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Vegetarian

Punjabi Chole/Punjabi Chana Masala (Chickpeas Curry)

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala Instant Pot Garam masala KitchenPunjabi Chole is perhaps one of the most popular vegetarian north-Indian dish. Creamy, spicy and slight tangy, this dish is a party in your mouth! To make this dish, Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi), are soaked overnight to re-hydrate, and then cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend. Almost everyone I know has their own spin on Chole, and they all taste great, but what makes Punjabi Chole different and stand out, is the unique combination of garam masala, Anardana (Pomegranate) Powder, and amchur (dry mango powder), which gives it an earthy and slightly tart taste!

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala Instant Pot Garam masala KitchenDifferent cooking processes: For the longest time, my Mom used to make Chole in a 2-step process. She would pressure cook the chickpeas with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, she would prepare the onion and aromatics masala, and then simmer everything together for another 10 minutes on medium heat. Years ago, when my kids were babies, and I had very little time to cook, I developed this recipe, which cut down the time and steps involved, while maintaining the same lip-smacking taste.

Chole-Bhature, garam masala kitchenServing Suggestion: Punjabi Chole are best enjoyed with a deep-fried puffed flour bread, called Bhatura. Growing up, Chole-Bhature used to be our regular Sunday brunch.  This happens to be my kid’s favorite Indian vegetarian meal, and it has now become a tradition in our home, to make it for our Diwali dinner.  We like to enjoy it with some sweet and spicy lemon pickle . Yum! Chole also go really well with Kulcha, Puri, Naan or Cumin rice.

Chole or Chickpeas, take a very long time to cook on the stove-top. It would take around 45-50 mins to achieve the soft texture that we love in this recipe. Plus, you have to be there, stirring and keeping an eye on the stove. So, using my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, or any stove-top pressure cooker, works great for this recipe and reduces the active cooking time significantly.

How to make this recipe in under 30 minutes: By using Canned Chickpeas, you can reduce the cooking time to less than half. Simply rinse out the canned chickpeas and add them to the pot as per instructions, and pressure cook everything for 6-8 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually, open lid and you’re done! Continue Reading…

Gujiya (Deep Fried Milk Fudge Turnovers)

Gujiya, Garam Masala Kitchen

Gujiya, or Milk Fudge Turnovers, are a popular Indian dessert commonly made in the northern part of India around the festivals of Holi and Diwali. It is a deep-fried sweet dumpling that is made by stuffing pastry dough with sweetened milk fudge (khoya), chopped nuts and coconut flakes and is glazed with a thick sugar syrup.

Traditionally, the process of making Gujiya requires making a dough with all-purpose flour, ghee (clarified butter) and water.  You combine all ingredients and make a soft dough, set it to rest while you prepare the filling. The filling is made with Khoya as a base. Khoya, also known as Mawa, is basically dried milk solids. It is available in the freezer aisle of your local Indian store, right next to the Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese).

Nanak Khoya Mawa Gujiya Recipe Garam Masala KitchenI personally like the brand Nanak for khoya. It comes in a 12 oz pack. This quantity of Khoya makes stuffing good for making 40 Gujiya. You can either divide the Khoya in half and freeze it, or, make the entire stuffing and freeze that for a later use. I always prefer to make the stuffing and freeze half for later use, for making Gujiya, or add it to my Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa) instead of Khoya!

 

Baked Gujiya, Garam Masala KitchenStuffing for Gujiya: This is my mother-in-law’s ‘family-famous’ Gujiya recipe. The Gujiya mix is made by crumbling khoya in a mildly warm skillet. (I do this step in the microwave now, saves so much time and effort). Chopped nut like cashews, almonds and pistachios are added along with desiccated coconut and freshly ground cardamom powder. When this mixture is cool, sugar is added. Now your Gujiya is ready to assemble.

Process: A small dough ball is rolled into a circular shaped disc, about 3-inch in diameter. About 1/2-3/4 tablespoon of khoya mixture goes in the center and then the dough is folded in a crescent shape and edges are sealed. That’s your Gujiya. Gujiya is then deep fried in medium warm oil till it turns golden in color. It is removed and put straight in a sugar syrup and tossed a few times and then set on a platter to crisp up. It is garnished with chopped pistachios. It is simply a bite of heaven!

Baked-Gujiya-Garam Masala Kitchen

Baked Gujiya

OVEN-BAKED Gujiya: I have an oven baked variation of this recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes. If you want to try Baked Gujiya, click here for the RECIPE!

