Bhakhri

Bhakhri

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Serves: 4

This whole wheat flour flat bread is eaten as a breakfast in many homes in state of Gujarat. It is made with coarse flour than the usual chapatti flour used in making flat breads. Because of this textured flour and firm dough, it comes out like a shortbread.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bhakhri flour (coarse whole wheat flour), see Note.
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Water as needed
  • ⅛ cup or less Ghee or melted butter, for brushing (optional)
Directions
  1. Combine flour, salt and oil in a mixing bowl with hands. Gradually add water and knead into firm and smooth dough. Cover with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it stand for ½ to 1 hour.
  2. After dough is rested knead it few times until smooth. Divide dough into 12 to 13 equal portions and roll them into golf ball sized balls.
  3. Start heating a skillet or a griddle on medium high heat. Put the dough ball on a wooden or marble or smooth cutting board and make dough flat with palm of hand. Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 4 inch diameter round.
  4. Transfer it to heated skillet or a griddle and cook it on one side for 40 seconds to a minute or until small bubbles appear on surface. Flip it and cooked it on other side for 1 minute to 1 ½ minutes. Remove a skillet or a griddle from heat and increase heat to high. Put the first side of bhakhri on open flame and let bhakhri puff up. Flip it to other side and let it cook for a 20 to 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Replace skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Brush the first side of bhakhri with ghee or melted butter. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls. Serve warm with a vegetable or bean dish.
Notes
Bhakhri flour is available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Cauliflower Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian

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Serves: 4

This recipe is a fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine to suit Indian taste. It is believed to be created by Chinese community living in city of Kolkata (State of Bengal), eastern part of India.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized cauliflower (gobi), cut into 2 inch florets
  • Neutral Oil for frying
For Batter:
  • ½ cup AP flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste, see Note.
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Water as needed
For Sauce:
  • ½ cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano chili, minced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
Directions
  1. To prepare sauce, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small sauce pan until shimmering. Add chili, ginger-garlic paste and white parts of scallions and sauté them until soft, 2 minutes. Add ketch up, honey and soy sauce and stir to combine. Let sauce come to boil and let it simmer for 7 to 10 or until sauce thickens. Cover sauce and set it aside.
  2. While sauce is simmering, combine batter ingredients except water in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add water to make thin batter (like tempura batter). Add cauliflower florets and gently stir florets to coat evenly with batter.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Shake off excess batter from florets and fry them in batches of 6 to 7 until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain excess oil on paper towel lined plate.
  4. Once all florets are fried and drained transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour sauce over florets and stir to coat with sauce. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with green parts of scallions. Serve immediately as a side dish and/or Scallion Paratha
Notes
Ginger-garlic paste is available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Buffalo Cauliflower Florets

Buffalo Cauliflower Florets

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized cauliflower, cut into 2 inch florets
  • ½ cup fine corn meal
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Neutral Oil for frying
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
Buffalo sauce:
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Ranch dressing:
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning powder
  • 1 teaspoon chives, sliced thinly
Directions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauce. Transfer cauliflower florets to a large mixing bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture over florets. Stir gently to coat florets with buttermilk. Let florets marinate for ½ to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile prepare Buffalo sauce by heating hot sauce and honey in a small sauce pan. Once hot sauce is bubbling, add butter 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk to combine until all butter is added. Cover sauce and set it aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine ingredients of ranch dressing and transfer to serving bowl.
  4. In small mixing bowl, combine corn meal, corn starch, salt and pepper. After cauliflower florets are marinated, drain buttermilk. Sprinkle flour mixture all over florets. Gently stir florets to coat evenly with flour mixture.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Shake off excess flour from florets and fry them in batches of 6 to 7 until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain excess oil on paper towel lined plate.
  6. Once all florets are fried and drained, transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Pour Buffalo sauce over florets and stir to coat with sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with scallions and cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately with ranch dressing on side.

 

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Chickpea Flour Rolls and Fries

Khandavi

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Serves: 6

The chickpea flour is known as besan and the rolls are known as Khandavi. This dish was my mother's specialty. My mother used to make it on special occasions and whenever guests were coming over. She is not able to cook anymore but she has passed on this recipe to many of us. This is not an easy recipe to master. It took several attempts for me to make it right.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ½ cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced green chili (jalapeno or serrano)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut, see Note.
  • Oil for brushing on baking sheet
For Tempering (Vaghar):
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
  1. Prepare two large or three medium sized baking sheets for spreading cooked besan. Invert baking sheets and brush them with oil and set them aside. You can also use silicon mat or spread on a stone kitchen counter.
  2. Whisk together besan, yogurt, water, green chili, ginger, turmeric, asafetida and salt in a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan until smooth.
  3. Start cooking besan on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook besan until it is fully cooked (like polenta), about 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately spread besan on to baking sheets in thin layer (like thickness of tortilla).
  4. Sprinkle two tablespoons each of cilantro and coconut on baking sheets evenly. Make 2 ½ inch cuts evenly on spread batter vertically along the width of baking sheet.
  5. Gently start rolling khandavi as tight as you can, until all spread batter is gone. This batter will make 12 to 14 khandavi. Arrange khandvi vertically on a casserole dish.
  6. Prepare Vaghar: In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat oil on medium heat until simmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add remaining vaghar ingredients and let it cook 10 seconds. Pour over arranged khandvi. Garnish with remaining cilantro and coconut. Serve within few hours of making at room temperature.
Notes
Fresh grated coconut is easily available in Indian grocery stores in frozen section.

