Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pesara Attu - A Savory Green Gram/Moong Crepe

Pesara Attu - A Savory Green Gram Crape

Can't believe we are nearing end of February find it hard to believe two months have passed by so quick , its a good thing in many ways. Being occupied is a very healthy thing. I am of sort who gets really agitated if I am not challenged, I love challenges and would butt them head on and the kind who works well under pressure :) so far the year has been nothing but exciting challenges both at home and work.

Few weeks ago had few friends over for brunch decided to make Pesara attu and Upma, anyone from Andhra Pradesh can vouch what a breakfast darling this savory crape is. It's funny how much I crave for it as I type and then there were childhood days where I would run miles away from it and dreaded Sunday mornings just for this same reason.

Being a vegetarian its always challenging to find dishes low on carbs and high on protein,Pesalu or Green gram fills this void and is an excellent source of protein and iron.



This savory crepe is very easy to make and tastes heavenly and is always served with piping hot Upma and spicy ginger chutney. So here goes the recipe


Ingredients makes for about 8-10


For batter


2 cups whole green gram soaked over night preferably.
2-3 green chillies
about an inch of Ginger
tbsp of cumin seeds
cup of coriander (optional)
2 tbsp of rice flour
salt according to taste


For toppings
1 red onion finely chopped
2-3 tbsp of cumin seeds
green chillies chopped finely (optional)
3-4 tbsp of oil 


Process
1. Soak green gram for about 4 hours overnight works even better.
2. Add all the ingredients for the batter and grind it into a fine paste. My handy Vitamix is sure a life saver.
3. Now heat a non-stick griddle, crepe pan or I used my prized cast iron tawa/griddle.
4. Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan and spread thin and evenly into a round shape, don't worry about the shape  it gets better with experience .


5. Now sprinkle red onions a pinch of cumin seeds and optionally if you wish finely chopped green chillies and pat them into the wet batter gently.
6. Now wet the surface around the crepe with about a tspn of oil, this allows for the edges not to stick and gives a crispy texture to the edges.
7. Allow to cook for two minutes and turn in around and allow to cook for a minute or two.
Remove from heat and serve with hot pipping Upma and spicy ginger chutney or peanut chutney, and I promise your guest will ask for more.


Monday, February 20, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons & Oranges - You Make Marmalade - The Easy Way

When Life Gives You Lemons & Oranges - You Make  Marmalade The Easy Way !!

I cannot complain about California living, the weather , the diversity, the technology , the bounty and oh ya the weather :). As much as I crib about congested highways, commute time and high cost of living I cannot imagine living elsewhere.

I have a usual suburban backyard , planted Lemon and Orange trees a decade ago, it took good five plus years to see any sign of fruit and then just like that in the last few years trees have bourn more fruit than it can carry. As the years passed by and tree matured Oranges has been the sweetest that you can get.It's been years since I have brought Lemons or Oranges in the store.

With all the fruit decided to try making marmalade, I am usually very intimidated making jams, jellys or preserves. I have a feeling I cannot get the recipe right. With that in mind decided to make a small batch and try it out.

Googled for a recipe that would work for a small batch and found one here however modified it to suit my taste.


Ingredients
2 Navel Oranges
2 Cups fresh Orange juice - For today's recipe I used store brought Orange juice with pulp.
2/3rd lemon juice
4 cups sugar
6 cups water


Process
1.Quater oranges and slice them as thin as possible a good sharp knife would be very very handy.
2. Over a medium heat in a non-stick pot add cut oranges, orange juice,lemon juice and six cups of water and allow to boil for about 1 1/2 hour till oranges turn translucent.
3. Now add 2 cups of sugar and allow the marmalade to come to boil to 220.
4. Remove from heat and allow the marmalade to cool overnight.


Next day morning you will have a perfectly textured marmalade for your toast's ,waffles, muffins etc..
I did not use any pectin yet the texture and taste were out of the world .

Had few friends taste test marmalade and got a thumps up from all of them glad to have found a winning recipe. Since I used store brought Orange juice marmalade tasted just like store brought no difference at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dum Aloo - Baby Potatoes Simmered In Rich Creamy Gravy

Dum Aloo - Baby Potatoes Simmered In Rich Creamy Gravy


It's been a busy busy year so far on all fronts ,time to blog sure seems like a luxury.  Today was the kind of day where head and heart were not in sync and I needed to be just by myself ,sometime a little ME time in the middle of week is all that is required to keep my sanity.

Today's recipe was in draft since summer, made this during my uncle and aunts visit.

This recipe sure takes time to prepare but the end result is so well worth all the effort.

Ingredients
About a 1lb of Small Potaotes, I used store brought frozen baby potatoes

Ingredients for Gravy
1/2 cup of cashews
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup golden raisins
pinch of methi/fenugreek seeds
tbsp of kasoori methi
about 1inch of cinammon bark
tbsp of peppercorns
1/2 tbsp of fennel seeds
3-4 cloves
2-3 cardamon pods
1/2 cup corriander chopped.
2 large sweet onion chopped finely
1 bell pepper/capsicum chopped finely
1 medium sized tomato chopped
about 2 cups of milk I used 2%
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Salt according to taste
2 tbsp of oil

Ingredients for the gravy

Process
1, Heat a pan add two tbsp of oil, when oil gets warm add ginger garlic paste and saute for about 20 secs.
2. Now add all the ingredients from the above picture.
3. Saute for about 30-40 sec , this will emit a strong fragrance.
4.Now add onions and saute for about a minute till they turn translucent.
5. Add bell pepper,tomato and salt and saute for about a minute or two.


6. Now transfer the above into a blender and add two cups of milk, I use my very faithful Vitamix, cannot tell you how much I love Vitamix. Add salt ,garam masala and chat masala and blend till it turns into a fine paste.

7. Now in the same pan that you sauted add tbsp of butter and transfer the mixture and allow it to come to a boil.

8. Set the gravy to thicken on medium heat.
9. Now deep fry the pototoes in oil in a seperate pan. Before frying prick potatoes with fork, this allows for gravy to be soaked well.

10, Remove the fried potates from heat and drop them into the gravy.
11. Allow the potatoes to be cooked in the gravy with closed lid for about 6-7 minutes on medium heat.
You can replace potatoes with Paneer and this turns into shahi paneer.

Remove from heat and garnish with corriander and optionally with cream and serve hot with naan's, roti's, Parata's or Poori's.

Remember we have few more days to donate for Vadehi Ashram so please head over and donate as much as you can.


I love going to bed thinking postive gives me energy for next day , saw this and had a contended smile on my face as I call it a day.

 
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