BHADWAANI MARCHAA NA ATHAANU (GREEN CHILLI PICKLE)

Bhadwaani Marchaa are a type of very less spicy variety of green chillies coming from Gujarat which are also called as Sambhariya Marcha. These chillies are slightly dark green in colour and are of the same regular size like other chillies. I assume that these chillies are available mostly during winters as I haven’t noticed them in the market in the other seasons.

I have a habit of observing all that the vegetable vendor displays for sale and enquiring about anything that’s new to me. It was the same in this case where, as I was enquiring about these chillies, a young Gujarati lady standing beside me uttered something! Immediately I asked her if she used these chillies and requested her for the recipe. This is one more habit I have and yes it’s quite beneficial!

So, she gave me this awesome and easy recipe very happily and discussed everything about it with me. I have made a slight change in the recipe by adding asafoetida and black salt! We even discussed whether I could add some rai daal (split mustard seeds/rai na kuria) to it, but I refrained from experimenting with it, though I feel that it won’t change the taste!

For some more pickle recipes, do take a look at the following too….

1. Appe Aamle Lonche

2. Gaajar Flower Taaja Loncha

3. Fresh Turmeric Ginger Pickle In Lemon Juice

4. Ambade Kaarle Lonche

Here’s the recipe for the delicious Bhadwaani Marchaa Nu Athaanu….

Prep Time : 30 min

Serves : 10

INGREDIENTS :

  • 100 gm Bhadwaani Marchaa …. approx 28-30 nos. (A less spicy variety of Mirchi/Green Chilli)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Corriander Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 2 pinches Asafoetida …. Optional
  • 1/4 tsp Black Salt (kaala namak/sanchal/sendhe laun)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 large Indian Lemon

METHOD :

  1. To make Bhadwaani Marchaa Na Athaanu, first wash the green chillies in clean water and drain.
  2. Spread them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
  3. Make a vertical slit in the chillies to make a pocket.
  4. Discard the seeds and set aside.
  5. Mix together the turmeric powder, corriander powder, cumin powder, asafoetida, black salt and salt to taste.
  6. Fill about 2 full pinches of this spice mix into each green chilli.
  7. Drizzle the lemon juice over it. Fill it up in a clean, dry, airtight container. Keep aside for about half a day in the refrigerator.
  8. Your Bhadwaani Marchaa Na Athaanu is ready to be consumed! This lasts for about a week in the refrigerator.
  9. Serve the Bhadwaani Marchaa Na Athaanu with a meal of Capsicum Masala, Daal Fry phulkas and Rice alongwith some delicious Shrikhand!

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TONDLICHYA KAACHRYAA (CRISP STIR FRIED IVY GOURD)

Tondlichya Kaachryaa is a stir fry vegetable made from Tondli/Ivy Gourds. Vegetables which are cooked by stir frying, without using water till slightly charred (Kharpus…a Marathi word for the same), are generally referred to as Kaachrya in the Marathi language. One more famous vegetable on these lines is the delicious, Bataatyachya Kaachrya (Potato stir fry).

Tondli/Ivy Gourd is also called as Scarlet Gourd, Tindora, Kowai fruit and has a few more names too! It grows primarily in tropical climates and is commonly found in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. It can be found in most of the Indian cuisines.

This vegetable is quite nutritious as it provides us with a wide number of health benefits which you can easily find on the net, making it beneficial to diabetics too. And yes, when we say greens are good for our health, it doesn’t mean only the leafy vegetables but also all other green vegetables including ivy gourds! And it is really beneficial to our health if we consume them atleast twice or thrice a week!

There are numerous recipes for preparing this vegetable. Here I am presenting a very simple but equally delicious recipe for ivy gourds using very little spices.

For more such green vegetable recipes, do take a look at the following dishes too….

1. Shiralyaachyi Bhaaji

2. Capsicum Masala

3. Alucha Phatphata

4. Paapdichi Bhaaji

5. Shimla Mirchi Panchamrut

6. Bharli Bhendi

Here’s the recipe for the delicious Tondlichya Kaachryaa…..

