Categories
Cook Food

ALOO PARATHA

Active Time: 30 Minutes

Full Time: 1 Hour

Yield: Makes 3-4 Servings

INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH:

1 TBSPOIL
2 CUPSWHEAT FLOUR
1 CUPWATER

INGREDIENTS FOR THE STUFFING:

3MASHED POTATOES
1/4 TSPRED CHILLI POWDER
1 TSPCHOPPED GARLIC
2CHOPPED CHILLIS
1 TSPCORIANDER POWDER
2 TBSPCHOPPED CORIANDER
1/2 TSPSALT
1/4 TSPMANGO POWDER

STEPS:

Step One: Making the dough

Mix the oil and wheat flour. Start adding water to knead soft dough. Cover the dough for 15 – 20 minutes.

Step Two: Making the potato stuffing.

Mix the spices and mashed potatoes in a small bowl.

Step Three: Rolling the paratha

When the dough has set, scoop a small amount and roll it into a ball. Now shape it into a circle by rolling it out. To make sure that the edges are perfectly round, use a roller. Add the filling in the centre and wrap the paratha from the left, right, top and bottom.

When you get is a pocket-shape. So flip it around. Continue to use the roller to flatten it out – preferably in a round shape.

Step Four: Cooking the paratha.

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Plop the paratha on the pan and cook for a minute on each side.

Suggested Pairing

Add a cube of butter on the paratha. Serve with yoghurt on the side.

by Aishwarya Khanna

This recipe first appeared on Ghee and Maida.

Categories
Cook Food Gourmet

TWO-LENTIL BURGER Ⓥ

Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Day

Yield: Makes 5

INGREDIENTS:

1 CUPCOOKED KIDNEY BEANS
1 CUPCOOKED GREEN MOONG DAL
1 ONION
1/4 CUPBREADCRUMBS
1 TSPCHOPPED GARLIC
1 CHOPPED GREEN CHILLI
1 BOILED POTATO
1 TBSPNANDO’S PERI-PERI SAUCE
A PINCHOREGANO
A PINCHPARSLEY

STEPS:

Step One: Drying the beans and dal

Heat oil in a pan on medium-flame. Once it begins to sizzle, add onion, garlic, chilli, cooked beans and dal. Using a spatula, mash the mixture so it leaves water. Wait for the liquid to evaporate. This should take 10-12 minutes. Lump the dal and beans together. Remove from pan and let it cool at room temperature.

Step Two: Making the patties

Once it cools down, add oregano, parsley and peri-peri sauce in the mix. Stir. Scoop the mixture with your fingers, and make balls. Flatten them with your palm.

**Refrigerate for 12-14 hours

Step Three: Sautéing in a pan

Take out the patties from the fridge. Coat them in a layer of breadcrumbs on both sides.

Heat oil in a pan on medium-flame. Put in patties one by one for a golden-crisp colour. Do not over-crowd. Add more oil, if needed.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

Categories
Cook Food Fusion

DELHI-NCR MANCHURIAN Ⓥ

I equate Indo-Chinese food with being an eclectic mash-up of Indian flavours and Chinese cooking style.

This manchurian recipe modifies tangra manchurian that is a famous dish in the Indian food scene. The cooking style has been tweaked slightly and spring onion, egg and cabbage eliminated completely though if you are more conscious about satisfying nutrition needs, throw them in. What I wanted to gain out of this cooking experiment was to make something as uncomplicated as possible, and manchurian was the perfect dish because I am slightly insecure about the idea of making manchurian. It’s too blurry in textbook. So I tried to give it a North-Indian touch that usually makes a whole lot of use of raw tomato and onion in food. The end result is that you can never go wrong with tomato and onion, the cornflour slurry adds thickness in the bubbling gravy and soya adds a higher percentage of protein. None of the other fuss about grating vegetables, making manchurian balls, frying and so on. So it is your call. I have also selectively made use of spice powders to elevate the taste palate.

This recipe hits right on the sweet spot.