 

 

Chickpea Flour Fries

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Serves: 3

Ingredients
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ½ cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced green chili (jalapeno or serrano)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • Oil for brushing on baking sheet
  • Neutral oil for frying
For Tempering (Vaghar):
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
  1. Whisk together besan, yogurt, water, green chili, ginger, turmeric, asafetida and salt in a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan until smooth. Brush with oil a small 6 x 10 baking sheet.
  2. Start cooking besan on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook besan until it is fully cooked (like polenta), about 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately spread besan on to baking sheet in even layer.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet to freezer for 2 to 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Cut the batter into ½ inch thick fries. Heat oil into a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Fry the fries in 3 to 4 batches until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Transfer fries to paper towel lined dish or on a wire rack to drain excess oil. Once oil is drained, transfer fries to serving dish or bowl.
  5. Prepare Vaghar: In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat oil on medium heat until simmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add remaining vaghar ingredients and let it cook 10 seconds. Pour over the fries. Garnish with cilantro and coconut. Serve warm.

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Dabeli

Dabeli

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Serves: 4

Dabeli is an Indian Street food available all over India. It is grab and go like food which people can eat as a breakfast, lunch or a snack in a hurry. It is basically a vegetarian slider, the patty is made out of mashed potatoes and spices.
Ingredients
  • 2 russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dabeli masala, See note.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup tamarind and date chutney, See note.
  • ½ cup salted or spicy peanuts, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup coconut, finely grated
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 12-15 black raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup nylon sev (fine crunchy chickpea flour noodles), See note.
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup garlic chutney, See note.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slider buns
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium high heat, 2 minutes. Add shallot and sauté it until translucent, 2 minutes. Add mashed potatoes and stir to combine with shallot. Add ½ cup of tamarind and date chutney, dabeli masala, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Stir to combine with masala. Let mixture cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If mixture is too dry, add some water.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a plate or a baking sheet and spread it in even layer. On top of mixture sprinkle peanuts, coconut, pomegranate seeds, raisins, half of sev and cilantro. Stir the mixture with your hands to combine everything. Divide the mixture into four equal parts and make small patties to fit into slider buns.
  3. Slit the buns without cutting through all the way. Spread about 1 tablespoon each of garlic chutney on one half and tamarind and date chutney on another half. Sprinkle about ½ tablespoon sev on both sides of patty and slide into bun. Press the bun tight to seal the patty. Repeat same process for remaining buns.
  4. Heat non-stick pan or a griddle on a medium heat and add butter. Once the butter is melted, toast the buns with patty on both sides by gently pressing, about 2 minutes per side.
Notes
The Dabeli masala, nylon sev, tamarind and date chutney, and garlic chutney are easily available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Tri-Color Cake

On January 26, India celebrates Republic Day with a parade in New Delhi. This year’s parade was very special for all of my family, the city of Vadodara, and the state of Gujarat. For the very first time the parade was led by a Gujarati Lt. General, who also happens to be my cousin. To mark this day I made a cake which represents the three colors of Indian flag. I adapted the recipe of Italian Rainbow Cookies to reflect the three colors of the Indian flag: orange, white and green. I used apricot jam and omitted the chocolate coating on top in the recipe.

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Baigan Bharta

Baigan Bharta

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants (baigan)
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium Roma or plum tomatoes, ½ inch diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • ¼ cup regular yogurt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick spray.
  2. Wash and cut eggplants in half. Arrange them on baking pan cut side down, leaving some space in between. Roast the eggplants until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Let eggplants cool for few minutes. Scoop out the pulp from eggplants, discarding the seeds. Cut the pulp in small pieces or mash with a potato masher.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan or a wok until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it until light golden brown, 2 minutes. Add scallions, green chili, all dry spices and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato and sauté until the mixture is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggplant pulp, season with salt and stir everything. Cover the pan or wok and let eggplant cook for 7 to 10 minutes to blend all the flavors, stirring occasinally. If you want to add yogurt, add at this point, and let it warm through with eggplant for a minute.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha. Can also be served as a dip.

