Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Samosas and Hot Tea

It was rainy day yesterday. What more than a hot plate of samosas and a steaming cup of tea to make it a perfect evening. The big one is home made, the smaller ones are store bought for Sahithi. She likes these tiny samosas that she can hold and eat comfortably.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Ragi mudda/Ragi Sankati

Ragi is one of the most popular cereal in South India. Its called Ragi in most of the Indian languages Finger Millet in English and nachni in Hindi.

Ragi has a lot of nutritional value, especially calcium. 7.3 gms of Protein, 1.3 gms of Fat 2.7 gms of Minerals 344 gms of, Calcium, 3.6 gms of Fiber. Did u notice the amount of calcium. No wonder it is one of the popular infant/baby food. With such amount of calcium, proper growth of bones and teeth can ensured in children . And it would also help aging adults with the problem of bone loss. Ragi some how was not very popular until a few years ago. Now, with the increase in the number of people who are conscious about health ragi is back with a BANG and finding place in the menus of some health conscious restaurants too. According to my parents there are some restaurants whose biggest selling point is that ragi mudda on their menu. It is probably one the best things diabetics can eat. Incorporating ragi in our diets on a regular basis will be another step in the direction of healthy, nutritious and tasty food.

I ate ragi on a regular basis while growing up in the form of Ragi malt and Ragi Mudda. While ragi mudda was not a universal favorite at home, I always liked it. The beauty of ragi mudda is that you can eat it with a lot of different things like peanut chutney, Sambar, All kinds of dal and I think the most popular is mutton. I personally like it with dal made with green chilies "Pachimirapakaya pappu". Hot Ragi mudda with just a hint of ghee, dipped in this dal is one step closer to heaven for me.

Ingredients Hand full of rice Ragi Flour - 2 cups salt accordingly. Add rice to water and cook. Once the grain becomes soft add salt. Expert way to make would be to dump ragi flour into this boiling water and mix vigorously. If you are not fast enough in mixing, lumps would form. To avoid lumps I mix flour with cold water, make sure there are no lumps and add this to boiling water. Close the lid and let it sit on medium low of few minutes. You can actually hear the boiling and if you have used a loose plate to cover it would start moving because of the steam. Take the lid away and mix well. Using a strong wooden spoon will help. Leave it on for few minutes in low and then turn the heat off. Dip you hand in cold water and make a round ball and there you have it ready in your hands ragi mudda Pappu would be made in a very similar way that "mango dal" is made. I will list the ingredients. All that needs to be done is pressure cook everything and season it exactly like "mango dal". Toor dal - 1 cup Thai chilli pepper - 5 Red Onion- 1 Small garlic pods -2 cumin seeds/jeera - a little, turmeric - pinch, Tamarind - very little.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Shahi Chicken

Here comes the recipe for the chicken curry, that I promised from my previous recipe post Cut chicken - 2 pounds Plain Yogurt - 2 cups Onion -1 tinily chopped Tomatoes - 2 Big Almonds -5 Cashew nuts - 5 Coconut - 2 Table spoons ginger garlic paste - 1 Table spoon Fennel seeds/Saunf - 1 tea spoon. Oil - 1 Table spoon Dry fenugreek leaves/ Kasuri mehti - 1 Table spoon This is an optional ingredient. Salt, red chilli powder, garam masala - per taste Heat oil and fry onions. Add ginger garlic paste to yogurt and mix well Once onion browns nicely, add the mixture of yogurt and ginger garlic paste. Leave it for about 10 minutes. Once the mixture seems to thicken a little, add chopped tomatoes. Once tomatoes are half cooked, salt ,turmeric, chilli powder and chicken. Cover and let it cook on medium heat. Mean while make a paste of coconut cashews and almonds. Once the chicken is cooked add garam masala and after few minutes add the paste. mix well and let it sit on the heat for about 10 minutes on low heat. Add kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves. I think I am going to call it "Shahi chicken". Any other ideas for names will be definetly appreciated. I think substituting vegetables and paneer for chicken in this will be equally good. I have not tried it. Will let you guys know as soon as i try.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Grater/Mandoline

