May 9, 2011

Matar Paneer / Peas-Cottage Cheese Curry


One of the first ‘North Indian’ recipes that I ate decades ago college was Matar Paneer– I still remember eating at a friend’s house somewhere in RMV 2nd stage Bangalore where her mom used to dish out these amazingly soft fluffy phulkas with creamy melt-in-the-mouth Matar Paneer. Of course I was too naïve to even ask for a recipe, but back then the non-internet era gave us few places you could source for food recipes. Later on, the ubiquitous “Sagar” chain of restaurants in Bangalore – of whom we were regular patrons- ensured their chefs knew more about Matar Paneer than their counterparts in Punjab / Delhi , albeit with their own version of the dish : a little more sweet than usual, and the occasional curry leaf making its way to a Chilli Paneer ;)

May 8, 2011

Healthy Oats Dosa / Savoury Oats Crepes

This must be one of the easiest Dosas I have made, and its super healthy and nutitious too :) Needs very minimal soaking time, and is a great breakfast option when you pressed for time, or need a break from the normal Urad dal - Rice Dosas ! I have made this a spicy version with ginger, green chilli , and the same may be omitted / reduced if you need to serve this to small kids :) When I first made this many months ago, S couldnt believe it was Oats - based : so fluffy and light, esp on rushed Monday mornings :-)Its a good option for diabetics as well, and may substitute 1/2 portion of the rice flour with wheat flour.

This goes well with Spicy Onion- Tomato Chutney / Veg Kurma / Veg Peel Chutney or just Molagapodi (Gun powder)

May 7, 2011

Mango Custard with honey

Beat the heat ! That seems to be the mantra nowadays, and what better way to load up on fruits and cold smoothies :) I had several Alphonsos in my pantry, and as nobody really likes Aamras / Shrikhand at my house, I decided to use these luscious mangoes in a healthy fruity treat - Mango Custard with Honey. Delightfully easy to make, you could even make these in advance and chill them for a quick party dessert. A delicious way to welcome the King of Fruits too :)

May 5, 2011

Ragi Mudde / Ragi Sankati / Steamed Finger Millet Dumplings


Ragi / Finger millet, as mentioned in my ongoing event is full of calcium and nutrient. As schoolgeoers, we used to have it as Ragi Hurittu or Ragi Porimaavu (Puffed ragi) with milk and sugar: I never liked the taste then, and was rather a forced consumption at my grandmom's insistence to fill up Vit B12 (which this millet has in plenty) in a lady's diet, esp in the pre-teens ! Wonder how wholesome and healthy our food was when we were kids - no fear of MSG or allergies of gluten ,nuts , dairy that today's moms fear most : All foods taken in proportion and at right intervals ensured doctor visits were only a rarity :)

May 3, 2011

Mixed Veg Peel Chutney


Need to credit this to mom and sis ! My sis detests more than necessary coconut in any form, and mom had to devise this easy-to-make and healthy chutney option to go . The total absence of coconut makes it a treat for those watching theur cholestrol :)

Goes great with Adai Dosa / Set Dosa / Instant Karicha Mavu Dosa / Idli / Kanjivaram Idli. Most of us make chutneys with peel of ridge gourd ,chow chow chutney etc.,  This is a Mixed veg peel chutney - the nuttiness of the different peels with the crunch of the ground lentils along with tamarind and jaggery makes it a keeper !  As this tastes very similar to an Andhra 'pachadi', its a great combo with plain steamed rice :-)

The ingredients are ridiculously easy to find and store, and the chutney itself takes under 10 mins to prepare

Sending this to Srav's Roti-Pachadi event

New Event Announcement - WWC - Ragi for breakfast

I am Kalyani a.k.a Mom Chef of What's Cooking? Delighted to be hosting WWC (Wholesome Wholegrain Cooking) event with the theme - Ragi for breakfast (Ragi = fingermillet) . Originally conceived by Sanjeetha of Litebite, this event focuses on (and to quote Sanjeetha from her blog):
"....WWC is to get more creative ideas from all quarters of culinary world to boost the nutrition in our meals. I hope it will be fun & informative as well to experiment and cook with various wholegrain and add a new dimension to our meal and that is good health."

