Monday, March 30, 2009

Ugadi Wishes to all...and my Ugadi Feast

UGADI is considered as NEW YEAR in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and is celebrated with great zeal in our family. While I tend to celebrate all festivals :) with the same intent and interest , I remember that during my childhood days I used to eagerly wait for this day more for great festival food and more importantly for "UGADI PACCHADI". This UGADI PACCHADI is made of six different types of tastes which resembles the various aspects of life. I used to like it so much that my mom used to prepare a big bowl of this which is specially kept aside for me for my unlimited servings :)

This year was a bit of a double event for me as my birthday ended up being on the same day as Ugadi. My inlaws who came down to visit us stayed back for my birthday cum ugadi celebrations.

My Breakfast and Naivedyam for pooja:

Ugadi Pacchadi, sabudhana kheer, Hollige, Maavinkaay chitranna.(left to right clockwise)

Most would be wondering why I am posting this days after ugadi ...well I was extremely busy that day with the celebrations and therafter spent time showing around some places in Mumbai. A day later the great sun god impacted my health and the impact of the sunstroke lasted for a few days. Now I am relatively better so thought I would update my happy and sad experiences over the weekend.

Inspired by Asha's Thali's of Foodie's Hope, I thought of arranging a thali for my pic. Hollige/obbattu is a must on this festival. As I am still learning to prepare this heavy-duty sweet, I did not dare to make it at home this time. (Bought it from a sweet shop nearby :-) My thali comprises of Maavinkaaya chitranna(Raw Mango rice), Ugadi pacchadi, Sabudhana kheer,Cabbage stir-fry,Moong dal(pesara kattu), Hollige, Masala vada,plain rice and sabudhana fryums.

My festive Thali:

Hollige,sabudhana fryum,Masala Vada,Maavinkaay Chitranna,cabbage stir fry,Ugadi Pacchadi,Moong dal,Sabudhana Kheer(from left to right clockwise) and the white rice in the center

Ugadi Pacchadi
Ingredients:
1/4 cup tamarind pulp(extracted using hot water)
1/4 cup tiny mango pieces
2-3 tbsp grated jaggery
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
12-15 neem flowers

Method:
Mix everything adding enough water to get the required consistency.

Sabudhana Kheer/saggubiyyam paayasam:
Ingredients:
1 cup nylon Sabudhana
2 cups milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar(approximately)
8-10 cashewnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp ghee

Method:
Pressure cook sabudhana with water for three whistles and cool it completely.
Heat milk separately and add the cooked sabudhana to it and cook for 3-4 mins. Now keep it on low flame add sugar,condensed milk and stir the mixture and switch off the flame(after adding sugar do not keep on the flame for long time otherwise the milk will curdle).
In a small pan heat ghee ,fry cashews and raisins and add this to the kheer.
Serve hot or cold.

And you can take a peep at the rest of the recipes from my old posts.(links below)

Maavinkaay Chitranna/Raw mango rice/ Maamidikaaya Chitrannam


This is a very common breakfast at my place during festivals as it is easy to prepare and saves time to prepare the other special time consuming dishes. I absolutely love this simple rice because of the tanginess of mango.In any case mango in any form,is liked by everyone.

I am sending this entry for Single Serving Recipes @ spicy rasam hosted by sahaja.


Ingredients:
2 Cups Cooked rice
1 cup grated raw mango(thotapuri/Bengaloora)
7-8 slit green chillies
3-4 tbsp chopped coriander
1/4 cup groundnuts
6-8 curry leaves
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp haldi(turmeric)
salt
oil


Method:
Heat oil in a big kadai, crackle mustard seeds, add groundnuts and fry until skin comes out. Now add urad dal,chana dal,green chillies,curry leaves and fry till the chillies are crisp.Add grated mango(save 1/4 cup for the finishing touch) and turmeric and fry for 2-3 minutes.Cool the mixture completely.Now add rice,salt,grated mango(kept aside),chopped coriander and mix everything well(hand or a long ladle does the job here).

Note: Rice should not be hot while mixing,otherwise it becomes mishy-mashy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sun-dried Tomato Pickle


As I grew up in Andhra, the "land of Pickles", I started having a special liking for PICKLES. I am sure there might be very few who may not be aware of Andhra Aavakaaya and Gongura...hmmm..I absolutely love these pickles especially with hot rice,gun powder and ghee and is absolutely a great combination to try when someone visits any Andhra restaurant.Still there are so many varieties of pickles like "Maagaya", "Usiri Aavakaaya", "sun-dried tomato Pickle" etc(will try to post all those soon). Even my husband is a big fan of pickles,both Andhra and North-Indian style pickles which are made by my MIL.
Every year, we get a huge supply of all these pickles from my Mother-in-Law. Since she has come down to stay with us for a few weeks, I thought this might be a good opportunity to learn from her. This is the season for Tomatoes so we thought of making Tomato pickle which can be had with several dishes. One can serve this with hot steaming rice, Idly, Dosa, Akki roti or any other type of roti. While the process of making this pickle is quite time consuming the advantage is that this can be stored for more than a year....some advantage ..eh.