When I went to Indian store last week, I saw a mandoline. I already have one, a four sided one that stands. This one was interesting. A regular mandoline plate with a attachment behind, a plastic thing that made the behind of mandoline, a box. It holds all the grating with out the need of plate. I never saw anything like this before. For $1.49, it was a steal and I HAD to buy it. Here are the pictures

Hare Bhare Roti

It was friday yesterday. I waited almost the whole week for the weekend this time. I am glad finally it's here. Came home and both of us were a mood to eat something very nice. I had chicken at home but was bored of the usual variety that I make. So I started looking online for recipes. After 20 mts of search could not find even one recipe for which i had all the ingredients, and we were getting hungry. So I walked into the kitchen thiking I will make something different and will do what ever i rememberd from all the recipes that i have seen. So i started with no definite plan and just made as i went along. And the outcome was unbelievably good. Sahithi who usually eats only chicken after washing the gravy away asked for more gravy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. While chicken was being cooked , made hare bhare roti. Well I named my own roti because it looks so nice and green. This is what our dinner looked like yesterday. Roti and Chicken Curry Recipe for roti. Ingredients Wheat Flour - 2 cups Fenugreek/Methi Leaves - 1/2 fist full Chopped Cilantro - 1/2 fist full Chopped Spinach - 1 fist full. Mix all the things together make a tight dough. Cover with a wet muslin cloth for 15 minutes. Divide it into 10 equal parts. Roll into rotis and roast them on flat griddle or tava. Sahithi loved them for the color and did not fuss at all to eat it. I am thinking what else can I add to the dough to make it look colorful and nutrious. All suggestions are welcome. Recipe for chicken would follow in the next post.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mango Pulihora/Raw Mango Rice

Its more mango time. This time it is mango pulihora. Pictures first and recipe later. This is my entry for "From my Rasoi" hosted by Meena of "Hooked on Heat". I do have a small story behind this. Our first ugaadi after we got married, I wanted to celebrate it the traditional way. Ugaadi is the New Year for telugu people. And I wanted it to be a perfect traditional new year. It usually comes in the beginning of summer when the mangoes start making the first appearance in the market. "Mamidikaya Pulihora/chitrannam" is one of things that’s made on this day. And hubby dear is very fond of any kind of rice that is yellow. That is his absolute favourite. Digressing a little if you guys are wondering what is chitrannam, it is the same as pulihora. Its just a slang from Rayalaseema. Now, Back to the story, I had all the motivation to make it. Went to the indian store, bought nice looking green mangoes. Since it would be the naivedyam for the pooja, I did not taste the mango. Made all the delicious dishes. Did pooja and we were starving and as usual hubby wanted to start with pulihora. He eats one spoonful and goes " I thought you made it with raw mango but it tastes SWEET". And indeed it was sweet. The mango looked green and all but it just tasted very very sweet. You can Imagine the disappointment. Now we look back at it and laugh but at that time I was a little crushed. There ends my story and now for the recipe. Ingredients Raw Mango-1 Cooked rice - 4 cups Mustard seeds -Tea spoon Chana Dal, Urad Dal - I table spoon each Curry Leaves -5 Whole red chilli -1 Green Chilli -4 Sliced Pea nuts - Hand ful Turmeric - Pinch Oil -I Table Spoon Grate the mango. Mix it with rice. Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds and jeera. Once they start to splutter add Chana and Urad dal and let them brown a little. Add curry leaves, Green chilli,red chilli and Turmeric powder. Let them fry for a couple of minutes Add the seasoning to the rice and mix well That’s all these is to it. Its tangy but in a very different way than Lemon rice. You should make it and eat it to believe the taste.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mamidikaya Pappu/Mango Dal

