Punjabi Chole Bhature – the ever popular street food, everyday food, snack and favorite of the young and old alike! Chole(Cholay) is the Punjabi name of this curry made of chickpeas. It is also known in other regions as Chana Masala. Chana Masala and Chole are basically the same curried dish of chickpeas. It may be semi dry or have more gravy and the recipe varies from home to home and Dhaba to Dhaba (Punjabi roadside food stall)!
Bhature, (Bhatoora), is a soft, fluffy deep-fried leavened bread. It is similar to Puri which is its unleavened counterpart. Bhature is most often served with Chole, hence the name of the meal – ‘Chole Bhature’.
Chole is extremely simple to make. This easy recipe delivers a fast and so very yummy, semi dry gravy of chickpeas. Check out the stepwise pictures (slideshow) below. The Bhature is quite simple to make as well (although it may require a little practice). I often make the chole on its own to serve along with salads too.
Fresh Aloe Vera Summer Salad
Aloe Vera Salad – A cooling fresh salad for the hot summer days. This is my brunch after my long morning walk! This salad wakes you up, refreshes you and cools you down. It is a great picnic salad or post workout salad.
Aloe Vera facilitates digestion and helps to rid the body of toxins. It has cooling and soothing properties. It improves the functioning of the kidneys, liver and gall bladder. It is also good for the skin. Aloe is used widespread in topical treatments but is also good taken internally in juice and salads.
Important: Pregnant women and young children (below five) are advised against taking aloe internally. I am sure google has the explanations as to why.
Dahi Vada / Thayir Vada is a very popular cold snack in India. It can be served as a side with the main meal or it can be served as a ‘chaat’ item. It may differ slightly from region to region, and again from home to home. Dahi Vada is also known as:
- Dahi Bhalla in Punjabi and Urdu
- Thayir Vadai in Tamil , Thayir Vada in Malayalam
- Mosaru Vade in Kannada
- Dahi Bara in Oriya
- Doi Bora in Bengali
- Perugu vada in telugu
Skinned Black Gram Dal is soaked to make the fritters. These can be shaped like donughts or just plain balls. The fried fritters are indeed a snack on their own. For this chaat version, the fried fritters get soaked in water or dilute buttermilk, to soften before pouring the seasoned, whipped yoghurt and all the toppings over it.
Especially in hot weather this cold chaat is very refreshing and satisfying. It is also a great item to include during the month of Ramadan, which is approaching soon. Check out the video below.
Pisang Goreng or Goreng Pisang? Well the popular snack of deep fried banana is referred to by both of these names, but Goreng Pisang refers to the ‘action’ of cooking the banana while ‘Pisang Goreng’ actually means ‘Fried Banana’. Small sized bananas are fried whole, with a crispy coating enclosing the hot and soft banana filling. Perfect with some tea or an ‘ on the go’ snack. The most important part of Pisang Goreng, is the selection of Pisang (banana). Use firm small bananas that are not too fat. It is sometimes made with elongated slices of plantain as well.
This is one of Indonesia’s favorite snacks, but is very popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei and the Philippines.
Leek and Potato Soup, cooked in 10 minutes.
I am one of those people who thinks that there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a nice bowl of hot soup. Who doesn’t like soup? Is there anybody, really? Well, this one is my go to extra quick recipe when I need something fast. I make it for breakfast, after dinner and sometimes when I am home alone and hungry. Nursing a sick child at the moment, so this was her lunch.
I use 2 large leeks and 2 potato, but by all means, use more leeks to potato ratio, if you would like a stronger flavor of leeks. I use a pressure cooker to speed things up considerably, but you can use a pot with a lid instead. Do check out the quick video below.
Quick Sambar | Speedy Breakfast Recipe
For those of you who love to have idli or dosa for breakfast, here is a Quick Sambar recipe. Made with just whole, peeled shallots and potato, it is very easy to make. God knows we all need easier dishes for breakfast time, being so hectic – especially if you pack lunches and need it all to be done before 9 am. Use you favorite sambar powder or use the recipe for home made sambar powder given below. A quick and tasty recipe that will come in handy, I am sure.
