Monday, December 31, 2007

Kaju Katli N Orangy-Cashew Cookies


Kaju Katli is a sweet which is liked by most of us! My full family just loves it. When Pooja posted her easy recipe I had to give it a try, sooner or later--well later I did! Thanks Pooja...this recipe is a true winner. My hubby too liked this home made Katlis a lot.

Ingredients :
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp milk
Chandi Varq

Method :
Grease a small thali/plate with ghee and keep aside.
Kajus are soaked in water for half an hour, drained and spread on a paper towel. In dry jar of a grinder, grind together the sugar and cashews. If there is difficulty in grinding, add only 1 tsp (not more) of milk and coarsely grind it. In a kadhai , take 1 tsp ghee, heat it, add this mixture.
Keep stirring on low or medium flame, till it bubbles and leaves sides of pan. (takes only 5-6 minutes). Transfer immediately onto the greased plate. Flatten it with aid of a spatula, spreading the mixture uniformly in the plate.
Allow to cool completely. Place the varq on it. Cut into shape of your choice. Refrigerate.
This will take one day to firm up. It will then look as above..firm to hold, not chewy at all, very very cashewy!!! Just like Katlis from a sweet vendor!!


The second recipe is from the best blog Shilpa of AR, whose maximum recipes I have tried and they always, without fail turn out best!
These cookies needed orange zest, for which I used orange soaked in warm water, it was easy job to peel off the orange part of skin only, which I later passed through my food processor to shred into more bits. It was fun while baking them, more fun to watch hubby and kids say hmmm-nice ones while eating it. These have only cashews as I didn't have pecans at the time of baking these. They have a mild orange flavour to it, with cashews to munch on and the rest of it just melting away in the mouth!!!!

(Please use accurate measures to obtain delicious cookies)

Ingredients :
2 cups maida
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbspn orange zest (ie zest of 1 medium sized orange)
1 cup cashew (coarsely ground)
1 tsp salt
1 egg

Method :
Sieve maida,baking powder and salt together. Keep aside. Coarsely grind the cashews, keep aside. With an electric beater, cream the sugar and butter. Keep beating on lowest settings, add egg, orange zest, flour mixture spoon by spoon. Finally add the cashews and mix well.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F(170 deg C for my oven). Make small lime sized balls.
Line the baking sheet with waxed paper/parchment paper. Place these pedhas with good space as they tend to spread triple the size. Bake for 15 minutes or till the sides turn golden brown, remove and cool on a wire rack.
If the middle part looks mushy, it will gradually firm up on cooling.

In a dry airtight jar, store these 30 yummy cookies !
Every time the jar is opened a nice aroma fills the place , reeling your senses!!!!





Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

This poem had been in my school text-book which I found while googling. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote this poem around in 1850 and associates with the New Year Eve very well!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Puttu Kadala / Rice-Coconut Tube with Chana Curry

'Puttu-Kadala' is a Famous Keralaite Breakfast item... Puttu is layered coconut rice mixture steamed in a special mould called 'Puttu Mould' and Kadala is Malayalam for Chana-Black one or Kabooli one. The traditional Kadala curry is made out of black chana which is very tasty and nutritious too!

I prepared it from Kabooli / Choley chana as black ones were over...hubby and kids love this Kabooli chana so much so that the moment it is out of pressure cooker all the three have a bowl ready in their hands to eat the plain salted ones!!

I learnt to make this from my mother-in-law who cooks any dish fabulously!

Ingredients for Kadala Curry :
2 cups chickpeas/ chana (Black/Kabooli)
1 small tomato
3/4th cup coconut
5 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
Tadka Ingredients:
1 tbspn Coconut oil
1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
7-8 pearl onions/cheriulli
2 sprig curry leaves

Method for Kadala curry :

Soak the chana in warm water overnight in large vessel as they swell up a lot. Boil upto 8 whistles in a pressure cooker, using sufficient water in the cooker and double water in the vessel with a tsp of salt. Cooked one doubles up in size as you see in the pic.

Next step is to grind the coconut with half measure water with the coriander and red chilli powder into a fine paste. Add this coconut paste to the boiled chana, add chopped tomato and bring to one boil. Finely chop the cheriulli. In a seasoning pan, heat the coconut oil, pop the mustard seeds, add the curry leaves and lastly add the onions and fry till brown. Add to the boiling curry, adjust salt. Cover the lid for flavours to mingle.

