Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pani Puri with Homemade Puris

Pani Puri is one of my favorite chaats from childhood. Whenever we go out, we used to thoroughly enjoy the chaat from the roadside street vendors. In every nook and corner, you can see a pani puri stall. We used to have competition, as who will have more puris. Every Indian like pani puri to the core. It is said that this not only satisfies your taste buds but also keeps the kid in you alive.
Once during fasting time, in Bangalore, after breaking the fast I had 30- 35 pani puris without eating anything. I like to have them anytime of the day.
After coming to the US it has become very rare to find pani puri. We will get the pani puri kit in all the Indian stores. I started making it from scratch as we don’t find the puris most of the time in stores. My daughter loves it a lot. She won’t eat anything else if pani puri is there for snacks.
Pani puris have different names like the puchkas, gol gappas and so on. Pani means water and puri are the fried puffed dough balls.
Yesterday was my son’s 3rd birthday and so I called two of my friends and families for a small get together. The menu everything was well decided but got stuck with starters. Then the thought of pani puri came to me as everyone likes them and so I decided to serve pani puri as starters. I made everything ready and before the guests came, I filled the puris with the potato- garbanzo stuffing and kept it along with the mint- coriander water. When they came it was easy for them, just to dip the puris in the water and gulp it. I didn’t make the water spicy as the kids would find it difficult to have. I didn’t make the tamarind- dates chutney as this starter was planned at the last moment and so no time to buy dates. But without that chutney also this tasted perfect. Everyone enjoyed the starters well.
I didn't make the puris for the birthday, as its the last minute idea of making the starter. I got it from the store. I have posted the recipe of puris, which I made last time. Go, make it and eat it. You will feel much better….
For Puris:
  1. Semolina/ Sooji- 1 Cup
  2. All Purpose Flour- 1 Tsp
  3. Salt- as required
  4. Baking Soda- ¼ tsp
  5. Water- as required for kneading
  6. Oil- 2 tbsp deep frying
  1. In a mixing bowl, take the semolina along with salt, all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp oil and mix well using fingers, so that everything gets incorporated well.
  2. Add water little by little and begin to knead. Semolina absorbs water, add water accordingly and knead well.
  3. The dough is not too hard or soft. The texture of the dough should be important. After kneading well the dough will form elastic. Gluten strands need to be formed.
  4. Cover the dough with a moist cloth, let it rest for 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a clean countertop. Roll it very thin.
  5. Cut into small rounds, using a small lid or a cutter. Keep this aside. Roll the remaining dough and repeat the same process till everything is finished.
  6. Heat oil and deep fry the above made small round puris. The oil should hot then only the puris will puff. Once they puff up, cook over a medium flame until crisp.

Preparing for Pani Puri:
For the filling:
  1. Potatoes- 3 big nos (boiled and peeled)
  2. Garbanzo- 1 Cup (boiled)
  3. Onions- 2 nos(Chopped)
  4. Chaat Masala Powder- 1 tbsp
  5. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  6. Amchur Powder- 1 tbsp
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Red Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  9. Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp (chopped finely)
  • Mash the potatoes and garbanzo together. Take all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well and keep this aside.

For the Mint and Coriander Water/ Pani:
  1. Coriander Leaves- 1 bunch
  2. Mint Leaves- 1 Bunch
  3. Ginger- 1 tbsp (grated)
  4. Lemon Juice- 2 tbsp
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Green Chillies- 3 nos
  7. Cumin Powder- 1 tbsp
  8. Chaat Masala Powder- 1 tbsp
  1. Grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves along with green chilies, ginger and lemon juice by adding little water.
  2. When they become paste, Pour this in a big bowl along with 3 Cups of water.
  3. Mix along with cumin powder, salt, and chaat masala powder. Let this chill in the refrigerator for some time.

Assembling the pani puri:

  1. Crack top of the above-made puris carefully with your thumb.

  1. Add 1 tbsp of the potato- garbanzo filling in the puri. Drizzle a drop of tamarind-date chutney. (adding this chutney is optional. Without this chutney also the pani puri will taste amazing)

  1. Stir the mint- coriander pani and pour a tbsp of the water in the puri and enjoy an amazing delicious chaat.

  1. Repeat the above process with the remaining puris and serve immediately.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Balsamic Chicken and Veggie Salad

Nowadays we are more into healthy salads for dinner. I was searching for some salad recipes and got this balsamic chicken salad which is a one pot salad that is very filling. As I had all the ingredients readily available in the kitchen, I tried it out. This dish is not only easy but a very delicious and appetizing.

With very fewer ingredients, we can make a healthy, protein-rich, nutritious dish by spending very less time in the kitchen. A perfectly balanced meal, with the choice of veggies.
In this, the chicken pieces and veggies are coated with balsamic dressing and baked till done. This dish is versatile and with full of flavors. Try this out and let me know.

Adapted from here:
  1. Boneless Chicken- 1 lb
  2. Minced Garlic- 3 tbsp
  3. Dried Thyme- 1 tbsp
  4. Dried Oregano- 1 tbsp
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Pepper- 1 tbsp
  7. Broccoli- 1 Cup
  8. Carrots- 2 nos (peeled and cut into thin strips)
  9. Mushrooms- 1 Cup (cut into half)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix the balsamic vinegar along with minced garlic, dried thyme, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Pour this balsamic vinegar mixture in a ziplock bag along with chicken pieces and mix till everything gets blended well.
  4. Keep this aside till the vegetables get ready.
  5. Cut the carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms to the desired size and marinate them in a baking pan with the remaining balsamic vinegar mixture and toss well.
  6. On top of the veggies place the marinated chicken pieces and bake for about 15- 20 minutes. Enjoy an amazingly delicious salad.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quinoa & Oats Laddu- A healthy and nutritious snack...