Its mango time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yesterday went to the Indian store and there I see tempting looking fresh green mangoes. I am not extremely fond of the fruit, but the raw mango makes my mouth water. They are a little pricey but i had to buy them. After all they are only available 2-3 months a year. Three things that are made of raw mango that I like a lot are 1.Mango pickle 2.Mango Dal 3.Mango Rice I made Mango Dal yesteday. Nice, thick, tangy, mouthwatering "mamidi kaya pappu" Ingredients Big Raw Mango -1 Toor Dal - 1 cup Small Red Onion - 1/2 Garlic - 3 Big pods cut into pieces Cummin seeds - 1 tea spoon Turmeric powder - a pinch Red chilli powder - As desired Salt - As desired. Oil- 3 drops. Mix everything except salt and pressure cook. Open the cooker, mash the mixture nicely and add salt. Now's the time for popu or tadka or seasoning Heat 1 Table spoon of oil in a pan. Add chana da, urad dal, rai, jeera, whole red chillies, cut garlic and curry leaves in the order. Mix it with the dal. Divinely tasting mamidikaya pappu is ready to eat. Thats what we had for dinner yesterday and lunch today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vamu Annam/Rice with Tymol

Where Was I??

Did u guys think I disappeared again???? No I am very much here. One of my closest friends got married over this weekend. Got back home yesterday night after a delay of 3 hours in the airport. Wishing SC and RC a very happy married life. This post will be in the newly wed's Honor as I picked up this recipe from RC's mom. :) I never had it before and HAD to make it as soon as I can. How can we go the recipe with out some story behind it?? South Indians are famous for many different varieties of rice dishes. This is one of those rice dishes from the region of West Godavari. This was some how never a part of our house hold and dear hubby confirmed that it was never a part of his household either. Its called vamu annam. Vamu in telugu Ajwain in Hindi Omam In Tamil Oma in Kannada Tymol Seeds in English Vamu is supposed to have many medicinal values associated with it. I remember as a child when my mom used to give some to swallow when I had cough and I would love the flavor of it in "chakkilalu" that she used to make.

Ingredients Cooked Rice- 2 Cups Mustard Seeds - 1/4 Tea Spoon Jeera - 1/4 Tea Spoon Chana Dal, Urad Dal -1 Table spoon each Vamu - 1 Heaped Tea Spoon Green chilli - 4 Slit Curry Leaves - 4 Leaves. Turmeric Powder - 1 Pinch Oil - 1/2 Table Spoon. Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds and jeera. Once they start to splutter add Vamu, Chana and Urad dal and let them brown a little. Add curry leaves, Green chilli and Turmeric powder. Let them fry for a couple of minutes and the add cooked rice. Mix the rice well with the seasoing. Let it remain for a few minutes on the heat and Vamu Rice is ready to eat. I made it for lunch today. Turned the rice cooker on before I left to work. Went home at 12 PM, made it and ate it by 12 30. I am giving the time frame just to show you all how simple it is to make. For a change Hubby dear went ooooooohhhh and aaaaaaahhhh about it and paid a genuine compliment. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chicken 65

Blog party #7- Red & Hot I have kept my promise to myself. Made some thing RED AND HOT appetizer for Stephanie's Blog Party#7 It's called Chicken65. A very typical and popular South Indian appetizer. This my first entry for a blog party. Will have to see if this even classifies as an entry or not. :) And now a little history for this recipe. Chicken65 is a common find in the menus of most of the restaurants, be it big or small in south India. You can find it in a 5 star rated place as well as a street vendor with a tiny portable cooking joint. This is one of the tastes that I really missed after moving to the US of A. I have probably checked out most of the recipes on Internet for it and asked most of the people I know how to make and made it numerous times to get the taste right. Now two things are possible. 1. I got the taste exactly right 2. I have been away so long that I forgot the taste and just started liking what I make.:) If you want me to bet my money on one, I would probably favor Number 2. :):) The recipe follows Ingredients Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast - 1 Lb Crushed Ginger -1/2 Tea Spoon Crushed Garlic - 1/2 Tea Spoon Salt Red Chilli Powder Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast - 1 Lb Crushed Ginger -1/2 Tea Spoon Crushed Garlic - 1/2 Tea Spoon Salt Red Chilli Powder Corn Flour-1 Table spoon All Purpose Flour - l Table spoon Egg Whites -2 Oil - Enough to fry Fresh Garlic-3 Pods, Julienned Curry Leaves Thai Chilli pepper - 3 Dark Soy Sauce -2 Table Spoons Yogurt - 1/2 cup Pinch of red food color

