Search This Blog

Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas | Book #4 of Ramayana- The Game of Life Series


Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas | Book #4 of Ramayana - The Game of Life Series

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas is the fourth book of the Ramayana –The Game of Life Book Series. Since I have read the first 3 books of the series; I was elated when I got the opportunity to read this one. Stand Strong is a modern retelling of the Kishkindha Kand of Valmiki Ramayana - it tells us all about the events occurring in the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha. Like the previous books, this book too doesn’t just narrate the stories from Ramayana but also imparts insightful life lessons to the readers. The book is motivational, enlightening, and encouraging, all in the same breath.

The story tells us in detail how Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, how Rama decides to help Sugriva in dealing with his brother, the impudent monkey king Vali and how the vanara sena unite to help Rama in His mission of finding Sita. There are so many stories and anecdotes interspersed along the main storyline, each of them adding to the beauty of the prose and enhancing the reader’s experience with new perspective and learning. The main strength of the book is its narration - it is lucidly written with a simple yet vivid description of the incidences happening in the Kishkindha kingdom all of which ultimately culminate towards the invasion of Lanka – the grand kingdom ruled by the demon king Ravana.

As I keep saying in all the reviews of the previous books of this series, the author has given due attention to all the characters in the epic. They are intricately sketched – each having their space and chance to shine and grab the reader’s attention.

The tagline of the book says – keeping faith and conquering fear. That is also the lesson the author is trying to convey through the book. It was fear which made Sugriva feel weak and insecure - although he was not as feeble as he had started to think he was. Fear is debilitating, it clouds our thoughts and cuts our wings. Fear is the factor that limits us to make the most of our potential. If we learn to conquer our fear, we will realize that fear blows our tiny problems out of proportions and make it look huge. We will be free to chase our dreams in the truest sense, only when we keep faith and conquer fear.

It is a great book for anyone who is interested in Ramayana or in Indian mythological reads. This book also offers insights into the game that is life – so if you are looking for an inspirational read, it will make a great fit.

You can buy the book here:



I will like to end my review of this book by quoting some pearls of pearls of wisdom from the book here:

- Intelligence is about having the clarity to identify where the problem lies.

- When love leads to respect, it is called admiration. When respect leads to love, it is called inspiration.

- Excess fear leads to rebellion. Excess indulgence leads to disease. Excess comfort leads to lethargy. Excess power leads to arrogance. Excess of anything, however good it may seem, only tugs one towards the bad.

- Sometimes perception appears larger than reality. Many problems in life when perceived with fear result in pain, but when perceived with clarity, the result is freedom.

- The defining characteristic of inner stability is the ability to focus in the face of calamity.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in lieu of an honest review.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bombay Masala Sandwich Recipe | How to make Bombay Masala Sandwich

Bombay Masala Sandwich

Bombay Masala Sandwich is a very popular roadside snack from the city of Mumbai. Between two grilled bread slices smeared with a generous amount of green chutney and butter is a spicy potato mixture topped with onion and tomato slices and grated cheese. The roadside vendors are very generous when it comes to filling it and topping it with cheese. I, however, exercise caution when I make it at home. However, if you like it cheesy you can be as generous as you like!

It is best to have this sandwich when it is freshly made - crisp and hot, along with a cup of masala chai.

Here in Pune, I have been to a very popular roadside joint somewhere in F.C.Road which sells a variety of sandwiches - the most popular among them being Bombay Masala Sandwich and Chocolate Sandwich. Every evening and especially on weekends one can see a huge crowd queueing up there to get a sandwich to munch on. Well, these days I can't imagine going there tagging Baby M with me. So, I end up making it at home.


