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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Urulakizhangu fry

BM #115 : Week 4, Day 3
Theme : A-Z theme, Curries

Potato fry is a favorite with everyone. People might stay away from it for health reasons, but rarely because they don’t like the taste. And when it comes to pan frying potatoes, there are a hundred ways to do it. The spice combinations are endless.

My friend adds garlic powder which gives a unique aroma and taste to the curry. I don’t stock up garlic powder so I started adding a clove of garlic whenever I feel like it. I prepare this curry with only chili powder as the spice, but at times I add coriander powder too.

My mother used only her homemade sambar powder for this. When my mother in law was visiting us, she prepared this with her homemade rasam powder and I was amazed at the taste. I never thought you could use rasam powder for potato fry! But once I learnt this, I have to tell you that my rasam powder stock has decreased considerably. I use it not just for potatoes, but also to other veggies like Brinjal or any kind of Sundal.

My son loves potatoes with curd rice, so it’s a combination I prepare frequently. I always pack this for his lunch whenever he has a cricket match. It’s the perfect food combination in my opinion.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced – optional
  • 2 teaspoon rasam powder*, adjust per taste
  • 2 big potatoes, peeled and diced
  • salt as needed

Method:

  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Wash it well to remove the starch. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add the minced garlic clove. Once it’s cooked, add the potatoes into the pan.
  3. Give it a mix to coat all the pieces with oil and add the rasam powder and salt. Now, mix again to evenly coat the spices. Keep the heat low to medium and let the potatoes roast slowly. Turn the pieces over in between to let all the sides cook evenly. Take care not to break the potatoes when doing this. If it sticks to the bottom of the pan, then add a little more oil.
  4. Turn off the heat once potatoes are cooked. Serve with curd rice or rice and sambar.

* you can substitute rasam powder with sambar powder or one teaspoon each of chili powder and coriander powder.

Tindora Curry

BM #115 : Week 4, Day 2
Theme : A-Z theme, Curries

It was yesterday’s shahi paneer recipe that led to today’s tindora recipe. When I was looking at the paneer recipe, the video for this one showed in the playlist. So it made the decision easy for me. T for Tindora. Tindora is called Kovakka in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This is the first time I am preparing a curry out of the vegetable, I always prepare a dry sauté to serve with rice and sambar.

I served this with a simple onion rice. I had some cooked basmati rice. I added it to some onions that’s sautéed with green chilies and salt and pepper. It’s a way to bring some flavor to plain rice. Perfect for days when you don’t want to do a lot of cooking but still want something other than plain rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Indian Vegetarian Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon shredded/dry coconut
  • 10 almonds
  • 10 walnuts /cashews
  • 2-3 green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 20 tindora/ ivy gourd
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Blend the shredded coconut with almonds, cashews / walnuts, chilies and Jeera. Add a little water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Wash and clean tindora. Chop the tip and ends and cut into 1” long pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the tindora pieces and let it cook. Keep mixing in between for even cooking. You can cover and cook to speed the process. Alternatively, you can deep fry the tindora.
  4. Once tindora is cooked, remove it to a bowl and keep aside.
  5. In the same pan, add a little oil if needed. Add jeera seeds and let it crackle. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for few seconds. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Add the chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well, cover and cook until the tomatoes are mushy and cooked. You can add a little water if the curry seems to be dry and sticking to the pan.
  6. Add the ground paste to the curry. Mix well, cover and Let it cook for a few minutes. After about 5-8 minutes you will find that oil is floating on top and the paste is cooked well. Now add a cup of water or more to bring it to the consistency you like. Let it cook for a few more minutes. Add the yogurt, mix well and let it come to a slow boil.
  7. Add the cooked / fried tindora pieces to the gravy now. Lower the flame and cover and cook for a few more minutes. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and serve with rice or roti.

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Shahi Paneer

BM #115 : Week 4, Day 1
Theme : A-Z theme, Curries

I make quite a lot of paneer Curries, but I have never made Shahi Paneer before. I assumed it would be full of cream and cashews from the royal name it carries. I was surprised to know that it is yogurt that makes this curry smooth and creamy. There is a little bit of cream of course, and it does add a depth to the curry but you can omit it if you are short on it. I always substitute milk for cream if I don’t have it with me.

I followed this video recipe to prepare the curry and I have already made this a couple of times. I skipped all the initial spices of cloves, cinnamon and cardamom as my family is not too keen on it. But add it for a richer flavor if you like it. I was making this for a friend of mine who was visiting me. I was half way through cooking when she came and she helped me with the final part of the cooking. They make this curry often and I learnt two things from her. One, add more kasuri methi than what I usually add. I am a little scared of adding too much, so I stick with a teaspoon or so, but she added more than that and I loved it. And two, I didn’t realize that my homemade yogurt was sour and it needed a bit of sugar to balance it out. I do add a bit of honey to paneer gravies, but I don’t always taste test before serving. So it’s a good thing to do before serving the dish to your guests to make these adjustments.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe Source : Rajshri Foods

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons oil or ghee
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon kasoori methi
  • 2 cups diced paneer cubes

Method:

  1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Sauté the onions. Add ginger garlic paste and green chilies. Sauté until onions turn soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and all the masala powders. Add half a cup of water if the curry is dry. Cover and cook until tomatoes are completely cooked and mushy.
  2. Turn of the heat and let the tomato mix cool completely. Once it’s cooled down, blend into a paste.
  3. Add it back to the same pan and heat it back again. Add half cup of yogurt and 2-3 tablespoon cream. Add about one cup of water to bring it to the consistency you prefer. Mix well. Once it starts to simmer, add crushed Kasuri methi and paneer cubes. Let it cook for a minute or two and turn off the heat.
  4. You can add a spoon of sugar if it’s too sour because of the tomatoes or homemade yogurt. Add a dash of cream at the time of serving.

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