Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dhingri Matar- Mushroom and peas in poppy seeds and cashew gravy

I am back with a rich, indulgent yet simple Gravy. The dhingri matar is a delicious combination of Mushrooms and fresh green peas, simmered in a luscious, thick gravy.

The Dhingri matar is something that is often made at a our home. I make this side dish during those week nights when I really need something comforting. And this dish fits the bill perfectly. It requires minimal preparation time, it is comforting and unbelievably delicious. 

Each time I make this curry, I tend to experiment with the spices and ingredients that go into making this side dish. This version of dhingri matar features an amalgamation of spices, a generous dose of full fat milk and a luxurious paste of cashew and poppy seeds. Needless to say we love this subtly spiced creamy curry. 

Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. They are something that are easily available in every Indian kitchen. This is a highly adaptable recipe. You can change and replace the ingredients as per your tastes.

I have used whole milk in this recipe. But you can go ahead and replace it with a few tablespoons of yogurt and cream. I highly recommend the use of Kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves. It lends a subtle bitter flavor and a wonderful aroma to the curry. 

This recipe is one of the best things to come out of my kitchen. I am sure you will love the rich mouth feel and the tantalizing flavor of this sabzi!!

Dhingri Matar recipe:
Preparation time: 20mins
Cooking time: 15mins
Serves- 4

For the cashew-poppy seed paste:
Cashew nuts- 3tbsp, chopped
Poppy seeds- 1-1/2tbsp, dry roasted

Oil- 2tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2tsp
Onion- 1med sized, finely chopped
Green chili- 1, slit
Ginger-Garlic paste- 1tspn
Fresh or frozen peas- 1/2cup
Button Mushrooms- 250gms, sliced
Turmeric or haldi- a large pinch
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/4tspn
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Tomato- 1 Large, finely chopped
Kasuri methi- 1/4tspn
Garam masala- a large pinch
Full fat Milk- 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves- 1tbsp, to garnish


  • To make the cashew-poppy seed paste, combine the cashew nuts and poppy seeds in blender jar and blend without using any water.
  • Add a little water and blend again to get a smooth paste and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed wok and add the cumin seeds. Once they turn brown add the chopped onion and fry till they turn transcluscent.
  • Stir in the Ginger-Garlic paste and the slit green chili fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the peas and sauce for two to three mins. Stir in the sliced mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes more.
  • Add the Salt, Sugar, Turmeric, red chili powder, and the chopped tomatoes, mix well, and cook covered for five minutes or till the vegetables are cooked.
  • Stir in the cashew-poppy seed paste, Kasuri Methi and the garam masala and mix well.
  • Add the milk and allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 2-3mins or till the mixture thickens.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis or Parathas or with Jeera rice

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fattoush- Middle eastern Bread Salad

Fattoush is perhaps one of the most famous and most well-known Middle eastern salads. It is so popular, that it makes a frequent appearance on the Mezzo table. It is a vibrant salad with a zesty Garlic-lemon dressing. If you have never tasted middle eastern food before, then Fattoush is a good place to start.

A perfect fattoush mostly comprises of vegetables, Lots of herbs, lettuce and Bread. It's not an exaggeration when people say that "fattoush is not fattoush without bread". Fattoush is an excellent way to use stale or left over Pita bread or any other flat bread from the previous day. Extremely adaptable and immensely refreshing fattoush is a useful staple to have in your salad repertoire.

Fattoush is a salad that can be consumed all year round. But somehow I prefer to make it during the summers. This salad can be assembled in a jiffy and is satisfying enough to make a light meal. Apart from that, fattoush is so vibrant and colorful that it makes to want to dive into it right away. 

It is one of those super simple salad where you can use all types of herbs and vegetables available near you. I have used mint and coriander in this recipe but you can substitute either or both the herbs with fresh parsley. Traditionally, in fattoush, Sumac is used to spice the salad. Since I did not have sumac in the pantry, I have used equal quantity of Dry pomegranate or Anardaana powder. After making this salad for a couple of times, I have realized that this salad is all about refreshment. So there is not harm in experimenting with different flavors.

I suggest you give this salad a try for it is very hard to resist a salad that takes just minutes to make and tastes SO SO good!!!

