Imli Aloo

BM #110 : Week 4, Day 3
Theme : A to Z theme – Curries

I had planned to make Ivy gourd curry for the alphabet‘I’ in this A-Z theme. But I forgot to buy the vegetable and my google search for an alternate dish took me to this Imli aloo recipe from Priya’s space. She had served the tangy potatoes with Horse gram curry. So that’s how I got the recipe for yesterday’s post :-).

Coming to the recipe here, it has cooked potatoes sautéed with the usual masalas, you can change according to your preference. Basically it’s a combination of salt, spice and tangy flavors because of the tamarind. Earlier when I used to squeeze tamarind pulp the traditional way, I used to always end up with multiple small cuts in my hand. It took me awhile to understand that tamarind was the culprit and once I realized that, I switched to the paste version and haven’t had any problems since then. Lemon also does the same thing to me sometimes, if I squeeze too much lemon, the next day it would be like someone nicked my knuckles with a teeny tiny blade.

Anyway, here is the recipe for tangy potatoes. These pair very well with rice and a gravy. Rice and yogurt with potatoes in the side is an excellent combination, my younger brother survived on that diet for the first 20 years of his life (don’t ask me how though, he was a picky eater and we just let him be!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 big potatoes, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind Paste
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and Cook potatoes. I pressure cook them in Instant Pot for 1 minute in Manual Mode. Let the pressure release naturally and let the potatoes cool down. Once cool, peel the skin and dice it. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds to it. Once it finishes popping, add jeera seeds and let it crackle. Add the masalas now to the oil, and the tamarind paste too. Mix everything well and tip in the potatoes. Mix carefully so that the masalas coat the potatoes evenly.
  3. Turn the heat down and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes over without breaking it and let it cook for another couple of minutes. Take off the heat and serve with rice and yogurt or a curry of your choice.

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Horse-gram Curry

BM #110 : Week 4, Day 2
Theme : A to Z theme – Curries

For today’s post, for the alphabet H, I had initially planned on Hare Matar ka Nimona. Then I came across this recipe for Horse gram masala at Priya’s place and I decided to prepare it. I have some horse gram that needs to be used up and this was perfect for it. There are made some modifications I made to Priya’s recipe, it’s more of Kerala style now.

The base recipe is very simple, it has three steps to it. First is soaking and cooking the horse gram. Priya suggests cooking with a good pinch of baking soda and that’s what I did. Second step is to make a coconut paste. That’s where the differences start. I decided to stick with the regular masala I prepare, which has coconut, dried red chilies and jeera. Now the third and final step is to prepare a tadka with mustard seeds and onions and to cook everything together. An optional way to make the curry thick is to purée half of the cooked (and cooled) horse gram and add it to to the curry or run an immersion blender couple of times.

This curry pairs well with rice and roti. It would be great with puttu or aapam also. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup horsegram , soaked overnight
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 4-5 almonds/cashews, optional
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped, optional
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Check the horse gram for stones and once you have removed it all, wash and soak the beans overnight. The next day morning, pressure cook along with water it’s soaked and a good pinch of baking soda until the beans is cooked. I used the Beans setting in Instant Pot for 30 minutes. I also used the delay timer for 8 hours at night so that the beans was cooked by next morning. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the beans and set it aside to cool down.
  2. Grind shredded coconut along with 4 dried red chilies , jeera and almonds/cashews(if using) in a blender. Add about 1/4 cup water to make a smooth paste.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, dried red chilies and curry leaves. Once mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onions and sauté till it turns brown. Add the coconut paste, cooked horse gram along with the water it’s cooked, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt as needed. Mix well.
  4. Make a smooth paste of the reserved 3/4 cups horse gram and add it to the curry. Add water to bring it to a pouring consistency. You can add more water (or less) to suit the consistency you prefer.
  5. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Once the curry comes to a boil, let it cook for about 4-5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Serve with rice or roti.

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Gujarati Dal


BM #110 : Week 4, Day 1
Theme : A to Z theme – Curries

My love for Gujarati food started a couple of years back when two of my son’s friends started having sleepovers at our place. The kids all play for the same cricket team, so sleepovers are common when you have games and practice back to back in summers. Whenever those kids stay over, I prefer to make this dal and some curry and serve it with rice and roti. Slowly this has become one of the regular recipes at my place. I really like the simplicity and the taste of this dal. It pairs so well with rice, especially basmati rice.

There is no single recipe for a dish like this, every house has its own version. The basic thing is to cook the dal and then do a tadka with the spices. What goes into the tadka is what makes it unique to each family. Some people add peanuts. A little Lemon juice is a good substitute if you don’t have kokum, but again it’s optional. Ginger and green chilies add a lot of flavor to this dish. I add a tomato if I am in the mood, sometimes I skip it.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 4-5 pieces of kokum, optional

Tempering:

  • 1- 2 tablespoon ghee/oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoon grated or minced ginger
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • 10-12 Curry leaves
  • A good pinch of hing
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or per taste
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery / sugar
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Pressure cook dal with 2 cups of water and kokum (if using) for 8-9 whistles. I keep it for 8 in Manual Mode in Instant Pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
  2. Once the pressure is released, take the dal out and mash it with a ladle to make it smooth.
  3. Heat oil/ghee in a big pan. Once it’s hot, add mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Wait for mustard seeds to splutter and add the minced ginger and green chilies. Add tomato, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt. Mix everything well and add the dal.
  4. Add one cup of water, jaggery. Let it come to a boil. Taste test, adjust seasonings if needed. If the dal is thick, add another cup of water and bring it to a boil. Take off the heat and serve with rice and roti.

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Sfuff/ Sfouf- Turmeric cake

BM #110 : Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Middle Eastern recipes

I was looking for Middle Eastern cookery books at the library and I came across Tahini and Turmeric , a vegan take on Middle Eastern classics. I was happy as vegetarian options in that cuisine are far lesser than non vegetarian ones. So for the third day here, the turmeric cake recipe is adapted from the book.

I used regular milk for this recipe so it’s not vegan, but any non dairy milk will make it vegan. I added a 1/4 cup extra sugar to make it a little more sweeter.

Straight out of the oven, the turmeric flavor in the cake was too prominent but by the next day, the flavor had settled down and it was a lot less mild. I liked that version better. So it’s a good idea to bake this cake a day ahead for the flavors to mingle.

The book mentions that self rising flour is better to use than a combination of plain flour and baking powder. Sometimes baking powder and turmeric together produces red color spots than an all yellow cake. But I didn’t run into that problem, the color turned out good without any reddish patches.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon tahini or oil for greasing the pan
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (I used canola)
  • Some shelled pistachios or almonds for garnishing

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8” square pan with a thin layer of tahini paste or a neutral oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, shredded coconut, sugar, turmeric and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, oil and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix well using a silicon spatula until you get a homogeneous mixture. The batter will be thick and lumpy because of the coconut.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and top with the nuts. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes free of crumbs.
  6. Take out of the oven and once the cake is cooled down, cut into squares and serve.

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