Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Walnut Dip

While accompanying my little one to her dance workshop, I met this very interesting lady, Poyani Mehta. She introduced me to this lovely and healthy dip.

Ingredients :
1 cup walnuts
1 cup yoghurt
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped(not more)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation :
Blend all the ingredients to a smooth blend in a blender (that was a tongue twister was it not!). Chill and serve with nachos or any finger foods during cocktail parties or simply apply it on garlic bread or any other bread to make it more fun and tasty.

Thank you Poyani - the name is a tribute to Narsee Mehta who penned poems on the Lily, Poyani

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ratatouille....the way Deepti likes it

I had heard about the Ratatouille but it was only in the movie. And when she said I make it, I couldn't resist exclaiming,"Really ? how?!'

And here's how...
Ingredients :
1 zucchini diced
1 red and 1 small bell pepper diced
1 aubergine (bharta baingan works just fine) diced
Cheese (if you are not too worried about calories)
1 big onion diced
Tomato (1 cup puree, and 1 coarsely chopped)
Herbs - thyme, oregano, basil, parsley...I also like mine with Rosemary

Its extremely simple 

1.       1 zucchini, stir fry in olive oil (3/4 tsp) for 5mins. Add salt and pepper. Don’t cover when cooking. Keep it aside
2.       Then repeat the same with eggplant only.
3.       Then capsicum (1 red 1 yellow for colour)
4.       Then in olive oil, put cut 2 garlic pods. Add 2 diced onions
5.       When they turn brown add 1 tomato puree and 1 diced tomato
6.       Then add the zucchini, eggplant and pepper. Cook and cover for 20-25mins till its all well cooked. Keep stirring in between.
7.       Add oregano, basil, thyme and parsley towards the last 5mins.
8.       Grated cheese if needed

While some sites say you can do all veggies together upfront, Step 1,2,3 help retain some original taste in each. And like I said, it is how Deepti likes hers, she adds an extra tomato and onion

I tried it and we all loved it....its all about change is it not?!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Yum Dum Bhatkali Biryani - courtesy the Manelkars

There is nothing like a good 'Bhatkali biryani' on a day when you can't stop thinking about food.
The biryani brings to mind the stories that my mum always told me about her younger days. Belonging to a family of rich educated business people, for her, indulgence was nothing new. Her grandfather who had rich and fine tastes (and of course the affluence to support it) ; arranged for chefs specializing in local cuisines, to come over, stay in the out-house and create lip-smacking cuisine for the family. Ah! that was life.

Now, almost 50 yrs hence, I used the same recipe, handed down to me by my mum to create the very finger-licking biryani.

And for those who would love to try it ; here it is :

500 gm basmati / any long grained fragrant biryani rice

For the Dry Masala :
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp jeera
8 methi seeds
1 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp khus khus
4 cloves
1.5 inch cinnamon
2 pepper corns
1/2 tsp anise seed 
4-5 cashewnuts
8 red chillies
Dry roast all these 11 ingredients and after cooling, grind to fine powder. Let us call this (A)

Now ;
Dry roast 2 diced onions , 6 garlic cloves and grind them to a fine powder. Let us call this (B)

Fry 4 onions cut into strips add 4 green chillies, coriander leaves, 2 tomatoes finely sliced. Add (A) and (B). Once the tomatoes are cooked well, add chicken / boiled veggies/ prawns (whatever you prefer) to this masala and cook until the meat is well cooked.

Meanwhile ; 
Take ghee, add tej pata, cloves 2, 1.5 inch dalchini and rice. Lightly fry, add twice the quantity of water and boil until done.

Now for the Dum part ;
Layer the rice and masala and cook covered for awhile (Dum cooking). If you don't care much for the dum , you can simply eat the rice topped with the gravy...it takes equally yummy.

And, thank the 'Bhatkali Naytes' for this delectable dish.....ya ya I know ; it's 50 yrs since then , but its the thought that counts :)