All posts by deepasekhar

Hello Reader, This is Deepa Sekhar. I do cookery shows for DOORDHARSHAN for the past four years. I've done several live cookery programs. Theneer neram is a live program which brings out best dishes of different varieties. Asathal samayal is also a live program where a dish has to be prepared, at the same time viewer's queries will have to be answered. I have authored a cook book, "CHAAT VARIETIES" and have continuously written bi-monthly cookbooks for KUMUDHAM SNEHIDHI, a prestigious woman's magazine. Also, few recipes of mine have been published in the Kumudam Health magazine and JFW(Just for women) magazine. I've started this blog with my viewers requests and encouragement. I will be sharing recipes from various cuisines using fresh produce. For now, two dishes will be posted every month. I appreciate all the support and encouragement from you viewers, readers and fellow bloggers. Feel free to share my recipes with your family and friends. Please do send in your suggestions. Like.Comment.Share! Thank you, Deepa Sekhar.

Kaara pori ( Spicy Murmura or Spicy Puffed Rice)

Kaara Pori 

This is a famous Vysial recipe. When you are hungry, have a bowl of this spicy pori. It fills your stomach and is very light. A very enjoyable and satisfying recipe. Best served with a cup of piping hot tea.

Ingredients

Cleaned Puffed rice ( murmura) – 6 cups

Halved peanuts – 1 cup

Roasted, fried gram ( Pottu kadalai) – 1 cup

Paper thin poha – 1 cup  ( thin poha )

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Chilli powder – 3/4 teaspoon ( I have used Kashmiri chilli powder )

Salt to taste

Asafoetida powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Cumin ( jeera ) powder – 3/4 teaspoon

Finely chopped dried curd chillies – 1 tablespoon( mor milagai)

Finely chopped garlic – 1 tablespoon

Finely chopped curry leaves – 1 tablespoon

Oil – 1 teaspoon

To Season

Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons

Ghee – 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Method

Take a bowl. Add in 1 teaspoon of oil. Mix in the chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, jeera powder and asafoetida powder. Mix well. Keep it aside till the time of use.

Heat a big, broad, heavy bottomed pan. Season. Keep the flame on sim. Add in the chopped curd chillies. Fry on sim flame to a little dark golden colour. Add the chopped garlic. Fry till golden.  Next, add in the peanuts, roasted gram, paper thin poha and the chopped curry leaves. Fry till golden. Add the cleaned pori. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Now add in the dry spice powders mixed in oil. Keep the flame on sim. Mix gently and leave on sim flame for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Remove the pan from the stove top and keep it aside to cool. Transfer the spicy pori to an air tight container.

Chef’s Tips

1) Sauté all the ingredients on sim flame. The colour will be retained.

2) Add salt carefully. The pori is salted already and the curd chillies also have salt.

3) Shelf life of this pori is 15 days.

4) Also tastes great with some curds drizzled on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paal Mittai ( Milk Sweet, Doodh Mithai, Milk Burfi )

Paal Mittai ( Milk Sweet )

A favourite sweet  in our house hold. For years, I have been making this sweet. Very delicious, gooey, soft, only very few ingredients. The cooking time will be approximately 30 to 45 minutes. 

Wishing You All A Very Happy , Safe and a Fun Filled Deepavali.

Ingredients

Boiled, full fat milk – 3 big cups

Sugar – 2 big cups

Ghee – 1 big cup

Besan ( Channa dhal flour ) – 2 tablespoons ( sieved )

Method

Heat a big , broad , thick bottomed pan. Add in the milk, sugar and the ghee. Once the mix boils, keep on medium flame.

Let the mixture boil till it becomes thick. Sprinkle the besan little by little. Cook on high flame. Keep stirring continuously. The mix will thicken and will start to bubble all around the sides of the pan. Take little mix from the pan and put it in a plate. Cool. If you roll it it will form to a soft ball.  This is the correct consistency. Now the Sweet is ready. Switch off the stove. Mix well for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased tray. Cool little. Mark squares or any shape of your choice. Run the knife all around the sides of the tray. Take out a piece . Now you can take out all the pieces with ease. Store in an airtight container. Serve and enjoy with your family.

Chef’s Tips

1) While mixing the Sweet in the end, the flame has to be high. It will splatter. Use an oven mitten to protect your hand. The hot mix might sprinkle on your hand.

2) The texture of this Sweet is very soft and chewy.

