Posted by vivnidhi on August 19, 2009
It’s been a while since I posted anything North Indian on the blog. I have barely been able to post about the Daring Kitchen challenges. But, I am trying and here is a fresh, new authentic recipe 🙂 .
Pea like potatoes, not peas and potatoes. This is about the very new smallest potatoes that you can find. Even in India, folks would be really pleased if they could lay their hands on fresh small potatoes. You can get very very tiny ones there. Spring and summer months are usually the best bet to find them freshest. Its difficult to find really tiny ones here but Farmer’s Markets usually carry fresh baby potatoes. These have very tender skins and are never peeled. On our visits to the Farmer’s Market, the husband does not like to pass by these without buying cause potatoes are his favorite vegetable 🙂 . In my grandmother’s house, ‘aloo ka rassa’ or (potatoes and water with spice should be the correct description :-)) ) was made every day…..every day for 30-40 years……can you believe that? Now that I have finished describing our undying love for potatoes, let me proceed to the recipe. It is an easy one and requires very little preparation.
- Baby Potatoes (smallest you can find) washed and scrubbed 1/2 Kg
- Fresh Ginger washed, scrubbed and minced 2″ piece
- Green chilli minced 1 (optional)
- Canola Oil 2 Tbsp. (Vegetable oil is fine too)
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp.
- Asafoetida 1/2 tsp.
- Turmeric powder 1 tsp.
- Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp.
- Salt to taste
- Coriander seeds dry roasted and ground coarse 2 Tbsp.
- Amchur/Dry mango powder 1 Tbsp.
- Garam Masala 1 tsp.
- Cilantro leaves torn 1/4 cup
Washed scrubbed baby potatoes
The most important step I believe in these potatoes is the grinding of coriander seeds. In a wok, dry roast the coriander seeds till they turn aromatic and lightly brown in color. Set them aside. When they are cool enough to handle, grind them pretty coarse. This one ingredient will enhance the taste of the potatoes.
Heat oil in the wok (not a great idea to skimp on oil if looking for best taste……I must admit, I most often do 😉 ) add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. When the spices seem to be frying a little, add half the ginger and green chilli (if using). These do taste good when a little spicier than usual.
Next add the scrubbed potatoes, sprinkle the salt, mix and cover the wok. Reduce the heat to medium low. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. When the potatoes become tender, add the coarsely ground coriander powder, remaining amount of ginger, garam masala and amchur. Mix well and cover again for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and finally add the cilantro leaves and mix well.
Spicy baby potatoes or Matariya aloo are ready! Try these and I bet, these won’t last for long. These can be eaten on their own, as a side dish or with paranthas.
I would like to send these potatoes to Laura of The Spiced Life. It’s my grandmother’s recipe. This is indeed a simple, treasured recipe enjoyed by all at home.
Posted in - Turmeric, -Asafoetida, -Baby Potatoes, -Canola Oil, -Cilantro, -Coriander, -Dry Mango Powder, -Garam Masala, -Ginger, -Green Chillies, -Red chili powder | Tagged: Indian, Sides, Vegetables | 8 Comments »
Posted by vivnidhi on November 12, 2008
Dried Red Kidney Beans
Rajma or Red kidney beans were rarely made in my house in India. It was a treat made, like, once in 6 months and that too……..with potatoes like a vegetable;) . My grandmother had a grave dislike for kidney beans for its flatulent tendencies. She also believed that its ‘taseer’ was hot. Now, that means that it was one of the foods that would cause excess heat in the body when eaten. The flatulence part of kidney beans cannot be disputed but I really don’t know much about “hot” and “cold” foods :). Anyway, kidney beans are quite a favorite with people from Punjab and Delhi. I believe that it is not that commonly eaten in Uttar Pradesh. I got a request a few days back from Lavanya, who wanted me to tell her how I made Rajma. Thank you for considering my recipe worthy enough to know. Well! this is how I make Rajma,it is mostly liked by all who have had to eat it. Try it out and let me know what you think. This blog is nearing its first anniversary which is BIG for me cause it’s hard to believe that I am still blogging:).