Looking for more street food options, check out the recipe for


Let's check how I make Bombay Masala Sandwich at home. Off to the recipe now:



Bombay Masala Sandwich

Ingredients:
8 slices of whole-wheat Bread

For the filling:
2 medium potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
¼ cup green peas
1 green chilli, minced
½ tsp cumin seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp garam masala
Handful of chopped coriander leaves

To assemble
Thin tomato slices
Thin onion slices
Chaat masala to sprinkle
2 cubes Amul cheese
4 tbsp green chutney
Butter to brush the bread slices

Method:

1. Heat a pan and add oil. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves and let them splutter for a few seconds

2. Add the mashed potato, peas, salt and red chili powder and mix well. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add garam masala and the chopped coriander leaves and mix again. Take it off heat and let it cool a bit.

4. On one side of each bread slice smear the green chutney. On half of the slices spread the prepared potato mixture in a thin layer. Spread a layer of tomato slices and onion slices. Sprinkle some chaat masala and spread a layer of grated cheese.

5. Cover it with another bread slice with the green chutney side down. Repeat the same with the rest of the slices.

6. On the outer sides of the prepared sandwich, apply butter generously and grill them in a preheated sandwich maker till they are crisp and golden lines form on the outer side. 



This post is a part of the Blogging Marathon under the theme 'Make Street Food at Home'.

BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#83

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jhaal Muri | How to Make Jhaal Muri from scratch | Street Food Recipes

Jhaal Muri

Jhaal Muri is another popular street food from the state of Bengal. It is a light snack and is quite healthy too. ‘Jhaal’ in Bengali means ‘spicy’ and ‘muri is puffed rice – and it translates to spicy puffed rice. In the streets of Kolkata, the street vendors prepare them instantly and serve them in newspaper cones. With chopped onion, tomato, boiled potatoes, peanuts, sev bhujia, mustard oil and a blend of spices, it is a delightful snack to munch on. Using mustard oil is a must, as it imparts the dish its characteristic taste. While it might look somewhat similar to Bhel Puri, it’s taste is altogether different.

In all the years I have lived in Pune, I have realized that Pune doesn’t have a true winter. Here we have slightly chilly mornings and evenings, but the afternoons are pretty hot. Compared to the winters I have seen growing up in Assam and Rajasthan, winters here are actually nothing. However, the weather in Pune today is cold and chilly, thanks to the cyclone Ockhi which is influencing the weather in the south and west of India to a large extent, and will continue to do the same for a couple of more days. So, today it made perfect sense to indulge in an afternoon cup of tea and I enjoyed it with a paper cone full of jhaal muri.

Looking for more street food options, check out the recipe for

onion bhaji.

Let's learn how to make jhaal muri from scratch now

Ingredients:

4 cups puffed rice
1 medium onion chopped
1 large potato, boiled and diced
1 small tomato, deseeded chopped
1 tsp minced green chilli
4 tbsp roasted peanuts
¼ cup bhujia sev
2 tablespoons mustard oil
A dash of lemon juice
1 tbsp jhaal muri masala
Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped


For jhaal muri masala:
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp chaat masala


Method:

1.      Mix all the ingredients listed for the jhaal muri masala and store in an airtight container. Use as needed.
2.      Add mustard oil and prepared jhaal muri masala in a large bowl. Add puffed rice, chopped onion, tomato, potato, green chillies, peanuts, coriander leaves, bhujia sev, and toss to mix well. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed.
3.      Right before serving add a dash of lemon juice and toss again to mix well. Serve immediately with a cup of tea.


Note:

1.      This snack must be made right before serving, else the puffed rice will become soggy. If making for a get-together you can do the prep work before hand and mix it when you are ready to serve.

This post is a part of the Blogging Marathon under the theme 'Make Street Food at Home'.

BMLogo 
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#83

Monday, December 4, 2017

Ghugni Chaat | How to Make Ghugni from Scratch | Recipe




Ghugni Chaat

Ghugni Chaat is one of the most loved street foods from the lanes of Kolkata. And contrary to the popular belief about street foods, it is quite a healthy protein packed dish to indulge in. Try any area in Kolkata that is famous for its street food, you are bound to find a conspicuous vendor selling Ghugni.

