Friday, September 28, 2007

Chana Dal Paratha

Stuffed chana dal paratha's are nutritious and a wholesome meal.

Ingredients

For filling

1/2 cup - Chana dal
1/2 cup - Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup - Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
Salt to taste

For dough

3 cup - Whole wheat flour
1tbsp - Oil / Ghee
Water to knead the dough

Method

1 ) Wash and soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours. In a pressure cook, cook chana dal with 1/2 cup water. Bring the cooker to full pressure and after the first whistle, take off the stove. Open the cooker after 2 minutes. Dal should be cooked,but not mashed up. Drain off any water if any.

2 ) Mix with chana dal, coriander leaves, onion, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix in well and keep the filling aside.

3 ) To make dough - Mix wheat flour, oil and salt. Mix and rub the flour to get oil and salt mixed well. Then add water little by little, knead and make a stiff dough. Rest the dough for 20 to 30 minutes. Cover with wet towel, so that dough doesn't dry out. Then again knead the dough to get a soft workable dough.

4 ) To roll out the paratha - Make small balls of the dough. Take one dough ball and roll it out with a rolling pin. Take a small amount of filling and place in the center of the rolled out dough. Wrap the dough around the filling ball, close and seal well. Dust some flour and then lightly flatten the dough with hand.

5 ) With a rolling pin, roll out carefully to make a round paratha.

6 ) Heat a tawa or a non-stick pan, on medium heat and place the paratha in it. Smear some oil on top and around the paratha. Flip and cook evenly on both sides, till it's golden brown in colour on both sides.

Serve hot with raita.

Check out other stuffed parathas, and the step by step preparation details with pictures.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jackfruit Thoran

Jackfruit thoran made with unripe jackfruit. Got frozen jackfruit from the Indian store to make this thoran. The product came all the way from kerala, was not so fresh. But after cooking, the thoran tasted good. So if you can get some fresh ones, this thoran will be very delicious.

Ingredients

12 oz packet - Unripe jackfruit, shredded
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
salt to taste

Grind coarsely or Crush with mortar & pestle

1/4 cup - Fresh grated coconut
2 - Green chili
1 - Shallot ( medium size )
1 flake - Garlic ( optional )

Seasoning

1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 sprig - Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Cook jackfruit with turmeric powder and salt to taste in little water. Cook covered with a lid on low heat.

2 ) Crush the ingredients listed, either grind coarsely in a blender or crush with a mortar & pestle.

3 ) Add crushed ingredients with cooked jackfruit and mix. Cover and cook for a minute or two on low heat. Take off the heat.

4 ) Season with mustard and curry leaves. Heat oil in a pan, pop mustard seeds and then add curry leaves. Pour over the jackfruit and mix.

Serve with rice as a side dish.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Walnut Bread - Steam Cooked

Walnut Bread that was steam cooked in a pressure cooker is my first attempt at making a bread. This is a bread all the way, just mildly sweet in taste. It's an easy way of making bread without a bread maker or an oven.

Ingredients

2.5 cup - All purpose Flour
1 cup - walnuts, chopped to small pieces
2 - Eggs
1 cup - Milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp - Baking powder
1 tbsp - Honey
Pinch of salt

Method

1 ) Sieve flour with baking powder, two to three times. Beat eggs , honey and sugar very well. I used a blender to whip. Add milk into the blender and blend very well.

2 ) In a mixing bowl, add walnuts, sieved flour, pinch of salt and mix. Pour in the mixture from the blender and mix everything together in the mixing bowl with a spatula. Fold and mix in a clockwise direction.

3 ) Grease a flat bottom bowl, like one you see in the picture below and also one that fit into the pressure cooker. Pour the bread mixture into the bowl and cover with a aluminum foil. Seal very well, so that no water gets in when steaming.

4 ) Into a pressure cooker, pour 3 cups of water. Place a separator that you get with the pressure cooker. Place the bowl on the separator, close the pressure cooker and bring cooker to a full pressure. Reduce the heat to medium and steam cook for 30 minutes.

5 ) Open the cooker and pour 1 to 2 cups of water into the pressure cooker for further cooking. Close the pressure cooker, bring to a full pressure, place the vent weight and after the 1st whistle, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool completely. Open the cooker and take out the bowl.

6 ) Fresh from the cooker.

7 ) Place a plate on top of the bowl and invert the bread onto the plate.

8 ) Let the bread cool completely. Then with a bread knife, cut the bread.

