Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

Paneer Stuffed Paratha

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

paneer-stuffed-parathas

One of my friends, who loves indian food, had came over for dinner recently. I just did not know what to make her when she came. I always want to make something special, or different, so I asked her what she wanted to eat and she replied parathas. As a result, for the evening, I created a menu around that, and instead of plain parathas I decided to make stuffed ones.

There are many different vegetarian options for making the stuffing, like mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, or just onions etc., but I decided to go with paneer. In the past I have made paneer parathas usingĀ  different recipes from various books. However this time I thought I thought – let me make my own spice mix so I just created my own concoction. Sometimes it is good to experiment with different spices and tastes that you may like, it could just work well together, I was pleasantly surprised with these parathas.

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Puri (Fried Indian Flat Bread)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

puri

Puris are flat bread that can be made savoury or spicy and puff up into balls when fried (if cooked and rolled out properly). Puris are considered to be a little treat, something different to the normal rotis. These savoury little balls were a little bit of naughty food, something that was not really healthy because it is fried as opposed to roasted. It used to be eaten mostly on special occasions or just to make a slight difference to the normal meal. Puris are good eaten as a snack or for breakfast / lunch or as a accompaniment to curries, or with sweet foods such as kheer (rice pudding) and shrikhand (made with yoghurt and sugar, saffron & nuts or fruit added to it). They also go well with mango pickle and equally with a nice hot cup of tea.

I remember my mother telling us to learn how to roll out small round shapes and allowing me and my sisters to make a few which used to be such an achievement when we actually came to eating them. Our father would help with the frying and always used to try and assure that each of the puris would become small round balls of yummy food. Last year while visiting my older sister in Hong Kong we made puris together and her younger daughter was helping us make little hearts and flowers shapes. My son enjoyed that, so now when ever I make at them at home he helps and makes little star shapes and ‘puri men’ and of course the cut-out of his hands. It is so much fun and then he says to everyone ‘I made them’ šŸ™‚

puri_2

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Undhiu (green vegetable curry)

Friday, January 16th, 2009

undhiu

As we were growing up I remember my mother telling us that on the 14th of January, India celebrates the end of winter and start of spring, the change in seasons and wind directions. They celebrate with the festival of Uttarayan also know as Sankrant, Lohri or Pongal. In Gujarat, in particular, they celebrate by flying kites and she would tell us how the skies would be filled with lots of kites in different colours and sizes, and tell us about all the foods eaten that were traditionally associated with the season. However it wasn’t until I went and spent my university placement year in India that I really got the opportunity to understand or appreciate what this and other festivals really meant. I have very fond memories of my Uttarayan experience, the sky was really filled with colourful kites flying high. So many thoughts and memories, which are difficult to put into words – reach for your dreams and set your thoughts free to fly high ….

Associated with this festival are certain foods which are quite abundant around this time. There are certain foods that are eaten around this time like sesame seed balls, and various curries made with fresh green vegetables, like Undhiu. Undhiu is a good all round curry made with all the fresh vegetables of the season and some spicy dumplings (muthais), which are the best bits of the curry :). In keeping with this tradition I made undhiu yesterday, still rememberingĀ  my experience in India, as if it had happened yesterday, even though it was actually 11 years ago. Isn’t it amazing how certain foods bring back fond memories and traditions which remain with us for life. The reason why I enjoy this curry is the fact that the masala mix is also made from all fresh ingredients, unlike the other curries which I normally make with dry spice mixes and a tomato base. I have created my own version of this traditional curry by looking at what my mother and other relatives have used, and by getting inspiration from Tarla Dalal’s recipe and other recipe books.

Today (19/01/2009) as I was looking at Jaya’sĀ  site Spice and Curry, and I came across a festival that is being hosted by Preeti (Indian Khana) for Sankranti or Uttarayan, so I thought that since someone has made an event out of a festival I should take part in it also.

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Chora nu shaak (black-eyed bean curry)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

black-eyed-beans

Part of everyday cooking is great simple food. Being vegetarian, pulses and beans are the main form of protein so we try to have them either with every meal or as often as we can in a week. The addition of the basic Indian spices and herbs, makes this a simple yet substantial meal. Chora are said to be low in fat, and have no cholesterol, and are high in iron, potassium and fibre. The reason why I am adding such a simple and basic recipe is toĀ  either give people ideas and help create something different with the same old beans or even help students to cook while away from home.

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