This delicious Kadala curry is ready to be served alongside Puttu.

Ingredients for Puttu :
2 1/2 cups rice flour
1 big coconut scraped
300 ml Lukewarm water

Method to make Puttu:

Take rice flour in a big vessel or a large plate, add around 1 1/2 tsp salt (or as per your taste) mix well. Add water little by little, using hands, mix it into the flour it should resemble bread crumbs and ensure that all the powder has been uniformly sprinkled with water. Use more water if needed.Keep aside.

(left-right Pic : Rice powder ready, coconut kept ready, puttu maker with the water boiling attachment)

Take the puttu maker, layer the coconut first around 1/2 to 1 cm thick, then 3 cms of rice mixture, then again 1 cm coconut, repeat rice mixture, last layer finish off with coconut upto the brim.

Keep the boiling attachment on gas with 3/4th water till it boils, lower the flame, keep this puttu maker and cover the lid. In ten minutes steam arises from the lid. Allow two minutes and put off the gas. Invert it slowly over a plate and using the long spatula handle slowly push out the puttu on a plate. Repeat the process for next puttu. This measure gives an yield of 6 puttu.

Have your fill with a cuppa !!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Vanilla Choco Chip Muffins / Cupcakes

With lots of baking going on around in blogosphere, I wasn't far away after I controlled drooling!!It called for immediate action after I found this lovely Vanilla Cup cake recipe which I made the moment I finished reading it...It comes from a fast-on-blog Blogger, Deeba, who has a lovely blog full of baked goodies, non-veg and all so beautifully taken pictures! Passionate Baker is what she calls herself and apt title! Thanks Deeba for sharing such a lovely recipe, the muffins simply vanished away!!
I have added Hersheys Semi-Sweet chocolate chips in these so that my two tiny angels have it. But chips or not, they are totally crazy for cakes!! The best part was the paper came clean off without any crumbs of the cake on it-making me believe all the more that its a purrrrfecctttt recipe for muffins!!

Ingredients :
2 cups maida
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup butter at room temp
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
150 gms semi-sweet chocolate chips (Hersheys')

Method :
Prepare the muffin trays by lining them or greasing them. Pre-heat the oven to 190 deg C.
Sieve the maida,salt and baking powder thrice and keep aside. Cream butter and sugar well, add vanilla and eggs. The settings on lowest speed, mix in flour mix and milk alternately in three lots beating until creamy. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill each muffin cup till 3/4th part is filled.
Bake for 20-25 mins. ( I did mine in 25 minutes each, 6 muffin tray, baking at 170 deg C). Remove and cool immediately on a wire rack. The chips will settle down at the bottom. I got exact 18 regular muffins from the above measure!

Best Tip : If the muffin cup is empty say 5 muffins, 1 free, then place little water in that empty one to ensure even baking!!

Experts decorate their muffins with melted chocolate or pipe decorations!! :)

All the choco chips merrily settled at the bottom of the muffin!



Pesarattu/Moong Daal Dosa and RidgeGourd Skin chutney

The morning sunrays are golden yellowish so are these dosas! These are also liked a lot at my place. The origin seems to be from Tamilnaad-Andhra, few Kerailites too prepare this with variation in the ingredients. The one I keep making is adapted from Shilpa's - Aayis Recipes.
This dosa is a winner and here to stay!!

Ingredients :
1 cup split moong daal
1 cup dosa rice
2 medium onions
2 green chillies
2" fresh ginger root
1 tsp jeera
8-9 strands of fresh coriander

Method :
Wash rice and daal together and soak overnight. In the morning, grind along with chopped ginger ,chillies and coriander leaves. Take the batter in another vessel, mix in the salt, jeera and minced onions. Prepare dosas by cooking on both sides.
I served it along with Gosalya Sheerey Chutney. (as we say in Konkani)

i.e The Ridge Gourd Skin is retained. Cut in small pieces, roasted a bit in a tsp oil. I have used two medium sized Gourd skins. The coconut and jeera are dry roasted for more flavour.

Chutney is made by grinding (use little water) the skin along with coconut(3/4th cup) , jeera(3 tsp) , tamarind(marble sized), jaggery (2 tsp) . This chutney can be eaten along with rice as a side dish tadka involved.

Have a nutritious dosa!!!

Sada Dosa And Jhatpat Uttappa

The most common way to made dosa is below. Some of my friends make with ratio differing, but I find this measure convenient. 1:2 for idli, 1:3 for simple dosa. Here goes the recipe!

