Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Jeera Aloo/ Cumin flavoured potato dry curry

This is one of the quickest side dish recipes one can think of! It can be prepared in no time if boiled potatoes are ready. It makes a lovely combination to chapathi/ roti & poori.

Ingredients required to make this also very less and easily available in every Indian kitchen. Let us go through the recipe now.

Jeera Aloo

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Potatoes (medium sized) – 5-6

Cumin seeds – 1.5 tbsp

Green chillis – 2 chopped

Fresh Coriander leaves - 2-3 tbsp, finely chopped

Cumin powder – ½ tsp

Chilli powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – 1 tsp (to taste)

Lemon juice- 1-2 tsp (adjust as you like)

 

Method:

  • Rinse potatoes well and pressure cook them with enough water. Potatoes should be cooked but firm.
  • Don’t boil too soft & mushy. 3 whistles should be sufficient. Set aside until, pressure settles down.
  • Meanwhile, keep green chillis & coriander leaves washed & chopped separately.
  • When potatoes are cooled, open the pressure cooker, peel & discard the skin.
  • Cut potatoes into cubes of desired size.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • On spluttering, add chopped green chillis, fry for a while, until raw smell goes off or they start changing colour.
  • Add cumin powder, cubed potatoes.
  • Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder & chilli powder.
  • Mix everything well so that spices & salt blends well with potatoes.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves, mix once again.
  • Switch off the stove.
  • Add lemon juice & mix.
  • Serve with hot roti/ pooris.

Notes:

  • You can use only cumin seeds and avoid cumin powder, that gives extra flavour.
  • Cumin seeds can be replaced with coriander powder to make dhaniya aloo, in this case mustard seeds can be used in seasoning.
Jeera Aloo/ Cumin flavoured potato dry curry

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Surinam Cherry gojju/ Brazillian cherry tokku / Pitanga gojju or preserve

If had followed me or read my posts I have shared couple of posts on these attractive dark red berries called Suriname cherries. They are small, pretty & delicate fruits with very less shelf life if kept unused or untouched. If you have one plant/ tree of it, you get the fruits in abundance! That is nature’s bounty. I always scratch my head to get them in variety of dishes during season as I am a kind of person who hates wasting food/ fruit or whatever.

As these fruits are very sour & chat pata in taste, one can’t eat too many of them. At home kids don’t touch them or any other home grown fruits like figs or even papaya! So I end up making Jam, pickles, juice, chutney & this gojju.

It is a super easy recipe which gives you delicious gojju/ tokku as side dish to rice or chapathi or you can mix that with Rice to make rice item in no time. It is a lovely combination to curd rice too. Only time consuming part is cleaning and removing the seeds as they aren’t too big and worms and ants just love them! If you make this tokku once, you can store it for up to a week or more in refrigerator.

Now, I am sharing the recipe with you all.

Brazillian cherry tokku

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 1 cup

Ingredients:

Pitted Surinam cherry – 1 cup

Jaggery powder/ grated jaggery – 3 tbsp , Adjust as you like

Red chilli powder – ½ tsp, adjust to your taste

Turmeric powder – 1 generous pinch

Salt – ½ tsp or to taste

Cooking oil – 1 tbsp

Cloves of Garlic – 10-12

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Asafoetida/ hing – 1 pinch

 

Method:

  • Wash Surinam cherries clean, check & remove if any bugs or ants present.
  • With a sharp knife cut the tip of fruit having stamen as this part contains ants/ bugs generally. Then remove seeds with the help of fingers or knife. Discard seeds.
  • Take the pitted cherries in a heavy pan or vessel, switch on the stove.
  • Add salt, jaggery, turmeric powder & chilli powder.
  • Stir once to mix well, bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Keep the flame low and boil for few minutes stirring in between.
  • Switch off the stove when it thickens & comes to the gojju consistency.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, garlics and asafoetida in oil. On spluttering & garlic turns brown, add it to the gojju.
  • Serve with Rice, a dollop of ghee and this gojju or with curd rice.
  • Store excess gojju in refrigerator.

Surinam Cherry gojju

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Dry fruits laddoo/ Dry fruits balls with no added sugar/ energy balls

 Sweets are must in case of any festival! Especially Deepavali is incomplete without loads of sweets. Obviously, we end up in guilt of overeating them. What about some sweets without added harmful white sugar!? Interesting, right? Here is that perfect healthy laddoos made without any added sugar or jaggery! Only natural sugar of dry fruits like dates & figs are used here. Also, I know there will be some dry fruits & nuts on hand post festival too. You can use all of them to make these energy balls which make great snack/ dessert or even breakfast combo option. Having one ball gives you lot of energy & it is great for kids after playing.