The bread was slightly soft on the day it was made. By next day morning it became firm, like how a bread should be. I dipped the bread in 100 % pure Maple syrup and had it for breakfast.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cilantro Chutney and Microwave Cooking

Microwave has become a part and parcel of modern kitchen. My initial use of a microwave was mainly for reheating food like many of us. Slowly i started doing some basic cooking in the microwave, which helped speed up cooking. Here is a chutney that is cooked in a microwave and then ground to a smooth paste in a blender.

Ingredients

1 small bunch - Coriander / Cilantro leaves, chopped
1 or 2 - Serrano pepper, chopped
1 medium size - Shallot, chopped
2'' inch piece - Tamarind, seedless
1/2 tsp - Jeera / cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) In a microwave safe bowl, add little oil and mix with chopped chili. Cook for one minute. Always keep checking in between cooking. Chili has to be fried. Add the fried chili into a blender.

2 ) In the same bowl now add coriander leaves with little oil and cook for one minute. Stir and again cook for one minute. Coriander leaves have to be cooked. If not cook for 30 seconds more.Add the cooked coriander leaves to the blender.

3 ) Now add chopped shallot into the same bowl and cook for one minute. Transfer from the bowl into the blender.

4 ) Then add tamarind and little water and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer into the blender.

5 ) Now grind all the cooked ingredients in a blender along with jeera and salt to taste to a smooth paste with little water.

Serve this chutney with samosa, vada or idli.

Note - Instead of cooking in the microwave, you can fry all the ingredients one by one in a pan on the stove top and grind to a smooth paste too.

Variation


  • Add little jaggery to get a sweet & sour tasting chutney
  • Instead of onion, add 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds to make this chutney. Do not add jaggery when using sesame seeds.

Microwave easy cooking event is been organised and hosted by Srivalli of 'Cooking 4 all seasons'. Here is one or two basic cooking, i do in the microwave.

My morning's start with a cup of tea made in the microwave.

To make a cup of tea in the microwave - In a coffee mug, add half cup of water and add 2 tetley tea bags. Cook for 2 minutes. Tea will be boiling, if not cook for 30 seconds more. Then add milk and again cook for one minute. Now take out the tea bags, add sugar and enjoy the tea.

Cook pappad in the microwave - For one pappad - Place pappad on a paper napkin in the microwave and cook for 40 seconds.

Cook thayir milagu ( curd chillies ) - For one curd chili, it took one minute to cook and be firm. The chilies were big, so for a small one it will take less time.

Boil milk in the microwave - In a big microwave safe bowl, add 5 cups of milk and cook for 10 minutes. Cook till milk boils and raises up. A thin layer forms once the milk cools and that indicates the milk has boiled well. For one cup of milk cook for 2 minutes.

To make yogurt - Once the milk has cooled down a bit and is lukewarm, add 2 tbsps of yogurt /curds and set it in a warm place for the curds to set. Use whole milk for a rich yogurt or 2 % milk to get good thick yogurt.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Corn Chaat / Salad

A refreshing and filling corn chaat, great for snacking on or as a salad.

Ingredients

3 - Fresh Sweet corn, husked
2 medium size - Tomatoes, chopped to small pieces
1/2 cup - Red onion, chopped to small pieces
1/2 cup - Cooked potato, cut to small pieces
1/2 cup - Cucumber, cut to small pieces
1/2 cup - Coriander /Cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp - Fresh lime juice

Powders for seasoning

2 tsp - Chaat masala powder
1 tsp - Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) To roast cumin seeds - In a pan on low heat, add cumin seeds and roast. Stirring till the aroma of the roasted cumin comes out and the cumin is well roasted. Take care not to blacken the cumin seeds. Now powder the seeds with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder. You can make more of the roasted cumin powder and store for future use. Can sprinkle on raita and chaats.

2 ) Cook sweet corn on the cob in a pot with enough water. Once cooked, cool then take the kernel off the cob.

3 ) In a salad bowl combine, sweet corn, tomato, onion, potato, cucumber and coriander leaves. It tastes good even without seasoning with the powders. Just add salt to taste and try as a simple salad. Try even with the powders - add roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, chaat masala powder, lime juice and sprinkle some salt to taste.

Serve the salad

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Undrallu with Ginger Chutney

Undrallu is a savoury steamed rice ball, which is offered as a neivedyam during Ganesh Chaturthi. These taste like upma made with rice rawa. Undrallu is an Andhra name for these steamed rice balls. Undrallu goes well with ginger chutney, which taste like the kerala Inji puli. When offering to Lord Ganesha, only Undrallu is offered as neivedyam.

