January 23, 2013

South Indies: Avarekalu Saaru

We Kannadigas are very fond of Avarekalu/Flat Beans. And, when it is in season, Avarekalu rules the roost in every household. Be it Akki Rotti, Akki Tari Uppittu, Saaru, Usli, Sagu .. The list is endless.
 
This yummy Avarekalu Saaru is yet another dish from my dear friend Rajini, the one who taught me Methi Pulao & Quick Aloo Tikkis, Remember?? 
This is her Grandmother's secret recipe & she uses fresh coriander along with Rasam Powder & Cumin to give that unique flavour to the dish.
 
Another tip, I learnt from my Grandmother is to never combine Avarekalu with onions. Onions have a strong pungent flavour which masks the subtle flavour of Avarekalu.
 
In other news, my little Baby is growing up into a Lil big boy. He will be a 4 month old shortly & he seems to be enjoying every bit of our attention. After much debate, We finally chose to call him Kedar. Okay, you can call him Baby K :)
 
Now straight to the Recipe ...

Avarekalu Saaru
 
 
You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Avarekalu/Flat Beans
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes - halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 3 tsp Rasam powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Half a bunch of fresh coriander
  • Salt as per taste

To Temper:
  • 1 tsp desi ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

How To:
  • Add about 4 cups of water in a large pot, add some salt. Add Avarekalu, tomatoes & green chillies. Cover & allow them to cook. The avarekalu should be completely cooked yet firm. When done, fish out the green chilllies, tomatoes & about 2 tbsp of avarekalu, set aside & allow it to cool. Set aside the remaining avarekalu along with water
  • Grind fresh coconut, cooked tomatoes, Green chillies & avarekalu that was set aside along with cumin seeds, turmeric powder, coriander & Rasam powder into a smooth paste adding little water.
  • Reheat the avarekalu & water that was set aside. Add the ground paste & some salt. Let it come to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat & simmer for aboyt 5-6 mins.
  • Temper with mustard seeds & garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve Hot with steamed Rice or Ragi Mudde

NOTE: Do Not skip adding coriander leaves because that is what makes all the difference. If you do not have fresh coriander at hand, simply postpone or run to your nearest vegetable vendor :)


 

January 6, 2013

Spiced Ginger Cookies

Wishing you all a Very Happy 2013!!! I know, I am almost late by a week but hey, it's not easy to be blogging with a baby around. In the past one week, I have sat down to write this post about half a dozen times & I am finally here with a new recipe.

The Holiday Season is over long ago but then, we really don't need an excuse to bake some cookies, do we?? So, here it is .. Spiced Ginger Cookies

German Ginger Cookies


This is a classic Ginger Cookie recipe - All Spiced up & Crisp. Also, DO NOT flatten the cookie balls before baking. Simply roll a cookie ball in sugar and place on baking sheet.


You Will Need:
  • 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted Butter - Room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Granulated Sugar for rolling

How To:
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper & set aside
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients & set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter & both type of sugars until  light & fluffy
  • Add vanilla extract & egg yolk & beat until combined. Add Honey & beat further until well combined
  • Fold in the dry ingredients & beat until smooth. Cover with a cling film & refregirate for about 30 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Roll the dough into a tablespoon size balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared sheet. Keep the dough chilled in between batches. Bake cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Once cool, store in air tight jars & eat as many as you feel like

NOTE:
  • The original recipe called for Molasses but I replaced it with Honey. You can also replace it with Maple Syrup.