 

Katli Kalakand Walnut Lassi

Katli Kalakand Walnut Lassi

From long time I have been contemplating on this lassi preparation. I had some store bought Kaju Katli ( Cashewnut Burfi ) and Kalakand ( Paneer and sugar based Sweet ) at home. I planned to add some Walnuts along with the other ingredients.  Lassi is usually a sweet drink made out of thick, fresh, chilled curds. Very soothing and comforting.  Please try and post your valuable feedback. 

Ingredients

Thick, fresh chilled curds – 2 big cups

Powdered sugar – 2 tablespoons

Crumbled Kaju Katli – 1

Crumbled Kalakand – 2 pieces

Chopped Walnuts – 1 tablespoon

For the topping

Shredded Almonds and Pistachios – little

Method

Take a big blender jar. Add in the walnuts and the sugar. Pulse it for 1 second. Next, add the crumbled kaju katli, crumbled kalakand and the chilled curds. Blend it for 1 minute. Pour it in glasses. Sprinkle the topping on top.  Serve at once.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can add little crushed ice while blending.

2) Do not add ice without crushing. The blades of the mixie will not be able to take it.

 

 

Paneer Qorma

Paneer Qorma

I had plenty of homemade Paneer. I quickly formulated this recipe which became a very big hit in my family. Homemade Paneer is very soft and juicy.

This Qorma is a gentle mix of varied spices, used in the right proportion. A thick finger licking gravy, which goes well with Nepal Special Dhal Biriyani, Jeera rice, Naan, Paranthas, Phulkas,Puri, Plain steamed rice and buttered bread toast. 

Do try and enjoy this recipe with Your Family.

Ingredients

Cubed Paneer- 2 cups ( Put the cubed Paneer in a big bowl of boiling hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Cover it and leave it aside till the time of use. ) ( By putting the Paneer in hot water with turmeric powder, the fungal properties will not be formed on the Paneer. You can happily pack it in the lunch box for children. It will stay good for a long, long time. )

Chopped onion – 1 cup

Whisked thick curds – 2 tablespoons

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Cumin ( jeera powder ) – 1/2 teaspoon

Garam Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon

Everest Kitchen king Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Water – 1 /2 cup

Fry in oil and grind to a fine paste

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Chopped onion- 1/2

Chopped green chilli – 1

Chopped garlic – 5 flakes

Chopped ginger – 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon

Chopped Cashewnuts – 2 tablespoons

Aniseeds ( Fennel seeds ,sombhu ) – 2 pinches

Chopped tomatoes – 1 and 1/2 cups

Heat a pan, add the oil. Roast all the above mentioned ingredients on simflame to a golden colour. Switch off the stove. Transfer the contents to a plate. Cool. Blend to a fine paste using little water.

To Season 

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Cumin seeds ( jeera ) – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Method

Heat a pan. Keep on medium flame. Season. Fry the ground paste on sim flame. Cover the pan as it will splatter a lot. Once the mix is fried well and the raw smell goes, add the whisked curds. Cover and sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes.  Add all the dry spice powders, salt, sugar and mix very well. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add  1/2 cup of water. Boil the Qorma for 5 minutes on sim flame. Add in the drained paneer. Mix gently. Cook for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish  and serve hot with Dhal Biriyani.

Chef ‘s Tips

1) After adding the Paneer do not boil it for a long time. The texture of the paneer will not be soft. It will become rubbery.

2) Fry the ground paste well till the raw smell leaves. Fry on sim flame. Cover and fry. It will splatter. Your back splash in the kitchen  will not get soiled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nepal Special Dhal Biriyani with Paneer Qorma

Nepal Special Dhal Biriyani with Paneer Qorma

In many of my trips to Kathmandu, I had the opportunity to taste nice vegetarian food. Almost all around Kathmandu, the food served is very tasty, nice, and homely. I had this Dhal Biriyani in Hotel Marshyangdi in Thamel Kathmandu. I really, really loved the mild flavour. The aroma and the flavours play in this dish. Very nutritious. A perfect blend of spices. This recipe is very vivid in my memory. From Kathmandu, I have taken my friend’s, my group to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. We have enjoyed every inch of our journey, especially we would always camp at Lake Manasarovar for Guru Purnima. The full moon would look awesome and mighty  and huge in that altitude. Lord Shiva his abode Mount Kailash will be glowing. Sheer Bliss and very, very spectacular to see this sight. The stars will be winking, a memorable scene, that I even cherish till this day. 

