Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Boiling milk in rice cooker and Fruit basundi ( quick dessert of fruits in thick low fat milk)



Boiling milk in rice cooker with or without lid can be an unforgettable experience if left unattended. The milk will start overflowing after 10 mins and then you will have a hard time cleaning the exterior of the rice cooker and the floor.

 How to boil or heat milk in a rice cooker ?
Pour milk in the rice cooker pan. See that you fill only 3/4 th of the pan. Press the 'cook' button. Don't cover the pan with it's lid. Milk will become hot in 5-10 mins depending on the quantity and how hot you want it. Switch off the rice cooker and use it. Milk will not overflow during this heating time.

When you are cooking something using the above hot milk -
If you want to make oatmeal, coffee, tea, custard, hot chocolate etc add instant oatmeal mix, coffee pd, tea leaves, custard powder, sugar etc to the hot milk and 'cook' further. During this cooking time always keep a wooden spoon with long handle inside this pan. Milk will start boiling and will  tend to overflow. Stirring  with the spoon will prevent the overflow and also the cream formation.
Tip- Wooden spoons tends to absorb the aroma of spices during cooking. Always keep a separate spoon for stirring milk so that your milk will not smell of spices or onion or garlic.

Boiling milk in a rice cooker does not need a special post, so here we will be making strawberry basundi by adding strawberry, sugar into this milk.
Actual basundi is made by stirring the milk over heat for a long time so that it nearly reduces to half. Some prefer to add condensed milk or evaporated milk into this to quicken the process.

Here I will be using milk pd ( instant milk powder or dairy whitener) along with milk and sugar to make it. This basundi will take 15 mins to cook.
You can make many variations by just adding different fruit or nuts. I have given these in the recipe.





Basundi recipe-


 Ingredients
Milk- 2 cups
Milk pd (dairy whitener, instant milk pd)- 1 cup
Sugar - 3-5 tbsp
Strawberry (fresh or frozen) - 1 cup

 

1. Heat 1 cup milk in the rice cooker or non-stick sauce pan. Heat it for 5 mins.



2. Meanwhile take 1 cup milk powder in a bowl and add 1 cup milk (use 1/2 cup milk if using hand held blender and use the other half later while blending the fruit) to it. Mix this with a whisk to form a smooth mixture.

3. When the milk is hot add this (Milk powder + Milk) mixture from step 2 into the hot milk (step 1).
Add sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon and heat it further for 10 mins.
Keep stirring time to time.


4. The milk will thicken by this time.
Switch off the heat and allow the milk to cool.


Strawberry basundi-
Mash 1/2 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh) with a flat bottomed cup or in a mixer or hand held blender (use 1/2 cup milk from the recipe when using hand held blender).
Chop 1/2 cup strawberries (frozen or fresh) to small pieces.
Add both these crushed and chopped strawberries into the cooled milk.
You can eat this at room temperature or chill it in the refrigerator.


Tip- Freezing the strawberries-
Remove the stem and the leaves attached to the strawberries.
Cut and throw any soft portions. Also discard any strawberries with holes, they might contains catterpillars.
Wash them and drain.
Spread on a towel to remove excess water.
Chop into big pieces.
Store them in a box or plastic bag in the freezer.
Use them to make milkshakes, frappe, basundi, muffins, cheese cake etc.
Do not defrost (thaw) the strawberries when using them in recipes.


Variations-

Mango Basundi- 
1 peeled and cut mango(sweet and with less fiber). Can crush 1/2 of it. Add 2 cardamom (elaichi) powdered (1/4 tsp pd)

Custard apple basundi-
1 custard apple,after deseeding should yield about 1/2 cup pulp. Churn 1/4 cup with milk as you did for strawberry. 

Lychee basundi-
6 lychee, deseed and chop. You can add 1/4 cup lychee juice or grind 1/2 of the lychee.

Kesar badam (pista) basundi-
6 pistachios or almonds chopped, 1/4 tsp saffron (kesar), gently roasted and crushed, 1/4 tsp cardamom pd.

