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Monday, May 24, 2021

Raw Papaya Salad

 Papaya is very nutritious fruit . it contain an enzyme Papain that helps break proteins and aids digestion. Do avoid water after eating papaya, it is not good for health.


Salad made of raw papaya is very tasty because it is sweet, sour, spicy and full of flavours. It pairs well with rice and fried chicken but vegetarians can have it with cutlets.


The ingredients used are 200 gms Papaya 50 gms peanuts 3/4green chilies, 1/2cup tamarind juice 1tbsp of lime juice few kaffir lime leaves 1 chopped tomato 4/5 garlic cloves fish sauce or salt 5/6 french beans 2/3tbsp sugar.


all the ingredients are pounded and mixed.

For demo..hop on to my Utube channel. Do subscribe too Thank you




Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Guar Ji Bhaji (Cluster Beans)

This is a very simple recipe with no frills and easy to follow and is quick

Cluster bean (we call it Guar in Sindhi) is full of nutrients and it helps control bloodpressure and lower the Cholesterol. 


It is bitter but when boiled and the bitter water discarded, it has sweet taste and makes a very tasty veggie to eat. To get the real taste, minimum  of masalas are used. I have used only 1tsp of Turmeric, 2tsp of Coriander powder and 2tbsp of Pomegranate seeds besides using garlic, chillies and salt. 


Love this veggie so much with just chappatis and a glass of buttermilk and this makes the most satisfying lunch

Method:

1. Wash and chop 250gms cluster beans to bite size and boil it for 15 minutes. 

2. Strain and discard the bitter water. 

3. In pan, add 2tbsp oil. 

4. Add garlic and chilies. 

5. Cook till garlic turn golden brown. 

6. Add the boiled cluster beans. 

7. Mix it lightly. 

8. Add 1tsp salt, 1tsp turmeric powder, 2tsp coriander powder and 2tbsp crushed pomegranate. 

9. Mix and let it cook for ten minutes. 

10. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

11. Serve with chappatis and buttermilk. 

12. Serves 2persons.

Visit my youtube and please do subscribe for more recipes.




Thursday, May 13, 2021

Mithee Ambree (Sweet&Sour Mango Pickle)

 Miracles of Nature is everywhere. 

While all the world is in Partial lockdown, and life is literally come to a pause, the flowers and fruits continue to bloom and in this season, I have tasted some amazing mangoes that were sent to me directly from the farms of Devgarh. When they arrived they were raw, I spread them to mature in my spare room and watched them everyday as they changed their colour to yellow and red. Of course, I couldn't eat all, but sharing is caring and with who-so-ever I shared, I earned their blessing. 

It is depressing time really, the lockdown has sucked the life off me. I am really exhausted of the monotonous life of same routine everyday.  Birds sing less, the siren of ambulance shrills more. If it wasn't for my interest in cooking and art, my work on online communication with special school staff and the occasional chat on Watsapp, the days would have stretched endlessly. But thank God for that.

Last week, I made a visit to my sister's house and saw one kilo of chopped mangoes in her kitchen. She had salted the sliced mangoes and was keeping in the sun for drying. I was excited. Here was the chance to record the recipe, while she makes. 




Sweet & Sour Mango pickle is made in every Sindhi house. Enough stock is made that can last for more than a year. It tastes best with Koki or Puri but can be relished even with meals.



She had kept all the ingredients ready on her kitchen platform.



There was one kilo of sugar in one bowl.

50gms of dates were in other bowl

One litre bottle of water.

and there was one orange tray with all the dry masalas such as

1tsp Kalonji seeds

1tsp Cumin seeds

2tbsp red chilies

2tbsp Kashmiri chilies

3pc Dalchini

4-5 Cloves

1tbsp black pepper corns

3-4 Bay leaves

Salt to taste.

Method

First a syrup o is made by boiling sugar and water. Mangoes and all the masalas are added including dates and it is kept for cooking for one hour at medium heat.

2tbsps of Vinegar is added when the cooked pickle cools down.

This is stored in glass jars

You may watch the procedure on my youtube channel here





Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Spinach With Dried Lentil Dumplings

I remember very faintly my grandmother and my mom in the courtyard of my house in Jaipur, drying Vadis. 

I remember living in a house in Jaipur, was it 3 or 4 rooms, I am not sure, but all the rooms faced a big courtyard in centre. Kitchen and bathroom were on the other side of the courtyard. There would few cots spread across the open space, and there was a small washing area in one corner. A narrow stairway spiralled up to the terrace. The cots were used for sleeping under stars at night, but during the day, it was covered with thin bed sheets to dry various food stuff made in the kitchen.  The elders of the family would always be busy making Papads, pickles and wadis and would dry them in sun on those cots. After I moved to Mumbai, I never went back, but the memory lingers.

 I loved to help in which ever way I could. Rolling out papads was a fun activity for me although the shape was not perfect. 