Ingredients :
3 cups dosa rice
1 cup urad daal

Method :
Soak the daal and rice together for 6-7 hours. Grind to smooth paste. Leave overnight for fermenting. Make dosas using oil, flip and cook on both sides.

Serve with chutney and sambhar.

Now what I do the next day or same day evening is I mince two medium sized onions, chop two tomatoes and one green chilli. This is for a change. I call this Jhatpat uttappa!
I take a bowl of batter and add the onions,tomatoes and green chilli. I spread it just like dosa, flip and cook on both sides.

Serve hot along with chutney!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bread Dosa

Its cold and these dosas are warming enough as a good breakfast! This golden dosa is made from leftover bread. I had 6 slices on my countertop, not sufficient to feed 4 of us....hence again, Shilpa's bread dosa, (her recipe here) , came to my quick aid...(I have skipped curd, have used water instead!)
These are tasty, as in the sides are crisp and tastes of bread,ginger,spice, and the center is soft and melting!! Such is the dosa effect with change in ingredients basic or main, and we surely get a treat out of them!

Ingredients :
6 slices of bread
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup rava
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Water to grind

5 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp rai
1 tsp urad daal
1/2 " fresh ginger-chopped fine
1 medium sized onion -chopped fine

Method :
Soak the bread slices in water and squeeze off the excess water. Grind along with water, rice flour, rava and chilli powder. (Shilpa has used one cup curd to grind this to a batter)
Transfer to a vessel, add sufficient water to bring to a dosa consistency, add salt. Season the tadka ingr. in the same order, browning the onions and then add it to the dosa batter.
Make dosas with oil, frying well on both sides.
Eat with chutney of your choice/ honey. Tastes deliciousssly breaddy..(Haa..there is no such word..)

Enjoy hot on a cold day!!! Brrrrrrrrrrrr.....Happy Winter!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rava Dosa

Ingredients :
1 cup fine rava
1 cup rice flour
2-3 tbspn maida
1 small onion finely chopped
1 inch ginger finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped

Method :
In a vessel, mix rava, rice flour, maida, onion, ginger, chilli with water into a liquid batter. Water should be three or four times the dry ingredients.
Heat a non-stick pan, sprinkle half tsp oil, pour one ladle onto the pan, move the pan in circular motion to spread the batter evenly. Cook on both sides, serve with coconut chutney.

I like this dosa as a timesaver, the ingredients hardly takes any time to be put together, plus we get tasty crispy dosas.

Perfect for dosa lovers who fall short of time for preparing the elaborate ones!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Avacado Dosa

The above picture is of a Dosa which has Avocado fruit mixed along in the batter (the inset photo has batter on the left, Avocado seeds just for its beauty, were thrown away later and the yummy Avocado Dosa with Ketchup) Wiki here for details about the fruit. The pista colour part of this fruit is used, the skin and seed discarded.

This is made with reference taken from Aayis Recipes- Shilpa.

3 cups dosa rice
1 cup urad daal
1 big avacado


Rice and daal are to be soaked for 5 hours, after which they are ground into a fine paste, salt added and left overnight to ferment.

Skin and deseed the Avocado and grind the pulp to a smooth paste and add to batter. It feels like butter to hands!! Gives a pleasant pista green colour to the batter. Shilpa has asked to add 2 or more Avocados for prominent taste of this fruit.
Make thin dosas. Serve with chutney of your choice.

One more unique breakfast item!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Benne Dosa / Butter Dosa

Benne in Kannada means Butter in English. :D There there.. I have increased my GK!!
This one is from Aayis Recipes fame Shilpa again...whats special in this one? Its simply Butterlicious, Super crispy and the aftertaste that lingers on for much longer !! I did not make the stuffing or chutney due to time crunch...but please follow the original recipe here. Has more details...I made only the basic dosa, which was more than delicious!

Ingredients :
2 cups dosa rice
1 cup urad daal
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup maida
1 pinch baking soda
Method :
Wash and soak dal and rice separately for 3 hours. First grind the daal to a fine paste, rice to follow suit. Mix the two well in a mixing bowl, add rice flour, maida and salt. Mix well and leave it overnight to ferment. In the morning, just prior to making dosas, add the soda and mix well.

