April 30, 2013

Hosting MLLA # 59 (My Legume Love Affair) along with a giveaway....

Its truly a dream to host Susan's  MLLA (My Legume Love Affair) at my space all this May. This is one event that has been so popular. Based on legumes, it has seen 58 editions so far, and I am so happy to host it at Sizzling Tastebuds. Thank you Susan, and Lisa (who is currently managing MLLA) for this wonderful opportunity :))

Wikipedia tells us:  "legume /ˈlɛɡʲuːm/ is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for theirfood grain seed (e.g. beans and lentils, or generally pulse), for livestock forage and silage, and as soil-enhancing green manure. Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. Well-known legumes include alfalfacloverpeasbeanslentilslupins,mesquitecarobsoybeanspeanuts and the woody climbing vine wisteria. Legume trees like the Locust trees (GleditsiaRobinia) or the Kentucky coffeetree(Gymnocladus dioicus) can be used in permaculture food forests.[1]
A legume fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is also applied to a few other fruit types, such as vanilla and radish."


So, you all foodies out there, what are you waiting for ? Link up your vegetarian and eggless entries that have legumes as a star ingredient. And what's more ! One lucky winner gets to win this prize that Susan is sponsoring this month, at her own expense, - cocktail napkin. 



The hurst bean prize can only be won by a resident of the US. If the winner of the random draw resides in the states, they get both prizes. If the winner lives outside of the US, they get Susan's gift and another draw is taken for the beans from the pool of US residents. 


So, to recap how you can send in your entries:

1) One entry per blogger - please link via linky tool. 

2) Legumes must feature as the central ingredient in your dish - and it must be vegetarian and eggless.

3) All entries must be posted between 1st & 31st May 2013 (the event duration). The winner and roundup shall be announced in June.

3) Please link all your entries to this event announcement and to Susan, the creator of this wonderful event along with the Logo featuring in your entry. Also to Lisa's who is currently managing MLLA.

4) Once you have linked your entry, please leave a note under this event announcement along with your name and Country of residence.

5) Non bloggers can also send in entries. Mail them to momchef77@gmail.com. In case you have difficulty linking your entries via linky tool, please do ping me at the same ID.

Look forward to all your yummilicious entries,

Cheers

Kalyani


April 27, 2013

Art stuff by kiddo, and a proud mom presents :-)))

This post falls under "Miscellaneous / Art" in a Food Blog. And although it was a long time coming, want to proudly present some of my elder daughter's art (mainly water colours) which she has made under the watchful eyes of her art teacher at home.... Given that I delayed posting this although these were ready, I thought what better time than Blogging Marathon to display these to my blogger friends :-))) 

Pssst - the real reason is if were to draw......eh ..... :-))))) ,, Lets not even talk about it.. ha ha haha... I can draw decent rangolis, stitch a bit.. But my mom and my daughter are more of the arty types at home.. Doesnt that gene skip a generation :))

April 26, 2013

Mor Milagai | Buttermilk Sundried Chillies | How to make Mor Milagai - Easy Condiments

Mor Milagai (or sun dried chillies - flavoured with buttermilk and salt) is a South Indian Condiment made mostly in the states of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Although made through the year, its made in large batches in Summer when the sun provides ample and quick heat to dry these beauties. Its a very simple condiment to make and can be preserved for almost an year like any other pickle / condiment. 

To use this, take out small batches of these sun dried chillies and fry in little oil. Use with Thayir Saadam (Curd Rice). I love to sink my teeth into these salted beauties along with KeeraiSambhar (Lentil and Greens curry) but S likes them with Mor Kali (a steamed rice flour snack). So, literally making hay while the sun shines, lets get to making this quick condiment and send it to BM#26

Prep time : 10 mins | Soaking and Drying time : 3 - 5 days | Makes : Approx 60- 80 gms of dried condiment
Can be stored : Upto an year without refrigeration.



