Monday, November 26, 2007

Sweet Potato Paratha - The Non-Stuffed Kind !!

How about discussing the similarities, differences and then some about Sweet Potatoes and Yams some other time :) For now, I'll just tell you about my affinity for this lovely tuber :)
I enjoy a Sweet Potato(as I know it), by boiling it and then just a sprinkling of salt, pepper and lemon juice :) And my mom's sweet potato chaat brings me immense joy!! It includes fresh boiled & chopped sweet potatoes, banana & guava in tamarind sauce.........YUM :) I can down bowls full of this "nutritious" chaat any given day!!
In my quest to try different recipes with this adorable tuber, I made Paratha's and to make things simpler, made the non-stuffed kind ;) This recipe is inspired from the much talented BurekaBoy's puris.

Sweet Potato Paratha
2 sweet potatoes, boiled
1.5 cups wheat flour (regular chapati atta)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder, adjust to taste
a generous pinch of asafoetida/hing
salt to taste
5-6 mint leaves finely chopped (optional)
(coriander leaves work very well here, but i had just used up my entire stock making chutney, so I tried mint leaves from my beautiful plant, a thoughful gift from a dear blogger friend! )

2 tbsp yogurt/dahi
1 tbsp oil
a few tbsp water to knead the dough
a few tbsp oil to cook the paratha
1. Peel the boiled sweet potatoes.
2. Mix wheat flour, spices, yogurt, oil and mashed sweet potatoes. Mix well to incorporate the spices in to the flour.
3. Add water as required to knead a soft and smooth dough. Keep aside for an hour for the flavors to develop. If pressed for time can make them immediately as well.
4. Heat a griddle/tava. Roll into medium sized parathas and cook like a regular paratha, spreading a few drops of oil on both the sides while cooking them.
5. Keep covered in a box lined with paper napkins. Enjoy these soft and delicious parathas. They are very easy to roll and stay very soft for a long time. Can be served with chutney & pickle of your choice and some yogurt on the side :) They make a wonderful accompaniment to Tea!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pumpkin, Date & Walnut Halwa aka Kaddu, Khajur aur Akhrote ka Halwa

I can write about the pumpkin being in season and how it is all over the market, and is just the right time for a pumpkin recipe!

Or, I can regale my childhood stories about how I had a pumpkin patch and about the harvest that we had every year!

May be I can charm you with the nutritional properties of orange colored vegetables. But no.
I will just get right to the recipe and the pictures... :)

Pumpkin Date Walnut Halwa
1 cup grated pumpkin (I used a butternut squash)
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup walnut, coarsely powdered
1/2 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
2 tbsp + 1tsp ghee
2 tbsp brown sugar (adjust to taste)
1.5 tbsp milk powder (optional)
1. Soak finely chopped dates in 1/4 cup water till you are grating the squash. This step can be omitted if you are using the any soft dates like medjool etc.
2. Heat 2tbsp ghee.
3. Add grated squash and saute for 2-3 minutes.
4. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, it gets cooked very fast.
5. Add the softened dates and sugar, stir well. Cook for a few minutes till everything comes together.
6. Add milk powder(if using) and walnut powder, stir well till incorporated.
7. Add 1tsp ghee along the edges of the pan and stir till it comes together.
8. Garnish with walnut halves and serve hot :)
Try this halwa once, it is rich in taste with that amazing dark color, you will enjoy the natural flavors.
This halwa tastes much better the next day, if possible do allow a day for the flavors to play their magic.
I'm not sure if my mind was playing games with me, but it tastes like Gajar ka Halwa after the flavors have developed for a couple of days :)

Notice the napkin under the plate? It is my favorite napkin with the lace made by my mom using shutle :)

Sending it over to Chandrika for AFAM-dates.

Click here for one more dish using Butternut Squash.

And The Winner Is.............

