Category Archives: Salads, Raitas & Chutneys

Warm Potato, Radish and Cottage Cheese salad

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In India a majority of people eat salads or raitas only as accompaniments in our lunch or dinners. But there is so much more to it than just another salad. If you mix the right ingredients, get that flavor you can create tasty dishes for breakfasts, snacks or even as a light meal when you need one. All you need to do is be ready to try out different options and get out from that mindset of seeing salads or raitas as just a side dish.

Now-a-days we’ve tons of gourmet stores in India & loads of cooking websites that help us make non-typical dishes. So why wait go ahead and have fun.

I was recently going through good food India, where I spotted this recipe. So easy and quick to make. I am a lover of variety of salads so this is my kind of dish. I made little changes to the main recipe and used things that were available to me at given moment. I loved it and am sure you’ll love it too.

 

Ingredients:

Baby potatoes – 250 gms
olive oil – 5 teaspoons
lemon – 1/2 , juiced and zested
red chilli – 1 finely diced
Radish – 100 gms sliced
iceberg lettuce – 1, leaves separated
Chives – 2 heaped tablespoons, finely chopped
Cottage cheese/ Paneer – 250 gms, sliced into 8 squares
Salt – to taste

Procedure:

 

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water for around 15 minutes, until tender.
  • Mix 2 teaspoons of olive oil and lemon juice with some salt. In another small bowl, mix 2 teaspoon olive oil with the chilli and a pinch of lemon zest. Drain the potatoes and rinse in cold water. Allow them to cool slightly, then peel and slice. Gently toss the potatoes in the oil and lemon dressing. Put on a serving plate with radishes, lettuce and chives.
  • Heat a non-stick pan with a teaspoon of oil. Fry the paneer for a minute on each side, until golden. Add the chilli and lemon oil to the pan and mix around to coat it. Lay out the hot paneer slices on top of the salad and serve.

Tips:

  • The main recipe used halloumi. I replaced it with paneer.
  • You may also replace chives with very tender spring onion, finely chopped.
  • Make it vegan by adding tofu.

Tomato Onion Chutney

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Being in love with south Indian food, dosas, idlis are a part of our breakfast and to go with it the common condiments are the tasty coconut chutney, malgapudi which we lovingly call as gun powder and sambhar.

One of my oldest memories of tomato chutney is from my school days when I stayed in Dombivali and we used to bring appam from a famous outlet called Dhanalakshmi. This is the time when my love for tomato chutney began. I can’t believe I had eaten all these wonderful dishes at maximum 10-15 rupees per plate. This was about 15 years back. I so miss that place. The best part about this was unlimited chutney and generous servings. It didn’t matter if the idlis or dosas were done with. The chutneys were finger licking good. ;) Thanks to my elder brother who introduced me to this. Nostalgic!!!!!

Recently we visited Dakshinayan, a well known restaurant in Pune famous for authentic south Indian dishes. Even though I found it to be a little expensive, most of the recipes were true to the palate, which is a rare experience in Pune. The moment the first dish was served, I was bowled over to see two ramekins, one filled with tomato chutney and another with onion chutney and that too unlimited!!! The taste of the tomato chutney lingered for hours together and I decided, no matter what I had to prepare this soon.

Here’s my take on my favourite chutney. Hope you too are a fan as well.

Ingredients:

Tomato – 3 medium sized diced
Onion – 1 medium sized diced
Garlic- 4 cloves peeled
Dried Red chillies – 1-2
Chana dal – 1 ½ Tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 teaspoon

Tempering:

Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – 3-4

Procedure:

  • In a kadhai or a pan heat the oil mentioned under ingredients.
  • Fry the garlic cloves and chana dal till golden brown in colour and keep it aside on a plate.
  • In the same oil fry the dried red chillies till they turn a little brown. Transfer this too on the plate and let it cool.
  • In the remaining oil sauté the onion till transparent and then add the diced tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are soft. Add salt during this process. Let this mixture cool down.
  • Transfer the tomato-onion mixture along with the fried garlic cloves, chana dal and dried red chillies in a grinder and grind everything together to a smooth paste. No need to add water. Transfer this to a bowl.
  • Temper this with the ingredients mentioned under tempering. Mix well and serve with dosa, idli, or paniyaram (appe).

Tips:

  • Try this chutney on bread as a spread. It tastes amazing.
  • This can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Pumpkin Raita

Raita is an integral part of a typical Indian meal. There are lots of varieties and ways in which it is prepared. The most common ingredients of a raita are tomato, onion and cucumber teamed up with curds or tempering and lemon sans the curds.

From last couple of days we have been preparing same type of raitas and I got fed up with it today morning. I have no clue why did we just keep preparing the same ones again and again again. I am still wondering why I did not think of pumpkin raita. Anyway better late than never!!!