May 2, 2011

Kanjivaram Idli / Kanjeevaram Idli

This is one highly rated dish from my mom's kitchen and tasted yum everytime she made it . S actually sniffed his nose when he saw me adding 'unfamiliar' ingredients for a Kanjivaram Idli, but polished off more than he thought he would :-) Some make this with black Urad dal (whole Urad dal with skin on), but I quite detest the sight of 'black' idlis on my plate (may be they are healthier). The interesting thing about this recipe is that it needs no special dal mixture for the Idli batter, but the add-ons make it a lip smacking affair :) You may also make this with Idli batter already in your freezer or grind it freshly for this (I do both, but prefer the latter and have outlined the same as under).  Truly Tamilnadu style :)

This is as healthy as any other Idli can get and is quite a treat with its medley of heady spices. Goes well with any chutney / sambhar / Molagapudi (fiery lentil powder) . Have served here with Veg Peel Chutney. See Tips below for options to make this a 'child friendly'version.

April 30, 2011

Southekaayi Majjigeguli (Yellow Cucumber Curd gravy)


Majjigehuli (or morkozhambu in Tamil) along with Thovve (Elai paruppu - Boiled and seasoned toor dal) forms an integral forms an part of Karnataka Cuisine. Majjigehuli (loosely translated as spicy curd gravy) can be made with a lot of veggies (Ashgourd, Yellow Cucumber, Chow Chow etc). Tamilians even add Sundakkai to Morkozhambu. But as this particular recipe is Authentic Karnataka, I shall use Yellow Cucumber (called Dosakaya in Telugu) for this Majjigehuli.

April 26, 2011

Wholewheat Herbed Masala Buns and my 50th Post !!


With all your good wishes, I have crossed my 50th post today ! And what better reason to celebrate this than with Wholewheat Herbed Masala Buns, adapted from Aipi's recipe.

This was my first tryst with Mr. Yeast ever, and baking with yeast is indeed addictive !  Thanks Aipi :) The fact that it was eggless made my dinner too ! I should need a little more time and a tad or two degrees less in my oven next time around. S, who detests anything made of refined flour, appreciated it and had it for dinner along with Butternut Squash soup. My kid helped me get the veggies from the pantry and also helped me fill the stuffing into the buns, and boy ! Was she impatient to eat them or what ??!! :-) Makes a great option for school lunchboxes too..

April 25, 2011

Punjabi Chole / Choley


Chole with Puri (unleavened Indian bread) is one of mine and daughter's favourite breakfast treats ! Although breakfast is generally Idli / Dosa at my place, an occassional indulgence like this on Sunday mornings makes for the perfect treat :)

Chole / Choley with Channa / Garbanzo bean is made in a million different ways in as many households across the globe. While the Amritsari Chole is famous for its spicy taste and goes great with Bhature (another unleavened Indian bread), Punjabi Dhabas have made this a popular eatery all over India. Once while at Chandigarh, I was told that staunch foodies would drive down all the way from Chandigarh to Amritsar to have Choley-Bhature with Lassi in the winter season and burp their way back home :-)

Like I said this can be prepared in many ways. The following version works best for me with minimum oil and spice and can put together quickly even in the mornings (with some prior preparation overnight). This also goes well with roti /Nan/Phulka :)

Preparation time: 12 hours (soaking) + 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves : 3 - 4

April 21, 2011

Sepankizhangu Roast / Stir fried Colocasia (Arbi)


I haven't heard anyone who has Tamilnadu roots (not literally ! LoL ) who doesn't like Sepankizhangu roast .. In fact, dad used to go ecstatic the days mom used to make this at home. And now S and daughter love it. Mine is more an acquired taste rather than genetic!

The edible types are grown in the South Pacific and eaten like potatoes and known as taro, eddoe, and dasheen. In the Indian subcontinent it is known as Arabi, Arbi, Pinalu, Alvi, Chaama, Ghuiya, Patra, Mukh, and both roots and leaves are used. The leaves are also called Kui Patta or Kui Leaf or Aluchi Paana (in Marathi).

Cooking this vegetable takes a little skill, although the ones cooking this for a long time would not be inclined to agree. This stir fry can be neither too mashy / sticky nor too hard and takes a little practice and patience. Although traditionally this dish is made deep frying the veggie, I prefer to use as little oil as possible !  See Tips below for more info !

Preparation Time : 20 mins. Cooking time: 10 mins.
Serves : 4

April 20, 2011

Papdi Chaat


Summer meals are light meals - breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or even snacks and lite bites for kids :) My daughter's khwaaish was 'something different and chatpata' last Sunday evening and thankfully I had anticipated this beforehand and was prepared with the ingredients. Thanks to her, all of us had delicious Papdi Chaat.

