Wednesday, 30 January 2013

How to Preserve Fresh Green Peas at home

Fresh Peas ready for storing in airtight container. Lid to be placed before refrigerating
Fresh green peas are available in winter season and are tender and sweet in taste. Being seasonal vegetable they are available in affordable price. If peas are preserved at home when the fresh peas are cheaper, the home preserved peas come out less expensive than the marketed preserved peas and are healthier as they do not contain artificial color and other chemicals which are harmful to our health. The home preserved peas will always look less greener than the marketed one as green color is not added and the vinegar used is fruit based not synthetic. I have been preserving shelled 10 kg. peas for last 20 years and my family is happy enjoying the taste of fresh home preserved peas. Do not deny your family this happiness preserve peas at home now.

Preparation Time: 30 min.
Processing Time: 30 min.
Servings: 200 gm. Preserved shelled peas (Also depends upon the quality of Pea pods)
Duration it can be Preserved: More than a year

Ingredients Required for Preserving Fresh Green Peas:
  • 1 kg. Fresh Green Pea pods
  • 1Lt. Water
  • 10 gm. Sugar (Approximately 2 tea spoon)
  • 5 gm. Salt (Approximately 1 tea spoon)
  • 1 Small pinch of Eating Soda
  • 10 ml. Fruit based Vinegar (Approximately 1 Table spoon)
  • Plastic bags / Zip pouches / Air tight container
Directions For Preserving Fresh Green Peas:
  • Shell fresh green peas and keep the shelled peas aside.
Fresh shelled Peas
  • Take 1Lt. water in a container and heat it. 
Water being heated for preserving Fresh peas
  • When it starts boiling add salt and sugar and dissolve them in water.
Water, Salt and Sugar mixture being boiled before adding Vinegar
  • Add vinegar and mix.
Vinegar being added to Water,salt and Sugar mixture
  • The moment water, sugar, salt and vinegar comes to boil add shelled peas in it and give a nice stir.
Shelled fresh peas added to Water,Salt,Sugar and Vinegar mixture
  • Add small pinch of eating soda and give a nice stir.
  • Keep the gas on high flame. Water with peas in it will start boiling again.
Fresh peas being given a boil in water ,salt,sugar,and vinegar mixture
  • Let it boil for 2 min. Switch off the gas and cover the container.
The texture and color of peas before switching off the gas
Peas ready for preserving
  • Let the peas in the water mixture cool.
  • Remove peas from water by sieving the mixture of peas and water.
Cooling after draining the water
  • Let the peas cool off to room temperature.
  • Spread them on a cotton cloth and pat dry them to remove all water on them collected due to condensation of steam.
  • Store the processed peas in a plastic bag and seal the bag / store in a zip pouch / or store in a airtight container.
Processed Fresh peas in Plastic pouch
  • Keep in freezer for posterity.
  • Happy eating fresh healthy preserved peas in all season.
  • If fruit based vinegar which has red color for example Red grape based vinegar then excess will cause the color of the peas to turn purple / violet but inside remains green so add just one table spoon not more.
  • Purchase pea pods not in the starting or end of season they may be slightly more expensive than when the pea season is at its peak that is the fruiting is maximum.
  • The salt and sugar amount if becomes more it is ok but should never be less.
  • If the shelled peas are soft then boil for only one min. after adding the shelled peas and then switch off the gas else they will become soft and mushy.
  • Make sure the eating soda is a small pinch only.
Suggested Variations:
  • If you do not want the color of peas to change due to using fruit based vinegar then use synthetic vinegar. I personally prefer using fruit based vinegar for all cooking purpose as they are healthy.
  • Take white grape based vinegar it will not decolorize the peas during processing.
  • To make the processed peas look greener, grind 5-6 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves sieve the juice from the paste and add the juice to the peas in water after switching off the gas and allow the mixture to cool.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Carrot Spirals (Ethiopian Carrot Snack)

Crisp Carrot Spirals
It was in Ethiopia I learnt this delicious sweet and salty snack from Aleminish.whom I call my Ethiopian daughter  When she made them for the first time, I wondered how she manages to put carrot pieces in it. They tasted as wonderful as wonderful they look. These popular in Ethiopia  snack and for some good reason are call ed biscuits in Ethiopia. Learning from her to make these spirals has been a great experience. The colorful spirals are so enticing and mouthwatering that resisting them becomes very difficult.
Preparation Time: 15min.
Cooking Time: 60 min.min.
Servings: 80-90 spirals

