Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vankaya Chikkudukaya Kura (Eggplant Val Papdi (flat bean) Sabji)

Vankaya Chikkudukaya Kura (Eggplant Val Papdi (flat bean) Sabji)

Eggplant is one of my favorites,I don't cook this often because rest at home hate egpplant. This dish is very common in Andhra Weddings, growing up I never used to like it either but slowly started to like it.I used frozen val papdi as fresh ones are pretty rare to get. This can be done in many variations ,one way is to add corriander chutney another way is to add Karam Podi( a spice mixture ).I had some leftover chutney from my tindora sabji so put it in good use :)

Ingredients
3 Egg Plants (thin tall ones) cubed
1 big tomato
2 cups frozen val papdi ( fresh ones if available)
For coriander chutney
1/2 bunch coriander
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt according to taste
2-3 Green chilies ( adjust according to taste)

For thadka
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp jeera
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 Red chilies
8-10 curry leaves

Process
1. Defrost val papdi and microwave for about 3 minutes on high
2.Take a pan when hot add a tbsp of oil,add all the ingredients for tadhka
3. Add tomato and fry a little add haldi
4. add defrosted val papdi and eggplant ,add salt,coriander chutney and a little water
5. mix well and cook covered for about 8-9 minutes
6. check eggplants

serve hot

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thotakura Pappu (Amaranth Leaves Dal)

Totakura Pappu (Amaranth/Collard Greens Dal)

With the advent of spring, there is an influx of fresh greens in the grocery stores, especially Methi, Spinach, Gogura and Thotakura.If the stars shine on you chances are you will find them in the grocery store, these get sold out right away. Yesterday found a fresh bunch of Thotakura.Thotakua or otherwise called Amaranth leaves/Colard leaves are reddish green in color and are used quite a bit in Andhra Pradesh, I remember growing up there would be these ladies from near by villages with baskets of leaves. They would give a bunch for a glass of rice ,it seems unbelievable but that true .Thotakura can be used to make dal, sabji, chutney/pachadi. One thing about this leafy vegetable is it takes more time to cook when compared to others.If the leaves are finely chopped this will help in cutting down cooking time.
Ingredients

1 bunch tothakura
1 big tomato
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 big tbsp of Sambar/rasam powder
1 tsp sugar
1 cup toor dal boiled and made into a fine paste
1 tsp haldi
Salt according to taste
For tadkha ( seasoning)

1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp jeera
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 Red chilies
8-10 curry leaves
8-10 garlic cloves sliced
1 tsp ginger

Process
1. Take a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, when hot add all the ingredients of Thadka
2. When mustard seeds start to splutter add onions and fry till translucent
3. Then add finely cut tomato fry a little
4. Add finely chopped Thotakura add 1/2 glass water, let it boil for about 5-6 minutes
5. When boiled add toor dal, sambar powder, haldi, salt and sugar
6. Mix well and boil for another 5 minutes
7. If wanted juice of 1/2 lemon can be added, however this is optional

Serve hot with rice or Phulka's ,in my case rice with leftover Tindora sabji from yesterday

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dondakaya Kottimera Karam (Tindora Corriander Sabji)

Dondakaya Kottimera Karam (Tindora Corriander Sabji)

My husband brought this veggie over the weekend, it's one of his favorites. I like the fried taste of it too ,but the problem with it is it takes forever to cut this vegetable .I usually cut the ends off, just to do that it took me about few minutes.I get very impatient with stuff like this ,so took my food processor and grated just like carrot .this does help in two ways one reduces the time to cut veggie and also cuts the time of cooking.

Traditionally it prepared very simple just add tadka and fry and when fried it's sprinkledwith red chili powder and is usually eaten with rice ,but my version has a slight modification I add Kottimira karam (coriander chutney) for the grated Tindora and fry it till it gets brown.

