Friday, February 13, 2015

Gajar Methi aur Mutter ke Sukhi Sabzi


Gajar Methi aur Mutter ke Sukhi Sabzi
Gajar Methi aur Mutter ke Sukhi Sabzi is a very simple and common North Indian dish prepared during the winter months. Winter is one season where there is an abundance of fresh vegetables like Carrots (The red ones), Green Peas, Spinach, Methi, Suva(Dill), Raddish, Sarson ka Saag(Mustard greens)  Garlic Greens, Bhatua saag, etc...etc... and the best thing is that the recipies are really basic and simple. These days mostly all vegetables are available throughout the year thanks to the hi - tech
cold storage and various methods of food processing...but believe me nothing can beat the taste of fresh produce.


Gajar Methi aur Mutter ke Sukhi Sabzi.....Don't go by the long name, its a really short and healthy dish. Its basically a stir fry prepared with red carrots which are only available during these winter months along with Methi (Fenugreek greens) and Green Peas. Gajar is the Hindi name for Carrots, while Methi is the Hindi name for Fenugreek and Peas are known as Muttar in Hindi.

Ingredients

Gajar (Carrots) - 4-5 medium size.
Mutter (Green Peas Shelled) - 1 cup (I used frozen ones)
Methi (Green Fenugreek) - 1 bunch (Approximately 2 cups lightly packed)
Onion, chopped - 1 medium
Garlic cloves, chopped - 2-3
Green chilies - 2
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon
Mustard oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Method

Wash and Peal carrots and chop them horizontally into 4 mm thick slices. Clean and wash the methi leaves thoroughly under running water to get rid of any soil particles, chop them roughly. I usually keep the tender stem as its quite flavorful. Defrost the green peas as per package instruction if using frozen ones.



Heat mustard oil in a kadhai and add the chopped onion and garlic, fry for 2-3 minutes until they start turning brown. Add the chopped carrots, mix well and add the shelled green peas, mix well let it cook for a minute or two.

   

Add the turmeric powder, along with red chili powder and coriander powder, mix well, cook for 2 minutes and add salt, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.



Now add the chopped methi leaves, mix well and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.(Sorry for missing out on this picture) Once the Methi leaves have wilted add broken green chillis, mix well cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, keep checking so that they don't stick to the kadhai. By any chance if the vegetables tend to get dry and start sticking to the bottom, just add a tablespoon or two of water and cook.



Once the carrots and peas are well done turn off the flame.


Serve Gajar Methi aur Mutter ke Sukhi Sabzi along with grama garam ghee chupdi chapatis (we like to apply a thin coat of desi ghee on the chapatis) or paratha.


 Notes

This dish tastes best with the Red Carrots but can also be prepared with regular orange carrots too.

I have used Mustard oil to prepare this dish but you can use any regular cooking oil which is used at your home. In our home we like to cook vegetables, especially leafy greens in mustard oil. If you want to use mustard oil, then first heat it up to its smoking point, turn off the flame and let it cool for 2-3 minutes, after this you can continue cooking like any other cooking oil.

I have not added any water while making this dish but if you feel its getting too dry or sticking to the bottom of the kadhai then add a couple of tablespoons of water.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homemade Strawberry Sauce


Homemade Strawberry Sauce - A very delicious and irresistible sauce prepared with fresh strawberries, its really simple and can be put together in no time. Its a versatile sauce which can be used as a topping over ice creams and yogurt, or just as a sauce over your cakes, pancakes, waffles or just have a spoonful of it...


Strawberries are an all time favorite, I just cant resist these juicy red berries, just love munching on them fresh or enjoy them in our smoothies, or as a topping over Ice creams. My son loves to have it with yogurt and believe me that's his favorite dessert and its healthy too.


These bright red and juicy fruit is not only good to taste but is an excellent source of Vitamin C and K, rich in fiber and folic acid, manganese and potassium. They are rich in antioxidants and contain Flavanoids..Strawberries being rich in fiber are believed to aid digestive ailments, they are used by many for teeth whitening and ease skin irritation.


Coming back to to the Strawberry Sauce, I learnt this from my friend Ina who is from Ukraine, a couple of years ago she got me a bottle of this from her home town and since them I am in love with it. Her mom grew strawberries in there backyard and just before the strawberry season would get over they used to make this sauce and preserve it for later use.      


Here is a simple and easy recipe for Homemade Strawberry Sauce -

Ingredients

Strawberry, (chopped) - 4 cups
White granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup (you may need to adjust this according to the sweetness of the Strawberries)
Light brown sugar- 1 tablespoon
Lemon juice - 2 teaspoons
Salt - 1/4th teaspoon

Method

Wash and pat dry the strawberries, remove the green stalk and chop them (I just quartered them)


Place 3 cups of strawberries in a pan and add sugar and lemon juice, mix well and leave it for half an hour. By the time you are back most of the sugar would have dissolved leaving behind a nice thick pinkish strawberry flavored syrup.