Ingredients for Undrallu

1 cup - Rice ( Basmati , sona masuri or long grain rice )
2 tbsp - Chana dal, washed
1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds / Jeera
2 tbsp - Grated fresh coconut
1/2 tsp - Salt
2 cups - Water

Method

1 ) Wash rice well and drain all the water. Spread on a paper napkin to dry out all the water. Rice grains have to be fully dry. It could take about one hour or so.

2 ) Grind the rice grains in a blender/ grinder to a rawa consistency.

3 ) Place a saucepan on the stove with water, chana dal, cumin and salt. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a medium heat, pour in the rice rawa slowly into the boiling water and keep stirring. Stir till all the water is absorbed by the rice rawa. Add grated coconut and stir in well. Turn off the stove, cover with a lid.

4 ) After 15 minutes, spread on a lighlty greased plate. With wet hands make small balls. Sprinkle some water if rawa is too hard or breaking.

5 ) Use a idli steaming stand to steam these rice balls. Place rice balls as shown in picture below.

6 ) Place idli stand in a pressure cooker with little water to steam. Cover the pressure cooker and steam for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with ginger chutney

Ginger Chutney

This is a chutney that is a bit sweet with the jaggery, tangy with the tamarind, spicy with the chilies and ginger. A chutney that goes well with dosa, idli, vada or Mysore bonda

Ingredients

3 '' inch piece - Ginger, chopped to small pieces
1 tbsp - Coriander seeds
1 tbsp - Urad dal
1/4 tsp - Methi seeds / Uluva
4 to 6 - Dry red chili
2 tbsp - Jaggery, grated
2 flakes - Garlic, chopped ( optional )
1 lime size - Tamarind, seedless
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp - Urad dal
1/2 tsp - Chana dal
1/4 tsp - Jeera / Cumin seeds
2 pinch - Hing
1 sprig - Curry leaf

Method

1 ) In a kadai, pour 1 tbsp oil, add urad dal, coriander seeds, methi and fry lightly on low heat. Add chilies and fry lightly. Drain the fried ingredient out of the oil, transfer into a blender. Run the blender and powder the ingredients.

2 ) In the same kadai with oil, add ginger, garlic and fry lightly, till the raw smell goes away. Doesn't have to be crisp. Transfer ginger & garlic into the blender.

3 ) Soak tamarind in little water and make it soft. Add tamarind & jaggery into the blender. Grind all the ingredients together to a smooth paste. Add salt to taste and very little water to just make the blender move.

4 ) To season, on a low heat, heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Then add urad dal, chana dal and fry it lightly. Then add jeera, hing and curry leaves. Now add ground chutney and mix in well.


Serve with Undrallu.

Latha of The 'yum' blog is hosting festival cooking event for Ganesh chaturthi. Sending Undrallu as an entry for this event.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mangalorian Mutton Curry

Yet another mutton curry, but then this is for RCI: Karnataka, that Asha of " Foodie's Hope " is hosting. This is a mangalorian recipe, but i am not sure how authentic it is. Can you help me out here, Asha ??

Ingredients

1 lb - Mutton ( Goat meat ) wash and drain water
4 - Tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 cup - extracted tamarind water from little tamarind
1 cup - Water
Salt to taste

To roast and grind

1 - Big onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp - Poppy seeds
1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds
1 tbsp - Coriander powder
4 -5 - Dry red chilies
2 pieces - Cinnamon
4 - Cloves
1/2 cup - Fresh coconut, grated
1/2 inch piece - Ginger, grated
6 flakes - Garlic , crushed

Method

1 ) Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and roast poppy seeds, cumin, coriander, chili, cinnamon, cloves and coconut to a light brown color on low heat. Transfer to a blender and powder. Add ginger, garlic, onion to the pan. Add little more oil and fry to a light brown color. Transfer to the blender. After cooling down, grind all these ingredients to a smooth paste with little water.

2 ) Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add meat and tomato into it. Fry meat till slightly browned. Add masala paste, turmeric, tamarind water and salt to taste. Add one cup or more water to get a thick gravy consistency.

3 ) Pressure cook the meat. After the first whistle, reduce the heat and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Cool and open the lid.


