Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shrikarani/Seekarane...a simple Mango delight!!!

I know you all might have got confused with the name,even I dont have any clue why it is called with that name but all I know that it is such a delicious dish which we always enjoy through out the summer season.It needs very less ingredients and takes just a couple of minutes to prepare and tastes best when paired with hot chapathis smeared with ghee.The mango chunks with cardamom flavor in every bite takes us to heaven,if we run this mixture in mixie it will turn into mango Milkshake.But believe me this chunky mango delight goes very well with hot chapathis,this does not taste good with rotis. I prepare this one I do not require any side dish for my chapathis.

Ingredients:
2 ripen Mangoes(Preferably Alphonso,other mangoes also do well)
1/4 cup Milk,boiled and cooled
5-6 tbsp Sugar(adjust according to taste)
1/2 tsp Elaichi Powder

Method:
  • Clean and remove the outer layer of Mangoes and finely chop it.Mash half the portion of chopped mangoes with a spoon slightly,hand does a better job here.
  • Mix sugar and milk until the sugar is melted completely.
  • Add mashed and chopped mangoes and Elaichi powder to it and mix well.
  • Chill it for half an hour in refrigerator.
Serve it cold as a dessert or a side dish with hot hot chapathis.

Enjoy the Summer with this simple and delicious dish like me...!!

I am sending this "FF: Summer Treat" event started by Priti,

srivalli's "Mango Mela" and

this also goes to " WYF:Quick Meal" Event by EC.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Paneer Bhurji..!!



Paneer is acceptable in any form at our place.This is a very quick sabzi which can be prepared just in a matter of minutes and goes well with roti.This is so versatile that it can be used as a filling for Paratha,samosa and even for bread rolls for a slight variation and here comes the recipe.

Ingredients:


1 Cup crumbled or grated Homemade Paneer (or store bought)
1 medium Onion finely chopped
2-3 Green chillies finely chopped
2 small Tomatoes finely chopped
1/4 cup Fresh/Frozen Green Peas
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp kitchen king masala(Optional)
1/4 tsp Haldi(optional)
1-2 tbsp Lemon juice
3 tbsp Chopped Coriander
1/2 tsp finely chopped Ginger
1/2 tsp Jeera
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Butter

Method:
  • Heat Oil in a Kadai crackle Jeera and add finely chopped onion,green chillies and green peas and fry until onions turn pink.
  • Now add finely chopped Tomatoes and saute it until it becomes slightly mushy.
  • Now add garam masala,kitchen king masala,red chilli powder and haldi and fry for a minute.
  • Add crumbled Paneer and salt and give a good mix and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add Butter and mix properly and add Lemon juice,chopped Coriander and chopped Ginger and mix it and take off from the flame.(Do not keep it on stove for long time after adding lemon juice,it makes bitter).
Serve it hot with some Roti and Dal.

Other Serving suggestions:
1.It can be place in a chapathy and make it into a roll and serve for kids.
2.This can be used as a filling for paranthas,Samosa,Bread rolls.


This is the Pic of my Paneer bhurji turning into Paratha for my afternoon lunch on the next day.



I am sending this to Poornima's "MFT:CHEESE" Event which was originally started by Bindiya

and this also goes to "WYF:Quick Meal" Event started by EC.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Green Moong ADAI


It was one of those usual mornings in Hong Kong ( where we used to live earlier ) , my hubby had left to the ferry point to catch a ferry to the office while I decided to go out for a quick morning walk. I took a longer than usual stroll as I spent sometime near the beach as the morning breeze and the soft rush of the waves was quite welcoming. While walking back home I bumped into an Indian aunt and those days it used to feel great to talk to someone from your place. After the usual greetings I got to know that she stays near our house.We chatted for a long while and then she invited me to come to her house for a quick cup of coffee.That one cup of coffee turned into a proper breakfast where I got to taste this moong adai for the first time. I liked the taste so I took the recipe immediately and experimented it that weekend. From that day this has joined my breakfast menu.

