December 23, 2008

Sookhi Gobi - Dry Cauliflower Curry

I love vegetables & cauliflower is a huge favorite with me. I just love the very sight of fresh cauliflowers in the market & the very thought of eating those florets, in whichever way delights me.

At my In-laws place, we never buy cauliflower. For some strange reason, my MIL hates using cauliflower in her cooking. It was very shocking for someone like me who ate copius amounts of cauliflower But, Cauliflower is one of the must haves in my pantry. I add it to most dishes, from Upma to Khichdi to Pulaos to Gravies to almost anything that it fits into.


My favorite way of serving cauliflower is this simple stir fry that my mum has been making since ages. Unlike my husband who loves Aloo Gobi, I love this one, mainly because I grew up with this.

This recipe is from Northen India, where cauliflower is used in abundance. This is a very basic recipe & very easy to put together. Hope you like it too,

Preparation Time
: 20 minutes

Ingredients
:
  • 2 cups of even sized cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder ( more if you want a bit more heat )
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of Garam masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Method:
  • Heat oil in a large skillet. When hot, add cumin seeds, when the seeds pop & splutter, add grated ginger, coriander powder, turmeric & red chilli powder. Saute for about 30 seconds on low heat. Do Not burn them.
  • Add cauliflower florets & saute until each floret is well coated with spices. This takes about a couple of minutes.
  • Add very little water & salt as per taste, & cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Let the cauliflower cook on mediun flame. Keep sauting at regular intervals to avoid the florets from getting burnt.
  • Add green peas & mix well. Close the lid again. If necessary add a little bit of water at this stage. Let it cook again.
  • When the cauliflower florets & peas are well cooked( This should take about 15 minutes) thrown in a pinch of garam masala & add lemon juice. Mix well.
Serve HOT with Rotis/Rice. Enjoi !!!

NOTE
: Do Not over cook the cauliflower florets. If overcooked, it tends to get mushy. The florets must retain their crunch

The cauliflower was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of crunch. We enjoyed this mildly spiced curry with some HOT steamed Rice & Dal. It really did make a wonderful side dish with, the otherwise plain Dal.

My trip was postponed by a bit & I had enough time to post another favorite recipe of mine. Iam off for a holiday, the day after. I still haven't started packing & I am happily blogging away my blues, sitting in front of my laptop. I think Iam just Crazy, But I totally enjoy doing things at the last moment, a trait I picked from my husband :)

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year. Have loads of fun :) Will see you guys real soon.

Chao :)

December 13, 2008

Baingan Ka Bharta - Smoked Eggplant Curry

Punjabi cuisine is wholesome & full of rustic flavors. If you love punjabi food, I bet you will love Baingan Ka Bharta. This simple dish from the land of Punjab, has a very distinct flavor because of the use of mustard oil. Smoked eggplant gives it a very earthy flavor that you will love.

Baingan Ka Bharta is relatively healthier as compared to other punjabi dishes as it does not require liberal use of desi ghee or oil. This is simple enough to be tried by a novice too


Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 red onions - finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • A handful of chopped cilantro

Method:
  • Make tiny slits around the eggplant, coat with mustard oil & roast it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 mins, till the eggplant gets charred on all the sides. You could even roast the eggplant on the stove top.
  • Once the eggplant is roasted, allow it to cool. Later, peel off the skin & mash the eggplant with the back of a fork. Add salt & lime juice, mix well & set it aside
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add cumin seeds, once the seeds pop & splutter, add green chillies & ginger garlic paste & saute
  • Add chopped onions & saute until they turn transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, add red chilli powder & saute till the tomatoes are cooked & oil separates
  • To this, add mashed eggplant & green peas. Mix well & cook for a while on low heat.
  • Add salt as per taste. Add garam masala & kitchen king masala, mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro

Serve HOT with Rotis/Rice. Enjoi !!!

Serve as a dip with pita chips for a change. Iam sure your guests will love this.


NOTE:
  • You could use vegetable oil/sunflower oil too. But Mustard oil gives it a very different flavor.
  • DO NOT wash the smoked eggplant in cold water to cool it down. Else, it will lose the smoky flavor.
  • You can even use charcoal to roast the eggplant, It will taste even better.

December 8, 2008

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

I love Pasta. I am a huge pasta eater because it is such a comfort food. I think most of us do love pasta because our bodies are designed to love carbohydrates.

I love all kinds of pasta, Penne being my all time favorite. Speaking of Penne Pasta, Iam sure all pasta enthusiasts, particularly CheeseCake Factory fans will be familiar with Evelyn's Favorite Pasta.


Evelyn's Favorite Pasta is so wonderfully comforting. Tossed with olive oil, some nice roasted vegetables & lovely basil & parmesean cheese, it is sure to please your tastebuds. It is so fully of flavor, hearty & makes a delicious, easy dinner. This is one of the healthier Pasta options if you happen to be a health freak.

Also, I recently discovered that, Whole Wheat pasta tastes exactly like traditional pasta. Why dont you guys switch over to whole wheat pasta too. Its a lot healthier for you.

Since I do not have the option to go over to CheeseCake Factory, Here's my attempt to recreate the pasta magic at home,

Preparation Time: 30 mins

You will need:
  • 2 cups Penne Rigate
  • 1/2 an eggplant - cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper - cubed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp dry basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Boil Pasta in heavily salted water as per package instructions.
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add chopped eggplants, broccoli florets & saute for a while.
  • Add chopped bell peppers, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts & saute over medium flame until the vegetables are well roasted. See to it that the vegetables retain their crunch. Do Not over cook the vegetables.
  • Mix in cooked pasta, basil leaves, parmesean cheese & some salt. Mix well & simmer on low heat for about 4 - 5 minutes until the pasta is well coated with vegetables.

Serve HOT with some grated cheese. Enjoi !!!

NOTE:

You could also add some roasted artichoke & olives. I omitted it as I didn't want to mix in too many flavors. I DO NOT recommend adding these. But you can go ahead & add them if you like to.

December 4, 2008

Baby Corn & Green Peas Curry

There is something about Baby Corn. I am sure, most of you will agree with this one. You will very rarely come across someone, who dislikes Baby Corn.

While looking out for a Baby Corn recipe, I came across this dish on Monsoon Spice. The moment I saw the picture, I knew this would be our lunch the next day.

Baby Corn & Green Peas is a killer combination. They compliment each other really well. Let me tell you that this curry is relatively dry as compared to the regular Baby Corn Masala but it really goes well with most dishes.

If you love Baby Corn, this is for you.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

You Will Need:
  • 12-15 Baby Corn - cut vertically into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 red onion - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 small tomato - finely chopped
  • 2 Green chillies - slit length wise
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen King masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil

Method:

  • Boil baby corn juliennes in heavily salted water with turmeric for about 10 - 12 minutes. Baby Corn should be tender fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add cumin seeds, once the seeds pop & splutter, add green chillies & ginger garlic paste.
  • Add chopped onions & saute till they turn transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes & saute for a minute. Add red chilli powder, & cook until oil separates.
  • Add yogurt & kasuri methi & bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add cooked baby corn & grean peas. Add some more water & cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add Garam Masala & Kitchen King Masala. Check for salt. Mix well.

Serve with Rotis/Pulao/Biryani/Jeera Rice. Enjoi !!!

We had our with some plain paranthas, rice & yogurt. It was one wholesome meal for the weekend. This recipe is a definite addition to my list regular recipes. It will definitely be making this again.

How about you trying this for lunch today?

NOTE:

If you do not want to use yogurt, add an additional tomato for the tangy taste. I have added yogurt to get a creamier texture as this dish is rather dry.

November 26, 2008

Vegetable Biryani

I love rice & I am a complete one-pot meal person. Vegetable Biryani is one such dish that I'd love to indulge in ocassionally. Infused with a lot of vegetables & Indian herbs & fresh spices, its one of the finest representatives of Indian cuisine.


As with any popular recipe, there are several versions of preparing Biryani. I myself have three versions of this dish which is make alternately.

The one that I have for you today is the simplest & easiest of the three. I usually make this version when I need to whip up a good meal in a hurry. The other version is that of my mother's which I grew up with & is a family favourite. I shall be posting that soon.

The list of ingredients is a little long. Don't be petrified by looking at the list. It's fairly simple to make.

Here is how I made it,

Preparation Time
: 40 minutes

Ingredient
s:
  • Basmati/Long grained rice - 1 1/2 cups
  • A pinch of saffron dissolved in a tbsp of warm milk
  • 2 red onions - sliced into thin strips
  • 1 green bell pepper - cubed
  • 1 carrot - cut into long strips
  • 2 potatoes - cubed
  • 1/2 cup french beans - cut into long strips
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 2 tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 3 green chillies - slit length wise
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • A small stick of cinnamon
  • 4 -5 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method:

  • Wash rice in several changes of water. soak in water for 30 mins
  • Pressure cook the rice with saffron in 1 1.2 cups of water. Oncc done, spread rice on a large tray & let it cool completely.
  • Heat Oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Add cumin seeds & let it pop & splutter
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, Bay leaves , turmeric & green chillies
  • Add green cardamoms, cinnamon sick, cloves, star anise, peppercorns & saute for a while.
  • Add onions & saute till they turn transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes & saute for a while.
  • Add all the dry powders except kitchen king masala & garam masala
  • Saute till oil separates.
  • Add potatoes & carrots & cook till almost done.
  • Add french beans & cauliflower florets & cook till tender. At this stage you may require more oil for cooking.
  • Add green bell pepper & green peas & saute until tender
  • Add yogurt & mix well. bring it to a boil. Add Garam Masala, kitchen king masala & salt as per your taste
  • Add cooked rice, squeeze lemon juice. Mix well & garnish with chopper cilantro

Serve with onion raita or any gravy of your choice. Enjoi !!!

I thoroughly enjoyed playing around with the spices & inhaling the aroma that emanated from the kadhai . . .

We enjoyed this with simple onion raita & Spicy Potato Wedges on the side. We licked our plates clean & put a delicious end to a great day ! ! !

This goes to Srivalli's Rice Mela ! !

November 22, 2008

Ribbon Pakoda

After gorging on all those sinful sweets during Diwali, Its time for some savory treats. Ribbon Pakoda is one such snack that tantalizes the taste buds. Though, Iam not very fond of deep frying, these spicy, crunchy tidbits are well worth the efforts.


