July 27, 2011

Gooseberry Thokku

gooseberry thokku

I found some fresh gooseberry at our Farmer's Market recently and I was so excited. I quickly bought a bunch and went in search of my mother-in-law who was chasing Little A through the market.

So this is how our farmer's market outings look like. We arrive at the market with Little A sitting quietly in his stroller, waving hellos and blowing kisses to strangers. And as soon as we start walking around, he starts insisting loudly that we let him out of the stroller.

After a few minutes of this, we usually do and then spend the rest of the time taking turns chasing him as he threatens to put crafted earrings with zucchini flower or tries to follow the divider.

At some point, we decide it's enough exercise for all of us and head back. This time, I had this bunch of gooseberry. My MIL made this delicious thokku out of this bunch. What else can we make?

gooseberry thokku
Ingredients:
bunch of gooseberry
2 tbspoon jaggery
salt to taste
2 tbspoon oil
Dry fry and powder
1 red chillie (you can use more for your taste)
1/2 tspoon fenugreek seeds
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tspoon mustard seeds
For tempering
1/2 tspoon mustard seeds
1/2 tspoon urad dal
3-4 curry leaves

Method
Grate the gooseberry in a mixer in a and keep it side.

In a pan, heat half of the oil and add the gooseberry pulp. Let it cook on low heat and covered for 2-3 minutes. Then add the dry fried spices, jaggery and salt and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes till the water disappears and the mixture starts to get thick.

In a separate pan, heat the rest of the oil and temper it with mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal. Add that to the thokku and take it off the heat. Stir well.

gooseberry thokku

You can serve it with a variety of things. It makes a good spread for sandwiches, a good side for Pesaratt, or just to jazz up plain dal and rice.

July 19, 2011

Chanar Dalna (Matar Paneer)

Matar Paneer

Chanar Dalna is probably a staple in most Bengali households. It was also the most common niramish (vegetarian) food served if we had guests coming over who were vegetarian. If there was no murgir jhol or macher kalia, the next thing my dad would say, "chanar dalna banai?"

Trying to replicate my mom's recipe without talking to her is never easy. I always feel that I didn't get it right and when I do end up talking I find our that there was indeed an ingredient missing. So this was a big surprise because I felt that this was quite close to her recipe.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs paneer, cut into cubes
2 -3 potatoes cut in cubes
2/3 cup green peas
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tspoon grated fresh ginger
2 green chillies
1 tbspoon cumin and coriander powder
2-3 green cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
4-5 tbspoon oil
1/4 tspoon sugar
Salt to taste
bunch of cilantro for garnishing

Method:
Heat all but 1 tbspoon oil and put in the paneer pieces and saute them till they start to turn brown. Then put them in salted warm water. In the same oil, add the potatoes next and saute them lightly. Keep them aside.

Add the rest of the oil and temper it with cumin seeds, bay leaves, green chillies. Then add the cardamom and cinnamon. After a minute add the ginger and the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to turn squishy, add the turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder and the peas. Let it cook together for a couple of minutes.

Add in the potatoes, and salt and 3/4 cup of water. Let it cook together for 4-5 minutes. Then add in the paneer cubes and cook it for another 3-4 minutes till the potatoes and peas are cooked.

Matar Paneer

Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rice.

July 08, 2011

Family advice and lauki kofta

Lauki Kofta

My phone conversations with my parents revolve around Little A. "How is he eating?" "Has he gained weight?" "What are his new words?" and so on. You get the idea. During these conversations, they also tell me things I should make that he might like. Some thing I try and some just slip by. Lauki kofta is one of them. They have been telling me to try this recipe for months now. But for some reason, I kept postponing it.

Then last week, I was bored with my lauki tarkari. So what did I do? I called my parents immediately and asked for the recipe. They gave me detailed instructions and also said that Little A might like it as well . I made it quickly and we had it for lunch. It was fantastic. This time Little A didn't care for it much, but I going to try it again and give him the koftas. What do you think? What else do your kids like?

Lauki Kofta

Ingredients:
1 medium bottlegourd - enough for 8-10 koftas
2 tbspoon besan
1 tspoon coriander powder
1 tspoon cumin seeds powder
1/4 tspoon red chilli powder
1 tspoon grated ginger
1 medium onion - grated
1 1/2 tomatoes - pulp
2 green chillies
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
5-6 tbspoon oil
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1-2 bay leaves
1/2 tspoon ghee
cilantro - chopped
Salt to taste

Lauki Kofta

Method:
Grate the lauki (bottlegourd) and use your hands to squeeze out all the water. Then mix in the besan, 1/2 tspoon coriander, and cumin powder, 1/4 tspoon turmeric powder and red chilli powder and salt. Mix it well with your hands. Then make small balls using about 1 1/2 tbspoon of the lauki mix. You should get about 8 koftas.

I didn't deep fry it, but shallow fry in a deep pan on low heat till they brown nicely. Take them and keep them in the bowl you would like to serve.

Then in a sauce pan, add 1 tbspoon oil and temper it with cumin seeds, green chillies, and bay leaves. Add the grated ginger, saute for a minute and then add in the onion and tomatoes. Add in the rest of the coriander and cumin powder, turmeric and salt, about 3/4 cup of water and let it all cook together for 6-8 minutes on medium heat till it all mixes and comes together as a gravy.

Lauki kofta

Pour it hot on top of the koftas and garnish it with cilantro. Serve warm with hot rice.

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