Heat a non stick pan, spread the batter, drop 1/4th tsp of butter over it flip and let the dosa get done. Serve hot with any chutney.. I have served honey as this was for kids. Also I have used Amul butter as it has a bit of salt in it and the taste of salted butter is what gels for all at home!!

*Serve with utterly-butterly love :)*

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bacchanga Godu Polo Ani Teek Polo/ Water Melon Dosa-Sweet Version & Spicy Version

Sweet Dosa - Watermelon

Bacchang is Konkani word for Watermelon. Red part of melon is consumed as a fruit by most of us, the white part is retained, skinned, cubed and used for making these dosas which can be made sweet OR spicy as per our needs..Usually the spicy ones are served as breakfast item and the sweet version is served in evening with tea as a snack at my place.

The credit for this recipe goes to my Amma, and I have taken help pertaining to measures from Shilpa's blog. Her version of dosa with Red part is here.

My kids and hubby like to have the 'God-a' sweet version of it more over the 'Teek' i.e spicy version.

Recipe For Sweet Dosa :

Ingredients :
2 cups dosa rice
1 cup freshly scraped/dessicated coconut
1 1/2 cups cubed white part of melon
4 tbspn heaped shaved jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder
Oil / Ghee

Method :
Wash and soak rice for 5 hours. Grind along with all ingredients except the elaichi/cardamom powder. Add cardamom powder just when you are about to make dosas for more flavour.
Heat a non-stick pan, spread the batter, add oil or ghee, flip until cooked on both sides. It can be eaten without any chutney, alone.

Top : White pcs of water melon skinned and cubed, fresh coconut scraped.
Below : One tsp cardamom powder and Jaggery.

Recipe For Spicy Dosa :

Ingredients :
2 cups dosa rice
1 cup freshly scraped/dessicated coconut
1 1/2 cups cubed white part of melon
1" ginger piece
3-4 green chillies
Oil / Ghee

Method :
Wash and soak rice for 5 hours. Grind all ingredients except the salt. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add/adjust salt.
Heat tava, spread the batter, add oil, flip until cooked on both sides. This dosa tastes good with watery mango pickle.

Top : White pcs of water melon skinned and cubed, fresh coconut scraped.
Below : One tsp salt, ginger and green chillies

I do not have an after Photo of Spicy version.

Enjoy these Dosas either Sweet or Savoury !!


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Neerulli Dosa With Ulli Chamanthi /Onion Dosa with Onion Chutney

Kannada dosa with Malayali chutney :D --- clarification --> Neerulli is Kannada for onion, Ulli is Malayalam for onion! Hence Karnataka ka Onion Dosa with Kerala ki Onion Chutney!

Shilpa has a weekly which has over 50+ dosas, she has been posting authentic traditional ones along with few tried and tested ones from the weekly like this Onion Dosa...being a thorough lover of dosa and maximum of my recipes which I have tried out are from her blog, are a huge hit at home. I would again like to thank you- SHILPA for all your efforts, trials and hardwork behind posting these with stepwise explanation as well as photos where needed!

1 cup dosa rice
1 cup toor daal
1 cup chana daal
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup freshly scraped / dessicated coconut
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
3-4 red chillies(bedgi for color)
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
Oil for making dosas

Dosa- Method :
Wash and soak rice, toor daal and chana daal for 5 hours. Grind into a smooth dosa consistency batter and leave for 1 hour. Grind the coconut, red chillies, onion and tamarind into a paste of sauce consistency along with salt and mix to the batter. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves to the batter. (Shilpa has ground the coriander as well-we like it this way, hence tweaked it a bit). Heat a non-stick tava and prepare dosas flipping on both sides till golden brown.

Ulli Chamanthi-Ingredients:
1 large red onion
4-5 red chillies (bedgi)

Ulli Chamanthi- Method
Slice the onions, in a pan, heat around a tsp of oil and fry these onions till golden brown, add the chillies. Put off the flame, allow to cool. Once cooled, grind finely into a paste, add salt. Thats all ....simple and fast..a treat to tastebuds! I love this chamanthi -its the best for me!!

Now without wasting a single minute, eat the hot ONION dosas with this lovely ONION chutney!! Absolutely filling and heavenly breakfast!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Paann Polo / Neer Dosa / Rice Dosa

Paann Polo is a common Konkani (Karnataka) breakfast item, which is very fast and easy to prepare. Polo is Konkani for dosa. The speciality of this dosa is it has very watery batter and is cooked only on one side with coconut oil for good flavour. It is prepared from normal rice (non-basmati) / 'Surai Tandoolu' as we say in Konkani. This recipe is from my Amma, whose Paannpolo's are worth vying for!

