Matki Chi Usal – Moth Beans Curry

Sprouted moth beans curry or “Matki Chi Usal” in Marathi, is well-known in every nook and corner of Maharashtra – in homes and restaurants alike. Sprouts pack a protein punch. Rich in antioxidants and fiber, there’s whole lot of nutrition on the plate.
You can play with the level of spiciness too. I like it spicy. The fiery red color is enough to get my tummy rumbling 🙂
This one’s a heavily simplified yet delectable version of my tradition. Its fun to be shamelessly simple sometimes 🙂
Matki Usal 1
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (only if you have the sprouts ready)
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 – 5

Ingredients:
1. 2 1/2 cups sprouted Makti or Moth beans
You can sprout them at home or just grab the ready ones from the market. I do it at home. Love to see those long gorgeous sprouts developing right in front of me.
2. 2 medium onions, finely chopped
3. 1 medium potato, cubed
4. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
5. 2 tsps kashmiri chili powder
6. 2 tsps goda masala (use garam masala as an alternative)
7. 2 tbsps ginger-garlic paste
8. 1 tsp mustard seeds
9. 1 tsp cumin seeds
10. 6-7 curry leaves
11. Oil for frying
12. Salt to taste
13. 1 tbsp lemon juice
13. Chopped coriander for garnishing

Method:
1. Pressure cook the matki and potato cubes with a cup of water and turmeric. (Remember not to overcook).
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them spatter.
3. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves and stir.
4. Add chopped onions and fry till soft and translucent
5. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till fragrant
6. Add the spice powders and fry till the oil starts separating at the corners
7. Now tumble in the cooked beans and potato cubes. (If you want a thicker gravy, mash a small amount of cooked beans before adding)
8. Sprinkle salt as per taste
9. Mix well and let it simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.
10. Add more water if you don’t want it too dry.
10. Lastly add lemon juice and stir.
11. While plating, garnish with chopped onions and coriander
12. Serve hot with chapatis or any Indian bread. Goes well with steamed rice too.

P.S.: After cooling completely, can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for 3 – 4 days.

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Thalipeeth – Maharashtrian Pancake

The traditional Thalipeeth  or the Maharashtrian Pancake, brings back those beautiful sepia memories of my childhood, every time I cook it even today. My mum used to make this as a tea-time snack. I remember queuing up alongside my little bro and sis, waiting for her to toss it into my plate. I always loved those slightly burnt edges and used to save them for the end.
Now, it is my best friend for those lazy afternoons when lunch just doesn’t wish to happen.
Whoever says fast food is unhealthy, this one humbly begs to differ.
Thalipeeth
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Serving: Makes 6 – 8 medium size pancakes

Ingredients:

100 gms Besan (Bengal gram flour)
100 gms whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and add water enough to make a thick batter.
  2. Drizzle teeny bit of oil in a fry pan, preferably a non-stick one.
  3. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it to form a pancake of around 2 mm thickness.
  4. When the top side starts to  blister, flip it over and cook the other side.
  5. Cook both sides till golden brown.
  6. Drizzle more oil from sides of the pancake (only if needed).
  7. Repeat the process for rest of the batter.
  8. Serve hot with a dollop of butter.

P.S.: Best enjoyed with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee. I relish it with my Maggie hot n sweet sauce. Sometimes even with sweetened curds. I know that sounds crazy 🙂

Cucumber And Mint Summer Salad

I call this “Summer Salad” because I somehow associate the coolness of mint to summer. All of a sudden, it becomes omnipresent – fridge, salads, juices… And now that I’ve learned chopping it up like a professional, it makes life much easier 🙂
I’m not a heavy mint user in the salads, but with this one I’m quiet generous.
Not just the taste, but the camaraderie of white and green looks gorgeous as well. See for yourself…
Cucumber and mint summer salad
Preparation Time: 
10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Cucumber – 2 peeled and chopped
Dry mint – 1 teaspoon (optional)
Fresh mint – half a bunch. Chopped (I love using lot of it)
Yogurt – beaten. one cup
Olive Oil – to drizzle
Salt – As per taste

