Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bharela Marcha/Stuffed Pepper

.....And everyone applauded the Bharela Marcha last night at a small gathering in our house. I  loved putting  this recipe  together which is by  none other but my favorite  Chef Sanjeev kapoor. When I started  to browse for some side dishes I chanced  upon these  pictures and  I instantly knew that this recipe will be a great accompaniment to the rest of the dishes I had planned on . Firstly I choose it  because it is delicious, secondly it is very delicious and  third it is simply DELICIOUS !!! So what are you waiting for- Here's the recipe go make yourself some Bharela Mirch and add zing to your food palate and make your taste buds come alive :)

Please Note: These peppers were not at all spicy .
preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
serves: 4

Bhavnagiri peppers: 12
asfoetida: a pinch
oil: 4 tbsp
Gram Flour: 1 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp
coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
Garlic chopped: 5  cloves
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves chopped: 2 tbsp
carom seeds: 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/methi Dana: 15 seeds


Dry roast gram flour in a pan on low heat till it emits a nice aroma. Transfer it to a plate and let it cool. Slit the bhavnagri chilli's and remove the seeds. Cut the longer chilli's into half .take the roasted gram flour and add all the ingredients except for the lime,oil,fenugreek,mustard and asfoetida.
Now take a kadai and heat 4 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot,add asfoetida,fenugreek seeds and carom seeds and when they start to splutter add the green chilli's stuffed with the masala. Cover & cook  till done and sprinkle some water if required . They should be dry and the extra stuffing that spills out should cling to the chilli's. Squeeze lime juice while they are hot and serve with roti's,naans as a side dish along with Daal or some gravy.

Note: I do not know the English name for this chilli but the close up shot should give you a fair idea.The other thing- the original Sanjeev kapoor recipe does not call for carom and fenugreek,but since the recipe call for 1 1/2 cup of gram flour I knew it would be best to incorporate these two ingredients which aid  in  anti flatulence.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Saiyun Patata/ Sweet Vermicelli With Spicy fried potatos

Dad used to be such a foodie,he would wake up in the morning and over the first cup of morning tea he would discuss the menu for the rest of the day with my mom . Sunday's were usually fun for him as he enjoyed participating and giving directions to my mom in the kitchen. Which my mom did not seem to mind :) So Sunday mornings were mostly  all about varieties of  delectable breakfast,lunch and dinner:)  My father & mom would explore options and than close on one, so basically we as kids never choose the menu either for breakfast,lunch or dinner ,not that it bothered us, we had grown to enjoy all the choices made primarily by my dad and then stamped by my mother :)

Sunday's were always associated with breakfast laid on the dining table, and mom hurrying around the Kitchen with dad over seeing the entire breakfast affair. I especially, remember enjoying  Sunday's  when the menu said- saiyun Patata/sweet vermicelli with fried potato . My mom made it the best,the vermicelli prepared by her is always so fluffy and fragrant with cardamom and her fried potato's are the BEST !!! ( she does not cook much now) I have to remind her this time in India to make me this  for breakfast or may be I could make her some :)

The dish is very unique as in the vermicelli is sweet and the potato's are spicy,and you have to try this to agree how well the sweetness and spices compliment each other . A very popular way of eating these two is with papad/poppadom and some mango pickle. mmm-mmm  All the memories from the past have flooded back in a snap-Like this :)

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Vermicelli: 1 packet ( crush the packet and break the vermicelli)
sugar: to taste
Almonds: few( sliced)
Cardamom: 2
Pistachios: few( cut into fine pieces)
Butter (unsalted) or ghee: 4 tbsp

Take a big kadai and heat 4 tbsp butter and roast fry the broken vermicelli till it turn a nice dark brown and starts to emit a fragrant aroma. Add the almonds,cardamoms and pistachios too.

Now add a glass of water and sugar to it. Cook till all the water is absorbed and the vermicelli is soft but fluffy and not sticking together. If you like it softer and gooey then add more water. I like mine to be fluffy and light.

