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.
This is a quick and non-traditional recipe for Gajar halwa or Gajrela.
Approx. 6 servings
- Carrots – 2 lbs
- Condensed milk – 1/2 can
- Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
- Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1 tsp
- Almonds, pistachio, cashews – 1/2 cup chopped
- Lightly peel and grate carrots in food processor or with hand grater.
- Pressure cook the carrots for 5 minutes.
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the steamed carrots. Let the water dry out.
- Now add ghee to the carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes. Now add condensed milk to these carrots.
- Keep stirring. When it doesn’t stick to the pan anymore, it is done.
- Now add cardamom powder and nuts to it. Mix well.
Enjoy carrot pudding or gajar halwa for dessert anytime.
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.
Ingredients: For approx. 4 servings
To make mangode:
Yellow moong dal – 2 cups
Gram flour (besan) – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Red chili powder – 1 pinch
Jeera – 1 tsp
baking powder – 1 pinch
Cooking oil for deep frying
Salt as per taste
To make curry:
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Asafoetida powder -1 pinch
Bay leaf -1
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Dried red chilies – 2-3
Ginger paste – 1/2 tbsp
Tomato puree – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
To make Mangode:
- Soak green moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind moong dal using very little water.
- In a bowl combine, moong dal mix, besan , turmeric powder, red chili powder, jeera, baking powder and salt. Mix well and prepare a pakora consistency batter.
- In a pan, heat the oil for frying. Deep fry small mangode in medium hot oil using small spoon. Fry till mangode turns golden brown. Drain them on kitchen towel and keep aside.
To make curry:
- In a bowl, add yogurt, besan, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well till it becomes smooth. Keep aside.
- In a pan, heat 2 tbsp cooking oil. Add bay leaf, asafetida powder, cumin seeds, dry red chilies and sauté.
- When it crackles, add ginger paste, fried mangode, tomato puree and yogurt mixture. Add one cup of water and mix well. Let it simmer 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala powder and its ready to serve.
Garnish and Serving suggestion:
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve hot with fresh chapatis or fragrant basmati rice.
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.
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.