Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Arbi Ka Salan | Arbi Masala Gravy | Taro Root Sabzi

arbi ka salan

Taro root (Arbi) is one of the most tastiest vegetables and we both are really fond of this vegetable. I usually prepare Arbi fry and Arbi Roast more often than the gravy versions. The preparation of arbi gravy is similar to any other gravy just that we need to fry the taro root well before adding to the gravy.If the taro root is not properly fried it would turn sticky in gravies. You can prepare this gravy for both rice and roti varieties.
arbi gravy

taro root gravy


Arbi Ka Salan | Arbi Sabzi:

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Side Dish- Main Course

Ingredients:
250 gms Arbi/Taro Root
2 medium Onions, roughly chopped
2 large Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. chopped coriander
1 tbsp. Rice flour
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Amchur Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp. Oil
Oil,to deep fry
Method:
  • Wash and boil Arbi until it is slightly soft for approx. 12-15 mins. You should be able to prick it easily with a fork. Cool it and peel the skin and cut into rounds of 1/2" thickness.
  • Add Rice flour, Salt and 1/2 tsp Red chili powder to it and mix it nicely. Deep fry the taro root pieces until it is slightly golden brown in color and remove them and keep aside. You can either do this process in oven (follow this post )if you want to avoid deep frying or slightly sauté the taro root pieces in a tbsp of oil until it is slightly crisp and remove them and keep aside.
  • Grind onions and tomatoes into a fine paste.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/pan and add cumin seeds and add ginger-garlic paste and fry well. Add ground onion-tomato paste and fry well until the oil leaves the edges.
  • Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin powder, salt and fry again for 1-2 mins.
  • Add fried arbi(taro root) pieces and fry for a minute and roughly add 1 - 1.5 cups of water and boil for 8-10 mins.
  • Garnish with coriander at the end.
Serve it hot with Roti/Phulka/Chapati/Rice.

arbi masala

Notes:
  1. You can use any other vegetable like potato or yam or eggplant or Raw Banana and follow the same process.
  2. You can use besan instead of rice flour in the above recipe.
arbi gravy

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Usirikaya Pacchadi(with Green Chillies) | Amla Chutney | Gooseberry Chutney

nellikai pacchadi
Usirikaya Pacchadi (Chutney) is a simple Pacchadi recipe which goes well with plain steamed rice or curd rice or few breakfast varieties like idli and dosa.It can be prepared in no time if we have the preserved Gooseberry chutney ready. I have already posted how to prepare the Niluva Usirikaya Pacchadi (preserved Gooseberry chutney) recipe.
We usually prepares two kinds of Usirikaya Pacchadi one with green chillies and the other with red chillies with minor variations.Today I am posting the chutney recipe with green chillies and I would post the other version sometime later. This chutney is quite tangy and also an easy accompaniment and tastes nice when mixed with hot rice and ghee.

Usirikaya Pacchadi with Green Chillies recipe:
Serves 3-4
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins | Total time: 15 mins
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Accompaniments

Ingredients:
3-4 Green chillies
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp Coriander leaves(optional)
1 medium Onion,finely chopped
Salt,as required
1/2 tsp Oil

to temper:
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
5-6 Curry leaves

Method:
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan and add fenugreek seeds and fry them until red in color and remove them aside.Add green chillies and fry for few seconds until they have blisters.
  • Grind niluva usirikaya(preserved gooseberry) with roasted fenugreek seeds, green chillies and coriander leaves to a smooth chutney.Now taste it and if you need to add salt then add required quantity to it and grind again.I like to keep the chutney slightly coarse,if you want you can grind it to a smooth chutney.
  • Add finely chopped onion and just grind in whipper mode for half a minute or you can mix it with chutney later.
  • In a small tempering pan heat oil and crackle mustard and cumin seeds and add curry leaves and fry them until they wilt and add this to the chutney.
Serve it with hot rice and ghee.

