Month: October 2009

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Veggie-Packed Dhai Varo Ohro

This is my entry into Shama from Easy2Cook Recipes’ ‘First Cooked Event’. I have never participated in such a competition and really don’t know how to go about it, but all I am hoping for is that people enjoy my recipe. It is one of the first ever dishes I cooked (properly!) and that just goes to show how simple it is to make. It is packed full of flavour, vitamins and just plain yummy-ness! I think that if you like Indian raita, Greek tzatziki or Arabic baba ghanoush you will love this! I used to HATE aubergines with a passion… something to do with the skin and slimy insides (heh). Although as I grew up I began to eat it when it was mashed (without the skin) and mixed with other things. My mum makes lovely plain ohro (cooked with tomatoes and garlic) and dhai varo ohro (like this one). So I kind of grew to ENJOY eating it (wow, as a kid I never imagined I would say that in my life!) Making …

Traditional Gujarati Mohanthal (Chickpea Flour Butter Fudge)

I have been meaning to post this up for a while and thanks to a recipe request from my lovely reader Annu, I have finally gotten around to it. Mohanthal (pronounced: moHanTHaal) is a type of mistan (Indian sweet) which is said to have been loved by Lord Krishna. The name comes from one of Krishna’s alternative names ‘Mohan’ meaning charming and enchanting and ‘thal’ meaning dish (like thali). So the name I believe loosely translates as ‘Mohan’s dish’. Please do correct me if I am wrong! My belief in Lord Krishna is immense (hence the peacock feather images used in the KO Rasoi logo), and so I am aware that He does love bright colours like orange. This why I love Mohanthal to be bright orange and beautiful! So Annu, this one is for you… and for Lord Krishna of course! Ingredients (for the ‘dhrabo’- the bit that makes the Mohanthal melt in the mouth and adds crunchy lil nuggets!) 2 cups gram flour (a.k.a chickpea flour/besan)1 tbsp melted ghee2 tbsp milk You will …

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Lumaconi

Am I making you hungry? As you probably know there are thousands of variations of this recipe out there. In fact you have most certainly cooked something similar in your own kitchens! So I imagine you must know that these dishes are totally yummy! Ricotta and spinach marry beautifully in pasta dishes, and sharp tomato sauce compliments them so well! My method is adapted from one of Kurma Dasa’s fabulous books but my aunty also makes a version of it with giant conch-shaped pasta. This makes a great party dish as you can bake lots of trays and everyone can just dig in! Although today I made this simply for dinner. I baked enough for today and refrigerated the rest to bake tomorrow. A homemade ready meal if you will! I love to add a red chilli to my tomato sauce because it balances the rich and creamy filling really well (and of course because I love spicy food!) So enjoy my version of spinach and ricotta pasta… it really is something special! Ingredients 240g …

Peas and Paneer Kadhi (Indian Yogurt Soup)

Kadhi is a soup I learned to cook when I was around thirteen years old and I have learned to love making it. The process is so practical that cooking it totally relaxes me. My version of kadhi is a souped up (hehe) version of traditional Gujarati kadhi as I decided to add peas, paneer and onions to make it more substantial. This is something my Nana Bapu (maternal grandfather) used to do when he made kadhi- minus the paneer. So definitely feel free to add whichever vegetables you like to this! I totally love paneer so couldn’t resist shallow frying some and adding it, but it is really up to you what you choose to put into your kadhi. The Punjabi version of kadhi is traditionally thicker than the Gujarati and it is eaten with pakora. My version is a lighter alternative and is great with fluffy basmati rice, dry mung bean curry (recipe coming soon) and chapattis. Or just on its own!Ingredients 4 cups plain natural yogurt¼ cup chickpea flour (besan)5 cups water1 …

