Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mashawa / Maschaua Kebaps

Years ago, I had this delicious Mashawa soup for the first time at an Afghani restaurant and immensely enjoyed it - the rich flavours and the spicy taste of the soup immediately struck a chord in my heart. Since then, it has become one of my favourites when eating out - and is not only yummy, but a pretty rich source of protein as well - which is important for vegetarians.


I wanted to try out this soup at home for a long long time and bought this packet of mixed beans and lentils thinking I would make it finally. 


I washed the beans, soaked them overnight, and went off to bed. The next day, I 
continued with the process, pressure cooked the beans and as I was simultaneously doing other stuff, for some strange reason, drained the water completely and left the cooked beans in the sieve. A couple of hours later, I stepped back into the kitchen coz I was starving...saw the beans and was amazed at my own forgetfulness. 


Well, the result was that the beans were all dried up. So, I thought, why not make something else with them? Thus was born this recipe - thanks to my forgetfulness! We had these kebaps with a yogurt dip - and they turned out to be at least as good as the soup, even though a bit different and slightly drier than they would ideally be.

As they say...necessity is the mother of invention!

Ingredients

3/4 cup - assorted beans and lentils, soaked in some water overnight
1 medium size - onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp - dill, finely chopped
3 pods of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp - ginger, finely chopped
1 - green chilli, finely chopped (more or less)
1/2 tsp - garam masala powder
1 1/2 tsp - lemon juice (adjust according to your taste)
1 tbsp - olive oil +some more to pan fry the kebaps
red chilli powder (optional)
salt to taste

Method
  1. Pressure cook the beans for 3-4 whistles/rings, drain the water and leave in the sieve for a couple of hours.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oilve oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic, ginger and saute until the onions are soft. Add the cooked beans and mash them slightly. Add salt and cook again for a couple of minutes.
  3.  Add the lemon juice, garam masala powder and chopped dill and mix well.
  4. Remove from the heat. Shape the beans into a long cylinder and insert a skewer inside.
  5. Sprinkle a little olive oil on the pan and cook the kebaps until golden brown from all sides.
  6. Serve hot with any dip of your choice.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best Indian Food Blog?

Dear friends,

Veggi Fare has been chosen as one of the finalists in the Food Blog Category for the "Best of Indian Blogs" title run by Blogjunta

If you like my recipes, please do vote for me. Don't worry, this vote grubbing exercise is not a precursor to me going into politics. And unlike politicians, I'll give you a promise I can actually keep- I hereby promise to continue putting out new recipes, and to make them as innovative and yummy and healthy (well not always!) as possible.

To vote, please click on the widget on the right hand sidebar - my blog is 2nd from top.

Thanks and love,
Rachana


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Avocado Apple Patties

Life's been really busy lately and I don't realise when the day starts and when it comes to an end...but that doesn't mean the end of good food!

Amongst all this hustle and bustle, I do have an interesting recipe to share with you. This recipe was born, on one gray and dull day, when we felt like having something hot and spicy and tasty, "may be fried" said my hubby. Well, frying is a rare phenomenon in my kitchen. Something healthy is more like it. So, after a little scratching of the head and itching of the brain, I went to the kitchen, saw what was available in the refrigerator and baked (instead of frying) these patties.


After having a first bite, he was all happy and so was I. But the patties vanished so quickly, that we would have been even happier if there had been twice as many ;-)


Ingredients

1 - avocado, peeled, seeded and mashed 
1 - medium size par boiled potato, grated 
1/3 cup - yellow pepper, finely chopped 
half a medium size apple, peeled and grated 

1 tbsp - ginger, grated 
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 

1 1/2 tbsp - coriander leaves, chopped 
1 tbsp - red chilli, finely chopped (they were not that hot) 
1/3 cup - instant oat flakes 
a few drops of lemon juice 

1/4 cup - bread crumbs (more or less) + a little to coat the patties 
salt and pepper to taste 


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. 
  2. Mix everything in a bowl and make round patties, coat them with some bread crumbs. 
  3. Place them on a lined baking tray and bake them in a preheated oven for approx 30 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown in colour. 
  4. Serve with a mint-yogurt dip or any dip of your choice.

Together with a cuppa tea, these patties were perfect for a cold evening.


Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chocolate Yogurt

Having spend a good number of years in Kolkata, one tends to develop a liking toward the local food. Bengal is known for its food and especially its sweets. I, having a pretty sweet tooth, love almost all the Bengali Mithais. One such example is mishti doi (sweet yogurt).

Mishti doi is a popular dessert in Bengal and everyone at my place loves it. A few days back when I read about the Chocolate event at Jyoti's lovely blog, one line she wrote got stuck in my head. "What I am looking for is not cakes and cookies! I want you to go beyond that." Hmmm...I thought. And then an idea struck me when I was just about to hit the bed yesterday, why not try making chocolate yogurt. I've made mishti doi a quite a number of times. The process is simple and very excitedly I went to the kitchen and started preparing this dessert. 




My hubby who was fast asleep by then, came to the kitchen and was like "are you mad" :-)I just gave him a smile and said "Chocolate Doi" and he went again to sleep.



This morning, the first thing I did was to see if this recipe was a success or not - and when I saw the yogurt, I was really thrilled.

