Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mathra (Dried Peas Recipe) Chaat !

Mathra is a very popular North Indian "Chaat". It is made of Dried Yellow Peas. [Matar means Peas in Hindi, Mathra is made of peas.] It is a coveted item on the Menu list in Weddings and Celebrations across North India. I love it spicy and tangy, just the way it is sold by the local chaat-wala (usually street hawkers) in the bazaar!

It is eaten with a number of accompaniments or sometimes its good all by itself. This could very well be a distant cousin of Ghugni, which is a Bengali favorite (a preparation from the Eastern part of India). This is a simple recipe which is very easy to prepare, takes very little time and is always appreciated.


Yellow Peas - 2 cups, soaked overnight
Cloves - 3 to 4
Black Pepper - 3 to 4
Haldi (Turmeric) - 1/2 tsp
Bhoona Jeera Powder(Roasted Cumin) - 3 tsp
Chaat Masala - 4 tsp OR according to taste
Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium, chopped finely
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped finely
Green Chilli - 1 medium,chopped finely
Ginger - 1/2 inch cube, chopped finely
Fresh Coriander Leaves - a small bunch, chopped
Water - 1 cup
Salt to Taste

COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

SERVING: Serves 6


1. Soak the dried peas overnight.
2. Place the soaked peas in a Pressure Cooker, add clove, turmeric and black pepper. Pressure cook the peas till they are soft.
3. Once done, remove lid and add Bhoona Jeera Powder and Chaat Masala to taste.
4. Add the lemon juice.
5. Add salt, if needed.

To Serve -
6. Add chopped Onion, Tomato, Green Chilli, Ginger and Fresh Coriander leaves as Garnish.
7. Serve with bread or puffed rice or Bhel !

For the Jain version, avoid onion and ginger.
The Garnish items can be used all together or even singularly, as preferred.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pineapple Tart

Hey Everyone !

I'm back !! My vacation almost turned into a sabbatical.. it was fun traveling and learning new things. I found some resting time as well... and now I am back to my experiments in the kitchen.

Beginning the New Year with something sweet.. :-)


This recipe is a mix of my Mom's biscotto and my cheese cake recipes. It is a low fat version for all calorie counters. I was inspired to create something different for our Jain friends who dont eat any animal products / derivatives. Pineapple was just the thing.. nailed it !
Here goes...

Miniature Muffin Tray - 1

Tart Base:
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Sugar (powdered) - 4 tbsp
Sugar Substitute (Glenda/Equate etc.)- 4 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp
Vanilla Flavoring - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch

Pineapple Filling:
Fresh Pineapple(chopped into cubes) - 1 cup
Cream Cheese Lite - 4 Oz.
Whipping Cream Lite - 4 Oz.
Sugar (powdered) - 2 tbsp
Sugar Substitute (Glenda/Equate etc.)- 2 tsp
Pineapple Flavoring - 1 tsp

COOKING TIME: 40 minutes

SERVING: Serves 10 to 12


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. For the Tart Base: Mix in the All Purpose Flour, Sugar OR Sugar Substitute and Olive Oil.
3. Add Vanilla Flavoring and Salt. Mix in well to make into dough.
4. Apply slight Olive oil or Spray the Miniature Muffin Tray with a thin coat of Oil.
5. Use the dough to make base for each cup of the Miniature Muffin Tray.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until slightly browned.
7. When done, remove the tray from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove the Tart Base from the tray. You can now put in a second batch for baking, if needed.
8. For the Filling: Mix cubed Pineapple, Cream Cheese, Whipping Cream, Sugar OR Sugar Substitute, Pineapple Flavoring and blend. (I use my hand mixer)
9. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. (Sometimes I freeze it overnight, beware coz Pineapple turns bitter too.)
10. To serve, fill up the Tart Base with the filling.
11. Top the Pineapple Tarts with fresh cut fruits - Peach, Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Grapes or even Pineapple.. whichever you like.

Enjoy !!

Don't forget to write me your feedback !

In Step 5, to make even sized cups, I used a smaller cup to press in the dough. Makes the task so much easier and faster.