Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tava Pulao

As I have mentioned many times in this blog, I love Mumbai street food. Being brought up in such a lively city, with so many people around, and with so many food choices, I am always craving Bombay street food. I don't remember going to restaurants many times with my college friends, but I do remember standing on a street corner, eating pani puri, pav bhaji, tava pulao, frankie, vada pav etc etc.

Today I am providing the recipe for tava pulao. Tava pulao is a spicy rice dish found at most of the pav bhaji selling places. It is made using pav bhaji masala, and a little bhaji. Here is the recipe for making tava pulao at home.

2 Cloves Garlic,
2-1/2 Cups Cooked Rice (Preferably Basmati)
Salt Per Taste,
2 Tablespoon Butter,
2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds,
1/2 Onion, Finley Chopped,
1 Capsicum (Bell Pepper), Finley Chopped
1 Inch Piece of Ginger, Grated
1 Large or 2 Medium Tomatoes, Finley Chopped,
1/2 Cup Green Peas,
1/2 Cup Carrots, Chopped,
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice,
1.5 Tablespoon Pav Bhaji Masala,
1/4 cup Bhaji (pav bhaji), Optional
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder,
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder (or less, per taste),
1/4 cup Water,
1/8 Cup Cilantro (Coriander Leaves), Chopped

Heat the butter in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and add the ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the peas, carrots and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, then add the tomatoes, red chili powder, turmeric, and pav bhaji masala, bhaji and water. Cook on high until the tomatoes are well cooked. Now add the rice. Stir well to make sure the rice is covered with the masala. Cook until the rice is thoroughly heated. Turn off the flame, and add the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Stir well, and serve hot with plain yogurt, or raita.

-- You can add/substitute other veggies of your choice such as green beans, cauliflower, potatoes etc.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque

My husband likes sweet potatoes so when he goes grocery shopping, and he if sees good sweet potatoes, he will bring them. He likes to bake the potatoes in the oven, and eat them as is of with a dash of salt.
I, on the other hand, can't eat them as is. I think they are a bit too sweet for my taste, and need some spice to make them more palatable. So, this time, when I saw sweet potatoes at home, I searched for some good recipes. I found quiet a few recipes for sweet potato peanut bisque, so I combined them and made the soup with the ingredients I had at home.

4 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes
3 Medium Tomatoes, Chopped
1 Small Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
1 Inch Piece of Ginger, Grated
3 Cups Water (or more per your preference)
2 medium Carrots
2 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1.5 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
1.5 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
1 teaspoon Chili Powder (or Per taste)
2 Tablespoon Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts, 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro (coriander leaves)

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and put the potatoes in an aluminium foil. Prick them with the help of a fork or knife. Wrap the foil or make a pouch around the potatoes such that no steam escapes from the foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender. When cooled, peel and mash the potatoes.

Heat the oil in a pan. When hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic and carrots. When the onions have turned translucent, add the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the tomatoes are a bit tender. Now add 3 cups of water, mashed potatoes, and peanut butter. Cook on medium-low for 20 minutes. Take off the heat, let it cool completely. Once cooled, blend into a thick puree, add more water if needed.
Save aside some chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves. Add the rest of the chopped peanuts, and cilantro to the puree and cook on low for 5 minutes. Take off the stove. Serve hot garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

Note: If you like your soup to be chunky, you can use chunky peanut butter. In that case, add the peanut butter to the potato mixture AFTER pureeing the potatoes. After adding the peanut butter, cook the mixture for 10 minutes on medium heat.

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