Dal Soup With Tomato

Ingredients for Dal Soup With Tomato Recipe

  • Ripe Red Tomatoes quartered 6 medium
  • Skinless Split Green Gram soaked 1/2 cup
  • Oil 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
  • Onion sliced 1 small
  • Ginger sliced 1 inch piece
  • Garlic sliced 2 cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper powder to taste
  • Brown bread 4 slices
  • Fresh coriander leaves 4 sprigs

Method

Step 1

Heat oil in a deep pan. Add cumin seeds, onion, ginger and garlic and sauté till lightly browned.

Step 2

Add moong dal and sauté for a minute. Add three cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add salt and pepper powder and stir.

Step 3

Add tomatoes and mix. Cover and cook till the dal is completely cooked.

Step 4

Cut the brown bread slices into heart shaped pieces with a cookie cutter. Heat a pan and toast the bread hearts till golden and crisp.

Step 5

Strain the dal mixture and blend the solids into a smooth puree.

Step 6

Pass the puree through a sieve into a deep pan. Add the strained stock and mix.

Step 7

Bring the mixture to a boil. Adjust seasoning.

Step 8

Pour the soup into individual soup bowls, garnish with the toasted bread hearts and coriander sprigs and serve hot.

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Quinoa Upma

Quinoa upma is the best way to start with including quinoa in your diet to suit Indian taste buds. It is simple and easy to prepare for breakfast

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Quinoa
  • 1 Onion small
  • 1 tomato small
  • 3 green chilli
  • 1 tbsp carrot chopped
  • 1 tbsp green peas
  • 1 tsp coconut oil virgin
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt as needed

To temper

  • 2 tsp coconut oil virgin
  • ½ tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 2 tsp Chana dal
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 tbsp fresh green peas
  • 3 tbsp chopped onion

To temper:

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 no green chilli

Instructions

  • Measure quinoa,rinse it in water atleast twice then soak in water for atleast 15mins.
  • Drain water and set the quinoa aside.Heat oil in a pan add the item listed under ‘to temper’,then add onion and saute for 2mins until it becomes transparent.
  • Then add carrot and peas,saute for a minute then add quinoa.Add required salt.
  • Saute for a minute,then add water.
  • Let it come to a boil, then cook covered for atleast 15-20 mins in lowest flame,Check after 15mins then proceed further if needed.
  • Fluff it up, the grain will be seen transparent with a tiny tail, that ensure proper cooking.Switch off.

Notes

  • Soaking may not be required but may take a little longer to cook.Quinoa takes a little longer to cook depends on the variety too.
  • Quinoa will have a slight crunch while eating sp don’t think its undercooked.
  • You can add any of your favorite veggies.
  • The ratio of water is 1 cup quino:2 cups water.

Steps:

  1. Measure quinoa,rinse it in water atleast twice then soak in water for at least 15mins.
    How to make Quinoa Upma Recipe - Step1
  2. Drain water and set the quinoa aside. Heat oil in a pan add the item listed under ‘to temper’, then add onion and saute for 2mins until it becomes transparent.
    How to make Quinoa Upma Recipe - Step2
  3. Then add carrot and peas, saute for a minute then add quinoa. Add required salt.
    How to make Quinoa Upma Recipe - Step3
  4. Saute for a minute,then add water.
    How to make Quinoa Upma Recipe - Step4
  5. Let it come to a boil, then cook covered for at least 15-20 mins in lowest flame, Check after 15mins then proceed further if needed.
    How to make Quinoa Upma Recipe - Step5
  6. Fluff it up, the grain will be seen transparent with a tiny tail, that ensure proper cooking. Switch off.
    How to make Quinoa Upma Recipe - Step6

Serve hot or warm.


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Personality Development

The personality is the typical pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaviors that make a person unique.

When we say that someone has a “good personality” we mean that they are likable, interesting and pleasant to be with.

Everyone wants to be attractive to others. To that end, having a good personality is vital – probably even more so than good looks.

In fact, approximately 85 percent of your success and happiness will be a result of how well you interact with others. Ultimately, it is your personality that determines whether people are attracted to, or shy away from you.

While we can only enhance our looks to a certain extent, we can improve our personality as much as we want. We can develop or integrate into our personalities any trait we deem fitting and agreeable.

