Thursday, July 30, 2009

Daal Dhoka

I have been highly inspired recenlty with the number of food blogs I have been visiting and so I decided to post recipes freqeuntly. People say I cook well and honestly, that when I didn't know any till 9 years back is a HUGE Compliment. :D.
As I mentioned earlier too, I am having a hard time deciding the food menu every other day as I have decided to stick to a strict vegetarian diet this year, all through the month of sawan. Head scratching and all I made Daal Dhoka for dinner last evening and as always forgot to click the pictures :(
But of course I have the recipe here for those of you who may some day visit my blog. The recipe I used is from my mom. She used to make the same using masoor daal also, but the one here I did using chana daal.

Daal Dhoka Curry

Chana dal- 2 cups
Ginger paste 3 tsps
Cumin powder-2 tsps
Coaiander Powder-2tsps
Red chilly Powder (Optional) - 1tsp
Turmeric Powder-2 tsps
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds-1 tsp
Salt-2 tsps or as per taste
Tomatoes- 4 (finely chopped)
Green chilly/Whole Red Chilly: 4
Mustard Oil for frying

Soak the chana daal for 2-3 hours
Grind the daal to a fine paste using little water.
Mix the ginger paste, chilly powder, turmeric and salt
In a Heavy bottomed pan, add 1 tsp oil and splutter the cumin seeds
Add the Dal mixture to this and cook for sometime till the paste starts becoming a little sticky
Oil a flat dish/plate
Pour the daal mixture into it flattening it with a spatula while still hot
Let it cool for around 10 mins.
Cut into diamond shaped pieces
The dal dhoka is ready

To fry the dhokas now:
Heat oil in a kadahi/wok
Deep fry the daal dhoka till they turn brown
Fry all the pieces

In the remaining oil
Splutter the fenugreek seeds and add the whole red chilly or green chilly
Add the ginger past, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and tomatoes.
Fry for sometime till oil starts leaving the bottom of the pan
Add 2 glasses of water.
Boil for sometime and then add the fried dhokas
Garnish with Coriander leaves
Serve with roti or rice

I need readers for my blogposts. Especially the recipe posts. I don't know how to go about it yet..would ask a few friends to link my blog to theirs.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sawan ka Mahina- Vegetarian food month

Well, It is July and according to hindu calender is the month of Sawan and is going to be a vegetarian month for me. Now that is tough....I am out of ideas for cooking everyday meals. The whole thing is going to last for a month. Eating veggies everyday and what's more you are expected to provide varieties to hubby dear. :(
Now that is my problem because he has not asked me to not cook or eat mutton/chicken/fish/eggs. Rather he is eating non veg khana even after my instructions to not do so. He can't live "HAPPILY" without it for more than a day or two.
But head bent as I am to not eat non veg during this time, am left scratching my head every time I have to plan dinner/lunch menu -whatever....
I have been making Aloo Patal Dum for Sunday lunch for the past two weeks and the husband has been eating the same without a word-- gave me the idea that it must be definitely good enough to post here.
Patal belongs to the gourd family of vegetables and here is what I could find about the vegetable:
Trichosanthes dioica is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains major nutrients and trace elements (magnesium, potassium, copper, sulfur, and chlorine) which are needed in small quantities, for playing essential roles in human physiology. (source wikipedia)

Aloo Patal Dum/Aloo Parwal Dum/Potato and Pointed Gourd Curry

Potatoes(medium sized ) - 4 cut into cubes
Patal/parwal/pointed gourd- 8 scraped and cut into halves
Onion- 1 grated
Bay leaf- 2
Dhania Powder(Coriander)- 3tsps
Jeera Powder(Cumin)- 2tsps
Kali mirch(Black pepper) powder -1/2tsps
Garam Masala Powder-1/tsps
Cumin Seeds-1/2tsps
Dried Whole Red Chilly- 2
Ginger paste-3tsps
Garlic paste - 1tsps
Haldi- 2tsps
Salt -2 tsps or as per taste
Oil - 6tbsps I usually use mustard oil

Heat oil in the pressure cooker.
Shallow fry the patal/parwal and potatoes each at a time
Remove from oil and keep aside.
In the remaining oil add the bay leaf, red chilly and cumin seeds.
Add the onion paste and fry till the color changes to pink
Add the Dhania, jeera, kalimirch powder, Ginger garlic paste, salt and haldi
Fry for sometime or till oil starts separating from the mixture
Add the potatoes and patal/parwal and mix
Add 2 cups of water, sprinkle the garam masala powder and cover the lid of the cooker
let it pressure cook for 5 mins. The cooker should not whistle/release pressure in this time.
Remove from heat and wait till the pressure is released
Open lid and add 1tsp of ghee for the flavor
Serve with plain Rice along with Dal or serve with vegetable pulao.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chilly Paneer

Since Chilly Paneer is a hot favorite among my collegaues when I bring it to lunch at work, I decided to let it show here

Chilly Paneer (Cottage Cheese in Chilly Garlic Sauce)

Oil- 6tbsp
Capsicum (diced)- 2
Onions (diced)-2
Whole Green chilly
Ginger-50gms(finely chopped)
Garlic-15 cloves(finely chopped)

For the sauce mixture:
Mix 2tbsp cornflour, 3tbsp Tomato Sauce, 2tbsp Green Chilly Sauce and 2tbsp Soya Sauce in a bowl

Cut the paneer into 1 inch cubes
Mix 2tbsp of cornflour, salt and pepper to sprinkle
Spread the paneer on a plate and sprinkle the cornflour over it.
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the paneer pieces till golden
In the remaining oil saute the ginger, garlic,chilly, onion and capsicum
Add salt and pepper according to taste.
Add the sauce mixture to this and let it cook for 5 mins.
Add the paneer pieces, stirring slowly and cook till the paneer is evenly coated with the sauce.

