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.
Thali means platter. This platter is special because it has all the dishes served on festivals. This particular is for Navmi (last day of Navratra). This food is offered to Goddess and then to nine little girls. The compulsory dishes for the offering are Halwa (Pudding), Puri (Fried Indian flat bread) and Kala chana (Black gram). Rest of the menu is optional.
I have already posted the recipes for Halwa(Pudding), Kala Chana, Khaman Dhokla and Shahi Kheer.
Link for Aata Halwa or Pudding recipe:
Link for Kala Chana recipe:
Note: But for this special festival navratri menu, avoid using onions and garlic in the food.
Link for Khaman-Dhokla recipe:
Link for Shahi Kheer recipe:
Shakarpara means sugar treats. These are small diamond shaped sweets usually made during Diwali or other festivals. These sweets can be stored in air tight containers for 3-4 weeks.
Approx. 12 servings
- Wheat flour – 1 cup
- All purpose flour (Maida) – 1/2 cup
- Ghee or butter – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Milk – 1/4 cup
- Cooking oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine wheat flour, all purpose flour and ghee. Mix well.
- Ina sauce pan, combine milk sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring it to a boil till the sugar dissolves completely. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
- Now add sugar syrup little by little to the flour mixture and knead it into stiff dough.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a pan for frying on medium heat.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Take each part and roll the dough into 1/4 inch thick sheet.
- Cut the sheet into small diamond shapes with the help of knife or the pizza cutter.
- Carefully fry these diamonds in the medium hot oil till it becomes golden on both sides.
- Drain them on the kitchen towel and cool them completely.
- Once these diamond shaped shakarparas are completely cool, you can store them in air tight containers for 3-4 weeks.
Enjoy these sweet treats with a cup of coffee or masala tea.
Rasmalai is a delicate and flavorful Bengali dessert. It is easy to prepare at home with a few ingredients. Rasmalai is milk patties soaked in cardamom and saffron flavored milk. It has very delicate flavor and is served chilled after the meal.
For Rasmalai: Approx. 6 servings
Whole Milk – 1 gallon
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp OR Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Kesar (saffron) – 1/4 tsp
Almonds – 12
Pistachios – 10
Crushed cardamom seeds – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Rose essence – 8 drops
Making Paneer or Cheena:
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice in a bowl and keep aside. OR if using vinegar, add 1 tbsp vinegar to half cup water and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan, boil half gallon whole milk.
- When milk comes to a boil, gradually add lemon juice or vinegar solution to it. Stir the milk gently and it starts curdling. Very soon the whey is separated from the curdled milk. Turn the heat off.
- Now in a strainer, line the muslin cloth. Strain the above curdled milk from this cloth.
- The solids on the muslin cloth are “paneer” or “cheena”. Wrap the paneer in a muslin cloth and rinse it under cold water for couple of times. Rinsing helps in taking out vinegar or lemon taste from the paneer. Squeeze well.
- Hang this wrapped paneer to take out the excess water squeeze the cloth, or press the wrapped paneer under a heavy pan for about one hour.
- Paneer or cheena is ready to make rasmalai.
Making the Rasmalai:
- Take fresh paneer or cheena on a large plate or surface. Knead it for at least 5 minutes. Make soft and smooth dough of it. Kneading is one of the most important parts of making rasmalai.
- Once the paneer becomes very soft and smooth, divide the dough into 10 equal parts and roll them in smooth balls and flatten them a bit to form small discs shape.
- Meanwhile, on medium high heat in a large vessel, boil 6 cups of water and add 1 cup of sugar to it. Mix well.
- Add the above paneer discs to the boiling water very gently. There should be enough room for the discs to expand. Cover the lid for 2-3 minutes. Stir gently and let it boil for 5-6 more minutes.
- Check the rasmalai patties, as they are almost doubled in size. Turn the heat off.
- Carefully take the patties out of the sugar syrup. Squeeze them gently. Keep aside.
- To prepare the malai, take the remaining half gallon milk in a non stick pan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Milk reduces and starts to thicken.
- Add half cup sugar, rose essence, cardamom and saffron. Mix well.
- Now carefully add rasmalai patties to this milk. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let it cool completely. Keep it in the refrigerator.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios and 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.
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.
Happy Independence Day!
Image courtesy: http://perfecthdwallpapers.blogspot.com/2011/08/indian-flag-wallpapers.html
Mutter ki Kachori (Green peas stuffed snack)
Kachori is one of the most common western Indian snacks. This recipe has green peas as main ingredient for filling. It is great on its own with tea/coffee and even tastes better as assembled chaat.
For Kachori shell:
- All purpose flour [Maida] – 2 cups
- Melted butter or ghee – 2 tbsp
- Water (enough to make firm dough)
- Cooking oil to fry
- Salt as per taste
- Green peas – 3 cups (fresh or frozen)
- Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
- Green chilies – 2
- Shredded coconut (fresh or dry) – 1/2 cup
- Cumin Seeds (Jira) – 2 tsp
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Amchur powder – 2 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
To prepare filling:
- In the microwave, cook green peas with very little water for 6 minutes, keeping it covered.
- In the food processor, grind these green peas coarsely with green chilies.
- In a pan, heat cooking oil. Add cumin seeds. When it starts splattering add ginger garlic paste to it. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add green peas mixture and shredded coconut to it. Mix well. On medium low heat let it sit for 10-15 minutes. For fresh coconut it takes longer.
- Once the mixture is all dried up, add amchur powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool completely before filling in the kachories.
To make Kachoris:
- Combine all purpose flour, butter or ghee and salt. Mix evenly. Now add little by little water to make flaky dough.
- Knead well to make it firm dough.
- Keep the dough aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Take small ball size dough. Roll it into small circles. Place 1 tbsp of prepared filling in the centre and bring the edges together. Make an even ball; flatten it a bit by pressing your thumb in the center gently.
- Heat cooking oil for frying the Kachoris. Oil should be medium hot.
- Deep fry kachoris very slowly till it is crisp and golden on both the sides.
- Drain it on paper towel and let it cool down. Store it in an air tight container.
Assemble Mutter ki kachori as chaat. Place 2 kachoris on a serving plate. Garnish it with sweet tamarind-date chutney, green chutney and spiced yogurt. Also add chopped red onion, namkeen sev and chopped cilantro.
Mutter ki kachori is ready to be served.