Ingredients Required For Making Carrot-Spirals:
  • 250 gm. Carrot
  • 250 gm. Maida (Refined flour)
  • 1/4Teaspoon Salt
  • 100 gm. Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ajwain (Caraway seeds)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Yeast
Yeast powder
  • 50 ml. Ghee/Oil (For making batter)
  • Water
  • Ghee / Oil for frying
Directions For Making Carrot Spirals:
  • Mix salt and maida and sieve to ensure proper mixing of salt with maida
  • Grind sugar to fine powder
  • In a deep bowl take oil and powdered sugar.
  • Beat the mixture with fingers or wooded ladle for 5 min.
powdered sugar
oil and sugar mixture
  • Add 10ml. water and beat again.
  • Add 10 ml water again and beat till the consistency of the beaten mixture becomes thick and creamy. (It will take approximately 10 min.)
Oil, sugar and water mixture being beaten with fingers
Oil, sugar and water mixture ready for yeast and ajwain
  • Add ajwain and yeast and beat vigorously till the mixture becomes syrupy thick. (Approximately 5-7 min)
Yeast powder and Ajwain added to the oil,sugar water mixture
Beating with fingers
Syrupt mixture of sugar,oi,water,yeast and ajwain
Maida and salt mixture is to be added
  • Add all the maida and mix and  knead the mixture to dough.
Flour and salt mixture added to the syrupy mixture of oil,sugar and water
  • If the liquid is less then add little water so that the mixture can be kneaded to pliable dough.
  • The dough should neither be too loose nor too hard.
  • Knead for 3-4 min.
  • Leave the dough for the time till carrots are cot to pieces.
  • Wash and clean carrots.
  • Cut them to 3-4 cm. long and 5 mm thick serrated pieces by the help of cutter.

Step 1
Stage 2
Carrot pieces for Spirals
  • Once the dough is rested for 15-20 min. knead again before rolling.
Kneading the dough after allowing it to stand for 15 min.
  • Make small balls from the dough and roll them with the help of palms and fingers to 2-3 mm diameter long strips.
Dough being rolled
Rolled strips and the strips wrapped around the carrot piece
  • Wrap these rolled strips around the carrot pieces.
Carrot piece with dough strip wrapped around it
Carrot spirals before frying
  • Press the two ends nicely to the carrot piece.
  • Heat Ghee / oil in a wok till smoking hot.
  • Put the some carrot spirals for frying.
Carrot spirals added to hot oil
  • Bring the gas flame to medium heat and fry with constant turning the spirals till golden brown in color.
Carrot spirals being fried
Carrot spirals fried to golden brown color
  • Drain excess oil from fried spirals.
Draining excess oil after frying
  • Spread them on a paper for cooling. Paper will absorb extra oil from it making them less greasy.
Fried carrot spirals spread on paper for cooling
  • Fry all spirals and after cooling store them in air tight container.
Carrot Spirals
Enjoy with hot cup of tea / coffee / Milk.
  • Carrots should be fresh and crisp.
  • The dough should not be having excess water else the spirals will not be crisp.
  • Do not bring the flame to low while frying.
  • Store only when the spirals are cooled.
  • Dough should be allowed to rest for 10-15 min. before rolling for spirals.
Suggested Variations:
  • Beat root and beans can also be used instead of carrot.
  • If you do not desire to use yeast then increase the amount of ghee / oil to 65 ml.
  • Amount of caraway seeds can be increased to 2 teaspoon.
  • After cutting carrot / beat root they can be dried under the sun for 1-2 hrs. to remove some moisture from them. Longer time under the sun will make them hard and useless.
  • Instead of pure refined flour 200 gm. refined flour and 50 gm. suji mixture can be taken for making dough for spirals.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Patta Gobhi Ke Paranthe (Cabbage stuffed Pan Fried Indian Bread)

Patta-Gobhi Paranthe  (Cabbage stuffed Pan fried Indian Bread) with Stuffed Red chili Pickle

Cabbage vegetable with fresh green peas / Potatoes, Cabbage Koftas, Or cabbage paratha all taste delicious. Cabbage being rich in vitamin A (1%), Vitamin C (47%), Iron 1%, and Calcium 4%. It is high quantity of  dietary fibers, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, and sulphur. The only negative point of cabbage is that is has high amount of Sodium, this can be negated by adding very less salt in vegetable and paratha. Stuffed parathas are one of the unique way of making children eat different type of vegetable, just keep on changing the taste and flavor by changing the spices you add, after all Indian kitchen has array of spices, make maximum use of them and enjoy the paratha stuffed with Cabbage (Patta Gobhi).

