Monday, October 26, 2009

A treat!

My hubby celebrated his birthday early this month. In between with Diwali and our vacation I was unable to post it here. I planned a surprise birthday party for him and invited all his friend's home for dinner. Hubby was not aware of my plan and when he was back from office the house was decorated with balloons and ribbons. Friend's helped me out to carry on with the plan perfectly and it was the best birthday party. I baked a blackforest cake from Nita Mehta's book. The icing was melting at rapid speed and I was not sure of it so I rushed to the nearest bakery and got a mocha cake. Hubby had two cakes to be cut.
We had a dinner menu consisting of all my hubby's fav. Green salad, Puri, Chole, Idli, Sambar, Biryani and potato masala. My friend and her mother made Biryani and Potato masala. I need to learn the recipe from aunty. She is a wonderful cook. I was not able to get all the pics. Hence few of them to share with you.

You can find idli recipe here. I used ready made sambar powder to make sambar.
For chhole:
1 cup Chickpeas (soaked overnight and pressure cooked until soft)
2 Onions finely chopped
2 Tomatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped and crushed Ginger & Garlic
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Chat masala
1/4 tsp Amchoor powder
1-2 tbsp Everest chhole masala powder
1 tbsp or more Red chilli powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
a generous pinch of kasuri methi
1 tbsp Tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp Coriander cumin powder (Optional)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
Coriander leaves chopped for garnishing
1) Pressure cook the chickpeas until soft. Drain and reserve the liquid. Blanch the tomato in hot water. Peel and puree.
2) Heat oil add Cumin seeds and bay leaf. When they splutter and chopped onion and ginger garlic paste. When Onions turns pinkish add Tomato puree and cook until the raw smell goes off.
3) Add in all the masala powders and stir for a min or two.
4) Add in cooked chana with little water (from boiled chickpeas) and salt. Let it boil. Add a tbsp of tomato ketchup and kasuri methi and give it a quick boil. (I read in some blog that adding tomato ketchup gives it the dhaba taste. From then on I have been using it regularly and everyone has liked the taste of chhole. I am not able to get the blog name. If anyone has an idea please suggest. I would like to give the credit to the blogger) Mash few chickpeas to get a thicker gravy. Taste the gravy and add any seasoning if needed. Let it boil until you get desired consistency.
5) Switch off. garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with Puri accompanied with freshly chopped onion and lemon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Diwali Special

I am sure everyone must have enjoyed a lot this Diwali. I wanted to make this post right before Diwali but due to some issue with connectivity and lack of time I was unable to do so. Anyways my warm wishes to everyone.
We had a good time this Diwali. Visiting friends, bursting fire crackers everything made it so special.
Thanks to the wonderful bloggers I tried my hand at making Chakkuli's (Murukku), Sev etc. It seemed so simple and tasty that I will not have to look out for store brought one's here after.

From Surpiya's Home spices blog I tried Kashi halwa (Wintermelon/Ash gourd halwa) and Chakkuli. Both were a big hit. Thank you Supriya :). I made Sev using Chakali blog. I have bookmarked a lot of dishes from this site. Do visit the sites for the original recipe. Sorry for the poor picture of halwa as we clicked it at the last moment before leaving for the party :)