Thursday, January 27, 2011

Batatyachi Bhaji / Potatoes in a yoghurt-peanut gravy

My cousin dropped in as a surprise on my birthday a week back and it was really the most pleasant surprise I've had in a long time...
She brought me a bag full of gifts and I realised that I still am so excited about opening gifts...growing older hasn't changed that, not as yet !

There were bamboo steamer baskets, that I was enquiring on my last visit to Bombay and she thoughtfully went hunting all around for it...Also got a very nice book on Marathi cuisine and this totally cute chocolate SMS...


This book called 'The Essential Marathi Cookbook' by Kaumudi Marathe has simple, easy to make authentic recipes...What I like best about this cuisine is the use of peanuts in a lot of dishes, which gives it a nice crunchy feel and also helps in thickening the gravy.

The regular batatyachi bhaji is a simple one with just the seasoning and dash of lemon juice. The peanuts and yoghurt addition was mentioned as a variation. Since we were having this with rotis, I decided to go ahead with the variation...Simple, delicious flavours and a great accompaniment with rotis

batatyachi bhaji

Recipe Source: The Essential Marathi Cookbook by Kaumudi Marathe

What you need -

2 large potatoes
2 small onions finely chopped
1 tsp salt
a pinch of sugar
1 1/2 tbsp powdered roasted peanuts
1/4 - 1/2 cup buttermilk/ yoghurt


2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies, sliced
6-8 curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
1/4 tsp turmeric powder


1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

What you do with it -

Boil potatoes till well done. Peel and cut into cubes
Heat oil for seasoning. Add mustard seeds. Once they pop, add cumin, chillies and curry leaves. Stir in turmeric and asafoetida
Add the chopped onions and stir fry for 2-3 mins, till light brown
Mix in the peanut powder with the yoghurt and add along with the potatoes, to the seasoning
Reduce heat and let it simmer for 4-5 mins
Sprinkle salt and sugar and garnish with coriander leaves

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Corn Bhel

Bhel is essentially street food, very popular in Bombay. Its a great fusion of flavours, sweet, tangy, spicy - all in one !
Usually, puffed rice (kurmura, mamra) is used to make bhel.
Here, I have substituted it with corn kernels
Its actually a healthy dish, I would think, camouflaged as a chaat, almost like a salad, except for the addition of the chutneys

There are two chutneys used in making most chaat dishes. I discovered this style of green chutney here in Ahmedabad. Peanuts are used here instead of onions. A little sugar is also added in this green chutney usually, which I skipped out

Corn bhel

What you need -

1 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
2 tomatoes
1 onion
1/2 cup of coriander leaves
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 potato
2 tsp green chutney (recipe follows)
2 tsp sweet chutney (recipe follows)
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

What you do with it -

If the corn is really tender, use as is, otherwise, cook in salted water till done
I used the pressure cooker to cook the kernels since it was not very tender
Boil the potato and peel and chop
Finely chop the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and coriander leaves
In a bowl, mix the corn, potatoes, onion, cucumber and the green chutney and sweet chutney
Add tomatoes and salt if required
Mix it well and then garnish with coriander leaves
Sprinkle the chaat masala and lime juice over it
You could also sprinkle some sev over it

The chutneys here are more than what is required for this recipe
These chutneys can be stored and used as accompaniments for other dishes too

Green Chutney

1 cup packed coriander leaves
2 green chillies
small piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp peanuts
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Grind all the ingredients together to make a smooth paste
You can store this in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

Sweet chutney

1 cup deseeded dates
1/2 cup cleaned and deseeded tamarind
2 tbsp grated jaggery
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 cup water
a pinch of salt

Chop the dates and soak in warm water
In a pan, heat the jaggery powder and water and add the dates, tamarind and salt
Heat on a low flame and slowly bring to a boil
Once it starts thickening, add the chilli powder and cumin powder
Keep on heat for 2-3 mins and allow to cool
Strain and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Strawberry Banana Bread

Back from a refreshing break in Bombay...Had a great time catching up with my cousins, eating out and shopping !
Miss the school days when we had huge vacation time and went on holidays together and sat up chatting late into the night...Now, a few rushed days to attend a wedding is about all we manage to have time for ! This time, though, was much more relaxed and
I was really happy I got to meet so many of them in the family...

An aunt made this really nice strawberry bread when we were visiting her. I bought a box of strawberries to make this and made it from what I remember her telling me. It turned out nice, so I'm guessing I remembered it right !
The bananas were my addition and I cut down on one egg..

strawberry banana bread

My blog turned 2 on the 1st, so this strawberry bread (made slightly healthy) is for my blog's 'Happy Birthday'. Enjoy it for breakfast or tea.. It isnt too sweet or too heavy and goes great with a cup of hot tea..

What you need -

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ripe banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour / maida
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup curd / yoghurt
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup chopped strawberries

What you do with it -

Mix the flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and keep aside
Mash the banana and keep aside
Beat the butter and then add the sugar and beat till it gets fluffy
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well and then add the mashed banana
Add the yoghurt to this and mix once
Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C
Grease a loaf pan and dust with a little flour and keep aside
In a large bowl, add a scoop of the flour and some egg mixture and beat, adding little of each alternately till its combined well
Fold in the strawberries and walnuts
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan
Bake for about 50 mins. Allow to cool and then cut into slices
Enjoy with hot tea


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