Prep Time : 25 min

Cooking Time : 35-45 min

Serves : 4-5

INGREDIENTS :

  • 750 gm Ivy Gourds (Tondli/Tendli/Tindora)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Bedgi Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Corriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • Salt to taste

For The Tempering :

  • 4 tbs Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves (kadipatta …. optional)

METHOD :

  1. To make Tondlichya Kaachryaa, wash the ivy gourds thoroughly in clean water and drain them.
  2. Cut them diagonally into thin slices and set aside.
  3. Heat a pan and add oil to it for tempering. Add the mustard seeds and as soon as they splutter add the asafoetida and the curry leaves.
  4. Add the turmeric powder and mix. Immediately add the slices ivy gourds, some salt and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Cover and cook for a while on low to medium flame stirring occasionally.
  6. Repeat this step till the gourds are well cooked. You can keep some water on the lid, which will create steam inside the pan and aid in faster cooking.
  7. But this vegetable does require a little more cooking time as it is cooked only on steam without adding water and the finished product can seem to be quite less in context of the quantity!
  8. When the vegetable is almost cooked, add the remaining spice powders and mix. Cover and cook again for some more time.
  9. When done, open the lid and let the vegetable cook a bit further till it becomes slightly charred, stirring occasionally.
  10. Check seasoning and adjust salt if required.
  11. Serve these delicious Tondlichya Kaachryaa with phulkas, steamed rice and some Daalichi Aamti with Sukkya Dhyahyaatlya Mirchya and Paalak Raita as sides!

DAHI VADA (DAHI BHALLA)

Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla as it is called in some places, is a delicious, cooling snack made from skinless split black gram fried balls and fresh curds. Very less ingredients go into the making of this dish and the process too is fairly simple!

I have always eaten homemade dahi vadas in my childhood and never had tasted the restaurant ones. We never sweetened the curds with sugar, but always used fresh homemade curds for the same with the spices and sweet chutney. It is just few years back, when I noticed that in restaurants, the curd is sweetened with sugar and in some I found the curd sweetened and tempered with mustard seeds! Again the same is being followed by many others at home too!

Well, my daughter was adamant to have the curd sweetened and hence I had to go with it. But, let me tell you that both ways, the homemade dahi vadas are surely delicious and much lighter than the restaurant ones!

For some more delicious snacks, do take a look at the following recipes too….

1. Tandoori Chicken Coleslaw Toast Sandwich

2. Corn Oats Semolina Pancakes

3. Crispy Chicken Burger

4. Bhoplyaache Ghaargae

5. Doodhi Methi Muthiya

Here’s the recipe for the deliciously cooling Dahi Vada…..

Prep Time : 15 min

Cooking Time : 30 min

Serves : 4 (yields 12 medium vadas approx)

Cup Used : 200 ml

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 1/2 cup split black gram skinless (Udid Daal/Dhuli Udad Daal)
  • 2 tbs Besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 pinches Asafoetida
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt…. Approximately
  • 1 cup Water…. Approx for grinding the daal

For The Sweet Yoghurt :

  • 4 cups Fresh Homemade Curds (Not too sour yoghurt)
  • 6-7 tbs Powdered Sugar (to be adjusted & can be avoided if plain yoghurt is preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Salt

For Sprinkling On The Top :

METHOD :

  1. To make Dahi Vada, first wash thoroughly the skinless split black gram, and soak it in sufficient water overnight or for 5-6 hours.
  2. Drain out all the water and grind the soaked daal finely alongwith the asafoetida and salt, adding very little water at a time.
  3. All the water should not be added at once. The lesser the water used, the thicker the batter.
  4. Lesser water or a little more than the mentioned quantity might be required and hence water should be carefully added during grinding.
  5. Grind well to get a fluffy thick batter. Add the besan and whiz once again.
  6. Transfer it to a bowl and beat well with a whisk to make it light and fluffy.
  7. For the sweet youghurt, beat together the curd, black salt, sugar and salt till there are no lumps. Set aside to chill.
  8. Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai for frying the vadas. At the same time keep some clean water ready in a large bowl to soak the fried vadas.
  9. Once hot, scoop out medium sized balls of the batter with wettened fingers and release into the oil.
  10. Fry approx 4-5 at a time on medium flame. Keep flipping the vadas at intervals, to get a golden colour.
  11. Once done, drain the vadas from the oil and immerse them in the reserved water. Soak for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Repeat these steps till all the batter is used.
  13. Lightly squeeze out the vadas from the water and transfer to a serving dish. They might get a little crushed in the process, but that’s exactly how it works!
  14. At the time of serving, pour the chilled sweet yoghurt over the vadas. Drizzle the Date And Tamarind Chutney over it.
  15. Sprinkle red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder as desired
  16. Serve the delicious Dahi Vadas for breakfast or as a snack during parties!

