A raita recipe for summer.

A raita recipe for summer.

Last month, I shared the pumpkin+curd raita  recipe. Today, I share the spinach+curd raita recipe. This, again, is from my mum’s kitchen, and a personal favourite.

I love curd, and any recipe that has curd is a favourite. Be it boondi raita, or the pumpkin raita, the cucumber raita, or the spinach raita….I love them all. And, summer is the perfect time for raita, right?

What with the heat leaving us exhausted and thirsty, round the clock, any recipe with curd is beneficial. And, it is a blessing if you are a curd-lover, for I know some people who are allergic to this milk product.

Sigh.

So, sharing today, this cooling recipe that requires no more than 20 minutes to prepare, and is not only tasty, but nutritious, too.

A cool recipe for the hot summer

INGREDIENTS:

Spinach + Curd raita

 

Spinach leaves – 1 bunch, washed clean

Curd – 200 gm

Green chillies – 1

Ghee – for tempering

Cumin seeds & asafoetida – for tempering

Sugar and salt – to taste.

 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE:

CURD:

  • Rich in calcium, potassium, zinc.
  • A good source of proteins, Vitamins A, B6 and B12.
  • Contains live bacteria that’s great for immunity and our intestinal tract.

SPINACH:

  • An excellent source of calcium, Vitamins A and C.
  • Consists of fibre, protein, zinc, phosphorus and choline.
  • Protects against high blood pressure and heart disease.

METHOD:

Clean the bunch of spinach leaves, wash under running water and leave it in a colander for the water to drain.

Then, chop finely the spinach leaves and the green chilli.

Chopped spinach for the raita

 

In a pan, pour some ghee for tempering (approx. 1 tbsp). Once it’s hot, crush some cumin seeds on your palm and add them to the ghee. Then, add the asafoetida and the green chilli.

Next, throw in the chopped spinach leaves and saute for a couple of minutes and place the lid on the pan.

Take the lid off after a few minutes, and then cook till the water from the spinach leaves evaporates completely.

Switch off the burner.

In a bowl, take the thick curd (minus the water) and whisk it well. Add sugar and salt to taste.

Add the cooked spinach to the curd and mix well.

Spinach and curd raita

 

Ta-da! Your cool spinach+curd raita is ready!

You can enjoy it with chapati (indian Flat Bread), or have it just like that. Either ways, it’s delicious and makes for a perfect accompaniment with pulav or biryani, instead of the usual cucumber raita.

 

Spinach and curd raita with chapati

 

Do try it out and let me know if you like it.

Love,

SHILPA…

A cooling summer raita that's delicious and nutritious, too.

A cool recipe for the hot summer.

A cool recipe for the hot summer.

Summer has arrived here, in Mumbai. The heat left me stunned when I went for my walk last evening, and today, it’s even hotter …it’s only going to get worse day by day.

Sigh.

As the season changes, it becomes important that we plan meals that help us stay cool from within. For, apart from staying indoors during the day time, wearing cool cottons and staying hydrated, it’s only the food that we eat that will provide us with the cool respite we crave during summer.

So, today, I decided to make myself a cooling pumpkin raita for lunch. It’s what mum prepares often and I love, immensely.

A cool recipe for the hot summer

 

PUMPKIN AND CURD RAITA

Ingredients:

Pumpkin – 200 gms

Curd – 1 cup

Finely chopped green chilli – 1

Salt – to taste

Sugar – a half a teaspoon

Ghee/Oil and cumin seeds – for tempering

Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing

 

Nutritional Value:

Pumpkin – Antioxidants such as beta carotene (found in orange coloured vegetables and fruits) that helps protect the body from cancer, heart diseases and age-related degeneration.

It contains Vitamin C, fibre and potassium that keep the heart healthy.

Curd: Has high protein and calcium content that keeps the bones healthy and the body energised through the day. It helps in better digestion thanks to the live bacteria and is good for the skin, too!

Method:

Wash the pumpkin thoroughly and slice off the skin. You don’t need to throw away the skin, but can use it to make this crispy chutney–my mum’s recipe.

Pumpkin peels

Chop the pumpkin in cubes and pressure cook for 10 minutes.

Once cooked, bring it out and allow it to cool.

After cooling, squeeze out the water of the pumpkin and mash it well.

Beat the thick curd in a bowl and add salt and sugar as per your preference.