Please try this recipe. ThIs Dhal Biriyani goes well with Paneer Qorma , raitha and roasted Pappad. Do try and Please post your Valuable Feedback. 

Nepal Special Dhal Biriyani served with Paneer Qorma ,  Roasted Pappad and Cucumber Raitha. 

Ingredients

Basmathi rice – 1 cup ( washed and soaked in sufficient water for 30 minutes ) ( Drain the rice , cover and keep aside till the time of use )

Broken yellow moong dhal ( paasiparuppu ) – 1/4 cup ( washed and soaked in sufficient water for 30 minutes)

Chopped onion- 1 cup

Chopped tomato – 3/4 cup

Salt to taste

Water – 2 cups

Pound together 

Garlic – 4 flakes

Peeled and chopped ginger – 2 teaspoons

Chopped green chillies – 2

To Season

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Ghee- 1 tablespoon

Cinnamon – 1 medium piece

Cloves – 4

Cardamom – 3

To Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and mint leaves – little

Method

First, drain the soaked dhal.Keep it aside.

Heat a nonstick dish. First season. Add the oil and ghee. Season all the whole spices. Keep the flame on sim. Add the chopped onion. Sauté onsim flame till the onion turns transparent. Next, add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add the pounded ginger, garlic and the green chillies. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add the salt to taste. Add the drained rice and the dhal. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Add the 2 cups of water. Mix gently. Cover and cook on sim flame till the rice is cooked. ( It will approximately take 15 to 20 minutes to cook. ) Switch off the stove. Garnish. Mix gently. Serve hot with Paneer Qorma and a Raitha. 

Chef’s Tips

1) While sautéing the onions, keep the flame on sim. The colour of the dish will be very appetising and beautiful.

2) Add mild spices. The taste will be YUM.

3) While packing this Dhal Biriyani for the lunch box, remove the whole spices. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Potato Sandwich

Open Potato Sandwich 

A favourite in our Home, Super easy to prepare. Just a couple of ingredients, ultimate in taste. Bake it till the top crust turns golden.   Serve this Sandwich with  Sopa De Abobora ( Goan Yellow Pumpkin Soup ) and a salad. Do try and please write to me.

Ingredients

Boiled, peeled and sliced potato slices – required amount

Bread ( choose nice big bread slices, do not cut the corners ) – required amount

Grated Mozarella ( pizza ) cheese – required amount

Grated Cheddar Cheese – required amount

Salt to taste

Crushed black pepper – little

Chopped green chillies – very little

Butter – enough to butter the bread slices

Topping 

Italian seasoning – little

Red chilli flakes – very little

Method

Take a bread slice. Butter it nicely. Top it with sliced potatoes. Keep 2 layers of sliced potatoes. Sprinkle little salt and little black pepper powder. Top it with very little chopped green chillies. Top it with grated Mozarella  and the grated Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the grated cheese such that it covers the potatoes fully. Top the cheese with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and chilli flakes. Bake in a pre heated oven at 160 degrees centigrade till the cheese melts and turns golden. Cut the slice diagonally. Serve hot with Sopa De Abobora.

Chef’s Tips

1) Add all the spices very, very mildly.

2) Omit the chopped green chillies while giving the Sandwich for the children and the elders at home.

3) While sprinkling salt over the potato slices, use it carefully since the cheese has salt.

 

 

 

Sopa De Abobora ( Goan Yellow Pumpkin Soup) with Open Potato Sandwich

Sopa De Abobora with Open Potato Sandwich

This is a famous Goan Yellow Pumpkin Soup. I have used veggie stock cubes for flavouring. Serve this Soup piping hot with Open Potato Sandwich. A heart warming, combo. Very Satisfying. 

Ingredients

Peeled, cubed yellow pumpkin ( steamed ) – 4 cups

Salt to taste

Vegetable stock cube – 1

Milk powder – 4 tablespoons

Water – 4 cups

To Sauté in oil 

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Finely chopped onion- 1

Finely chopped garlic flakes – 6

Finely chopped green chilli – 1/2

Chopped green coriander leaves – 1 tablespoon

To Season

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Whole bay leaf – 2 ( optional , I have not used the bay leaf today )

To Garnish

Coarsely powdered black pepper powder – little

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Method

Heat a pan. Add oil. First sauté all the sautéing ingredients except the chopped green coriander on sim flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Transfer the contents to a plate. Cool well. Add the chopped green coriander leaves. Keep it aside.