I sometimes use ginger garlic paste instead of the chopped ginger garlic and it does give the flavor to it. If you do not like the ginger or garlic taste much, you can try this

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Kamal Kakri Kabab

I always run out of veggie snack options during summer time. While buying my weekly vegetable this week I picked some Kamal Kakri. It was a likeable food option at my parents home but my husband simply refuses to eat it. :-(
However, an old colleague of mine used to get the Kamal Kakri kabab for her packed lunch and I decided to try it this time. The kebabs turned out to be really delicious and hubby dear savoured it.

Here is my very own recipe for making the kababs

Kamal Kakri Kabab

Kamal Kakri/Lotus Stem/Lotus Root - 250gms
Chana Dal -1/2 cup
Ginger (crushed or finely chopped)-50g
Garlic (crushed) - 8 cloves
Green Chilly(Slit) - 4
Whole Black Pepper - 6
Cloves - 6
Water - 1/4 cup
Salt- 1tsp or as per taste
Oil- 6 tbsps or as necessary

Cut and Clean the Kamal Kakri using warm water
Soak the dal for about half an hour
Mix the kamal kakri, dal and all other ingredients
Boil in a pressure cooker till done
Remove from heat and mash well
Make round balls/chops
Heat & Grease the Tawa/pan adding some oil to it
Add the balls to the tawa gently flattening it as you do so
Let it cook on either side till golden brown
Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander and onion rings
Serve hot with Green chutney/sauce

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fame and Wine

Composed this for In Vino Veritas (Truth in Wine) contest at Jason Evans's blog.

Fame and Wine

Oh! A glass of wine so inviting and pure,
A sip would leave you craving for more
Same is true for glory and fame,
A taste of which would give you a name
Each gets better with passing time
As is true for old wine
I still choose wine over fame
One may pass but the other remain.

When tales of glory turn to folklore
And wine takes you to a sopor-
You should know, to ask not in vain
Should I or should I not proclaim?
Which of these is really mine-
Should I or should I not opine?
Fame to minds you would engrain,
Wine at times would leave you in disdain.

When erudition and wisdom finally galore
And I in all my worldliness implore-
You cannot do without either of them
Drink one and the other attain.
In all my years today I confine
I always wished the two would entwine.
While wine is precious and not mundane
Fame is much callous to maintain.

As long as you know how to handle both
You are fine and so I quoth.

Monday, July 6, 2009


A few days back I asked hubby dear to get some fruits on the way home. Now, it is seldom that he is asked to do so - so out of happiness and excitement he bought more than enough I guess. :D
What he got was 2kgs Mango - langda Aam, a dozen of good ripe bananas and 1kgs pomegranate. Now the season being summer and the weather being as hot as it can get here in Delhi, I just didn't know how to save the fruits. Mangoes were not a problem as I love them and would finish it off soon but none of us have a strong liking for bananas. :-(
I of course refrigerated the pomegranate and Mangoes so they would still stay good for some days but bananas. You can't put them either in the refrigerator or leave it in the open for many days. Atleast I don't because they soon start becoming blackish and I hate it.
However, we tried to eat a few of the bananas and then I decided to make "Pua" to put best use to it. This is a typical recipe right from my state. A must on the festival of holi. This was a common delicacy at my parents home and Mom used to often make it- be it whatever festival. Holi diwali, durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Independence day - yes! as kids we used to clebrate independence day too back at home...I guess since all of us were "Sweet Toothed", Mom wouldn't hesitate to make such things any day.
Ask any bihari and he would associate Pua with holi. There are a variety of "Puas" made on the eve of holi. My mom made puas in different ways.
However, the one here is a very simple and quick recipe


Maida - 3cups
Milk - 4/6 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Bananas - 4
Green Cardamom(crushed) - 8 crushed
Grated Coconut - 250gms
Saunf(crushed)- 3tsp
Oil for Frying

Mix all the ingredients together blending well.
the consistency would be like a dosa batter
Leave for an hour.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan/wok
Uusing a ladle pour a little of the batter into the oil.
The Pua should be shaped round like a puri.
Fry on low flame till golden in color
Turn each side using a spatula.
Line a flat dish with kitchen towels
Remove the puas from heat and place on the dish so as to absorb excess oil

Note: The oil used for frying puas should be hot in the beginning but you must remember to reduce flame as soon as you pour the batter to the pan else the shape does not come. Do not use the spatula to turn the puas unless the puas look cooked on the other side.

The pua can be served hot or cold. Combining the pua with Rabri is a slumptuous option. :) My favorite is refrigerated Pua and Rabri.