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Cover: Some like it hot

Recipes with mustard seeds

03Jul 12

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato ChutneyChutneys are a clever and delectable way to consume your daily intake of fruits and veggies. You can use them in all sorts of dishes to jazz them up or create an interesting twist on the flavours, or simply enjoy on top of  a hunk of bread with a side of cheese.

 

I suggest you try my recipe for tomato chutney, as it is a very versatile chutney that goes well with rice and with tandoori chicken kebabs. This is a great recipe for the summer when tomatoes are in season.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 red chilli peppers, whole
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Channa Dal nuts
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 green chilli peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cashew nuts, chopped
  • 10 large, fresh tomatoes, chopped into 2 cm by 2 cm cubes
  • 4 curry leaves
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil

Preparation Method:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Be careful because they pop, and you don’t  want to get burned.
  3. Add the red chillies and fry them for 20 seconds. Since they are whole, the seeds won’t come out of the pepper, and so the chutney won’t be too hot.
  4. Fry the cumin seeds.
  5. Now add the Channa Dal and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Slowly add the onion and garlic. Add a pinch of salt so that the onion “sweats” a little. Cook this for about 4 minutes until the garlic and onions are softer.
  7. Add the ginger powder. It should sizzle in the pan.
  8. Add the green chilli peppers.
  9. Chop the cashew nuts (but not too small as we’re going to put this all in the blender anyway) and put them in the pan.
  10. Add in the tomatoes and curry leaves. You do not need to chop the curry leaves.
  11. Cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour on a very low heat. You should check it every so often and slowly stir it. You can actually let this simmer for up to 2 hours, and it will be even tastier.
  12. When finished, pour everything into the blender for 30 seconds. You do not want to blend for much longer as you want there to be some chunks of whole tomato left.
  13. Return to the pot and stir slowly. Add salt to taste.
  14. Serve on bread with cheese or as part of a meat dish. You could also store it in glass jars for future use.

Takes: 2 hours
Makes: Enough for 10 servings

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23Jun 12

Mango Pachadi

Mango PachadiMango Pachadi is a delicious Indian side dish which is actually quite fun to make. It is best served with rice and curry like this yellow thai chicken curry.

One of the key spices that gives this dish its distinctive flavour is asafoetida. This Indian spice is said to be very good for digestion. This is helpful, since many of my friends here in England say they find Indian food quite heavy. However, if you add a nice digestive ingredient like asafoetida, it makes for much better digestion and can be found at your local Indian market.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango
  • ½tsp turmeric powder
  • 10 red chilli peppers, minced
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 2tbsp jaggery
  • 1/2tsp chilli powder
  • Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1.5tsp rice flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 600ml water
  • 5tsp oil

 Preparation Method:

  1. Peel the large mango. You can use a normal potato peeler to do this because mango peels are quite thin. In fact, I have always found mangos very easy to work with.
  2. Next chop the large mango into small pieces. These can be roughly 2 centimetre pieces. But again, I mean very roughly.
  3. Add the mango to a pot, along with the turmeric powder and the water. Bring the water to the boil, then lower to medium heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mango is cooked. You will know the mango is cooked when it is soft.
  4. When the mango is cooked, remove it from the water
  5. Mince the red chillies and set them aside.
  6. In a separate pot, heat up oil on a very high flame. Add the mustard seeds. They will start to pop and crackle. But be careful they do not the splatter on you, or you will get burned.
  7. Lower to medium flame. Now add the minced red chillies, jaggery, chilli powder and asafoetida to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes.
  8. Now add the mango to the pan. Add another 150ml of water and stir slowly on a low heat for a few minutes.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. In a separate bowl, combine 300ml of water with the rice flour to make a paste.
  11. Add this paste to the pot and stir slowly until thick.

Makes: 2 servings
Takes: 40 minutes

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19Jun 12

Carrot Kanji

Carrot Kanji
Carrot Kanji
is a refreshing drink made from fermented vegetables. You basically chop up various vegetables and mix them into water in a transparent pitcher and leave them in the sun for a few days to ferment. It does not take long to prepare, and once made, it can stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. This drink is served chilled, and it has quite a strong, unique carroty flavour. In fact, some people find it a bit too strong the first few times they try it.