Here are some more Indian Desserts that you may like:

instant pot Carrot-Burfi-gajar burfi, garam masala kitchen

Carrot Burfi- Gajar ki Burfi

Coconut Ladoos, Garam Masala Kitchen

Coconut Ladoo, Nariyal Ladoo

Besan ladoo, garam masala kitchen

Besan Ladoo, Chickpeas Flour Fudge

Sooji Sheera, rava kesari

Sooji Sheera, Halwa, Rava Kesari

Instant Pot Carrot Halwa GajarHalwa

Carrot Halwa, Gajar ka Halwa

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant Pot

Kheer, Rice Pudding

Continue Reading…

25+ Quick ‘n’ Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Holi!

Happy-Holi-Wishes-Garam Masala KitchenOut of all the Indian festivals, Holi is my absolute favorite! It is the festival of colors after all! Growing up in India, that was one day, where everyone could officially go crazy, and get away with it. I still remember how the day before Holi used to go in buying every possible color powder I could find in the stores, and, getting my water guns ready for the big day.  I remember waking up before everyone else in the house, with sheer excitement of the day ahead!

The one thing that’s common in all Indian festivals, is a variety of amazingly delicious food. Every region in north India has their own spin on holi delicacies. From savory delicacies to mouth-watering desserts, it is a day spent in food heaven:-) Sharing some of my favorites with you!

Here are 25+ recipes to add to your Holi menu, and the best part is, most of them can be done in under 30 minutes, so that you spend less time cooking, and more time enjoying them! Garam Masala Kitchen wishes you all a very Happy Holi! Continue Reading…

Matar Chaat/Mutter Chaat – Pigeon Peas Dip (Instant Pot)

Pigeon-Peas-Dip, instant pot recipes

Pigeon-Peas-Dip, instant pot recipesMatar chaat / Mutter Chaat or Pigeon Peas Dip  is one of the most popular street food you’ll find in New Delhi. This quick and tasty dish is served as a chaat (snack), and also makes for a fulfilling meal when served with a side of Naan or Kulcha.

Pigeon Peas belong to the family of legumes, and carry the same great advantages of being high in fiber and protein.  They are somewhat similar in looks to Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans.  There are two varieties of Pigeon peas,  white (more like beige), and green. I prefer the taste of the white ones as they tend to be more on the creamier side. Just like chickpeas, Pigeon Peas also have to be rehydrated before cooking. Soaking them overnight allows them to rehydrate and also fastens the cooking process. I cook these in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, and they are perfect when cooked for 15 minutes on the Bean/Chili mode.

Once they are cooked, here’s what I do: Continue Reading…

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal – Yogurt Curry with Rice (Instant Pot) Pot-in-Pot)

Punjabi-Kadhi-chawal, yogurt curry with rice, instant potKadhi Chawal  is an all-time favorite, comfort food in many Punjabi homes. It’s a traditional dish from the northern region of India (Punjab), in which a yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi, and chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, is served over aromatic basmati rice! There are several variations of this dish all over northern India, but this recipe is close to my heart, as it’s been passed on through many generations in my family.

No-Fry-pakora-10Even though the recipe for Kadhi Chawal is  fairly generic, everyone has their own spin on it. My grandmother always cooked the kadhi and pakoras in mustard oil. My mom substitutes mustard oil with ghee, and also adds chopped onions to her pakoras, and sliced onions in the kadhi. I customized it further and started adding chopped spinach to my pakoras in addition to the shallots/onions. I also started pan-frying the pakoras versus deep-frying them. This is my quick and healthy twist on this family favorite. Here’s the detailed recipe for No-Fry Pakoras (Fritters).

Stove-top Recipe: In the video above, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this recipe can be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how: Continue Reading…

No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora (Gluten-Free No-Fry Indian Fritters)

No-Fry-Pakora-Fritters, Garam Masala Kitchen

No-Fry-Pakora-Fritters, Garam Masala KitchenCrispy, golden brown and irresistible, Onion-Spinach Pakoras or Fritters, are an extremely popular snack in Indian cuisine. Pakoras are basically fritters where onions, or other vegetables, are coated in a chickpeas flour or gram flour batter, seasoned with Indian spices and deep-fried. They are a popular street food as well as a great tea-time snack, especially during the monsoons. As with any popular food item, there are a zillion variations of this recipe. Pakoras are typically served with sweet & spicy condiments like ketchup, cilantro chutney or Date-Imli chutney.

