Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bisibelebath

This dish is a good way to use all leftover vegetables in the fridge. It takes a little bit of ground work but its a full course meal by itself. It can be served with raitha and chips or appalam (i personally like the later).

Ingredients:

Vegetables (beans, carrots, peas, drumstick) (chopped) - 1.5 cups
Onions (chopped) - 1 big
Tomatoes (chopped) - 2
Toor dal (boiled and mashed) - 1 cup
Rice (cooked) - 2 cups
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Sambar powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Tamarind extract - 1/4 cup
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp

To Powder:
Red chillies - 2
Coriander seeds (dhania) - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1/2 stick
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Toor dal - 1 tbsp
Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp

Method:

Dry roast all the 'to powder' ingredients except coconut for 2 min. Finally add coconut and remove from heat. After it cools grind to a fine powder. I use a small coffee grinder for grinding my spices (Never mix a grinder used for grinding spices to grind coffee as both have a strong odour). Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Once the onions turn golden brown add curry leaves, tomatoes and all the vegetables. Fry for 10 min and then add chilli powder, turmeric, salt and the powdered mixture. After 2 min add tamarind extract and half a cup of water and let the vegetables cook. After 10 min add the cooked dal and rice and mix well. Add water if the mix is too thick. This dish has to be a little semisolid. Cook for 15min and remove from fire. This dish is usually made with a lot of ghee but I decided to skip that part. It tastes best when served hot with a tsp of ghee drizzled on top.




Note: almost most vegetables can be used directly but some need to be pressure cooked before adding

Paneer-capsicum masala

Ingredients:

Paneer (cut into cubes) - 1 cup
Capsicum (sliced) - 1
Onion (sliced) - 1
Tomato paste - 3 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste - tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsbp
Green chillies (slit) - 2
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cream - 2 tbsp
Lime - 1/2
Salt - as needed

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add onions and capsicum. Fry till the onions turn transparent. Then add tomato paste, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Add half a cup of water and let it cook in medium heat till the raw smell goes (about 10min). Then add cream and the paneer cubes and let it cook for about 5 min till the gravy thickens. Remove from heat and squeeze half a lemon on top. Coriander leaves can be used for garnishing. This can be served with roti, naan or pulav. I also used this to make an Indianized burrito.


Vegetable fried rice

I have a friend who likes chinese/thai food a lot. Since I had lots of beans and carrots that I harvested from my garden I decided to make vegetable fried rice with it. Also because I was tired of eating poriyal which is what I normally make with beans. This is my second entry to Inji Manga's Green Blog Project.




Ingredients:

Beans (thinnly sliced) - 1 cup
Carrots (thinnly sliced) - 1 cup
Peas - 1/2 cup
Spring onions (chopped) - 1 bunch
Onion (thinnly sliced) - 1
Capsicum (thinnly sliced) - 1/2 cup
Green chillies (slit) - 3
Rice (preferably basmati) - 2.5 cups
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
Chilli sauce - 2 tbsp
Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
Ajinomoto - a pinch (optional)
Salt - as needed
Black Pepper powder - as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method:

Cook rice in a rice cooker using less water than you would normally use, making sure it does not turn mushy or overcooked. Heat oil in a wide wok (kadai). Add onions, capsicum and green chillies and fry till the onions turn transparent. Add all the chopped vegetables (beans, carrots, peas, spring onions) and sprinkle a little water and let it cook on a low flame for about 15 minutes. The vegetables need to be half cooked so that they still have a crunch to them. Once the vegetables are cooked add soy sauce, chilli sauce, tomato ketchup and ajinomoto. Add the cooked rice and stir so that everything mixes well. It is better to let the rice cool a bit before adding it to the wok. Add salt and pepper as needed. Switch off the heat after rice turns a little brown and everything mixes well (about 10min in low flame). This can be served with a gravy dish or just with chilli sauce.




For the next day lunch I decided to make an Indianized burrito with the fried rice and paneer-capsicum masala. After microwaving it, the burrito tasted fresh and very Indian.