Method:
1. Mix chopped cucumber, dry mint, fresh mint, yogurt and salt.
2. While plating, drizzle some olive oil and garnish with some more chopped mint

P.S.: I’ve added tomatoes here. You may give them a miss, if you wish 🙂

 

 

Baked Macaroni In Cheesy White Sauce

I’d noticed something very prominent in the Goa Marathon my husband had participated in. It was the pre-evening pasta party. Why specifically Pasta Party…was the question.
After bit of quizzing with the cognoscenti, I realized its significance. It was a planned diet of stuffing the marathoners with carbs before the run. Its basically stocking the energy before so that it can be consumed later while running.
So this time before the celebrated Mumbai Marathon, I decided to treat him myself… but with my own little spin to it.

Macaroni in Cheese
Cooking time: 
50 mins
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

500g Macaroni pasta
2 tbsps Plain flour
2 tbsps Butter
500ml Milk
Quarter cup Fresh Cream
3 tbsps Cheese spread (any flavour, optional)
Pasta Cheese or Parmesan Cheese for grating on the top
2 tbsps Finely chopped Garlic (I love garlic so add 4 tbsps)
A pinch Black pepper powder for seasoning
1/2 tsp Oregano for seasoning (optional)
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Salt as per taste

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a medium baking dish.
2. Cook pasta as per the packet’s instructions. Drain and leave aside. Remember, not to overcook it.
3.  Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add a tsp of oil. It prevents butter from burning.
4. Add the chopped garlic and saute till it releases the aroma.
5. Add flour and stir. Add bit by bit to avoid lumps.
6. Now add milk slowly and stir. Again, to avoid lumps.
7. Add the remaining milk and cream and keep stirring till it thickens a bit. Simmer while you keep stirring for a longer time if you want the sauce really thick.
8. Add the Cheese spread and stir till it melts and is mixed properly.
9. Season with oregano, salt and pepper.
10. Now tumble in the pasta and mix lightly without hurting and mashing it up.
11. Spoon in this mixture into the baking dish.
12. Grate the Pasta cheese / Parmesan cheese.
13. Gratinate with bread crumbs. Its the crunch that packs that extra punch 🙂
14. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till the surface looks browned and crisped.
15. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes.
16. Serve with omlettes, fried chicken or anything you like. I had it simply with the hot and sweet sauce.

P.S.: There are whole lot of permutations-combinations that can be done here.
Chopped Spring Onions, boiled and shredded Chicken, smoked Bacon, boiled Prawns….and the list goes on…
Don’t wanna add those extra inches to your waistline, skip the Cheese (cheese spread and grated cheese) altogether.

So…plonk down and dig in 🙂

 

 

Alfredo Maggie

I was at my sluggish best today. To top it up, my cook didn’t turn up and I knew I had to don her hat. Not in the mood to cook a detailed meal, I wanted to make something super-quick, easy without compromising on the taste.
Need is the mother of all inventions! My Alfredo Maggie recipe was born out of one such needs… to make a quick yet delectable lunch.
First morsel in his mouth and my husband exclaimed, “Its about time, you start a setup of your own!”

Maggie1
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Maggie – 3 packets (Masala or Chicken flavour)
Garlic – finely chopped 2 tbsps. I love a lot of garlic so I add 4-5 tbsps of it
Butter – 2 heaped tbsps
Flour – 1 tbsp
Milk – 4 cups or more if you want a runny consistency
Cream cheese / cheese spread – 3 tbsps (any flavour. I used the pepper one)
Oregano – 1/2 tsp for seasoning
Black pepper – a pinch for seasoning
Salt – as per taste

Method:

1. Cook Maggie as per the instructions on the packet and keep it aside.
2. Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add a tsp of oil. It prevents butter from burning.
3. Add the chopped garlic and stir till it releases the aroma.
4. Add flour and stir.
5. Add the cream cheese and stir till it melts and is mixed properly.
6. Now add milk and keep stirring till it thickens a bit. Simmer while you keep stirring for a longer time if you want the sauce really thick.
7. Season with oregano, salt and pepper.
8. Now tumble in the cooked Maggie and mix lightly with a fork without hurting and mashing it up.
9. Serve it with a sunny-side up egg as I did or any accompaniment you wish and dig in.

