Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Kharapodi (Spicy Tangy Red Powder)


Kharapodi is red hot tangy powder primarily taken with idli and dosa. This version of Kharapodi is made in Andhra Pradesh. It is mixed with either ghee or cooking oil to make a paste before eating with idli/dosa. I and my family love it so much that with every meal it is taken as an accompaniment. Since we do not take extremely hot food thus the amount of chili is comparatively less as compared to the Kharapodi made in Andhra. 
I use more coconut and comparatively less chilies, coconut provides much required oil and thus this powder unlike its original form can be eaten without mixing with ghee/oil also, though for best taste mixing it with warm ghee is suggested.

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Roasting Time: 30-40 minutes
Grinding Time: 30-40 minutes 
Servings:  1.250 Kg(Approximately)

Ingredients Required For Making Kharapodi : 
  • 250 gm Tamarind (Without seeds)
  • 500 gm. Whole Red Chili
  • 200-250 gm. Dry coconut
  • 100 gm. Coriander seeds
  • 100 gm. Chana Dal
  • 100 gm. Dhuli Urd Dal (Split-chaffed Urd Dal)
  • 100 gm. Salt /To taste
Directions For Making Kharapodi:
  • Remove the stalk and seeds from the red chilies.
  • Grate dry coconut.
  • Check tamarind for seeds, if any remove them.
  • Dry roast chana dal, Urd dal on low heat to light pink color. Both dal should be roasted separately not together. I use non-stick wok for roasting.
  • Remove and keep aside to cool.
  • Dry roast red chilies on low heat till they change color to darker shade and become crisp. Remove from wok and keep aside to cool.
Roasted Red Chili
  • Dry roast coriander seeds on low heat  to light brown shade. Remove from wok and keep aside to cool.
Roasted Coriander Seeds
  • Roast coconut powder on low heat to light pink color. Since coconut has oil and even after removing from heat the hot oil in it will cause it to cook more so do not roast coconut to darker shade. Remove from wok and keep aside to cool.
Roasted Dal and Grated coconut
  • Lastly in the hot slightly oily (due to coconut roasting) wok add tamarind and bring the heat to medium and roast with continuous stirring for 5 minutes. Tamarind will stick to the bottom of the wok, it is normal so do not worry. Switch off the heat and remove the wok from the heat. 
  • Remove tamarind from wok and let it cool.
Roasted tamarind
  • Put water in hot wok to remove tamarind stains.
  • Mix roasted Chana dal and Urd dal. Pulse it till it is converted to fine powder.
Dal Powder
  • Add roasted tamarind to the dal powder in small portions and pulse. Repeat till all tamarind is mixed with dal powder and pulsed to coarse powder.
  • Sieve the mixture and pulse the remaining coarser part. Repeat till whole thing is converted to slightly grainy powder. It will not be fine powder, but little grainy.
Dal and tamarind Powder
  • Grind roasted coriander seeds to fine powder.
  • Mix coriander seed powder to Dal-Tamarind powder and pulse once or twice to make uniform mixture. 
Dal,Tamarind and Coriander Powder
  • As the amount will grow grinding/pulsing in one go will not be possible so divide the whole amount to two three portions and then put in grinder / mixer to grind.
  • Grind roasted red chilies to fine powder. Add 2-3 teaspoon of salt while grinding red chilies, this will help converting chilies to fine powder.
  • Mix powdered chili to the mixture of Dal-Tamarind-Coriander seed powder. Pulse together again.
Dal,Chili,Tamarind,Coriander and Red chili Powder 
  • To roasted coconut add remaining salt and grind to get fine powder.
  • Add coconut-salt powder to the mixture of Dal-Coriander seed-Chili-Tamarind powder and mix.
  • Pulse this mixture for 1 minute so that the mixture becomes uniform and all ingredients flavor also infuses nicely. Pulsing the whole mixture is must to get proper flavor in Kharapodi. Since the amount is large now it may require to be divided to two or three portion for pulsing.
  • The change in the color of powdered mixture can be seen just after pulsing it after adding salt-coconut powder. 
  • Kharapodi is ready. Let the it cool to room temperature (It will become warm due to grinding/ pulsing).
Kharapodi Ready to be stored
  • Store in airtight container.
  • Mix little Kharapodi with ghee/cooking oil and enjoy with Idli/ Dosa/ Uttapa, Dal-Rice, Curd-Rice,
  • Sprinkle Kharapodi on buttered slice, in sandwich. I love to have it with crisp-hot pakoras, there are unlimited options.
  • Use of non-stick wok will make roasting and later on cleaning easy.
  • Roast coconut in just before roasting tamarind this will make the wok slightly greasy and roasting tamarind will become easy.
  • Grind the roasted ingredients in the given order for ease and best results.
  • Pulsing the mixture at all the steps is very important, because this causes the flavors of all ingredients to mix nicely. 
  • Remove seeds from chilies, else the powder will not be dark red in color.
  • Check the hotness of the chili and change the amount accordingly to suit your taste.
Suggested Variations:
  • Instead of roasting Chana and Urd dal, roasted Black gram (available in market) can be powdered after removing chaff, 
  • Powder of roasted curry leafs can be added to the mixture before final pulsing.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Beetroot Raita (Indian Savory)

