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Monday, April 18, 2011

Palak Pakodas- Spinach Fritters

Palak Pakodas are an excellent choice for appetizers or hors d'oeuvres. If you are planning to have a dinner party for family and friends, these pakodas will be a favorite with your guests. Also if you are in a mood for a quick and easy snack with your tea , this is a great option. Especially on dull rainy days, hot Palak Pakodas / Spinach fritters with your hot ginger tea is sure to put you in a wonderful and cheerful mood. 


1 bunch Palak/Spinach finely chopped
1 1/2 cup besan / gram flour
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder/dry mango powder
salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
    Preparation :
    • In a bowl , mix together all the ingredients listed above except Spinach and oil . Add water as needed so as to make a thick batter. Make sure that there are no lumps. Now add the chopped Spinach/Palak and mix it well.* 
    • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan for deep frying the pakodas. 
    • Scoop the pakodas batter with your hand and gently drop them into the oil or use a spoonful of batter and gently drop them in the oil. Fry on medium heat till golden brown in color. 
    • Palak Pakodas / Spinach fritters are ready to be served with green chutney or Ketchup and a hot cup of ginger tea. This recipe yields about 20-22 Pakodas / fritters and serves 4. 
    * If you find the batter is not thick enough to make pakodas, add a little besan/gram flour.

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Puran Poli - Indian Flatbread with a stuffing of lentil cooked with Jaggery.

    I love Puran Poli and made these for Gudi Padwa. These are made for special days and mostly for festivals. Gudi Padwa is the festival of Maharashtra which is celebrated to ring in the Hindu new year.

    Now in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh this festival is called Ugadi. In Tamil Nadu, it is Puthandu and Baisakhi in Punjab. The Sindhis call it Cheti Chand and the Manipuris call it Sajibu Cheiraoba.

    Also Puran Poli or Puranachi Poli is made in other states of India too and known as Holige, Obattu, Bobbatlu, Bhakshalu and Poli. Whatever name you call it , it is just divine...

    I followed the recipe from one of my dear blogger friend Pavithra. Her blog Dishes from my Kitchen has such amazing recipes with detailed step by step instructions. Her presentation and clicks are mesmerising and professional. It was a pleasure to use her recipe and I was happy as I made the Puran Poli for the very first time and everybody at home loved it. Click here to check out her blog and check the original recipe for Obattu/Puran Poli.

    Ingredients :

    For the Poli -Flatbread 
    1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
    1 cup Wheat Flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    3 tbsp warm oil
    Water as needed

    For the Puran - Stuffing
    1 1/2 cups Chana dal /Bengal Gram Dal
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    salt to taste
    2 cups Jaggery
    10 Cardamoms (powdered)
    1 tbsp Ghee
    Ghee for roasting
    Some wheat flour dusting

    Preparation :

    Prepare the dough for the Poli /Flatbread. Mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl listed under the ingredients for the Poli except water. Add water little at a time. Knead the dough well. Add some oil , cover and keep aside for about 5 hours.

    Prepare the Lentil Stuffing. Wash and soak Chana Dal for about 1/2 hour. Then cook it in a pressure cook with 1 cup water , turmeric and salt. Cook until fully cooked for about 3 whistles.
    Now take the cooled dal and drain if you have any water and mash it to a fine paste using a food processor.

    Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan or Kadhai. Add the mashed Chana dal and the jaggery. The jaggery will melt and keep cooking on medium flame till the mixture thickens. *

    Get if off the flame and add the powdered cardamoms and keep aside. The mixture will further thicken and dry out once it cools down. Now divide the dough into 10 -12 equal sized balls and likewise divide the cooled stuffing mixture into 10-12 equal sized balls.

    Now its like making any stuffed paratha- You roll the dough ball into a small circle using a little flour for dusting. Now place the stuffing onto the circle. Close it and press gently so as to be able to roll it into a paratha/roti. Roll it gently using a little flour.

     Now fry this Puran Poli on a heated griddle/Tawa using some ghee. Cook on both sides.
    Your Puran Poli are ready to be served. Serve warm with some ghee and a glass of milk. Its simply divine...
    I have used a different method for step#4. I added the jaggery with the chana dal paste and cooked  them together. Pavithra melted the jaggery first and strained it. Then she used this with the dal paste and cooked them together.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Celebrate Baisakhi - Tamil New Year- Vishu with Semiya Payasam - Seviyan Kheer

    Wishing you all
    Happy Baisakhi ,
    Happy Vishu and
    Happy Tamil New Year.

    Click on the above link for the recipe. We all absolutely love Semiya Payasam - Seviyan Kheer at my house. It tastes divine and absolutely easy to make. May the  new year be filled with sweetness like this payasam and be prosperous to  you all... Lets all enjoy the harvest festival and be thankful for the bounties of nature.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Recipe Index

    Wheat Blueberry Pancakes


    Broccoli Ka Shorba- Cream of Broccoli
    Carrot and Peas Oatmeal Soup
    Beetroot Soup
    Irish Potato Soup

    Appetizers - Hors d'oeuvres
    Hara Bhara Kebab
    Baked Potato Wedges
    Escarole Pakoras-Escarole Fritters

    Spinach and Cranberry Dal

    Rice- Pilaf and more...
    Cranberry Ginger Pilaf
    Tricolor Pilaf
    Paneer Cilantro Pilaf
    Pineapple Stir-fried Rice

    Pasta and Noodles
    Easy Cheesy Vegetable Farfalle
    Rotini Pasta with Basil and Margherita Sauce
    Vegetable Hakka Noodles

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Broccoli and Paneer Stir Fry.

    Broccoli and Paneer Stir Fry
    This is another quick and easy recipe. I have used Paneer in this recipe but could be substituted with Tofu as well. This recipe has been in my folder for so long and decided its high time it sees the light of the  blogosphere. This recipe was created just on the spur of the moment when one afternoon I really did not have much time to prepare lunch and wanted something which was quick and delicious.When I made this dish I must say I was pleasantly surprised and loved it and so did my 3 1/2  year old. It goes well with just plain rice.

    • 1 lb broccoli cut into florets
    • 1/2 lb Paneer(Indian Cottage cheese) cubed
    • 1 small  red bell pepper/capsicum cubed
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
    • 1 bunch spring onions (6-8) chopped *
    • 2-3 green chillies slit
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tbsp red chilli sauce
    • 1/2 tbsp vinegar
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour dissolved in 1/4 cup water
    • salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp oil
    * Keep the greens and the whites of the spring onions separate. The whites are used in the beginning of the preparation and the greens are reserved for garnishing this dish.

    1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or Kadhai. Add minced garlic and the whites of the spring onions. Add  paneer and stir fry on high flame for about 2 minutes.
    2. Add the broccoli florets, red bell pepper , green chillies and stir fry on high for another 2 minutes.
    3. Next add the soy sauce, vinegar, red chilli sauce and stir it well.
    4. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir for about a minute. Adjust the salt. Remove from the fire.
    5. Garnish with the greens of the spring onions kept aside.
    6. Serve your Broccolli and Paneer Stir fry with white rice. 
    7. This recipe serves 4.