Note: To make egg fried rice add scrambled eggs at the end and mix well. Chicken/shrimp fried rice can be made with the same recipe but by adding boiled, shredded meat pieces while adding the vegetables.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dahi vada (Thayir vadai)

After a long battle with myself regarding what I should make for the JFI#5 - Milk and Milk Products event I decided to make dahi vada (fried lentil dumplings in spiced yogurt mixture). This is thayir vadai in tamil and is made on festival days. It tastes yummy when served a little chilled.

Dahi Vada:

Ingredients:

For vada:
Urad dal (whole) - 2 cups
Green chillies (finely chopped) - 2
Whole pepper corns (optional) - 1 tsp
Salt - as needed
Curry leaves (chopped) - 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves (chopped) - 2 tbsp
Oil - for deep frying

For dahi:
Curd - 1 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Butter milk - 1/2 cup
Black salt - 1 tsp
Cumin (jeera) powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp

For garnishing:
Tamarind chutney - 1 tbsp
Green chutney - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - a bunch

Method:


Soak urad dal for 1hr. Grind to a fine paste adding as little water as possible. This will help absorb less oil while frying. Add salt, green chillies, pepper corns, curry leaves and coriander leaves and beat with a wooden laddle to incorporate some air into the mixture. Heat oil is a kadai and add small balls of the mixture and deep fry the vada's. Remove after they turn golden brown and add to bowl containing warm water for 1 min. Then arrange them on a flat bowl. As the vada's are getting cooked, whip the curd, buttermilk, water and black salt in a seperate bowl. Once all the vada's are cooked pour the whipped curd on top of the vadas covering them completely. Spinkle cumin powder and chilli powder and chill for atleast an hr. When ready transfer vada to serving dishes and drizzle both tamarind chutney and green chutney as required and garnish with coriander leaves. This can be served as an evening snack or even as an appetizer. It can easily be made in bulk so it is a good dish for potluck meals.

Note: If the urad dal is ground in a wet grinder the batter comes out thick but with a blender/mixer it has to be ground in small batches to obtain the thick consistency.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Samosa

Last evening I went home early and decided to make an evening snack. During the day I was browsing through other food blogs and the samosas I saw on hooked on heat were very inviting. Also last week I went to a friend's place and helped her make samosas. So I decided to follow the same recipe and method from hooked on heat. Making samosas were always a frightening thing as I always thought the task impossible. But they were not so complicated and did turn out well. I served them with tamarind chutney and green chutney.

I made 4 yesterday and froze the rest so that I can make them whenever I want to in the coming days.



Fish fry

Last night I had some leftover sambar. Just wanted to make something spicy to go with it and hence decided to make fish fry. I always play it safe when it comes to fish. I either buy tilapia or catfish as I live in an inland area where most fishes come from the coast but are not fresh. Both tilapia and catfish are farm raised here in Colorado so they taste a little fresh.

Ingredients:

Cat Fish fillet (cut) - 8 pieces
Chilli powder - 2 tbsp (can be increased if needed)
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Shaan fish masala - 1 tbsp (any other brand can also be used)
Lime juice - 1/2 a lime
Salt - as needed
Oil - 4 tspn

Method:

Mix all the above ingredients with the lime juice and marinate fish in this mix for 30-60min. A little vinegar can be added, either instead or in addition to the lime juice, if you like the fish to be a little sour. This fish can be deep fried, shallow fried, baked or grilled. I like mine a litte crispy so decided to shallow fry it in a pan.

Note: I just read an artice on msn that mentioned, that fish should not be marinated more than 60 minutes, as the marianting mixture starts to break down the protein in the fish.

Thakali thokku (tomato mix) and tomato juice

This year my garden is abundant with tomatoes. Every week I have been harvesting about 1kg of tomatoes and are out of recipes to use them in. My mom suggested that I make this thokku that can be used with idli, dosa, chappathi or to make instant tomato rice. This recipe uses a little extra oil than normally needed, as it helps in preserving the thokku for a long time. This is my first entry to injimanga's Green Blog Project.











