Wednesday, February 17, 2010

cabbage thalipeeth


Ingredients -

Bengal gram flour - 1 cup
Rice flour  -  1/2 cup
Wheat flour -1/2 cup
Cabbage    - 1 1/2 cup chopped
Onion        -  1 med. chopped
Green chilies - 3-4
Cilantro -
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 2tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Recipe -
1.  Mix all the ingredients and make a sticky dough. Take the  plastic sheet or a bag. Spread the 2-3 drops of water on it. and then take a dough .
2. Now lightly place the dough on the plastic bag. Use the fingertips to pat the dough -ball  into flat pancake.
3. Make the hole in the center of the pancake.
4. Heat the pan and put some oil into it.
4. Now gently turn the thalipeeth  upside down and put the thalipeeth into the preheated  pan .
5. Put some water on 1 side and then put the lid.
6. let it cook for some time and then turn it. Thalipeeth is ready to serve.

Thalipeeth is the  traditional Maharashtrian dish. It is the multi-grain pancake. Thali means plate and peeth means the dough. One can find ready-made mix for Thalipeeth in the market. I didn't have it, so I have used different flours available. One can use Ragi in this which is really nutritious, high fiber and  high calcium source. Addition of dal -flour and cereal flour makes it good quality protein. Addition of Cabbage , onion provides the fiber. One can add palak, methi, or any possible veggies to it. It meets the requirements of the balanced dish. One can make it for a weekday dinner or a Sunday brunch.Its quick, easy and nutritious !!! Usually people love to eat it with the curd or raita and lahsun chutney.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day special Pav bhaji

Ingredients

Tomatoes - 3
 Bell peppers - 1 big
Onion - 1 big
Cauliflower - 1 cup cooked
Peas -  1/2 cup
Tomato puree - 1  cup
Potatoes -  2 med.
Ginger - garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
paprika - 2 tsp
butter -  2 tsp
Red chili powder - 2 tsp
Pav Bhaji masala - 4 tsp
Hing / asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Kasuri methi       - 1 1/2 tsp
Cilantro              - 1/2 cup chopped
Low fat cheese   - 1 Tbsp ( opt.)
Garlic bread      -


Recipe  -

1. Cook all the vegetables in 2 cups of water in the microwave & mash them but keep 1/4 cup of chopped onion aside.
2. Heat the pan. Put  2 tsp butter in the pan.Add the onion, ginger-garlic paste,1 Tbsp cilantro, Kasuri methi, hing and saute till it becomes brown.
3. Then add red chili powder and pav bhaji masala and salt. and saute for 1 min.
4. Now add all the mashed vegetables. Add the water also in which we cook the vegetables. mash well.
5. Now the yummy pav- bhaji is ready to serve. Garnish it with cilantro and grated low fat cheese.
6. Serve with garlic bread. 

Pav- Bhaji is the most famous dish for most mumbaikars. In hindi pav means Bread and bhaji means a curry and vegetable mix. Sometimes it can be mumbaikar's breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pav bhaji is to Mumbai , what pasta is to Italy or the hamburger is to America !!!
( source - Encyclopedia of India,Pakistan and Bangladesh by Om Gupta )
Everyone has their own recipe of pav-bhaji. This recipe is influenced by Juhu chowpaty pav-bhaji recipe.... I know... nobody can beat that taste of that pav-bhaji ....
Today is the valentine's day and this is my valentine's favorite recipe. So I decided to make this today after long time !!!  I prefer to add cheese in the pav-bhaji  over extra butter as it gives protein + taste. Traditional recipe has lots of butter but there is no source of good quality protein in the dish.Personally I would not consider this as very healthy recipe as it has butter.One can add more butter and make it more tasty...  But one can certainly eat it occasionally to treat themselves. Enjoy the recipe !!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kothimbir vadi ( Cilantro cutlets)

Ingredients -

Cilantro - 1 bunch
Bengal gram flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 Tbsp
ginger paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Corriander seed powder - 1 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Green chilies - 3
Red chili powder - 1tsp
Asafoetida or hing - 1/2 tsp
sugar - 1tsp
salt
sesame seeds - 2tsp

(  * One can just steam  and put the tempering on the steam vadis. Traditionally , it is deep fried , but shallow frying is a good method to make it tasty and comparatively healthy. )
RECIPE -
1. Chop cilantro finely. Add gram flour and rice flour and mix with all the ingredients above except sesame seeds.
2. Grease the plate. and put the above mixture in the plate. Let it steam for 8-10 minutes .
3. Let it cool down. And then cut into squares.
4. Heat oil in the pan. Put the sesame seeds and shallow fry these cilantro cutlets or Kothimbir Vadi.