Vanpayar Ularthiyathu | Brown Bean and Shallots Mash
Vanpayar Ularthiyathu is the classic Kerala comfort food. The ‘brown beans’ (red cow peas / red gram / ‘red chawli’) are a brownish version of the ‘green bean’ or whole ‘mung dal’. It also looks similar in shape to the ‘black eyed bean’, except it’s smaller.
In Kerala, this dish is very often served with rice porridge, where the Kerala ‘Rose Rice’ is used: an indigenous variety of rice grown in Palakkad District of Kerala. It’s a chubbier grain and is found throughout Kerala and parts of Sri Lanka.
The beans are cooked prior to stir frying with a delicious blend of shallots, garlic, pepper and dried red chilli and then mashed lightly to add a very-yummy-creamy quality.
This vegetarian item may be served with rice or even chapatis, but the classic combo will forever be Kanji and Payar ( Porridge and Beans). Poppadum’s , pickle and shallot chutney are also often served on the side. ‘Kanji and Payar’ is also often served when you are under the weather or suffering from an upset stomach.Read More
Dill Pickles | Easy Homemade Refrigerator Pickles (with slideshow)
These dill pickles are my favorite instant pickles.. They may be used just after 24 hours. It’s no doubt that home made products, usually beat the flavor and reliability of store bought. Pickles are no exception! And the dill pickles from the store usually contain too much sugar and artificial coloring! Make your own fresh, crunchy dill pickles, that require no special pickling equipment and temperature control. You will be surprised how easy they are to make. First time I made these, I was amazed at how good they were. Fresh and crunchy, retaining the nutrients of the fresh cucumber.
Obviously, Dill weed is essential in making the pickles. Fresh is always preferred but the dried herb may be used if you can’t find it! And when it comes to pickling cucumbers, they say the the kind of cucumber that make you burp, are best for making pickles, due to the higher lever of cucurbitacin. You can use whole cucumbers, spears or slices. I tried a few varieties and I found these snacking baby cucumbers to be the best for my pickles. If I want to use them for burgers, I simply slice them up after pickling. We use these pickles in salads on a regular basis.
Asparagus Dip | Creamy Simple Asparagus Spread
This Asparagus dip, is extremely quick and easy to make! Quite tasty and even kids will enjoy this vegetable in spreadable form! I am always looking for ways to get the kids to eat certain veggies.. Sometimes, a dip is the easiest way to achieve this. Creamy and tasty, its super, served with toasted pita wedges.
Asparagus is a member of the lily family and has been found to be an aphrodisiac, since ancient times. It is packed with nutrients. High in vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, beta -carotene, vitamin E, zinc, manganese and selenium.
It’s also especially rich in detoxifying compound, glutathione, which can help destroy carcinogens. For this reason, asparagus may help fight or protect against certain cancers.
Slata Mechouia | Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad
Slata Mechouia | Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad is one of the most popular and traditional foods served in Tunisia. If you love dips and are always looking for something different, this is excellent. The combination of peppers, once grilled gives a unique and delicious flavor as well as enticing aroma. Slata Mechouia, pronounced ( S-lata Meshweeya) means ‘Grilled Salad’ in Arabic, but it is more of a grilled salsa than a salad.
Serve with traditional Arabic, or North African breads or toasted pita. According to the variety of peppers used, it can range from mild to spicy, however, the milder ones are more common and preferred. It is customary to top the salad with flaked tuna, olives and boiled egg.. I was skeptical at the addition of tuna but it actually works with the spicy, grilled sweetness of the peppers. Serve with traditional Arabic, or North African breads or toasted pita.
An extremely popular appetizer in Tunisian homes and restaurants.. this is one of my posts honoring all the people I have met from across the world and their wonderful cuisines. Thanks to my high school friend Nadege, for some lovely Tunisian Recipes.