January 24, 2012

Sprouts Adai | Sprouts and lentil crepes

Sprouts Adai must be the healthiest breakfast option that is dished out at my place. A healthy twist to the usual Adai (lentil crepes), this is one sure shot way to get kiddo to munch on sprouts and is a very healthy breakfast for diabetics too. You can make it with normal soaked moong dal too, but I had some sprouts leftover after making Moongachi Usal. so made it with sprouts. Try it out, am sure you would love this. You may also use mixed sprouts, but as I had moong sprouts prepared it with the same.
This goes to the following events: Blogging Marathon - Day 2 - Delicious Dals, Priya Sreeram hosting Fast Food not Fat Food, event by Priya’s Now serving, Radhika’s Let’s Cook – Rice, Vardhini’s New UOnly Sprouts – event by Pari, hosted by Priya , My event Kitchen Chronicles  Cooking with leftovers – hosted by VeenaAlso to MLLA # 43, hosted by Chez Cayenne, event by Susan. And to Cooking Challenge – Tamilnadu by Vidhya
Do check my fellow marathoners hereLet's get on to the recipe now...
Soaking time : 4 hours
Prep time : 20 mins + grinding time
Makes : 20 adais
  • White rice - 1 cup (you may also use brown rice here, but soak for 2 hours longer if doing so)
  • Toor Dal / split pigeon pea - 1/3 cup
  • Channa Dal - approx 1/2 cup
  • Sprouted Moong sprouts - 1/2 cup
  • Red Chillies - 4 to 5 (suit your spice)
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery - half a lemon sized
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch grated
  • Hing / Asafoetida - a generous pinch
  • Oil - to fry the Adai
1) Wash and soak the rice and dals separately for 4 hours. Add the red chillies to soak along with the dals.
2) Grind the rice first. Then add the dals, chillies, sprouts and grind to a smooth paste.
3) Add salt, curry leaves, hing,grated ginger, turmeric, jaggery and mix well.
4) Give it a standing time of 1 - 2 hours (I soaked the dals / rice overnight, and made the adais with the batter ground the next day)
5) To make the adais, heat a tava. When moderately hot, spoon a ladleful of this batter onto the middle of the tava. Spread like a dosa, but slightly thicker than normal dosa
6) Drizzle oil around the sides. Cook on both sides and serve with Molagapudi and any chutney. 

January 23, 2012

Agathi Keerai Kariamudhu (poriyal) with Toor Dal | Agathi leaves curry | Agase Soppu Palya | Iyengar Recipes

Certain things in life are worth an addiction, and worth having them. Like Blogging Marathon, for instance. After what seemed like endless thoughts (and emails to Valli), I finally decided to give in to the addiction. With a hectic schedule looming at my end,Valli was kind enough to let me do 4 -5 posts for week 2 under "Dals". I am hoping that I can finish the week with 7 posts , and the first of these posts is an Iyengar dry curry - Agathi Keerai Kariamudhu (poriyal)
Made for Dwadasi Paranai (or the meal had on Dwadashi - the 12th day of the fortnight) after the fasting on Ekadashi, these leaves are also known as Sesbania Grandiflora (botanical name). More details of this green can be read here

This green is known as Agathi in Tamil, Agase Soppu in Kannada, Avisi in Telugu & Gaach Munga in Hindi. It has excellent medicinal properties, but consumption of these leaves more than twice or max thrice a month is not advisable. It also kills the toxins in the stomach.The following items are made for the Dwadasi meal - which in itself is medicinal in nature and levels the acidity content in the stomach. 
Agathi Keerai . Pic courtesy : indiagardening.blogspot.com
No wonder wholesome healthy food made in the olden times was an elixir for long healthy life for most elders in our family. Before I go to the recipe today, let me list down the menu for the Dwadasi Meal  (like I mentioned in my earlier posts, I am hoping my daughter and her generation will have e-records of our food and culture through this blog). Onions / garlic and even tomatoes are prohibited for every day meals in most traditional households even today, and therefore this curry also doesnt include them. Now off to the recipe..
  1. Rice
  2. Mor Kozhambu
  3. Agathi Keerai Kariamudhu (Poriyal)
  4. Kootu
  5. Nelli Pachadi (Gooseberry Raitha)
  6. Poricha Sathamudhu (Poricha Rasam)
  7. Akkaravadisal or Thirukannamudhu
  8. Neer Mor (frothy and light buttermilk)
Sending this to Blogging Marathon - Day 1 week 2 under Dals and also to Gayathri’s Walk through Memory Lane. Also to MLLA # 43, hosted by Chez Cayenne, event by Susan Cooking Challenge – Tamilnadu by Vidhya along with Vardhini’s New U

