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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