There are various versions of making Ribbon Pakodas. The one that I have for you today is the one that my Mom & Grandmom have been following since ages.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients
:
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup chickpea flour/besan
  • 1 tbsp butter - unsaltedred
  • 2-3 tsp Red chilli powder
  • A generous pinch asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

  • Mix together all above ingredients except oil in a large bowl
  • Add water to the mixture & knead well to form a soft non-sticky dough
  • Meanwhile. Heat oil in a wide saucepan for deep frying
  • Place a small portion of the dough inside a Murukku Maker, squeeze into hot oil & make a big circle. DO NOT overcrowd the pan
  • Deep fry till golden brown
  • Place them on absorbent towels to soak up excess oil
  • Store them in air-tight containers & when completely cool

Enjoy with HOT Tea/Coffee or whenever you feel like munching on to something !!!

Here is what a Murukku Maker looks like :




NOTE: Other versions call for using either equal quantities of rice flour & chickpea flour or reversing the proportions used here. Feel free to adjust the proportions as per your taste.

November 17, 2008

Cabbage Dal

I love experimenting with different kinds of Dal/Lentils & vegetables. Since Dal is part of our everyday fare, I keep trying out different combinations to avoid boredom. one such combination that I really liked is Cabbage & Moong Dal.


These two compliment each other perfectly. This is really simple to make. If you guys are bored of your regular Dal Tadka, Go ahead and make this for a change.

Preparation Time: 20- 25 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage - shredded
  • 1 cup - moong dal
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tomato - finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli - slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp - red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp - ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp - cumin seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Method:

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, When hot, add cumin seeds, once the seeds pop & splutter, add green chilli, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, curry leaves & saute
  • Add onions & fry until transparent.
  • Throw in chopped tomatoes & add red chilli powder. Cook till oil separates & the raw smell disappears.
  • Add moong dal & saute for a minute
  • Add about 2 cups of water & cover the pan with a lid & let the dal cook for a while. Keep stirring in between.
  • Once the dal is half cooked, add shredded cabbage & add another 2 cups of water.
  • Add salt & mix well, cover the pan again & let it cook. Keep stirring in between. Add additional water, if necessary,
  • When done, check the taste & mix well. Transfer into a bowl.

Serve HOT with rotis or steamed rice. Enjoi !!!

NOTE: The proportion of Dal:Cabbage is entirely upto you. If you want a creamier taste. You could add more of Dal. Or, you could even keep the proportions equal.

November 11, 2008

Sweet Corn Fried Rice

Fried Rice is one of those lovely comforting foods that everyone in the world seems to like. And, it is also one of the best ways to use up leftover rice & vegetables. In a rice loving family like ours, this is an all time favourite.

Fried Rice is typically cooked on high flame and requires vigorous stirring. The trick is to chop the vegetables really small so that the insides are cooked & the vegetables retain a nice crunch.

The most important point to remember is to cool the rice completely before stir frying it. Steaming the rice & stir frying it immediately makes the rice very sticky. This is why leftover does wonders in this case.

I had a huge pack of unused sweet corn lying in the freezer for months. I thought the best way to use it up is to make a simple fried rice out of sweet corn & a few left over vegetables available in the pantry.

There is no hard & fast rule as to what should typically go into fried rice. I made this on a whim & it turned out just lovely.

Here's how I made it,

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 cup long grained rice - cooked. Leftovers will work wonders
  • 2 onions - sliced into long strips
  • 1/2 cup - American sweet corn - fresh/frozen
  • 1/2 cup - Green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 carrot - sliced into long strips
  • 3 green chillies - slit length wise
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

Method:

  • If not using leftover rice, clean rice in several changes of water & let it soak for 15 mnutes. Drain out excess water & pressure cook rice with 1 1/4 cups of water. When rice it cooked, spread it evenly on a plate & let it cool completely
  • Meanwhile, Heat oil in a wok, add ginger-garlic paste & green chilles
  • Add sliced onions & a pinch of turmeric. Saute until onions turn transparent. Add chopped carrots & stir fry till carrots are tender.
  • Throw in sweet corn & green peas & saute for a couple of minutes
  • Add rice, vinegar & soy sauce. Now add salt as per taste
  • Mix well
Serve HOT with tomato sauce or any other sauce of your choice.
We had ours with some hot garlic sauce. It was one complete meal by itself. Enjoi !!!

October 30, 2008

Carrot Halwa - A Sweet Indulgence

While I was going through my list of posts, I realized, I hadn't posted a single dessert/sweet dish. We aren't really fond of sweets, There are very few sweets that we relish, & one among them is the mother of all desserts - Carrot Halwa. Though we are introduced to world cuisine, Carrot Halwa still holds the pride of place among Indian desserts.

As with most recipes, there are various versions of this dish. Even though the process is slightly labour intensive, every tiny bit of this heavenly dessert is worth it.
Here's my version,

Preparation Time : 1 hour

Ingredients:
  • Grated carrots - 4 cups
  • Milk - 4 cups
  • Ghee/clarified butter - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - 2 cups
  • 2 tsp - green cardamon powder
  • A handful of cashewnuts - chopped
  • A handful of raisins
Method:
  • Heat 2 tsps of ghee in a heavy bottomed pan & fry raisins & cashewnuts until golden brown. Remove & set aside
  • Add grated carrots & saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add 4 cups of milk & stir at regular intervals.
  • Cook until milk is completely absorbed
  • Mix in ghee & sugar & stir till sugar is completely dissolved & carrots get a glaze.
  • Turn off the stove, Add in green cardamom powder & mix well
  • Garnish with chopped cashewnuts & raisins.
Serve with vanilla ice cream .. Enjoi !!!

