Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Rajma / Red Kidney Beans Masala

Do any of you have Whatsapp on your smart phones? It is an instant messenger available on almost all the Operating Systems(OS) of the smart phones. You need to pay for some OSes and its free on some OSes. I am in love with this app as this allows me to stay in touch with my friends & cousins who are scattered in different parts of the world.

Its like texting - only, this uses wi-fi / 3g to send & receive messages. You can stay in touch through email & phone as well. But I feel this is very convenient as its with me all the time.

Our Cherished World

I have never bought apps till date. I have an Android phone and this app is free for a year on Android. So this July / August when this app expires, this will be the first app I'll be buying. I personally feel its totally worth it and I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.

OK. Why am I going on and on about this app when the title of the post is Rajma Masala? I got this recipe from my friend over Whatsapp. She's a very dear friend of mine. I lost touch once she moved to Delhi. There would be an odd email now and then (most of the time it was from her) but that was it.

Then I asked her if she has Whatsapp and she replied "Yes". I am in constant touch with her ever since and she gave me this recipe when I wanted a simple Rajma dish. I made this before my in-laws visited us and all of us liked it a lot. Thanks Pia for this wonderful recipe.

Serves: 4 - 5

1 cup Dry Rajma / Red Kidney Beans - soaked over night
1 Onion - finely chopped
3 Tomatoes - finely chopped
1 Green Chilli - finely chopped
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Shahjeera / Caraway Seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
3 cups Water
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves to garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a pressure cooker. When hot, add the Shahjeera / caraway seeds and let them sizzle.
  2. Now add the Onions and Chilli and fry till golden brown.
  3. Next add the Ginger & Garlic pastes and fry till the raw smell goes.
  4. Add the Salt, Turmeric Powder and Coriander Powder and fry for a few seconds.
  5. Now add the Tomatoes and fry till the masala comes together.
  6. Add the Rajma and mix well.
  7. Add 1 cup water and cook covered (without the pressure / whistle) for about 10 minutes.
  8. Now add the other 2 cups of water and cook (with pressure / whistle) till tender. (It took about 3 whistles).
  9. Let the pressure go down, open and boil till desired consistency.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice / roti.
Our Cherished World

This goes to the following events:
 MLLA#47 started by Susan and guest hosted by Priya.
Show me your HITS started by Sangee and guest hosted by Julie.

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pudhina Paneer Pulao / Mint Cottage Cheese Pulao

Kalyani hosts Magic Mingle every month. The concept seems very simple. She chooses 2 magic ingredients every month and posts them on her blog on the 5th of every month. We need to prepare a dish using both the ingredients (as main ingredients - not as garnishing or tempering) and post it on our respective blogs by the 15th of the same month.

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Quiet simple you might think; just as I thought when I joined the event. The combinations she has chosen so far are totally new to me. Thinking about the dishes I can make with the combination has been pushing me out of my comfort zone. I am glad I joined this event as all the dishes I have made till date have been appreciated by P.

This month's dish was no exception. Mint and Paneer were the Magic Ingredients. A completely new combination for me. As Paneer was one of the main ingredients, I thought I'll make an Indian dish and settled on pulao. P liked it the moment he took his first bite. I have learnt that the addition of mint to a simple pulao can completely change its taste and give a more biryani like flavour. Well, this is not biryani in the true sense; its still pulao.

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Serves: 3 - 4

1.5 cups Basmati Rice - washed thoughly and soaked for atleast 20 minutes
1 cup packed Mint Leaves - washed
200 gms Paneer - chopped into 1 cm cubes
2 Green Chillies
1 Onion - chopped
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp Shahjeera / Caraway Seeds
1 Bay Leaf
2 Green Cardamoms
2 Cloves
1 inch piece Cinnamon
2 tbsp Oil
3 cups water + a little bit more to puree if needed
Salt to taste

  1. Puree the Mint Leaves and Green Chillies to an almost smooth paste adding little water if necessary.
  2. Heat the Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Bay Leaf, Green Cardamoms, Cloves and Cinnamon and fry for about half a minute.
  3. Add the Shahjeera and let it sizzle.
  4. Now add the Onion and let it turn transparent.
  5. Add the Ginger and Garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  6. Add the Mint - Chilli paste and fry for a few minutes till the raw smell goes.
  7. Add the Paneer and fry for 3 - 4 minutes.
  8. Drain the rice and add it to the pan and fry for 5 minutes.
  9. Add 3 cups water and bring to boil.
  10. Cover and cook till rice is done.
  11. Serve hot with Raita or plain curd / yoghurt.
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This goes to Kalyani's Magic Mingle #5 - Mint & Cottage Cheese

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Microwave Chivda for Bloghop

When Radhika sent a mail with this month's Blog Hop pairs, I was really pressed for time. I wasn't even sure if I could make something in time from Nayna’s blog. Though I loved most of her recipes, due to time constraints, I chose her Microwave Chivda. It looked very easy to prepare. And I wasn't wrong in my judgement.

I usually use the microwave to boil the potatoes, beetroot and heat up stuff. This was the first ever complete "dish" I prepared in the microwave. Due to this, I couldn't judge my microwave properly and my peanuts were still a bit "kacha" (raw). But I know my mistake now and will adjust the time / method next time. I will update this post then.

I omitted the chillies as I didn't want V to bite into a chilli seed. I added only peanuts as I didn't have the roasted almonds and cashews in my pantry. The end result of the whole dish was very tasty. Its also a healthy, nutritious and low fat snack thats perfect with alcoholic / non-alcoholic drinks and also with your evening cuppa.

250 gms Thin Poha (Beaten Rice)
1 tbsp Roasted Chana Dal
3 tbsp Peanuts
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Chilli Powder
10 Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

  1. Place the Poha in a shallow microwave dish and microwave for 3 minutes, stirring thrice in between. By the end, the poha should be crisp to bite into.
  2. Transfer this into a large bowl.
  3. In the same dish, mix the Peanuts with 1 tsp Oil and microwave for 5 minutes, stirring 3 - 4 times in between. The peanuts should be crunchy to bite.
  4. Now add the Roasted Chana Dal, mix and microwave for another 3 minutes, stirring 3 - 4 times.
  5. Transfer this to the bowl with Poha and mix well.
  6. In another microwave dish, add the 1 tbsp Oil and Mustard Seeds and microwave for 2 minutes stirring once in between.
  7. Now add the Curry Leaves to this, mix and microwave for another minute.
  8. Add the tempering, Turmeric Powder and Chilli Powder to the bowl with Poha and mix well.
  9. Store in an air tight container and enjoy with a hot cuppa.

Note: I used my microwave at 800W to prepare this.

This goes to Blog Hop Wednesdays - Week 17

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Blueberry Smoothie

Its May and summer still feels quiet far away. The weather department is predicting this month to be the coldest May in 100 years. I can see why. Usually, the trees start shooting young leaves by mid April. There are no signs of the young leaves till date - atleast on most of the trees.

We've had 2 weeks of beautiful sunshine in March. I hope that's not the end of winter for this year. I agree the days are getting longer - which is the only sign of Spring / Summer. But with the temperatures still in single digits on most days, I just don’t see any sign of Summer.

Our Cherished World

I love Summer for various reasons; the weather being the main reason - quiet obvious isn't it? One of the other reasons is that we get different kind of berries. I love the berries for their "tanginess". I remember getting Strawberries in Hyderabad used to be so tough. It was almost treated like a delicacy.

When I came to UK, I was amazed at the different kind of berries available. I tried out all the varieties and liked all of them. Overtime, I stuck to Strawberries and Blueberries. I bought a box of Blueberries from Costco about 10 days back and left it in the fridge. I was too busy with so many other things (which definitely didn’t involve the blog as you can see), I didn't eat them.

Yesterday, I decided its time to use them up before they spoil. So I made this Blueberry Smoothie which was really yummy. It gets done in a jiffy and its soooo tasty. I am sure you can add other fruits to make it more healthy – but because my aim was to finish the blueberries, I didn't add any other fruits.

Our Cherished World

Serves: 2

2 cups Blueberries - washed
250 ml Curd - beaten
2 tbsp Honey – to taste
Water / Milk for consistency

  1. Take all the ingredients except water / milk in a blender and blend to a creamy consistency.
  2. Add water / milk and blend to get the desired consistency
  3. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Our Cherished World

This goes to the following events:
Srivalli's Kids Delight guest hosted by Nupur
Radhika's Lets Cook #15 - Fruits
Sumee's Bon Vivant #4 – Fruits
Chandrani's Spotlight – Fruits
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