Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cucumber Dal

Dal and rice is like a comfort food, which is so simple yet an tasty meal to have. Now this preparation of moong dal and cucumber is simply irresistible in its taste.

Ingredients

1 cup - Moong dal, washed well
1 - Cucumber, cut to small pieces,without skin
1 - Green chili, slit in center
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
2 big pinches - Seedless tamarind
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp - Jeera / Cumin seeds
1/8 tsp - Hing powder
3 flakes - Garlic, finely grated
1 to 2 sprig - Curry leaves
4 - Dry red chili, split into two

Method

1 ) In a pan add 3 to 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, add moong dal, green chili, red chili and turmeric powder. Simmer and cook dal covered with a lid, till dal is half cooked. Then add cucumber and continue cooking till the dal is fully cooked.

2 ) Meanwhile add little water to tamarind and extract the juice. Pour the juice into the dal, add salt to taste and cook till tamarind and salt flavors are incorporated in dal. Add little more water if the dal is too thick, to make a semi thick consistency.

3 ) Heat oil in another pan, add mustard and pop it. Then add jeera, hing, garlic, red chili and curry leaves. Fry for few seconds. Pour the seasoning on the dal, stir and mix in.


Serve hot with white steamed rice and pappad.

Note : You can use toor dal instead of moong dal for this recipe. Usually indian cucumber is used for this recipe.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mango Dal

This is an Andhra preparation of dal with unripe sour mango and other spices. The tartness of mango gives this dal an unique taste, which you can enjoy with some rice.

Ingredients

1 cup - Toor dal, washed well
1 - Unripe sour mango, cut to small pieces
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
2 - Green chili, slit in center
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
1/4 tsp - Hing powder
2 big flakes - Garlic, finely grated
4 - Dried whole red chili
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
Ghee or peanut oil

Method

1 ) To a pressure cooker add, washed dal, mango pieces, green chili, red chili and turmeric powder. Then add 3 to 4 cups of water, close the cooker lid and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Take off the stove and let it cool. Open after all the pressure is released. Add salt to taste, stir and mix in with dal.

2 ) In a pan heat ghee / peanut oil, add the ingredients for seasoning. Add mustard and pop it, then add jeera, red chili, curry leaves, hing and garlic. Simmer and fry for few seconds.

3 ) Pour the cooked dal to the seasoning, stir and mix in well. Simmer and cook for a minute. Take off the stove and serve.


Serve hot with rice and pappad. On the side serve little ghee and salt, that you can mix with rice and have along with dal.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yellow Cornmeal Dosa

This dosa is very similar to rawa dosa and tastes very much like rawa dosa, though it is made with yellow cornmeal. This is an instant dosa to make.

Ingredients

1 cup - Yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup - All purpose flour
1/4 cup - Curds / Yogurt
Salt to taste

Seasoning

1/4 tsp - Jeera
2 to 3 big - Shallots, chopped finely
1/2 ''piece - Ginger, grated finely
1 to 2 - Green chilies, chopped finely
1 sprig - Curry leaves, chopped finely
Sesame oil Or peanut oil

Method

1 ) Heat little oil in a pan, add jeera, then onion, green chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry till onion is translucent.

2 ) To a mixing bowl, add cornmeal, all purpose flour, salt to taste, curds and mix well. Then add good amount of water to make a very thin batter. Batter should be thinner than dosa batter. Add the fried ingredients to the batter and mix in.

3 ) Heat a non- stick tawa on high heat. Tawa should be really very hot before pouring in the batter, so that the batter will sizzle when you are spreading the batter. Grease the tawa with little oil and wipe out excess oil.

4 ) Take one ladle full of batter and spread on the tawa starting from the sides and finishing it off in the center. You will not be able to spread this batter like the regular dosa batter. Lower the heat, then drizzle some oil on the sides and center of the dosa. When the bottom of the dosa is set and has become a golden brown, flip to the other side and cook. Take off the tawa, transfer to a plate and serve.

Again before pouring the batter for the next dosa, heat the tawa on high heat, get the tawa hot and then pour the batter then lower the heat.

