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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Methi Thepla With Cucumber Raita

Though the smell of the thepla dough reminds me of the face pack (besan+yogurt+turmeric) I ocassionaly use, The theplas are nothing to complain about. They are ideal to take on picnics or long journeys. These rotis from the state of Gujarat are softer than the usual ones. The yogurt content keeps them softer for longer periods unlike the rotis prepared with the flour available here. That's enough reason to try them out if you haven't done so. They can be served with a spicy pickle and some yogurt. 

Ingredients to make 15 methi theplas:
A small bunch of methi leaves / fenugreek greens (or about 3 cups of leaves)
 3 cups atta* + some for dusting
1/2 cup besan / chickpea flour
Scant 1.5 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp each - chilipowder, cumin seeds, salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp ghee / oil (optional)
Oil to fry
(* Wheat flour used to make rotis, usually available in Indian grocery stores.)

Pinch the methi leaves and discard the stalks. Wash and roughly chop the leaves. Combine all the ingredients except the yogurt & the oil (used to fry) in a bowl and mix well. Add the yogurt gradually as you make the dough. The dough should be soft but easy to roll into a ball. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 15 balls or make lemon sized balls. Coat them with flour and press slightly to flatten them. Roll each into a thin circle of about 5 inches diameter, flouring the board as necessary. Heat a tava (cast iron, flat griddle) or a shallow frying pan over medium heat. Place the rolled thepla on the pan and cook until the surface appears bubbly. Turn around and add 1/2 tsp oil around the edges and the surface. Press the edges down with a spatula to cook evenly. As soon as the brown spots appear, the thepla is done. Repeat the process. For a detalied pictorial presentation of how to make rotis, look here. 

Cucumber raita:
I served these methi theplas with cucumber raita which can be prepared in a jiffy.This refreshing, cool cucumber raita is simple to make and can be a nice accompaniment to any meal. Raita recipe: Whisk about 2 cups of yogurt slightly. Grate a peeled & deseeded small cucumber. Add about 1/2 cup of grated cucumber, a tsp each of salt and cumin powder to the yogurt and stir well. Use it immediately or refrigerate until used. 

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Subzis for Siri: Methi - Aloo / Fenugreek Greens With Potatoes

What do you do when you prepare a subzi like this to go with roti and the 'other adult' is sulking because it is dry. You give the 'other adult' a choice of either finishing it without a word or to toil in the kitchen to prepare something new . Obviously, the smart adult selects the first option. If this has happened that many times more than you can count on your fingers, then probably it's time to change your strategy. Of course you are considerate and don't want to hurt the feelings of the 'other adult'. Isn't it? So, next step is to steal the big idea from North Indian style subzis. Add onion, tomatoes & some spices and dump some liquid if you need more gravy. Voila, you will end up with a rasedar subzi like the following one, which the 'other adult" thoroughly enjoys. Apart from that light banter which do happens some times at our home, rasedar aloo methi is a favorite side dish of mine to pair with rotis. This quick and easy subzi is a mixture of creamy potatoes and aromartic fenugreek greens with a subtle hint of tanginess from the robust tomatoes. Ingredients list: 3 potatoes - peeled & chopped into cubes 1 bunch of methi leaves - pinch the leaves & discard the stalks, wash and roughly chop (or 1 cup firmly packed leaves, If methi flavor seems strong) 2 each - chopped onions and tomatoes 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp finely grated ginger / ginger paste A pinch turmeric powder Salt to taste For tadka: 1 Tbsp oil and 1 tsp cumin seeds Note: 1/2 tsp garam masala can also be added to the above recipe. The cooking part: Heat oil in a kadai / pan and add grated ginger and cumin seeds to it. When they slightly brown, add turmeric powder & chopped onions and fry them till they turn translucent. Then the tomatoes go in. When they turn slightly mush, add potatoes, methi leaves and about a cup of water. Cook till potatoes are done. Add some more water if needed. The subzi should not be dry or watery but in between as in the picture. Add salt and chili powder to the cooked vegetables and mix well. Simmer for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Serve hot with rotis. Post a Comment So far on 'Subzis for Siri' series Sprouted Peas - Potato subzi

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Almond Flavored Semolina / Rava Payasam