In simple words, ghugni is a spicy curry made from dried white peas (that has been soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight) topped with chopped onions, tamarind chutney, a handful of coriander leaves and a specially roasted masala. Ghugni is to Kolkata what chole chaat is to Delhi. It is one of those dishes I make when I am running out of veggies in my pantry. With just a few ingredients, you can have a hearty and tummy satisfying meal.

When I was in school, there was a vendor who could come to our school park to sell ghugni during lunch breaks. From what I remember, there used to be a huge crowd surrounding his cart – all enjoying a plate of hot ghugni chaat. Back then I was quite averse to street foods since I was not sure what kind of hygiene standards they maintained. So, I never bought a plate of ghugni from him. Although today I enjoy having street food from street vendors, I am still very choosy. Well, that’s just me. These days whenever I crave street food, I end up making it at home.

Looking for more street food options, check out the recipe for


How to make ghugni chaat from scratch:

Ingredients:
1 cup dried yellow peas
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp ginger-chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
2 medium tomatoes blanched and pureed.
1 large boiled potato, boiled, peeled, and mashed roughly.
A pinch of hing
1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste

To serve:
Chopped onion
Chopped fresh coriander
Lemon slices
Specially roasted masala (bhaja masala)

In order to prepare the roasted masala, take 2 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp coriander seeds and 2 whole red chillies. Dry roast it in a pan over medium heat till they change colour. Grind it into a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar. Add 1 tsp of black salt and mix. Store it in an airtight container and use as needed.

Method:

1.       Wash the dried yellow peas and soak them in fresh water for 6 hours or overnight.
2.       In order to cook the peas, add the drained yellow peas to a pressure cooker and water such that the peas are covered in water. Add ½ tsp salt and cook it on high until one whistle. Wait till the pressure is released and open the cooker.
3.       Heat a Kadhai, add oil and when it is heated add hing and cumin seeds. Will the cumin seeds splutter, add ginger-chilli paste, garlic paste and stir. After a few seconds add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Cook till the onions are translucent. It will take about 3-4 minutes.
4.       Now add the tomato puree and stir. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and stir again. Cook till the tomato puree leaves oil in the sides.
5.       Now add the cooked peas and mashed potato. Give it a good stir. Check the spices. Add more if necessary. Bring it to a boil and then cover and lower the heat. Cook for about 5 minutes. When done turn off the heat.
6.       To serve, add the ghugni to a deep plate. Top it with a dash of lemon juice, tamarind chutney, chopped onion, chopped coriander, and the specially prepared roasted spice mix. Serve it hot.


This post is a part of the Blogging Marathon under the theme 'Make Street Food at Home'.

BMLogo 
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#83

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Anything But Books Tag


Long ago I had been tagged by my blogger friend Tarang for this interesting tag post – Anything But Books.  For reasons unknown, I have taken almost an eternity to answer it. I took a blogging break in September when I went on my annual holidays to my mom’s place. After coming back, blogging has somehow taken a back seat and that is evident from the sparse posts I have done in the past 2 months.

Anyways coming back to this tag post, there are some interesting questions that are not related to book in this tag and the tagged person has to answer it and pass it on to other bloggers. Let’s start now.

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

As a kid, I loved watching Mowgli (Jungle Books), Duck Tales, and Tom & Jerry. I am somehow glad that in our times we didn’t have YouTube and had to wait almost a week to watch our favourite cartoons. That taught us to be patient and to value our precious Sunday TV hours.

What is your favourite song right now?

I am still a big fan of songs from the old B&W Hindi movies. I remember their lyrics too. Unfortunately, I am not very mindful when listening to songs these days – I can’t even recall the lyrics if you ask me. Generally, these days I listen to songs on Radio sometimes and I love the songs by Arijit Singh. But, no favourite song in particular.

What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

Spending time on Pinterest and fantasizing about cooking flawlessly decorated cakes and exotic dishes. However, I seldom get enough time to do that. Maybe someday!