  1. Be a better listener.  There is nothing more appealing than having someone listen to you intently making you feel like you’re the only person in the world.
  2. Read more and expand your interests. The more you read and cultivate new interests, the more interesting  you are to others. When you meet new people it allows you to share what you know and to exchange your views with them.
  3. Be a good conversationalist. This relates to how much you read and know. Once you have much to contribute, learn how to talk about it with others. No one can read about or know everything, so it’s refreshing to learn from others those things we don’t have the time to about read ourselves. 
  1. Have an Opinion. There is nothing more tiresome than trying to talk to someone who has no opinion on anything. A conversation has nowhere to go if you have nothing to expound on. If, however, you have an uncommon point of view or differing opinion, you are more interesting and stimulating to be with socially. A unique outlook expands everyone’s perspective
  2. Meet New People. Make the effort to meet new people especially those unlike you. It not only exposes you to different cultures and alternative ways of doing things, it broadens your horizons.
  3. Be yourself. The next most tiresome thing after having no opinions is trying to be something you’re not. Molding yourself to fit in, or be accepted, usually backfires. Since each of us is unique, expressing that uniqueness is what makes us interesting. Attempting to be a carbon copy of someone else not only falls flat, but it also reveals a lack of authenticity.
  4. Have a positive outlook and attitude. Who wants to be around people who are negative, complain a lot, or have nothing good to say? In fact, most of us run when we see them coming. Instead, be the kind of upbeat person who lights up a room with your energy when you enter it. Do it by looking for the best in people and things. Smile warmly, spread good cheer, and enliven others with your presence.
  5. Be fun and see the humorous side of life. Everyone enjoys the  company of someone who makes them laugh or smile, so look for the humorous, quirky side in a situation – there always is one. When you can add fun and lightheartedness to an otherwise dull or gloomy setting, others will naturally be attracted to you, not to mention grateful.
  6. Be supportive of others. Being supportive is probably the most endearing quality you can integrate into your personality. We all love a cheerleader in our corner; someone who is encouraging, believes in us and helps pick us up when we’re down.
  7. Have Integrity and treat people with respect. Being honest and true to your word will bring you the admiration, respect and gratitude of others. Nothing improves a person’s personality more than integrity and respect – respect for others, as well as respect for yourself.
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Usal Curry

Usal is the Marathi name for spicy vegetable based curry. This delicious, traditional Kabuli Chanyachi Usal is made of kabuli chana i.e. chickpeas and spices. Boiled Kabuli chana when cooked in the tomato-onion gravy base and spices, makes a heavenly combination.

Being born and raised up in Mumbai, I cannot forget the flavors and tastes of the Maharashtrian cuisine. Though I am fond of Maharashtrian food like sabudana khichdi, puran poli, batata vada, bharli vangi etc. usal and misal pav tops my list.

Ingredients

For Cooking Sprouts

  • ▢1.5 cups mixed legumes sprouts (legumes)
  • ▢1.25 cups water for cooking sprouts

For The Usal Masala

  • ▢1 tablespoon oil
  • ▢1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ▢½ tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ▢¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ▢4 to 5 medium garlic cloves (lahsun), chopped
  • ▢½ inch ginger (adrak), chopped
  • ▢½ cup desiccated coconut or ½ cup fresh coconut
  • ▢½ to ⅔ cup water for grinding the masala paste

For The Usal

  • ▢2 tablespoons oil
  • ▢¼ cup onion or 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • ▢⅓ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • ▢½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • ▢½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ▢1 teaspoon malvani masala or goda masala or ½ teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • ▢1 cup of broth or stock got from boiling the sprouts or water
  • ▢salt as required
  • ▢2 to 3 tablespoons coriander leaves for garnishing

Instructions

Cooking Mixed Bean Sprouts

  • Sprout ½ cup of dried mixed beans a couple of days before to make the usal. You will need 1.5 cups of mixed bean sprouts. 
  • Pressure cook or steam the sprouted beans till they are cooked. If pressure cooking, then cook the mixed bean sprouts in 1.25 cups water. 
  • When the bean sprouts are cooked and tender. Keep the cooked mixed sprouts aside. 

Making Usal Masala

  • On a tava or pan heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chopped onion.
  • Fry the onions till they become translucent.
  • Add the fennel seeds and coriander seeds to the onions. Fry till they become aromatic. 
  • Add chopped ginger and garlic and fry these too for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the desiccated coconut.
  • Stir and mix it well with the rest of the mixture.
  • Fry the coconut till golden brown. But remember not to burn the coconut and to fry the masala on a low flame.
  • Let the masala mixture cool. Then make a smooth paste of the masala ingredients in the grinder with ½ to ⅔ cup water.

Making Usal

  • In another pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil. Add the chopped onions.
  • Saute the onions till they turn translucent.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Saute the tomatoes for 2 to 3 mins or till they soften.
  • Pour the ground masala paste. Since we have already browned the paste, we have less work to do. Just fry the paste for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the turmeric powder, malvani masala and red chili powder.
  • Mix the above powders well with the coconut paste.
  • Add the boiled sprouts to the paste.
  • Add 1 cup broth or stock or add more, as per the consistency desired by you. You can also add water instead of broth or stock.
  • Add salt. Lastly let the entire curry simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or till you see some oil floating on top. 
  • Last step is to add chopped coriander leaves. 
  • Serve Maharashtrian usal with steamed rice or bhakri or pav or phulkas or pooris. 

Step by step Maharashtrian Malvani usal recipe:

Cooking mixed bean sprouts:

1. For this recipe use 1.5 cup mixed bean sprouts to make the usal. You can also use store-bought mixed sprouted beans for this usal recipe, then there is no need to sprout the beans at home. To sprout beans at home, rinse ½ cup of dried mixed beans and then soak and sprout them.

usal recipe


2. Pressure cook or steam the sprouted beans with 1.25 cups of water till they are tender and softened. Keep aside. If pressure cooking then cook for 3 to 4 whistles on medium flame.

usal recipe

Making usal masala paste

3. On a tava or pan heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya) and ½ tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf).

usal recipe

4. Fry till their aroma starts to spread in your kitchen and they change color.

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5. Add ¼ cup chopped onions.

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6. Fry till the onions become translucent.

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7. Then add ½ inch chopped ginger and 4 to 5 chopped garlic cloves.

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8. Fry them for 1 to 2 minutes on a low flame.

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9. Add ½ cup desiccated coconut (or ½ cup fresh coconut). You can also use half-half proportions of both fresh coconut and desiccated coconut.

usal recipe

10. Stir and mix the coconut well with the rest of the mixture.

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11. Start sauteing the masala. Remember to saute the masala on a low flame.

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12. saute the coconut till it turns golden stirring continuously. Do remember not to burn the coconut.

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13. When the masala cools, add in the grinder jar. Also add ½ to ⅔  cup water.

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14. Grind to a smooth paste.

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Making usal

15. In another pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add ¼ cup chopped onions.

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16. Saute the onions till they change color and become translucent.

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17. Next add ⅓ cup chopped tomatoes.

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18. Saute the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or till they soften.

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19. Now add the ground masala paste. Since we have already browned the paste, we have less work to do. Just fry the paste for 1 to 2 minutes.

usal recipe

20. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi), 1 teaspoon Malvani masala (or goda masala) and ½ teaspoon red chili powder. If you do not have goda masala or Malvani masala, then add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder. You can skip Malvani masala or goda masala or garam masala if you do not have them.

usal recipe

21. Mix the above powders well with the coconut paste.

usal recipe

22. Add the boiled sprouts to the paste.

23. Then add 1 cup of the broth or stock or add more, as per the consistency desired by you. You can also add water instead of broth or stock.

usal recipe

24. Add salt as required.

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25. Lastly let the entire usal curry simmer for 12 to 15 minutes till the gravy thickens a bit. You will also see oil floating on top.

usal recipe

26. The usal is ready and done. The last step is to add chopped coriander leaves.

usal recipe

27. serve with hot chapati, poori or rice or pav or bread 🙂

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Dal Tadka ( Restaurant Style)

Dal Tadka is one of the most popular lentil dish served in Indian restaurants. Basically, dal tadka is cooked lentils which are tempered with oil or ghee fried spices & herbs.

I have to admit that I simply love the dal tadka that is served at the restaurants even though we hardly eat out.

So I try to recreate the restaurant magic in most of the food that I make at home. Here the restaurant style flavors come from smoking the dal using a red-hot charcoal.

Ingredients

For Cooking Lentils

  • ▢1 cup tuvar dal (arhar dal or split pigeon pea lentils) or 200 grams or ½ cup tuvar dal + ½ cup masoor dal (split pink lentils)
  • ▢1 to 2 green chilies or serrano peppers – chopped or slit lengthwise
  • ▢½ cup chopped onions or 1 medium sized onion
  • ▢1 cup finely chopped tomatoes or 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • ▢1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • ▢½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ▢½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ▢1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • ▢2.5 cups water – for pressure cooking
  • ▢1 or 2 tablespoon low-fat cream – optional
  • ▢2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • ▢salt as required

For Tempering Or Tadka

  • ▢3 tablespoon oil or 3 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • ▢1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ▢5 to 6 medium garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • ▢2 to 3 dry red chilies – broken and seeds removed
  • ▢a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • ▢1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) – optional
  • ▢½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika

For Garnish

  • ▢1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

For Dhungar Method

  • ▢a small piece of charcoal
  • ▢¼ teaspoon oil or ghee (clarified butter)

Instructions

Cooking Lentils

  • Rinse the lentils and add them to a 3 litre pressure cooker. You can also cook the lentils in a pot. Just soak the lentils for an hour or two before you cook them in a pot.
  • To the lentils, add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, ginger.
  • Add water. If cooking in a pot, then about 3 to 3.5 cups of water can be added.
  • Add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix very well.
  • Pressure cook the lentils for about 7 to 8 whistles or more till they become soft and creamy.
  • Mash the cooked lentils with a wired whisk or with a spoon and keep aside. If the consistency looks thick, then add some water to get a medium consistency. Then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Once the desired consistency is reached, add low-fat cream (optional), garam masala powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Switch off the heat.
  • Mix well so that everything combines uniformly. Check salt before you add the tempering. If the salt is less than add more salt.

Dhungar Method (Optional)

  • Next is the dhungar method of flavoring the lentils with the smoky fumes of burnt charocal. For this with the help of tongs or on a grill pan, place the a small piece of charcoal like shown in the stepwise photo guide in the post.
  • Burn the charcoal till it becomes red hot. Please use natural charcoal for this method.note that this is an optional step and you can proceed directly to the tempering method.
  • Place the red hot charcoal in a small steel bowl.
  • Pour about ¼ teaspoon of oil or ghee on the charcoal. You will see fumes emanating as soon as you pour oil or ghee on the hot charcoal.
  • Place this bowl on the dal.
  • Cover the cooker or the pot with a lid and let the dal get infused with the charcoal smoke. Just keep for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Do not keep for a longer time as the dal may turn bitter. Remove the bowl carefully with the helps of tongs and cover cooker with a lid. Set aside.

