Panchrav Shaak

Panchrav Shaak

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Serves: 10

During month of August or September (on the eight day of Shravan Vad in Hindu calender) people in India celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth. The festival is known as Janmashtami. This year it was on August 24, 2019. People observed fast on that day. The next day which is called Parna, feast is prepared as an offering to god as well as to break a fast. The Panchrav (mixed) shaak (vegetables) is prepared as an offering which includes variety of vegetables available in the market. Only on that day vegetable mongers in Gujarat sell prepared mixed vegetables known as Patrali. All you need to add are root vegetables to make panchrav shaak. In the recipe, quantity of vegetables might seem too much, but as you cook them it will reduce almost in half. If some vegetables are not available, it should be fine. Try not to add onion and garlic. That way you will taste each vegetable separately in the mixed vegetables. Remaining shaak can be frozen for further use.
Ingredients
  • About 4 to 5 cups of mixed vegetables (like butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, etc.), finely cut
  • About 5 to 6 cups combined, green peas, green beans, corn kernels, papadi lilva, toover lilva (fresh pigeon peas), choli (Indian long green beans), suran (Indian yam), tindola (green ivy squash), etc. available in frozen section of Indian grocery stores
  • About 3 to 4 cups of mixed vegetables (like eggplant, potato, sweet potato, taro root, etc.) finely cut
  • About 2 cups methi (fenugreek leaves), frozen available in frozen section of Indian grocery stores.
  • About 1 cup palak (spinach), frozen
  • 2 to 3 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • ½ cup or more olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, turmeric and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Immediately add first mixed vegetables and green chilies. Season with salt and stir to combine with spices. Cover the pot and let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom.
  2. Uncover pot and add second mixed vegetables. Season with salt and stir to combine with other vegetables. Let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Uncover pot and add third mixed vegetables. Season with salt and stir to combine with other vegetables. Let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Uncover pot and add methi and palak. Stir to combine with other vegetables and cover pot. Let vegetables cook for 10 to 12 minutes until you start to see oil on side of pot. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. Uncover pot and add remaining chili powder and dhana-jeeru. Stir shaak to combine with spices. Taste shaak and add salt if needed. Add lime juice. Let shaak cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. If shaak looks dry add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time. By the time shaak is fully cooked, it should be glistening with oil. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm puri.

 

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Everyday Cabbage (shaak)

Everyday Cabbage (shaak)

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Serves: 6

This is a basic recipe to cook any vegetable in Gujarati style and it is referred as shaak. Usually there is some kind of a shaak with a meal (Gujarati thali). In vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, okra etc. mustard seeds are used whereas for potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and eggplant etc.; cumin seeds are used. You can cut down amount of oil and adjust seasoning according to your taste. The spices and its amount from recipe works for 3 medium size potatoes, one medium size eggplant, and 30 to 35 green beans (or 1 16 oz. bag of cut green beans or French cut green beans). You can also mix and match vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium size cabbage (cobish), shredded
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro for garnish
Directions
  1. In a wok or a frying pan heat the oil until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, turmeric and chili powder. Add cabbage and season with salt. Stir cabbage until coated with oil and spices.
  2. Cover the pan with a lid and let cabbage cook until fork tender, stirring from time to time, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Once cabbage is cooked, uncover, add dhana-jeeru. Stir and let cabbage cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Just before serving garnish the shaak (cabbage) with cilantro. Serve warm with any type of Indian flat bread.

 

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Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