I am sharing you some snaps which we have taken from our house in Hongkong.Guys,Disney Land wass just on the other side of the sea and we got to see the fireworks of Disney Land directly from our Living room window and from the bed room window overlooked the HongKong Skyline.On the weekends lots of boating,surfing activities will be going on which we could see from our house...Oh..!! I miss that place now badly..:)





Ingredients:
2 Cups Raw rice
1 Cup Whole green moong(Pesalu)
5-6 Green chillies
Salt to taste

Method:
  • Soak rice and green moong separately for 4-5 hrs.
  • Grind rice to a very fine mixture,then add the green moong and green chillies and grind it a coarse mixture.You should really feel the moong dal when we touch it.
  • Add salt to the ground mixture and mix well.Ferment it overnight or for 8-9 hrs.
  • Prepare Adai's as thin as possible with some drops of oil on Tawa.They come out really crisp.
Serve it hot right from the pan with Allam(Ginger) Chutney or the Tamarind-onion stew.


I am sending this to Nag's 'Ravishing Rice' Event Which was originally started by Meeta.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ragi Mudde/Ragi sangati...A True villager's delight..!!!



Ragi Mudde is typically done in rural parts of Karnataka and Andhra.It is quite heavy and energetic so even though it is consumed in small quantity it gives enough stamina which makes you to work for longer hours.
As a Kid I was never attracted to this because of the strange dark color of ragi flour.Me and my brother never used to eat any ragi flour based dishes in our childhood so my mom always had to cook some alternate for us and so when mom makes ragi mudde at home she has to cook rice separately for me and my brother.But things change with time..now when I visit my mom I ask her to prepare this for me because of the health benefits of ragi flour.Now even I started having it for my lunches.Earlier my mom use to prepare it with rice but she has started using rava instead of rice which makes this soft and even more tasty.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup (a handful of)Bombay rawa or Bansi/Kesar Rawa or Lapsi rawa
3/4 cup Ragi flour/Finger millet flour
salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee


Method:
  • Dry roast the rawa until the aroma begins.
  • In a big pot bring three cups of water to a boil,add the roasted rawa and salt and cook until the rawa is cooked.
  • Now add the ragi flour,do not stir it and let it cook for 8-10 mins under medium flame.
  • Now stir it with a thick wooden kitchen stick rigorously in one direction until it gets the thick consistency.(This step is very crucial as if the mixture is not stirred properly it will turn into a mixture with lots of ragi flour lumps)
  • Check at this point,if it is very dry add some hot water and stir once the flame is off.
  • Finally add a spoon of ghee and stir properly and make mudde(Rounds) out of it once it is slightly cooled.
This is traditionally served with a thick Vegetable-Lentil stew.
I served this with ghee,palak dal and some finely chopped onions.

Note:
  • Avoid ghee in the recipe for a Vegan version.
I am sending this to Shama's "VILLAGE-SPECIAL" event.

Pooja of "My Experience with Cooking" passed this lovely "Awesome Shots" award to me.Thanks a lot Pooja for thinking of me and passing that lovely award to me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tawa Pulav in Mumbai style...


One of the things I like about Mumbai is the mouth watering street food that you get, especially the chaats available in every street corner. Juhu beach, while a very crowded place is quite different from the beach near our house in Hong Kong where apart from the waves and the wind there was hardly a soul around. Amid the crowd in the Juhu beach are several chaat and other food joints which are hard to miss. While my Hubby advises me not to have street food because of hygiene factors I always end up having atleast the pani puris :). No trip to this beach is complete without having those delectable Chaats and food that they serve there and one among their specialties is this Tawa pulav which I had infact never even heard of earlier. I liked it a lot because of the crunchiness of the vegetables and the masala's which add a distinct flavor to the rice and here comes the recipe.I am sharing some photos to get the feel of juhu beach.



Ingredients:
1 Cup Basmati rice
1 1/2 Cups Lengthly chopped mixed vegetables(Carrot,Beans,Alu,Capsicum,Gobi florets)
1/4 cup Fresh/Frozen Green peas
1/4 Cup chopped Tomato
2 medium onions thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2 tbsp pav bhaji masala(the key ingredient in this pulav)
1 tsp Kitchen king masala(optional,i generally add this to some kind of pulav's and sabzi)
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp red chilli powder(add if you want extra spicy stuff)
2 tbsp coriander leaves
2 bay leaves
juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Butter