Beetroot Raita
Beetroot is the healthies vegetarian food. It has negligible fat, less calories but rich in vitamins and micro nutrients and dietary fibers. In my earlier blog I have posted how to make healthy and yummy beetroot sabzi 
Raita are the Indian savory made as an accompaniment to the main course. When vegetables are mixed with thick curd along with salt and spices the outcome is yum and the vegetables can be chosen according to the season. Say in summers cucumber (which is very cooling), in winters Bathua (Bathua is leafy winter vegetable), ever green onions and tomato in any and every season. Same stands true to beetroot.
Beetroot is available almost every day of the year. This slightly bitter, sweet tap root of beet plant when boiled loses the bitterness and develops a heavenly taste. Apart from making vegetable and salad out of it, it can also be used to make healthy, colorful tasty raita.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time:  20minutes
Servings: 4 Medium servings

Nutritional value: (Approx.)
Calories: 165
Carbs: 10gm
Cholesterol: 0
Fat: 6.2gm
Dietary Fibers: 2.8gm
Sodium: 200 mg
Potassium: 325mg
Sugars: 7gm
Proteins: 8.6gm
Apart from this it is rich in
Vitamins A, B6, B12,
Minerals (Micro nutrients) Magnesium and Calcium

Ingredients Required For Making Beetroot Raita:
  • 100 gm Beetroot
  • 200 gm Low fat Curd
  • 1-2 Green Chilies
  • 2 twigs of Curry Leafs
  • 1/4Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Lemon
Directions For making Beetroot Raita:
  • Wash beetroot and boil it. In pressure cooker it takes approximately 10 minutes and in open container 15-20 minutes. Boiled beetroot should not become mushy. It should remain firm.
Boiled Beetroot
  • Let the boiled beetroot cool.
  • Till Beetroot is cooling, Cut the green chilies to finely, remove leafs from curry leafs twigs. Keep away for further use.
  • Peel the boiled beetroots and grate them.
Boiled and Peeled Beetroot
Grated Beetroot
  • In a wok take 1/2 teaspoon oil and heat it. When the oil is hot add
    • Mustard seeds
    • Cumin seeds
    • Finely cut Green chilies
    • Curry leafs
Tempering Ready for Beetroot
  • Cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  • The seeds will splutter and aroma of spices will emanate from wok.
  • Add boiled, grated beetroot to the wok and stir to mix the oil and spices to the beetroot.
  • Add salt and lower the flame.
  • Mix nicely and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes with stirring in between, to avoid the beetroot sticking to the bottom of the wok.
  • By now the beetroot will become soft yet holding the shape it had after grating.
Beetroot Ready For Raita
  • Cool the cooked beetroot.
Cooked Beetroot For Raita
  • Whisk the Thick curd with and add the cooked beetroot to it. Mix nicely.
  • Add 1/2teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice to the mixture of curd and beetroot.
  • Mix again and add salt if required.
  • Beetroot raita is ready to be served.
Beetroot Raita
  • Enjoy Beetroot raita with any vegetarian/Non-vegetarian food. It adds an altogether dimension to the meal.

