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 and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label jaggery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jaggery. Show all posts

October 14, 2011

Seasoned Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Curry

What a nice spread of gourds we have here!

Can you name them all? There are pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet dumpling squash and lots of other ornamental gourds. We were passing by this farmer's market and decided to pick up a few to make our fall dishes. 

We love cooking with these sweet and savory gourds because when they are cooked, they retain their beautiful color and flavor. Our two favorite dishes are Seasoned Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Curry and Chunky Pumpkin Sambhar.  

Seasoned Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Curry

This curry is popular both in North and South India and most people eat it with hot rice or roti (also known as chappati). This dish can also be served as the vegetable side dish with your meal. It is enough for 4-6 servings. 

- 1 lbs of Spanish Pumpkin (Calabaza) 
½ lb of Butternut Squash
- 1 cup Frozen Carrots & Peas (optional)
- 3 Green chilies, chopped finely
- 1" piece of Ginger, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp of Cumin/Coriander powder (use ½ tbsp curry powder as an alternate)
½ tbsp Brown sugar/Jaggery
- 2 tbsp Grated coconut (dry)
- 1 tsp each of Mustard & Cumin seeds
½ tsp of Turmeric powder
¼ cup of Fresh Coriander/Cilantro leaves, chopped
1½ tbsp Vegetable oil

1) If the pumpkin and butternut squash are thick and woody, remove the seeds and peel the skin. Cut them into ½ inch pieces. 

2) Heat oil in a pan and add cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to splatter, add cumin/coriander powder, chilies, ginger and turmeric. Stir and then add pumpkin and butternut squash pieces, salt, and brown sugar. Mix well and cook the pumpkin with closed lid for 8-10 minutes or until it is cooked and firm. 

3) Stir the vegetable mixture in between, allowing the condensed water from the lid to fall into the curry for moisture. 
4) When it is done, add carrots & peas and coconut powder and cook under closed lid for 2-3 minutes. Once that is done, garnish it with chopped coriander. 

***Quick Tips: 
- Spanish Pumpkin is also known as Calabaza or West Indian Pumpkin. It is available in most grocery and ethnic stores. 
- The measurements of butternut squash and pumpkin can be adjusted as per availability. 

September 5, 2011

Ginger & Coriander Relish

The most popular relish in the United States is made with pickled cucumbers and it's commonly used on hot dogs or burgers. In Indian cooking, relishes or chutneys can be eaten with just about anything. There's one in particular that we prepare on Ganesh Chavithi that goes great with steamed rice and lentil dumplings and that is Ginger and Coriander relish. Along with the dumplings, this chutney goes great with moong dosa, namkeen (savory) pongal, and sooji (semolina) upma.

The main ingredients of course are ginger and coriander. The only prep work involved in this recipe is chopping up the coriander and soaking the tamarind.

- 4" piece of Ginger, peeled and grated
⅓ bunch (1 ½ cups chopped) of fresh Coriander/Cilantro
¼ cup of Chutney powder
- 2 tbsp of Brown Sugar/Jaggery
- Size of a lemon of Tamarind or (1 tbsp if using concentrate)
- 1 tsp of Salt (to be adjusted per taste)

Remove any seeds and soak the tamarind in ½ cup of warm water for 15 minutes (if using concentrate, then skip this step). Next blend all the ingredients together on high speed to a smooth paste. If needed, add additional water to make a paste. Lastly, sample the chutney to check for salt and desired sweetness. Adjust as needed.

I think I'll go have some dumplings with the chutney...see you later!

February 28, 2011

The "Other" Dosa Chutney

Masala Dosa at Chennai Garden, NYC
What a lovely sight, indeed! Above is a great example of a dosa. It is a kind of crepe which is most commonly made from fermented rice and urad dal batter. Usually, most South Indian restaurants serve dosas with sambar, fiery chutney powder, and coconut chutney.  In my experience, the sambar is usually too spicy and so is the chutney powder. The coconut chutney is okay if it's properly made and sometimes, it's too watery which ruins the taste of the dosa. And that is why I have to speak out. I know of another chutney that deserves to take center stage and push the coconut one aside. It's creamy, a little tangy and sweet and oh so flavorful. I used to think this chutney recipe was a well kept secret but my mom only told me recently that variations of it are served in restaurants in Southern India. I guess it's not a secret anymore.
Yummy Peanut Chutney!
Feast your eyes on the one and only chutney that should be accompanied with the rice and urad dal dosa. 

1 cup of Peanuts
2 Dry Red chillies (or 1 tsp crushed red chilies)
1" ball of Dry Tamarind or 1 tbsp of Tamarind Concentrate
1 tbsp of Jaggery or Brown sugar
½ Salt tsp or as needed
1 tsp of Vegetable oil

1) Fry peanuts and chillies in oil on medium heat to low heat until peanuts give out the roasted aroma. It should take about 6-7 minutes.

2)  If using tamarind, use sufficient water to cover it and microwave it for 15-20 seconds. Allow it to soak for 5 minutes; this will loosen it up so you can squeeze the juice out.

3) Blend peanuts and chillies to a fine powder. Then add salt and brown sugar. Squeeze the juice out of soaked tamarind and add the juice to the mixture. Next, add water to make the mixture wet and blend it to a smooth paste. Taste the chutney to adjust salt or brown sugar as needed and remove from the blender.

Quick Tips 
- You can also season the chutney with mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves. It gives it that extra kick. 

I know you're dying to make dosas now, just so you can dip the dosa into this creamy and "nutty" chutney. Check out India on a Griddle: A Savory Dosa Recipe Worth the Effort

January 16, 2011

Sweet For My Sweetie - Chakkar Pongali

Serve it hot & enjoy!

Oh My Word!! Just look at those glistening cashews just waiting to be eaten. 

bout to Go ahead and drool all over this dessert! 

I've already told you about "Namkeen" pongali which is made on Pongal as prasad. 

However, did you know that you can slightly change the recipe and make a sweeter version? Today is your lucky day.

Ingredients (makes 10 servings of 1/2 cup size):
3/4 cup Basmati Rice
3/4 cup Moong dal
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar or Jaggery
1 cup Milk
5 pods, seeded and powdered Cardamom
15 - 20 halves Cashew nuts
5 tbsp Butter (unsalted)

1) Cook rice and dal together with 5 cups of water either in rice cooker or stove top. Select the cooker or container size slightly bigger to avoid water spillage. Use low to medium heat level for stove top cooking. 

2) If using rice cooker, transfer the cooked pongal into a saucepan. 

Add milk, sugar, brown sugar and cardamom powder to the pongal and cook on low heat until it is well cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Add 3 tbsps of butter and mix well.

3) In a small pan, heat the remaining butter and fry the cashews to golden brown and mix it into the pongail.