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Serves: 6

Pav (bread) Bhaji (mixed vegetables) is a street food available all over India. The bhaji should be soft and mashed which you can scoop up with a pav. This recipe uses small quantity of variety of vegetables which is great use of left over vegetables. You can also use left over mashed potatoes for this recipe.
Ingredients
  • Quarter of cabbage, shredded
  • 3 to 4 florets cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 Japanese eggplant or ½ of large eggplant, peeled and ½ inch diced
  • ½ dhoodhi (Indian squash), peeled, deseeded and ½ inch diced (optional)
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 large red onions, finely diced (reserve ½ cup for serving)
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes, ¼ inch diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil or butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons pav bhaji masala
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for serving
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters for serving
  • 6 soft buns (pav), any kind
  • Butter for brushing on buns
Directions
  1. Combine cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant and doodhi in a large microwave safe bowl or large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cook vegetables in microwave (7 to 8 minutes) or stove top (10 to 12 minutes) until soft. Vegetables will release some liquid, keep that liquid. Mashed vegetables with potato masher and set aside. (You can use same soup pot or Dutch oven to make bhaji. You can transfer cooked and mashed vegetables to a mixing bowl).
  2. Heat oil or butter on a medium high heat in a large soup pot or a Dutch oven until oil is shimmering and butter is melted, 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add garlic and sauté it until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onions and sauté them until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add all dry spices except pav bhaji masala and sauté with onions and garlic for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté them until softened, 2 minutes.
  3. Add mashed potatoes and combine with sautéed vegetables. Let potatoes warm through before adding rest of mashed vegetables, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add rest of mashed vegetables, season with salt, stir and cover with a lid. Let bhaji cook for 7 to 10 minutes on low heat until flavors meld, stirring frequently. If bhaji is sticking to bottom, add some water. Uncover, add peas, pav bhaji masala and let bhaji cook for 5 to 6 minutes on low heat.
  4. Spread butter on buns and toast them on a griddle or frying pan until light golden brown but still soft.
  5. Serve hot bhaji with pav (buns). Garnish individual serving of bhaji with 1 tablespoons of cilantro. Serve reserved onion and lime on side.

 

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Turiya Patra nu Shaak

Turiya Patra nu Shaak

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 medium or 1 large turiya (snake gourd, known as Chinese okra)
  • 4 rolls of Patra, cooked or uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno or serrano chili
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • 1 cup or more water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 golf ball size piece of jaggery or 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Directions
  1. Wash turiya, remove the sharp edges and cut into ½ inch dice.
  2. In a wok or a frying pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add turmeric and chili powder. Add garlic, green chili and sauté it for 30 seconds. Next sauté chickpea flour for 30 seconds. Add water, turiya and season with salt. At this point if you want to use uncooked patra rolls, add them. Cover the wok or pan and let turiya and patra cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring few times.
  3. Uncover the wok or pan and if you are using cooked patra rolls, add at this point. Add dhana-jeeru, jaggery and lemon juice and let shaak (vegetable) cook for 4-5 minutes or until jaggery is melted. If gravy is too thick add more water.
  4. Cut the rolls into 3-4 pieces before serving. Garnish shaak with cilantro and serve warm with rotli or paratha.

 

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Undhiyu

Undhiyu

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Serves: 4

This mixed vegetables recipe is quintessential Gujarati dish. It is a very famous dish from city of Surat in Gujarat. The variety of green beans called papadi used in this recipe are named after the city. The fresh papadi is available mostly in winter months in India. In US it is mostly available frozen in Indian grocery stores along with other vegetables. Most of the time, undhiyu is cooked on stove top but it is also cooked underground in a clay pot called matalu covered with food fire, known as matala undhiyu.
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. frozen Surati papadi, thawed
  • ½ lb. frozen Surati papadi lilva, thawed
  • ¼ lb. frozen tuver lilva, thawed
  • ¼ lb. frozen ratalu (purple yam), thawed
  • 4 Indian eggplants
  • 4 small yellow or red potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato, 1 inch diced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • 4 teaspoons green garlic or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 recipe fried methi muthia
Masala (Spice mixture):
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground peanuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut
Directions
  1. Wash eggplants and potatoes, and pat dry. Make an X cut on ⅓ of eggplant on stemless side, keeping the stem. Make an X cut on ⅓ of potato on one side. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants and potatoes.
  2. Combine spice mixture plus 2 tablespoons of cilantro, 1 tablespoon minced chili, 2 teaspoons garlic and 2 tablespoons oil into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside ½ of spice mixture. Gently widen an eggplant and stuff it by gently pushing stuffing down by hand. Try not to break it and not over stuff it. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants and potatoes. If any stuffing remains, add it to set aside spice mixture.
  3. Heat remaining oil on a medium-high heat in a roasting pan or a Dutch oven until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ajwain seeds and let them sizzle. Add remaining garlic and green chili. Sauté it for 30 seconds. Lower the heat to low while you arrange vegetables on top.
  4. In a Dutch oven, first arrange stuffed eggplants and potatoes in single layer. On top arrange papadi, papadi lilva, tuver lilva. Spread ½ of spice mixture on top. Next arrange sweet potatoes and ratalu in single layer. Spread remaining spice mixture on top. Or in a roasting pan, arrange first eggplants vertically on one side, next arrange potatoes, and then arrange one by one papadi, papadi lilva, tuver lilva, sweet potatoes and ratalu. Spread spice mixture evenly on vegetables except eggplants and potatoes. Add ½ cup water in Dutch oven or roasting pan. Cover with lid or aluminum foil. You can either cook vegetables on stove top on medium heat or a preheated 375 degrees oven until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Check on vegetables half way through cooking and stir gently with spice mixture. If vegetables are sticking to bottom, add more water.
  5. Once vegetables are cooked, add muthia and stir to combine everything. Let undhiyu cook for 3 to 4 minutes, uncovered. Garnish with remaining cilantro before serving. Serve warm with puri or other Indian flat bread. Serve cilantro chutney, garlic chutney and thin sev (thin crispy chickpea flour noodles) on side to add to undhiyu to enhance the flavor.

