CREAMY CORN CHOWDER



This dish is perfect for those winter dinners where no one wants to get out of their cozy bed. Corn chowder is an ideal dish to keep you warm in cold weather. It takes only a few ingredients to make this thick, creamy, luscious dish.



Fresh corn is the best, whereas tinned corn also yields good results. I like to bite into the sweet corn kernels, therefore I keep the texture of corn chowder a little coarse. If you prefer, you may give it a good churn in a mixer to get a fine paste.

This is a basic recipe which can be altered according to your liking by adding a few chicken pieces or by garnishing it with small bits of fried bacon. More vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or beans can also be added.

Recipe for Corn chowder


Ingredients for Corn chowder



  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup potato (diced into small cubes)
  • ½ cup carrot (diced into small cubes)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary
  • I cube of vegetable stock (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make




Dissolve vegetable stock cube in one cup of warm water.




Melt butter with oil in a pan. Add finely chopped onions. Sauté till translucent.

Add dried rosemary. Mix well.



Add whole wheat flour. Sauté for a minute.



Add milk, vegetable stock (optional), potato and carrot. Bring it to boil. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are done.



Put half cup of corn kernels in a mixer jar and give it a pulse to get a coarse paste of corn.



Add this corn to the simmering milk. Also add the whole corn kernels.




Simmer for another 5 minutes. Stir after every one minute. Season with salt and pepper.



Serve piping hot corn chowder.

GODA MASALA




Goda masala is special spice mix used in maharashtrian kitchens. A spoonful of goda masala goes in a number of maharashtrian dishes like bhajis, amti, masale bhat, veg and non veg curries.



Every maharashtrian house prepares its Goda masala in enough quantity for the entire year. Each family has its own version of goda masala.



Few ingredients like coriander seeds, dry coconut, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, fenugreek seeds, poppy seeds are dry roasted. Other spices are shallow fried to bring out their flavour and aroma. The ingredients are to be grinded into a coarse powder. This will be done in three batches.



Coriander, cumin, caraway and fenugreek seeds in the first batch. Dry coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds in second batch. Stone flower, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom, and bay leaves in the last batch.




Goda masala in not very spicy like garam masala. It has a subtle flavour which cannot be missed. The given proportions will yield approximately 200 grams of Goda masala.

Recipe for Goda masala


Ingredients for Goda masala



  • 125gms/ 2 cups whole coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  • 60gms/ 1 cup dry coconut ( sookha nariyal)
  • 30gms/ ¼ cup sesame seeds (til)
  • 25gms/ ¼ cup poppy seeds (khuskhus)
  • 25gms/ ¼ cup cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 5gms/ ½ cup stone flower (dagad phool/ patthar phool)
  • 3gms/ 3 inches cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 3gms/ 2 tsp cloves (laung)
  • 3gms/ 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 3gms/ 2 tsp caraway seeds (shahjeera)
  • 3gms/ 1 tsp black peppercorns (kalimirch)
  • 3gms/ 7to8 bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • (4 nos. black cardamom (masala elaichi)
  • ¼ cup oil

How to make


Grate the dry coconut. Keep aside.



Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and fenugreek seeds separately for 1 to 2 minutes on medium heat.



Keep dry coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds in a separate bowl and other dry roasted condiments in a separate bowl.



Fry stone flower, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom and bay leaves until fragrant.

This will take maximum one minute. Keep in separate bowl.


Grind coriander, cumin, caraway and fenugreek seeds in the first batch.

Grind dry coconut, poppy seeds and sesame seeds in second batch.

Grind stone flower, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorn, black cardamom, and bay leaves in the last batch.



Now mix them together with a spoon or hands.



Transfer in an airtight container. Goda masala has a shelf life upto six months.

MOONG METHI PAKODA




Moong pakoda have consistently held their position in my list of appetizers for a number of parties that we have hosted. It is light on stomach unlike other pakodas as it doesn't absorb oil. 

Though my mother was a good cook herself, once in a while she would treat me and my brothers with these moong ke pakode with imli ki chatni from a popular pakodewala, who would make only moong or split green gram pakodas. The pakodas used to be spongy and soft with a crispy outer layer.

Moong methi pakodas recipe is inspired from my childhood memories of moong pakodas. This is a easy to make recipe with few ingredients. To make them more appetizing deep fry them only after the guests arrive and serve them piping hot with your favourite chutney or sauce.


Recipe for Moong methi pakoda


Ingredients for Moong methi pakoda



  • 1 cup dhuli moong dal or split greengram dal
  • 1 cup fenugreek leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander powder or crushed coriander seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

How to make


Soak moong dal for an hour.

Drain the water and grind it to get a smooth paste. Add little water if required.



Now add in turmeric powder, coriander powder, green chilli paste and salt. Mix well.



Now add the fenugreek leaves.



Heat oil for frying.

Using a spoon drop small portions of batter in oil. Fry for two minutes or until golden in colour.

Serve with tamarind chutney.

