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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Carom seeds (Ajwain) - Onion Pararthas

Carom seeds have a light brown shade or a lighter army green (as fennel seeds / saunf) shade. They have a distinct aroma which is impossible to miss. They are pungent and if you don't like the taste, you would call it bitter. Like other spices, they too are used for a reason in an Indian kitchen. Ajwain / carom seeds are known to aid in digestion. In our region, infants are given a weekly/bi-weekly dosage of a little vaamu (caromseeds in Telugu), jaajikaya (nutmeg in Telugu) & maachikaya ( no idea about it's English name) to aid digestion. Jaajikaya and maachikaya are directly ground against a special stone meant for the purpose. Carom seeds are lightly ground. They are all mixed well with a little quantity of milk and fed to the infants who obviously don't enjoy it. I am not able to recall if any other spice is added to it as well. 4 years ago, when I came across carom seeds at a grocery store, the smallest package I could find was a 2 pound bag. I bought it, stored it in a bottle and could not finish it till now. I have noticed that unlike some spices, carom seeds don't lose their fragrance or flavor even after years. (I don't know about decades, though). I toss them some times in my roti / poori / bajji dough. Today I added them to the onion pararthas I was making. If the flavor is too strong, the quantity of the carom seeds can be reduced to a tsp. Ingredients to make 10 parathas: 2 cups of whole wheat flour (atta) + extra for dusting 2 onions, finely chopped 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro 2 tsp of ajwain 1 Tbsp of oil 1/4 tsp salt Scant 2/3 cups of water Oil /Ghee to fry Preparing the dough: Mix the flour, onions, cilantro, ajwain, oil and salt in a bowl. Gradually add the water to make the dough. The quantity of the water can be increased or decreased depending upon the softness of the dough preferred (while rolling out parathas). If the dough becomes too soft, more flour can be added. In the same way, if the dough becomes too stiff, add a little bit of water. Also note that after resting, the dough becomes a little softer due to the addition of the onions. Knead the dough for about five minutes. Cover and allow it to rest for at least an hour. Rolling: Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and shape them into balls. Take a ball, flatten it and dust with flour. Roll it into a thin circle of about 5 to 6 inches diameter. You can stop rolling here and can fry it or roll it into a triangular shaped paratha as follows. Smear the rolled circle with oil / ghee and fold into half and again fold it to form a triangle. If needed, dust it again and roll it into a thin triangle. Repeat the rolling with the remaining dough. If you are comfortable, you can do the rolling and frying stuff simultaneously. Or roll some parathas, do the frying and come back again to roll. Frying: Heat a skillet / tava over medium heat. Place a paratha on the skillet and toast it about for a minute and flip it. Add 1/2 tsp oil each around the edges and on the surface of the paratha. Toast the other side too. Flip one more time if required. The parathas need to be toasted uniformly. For a detailed and pictorial description of how to make parathas, look here. Keep the fried parathas covered. Serve them with a subzi / pickle. Ours were served with cauliflower subzi. This goes to Think Spice - Think Carom Seeds hosted by The Singing Chef, Raaga. Finally, happy holidays to everyone. Post a Comment

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kala Chana Sprouts Subzi With Cabbage~Carrot

I frequently sprouts beans at my home and if you are new to sprouting, I will assure you that sprouting is not a daunting task as many consider. It is a lot easier to grow sprouts than chopping vegetables to cook. Sprouts are nutritious, healthy, easily digestible and taste excellent. You can add them to any soups, salads, stews or subzis. I had earlier posted how to sprout by this method . Here is one more easy way to sprout. All you need is some beans / seeds (or the ingredient) which you need to sprout and a loosely woven / breathable cotton cloth (like a very thin towel). Soak the seeds for a day or overnight with plenty of water. If sprouting dried beans, use a container bigger than needed as beans swell and double in their size and soak for 24 hours. Then throw away the water and place those beans in a cotton cloth, loosely covered. Keep moistening the towel 2 or 3 times per day or whenever it is dry. Sprouts would be ready in a couple of days. I usually stop when the sprouted root's length is almost same as the soaked seed. Placing the beans bundle in a colander helps to drain any excess water. To speed up the process, leave the beans bundle in an oven with the light on. I sprouted a handful of kala chana and had a cup of sprouts. I added them to this cabbage carrot subzi which was a palate pleasing experience. We liked it very much and I got a thumbs up even from my husband who hates kala chana. What you need: 2 Onions, finely chopped 1 Cup kala chana sprouts 2 Cups grated / finely chopped green cabbage 1 carrot, grated 3 Serrano peppers, finely chopped Salt For tadka: 2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp each of mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of asafoetida Cooking: Heat oil in a pan and add all the tadka ingredients in the order mentioned. When the dals slightly turn to reddish brown, add the green chillies & onions. Keep frying on low flame till the onions turn translucent. Next add the grated cabbage, carrot, sprouts and enough salt and stir once. Cover the pan and keep stirring in between till the cabbage is cooked. Turn off the heat. It goes well with rotis or rice. This goes to JIHVA - Sprouts hosted by Dee of Ammulu's Kitchen. Post a comment Other related posts here: Red chori bean sprouts usli Greengram sprouts subzi