  • Make sure the curd is not sour. Fresh thick curd is required. If the curd is old and sour the sweetness and flavor of beetroot will be obscured.
  • While boiling beetroot make sure it is not over cooked, mushy, pulpy beetroot is no good for making raita.
  • Taste chilies before use. Take the chilies according to your taste and hotness of chilies. The raita should have a balance of sweet, salt, sour and chilies.
  • Do not use red chilies or chili powder as it really does not go well with beetroot.
Suggested variations:
  • Soft leafs of beetroot can be used for garnishing.
  • Fried leafs of beetroot can be used to garnish the raita to add texture to raita.
  • Finely cut coriander leafs can be used for garnishing.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Chocolate Sandesh An Indian Sweet

Chocolate Sandesh
Bengal is a state of culinary delight. Vegetarian, non-vegetarian, sweets you name it and it is there. But Bengali sweets are one which has made it to the taste buds of each and very Indian, or may I say world over these sweets are sought after. Sandesh, Rasogolla, have become synonymous with Bengal.
Today I am writing about Sandesh. Sandesh an authentic Bengali sweet has undergone variation and has evolved with the changing time and changing taste of the new generation. Earlier it used to be Sandesh made with sugar and paneer or made with palm jaggery and paneer. But now huge number of flavors and tastes have evolved, like chocolate Sandesh, Kesar Sandesh, palm jaggery stuffed Sandesh ……
Traditionally Bengali sweets are made from cow milk but if cow milk is not available then for sandesh buffalo milk also can be taken. Making sandesh require a perfect Paneer (Cottage cheese), thus instructions and tips are very important. Also cooking of paneer has to be done on low heat to make sure the fat doesnot separateout rendering the cheese britle and un-usable. So I must say precission and patients is must to make this sweet.
Paneer has immense nutritional value, only draw back is that it is too rich in sodium.
I being a chocolate buff love chocolate Sandesh though palm jaggery stuffed Sandesh are my first love.  Since making Sandesh does not require frying, neither they are syrupy sweet thus they bring all the nutrients of cottage cheese with slight bitterness of chocolate and mild sweetness from sugar.
My daughter-in-law Indira comes from a family settled in Kolkata. She is a total fish and Sandesh lover, not only she loves eating them but also cooking. While making these Sandesh she was the boss of the kitchen, while I was the photographer.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Making Time: 40-45 minutes
Servings: 500 gm sandesh (Approximately)

Nutritional Facts: (Approx.)
Calories 1000
Fat 31 gm
Protein 67 gm
Carbs 15 gm
Dietary fibers 29 gm.
Calcium 412 mg
Iron 15 mg
Sodium 1618 mg
Vitamin A and Vitamin B5