Method:
  • Soak Basmati rice in water for 10-15 mins and cook the rice.(Cook in large amount of water with a spoon of oil and strain it when the rice is cooked or you can even pressure cook it).Spread the rice on a wide plate which helps the granules to be separate.
  • Heat Oil and butter in a thick bottomed Tawa or Pan,add the bay leaves,fry the Onions until translucent,then add ginger-garlic paste and then add the Veggies,peas and fry them for approx 6-7 mins until they are crisp(prick alu with a fork,if it is cut easily then it is done).
  • Remove some portion of the vegetables from it and add pav bhaji masala,kitchen king masala,garam masala,red chilli powder,salt and the cooled rice to the remaining vegetables and mix gently on high flame and remove it from the stove and do the same procedure for the remaining rice.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice and finely chopped coriander leaves all over.( Here, i did not add coriander leaves).
  • The best way to do is mixing them in small portions in order to get a nice fluffy rice and a good smoking flavor to the rice.
  • Serve it piping hot with some simple onion raitha.

I am sending this to Nag's 'Ravishing Rice' Event Which was originally started by Meeta.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aloo palak



I try to include more Greens in my daily diet and one such green is spinach,which i use in preparing gravies,curries and dal's.Aloo palak can be prepared either in the dry form or a gravy and both go well with roti's.Here goes the gravy form of this.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of spinach
12-15 Baby potatoes or 3 Big Potatoes diced into cubes
1 Onion sliced
1 " Ginger
5-6 garlic pods
6-7 green chillies
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Dhaniya powder
1/2 tsp Jeera powder
1 tsp Amchur powder
1/2 tsp jeera
2 tbsp Cream(optional,i did not use it here)
salt to taste
1 tsp oil


Method:
  • Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for 5-6 mins until soft,run under cold water to retain the color.Cool the spinach and run it in the mixie to a nice smooth puree.
  • Grind Sliced onions,ginger,garlic,green chillies to a fine paste in the blender.
  • Deep fry the baby potatoes(or diced potatoes) in oil or you can even shallow fry (I placed them in a greased oven tray and baked it until it browns on top approx for 10-12 mins).
  • Heat oil in a kadai,crackle jeera and add the ground onion mixture and fry until the fat separation happens,now add all the dry masalas and salt and cook for a minute,add the spinach puree and cook for 5-7 mins on a slow flame(Do not close it with a lid which helps in retaining the color).
  • Now add the fried potatoes to it and cook for 2 mins.Pour the cream all over.
  • Serve it hot with Roti/Naan/Poori and raitha(I made boondi raitha).



Note:
  • Avoid cream in the recipe for a Vegan version.
I am sending this to the sowmya's SWC: Cooking with greens Event which was originally started by Lakshmi
and as green is one of my favorite colors and as it is dominated in this dish, this also goes to Curry Leaf's "FIC:Favourite" event which was originally started by Sunshinemom of TongueTicklers .

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chocolate-Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing .....



I wanted to give a surprise to my hubby on his birthday yesterday and spent an entire week thinking about what to do. I finally came up with the idea of baking a CAKE and decorating it myself at home . My mission started two days before his birthday and first I made a list of things I should be buying for him :) of course with his money !!. I spent an entire day shopping clothes and gifts for him and the next day baking the cake and decorating it.

I have baked several types of cakes before but have never done the icing part myself and so I was a bit skeptical on whether I would be able to do it or not. I was though quite keen to do it this time around given the occasion. I browsed several websites and this decoration done by Deeba caught my attention,OMG I just love her creations. I thought I would give this a try as it sounded simple and looked very nice and a perfect decoration for a beginner like me i.e. the room for error was very less :). I baked the cake following the recipe from Nita Mehta's Cakes book and decorated the cake by following our Passionate baker Deeba.

I followed the same method and measurement for the cake as mentioned in Nita Mehta's recipe and the cake came out perfect and moist. As I was doing the icing for the first time I was very careful during the process of making it and the end result was better than what I expected. I should thank Deeba to explain such a simple process of decorating a cake which can be attempted even by a beginner like me.Even though it is not that perfect I was quite happy at my first attempt...hmmm....isn't that cute for a first try ??

When hubby saw the cake he couldnt' believe that I made it at home. It tasted like Black Forest cake but with a different icing on top...


Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Sponge:
4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 Cup Oil
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Vanilla Essence

For the Cream Filling:
200 gms /cream -chilled
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar(approx)
1 tsp vanilla Essence

For the Sugar syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 to 5 drops of lemon(optional)

For Chocolate Ganache:
100 gms Cream(I used Amul)
150 gms Dark cooking chocolate chopped(approx 1 1/2 cups)

For decoration:
100 gms Chocolate
1 Pack of cherries
12-15 Almonds

Method:

Sponge:
  1. Grease an 8" round tin.Dust lightly with flour or line a tin with baking parchment and grease paper and sides as well.
  2. Sift flour,cocoa and baking powder together.
  3. Separate the Egg whites from the yolks.
  4. Beat Egg white in a clean dry bowl till fluffy.Add sugar gradually,beating till thick,fluffy and retains shape.
  5. Beat in the yolks and essence till thick and fluffy again.Add oil gradually and beat till well.
  6. Fold in flour gently with wooden or metal spoon by sprinkling evenly in 2-3 batches.
  7. pour mixture into tin and level the top.Tap the tin lightly to get rid of any large air bubbles.Bake in preheated Oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
  8. Insert Knife or skewer in centre of cake,if it comes out clean,remove tin from oven.After 5 minutes,remove cake from tin on a wire rack and leave to cool.

Cream Filling:

Beat Cream till thick.Add powdered sugar and essence and beat carefully till the cream is very thick and can stand in soft peaks.put some in a cone(made up of butter paper) and keep it in the fridge.Keep the rest of the cream also in the fridge.


Sugar syrup:

Boil water along with sugar until it forms a nice syrupy liquid,strain the water and let it cool.Add lemon juice to it and mix and keep it in fridge.


Chocolate Ganache:

Heat the cream in a heavy bottom pan on low heat till it becomes hot.Do not let it boil.Add chocolate pieces to it and cook until the chocolate melts.Mix nicely to remove any lumps.Remove from fire when almost melted and mix well.Let it cool.


For decoration:
  • Grate the chocolate at room temperature by applying some pressure either into curls or big choc shavings and keep them in freezer to harden up.
  • Chop the cherries finely for the filling and reserve some for the decoration
  • Blanch the Almonds in hot water and remove the skin.Cut it into very thin pieces.




Assembling the cake:
  • Cut the Cake into two or three pieces depending on the height of your cake.
  • Place a cake on the serving platter.Place the butter paper along the sides from the platter so that it can be removed once the process is completely done.
  • Soak with 1/4 cup sugar syrup.Spread some cream filling on cake.Arrange some chopped cherries on the cream and cover those with the other piece of cake.Soak cake again with 1/4 cup syrup and repeat the process and place the last slice of the cake.
  • Apply the chocolate ganache from the sides of the cake and then pour it on the top,as it has the pouring consistency it will flow smoothly and spread all over the cake.Give a touch up if anything is needed until the cake is completely covered with the ganache.
  • Attach the thin Almond slices onto the sides of the cake very carefully.
  • Take out the bag of whipped cream from the fridge, snip off the corner and make a spiral from the centre outwards.Take a tooth pick and drag it once from the center and once to the center to create a marble effect.You can see the detailed procedure of this process from deeba's blog.
  • Arrange the halved cherries on the edges and decorate with chocolate shavings.
  • Chill it for 3 to 4 hrs before serving.The cake tastes better on the next day.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Simple Peanut Chutney


Ingredients:
1 Cup Groundnuts(peanuts)
2 tbsp fried gram/Dalia
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
4-5 green chillies or red chillies(here i used red chillies)
salt

For Tadka:
1 tsp urad dal
8-10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ghee/oil

Method:
Dry roast the peanuts on a pan or microwave them and cool them and remove the skin.
Grind peanuts along with the rest of the ingredients by adding enough water to a fine smooth paste.
Heat ghee in a tadka pan crackle mustard seeds,fry urad dal and curry leaves and add this tadka to the Chutney.

Serve it with Dosa/Idli/Upma/Pongal.