Making The Tempering (Tadka Or Chaunk)

  • Next heat oil or ghee in a small pan. First add cumin seeds and crackle them. The cumin should get fried and not be raw but don’t burn them.
  • Now add red chilies, asafoetida and chopped garlic. Let the garlic brown and the red chilies change color.
  • Lastly add kasuri methi and red chili powder. Mix and switch off the heat. Make sure to fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so that you don’t burn them.
  • Pour the entire tempering mixture into the dal.
  • You can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top it. Garnish it with coriander leaves.
  • Serve dal tadka hot with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice (cumin rice) or with roti or naan or paratha.

How to make Dal Tadka

1. Rinse 1 cup tuvar dal or arhar dal (split & husked pigeon pea lentils) for a couple of times in water. Add them to a 3 litre pressure cooker.

rinsed lentils added in a stove pressure cooker

2. Add ½ cup chopped onions, 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes, 1 or 2 green chilies and 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger.

chopped onions, ginger, tomatoes and green chillies added to the lentils in the pressure cooker

3. Pour 2.5 cups of water. If cooking in a pot, then about 4 to 4.5 cups of water can be added.

water being added in the pressure cooker

4. Add ½ turmeric powder and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing). If you do not have asafoetida, then skip it.

turmeric powder and asafoetida (hing) added in the pressure cooker

5. Mix well.

all the ingredients in the pressure cooker have been mixed well

6. Pressure cook the lentils for about 7 to 8 whistles or more till they become soft and creamy. Mash the cooked lentils with a wired whisk or with a spoon and keep aside.

lentils have been cooked and the consistency of cooked lentils shown in a large spoon

7. Once the desired consistency is reached, add 1 to 2 tablespoons low-fat cream (optional), ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and salt as per paste. Switch off the the heat.

chopped cilantro (coriander leaves), salt, garam masala powder and cream added to the cooked lentils

8. Mix well so that everything combines uniformly. Check the salt before you add the tempering. If the salt is less than add more salt to the dal.

the ingredients mixed very well with the cooked lentils

9. The final consistency of the cooked dal.

consistency of the lentils or dal being shown with a large spoon

Optional – smoking or dhungar method

10. Next is the dhungar method of flavoring dal tadka with the smoky fumes of burnt charcoal. For this with the help of tongs or on a grill pan like shown in the photo below, place a small piece of charcoal.

Burn the charcoal till it becomes red hot. Please use natural charcoal for this method. Note that this is an optional step and you can proceed directly to the tempering method.

a small piece of charcoal kept on a wired pan and being burnt on a gas-stove flame

11. Place the red hot charcoal in a small steel bowl. You can also use onion layers or a halved hollow onion for the same.

red hot charcoal kept in a small steel bowl

12. Pour about ¼ tsp of oil or ghee on the charcoal. You will see fumes emanating as soon as you pour oil or ghee on the hot charcoal.

oil drizzled on the red hot charcoal has led to fumes emanating from the charcoal

13. Place this bowl on the dal.

the bowl with the charcoal and the fumes emanating from it has been kept on the dal in the pressure cooker

14. Cover the cooker or the pot with a lid and let the dal get infused with the charcoal smoke. Just keep for 1 to 2 minutes.

Do not keep for a long time as then the dal can taste bitter. Remove the bowl carefully with the help of tongs and cover the cooker with a lid. Set aside.

the pressure cooker has been covered with a lid for the dal to absorb the smoke from the charcoal

Making tempering or tadka

15. Next heat 3 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter) in a small pan. First, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and crackle them. The cumin should get fried and not be raw, but don’t burn them.

cumin seeds being fried in oil in a small round pan

16. Now add 2 to 3 dry red chilies, a generous pinch of asafoetida and 5 to 6 medium sized garlic cloves which have been finely chopped. Let the garlic brown and the red chilies change color. Do not burn the garlic.

dry red chillies, finely chopped garlic and asafoetida (hing) added in the pan

17. Lastly add 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi and ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper. Mix and switch off the stove. Make sure to fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so that you don’t burn them.

dry fenugreek leaves and red chilli powder added in the pan

18. Pour entire tempering along with the oil or ghee into the dal.

fried tempering ingredient added to the dal

19. You can mix the dal with tempering or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top it. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve it hot with steamed basmati rice, cumin rice or with Indian flatbread like roti 

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Uttappams

Uttapam or Uthappam is a delicious South Indian tiffin breakfast of thick pancakes made with either idli batter or dosa batter.

I am sharing the method to make soft yet crispy Uthappam from scratch with fermented rice and urad dal batter. Uttapam is a tasty gluten-free recipe.