My Mom used to love Vadis. Even when we lived in Spain, mom would make it at home, by grinding soaked lentils and adding spices and keeping it for drying but the sun was never too strong, so the vadis were never made to perfection.

I think (in our childhood) because our parents used to pamper us therefore we made lot of fuss during meals and had missed out on so many delicious and healthy food. I didn't care much for Vadis for example and always wrinkled my nose when it appeared on the table.

Was it in its name or was it the look, I am not sure, but I would never taste it (because I had choice, there was always more variety to choose from) 

But now, I love it..its spicy, tasty and so full of flavours

Were my mom alive today, she would be happy that now I share her taste.

I have developed the taste for it..and I love it.. tried my mom's recipe



1. Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan and fry 2 cardamoms, 1 inch finely chopped ginger and 1tsp black pepper powder.

2. Add 100gms Vadis and 2 chopped potatoes. 

3. Mix it well. 

4. Add 1tsp turmeric powder, 1tsp spice powder and 1tsp salt. 

5. Add 2 chopped tomatoes. 

6. Cook for 2 minutes till tomatoes soften, mix it well. 

7. Add 1small bunch of spinach and coriander leaves. 

8. Lower the flames and cook for 20 minutes till the potatoes are tender. 

9. Serve with chappatis.

I had made quite a lot for lunch, there was some left overs, that was used to make pulao and that was for my dinner...

If you are following my You-tube channel, you can see the recipe too of Vadis made in Spinach.




Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Authentic Thoovar Ji Dal Cooked in Sindhi Homes.

Thoovar ji Dal is regularly cooked in Sindhi homes and is very delicious. Thoovar ji dal is a meal by itself. We don’t have just one small bowl placed as accompaniment like in Thali combo of different regions to be relished with other vegetables, curd, pickles. Nah! We need bigger bowl to relish it, savour each sip, it is spicy, sour, sweet with strong flavours of spices.



It pairs well with boiled rice, spicy fried potatoes and fried brinjals. Dal is nutritious but still, to make it even more healthy we add drum sticks. It tastes so good.

We don't just make a small pot, it is always made in large quantity so, even after all family is fed, there is always leftovers that we normally add to the flour and make flavourful masala Puris for breakfast the next day..which is truly relished with curds and Papad. Nothing is wasted in Sindhi cuisine.

It is very easy to cook.

1. 2 cups of Toor dal is soaked for thirty minutes before cooking and then pressure cook it with 1tsp turmeric upto 3 whistles.

2. The boiled dal is churned and strained it. 

3. Add 1tsp salt, 1tsp sugar, 5-6 Kokum rind and 1tbsp tamarind paste, keep this flavoured dal aside.

4. In the separate pan, heat 2tbsp oil, add 1tsp cumin seeds, 1tsp fenugreek seeds, small pinch of Hing and 1tbsp of ginger.  

5. Fry for few seconds then add 2 chopped tomatoes. 

6. Add 100 grams drumsticks and mix it. 

7. Add chilies and Curry leaves. 

8. Add 1tsp turmeric powder and 1tsp red chili powder.

9. Let it cook on medium flame, stirring it regularly till the drumsticks are tender.

10. Add the flavoured dal. (as prepared in step 3).

11. Mix it well and add water if it is too thick.

12. Let it cook for 30 minutes on low flame.

13. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and lime.


For video recipe you can watch here




Friday, March 26, 2021

British Picnic At Wild Asparagus Table

Okay, let me tell you the truth. Parties are fun only when we actually meet our friends, eat the food together and click memories of our friends and the food. 

The last memorable potluck we had was on upper deck of AB Celestial in January 2020. We had loved that Episode 6 of our Wild Asparagus Table on Albanian Cuisine. The open space, the breeze and the sunset, how much more exotic can it get?

Our next plan was to have a meeting in some resort, out of Mumbai. We had begun to love our monthly meets where we explored international cuisine. Wild Asparagus Table was initiated by Saloni Malkani and Ananya Banerjee and we really enjoyed our monthly meets of exploring food culture of international cuisine. 

And Boom! Pandemic happened and we were locked behind closed doors. We didn’t lose touch, seriously! In fact we have got closer, we were in touch with each other on social media (thank God for that)  and as the Corona virus weakened its tentacles, we met. 

This time with a theme of #BritishPicnic.



So, we were back on our research trail understanding the custom, culture and the food.

Shilpa Seth Bhambri graciously offered to host the potluck at her beautiful cozy home at Wadala and even bent backward to create an appropriate set-up of London ambience with post cards, books and colourful bicycle decked with full bloom flowers. Although there are more than eighty members in our Watsapp group, but due to Pandemic only ten members could attend.

Exotic menu was planned that wouldn't be available in any restaurant in Mumbai



And, the food that appeared on the table was mind blowing. Every dish was home-cooked with love and interest, every bite was soul satisfying.




Me, I prepared Summer Potato Salad

After a long time, with shopping bag tucked under my elbow and a mask covering my face, I ventured out to shop for ingredients at the food mall. I was excited and I wanted it to be perfect.