Notes:
  1. You can mix chopped onion after you grind the chutney or add it while grinding.It is your wish.
  2. You can even coriander leaves and garlic pods(slightly roasted) and grind with the chutney.
    The addition of garlic pods is optional.I add it sometimes and skip it sometimes.
  3. If you do not have preserved gooseberry chutney,use the fresh gooseberry and add turmeric powder and salt accordingly.Also slightly fry the gooseberry pieces to remove the raw smell from them.
usirikaya pachhadi

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Talimpu Annam | Tempered Rice | Phodnicha Bhaat

talimpu annam
It is rare to have left over rice at my place and whenever it does, it is usually when guests come over and I end up making more rice than required. I am sure many of us do not prefer to reheat left over rice, instead we can convert it into a simple Rice variety which is more interesting to eat. Left over rice works like a charm to prepare Chinese Veg Fried Rice, Garlic Rice and this Simple Tempered Rice.But there are no hard and fast rules that one should prepare this rice from left over rice, you can even prepare it with freshly cooked rice,but make sure you have cooled down the rice before preparing this, otherwise it will become mushy.
talimpu annam
In South, we prepare this tempered rice in a way similar to lemon rice but we use onions in the recipe which adds a nice taste to the rice.Tempered Rice can be called as 'Talimpu Annam' in Telugu and 'Chitranna' in Kannada,you can even call it simple Fried Rice.In Maharasthra,they prepare a similar version called Phodnicha Bhaat with few minor variations in tempering. One can improvise the recipe with the addition of vegetables to the recipe but I love it when it is made very simple with lot of onions. The crunch of onions and the tangyness because of the addition of lemon juice makes this rice extremely tasty.If you have left over rice,do give this simple rice recipe a try,I am sure you will love it.
phodnicha bhaat

Talimpu Annam | Phodnicha Bhaat Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:5 mins | Cooking time:10 mins | Total time:15 mins
Category:Indian | Cuisine:Rice - Main course/Breakfast

Ingredients:
3 cups Cooked Rice(left over rice)
2 medium Onions,finely chopped
1 big Lemon
3-4 Green chillies,slit
2 tbsp chopped Coriander
a sprig of Curry leaves
2-3 tbsp Groundnuts
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Chana dal (optional)
1 tsp Urad dal (optional)
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp Oil

Method:
  • Use left over rice for the recipe.In case if you are cooking the rice fresh,pressure cook rice(1 cup rice: 2 1/4 cups water) or how you cook your regular rice until it is soft and fluffy.The rice should be comparatively softer to eat and it should not be like how we do for pulav/biriyani. Cool the rice completely.
  • Squeeze the lemon and separate the seeds and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and crackle mustard seeds and add ground nuts and fry over medium flame until they are golden brown.
  • Add chana dal, urad dal and green chilies and fry until they turn golden brown and green chillies wilt.
  • Add curry leaves and onions and fry until the onions turn pink in color.
  • Add turmeric powder and add the rice(left over or cooled rice) and salt and mix nicely and fry for 1-2 mins until the rice becomes hot.Switch off the flame.
  • Add squeezed lemon with out seeds and coriander to it and mix well.
Serve it hot with chips or fryums.

tempered rice
Notes:
  1. In South India, we add urad dal and chana dal in the tempering. In Maharasthra, they do not add urad dal and chana dal for Phodnicha Bhaat and if you like you can add 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida in the tempering.
  2. If you like garlic you can roughly chopped garlic in the tempering or 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste for a variation.
  3. You can avoid ground nuts in the recipe and green peas can be used instead. 
chitranna

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Eggplant Pasta | Easy Pasta Recipes

eggplant pasta
Pasta is one of the easiest options I would look for when I am pressed for time or if I am lazy to cook something elaborate.I must say that I am lucky that DH prefers the simple kind of pastas like Aglio E Olio or a simple pesto based Pasta than the heavy sauce and cheese loaded pastas.Hence making pastas is easy for me. Infact I have also started preferring these simple yet flavorful pasta.
pasta with eggplants
As I find Aglio E Olio bit dry for my liking, I usually serve it with grilled vegetables or eggplants.The soft and fleshy eggplants make a nice combination with the pasta and we started liking it and slowly I turned out the entire dish into a single one and that is how the Eggplant pasta started featuring at my place.