These healthy and nutritious laddus are made out of quinoa and oats which turn out to be very appetizing and a delicious snack. If you think that quinoa is only good for salads and pilafs, then you should try this combination of quinoa along with oats.
Oats help to control the blood sugar and keep you feeling full and quinoa adds a little extra protein. The amazing combination of both will make your day.

In this laddus all the dry ingredients are roasted, then mixed along with jaggery, ground and rolled in the form of laddus using clarified butter. The addition of nuts will improve its taste to another level. Nuts are a good source of vitamins, fibers, and essential minerals. Flax seeds are called as the most powerful plant foods on the planet. These contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acid. Chia seeds are a common substitute in vegan cooking. These chia seeds also contain rich omega-3 fatty acids. All together this snack is a  full power packed one which can be had after a nice workout.

This laddoo was introduced to me by my dear friend. As she gave me these laddus, I fell in love with them and asked her for the recipe. I got the recipe and here it is today in my blog space. Very healthy and deliciousness filled laddus, which will be liked by all. Hope you all will try this out and let me know.
  1. Oats- 2 Cups
  2. Quinoa- 2 Cups
  3. Peanuts- ½ Cup
  4. Cashew- ¼ Cup
  5. Almonds- ¼ Cup
  6. Pecans- ¼ Cup
  7. Chia Seeds- 2 tbsp
  8. Flax Seeds- 2 tbsp
  9. Jaggery- ¾ Cup
  10. Ghee/ Clarified Butter- ½ Cup

  1. Roast all the ingredients on a low flame, one by one. Keep these aside.
  2. Grind to a fine powder once cooled along with jaggery powder.
  3. Mix the powder along with ghee and roll them round in the shape of laddus and enjoy.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Nalli Nihari/ Slow cooked Mutton in Spices

EID MUBARAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eid ul Adha or Bakrid is also called as “feast of sacrifice. Bakrid is one of the most important Muslim festivals. Eid began with we all getting ready to go to the eidgah for the eid prayers. This is the first time, I went to the mosque to offer festive prayer. I was pretty much excited and after finishing the prayers, there was a small breakfast session and kids enjoyed a lot as many games were there for them. After spending some time, we came back and my lunch work started.

This time I wanted to make it simple, so instead of biryani, I planned to make ghee rice, mutton curry and Kerala style parippu payasam.  For the mutton curry, I thought of making something different, which I never made before and so I finalised on “nalli nihari”, which from so long I was thinking of preparing.
Nihari is a stew made of meat in which traditionally the meat is slow cooked for hours. The spices and the taste will make this dish unique.

The word “Nihari” is originated from Arabic “Nahar” which means “day”, this is cooked overnight for 6- 8 hours. This is served to the emperors after the morning prayers. If the Nihari masala is made and stored prior to cooking, it will make easier to prepare. This is prepared with the leg pieces of goat. Hope you all like this. Try this out and let me know.

Nihari Masala:
  1. Fennel Seeds- 2 tsp
  2. Cumin Seeds- 2 tsp
  3. Cloves- 4 nos
  4. Cinnamon- 1 small stick
  5. Cardamom- 3 nos
  6. Big Cardamom- 2 nos (optional)
  7. Nutmeg- 1 tsp
  8. Mace- 1 Tsp
  9. Black Pepper- 1 tbsp
For the Curry:
  1. Mutton- 2 Pounds
  2. Onions- 4 nos
  3. Green Chillies- 3 nos
  4. Oil- 2 tbsp
  5. Ginger and Garlic Paste- 1 tbsp
  6. Red Chilli Powder- 2 tbsp
  7. Coriander Powder- 2 tbsp
  8. Salt- as required
  9. Nihari Masala- 3 tbsp
  10. Whole wheat Flour- 4 tbsp
  11. Water- 1 Cup
  12. Lemon Juice- 2 tbsp
For masala:
  • Dry roast the ingredients in the masala till nice aroma comes. Switch off and grind to a fine powder when cooled.
For the Curry:

  1. Slice the onions and green chillies and wash and drain mutton. Keep this aside.
  2. Heat a pan with oil, add the sliced onions and green chillies.
  3. When the raw smell disappears and when they turn light brown in colour add the ginger- garlic paste. Stir well.
  4. Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Add the cleaned mutton pieces and stir for about 5- 6 minutes on a medium flame.
  5. Add the Nihari masala. Mix, add little water and cook on low flame with a lid, till the spices all get blended well with the mutton pieces.
  6. Meanwhile, add the whole wheat flour to a cup of water and stir well and make sure that lumps are not formed.
  7. After some about 45- 50 minutes, take off the lid and add the whole wheat flour mixture in the mutton gravy and mix well.
  8. When the gravy thickens, switch off the flame and add the lemon juice on top.
  9. Garnish this using julienned ginger and serve along roti, chapatis, naan, biryani, pulao. I served along with ghee rice.

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