Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mixed Raita

I just about made this raita for lunch and couldn't stop scooping and tasting it, that half the raita was gone :) My initial plan was to make potato raita, but then ended up adding few other veggies too. Quick and easy yogurt based dish to make.

Ingredients

2 cup - Yogurt
1 medium - Potato, cut to small cubes
1/4 to 1/2 cup - Cucumber, chopped to small pieces
1 medium - Tomato , chopped to small pieces
2 to 3 big - Shallots, diced finely Or 1 small regular onion
1 - Green chili, chopped finely
2 tbsp - Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp - Sugar
Salt to taste

Masala powders

1/2 tsp - Roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp - Garam masala powder
1/4 tsp - Black pepper powder
1/2 tsp - Chat masala powder

Seasoning

1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 sprig - Curry leaves
1 tsp - Fresh ginger, grated
1 - whole dry red chili
1 tsp - Chana dal ( optional )
Ghee to fry

Method

1 ) Beat or whisk the yogurt well to a smooth consistency. Boil potato in enough water, in the microwave or on stove top. Cool the potatoes.

2 ) Add all the veggies to the yogurt, sugar and salt. Mix well and adjust as per taste. If the yogurt is a bit sour, you will need a bit more sugar. Otherwise less of sugar.

3 ) In a pan heat ghee, pop mustard, then add chana dal, dry red chili, curry leaves and ginger. Fry ginger a bit. Take off stove and cool. Add to yogurt and mix.

4 ) Now sprinkle all the masala powders listed one by one on top of the raita. When serving you can mix the masala powders with yogurt.

Serve as a condiment with paratha's . This will taste best when fresh.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stir Fried Masala Bhindi / Okra

Bhindi is what okra is known as in Hindi. American English this vegetable is known as okra and in British English as lady's finger- wiki
Here in this preparation i have cut the okra, lengthwise in strips to make this stir fry. The masala can be stuffed into the okra, to make stuffed okra. You can try either way.

Ingredients

1 lb - Tender Okra/ lady's finger
1/4 tsp - Jeera / cumin seeds
1 pinch - Hing
Oil to fry

Masala powder

1/2 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder /kasmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Garam masala powder
1/8 tsp - Hing powder
1/2 tsp - Amchoor powder/ dry mango powder
1/4 tsp - Black pepper powder
1/2 tsp - Dry ginger powder
1/2 tsp - Fennel powder / Saunf powder
Salt to taste

Stir Fry Method

1 ) Mix all the powders listed in masala powder with little oil. Wash and dry the okra. Trim the top and end of the okra. Cut okra lengthwise into long strips. Apply the masala on cut okra and keep aside for 5 minutes.

2 ) Heat 1 to 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add jeera, let it brown lightly, add hing powder, let it sizzle and immediately add the marinated okra. Lower the heat and cook the okra covered with a lid. Occasionally in between cooking, open the lid and stir fry the pieces, so that the okra gets browned evenly. Add little more oil if necessary. Cook till the okra is cooked and browned. Take off the stove and serve.

Serve with roti and raita.

To make stuffed okra -

Slit the okra partially in the center, fill mixed masala powder inside the okra. Heat oil in a pan, add jeera and follow as above recipe.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gajar Aloo Paratha

Stuffed paratha with carrot, potato and spices, makes a satisfying meal. Paratha's has been something easy to carry for lunch in our household. To make it interesting, different stuffing's can be used and here goes a stuffing with carrot and potato.

Ingredients

For the dough

3 cup - Wheat flour
Salt to taste
Water to knead the dough

For stuffing

5 medium size - Carrot, finely grated
2 medium size - Potato, boiled and mashed
2 tbsp - Coriander leaves, finely chopped
6 to 8 - Green chili, finely chopped
1/2 tsp - Ajwain/ carom seeds
1/2 '' piece - Ginger, finely grated
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
1/2 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - Anardana powder /Pomegranate Powder
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) To make the dough - Mix wheat flour and salt, 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.

2 ) To make stuffing - Squeeze the finely grated carrot with hands, to take out the carrot juice. This step is necessary to avoid excess water in stuffing. Now to this grated carrot, add boiled & mashed potato and rest of the ingredients listed in stuffing. Mix all the ingredients well and set aside.

3) To make parathas - Make small key lime size balls of the dough. To make one paratha, roll out 2 dough balls. In one rolled out dough, spread the filling. Place the other rolled out dough on top of the filled dough. Press the edges to seal in. Dust with flour and roll out the paratha gently. To get a perfect round shape, use a round lid to cut a perfect round shape.

4 ) Heat a tawa or a nonstick pan, on medium heat and place the paratha in it. Smear some ghee / 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 with raita and pickle.

Check out other Parantha's with detailed pictures -

Aloo Paratha
Green Peas Paratha
Chana Dal Paratha
Mooli Paratha
Parsely Paratha

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coconut Rice

This coconut rice has the rich coconut flavor having been cooked in coconut milk. I have used aged basmati rice for making this rice. Advantage of cooking with aged basmati rice is that, you get fluffy cooked rice, with separate grains and it will not break so much after cooking unlike new basmati rice.

Ingredients

1 cup - Basmati rice, rinsed
2 cups - Coconut milk
Salt to taste

Seasoning
1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tbsp - Chana dal
1 tsp - Urad dal
1/4 tsp - Jeera / Cumin seeds
2 tbsp - Peanuts or cashewnuts
2 pinches - Hing
2 - Green chili, chopped finely
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
Coconut oil

Method
1 ) In a large saucepan, bring coconut milk to a boil, add rinsed basmati rice and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer and cook covered with lid till all the coconut milk is absorbed and the rice is well cooked. Switch off the heat. With the lid still closed, let the rice cool. Stir with a fork, then spread the rice on a plate to cool completely.

2 ) To season - In a pan heat oil, add mustard and pop it. Then add chana dal, urad dal, peanuts or cashew nuts, green chili and fry them. Now add hing and curry leaves. Pour the seasoning on the cooked rice and mix in well.


Serve hot. This rice will go so well with some spicy meat fry or with chicken curry.

Seema suggests - " My mom does the south indian way.. all tadka & fry the fresh coconut till the aroma comes & add cooked rice & toss well...."

So for a variation to the above preparation, coconut rice can be prepared using freshly grated coconut, instead of coconut milk. Cook rice in water and cool. For one cup rice, use 2 cups water. Then do the seasoning, add about 1 cup freshly grated coconut to seasoning and fry lightly( don't brown the coconut ) till the aroma of coconut comes out. Then add cooked rice and mix well.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mussel Fry

Mussels /kadukka has been and is an all time favourite of mine. This simple preparation of mussels brings out the best flavor and taste in mussels.

Ingredients

1 lb - Mussels / Kadukka
2 to 3 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Method

1 ) Remove the mussels 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 mussels. Clean well and set aside.

2 ) Mix red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste with little water. Marinate mussels with this mixture for 10 - 15 minutes.

3 ) Heat about 1/2 cup oil, preferably coconut oil in a wok or kadai. When oil is hot, add one or two marinated mussels at a time, to the oil and fry on both side, till mussels is fried and fully cooked. Take out of the oil and drain. Fry rest of the marinated mussels in the same way.


Serve with rice or chapati.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kalan

Kalan, a yogurt based thick gravy preparation with vegetable like plantain and yam is a popular traditional dish in kerala. Yam used here is suran or also known as elephant foot yam.

Ingredients

1 - Plantain, cut with skin to 1/2 '' pieces
1 cup - Yam / Suran, cut to 3/4 '' pieces
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
salt to taste

Grind to a paste

3/4 cup - Grated coconut
3 to 4 - Green chili
1/2 tsp - Jeera / Cumin seeds
1.5 to 2 cups - Medium sour yogurt / Curds

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp - Fenugreek seeds / Uluva / Methi
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
2 - Whole dry red chili
Coconut oil

Method

1 ) Cook plantain and yam in enough water along with red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste, till vegetables are well cooked. You can pressure cook the veggie for faster cooking.