What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I have nothing very surprising to share. But, there is something I like to do that I have seen not many people like to do – if my mood is set (of course not every day) I can spend hours in cleaning and organizing my kitchen and home. Yeah!

What is your favourite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?

I didn’t get this question. If it means what I want to learn - well there are a ton of things. I want to learn how to swim (Yes, I can't swim - maybe I will learn with Baby M), I want to learn to apply makeup (I am too bad at it and usually don't bother about it ) and many more things (the list would be too long if I went on writing).

What is something unusual you know how to do?

I thought really hard, but I don’t think I have any such special talent.

Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can).

I think I can mention about some new dishes I have learnt to cook. Check out my Vegetable Biryani, Beets Brownie, and Tortilla Chips from scratch.

What is your most recent personal project?

I am working on my second blog. It is still in a work-in-progress phase and will most likely go live from January next year. Apart from food, I will be writing about a number other things that interest me.

Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows).

I think my mind wanders easily when I am staring out of the window. Often the thoughts vary drastically – like sometimes I might be thinking about what to cook, and somedays I might be pondering over the philosophical nuances of life.

Give us something that’s your favourite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favourite food, but like your favourite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.

Studying for hours and forgot to eat! Yes, that has happened to me in the past. But, I can’t think of any food item I would crave then. But, here is one thing oddly specific – when I am watching a movie in a movie theatre I want caramel popcorn. If that’s not available, I would rather not binge on anything else.

I would like to pass on this tag to a blogger I recently discovered through Twitter – Anagha. If you happen to read this post, do check her blog too.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!



Monday, October 30, 2017

Harnessing the Windmills of the Mind by Abraham Thomas | Book Review


Harnessing the Windmills of the Mind by Abraham Thomas

In the pell-mell of life, who has not sometimes felt overwhelmed? The mind seems to be in an endless churn...leading us in circles of despair, anger and frustration... Where do we turn when we are floundering? The answer lies within. Windmills offer practical and sustainable ways forward through Effective Mind Control (EMC).

How to control your temper

How to cultivate patience

How to face grief

How to deal with guilt

How to escape from the well of sudden disappointment

How not to feel dissatisfied with life

How to avoid despair over the lack of meaning in your life

These pages abridge the behavioural aspects of the AI thesis about the mind on the Effective Mind Control website. EMC has drawn keen interest from around the world, logging over half a million page views from over 150 countries. EMC assumes that IA, an intuitive algorithm, enables the mind to apply inductive reasoning to manage attitudes and behaviours. Windmills suggest simple mental and physical exercises, followed by wise men across the centuries, to change our own views and actions...pointing the way towards a positive life experience.

The review of this book has been long due. I had received a review copy of the same from Leadstart Publishers. Actually, I had chosen this title from a list of books they had to give way for review. The reason why I was interested in this particular book was the tagline of the book – achieving effective mind control. Well, who doesn’t want to have a full control over their minds? All of us and we all know that it is a herculean task.

As I read this book I realized that you cannot read it in a go. The book is thought-provoking and you have to slowly soak in the nectar of the book. And also unless you apply what you have learnt through the book, you can’t give your opinion about the same, right? That is one of the many reasons (travel, blogging block, Diwali, etc., among others) why it took me so long to write about it here.

The author has described the human brain as a composition of millions of windmills that control how we are, how we behave and how we live our lives. If we can guide and have control over these windmills we can take charge of our lives. And this can be done by following some mental and physical exercises. Sounds easy, right? But, to be able to practice them in everyday lives needs a person’s willingness to change, patience and above all discipline.

The author has touched on every aspect of our lives, the problems and dilemmas we face – sadness, guilt, fear, disappointment, anger, impatience, low self-esteem and more. All these take a toll on the quality of our lives and make us show the futility of our meaningless lives. The irony is that the solutions to all our problems lie within us. But we do not know how to go about it. That is what the book shows us - with the help of breathing exercises, mindfulness exercises the book shows us some ways that can help in fostering positive thinking and a positive attitude towards life and help us fight our own demons.