October 24, 2008

Punjabi Kadhi-Pakode


Punjabi cuisine is as rich as its culture. Delectable Makki Di Roti & Sarson Da Saag, not to mention the paranthas with spicy pickles & yogurt, or the comforting Rajma Chawal & the tall glass of cold Lassi topped with Cream or Malai, Punjabi cuisine is truly a gastronomic delight

One such Punjabi dish we all love is the Punjabi Kadhi Pakode. Kadhi is a thick gravy of sour yogurt & chickpea flour simmered into a perfect consistency & seasoned with yummy spices. What makes the Punjabi Kadhi unique is the additon of Pakodes/fritters.

Kadhi - Chawal is such a comforting dish that once you get hooked to it, you will yearn for more.
My husband, who is ever fond of yogurt based gravies, just loves kadhi-pakode. We make this whenever we are bored of the regular Dal/Rasam/Sambar stuff ..

Here is how I made it:


Preparation Time: 30 mins

For the Kadhi:

  • Chickpea flour/Besan - 1/2 cup

  • Yogurt - preferably sour - 2 cups

  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

  • Nigella seeds/Kallonji - 1/2 tsp

  • A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida

  • Kasuri Methi/Dry Fenugreek Leaves - 1 tbsp

  • A few curry leaves

  • 2 green chillies

  • salt as per taste

  • oil - 2 tsp

Method:

  • Mix sour yogurt & chickpea flour in a large bowl & make sure no lumps are formed

  • Heat oil in a large wok/kadhai, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds & kallonji

  • Once the seeds pop & splutter, add turmeric, red chilli powder & a pinch of hing

  • Add the chickpea flour & yogurt mixture & cook on very low heat, keep stirring often

  • Add salt & dry fenugreek leaves & mix well. Let it simmer until the mixture is of a custard like consistency. This will take about 25 mins

  • While the kadhi is simmering away to a perfect consistency, Here's how you make the fritters,

For Pakodes/Onion fritters

  • 2 onions - finely chopped

  • 1 cup chickpea flour/besan

  • 2 green chillies - finely chopped

  • 1 tsp - red chilli powder

  • 1 tsp - black pepper powder

  • A pinch of baking soda

  • Salt as per taste

  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

  • Mix all the ingrdients in a large bowl, add about 2 tbsp of water & make a batter. Make sure you add very little water as the batter should be fairy dry

  • Heat oil in a wok, To check if the temprature is right, drop a bit of batter into the oil, if it floats & sizzles on top, its time to fry the pakodes

  • Drop dollops of batter into oil & deep fry until golden brown

Dunk the pakodes into the kadhi & cook fo another 2 minutes.

Just before serving, temper with red/green chillies, a pinch of asafoetida & curry leaves. Close the lid immediately, for the flavours to infuse.

Serve with HOT steamed rice .. Enjoi !!!

October 19, 2008

Spaghetti with Sauteed Vegetables

Italian cooking is among the world's richest & most varied, with dishes perfect for every occasion. My family just loves Italian Food & Spaghetti is a family favourite. It is very nutritious, easy & can be made within minutes.


There are tons of easy ways to eat your spaghetti. The one that I want to share with all of you today is definitely one of the easiest & has a perfect assortment of sauteed vegetables. Even though its one of the 'Hurried-Up' meals at home, it is very delicious & is definitely a comfort meal. This one is a sure winner among kids too.

Preparation Time: 20-25 mins

You Will Need:
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 2 ripe tomatoes/ 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 carrot - diced
  • 100g mushroom - sliced
  • 1 small bowl of sliced broccoli
  • 2 - 3 tbsp - extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp - grated cheese
  • salt as per taste

Method:

  • Cook spahetti in a large pot filled with heavily salted water, as per package instructions
  • Boil tomatoes in water, Peel off the skin & puree them using a blender
  • Heat oil in a wok, Add diced carrots, mushroom & broccoli. Saute the vegetables for about 5 minutes
  • Add pureed tomatoes & cook on low flame, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add cooked spaghetti & salt as per taste
  • Mix well to combine, top with grated cheese & serve

Enjoi !!

October 7, 2008

Salade Mexicaine

I love salads, from the simplest to the most complex .. I was never particularly fond of them while growing up. I remember my mother's perpetual coaxing to get me to eat salads. Salads were a big No No in my menu. My love affair with salads began during my early college days when I was overzealously trying to get rid of the excess flab, amassed over years of gorging on those countless chaats, fried goodies & not to forget those pasteries . . Once I fell in love with them, there was no looking back.



I usually experiment with most vegetables & herbs & include them in my daily diet.
The one that I have for you today is a very simple mexican salad that I make quite often. Its a perfect mix of legumes & vegetables.

Preparation Time: 20 mins

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup french beans
  • 1 cup american sweet corn
  • 1 cup red kidney beans/rajma - soaked overnight or for 5-6 hours
  • 1 cup haricot beans/white kidney beans - soaked overnight or for 5-6 hours
  • 1 small red onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Pressure cook french beans, kidney beans & haricot beans
  • Cook sweet corn on stove top until tender
  • Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl
  • Add vinegar & salt as per taste
  • Toss well & serve

Can be served as an evening snack too . . . Enjoi !!!

Am sending over this recipe to Divya's Dil Se for the event Diet Foods .. & also to Sra's Place for the event My Legume Love Affair & A Recipe which is a brainchild of Susan

Thanks Divya & Sra & Susan for hosting.

October 1, 2008

Apple Dal

Apple Dal ??? This was exactly how my expression was when I saw it on Sujatha's blog. I kept wondering how Dal made out of apple would taste. Something about the recipe caught my attention, & I made a mental note of it, to be tried on a later date.