Orange basundi- 
1/4 cup orange segments,chopped, 1/4 cup orange juice






Check out the some recipes from my other blog- sameveggiemanyways.
You can cook these in rice cooker too.


Easy Kolhapuri masala -Kaanda lasun masala
This masala is used in various gravies and stir-fry.





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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Instant dhokli mix- 1





Imagine the joy of using one single mix to make Instant Gujarati Dal dhokli   (whole wheat Indian pasta simmered in sweet and sour lentil sauce), Theplas (Spiced rotis with or without veggies or greens), Cucumber carrot onion semolina pancakes and many more.



Ingredients for this Instant dhokli mix-


For every 2 cups (400ml or about 200 g) of Whole wheat flour
Take-
Chilli pd- 1 tsp
Turmeric pd (haldi)-1 tsp
Coriander pd - 1 tsp
Salt- 1 & 1/2 tsp
Thymol seeds (ajwain, omum)- 3/4 tsp
Oil- 4 tbsp

You need 1/2 cup of this mix to make Dal dhokli for 1 or 2 person.
When you want to make the instant mix in large quantity(1 kg) you can just multiply the ingredients by 5.





Take whole wheat flour in a bowl.
Add in all the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Make a well in the center and pour oil in it.



Slowly mix this oil with the flour. Rub with your fingers till all the flour is coated with oil and looks
like bread crumbs. 
You can also mix this in a food processor with 's' shaped blade.
Store this in airtight container in cool and dry place away from sunlight.
Use a dry spoon each time while you are taking out the flour.


Meals you can cook using this-

1. Instant Dal dhokli (one dish meal) and this also requires Instant dal mix-3.


 


3. Instant Methi thepla- Gujarati spiced fenugreek roti 
with veggies or plain, with oil or without, on griddle or grill










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Instant Gujarati daal and Dal dhokli





When I first tasted this Gujarati dal it tasted different from other Indian dals. Spices added in the  dal gives it an unique fragrance. 
This Sweet and sour dal  tastes delicious with steamed white rice or breads (Indian rotis or other). You can easily have it like a soup during winter. By adding pieces of spiced dough in this dal you can convert this into a nutritious and filling one-dish meal called Dal Dhokli. It can be further enriched by adding pieces of fresh fruits like apple, grapes and pineapple to make Fruit Dal Dhokli

As this dish has all the essential nutrients such as proteins ( in dal and nuts), carbohydrates (wheat flour), vitamins and minerals (in nuts, jaggery, dry and fresh fruits), fibre in fruits and wheat flour and some essential oils ( in various seeds, nuts) you can happily eat this instead of  your regular meal of rice/ bread, dal and vegetables.  

Appliance needed-
Rice cooker or Stove top
Time required-
Making the dough and kneading time- 5 mins
Preparing the dal and rolling & cutting dhokli pieces- 10 mins (see time saving tip given at the bottom)
Boiling the dhokli pieces in the dal- 25 mins

Instant Gujarati dal recipe

 

500 ml water
1/2 tsp Ghee  (optional)


1. Mix the instant dal mix in 1/2 cup water to make a paste or a solution. See that the powder dissolves well without any lumps. 

2. Take 500ml water in the rice cooker pan or in a thick bottomed sauce pan (cover the vessel with a lid).

3. Add the instant dal paste into this. Stir properly and boil it. Cover the lid of the rice cooker pan.

4. The dal gets cooked in 20 mins. Check for salt, add 1/2 tsp if required. 

5. This dal tends to thicken when it cools. You may add 1/2 cup water and heat it.






Instant dal dhokli recipe-

 

 

Dal dhokli is similar to spicy whole wheat pasta in sweet and sour lentil sauce.

 


Dal dhokli is made by simmering the dhokli pieces (square pieces of dough) in the above Gujarati daal.


Make the dough for the dhokli and cut out or hand mould the dhokli pieces before you start making the dal. 

