Saturday, February 26, 2011

Semiya Upma Kids Style / Simple Vermicelli Porridge..

Semiya Upma is a staple South Indian tiffin item and is a popular one among the many dishes prepared using vermicelli.There are many ways to prepare it, but the recipe which I'm about to share here is a simple and kids friendly version with minimum spices. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Broken Roasted Semiya / Vermicilli - 1Cup (MTR or Bambino brand)

Split black lentils (broken urad dhal) - 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds- 1 Tsp

Dry red chilly- 1 or 2 according to spice levels

Water- 2 Cups

Chopped Onions- 1/2 cup

Peas and carrot- 1/2 Cup ( I use the frozen ones, but fresh veggies can also be used)

Veg or Canola Oil- 2 Tbsp

Curry leaves- a few

Salt to taste

Method:

1.Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and the black lentils.

2.Meanwhile, boil water in a sauce pan.  

3.Once the mustard seeds pop and the lentils turn light brown in color, add the dry red chilly, curry leaves and the chopped onions.

4.Saute the onions for a few minutes till they turn transparent and then mix in the peas and carrots.

5.Add salt and cook the veggies on medium low flame for about five minutes and then add the boiling water.

6.Check for salt levels now and add the roasted vermicelli.

7.Cover and cook on low flame till all the water is absorbed and the vermicelli is soft but not mushy.

8.Stir once in between so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

9.Switch off the heat and let sit for a few minutes. Fluff up with a fork and serve hot with tomato ketchup, sauce or with a dollop of ghee and some sugar on top!

10.A perfect lunch box recipe for kids, I would say!!




Note: If the upma becomes mushy, do not stir it too much when it is hot. It may becomes even more lumpy. Instead just leave it with the lid open for a few minutes till it cools down and little and then slowly fluff it up.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Double Ka Meeta / Indian Style Bread Pudding..

Double Ka Meeta is a very popular sweet in Hyderabad and is usually served as a dessert in weddings and other occasions.
This is my husband's favorite sweet and an Indian restaurant here in our city offers a very classic version of this sweet.
I had been waiting for a chance to try my hand at it and couldn't find a better occasion to make it than on our wedding Anniversary!
Though not perfect, the sweet turned out great and my husband and I just loved it!!
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

White Bread- 6-8 slices

Sugar- 1 Cup

Water- 1.5 Cup

Ghee- to fry the bread

Milk- 1 lt

Evaporated milk- 1 Cup (optnl)

Mixed Nuts- 1 Cup (like cashew, almonds, raisins etc)

Cardamom powder- a pinch

Saffron- a few strands

Food color (optnl)

Badam milk mix -2 Tbsp (optnl)




Procedure:

1.Cut each slice of bread into four triangular pieces and let them to dry in the open for about two hours.

2.Deep fry the bread in ghee or add ghee to a pan and toast it on both sides till golden brown and arrange it on a tray. I followed the latter method and found the final product satisfactory!

3.Dry roast the mixed nuts in the same pan and set aside.

4.Mix the sugar and water and boil it to form a one string consistency syrup. (one string means if you let the syrup cool a bit and touch it between your fingers, you should see a single string formation. This is called single string consistency)

5. Add a pinch of food like if you like and two drops of lemon juice to the sugar syrup when it is boiling. The lemon juice is to prevent the crystal formation in the sugar syrup when it cools down.

6.Add the cardamom powder to the sugar syrup and pour it on the bread pieces till they are fully soaked in it.

7.Boil the milk on low medium flame with the saffron strands till it reduces in quantity and turns pinkish white in color. If using evaporated milk add it along with the milk when it is boiling.

8.Now pour the milk on the bread pieces and garnish with the roasted nuts.

9.Serve warm or let it set in the refrigerator for sometime and serve chilled as a dessert.

Note: If the bread pieces are not let to dry, they may turn too mushy and dissolve in the sugar and milk mixture.

If using badam milk mix, you can add it to the boiled milk and pour it on the bread pieces. This will enhance the flavor of the milk.

You can also skip the evaporated milk and slow boil the milk alone and reduce it in quantity to make a 'Rabdi' (like what VahChef says!) Adding evaporated milk quickens the process of boiling.





Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beets and Rice / Valentine Rice / Red Rice..

Last week, I had to make a red colored rice for my little one's school Valentine Party. I had a vague idea of this rice and knew it was beets and rice, but did not have any  proper recipe for it. Any amount of googling for the recipe did not help. Hence I tried it out my own way.The rice may look a little too red, but it turned out perfect!
Also heard from my son's teacher that the kids enjoyed it a lot!! Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Jasmine Rice- 1.5 cups (cooked and cooled)

Beets- 3 medium sized ones

Peas-1/2 cup

Onions- 1/2 cup

Olive oil- 2 Tbsp

Freshly grater ginger- 1 Tbsp

Freshly ground peeper- 1 Tsp

Few drops of lemon and lemon wedges (one lemon)

Mint leaves- a few

Salt to taste


Procedure:

1.Cook the jasmine rice with lemon wedges and a little salt. The ratio of rice to water is 1:1 3/4. Too much water will make the rice lumpy as the rice by itself is sticky in nature. Allow it to cool.


2.Wash the beets and cut them into small pieces and so the onions.

3. Microwave the chopped beetroot for about 5 minutes.

4.Heat olive oil in a pan and add the ginger and onions and saute it for a few minutes. Add the beets, peas and salt next.

5.Cook for five minutes and then add the pepper.

6.Fold in the cooked rice and give it a good toss taking care not to break the rice.

7.Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a few drops of lemon.

8. Serve hot.

Note:
1.Any long grain white or brown rice can be used, but I used the Jasmine rice since it has natural aroma of its own when cooked and it also brings out the colour of the beets very well.

2.You can also do a lot of variations to the rice by adding garlic, vinegar, ajino motto and soy sauce as per your taste. I kept it simple as it was for the kids.


Vaangi Bath / Kathirikkai Saadham / Curried Eggplant or Brinjal Rice..

Vaangi Bath is one of the popular dishes of Karnataka. The eggplants are sauteed in spice powders and mixed with cooked rice.
The authentic vaangi bath has a recipe for its spice powder, but now with the ready made mixes available, it is very easy to prepare this dish.
I have many versions of this dish. Here they are:

Ingredietns:

Cooked and cooled rice- 2 Cups (any mediium or long grained white rice)

Indian Brinjals- 1 lb or Chinese Eggplants- 3 nos.

Vaangi bath mix (I would recommend  MTR or Iynegar's Hot Hot Brand) - 2 to 3 Tbsp

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds - 1 Tbsp

Urad dhall- 1 Tbsp

Asafoetida/ hing- a pinch

Turmeric- a pinch

Curry leaves- a sprig

Dry red chilli- 1

Cashews- a few (optnl)

Oil- 3 Tbsp

Salt to taste

Method 1:

1.Wash them eggplants well and chop them into thin long pieces or small cubes, whichever way you prefer.

2.Heat oil in a pan and add the items for tempering.

3.Add the chopped eggplants along with salt and turmeric and mix well.

4.Cook for five minutes with lid open till the eggplants are soft, but not mushy.

5.Add the red chilly powder and Vaangi bath powder and give it a good stir.

6.Cook for a few more minutes till the eggplants are well coated with spice powder.

7.Now add the cooked and cooled rice little by little and mix it after a few minutes. Do not mix immediately as the rice may break and make the mixture lumpy.

8.Allow it to sit for sometime and then serve it with chips and any raitha of your choice.


Method 2:

1.Follow steps 1 to 5 and then add curry powder to the eggplants instead of vaangi bath  mix and the rest ot it is the same. This will also taste good.


Method 3:

You can also add thinly sliced onions while sauteing the eggplants.No need to add curry powder or vaangi bath mix, just chilly powder is enough.This is the simplest way to make a quick Vaangi Bath.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kaju Katli / Mundhiri Burfi / Cashew Cake..

I've heard of simple things, but not to the extent of so simple that you have to see or do it to believe it!! Wondering what I'm talking about??
Its about the Kaju Katlis aka Cashew Burfis which you see in the picture and making it was so so simple that ..@$%*& !!!!
This can also be called a low calorie recipe as there is no ghee in this recipe. The Cashew nuts have so much natural oil in them that there is no need for ghee or butter.
I came across this recipe from a food blog and would like to share it with you all:

Ingredients:

Cashews (whole or broken) - 1 Cup

Sugar - 3/4 Cup (or a little lesser if you want it less sweet)

Water- 1/4 cup 

Procedure:

1.Grind the cashews into a fine powder.

2.Mix the sugar and water in a wide sauce pan and set it on heat.

3.When you see small bubbles appearing at the surface of the pan, pour in the cashew powder and keep stirring to avoid lumps.

4.Continue to stir till  you notice that the mixture begins to get thicker.

5.Take a small quantity of the mixture and drop it on a cool plate and see if you can make a soft ball out of it.

6.If using a candy thermometer, switch off the heat when it reaches 200F and remove the pan from the hot surface.

7.Allow it to cool slightly for about 10 minutes and slowly dump the mixture on to a board or a clean counter top.It may still be a little hot and sticky, but you will notice that you will able to roll it between your fingers once it cools.

8.Knead the mixture like a dough and the natural oil from the cashews will help in the greasing.

9.The mixture will be a glossy ball of dough now and  should not stick at all.

10.Roll it out into a 1/4 inch sheet and cut into diamond shaped pieces.

11.Cut out the edges and repeat the process for the rest of the dough so as to not waste it.

12.Allow it to cool and store it in an air tight container for up to a week or ten days.

13.Makes about 20 pieces.




Note:

1.If the mixture is heated for a long time, you will see it becoming red and it will start to stick at the bottom of the pan.

2. If the mixture is allowed to cool for too long, it may turn dry and hard, so knead and cut out the pieces when it is still warm.

3.In case the mixture is overheated and becomes dry and powdery , add a tbsp of warm milk to knead it. If it is still watery after removing it from the heat, microwave it for a few minutes having a close watch, though.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tarka Dhal / Seasoned Red Lentil Soup..

Tarka Dhal is a very famous dish made with red lentils or masoor dhal.It is served in all Indian restaurants and is very easy to make at home.Among the many versions available,here is mine:

Ingredients:

Masoor dhal/ red lentils- 1 Cup

Channa dhal/split pigeon peas- 1/4 cup (optnl)

Fresh Ginger- 1 inch piece crushed

Garlic cloves- 3 nos. crushed

Green chillies- 2 slit lengthwise

Turmeric- 1/2 Tsp

Salt to taste

For the Tadka or Tempering:

Butter/ ghee- 2 Tbsp

Cumin seeds- 1Tbsp

Bay Leaf-1

Dry red chilly- 1

Onions -1 small chopped finely

Garlic- 2 cloves

Garam Masala- 1/4 Tsp

For Garnishing:

Chopped cilantro- 1/4 Cup

Lemon juice- 4 to 5 drops

Slit green chillies -2 nos. (seeded )

Red chilly powder- a pinch

Procedure:

1.Wash and pressure cook both the dhals for 2 to 3 whistles along with the ginger, garlic, green chillies, salt and turmeric. I used about 2 cups of water and found the consistency of the dhal to be right.

2.Heat butter or ghee in a pan and once hot add the ingredients under tempering and saute till the onions and garlic turn soft and light brown in colour.

3.Mash the dhal using a hand mixer or a ladle and pour the tadka on top of it and garnish with chopped cilantro, green chillies and a few drops of lemon and a pinch of red chilly powder.

4.Cover and let sit for 2 minutes and serve hot with rice, rotis or naan.


Note: The consistency of the dhal should be neither be too thick nor too watery and should be like that of a soup. Mashing the dhal helps in getting the right consistency.

Kovakkai Vadhakkal / Tindora Subzi / Ivy Gourd Stir Fry..

