Punjabi Kadhi Pakora or Kadi Pakoda

Learn how to make Punjabi kadhi pakora.

 photo 12953246_10204436099381209_504059479_o_zpsdd8yhjgy.jpg

This recipe has been in my to-do list  for quite some time now. Bitten by lazy bug always, I never tried my hands. I always felt it was too complicated. Mr.P never liked Kadhi Pakora. He always used to respond that it is Khatta. Read he is anti tamarind or anti khatta guy home. I find it very difficult to cook sambar without much of tamarind pulp or pulihora without too much tamarind. Thanks to his Bangalore days, he developed liking towards Kadhi Pakora. I now have a reason to make kadhi pakora instead of dishing up 2 different dishes. One lazy afternoon when I realized that I ran out of basic vegetables stock and I was still scratching my head that what our lunch is gonna be. I remembered Kadhi Pakora. I had Besan just about the right amount.

 photo 12948477_10204436098101177_724622435_o_zps7s401rrs.jpg

I prepared this flavorful crunchy kadhi pakora. Let the pics do the talking.


Punjabi Kadhi Pakora/ Kadhi Pakora

Preparation Time: 20 mins | Cooking Time:30 mins
Recipe Category: Side Dish | Recipe Cuisine: North Indian - Punjabi

For Kadhi
Curd - 1 cup

Water -  1 cup
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder- 1 tspRed Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Besan - 1 n 1/2 tbsp

For Pakora

Onion - 1 big thinly sliced and separated.
Besan - 1/2 cup
Water - as required
Salt - to taste
Green Chilly - 1 chopped finely
Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 2 tbsps chopped finely
Jeera - 1 tsp

For Tempering
Oil - 1 tbsps
Jeera - 1 tsp or more if you like (I use 2 tsps)
Garlic - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilly - 2-3 broken

Others
Oil - For deep frying


Procedure:
1) Mix all the ingredients required for pakora except water. Once done, add 1/2 cup of water and make a batter of medium consistency.
2) Meanwhile heat oil. Drop a small ball of pakora batter and see if it rises up immediately. If it rises up, hang on that's the right temperature.
3) Drop a spoonful of batter and make small pakoras.
4) Fry until golden brown and crisp. Do not keep the flame high. You may end up getting not cooked pakoras.

 photo 12948319_10204436099901222_1041941749_o_zpsw2jv1bli.jpg

5)  Meanwhile, whisk curd until smooth, add salt, chilly powder, turmeric powder and besan. Make a smooth paste. Now add water and combine all the ingredients.
6) Now bring this mixture to a boil. It will take about 8-10 mins and you will get nice aroma.
7) Taste a bit and check, you shouldn't be getting the raw taste of besan.
8) Once it is slightly runny, switch off the flame.
9) Once this mixture cools, it will thicken.
10) You can dunk pakoras right away or just before serving. I like mine crunchy though.
11) Heat oil in a small tadka pan and fry all the ingredients listed under to temper. Now add this to the prepared kadhi.

 photo 12953004_10204436098261181_1697539996_o_zpslxiseafg.jpg

Notes:
1) I don't like sour kadhi so I use fresh curd. if you like a little sour, then use sour curd.
2) Switch off once nice aroma wafts when you boil the besan curd mixture. The more you boil, this mixture will thicken. Leave it at pouring consistency.


Bisi Bela Bhaat or Bisi Bela Baath -

Learn how to make Bisi Bela Bhaat - Kannadiga style.

Bisi Bela Bhaat has always been my infrequent love. Yeah, you read it right. Like I forget about its existence for some time and then all of a sudden I'd read about this on some random blog/website and then I am all gaga over it. For next few weeks, this makes it to my every week's menu and then all of a sudden I forget about it and then the same story repeats.

 photo 10584851_10204203152717688_1908600795_o_zps8hwlmpis.jpg

I have fond memories associated with Bisi Bela Bhaat, I was like 10 years or so, I remember this conversation between dad and mom. He came from his Bangalore trip and then he told my mom that he had something sambar rice type with vegetables and then it was served in a pot and all. He started describing its taste but couldn't remember the name. 