Ingredients :
1 cup dosa / sona musoori rice
3 tbspn coconut -fresh scraped/dessicated
4 cups water
Coconut Oil

Method :
Wash the rice and soak for 3-4 hours. Grind with little water and coconut. Add salt to taste.
Transfer to another vessel, add the water cup by cup and stir. Keep aside for 20 minutes.
Heat a non-stick tava, flame-medium, sprinkle/spray a tsp of coconut oil, pour the batter with ladle, alternately hold the handle of tava and with cirular wrist movement, spread the batter.
Cover the tava, after a minute or two, uncover, sprinkle some more drops of oil. These dosas stay white in color, so don't let them burn- then with a spatula,
fold it over the other side to look half and again fold it to one-fourth. Set aside on a plate.

Serve it with honey / watery mango pickle or chutney.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Mysore Pak - Porus N Crunchy Version

My love for sweets is unfathomable! Whichever blogger posts a sweet dish within my capacity, I ensure to prepare it!! My favourite blogger, Shilpa of Aayis Recipes, came up with simple stepwise description along with beautiful pictures of each steps.. I wasn't far from making these.

The first time I prepared these, I was not able to take pictures. Yesterday I made them again and my hubby and kids, who stood guard to the kitchen , were saying Aaaaa Aaaaa with their mouth open wide and forefinger pointing towards the open mouth like some baby birds asking for food!!! It looked totally hilarious....considering the fact that these were very hot..they enjoyed every bit or bite of it!!! Next thing I did was to drive all away from kitchen promising their share for next day!

Shilpa - I thank you as an avid reader of your blog and for making this dish so easy to prepare.
Please click here for stepwise pictures which Shilpa at AR has provided.

Ingredients :
1 cup gram flour/ besan
1 cup ghee
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
Ghee for greasing

Procedure :
1. Grease a plate(6-8" diameter) if it is being used. Or Place a steel strainer/sieve which is not funnel or basket shaped but round shaped and has close knitted wire made of SS at base. (Usually used to sieve flour in Indian households) and place it on a wider plate, tilted at an angle-the idea is to drain the excess ghee once the mysorepak is done.

2. In a small pan, heat the ghee to melt it and keep it handy with a tablespoon in it.
Keep the elaichi powder handy as well.

3. In a non-stick pan, take one tsp ghee and add the gram flour/besan. On a low flame, roast the besan stirring continuously till an aroma is given out and the gram flour turns light brown. At this stage, put off the flame, transfer the roasted besan to a plate.(Not to leave beasan in hot pan as it may burn)

4. In a heavy bottom kadhai, mix the sugar and water and place on medium flame. Mix until the sugar dissolves. When the water boils evenly, i.e on rapid boiling, lower the flame, add the roasted besan and mix gently so that all besan is uniformly mixed into the sugar water.

5. Keep stirring. Keep adding one tablespoon ghee at a time and stir until ghee is incorporated into the mixture. Repeat the ghee till all one cup is done. Keep stirring until the air from mixture vanishes and it starts leaving sides of the kadhai.

6. This is a very important step - Keep stirring even if the mixture has left the sides and check for 'honey comb stage'. ie..The mixture will start resembling a bee hive or honey comb, it is just then that the mixture is done and immediately put off the gas, add the cardamom powder, mix well, immediately pour into the strainer/sieve that is set on a plate.

7. Pat the mixture flat with the spatula and in five minutes, when still warm, score it with knife into desirable shape (square, diamond or rectangular)

8. Let it cool completely ..which might be in half an hour to one hour and break it into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Its tough on the outside, porus inside, mouth melting- aromatic-crunchy sweet that all age groups can enjoy!

***Relish on the same with family and friends!!!!****

Mysore Pak inside the jar.


Brown Rice and Barley Dosa

This unique ingredient dosa came from a delightful blogger, Manjula of Dalitoy. She along with Shilpa and Vee has quite a lot of her authentic traditonal Konkani dishes and many other nutrition packed dishes too.
Not only the above dosa is nutrition and fibre packed, its equally a winner where taste is kids love it as a crispy dosa and this is prepared every two weeks at my place.

Thanks to Manjula for posting this simple yet healthy dosa!

