Dahi vada (Dumplings in spicy yogurt)
Dahi vada is a perfect summer snack. It can be made ahead of time and should be served cold, so makes it a great party dish. It is also a kid’s friendly snack.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
For Dahi vada (4 servings)
Urad dal (white) – 1cups
Moong dal (yellow) – 1/2cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder- 2 pinches
Freshly grounded black pepper – 1 tsp
Green chilies – 2
Cooking oil to fry
Salt as per taste
Yogurt – 2 cups
Whole milk – 1/2 cup
Chaat masala – 1 tsp
Black salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder- 1 tbsp (grounded)
Tamarind Chutney – 1/2 cup
- Wash Urad dal and moong dal thoroughly and soak it in water for 6-7 hours.
- Grind soaked dal with green chilies in fine paste using very little water. Add asafoetida powder, cumin seeds, black pepper and salt to the paste. Mix the batter for few minutes. It will incorporate some air to the batter and make it light.
- Heat cooking oil for frying the vadas.
- Take small lemon size batter and fry it in the oil. Repeat till all the vadas are done. It should be golden and crispy.
- Keep some room temperature water in a big bowl. Put the fried vadas into the water submerged. After 5 minutes, take the vadas out of water and press each vada with your palm to take the water out.
- To prepare yoghurt, take yogurt in a bowl and add ½ cup whole milk and whisk evenly. Add salt, sugar and chaat masala and keep aside.
To serve, place 2-3 vadas in a shallow plate. Add yogurt on the top evenly. Garnish it with red chili powder, roasted cumin seeds, salt as per taste and tamarind chutney. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Here is an easy no-stove pasta recipe. It can be prepared before hand. And you are sure to impress the guests!
Approx. 6 servings
- Shredded mozzarella cheese – 4 cups
- Ricotta cheese – 1 (15 ounce) container
- Frozen chopped spinach – 1 (10 ounce) package thawed and drained
- Jumbo pasta shells – 1 (12 ounce) package cooked and drained
- Pasta sauce – 1 (28 ounce) jar
- Salt as per taste
- Freshly ground black pepper – 1 tsp
- Cook jumbo pasta shells as directed on the package. Do not overcook them. Keep them al dente.
- Preheat oven at 370 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine cheeses and spinach; stuff into shells.
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease it.
- Apply a layer of pasta sauce in the cookie sheet.
- Arrange stuffed shells on the layer of pasta sauce. Pour remaining pasta sauce over the shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated through.
- Uncover the sheet. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on the stuffed pasta shells and bake it uncovered for another 5 minutes, till the cheese melts and turns golden and crusty.
Enjoy warm Stuffed jumbo pasta shells with your favorite salad on the side.
Namkeen Poha Chivda: Crunchy Snack
A simple and crunchy Diwali snack.
Thin Poha (flattened rice) – 2 cups
Peanuts – 1/2 cup
Dalia (roasted chana dal) – 1/2 cup
Cashews – 1/2 cup
Golden raisins – 1/4 cup [OPTIONAL]
Garlic cloves – 4 minced
Curry Leaves – 15
Asafoetida (hing) – 2 pinch
Green chilies – 2 finely chopped
Dried coconut flakes – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Sugar fine – 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for tempering – 2 tbsp
- In a microwavable plate, dry roast half poha in microwave for 2 minutes on high. Repeat the same for other half. Keep aside.
- In a pan, heat oil. Now add mustard seeds, when it starts splattering, add minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add asafoetida powder, green chilies, peanuts, dalia, cashews, raisins, coconut flakes and curry leaves. Saute for few minutes.
- Now add turmeric powder and mix well. Also add roasted poha to the pan, mix well.
- Finally add salt and sugar and keep mixing gently. Take it off the heat or it will burn.
- Cool the mixture completely and store it in airtight container. It can be stored for a couple of weeks if kept airtight.
Enjoy this crunchy snack with Masala tea or Kesariya chai.