Traditionally, kanji is made with black carrots, which are found in northern India in the winter. However, since black carrots are hard to find in the West, you can use regular orange carrots for this Carrot Kanji drink, and it will still have its distinctive flavour. (For a warm treat, I recommend this comforting carrot, coriander and cumin soup.)

Carrot Kanji not only is low in calories but also may help you lose weight. Some studies have shown that eating red chilli peppers helps people slim down. Apparently, they curb your appetite. They may also raise your metabolism. Since my Carrot Kanji recipe calls for red chilli peppers, this is good news for those of you on a diet. I must point out that you may add in more red or green chilli peppers if you want to. Play around a bit with the quantities to see what spiciness level you like best.

Carrot Kanji
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Carrot Kanji is a refreshing drink made from fermented vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1kg Carrots
  • 2tbsp. Mustard Seeds
  • 2tbsp. Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1tbsp. Salt
  • 4 litres hot Water
  • Mint Leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the carrots.
  2. Slice each carrot lengthwise into 3 or 4 long strips.
  3. Grind the mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle.
  4. Chop the green chilli peppers well.
  5. Mix the carrots, salt, mustard seeds, red chilli and green chilli together in a transparent pitcher.
  6. Add in the hot water and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  7. Put the top on the pitcher and leave it in the sun for 3-5 days, so it can ferment.
  8. After the pitcher of kanji has fermented, store it in the refrigerator.
  9. Before eating, you can put it in the blender to create a smooth texture. This isn't necessary, but some people prefer smooth as opposed to chunky.
  10. Crush some mint leaves and sprinkle them on top of the kanji just before serving.
  11. Serve chilled.

 

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07Jun 12

Coconut Chutney

Coconut ChutneyCoconut Chutney is a lovely type of chutney that is perfect for breakfast. You can spread it on your toast in the morning for a healthy treat. This chutney is quite filling, so it will keep you going all morning. However, keep in mind that coconut is actually quite fattening, so you will not want to spread too much on your morning toast—unless you are planning to go for a jog afterwards!

For another variation, you can try this green coconut chutney used on rice flour pancakes.

Coconut Chutney also goes well with Bhaturas.

Ingredients:

  • 40g cashews, crushed
  • 30g Channa Daal
  • 500g shredded coconut
  • 8 whole red chilli peppers, dried
  • 5 curry leaves
  • ½ tbsp. ginger power
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. whole cumin seeds
  • Salt – to taste
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preparation Method:

  1. In a frying pan, heat a small amount of vegetable oil on low heat.
  2. Crush the cashews. I typically use a mortar and pestle for this. Or, you can put them into a ziplock plastic bag and hammer them on the counter with the bottom of a pan for a minute
  3. Add the Channa Daal and crushed cashews to the frying pan, stirring slowly for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the Channa Daal and crushed cashews and put them in a blender.
  5. With the same vegetable oil, slowly fry the shredded coconut on low heat for a few minutes. Remove the coconut and add it to the blender.
  6. Put the ginger powder in the blender.
  7. Blend thoroughly.
  8. Add salt to taste and give it a final stir.
  9. Remove this paste and put it in a serving bowl.
  10. In a separate pan, heat more vegetable oil on high heat.
  11. Add the mustard seeds, but be careful! They will pop, so don’t let them splatter on you.
  12. Now add the cumin seeds to the pan and stir quickly.
  13. Add the dried red chilli peppers to the pan and stir with energy. Remember, these chilli peppers are whole. Do not chop them, or the hot, spicy taste will become too intense and will overwhelm the chutney.
  14. Add in the curry leaves and stir for 30 second more.
  15. Remove this and pour it directly on the chutney paste in the serving bowl.
  16. The coconut chutney is now ready to be served. Enjoy!

Makes: Enough for 8 servings.
Takes: 45 minutes (plus 8 hours soaking time)

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24Apr 12

Aloo Bonda Snacks

Aloo Bonda 

Aloo Bonda is a snack made of mashed potatoes dipped in batter and deep-fried. It is fantastic finger food, so I often serve it at parties as an appetizer.

These snacks can be served hot, straight from the deep fryer. Or you can also enjoy them after they have cooled down. Many people eat them with ketchup, but I prefer them with my Green Chutney recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 large potatoes
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 slice of finely chopped ginger
  • 4 large green chilli peppers, finely chopped
  • 500g carrots, chopped
  • 500g peas
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 250g gram flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 240ml of water
  • 6 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Preparation Method:

  1. Peel the potatoes and boil them.
  2. Mash them and add a little bit of salt. Set the pot with the potatoes aside.
  3. In a pan, heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.
  4. Add the mustard seeds. Careful! They will crackle and pop.
  5. Add the cumin seeds.
  6. Chop the onions, ginger and green chilli peppers very finely.
  7. Add these chopped ingredients to the pan and stir briskly. Fry them until the onions are light brown. Add a little salt to make the onions sweat a bit.
  8. Chop the carrots and add to the pan along with the peas.
  9. Lower the heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
  10. Add the mashed potatoes to the pan and mix them in slowly. Let them fry for 5 minutes.
  11. Now remove the potato mix from the pan and set it aside in a large bowl. Sprinkle in a bit of lemon juice. Set this aside to cool.
  12. In a separate large bowl, mix the gram flour, 5tbsp of vegetable oil, water, a pinch of salt and the baking powder. Mix these ingredients together to form a thick batter.
  13. Heat a pot full of oil for deep frying.
  14. Once the potato filling has fully cooled down, form small round balls with them. Take a handful of the filling and form a round ball with the palm of your hand. You should be able to make about 8 round potato balls.
  15. Now take one of these potato balls and dip it in the batter.
  16. Gently lower it into the oil.
  17. Repeat this with all 8 balls. You can fry them all together in the pot.
  18. Deep fry them until they are crispy.

Makes: 8 Aloo Bondas
Takes: 2 hours

 

Note: For another potato recipe, try these Minty Jersey Royals with Chives and Lemon Butter.

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26Mar 12

Tangy Red Daal

Tangy Red DaalWhen I was younger, my friends would complain that their mums always cooked the same things. One schoolmate ate a roast sandwich for lunch every day. Another girlfriend of mine confided in me that in her house, each day had an assigned dish: Mondays were for fish and chips, Tuesdays were bangers and mash, etc.

 

In my family, we ate a lot of Daal, the Indian word for lentils, but I never complained! There are four different types of lentils, and each can be prepared in many ways with a variety of flavours. This was useful for my Mum who tried to vary our menu.

I like my Daal spicy, but I tend to tone it down a bit when cooking for friends. Out of the many lentil recipes that I enjoy, I want to share this Tangy Red Daal with you. It isn’t quite as soupy as this hearty lentil and herb soup, but it is nice served with a bit of rice. I call it tangy because it has a bit of a kick, but it doesn’t sting your tastebuds, as other recipes might.

Ingredients:

  • 200g red lentils
  • 10g ginger
  • 5g mustard seeds
  • 10g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 onions
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 5g ground cumin
  • 5g cayenne pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 250ml water
  • salt and pepper
Preparation Method:
  1. Sort the red lentils on a white counter or table cloth to pick out any rocks or small pieces of dirt mixed in.
  2. When finished, rinse in cold water. Bring water to the boil and add lentils. Semi-cover and let cook for 35 minutes or so until the lentils are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the onions, jalapeño pepper, garlic, ginger, bell pepper and tomatoes.
  4. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, ginger and peppers. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are translucent and garlic is soft.
  5. Add the cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir.
  6. Add the tomatoes and keep stirring for another 6 minutes or so until the tomatoes are fairly well-cooked.
  7. Transfer the vegetables into a big pot and add just enough hot water to cover the contents of the pot. Let boil for 6 minutes and then add the cooked lentils, stirring well.
  8. Add salt and coriander to taste.
  9. Pour into a bowl and garnish with coriander. Serve warm.

Serves: 6

Time: 75 minutes

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