Shital's-Kitchen: 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Crispy Noodles

When I invite my friends over for dinner, I love to host them with Indo-chinese food. There is so much delicious and creative variety to make, and is not very easily available at the restaurant. One of our favorites is tossing fresh crisp noodles with veggies and sweet and sour sauce. These crispy noodles are perfect as an appetizer as well as main coarse with fried rice.

Although fried noodles are readily available in the market, I like to make them fresh at home. They are thin and crispier compared to the one in the restaurant. You should give this recipe a try for your next event. It is easy to prepare the veggies in sauce before guests arrive and toss the crisp noodles just before serving. Potstickers, or steamed dumpling, or wonton soup pairs really well with crispy noodles for the soup and appetizer coarse. 

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 packet Ching's hakka noodles (or any noddles of your choice)
Oil for frying noodles
2 tbsp oil
1 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced onion greens
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/2 cup julienne carrots
1/2 cup sliced green beans
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 tsp. salt (if needed)
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp chili garlic salt
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • Using instructions on noodle packet, boil noodles. Drain water and pour cold water over cooked noodles to stop the cooking process.Let water drain out well.
  • Heat oil and fry noodles in hot oil (be careful)in 3-4 batches. Do not put all the noodles in together as oil might overflow. Fry noodles till golden brown. Remove on a paper towel. Cool and store in an airtight container. Use whenever needed.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a wok.
  • Add ginger, garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper, carrots and beans. Saute for 3-4 minutes till slightly cooked. 
  • Add all sauces to sauteing veggies and mix well.
  • Turn of the heat. Add shredded cabbage and mix well.
  • Toss in crisp noodles. Mix well.
  • Serve immediately garnished with onion greens and bean sprouts.

Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
Using instructions on noodle packet, boil noodles. Drain water and pour cold water over cooked noodles to stop the cooking process.Let water drain out well.


Heat oil and fry noodles in hot oil in 3-4 batches. Do not put all the noodles in together as oil might overflow. Fry noodles till golden brown. Remove on a paper towel. Cool and store in an airtight container. Use whenever needed.




Heat oil in a wok.
Add ginger, garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add bell pepper, carrots and beans. Saute for 3-4 minutes till slightly cooked. 
Add all sauces to sauteing veggies and mix well.
Turn of the heat. Add shredded cabbage and mix well.


Toss in crisp noodles. Mix well.
Serve immediately garnished with onion greens and bean sprouts.



 Enjoy Deliciously Crisp Noodles!!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Banana Chakri

Summers in California are not harsh, but few days of strong heat are enough to make some some dehydrated veggies and snacks to store for the entire year. While most of the snacks we make are with potatoes and sabudana or sago pearls, I was thinking of my Jain friends and felt a need to make something for them. Check out my other recipes of dehydrated snacks.

People who follow Jainism as religion refrain from underground veggies and certain leafy vegetables most of the year and specially during monsoon months. They follow a strict pattern of diet in the life. Most of them are based on scientific reasoning, and they are worth adapting in our lives.

Raw banana is a substitute to recipes that use potatoes. Raw bananas are not sweet and have texture of boiled potatoes, so boiling and mashing them to make various recipes is very simple and easy for Jain friends. Lately, I tasted Jain pav bhaji which had raw bananas boiled and mashed instead of potatoes. It tasted yum and we could not even notice any difference.

This recipe was a successful experiment to making dehydrated snack for my Jain friends, and with one of their upcoming festival, I hope my friends like it.

Ingredients:
3 large raw bananas
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt
  • Pressure cook raw bananas till you hear 4-5 whistles or around 30 minutes.
  • Peel and grate them well to avoid pieces.
  • Add salt and red chili powder and mix well
  • If the mixture feel dry, add a tbsp or so of water and make a dough.
  • Use a chakri press, Fill it with mashed banana dough and press to form round chakris. 
  • Dry it in hot solar heat.
  • Next day flip and dry on the other side too.
  • Store in an air tight container when it is completely dehydrated.

To serve:
Deep fry in medium hot oil and enjoy crisp snack.

Pressure cook raw bananas till you hear 4-5 whistles or around 30 minutes.
Peel and grate them well to avoid pieces.


Add salt and red chili powder and mix well

If the mixture feel dry, add a tbsp or so of water and make a dough.
Use a chakri press, Fill it with mashed banana dough and press to form round chakris. 
Dry it in hot solar heat.





Dry it in hot solar heat.
Next day flip and dry on the other side too.
Store in an air tight container when it is completely dehydrated.

Dried chakris.

Deep fry in medium hot oil and serve.

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rajma Tikki

Oh it was so much fun to create something new for dinner! A meal that is nutritious, delicious, and protein rich, with traditional flavors, but still presented differently. While I had soaked some rajma to make north Indian style rajma masala to go with rice, I ended up turning the same rajma and rice dish into these little cutlets or tikkis.

I know people do make rajma kababs...never made those but would love to some day. Maybe I did the same in this recipe...made rajma kababs while adding some cooked rice as a binder. Grains and lentils compliment each other well to make a complete protein meal. I have explained about complete proteins in one of my earlier recipes. Keeping this concept in mind rajma & rice tikkis were made. Of course, you could add bread, or breadcrumbs, or sooji/rawa/semolina as a binder too. These are so easy to make, and I would say that it makes a great picnic, travel, or school lunch meal. For vegetarians who wish to increase the protein intake for breakfasts, this recipe is perfect for a tasty, healthy, and quick breakfast with everything prepped ahead of time or a day before.