No fry pakoras, fritters, garam masala kitchenSince the batter is made with chick-pea or gram flour, this recipe is gluten-free and, it doesn’t call for any dairy products, making it dairy- free too. While nothing beats the deep-fried golden brown crunch of pakoras, I like to make healthier versions of my family’s most enjoyed recipes. So, I decided to pan-fry them instead of deep-frying, using this Stuffed Pancake Pan.  The key to making them crispy is putting the right amount of oil to pan-fry them . Not only are they really delicious and crispy, they are also much easier to make vs. the traditional method. I don’t have to set up the deep-frying wok, heat the oil, nor do I have to later clean up all that. Making Pakoras in this pan is as simple as making pancakes! Seriously! Using this method, making pakoras for Punjabi Kadhi is super easy.  I use this pan to make my No-Fry Dahi Bhalle too!

Here’s how to make these yummy No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakoras: Continue Reading…

Vegetable Puffs Recipe

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala KitchenWarm, flaky and crispy on the outside, buttery and delicious from within, these Vegetables Puffs are great as a tea-time snack, or, as a lunch surprise for kids!  Making these is ever so simple.  A healthy assortment of vegetables is tossed in an aromatic Indian masala and stuffed inside a golden-brown baked puff pastry shell.  These puffs can be easily customized with your choice of filling- sweet or savory.  Using store-bought pastry dough makes this a weeknight treat for me.

 

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala KitchenI make this recipe with store-bought puff pastry shells. These ‘pre-shaped’ shells are pretty versatile and can be used for both, sweet and savory dishes. It is really easy to put these puffs together. Simply bake the shells in the oven as per package directions. Prepare your filling and then stuff the filling in the shells- that’s it!

Tip for a flaky Puff pastry: Keep the pastry dough cold. Remove from refrigerator just before baking. This ensured a flaky pastry. Softer or room temperature dough, doesn’t puff up and tends to becomes too dense.

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala KitchenFor this recipe, I make a mixed vegetable filling in a Fry-pan or Skillet on the stove -top, or my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. I combine assorted vegetables like bell pepper, frozen peas, frozen corn, gold potatoes and cook them with aromatics and Indian spices.  I like to add paneer to this mix. It not only adds protein to the dish, but the creamy paneer goes really well with the flaky puff pastry. I use this filling to make Vegetable Panini too.

Serving suggestion: I make these puffs as appetizers, or as tea-time snacks, and, they make for great school lunches for kids too. I keep switching the filling though. I serve them as-is, or with tomato ketchup, Sriracha or cilantro chutney. There are endless possibilities for the filling. Some of the common ones in my home are:

  1. Pizza puffs: I saute sausage, onions and peppers with Italian seasoning. Add a couple of teaspoons of marinara sauce to the baked shells, add sausage mix, top it with mozzarella cheese and garnish with basil.
  2. Parmesan Mushroom & Peas Puffs: Saute crimini mushrooms in olive oil, salt and pepper. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook till mushrooms are nice and brown. Add thawed peas to this mix. Turn off the flame and mix in some grated parmesan cheese. Stuff the baked shells. The remaining heat from the mushrooms melts the parmesan cheese and binds the mix really well. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  3. Keema Puffs: I make keema (ground meat) using this recipe: Keema Mutter. Bake the shells and fill them with the keema mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro!
  4. Berries & Cream: Sprinkle some sugar and zest of a lemon on mixed berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries.  Toss well. Sprinkle some sugar on the pastry before baking. Bake shells and cool them for 10 minutes. Stuff the berries in the shells, and top with sweetened whipped cream.

Here’s how easy it is to make these Vegetable Puffs:

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Place cold pastry shell on baking sheet

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Bake as per package directions

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Remove the center caps

Veggie-Puffs-7 Garam masala Kitchen

Stuff with filling

Continue Reading…

Quinoa-Veggie Burger Patties (Quinoa-Veggie Tikki)

Quinoa-Veggie Burgers Tikki, instant pot quinoa

Quinoa-Veggie Burgers Tikki, instant pot quinoaCrispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, here’s a delicious vegetarian twist to your classic hamburgers… Quinoa Veggie Burger!  

