Coriander Chutney

Definition of Chutney (Merriam Webster) a thick sauce of Indian origin that contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is used as a condiment

In India we make many different chutneys; from many different vegetables, fruits and herbs. Everyone has their variations. I have made cilantro/ coriander chutney with adding cilantro to ingredients of coconut chutney. But this recipe is a variation.

Here are some chutneys from my previous posts:

https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2020/01/18/chatpata-chutneys/

https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2019/10/24/my-moms-tomato-thokku-chutney/

https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2018/11/30/spinach-chutney-basale-soppina-chutney/

https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2020/01/24/raji-chittis-special-carrot-chutney/

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coriander leaves/ cilantro
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 2 tbsp channa dal
  • a pinch asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a sauce pan. Add asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, red chilli and fry till golden brown
  • Add green chilli and chopped ginger and fry
  • Add chopped cilantro and mix. Turn off heat
  • Grind cilantro mixture with coconut. Add salt and tamarind and grind to a smooth texture with some water. Transfer to a bowl
  • Take 1 tsp oil. Add mustard and curry leaves. When mustard seeds splutter, pour over chutney and serve
  • Serve with idli, dosa or a spread for sandwiches or even a dip
Dosa served with chutney and bitter gourd curry

Rahul’s Maharashtrian vermicelli Bath (Uppittu)

In my earlier post, I had mentioned that I would be including recipes from friends and family. So to start it off here is a recipe from my friend Rahul Kaikini. Rahul and I did our undergrad together (many moons ago). Social Media has connected us and a lot of friends from college. Rahul is a self-proclaimed foodie who lives in North Carolina with his wife and children. Thank you, Rahul, for sharing this recipe! 

I am hoping this post will inspire other family and friends to share their recipes.

As I had said in my earlier post, we all have our versions. I had posted my version some time ago: https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2018/09/24/vermicelli-uppitu-upma/ 

Enjoy and do post your comments!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil + 1 tsp oil (or ghee)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida powder
  • 4-5 green chilies (slit) (reduce if you do not want it too spicy)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (capsicum)
  •  salt to taste
  • 1 tsp amti powder – popular in Maharashtra 
  •  2 pounds ( 1 kg) vermicelli
  • 4 cups water – preferably hot
  • juice of  ½ lime
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves

Directions:

Roast vermicelli in 1 tsp oil or ghee. When golden brown, take it off the pan and let it cool.

In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, and turmeric powder. When mustard splutters, add green chilies and onions. Fry till golden brown

Add green peppers and sauté till soft (Other vegetables like carrots and green beans can also be added). Add salt and amti powder

Add vermicelli and sauté for a few minutes

Add hot boiling water (to avoid bringing down the temperature of the vermicelli mixture) and mix.

Add the juice of ½ lime. Cover and let it cook on low flame. Mix

It is ready when all the water is absorbed.

Season with coriander/ cilantro leaves.

Serve hot as is or with chutney or sprinkle some sev/mixture (Indian trail mix) or nuts to give it some crunch

 

 

Be safe and keep cooking!

Long before I started writing this blog, I always wanted to write a cookbook for my kids. This was before ‘google’ and before you could get recipes in a jiffy. When I got married 25 years ago and moved to a different continent, my parents would handwrite recipes in letters as speaking on the phone was expensive and we spoke briefly once a week where I asked for recipes and then had to wait for the letter to arrive. I learnt some recipes from my husband who had been fending for himself for a few years. Today, I just have to google to find a recipe I want. But there are times, when we cannot find the version your mom or dad or aunt or cousin made. Every family has their way of making something. That you cannot find on google.

Many many years ago, I had tried compiling traditional recipes from the family. But it did not go far except for my dad sending me some recipes. In the midst of the pandemic, I realise people are turning to comfort food and food that makes them happy. So I am trying again to get my family to share recipes. I am asking my extended family to share recipes. I have also asked friends. So hopefully, I will be including recipes from friends and family in this blog. I hope you enjoy this as much as I will (not only writing up their recipes but connecting with them)! If you would like me to include your recipe or would like to be a guest blogger do let me know!

Be safe and keep cooking!

Chocolate Brownie with a Hint of cinnamon and cayenne

There is only one thing the whole world is talking about and that is the Pandemic. It is a scary, crazy time of our lives; the fear of the unknown. The stores have been depleted of hand sanitizers and toilet paper. Interestingly, the baking aisle is also empty; no flour, sugar, yeast or baking powder. Luckily, I had a big bag of flour and atta (whole wheat flour which is used for chapatti/ rotis). Seems like everyone plans to bake when they are ‘social distancing’.