NOTE :

You can add some green chilles and ginger to the vada batter to give it a different flavour. I have noticed this in other few recipes, but preferred following my mom’s recipe!

The yoghurt need not be necessarily sweetened and can be used just with the salts. But it should be fresh and not sour at all!

I have added besan here as my batter became a bit loose and I had recently seen our great masterchef, my most favourite, Sanjeev Kapoor add it to the dahi bhalla batter! And, as the results were awesome (the vadas became light and crispy), I thought I should mention it in the recipe!

Again, soaking the fried vadas in water is a traditional method. If desired you can simply avoid the step and directly soak the crisp vadas with the yoghurt…. As I would in my childhood! That’s the way I loved it!

LEMON RICE

Lemon Rice is a traditional recipe from South India. It is a very simple preparation and is absolutely delicious. Yes, and it is also one of the best ways to utilise leftover rice!

During my childhood, we had varied neighbours. Few were Keralites. I learnt to eat such foods at their houses or when we went for picnics and shared their foods. That is when I was introduced to lemon rice. Loved it a lot and since then it has been one of my favourites!

For more such dishes, do take a look at the following recipes too….

1. Biryani Rice

2. Masoor Pulao

3. Paneer Vegetable Pulao

4. Vegetable Pulav

Here’s the recipe for Lemon Rice….

Prep Time : 20 min

Cooking Time : 15 min

Serves : 4

INGREDIENTS :

  • 4 cups Cooked Rice
  • 3/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 3-4 tsp Lemon Juice… To be adjusted as per preference
  • Salt to taste

To Be Roasted :

  • 3 tbs Raw Groundnuts (Peanuts)
  • 12 Cashewnuts

For The Tempering :

  • 3 tbs Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Daal (Split Black Skinless Daal)
  • 1 tsp Chanaa Daal
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (heaped)
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 2 Dry Red Bedgi Chillies…. Deseeded
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves (12 curry leaves)

METHOD :

  1. For making the Lemon Rice, we first need to cook rice so as to get 4 cups of it. Cool it down a bit.
  2. Next, heat a pan and add oil to it. Roast the peanuts and cashshewnuts in it separately and set them aside.
  3. In the same hot oil make a tempering by adding the mustard seeds .
  4. As soon as they splutter, add the asafoetida, urad daal, chanaa daal, chopped green chillies, deseeded red chilli pieces and the curry leaves.
  5. Add the turmeric powder and mix. Immediately add the cooked rice and salt to taste.
  6. Give it a good toss and add in the roasted peanuts and cashewnuts.
  7. Mix well and cover for a minute or two. Uncover and drizzle the lemon juice.
  8. Switch off the flame and mix all together. Check for seasoning and sourness. Adjust taste if required.
  9. Serve the delicious Lemon Rice alongwith some fresh homemade curds and some Fresh Turmeric Ginger Pickle in Lemon Juice.

HARIYALI MURG BIRYANI (GREEN CHICKEN BIRYANI)

Hariyali Murg Biryani is a delicious and aromatic dish, made using basmati rice, spinach, fresh herbs and chicken. Throughout India, and I would say in many other countries too, one can find a variety of biryanis with different preparation methods.

There are many restaurants serving different biryanis, whether veg or non veg. Many a times we get a green chicken biryani, which I have always loved. That’s the reason I thought of making this chicken biryani using spinach and particularly the aromatic kasuri methi, which in fact imparts it’s unique flavour to the dish!

For such delicious dishes, do take a look at the following recipes too……

1. Vegetable Dum Biryani

2. Andaa Biryani

3. Chicken Dum Biryani

4. Veg Hyderabadi Paalak Soya Biryani

Here’s the recipe for Hariyali Murg Biryani……

Prep Time : 40 min

Cooking Time : 40 min

Serves. : 5

INGREDIENTS :

  • 350 gm Chicken
  • 3 Boiled Potatoes
  • 3 Boiled Eggs….. optional
  • 2 1/4 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 1/2 tbs Fresh Cream/Malai
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbs Homemade Ghee (Clarified Butter)

For The Brirista :

  • 4 Large Onions (5 cups Thinly Sliced Onions… Approx)
  • Oil for frying the onions

For The Green Paste :

  • 1/2 bunch Paalak (Spinach. ……. 2 – 2 1/2 cups Tightly packed spinach leaves)
  • 3/4 cup Corriander Leaves (Dhaniya Patta/Kothimbir)
  • 3/4 cup Mint Leaves (Pudina)
  • 3-4 Green Chillies…. To be adjusted as per preference

