CUISINE OF INDIA
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- One heaped tablespoonfuls of green cardamom
- One heaped tablespoonfuls of the large black cardamom
- One heaped teaspoonful of whole black pepper
- One teaspoonful of ground cinnamon
- Half teaspoonful of cloves
- Half teaspoonful of ground nutmeg
Put all these ingredient Indian spices in a coffee grinder and run it till the mixture is fine powder. This is the Garam Masala that I use in my cooking.
GREEN CORIANDER CHUTNEY
Cut the stem part of two bunches of green coriander leaves off and cut them as fine as possible. Cut small slices from two green chilies. Cut thin slices of about 2 inches of fresh ginger roots. Put all these ingredients in food processor with two teaspoonfuls of salt and juice of one lemon. Add a little water if the chutney is too dry. This is my basic western Uttar Pradesh style chutney. If you wish make a little more elaborate chutney, you can add half a cup of unsweetened, grated coconut (you can use the packaged ones or grate it yourself with coconut grater available in most Indian grocery stores. Another ingredient that makes the chutney special is white sesame seeds, about two heaped teaspoonfuls. If you add these extra ingredients then add juice of another lemon more.
BAKED METHI PURIES
Puries (small flat round deep fried bread) in India are always deep fried but as I do not deep fry anything in my kitchen and also don't have the adequate equipment for deep frying, I experimented making Puries in baking oven and this experiment was very successful. To make about 30 puries it takes about 15 minutes preparation time and about an hour to bake. The ingredients required are following:
1 cup mixed whole grain flour (normally in India whole wheat flower is used but recently in Indian stores in USA a mixed whole grain flower is available which has wheat, corn, barley, soy, chickpea among some other grains),
1/2 cup chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves - fresh methi is not always available in Indian stores but dry methi works equally good.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder
1 teaspoon oil
salt to taste
oil for greasing
Combine all the ingredients and knead into a firm dough using as much water as required. Make sure that the dough is firm but not sticking in fingers any more. Divide the dough into 30 equal portions and roll out each portion into a circle of about 75 mm. (3") diameter. Place on a greased baking tray and prick all over using a fork. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C (360°F) for 10 to 15 minutes or till the puris are golden brown, turning them around once. Cool and store in an air-tight container.
PHULKA (Roti) Ingredients: 1 cup wheat flour (you can also use the mixed grain flour if you like) and a pinch of salt. Make it into a smooth, firm but not brittle dough. Divide it in to 4 portions. Flatten each dough ball to about 4 inches diameter. Sprinkle a little dry flour and wrap it in to a ball again. Now with roller pin flatten it to round forms of about 6 or 7 inches size. On medium high heat dry fry them in a griddle (Indian Tawa, you can also use ceramic flat pan available in Indian stories). Keep pressing slightly all over while the roti is cooking and turn it around to half cook. Both sides must be just half cooked. Then take the pan off the flames and cook the half cooked rotis on direct flames. The roti will swell and rise to form a ball like shape. Put it on a plate and if you like you can apply some ghee, butter, margarine or vegetable oil on one side only. Many people like their phulka rotis without any butter or similar substance.
MISSI MENTHI KI ROTI
- 2 1/2 cups Wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups Gram flour (besan)
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 cup Fenugreek leaves
- Salt (As per taste)
Combine all the ingredients with the exception of oil and water. Add water little by little and prepare a slightly stiff but smooth dough. Add 1 teaspoon oil and knead the dough very well. Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll out each portion into a round roti about 7" in diameter. Cook each roti on a hot lightly greased griddle (tawa) on low flame till both sides are almost cooked. Add a little oil on both sides and cook on a high flame till both sides becomes slighly crisp and brown. Serve hot during a regular meal accompanied by a preparation like Mutter-Aloo (Green Peas & Potatoes), Baigan (Egg plant), Malai Koftas (vegetable dumplings in mild cream sauce) or Palak Paneer (slightly fried paneer cheese cubes in pureed spinach etc. Serves : 4 Time : 25 mins.
- Paneer (Cottage cheese) 150 grams
- Tomatoes 3 medium (you can also use canned crushed tomato)
- Cream 3 tablespoonfuls
- Cashewnuts 1/4 cup
- Melon seeds (magaz) 2 tablespoons
- Poppy seeds (khuskhus/posto) 1 teaspoon
- Ginger chopped 1 teaspoon
- Green cardamoms 2
- Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Oil 1 tablespo
- Yogurt 1/4 cup
- Green cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon
- Refined flour (maida) 2 teaspoons
- Fresh cream 2 tablespoons
- Garam masala powder 1/4 teaspoon
Heat a pressure cooker. Roughly chop tomatoes and put into the cooker along with cashew nuts, melon seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, green cardamoms, red chilli powder, salt and 1 tbsp oil and mix well.
Add yogurt and mix well. Add 1 cup water and close the cooker with the lid. Cook under pressure according to instructions of your pressure cooker. In full pressure is should cook fully in 2 minutes.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai (wok like Indian deep frying pan). Grate cottage cheese into a bowl. Add green cardamom powder, salt, flour and mix well. Take small portions and shape into koftas. Deep fry these koftas till golden.