HALDI PANEER



At times you want to do a particular thing but for a hundred reasons or for unknown reasons you don’t do it. Well haldi ki sabzi is that dish which I wanted to try for a long time but couldn’t bring myself to prepare it.

During my three years stay in Jodhpur I had a wonderful time exploring Rajasthani culture, festivals and food. Due to my close interaction with some local friends I was able to know more about rajasthani food culture. But amazingly I missed on this one dish, haldi ki sabzi, until recently I prepared it. I discovered that haldi ki sabzi is my favourite rajasthani sabzi till date. I liked it so much that I prepared it a couple of times more for my guests.



Preparation of this dish takes a bit of time as the fresh grated haldi needs to be sauted on low heat for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the quantity. Believe me , every bit of this labour is worth it. In Rajasthan this sabzi is prepared in bulk for one time, stored in refrigerator and used as required.

Quantity of ghee (clarified butter) required for this dish is equal to the quantity of haldi (turmeric).

Reducing the amount of ghee may cause turmeric to stick to bottom. I realised that enough quantity of ghee makes the process a little easy. Nothing to worry about that extra ghee. It gets separated at the end of preparation and it can be removed easily with help of a ladle. The turmeric flavoured ghee can be used for tempering a dal or smear it on chapatti, roti or phulka.

Generally in Rajasthan Haldi ki sabzi is prepared with green peas. The yellow and green sabzi looks beautiful. Here is a little twist to the traditional Haldi ki sabzi.  Paneer (cottage cheese) compliments haldi very well.


Recipe for Haldi Paneer


Ingredients for Haldi Paneer



  • 250gms fresh haldi or turmeric (grated)
  • 250gms ghee (clarified butter)
  • 150gms paneer (cut into cubes)
  • ½ cup onion (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup curd (beaten)
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste

How to make




Add ghee in a medium hot pan. Add the crushed galic. Sauté for a minute.



Tip in the grated haldi. Reduce heat to low.



Sauté on low heat until turmeric changes colour from yellow to light brown and the ghee separates from sides. Remember to sauté continuously as it tends to stick to the bottom.



Add onions. Saute for 2 minutes.



Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well.



Now add beaten curd and mix well.



Sauté continuously for 5 minutes until the ghee starts floating at the surface.



Tip in the paneer cubes and cook for another 5 minutes.

Delicious Haldi paneer is ready to eat. This sabzi can be prepared in bulk and stored in refrigerator for entire winter (minus the paneer). Heat the required quantity from refrigerator and add paneer or peas or any other vegetable of your choice. 

GUR RASGULLA


Gur rasgulla are chenna (homemade cottage cheese balls) in jaggery syrup. It is a Bengali sweet prepared mainly in winters, during Makar sankranti. The amber coloured spongy balls in an ochre coloured syrup made from jaggery tastes delicious.



The first time when I was successful in making these rasgullas, I couldn’t stop myself from showing off the sponginess and the beautiful colour of my gur rasgullas (very unlike me). Once again I realised that only hardwork can yield you good results.

I tried different recipes which suggested adding suji or semolina, cornflour. I was never happy with those results.



There are a few things which should be kept in mind for a spongy rasgullas. Firstly always use the homemade, fresh chenna or cottage cheese. Secondly, the chenna or cottage cheese shouldn’t be too moist or too dry.



Rub the chenna till there are no cracks when shaped into balls. The process of mashing should be done with heels of your palm. This may take 10 minutes. This step is very important.



Cow’s milk is considered to be best for soft and spongy rasgullas.

Recipe for Gur Rasgulla



Ingredients for Gur Rasgulla



  • 1 litre cow’s milk (yields 180 to 200gms chenna)
  • 2 lemons/ 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups + 1 cup jaggery
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder (optional)

How to make




Bring milk to boil. Lower the heat. Add lemon juice or vinegar and give it a gentle stir.

If the milk doesn’t split add more lemon juice.



Remove from heat when you can see the curdled milk and clear whey separated.



Pass it through a sieve lined with muslin cloth. Wash the chenna under running water. This will cool down the chenna and also remove the traces of lemon juice.



Squeeze to get rid of the moisture. Remember too less or too much moisture is not good for rasgullas.



Rub the chenna with heels of your palm so that it becomes like soft dough.



Divide into 12 to 16 portions. Rub the portions between your palms and shape them into balls. If you find that the balls are having cracks, mash them again for some more time. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside.



Take 4 cups or 1 litre of water in a pressure cooker. Add 1 ½ cups of jaggery to it. Bring it to boil.



Drop the chenna balls in boiling syrup. Cover with lid and weight.



Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let the pressure come down.



Transfer the rasgullas to another bowl with a cup of syrup.



Add one more cup of jaggery to rest of the syrup. Bring it to boil. Add cardomom powder (optional). Simmer for 15 minutes or until the syrup is thick and shiny. Pass the syrup through a sieve. Transfer back the rasgullas to the thick ochre coloured syrup.



 Let it sit into the syrup for minimum 6 hours before serving.