Serve hot with chutney.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vellarikka Unakka Chemmeen with Mango Curry

This is a nice combination of dried small shrimps with vellarikka ( cucumber ) and unripe mango. Sour mango gives the tangy taste to the curry, so a very sour mango has to be used for this curry. Since vellarikka was not available, i have used half of a cucumber in its place.

Ingredients

4 oz / 100 gm - Dried shrimp
1 big - Unripe sour mango, cut to small pieces without skin
1 cup - Vellarikka, cut to small pieces
2 to 4 - Green chili, slit in center
1'' piece - Ginger
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 sprig - Curry leaves
Salt to taste

To grind to a smooth paste

3/4 cup - Freshly grated Coconut
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
1 small - Shallot

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 sprig - Curry leaves
2 big - Shallots, diced

Method

1 ) Wash dried shrimp. If it is very salty dried shrimp then wash very well to reduce the salt in the shrimp.

2 ) Add to a pan dried shrimp, mango, vellarikka, green chili, ginger, curry leaves, red chili and turmeric powder. Add enough water to cook the ingredients. When using cucumber instead of vellarikka, then add cucumber when other ingredients are half cooked, since cucumber will cook faster. Add salt accordingly. Cook till the mango pieces are soft and can be mashed with a spoon.Mash some of the mango pieces.

3 ) Add the ground coconut mixture to the cooked ingredients and add little water to make a thick gravy. Bring to a boil, adjust salt to taste. Cook for a minute and take off the stove.

4 ) In a small pan, heat oil, pop mustard seeds, then add shallots and curry leaves. Fry till shallots are browned. Pour this seasoning on top the curry and mix in.


Serve hot with rice.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"A Cookie with Arusuvai Surprise Ingredient"

Arusuvai friendship chain has been started in India by Latha N of "The YUM blog" and Latha N says "Arusuvai is about sending along a surprise ingredient as a gift to your friends, for them to prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe, and pass on other surprise ingredients to more people. Arusuvai means six tastes (aru=six, suvai=taste) in Tamizh and is used to refer for Tasty preparation with six tastes - inippu/ thithippu (sweet), orappu/ karam (hot), kassappu (bitter) , pulippu (sour), uppu(salt), tuvarpu (tastes that one gets in raw leaves)".

Now Latha from "Masala Magic" has started Arusuvai friendship chain in USA. I got the opportunity to be a part of this friendship chain, when Richa of "As dear as Salt" passed on this friendship chain to me. Thanks Richa for thinking about me and sending me the surprise ingredient.
With a Sweet note Richa send me, dark chocolates , Soan cakes and the surprise ingredient. When i read the label "Laddu flour" i was confused and asked Richa about it. Richa explained that it is coarsely ground whole wheat flour and it is called laddu flour to differentiate between thousands(!) of kinds of flour that we get..... :)


I was not sure what to make with this surprise ingredient and one day when snacking on a Whole wheat cookie from Haldirams, which i liked a lot, thought why not bake a cookie with similar taste.

So i experimented with this flour and was able to come up with this simple cookie. The flour is not a fine powder, so the texture of the cookie is not smooth.

Ingredients

3/4 cup - Laddu flour
1/4 cup - Cashew nut, powdered
3/4 cup - Sugar
1/2 cup - Melted ghee ( at room temperature)
1/4 tsp - Cardamom powder
Few Almond slivers for decorating


Method

1 ) Add flour, sugar, cashew powder, cardamom powder and melted ghee into a mixing bowl. Combine ingredients to make a tight dough.

2 ) Take a small amount of the cookie dough, shape it to a small ball and then flatten it. Cookie will spread a bit when baking, so space between each dough. Place some almond slivers on top of the cookie and press in lightly.

3 ) Transfer cookie dough to a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes till the bottom of the cookies turn lightly golden in colour.

4 ) Cookie will be soft to touch when still hot. Let the cookie cool in the tray before transferring it to store.

Enjoy the cookie.

Passing on this Arusuvai friendship chain to Kribha of En Samayal Pakkam. Thanks for playing along Kribha.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Overstuffed & Wrapped Omelet

Care to have a heavy breakfast ? Then this overstuffed omelet with veggies and wrapped in tortilla wrap or it can be wrapped in roti/chapathi, is for you.

