Thursday, 24 January 2008

Tip from Baj

One I know is that if you put in a metal spoon in a glass bowl and then pour heated oil into it, it will not break.(That is if you want to empty the frying pan in a glass bowl)

elzaa thanks u :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Tips wips..

There are some things which are part of a normal kitchen, and yet, need to be learned.. by trial and error.. - hang on, baj, is it 'learned' or 'learnt' ?? Do clear me up on that I always get worried :)

Acha, so here are some things I have learnt. If you have any, let me have them and they will be added to the list. I am sure even if you are only reading this leaning over 'someone' else's shoulder, you still have wisdom to share ;)

- whenever you make parathas, always use a wooden spoon. From the lathering of ghee in the pera to the frying bit and the turning over. I have experimented many a times and it always comes down to the best parathas - done with a wooden spoon

- dito milk deserts, especially custard. Mix and cook with a wooden spoon - a metal one will let u turn for ages without thickening

- ever wondered why the mince kebabs you make always seem to shrink? I confess, I hate to peel and cut or do anything else with onions. That always made me be miserly with them in kebabs. Till I had too many sliced onions and I crushed them and added them to my mince and voila! The kebabs were SO very soft and didnt event shrink and certainly did not smell oniony

- we all use bread for our koftas na. Try using breadcrumbs - not the ones we make at home, the commercial ones bought from the market

- meatballs for spagetti? Mix in parmesan cheese with the meatballs. Out of this world taste!

- squeezing lemons? Put them in HOT water for 10 mins and then roll them with the palm of ur hand. U'll have more lemon juice than u need!

- best way to boil eggs: put eggs in cold water, add salt, cover and let the water come to a boil. Once its boiling, switch off the heat and leave it on the stove. Let it stand, covered, for 15 minutes. The eggs will be boiled full and the yolk will be soft and moist not hard and dry

- burnt the pot? Take away the burnt food, sprinkle soda bicarbonate on the base of the pot, add a little water and let it heat up once. Let it cool and wash. The burnt food will come off easily. I havent broken any nails since ages :)

- and one which has to do with faith. My Ma told me this one. Whenever you have sweet stuff, desert, ice cream, cake, mithai or even the sugar pot.. to leave it on the counter is inviting ants, right? Wrong - if you follow this: pick it up from its place, take a deep breath and say Bismillah, keep holding the breath and put the dish/container down somewhere else. I've been doing this the past 17 years. It has not failed me once. In fact, I even experimented with a heap of sugar! Only condition, u have to believe it! Try it :) Inshallah it will work.

So - tune in again.. I have to rush, lots more where that came from - namely my head :) Will write again soon.

Sunday, 20 January 2008


Okay, so I got some feedback on the halwa. See, it WILL taste like water if its not made right - you're supposed to put all things in together, and let it cook.. keep stirring it. It will first all look like water, and then, while u keep on stirring, will change consistency and become firm. It should not and it does not taste watery if you make it right. Like, I've been making it since 3 years, almost..
Any more questions? :)

Besides, I have changed the settings - so u don't need an account to leave a comment.. hope that makes things easier :)

Thursday, 17 January 2008


I know most of you can just buy the glass off the shelf. For my part, I did that too until the always same taste of the thing got too much. Have u considered? It always tastes the same, no? So I sat down and threw a few things together.. and it turned out excellent. Problem was, I hadn't noted it down! So made it again, and wrote everything down - and here it is:

A few things first: I use regular oil, whatever is there. I also don't spend time and energy on sterilising and doing what not to the jars. I do take care though that the jars are clean and dry. Also, no need to pre-cook the oil or whatever. Believe me, just follow my instructions, dont change anything and u will enjoy a very tasty very different achar after a couple of weeks ripening time :) And remember - this is all MY creation.. u know, patent-law and all ;)

okay, so, this is what you need:

7 unripe -green- mangoes
1 large carrot
5 small lemons, I think u call them lime..
9 green chillies
2 cups of white vinegar
2 & half tbls kalonji
2 & half tbls meethi (fengureek)
2 tbls rai
1 & half tbls salt
1 tbls coriander
1 tbls cumin
2 tbls haldi (kurkuma, yellow spice)
3/4 tbls crushed red chillies

.. and this is what you should do:

1- cut all the veggies in small pieces, set aside
2- dry roast all the spices except salt, haldi and crushed red chillies
3- let them cool and then grind them
4- fry the veggies in hot oil - I prefer to do the carrots, then lemons, then chillies and in the end, mangoes - but u can choose

5- take the veggies out and fry the ground spices in the same oil, except salt

6- put the veggies in the oil/spice mix and let it just cook for a few minutes

7- pour the vinegar over it all and mix well
8- fill into jars, toss a bit. If oil is too little, just pour over some from the bottle - no need to warm it. Just as is.

9- clean the corners :) and store anywhere u like - mine stand on the sideboard..

Keep in mind, it needs to ripen at least 2 -3 weeks. I tried mine yesterday, the mangoes tasted not as achari as they should but the rest of the veggies were very tasty. That tells me the mangoes need more time. So. let it stand.