Active Time: 50 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Yield: Makes 2-3 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 BOXBOILED NUTRELA SOYA CHUNKS
1 CHOPPED ONION
3 CLOVESCHOPPED GARLIC
1 INCHCHOPPED GINGER
1 GREEN CHILLI
1DICED TOMATO
1/2 TSPSUGAR
6 TSPCORNFLOUR STARCH
1 TBSPGREEN CHILLI SAUCE
1/2 TBSPVINEGAR
2 1/2 TBSPSOY SAUCE
1 CUP VEGETABLE BROTH
1/2 CUPCORIANDER
2 TBSP MUSTARD OIL
1 TBSPTOMATO KETCHUP
1 TSPCORIANDER POWDER
1 TSPCHILLI POWDER
SALT TO TASTE

STEPS:

Step One: Sauté soya chunks in a pan

Marinate soya chunks in 4 teaspoons of cornflour and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce.

Heat oil in a pan on medium-flame. Throw in the soya chunks with green chilli sauce. Mix for a few minutes stirring continuously, till the oil is used up.

Remove.

Step Two: Sauté your favourite vegetables.

In the same pan, pour oil again. Add ginger, garlic, chilli, onion and tomato on high-flame. Drizzle half a teaspoon soy sauce, another half of vinegar and all the sugar in it. Stir.

Step Three: Make gravy

Start adding the vegetable broth in small intervals to the pan, along with the remaining teaspoons of cornflour. However do maintain a low ratio of water to vegetables. You may also add tomato ketchup, coriander and spice powders at this point. When the gravy comes to a boil, add the soya chunks. Mix everything till the chunks are coated in gravy properly. Add salt to taste.

Tip: For more gravy, add more water but it is advised not to make a pool of water around the vegetables.

Suggested Pairing

Serve with multigrain noodles, or fried rice.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

Categories
Cook Food

CREAMED CORN SOUP Ⓥ

The quarantine period has awakened my passion for cooking. Today, I have decided to create lots of more vegan recipes, starting with a creamed corn soup. While Native American creamed corn is generally had as a side with fried chicken or potatoes, the idea of creamed corn is such a delicious proposition for vegans, too. So I set about experimenting. From assumption to hypothesis done right: you can turn creamed corn into a soup with the addition of a few more interesting flavours – and best of all, make it vegan.

Active Time: 40 Hour

Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Yield: 1 Bowl

INGREDIENTS

1 BOWLVEGETABLE BROTH
1 CUPMULTIGRAIN NOODLES
1/2 CUPCHOPPED MUSHROOMS
1/4 CUP SPINACH LEAVES
1 ONION
1 CUPCORN KERNELS
A PINCHSALT
A PINCHGARLIC POWDER
A PINCHPEPPER
AS NEEDEDMUSTARD OIL
1 TSPSUGAR
2 TSPCORNFLOUR SYRUP

STEPS

Step One: Boil the noodles and vegetables.

In a pot of hot water and salt, immerse mushroom, spinach, corn and noodles till they are cooked. (While straining the vegetables, collect the water in a bowl as it can be used later as vegetable broth).

Step Two: Make creamed corn.

In a pan, pour a tablespoon of mustard oil. Next, put boiled corn-onion with garlic powder, salt, pepper and sauté on medium-flame. When the onions turn brown, remove vegetables and using a high-speed blender, mix them with a portion of broth to get creamed corn (adjust the thickness of the creamed corn by reducing as much water as you wish).

Step Three: Sauté vegetables and noodles.

Add 5 tablespoons of broth and 2 tablespoons of oil in the hot pan the second time. Put mushrooms, spinach and noodles. Stir for a few seconds on medium-flame till you hear a light sizzle.

Step Three: Pour the creamed corn.

Using a large spoon, drop dollops of creamed corn in the pan. If you want something soupy, adjust the ratio of the broth to creamed corn in Step 2. If you want something creamier, you may add some cornflour syrup as a thickening agent at this point.

Step Three (Optional): Add sugar

Stir everything on medium flame till the soup comes to a boil. While stirring the creamed corn soup, you may add a teaspoon of sugar to enhance its flavour.