I am sending this pickle for sanghi's FALL in LOVE(FIL)-Tomato Event


and Lakshmi's SWC-Meals-on-Wheels Event



Ingredients:
1 Cup Red Chilli powder
200 gms Tamarind

To dry in Sun:
1 kg Good Ripen Tomatoes
1 cup levelled Salt
1 tsp haldi

To grind:
1 cup Mustard seeds
5 tsp Methi seeds

For Tadka:
2 tbsp Mustard seeds
8-10 broken red chillies
1 tsp Hing
250 ml Sesame Oil




Method:
1) Wash the tomatoes and then wipe it and pat dry for some time. Chop the tomatoes into eight pieces, mix it with salt and cover the vessel with clinge wrap and keep it for two days continuously(atleast for one day).

2) Squeeze the water from the Tomato pieces completely.Soak tamarind in the water that would have come out from the tomatoes. Keep the tamarind mixture and Tomato pieces under sunlight for two days until it dries completely.

3) On the second day grind tomato pieces with the tamarind mixture(the one kept in sun) to a coarse mixture. (Use the whipper mode in the mixie)

4) Slightly roast methi seeds and cool the seeds.Grind Mustard seeds(raw) and Methi seeds to a smooth powder.

5) Mix the ground tomato mixture with the ground methi-mustard powder,red chilli powder.Taste the mixture at this point and adjust salt according to taste.

6) Heat oil,crackle mustard seeds,add broken red chillies and hing and fry for a minute.Cool the oil completely and mix in the tomato mixture and store it in Air-tight containers/Glass jars.

Serve the Tomato pickle with rice/Akki roti/dosa/idly/chapathy or you can even use it as a bread spread ! A very versatile dish ..isnt it ..

Friday, March 20, 2009

Paper Roast Dosa with Bombai(Bombay) Chutney


Paper Roast Dosa:

Dosa's and Idli's form the comfort breakfast menu for south indians.Earlier I used to prepare idli and dosa batter in the wet grinder one after the other to avoid the extra effort of cleaning the grinder again but this ends up cluttering the fridge. I am sure , a common problem for most.

My mom once advised me to try a batter recipe which i now call as MAGIC BATTER as it is very versatile and enables me to prepare almost 5-6 different varieties. (Crispy paper Dosa's,Masala dosa,Utappam,Ponganalu(dumplings),Khara Idli).The dosa's come out really crispy and I find it difficult to even fold it into half at times. Thats the impact of the Mom's magic recipe!!!


Ingredients:
4 cups Idli rice(salem rice)
1 Cup Whole Round Urad
1 cup(levelled) Poha
2 tbsp Curd
1/2 tsp methi seeds
handful of cooked rice
salt


Method:
Soak rice and urad+ poha + methi separately for 5-6 hrs or overnight.
Grind the urad,poha,methi mixture until very smooth adding less water,now add cooked rice,salt,dahi and soaked rice and grind it again to a very fine mixture(the result will depends on how smoother the batter is ground).Ferment it for 9-10 hrs.Prepare Dosa's.

Serve hot with Coconut Chutney/Groundnut Chutney/sambar/Tomato Chutney/Bombai Chutney.

Note:
1.Add more water to make it into the required consistency dosa batter(than require for Idli's)
2.while cooking,Cover the dosa with a lid so that it cooks evenly.
3.Keep on medium flame first and then turn it to high flame for crispier dosa's(you need not to add much oil by following this tip,just half a tsp of oil which is more than enough).
4.Try folding the dosa in different shapes to make it more interesting and appealing...like try to fold into half(usual way),trianglular form(like in restaurants),fold from both sides to the center(like for masala dosa),or fold like a cap.

Bombai Chutney:
Bombai chutney is a heavenly combination with Atukula dosa (Poha dosa) or normal dosa as well. Dont ask me why its called Bombai chutney or why even I spell it that way.I learnt this from my mom and it has been passed from generations.


Ingredients:
2 tbsp Besan(chickpea flour)
1 onions sliced thin
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
4-5 green chillies
8-10 curry leaves finely chopped
2 tbsp corriander leaves chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala (optional)
1 lemon juice or 2 tbsp curds(dahi)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
salt


Method:
Mix the besan with 1/4 cup of water properly to form a nic paste without any lumps.
Heat oil in a kadai,crackle mustard seeds,fry urad dal,chana dal,green chillies.Add sliced onions,curry leaves,ginger-garlic paste and fry till the onions turn pink,add chopped tomatoes and fry until pulpy,add red chilli powder,garam masala and 3 cups of water,cover it cook for 8-10 mins(the water should bubble).
Remove the lid,add salt and add the besan mixture slowly by stirring the entire mixture continuously (as we do for upma),cover and cook for 2-3 mins until thick.
Add lemon juice or dahi,coriander leaves and mix well.

Serve hot with Dosa or chapathy/Roti.

