Xacuti with Mushroom and Eggplant

BM Theme : A-Z Curries

Xacuti is a curry from Goa, India. It’s mainly used to prepare meat based dishes, but here I have made it with mushrooms. I had some eggplants I wanted to use up, so I added that as well to the curry.

There is a lot of spices involved in making the masala, each recipe online gives out a different set of spices. I have followed this YouTube video for most part but have made some minor changes. Instead of a two step roasting and grinding, I combined both step and did everything in one shot. You don’t have to use all the paste in the curry, the curry will still be flavorful if you keep aside a little bit for later use too.

Read on for the recipe. I prefer to serve this with rice than with rotis.

Ingredients:

For the masala part:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 10 pepper corns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the curry:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped eggplants, optional
  • paste from above
  • Salt as needed
  • A Handful Coriander leaves, for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a big pan. Add the onion and sauté until it’s pink. Now add the dried red chilies, cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns and poppy seeds. Sauté until the spices turn aromatic and the coriander seeds change color to a slight golden hue. Now add the shredded coconut. Sauté until it turns light golden brown and is aromatic. Take off the heat and grind to a smooth paste once it’s cooked down. Add a little water, if needed, to help with grinding. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in the same pan. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté until onion changes color and is slightly brown around the edges. Add the tomatoes and let it cook until it’s mushy.
  3. Add the eggplants, turmeric powder and let it cook until it’s half done. Now add the mushrooms and cook until it releases water and is 3/4th done.
  4. Add the ground masala paste and 1/2 cup water and mix well. Add more water if needed to bring to the consistency you prefer. Add salt to taste and let the curry cook for 7-10 minutes. Taste test in between and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Turn off the heat, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top. Cover and keep aside until it’s time to serve.

White Kidney Beans curry

BM Theme : A-Z Curries

For the letter W for the A-Z theme, I used white kidney beans to make a curry. The curry has a tomato onion base, but for the masala, I used pav bhaji masala instead of the regular masalas. I love pav bhaji masala and sometimes add it to chole and rajma too. You can skip the pav bhaji masala and replace it 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.

To serve, I keep some lemon slices on the side. My son loves that little tanginess lemon adds to the curry. I served it with Tehri, a rice prepared with potatoes and green peas. I will update the recipe soon for it.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked white kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala
  • salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves, a handful
  • Lemon juice, optional

Method:

  1. If using dry beans, soak it overnight and pressure cook with enough water until done. I used some from a batch that was already soaked and cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and let it brown. Now add ginger garlic paste and green chilies. Cook for a few seconds and add tomatoes. Add all the dry masalas and salt. Mix well and let it cook until tomatoes are done and mushy.
  3. Add the beans and water as needed. Mix well and let it boil and cook for 7-10 minutes. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat, add coriander leaves for garnish. This curry suits both plain rice and roti. A squirt of Lemon juice adds a nice flavor to this curry.

This post goes to Valli’s Blogging Marathon.

Paneer paratha thali

BM #116 : Week 3, Day 3
Theme : Indian Flatbread Thali

Like I had mentioned in an earlier post, paneer was not something we grew up eating. Dishes like paneer butter masala and palak paneer were alien until I was in college. Eating at restaurants was also not a thing to do at the time. It was not only because of financial constraints, but also because of the belief that hotel food was not prepared with the high levels of hygiene that we maintain at home. It all changed around the time we started college, when better hotels started coming up, the younger generation started eating out and the buying power went up because of IT jobs.

Well, all I was trying to say was growing up paneer dishes was not common in our house. EXCEPT for this chapati. Though we call it paneer chapati, it’s actually a paratha. My mother used to make this paneer stuffed chapati every once in a while. She would make paneer from scratch and Use the leftover whey to prepare the chapati. Paneer would then be processed with a little coriander leaves, green chilies and salt to get a coarse mix that looks more white than a completely green paste. That’s the filling she used to make this paneer chapati. I always end up using more coriander than needed and end up with a green paste with no white to be seen anywhere 🙄!

I prepare this chapati once in a while and whenever I make it, I feel nostalgic. This really doesn’t need any side dish, not even yogurt and pickle. But amma always used to serve some curry, so for the thali here, I paired it with Chana dal with lauki and a tindora curry. I had some leftover rice which I made into onion rice. I keep making tomato rice or coconut rice or onion rice with leftover rice. It’s an easy way to bring some variety without too much of work involved. The rice doesn’t need any side dish but definitely pairs well with both the Curries and yogurt or chutney. We finished the meal with some readymade gulab jamun.

Read on for the recipes and more pictures.

