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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Instant Rice Rava Idlis / Biyyapu Rava Idli

I was looking forward to try another instant idli for the last entry of this marathon. My husband loves idlis and so I thought of trying a new dish to surprise him. However I almost has to give up on the idli idea when I couldn't come up with anything new until last nightThe idea of rice rava idli came today morning when I noticed a rice rava packet in my pantry while preparing breakfast. I prepared the idlis and packed them for my husband's lunch without telling him beforehand. He remembered to tell me that they were very good when he returned home and so I consider this experiment as a hit. According to him, these idlis were way better than rava idlis.

Ingredients: (Make 8 idlis)
1 cup rice rava
1 cup yogurt
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal / skinned black gram
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli finely minced
2 tbsp grated carrot
1 tbsp fresh / frozen peas
1 tbsp corn kernels
2 tbsp finely minced cilantro
2 tbsp finely minced curry leaves
1/2 to 3/4 tsp Eno's fruit salt

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When dal starts turning reddish, add green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for about 15 - 20 seconds and add rice rava. Roast the rava for a couple of minutes and remove from heat. Transfer the contents to a mixing bowl and let cool. If in a hurry, transfer the contents to a wide plate and spread to cool faster.
2. Add salt, vegetables, cilantro and yogurt to the rava mixture. Mix well, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
3. After the resting period, add Eno's fruit salt to it and mix well. If the mixture seems too thick, add a few tbsp of water and mix well.
4. Grease the idli moulds and fill them with batter. Steam them until done.
5. Serve them with chutney / sambhar. I served them with saagu.

This is going to be my contribution to "Instant Idlis / Dosas". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Rava-Semiya Idli / Semolina-Vermicelli Idli



My BM's theme of instant idlis / dosas this week had brought out those forgotten recipes, tucked away somewhere in my memory folder when I was scouting for recipes that haven't been featured yet at my blog. These rava-semiya idlis being one of those dishes that I used to prepare in my initial days of cooking. Later on, I stopped making them for no reason. It has been a long time, over a dozen of years to be precise that I had made them. And thanks to BM, I tried them again this week. These grease free, delicious idlis are a quick alternative to the traditional rice-urad dal version which need grinding and fermentation. 

Ingredients: (Make 12 - 13 idlis)
1 cup semolina (Pre-roasted variety can be used to save time.)
1/2 cup vermicelli (Pre-roasted variety can be used to save time.)
3 cups yogurt
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal / skinned black gram
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 carrot (optional)
2 tbsp finely minced cilantro
2 tbsp finely minced curry leaves
1 tsp Eno's fruit salt
 Method:
1. If not using already roasted semolina and vermicelli, roast them individually. Roast vermicelli until it starts turning reddish and semolina until it starts to change color. Let cool.
2. Combine semolina, vermicelli and salt to a container. Add yogurt and mix well. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
3. In the mean time,  prepare the tadka. Heat oil and add chana dal, urad dal and mustard seeds. When dal starts turning reddish, remove from heat and let them cool.
4. Peel and finely grate carrot.
5. After the resting period, add carrot, cilantro, curry leaves, tadka from step 3 to the yogurt mixture in step 2. Add Eno's fruit salt to it and mix well. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little water and mix well.
6. Grease the idli moulds and fill them with batter. Steam them until done.
7. Serve them with chutney / sambhar.

This is going to be my contribution to "Instant Idlis / Dosas". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Instant Dosas ~ Mixed Flour Dosas

 

A quick and healthy option over soak, grind and ferment kind traditional dosas. You can whip up a delicious and filling breakfast on last minute even without any planning when it comes to instant kind of dosas. You can take away or add any flours / vegetables you have on hand and those you think can work in this recipe.

Ingredients: (yields 10 dosas)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup urad flour / black gram flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup garbanzo flour / besan
2 tbsp soy flour
Salt to taste
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup grated bottle gourd / lauki
1 - 2 green chillies finely minced
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp finely minced cilantro
Water to make the batter (about 1 & 3/4 cups)
Oil to make dosas
For tadka:
2 tsp oil, 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp urad dal, 1 tsp cumin seeds and few pinches of asafoetida

Method:
* Heat oil in a pan for the tadka and add chana dal, urad dal and cumin seeds. When dals start turning reddish, add the asafoetida and turn off the stove.
* Combine all the ingredients except oil and water in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water and make a lump-free batter with a spreadable consistency. Add the tadka to the batter and mix well. Take care that the batter doesn't turn too watery. In case if it does, add some extra flour.
* Heat a griddle or a shallow pan. Take a ladleful of batter and pour at the centre of the pan. Spread lightly with the back of the ladle and spread about 1/2 tsp of oil around it.
* Cook until dosa turns golden brown through out on the bottom side and flip it. Spread 1/4 tsp of oil again if needed and cook until the other side cooks too.
* Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter.

