Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The quintissential CKP Ninaava, a wonderful vegan nutritious dessert

We all know निनावं,  the soft yumminess of it and the melt-in-the mouth-ness of besan and jaggery and coconut milk and cardamom. Well, here's a slightly different (lazier) take on our favourite vegan dessert!

Ingredients: (use organic ingredients for that extra taste and texture, normal is fine if you can't get organic)
1. Besan(chickpea flour): 2 cups
2. Powdered Jaggery: 1.25 cups (or more if you like it extra sweet)
3. Coconut Milk: One pack of Dabur hommade or 2 cups freshly extracted
4. Cardamom: Ground, 2 teaspoons
5. Nutmeg: Ground, pinch
6. Water: 1 cup

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg celcius.
2. Add water and coconut milk to besan and beat until no lumps are seen.
3. Now add everything into a mixie/blender bowl and mix well. The resultant mixture should be runny, NOT thick. Add more water if required. Coarser besan tends to absorb more water, so the quantity of water required may be different every time.
4. Pour the runny batter into a cake mould.
5. Bake at 180 deg celcius until top turns dark brown, approximately 40 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool. Cut up into pieces and serve warm.

The traditional ninaava is steamed, not baked. But you need to keep stirring that and that is definitely not what a lazy cook would do :)
My son eats his with a bit of vanilla ice-cream, obviously he's not vegan! But I like to have it plain.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Wheat and nuts ladoo

Well this is not necessarily CKP or even Maharashtrian, it's north indian aate ke laddo, a favourite of my husband's. Maybe it IS essentially ckp, since ckpees are known to have been absorbing food and culture from around them for centuries now. :)

1. Organic whole wheat flour, 4 cups
2. Ghee, melted, 2 cups
3. Crushed nuts and seeds (almonds/walnuts/cashew/pine/hazel/any/all....half cup)
4. Cardomom, crushed fine, 1/2 tspn
5. Nutmeg, grated fine, pinch
6. Sugar, powdered, 2 cups
7. Milk, half cup

1. Mix ingredients 1 and 2 in a bowl and roast in a tray in oven at 150 deg celcius for 45 min. Mixture should turn golden brown and give off a heavenly aroma by now.
2. Take out of oven and let cool
3. Mix ingredients 3-6 to the golden brown mass.
4. Add milk, spoon by spoon until mixture comes together in your hands. (Note, add only as much milk as required)
5. Laadoo valaa! Make balls of the mixture and press them within your palms to bind well.

Eat them up and share them with family and friends! These are lovely to eat in winter. :) Be sure to run an extra kilometre the next day!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Kothimbir Vadi

1. Besan 2 cups
2. Kothimbir (coriander): 1 big bunch, chopped coarsely
3. Turmeric: pinch
4. Red chilli powder: 1 tspn
5. Jeera powder: 1 tspn
6. Ova (Ajwain): 1/2 tspn
7. Salt: 1 tspn
8. Lemon juice/tamarind paste: 1 tbspn
9. Water: as required to make the dough
10. Oil: 1 tbspn

Mix ingredients 1-9 together and form a soft dough. Flatten it out into a circle (or oval or square or rectangle or any shape) with a rolling pin ( लाटणं ) until it's half an inch thick. Note: Oil all surfaces, even your hands, or else the dough gets too sticky and messy. Now, lift up the flat dough from one side and start rolling it up, just as you would roll up your yoga mat. Pinch the ends of the roll close from both sides. Cut the roll of dough as per the size of your steamer and steam the roll of dough for about 20 minutes. Take it out of the steamer and cut it into slices. You can either temper these slices with green chillies and mustard seeds, or you could shallow fry them on a griddle ( तवा ). Another option is deep frying them, but that's a pain and then what's the use of all that yoga? Enjoy hot kothimbir vadis by themselves or as a side to liven up your plate.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Instant mango pickle

This is perfect for perking up a boring meal:
1 Raw Mango medium sized
Oil 2 tbsn
Turmeric powder 1 tspn
Red chilli powder 2 tspn
Fenugreek (methi) powder 1 tspn (this is a must, it adds amazing flavour)
Mustard seeds 1/2 tspn
Salt 1 tspn
Asafoetida (hing) pinch

1. Wash and dry the raw mango. Chop it fine, along with the skin.
2. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the hing and the mustard seeds. Switch off heat when the seeds begin to sputter.
3. Add the "phodni" (oil, hing and mustard seeds) to the chopped mango pieces.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
5. Transfer to a glass jar (need not be air-tight) and refrigerate.

Note: Lasts for upto a month if you can resist the temptation to eat it like a side-dish! Goes wonderfully well with varan-bhaat bhaji. Also with chapati-bhaji/paratha. Also as addition to sandwich filler. My son eats it with pasta!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Kheema Patties

This makes about 10 patties:

1.     250 gm kheema (minced meat, could be chicken or mutton)
2.     Ginger paste 1 tspn
3.     Garlic paste 1 tspn
4.     Salt 2 tspn
5.     Turmeric powder 1/2 tspn
6.     Red chilli powder 1 tspn
7.     Lemon juice 1 tbspn
8.     5 medium sized potatoes
9.     2 slices of bread
10. Whites of 2 eggs
11. Onion 1 large
12. Oil 1/2 cup

1. Marinate the kheema with ingredients 2 to 7 for at least 30 min.
2. Boil potatoes, peel and mash well.
3. Soak the bread slices in water, squeeze out the water and blend with the mashed potatoes.
4. Cook the minced meat in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes. Remove excess water (this can be used for soup stock).
5. Chop the onion fine and fry. Add the cooked kheema and scramble.
6. Heat a griddle/tava and spread a spoonful of oil on it..
7. Take a handful of the finely mashed potatoes and bread mixture and make a bowl. Fill the bowl with the kheema and close it to make a ball. Pat the ball to make it as flat as you can without breaking it, this is the patty.
8. Dip each patty into the egg-white and shallow-fry it on both sides.