 Step-1 Making the dhokli pieces

Dhokli pieces can be -

either rolled into a thin roti or tortilla with a rolling pin and then cut out into small pieces 
or  
shaped into tiny discs with hand (these are slightly thicker than the rolled out version)

The dough used to make these dhoklis are slightly different too. 
Choose the instant dhokli mix as per your requirement.

 Making the thin Dhokli pieces -

1/2 cup Instant Dhokli mix-1
1/4 cup water




Take instant dhokli mix in a 500ml capacity bowl.

   
Make a well in the center. Pour the water in this and slowly start incorporating the flour into the water. When it forms a soft pliable dough, knead it for 3-5 mins.

 Divide the dough into 2 parts or 4 parts.

 Shape each into a round.

 If you don't have a rolling pin place this round ball of dough between 2 plastic sheets and press with a heavy book. Or you can dust the rounds with little flour and roll it into thin rounds using a rolling pin without a plastic sheet.


Roll them into thin rounds like roti or tortilla.


Transfer the rolled out dough on to the chopping board and cut out squares or diamonds out of  the dough.


Making thick Dhokli discs-

1/2 cup Instant Dhokli mix -2
Less than 1/4 cup water

Make a hard dough using water. Since you are not rolling out the dough, the dough need not be soft or smooth.

Divide the dough into 8-10 round balls or even more. Flatten these into small rounds (not too thick or too thin i.e, about 1/4 cm.) with help of your fingertips. You can cook these dhokli pieces first and then add the Instant dal solution into this and boil for another 15 mins to make these dal dhoklis.

Step 2- Cooking the dhoklis in the dal

 
Make a solution of  the instant dal mix as you did when making Gujarati dal  and start boiling it. (i.e., follow the first 3 steps)


When the dal mix has cooked for 10 mins add the dhokli pieces into the dal and boil for  another 25 -30 mins.
See that the dal is boiling nicely when you are adding the dhokli pieces. 
Also the dal should not be very thick, it should be of pourable consistency like in the above picture. These 2 things ensures that the dhokli pieces remain separate. Other wise they might form a cluster and do not cook evenly.
As this dal contains dhokli pices and is being cooked for more time than a regular dal... it tends to thicken during cooking. 
Add 1/2  cup of water when it is boiling so that you can adjust its consistency. Consistency is like that of a thick creamy soup.



Eating tip-
Top this dal or dal dhokli with clarified butter or ghee just before eating
Eat this when it is hot.
You can prepare the Gujarati dal ahead of time and reheat it when required.
Dal dhokli is tasty when eaten fresh.

Time saving tip-
1.Pepare the dhokli dough first, when it is ready keep the dal for boiling. 
When the dal is boiling you can start rolling the dough and cut them into pieces. 
By this time dal would have boiled for 10 mins. 
Now add the dhokli pieces one by one into it and boil it for 25 mins. 

2. You can arrange these cut dhokli pieces on a tray and freeze them. 
When they become hard, transfer them into a plastic bag and put them back into the freezer. Whenever you want some dhokli pieces take out  few pieces and let them to come to room temperature before using them.



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Friday, 3 January 2014

Okra with instant stir-fry masala / Bharli Bhindi

Okra has decided to celebrate the arrival of New Year with it's 2 best friends- Peanut and Chickpea flour (Besan). Both these help the okra to stay firm in shape. Enjoy this with any meal and you will be happy when you suddenly realize that you didn't put in much effort to cook this.

Okra or Lady finger or Bhindi becomes tasty when stuffed with roasted peanut  or chickpea flour or both. If you are following my blog from the beginning you would have already prepared the two Instant stir fry masalas one using peanuts and the other using chickpea powder. Use these to prepare this stuffed okra. If you don't have these then take equal quantity of powdered roasted peanuts and dry roasted chickpea flour (besan) and season it with salt and some spices such as ginger powder, asafoetida, green chillies, coriander-cumin pd, aniseed, turmeric pd, chilli pd and sugar.

 Have a look at the ingredients that go into each of these stir-fry powders. You will get an idea of what spices you can use. If you don't have few of these... you can leave them out. Mustard and cumin should be put in hot oil for popping as they don't taste good in raw form.

