Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lauki ke Kofte

I hate Lauki (Bottlegourd ) and I know many more people who are like me. I remember my Mom would always make potato vegetable along with it so that I could eat it. But then there were days when she would serve it as kofta’s and trust me we wouldn’t even know that very slyly she was feeding us (though it is a different matter altogether that it loses its benefits after frying) the much hated lauki.
So here I present you the much hated Lauki in a version which makes it much loved ;-)
Lauki Ke Kofte
For Kofta’s
Lauki:                               1 medium sized
Besan:                             1 Tablespoon
Salt:                                1 ½ teaspoon
Garam Masala:                  1 teaspoon
Cilantro leaves:                 1 tablespoon
Bread:                             Two slices
Boiled potato:                   1 (optional)
Oil:                                  For frying
For Gravy
Onions:                              2 medium sized
Tomatoes:                          2 medium sized
Garlic:                                6 Cloves
Ginger:                               1 inch piece
Red Chilli Powder:                1 Teaspoon (vary the quantity as per taste)
Dhaniya Powder:                  1 & 1/2 Tablespoon
Turmeric Powder:                 1 & ½ Tablespoon
Salt:                                   To taste
Curd:                                  1 Tablespoon
Malai:                                 1 teaspoon (optional)
Garam Masala Powder:          1 & ½ teaspoon
Cilantro leaves:                    1 Tablespoon (for garnishing)
Oil:                                    2 Tablespoon

Put 2-3 glasses of water to boil, peel the Lauki and grate it. Once the water starts boiling put the grated Lauki in it and let it boil for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the gas and let the Lauki lie in the hot water for 10 minutes. Later drain the Lauki out in a drainer and it let cool.
Kofta Stuff!
In the meanwhile you can start working on the gravy by adding Two Tbsp oil in a kadhai; add jeera, minced ginger & garlic. Let it fry for two minutes and then add the chopped onions.
Once the Lauki cools down take small-small quantities of Lauki in your palm & squeeze out the water. This step is very important because it decides how good your Kofta’s would be. Please ensure that you manage to squeeze out the maximum water. Once this is done add all the ingredients mentioned under the head “For Kofta’s” and knead this into soft dough. Keep stirring the onions in between.
Heat the oil for frying. Make small balls of the dough and fry it in batches and don’t forget to stir the onions in between. Key to perfectly fried Kofta’s? Remember that when you are putting them to Fry the oil should be hot, 2-3 mins after putting them in put the flame at medium, keep rotating the balls so that they don’t get overcooked from one side. Just before you are taking them out increase the flame, cook for 2-3 mins and take them out when they are golden brown.
Frying Away to Glory!
Ready to be thrown in the sea of gravy!
By the time you would be done with the Kofta’s the onions would have turned brown. Now add the masala’s i.e. Red Chilli Powder, Dhaniya Powder, Turmeric Powder & Salt. After 2 mins add the chopped tomatoes, cover the kadhai and let it cook at medium flame.  Keep stirring in between and once the tomatoes’ are cooked add the curd & Malai.

Cook it at high flame and once the oil separates from the masala add approximately 2 cups of water, bring it to boil and then let it cook at low flame for approx. 10-15 minutes. Now add the Kofta’s slowly and turn off the gas.
Garnish it with cilantro leaves and serve it with hot roti’s/ rice.

There is an alternate way to make the gravy which you can find here. The only difference here is that we make a paste of the Onions + ginger + garlic + tomatoes and then cook it. Since this method takes more time I would advise you to start with this even before par boiling the Lauki. This will save you loads of time. I prefer using the second method on days when I have extra time or when I am expecting guests, it is however very important that the masala has to be cooked very well otherwise there would be this half cooked taste which can spoil all the efforts.
Here, this is the picture of the subji made with the second method. The difference is just in the texture of gravy. 

Do you make this dish? Same way or some other version? Do share.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Matar Ke Parathe (Stuffed Green Peas Paratha)

Matar aka Fresh Green Peas is a personal favourite and the main thing that I love about it is the numerous number of ways in which we can use it. I always wait for the winter season mainly for the fresh vegetables it offers and green peas always tops the list. I always stock up as much of it as possible for future use but manage to end it within a month and then I either keep buying it expensive or go & pick up the frozen ones which I personally feel are no patch over the fresh ones. Unfortunately this year I have not been able to enjoy them because in my diet plan they fall under the "strictly not allowed category" but that hasn't stopped me for using it for family.
This Thursaday I made Stuffed Green Peas Paratha for dinner (you can make them for breakfast too) and they turned out yummy. An anecdote related to this recipe is that whenever I used to tell my Hubby that I am planning to make Matar Ke Parathe he would turn his nose saying it would be bland but when I finally served him my Paratha's he was in for a surprise. So here is my recipe for you to try before the season ends. Also few initial pictures are missing as I forgot to click them.
Stuffed Green Peas Paratha
For Stuffing