Ingredients

For Uttapam Batter

  • ▢2 cups idli rice or parboiled rice or 400 grams parboiled rice or idli rice
  • ▢2 cups water for soaking rice
  • ▢½ cup whole husked urad dal or 120 grams whole husked urad dal
  • ▢1 cup water for soaking urad dal
  • ▢¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • ▢½ cup water for grinding urad dal or add as required
  • ▢¾ cup water for grinding rice or add as required
  • ▢1 teaspoon rock salt (edible and food grade) or non-iodized sea salt – add as required

For Onion Toppings

  • ▢1 cup chopped onions or sliced shallots or pearl onions
  • ▢⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ▢12 to 15 curry leaves – chopped
  • ▢2 to 3 green chilies – chopped

For Onion Tomato Toppings

  • ▢½ to ¾ cup finely chopped onions
  • ▢½ to ¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • ▢1 or 2 green chilies , finely chopped
  • ▢1 to 2 tablespoon  finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves), optional
  • ▢oil or ghee or butter – add as required
  • ▢sambar masala or idli podi, add as required – optional

Cook ModePrevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe

Instructions

Soaking Rice And Lentils

  • In a bowl take the usked whole urad dal and fenugreek seeds. You can also use split husked urad dal instead of husked whole urad dal.
  • Rinse both the urad dal and methi seeds for a couple of times.
  • Then soak them in 1 cup water for 4 to 5 hours.
  • In another bowl take the parboiled rice or idli rice. Rinse the parboiled rice or idli rice for a couple of times and keep aside.
  • Add 2 cups of water. Mix well and soak everything for 4 to 5 hours.

Grinding & Fermenting Uttapam Batter

  • Strain the urad dal and reserve the water. Keep this water for grinding the dal.
  • Use the wet grinding blade in the jar for grinding both urad dal and rice. Add the strained urad dal in the grinder jar.
  • First add ¼ cup of the reserved water and grind for some seconds. Then add the rest of ¼ cup water and continue to grind till the batter is light, smooth and fluffy. If the mixer becomes too hot while grinding, then stop. Let the mixer cool down and grind again. Quantity of water depends on the freshness of urad dal. So add water as required.
  • Pour the urad dal batter in a large bowl or pan. The batter should be fluffy, smooth and light.
  • To the same jar, add half of the rice.
  • Then add ¼ to ½ cup water and grind till smooth. A fine grainy consistency of rice is also fine in the batter. You can grind the rice in two to three batches. I grind in two batches. For rice I always end up adding overall ¾ cup water and a few tablespoons more of the water at times.
  • Pour the rice batter in the bowl containing the urad dal batter.
  • Add 1 teaspoon rock salt or as per taste. In very cold temperatures, avoid adding salt. Instead add ¼ teaspoon sugar. Sugar aids in the fermentation process.
  • Mix both the batters very well with your hands or a spoon or spatula.
  • Cover and allow the batter to ferment overnight for 8 to 20 hours. The timing will vary depending on the temperature conditions in your city.
  • The batter should increase in volume and double or triple.
  • Just lightly stir the batter. Check the consistency. If the batter looks too thick, you can add about ⅛ to ¼ cup water or more if required. Mix well.

Making Plain Uttapam

  • Heat up a tawa or a cast iron pan, brush or spread some oil on the tawa. Pour the batter with a ladle or spoon. For non stick pan, you need not grease the pan. The tawa has to be hot. While making uttapams, you can regulate the flame from low to high. Before pouring the batter, reduce the flame to low.
  • Gently spread the batter to a thick pancake. Note that the quantity of batter to make uttapam will be more than what you would normally use for a dosa. The uttapam should be thick.
  • Cook the uthappam on a medium flame. Drizzle some oil on the top and sides.
  • Uttapam takes a longer time to cook than dosas. Cook till the base is golden.
  • Then flip and cook the other side.
  • Both sides should be cooked well. Prepare the uthappam this way with the rest of the batter. You can also make idlis or paniyarams or punugulu with this batter.
  • Serve Uthappam hot or warm with coconut chutney and sambar. You can also pack them in tiffin box as they remain soft even after cooling.

Making Onion Uttapam

  • Before pouring the batter, reduce the flame to low. Pour the batter with a ladle or spoon. Gently spread the batter to a thick pancake.
  • First method to make onion uttapam: Add some chopped onions on the uttapam as soon as you spread the batter. Lightly press the onions on the uttapam so that they stick to the batter. You can even sprinkle a pinch of salt.
  • Drizzle with some oil on the sides and on the uttapam. Cook on a medium flame.
  • When the base becomes golden and crisp, gently flip the uttapam. Cook the side with the onions till the onions caramelize.
  • You can even gently press with the spatula so that some uncooked batter also gets cooked well. If the uttapam is not cooked well, there will be raw uncooked batter in the center. So do make sure to cook it properly.
  • Flip over to check if this side is cooked well. The onions will also be caramelized. You can caramelize the onions more if you want.
  • Second method to make onion uttapam: In a plate take 1 cup chopped onions, 2 or 3 chopped green chilies, 12 to 15 curry leaves (chopped) and ⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix very well and keep aside.
  • Spread the batter on the tawa and top the onion mixture on the uttapam.
  • Drizzle some oil on the sides and top. Cook the uttapam on a medium-low to medium flame.
  • Then turn over and cook till the uttapam as well as the onions are caramelized.
  • Serve onion uttapam hot or warm with coconut chutney and sambar.