1. Ingredients in peanut stirfry powder-



2. Ingredients used in chickpea flour stirfry masala powder-



Stuffed Okra/ Bharli bhindi recipe

Appliance- Stove top/ Rice cooker
Time required - 10 mins cooking time + the time required to stuff each okra


Ingredients required-

1. 25 small Tender okra/ lady finger- should be of same size for even cooking, wash and wipe them dry to avoid them turning slimy.
You can use frozen ones too, you won't be able to stuff them but you can coat the okras with this masala after frying them.

2. About 2 tsp oil to coat the pan

3. 1 tsp Garlic paste or 1/2 tsp powder (optional, I use it some times for a different taste, you might like it too.)

4. Equal quantities of Peanut masala powder and Chickpea flour masala powder (about 1/2 cup each)
You can vary the ratio as per your taste. Mix these two and check whether the salt is right. If you are using garlic powder mix it along.



Directions-




If you are using frozen okra skip this step. I have given the directions to cook frozen okra after this recipe.





Heat oil in a non stick pan, fry the garlic paste in it for a minute (if using)  and arrange the stuffed okra in it.
If you are using a rice cooker then coat the bottom of the non-stick rice cooker pan with oil . Arrange the stuffed okras as shown above in the picture. If you have more stuffed okras don't over crowd or pile them but just cook them in batches.Cover it with the lid and press the 'cook' button of the rice cooker.


Cover and cook again for 5 more minutes. (the rice cooker may go to 'warm' mode by this time. Just  wait for the rice cooker to cool down slightly so that you can press the 'cook' mode again.)
If you have more okra continue with the second batch.


You can fry these stuffed Okras  in a large flat bottomed non-stick pan in a single batch as shown in the above picture.



Recipe for stir-frying frozen okra -

(If you are using frozen sliced okras do not defrost them. Heat oil in a pan and fry garlic paste for 2-3 mins till slightly golden. Add the frozen okras and fry them in oil for 7-8 mins covered with a lid. Take care to stir once in between for even cooking. Spread the stir-fry masala powder over this sliced fried okra, cover and cook for few more mins, stir well so that  the okra are covered with masala. Remove.)


Stuffed okra tastes good as a starter.
It is an ideal side dish with any Indian bread or steamed plain rice or spiced rice/ pulav

 Here are some Menu plans to go along with this Stuffed Okra-

1. Plain dal and rice + Beetroot ginger stir-fry



                       +   
                              







2. Indian Mashed potato -Tariwale alu tamatar and rice + Red or green cabbage salad (use yoghurt-black pepper dressing)


                          
                              +

   





3. Tomato Dal and steamed rice + Cucumber salad or Tropical salad

 



                           +





4. Dal with leafy vegetable or Dal fry + Steamed rice/ Indian bread + Cucumber Pomegranate salad



                         +
                             






5. Oat Wheat porridge (kitchdee) with or without vegetables + Cucumber-yoghurt salad




                         +






6. Papad Kadhi and steamed rice and cucumber salad

                                                                                                                                                                                      










7. Instant Egg / Paneer /Tofu Masala with or without peas (add coconut milk to make a gravy) and steamed rice/ bread  

     
Please include a link to Delicieux & Eat Your Veg on each entry - See more at: http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/januarys-four-seasons-food-challenge-now-open/#sthash.Yb8K5SIF.dpuf



I am adding this recipe to a couple of blogging events.

1. Delicieux and Eat your Veg FSF Winter 
I like this event because classifying food recipes according to season is very sensible.
fsf-winter

2. Lets cook with green vegetables event by simply.food. There are very nice entries which I plan to try out.


 











3. I am new at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary Shop Local Challenge. Hope to be regular. This one fits nicely because I am using the okra (bhindi) sourced from the local farmer who comes to our locality every evening, from Vasai which is close to Mumbai city.



Shop Local Badge

4. Nayna's Flavors of the world Grand finale


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