April 9, 2013

Ugadi Manga Pachadi | Ugadi Festival Recipe, and a peek into a South Indian Thali (Food Platter)

Before we get on to the post of the day, let me take you through how Traditional dishes in South India have evolved, and how they form part of any formal sit down meal – be it at festivals or any occasion. My personal take is that, like any other food across the world, Indian cuisine too has a certain order the dishes are served, especially in South Indian cuisine – the chutneys and pachadis are served after salt / pickle to tickle the senses – to bring the hot, fiery, tarty, spicy flavours all in one go, and perk up the appetite much as an appetiser or soup would do.

The proteins and carbs are followed with Rice, ghee (clarified butter – meant to line the stomach against acidity) with the Sambhar (Lentils – Veggie gravy) & Morkozhambu (yoghurt gravy) which are again light on the stomach yet packed with punch with simple earthy flavours before the oil from the deep fried papad(or vadas) and the flavoured rice like Puliyogare or Chitranna are served.

The requisite fat comes from the fried papad, and the fibre from the different stir fries (or Palya / Curry) or Usli from mostly green vegetables that are just steamed and tossed with minimum oil. Sometimes it could include a few root vegetables like Potato (which are again, never fried but sautéed and tempered).

The journey goes on with Rasam (light lentil broth – meant both to soothe your throat as well as to aid in digestion from the copiuous cumin and coriander used in there) and then the Thayirvadais (deep fried lentil vadas soaked in spiced yoghurt and tempered) all making their appearance in quick succession along with payasam (kheer) to soothe your palate after all the spice and the meal ends with cooling and soothing buttermilk or curd. In all, a wholesome balanced meal and a gratifying experience, isn’t it ?

Its the beginning of another week at the April Mega Blogging Marathon and the theme is “Traditional Dishes”. Guess this theme has no boundaries for India is such a vibrant country with festivals in almost every month and each household having its own traditions to celebrate them with a variety of platter.

I have chosen those traditional recipes which are made in my home, and we start with a yummy finger licking chutney (or pachadi as its known) with Raw Mangoes. Made for Ugadi (or the Hindu New year), this lipsmacking chutney is sure to tickle your palate as you prepare for the sit-down meal after the Pooja (or worship) is completed on Ugadi. Lets get on with the recipe for Ugadi Manga Pachadi


April 6, 2013

Oats Masala Vadai | Savoury Oats Fritters | Quick Tea time snacks


Oats in a different form. And deep fried delight. Its quite an oxymoron, isnt it ? Healthy fried delight... Try this out and you would love it. Oats is a standard ingredient in my grocery shopping and I keep looking for healthier and tasty ways to include it in our diet. 
After Oats Moong Tikki , Oats Upma , Oats Pongal and Oats Dosa, it was time for some indulgence. And what a protein packed and fibre rich snack it turned out to be. Its the Paruppu Vadai  / Aama Vadai (Lentil fritters) but with a twist.. Suited for parties and potlucks, this goes well with Coconut Chutney or Green Chutney.  Sending it to Day 6 of April Mega Marathon here.
Also to Mir who is hosting What's With My Cuppa

Prep time : 2 hours (soaking) + 15 mins grinding | Fry time : 15 mins | Makes : 20 Vadais
Spice level : Medium
Difficulty level : Easy

Ingredients:
Toor Dal / split pigeon pea- 1/4 cup
Channa Dal / Bengal gram - 1/4 cup
Oats - 3/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Fennel seeds (Saunf) - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 1 or 2 (adjust spice)
Green chillies -  2 or 3
Onions - 2 medium (finely chopped)
Oil - to deep fry

Method:
Soak the Dals with red chillies in warm water for 2 hours. Drain.
Dry Roast the Oats for 4 - 5 mins just so they turn warm to the touch. Cool in a wide plate. 
Soak Oats in water for 15 mins before grinding - the water should be adequate enough to just wet the Oats.
Grind the drained lentils with all other ingredients except onions and oil to a coarse mixture
Transfer the ground mixture and add chopped onions and mix well. 
Check for salt and spice level. Refrigerate for 15 mins.
Meanwhile heat the oil for frying (approx 2 cups) to medium hot
Make small flat roundels and fry the roundels (or vadais) till golden brown & crisp
Drain on absorbent paper
Enjoy hot with a cup of tea 

April 5, 2013

Watermelon & Ginger Punch | Summer Coolers


Whats a  party without a fruit punch ? Having served quick bites for the Mega Marathon last 4 days, I thought time for a drink. And make the best of the season with one of my favourite fruits - Watermelon. Watermelon juice by itself is quite boring isn't it ? Why not spice it up with a few more ingredients, and you have a nice summery cooler that's quite the toast at any party - birthdays / potlucks / events. Quick to make and easy on the tummy too, this is a great digestive as it contains coolant and digestive agents too.. Try it out, and let me know how you liked it. .. Sending it to 
Day 5 of the month long marathon happening here 
My own event Summer Splash & Giveaway & Soumya's Celebrate - Summer


Prep time : 10 mins , no Cook | Serves : 4


Ingredients:
Ripe Watermelon - cubed : 4 cups
Litchi Crush - 4 TBSP
Ginger grated - 1 TBSP
Black Salt - to taste
Roasted Jeera (cumin) powder - 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves – 4 to 5
Pomegranate pearls - 2 handfuls
Ice cubes - as required

Method:
Simply liquidise all ingredients except ice with 2 cups of water  
Filter and chill for 10 mins
Add ice as required before serving 
Enjoy

April 4, 2013

Bread Dahi Wada | Quick Kids Snacks | Bread Dahi Vada


A quick to make and tongue tickling snack - Bread Dahi Vada is simply breathtaking in its simplicity and also satiates that craving for quick snacks - both for kids and adults. Bread (in most forms) is one of mine and kiddo's fav ingredient, and finds itself often to cutlets and tikkis as base. But this is the first time bread is the star of this dish, and how !! With the scorching summer bearing us down, this cooling snack is sure to be a hit with your family too..  This is also a great option to make for birthday parties and / or potlucks and can pretty much be made in advance (sans the yoghurt of course, which can be added 30 mins before serving)

Sending this to Mega Blogging Marathon under Birthday Party Ideas. Let's get to the recipe now.. and check out the marathoners here
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prep time - 15 mins
Cook time - 15 mins
Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Easy
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ingredients:
  • Bread slices - 6 nos (I used white bread)
  • Red Onion - 1 minced
  • Salt - to taste (I used 1/2 TBSP of black salt)
  • Curd / yoghurt - 3/4 cup (slightly sweet)
  • Chaat Masala - 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - to shallow fry
Topping :
  • Sev / Farsan + coriander leaves
  • Pomogrante pearls
  • Red chilli powder + Chaat Masala
  • Green & Dates Chutney - 4 TBSP each

Method:

(A) To make the Vadas:
1) Soak the bread slices in water for 25 - 30 seconds and quickly squeeze out all the water.
2) Crumble these bread slices. To it add chopped onion, lemon juice, chaat masala, jeera powder, red chilli powder and bring it to a patties kind of consistency. 
3) Divide the patties into equal sized portions and flatten them up.
3) Heat an iron tava / skillet and shallow fry the patties in a little oil till they turn golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. 

(B) To assemble the Dahi Vada:
1) Place one or two patties in a large flat dish. I prefer individual portions to a large dish else the vadas get soggy.
2) Beat the yoghurt with a pinch of salt and chaat masala. Spoon in 3 - 4 TBSP of spiced yoghurt. Top with chopped coriander, a bit of the chutneys, sev/ farsan and serve immediately.  

Note: 
1) You may also bake the patties if you so wish.
2) Chill the yoghurt for best results. If the curd is slightly sour, add 1/2 tsp of sugar while whisking it before topping the fried vadas.
 A quick to make and tongue tickling snack - Bread Dahi Vada is simply breathtaking in its simplicity and also satiates that craving for quick snacks - both for kids and adults. Bread (in most forms) is one of mine and kiddo's fav ingredient, and finds itself often to cutlets and tikkis as base. But this is the first time bread is the star of this dish, and how !! With the scorching summer bearing us down, this cooling snack is sure to be a hit with your family too..  This is also a great option to make for birthday parties and / or potlucks and can pretty much be made in advance (sans the yoghurt of course, which can be added 30 mins before serving)

Sending this to Mega Blogging Marathon under Birthday Party Ideas. Let's get to the recipe now.. and check out the marathoners here
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prep time - 15 mins
Cook time - 15 mins
Serves - 3
Difficulty level - Easy
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ingredients:
  • Bread slices - 6 nos (I used white bread)
  • Red Onion - 1 minced
  • Salt - to taste (I used 1/2 TBSP of black salt)
  • Curd / yoghurt - 3/4 cup (slightly sweet)
  • Chaat Masala - 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - to shallow fry
Topping :
  • Sev / Farsan + coriander leaves
  • Pomogrante pearls
  • Red chilli powder + Chaat Masala
  • Green & Dates Chutney - 4 TBSP each
Method:

(A) To make the Vadas:
1) Soak the bread slices in water for 15 - 20 seconds and quickly squeeze out all the water.
2) Crumble these bread slices. To it add chopped onion, lemon juice, chaat masala, jeera powder, red chilli powder and bring it to a patties kind of consistency. 
3) Divide the patties into equal sized portions and flatten them up.
3) Heat an iron tava / skillet and shallow fry the patties in a little oil till they turn golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. 

(B) To assemble the Dahi Vada:
1) Place one or two patties in a large flat dish. I prefer individual portions to a large dish else the vadas get soggy.
2) Beat the yoghurt with a pinch of salt and chaat masala. Spoon in 3 - 4 TBSP of spiced yoghurt and let the vadas soak for 15 - 30 mins. 
3) Top with chopped coriander, a bit of the chutneys, sev/ farsan and serve immediately.  

Note: 
1) You may also bake the patties if you so wish.
2) Chill the yoghurt for best results. If the curd is slightly sour, add 1/2 tsp of sugar while whisking it before topping the fried vadas.



April 3, 2013

Low fat Honey Chilli Pepper Wrap

The name sounds long. But its filled with yummy goodness and is a favourite with kids in a birthday party as well for school lunchbox. Easy to make ahead, all you need to do is assemble the stuff to serve. You may grill the same to slightly melt the cheese, else even warm the bread just before serving. . Addition of mayonnaise is optional, but as we dont eat even the eggless version at home, I skipped it. 
Also, to make it more spicier you may add in Red and Green Chilli Sauce and anything else that fancies your palate. So, what are you waiting for? Try this out once,and am sure you will have your kids come back for more. Makes for a perfect birthday party snack that even adults can enjoy :-) Sending this to Blogging Mega Marathon - Day 3 under "Birthday Treats" theme.

Prep time : 15 mins | Grill time : 5 mins | Serves : 2
Difficulty level : Easy


Ingredients:
Long Sub bread / Bread roll - 2 nos
Butter - 1 or 2 TBSP - melted
Cheese - 2 slices
Lettuce leaves - 2 to 3 nos (washed and wiped)
Tomato slices - 4 to 6
Bell Peppers roundels - 3 to 4
Cucumbers - slit flat and thin - few pieces
Black or green olives - diced thin (optional - I didnt add)
Honey - 2 TBSP (you could alternatively use Golden Syrup)
Crushed Black Pepper - 2 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Tomato Ketchup - 2 TBSP + to serve with

Notes: To make a great wrap, ensure all veggies are cut before hand and chilled adequately under a cling wrap - use only as much as required per wrap and refriegrate the rest. Add salt to the sub just before grilling to prevent soggy wraps.

Method:
Slice the bread roll or sub bread lengthwise along one side without separating the halves.
Drizzle honey on the upper half of the cut portion.
Apply melted butter on the cut portions.
Add tomato ketchup on the same.
Now add the lettuce leaves, tomato slices, bell peppers and cucumbers. Drizzle adequate salt and black pepper (remember the cheese and tomato ketchup are both loaded with salt, so use moderately).
Now place the cheese slice
Close the roll
Grill slightly on a tava (skillet) or oven for 4-5 mins till cheese melts a bit
Slice up into bite sized portions and Serve hot with tomato ketchup



April 2, 2013

Aloo Tikki - Choley | Spicy Potato Patties served with White Peas gravy


Ah ! The joys of eating... brings forth so many memories. And Aloo Tikki - Choley is quintessentially Chandini Chowk, in Old Delhi. Simmering in oil on glistening tavas (skillets), the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk are a gastronomical delight come alive. Although I have visited that place just once, the memories linger on, and I keep making plans to visit that place sometime when Delhi is a lot more pleasant (Oct - Feb types). Alas, the plans keep withering down, but given a chance , I would dash to this place to bite into succulent chaats and fiery parathas that give a run for your money and tickle your palates endlessly too !

And thus spoke the foodie in me. Chaats evoke that feeling that no other food cant. And for potato lovers, this is heaven come alive. Crisp, spicy on the outside and soft and succulent on the inside , these tikkis are shallow fried and served with varying chutneys (sauces) on top and drizzled with lemon juice and chat masala. Sure to be a hit with the kids and adults alike at any party, this goes to BM # 27 under "Birthday Party Ideas" theme. Suited for potlucks too. Let's get going then...

Tikkis : 1/2 hour prep time + 1/2 hour fry time;
Choley : 8 - 10 hours soaking, 1/2 hour  + 15 mins - cook time
Serves : 6
Spice level : Medium

Spicy Potato Patties served with White Peas Gravy

Ingredients:

Choley :
Dry peas - 2 cups
Oil - 4 tsp
Soda - 1/2 tsp
Tomato - 4 ripe - pureed
Onions - 2 large - minced
Salt - to taste
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 TBSP
Minced Green Chillies - 1/2 TBSP

Dry Masalas:
Garam Masala Powder - 2 TBSP
Red Chilli powder - 1 TBSP
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 TBSP
Kitchen King Masala - 1/2 TBSP
Amchur / Dry Mango Powder - 1/2 TBSP
Dry Anardana Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder / Dhania powder - 2 TBSP
Clove powder - 1/2 tsp

For the Tikki:
Potatoes - 3/4 kg - boiled , peeled and grated
Boiled Peas - 1/4 cup
Onions - 2 large, minced
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Green chillies - 2 or 3 - chopped fine
Cashews - 4 to5  - broken into bits
Oil - to shallow fry
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder, Garam Masala powder - each 1 TBSP
Coriander leaves

For Topping:
Coriander leaves
Sev / Ompudi
Lemon juice
Minced Onions
Green Chutney
Tamarind dates Chutney

Method:
(A) For Choley :
Soak white peas overnight. Pressure cook with little salt and soda for 6-8 whistles or till soft and slightly mushy. Once cooked, drain the water and reserve.
In the pan, heat oil. Fry Onions till translucent. Add ginger Garlic paste, chillies, and saute till raw smell disappears. Now add the tomato puree (For the puree - run the chopped tomatoes in a liquidiser and strain to remove the seeds) and saute till oil leaves the sides. Now add turmeric, boiled white peas and the dry masala powders.
Mix well and cook covered for 8 - 10 mins till a nice thick gravy is formed, Add in the reserved water from the cooked peas if required. If the gravy turns to be too runny, grind a handful of cooked peas and add it back to the gravy till the required consistency is obtained. Transfer to serving bowl.

(B) For Tikki:
Grate the peeled and boiled potatoes into a large bowl.Add all other ingredients except oil. Divide into equal portions and make small tikkis. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Just before serving, shallow fry them in oil.

Serve hot topped with lemon juice, chutneys, chopped onions along with Ragda or Chole. Enjoy :-)


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