Author Archives: Dilip Shah

Ven Pongal

 

Ingredients:

For Ven Pongal

  • 1 cup rice such as Jasmin rice or sona masuri rice. You need starchy glutinous rice, so don’t use Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 1/2 inch ginger piece, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, cut in 4 pieces
  • 4 1/2 cups water. Ven Pongal is supposed to be soft and hence more water than usual)
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

For Tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 10-12 cashews
  • 6-8 curry leaves

Method:

Ven Pongal

  1. Dry roast rice and dal over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Dal should not change its color. Once you feel the nice aroma of the dal turn off the heat and rinse it in water for a couple of times
  2. Put instant pot in sauté mode. If using pressure cooker, put on medium heat
  3. Melt ghee, add asafetida, finely chopped ginger, green chili pieces and sauté for 30 seconds
  4. Add the rice and dal, mix well and sauté for a minute
  5. Then add water, salt and start cooking. If you are using Instant Pot, cook in a mode that cooks for 10 minutes under pressure. If using pressure cooker, cook for 4 whistles
  6. When you are able to safely open, start preparing the tempering

Tempering

  1. Put your tempering pan on medium heat
  2. Melt ghee and roast cashews in it. Once the cashews turns golden, add pepper corns, cumin seeds, curry leaves and mix for 30 seconds and then turn off the heat
  3. Add the tempering to the pongal and mix well. Feel free to add more ghee at the end to get nicer aroma and taste!
  4. Serve Ven pongal hot with chutney, sambar and vada!

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

 

 

https://www.steffisrecipes.com/2017/04/pongal-recipe-ven-pongal-recipe.html

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 cup broccolini
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp pink salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 2 cubes of Knorr vegetarian vegetable bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 400 ml can coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup dried shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Carefully slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then, place the squash onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper skin side up
  3. Bake in the oven for 35-45min depending on the size of the squash. When the thickest part is fork tender, it’s done. Let it cool for about 10 min
  4. Chop about 1/2 cup worth of broccolini into small pieces and thinly slice about 1/2 cup worth of cremini mushrooms
  5. Dice the carrot and onion. Coarsely chop the garlic
  6. Carefully peel the skin from the tender butternut squash and scoop aside 2 1/2 cups worth
  7. Heat up a stock pot to medium heat. Add the coconut oil followed by the carrot, onion, and garlic
  8. Season with the pepper and 1 tbsp of salt. Sauté for 5-8 min
  9. Add in bouillon cubes, the thyme and sauté for another few minutes. Add in the squash and the cane sugar. Sauté for another minute
  10. Add in water and coconut milk (set aside a little bit for garnish)
  11. Turn up the heat to medium high, cover, and bring it to a boil
  12. Transfer the soup to the blender or use a stick blender if you have one. Blend on medium / high until somewhat smooth
  13. Pour the soup back into the pot and cover to keep it nice and hot
  14. Heat up a frying pan on medium heat. Add in the shredded coconut
  15. Toast for a few minutes until golden brown. Set aside
  16. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and place back on medium heat
  17. Sauté the broccolini for 3-4 min. Add in the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sauté for another 3-4 min
  18. Place some of the veggies in the middle of your serving bowl. Then, pour around it 1 cup of soup
  19. Sprinkle over some toasted coconut. Add some fresh cracked pepper. Drizzle some olive oil and drizzle some of the coconut milk
  20. Serve hot with your favorite bread

Serves: 4 – 6

 

Inspiration source:

Dahi Baingan (Eggplan curry in yogurt)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp oil
  • 6-8 small baingan / brinjal / eggplants, cut in quarters
  • 1 tsp cumin / jeera
  • 1 bay leaf / tej patta
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp besan / gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder / haldi
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder / lal mirch powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

  1. In a pan heat 2 tsp oil, add the cut eggplants, 1/2 tsp salt and cook covered till soft and light brown in color, gently sautéing every once in a while
  2. Keep aside the cooked eggplants
  3. To the same pan, add 1 tsp oil, cumin seeds, bay leaf and asafetida. Sauté for 5-10 seconds till cumin seeds pop
  4. Add chopped onion, ginger garlic paste and sauté well for 2-3 minutes
  5. Add gram flour and roast on low flame for 4-5 minutes
  6. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala and sauté for a minute
  7. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 cup whisked yogurt, keeping the flame on low. Stir continuously till the yogurt is mixed well
  8. Add the cooked eggplants, 1/2 tsp salt and mix well, then cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes
  9. Add crushed kasuri methi and coriander leaves and mix well
  10. Serve hot with any Indian bread such as millet roti, chapati or kulcha

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

https://hebbarskitchen.com/dahi-baingan-recipe-dahi-baigana/

Soda Bread with Dried Fruits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • extra flour for dusting
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 baking soda
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, cold, diced
  • 230 ml thick butter milk, cold (churned full-fat yogurt with no added water)
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a small bowl, combine cold buttermilk, orange zest and give it quick whisk and put aside
  3. In a bowl, toss the raisins with 1 tbsp flour to coat and put aside
  4. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt
  5. Add in diced butter and mix well for about 2-3 minutes
  6. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and mix until just combined
  7. Add pecans and raisins and mix well for 10 seconds
  8. Plop the very wet batter onto a floured surface. Give it a light kneading and shape it into a ball
  9. Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet
  10. Score an ‘X’ on the surface by cutting it at the middle in both the directions… make full cut through the depth of the dough
  11. Do not overwork your dough and put it straight in the oven after making a cross cut. No need to rest the dough
  12. Bake for about 40-45 min until a skewer comes out clean
  13. Tap the base of your loaf for that hollow sound to ensure it has cooked through

Serves: 8-10

 

Inspiration source:

 

Gajar (Carrot) Halwa

Ingredients:

  • 2 big carrots – grated
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 2 pcs cardamom – remove husk and pound to fine powder
  • 6 almonds – sliced
  • 6 cashews – chopped into small pieces
  • 10-12 raisins
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Heat the ghee
  2. Add the grated carrots, pinch of salt and cook in covered pot on medium flame, stirring at regular intervals
  3. Once carrots are medium cooked (slightly limp), add almonds, cashews, raisins and condensed milk (enough to just cover the mix)
  4. Keep on stirring over medium heat until the mix thickens
  5. Add cardamom powder, stir in thoroughly, and then turn off flame
  6. Can be eaten hot or served cold

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

Pineapple Kesari

Ingredients:

  • Ghee – 3 tbsp
  • Cashews – 3 Tbsp – chopped
  • Rava – 3/4 Cup
  • Pineapple (Chopped) – 3/4 Cup
  • Saffron – 8 to 10 strands
  • Cardamom Powder – 1 Tsp
  • Salt – Pinch
  • Sugar – 1 3/4 Cup (or less depending on how sweet you like it)

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp ghee
  2. Add the chopped cashews and stir till golden. Remove and set aside
  3. Add the rava into the ghee. Roast until fragrant. Remove and set aside
  4. In another vessel, heat 1 tbsp ghee
  5. Add the chopped pineapple and cook till soft
  6. Add water equal to three times volume of rava being used
  7. Add saffron, cardamom powder and salt and bring to gentle boil
  8. Add the roasted rawa very slowly, stirring continuously to avoid lumps
  9. Keep stirring continuously as the mixture thickens. Be careful to avoid any sticking to the bottom of the pan
  10. Add sugar slowly while stirring continuously
  11. To the thick, gently bubbling mix, add the roasted cashews
  12. Turn off flame once mix is of thick, very slow dropping, consistency
  13. Serve hot

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

Eggless Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients:

  • Dark Compound Chocolate – 140g
  • Salted Butter – 60g (1/4 cup)
  • Condensed Milk – 80g (1/4 cup)
  • Milk – 125ml (1/2 cup)
  • Powdered Sugar – 65g (1/2 cup)
  • Maida / Plain Flour – 95g (3/4 cup)
  • Cocoa Powder – 28g (4 tbsp)
  • Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp (cake-like texture) or 1/8 tsp (fudgy texture)
  • Walnuts to garnish – about 1/4 cup

Method:

  1. Cut the dark chocolate into small pieces /flakes and put into metal bowl
  2. Add the salted butter
  3. Over a pot of boiling water, place the bowl (make sure the base is not touching the boiling water)
  4. Stir while the chocolate and butter melt into a smooth paste
  5. Place the metal bowl aside to let the mixture cool
  6. Preheat oven to 180 C (about 360 F). Turn on Convection Fan
  7. Prepare baking tin by lining with parchment paper – cut off all paper going above the sides of the tin. (Using butter or oil to grease the baking tin affects the flavor of the brownies so parchment paper is recommended)
  8. To the cooled chocolate and butter mix, add room temperature condensed milk (if it is cold, it will cause the chocolate-butter mix to solidify) and mix thoroughly
  9. Add the room temperature milk and mix thoroughly
  10. In a sieve held above the metal bowl, add powdered sugar, flour and cocoa powder
  11. Add baking powder – amount will depend on whether you want a cake-like or fudge-like texture in your brownies
  12. Sieve all the dry ingredients into the mix
  13. If additional ingredients like chocolates, nuts, etc are desired, add them over the flour mix – the flour coating prevents them from sinking to the bottom
  14. Stir the mix thoroughly, it will start to thicken
  15. Quickly pour into baking tin and even out the mix – it is OK if the corners are thicker. Center should not be too thick otherwise the brownie will be rounded as it bakes
  16. Garnish with chopped walnuts
  17. Put into pre-heated oven to cook for 25-30 mins
  18. Once baked, remove from oven and cool for half an hour
  19. Parchment paper will lift out of the baking tin easily
  20. Cut only after it is cooled

