Friday, 31 January 2014

Pots & Pans


There are the few different kinds of utensils that makes Indian cooking easier.

1. Pressure Cooker : This is a must in any Indian or a non Indian kitchen too for that matter. I think its a wonderful piece of utensil, which is so wisely made, its super simple and efficient and it saves a lot of time and energy. I always tell my students to invest in one. Its great to cook beans, daals(lentils), potatoes, chicpeas etc.

   

The first two pressure cookers in the picture above are Indian cookers, Prestige and Hawkins are trusted Indian brands. The good thing about Indian cookers is that you can also find them in sizes as small as 1/2 litre ones. The third one is a European cooker, here I have seen you find mostly the 5 litres one but for some time now I have also seen 2 litres ones too.

2. Tava/Crepes pan

This small flat pan is a must to be able to make Indian rotis/ parathans, because it does not have a very high rim on the side. The Indian Tavas back home are a bit roundish at the bottom as people cook mostly on gas there and it sits perfect but here when we use electric gas stoves its not at all ideal, so go for a bottom surface one. Its exactly like a Crepe pan from the West. You can either buy a non stick one or also a cast iron works fine or if you can get a Crepe pan, it works great too. I use it too.

        

The first one in the picture is an Indian Tava with a roundisch bottom, the second one is with a flat bottom and the third one is a Crepe pan.

3. Wok/Karahi

This is another important thing when you like to fry things. Here we mostly get the big Chinese Woks but for a small family I find it a bit too big because you have to use a lot of oil to fry. So mostly I bring back from home but another substitute is to find a pan, which has a flat bottom and then it goes a bit roundisch on the sides. That works fine as well.

Woks are great to fry but they are also very good to make fried rise, dry vegetables like Aloo-Gobi etc.

       

So, the first one is the kind of pan which you can use to deep fry, the middle one is the small Indian Wok-pan and the third one is a sort of a Chinese wok.






Shopping for sovenirs


Rajasthali (government Emporium)

You can find typical Japuri things for gifts and for home too. They have nice Marbel, stone, paper mache, blue pottery, tie and dye, mirror work, block print etc. The shop is right near Ajmeri gate on the M. I. Road.
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Khadi Ghar (government Emporium)

Another government Emporium and as the name suggest you can get the world famous pieces from Khadi like sarees, shawls, silk and many more.

The government Emporiums are a great place to shop as the prices are fixed and they are quite reasonable.

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Green Asparagus with Tomatoes


This dish is a side vegetable dish which you can serve with any European meal. I have served it with Bulgar burgers but it can very well served with a pasta too. Now I am not a big fan of white Asparagus but I love the crunchy green ones.

Here is what you will need :

Ingredients:

- 500 g green Asparagus
- about a dozen of cherry tomatoes or a bit more
- 2 cloves of pressed garlic
- 1 green chili, slit lengthwise
- salt to taste
- black pepper
- a big pinch of red chili flakes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- a bit of lime juice.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Ghee


Ghee comes from a Sanskrit wod "Ghrit" घ्र त so it is Ghee in Hindi or clarified Butter in English. Ghee is a key ingredient in Indian cooking. It has been used in India for thousands of years. Now that I think it was the best way to preserve the butter while cooking it. Back home in India I grew up with cows in my backyard. First my grandmother used to have a cow, then for some years she didn't have and then my father bought a big beautiful Jersey Cow, my grandma and mom used to milk it. She had to be milked thrice a day so it was quite a lot of work for them. But we grew up with fresh milk, home made Yogurt, buttermilk, butter and of course Ghee.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Nuts Barfi


Barfi is an Indian Dessert. Its basically another word for an Indian sweet dish which can be made with many different kinds of ingredients eg milk, condensed milk, nuts (almonds/cashew nuts, pistachios), flours (wheat flour, rice flour, chicpea flour), paneer, khowa(solidified milk), coconut etc. It is cut into either squares, rectangles or even rounds. It can also be decorated with silver or golden edible metallic leaf called as Vark.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Ebly with Spinach


Ebly is a whole wheat grain or some people also call it wheat berries. It came out in the market a few years ago and me being a fan of whole grain and all bought it to try and everyone loved it at home. The recipe I am posting here I once posted in a Wettbewerb (a competition) and I got a price, now me bashful :) of four movie tickets which I took the family to watch Shrek, so now its a joke at home whenever I cook this we remember Shrek and the co-incidence is my recipe was based on Spinach and DA: Shrek...........Ja green in Colour! Funny ! right. So here it goes:

For 4 People:

Ingredients:

- 250 gms Ebly
- 250 gms frozen Spinach
- 1 big red onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- an inch piece of ginger, finely grated
- 2 heaped tablespoons of can tomatoes, or you can take 2 fresh tomatoes, cubed
- 6 pieces of cherry tomatoes
- salt to taste
- black pepper, a few shakes
- 1/2 tsp of red chili flakes
- 1 tbsp of olive oil