Ingredients Required For Making Chocolate Sandesh:
  • 2 L Full Cream Cow Milk 
  • 2 Lemons
  • 100 gm. Cocoa powder unsweetened (We used Nestle's brand)
  • 100 gm. Brown Sugar/white sugar
  • 4-5 Drops of vanilla Essence
  • 2 Teaspoon Instant Coffee (Optional)
  • 50 gm Dark Chocolate chips
Directions To Make Chocolate Sandesh:
  • Squeeze the juice of lemon and sieve it to remove the seeds. Keep aside the juice for further use.
  • Take milk in a thick bottom container and heat it till it comes to boil.
  • Switch off the heat and stat adding fresh lemon juice half a spoon at one time and stir continuously.
Adding Lemon Juice With heat Switched Off
  • The moment milk splits stop adding the lemon juice and stir the milk. Cheese will separate leaving clear liquid behind (Whey).
Curdled Milk
  • Strain the cheese using a muslin cloth. Tie a tight knot making a bundle of cheese in the cloth. Dip the cheese bundle of muslin cloth in water to remove the whey and lemon juice.
Cottage Cheese Being Strained
Cottage Cheese After Being Hung
  • Hang the cheese bundle for 10-15 minutes so that all excess liquid dips off, leaving nice creamy cottage cheese in the cloth.
Cottage Cheese For Sandesh
Cottage cheese For Sandesh
  • In a grinder mixture take:
    • Cottage cheese
    • Cocoa powder
    • Sugar
    • Blitz till a smooth mixture is formed.
Cheese-Cocoa-Sugar Mixture
  • Put this cocoa, cheese mixture in a thick bottom pan and cook on low heat with constant stirring for about 8-10 minutes.
Cooking on Low Heat
  • The mixture while cooking will become dark and start to thicken up. The mixture when ready will start leaving the edge of pan. 
  • Take out a little bit of this mixture and try to roll it on your palms, if it does not stick to the palms and makes a nice shiny ball then the mixture is cooked, it sticks then cook for few minutes. Test before removing from heat.
  • Over cooking will cause fat to separate out and the mixture will become grainy.
After 10 minutes Mixture Ready fro Molding
  • Add vanilla essence and mix nicely.
  • Put the cooked mixture in molds and allow them to set.
  • This mixture can be shaped by hand and also stuffed with chocolate chip, walnut.
  • When cooled to room temperature, remove from mold and press chocolate chip on them.
  • Presto Chocolate Sandesh are ready.
Chocolate Sandesh
  • Since I did not have the traditional molds for Sandesh thus used chocolate molds. Traditional molds are bigger and come with classic shapes.
  • If cow milk is not available then buffalo milk can be taken. 
  • It is very important to pay special attention while making the cottage cheese, because it is the hero of the dish. Milk should not be kept heating while lemon juice is being added. If heated while curdling the milk the cottage cheese will become hard and grainy, not fit for making Sandesh.
  • Do not strain directly on the strainer as cheese tends to stick to the strainer, cloth straining makes it easier to handle and wash the cheese after straining.
  • Do not cook on high heat as excess heat may make the coco-cheese mixture dry and chewy.
  • Excess of lemon juice spoils the texture of Cottage cheese, so stop the moment milk curdles. Stir for two three minutes so that the lemon juice mixes uniformly, causing complete curdling.
  • Do not discard the whey. It makes a fantastic easy to digest drink. Cool it and sweeten it to your taste and have a glass full. Yummy.
  • Whet can be used to make dough for roti / bread by replacing water, milk.
  • Bottle ful of whey can be stored in fridge and use it to curdle the milk.
Suggested variations:
  • Diabetic people can enjoy this sweet by replacing sugar with sugar free.
  • If using white sugar, make bura first this will result in better sandesh
  • The amount of sugar and chocolate can be adjusted according to individual taste, I like little bitterness of chocolate and not too sweet Sandesh.
  • Dark chocolate of your choice can be taken, if taking bars then grate them before mixing with cottage cheese else possibility of lumps of chocolate in the mixture are there.
  • Walnut, Pistachios, Almonds, and Cashew can be stuffed between the two layers while molding the Sandesh.
  • I love coffee taste with chocolate thus always add 2 teaspoon of instant coffee.. This enhances the color and gives wonderful taste to the Sandesh.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Whole Wheat Flour Pineapple cake

Pineapple Cake

Whenever I pass near the cart selling ripe juicy pine apple I cannot but resist of thinking of Pineapple cake. The one we get in market are full of artificial flavor and color which desists me from buying them from bakery. I love my food as far as possible free of chemicals which are harmful and add no value to the food we eat. The cake which I am presenting today is free of artificial flavor and color. It is made in whole wheat flour, chunks of pineapple and juice of pineapple thus is packed with nutrients and fibers. The color may not look as good as you get in bakeries or are sold by many home bakers but the taste is certainly better and it will be guilt free eating as you will know that it is not going to cause any harm to you and your loved ones as it is free of artificial color and flavor.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 40-45 minutes
Servings: makes 750 g. cake (approx.)