Great for both, vegans as well as the non-vegs, this creamy delight sure is a  gastronomic infatuation! 🙂

Corn Cutlets

Its my favorite monsoon snack of all time and is famous in most parts of India. Corn cutlets also known as corn patties or corn fritters can be enjoyed any time of the day; as an accompaniment with meals or even with smoking hot ginger tea in he evenings. The golden yellow colour of the corn makes this snack all the more glamorous.
I’ve learned this recipe from my mother. Its a simple one-churn, no-fuss recipe. It amazes me to find so many other variations of a cutlet recipe. But being a bit of a slug, I’m happy with this one.

Corn Cutlets
Makes:
12 cutlets
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
Kernels of 1 sweet corn or American corn
Potatoes – 2 medium, boiled and peeled
Onion – 1 medium, roughly chopped
Green Chilies – 2, chopped
Ginger – 1 tbsp, roughly chopped
Coriander – 2 tbsp, chopped
Asafoetida – a pinch
Bread Crumbs – for coating
Salt – as per taste
Oil – for frying

Method:
1. Boil, peel and mash potatoes.
2. In a mixer or food processor, coarsely grind the corn kernels, onions, green chilli, coriander and ginger. Don’t make it too fine.
3. Add this mixture to mashed potatoes.
4. Now add salt and asafoetida and mix well.
5. Heat oil in a frying pan.
6. Make a medium sized ball from the mixture, flatten it and shape it in to a round cutlet. Make similar cutlets from the rest of the mixture.
7. Coat the cutlets in bread-crumbs.
8. Shallow fry or deep fry and serve with ketchup or mint chutney

P.S.: You can also use soaked bread instead of mashed potatoes to bind the mixture.
The bread crumbs coating can be optional.
I also serve it as a cutlet sandwich or even cutlet tacos 🙂

Raw Banana – South Indian Style

I am a great fan of banana in all its varieties, specially the yellow skinned (elaichi) ones. This is one humble fruit that’s perennial and there to serve you at all times of the year. Its loaded with nutrition and pack a good energy punch.
If you think bananas are just for monkeys, think again. Reasons – Bananas combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes. Topping it all, its a blessing for insomniacs like me.

Raw bananas serve as a good starter when deep fried as chips. This time I thought why not make it as a part of the main-course. Foodies with a sweet n sour tooth will enjoy this one.

RawBanana
Ingredients:

  • Raw bananas – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Corriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger paste – 11/2 tbsps
  • Garlic paste – 2 tbsps
  • Tamarind pulp – 1 tbsp
  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Oil – 5 -6 tbsps

Method:

1. Peel and cut thick round slices of raw bananas. You can also cut bananas vertically to make long slices
2. Put them in a bowl, add salt, turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp ginger paste and mix well.
3. Heat 3 tbsps oil in a non stick pan or a wok, add the bananas slices and saute
4. Chop onion and tomato.
5. Heat 2 tbsps oil in the same pan. Add fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves and onion and saute
6. Add remaining ginger paste, garlic paste and tomato and mix
7. Sprinkle little water, cover and cook on medium flame
8. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder and mix. Add ½ cup water and salt and mix well
9. Add the sauteed bananas slices, tamarind paste and mix gently. Reduce heat, add a little more water, cover and cook for 1-2 minutes
10. Garnish with corriander

P.S. : Skip the tamarind paste if you want it less sour.
When served hot, its a great companion for chapatis, rotis or appams. Infact, I also loved it just like that even when it was cold.
The sweet-sour flavours of the banana are irresistible at all temperatures 🙂