Ingredients

For coriander chutney
1/2 bunch coriander
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt according to taste
2-3 Green chilies ( adjust according to taste)

For tadkha ( seasoning)
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp jeera
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 Red chiles
8-10 curry leaves

Process
1.clean and grate/cut tindora
2.Grind all the ingredients for Corriander chutney in a mixer ,keep a side
3.take a pan when hot add 1 tbsp oil and all the ingredients for thadka
4.when mustard seed start to splutter add grated/cut tindora
5.fry for a while ,almost 3-4 minutes till tindora is little cooked.
6.once it seems a little cooked add corriander chutney and fry for another 6-8 minutes
remove from heat and serve hot with rice or roti

Tindora on attaining Nirvana looks something like this

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jalapenos Bajji's (Jalapeno Fritters)

Jalapenos Bajji's (Jalapeno Fritters)

This is what I called a perfect fusion food, When is Rome be a Roman is a well known phrase, as I made US my home I started to incorporated American food into Indian cooking and nothing more Indian then Bajji's and nothing more American then Jalapenos (well almost), Jalapenos have a very interesting history, to learn more check here and for some intresting picture of Jalapenos check here .I make this with canned Jalapenos since the pickled taste gels very well with Bajji's.Compliment with hot tea this makes one tasty tea time snack or serve as an appetizer .Also this will be my entry for Nupur's event for vegetable starting with J

Few words of caution before jumping the gun on making them

1.make sure you drain the Jalapenos completely ,place them on a towel or tissue paper squeeze out all the water and pat dry ,if not when fried it will create a spill and might be dangerous
2. Make sure you do not have any kids around, if not complete dry as mentioned this will splutter
Ingredients
For batter
1 cup Channa Flour
1 tbsp ajwain
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tspn R.chili powder
Salt according to taste


Oil to deep fry
1 can of Jalapenos, removed from can, completely patted dry

Process
1. Mix all the ingredients for bajji’s, let the batter be of thick consistency this way it will stick and coat the Jalapenos well
2. Heat oil in shallow pan
3. In the mean while dip dried Jalapenos in the batter, coat it well with the batter make sure it covered completely
4. When oil is hot add the dipped Jalapenos and fry
5. Turn sides to fry both sides, takes about 1-2 minutes depending on the heat and number of Jalapenos
6. Remove from heat and place on a tissue to absorb excess oil
7. Serve hot with sauce or ketchup

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Besi Bele Bhaat

Besi Bele Bhaat



Besi Bela Bhaat

Besi Bela Bhaat is a very traditional recipe from Karnataka , Meaning Hot Daal(lentil) Rice , Learnt this recipe for my friends mom during one of my visits to Bangalore , not only is the dish delicious but highly nutritious too ,since lots of dal and vegetables go in the making of the dish. It might seem like lot of work to get going on this dish ,but masala for this can be prepared ahead and saved in air tight jar and this reduces the preparation time . When prepared authentically lots of Ghee (clarified butter) is used , it practically oozes out ,but for heatlh reasons I just add a tsp at the end to get the flavor. This is a three part process , first masala is fried and grounded , second rice ,dal and vegetables are cooked and third all this mixed together and seasoned.

This makes for about feeding 10 people or more

Step1
Ingredients for making masala
2 big tbsp Chana dal
2 big tbsp Dhania
2 big tbsp Urad Dal
1 big tbsp Methi seeds
6-8 Red chilies (adjust according to taste and spice level)
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 cup of tamrind juice/pulp
1 tbsp sugar


Process to make Masala
1. Heat a pan , when hot add all the above masala ingredients ( except sugar and tamrind juice ) fry till coconut is light brown .you get a very nice aroma when frying ,careful not to over fry and burn
2.grind the above into a fine powder
3.take a bowl add the ground powder , tamrind pulp and 1 tbsp sugar and mix well and keep aside

Step2
Ingredients for rice
1 cup rice
1 cup toor dal
1 big potato peeled and cubed
1 cup carrots,peas,beans
1 big tomato cut into cubes

Process.
1.add all the above in a pan and add approximately about 3 cups of water ,salt and haldi , pressure cook until 3 whistles and keep a side