Indigo- Restaurant Review

Where: Indigo pure vegetarian restaurant in Leicester (that’s lacto-vegetarian, although they also serve vegan and no onions/no garlic dishes) When: This week With Who: Two fabulous friends KO Rating: 3/10. Disappointing Menu Choice: Indian, Indo-Chinese and Italian Website I went to Indigo Vegetarian Restaurant on Melton Road in Leicester at the beginning of this week and was expecting some really great things. Sadly I was really disappointed. We were greeted immediately and shown to our table in the far corner of the restaurant. We ordered our drinks (a jug of tap water… Ha. And a Pepsi) and read through the large menu. The menu at Indigo is filled with snacky ‘fast foods’ like dosa’s, pau bhaji, bhel, chaat, samosa, pizzas and noodles. One friend decided on ‘chutney powder dosa’ which comes with a sambhar (it resembled THICK Gujarati daal and definitely not sambhar). Another decided on a spicy ‘paneer pizza’ and I opted for ‘Indigo special noodles’ (hakka noodles with mushrooms and spinach). We also shared a large ‘chilli mogo’ (cassava stir fried with green …

Easy Peasy Aloo Paneer Paratha (Sadly, there are no peas in this recipe)

Want a bite? It would be awesome if I actually added peas to my Easy Peasy Aloo Paneer Paratha. I wish I had thought of the ironic jokes I could have made before I rolled them. Oh well. I’m sure these would be delicious with peas too! I served my paratha with Crispy Tindora and Sweetcorn Curry which are not traditionally served together but the combination does work! There are a few different parts to this recipe but you can make the filling ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to roll! Do try making your own paratha, they are simple and scrummy- the only rule is that you have to use ghee (or margarine) to shallow fry them… Because it’s the law! Easy Peasy Aloo Paneer Paratha (makes around 18 paratha) Ingredients for the stuffing 3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed1 large onion, minced (really finely)4 cloves garlic, minced2 tbsp ginger, minced½ cup finely chopped coriander1 green chilli, minced (more or less if you prefer)Juice from 1 lemon1 ¼ cup …

Tindora, Tindora, Tindora!

Tindora (pronounced: tin-doH-raH) a.k.a ‘Coccinia Grandis’ are little fruits which resemble ‘gentleman’s toes’ (compare to ladies fingers). Sounds delicous already, huh? You can thank Wikipedia for that little nugget of information- excuse the pun. In my recipe the tindora are deep fried (mmm healthy). I’m really not selling this to you am I? But honestly, they are delicious and crispy fried with sweetcorn and spicy masala sauce. Crispy Fried Tindora and Sweetcorn Curry Ingredients 9oz tindora, washed and sliced into quarters lengthways1 cup sweetcorn (I use tinned)2 tomatoes, chopped1 tsp tomato puree4 cloves garlic1 tsp ginger 1 tbsp sunflower oil1 tsp mustard seeds1 tsp cumin seeds1 tsp turmeric1 tsp asafoetidaSalt to tasteSugar to taste1 tsp cumin seed powder1 tsp coriander seed powder1 tsp garam masala Oil for deep frying Method 1. Deep fry the slices of tindora until golden. Place on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Set aside. Like this 2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds (wait until they’ve popped), cumin seeds, asafoetida, ginger, garlic, …

Happy Diwali From KO Rasoi!

Strolling down Belgrave Road in Leicester at Diwali time reminds me of my childhood. My friend who has lived in the city all his life tells me that when you’ve seen the lit up streets once you won’t need to see them again. But he still goes to the annual lighting show on the first night they are switched on. Something tells me he doesn’t really mean what he says about those bright and colourful lights. There’s something certainly fascinating about them lighting the way to beautiful sari shops, aroma-filled restaurants and bustling sweetmarts. I wish I could take a picture of it for you all, but as you know my photography skills aren’t quite up to scratch (yet!) Well anyway, this post was just to wish you all a Happy Diwali! Eat lots of sweets to fill the coming year with all sorts of sweetness! I already have… Mmm… me likey choccy burfi! When I was little I used to eat all the chocolate off the top first! This tastes like coconut burfi to …