Gongura Pulusu Koora(sour greens/katta pattha)

Gongura is a very famous tangy green leaf in Andhra; the leaf itself is sour in taste.It is available in two forms, one with the green stems and the other one with red stems which is used in gongura pickle. Gongura is mainly used for pickles which tastes good with hot rice and sliced onions(will try to post it soon).This is a simple side dish made with gongura with the green colored stems that goes well with hot rice.

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped Gongura
1/2 cup chana dal(soaked for half an hour)
1 onion chopped
10-12 garlic pods
6 green chillies
3-4 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric
a pinch of hing
salt
Method:
  • Heat oil in a small cooker and crackle mustard seeds and add hing and fry green chillies,garlic and onion and fry until soft.
  • Add soaked chana dal and cook for 3-4 mins and add gongura and then stir well until the leaves wilt.
  • Add tamarind pulp,salt,turmeric,red chilli powder and stir for 3-4 mins and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Serve it hot with rice and papad.

Note:
This can be done even in a pan,but takes long time to cook.If you are using the pan,cover the pan with a deep plate and pour water over it and simmer it until done.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Upma Tikki....Left Over Wonders


What to do with leftover food?? This is a common problem for everyone and the dilemma is whether to throw it away or warm it up and have it later in the day. I normally hate to throw food and during my school days I used to see my mom making innovative creations with leftover food and sometimes it tastes better than the original!
My inlaws had come down to meet us last week , hence I had started preparing southIndian food in the mornings compared to the usual bread only fare. Yesterday I made upma for breakfast and only a portion of it was left over. As usual , I thought I would have it later in the day but somehow did not feel like eating it as upma , in my view, becomes hard if kept out for a long time. In the evening while preparing tea I again noticed the cup lying in the corner looking at me with a sad note , probably was angry at us for ignoring it the entire day :). I then recollected an item prepared in a cookery show that I had seen recently. I added the ingredients according to my taste and prepared tikki out of this upma. Surprisingly, this did not absorb much oil and tasted quite good. I saved a portion for my hubby and to my surprise he couldnt figure out what he was having. Given the good feedback I am tempted to try out more such dishes and ofcourse thought it was worth enough to share it with all of you !


Ingredients:
1 Big Cup Upma(left over or fresh)
1 medium size onion chopped
2 Alu boiled, peeled and mashed
1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
1 tbsp Maida
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp Chat masala
1 tbsp chopped coriander
salt

Method:
Mix well Upma removing any lumps,add the mashed Alu,maida,chopped onions,green chillies,red chilli powder,chat masala,salt,turmeric and coriander to it and mix everything properly.slightly grease your hands and make tikki's of it and fry it on tawa on both sides with little oil.
Serve hot with ketchup and green chutney.

I am sending this to "Sunday Snacks -Chaats/Indian Street Food" event at pallavi's blog.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Paneer Tikka

Paneer Tikka is my favourite starter,after all anything made with paneer is delicious and is usually a party hit appetizer.It hardly takes a couple of minutes to prepare if everything is available at home.I generally avoid using artificial colours and flavours and find alternate natural options instead.After experimenting with several recipes I came up with my own marinade recipe which added a good tinge to the Tikka.

Ingredients:
400 gms diced Homemade Paneer (or store bought)
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced Green Capsicum
1 diced Onion

for Marinade:
1/2 Cup Hung curd
2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese(makes the mixture creamy)
2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Chat masala
1 tsp roasted jeera powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp green and black cardamom seeds powder(adds a nice flavour)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
2 tbsp tomato ketchup(added for natural colour)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp chopped corriander(optional)
salt


Method:
Dice all the vegetables and paneer into 1" cubes.
Mix all the ingredients required for marinade and carefully mix all the vegetables into it and then add paneer cubes and gently mix.Cover the mixture with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 4-5 hrs.prick all the vegetables and paneer into the skewers slowly,arrange according to your taste.Brush oil all over the pieces.Grill it for 20-25 mins @ 180 degrees.
Serve it hot with some salad and tomato ketchup.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bagara Baingan

I always remember the complements i got from my brother when i prepare this dish.We visted my brother n bhabhi during chirstmas last year and we had spent almost 3 weeks together.We had a great time shopping,eating,exploring singapore.Everytime i cook at my home i always get some complements from my family,but to impress my brother is a big deal for me.But i was so happy to see my brother's response just for a change when i prepared this for him.He liked it a lot and told me with a big smile on his face " why don't you start a restaurant??".uuuumph..thats a great complement right??
Now coming to the recipe,everyone has their own version with slight variations.i have tried so many versions and finally settled on this one because of its amazing taste.I always prepare this with jolaga rotti(jowar rotti) as these make a GALA combination.sometimes i prefer this with the BILAVALIGE(rice flour rotti) or normal wheat flour roti.This will be defintely a hit in the parties.