The paneer paratha thali has

  1. Paneer paratha
  2. Green chutney
  3. Sautéed onion rice
  4. Tindora (Ivy gourd) curry
  5. Lauki Chana Dal
  6. Yogurt
  7. Salad
  8. Gulab jamun (readymade)

Paneer paratha :

  • For the dough :
    • Mix water and a little salt to 1 cup wheat flour and knead into a soft smooth dough. Set aside to rest.
  • For filling :
    • Process 1/2 cup of paneer with 2-3 green chilies, 1/4 cup packed coriander leaves and salt as needed in a food processor to get a very coarse mix.
  • To make parathas :
    • Take a lime sized ball of the dough and roll it out into a small circle. Keep a tablespoon of filling inside. Bring the sides to the center to close the filling inside the dough. Roll out into a paratha using flour to help with the rolling. Cook on a heated tawa and add a teaspoon of ghee to it. Cook both sides of the paratha and repeat with the rest of the dough. Serve with a curry of your choice.

Sautéed onion rice :

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil or ghee in a pan. Add one big onion sliced lengthwise along with 2 green chilies sliced lengthwise into two pieces. Sauté until the onions are soft and cooked. Add salt as needed.
  • Add 1 cup of leftover cooked (and preferably cooled) rice and carefully mix. Turn off the heat once everything is combined well and the rice is heated through. Serve with any curry of your choice or on its own too.

Lauki Chana dal :

  • Pressure cook 3/4 cup chana dal with 2 cups of diced and seeded lauki (bottle gourd) and water as needed. I cooked for 8 minutes in instant pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Heat a spoon of oil or ghee in a pan. Add one teaspoon of mustard seeds and once it crackles, add a medium chopped onion. Sauté it until it turns pink. Now add a chopped tomato, 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, salt as needed and 1 teaspoon chili powder. You can add a teaspoon each of garam masala and coriander powder too. Once the tomatoes are cooked and mushy, add the cooked Chana dal with the water it’s cooked. Add more water if needed and bring everything to a boil. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Turn off the heat and sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves. Keep covered until the time of serving.

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Poori Thali

BM #116 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Indian Flatbread Thali

Like I mentioned yesterday, my deep frying skills aren’t the best. I neither like to deep fry nor am I good at it! So these deep fried pooris are a rare occurrence at my place. Can you blame my husband for getting excited? He LOVES pooris, but his borderline cholesterol is great excuse for me not to make any :D. Hey, it’s all for his own good, believe me! ;-)

This thali was planned on the fly. I had sambar rice with raita and pickle planned for lunch. I had some leftover chole from the night before. So decided to pair the chole with poori and serve as part of the lunch. I want to make batura for the chole someday, but I always come up with some good sounding excuse for wanting to postpone it.

I made three kinds of pooris – plain, ajwain (carom seeds) and a chutney flavored poori. The flavors are inspired from the same YouTube video. The chutney flavor wasn’t too prominent in the final poori though. I might increase the amount a little more next time (if I ever make poori again!)

I always serve chole with cut raw onions and lemon wedges. Since there was a salmonella outbreak and I didn’t know where my onions were sourced from, I skipped the raw onion part. I needn’t have worried, it was not from the farm that recalled it. So I served chole with lemon wedges. I also made a fresh garlic chutney, originally from Vaishali’s space, using frozen green garlic. Fresh green garlic always reminds me of our trip to Ahmadabad for BM 25 meet and Vaishali :-).

Read on for the recipes and more pictures.

The thali has three kinds of poori though each plate has only one poori each.

  1. Chutney Poori
  2. Ajwain poori
  3. Plain poori
  4. Chole
  5. Lime wedges
  6. Fresh garlic chutney
  7. Sambar rice
  8. Raita / yogurt
  9. Pickle
  10. Kachumber (salad)
  11. Gulab jamun (readymade)

Chutney poori :

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • Water to make a dough
  • Salt as needed
  • Oil to deep fry
  • For the chutney : Grind together 1 cup coriander leaves, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 3 green chilies, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 inch piece of ginger To a smooth paste without adding any water OR use 3 tablespoon readymade green chutney
  • Add the wheat flour into a mixing bowl. Add the chutney and salt as needed. Slowly add water and mix it in. knead to get a slightly stiff dough. Cover and Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Take a small lime sized ball of the dough, roll it out using a little oil to prevent dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Deep fry in oil, drain once it puffs up and serve hot with chole.

Ajwain poori:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain/ carom seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • salt as needed
  • Water needed to make a dough
  • Oil to deep fry
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, ajwain seeds, ghee and salt. Mix to combine and add water little by little and form a smooth but stiff dough. Take a small ball of dough and roll it out into a small circle. Deep fry to make pooris. Serve with chole or any curry of your choice.

Kachumber:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 big tomato
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 small green chili
  • Salt and lemon juice, as needed
  • Finely chop all the vegetables and mix in a bowl with salt and lemon juice as needed. Serve with pooris or chapati.

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