Enjoy your kheema pattice!

For a vegetarian version, use peas instead of minced meat.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Narali Bhaat..recipe for coconut day (Narali Pournima)

We very often forget to celebrate coconut day nowadays due to the domination by the "Rakhi Pournima". I wonder if sisters still do need protection offered by their brothers? Yes, they probably do, sigh, as I saw from a recently published article that India is the fourth dangerous country for women in the whole world..(Afghanistan topped the list, followed by Pakistan and one more country I forgot..and next comes India!) I guess "Raksha Bandhan", however soppy it may be, is still very much required for Indian women. Anyways, coconut day or नारळी पौर्णिमा is much more fun, with sea-worship done by throwing coconuts into the sea and of course delicious नारळी भात! Here's a fool-proof (read me-proof) and easy recipe by my aayee, the result is a heavenly blend of rice and the respected coconut and jaggery..yumm!! You can have it for dessert or even as a snack.

Ingredients: Serves 4
1. Rice: 1 cup (200 ml cup). Use a fine and white variety here, forget about brown rice for this recipe. I use something called Jeera Samba rice that is available locally here in Bangalore. I think "Ambe Mohar" would be perfect for this, for those who are lucky enough to be able to get आंबे मोहर!
2. Ghee: 1 tbsn. Use home-made ghee if possible. Check out: http://tigressinapickle.blogspot.com/2011/07/ghee.html
3.Jaggery: 3/4th cup organic brown jaggery. Stick to organic here, who knows what chemical cocktail they use on jaggery and sugar!
4. Clove: 2
5. Cinanmon (Dalchini): 1 stick 1/2 inch long
6. Coconut milk: (thick, 1st pressing) 200 ml. I use Dabur's, available in 200 ml tetrapacks.
7. Water: 250 ml.

1. Wash and strain the rice.
2. Heat the ghee in a saucepan. Fry the cloves and the cinnamon in the ghee until aromatic.
3. Add rice and fry lightly until all grains are coated with the ghee.(I switch off the heat and do this because I am afraid of the hot ghee splashing, but that's me!).
4. Pour the coconut milk and water into the saucepan and cook the rice completely. You can add more water if required, don't worry about breaking the rice grains.
5. Once the rice is completely cooked, add the jaggery and mix it well. Switch off the heat.
6. You may garnish with nuts and raisins, but it is delicious even without those!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Kombdiche Kaalvan..chicken curry for the ckp soul..low calorie version

This is कोंबडीचे कालवण with a difference: no frying onions! I hate to fry onions..actually I hate to fry anything and so I tried out baking the onions whole and it worked perfectly well! This recipe is for quite a spicy version, vary the spices as per taste.
Ingredients: Serves 4
1. 1/2 kg chicken, curry cut into small pieces. Country(free-range) chicken tastes best. Have all the fat/skin removed.
2. 2 medium sized onions whole
3. Peppercorns: 8
4. Cloves: 2
5. Cinnamon stick: 1 inch long
6. Shredded Dry coconut: 1 tbspn..optional
7. Ginger: half inch piece
8. Garlic: about 20 cloves or one whole garlic
9. 2 green chillies
10. Turmeric powder: 1 tspn
11. Red chilli powder: 2 tspn
12. Salt: 2 tspn
13. Lemon juice: 2 tspn
14. Filtered groundnut oil/ghee: 2 tspn
15. Asafoetida ( हिंग ) : pinch
16: Water: as required for the gravy, I use 2 cups for a thick gravy.
17. Coriander leaves: chopped, 2 tbspn

1. Prepare the marinade by making a paste out of the ginger, garlic and green chillies, lemon juice and salt. Keep aside.
2. Clean the chicken. Apply the marinade to the chicken pieces by hand until the chicken pieces are completely coated. Try and rub in the marinade.
3. Let the chicken marinate for at least an hour. You could even marinate the chicken and refrigerate it overnight and cook it the next day.
4. Preheat oven at 150 deg celsius. Place the cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and the two whole onions(unpeeled) into the oven.
5. Take out the spices after you hear popping sounds from the cloves, this will take 3-4 minutes.
6. Continue to bake the whole onions for about 20 minutes.
7. While the onions are baking, do the following:
     a. Grind to a powder the roasted spices and shredded coconut. Let it remain in the mixie jar.
     b. Heat the oil/ghee in a wok ( कढई ). Add the asafoetida.
     c. Add the marinated chicken to the wok and cover. Let the chicken begin to cook.
8. Take out the onions from the oven. Peel them. The onions turn transparent inside when completely cooked. Cool them and grind them along with the powdered spices. 
Note: It's important to grind the spices and dried coconut separately before the onions as the spices are hard and need more grinding.
9. Add water, ground onions and spices to the wok and let the chicken come to a boil. Simmer covered for 10 minutes and switch off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
11. Eat steaming hot with rice or chapati.