I have a huge stack of bookmarked recipes that are waiting to see the light of the day. At times I come up with a menu plan for the entire week wherein certain lunches/dinners are reserved for trying out new recipes. Somehow, I am never able to stick to the plan either because there are left overs or because my pantry is not stocked with appropriate ingredients or more so because I am plain lazy.

And, I had happily forgotten about Apple Dal too until I saw some apples lying in my refrigerator unattended. These apples we had bought several weeks ago turned out so sour that neither of us touched them again. I & Shankar relish fruits so its not everyday that there are excess fruits in my pantry that go unnoticed. It didn't take too long for me to decide that we were going to have Apple Dal for dinner

The basic recipe is from Sujatha's blog & I have tweaked the recipe here & there to suit my taste

Here's how I made it :

Preparation Time
: 30 mins

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 1 tomato - finely chopped
  • 1 green apple - cut into cubes
  • 2-3 green chillies - finely chopped
  • 1 tsp - mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp - cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp - oil
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 tsp - sambar powder
  • 1 tsp - corinader powder
  • 1 tsp - red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp - kitchen king masala (optional)
  • A pinch of Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp - Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp - lemon juice

Method:

  • Pressure cook Toor dal with a pinch of turmeric & salt
  • Soak apple cubes in water mixed with lemon juice for about 15 mins
  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan & add mustard & cumin seeds
  • Once the seeds pop & splutter, add chopped green chillies & curry leaves
  • Add chopped onions & saute till they turn transparent
  • Add apple cubes & cook for 5 minutes
  • Now, add chopped tomatoes
  • Add Sambar powder, Red chilli powder, Coriander powder, Kitchen king masala, & saute till the raw smell disappears
  • Add cooked toor dal & mix well
  • The apples will be fully cooked my now & will be soft & mushy
  • Add salt as per taste & add a pinch of Garam masala
  • Give the mixture a gentle mash & mix well
  • Cook on low flame for 10 mins

Transfer to a serving bowl & Serve with HOT rice or rotis .. Enjoi !!

I loved the slightly sweet & tangy taste of apples mixed with spices .. It had all the right ingredients to tickle our taste buds. We had our Dal with HOT steamed rice, accompanied by roasted papads, Yogurt & pickle. It was one complete meal we thoroughly enjoyed . .

NOTE:

  • You could consider cooking the apples along with toor dal in a pressure cooker.
  • If you do not like biting into apples, you could mash them into a paste or just boil them separately & puree them using a blender. This will keep people guessing about the secret ingredient.
  • Addition or Deletion of spices is entirely upto you.

When are you making Apple Dal?

September 26, 2008

Rice Noodles / Shavige Baath

This is yet another classic South Indian breakfast dish. Rice Noodles or Shavige Baath is a favourite in every South Indian home. The traditional dish typically calls for home-made rice noodles which according to me stands out in taste as compared to the store-bought ones.

I remember my mom & grand-mom making rice noodles from scratch. It is a very time consuming & laborious. So, it was reserved for special occassions like a birthday, a festival or a holiday when all of us at home could'nt wait to savour them.



There are various versions of Shavige Baath, like This which my mom-in-law makes & there is a sweet version to it too with jaggery. But I prefer the savoury version.

This one is my absolute favourite. It calls for very basic ingredients & makes a very satisfying breakfast. I recommend that you give this version try. It is quite different from the usual onion or mixed vegetable version of rice noodles.

The recipe for home-made rice noodles will follow later. I have made this using the store-bought ones. Hope you guys like it . . .

Preparation Time: 20 mins

You Will Need
:
  • 2 cups rice noodles - I used store-bought
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut - fresh/frozen
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • A huge sprig of cilantro
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • A big pinch of turmeric
  • A handful of groundnuts
  • 2 -3 tbsp - lemon juice
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Method:

  • Boil about 4 cups of water in a large vessel. once it start boiling, add a tsp of oil turnoff the stove
  • Add rice noodles & cover it. Let it cook for a minute & NOT any more than that
  • Transfer cooked noodles to a colander & run cold water it. Keep aside & let it cool
  • Grind together grated coconut, green chillies, cilantro, curry leaves mustard seeds into a smooth paste without adding too much water
  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan & add oil. Add mustard seeds, groundnuts & turmeric & let it roast well & turn off the stove
  • Add the ground paste, cooked noodles along with salt to the tempering
  • Add lemon juice & mix well. You can add another teaspoon of oil at this point if required
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serve with Coriander Chutney . . . Enjoi !


September 23, 2008

Guacamole

I was never really into Mexican Cuisine while growing up. The early memories of Mexican food I have is that of my cousins' raving about Taco Bell & the famous Bean Burritos. I really had no clue about what Mexican cuisine is all about back then.

The first Mexican dish I ever tried was the Guacamole made out of mashed avocados. I simply fell in love with the taste. I could easily eat a whole bowl of Guacamole . . .

What I really like about Mexican Cuisine is its alikeness with Indian Cuisine & the right usage of spices making every dish delectable.

Guacamole is the simplest of the Mexican dishes. There are various versions to it. You could add just about anything to suit your tastebuds.

Guacamole is a matter of taste & not measurements. Go Ahead & make your own Guacamole now . . .

