March 31, 2007

Jhatpat Sabzi (Vegetable Medley in a Jiffy)

How can one pass up a title like jhatpat sabzi? I had plans of making Paneer Jalfrezi for Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables before I came across this fascinating title.

While I own a few cookbooks, I don't consult them often. But I do like browsing through them. So while I was looking at the recipes in Tarla Dalal's Swadisht Sabziyan that Aswin had bought on his India trip last year, I saw the title jhatpat sabzi. Like a curious cat, I had to try it out as soon as I could.

For us, the jhatpat sabzi had to be swadisht (delicious) and nutritious. So I made a few changes in the ingredients to suit our pantry and tastes and set to work. I replaced paneer with tofu. Instead of deep frying the tofu, I shallow fried them. I added fennel seeds in the tempering to extra flavor. And let me tell you, this simple and quick dish was bursting with flavor.

1/2 block Tofu - cut in cubes
2 medium carrots - peeled and cut in cubes
1 big (or 2 medium) zucchini - peeled and cut in cubes
10-12 mushrooms - sliced (I used portabella mushrooms)
2-3 green chillies
1" cube ginger
2/3 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon fennel seeds
Salt to taste
1 tbspoon olive oil

Grind the green chillies and ginger to a coarse paste.

Heat the oil and shallow fry tofu till they start turning light golden. Set the fried tofu on a paper towel to soak excess oil.
Temper the rest of the oil with cumin and fennel seeds. Add the vegetables and cook them on medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.

Add salt and Tofu. Cook it for another 3-5 minutes till the vegetables are done but not mushy. Serve warm with chapati, naan or parathas.

This is my entry for "J" in A-Z of Indian Vegetables hosted by Nupur at One Hot Stove. Thanks Nupur for hosting!

March 27, 2007


After buying a big pack of whole moong dal from the Indian store, I soaked a portion for 3-4 days. With sprouted daal ready, I decided on misal. After checking out the recipe, I realized I didn't have all the ingredients. So I searched around for a similar recipe and came across Nupur's Moogambat. It looked delicious and I decided to try it.

Moogambat is a Konkani recipe and literally means sour moong curry. How delicious is that!

Here is how I made it. While I followed the recipe, I changed the proportion of the ingredients in the wet paste. I also omitted asfoetida and added curry leaves in tempering.

2 cups sprouted moong dal
3/4 tspoon cumin seeds
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 curry leaves
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1 tbspoon tamarind paste
1 tspoon jaggery
1 1/2 tspoon oil
salt to taste
cilantro leaves to garnish

To grind together
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/3 cup onions
1 tbspoon coriander seeds
1 red chilli

Boil the moong dal with salt and turmeric. In the meantime, grind the masalas to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan and temper it with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves.
Then add the moong dal and mix it with the paste, tamarind and jaggery.
Let it cook for 7-10 minutes on medium low heat.
Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rice.

With the goodness of curry leaves and cilantro leaves, this is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen. Thanks Nupur for the great recipe and thank you Kalyn for hosting.

Along with adding flavor to any recipe, curry leaves are also good for digestion. To learn more, click here.

March 25, 2007

Spicy Salmon Cutlets

It's been a while since I promised the spicy Salmon cutlets.

I have been lost in the html jungle feeling my way around. The progress has been slow to say the least. But it is a work in progress. I now know how to upload a button :) I finally have a button uploaded for Green Blog Project-Winter/Spring 2007. It will be great if you can use the button in your GBP Post.

Back to the cutlets, I made two batches of salmon cutlets last week. The first batch was coated with rice flour for our gluten-free friends and the second batch was coated with cream of wheat (rava). I baked the salmon for about 25 minutes till it was semi-cooked. This shortened the actual cooking time for the salmon.

Now, without further delay, here is the recipe for Salmon cutlets.

2-3 medium Salmon steaks
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small cube ginger
2 green chillies
small bunch cilantro
2/3 tspoon red chilli powder
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1 tspoon garam masala powder
1 tspoon coriander powder
1 tbspoon lemon juice
2 tbspoon cream of wheat/rice flour
1 tbspoon olive oil
salt to taste

Marinate the fish with garlic, turmeric, salt and lemon juice. Heat the oven to 300 deg F and bake the fish for 20-25 min till it is semi done.
In the meantime, chop onion, ginger, green chillies, cilantro finely.
Once the fish cools down, mix it together with garam masala, coriander powder, chilli powder, onion, ginger, cilantro and green chillies. Since it is a oily fish it is firm and mixes together like dough. If it doesn't, add a tbspoon of cream of wheat/rice flour.
Divide it in small lemon size balls. Put a ball on your palm and flatten it like a cutlet.
Coat it with cream of wheat/rice flour.
Once the oil heats in a pan, put the cutlets। Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Serve warm. It is a great side dish with rice and dal. Alternatively, it also is a great starter.