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tomato - Kothimira Pachchadi / Tomato - Cilantro Chutney

This quick and easy chutney comes from my SIL. Tangy tomatoes combine with fragrant cilantro in this lip smacking chutney. It not only goes well with the usual rice, dosa, idli kind of stuff but also for sandwiches.

Ingredients required:
2 medium sized onions (outer layers removed and chopped)
3 medium sized tomatoes (washed & chopped)
1 cup cilantro leaves (washed)
5 Serrano peppers -washed and slit lengthwise. (Any variety of green chillies can be used and the number depends upon the spiciness preferred.)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind pulp - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
1 Tbsp oil
For seasoning - 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida

Preparation:
* Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and add onions, chillies & turmeric powder. Fry them and add tomatoes when the onions turn translucent. Keep frying and when tomatoes turn mushy, add cilantro and saute for a couple of minutes more and turn off the heat. Let it cool down.
* Grind this mixture with salt and tamarind pulp.
* Heat 2 tsp of oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds and when they start to pop, add asafoetida and turn off the stove. * Add this to the chutney and stir well.

Post a Comment 

Earlier related posts: 
Tomato Pachchadi 
Tomato Pickle 
Vankaya - Tomato pachchadi 
Tomato aavakaya

Friday, December 5, 2008

A New Home & Carrot - Vermicelli Payasam

A new home !! Yes, that is why I have been away from this space for the past few months. Beginning this year, we had been busy home hunting. Finally, we got the home of our choice this June. Gruhapravesham, the moving process and settling in at the new home took a while. Also M's SIL was visiting us from India and I was enjoying her company so much that I haven't peeked into my own blog recently. Our SIL is a wonderful cook and she was telling me that she had tried a payasam with carrots earlier. At the same time, I happened to see a cook show on some Telugu Channel which showed a similar recipe. I tried it the same day and it came out so wonderful that I have prepared a couple of times more in the past few weeks. What I liked about this payasam is it is a really simple preparation and it tastes divine. An irresistible combo of the rich milk, the creamy sweet carrots, the fragrant, nutritious almonds and the soft, melt in your mouth kind of vermicelli makes it a blissful treat to any palate. Required ingredients: Grated carrot - 1/2 cup (2 small carrots) Vermicelli - 1/2 cup Whole Milk - 2 cups Sugar - 1/4 cup Badam mix powder - 2 Tbsp Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp Cashew nuts - 1 Tbsp Ghee / Clarified butter - 2 tsp + 2 tsp Note that badam mix powder used above is not the powdered almonds / badam. It is the mix (like MTR / Orkay brands) available at Indian grocery stores to make badam milk. Try adding a Tbsp of this mix to any payasams and it transforms a simple payasam into a delectable expereience. Also using a nonstick utensil to make payasams is recommended as the contents don't stick to the bottom of the utensil. The Cooking part: Dry roast the vermicelli in a pan on a medium flame and remove when it attains slightly golden brown hue. If using pre-roasted vermicelli, skip this step. Also, You can use a tsp or two of ghee while roasting. Saute the carrot for a couple of minutes using 2 tsp of ghee in the same pan. Then add milk and heat it on a low-medium flame. Then add vermicelli and cook till it is done, stirring in between. Add sugar, badam mix powder and cardamom powder to the vermicelli - carrot mixture and let it cook till all the sugar melts. Turn off the heat. In the mean time, take a small pan and heat two tsp of ghee and roast the cashews till they turn golden brown. Add the fried cashews to the carrot - vermicelli payasam and mix well. This payasam can be served warm / chilled. This goes to JIHVA - Carrot hosted by The Cooker. Post a Comment Related Post: Carrot Payasam