Ivy Gourd is a vegetable that looks similar to the cucumber and also referred to as the baby cucumber.
It is a tropical vine and has lots of medicinal values.The juice of the roots and the leaves are used to treat Diabetes and many skin problems.It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promotes a more healthy and a balanced body.
The most common method of cooking this vegetable is stir fry or vadhakkal.
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Kovakkai/Tindora-1 lb (fresh or frozen)

For Tempering:

Oil-2 Tbsp

Mustard- 1 Tsp

Urad dhall-1 Tbsp

Red chilly powder- 1/2 Tsp

Asafoetida-a pinch

Turmeric- 1/2 Tsp

Curry leaves- a few

Salt to taste

To Dry Roast and Grind:

Whole or broken peanuts (without skin)- 1/2 Cup

Vella Ellu/Sesame seeds- 1/2 Tbsp

Dry Red Chillies-2 to 3 (depending on spice levels)

Procedure:

1.Wash the veggie well and pat it dry.If using frozen, just rinse and microwave it.

2.Cut it into thin long strips and microwave for 10 minutes with 3 tbsp of water.Check and stir in between as the kovakkai may become very dry and shrink if there is not enough water.

3.In a pan, dry roast the sesame seeds first and keep it aside. Next dry roast the peanuts and red chillies and grind them into a coarse powder once they cool down.

4.Heat oil in the same pan and add the items for tempering and the microwaved kovakkai along with salt and turmeric.

5.Cook covered for a few minutes and then add the red chilly powder and the ground spice powder.

6.Stir fry well with lid open till the kovakkai shrinks and  becomes crisp and light brown.

7. The texture from the peanut powder and the aroma from the sesame seeds give the Ivy Gourd a very good flavour making it very enjoyable to eat!!



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chenaikizhangu Kootu / Suran Ki Bhaji / Elephant Yam in Pepper and Coconut Gravy..

Chenaikizhangu (Suran in Hindi / Elephant Yam in English) is one of my most favorite vegetables among all the kizhangu varieties.
It is widely used in most of the Kerala style dishes and the very thought of Chenai Erissery or Chenai Varuval makes me drool!!
This kootu is similar to the Chenai Erissery except for some minor changes.
Here is the recipe: 

Ingredients:

Chenaikizhangu/Suran- 1 lb or 1 pkt frozen cut suran

Turmeric- 1/2 Tsp

Salt to taste 

To dry roast slightly and grind into a paste:
 
Urad dhall- 1 Tbsp

Dry red chillies- 2 nos.

Peppercons- 1 Tsp

Asafoetida/hing- 1/2 Tsp

Raw rice- 1/4 Tsp

Grated coconut- 2 Tbsp

For Tempering:

Oil- 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

Urad dhall- 1 tsp

Curry leaves - a sprig

Procedure:

1. Peel the skin and chop the chenaikizhangu into small pieces (if using fresh whole ones). Wash the pieces and pressure cook it along with half tsp of turmeric and very little water for 2 whistles or till it is soft, but not mushy. If using frozen suran, wash the pieces and directly pressure cook it.

2. Dry roast the urad dhall, peppercons, dry red chillies, raw rice and coconut slightly and grind it into a fine paste adding little water.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add the items under tempering. Remove the cooked yam and add it to the pan without draining any water if there is.

4.Add salt and let cook for two minutes and then add the ground paste.

5.Mash the chenaikizhangu slightly with the back of the ladle and let it cook for a few minutes till it starts to thicken like a gravy.

6.Switch off the heat, place a sprig of curry leaf on top and drizzle a few drops of coconut oil on it.

7.Close the lid and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

8.This kootu can be mixed with rice and eaten or can also be eaten as a side dish along with rasam or kuzhambu rice.




Stuffed Sweet Peppers..


Recently, a friend of mine travelled to India and before that she handed over to me a 2lb bag of sweet peppers (one from costco).
Now, I've never used these peppers in my cooking and did not know how they tasted.
On the parallel, I'm a great lover of the 'Stuffed Jalapenos' which we get in Jack in the Box here in the US.
So all this collectively inspired me to do something different, yet not wanting to deep fry. Hence, was born this rustic baked dish! Ahhhh! What a bliss!
The sweetness of the peppers and the flavours of the melting cheese!
Better felt when tasted than expressed!!
Here is how I did it:

Ingredients:

Sweet peppers- about 10 nos. (I used the mixed colors)

Olive oil- 1 tbsp to brush the peppers

The cream cheese stuffing that I made
For the Filling:

Cream Cheese- 4 Tbsp (you can use plain or Ricotta cheese)

Pepper Jack cheese- 4 Tbsp

Garlic cloves-3 to 4 nos.

Chopped onion- 2 Tbsp

Crushed peppers- 1 Tbsp (can be made more or less)

Salt to taste

Procedure:

 1.Wash the peppers, pat them dry and cut them into half (not fully) leaving the stem on top.Remove the seeds if any.

2.Blend all the ingredients for the stuffing in a food processor and set it aside.

3.Preheat oven to 400F.

4.Spoon the pepper halves generously with the cream cheese and close it.


The peppers stuffed and oiled ready to go into the oven.
5.Brush with some olive oil on top and arrange them on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.

6.Bake for 15 minutes till the peppers shrink and the cheese begins to melt.

7.Turn over and bake for another 10 minutes till it starts to brown on the top.

8.Remove from the oven, let cool for few minutes and enjoy it as an appetizer or snack!!

Note: You can add any veggies like sun dried tomatoes, basil, dry bell peppers etc., for the cream cheese filling according to your taste.

Carrot Chutney..

Bored of the regular chutneys and dips??
Here is a very simple, tasty and healthy chutney without any coconut in it and can be made in a jiffy!!
This is also what I learnt form Usha Manni (s-i-l) and I'm thankful to her for all her low calorie and healthy recipes.Here it is:

Ingredients:

Carrots- 2 nos.

White Raddish/Daikon- 1 (optnl)

Tomato- 1 medium (not so ripe)

Green chillies- 2 to 3

Cilantro- 1/2 cup

Roasted peanuts- a handful

Salt to taste

For Tempering:

Oil-1/2 Tsp

Mustard seeds- 1 Tsp

Dry red chilly- 1 (optnl)

Curry leaves- a few

Asafoetida/Hing- a pinch

Procedure:

1.Peel the carrots and radish and slice them and chop the tomato roughly.

2.Add half teaspoon of oil in a pan and saute the veggies till they are half cooked.

3.Allow it to cool and grind it along with the green chillies, cilantro, peanuts and salt into a coarse paste.

4.Temper it with mustard seed, curry leaves and hing or serve it as it is along with Idli, dosa or chappati.

Note: Do not grind the veggies into a fine paste as it will look and taste like smashed baby food!!
The chutney has to be coarse.

Carrot Kheer / Carrot Porridge..

Carrot Kheer is one of the signature dishes of my mother and it is something we all love as a family. It is a different sweet apart from the regular payasams which we make and serves as a delicious dessert too!! Healthy, tasty and colorful, this Kheer has it all!!
This is how my mother makes it:

Ingredients:

Carrots- 1 lb

Milk-1 litre  (2% or whole milk)

Sugar- 1 Cup (can be increased is u like it more sweet)

Cardamom powder- 1/2 Tsp

Unsalted cashews- a few to garnish

Ghee- 1 Tsp

Procedure:

1.Peel the carrots and cut them into big pieces and pressure cook for 2 whistles adding a cup of milk.

2.In the meanwhile, boil the rest of the milk in a thick bottomed pan or vessel and simmer it once it starts to boil.Keep stirring to avoid the milk sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3.Remove the carrots once the pressure is released from the cooker and allow it cool then grinding it into a fine paste. Do not add water while grinding. Add the same milk used for cooking if needed.

4.Add the carrot paste to the milk and slow cook for about 45 minutes adding sugar after 10 or 15 minutes.

5.Simmer the heat and allow it to boil till the raw smell of the carrots is fully gone and the quantity of the milk reduces by 1/4 or so.

5. Heat ghee in a small pan and fry the cashew till golden brown and pour on top of the Kheer along with  a pinch of cardamom powder.You can also add a few strands of saffron if you prefer.

6.Serve hot or chilled as a dessert or a healthy drink for kids as well as adults.

Note: The carrots can also be directly ground and cooked in the milk itself which will take a longer time. The pressure cooking helps to speedup the cooking process.
Condensed milk can also be added instead of sugar to make the Kheer more rich and thick.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beetroot Thuruvina Curry/Grated Beetroot Curry..

Beet root or Beets is a fiber rich vegetable and has lots of other medicinal properties in it.
It is a natural source of sugar also containing sodium, pottasium, chlorine, phosporous, iodine, iron and various other vitamins.
The juice of beetroot helps in reducing high blood pressure and it has a natural property of cleansing the kidney and the gall bladder due to its chlorine content.
The high nutrient value of this vegetable makes it an invaluable food in terms of its health benefits it provides and is thus used for therapeutic purposes apart from culinary uses.
This is a simple curry which I prepare by grating the beetroot and seasoning it.
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Beetroot - 4 medium sized

For Tempering:

Oil- 2 Tbsp

Mustard-1 Tsp

Ulutham paruppu/Urad dall- 1 Tsp

Dry red chilly-2 to 3

Asafoetida- a pinch

Turmeric- a pinch

Curry leaves- a sprig

Salt to taste 

Procedure:

1.Peel the beetroots and grate it using a grater.

2.Heat oil in a pan and add all the items under tempering, including salt and turmeric.

3.Close the lid and cook covered for about 10 minutes on medium low heat, stirring once in between till the beetroot is cooked and it begins to shrink.

4.Enjoy along with steamed rice and rasam or any kuzhambu or your choice.

Note:You can get more creative by adding onions, peas and grated carrot along with the beetroot. The grated beetroot can also be microwaved and then tempered to speedup the cooking process.
Dry red chilly can also be substituted with chilly powder.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Pavakkai Vengayam Vadhakkal/Bitter Gourd Onion Stir Fry..

Bitter Gourd or 'Pavakkai' as it is known in Tamil  is very low in calorie and dense in nutrients.
It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber.  It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
The bitterness of the vegetable is perfectly offsett by its goodness, finding it a place in the platter.
There are many dishes which can be made using this vegetable and this is a simple stir fry recipe which is sure to seduce your taste buds!!

Ingredients: 

Bitter Gourd- 3 to 4 medium sized

Onions- 1 large

Curry leaves - a sprig

Oil- 2 Tbsp

Mustard seeds- 2 Tsp

Urad dhall- 1 Tbsp

Hing/Asafoetida- a pinch

Turmeric- a pinch

Red chilly powder- 1 Tsp

Curry Powder- 1 Tbsp

Powdered Jaggery- 1 Tbsp

Salt to taste

Ingredients for curry powder:

To dry roast and coarsely grind:

Kadalai paruppu/channa dhall-1 Tbsp

Ulutham paruppu/urad dhall-1 Tbsp

Thovaram paruppu/thoor dhall-1 Tbsp

Dry Red chillies (bedege/kashmiri mirchi)-6 nos.

Dhaniya/coriander seeds-1 Tbsp

Katti Peringayam/hing- a small piece

Grated dry coconut/kopparai-4 Tbsp

Black Pepper/melagu-1 Tsp

Cumin seeds/Jeeragam-1 Tsp

Cinnamon-1 inch piece

Procedure:

1.Wash the bitter gourd well and cut it into small pieces removing the seeds and chop the onions finely.

2.Heat oil in a pan and let the mustard seeds splutter, then add urad dhall, hing, curry leaves and the onions.

3.Add half the quantity of salt and let the onions sweat and saute it till turns transparent.

4.Add the bitter gourd and the remaining salt and turmeric and let it cook for about five to six minutes.

5.Once the bitter gourd is half cooked, add the red chilly powder, curry powder and jaggery and stir fry for about 20 minutes till the veggies shrink and get cooked fully.

6.This curry is best when mixed with hot steamed rice and a dollop of ghee on it or hot phulkas!!

Note: The curry is sweet as well as bitter in nature and that is what compliments its taste.
To reduce the bitter taste, alternately you can sprinkle some diluted tamarind water on the veggie when it is cooking.
You can use any curry powder or thengai podi (coconut powder) or even idli milagai podi (gun powder) for the stir fry as it also helps in roasting the curry.
 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gobi Capsicum Subzi/Cauliflower Bell Pepper Curry..

We all know for a fact that the masala or spice powders such as red chilly powder, coriander cumin powder, amchur powder, garam masala , black pepper powder, turmeric and hing when used in different  permutation and combination form the standard base for most of the curries.
The Gobi Capsicum curry or subzi is one such curry which i often prepare and it is a very nice side dish to go with  any roti or rice item.
Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Bell Pepper/Capsicum- 1 Large

Cauliflower florets- 2 Cups

Onion - 1 medium

Tomato- 2 medium or 1 Tbsp tomato paste

Green chillies-2 small (optnl)

Chopped Cilantro to garnish

Oil- 2Tbsp

Cumin seeds-1 Tbsp

Carom seeds/Omam/Ajwain-1/2 Tsp

Masala/Spice Powders:

Red chilly powder- 1Tsp

Coriander Cumin powder- 1 Tbsp

Garam masala-1 Tsp (optnl)

Kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves- 1 Tbsp

Turmeric - 1 Tsp

Asafoetida/hing- a pinch

Salt to taste

Procedure:

1.Cut the capsicum and onion into long strips and chop the tomatoes finely.

2.Wash the cauliflower florets and boil it in hot water with salt for a few minutes.This is basically to remove any worms if any in the florets also boiling it in the process.

3.Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin, carom seeds, onions and the green chillies and saute till onions turn slightly brown.

4.Add the tomatoes and the spice powders except salt and let it cook for a few minutes.

5.Next, add the capsicum and cauliflower florets and salt and give it a light stir.

6.Cover and let it cook till the veggies get the flavour of the spice powders.Crush the kasoori methi between your fingers and sprinkle on the curry.

7.Garnish with chopped cilantro and a few drops of lemon if preferred.Let sit for two minutes before
serving.

  

That was yummy Peas Pulao and Gobi Capsicum Curry!! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rajma Masala/Kidney Beans in Spicy Gravy..

Rajma Masala is a very famous Punjabi dish made with the Kidney Beans.
Cooked in a spicy tomato gravy and richly flavoured, this rajma curry can be relished with rice, chapatis or naan.
Here is the recipe:

Ingredietns:

Rajma- 2 Cups


Onions-1 Medium

Tomatoes-3 Large

Tomato paste- 1 Tbsp (optnl)

Green Chilly-1

Ginger- 1 inch piece

Garlic pods- 3

Cilantro-chopped finely for garnish

Cumin seeds- 1 Tbsp

Oil- 3 Tbsp

Salt to taste

Spices:

Bay leaf-1

Cloves- 4

Cinnamon- an inch long

Elachi- 2 pods

Masala Powders:

Garam masala-  1 Tsp

Coriander powder-1 Tbsp

Red Chilly powder-2 Tsp

Amchur or Dry Mango powder- 1 Tsp (optnl)

Turmeric-  1/2 Tsp

Asafoetida- a pinch

Procedure:

1.Wash the rajma well and soak in cold water overnight or for 6 hrs.

2.Pressure cook the rajma for 2 whistles with 4 cups of water along with the spices (except the bay leaf) tied in a muslin or cheese cloth.

3.Drain the water and dispose off the spice bag after cooking.

4.Chop the tomatoes, onions and green chilly finely.

5.Grind the ginger and garlic into a fine paste.

6.Heat oil in a pan and once hot, add the bay leaf, cumin seeds,green chillies,onions  and the ginger-garlic paste and saute for a few minutes till the onions turn slightly brown and diffuses the raw smell.

7.Add 3/4th of the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste if using, all the masala powders (except the garam masala and salt) and cook for a few minutes till it starts to separate fromt he oil.

8.Mix in the cooked rajma, salt, the remaining tomatoes and one cup of water and cook covered for ten minutes simmering the heat.

9.Mash the rajma slightly with a potato masher or with the back of your ladle, add the garam masala and cook for another minute or so.

10.Garnish with chopped cilantro and a few lemon drops (optnl) and serve hot with rice or rotis.

11.When mixed with rice, its called Rajma Chawal. 'Rajma' in hindi is  Kidney Bean and 'Chawal' -  rice.

 

I used leftover rice to make the rajma chawal, but Basmati rice would do a great deal!!.