For The Marinade :

  • 1 1/4 cups Fresh Curds (Yoghurt)
  • Ground Green Paste
  • 5 tbs Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes…. Roughly Chopped
  • 1 tbs Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 3 tsp Corriander Powder
  • 3 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kitchen King Masala…. Optional (Brand Everest)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 of the birista

For Cooking The Rice :

  • 2 ltr Water
  • 1 Cloves
  • 1 Cardamom
  • 2 Black Peppercorns
  • 1 piece Cinnamon (1″ Each)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2-3 tsp Lemon juice

For The Tempering :

  • 1 cup Oil
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Black Cardamoms
  • 4 pieces Cinnamon (1″ each)
  • 1/4 Mace
  • 4 Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

METHOD :

  1. To make Hariyali Murg Biryani, first clean and wash the chicken thoroughly in clean water. Cut into pieces of desired sizes.
  2. For the birista, fry the sliced onions in hot oil till crisp and slightly browned. Drain and set aside.
  3. Grind together the ingredients mentioned for the green paste using a very tiny quantity of water, if required.
  4. Mix the ingredients mentioned for marinade and add to it the drained chicken pieces. Mix well and set aside for about 1-2 hours.
  5. The chicken can be marinated and refrigerated overnight. But in this case, the green paste, tomatoes and the birista should be added only an hour before cooking.
  6. Wash and soak the basmati rice in clean water for about half an hour.
  7. Heat 2 ltrs of water for cooking the rice. Add to it the whole spices mentioned and the salt.
  8. When it reaches a rolling boil, drain the soaked rice grains and add them to the water.
  9. Keeping the flame high, stir with a ladle. Add the lemon juice to it.
  10. When the water starts boiling again, reduce the flame to medium, such that there is a slight boil to the water.
  11. Keep checking the rice, but do not stir much. When the grains are half cooked, drain rice and set aside.
  12. To cook the chicken, heat oil in a saucepan and add the whole spices to it. As soon as they splutter, add the ginger garlic paste and saute.
  13. Add the chicken pieces alongwith the marinade. Keeping the flame high, keep stirring constantly till it reaches a boiling point.
  14. Cook covered stirring occasionally. When the chicken is almost cooked, uncover and cook on high flame.
  15. Cut the boiled potatoes into half and make vertical insicions on the boiled eggs. Add to the gravy and mix.
  16. The mixture will gradually release some oil and will thicken up a bit. Add the cream and mix.
  17. At this stage switch off the flame and set the chicken aside.
  18. Keep a thick griddle on the gas stove and start heating it on low flame for the dum.
  19. In the meantime, start layering the rice and chicken in a thick bottomed pan.
  20. Spread some gravy at the bottom of the pan. Layer it with about half the cooked rice.
  21. Spread some birista over it and some homemade ghee too.
  22. Now, spread the cooked chicken mixture along with the pieces, potatoes and eggs over the rice.
  23. Reserve a small quantity of the gravy for the topmost layer.
  24. Spread the remaining rice over the chicken mixture and give it a slight press.
  25. Spread some homemade ghee on this layer and then the reserved gravy. Sprinkle the remaining birista on top.
  26. Cover with a foil and close the lid tightly over the pan. If desired place some weight over the lid.
  27. Place this pan on the hot griddle and increase the flame to high.
  28. Cook the biryani on dum on high flame for about 5 minutes and then on low flame for about 10 minutes.
  29. While serving, scoop out the biryani from the sides so that all the layers can be served. Else, just give it a light mix and serve.
  30. Serve this delicious, aromatic Hariyali Murg Biryani topped with some homemade ghee alongwith some salad and the deliciously cooling Boondi Raita by the side!

DADPAE POHE (दडपे पोहे)

Dadpae Pohe is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made using thin variety of flattened rice. This is a quick and easy recipe requiring no cooking at all. Dadpae pohe makes for a quick snack when guests arrive unannounced or for an evening snack. It is a good option to serve the guests during Haldi Kunku which is a traditional function held in Maharashtrian homes during the entire period of Makar Sankrant!

This recipe uses the thin variety of flattened rice and hence does not require pre soaking of the rice flakes or cooking except some basic tempering. The method of preparing this dish is quite easy and requires minimum ingredients. While serving this dish during functions, the overall taste can be enhanced by sprinkling some crushed Lasun Shev over it!

For more such delicious dishes, do take a look at the following recipes too…..

