Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gawar (Cluster beans) subji - Gujarati Style

Weekly visits to Indian grocery stores are always refreshing for get to see Indian crowd...either just exchange smiles or get into some conversation, my favorite subject to talk is - How do you cook this subji? I have always found that people are very kind and generous to talk on food that you get here are most authentic. This Gavar subji recipe was shared by one Gujarati woman. It is cooked in yogurt with dash of Ajwain.

Ingredients :-
  • Gawar - 2.5 Cups - Trim both edges and cut in 1 inch pieces. (either use knife or snap with fingers)
  • 1 medium size onion - chopped finely
  • 2-3 Green chilies - chopped finely
  • 1/2 Cup yogurt
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil
  • 1/2 T.spoon ajwain (Ova)
  • 1/2 T.spoon garam masala.
  • 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Cup fresh chopped cilantro
Preparation :-
  1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a medium size skillet or heavy bottom pot. Add chopped onions and saute on medium heat until they turn soft and transparent - about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle half tsp Ajwain - mix with onions. Add half cup yogurt and stir-fry on high heat for about 3-4 minutes until yogurt is partially evaporated and gets shiny stir occasionally with wooden spoon.
  3. Now add turmeric powder, garam masala,green chilies and Gawar - Combine all, stir-fry on high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add salt, 1 Cup water - Cover the lid and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Do check at interval, if water dries out then add little water.
  4. Reduce heat to low , make sure there is enough liquid in subji - Let subji cook covered until gawar turns tender - about 6-7 minutes more.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with roti / rice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Prawn Stir-Fry with Whole spices, Red Chilies & Fresh Coconut.

This is quick, tasty, easy to prepare spicy prawn stir-fry. Mix of three whole spices, dry red chilies with generous amount of fresh coconut and fresh cilantro...gave nice aromatic and spicy kick to this prawn stir-fry.

Ingredients :-
  • 1 pound cleaned and deveined prawns ( 30-35 count- marinate lightly with salt)
  • 1 large onion - cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 Cup fresh grated coconut (tightly packed)
  • 1 Cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 T.spoon black pepper powder
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil
Whole spices for Tempering
  • 1 Bay leaf - 2 inch long
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 7-8 pieces of broken dry red chili - half-inch long (I used Arbol chilies)
Method of Cooking :-
  1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Don't heat oil to smoking hot temperature. Add all four whole spices in oil and quickly saute with spoon for 15 - 20 seconds.
  2. Immediately place onions and saute on medium heat until onions turn soft - about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add prawns and 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, little more salt . Stir and Mix with onions. Sprinkle little water and saute for 5-6 minutes on medium high heat. Keep stirring continuously.Sprinkle water if it sticks to bottom.
  4. Now add fresh grated coconut - mix well . Reduce heat to low and let it stay on stove for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Finely garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Roti and Rice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spicy Chicken Curry with Chili+Spice Fusion & Fingerling Potatoes

Friday evenings, cravings are always high for something extra-special , extra-spicy Non-Veg curry. I mixed different chilies + exotic spices and made this extra vibrant spicy Chicken curry. Mix and Match of two mexican chilies with Indian Byadagi chili gave nice red , fiery tone and heat to the curry, addition of Kabab chini and Nagkesar spice kicked in bold aroma. Tiny organic fingerling potatoes gave good balance and paired well with chicken pieces. You will never stop yearning for this zesty Chicken curry.

  • 3.5 pound chicken - cut into medium pieces, marinate with salt.( I used 4 chicken breasts with rib meat. You can use whole chicken or your choice of chicken pieces.)
  • 3 large onions - finely chopped ( yield 3 cups)
  • 2 inch piece ginger - finely crushed
  • 1 whole garlic - peeled and finely crushed
  • 3 Tb.spoon oil
  • 1 Cup - finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 25-30 fingerling potatoes -(tiny and round potatoes match better, pierce 2 holes through each potato with toothpick or metal skewer.)
Spice Blend :-
  • Kabab Chini - 7-8 pieces
  • Nagkeshar - 6-7 pieces
  • Cloves - 8-10
  • Cumin - 1 T.spoon
  • Fennel seeds - 1 Tb.spoon
  • Cardamom - 2
  • Bay leaf - 3 inch long one leaf
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Chili fusion :-
  • 1 Guajillo chili - 6-7 inch long ( you can use two small chilies)
  • 6-7 Arbol chilies - ( reduce - if you need less heat)
  • 4-5 whole byadgi chilies.
Mix all spices and chilies together in small blender jar - Make fine powder.

Guajillo chilies (L) / Byadagi chilies (R) / Arbol chilies (C)

Curry Preparation :-
  1. Heat heavy bottomed thick gauge pot ( minimum 4 qt capacity). Pour 3 tbspoon oil. Add chopped onions and saute on medium heat for 7-8 minutes until they turn soft and translucent.
  2. Add crushed ginger and garlic..mix with onions and saute for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring.
  3. Add Spice & Chili powdered blend and saute for 2 minutes on low heat. Take immersion blender and coarsely puree onion and spice blend. This may take just one minute. If you don't have immersion blender then take half quantity of onion-spice mixture and puree in blender.
  4. Place marinated chicken pieces - Mix well with gravy base. Let it simmer on low heat for 4-5 minutes with covered lid. Keep stirring to avoid sticking at bottom.
  5. Pour in 1.5 cup water along with fingerling potatoes - mix all well - sprinkle few fresh chopped corriander leaves,little salt. Cover the lid and let it simmer on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Do stir at interval.
  6. Enough gravy will be generated with inside steam , nice red colored oil layer will float on the surface. Check seasonings and add little more salt if required. If you desire more liquid gravy then add upto 1 cup water.
  7. Sprinkle some more chopped fresh cilantro , reduce heat to medium low and let curry simmer for another 8-10 minutes with covered lid. Stir at regular interval.
  8. Cook this curry ahead of time to get the most zesty flavors. Finish cooking at least one hour before serving.
  9. Lastly garnish with remaining cilantro and serve hot with rice / roti.

Fingerling potato plants growing in a large Pot.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DosaKai (Vellerica) & Pickling Cucumber Subzi with Green Split Peas.

Simple sattvik subzi for routine meals, no spices...simple mustard tempering and seasoned with green chilies,coconut,fresh cilantro. This Dosakai (vellerika) and pickling cucumber subzi is perfect for summertime meals , spread of tender cooked Green split peas in subzi makes it more filling and tasty. Enjoying this subzi with flax seed enriched organic flour roti is great nourishing experience.

Ingredients :-
  • 2 Cups DosaKai (Vellerica) cut in half inch cubes. ( I didn't remove the skin, taste little piece with skin , if it doesn't taste bitter then cut with skin on. Discard seeds)
  • 3 pickling Cucumbers - peel the skin and cut in half inch cubes - ( 1.5 cups yield )
  • 3 Tb.spoon - Green split peas ( well rinsed )
  • 2-3 green chilies - finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup - fresh grated coconut
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 T.spoon - mustard seeds
  • 1 Tb.spoon - cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup - fresh chopped cilantro
Method of Cooking Subzi :-
  1. Heat 1 tbspoon oil in thick gauge heavy bottomed pot. Drop 2-3 mustard seeds, if they fiercely sizzle - that indicates oil is hot enough for tempering. Drop rest mustard seeds and wait for 15 seconds till they splutter..quickly add 6-7 curry leaves+ chopped green chilies - saute for 10 seconds.
  2. Now add diced dosakai pieces + rinsed green split peas with one cup water - Set the heat to high and let it cook with covered lid for 7-9 minutes. Do stir at interval.
  3. Cucumber takes relatively less time to cook so add it after dosakai is partially cooked. Mix both veggies. Add salt and little more water. Cover the lid and simmer it for 6-7 minutes on medium high heat. Stir gently occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle little coconut and remaining curry leaves - continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until both veggies are cooked to tender and all liquid is almost evaporated ..little liquid residue is fine.
  5. Finally add remaining grated coconut and fresh cilantro . Serve with rice and roti.
Note :- You can make this subzi with chayote, Dudhi (lauki), english cucumber, snake gourd by making your choice of combination.
I made organic flour roti by adding flaxseed meal and soy flour. I used following ratio - 1 cup organic flour + 1 tbspoon flaxseed meal + 1 tbspoon soybean flour. Prepare soft dough and make rotis. This ratio makes 5 rotis.

Vellerika and pickling cucumber.