Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Veg Fried Rice

Serves: 4


Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Vegetable Oil - 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1 teaspoon
Garlic Cloves, minced - 1 tablespoon
Carrot, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
French Beans, finely chopped-  1/4 cup
Cabbage, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Capsicum, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Fresh Green Peas - 1/4 cup
Spring Onions, chopped - 1/4 cup
Soya Sauce - 1/2 tablespoon
Green Chilli Sauce - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
White Vinegar - 1/2 tablespoon

For Garnishing:

Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1 tablespoon
Spring Onions, chopped - 1 tablespoon


  1. Wash basmati rice thoroughly in water and soak it in water for 1 hour.
  2. Bring 6 cups of water to boil.
  3. Add salt and 1 tablespoon oil and rice (discard water used for soaking).
  4. Cook rice on high flame until the rice grains are cooked but still are firm and hold shape, al dente.
  5. Drain all the water from the cooked rice and spread the rice on a wide bowl. Allow it to cool down to room temperature. I usually cook rice atleast 2 hours before preparing Fried Rice.
  6. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a wok (preferably a wok with handles to toss)
  7. Add freshly ground peppercorns. Saute for 5 secs.
  8. Add minced garlic, saute for 5 seconds.
  9. Now add all the chopped vegetables - carrots, beans, cabbage, capsicum, spring onions and green peas. Set the flame to high, saute for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Pour soya sauce, green chilli sauce and salt (remember that you have already added some salt while cooking rice). Mix well.
  11. Add cooked and cooled rice.
  12. Using the handles of wok, toss the food in the wok until the rice mixes well with the vegetables. Do not use any ladle or spatula to mix rice as this will break the rice grains.
  13. Pour white vinegar.
  14. Place the wok on high flame allowing the rice to to heat. Toss frequently so that the rice at the bottom do not get charred due to high heat. Cook on high flame for about 5-10 minutes.
  15. Turn off the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sandesh / Sondesh

Yields: 12 small pieces

Whole Milk - 8 cups
Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
Rose Essence - 1/8 teaspoon
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Saffron Strands - 12 (optional)
Hot Milk - 1 tablespoon (if using saffron)
Pistachios, slivered - 12 pieces or more

To Aid:

Muslin Cloth (I use a piece of perforated cotton cloth)
A deep pan for collecting whey
Mixing Bowl
Mould of desired shape
Clarified butter/ghee to grease the mould
A tray or a plate

  1. Soak saffron strands in hot milk.
  2. Take whole milk in a deep pan. Heat the milk. Turn of the flame before the milk starts boiling.
  3. Pour lemon juice. Stir gently. The milk will now start curdling. Allow it to stand for 2 minutes. Now stir gently until the clear liquid (whey) separates from the mixture. The whey which will be collected can be used for making vegetable stocks, protein shakes or while kneading the dough for chapati. 
  4. Place the muslin cloth on top of a deep pan. Pour the milk mixture into the muslin cloth. Pour 1-2 cups of water at room temperature into the mixture to remove sourness of lemon.
  5. Carefully bring the sides of the cloth together and hold/hand it above the deep pan. Hold/hang it until whey stops dripping from the cloth. Do not squeeze the mixture in the cloth as it will remove all the moisture too. 
  6. The cottage cheese or paneer is now ready.
  7. Transfer the cottage cheese into a mixing bowl. With your palm, knead it thoroughly to get a smooth and soft mass. It is very important to knead while the cheese is still hot to get a smooth mixture.
  8. Add cardamom powder, rose essence and powdered sugar. Mix thoroughly. The mixture at this point might seem a little sticky. If you feel that it is hard to roll it into a ball, transfer it into a pan and cook it on medium flame, stirring continuously but gently, for 3-4 minutes. Allow it to cool down little bit and knead it thoroughly again.
  9. Depending on the size of the mould you are using, divide the prepared mixture into equal portions that will fit in the mould.
  10. Roll each portion between your palms so make balls. This is will help in getting smoother surface  and neater designs while you use the moulds.
  11. Press each ball into the mould, carefully unmould. Place them on tray/plate.
  12. Once all the balls are pressed in the mould and placed in the plate, decorate them with saffron stands and slivered pistachios.
  13. Serve immediately. This can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mirchi Ka Salan

Serves : 4-6 people


Peanuts - 3/4 cup
Sesame Seeds - 4 tablespoons
Coriander Seeds - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Dessicated Coconut - 6 tablespoons
Dry Red Chillies - 5 + 2
Thick Tamarind Extract - 2 tablespoons
Ginger - 1 inch long piece
Garlic Cloves - 4
Onion - 1 large
Cooking Oil - 1/2 cup
Big Green Green Chillies - 12
Nigella Seeds/Kalonji - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 5
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tablespoon (adjust according to taste)
Jaggery, powdered - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


  1. Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dessicated coconut separately.
  2. Using a teaspoon oil, roast 5 dry red chillies. 
  3. Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, slice onion. Keep aside.
  5. Wash the green chillies with their stem intact. Wipe them dry with a clean cloth.
  6. Carefully slit the chillies for an inch from the pointed end. Keep them aside.
  7. In a blender, take all the roasted ingredients along with roasted dry red chillies, tamarind paste, ginger and garlic cloves. Add a little water and blend into smooth paste. Keep aside.
  8. Heat all the remaining oil in a wok.
  9. Deep fry all the green chillies until they turn whitish in color. Place the fired chillies in a bowl.
  10. To the same wok, with all the oil, add nigella seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, 2 whole dry red chillies and curry leaves.
  11. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add sliced onions. Saute until they turn slightly brown.
  12. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and jaggery power. 
  13. Pour 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and let it cook on low flame for 5-10 minutes.
  14. Adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding more water if required, I prefer the gravy to be thick.
  15. Add the deep fried green chillies. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  16. Serve hot with Biryani/Ghee Rice or any Indian breads.