Ok we are there ..
Step3
Ingredients for seasoning
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp Jeera
10-12 curry leaves
10-12 cashew nuts
pinch of hing
5 Red chilies

Process
1.place a big pan on the stove when hot add oil and all the above ingredients for seasoning
2. add boiled rice and vegetables and then add the grounded masala paste
3.mix all the ingredients well , I use a potato masher to mix rice ,this also give a good texture for the dish
4.add water to make the consistency a little thin and adjust salt accordingly.
5.let it cook on high heat for about 2-3 minutes
6.top of with a tbsp of ghee and serve hot

This is usually served hot with sev ,raitha and chips.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Instant Mango Pudding

Mango Pudding

Best part of staying in Bay Area is the wide range of people , culture and cuisines , was browsing the aisle's of an Oriental grocery store the other day ,there is always a part of me scared to eat or try any food that have not be recommended or tried before but at the same time it seems like a mystery adventure waiting to be solved. A walk through the store tells quite a bit of eating culture of a particular country ,its very interesting to see various exotic ingredients and produce . So walking through desserts and candy aisle found this packet mentioning instant mango pudding , also had different flavors like Lychee, Coconut , Chocolate ,Guava and Vanilla . Got home Mango flavor to experiment
Prepared this according to instructions mentioned which was to boil 2 cups milk add the the pudding mix ,pour in small cups and refrigerate for 2 hours . I must say this had a very strong mango smell , and was not very sweet. So customized this by mixing whipped cream and mango puree (alfanso Puree from Indian store) and topped the pudding . Not only was it visually beautiful it tasted excellent too. so moral of the story be adventurous try new cuisines , new foods ,chances are we might not always like it but hey you might find that one food that you will absolutely love and cannot live without it :)

Methi Paranta

Methi Parantha



Methi Parata


This is one of my favorite parata . I make this in different variations , sometimes with fresh methi,sometimes with dry methi (Kasoori Methi) or sometime with frozen methi whatever is readily available . These store well in refrigerator when stored in a Ziploc bag . so I usually make few extra to pack for kids lunch. Today made the parata with frozen methi

Ingredients
2 cup whole wheat atta (flour)
1 cup frozen methi
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp Kasoori methi
1 tbsp jeera powder
1 tbsp dhania powder
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp Haldi (turmeric)
salt according to taste
Oil for frying parantha (optional)

Process
1. mix all the above ingredients with water to a dough consistency
2. take a small portion ,roll into a shape of a ball
3. with a rolling pin ,roll into a round shape
4.fry both sides on hot tava
5.can add a little bit of oil ,this however is optional

Serve hot with Raita or in my case today with Baigan Bartha , For my son I spread jam evenly around the parata and roll into a thin roll wrap in Aluminum foil and pack for his lunch .

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pulla Mavidikaya Pachadi /Raw Mango Coconut Chutney

Mango Coconut Chutney

When fresh tender sour Mangoes hit the markets ,on a daily basis it was cooked in my grandparents house in one form or the other , be it dal , fresh pickle , chutney, Mango rice , or just eaten raw with chili powder , because of these variations you never get bored even when cooked daily . However in States its practically impossible to get sour Mangoes ,most of them are tender and sweetish in taste .This chutney is one of my favorites . made with 2 simple ingredients and seasoning ,this makes for one yummy dish .


Ingredients
1 raw mango peeled and grated
1 cup fresh grated coconut
2 chilies (adjust according to spice level)
coriander leaves
salt according to taste
Haldi (Turmeric )

for seasoning

1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp jeera
2 Red chiles
Hing
8-10 curry leaves

Process

1.grind Mango, Coconut, haldi, G.chillies ,coriander into a fine paste add salt and keep a side
2. take a pan add 1 tbsp oil and when hot add all the seasoning ,when mustard starts to splutter ,add this seasoning to Mango paste
3.mix well and serve

