Friday, February 22, 2008

Potato Dolma Curry

I found this recipe in a magazine years ago, when I didn't cook so much. The pictures always tempted me but at that time the complex recipe intimidated my can't-boil-an-egg self. I always carried it around though waiting for the perfect occasion. At one party where I was forced to put out all vegetarian fare, I did try this and it was a success.

According to my one and half minute research, 'Dolma' is a Turkish dish from where it originated, but it is found all over the Arab world.Each country has its particular way of cooking.For instance; the Turks line the base of the pot with cleaned pigs trotters, the Lebanese with lamb chops, while the Jordanians make each Dolma so small, each one a mouthful.Basically any vegetable that can be stuffed is used; usually onions, vine leaves, courgettes, tomatoes and green peppers.Once the vegetables are stuffed they can be frozen until they are needed.
So you could say this is Stuffed Potato Curry, only I like saying Dolma. It sounds interesting and decadent.

Its a calorie laden, rich curry, and a little reminiscent of the sweetish Malai Kofta. Those who like the sweet-savory flavors will definitely enjoy this. It does have a lot of ingredients and requires some work but the results are so worth it.

So here goes
3-4 medium size potatoes

For the filling
Half a cup sweet peas-boiled and mashed lightly
2 tbsp paneer- crumbled
2 tbsp khoya - crumbled
1 tsp pistachios - chopped
1 tsp almonds - chopped
1 tsp white jeera powder - roasted
1/2 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste

For the gravy
1 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
2 medium size onions, sliced
1 tbsp green/red chilli paste
1 tbsp cashewnut paste
4 green cardommoms
1 peice of cinnamon
2 tbsp raisin
2 tbsp khoya
1/2 hung curd
Take some curd and tie it up in a muslin cloth and leave it for 3-4 hours. Once all the water drains out you will be left with thick curds.
Salt and sugar to taste

Mix all the ingredients for the filling and keep aside.
Boil the potatoes till they are soft enough to carve but firm enough to hold their shape. Cut them in halves and scoop out the centre of the potato to create a hollow space for the filling. Rub a little salt on the insides. Put the filling in and pack it really tight. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the stuffed potatoes lightly till they develop a crisp exterior. Make sure to move them around carefully so the the filling doesn't fall out. For the curry, fry the onions till they look light brown. Do not burn or caramelize them. The khoya is already sweet and caramelized onions will turn this into dessert. Add the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, ginger paste, chili paste and fry for a while. Let the mixture cool for a while and then blend with the curds, khoya, raisins and cashew paste. Add some water. Heat the mixture again until its cooked thoroughly and pour over the fried,stuffed potatoes. Cover the pan and simmer till potatoes are cooked.
I like this curry with roti or naan. the curry is not thin enough to be had with rice, although you could make it thinner.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Veggie Soft Tacos

Here's a simple recipe to make Veggie. tacos.
If you use Fajita size tortillas, 6-8 tacos can be made with the measures mentioned below.

6-8 Flour Tortillas (Taco size tortillas are very big, so I normally use Fajita size)
1 LB Vegetarian refried beans
1 packet of taco seasoning mix
2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1/2 cup Chopped onion
1 green chili- finely chopped

For garnishing:
Shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and green pepper, Sour cream, shredded Mexican cheese, taco sauce

Heat oil (use very little oil- about 2 t-spoons) in a pan.
Add chopped onions and green chili, saute' until onion become brown.
Add tomato sauce, refried beans and taco seasoning mix, mix well and boil.
(Make sure not to add a lot of tomato sauce so that the filling does not become a thin paste.)

Heat both sides of tortilla on a skillet with little butter.
Spread little sour cream on the tortilla and then spread the filling on the tortilla (in the middle portion) . Do not spread the filling near the edges.
Garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green pepper, shredded Mexican cheese and sour cream.
Add some taco sauce on the top and then fold the edges of the tortilla on top of the filling.
If you want to make it little crispy, heat the tortilla for a longer time.
Serve hot.

Anda paratha

I had some leftover hard boiled eggs the other day and wasn't in the mood for your regular egg salad. So I did my own variation of it and put it in stuffed paratha for breakfast. It turned out pretty good, the egg filling was spicy enough to hold its own. I didn't even need dahi with it. Just a dollop of melting butter.

Paratha stuffing

3-4 hard boiled eggs
1 bay leaf
1 small onion
1 clove garlic grated
1 green chilli, chopped fine
a little coriander leaves, chopped fine
a little ketchup
salt-pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 pinches chaat masala

Boil the eggs, peel them and set them aside to cool. When they are completely cool, grate them. In a pan heat some oil, add the bay leaf and the onion. Cook the onion for a short time till it turns translucent. Try not to overcook it. Just a little bit so that its not completely raw in the stuffing. Add the grated ginger and let it cook slightly. Let the onions-ginger cool. Take the bay leaf out and add it to the grated eggs. Add the rest of the spices, green chilli, coriander leaves, salt-pepper and ketchup. I like the tomatoey taste but if it makes the stuffing difficult to roll, leave it out and serve ketchup later. Put the stuffing in the paratha dough and carefully roll it out.
Serve hot.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Methi Malai Matar

Despite the decadent sounding name this is actually pretty healthy. There's no real malai but there is milk. Ok, there is some malai (look at the title) but you can easily skip that step for a nutritious everyday sabji. I wasn't too keen on methi as a kid and my mom used this recipe to get me to start eating leafy greens and I love methi in all forms now. I have this friend who doesn't cook at all, and I mean at all. So for his sake, I'm going to try and make the recipe as idiot proof as possible.

2 cups methi(fenugreek) leaves
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tablespoon oil
a pinch of mustard seeds
a pinch of jeera
a pinch of turmeric powder
a pinch of hing(asafeotida)
1 medium onion, cut really fine
1 tomato, cubed
1 cup peas
1 cup milk
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 stick of cinnamon
2-3 cardommom pods
chilli powder, salt to taste

In a pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and jeera. When the seeds start to splutter, add the turmeric, hing, cinnamon stick and cardommom pods. Then add the onion and saute till golden brown. Once the onion changes color, add the ginger-garlic paste and cook till looses that raw smell. Add tomato and methi leaves. Saute for a minute till methi leaves get soggy and cook down. If you are using fresh peas then add them at this stage, in case of frozen peas wait till the methi is cooked. Then add the milk, garam masala powder, chilli powder and salt. Stir this together. Cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes. The milk will evaporate and make a rich green curry. My mom used to serve it with a little bit of malai on top of the sabji but you can skip it. Garnish with more tomato peices for a little color and serve hot with rice or roti.

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