I sure had so much fun with the 'Guess The Ingredients' fun game!
Had such an overwhelming response with more than 65 fine guesses !!!! Now I've some real fun ideas for cooking ...... am thinking of testing them in my kitchen ;)
First to the dish, it is.........drum roll please......:
Avocado Masala Buttermilk!
I blended 1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup water, 1/2 avocado, 1 green chili, 1tbsp coriander leaves, 1/4 tsp ginger paste, salt to taste and 1/2 tsp cumin powder to make this smooth and creamy concoction!
It was delicious, with a spicy kick to it and the avocado blended very well with the buttermilk!
Do try this nutrition of a glass for a different flavor!
And now for the WINNER!!!
No one got the exact name of the drink, but the first blogger who got the main ingredient(avocado) right is.....
Manjula from Dalitoy!!!!
Congratulations Manjula!!
Please drop me an email and your prize will be in the mail :)
I would also like to extend my Congratulations to Gita, a non blogger and KayKat for getting the ingredient right, a lil' late, albeit ;)
A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the spirit of the game and made it such a fun affair, made me smile with every single guess of yours !!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HINT No# 1 for Guess the Ingredients/Name and Win a Prize ........

Thank You All so much for participating in this fun game.
I'm really enjoying this game looking at all the guesses and hope you are too :)
Since nobody has got it correct yet( a hint in itself) and as requested by you, I would like to give you a hint to make it a lil' easier to guess.......;)
Hint #1 - This is a very popular 'dish' had throughout most of India, just that I've added a foreign ingredient. This foreign ingredient is known for it's nutrition!!
Please leave your guesses in the original post HERE.
Good Luck and hope to see some more guesses .........

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guess the Ingredients and Name of this Dish AND WIN A PRIZE!!!!

Calling all the foodie's out there...................
Guess the ingredients in this dish!!!!
The main ingredients HAVE to be right ;)
All are welcome to participate in this game!!!
To qualify for the Prize, you Need To Have A Blog and should reside in the Continental US!!!!
(Sorry, have mailing constraints at this time....:) )
The first entry with all correct ingredients will receive the Prize!!!
Results will be out next week!
Good Luck!!!!
Lemme' see you stretch your brains.....errr eyes ......

Thursday, November 8, 2007

H A P P Y D I W A L I - B a d a m No S e e r o aka A l m o n d H a l w a

I would like to wish all my friends and blog readers a very Happy and safe Diwali!
How about celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights with a lip smacking rich sweet :)
Badam No Seero, undoubtedly has to be one of my most favorite sweets. It is a popular sweet made during Diwali in Gujarati homes. It is quick to make, has plenty of almonds for the rich taste, can be made either with sugar or jaggery, what more can one ask for? ;)
Try it once and I assure you, your family and friends will be asking for seconds, meaning you gotta' make good quantities of this seera! Badam no seero is the Gujarati term for Badam Halwa!

Here is my version of Badam No Seero!
1/2 cup badam/almond powder
1/2 cup rava/sooji/semolina
2-3 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
3 cups liquid - You can have any combination of milk and water, including all water or all milk
1 cup sugar - You can add sugar/jaggery as per your taste
(I do not like cloyingly sweet dishes, so i use just 1/2 cup sugar and jaggery mix which works out perfectly for me)
1. Heat ghee.
2. Add sooji and saute for about 15 minutes till it darkens a shade and you get the roasted aroma.
3. In the mean while heat the liquid, when it comes to a boil, add sugar/jaggery and let it melt.
4. Once the sooji is roasted, add almond powder and elaichi powder and saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add the syrup and let it get absorbed completely.
6. Cover and cook on low for a few minutes.
7. Your Badam Jo Seero is ready to be offered to the Gods and then devoured soon after :)

Please do not use fine rava, that will just turn into a paste. I use sooji, the packet says sooji/upma rava/cream of wheat.
In the above pic, I've used 2 cups water + 1 cup milk.

No need to garnish the halwa with anything, well it has enough almonds, don't u think? ;)

There is a version of this halwa with 100% almonds, will post that as well, hopefully soon ;)