crushed jaggery (to taste)
1/2 tsp pounded green
1 tbsp seedless organic raisins
1 tbsp sliced almonds
400 ml coconut milk
4-5 slivered almonds
Soak the carrots in water and scrub them well. Top and tail them and cut into three inch pieces.
Put the carrots in a pressure cooker, with 1/2 cup of water and pressure-cook, over low heat, for seven to eight minutes after the cooker reaches full pressure.
Transfer the carrots and any water remaining in the cooker to a grinder and blend to a smooth consistency.
Put the carrot purée in a large non-stick or ceramic pan over high heat. Stir continuously, till it comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat to moderate and continue stirring for another five to seven minutes.
Add the jaggery, cardamom, almonds, raisins and coconut milk. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and cover the pan, so that the mixture does not splatter out of the pan. Open the pan periodically and stir, till the mixture starts to dry up.
Check for sweetness and add more jaggery, if needed.
Open the pan and keep stirring the halwa, till it forms a ball in the centre of the pan.
Remove from heat and put the halwa in a dish.
Let it cool slightly, sprinkle with almond slivers and serve warm.
Ayesha Takia’s Stir-Fried Vegetables with Couscous
Ingredients (for 2–3 servings)
1 cup couscous
1/2-1 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1/2 + 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes to taste
Salt to taste
2-3 cups diced vegetables (carrots, French beans, red, yellow and green bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli)
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2-1 tsp oregano or to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Wash the couscous in hot water and discard the water. Repeat once more.
Put the couscous into a bowl and add 1/2-1 tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes and salt. Stir gently. The couscous should be glossy, but not oily or mushy. Taste and add more chilli flakes or salt if needed.
Dice the vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces.
Grate the garlic
Put a pan over moderate heat. Add one tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Give it a stir, add the carrots and the beans. Stir-fry for about three minutes.
Add the remaining vegetables and stir-fry for another three minutes.
Mix in the oregano and some chilli flakes and salt. Taste and add more seasonings if required.
Chop the parsley and stir it in.
Serve the vegetables with the couscous.
Rahul Khanna’s Crispy Salted Baby Potatoes
Ingredients (for 4-5 servings)
500 gms baby potatoes
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Soak the potatoes in a bowl of water for 30 minutes to loosen any dirt on the skin. Rinse and scrub them well with a brush so they become squeaky-clean. Soak them again.
Put a non-stick or even a ceramic pan that has a handle and a lid over high heat. When hot, add the oil and the wet potatoes. If a few drops of water go in with the potatoes, it is fine, do not drain or dry them.
Cover the pan immediately. After about 4 minutes, shake the pan vigorously so that the potatoes get dislodged. Leave the lid on.
Reduce the heat to moderate and keep shaking the pan every three minutes.
After 12-15 minutes, open the lid carefully, making sure that no water that may have condensed on the lid falls back into the pan.
Check if they are cooked. The skin should be crisp and the potatoes should be tender from inside. Pierce one with a skewer; it should feel soft all the way through.
If not, cover the pan again and cook on low heat, till tender.
Do not cover the pan once the potatoes are cooked, else they will lose their crispness.
If you are serving them immediately, add salt and pepper and serve in an open dish.
If you are not serving them right away, leave them in the pan, without any seasoning, and cover with a light net cloth.
When ready to serve, reheat without covering, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.