Aloo Paratha (Flatbread with Potato Stuffing)

This is one of the most loved Indian recipes and I have always been asked for the recipe. Today I am sharing my way of making this. This particular recipe varies from kitchen to kitchen as to how many spices to be added or how to knead the dough. It would actually depend on your scale of measuring your spice level. People in some states India like it very flavoursome and spicy while some like to keep it mild. Likewise, when I recently made it for a few non- Indians, I kept it really mild with salt, pepper, butter and a few Indian herbs namely mint, coriander leaves and kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves). The result was awesome and people loved it.

Preparing this recipe will come in three stages namely kneading the dough, making the potato filling and final assembly.

Makes 8 parathas

Ingredients for the filling

1/2 kg potatoes boiled, drained and mashed without lumps

2 tbsps Tomato paste

1 tbsp of Spice blend of dry roasted and powdered spices namely cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chillies(Combine and roast all the spices in a wok, powder them and take one tbsp of the powdered spice)

1 tbsp each of finely chopped coriander leaves, green chillies finely chopped, freshly grated ginger, fresh mint leaves.

I have tried making this with dried coriander leaves, mint leaves and green chillies. You can always use dried herbs if you don’t find the fresh ones.

1 tbsp lemon juice

Salt to taste

1 tsp Butter

Procedure for the filling

Take a micro waveable glass bowl. Peel the boiled potatoes and mash them with a fork till there are no lumps. Now add all the spices that suit you. Omit the ones you dont have or don’t want to incorporate. Add tomato paste, butter and salt and if you are adding dried herbs this is the time to do so. But don’t add the fresh ones at this stage. Mix them well. Microwave on high for two to three minutes by pausing after a minute and mixing again with a fork to ensure uniformity in cooking. Add fresh herbs now. Mix well and keep aside.

For the Parathas

Ingredients

250 gms of wheat flour

100 gms of refined flour

2 tbsps of oil or ghee (clarified butter)

1 tsp salt

Water as required to knead.

Procedure:

Add the dry ingredients to the kneader and run it once to mix everything. Now, add water and run it. The kneaded dough is ready. Cover it and keep it.

The final assembly

  1. Take your dough and roll two rotis half the size of normal roti.
  2. Keep one aside and the other on the rolling board.
  3. Take out two tbsps of stuffing and spread on the roti on the rolling board leaving the sides.
  4. Take the second roti and put on top of the stuffing sealing all the sides with your hands.
  5. Then roll both the rotis together dusting it with flour so that they dont stick to the rolling board.
  6. Put the non- stick tawa on the burner and let it get adequately hot.
  7. Keep oil or ghee or melted butter in a bowl with basting brush .
  8. When hot, turn the flame to medium and put the paratha on it.
  9. Press gently with a spatula to make sure every part of the paratha is cooked uniformly.
  10. This should take you around 3-4 mins.
  11. Flip it and let it cook on the other side too.
  12. When both the sides look cooked(when there are brown spots on both surfaces), brush oil or butter or ghee on both the sides and fry on high.
  13. It will puff up, once it is cooked.Take it off the heat and serve or store in a bowl with lid. Make sure to line the bowl with a padded cloth in the bottom and on top.This prevents the parathas from turning soggy.
  14. Serve with pickle and yogurt.

I have an easier version though. Knead 500gms of flour with grated boiled potato, finely chopped coriander, green chillies, ajwain powder, red chilli powder, salt to taste, oil and garam masala powder and water. Let the dough rest for a while. Roll the chapatis and cook on a tawa .

Caviar on Crackers

This is a very easy snack and my family’s favourite. I had crackers with me but toasted bread also works well. I made the creamy white layer by beating hung curd with a whisk and added salt and white pepper powder. I chopped an onion, a tomato and coriander leaves for the topping. I had two types of caviar : red and black. I layered the crackers with hung curd, topped it with caviar and chopped veggies. It tastes heavenly.

Crabmeat Filling for Sandwiches, Wraps and Canapes

In these rationing and trying days, my pantry gives me the pleasure of my lifetime. I found some crabmeat in my freezer and I had fresh bread with me.

And here was the heavenly combination that I made earlier and had made wraps and canapes also. Actually speaking, this is just a filling or can work as a dip with nachos or fries.

Makes 10 sandwiches

Ingredients

1/2 a cup of crabmeat

2 tbsps of mayonnaise

2 tbsps of cream cheese

Few sprigs of herb of your choice. I used finely chopped coriander leaves.

1/2 of an onion finely chopped

1/4 of a tomato (seeds removed) finely chopped

1/2 if a spring onion green chopped

1 tsp each of mustard sauce, tomato sauce, any hot sauce

A squirt of wasabi paste (optional)

1/4 tsp of black pepper powder

Salt to taste

1 tsp of olive oil.

Procedure

Combine all the ingredients except onion, tomatoes, spring onion green and olive oil.

Mix it well and keep it aside.

Take olive oil in a small shallow pan and once hot, add onion and fry till translucent. Then add tomatoes and saute. Now add spring onion greens and turn off the flame.

Add this to the mixture in the bowl. Mix well and store it in a box. Use it when required. Spread it on a slice of bread and cover it with another slice.

Or let a dollop of it sit on a cracker or canape. This looks very decorative as a snack on a platter.

Or spread it on a tortilla and make a wrap. Let your imagination run wild.