Friday, July 25, 2008

Plantain Dosa

For the first time, I was scouring the blogs thoroughly because of this month's MBP theme. I went on looking for recipes with ingredients counting to five or less and in the process came across so many amazing recipes which I had never even heard of. During this recipe hunting process, I noticed that even a simple Indian dish is made using at least 8 to 10 ingredients. That does not mean that there were no dishes which used minimal ingredients. There are plenty as Nupur's posts indicate and there are also recipes which needed even less than five as this plantain dosa. The recipe for plantain dosa comes from Seema's Recipe Junction . I used to visit her blog regularly and I wonder why she stopped blogging. I tried earlier her banana dosas too. While banana dosas (had a slight hint of banana muffin flavor) are for those who love sweet breakfasts in the morning, these plantain dosas are a different story. There is not even a subtle hint of the plantains and they tasted exactly like rice flour dosas with the added nutrition of the veggie. And they are thin and crispy as Seema pointed out. They make a great breakfast or evening snack. The recipe is very simple. Soak one cup of rice in water for about two hours. Peel a plantain and slice into circles. Grind it finely with enough water to a dosa batter consistency and add required amount of salt. That's it and no fermentation required. Heat a non stick pan and spread a ladleful of batter into a thin circle. Spread 1/2 tsp of oil around the edges and roast it till it turns golden brown. Then flip it, spread the oil again and let it cook on the other side as well. Repeat the same with the remaining batter. Using a nonstick pan is better since batters using only rice tend to stick when you try to spread it. Also adding 1/4 cup of uraddal to rice while soaking helps and throwing a handful of fresh grated coconut and a little asafoetida enhances the taste of the dosa. These Plantain Dosas go to Nupur's 'Less is More' themed MBP. Post a Comment

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sorakaya Payasam / Bottle Gourd Kheer

Kids look forward to summer vacation from the first day of school and it is the time parents dread to hear the words 'I am bored.' My little one keeps herself busy with her summer school (which ends this week), jumping around the house, watching TV and movies (after a lot of begging and nagging of course) and trying to find ways to free herself from matriarchal tyranny and the ultimate punishment of eating. With my older one, it is the other way around. After amusing enough for the day with all the fun activities he could think of, he turns towards me. After testing my I.Q. for a while, his attention shifts towards this blog. Probably because it is the only interesting thing he has ever seen his mom doing (other than cooking of course) and that too half heartedly. Also he is busy finding ways to make me blog. Below is one of our stimulating conversations. Him: 'Mom, why aren't you blogging'? Me: 'I will post something today'. Him: 'What are you going to post'? Me: 'Still thinking'. Him: 'Can you prepare a dish from scratch'? Me: 'What does that mean'? Him: 'Like everything has to be grown by you'. Me: 'Umm. If I knew how to cook with maple leaves, daffodils, hosta or roses'. To simplify matters this time, he shoots an easier one. Him: 'Can you come up with a new dish, which you can call your own'? Me: 'May be'. Him: 'Or how about something which I have never tasted before'? Me: 'Let me see' Him: 'A dessert'? Me: 'Sure'. I am amused by the way he asks those questions so innocently. He is fun to have around and is genuinely interested in my food blogging. When I started blogging almost a couple of years ago, he was 7. He learnt some HTML and Javascript coding from our book collection and helped me out a lot. Even now, if I have any problems related to blog, I go to him instead of my husband, who happens to be a technical guy. This payasam is for dear Shreyas who puts his 100% efforts towards anything he does. And, oh yes, he has never tasted this before. He, a payasam lover would be happy with this yummylicious dessert. He needs to upload some pictures though, before tasting it. This payasam is a pleasant addition to the other Indian bottle gourd dishes which range from mild dals, spicy curries, scrumptious koftas to delicious halwa. It is a quite simple preparation and anyone who knows how to grate and stir can prepare this.

