Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spicy Sweet Squash (Meetha Kaddu)

This post has been languishing in my drafts for months, like many others. Today is one of those days when I am blissfully unaware of anything. Little S is napping and I am listening to Begum Parveen Sultana happy to have this  hour to myself. I skip from one beautiful, soulful singer to another and a sort of peace descends over me. 
These peaceful moments are very rare these days and I try to grab every moment I can. Just like in cooking, my son's choice of food dominates. There are days when  all we eat is varan-bhaat and call it a night and others when we gobble grilled cheese sandwiches and watch cartoons and enjoy ourselves. 

I like pumpkin/ squash a lot and try and make it when possible. It adapts itself wonderfully well to any seasoning, sweetish or spicy and is a treat to eat it in any avatar. Roll it in a fulka or enjoy with a dish of sabudana khichadi on days you fast. Or simply try it this method I have shown below. either way you have a tasty vegetable dish on your table.

1/2 lb. Red pumpkin ( I used Butternut Squash)
2 Tbs. Oil
Pinch Asafetida
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
2 Tsp Ginger, chopped
1 tsp. Green Chiles
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chile powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Mango/  Amchur powder
1 Tbsp. Jaggery grated/ powdered
2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped

Wash, peel and cut the pumpkin/ squash into 3/4 inch cubes
Cut the peel into 1 inch pieces
Heat Oil in a pan and add asafetida, fenugreek seeds and saute until golden brown (dark brown will result ina bitter taste)
Add ginger, green chilies, turmeric, red chili powder and cut peel and cook for 1 minute. Add the cubed pumpkin and mix.
Add salt to taste and 1/2 cup water. Cook covered on high heat, stirring occasionally until the water evaporates.
Uncover, add mango powder and jaggery, cook for a minute
Add cilantro, mix well
Serve hot with pooris/ roti.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Masala Corn

Can one make excuses for slacking off? Can those be accepted as valid? When I look back on the last month, I can recollect smiling and grumbling, all the time. Is that silly?  Does seem like it!  I was smiling ( and still am) because I am one happy girl! I received a Kindle for  my birthday. I was thrilled, I've been craving for this fabulous e-reader for some time now. In fact, last year, on my India trip, there was a couple on the flight who were engrossed in their e-readers and I kept glancing at their kindles and sighing and wishing.
I finally got my wish and have been enjoying reading  all my favorite books ( starting off with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and the rest of her works). 

I grumbled (a lot) because of  the heat, I must add here , I *hate summer*. I do, I do , I do! and so spent a good deal of time indoors in the soothing a.c  and curled up with my treasure! 

While others rejoiced in the blazing heat (~shudder~) by jogging or just spreading themselves like bedspreads by the poolside ( and not going into the water, which to me, is utterly ridiculous- that, people, is the point, hot day- cooling water, no?) I arched my eyebrows and wiggled my ears and fanned myself with a notebook that was at hand. A sheet of paper fluttered to my feet. Picking it up idly I scanned it, a recipe! Good Heavens! It looked like I have one tucked everywhere possible and forgotten all about it!
It was for Masala Corn. Scribbled in a hurry on a sheet of printer paper over a year ago.
Two days after I found the sheet, the weather broke and we had rain, a good amount of rain and I was overjoyed! 
Perfect to sit with a bowl of masala corn and watch (read , actually) the drama unfold as Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth meet again after a gap of 8 1/2 years! 

This post got published before I could note the recipe, Thanks Shammi for bringing it to my notice. I had started on the draft and foolishly left it open on the laptop on the table. A nosy 3 year old wandered by and published it and I never knew! 

You Need: 

1 Cup Sweet corn ( I used frozen- thaw before use)
Oil to cook about 2-3 tbsp.
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 tsp. Ginge,r finely chopped 
1/4 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Red Chili powder ( adjust to your taste, I use Deep x-tra hot chili powder, so this is sufficient)
2 tsp Ground Cilantro
4 medium Tomatoes ( 1 tomato  grated and 3  tomatoes to be roasted and cubed - this is easy if you have gas, for electric stove, if you want to broil it, go ahead- I skipped the roasting pan, changes the taste, but by no means a bad option)
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. Garam masala
2 Tbs. Cilantro, chopped  to garnish

Heat 2 T oil, add the corn and cook for about a couple of minutes on medium  heat. Stir occasionally. Remove and set aside.

Heat 1 T oil in the same pan, add onion, ginger, garlic and saute till the onion is pink.

Add red chili powder and ground cilantro and mix

Add Tomato ( if you have grated as well as roasted cubed, add both at this stage) , add sugar  and cook till thick.

Add corn, salt, garam masala and cilantro leaves. Cook on high heat for a minute ( take care not to burn the corn).

Serve hot.

Enjoy the weekend folks! 
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