In case you are interested check out other Pasta recipes here -
pasta with eggplants

Eggplant Pasta Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:10 mins | Cooking time:20 mins | Total time:30 mins
Cuisine: Italian | Category: Pasta - Main Course

Ingredients:
2 cups Pasta(of any shape)
2-3 long thin Purple Eggplants
1 Onion,finely chopped
6-8 Garlic cloves,finely chopped
1/2 tsp Pepper powder,freshly ground
1/2 tsp Red chili flakes
1 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Bring water to a boil with salt and add a tsp of olive oil in a big pot add pasta and cook for 8-10 mins until it is al dente or follow the instructions on your package.Drain the pasta and keep it aside.
  • Meanwhile chop eggplants into small cubes or cut them into thin 1" length pieces and drop them in salted water for 10 mins.This will remove the bitterness of eggplants and also would not let it turn black.Squeeze slightly the extra water and pat dry it.You can either grill them in oven with some olive oil and salt for 15-20 mins until done or saute it in olive oil in a pan until they are soft and cooked.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and add finely chopped garlic and fry until it turns slight red in color and then add chopped onions and fry well until they turn translucent and turn slight pink.
  • Add grilled or sauteed eggplant cubes/pieces and fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add red chili flakes, mixed herbs, pepper powder and salt and fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta to it and mix well until the mixture coats the pasta.
Serve it hot and drizzle on top with Extra virgin olive oil and shaved Parmesan cheese.I served it with Garlic Bread and lemonade.

eggplant pasta recipe
Notes:
  1. You can use herbs of your choice like fresh basil or oregano in the recipe instead of mixed dried herbs. 
  2. If you like you can add Parmesan cheese into the pasta while it is on heat.
  3. Chopped canned tomatoes or blanched,peeled and chopped tomatoes also can be added along with onions in the recipe.
eggplant pasta recipe

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gawar aur Aloo ki Sabzi | Cluster Beans-Potato Curry

 Gawar ki Sabzi
We get very good and tender Cluster beans in Mumbai and hence it is again one routine vegetable which appears frequently at my place.Cluster beans take a bit of time to clean, chop and cook but it has good fiber content and hence I include it often.'Cluster beans' are called 'Gawar ki Phalli' in Hindi and 'Goruchikkudu' in Telugu.
I have posted a south Indian style Cluster beans curry(Goruchikkudu kura) earlier and today I am sharing a Maharasthrian version called - Gawarchi Bhaji which can be paired with rice or rotis.I usually pair cluster beans with potatoes as they make a nice combination with rotis. The addition of groundnut powder enhances the taste of the curry, do give this version a try next time.
cluster beans potato curry

Gawar ki Sabzi with Aloo | Cluster beans - Potato Curry Maharasthrian style:
Serves 2-3
Prep time:20 mins | Cooking time:30 mins | Total time:50 mins
Cuisine:Maharashtrian-India | Category:Curry-Side dish

Ingredients:
250 gms tender Cluster beans
1 large Potato
1 Onion,chopped
2-3 tbsp roasted Groundnut powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala or 1 tsp Goda masala
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
3/4 tsp roasted Cumin powder
6-8 Curry leaves,chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Wash and wipe cluster beans and remove the ends and stings and pluck them into 1" pieces using hands.Steam it for 10 mins or 2 whistles in pressure cooker.You can skip steaming if you want to cook it directly.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into thin fingers of  1" length.
  • Heat oil in a big thick kadai /pan and crackle mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Add chopped onions and curry leaves and fry until they turn translucent.
  • Add potato fingers to it and fry for 2-3 mins.Sprinkle some water and cover it and cook for 5-7 mins until it is 3/4th cooked.(If you are cooking cluster beans directly add them along with potatoes and cook them together.You need to add required water to let it cook,so keep checking in between if it needs more water,sprinkle water in regular intervals so that the vegetables would not get burnt).Add steamed cluster beans and cook for another 3-4 mins until the potatoes are done.
  • Add all the spices and salt and mix nicely.Cover it and cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Switch off the flame and add roasted ground nuts powder and mix it.
Serve it hot with Roti/Phulka/Rice.