Nutritional value: (Approx.)
  • Energy 2000 Cal
  • Fat: 100gm
  • Cholesterol: 775mg
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Potassium: 1100mg
  • Carbs: 125 gm
  • Fibers: 39gm
  • Sugar: 100gm
  • Protein: 24g
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, Iron
Ingredients Required For making Pineapple Cake:
  • 150 gm. Whole wheat flour
  • 3 Medium size eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon baking Powder
  • 1/2Teaspoon baking soda
  • 100 gm. Butter (I use Nutrelite butter)
  • 1 Pinch of Salt (If using white/unsalted butter)
  • 150 gm. Castor sugar (I prefer less sweet so use 100 gm. only)
  • 200 gm. Diced pieces of Pineapple
  • 150-200 ml. Fresh Pineapple pulp
Directions For making Pineapple cake:
  • Remove all peel and spiky things from pineapple.
  • Cut the pineapple to slices and core the slices.
  • Cut the slices to 1cm (Approx.) pieces.
Pieces of Pineapple for Cake
  • Keep 200 gm of the pieces away for further use.
  • Pulse the remaining slices and the core of pineapple to get thick pulp.
  • Mix
    • Flour
    • Baking powder
    • Baking soda
    • Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • Sieve 3-4 times.
  • Separate egg whites from egg yolk.
  • Whisk egg white to stiff peaks.
Whisked Egg White
  • Cut the chilled butter to small cubes and add sugar to it.
  • Whisk till it becomes creamy.
  • Add egg yolks one at a time and whisk to get frothy, creamy mixture of butter, sugar and egg yolk.
Creamy mixture ready for Flour and Pineapple
  • Add the pieces of pineapple to flour and mix so that all pieces get coated with flour mix.
Pineapple pieces in Flour mixture of Cake
  • To the (butter + sugar + egg yolk mixture) add (flour + pineapple mixture) and whisked egg whites alternately and after each addition of flour/egg white mix with very light hands using either wooden spoon/fork or your fingers.
  • Add pineapple paste in two instalments. Mix after each addition. Depending upon your batter thickness the pineapple paste requirement may change.
  • The last step should be finished fast as the acid of pineapple reacts with baking soda and baking powder.
  • The batter should be pourable but not runny or thick which does not get poured.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared baking pan.
  • Tap two three times to level the surface and remove the trapped air bubbles.
  • Bake at 180oC for about 35-40 minutes, or till the cake is done. Check for the doneness of cake by poking a clean skewer in the cake, if it comes out clean cake is baked.
Baking at 180 C
  • Remove the cake from oven and cool it in the rake. Cake is ready.
Pineapple cake
  • Cut the cake when it is cooled.
Soft Moist Pineapple cake
Enjoy the fruity, chemical free pineapple cake with tea/coffee.
  • The size of the eggs thus the liquid content provided by them differ thus the amount of pineapple pulp required may change. Always check the consistency of batter before adding all pulp.
  • Eggs and butter should be at the same temperature (Approx.), else curdling occurs.
  • If ever the butter eggyoly mixture starts curdling then do not worry either keep working with it or add just a spoon of flour and whisk. 
  • The baking time varies with the type of oven used. Keep checking for doneness of cake after 30 minutes.
  • If you desire to have the cake pieces cut too evenly then dice the pineapple to small pieces. I love chunks of pineapple in cake.
  • To get the yellow color and strong flavor you may use one drop of yellow color and 2-3 drops of pineapple flavor any good brand.
  • Whole wheat flour can be replaced by refined white flour (Maida/all-purpose flour). The cake comes out softer and lighter. I prefer whole wheat flour as it is more nutritious and has lots of fibers.
  • Place a small bowl with chilled water at the bottom rake of oven while baking the cake this will make sure the top crust does not become hard.
  • If the cake is not done but the top is becoming darker, just cover it with a tin foil and bake till done.
Suggested Variations:
  • Butter can be rerplaced by olive oil to get less fatty and less cholesterol content in cake. For replacement of butter amount to oil always use 100:60 ratio of butter to oil because butter has water content which is lacking in oil.
  • If fresh fruit is not available then tinned pineapple can be used. 4-5 pieces can be diced and 5-6 pieces can be made to pulp. Artificial flavor and color is must if using tinned pineapple.
  • Whole wheat flour can be replaced by all-purpose flour. If using all-purpose flour then replace the baking soda by baking powder (1+1/2) the cake will certainly will be lighter and less dense but the goodness of fibers and nutrients will be missing from the cake.
  • Use 50 gm. less sugar and soak the cake with the sugar syrup of tinned peneapple this will add sweetness with pineapple flavor.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Cauliflower In Coconut sauce (Indian savory)

