Monday, October 26, 2015

Batatyachya Kachrya / Sliced Potato Bhaji

Batatyachya kachrya is one of the most well known side dishes in Maharashtra. It is a simple potato recipe where the potato is cut in a thin large slices. You can either keep the potato slices soft or you can turn the heat up slightly so they turn crisp. I like the browned crispy version. This is my Mom's recipe and I realized I did not have a post for this. The pictures are not great as I had to click them on a rainy gloomy day.

You will need
2 medium potatoes
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. amchur powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt to taste

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into two halves. Slice each half into thirds. Turn 90 degrees and slice into thin slices.

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Add the potatoes. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Uncover and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and cover. Cook covered until tender. Check every few minutes to ensure it does not burn. Lower the heat if it starts to brown while still uncooked.

When the potatoes are down, uncover and turn up the heat a little. Cook for a few more minutes and turn off the heat..


This is my entry for week four, day three of BM #57 for the theme bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Black Eyed Peas Sundal

Whenever the holiday season rolls around I am reminded of sundal. Black channa sundal is the version I had eaten as a child in my neighbor's house and also at the school cafeteria. I had no idea it could be made with black eyed peas until I read it on my fellow bloggers pages. I made a metal note to try the black eyed peas version someday and forgot all about it until today.

We spent the weekend visiting my daughter at school and did not have time for grocery shopping. I needed something for Monday morning and it was too late to go to the grocery store. I saw these peas in the pantry and decided to try the sundal. They were perfect for a weekday lunch.

I have to say I like the black channa version better but this was delicious. The family loved it too. We had with some fresh made poli/roti. I simply followed the recipe I used for the black channa sundal.

You will need
1 cup dried black eyed peas
1/2 cup fresh desiccated coconut
3 dried red chili peppers
2 tbsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1 tbsp. oil
salt to taste

Soak the peas overnight in 2 cups water. Drain the water, rinse the peas and using a cup of fresh water cook them until tender. If using a pressure cooker let the peas cook for 10 minutes after the pressure rises. Turn off heat and allow the pressure ot subside before opening the lid.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the asafoetida, the red chilli peppers and the peas. Add the coconut and the salt. Cook for a few minutes until it comes together. Turn off heat.


This is my entry for week four, day two of BM #57 for the theme bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Vegetarian Papa Rellena with Salsa Criolla

Today I bring you two recipes. Papa Rellena is a dish from Peru that is usually served with Salsa Criolla. I am always looking for something new to cook and the web is such a big resource for recipes from all over the world! I am lucky because where I live most ingredients are readily available. When I found this recipe, it sounded like something my family would love. There was potato and a lot of other ingredients that I thought would work well together. I was right, everyone loved it.

I found the recipe on the blog Peru Delights. Check out their page, they have some delightful Peruvian recipes. The original recipe is not vegetarian. I used paneer to make it vegetarian. The original recipe also calls for the prepared balls of potato to be rolled in eggs and all purpose flour to be pan fried in oil. As nobody in my house eats dishes fried in oil I decided to use my trusty appe / aebleskiver pan. With a few drops of oil I was able to get a lovely golden crust around the potato. I skipped the eggs and all purpose flour completely.

You will need
2 large Yukon potatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced finely
1 pod garlic, crushed and diced
1/2 hot yellow pepper, diced
1 tbsp. tomato paste or 3 cherry tomatoes blended to paste
3 oz Paneer, shredded
1 egg
2 tbsp. raisins
6-7 olives, sliced
salt and black pepper

Boil the potatoes. I used a pressure cooker but you could boil them in a pan of water over the stove top. While they cook boil the eggs. Place the eggs in a pan of water and heat it. Do not let the water boil. Keep it at a simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and run the eggs under cold water. Shell them right away. Keep aside until needed. Peel the boiled potatoes and shred them. Keep covered until needed.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and saute for a couple minutes. Add the ginger and the hot yellow pepper. Saute for a couple minutes and add the tomato paste.

Next add the shredded paneer.

Saute for 5-8 minutes until the paneer is cooked. Dice the boiled eggs. Add the eggs, olives and raisins to the paneer.

Add salt and pepper to taste and turn off the heat.

Using your fingers gently mash the potato to bring it together. Do not overdo it or the potato with get sticky. Divide the potato mixture into 10 small portions. Divide the filling into 10 small portions.

Take one portion of the potato and flatten it on the palm of your hand. Place the filling in the center and press it down. bring the sides of the potato up to the top and make a ball with the filling inside. Repeat for all the portions.

Heat the aebleskiver pan and a drop a couple drops of oil in each well. When the oil is heated pick up the pan and swirl it a little to allow the heated oil to coated the well. You do not need to add more oil, the heated pan will keep the potato from sticking to it. Drop a ball of the stuffed potato in each of the wells.

Allow it to brown. Using a skewer turn it around until it is completely brown on all sides.