Fattoush Recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: nil
Serves- 4


Olive oil- 1tbspn
Pita bread- 2 of 6" diameter, cut into wedges
Shredded Lettuce leaves- 1 cup
1 small english cucumber, thinly sliced
Cherry tomatoes- 12, halved
One med sized, red onion, diced
Mint leaves- 3tbspn
Coriander leaves- 3tbspn
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
Garlic- 2 cloves, crushed
Olive oil- 3tbspn
Dry Pomegranate seeds- 1tspn
Juice of 1 lemon divided

  • Heat a table spoon of olive oil in a pan and toast the pita wedges till crisp. Moisten the wedges with lemon juice and set aside.
  • For the dressing, combine the crushed garlic, olive oil, dry pomegranate seeds and lemon juice in a blender jar and blend till well combined.
  • Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Just before serving, mix the toasted bread pieces, the dressing, salt and pepper and toss and serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Subsige soppu Kootu

It is almost midday as I write this post. I am all alone in the house and I am feeling an odd adrenaline rush as I write this. I know. Adrenaline rush is not often connected to writing. This hormone is supposed to kick in when one is engaged in sports or is faced with fear or excitement. And let's face it, writing is a solitary and a desk-bound activity. And despite my seated position, I can feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. I am weird.

Why??? Because I am blogging after and almost three long months of unintended break. I honestly never thought of taking this break. Technically speaking, this break just happened. Before long, I started enjoying the peace and quite that came after the process of cooking. For a change, I stopped worrying about the cloudy days, chasing the light for good pictures, washing and arranging the props. I kind of enjoyed not cooking exotic dishes to show off on my blog. I even pretended my blog didn't exist for a short period.

In between, I ranted a couple of times to S about not posting anything for more than a fortnight but he  was least bit bothered. It was only when a friend asked me if I had stopped blogging that I realized that my hiatus has been a bit too long. It was only then that I decided to log into my account and check out as to what was happening on the blog. Fortunately, I had this recipe in my drafts so I just decided to post it.

Coming to this recipe, the subsige soppu Kootu is something that I make from time to time. It is one of those side dishes that is easy, simple and wholesome. This is dish is just perfect for those weeknight dinners. 

The Iron rich Dill leaves and the protein rich moong dal make a perfect combo to build the hemoglobin in your body. Hence, it is a must have for the whole family. Serve this side dish with rice or rotis and your will have a nourishing and wholesome meal ready for your family!!

Subsige soppu Kootu recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time- 20min
Serves- 4

Dill leaves- 1 bunch or 100gms, finely chopped
Moong dal or split yellow lentils- 1 cup
Potato- 1 small, peeled and cubed
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Oil- 1/4tsp
Salt- to taste
Jaggery- 1/2tspn
For the Kootu masala:
Ural dal- 1heaped tbsp
Rice- 1/2tsp
Coriander seeds- 1/2tsp
Pepper- 1/2tsp
Poppy seeds- 1tsp
Kashmiri red chilies- 2-3
Fresh or frozen coconut- 3tbsp
For the seasoning:
Ghee or oil- 1tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2tsp
Peanuts- 3tbspns
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Asafetida- a Large pinch

  • Dry roast the moong dal till fragrant. Take off the heat and wash the lentils till the water runs clean. Add the chopped dill leaves , diced potatoes, two cups of water, oil and turmeric powder and Pressure cook the lentils for four to five whistles or till completely cooked.
  • In the mean time, heat oil in a small pan and roast the urad dal, rice, pepper corns, poppy seeds and red chilies till brown and set aside to cool.
  • Transfer the roasted mixture to a blender jar and grind to a fine powder. Add the coconut and some water and grind again to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Allow the steam to dissipate itself completely before opening the cooker. Add the salt, jaggery and half cup of water and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
  • Add the ground mixture and continue boiling for 3-4mins more.
  • For the seasoning, heat ghee or oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the peanuts and fry till they turn brown. Stir in the asafetida and fry for a couple of minutes more and take off the heat.
  • Add the seasoning to the prepared Kootu, mix well and serve immediately with rice or rotis.

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