Month: November 2009

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Almost Gujarati Puran Puri

It’s a bit like a chapatti. It’s a bit like a stuffed paratha. But it’s also in a league of its own… because it’s sweet! This intriguing recipe was requested by a mysterious ‘Anonymous’ person in the ‘Ask Sanjana’ post where you are all welcome to request particular dishes or certain ingredients to be used in recipes. So ‘Anonymous’, this puran puri recipe is for you! Puran puri is a very traditional sweet chapatti prepared in Gujarat as well as Maharashtra and South India. Although, each recipe varies according to the region in which it prepared for example; the type of daal chosen, whether sugar or jaggery is used and the choice of spices. I believe the difference in recipes is indeed subject to regional differences, yet it also varies according to personal differences. I prepared mine in the Midlands of England so it’s totally permissible that I made my puran puri recipe up using what I thought would taste good *wink wink*. Having ever eaten only Gujarati puran puri, I went by the model …

Short and Sweet

Today’s post is going to be a quick one as it’s just a modified version of the eggless coconut sponge cake I made earlier. I have simply replaced the coconut in the recipe with almond extract and kewra water (screwpine leaf water). Kewra water is extracted from the pandan plant and often used for biryani in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It doesn’t completely taste like pandan paste used in South-East Asian cuisine, however it imparts a perfumed and citrusy flavour upon the dish. I baked my cakes in a mini cork muffin tin from Ikea, which you can find here. If you don’t have one of these trays you can use a regular cupcake or muffin tin. Kewra and Almond Mini Cork Cakes (Makes approx 12-14 cakes) Ingredients200g plain flour100g skimmed milk powder160g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)1 tbsp vanilla extract (or the seeds from 1 fresh vanilla pod)100g butter, softened2 tsp’s baking powder1 tsp bicarbonate of soda½ cup plain natural yogurt½ cup water½ cup milk2 tbsp kewra (screwpine leaf) water¼ tsp amond extract For the whipped cream 250ml …

Daal… But Not as you Know it!

Here I come with another traditional Gujarati recipe for you! When I was little I was totally obsessed with pasta, I could have eaten it day in and day out. So, to satisfy my cravings for pasta my mum used to make this dish for the family. It is a simple Gujarati daal with a little twist- dhokri! Dhokri come in all forms, shapes and sizes (I will go into a little more detail about this later- using some recipes to illustrate to you what I mean!) However, for the purpose of this recipe, ‘dhokri’ simply refers to a type of Indian pasta made with chickpea flour, self raising flour and spices- delicious! This warming daal is a self-contained meal for a lazy day, but also teams up perfectly with plain rice for a special dinner with your family and friends. I could eat it anytime of the day- the soft, spicy dhokri soaked in hot, sour daal along with delicate, sweet bursts of green peas is for me, the epitome of comfort food. So …

Bateta Vada and a few Extras just for you!

It’s a fact. Gujarati’s can’t get enough of these crispy, spicy, soft little things! My recipe is one we traditionally make at home. I love the deep aromatic blend of citrus, chilli, coriander, ginger and cinnamon which is balanced with a delicate sweetness. Bateta Vada are really popular at parties and are great for snacking; you know they’ve gone down well when you’re left with an empty platter which had stacked a hundred of them! This is usually the case at our house. For this reason, I think they are perfect for Christmas get-togethers. A party snack filled with cinnamon spiced mashed potatoes and then deep fried in a crispy batter- What more could you want? (Please don’t say sausage rolls). If you like mashed potatoes you’re going to love these (because they’re way better!) Ingredients for the potato mixture 2 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed roughly (try to use the floury kind of potato)Zest and juice from one lemonZest from one lime½ cup coriander, chopped1 red chilli, minced1 green chilli, minced½ cup spring onions, sliced …

Dinner with the Family

                                 Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.~ Jim Rohn Sunday was dedicated to spending family time with my family, the Natalyas. My dad’s side of the family were all invited yet nobody really knew what the itinerary for the day was. The plan simply was to spend time together as a family, meeting and mingling with those we may not have seen for a while. Being honest, the only time we see each other as a unit is at weddings, which shouldn’t be the only reason why the family get together. Families should get together because they need one another; it is always good to know that people will be there to support you even if you may not see them regularly. I don’t believe it should be a burden to maintain a happy relationship with your family, no matter how large or small it is. At the end of the day… you’re kinda stuck …

Piece of (Coconut) Cake!