This is best eaten with Rice ,can be eaten with Roti's too

Cabbage Coconut Sabji

Cabbage Coconut Sabji


Cabbage Coconut Sabji

Well I never thought of this combination earlier ,but tried this in a local restaurant ,since then all of us at home love this sabji .Its one of the easiest sabji's to make . When fresh coconut is not available dried Coconut can be added and it makes a good compliment. Key to sabji taste is curry leaves and ginger in the seasoning . The finer you cut the cabbage the faster it cooks.
Ingredients
1 cabbage finely cut
1/2 cup fresh coconut or dry coconut
2 green chilies
2 tbsp ginger finely cut
8-10 curry leaves
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp jeera
Process
1. Place a pan on the stove ,when hot add 1 tbsp oil add urad dal ,mustard,jeera,green chilies , ginger and curry leaves
2. when mustard starts to splutter add cabbage
3. fry cabbage for 2 minutes and when cabbage turn little brown add coconut
4. mix well and salt and fry for another 4-5 minutes till cabbage turns translucent
Serve hot with roti's especially Phulka's

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dosakaya Pappu ( Lemon Cucumber Dal)

Dosakaya Pappu ( Lemon Cucumber Dal)
Lemon Cucumber or Cucumis sativus 'Lemon' is a variety of cucumber ,very bright Yellow in color and has a excellent flavor slightly tart and lemony . This vegetable is well used in Andhra Pradesh mainly for making pickles . My house they use it for making vada's and dal . Its advised to check for bitterness before making the dal ,sometimes these can be extremely bitter .
Ingredient
1 cucumber ,peeled ,deseeded and cubed
1/2 onion sliced
pulp of tamrind
1 cup toor dal ,pressure cooked and made into puree

For Seasoning (Thadka)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Jeera
1 tsp Urad dal
2 Red chilies
pinch of Hing
6-8 Curry leaves

Process
1. take a pan ,when hot add oil and all the ingredients for seasoning
2.when mustard seeds start to splutter add onion fry till they become translucent
3. to the above add cucumber, haldi (turmeric) , salt and tamrind pulp
4. add about 1/2 a glass water
5. cook closed until cucumber becomes soft
6.once cucumber is soft add toor dal mix well, add water if the consistency seems thick
7.boil for 4-5 minutes ,remove from heat and garnish with coriander

Goes well with hot rice and ghee

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sarvajit Naama Ugadhi Subhakanshalu ...

Wishing all my friends , fellow bloggers and rest a very Happy New Year , may the new year bring lots of Peace and Happiness to you and your families .

Ugadi represents the arrival of Telugu new year , this is also celebrated in the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra , According to legends its the day Lord Brahma started creation and hence its significance . Ugadi not only represents new year but it also signifies the start of spring , tender Mangoes and fragrant Jasmine flowers , Its an amazing experience to see these tiny fragrant flowers after an absence of 6 months .


A tradition is a typical home would be to wake up early , take a head shower ,wear new clothes and eat Udgadi pachadi and listen to Panchangam from a learned person .Panchagam is the yearly predictions of your future depending on your star sign .Ugadi Pachadi is concoction made of 5 ingredients each representing a state of life happiness,sourness,bitterness and sweetness and following represents each of them
Neem Buds/Flowers for Bitterness
Jaggery for Sweetness
Raw Mango for Vagaru
Tamarind Juice for sour and in my house slices of banana for extra sweetness .
Ugadi also has one more significance it represents the start of Sri Rama Navami celebrations , the 9 days of festivities to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Update

Weekend Update

Had a block party to wish one of our neighbors bon voyage who are moving back to India, I love potlucks for the facts that with different dishes that come to the table there is almost always a tale associated with a dish, how did they learn to make it, tragedies on their first attempts, how their moms made it and pretty much many alternatives on how it can be modified to make it much easier and so on. There is something new for me to learn , with every potluck , like yesterday learnt that to get the smoky taste of Brinjal/Eggplant it can be roasted whole on a non stick pan , this will save a lot of time in clean up unlike the traditional way of roasting directly on fire . Also an Begali dessert Misti Dahi that practically is as easy as mixing up three ingredients , made Chole and Vegetable Biryani for the potluck

Cholay

A staple Punjabi main course dish, learnt this recipe from a Punjabi aunty who was an awesome cook, This can be eaten with Rice and Roti and is usually topped with red onions and lemon wedges.


Ingredients

1 Cup Garbanzo Beans
2 medium size Potatoes ,peeled and cubed
1 big tomato cut into small cubes
2 red onions sliced thinly
2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp Red chilli powder
2 tbsp Channa Masala
1 tbsp Turmeric (Haldi)
Juice of 1 lemon

Process

  1. Soak Garbanzo beans over night
  2. Pressure cook Garbanzo beans ,Potato add salt and Haldi
  3. In a separate pan add 2 tbsp oil , add haldi and Ginger garlic paste fry a till onions turn translucent
  4. Add tomates , Channa masala , Red chilli powder and pepper
  5. Add boiled Garbanzo beans ,keep aside a small cup of boiled beans
  6. Grind the small cup of beans into a fine paste
  7. Add the above paste to the rest of channa and allow to cook for few minutes
  8. add lemon juice and garnish with coriander
  9. serve hot with Roti or rice , top with red onion and lemon juice

Misti Dahi

Misti Dahi is a Bengali delicacy ,this is a instant version of this dessert . Its as simple as 1-2-3 .This was made by a dear friend and neighbour


Ingredients

2 cups Yogurt (Dahi)
1 Cup Condensed milk
1 cup Evaporated milk

Process

1. Pre Heat oven to 350 C
2. Mix all the above ingredients
3. Pour the mixture into a baking dish
4. Bake the above in a oven for about 30 minutes ,check for doness ( when pricked with a tooth pick , it should come out clean )
Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pesara Attu (Green Gram dosa)



Nothing says more about Andhra food then Pesara Attu , This is a hugely popular tiffin in restaurants in Andhra Pradesh and can be found on the road side stalls to five star hotels. Best thing about this dosa is that this can be prepared instantaneously or can be prepared in advance . Its made of very few ingredients so when you have unexpected guests you can always make this to wow them . Its eaten in combination of Upma and coconut chutney


Ingredients
For Dosa Batter

1 cup whole green gram dal
2 chilles ( more if you want extra spicy)
1 inch ginger

For Topping
very finely cut onion
Jeera
finely cut Green Chillies
finely cut Ginger

Two options to make this
1. soak dal overnight in water and grind with ginger , chillies and salt into a fine paste

2. If you haven't soaked earlier , for instant dosa grind the Green Gram into fine powder without adding water in a grinder , once its ground into fine powder add green chilles , ginger ,salt and water and grind into a fine paste

To make dosa
1.Heat a dosa pan
2. when hot spread dosa batter into a think circular crepe
3. top it with onion,chillies,ginger and jeere
4.turn the dosa and fry on both sides

serve hot with upma and coconut chutney can be also eaten with peanut chutney .This will introduce you to the taste of Andhra Pradesh if you have not already tried

Grilled Peanut Butter ,Banana & Jelly Sandwich

PB&J
Peanut Butter & Jelly is one of America's favorite food , It falls into I guess many categories few being breakfast ,snack ,comfort food and so on . My elder son loves it .One of the most talked about or common topic between mom's in what do you give for lunch ? , I guess this grilled PB&J makes one lunch that you can expect the lunch box to come home empty .

Ingredients
2 slices of whole grain bread
1 banana
2tbsp Peanut Butter ( I use the chunky peanut butter)
2 tbsp Jelly ( I use Strawberry Jam)
butter to apply on the bread

Process
1. apply butter on the bread and toast either over the stove or in a toaster
2. Once toasted apply peanut butter on one slice and Jelly on the other slice
3. slice banana thinly and spread around one of the slice
4.Place one slice on top of the other and cut in the middle

Banana can be substituted with your kids favorite fruit , some options being strawberries and blue berries
This holds well till lunch time and does not become soggy.
I would love to hear from fellow bloggers and readers on tips and suggestion on what kids lunch works for them

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pasta Dinner



Continuing with my dinner series , Today my kids wanted to eat Pasta , that said I scavenged through my freezer to see what vegetable I can find to make it more nutritious .

