Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bhopla Rassa - Maharashtrian style Pumpkin (Kaddu) and Mix Vegetable curry.

Rassa Bhaji is a  curried subji dish  from  Maharashtra region, Rassa is  made with combination of potato, cauliflower, brinjal, carrots, tondli (ivy gourd), green peas. It is lightly seasoned with goda masala and has perfect mild combination of  sweet and sour taste. I cooked this rassa subji on one warm winter day in February, temperature raised above 60, weather turned very pleasant. It was perfect day to make some wonderful wholesome dish.  I picked to cook curry based on Maharastrian Rassa bhaji. I  thought of replacing potatoes with Pumpkin, added  butter peas and corn, ground fresh Goda masala spice combination. Peanut-Sesame powder flavored and thickened the curry texture. Dry bedgi chilies gave beautiful orange/yellow glow to curry. All this maharashtrian style tweaking in recipe created wonderful  Bhopla Rassa Bhaji.

Ingredients :-
  • Onion - 1 large finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic - finely crushed
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed
  • Curry leaf - 12-15 leaves
  • 2 green chilies - finely chopped
  • 2.5 cups heaped - 1 inch cubed Pumpkin/Kaddu
  • 1 large capsicum - cut into 1 inch chunks (1.5 cup yield)
  • 2 carrots - Cut in 1.5 inch long french fries style cut (1 cup yield)
  • 1/4 Cup Frozen butter peas (I used pictsweet Brand) (use of lima beans,green peas or edamame makes good match)
  • 1/4 Cup Frozen corn
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro - finely chopped
  • 1 Tb.spoon - thick tamarind pulp
  • 1 T.spoon - brown sugar or jaggery (regular sugar is also fine)
  • 1/4 cup - coarsely powdered roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tb.spoon sesame seeds - roasted and powdered
Fresh Ground Spice Blend
  • 1 Tb.spoon - corriander seeds
  • 1 T.spoon - Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 T.spoon - fennel seeds
  • 4-5 pieces of Nagkeshar ( can be replaced with half an inch cinnamon piece)
  • 2-3 small pieces of Dagad phool
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch long bay leaf
  • 1 cardamom
  • 6-7 Dry red chilies - ( I used byadagi)
Combine all above whole spices and make fine powder. (This step can be skipped by using 1 tablespoon ready made Goda Masala.)

Method of Cooking :- 
  1. In a three quart size heavy gauge pot - heat 1.5 tablespoon oil. Saute finely chopped onions for 7-8 minutes or until they get soft and translucent. Now add finely crushed ginger and garlic, chopped green chilies, 6-7 curry leaves - saute for one minute.
  2. Add freshly ground spice blend. (reserve 1/2 teaspoon powder to add at later stage). Saute on low heat for 1.5 minutes. Mix in sesame and peanut powder. Add capsicum (Bell pepper/Simla mirchi)and carrots. Mix well and Saute for two minutes. Pour half cup water and allow it to simmer with covered lid  for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Stir at interval to avoid burning at bottom.
  3. Once capsicum and carrots are partially cooked add   pumpkin (Bhopla/Sitafal/Kaddu) butter peas, corn,  tamarind pulp, brown sugar, remaining curry leaves,salt. Add 1.5  cup water  to cover veggies, mix well  and  cook  on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes with covered lid.
  4. Do check gravy  and add more water as per your desired rassa/gravy consistency. Pumpkin cooks quick so taste one pumpkin chunk  for the doneness. Be gentle and use wooden spoon  while you stir this curry. Finally sprinkle reserved 1/2 teaspoon ground spice powder, half cup chopped fresh cilantro.Adjust sweet - sour seasoning level. Cook covered for another 4-5 minutes on  lowest heat setting.
  5. Allow the curry to rest for at least  30 minutes for all the flavors to come together. Garnish with remaining fresh cilantro. Serve this wholesome Rassa subzi with rice or roti.

Bhoplyachi Rassa Bhaji

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random Spring flower pictures from around Cary and Raleigh - NC

Spring season is my favorite season. Renewal of nature and warmer temperatures  bring energized spirits of hope and joy. I love the vibrant magical scene all around city filled with  gorgeous colorful flowers, a perfect time of the year  to enjoy the outdoors.  Following  flowers are captured around home except Magnolia flower pictures are taken while driving in Raleigh area. I will be making few more posts covering Spring bloom around my city. It's my pleasure to share the following  pictures with you. Enjoy!!

My very first spring flower capture - Dandelion

Bradford pear bloom around my home - First week of March.

Check following two pictures of Bradford pear flowers, they are taken one week apart.

Above picture after one week, feel the difference.

Single Daffodil in the lawn

Pink Magnolia Tree in full bloom

Pink Magnolia - beautiful mix of white and pink shade

Honeysuckle flowers

Yellow Forsythia bloom out side Walgreen Pharmacy store

White Dogwood bloom

Red Dogwood bloom

Wisteria in bloom

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 - A day of memorable Victory and Joy.

ICC Cricket world cup 2011 was the tenth cricket tournament played on 2nd April 2011. It was impressive remarkable performance by India team, they  became World Champions in one day Cricket after 28 years. I am not cricket fan and I rarely watch cricket match but  this day  marked a very special memory because after 13 years  my family watched live cricket match on our home TV. ICC world cup spirits were high  in my city. All desis secured their spot to enjoy live match  either on internet, temple, restaurant or at friends home. This enthusiasm and spirit of oneness initiated us to subscribe willow TV live streaming via our Roku box, we just paid 25$ and were set to enjoy live relay of ICC world cup 2011.I took some random  pictures from TV screen. I am creating this post to record memories of watching ICC Cricket world cup 2011... Enjoy !!

Congratulations and Thanks team India  for giving us moments to feel  proud.

Bollywood celebrity Sunil Shetty.

~~~~~~Srilanka finished batting.~~~~~~

I had no idea that cricket  bats do break while playing.

Broken cricket bat was replaced during ICC world cup match.

 Amir Khan and Rajanikant in the audience.

India Won ICC Cricket world cup 2011.

Harbhajan Sing's emotional moments after world Cup victory.

ICC World Cup 2011 - Winners after 28 years......