Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quick Pressure Cooked: Rajma Massla

What is that one advice you will like to give to someone who is attempting to cook indian food? Most of my non indian friends love to eat indian food but they never want to or are too scared to cook indian meals in their kitchen. Reason- it’s complicated. It’s no lengthy and time consuming. Well, to all those people I will opine one thing-please buy a pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker is a simple utensil that cooks food within minutes without compromising the flavours. Today’s recipe- Rajma Massala is also cooked in pressure cooker which takes half less time to traditional style rajma massla. So lets call this recipe Quick Rajma Massla.

So rajma comes from our north India/Punjab cuisine where red kidney beans are the star ingredient. The most conventional way to serve rajma is with white rice or Rajma Chawal as we call it hindi. Honestly there is nothing better then rajma chawal on a gloomy wet day. Scoops of rajma mixed with the rice is the taste I can die for.

Red kidney beans are very hard and would take hours if you are boiling it in open pan but with pressure cooker you can do it in 5-8 minutes. Also I have used only one bowl/utensil that is cooker to make this. So no kadai/wok or extra pan; just throw everything in cooker, wait for whistles and you are good to go.

1 cup red kidney beans/rajma
3 cups water
2 tablespoon oil
2 medium tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
2 green chillies slited
2 cloves/laung
1 bay leaf/tej patta
1/4 teaspoon cumin/jeera
1 teaspoon coriander powder/dhaniya powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder/lal mirch
1/4 teaspoon turmeric/haldi
1/4 teaspoon garam massala
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped, for garnish

Soak rajma beans overnight. Next day drain the water and set the beans aside.
Heat oil in cooker. When oil gets hot add bay leaf, cloves and cumin seeds. Cook for 5 seconds. Turn the flame to low.
Add in it chopped garlic and onion. Cook till onions become pinkish-brown.
Add in chopped tomato, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam massala and green chilli. Mix well.  Add 1/2 cup water. Cook for 1 minute or till you hear your pressure cooker is just about to whistle.
Open the cooker carefully. Add in remaining water and beans. Cook on medium-low flame till 7-8 whistles.
When the pressure is released, open the cooker. Mash some beans with a spoon to get thick consistency.
Garnish with ginger and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Instead of garam massala you can use rajma massla mix (available in Indian stores as well)
Please feel free to add more red chilli powder as per your taste

The quantity of water will depend on the size of your pressure cooker.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kala Channa And Palak Subji. Brown Chickpeas And Spinach Curry

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Popeye and that me a complete spinach devotee. I am always looking for an excuse to include spinach in our recipes. Obvious reason is that it is super healthy. Spinach is very high in vitamins, fibre, folic acid and iron. And the other reason is the lush green colour it provides to meals.

So if you are looking for inspiration or ideas to include palak or spinach in your recipes then see the below recipes:

Today’s recipe is Kala Channa And Palak Subji. Here, I have tried to mix two iron loaded ingridents-kala channa or brown chickpeas and spinach. Rest I would say that the recipe is very much similar to Chole Palak (Chickpeas/garbanzo beans and spinach) curry.
There is sharp taste of garlic and ginger  followed my peppery tang of onions, everything finally smothered with chopped tomato and handful of spices . Homemade garam massala is must in this recipe as it gives the aromatic climax to the curry.

1 cup brown chickpeas/kala channa
1 cup spinach/palak, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic/lehsun, finely chopped
1 small onion/pyaz, finally chopped
2 medium tomatoes/Tamatar, finely chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin/jeera
1 teaspoon coriander powder/dhainya powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder/lal mirch
1/4 teaspoon garam massala
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
4 cups water

Wash the chickpeas. Soak it overnight in water. Next day drain the water. Pressure cook the chickpeas with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt for 4-5 whistles. Drain the water and keep the boiled chickpeas aside.
Heat oil in a pan. When oil gets hot, add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add garlic and onion. Cook till onions get soft and raw smell of garlic fades.
Throw in chopped tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric, red chilli powder, garam massala. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook covered on medium flame. The tomatoes must become soft and mushy.
Add chopped spinach and lemon juice. Cover and cook again for 4 minutes.
Add boiled chickpeas and remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover and let it cook from 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook again for 2 minutes. The consistency should be semi liquid-which means you should be able to see just enough water in the subji.
Garnish with kasthuri methi.
Serve hot.