 

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Dal Dhokli

Dal Dhokli

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
For Dal:
  • ¾ cup oily or dry toover dal (split pigeon peas), uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Small (golf ball size) piece of jaggary or 3 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 teaspoon or to taste finely chopped or minced jalapeno or serrano chili
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
For Dhokali:
  • 1 cup chapatti or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Water as needed to make dough
For Tempering (Vaghar):
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 1 whole dry red chili (optional)
  • Pinch of red chili powder (optional)
Directions
  1. Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak in about 1 ½ cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (Soaking is optional but it will speed up cooking process).
  2. Add diced tomato. Cover with a lid and cook it with water on a medium heat until peas are very soft, about one hour.
  3. While dal is cooking, make dhokli dough. Combine flour, oil, salt and dry spices 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 rest 30 to 40 minutes. After dough is rested divide into four equal portions and roll into balls.
  4. Once the dal is cooked, take off the heat and add ½ cup of water and mix it with a whisk or an immersion blender until it has a consistency of slightly thick soup. Start heating the dal on medium heat. Add salt, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, green chili, ginger and let it simmer on low heat or a simmer burner.
  5. While dal is simmering, flatten a dough ball on to a smooth cutting board and roll out into a thin circle (as thin as pasta sheet). Cut dough into 2 inch squares or diamonds. If some pieces are small it’s fine. Drop the pieces one by one into simmering dal and stir with dal. Increase heat to medium high and let dal come to boil so dough pieces can cook. Repeat the process with remaining dough balls. If dal starts to boil over, reduce heat to medium. Let dal-dhokli simmer for 12 to 15 minutes and then add jaggery or sugar and lemon juice, stir dal-dhokli. Keep it simmering on low heat.
  6. To cook dal-dhokali in Instant Pot: Follow step 1 but instead of soup pot use insert pot of instant pot. Add diced tomato and cook dal on pressure cooker setting for 25 minutes. For unsoaked dal increase time to 35 minutes. Once dal is cooked, release steam. Add ½ cup of water and mix it with a whisk or an immersion blender until it has a consistency of slightly thick soup. Start heating the dal on sauté setting. Set it for 30 minutes. Add salt, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, green chili, ginger and let it simmer. Follow step 5. Ignore the temperature changes as temperature in Instant pot remains constant. If dal starts to boil over change setting to keep warm setting for few minutes.
  7. Prepare Vaghar: In a separate small heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add fenugreek seeds and let it sizzle. Lower the heat, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, red chili and chili powder. Pour oil with everything over dal. Mix it with dal-dhokli and let it simmer for two to three minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serve warm. Can be served over rice. You can also add ½ cup vegetables like green beans, green peas or beans like black-eyed peas to simmering dal to make it one pot meal.

 

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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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Vegetarian Hot Dogs

Black eyed Peas Hot Dog

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Cook time: 

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can of black eyed peas
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brown or white rice flour or corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 2 to 3 cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 hot dog buns
Spice mix:
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil into a small pan, about 2 minutes. Add fennel seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add shallot and red pepper flakes. Sauté those until shallots are translucent, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté them for 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and sauté it for a minute with shallot and mushrooms. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  2. While shallot mixture is cooling, drain and rinse black eyed peas. Mash them into food processor until almost mushy.
  3. Combine spice mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add mashed peas and shallot mixture. Add 2 tablespoons rice flour, yeast and Worcestershire sauce. Mix everything well. Try to form a small ball, if mixture does not stay together, add one more tablespoon of flour. Divide the dough into four equal parts.
  4. Cut about 1 foot of plastic wrap piece. Put one part of dough on to plastic wrap and form into about six inch hot dog shape. First wrap plastic wrap tightly around hot dog, then twist both ends of plastic wrap as tight as you can. Tie each end with a piece of twain. Poke few holes with a toothpick. Repeat the process for remaining three hot dogs.
  5. Boil water in at least 5 quarts of pot. Transfer the wrapped hot dogs to boiling water. Lower the heat so water is simmering. Let hot dogs simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from water and let them cool down, at least 30 minutes.
  6. Heat remaining oil into a large nonstick skillet. Brown the hot dogs on medium heat all around, about 5 minutes. Be gentle while turning hot dogs so they do not break. Serve them on your choice of buns and condiments.
Notes
Hot dogs can be made ahead.