Repeat for the remaining portions. Serve hot.

Enjoy with Salsa Criolla!

Salsa Criolla

You will need
1 small red onion
1/2 hot yellow pepper
a few slivers of red bell pepper
juice of half a lime
5-10 springs cilantro
salt and pepper

Cut the onion into thin slices. Put it in ice water for 5-10 minutes to crisp it up and lose its pungent odor. Meanwhile, cut thin slices of the hot pepper and the red pepper. Dice the cilantro. Drain the onion until all the water is removed. Mix in the other ingredients and server immediately.


This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #57 for the theme bookmarked. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fresh Frozen Poli / Roti

If you are like me, like fresh poli / roti everyday but do not always have the time to make them, this post is for you. Rolling out the flat bread is easy but time consuming. During the morning rush it is not always possible to find the time. For years I stuck to making poli fresh everyday. This is my post with details of how you do that. Then I started this process of freezing half cooked poli. Since then I switch back and forth between the two. You can make these over the weekend and freeze them. When needed during the week you can cook them as needed. This poli will taste pretty close to the one made fresh the same day.

Pardon the pictures. I realized I did not click any after I had taken the poli off heat. I will update this post when I cook the next batch.

Follow the process detailed here to make poli. But do not cook it all the way. After the first flip give it a few seconds and take it off heat.

Let it cool completely and then place between sheets of parchment paper. Put the paper with the poli in a freezer bag and freeze until needed.

When you need it let the poli thaw at room temperature. The frozen poli may be brittle so handle careful. It will soften as it thaws.

Heat a griddle and finish the cooking process.

Let one side cook until brown spots appear, Flip and place on the open flame until the other side is cooked. Alternately, you could cook both sides on the pan.


This is my entry for week three, day three of BM #57 for the theme flatbreads and pancakes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Paratha

Roasted red pepper is used a lot in some cuisines. Whenever I have tried recipes with roasted red pepper the family has loved it. That is when it struck me, why not try parathas with this delicious vegetable? I love to experiment with filling or additives for flatbreads. I make flatbreads everyday and the plain ones get monotonous. Besides these flavored parathas work well in packed lunches. For this paratha I used one red pepper and one tomato as the flavoring agent.

As with everything else using red bell pepper we loved the flavor of the parathas. When I made them in the morning I was running a little late. The dough had not soaked through but I had no time to let it rest. So I made squares instead of rounds. And I left the dough for dinner as is. In the evening I made the rest of the parathas. By this time the dough had rested hours and the parathas were a lot easier to roll and the edges were smooth. If you have time, let the dough rest for half an hour or more.

You will need for 8 parathas
3 cups whole wheat
1 red bell pepper
1 tomato
1 tsp. kalonji or onion seeds
1 tsp. crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste

Wash and clean the red pepper. Stick a fork into it near the stem. Roast it on high heat turning it over using the fork. Make sure it chars on all sides. Place the charred pepper in aluminium foil and wrap it up like a package. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Skin the pepper and cut it into big chunks. Chop the tomato into big pieces too. Blend the two together. I prefer not to blend it until completely smooth, I leave some visible pieces. Mix it with all the other ingredients and knead into a soft dough. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile heat a flat griddle pan, I use cast iron. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Using wheat flour to ensure it does not stick roll out one portion until it is the size of your palm. Fold in from all sides and them roll out again to form a large square about a fourth of an inch thick.

Place it on the hot pan and let it cook on one side. Flip it over and cook the other side.

Turn over one more time to ensure the first side is completely cooked. Take it off heat and repeat for the other portions of dough. Serve with yogurt and pickle.


This is my entry for week three, day two of BM #57 for the theme flatbreads and pancakes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Onion Paratha / Pyaz Paratha

I accidentally bought too many onions and needed to use them up. Onion is not part of our everyday cuisine so unless I need onions for something special they do not get much use. It occurred to me that parathas are made with almost every vegetables so onion paratha may be a real possibility.

I did not know where to begin so I searched Vaishali's space and found this recipe for onion paratha. I mostly followed her recipe except I used white onion. The onion was sweet unlike its red counterpart. My daughter called them interesting which when translated means "Could you please not make them again. I will eat them without complaint this time." I personally think they tasted great and all the mix ins were very flavorful but they would taste a lot better with red onions instead of the white ones I used.

You will need
2 cups whole wheat flour (chapati flour)
1 tsp. oil
1/2 large onion
1 bunch cilantro leaves
5-6 int leaves
1 tsp. red pepper powder
salt to taste

To brush the top
1 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter

Take the wheat flour in a mixing bowl and using water as needed form a soft dough. Keep aside covered.

Dice the onion and put it in a bowl with teaspoon of salt. Let it sweat for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the water and let the onion dry out. Mix it with chopped cilantro and red pepper powder.