I taste even more wonderful the next day! I was going to write up this recipe later but just had to share it with you because it tastes amazing! I tell thee no fibs. This eggless  Coconut Buttercream Cake is SO tasty; In fact, I would even go as far as saying it is the best tasting cake I have ever made. Although I cannot take much credit for it as I adapted the recipe from Swapna’s Eggless Pound Cake recipe. She has a lovely blog over at Cooking with Swapna and I definitely recommend you go and check her yummy recipes out! I wasn’t able to make a pound cake because I’m so ill-equipped that I don’t have a loaf tin (sad face). So I raided my cupboards and came out with sweetened desiccated coconut and vanilla extract. Simple. I decided to turn the recipe into a regular three layer cake, however with this recipe you really cannot go wrong whatever baking pan you use. Just remember to grease and line them with butter and …

I ♥ You, Saag Paneer! And a Competition!

It’s sad. Yet true. I am such a paneer fiend. I bet you £5 (that’s all I have) that my dad says to me tomorrow after reading this post, that I shouldn’t keep making paneer dishes. Of course he is right. Moving swiftly on… I use a 1:1 ratio of saag (mustard leaves) to spinach because I prefer a more subtle mustard flavour, which can often overpower the dish. If you don’t use enough saag you will produce a dish resembling palak (spinach) paneer, which is equally delicious but technically not saag paneer. If you would like to add less saag you will create delicate flavoured curry which will not be as pungent as traditional dishes (such as sarson ka saag from north India). I love the combination of this hot, buttery and spicy green sauce with soft paneer (sorry dad) and I am sure many of you do too. Otherwise it would not be one of the most popular dishes on Indian restaurant menus all over the world. Imagine that… saag paneer takes over …

Vegetarian Shammi Kebabs…

…made with plantains and paneer This veggie version of shammi kebabs by the charming Sanjay Thumma (Vahchef from vahrehvah.com) is a recipe I successfully played around with today. Sadly Sanjay doesn’t really give precise measurements in his cooking videos on Youtube but I watched his video which you can find here a couple of times and had a good guess. I’ve changed his recipe a bit to suit my taste and fortunately it turned out quite delicious. My dad (a.k.a Vahchef’s biggest fan) had been telling me to make these for ages and I just hadn’t had the chance, although now it is here in all its glory, just for you guys! The recipe calls for green bananas (plantains) to be mashed with channa dal which I didn’t have in my cupboard (oh the shame). So I cheated the system and used yellow split mung dal (the kind you use in gujarati kachori). When it has been boiled and mashed you really can’t tell that Mr channa dal has been substituted with his good mate Mr mung dal. Great stuff. …

Thai Vegetable Massaman Curry and my Brain (heh)

Yeah, so here’s where I go on and on about how much I love Thai food again. This time I’m bringing to you my version of Massaman curry. It is a popular dish in many Thai restaurants (I should know- I’ve been to way too many!) which I believe was created by Thai Muslims (hence the name ‘massaman’). The combination of spices in this dish just screams “ASIA!” in you face. It really is fantastic. You can buy Massaman curry paste ready made if you do not have the time to make your own (c’mon don’t be a food snob; there’s nothing wrong with buying it from the shop!) This dish is great with tofu (yes, my favourite thing in the world- not including humans and animals- but not to eat). Okay I could have written that sentence better but I’m gonna leave it there just to show you how strange and awkward my thought processes are. What I meant to say was, “This dish is great with tofu which is my favourite thing in the …