 Cashewnuts powdered.

1/4 Cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream or Malai.

1 Tsp Kasoori Methi.

Salt to taste.

1/4 Tsp Garam Masala.

2 Tsp OIl.

1 Tsp Somph.

PREPARATION OF KOFTA BALLS:

  • Boil vegetables like peas, carrots and beans in the pressure cooker with very minimal water and a little salt. I closed the veggies with a lid and placed the potatoes on top of the plate with just sprinkling water.  The steam is sufficient to cook the veggies.
  • Once cooled, peel the potatoes and mash them seperately. Collect all the remaining boiled veggies – carrots, peas, beans etc and put it inside a thin cotton cloth or a muslin and squeeze out all the water until dry. Collect the water to use in the gravy.
  • To the bowl of mashed potatoes, add the boiled veggies and all the other ingredients needed for Koftas and mash and mix in to a ball.
  • Divide in to little balls large or small enough to fit inside your appam pan.  Alternately you could also deep fry them but I prefer using the Aappam Pan for frying the same.
Kofta Balls fried in the Abelskiver Pan.
Kofta Balls fried in the Abelskiver Pan.
  • Pour oil in to the appam depressions and allow to heat.
  • Shallow fry all the kofta balls on medium heat until they are done on all sides and remove with a spoon on to a dry tissue towel.
  • Alternately, you could roll the kofta balls in cornflour or bread crumbs and deep fry in oil.
Koftas!
Koftas!

PREPARATION OF MALAI SAUCE:

  • In a large heavy bottomed kadai, add about 2 tsp of oil. Season with a pinch of jeera and add the finely chopped onions.
  • Add a pinch of salt and saute the onions until brown. The slow browning of the onions are very important to the taste of the sauce.
  • Now add the freshly grated ginger and garlic and allow to saute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, dhania powder, and cumin powder and salt and saute until all the water is evaporated and its well cooked and mushy.
  • If at this point you have inadvertently increased the heat of the stove and you feel that its slightly dry, add a couple spoonfulls of water.
  • Set aside to cool and puree to a smooth consistency.
  • In the same kadai, add more oil, season with shah jeera or somph and add the ground paste.
  • At this point, make sure that the flame is on medium low as the paste might start splattering all around.
  • Add about 1 cup of water, heavy cream / half & half and the ground cashew powder and swirl in to mix.
  • When the sauce bubbles slightly switch off heat and add crushed kasoori methi.
  • When its time to serve , drop the fried and crisp kofta balls in to the Malai sauce, garnished with chopped cilantro and serve.

NOTES:

The Kofta Balls can be made with any available ingredients on hand – Panneer, peas, carrots, beans, quinoa etc. The proportion also can be tweaked around, as long as you are able to fashion it in to a smooth ball.

The Malai sauce has to be ground to a smooth consistency, and not so much like in the picture. My daughter likes the texture and thats the reason my version is not ground all the way.

Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

My love for fennel – Fennel spiced Cauliflower & Asparagus Subzi.

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Its official. I love fennel. I love its aroma and the unique flavour it infuses in to the dishes. Its sometimes the star ingredient of a dish, without actually taking all the lime light! I wanted to combine the goodness of asparagus, potatoes and cauliflower in to one amazing bowl of hearty subzi. Thus was born this unique and tasty side dish. I could eat it with rotis the whole week! I really did! It was a hit with rotis and the leftover went it to fill in to my bread,to make tasty sandwiches and  the third day, I stuffed it in to puff pastry sheets. Yes, it was amazing! Go on, try it and see for yourself.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Small or 1 Medium Onions diced fine.

2 Cups Cauliflower Florettes.

1 Potatoe cut in to medium 1 inch bits.

1 pound Asparagus diced in into 1 inch pieces.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric.

1 Tsp Red chilli powder.

1 Tbsp Fennel powdered.

1 Tsp Tandoori Masala.

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala.

1 Tsp Salt.

SEASONING:

1 Tsp heaped Somph/ Fennel.

2 Star Anise.

1 Mace (Optional)

TANDOORI MASALA POWDER:

4 tsp ground dhania.
3 tsp cumin ground.
4 tsp garlic powder.
2 tsp red cp.
3 tsp ginger powder.
2 tsp amchur.
1 tsp dried mint.
red food coloring.
1 tsp chilli powder.
2 Tsp Kasoori Methi.

Grind to a near smooth powder and store in an air tight container for more than 6 months.

PREPARATION:

  • Microwave the cauliflower florettes, diced asparagus on HIGH for about 3 minutes.
  • Boil the potatoe in a little water with salt and dice in to pieces.
  • In a shallow kadai, add a tbsp of oil and when its hot enough, add the fennel, star anise and mace. When its slightly roasted add the finely chopped onions and shallow fry until pinkish brown.
  • Just when the aroma was already getting to you, add the microwaved veggies – cauliflower, asparagus and the potatoes.
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix them all in well.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water and reduce the flame to medium low. Cover and cook fofr about ten minutes.
  • Check to see if the veggies are well cooked, If not cook for a couple minutes more.
  • Gently add the tandoori masala powder and the garam masala powder at this stage and mix it in.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, switch off the flame and keep covered until its time to serve.