auliflower in Coconut sauce
Cauliflower is a compound flower. Small florets are attached to one common stalk. The vegetable is eaten before the buds get converted to flowers, thus it can be safely said that cauliflower is collection of large number of undeveloped buds attached to the same main stalk. This vegetable is rich in sulphur, calcium and iron. Due to the presence of sulphur it has typical flavor and taste. White color cauliflower is most common and consumed, though orange, yellow, purple variants also exist.
Cauliflower is cooked in spices, sauces, roasted, baked, boiled and converted to soup. All variations taste as delicious as they can get.
Whichever way we may cook this white beauty, we must never over cook it and make it mushy, because then the taste, flavor and texture is lost.
I love my cauliflower in peanut milk sauce, Hemp seeds sauce and coconut milk sauce. Each of these milks have different flavor and texture and I love them all. Coconut milk is rich in lots of micro nutrients and is very healthy but rich in fats as compared to peanut and hemp seeds milk.
Let us make cauliflower in coconut sauce.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 large Servings

Nutritional Facts: (Approx.) for 6 large servings
Calorie 460
Fats 56.2 gm
Sodium 96 mg
Potassium 1038mg
Carbs 15.6 gm
Fibers 4 gm
Sugars 13.8 gm
Protein 11 gm
Calcium 40mg
Iron 5mg
Phosphorous 192 mg
Magnesium 92mg
Ingredients Required To make Cauliflower in Coconut sauce:
  • 200 gm Florets of Cauliflower
  • 200 ml. Milk of coconut / 1 coconut
  • 1 Medium size Potato (Optional)
  • 4 Teaspoons Thick Curd (Not too sour)
  • 1/2Teaspoon cooking oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 (1/2 + 1/2) Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 (1/2+1/2) Teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1 Whole Red Chili
  • 3 Stalks of Curry leafs / sweet neem
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Coriander
  • Salt to taste
How to make coconut Milk:
  • Remove the coconut kernel from shell and grate / cut to small pieces.
  • Pulse the grated/ pieces of coconut with water (200 ml added in small portions) till it becomes smooth paste.
  • Sieve the thick milk of coconut from the paste. Keep the thick milk aside. It should be between 100-150 ml.
 Fresh Thick Milk Of Coconut
  • Take the remainder solid of coconut and pulse it again with 150 ml. luke warm water to extract whatever milk is left in coconut. This will be the thin milk of coconut. It will be nearing 130-140 ml. keep aside for further use.
Directions for making Cauliflower in Coconut Sauce:
  • Cut the florets of cauliflower to long pieces. I prefer them thick and little bulkier.
  • Wash the cut florets.
  • Take 500 ml. water and 1 teaspoon salt in a big pan and boil it. 
  • When the water comes to boil add washed florets in it and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat or till they change color and become tender to touch.
  • Drain water from the cooked cauliflower florets and pour chilled water on them to stop from further cooking with the remainder of heat in them.
El Dente Cauliflower
  • Cut potatoes to 1 inch cubes and cook them in salt water like cauliflower. Only while cooking potato pieces make sure they are cooked el dente.
  • Drain water and keep aside the blanched florets, discard water.
  • Split green chilies and remove the seeds. Keep aside.
  • In a wok take 1/2 teaspoon oil and heat.
  • Add
    • Mustard seeds
    • Cumin seeds
    • 2 Stalks of Curry leaves and split green chilies.
    • Cook for 30 seconds on high/medium heat. The seeds will splutter and a wonderful aroma of spices and curry leafs will emanate.
    • Add asafoetida and mix.
  • Add cooked potato pieces and mix nicely. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes on low heat with stirring once or twice.
  • Add cauliflower floret pieces and mix.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes with once or twice stirring. The potaoes should become soft and cooked.
  • Add thin coconut milk and cook on high flame with constant stirring till the liquid reduces to half.
Thin Milk Of Coconut added
  • Add thick milk of coconut and cook on medium heat with constant stirring for 2 minutes.
Just before Curd To be Added
  • If you are using canned coconut milk, then add 100ml. water to the vegetable, cook for a minute and then add coconut milk and cook. This will make sure that the sauce does not become too thick and sticky.
  • Beat curd and add to the vegetable and give one boil.
Curd Added 
  • Add salt to taste and few chopped coriander leafs. Mix, switch off the heat and cover the wok. Let the flavors mix nicely.
Caouliflower In coconut suace brfore Tempering
  • Heat the cooked vegetable and take out the cooked cauliflower in coconut sauce in a serving bowl.
  • Prepare the tempering by heating 1/2teaspoon oil in a pan.
    • Add Mustard seeds
    • Cumin seeds
    • 1 Stalk of Curry leaves
    • One whole red chili
  •  cook 30 seconds.
  • The color of chili will darken, mustard will split and the curry leafs will become crisp.
  • Pour the tempering over the cooked vegetable and garnish with coriander leafs.
 Cauliflower in Coconut Sauce
Enjoy the yummy Coconutty cauliflower with Roti/Rice or crisp toasted bread.
  • Omitting potato from ingredients will reduce some caorie and carb/starch contents, instead of omitting potato you can reduce the amount.to half a potato.
  • Make sure the cauliflower is cooked el dente while blanching. Otherwise while cooking with coconut sauce it will become mushy.
  • To stir while cooking the cauliflower with coconut sauce is very important, as this makes sure that the sauce will not stick to the bottom of the wok and get burnt.
  • Using luke warm water while taking out milk from coconut ensure complete extraction of the milk.
  • Thinning the canned milk is necessary to make sure that the sauce has the correct texture and consistency.
  • Even though it should not happen yet if at any stage you feel that the milk is curdling just add paste of 1 teaspoon of corn flour/ whole wheat flour/rice flour. 
  • Curd should not be thin and too sour. It is added to give the subtle acidity to the sauce.
Suggested variations:
  • Coconut milk powder can also be used instead of freshly extracted milk/canned milk. Just add warm water to the coconut milk powder mix nicely to get smooth paste and then add water to get the correct consistency for milk. I use 200ml. water for 50 gm coconut milk powder.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Gobhi-Beans-Ki Bhange Wali Sabzi (Caulifllower-Beans In Milk Of Hemp Seeds)

