Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dhania chutney

In many of my blogs I have suggested the dish to be served with dhania ki chutney. But I have not described how to prepare it. I propose to do it now.

In a way, it is really silly of me to post a blog on Dhania ki chutney presuming that others do not know about it, when it is the commonest chutney prepared in any north Indian house hold. But then this dhania chutney  is with a Bihari twist.  It has very few ingredients but immensely tasty.

Ingredients

  1. Dhania leaves    100 gms
  2. Amchoor               10 gms
  3. Garlic                     6 to 8 eight cloves
  4. Green chilies   according to taste
  5. Mustard oil
  6. Salt

Method

  1. Wash  the dhania leaves thoroughly and chop roughly.
  2. Put the leaves in a grinder.
  3. Add garlic, amchoor and green chilies.
  4. Grind finely. If thick add a little water.
  5. Take out from grinder and add salt and 1/4 spoon of raw mustard oil. In fact, mustard oil is the game changer.

The chutney is ready to be served. Some people add lemon juice also to it. But this compromises with the taste of amchoor.

Dhania chutney should be served as fresh as possible. If kept for a long duration the aroma of dhania gets evaporated. And the whole fun of dhania chutney lies in the aroma of dhania and pungency of raw mustard oil.

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Gojha

Like litti,  gojha is a typical Bihari dish. And like litti,  it is a stuffed preparation. However, the stuffing and the method of cooking of the two are widely different. While the litti filling is basically of sattu ( i.e. powder of roasted black gram ) the filling for gojha is made out of soaked and ground chana dal. And while litti is roasted on  fire, gojha  is steamed in boiling water.

Gojha is usually eaten as breakfast along with dhania chutney. It is a very healthy dish as it has carbohydrate from atta and protein from chana dal. As will be seen, very few spices are used. And no oil is needed if eaten in steamed form.

Gojha is like gujhia except that the the outer covering of gojha is thicker than that of gujhia and the filling is also different. And while gujhia is fried, gojha is steamed –  though as described later, gojha slices can be fried as well.

Ingredients

  1. Atta  2 cups
  2. Chana dal 1 cup
  3. Ginger
  4. Garlic
  5. Red chilies
  6. Green chilies
  7. Turmeric powder
  8. Jeera
  9. Coriander leaves
  10. Salt

Method

  1. Soak the chana dal overnight
  2. Drain out water and add chopped garlic, chopped ginger and red chilies and grind medium.
  3. Add chopped green chilies, coriander leaves and salt to the above and mix well.
  4. Knead the atta of harder consistency than that for rotis. Roll atta balls into  thick puris – say about 3 inch diameter.
  5. Put about two  to three tea  spoon  of the chana dal mixture in the centre.
  1. Fold from two sides like gujhia and press the edges firmly to make them stick.
  2. Put a pot of water on fire to boil.
  3. When the water starts boiling, slide the gojhas one by one slowly into the water. Ensure that they do not stick to one another.
  4. Let it boil for 15 minutes or so.
  5. When cooked the gojhas will start floating. Remove from fire and take out the gojhas.
  6. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  7. Slice the gojhas about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. The gojhas ready to eat.
  9. The gojha slices can be fried also, depending on individual taste.
  10. Serve with dhania chutney.

Variation

Instead of using wheat flour, rice flour can also be used. However, rice flour will have to be kneaded in luke warm water.

Bathua Raita

A raita is basically beaten curd in which different types of vegetables ( raw or cooked )/fruits or bundi etc. are added and seasoned with salt, chat masala, jeera powder,  red chili powder, green chilies etc. to make it spicy- though not too spicy. You may also add some sugar to it depending on taste. Raitas not only  add variety to other side dishes but also make great stand alone side dish with stuffed parathas and biryanis.   Raitas are always served cold or at least at room temperature.

Many types of raitas can be prepared. I have already described baigan raita and lauki raita elsewhere in my blog. Yesterday, I prepared Bathua raita, though, as will be soon clear,  it is rather late in the season for bathua raita.