Here's my version:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Haas ripe Avocado
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell pepper - Finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red Onions - Finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 green chillies - chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Black Pepper Powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cilantro - finely chopped

Method:

  • Cut the avocado length-wise in halves, De-seed & scoop out avocado from the peel & put in into a mixing bowl.
  • Mash the avocado using a fork. Make sure to retain a few chunks.
  • Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Add chopped onions, Red Bell Pepper, green chillies, Black pepper powder, cumin powder, salt, cilantro & olive oil
  • Mix well & cover the bowl to prevent oxidation
  • Let the mixture sit a few minutes for the flavors to mingle. Hence, refrigerate atleast for 30 mins before serving.

Serve with Tortilla Chips, Toasted Pita Bread, Veggies or add to a wrap, sandwich or anything you can think of .. Enjoi

NOTE: Adding Lemon juice not only enhances the taste of guacamole but also prevents oxidation of guacamole.

Bury the Avocado pit in the Guacamole before refrigerating it. This will prevent Guacamole from turning brown. Do remember to remove the pit before serving :)

Off this goes to Sunshinemom's place for the Event, Food In Colors - Green. Thanks for hosting.

September 17, 2008

Macaroni Tomato Delight


When it comes to Italian cuisine, I am a Macaroni & Cheese aficionado. It may not exactly be a gourmet fare, but, it definitely is one of the most popular comfort foods. Nothing can be more soothing than a hot bowl of macaroni on a rainy afternoon.



It was pouring here a couple of weeks ago & I was in no mood to eat Rice for lunch. What I was craving for was a bowl of piping HOT Macaroni dipped in Tomato sauce. Yummilicious !!!
Since authentic Italian Macaroni is quite bland for my taste buds, I went ahead to make my own version of Macaroni, All spiced up for a rainy afternoon & ofcourse with very little cheese :)
Here is my version.

Time Required: 20 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 packet Macaroni
  • 2 large Tomatoes/canned tomatoes/Tomato puree
  • 1 onion
  • 2 Green chillies
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of Red chilli powder ( optional )
  • 1 tsp of black pepper powder
  • 2 tsp of grated cheese
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt as per taste

Method:

  • Cook Macaroni in a large pot of salted water as per package instructions. Cook until tender, Rinse in cold water & set aside.
  • Boil tomatoes & onion - this takes about 10 minutes.
  • Grind together green chillies, tomatoes, onion, ginge, red chilli powder into a smooth with little water
  • Heat cheese in a heavy bottomed pan & when it melts, add the ground paste & bring to a boil
  • Add macaroni & cook on low flame for another 2 minutes. DO NOT saute vigourously as the macaronis will tend to break
  • Add salt as per taste
  • Transfer it into a bowl & sprinkle black pepper powder
  • Garnish with grated cheese & cilantro

Enjoi !!!

NOTE: You can add more quantity of cheese as per your liking. You could also garnish macaroni with Basil- Fresh/Dried for a different flavour.

September 12, 2008

ME ME Time Again !!!


Priti from IndianKhana has tagged me with a MEME .. I was thrilled because, I like talking about myself. Who does not huh??

I was asked to list 7 facts about myself & after a bit of thinking,I have come up with my list.

Here it goes :

I am a BIG Foodie. I guess the very existence of this blog explains it all. I love anything to do with food, be it Cooking or Eating.

I love Chocolates !! Infact I am crazy about them. I can have anything that has chocolate flavor like ice creams/milk shakes/ fudges or just anything .. But I totally dislike White chocolates.

I am extremely short tempered & I am known for speaking whatever that comes to my mind first. And, I am making a sincere effort to cut down on that after my marriage. I really do appreciate my husband for being patient with me.

I am crazy about Sunglasses & Ear rings. Every time I go shopping I never miss an opportunity to have a look at shades & ear rings. I have matching ear rings to go with almost any dress I wear from sarees to skirts to denims .

I am a fitness freak. Not that I have a gorgeous figure. I always worry about not exercising regularly & putting on weight.

My alarm is always set to 5:50 AM even on holidays. Whether I wake up or not is a different issue altogether. My entire family is annoyed with this habit of mine.

I love talking to people. I can have telephonic conversations with my mom & my friends for hours at length.

I would like to tag

  • Sujatha
  • Jayashree
  • Usha
  • Raaji
  • Laavanya
  • Madhavi

Thanks Priti . . .

September 10, 2008

Corn - Methi Biryani

I have been on a Kasuri Methi spree. Ever since I bought a big pack of Kasuri Methi, I have been using it in every dish I can think of :D

I had eaten Corn Pulao at a party and was wanting to try it at home since a very long time. I finally looked for a recipe, & in the process of making it, I felt the pulao would turn out very bland & dry. So I tweaked the recipe, added Yogurt & some more spices to it & made Biryani instead .. It turned out to be super delicious & Iam definitely making it again.

Here's my own version of Corn-Methi Biryani . . .


Preparation Time: 30 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice - soaked in water for about 15-20 mins
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup sweet corn - fresh/canned
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas - Frozen/Fresh
  • 3 tbsp - Kasuri Methi/Dry Fenugreek Leaves
  • 2 tsp - cumin seeds/Jeera
  • 1 tsp - Nigella seeds/Kallonji
  • 1 tsp - Fennel Seeds/Saunf
  • 2 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 cup - Fresh Yogurt
  • 3-4 Green Cardamoms/Elaichi
  • 2 sticks - cinnamon
  • A big pinch of Turmeric
  • 1 tsp - Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp - Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp - oil

Method:

  • Cook soaked Basmati Rice in 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. When the oil heats up, throw in Cumin seeds, Nigella seeds & Saunf.
  • When the seeds pop & splutter, Add green chillies, bay leaves & ginger-garlic paste
  • Throw in Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamons & saute for a minute
  • Add onions & a pinch of turmeric & saute until they turn transparent.
  • Add red chilli powder & Garam Masala & saute till the raw smell disappears
  • Add kasuri Methi to this mixture & cook on low flame for about 2 mins
  • Add sweet corn & green peas & saute until tender
  • Add yogurt to this mixture & cook on low flame for another couple of minutes
  • Add salt as per your taste. Add cooked rice to the mixture
  • Fluff with a fork & mix well

Serve with Raita .. Enjoi !!!