Ingredients:
10-12 small Black Brinjals(slit with a cross)
2 onions sliced
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/2 tsp jeera
a pinch of turmeric
2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp(extracted using hot water)
a pinch of sugar
1 tbsp powdered jaggery(optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh corriander
salt

To grind:
1/4 cup groundnuts(roasted and peeled)
2 tsp sesame seeds(white)
2 tbsp grated dry coconut(you can use fresh coconut as well)
1 tsp fried gram(this is optional)
7-8 red chillies(or red chilli powder)
1 tbsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
3-4 cloves
1" cinnamon
1-2 green cardamom(elaichi)

Method:
Heat oil,fry half the portion of sliced onions(add a pinch of sugar while frying),add ginger-garlic paste to it and fry for a minute and cool the mixture.
Dry roast all the spices separately until light brown in colour and grind it to a fine powder,add the fried onion mixture,jaggery,tamarind pulp and grind it again to a smooth mixture.
Heat oil in a wide bottomed pan and add the slit baingan and fry for 2 minutes,cover it with a plate and pour water over it and cook for 12-15 minutes until the baingan is completely soft,remove the baingan and keep it aside.In the same pan add oil,crackle jeera,then add the remaining onions and fry until pink,add the ground mixture,turmeric,salt and fry until the mixture leaves the oil,add 1 cup of water(according to the required consisteny) and add fried baingan and mix.Cover it and cook for 7-8 mins until thick.
Garnish with chopped corriander.

Serve hot with Jolaga rotti(jowar rotti)/ plain akki rotti(rice flour roti)/ Roti/Chapathy and enjoy.

Raw (Green)Tomato Curry

I tasted this curry when i visited my grand parents place long time back(when i was in my 8th class if i remember properly),i liked the taste of it and so i have taken the recipe from my aunt.This recipe was transferred so many times to my new cook books from the old ones.Whenever i was going for shopping with my mom for vegetables, i always insisted her to buy these raw tomatoes to prepare this curry.Poor mom...!! she does everything what ever i
ask..Mom's are so sweet.....hmmmm...Coming to the recipe,this is a very simple and tasty curry and goes well with roti or rice.

Ingredients:
8-10 raw(green) tomatoes
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp jeera
1 tbsp fried gram powder
salt

To grind:
1 onion sliced
5-6 green chillies
3 tbsp chopped corriander
1 tsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp jeera,
1/4 tsp pepper corns
5-6 garlic pods
Method:
Cut raw tomatoes into 8 pieces and remove the seeds from it.Heat oil and fry the tomato pieces until its cooked.
Grind green chillies,corriander,corriander seeds,jeera,pepper corns,garlic pods,sliced onion to a coarse paste(do not use water while grinding).
Heat oil in kadai,crackle jeera,fry finely chopped onions until pink,add the ground mixture and fry until oil separates out,then add fried tomato pieces,salt and mix properly.Add fried gram powder to it and give a stir.

Serve hot with rice/roti.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cabbage Stir-Fry


Ingredients:
1 Cup Cabbage sliced thin or shredded
1/4 cup fresh/dry grated coconut
5-6 curry leaves
3-4 green chillies
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp kalonji
2 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts(optional)
salt

Method:
In a kadai,heat oil,crackle mustard seeds,jeera,kalonji and add green chillies,curry leaves,cabbage and fry for
2-3 mins,add salt and mix cover it and cook for 4-5 mins,mix in the grated coconut,crushed peanuts and turn off the flame.

Serve hot with rice and papad.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Methi-Mutter-Malai

I tasted this for the first time at my friend's place.I would like to eat these kind of dishes once in a while because of the cream content in that.When i was hesitating to eat,my friend told me its completely fat-free,i was surprised by the appeal of richness in the dish which really does not have.She has told me her secret of making it rich by just using white sauce instead of cream.So from then onwards i followed the same way as she told me.I use cream only occasionally for parties,otherwise i use this white sauce regularly in this dish for my usual dinners.Yet,there is not much of compromise in taste.


Ingredients:

1 cup fresh/frozen green peas
1 Big Bunch Methi Chopped(approx 2 cups)
1/2 cup white sauce or 1/2 cup cream
1 onion Sliced
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/2 tsp jeera
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp Garam masala
3/3 cup milk
salt
oil

for white sauce:
1 tsp flour
1 tsp butter
3/4 cup milk

To grind:
1 onion sliced
1 tomato chopped
7-8 cashewnuts
1 tbsp khus khus
milk to grind
oil

Method:

Masala:
Heat oil,fry onion sliced,ginger-garlic paste,tomato and remove it aside and cool completely.Grind it along with the cashewnuts,khus khus and enough milk to a very smooth paste and keep it aside.

White sauce:(this is optional if using cream)
Heat butter,add flour and fry until it completely moistens,pour milk and stir continuously to avoid the lumps formation and cook until it forms a nice thick pouring consistency kind of sauce

Gravy:
In oil fry chopped methi until it reduces to one-fourth,add peas and fry for 3-4 mins.
Heat oil in a wide bottomed kadai,crackle jeera,sliced onions and fry until pink,add the ground mixture and fry for 2-3 mins.
Add all the dry masalas(red chilli powder,garam masala,salt,turmeric) and fry for a minute.Add the fried methi leaves and green peas,white sauce or Malai and mix everything.Add Milk to it to achieve the desired consistency.