 

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Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. okras (bhindi)
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, ½ inch diced
  • 1 medium plum or Roma tomato, ½ inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash okra and dry it with paper towel. Okra should be as dry as possible otherwise it will become too slimy. Cut into ½ inch thick pieces, discarding top and ¼ inch bottom pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on a medium high heat until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add onion, garlic, green chili, all dry spices and sauté them until onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato, ginger and sauté until the mixture is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add okra, season with salt and stir everything. Cover the pan and let okra cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring few times. Initially okra will be slimy but as it cooks it will become less slimy.
  4. Uncover the pan, lower the heat and let okra cook until curry is almost dry, 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha.

 

 

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Baghara Baigan

Baghara Baigan

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Serves: 4

This eggplant curry is from city of Hyderabad, Southern part of India (in a state of Telangana), and it is usually served with Biryani. It is made with small purple egg sized eggplants (known as Indian eggplants).
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Indian eggplant (8 to 10 baigan)
  • ½ lb. green chilies, spicy or mild or mix of both (8 to 10)
  • ½ cup raw peanuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup fresh shredded coconut
  • 15 to 20 Curry leaves
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, See note.
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash eggplants and pat dry. Make an X cut on ⅓ of eggplant on stemless side, keeping the stem. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants. Wash chilies and pat dry. Keep them whole with steams, cut them in half if long.
  2. Heat a skillet or a cast iron pan. Add peanuts and roast them until very light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add sesame seeds and roast them for 30 seconds or until they start to pop. Immediately add coconut and roast until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. Once it’s cooled, combine roasted peanut mixture, shallot, jalapeno or serrano chili, ginger and garlic in food processor bowl and make a thick paste. Add couple of tablespoons or more water to move the contents in food processor. Set it aside.
  3. Dissolve tamarind paste into ¼ cup of water in a small bowl and set it aside.
  4. In a frying pan, heat oil on a medium high heat until shimmering. Add eggplants and sauté them for 3 to 4 minutes until skin is light brown. Remove from oil and let excess oil drain on a wire racked sheet pan or paper towels lined plate. Lower the heat and remove extra oil from pan, leaving about ¼ cup of oil. Reserve extra oil. Sauté green chilies in oil until they start to blister, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chilies from oil and let excess oil drain on a wire racked sheet pan or paper towels lined plate.
  5. Add more oil to frying pan to make about ¼ cup from reserved oil. Increase heat to medium high again. Once oil shimmers add cumin and mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add curry leaves, let them crisp for 40 to 50 seconds. Be careful as they will splatter oil. Add peanut mixture paste, turmeric, garam masala and chili powder. Sauté the paste with spices for 3 to 4 minutes or until you see oil separating. Add tamarind water and stir. If gravy is too thick add some water. Season the gravy with salt. Add eggplants and submerge them in gravy. Cover the pan and let eggplants cook until soft but not mushy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and add blistered chilies. Stir the contents and let everything cook in gravy for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with Nan and/or Biryani.
Notes
Tamarind paste is readily available in Indian stores.

 

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Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani

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Serves: 4

This dish comes from city of Hyderabad (in State of Telangana), Southern part of India..
Ingredients
For fried shallots and marinade:
  • 1 lb. shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or melted butter or canola oil
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 lb. paneer, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 10 to 12 cauliflower florets
  • ½ of green pepper cut into 1 inch dice
  • ½ of red pepper cut into 1 inch dice
  • 2 carrots cut into 1 inch dice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
Dough lid (optional):
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup or more water
Rice:
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Biryani:
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup warm cooking water of rice
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon rose water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Directions
  1. Make fried shallots: Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee or butter or oil in a large non-stick skillet until shimmering. Add shallots and let it cook on medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. This takes about 9 to 10 minutes. Let shallots cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. While shallots are cooling, mix yogurt, salt, lemon juice, remaining oil or ghee or butter, ginger, garlic and dry spices into medium mixing bowl. Add vegetables and paneer except peas. Stir with yogurt and spices to coat them with marinade.
  3. Once shallots are cooled, reserve one third in a small bowl. Add remaining shallots to vegetables and paneer. Stir the mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes or so.
  4. While vegetables are marinating, make dough lid. Mix flour and water in a medium mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Make a ball and roll into ¼ inch thick rope which can be wrapped around the lid of large size Dutch oven. Cover the dough lid with kitchen towel.
  5. Make rice: Rinse rice in cold water until water runs clear and drain excess water. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large sauce pan. Wrap whole spices into a piece of cheese cloth and tie with a kitchen twain. Add to sauce pan along with oil or butter or ghee, salt, nutmeg and caraway seeds. Stir in rice. Bring rice to simmer and cook only half way, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the spice bundle and reserve ½ cup cooking liquid.
  6. Assemble biryani: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine saffron and pinch of sugar or salt into a mortar, and with a pestle make it into fine powder. Transfer to a measuring cup. Pour warm cooking water from rice over it and mix until saffron is almost dissolved. Spray large Dutch oven with non-stick spray to avoid paneer sticking to bottom. Drizzle 1 tablespoon ghee or butter in a large Dutch oven. Spoon half of vegetable mixture over it and spread it in even layer. With a skimmer or a fine sieve drain excess liquid from rice and spread half of rice over vegetables. Top with half of remaining ghee or butter, shallots, garam masala, saffron water, rose water and cilantro. Repeat the same layering once more. Cover with lid and wrap the dough lid on top of it. Press the dough to tightly seal it. Bake the biryani for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough lid is golden brown. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Remove dough lid, uncover lid, top with green peas and cilantro. Serve immediately with cucumber raita.