March 20, 2007

Garlic & Sesame Naan

I am enjoying participating Monthly Blog Patrolling. Not only does it give me an opportunity to try some of the recipes in my bookmarks, it is also giving me self-control to take pictures before I finish the delectable recipes! :)

One of the things in my to-try list is Naan. And I tried Archana's pan grilled naan. Her easy to follow instructions were great. I made a batch with sesame seeds and another with crushed garlic. It went really well with alu ghobi. We finished the entire batch in one sitting.

Here are my notes - I mixed all purpose flour with whole wheat flour in a half-half proportion. It took double the time for the dough to rise, but it's winter.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tspoon salt
1 tspoon sugar
1 tspoon active dry yeast
4 tbspoon butter
2 tbspoon yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 tspoon sesame seeds
1 tspoon crushed garlic

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the water till it dissolves completely and bubbles appear. Mix flour and salt together and then add yogurt, 2 tbspoon butter and the yeast mix.

Knead till it mixes well together. Put the dough in a warm place and let it rise till it doubles in size. I kept the dough over warm water (just like a chocolate double boiler) and it worked well.

Divide the dough in equal parts. I rolled it and then hand stretched each naan. Brush some butter on top, sprinkle sesame seeds and/or garlic. Heat a grill or flat pan, brush it lightly with butter and cook the naan. Turn it over as it starts puffing up. Brush butter in a few places and cook for another 2-3 min.

Serve warm. This is my entry for Monthly Blog Patrolling - Let's Roll. Thanks Coffee for hosting.

March 19, 2007

Aswin's Corner

What happens when both partners cook but only one has a food blog?! The one without the blog begins to feel left out and as a result, wants to take over the blog. "No, no, that's not happening," replies the partner with the blog. And as a special consideration, creates a space on the blog and even a special icon to go with the guest posts.

So you will see posts from Aswin from time to time. Stay tuned!

March 18, 2007

Bhaja Mooger Dal (roasted moong dal)

In the coming days you'll see some changes to the template of the blog as I figure it out with the help of my blogger friends. I have been planning it for a while but it takes me time to figure the template and its intricacies :)

Back to cooking, I made bhaja mooger dal for our sunday lunch. Bhaja mooger dal is a Bengali delicacy. The split moong dal is roasted in ghee/oil till it turns deep golden (not brown) and gives a nutty aroma. Sometimes it is dry roasted as well. It is then cooked and tempered with spices which only enhance the flavor. It's perfect for weekend lunches, when we linger at the table to catch up on week's chit chat and sometimes for second helpings.

Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
1 cup moong dal
1/2 tspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
2 green chillies - slit
1 tspoon ginger - freshly grated
1/2 tspoon turmeric
1/3 tspoon coriander powder
1/3 tspoon cumin seed powder
1 tspoon ghee
1 tspoon oil
pinch of sugar
2 cup water
salt to taste

Heat a wide-bottomed pan or you can roast the dal in the pressure cooker as I do. Heat ghee in the cooker and add the moong dal. Roast till it gives a nutty aroma and starts turning deep golden. Add water and cook till it turns tender but not mushy.

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with bay leaf, jeera, green chillies, and ginger. Saute for a minute and then add the dal. Then add turmeric, coriander powder, cumin seed powder, salt, sugar and let it cook for 4-5 minutes till it mixes well together. Add another 1/4 cup water if it becomes too thick.

I served it with spicy salmon cutlets. The recipe for the cutlets coming up in the next post.

March 12, 2007

GBP- chilli & cilantro dressing

Let me tell you two short stories. The first one is about a chilli plant. This plant was very happy in the porch during the summer months but was forced to come indoors for the winter. The plant was not happy! So for the longest time there were leaves and flowers, but no chillis. Then, just when I told myself not to look there every morning, a small chilli started growing. Then there were more flowers and two, then three chillis!

The other story is about a cilantro plant that defied all odds. I had tossed some seeds in a small green pot sitting on the kitchen window sill. Even when the temperature dipped below zero, the seeds managed to sprout into a little cilantro plant. And this plant braved the winter, and is now looking forward to spring and summer.

There weren't enough chillis and cilantro for a chutney or even a relish. So I added the chilli and cilantro as a quick dressing to a salad and served it with dal, rice and homemade yogurt. It was delicious.

Come on, discover the magic of plants, and growing local and organic. The deadline is a month away. Send me pictures of your plants and your recipes by April 10, to

March 09, 2007

Yahoo Apologises!

Yahoo has apologized for taking content from Surya Gayathri's blog.