Ingredients (makes8-10 tikkis)
1/2 cup rajma
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-3 clove garlic
1/4 inch ginger
1-2 green chilies
1-2 tbsp. rajma masala (I like MDH rajma masala)
1 tsp. salt
1tbsp. red chili powder
Ghee or oil for shallow frying.
  • Soak 1/2 cup rajma in 2 cups of water for 6 hours or overnight. 
  • Pressure cook till you hear 4-5 whistles of for 45 minutes. Turn of the heat and let the pressure cooker cool. 
  • Remove water from rajma.
  • In a food processor of chopper add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies and mince them finely. 
  • Add boiled rajma and grind it well to form a rough paste. (do not over grind and make it smooth).
  • Add cooked rice, rajma masala, salt, red chili powder and grind them again till it is mixed.
  • Try to form tikkis or cutlets. You should not need any binder. If it seems dry, add 2-3 tbsp. water and grind it again and make tikkis. 
  • Shallow fry using oil or ghee. I used ghee to fry tikkis as rajma and rice goes really well with the flavor and aroma of ghee.
  • Serve tikkis with sliced onions and chutney.
Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
Soak 1/2 cup rajma in 2 cups of water for 6 hours or overnight.

In a food processor of chopper add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies and mince them finely. 


Pressure cook till you hear 4-5 whistles of for 45 minutes. Turn of the heat and let the pressure cooker cool.

Add boiled rajma and grind it well to form a rough paste. (do not over grind and make it smooth).


Add cooked rice, rajma masala, salt, red chili powder and grind them again till it is mixed.


Try to form tikkis or cutlets. You should not need any binder. If it seems dry, add 2-3 tbsp. water and grind it again and make tikkis. 

Shallow fry using oil or ghee. I used ghee to fry tikkis as rajma and rice goes really well with the flavor and aroma of ghee.


My spriralizer to make spiral onions to serve these tikkis.

Serve tikkis with onions and chutney.



Yummylicious!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mushroom Tikka

My friends came over.. they wanted to see my Tandoor and try some food made in it. Now that I have gotten enough practice of using it well, I was more confident to invite them over and show off my Tnadoor skills. They all came, all excited and with their signature dish to share. I was in charge on only few of the Tandoori items. It was a feast... paneer makhni, signature karela, masala rice, yummy kheer and icecream. OMG it was a blast. We sat in my backyard, under the shade of my Avocado tree and enjoyed all the delicious food while I bragged about our homemade DIY Tandoor. :)

My friends are my guinea pigs. :) There are so many recipes that I try out for the first time, and only after it is approved by the panel of judges (my friends) that it lands up as a post on my blog. Some of the recipes are still to be typed and published. This one was a hit...an instant hit... It was all gone before I could click a picture. Luckily I had my friends send few pictures that they took and wow they are so brilliantly captured, that I am pleased and thrilled to say that I have wonderful friends and will be glad to host them again :)

While I have grilled mushrooms a lot with paneer tikka, and we love it...this time it was a new marinade and grilling over charcoal heat of my Tandoor. Thanks to SV for sending me the picture that I have used as a cover photo. Brilliant isn't it? This marinate for mushrooms is mint flavored...yogurt and mint with mushrooms is a delicious combination and super easy to make too.

Ingredients
10-15 button mushroom.
1/2 cup mint leaves
1-2 green chillies
1/4 inch ginger
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 cup hung plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt

Thinly sliced onion rings or onion spirals so serve mushroom tikka.
  • In a blender blend mint leaves, green chilies, ginger, salt, cumin seeds with little water.
  • Add the mint paste to hung yogurt and mix well.
  • Clean wipe mushrooms and remove the stalk. 
  • Mix mushrooms well into the marinade. If left for a long time, mushrooms will sweat moisture and that is all right.
  • Use a 2 prong skewers and gently insert mushrooms in it. One prong skewer is not very easy to turn to cook mushrooms well. as mushrooms shrink, they can break from the skewer and fall off. 2 prong skewers hold mushrooms well and can cook well on all sides.
  • Grill mushrooms over charcoal heat or in the oven. If placing in an oven, put skewers on a high pan so that mushrooms do not touch the bottom of the pan. If they touch the bottom of the pan, they can get soggy. Heat the oven to 500F temperature and grill mushrooms till done and golden brown. You might need to flip it too. 
  • When done, place on a bed of sliced or spiral onions.
  • Also, sprinkle a bit with chaat masala. and then serve. 

In a blender blend mint leaves, green chilies, ginger, salt, cumin seeds with little water.
Add the mint paste to hung yogurt and mix well.


Clean wipe mushrooms and remove the stalk. 
Mix mushrooms well into the marinade.


Two prong skewers for Mushroom tikka. 

Use a 2 prong skewers and gently insert mushrooms in it. One prong skewer is not very easy to turn to cook mushrooms well. as mushrooms shrink, they can break from the skewer and fall off. 2 prong skewers hold mushrooms well and can cook well on all sides.


Grill mushrooms over chacoal heat and flip it when it gets slight color.



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 When done, place on a bed of sliced or spiral onions.



Let's get grilling!!!