 

 

 

Pinto Beans Hot dog

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can of pinto beans
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ red onion, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Canola oil for brushing
  • Butter for spreading
  • 4 hot dog buns
Cheese sauce:
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 3 Slices American cheese, roughly torn into few pieces
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
Pico de gallo:
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, ¼ inch diced
  • ½ red onion, ¼ inch diced
  • ½ serrano or jalapeno chili, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of ½ a lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
Directions
  1. Drain and rinse pinto beans. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil into a small pan, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic and sauté them until onion is translucent, 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and sauté it for a minute with onion. Add pinto beans and dry spices. Season with salt and stir to combine. Let beans cook with spices for 5 minutes. Let beans cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer beans to food processor bowl. Add 2 tablespoons masa harina, cheese and an egg. Pulse until beans are almost mashed. Try to foam a small ball, if mixture does not stay together, add one more tablespoon of masa harina. Divide the dough into four equal parts.
  4. Cut about 1 foot of plastic wrap piece. Put one part of dough on to plastic wrap and form into about six inch hot dog shape. First wrap plastic wrap tightly into tube shape, then twist both ends of plastic wrap as tight as you can. Tie each end with a piece of kitchen twain. Poke few holes with a toothpick. Repeat the process for remaining three hot dogs.
  5. Boil water in at least 5 quarts of pot. Transfer the wrapped hot dogs to boiling water. Lower the heat so water is simmering. Let hot dogs simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from water and let them cool down, at least 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. While hot dogs are cooling, make cheese sauce. Heat evaporated milk in a sauce pan until almost boiling. Combine cheese, corn starch and spices in a bowl. Once milk is heated, add cheese mixture. Heat on low heat until cheese is melted. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  7. Combine ingredients of pico de gallo in a serving bowl.
  8. To grill hot dogs, brush them with canola oil. Grill hot dogs until brown all around, about 3 minutes. Spread butter on hot dog buns and toast them. To serve, put hot dog in a bun, pour about 2 tablespoons cheese sauce and add about 1 tablespoon pico de gallo on top.

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Sev Usal

Sev Usal

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Serves: 4

Dried green peas soup with crispy thin chick pea flour noodles
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups dried green pea
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely minced
  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • Small (golf ball size) piece of jaggary or 3 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 cup thin sev (crispy chickpea flour noodles), for serving, See Note.
  • ½ cup tamarind-date chutney, for serving
  • ½ cup cilantro chutney, for serving
  • Water as needed
  • For Vaghar (tempering):
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 medium sized red onion, finely diced (reserve half for serving)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
  1. Pick through peas to remove any impurities and soak them in 3 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove excess water to keep just enough water to cover peas. Cook in a medium sized Dutch oven or soup pot with cover until peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Uncover, add mint sprigs, green chilies, ginger, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, salt and jiggery or sugar. Let it simmer while you prepare vaghar.
  4. Prepare Vaghar: In a small heavy bottomed pot, heat oil until shimmers. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it for 30 seconds. Add half of chopped onion, garam masala, and chili powder and sauté them until onion is light golden brown. Pour over simmering peas (usal). Stir the peas to blend spices.
  5. Let peas simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add lemon juice and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. If usal is too thick add some water. Remove mint sprigs. Garnish with cilantro.
  6. To cook usal in Instant Pot: Follow step 1. You can omit soaking pea but it will speed up cooking process. Set instant pot to sauté setting for 30 minutes. Once hot, heat oil until shimmers. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it for 30 seconds. Add half of chopped onion, garam masala, and chili powder and sauté them until onion is light golden brown. Drain peas and add them to pot and cover with water. Add mint sprigs, green chilies, ginger, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, and salt. Set instant pot to pressure cook and set time for 30 minutes. For unsoaked peas increase time to 50 minutes. Once peas are cooked, release steam, uncover and set to sauté setting for 15 minutes. Remove mint sprigs, and add jiggery or sugar and lemon juice. Let peas simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. To serve: Pour hot usal in a soup bowl, spread about ¼ cup of sev on top. Top with tamarind-date chutney and cilantro chutney. Garnish with about teaspoon of chopped red onion. Usal can be served as an appetizer or lunch as a soup.
Notes
Thin sev is readily available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Stuffed Vegetables

