Indian Raita Feast

Carrot Raita

1/2 c shredded carrot
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Banana Raita

1 banana, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1 cm pieces
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Radish Raita

1/2 c shredded carrot
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Onion Raita

1/2 c onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Boondi Raita

1/2 c boondi
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Mix Raita

1/4 c shredded carrot
1/2 diced tomato
1/2 banana, quartered and cut into 1 cm pieces
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Cucumber Raita

1 cucumber, shredded, water squeeze out by hand
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

NOTE: These taste great on their own as a savory snack, can also be enjoyed with poori, paratha, methi paratha, as a side with spicy curries, with naan, with rice, .. really, the options are endless.

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Nepali Black Eyed Peas Curry

Adapted from: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/black-eyed-pea-masala-116878

Note: Serving size for lentils. It is common knowledge in India that each person cannot eat more than one fistful of DRIED lentils. So for four adults, you put four fistfuls in the pressure cooker (or cook on the stove or however you do it). This measurement is called a ‘muthi’, a handful. ‘Char’ refers to the number four. Adjust to your own family’s needs. Just think of the ingredients in a ‘proportion’ sense rather than a ‘measurement’ sense. [Caution — this does not apply to those canned lentils they sell!!]

Note: Salt measurement depends on the salt you use. I use morton’s iodized. Sea salt, you will need less. Kosher salt, more.

Serves 4 Adults

Ingredients:

For Pressure Cooker Dubba [box]:

4 fistfuls of dried black eyed peas (char muthi)
1 garlic clove, halved
1 small tomato, quartered
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

MISE EN PLACE:

1/4 in jalapeno (just chop off a piece of the tail)
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tsp)
1/2 onion, diced
1 in ginger, minced (or 1 tsp)
2 whole black pepper (or 1/4 tsp black pepper powder)
1 in cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder)
3 cloves (or 1/4 tsp clove powder)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
handful of chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In pressure cooker, put the black eyed peas, handful of diced onions, clove garlic, halved, and quartered tomato. Cover with water.
  2. Cook on medium heat for 30 min.  DO NOT DRAIN.
  3. I use a large heavy bottomed wok to cook in. Add oil. Let warm over medium heat.
  4. Add jalapeno, garlic, onion and ginger. Mix well until cooked, around 2-3 min.
  5. Add cumin powder, turmeric, and tomatoes. Mix well until cooked, around 2-3 min.
  6. Add black eyed peas blend. Add salt. Let cook, 5-10 min.
  7. Take off stove. Add yogurt. Alternatively, can serve yogurt on the side with the meal.
  8. Top with cilantro.
  9. Enjoy with rice.

Note: You can omit the yogurt if you’re not into it. It tastes great without it as well.

Verdict: Recipe’s a keeper. This is mildly different from typical Indian cuisine, but still familiar. Best, it is not oily or spicy, and is in fact very very healthy.

Iyengar Karnataka Eggplant

iyengar eggplant

Ingredients:

2 long eggplants, cut into 1 inch lengths (then I cut each 1 inch cylinder into six long pieces)

eggplant

1/3 tsp tamarind paste diluted in 1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp coconut powder

Spice Powder

2 tbsp urad dal
2 tbsp chana dal
1/3 tsp paprika
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 ” cinnamon stick
1 clove

Tempering

enough oil to cover bottom of heavy bottomed wide pot (I use a sesame oil and peanut oil combination)(make sure you have a lid for this pot)

pot

1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
4-5 curry leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine spice powder ingredients in pan on stove. Dry roast until fragrant. Dals will be golden. Taste the dals to make sure they are cooked. When done, let cool and then grind in grinder until fine powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add tempering ingredients in order given. Add eggplant. Sautee. Add tamarind water. Add turmeric. Add salt. Mix well. Cover with lid. Let cook over medium low heat until eggplant is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat. Add spice powder and coconut powder. Mix well.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe is adapted from Simply Southern by Chandra Padmanabhan. Buy this book, you won’t regret it. There are a lot of really great South Indian recipes in it, which you won’t get at any restaurant. And as far as spiciness is concerned — do what I did, and omit the red chilies and replace with a minute amount of paprika powder.

Lemon Pepper Paneer

Ingredients:

Paneer
Olive oil
Lemon Pepper
1 small onion (chopped into 1 in pieces)(optional)
1/2 small red pepper (chopped into 1 in pieces)(optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut paneer into 3/4 in cubes.
  2. Put into mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1/3 c).
  4. Sprinkle with lemon pepper (about 1/3 of the bottle).
  5. Mix well.
  6. Optional: Add onion and red pepper to bowl. Mix well.
  7. Let sit for four hours to overnight to let the flavors soak in.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F.
  9. Spread cubes out onto nonstick cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 10 min.
  11. Take out of oven and mix.
  12. Bake 10 min.
  13. Take out of oven and mix.
  14. Paneer should be nicely browned and crisp. If not bake another 3-5 min.
  15. Take out of oven, put into serving bowl lined with paper towels.
  16. Enjoy!