Mirch Masala- Leicester

Where: Mirch Masala pure vegetarian restaurant in Leicester (that’s lacto-vegetarian, although they also serve vegan and no onions/no garlic dishes) When: Late lunch today With Whom: My dear parents Value for money: 7/10. You get a heck of a lot for what you pay for Menu Choice: The restaurant prides itself on offering a wide selection of international dishes including those from; India, Italy, China and Mexico Okay, so today we went to Mirch Masala for some serious eats. I was starving (as per usual, I could have eaten a horse… HA! Just a little vegetarian joke for ya there! I’ll shut up now). We were greeted by a nice young chap who promptly showed us to our table. The restaurant was buzzing, especially for a Sunday afternoon (partially due to the large number of people doing their Diwali shopping nearby on Belgrave Road). My dad decided on the Vegetarian Hot (surprise surprise) Pizza Platter which consists of one 7inch pizza, fries and awesome eggless coleslaw. After much deliberation my mum also opted for the …

Naan Pizza: It’s Breaking All The Rules

Italian Nonna’s would be turning in their graves. The naan pizza is not a replacement for those fantastic traditional pizzas made by the Italians. It’s just a quick and easy alternative which combines the flavours of Italy with the spices of India. Oh, and it’s a students best friend! A way of demonstrating that cheap food can be good food, if you will. So listen up folks, this is my naan pizza, it’s so easy I don’t even think it needs a recipe. So I didn’t write one. I reckon I’ll let the pictures do the talking (they’re not the most beautiful pictures in the world but I’m not a photographer and wouldn’t know how to make a naan pizza look pretty… sorry guys!). I added to it what I had in my fridge but you can top the naan with whatever takes your fancy or whatever you have lying around. Leftovers need never be a problem with the superduper king of Quick, Naan Pizza! Naan. Pizza Sauce. A little mozzarella. Onions. Sweetcorn. But wait, some …

Okra Again?

My second okra (‘bhinda’ in Gujarati, pronounced: BHin-DaH) recipe is a traditional ‘stir-fried’ curry as opposed to the first recipe I shared with you which was a creation of my own. This is the way my family and I usually eat okra at home, simply with chapattis (‘rotli’). Even my dad (a former okra hater) confessed that he now loves the stuff! Win. I love the simplicity of this dish, it is so easy to prepare yet has amazing and powerful flavours. Okra are in season at the moment so you will find some super fresh ones at your greengrocers… Grab ‘em before someone else does! *Grabbed* MINE! Traditional Gujarati Okra Ingredients 1 lb okra, trimmed and sliced1 large tomato, chopped4 cloves garlic, crushed2 tsp cumin seeds½ tsp mustard seeds¼ tsp sugar1 tsp turmeric1 tsp coriander powder1 tsp cumin powder¼ tsp asafoetida*1 green chilli, minced1 tsp ginger, minced1 tsp sesame seeds1 tsp lemon juice1 tsp black pepper, groundSalt to taste3 tbsp oil (I know this sounds like a lot, but you really need it as …

Another Yummy Gourd Dish

This time it’s a traditional ridge gourd (turia: pronounced tu-ri-ya) curry. This is a curry made predominantly by Gujarati Indians, however many Indian sub-cultures have their own versions of ridge gourd dishes. Here is the recipe for how my Gujarati family cook turia. Hmm… pretty ugly to look at, but I can assure you that it’s delicious! Traditional Gujarati Turia Curry Ingredients 4 small ridge gourd (turia), peeled and cubed2 tbsp sunflower oil1 tsp cumin1 tsp mustard seeds¼ tsp asafoetida3 medium tomatoes, chopped1 tsp cumin powder1 tsp coriander powder1 tsp ginger, minced2 large cloves garlic, crushed1 green chilli, minced1 tsp sugarSalt to taste Looking prettier already! Method 1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds. Wait until they have popped and add the cumin, asafoetida, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Boil on medium for 5 minutes. 2. Add the ridge gourd, stir and either cook until tender or pressure cook for 5 minutes. Try to evaporate as much liquid from it as you …