Poori and Mixed Vegetable Saagu

Who says no to poori???Poori and saagu is a great combination and it is best suitable for a great weekend breakfast or brunch.

Poori:

Ingredients:
1 Cup Wheat Flour
1 1/2 handful Maida(flour)
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp curds
1/2 cup milk
salt

Method:
Mix well wheat flour,maida,salt,oil,curds and make a well in between pour milk and water in middle and mix the dough using three fingers(or prepare normally).The dough should be little stiffer than roti dough.
Make small rounds out of it and flatten it into small poori's applying oil,and deep fry in oil until it puff's up.
Serve hot with Mixed Vegetable Saagu.

Mixed Vegetable Saagu:

Ingredients:
2 cups of diced Mixed Vegetables(Carrot,Alu,Beans,Peas,Cauliflower)
1 Onion sliced
1/2 tsp jeera
salt

For the Masala:
1 tbsp dhaniya(corriander seeds)
1 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp pepper corns
1" cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves
2 Green Cardamom(elaichi)
1 Black Cardamom
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
1 tbsp khus khus
1 tbsp fried gram(optional)
5-6 green chillies
3 tbsp chopped corriander
2 tbsp chopped pudina
1/2 tsp jaggery
salt

Method:
Dry roast dhaniya,jeera,peppercorns.Mix with the remaining all masala ingredients and make it into a smooth puree.
In a cooker,heat oil crackle jeera,fry sliced onions until pink,add vegetables and fry till its slightly crisp,add the ground masala and fry until the mixture leaves the oil,add enough salt and water and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles(do not over cook).Once the pressure is released add lemon juice to it and give a good stir.
Serve hot with poori's/roti's.

Bhindi(Okra) Fry

This is so simple to prepare and made with very few ingredients and yet tastes divine with hot rice and rasam.

Ingredients:
1/2 kg Bendi(Okra)
1 tsp red chilli powder
7-8 garlic pods
2-3 tbsp oil
salt
Method:
Cut Okra finely into rounds and keep it aside for 2-3 hrs.(If it is dried properly,it does not take much time to fry).Heat oil fry chopped bendi for 15-20 mins on a low flame till its done,add crushed garlic,salt,red chilli powder and fry for another 5-8 mins.
Serve hot with rice and papad.

Tomato Rasam

Ingredients:
3 Big ripen Tomatoes,roughly chopped
a small gooseberry size of Tamarind(extract pulp using hot water,or microwave for half minute)
5-6 garlic pods,slightly crushed with back of knife
1 tbsp rasam powder(preferably homemade or MTR rasam powder)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1 red chilli
a pinch of hing
pinch of haldi(turmeric)
1/2 tbsp jaggery
7-8 curry leaves
4-5 stems of coriander
1 tbsp coriander,chopped
salt

Method:
  • Heat oil,crackle mustard seeds,jeera,red chilli,hing,fry garlic pods,curry leaves,chopped tomatoes until tomatoes leave the juices and forms a nice pulp.
  • Add turmeric powder,salt,jaggery,tamarind pulp,enough water mixed in the rasam powder,chopped coriander and coriander stems(do not cut fine) and boil for 3-4 mins.Now taste it and feel free to adjust the salt,spicyness,sourness and sweetness of rasam.Balancing the taste at this stage is a key point for a tasty rasam.
Serve hot with rice,fry,pickle and papad.You can even strain it and drink as soup.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Simple Moong Dal(pesara kattu)

This side dish goes well with rice during fasting.My Mother-in-law does her fasting regularly on friday's as it is No garlic-onion-tamarind-lemon day.When ever she visit us i will be always confused what is to be cooked on friday's avoiding those basic ingredients,finally she helped me preparing this dish which tastes good as it is.
Ingredients:
1 Cup Moong dal
1 tbsp chopped corriander
pinch of turmeric
salt
for Tadka:
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of hing
1 tsp jeera
5-6 Curry leaves
1 tbsp green chilli finely chopped

Method:
Pressure cook moong dal for 3 whistles and simmer it for 5-6 mins.
In a Tadka pan ,heat ghee,crackle mustard seeds,jeera,fry green chillies,curry leaves,hing and
pour this tadka to the moong dal and add salt,turmeric and cook for 2-3 mins.(Add enough water to the required consistency).Add chopped corriander at the end and mix well.
Serve hot with rice, Fry and pickle.

Lemon juice can be added to the dal.

Note:
  • Avoid ghee and use oil in the recipe for a Vegan version.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sookha Bhel

Bhel poori is famous all over India.Especially in Beaches we find these sookha bhel.
It is made up of all dry masala's and can be done instantaneously.
Ingredients:
2 Big Cups Puffed Rice/Murmur
1 Big Onion finley chopped
1 Big Alu boiled and diced
2 medium Tomatoes finely chopped
3 green chillies finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh corriander
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp chat masala
4-5 tbsp fine sev
1 lemon squeezed
pinch of turmeric
4-5 poori's
salt

Method:
Mix onions,Alu,tomatoes,corriander,red chilli powder,salt,chat masala,turmeric,lemon well until mixed,add puffed rice to it and give a good stir to it.Add 3 mashed pooris,sev to it and mix well.
serve with 2 poori's(poori is used as a spoon).

