Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Potato Amaranth Leaves Patties | Aloo Chaulia Tikkis



Saag - the Indian name for all green leafy vegetables, forms an integral part of various regional cuisines through out the country. Loaded with vitamins and essential minerals, this is the best way of fueling up on the season’s best offerings. While palak (spinach), methi (fenugreek), hari piyaj (spring onions) etc are on top of the popularity chart, still there are a few green leaves which are nutritious as well as flavorful. Amaranth leaves / Chaulai / Koshala Saga (in odia) is one of them. The appearance of the amaranth leaves resemble much to spinach and are available in purple, red, green color. Starting from foothills of the Himalayas to the coasts of south India these can be found easily.




This month for the 'Recipe Swap Challenge', I have paired up with Priya from 'Priya Easy n Tasty Recipes'. Her blog is filled with loads of delicious recipes. While browsing through her blog, I listed a no of dishes to prepare at first and then finalized one which is Aloo Palak Tikki. But since navratri is going on, so I made few changes in the dish and that too use Amaranth leaves instead of spinach and hence the dish is 'Potato Amaranth Leaves Patties' or 'Aloo Chaulai Tikki'.




In my home state, Odisha during this time amaranth leaves are available abudantley in market as compared to spinach. And I love this green vegetable and also prepare some regional dishes using this. Surely I will make some posts regarding some odia dishes using this chaulai / koshala saga. 




Well here in this recipe, I have used some buckwheat flour / kuttu ka aata as binding agent. The dish uses few ingredients, still the result is bit spicy and slight crisp tikkis bursting with flavors. These tikkis'll perfectly fit as an amazing snacks to enjoy during the fasting days. These are completely vegan and gluten free snacks.

So do try these Potato Amaranth Leaves Patties / Aloo Chaulia Tikkis in this navratri. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊




Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 15 mins 


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Potato (boiled & smashed)
1 cup
Amaranth leaf
3/4 cup
Buckwheat flour
(kuttu ka atta)
3 tbsp
Red chili powder
½ tsp
Cumin powder
¼ tsp
Green chili
2 no
Rock salt
As needed
Oil
For shallow frying



Method :
  1. First wash and clean all the amaranth leaves thoroughly.
  2. Drain all the water and chopped the leaves roughly.
  3. Now in a bowl take boiled potato, chopped amaranth leaves and mix very well first.
  4. Next add red chili powder, cumin powder, chopped green chilies, rock salt, kuttu ka aata and mix till everything incorporated well.
  5. Apply some drops of oil on both of the palm then.
  6. Make a small ball out from the mixture and flatten by gently pressing in between palms and thus make round shape tikki.
  7. Place over a plate and make similarly more tikkis from rest of the mixture.
  8. Heat oil in a pan and place gently all the tikkis keeping space in between.
  9. Shallow fry till become crispy from both sides and turn golden brown in color.
  10. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot along with tamarind chutney during navratri fasting !




Notes :

  • In place of red chili, pepper powder can be used.
  • Also here the ingredients can be added or removed according to individual spiritual beliefs.


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Monday, 15 October 2018

Ginger Fried Rice (no-Onion-no-Garlic version)





There are plenty of ways to cook up juicy and flavorful food without adding tons of unnecessary extras. While most people know to ditch the fryer when cooking up healthy meals, many don’t think about how their cooking method affects the nutritional value of their intake. Commonly used cooking methods are divided into two general groups as 'Dry heat method' and 'Moist heat method' basically. 

  • In dry heat method, the food being cooked does not use water to cook the food. The food is left dry and heat is applied to cook the food. Examples are baking, roasting, grilling, steaming etc.
  • In moist heat method, liquid like water, oil etc are used as a medium to cook the food. These liquids are added to the food before heat is applied to it or sometimes heat is applied to the liquid before the food is added into the cooking utensils to be cooked. Examples are boiling, stewing, stir-frying, deep-frying etc.