Divide the dough into lemon size portions. Take one of the portions and flatten it on the palm of your hand. Place a tablespoon of onion mixture in the center and close the disc over it to form a ball of dough. Roll it out into a disc and dry roast it on both sides on a hot griddle. Take it off heat and brush a little ghee over the top. Repeat for the remaining portions of dough.

You could enjoy the parathas with a dollop of yogurt and pickle. Or you can do what my daughter does. Eat it on its own.

This is my entry for week three, day one of BM #57 for the theme flatbreads and pancakes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Red Potatoes Side / Bhaji

Grocery shopping is one of my chores every weekend. I like to plan my menu and get a week's worth of supplies. I find it hard to spare time to shop for groceries during the work week. Sometimes I miscalculate and at the end of the week I am left staring at an empty vegetable drawer. I try to compensate by soaking dry peas/beans but sometimes I forget. On one such Friday I realized that the only vegetables I had were potatoes and an onion. I had plenty of dried herbs so this was the result.

These potatoes are usually eaten for breakfast but I cooked them for lunch. They tasted great with poli.

You will need
4 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/4 small red onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. ginger
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the red onion and saute for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and let them brown. Add the remaining ingredients and saute for a few more minutes.


This is my entry for week two, day three of BM #57 for the theme side dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Roasted Vegetables Take Two

Roasted vegetables and steamed vegetables are popular side dishes on buffet tables. They go well with a variety of main dishes and taste great by themselves. I have a roasted vegetable recipe here that I use to stuff sliders. For this recipe I wanted something that could be served on its own. I cut the vegetables into large pieces and roasted them until they were cooked but not mushy. The hold their shape well and seasoning with salt, pepper and a little oil.

There is really no recipe for these vegetables. I used zucchini, red bell pepper and onion. You could add other vegetables of your choice. Cut the bell pepper and onions in thick strips. Cut the zucchini in thick circles along the length. Add salt, pepper and drizzle a little oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for 20-25 minutes. Turn the vegetables upside down and bake again for 15-20 minutes.

The vegetables should be cooked through but not turn mushy and limp. Take them out of the oven and serve them while hot.


This is my entry for week two, day two of BM #57 for the theme side dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brunede Kartofler (Caramelized Potatoes)

I first made these caramelized potatoes for a Danish meal I cooked last September. I decided to cook the whole meal a second time and this dish was not part of the redo. The flavors in this dish were very new to me. Sweet caramelized potatoes take getting used to. My daughter who loves potatoes finished everything. She has asked for it several times since I first made it.

This is a very simple dish made with bite sized tiny potatoes. I got a bag of these potatoes from Whole Foods.

Recipe source here
You will need
20 tiny potatoes, any color
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. butter

Boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain, peel and keep aside. Heat a pan and add the sugar. Watch closely to avoid burning the sugar. As soon as the sugar melts add the butter. The butter will bubble up so be careful. Add the potatoes. Mix well and serve warm.

This is my entry for week two, day one of BM #57 for the theme Side dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Microwave Rice Pudding

As you probably read in my post yesterday my daughter is visiting for the weekend. She will return to college today afternoon. I keep asking her what she wants to eat as the dorm food is not great. The first time she visited she was full of demands. She missed the home cooked food so much! This time around she has gotten used to dorm life, a good thing, so does not have much on her wish list. There was some rice left over after dinner and she loved the idea of pudding for breakfast. So this morning I made her some creamy rice pudding and she enjoyed it very much.

I do not buy white rice so any left over rice in the house is brown/wild/mixed etc. I made the rice pudding with leftover brown rice and she enjoyed it very much. Rice pudding is generally baked or made over the stove top. This is my microwave version. It helps if you know the power level in your microwave where the milk simmers but never comes to a boil. In my microwave it is P20. If you do not know the power level you can reduce the power to P50 and watch the bowl like a hawk to keep the milk from overflowing. Reduce or increase the power as needed until you can let it go for 2 minutes at a time without have to stir or have the milk overflow.

The proportions are approximate. If you like the pudding runny use more milk, if you like it thick and creamy use less. I made it thick and creamy the way my daughter likes it.

You will need
3/4 cup cooked rice
1 pinch nutmeg powder
1 tbsp. cane sugar, you can use brown or granulated (adjust as needed)
1-1/2 cup milk (adjust as needed)
10-12 raisins
1 pinch cardamom powder

In a microwave safe mug or bowl add the cooked rice, nutmeg and sugar. Add just enough milk to cover the rice completely. Place in the microwave and on reduced power cook for 2 minutes. Stir and cook again for 2 minutes. The reduced power should keep the milk simmering but not let it overflow. Continue to cook in 2 minute intervals until the milk thickens and the rice starts blending in. It took me about 16 minutes. Take the bowl out of the microwave and let it sit on the kitchen counter. Mix in the raisins and the cardamom powder.


This is my entry for week one, day two of BM #57 for the theme mug treats. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#57.