In the mean while make a puree of the remaining 1 cup of chopped strawberry along with the light brown sugar. Do not add water while making the puree and don't worry if there are little chunks in the puree.



Once the strawberries have marinated in the sugar, salt and lime juice, place the pan on the gas stove and let the mixture simmer over medium heat. Add the strawberry puree, mix well and continue cooking on medium heat.



Please keep stirring while the strawberries are cooking, in another 3-4 minutes the sauce will thicken and the strawberries will be well done.


Turn off the heat and immediately remove the pan from the heat to avoid over cooking. Let the sauce cool before serving or storing. 


This sauce can easily be stored in the refrigerator for upto a week to 10 days without using any preservatives in a clean air tight jar. 


Notes:

Choose berries which are fresh, firm, plump and bright red in colour.

I have  used 1/2 cup of sugar as my strawberries were quite sweet but it is always better to taste the berries and adjust the proportion of sugar according to personal taste.

While making the puree I have used brown sugar but you could always replace it with regular white sugar.

I would recommend marinating and making this sauce in the same pan or pot and if possible use a nonstick heavy bottom pan. 






Tuesday, February 3, 2015

DinnerTime ME - My Experience and views.

I love food and enjoy every aspect of it, planning daily meals, grocery shopping, trying out a new recipe or maybe just tweaking a good old tried and tested recipe. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine sent across the DinnerTime meal box to me and that's when I tried it.
Though I was aware of this Concept (thanks to social media) but had never thought of giving it a try as our meals are mostly Indian Vegetarian and occasionally we include Chicken, Eggs and Fish.



DinnerTime Enterprise Ltd. is a Swedish company founded a couple of years ago and operates In UAE under the name DinnerTime ME. DinnerTime works on the concept "home cooking made easy" where at the beginning of every week (which for us in UAE is Sunday) you receive the Dinnertime box which contains  vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish and dry ingredients along with an easy to follow recipe booklet. 

Here is a picture of the ingredients which came in the meal box.



The DinnerTime box which I received included the ingredients required for - Meaty Party Pasta, Roast Chicken Pumpkin and Apple Soup, Veggie Gratin, White Fish and Lemon Vinaigrette along with a Double Apple Apple Pie. All the fresh produce along with dry ingredients came well packed in a cardboard box while the meat, and dairy products came in a thermal bag along with a ice pack. The Booklet which I received had a list of ingredients which were provided by DinnerTime and also mentioned the list of ingredients to have at home (almost all were available in my kitchen cupboard), along with the storage instructions for the ingredients. Not to forget the food box came along with a set of measurement cup and spoons from Ikea.
Most of the Ingredients were from Choitrams, (as the meat, fish, cheese came with the best before sticker from Choitram), The fruits and vegetables were fresh and nice.

Here are few of the pictures which I took, for the dishes which I prepared....

White Fish and Lemon Vinaigrette was the first recipe which I tried from the DinnerTime menu...it turned out nice, The recipe was simple and quick, I actually loved the Vinaigrette and have been preparing it quite often. The recipe suggested serving the fish along with boiled potato wedges which I replaced with pan grilled potato wedges seasoned with sea salt and freshly crushed pepper.



Roast Chicken Pumpkin and Apple Soup - This was the best dish as it was different from the regular Pumpkin soup that we have, I loved the addition of roasted green apples. Initially I was not very sure how it would taste but then I just followed the recipe and it was awesome!! My son loved it...so that's the winner. I loved the Pesto too and it tasted great with the soup.



Roasted chicken was supposed to be a part of the Roast Chicken Pumpkin and Apple Soup, as we are mostly vegetarian and my hubby is a pure vegetarian so I made this Garlic and Lemon grilled Chicken and served it separately along with the soup and crusty bread.



Coriander Pesto - This was nice n flavorful, not only did it go well with the soup but also tasted great with the grilled chicken. 



Double Apple Apple Pie - The recipe was awesome and I did follow it for the filling but preferred making it the traditional way, with the crust and layered the top with sliced apples. 


As I said earlier we are more of a Vegetarian family and avoid Red meat so I skipped the Meaty Party Pasta instead made a vegetarian version with mushrooms and bell peppers and broccoli. 
Some how I missed out on the picture of the Veggie Gratin which was actually nice just with the broccoli, cauliflower and roasted cashew made in white sauce. I prepared the white sauce using whole wheat flour and we all loved it.

My Views about the DinnerTime meal box    

The Meal box came well in time and the courier guy did call me in advance to confirm if I was at home and also for the location.

The Ingredients were fresh and nice, the recipes are healthy, easy to follow and the best thing is  I actually managed to make it within the mentioned cooking time. 

The portions were more than sufficient and we did have leftovers which were consumed later.

Must say that the meal box was very well planned had a mix of fruits, nuts, veggies, meat, fish, chicken and I never had to worry much about what to cook.

Overall it was a great experience, home made food which was different from our regular Indian meals. Am not very sure if I would order the Meal box or not because as I have already mentioned that we are more towards Vegetarian meals and kind of avoid red meat, but yes its worth trying especially for those who have a hectic work schedule but would like to have home cooked meals without putting in extra effort for planning and going for grocery shopping. 