Yahoo respects the blogging community and the etiquette followed by bloggers. We
regret any inconvenience caused by the inadvertent posting of the recipe without
Read the entire release here.

This is great news for the blogging community. Reminds me of the video which I saw growing up as a kid - Ek Chidiya, anek Chidiya. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Yahoo hasn't apologized to Surya Gayathri as yet. The fight continues on with new claims coming from Anita and Shilpa. Please read the post at Dining Hall.

March 08, 2007

Baked Swordfish with mushrooms & broccoli

I love trying new fish recipes. This is a big change for me from just an year ago, when I was unsure about cooking fish at home. Since then I have tried baking, frying, I've tried poaching or my all-time favorite comforting macher jhol. And in this process I have discovered so many different fish - tilapia, catfish, pompano, haddock, seabass and now swordfish.

We got swordfish from the grocery store after a friend recommended it. No doubt it was expensive and a treat for us. The fish was marinated in lemon juice with freshly ground black pepper, turmeric, and ginger and topped with toasty sesame seeds and chopped cilantro. It was delicious, the nuttiness of sesame seeds, the freshness of cilantro and the tangy lemon enhanced the flavor of the swordfish steak. The baked vegetables were a bonus! I like mixing different spices and this was one of those trial moments with a great outcome.

2 swordfish steaks
1 broccoli crown
1 pack baby portabella mushrooms
1/4 tspoon - turmeric powder
3/4 tspoon - freshly ground black pepper powder
1 1/4 tspoon - sesame seeds
1 1/4 tspoon - ginger (minced)
1 tbspoon lemon juice
6-8 stalks of cilantro - chopped
1 tspoon olive oil
salt to taste

Marinate swordfish steaks with lemon juice, black pepper, turmeric, salt and ginger for 3-4 hours.
In the meantime, toast the sesame seeds till they have a nutty aroma and chop the cilantro.
Heat the oven to 350 deg F and cut the broccoli and mushrooms.
Oil a baking dish, put the vegetables and then the fish steaks. Sprinkle sesame seeds and the chopped cilantro on the fish and vegetables.
Let it cook for 35-40 min till the fish flakes easily.

Serve warm.
This is my entry to Weekend Herb Kitchen hosted by newly wed Anna at Morsels and Musings. It seems that I have been sending several cilantro recipes to WHB. I have to start looking at other herbs!

March 05, 2007

March against Plagiarism!

Yahoo recently launched a Malyalam portal in beta version and for content, they lifted recipes from a Surya Gayathri fellow blogger without informing her and worse, without giving her any credit. As shocking as this sounds, this is not the only case. In the last few months, I've read about Indiatimes and Sify also lifting pictures from Saffron Hut, another fellow blogger.
This is plagiarism, passing off someone's ideas and content as your known. Not only is this ethically wrong, this is illegal as well. As a blogger, I find it terrible, hurtful and offensive that my content (that I may have spent a day cooking, writing, and taking pictures) is in another publication without any acknowledgement.
Ask us, don't steal. We will be more than happy to share the content. First of all, request permission, provide a link to our blogs and credit us for the images and content. It's that simple!
Thanks to InjiPennu for organizing this protest. Check her blog to see other bloggers participating in the protest.
(pic credit - Sandeepa @ Bong Mom's Cookbook)

March 04, 2007

JFI - Alu Posto

I'm late for Jihva for Potato. I had every intention of posting on March 1, even had the recipe ready, but the week got the better of me. I think it had to do with the snow. You see, when the week started, I felt spring in the air. The snow was finally beginning to melt. But, by the weekend, the snow warnings were back in the news. And my mind started to revolt.

As I browsed around looking at different potato recipes for Jihva, I saw no alu posto recipes. So, here I am with alu posto recipe.

Alu posto, as any Bengali will tell you, is a classic recipe. Every household probably has it's special recipe. There are different versions of Alu Posto available on Bengali bloggers sites. Here are Sandeepa's and Jaya's versions. I've made alu-zucchini posto before, but this recipe is slightly different. It's my friend N's recipe and uses only posto and green chillies for flavoring. Along with her mushurir dal (masur dal) and steamed rice, this tasted divine.

5-6 Red-skin Potatoes- washed and cut in cubes with skin
2-green chilli
4 tbspoon posto
1 tspoon - paanch phoron
1 tbspoon - mustard oil
1/4 water
salt to taste

Soak the posto in warm water and grind to a fine paste with the green chillies.
Heat a wide bottomed pan and temper mustard oil with paanch phoron.
Add the potatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the posto paste and let it cook on medium low heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add the water and salt and cook it covered till the potatoes are fully cooked.
Serve warm with rice and dal.

This is my entry for Jihva for Potatoes hosted by Vaishali at Happy Burp. Thanks Vaishali, I hope I'm not too late.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...