I developed this recipe accidentally. Once, I had plenty leftovers for Quinoa Veggie Pilaf  from the previous night, and neither of us felt like having Pilaf again. My kids were in the mood for ‘burgers’. So, I took the leftover Pilaf, which had potatoes and peas, mashed the potatoes well, added some shredded cheese (for binding) and chopped cilantro, formed them into tight 1/2-inch thick patties, dusted them with AP flour, and pan-fried them till they were crispy brown. I have to tell you, that this is the tastiest leftover-hack I have ever done, if I may say so myself.

Quinoa-Veggie Burgers Tikki, instant pot quinoaServing Suggestions: You can serve these patties with your favorite choice of burger buns– sesame, honey-wheat, potato buns or any other flavor you prefer. In terms of condiments, we love these with Sriracha-Mayo (recipe in ingredients section) and some spicy arugula. If my husband and I are watching our carbs, we have these bun-less, with a large arugula & cucumber salad. They are so satisfying in flavor, that we don’t miss the bun! They are a great make-ahead vegetarian choices for a BBQ party too! You can prepare the quinoa, or even make the patties, a day before and refrigerate them. On the day off, take them out an hour before cooking.

Quinoa-Veggie Burgers Tikki, instant pot quinoaAdd-ons: This a very kid-friendly recipe, that is Mom & Dad-approved!  Kids love burgers! The amount of nutrition that you can sneak in to these patties, is a work of a genius. Quinoa and cheese add a good amount of protein and the veggies give the “green balance” to these patties. I keep switching the veggies in this recipe and add chopped spinach, frozen corn, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, so you can easily customize this recipe to your preferences. I even add a couple of tablespoons of Almond meal in it sometimes. It helps in binding and boosts the protein content.

Smart Tip: If you’re adding more than one freshly grated vegetable, you may want to add 1 tbsp. of cornflour, or 1 egg, so that the patties bind easily. Continue Reading…

Easy Tzatziki Sauce- A Great Party Dip

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala KitchenTzatziki is a creamy and delicious Mediterranean sauce or a dip that is seasoned with salt, lime juice, garlic and in some cases, paprika! It’s a great party dip, which can be made very easily and ahead of time. You can pair it with assorted vegetables like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers,  carrots, snow peas etc. You can even cut up pita bread in four or more slices, and use that for dipping as well.

Tzatziki is typically made with Greek yogurt, which is a thicker yogurt as compared to the regular one. But feel free to use any yogurt that you like. If your yogurt isn’t thick to begin with, be sure to squeeze out the extra juice from the grated cucumber. I make this dip a lot with my homemade yogurt that I make in my pressure cooker, Instant Pot. The consistency of my homemade yogurt is in between of a greek yogurt and regular one, so, using two paper towels,  I squeeze out some juices from the grated cucumber and the result is perfect!

This is how simple it is to put it together:

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala Kitchen

Plain Yogurt

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala Kitchen

Grated cucumber

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala Kitchen

Chopped mint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala Kitchen

Lime juice

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala Kitchen

Garlic and spices

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala Kitchen

Mix together and Done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greek recipes, garam masala kitchenI always make Tzatziki sauce whenever I make Chicken Shawarma. I make a greek salad and humus, get some store-bought Pita bread and we enjoy our Greek Feast! My kids love dipping their Shawarma wrap in the Tzatziki!

 

 

 

Continue Reading…

Lemon Rice in Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Instant pot Lemon-Rice Pressure cooker Lemon Rice– fluffy grains of aromatic Basmati rice, flavored with mustard seeds and fresh lemon juice- this satisfying side is the perfect accompaniment to any protein you’re making.

Lemon rice pairs very well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees. I like to serve it with grilled chicken and vegetables, or with Lamb Chops, Salmon Tikki, Chicken Kebab etc. Pair it with a side of grilled or oven-roasted vegetables and you have a perfectly balanced meal in under 30 minutes.

Options: I like to make this recipe with long grain Basmati Rice, but this can work with Jasmine Rice as well. This recipe is traditionally made with split black gram lentils (urad), but sometimes, I skip that and add chopped cashews or almonds instead and it turns out great.

I usually make Lemon rice in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot 6 Qt, but this dish can be made on the stove-top too. Here are the instructions:

Stove-Top: Rinse rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Heat a sauce pot on medium-high heat. Wait till it’s hot, and add ghee/butter or oil. Add mustard seeds and split black gram lentils (urad). When the mustard seeds splutter, add green chilis, drained rice and spices. Add fried onions (optional). Saute for 1 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat, open lid, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add fresh lemon juice and mix well. That’s it! Continue Reading…