Preparation Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min
Servings: 6-8 Stuffed Parathas
Ingredients Required For Making Patta Gobhi Paratha:
  • 250 gm. Cabbage (Patta Gobhi)
  • 200 gm. Whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Green Coriander
  • 1 Green Chili
  • Salt to Taste
  • Olive oil / Ghee / any cooking oil
  • Water for making dough from wheat flour
Directions for Making Filling for Patta Gobhi Paratha:
  • Grate cabbage and maximum squeeze the juice from it.
Grated and squeezed cabbage
  •  Keep the juice for making the dough from wheat flour.
  • Cut green chilies and coriander sprigs finely and add to the grated cabbage.
Finely cut green chillies and coriander leaves
Coriander and green chillies added  to grated squeezed cabbage
  • Mix nicely and keep aside this filling of paratha.
Filling for paratha (unsalted)
  • Salt is to be added just before making the paratha.
Making the Dough for Paratha:
  • Take wheat flour in a bowl. Add 1/2teaspoon salt and mix nicely.
  • Filter the juice squeezed from the grated cabbage.
  • Add this juice to the flour and salt mixture and start kneading.
  • Keep on adding water in small quantities while kneading till soft pliable dough is formed.

Dough for paratha
Direction For making Patta Gobhi Paratha:
  • Divide the cabbage mixture for filling into 8 parts.
  • Divide the dough to 8 parts.
  • Apply oil / wheat flour to your palm and make ball from one part.
Dough ball for paratha
  • Make a cup shape from the ball be pressing the edges to outer side and pressing the center or roll the ball to 3-4 cm. round. And take it on your palm to make a cup shape.
Dough ball rolled for filling

Rolled dough made to cup on the palm
  • Add salt to taste to one part of cabbage mixture and mix nicely.
  • Fill the salted mixture of cabbage in it by pressing the filling gently in it.
Filling inside the rolled dough ball
  •  Close the filled dough ball by pressing the edges together. Press the filled dough ball.
Sealed after cabbage filling is filled

Filled dough ball after pressing between the palms
  • Sprinkle dry wheat flour on the rolling board and on the filled flour dough ball.
Wheat dough ball stuffed with cabbage filling ready for being rolled
  • Place the filled dough ball on the rolling board and roll the ball gently to 6cm. diameter round.
Cabbage stuffed wheat ball rolled to make Paratha
  •  Heat a Tawa on high flame, when medium warm place the rolled stuffed paratha on the hot tawa.
  • Bring the heat to medium and let the stuffed paratha cook on one side till light brown dots appear.
Paratha being cooked on one side
  •  Flip the paratha and cook till brown dots appear on the other side also.
Getting cooked on the other side
  •  Apply 1/2Teaspoon oil / ghee on one side and flip so as the side with oil it touching the tawa surface.
  • Press with a spatula to cook it to golden brown color.
Paratha cooked on one side
Ghee / oil sprinkled and being cooked  (On low flame) by pressing with a spatula
  • Apply 1/2teaspoon oil on the other side also and flip the paratha.
  • Press with the spatula and cook till the other side also becomes golden brown.
  • Remove from tawa on a serving plate and serve hot with pickle / chutney / curd/ raita / butter
Patta-Gobhi (Cabbage) Parantha with Stuffed Red chili pickle
  •  Repeat with rest of the dough and filling.
  • Never mix salt to the cabbage mixture in advance, because the filling will start losing water and the filling will no longer be dry and rolling the stuffed dough ball will become difficult.
  • The dough should not be hard it should be soft and pliable.
  • Squeeze as much juice from cabbage as possible.
  • Always make the dough for paratha after you have squeezed the juice from the cabbage, so that the cabbage juice could be used for making the dough.
  • Tawa should not be smoking hot otherwise the paratha will get burnt.
  • If non-stick tawa is taken, then oil can be reduced to 3-4 drops on each side.
Suggested variation:
  • Grated ginger can be added to cabbage mixture for filling.
  • Caraway seeds can be added to the cabbage mixture for filling.
  • Instead of coriander 3-4 teaspoons of finely cut Fenugreek leaves (methi) can be added.
  • If fresh methi is not available then Kasoori methi can be added.
  • While making the dough instead of whole wheat flour 1/4:1/4:1/2:3 ratio of samolina,refined flour,besan and wheat flour can be taken.


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