Add the mashed pumpkin to the curd and mix well.

Cooling salad

Heat ghee in a tadka pan. If you don’t have/use ghee, use oil. Mum insists on using ghee as it tastes better and adds to the nutritional value of the pumpkin raita.

Crush half a teaspoon of cumin seeds in your palm and add it to the hot oil.

Allow the cumin to sputter and then add finely chopped green chilli. Switch off the gas and add this to the raita.

Garnish with coriander and serve.

The Vitamin A-rich pumpkin is low in calories and rich in fibre.

Curd is loaded with the good, gut-friendly bacteria and helps in digestion.

Combining these two gives you a recipe that’s good for your heart, your skin, your digestion and also helps you stay cool in summer!

The low calorie count of pumpkin and the good bacteria of curd make this pumpkin raita good for your heart, skin and digestion.
Pumpkin-curd raita

My lunch for today…

Do try out this cool pumpkin raita and let me know if you enjoyed it!

Love,

SHILPA…

Pin it for later!

Do not throw away the pumpkin peels!

Do not throw away the pumpkin peels!

Mothers are special. What an understatement, no? But, really, everything they do has a magical quality to it that makes Life beautiful. Whatever it may be–an outfit gifted by her, or a story narrated during childhood; a perfume she uses and has gifted it to you, or even a recipe she secretly shared with you–each one of these, and everything else, has her love stamped all over it, the beauty of which stays with you, forever.

My mom❤

Sharing today, a chutney recipe that has been mum’s speciality. It’s really a very easy one to prepare, doesn’t need a lot of prepping, but adds the necessary flavour to anything you have along with it. Yes, even the simple dal-chawal gets enhanced when you mix this chutney with it.

THE PUMPKIN PEEL, CRISPY CHUTNEY

Each time mum buys pumpkin to prepare the sabji , she prepares this chutney. She has always been against discarding the peel of vegetables. Vegetable peels can be used, creatively, to prepare chutneys and skin-care products, did you know?

Everything that nature has gifted us is useful. All you need to do is use your creativity, she says.

So, the next time you bring home the pumpkin, just grate the skin, or slice it off and keep it aside for the chutney.

RECIPE:

FlavoursomeTuesdays

Ingredients:

Pumpkin peel – grated or sliced off and chopped fine

Dry coconut – grated – a small bowl

Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves, or more, if you love garlic.

Green chillies – 1 or 2, as per taste

White sesame seeds – 1 tsp.

Salt – to taste

Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

After washing the pumpkin, grate to remove the peel, or slice if off and then chop it finely. Place the grated peel on a tissue and leave it to dry thoroughly.

Grate dried coconut, finely chop the garlic and the chillies.

In a pan, add a spoonful of oil and roast the sesame seeds till light brown. Then, add the chopped garlic and roast till brown. Add the finely chopped green chillies, grated pumpkin peel, and grated dried coconut. Roast all on low flame till it’s nice and brown.

Add salt to taste.

Take it off the gas. Once cool, store it in an air-tight jar. It stays well at room temperature for a few days. Actually, it won’t last for more than a day–the taste is that heavenly!

You can enjoy it with dal and rice, or anything that feels bland. The flavour of the garlic and the chillies grandly arouses the taste buds, so, most of the time it gets devoured straight from the jar!

So, wasn’t that an easy-peasy recipe? I like sharing as well as preparing such easy recipes that hardly require any time or effort. Well, I like things simple!

Do try out this chutney and let me know how you like it.

Love,

SHILPA..

Like it, Pin it!

Vegetable peels can be used, creatively, to prepare chutneys and skin-care products.

A Konkan speciality.

A Konkan speciality.

Years ago, hubby and I went on a road trip to the coastal region of Maharashtra. Being beach lovers, we decided to visit all the beaches of Maharashtra that we could. Well, at least most of them.

So, we drove down from Navi Mumbai to Chiplun, where we visited one of its beaches – the Vengurla Beach. We stayed at an MTDC approved residence of a wonderful couple who were such gracious hosts! They pampered us silly with the food they served us and their interesting and entertaining travel anecdotes.

Next, we visited the Tarkarli village in Sindhudurg for its pristine white virgin beaches, with sand soft like powder. A place where I could very well have spent the rest of my life. Far from the maddening city crowd, this could have been the perfect permanent abode for me!

