Cook's Hideout: January 2012

January 25, 2012

Gajar ki Launji (Sweet & Sour Carrot Curry)

As I was thinking of Rajasthani recipes to make for the marathon, the first place I looked was Priya’s blog. Being from Rajasthan, Priya has some very authentic and rustic dishes that I’m sure are not featured on any restaurant menus. As I was browsing through her very long list of Rajasthani dishes, I saw the recipe for gajar ki launji.

Since I didn’t have enough carrots to make the dish, I added the green pepper and the resultant curry was sweet, spicy and delicious. This dish takes about 15-20 minutes to put together and the major part of that time would probably be spent chopping the veggies. I used panch phoron since I didn’t have fennel & nigella seeds in my pantry. This is a simple to make, yet very delicious Rajastani curry that goes well with rice and rotis.

January 24, 2012

Churme Ka Laddu

Churme ka laddu is a very famous Rajasthani delicacy. These are made with atta or whole wheat flour. Traditionally the dough is deep fried in ghee, low and slow until golden brown, then powdered and mixed with the sweetener and made into laddoos using more ghee. 
Since I try to minimize our ghee consumption, I found this healthier version of the laddoos on Sanjeeta’s blog and used her tip to bake the dough instead of deep frying. I used a little more ghee than the original recipe and the resultant laddoos are delicious with a melt in your mouth texture. 

January 23, 2012

Dal Baati

It's time for Blogging Marathon #12 and I chose "Rajasthani Specials" as my theme for this week. I've heard a lot about Rajasthani cuisine, but never tried to make any dishes myself. So when I saw Srivalli's theme for this edition of the BM, I wanted to try as many delicious Rajasthani recipes as I can. 

For Day 1, I made the most famous dish from the Indian desert - "Dal Baati". Recipe from a dear friend who shared her family recipe with me when I told her that I will be making Rajasthani dishes for my blog. Big thanks to her for a fool-proof modern day kitchen recipe that tasted amazing. Baati's are traditionally baked on charcoal grills or well heated cow dung cakes. But for the modern day home cooks, ovens are the best alternate to use.

January 22, 2012

Corn & Carrot Rice

Finally we had our first Snow of the season this weekend. Not that I was missing the snow, but I get a little paranoid when weather is not normal for a season, it makes me think of global warming and it's extreme effects. Well for now, I can be rest assured that real winter is here and will probably be here for sometime. 

For this month's Taste & Create, being hosted by Min of Bad Girl's Kitchen, I got paired with Veena @ Veg Nation. Veena blog has tons of delicious vegetarian dishes and I had quite a few bookmarked to try. But as always got busy with other things and was able to make 2 of dishes. One is this easy peasy Corn rice and the other one is the Spring onion Dal. I couldn't take pictures of dal since I made it on a weekday and had no time to take the pics.


January 17, 2012

Thotakura Pappu (Amaranth leaves dal)

This recipe is from September of last year. I made this dish with thotakura/ amaranth greens that I harvested from my little container garden, took pictures and after a very emotional and whirlwind India trip completely forgot about it. I thought I’ll clear my drafts before moving ahead with the New Year. 

I planted thotakura seeds in my container garden last summer (it seems so long ago) and got decent harvest. 

January 12, 2012

Pistachio Cake

Wish you all a Very Happy & Prosperous New Year. I know we are in the middle of January, but since this is my first post for this year, please accept by belated wishes. I wanted to kick start the new year with something sweet and so I made this pistachio cake. One of my co-workers brought this for a potluck and I really liked it a lot. I took the recipe from her, but haven’t had a chance to make it. So I thought I’ll give it a try and make it our New Year celebration cake. 

This is a very easy cake to bake, the recipe calls for store-bought yellow cake mix, a box of instant pistachio pudding, club soda and a few other standard cake ingredients. The resultant cake is fluffy, moist and delicious.

I used my homemade natural cake mix from here and used half the recipe to make this cake (I used the other half to make this tiramisu cake).


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