Fruit custard is an easy fruit salad with delicate creamy sweet sauce. It can be served as dessert or a side dish.
For Fruit Custard – Approx. 6 servings
- Custard powder (Vanilla flavor) – 2 tbsp
- Whole Milk – 3 cups
- Sugar – 4 tbsp
- Seedless grapes – 1 cup
- Apple – 1
- Banana – 1/2
- Pomegranate seeds – 1/2 cup
- Almonds – 8
- Cashew nuts – 8
- In a small bowl, take 1/2 cup warm milk and add 2 tbsp custard powder. Mix well to make it smooth and lump free. Keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add remaining milk and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and mix well.
- Now gradually add custard mix to the milk. Stir continuously. It starts to thicken.
- Mix well and turn the heat off.
- Cool it down at the room temperature and then refrigerate.
- Clean and cut all the fruits in bite size pieces and keep aside.
- Chop the nuts for garnish and keep aside.
Garnish and serving suggestion:
In a serving bowl, arrange cut fruits. Now pour chilled custard and garnish with chopped nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve chilled.
Paneer Pasanda is Indian cottage cheese in mild gravy. It has unique flavor of fenugreek leaves.
For Paneer pasanda : Approx. 6 servings
For sauce or gravy:
- Onion – 1 (pureed)
- Tomato puree – 1 cups
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Paneer – 2 tbsp grated
- Cashew nuts – 1/4 cup tbsp powdered
- Green chili – 1 tsp (finely chopped) [OPTIONAL]
- Heavy cream – 3/4 cup
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Sugar/Honey – 2 tsp
- Whole garam masala – 1 tbsp
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Tandoori masala – 1/4 tsp
- Dry Fenugreek leaves(kasoori methi) – 2 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Cut paneer in 1X1 inch cubes. Put them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, add some salt and tandoori masala on paneer pieces and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
- Very lightly shallow fry paneer cubes in 1 tbsp of oil. Keep aside.
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala. Let it crackle. Add cumin to it. Then add pureed onions and saute them, till turns light golden. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped green chilies (optional). Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt.
- Add grated paneer and cashew nut powder to the gravy. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey to it. Stir in heavy cream and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add paneer pieces to the gravy. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add kasoori methi and mix well. Paneer pasanda is ready to be served.
Enjoy with fresh naan, paratha or steamed basmati rice.
Ingredients: Approx. 2 servings
- Fresh Strawberries – 8 cleaned and cut into halves
- Milk (low fat) – 2 cups
- Fat free Vanilla Ice cream – 1 scoop
- Honey – 1 tsp
- Whipped cream
- Maraschino cherries – 2
In a blender, add cut strawberries, milk, ice cream, honey and Ice. Blend for a minute. Pour in tall glasses and garnish with whipped cream and cherries.
Enjoy your healthy yummy shake.
Note: You can add any protein mix of your choice to make it a meal.
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
Sweet Saffron Rice
Sweet saffron rice can be prepared as an offering for Lord Ganesh Puja. It needs few ingredients, usually available in your pantry. Enjoy this simple yet flavorful recipe to start the festivities.
- Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Saffron – 12 strands
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Black pepper corn – 4
- Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
- Raisins –1/4 cup
- Almonds – ¼ cup (or any nuts of your choice)
- Wash and soak rice in water for an hour.
- Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp milk in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
- In a pan, heat ghee on medium low flame. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom powder, black pepper corns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add raisins and almonds to it. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Keep aside.
- In a large vessel, boil rice in 3 cups of water till almost done. Add 1 tbsp ghee to prevent rice from sticking together. Drain off the excess water and spread the rice to cool down.
- Add the above spice mix to the cooked rice. Also add sugar and dissolved saffron. Mix gently.
- Cover it and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Saffron rice is ready to be served.
Garnish sweet saffron rice with sliced almonds and saffron strands. Enjoy as dessert after a meal.