Gobhi-Beans-Ki Bhange Wali Sabzi
This is a special savory of Kumaon (Uttarakhand) and can be seen served in winter season in most of the families, at least few times a month. The other variation of this savory is made by using ground nut milk for gravy, or using vegetables like Colocasia tuber or Taro tuber in Bhanga gravy. It is an absolutely delicious savory to be enjoyed with whole wheat Indian bread (Roti) or Madua (Nachani) Roti. When my mother used to make it and serve with piping hot roti topped with dollop of ghee, we used to feel heaven has descended on our plate with all its taste. This year my 83 year old mother came visiting us and we created the same scene, only difference was I was doing the cooking and my mother was enjoying and blessing me. Thanks mom for visiting us and allowing me to serve you, like you had done when we were small.
Bhanga are the seeds of Hemp which comes under Marijuana family and are cultivated in Himalayan region in India, for its seeds. Though these plants have extremely low THC, yet now they are grown under government regulation. The seeds are not having any component (THC) which can cause addiction and are extensively used in winter season in Kumaon for making savory and chutney. Hemp seeds are nutty in flavor; they are rich in fat and Omega-3 oil. Hemp seeds contain large variety of Amino acids which are the building blocks of Protein. Hemp oil and hemp milk acts as antiaging agent and is very good for heart also.
Since it is impossible to get these seeds in other states of India, thus I sometimes replace bhanga with ground nut. Though the tastes do not get replicated completely for obvious reasons, yet the outcome is absolutely yummy.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 4 large servings

Nutritional Value: (Approximate)

