Monday, August 29, 2011

Tofu Uthappam/Tofu Uttappam

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My refrigerator is always stored up with tofu as I love cooking with them.Today I made tofu uthappams for dinner,these easy to make nutritious uthappams can be made in a jiffy and well enjoyed,add some cheese on top and it gets even more enticing to the kids.

Ingredients
2 cups Dosa/Idli batter
3/4th cup crumbled tofu
Salt for the tofu as the batter will have salt
Onion chopped
Tomato-seeds removed-chopped
Cilantro leaves chopped
Oil

Method
Heat oil in a pan and cook the onions with salt and let cool when done cooking.Blend the batter,tofu and salt in the blender.Add the cooled onions,tomato and cilantro leaves to the blended batter and mix well.Heat a flat pan and pour a few scoops of the batter in the middle and spread it evenly with equal thickness.Add oil,cover with a lid and cook on medium heat,remove the lid,flip and finish cooking.Enjoy hot with your favorite chutney.

Note:Chana dal can be added before cooking the onions as well as some finely chopped chillies and mixed veggies-those that don't have too much water content.
Mini tofu uthappams can be made adding some shredded cheese on top for the kids.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chow Chow Chutney

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Chow Chow or Chayote belongs to the gourd family, shaped like a pear can be found throughout the year in grocery stores.

Ingredients

1 onion chopped roughly
1 small piece ginger
2 garlic cloves
1/2 chayote peeled and chopped roughly
2 tomatoes chopped
10 red chillies or +/- as per heat & taste
Tamarind gooseberry size-adjust to the heat of the chillies
3-4 tbsp shredded fresh coconut- optional
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Tempering
1/2 tsp urad dal seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Few curry leaves
1 tbsp oil

Method

Heat oil in a pan add all the ingredients one by one, stir for a few mins and cover cook on medium low heat for 15 mins. When the contents cool a bit blend it in a blender adding some water. Add the tempering to the chutney and stir to blend well. Enjoy with idlis or dosas.

Note: Let the ingredients for the chutney slow cook.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chow Chow Kootu/Chayote Kootu/Chow Chow Pappu

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Ingredients

1 onion chopped
1 chayote chopped
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds
Oil
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped
Few curry leaves
Fresh lime juice

Blend together

2 Serrano chillies/hot chillies
1 tomato

Pressure Cook

1/4 cup of toor and yellow moong dal(1/8+1/8)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric

Coarse paste

4 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Method
Heat oil in a pan add mustard and cumin seeds when they splutter add curry leaves onions and salt. When the onions turn golden add chow chow blended tomato chilli  add some water and cover cook till the veggie is cooked.  Add the cooked dal bring it to a boil then add the coarse paste, coriander leaves and stir cook to blend well.  Squeeze and stir some fresh lime juice.  Enjoy hot with rice.

Note:Tempering can be done in the end with some ghee. Do not mush the dal too much.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Avarakkai/Broad Beans Fry with Sunflower Kernels Powder

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Ingredients

2 cups broad beans chopped - Trim the ends off and remove the strings
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 small piece ginger chopped - optional
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mustard and cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil
Sunflower kernels powdered fresh
Salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a pan add mustard and cumin seeds when they splutter add the onions, ginger garlic, salt and turmeric.  When the onions are cooked add tomatoes, beans chilli powder, coriander powder, some water stir well and cover cook.  When the water is absorbed and beans are cooked,  add sunflower kernels powder and stir to blend well.

Click here for info on Sunflower seeds.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saffron milk with Pistachios

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This is an easy to make flavorful milk that can be enjoyed before or after a meal.  Addition of pistachios gives a nice crunch and its own flavor along with the wonderful flavor of saffron.

Heat 2 cups 2%milk in a microwave or on stove top making sure not to burn it.  Add three pinches of saffron to 1 tbsp water and mix well. Add this to the milk along with, 1/4 cup powdered pistachios, 1/2tsp fresh green cardamom powder-or crushed pods from 3-4 green cardamoms, 1/4 cup sugar(+/- as per taste) and bring it to a boil.  Remove any film that may form on top.  Continue stirring making sure not to burn the milk.  Cook till the milk thickens a bit.  Enjoy hot or cold.


Note: If using microwave mix all the ingredients and cook the milk in a wide glass vessel so the milk does not overflow, till the milk thickens, stirring every few mins and removing the film.
Refrigerate the flavored boiled milk it enhances the taste and flavor more.
Remove the raw pistachios(make sure they are fresh) from the shell brush them and powder or crush them coarsely.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tofu Fritters

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Tofu can be bland and tasteless for a few but its blandness suits perfectly for these fritters.These fritters eaten steaming hot with hot sauce will turn tofu non lovers into tofu lovers.

Pat dry firm tofu with a dry towel and let slide in a bowl for about 10mins.Drain any excess water from the bowl,pat dry again and cut the tofu in rectangles.Meanwhile mix 1/2 cup all purpose flour with 1/2 cup corn starch,add salt and water to make a batter without any lumps.Dip the tofu in the batter and fry them in batches.Eat them steaming hot with hot sauce.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cranberry Drink

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Berry berry which berry to choose?Soo many berries to choose from...I choose cranberry today for a cooling drink.I can just look at the gorgeous color of the cranberry juice.Makes a beautiful color when mixed with other drinks too.Can be made ahead of time and is ideal for parties or get togethers.