Ringal Bataka na Ravaiya

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

The stuffed vegetables are known as Ravaiya or bharelu skaak.
Ingredients
  • 4 small ringan (Indian eggplant)
  • 4 small red or yellow bataka (potatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida or 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped, divided
Stuffing:
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground peanuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Wash eggplants and potatoes, and pat dry. Make an X cut on ⅓ of eggplant on stemless side, keeping the stem. Make an X cut on ⅓ of potato on one side. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants and potatoes.
  2. Combine stuffing ingredients plus 2 tablespoons of cilantro into a medium mixing bowl. Gently widen an eggplant and stuff it by gently pushing stuffing down by hand. Try not to break it and not over stuffed it. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants and potatoes. If any stuffing remains, keep it aside.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida or garlic. With garlic, sauté it for a minute. Lower the heat and arrange stuffed eggplants and potatoes in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let vegetables cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring gently few times. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top of the vegetables during half way of cooking.
  4. Garnish with remaining cilantro before serving. Serve warm with any Indian flat bread.
Easier Method:
  1. Cut eggplants and potatoes into quarters.
  2. Combine stuffing ingredients plus 2 tablespoons of cilantro into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida or garlic. With garlic, sauté it for a minute. Lower the heat and arrange eggplants and potatoes in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let vegetables cook for 5 minutes. Uncover pan, stir the vegetables and sprinkle stuffing on top of the vegetables evenly. Cover the pan and let vegetables cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring gently few times.
  4. Garnish with remaining cilantro before serving. Serve warm with any Indian flat bread.

 

 

Bhinda na Ravaiya

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. bhinda (okra)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
Stuffing:
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground peanuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Wash okras and dry it with paper towel. Okras should be as dry as possible otherwise it will become slimy. Remove stem, and ¼ inch end of okras, and cut large okras into half. Make a cut in okra almost to half point on one side and another cut almost to half point on other side in opposite direction. Repeat the same with remaining okras.
  2. Combine stuffing ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Gently widen okra on one side and stuff it by gently pushing stuffing down by hand. Repeat the same on other side. Try not to break it and not over stuffed it. Repeat the same with rest of okras. If any stuffing remains, keep it aside.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida. Lower the heat and arrange stuffed okra in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let okra cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring gently few times. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top of the vegetables during half way of cooking. Once okras are cooked, lower the heat, uncover the pan and let okras cook until it becomes dry and crispy, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve warm with any Indian flat bread.
Easier Method:
  1. Wash okras and dry it with paper towel. Okras should be as dry as possible otherwise it will become slimy. Remove stem, and ¼ inch end of okras, and cut large okra into half. Cut okras into quarters.
  2. Combine stuffing ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida. Lower the heat and arrange okra in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let okra cook for 5 minutes. Uncover pan, stir okra and sprinkle stuffing on top of okra evenly. Initially okras will be slimy but as it cooks it will become less slimy. Cover the pan and let okras cook until tender, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring gently few times. Once okras are cooked, lower the heat, uncover the pan and let okras cook until it becomes dry and crispy, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve warm with any Indian flat bread.

 
Maracha na Ravaiya

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. small or baby assorted peppers (15 to 18 peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
Stuffing:
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • ¼ cup ground peanuts (optional)
  • ½ cup dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 3 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 6 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon garam masala
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Wash peppers and pat dry. Make a T cut on one side of pepper and carefully remove seeds and membrane. Keep the stem.
  2. Combine stuffing ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Stuff the peppers one by one with stuffing either by hand or with a ¼ teaspoon measuring spoon. If any stuffing remains, keep it aside.
  3. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida. Lower the heat and arrange stuffed peppers in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let peppers cook until soft but not mushy, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top of the peppers during half way of cooking. The bottom of peppers will caramelize during cooking and it will add nice flavor.
  4. Can be served warm as a side dish and/or with any Indian flat bread.