This is going to be my contribution to "Instant Idlis / Dosas" theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pita Sandwich

Though a "sandwich" sounded great for a mess free kids' lunch box theme, I had to give up since my kids are mostly the nutella / cheese sandwich eating kind. And when I was thinking about other sandwiches, this pita one did not even cross my mind since it is one of the most mundane things that keep happening in my kitchen. When I discussed about this theme with my daughter, she was in fact eating this very pita sandwich and said 'mom, this one". :)

Trust me, this is a mess free sandwich provided the ingredients used to stuff the pita are cut into big pieces. It is one of my daughter's favorite food and so I thought of including this in this theme. I however would want to make clear that this is a tailored recipe to suit my daughter's taste. Whatever she likes go into this - Shredded lettuce, purple cabbage slivers, carrot slivers, tomato pieces, cucumber cut into half moons, olives, cheddar cheese with ketchup. I usually prefer the tomatoes cut at the ends than the middle portion, to keep out the seeds / juice from preventing the pitas turn soggy. Similarly I would prefer to remove seeds from the cucumbers and squeeze out some ketchup in the middle of the vegetable stuffing. Instead of grated cheese, I slice the cheese slices into long thin strips for making it non-messy.Warm the pita pockets in the microwave for about 10 -15 seconds if needed before stuffing.

This is going to be my contribution to "Mess-Free Kids' Snack / Lunch Dishes". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Kuzhi Paniyaram / Guntha Ponganalu

 

Soft and spongy ponganalu / paniyaram can be a perfect mess-free lunch / snack item for kids since they don't even need a side dish. They happen to be one of my son's favorite lunch box item since his kindergarten days. When he was young, I just used to pack them, cut in halves along with a fork and the box used to come empty. Of course now he is older and I pack a side dish too.
I follow my mother's recipe usually but previously during one of the marathons I had come across this recipe. I was intrigued to see idli rice and sago in the recipe and had tried it immediately. Trust me, this recipe is a keeper. I was so glad that I thought of giving this recipe a try. It yields soft, flavorful and very tasty paniyarams.

Ingredients:
1 cup idli rice
1/2 cup raw rice (I used extra long grain rice)
1/4 cup sago / sabudana
1/4 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
1 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
Salt to taste
2 onions - peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp minced coriander leaves
For seasoning / tadka:
2 tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp chana dal, 1 tbsp urad dal, few minced curry leaves and 2 minced green chillies if not serving kids

Method:
* Soak rices, uard dal, sago and fenugreek seeds in sufficient quantity of water for 4 - 5 hours.
* After the soaking period, discard the water, wash the mixture with fresh batch of water. Grind them fine using water as needed to form a thick batter. The batter should not be runny. Add salt and mix well. Allow it to ferment overnight in a warm place or about 8 - 10 hours.
* When ready to prepare paniyarams, heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, urad and chana dals to the oil. When dals start turning reddish, add the minced curry leaves and green chillies if using.
* Add this tadka, minced onion and cilantro to the fermented batter and mix well.
 

* Heat the ponganalu skillet and add a few drops of oil in each mould. Then fill them with batter.
* Cover the ponganalu skillet with a lid. Turn down the heat and cook for about 5 minutes or till the ponganalu batter doesn't appear raw.
* Then flip them, add a drop or two of oil and cook till the other side lightly browns as well.
* Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve warm paniyarams with chutney.  
They store well in refrigerator for 2- 3 days. And they freeze well too for a handy breakfast on a busy work day.

