Monday, September 01, 2014

Chana palak/ chick peas with spinach gravy


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Hello all! Today's dish comprises of protein plus iron with chickpeas and spinach. Both rich in nutrients and this dish is made many ways. I chose to use spinach gravy for this. Years back when I was still a new bride and yet learning basics of cooking, I saw a programme on tv which showed how to cook chickpeas with spinach and I copied the whole thing by looking at the recipe but being a novice I doubled the quantity of masalas/spices making it too spicy to eat but still it was yummy. I did not attempt it again till yesterday when I recalled this dish. This time I kept the spice level in control and result was wow. It is so easy that even bachelors and novices can also cook this dish in jiffy.
Ingredients:
  • 200gms chickpeas/chana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • a small pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1 small piece of  cinnamon stick/dalchini
  • 2-3 cloves/laung
  • 1 small tejpatta
  • 1tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1tbsp coriander powder
  • 1tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tbsp oil or ghee


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Method:
Soak chickpeas overnight. Drain and boil them with little bit of salt. Keep aside. Chop the spinach, blanch and make puree out of it.  To get more taste I grated onion, tomato, garlic and ginger separately. In a pan heat oil, add cumin seeds, once it splutters add chopped green chillies. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, tej patta and saute it. Add hing and then add grated onions. Saute the onions but do not let them brown too much. Add grated ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell goes. Just be careful not to burn them. Finally add grated tomato and stir. Once oil separates, add boiled chana and little water. Cook for few minutes and then add spinach puree. Stir and add  the remaining masalas. Adjust the consistency of gravy. Watch out for salt as chana already had some salt. Once the gravy is cooked, serve it with garnish of your choice. I added onion rings on top. Chana palak can go very well with rice, chapati or pooris.

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Hope you liked this dish.

Note: In place of spinach puree you can add chopped spinach and let it cook till it softens. 




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fresh Grocery Delivered to Your Place - Everyday



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I always have been a regular customer of the website BigBasket.com for online grocery for the last few months. Since the frequency of my purchases has been quite high, I thought of sharing my experiences. Since I am very busy with work, it is very difficult for me to go to grocery shopping every other day and it consumes a lot of time. Primarily, I couldn’t bear the fuel charges required for travelling anymore. Moreover, a lot of time required to step out and buy groceries, vegetables or fruits from the nearby shops made me look for an alternative like BigBasket.com. I came across BigBasket on my Facebook timeline as a suggestion by my friend’s news post. Then I went ahead and tried to do my grocery shopping with it. After I started my transactions with it, I didn’t get a chance to look back. 


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After using BigBasket, I have realized that shopping for groceries is highly convenient through this website. I just can't be happier about the time that it saves me. Another feature that I like about BigBasket is the cash on delivery: the payment method that I prefer for products that I like - vegetables and fruits where the product quality may be guaranteed. They also have a friendly return policy where no questions are asked at all! I have returned vegetables and dairy products a number of times when I was not happy about the quality of the products – although, such instances have been very few in number. They also have a delivery guarantee which means that when I fix a time slot, they deliver the order promptly. And they have never failed to do so which is pretty commendable. The fruits and vegetables that they have in their store are usually very fresh. Also the bread and the milk products are also always brought on the same day.



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Now let us talk about the website. The website is very simple to use, it has no clutter and absolutely has no irritating advertisements. The catalogues of products are very well organized. The breadcrumb display that has been used in the website has made it much easier to go back and forth from the navigation page to the product description page. The notification system is also really useful. The moment an order is placed they send a SMS as well as an email which further helps to confirm that the order has been placed. Another message as well as email notification is also sent out on the day that the order is to be delivered. That way one can be aware that the order would come on that day and ensure that someone is at home to receive the order. Also if you are an early customer, you get grab a flat ten per cent discount on the total order value. That in itself is a great savings!


Please note that currently they serve only three cities for delivering grocery: Bangalore, Hyderabad & Mumbai.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Easy salad

Hello friends! Today I am starting with very simple dish which is quick to make. 

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Ingredients:
1 carrot peeled & grated
1 cucumber peeled & grated
1 radish peeled & grated
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
salt and black pepper powder to taste
some coriander leaves for garnish

Method:
Simply mix all the above vegetables. Add salt and pepper as per taste and  serve cold garnished with coriander leaves.

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I have just added what I like in my salad but the choice of vegetables is individual.
Salads are easy to digest and cooling  Try it and you would love it. You can give to kids  making it more colorful with many other various vegetables and perhaps add sprouts and nuts to enhance it more.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Almond halwa-badam halwa

Hello friends! It has been a year now since I last posted on this space and today I am resuming  my food blog with a great sweet badam halwa or almond halwa. Co incidentally my last post was also a sweet and beginning of new post again a sweet by  Sandhya  who happens to be the  host of last of the challenges of SNC event started by  Divya of You too can cook.

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They were monthly challenges  since two years where north and south teams exchanged their recipes. A long journey but sadly due to personal reasons and time restraints could not continue my food blog and snc challenges. Since I am part of north team I have to cook this delicious almond halwa and  timing could not be better here.  The version Sandhya has used is slightly different than what I had made previously known as Almond Fudge. The way I made was using almonds dry but here lets follow Sandhya's recipe for badam halwa now. For step by step instructions check Sandhya's space.

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds ( soaked over night)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp saffron
1/4 cup milk
a pinch of  cardamom powder ( optional)

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Method:
Dry almond method given above my almond fudge has almost same ingredient but way is different. You can check out the previous dry version. I have used the same measurements given here by  Sandhya but with less quantity.
Soak the almonds over night and  peel of the skin next morning. Grind the peeled almonds using milk little by little to make a smooth  paste.
Make one string consistency of sugar syrup by boiling sugar in enough water to get the right consistency. This part has always stumped me and always I need help to get right consistency. In the same pan, mix the almond paste and cook over the medium heat while stirring continuously.  Keep stirring the halwa till it thickens and leaves side. Add ghee and saffron and cardamom powder  and stir it.  Once halwa starts to change color slightly, switch off the gas. Let it cool down and serve at room temperature. Make sure halwa is bit wet and do not let it thicken too much or it would not have the soft texture. The delicious badam halwa is ready.

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I would be resuming  my food blog with more delicious recipes and much more, so stay tuned and  support my space as all of you have always done.


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