Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Langar" wali Moong Daal

(From Banu's Cookbook)

We were at Gurudwara the other day and they had made this awesome Daal for Langar (Community Meal). I just fell in love with this Daal. I did research this on the Internet and this recipe is not exactly like any of those. I just took some tips and made my own recipe.

1 Cup - Green Whole Mong Daal
1 Cup - Black Whole Urad Daal (Chilkewali Urad Daal)
1/4 Cup - Channa Daal
1 Big Red Onion - Chopped Finely
4 Medium Roma Tomatoes - Chopped Finely
1 Tbsp - Ginger Garlic Paste
2-3 Bay Leaves
2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
3 Tsp - Roasted Cumin Seeds - Powdered
1 Tsp of Garam Masala
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
Salt to Taste

1. Dry roast the cumin seeds and powder it into a fine powder.
2. Wash and Soak all the daal together for at least 6 hours or over night.
3. Cook the soaked daals in pressure cook with 1 tsp of oil and turmeric powder. Cooking time depends on the pressure cooker you have. You want the daal to be cooked but not totally mashed. If you are doubtful, you can cook it on stove top, it takes probably about 30 to 40 mins to cook.
3. In a separate pan, heat some oil. Add Cumin Seeds and Bay leaves for seasoning. Add the finely chopped red onion and cook well for 7-8 minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a few more minutes.
4. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 mins or so until the tomatoes are soft. Do not add any water other than the tomato juice that was part of the chopping.
5. Add a bit more turmeric powder, red chili powder and the roasted cumin powder at this point. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes.
6. Add this onion tomato masala to the cooked Daal (if your cooked Dal has lots of extra water, remove some of it first before you add the paste), add salt to taste and let it boil for some time until everything has blended well together.
7. Add the chopped Coriander Leaves and mix it well.
8. Switch off the heat, add the garam masala powder just on the top and cover the vessel with a lid and let the garam masala powder be absorbed slowly into the Dal.
9. Stir well before serving it.

Notes: All the langarwali daal recipes on the Internet called for just the mixture of black urad daal and Channa daal. I was not sure if I would like that and plus the daal that I had eaten felt like it had some green moong daal in it. So, I choose this combination of daal. But please do let me know if you try some other combination.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Carrot Halwa (Pudding)

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2 Big Carrots Grated - This is about 1/2 to 2 Cups of Grated Carrot
1/2 Cups of Milk (I used non fat milk)
1/4 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp of Cardamom Powder
3 Tbsp of Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Nuts for Garnishing - I used Slivered Almonds and Pistachios

1. Boil the Milk in a non stick or heavy bottomed pan on medium heat until it starts boiling well and reduces a little bit. I do not really reduce it to half or anything. As long it is boiling completely and it looks a bit reduced that should be good enough.
2. Heat another non stick pan or heavy bottomed pan, put 2 tbsp of Ghee in it and the grated carrots and saute them for 7-8 minutes until the carrots get slightly tender. You can see a bit of color change in the carrots at this point of time.
3. While I was sauteing the carrots, I kept the milk boiling on low heat. Then I added the hot milk to the sauteed carrots and cooked them on medium low heat. Stirring quite a bit so that it does not stick to the pan.
4. This takes about 15 min or so to cook and all the milk to be absorbed. If you reduce the milk quite a bit in the first step then this cooking time is reduced as well. But I like the carrots to cook a bit longer in the milk as it gives it a more of creamy texture and taste.
5. Once all the milk has been absorbed, add the sugar and cardamom powder and cook for a few more minutes. Approximately 5 minutes. You can see that the mixture will start leaving the side of the pans and that is when you know it is done.
6. Roast the pistachios and slivered almonds in the remaining ghee and add it to the Halwa and Halwa is ready to be eaten. This can be served hot or cold. I personally prefer it hot. :)

Hope you get to try this and let me know your comments and suggestions.

1. I prefer to use a steel vessel with double lined bottom to boil milk with near continuous stirrings rather than non stick pan. But again that is just my personal preference.
2. Also it is better that you keep a separate non stick pan and wooden spoon for sweet dishes and do not use them for savory dishes. Because how much every you wash them, there can be traces of sourness or spiciness in the vessel that can spoil a sweet dish.
3. You can also use butter instead of ghee. It is just personal preference. Both of them give the same end result.
4. You can also use Cashew Nuts for Garnishing.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Peas and Carrot Paratha (flat bread)

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas and Carrots (You can use fresh as well)
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1/2 Tsp of Garam Masala
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
Salt to Taste
Less than half cup of warm water
Oil for Cooking

1. Thaw the frozen peas and carrots and put some water and cook it in microwave for about 4 mins or so. Drain it and keep it aside.
2. Heat about 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and saute the peas and carrots. Add a pinch of salt, cumin, chilli powders and also the garam masala. Saute for a few more mins.
3. Add the flour, turmeric powder, salt to taste, 1 tsp of oil and the sauteed peas and carrots mixture and make it into a dough by adding warm water. Add water slowly and little bit because there is already moisture due to the peas and carrots.
4. Roll out the dough like regular chapathi and cook into the tawa with some oil. Cook well on both sides on medium flame.
5. Serve it with some Raita.

Here are some pictures I took of making of the paratha,

Please let me know if you happen to try this recipe. Any comments and critiques are welcome.

Note: You can make most of the dough and just before removing it add the sauteed peas and carrots and pulse it once. This way you can actually see the carrots and peas - if you happen to like that.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Instant or Easy Kaju (Cashewnut) Burfi

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Cup Whole Raw Cashew (unsalted)
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of Fat Free Milk Powder
3 Tbsp of Milk
3 Tbsp of Butter

1. Grind the Cashew nuts into a smooth powder. I found out that food processor works the best for this.
2. Melt the butter slightly in the microwave.
3. In a microwaveable dish, mix all the ingredients and make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
4. Heat the mixture in Microwave for 1 minute. Take it out and stir it well. You should see some bubbles at this stage. Do not worry if you do not.
5. Put the mixture back in the microwave and heat for another 1 minute. Take it out and stir it well again.
6. Now put it back in the microwave for the last minute. Here you might want to keep an eye to make sure that it is not burning.
7. Pour the mixture into a well greased plate - keep it about 1/4 to 1/2" thick. Cut them into squares when slightly cooled. You can also decorate them with small pieces of cashew nuts. I just decided to leave them plain.

I hope you get to try this and let me know how it turns out.

1. You can use Khova instead of Fat Free Milk powder for more richer texture and taste.
2. You can also replace the sugar with Sugar and Splenda mix as well.