Ingredients required: 1 cup of grated bottle gourd 3 cups of milk 1/4 + 2 Tbsp Sugar 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder 2 tsp + 2 tsp Ghee (clarified butter) 1 Tbsp of raisins and unsalted cashews I used half of a medium sized bottle gourd. I peeled, quartered, removed the seeds and grated it. I had about a cup of grated bottle gourd. Regarding the milk, it is better to go with whole milk or 2%. I used two portions of whole milk and one portion of 1% milk. Or try even adding a portion of evaporated milk. Any payasam tastes rich, delicious and creamy using milk with fat. Use fat free if you are the only person who is going to eat it or like a watery payasam. :) And coming to sugar, I used a little more than 1/4 cup sugar. Adjust the quantity according to the sweetness preferred. And last but not least important thing is, use a non stick sauce pan to prepare this payasam. You don't have to worry about the payasam getting stuck to the bottom or getting burnt or the cleaning mess. The cooking part: Heat two tsps of ghee in a non stick sauce pan and add grated gourd. Saute on medium flame for about five minutes. Then add about a cup of milk and let it cook on medium flame. You don't have to worry about the milk boiling over if you add milk in small quantities. Stir a couple of times in between. When the milk quantity has reduced, add some more milk and cook for few more minutes. Finally add all the milk, sugar, cardamom powder and let it cook for five more minutes. Heat two tsps of ghee in asmall pan and add the cashews and raisins and toast them till they brown and add it to the payasam. Totally I cooked for 20 - 25 minutes to reduce the milk to about 3/4 th the original quantity added. By this, you will have a rich, creamier kheer as I said above. I think the cooking time may be reduced if this is prepared in a MW.

This goes to dear Pooja's VOW - Bottle Gourd and Mythreyee' s 'Cool Desserts' . Post a Comment Recipe Source: Thanks to Deepthi who remembered to ask this wonderful recipe, when she called her mother.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fruity Yogurt

When I was trying to come up with a recipe for a fruit based yogurt, my peach shrikhand and pomegranate raita posts gave me an idea. Instead of pureeing the fruit, I added chunks to the creamy yogurt and the result was a fat free & guilt free snack. It was a healthy, delicious dessert with no sweeteners and preservatives added. Ingredients: Yogurt Chopped fruit I used fat free yogurt and for fruit - chopped mango, nectarine, peach, pear and plum. Any fruit which goes well with yogurt can be substituted. A creamier texture can be obtained using fat free yogurt by just hanging the yogurt in a cotton cloth. Freshly prepared yogurt tastes better since it doesn't go sour during the draining process. Cover a colander with a thin cotton cloth and pour the yogurt into it. Then tie the cotton cloth into a bundle and leave it in the colander. No need to place weight on it. I placed a bowl underneath the colander to catch the drips and put it in the refrigerator. That water can be used to prepare roti dough instead of throwing it away. Drain the yogurt for a couple of hours and the end product is a thick yogurt with a creamy texture. Then mix the chopped fruit and serve. I used half a cup of fruit for a cup of hung yogurt. This healthy, luscious, creamy dessert can be served as it is or refrigerated for a couple of hours before serving. Note: If the hung yogurt goes sour, try adding a sweetener packet. This goes to 'Frozen yogurt' event hosted by Siri of Siri's Corner and also 'Eat healthy - Protein rich' contest hosted at "Art of cooking Indian food'. Post a comment

Coconut Poha

Poha is one of the quicker breakfasts cooked in an Indian kitchen. This coconut version is much faster and can be prepared in less than fifteen minutes as it doesn't involve sauteing any veggies. Also the addition of coconut adds a slight sweet tinge to the poha making it more delicious. Ingredients: Thick variety poha - 2 cups Grated coconut (fresh / frozen) - 1/2 cup Medium hot green chillies, finely chopped - 4 or 5 Salt - 1 tsp For seasoning - 3 or 4 Tbsp oil, a handful of peanuts, 1 Tbsp chanadal, 1 tsp mustard seeds, Curry leaves, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder Chopped cilantro (Optional) - 2 Tbsp Cooking: * Wash the poha thoroughly twice with water, drain all the water and keep it covered for about 6-7 minutes. * Meanwhile, chop the chillies, grate the coconut or zap in a MW for a minute if using frozen coconut. * Take a deep bottomed pan and heat the oil. Then add peanuts, chanadal, mustard seeds, green chillies, curry leaves and turmeric powder in the mentioned order. When peanuts and chanadal start to turn reddish, add the softened poha, grated coconut, salt and cilantro if using. * Turn around the poha mixture till all the ingredients are mixed well. Cook covered on low for five minutes. * Stir the content gently one more time before serving. Coconut poha tastes good when served hot / warm. This goes to AFAM - Coconut hosted by Suganya Of Tasty Palettes. & to WBB - Express breakfasts hosted by Raaga of The Singing Chef. Post a Comment

