Monday, April 30, 2012

Sambhar Masala

My mom makes sambhar masala at home. Sambhar tastes much better with this homemade masala, then the store bought one. Everytime I run out of this masala, I have to call my mom for the recipe. This time I made sure to put it up on my blog so that I can refer to it in future.

1 Tablespoon Urad Daal
1 Tablespoon Mung Daal
1 Tabelspoon Chana Daal
1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
7-8 Dried Red Chilies,
1 Teaspoon Methi

Add all ingredients in a non stick pan. Dry roast on slow flame for about 15 minutes or until fragrant. Turn of the stove. Let it cool down, then grind to powder. Store the powder in air tight container and use as needed.

Sambhar recipe coming soon.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Ringana Bateta Nu Bharelu Shaak (Stuffed Brinjal and Potato Curry)

I am not a big fan of brinjals, but my husband is:). Everytime my mom visits us, he asks her to make stuffed brinjal-potato curry; Brinjal for him, and potatoes for me. Once in a while, he brings brinjals when he goes grocery shopping, and then asks me to make the same dish. I always have to call my mom for the recipe, so this time I thought of jotting it down.

3 Small Brinjals (Indian Eggplant)
3 Small Potatoes (or cut 2 big potatoes in half),
3 Tablespoon Shredded Coconut (fresh or frozen),
3 Tablespoon Gram Flour (Besan),
2 Tablespoon Coarsley Ground Peanuts,
2 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds,
2 Teaspoon Chili-Ginger Paste (or to taste),
1 Tablespoon Jaggery
Salt to Taste,
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder,
2 Teaspoon Dhaniya Jeera Powder (Coriander-Cumin Powder),
1/4th Teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing)
1.25 Cups Water,
3 Tablespoon Oil,
3 Teaspoon Chopped Cilantro (Coridander), Optional

Mix together all the dry the ingredient in a bowl, except asafoetida. Add 1 tablespoon oil and mix well.
Make a slit 3/4th ways thru in brinjals and potatoes. Stuff the coconut-peanut mixture.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Once hot, add asafoetida. cook for about 10 seconds. Now, turn the heat to low, and place potatoes in the pan in a single layer, slit side up. Turn the heat to medium high. Add about 3/4 cup water. DO NOT stir. Cover and cook until the potatoes are halfway done (10-12 minutes). Check this by inserting a knife in the potatoes. The knife should go thru the top of the potatoes without much effort. The center should still feel a bit firm. Now place the brinjals in the pan. Try to make a single layer along with the poatoes, by gently sliding potatoes around to make space for brinjals. Again, do not stir. We want the potatoes and brijals to maintain their shape. Add the remaining water, and the remaining stuffing (if any). Cover and cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until everything is cooked. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti or paratha.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Instant Rawa Idly

My daughter is now 14 months old. She refuses to eat when we try to feed her :). She wants to pick up food and eat it on her own. Which gives me limited options for her dinner. I am always looking for some new and healthy finger food ideas for her. Usually, I give her pasta, paratha, cooked vegetables-cut into big pieces for easy grasp:). A friend of mine said that she gives muthia, dhokla, idly etc. Her son is a few months older than Srishti, but I liked her ideas. So yesterday, while driving back from work, I decided to make instant rava idly for dinner.
Here is the recipe for making rava idly. The following recipe will make 16-18 idlies.

1 Cup Rawa (Semolina),
1 Cup Yogurt,
1 Cup Water
Salt to taste
1.5 Teaspoon Ghee/Oil (per your preference),
1 Teaspoon Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
1 Teaspoon Urad Daal
4-5 Curry Leaves
3/4 Teaspoon Eno Fruit Salt
Method:Heat ghee (or oil) in a pan. Once it is hot, reduce the flame to medium and add jeera and curry leaves. Cook for 30 seconds, and then add urad daal. Cook until the daal turns light brown/pinkish (about 1 minute). Reduce the flame to low and add the rawa. Cook until the rawa starts to turn light pink (about 5 minutes). Make sure to stir frequently for uniform cooking. Switch off the flame.