 

Shredded Sweet Potato Fritters

Note: These also make terrific veggie burger patties.
One bowl recipe.
Adapted from Simply South.

Ingredients:

400 g peeled shredded sweet potato (about 4)(about 1 3/4 c)
1/2 ground dry roasted peanuts (or honey roasted peanuts)
1 c unsweetened ground coconut
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika
1/4 c gram flour
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp salt
oil for deep frying

Directions:

  1. Mix well.
  2. Roll into balls, 1.5 in diameter.
  3. Deep fry for around a minute. Will brown.
  4. Take out and drain on dish with paper towel on it.
  5. Enjoy!

Modern Rubber Halwa

rubberhalwaI first had this at Modern in Bombay, and it was soo soo soo good. So good.

If you like things that are chewy and sweet, you will love this! (This is very similar IMHO to Chi Chi Dango Hawaiian mochi, and less chewy than most types of other traditional mochi). I think it is also similar to Turkish Delight.

Recipe adapted from Yummy Tummy.

Preparation Time : 2 mins
Cooking Time : 15 to 20 mins
Makes : 12 pieces

Dish: 3 cup pyrex (the smallest size from this set)

Ingredients:

Sugar – 1 cup
Boiling water – 1 cup

Cornstarch – 1/2 cup
Cold water – 1/2 cup

Ghee – 3 tbsp
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
Pistachios, whole – 1/4 c (I use WOW)
Green Food Coloring – 2-3 drops
Khus extract – 1/4 tsp

Directions:

  1. Take a medium to large sized heavy bottom NONSTICK pan and add in sugar and 1 cup of boiling water. Mix well and heat till the sugar is melted.
  2. In a separate bowl, add 1/2 c cold water. Slowly, spoonful by spoonful (or better yet, with a flour sifter), add cornflour. Make sure there are NO LUMPS. [I used a Cuisinart hand blender to get rid of my lumps].  Add the green food color and mix well.
  3. Add the cornflour mixture to the sugar water mixture. Mix well. [I used the Cuisinart hand blender to integrate the two mixtures].
  4. Now put this mixture on high heat and keep whisking till it is thick, glossy and jelly like.
  5. Add 1 tbsp ghee. Keep mixing.  (It’s a LOT of mixing).
  6. Add 1 tbsp ghee. Keep mixing.  (Keep going, recruit others to help mix).
  7. You can tell it is getting done when the green mixture stops sticking to the side. At that point, add pistachios and cardamom powder and mix well.
  8. The halwa will look thick and glossy, shiny, almost laminated. Then it is done.
  9. At this point pour this into the greased pyrex lined with greased parchment paper overhanging the pyrex pan (lay it down in a cross shape; you should be able to lift and remove the halwa from the pan when it is done easily) and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  10. Once it is set, invert it to a cutting board and cut it into slices.
  11. Enjoy!

VARIATION:

  1. Red rubber halwa: instead of khus, use rose extract; instead of pistachios, use chopped blanched almonds; instead of green food color, use red; instead of cardamom, use a pinch of saffron.
  2. Yellow rubber halwa: instead of khus, use lemon extract; instead of pistachios, use halved cashews; instead of green food color, use yellow; instead of or in addition to cardamom, use a pinch of saffron.
  3. Orange rubber halwa; instead of khus, use orange blossom extract; instead of pistachios, use halved cashews; instead of green food color, use a drop or red and a drop of yellow; instead of (or in addition to) cardamom, use a pinch of saffron.

NOTE: Remember when purchasing extracts to make sure they are for COOKING!!! They do sell extracts which are topical or medicinal or perfumes. DO NOT USE THOSE!!!!! I’ve seen little bottles of different flavored extracts at just about every Indian grocery store I’ve been to for a few dollars. I have not seen these extracts online. If you can’t find the fancy extracts, never fear, use lemon or orange extract, the recipe will still taste good. 🙂

Navaratri Sabu Dana Pooda

Sabu Dana Pooda
(this is a tapioca pancake)

1/2 c sabu dana (tapioca), soak in 2 c warm water for 2 hours

Drain.

Add:
1/4 – 1/2 c ground peanuts
Salt
Pepper
Adu Mircha (ginger jalapeno paste)

Mix to create batter.

Optional add:
Shredded potatoes
Ground ginger
Green pepper, julienne
Coriander, chopped

In skillet:
1 tbsp oil
Add big spoonful of mixture, spread, cover (with lid!) on low/medium heat.
Check every 2-3 min.
Flip, don’t cover (with lid).

Enjoy!