Well, among all stir-frying is a fast and fresh way to cook. Simply toss and turn food with a little hot oil in a wok over high heat, and Voila !!! in five minutes or less, the food is done and ready to serve. Stir-frying fits hectic lifestyles and health-conscious tastes. This is a versatile technique anyone can use in an everyday basis. Stir-frying was first developed in China as a cooking method which generally uses a wok for the cooking, but also can be prepared in a frying pan. Since this is Monday again, so the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team has come up with the 166th theme as 'Stir Frying'. In order to contribute for the theme I have prepared a much quick and easy dish as 'Ginger Fried Rice'.


This rice dish is super quick to make if the cooked rice is on hand, hardly it takes less than 5 minutes in all-total. The most important thing here is to keep an eye over the frying part of ginger in oil. The ginger can be used in either grated or shredded form. The oil must be hot before adding ginger but that should not burn the ginger pieces. Otherwise the whole dish cant get that amazing flavor impacted from the ginger. I have maintained the dish so simple without adding anything extra rather than pepper. So for no-garlic-no-onion cooking days, the ginger fried rice must be best choice to indulge. This dish can easily served with any desired side dish. Also it can be perfectly fit for kids tiffin box idea too.

So definitely do try this no-garlic-no-onion Ginger Fried Rice. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also kindly give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on Facebook,  Pinterest,  Twitter,  Google+,  Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊




Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 5 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Rice (cooked)
2 cup
Ginger (grated)
2 tbsp
Oil
1 tbsp
Pepper powder
As needed
Salt
As needed

Method :
  1. First heat oil in a wok over low flame.
  2. Add in grated ginger and saute for 15-20 seconds.
  3. Next add cooked rice and mix everything well over low-medium heat.
  4. Add in salt and pepper powder as per taste and give a nice mix again.
  5. Turn off heat and serve this simply ginger flavored fried rice with any desired side dish !



Notes :


  • Here the most important point is that, oil should not be heated at high. Otherwise the ginger'll burn immediately after putting in the oil.


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Saturday, 13 October 2018

Lavang Latika (Baked Version)

Durga Puja is the one of the most famous festival celebrated in West Bengal state of Indian subcontinent and particularly in Kolkata, in honor of Goddess Durga during the period of Navaratri. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. Although this is celebrated for 10 days, but the main 5 days of Durga Puja, which starts from ‘Shoshthi (6th day)’ and ends on Doshomi (10th day)’, has a great significance in every Bengali’s life. According to the Hindu Mythology, Goddess Durga emerged from the collective energy of all Gods as an embodiment of Shakti or divine feminine power, to destroy demon Mahishasura who was blessed to not be defeated by any man or god. 





The festival is all about food, new clothes, dance, music and get-together. There are a variety of dishes which are prepared and relished during this puja season. From sweet to savory, veg to non-veg anyone can find all the tastes. Since Bengal is famous for sweets, so a variety of sweets are prepared these days like rasgulla, rasmalai, chhena Jalebi, misti doi, bhapa doi, kheer, sandesh, malpua, chumchum and lots more. Well since Durga puja is going to started in full phase, so here I have come up with a sweet dish from Bengali cuisine as Lavang Latika (Baked version).






This beautiful looking dish is stuffed with a mixture of sweetened mawa / khoya and dry fruits, sealed with a clove and finally coated with sugar syrup which makes it crusty from outside but soft from inside. Traditional method follows to deep fry these lavang latikas before the sugar coating. But here I have baked these goodies first instead of deep frying and then fully coated with sugar syrup. Some bengalis also are used coconut in the stuffing along with mawa, but it is optional totally. Since these are baked, so there is no worry of leaking of stuffing at anytime during cooking. The whole process is so easy to make and the dish taste really yummy. Also, these can be stored well for a week in fridge as well by keeping in an air-tight container.

So do try this sweet Bengali dish during this Durga puja. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊





Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 50 mins 


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
All purpose flour (maida)
1 cup
Mawa
1 cup
Sugar
¾ cup
Dry fruit (cashew, almond)
(roughly chopped)
2 tbsp
Cardamom powder
1 pinch
Water
2 tbsp
Oil
As needed
Salt
1 pinch
Clove
As needed



Method :
  1. In a mixing bowl, take all purpose flour (maida), salt and 2 tbsp oil.
  2. Mix well with finger tips till it resembles coarse breadcrumbs texture. 
  3. Add water little by little and knead to make a firm and stiff dough. 
  4. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Next take grated mawa in a nonstick pan along with 4 tbsp sugar.
  6. Mix everything well and start cooking till slight color changes.
  7. Add cardamom powder, chopped nuts and mix till a whole mass type mixture appear.
  8. Turn off heat and allow the stuffing to cool down completely.
  9. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
  10. Now take the dough and again knead a bit.
  11. Divide the dough into approximately 1-1.5 inch size balls.
  12. Take one ball and start to roll like poori (3 inch size) over a floured surface.
  13. Place 1 tsp of stuffing in the center and flatten a little without spreading much. 
  14. First fold one side of the poori towards the center and then fold the opposite side towards the center so that both sides overlap each other with the stuffing at the center.
  15. Then it will shape like a rectangle. 
  16. Again fold the remaining two sides of the poori towards center overlapping each other.
  17. Next insert a clove in the center so that sides'll not open. Keep aside this lavang latika.
  18. Make similarly lavang latikas from rest of the dough balls.
  19. Place all the lavang latikas over a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  20. Brush each latikas with oil and bake for 30 minutes at 180 deg C.
  21. Then continue baking at 200 deg C for 5 minutes more.
  22. Meanwhile, in a pan make a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water.
  23. Turn on heat and make a syrup of 1 string consistency.
  24. Drop the lavang latikas into the sugar syrup.
  25. Allow to soak in the syrup for 1 minute. 
  26. Drain out from the syrup, place on a plate and allow to cool. 
  27. Store in an air-tight container and serve these scrumptious and delicious lavang latika whenever desired !




Notes :

  • If the lavang latikas are refrigerated keeping in an air-tight container, then these can stay good for 1-2 weeks.
  • Any other dry fruits can be added as desired.

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This 'Lavang Latika (Baked Version)' is contributed for 54th Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Mishti Dussehra at HW'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as Chaler Payesh, Patishaptas, Kala Jamun.
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Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Cardamom Black Tea

Tea is such a comfort drink and nothing spells comfort like a cup of hot, steaming tea. No matter what the season, tea always becomes a tasty beverage since it can be served iced or hot. These days teas are being prepared in different flavors and method as well, but the quality of tea which actually matters all the time. Well, how about some black tea with cardamom flavor using the Assam Tea from Nargis ?







The Assam tea has a far superior taste, look & strength. I can assure that a very small amount of this tea is doing the  work in the drink, no need to add much as these are so fresh and premium quality. They also being direct to consumer save significant time and helps in retaining the quality & freshness. Normally, the traditional packet tea takes a long route & reaches us at least 5-6 months after its production. The long supply chain and packaging cycle of those tea deteriorates the quality in the form of its freshness, aroma, color blend  & taste too. This tea company is also focusing on teas that the Indian consumers drink & understand ( just 3-4 varieties, keeping it simple). The pricing part is much closer to current packet prices of others as well. Preferably they are focusing on
subscription based because tea is a very habitual drink for any Indian. So I definitely suggest to try these tea soon (here is the link).




Coming back to the recipe, the cardamom flavored tea which I have prepared here is very simple and quick. Just boil everything and voila !!!! The hot beverage is ready to enjoy. This is one of the simplest and most refreshing drink with a cardamom flavor. Even some lemon can be added if desire. It can be in both hot and iced, but I prefer the hot ones. Anyone can sip it all day and not get the jitters definitely.

So do try this cardamom flavor black tea using teas of Nargis companyIf you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle+Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊. Lets go in details.


Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 5 mins

Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
Tea
1 tsp
Ginger
½ inch
Cardamom pod
3 no
Sugar / honey
As needed
Water
2 cup

Method :
  1. In a saucepan take water, grated ginger, freshly crushed cardamom and mix everything well.
  2. Bring to a boil and continue simmering for about 1 minute.
  3. Next add 1 tbsp of Assam tea and keep stirring for few seconds.
  4. Cover the pan and allow to simmer for 2 minute more.
  5. Turn off heat.
  6. Strain the cardamom flavored black tea immediately into serving cups and serve by adding the desired amount of sweetener !

Notes :

  • The ginger addition here is totally optional.

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Monday, 8 October 2018

Kheer Sagar




Subho Mahalaya everyone !!! 

Mahalaya marks the start of the Durga Puja festival. On this day, the goddess Durga is believed to have descended to Earth. Then the festival of Navratri comes. In the word Navratri, Nava means nine and Ratri means nights. So basically this is a nine day celebration of Goddess Durga. Hindus celebrate this with devotion and enthusiasm all over the world with full of joy and festivity. Goddess Durga is worshiped throughout the nine days and then immersed in holy water after pooja. Each and everyday has its importance and meaning. 





Monday is here again and this time the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team has decided the 165th theme to be 'Navratri Special'. After doing a lot of brain storming, I have ended up with one of the authentic sweet delicacy from Odia Cuisine, 'Kheer Sagar' for the contribution. 


Kheer Sagar is an Odia word. Here Kheer means milk and Sagar means ocean. So overall the dish loaded with milk. Basically marble ball sized chhena balls are dunked in flavored reduced milk. The Bengali RASMALAI and Odia KHEER SAGAR are quite similar, but there are some differences like size of the chhena balls, the consistency of the reduced milk. The consistency of milk is little thick, but not like rabdi in kheer sagar. The whole process is so so easy and quick. No dryfruits are used in this dessert unlike rasmalai. This authentic Odia delicacy is very rich and absolutely much flavorful, still so simple dish.

So definitely do try this traditional Odia sweet dish during this navratri. If you tried my recipe and enjoyed fully, then please share some pictures of your creation with me. Also kindly give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. You may also follow me on Facebook,  Pinterest,  Twitter,  Google+,  Instagram and can subscribe for free to get new recipes directly into your inbox 😊




Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 30 mins


Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
100 gm
Milk (full fat)
2 lt
Sugar
1 & ¼ cup
Cardamom powder
¼ tsp
Water
3 cup
Saffron
1 pinch
Rose petal (optional)
For garnishing

Method :
  1. In a wide and deep pan, first mix 3 cup water and 1 cup sugar.
  2. Then turn on heat and start boiling the sugar mixture.
  3. Meanwhile, take fresh chhena
  4. Knead it using hand until it all comes together like dough and it starts to release some fat. Palm will turn little greasy, it is an indication that it has started to release fat. Stop kneading after that.
  5. Take small portion of kneaded dough and roll to tiny ball (less than 1/2 inch size). The size of the ball will increase to almost double after boiling in sugar syrup, hence always remember to make the ball size as small as possible so that after boiling in sugar syrup the size will be of marble size ball.
  6. Similarly make tiny chhena balls and gently drop into the boiling syrup.
  7. Boil for 5 minutes first, then reduce the heat and allow to cook for 10 minutes more over low heat.
  8. By the time, the balls must be doubled in size.
  9. Turn off heat and allow to cool down completely.
  10. Next in another heavy bottom pan, start boiling milk.
  11. Then simmer and allow to reduce till half the original quantity, while stirring in between.
  12. Add saffron, sugar, cardamom powder and mix well.
  13. Cook till sugar completely dissolve which takes 1-2 minutes approximately.
  14. Now squeeze all the tiny rasgullas gently and drop into the reduced milk.
  15. Stir carefully so that the rasgullas don't break.
  16. Cook for 1-2 minutes  and then turn off heat.
  17. Allow to cool completely and then keep in refrigerator.
  18. Finally sprinkle some dried rose petals and serve this authentic Odia dessert Kheer Sagar chilled !





Notes :

  • Always prefer to use fresh chhena for this kheer sagar.
  • Full fat milk will make the whole dish even more rich and delicious. So try to include full fat milk instead of normal one.

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