Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dal ka Seera

Dal ka seera is a classic recipe that is relished throughout Rajasthan. This calorie filled seera is often prepared during the winter months, as it is supposed to keep the body warm and protect it from the bitter winter cold. It is considered to be auspicious for Holi, Diwali and all those special events and it even features on wedding menus. It takes a long time and lot of patience to sauté the dal and make this seera and it will probably require a little extra ghee too. You can make a larger quantity of this recipe and store it freezer for several months. Just follow the method till step 2. When it cool down put it in a air tight container and store it in the freezer and when you want to use it defrost the seera reheat the seera and continue from step 3 and seera is ready to eat.

Cooking Time : 40 mins.
Preparation Time : 10 mins.
Serves 4 to 6.

1 cup yellow moong dal (split yellow gram)

1 cup water
1¼ cups sugar
½ teaspoon cardamom (elachi) powder
a few saffron strands
6 tablespoons ghee

For the garnish:

2 tablespoons almonds and pistachios, sliced


1. Wash and soak it in water for 2-4 hours. Grind the dal to a smooth paste without adding water.
2. Take ghee in a pan and put dal in it. Cook the dal on medium heat till it turns golden brown and leaves a distinct aroma. At this stage, you will see ghee separating from the dal. Keep stirring the dal to prevent sticking to the pan.
3. While the dal is being cooked, heat water. Mix the sugar and boil for 4-5 mins, removing any scum.
4. Add water in the dal of step 3 slowly stirring. Add cardamom powder, saffron strands and stir well. Cook slowly till all the water is absorbed.
5. Garnish with grated almond and pistachios.

Note: If the seera looks very dry after adding the sugar water you can add little more ghee from top.

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Navrathan Spicy Kurma

    The name of the curry ‘ Navrathan’ stands for 9 gems - that’s 9 different vegetables are used to create a unique and outstanding curry. This curry used to be served to Kings in the princely states of India, before Independence. You can use any vegetables you best like, but I prefer vegetables listed below. This can be the main or side-dish when you are giving a formal dinner for 4 -5 people. For garnishing, fried golden nuts are added on top along with capsicum and paneer. This dish goes best with ‘pooris’ or 'roti'.

    Serves :4
    Prep time : 15 mins
    cooking time : 25 mins


    1 cup of Mixed vegetables (carrots, potato, beans, peas, corn and cauliflower) - Boil it with a pinch of sugar till they are half cooked.

    2 cloves
    2 cardamom
    1 bay leaf
    10-12 kaju
    1 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
    1 big onion chopped finely
    1 big onion - grind it into paste
    2 large tomato puree
    2 tbsp fresh cream
    1 tbsp curd
    1/8 tsp tumeric powder
    salt to taste
    Mix 1/2 tsp cornflour and 1 cup of milk

    Make a paste of:
    5 dry red kashmiri chillies
    4 cloves of garlic
    1 tbsp dhania seeds or powder
    1 inch of ginger
    1 tsp of khus-khus soak in water

    1 tbsp cashewnut
    1 tbsp raisin
    50gms paneer - cut in cubes
    1 tbsp ghee
    1 tbsp oil
    1 small capsicum chopped finely


    • Take ghee and oil in a kadai fry kaju, rasins, capsicuma and paneer all saperately one by one and keep it aside.

    • In the same kadai add chopped onions fry till it is translucent. Then add onion paste. When pink in color and the raw smell is gone add the ground paste. Saute it well till aroma arises.

    • Add curd. When curd is absorbed add tumeric powder, salt to taste and tomato puree.

    • Mix it well till the oil is separates then add the vegetables and mix well.

    • Keep it on low flame and cover it with a lid till the vegetables are cook.

    • Then add the fresh cream and add the cornflour mixture.

    • When it thickens add the garnish - dry fruits, capsicum and paneer.

    • Serve hot with Roti.

    Notes: The 9th vegetable in this dish is beet root. I didnt use in this recipe as I dont like the color and taste of this vegetable in this dish. If u like u can use it.