Bathua is a sag i.e. green leafy vegetable,  available only during winter months. It is a rich source of iron. It is generally not used all by itself  as in the case of spinach or mustard sag. It is either mixed with any of these sags or mixed with dals or wheat flour for making rotis, parathas and puris.   But bathua raita tastes great.

Ingredients

  1. Bathua sag   200gms
  2. Curd                250 gms
  3. Red chili powder
  4. Jeera powder
  5. Sendha namak
  6. Chat masala
  7. Green chilies
Method
  1. Wash the sag carefully. Some times dust particles tend to stick to the sag as  bathua leaves are somewhat rough.
  2. Chop the sag. Need not be chopped fine as it is required to be boiled.
  3. Boil the sag. Drain out the water and keep it aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  4.  Mash it, not too finely, in a  mixie.
  5. Chop green chilies.
  6. Beat the curd to get smooth consistency. 
  7. Add the sag, sendhaa namak, chat masala, red chili powder, jeera powder and chopped green chilies. 
  8. Pour in a serving bowl and put it in a fridge for about 1/2 hr. or so.
  9. Take out from the fridge, garnish and serve.
Do try it out. It is simple to prepare, healthy and delicious.

Gajar ( Carrot ) ka kheer

The most common kheer is that of rice. I will be posting some other varieties of kheer also such as gajar ( carrot ) ka kheer, makhane ka kheer, sama rice kheer etc.  Today I will write about one of my most favourite  kheers viz. gajar ka kheer. It is highly appreciated by my guests also. Unfortunately, this kheer can be prepared only in winter  as proper variety of  gajar is available in winter only – at least in India.

Ingredients

  1. Carrots   1/2 kg
  2. Milk   1 litre
  3. Custard powder   1 tea spoon
  4. Sugar   1/2 cup or according to taste
  5. Cashew nuts   10 t0 12
  6. Almonds  10 t0 12 
  7. Ghee or  butter  2 tea spoons       
Preparation
  1. It is important to select  red and tender carrots 
  2. Wash and peel the carrots.
  3. Grate medium.
  4. Chop cashew nuts and almonds
Cooking
  1. Put a kadai on fire and add ghee
  2. Saute the grated carrots.
  3. Add sauted carrots to  milk and boil  it till it becomes thick  – say till it becomes 2/3rd.
  4. Add sugar and cook for 2 t0 3 minutes.
  5. Mix custard powder in 1/2 cup of cold milk or water,  ensuring that there are no lumps.
  6. Add the custard mixture to  milk slowly and keep stirring to avoid lumps. 
  7. Cook for two minutes. 
  8. Remove from fire and allow it to cool.
  9. Pour in a serving bowl and put it  in the fridge for about 1/2 hr.  or so.
  10. Take out from fridge 
  11. Spread the chopped nuts and serve.
Serve cold as after dinner dessert. I am sure you will like it. It is tasty as well as healthy.

Katahal ke kabab

Katahal  i.e. jackfruit is normally eaten either in form of vegetables,  as  ripe fruit or chips.  Katahal ke kabab is no less tasty than mutton shami kabab.

Ingredients

           

              

                                                    

  1. Katahal 1/2 kg after removal of skin
  2. Chana dal 1/2 cup
  3.  Onions 3 medium size
  4. Garlic – ginger paste  1 1/2 tea spoon
  5. Turmeric powder 1/4 tea spoon
  6. Red chili powder – according to taste
  7. Dhania powder 1/2 tea spoon
  8. Garam masala 1/2 tea spoon
  9. Green chilies 2
  10. Pudina leaves 10 t0 12
  11. Dhania leaves for garnishing
  12. Oil
  13. Salt

The condiments need to be adjusted according to taste.

Preparation

  1. Remove the skin of the katahal and cut into smaller pieces
  2. Wash katahl pieces, add salt and turmeric powder
  3. Cut onions into small pieces
  4. Chop green chilies and pudina leaves

Cooking

  1. Put  katahl pieces, chnana dal and some salt in a pot and boil till done. Take care not to put too much water. The water should be just adequate to let the katahal pieces get cooked so that the water does  not have to be drained out later. If any water is still left, it should be dried before removing from fire.
  2. Remove from fire when cooked and let it cool to room temperature.
  3.  Grind the katahal pieces and chana dal  together finely.
  4. Put a kadahi/ frying pan on medium fire.
  5. Add 2 tea spoon oil.
  6. When the oil is heated add chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
  7. Add ginger garlic paste, dhania powder, a little turmeric powder,  chili powder    and fry till done.
  8. Add katahal paste, chopped pudina leaves, chopped green chilies  garam masala, and salt if required and mix well.
  9. When the mixture cools down, make medium size balls and flatten them.
  10. Shallow fry till done.
  11. Kababs are ready.

Garnish with dhania leaves and onion rings. Serve hot with dhania/ pudina chutney.

I will shortly be posting the recipe for cooking Katahal ki sabji.  Some call katahal ki sabji,  vegetarian mutton because because of its fibrous content as well as taste of the curry.

Lauki-mustard-raita

In one of my blogs I had described Baigan ka raita. Another mouth-watering raita very common in Bihar is Lauki ka raita. Unlike other raitas it is prepared in mustard masala.

Ingredients

      All ingredients according to taste.
                             
  1. Lauki                                                                                                        
  2. Curd
  3. Mustard powder
  4. Jeera powder
  5. Red chili powder
  6. Green chilies
  7. Salt
Cooking
  1. Grate and boil the lauki
  2. Drain out all water from the lauki
  3. Churn the curd and pass it through a sieve to give smooth consistency
  4. Chop green chilies
  5. Add grated lauki, mustard powder, red chili powder, jeera powder, chopped green chilies and salt ( all according to taste ) to the curd and mix well.
  6. The raita is ready to eat.
  7. But it would be better to leave it out at room temperature for about 10 to 12 hours to allow the pungency of mustard to mature.
 

 

Put it in a bowl and garnish with split green chilies or any other decoration that you may like. It goes exceedingly well with rotis, parathtas and  puris. But can be taken with rice dishes also including pulao.

Baigan Raita

The most common raitas prepared in our kitchen  are bundi raita, onion – tomato raita, mixed fruit raita, kheera raita  etc.  Biagan raita is decidedly tastier.

Ingredients

         

                                                             

  1. Baigan  1
  2. Curd  2 cups
  3. Red Chili powder
  4. Turmeric powder
  5. Jeera powder
  6. Sendha namak ( rock salt)
  7. Pudina Leaves
  8. Sugar
  9. Salt
  10. Mustard oil.

Preparation

  1.  There are many varities of baigans. Selection of proper quality of baigan is important. Any baigan can be used as long as its skin is not hard.  The skin of some varieties of baigan  leave a bitter after-taste.  Do not use the thin long variety of baigan. It is safer  to use round baigans for raita.
  2. Slice the baigans length-wise into half. Then cut them into about ½ inch thick slices. If long variety of baigans are used,  cutting them  into  round slices would be as good.
  3. Marinate the baigan slices with turmeric powder, red chili powder  and salt for about 15 minutes or so.
  4.  Mix one tea spoon of sugar into the curd and stir well.
  5. Pass the curd through a thin sieve to give it smooth consistency.
  6. Chop  10 to 12 pudina leaves finely and mix into the curd

Cooking

  1. Fry baigan slices in a frying pan on medium fire till brown,  ensuring that the slices  do not break up.
  2. Allow the fried slices to cool to room temperature.
  3. Spread the baigan pieces in a flat bottom shallow serving bowl.
  4. Pour the curd.
  5. Sprinkle red chili powder,  sendha namak, jeera powder and salt on top. Do not stir.
  6. Garnish  with whole  pudina  leaves.
  7. Keep it in the fridge for about 15 minutes or so.

Baigan raita is ready to serve. It goes best  with roti, paratha, puri etc.  though it can be eaten with rice as well.

Check out my blog for Bathua Raita and Lauki raita   also which is one of my favourites.