I am sending this to "Sunday Snacks -Chaats/Indian Street Food" event at pallavi's blog.

Jeera Rice

My husband is a big fan of this rice.If i ask his preference for dinner or lunch on weekend's,his answer is simply Jeera rice.He can simply have this with raitha.This is so easy to prepare which requires very few ingredients and tastes so wonderful.
Ingredients:
1 cup Regular Rice or Basmati Rice
2 medium onions thinly sliced
10-12 cashewnuts broken into two
2 tbsp jeera
3-4 cloves
1" cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp oil
salt

Method:
Caramelize the onions in butter and oil(adding oil to butter while frying will avoid from getting burnt) until golden colour and crisp(add sugar while frying the onions which makes the process faster and easier) and remove it aside.In the same pan fry cashews and keep it aside.wash and soak the rice for 10-15 mins.In a pressure cooker,heat oil/butter fry cloves,cinnamon,bay leaf,rice and fry for a couple of minutes add 2 cups of water and salt and cook for 2-3 whistles.In a pan heat butter,crackle jeera and switch off the flame,add cooked rice,fried onions,cashews and stir gently.
Serve it hot with Rajma curry and raitha.

Note:
  • Avoid butter in the recipe for a Vegan version and fry onions in oil.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

When the banana's turn black in colour,i generally peel off its skin and freeze it for my smoothies.As this is the season for strawberries,i even freeze these strawberries as they get spoilt very soon.This is a quick and easy smoothie which can be prepared with these frozen fruits any time as it is so handy.

And this goes to FIC(Event)-PINK/ROSE by priya of priyaeasyntastyrecipes.

Ingredients:
1 Big Cup frozen Strawberries
2 small frozen (peeled)yelakki banana(or 1 normal banana)
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 cup milk
2 tbsp almonds blanched(optional)
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp sugar
3 mint leaves

Method:
Blend the strawberries,banana's with sugar in a mixie,be sure your mixie can handle these frozen fruits.Add yoghurt,milk,honey,almonds,mint and blend it into a nice pouring consistency smoothie.Serve it in a tall glass.
If you want to use fresh strawberries and banana's,add ice cubes while blending the smoothie.

Beans-Carrot Stir-fry (Palya)

It is a simple and tasty palya which can be prepared in a couple of minutes.This is served as a side dish for rice.
Ingredients:
1 cup chopped beans
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut(or 2 tbsp grated dry coconut)
2 whole red chillies
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
1/2 lemon squeezed
salt

Method:
Pressure cook beans and carrot for 1-2 whistles(or microwave on high for 4-5 mins).
Heat a spoon of oil in pan,crackle mustard seeds,jeera,fry chana dal,urad dal,red chillies,curry leaves,green chilli paste and fry for a minute.Add cooked vegetables,salt and stir fry for 2-3 mins,add grated coconut and lemon juice and give a stir,remove it.
Serve it with rice,any dal and papad.

Alu Mutter

This gravy can be prepared with the simple ingredients and vegetables we have at home.It does not require any prior preparation.
Ingredients:
3 Big Alu,diced into small cubes
1 cup fresh/frozen peas
1 Onion sliced
2 Tomatoes chopped
1/4 cup cream(or 1/2 cup milk)
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp amchur powder
2 tbsp chopped corriander
1/2 tsp jeera
salt
oil

Method:
Fry onions in a pan until pink,add chopped tomatoes to it and fry until its forms a thick pulp,cool it and grind it into a smooth puree.
Fry diced alu until crisp and remove it aside..
In a pan heat oil,crackle jeera,fry the Ginger-garlic paste,peas until it changes the colour.Add the ground pureeto it and fry until oil leaves from the edges,add all the masala powder's,salt and fry for a minute,add cream or milk and cook for a couple of minutes and remove it from fire.
Garnish it with chopped corriander and cream.
Serve hot with Roti/Naan/Phulka/Chapathy.

Note:
  • Avoid cream/milk in the recipe for a Vegan version.

Tofu Stir fry/Chilli Tofu

Tofu is an alternative for paneer.Though its a compromise in taste to use tofu instead of paneer,it is more prefered by me because of the low calorie content and i prepare mostly chinese dishes with Tofu.So many recipes for chinese cooking calls for either fish sauce or oyster sauce,which i wont use as i am a vegetarian.But we get the unique taste of any dish if we use the proper ingredients required to prepare it.I got a tip from a cooking show for replacing Fish sauce,but i was still not sure of any other alternative for oyster sauce(Fish sauce can be replaced by adding soya sauce and vinegar in equal quantities).Recently during my shopping i saw Ching's All-in-one stir fry sauce and it suits my requirements perfectly and then i bought it.I had a block of Tofu lying in the fridge which was about to expire in a couple of days.So i thought of preparing some thing with Tofu using my recent buy All-in-one sauce.I regularly watch Kylie Kwong's show but never noted any recipe as its purely non-vegetarian.With my enough knowledge of chinese cooking i wanted to try this stir fry recalling the steps of her cooking,and believe me...the All-in-one sauce has done its magic,it added a new flavour and taste to the dish which we can empty the plate at one go...
Ingredients:
1 Block of firm Tofu
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 capsicum
1 onion
2-3 fresh red chillies
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp onion(or spring onion white part) finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions finely chopped
1 tbsp Ching's All-in-one sauce(vegetarian oyster sauce)
1/2 tsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2-3 tbsp sesame oil
salt

