Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Aloo Batura - for JFI Potato

Who wouldn't like this vegetable -- Potato??!
Be it the kids or grownups, everyone likes potatoes in any dishes... When i first saw the JFI for potato announced by vaishali of "Happy Burp", ideas flew into my mind. But somehow managed to end up with something new which i tried for the first time. "Aloo Batura" is my contribution to JFI-Potato...

Maida - 2 cups
Aloo or potato - 3 (medium)
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Oil for frying batura
Salt to taste

Boil the potatoes, peel off the skin and mash well without any lumps. With this add maida, salt, ghee, jeera and mix well adding little bit of water. The dough should be in chapathi dough consistency. Do not add more water to the dough as it may get loose and gets all sticky to roll. Roll the dough into batura's and deep fry in oil.
Serve with chana masala or any korma.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sambar with freshly ground spices

Since my husband mostly prefers variety rices packed for lunch during weekdays, i get to make sambar and gojju only during weekends. Sambar mixed with rice and a dollop of ghee has a heavenly taste. Back at home, mom makes sambar and gojju alternately all week. Honestly, in my home even if it's sambar or gojju, the type of dish once prepared is not repeated until atleast a month. Though usually sambar is made with the home-made sambar powder, there are other varieties of sambar made with instantly ground pastes and powders. Here is one variety of sambar which we usually call as "Arachuvitta sambar" made on festive occasions. This is a thick gravy of vegetables(in any combination) with a freshly ground spicy paste.

Vegetables(red pumpkin, drumstick, potato, raw banana, broadbeans) - 2 cups
Toor dal - 1 cup.
Tamarind - large lemon sized ball
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 2 heaped tbsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 5-6
Jeera - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 6 leaves
Oil - 2 tbsp

Pressure cook toor dal in 2 cups of water along with turmeric. In a kadai heat one tbsp of oil. Fry chana dal, red chillies, coriander seeds, methi seeds, jeera. When the spices turn light brown, switch off the flame, add coconut and fry for a minute. Cool and grind to a paste adding water. Get pulp out of tamarind(i usually boil tamarind with water in microwave for 2 minutes and then extract the pulp).
Boil vegetables and tamarind extract until vegetables are half cooked. Add the ground paste and let it boil for few more minutes. Add cooked toor dal and let it boil for 5 minutes. Fry mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida in remaining oil and add this tadka to sambar. Serve with rice and a side dish, rice crispies.

Pair radish and small red onions(sambar onions) as vegetables for this sambar. The rich flavor of red onions adds a unique taste of the sambar.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Rasavangi and Cabbage Palya

Though we do not get the exact taste of indian brinjal in here, I always keep brinjal in my crisper. My weekly grocery list will definitely have brinjal listed in it. We have a strong desire for eggplant. Kojju and vathakuzhambhu are the ones with a heavenly taste. My grandmother(Dad's mom) makes kojju which tastes yummy even after 2 days. My mom used to say that she learned many dishes from her. She is not with us today but she gave all her magics of cooking to my mom. Rasavangi is one among them which we got from my grandma.

Brinjal - 6-8 nos.,preferably small ones, Cut into plus shapes easy to stuff masala
Tamarind - big lemon sized
Urad dal - handful
Red chillies - 5
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 4 tbsp
Salt to taste

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5 leaves

Heat little oil in a wok and fry urad dal, red chillies, mustard and methi seeds. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Stuff the eggplant with half of the ground powder. Heat oil and fry the stuffed eggplant seasoning with salt. Extract pulp from tamarind, add turmeric and asafoetida to it. Set aside. Once the eggplant is fried and half cooked, add it to the tamarind extract alongwith the remaining ground powder. Let it boil until it becomes a thick curry adding salt to taste. Fry mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil and add it to the rasavangi. Serve with rice and papad and cabbage palya(fry).

Added touch...
Add a tsp of gingelly oil while serving rasavangi for rice since gingelly oil reduces the heat in a dish, particularly for kids.

Cabbage Palya(Cabbage Fry)
Cabbage - 1/2 of big cabbage, thinly sliced
Coconut - 1/2 cup shredded
Red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5 leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Cook cabbage in microwave adding enough water and salt. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a wok and add chana dal. Once the dal turns slight red, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Then add red chillies, fry till they turn bright red. Add the shredded coconut and fry for a minute. Then add cooked cabbage, salt to taste and fry till they fully cooked. Serve with rasavangi or vathakuzhambu.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dal Bath(Rice and Toor dal cooked together)

Today i had to cook lunch just for myself, and was so bored to eat noodles(usually i make noodles when i have to cook only for myself). I felt too lazy to spend time in the kitchen today, since i was admiring the snow on the roads through my window. Yes, we had ice storm warning and had freezing rain too. So, thought of "Dal bath" which can be made within minutes. This dish is usually made in south india where toor dal is the main ingredient in everyday meal, either as sambar or in rasam. Dal Bath is easily digestible and can be had during fever(instead of the bread/milk which most children doesn't like). It is a best medicine for ulcer stomach too.

Rice - 1 cup
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Jeera - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 1(optional)
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 5 leaves
Salt to taste

Wash rice and toor dal together. Cook rice, toor dal, turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of jeera, salt, garlic, green chillies(optional) alongwith 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Heat ghee, fry remaining jeera, curry leaves and add this to cooked dal bath. Serve with papad, potato fry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Onion Chutney - Recipe from Pedatha

"If you hear an onion ring, answer it".

It took me two weeks to post a recipe. I was busy with my work and had guests coming to my home. We had a superbowl party at my home and i made veg. biryani, paneer butter masala, roti's and onion/curd raita for our friends who came home to watch the game. So, things were kind of busy and meanwhile i started trying the recipes from "Cooking at home with Pedatha". The onion chutney was the one that i liked the most. I have tried many varieties of onion chutney's according to my mom's recipes. But this method of onion chutney was different than i usually make. So, gave it a try and guess what it turned out to be a delicious accompaniment for dosa at dinner today.
Over the days, the one thing that i have learnt from cooking is to add the right amount of ingredients to make an ordinary meal a gorgeous one. I followed the recipe from Pedatha except for the chillies according to my taste. Here goes the recipe.

Large Onions - 3, chopped
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Pulp from lemon sized tamarind
Green chillies - 2
Red chillies - 4
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves
Black gram - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
mustard seeds - 2 tsps
asafoetida powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan fry the gram. When it turns golden, splutter the mustards and add fenugreek seeds. Add red chillies and as it turns red, add green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Fry for a minute and add the onion, grated ginger and fry till the raw smell of the onion disappears. Grind this with the tamarind pulp and salt. Serve with Idli or dosa.

Facts about onion...
The origin of onion dates back to 5000 B.C.

Libya has the highest consumption of onions with an astounding average per capita consumption of 66.8 pounds.

Onions are also a source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid. They also contain calcium, iron and have a high protein quality.

Onion has no fat and less in sodium. Add lots of onions in your diet if you wish to lose weight.

Reduce tearing when cutting onions by first chilling the onions for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Cooking with Pedatha

Guess what, I am cooking with Pedatha!!! Yes, i bought the precious cookbook "Cooking at home with Pedatha" recently from Mahanadi's ebay sale. When the mailman left the book at my doors, i rushed to the doors(i have been waiting for the past one week), picked the book and read from start to finish. The book not only has recipes from the 86 year old culinary queen pedatha, but also the variations and tips with which a recipe can be cooked. The good photography of the food along with the recipe adds to the fame of this cookbook. It brings the spicy vegetarian Andhra food to our kitchen...