Friday, June 20, 2008

Spinach Roti / Palak Paratha Pictorial

Adding or stuffing vegetables / paneer / leafy greens while preparing rotis can add a new dimension to them. They are not only more interesting and appealing but also are healthier. In this recipe, while preparing the dough for spinach rotis, I replaced water by fat free milk to make them more nutritious and softer. Ingredients to make a dozen rotis: 
Chapathi flour - 2 & 1/2 cups 
Spinach leaves from a bunch with stalks removed 
Fat free milk (or water) - 1 & 1/4 cups ( more or less depending upon the quantity of the flour. If using milk, let it be at room temperature.)  
Salt - 1 tsp 
Oil / ghee to fry the rotis  

Preparing spinach rotis: Cook briefly the spinach leaves adding a tbsp of water until it is just wilted. Wash them with cold water, drain and finely chop. Squeeze out any extra water present. Add salt to the flour to a bowl and mix well. Then add spinach and later milk little by little till a soft, pliable dough 
is formed.
   
Knead for five minutes, cover and rest it for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 balls equal in size. Work with one ball at a time keeping the rest covered. On a lightly floured surface like a rolling board or the counter top, evenly roll out the ball in to approximtaely 6 - 7 inches circle with a millimeter thickness. Keep dusting lightly with flour to avoid sticking
the dough to the rolling surface.
 
 If you want layered, flaky parathas instead, roll the dough ball into a five inches circle, spread 1/4 tsp oil, fold into half and then fold one more time to get a triangle. Roll it into a thin triangle as below.
   
Heat a tava / griddle / heavy based frying pan. Fry one roti at a time on medium heat. Place the rolled triangle onto the hot griddle. Toast for about a minute. Small bubbles start to appear on the surface. Then flip it to the other side using a spatula. Add 1/2 tsp oil around the edges and spread around 1/4 tsp oil on the surface. Toast the other side too. Keep moving around and pressing the roti a little with the spatula for uniform toasting including the edges. Flip the roti one more time if required. Properly toasted roti / parathas have small brown spots all over it. Remove the roti and keep it covered.
   
Make rotis similarly with the rest of the dough. Serve it with any vegetable dish / pickle / yogurt.  

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Green Apple Relish / Chutney

A few years back, when I did see recipes for apple chutney (not from Indian food blogs and there were none then), I thought the people who came up with those recipes have gone crazy in the name of experimentation. Later, Bee piqued my curiosity when she left a comment on my quick mango chutney saying that they prepare it using green apples as well. I was in the mood of eating some tangy, chatpata kind of stuff along with upma today and remembered her comment. I had green apples in the refrigerator and so went on to prepare this instant, spicy relish. I was just hoping it to be a decent substitute for mango but surprisingly, the taste is very closer to the mango version. It is because of the tartness of this apple variety. If you don't mention the name of the relish, probably the people at the table would assume it to be the green mango chutney. Ingredients: One Granny Smith apple - seeds removed and chopped into fine cubes Lemon / Lime juice - 2 Tbsp (more or less depending upon the tartness of the apple) Chili powder - 1/2 tsp Salt to taste For seasoning - 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, a little asafoetida according to taste and little turmeric powder Method: It is quite simple and takes just five minutes to prepare.

  • Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add asafoetida and turmeric powder and turn off the stove.
  • Add the lemon juice, chili powder and salt to the apple cubes. Taste and adjust the ingredients.
  • Add the above seasoning to the apple mixture and stir well.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Green Papaya Saagu

Somehow, my posts are not getting updated on Taste of India. Readers who would like to get my post updates can subscribe to Veggie Platter by just entering their email id on the side bar. Thanks. And today's recipe is saagu. Green Papaya Saagu Saagu, a side dish from Karnataka is prepared with loads of vegetables and usually served with pooris. However, there are a few vegetables which taste good when used alone even with out any onions and tomatoes while preparing saagu. Green papaya is one of those. This simple, non - greasy preparation would take 15 - 2o minutes. Ingredients: Green papaya - Peeled, seeds removed and chopped into small cubes - 4 cups Daliya / Roasted Chickpeas - 1/4 cup Poppy seeds - 1 tsp Cilantro leaves - 2 Tbsp Cinnamon pieces - 1 tsp Moggu / Mogga - 3 (No idea about the English name and definitely, it's not anise / star anise) Green chillies - 5 Salt - 1 & 1/4 tsp For seasoning - 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp mustard seeds and a few curry leaves Saagu Ingredients