This tasted simply great and for me anything with chocolate is always a hit :-) Make it, you'll believe it. 




Ingredients

500 ml - low fat milk, 1.5% (this makes the yogurt slightly thin, use normal milk if you like thick yogurt)
1 1/2 tbsp - sugar (more or less)
40 grams - dark chocolate 70%, roughly broken
1 tbsp - plain yogurt

Method


  1. Mix the milk and the sugar and bring it to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer the milk for 7 minutes.
  3. Add the roughly broken chocolate pieces and, stirring continuously, cook the milk until the chocolate melts completely.
  4. Simmer the milk again for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C for 10 minutes and switch off.
  6. When the milk is still slightly warm ( if you insert your finger in the milk and can hold it without getting burnt to the count of 10), add the yogurt and whisk well.
  7. Pour the milk in the glass jars and cover them with aluminum foil.
  8. Place the jars on the oven tray and place the tray in the center of the pre-heated oven. 
  9. I left the jars in the oven overnight and the yogurt was set by next morning.

A bite of this delicious chocolate yogurt, just for you :-)

I am being featured at Nithu's Kitchen today. 

Sending this delicious Chocolate Yogurt to Let's Celebrate Sweets- Chocolate, event hosted by Jyoti and started by Nivedita

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hot Dates!

I had made this dish some time ago and forgot to post it. Yesterday, when I was going through the drafts, I found this recipe of mine and thought, "Better late than never" and here I am with a very simple to make and elegant looking dish. You will love this immensely if you like goat cheese.


I read somewhere that drinking goat milk is really good for health and I went and bought a bottle of goat milk. With great enthusiasm, I had a sip, and that was it. I knew, I would not be able to finish it off... throwing it away was out of question so I thought to make fresh cheese and this recipe was born. 


I love fresh dates, because they aren't too sweet and also healthy :-) Combining fresh goat cheese with dates was a great idea and both my hubby and I loved this dish. Hope you like it too. 


Ingredients

750 ml - goat milk 
3 tbsp - lemon juice 
1/4 tsp - pepper powder 
salt to taste 1/2 tsp - dried italian herbs 
5 piece - fresh dates, pitted and thinly sliced
1 tbsp - honey 
a pinch of salt
a pinch of rock salt
a generous pinch of red chilli flakes 

basil leaves to garnish 

balsamico vinegar (optional)

Method




  1. Heat the goat milk in a pan and when it comes to a boil, add the lemon juice and cook, stirring continuously until the milk curdles. (it took around 10 minutes to curdle so don't lose patience) 
  2. Strain the whey through a muslin cloth/fine sieve and let some tap water run over the cheese, which will help in washing off the lemon extract. 
  3. Squeeze the muslin cloth to remove excess moisture and if using a sieve, then press the cheese with a spoon to squeeze out excess water. 
  4. Put the cheese in a bowl, add the salt, pepper powder, dried herbs and mix well
  5. Add the honey, salt, rock salt, chilli flakes and dates in a pan and cook until the dates are slightly brown. (I kept the dates slightly hard, if you want them tender, first cook the dates a bit and then add the honey) 
  6. Put the cheese in a small bowl and press it gently and then turn the bowl upside down onto a serving dish and top it up with caramelised dates and garnish with basil leaves and serve. 


We tried one with balsamico vinegar and one without and both tasted good.

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chunna- Husked Wheat Pudding

Hope you had a fantastic start to 2011...Wishing you all a great year ahead with loads of success and happiness.


We are looking forward to this year very much, have some very interesting things coming up this year and are very excited. Also hope that this year will be a very good one for the taste buds and the culinary creativity.

The first recipe this year is a traditional Rajasthani dish, one of our favourites, and I make it quite often. It's made with husked wheat kernels and milk... it's normally had with sugar and a lot of ghee (clarified butter) - but one can avoid these also. This is a winter dish and tastes absolutely heavenly. To be served piping hot!

Hope you like this dish as much we do :-) 


Ingredients

1 cup - husked wheat kernels 
3/4 cup - water 
4 1/2 cup - low fat milk (may need more) 
1/4 tsp - cardamom powder 
saffron strands 
Add sugar according to taste and a little / loads of ghee according to the waistline :-) while serving the dish. 


Method


  1. Put the wheat kernels and water in a pressure cooker (without closing the lid) and cook for 2 minutes on high flame, stirring continuously. 
  2. Add 3 1/2 cups of milk and mix well. Cover the lid and pressure cook for 1 whistle/ring on high flame. 
  3. Lower the heat and pressure cook for 2 whistles/ring. 
  4. Open the lid and transfer the cooked wheat to another metal utensil (the wheat may stick to the bottom, avoid scraping it as it has a burnt taste) 
  5. Place the utensil on a heavy bottomed pan and place the pan on the heat. Add the cardamom powder, saffron strands and 1 cup of milk and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the wheat kernels are soft, stirring continuously. (take care that it doesn't stick to the bottom) 
  6. Add the ghee and sugar and serve hot. 
  7. You might need to add a little more milk and bring to boil again to correct the consistency, if not serving immediately but later.

Sending this to Jyoti's Winter Warmers


Enjoy!

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