He called his B'lore friend and asked - Can you believe he actually described the entire dish to his colleague and then he told him that it was Bisi Bela Baath or Bhaat. My dad quickly scribbled its ingredients and gave it to my mom. When my mom prepared it, I liked it but then it was more like Dal - Chawal, so I didn't understand why my dad was so gaga over it. Because Dal makes it to our everyday menu and it tasted the same.

 photo 12499079_10204203168118073_1515346918_o_zpsswafwgrn.jpg

Later on, mom noted this recipe from a popular Telugu cooking show and this has been a keeper ever since then. I remember last week when my mom told me that she prepared Bisi Bela Bhaat for lunch and that it turned out yum. Quickly noted this recipe and I am documenting it here so that I don't forget it ;)


Bisi Bela Bhaat/ Bisi Bela Baath

Preparation Time: 20 mins | Cooking Time:30 mins
Recipe Category: One Pot Meals | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Rice - 1/2 cup,
Pigeon Peas/Toor Dal or Tuvar Dal- 3/4th cup

Water - 4-5 cups
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp

Vegetables

Carrot - 1 med Size diced into cubes
Beans - 10-12 cut into 1-inch pieces
Potato - 1 med Size (Cut into squares)
Green Peas - 1/4th Cup (I used frozen)
Onion - 1 med Size (cut into squares)

For Grinding

MTR Bisi Bela Baath Powder - 2 tbsps
Tamarind - Goose berry sized
Jaggery -1 tbsp
Grated Coconut - 1-2 tbsps (refer notes)
Red Chilli Powder- 1 tsp (Optional)
Water - 3 tbsps

For Seasoning

Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsps (adjust)
Asafoetida- 1 generous pinch
Dry Red chillies - 2-3 broken
Ghee - 2-3 tbsps
Oil - 2 tbsps
Coriander -1 small bunch finely chopped



Procedure:
1) Wash and pressure cook rice, pigeon peas, for 4-5 whistles. Also, add salt and turmeric powder. Make sure you add enough water.
2) Once pressure releases, mash this rice + dal mixture.
3) To make life easy, you can even pressure cook vegetables in a separate bowl.
4) Grind the ingredients mentioned under for grinding list with water - 3 tbsps approx.
5) Heat a tbsp of oil and add the ground mixture. Fry until the raw smell subsides and add 1/2 cup of water. Make sure this is lump free.
6) Now add this mixture to rice and combine all the ingredients well. Add vegetables as well.

 photo 12192723_10204203172078172_585642925_o_zpsopahpxhh.jpg

7) Taste and adjust salt if required.
8) Heat ghee in a pan and add ingredients listed under seasoning. Fry for 20 secs. Make sure that you do not burn this.
9) Add this mixture to dal. Combine all the ingredients well.
10) This should be of pouring consistency.
11) Garnish with Coriander
12) Serve hot immediately with fryums, papad and pickle as sides.

 photo 12789794_10204203162597935_1892227731_o_zpsnk5srbdt.jpg

My notes:1) You have to serve this recipe hot. As it cools, it becomes hard and may not so tasty.
2) This rice should be of pouring consistency. So add water adequetly.
3) You can use vegetables of your choice.






Chilly Butter Garlic Noodles

I love Noodles... Like I can have them as if there is no tomorrow. My mom often smirks at me and tells me that I should have been Chinese. I love to carry Noodles for lunch and eat the same thing for dinner and next day for breakfast as well and still not get bored of it. I'm happy to share my life with a North East guy(read North East which is almost close to China according to my terrible geography). He is more like me or should I say we click together because of our love towards Chinese/Indo-Chinese food. So I can give him Schezwan Noodles, Veg Noodles or Chilly Butter Noodles in a week and he will happily complete his dabba.

 photo 028_zpslx44xllk.jpg

When I went to Mainland China like a year back, Mr.P ordered Chilly Butter Garlic Noodles.  I loved it to the core - it was buttery, garlicky and very mildly spiced.I wanted to replicate the same at home and went by  what I could guess. My first 3 attempts were bad. After a couple of trial and error methods, I was able to come up with this dish and it is pretty much close if not there.

 photo 027_zpsnhmpk373.jpg

This recipe is surely a keeper and a winner as well.

