Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gujarathi Undhiyu | North Indian Curry Recipes

I tasted this Undhiyu in a restaurant before a couple of months. I had not heard about it until recently, I came across it in Anjum's New Indian cookbook which I borrowed from the library. This is a cookbook with an introduction to many regional Indian food much unlike the usual cliche of menu in the Indian restaurants abroad viz. Saag Paneer, Paneer Butter Masala or Dal Makhni. 
This dish is generally made during winter with fresh, seasonal produce. The carbohydrates in this dish supposedly keeps the body warm during the cold.
When I was making this dish, the aroma and flavors reminded me of the Bhindi Sambhariya I made a while ago.
Potato, large - 1 
Sweet potato, small - 1
Turnip, large - 1
Brinjals / Small Eggplants - 4
Val papdi / Broad beans - 1/2 cup (frozen)
Oil - 4 tbsp*
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Caraway seeds / Ajwain - 1/4 tsp

Spice paste 1:
Ginger - 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves - 3
Green chillies - 3
Lemon juice - from 1/2 of a lemon
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup

Spice paste 2:
Coconut, grated - 1/2 cup
Almonds - 6
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp, heaped
Salt - 1 tsp or to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp

Peel and cube the potato, sweet potato and turnip. Cut the eggplants into wedges. Place the cut vegetables immersed in a bowl of water to avoid browning.
Grind the ginger, garlic, green chillies and lemon juice into a smooth paste adding water as needed. Add the coriander leaves and pulse a few times. Remove from the blender and reserve. In the same blender add the almonds and grind coarsely. Add the rest of the ingredients for the spice paste 2 with water and pulse a couple of times. Mix with the spice paste 1 with caraway seeds.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and splutter the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add the spice mix paste and saute for a few minutes. Add the cut veggies (water drained and discarded) to bind. Add about a cup of water and allow it to boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the beans and check for seasoning. Add salt and water if needed and cook covered for 5 more minutes. When done, remove the cover and cook stirring occasionally until the desired consistency is reached. Garnish with coriander leaves and coconut (if desired). Serve with roti.
The amount of oil used may seem a bit too much, but trust me that is what brings the taste of spices together in this dish.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Penne in Creamy Tomato Butternut Squash Sauce

It is going to be almost a month since my last post. Things have been busy in personal and family front. However I didn't want the whole month of January to go without a single note. Though I have been cooking and clicking frequently, the composing part had to take a back seat due to lack of time.
I love making pasta sauces from scratch but mostly I tried to build flavors upon store bought sauces. This is a hearty sauce which I made with leftover canned crushed tomatoes which I had used to make Minestrone soup. Pasta in tomato sauce is my little one's favorite meal and he didn't complain. Sneaking veggies is my favorite part and he didn't have a clue :).
Add any hearty winter vegetable in the place of or in addition to butternut squash in this soup. Carrots, parsnips, acorn squash and pumpkin are great choices.

Serves - 4
Penne - 1 lb 
Onion, chopped - 1 cup
Garlic - 1 clove
Crushed tomatoes, from can - 1 cup
Butternut Squash, cubed - 1 cup (Can substitute Pumpkin)
Vegetable Stock - 1 cup
Evaporated milk - 1/3 cup (see notes below)
Rosemary sprigs - 2 (optional)
Dried Italian seasoning - 1 tbsp
Crushed red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
Ground pepper - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Olive oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Parsley / cilantro - for garnish
Parmesan cheese - for garnish

Heat a tsp of oil in a cast-iron pan and roast the cubed butternut squash until brown and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. In another sauce pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the onions and garlic until slightly brown. Add the cooked squash, rosemary sprig, spices and salt. Add the tomato, sugar and stock. Check for seasoning and allow it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta according to packet instructions. When done, drain reserving about 1 cup of pasta cooked water. Remove the sauce from heat and use an immersion blender to puree. Return to heat and add the evaporated milk. Add the pasta water to thin out the sauce as needed. Add the cooked pasta and toss well. Serve hot garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Cream / Half & Half / Whole milk can be used in place of evaporated milk or it can just be skipped.
This sauce can be made in advance and stored in a glass container in the fridge for a couple of days or frozen in ziploc bags.