Palak Khichdi

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 cup washed rice
  • 1/2 cup washed moong dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1” stick of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 slit green chilly
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • A big handful of spinach leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Method –

  1. Purée the spinach leaves and set aside
  2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker
  3. Sauté cumin seeds, cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaf and dry red chilli till the seeds splutter
  4. Sauté the onion till it turns golden
  5. Add tomato and cook till it turns mushy
  6. Add spinach purée and cook for about 5 minutes
  7. Add drained rice and dal
  8. Add salt and turmeric powder
  9. Add 4 cups of water and pressure cook for about 3-4 whistles

Kumror Chokha (Pumpkin, Chickpea Curry)

Ingredients-

  • 1/3 cup kala chana (black chickpeas)
  • 2 cups of pumpkin, chopped in cubes
  • 1 large potato, chopped in cubes
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Soak about black chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook with salt till soft.
  2. Heat oil in a kadhai
  3. Temper the oil with fenugreek seeds, asafoetida powder and dry red chillies
  4. When the spices splutter, add the cubed potatoes. Sprinkle a little turmeric powder and fry till light golden
  5. Add cumin, coriander powder, ginger and slit green chillies
  6. Add a splash of water and fry the masalas
  7. Add the pumpkin cubes
  8. Sauté for a minute till the masalas are mixed well with the pumpkin
  9. Add salt to taste
  10. If the pumpkin is not sweet, add 1 tsp of sugar
  11. Cover and cook adding a little water if necessary
  12. Add the cooked chickpeas and mix well
  13. Cook till the vegetables are soft

Focaccia Bread

Ingredients-

1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely mince

2 teaspoon mixed dry herbs

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 cup (235 ml) warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)

1/4 teaspoon honey

2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Thinly sliced red and yellow bell pepper and black pitted olives for topping

Method –

  1. In a cold medium skillet, combine olive oil, garlic, mixed herbs and black pepper.
  2. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally , 5 to 10 minutes or until aromatic , but before the garlic browns. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and honey. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes
  4. Add 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of infused garlic olive oil mixture to the bowl with yeast and honey
  5. Stir 3-4 times until the flour has moistened
  6. Let sit for another 5 minutes
  7. Stir in the remaining 1.5 cups of flour and salt
  8. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board and knead 10-15 times until smooth
  9. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl
  10. Cover with a warm, damp towel and let it rise for 1 hour
  11. After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 225 deg C
  12. Use 2 tbsp of the remaining garlic olive oil mixture to a baking pan
  13. Transfer the dough to the baking pan
  14. Use your fingers dipped in water to dimple the dough
  15. Scatter the olives and coloured peppers on the surface
  16. Drizzle the remaining garlic olive oil mixture
  17. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly
  18. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes
  19. Cool baked focaccia on a wire rack

Sprouted Moong Tikki

Ingredients-

  • 1 cup moong sprouts
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium boiled potato
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Boil the moong sprouts in salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside
  2. Boil the peas for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside
  3. Grind the moong sprouts into a coarse paste
  4. Mix the ground sprouts with peas, mashed boiled potatoes, onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, salt and spices.
  5. Mix well
  6. Make flat balls
  7. Heat a non stick pan with 1 tbsp oil
  8. Fry the tikkis well till golden brown on both sides
  9. Serve hot with ketchup

Stuffed Red Chilli Lemon Pickle

Ingredients-

  • 250 gm big red chillies
  • 1 cup mustard oil
  • 2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 4 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp carom seeds
  • 1 tbsp black salt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 pinches asafoetida powder

Method –

  1. Wash the chillies thoroughly
  2. Dry the chillies in bright sunlight for 2-3 hours. Ensure that no moisture remains
  3. Heat a pan and roast the whole spices for about 2 minutes
  4. Turn off the flame and let it cool
  5. In the meantime, heat up the oil well and let it cool
  6. As the whole spices cool down, coarsely grind the whole spices except for mustard seeds
  7. Coarsely grind the mustard seeds and mix it with the other spices
  8. Mix salt too
  9. Add black salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, lemon juice to the ground spices
  10. Add 2 tbsp oil to this mixture and mix well
  11. Remove stalk from the chillies
  12. Slit the chillies from the centre vertically and remove the seeds and pulp carefully
  13. Add the seeds to the masala mixture
  14. Now fill the chillies with the spice mixture
  15. Put all the chillies in a sterilised glass container with lid
  16. Put the leftover spice over the chillies and pour oil into the bottle
  17. Close the lid tightly and keep it bright sunlight for about a week till the chillies turn soft

Fish a la Kiev

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of freshly cooked boneless fish flakes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 tbsp butter
  • Mixed herbs

Method –

  1. For the fish flakes, steam or boil the fish in minimum water and debone it
  2. Heat oil
  3. Add onion and sauté till translucent
  4. Add ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell goes away
  5. Switch off the flame
  6. Add this paste along with coriander leaves, green chillies, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to the flaked fish and mix well
  7. Divide into 4 portions
  8. Cream the butter
  9. Sprinkle dry herbs and add some coriander leaves
  10. Roll it in butter paper in cylindrical shame
  11. Freeze it
  12. Cut the butter lengthwise into 4 pieces
  13. Flatten the fish mixture into oval shape
  14. Put 1 piece of butter each into the fish mixture
  15. Shape into oval again
  16. Beat 1 egg
  17. Dip the fish ovals into egg mixture and cook with breadcrumbs
  18. Deep fry till it turns a nice golden colour
  19. I served it with grilled potatoes and hung curd dip made with ketchup and mustard