This got me interested to know the history of Pasta, For me Pasta is as synonymous to Italy as Tandoori to India .Did some reading about Pasta and here are the few intresting facts .

Origins of pasta come from China ( How surprising !!) , Noodles were the first form of food created by Chinese using flour , prior to that grains were eaten in crude form .This travelled from China to Middle east , where Noodles were transformed into pasta(Spaghetti) .Its believed that Marco Polo brought Pasta to Italy from China during the 1200's . To know more history about pasta check here , and if you are ever interested in know how many shapes and forms of pasta exist check here


Pasta

Ingredients
1 cup pasta ( I used bow tie )

For Sauce
1 cup any kind marina sauce
1 cup green vegetables (soy beans , Asparagus pieces, broccoli )
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrot
5 cloves of garlic sliced
1/2 red onion

Process
1. Boil 2 quart of water in a pot
2. when water comes to a boil add salt
3. add pasta and let it boil for about 7-8 minutes until done
4. once done drain water out and keep pasta aside

For sauce
1. take a pan
2. when hot add 1 tbsp olive oil
3. add sliced garlic ,and finely sliced onion
4. add pasta and the rest of the vegetables
5. add sauce
6. add fresh grounded pepper
7. mix well and remove from heat , add grated cheese and serve hot

Options of making pasta are endless ,substitute whole wheat pasta for a healthier choice other options include chicken

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Weekday Dinners

Weekday Dinner



As a working mom I frequently struggle with the challenge to get warm and fresh food ready on a daily basis . Over a period of time I learnt that I need to take help of food that is semi prepared . I was not a big fan of frozen food earlier but I have realized that frozen food is much better then eating out .So tonight's dinner is Methi dal and Aloo Panch poran sabji.
This literally took me less than 25 minutes to cook from start to finish and it was one tasty dinner




Methi Dal


Methi Dal

One of my favorite frozen food is Methi , there are a various ways frozen methi can be prepared .Methi ka parantha ,methi ka dal , aloo methi etc..
Methi dal can be made in a jiffy literally and tastes yummy and is very healthy too.

Ingredients
1 Frozen Methi
1 cup toor dal
1 tomato cut into small pieces
tamrind size of a quarter
juice of half a Lemon


For Thadka
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 Red chilles
hing
curry leaves
1 tbsp crushed ginger
2-3 garlic crushed

Process
1. mix all the above ingredients in a vessel add water and salt and pressure cook until 3 whistles
2. once cooked mix well with a whisk
3. transfer dal into a pan and let it boil for 2 more minutes
4. you can add a tbsp of sambar powder for extra flavor
5. once the dal come to a boil add thadka and cook for 2 minutes and remove from the stove
6. add juice of 1/2 a lemon
serve hot with roti or rice

Aloo PanchPoran ki sabji



Panchporan is a very fragrant spice mostly used in Bengali cooking ,its made of 5 spices cumin seeds , fennel seeds , fenugreek seeds , nigella seeds and black mustard seeds or white mustard seeds. this comes pre made and is available in Indian groceries or can be made with equal amounts of the above 5 spices mentioned. This spice gives a unique taste of bitterness goes very well with potatoes

Ingredients
3 potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp dry kasoori methi /dry fenugreek leaves
2 big spoons of PanchPooran spice
1 tspn haldi
1 tspn R.chilli powder
1 tspn ginger garlic paste
salt according to taste

Process
1. heat a tava when hot add 1 tbspn oil add kasori methi, ginger garlic paste, panch pooran and then add aloo ,add salt, R chili powder and haldi
2. add few table spoons of water and allow potatoes to cook closed
3. cook for 3 minutes stir and check for doneness .

Goes very well with roti as well as rice

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Desi Quesadilla

Quesadilla



One the most quickest way to get in lot of veggies and still have a yummy dish to eat in minutes is my version of Quesadilla , This can be made in many variations of vegetables ,sauces , and toppings , giving the recipe for basic version .

