Monday, December 31, 2007

A place called home ~ heaven!

I am back, back from a wonderful vacation spent at parent's home! I am seeing them, after two months and this is our first visit to my home. Bharathy expressed my thoughts so rightly saying 'Amma's place is any girl's best place in the whole world!' Though I have always felt this way, it was more prominent and heart warming this time. Distance bonds more and yearning to their company becomes more pressing. They shifted to the city of Joy, some 5 months back and they visited us last, during our twins birthday. This is the first time that we have lived separately. Even after my marriage, Dad convinced my dear hubby to move down here. And after so many years, we were faced with the fact that we might end up living in separate places for some time. It was really heart breaking, since it was the first time I am ever away from them. Each day passes with great difficulty, there was never a night passed without my daughter crying for my mother and me sharing her feelings. My daughter had the pleasure of spending the maximum time with her and bonds with her so much. Though we speak to each other every day and again whenever we feel like, the thought that I can't see her the moment I want to, pains me so much. When my brother visited them, I wanted to see the pictures taken at their place. But somehow I never did. Each time I speak over the phone, I try to picture how she must be expressing each word and where she might be sitting. Now I had taken enough pictures to colour me when I hear her voice over the phone. Hubby used to tease that we don't have a Mother's place to spend the vacation since they were living in the same building. His wishes came true, when we planned for this vacation. We flew down to Calcutta. Its a first experience for me and my daughter. We were trilled and excited about it. The morning when we scheduled to take off, Chennai saw its worst foggy day. Everything was so foggy and we couldn't see anything. Imagine that in Chennai! We were not sure if the plane was going to take off or not. The 2 hours delay had its effect on all of us. When the captain announced the take off, there was an excited shout from all. Nothing can compare the feeling of first time. I still remember the first time I jumped into a pool as a 10 year old, the same feeling captured me and the feeling was great.

The journey to home from the airport was quite tedious and the kids were so restless. The roads were filled with people and so many things. 10 years seems to have taken its toil on the city which had always been so beautiful in my mind. When I last visited the place, I was filled with memories that were so peaceful and wonderful. Now the city has become more crowded and hectic. But it kept to its name of being called city of joy. People celebrated Christmas for 3 long days. Roads were filled with all decorations and excitement runs round all places. We finally reached home, so exhausted and tired. My first sight was, of Amma standing with her arti, after we got out of the lift. It was simply too great. Days just flew and though we didn't really do much of sight seeing, we all enjoyed our stay, simply by staying at home with parents.Also this was the first time we have ever stayed at home for so many days on vacation. We met few wonderful people. Dad had infact, showed my blog to few of his colleagues. I was really trilled to know that they had visited it few times.

Dad ensured he meets his grand daughter's needs and everything was waiting for her. Konda refused to come back with us. This week saw me cooking some of our favorite dishes for Dad, though I have already featured most on this blog, I still took pictures of them. So coming days will feature the cooking that happened this past week.

Though I wanted to cook something new for this event, I unfortunately find myself having not much time. Since Bindiya confirmed its fine with her if I just send pictures of my favorite chocolates, I am sending these, which I took specially for her. These were what Dad had got for my kids. Not to say my favorites too.I am especially so fond of Cadbury's Almond Temptations.

'The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation', said Oscar Wilde. The most favorite of all apart from Shakespeare. How can I not yield to it.

This beautiful picture full of chocolates goes to the lovely Bindiya.


Raindrops on roses and mist filled mornings,
bright early mornings, with a pack of temptations,
violet paper packages, tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things....

when I read the event line quoted by Bindiya, all I could think of, was the beautiful song from sound of music. I just adapted the para with my own liking!

If you are in mood to check out my other favorite way of eating chocolate, be sure to check out chocolate Fudge and Eggless Black Forest Cake.

Be sure to check out this space for dishes cooked in Calcutta! ah that sounds like a great book title!

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Best of the Year 2007!

Beginning of this year, I was filled with a want to do something different, apart from my work and other things. I wanted to release a cook book. Imagine that! When I thought into the things involved in publishing a cookbook, it seemed way beyond something that I could manage at that time. Thus came into existence, this blog! I started this blog for various reasons. Infact I don't remember thinking anything clearly which started first and how I proceeded.

Bang, everything got done, I realized I created a food blog without much thought and named it too. Much later, one fine day, was thinking how and why I named it and then realized that I had unconsciously named it as how I always thought of. Now I have come to love this blog and what I spend to get this running on daily basis. When I think of all the time I try to put into this, I wonder how I never knew this all these years! I know I can cook well and I have all my wonderful mother's recipes, not to mention my mother in-law. But to be frank, every kid learns more from their mother and some from their in-law by seeing her cook. Unfortunately I haven't had much opportunity to watch my mil cook, as I will be with the kids when she cooks. So the recipes that I have blogged about, will either be ones cooked by her or by me, knowing her recipes. But all my Amma's recipes are ones that I have cooked myself, after learning from her.

I have a passion for writing and cooking. So I made best use of this blog to be a platform for me to write and also record recipes that are simple, yet tasty. I ensured my steps are easy to understand even for a beginner. So I was really elated when readers commented that my recipes were simple and so clear to understand. Not sure if they were really true or said just to make me feel happy. What ever it is, I loved reading their comment!

This blog became the sole thought going around in my mind for a while. So much so that, any free second I get at home at spent doing this. I started this blog in fag end of May and have tried to be regular on daily basis. This blog is something that drives me with a passion. At last, I have found something that gets me going with joy and pleasure. And interacting with so many other wonderful bloggers is bonus of blogging.

Thinking about what's been special till now, I find it extremely difficult as each one has been associated with some memory and that's what I do. Talk so much about the memory than the recipe. But believe me, whenever I think of a recipe, I always remember the incident associated with that. Infact, there were many occasions that I had to remove and retain just one or two incidents. I can't be talking on and on right!

So when Nupur announced as event on Best of 2007, what else can be good!


Everything I have blogged are mostly my favorites. Everything reminds me of something. Selecting just 10 was quite difficult. But then thats Top 10 right!

So heres my favorite

Top 10 recipes of the year 2007

Paneer Butter Masala - This is something I love so much because my daughter enjoys and wants this so very often

Dal Makhani - This is one of the first recipe Amma and I tried after eating it so many times in restuarant and was a hit from the very first time.

Carrot Kurma - This is one of my Athamma's famous recipe thats a must every week.

Pappu chaaru - You can have it anytime you drop in home on a sunday evening!

Erra Karam Masala Dosa - Our most favorite way of eating Dosa!

Murgh Mussallam ~ Whole Chicken - This is a must try if you are a Chicken lover! Everybody's favorite at home!

Spicy Chicken Biryani - Again this is something thats Amma is known for!

Nawabi Chicken Biryani - Hubby dear wants this done atleast once a month, so no guesses to confirm its his favorite!

X- Chicken Fry - Well what can I say! Dad's most wanted one!

Semiya curd Rice ~ Vermicelli Bagala Bath - Amma's signature dish!