When we were kids, we would eagerly wait for the friday prasadam. My mom prepared / still prepares a prasdam* that day and usually it would be a payasam. The creamy, rich payasam which draws the attention of the kids and adults alike and an easy craft for the cooks. This nutritious and nurturing Indian porridge would be prepared with a cereal / bean / vegetable / nuts simmered in milk until it reaches a creamy consistency & raisins and nuts accentuating at the end. Ofcourse, what payasam is prepared depends upon the availability, ocassion and the whim of the cook. My mother and Mother-in-Law each have their own stock of payasam recipes. This one is from my MIL, which is good for nursing mothers. *Prasadam - the food offered to gods after pooja (prayers) by Hindus is usually vegetarian though dairy products are allowed owing to their habit of lacto vegetarianism. Ingredients for generous, six servings: Semolina - 1/4 cup Milk - 4 cups Sugar - 1/2 cup or according to taste or artificial sweetener MTR badam mix powder - 1 Tbsp Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp 1 tsp each -ghee, raisins & cashews The Cooking part: Roast the semolina till it starts to change it's hue and keep it aside. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a non stick sauce pan. When it is hot, add the semolina slowly and keep stirring till the semolina is incorporated into the milk with out forming any lumps. Keep cooking the semolina on medium flame till it is done, stirring once or twice in between. When cooked, each semolina grain swells a liitle and becomes transparent. Then add sugar, badam mix powder and cardamom powder to the milk mixture and keep cooking till the sugar melts. When sugar melts, turn off the stove. Heat ghee in a small pan and roast cashews in it. When they turn golden brown, remove and add the raisins to the same ghee. When the raisins turn plump, remove them. Add the roasted cashew, raisins along with the ghee to the payasam and stir. Can be served hot or cold. Tips from my kitchen: Rava payasam gets thicker after cooling and so, add more milk than required. Adding badam mix powder is optional but it gives a delicious flavor to the payasam. For diabetics, omit the sugar and use artificial sweetener before serving. Usually, I add 1 gm packet of splenda for a serving. This goes to Sharmi's Cooking for kids - Milk / Milk Products event hosted by Preety of Preety's kitchen. & 'Rice/Wheat Sweets & Diabetic Friendly Sweets' - hosted by Mythreyee of 'Paajaka Recipes'. Post a Comment Other related posts here: Carrot payasamCarrot -Vermicelli PayasamDates & Almond PayasamPoha PayasamSorakaya payasam

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Split Green Pea - Methi Dal

"Peas porridge hot, Peas porridge cold, Peas porridge in the pot nine days old, Some like it hot, Some like it cold." Porridge with peas sounded so preposterous when I heard the above rhyme for the first time. Ofcourse, I was a kid then. It never occured to me to ask an adult about the meaning of the poem. The only peas I knew about were the green peas / matar. I was told by some one at that time that porridge is the equivalent version of Indian payasam. I added this & that and simply assumed that the poem is talking about some sweet green peas stuff. It was beyond my comprehension how the guys ate the stuff and that too when it was nine days old when unrefrigerated food gets spoiled the next day. I decided that the people who ate it must be some big wierds or junglees. I know now what the rhyme is about and also that matar kheer is a real dish prepared in India. "Never assume anything' is the lesson learnt. :) Coming to present tense from past, I picked up a packet of split green peas recently, when I was in a rush to check out. Earler, a Gujarati woman at an Indian store told me that they prefer whole toor dal to split ones because of the taste. I had that in mind and erred that these peas are the same one. When we got home, M saw the packet and asked why did I buy green chana dal. Not wanting to admit the mistake, I told him that I was going to prepare dal. As a South Indian, the first thing that pops into mind whenever I come across some new bean/dal is sambhar / pappu. I went along and made pappu/dal with it adding some methi and it's taste was unique. Though the split green peas look exactly like chanadal (except for the color), they are really not related to chanadal or toordal. A comforting dal preparation to go with hot steamed rice and pleasantly different for toor dal addicted palate. Ingredients required to serve 2: 1/2 cup green split peas 1 cup chopped methi leaves 1 tomato finely chopped 1 onion finely chopped 2 small green chillies, finely chopped 1/4 tsp turmeric powder Tamarind puree - 2 Tbsp (Soak a big marble sized tamarind in water or put the tamarind with a little water in the microwave for a couple of minutes and squeeze the puree) 1 tsp each - Salt & Chili powder For tadka - 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp each mustard seeds, cumin seeds, a pinch asafoetida How to cook: Wash the spilt green peas and discard the water. Place the split green peas, chopped tomato, methi leaves, chillies & turmeric powder with a cup of water in a pressure cooker and cook till you hear 4 -5 whistles. When the valve pressure is gone, remove the dal. Mean while heat the oil in a saute pan and add the tadka ingredients. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the onion and fry till it turns transslucent. Add the cooked dal, salt, chili powder, tamarind puree to the sauteed onions and mix well. Simmer the dal for about ten minutes more and turn off the stove. Serve with rice / rotis. Post a Comment