Ingredients :
1 cup brown rice
1 cup barley
1 cup urad daal
1 tsp methi seeds

Method :
Wash and soak brown rice and barley together for 10 hours. Wash udad daal and methi together and soak for same time. Grind the brown rice and barley with little water as water is sustained in these during soaking. Obtaining a rava texture is normal. Grind the urad-methi mixture with enough water to obtain dosa consistency, mix the two batter together adjust salt and water. Leave overnight or for 10-12 hours to ferment.
Prepare dosas frying both sides using oil sparingly, serve with chutney and sambhar or with any accompaniment of your choice.

Njoi hot dosas with a cup of tea/coffee !!!!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Methi Dosa / Uluva Dosa (Fenugreek Dosa)

The first time I ate dosa with Methi seeds ground in batter was post first delivery. It did not taste a bit bitter as opposed to my imagination and put me back in action.
When I saw the same dosa in Dosa Corner of Aayis Recipes, couldn't resist but to make it!
My family including my kids enjoyed it. Thanks for posting Shilpa.

3 cups dosa rice
1/2 cup udad daal
1 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar

Soak the first three ingredients-rice,daal,methi for 5 hours and grind it with water to make dosa consistency batter. Add sugar and baking soda , ferment it overnight.
Make dosas the following day. Use vegetable oil or ghee, fry both the sides. Serve hot with chutney of your choice. At my place kids love dosa only with tomato ketchup hence the first serving is tomato ketchup and alongside is the white serving, which is readymade garlic dip.

A healthy dosa..enjoy!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Karela (Bitter Gourd) Subzi / Karatya Upkari/ Kaippakka Upperi

Beginning the last month of the year with much nutritious vegetable which tastes bitter to the tongue but is a boon to our good health. This is a dry subzi common at my in-laws place, and is taught to me by my father-in-law! He is extremely good at non-veg and few vegan dishes.

This subzi least lastes bitter and has simple list of ingredients. My daughter who is 3, eats this ever since it was introduced to her. I also made a karela-nastik family friend eat and like this too!

Karatey is a Konkani name for it, where as Kaipakka is the Malayalam name.

Ingredients :
4 medium sized karelas
3 green chillies
4 tbspn coconut oil

Method :
Wash the karelas and pat them dry with a towel. Chop off the head and tail part. If using very tender ones, there won't be seeds inside them. If not very tender, make a long slit lengthwise from the head to the tail on one side, using forefinger, scoop out the seeds from them.
Now slice it very thinly in round shape.

Take a heavy bottomed pan, add one table spoon of coconut oil, add the slit green chillies.

Once they splutter add the sliced karela pieces and stir until the are uniformly coated with the oil and leave on a medium flame for 5 minutes , uncovered. Once you hear a bit of sizzle, stir it again and drizzle a little of coconut oil in a circular motion on it. Continue for 15 mins , stirring every 5 mins and drizzling a little oil. Add salt at this stage and mix in well. Stir and leave for another 5-10 minutes. The final karela will shrink and look shallow fried. Like in the main picture.

Serve as accompaniment hot along with rice and daal / sambhaar.

*The above measure serves two adults and a child. I make it for one time as it tastes good when hot..even re-heated looses the taste.
*Do-not cover at any stage -while and after cooking.

This is another form of sundried karela-here
the raw karelas have been sliced, salted and then dried out in the sun till they shrink in size, change their colour to golden brown and make a clinking sound.They can be stored in an airtight container and stays intact throughout the year and used when needed!

They need to be deep fried to be consumed and loved by all in my family. We usually eat it as is-ie fried, or serve it with rice porridge (Kanji Rice/Peza).


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Methi Thepala with Whole Wheat Flour (Methi /Fenugreek Chapathis)

One of my friend used to struggle to feed greens to her then year and half old son. She came across methi thepalas which her son used to eat at their neighbour's place, so without wasting time, she then took down this simple recipe from her neighbour and showed me how its prepared. Her son used to to eat this thinking its masala chapathi whereas the nutrition in fresh methi would reach upto him! That was four years back.

Now having my own 3 year old and 22 month old, feeding greens is an issue until its camouflaged into something else. This recipe came to my mind when I saw fresh methi, thinking hard how I could feed them. They eat it thinking its yellow chapathi, and now I have made it twice over!

Methi is good for body any day, but during winters especially as it is considered to generate more heat in our body. Similarly its a laxative(at my place I was fed Methi sabji post delivery for easing bowels) as well as induces lactation(aids in milk production for mothers).