Best dish from each month

May 2007 - Guthi Vankai my most favorite

June 2007 - Parotta, infact I had blogged my most liked ones here...but I cant talk about everything right!

July 2007 - Masala Vada

August 2007 - Nellore Chicken

September 2007 - Bisi Bele Huli Anna ~ A feast for all time!

October 2007 - Salt Diamonds!

November 2007 - Powder from Heaven ~ and a guess!

December 2007 - Tomato Dosa ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!


Best meal(s) of 2007

Pappu Chaaru with Arbi Stir Fry - My Express Meal

Vinayaka Charthuti Feast

Deepavali Feasts at my sister in law's place


Best posts (in terms of writing)/ favorite food photographs of the year

My Cookbooks ~ My Passions

Eggs with toys

"Cooking resolutions" for 2008

Well, planned to cook all the bookmarks from other blogs.

This post is going to Nupur. Thanks Nupur for the wonderful idea. This has given us a chance to revisit all our old posts


I wish my friends and readers, a very Happy New Year!

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A Spoon full of Nuts!

Well I think this must be simplest and easiest thing I have ever done for any event. This month has been quite hectic and I haven't been able to participate in most events. I somehow manage, but this time it proved way beyond my capacity.

But I didn't want to miss few events, because I had thought of the simplest one. So I proceeded to make these with just enough time I have on hand.

A spoonful of nuts is my entry to AFAM: Fruits, which is featuring Dry fruits hosted by the rocking ladies at The Yum Blog. When Lathamma asked me for the link to Maheswari, I was wondering what she is up too! When I asked her, she asked me to hold my suspense and check her blog shortly. I completely forgot that she is hosting the AFAM this month. I was trilled that she had chosen Dry Fruits. But unfortunately, as I said I couldnt' prepare any of the numerous dishes I had planned.

I hope she accepts this simple dish prepared with honey.

This is what I had during both my pregnancies. Just chop all the dry fruits and fill in a container. Shake well and pour honey to the brim. You can see the honey seeping inside and filling the gaps. cover tightly and store.

Have a spoon every day morning and evening. Dry fruits is very good for health and more so during pregnancy. I used Cashew, Almond, Raisins, Walnut, Pista and Honey. You can add more of other nuts if they are available.

This is also my entry to Easycrafts Event on Food during Pregnancy

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Be sure to get the action at Tom & Jenny Love Story Part 3! The plot is getting more serious. The Carefree Jenny suddenly gets a mysterious feeling around her.

Until next, enjoy!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rajma Masala with Aloo!

Things have been hectic this side of the world and that's kept me away from posting. December has always been a hectic month in various contexts. This time round, with Athamma down with high sugar and we have handful to manage, I somehow didn't feel like updating anything. Its like I miss something if I don't post something everyday but I haven't cooked anything new, so more the reason for the lull. I am also excited that we are off to visit my parents next week. And the fact that its raining cats and dogs our place. Its so much fun getting drenched back home. I love getting drenched in rain. Its so soothing and wonderful. Its like the sky is blessing you with so much shower, shower of rain and wonder! I would've happily missed today too, except I kept remembering I will be missing few events this month...

Didn't want to miss this post, as I had planned for this long back. Yes Grindless Gravies has gone through lot of changes, hopefully Sra won't say no for this, since I haven't checked recently for any updates in the rules! I first thought of sending her my Dal Makhani, but she said she wanted something new. So new she gets! I have always loved curries with rajma. Though Amma had prepared with this few times, I started liking it more when I first tasted this at my friend's place during college. She is gujju and her mother used make great gujarathi dishes. I must've verified the recipe with her mom so many times. And yes we prepared it quite frequently after that. Though I must say as with most recipes, we change and adapt and make it to ring with our mark! I am not sure if this curry resembles anything like my friend's mother's. But this is something we like very much.

Ingredients Needed

Rajma - 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 2 medium
Onions - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 3 medium
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Garlic - 4 pods crushed or finely chopped
Ginger - 1 " juliennes
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1"
Bay leaf - 1
Oil - 2 tsp
Water as required
Method to prepare:

Soak Rajma overnight. In a pressure cooker, take Rajma, Cloves, cinnamon, garlic, bay leaf, turmeric and little salt, Add enough water and put for 4 whistles. Rajma for me never gets cooked properly, so I always put it for 5 whistles. Once the pressure is off, add potatoes and cook for another whistle.

Meanwhile, chop onions tomatoes very fine. Heat a kadai with oil. Once its hot, add the crushed garlic. fry well. Then add finely chopped onions and sauté till its golden brown.

Then add tomatoes and all the powders and salt. Cook on high flame for 2 mins, then simmer for 5 mins. Once the oil comes out, add the cooked rajma along with Potatoes. Retain 2 tbsp of rajma along with some potatoes.

Using a lentil masher, mash the rajma and potatoes. Add this to the gravy. Mix well and add required water. Cook on high flame for 5 mins and simmer for 10 mins. It should become quite thick, else cook for somemore time.

Garnish with chopped onion rings, green chillies. Off all my food pictures, I feel this is the best I could take! Phew thats something! Can you imagine babies going around clicking beautiful pictures! I got so J!..:D

Note: For the Grindless gravies, we are not supposed to use any electric app for grinding, so I choked the garlic and crushed it. You can boil the rajma to death, so that you can a thick gravy and cooked rajmas.

Sra said you can put this on cooking and forget it and complete all your chores. Well I did just that, so much to T, that when hubby dear asked whats for dinner, I didn't even remember that Rajma was cooking!

Enjoy and have f u n hols!

Will be back with my Cartoons, so be sure to check them out!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Lunch Box Series : LBS#20

Though basically sambar would mean doing the same thing, with different vegetable it tastes different. Also the method we prepare it gets changed. Drumstick is a wonder vegetable. With the tender one, the sambar tastes heaven. I will give my right and left for a serving of Munakkaya Sambar made by Amma. She so tenderly handles and cooks this to perfection and then adds to the sambar for an ever lasting taste. Though I always follow Amma's instructions to T, at times due to time constraint put it in cooker for speedy results. But we got to ensure the whistle actually does not blow off. You got to switch off just before that and you get perfectly cooked drumsticks.

Drumstick trees are a frequent sight for one traveling through our residential area. We have a good big tree next to our house. But the landlady used to safeguard each one so preciously, would never even want to share, even if we were ready to pay. She would always want to sell to the big market. Real long ones and was believed to be very tasty. And she used to take lot of care of the tree. If these trees are not taken proper care, it attracts caterpillars which are dangerous. Suddenly, one day I came to know that she passed away. I felt so bad that I didn't even know being her neighbour. And that tree shows the lost. It now stands destitute without anybody to take care of it. Last I saw, was somebody pulling a big branch down. It just stands on its truck.

My fancy to drumstick is always associated with the Arbi fries that Amma makes, today I tried out a different coating and it came out well. If you have Idli batter at hand, try this out and enjoy a great meal. Coming to our healthy way of eating, as we have adapted Plantain stem, we eat Moong Dal sprouts. They sure boosts your energy and sprits. Sprouted moong dal are packed with energy rich vitamins and are so essential to well being. Also I feel after indulging in deep fried dish, balancing it with sprouts is good.