I feel bad for pumpkin as it is always considered to be one which has no taste at all and many of us are not overly fond of it. Although I fail to understand why. With the right ingredients and a good recipe, pumpkin dish can taste superb. I can guarantee you that even children will love it. It also is very nutritious so it gets thumbs up from the health conscious people too.

So here is the recipe, fast, simple and easy as Donna Hay would say it!

Ingredients:

Pumpkin – 125 gms
Curds (whisked) – 1 cup
Chilli (small) – 1
Coriander (chopped) – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste

For tempering:

Clarified Butter/ Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon

Procedure:

  • Peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut it in to cubes.
  • Cook it in a pressure cooker along with a small chilli. 3 -4 whistles should be good.
  • Once the pumpkin is cooked, mash it using a spoon and also mash the chilli.
  • Add salt, chopped coriander and whisked curds to it.
  • To make the tempering, heat ghee in a small pan or you get small kadhais for tempering. Add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, pour it over the pumpkin mixture. Serve it with hot rotis (Indian bread).

Tips:

  • You may also cook the pumpkin using a microwave. You should be able to mash it with ease. That should be the consistency. It shouldn’t be too mushy.
  • Eliminate the chilli if preparing for children.

Lemon sweet corn salad

Who doesn’t love corn ! it could be corn rice, in a pizza, sweet corn soup or simply a “bhutta”, well it’s irresistible. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like bhutta. Specially when it’s raining.WOW, bhutta and a mix of salt and chili powder spread over it and a dash of lemon to get it going. Whoohoo :) :) :). Another favorite of mine is this recipe. I call it Lemon corn salad. Well it’s a real quickie, tangy and very healthy too. It’s that perfect 4 pm food. Very easy to prepare and super tasty too.

It’s been raining in Pune for a few days. And I had got a couple of raw corn on the cobs stacked up. Rains, stacked corn & cool weather  a perfect combination to get this recipe going. Well, who said healthy food ain’t tasty. Every mall or theater has a counter which sells this. But Why wait for a movie, go ahead and give it a try. Am sure you’ll like it.

 

Ingredients –

Sweet Corn Kernels – 1 cup
Chaat Masala – ¾ teaspoon
Lemon – 1 small wedge
Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves- a few springs
Water (to boil) – 2 cups

Procedure –

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Turn off the gas and then add 1 cup sweet corn kernels to it and cover the pan . Let it soak for 5-8 mins.
  2. Drain the water and transfer the boiled corn in a bowl.
  3. Add the chaat masala, black pepper powder to it.
  4. Squeeze the wedge of lemon and add finely chopped coriander leaves.
  5. Mix well.

Lemon Corn Salad is ready to eat :)

Tips –

  1. You may use fresh, canned or frozen sweet corn. I’ve used fresh.
  2. Add salt to taste if you need. I haven’t added any to keep my salt intake in check. (Perhaps you won’t miss it since chaat masala is quite sufficient).
  3. If you want you can add a dash of butter for a rich taste. Again I have given it a miss. (Healthy fooooood people, healthy food ;) :P )

 

Chatpata chana

I was traveling from Mumbai to Pune. While the driver took a break for filling the fuel my tummy started demanding it’s own fuel. Going around various stalls I laid my eyes on this wonderful snack item which I do not know how I forgot for years together. I love this ! It’s a fantastic, tasty and chatapata snack which can be prepared in couple of minutes (ofcourse you got to have the chana boiled ;) hehe) which can bring your taste buds back to action.

This is a little spicy, tangy and a yummy salad snack. I came back and the first thing next day I did was get this dish ready. I don’t remember how much I had missed this, but now I will be preparing it quite often. I dedicate this recipe entirely to the chana walla who flooded me with memories and got them back to life.

So enjoy….till next time keep stirring keep cooking !

Ingredients –

Black gram / kale harbhare / kala chana – 1 ½ cups
Tomato (finely chopped) – ½ cup
Potato (medium sized and boiled) – 1
Onion (small size and finely chopped) – ¼ cup
Salt – to taste
Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
Chaat masala – 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice – 2 teaspoons
Coriander (finely chopped) – 1 teaspoon

Procedure –

  • Soak the black gram in water over night. In a pressure cooker boil it with adequate water for 4-5 whistles. Let it cool.
  • Peel the potato and cut it into small cubes.
  • Once the chana is cooled drain the water and add the chopped tomato, onion, red chili powder, chat masala, salt and lemon juice to it.
  • Mix well. Sprinkle coriander and serve.

Tips –

Do not discard the boiled water from the chana. It could be used while cooking.
You can add finely chopped cucumber as well.