Wiki has good amount of information and also mentions that methi helps protect against breast and colon cancer. 'Thepalas' as per my knowledge are prepared mixing the masalas or greens into the wheat flour directly and kneading it into a dough. Where as 'Parathas' are stuffing the wheat dough with our choice of veggies (like potatoes, radish being most popular) Thepalas dough is supposed to be kneaded with minimum usage of water and more of oil but I used water to knead it.

This is how I made it.

Ingredients :
1 bunch fresh methi leaves
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbspn oil for kneading
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ova/ajwain/omam
1 tsp jeera/cumin powder
1 tsp coriander / dhania powder
2 green chillies
1/3rd cup water

Method :
Pluck the methi leaves out of the stem, clean methi leaves under flowing water until its totally clean of any sediments or soil. Finely chop it along with green chillies. ( I used food processor to do it) In a big mixing bowl take whole wheat flour, add salt. Heat the oil till warm maybe for 30 secs, and pour it in. Mix in properly till all flour gets well mixed with the oil. Add the masalas, turmeric,chilli powder,dhania jeera powder and ajwain and mix well. Add the finely chopped methi and green chillies and knead with little water at a time. (You may knead using oil too )
Methi already gives out water hence use water sparingly.

Once you get well kneaded dough, cover and keep aside for half an hour.

Divide into equal balls. I got 9 golf sized balls out of the above measure.

Dust the counter lightly with dry wheat flour, dip the ball in flour, dust off the excess flour of the ball. Keep the ball on the dusted counter top and with belan /rolling pin roll out into in the picture.

On a medium flame, pour a tsp oil and fry both sides. Remove on a plate, brush some oil on top side of the thepala.

Serve hot with any subji of your choice or dahi/yoghurt. My kids like to have it with tomato sauce!!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dahi Usal

Usal Paav is a special breakfast item in Mumbai..Maharashtra to be specific. Some of the Udupi joints serve this and tastes special only when some expert chefs prepare it. One such yummy tasting 'Watana Usal' was available in my college canteen, garnished with farsaan,coriander leaves, chopped onions and a half of lemon, served with two big paav! Then that addition of Farsaan to Usal gave the dish a new name, 'Misal'!! It was simply out of this world!

We friends used to have it every alternate day after all our lectures were over. At times the taste would tempt me into having a second plate too!! All it costed a decade ago was Rs. 5/plate!

Moong usal was new to me, as at my place 'Matki' usal was made on certain weekends.
Shilpa of AR posted this recipe, tempting me enough to make it that evening itself! The result was awesome!! Though I did not have farsaan or sev (as Shilpa has used) , I went ahead and made the Usal, and garnished it with yoghurt, and new thing to me in usal was adding the chaat masala which I love a lot and enjoyed this combo with my family!
Shilpa's original recipe is here. Thanks a lot Shilpa.

Ingredients :

To make Curry/ Usal-
2 cups sprouted green moong
1 cup boiled potato
1 chopped tomato medium sized
1 chopped onion medium size
1/2 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
2 green chilies (add 3 more if you want it spicy)
1 sprig kadipatta (curry leaves)
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder (turmeric)
2 tbsp coriander leaves -chopped finely

Vegetable Oil

Garnishing Ingredients :

1 cup Yoghurt/dahi (plain or bit sweetened)
1/2 tsp chaat masala (Everest)
Sev or Farsaan (personal preference)

1 small onion finely chopped
fresh coriander leaves chopped finely
lemon to squeeze just before eating

Method :
In a kadhai, heat oil, splutter rai, add jeera, green chillies, curry leaves, hing. Fry for a minute or two..add onions, fry till transculent. Mix in the haldi, add the moong and pour 1 cup water mix well and cover the lid till its cooked well. Stir in between. Takes 7-8 minutes. Open the lid, add boiled potatoes, coriander,cumin and chilli powders and salt, stir in well, add the chopped coriander and let it come to one boil on a medium flame. Add more water if needed.
Usal is ready.

Serving : In a plate serve the usal, layer it with the farsaan, then chopped onions and lastly coriander leaves. Add dahi just before eating and sprinkle with some chaat masaala..if some sourness is needed, squeeze few lemon juice drops. Eat this healthy snack as is or with Paav.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Almond-Coconut Cookies

Cookies yet again! One-Almond studded Peach colored cookies which promptly caught my attention were posted by Pravs! Drooled and had to try them out! They were very coconuty and almondy flavoured, simply melted in mouth!