Today's Lunch Box had

Drumstick Sambar
Arbi Deep fry with Idli batter.
Pepper Cumin Rasam
Moong Dal sprouts
Curd Rice.

Drumstick Sambar

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins

Ingredients Needed

Toor Dal - 1 cup
Drumstick / Munnakaya / Murungakai - 1 or 2 nos
Sambar Onions - 100 gms
Sambar Powder - 1 tsp
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Tamarind pulp - small lime size
Coriander Leaves - few chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Turmeric a pinch

For Seasoning

Mustard Seeds + Urud Dal + Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Garlic - 4 pods

Method to Prepare:

Clean Toor Dal and pressure cook it with 2 drops of Oil and turmeric. This makes it cook fast. Keep it for 2 whistle.

Soak tamarind and extract pulp from it.

Chop onions, tomatoes, keep aside. Chop drumstick, the outer skin is also very healthy, so should not be peeled. Chop them into finger length pieces

Boil a cup of water and once it starts boiling, drop in drumstick and cook till its tender. This should not be pressure cooked as it gets over cooked.

To the cooked Dal, add the chopped tomatoes and Sambar powder, salt. Cook for another whistle. Finally add the tamarind pulp along with required water. Bring to boil. simmer it while you temper with seasonings.

Heat oil in a pan, add the seasoning ingredients. Then add chopped onions, Once they are golden in colour, add to the simmering dal along with cooked drumstick pieces.

Cook on high flame for 5 mins, then simmer for 10 mins till its cooked well. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Samagadda / Arbi / Colacasia Deep fry with Idli batter.

Ingredients Needed:

Arbi - 250 gms
Idli Batter - 1 ladleful
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Oil for deep frying

Method to prepare:

Clean and boil Arbi for 1 whistle. Even if its not fully cooked, its fine as we are going to deep fry it again.

Remove the skin and cut it into 1" pieces.

To the Idli batter, add salt, Chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric pw. Toss the cooked arbi in this batter and ensure each of it is well coated.

Heat oil in a kadai. Once its hot, deep fry arbi and remove to a kitchen towel to drain excess oil.

This gives a real crispy taste outside and soft texture inside. Goes very well with Sambars! I had many pieces in name of checking for taste!


Want to have a dose of Cartoon for the weekend, then check out the Tom & Jenny ~ Love Story Part 2.

For many days I was breaking my head on what to send along with my Arusuvai Surprise Ingredient to Kamini and Anita. I finally remembered these drawings, and recreated for each of them. Both the pictures are part of this series but scene is changed. I was quite happy with the outcome.

Enjoy and happy weekends!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Peas Kofta Curry

Peas are such interesting things to find in a puloa. Though the season brings in lot of the fresh ones, I somehow don't like to bite on a fresh one. It gives feeling of kacha which somehow doesn't go well with taste for me. So I always preferred dried ones. Best of these would be the curries that Amma makes, esp. Mutter Paneer Masala. It used to be yum. Hubby dear on the other hand somehow does not like the north indianised version of this. He can eat if its made in south version. This is called conflicts of taste. I like anything and everything North Indian whereas he likes most of the dishes in its south versions. So Mutter Paneer Masala has gone with the winds. Its been ages since I made it. But Athamma has got a thing with peas. Religiously she soaks the dried peas every week for dinner. Since its been really long that we tried a variation with peas, I looked up a cook that was dedicated to Peas. I was amazed at the different look a simple pea can wear!

The best relation that a pea can get from me is from the botany class from 12th grade. Pisum Sativum was the most heard and read name during that grade. Genetics evolved with this and I somehow never imagined my cooking will evolve with this too. Because this is what we tried first with our experiments with the so called North Indian dishes. For us south Indian, as how people from any state down south be called as a Madrasi, anything up North, be it Eastern or Western, gets called as North Indian dishes. No matter where it originated. So this dish gets classified as a North Indian and I don't want to spend my energy trying to fix its origin or birth place. The other dish we are so fond of was the Peas Paratha. My, the number of times we would've devoured that, were innumerable. This reminds me that I should again make that Paratha, lovely green rich look of parathas are down right mouth watering.

Now this variation of peas is called Peas Koftas Curry. I normally like all kofta based dishes, because of the extra richness it adds to the dish. The book didn't explain lot of things properly. So I went ahead as how I normally make kofta curries with the ingredients mentioned. And this was quite simple but taste wise was really superb. This is a must on our list now. Infact, konda showed tick mark when the moment she had her first bite. There is always this funny aspect to trying out a dish first time. Whenever I serve something to hubby dear, before he can actually feel the taste, I would ask how it is. He always replies, "let me first swallow ok". But with my daughter, I needn't wait. The moment she takes the bite, she says Super Mummy, ehmm.." So that shows that it is indeed tasty but not spicy. So I know what reaction I can get from hubby. But this dish met his approval too. Infact, Athamma who was feeling down the whole day, said this dish pecked her up. So you can imagine the wonderfulness of this simple curry.


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins

Ingredients Needed:

For the Koftas

Dried Peas Boiled - 250 gms
Boiled Potato - 1 medium
Khus Khus / Poppy Seeds - 1tsp
Salt to taste
Gram Flour / Besan - 2 tsp

For the Gravy
Onion - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 3 medium
Garlic - 4 pods
Red chillies - 6 nos
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Clove - 2
Cinnamon - 1 "
Salt to taste
Garam Masala - 1 tsp

Method to Prepare:

For the Koftas

If its dried peas you are using, then boil them to soft texture. Boil the potatoes along with the peas after the 3 whistle for one more whistle or till both are cooked.

Peel the potatoes and keep aside. Run the peas along with Poppy seeds to a fine paste. Mash the potatoes with the peas paste along with salt. Finally mix the gram flour roughly into this mixture. If you find the paste to be too watery, then mash the potatoes roughly so that they are big chunk of potatoes to bind the peas paste and also try dipping the balls in the gram flour to give a shape.

Heat Oil and deep fry each kofta and drain to a kitchen towel.

For the Gravy

Chop Onions, tomatoes to fine pieces. Crush garlic. Then heat a kadai with 1 tps oil, add the Clove and cinnamon along with crushed garlic and red chillies.

Sauté onions till its brown. Then add coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Finally add chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 mins, till tomatoes are cooked.

Drop half of the fried Koftas to the gravy and simmer further. Have half of the koftas to be had as such. The koftas soak well and absorb most of the gravy. If you want thinner gravy, add fewer koftas and rest can be added while eating.

The gravy had a unique taste as it had dried long chillies and crushed garlic and with soft crunchy koftas it tasted great!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mixed Vegetable Poriyal with Moong Dal

Dry curries or poriyal or Vepudu are very appetizing. Its a must in our menu for lunch along with Rice. When we make either dal or Sambar or anything for Rice, a dry dish with vegetable goes without saying. So this also features a lot in the hassle, we have for planning the menu. I had so much difficulty previously on planning menus. Then hubby dear decided that the best would be that we all sit together and plan for a week. Once done, it would be pinned on the kitchen board. So we know what vegetables to buy and what's for each meal. Of course, at times we may do something else unplanned, but having a planned one helps a lot. Planned menu also helps us to balance the vegetable with the colour and the whole appeal. When I started this blog, I had ideas on putting up a menu for the week. But blogger does not give me easy way to come up with a tabular structure that I can enter. If I got to work with code, right now I don't have time. So I am looking for easy ways to do it. Maybe I will just post the menu post and keep editing. Something should be better than nothing right!

Now coming back to the dry side dish that we make, out of all, this is the best that I like. Simple mixed vegetables par boiled and sautéed in less oil and mildly spice. It goes well with anything. Be it dal or sambar or even roties if you feel like. Of course, I like my Amma's better. She brings the nest of the flovours out of this simple dish. At our place, we have beans fry, carrot fry, cabbage fry, and combis of two of these mixed. But as I said combination of all these tastes great.

So here's comes a simple dish that gets cooked in 15 mins.

Ingredients needed:

Finely chopped cabbage - 50 gms
Finely chopped carrots - 50 gms
Finely chopped beans - 50 gms
Coriander leaves - for garnish.
Salt to taste
Yellow Moong Dal - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urud Dal - 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 3 nos
Red Chillies - 2 nos
Curry leaves - few
Method to prepare:

Chop all the vegetables finely. Wash and Cook Moong dal in pan with 1/2 glass water.

Heat a pan with 1 glass water. Once it starts boiling, add carrot and then beans. After 2 mins, add the chopped cabbage. Add little salt and cooked it covered.

You can either pressure cook the vegetables along with the moong dal depending on the time you have. I normally boil water and add everything together and simmer for 10 mins to get cooked.

Then heat a kadai, add oil, temper all the ingredients given for seasoning. Then add the cooked vegetables along with moong dal. You have the moong dal little nicely cooked so that it gets mixed well with the vegetables.

Finally add the grated coconut and finally chopped coriander. This can be made with the Moong dal too.Either ways its great to eat.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tomato Dosa ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!

Planning for a breakfast becomes difficult if your folks ask for variety every morning. But that was a condition sometime back. Now with our hectic schedules, hubby dear is ok with anything as long as its healthy. But Konda fusses if I make her dosa everyday for breakfast. Its a separate issue that what ever it is, I got to feed her, except for Bread Pizza. So I try to make that atleast once a week so that she eats it herself. And Idlies more than two times a week, meets objection too. So I am left with a challenge that I want to make interesting dishes which are quick and yet tasty to eat. Amma used to make a variety of Dosas to meet the demands of variety everyday.

So when Athamma said she is going to soak Moong Dal for Pesarattu, I said I want to make something else. We decided we are going to include moong dal more in our diet. So we eat sprouts and generally plan for Pesarattu. But this Tomato Dosa I had been planning for quite sometime. This is a classic dosa variety back from my days in Amma's place. She used to soak rice early morning and grind it just before breakfast time. Red bright dosa is a feast for eyes before leaving to college or office. Naturally I forgot the proportions that go into this. So called up Amma and got the details. I guess its been nearly 5 to 6 years since we made it. Still Amma remembers the recipe so well. I guess I better record it as I don't feel I really might remember all the details of each recipe.

During the season, when tomatoes are available in abundance, Amma plans to make Tomato thokku or Tomato chutney or Tomato Dosa. Chutney is the best one that gets devoured fast. Of course, Dosa batter does not stay long, so we make only for single use. In my pursuit for dosa varieties, I am led to explore and think of all that Amma used to make. So here comes a dosa rich with goodness of tomatoes and one that leaves a lasting taste even after hours of consumption!

For ease of the readers, I have included this recipe in my new eBook, which also includes yet to be published recipes from my forthcoming cookbook. You can buy the eBook and enjoy!

eBook Details:

eBook Name : Flavours from South Indian Kitchen from Cooking 4 all Seasons
Recipes : 15 recipes
Skill level: Easy From Novice to Expert
Labels: Traditional - India, Vegetarian And Wholesome Food
Price: $5.00
Format: PDF



How this Works:
After payment via Paypal, eBook will be emailed to your email id. For any questions about the recipe or the download process, please email me at cooking4allseasons@gmail.com


Tomato Dosa!

Ingredients needed: (Makes 6 dosas)

Raw Rice - 1 cup (200 gms)
Ripe Tomatoes - 4 medium
Grated fresh coconut - 1/2 cup
Dried Red Chillies long - 4 nos
Salt to taste



Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 2 hrs. Grate coconut and chop tomatoes.

First grind coconut, Red chillies and tomatoes to fine paste. Then add rice slowly and grind to fine paste. Water can be adjusted based on the tomato puree.

The batter should be little thin. Heat a tawa, apply oil. Take a ladleful of batter and pour in circular movement. This will not come out as the regular dosa, where you will pour the batter in the center and then spread clock wise. Here you need to first pour little by little around the centre and then make a thin dosa out of it. This has to be really thin so that you get crispy ones.

Sprinkle oil on top and cover with lid. This dosa needs to be cooked with covered lid and you should not turn it over. So sim and ensure it gets cooked well. Finally you can sprinkle ghee for a tastier Tomato Dosa.

Serve with Coconut Chutney. This tastes good with Coconut chutney and not that well with Ground nut. I haven't really tried other combi.

Enjoy!

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Burger days are here again! Want to have a bite?

I am a sucker for junk foods! Well I know by proclaiming myself as junkie of this, might go against many things I want to change. But only thing that's certain in this life is change itself. So I got to accept the change my current life style has to offer. But better part of my 20's I have spent thriving on foods that get classified as Junk or western food. I am not saying western food is junk, only what we got to eat happened to fall in that category. 

I was always ready for a Pizza, Burger or French fries any time of the day. As if eating out is not enough, I used to cook these a lot at home too. Those days were burger days. Everybody at home used to just love these and I had ultimate fun cooking them up. But marriage brought a big shock, hubby dear is against anything that's considered junk. So that curbed the urge to cook these. Then came kid and generally everything that life brought about was decisive against another try at these precious dishes to heart. But knowing my affinity to these, during my second pregnancy hubby dear ensured I eat all these so that I was happy. The last few days before my due were only pizzas, burgers, Bhel puris vegera vegera! So I was trilled to no end!

It's been really long since I had a bite on a delicious Burger. During our burger nights, it used to be just us, while Kutty gets to play in the kids corner as we dig into our stuff. Hubby orders chicken, while I order burgers. Konda gets to eat both. Hubby calls it budger budger and I get so happy hearing that term. So when Konda insisted she wanted burger for dinner, I made frequent trips to the super market to lay my hands on these burger buns. Finally I planned burger for her dinner. I remember how elaborate it used to be, when we decide it to be burgers for dinner. I used to make the cutlets or patties with all vegetables. Now since its for Konda, I just made with onions and potatoes. Whatever is added with the cheese and sauce, its yummy!

So here come the classic burger, you won't want to look elsewhere!



Vegetarian Burgers, Indian Style

Ingredients Needed:

Before are listed and needed as required.

Burger Buns
White sauce
Cheese slices
Onion rings
Tomato Rings
Cucumber Rings
Patties

For White Sauce, you need

All purpose Flour / Maida - 2 tsp
Milk - 1 cup or as required
Butter - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper - 1 tsp

To make White Sauce,

Heat a pan with butter, add flour and fry well. Add salt, slowly add milk. Stir well for it to mix properly and let it come to boil. Once it comes to boil, add pepper and adjust milk to get a think sauce.

To make the patties

Cup of Vegetables like Carrot, Beans, Potatoes - 1 cup
Onions - 1 small
Regular / Mozzarella cheese - 25 to 50 gms
Bread crumbs - 2 tbsp
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Rusk - 2 tbsp

To make the patties
This version of patties is shallow fried and easy to make.

Boil the vegetable and remove to a bowl. Add julienne onions, grated cheese, garam masala, pepper, some bread crumbs. Divide to equal portions. Flatten to circles in your palm.

In a cup, take corn flour and mix water to get a liquid consistency. Alternatively you can coat the patties in flour and then coat with the cornflour and finally with bread crumbs or rusks. I didn't have rusks, so ran two bread slices in mixie to get a powdered bread and coated the final patties in that.

Heat a shallow pan with little oil, once its hot place the patties and sprinkle little oil on top. Adjust the flame and ensure its cooked evenly. Since everything is cooked, you will not need much time with this.

 
To assemble the Burger,

Slice the burger bun in the middle, you can either completely cut it off or you can make a cut in the middle so that you just get a gap to fill in middle. But mostly slicing it completely works out better.

Apply the white sauce on both the sliced buns. On the bottom slice, place the cheese slice, then all the rings. Then top with a patty, finally you can top with another layer of vegetables or Cheese slice. Add little tomato sauce between the layers if required.

If you want more spice to the patties, add chilli powder or chopped green chillies. Everything is left to your imagination.

Serve with Tomato sauce and its ultimate comfort food for me.

Hubby dear was doubtful if Konda would be able to bite in but she proved she could, by taking a big mouthful and was delighted with that!

Enjoy!

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wanna get shaken by the date with Date?

Well finally here's my date with the Date. Its always the same with all the events. I plan and plan to do something really new and innovative, but never get time around to do that. Since the time Chandrika announced Dates, only dates have been going on my mind when I look at a fruit. We consume dates daily as such, so thinking of some dish with this was so difficult.

I still remember the first time while at college, when Amma and I prepared Bhel at home. Amma prepared this wonderful Dates sweet chutney for the Bhel and it was wonderful. We had since many times prepared the same. Amma's chutneys for the Bhel used to be so tasty. I always thought our Bhel puri was never met on par with taste nor texture. But its really been ages since we made Bhel puri at home and I was really tempted to prepare the same for this event.

But I am sure there will be lot of Dates chutney for the event. So I will save mine for another day. So here comes a simple dish made with Fresh Date paste with chilled milk and Vanilla Ice cream.

Get ready to be shaken by the Dates Milkshake!

Chill sweeten Milk in fridge. Make a paste of fresh Dates. Then run the dates puree with chilled Milk and finally add Vanilla ice cream and run it again in juicer.

Top it with pieces of chopped dates and another scoop of ice cream.

Your Milkshake is ready. Mine is on its way to Chandrika who hosted AFAM : Dates, an event started by Maheswari of Beyond the Usual.

I know I am too late, but I hope Chandrika wouldn't mind finishing the feast with a Dessert!

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

One Poha ~ Two ways - Masala Poha and Coconut Poha!

Well, I happened to eat a version of Khara Poha recently and got hooked to it. I have always seen Amma preparing Atukulu payasam for Sri Krishna Jayanthi. This time I missed even that. But any other dish from poha was unknown to me. Though I do know they make upma, I have never attempted it. But this version was too yummy and delicious. I was wonder struck to know that a simple poha can give so much taste!

There were two varieties. One the Masala poha with chilli powder and the other with Coconut! I couldn't wait to get hold of poha to try out these varieties. I got to do one version, still looking out for the next opportunity to knock, for me to dish up some poha!

Beaten rice is a rice which is dehusked and beaten to make small flat flakes.This type of rice absorbs even cold water and gets swollen.This type of rice is used in variety of dishes in Udupi cuisine.It is called Poha in Hindi, Atukulu in Telugu, Bajeel or Bajil in Tulu, Aval in Malayalam and Tamil, Avalakki in Kannada, and "pohe" in Marathi. There two varieties of beaten rice thin and fat. They are so called because of their thickness. Beaten rice can be up to 4 times thicker than regular rice.

Beaten rice is also a convenience food made from rice pressed into flakes. It is reconstituted with hot water to make a rice porridge or paste, depending on the amount of water added. Beaten rice is very similar to instant mashed potatoes in appearance, uses, and spirit. Beaten rice is used frequently in Indian cuisine.

Dishes made from beaten rice

* Bajeel Ogarne :- Here beaten rice is seasoned with mustard seeds,coconut oil,red chilli.
* Beaten rice with curds :- Here beaten rice is soaked in water and then sieved .Curd is added with table salt,preferably eaten with mango or lemon pickle.
* Kanda Poha :- In this dish beaten rice is soaked and sieved. Small pieces of boiled potato ,onion,mustard seeds,turmeric and red chilli are seasoned and mixed with beaten rice and served hot.
* Sweet Bajil ( Tipe Bajil in Tulu ):- Beaten rice is mixed with jaggery and grated coconut and eaten.
* Khara Bajeel :- The beaten rice is mixed with red chilli powder,salt and coconut.Sometimes seasoned.
* Sajjige Bajeel : - Combination of upma and Khara bajeel.

Source - wikipedia

Update: Poha is also rich in Vitamin B, which we miss out as we use polished rice! So next time you want to eat polished rice, compensate it with Poha. Source - Lathamma's Husband

Masala Poha Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

Poha / Atukulu - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 1 medium
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Coriander leaves
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urud dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves few

Method to prepare:

Clean and soak poha in water for 20 mins. You can remove soon if you don't want a soft one. Let it drain so that excess water comes out.

Heat a kadai with oil. Add the seasoning. Once it splutters, add chopped onions. Sauté till its golden in colour, then add chopped tomatoes.

Add salt to tomatoes, and cover. Sim for 5 mins. Then add chili powder and turmeric pw. Sauté well and add the drained poha. Mix well.

Simmer for 5 more mins and garnish with coriander leaves.

Masala Poha

Coconut Poha
Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

Poha / Atukulu - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Green chillies - 3 finely chopped
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urud dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves few

Method to prepare:

Clean and soak poha in water for 20 mins. You can remove soon if you don't want a soft one. Let it drain so that excess water comes out.

Heat a kadai with oil. Add the seasoning. Once it splutters, add grated coconut. Sauté till the coconut gets fried well.

Then add salt and add the drained poha. Mix well. Simmer for 5 more mins and garnish with coriander leaves.

Enjoy! This is such a quick and neat fix. You taste once and you get hooked to the flavours of coconut. The secret lies in getting the poha in the correct texture.

Looking for some weekend reads? Check out my Pictorial Tom & Jenny ~ A love Story! I would love to hear your comments on that too.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Lunch Box Series : LBS#19

Deciding on a lunch that a 6 year old can eat without much fuss is real pain. And with Konda, its never been easy. I guess after much heated discussion and the general feeling that gets shown, makes her ask for Curd rice. That of course, is best. But daily dose of just that also makes things worse. Until she was 4 or so, she always only had curd rice for dinner. It used to suit us well because while traveling it used to be easy. But while she was not able to protest or express much when she was young, now its no difficult for her to identify that its not Mommy's curd rice and so will not eat. We managed quite comfortably for many times by cajoling or threatening about it. Even in our recent trip to her aunt's place, she won't eat curds because it wasn't same as how its at home. It was quite embarrassing. Its ok when the fuss is from a toddler but from a kid her age, it makes things very difficult for us to explain.

So coming to her lunch to school, she wants at times Maggi to be sent. I refuse to serve this for breakfast, so there is no question of this going in the lunch box. When once she said about Beet being sent with Curd rice, I said its only she who refuses to eat anything. She declared she too prefers to take dal or rasam rice for lunch. Well I need no more to be sent. I try sending her Sambar or Rasam rice. Yesterday, she was trying very hard to tell me about what her friend brought along with curd rice. She said it tasted so good mommy. I tried all vegetables I could think of, finally hit on Potatoes! Imagine that. I guess that's more to do with my food habit. Though people crave for potato fry with curd rice, Amma had never really made this combi for us while we were at school or even now for that matter. I mostly never make a poriyal or thoran with Potatoes. I plan Potatoes for poori or with Pulihora. So making it for Fry is out of question. But now she says she wants potato poriyal for curd rice. Well I guess we got to change our food habits based on our kids too. Or maybe I will just make it for her alone. I never like potato as such expect as wrappers or French Fries. The other day, I tasted something called Coriander Potato or something in sauce. I haven't tasted a worse dish in quite sometime.

Having such great difficulty to manage, I tell her to declare much in advance what she wants for lunch. You won't believe me, she gets different idea on daily basis. Day before yesterday, she said she thought of a new one! With great gusto, went ahead explaining every detail of the dish. Take a bread, put in cheese, top it with coriander. and top it with another bread. And press with a pick, maybe a toothpick. Hubby dear asked, if by any chance she wants it to be called a burger!. She was looked little annoyed, then hubby wanted to convince her and said we may call it Anjana's Burger! she was quite happy. Not sure where she got the idea, because its been really ages since we took her for a burger and I haven't made it at home for a long time. So she must've really thought it herself. Now that she explained the recipe, she wanted me to pack this for lunch. Unfortunately I couldn't lay my hands on one. So had to think of something different. so here is simple one that could attract a 6 year old one. I sent the rice along for her and she completed the whole box that was packed.

Today's Lunch Box had

Vegetable Ghee Rice
Tomatoes in Coconut gravy
Pepper Cumin Rasam
Curd Rice.


Vegetable Ghee Rice

This is a very simple ghee rice seasoned with vegetables and flovoured with garlic. Extra garlic was added to give that zing.

Ingredients needed:

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Carrots, Beans, Peas and Potatoes - 1 cup
Fresh Garlic pods - 5 to 6 sliced
Onions - 2 medium
Clove - 2
Cinnamon - 1"
Cardamom - 1
Bay Left - 1
Cashew - few
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water - 3 & 1/2 cups



Method to prepare:

Clean and soak Basmati rice for 10 to 15 mins.

Heat ghee in Cooker, add the whole spices along with cashew. Fry for 1 min. then add finely chopped onions and garlic. Onions are always chopped julienne for rice.

Once they are golden in colour, add vegetables. Sauté well. Cover with lid for 5 mins, so that vegetables get more tender. Then add the rice, sauté well to get coated with rice and vegetables. Add salt and water.

Cover and keep for 2 whistles.You can either add cashew while frying onions or you can roast them separate and garnish finally.

Tomatoes in Coconut gravy

Ingredients Needed:

Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coconut Milk - 1 cup (thick)
Coriander leaves for garnish
Oil - 1 tsp


Method to prepare:

Chop Onions and tomatoes into fine pieces. Heat Oil in kadai. Add Onions and fry till its little brown. Then ginger garlic paste. Sauté till it loose raw smell. Then add finely chopped tomatoes and add salt. Cover so that it becomes tender.

Then add garam masala and chili powder. Let it cook for 5 mins. When you see the oil coming out of the sides, add the thick coconut milk and add required water. Cover and cook on high for 5 mins. Then simmer for 5 mins.

Once the gravy thickens, garnish finely chopped coriander leaves.

I am still breaking my heads to think for something on dates...should be able to do something during this weekend.

Enjoy and happy weekends!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Have Karela also gone Nuts!

Its not every day that I eat a Karela. Infact I never. Somehow I have not got myself eat this vegetable. But sometime soon I got to get used to this. The fact remains that I have got to be an example, if not a role model for my kids. God help me if I ever got to be one. I really hope my kids take either their grandparents or their father for one! But tackling a kid and trying to make her understand that these are good for her is seriously a tough job. So I have to first be doing it before I tell her to either eat it or some behavioral thing. So I have got over my toughest battles of eating those vegetables that I never used to eat as a kid myself. Bitter gourd is the lone one that's still not in the party!.

But lecturing a kid to eat anything for that matter on the pretext that its good for health is very difficult when they question you back on why I don't eat. This happened this Sunday when Konda was so happy with the Keema balls, that she was asking me to eat it. I said I don't eat non-veg. She was all questions. She wanted to know why I don't eat. When I said I don't like it. She said "I don't know pa, if you don't have strength don't ask me about that'. "If you don't eat this, you will not have energy and you will become weak." I told her that I eat when I was a kid, so I have all the energy that I need. Well this only shows that we got to practice what we preach.

So when she is good enough to eat Bitter Gourd, I better eat it myself. On the other hand, this is the only version that I cook which I eat and actually enjoy! You may feel that it may not be healthy as its deep fried. But some bitterness is better than nothing I feel. And also I ensure I try to drain most of the oil.

Hubby dear on the other hand, is crazy of Kakara kaya as we call in telugu. Amma and of course, Athamma make awesome curry with this vegetable that he simply adores. Of course, I can't certify myself on the delish of that curry but I trust my hubby's sense of taste. He is quite hard to please with just about anything that goes into a dish. But I feel this is what makes me search for perfection in dishes.

This Karela in Nuts is his favorite one among the dishes that Amma makes. One amazing thing about this is, when you pack for lunch also, the karela pieces retains its crispiness.The recipe is same as the fried nuts.

We use fresh garlic pods that have the skin on but loosen. Fresh curry leaves fried. Peanuts and cashew nuts deep fried.

Finally, just grate the karela's outer skin, chop into fine circles. Once all the other ingredients are fried, deep fry Karela in batches. Once they are cooked, drain them to kitchen towel.

In a bowl, take all the fried ingredients, add salt and chilli powder and toss. This makes all of it to get nicely coated with salt and chilli powder.

Karela will have the wonderful taste of garlic and curry leaves and since its fried, it wouldn't be so bitter.

At one point of time, this used to feature a lot during our week's menu. I was preparing this after a long gap. So it was really fun digging into the bitter, nutty taste of the whole dish, with roasted garlic flavouring the whole gastronomical journey!

Once in while indulgence in a fried passion works out well. And if its all nuts, why not go nuts over it!

Sending this to Pooja from My Creative Ideas for her VOW: Bitter Gourd.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dosa of this kind and that ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!

Dosas are my favorite! I think I have spoken enough on this that I need not say much. Still if I got to elaborate, I can talk endless on Dosas and what it does to me. For quite a long period, when parottas were not really introduced to me, I always used to order Dosa in a restaurant. Dad used to ask why I would want to order dosa when every other day it is for breakfast at home. Still I never used fail in my taste. This continued to be my standard order until I started loving Parotta.

How many ever times you make at home, still the aroma of a dosa on a tawa is incomparable. The earliest memories of Dosa on tawa must be during my childhood days. During summer vacation while in school, we used to visit ammamma's house. Our stays were never longer than 3 to 4 days, so we used to enjoy the maximum possible. My mom's family is a big one with 6 sisters and a brother. During that time, most of them were not married and hence all were at home. We all used to sleep in the terrace and we kids used to sleep through morning.By then, Ammamma would've started the breakfast preparation. The kitchen's chimney used to be a big hole which opens naturally from the terrace and through this, the smell of dosa getting cooked on the tawa sneaks out through the chimney. That memory is still so fresh that I can even now as I am writing this, can smell it in my mind. Such potent Aroma! Nothing can surpass that! It would be around 8 or 8.30, but still the climate would be kind of chill and not the hot scorching sun that comes out latter part of the day. We rush down to fresh up and straight go attach the dosas. Ammamma would've made ground nut chutney and wow it used to taste to heavenly. Amma, as I said has this on menu almost some 3 to 4 times a week as I love it. Still that aroma of dosa on a iron tawa in a stove lit using the logs, is something unique. Those days there was no gas stove and they used wood for cooking. So the smoky smell from the wood gets mixed with the tantalizing dosa getting cooked. Its like the burnt Chinese Fried rice, you never actually get the exact taste if you don't burn it.

Well years later, I still remember those days as a child I spent in my grandparents home, enjoying the simplest of food, yet nothing was more satisfying. Even now dosas are my favorite. And am happy that my konda is also fond of it. I do hope my twins too like it. Hubby dear at times complains that Konda has so much of my taste. But I think she has best of us in her, which makes me glad. Though I wanted to record 101 varieties of dosa here, I haven't really recorded the basic proportion given by Amma. Anyone can make a dosa when given the batter, but to get the perfect one, makes an expert. The way you spread the batter on the tawa, how thin or how thick all comes out of experience. Amma makes lovely 'Kal Dosa' which is a soft with lot of holes on the top. That's something so wonderful. Its the same batter that she makes, yet she gets Paper Roast and Kal Dosa out of it.

Today its going to be Onion Uthappam and Paper Roast


Basic Dosa Batter:

Par Boiled Rice - 2 cups (400 gms)
Raw Rice - 2 cups
Urud Dal - 3/4 cups
Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

*Measurement can be understood as whatever cup you used for rice, use the same one to measure the Urud dal.

Clean and Soak the rice along with urud dal for 6 hrs maximum. This is for grinding in a grinder. If you are going to use mixie, you got to soak for some more time.

Then grind everything together to a smooth batter. This has to be done with adding enough water to get a smooth batter. Add salt and let it ferment over night. Once its fermented well, the batter would have doubled its size. Beat it well and don't add water at this stage. The consistency will be really thick.

Use only what is required, rest of the fermented batter can be stored in fridge for later use. If stored in room temperature, the batter tends to get soured. But when you store in refrigerator, the batter can be fresh for a week.

Before using the batter, mix 1/2 cup water and a pinch of soda if required, to the batter you are going to use, return back the batter to fridge. Mix well.

Heat a tawa, and take a ladleful of batter and once the tawa is hot, you can spread as a circle movement. Clockwise or Anti clock wise is your choice. Amma makes it Anti Clock wise. You can check if the tawa is hot, by sprinkling water on it.

For Paper roast, take less than a ladleful and spread it really thin. Sprinkle Oil or Ghee and simmer it. If you are using non-stick pan, let it come up. Then you can turn over and cook on the other side. If its a regular iron pan, you can cut half an Onion and dip in oil and spread over the tawa. Then spread the batter.



Onion Uthappam

Chop the onions really fine. Take a ladle of dosa batter and pour on the tawa, don't spread. Top it with lot of finely chopped onions. Sprinkle oil or ghee and cover with lid. Sim for a min. Then once its cooked, turn over and press well so that the raw batter beneath the onions come out and gets cooked. Simmer for 5 mins with lid. This will ensure the onions get really brown.

Serve with your choice of chutneys.

Alternatively you can sprinkle podi on the top once the oninos are cooked. That tastes heavenly.

Enjoy!

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Keema Kofta Curry | Minced Meat Balls in Gravy Recipe

Its been ages since I had planned to try out Keema Balls and every time something comes on way and I postpone it. And I have also been telling hubby dear that I will prepare this one day. I guess he got fed up hearing me say it so many times, yet never really do it. Then I misplaced the recipe that I had with me. Which lead me browse for something similar. He said no to anything that's very rich. Because that's how it ends up. 

I end up preparing something so rich that it becomes too heavy. He has always been talking about his aunty who prepares an excellent Keema balls gravy in a jiffy. I have had enough of that story that I wanted him to talk about mine. When I told him that it might require frying and then adding to gravy. He said it was so simple that it used to get ready so soon. So again I searched to check if I could find something that does require lot of frying and spending much time. I came across few that were sounding good. 

Finally I adapted Sailu's as I know if she has prepared, it got to be good. So this weekend, Keema Balls in coconut poppy seeds gravy is what I prepared for Sunday lunch. Every Sunday, I like to feast on Rasam or Podi annam as I normally don't get to eat that on regular days. This time, hubby dear wanted me to also have something special. My father in law who was visiting us this weekend, got the green chillies from my sil place. Athamma made Vankaya Pappu along with Green Chillies bajji. They were super duper combination. All of us had a fantastic lunch. Thank you Sailu for a wonderful recipe.

Konda actually liked this so much that I am planning to prepare it again.

Ingredients Needed:

For the Koftas

Minced meat (kheema) - 500 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chillis chopped finely - 2
Garam masala pwd - 1 tsp
Finely chopped Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Mint leaves - 1 tbsp
Turmeric pwd a pinch


For the Gravy

Grind to paste:

Onions - 2 medium
Grated Fresh/ Dry Coconut - 2 tbsps
Poppy seeds - 2 ½ tbsps

Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chillis chopped finely - 2
Finely chopped Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Mint leaves - 1 tbsp
Red chilli pwd - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 1/2 tbsps
Curds - 2 tbsps
Garam masala pwd - 1 tsp
Salt to taste


Method to prepare:

For the koftas, clean meat and drain well. I left it aside for 40 mins, so it was completely dry when I took it for making the balls.

To that add all the other ingredients. Run this in a mixer to get a smooth paste. Remove and prepare small lemon sized balls.

For the paste, heat oil in a pan and add the coconut and sauté for a few mts, then add the poppy seeds and sauté further for another 2 mts. Finally add the chopped onions and fry till they are golden brown. Remove from fire and keep aside to cool. Grind to make a fine paste.

To make the gravy, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the ground paste and cook till it turn brown. Then add ginger garlic paste, green chillis, red chilli pwd, salt and curds and combine well. Add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 3-4 mins.

Add the koftas to the gravy and cook them covered on low flame for 20 to 30 mins or till its cooked.

Finally add garam masala pwd, chopped coriander and mint leaves. Cook for another 5 mins on low flame or till you get the thick consistency. Adjust and add 1/2 juice of lemon and mix well.


I served this with plain rice. Hubby dear felt he needed some more spice but my daughter just loved the soft koftas mixed in the species. She may have thought it to be paneer as these days she is so fond of it.

This is a must for another try.

Enjoy!

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Microwave Easy Cooking with Side Dish - Round up and next Theme!

Well another month has gone and I find I have yet another round up to do!. It feels so good to check on all the lovely entries that came and get amazed at the way everybody makes an attempt to use the Microwave for a better purpose than just reheating. Though I got to say, had I not use it for reheating I will definitely go mad!. But cooking a dish completely in MW gets to be such a challenge. That's why I think we will do Gravies for the month of December! You can prepare anything that fits a bill as main course and send me how many ever you want by 31st December with Subject line MEC: Gravies! Check out here for more details.


Ok lets move on to check out the entries that came this month.

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Bee and Jai brings us a beautiful dish called Brussels Sprouts, Chinese Style. Check out their blog for Brussels sprouts in three ways. I was seeing a Brussels sprout for the first time and I was in love with the picture.


Their blog is always filled with such beautiful pictures, I just forget to check out the recipe most of the time!

They has this small patch of soil in which they grow radish, chillies, tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, squashes, lady's finger, beans, groundnuts...etc.you think I missed some of the other vegetable they grow? Not really just didn't have space to type them all. But you get the picture right? They grow everything!

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As usual Asha delighted me with yet another dish from microwave. Mixed vegetable Subzi

But hey did you look at that dish again??...wow it looks straight out of a cookbook. Not sure how she does it but I am sure you all agree on what I say on her.


She is a woman with many tastes! She dishes out no worry thalis for all festivals and events without any complaints. I wish she was my neighbour!

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Check out Lathamma's Potato babycorn curry with Tandoori masala all in MW.


She says she normally grills these in skewers. For this event, She changed the method and the curry was fantastic. Yes it does look so yummy on the ghee rice.

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Next comes from Easycrafts from 100% Microwave Cooking. True to her name, she brings us three dishes from Microwave.

Check out her Bhendi Masala


Inspiration lead her to try out Beet and peas in Microwave.

And don't fail to check out her tempting Chatpata Aloo

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Sagari shares her yummy recipe that she got from her cousin, Cabbage with pesarapappu and black pepper


It sure does look cabbage is easy to cook in Microwave.

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RedChillies says during hectic days, this is what she turns to for cooking.

Looks very simple and easy. Thanks for sharing RC

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Kalva of Curry in Kadai brings us her Spaghetti Squash


She says she saw this beautiful petite Squash and fallen love with it. That sure does look very appealing!

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Dhivya says she loves to include as many veggies as she can in any dish that she cooks.


So here comes Almondy Veggie Platter with horde of veggies.

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Meera of Enjoy Indian Food brings us Some Maharashtrian, Some Gujarati, Some South Canara and Some Malvani - some !!! Phew! All from her kitchen to ours! Thanks Meera.

Check out her dish called Akuri, which is scrambled egg or burji, Parsi style.

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Finally the Chef at work comings singing to us with her dish.

She says she has been busy and she also got 1 + 5 weddings to attend! Well that's too many weddings in a span. So she is quick to make this for us

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Rajeswari brings us Spicy Potato curry


Her picture sure makes me want to grab it off the screen!

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Bindiya spins a magic with Tari Wale Aloo.

She says these are excellent with pooris. She makes them for a leisure breakfast/brunch on a holiday. she ends up eating loads of it because she enjoys the sweet-sour and spicy taste of it!

The dish sure has super duper colour and so tempting right off the monitor

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While you are at this, make sure you check out what tips Renuka has to share with us.

Renuka blogs on many tips from Idlies to various other things. Be sure to check them all!

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Ashu spins a tale from A Goan's Kitchen. She does a wonderful pictorial of recipes, apart from a beautiful picture peeking from her header. Her picture of poha snack was mouth watering.

While you are getting lost in the beauties that Ashu has to show us, be sure to check out Vaalichi Bhaji, an authentic Goan dish prepared in the microwave.

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Next comes Siri from her corner to enthrall us with a tempting Bengali Tomato Chutney

She says she ensure she cooks for me because she wants to have an optimum use of her MW! Do you find me complaining. I do welcome her with arms wide open.

She asks "What if, one fine day we are out of gas What if you tellme??..Not to worry we have Siri cooking all the dishes in MW to save us!

She this tamatar chutney with panchporan. which gave it an edge! Be sure you try it, her pictures are giving me dreams!
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Ok Suma says she has been busy, I forgive her because she remembered to bring her dish for the party! Just check out her 3 in 1 post that she has done. I just went over the board seeing her Dates and Almond Payasam, such colour and look.

Well she squeezed in time to try out a dish in MW just for us. So sweet of you Suma, thank you. So check out her A Sweet, A Spread And A Saagu (Don't be so taken away from the first two to fail to check out the Saagu, that's what is mine!)

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Coming to what I did for this month. I tried a simple poriyal with Cabbage. Looks like cabbage gets cooked quite well in MW.

Take a MW safe bowl, add chopped cabbage. Keep it for 10 mins. Keep stirring in between to check if its cooked. Once its done, remove.

For the tadka, take another bowl or clean the same bowl used for cooking the cabbage. Add 1 tsp of oil, along with mustard, red chillies, curry leaves. Keep it for 2 to 3 mins. When you see the mustard bubbling up, add the cooked cabbage and keep it for another 2 mins.

When you remove, add grated coconut as garnish. I didn't cook coconut as I normally like it raw.

I have not mentioned the temperature as mine does not have. Mine is a grill with convectional and Micro. so I normally keep it Micro and adjust the timings.

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Please let me know if I have missed out any entry.

Thank you everybody for your wonderful contribution. Looking forward to next month's entries.

Enjoy and do try out these dishes and let me know if they were helpful!

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