Tariyal Patata/fried potato's

Potato's : 1 pound chopped into small pieces
Salt: to taste
Oil: 2 tbsp
Cumin: 1/2 tsp
Red pepper: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cilantro: to garnish

take a kadai and heat 2 tbsp oil; when the oil is hot add cumin and then the chopped and washed potato's go next. Add salt and cover and cook. When the potato's are almost done,add the dried masalas and sprinkle some water and cover and cook for couple minutes again. garnish with cilantro & enjoy with the vermicelli/saiyun and papad/poppadom :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Double Chocolate truffles- My 50th post:)))

OK I am back with a chocolate recipe. YES :)!!! I have been saving the best for the last. Trust me- I have my daughters final verdict on this one-She simply  loves  these Double Chocolate Truffles
I hate these snags,do you notice I have just left the space after truffles ,well I wanted to type a word there but it  kept taking me to another line :( I  am helpless when it comes to these concealed problems . OK on a brighter note,my daughter has finished off most Truffles and I am glad I packed the ones which were to go in gift tins, now she just came asking for more.So I will be doing a second round of these on very popular demand:)

Here goes the Double Chocolate Truffles:

Makes about 2 dozen

1/2 Cup whipping cream
1 tbsp butter or margarine
4 bars (1 ounce each) Semi sweet baking chocolate broken into pieces
1 mild chocolate bar(7 ounces,) broken into pieces
1 tbsp amaretto (almond flavored Liqueur) or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp almond extract
Ground almonds

1. Combine  whipping cream and butter in small saucepan.Cook over medium heat,stirring constantly,just until mixture is very hot.Do not boil.Remove from heat ;add chocolate bar pieces and liqueur.Sir with whisk until smooth.

2. press plastic wrap directly onto surface;cool several hours or until mixture is firm enough to handle. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in almonds to coat.Refrigerate until firm,about 2 hours. And Voila enjoy it with a lambic :) Store the remaining ones in a tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Jhal Muri/Spicy Puffed Rice salad

Today I am posting  a recipe of one of my favorite street food from Calcutta /West Bengal . I spent about 3 1/2 years in Haldia and visited Calcutta once every month and spent 2 days out of a month in Calcutta. I can't think of a single trip  to Calcutta when I did not eat Jhal Muri. I wonder if Jhal Muri can ever taste the way it did in Calcutta , I did get the recipe from one of the street vendor who used to make and sell jhal muri by the river side in Haldia . Every evening going for a drive by the river side and buying a,"thonga of Jhal Muri" had become a ritual I looked forward to all day :) After a while the vendor  started to call me,"bhoudi" meaning Bhabi in hindi and sister-in-law in English. For those of you who are not aware with the customs and customary things in India,this is how married women are referred to mostly in small towns  (it is considered warm & respectful )

We left Haldia for a new city in a different state, and right after we resumed normalcy in the new city,I went and bought puffed rice and made myself a big bowl of jhal muri . Till this date there are days when I get a huge craving  for jhal Muri and  for that I always try and  stock  a packet of Puffed rice at home.Most of the other ingredients this recipe calls for are used in everyday cooking :)


Puffed Rice : 1 bowl the size shown in the picture
Mustard oil: 1 tsp
onion: 1/2 medium sized
Green Chilly chopped: 2
patla Sev: 2 tbsp
Boiled potato: 1/2 small pieces
Jhal Muri Masala: 1 tsp corriander seeds,1 tsp Jeera,4 dired red chilly (roasted & ground)
coconut : 4-5 tiny pieces bite size
salt: To taste
Lime or tamarind pulp : 1tbsp ( if you want a little soggy jhal Muri add more lime juice or tamarind Pulp)

Take all these ingredients  except patla sev and give them a good shake. Add chopped coriander & patla sev & enjoy jhal moori :)

Note: Mustard oil is what gives Jhal Muri its distinct flavor,so do not substitute mustard oil for any other .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar soup

OK I agree I am writing and sharing some non-Indian recipes,even though my blog says Regional cuisine . But then again my recipes are influenced by my travels/stays and the fact that I am now here for past 6 years does call for recipes which have influenced my taste buds here :)

I love cheese but my daughter loves it more :) Broccoli Cheddar soup from Panera Bread is her favorite & I wanted to surprise her today,so I made her this soup along with some biscuits which were inspired by Nancy of  Nancy they turned out excellent and I enjoyed mine with the soup and later with my ,"Chai" It is an excellent ,easy to follow recipe :)

Manasi enjoyed her surprise and said it was as good as Panera Bread soup if not better. Yay !!!  I enjoyed using the combination of nutmeg & black pepper. The flavor and smell while it was cooking was making me hungry and the soup was so creamy and buttery. After adding grated cheddar cheese at the end .I concluded this soup with some grated  nutmeg.

BTW I am still not done with the holiday treats,I was just taking a short break from chocolate ;) Look out for some chocolate recipe tomorrow.