Upper row: L to R - cilantro, papaya, green chillies
Lower row: L to R -cinnamon, moggu, poppy seeds, daliya
Method: Heat oil in a karhai / deep saute pan. Add chanadal, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When chandal starts turning golden - red and mustards seeds start to pop, add papaya cubes and about 2 cups of water to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes on high flame. Adjust the quantity of water if required. Papaya would be cooked well by this time. It would be done, still holding shape with out turning mushy. In the mean time grind daliya, poppy seeds, cilantro, cinnamon, moggu, green chillies with enough water and grind into a smooth paste. Add this paste and salt to the cooked papaya. (Or go on adding the paste little by little to check the taste instead of adding the whole paste). Allow it to simmer for about five minutes and then turn off the stove. Serve with rotis / pooris. Saagu Served Now coming to my absence from blogosphere, it was not planned. I would like to thank all my readers / fellow bloggers who kept visiting my blog during my absence and also enquired about my well - being. It initially started due to my laziness and later as I prolonged it, it seemed hard to come back. Then it was my kids' health, their schoolwork, our computer crashing down and above all, the death of a dear cousin. I am still grieving over the loss. He was not even 30, had a wonderful career and was married just a couple of weeks earlier. Related posts: Cabbage Saagu Post a Comment

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Sri Rama Navami

Andhra Summers can be challenging with temperatures reaching around 110 deg F mark, in most of the areas. Sri Rama navami falls on a summer day and to beat the heat, natural coolants like vadapappu, panakam, majjiga (thinned yogurt) are served to guests on the auspicious occasion. Vada pappu is quiet simple in preparation and needs no cooking or seasoning. Wash and soak moongdal (yellow one) in water for an hour or two. Drain all the water and the nutritious vadapappu is ready to serve.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Vada pappu (above) and panakam (below) - Natural coolants, Andhra style

To make panakam, you would need: 
1.5 cups of water
1/4 cup of powdered jaggery (More or less depending upon the sweetness of the jaggery.)
5 -6 pepper corns crushed 
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

Making panakam:
Add jaggery to the water and stir till it dissloves. Strain the liquid using a clean cloth to remove any impurities. Then add pepper and cardamom powders to the filtered liquid. Taste and adjust the ingredients if needed.

Happy Sri Rama Navami.
Related Posts: Moongdal - Cucumber Kosumbari
Chanadal - Carrot Kosumbari

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy Ugadi

Sarvadhari nama samvathsaraadi subhakankshalu. I wish everyone a very happy Ugadi. Post a comment

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cabbage with Fresh Garbanzo Beans

Adding protein to veggies while preparing subzis is a common thing in our cooking. Adding various beans and dals like toordal, moongdal, fresh soybeans, green peas will increase the nutrition value besides enhancing the taste factor. Today's recipe has the addition of fresh garbanzo beans to cabbage. Unlike the dried version chana, fresh garbanzo are so sweet and tender that one would love to snack on them instead of adding to some thing else. Ingredients needed: Cabbage, finely chopped - 4 cups Green garbanzo beans (removed from the pods)- 1/4 cup A handful of fresh, grated coconut Finely chopped green chillies - 2 Salt For popu/seasoning - 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp each of chanadal, uraddal and mustard seeds, A few curry leaves Cooking part: Heat oil in a skillet and add all the seasoning ingredients in that order. When mustard seeds start to pop and the dals start turn to red, add the green chillies and saute for about 30 seconds and add the cabbage to the skillet. Cook the cabbage till it is done with in between stirring. It would have turned tender. To this cabbage, add the coconut, garbanzo beans and salt and mix well. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, mix agian and turn off the stove. Post a Comment

Friday, March 21, 2008

Carrot & Beans with Moongdal

 

Adding beans (dals) to kooras is what my mother does when she wants to add some protein to the dish or has to avoid coconut or has to increase the quantity of the final product. Today, I added moong dal to the plain carrot - beans subzi for that nutritious punch. Moong need not be cooked for this kind of dish. It is soaked till tender and then added. The quantity of moong can be increased upto a 1/4 cup. Adding coconut is optional and this can be served with rice / rotis.