Note:
  • Avoid ghee and use oil in the recipe for a Vegan version.
I am sending this to 15 Minute Cooking hosted by Mahimaa.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spongy Atukula Dosa



I love Dosa's with a crispy crust and soft texture on the top.This spongy Atukula dosa is compared generally to the jasmine flower because of its pure white colour and softness.This is extremely soft with a crisp crust and it just melts in the mouth .This is one fool proof recipe again from Amma's kitchen.

Ingredients:
4 Cups Rice
1 Cup Beaten rice/Atukulu/poha
1 handful(1/4 cup approx) Urad dal
2 tsp methi(fenugreek) seeds
1/4 cup curds(optional,makes it still softer)
a pinch of Cooking soda(optional,makes the dosa porous,soft and fluffy)
salt



Method:
  • Soak urad dal,poha and methi seeds overnight or 6-7 hrs.Soak Rice also overnight.
  • Grind urad dal,poha and methi seeds to a smooth fine mixture in the wet grinder ,add rice to it and grind until everything is of uniform smooth mixture.Now add dahi and salt and grind again.
  • Ferment it overnight or atleast for 9-10 hrs.
  • Mix cooking soda with a tbsp of water in a ladle and add to the batter and mix well nicely.The addition of cooking soda is optional but it ensures that you get soft,porous and fluffy dosas with out fail.
  • Pour the batter(do not spread) on a hot tawa and pour oil from the sides and cover with a lid and cook it on medium flame and remove the lid and increase the flame to high and cook until you can see the golden brown crust formation.This process makes the dosa to be crispy and soft. Do not flip it to the other side.As we cooked the dosa by closing the lid,it is not necessary to flip it.
Serve it hot right out from the pan. I generally prefer eating this dosa with Bombai chutney or Vegetable saagu.This can be even served with coconut chutney or peanut chutney or any other chutney of your choice.

For a crisp paper roast dosa check my earlier post PAPER ROAST.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lauki ka Halwa(Sorakaaya/Bottlegourd halwa)


The other day i was just checking my drafts and came through this post which was pending in my drafts from so many days and was seeking my attention.I had prepared this on the occasion of my FIL's Birthday last month.
Hubby is not a great fan of this vegetable and as long as he does not recognize its form in any food stuff he does not mind eating it,otherwise its a big no....no to this vegetable.But considering the health benefits of this vegetable i try to include this in our daily food in various forms like in vegetable juices,koftas,parathas,rotti's,kheer and halwa.

I tasted this for the first time at my friends place,till then i did not even know that one can prepare halwa even with lauki.I just fell in love with the bright green color of this lovely halwa which is quite different from the regular halwa's.(It retains its green color if it is not cooked for a long time). I prepared this halwa in a similar manner like how i prepare carrot halwa, the outcome was just out standing and this just melts in the mouth and i hope it would also taste fantastic with Ice cream......and here comes the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 Lauki(bottle gourd) peeled,de-seeded and grated
1 cup milk
1/2 tin Condensed milk(200ml approx)
4 tbsp Sugar(add it accordingly)
2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp flaked pistachios
2 tbsp raisins
4 tbsp ghee
cherries for decoration(optional)



Method:
Add milk and grated bottle gourd to the cooker.Close cooker and bring to full pressure on high heat and remove cooker immediately from heat.
Release the pressure immediately and open it(or you can cook the lauki in milk on a stove top which is bit time consuming).
Place the cooker on high heat,add sugar and condensed milk and cook until the liquid dries up(approx for 15-20 mins) stirring occasionally.
Add ghee and cook till ghee separates from the mixture(this takes approx 10 mins),stirring constantly.
Heat ghee in a small pan fry cashews and raisins and add this to the halwa,add flaked badam/almonds and pistachios and mix everything.

Serve hot garnished with flaked almonds and pistachios.(I used a cherry also in the picture) or with ice cream.

I am sending this to the event Mithai Mela hosted by srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pumpkin Stew(gummadikaaya pulusu) ......the pumpkin mela continues...!!


This stew is prepared with the left over pumpkin piece which i used for preparing the soup.Did not understand what to do with this left over piece of pumpkin so called my MIL(she is my source of Andhra recipes) to find out how i could utilize this tiny piece.She gave me this recipe and so rushed to the kitchen and came out with this simple dish in a couple of minutes which was just perfect for a simple lunch.I am a kind of girl who prefers Andhra food for lunch and this was just perfect for me.

Ingredients:
1 cup diced red pumpkin
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 green chillies chopped
1/4 cup tamarind pulp(approx 3 tbsp)
1 tsp sambar powder(store bought or homemade)
1 tbsp grated jaggery
salt

for Tadka:
1 tsp urad dal
5-6 curry leaves
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing

Method:
Heat oil and add all the ingredients for tadka and fry for a minute.Add chopped onion and green chillies and fry until translucent.Now add pumpkin and mix well.Cover with a plate and pour water over it and cook for 6-8 mins until pumpkin is soft by stirring occasionally.Add tamarind pulp,jaggery,salt,sambar powder and water to it and mix everything well and let it boil for a couple of minutes.

Serve with hot rice and papad.

I am sending this to 15 Minute Cooking hosted by Mahimaa.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pumpkin-Carrot soup


During my grocery shopping last week this piece of pumpkin attracted me enough to carry it along with me.In my two and half years of kitchen adventures i never got to use the pumpkin in my cooking,so i thought of giving a start with a soup.Soups are always welcome at my place and hubby likes especially light and clear soups with some toasted bread.Most of the times my dinner just comprises of soup,toasted bread and salad.I prepared this soup in a simple way like how i prepare basic tomato soup just that i replaced tomato by pumpkin and added celery to give a nice flavor to the soup.

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin slice,cut into cubes
1 carrot sliced
1 stem of celery
1 small onion sliced
4-5 garlic pods
2 cloves
1/2 " cinnamon
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil/butter
1/2 tsp pepper powder/pepper corns
salt




Method:

Heat olive oil in a pot/pan and saute sliced onions and garlic until soft, throw the chopped veggies into the pan and saute for a minute.
pour 3-4 cups of water,dry masalas(cinnamon,cloves and bay leaf,pepper corns if using) and cover it and cook until all the vegetables are soft.cool it down,remove the bay leaf and blend it into a nice smooth mixture.
Heat the mixture again in the pan and add water to get the required consistency.
Season it with salt and pepper according to your taste.

Serve hot with toasted garlic bread/simple bread.



Friday, May 1, 2009

Vangi Bath(Eggplant Rice)


Vangibath is one of the famous rice dishes of Karnataka.This rice brings me memories of my school,college and office days..:)..My Mom tells me that I was very choosy about my food right from the childhood days.I used to prefer carrying one pot rice dishes like this in a sleek lunch box that fits in my bag rather than carrying a three tier dabba.:).And now this rice took its place again in hubby's lunch box.
This is a simple rice which can be made without prior preparation,just need to have some brinjals in hand and readily prepared vangibath powder.My Mom does not eat lots of vegetables and one among those is this poor Brinjal,she always adds some thinly sliced potatoes to it along with the brinjal which results in more brinjal pieces in our plate(she removes all the brinjal pieces from her plate and pass it to us....)
Now coming to the recipe this needs a special preparation of powder which is very aromatic and quite compatible to use for the preparation of so many other dishes.Generally i get a good stock of masala's from my mom,so i prepare the powder only if i run out of my stock ...and here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:
3 cups Cooked rice(Basmati/Masuri/Kolam)
5-6 Dark Baby Brinjals/Eggplants,sliced lengthwise and soaked in salted water
2 tbsp Vangibath powder
10-12 Cashewnuts,slit into two
1 tsp Urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
a pinch of turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon
salt

For Vangibath Powder:
1/4 cup Chana dal
1/4 cup Urad dal
3/4 cup grated dry coconut
10-12 Byadige mirchi(gives nice red color)
10-12 Guntur red chillies
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 " cinnamon
10-12 Laung
3-4 Star Anise
salt

Dry roast Chana dal, urad dal, red chillies(both kind), Laung,cinnamon,star anise separately.cool the mixture completely.Grind this along with coriander seeds(do not fry this),grated dry coconut and salt to a fine powder.This can be stored in a Air-Tight container for about 3-4 months.I generally keep it in fridge and take out enough quantity when required.

Method:
Heat oil in a big kadai,crackle mustard seeds,add chana dal,urad dal and cashew nuts and fry for a minute.
Now add curry leaves and fry,add Brinjals and add sugar(eases the process of frying) and cook until the brinjal turns soft(stir in between).
Add salt,turmeric and mix and remove it from stove.
Cool the cooked rice a bit(otherwise it will become mushy) and pour the rice over the brinjal mixture and add vangibath powder,lemon juice and mix it completely.Now taste the rice and adjust it by adding enough salt,vangibath powder and lemon juice.

Serve it with simple onion raitha.

I am sending this to Trupti's CFK: Kids event originally started by Sharmi of Neivedyam.

Cilantro Rava Idly and Potato Saagu...reposted!!!

Thinking what cilantro is doing with rava Idly??

The answer is simple, if you would have ever tasted Rava Idly in Bangalore(Adigas and other joints) you would be knowing why i called it in that way..and there is no cilantro(coriander) paste added to rava idly, it is just that coriander is used in a large amount in this idly to give its unique color and fragrance to the idly.The color of the Idly is slight greenish in color as they use lots and lots of coriander in it.If the coriander does not loose its colour after steaming,then your idlies are perfect and soft,else if it fades or changes the colour it will result in harder idlies(this is the hint i got from my experience).
One can get to taste the best rava idly in MTR,Bangalore,after all they are the creators of these wonderful idlies.Even Adigas in Bangalore serve very nice and soft rava idlies.Infact,the size of the Idly is twice the ones we generally prepare at home and one Idly itself is so filling.This is a fool-proof recipe i got to learn from my mom and aunts. The Idlies comes out so soft that it just melts in the mouth.The best combination that goes with these soft-soft idlies is potato saagu.


Rava Idly:

Ingredients:
2 Cups Rava/Semolina
1 1/2 Cup Sour Curd
1 cup chopped coriander
1/4 cup grated coconut(optional,i did not use in this)
8 green chillies finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped curry leaves
3 tbsp Cashews roughly chopped
6 whole kajus(later slit into two)
1 inch ginger finely chopped
1 tbsp Chana dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera(optional)
3 tbsp Oil
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp Baking/cooking soda(soda bicarb) or 1 heaped tsp Eno
salt



Method:
Heat ghee in a small pan and fry kaju's until red in color.
Heat oil in a wide pan,crackle mustard seeds,add chana dal,kaju pieces and fry until its light red in color,add jeera,ginger and green chillies chopped and fry till its crisp,add chopped curry leaves and rava and fry until the aroma starts and turn off the stove.Let it cool to the room temperature.This process can be done in advance.I generally prepare double the quantity and freeze it for later use.
Beat the curds(it should be sour),add salt and coriander to it and mix,now add rava and mix to it(the consistency is to be very thick,thicker than the normal idly batter) and let it sit for 10 mins.In a ladle mix soda bicarb with a spoonful of water and mix with the remaining batter thoroughly(it will form yellow spots if the soda is not mixed properly).Now,if the mixture is completely dry,add a ladle of curd to it and mix.
Grease the idly plate with oil and place a kaju in center with the smooth surface facing downwards and pour batter over it and steam for 12-15 mins.
I sometimes add 1/2 tsp of eno(fruit salt) along with soda in order to avoid hard idlies.
Serve hot with ghee and potato saagu or coconut chutney.

Note:
For beginners use Eno to get softer idlies .

Potato Saagu:



Ingredients:
3 Big alu(potatoes)
1/2 cup fresh green peas(optional)
1 Big onion sliced
3 green chillies chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp potato saagu masala(i used MTR)
5-6 curry leaves
1 tbsp chana dal
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 lemon squeezed
2 pinches of turmeric
salt
oil

Method:
Pressure cook potato for 3 whistles or microwave it until soft.
Heat oil in a pan,crackle mustard seeds,add jeera,urad dal,chana dal and fry for a minute,add curry leaves and green chillies and fry for a minute.Now add sliced onions and fry till translucent,add peas and fry,add potato and mash it a bit,add turmeric and some water to it to get a thick gravy consistency,add MTR potato saagu masala,salt and cover it and cook for 2 mins.
Squeeze the lemon,add coriander leaves and mix and serve with rava idly.

I am sending this Cilantro Rava Idly to the event JFI-CILANTRO hosted at CILANTRO and was originally started by Indira of Mahanandi.





 
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