This is going to be my contribution to "Mess-Free Kids' Snack / Lunch Dishes". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

Comments 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baked Namak Para

Recipe Source: Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

My daughter looks forward to savory dishes when I speak of evening snacks. In fact when I tell her that I prepared something for her, the first question she shoots at me is whether the said dish is savory or sweet. If she gets any inkling that it is even remotely sweet, she straight away refuses on the pretext of being not hungry. Even if I say it's savory, she wants to make sure that I didn't add any sugar in it. 
Chaklis, mixture, nippattu are her kind of dishes and so these namak para aka savory diamonds fit the bill. Namak para is one of the snacks usually gets prepared during Diwali at home and I usually used to fry them until I came across this baked version. When one has plenty of other calorie loaded stuff on a festive day,  a guilt free baked version definitely sounds very inviting. This is a perfect alternative recipe for the traditionally fried version and yields crispy, crunchy namak para which taste similar to the fried version.

Ingredients: (Yield 40 namakpare)
1/2 cup wheat flour / atta
1/2 cup all purpose flour / maida
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarsely crushed cumin seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds (optional)
3 tbsp softened ghee ( I replaced half the quantity with canola oil.)
5 - 6 Tbsp cold water

Method:
* Add flours, salt and baking powder to a mixing bowl.
* Next add ghee and rub it in with fingertips until the ghee gets incorporated into the mixture.
* Add cumin and sesame seeds to the mixture and combine well.
* Add water and form a stiff dough. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
* Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Grease a baking sheet and dust it with flour and keep it ready. I just lined my baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
* Dust the rolling surface with flour. Roll out the dough into 1/4 inch disc and cut them into diamonds. Gather the end bits and repeat the process. I pricked holes using a fork just to make sure of even baking. However this step is optional.
* Arrange the cut diamonds on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes. (Mine were done in 15 minutes.)

This is going to be my contribution to "Mess-Free Kids' Snack / Lunch Dishes". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Boodida Gummadi Halwa / Ash Gourd Halwa


I am wrapping up this week's "Sweet dishes using Vegetables" themed marathon with a traditional treat. I was planning something for the final dish but the husband who went to shopping on weekend ended up bringing home three varieties of gourds. And
so ash gourd halwa it is.
Ash gourd halwa is one of the easiest halwas that can be prepared without slogging much in the kitchen. All you do is stir now and then until the mixture reaches halwa consistency, keeping the stove on medium. It is hard to mess up recipe even if left to novices, given that attention is paid to the dish. Below is the method for this yummy and simple treat.

Ingredients:
3 cups peeled and grated ash gourd (Don't discard the water oozed.)
8 -  10 tbsp sugar (or according to taste)
2 + 1 tbsp ghee (use generously if calories are not an issue)
1 tbsp cashews & 1 tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of edible camphor
A pinch of saffron strands to garnish

Method:
* Heat a tbsp ghee in a small pan and toast cashews and raisins in it. Remove them with a slotted spoon and keep it aside.
* Add grated ash gourd along with the water that oozed out during the grating process and sugar to a pan. Start cooking on medium flame till all the water evaporates and the gourd gets cooked.
* Next add the remaining ghee to the cooked ash gourd and cook until the ghee gets assimilated into the mixture. Turn off the stove.
* Finally add cardamom, edible camphor and toasted cashews - raisins and mix well. Garnish with saffron strands.

This is going to be my contribution to "Sweet Dishes using Vegetables". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

Comments

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gil - E - Firdaus


Going by the name, I was somewhat expecting a Mughlai dish when I came across this recipe in a Sanjeev Kapoor's cookbook. However it turned out to be the chef's signature dish, served in his own restaurant. The unusual combo of ingredients that went into this kheer sounded interesting and I had noted it down to try later. Today seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it for the theme "Sweet dishes using Vegetables" during this BM and I was glad to try this yummy kheer.

Ingredients: (4 servings)
1 - 2 tbsp ghee
3/4 cup peeled & grated bottle gourd / lauki
2 tbsp rice rava / coarsely ground rice
3 cups full fat milk
1/4 cup grated khoya / mawa
4 - 6 Tbsp sugar 
Few drops of rosewater
Sliced almonds to garnish

Method:
* Lightly toast rice rava, remove from heat and keep it aside.
* Heat ghee in a pan and add lauki. Saute on low flame for about 5 minutes. Next add milk and cook until it starts to soften. 
* Next add rice rava and cook until it is done.
* Stir in grated khoya and sugar to the milk mixture. Simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
* Stir in few drops of rosewater and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
* Serve chilled.