Kothimbir vadi is the traditional Maharashtrian dish. Unlike vada-pav and pav-bhaji this food item is uncommon.One can hardly find this on the restaurant menu. This really very tasty dish can be served as a snack with chutney or it could be an appetizer in a meal. I like to eat it as part of a  meal.
I was missing mom's kothimbir vadi and never tried it before.That day my friend came for a lunch and I wanted to make something special for her. It turned out really tasty. My friend never tasted this dish before. She just loved it !!!

Usually we use cilantro to garnish some dishes, but in this dish cilantro is the main ingredient. Cilantro is rich in pro-vitamin A ( carotene).It is rich in Vitamin C ( which diminishes on storage),potassium, fibre,iron. And 1 cup of cilantro has only 5 kcal. ( Culinary Herbs )

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My love for cooking......

Good cooking is all about making yourself feel good whether its in the kitchen or at the table. Sure, its about generosity, hospitality and the inner glow that comes from feeding family and friends. They say, the more good food you cook,more love you get !!! It is an art which encircles family, friends, parties, memories and culture.

For me, cooking is finding a new and better way of life. I love food but only when it makes me feel good !!! Good cooking simply doesn't need creamy sauces, too much oil and deep frying. It needs good food choices like olive oil,fresh herbs and spices, low fat cheese, fruits and veggies to make it tasty. I believe, whatever we cook becomes tasty only if we pour our love while cooking. Cooking is my passion and my husband is a foodie!!! What a perfect couple we are ;)!!!

Many people think that eating healthy means limiting food choices, eating bland food,extra efforts and time spent while shopping to select wise food choices. It isn't true. Our simple methods or selection of foods can lead us towards healthy lifestyle.

Healthy diet has an enormous power to prevent diseases. It gives us energy, immunity and retards the process of ageing. Eating healthy is a lot easier than people think.

Good shopping is 70% of good cooking. Good cooking is its own reward. If we shop well and cook well, we eat well and feel well. Spread the joy of cooking.

Sources -
(Cooking, a love affair )
good cooking : The new basics

Monday, February 8, 2010

aaloo- methi paratha



Ingredients-

mashed Potato - 1 cup
Fenugreek leaves - 1 bunch
green chilies - 3-4
garam masala - 11/2 tsp
Onion - 1 med.
Wheat flour - 2 cups
Bengal gram flour - 1 cup
Salt
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
oil - 1 Tbsp

Recipe -

1. Knead the dough by adding wheat flour, Bengal gram flour,salt, pepper and 1 tsp oil.
2. Chop onions and green chilies. Put oil in a pan and then saute chopped onions , green chilies,fenugreek leaves, garam masala, salt.
3. Add mashed potatoes to the mixture.
4. Divide the dough into small round portions and roll it. Then add the stuffing to it. and then again roll the paratha.
5. Roast the paratha and then add some oil .
6. serve with raita or salad.

Addition of bengal gram flour to the wheat flour, makes it complete protein. addition of methi and onions add fibre to it.Fenugreek is the cleansing and soothing herb which also has mild laxative properties. When we eat these parathas with curd or raita it makes a complete meal as it meets all the food groups.

Friday, February 5, 2010

wild rice with jalapeno



Ingredients-

rice - 2cups
white wine - 1 Tbsp
Fish sauce - 1 Tbsp ( optional)
Worcestershire sauce - 2tsp
jalapeno - 1
fresh celery - 100gms
salt
Olive oil - 1 tsp
Parsley leaves

INGREDIENTS -

1. Cook rice with 4 cups of water and 1 Tbsp white wine and salt and keep it aside.
2. Heat oil in the pan. add jalapenos and chopped celery.
3. Add cooked rice and fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
4. Garnish with parsley.

