Monday, May 19, 2014

Onion-Tomato Upma


Upma is a hot South Indian breakfast and tiffin food. Cracked wheat is seasoned with Indian condiments, onions and tomatoes. Its a simple recipe made effortlessly.

I like keep upma recipe very simple. My brother who likes upma often complained that he fails to achieve perfection with right consistency either its too soggy or it is too dry. The secret of upma lies in its moistness and cracked wheat separated from one another. With right proportion of water and few drops lemon juice this consistency can be achieved.

Ingredients

3 cups Cracked wheat
2 Onions, diced
1 Ripened Tomato, diced
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Bengal gram
8-10 Curry leaves
1 tsp Grated ginger
5-6 Green Chilies, cut lengthwise
5 cups of water
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt
6 tsp Oil

Method

  • Roast cracked wheat on a preheated pan over medium heat. When cracked wheat starts to turn light brown, turn off the heat and set aside
  • Heat oil in a large pot. To this add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, Bengal gram and curry leaves. 
  • When it starts to sizzle, add green chilies, onions and ginger. Saute until onions turn transparent
  • Then add tomatoes and saute for a minute (do not over cook tomatoes)
  • Add water, lemon juice and season it with salt. When it starts to simmer, lower the flame and slowly add cracked wheat stirring in one direction without forming lumps. Cover the pot and cook in low heat for 3-4 minutes 
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Breaded Chicken Manchurian


A delicious Indo-Chinese recipe made from Chinese ingredients. This recipe is a great appetizer to start off. The only difference from this recipe to the traditional machurian recipe is the breaded chicken. 

 I had couple of breaded chicken left out and wanted to infuse Chinese sauces. So I settled with  manchurian  influenced from eastern and western ingredients making it an excellent finger food. 

Ingredients

2 Breaded Chicken fillets
1 Onion, thinly sliced
1 Green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 green Chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp Dark Soy sauce
2 tsp Red Chili sauce
4 tsp Ketchup
5 tsp Water
Pinch of Aginomoto
Salt
Oil

Method

  • Bake breaded chicken in oven for 15- 20 minutes at 250 F. After it cools, chop them into cubes
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, green chilies, onions and bell pepper. Stir fry for 2 minutes
  • Then add cooked breaded chicken
  • In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, chili sauce, ketchup and water. Pour the sauce over chicken
  • Add aginomoto and salt. Mix together on high heat for 2 minutes
  • Serve hot

Kathirikai Vattal Kuzhambu


Kathirikai Vattal Kuzhambu is a traditional tamil curry made from Kathirikai Vattal. This curry has tangy and spicy flavors of tamarind and coriander-chili powder. Kathirikai Vattal is made from brinjals which are soaked in warm water and then mixed in salt dried under sun until it is crispy. 



This is a versatile curry recipe with steamed rice.


Ingredients

1 cup Kathirikai Vattal
1 Onion, paste
3 cloves of Garlic, paste
1 Tomato, paste
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Coriander-chili powder
1/2 cup Tamarind pulp
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt
4 tsp Oil

For spice powder
2 tsp Bengal gram
1 tsp Pepper

Method

  • Dry roast bengal gram and pepper until Bengal gram turns light brown color. After it cools, make a smooth powder

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onion and garlic paste. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add Kathirikai Vattal. Cook for another 2-3 minutes
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander-chili powder, spice powder , tamarind pulp and tomato paste. Add water to adjust thickness of curry about 1 cup

  • Bring it boil and season it with salt
  • Serve hot with steamed rice


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mysore Masala Dosa


Mysore Masala Dosa !! An iconic Karnataka recipe predominant in Bangalore and Mysore regions. The specialty  of this dosa is the red chutney smeared inside and stuffed with  potato filling which is served with gatti chutney and sambar. This is a crowd pulling recipe which immensely popular in Indian restaurants, almost every Indian restaurant have this recipe added to their menu.  

This dosa recipe is a delicious treat for entire family for a weekend breakfast. 



Ingredients

For the batter
2 cups Plain rice (sona masoori)
2 cups Idli rice
1 cup Urad Dal
1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 cup Yogurt
1 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Water as needed

For red chutney
10-15 whole Red chilies
1 pod of Garlic, peeled
2 sticks of Cinnamon
Salt

For Potato filling
5 medium sided Potatoes, halved
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Channa dal
3-4 Green chilies, cut lengthwise
A sprig of curry leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp freshly grated Ginger
Salt
3 tsp Oil
Water as needed


For White coconut chutney

For sambhar

Method

  • For the batter
    • Wash and soak plain rice, idli rice,Urad dal and fenugreek seeds  seperately in water overnight
    • Wash the soaked rice and urad dal in water for 2-3 times 
    • First grind the rice in wet grinder into a smooth batter. Next grind urad dal in wet grinder into a smooth batter. Add water as needed
    • Mix batter with salt and baking soda. Ferment for 8-10 hours until batter turns spongy 
    • Remember- do not add to much water. The ladle should have a thick covering of batter after it is dipped in the batter
    • After the batter ferments, add yogurt and sugar. Mix well
  • For Red chutney
    • Cook red chilies in water for 2-3 minutes. Make a smooth paste of red chilies, garlic and cinnamon
    • Season it with salt
  • For potato filling
    • Cook potatoes in water using a  pressure cooker for 10 minutes.  After it cools, peel and mash the potatoes
    • In a pan, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add mustard seeds, bengal gram, curry leaves and green chilies. Saute for few seconds
    • Then add turmeric powder and onion. Cook until onions softens
    • Add Potatoes and season it with salt. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes 
  • Making of Mysore Masala Dosa
    • Preheat full flat pan on medium heat. Pour a scoop of batter in center of the pan. Using back of the ladle spread the batter in clockwise direction. Wait for a minute to cook
    • Now smear a tsp of Red Chutney on top of dosa. Wait for another 30 sec. Until dosa turns golden brown and crisp
    • Place a scoop of potato filling in the center of dosa
    • Fold the dosa 
    • Serve hot with chutney and sambhar


Monday, May 12, 2014

White Bass Puli Varuval | White Bass Fish Fry


Meen varuval (fish fry) is an exotic shallow fried fish from coastal TamilNadu. This recipe is a reminiscent of both flavors and textures. The marinade is a family recipe made from tamarind pulp, rice flour, chili-coriander powder, turmeric and salt. This shallow fried fish is crispy on the outside, juicy and succulent inside. 

This is completely a different recipe from what I have tried before. For this recipe, I used wild caught thinly sliced White Bass fish from Canada which perfectly suited this recipe.   This is a must try recipe for seafood lovers.


Ingredients

10 -12 Thinly sliced White Bass Fillets
Oil for shallow fry

For Marinade
1/2 cup Tamarind pulp (thick extract)
2 tsp Chili-Corander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp Rice Flour
Salt

Method

  • Make a paste of all the ingredients under marinade
  • Apply marinade on fish and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • In a full flat pan, add 1/4 cup of oil. Place fish on the pan. Shallow fry on both the sides until it turns brown and crisp on medium heat
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges and onion slices

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ragi Rotti | Finger Millet Falt Bread


"Ragi Rotti" is a traditional breakfast recipe in the state of Karnataka. Ragi is an extremely nutritious millet with an great source of carbohydrate, protein, fiber and calcium.  It is also an excellent food for weight loss program and for those who have diabetes. It is given to kids between the ages 1.5 yrs to 5 yrs in the form of ragi seri for development of bones.

Even today, consumption of ragi has been a staple diet in my house and it is prepared in the form of flat bread (rotti), ragi ball, Dosa, idli or Ragi kanji.  

This recipe is made with ragi flour combined with onions, dill, green chilies, cilantro and  cumin. It is quiet filling.


Ingredients

2 Cups of Ragi flour
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Carrot, shredded (optional)
1 bunch of Dill, finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
5 Green Chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt

Method

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Add enough water to knead it into a smooth dough 
  • Now divide the dough into equal portions and roll it into balls. About 3 inches each
  • Smear few drops of  oil on a full flat pan. Take a portion of ragi ball, place it at the center,  start patting along the edges and  flatten it into a circle 
  • Cover the pan and  fry evenly on both the sides. Add a little oil on the sides if needed
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney and Ghee

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Idli Podi


Idli podi other wise called chutney powder is a great combination with steamed idli's. This idli podi is an exotic combination of lentils and spices like urad dal, Bengal gram, pepper,  red chilies, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and curry leaves which are roasted and ground into coarse powder that can last to several months. 

Idli powder is mixed with sesame seed oil or any oil and it is served with idli. Also, you can serve this idli podi with dosa or any south Indian breakfast dishes. This podi has a vibrant color and a great aroma.



Ingredients

1 cup Urad Dal
1 cup Channa Dal
3 tsp Pepper
10 Whole red Chili
2 tsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
A Bunch of Curry Leaves
Salt

Method

  • Dry roast all the ingredients seperately. Make slightly coarse powder using a blender
  • Season it with salt
  • Sore in an air tight container up to 4 months

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spicy French Toast


Its nothing better than  to have a French toast for breakfast. A very simple and easy breakfast recipe; and off course my favorite breakfast dish.

Best part of this recipe is.. you don't have to be an expert or a chef to make this recipe. 3 basic ingredients from your kitchen pantry- eggs, bread and milk. And how simple is that!! Bring all these 3 ingredients together to make this delicious English breakfast. Well, I added more pepper to give a kick and make it spicy.

Ingredients

4 Slices of Bread (any choice, French bread is more tasty!!!)
2 Eggs
2 Egg whites
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Milk
Butter

Method

  • Whisk together eggs, pepper, salt and milk 
  • Soak a slice of bread in eggs and gently place it on a preheated griddle having butter on it. Add more butter on both the sides if needed to boost flavor
  • Toast on both the sides 
  • Serve hot with some fresh fruit on side

Vazhaipoo Kootu | Plantain Flower Stew


Vazhaipoo Kootu is a traditional tamil recipe  made exclusively from plantain flowers. 
Vazhaipoo is extremely tasty, but cleaning the flower is a laborious process. Specialties of  plantain flowers are vada (deep-fried fritters), kootu (stew), or poriyal (stir fry). 

Whenever I bring this flower, after removing the style I divide it into two portions to make two different recipes.

Vazhaipoo kootu is prepared with bengal gram and plantain flowers which is immensely flavored with garlic. It is served with white rice or chapathi.




Ingredients

1/2 cup Bengal gram
4 cups Plantain flowers, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Chili power
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt

 For seasoning
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 Whole Red Chili
1 Garlic clove, crushed

Method

  • How to clean plantain flowers-
    • Remove the petal from the flower. You can see a bunch of florets inside. They are very delicate and easily fall off from the flower. 
    • Repeat above step until you reach a stage where the florets are extremely tender. So retain the entire chunk of flower holder both the petals and florets

    • Now take a floret, remove the outer cover until the stalk. Inside the floret you can see the stamen. Remove the entire stamen by pulling it. Repeat this process for remaining florets
    • You can chop the tender florets, without removing the stamen
    • Remember to soak vazhaipoo in water. They discolor immediately

          Making of Kootu-
  • Cook Bengal gram in a pressure cooker upto 3 whistles with  1 1/2 cups of water
  • Add plantain flowers, chili powder and turmeric powder. Pressure cook again for 1 whistle
  • In a pan, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add mustard seeds, red chili and garlic clove. when it starts to sizzle, return the seasoning to the pressure cooker. Season it with salt and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Serve hot with rice or chapathi


Onion Juice


My first experience with Onion juice was weird and unusual because of it strong and pungent smell. We normally use onions in cooking for its taste and flavor. But I never taught of including raw onion juice in my diet. Recently, I was unwell due to cold, chillness and cough. My mother-in-law made a concoction of raw onion juice with honey and gave 50 ml of this juice for 3 days. I felt a lot better without taking any medications.

It not only helps to reduce chillness, cold and cough but after researching it further , I came to know that prevents graying of hair and has anticancer properties.  You can use any variety of onions to make this juice. Red onions and shallots are quiet spicy. If you cannot take the heat, then you can use white or yellow onions.


For adults 50 ml of this juice can be given and for kids upto 5ml can be given per day.

Ingredients

1 Onion (red/yellow/white), cubed
1 tsp Honey
1/2 cup of Water

Method

  • Grind onion into a smooth paste using a blender
  • Add water to it and use a strainer to extract juice
  • Add honey and well.
  • Serve immediately

Note: Do not throw the left over onion after straining. You can use it to make curries or soups

Friday, May 2, 2014

Barley & Horsegram Ganji


A phenomenal traditional protein drink to cleanse the digestive track. Roasted barley and horsegram are  powdered which is mixed with water and finely chopped vegetables. All these ingredients are pressure cooked. The end result is just as mellow and smooth. To add a little heat freshly ground pepper powder is added.

A regular intake of this porridge helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. The horsegram also helps to remove kidney stones and lowers high blood pressure.

Ingredients

For ganji powder-
1 cup Barley
1 cup Horse gram 

For ganji-
2 cups of any kind of vegetables (carrots, onions, tomato, cucumber, radish...)
2 tsp Ganji Powder
Salt
Pepper
4 cups of water
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped

Method

  • For ganji powder-
    • Roast barley and horse gram separately. After it cools, make a smooth powder
    • You can store this powder upto 6 months in an airtight container
  • Preparing ganji-
    •  Mix all ingredients listed under ganji.  Adjust salt and pepper as per taste
    • Pressure cook upto 3 whistles
    • Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately