Pratibha’s Mung

Pratibha learned this recipe after she moved from London to Florida.  Nani told her how to make mung over the phone (a family tradition), and after many years of practice and some slight modifications, this recipe is her masterpiece.   When her daughter Meera comes home, Pratibha always has mung ready!

Servings: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mung
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 10-12 limdo (curry leaves)
  • 1 medium-sized tomato (diced)
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. rai (mustard seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • Pinch of hing (asafetida)
  • 1/4 tsp. haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 1/2 tps. crushed green chili (or finely chopped fresh chili peppers, like serranos or jalapenos)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh cilantro – chopped
  • Little lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Wash mung until water is clear (approximately 5 or 6 times). 
  2. Add mung and water to pressure cooker.  Cover and cook on high.  When the pressure cooker starts making noise, reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to let cook for about 5 minutes.  Then turn off heat.
  3. Wait until pressure cooker has cooled, and then open. 
  4. Make vagaar on medium heat: oil, rai (mustard seeds), jeera (cumin seeds), hing (asafetida), diced tomatoes, and limdo.
  5. Then add garlic, ginger, haldi, green chili, and salt.  Let cook for about 2 minutes. 
  6. Then add the mung, 1 cup water, half of the cilantro, and squeeze half a lemon.  Bring to a boil for about 5-10 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice or on its own.  You can also eat it with roti and yogurt. 
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Posted in Gujarati, Indian, Legumes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pratibha’s Red Chana Shaak

Pratibha’s red chana shaak is one of Seema’s favorites.  It does require soaking the chana overnight (or for at least 6 hours), so make sure and plan ahead when making it.

Servings: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chana
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tbs. oil
  • 1 tsp. ajwain seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asafetida)
  • 2 Tbs. chana flour (gram flour)
  • 1/2 crushed tomato – diced tomatoes work too
  • 15 leaves of limdo (curry leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1 tsp. crushed green chili – depends on how hot you want the shaak
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 squeezed lemon
  • Chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. Wash chana.  Then add to pressure cooker, along with 3 cups of boiling water.  Close pressure cooker and let soak overnight (or for at least 6 hours). 
  2. Cook chana: turn pressure cooker on (stove should be on high); when it starts to make noise, lower the pressure cooker to medium-high and let cook for 15-20 minutes.  Then turn the heat off and let cool until you can open the pressure cooker.
  3. Make vagaar: add oil, ajwain seeds, hing, and chana flour.  Mix continuously and let flour cook for about a minute. 
  4. Then add tomato, limdo, 1/2 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. ginger, haldi, green chili, and salt. Let cook for about 2 minutes. 
  5. Add chana (with the water from the pressure cooker) and 1/2 cup water if needed.
  6. Bring to boil.  Add 1/2 squeezed lemon and fresh cilantro.  Serve hot with rice or any indian bread.  Plain yogurt and chopped onions also go well. 
Posted in Curries, Gujarati, Indian, Legumes, Main dish | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Nani’s Stuffed Eggplant and Potato Shaak (Curry)

Nani learned this recipe from her mother-in-law Zaverbai Morjaria in Nakuru, Kenya.  She has been making it for her children and grandchildren ever since.

Baby eggplants are key to this recipe — the normal, large eggplants just don’t stuff as well.  Also, there is no actual stuffing of anything involved.  By cutting slits in the potatoes and eggplants, they become “stuffed” as they cook.

Servings: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes (any potato except baking potatoes will do)
  • 10 baby eggplants, or 2 long eggplants that are cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas or green beans
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1/4 cup dried coconut (optional)
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes (if using crushed tomatoes from a can, about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water (Note: you only need this if you are using fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. salt
  • Red chile powder (cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp. haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 2 tsp. dhana jeeru (mixture of coriander and cumin powder — just coriander powder is fine)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tbs. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. rai (mustard seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp. jeeru (cumin seeds)
  • Pinch of hing (asafetida)

Directions

  1. Prepare stuffing in medium bowl: crushed peanuts, coconut (optional), garlic, coriander & jeeru powder, haldi (turmeric), red chile powder (cayenne pepper).
  2. Then add chopped cilantro and tomatoes, and water if you are using fresh tomatoes.  Mix well with a spoon. 
  3. Prepare potatoes and eggplant: peel potatoes and cut into 4 big pieces.  Then make a slit in every piece (but make sure not to cut all the way).
  4. Cut off stems of the baby eggplants.  Depending on the length of the eggplants, cut in half to make shorter.  Then cut slits in the eggplants.
  5. Prepare vagaar: oil, rai, jeeru, and hing.  Add potatoes, eggplants, and frozen peas and/or green beans [note: here I added the tomatoes with the potatoes and eggplants — it really doesn’t matter].
  6. And then pour the stuffing right on top. Mix well. 
  7. Cover, and let cook on medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes.  Note: do not stir — otherwise it will become mushy!  Serve with fresh yogurt and any indian bread and/or rice.
Posted in Curries, Gujarati, Indian, Main dish | Leave a comment

Jasu Aunty’s Samosa-like Appetizers

Jasu Aunty’s samosa-ish appetizers are a necessary dish at family parties (along with Illa Aunty’s baklava).  They are just as delicious as samosas (if not better) and require much less time to make!