Drain and place on tissue paper. Once the pressure reduces, open the lid of the cooker and blend the mixture with a hand blender.
Strain the mixture and pour into another non-stick pan and heat. Add a little cream and garam masala powder and mix.
Arrange the koftas in a serving bowl, pour the gravy over, drizzle a little cream and serve immediately.
NORTH INDIAN CHOLE OR PUNJABI CHANA (GARBANZO BEANS OR CHICKPEAS) RECIPE
Chole is one of the most popular north Indian food delights. As snack it is widely sold by street vendors with either Kulche or fried Bhature or fried Puris. The Chat street and restaurant vendors offer a dry version of the same dish.
The Indian spices used for any dish taste much better if they are freshly ground. In north India the housewives often grind the spices on Sil and Lohri (common stone grinders in India) to create a wet spice mixture. Even dry freshly ground spices taste really great.
If you like a slightly sweet and sour taste in your Chole, you can use powdered and dried Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and dried Anaar Daanaa (Pomegranate Seeds). Usually lemon juice is added after cooking is complete but Aamchur (dried Mango powder) also adds a slightly sweet flavor to the dish. Unlike Lemon juice, which is added to the dish after cooking, Aamchur powder requires to be added along with other Masalas.
By adding Baking Soda to the Chole before cooking, you can have a softer dish.
Chole are also cooked with fresh or frozen Palak or Spinach, Menthi or Fenugreel. Less popular but quite tasty version of Chole is with fresh ground or dried unsweetened grated Coconut (available in most stores).
Dark Indian Chole are quite popular in western Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The ingredients except for dark Chole remain the same for cooking this type of the dish.
INGREDIENTS (1 CUP = 250 ml) - for 4 or 5 servings
Ingredients for pressure cooking:
If you are new to pressure cooking, please be very careful and follow the instructions that come with pressure cooker when you purchase it.
- 1 cup Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans, white Chickpeas, Kabuli Chana or Chole or the Indian Dark Chole
- 2.5 to 3 cups water for pressure cooking the Chickpeas
- 1 tsp dried Amla or Anaar Dana powder (Optional)
- 1 Black Tea bag (if you wish a slight tea taste and a little darker color in your final dish
- 1/2 tsp Salt (you can vary this according to your taste)
Ingredients for the Masala Gravy:
- 1 medium sized finely chopped Onion
- 1 medium sized finely chopped tomato
- 2 or 3 small garlic cloves or 1/4 tsp of dried Garlic powder
- 1/2-inch finely chopped to tiny pieces fresh Adrak or Ginger or 1/4-tsp of Ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp of Haldi or Turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp (1/2 tsp if you like your a bit hot in taste) of Lal Mirch or Red Chilly powder. 1 to 2 Hari Mirch or fresh green Chillies chopped in to tiny fine pieces can also substitute the Chilly powder.
- 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala (please refer to my Garam Masala recipe above)
- 3/4 to 1 tsp of Amchur or dried Mango powder (you can use this alone or if you like more sour taste then add fresh lemon juice in the end
- 1.5 to 2 tbsp of Coconut or Sunflower Oil
- A handful of Hara Dhania Patta (Green Coriander Leaves)
- 1/2-inch of finely sliced Onion
- 1 medium sized sliced Tomato
- 1 Nimboo or fresh lime juice
- Rinse and soak the chole (chickpeas) in enough water overnight. add enough amount of water as the chole increase in size after soaking it. rinse the soaked chickpeas.
- to give a dark color to the Chole, dried Amla (Indian Gooseberries) are added, these also give a faint sourness to the stock. if you do not have dried Amla, then add 1 black tea bag.
- in a pressure cooker add the Chole along with the 3 to 4 dried amla pieces or a tea bag. tea bags work very well. then add water
- Add salt, baking soda along with Haldi or Turmeric powder and pressure cook the chana for 18 to 20 whistles in Indian pressure cookers or according to instructions of western make pressure cookers. The Chple should be cooked well and softened according to taste. The Chole after cooking should be soft so that you can mash it with a spoon or fork.
- In a pan heat the oil, first add chopped Onion as well as Sliced Tomatoes till they are cooked and then add all the spices for the Chole masala mentioned above and on a low heat begin to roast them. Be very careful not to burn the spices.
- When the Chole are cooked, you will see a darker brown shade in the safed (white chana). remove the amla pieces which would have softened by now or the tea bag from the stock.
- Add the cooked Chole and stir well.
- To thicken the gravy you can crush a small amount of cooked Chole with a spoon or fork and cooked with open lid with low flame.
- Garnish the cooked Chole with coriander leaves, sliced Tomatoes & Ginger Julienne.
- Serve the Chole with Kulchas, fried Bhaturas, fried Pooris, on Pan made Rotis or with Tandoori Rotis, Chole taste wonderful with cooked Basmati Rice.