Serves: 8-12

 

Inspiration source:

 

Maggi Noodles in Italian White Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets of Maggi noodles with their spice packets
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp grated garlic
  • 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables such as Julian cut baby corn, sweet corn, bell peppers, carrot, broccoli
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (such as Amul cheese)

Method:

  1. Cook Maggi noodles in just the right amount of water with the spices they come with and then put them aside
  2. Put a pan on medium heat and melt the butter in it
  3. Add garlic and sauté for 10 seconds
  4. Add the vegetables, mix in salt and sauté for 6-8 minutes till the desired level of softness
  5. Add the flour and mix well
  6. Add the milk, mix well and cook till the white sauce thickens
  7. Add black pepper powder, chili flakes, oregano and cheese and gently mix well and serve immediately

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

The following video starting at 6 minutes:

Dudhi Chanadaal Shaak

(Bottle gourd and Split Bengal gram lentil curry)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Split Bengal gram dal (lentil)
  • 1 medium size bottle gourd
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1-2 green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 1-2 dry red chilies broken in large pieces
  • 1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp lime / lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp jaggery powder
  • 2 tbsp chopper cilantro

Method:

Preparation

  1. Properly wash split Bengal gram dal and soak it for a couple of hours
  2. Taste bottle gourd at both the ends to ensure that it’s not bitter… must not use bitter bottle gourd in your cooking!
  3. Chop bottle gourd into small / medium pieces
  4. Make ginger, chili, garlic paste

Cooking

  1. Cook the dal in pressure cooker (2-3 whistles) or in instant pot (5 minutes under pressure)
  2. Once you are able to open the cooker without forcing it, add chopped bottle gourd, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, mix well and cook for another 2-3 whistle (if in Instant Pot, for 5 minutes under pressure)
  3. Heat the oil in a pan on medium / high heat
  4. To hot oil, add mustard seeds. When the seeds start crackling, add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start crackling, add asafetida and red dry chili pieces
  5. Add curry leaves, onions and sauté till the onions are translucent
  6. Add the ginger, chili, garlic paste and sauté for a minute
  7. Add the chopped tomato and sauté for a couple of minutes
  8. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder, red chili powder and sauté for a minute
  9. To the pan, add the cooked bottle gourd and split Bengal gram dal and mix well and cook on low to medium heat for 5 minutes
  10. Add lime / lemon juice, jaggery powder, mix well, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with any Indian bread like chapati or paratha

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source:

Methi Garlic Jowar Dhebra (Spicy flat bread)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Jowar (Sorghum) flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or as per taste)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp green chili paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh chopped green garlic or 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil or any other oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped methi (fenugreek) leaves or 2 tbsp dry methi leaves (kasoori methi)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup yogurt for kneading the dough (or as required… dough should be soft)
  • Some wheat flour for rolling
  • 5-6 tsp oil for roasting

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, take the flours, salt, sugar, asafetida, turmeric powder, sesame seeds and mix well
  2. Add chili paste, ginger paste, fresh garlic / garlic paste, coriander leaves, 1 1/2 tbsp oil and mix well
  3. Knead the dough by gradually adding 1 tbsp yogurt at a time… knead it very well to form medium soft dough
  4. Make medium size balls from the dough (about 6-7)
  5. Take a dough ball on a flat surface, sprinkle some flour on it and roll to around 5-6 inches in diameter. Sprinkle more flour if the dough feels too stick while rolling
  6. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat and gently place the rolled dough on it
  7. Flip when one side is partly cooked
  8. Again flip when the second side is partly cooked
  9. Add oil on the skillet as well spread oil on the dhebru
  10. Cook both side till it’s light brown and fully cooked… feel free to press the dhebru with spatula while cooking
  11. Put it aside and make the rest of the dhebra by following the same steps
  12. Serve hot with yogurt or masala chai

Serves: 4

 

Inspiration source: