Friday, February 27, 2009

Methi Matar Malai

I have always preferred Non-veg over Veg Food in eating out , but when it comes to methi malai matar, I couldnt resist myself from gorging this delicious creamy dish.

I googled and Found out many recipes on Methi Malai Matar .However this got me real intrigued .This is Vee’s recipes Methi Matar Malai .
I have changed certain ingredients as I was little short of those, but next time I am going to add them also (Hope Vee doesn’t mind that)
I preferred fresh Methi leaves over dried or known as Kasuri methi leaves.For that matter methi leaves need to be blanched before being used in the gravy.

I think there is a difference the way this dish is being cooked in Rajasthan and in UP.
This is very similar to the way our neighbourhood aunt, a typical UPian, used to make, she would generally send us this dish on Sundays, and she would insist, we should ate this with roti or parathas.
Then there were occasion like Marriage or birthday celebrations in the neighbourhood when we would be invited and we would end up eating all vegetarian food .It was a real treat for us eating these delicious vegetarian food or dishes.
Then there are other delicious vegetarian dish which are rich and creamy like paneer makhni,shaak aloo,palaak paneer and kashmiri dum aloo to name a few, that we always like to gorge on .

being a Non-vegetarian ,you can say I always have a soft corner for these delicious ,spicy and creamy dishes.
So Let’s go to the recipe for methi malai matar , which I adapted from the above link.

Methi malai matar
Recipe requirements
1 bunch of methi leaves
1 cup of matar/peas
1 onion chopped
1 tsp of turmeric powder
3-4 green chilly or 1 tsp of red pepper powder
1 cup of milk
3-4 tbs of cream or half cup of fresh home made malai
4 tbs of mustard oil
Heat up kadhai, add oil
Fry the onions till translucent or the rawness is gone.
Add the peas/matar, and dry masala like turmeric powder, red pepper powder or green chilly.
Blanch the methi leaves for few mintues in another saucepan.
(Cook the cleaned leaves with little water for 3-4 mints till the leaves shrink in volume) and then add to the above , stir fry for 4 mints .
You can add in dried methi leaves or kasuri methi also.
Now add up milk (add according to the preference of gravy, for thick add less).
You may add in fresh home made malai or cream for that extra richness and trust me this bring out the real taste of the dish ,so just dont compromise on that.
Cook the gravy for 5-6 mints till the peas are cooked.Frozen peas will take little less time
Add up few tsp of ghee and serve with the roti.
1-I have added little sugar to the above gravy also to balance the bitterness of methi leaves.
2-Yogurt(home made yogurt) is absolutely no if you are adding milk to the gravy , it will turn out a disaster.
If you feel you can add thick creamy yogurt and little bit of water for milk replacement , but I am not so sure how it will taste with methi.

Happy cooking Friends

Monday, February 23, 2009

Koraishutir Porotha (Pea Parathas ) and Lauki Raita

No matter how hard I try, there are certain situations, I feel quite stuck up.I find it rather tight to go beyond my limitations, don’t know if this is very me or just a passing phase of my life.
How do you deal with the situations when you have no clue about it and even no solutions?
Do you leave it to God and relax thinking positively that this phase will pass out soon.
I think I have realized and found out that
At this crucial time, you need a “soulmate”, a person whom you can connect to and share your feelings.”Soulmates” are what we need to share our deepest thoughts and look for solutions of the critical issues of life.
They can be our support system when we fall back, even share ups and downs of life.
I think soulmate can be your lover, husband, friend, guide or a Guru.
Anyone who can listen to you and make you feel at ease can be your soulmate also.
And when your life parter or other half is your soulmate, you don’t need anyone else.That will be the best thing that can happen to you!!
So ,if you are single then look for the person who can be your soulmate rather than on other superficial aspects of life viz beauty or money!!
Just be more open and connect to the one you want to share your feelings and rest should be taken care by itself!!

Now to cooking food, after food for soul and mind, its time to fill in our empty stomach.

Koraishutir porotha and lao raita makes excellent breakfast or if you want can make it excellent lunch as well, what ever you wish its upto you.

Koraishutir porotha
½ kg of fresh pea pods, deshell the peas and it would make upto 2-3 cups of peas roughly
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 dry red pepper
Pinch of hing (asfoetida)
Salt as per taste
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tsp of oil
Salt as per taste
Deshell the peas, wash them and boil them for 3-4 mints.
Make a coarse paste of peas in mixer
In a kadhai, when hot add oil; temper it with dry red pepper and hing at low.
Now add this coarse paste to it and stir fry for few mintues.
Add all the dry masala and salt.
Fry the paste for 5-7 mints at med high.
Now take out in plate and let it cool.
Make small round balls out of it.
Knead the dough with water and oil.
Leave the dough for few mintues or better covered. And at the time of making parathas, again knead them well.
Now divide the dough into equal parts and roll it in palms to form a smooth round.
Fill the pea Paste inside the dough rounds and roll them to large rounds and shape up like rotis.
Its better to slightly toast the rounds on hot Tava/skillet for better frying.
Add the refined oil few tsp by the sides of parathas, fry them on both side and serve hot.
This coarse paste can also be used for making koraishutir luchi also , just stuff in and roll out like luchi and deep fry in hot oil.
My husband and in-laws prefer the porotha over luchi , so I came up with Koraishutir porotha instead of luchi !
I have found that when Parathas are eaten with a bowl of yogurt, the pleasure of eating increases.

This time however I tried it with Lauki raita.It came out well ,was a great combo meal for us.
Lauki Raita

Cut bottle gourd and Grate it evenly.
In a deep bottom pan slightly add water, salt as per taste and cover, cook for few mintues , make sure the water dries up completely and the grated bottle gourd doesn’t stick to the bottom of pan.
Now cool and store in refrigerator, it stays fresh for 2-3 days.
When required take out and gently whisk in with home made fresh yogurt, add some salt, black pepper powder, cumin powder.
This is one of my Fav "raita" as it is no oil and low calorie yogurt preparation.
Happy cooking friends

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gota Sheddu

Before I start about Gota Sheddu , I must mention that blogging about food is difficult , “you” are the central performing person , starting from chopping and cooking , preparing the table ,placing the ceramics or utensils ,then angling to take snaps(mind you the family is waiting patiently to be served also in the meantime) , and when you are done taking pictures , you then clean your own mess also.
Then you write about the recipe even edit it many times , edit the pictures, choose the best ones , upload to blogger and then publish your post.So sometimes when You miss out one line… ..Is it a fault? Many will think so, But I think to "err is human".

Hope readers understand this and who are already bloggers, they know it very well.
I mean upto a ceratin point not everybody can be just perfect, let perfectionist be someone Like Amir Khan and take all the applause for that also!!

Well I leave it to that only and must tell you one very interesting fact, which is the main part of this post .This is about Saraswati Puja or Basant Panchmi.

I have often eaten Gota Sheddu fondly with my maa, the day after saraswati puja, never realized that this is a part of a ritual until I got married and came to know about this ritual of Shitol Shashti meaning the shashti or 6th day that brings calmness in family.
Gota means "whole", Sheddu means "boiled" in Bengali, so that makes the dal that is cooked with whole vegetables but without any proper seasoning or onion, ginger or garlic.
The dal is Niramish(vegetarian)and usually the tempering is done with few fennel seeds (Mouri) or cumin seeds.This is how we prepare the dal.
Along with the gota sheddu , me and maa also prepared some more goodies to mark this ritual.we have prepared lao bori ,phulkopir torkari,aloo bhaja,papad bhaja,Gulab jamun,Chatni and payesh.These all dishes are literally vegetarian and that is what is more important , cooking vegetarian meal on Saraswati Puja and eating them the next day.

Gota sheddo

Recipe requirements
1 cup of black urad dal/karai dal
1 tsp of turmeric powder(holod goron)
1 tsp of red pepper powder(lal lonka goron) optional and if you are adding green chilly then its not needed ...
1 tsp of cumin powder(jeere goron)
Vegetables at least five types, that can be any vegetables(and this is what is important while preparing Gota Sheddu )
Whole peas with pods (motorshuti) 10-12
Whole small/baby potatoes 10
Whole sheem 10
Whole green chilly(kancha lonka) 5-6
Whole small brinjal(begun) 5-6

Pressure cook the urad dal.
Now in a deep bottom pan add in the vegetables with the cooked dal.
Add water enough, completely submerge the vegetables in water.
Now cover and cook, let it simmer there till the vegetables are well cooked.
Alternately you can cook the dal and the vegetables together in a pressure cooker.Just one whistle at high and then let it simmer at low for 5-8 mints.Open when the pressure subside.

Temper the cooked dal.

Heat up few tsp of mustard oil,
Add in some cumin seeds(jeere) and fennel seeds(mouri)
Let it splutter and then temper the dal with it. Cook for few minutes till the flavor gets incorporated.

One thing which should be kept in mind is that the combination of vegetables should be odd that is Bejor or 5 vegetables.May be sometimes 7 vegetables depending upon the vegetables you get in your place.

Gota Sheddo is a Niramish Preparation so strictly no use of ginger , garlic and onion.Sometimes I have been told that some families , donot add any turmeric powder even.

Usually Gota sheddu is eaten the next day after Saraswati Puja.
This is also eaten with the cooled and cooked rice that is prepared the day before, usually in nights.

This is a ritual observed by married Bengali ladies and is known here as Shitol Shashti.

My Ma-in-Law  usually prepares five types of food on Saraswati Puja (that includes a dal, fry or bhaja, subzi or torkari , payesh and chatni and the food is mainly vegetarian or Niramish) and the next day we observe this ritual of Shitol Shashti.

Then on my parents’ side, Gota sheddu is made on Saraswati puja and the next day it’s eaten with cool and cooked rice prepared the night before.
The basic funda is to eat the food that is made before also called as bashi Khabar in Bengali.

I really don’t know the exact origin of this fast or ritual, but it’s said that this is observed for the goodness of children and spouse!!!

Updated to include this picture

Made Gota sheddo with the vegetables that we get here in foreign land-
5  Mushroom, about 5-7 Beans, 5-7 Runner Beans, 5-7 Baby Potatoes, 5-7 Baby carrots,5 Green Chilly and 5-7 Mangetouts/snow peas.Combination of 7 vegetables as we need to cook bejor numbers of vegetables.

Ok friends , keep cooking delicious food and enjoy with your loved ones.