I really don't have to give out the recipe for this, but for all the effort I took and the pics that I was allowed to take, I thought why not share this at all :) I have made this child friendly with less spice etc. But do indulge yourself if you are serving this at a party / get together as a yummy starter ... The quantities are also approx, and can be adjusted to suit your palate.

Preparation time: 30 mins. Cooking time : nil ;
Serves : As many as one wants to eat (just extrapolate the ingredients :-) )

April 17, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Pickle (North Indian Style)

                                     
A long cherished dream to make Mixed Veg Pickle (North Indian style) came true early this week. S was asking for some, having missed his MIL's (my mom's) lemon pickle of late. I had seen mom and grandmom make jars of pickles for the year, but never attempted to make any beyond the 'instant mango' version on my own. Browsing through Latha's veg pickle gave me respite that this is 'do-able' at home too..

I have slightly tweaked mine from the original version, and added in a few veggies of my own.  Although this pickle can be made sans onion & garlic, a few pods of the latter stepped up the flavour enormously :) See notes at the end of this post for more information.This bitter-sweet pickle goes well with curd rice or parathas or just about anything.

Preparation Time: 20 mins. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Makes: approx 150 gm and keeps for 3 months with refrigeration


Update : Sending this to Valli's Condiment Mela

April 16, 2011

First Event Announcement - Cooking with Herbs & Flowers - Fenugreek

Dear fellow bloggers:

Gives me great pleasure to announce that I would be guest hosting my first event with Herbs & Flowers in my Platter originally started by PJ . Many thanks to her for this wonderful opportunity. My chosen herb is "fenugreek". Fenugreek is used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed, often called methi). The plant is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop and is a common ingredient in many curries.

April 14, 2011

Vazhakai Podi | Spicy Raw Banana stir fry


Vazhakkai Podi / Spicy Raw Banana curry is a quick and delicious curry that you can put together in under 15 minutes. Make and store the masala powder beforehand for everyday use and you will have plenty of time in the kitchen. This curry goes well with yoghurt rice / Rasam / Sambhar (now I am repeatedly talking about curd rice in all my previous posts coz its summer now, and nothing satiates tummy like chilled yoghurt rice!

This masala powder can be used with other veggies too – Potato / Arbi (Colocasia) or any other tubers. Sending this to day 7 of Blogging Marathon that I am running under the theme "Vazhakkai Podi". 

Here's a quick recap of this week under "Accompaniments":
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time : 10 mins
Serves : 2
Difficulty level : Easy
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Ingredients:
  • Raw banana – 2 nos
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Tumeric – ½ tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard (1 tsp), Curry Leaves
  • Salt – to taste
  • Amchur / Dry Mango Powder – 1 tsp
Masala / Spice Powder :
  • Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Channa Dal – 1 tsp
  • Dhaniya seeds– 1 tsp
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Red chillies – 2 nos
Method:
1) Peel and cube the raw banana into ½ inch cubes.
2) Boil banana in water and salt for 8 – 10 minutes till 90% done.Drain.
3) Meanwhile, roast all the masala powder in 1 tbsp oil till the dals slightly colour.
4) Cool and powder the masala.
5) In a skillet, add 1 tbsp of oil. Splutter curry leaves and mustard seeds. Add turmeric.
6) Add the boiled veggies and toss. Now add the masala powder and the amchur. Stir well till the masala powder coats all the veggies evenly. Add 1 or 2 tsp oil more if necessary.
7) Adjust salt and serve with rice and sambhar or just curd rice.
Tips:
You may also boil whole and peeled raw banana and grate the veggie thickly. In that case, do not stir too much as it becomes 
You may substitute ½ tsp of tamarind paste in place of amchur. I personally don’t prefer adding tamarind extract or paste as this is a dry curry.



April 12, 2011

Vegetable-Cashew Kurma




 Set Dosa, Chapati, Poori - all these go with this amazing Vegetable-Cashew Kurma (vegetable-cashew gravy). Although the addition of cashew is optional, it gives the gravy such a rich flavour and makes it fingerlicking good :)

My recent sojourn to Bangalore made me crave for Set Dosa + Kurma, and Sukh Sagar, Jayanagar did not disappoint.