Notes:
  1. You can avoid potatoes and prepare this only with cluster beans.
  2. I like it to be a slightly dry version.If you want you can make it to a slight gravy by adding water and more ground nut powder and boil at the end.
  3. You can prepare this curry in a pressure cooker by following the same process and pressure cook with little water for 1-2 whistles.Once the steam subsides,increase the flame and let the water evaporate if you prefer a dry version or serve as it is if you like gravy version
  4. You can add grated coconut or dry coconut powder along with ground nut powder at the end.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Baby Corn Korma | Babycorn Peas Kurma Recipe

baby corn korma
Babycorn Capsicum Curry is one of the most liked recipes in my blog and has got a very good feedback. In fact, it is even my favorite curry and my first choice when I have Babycorns at home.The crunch of baby corns is what I love the most and it adds a nice texture to any curry.I love preparing stir fries , pulaos, fritters and also this Korma. Baby corn Korma has become the latest favorite at my place. The aroma of the fresh spices, especially the cardamom and kasuri methi and the slight hint of sweetness from cashew nuts and coconut paste with the bite of crunchy baby corn pieces makes this dish extremely delicious. I bet the flavors lingers with you even after a while.
babycorn kurma
You pair with simple rotis or laccha parathas or jeera rice,it is absolutely a winning combo.I would vouch for this Baby corn Korma recipe as  much as I love my Babycorn Capsicum Curry.Do give it a try once and I am sure you will like it.You can definitely make this for any party and just wait to receive the compliments.

baby corn korma

Check out other Babycorn recipes in my blog.
babycorn peas kurma

Baby Corn Korma Recipe:
Serves 3-4
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins | Total time:40 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Side Dish - Main Course

Ingredients:
12-15 Baby corns,each cut into 4 cylindrical pieces
1/2 cup fresh/frozen Green Peas
1 large Onion,finely chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh Curd,nicely beaten
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
1 tbsp chopped Coriander
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges, to serve

to temper:
1 Bayleaf
2 Green cardamoms,crushed with a pestle
2-3 Cloves
1" Cinnamon
1 Green chili,slit

to Grind:
1/4 cup grated fresh Coconut
1 large Tomato,chopped
8-10 Cashewnuts
1 tbsp Corinader seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
5-6 black Pepper corns
3/4 tsp Fennel seeds(Saunf)

