Black & White Wednesday #109 Gallery

Dear Friends,

I have been inactive for quite a long time now.Yeah sometimes life catches up fast with you  but then so is life.

 Anyways, Black & White Wednesday is one of those things that always manages to pull me and see, here I am. You asked why so? See for yourself. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and here we have a whole gallery :)

But, before present that, I would like to thank all of you for your beautiful inputs and never dithering interest in this event.

And now, the entries (in the order of receiving). Please feel free to let me know if anything is amiss, after all, to err is human. :)

BWW #110 will be hosted by Cinzia of CindyStar. If you are interested in sending your entries or hosting this event in future please refer this page.

Till my next post,
Bye & keep Budding

Vada Pav

Vada Pav- the indian burger - is a yummy spicy delightful snack popular in Western India. You will see a vada pav wala near every local station, market, school, college ... almost everywhere in Mumbai. Served hot with garlic chutney, this snack satisfies your taste buds as well as fills up for few hours. The recipe I am sharing here is mainly adapted from Tarla Dalal ji's recipe. I have already shared the recipe for Garlic Chutney here. I love to have this chutney with parathas as well.

Ingredients: (Makes 4)

  • 4 Ladi Pav (the square shaped ones served with pav bhaji , here I have used Hamburger buns though)
  • Garlic chutney
  • Potato: 3 small, boiled
  • Green chilies: 2 finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves : few springs finely chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves: 4
  • Asafoetida : a pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Besan (gram flour): heaped 1/4 cup
  • Baking soda: a pinch
  • Oil for tadka and frying
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. When oil is hot add mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and let it saute for some time. Now add asafoetida, green chilies, turmeric powder, coriander powder, curry leaves and saute for few seconds.
  • Add mashed potatoes and salt. Cook for a minute. Finally, add coriander leaves.
  • Let filling prepared above cool and . 
  • Meanwhile for the coating, whisk besan, a pinch of turmeric powder, pinch of baking soda, salt and water to make thick batter. I used little less than 1/4 cup water. Make sure there are no lumps. Add water just a little at a time. 
  • Now heat oil in a pan. Make sure the depth of oil is enough for the vadas. Make balls from the filling prepared. Here is a pic to give you an idea of the size. 
  • Coat the balls in batter prepared. Roll a few times to make sure they are coated everywhere.
  • Deep fry till they turn golden brown. Drain oil.
  • Now slice a pav. Spread some garlic chutney, place a vada in between and serve hot.
  • I like to spread some tomato ketchup with garlic chutney on the pav.
  • You can also warm up the pavs. I usually microwave them for just 20 seconds.
That's all for now.
Bye n keep budding.

Garlic chutney

Chutneys and aachars can complete and enhance any menu plan. Their spicy taste makes the meal more delicious. Back in Mumbai we used to prepare this Garlic chutney and enjoy it with almost everything. Okay, mainly with parathas. Garlic is said to add heat to body and so we used to have it usually in winter. But, yes, it is savored with Vada Pav through out the year. Store it in dry air tight container and it will last for weeks.

Ingredients: (Makes about 1/2 cup)

  • Garlic : 8-10 cloves
  • Peanuts: 1/4 cup
  • Sesame seeds : 1 tbsp
  • Dry Red Chilly: 3
  • Red chilly powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Dry roast peanuts till the color starts to turn.
  • Dry roast sesame seeds on low flame till they pop. 
  • Lightly roast the dry red chilies as well. (For just 15-20 secs)
  • Now grind all the ingredients together to make chutney. You can keep it coarse or make fine powder.
  • When preparing in small quantity I usually add little oil, this helps in grinding it easily. Also, it will last longer.
  •  You can try variations in this by adding roasted grated coconut or by adding some aamchor (dry mango powder).
And the pic below is my entry to Black & White Wednesday Week#106 hosted by Cinzia of CindyStar.
Alright, that's all for now. 

Till my next post,
Bye n keep budding.

Cranberry Orange Muffin

Diwali is over and now its time for Thanks Giving. Even though we don't celebrate it but with all the baking in the air, I couldn't resist. So, I was roaming around in the grocery store few days back and saw these fresh cranberries. I thought why can't I try baking with them instead of the costly dried ones. And that's how I started searching for recipes using fresh cranberries. And you know what... I didn't get anything to my liking. And so started my new experiment, I had some sugar syrup left from gulab jamuns I prepared for Diwali. I cooked my berries in it and tadaa... I had sweetened cranberries ready for my muffin. You can try this recipe with dried sweetened berries or you can follow my method to sweeten them (mentioned in tips section). But, to be honest.. I would go with dried ones in future. I still have a bag sitting in my refrigerator and don't know what to do with it.:( Anyways, I will figure out something. Meanwhile, here is the recipe.

  • All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
  • Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 2/3 tsp
  • Condensed Milk - 2 Tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract - 1/4 tsp
  • Orange juice - 2/3 cup
  • Granulated Sugar - 1/4 cup
  • Sweetened Cranberry - 1/2 cup
  • Butter/Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Preheat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Sift all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder. 
  • Mix condensed milk, vanilla extract, orange juice, oil and sugar in a bowl.
  • Now add the mixture prepared above to flour mix and whisk. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter. Adjust sweetness at this stage as per your taste.
  • Mix in the cranberries.
  • Now arrange cup cake liners in a tray and fill with batter till 2/3 of the liner. It makes about 12 muffins. 
  • Bake it for 22 minutes at 350 degree Fahrenheit. Test with a toothpick to make sure they are baked. Bake for another few minutes if not done.
  • Take out the tray and let the muffins cool on a cooling rack.
  • To sweeten fresh cranberries, prepare sugar syrup using 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Let it boil for about 5 mins then add cranberries and cook for another 5 mins on low heat. By this time the syrup will be almost dried. While adding these berries to the recipe make sure your batter is not very sweet as the berries will have some sugar syrup with them. I had sugar syrup left from gulab jamuns so I used that.
  • You can use melted butter but I prefer using refined oils with lesser fat. Make sure the oil you are using doesn't have strong taste. I used saffola. 
Till my next post,
Bye n keep budding.

Pav Bhaji : Bombay street food

Having street food is a different experience than eating out at a restaurant. I have spent four wonderful years of my life in Mumbai and believe me, you cannot live there and not love the street food variety the city offers.

I loved evenings at chopatti, enjoying spicy bhaji with warm buttery pav, watching the sun set in sea. Oh it's a must have experience if you ever get a chance to visit Mumbai.

Another good thing about Pav Bhaji is that it is a quick fix recipe that can be served as a snack as well as a complete meal. The recipe I am sharing here needs Pav Bhaji masala, it's easily available at any Indian grocery store. I have used MDH but you can go for any brand you prefer.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • Cauliflower: 2 big bunch of florets (roughly 2 cups)
  • Potato: 1
  • Green Peas: 1/2 cup
  • Tomato: 2 (pureed)
  • Onion: 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Capsicum: 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice: 1 tsp
  • Pav Bhaji masala: 2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder: 1 1/2 tsp
  • Oil/ Butter: 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Boil cauliflower, potato and green peas. Mash them thoroughly.
  • Heat oil/butter in a pan.Add ginger garlic paste and cook for few seconds.
  • Add onion and capsicum. Cook till onions turn golden.
  • Add red chilly powder and mix well. Cook for few seconds and then add tomato puree.
  • Let it cook till oil starts to separate. Now add Pav bhaji masala and cook for about a minute. If required add a tsp of water.
  • Now add the boiled vegetables and salt. Mix them well. 
  • Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. This helps in blending the taste. Stir occasionally and add water if it turns too dry.
  • Add lemon juice, stir again and serve hot with butter roasted pav and chopped onion.
  • You may add a dollop of butter.  
Till my next post,
Bye n keep budding.

Chilly Rings

I started this blog because of my growing interest in honing my culinary skills. It's just over a month old and already the equation is changing. It's hard to tell whether I am sharing more recipes because I am learning more or learning more recipes to share more. But, either ways, I am loving it. I am sure my bloggie friends feel the same for their blogs.

The recipe I am sharing today is 'Chilly Rings'. Don;t worry, they are made of banana chilies, won't be too hot for your taste. It takes hardly 10 minutes to prepare them. They can be served as starters or tea time snack.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)
  • Banana chilly : 1
  • Ginger Garlic Paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Corn starch: 1 tbsp
  • All purpose flour (maida): 1tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry
  • Cut 1/2 centimeter thick rings out of the banana chilly. Remove the seeds and the white thingy inside chilly.
  • Marinate the rings in ginger garlic paste and salt for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile you can start heating oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • In a bowl make a thick paste of corn starch, all purpose flour and just a pinch of salt using about two and half tbsp water. Mix well. There should not be any lumps.
  • Drop a little paste prepared above in oil, if it rises to surface, oil is ready for frying.
  • Take a ring and dip it in the paste. Flip and make sure that all the sides are coated with the paste prepared. Drop the ring in oil. Continue with other rings.   
  • Fry till they turn light brow. Flip and cook the other side too.
  • Drain on tissue to soak excess oil.
Serve hot with ketchup/ green chutney/ tamarind chutney.

Do try it.
Till my next post,
Bye n keep budding.

Imli ki chutney/ Tamarind chutney

Having 'Nukaad ka chaat wala' is one of the luxuries you don't have outside India. Oh the sweet, spicy n tangy taste... I miss it so much. For some reason, I never found that taste in chaat served at restaurants here (*subuk subuk*). But no worries, now I have decided to take matters in my hand.... yes, I am gonna prepare chaat varieties at home. And to begin with here is the recipe for that sweet n tangy taste.... 

  • Tamarind/ Imli 50 grams
  • 4 Dates/ Khajur
  • 10 Raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar
  • Remove seeds if any and then soak tamarind, dates and raisins together in luke warm water for 45 minutes. Add water just enough to soak the ingredients.
  • Blend them together to make fine paste. Filter using a sieve.
  • Simmer the filtered paste on low flame for about 5 mins or till it gets the desired thickness.
  • Let it cool and store in air tight container in refrigerator.