Take another look . . .


What I really like about this dish is, the mild flavor of the spices prefectly complimenting sweet corn, making it very enjoyable. At the same time, it does not make you feel stuffed like other Biryanis. It goes well with any Raita of your choice.
You could add more Kasuri Methi, if you want the methi flavor to be more dominant.

Dig In . . .

This is my entry for the event, Herb Mania - Fenugreek hosted by Redchillies !

September 5, 2008

Kasuri Baingan


The whole of last week was crazy for me. With the festival coming up & a lot of errands to run, I just could'nt find time to blog & I must say, I was missing reading some wonderful posts.
I have come up with another favourite of mine .. Kasuri Baingan


I chanced upon this recipe in another website & loved the idea of adding Kasuri Methi i.e. Dried Fenugreek Leaves instead of the fresh ones because it can be stocked in your pantry for months.

I am a Big fan of Kasuri Methi & I try adding a bit of it to most of the gravies. It adds that extra ZiNG to the dish.

Time Required: 25-30 Mins

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups of Eggplant chopped into big cubes - any variety will do
  • 2-3 tbsp of Kasuri Methi ( dried fenugreek leaves) -
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato - chopped
  • A small piece of finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds/kallonji
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil
  • A pinch of sugar

Method:

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan, Once the oil heats up, Add cumin seeds & Nigella seeds
  • Once they pop & splutter, Add green chillies & chopped ginger
  • Add Onions & saute till they turn transparent.
  • Add tomatoes & saute for a minute
  • Add red chilli powder & fry till raw smell disappears
  • Add chopped eggplant cubes & saute for about 2 minutes. At this point you may need to add about 2 tsp of oil to saute the eggplants
  • Cover the lid & let it cook on low flame.
  • Keep stirring every few minutes to avoid burning the eggplants
  • When the eggplants are partially cooked, Add Kasuri Methi & mix well
  • Cook on low flame until the eggplants are completely cooked
  • Throw in the Garam Masala, a pinch of sugar & salt as per taste
  • Mix well & Serve with Garam Rotis

Enjoi !!!

This is my entry for the event, Herb Mania - Fenugreek hosted by Red Chillies .. Thanks for hosting :)

August 30, 2008

Raw Carrot-Lentil Salad/Carrot Kosambari


Kosambari is a speciality of karnataka. I would call Kosambari, an Indian Salad. Traditionally, Kosambari is a mixture of raw vegetables (Grated/Cubed) and soaked lentils (Channa Dal/Moong Dal) & seasoned with chillies & mustard seeds.
At my place, I make this alteast once a week. I love it some much that I sometimes have it as an evening snack. I have always loved eating Kosambari along with Rice & Rasam. A very yummy combo.
Here is the recipe:

Preparation time: 10 mins - excluding soaking time for lentils.

You will need:
  1. Grated Carrot - 1 cup
  2. Channa Dal - 3/4 cup - soaked in water for 2 - 3 hours
  3. 1 green chilli - chopped
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 2 tsp lemon juice
  6. Salt as per taste
  7. 1 tsp oil

Method:

  • In a bowl, Mix together grated carrots & Soaked Channa Dal
  • Temper with mustard seeds & green chillies
  • Add lemon juice & Salt as per taste
  • Mix well & Serve

Enjoi !!

Can also be served with roti/chapati. Goes Best with Rice & Rasam/Sambhar as a Side Dish

Off this goes to Anisheetu's Place for the Event,
SWC-Karnataka

August 27, 2008

Rough Lemon Rice

Incase you guys are wondering what a Rough Lemon is, This is how it looks

Rough Lemon is known as Jambhiri in Hindi & in Kannada we call it Heralekayi. It belongs to the citrus family. In India, it is usually available in summers & early monsoon. Rough Lemon resembles an orange in apperance & size. The skin is slightly thicker & rough as compared to lemon, Hence the name Rough Lemon, I guess.

My mother makes this amazing rice dish out of rough lemon. We call it Heralekayi Chitranna in Kannada. Even though the taste is tangy, it tastes different from lemon rice.

Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time: 20-25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rice - Cooked
  • 1 Rough Lemon
  • 2 Green Chilles - low/medium spiced - chopped
  • A handful of groundnuts
  • Channa Dal - 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • A few curry leaves
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomes pan & add Mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds pop & splutter, add urad dal, channa dal, Curry leaves & groundnuts
  • Add green chillies & a Pinch of turmeric, to add color
  • Add cooked rice on top
  • Squeeze in rough lemon juice.
  • Add salt according to taste & Mix well & Serve

Enjoi !!


I shall be sending this recipe to Anisheetu's Blog for the event SWC-Karnataka .. Thanks for hosting :)

August 22, 2008

Banana - Mango Smoothie


I somehow thought Smoothie was some kind of a diet drink & was only for calorie concious people & never bothered to try it out.