Patate Douce(Sweet Potato) with Cream

This is a very humble sweet potato that my daughter introduced me to, in Paris. I tried many simple recipes such as steamed patate douce, boiled, sauteed and deep fried version. Believe me, it tasted heavenly in every possible way I tried. The recipe I am sharing today is the sauteed one with butter and sugar. I peeled and cut the vegetable into strips like the way we cut french fries. Soak it in water and keep it aside. Take a tsp of butter for 200 gms of patate douce and heat it. Once done drain water and sautee it. Cover and cook till fully cooked. Raise the heat and sprinkle a tsp of sugar on top. Fry it for a while. Serve it with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream. The same can be done with boiled, steamed and deep fried version as well. A very simple yet sweet and satisfying end to a meal. Since this vegetable is not available everywhere, it can be made with our own sweet potato.

Easy Fish Curry

This tasty recipe is fuss free and fast and goes very well with plain rice. It is a delight for everyone begining from kids to old and is a very good quality protein. It cooks in a jiffy and can be cooked in large batches and stored in the freezer. If cooked for kids, chillies can be omitted altogether.

Serves 2

Ingredients

300 gms boneless basa fish (any boneless fish can be used)

1 medium onion sliced finely

1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste

1/2 a lemon

4 lime leaves

2 fat sticks of lemon grass (bruised)

1 cinnamon stick

2 Bay leaves

1 dried red chilli (cut into thin roundels)

1 tbsp of coriander powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of red chilli powder

1/2 tsp of garam masala powder

100 ml of thick coconut milk

2 green chillies cut into thin long strips

2 tbsps oil

Salt to taste.

Procedure

Cut the fish into bite sized pieces. Marinate with ginger, garlic paste. Squeeze in juice of 1/4 lemon and keep it aside for ten minutes.

Cut onions into thin long slices. Cut 1/2 lemon into a wedge.

Take 1 tbsp oil in a wok. When hot, add 2 lime leaves and 1 stick of bruised lemon grass. Add the marinated fish and fry on high heat for a minute or so.

Take it out and keep aside. Add the remaining oil to the wok and add all the whole spices. Then add onions and fry till translucent.

Now add the powdered spices and stir fry. Then lower the heat and add coconut milk, salt, lime leaves , cut wedge, lemon grass, green chilli and cover and cook for two to three mins. It is ready to serve.

Egg Fried Rice

This recipe is my way of having a very tasty, hassle-free and filling meal without much preparation. In fact it is an excellent recipe for beginners in cookery world. I wouldn’t claim that this is a very healthy recipe because I have used soup cubes and some people do not like to use soup cubes but, once in a while it is okay to cheat. Moreover seeing the youngsters relying so much on outside food, I believe this is a healthier option. This recipe doesn’t require any accompaniments if you are in a hurry. But I add a few things like soy sauce, rice vinegar with fresh green chillies or schezwan sauce as accompaniments. To give it a healthy angle, at times I serve this with fresh green salad or thick creamy yogurt.

Serves 2

  • 125 gms or 1 cup of basmati rice or Chinese rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 to 5 stalks of spring onions (green and bulbs included)
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 crushed maggi soup cubes either vegetarian or chicken
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsps of oil
  • Salt to taste.

Procedure

  1. Cook rice with a tsp of salt in an open vessel.
  2. Once cooked, drain and keep aside. Make sure it is neither undercooked nor overcooked.
  3. Seperate the green part and white part of the spring onions. Chop them fine. Finely chop the garlic cloves.
  4. Take 1/2 tbsp oil in an omlette pan.
  5. Beat the eggs and make a large omlette and take it out on a kitchen board.
  6. Once it is easy to handle, cut it into tiny squares. Do not add salt to the beaten eggs.
  7. Take a wok and add the remaining oil. Heat it and now add chopped white part of the onions and the garlic.
  8. Saute till transparent and now add the green part.
  9. Immediately add the drained rice, crushed maggi soup cubes and fry the rice till all the grains become oil slicked.
  10. Now add the chopped omlette pieces and mix.
  11. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  12. Serve hot. If you want to pack it for your lunch box, let it cool and pack. Make it piping hot before having. It tastes good even when it is cold.

Healthy Wholewheat multiseed and multi millet Roti

This recipe is a result of many experiments over months. I needed a nutritious roti to manage my hunger pangs and this recipe helped me quite a lot.

I happened to find a packet of multi – millet aata and picked it up. The recipe started taking shape and I gradually incorporated new ingredients . It worked and I found this to be a feelgood recipe. The crunch comes ftom the seeds and softness from curd.

Continue reading “Healthy Wholewheat multiseed and multi millet Roti”

Chicken Biryani

This is my easy biryani recipe and has always been a favourite with my guests. I marinate the chicken with all the required ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge but it works well even if it is marinated for an hour. The more the merrier though.If I have too many items to cook, then I make the rice beforehand and keep. But, freshly cooked one is always the best. I use either chicken thighs or chicken legs to ensure uniformity in cooking time.

Continue reading “Chicken Biryani”

Wholesome Soup(One Pot Meal)

This recipe is my favourite because within no time, I can feed an army of people and without much preparation. When people look for a comforting recipe to cook on a cold winter night I would definitely recommend this recipe. You do not need to have fixed ingredients for this recipe. Little imagination, your family’s likings, availability of ingredients all contribute to this healthy one pot meal.

Continue reading “Wholesome Soup(One Pot Meal)”