Dry fruits balls with no added sugar

It is winter & food articles which keep our body warm are very much essential to be added in our diet. Lentils, dal, roots & tuber vegetables, nuts, seeds dry fruits are among them. So these vegan (as no butter or ghee added in it) balls are best and they provide the energy required on the go if they are made and stored in air tight container.  You need not stick to the measurement provided here as ingredients can be added as required & as available. Only point to be noted is there should be some nuts & some dry fruits for sweetness & for binding the balls.

To learn about, seasonal regimen of winter season, check here Sharad rutucharya.

energy balls

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

 Ingredients:

Nuts of choice (almonds, cashews, pistachios) – ¾ cup, you can choose any one or two of them
Dry fruits of choice (I used Dates, figs, apricots) – 1¼ cups
White sesame/ bili ellu – 1-2 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • If using seeded dates, remove seeds and discard. Roughly chop dates & keep aside.
  • Similarly, Remove apricot seeds, chop the flesh (fruit part) roughly and add to chopped dates. You can break the hard stone like seed to get the almond like kernel* which can be added to the laddoo.
  • Chop figs roughly and keep it with dates and apricot.
  • In a thick pan, roast almonds, cashews & pista till crisp. Add apricot kernels to this while roasting if you are using them. Don’t overdo & burn them. Transfer to a plate and keep aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, add chopped dry fruits and sauté for couple of minutes. This is to remove water content if any. Please take care not to burn them too.
  • Set aside until it comes to room temperature.
  • In the same dry pan, roast white sesame seeds for a while, keep it aside in a separate bowl to cool down. Switch off the stove.
  • Now take roasted nuts in a dry jar of mixer and pulse to get coarse powder. Avoid making fine powder.
  • Transfer to the pan used to roast the nuts & dry fruits.
  • Take roasted dry fruits in the mixer jar in batches (2-3), pulse to crush them too.
  • Take all of them in the pan, mix well on low flame until they are warm and everything combine well.
  • Add sesame seeds too. Mix all well to form a single mass of every ingredient spread evenly.
  • You can use your fingers to do it if that is comfortable, that is what I do.
  • Divide this into equal sized portions to make uniform dry fruits balls.
  • Store in airtight box & enjoy as and when required.
  • Refrigerate for better shelf life.
Dry fruits laddoo
 
Notes:
  • Apricot/ khubani kernels* (shown in pic) are said to be poisonous if consumed much. So take care and add only if it is fine & using them moderately.
  • The laddoos may get spoiled soon if there is traces of water. So care must be taken while preparing.
  • I prefer washing dry fruits like figs, apricot, dates before consuming. If you have this habit, then make sure you dry them before making this laddoo.
Apricot kernel

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Tamarind tokku/ Hunase tokku/ tender tamarind spicy chutney/ Hunase khara

Tokku is very similar like pickles or gojju. It can be made easily when the ingredients required are in season, and stored for 6 months to 1 year. Tamarind/ hunase tokku is a famous dish from North Karnataka. I learnt it from a lady from Raichur who shared some of the tokku which she brought from her native initially. She shared her recipe too.

During my recent visit to our native/ Coastal Karnataka, I got handful of tender tamarinds. I and my son ate few pieces with salt which brought my childhood memories back. We used to pluck tamarinds from the trees which we crossed everyday on our way to school by walk (about 2 k.m). We were also fortunate to get some salt to pair with from nearby homes! Interesting, isn’t it??  I love tangy fruits like tamarind / hog plum/ raw mango to eat same way my son loves that too.

Now let us see how to make the tokku which is in the picture today!

Tamarind tokku/ Hunase tokku/ tender tamarind spicy chutney/ Hunase khara

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 1 cup

Ingredients:

Tender tamarind/ raw tamarind – 1 cup

Green chillis – 5-8, adjust to taste

Salt – to taste (about 1 tsp)

Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp

Cooking oil – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

Turmeric powder - 1 generous pinch

 

 

Method:

  • Wash green chillis, remove stalk & dry using a clean towel, set aside.
  • Wash tamarind with running water. Spread on a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry, set aside for a while to get the dry tamarind.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan. Add fenugreek seeds & dry roast. Fry them in medium flame until fenugreek seeds turn brown & you get nice roasted aroma.
  • Break them with your fingers removing the fibrous root like structure as much as possible.
  • If the seeds are matured & hard then remove them by crushing the tamarind a bit using mortar and pestle. If tamarind is very tender, you need not remove seeds.
  • Now take these tamarind chunks, green chillis, fried fenugreek seeds & salt in a dry mixer jar. Blend until you get a fine paste.
  • Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of cumin seeds & mustard seeds in cooking oil. On spluttering, add asafoetida powder & turmeric powder. Switch off the heat & set aside until it comes to room temperature. Add it to the tokku or tamarind chutney that is prepared.
  • Mix well. Transfer to a glass jar with lid. It can be stored for almost an year if it is prepared without any water content like pickling. If planning to store for longer duration, add seasoning/ tadka before every serving, not at the time of preparation.
  • It can be served with curd rice, jowar rotti & curds.