Made this immediately after I came back from there and sending this to Priya's Bookmarked event(every Tuesday)  and Charitha's C for Colourful Curry

Preparation time: 20 mins. Cooking Time : 20 mins.
Serves: 3

Ingredients:
  • Mixed veggies chopped (French beans, Carrot, Potato, Cauliflower, peas) - 2 cups
  • Cashewnut - 25 gms
  • Onions - 2 nos (sliced)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf - 1 or 2
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds
  • Green coriander
For the masala paste:
  • Onion - 1
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes - 1 no
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Green Chilli - 2 nos
  • Coconut - 3 tbsp
  • Saunf (Fennel)- 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera (Cumin)- 1/2 tsp
  • Dhaniya (Coriander seeds)- 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies - 2
  • Elaichi (Cardamom) - 1 no
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
Method:

1) Par boil all the veggies with salt till 3/4 done. Drain.
2) Soak cashew for 10 - 15 minutes and make a paste.
3) For the masala :Fry onions and tomatoes till onions slightly brown.Add the rest of the ingredients and make a smooth paste
4) In a skillet, sputter mustard seeds. Fry onions & add the bay leaf & turmeric. Add both the masala & the cashew paste and fry on a low flame till the raw smell disappears. Add salt if necessary and pour adequate water.
5) Once done, add the veggies and stir ocassionally. Cook covered and garnish with green coriander
6) Serve hot with phulkas / Set Dosa / Chapati / Poori


April 10, 2011

Makai Aloo Tikki (Corn - Potato Savoury)






First, a brief history of Corn (Hindi - Makai,Tamil -Shozham,Kannada-Jola):
"Sweet corn (Zea mays convar. saccharata var. rugosa; also called Indian  corn, sugar corn, and pole corn) is a variety of maize with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage), sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain." Source : Wikipedia
Frozen corn / American corn along with Baby corn became popular in Indian cuisine, atleast in middle class households along with the Internet and multi cuisine restaurants. Much like mushrooms which, well invaded the working-woman's kitchen. Malls / food courts, Chinese restaurants & Multiplexes , Baby corn manchurian, Corn Chaat, Corn Tikkis were hot discussion topics both at school and high tea :)


My kid loves this Sweet corn boiled along with a pinch of salt / kala namak(black salt), and I love this for its very low in sodium and high in dietary fibre. 1 cup of Sweet Corn contains 132 calories, and just 1.8 gm of fat !! I add this to most sabjis, and last evening made Makai Aloo Tikkis -something I had wanted to make since a longggg time !  After the success of Beetroot cutlet, she quite likes tikkis, and its very easy for me to sneak in veggies as well !!


Note: The tikkis disappeared before I could snap a few pictures, and I was left with just two, which I managed to. My kid was at her enthusiastic best last evening, and offered to click snaps of the filled potato cups (well it blurred a bit, but the effort mattered!!)


Sending this to Priya's Kid's Delight event originally started by Srivalli



Preparation time : 20 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins. Makes : 6 tikkis


Ingredients:


  • Boiled and grated potatoes - 3 nos (medium)
  • Boiled corn - 1/2 cup
  • Boiled green peas - 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur / Dry Mango powder - 1 tsp
  • Chat Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Green Coriander chopped- 2 tsp
  • Mint leaves - few
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil for frying
For the covering:
  • All Purpose flour (APF) / Maida - 3 tbsp
  • Corn flour - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Bread crumbs
Method:


1) In a large bowl, add the grated potato, salt, turmeric, amchur, red chilli powder, chat masala, coriander, mint and mix well. As far as possible, do not add water. Add a little cornflour if you find the mixture too watery.
2) In another bowl, mix peas, corn and lemon juice. Add salt and any other masala powder if you wish ( I didnt add green chillis / other masala as I was making this for the child)
3) Divide the potato mixture into 6 equal balls. Flatten out a little bit and with your index finger / thumb, make a depression and fill in the peas-corn mixture.
4) Cover the peas-corn with the potato and make into longish / thickish flat tikkis. Rest
5) In a bowl, add APF, cornflour, salt and add very little water to make a thickish slurry
6) Dip the tikkis into the slurry, then roll all over in the bread crumbs and shallow fry.
7) Serve hot with mint chutney and / or tomato ketchup


Tips:
1) You may add chopped onions, green chillies to make it a little more spicier
2) I shallow fried the tikkis . It may also be deep fried and served with Chole - another Punjabi delicacy :-)


Sending this to Day 7 of Srivalli's Blogging Marathon under "Kids Delight" category ! Its been 7 fun-filled days of knowing new foodies across the globe :)


Do check out my fellow bloggers on this marathon: Diabetes Diet/Management: Srivalli, Champa, Harini, PJ  
Kid Friendly Recipes:
Me, Shylaja, Veena
Seven Days of Soup:
Usha, Sowmya  
30 Minutes Meals:
Priya Suresh
Seven days of Cakes: 
Anusha








 

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