While I can say the content of the book is great, I wish it was written in a different way. At some point, it starts to sound boring. If it had been written like a practical workbook, it could have been utilised better by the end users.

You can check out the book in Amazon



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review | Return of the Trojan Horse – Tales of Criminal Investigation by Amit Dubey


Return of the Trojan Horse – Tales of Criminal Investigation by Amit Dubey

The blurb says:

Hello Amit, don’t waste your time; you can’t hack my system. But we will hack your country! Ameen.

They know me! This wasn’t good. The greatest fear a hacker has is having his identity revealed. During investigative operations, I always guarded my identity like the Kohinoor diamond. Then how could they have reached me? It was a-l-m-o-s-t impossible. 

A young software engineer, who, as a hobby, starts helping the Police in solving criminal cases, turns into a critical resource for the Force. He becomes entrapped in the system. Return of the Trojan Horse is the riveting narration of how he is compelled to draw inputs from his personal life and use sharp thinking and advanced technology to solve the criminal cases he is brought into. Based on real life, the book reveals the next generation methodologies used in crime investigation.

With the advent of internet and technology, our lives have changed drastically. We cannot imagine living a day without internet and our gadgets. Every facet of our lives is touched by technology; from the way we shop our groceries, plan our holidays, to how we book our cabs, movie tickets, etc. Whatever we do on the internet, we leave our digital footprints behind. While technology has made our lives easier, it has also made us more vulnerable.

We live in a world where criminals and terrorists are using hi-tech methods and equipment to plan their acts. And hence it is no surprise that those involved in criminal investigations also use advanced technology and next generation methodologies to crack crimes cases. Return of the Trojan Horse – Tales of Criminal Investigation by Amit Dubey gives us a sneak peek into the world of crimes and criminal investigation and how big a role technology is playing in today’s time.

Before I talk about the book, here is something about the author Amit Dubey that you should know. He is a well-known persona in the field of Crime Investigation in India and helps various police departments and security agencies in India to solve criminal cases. He is an IIT alumnus and a software engineer by profession. He speaks regularly at international conferences on cybercrimes and ethical hacking. He has also been featured by CNN-IBN as a National Security Expert.

Given the author’s background, I had high expectations from the book as I felt that the author will be drawing in from his rich experience in the cybersecurity field and will have something interesting to share. The book didn’t just meet my expectations but surpassed it. There are three different fictional case studies in the book - one dealing with a terrorist attack, one involving a kidnapping case and one revolving around a hit and run case (although I do feel somewhere they do have some resemblances with real incidents). All of them are narrated in simple and easy to follow language. The author doesn’t aim to preach or educate you about anything – he just narrates you a story of criminal investigation and how with the help of technology he helped in solving them. The use of technical jargons is minimal and hence the storytelling never feels overwhelming at any point in time.

As you go through the pages of the book, you will know how easy it is to track anyone who uses a smartphone and is connected to the internet. It is quite scary in a way that we are all oblivious to how vulnerable we all are in today’s time connected by technology.

The narration in the book is crisp and to the point. Yet, it often evokes many emotions in the reader– at some point, you will feel angry, sometimes anxious and helpless and often you will feel a strong sense of patriotism. A good pick for anyone interested in reading stories from the field of cybersecurity, criminal investigation and ethical hacking.

This book makes for a great gift for any book lover. So, this Diwali you can gift it to a book-loving friend of yours.




I received a free copy of the book from Leadstart Publishers in lieu of an honest review.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Jason Cage (Jason Cage Series #1) by aKay Brothers – A Book Review




Jason Cage (Jason Cage Series #1) by aKay Brothers 

Books can make you travel places and that is one way it helps in breaking the monotony of life. Last few months things were quite busy at my end and I was hardly getting any time to read anything worthwhile. All the titles I had at hand were not looking very inviting and were pushed away with the ‘read later’ tag. And then I got a mail from the authors of this new book ‘Jason Cage’ for a review and as I read the blurb I was instantly interested.

