Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mango icecream

I had some leftover mango pulp and decided to make mango icecream. I dont have an icecream maker but this method always gives creamy delicious icecream. A friend of mine gave me an easy kulfi recipe and I made a few changes to it and made this icecream. I will post the kulfi recipe soon

Ingredients:

Condensed milk - 1 cup
Whipping cream - 1 cup
Mango pulp - 1 cup (can be increased or decreased)

Method:

Beat all the ingredients for 5 min till they mix well. I used swad ready made mango pulp but I am sure fresh mango pulp will taste much better. Freeze for atleast 3 hrs and serve. It tastes out of the world.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Diwali

This year I had a few friends staying with me and a few friends who came for dinner. So the day was filled with good food, good company and lots of joy and happiness. I made mysore pak, rawa ladoo, ras malai, thattai, kara sev and dinner was bisibele bath, masala vada, curd rice, potato podi fry, cabbage poriyal and appalam. Some pictures from the day.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Thattai and kara sev

No festival is complete without some crunchies. So decided to make thattai and kara sev.

Thattai

Ingredients:

Rice flour - 500gm
Grated coconut - 1 cup (I use the frozen shredded coconut)
Urad dal powder - 1/2 cup (dry roast ural dal and powder in spice grinder)
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp (can be increased or reduced as per taste)
Bengal gram dal - 4 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 3 tsp
Salt - as needed
Oil for deep frying

Method:

Soak bengal gram dal in enough water for one hour. Mix all the ingredients except the oil for frying with enough water and make a dough. This should almost have the same consistency as chapathi dough. Take a small ball of this dough and pat it on a plastic sheet of paper (ziplock is fine) or if your making smaller thattai's, you can just pat in in your palm and deep fry these in hot oil. Keep turning until it turns golden brown and is fully cooked and crisp.



Note: After cooling these if you notice that they are not crisp enough you can fry them once more in hot oil until they turn crisp but be careful to not let it turn dark brown as they will taste burnt.

Kara sev:

I followed the same recipe from Menu Today except for the fact that I used half the measure as I did not have the time and energy to prepare a bigger batch (I was making this at 10 in the night after coming back from a long work day).

Mysore pak

Second on my diwali list was mysore pak. Ive attempted to make this thrice (this being my third attempt) and succeeded only now. It came out well, was soft and tasted exactly like the Krishna sweets mysore pak. The only difference this time was I added ghee very slowly and kept stirring it continuously so that the ghee mixes evenly. It actually took me about 25-30 min of continues stirring (yes I dint do much after that as my hands were hurting). Also note the first time I asked someone about this sweet they said its too complicated and difficult to make. With practice and patience (read attempting many times) it can be mastered. This is my entry to this month's JFI - Diwali treats hosted by Vee of Past, Present and Me.

Ingredients:

Bengal gram flour - 1cup
Sugar - 1cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1.5 cups



Method:

Heat sugar and water in a heavy bottomed vessel (a normal sauce pan is good enough) till one-string consistency is reached. This is not a complicated term, all you have to do is take a drop of the sugar solution and press between your forefinger and thumb. When you pull your fingers a little away from each other, the sugar solution should form a thin line between the fingers. Be careful when you do this as the solution is going to be hot. Even though the solution takes a while to reach the one-string consistency it moves to the next stages very soon so be careful to add the other ingredients at the right time. After this consistency is reached add the besan flour in small batches carefully stirring each time to make sure no lumps are formed. This starts an elaborate stirring process so make sure you are prepared for it. Once all the flour is incorporated start adding ghee again in batches and keep stirring till you see all the ghee being absorbed by the mixture. If you see most of the ghee floating then you have not stirred enough. That was the mistake I made in my first attempt cos I was thinking how could it absorb so much ghee so I stopped stirring. The mysore paks did not turn out to be very soft. Anyway once all the ghee is incorporated pour it onto a greased plate. Cut into desired shapes when it is still a little semisolid and let it cool completely. This is where patience is needed cause I mostly dig into mine before it cools down completely. All of this takes practice so dont loose heart in your first attempt. Also if you miss something and it turns out to be a little hard you can always microwave it and have it warm. If you dont get the right sugar solution stage the mixture might never solidify. So what, you can still serve it as besan halwa and the taste is still the same. Good luck to everyone trying this "so called difficult dessert".

Rawa ladoo

Last weekend was spent mostly on cleaning as I have a few friends staying with me for a few days for diwali. Sunday afternoon I found sometime to start making my diwali treats. First on the list was rawa ladoo. The only sweet I would make for Christmas back home was rawa ladoo and that too only the making balls part, out of the already made rawa mixture. My aunt always made the right mixture and she was the one who taught me how to make these.

Ingredients:

Fine Rawa - 1.5 cups
Sugar (powdered) - 1.5 cups
Ghee (melted) - 1/2 cup (can be increased upto 3/4 cup)
Cashews (chopped finely) - 2 tbsp
Raisins (chopped in half) - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

Method:

Dry roast rawa in a pan till the raw smell disappears. Be careful to not let it turn brown. Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a seperate pan and fry cashews and raisins till they turn golden brown. Add this to the rawa mixture. Finally add the ground sugar to the mixture and mix well. Since I used fine rawa I did not grind it else both rawa and sugar have to be ground together and then cashews and raisins should be added. Let the mixture cool to a warm temperature that you can handle. I usually take a part of the rawa mixture and then add a little of the melted ghee and sprinkle milk and make small balls with it. I do this in batches as it is easier to make and the mixture doesnt get too dry before making the balls. Let the balls harden a bit and serve. You need to know the right proportion of ghee and milk to make the balls and that takes practice. If you add too much milk the ladoos turn out to be too hard. If that happens dont loose heart, just microwave the ladoos for a few secs and they will turn soft again.

Coconut chutney

This is very easy to make especially if you have frozen shredded coconut. It tastes best with fresh coconut though.

Ingredients:

Coconut scrapings - 1 cup
Channa dalia - 1/4 cup (also called pottu kadalai in tamil)
Red chillies - 2 (can be subtituted with green chillies)
Salt - as needed

For seasoning:
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Red chilly - 1

Method:
Grind coconut, channa dalia, red chillies and salt. Heat oil in a small pan and add the seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard starts to splutter add to the ground coconut mixture and serve with dosa or idli or vada.

Onion rawa dosa

I love dosa's in any form be it rice dosa, wheat dosa or rawa dosa. This weekend I was craving for dosa and decided to make rawa dosa as it does not take a lot of time.

Ingredients:

Rawa (fine) - 2 cups
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Maida - 1/4 cup
Butter milk - 1 cup
Salt - as needed
Onions (chopped finely) - 1
Green chillies (chopped finely) - 2
Coriander leaves (chopped finely) - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Oil - as needed to make dosa's

the batter

Method:

Mix rawa, rice flour, maida, salt with buttermilk and add enough water to make a paste in the same consistency as dosa batter. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, split urad dal and jeera. Once the mustard starts to splutter add chopped onions and green chillies. Fry till the onions turn translucent and then remove from heat and let it cool. Once this has cooled add it to the batter along with the chopped coriander leaves and let it rest for 15-30min. Heat a dosa tawa (flat griddle) and make dosa's with this batter. It tastes best if a tsp of ghee is used for each dosa. Serve hot with chutney and sambar of choice. I served mine with coconut chutney and onion chutney.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Spinach dal and Beetroot poriyal

Since the E-coli scare ive stopped buying spinach. When I looked into my pantry I found a can of collard greens that I had bought a while ago. So decided to make spinach dal with it. Also I like beetroots a lot but grating them usually messes my counter and my hands turn red too. So I dont buy it often but since its very healthy I decided to make it along with the dal.

Spinach dal

Ingredients:

Spinach(chopped) - 1.5 cups
Thur dal - 1 cup
Green chillies(slit) - 2
Onion(chopped) - 1
Tomato(chopped) - 1
Tamraind extract - 2 tbsp (optional)
Sambhar powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 1 tsp
Asoefetida (hing) - a pinch

Method:

Heat oil in a pressure pan and add chopped onions and green chillies. Once the onions turn translucent add chopped tomatoes and wait till it starts to turn mushy. Then add spinach, thur dal, sambar powder, turmeric, chilli powder, tamarind extract and 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. In a seperate pan add 1 tsp of oin and the seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard starts to splutter add the seasoning to the spinach dal mixture and serve it hot with rice.



Beetroot poriyal

Ingredients:

Beetroot(grated or finely chopped) - 2 cups
Onion(chopped) - 1
Green chillies(chopped) - 2 (can be increased as needed)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Salt - as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and split urad dal. When the mustard starts to splutter add chopped onion and fry till it begins to turn golden brown. Add grated beetroot, salt and 1 cup water and cook in low heat till the beetroot changes color and the raw taste disappears. Serve with rice or roti. This can also be used as a filling for veggie rolls or Indian burritos.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pepper chicken fry

Chicken is always a safe bet as you can never go wrong cooking it most of the times. If I am short of time I always make chicken as it cooks fast and tastes awesome.

Ingredients:

Chicken (cut into small pieces) - 1/2 lb
Onions(thinly sliced) - 2
Tomato(chopped) - 1 (optional)
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Saunf - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt - as needed
Pepper - as needed

To Powder:
Red chillies - 3
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
Saunf (fenugreek seeds) - 1 tsp
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1/2 stick

Method:

Dry roast all the to powder ingredients and grind. Heat oil in a pan and add saunf seeds, curry leaves and cut onions. Fry till the onions turn brown and add tomato and ginger garlic-paste. Once the tomatoes are cooked add the ground powder, chicken and half a cup of water. Cook on low heat till gravy reaches desired consistency. Add salt and pepper as needed and remove from flame and serve with both rice or roti.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Channa Batura

Since Oct16 is world bread day I decided to post a recipe of my favorite Indian bread. The reason its my favorite is I always thought that it was too difficult to make but once I learnt the right way Ive been making it often.

Batura

Ingredients:

Maida flour (All purpose flour) - 2 cups
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Curd - 3 tbsp
Oil - for deep frying

Method:

Mix all the ingredients with enough water to make a soft dough. Wrap the dough in a moist cloth and let stand for anywhere between 3 - 4 hrs. The dough should have raised by then. Roll out big puris and deep fry till golden and serve with channa masala.

Note: While rolling out the puri dust with litte wheat flour so that it does not stick to the rolling pin.

Channa masala:

Ingredients:

White channa dal (garbanzo beans) - 2 cups (i use the canned variety)
Potato (boiled and cubed) - 1 (optional)
Onions (minced in a food processor) - 2
Tomatoes (minced in a food processor) - 3
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Channa masala - 1 tsp (optional)
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp (optional)
Salt - as needed
Oil - 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
Lime - 1/2

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add jeera. Once it starts to turn golden brown add minced onions and tomatoes and fry in medium heat till the oil starts to seperate. Add chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, channa masala, coriander powder and salt and fry till the raw smell disappears. I use store bought garbanzo beans as it is already cooked. Else kabuli channa can be soaked overnight and pressure cooked. Add channa and potato cubes to the pan and 1 cup of water and cook in medium heat till the gravy reaches desired consistency. Add kasoori methi and squeeze juice of half a lemon and remove from heat. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and serve. I served mine with batura but this can be served with any kind of bread (chapathi, naan) or pulao.

Masala idli snack

Most weekend evenings I try to make some light snack. I had some leftover idlis this weekend and hence decided to make masala idli snack. This tastes good as is or can be served with chutney or even just tomato ketchup.

Ingredients:

Idli (chopped into 1 inch cubes) - 10
Curry leaves - a sprig
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 1 tsp
Idli podi (powder) - 2 tbsp (can be increased for more spiciness)
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp (can be substituted with ghee for additional flavor)
Coriander - for garnishing

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, split urad dal and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering add idli cubes, idli podi and salt and fry till the idli cubes turn golden brown. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Note: Idli podi can be substituted with a tbsp of chilli powder and a pinch of turmeric.

Podi Potato Fry

This dish is a great recipe for potlucks and also tastes good with any kind of rice dish. Spiciness can be increased as needed.

Ingredients:

Potato (boiled and chopped into cubes) - 5
Onions (thinly sliced) - 2
Salt - as needed
Oil - 4 tbsp

To Powder:
Channal dal - 2 tbsp
Thur dal - 2 tbsp
Red chillies - 4
Dhania (coriander seeds) - 2 tbsp
Methi (fenugreek seeds) - 1 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 2 tbsp

Method:

Dry roast the "to powder" ingredients and grind into a coarse powder. Heat oil in a pan and add sliced onions. Once the onions turn golden brown add the ground powder, salt and chopped potato cubes. Fry in low heat till the potato turns color and absorbs the masala. Serve with rice and sambar.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Pineapple kesari

Kesari is a very easy dish that can be prepared quickly. Kesari can also be made with fruits just to add extra flavor. I chose pineapple, as its tanginess contradicts the sweetness of the kesari. Sometimes I also make this with mango pulp. This will be my dish for JFI-ghee event.

Ingredients:

Fine rawa - 1 cup
Sugar - 1.25 cup
water - 1.25 cup
crushed pineapple - 1/2 cup
pineapple syrup (from tin) - 1 cup
ghee - 2 tbsp
lemon yellow color - little
cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
cashews & raisins - to taste

Method:

Heat one table spoom ghee in a deep frying pan. Fry cashews, raisins and remove from ghee. Remove it and keep it aside. Fry rawa in that ghee itself for one minute till it turns color and the raw smell goes. Remove from the pan and keep seperately. Heat water, pineapple syrup, sugar together in that pan. Add color and when sugar is dissolved completely and it starts boiling add fried rawa. Keep stirring constantly till it forms a thick mass. Add the remaining ghee and crushed pineapple and keep stirring continuously. When it doesnt stick to wet hands and gets a shine remove from fire. Mix fried cashews and raisins and serve hot ot cold. I like mine served hot.