Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vegetable Upma

Roasted semolina cooked with mixed vegetables and spices. Upma is a easy breakfast recipe and also one pot recipe too!!

Upma is liked by some and disliked by many. During my school days, I remember when someone brings upma for lunch, they call upma as "concrete". And this name - "concrete" is still kept alive.

To make upma, a veggie delight, there are few secret ingredients that I have used to  enhance its flavors.  In this recipe, cashew nuts and ghee are treated as secret ingredient, because I liked the crunchiness of cashew nut and richness of ghee. The recipe is simple, but the flavors are bold and rich.


Ingredients

2 cups Semolina | Rava (Medium rava or Bhansi rava)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Channa Dal
5 Cashew Nuts (optional)
1 small piece ginger, grated
4 Green Chilies, chopped
2 sprigs of Curry leaves
1 Onion,  chopped
1 Carrot, cubed
1 Potato, cubed
1 Bell Pepper, cubed
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
3/4 tsp Coriander powder
4 tsp Ghee | Clarified Butter
4 sprigs of Cilantro
4 cups of water
Salt

Method

  • Heat one tsp of ghee in a heavy bottom vessel. Roast semolina for 3 minutes. keep it aside. 


  • In the same pot, heat remaining 3 tsp ghee, add mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, channa dal, curry leaves, ginger, cashew nut (optional) and green chilies. Saute for few seconds
                             
  • Add Onions, carrot, potato and bell pepper. Saute until vegetables are completely cooked


  • Add turmeric powder and coriander powder. Saute for a minute
  • Add 4 cups of water and adjust salt as per taste. Bring it to boil. Turn to low heat setting

  • Now slowly add roasted semolina and stir in one direction without forming lumps. Cover the pot and cook in low heat setting until water is completely absorbed

  • Add cilantro. Serve hot

Tip--
  • Different vegetables can be used like peas, egg pant, brinjal, tomato, beans or cabbage
  • Towards the end, you can add some more ghee to enhance flavor
  • Freshly grated coconut can also be added at the end
  • Regular oil can be used instead of ghee
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Spiced Raw Mango Spaghetti

"Spiced Raw Mango Spaghetti " is a mirror recipe of "Mavinakayi Citranna" or Raw Mango Rice. The only difference between two is usage of spaghetti instead of rice.  "Mavinakayi Citranna" is a simple South-Indian recipe and it is quick and easy to make.

I call this recipe as Indo-Italian cuisine because spaghetti is used. 

This recipe is very helpful for working women, bachelors or at times when food needs to be prepared in large quantities during any function. The base which is "gojju" can be made in advance and it can be stored in an air tight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.




Ingredients

1 pack Angel Hair pasta
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Bengal Gram | Channa Dal
5 Green Chilies, finely chopped
1 Raw Mango, peeled and grated
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Bell Pepper (optional), cut lengthwise
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 cup Freshly grated Coconut
5 sprigs of Cilantro, finely chopped
2 sprigs of Curry Leaves
Salt
5 tsp Oil

Method

  • In a pot, boil water. Add a tsp of oil and 1/2 tsp salt and then add angel hair pasta. Cook for 15 minutes and drain. 

  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil, add mustard seeds, Bengal gram, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds until mustard seeds start to splutter

  • Add Onions and bell pepper. Saute until onions and bell peppers are completely cooked about 3-5 minutes. 

  • Add turmeric powder and grated raw mango. Fry for 2 minutes

  • Add spaghetti, freshly grated coconut, cilantro and adjust salt as per taste

  • Stir constantly until all ingredients are mixed together
  • serve immediately

Tip--
  • If raw mango is not available then lemon can be used
  • Different kinds of pasta can be used in this recipe. But I like Angel hair pasta and it turned out to be best

Motte Palya | Fried Eggs

Boiled eggs sauteed with taco seasoning. Its a great snack and a very good appetizer. Its rich in proteins. 

Egg yolks can be discarded if you don't use it.




Ingredients

6 Hard boiled eggs, diced
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 clove of Garlic, minced
3 sprigs of Green Onions, finely chopped
1 tsp Taco seasoning
Salt
4 tsp Oil

Procedure

  • Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and onions. Saute until onions turn transparent
  • Add taco seasoning and salt
  • Add hard boiled eggs and toss in high heat setting. And fry for 2 minutes
  • Turn off flame and add green onions
Tip-
  •  If you don't have taco seasoning then you can use combination of - 1/2 tsp  Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, and salt

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pappu Koora | Spiced Moong dal

Moong dal cooked through perfection. A very light and healthy recipe  served with rice, chapathi or as a lentil soup.


Ingredients

1 cup Moong Dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
 3 Green chilies, cut length wise
1 Tomato, diced
1 Green bell pepper, diced
1 small bunch of  Spinach, chopped
1 sprig of Curry leaves
Salt
1 tsp Grape seed oil | canola oil | vegetable oil

Method

  • Cook moong dal with 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker

  • In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds
  • Add tomatoes. Saute for a minute

  • Add Spinach and bell peppers. Saute for a minute

  • Add it to dal. Adjust salt as per taste. Simmer for 3- 5 minutes

  • Serve hot with rice, chapathi or as a soup

Nandu Masala | Crab Masala

"Nandu (Crab) Masala" is a sea food delight. Crabs are cooked with ginger, garlic, onions, tomato and coconut along with blend of different spices.

This is one of my beloved dish. I have experimented different crab recipes with various combination of spices and this one turned to be the best. So, when cooking with crab, it is important to retain crab flavor when it is cooked with different spices.

I did not get Indian crab to make this recipe, but instead used Alaskan snow crabs. 




Ingredients

 1 kg Alaskan snow crabs or Indian crab
1 tsp Fennel seeds
4 Cloves
2 small sticks of Cinnamon
5 cloves of Garlic
1 small piece of Ginger
4 Green Chilies, finely chopped
1 sprig of Curry Leaves
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp Red Chili powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 cup Coconut, grated
4 Cashew Nuts
5 tsp Oil
Salt


Method

  • Soak crab in turmeric water for 30 minutes. Clean the crab just before adding to the masala
  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil. Add cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, ginger and garlic paste, curry leaves and green chilies. Saute for a minute

  • Add Onions and fry until it turns transparent

  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and coriander powder. Sprinkle water if masala sticks to the bottom of vessel
  • Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes

  • In a blender, grind coconut and cashew nut. Pour it into masala. Cook until oil seperates out from the masala


  • Adjust salt as per paste
  • Add  cleaned crabs to the masala and mix well. Smear masala all over crab so that all flavors are evenly absorbed

  • Cover the vessel and cook in medium- low heat setting for 15 minutes 
  • Serve hot with steamed rice and lemon wedges



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mango Lassi

A refreshing drink made with delicious combination of riped mangoes and yogurt. Also added Cardamom in this recipe to give a bonus flavor.


Ingredients

2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled and diced
1 cup Yogurt
1 cup Skimmed milk (or whole milk)
1 cup Ice cubes
3 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Method

  • In a blender, blend all the ingredients- mangoes, yogurt, milk, ice cubes, sugar, cardamom powder. The consistency should be very thick
  • Garnish with mint leaves and serve chilled
Tip-
  • You can use honey instead of sugar. I don't use either of them since Mangoes contain enough sugar to sweeten lassi 
  • Always choose a good variety of Mangoes to prepare lassi
  • Don't use ice cubes for blending if you don't plan to serve immediately

Potato Bhajji

Easy deep-fried snack to munch in evening with a cup of coffee or tea.


Ingredients

1 Potato, thinly sliced
1 cup Gram flour | Chickpea flour
1/4 cup Rice flour
3/4 tsp Red Chili powder
3/4 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Asafoetida |Hing
1/2 tsp salt
Oil
Water

Method

  • In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients - gram flour, rice flour, red chili powder, baking powder, asafoetida, and salt. Add enough water to make thick batter
  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil for deep frying
  • Dip potato slices in batter and gently leave it in oil
  • Cook it evenly for 5 to 8 minutes evenly on both the sides in medium - low heat setting
  • Use an absorbent paper to drain excess oil
  • Serve hot with mint chutney or tomato ketchup
Tip-
  • Instead of potatoes other vegetables can be used like onions, plantain, bell peppers, or Banana peppers
  • if the batter is thick then the consistency of bhajji would be bread- like

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Channa Masala | Choley

Chickpeas filled with a blend of different spices like paprika,  turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom,  ginger and garlic. It is a traditional vegetarian curry in North Indian cuisine.



Ingredients

1 cup Chickpeas, soaked overnight or 1 can of Garbanzo beans
1 Onion
1 Tomato
1 small stick of cinnamon
3 Cloves
1 Cardamom
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 small piece of Ginger, ginger
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Spanish paprika or Kashmiri Red chili powder
1 Tea bag (optional)
4 tsp Oil or 2 tsp butter
Salt

Method

  • In a pressure cooker, cook chickpeas with a tea bag , 1/2 tsp salt and 3 cups of water. Discard tea bag after chickpeas has cooked, but retain water for further use



  • In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, minced ginger and garlic. Saute for few seconds and then add onion paste


  • Fry until raw smell goes out

  • Add Tomato puree, turmeric powder, coriander powder,  and paprika (or red chili powder), simmer for 5 minutes
                            


  • Add boiled chickpeas with water. Adjust salt as per taste. Simmer for 10 minutes until gravy thickens

  • Serve hot with Battura , onions and lemon wedges
Tips:
  • Use tea bags to cook chickpeas. It helps to give color
  • I used paprika because for color and taste. You can also you kashmiri red chili powder
  • It tastes best when cooked 2-3 hours before serving. This allows chickpeas to absorb flavors from spices.
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Battura  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Battura

"Battura" is a vintage recipe in Punjabi Cuisine. It is a deep fried flat bread usually served with channa masala, a classic combination in Indian cuisine. 


Ingredients

2 cups Maida
1/4 cup Semolina | Fine rava | Chiroti Rava
1/4 cup Yogurt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Yeast
Warm Water

Method

  • In a mixing bowl, mix maids, semolina, yogurt, sugar, salt and yeast.
  • Add warm water to knead the dough. The dough should be very soft

  • Cover the dough and leave it for 1 to 2 hours until dough rises

  • Now divide dough into equal portions and roll them into balls 

  • Take  a ball of dough and using a rolling pin roll it into thick circular shape (I have rolled it into puri size about 5 inches in diameter)

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel
  • Gently leave the rolled batturas in oil. Fry it evenly on both sides. 


  • Use an absorbent paper to drain excess oil
  • Serve hot with channa masala