The authors of this book call themselves aKay Brothers – a pen name under which they are writing a series of books centering around the life of the protagonist named Jason Cage. The book review I am posting today is for the 1st book that has been published recently.

What an interesting and exciting read this book has been! And now I can’t wait for the next book in the series. At first instance, I felt it was a crime thriller, but then there are elements of paranormal fantasy and also some sub plots in historical settings. The best thing about the book is the pace of the story – it builds up interest in the readers and gets them hooked. Even when the settings in the book change, the pace is maintained and that I believe is one of the hallmarks of a good writer.

But, then there is something that needs to be worked upon. I came across a number of editing errors and spelling mistakes in the book that needs to be done away with to enhance the reader’s experience. A tighter editing is recommended for future books.

Jason Cage is a man with a mysterious birth and has a life that is far from normal. He is tormented by his dreams – they are the precursor of events that are about to happen in someone’s real life or in some cases have already happened. But one thing is common - his dreams bring bad tidings. After losing his parents to unnatural deaths and after a stint at a Medical school where he befriends Lisa and Bill, he finally seeks solace in a Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh. Jason knows that his stay there won’t last forever, so he tries to make the most of his time there by keeping a very low profile. But, little does he knows that his dreams will strike him again and he will not have an option but to follow them.

Don – a peculiar creature resembling a lion is Jason's companion and has been by his side most of the time since his birth. The uncanny and peculiar thing about it is that it is visible only to Jason. The author takes us places through Jason’s dreams – sometimes to a time more than half a century ago where a doctor is trying to frame his friend as a blood sucking vampire and then to place where a man meets his death in the most mysterious circumstances after opening a parcel. There is again a sub plot with the settings in ancient Egypt where a man’s folly leads to the rising of the devil.

Amidst all this, there is this dream where Jason sees that Lisa’s (who used be his crush in his college days) life is in danger. That’s when he decides it is time to venture out and save Lisa. But how is he going to do it? He has no idea where Lisa is and to top it, he has no money. How will Jason embark on his journey to save Lisa and will he be able to do it?

Another plot running through the book is that of Dr Dhristi from RAW. After a successful mission of capturing LeT head (seriously that reminded me of the Akshay’s Kumar starter movie –Baby), she deploys her best man to get hold of Jason Cage. Why? That’s a question I am hoping would be covered in the next books.

Just as is expected from books where the story is revealed in a series, there are too many unanswered questions in the first book of the Jason cage series.

What has the Egyptian devil from centuries ago and RAW from the present times got to do with Jason?

How all of these are going to converge to Jason is a thing to read in sequels as and when they get released.

This is a book outside my frequently read genres and it was a welcome change for me. Anyone who is interested in crime thrillers or books on paranormal fantasy will surely find it a great read. If you want to know more about the book, you can visit the author’s website. www.akaybrothers. You can grab a copy of the book on Amazon too.

I received a free r-copy of the book from the authors for an unbiased review.



Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stuffed Aloo Paratha | How to Make Aloo Parathas | Weekend Breakfast Recipe Ideas



Even though we love parathas, they are not a regular thing in my house. They make an appearance on the dining table once or twice a month and that too when I run out of veggies in my pantry. But, we like to have parathas for breakfast when we are travelling or are on a vacation and want to have a filling meal.

When I was thinking about what to post for the 3rd day of  'Special Weekend Breakfast' theme for BM#79, I realised that I have never posted a paratha recipe on this space. So naturally, I decided to post the recipe for one of the most popular parathas that are made in most homes as a special weekend breakfast. It's none other than Stuffed Aloo Paratha.

Let's check out how I make it -

Stuffed Aloo Parathas

Ingredients:

1½ cup whole wheat flour.
Pinch of salt
Water to knead the dough.