Chilly Butter Noodles
Ingredients
Noodles - 2 packets (200 gms each)
Oil- 1 tbsps
Water - as required for boiling

For Masala
Butter - 1/2 stick (You gotta be liberal if you are watching your waistline carefully then replace it with olive oil or regular oil)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2-3 tbsps finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Schezwan Paste - 2 tbsps
Salt- as per taste
Tomato Ketchup - 2 tbsps
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp
Green Chilli Sauce - 1 tsp
Sugar - a pinch
Oregano - 1 tsp (optional)
Spicy Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Pepper Powder- 1 tsp

Vegetables - 1 and 1/2 cups (Capsicum, Carrot and cabbage (cut into strips), beans cut into 1-inch pieces, cauliflower florets, green peas, baby corn)
Onion - 1 medium cut into squares

 photo 026_zpsup0kfohb.jpg

Procedure:
1) Cook noodles as per packet instructions. Drain and add little oil and mix it. This prevents sticking.
2) In a pan, melt butter and add oil as well.
3) Fry ginger and garlic until the pungent smell subsides.
4) Add onions and fry for 30-40 secs. They need to be crisp not soft.
5) Add remaining vegetables and turn the flame to high. Fry for a min.
6) Now add Schezwan paste + sauces, salt, pepper powder, garlic powder, oregano.
7) Fry for 2-3 mins. Now add noodles. Combine all the ingredients well so that vegetables and masala coat the noodles.
8) Check salt and serve hot.

 photo 026_zpsup0kfohb.jpg

Notes:
1) I used Chings Veg Noodles. You can even use Egg Noodles.
2) If you don't like too much of garlic just reduce it to 1/2 tsp.
3) You can even minus the schezwan paste and add red chilly paste instead



Eggless Instant Mayonnaise

I have been thinking of getting back to blogging like before with a decent number of posts to brag about every month. I really hope to stick...But you never know when work kicks in and I'm all under the weather.

 photo 20151226_121619_zpst6znxhc3.jpg

My shift advanced by a couple of hours and I'm finding it very very difficult to manage and I'm almost like a zombie when I get back to work the next day. I hardly get to cook or even clean my house. Oh.... I'm not ranting.
So mostly I rely on instant or healthy alternatives like brown bread or some salad or so. I usually find bread slightly bland and just can't butter toss it. So I wanted something that I can actually slather (read generous amounts) and keep nibbling all the way to work or in between those calls or meetings.

Oh Boy, I love mayonnaise but that "egg" factor puts me off and hardly find a stock of eggless Mayo at my place, so I end up not picking up at all.

 photo 12665710_10204022867250664_1369044478_n_zpsnxbghoob.jpg

So I got these easy peasy and one week lasting Eggless Mayo. It's a no mess and no fuss recipe that you can do in flat 10 mins. Yes, that's right.

Let's hit the road.

Eggless Instant Mayonnaise Recipe

Preparation Time: 10 mins | Cooking Time: 5 mins
Recipe Category: Spread/dips | Recipe Cuisine: America

Milk – 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup
Corn flour (Corn Starch) – 3 tbsps
Olive oil or refined oil – 3-4 tbsps
White Vinegar - 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ English Mustard Sauce – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp or more
Salt – 1/2 tsp



Procedure:
1) In a bowl, mix half a cup of milk and cornflour without any lumps. Keep it aside
2) Bring the remaining 1/2 cup of milk to a boil. Now add milk + cornflour slurry to it.
3) Keep stirring this mixture and allow it to thicken. 
4) Once done, allow this mixture to cool.
5) Using a mortar and pestle or grinder, powder your mustard seeds into a coarse mixture.

 photo 12168050_10204022851930281_907235173_n_zpstoon8feq.jpg
6) I'd ask you to use freshly ground peppercorns rather than pepper powder. 
7) Now run your corn flour and milk mixture through food processor or blender. Make it to a smooth paste.
8) Add remaining ingredients like vinegar, sugar. mustard seeds, pepper powder, olive oil and salt. 
9) Mix well and store in an airtight container.

 photo 12596404_10203989221249535_657469121_n_zps8doevo5i.jpg

Notes:
1) You can add red chilly flakes as well for a spicy kick.
2) I love pungent flavor of mustard so i used like 1/2 tsp and little over that. You can keep it to 1/4th tsp if you do not like too much of mustard flavor.
3) This stays good for a week in fridge. The moment you see cracks in this soft creamy mixture, you'll need to discard.