Calories: 160
Sodium: 603 mg
Potassium: 600
Carbs: 19.8gm
Fibers: 7.2 gm
Sugars: 6.58gm
Protein: 8.84 gm
Ca, Fe, Vitamin C

Ingredients Required for Making Gobhi-Ki-Bhange-Wali Sabzi:
  • 250 gm Cauliflower Florets (Phool Gobhi cleaned)
  • 100 gm French Beans
  • 50 gm Potato (Optional)
  • 75 gm. Hemp Seeds (Bhanga)
 Hemp Seeds (Bhanga)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard oil / any cooking oil except coconut oil
  • 1 Whole Red chili
  • 1 Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 Twigs of Fresh Green Coriander
For Tempering (Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon oil
  • 1 Whole Red Chili
  • 1/2Teaspoon jambu (Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
Direction for Making Gobhi-ki-Bhange-Wali Sabzi:
  • Cut Cauliflower to 1 inch pieces and wash them nicely.
  • Remove the viens of beans and cut to 1 inch long pieces.
  • Peel potatoes and cut them to 1 inch pieces and keep in water to make sure they do not de-colorise.
  • Grind bhanga seeds by pulsing in a mixer and then add 100 ml.water and pulse at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
Bhanga seeds Pulsed to fine Powder
Pulsed to Paste after adding Water
Thick Milk of Bhanga
  • Sieve the thick milk from the ground bhanga seeds.
  • Put all solid in container along with 100 ml. water and pulse again 2-3 times at high speed. All kernel will get converted to milk. This will be thinner milk.
  • Sieve the thin milk in separate container.
Thin Milk Of Bhanga
  • Discard the remaining husk.
Solid to be discarded
  • Break the red chili to pieces and remove the seeds.
  • In a thick bottom wok take 1/2ml. of oil and heat it.
  • Add cumin seeds and broken red chili pieces.
  • Cook till the seeds splutter and chili pieces change to darker color.
  • Add hing (Asafoetida) and cook for 3-4 second.
  • Add potato pieces after draining water from them.
  • Cook with constant stirring for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add Cauliflower and beans pieces and stir nicely.
Gobhi, beans and aloo added to spices 
  • Add turmeric powder mix nicely by stirring.

Turmeric  added
  • Sprinkle 10ml.water and cover the wok.
  • Cook on low heat with occasional stirring for about 10 minutes or till the potato pieces become soft.
Ready for adding Hemp Milk (Bhanga milk)
  • Add the thin milk of Bhanga seeds and cook without covering till the liquid reduces to half.
Thin Milk Added
  • Add the thick milk and cook on low flame with constant stirring for about 10-15 minutes.
Thick Milk Added
After 5 minutes
    After 15 minutes
  • Reduce the heat to low and add salt to taste and mix.
  • Switch off the heat and cover the wok. If you wish to have the vegetable with more gravy add 20ml.water and give a boil of high flame.
Gobhi-Beans-Ki Bhange Wali Sabzi

Gobhi-Beans-Ki Bhange Wali Sabzi
  • Prepare the tempering by heating 1/2teaspoon oil; add cumin seeds, jambu and red chili pieces to hot oil. Cook for a minute. The aroma of spices will start coming. Tempering is ready.
  • Remove the vegetable in a serving bowl, pour the tempering over the cooked vegetable and garnish it with washed and finely chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy the delicious savory from Kumaon with Atta Roti, Ragi roti or Rice roti.

Gobhi-Beans-Ki Bhange Wali Sabzi
  • Make sure vegetables are cooked before adding bhanga milk.
  • Salt should be added when the consistency of vegetable has reached as per your requirement. After adding salt only one boil is sufficient.
  • Oil is required only to cook the spices so do not over do the oil part.
  • Omiting potatoes will reduce the carb content and some calories.
Suggested Variations:
  • Bhanga can be replaced with ground nut milk which can be made using same process as told above. Ground nut milk replicates the flavor to quite a large extent. Coconut milk has a strong flavor and does not replicate the tatste of bhanga.
  • Green chilies can be slit and added to get the spicy touch.
  • Ground nut milk can be used to replace hemp milkThe calific values will change slightly.


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