Method Heat the oil in a pan. Mix Ingredients 1-8 and fry in hot oil like fritters. Heat very little oil in a different pan. Add curry leaves, Thai chilli pepper and garlic. Fry them nicely and add soy sauce. Add the chicken once Soy Sauce it hot and mix well. Chicken will absorb all the sauce. Leave it for a few minutes. Add a pinch of red food color to natural yogurt and pour it on the chicken. Chicken will absorb all of the yogurt and becomes nice and soft and contrary to what you are thinking it will be dry and you can just pick one up with your fingers and eat. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gulab Jamoon

Happy Valentine's Day.. Hope you all had a fun filled day.... What did I do for valentine's day??? Did I hear someone say that??:):) It was a pretty regular day. Nothing out of the ordinary. Got a little miffed at dear hubby for not getting me anything.:):) Very late in the night he says he has to run some errand that cant wait and comes back with potted pink carnations :) I was surprised and thrilled. What did I cook??? Was anyone thinking this??. Even if you were not here comes the answer. Made gulab jamoons. Not the Indian store mix variety. Here comes the recipe Ingredients Dry Milk powder - 3 cups Bisquick or any other pancake mix - 1cup Heavy whipping cream - 1/2 pint Oil- Enough to deep fry Sugar - 3 cups water - 2 cups. Method

1. Mix milk powder and pancake mix with heavy whipping cream. It forms a crumbly mixture. Leave it for about 15 minutes.

2. Make syrup with sugar and water and once it turns golden in color, turn the heat to a low setting.

3. Make firm round balls of the mix. Make sure there are no cracks in the balls you make.

4. Heat the oil in a kadai and let it heat and then turn the heat to medium and let oil cool a little.

5. Fry the balls till they are golden. Cool them a little and add to the syrup.

Gulab jamoons are ready to eat.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Vegetable Rice

Another happy cricket night yesterday… Happy because India won. What a treat to watch dhoni bat…. Back to food talk. Sunday was one of my cousin's anniversary. We had a small gathering at our house. Simple lunch followed by not so simple cake. Lunch was home made but the cake was store bought. What did we have for lunch?? Vegetable rice Egg pulusu Raita. I love vegetable rice for 2 reasons 1. It is one of the the things that Sahithi eats with out any fuss. 2. Its so simple to make. Recipe for Vegteable rice Rice-3 cups Carrots-2 clean scrape and cubed Green peans-3/4 cup Green beans- 1/2 cup This is optional. Small onion-1 Sliced lengthwise Cloves-4 Cinnamon-Inch long Cardamom-4 Bay leaves-2 Salt Oil/Ghee/Clarifed butter-1Tbs.

Method Heat oil in a pan. Put in bayleaves, Cloves, Cinnamon and cardamon. Once you smell the cloves, it takes less than a minute, put in onions fry for a couple of minutes, Add the vegetables and salt. Fry for another couple of minutes and turn of the heat. Wash rice add water and the vegetables and cook in the regualar rice cooker. My pictures are not good yet. I have to learn to take good pictures and buy a new camera too.( Blaming it on the camera). :):):) Hoping that my photographing skills will improve soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mango Icecream

Friday night was India Pak second ODI. Perfect start for the weekend per my husband. And when its a cricket match,more people watching it the merrier it is. One of our friends bought a brand new 60 inch TV and all the friends were invited over to watch the match at their place. Its hard for one person to cook for everyone. So,Most of the gatherings that we have are Potluck. It was my turn to make a dessert yesterday. All of us were hoping that India will win the match and then we can celebrate with a sweet.:):) Got back home at 6PM and we were to leave by 7 30. Not much time there. Made mango icecream. Easy, quick and mouth wateringly delicious. Here comes the recipe Ingredients If fresh mangoes are available, take the pulp of 2 ripe mangoes, else use the can Mango pulp - 1can Cool whip-8 oz Condensed Milk-8 oz. Mix all of the above together in a bowl. A hand mixer is of great help here. Granish with chopped pistachios and freeze. Thats all you need to do and your icecream is ready. India did win the match and after a dinner of egg biryani, chicken fry, dal and lots of other goodies we enjoyed the icecream with relish. :) Try this recipe and let me know.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Chapatis with leftover sambar