Method:
Cut Tofu into cubes and place it on the tissue paper for 15- 20 mins to remove extra water.On a shallow pan fry fry Tofu until golden colour(use less oil)chop the bell peppers,capsicum and onion into 1" cubes.
In a wok,on a high flame heat the sesame oil and fry garlic and finely chopped onion until crisp,add chopped red chillies and fry for a minute.Add the chopped bell peppers,capsicum and onion and stir fry for 2-3 mins.Add fried Tofu,All-in-one sauce,soya sauce,salt and toss it until everything is mixed well and cook on high for 2-3 mins.
Remove and serve hot with the spring onions on top.
This goes well with chinese fried rice or as a starter.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Broccoli Soup

We started giving more preference to salads and soups for dinner these days.So i started preparing different types of soups.I have written this recipe from a tv show,i modified the recipe to suit according to our taste.
Ingredients:
1 Medium size Broccoli(cut into florets)
1 Big Alu(potato),finely diced cubes
4 tbsp Onion finely chopped
3 garlic pods finely chopped
1 tbsp Curd(dahi)
1 tbsp Olive oil(or butter)
1 small processed cheese block(optional)
1/2 cup milk
1/ 2 tsp black pepper
salt

Method:
Fry the potato cubes in oil until its golden colour and crisp,remove it and drain it on the kitchen tissue.
In a pan heat olive oil,fry onion and garlic until it chnages its colour,add broccoli florets and fry for 3-4 mins.Add water to it and cook until soft.Cool the mixture and add dahi,cheese to it and grind it to a smooth puree,add milk and salt and heat it on the stove for 1 boil.
Mix pepper powder according to your taste.
Serve hot with fried potato cubes on top of it.

Wheat-Jowar Salad


This is the most healthy way of eating the grains like wheat, jowar n Bajra. Last time when my parents visited us, she has brought all these grains, Brown rice and Red rice .I did not understand why she has brought all these grains, but later when she prepared the sprouts out of it and made this salad I was surprised with the outcome taste of the salad and it tastes better than the regular moong sprouts.Even my husband who does not like sprouts also liked the taste of this salad. From then I started preparing this very healthy salad frequently.
I am sending this to JFI-Wheat hosted by Roma of Roma's Space.

Ingredients:

1 cup Wheat grains
1 cup Jowar grains
1 cup Bajra grains
1 Big Red onion finely chopped
2 Big ripen Tomatoes finely chopped
4 tbsp Bell peppers(red/yellow) diced small and blanched
2 tbsp finely chopped Corriander
Salt

For the Dressing:

1 lemon squeezed
2 tsp Olive oil
½ tsp green chilli paste
1 garlic clove grated
½ tsp sugar
salt

Method:

Soak the grains for 6 – 8 hrs,drain the water,cover and keep over night until the sprouts are formed(or prepare it in the sprouts maker).Pressure cook it with enough water and salt for 3 whistles and simmer it for 20 mins.As these grains are hard,it will be cooked well if it is cooked for long.Remove and drain water.It is good to eat like this as well.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients required for it.

Mix the cooked sprouts with the chopped bell peppers,onions,tomatoes,coriander and dressing and serve it immediately.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tomato bath/ Tomato rice


Ingredients:
1 cup Regular rice/Basmati rice
2 onions sliced
3 Big ripen tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh/frozen peas
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tbsp Corriander seeds/dhaniya
5 red chillies
3-4 byadige red chillies(these give the extra red colour)
1 tbsp soamph/fennel seeds(adds a nice aroma)
2 tsp grated dry coconut(optional)
5 kaju/cashews
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
2 green cardamom
1 tsp chopped corriander
salt
oil

Method:
soak red chillies,byadige red chillies,soamph,dhaniya in water for 1/2 hr and grind it to a smooth paste.
Wash the rice and soak in water for 10 -15 minutes
In cooker heat the oil,fry cloves,cardamom and bay leaf add thinly sliced onions and fry til its pink in colour,add ginger-garlic paste,peas and fry,add tomatoes and cook until it forms a thick pulpy mixture and add the ground paste,salt,rice and fry for 2 minutes,add 2 cups of water to the mixture and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
Garnish with fried kaju and green corriander.

Methi Dal / Methi Kura Pappu...truely Andhra Style!!