Makes 10-12 big paratha's
Fresh Green Peas:    1 /2 Cups
Onion: 1 Medium size, finely chopped
Oil: 2 Tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds): 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder: To taste
Dhaniya Powder: 1 tbsp
Salt: To taste
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Amchoor Powder: 2 Tsp
Pudina Powder: 2 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves: 1 tbsp

Boil the peas and as it turns tender drain the water out. As it cools down put it in a mixer making a paste of it.

In a pan add oil, once it heats up add the jeera. As it splutters add the onion. Once the onion turns transparent add the peas followed by all the spices, barring the last two ingredients. Cook this stuffing till the water evaporates and the Peas looks cooked (it will take approx. 15-20 mins to cook at medium flame). Add the Garam Masala Powde & Cilantro leaves, cook for 2-3 more mins and turn off the gas.

See how the color changes
Take it out in broad vessel so that it cools of quickly.

Now prepare the atta dough as you usually do, just add a little salt in it. Take out a small ball of the dough (we call It loi), make a small katori of it and put the stuffing in it. Now I will let the pictures do the talking.
If you keep a little loi in the center the stuffing will not spill out

Stuffing ball


Fold it in from all side but keep more Aata on one side

Close it!

Ready to be rolled out :)
Once the ball is ready roll it like you usually make a roti and then put it on a hot tawa. Once one side is cooked turn it around, put approx. 1 tbsp oil it, spread it across and turn the paratha. Repeat the same process and with a ladel press the thing till it is cooked from all sides and serve it hot with green chutney.

And as usual I have after pictures!!! We are always too busy eating you see ;-)

Added later in response to the queries in the comments

When you are making stuffed paratha's a common thing that happens is that the stuffing spills out when you are rolling the loi. To avoid the same what you should do is, pull out the required atta in your hand, of it pull out a small portion, make a katori of the rest of it and then put the small portion in the center (depicted in the picture). Then put in the stuffing and close the loi. How it helps is that from the side where you closed the loi there is always enough covering but in the center the atta is less and that is the side from where the stuffing spills out but by keeping a little etc atta there you are giving extra protection to the stuffing. :-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meri Waali Dal Tadka!

Most of my cooking skills come from my Mom and when it comes to basic dishes I have her on my beck & call. She is an awesome cook and her cooking style is simple yet there is something about the way she cooks that even the simplest dishes come to life under her and though I love everything that she cooks but her dal’s are out of the world.
Fortunately for me I have picked up right genes from her and learned the right way to make dal her way. Whenever I carry it to lunch not a single scrap is left and there are always queries as to how do it make it. I am not being immodest here but the truth is that there is something in the way that my dal comes out that it becomes finger licking tasty! So here I am to share with you a simple recipe of making dal my way!
Arhar daal -          1 cup
Water -                1.5 cup approx
Turmeric Powder- 1 teaspoon
Salt -                   To Taste
For Tadka
Ghee -                     One generous spoon
Jeera -                     1 Teaspoon
Asafoetida -              A pinch
Garlic -                     3-5 cloves finely chopped
Ginger -                   ½ inch piece finely chopped
Onion -                     1 finely chopped
Green Chilly -            1 finely chopped – (Optional)
Tomato -                   1 finely chopped
Curd -                       1 teaspoon
Malai -                      1 teaspoon (Optional)
Garam Masala Pwder- 1 tsp
Red Chilly -                To taste
Lemon Juice -             1 & ½ Tsp
Cilantro leaves for garnishing
Pressure cook the daal adding salt & turmeric powder to it.

Once that is ready take a vessel, add the ghee and once it is hot add the Asafoetida & jeera to it. Once that starts dancing away to glory add the chopped ginger garlic mix. Let it cook for 2- 3 minutes and then add the chopped onions & green chilly.

As the onion turns light brown add the tomato and then give them some moments of solitude together by covering the vessel. Once the tomato is all soft soft add the curd & malai and bhunofy the mix for 2-3 mins. As the ghee starts leaving the masala throw in the chilli powder & the garam masala powder.

Now pour the daal in it, add the lemon juice & cilantro leaves and your daal is ready to be served.
We serve this alongwith subji, roti & rice! You can also alternatively cook the tomato with the daal and skip adding it in the tadka, this is how I do it daily.