Ingredients for 4 servings:
Chopped carrots and beans- 3 cups (Trim the ends of carrots and beans. Peel the carrots. Chop them fine.)
A handful of moongdal - soak them in water for about an hour and drain.
A handful grated, fresh coconut
1 tsp each of Salt & chili powder
For popu / tadka: 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp of chanadal, few curry leaves

Cooking: Heat the oil in a saute pan and add all the tadka ingredients. When mustard seeds start popping and chanadal starts turning golden brown, add the veggies and salt. Cook on a low flame and keep stirring in between till the veggies are tender and done. Then add the soaked moongdal, coconut and chili powder to the cooked veggies. Mix and cook for five more minutes with in between stirring as the moong tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Aratikaaya Koora / Plantain Curry

Easy preparation, simple looks and great taste - This describes aratikaaya koora. In this curry, a souring agent and sweetener is added. The souring agent can be lime / lemon juice or tamarind puree and sweetener is usually jaggery. The flavors are subtle and well balanced. The preparation is meant to be dry and usually served with hot rice and ghee. Tastes good with rotis too. Ingredients needed: One plantain - peel the skin, quarter lengthwise and chop into small cubes Juice from one lime 2 Tbsp fresh, grated coconut (optional) 1 tsp powdered jaggery 1/2 tsp chili powder Salt And for popu / seasoning - 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp chanadal, few curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida, a little turmeric powder Cooking: Pressure cook the plantain cubes with water till you hear 3 -4 whistles. Alternatively, put the cubes in a pot and add enough water so that the cubes are well immersed in water. Cook till the cubes are done. When done, you must be able to mash the cubes with the back of a spoon. Drain the water. Heat oil in a saute pan and add the seasoning ingredients. When chanadal starts to turn slightly reddish, add the cooked plantain cubes, lime juice, coconut, chili powder, jaggery and salt. Mash the plantain lightly and mix well. Taste and adjust the quantities, if needed. Let it sit for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Post a Comment

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vankaya - Tomato Pachchadi

Eggplant - Tomato Chutney Among the chutneys which are prepared using a combo of vegetables, eggplants and tomatoes stand out. Their combination yields this delicious, tangy chutney with a unique flavor. It can be served with rice and a tsp of ghee as part of a meal or rotis or as a side dish to Indian breakfast dishes like upma and dosas. Ingredients Eggplants - 3 (round, purple ones) Tomatoes - 2 Red chillies - 15 or accordingly Tamarind extract - 1 Tbsp or a little more Jaggery - about 1 tbsp Salt - about a tsp Oil - 2 Tbsp Mustard seeds - 1 tsp Urad dal - 1 Tbsp Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp Asafoetida - According to your taste or less than 1/4 tsp Chutney preparation: Wash and wipe the tomatoes and eggplants dry. Tomatoes and eggplants need to be roasted whole and so don't chop them. Heat a tbsp of oil in a saute pan and add the whole veggies to it. Just turn around them a little bit in the pan so that they are uniformly coated with oil. The point is there must be some oil at the bottom side of the vegetables so that they don't get burnt while getting roasted. Keep turning them at regular intervals so that they are roasted uniformly. When they are done, remove and keep aside. Once they are cool, peel the skins. In the mean time, heat one more tbsp of oil in another small pan for tadka. Add urad dal and mustard seeds. When urad dal start to turn a little red, add fenugreek/methi seeds, red chillies and asafoetida. Turn off the heat when urad and methi seeds completely turn red. Take care to add fenugreek/methi seeds later because they get burnt easily and also don’t add more, since they turn the chutney bitter. Let it cool. Grind the roasted eggplants and tomatoes , tadka ingredients, jaggery, tamarind paste and salt together into a (little coarser) puree in a blender. This goes to 'Vegetable of the Week - Eggplant' hosted by Pooja of 'My Creative Ideas'. Other eggplant chutneys on VeggiePlatter Eggplant - Mango chutney Eggplant - Onion chutney Post a Comment

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Happy Shivarathri and Rasayana

Happy Shivaratri to every one. Photobucket

Rasayana for Mahashivaratri
One of the delicious prasadams offered to the devotees at temples in Bangalore region is rasayana. The recipe usually contains banana, jaggery, coconut and cardamom. Sometimes may be just banana and jaggery. Usually when there were varieties of fruits at home, my sister used to prepare rasayana using all of them. Following her, I added other fruits and ingredients to the standard recipe here. As I mentioned, using other fruits is entirely optional. Only bananas can be used and quantities of other ingredients may need to be altered if done so. You would need: One banana, peeled and sliced into circles One cup of other fruits chopped (I have used oranges, grapes, apple) Powdered jaggery - 1/2 cup Grated fresh coconut - 1/2 cup Cardamom - 1/2 tsp Honey - 2 tbsp Raisins - 1 tbsp

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The simple preparation: Add all the ingredients to a serving bowl, mix it well and leave it for at least 30 minutes before serving. By the time, the jaggery would have melted and got incorporated in to the mixture.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Potatoes with Lemon

Among the umpteen ways of cooking potato, here is one which is our favorite. Not a typical ginger - garlic-garam masala type of curry but a simple one with minimum required ingredients thrown in. Cooked and mashed potatoes are drizzled with just enough lemon juice and lightly seasoned.

Ingredients: Six medium sized Potatoes (I had about 2 cups of mashed potatoes) 2 or 3 green chillies Juice of half a slice of lemon (or as needed) Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp Salt For seasoning - 2 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp of chana dal, 1 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves The cooking part: Peel the potatoes and chop into big chunks. Cook them adding the turmeric powder, in a pressure cooker or in a big pot with enough water till the potatoes are done. Using a blender or a mortar and pestle, mash the green chillies into a paste. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan and add the seasoning ingredients. When chanadal starts to turn red and the mustard seeds start to pop, add the potatoes, green chili paste, salt and lemon juice to the pan. Mash the potatoes with the back of a ladle or a spoon a little bit and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Taste and check whether if more lemon juice need to be added. Remember that the curry should not be very sour. Stirring once or twice, let it sit for about five minutes and then turn off the stove. Serve with hot rice and ghee or rotis. This goes to - A potato feast hosted by DK of Culinary Bazaar. Jihva - Lemon hosted by Coffee of The spice cafe. Ode to potatoes hosted by Sia of Monspoon Spice. Post a Comment

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dondakaya - Kobbari Koora


Crunchy dondakaya (tindora) and tender, fresh kobbari (coconut) come together in this scrumptious subzi. This is lot easier, less time consuming and healthier than the regular tindora fry. This is my mom's recipe and in this version, instead of frying, tindora are steamed and then seasoned.

Ingredients:

Chopped Tindora - 2 cups
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
For popu /seasoning - 1 Tbsp of oil, 1 tsp each of mustard seeds & chanadal, few curry leaves, a little turmeric powder

Cooking:
Wash the tindora and chop the ends. Then cross wise, cut into thin circles. Take the chopped Tindora into a bowl or small vessel and sprinkle a little water (about a Tbsp). Place the tindora container in a pressure pan / cooker and cook till you hear two whistles. After the valve pressure is gone, remove the container. The tindora would be done not the mush way, but on a crisper side. Put the cooked tindora into a colander, to drain any water present.
Heat oil in a pan and add chanadal, mustard seeds, curryleaves, turmeric powder in that order. When chanadal start to turn red, add the steamed tindora, coconut, chili powder and salt and mix well. Let it sit for a couple of minutes on low flame and then turn off the stove.
Serve with hot rice and a spoon of ghee.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Palakoora PulusuKoora

I am back. After my exciting trip to India and the after fervor associated to it ended considerably, I am back to my routine.
Though, I haven't had the time to go through the blogs, I know I have missed some wonderful posts from fellow bloggers and some amazing events during my absence. Time to catch up.

Coming to today's post, it's time for some pulusukoora, which my paternal grand mother used to cook regularly in her kitchen.
Simple and healthy greens adorn the center stage in this dish and only the basic ingredients needed to please the palate go along with it. I would say pulusukoora is real earthy and greens used in the dish would be at it's best.
Pulusukoora is usually prepared with gongura or thotakoora (amaranth leaves). I experimented with spinach and this worked equally good. Took me back down the memory lane.

Fresh Spinach

Ingredients required to prepare about a cup of pulusukoora:
A bunch of spinach / palakoora, washed thoroughly (I had about 5 cups of chopped spinach and stalks from a bunch)
1 or 2 small green chillies
1/2 tsp chili powder (or more or less depending upon the spiciness preferred)
About a tbsp of tamarind extract
Salt
And for seasoning - a tsp oil, a tsp of mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida

Cooking:
Chop the spinach leaves and green chillies fine. If the stalks of the bunch are tender, chop them fine as well. Put them in a thick bottomed vessel or deep bottomed pan with a tbsp of water and cook till the spinach is done. (That much of water is enough as pulusukoora has a thick consistency). It takes less than 10 minutes. Then add tamarind, chili powder and salt and let it cook for five more minutes. (Adjust the quantities if required). Mash the spinach with the back of the ladle while cooking. Heat the oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds start to pop, remove and add it to the above spinach pulusukoora.
Traditionally, it is served as a side dish to rice and mudda pappu (plain dal) along with a spoon of ghee.

For microwave version, use a microwave safe bowl to cook spinach and proceed as above.

Palakoora Pulusukoora

This goes to MEC - Greens hosted by Srivalli of 'Cooking 4 all seasons'.

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