Method:
  • Par boil baby corns and green peas in hot water for 3-4 mins.Drain and keep them aside.
  • Meanwhile heat 1/2 tsp oil and add coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns and fry nicely.You can even dry roast them if you want.Remove them from the pan and let them cool.
  • Grind roasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns with raw fennel seeds to a coarse powder.
  • Add cashew nuts, grated fresh coconut and tomato and grind it to a smooth paste.If necessary add some water but make sure you grind it to a smooth paste.
  • In a wide non stick pan heat 2 tsp oil and add baby corn pieces and green peas and saute them for 4-5 mins until they turn slightly golden in color.
  • In another thick kadai/pan heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee and add a bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamoms(crush the cardamoms with a pestle before adding which is important to give the korma a nice flavor) and slit green chilli and fry for half a minute.
  • Add finely chopped onions and fry until they turn translucent.Now add ginger-garlic paste and fry well for a minute.
  • Add the ground masala paste and fry nicely for 3-4 mins until the raw smell goes away.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala and fry well for 2 mins.If the masala is completely dry add a tbsp of water and fry again, but do not let it burn.
  • Add roasted baby corn pieces and green peas and add enough water (roughly 1- 1.25 cups) to get your required consistency.
  • Also add salt, kasuri methi and curd(make sure you have beaten the curd nicely before adding) and mix it nicely.Simmer it and cook for 7-8 mins.Adjust the consistency of gravy by adding or reducing the water accordingly.
  • Switch off the flame.Add coriander at the end and mix well.You can add lemon juice now or serve the lemon wedges along with gravy.
Serve it hot with Rotis/Parathas/Naans/Jeera rice/Ghee rice.
babycorn peas masala
Notes:
  1. You can prepare the entire process in a pressure cooker.In that case follow the grinding process as mentioned above,but you don't need to par boil and roast the baby corn and green peas ahead.You can do the tempering and roasting the masala along with the spices in the pressure cooker as mentioned above and then add baby corn pieces and green peas and fry them for 2-3 mins and then add water along with salt, kasuri  methi and beaten curds and pressure cook for 1 whistle.Once the pressure drops remove the lid and boil it again for 2-3 mins and add coriander and lemon juice after you switch it off.
  2. This Korma tastes best when it is made spicy but you can adjust according to your wish by reducing the chili powder.Do remember we are adding pepper corns while grinding.
  3. If you like you can add fried paneer pieces at the end to the korma.
  4. Make sure you crush the green cardamom with a pestle before adding to the tempering.This adds a nice aroma to the korma.
  5. Also do not forget to beat the curds well before adding,otherwise it will curdle.
babycorn korma

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Schezwan Vegetable Noodles | Indo Chinese Recipes


schezwan veg noodles
Noodles and Pasta varieties are always a favourite among kids and adults.When it comes to main course in Chinese I would definitely opt noodles over fried rice but I absolutely enjoy both but my taste buds slightly incline towards noodles any day. Schezwan flavour complements noodles very well and is my favourite too. Usually for Hakka noodles a side dish like Manchurian gravy is more preferred but for Schezwan noodles you do not need any side dish to accompany it with as the noodles are already flavoured with the schezwan sauce and tastes nice on its own.
chinese schezwan veg noodles
One can prepare schezwan sauce before and keep it ready. Once you have all the preparation work done you can toss the noodles in no time. I always love to watch how they toss in such high flames in restaurants, it adds a nice smoky flavour to the dishes.Chinese dishes tastes best when it is served piping hot and slightly spicy, one can adjust the amount of sauce according to the personal preferences.
schezwan veg noodles


If you are interested check out other Indo-Chinese recipes in my blog.
Schezwan Vegetable Noodles Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time:15 mins | Cooking time:10 mins | Total time: 25 mins
Cuisine: Indo-Chinese | Category: Noodles - Main Course

Ingredients:
1 pack(200 gms) Vegetarian Hakka Noodles
1/3 cup Schezwan Sauce
1 Onion, finely sliced
1" Ginger, julienne into thin strips
3-4 Garlic pods, finely chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black pepper/White pepper
1 tsp dark Soya sauce
1 tsp white Vinegar
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Sesame oil
Salt to taste

Vegetables needed:
1 cup finely shredded Cabbage, length wise
1 big Carrot, julienne into thin strips
1 Capsicum, julienne into thin strips
12-15 French beans, thinly sliced lenth wise
6-8 Spring onions, whites-sliced thin;greens-finely chopped

Method:
  • Bring 7-8 cups of water to a boil in a pan and add salt and one tsp of sesame  oil to it and add hakka noodles and cook according to the instructions. The noodles should hold its shape and firm to bite, this process should take 8-10 mins. Keep an eye at the end so that the noodles will not become soggy.
  • Drain the noodles in a colander and pour cold water over it and wash the starch completely from the cooked noodles, this helps in retaining non-sticky noodles.
  • Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a big wok over a high flame and then add ginger strips and chopped garlic and saute it well.
  • Add finely sliced onion, spring onion whites and shredded cabbage and fry in high flame.
  • Add julienne carrots, beans and fry well until they are half cooked. Take care that it would not loose the crunch of vegetables, they should be firm to bite.
  • Add capsicum strips to it and toss it again.
  • Add schezwan sauce, pepper powder, soya sauce, vinegar and fry for a minute. Add salt and do remember that the sauces already have some salt so do not add more salt.
  • Add cooked noodles and chopped spring onion greens and toss well until it is mixed properly and toss on high flame for 2-3 mins until the noodles are piping hot. Toss it continuously so that they would not stick to bottom.
Serve it hot with any manchurian gravy side dish or tomato sauce.