Made yummy rotis for dinner yesterday. Combined a couple of ideas. An aquiantence told me that she has trouble getting her daughters to eat veggies. So what she does is put in lots of veggies into sambar, takes them out and use those veggies to mix the dough for rotis and the girls eat the rotis with out complaining. Thankfully no such problem with sahithi for me. She is one child who totally LOVES vegetables. Both raw and cooked. Frozen french cut beans are her absolute favourite. The lady who takes care of her at the daycare is always amazed to see her eat veggies with such relish. I keep telling my self that I should not deviate from the topic but invariably I wander of to some that's totally not related to what I was talking about.:) Back to rotis now. I had little leftover sambar with lots of veggies in it. Used those to make rotis and also added an avocado. This tip came from Indira. The end product was a deliciously different roti. It had a nice color to it because of the sambar and tasted absolutly great. Did not get a picture from dinner yesterday. I made enough dough to last for another meal. Will add the picture after I make the next batch. Anybody visiting this blog on a regular basis, please get used to me talking about Sahithi very often. I try not to do it but it's hard. :)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vankaya Masala/Baingan Masala

My last post I mentioned about cooking my daughter's birthday. The hit curry of the party was eggplant curry "baingan ka Salan" in hyderabadi terms or Vankaya masala. I am not a big fan of eggplant. I have started appreciating this vegetable only a few years ago. This is one of the eggplant preparation's that I really like and is a slight variation from traditional gutti vankaya koora. Ingredients Indian Eggplant- 10 Oil-2 Table Spoons Onion-1 chopped and blended into paste Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 Table Spoon Salt Tamarid- Soaked and strained Tomato Puree-1/2 cup. Fresh tomato puree always tastes better. You can use a can if pressed for time. Masala Peanuts-Fistful KhusKhus-1 Table Spoon Jeera or Cummin seeds-1/2 Table Spoon Methi seeds or Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tea spoon Dry coconut-2 Table Spoons Dry Whole red chilli -2 WHole Dhaniya or Coriander seeds-1/2 Table Spoon Nuvvulu or Seseme seeds- 1 Table spoon Method 1.Do not cut the stem off from eggplants 2.Cut egg plants from the top on the other side of the stem to 4 pieces but not completly. Egg plant remains one piece but is sliced from the top. 3. Heat 1 Table spoon oil in a flat pan and once the oil is hot add the cut egglpants and close the pan. 4.Let the cook on medium heat and turn after a few minutes. Egg plants shrinks in size and become tender. For Masala Dry Roast Peanuts. Dry Roast Khus Khus. Dry Roast Fenugreek seeds , Seseme and cummin seeds together. Add coriander seeds after the two are half roasted. Once you start smelling cummin seeds, turn off the stove and add dry coconut. Let everything cool and make a paste of this. 1.Heat a hevay bottemed pan. 2.Add 1 table spoon oil. 3. Add onion paste once the oil is hot. 4. Fry onion paste for a few minutes and add ginger garlic paste 5. After afew minutes it starts browning and now its time to add tomato puree. 6. Fry until the raw smell of tomato goes away. 7.Add the ground masala, mix well and cover. 8.let it cook for few minutes and add salt and red chilli powder. 9.Add the fried egg plant. 10.Add the tamarind and let it simmer a little while. Salt, chilli powder and tamarid can be adjusted according to your taste. It might seem a little tedious but it is not. The masala can be made and frozen for future use and it will taste equally good as the freshly ground. This is a tried and tested recipe and has always been liked by anyone who ate. Please try and let me know how you liked it. I am attaching a picture of the curry from the party. Will try to get a better one next time I make it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I am Back

I am back... I have just been very lazy... I have to Thank Indira of Mahanandi Why you may ask. And even if u dont here comes the answer. I happen to visit her blog by chance and fell in love with all the beautiful pictures. And thats what made me think I should start a food blog too, because I am a foodie. Past weekend was my daughter's birthday. She turned 3. Had a Terrific Party and I cooked for all 50 people. Had a huge argment with my husband about it. He just wanted us to cater and I wanted to cook. My argument wa sthat it would just give me immense satisfaction to cook and his was why so much effort. I won ofcourse and cooked.:):) You can see the picture of my daughter here. Back to food talk. I am promising myself that I will have some thing ready for stephanie's blogparty#7 some thing Red and HOT.