Be careful while adding salt as spinach contains salt as well.
You can increase or decrease the ratio of spinach and kala channa as per your wish.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Microwave Doodh Peda, Indian Milk Fudge

Happy Holi everyone!!

Some things are best good old style. May be that’s why retro and vintage is so ‘in’ these days. Same goes in flavours I guess. Recently near my office, Dairy Milk guys were giving out samples to try newly launched flavours. Oreo, triple chocolate crunch, toffee nut and what not, I tried all three but I missed the old charm of plain simple Dairy Milk.

Yes, some flavours are best when untouched. Today’s post is also about one such sweet- Plain Peda (milk fudge). Last year during Janamasthmi I was india and there were many flavours available for peda-rose, chocolate, pineapple, thandai, mango etc. What I enjoyed the most was the Plain Doodh (milk) Peda.

That’s why for Holi I bring before you the easy and microwave recipe for Doodh Peda. With busy weekdays in office I tend to look for quick Indian sweets' recipes and this peda fits perfectly in that condition. Like me if you manage office and home together then this speedy recipe is all what you need.

Traditionally making milk peda will take 3-4 hours. Milk is evaporated on a low heat and constant stirring is needed. But this is a new generation peda and is made in microwave. All you need is 4 ingridents and 5 minutes.

Here is how to make Microwave Doodh (Milk) Peda. 

1¾ cups Milk Powder (I used full fat)
1 Can (around 400 gms) Condensed Milk
2 tablespoon ghee
½ teaspoon cardamom powder/elaychi powder
Few Dry Nuts of your choice (optinal)

  1. Take a microwave safe bowl. In it add ghee, milk powder and condense milk. Mix well.
  2. Microwave the mixture on high mode for 1 minute. Take it out, and add cardamom powder. stir with sturdy spoon.
  3. Microwave again for 1 minute. Take it out and stir. Do this 3 more times. (total 5 minutes).
  4. The mixture should be thick. It should be able to form a shape. 
  5. When you are able to handle the heat of the mixture, form the balls. Flatten it slightly and poke your finger in the centre to form a dimple.
  6. Garnish the dimple/holes with chopped nuts.
  7. Let the pedas cool and serve.

Do not let the mixture cool down, else you wont be able to give it desired shape.
You can also use edible rose leaves to garnish.
Some like to add saffron infused water to give nice orangish colour to the peda.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Posh Choc Nibbles Review

Posh. What does that mean? Posh means -elegant or stylishly luxurious. How about posh some nibble? To be precise-posh chocolate nibbles. Sounds exciting? Imagine the most comfortable sofa, your favourite kind of book and chocolate. Now broaden your imagination, and think about luxurious chocolate that are meant specially for nibbling. Hmm! Now you are thinking.

Choc Nibbles sent me very stylish and elegant Posh Choc Nibbles and it was love at first sight. the combination of chocolate, caramel, biscuits, nuts and milk chocolate makes so perfectly balanced that it’s not too sweet and not to bitter. Every bit is bathed in chocolate- rich, velvety and so desirable that you just can’t stop.

Posh Choc Nibbles are apt as the go-to snack if your sweet tooth is craving something a little more indulgent. Posh Choc Nibbles earned their posh title after they received a tasty upgrade. Building on the delicious recipe of best-selling ‘Original Choc Nibbles’ they have been all poshed up with a classy coating of smooth milk chocolate.

The idea for review was to show your posh style. To enhance the beauty of these ‘little melting moments’ I served it in my high-class Red Candy cups. I feel that these cups were designed to serve chocolate. These chocolate nibbles and my posh cups are a marriage made in heaven. While many might find it not-so-classy to serve nibble/snack in a cup, I, on the other hand feel it is important to break the stereotypes and do things out of box.

Coming back to these chocolate nibbles, below are some fun ways you can use it (other than nibbling, ofcourse!)
-Top it up in your daily morning cereals, porridge, granola or oats.
-decorate your favourite cupcakes, cakes, mousses or desserts with these.
-Fold it in your crepes or sprinkle on pancakes.