In another container, beat the yogurt then add rava. Mix well. Now add the water, a little at a time, making sure no lumps are forming. The mixture should have runny consistency, but it shouldn't be too watery. Keep aside.
Boil water in the idly cooker. Grease the idly molds. You want to put the idly stand in the cooker when the water in the cooker starts to boil. Add Eno fruit salt to the batter, and mix well just before pouring it into the molds. Put the idly stand in the cooker and cover. Cook on medium high flame for 15-20 minutes or until the idlies are done. This can be checked by inserting a knife in the center of an idly. If the knife comes out clean, the idlys are done. Turn off the heat. Get the idly stand out of the cooker and let it cool completely before unmolding idlies.
Serve with hot sambhar.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Palak Paneer (Spinach Paneer)

2 Bunches of Indian Spinach (Palak)
1 lb Paneer, Cubed
4 Teaspoon Oil,
2 Cloves Garlic, Finley Chopped
Salt to Taste
1/2 Inch Piece of Ginger
4 Green Chilies,
1/8 Teaspoon Asafoetida

Destem the spinach and wash well. In a deep pan, add 10 cups of water and bring it to boil. Now add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes. While the spinach is cooking, prepare the "cold bath" for spinach.
Fill a deep pan with cold iced water. Put a colander in this pan. This will help us get the spinach out of the cold water very easily. After 2-3 minutes of cooking, take the spinach out of the hot water and immedietly transfer to the colander in the cold iced water. Stir once to make sure that all leaves have stopped cooking. Now, take the colander out, and allow the spinach to drain.
In a mixer grinder, add the spinach, ginger and green chilies. Blend well to make thick puree. Keep aside.
In a cooking pan, add 2 teaspoon oil. Cook on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the asafoetida and the chopped garlic. Stir and cook for about a minute. Then add the spinach puree and salt. Add water to get desired consistency (optional). Cook on medium low heat. While the spinach is cooking, heat a flat bottom non stick pan. Add the remaining oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add the cubed paneer peices and shallow fry on medium high heat until the outside of the paneer is golden brown. Stir gently making sure not to break paneer cubes.
Transfer the cooked paneer to the spinach puree and turn the stove to medium. Cook for 5-7 more minutes. Turn off the stove and serve hot with your choice of paratha.

Note: I didnt shallow fry paneer. We try to use as less oil as we can. So, I just used fresh cubed paneer. It tasted equally good.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sweet Corn Soup

This is one of the easiest soups ever. My husband had mild fever and wasn't feeling well since the past 2-3 days. Yesterday, he asked me if I can make him some warm soup which can make him fill better. Busy as we are, with our 13 months old daughter, and my husband's never ending work, we didn't get time this week to go grocery shopping. So, when he asked me for soup yesterday, all I could think of was the frozen sweet corn  kernels we had in the freezer.
It took me no more than 20 minutes to make this soup. It tasted wonderful. Even my 13 month old daughter loved it:). This easy, tasty and quick cooking soup can please anyone.

1.5 Cups Frozen Corn Kernels,
4 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce,
Salt to Taste,
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper, Or To Taste
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar, Optional (I didn't use any)
1 Teaspoon Corn Starch
1 Teaspoon Chopped Cilantro

In a small bowl, mix corn starch with 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and set aside. Add 3.5 cups of water and half the corn kernels to a cooking pan. Add salt, pepper, sugar (if using) and soy sauce. Cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the corn kernels are tender. In the meantime, add the rest of the kernels in a mixer grinder and grind coarsely. Now add this to the pan. Add the corn starch mixture to the pan. Bring it to a boil, then turn the stove to medium. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken just a little. Take off the stove. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve hot.

Note: I added whole kernels to the soup since I like to bite on them while having the soup. If you don't like whole kernels in your soup, you can coarsely grind all kernels and proceed by adding all the spices and making the soup as mentioned above.

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