Thursday, July 28, 2011

Achaari Dahi bhindi

500 gms (approx 30 nos) Bhindi
2 tsp chopped ginger
¾ cup chopped tomatoes
¼ cup fresh thick curds 
¼ tsp turmeric powder 
¾ tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

For the achaari masala
2 tsp fennel seeds 
1 tsp mustard seeds 
½ tsp onion seeds 
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
A pinch of asafoetida 

Wash, wipe dry and slit the bhindis into half and then cut them into 25 mm. (1") pieces.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the bhindis in it , in 2 batches. Keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil another pan and add the achaari masala to it.
When the seeds crackle, add the ginger and tomatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes till the mixture leaves oil.
Meanwhile whisk together the curds, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt.
Add this mixture to the pan, mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the bhindis and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves: 4

Tip of the day:  Store an apple near a banana to ripen the banana in a short period of time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Watermelon Agua Fresca

8 cups cubed watermelon, divided
1 cup water, divided
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
4 cups club soda or seltzer water, well chilled
Lime slices or mint for garnish (optional)

1) Combine half the watermelon, half the water and half the sugar in a blender; puree. Pour through a coarse strainer into a large container. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water and sugar. Stir in lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours.
2) To serve, stir in club soda (or seltzer) and garnish with lime. 

Serves: 4 cups

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Tip of the day: Sprinkle salt in tamarind before storing to keep away the worms.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baby Corn and Capsicum Satay with Peanut Sauce

12 baby corns, small sized - put in boiling water for 3 minutes and wipe dry
1 green capsicum - cut into 1" cubes
6 cherry tomatoes or 1 large, firm tomato, cut into 8 pieces and pulp removed

1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp soya sauce
8-10 garlic flakes - crushed to a paste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 tsp roasted salted peanuts
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
4-6 garlic flakes crushed
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2-1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp soya sauce
1 cup coconut milk

To make coconut milk, grate a coconut and add 1 1/2 cups hot water to it. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Blend in a strainer and squeeze through a muslin cloth to get fresh coconut milk. If fresh coconut is not available you may use 1 cup coconut mixed with 1 cup hot water and get milk the same way.
Mix all the ingredients of the marinade together. Add baby corns, capsicum and tomatoes. Keep covered for 1/2 hour or till serving time.
Thread marinated vegetables onto oiled wooden skewers. Leave behind the marinade. Cook in a preheated grill at 350F for 10 minutes. If using stove top, heat a kadai with little oil and fry the vegetables until tender.
To make peanut sauce, grind peanuts with the salt to a rough powder.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed small pan or kadai. Add crushed garlic. Saute till it starts to change color. Reduce heat. Add 1/2 tsp red chili powder. Add only 1/2 cup coconut milk. Boil, stirring. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the crushed peanuts, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp soya sauce and the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk. Boil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking to the pan. Transfer to a bowl and serve with the prepared satay.


Tip of the day: To keep asafoetida(hing) soft without getting harder, keep a green or red chili with it and the hing will always be soft.