Kabuli chana or chickpeas are a great source of protein. One of the best ways to make chickpeas is Punjabi Chole which goes very well with bhature, puri or rice. Its a classic street dish from Delhi.  



Ingredients:
1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight,
2 large onions, grated,
2 large tomatoes, grated,
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
2 bay leaves,
1 black cardamom,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp dry mango powder,
1 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
2 tsp chole masala, (I have used Everest)
3-4 tbsp oil,
Salt to taste

Method:


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Put the chickpeas in a pressure cooker and cook until soft and tender. Try to use the organic chickpeas as they become quite tender once cooked. Drain and reserve the water and set it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a fry pan and add cumin seeds, bay leaves and whole cardomom. Add the grated onions and ginger garlic paste and fry until it turns golden brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and saute further until the oil seperates.
  4. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and mango powder and mix well.
  5. Now add the drained chickpeas and mix well. Add the strained water depending on the thickness of the gravy required. 
  6. Add salt and adjust the spice depending on the taste.
  7. Allow it to simmer for 4-5 mins.
  8. Add the chole masala in the end, mix well and switch off the flame.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot along with hot puri or jeera rice.


This is a great dish. You could replace this with kala chana and make the same dish. If you dont have dry mango powder, you could replace it with lemon juice as well.

Enjoy :-) 
As the name suggest, it is a hara kabab, which means most of the ingredients are green. I find this as the best way to include spinach for a non-spinach loving family. This is a great starter and if you have most of the ingredients at home, this is very quick and easy to make.

The kabab has many ingredients which are very nutritious however, I have deep fried it. If you prefer low calorie, you could just shallow fry it on a frying pan.
Ingredients:

8-10 spinach leaves,
1/2 cup fenugreek leaves,
1/2 cup green peas, boiled, mashed,
3 medium sized potatoes, boiled, grated,
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated,
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped,
8-10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped,
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped,
Salt to taste,
Lemon juices as per taste,
Powdered bread crumbs for binding,
Oil for deep frying
Method:

  1. Blanch the spinach leaves in hot water for 2 mins and immediately put it in cold water. Chop finely and set aside.
  2. In the same way, blanch the fenugreek leaves. Chop finely and set aside.
  3. In a deep dish, put the spinach, fenugreek leaves, mashed peas, grated potatoes, cheese, coriander and mint leaves, green chilles, salt and lemon juice. Mix together nicely. Add little bread crumbs powder 1 tbsp at a time until it turns into a thick mixture. Do not add water at all.
  4. Divide the dough into equal sized balls. 
  5. Heat the oil until smoking hot.
  6. Pat the balls into small discs by gently pressing them with both the palms and give it a round shape.
  7. Deep fry until golden brown.
  8. Serve hot with green chutney and tomato sauce.
I find adding cheese to the mix, gives it better flavour. You could also add a few roasted cashews to make it into a rich appetizer. 

If you dont have bread crumbs, you could powder some rusk biscuits or replace it with 1-2 tbsp of cornflour. Make sure you adjust the seasoning.

Enjoy :-)
Happy Valentines Day To You !!!
Today is a day of Love and the expression of love. For me personally, I don't believe that a particular day can make a difference to your feelings. Every day in the year is a special day to express love. It is a beautiful feeling and very empowering. And many of us mistake expression of love to be only between a boy and a girl. Love is eternal and therefore it should be spread across the world, family members, friends, well wishers, acquaintances, colleagues. Let go of ego, hatred, jealousy, anger and embrace love for all with a big tight hug :-)

I made these red velvet cupcakes sometime back. There cannot be a perfect time than today to share the recipe with you.   


Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour,
½ tsp baking soda,
½ tsp baking powder,
½ tsp salt,
1 tbsp unsweetened, cocoa powder,
1 cup powdered sugar,
½ vegetable oil,
1 egg,
½ cup buttermilk,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
1-2 oz. red food coloring,
1 tsp white distilled vinegar,
¼ cup coffee decoction (don’t skip this ingredient)

For the buttercream frosting:
100 gms butter, unsalted, room temperature
200 gms icing sugar,
½ tsp vanilla essence,

Method:
  1. Place the muffin cases into the muffin tray and set it aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.
  5. Mix in the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.
  6. Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.
  7. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. This batter will yield around 24 muffins.
  9. Bake in the middle rack for 20 – 25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  10. Let it cool down completely.
Frosting:
  1. Beat the butter for 3-4 mins.
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time.
  3. Once the icing sugar has been completely incorporated, add the vanilla essence and mix well.
  4. Place this mix in a piping bag and pipe on the muffins.
  5. Sprinkle silver dagrees over the icing and serve. 