Do check my fellow marathoners here

Prep time : 15 mins. Cook time : 15 mins
Serves : 2
  • Agathi Keerai (greens) - 1 cup (tightly packed)
  • Toor Dal - 1/4 cup - soaked for 10 mins in warm water.
  • Turmeric - a dash
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Grated coconut - garnish
  • Grated jaggery - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, Urad Dal, broken red chillies, hing (asafoetida) 

1) Trim the leaves off the stalk and wash well.
2) In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Now add salt, turmeric, soaked dal and cook for 10 mins. After 10 mins, add the washed leaves and cook further for 8 mins. The leaves must remain green and the dal must be cooked, but not turn mushy.
3) Drain water completely and reserve.
4) In a pan, heat oil. Add tempering. Once mustard stops spluttering and urad dal turns brown, add the boiled  Toor-Dal mixture and saute lightly. Check for salt. Once the greens wilt a bit, add grated coconut and jaggery. Stir once more and serve with hot rice, Morkozhambu & ghee. 

The Gourmet Seven : A Curtain Raiser......

Seven - a number in astrology considered to be mystic. Even Hindu (Indian) mythology has seven (called "sapta" in sanskrit) has some unique significance - we have Sapta Rishis (7 sacred sages), Sapta Sagara (7 seas/ oceans), Sapta Padhi (7 sacred steps taken by a newly wed couple at their marriage)... 
So, when 7 eager-to-learn ladies (oops, girls!) come together to taste, create and enjoy the culinary adventures, magic is created. Thus was born Gourmet Seven - Conceived by Anusha, who was ably supported by Radhika, the rest of the gang simply nodded in agreement as they in typical girlie excitement outlined the plan - choose an online cook source / common cook book and weave an incredibly delicious while at the same time broadening one's culinary horizons.... Feb being the month of Valentine,we simply chose Chocolate... We all loveeee that ingredient, don't we ? 
Stay tuned as we dish out Gourmet Delights every month.
And joining me are :
Ø  Anusha from Tomato Blues

January 22, 2012

Baingan Bharta goes mediterranean, and a guest post by Sukanya | Guestpost Series # 6

After food, perhaps my second love is good english - prose, poetry, classics, TV shows : almost anything that showcases good English. And so I came to love Sukanya's blog - Saffronstreaks for its English, sprinkled liberally with aesthetic photographs as well as Tagore's poetry. Restaurant reviews, Travelogues & Food Stories complete her space. Winning the giveaway at her event,Monsoon Medley, was only a conjunction, and a lucky one at that...Happy to have her do the guestpost for us this month through a lip-smacking dish, fusion at that with Baingan Bharta, going the Mediterranean way. Thanks so much Sukanya for taking time out to do this post and for also pausing to tell us briefly about food trends : this dishis truly a gourmand's delight.. Let's hear Sukanya in her own words now...
It was a long silent winter night with moon shone brightly in the dark sky flirting with zillions of stars, we were on a road trip winding our ways through the jungles of Madhya Pradesh, the central state of India, where the big wild cats occasionally meets and greets you, just like on a wild safari trip, dotted with some tribal villages along its rustic paths, a strong waft of charred eggplants rustles up its way towards us, leaving us famished and infuriate the hunger with the glints of its charred skin romancing and swirling high up in the air. The stop was inevitable, we deviate from our route in search of the rustic flavor.

The night was cold and as we snuggle cozily around the fire, watching the shiny and velvety purple skin of eggplant slowly carbonizing on a firewood, smoked with soft amber flesh sneaking at places with juices slowly dripping on the wood, an earthy flavor of rotis warming up on chulha next to the eggplant, life seems to be on a endless path of romanticism, food never seems to be so intoxicating before.
Shifting with tongs, the charred skin of eggplants then beaten up to reveal the soft amber colored flesh beneath, mashed to release the juices, smeared with spices, few green chillies, the burnt garlic, teaming up with some onions and seared on hot tava with drizzle of mustard oil, baingan ka bharta was ready to satiate the appetite, and few drops of tangy juices of lemon over it creates the magic. The flavour was truly rustic and unmatched.

From the rustic flavors of true India, lets move across the deep blue seas onto Mediterranean region where baba ghanouj is waiting for us. The eggplant here is subjected to similar fate and is roasted, mashed and then pureed along with vegetables, sometimes olives, tahini, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Mostly it is served as  an appetizer here.
Continents apart, these two dish looks like an identical twins, separated at birth or may share a common lineage which can be traced back along the old spice route. So, when our rustic and desi baingan ka bharta decided to go on a maiden voyage across the sea, our excitement knew no bounds, we decided to bring on all the Mediterranean flavours that symbolizes the region. Purist may not lap it up all at once, but for the one who loved to explore different flavors and with a little twist, this is the one that is going to surprise you. Mark my words for it.