Hunase tokku/  Hunase khara

Notes:

  • This tokku can be stored for long time without refrigeration. For safer side, I refrigerate it.
  • If making in large batch to store for longer duration, then do not add tempering/ tadka at the time of preparation. Take small portion of tokku out of large jar to serve & add seasoning to it.
  • You can add a piece of ginger as an optional ingredient; in this case, ginger flavour dominates over other.
  • Spice level can be adjusted as required by adding more or less chillis.
  • Optionally, garlic can also be added while making this tokku.


Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Fresh figs & banana bread/ Anjoora banana cake/ Eggless fig banana bread

Hey there, homemade bread or home baked products are pure bliss to our health when compared to store bought ones!, agree? I am saying this because if you can manage to put little time & effort, it is not rocket science! It is quick to do when compared to other desserts at the same time we have complete control on the ingredients that we use. One can play around multiple ingredients of choice and also add goodness of fruits & vegetables that we like in their purest form. If it is store bought bakes, pure/ unadulterated ingredients are rare to find. Flavors are generally identical or artificial!

Fresh figs & banana bread

Now, coming to this post, I love baking & it feels therapeutic to bake something for family. I don’t bake fancy stuffs normally, they are simplest at the same turns reasonably good sometimes make wonders! I am saying this, as in few cases, my bakes turn satisfactory too. You get hold on any recipe & it becomes perfect after a couple of trials normally.  So make small portion always for the first time & increase the measure subsequently. Today I am sharing my latest hit at home fig & banana bread or cake you can call. I had plenty of home grown fresh figs (ficus auriculata), which we couldn’t finish by eating. I made halwa, smoothie, milkshake.. It makes a great combination with banana is what I learnt from my trials. Be it smoothie or halwa, fig with added bananas give that wonderful taste. So I made this bread by combining both fruits as I had good number of banana (Mysore variety) which we brought from my father’s farm during our recent trip!

Anjoora banana cake

Please check out the recipe.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 35 minutes

Serves: 250 gms of bread

Ingredients:

Fresh figs puree – ¾ cup

Ripe Bananas puree – ¾ cup, + 1 banana to garnish (garnishing is optional)

All-purpose flour/ maida – 1¼ Cups

Fine Rava/ Small Semolina– ¼ Cup

Sugar – ¾ Cup, Adjust to taste

Coconut oil/ ghee/ butter – 3-4 tbsp/ about ¼ cup

Nutmeg powder – ¼ tsp

Cinnamon powder – 2 generous pinches

Baking soda – ½ teaspoon

Salt -1/4 teaspoon or a pinch

Chopped Nuts (cashews/ almonds) – 2 tbsp

Fresh curds or buttermilk – 2-3 tbsp (if needed)

Method:

  • Figs puree: Choose fresh and juicy figs (I used elephant ear figs), peel off outer skin (this is not required in few varieties). Blend roughly chopped figs to get smooth puree.
  • Making banana puree: Peel off and mash bananas well with your fingers.  Keep one banana peeled and sliced thin separately for garnishing.
  • Mix both fruit pulps, add sugar and mix well to get a single mixture (puree) with the help of a flat spoon or with a blender. Few small banana chunks are fine to have.
  • Add in maida flour, small semolina, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon powder and fold well once.
  • Add coconut oil/ ghee to the same and mix again.
  • Mix until all the ingredients blend well to form smooth dough. If it looks too dry, then add curds/ buttermilk. Consistency should be thicker than regular cake batter, but should not be too dry! (It should be stickier & softer than roti dough).
  • Add the chopped nuts and fold to spread evenly.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg Celsius.
  • Grease a loaf pan or rectangular cake pan. Pour the mixture to this pan. Spread sliced banana (kept for garnishing) on top of this batter and press gently (this is optional). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted fork/ toothpick comes out clean. By then top of the bread becomes brown. It took 30 minutes in my oven.
  • Once done, allow to cool down. Invert on a plain surface/ Plate/ wired rack. Slice and serve warm with tea/ milk.

Notes:

  • You can increase figs puree by reducing banana puree. If using over ripe bananas, then the flavor of banana dominates over that of fig.
  • Sugar measure can be reduced (1/2 cup or little lesser to this measure)if you don’t like very sweet bread. As banana ripens more, it releases more sweetness too. So keep that in mind too while baking.
  • Garnishing with sliced fruit is optional, which makes the bread look prettier.
  • Maida can be replaced by whole wheat flour for healthier bread. Texture changes to some extent.
  • Do not open the oven before 20 minutes to check.
  • If you are using a Pressure cooker to bake, bake without gasket & weight but with lid closed.
  • Store left over bread refrigerated in an air tight container. Warm it before every serving.
Eggless fig banana bread