I am now working from home and it saves me the travel time. So more time to cook and bake. For me baking is calming; maybe the same for others; and at this time when we are all cooped up in our houses, we need to do something which calms us down and takes us to our happy place.

Be Calm and Bake On!

Brownies, who does not love brownies. Here is another recipe. This has been adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018653-brownies?action=click&module=Global%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=1

Earlier in the week, I was watching food network and a lady was making mexican chocolate cake. She added some cinnamon and cayenne powder so I thought I would add some to the brownies. They were good; just a hint of spice. It is an unexpected spice at the end when it is least expected.

My boys are back home and the brownies (doubled the recipe) were gone in no time!

Ingredients

  • 8 tbsp butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (85 gms)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used atta)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (chilli) powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350º F ( 176º C)
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan on low heat. Keep mixing. When chocolate starts to melt, take it off heat. Stir until mixture is smooth
  • Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Line it with parchment paper and grease
  • Pour chocolate butter mixture into a mixing bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla
  • Add flour and salt and mix. Stop stirring when no traces of flour remain. Do not overmix
  • Pour into prepared pan. I added some walnuts to half the pan. This is optional
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until set and barely firm in the middle.
  • Eat as is or serve with ice cream.
  • Enjoy!

Pumpkin Espresso Cake

I had made this cake in the new year. Lots has happened in this year, especially in the last few weeks with the pandemic, the fear among people and the unknown. The one thing that keeps a lot of us sane is comfort food, cooking and baking. I went shopping and all flours were out. I had white flour and atta flour, used half and half and it was good. I made this recipe again and it hit the right spot. This time I used a bundt pan. It looks fancy and it is truly scrumptious. do try!

Reposting the recipe with some new pictures. If you cannot get canned pumpkin; cook pumpkin in a little water and blend in a blender/mixie.

It is that time of the year – shorter days, colder days. It is time when you you want to wrap a blanket and sit on your couch. It is the time when you want to eat bhajis and pakodas. It is the time when you want to bake. Actually, I like to bake anytime of the year. It is the time for pumpkins and I found this recipe from https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pumpkin-espresso-bundt-cake-recipe

The recipe used a bundt cake pan. I did not have one so made it in a regular pan. I ate a couple of pieces without the glaze. I was not going to make the glaze. It was good without the glaze. I finally decided to make it and then added the glaze. It elevated the cake to another level. This cake is a keeper.

It freezes well. Everytime I eat a piece, I forget how good it is. The pictures does not do justice. You should try it.

I have copied the recipe from the king arthur website. The link is given above.

Ingredients

Cake

Filling

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup (74g) strong brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (21g) rum, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the cake: Beat together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt until smooth and uniform in appearance. Set aside.
  4. To make the filling: Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and espresso powder in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Hummus is my favorite go to recipe, quick and easy. But the original hummus can sometimes seem plain and I like to spruce it up, Here are my previous recipes for various hummus recipes: https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2018/12/11/hummus-healthy-and-easy-to-make/ https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2019/03/29/slow-roasted-tomatoes-on-hummus/

I have made pumpkin hummus before and rather liked it. I decided to try using carrots instead. I was inspired by the ingredients in a carrot cake and used a hint of cinnamon and walnuts instead of the usual pine nuts.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1/2 kg (1 pound) carrots, peeled

3 large garlic cloves

¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt to taste

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 – 1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp za’atar powder (optional)

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

4-5 ice cubes 

Garnishes: cumin powder, chilli powder, roasted walnuts, grated carrot

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC)

In a sheet pan, add a tbsp of olive oil. Add the carrots, sprinkle some salt, za’atar powder and a 1/4 tsp of chilli powder. I threw in a few cloves of garlic too and avoided frying the garlic.

Roast in the oven for 20-25 mins

(If you like, you can roast them in a pan on the stove or on the grill too)

In a small saucepan, heat a tsp of oil and cook garlic till soft. (Usually, raw garlic is added, but I prefer to cook it)

In a blender/ food processor, add the garlic, tahini and ice cubes and blend. The ice cubes make the tahini smooth by breaking down the fat. Blend for a few minutes.

Add chickpeas in small batches and carrots and blend. Add some chickpeas cooking liquid (or water)and blend. Add cumin powder and salt and blend till creamy. (Be careful with the salt, since salt was added while cooking the chickpeas and the liquid will also have salt). Add olive oil and blend.

Garnish it with any of the garnishes mentioned.

Serve with pita bread or carrots and celery.