Shital's-Kitchen

Friday, November 18, 2016

Smoky Odo

There is nothing like being able to grow your own produce. Fresh, organic, produce from my backyard is picked and cooked right on the charcoal grill to enjoy delicious rustic food. When the weather starts getting colder, it is fun to sit around the little grill for warmth, and the best part of this food is that my husband likes to do it. So my part in this recipe is giving him directions and clicking pictures while he cooks :) It was indeed fun, and since he was cooking, I wanted to keep the techniques simple and easy.  Our take on this recipe was very rustic...Grow, Cook, Eat! It was literally 'From Farm to Table'. My produce did not even enter the house. :)

Here are few pictures of produce from our backyard.





We had eggplant, tomatoes, green pepper, garlic cloves, green garlic that would be used in the recipe. Onion was store bought. Maybe next season I will have onions growing too.

My husband likes to make tiny slits in the eggplant and stuff each slit with a garlic clove. He stuffs around 5-6 garlic cloves in each eggplant. Below are the pictures of garlic cloves harvested last February. I dried them and have been using them for special preparations. 


Ringna nu Odo or રીંગણાં નુ ઓળો is a Gujarati, Kutchi, or Kathiawadi preparation of eggplant similar to baingan bharta made in North India. Odo with Bajra millet rotla or flat bread is a staple during winters. It is healthy and keeps the body warm. sitting around the fire and cooking also builds family dynamics and and builds community. I would love to have parties and potlucks where I am able to cook and learn new recipes from my friends.

Few Garlic cloves planted around 2 months and Fresh green garlic harvested.

Ingredients (serves 3-4 people)
2 large eggplants
1 large onion
2 large tomatoes or few cherry tomatoes
8-10 garlic cloves
Fresh green garlic
Green chili pepper
Salt 1 tsp.
1 tsp. chili powder
  • Prick holes with a fork or make around 4-5 slits and insert a clove of garlic in each slit around each eggplant.
  • Apply some oil over the eggplant and roast of hot grill or on stove till it is well cooked and charred. Remove in a container and keep it covered for flavors to infuse well.
  • Grill onions, green chili pepper, and tomatoes till cooked. Remove in a container.
  • In a mortar and pestle roughly mash garlic, grilled onions,  pepper and tomato.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute onion tomato paste for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile mash grilled eggplants in the mortar and pestle.
  • Add mashed eggplants to sauteing onion tomato paste. Mix well.
  • Add salt and red chilli powder (optional)
  • Mix well. Cook covered for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add lime juice and cilantro and serve.
  • Sweet and smoky flavor from caramelized veggies! 

Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
Prick holes with a fork or make around 4-5 slits and insert a clove of garlic in each slit around each eggplant.
Apply some oil over the eggplant and roast of hot grill or on stove till it is well cooked and charred.


Remove in a container and keep it covered for flavors to infuse well.

Grill onions, green chili pepper, and tomatoes till cooked. Remove in a container.




In a mortar and pestle roughly mash garlic, grilled onions,  pepper and tomato.



Heat oil in a pan and saute onion tomato paste for 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile mash grilled eggplants in the mortar and pestle.


Add mashed eggplants to sauteing onion tomato paste. Mix well.

Add salt and red chilli powder (optional)


Sweet and smoky flavor from caramelized veggies! 

Perfect season for Odo!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mesuk/Mesur Paak

Mesuk is a very popular Gujarati sweet delicacy from the region of Kutch. And after lot of research on the recipe of Mesuk, I found that it is also called Mesoob or Mesur or Mysore Paak. This is very similar to Mysore Paak found in Sweet shops from Southern India. Gujarati Mesuk is firm and melt in the mouth delicacy. It is characterized by large holes or netted structure. Every practice will bring about perfect and best Mesuk. I received this recipe from my aunt and while researching more I came across YouTube video where Vah Chef prepares the famous south Indian Mysore Paak. He uses ghee as well as oil which I did not. But I did get a great help from his video on the technique. Technique can be overwhelming at first, but believe me it is fun and a little science experiment in the kitchen :)
After I posted this recipe,  I had a South Indian friend ask me why Mesur or Mesuk? What is the history behind it since we all know that Mysore Paak originated in Mysore (South India). So this was my reply to her :), "It took me a long time to post this recipe on my blog because I was confused too....I had similar questions like you so I was reading up, searching, asking questions to elderly ladies in our family. According to Gujarat/Kutch history this recipe came from Afghanistan to Sindh to Kutch (sindhi and kutchi language is similar too) and according to South Indians it is from Mysore. Maybe it went from South India to Afghanistan with the Muslim rulers. or maybe it came with the Muslim rulers to the Southern parts of India. Not sure about that. So over the time Mysore paak became Mesur or Mesuk or Mesub. It is like is khandvi Gujarati recipe of Maharashtrian recipe as we both make it but call it slightly different? History of food is just amazing!" I also came across this video from Bhuj/kutch Temple.