Ingredients
This makes for about 6 Quesadilla's

1 small cup finely chopped onion
1 small cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 small cup frozen peas , corn and carrot
1 small cup finely cut tomatoes
1 cup cheese ( grated cheese any kind , I prefer the ones that have a tarty taste )
1 small cup ketchup ( any kind like Heinz , Mexican topping sauce , Maggi tomato chili for spicier kick)
1 tbsp red chilly flakes ( Like the pizza topping )
6 roti's ( tortilla , whole wheat roti from trader joes , store brought roti's can be used )
Process to make the filling

1. Take a tava , add 1 tbsp oil when tava is pretty hot
2. to this add Red chili flakes
3. once the chilies are mixed add red onion, red bell pepper
4. fry for a while and then add frozen peas,corn and carrot
5. then add tomatoes
6. add salt and fry till golden brown color or onions and pepper become translucent
To make Quesadilla's
1. Take a tava
2. When hot fry a roti with 1tsp on both side
3. Spread a 1 tsp of ketchup over the roti
4. sprinkle cheese all over the roti
5. to half of the roti add vegetable filling
6. fold the roti into half such that 1 half covers the vegetable filling
7.fry both sides


8.cut the quesadilla into half and serve hot with salsa or ketchup
Variation can be done by adding soy beans, finely grated cauliflower and very very thinly cut asparagus .You can add ginger garilc paste along with red chiles and amchur powder or chat masala to the filling to give it a extra kick

Bangaloru Vankaya Kura


Inspired from Indira' Bangalore Vankaya Kura

I have seen this nice looking vegetable for years in grocery store but never dared to cook , mostly because of the lack of knowledge on how to cook ,but when I saw Indir'a blog I was determined to cook , so tried to make my version of Bangaloru vankaya kura . Followed pretty much the same recipe but due to lack of fresh coconut I added dry coconut and added a hand full of corriander leaves while grinding coconut and G.chillies.
Well I must say this does taste good and cooks pretty fast , Kids loved it ,husband was well , not so enthusiastic about it

Overall I am glad I am able to add a new vegetable to my culinary repertoire

Friday, March 9, 2007

Bhel



Its Friday evening , with cold wind and a cup of hot tea all I crave to eat now is Chaat .There is something magical during the time when sun is setting , not to hot not to cold just perfect for a small stroll in the park or around the neighbourhood with kids and to add if it's Friday seems like the whole world is moving slowly at a breathable pace.

The closet place to get decent chaat from where I live is about 15miles , so the next best alternative is to make one myself ,so here is where Bhel fills in the void . For most of the time I buy the store Bhel mix and make is special by adding lots of veggies .

I remember my days in Bangalore , day never ended without a trip to BDA complex in Banshankari 2nd stage . It was an amazing site to sit on the complex steps with a plate of my favorite sev puri , and watch a steady stream people pass by , there were college kids from the neighbouring medical and engineering hostels , aunties with bags full of fresh vegetables , and kids crying for that extra ride on the train/monkey. How much every I try I can never get that taste , for now I am going to be happy with my version

Ingredients
1 cup finely cut onions
1 cup finely cut cucumber
1 cup finely cut mango
1 cup finely cut tomatoes
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 cup anaar dhaana ( pomogrante seeds)
1 cup cubed boiled potatoes
1 green chill chopped very finely
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup Bhel mix ( I usually get store brought , you can make a mix by adding sev ,puffed rice ,pani puri crushed ,peanuts and any other left over namkeens)

Bhel mix
I get dry bhel mix from local Indian stores this can be made at home by adding dates chutney , green chutney ,black salt /rock salt , chaat masala , chili powder ,amchur (dry mango powder)

Mix all the above ingredients and sprinkle sev and cilantro .enjoy with a nice book and a cup of hot tea.
This is a perfect appetizer for a party ,pre cut all the vegetables ,keep sev and Bhel chuntey in a line and whip up like a pro for your special friends the way they wanted and top it with corriander and I promise your friends will come asking for more.