For the filling:

2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and crushed
¼ cup of cooked green peas, slightly crushed
1 green chilli, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp jeera
½ tsp amchur
½ tsp garam masala
salt as per taste

Ghee or oil for shallow frying

Process:

1. In a large bowl, add whole wheat flour, salt and knead the dough using water as needed. Cover the dough and let it sit for at least 15 mins before you proceed with rolling.

2. Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds, minced green chillies and grated ginger. Add the crushed green peas and the mashed potatoes and all the spices and seasoning. Give the mixture a good stir. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix again. Heat it for another 2-3 minutes and then turn off the gas. Take the pan off the gas and let the mixture cool completely before using them to fill parathas.

3. In order to make parathas, take the dough, knead it for a few seconds and divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal sized dough balls.

4. Using some dry flour roll the dough ball into a roti about 3cm in radius. Place 2-3 tbsp of the prepared filling in the middle. Join the edges and close it forming a ball. Roll it again about 6 cm in radius.

5. Meanwhile, keep a tava for cooking the paratha on gas flame. Place the rolled paratha on the tava, when one side is done turn it over and heat on the other side. Brush ghee on the top and turn it over. Brush ghee on the other side as well. Apply pressure with a turning spoon to ensure even cooking.

6. Repeat the same with rest of the dough balls.

7. Serve the parathas with pickle and yoghurt. Enjoy them hot.

BMLogo

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich | Weekend Breakfast Recipe Ideas


Can you resist the taste of golden, crisp, grilled sandwich with a cup of hot tea?

Grilled sandwiches are a regular fare during weekends in my house. So, on the 2nd day of Week#4 of BM# 79 under my chosen theme of 'Weekend Breakfast Ideas', I am sharing the recipe for a much loved grilled sandwich. I use freshly made homemade paneer in making the filling for this sandwich. However, you may use grated ready to use paneer also.

Let's checkout the recipe below:

Ingredients:
8 brown bread slices

For the filling:
1/4 cup freshly made paneer
3 tbsp chopped capsicum
1 small carrot, grated
1 small green chilli finely minced
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp tomato sauce

To assemble:
green chutney
tomato ketchup
butter to grease

Method:
1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the filling and mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Set aside.
2. Apply butter on one side of each bread slice. On the unbuttered side of 4 bread slices apply green chutney and on the remaining 4 slices apply tomato ketchup.
3. Take the slices with green chutney side up and spread the prepared paneer filling. Cover with the bread slices smeared with tomato ketchup with buttered side up. Repeat the same with the rest of the bread slices.
4. Grill them on a sandwich maker till golden lines appear on both sides. Slice them into two halves.
5. Serve hot with ketchup and green chutney. Enjoy!


BMLogo

Friday, August 25, 2017

Club Kachori Recipe | How to Make Club Kachori | Special Weekend Breakfast Recipe


Anyone who has lived in Kolkata for a while will know about this quite popular weekend breakfast dish - Club Kachori. This dish is DH's favourite and whenever he is in Kolkata, he doesn't miss to indulge gorging on it for breakfast at a popular snack shop in the locality.

For the uninitiated, the name of this dish can be a little misleading. The kachoris here are not like the khasta kachori which are well known all over India; they are more like bite size puri. But, there is a difference. Into the dough of these kachoris, goes coarsely urad dal paste, suji, little chilli and ginger paste and some hing which gives it its characteristic taste

These kachoris as deep fried and are served with a spicy potato curry. In some places, pumpkin is also added to the curry. Panchporan - a Bengali whole spice mix added in this curry, makes it taste a little different from the regular potato curry.

Typically, maida is used to make the kachoris, but at home, I use atta (chapati flour) to make them.
Without much ado, let's check out how to prepare Club Kachori Kolkata style.

This is the first recipe I am posting under Weekend Breakfast Theme of BM#79


Club Kachori

Ingredients:

For the Kachori/Puri

2 cups atta
¼ cup suji/semolina
2 tbsp oil
¼ cup urad dal, washed and soaked in water for at least an hour
¼ tsp hing/asafetida
1 tsp chili paste
1 tsp ginger paste


For the Potato Curry:

6 medium size potato, boiled, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 green chili, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp hing
½ tsp each of sauf, methi seeds, ajwain, kaloni and rai (panchporan)
1 red chili
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder, or to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp amchur
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp kasuri methi
Handful of coriander leaves

Process:

1.       Drain the soaked urad dal and grind coarsely in a grinder. In a mixing bowl, add the coarsely ground urad dal paste, atta, suji, oil, hing, salt, chili and ginger and using water as need, knead a firm dough. Cover it and set it aside.
2.       To make the potato curry heat oil in a pan, add hing, jeera, red chili, green chilli, ginger and garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Now add sauf, methi seeds, ajwain, kaloji and rai and stir so that they start crackling. Now add the tomato puree. Cook for about a minute and then add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, and coriander powder. Cook for a couple of minutes. When you see oil leaving its side, add the potatoes. Stir. Now add 1 cup of water. Stir and bring it to a boil.
3.       When it comes to a boil, the gravy will also start thickening, add garam masala, amchur and crushed kasuri methi and stir. If needed add little more water, cover and bring to a boil.
4.       Check for spices, adjust if needed. When done, add chopped coriander leaves and take it off the flame.
5.       In order to make the kachori/puri, divide the dough into small balls (little bigger than marbles). These kachoris are about 2 inches in diameter.
6.       Roll them into thick rounds (little thicker than puri). Thin ones do not puff well.
7.       Heat oil in a Kadhai and when the oil is heated enough, fry them 2-3 at a time (depending on the size of your Kadhai) on high heat. When it is brown on one, flip and fry the other side for a few seconds. Drain them on paper towel. Repeat the process till you have used all the dough.
8.       Serve the potato curry with these hot kachori/puri along with a dollop of achar, sliced onion and some tomato and cucumber slices for a filling weekend breakfast/ brunch.

Notes:
1. Do not roll them too thin or too big, else they will not puff well.
2. Always fry these kachoris on a high heat, it helps them in puffing.


BMLogo

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Pasta in Red Sauce Recipe


On days when I am not in the mood to cook an elaborate Indian meal with roti, subji, dal and chawal, pastas come to my rescue. They not only make for a filling meal, but can be made relatively faster. The recipe I am sharing today is that of penne pasta in red sauce along with some veggies. I have added just capsicum and sweetcorn, but if you are not pressed for time, you can add many more veggies - anything that catches your fancy.

I always prefer to bake my pasta for the final cooking. First I boil the pasta in water till they are just done. When the sauce is ready and I toss in the pasta, cook on stove top for a couple of minutes and then transfer it all in a casserole, top it with cheese and bake it for 15-20 minutes. I think this way flavour of the sauce seeps into the pasta making it taste great.

I am sharing this recipe under Summer Casserole Dishes Theme of Week#2 of BM#79.



Ingredients

2 cups cooked penne pasta
1½ cup fresh tomato puree
¼ cup tomato ketchup
¼ cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp garlic paste
½ cup chopped capsicum
½ cup boiled sweet corn 
Salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dry red chilli flakes
¼ to ½ cup grated cheese

Process:

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the butter, followed by chopped onion and garlic and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
2. Add the chopped capsicum and cook it covered on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fresh tomato puree and salt and cook it for 5-7 minutes. Stir in between.
4. When it looks a bit cooked, add tomato ketchup, oregano, chilli flakes and sugar. Stir well and cook on a medium flame for about 7 to 10 minute. The red sauce should be nice and thick by now.
5. Add the cooked pasta, boiled sweet corn and gently toss everything and cook on a medium flame for 2 more minutes. The pasta should be well coated with the sauce.

6. Transfer the pasta in a casserole that has been pre-greased with butter. Top it with grated cheese and bake it in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!


Notes:

1. You can add any other veggies of choice like broccoli, mushrooms, baby-corn, etc.

BMLogo

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...