This is from a very popular Khavda Sweets shop in Kutch:
"Mesuk is one of the India’s most famous sweets, People in North India calls it Mesuk-Paak, in South India they calls it Mesur-paak, & we call it Mesuk. Actually Mesuk is a Mogul item, which is invented before 300-400 years ago when Pakistan & Afghanistan were lands of India. My Grandfather learnt it from Sindh(now its in Pakistan). So, its originally a Sindhi or we can call a mogul item. Our Mesuk is very famous because we make it with its very original recipe. Our customers say our Mesuk is the softest & most fast melting Mesuk in India. You just put it in your mouth & you don’t even have to chew it, it will melt itself in seconds. Made from Beshan, loads of Ghee, Pistachio, and Sugar."

http://shitals-kitchen.blogspot.com/2016/11/kaju-mesuk.html


Ingredients to make Mesuk
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. water
2+1/2 cup ghee
Slivered pistachios for garnishing

Prep:
In a heavy bottom pan add sugar and water.
In a separate container pour 2+1/4 cup ghee
Keep a pan with 1/4 cup ghee and 1 cup chickpea flour measured ready.
Grease a pan or a thali with ghee
Sliver few pistachios for garnishing

Method:
  • Heat sugar and water mixture to make sugar sugar syrup. 
  • Once it starts to boil and become transparent, heat ghee on separate stove and heat on low to medium heat.
  • Heat pan with 1/4 cup ghee. Add chickpea flour/besan and roast for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add boiling hot and bubbly sugar syrup to roasting flour. Be careful. Stir slowly but continuously.
  • Add 1 spoon of hot ghee at a time stirring continuously. This will further bubble causing large hole in mesuk when it cools. Add all the ghee one spoon at a time stirring the mixture constantly. 
  • When entire ghee is used you will notice mesuk leaves the pan. 
  • Pour it in the greased thali or a pan and quickly sprinkle pistachios. Do not touch or spread the mixture with spatula. 
  • Cool for 3-4 minutes and make pieces.
  • Cool completely before removing pieces and serving.
  • Enjoy!

Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
Heat sugar and water mixture to make sugar sugar syrup. 
Once it starts to boil and become transparent, heat ghee on separate stove and heat on low to medium heat.




Heat pan with 1/4 cup ghee. Add chickpea flour/besan and roast for 2-3 minutes.

Add boiling hot and bubbly sugar syrup to roasting flour. Be careful. Stir slowly but continuously.


Add 1 spoon of hot ghee at a time stirring continuously. This will further bubble causing large hole in mesuk when it cools. Add all the ghee one spoon at a time stirring the mixture constantly. 
When entire ghee is used you will notice mesuk leaves the pan.





Pour it in the greased thali or a pan and quickly sprinkle pistachios. Do not touch or spread the mixture with spatula. 
Cool for 3-4 minutes and make pieces.
Cool completely before removing pieces and serving.
Enjoy!






Melt in your Mouth Mesuk!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Supergrain Gluten-Free Quinoa Pasta

Sunday night dinner: we wanted something tasty for sure. I realized we haven't had pasta since long. We have been on a high protein diet and beans is a quick and easy go to for a quick meal. I planned to make pasta with white sauce...luckily I found gluten free corn and quinoa pasta in the pantry. Why not give this a try? I was so surprised: this pasta tasted delicious when cooked, just like regular pasta. It did not taste different, chewy, or hard. It was just perfect. I served this quick under 30 min. pasta dish with a side of wholewheat bread toasted with garlic butter. This recipe is so easy and self explanatory. You can add more veggies with marinara sauce and make the recipe totally gluten free and light.

Boil pasta in boiling salt water for 8-10 minutes.



In a pan heat 1 tbsp of butter and saute cauliflower florets and bell pepper cubes till you obtain good color. Add sliced mushrooms and cook till done.



Add cooked pasta to veggies and mix well



In a sauce pan heat 1 tbsp. butter. Fry 1 tbsp. minced garlic. Add 2 tbsp. all purpose flour. Mix and saute till done. Whisk 2 cups milk. Add salt and pepper powder. Let the sauce thicken.

Add sauce to pasta. Grate Parmesan cheese and mix well.


Serve and enjoy!!

Healthy Quinoa Pasta... A Must try Recipe!!