Suggested Pairing

Serve soup with multigrain bread.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food

SOYA CHAAP Ⓥ

Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Yield: 3-4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1CHOPPED ONION
1CHOPPED TOMATO
2CHOPPED GREEN CHILLIS
250 GRAMSSOYA CHAAP PIECES
1/2 TSPPEPPERCORNS
1/2 TSPFENNEL SEEDS
1/2 TSPCUMIN SEEDS
1 TSPCHILLI FLAKES
1-2 TSPCHILLI POWDER
1 TSPCUMIN POWDER
1/2 TSPTURMERIC
1 TSPCORIANDER POWDER
1 TSPSALT
2-3 TBSPLEMON JUICE
1/2 TSPPEPPER
1/2 TSPMANGO POWDER

STEPS:

Step One: Prepare the Marinade

There are three parts.

Heat oil in a pan. Add half of the chopped onion and tomato along with a few chopped green chillis. Mix properly while pan is on low-flame. Remove when slightly brown.

In a pestle, grind fennel seeds, cumin seeds, chilli flakes, peppercorns (not too smoothly). Add 1/2 tsp(s) of chilli, coriander, cumin and mango powders respectively. Heat oil in a pan and dry-roast the masala on low-flame, till it turns fragrant.

Mix the masala with caramelised onion-tomato and blend together on high-speed.

Step Two: Marinate the Soya Pieces

In a bowl, combine soya with 1/2 tsp(s) of coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and pepper respectively. Transfer the marinade to the bowl. Rub it gently on the soya pieces.

Step Three: Sauté the Soya

Finally, heat oil on medium flame. Add the remaining onions, tomatoes and chilli. Slide them to one side. Next, combine the marinated soya pieces and mix thoroughly for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat immediately, then sprinkle the remaining chilli powder, salt and lemon juice.

Suggested Pairing

Top the soya chaap with coriander sprigs and serve as it is, or with roti.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 10.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 Servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS:

1 CUP COOKED WHITE/BROWN RICE, 1 CUP CAULIFLOWER FLORETS, 1 CUP GRATED CABBAGE, 150 GRAMS COTTAGE CHEESE, 1 CUP TOMATO PUREE, 1 BAY LEAF, 1 KASMIRI CHILLI, 1 TSP MUSTARD SEEDS, 1 TBSP PAV BHAJI MASALA, 1 TSP GARAM MASALA, 3/4 TBSP CHILLI, 1/2 TBSP TURMERIC, 1/4 TBSP CORIANDER POWDER, 1 TBSP SALT.

STEPS:

Step One: Make the tomato base.

Heat oil in a cooking utensil on medium flame. Add the bay leaf and Kashmiri chilli. Pour the tomato puree and add these spices to the puree: chilli, turmeric, coriander and pav bhaji masala.

Step Two: Add the veggies and protein.

When the tomato puree starts sizzling, add the cauliflower florets, grated cabbage and cubes of cottage cheese. Mix thoroughly. Add rice to the mix. Top it with garam masala and salt. Stir thoroughly.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

Categories
Cook Food Fusion

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 11.

Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 2 Hours

Yield: Makes 5 Servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PUFF PASTRY:

2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, 1 1/4 CUPS FROZEN BUTTER, 1 TSP SALT, 2 CUPS WATER, 1 1/4 CUP SUGAR

INGREDIENTS FOR THE LENTIL FILLING:

350 GRAMS SOAKED GREEN LENTILS, 2 CUPS WATER, 1 CHOPPED ONION, 1 TSP GARLIC-CHILLI PASTE, 2 TSP CHILLI, 1 TSP CORIANDER POWDER, 1 TSP CUMIN POWDER, 1 TSP SALT (AS PER TASTE), 2 TBSP LEMON JUICE, 1 TBSP OIL

STEPS:

Step One: Make the puff pastry.

This step has two parts.

Mix all the dry ingredients with water so that it forms a loose dough. Transfer it on a baking sheet, wrap, and put in the fridge to chill for one hour.