Thanks Pravs for posting such a simple yet very tasty cookies..for all those cookie lovers I would say its a Must Try!! The below measure gave an yield of 25 cookies.

Ingredients :
1 cup maida
3/4th cup almond skinless (coarsely ground)
1/2 cup coconut (dessicated)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick/100 gms)
1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
25 halved almonds for garnishing

Method :
Preheat oven for 10 mins at 350 deg. F for gas oven. (I set the temperature in my electric oven to 160 deg C for 10 min). Make a dough by mixing butter, sugar, coconut,almond, maida in that order. Make balls of same shape, make batches and keep aside. Line baking sheet with parchment/waxed paper . Take each ball and flatten them with your hand, in each cookie press a slivered almond. (Like in the pic below)

Leave an inch between each cookie place in the oven.

They would spread on baking. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until you find the bottom of cookie golden brown. The cookie has a lovely peach colour on top, might look a bit mushy but once you cool them, they turn beautifully crisp and melt in the mouth. Also a nice coconut and almond flavour comes even as an aftertaste!!

This was first batch with dome shaped, without an almond pressed in. (For my oven..first batch was 170° C for 12 mins and 2nd and 3rd batch at 160° C for 11 mins)

This is what the second batch looked like, third batch too was similar.

Tips :
* To blanch almonds, there are two ways..
a. soak them overnight in water and peel the following day
b. Heat water(3:1 ratio to almonds) to a boiling point, once bubbles are given out, pour the almonds and put off flame. Let it cool completely; takes approx one hour...hold the almond between thumb and forefinger, give a light press. The almond will slip out of skin. (This works easier for me) Got to dry it for sometime.

Come N have a cookie!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mukhwas / Mouth-freshner

Saunf or Fennel seeds are usually popped in post a meal to aid digestion and also as mouth freshner. There are varieties available in India. Most commonly found are the colorful sugar-coated fennel seeds.

The one that I usually have in my pantry is a store-bought one with slight addition of sugar coated tiny candy balls, a bit of flavoured -minced-supari (chest nuts) and some mint leaves in it.

I frequented a restaurant in Borivili West (Mumbai) mainly to nibble on this. Hence I re-created it at home, and it was liked by family and friends alike. There is no cooking or hard work involved, it requires only mixing of few things.

Ingredients :
150 gms fennel seeds
2 tbsp powdered sugar
50 gms sugar coated fennel seeds

Method :
Dry roast the fennel seeds till slightly browned and allow to cool at room temperature.
Once it cools, add powdered sugar and sugar coated fennel seeds. Store in a dry air tight container. Nibble on it any time you please!!!

We can have variations based on flavours our taste buds demand.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pattal Bhaaji And Kuboos

A special note of thanks to my mom's elder sis (whom I call Amma), who fondly used to made this dish especially for me !! Thankyou Amma.

Pattal Bhaaji is a Konkani name for a curry which has more proportion of gravy in it. This coastal dish is prepared with numerous variations and with different ingredients along the coastal side!
I have been eating this variation since last 3 decades and my taste buds just love the flavours which emanate when eaten along with buron pav(hard crust bread) , soft pav or even kuboos (like American Pita bread its an Arabic bread).

This is made at my place. The recipe follows-
Ingredients :
3 medium sized potatoes
2 medium sized onions
1 tsp haldi / turmeric powder
salt to taste

To be grind into a paste :
1 -3 green chillies (as per taste)
3/4 cup freshly scraped / dessicated coconut
1 tsp jaggery
2-3 flakes of small garlic
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds

For seasoning :
10-15 crushed flakes of small garlic
1/2 tbspn coconut oil

Method :
Cook the potatoes and onion with enough water to submerge them, along with salt and haldi.
Stir occasionally. Cook till they are done, but in shape and not mashed. Add 2-3 cups water and bring to boil. (Add/ reduce water as per the liquid consistency required)

Grind to a fine paste the second batch of ingredients. Slightly toast before grinding, all except jaggery and chillies. (optional) Add this paste to the potato-onion mixture and mix well. Once it starts to boil, put off the stove. Heat coconut oil in a tadka pan, along with the garlic, on a low flame, allowing the garlic to get slightly browned. Add to the potato onion mixture, stir well and cover for flavours to blend.
Serve hot with chapati/ any type of bread/ kuboos.