Ingredients

2 - Large eggs
1 to 2 tbsp - Coriander leaves, chopped finely
1 - Green chili, chopped finely Or Dash of Red chili powder or Tabasco sauce
A dash of - Garam masala powder
1 to 2 tbsp - Salsa
1 - Tortilla wrap Or roti /chapathi
Grated Mozzarella & cheddar cheese mix Or 4 Cheese Mexican mix
Salt to taste

Veggies for stuffing

1 very small - Potato, boiled and cut to very small cubes
2 tbsp - Green onion, finely chopped
1/2 of a small -Green capsicum, finely chopped
5 to 6 - Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 of a small - Tomato, finely chopped

Method

1 ) Heat little oil or butter in a skillet. Add potato, mushrooms, capsicum, onion and fry till the mushroom gets cooked. Add tomato, sprinkle little salt to taste and cook for a minute or two. Transfer the veggies to another utensil and set aside.

2 ) Whisk egg well, add you choice of any one of these - green chili or red chili powder or tabasco sauce. Then add garam masala powder, coriander leaves , salt to taste and whisk well with egg.

3 ) Use a big wide non-stick pan. Heat the pan on low heat, add butter or vegetable oil. Pour in the egg mixture and when the egg sets add the cooked veggie on top of the egg, cook for 2 minutes on simmer. Spread little salsa on top of the veggie and then sprinkle generously cheese on top. Cook till the cheese starts to melt. Put the tortilla or roti on top of the cheese and press lightly, so that the tortilla sticks to the cheese.

4 ) Now you have to flip the omelet. I used 2 wide and flat spatula to flip. Now tortilla is in the bottom, cook for few seconds and then fold in half.

Serve hot for breakfast.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chilli Paneer

This is quiet a delightful dish with fried paneer, capsicum and mushrooms. Different color capsicum can be used to enhance the look. It's a dry stir fry dish, quick and easy to make.

Ingredients

14 oz /400 gm - Paneer, cut to small cubes
8 oz /227 gm - Mushroom, washed and chopped
1 - Green Capsicum, sliced length wise
1 - Onion, sliced length wise
4 big flakes - Garlic, crushed
1 to 2 - Green chili,chopped
1/4 tsp - Black pepper powder
A dash of - Garam masala powder
2 to 3 drops - Vinegar
2 tsp - Tomato ketchup
Salt to taste

Method

1 ) In a skillet heat oil on low flame, add paneer and fry to a light golden color, little at a time. Take off the oil and drain.

2 ) In the same oil, add garlic and green chili, fry for a minute. Then add onion and stir fry lightly. Onion should be crunchy, add capsicum and stir fry for a minute.

3 ) Meanwhile, microwave mushrooms placed in a microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes. Take out and add to the skillet and stir fry.

4 ) Add black pepper powder, salt to taste, a dash of garam masala and mix in. Add vinegar and tomato ketchup and mix in. Add fried paneer and saute.


Serve as a side dish with fried rice or even chapati.

Note - If you have left over, then don't microwave. Place in oven and bake with some grated mozzarella cheese.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ethakka / Ripe Plantain Pachadi

A sweet and sour pachadi with ripe plantain will be a good addition to your sadhya. There is similarities in taste with mambazha pulissery , though this is a pachadi.

Ingredients

2 - Very ripe plantain, chop very finely
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Red chili powder
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

1/2 cup - Grated coconut
1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 to 2 - Green chili
1/2 cup - Medium sour curds/ yogurt

Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 sprigs - Curry leaves
2 - Whole dry red chili

Method

1 ) Cook plantain in little water with red chili and turmeric powder along with salt to taste. cook till plantain is a bit mashed.

2 ) Add ground ingredients to cooked plantain, add little water just enough for a thick gravy and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 2 minutes. Adjust salt to taste. Add beaten curds, mix in and when about to boil, take off the stove.

3 ) In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds and pop it. Add curry leaves and dry red chili. Fry for a minute and pour over the pachadi.

Serve with rice.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pesarattu with Upma and Coconut Chutney

Pesarattu with upma and coconut or ginger chutney is a hearty Andhra breakfast, which could very well be a brunch to be enjoyed on a weekend. Pesarattu, made with whole green gram, is high in protein, upma gives the carbs, thus balances the meal. Pesarattu, upma and chutney is the combination which is popular in Andhra.