I have to tell you,the pictures do not do justice to either the soup or the biscuits but trust me -they taste like heaven together  :)

preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 25 minutes
serves: 2

2 tbsp butter melted
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
Milk: 2 cups
1/2 medium sized onion chopped
chicken stock or chicken bouillon: 1 cup or 1/2 a bouillon
4  pre-cut flowrets of broccoli
1 carrot diced into tiny pieces
Cheddar Cheese: 2 tbsp
nutmeg: grated a pinch or two
pepper: 1/2 a tsp
salt: To taste

Take a heavy bottomed pan and add 1 tbsp of butter and saute the chopped onion in it till it turns translucent.
In another pan,take 2 tbsp of melted butter and to this add 2 tbsp of flour.Cook this for just a minute whisking it constantly,now add milk gradually,keep whisking,we are making a white sauce here. It is also called making a roux. Add to this the chicken stock or if you are using a chicken bouillon add it now. Let this simmer for 15 minutes.

Now add the carrots,onions and broccoli and cook till the vegetable are tender. The soup by now is thick and creamy. If it is very thick ,you can add more milk or chicken stock. Now run this in a blender and back in the pot/pan and simmer it  on reduced heat for some more minutes.Now add salt & pepper and add the grated cheddar cheese stir until well blended. When the soup is done grate some nutmeg in it.

Note: The original recipe calls for half& half, I used 2%
I made chicken stalk at home (just boiled some chicken with bones  for 30 minutes and used the water) I wanted to avoid the sodium in chicken broth which is available  in stores.

I now realize the soup would have made a lovely picture had it been in a darker color bowl. My bad..I will take a picture again tomorrow with the left over & make it look as enticing as it tastes:)

One lovely Blog,Award !!!

Thank you so much, Elizabeth for sharing back the award with me. I am thrilled and my earnest urge to everyone around here in food blogosphere and otherwise also to visit my friend Elizabeth's blog  to go through some amazing recipes . I have found her recipes to be very healthy  and I have to admit they are on the TOP when it comes to flavors-she has a flair of incorporating Indian spices along with Hungarian paprika in her recipes.

I am keeping 2 awards with me till the end of this month before I share them with my other blogger friends. One  is by Elizabeth  which I just posted and my very first award by Sujatha of I cannot thank Sujatha enough for being so helpful at a point when I  had just embarked on this blogging journey. She kept the flow of comments constant and also gave some useful tips on  the do' s & don'ts of Blogging:) Sujatha has two amazing twin boys(2 year old) and is a programmer and full time working mother and yet finds the time to blog such innovative recipes.Please do visit her blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Balls

I am taking myself by surprise :0 It is the third day in  a row of flipping pages of the Hershey's Classic Recipes and it does not end there I  actually set out to try the third recipe  in a row today  . Yay !!!I am super proud of meself:)

This one I was a little reluctant as it was not an illustrated recipe,I am a very visual person and like to know what the final outcome would look like...I took a chance on this one because it had my favorite ingredients-Chocolate with coconut....Irresistible to say the least !!! I am terribly happy with the outcome and I will not let you down because I have the illustrated version for you :)

I am mostly ,"unconsciously" , conscious when it comes to handling chocolate and anything decadent and loaded with richness,I  will make some healthy changes just to take away the guilt. So for this recipe I substituted Hershey's for organic Do you think I could call it one of my pet peeves :0?

Makes about 4 dozen
Note: For best results,do not double this recipe


1. 3 bars( 1 ounce each) Hershey's unsweetened baking Chocolate
2. 1/4 cup ( 1/2  stick )butter
3.1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk(not evaporated milk)
4. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
5. 1/4 cup water
5. 1 tbsp light corn syrup
6. 1tsp vanilla extract
7. 2 cups MOUNDS sweetened coconut flakes
8. 1 cup chopped nuts

Powdered sugar.

1. Melt chocolate and butter in large heavy saucepan over very low heat. Add sweetened condensed milk; stir to blend. Remove from heat.

2. stir together granulated sugar,water and corn syrup in small saucepan. cook over medium heat,stirring constantly,until sugar is dissolved.Cook,without stirring,until mixture reaches 250 degree f on candy thermometer or until small amount of syrup,when dropped into very cold water,forms a firm ball which does not flatten when removed from water.(bulb of candy thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.) remove from heat; stir into chocolate mixture.Add vanilla,coconut and nuts; stir until well blended.

3. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.shape into 1 inch balls; roll in powdered tightly covered in cool,dry place and i,e in case there is any left to store:)