2 ) Grind to a smooth paste coconut, green chili and jeera with very little water. Beat yogurt well and set aside.

3 ) Add ground coconut paste to cooked vegetable and mix in with the stock in the vegetable. If there is no stock, add little water. Bring to a boil. Adjust salt to taste. Now add the beaten yogurt and just bring to a boil. Take off the stove immediately, so that the yogurt does not curdle.

4 ) Heat a pan with oil. Pop the mustard, then add fenugreek seeds and fry till brown on low heat. Add red chili and curry leaves. Season the cooked kalan with this and mix in.


Serve with rice.

RCI: Regional cuisine of india, is an event based on different regional cuisines. It's the brainchild of LakshmiK. RCI kerala is hosted by Jyothsna of currybazaar and this traditional dish from kerala is send as an entry for this event.


This will make a good addition to Onam sadhya.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Something to Munch on...

Munch on some fried green gram , seasoned with a dash of salt and spice. I used to buy these Rajbhog snacks, like the spicy green vatana and like. I liked the taste a lot and wanted to try making this at home. I have tried with whole green gram. You can make similarly with green vatana too.

Ingredients

Dash of - Red chili powder
Dash of - Garlic powder ( optional )
1 sprig - Curry leaves
Salt t taste
Oil to fry

Method

1 ) Soak green gram dal in enough water overnight or till you see it's about to sprout. Wash, drain in a colander. Spread on a paper towel to completely dry out.

2 ) To a wok or kadai, add enough oil to deep fry. Once the oil is hot, add green gram dal in small batches and fry till crisp. Drain from oil and spread on plate lined with paper towel. Immediately sprinkle some salt and chili powder. Garlic powder does add to the taste. Add garlic powder, if you like garlic taste. Fry curry leaves, till it is crisp too. Drain and mix with fried green gram dal. Cool and then store in a container.

Serve with tea.
Mansi Desai of 'Fun and Food' is hosting a "Game Night Party" event. Sending this recipe as an entry for the same.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Unniyappam

Let me start this new year, with best wishes to everyone and with a sweet snack recipe for Unniyappam. Unniyappam is also know as Kuzhiyappam or Kaarappam in different parts of kerala. When you have over ripe banana's, this snack is an easy way to use up those banana's.

Ingredients

500 grams - Rice flour, lightly roasted
200 grams - Small banana, mashed
500 grams - Jaggery, more or less as to taste
1 cup - Milk ( optional )
1/2 cup - Coconut bits /thenga kothu
10 to 12 - Cardamom, powdered
2 tbsp - Ghee
A pinch of salt
Oil to fry

Method

1 ) In the above picture is the ingredients for making unniyappam.

2 ) Melt jaggery with little water and make a thick syrup out of it. Strain to take out any impurities. Cool the syrup.
3 ) To a mixing bowl, add rice flour, mashed banana, cardamom powder, salt, coconut bits, ghee, jaggery syrup and mix well to form a thick batter, which is like a idli batter consistency. Let the batter sit for an hour. In the meantime if the batter has thicken up or is too tight, add milk to make it again to a idli batter consistency.

4 ) Heat a unniyappam pan, like the one above in the picture. Pour oil in each impressions like in picture. Let the oil heat up, then pour the batter into each impression.

5 ) On low medium heat fry the unniyappams uncovered, till the bottom turns golden in color.

6 ) With the help of a fork turn the unniyappam to cook on the other side to a golden color. Take out of the oil and drain on a paper towel.
Serve with tea.

For variation -
1 ) Use wheat flour instead of rice flour. It's equally tasty with wheat flour.
2 ) Dates and raisins can be used instead of banana for a different taste. Grind to a paste dates and raisins. Add jaggery as to taste.
3 ) Over ripe plantains can be used. Steam, mash plantain and use to make unniyappam.