August 31, 2012

Aloo Panch Phoron | Stir Fried Potatoes in a 5 Spice Mix

Panch Phoron or the 5 spice mix is not very popular down south but its widely used in Bengali cuisine. This spice mix is a blend of mustard, cumin, fenugreek, nigella & fennel seeds. These spices are mixed in equal quantities & stored in a container & is used to season fish & curries in Bengali cuisine.
I had not made anything with Panch Phoron seasoning before & this Potato Fry is my first experiment with it & I am so much in love with that distinct flavour.
Aloo Panch Phoron
You Will Need:
  • 2 large potatoes - washed & scrubbed clean
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds/methi seeds
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds/kalonji
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 Dry Red chillies
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Fresh coriander for garnish

How To:

Slice the potatoes into fairly thick wedges. I prefer keeping the skin on. But you can go ahead & peel the skin before slicing the potatoes. Immerse them in cold water until ready to use.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. Add the mustard seeds first, once they crackle, add all the others one by one & allow them to splutter for about 20-25 secs. Do not burn them.
Add chillies & potato wedges along with turmeric powder & give it a gentle stir. Add salt & saute on medium heat for about 4-5 mins till the edges are slightly browned. Turn down the heat, sprinkle a little water & cook on low heat with the lid on. Saute at regular intervals to avoid the bottom of the pan from getting burnt. At any point of time, if you find the potatoes dry, sprinkle a little water & allow them to cook. See to it that the potatoes are fully cooked yet firm & not mushy. Once done, adjust salt. Garnish with chopped coriander before serving
Serve Warm with Phulkas or along with steamed Rice & Dal


August 25, 2012

Moong Bean Pulao

There are some recipes that fall into your comfort zone. The recipes that you depend on when you don't want to spend too much time cooking yet you want something tasty & filling because you are hungry.

This Moong Bean Pulao falls into that category atleast for me. All because, it takes less than 30 mins to make this & there is not much prepping required other than chopping onions & tomatoes. And, for the little effort it takes, its absolutely tasty & healthy too. So that makes this a perfect weeknight dinner or even a lunch box option.
Since, I love different kinds of Pulao, Mom has been making this since the longest time I can remember & this is clearly one of my childhood favorites.
Moong Bean Pulao

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1/2 cup Moong Beans
  • 2 big onions - chopped lengthwise
  • 2 ripe tomatoes - chopped
  • 3 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen king masala
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp desi ghee
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • fresh coriander for garnish

How To:

Soak Basmati rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear & soak in water for about 30 mins. This is optional though
While you are chopping onions & tomatoes, bring a pot of salted water to boil & add mung beans. Allow them to cook while you are busy with prepping.
In a pressure cooker, add a tsp of desi ghee & a tbsp oil. crackle cumin seeds. Add torn bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves & saute for a few seconds. Add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and a little bit of salt & saute till the onions turn pink. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder & saute until the tomatoes are nice & soft. This should take about 5 mins.
Drain the Basamti Rice & add them into the pressure cooker. Saute for a minute. Next, drain the moong beans & add them along with kitchen king masala. Give it a good stir. Add 1 1/2 cups of water & salt. bring it to a boil. close the lid & allow it to pressure cook for 1 whistle or 2 whistles depending on the type of pressure cooker you use.
Once the pressure is released, open the lid & allow it to cool a little, maybe for about 10 mins. Add lemon juice & chopped coriander & fluff with a fork. Serve with a raita of your choice. I usually serve this with a simple onion raita.
NOTE: If you have some time on hand, you can soak Moong Beans in water for about   30 - 45 mins. Then, you need not cook the moong beans as you are prepping. You can add the Moong Beans directly into the pressure cooker after adding  rice.