Rice was not that spicy as my side dish was fiery Cajun shrimp which was spicy. I wanted to balance the spiciness . One can add more jalapenos and make it more spicy. Celery, parsley, makes this dish more nutritious !!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

chicken with gnocchi and tomato sauce




Ingredients-

wheat gnocchi - 2 cups boiled and cooked
Chicken( boneless)- 11/2 cup
Tomato puree - 2cups
Basil -20 fresh leaves
Sun dried tomatoes - 4-5
Oregano - 1/2 tsp ( opt.)
Olive oil - 1 Tbsp
Paprika -1 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 2 tsp
Red pepper flakes - 2 tsp
pepper- 1/2 tsp
Grated Parmesan cheese- 1TBsp
( Reduced fat )
Chopped parsley -
* Vegetarians can add broccoli and mushrooms instead chicken.
Recipe -

1. Boil and cook wheat gnocchi and drain it.
2. Cook chicken and cut into pieces . Vegetarians can cook Broccoli and mushrooms instead chicken
3. take tomatoes, basil leaves,sun dried tomatoes, paprika,garlic, oregano,salt and chopped onion in the grinder and grind it and make a puree.
4. Heat 2tsp oil in the pan and cook this puree and make a tomato basil sauce.
5. Now grease the baking pan add gnocchi or veggies then add this sauce on the top of it then sprinkle Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley on that.
6. Bake in the preheated oven at 400 F for 10-12 Min's.

I always use to feel Italian is all loaded with cheese and extremely high calorie food. But one can modify it into healthy nutritious recipe. I have tried to make it comparatively nutritious with maintaining the taste. It was a very successful recipe.
Though we get ready made pasta sauces, The fresh tomatoes and basil add more nutrition and taste to the dish and also, we can reduce the amount of preservatives in our diet !!!

what gnocchi makes it comparatively high fibre,chicken and low fat cheese gives low fat and high protein source.Also we all know therapeutic value of basil.It has same properties as mint.It has antibacterial,anthelminitic ( antiworm)propeties. It gives aid to the digestive tract, useful in intestinal and kidney ailments.It has orientin and vicenin which has anti cancerous properties. Tomatoes contains phytoestrogen lycopene which has anticancerous and anticholesterol properties. Also parsley has a Nerve stimulant properties.

cluster bean vegetable or Gavairchi bhaji



Ingredients -

Cluster beans - 350gms
Potato - 100gms
curry leaves - 7-8
onion - 1 med. chopped
ginger paste - 1 tsp
Goda masala - 1 Tbsp
green chilies - 3-4
(salt,turmeric,asafoetida or hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds )
sugar - 1/2 tsp

* One can find Goda masala / black masala/ maharashtrian masala in the indian store.

Recipe
1. Cut the cluster beans,onion and potatoes.
2. Boil the cluster beans and potatoes and drain it and keep some water maybe 1/2
to 1 cup.
3. Heat the oil in the pan. Put mustard and cumin seeds, asafoetida or hing.
4. then add curry leaves and green chillies and ginger paste. Then put the cooked cluster beans and potatoes.
5. Add salt, turmeric, Goda masala and sugar. Then add the remaining water and cook
till its get evaporated.

This simple veggie goes well with simple dal-rice. This is my mom's recipe and I just love it !!! Guvar contains Guvar gum which is 75% of dietary fibre. It is useful to fight against cholesterol and obesity.Contains Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, Vitamin A, dietary fiber, folate, iron and potassium. and 1 cup of guvar contains only 44 Kcals.

Monday, February 1, 2010

fiery cajun shrimp




Ingredients - 
Shrimp

1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp Melted butter
1 tsp Olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons chilli sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt
2 pounds medium shrimp
1/2 medium chopped onion
1 lemons, thinly sliced
2tsp constarch

Recipe

1. Mix Worcestershire sauce,lemon juice,ground pepper,chilli sauce,salt and cajun seasoning together in a bowl and add shrimp to it.
2. Add butter and olive oil in the pan and then add chopped garlic, chopped onion to it and saute.
3. Add obove mixture into the pan and again saute.
4. After 2-3 minutes take caonstarch in a different bowl and cold water to it and mix well. Then put this mixture in the pan.
5. Cook it for 5-10 mins. Fiery Cajun shrimp is ready to serve.


This recipe turned out to be awesome than I expected. This goes excellent with wild rice. I tried cajun shrimp recipe at K.Paul's kitchen, New Orleans. and I just loved it and wanted to try it since then. This was a bit spicy and not all people like to eat very spicy food, so I have mentioned the modified recipe here. I had marinated the shrimp for 6-7 hrs and made this preparation 1 hr before the party.

Shrimp is an excellent source of protein,selinium and B12. It is a very good source of iron and phosphorous. 100 gms of boiled shrimp gives 99 kcal, 21 g protein, 195 mg of cholesterol,177 mg of EPA and 144 mg of DHA. ( EPA & DHA ) are good fatty acids. Because it contains cholesterol , many people tend to avoid it. But, it can be eaten in the moderate amounts to get other nutritional benefits.
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