Saturday, December 30, 2006

Chana Masala

Garbanzo beans or chickpeas is known as Kabuli chana in Hindi. Reading about this beans from different sources on the net, i gather this is a versatile legume, full of good nutrients and a lot of health benefits. It's a good source of protein, zinc, folate, vitamin E, potassium, dietary fiber and iron. Contains soluble fiber which helps in lowering cholesterol and helps in stabilizing Blood Sugar. It's low in fat.
Chana masala or chole is popular dish among the Punjabi's in India.

Ingredients

500 gms - Kabuli Chana or 2 tins of cooked Garbanzo beans
1 - Onion chopped
3 - Tomatoes chopped
1 tsp - Garlic paste
1 tsp - Ginger paste
1/4 tsp - Turmeric
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
2 - Bay leaves
1 tsp - Amchur powder / Mango Powder or 1 tsp - Lime juice
3 tbsp - Oil

Roast and grind to powder

2 tsp - Coriander powder
1 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
1/2 tsp - Pepper corns
1 - Cinnamon stick , 2 - Cloves

Garnish

Coriander leaves chopped

Method

1 )When using dry chana, soak chana overnight and pressure cook in 3-4 whistles . When using cooked & canned chana, drain all the water and wash well. Set aside.

2 ) Roast and grind to a powder,cinnamon,cloves, peppercorns, jeera and coriander powder.

3 )Heat a heavy bottomed pan. Pour oil, add bay leaves. Stir for a minute. Add onion and saute till golden brown in colour. Then add garlic and ginger paste and fry for 2 - 3 minutes.

4 ) Add chili powder, turmeric powder, roasted & powdered ingredients and fry for a minute. Add tomatoes and saute till oil separates.

5 ) Add the cooked chana, salt and cook covered for 5-10 min on low flame.Add water as required, if you need more gravy. Add salt to taste.

6 ) Add the amchur and garam masala powder. Stir and mix well. (if amchur is not available, add 1 tsp lime juice after taking off the stove and when still warm )

Garnish with corinader leaves. Yummy and delicious chana masala to serve with roti or batura

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jowar Roti

Jowar is a millet, which is very nutritious, a good source of proteins and fiber.This is my first try at making this roti, so it's not perfect. Even though i am not an expert at this, i still want to share this experience. I welcome suggestions. So this is how i started out to make the Jowar roti. I got to tell you, it was not so easy. I followed the same method as you make kerala pathiri dough.

Ingredients

1 cup - Jowar flour
1 cup - Water
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) Bring to a boil one cup water and salt in a utensil. Take off the stove. Add jowar flour, stir well and mix in with the water as in the picture below. If water is more add more flour to the dough and form like a chapati dough. Knead well when cool and form medium size balls to make the roti.



2 ) Sprinkle flour on the board to make roti. Take a ball of dough and flatten with palm. Sprinkle jowar flour generously on the flattened dough and using a rolling pin, gently roll to make roti like in the picture.




3 ) To lift the dough, you can use the rolling pin. Keep the rolling pin near the tip of the dough, fold the dough on to the pin and lift.Place on a hot pan /tawa and cook on both sides.


In the same way use rest of the dough to make roti. Use jowar flour generously to roll the dough.

Serve hot. In the picture i have served jowar roti with chole. Finally it was worth the effort. A delicious meal. The roti was soft and tasted almost like rice pathiri/roti.

Variation

Use half quantity of wheat flour and half of Jowar flour. Mix in with water and make chapati / roti dough of it. Make roti's out of the dough.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Arikadukka - Stuffed Mussels

Kadukka or Kallumakai as mussels is known in Malayalam is a popular seafood in Malabar regions of kerala. Mussels are fried, stuffed, curried, pickled and are used in rice dishes for making biriyani or pulao. Ari kadukka, as the name suggests in Malayalam is mussels stuffed in rice paste and steamed within its shell, which is then fried.


Ingredients

25 - 30 - Medium size mussels

For Stuffing dough

3 cups - Rice flour
1.5 cups - Grated coconut
3 - Shallots / small onion
1 tsp - Aniseed
1/2 tsp - Jeera / cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Masala batter

2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tbsp - Rice flour
2 - Garlic flakes, finely grated
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) Wash the mussel shells well. Boil the shells in enough water, till the shells open. Drain all the water. Do not use shells that have not opened. Those are not good ones.

2 ) Scoop out the mussel meat from the shell. Clean the inside part of the mussels to remove any dirt there. Cut and remove the black part in the bottom of the mussel. Clean well and set aside.

3 ) Grind the ingredients for the dough, except the rice flour, to a smooth paste with little water. Add to the rice flour and make a dough.




Stuff this dough into the mussel ( inside part of the mussel and the outer part. Cover well with the dough. Place this stuffed mussels in a well cleaned mussel shell to steam.

4 ) Steam the stuffed mussels in a steamer or use a pressure cooker in which a utensil for steaming is placed and steam mussels in it, covered with a lid.


Steam for 10 minutes. When fully cooked. Take off the steamer and place to cool. Then scoop out the stuffed mussels from the shells.

5 ) Mix all the ingredients for masala batter together with little water and make a batter. Dip or lightly coat the steamed mussels in this batter.
6 ) In a wok or kadai, add enough oil to deep fry. Add mussels to the oil and fry till crisp and golden brown in colour.


Serve this Arikadukka as a snack with your evening tea.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Erachi Varattiyathu - Meat Fry


Now that the Christmas is around the corner, a meat recipe for the family gathering. Kerala Christians are so good at cooking the meat as Ularthiyathu or Varathiyathu. Here is a recipe to try with a meat of your choice. (Use the meat of your preference, pork or beef for this recipe) Merry Christmas to my christian friends !!

Ingredients

1 kilo - Erachi /Meat

To dry roast, powder & marinate

5 tbsp - Coriander powder
1 tbsp - Red chili powder
1 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Black pepper powder
2 - Cinnamon sticks
4 - Cloves
1 - Black cardamom / Badi Elaichi ( click for pic )
1 - Star Anise / Takkolam
1 to 2 tsp - Fennel seeds/ Perumjeerakam 


Grind Coarsely

5 flakes - Garlic
1 inch piece - Ginger
Few curry leaves

Seasoning

1 big - Onion , thinly sliced
1/2 cut - Coconut, cut to small bits
Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Dry roast the spices( Cinnamon, clove, black cardamom, star anise, fennel ) till the aroma comes out and add that to a blender. Then dry roast the powders on low heat, till the color changes to a deep color. Add to the blender and make a powder with the spices.

2 ) Grind coarsely garlic and ginger. Add few curry leaves and just crush.

3 ) Add the ground powder and coarsely ground to the meat. Add salt to taste and marinate for half an hour.

4 ) Place the meat in utensil to cook or pressure cook. (The meat you get in USA cooks very fast. So you don't have to pressure cook.)

5 ) Cook the meat on a low heat, covered with a lid. When the meat starts cooking, some water will come out and it will cook in that water. If not add very little water and cook covered. Cook till the meat is well cooked and all the water is used up.

6 ) In a pan fry the coconut pieces to a light golden color. Take off the pan and set aside. Add sliced onion to the pan and fry to a golden brown. Add curry leaves.

7 ) Add this to the cooked meat, stir and fry the meat adding more oil. (If you have not trimmed off the fat from the meat, you can fry in it's oil. If you have trimmed off all the fat then add more oil to fry)

Serve as a starter or as a side dish. Garnish with lemon wedges and onion rings.
Note
This is a spicy dish. Reduce the spicy level by reducing the quantity of red chili and black pepper.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mambazha Pulissery - Ripe Mango Curry

This curry is made with ripe mangoes. It's sweet and sour in taste.Really a tasty curry to try out. Use a extra ripe mango to make this pulissery.

Ingredients

2 - Ripe mango, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1 cups - Water
2 cups - Thick yogurt / curds
salt to taste

Grind to paste

1 cup - Grated coconut ( fresh )
1/2 tsp - Jeera / cumin seeds
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
2 - green chili

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp - Fenugreek seeds / Uluva
4 - Dry whole red chili
Curry leaves
Oil

Method

1 ) Cook cut ripe mangoes in one cup water with red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook till mango pieces are well cooked and can be mashed. Mash a bit of the pieces.

2 ) Meanwhile grind to a paste the ingredients listed to be ground with half the yogurt. Add 2 to 3 leaves of curry leaves also while grinding in the end.

3 ) Add to the cooked mango, whip the remaining yogurt and add to the pulissery. Mix well. Adjust salt as per taste. Bring to a boil and cook for a minute. Don't allow the yogurt to curdle.Take off the stove.
4 ) Heat oil for seasoning in a pan. Add mustard and after it pops add fenugreek seeds, dry red chili and curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the pulissery.

Serve as a side dish with rice. Enjoy this delicious pulissery. This will make a good addition to Onam Sadhya.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dal / Lentil & Broccoli Fry

Broccoli is a vegetable, with dark green florets and looks similar to the cauliflower.It belongs to the cabbage family. Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable. It's a good source of soluble fiber and folate. Also has Vitamin K, C and A.

Broccoli needs very little cooking time. This is a very simple recipe with lentil and broccoli.


Ingredients

2 florets - Broccoli, cut the florets into small pieces
2 cups - Toor dal / Lentil

1/2 tsp -Turmeric powder
1 tsp - Red chili powder
2 cups - Water
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
3 - Shallots, diced
Curry leaves
Coconut oil



Method

1 ) Cover and cook dal with turmeric and red chili powder in two cups of water. Add some coconut oil, when cooking the dal. This gives out good flavour. Add salt when dal is almost cooked. Take off the stove. Dal should not be over cooked.

2 ) In a pan heat oil and add mustard. After mustard pops, add shallots and fry to a golden brown colour. Add curry leaves.

3 ) Add broccoli to the pan and stir fry. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Add to the cooked dal and mix well. Fry adding little oil. Take off the stove.

Serve with roti or rice.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kappa Vevichathu


This tuberous root is known in different names, such as Tapioca, yucca, cassava......kappa in Malayalam and for sure is cooked in different methods by different cultures.
In this recipe, kappa is spiced up to cater to the malayali taste buds.

Ingredients

500 gm - Tapioca / Kappa

To grind coarsely

1/2 cup - Grated coconut (fresh)
2 - Whole red chili
2 to 4 - Green chili

2 flakes - Garlic
1 tsp - Turmeric powder

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Urad dal
2 - Shallots, diced
Curry leaves
Coconut oil

Method

1 ) Peel the skin off the tapioca, cut to small pieces and wash well.

2 ) Grind coarsely ingredients to be ground. Set aside.

3 ) In a pressure cooker, pressure cook kappa in two cups of water. Reduce heat after reaching full pressure and cook for five minutes. Take off stove and cool.
Or Cook the kappa in a open pot with enough water to cover the kappa and cook till kappa is cooked well and soft.

4 ) Drain out excess water, if there is excess. But not completely. Retain a little water. If there is no water left after kappa is cooked, add one cup warm water.

5 ) Add salt and reheat. Add the ground ingredients and mix well.

6 ) In a pan heat oil for Seasoning. Add mustard, after it pops, add urad dal, then shallots and curry leaves. Fry shallots to golden brown.

7 ) Add to the kappa. Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Take off stove.

Serve hot with fish curry.

Tip

If you need to add additional water to cook tapioca, add warm water. Don't add cold water, as it will harden the kappa and it will not cook well.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Padavalanga Unakka Chemmeen Curry - Snake gourd Dry Shrimp Curry

This is a nice combination of dry shrimps with snake gourd. Padavalanga as is known in Malayalam is quite bland in taste.You can spice it up by combining unakka chemmeen and other spices with padavalanga.Unakka chemmeen is small dry shrimps, sun dried.

Ingredients

1 - Snake gourd /Padavalanga, chopped to small pieces
1 cup - Dry Shrimp / Unakka chemmeen, washed well
Salt to taste

To grind to paste

1 to 1.5 cup - Grated fresh coconut
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
2 big- Shallot , chopped

Sesoning

1 tsp - Mustard Seeds
5 big - Shallots, chopped
3 sprigs - Curry leaves
Coconut Oil

Method

1 ) Place a pot on stove with one cup water. Add snake gourd, dry shrimps and salt to taste. Cook to a boil, then simmer till cooked well.

2 ) Add the ground thick coconut paste. Add enough water to make a curry consistency. Don't make it too watery. Bring to a boil and take off the stove.

3 ) Season with mustard, shallots and curry leaves. Add to the curry.

Serve with rice. This is a yummy curry.....goes well with rice.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Beetroot Pachadi

Beetroot has a vegetable has notable amount of sweetness to it.
Both the root and leaves have good nutritional value. It's low in calories and fat. It's a good source of fiber.
In Indian cooking beetroot is seasoned and flavored with different spices.

Here is a recipe making use of both the root and the leaves.

Ingredients

1 - Beetroot with leaves

1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To grind to a paste

1 cup - Grated coconut

2 - Green chili
1/2 tsp - Mustard
1/4 tsp - jeera
1/2 tsp - Ginger or very small piece of ginger
2 cup - Curd/ yogurt ( medium sour )



Seasoning1 tsp - Mustard4- Red chili ( whole )
Curry leaves
Oil



Method

1 ) Chop and dice beetroot and the leaves into small pieces. In a pot add one cup water,turmeric, salt and the chopped beetroot and leaves. Cook till the beetroot is fully cooked.
2 ) Grind the ingredients listed to be ground (except the yogurt) to a paste with water.
3) Add the ground paste to the cooked beetroot and cook for 2 minutes. Take off the stove and cool.
4 ) Whip the yogurt well and mix in with the cooked beetroot.
5 ) Season with mustard, red chili and curry leaves. Add to the beetroot.

Serve with rice.


NoteUse freshly grated coconut.

A variations to this recipe is Dhanya's Beetroot kichadi

Monday, December 11, 2006

Aattirachi Recipes - Mutton Recipes

I found a halal shop, selling fresh cut goat meat yesterday.There was also goat brain available. Goat meat being red meat, we have it once in a way. This is a spicy meat dish, which is flavoured with coconut milk.

Mutton Masala Curry - Aattirachi Curry


Ingredients

500 gm - Mutton / Aattirachi

2 - Green chili, slit in center

1 inch piece - Ginger, chopped

1 sprig - Curry leaves

Roast Ingredients

2 - Cinnamon sticks

4 - Cloves

1 tsp - Fennel seeds / Perumjeerakam

1/2 tsp - Black pepper powder

3 tbsp - Coriander powder

1 tsp - Red chili powder

1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

1 - shallot, diced

To exact Coconut milk

1.5 cup - Grated coconut

Seasoning

1/4 cup - Coconut bits ( Thenga kothu )

5- 6 - Shallots, diced

Salt to taste

Preparation

1 ) Cut and wash mutton pieces. Extract thick coconut milk, by grinding grated coconut in half cup water. Set aside for final garnish. Extract milk second time with 1 cup water. Set aside in another bowel. Take a third extract with 1.5 cup water.

2 ) In little oil, roast shallots then add coriander, red chili, turmeric, pepper, aniseed, cloves, cinnamon. Grind to a fine paste with little water.

Method

1 ) Place mutton in a pressure cooker. Add green chili, ginger, curry leaves and the ground paste. Add the third extract coconut milk, mix well. Add salt to taste.

2 ) Pressure cook the meat for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Allow the cooker to cool and open.

3 ) In a pan, heat oil and fry the ingredients for seasoning. Add the coconut bits and fry lightly, take off pan and set aside. Then add shallots and fry till light brown.

4 ) Place the cooker back on medium heat after opening. Add the second extract and cook till gravy is thick. Add the seasonings. Adjust the salt as per taste. Add the final thick coconut milk and take off the stove.

Serve hot with kerala porotta's or rice dishes.

Dry Mutton Masala - Aattirachi Varathiyathu



With a slight variation, is another mutton recipe. Here in this recipe coconut milk is not used. This is a dry and spicy dish.

Ingredients

500 gm - Mutton / Aattirachi
2 - Green chili, slit in center
1 inch piece - Ginger, chopped
1 - Tomato, diced

2 sprig - Curry leaves

Salt to taste

Dry Roast & Powder

2 - Cinnamon sticks
4 - Cloves
1 tsp - Aniseed / Perumjeerakam
1/2 tsp - Black pepper powder
3 tbsp - Coriander powder
1 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

Seasoning

1/4 cup - Coconut bits ( Thenga kothu )
5- 6 - Shallots, diced

Method

1) Dry roast all the ingredients listed to roast and powder it.

2 ) Place mutton in a pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pan. Add green chili, ginger, Tomato, curry leaves, roasted powder and salt. Stir and mix well. Add one and half cup water.

3 ) Pressure cook the meat for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Allow the cooker to cool and open. Or cook in heavy bottom pan, closed with a lid till the mutton is cooked well.

4 ) Heat oil in a pan, add the coconut bits and fry lightly.Take off the pan and set aside. Then add shallots and fry till light brown.

5 ) Place the cooker back on medium heat after opening. Cook till gravy is thick and all the water is used up. Add the seasonings, stir and mix well. Take off the stove.

Serve hot with kerala porotta's or rice dishes.

Brain Fry

This is a delicacy.Very simple recipe to follow and tasty dish to have.

Ingredients

500 gm - Goat Brain
1/2 to 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Black pepper powder

Salt to taste

To fry

1 cup - Shallots, chopped
2 to 4 - Green chili, chopped and minced
1'' piece - Ginger, minced
1 sprig - Curry leaves, chopped

Method

1 ) Heat a pan, add 1/2 th cup water. Add turmeric powder, pepper powder, salt and brain to it. Cover and cook the brain on a low heat.When half cooked,with a spoon cut brain to big pieces, so that the pepper and salt can reach in. Cook till all the water is used up and brain is fully cooked. Take off stove.


2 ) Meanwhile, in a pan fry, green chili, ginger, shallots and curry leaves. Fry till light brown.


3 ) Add the cooked brain to the fried ingredients. Fry on low heat and let the ingredients blend in. Adjust salt as per taste.

Serve hot with chapati or rice.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Homemade Face Masks For Different Skin Types

Raid your pantry for natural ingredients to concoct soothing effective potions, that add new glow and sparkle to your skin. Any mask will leave your skin feeling softer, fresher and smoother. But if the mask feels tight and dry, then it is obvious that particular mask is drying for your skin. Masks which are drying should not be left on for too long, if you have dry skin. Drying effect can be removed by adding vegetable oil, egg yolk, honey, cream, banana and powdered whole milk.

Mayonnaise mask base - This is a starter for any mask. It contains basic good things that any skin will respond to. You can use it on its own or add things to it.

1- egg yolk
1 tsp - Vinegar

Here are some possible additions; honey and grated apple, oatmeal, mashed banana, mashed strawberries and pineapple.


Monsoon Face mask

1 tsp - Moong dal powder
1 tsp - Channa dal powder
1 tsp - Methi / fenugreek powder

Mix with rose water and make a paste. Wash your face with water first and dry it then apply this mask in a upward stroke. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash and clean with cold water.

To lighten your complexion -

1 tsp - Lime juice
1 tsp - Cucumber juice
1 tsp - Carrot juice

Mix and apply on the skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with water.

Egg yolk mask

1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp oatmeal
1 tsp - Vegetable oil
1/2 tsp - Powdered starch
1/4 tsp - Honey
1/2 tsp - Powdered milk

Mix all the ingredients to a smooth paste and apply on the face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash the face with luke warm water, followed by a through splash with cold water.

Exfoliating toning mask - This mask is very good for neglected skin over- exposed to the sun. It has slight bleaching properties and egg white tightens the skin.

1 slice - Pineapple
1 raw egg white

Add a few drops of lemon juice. Blend these ingredients to a paste. If necessary thicken paste with powdered oat meal. Leave on for 20 minutes.

Dairy Mask - Yogurt and fresh or sour cream has valuable cosmetic properties, these can be mixed with honey, peach, banana, pear or grated apple to make excellent masks for drying skin.

Milk Powder Mask - Ideal for improving skin texture. Mix 2 tsp milk powder with little water to a paste and apply. For oily skin - Skim milk is best. For dry skin, use full cream milk, also 1 tsp vegetable oil can be added, if necessary.

Simple dry skin mask

1 egg yolk
2 tsp - Kaolin powder
1 tsp - Vegetable oil

Mix to paste and apply.


Anti- Wrinkle Mask - Egg white beaten to a froth is a very good temporary wrinkle lightener. More so if you add a pinch of alum to it.

For oily face - Scrap / grate one medium size carrot, mix with milk and egg white. Apply on the face.
Boil some neem leaves in water - steam your face. Then cool the neem water and use that to wash your face.

To remove black spots

1 ) Make a paste with white radish and buttermilk. Apply on the face.

For Wrinkles

1 ) Mix sandal wood powder, rose water, glycerin and apply on the face. Wash with cold water when done.

For all skins

Juice of one apple and one tablespoon milk, 1 tbsp fullers earth ( multani mithi ) - Mix and apply on the face.

Toner that can be used after steaming

Use half of a large cucumber, 4 tbs of chopped fresh mint leaves, 1 tbsp of camphor oil - Liquidise cucumber, add the other ingredients and apply on the face.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Murungakai Chemmeen Curry - Drumstick Prawns Curry

This is a nice combination of prawns/shrimps with drumstick. Kodampuli is the tamarind used to bring out the tangy taste to this curry.

Ingredients

500gm -Prawns / Shrimp,cleaned
2 - Drumsticks, cut into pieces
2 - Kodampuli (click to see the pic at the bottom )
2 - Green chili, slit in center
1 inch piece - Ginger,chopped small
3 - Shallots,diced
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
6 - Curry leaves
1 cup - Water

To grind to a smooth paste

1.5 cup - Grated fresh coconut
1.5 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard
2 - Shallots,diced

Method

1 ) Put Kodumpuli in a small bowel with lukewarm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Clean well in cold water. Set aside.
2 ) In a pot, pour one cup water and add drumstick,kodumpuli, green chili, ginger, shallots, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil and partially cook drumstick, then add prawns and salt. Cook till the prawns and drumstick is well cooked.
3 ) Grind the ingredients listed to be ground to a thick smooth paste with water. Add to the prawns and drumstick. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 2 minutes.
4 ) To season, heat oil in a pan and pop mustard. Then add shallots and fry till light brown. Add to the curry.
Serve with rice.

Tip

Instead of kodumpuli, use the regular tamarind (lime size) to make this curry. Use fresh coconut for making the curry. Otherwise canned coconut milk is a substitute......but fresh is the best !

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Beans Thoran / Upperi - Seasoned French Beans

Thoran or Upperi as is called in Kerala is a dry preparation of different vegetables, which is seasoned with spices and garnished with coconut. Non-veg thoran with egg and fish are also prepared.

Ingredients

500 gm - French beans, chopped to a medium size
1 small - Onion, diced
1 to 2 tsp - crushed red chili powder
1/2 tsp -Turmeric powder
1/2 cup - Grated coconut
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
oil

Method

1 ) In a kadai or wok heat oil and add mustard. After mustard pops, add curry leaves.


2 ) Add french beans, onion, crushed red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Stir well and mix in the spices.

3 ) Sprinkle some water and close with a lid tightly and cook on a low heat.


4 ) When the beans is cooked, add the grated coconut and mix in well. Cook for 2 more minutes and take off stove.


Serve as a side dish with rice.

Also try making French beans like the Asparagus Thoran recipe.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cauliflower Bhajji - Fritters


Yet another appetizer. Great with a evening cup of tea with family and friends. This is very easy to make. Just have the following ingredients in hand, to fry the cauliflower and there you have the cauliflower pakoda.

Ingredients

1 medium size - Cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 cup - Besan / channa dal flour/chick peas flour
1/4 tsp - Red chili powder ( add more to make it more spicy)
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Ajwain seeds ( Carom Seeds / Thyme)
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Method

1 ) In a bowl mix besan, red chili powder, turmeric powder, ajwain and salt with enough water to make a thick batter.

2 ) Add the cauliflower florets and coat the batter well on the cauliflower, as in pic below.

3 ) Heat oil in a kadai or wok on medium heat. Carefully add cauliflower, little at a time and fry till crisp and well cooked. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve with tomato ketchup.

Tip

Other vegetables can be used to make pakoda with the same batter. Use sliced onions, potatoes, eggplant, chopped spinach, chilies.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dahi Vada - Lentil Dumplings in Yogurt

Dahi Vada is a delicious snack, popular in North India. If you are making Uzhunnu vada, make a plain version of uzhunnu vada with just the urad dal paste and use for Dahi vada. This is a great appetizer.

Ingredients
2 cups - Urad dal / black gram dal
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Garnishing with yogurt

2 to 3 cups - Yogurt ( chilled)
1/2 tsp - Jeera / cumin ( dry roast and powder)
1/4 tsp - Red chili powder ( to sprinkle )
1/2 tsp - Chaat masala powder ( to sprinkle )
1 tbsp - Tamarind Chutney
1 tbsp - Coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) Wash and soak urad dal for 4 to 5 hours. Or overnight.

2 ) Drain and grind urad dal little at a time in a grinder without adding any water. If required add one tablespoon water to make the grinder work. Grind to a thick smooth paste. Add salt and mix well.

3 ) Wet your palms with water, take a small amount and form a ball. Place in the center of the palm. Flatten and make a hole in the center, like a doughnut. As in the pic below....
Or just make round balls and fry as round vada's.Wet the palm when shaping each vada. Water will prevent the paste from sticking to the palm.

4 ) Heat a kadai or a wok with enough oil to deep fry on medium heat. When the oil is hot,carefully slide the vada into the oil and deep fry till crisp and golden brown in colour. Drain excess oil.

5 ) Soak the Vada's in a bowl of luke warm water for 5 minutes and gently press each vada between your palms, to drain off excess water. Set aside

6 )Beat curds well with salt as required in a bowel. Add the vada's and immerse them in the beaten yogurt.

7 ) Garnish - Sprinkle one after the other,red chili powder, roasted jeera powder, chaat masala powder and coriander leaves over the immersed vada's.

Serve the vada in a serving dish with tamarind chutney.

Tip

Vada can be made in advance and stored in refrigetor. When needed......soak them in lukewarm water and follow the above method after soaking in water.