These cupcakes were amazingly soft and extremely delicious. The sweetness was perfect and the buttercream icing complimented it perfectly.

Happy Valentines Day :-)
Lots of love and happiness, always.......
Somedays, I don't feel like cooking. And I don't prefer to order food from outside. Its just something light and filling that I want, maybe like a sandwich or a salad.

I made this salad a few weeks ago, totally inspired by the Subway salad. It is so easy and quick and absolutely delicious.

This also helps to keep my weight loss goals :-)




Ingredients:

7-8 cherry tomatoes,
1 cup iceberg lettuce,
2 tbsp olives (black or green), chopped,
2 tbsp gherkins, chopped,
1/4 cup paneer or boiled chicken, cut into pieces,
2 tbsp of onions, (I have not used here)
8-10 cucumber slices, thinly cut  roundels,

For the dressing:
1 tbsp honey,
1 tsp olive oil,
1 tsp lemon juice,
Salt to taste,
Pepper to taste.

Method:
  1. In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing. Mix well and set it aside.
  2. In another big bowl, tear the lettuce leaves. Cut the cherry tomatoes into half, and add the rest of the ingredients. 
  3. Give it a very light mix.
  4. On the serving plate, lift the ingredients of the salad and place it carefully.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately. 

This is a cold salad, so make sure all the ingredients are cold and work on them just before serving. This is a great salad to be served on the dinner table.

I have it just on its own as a meal :-)
I Love Dal Makhani. Period. It is my favorite amongst all the dals.. I can gorge on it anytime and everytime :-). I think its very earthy and rustic in taste and thats what I really love. 

Here's how I make it. 


Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole urad (whole black lentil),
2 tbsp rajma
3 tbsp butter,
1 tsp jeera,
2 green chillies, cut lengthwise,
1" stick of cinnamon,
2 cloves,
3 cardamoms,
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped ,
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp chilli powder,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1 1/2 cups fresh tomato puree,
1/2 cup fresh cream,
2 tbsp chopped coriander,
1 tbsp fresh cream for the garnish,
Salt to taste


Method:
  1. Clean, wash and soak the whole urad and rajma overnight.
  2. Drain, add 2 cups of water and salt and pressure cook for 7 whistles or till the dals are overcooked.
  3. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
  4. Whisk till the dal is almost mashed. Keep aside.
  5. For the tempering, heat the butter in a deep pan and add the cumin seeds.
  6. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chillies, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, and onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown in colour.
  7. Add the ginger-garlic paste,chilli powder, turmeric powder and tomato puree and cook over a medium flame till the mixture leaves oil.
  8. Add the dal, salt and approx 2 to 3 tbsp water if required and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Add the cream and mix well. Simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  10. Serve hot garnished with coriander and fresh cream.

I must tell you, that the cloves really give a lot of heat to the dish. This dal tastes even better the next day, so if you really want the entire flavour to come through make it a day in advance. Just dont add the cream to the recipe. Add it when you heat it up before serving.

Serve it with hot rotis or jeera rice.

Jeera rice always reminds me of dhaba's where it is made so well in the deep kadhai's that they have. Yes they are the overused kadhai's which not sure if its washed also or not :-) Ok well, yes they are washed regularly (so I choose to believe). Its difficult to recreate the same dhaba style taste at home, because the authentic taste comes from that fact that they use charcoal or wood fire where the smoke really adds to the whole flavour of the rice. 

Here is my version, recreated at home on a pressure cooker, but its worth it :-)


Ingerdients:

2 cups rice, washed,
1 onion, cut into thin long slices,
2 green chillies, slit length wise,
1 tbsp jeera,
2 tbsp ghee,
1 tsp oil,
1/2 tsp sugar,
Salt to taste



Method:
  1. Wash the rice and drain out the water. Set aside for 15 mins.
  2. In the cooker, put ghee and oil.
  3. Add the jeera and allow it to splutter.
  4. Add the green chilles and onions and fry until onions turn golden brown.
  5. Stir in the rice and fry for 2-3 mins in low flame.
  6. Pour in 4 cups of water (double quantity of rice) and stir well.
  7. Add the sugar and salt to taste.
  8. Allow 2 full whistles to cook the rice.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.


Serve it with Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, or Palak Paneer or have it with just plain Dal Tadka. Check out my recipe for Dal Pachranga here. Its tastes heavenly either ways :-)