In a pitcher add 1 part Ginger Ale to half or quarter part of Cranberry juice.Stir to mix well.Add some lime juice if preferred.Serve chilled with ice cubes.
Note:Increase or decrease the Cranberry juice as per taste.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gongura Rice/Gonkura Rice

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Red sorrel leaves or Sour Sour leaves more popularly known as Gonkura is a green that is popular in Southern India more so in the state of Andhra Pradesh.The leaves have a tangy flavor making them a desirable addition to curries,stews and so many other culinary preparations.Like all other greens these too are very nutritious.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup chopped gonkura leaves-no stems
15 cloves garlic peeled and cut vertically
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp cayenne powder-adjust as per the sourness of the leaves
1-1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp hing
1/4 tsp fine powder of roasted methi seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Cooked basmati rice
1/4-1/2 cup oil
Salt as per taste

Method
Heat oil in a pan add mustard and cumin seeds when they splutter add garlic when the garlic is roasted a bit add hing and the chopped leaves.When the leaves are cooked add cayenne powder,coriander powder,salt and mix well till the raw smell goes away.Add the methi seeds powder and stir cook to blend well.Add the desired amount of the gonkura paste and some sesame oil to cooked rice and mix to blend well.Enjoy hot!!

Note:You can make the paste ahead refrigerate and mix it with rice whenever needed.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mozzarella Sandwich/Mozzarella English Muffin Sandwich

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Are you in the mood for a sandwich?Why not try this easy to make tasty sandwich.Aromatic and flavorful cheesy sandwich accompanied with a refreshing drink will make a great meal any time of the day. 



Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in circles and marinate it with olive oil,salt,crushed black pepper and refrigerate it.Slice the english muffins and toast them lightly.Heat a grill pan or a pannini maker with some oil and add a slice of the muffin,layer fresh basil leaves,cheese and tomatoes on each other and finally top it with the other slice of english muffin and finish grilling it.If using the grill pan flip press the sandwich top on both sides till the cheese melts.Enjoy them with some hot sauce and balsamic vinegar.Happy Eating!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mini Idli with Sambar

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Ingredients
Pressure Cook and Mash the dal
1/2 cup toor dal
3 cups water
1 tsp turmeric powder

Dry Roast individually and powder finely together
10 red chillies
6 tsp coconut
5 tsp coriander seeds
4 tsp chana dal
6 black pepper corns

Sautee well and Wet Paste
1 Onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2 tsp oil

Soak and Extract Water
Cherry size tamarind
About 1 cup water

Seasonings
1 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
1/2 tsp hing
Few curry leaves
Chopped coriander leaves
Oil
Salt to taste

Idlis
Soak for atleast 4 hrs.Grind well and Ferment.
3-4 cups idli rice
1 cup urad dal
Salt

Method
Idlis
Mix the fermented flour well and pour it into the small moulds and steam it till a toothpick inserted comes clean.Cool and remove the idlis.
Sambar
Heat oil in a pan add the seasonings when the seeds splutter add the wet paste,stir cook for a few minutes then add the tamarind extract,salt and cover cook for a few minutes add the spice powder mix to blend well,add 2 cups of plain water and bring it to a boil.Add the cooked dal and more water if needed and stir to blend well.Cook for a few more minutes.Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.In a bowl arrange the mini idlis and pour the sambar over it.Add some ghee if preferred.Enjoy!


Notes
Time for fermentation of the idli batter depends on the outside temperature.Some places it takes overnight some places a few hours.A good proportion for idli batter would be between 3 to 4:1 proportion depending on the brand.Seasonings can be added in the end and mixed with sambar.In such a case add 2 tsp oil before adding the wet paste.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yard Long Beans Stir Fry

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This is a yummy bean,a fav of mine that is widely available in Asian grocery stores throughout the year.I made a simple stir fry that goes very well with some plain yogurt rice.Addition of urad dal gives a nice crunch to this yummy vegetable.

Ingredients
1 bunch yard long beans
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped finely
1/2 tsp of mustard and cumin seeds each
2 tsp of urad dal
Grated coconut-optional
Oil
Salt to taste

Method
Wash and discard the ends off the beans.Cut them in one or two inch size.Heat oil in a pan add urad dal,mustard and cumin seeds when they splutter add the chopped beans,salt sprinkle some water,stir and cover till the beans are cooked.Add grated coconut stir to blend well.Perfect with some yogurt rice.

Note:You could also steam the beans with salt and add it to the seasonings and finish cooking them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tomato Rice

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Ingredients
4 cups cooked basmati rice
1 onion cut in two and thinly sliced
3 ripe tomatoes chopped finely - cook in microwave for 3 mins
5 hot green chillies
1/2 tsp cayenne powder(skip or adjust as per the heat of the chillies)
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger

Seasonings
5 small cinnamon sticks
7 cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds roughly crushed
1 dry bay leaf
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Curry leaves and Cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp oil

Method
Heat oil in a deep pan add mustard and cumin seeds when they splutter add cinnamon sticks,cloves,chillies,bay leaf when they roast a bit add onions,fennel seeds,garlic,curry leaves,ginger and salt.Stir till the onions are cooked well.Add cayenne powder,microwave cooked tomatoes,turmeric and cook for a few minutes till the spices are well blended.Add cooked rice and gently stir to blend well.Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.Enjoy with chips or yogurt raita!

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