schezwan veg noodles

Notes:
  • The entire process of sauteing would be done under 8-10 mins, so be quick while sautéing the vegetables and noodles and also take care not to loose the crunchiness of vegetables.
  • You can use white pepper powder or black pepper powder and it is preferred to use freshly ground black pepper in the recipe.
  • Be liberal in using oil as it helps the noodles not to turn sticky and in Chinese cooking it is always advisable to use more oil.
  • I have used olive oil and sesame oil in the recipe as it gives a nice flavor to noodles.If you do not have olive oil in hand the best substitute for olive oil is sesame oil in Chinese cooking as sesame oil is primarily used in Chinese cooking as the oil itself has nutty flavor which enhances the taste of Chinese dishes.
  • In Chinese cooking ajinamoto(tasting salt) is added for extra taste,I do not use it in my cooking and hence not mentioned in the recipe. If you are using it, add 1/2 tsp of ajinamoto while adding salt and sauces to the wok.
schezwan veg noodles




 
 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Soya Chunks Biryani Recipe | Soya Chunks Recipes

soya chunks biryani
I love Pulaos and Biryanis for the fact that they are one pot meal and can be prepared quickly,while few Biryani recipes are bit complicated and time consuming. I reserve the Dum Biryanis for occasions and always adopt a simple one pot pressure cooker method for daily basis. These kind of one pot dishes are ideal for lunch box or for a week end lunch.
nutrela biryani
 I usually add soya chunks even to my vegetable pulaos but in moderate amounts. Soya chunks is also known as 'Nutrela' or 'Meal Maker'.Soya chunks has meaty texture and is a very good source of proteins for vegetarians, hence I include it in many of the gravies and pulaos on daily basis. As Soya chunks are bland in taste you need to spice it up a bit but they observe the flavours beautifully and make the dish delicious. We get soya chunks in two sizes and I prefer to use the mini soya chunks over the bigger ones. I follow more or less a similar recipe for most of my one pot biryanis and love the flavourful outcome all the time. Pair it with Onion-Tomato raita and papad and enjoy the delicious meal with your family.
meal maker biryani
soya chunks biryani

Soya Chunks Biryani Recipe:
Serves 2
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 mins
Cuisine: Indian | Category: Pulao/Biryani - Main Course

Ingredients:
1 heaped cup Basmati rice
3/4 cup mini Soya Chunks
1/3 cup fresh/frozen Green peas
2 cups Coconut Milk(medium consistency,see notes)
1 large Onion,finely sliced
1 tsp Biryani Masala or 1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
few mint leaves
1 Bayleaf
1/2" Cinnamon
2 Cloves
1 Cardamom, slightly crushed
1 tsp Shahjeera(black Cumin seeds)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee

to grind:
1 Tomato,chopped
2 Green chillies
1/4 cup Mint leaves
1/8 cup Coriander leaves
4-5 Garlic pods
3/4" Ginger,chopped
1/2" Cinnamon
2 Cloves
1 tsp Fennel seeds(saunf)