After my workout at the gym, I tagged along with a friend of mine to the mall for our regular shopping. We noticed a new juice junction & realised how thirsty we were after the workout. My health conscious friend happened to order a Smoothie, while I ordered my regular Chocolate Milkshake with Ice-Cream ( My workout for the day went in vain !! )

My friend insisted that I take a sip of her smoothie, I tasted awesome .. I realised what I was missing all these days .. And now Iam a BIG Smoothie fan.

My favourite is the Banana-Mango smoothie. Smoothies are slightly thicker in consistency than milkshakes. A smoothie is very refreshing on a hot day & after tiring workouts.

Here's my favourite smoothie recipe,

You will need:
  • 1 Banana - cut into chunks

  • 1/2 a slice of Mango - any variety - peeled & cubed

  • 2 tsp - brown sugar
  • 1 cup yogurt

  • 1/4 cup chilled milk

  • Ice cubes

Method:

  1. Blend together Banana chunks, Mango cubes, sugar, yogurt & milk until smooth

  2. Pour into tall glassed, Top with ice cubes, serve chilled

Enjoi !!!

I went a step ahead & made my smootie extra healthy by adding low-fat yogurt & skimmed milk. I could'nt afford to drink more of chocolate milkshakw with ice cream & ruin my workouts !! Whenever I go out, I always order a smoothie now.

Smoothie is the BEST :)

Off goes my smoothie to Sangeeth's Event, Eat Healthy - Calcium Rich

Thanks Sangeeth for hosting :)

August 18, 2008

Okra In Soy Sauce


I love Okra in any form. Iam always on the lookout for new recipes when it comes to okra. I happened to come across this recipe in another blog. The moment read it, I knew I was going to prepare this one. Okra & Soy Sauce, both my favourites is a rare combination.
I tweaked the recipe a little, to taste the Indian taste buds. Iam sure, all Okra lovers will enjoy this. Here it is:

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:
  1. Okra - 1 cup, cut into pieces of 1 inch in length
  2. Soy sauce - 3 tbsp
  3. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Nigella seeds/Kallonji - 1 tsp
  5. Chaat Masala - 1 tsp
  6. 2 -3 Red Chillies - Broken
  7. Salt - 1/2 tsp
  8. Oil

Method:

  • Bake Okra in the oven for about 5 minutes at 210 C to reduce the stickiness
  • Heat oil in a heaby bottomed pan, Add cumin, nigella seeds & Red chillies
  • Add okra & saute at regular intervals, till it is completely cooked
  • Add Chaat Masala & Soy Sauce & Salt & cook on low flame for another 2-3 minutes

Serve HOT with Rice/Roti .. Enjoi !!!

Note: I did not add much salt as there is enough salt in chaat masala & soy sauce. You could increase/decrease the amount of soy sauce depending on your taste.

I shall be sending across this recipe to Srivalli's place for her Curry Mela.

Thanks Srivalli, for hosting :)



I shall be sending this recipe to Sia's Place for the event JFI-Soya

Photobucket

Thanks Sia for hosting :)

August 13, 2008

Instant Puliyogare/Instant Tamarind Rice


Puliyogare is one dish which no South Indian can every say No to .. Also, known as Puliyodharai in Tamil & Pulihora in Telugu .. In Kannada, Puliyogare is also known as Huli Anna in some regions of karnataka. Traditionally, Puliyogare is prepared by mixing steamed rice with Puliyogare Gojju & tempering with groundnuts, curry leaves & red chillies. Recipe for the authentic puliyogare gojju will follow later.
I always swear by my mother's & Grandmom's Puliyogare Gojju .. The gojju needs to have the right consistency & takes quite a long time to prepare. It requires standing for long hours in the kitchen & stirring the gojju constantly until the desired consistency is obtained.
These days we are so hard pressed for time, No one ever has the patience to spend such long hours in the kitchen anymore, we all have grown so fond of the "INSTANT" fad.
Whenever, my mom ran out puliyogare gojju, I have seen her make this instant version of puliyogare, which tastes as good as the authentic one. Thats one reason why I still havent learnt to make authentic puliyogare gojju .. I always make the instant version and pass it off :P
Here's the recipe
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Ingredients:
  1. Rice - 1 cup
  2. 3 tsp - Rasam Powder/Saarina Pudi
  3. 3 tsp - Dry Tamarind Powder/Aamchur Powder
  4. A meduim sized lump of jaggery
  5. 2 tsp Black Sesame seeds - roasted & ground
  6. 1 tsp - cumin & Blackpepper powder - roasted & ground
  7. A handful of groundnuts
  8. Curry Leaves
  9. 2 - 3 Red chillies
  10. Mustard Seeds/
  11. 2 tbsp oil - preferably groundnut oil ( as it enhances the taste)
  12. Salt as per taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, add rasam powder & tamarind.aamchur powder & saute till the raw smell disappears
  2. Add jaggery & black sesame powder & saute for one minute
  3. Add 3 cups of water & bring it to boil
  4. Add 1 cup rice, close the lid & let it pressure cook
  5. Take out the cooked rice & spread it on a plate & let it cool completely
  6. Once it is completely cooled, add cumin & black pepper powder
  7. Add salt as per taste
  8. Add 1 tbsp oil & temper with mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves & groundnuts

Enjoi !!!!

This is my entry for the event SWC - Karnataka hosted by Anisheetu ...

Thanks for hosting :)