Category: Carrot

Garden Greens for Sag Paneer

Spinach, swiss chard, methi plus cilantro and dill are growing so much, they are getting big and out of control in my garden. So, I plucked all the excesses and with that garden greens bounty, prepared sag paneer for lunch today. The following recipe is a tad different from the classic recipe blogged here in 2005. Instead of cashew powder, I’ve added carrot pulp to thicken the sag gravy and to add some sweetness to the greens. With carrot and paneer, garden greens never tasted this shiny-sweet before. It’s a good recipe if you have greens’ surplus.

Garden Greens
Garden Greens

Sag Paneer with Garden Greens
(for 6 to 8 servings)

1 bunch each – spinach, swiss chard and methi – coarsely chopped
1/2 cup each – cilantro and dill leaves – coarsely chopped
8 Guntur green chillies
1 carrot – sliced to chunks
1 red onion and 1 ripe tomato – finely chopped
1 cup or to taste – paneer cubes
1 teaspoon – ginger-garlic paste
1 tablespoon – cumin-coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon – turmeric
Salt to taste

1. In a wide pan, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the greens and green chillies. Saute until the leaves collapse and chillies soften. Turn off the heat and let the greens cool. Once they reach room temperature, take the sauteed greens and chillies in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and pulse to coarse puree. Remove the mix to a bowl. In the same food processor, add carrot pieces and make super fine puree, adding water when necessary.

2. Wipe the pan clean and add another tablespoon of peanut oil. When oil is hot, add a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onion and tomato pieces. Saute until they soften , then stir in the garden greens and carrot puree. Add ginger-garlic paste, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well. Add the paneer cubes. Cover the pan and on medium heat, let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve the sag paneer warm with rice or roti. Tastes good on its own as well.

Sag Paneer with Garden Greens
Garden Sag Paneer with Rotis ~ for Bhojanam

Mango~Carrot Pulihora

No people have been more appreciative of the culinary possibilities of rice than the people from India. Biryani, bhats, pongal and pulao are some of the many well known rice preparations. Then there is Pulihora.

Pulihora is a celebration of the south-Indian penchant for rather sour flavors. In pulihora, the rice says no to baser onion, garlic and garam masala, and gets bridal. The aromatic, individually cooked rice grains are adorned with turmeric tadka in attractive yellow -the traditional symbol of joy and happiness, and absorbed in sourly sweet agents from nature. This flavorful dish is a must have on south Indian festival days and special occasions. There are several variations of pulihora depending on the sour agent. Common and crowd favorites are pulihoras prepared with grated unripe mango, tamarind pulp and lemon juice.

Today’s recipe is inspired by mango pulihora. I added little bit of carrot for sweet touch. Mango and carrot with rice, it was a delicious levels of flavor. This is the mango season. Just the right time for pulihora.

Grated Unripe Mango
Grated, Unripe Mango

Mango-Carrot Pulihora
(for 2 to 4, for 2 to 1 meal)

Recipe:
2 cups sona masuri or basmati rice
1 firm, unripe mango
1 small carrot
Wash the rice in water, then soak in 4 cups of water for at least 15 minutes.
Lightly peel the skins of mango and carrot. Grate with a grater or in a food processor. We need about two cups of grated unripe mango and a cup of grated carrot.

For Turmeric Tadka:
2 tablespoons, peanut oil
1 tablespoon, chana dal and urad dal
1 tablespoon, finely chopped green chilli
1 sprig of fresh curry leaves (10 to 12 curry leaves)
2 tablespoons, roasted, unsalted shelled peanuts (or cashews)
1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
Pinch each – cumin seeds, mustard seeds and hing

1. In a large, heavy pan, add the rice and the water it soaked in. On medium heat, cook until the rice is tender but still firm, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

2. In a large, heavy wide pan, heat peanut oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add one after another, from big to small, the ingredients listed in turmeric tadka in that order. Constantly stirring toast them to red and to fragrance. When you see mustard seeds pop, then add the mango and carrot gratings to the skillet. Sprinkle half teaspoon of salt or to taste. Stir and saute for about five minutes on medium-low heat. This is done to remove the mango and carrot rawness.

3. Add mango-carrot mixture to cooked rice. Gently mix well. Serve warm. Sour and sweet, mango-carrot pulihora makes a tasty one-dish meal.

Mango-Carrot Pulihora
Mango~Carrot Pulihora ~ Meal on a Rainy Day

Zucchini Pesarattu

This is my first time preparing zucchini pesarattu and I have to say this first try has turned out to be the best garden to table zucchini experiment. The recipe is easy. Pick tender zucchini. Grate and add it to pesarattu batter. Zucchini pesarattu base is power-packed moong sprouts. To stabilize the moong batter, I added little bit besan flour. Grated carrot, onion and fresh ginger made good companions to tender zucchini. Simple and sublime, these delicious pesarattus evoked a longing for a summer supper beneath a large and shady mango tree.

Zucchini, Carrot and Moong Sprouts
Grated Yellow Zucchini, Carrot and Moong Sprouts

Zucchini Pesarattu
(for 10-12 pesarattus)

Ingredients:
1 fresh and firm, medium-sized zucchini
1 medium-sized carrot
1 small red onion or shallot
4 Indian or Thai green chillies
1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
4 cups sprouted moong beans
1/4 cup besan (gram flour)

Method:

Grate zucchini and carrot. Finely chop onion, chillies and ginger.

In a blender or food processor, take sprouted moong beans. Add green chillies, ginger and salt. Blend the ingredients to fairly fine consistency. Add about half cup of water for easy blending.

Take the pesarattu batter in a bowl. Add besan flour, onion and grated zucchini and carrot. Mix well.

Heat a tava or griddle. Pour a ladle full of batter onto the tava. Gently spread into a small circle. On medium heat, cook both sides to golden. They do not require oil or ghee. But drizzle some if you wish.

Serve warm. Good with chutney or raita on the side.

Zucchini Pesarattu with Coconut Chutney
Zucchini Pesarattu with Coconut Chutney ~ for Meal Yesterday

Malai Kofta for a Potluck Party of 25

“You remember the potluck party on Saturday evening? I am making a list of the dish each of us will bring to the party. What should I put your name on?” …My friend on the phone.

“Let me think for a minute. mmm… Malai kofta. How does that sound?”

“Perfect for the holiday mood. Love it.”

I don’t know what prompted me to say malai kofta. Even though, malai kofta is my all time favorite dish, I rarely make it at home. To prepare it from scratch, some serious work is involved and if I do all the work, I feel like the romance is gone from experiencing this delicious dish. I prefer to keep it as a standard order for an indulgent mood at an Indian restaurant. Well, whatever prompted me to say malai kofta, I was glad I offered it. I had a chance to make it after longtime. The good thing is it came out well and we had some fun time at the party.

This is how I made the malai kofta on Saturday morning.


Malai Kofta for a Potluck Party of 25

Ingredient List:

For koftas (25×2=50 koftas):
1 gallon, whole milk and 2 limes- to make fresh paneer
5 russet or red potatoes, medium-sized
2 big carrots, grated
1/2 cup, cashews
1/4 cup, golden raisins
1 teaspoon, salt
1/2 teaspoon, chilli powder
To deep-fry the koftas:
1 cup, chapati flour
3 cups, peanut oil

For Malai Sauce:
2 red onions, jumbo sized
10 roma or vine ripe tomatoes, big size
2-inch ginger piece, skin peeled
2 plump garlic cloves, skins removed
1/4 cup, finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup each, cashews and golden raisins
1/4 cup each, fresh paneer and grated fresh coconut
1×1-inch, cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1 tablespoon, coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon each, cumin and fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon each, black pepper and turmeric
2 teaspoons, salt
1 teaspoon, chilli powder
1 cup, whole milk or 1/2 cup, cream

Method:

To prepare malai kofta from scratch, for a party of 25, it would take at least two hours, four burners of heat and decent amount of concentration. We need to make a minimum of 50 koftas and enough malai sauce to accommodate them.

Step 1 – Preparation for Paneer and Sauce: Prepare the ingredients for koftas and for malai sauce by placing four pots on four burners. Cook simultaneously for energy and time efficiency. Here is how I did it.

Burner 1 for Paneer: Pour one gallon of milk in a big, wide pot. Bring the milk to boil. Cut and add limejuice from 2 limes to the boiling milk. Milk starts to cuddle immediately. Stir continuously. When the white, fluffy clouds of paneer get big and separated from watery whey, pour the entire contents into a muslin cloth lined pot. Twist and squeeze the cloth several times to strain the paneer completely whey-free. Hang to drip-dry if possible. Divide the paneer into two parts – 3/4 (for koftas) and 1/4 part (for malai sauce).

Burner 2 for Potatoes: Wash and cut each potato into two. Take potatoes in a pressure-cooker. Add just enough water to cover them. Cook to fork tender. Drain the water. Peel the skins and mash the potatoes coarsely.

Burner 3 for Tomatoes: Place a pot on the stovetop and add a cup of water. Bring water to boil. Add tomatoes and cover the pot. When tomato skin starts to break, turn off the heat. Remove the cover to cool.

Burner 4 for Onions: Peel the skin and cut onions to chunk pieces. Heat a tablespoon of oil in an iron skillet. Add onion, and sauté to brown on high heat, stirring in-between.

Step 2 – Preparation for Koftas and Malai Sauce: Grind the prepared ingredients for koftas and for malai sauce. Connect a food processor and a Sumeet style mixer into power outlets and follow the procedure.

In food processor, add paneer, mashed potatoes, grated carrot, salt, chilli powder, cashews and golden raisins. Pulse few times first and then run the processor to combine the ingredients well. Remove the mix to a bowl. This will be shaped into koftas.

Clean the food processor. Put the tomatoes and blend. Add the water tomatoes simmered in for smooth run. Remove the tomato puree to a bowl.

To the food processor, add roasted onions. Blend into fine paste. Remove the onion paste to a bowl.

In a mixer, take cashews and grind to smooth paste. To this paste, add coconut, paneer, ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro leaves, golden raisins, black peppercorn, cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, cinnamon, and cloves. Grind the ingredients to fine consistency. The masala paste has to be extremely smooth. So run the blender for at least 5 minutes, adding few tablespoons of water when required.

Step 3: Simmer the Malai Sauce and Fry the Koftas

Simmer the Sauce: Place a wide, deep pan on the stove-top. Add and heat a tablespoon of oil. When oil is hot, add the roasted onion paste, masala paste. Saute for five minutes on medium heat, constantly stirring. Add the tomato puree, turmeric, milk or cream and 2 cups of water. Combine well. Have a taste and add salt and chilli powder if required. Cover and simmer the sauce on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring in-between. Avoid high heat and take care not to blacken the sauce at the bottom of the pan. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off the heat.

Make Koftas: In another burner, place a skillet suitable to deep-fry. Add and heat peanut oil. While oil is getting hot, shape the koftas from the paneer mixture into small rounds of 1-inch diameter. Roll the paneer rounds into chapati flour, lightly coating the surface. This will keep the koftas intact during deep-frying process and prevents any breaks or spillages into hot oil. Prepare them all this way and line them in a tray.

When oil is hot, add the paneer rounds in batches and deep-fry to gold color. Remove and place them on a paper covered tray.

Step 4 – Serving Suggestions:

Keep the sauce and koftas separate in two containers until the party time. Because koftas are so delicately made, they tend to disintegrate when soaked in sauce for long period of time. When the food is arranged on the table and just before mealtime, gently place the koftas in rows in malai sauce. Warm the tray in oven for ten minutes on lowest heat setting, if required. Serve with chapati, paratha, naan or rice.

Malai koftas are without a doubt one of the best tasting Bharath recipes out there for parties, and I was glad to have a chance to enjoy them with friends during this holiday season.

I did manage to take few photos of the process. Here they are:


Grated Carrot, Mashed Potato, Freshly Made Paneer, Cashews and Golden Raisins ~ Ingredients for Koftas


Tomato Puree, Masala Paste and Roasted Onion Paste ~ For Malai Sauce


Blending the Ingredients for Koftas in a Food Processor


The Blended Mixture is Shaped into Round Koftas and Covered with Chapati Flour


Deep-fried Koftas


Malai Kofta, Mingling with Others at a Potluck Party


Malai Kofta, One Among Many, Finding its Place in Someone’s Plate

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

Cabbage-Carrot Kosambari

I always thought I would not enjoy eating raw cabbage. That has changed when I tried a kosambari Vijay made last weekend with cabbage and carrots. I was surprised by how much I liked the combination. It is a simple recipe with barely there India-Inspired dressing. Vijay’s curried coleslaw can be prepared hurriedly, looks festive enough for a party and tastes wonderful. Thanks to this treasured trifecta, now, I think cabbage is one of the most versatile and underrated salad ingredients. This changed thought opens up so many cabbage combinations, which I can’t wait to try in future.

Shredded Cabbage and Carrot

Cabbage-Carrot Kosambari
(a side dish, for 1 or 2 meals)

1 cup, shredded cabbage
1 cup, grated carrot
1/2 teaspoon, chat masala powder
1/4 teaspoon each, salt and crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon, limejuice
1 teaspoon, honey

Take cabbage and carrot in a bowl.
Sprinkle chat masala powder, salt and black pepper.
Add limejuice and honey.
Gently combine. Serve.

Cabbage and Carrot Kosambari
Cabbage-Carrot Kosambari ~ for Dinner Today

Kosambari = Salad of South India with “Raw Rocks” attitude.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

Celebrating Autumn Cabbage: 5 C’s = A+

Cabbage
Carrot
Coconut
Chana dal
Curry leaf Tadka

The 5 C’s. When combined and cooked together would create an A+ dish.

This great cabbage curry is a childhood favorite. The refreshing flavor of a full-grown fall cabbage is accentuated by the addition of carrot and coconut sweetness, nutty chana dal crunchiness and curry leaf tadka’s ethereal aroma.

Served over couscous, chapati or rice, the 5 C’s makes a delicious and complete meal. It’s great all on its own too. This quick and easy recipe will be even more convenient if a mandoline or food processor is used to shred the cabbage and carrots.

Cabbage with Carrot Curry

Cabbage and Carrot with Indian Spices
(for two or four – for two or one meal)

Cabbage: Shred 1 small cabbage, about 6 cups
Carrot: Peel the skins and grate carrots, about 2 cups
Coconut: grate the fresh coconut, about 2 tablespoons
Chana dal: 2 tablespoons, Rehydrate by soaking in water for 30mts.
For Curry Leaf Tadka: 1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves and from masala dabba, a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds
Onion: 1, finely chopped
Spices: Turmeric, salt and chilli flakes – to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add curry leaves and toast to gold. Add cumin and mustard seeds and when seeds start to pop, add the onion and chana dal. Saute, stirring often until they are light brown.

Stir in cabbage and carrot. Saute until cabbage has slightly wilted. Add coconut, turmeric, salt and chilli flakes. Mix well and cook for another five minutes on medium heat. Turn off the heat before the whole thing turns into a mush pile. You know what cabbage says – If you want to love cabbage, eat it raw or cook it just right – but don’t over cook it.

Serve the curry hot over couscous/chapati, or with rice and dal for tasty meal.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

The Twin Blessings: Carrot-Coconut Cake

We were invited to a baby shower party last weekend. The blessed friend is a long time reader of Mahanandi recipes. For a present, instead of another plastic thing, I wanted to gift something nourishing for the twins-expecting mother. After giving it a thought for sometime, I came up with an idea. Carrots, coconut and pecans brought in. Carrots and coconut grated, pecans chopped. Baby bananas substituted eggs and to make it truly a party treat, I experimented by adding some condensed milk to the whole-wheat batter.

The effort was a sweet success…some great looking carrot–coconut mini cakes came out of the oven. I didn’t have the heart to spoil their healthy glow with cheesy coverup. I took them to the party, as they are without the phony makeup, hoping they would receive with “I like you very much, just as you are.”

Carrot and Coconut ~ Grated for the Cake
Carrot and Coconut ~ Grated to Greet the Cake Batter

Carrot-Coconut Cake
(the batter makes about 24 mini cakes)

Ingredients:
Special (wet):
Coconut: Break a fresh coconut. Grate the coconut. – 2 cups.
Carrots: Peel the skin and grate the carrots.- 2 cups.
Pecans: Finely chop pecans. – 1 cup.
Bananas: 2 baby or 1 big, ripe one. Mash the bananas to smooth – 1 cup.
Oil: I added peanut oil – 1/2 cup
Condensed milk: 1 cup
Milk : 2 to 3 cups

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Preparation:

Take the dry ingredients listed above in a big bowl. Mix well. Add the wet ingredients – grated carrot, coconut, chopped pecans, mashed banana, condensed milk, milk and oil. Combine thoroughly until well mixed. If the batter looks dry and crumbly, add more milk or water in a slow, steady stream, folding continuously. Consistency of the batter has to be more on the wet side and easily spreadable.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Generously apply ghee or oil to cake pans. Keep them ready on baking trays.

Transfer the batter to the cake pans and fill them upto ¾ths. Place them in oven and bake until the top is light golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the cakes to cool completely and then unmold.

Enjoy the tasty carrot coconut cake, just as they are.

 Carrot Coconut Cake Batter filled Mini Cake Pans
Carrot Coconut Cake Batter

carrot Coconut Mini Cakes ~ Fresh Out of Oven
Carrot Coconut Mini Cakes ~ Fresh Out of Oven

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

Methi Carrot

Homegrown Methi
Homegrown Methi

It was such a beautiful day!

“Pick me, pick me, please,” methi moved.

“Ok darling dainty methi.”

“I want to be with carrot today,” methi murmured.

“That sounds interesting. Your wish is my dish today. :)

“We now have green and gold. To complement, let’s invite the yellow, mellow mung,” methi recommended.

“Some protein? Good thinking. Let’s get all together.”

Plants brought into home. Leaves plucked and washed. Carrots grated. Yellow mung daal soaked in water for about an hour.

When it was time for nastha, kura was made in ten minutes for chapatis. Carrot’s sweetness, mung daal nuttiness combined with methi’s goodness. It was light, yet filling and extremely tasty. Loved my meal today.

Methi, Carrot and Mung Daal
Methi, Carrot and Mung Daal

Methi Carrot
(for one or two meals for two adults)

1 big bunch of fresh methi or about 4 cups of tightly packed methi leaves
3 carrots or 3 cups of grated carrot
1/2 cup yellow mung daal. (Soak in water for about an hour)
Oil, curry leaves, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, salt, red chilli flakes and coconut

******

Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a wide, thick-bottomed skillet.

When oil is hot, add 10 curry leaves, half teaspoon of cumin seeds and pinch of hing. Sauté for a minute or so, until leaves become golden brown.

Add grated carrot, soaked mung daal and methi leaves to the skillet. Mix.

Add half teaspoon each – turmeric, salt and red chilli flakes. And a tablespoon of grated coconut. Mix thoroughly. Cover the skillet with lid. Keep the heat on medium and cook, mixing in-between. The moisture from carrots and methi steams the mung daal to tender. It would take about ten minutes.

Serve this light and delicious Indian dish with chapatis or rotis.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari

Methi Carrot with Chapati
Methi Carrot with Chapati and An Orange ~ Meal Today

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