 
Karela na Ravaiya

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

I have learned this recipe of stuffed bitter melons from my sister-in-law Ushabhabhi.
Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 small karela (Indian bitter melons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Stuffing:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch of piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground peanuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 3 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 6 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon aamchoor (dry mango powder)
Directions
  1. Wash and pat dry karela. Cut ¼ inch of both ends and peel the rough skip. Keep the skin aside. Cut karela in half and scoop out the pulp with seeds. Discard the big seeds and combine the pulp with saved skin.
  2. In a food processor, pulse shallot until finely minced.
  3. In small pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Add shallots and pinch of salt. Let shallot caramelize on low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. While shallot is cooking, add skin and pulp of karela, garlic, green pepper, and ginger in food processor bowl. Pulse until finely minced.
  5. Once shallot is brown, add above mixture and garam masala. Stir everything and let it cook for 2 minutes. Let it cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Combine rest of the stuffing ingredients and remaining olive oil in a medium mixing bowl. Add cooled mixture and combine. Stuff melon halves with stuffing. If any stuffing remains, keep it aside.
  7. In a large non-stick pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Lower the heat and arrange stuffed melon halves in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let melon cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top of the vegetables during half way of cooking.
  8. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serve warm with any Indian flat bread.
Notes
Karela is extremely bitter. If you want to remove some of the bitterness, before cooking it, sprinkle about teaspoon of salt on them and transfer them to a colander. Transfer colander to baking dish or a pan to catch drippings. Let karela stand for 30 minutes to an hour and proceed with the recipe.

 
Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
Stuffing:
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground peanuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup dhana-jeeru(spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  1. Wash Brussels sprouts and pat dry. Trim the dark end and wilted leaves. Make an X cut on ⅓ of Brussels sprouts on coreless side.
  2. Combine stuffing ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Gently widen a Brussels sprout and stuff it by gently pushing stuffing down by hand. Try not to break and over stuffed it. Repeat the same with rest of Brussels sprouts. If any stuffing remains, keep it aside.
  3. In a large non-stick or cast iron pan, heat oil on a medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, sauté it for 30 seconds. Lower the heat and arrange stuffed Brussels sprouts in a pan in a single layer. Increase heat to medium, cover the pan and let them cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring gently few times. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top of the Brussels sprouts during half way of cooking.
  4. Uncover the pan; lower the heat to low and let Brussels sprouts caramelized for 3 to 5 minutes without stirring.
  5. Serve warm as an appetizer or side dish. Can be served with Indian flat bread also.

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Rajma

Quick Rajma

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Dark Red Kidney Bean Soup
Ingredients
  • 2 15.5 oz. cans dark red kidney beans
  • ½ a 15.5 oz. can of lentils
  • 1 small yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small tomato, ¼ inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola or neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 9 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), available in Indian grocery stores
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Rinse and drain the kidney beans from cans and set it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a medium soup pot or a Dutch oven on a medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add onion and sauté it until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, green chili, curry leaves and all the dry spices. Sauté everything until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes, ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add beans, lentils and ½ cup of water. Season with salt. Cover the pot and let rajma cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Uncover, add lemon juice and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning. If rajma is too dry, add some water.
  4. Serve warm with Nan or Paratha and over rice.

 

 

Instant Pot Rajma

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry dark red kidney beans
  • ½ cup masoor dal (red split lentils)
  • 1 small yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small tomato, ¼ inch diced
  • 1 small russet potato, ¼ inch diced (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola or neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 9 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), available in Indian grocery stores
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Pick through kidney beans and soak in 2 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours or until beans are soft. (Soaking is optional but it will speed up cooking process).
  2. Rinse masoor dal, transfer to a small bowl and add ½ cup of water. Let it soak for at least half an hour. (Soaking is optional but it will speed up cooking process).
  3. Set instant pot to saute setting for 30 minutes. Once hot, heat oil until shimmering. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add onion and sauté it until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, green chili, curry leaves and all the dry spices. Sauté everything until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes, ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Add beans, dal with water and potatoes. If beans are not cover with water, add more water. Season with salt. Cover the pot and set to pressure cooker setting for 45 minutes. For unsoaked beans, increase time to one hour. Once cooking time is over, release steam (you can also wait until pressure is off). Uncover pot, add lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning. If rajma is too dry, add some water and let it cook on saute setting for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with Nan or Paratha and over rice.

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Mexican Style Rice

Mexican Rice

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 ½ cups or more of water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 packet of Sazon seasoning (with coriander and Annatto)
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add rice, seasoning, chili powder and sauté it until rice is coated with oil and spices, 1 minute.
  2. Add water and salt. Cover the pot and let the rice cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Can be served for filling for burrito or on the side for Mexican dishes.
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