Method:
  • Grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'to grind' to a smooth paste and keep it aside. 
  • Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 10 mins.
  • Boil 2-3 cups of water in a vessel and add soya chunks and boil for 2-3 minutes or immerse in hot water for 7-8 mins.Drain them and drop them again in cold water and squeeze them and repeat the cold bath once again and squeeze them and keep aside.This process ensures to remove the raw smell from soya chunks. 
  • Heat oil and ghee in a cooker and add bayleaf followed by shahjeera, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and fry for half a minute. 
  • Add sliced onions and fry well until they turn pink color.
  • Add green peas and boiled and squeezed soya chunks and fry well for a minute. 
  • Now add ground masala and fry well for 2-3 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  • Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder or Garam masala(or biryani masala) and fry for a minute again.
  • Add soaked and drained basmati rice and fry for a minute until the moisture in the rice dries.Do not roast for long as the rice would break.
  • Add coconut milk to it, mint leaves and salt and bring it to a boil and cover it and pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer it for 7-8 mins.Switch it off and let the pressure drops on its own.Fluff up the rice with a fork.
Serve it hot with Tomato-Onion raita and papad.
soya chunks biryani
Notes:
  • If you use tinned Coconut milk which is of thick consistency you can dilute 1 cup of coconut milk with 1 cup of water to get 2 cups of thin coconut milk.You can even mix coconut milk powder in hot water to get the desired consistency as mentioned on the pack.
  • You can use water instead of coconut milk in the recipe. In that case I recommend you to add 2 tbsp beaten curd before adding water and fry slightly.
  • Along with soya chunks,you can add vegetables like carrots, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, capsicum and reduce the quantity of soya chunks in the recipe.
soya chunks biryani

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Arbi Roast | Chamadumpa Vepudu

arbi roast
According to me, Arbi(Taro root) is one of the most tastiest vegetables and I prepare it almost every weekend as TH is also very fond of it. I make mostly dry preparations like arbi fry,arbi roast to pair with rice or as marinated dahi arbi roast or arbi ajwaini which pairs nicely with rotis.Arbi fry tastes best when it is deep fried and as I do not use much oil in my cooking I prefer to do it in my oven which not only saves my time but also consumes very less oil. I use my oven often in my cooking and it helps in preparing most of the vegetable fries - potatoes, ladies finger, raw banana, yam with very less oil.
chamadumpa fry
Check out other fry recipes in my blog.
chamadumpa vepudu

Arbi(Taro root) Roast | Chamadumpa Vepudu:
Serves 2
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins | Total time: 1hr(with cooling time)
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Stir fry|Curry

Ingredients:
250 gms Arbi(Taro root)
1 tbsp Rice flour
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Amchur powder(optional)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil

to temper:
1 tsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 Red chillies,broken 
a sprig of Curry leaves
1 tbsp Oil

Method:
  • Soak arbi in water for some time and rub it nicely to remove extra dirt and wash it  properly in few changes of water.Pressure cook arbi with enough water for 1 whistle.Let them cool completely.Peel the skin and chop them into big chunks.
  • In a bowl add chopped taro root(arbi) and sprinkle rice flour, red chili powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder, salt and oil to it and gently mix so that the spice mix coats all the pieces nicely.You can add more rice flour if you need and also adjust the seasonings according to your wish.
  • Now follow any of these 3 methods which I mentioned below.I followed the oven method which is healthy and less calorie version and also yields very crispy fry.
method1:
  • Line the baking tray with silver foil and arrange these slices in a single layer and sprinkle some oil over it and bake in oven at 160 deg for 20-25 mins.Keep an eye after 20 mins so that they will not get burnt.If the edges are crispy and changes its color means its done.Do not over bake them,they will become tough.
method2:
  • Deep fry them in oil until golden brown and crisp.
method3:
  • In a wide non-stick kadai heat 2 tbsp oil and arrange the taro root pieces in a single layer and let them fry for 12-15 mins until crisp.Give a stir in between so that they don't get burnt.
  • Heat the kadai and add 1 tbsp oil and heat it.
  • Add mustard seeds and let them crackle and then add urad dal,red chillies and curry leaves to it.
  • Add fried taro root chunks (prepared by following any of the three methods mentioned above) and fry them on medium-high flame for 2-3 mins.
Serve them hot with rice or as a side dish for sambar/rasam with rice.
chamadumpa vepudu