Serve with rice.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blackberry Jam

While in Seattle i went berry picking from the bushes around and got these beauties. They were growing wild on these thorny bushes near by a lake. When selecting the berries, pick fully ripe ones which is fully black in color, firm and plum. Blackberries are packed with antioxidants and have a lot of health benefits.
This blackberry jam is prepared without using the commercially available pectin. A good friend of mine, found a way to make this jam, making use of the natural pectin found in apple and lemon. And here goes the recipe for that .....

Ingredients

1 cup - Mashed berries
1/2 of an apple, finely grated
1 tbsp - Lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup - Sugar

Method

1 ) To a saucepan add all the ingredients listed. On a medium high heat, stir and cook for 1o minutes. As seen in the picture below, the ingredients will cook up and a foaming layer comes up.

Now lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for 20 minutes.


All the water will start evaporating by 15 -20 minutes of cooking. Cook till thick bubbles start forming. As seen in the second picture. The jam will thicken up and will be semi-liquid. Turn off the stove.

2 ) After the jam cools down a bit and when still warm pour the jam into sterilized glass jars. In the glass jar the jam will settle down and thicken up even more, when it has completely cooled down.


3 ) Store in the refrigerator after completely cooling down.

Spread some on your bread or on your roti and taste this jam.

Note : If you do not like the seeds of the blackberry in the jam, you can strain it using a Foley food mill.

Fruit and Berries is the theme for the event "Heart of the matter" organised by Joanna and Ilva . This is my entry for this event
HotM # 7. Check out Heart of the matter for heart healthy food.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wheat Payasam with Fried Banana

An yummy wheat payasam sweetened with jaggery and cooked in coconut milk. Sweet and ripe plantain is fried in ghee and is introduced into the cooked payasam. Fried plantains gives a new dimension to the wheat payasam and makes it irresistible to stop having the payasam.

Ingredients

1 cup - Broken wheat
2.5 cup - Water
1 cup - Thick jaggery syrup Or more as per taste
1 - Cardamom, powdered
1/4 tsp - Dry ginger powder

Coconut milk from one coconut

  • 1 cup - First extracted coconut milk

  • 1.5 cup - Second extracted coconut milk

  • 1.5 cup - Third extracted coconut milk
1 - Big ripe plantain, slit in center, cut to 8 big pieces
Garnishing

1/4 cup - Coconut pieces sliced
Ghee
Method

1 ) Cook broken wheat in pressure cooker with water, till very soft. Pressure cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

2 ) Meanwhile, heat a pan with some ghee. On low heat fry plantain on both side till golden brown in color. Drain and keep aside.

3 ) Add jaggery syrup to the cooked wheat, simmer and keep stirring for a minute. Add 3 rd extracted coconut milk, bring to a boil, then simmer and cook till it thickens.

4 ) Add second extracted coconut milk, bring to a boil. Add cardamom powder, dry ginger powder and simmer. Then add the fried plantain and simmer for 2 minutes. Finally add the first extracted coconut milk. Just bring to a boil, take off the stove.

5) In the pan with ghee add sliced coconut and fry lightly. Garnish the payasam with the sliced coconut.

Serve as a dessert and enjoy the delectable taste of this payasam.
Ripe plantain fried in ghee with some sugar sprinkled on top, is in itself a great sweet treat.

Mandira is hosting this month's Jihva for Ingredients, which was started by Indira of Mahanandi. Banana is the chosen ingredient and this payasam goes in as an entry to this event.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Chemmeen Masala

Prawns masala, with less gravy and a nadan touch. I tried the curry with some appam and it went so well with it. It's spiced up with green chilies and other masala powders.

Ingredients

2 lb - Prawns, de-shell & de-vein
2 tbsp - Coriander powder
1 to 2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
2 to 3 pinches - Hing powder
6 to 8 - Green chilies, slit in center
1 inch piece - Ginger, grated
4 big flakes - Garlic, grated
4 big - Shallots, chopped
1/4 cup - Coconut, cut into small bits
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
2 - Kodampuli, clean
1 cup - Thick coconut milk

Method

1 ) Heat oil in a kadai, add curry leaves and coconut bits. Then add green chili, ginger, garlic and shallots. Stir and fry for a minute. Meanwhile in 1/2 cup water, cook kodampuli for a minute in the microwave.

2 ) Now add all the powder one by one. Stir, fry and cook the masala for minute. Then add the cleaned prawns, stir and mix well with the masala. Pour in the kodampuli with water and cook the prawns till half done.

3 ) Pour in the coconut milk and cook the prawns till the gravy thickens up and the prawns is fully cooked.

Serve with rice, chapati or appam.