January 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dahi Puri

Dahi puri
Snacks are very popular in India, especially where I grew up.  This was my favorite snack to have after school and I still enjoy it today.  The only difference is that now I eat it for lunch.  "Dahi" means yogurt and "Peri" means crunchy puffed puris.  These crunchy puris are readily available in Indian grocery stores. We used to make them at home from scratch, but it is very time consuming, so I highly recommend buying them from the store.

Cooking Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Assembly Time: 10 minutes


2    Medium Boiled, Peeled & Mashed Potatoes
2    Cups Sprouted or Plain Mung Beans (with a pinch of salt)
1/2 Cup Date Sauce
2    Cups Plain Yogurt
Washed & Chopped Cilantro
Salt to Taste
Chili Powder
Roasted Powdered Cumin Seeds

How to Prepare:
  1. Keep puffed puri in a tray with asmall dent in each.
  2. Start filling each with mung beans and potatoes.
  3. Top them off with whipped yogurt spread and date sauce on top.
  4. Garnish with cilantro, salt, chili powder and roasted cumin seed powder.
Vola! Snack Dahi Puri is ready to eat.

Tips:  Some people prefer very spicy snacks so we can add chopped green chili or chili paste and red chili pepper.   I usually add salt, chili pepper, chopped green chili and cilantro to the potatoes. This spice gives a kick to the taste buds. Now its your turn to try it. Let me know how it turns out.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Onion & Tomato Raita

This side dish is tasty in itself. It is in category of relishes and called Raita.  I love this recipe, it is very quick, original and very easy to make. 

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes


1    Carrot, shredded
1    Medium Onion, chopped finely
1    Small Tomato, chopped
Cup Yogurt, plain
Salt to taste
1    Tsp Urad Dal
Few Curry Leaves - limdo
1    Green Pepper, seeded & chopped
Few Coriander Leaves, chopped
2    Tsp Oil

How to Prepare:

  1. Stir plain yogurt very well.
  2. Add salt, carrots, tomatoes and onions.
  3. Heat the oil in a small frying pan 
  4. Add curry leaves and urad dal. 
  5. Once it starts to roast, add it on top of yogurt.

This is a healthy dish. I always make it with spinach rice. You've got to taste it to belive it!

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Finest Cookies, Pastries and Great Cakes

This Christmas, my son and I received really nice Christmas treats. We were given a big tray of assorted cookies that were yummy and delicious! One had to try it to believe it. 

I was introduced by my son to Janet Schwab. Instantly, I found out about her inner creative desire.  She has a passion and an energy for baking that comes with highly-crafted flair. What is most appealing to me is her effort to put it in practice.

Janet partnered with Grandma Rosa to creat a one of a kind pastries. Grandma Rosa is from Italy and, no need to mention, a great cook and baker. With her help, Janet is making tradition come alive. In these modern times, we are forgetting our ancient and authentic ways of cooking and baking. That's were Janet's creative thinking came into play.

Together they have given us a great store: Cookies Fresco

I tried their three layer almond trio which reminds me of my own home-cooking.  It is very good. I have tried all the cookies and I could not pick one that I like over another. They all are yummy.  Some key ingredients have been imported from Italy like Almond Liqueur and many more. They are located in Elmhurst, Illinois and I am looking forward to seeing the bakery shop myself on an up-coming weekend.

Suki Bhajii Masala Potato

Potato Sabjii is called Suki Bhaji and is the most popular vegetable all over India.  It is inexpensive,  versatile and easy to cook. It is good with puff puri and roti.  It is also great for burritos and left over bhaji can be eaten as pocket sandwich.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves: 4


2-3 Medium Potatoes
1    Medium Green Bell Pepper
1    Tomato, cubed
Salt to taste
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
2    Tsp Coriander & Cumin Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1    Tsp Lemon Juic
Pinch Astofedia
Curry Leaves (optional)
Small Jalapeños, seeded and dices
2    TBsp Oil

How to Prepare:

  1. Boil the potatoes, cube them and set aside. For easier cooking, cook the potatoes in the microwave on the proper setting.
  2. Heat the pan on medium heat. 
  3. Add cumin seeds.
  4. Once the seeds start popping, add jalapeños and curry leaves.
  5. Add astofedia, turmeric powder and green bell pepper.
  6. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  7. Add boiled potatoes, salt, lemon juice and coriander cumin powder.
  8. Mix them gently with plastic or wooden spatula.
  9. Garnish with cilantro.