Thakali thokku (tomato mix)


Ingredients:

Tomato - 1.5 kg (approximately 8 tomatoes)
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Oil (preferably gingelly) - 1/2 cup

Powder ingredients:

Chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek (methi) powder - 1tsp
Salt - as needed



Method:

Blend tomatoes to a fine puree. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed or non-stick vessel. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Wait till the mustard seeds start to splutter and then add the tomato puree and all the powder ingredients. Let this simmer for about 1 hr. The oil will start floating on top and the mix will be thickened by then. Turn off the heat, add vinegar and store in clean bottles. This can be kept in the fridge and used for 15 days. This can be served with idli, dosa, chappati and also can be mixed with rice to make tasty tomato rice.



Tomato juice



Ingredients:

Tomatoes (ripe) - 2
Salt - a pinch
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Pepper - a pinch

Method:

Blend all the above ingredients and serve chilled.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coconut milk - ghee rice and chicken curry

Last weekend, I had a couple of friends home for dinner. One of them likes the coconut milk ghee rice that I make. So decided to surprise him with that. Wanted to make a gravy dish to go with it and chicken curry was the first thing that came to my mind. This rice is very easy to make and takes about 10min stove top cooking time and then it can be cooked in the electric rice cooker. I used the pressure cooker to make the chicken curry as it takes less time. It can be cooked in an open pan but will need to be simmered for 20-30 min to get a thick gravy.

Coconut milk - ghee rice

Ingredients:

Basmati rice - 2.5 cups
Onions - 2 (one thinl sliced for garnishing and one chopped)
Green chillies - 3
Clove - 2
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Bay leaf - 2
Elaichi - 5 pods
Raisins - 10
Cashew - 10
Coconut milk - 1cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Salt - as needed

Method:

Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, crumbled elaichi, bay leaf, green chillies and chopped onions. Wait till the onions turn transparent. Then add rice and fry for a minute. Turn off the heat and trasnfer the contents of the pan to an electric rice cooker (The rice can be cooked in a pressure cooker too). Add salt, coconut milk and 4 cups of water and let it cook. Meanwhile fry raisins, cashenuts and thinly sliced onions in 1 tbsp ghee until they turn golden brown. Once the rice is cooked garnish with the fried raisins, cashewnuts and onions.



Chicken curry

Ingredients:

Chicken (chopped into small pieces) - 1 lbs
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Onions (chopped) - 2
Tomatoes (chopped) - 2
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
Saunf (fennel seeds) - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 2
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt - as needed
Coconut milk - 2 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:

Heat oil in the pressure cooker. Add cloves, cinnamon, chopped onions and green chillies. Once the onions turn transparent add jeera and saunf. After the onions turn golden brown add chopped tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste. Add chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. Once the tomatoes turn mushy add chicken pieces, salt, coconut milk and fry for 5 min. Add one cup of water and let it pressure cook for 2 whistles. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves. This can be served with roti, pulav, ghee rice or even dosa.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pani poori and Papri chat

Last week I tried my hand at some chaat items. Though I am not a big fan of chat items I decided to make pani poori and papdi chat. I used store bought poori's for pani poori (these need to be fluffy and crispy) and made fresh poori's for the papri chat (these need to be flat, crispy and crunchy). I made aloo-channa chaat mix which can be used for both items. I also made tamarind (sweet) chutney and green chutney. These can be stored in the fridge for upto a week. I used store bought pani poori masala to make the dipping water mix.


Pani poori:


Ingredients:

Poori (puffed) - 10
Aloo-channa chat mix – ½ cup
Green chutney – 1 tbsp
Tamarind chutney – 1 tbsp
Pani poori masala (available in most Indian stores) – 2tbsp

Method:

Mix the pani poori masala with 1cup of water. Make a hole in the poori and stuff some aloo-channa chat mix. Add both green chutney and tamarind chutney as needed and dip it into the pani poori masala mix and pop it into your mouth.



Papri chat:

Ingredients:

Poori (flat and hard) – 4
Aloo-channa chat mix – ½ cup
Sev – 2 tbsp
Green chutney – 1 tbsp
Tamarind chutney – 1 tbsp
Curd – ½ cup
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Amchoor powder – 1 tsp
Black salt – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – for garnishing

Method:

Whip the curd adding chilli powder, amchoor powder and black salt. Take a bowl and place the aloo-channa mix and lay the poori’s on top. Add the chutneys and whipped curd. Finally add the sev and garnish with coriander leaves and serve. The chutney measure can be increased depending on taste requirements.

Variations: Finely chopped onions, tomatoes and cucumber can also be added.



Green chutney:

Ingredients:

Green chillies – 1
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Garlic – 1 clove
Salt – as needed

Method:

Grind all the ingredients with less water to make a fine paste. I use coriander along with the top part of the stems for this chutney. This can be stored in the fridge for upto a week.



Tamarind chutney:

Ingredients:

Dates – 1 cup
Tamarind extract – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 2 tbsp

Method:

Heat half a cup of water. Add the tamarind extract and the dates and let it come to a boil. It takes about 10min on the stovetop or 2 min on high in the microwave. Let it cool and then grind the mix adding sugar. If chopped baking dates are used sugar can be omitted as most baking dates are already sweetened.
Variations: A tsp of chilli powder can be added for people who love spice.



Aloo-channa chat mix:

Ingredients:

Potato (boiled and mashed) – 1
Channa dal (boiled and roughly mashed) – ½ cup
Coriander seeds (dhania) – ½ tbsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) – ½ tbsp
Chilli powder – 1tsp
Amchoor powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as needed

Method:

Dry roast cumin seeds and coriander seeds and grind to a fine powder. Heat oil in a pan, add potato, channa dal and fry for 1 min. Add all the remaining ingredients and fry for 2-3 min.


Appam and vegetable kurma

Last weekend I wanted to make something special for breakfast. Also I had lots of beans and carrots fresh from my garden. So after much thinking, decided to make appam and vegetable kurma. This will be my entry for saffron trails weekend breakfast blog event.

Aappam:

Ingredients:

Rice (preferably raw rice) – 2 cups
Cooked white rice – ½ cup
Coconut milk – ½ cup
Shredded coconut – 2 tbsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Salt – as needed
Oil – as needed

Method:

Soak rice for 4hrs. Drain the water and grind rice along with the cooked white rice, shredded coconut and coconut milk. Add as much as water needed while grinding to obtain the consitency of dosa batter. Ferment overnight in a warm place. I preheat the oven to 350F for 3-5 min and keep the batter in the oven overnight. The next morning add baking powder and salt to the batter and beat well and let it rest for 1hr. Heat a small round bottomed kadai, wipe it with a tissue dipped in oil and pour a ladleful of batter in the middle. Life the kadai and rotate in a circular motion so that the batter coats the sides of the kadai. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the kadai and serve hot with kurma or egg curry. Traditionally back home, appams are served with sweetened thin coconut milk.

Note: A typical appam will be crisp and thin on the edges and soft, fluffy and thick at the base, i.e, the center.



Vegetable kurma:

Ingredients:

Beans (chopped) – ¼ cup
Carrot (chopped) – ¼ cup
Peas – ¼ cup
Potato (cubed) – 1
Onions (chopped) – 2
Tomato (chopped) – 1
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Lime – ½
Salt – 1 needed
Oil – 2 tbsp

Paste ingredients:
khus khus (soaked)– 1 tbsp
Ginger – 2 inch cube
Garlic – 4 cloves
Green chillies – 3
Coconut (fresh or frozen) – ½ cup

Method:

Grind all the paste ingredients with enough water. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add chopped onions. Fry till the onions turn golden brown and add tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked add the ground paste, garam masala and salt. Once the raw smell of the ground paste disappears, add the chopped vegetables, 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Wait till the pressure subsides and then open the lid and squeeze half a lemon and serve hot with rice or roti or idli or dosa or appam (the list continues) .

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Adai and pudina chutney

Last night I was in the mood for idli or dosa but did not have the batter ready. The idli/dosa batter usually takes time preparing (6hrs to soak the ingredients and 6 hrs to ferment the ground batter). So I decided to make Adai as it takes about 2hrs to soak, grind, ferment and to prepare. Adai is pretty filling and high in protein as different varieties of dal are used.


Adai:



Ingredients:

Idli rice (can be substituted with any available rice) - 1 cup
Whole urad dal - 3/4 cup
Channa dal - 3/4 cup
Thur dal - 3/4 cup
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
Red chillies - 4 (can be increased for additional spice)
Jeera - 2 tsp
Curd - 1 tbsp
Salt - as needed

Method:

Soak rice and all dal ingredients together in enough water for 2hrs. If you are in a real hurry 1hr should be enough. Grind all the above ingredients to a dosa batter consistency. It is fine if the mix is a little course. Also if you are using an US bought blender, grind the above in batches as the motor heats up pretty fast. If you are using an Indian blender/mixer or a wet grinder then everything can be ground together. Let the batter sit for 15 min. Heat a dosa tava (flat gridle) and add a laddlefull of the batter in the middle and spread it around like you would for a dosa or a crepe (refer to the picture). Once the bottom is cooked flip the adai and let the other side cook. Remove the adai and serve it with chutney or sambar of your choice. Traditionally adai is served with a piece of jaggery and a dish called avial.

Variations : Blanched and chopped spinach, finely chopped onions can be added to the adai batter before making the adai.


Pudina chutney:

Ingredients:

Pudina (mint) - 1 bunch
Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Channa dalia - 2 tbsp
Red chillies - 3
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Garlic - 3 cloves
Tamarind extract - 1 tbsp
Salt - a needed
Oil - 1 tsp

Seasoning ingredients:

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add channa dal, red chillies, ginger, garlic and chopped pudina and coriander leaves. I also use the upper part of the pudina and coriander stem for the chutney. After the leaves reduce in volume remove from fire and let it cool. Grind the mixture along with tamarind extract, channa dalia, salt and water as needed to make a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan, add seasoning ingredients and once the mustard seeds start to splutter pour the seasoning into the chutney. This can be served with idli, dosa and also roti/chappathi.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Spicy Aloo Masala and Quick and Easy Bindi fry

Last nite I felt very lazy to cook. So decided to make something fast and easy. I had some leftover sambar so had to make only subji. Hence opted for these two dishes and they are easy and takes very less cooking time and tastes awesome.

Spicy Aloo Masala:

Ingredients:

Aloo (boiled, peeled and chopped into big cubes) - 5
Onion (finely chopped) - 1
Tomato (finely chopped) - 1
Tomato paste or puree - 2tbsp
Chilli powder - 1tbsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt - as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Once the onions turn golden brown, add finely chopped tomatoes and tomato paste/puree. Fry till the oil seperates and then add chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Add half a cup of water and let it come to a boil. Finally add the potatoes and fry till the gravy turns dry. Spicy potato masala is ready to be served.

Variations: This dish tastes best with baby potatoes but prick the potatoes with a fork before adding to the masala as that helps the spice to penetrate the potato.


Quick and easy bindi fry:

Ingredients:

Bindi (Lady's finger) (chopped) - 1cup
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped bindi. Add chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and let it simmer for 15 to 20 min. This dish needs a little extra oil to prevent the bindi from sticking to the pan as it is a dry dish. Turn off the heat after the bindi looks completely cooked.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Arachu vitta sambar, Kovakkai (tindora) varuval, Podalangai (padval) poriyal

I have lots of Indian vegetables stocked in my fridge after my last week's Indian grocery shop visit. I had murungakai (drumsticks), podalangai(padval), kovakkai(tindora) and fresh coconut. So decided to make some very Indian (specifically Tamilian) dishes with those vegetables for dinner last night. When I think of drumsticks the first thing that comes to my mind is Sambar. I was bored of making the regular sambar and hence decided to go with arachu vitta sambar. The main ingredient in this type of sambar is the freshly ground masala and it adds a very unique and different taste. Then decided to do something spicy and dry to go with it and hence a varuval. With the fresh coconut I decided to do some poriyal. So the final menu was arachu vitta murungakkai (drumsticks) sambar, kovakkai (tindora) (ivy gourd) varuval and podalangai (padval) (snake gourd) poriyal.

Arachu Vitta Sambar:

Ingredients:

Thur dal (cooked and mashed) – 1½ cups
Drumsticks (cut) – ½ cup
Onion (chopped) – 2
Tomatoes (chopped) – 2
Tamarind extract – ½ cup
Oil - 4 tbsp
Dry ingredients:
Bengal gram dal (channa dal) – 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds (dhania) – 2 tbsp
Red chillies – 6
Fenugreek seeds (methi) – 1 tsp
Coconut (shredded) – 3 tbsp

Powder ingredients:
Sambar powder – 1tbsp (optional)
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – a pinch
Salt – as needed
Seasoning ingredients:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig



Method:

Fry the dry ingredients in a pan, adding a tsp of oil and till the coconut becomes a little dry. Let it cool and then dry grind to a powder. Cook drumstick with a pinch of turmeric, with enough water. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Fry till the onions turn brown and then add tomatoes. Once the tomatoes turn mushy add the ground powder and the other powder ingredients. Add cooked drumsticks, dal and the tamarind extract. Add two cups of water and let it cook for 15-20 min on medium heat. Heat oil in another pan, add seasoning ingredients and once the mustard starts to splutter add to the sambar mixture. Turn off the heat and serve with rice.



Kovakai (tindora) (ivy gourd) varuval:

Ingredients:

Kovakkai (tindora) (sliced) – 1 cup
Onion (chopped) – 1
Garlic (chopped) – 3 cloves
Powder ingredients:
Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Salt – as needed
Seasoning ingredients:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp



Method:

Heat oil in a pan and then add the seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter add the onion and garlic. Fry the onions till they turn golden brown and then add the chopped kovakkai. Add the powder ingredients and simmer and fry till the kovakkai turns a little crispy and dry.



Podalangai (padval) (Snake gourd) poriyal:

Ingredients:

Podalangai (Snake gourd) (chopped) – 1cup
Onion (chopped) – ½
Coconut (shredded) – 2 tsp
Salt – as needed
Seasoning Ingredients:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 3



Method:

Heat oil in a pan and then add the seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter add the chopped onion. Fry the onions till they turn golden brown and then add the chopped podalangai. Add salt, pour one cup of water and let it cook for 15 min till the podalangai is cooked. Finally add shredded coconut and turn off the heat.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Shrimp biriyani, onion raitha

Sundays I usually try to laze around the house and not go out. So I had more time to cook. Had some friends over in the evening and hence decided to make soemthing special. The only non-veg item I had at home was shrimp and also had lots of pudina (mint). Hence I decided to make biriyani, onion raitha and boiled eggs for dinner. There are two methods that I use to make biriyani. The first method is fast and easy where I use the pressure cooker and cook everything at one go. The second method takes more time where I make the curry/masala and rice seperately and then bake them together (tastes more like traditional dhum biriyani). Yesterday I used the first method. Later I will try to post a detailed description of the second method.

Shrimp Biriyani:

Ingredients:

Basmati rice – 2 cups
Shrimp – 200gm
Onions (sliced) – 2 big ones
Tomatoes (chopped) – 2
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Green chillies (sliced) – 5
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Garam masala – 1 tbsp
Biriyani masala – 1 tsp (optional)
Pudina leaves (chopped) – ¼ cup
Coriander leaves (chopped) – ¼ cup
Curd – ½ cup
Lemon – ½ cup
Ghee – 2 tbsp

Spices:
Cinnamon – 2 sticks
Cloves – 5
Cardamom – 5
Bayleaves – 2
Salt – as needed

Method:

Wash and soak the rice in 1 cup water. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker and add the spices. Add sliced onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Then add sliced chillies and chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add ginger garlic paste and chopped pudina and coriander leaves. Fry for 2min and add turmeric, salt, garam masala and biriyani masala. Fry for 5min and then add washed and cleaned shrimp. After 10min add rice, curd and lemon juice. Add 2.5 cups of water and close the lid and let it cook for 2 whistles. Serve with boiled egg and onion raitha.

Optional:
Vegetables can be added instead of the shrimp.

Onion raitha:

Ingredients:

Onion (chopped) – 1/4 cup
Tomato (chopped) – 1
Coriander (chopped) – 2 tbsp
Curd – 1 cup
Salt - as needed

Method:

Add all ingredients with half a cup of water and mix.

Optional: Seasoning can be done with half tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds and added to raitha at the end.

Dates Milkshake

Saturday I had to go to my company picnic which was a beach party. Had lots of fun playing beach volleyball and came home tired. Wanted to have something cold and decided to make a milkshake. I had mangoes, banana and apple at home but wanted to try something new. Long time ago a friend of mine had introduced me to Dates milkshake and I loved it. Hence I decided to it and have it chilled. It was very refreshing.
Dates Milkshake




Ingredients:

Dates (pitted and chopped) – ¾ cup
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – as needed
Cream – 2 tbsp

Method:

Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan. Add chopped dates and let it come to boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10min. Switch off the heat and let it cool. Grind the milk mixture in a blender, adding sugar (as needed) and cream. Chill and serve.

Variations: Finely chopped nuts can be added just before serving along with a dollop of fresh cream.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Eggplant-drumstick poriyal, Potato podimas, Milagu Rasam

Yesterday I came home from work with a headache. The only two good things I do best when I have a headache is either sleep or cook. I was in no mood to sleep so went to the Indian grocery shop to find something interesting to cook for dinner. It was Thursday and there are fresh Indian vegetables available on Thursdays. I was surprised to find fresh drumstick as this was my first time seeing those in America. Anyway from the little expertise that I have picking vegetables (obtained by looking at my mom pick in India) I picked some not-so-ripe drumsticks as the ripe ones taste bad and also picked a lot of other veggies which hopefully I will have the patience to cook in the coming days. Came home and decided to make eggplant-drumstick poriyal, potato podimas and milagu rasam for dinner.

Kathirikai-Murungakai Poriyal (Eggplant-Drumstick fry)

Ingredients:

Eggplant (chopped into big cubes) – 1 cup
Drumstick (chopped into big strips) – 1cup
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Oil - 2tbsp

Powder ingredients:
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Salt – as needed

Seasoning ingredients:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few



Method:

Add oil to the pressure cooker and once the oil is hot add seasoning ingredients. Then add onions and fry till onions turn golden brown. Add tomtatoes and powder ingredients. Once tomatoes turns mushy add chopped eggplant and drumstick. Fry for 2 min and then pressure cook with half a cup of water. After one whistle, switch off the pressure cooker and let the pressure subside. Heat for 5 min or till the dish becomes dry enough.



Potato podimas (Indian style mashed potatoes)

Ingredients:

Potatoes (boiled and mashed with a pinch of turmeric) – 4
Ginger (chopped and crushed) – 1 inch cube
Green chillies (chopped and crushed) – 2
Lime juice – half a lime
Salt – as needed
Chopped cilantro
Oil - 2 tbsp

Seasoning ingredients:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp



Method:

Add oil to a pan and add seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard starts to splutter, add crushed ginger and green chillies. I used a small mortar to crush, instead green chillies and ginger can be chopped finely. Fry for 1 min and add mashed potatoes. Add salt and fry for 10min in low flame. Switch off the heat and then add the lime juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.



Milagu rasam (Pepper rasam)

Ingredients:

Green chillies (slit) – 2
Tomato (chopped) – 1
Garlic pods (finely chopped) – 3
Tamarind extract – ½ cup
Rasam powder – 2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Pepper – 2 tsp
Salt – as needed
Oil - 1tbsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic and slit green chillies. Fry for one min and add chopped tomato. Once the tomato is cooked add rasam powder, coriander powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 min and add tamarind extract and let it come to a boil. Turn off the heat as bubbles start to appear on top. In a separate pan add one tsp of oil and then add mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add a pinch of asafetida. Add the seasoning to the cooked rasam and garnish with coriander and serve.



And voila! The final meal.