Can you guess from whom did I learn this dal ???....... hmmm..I learnt this dal from my sweet brother..:)....He claims that he is a super chef at our home and of course few of his dishes even got appreciation from his in-laws,especially his so called khara bath has a huge fan following in my family.Even my husband is a big fan of his khara bath and whenever I prepare it he always compares with my brother's khara bath as a standard.Even though I folllow the same procedure I could not reach the same standard level.Hope so I will also achieve that perfection and post the recipe soon on my blog.
Coming back to the dal,he has learnt this from his friends during his bachelor life.We all know that Andhra is famous for dals,pacchadi,stir fry and rasam.The preparation of dal in Andhra is quite different from other places,they mash the dal completely after it is cooked which gives a very nice texture and even the flavors blend well when made like this.The best way to eat the Andhra style dals is to mix the dal with hot piping rice and a liberal dose of ghee and with the accompaniments like alu fry or fryums,it tastes the best and just out of the world.I liked the way my brother prepared this dal and we started following the same procedure from then.Here in this recipe I have pressure cooked everything along with dal but my mom used to fry all the other ingredients like onions,tomato and methi leaves in oil and then add to the dal and pressure cook it,you can follow any of these ways as both taste equally delicious.

Ingredients:
1 onion finely chopped
1 tbsp tamarind pulp(extracted using hot/warm water)
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp dhaniya powder(coriander seeds powder)
pinch of turmeric
4 tbsp oil
salt

To cook in pressure cooker:
1 cup Toor dal
1 1/2 cups chopped methi leaves
2 tomatoes finely chopped
3 green chillies
3 garlic cloves
pinch of turmeric

for Tadka:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
2 garlic pods (slightly mashed)
1-2 whole red chillies
1 tsp ghee

Method:
  • Pressure cook dal,methi,tomato,chillies,garlic and turmeric for 3 to 4 whistles.Mash the dal completely to a puree kind of consistency and keep aside.
  • In oil fry chana dal until red,add finely chopped onions and fry until its completely soft.
  • Add the cooked dal and give a good stir and then add tamarind pulp,red chilli powder,turmeric,dhaniya powder,salt and enough water for the desired consistency and simmer it for 10 mins.
  • In a Tadka pan,heat ghee crackle mustard seeds,jeera,red chillies,garlic pods and fry until garlic changes its colour and add this tadka to the cooked dal.
Serve it hot with rice,ghee and pickle/avakaaya or alu fry.

Note:
  • Avoid ghee and use while tempering in the recipe for a Vegan version.
Thinking what is paratha doing in this post??
It is so simple,I prepared this paratha with the left over methi dal.Just mix up the left over with wheat flour and adjust the spice level, you will have easy peasy delicious parathas ready in no time.

Ingredients:
Left over dal
salt
wheat flour
red chilli powder
chaat masala

Method:
Mix everything according to your taste and make paratha's and fry the paratha on both sides.

Coconut Shavige/Coconut Rice Noodles


These are traditionally prepared with the fresh akki shavige(rice noodles) prepared at home.But right now i do not have a shavige maker with me..and i really doubt whether i would be able to prepare even if i have. [:)].and the best alternative for me is to use the readily available rice noodles.Even though it is a compromise in taste but its a very good alternative when one does not have time to prepare akki shavige at home.The whole process takes less than 15 mins with the readily available rice noodles.


Ingredients:
1 pack(200gms) Rice noodles(i used mtr) or freshly pressed akki shavige/rice noodles
3/4 cup grated coconut
2 tbsp chopped cashews
5-6 red chillies
10 curry leaves
1 tsp pepper corns
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 lemon squeezed
2 tbsp oil
salt

Method:
Prepare the rice noodles as per the instructions on the pack.Just add rice noodles to the boiling water(with salt) and cook for 6-7 mins and drain it,run through cold water.
Pound the pepper corns in a mortar n pestle coarsely.
In a big kadai heat oil and crackle mustard seeds,chana dal,urad dal and cashew pieces and fry until its slight red in colour add redchillies,pounded pepper corns and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Add the grated coconut and fry for a minute and add ricenoodles,salt and lemon juice and give a good stir and take off from the stove.
Serve hot.

Chana dal vada /Masala vada



One can find this snack in any tea stall all over south india.This is a very easy and simple south indian snack which can be made with the basic ingredients at home.This goes well in lunch or snack or even breakfast.
Ingredients:
1 Big cup Chana dal
1 onion,finely chopped
4-5 green chillies finely chopped or 1 tsp green chilli paste
2 tbsp chopped corriander
2 tbsp chopped mint(optional)
1 tbsp chopped curry leaves
1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
salt
oil(for deep frying)

Method:
Soak dal for 3-4 hrs or overnight.Drain the water from the dal and grind it to a coarse paste in whipper mode(do not add water).
Add finely chopped onions,green chillies,corriander,mint,curry leaves,ginger and salt to it and just run once in mixie(whipper mode,do not run much).
Take a small portion of the mixture and pat it into a round shaped vada on a greased palm(greased milk covers work best for this) and deep fry in oil until golden in colour.
(If you like you can sprinkle sesame seeds on the vada and pat it again before frying)

Serve hot with green chutney/coconut chutney or tomato sauce.

I am sending this to "Sunday Snacks -Chaats/Indian Street Food" event at pallavi's blog.

 
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