Servings: 10-12 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Puff pastry – mine contained 2 rolls
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 medium sized potato, chopped finely
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic–optional
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala–optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • chopped green chillies or red chillies to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil

Directions:
  1. In a thick-bottomed pan, put the oil and chopped potatoes. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally so they do not stick.
  2. When half cooked, add the peas and cook further until almost done.  Add the salt, garlic, garam masala, chillies and mix well. Let cook until done.
  3. Then add the onions and cilantro and mix well.
  4. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  5. In the meantime, roll out the puff pastry. Cut squares that are about 3 inches by 3 inches. I get the Pepperidge Farm one so each roll yields 9 squares.If the pastry is sticky, leave in the fridge for 15 mins.
  6. Now put squares in a muffin pan, arranging them so that the corners stick out neatly. Place enough peas stuffing inside each square.
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10-12 mins or until the puff pastry edges turns golden.
  8. Tastes good hot or cold.  Serve with ketchup or any chutney.

 

Posted in Appetizer, Indian | Tagged | 1 Comment

Pratibha’s Daal

Pratibha’s daal is so good that her daughter Seema faced her fears and used a pressure cooker just so she could attempt to make it.  This recipe is guaranteed to convert even non-daal eaters into fans.  And it is easy and healthy!

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup toor dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • jeeru (cumin seeds)
  • rai (mustard seeds)
  • hing (asafetida)
  • limro (curry leaves)
  • haldi (turmeric powder)
  • red chile (paprika)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 /2 – 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • large serving spoon of crushed tomato
  • crushed ginger
  • lemon juice

Directions

  1. Wash daal like you would rice (until you can see the daal through the water). Use hot water to get out some of the oil.
  2. Pressure cooker method: put 3 cups of water into pressure cooker and add the washed daal.  Close the pressure cooker and turn the stove on high.  When the pressure cooker starts to make noise, lower the heat to medium-high.  Leave on medium high for 7 minutes, then turn off and let steam escape (pressure cooker does this by itself).
  3. In the meantime, make the vagaar on medium heat: add oil, then rai, jeeru, hing, limro, and a big serving spoon of crushed tomato.  Then add haldi, red chile, lemon juice (lots – about half a lemon), salt, sugar, and ginger.  Let cook on low heat until the oil separates slightly from the tomato mixture. 
  4. When daal finishes cooling, use hand mixer to make smooth. 
  5. Then add daal to vagaar and bring to boil — add salt and lemon juice to taste.  And add some water if you want the daal thinner.
  6. Serve with rice, roti, or by itself. 
Posted in Gujarati, Indian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hovan Gourmet’s Vegetarian Rolls

This recipe is one that I have been searching for for years.  I little bit of history:  Kiran, Sunil, Seema, Nalinimasi, and myself would often spend our days at Southpark Mall in the summer.  As a break from shopping, this was always our favorite snack.

Ingredients:

Technically you are supposed to use Armenian “lavash” bread – but mediterannean flat bread works just as well
garlic herb cheese spread (like Rondele)
sliced dill havarti cheese
swiss cheese
avocado spread (mashed avocados with salt and pepper)
thinly sliced tomato
lettuce

Spread garlic cheese onto the flat bread and then spread the avocado on top.  Put the slices of havarti and swiss cheese and then lettuce and tomato on top.  Roll the tortillas and slice them into the desired size. Refrigerate until serving.

Posted in Avocado, Main dish, Mediterranean, Sandwich | Leave a comment

Urmil Aunty’s Tandoori Roti

Servings: 12-14 rotis

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Some loose flour to roll the rotis

Directions:

  1. Make dough: mix 2 cups of flour with 1 cup of water — you can mix it by hand or in the food processor.  The dough should be pretty soft.
  2. Make small dough balls and roll them into rotis using a little bit of loose wheat flour.
  3. Optional: for crispier rotis, cover the roti with a little bit of ghee (butter) after rolling.  Then make it into a ball again like you would a paratha — either by swirling it or folding the roti in half and then folding it into a circle.  Then roll the roti again. 
  4. Place the rotis on a pan (I like to use a pizza dish) and broil in the oven.  NOTE: you must watch the rotis very carefully.  After 1-2 minutes, flip the rotis over and let them cook for another minute or so, or until they have light brown spots on them. 
  5. Cover rotis with ghee (butter) and serve hot! 
Posted in Breads, Indian, Punjabi | Tagged , | Leave a comment