About DinnerTime ME

DinnerTime ME is a hassle free cooking concept which helps you make and serve a well balanced, healthy and wholesome meals in the comfort of your home.Fresh ingredients are delivered at your doorstep along with an easy to follow recipe booklet.
Every week they have a new set of recipe and ingredients and also offer gluten free option. 

You can choose between ordering a single pack for 2 or 4 persons, or subscribe for weekly deliveries. Order latest by Thursday for a delivery to your doorstep the following Sunday.

Please check out there website for more details https://www.dinnertime.me/.

Company details:
DinnerTime UAE LLC, PO Box 128110, Dubai, UAE. Office: Office No. M10 – Obaid Salim Obaid Al Shamsi – Bur Dubai – Al Wasl. Phone: +971-55-790 87 33

Please Note - The Dinnertime meal box which I received was complimentary and I was not asked by the company or any one in person to write about my experience and this is not a sponsored post its just my views which I would like to share on my blog with my readers. 

The information posted above regarding the price and company details are from their website.

The logo for DinnerTime is from google images which links back to the DinnerTime ME website.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Red Velvet Brownie

Red Velvet Brownie's are gorgeous looking  brownies with a rich fudgy texture. 

"Red Velvet Browine"
This one which I am sharing is basically a chocolate brownie which gets the bright red colour from food colouring. These brownies are very easy to make and can be put together in just 15 minutes apart from the baking time. 
Here is a simple and easy recipe for Red Velvet Brownie.

Ingredients

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Chocolate Chips (Dark, semi sweet) - 1/2 cup +1/4th cup
Cocoa Powder(unsweetened) - 3 tablespoon 
Unsalted Butter, at room temperature - 1/2 cup
Eggs, at room temperature - 2
Vanilla Essence - 2 teaspoons
Ref food colour - 2 1/2 tablespoon
Salt - 1/4th cup
Butter Milk - 3-4 tablespoons (Optional)

For Serving (Optional)

Extra sugar for dusting

Vanilla Ice Cream 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180° C or 350°F. Line 8 x 8 baking pan with foil, grease and dust it with flour.

In a small bowl stir together cocoa powder, vanilla essence, and red food coloring to form a paste. Keep Aside.



Place 1/2 cup of chocolate chips along with butter and microwave at high for 45 seconds (first for 30 seconds and again for 15 seconds). 


This is how it will look after 30 seconds, Stir well and microwave on high for another 15 seconds.


This is how it will look after 45 seconds. By any chance if there are small chunks of chocolate don't worry as it will melt in the process of mixing as the butter and chocolate mixture is quite hot. 


Add granulated sugar to the chocolate and butter mixture and mix well, until well incorporated. Add the cocoa paste and mix well.




Add one egg, mix well. Add half the quantity of flour along with salt, gently fold the flour into the chocolate egg mixture, ensuring that the eggs and flour are well incorporated. (Please note while we are adding the flour we just need to fold in the flour). Repeat process with the second egg and remaining flour, at this stage if you feel that the brownie mixture is getting too thick then add 2-3 tablespoon of butter milk (one tablespoon at a time).





Once all the flour is completely incorporated fold in 1/4th cup of chocolate chips. Spread evenly in your baking pan. Bake in pre- heated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean with few crumbs attached to it. (I use a toothpick to check)




Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 - 15 minutes.



Cut into 2X2 inches squares and serve.


Serving Suggestion - 

You could serve it as is or dust some powdered sugar. I made a stencil heart and dusted some powdered sugar. 


Or enjoy it with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream....


Notes:

Please ensure that all the ingredients are at room temperature before you start making the browine.

Red Velvet Brownies not only look gorgeous but also taste great. The red colour of the brownie is achieved with the use of red food colouring. I have used approximately 2 1/2 tablespoon of colouring but this may vary from brand to brand. You could also use gel colour but I prefer to use liquid for this recipe as we need to make a paste.

While making the cocoa powder paste if it is a bit dry don't worry as eventually it has to be mixed in the cake batter. there is no need to add water or milk to liquefy it.

I have used a spatula for mixing and preparing the brownie batter as it doesn't  require a lot of beating, but is important that all the ingredients blend well. You could always use a hand held mixer or stand mixer.

I have baked the browine for almost 38 minutes but would suggest that you first check it after 30 minutes
with a toothpick and if required bake further. The brownie should be well done and the toothpick should come out clean with a few crumbs attached to it.

In case if you don't have a microwave you could also melt the chocolate in a double boiler over the stove top. For this we need to boil water in a pot or saucepan, Take another pot or mixing bowl, wipe it clean ensuring there is absolutely no moisture. Now first add the butter and one it starts to melt add the chocolate. Keep mixing with a spatula until it well incorporated and get a smooth texture.
Its very most important to have at least half an inch gap between the level of water and the pot in which the chocolate is placed for melting. 

Also never melt chocolate over direct heat, not even in a nonstick pan.