Making Onion Tomato Uttapam

  • Mix the chopped onions, tomatoes, green chili, coriander together in a bowl.
  • Spread the batter on the tawa or skillet.
  • Top the Uttapam with the onion, tomatoes and chili mixture.
  • Sprinkle a bit of pav bhaji masala or sambar masala or Idli podi and salt on top of the veggies and uttapam. You can even sprinkle a pinch of salt.
  • Add some oil or ghee or butter on the sides and top of the uttapam.
  • Flip when the base is cooked and golden.
  • Cook the side with the onions & tomatoes till the onions are softened or caramelized.
  • Flip again if you see that the first side is not cooked or browned.
  • When the onion tomato uttapam is crisp and cooked on both sides, then serve it hot with hot sambar and coconut chutney. You could also serve them with curd chutney or simple sweetened or plain curd.
  • Serve them hot to have best taste.
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Chicken Biryani

Biryani is a mixed rice dish originating among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is made with Indian spices, rice, either with meat, or eggs or vegetables such as potatoes in certain regional varieties. Biryani is popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, as well as among its diaspora. It is also prepared in other regions such as parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq.

Ingredients of Chicken Biryani

  • 1 cup boiled basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint leaves
  • salt as required
  • 2 tablespoon refined oil
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 2 clove
  • 2 onion
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 cup hung curd
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • water as required
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 600 gm chicken
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tablespoon bay leaf
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 drops kewra
  • 1 tablespoon rose water

How to make Chicken Biryani

  • Chicken biryani
  • Step 1. Prepare saffron and kewra water. To make this delightful biryani, soak saffron in water to prepare saffron water. Next, mix kewra drops in water and mix well to make kewra water.
  • 3
  • Step 2. Saute onions and tomatoes for 2-3 minutes. In the meanwhile, heat refined oil in a deep bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot enough. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves in it, and saute for about a minute. Then, add chopped onion in it and saute until pink. Now, add chicken into it with slit green chilies, turmeric, salt to taste, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, and green chilli paste. Mix well all the spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, add hung curd into it
  • 4
  • Step 3. Cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes, Turn the flame to medium again and add garam masala in it along with ginger julienned, coriander and mint leaves. Add kewra water, rose water and saffron water in it. Cook till the chicken is tender.
  • Chicken Biryani
  • Step 4 .Serve hot with your favorite chutney or raita. Then add 1 cup cooked rice and spread evenly. Then add saffron water and pour ghee over it. Cook for 15-20 minutes with closed lid and garnish with 1 tbsp fried onions and coriander leaves. Serve hot.
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Poha Chivda

Last year due to lockdown, I noticed I was almost spending my time in the kitchen making some stuffs, as my hubby and daughter kept asking me to make some dishes. Thats when I decided to make Poha Chivda. I stored it in an air tight container so that they could eat whenever they wanted. The taste of this chivda is spicy, chili and sweet.  In Maharashtra this chivda is always made and kept at home or during Diwali u can relish the same

Ingredients

  • 2 cup oil for frying + 1 tsp oil for tempering
  • 300 gm of thick white poha / aval/ flattened rice
  • ⅓rd cup of peanuts (moongfali)
  • ⅓rd cup of cashew nuts (Kaju)
  • ⅓rd cup of roasted chana (optional)
  • 3 tbsp green raisin (kishmish)
  • ⅓rd. cup curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • 2 tbsp dry coconut slices (optional) sukha copra
  • 3-4 green chilies sliced diagonally or lengthwise (hari mirch)
  • 1 tbsp ginger julienne (adrak)
  • ¼th tsp mustard seed (rai)
  • 1 tsp cumin seed (jeera)
  • ¼th tsp red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • ¼th tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ¼th tsp asofoetida (hing)
  • 2 tsp sugar or as required
  • salt as per taste

How to make the recipe?

  1. Firstly keep all the ingredient’s handy before you start frying. Heat the deep vessel with oil. Once oil is hot take poha in batches, place them on the fine mesh sieve ladle. Immerse them slowly in the hot oil and fry until they appear crisp.
  2. Alternatively you could deep fry them without the fine mesh sieve ladle. Remove them with a slotted spoon once they appear crispy and double in size. Preferably a fine mesh sieve ladle would make your job much easier.
  3. Place the fried poha in another dish. Now place peanuts and fry the similar way.
  4. Once they appear crisp remove and place aside.
  5. Similar way fry the cashews but not too much else they would look brown.
  6. Now fry the raisins.
  7. The raisins would plump then remove and place aside.
  8. Similarly fry almonds until they look crisp.
  9. Now fry curry leaves.
  10. Fry chilies and ginger together.
  11. Once they change color place aside. If using chana dal and coconut then fry them same way.
  12. Remove all the fried ingredient’s on a paper napkin to absorb excess oil.
  13. Now in the same pan heat little oil. Once hot add cumin and mustard.
  14. When they crackle add turmeric powder, asofoetida, red chili powder, sugar and salt.
  15. Now add all the fried ingredient’s.
  16. Mix and stir nicely for 2 mins on low heat.
  17. Remove them from heat allow to cool then store into an air-tight container. Serve your poha chivda along tea or coffe or as a quick snack.

Let’s make poha chivda recipe step by step:

  1. Firstly keep all the ingredient’s handy before you start frying. Heat the deep vessel with oil. Once oil is hot take poha in batches and place them on the fine mesh sieve ladle. Immerse them slowly in the hot oil and fry until they appear crisp.
Poha Chivda Recipe

2. Alternatively you could deep fry them without the fine mesh sieve ladle. Remove them with a slotted spoon once they appear crispy and double in size. Preferably a fine mesh sieve ladle would make your job much easier.