Notes:
  1. These kind of roasts/fry will loose their crispiness after a while,so its better to serve immediately.
  2. In case you want to serve later you can roast them again in the same pan for 4-5 mins on medium flame to get the crispiness back at the time of serving.
  3. You can follow the same process for potatoes,baby potatoes and Raw Bananas.
  4. You can replace rice flour with besan(chickpea flour).
  5. You can add sambar powder along with red chili powder in the recipe.
  6. Do not cook for long as the taro root will get mushy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pacchi Pulusu | Raw Tamarind Rasam | Easy Rasam Varieties

'Pacchi Pulusu' in Telugu literally translates to 'Raw Stew'. We even call it as 'Pacchi Chaaru' or 'Pacchaaru'. It is a raw tamarind stew where the tangy taste of tamarind is balanced with spicy one  from green chillies and sweetish tinge from jaggery. Finely chopped raw onions are added to it for extra crunch.This is the the usual method of preparing pacchi pulusu,but at my MIL's place they add roasted urad dal powder to it and it is called 'Minapa pindi Pachi Pulusu ' (Urad dal powder tamarind stew).The addition of urad dal powder not only adds thickness but also helps balances the taste of Pacchi Pulusu. It is though optional to add the tempering to the rasam.This is an ideal preparation if you are craving for something tangy to tickle your taste buds.You can check out another version of pacchi pulusu called 'Aratikaya(Raw Banana) Pacchi Pulusu' in my blog.




Pacchi Pulusu | Pacchi Chaaru | Raw Tamarind Rasam Recipe:

(serves 2)

Ingredients:
1 big lemon sized Tamarind
2-3 tbsp grated Jaggery
2 tbsp roasted Urad dal powder*(optional,see notes)
2-3 Green chillies
1 Onion,finely chopped
Salt to taste

to temper(optional):
1 tsp Oil/Ghee
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a sprig of Curry leaves

Method:
  • Soak tamarind in water for 10-15 mins and extract the pulp and dilute the tamarind pulp with approx 1- 1 1/4 cups of water.
  • Add grated jaggery,urad dal powder(if using) and salt to it and mix and make sure that no lumps are formed.
  • Traditionally green chillies are squeezed directly with hand in the above mixture.This process might create some burning sensation in your palms,hence I usually use my mortar and pestle to crush the slit chillies a bit and add to the rasam.You do not need to grind the chillies to a paste,just crush it roughly and add.
  • Now mix everything well and taste the rasam at this point.Adjust the consistency of rasam and also the sweet,spicyness,tangyness and salt in it.The taste depends on individual taste buds and hence adjust it according to your taste buds.
  • Add finely chopped onion to it and mix well.The more the onions the better the taste is.
  • This step of tempering is optional but I do it sometimes.Heat oil/ghee in a small tempering pan and crackle mustard seeds and add curry leaves and fry them and add them to the rasam.
  • Let it stand for half an hour for the flavors blend well.If you wish you can serve immediately.
Serve it with hot rice and papad/fryums.This rasam would be at room temperature as we do not heat it.

*making urad dal flour:
  • Dry roast whole urad with skin(or white urad dal) over medium flame until you get nice aroma and well roasted ,it takes around 4-5 mins and let it cool and then powder them into a smooth powder.
  • This can be refrigerated 3-4 months and can be used to prepare Andhra famous sweet called  'Sunnunda' and this 'Pacchi pulusu'.
Notes:
  1. Usually in regular 'Pacchi Pulusu' we do  not add roasted urad dal powder.If I have the roasted urad dal powder in hand I usually add it otherwise it is optional.It adds the thickness as well as the taste to Pachhi Pulusu.
  2. I have mentioned in the method about how to crush green chillies.So do not attempt doing it using your hands unless you are used to it.
  3. This recipe depends on your taste buds and there are no actual measurements to make this rasam.You need the adjust the consistency,spicyness,tangyness,sweetness and salt according to your wish.

 
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