Take a big blender jar. Add in the steamed pumpkin cubes, milk powder, salt to taste, vegetable stock cube, and water. Blend to a fine paste. Transfer 1/2 of the blended mix to a pan. Next add the sauteed ingredients  into the blender. Blend well. Pour the blended mix into the pan. Heat the blended mix on simflame till it starts to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Transfer the Soup to a nice serving bowl. Season and garnish. Serve the Soup boiling hot with Open Potato Sandwich.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not add too much of pepper powder. The Soup will become very spicy.

2) Do not tear the bay leaf. Use it whole. It will choke the throat.

3) If the Soup becomes thick, dilute it with boiling hot water.

4) Let the Soup be a little thick. It tastes great.

 

 

 

Ulundhu ( Urad dhal ) Sevai

Ulundhu ( Urad dhal ) Sevai

Sevai is rice sticks. Readily available in super markets. This Sevai recipe is a very, very rare one. Usually Coconut Sevai, Lemon Sevai, Tamarind Sevai, are the most popular ones. Even in a Wedding Menu Lemon Sevai is the most popular. This recipe is a family favourite. An age old recipe. I am very much pleased to share this recipe with you all.

To make the recipe more easy to follow, I have split this preparation into 4 parts.

Part – 1 ( To prepare the Sevai )

Ingredients

Ready made Sevai ( I have used Concord brand rice sticks ) – 2 big bowls ( Prepare the Sevai as per the instructions on the packet Spread the prepared Sevai in a flat big plate ) Cover the Sevai and keep it aside till the time of use.

Part – 2 ( To make the ulundhu ( urad dhal ) mix )

Whole urad dhal ( ulundhu ) – 1 big bowl

Toovar dhal – 1 tablespoon

Channa dhal – 1 tablespoon

Dry red chilli – 1

Green Chillies – 4 ( chopped )

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Washed curry leaves –  6

Salt to taste

Water –  a little lesser than 1/4 cup

To Season

Oil – 3 big tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Broken Urad dhal – 2 teaspoons

Asafoetida powder – 3/4 teaspoon

Ulundhu Sevai  served with Plain Curds. 

Method

Wash the Urad  dhal, Toovar dhal and the Channa dhal. Soak in sufficient water for 2 hours. After the dhals have soaked drain the dhals. Take a big blender jar. Add in the soaked dhals, salt to taste, green chillies, asafoetida powder. Add the broken red chilli and the torn curry leaves. Blend to a rough little coarse paste with little water.

Mix well.  Grease a plate.  Put in the coarsely ground urad dhal mix. Steam the ground urad dhal mix in a steamer for 15 minutes.

Once the dhal is cooked, transfer the contents to a big, broad, flat plate. Cool very well. Crumble the urad dhal mix  nicely.

Heat a pan. Season. Add in the crumbled urad dhal mix. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Cool the urad dhal mix well.

Part – 3 ( To Garnish ) 

Finely chopped curry leaves – little

Part – 4 ( Mixing )

Add the cooked Sevai to the sautéed urad dhal mix in the pan. Mix very gently with your hands. If you want to pack the Sevai for lunch, mix the Sevai and the urad dhal mix with 2 ladles gently. Do not mix with your hands.

The Sevai mixed with hands do not hold for a long time. Consume it soon.

Garnish the Sevai and serve with curds and fried pappads. Since I was pressed for time, I did not fry the pappads today.

Chef’s Tips

1) While mixing the Sevai mix it gently. Do not break it too much.

2) Ulundhu Sevai does not need any accompaniment. It tastes great on it’s own.

 

 

 

 

Dhal Durga Double Tadka

 Dhal Durga Double Tadka

You might be wondering what is this,  a peculiar name for a dhal. Double Tadka is seasoning the dhal TWICE. Durga is my very good friend from whom I learnt this dhal. A very simple dhal bursting with flavours. I thank Durga for sharing this recipe with me. Goes well with phulkas, paranthas, puri, naan, kulcha, plain rice and jeera rice.

The process of making this dish is very different. Do try and Enjoy. 