Remove the dough from the baking sheet and put it on a flat surface. Laminate the dough by folding and repeating many times using a spatula or your fist, so that you get at least two to three layers of butter and dough. This is a very important step because when the frozen butter comes in contact with the heat, it will make the dough flaky. Ensure that the butter spreads evenly by folding the dough. Freeze for an extra hour.

To read more about laminating: click here.

Step Two: Make the lentil mix.

Fill water in a pot and put the lentils in. Cook lentils on medium flame till they turn mushy. Drain the water out. Mix all the spices with the lentils.

Step Three: Make the lentil filling.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan on medium flake. Caramelise the onions with the garlic-chilli paste. Add the lentils and mix thoroughly. Squeeze lemon juice. When the mixture looks dry, grind it in a blender.

Step Four: Stuff the filling in the puff pastry.

Remove the dough from the baking sheet. Stretch it out as long as possible. Since this is a homemade pastry, you have to use a rolling pin to make a rectangle. You can divide your pastry into mini rectangles but I used the long rectangle as it is. Spread the lentil filling on it and fold from the sides.

Pro Tip: Make one giant puff on the long rectangle. 🙂

Step Five: Bake.

Pre-heat the oven at 120 C. Transfer the puff pastry on the baking tray. Bake at 200 C for 20 minutes.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

Categories
Food Food Story

THE TALE OF THE INDIAN TIFFIN BOX STAPLE

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I was in fifth grade. I understood the difference between being on the popular side and on the less popular side. I would sit with my sister’s friends during the lunch break because I was more comfortable there. Accidentally, I became popular. We had rigid social cliques, I grant you that, so my friends quickly got jealous or upset. The rules of the culinary world are not any different. If something becomes mainstream, it straightforwardly receives a mixed reaction in our country. But if something is native, it cannot make a sound.

To the naked eye, it looks like some dishes have gained more visibility in mainstream food culture. The onion-tomato sauce has been the cult-favourite of the Indian masses in the modern culinary climate. But, today, it is finally being acknowledged that the ingredients used to make these world-famous and fingerlicking curries are not actually native to India. They have increased in popularity as migration increased.

From north to south – and east to west – flavours and cultures combine through indigenous and foreign influences. Deliciousness is a major priority in demand so everything served is uber tasty. But in our food culture, the popular ingredients do not trace back to our local produce.

One major event has happened. We are blushingly insecure about our regional dishes so we brush any conversation surrounding them under the carpet. In the same measure, we have somehow absorbed ourselves quite mindlessly in meeting the demands of the new food culture. More and more people have taken the known and the popular flavours such as murgh makhani, butter naan, shahi paneer and biryani to bring it on people’s plates outside to satiate their taste buds.

Why aren’t we taking away things that can be at par with porridge and smoothie bowls? We do have our own versions that will survive competition.

Let’s take an example.

Upma is a dish that is native to the southern part of India because the recipe has existed in India for many years. Traditionally, it was made with rice which is believed to have originated in India 35 million years back.

It is a kind of semolina-based porridge: a classic idea of breakfast. Upma has definitely given locals a run for their money in India. The savory dish has been relegated to the cult status by office-goers using the readymade semolina-based porridge mix. Hence the name: tiffin box staple.

I know as a matter of fact that most of the people who settle down outside and start an Indian restaurant miss authentic Indian food. But they have bowed down to the pressures of acclimatising so don’t understand the point of bringing it back. Instead, pulling an Aman from the film kal ho naa ho seems like a vital option to save an Indian restaurant from fading out in New York due to the burden of debt. Aman did what any amateur millennial restaurant consultant would: introduce dal makhani, butter chicken and butter naan.

On foreign turf, upma is less popular because Indian restaurants have not introduced it in their menus. During my four year stint in Edinburgh, I did not see it anywhere except on the shelves of South Asian supermarkets. It has been sidelined in popular Indian food culture. Hence, it barely has visibility among other tiffin ideas that include porridge, coffee, sandwiches and fruit. In fact, dadi from the same bollywood hit film keeps saying that she misses authentic Indian food but all she is familiar with is aloo ke paranthe.