I loved my own creation and my friends enjoyed it too. Here is the recipe, if you wish to make:

1. Boil 6 eggs for 20 minutes. Cool and slice them.

2. Place ½ kg red potatoes in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover upto 2 inches and pressure cook upto 3 whistles. Cool, peel and chop the boiled potatoes into bite size squares.

3. Blanch Green Peas, chopped carrots and chopped beans separately.

4. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and add the blanched Peas, carrots and beans. Add salt, black pepper, honey and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. In a medium bowl, combine regular Mayonnaise, BBQ Mayonnaise, Cream Cheese, dijon Mustard. Add refrigerated potatoes and vegetables prepared earlier and mix it gently.

6. Transfer the mixture to Salad bowl, in layers, alternating with sliced boiled eggs.

7. Carefully place Cranberries, boiled Eggs and Chives to style an outdoor picnic theme.

8. Garnish with black pepper, mixed herbs and finely chopped chives.


Summer Potato Salad Recipe is also cross- posted on Vikhroli Cuisine website

It truly felt like we were out there, in some picnic spot in London. I am so eagerly waiting for this pandemic to end so that we can freely enjoy the parties again.

Enjoy the flavours of the afternoon on my youtube




Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Home Chefs Of Mumbai- Part 40- Smita Verma and Alpana Varma

Pandemic has opened many doors behind the closed doors. 

Social network helped every one to walk virtually in all directions, and so many different avenues have opened up. We have done virtual harvest tour and cook_along with Nancy Silverton sailing through 40 acres of Bledsoc farms watching pistachio harvest, (the tour organised by @foodbloggerai) We walked with @pikturenama and attended the Indonesian food carnival. We have travelled with @rushinamg and explored her stories on spice chronicles. We have visited ethnic kitchens with @historywali to far off rural areas and watched locals cook. We have received deeper knowledge on ingredients from Dr @Kurushdalal, heard food-stories from @thefinelychopped, and many more. The food knowledge during pandemic has been more than we can hold in one plate.

With restaurants receding into dark shadows, home chefs came to rescue, specially for those who had no help at home. The good thing is that the regional cuisines of India have come into focus. Our diet of Pizzas, Hamburgers, French Fries have got replaced with much healthier diet of home-cooked food, more nutritious and tastier. We have finally learnt to appreciate the food that we ate at grandma’s house during our trips in summer holidays. And Gosh! What a variety we have in our country! Same vegetables, same spices, but the cooking methods differ from city to city, region to region, creating plethora of food, tingling our taste buds, craving for more.

Thanks to home chefs, we now have variety of food in Mumbai from all over India, many of them specialising in their own family cuisine. Alpana Verma and Smita are friends who specialise in Bihari Cuisine


After a college reunion in 2016 , Smita and Alpana instantly struck upon the idea of bringing the richness of Bihari food to Mumbai. Both friends have long years of executive grade corporate exposure from HR to Banking and beyond . In 2017 they donned the mantle of 'Self Appointed Ambassadors of Bihar' and have not looked back.


 “By Eureka you mean self discovery. On that note Smita always knew she is a good cook . The pop up cafe initially was my idea and we served 5 course meals from our homes . What set us on this road was the confidence in our Ahuna Mutton Vegetable estews and Rohu Rassedar recipes . They are organic and Bihari in essence.” Says Alpana

Pop up cafes and online delivery have worked like a beauty for them. People from all over Mumbai & Thane have eaten their 50+ types of authentic Behari cuisine . 

We thank them from the  heart. People from Peddar Road to Bandra, BKC to Thane , Mahim to Powai have eaten our food and every time it’s appreciated” says Smita

 Alpana and Smita specialise in Bihari cuisine and ‘Litti Chokha’ is their signature dish.

Art is another thing they are passionate about, specially Madhubani art from Bihar and now they offer free gifts on order above Rs1000 to all their clients, to make it as popular as Warli art. 

 “The breakfasts from our childhood were fit for kings and remain a cherished memory which we often recreate . We are doing the same for others now. Puri/parautha , Gobi bhujiya , bhuna kaleji, kheer, baingan ka saun maun is there on our menu.” Says Smita

They are happy to share the recipe of Pharul Masala


Pharui masala is a very common evening snack  in Bihar. Its also called Jhal Muri in some parts of Bihar bordering Bengal . It is very easy to make and tasty to eat.

Method

1. Take 2 cups of Pharuhi (also known as Murhi or Kurmure). 

2. Add one medium size finely chopped onions, 2-3 green chillies and half spoon Mirchi achar masala. 

3. Mix all the ingredients. 

4. Add 2tsp Mustard oil and 2-3 spoons of soaked Channa. 

5. Serve crunchy, crispy Pharuhi masala as evening snack



They can be reached on authenticcook.com or on Mytree.com, also on Zomato

Watsapp them at 75440 06053


Follow them at @tbis_thebiharistudio



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