I tell you u haver never tasted such tasty achar.. me is very happy with this one. Have fun.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Halwa poori

Hullo all. . Api has asked me a couple of times about halwa poori. Well, I have taken the trouble to make it again for the pics sake and am posting it. A few words in advance:

I make the pooris - and it is MY own recipe! - a bit differently. So dont expect the same oily soggy thing u can buy back home. Its the sort that one can even eat two of.. not that oily, not at all soggy, rather crisp..

Then, the halwa is a recipe of my sister-in-law's. Its really a great and very easy way to make. I have modified it slightly, but the basic is hers so the credit goes to her.

We all know how to make channa/cholas so I have come up with a potato thingy.. a very different taste and light enough. So all in all, I hope u'll enjoy the making and eating.. and PUHLEEZE - someone! make something and tell me... warna I wont post anymore!

So, this is what you need:
For the pooris:
2 & half cup plain flour
2 & half cup wheat flour (ata)
3 tblsp ghee
1/2 tsp salt
slightly warm water

For the halwa:
1 cup of soojhi (semolina)
1 cup sugar
1 cup ghee
2 cups water
some food colour - optional

*the cup is small! So no worries.. and dont be scared away with the one cup ghee and sugar - it fits in wonderfully with the semolina.. TRY it!

For the potato curry:
4 -5 medium potatoes
9 -10 curry leaves
1/4 tsp each of
Cumin (and don't tell me u don't have any ready roasted at home!)
Onion seeds (kalonji)
Mustard seeds (rai)

.. and this is what you should do:

1- kneed the dough by adding ghee to both the flours and salt and rubbing in to make breadcrumbs
2- add water, bit by bit to get a supple dough. Should not be too sticky otherwise you will need too much flour to roll out and the poori will be lost
3- cover and set aside for half an hour
4- roll out and lay all ready

5- heat the oil - you will know it has the right temperature when a wooden spoon held in the middle of the pan throws bubbles out - and it has to STAY hot all through!

6- put the poori in carefully. If u have made it right, it will fluff up almost immediately

7- let it fry for a few seconds and turn it
8- place the golden poori - or keep it pale if you prefer on a piece of wax paper. I used newspaper first, but have found out that its harmful to health. So please use wax paper.
9- keep it covered.

- the sense in rolling them all ready is hopefully clear to all :)

Next, the halwa:

1- put the pan on the stove, throw in everything, the ghee, the semolina, sugar and water
2- put the pan on low heat and let it cook

3- keep stirring... until it has the desired consistency - I like it very firm- take out, cover and keep aside

The aalus:

1- toss in the spices in some hot oil and let them splutter and sish!

2- in with the diced potatoes
3- half a glass water, cover and let cook

4- check after 20 minutes - they should be done and u should have just enough gravy to enjoy

Serve and enjoy :)

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Question of interest

Any one interested in mango achar? Homemade with carrots and lemon and chillies green? Well if yes, let me know. I made it again yesterday and have pics to go with it. But its a long one, so if its not really wished for, I will save myself the trouble :)

Namak pare - finally!

For those of you who like namak pare and are deprived enough to make them yourself at home, here is what works wonders for me: - dont have a pic though...

- mix 1 cup of plain flour with half a tsp salt and half a tsp cumin
- add 4 tblsp of oil and crumble
- if you have one, use the machine - put the crumbly mixture in and add a little water drop wise, just to get a soft dough. Usually they tell u the dough should be a little hard - bla to that.. it is perfectly alright if its soft
- let it rest an hour and then knead it once again
- roll out and remember - the thinner you roll it, the better they will be. So roll away, use a little flour if needed, which you should not too much actually because of the oil
- and yes, always fry them on low heat..

They taste really good and crispy.. do try..

Morning :)

Saw this on tv yesterday, and tried it. Since I saw it, I will write the recipe as is and will add my own changes to it below.

So, this is what you need:

Slices of bread, as many as you want, halved or in threes
2 eggs
2 cups cornfour
250 grms Cheddar cheese
salt, pepper, aginomoto, red chillies, fresh coriander

.. and this is what you should do:

1- beat the eggs, add spices
2- mix in the cornflour and mix well
3- add the cheese

4- spread it on the slices, it should be thick enough to be spread
5- fry in very little oil, in a non-stick pan, cheese side down

6- turn over and let the other side roast a bit. Pan should not be oily, it will destroy the taste..
7- serve golden brown with ketchup...

okay, and this is what I found out:

1- the 2 eggs are/were not sufficient to soak up and mix 2 cups of cornflour.. they didnt show the mixing of the cornflour, so I have no way of knowing what happened... but in my case, my hand nearly broke trying to mix that much cornflour with just the 2 eggs! So, I added one cup cold milk to that mixture, and then we were in business!

2- again, I took around 300 grms cheese, 250 Mozarella and 50 Cheddar

3- I did not use aginomoto, but did use white pepper and some curry powder along with salt and pepper

It turned out very tasty, just be careful with the oil.. dont put in too much to start with, so by the time the cheese slices will be done, and u turn them over, the bottom side will just get a light roast.

Enjoy :)