Ingredients to make pesarattu

1 cup - Whole green gram dal / Whole moong dal
1 to 2 - Green chili
1 '' piece - Ginger
Salt to taste

To garnish

Little finely chopped onion
Little green chili, finely chopped
Little coriander leaves, finely chopped
Little jeera
Ghee or butter

Method

1 ) Wash and soak green gram dal overnight. Grind dal with green chili and ginger to a fine paste with little water. Batter should not be too thick nor too thin. Add salt to taste and stir in.

2 ) Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. When the pan is hot enough, add a little amount of the batter and spread into thin round.

3 ) Drizzle some ghee around the edges and some on the pesarattu. Sprinkle little, jeera, onion, green chili and coriander leaves on the top.


4 ) Once the edges have cooked to a light brown, flip to the other side and press down with flat spatula to press down the sprinkled ingredients to stick to the pesarattu. Flip back and take off the pan to a plate. Cook rest of the batter in the same manner.

Now Pesarattu can be served with just the chutney. But when you want to have a elaborate breakfast, it is served with upma. Upma is made with rawa that is not roasted and the cooked upma is not too dry.

Ingredients for making Upma

1 cup - Rawa / fine Sooji
3 cups water
Salt to taste

To season

1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Urad dal
1 tsp - Chana dal
1/4 tsp - Jeera
5 to 6 big - Shallot, finely chopped
1/2'' piece - Ginger, finely chopped
2 - Green chili, finely chopped
1 sprig - Curry leaves

Method

1 ) Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard and pop it. Add urad dal, chana dal, jeera and fry on till dals are lightly browned. Add shallot, green chili, ginger and curry leaves and fry till the ingredients a fried lightly.

2 ) Pour 3 cups water, 2 to 3 tsp ghee, salt to taste and bring to a good boil. Lower heat, pour in rawa and as you are pouring in rawa, stir continuously. Water will be sucked up by rawa, then close with a tight lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Open and stir well. Close with lid and as the upma cools down will be all set to serve.

Place some upma along with pesarattu while serving with chutney.

This recipe is for a small quantity of coconut chutney

To make Coconut Chutney

1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut
1 tbsp - Chana dal
2 - Green chili
1 to 2 pinches - Seedless tamarind
1/4 tsp - Jeera
Salt to taste

To Season

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

Method

1 ) Fry green chili and chana dal in little oil, lightly. Cool and grind along with coconut, tamarind jeera to a smooth paste with little water. Add salt to taste.

2 ) Season with mustard and curry leaves. Heat oil in pan, add mustard and curry leaves. Pour the seasoning on chutney and mix in.

Serve Pesarattu with upma and coconut or ginger chutney.

"Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons" is very enthusiastic about different varieties of dosa's and is hosting a Dosa Mela. I am making my contribution with pesarattu to this event.

Other Andhra recipes -

Undrallu and Ginger chutney
Green chili chutney
Brinjal chutney
Peanut chutney

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Spinach Pachadi

Spinach is cooked frequently at my place in different ways and with all its goodness and health benefits is a power food. Pachadi with spinach is a quick preparation, that a friend thought of, to make in a hurry one day. Tried this out today and it was perfect with rice.

Ingredients

1 bunch - Spinach, washed well
1 to 2 - Green chili, chopped
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

1/2 cup - Coconut
1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/2 cup - Medium sour creamy yogurt

Seasoning

1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 - Dry whole red chili
2 sprigs - Curry leaves

Method

1 ) In a pan cook spinach in very little water with green chili and salt to taste, covered with a lid. Once cooked, take off the stove and cool. Transfer to a blender / grinder and plus two times to get a coarse texture.

2 ) Transfer spinach to a pan. Grind coconut and mustard to a smooth paste, with little water. Add this coconut- mustard paste to the pan with spinach and mix. Heat the stove, place the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add beaten yogurt and adjust salt to taste. After adding yogurt, don't cook for long. Just before it comes to a boil, take off the stove.

3 ) Heat oil in another pan. Add mustard seeds and pop. Add dry red chili and curry leaves. Fry for a second and pour this seasoning on the pachadi. Stir and mix in.


Serve as a side dish with rice.