Ingredients

Broken moong dhal – 1 and 1/4 cups( paasi paruppu)

chopped beans, chopped carrot – 3/4 cup ( steamed )

Steamed green peas – 1/2 cup

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Slit green chillies – 2

Amchur ( dried mango powder ) – 1/4 teaspoon

Dried ginger powder – 2 pinches

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Water – 5 cups

To Season ( seasoning – 1 ) ( Tadka ) 

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Whole bay leaf – 2 ( small )

Torn dry Kashmiri red chillies – 2

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

Coarsely crushed black pepper powder – 3/4 teaspoon

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

To Season ( seasoning – 2 )

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Kashmiri Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves –  little

Finely chopped curry leaves – little

Dhal Durga served with  Plain Parathas

Method

Heat a pressure cooker. Add the dhal. Dry roast on sim flame till it emanates a  very good aroma and is golden in colour.  Add the slit green chillies, turmeric powder and water. Cover and pressure cook for 4 whistles and leave it on sim flame for 6 minutes. Switch off the stove. Once the pressure subsides, open the cooker and mash lightly. Heat the dhal on medium flame. Add the steamed beans, carrot and the green peas. Add the salt and sugar . Add the amchur powder and the dried ginger powder. Mix well. Boil till little thick.

Give the first tadka. Season the first seasoning. Mix, cover and keep aside. At the time of serving, heat the dhal very well and give the second tadka. Season the second seasoning. Garnish. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not over roast the dhal. The taste will change.

2) By seasoning twice, the dhal tastes yum.

 

 

Paal ( Milk ) Poli

Paal Poli

A truely Traditional Sweet. I still remember the days when I used to spend with my Grandmother Kamali. This is her recipe. She is a specialist in this dish. Only few ingredients for this Poli. Poli is a deep fried puri. Here the puri is made with white rava fully. The milk has to be thickened with Saffron. A sprinkle of cardamom powder further enhances the taste. Serve it either hot or cold. I am sure you will enjoy this Poli. This is our family special Poli recipe. My children love it to the CORE. 

Poli and milk. Poli before soaking in milk. 

I have split this process into 3 parts, which will be easy for you to follow.

Part – 1 ( To make the Poli dough )

Ingredients

White rava – 1 cup

Boiled, cooled milk – required amount to make a soft chappathi dough.

Salt – 1 pinch

Refined sunflower oil – required amount to deep fry the polis

Ghee – 1 tablespoon

Maida – required amount to dredge and roll out the puries

Method

Take a blender jar. Add in the 1 cup white rava. Cover the jar. Pulse once using the whipper button for 2 seconds. By now the rava would have got powdered a bit. Add a pinch of salt.Sprinkle enough milk and knead to a soft chappathi  dough consistency. Mix the dough very well. Punch the dough for 5 minutes. Knead the dough very nicely . The Poli will be soft.  Cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes.

Heat a pan. Add the refined sun flower oil and the ghee. Now pinch small pieces from the rava dough. Dredge maida and roll out puries as thin as possible to a round puri. Close the half and make a semi circle. Roll the semi circle lightly. See to it that the edges are sealed well. Dust off the extra flour.  Fry one puri at a time on medium flame  to a golden colour.  Drain the oil and remove the puries on a kitchen towel.

You can fry these puries and store them in an airtight container. Keeps good for 3 to 4 days. Whenever you want to make these polis, you only have to make the milk. Very easy. If you have guests for lunch or dinner make these puries in advance. Work is easy.

Part – 2 ( To prepare the Paal ( milk ) for the Poli )

Ingredients

Full fat milk – 1 and 1/2 litres

Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cups

Saffron – 1 big pinch

Cardamom powder – 2 pinches

Method

Heat a pan. Add the milk. Boil till it reduces to half. Boil on medium flame. Add the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes. Mix saffron in little hot milk.  Add it to the pan.Stir well. Switch off the stove.

Part – 3 ( Plating )

Take a big flat plate. Line the fried Poli. Ladle some milk on top of it . Cover and leave for 15 minutes. By now the polis would have soaked well. Serve in individual cups with some more milk poured on top of the polis. Keep some milk aside, in case the polis are soaked well, they will absorb all the milk. Keep some milk aside.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not over fry the puries. The colour will change. A pleasing golden colour is very nice to see and taste.

2) Do not use any maida or wheat flour to prepare the Poli. After soaking , they will not have their shape. They will all break to bits. The taste is only the best using white rava for polis.

3) Can also add in 3 tablespoons of condensed milk mixed into the milk, after the milk has reduced. Please reduce the sugar if you are adding the condensed milk.

4) Can also add very, very finely chopped almonds and pista as a garnish for the Paal Poli. I have not garnished today.

5) As an option, can soak little Almonds and Cashew in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the Almonds and Cashew and grind to a fine paste using little milk. Add it finally to the reduced milk. Mix well.