 

 

Quick Vegetable Biryani

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Serves: 4

This recipe can be made with leftover rice.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup assorted vegetables
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole gloves
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or chili powder
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  1. Heat ghee or butter with oil on a medium high in a frying pan or a wok until simmering. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Lower the heat to medium. Sprinkle saffron threads over oil while crushing them with your fingertips. Sauté saffron in fat until fat picks up color, about 30 seconds. Next add whole spices with bay leaf and sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add onions and sauté those until edges are brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and green chili, and sauté those for 1 minute. Next add garam masala and paprika or chili powder and sauté those for 30 seconds.
  3. Increase heat to high. Add vegetables and stir fry those for 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables soft but still crunchy. Add cooked rice and season with salt. Stir fry rice with vegetables until coated with spices, about 1 to 2 minutes. Next add peas and stir to combine with rice. Lower the heat to low. Cover the pan or wok with a lid and let everything cook together to blend all the flavors for 2 to 3 minutes. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve warm with cucumber raita.

 

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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Taco

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Taco

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Serves: 6

This recipe is a fusion of Indian and Mexican flavors.
Ingredients
  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 large poblano pepper, cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 10 to 12 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 18 to 20 small tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
Directions
  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Transfer diced sweet potatoes to baking pan. Drizzle potatoes with canola oil. Season with salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder. Toss potatoes to coat with spices and make even layer of potatoes. Roast potatoes until edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are roasting, heat coconut oil in a large wok or frying pan until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and let then sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, dry red chilies and let curry leaves fry for 30 seconds. Add turmeric and chili powder. Add poblano pepper and sauté it for a minute. Add chickpeas, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and coriander powder. Season with salt and stir everything to combine with spices. Let chickpeas cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Once sweet potatoes are roasted, combine them with chickpeas. Add coconut, cilantro and stir. Let potatoes and chickpeas cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  3. Combine yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder into a small mixing bowl. Whisk yogurt with spices to make it smooth. Season with salt.
  4. Heat tortilla on stove top or in a microwave. To serve taco, put about ¼ cup chickpeas and sweet potatoes on tortilla. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon chili-lime yogurt. Sprinkle with cheese. Other toppings can be added to taste.

 

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Samosa

Samosa

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Serves: 6

Samosas have become quite popular in many countries with Indian population. This delicious snack is sold on streets all over India. In US it's available freshly made and frozen in most Indian grocery stores. My cousin, Vibha, runs a catering business in India and this is her recipe. While making samosa at home, you do not need to finely mash potatoes for filling and the filling can be made in advance.
Ingredients
For dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • Water as needed
For filling:
  • 2 russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sanchar (black salt)
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala or juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt
Directions
  1. Make the dough: Combine flour, salt, ajwain seeds, oil and shortening in a medium mixing bowl and mix it with hands. Gradually add water while mixing and kneading until it makes soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough with a plate or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. Make the filling: In a wok or a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high heat until simmering. Add all the seeds and let them sizzle. Add green chili, ginger and sauté them for 30 seconds. Add mashed potatoes, garam masala, chaat masala or lemon juice and black salt. Stir everything to combine spices with mashed potatoes. Let the mixture cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add peas and cilantro. Stir to combine and let the filling cook for 1 more minute. Taste the filling for salt as black salt and chaat masala are quite salty. Add salt if needed. Let the filling cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Make samosas: Divide the dough into 20 or so equal parts. Roll into balls and cover with a plate or a towel. Take one ball of dough and roll out into about 6 inch circle. Cut the circle in half. Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of half circle, leaving about ¼ inch space on the round side. Pick corner of flat side and cover the filling. Pick another corner of flat side and cover the dough with filling. Press gently to seal dough over the filling. It should make a triangle. Pinch together round side of dough and the corner. Cover the prepared samosa with a towel. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls and filling.
  5. Heat oil in frying pan until ready for frying. Drop 4 to 5 samosa in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on a paper towel lined plate.
  6. Fry remaining samosa same way. Serve warm with cilantro chutney and tamarind and date chutney.

 

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