I ate Rajma a lot when I was suffering from Gestational Diabetes. This is one of the few foods that women who suffer can eat without worrying about the numbers, as it has enough protein and folate AND is also filling:).One can have 2 servings, 1/2 cup each and that would equal approximately 30 g. carbs. At least this paired with 1 thin roti 6″ in diameter along with LOTS of lettuce and cucumber worked very well for me. This is when my lunch was restricted to only 45 g. carbs. Since, I have gone through the pain of gestational diabetes and am a good candidate for diabetes in the future , I try to eat as much sugar as I can eat now:))…………………….NO, I am careful of my diet and I am sending this recipe to all diabetes conscious people:) Sangeeth’s Eat Healthy Fight Diabetes Contest of Art of Cooking Indian food and Raulillo OK’s Blogg Event: Gastronomical adventure 2008 on the occasion of World Diabetes Day on November 14th.
I have learnt to make decent Rajma from my Husband’s Aunt who makes Rajma quite well. Never really sat and jotted down this recipe from her but I believe that mine turns out quite like hers now:). The key points in a good rajma recipe is that the kidney beans should be well cooked (one should not need to apply pressure to break the beans (hey, we don’t want a paste either…..somewhere in between) ) and the gravy should not be watery.
- Red Kidney Beans 1 1/2 cups soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
- Vegetable oil 1 Tbsp.
- Bay Leaf 1
- Cinnamon stick 2″ piece
- Onion 1 big chopped very fine
- Ginger 2″ piece minced
- Garlic 5-6 cloves minced
- Green Chillies 2 chopped fine (add less for less heat, though this results in medium hot)
- Cumin seeds (Jeera) 2 tsp.
- Asafoetida (Heeng) 1/2 tsp. (optional)
- Turmeric powder (Haldi) 2 tsp.
- Coriander powder (Dhaniya) 2 Tbsp.
- Salt to taste
- Tomato puree/Tomato sauce 1 1/2 cups or about 4 medium sized tomatoes chopped fine
- Water 3 cups
- Garam Masala 1 Tbsp.
- Kasoori Methi 1 Tbsp.
- Cilantro leaves for garnish 1/2 cup
I used to boil the kidney beans prior to adding it to the gravy but now I have learnt that it is not a necessary step. With the help of a pressure cooker, a well soaked kidney beans gets cooked quite well in the gravy itself. Hence all the masalas can be directly fried in the pressure cooker itself. This recipe makes quite a lot of curry, but then who minds rajma leftovers?
Heat oil in the pressure cooker. Add asafoetida (which I add in addition to garlic to reduce the flatulence tendencies of the beans), cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and turmeric powder. Add finely chopped onion, ginger,green chillies and garlic. Fry it well, when this mixture starts to brown, add coriander powder, salt and tomatoes. Fry a little more till this mixture starts to dry out and one can specks of oil on the masala. If you are using fresh tomatoes, the tomatoes should be all mushy at this stage. In case the masala starts sticking to the pan, you can add 2-3 Tbsps. of water to it and stir well. Next add the kidney beans and the water. Close the pressure cooker. Keep the gas on high flame till you can hear the pressure being built up (approximately 2-3 minutes), then reduce the flame to medium low. I tend to cook until I hear 4 whistles (approximately 30 minutes).
When the pressure cooker can be safely opened, open it and check the salt. Add more if needed. If the curry is dry, one can add some warm water to the rajma or add plain water and heat the gravy well again. Now add the Garam masala and Kasoori Methi. Its a good idea to crush the kasoori methi between your palms as you add to the curry. Add fresh cilantro leaves just before serving.
Rajma Chawal (Red kidney beans with Rice) is quite famous and pairs beautifully but the last time I made Naan with it and so the rice had few takers:). In fact, the best quality of rajma is that it can be paired well with almost anything………roti, parantha, tortilla, bread…………:) Save leftovers in the refrigerator. This is ideal for freezing too, lasts a good couple of months in the Freezer and the taste remains the same. And yes, if you are short on kidney beans, by all means, add a potato to this recipe………..I sometimes do that just cause I want my mother’s rajma:)
Posted in - Bay Leaf, - Turmeric, -Asafoetida, -Cinnamon, -Coriander, -Cumin seeds, -Garam Masala, -Garlic, -Ginger, -Green Chillies, -Kasoori Methi, -Onion, -Red Kidney Beans, -Tomato, -Vegetable Oil | Tagged: Gravy, Indian, Mains | 6 Comments »