Poha Chivda Recipe

3. Place the fried poha in another dish. Now place peanuts and fry the similar way.

Poha Chivda Recipe

4. Once they appear crisp remove and place aside.

Poha Chivda Recipe

5. Similar way fry the cashews but not too much else they would look brown.

Poha Chivda Recipe

6. Now fry the raisins.

Poha Chivda Recipe

7. The raisins would plump then remove and place aside.

Poha Chivda Recipe

8. Similarly fry almonds until they look crisp.

Poha Chivda Recipe

9. Now fry curry leaves until they change color. But don’t burn them.

Poha Chivda Recipe

10. Fry chilies and ginger together. Once they change color place aside. If using chana dal and coconut then fry them same way.

Poha Chivda Recipe

11. Remove all the fried ingredient’s on a paper napkin or paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Poha Chivda Recipe

12. Now in the same pan heat little oil. Once hot add cumin and mustard.

Poha Chivda Recipe

13. When they crackle add turmeric powder, asofoetida, red chili powder, sugar and salt.

Poha Chivda Recipe

14. Now add all the fried ingredient’s.

Poha Chivda Recipe

15. Mix and stir nicely for 2 mins on low heat.

Poha Chivda Recipe

16. Remove them from heat allow to cool then store into an air-tight container. Serve your poha chivda along tea or coffee or as a quick snack.

Chivda recipe - (3 ways to make) - Swasthi's Recipes

Dal Bukhara

This dal bukhara is a rich recipe with the amount of butter and cream gone in its preparation. To get the real taste I would not suggest reducing the cream or butter. As I have tried with a lesser amount of butter and cream and it just had that ‘something is missing or just not right’ point. I have used unsalted white butter and amul cream (25% low fat). You can use any good brand of butter and low-fat dairy cream (25% to 30%) or whipping cream.

Ingredients

  • ▢1.5 cups whole urad dal or whole black gram
  • ▢250 grams tomatoes or 3 medium to large tomatoes
  • ▢1 inch ginger + 4 to 5 medium garlic cloves – crushed finely in a mortar-pestle – about 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste
  • ▢1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch – if using a hotter variety then use ½ teaspoon
  • ▢½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ▢90 to 100 grams white butter or regular butter – about 6 to 7 tablespoons white butter
  • ▢7 to 8 tablespoon low fat cream or 25% to 30% fat or 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ▢4.5 to 5 cups water for pressure cooking the lentils
  • ▢1 to 1.5 cup water to be added later
  • ▢1 inch ginger – julienned for garnish (optional)
  • ▢1 tablespoon butter or cream for garnish (optional)
  • ▢salt as required

Instructions

Preparation For Dal Bukhara

  • Soak the lentils in enough water overnight or for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Drain them later and add the drained lentils in a 3 or 4 litre pressure cooker.
  • Add 4.5 to 5 cups water and pressure cook the lentils for 16 to 18 whistles or about 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile when the lentils are getting cooked, make a puree of the tomatoes in a blender and crush the ginger and garlic to a paste in mortar-pestle.

Making Dal Bukhara

  • When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Then add the ginger garlic paste, tomato puree, kashmiri red chili powder, butter, cream and salt. Also add 1 to 1.5 cups of water.
  • Stir very well and keep the pressure cooker without its lid on a low flame. Let the dal simmer for about 1 hour or for 1 hour 30 mins.
  • Meanwhile keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t stick at the bottom of the cooker. Also mash some of the lentils while stirring.
  • If the dal bukhara becomes thick, then add some hot water. Once done, check the taste and add more red chili powder or salt if required.
  • Lastly sprinkle garam masala powder and stir well.
  • While serving dal bukhara, dot with the butter or cream. Garnish with ginger juliennes.
  • Serve hot with cumin rice or with Indian flatbreads like naan, paratha or rotis.

How to make dal bukhara

1. Soak 1.5 cups whole urad dal (whole black gram) in enough water overnight or for 7 to 8 hours. drain them later and add the drained lentils in a 3 or 4-litre pressure cooker. Add 4.5 to 5 cups water and pressure cook the lentils for 16 to 18 whistles or for about 18 to 20 minutes. Pic below of the soaked and drained lentils.

whole urad dal for making dal bukhara

2. Meanwhile when the lentils are getting cooked, make a puree of the 250 grams tomatoes (3 medium to large tomatoes) in a blender. Crush the ginger and garlic to a paste in a mortar-pestle (½ inch ginger + 4 to 5 medium garlic or about 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste).

tomato puree for dal bukhara recipe

3. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the pressure cooker. The lentils should be cooked well and soft.

dal after pressure cooking

4. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree, 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, 6-7 tbsp white butter, 7-8 tbsp low fat cream, 1 to 1.5 cup water and salt.