This is going to be my contribution to "Sweet Dishes using Vegetables". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

Comments

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Carrot - Semolina laddu


My theme for this week's BM is "sweet dishes using vegetables". I didn't realize while picking this theme that this would have been an apt one for the first week of this marathon. I would have got an opportunity to post festive dishes during Diwali. Better late than never and so here I am with some simple and quick, sweet dishes this week suitable for any Indian festivals.
The first one in the series is going to be these carrot - semolina laddus. They can be put together in short time when compared to tedious, traditional Indian sweets. And trust me, they are very yummy.

Ingredients: (yield 10 laddus)
1 Tbsp ghee
1 tbsp cashews & raisins
1 cup peeled and grated carrot
1/2 cup shredded, fresh coconut

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Method:
* Toast semolina in a pan until it starts to change color. Turn off the stove and keep it aside.
* Heat ghee in another pan and toast cashews - raisins. Remove the cashews - raisins with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate. Keep it aside.
* Add carrot to the same ghee and saute on low flame, covered until it softens.
* Next add the shredded coconut, sugar, toasted semolina and cardamom to the carrot pan. Mix them well, turn off the stove and let the mixture cool.
* Add the toasted cashews - raisins to the carrot - semolina mixture. Divide the mixture into 10 portions and shape them into lemon sized balls.
* Refrigerate the laddus since they don't store well if left outside because of the carrot.

This is going to be my contribution to "Sweet Dishes using Vegetables". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

Comments

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Garlicy Capsicum Rice



A simple and quick lunch box idea for capsicum lovers.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup rice- sona masuri or Basmati
1 capsicum cut into strips
Salt and crushed black pepper to taste
For tadka: 1 Tbsp oil / butter, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 - 3 red chillies - broken into small bits, few curry leaves

Method:
* Cook rice adding a cup of water.
* Heat oil and add tadka ingredients. When cumin seeds start changing color to a few shades darker, add capsicum. Cover and cook until capsicum softens.
* When done, add rice, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve.

This is going to be my contribution to "Cooking with Capsicum". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

Comments

Monday, November 4, 2013

Capsicum - Coconut Chutney



Capsicum is one of the frequently bought vegetables at my home and I therefore didn't have to think twice before picking the "capsicum" theme during this BM. Simple, quick and everyday dishes are what get cooked using this veggie at my home and those are what going to get featured during this week here.  
Here is a simple, flavorful south Indian style chutney for today, to go with rice / Indian style breakfast dishes.

Ingredients:
1 - 2 tbsp oil
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves
3 red chillies
1 Tbsp tamarind 
1 capsicum - finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded fresh coconut 
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Tadka ingredients - 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp urad dal / skinned black gram, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, curry leaves

Method:
* Heat oil. Add cumin, coriander, red chillies and garlic cloves. Fry until the spices start to change color a few shades darker. 
* Then add capsicum, turmeric and tamarind. Saute lightly and let the mixture cool.
* Grind the sauteed mixture along with coconut and salt.
* Heat 1 tsp oil and add add tadka ingredients. When the dal starts turning reddish, turn off the stove and add it to the ground chutney.

This is going to be my contribution to "Cooking with Capsicum". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Capsicum Curry



I apologize for going kaput again without any prior notice though the culprit this time is my laptop. :) The display screen has given up and the problem still needs fixing. And for the same reason, I haven't been able to check many posts of  the A- Z blogging marathon yet. I am borrowing my husband's system for the time being and hopefully am going to complete this month's blogging marathon without a hitch.
And here is a simple yet flavorful capsicum curry to kickstart the event.

Ingredients:
1 capsicum - de-seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tomato - roughly chopped
2 Tbsp peanut - dalia powder
Salt to taste
For tadka:
1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp each - chanadal, urad dal/skinned black gram, mustard seeds and cumin seeds

Method:
* Heat oil in a kadai / pan and add chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
* When dals start turning reddish, add tomato and fry for a minute or so.
* Next add the chopped capsicum and salt. Mix well, cover and cook until capsicum softens.
* Now add peanut- roasted chickpea powder, mix and cook for a couple of minutes more.
* Turn off the stove and serve warm with rice / rotis.


This is going to be my contribution to "Cooking with Capsicum". Check what other marathoners are cooking at BM #34.

Comments