The car ride was quite an adventure, the beaches felt like Paradise when compared to our Mumbai beaches, and the food, especially the fried fish and the Sol Kadhi —which remains, to this day, my favourite cool drink.

Sol Kadhi is popular in the Konkan (coastal) region of Maharashtra. It’s made from coconut milk and kokum, or Amsol, or Amsul, as we call it.

Coastal favourite
Kokum is a tree native to the Western Ghats region of India.

It’s usually had after meals as it helps cool down the digestive system, and is an excellent remedy for acidity, too.

It’s a simple recipe, really, and gets made in a jiffy. Do try out this cool drink, especially after enjoying a spicy meal, and let me know how you liked it.

FlavoursomeTuesdays

Ingredients:

6 – 7 kokum

One coconut, grated

One cup hot water

2 cloves of Garlic

1 – 2 green chilies, or as per preference

Salt

Coriander for garnishing

Method:

Soak the kokum in hot water for 1 – 2 hours.

Grind the coconut, garlic and the green chilies with a little warm water and squeeze out the milk.

Add some more warm water to the coconut and squeeze out some more milk.

Mix it all together.

Mash the soaked kokum well and mix only the kokum water to the coconut milk.

Add salt to taste.

Keep the Sol Kadhi aside for a while and then refrigerate it.

Garnish with coriander, stir well and serve chilled.

Easy, no?

And, if you wish to enjoy a readymade one, then just give a seafood specialty eatery, like, Gajalee, a visit. It serves the best Sol Kadhi in the world! No, this is not a sponsored post, but I share this info because I love the Sol Kadhi they serve at Gajalee! 🙂

The pretty, pink Sol Kadhi with the coconut milk tastes heavenly. Ah! I just had a glass full of the chilled drink and I wish I could have had some more!

Do try it out!

Bon Appetit!

Pin it up for later!

Canteen favourite.

Canteen favourite.

 

Each time I call up mum to inform her of my visit, she starts planning the menu days in advance! We argue over it a lot, because I want her to just relax and therefore insist on just a simple dal-chawal lunch, with a salad thrown in to keep her happy.  This time, though, she suggested something that had me all pumped up and agreeing readily to whatever she said.

She wanted to prepare the Aloo Kachori for me, the one  we used to have at our school canteen, ages ago. The soft, melt-in-the-mouth kachoris were our canteen-owner’s speciality, a recipe mum, too, prepared, just for me!

Having had these delicate beauties years ago, mum and I often reminisced about their uniqueness. It’s been ages since I visited my alma mater. I did think of going there, once or twice, if not for anything else then just to taste this delicious canteen fare. Those plans never materialised, though, but mother fulfilled my wish of so many years!

I so love these kachoris that, being too possessive by nature, I wouldn’t  have parted with the recipe, but, decided to be generous and follow in our canteen-uncle’s footsteps! Yes, I can be a big kanjoos at times!

So, here’s  the recipe for you all, with pictures clicked at mum’s kitchen.

 

Recipe for Aloo Kachori:

 

Ingredients:

Potatoes – 1/2 a kg, boiled and mashed.

Freshly grated coconut  – 1

Coriander, green chillies – finely chopped.

Salt, sugar to taste.

Raisins – a handful

Cornflour

Oil – to fry.

Method:

Mix the freshly grated coconut, finely chopped coriander and green chillies (as per preference). Add sugar and salt to taste and also the raisins, and keep it aside.

Now, take the boiled and mashed potatoes and roll them into balls (like the ones you make for your chapatis).

Fill the stuffing into the balls and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok.

Make a paste of cornflour and water, just enough for the stuffed balls to be dipped into and coated with a thin layer.

Ease the balls in the oil and fry till golden brown. You need to do this with a lot of patience, love and care. The balls have the tendency to burst open. Keep the flame at medium high while frying.

Remove once golden brown and place them on a paper towel.

These can be eaten with sweetened curds, or even as is, or with mint/coriander chutney. I prefer eating them without any accompaniments because of their heavenly taste and their softness and a slightly crispy exterior.

Ah! Even as I type this post, I feel my mouth watering! I can have these each day, every day, and yet not tire of eating.

Do try these out and let me know how you liked them. I bet you will love these babies!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Like it, Pin it!

Yummy Aloo Kachori--a school canteen favourite