Kashmiri Pulao - Easy Version

If I happen to find Kashmiri Pulao on the menu, I'd look no further and order it right away. I have fond memories associated with Kashmiri Pulao and my mom loves it to the core. Way back in Vizag when I was like around 8, every sunday we would routine to Green Park Hotel. Our frequent order was Kashmiri Pulao served in a pot. Steaming hot Kashmiri pulao... I still remember that aroma and taste. I used to wait for Sundays just for this Pulao. I asked my mom to prepare this at home but she always thought Kashmiri Pulao was something that was not so easy to prepare. She felt that Kashmiri pulao was limited to restaurants only.

 photo 1sr_zpsfyrrzvrz.jpg

Current - I was discussing with my colleague on easy peasy rice recipes which do not involve much chopping and elaborate methods considering the time crunch. Oh boy, I just had a shift change wherein my shift got advanced by 2 hours. Can you imagine my plight of getting early, running and cooking?
We made a list of rice recipes like Jeera Rice, Schezwan Rice, Fried Rice, Tahari, Aloo Bhendi Cashew rice, Navratan Pulao and Kashmiri Pulao.... I was like are you sure about Kashmiri Pulao, she confidently told me that I can dish it up in flat 2 hours. I must admit, she was right. I found this recipe in a local magazine and it's a keeper.

 photo 2_zpsredjoiwb.jpg

So let's hit the road...

Kashmiri Pulao - Easy Version

Preparation Time : 30 | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 2-3
Recipe Category: Main Course | Recipe Cuisine: Kashmiri

Basmati Rice/Long Grained Rice - 1 and 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 and 1/2 cup
Water - 1 and 1/2 cup

Whole Spices
Bay Leaf -2
Cloves - 5 - 6
Cardamom - 3-4
Black Peppercorns - 6-8
Dry ginger powder- 1/2 tsp
Shah Jeera - 1/2 tsp

For Assembling
Golden Fried Onions - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 2 tbsps (broken)
Almonds - 2 tbsps chopped finely
Raisins - 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Apple - 1/4th cup (cut into small pieces)
Pomegranate - 2 tbsps
Paneer - 1/4th cup

Others
Oil - for frying
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Salt - as per taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional) but recommended

Procedure:
1) Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and throw in all your whole spices one by one.
2) Fry for a min or until they are fragrant.
3) Add Milk and water to this mixture.
4) Allow it to come to a boil. Now add washed rice. Add salt and sugar as well.
5) You can either pre soak it for 30 mins or add it just like that.
6) Cook rice until done. I transferred the entire mixture into electric cooker and cooked rice. I'm somehow not so confident about cooking rice in a pan. I mushed it up many times or burnt it. I wanted to play safe considering the time constraint.
 photo 12436077_10203848375688484_1485285511_n_zpskxawag2b.jpg


7) Once rice is cooked, allow it to cool and then fork it up.
8) For golden fried onions, thinly slice 1 medium sized onion and fry until golden brown.
9) In a pan, heat oil/ghee and fry paneer pieces until golden brown.
10) Fry cashews, raisins and almonds separately until golden brown and keep them aside.
11) You can discard whole spices from rice. I don't like them in my rice so i do it. You can choose to ignore this step.
12) In the same pan, add rice and dry fruits, onions and coriander. Mix everything well. Allow it to cook for 2-3 mins.
13) Add coriander, paneer pieces, apple and pomegranate seeds just before serving.
14) Serve hot.

 photo 3_zpsw3sz3tik.jpg

My Notes:
1) You can even use pineapple pieces and grapes.
2) Rice needs to be separate and grainy. So please take care while cooking rice.
3) Kashmiri Pulao is mild and sweet. You can serve it with a spicy gravy based curry or eat it just like that.