This post is written as a part of Guest Post for Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds, whose recipes and write ups coupled with tempting food photos has enticed me long back. When she approached me a month back to do a guest post for her, I was super excited but unfortunately she had to wait patiently for me as I took sometime to settle down in a new city. Thanks Kalyani for trusting me and understanding me. As for the food trends, there is a paradigm shift in Indian Cuisine, fusion is very much in the scene, I would not say that average Indian foodies are adventurous but slowly they are accepting the changes, and spices like paprika and capers, gouda cheese and many such things are slowly invading the Indian housewife’s pantry.
Recipe: Baingan ka bharta / smoked eggplants
Summary: Indian baingan ka bharta or smoked eggplants with a Mediterranean touch
·  Eggplant : 1 large
·  Red onion (chopped ): 1 medium
·  Tomatoes (chopped) : 1 medium
·  Garlic (roasted) : few cloves
·  Ginger (chopped) : 1 tsp
·  Green chilies (finely chopped) : 1 tsp
·  Cumin powder : 1 tsp
·  Coriander powder : 1 tsp
·  Red Chilli powder : 1 tsp
·  Juice of lemon : 1 tbsp
·  Cilantro to garnish
·  For Mediterranean twist:
·  Roasted red bell pepper : 1
·  Black olives (chopped) : 1 tbsp
·  Dried Apricots and dates (chopped) : 1 tbsp
·  Sun-dried tomatoes (chopped) : 1 tbsp
·  Oranges : few segments
·  Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
·  Yogurt sauce to serve
·  Oil : 1 tbsp
·  Salt to taste
1.     Roast the eggplants over a gas stove or in an oven. If you are roasting it in oven, set the temperature at 400 F and roast it for 45 minutes.
2.     Let the eggplants cool slightly before peeling off its skin, do not peel it completely, leave some skin as it will gives a nice smoky flavour to the dish.
3.     Peel off the roasted red bell pepper and chopped its flesh.
4.     Heat some oil in a pan and add the roasted garlic in it. Let the garlic releases its burnt smell.
5.     Add the diced onions and fry till the onion changes its colors, add the ginger and saute for few more minutes.
6.     Add the smoked and mashed eggplants and stir fry on medium heat for few minutes.
7.     Next add the roasted red bell peppers, along with tomatoes, and saute for few minutes till the tomatoes melts.
8.     Add all the spices along with finely chopped green chillies.
9.     Add the black olives, dried apricots and dates, mix well.
10.  Drizzle a tablespoon of lemon juice over it.
11.  Garnish with segmented oranges, cilantro and crumbled feta cheese if you are using it.
12.  Serve the hot baingan ka bharta with naan or roti and yogurt sauce to go with it.
Quick notes
If you are using tomatoes, then opt out the sun-dried tomatoes, use any one of them in the recipe.
Some also garnish the baingan ka bharta with scrambled eggs.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 3
Culinary tradition: Indian (Northern)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)
Some fusion idea to enjoy the smoked eggplants or baingan ka bharta is to scoop a spoonful of baingan ka bharta on  a sesame cracker, sprinkle some cheese over it and enjoy !!!

January 20, 2012

Gobhi Jeera Masala | Cauliflower Cumin dry curry | Side dish for Rotis

Certain dishes evoke memories. Of scorchingly humid streets in Kolkata while watching the world pass by as you hungrily gulp matkas of deliciously cold and sweet Mishti Doi. Of Chandigarh where eating (trying to) only half a (giant) ghee laden Gobhi Paratha was considered rude, not to mention that that large glass of lassi would make your stomach burst! Or having Jigar Danda (a delicacy) on the streets of Madurai, while deciding how much more mallipoo (jasmine flowers) you could probably lug back to aroma-starved Mumbai or even doing justice you could do to the yummy and uber-fresh and soft Idlis at Murugan Idli store. And even wolfing down that last plate of masala puri on a gaadi (hand cart) at good old Bangalore, not knowing when you would go back to that city.
Similarly today's dish - Gobhi Jeera Masala - is pure Delhi in its memory, for me. It must have been at the Noida guesthouse that I had this first. Guesthouses being guesthouses, there is a limited menu and that at specific times too. (Unless of course one buttered up the 'chotu' or the 'maharaj' to dish out onion pakoras in the middle of the night). But this dish is definitely full of warmth and goodness with simplicity personified. I had this with butter-soft hot phulkas, a hearty, earthy yellow Dal Tadka and a cup of chilled yoghurt. After a weary long day of travel till your back (and hind) gave way, nothing was more comforting than the earthy aromas of cumin and home-made sabji that this dish gave out. You may use whole cumin in this dish, but I strongly recommend you use freshly roasted cumin powder for a simple but exotic dish ! Off this goes to the following events – Vardhini’s New U, Siri’s  Healing Foods  event - Cauliflower, hosted by Vardhini & to Anusha hosting SYF&HWS – Cumin, event by Anu. Also to Indrani's Winter Vegetables event.

Prep time : 15 mins. Cook time : 10 mins.
Serves : 2
  • Cauliflower / Gobhi – cut into small florets -1 cup
  • Carrots – diced – ¼ cup
  • Fresh peas - a handful (optional)
  • Potato – cubed – ¼ cup
  • Roasted Cumin powder – 1 TBSP
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Garam Masala powder – ½ tsp
  • Tempering: Mustard seeds, Jeera/ Cumin
  • Green chillies – 2 (OR 1 tsp red chilli powder)
  • Turmeric – a dash
  • Amchur / Dry mango powder – ½ tsp
  • Coriander and lime juice – for garnish

1) Bring a large pan of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric each and add the cauliflower florets into it. Blanch for 8 – 10 mins. Drain and reserve
2) Pressure cook peas, carrots & potatoes for one whistle (else blanch along with cauliflower florets).
3) In a non stick pan, heat oil. Add the tempering. Once the cumin (jeera) and mustard stop spluttering, add the blanched veggies.
4) Now add the roasted cumin powder, garam masala, salt and mix well.
5) Cook covered for 6 -7 mins.
6) Uncover, add the amchur and red chilli powder and sauté again.
7) Garnish with coriander and lime juice and serve hot with phulkas & any dal.

January 19, 2012

Round up of Magic Mingle 1

Thank you for a very enthusiastic participation to the first edition of Magic Mingle 1. Am sure the combo for Jan -Chillies & Cinnamom - surely tickled your culinary thoughts...
24 yummy entries linked here. Thanks to all the participants and look forward to more enthusiastic participation for Feb 2012 by all members. If you want to join this exciting series, drop me a line on momchef77@gmail.com or fill a form here. Magic Mingle unveils two ingredients per month and the members need to create one or more dishes between the 5th & 15th of the month using both these ingredients.
The magic ingredients for Feb 2012 shall be unveiled on Feb 5th 2012. Stay tuned. Till then enjoy this amazing spread using Chilles & Cinnamon..

January 18, 2012

Palak-Doodhi Muthia | Steamed spinach-bottlegourd savoury dumplings | Step by step recipe

Muthias are basically savoury dumplings, steamed and pan-fried. They can be eaten as snacks and also serve as toppings for pulaos too. Extremely healthy as they are steamed, you may also slightly shallow fry them to get a crispy snack. The ingredients for muthias remain the same, but the addition of veggies can be quite interesting. Today I made it with bottle gourd, and also added blanched baby spinach for extra punch. The name "muthia" apparently comes from the Gujarathi word "Muthi" which means fist and these dumplings are made into cylindrical rolls using the fist. You can serve Palak-Doodhi Muthias as it is or with Green chutney or Meetha (sweet) chutney. Its quite a healthy tea-time snack and you can play around with the toppings too. I used sesame seeds for topping, and it was very crunchy. Se

Update : Sending this to Vardhini’s Cooking with Whole Foods – Spinach, event by Kiran

Prep time : 15 mins
Cook time : 20 - 25 mins
Serves : 3

  • Bottlegourd - 1/4 kg (or 1 medium sized bottle gourd)
  • Baby spinach / normal spinach - 1/2 cup, packed
  • Besan / Gram flour - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Wheat flour / atta - 1/4 cup
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1/2 TBSP
  • Semolina - 1/2 cup
  • Fennel seeds / Saunf - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 4 to 5 TBSP
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida
  • Garnish : Coriander leaves + freshly grated coconut
1) Wash, peel and grate bottlegourd. Squeeze out all the water and add to a large mixing bowl.
2) Wash, blanch,drain and chop the spinach. Add to the grated bottle gourd.
3) Add the rest of the ingredients except oil, tempering and garnish. Add the flours little by little and with NO additional water make into a smooth dough (Bottlegourd has a lot of water, so please be careful not to add any extra water).
4) Add 1 TBSP of oil and punch it in the dough. Rest for 5-10 mins.
5) Using both your hands roll them into long cylindrical rolls
6) Steam them for 20 - 25 mins till then turn slightly white and cooked.
7) Cook, and cut them into 1/2" thick slices.
8) In a non-stick pan, add the oil. When hot prepare the tempering and once the sesame seeds has stopped crackling, add the cooked and cut muthias into that and saute a bit
9) Garnish with grated coconut and coriander and serve immediately.

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