The conventional understanding of upma is that it is made with semolina. But many of the regions in the south have actually professed that the traditional upma is made using coarse rice flour. It can be served for breakfast lunch and dinner.

Arisi upma in Tamil Nadu and akki tari uppittu in southern Karnataka, this traditional upma version is made with raw rice and is quite different from the more popular semolina version both in terms of flavour and texture.

Photo by SouthIndian Veg Recipes on YouTube

It can be hard to recognise these dishes in the food scene. Even if they are present, on doing a taste test, the expectations are failed.

Unfortunately, the only time that I tasted something so delectable that I daydreamed of it was during my primary school years when a man stationed himself on our school grounds during the lunch break. He rode with a large steel pot on his bicycle everyday, took out a large ladle from his bag and dipped it in a mustard-coloured curry which we call sambhar. While I have had many, many versions of sambhar since then, his food has its own place. Even the serving style, wherein he poured the sambhar in a leaf bowl, made its mark. I am sure that inspite of his meals being so popular, they stayed true to its native element.

I don’t say that native cuisine is dead. It can give stiff competition to dishes which have been etched in our memory through witnessing it in our mainstream food culture. So at least try to share the authentic taste of regional flavours instead of accepting defeat.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh.

Categories
Cook Food

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 8. Ⓥ

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 Servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SCRAMBLE:

5-6 CUBED SAUTEED OR DEEP-FRIED TOFU, 1/4 BOWL OF CHOPPED ONIONS, 1/4 BOWL OF TOMATOES, 1 KASHMIRI CHILLI

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MASALA:

1/2 TSP CHILLI FLAKES, 1/2 TSP CORIANDER POWDER, 1/2 TSP CUMIN POWDER, 1/2 TSP SALT, 1/2 TSP TURMERIC, 1/2 TSP PEPPERCORNS, 1 TSP GINGER-GARLIC PASTE, 1/4 CINNAMON STICK, 2 CLOVES, 1/2 LEMON

STEPS:

Step One: Deep-fry tofu.

In a mixing bowl, rub the tofu with ginger-garlic paste. Heat oil in a cooking vessel. Start adding the tofu pieces. Flip them on all sides till they turn golden. Do not let the pieces stick to the bottom of the vessel or they can burn.

Learn how to make homemade tofu.

Step Two: Ground the spices.

Grind all the spices and half of the ginger-garlic paste in a pestle. Heat a pan on low-flame. Put the masala in the pan and shake it so that large debris breaks down; remove after twenty seconds.

Step Three: Grind tomatoes and onions.

In a blender, mix onions, tomatoes, kashmiri chilli flake and leftover garlic-ginger paste.

Step Four: Sauté everything.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the deep-fried tofu, the grounded paste, onions and tomatoes. Squeeze lemon juice.

Suggested Pairing:

In India, a common breakfast is egg or cottage cheese scramble with paratha. Try tofu scramble with a flaky homemade paratha.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food

QUARANTINE COOKING EXPERIMENT 4. Ⓥ

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings.

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS: 15 CHERRIES, 1 GULKAND PAAN, 7-8 ALMONDS, 7-8 CASHEWS, 1 PIECE OF DARK CHOCOLATE

Step One: Separate the betel leaf and silver coating from the gulkand extract. Keep it aside.

Step Two: Use a small blender or knife to chop almonds and cashews.

Step Three: In a mortar, put all the cherries and pestle them into a gooey liquid paste for 3-5 minutes. Add chopped almonds and cashews. Continue grinding the paste.

Step Four: Heat a pan on medium-flame. Pour the paste into it with dark chocolate and stir occasionally for 5 minutes until it melts.

Step Five: Finally switch off the heat. Let the jam cool and transfer into a dipping bowl. Serve with toast or cookies and rice cakes.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Aishwarya Khanna covers food, films and travel on her website: ghee and maida. Please see this section to know more about her.