Monday, March 5, 2007

The ever versatile and tasty Dosa

Dosa or otherwise called Minapa attu / Dosa / Urad daal dosa is a staple breakfast at our home on weekend mornings, This is one food that kids love to eat without having to be told . I usually make peanut chutney (courtesy my mother-in-law ) or Bombay Chutney (Why the name Bombay chutney is for anyone to guess) which goes extremely well with Dosa .This is one chutney you can whip up in few minutes and tastes yummy . I have always had my friends asking me for this recipe and enjoying it. Getting fresh coconut is not a possiblity so I use this chutney to replace the more tradional coconut chutney and oh ya another compliment with hot dosa is chutney podi / karam podi .Dosa batter is so versatile that you can create quite a few variations , few of my favorites variations are pulla attulu (sour dosa) , kalipina attu (mixed dosa) and uttapam .Dosa with hot coffee is a to-die breakfast for me any day



Pulla attu (sour dosa)

When you leave dosa batter for more than a day , batter becomes sour and has a unique flavor . My mothers side of the family loves to eat it this way and the best chutney to go with it is called " Bombay Chutney " made with besan and onion


Kalipina attu (mixed dosa)for a 3 days old batter ,add an equal amout of moong dal batter (soaked moong dal and ground into fine paste) ,leave it out for few hours and then batter is ready to be made in Kalipina attu ,this again can be served with " Bombay Chutney " or Peanut chutney

Uttapam



Uttapam Lay the dosa batter on a hot tava little thick (like a pancake ) , top it with finely grated onions, carrot, tomatoes ,g.chiiles ,corriander , peas ,sprinkle with karam podi (optional) and cook covered for a minute or 2 .turn the uttapam and cook on the reverse side . serve with peanut chutney

Basic Dosa Recipe

My Basic Dosa recipe
1 cup urad dal
3 cups Rice
1 cup atukulu /Poha
1 tbspoon Channa dal ( mostly for golden brown color) or you can substitute 1 tbsp Methi
Process
1.Mix rice, ural daal ,atukulu (poha) ,channa or methi and soak in water overnight
2. Grind all the above into a fine paste ,Stone grind would be the best if not you can grind in regular mixie/grinder
3.leave to ferment overnight .
4.add salt and mix well
5.heat tava and spread the batter into a circle and add a tsp of oil to around the edges to make it crispy serve hot with Peanut chutney /Bombay Chutney

Bombay Chutney

Bombay Chutney

Ingredients
1/2 cup besan
1/2 onion sliced length wise
1/2 potato cubed into small pieces
1/2 cup peas
For Taimlpu /thadka
1 tspn mustard
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp jeera
8-10 curry leaves


Process

1.heat a pan , add 1 tbspoon oil when hot add mustard,urad dal,jeera and curry leaves .once it starts to splutter add onions ,potatoes ,peas
2.to the above add haldi,salt and 1 cup water
3.cook till the above comes to boiling point (when you see big bubbles)
4. in a separate bowl take besan and to that add water ,till its syrupy or very think consistency
5.add the besan mixture to boiling vegetables and mix quickly and remove from heat
6.serve with dosa/pulla attu/kalipina attu and I promise your taste buds will achieve salvation

Peanut Chutney


Peanut Chutney
Ingredients
1 cup raw peanuts
2 Green chilles ( depends on taste add more if you prefer spicy)
1 tbspoon methi seed
1 1/2 tbspoon Mustard seeds
pulp of about a size of quater tamrind soaked in water ,deseeded
Process
1. heat a pan still hot
2. add a 1 tbspoon of oil
3. add mustard ,methi and g.chilles
4.once they start to splutter add peanuts and fry till peanut are golden brown ( about 7- 10 minutes on high)
5. grind the above with salt, haldi and tamrind pulp ,you can grind to smooth paste ( I prefer ) or can keep it chunky
Serve with hot dosa's ,this keeps well for about a week when stored in a covered container and can be eaten with uttapam & idlee

 
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