1. Kaanda Mataar Pohe

2. Masala Phov

3. Aambat Goad Pohe

4. Pohyaacha Chivdaa

Prep Time : 20 min

Serves : 3

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 1/2 cups Thin Flattened Rice (Paatal Pohe/Patlaa Poha)
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Onion (1 Medium Onion)
  • 3/4 cup Grated Fresh Coconut
  • 3 tsp Powdered Sugar
  • 2-3 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 tbs Raw Peanuts
  • 3 tbs Corriander Leaves
  • Salt to taste

For The Tempering :

  • 3 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 2 Green Chillies…. Finely Chopped
  • 1 Sprig Curry Leaves (8-10 Leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

METHOD :

  1. To make Dadpae Pohe, first sieve the pohe/thin flattened rice to discard the powdery stuff on it.
  2. Mix together the finely chopped onions, grated coconut, salt, sugar and lemon juice.
  3. In a mixing bowl, spread the thin flattened rice at the bottom.
  4. Spread the onion coconut mixture over it.
  5. Heat a kadhai and add oil to it for tempering. Add the raw peanuts and fry till they change colour. Drain and set aside.
  6. Now to the same hot oil, add the mustard seeds and as soon as they splutter, add the asafoetida, chopped green chillies, curry leaves. Switch off the flame and add the turmeric powder.
  7. Pour this tempering over the prepared pohe mixture.
  8. Give the entire mixture a light toss.
  9. Cover and keep aside for about 10 to 15 minutes for all the flavours to amalgamate and the pohe to soften.
  10. Garnish with the fried peanuts and chopped coriander leaves.
  11. Serve these delicious Dadpae Pohe with some hot Masala Chai for breakfast or evening snack or even during some function!

Note :

The taste of the Dadpae Pohe is slightly sweet and sour.

The sugar, lemon juice and green chillies should be adjusted as per taste.

One more delicious option for garnishing and to enhance the overall taste, is to add some finely chopped cucumber alongwith the peanuts and corriander before serving!

SHRIKHAND (TRADITIONAL INDIAN SWEET)

Shrikhand is a traditional Indian sweet dish made from hung curd and sweetened with sugar. The addition of nutmeg and cardamom powder alongwith some saffron gives it a rich, delicious flavour! And, an important point to remember here is that, nutmeg and cardamom, both have certain medicinal properties which aid in digestion too. Though preferably only cardamom or nutmeg powder is added to the Shrikhand, I have added both as it gives a delicious taste!

Shrikhand Poori is equally famous as Poori Bhaaji ( Sukki Batata Bhaaji and Poori) in Maharashtra. It is a favourite dish during festivals or religious ceremonies, where only vegetarian food is prepared.

Though hung curd (chakka as called in Marathi language) is easily available in stores, it is better to prepare it at home itself from fresh homemade curds or then store bought one (fresh, not too sour curds). I have first set curds from 1 ltr milk and then drained it in a muslin cloth kept in a sieve and refrigerated till all the water was drained. Again, while preparing the shrikhand, after the addition of sugar the entire mixture becomes slightly loose or say runny. Some might be adding milk powder to get a thick consistency like the store bought ones. But I have avoided it as it doesn’t change the taste in any way!

For some more delicious sweet dishes, do take a look at the following recipes too….

1. Doodhi Sabudana Kheer

2. Gaajar Halwa

3. Bhoplyaache Ghaarge

4. Sheera (Sooji Ka Halwa)

5. Karwar Style Madgane With Rajgira And Oats

6. Paatolyo

Here’s the recipe for the deliciously sweet, Shrikhand……

Prep Time : 10 min

Serves : 6 (Yields 2 cups)

INGREDIENTS :

  • 1 1/2 cup Hung Curd (obtained from 1 ltr Fresh Homemade Curds)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar…. To be adjusted as per preference
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1 1/2 tbs Milk
  • 1/8 tsp Saffron Strands
  • Pistachios for garnishing

METHOD :

  1. To make Shrikhand, first heat the milk and add the saffron strands to it. Set aside for about half an hour to cool down.
  2. Assemble the other above mentioned ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the cooled saffron milk to it.
  3. Mix well using a whisk to get a smooth mixture. Adjust the sweetness as per preference.
  4. Transfer the shrikhand to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped pistachios. Can be refrigerated for further use.
  5. Serve the deliciously sweet Shrikhand with puri or phulkas or as a side in lunch or dinner during festivals or parties!