add spices to dal

5. Stir very well and keep the pressure cooker without its lid on a low flame.

simmering the dal bukhara

6. Let the dal simmer for about 1 hour or more. Meanwhile keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t stick at the bottom of the cooker. The lentils become viscous and start to stick at the bottom if not stirred. The lentils would become creamy and the consistency of the dal will keep on thickening. You can add some hot water to reduce the dal bukhara from getting too thick. Also, mash some of the lentils while stirring.

cooking dal bukhara recipe

7.  Towards the end, check the taste and add more red chili powder or salt if required. Lastly, sprinkle ½ tsp garam masala powder and stir well. The consistency of dal bukhara is like dal makhani.

adding garam masala to dal bukhara recipe

8. While serving dal bukhara, dot with 1 tbsp butter or cream. Garnish with ginger juliennes and Serve dal bukhara hot with cumin rice or with Indian flatbreads like naan, paratha or roti. It goes best with naan. I served with cumin rice and onion rings salad.

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Aloo Mutter

An Aloo Matar recipe that is a simple yet delicious Punjabi style peas and potato curry. This aloo matar recipe is comforting homely curry best relished with some puri (Indian fried bread), roti or paratha. We make this recipe once a week as every Indian household has this dish in the mind. Simple home style food is usually easier and quick to make. What I specially like about these recipes is that they are made with minimal ingredients and yet taste good. They also do not require much cooking expertise.

Ingredients

For Grinding Or Blending

  • ▢½ cup chopped onions or 80 grams or 2 medium-sized onion
  • ▢1 cup chopped tomatoes or 150 grams or 2 medium to large tomatoes
  • ▢1 teaspoon chopped ginger or 1 inch ginger
  • ▢1 teaspoon chopped garlic or 3 to 4 small to medium garlic

Other Ingredients

  • ▢2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil
  • ▢½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ▢1 to 2 tablespoons fresh malai (clotted cream) or 1 tablespoon heavy cream or 1 tbsp almond or cashew powder (optional)
  • ▢250 grams potatoes or 3 medium or 2 large potatoes – peeled and diced
  • ▢1 cup green peas – fresh or frozen
  • ▢a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • ▢½ teaspoon red chili powder or as required
  • ▢¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ▢½ teaspoon garam masala or as required
  • ▢1.5 cups water or add as required
  • ▢2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • ▢salt as required

Instructions

Preparation

  • Take chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic in a grinder or blender jar.
  • Without adding any water, grind or blend to a smooth paste. 
  • Keep this ground paste aside.

Making Aloo Matar

  • Heat oil in a pot or pressure cooker. First crackle the cumin seeds. Then add the ground onion-tomato paste.
  • Stir and then add the ground almond/cashew powder or malai (clotted cream) or heavy cream.
  • Saute the ground paste till the oil releases from the sides. The masala paste will also thicken. The mixture splutters. So do cover partly with a lid. Once the mixture stops spluttering, then remove the lid and saute.
  • Then add the asafoetida powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
  • Stir and then add the peas and potatoes. Saute for a minute. Add water and salt.
  • Stir well and cover the pot. Simmer till the potatoes and peas are cooked well.
  • Lastly sprinkle punjabi garam masala powder or garam masala powder and stir.
  • Then add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Stir well and serve aloo matar hot with pooris, chapatis or rice.

How to make Aloo Matar

Preparation

1. Take ½ cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon chopped ginger (chopped) and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic in a grinder or blender jar.

onions for aloo matar recipe

2. Without adding any water, grind or blend to a smooth paste.

paste for aloo matar recipe

Cooking the masala paste

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a thick bottomed pot or pressure cooker. Add ½ tsp cumin seeds and crackle them.

cumin for aloo matar recipe

4. Then add the ground onion-tomato paste.

paste for aloo matar recipe

5. Stir well and then add 1 tablespoon malai (clotted cream). Instead of clotted cream you can also add almond powder or cashew powder or 1 tablespoon heavy cream.

malai for aloo matar recipe

6. The masala mixture splutters, so cover the pot or cooker partly with a lid.

making aloo matar recipe

7. Once the mixture stops spluttering, then remove the lid and saute.

making aloo matar recipe

8. Do stir often so that the masala does not get browned from the base.

preparing aloo matar recipe

9. Saute the ground paste till the oil releases from the sides. The masala paste will also thicken.

making aloo matar recipe

10. Then add a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing), ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder. Stir and mix the spice powders with the rest of the sautéed masala paste.

masala for aloo matar recipe

Making aloo matar gravy

11. Now add 1 cup green peas and 2 large potatoes (peeled & diced).

aloo matar for aloo matar recipe

12. Stir and saute for a minute.

stir aloo matar for aloo matar recipe

13. Pour 1.5 cups water if cooking in a pot.

water for aloo matar recipe

14. Season with salt.

salt for aloo matar recipe

15. Stir well and cover the pot.

making aloo matar recipe

16. Simmer till the potatoes and peas are cooked well. If required, you can add some more water. in a pot, it will take about 25 to 30 minutes when being simmered on a low to medium flame.

aloo matar recipe

17. Lastly sprinkle ½ teaspoon garam masala powder. Stir again.

garam masala for aloo matar recipe

17. Then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.

coriander for aloo matar recipe

18. Stir well and serve Aloo Matar gravy hot with poori or roti or rice or paratha.

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