The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

December 29, 2012

Masala Bread Pakora - A Hearty Winter Treat!

What do Mr. Potato Head, the Hot Potato game, and Fried Oreos & Twinkies have in common?

NOSTALGIA!!

These are some things we grew up with and still enjoy today. I remember my first time eating a fried Oreo? It was at a street festival in Little Italy, New York City. It was an interesting experience to say the least, but I enjoyed it. I added it to the many food memories I accumulated through the years. 
The appetizer pictured below is from one of my mom's foodie memories. She had it at an eatery long ago in India and has been making it for us every since. It is actually one of my sister's favorite treats to eat when she comes home for the holidays.


It's called Masala Bread Pakora! And the best part is that the crust is made using a slice of white bread. No need to make it from scratch. Picture to be posted soon!!


Ingredients for Stuffing:
- 1 lb Potatoes
- 1 Medium Onion, diced
- 1 Medium Tomato, diced
½ cup Frozen Carrots and Peas
- 3 to 4 Green Chilies, chopped finely
¼ cup Fresh Coriander, chopped
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Chat Masala
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
½ tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Salt

Ingredients for Crust:
- 10 to 12 slices of Wonder White Bread (a few days old)
- 3 to 4 tbsp Vegetable oil

Procedure:
Cook potatoes in the microwave until soft (6 to 7 minutes) and peel off the skin. Then cut or mash roughly to 1 inch pieces and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan and add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add onions and sauté for one to two minutes. Now add turmeric and then toss in the tomatoes, allowing them to soften. Next add the green chilies and salt. Mix well. Add in the mashed potatoes and carrots and peas, mix and cook for 5 minutes under closed lid. Later add lemon juice, chat masala and mix well. Finally, add the chopped coriander after removing from stove and mix again. Cool the vegetable curry for 10 minutes. 
Take a bread slice and moisten it slightly with water and place a quarter cup or ladle of the curry on the bread in the center diagonally and cover it with bread by pressing with your fingers (as shown in the picture below).



Use wet fingers if necessary to moisten the bread. Heat oil in the frying pan and fry the stuffed bread until golden brown (for 3 to 4 minutes) by turning sides for even frying.


 Serve hot with coriander chutney (recipe below). 



Coriander Chutney - A Simple Dipping Sauce for Bread Pakora:
Finely chop a small bunch of coriander. Roast quarter cup of peanuts. In a blender, grind the peanuts into a fine powder, then add the chopped coriander, one clove of garlic (husked), 2 green chilies (chopped finely), 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste, half teaspoon of salt and some water. Blend to a smooth paste.



December 20, 2012

Christmas Is Almost Here!!

 I got a head start on my To Do list this year and already started checking things off. I'm nearly there even though timing is ticking away: 
  • Put up lights outside of home - Check
  • Decorate Christmas tree with lights and ornaments - Check
  • Make edible gifts (Pumpkin Spice Bread & Chocolate Mexican Wedding cookies) and hand out to friends - Check
  • Make Corn Flakes Mixture for big sis - Check
  • Wrap presents and put under the tree - Check

We would love to hear from you. What do you have planned for the holidays? What treats do you make around this time of year?  



FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS



A Merry Christmas To All!!

December 19, 2012

Creamy Cauliflower and Paneer Curry

All bets are off when it comes to dining at parties. At least that's what I tell all my relatives when we invite them over for the holidays. Everyone should indulge in "rich" food every once in a while. It's good for the soul. With that in mind, we decided to cook dishes that were moderately healthy so there are no ifs and buts about what to eat. The following recipe was one of my favorite vegetable curries that was served at our Diwali / Thanksgiving holiday party last month. I love the addition of Paneer (Indian cheese) which added some nutritional value to the dish. Barely any of this dish was remaining towards the end of dinner. It was a great complement to the vegetable biryani and rotis that were also served. 

Ingredients:
- 12 oz Paneer, cut into 1" cubes
- 1 Medium size Cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Two 8oz Tomato Sauce cans (without added salt)
- 1 cup Frozen Carrots and Peas
½ Qt Half & Half (use Evaporated Milk for low cal version)
- 2 to 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Seasoning/Spices:
- 2½ tbsp Dhanjeera powder (powdered coriander and cumin seeds)
½ tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric
1 to 1½  tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi (optional)

Procedure:
In a non-stick skillet, heat oil and add paneer cubes. Stir until they are lightly fried. (Hint: Edges of the paneer should be brownish color). Then add dhanjeera powder, turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala. Mix well and then toss in the cauliflower florets. Add salt and cook the mixture under closed lid until the florets are cooked all the way through but are still firm. 



Then add tomato sauce and cook for 5 more minutes. Finally, add the frozen carrots and peas and half & half. 



 Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture is thick and the curry will be ready to be served.