Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Satyanarayan Prasad


Last weekend there was a Satyanarayan Puja at my brother's place. Our entire clan and my SIL's clan gathered there. I was not able to fly down for a reason too many even though I was dying to be there. Later I knew I had missed a lot. The festivities were spread over two days. One by one people started flowing in from Saturday afternoon itself. The food was ordered out but the women's team planned that taking this opportunity they would like to make puranpolis for the Sunday's puja.

So began their collaboration. Gosh how influenced I am by my work culture :). OK women to women bonding! The puran got made. The dough got kneaded. Though my SIL has a big kitchen compared to Mumbai standards it could not fit in all the women. There must have been minimum 10 of all sizes ;). So the team moved in the hall and sat around the pot of puran and dough to roll out the polis. My bro had a spare stove and a gas cylinder which got assembled in the hall on the floor itself!

While they were at it they called me up. Believe me we were on the speaker phone for 1/2 hr on that long distance call discussing exuberantly SIL's new saree for the puja and accessories she would wear. All the way Maharashtrian with Nath et all ( The last picture on that page). It was so noisy there and me trying to guess who was talking from the group. The distant gossiping and teasing going on there was also heard in parallel. I was almost going to sulk and Dad and me planned to make our own Satyanarayan Prasad Sheera, the recipe is shared here.

Saturday night they just gossiped right into dawn break while the men after finishing the decorations went off to bed. I could imagine one hall filled with men and one hall filled with women with mattress laid out side by side. Gosh these guys must have had a blast. At such gathering I am the official sponsor for pizzas and colas. Since I was not there no pizzas and colas for the kids.

I was told it was like a net practise for my bro and SIL for Sujal's wedding. He is just 17 right now so many more years before that happens. Here is a video of him at a culture fest performing Dangi dance with his friends.

I don't believe we have to ask GOD for anything through such pujas but its a great way of remembering him and celebrating small joys with our loved ones. At such times even the Shakunis and Kaikayis don't get a chance to scheme seeing all the positive energy LOL.


Ingredients
11/4 cup semolina

11/4 cup milk
11/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup ghee
1/8 cup nuts and raisins
11/4 cup banana sliced
10-12 pods of cardamom separated

Heat 1 cup ghee. Roast the semolina till light and fluffy. While you are doing it a saucepan put together milk and sugar and bring it to boil. After the semolina is roasted add the hot liquid slowly and keep mixing the semolina so that it does not stick to the vessel and this helps to avoid lumps. Use up all the liquid. Cover and reduce the heat. Intermittently check if semolina is fluffy and cooked. Once that's done put of the heat and add the rest of the ghee and mix well to get the semolina grains separated out. Add the sliced bananas, nuts, raisins and cardamom powder and mix well. Serve hot on bits of banana leaves or small paper cups after the Satyanarayan puja.
Enjoy it like we did as the Satyanarayan Puja was done approx. 1000 kilometers away from us.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Moogache Puran


This is what Kolis love to eat when they fast. Another zatpat one adapted in my kitchen. So the recipe too is somewhere here. I made it on a whim for visitors who were just touching and going. The kande pohe were ready. Dad came to ask "What sweet are you serving?"

Sweet!!! Ok I'll make something. What time are they reaching? In 30 mins.

I had some green lentils soaked for 1 hr about 1 cup. Put them in a cooker and pressure cooked for 10 mins with water submerging them completely with a tablespoon of ghee and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cooled the cooker and opened it added some grated coconut. How much you ask? One handful. The jaggery, don't forget it else we cant call it a sweet. 1/2 cup of jaggery goes in. Keep stiring on heat till it forms a sticky something we call puran.

Its healthy I say as my guests come in. "We could smell the jaggery and ghee on the street itself".

Wah! its nice and gooey is the verdict.

Comfort food is what it can be called.




Monday, September 10, 2007

Cheese Walnut Balls



These are a cheese freaks delite!

Manisha's Zippy Cheese Balls turn all Indian with ingredients available right here.

200g Tub of herb cream cheese from Britannia
200g Britannia Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, crushed coarsely
1/4 teaspoon fresh crushed black pepper

Mixed with a wooden spoon rolled into balls and chilled just a bit. Served them with warm Pretzels. Giggling girls and hot cups of tea makes a good evening chill out!!

Thank You Manisha.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Spicy Paratha


Spicy paratha with Chunda, Moramba and mango pickle

What would be an express meal if not parathas. Wholesome, tasty and quick is what defines parathas. I'm talking about homemade parathas!

In our busy lives we sometimes don't want to go shopping for groceries, want to make something really tasty without too many hassles. Sometimes you want to use up the chapathi dough that has been in the fridge for a while and never seems to finish. Sometimes a kid wants to make his/her own meal. This paratha is for just those days.

Ingredients

1 cup wheat flour

3/4 cup water

salt to taste

1 big pinch of asafoetida

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons any fresh herb like coriander, fenugreek, chives etc

Knead the wheat flour with water and salt to get a pliable dough. If you have leftover chapati dough begin from here. Put all the ingredients together and knead into the dough. Make a big chapathi of all the dough, smear it with oil and roll into a spiral. Cut out two inch pieces of spirals like shown here.

Press them flat and roll out the parathas. Roast them on a gridle on both side. Apply ghee or oil of your choice to get well roasted ones. They smell divine and taste even better. Serve them with assorted pickles n preserves or with just plain curd. I bet you will enjoy them.

Bal I think this is easy ain't it?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Paneer and Veggies



This is a recipe for my brother who is missing my cooking. He has been very attached to me through his childhood and adoloscence. Now is a young IT professional living away from home. He does try to cook some times very sincerely. This recipe is something he likes for a sunday meal. It does not fit into any regional category but yes it is our home special. What you need is....

Ingredients

1 large rough chopped onion
1 large tomato chopped fine
1/2 cup of beans chopped to finger lenghts
1/2 cup of carrots
1/2 cup of fried paneer cubes
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablepoon oil
4-5 cups water
salt to taste

for the masala:

3-4 inches fresh coconut
1 tablespoon khus khus
1 cup chopped coriander
2 tablespoon roasted coriander seeds
1/4 cumin seeds
2 green chillies
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Roast all the masala in a bit of oil and grind with minimum water to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Heat a vessel. Add oil and once smoky fry the vegetables in it. Add the masala and coat all the veggies with it. Now add the garam masala and water and the paneer pieces into it and boil till cooked and thick gravy is formed. Adjust he salt and add sugar to balance the taste. Serve with hot chapatis and steamed rice or pulao with a wedge of lime. The dash of lime makes it special.

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