Monday, August 27, 2012

Indo Mexican Fried Rice

This is a healthy, colorful and customizable dish which is full of flavor. The main ingredients are listed below. You can add more vegetables of your choice (optional below) to customize it to your taste.

¾ Cups Uncooked Rice
1.5 Cups Water
Salt to Taste

2 Teaspoon Vegetable oil
1 Small Onion, Julienne (Cut into long thin strips)
2 Big or 3 Small Cloves of Garlic, Finley Chopped,
2 Bell Peppers, Julienne
2 Tomatoes, Cut into Small Pieces
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder (Add more if you like it extra hot)
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder,
1 Teaspoon Chives or Greens from Green Onions, Finley Chopped (Optional)
1/2 Cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables (optional)

Wash the rice with 2-3 changes of water. Transfer it to a pan. Add 1.5 cups water and salt and bring it to a boil. Now, turn the heat to low/simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes. Turn off the stove, and transfer the rice to a big shallow dish so that it cools quickly.
Note: Let the rice cool completley before adding it into the veggies.

Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the onion and garlic, and some salt, and cook on medium flame until the onions are transluscent. Stir occasionally. Now add the tomatoes. Add just enough salt for the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes just start to break down. Add the bell pepper and some salt and cook for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes completley break down. At this point, add the mixed vegetables, red chili powder and turmeric powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the cooked rice and stir fry on high flame for 2 minutes so as to heat up the rice and mix the seasoning well.

Take off the stove and garnish with chives and serve immedietly.

Note: I like to season each layer with salt while cooking, and hence you will notice that I add a little salt each time I add an ingredient in the pan. I feel that this way everything gets evenly seasoned with salt. 
You can cook per your preference i.e season each layer (just like I do), add all the salt in the initial layer, or add it at the end. 

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eggless Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins

When I pick up my daughter from the day care in the evening, the first thing she tells as soon as I put her in her car seat is "mum-mum". We have about 30 minutes drive back home, so I usually give her something to snack on for the ride. As much as I try to give her healthy things to snack on, sometimes she doesn't want anything but something sweet. So, now I have started to make these muffins at home. Knowing that they are made from combination of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour, I get some comfort, when I give these to her for snacking.
Here is the recipe for the eggless muffins.
Note: We don't like to give her foods loaded with sugar, so I have reduced the amount of sugar to fit my need. If you would like to make these a bit sweeter, please add 1 cup of sugar instead of just 3/4 cups.
Dry Ingredients:
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Unsweetend Chocolate Chips

Wet Ingredients:
2 Teaspoons Apple Cide Vinegar
1/4 Cups Vegetable Oil
1-1/4 Cups Milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center then add the wet ingredients one by one. Mix well.
Grease a muffin tray with cooking spray. Pour the batter in the muffin molds, such that the molds are about half to 3/4th way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife when inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn off the oven. Take the tray out of the oven and let it cool completley before demolding.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Green Mung Daal Dhokla

My daughter has been sick for the past week, and so she hasn’t been eating anything. She is usually not very fussy about her food, but for the past week or so, she has been very fussy. She doesn’t even want to her favorite food (Parle-G or Marie Biscuits). So, I have been trying to make something new, something I feel she might like, something that can make her feel better, and make her well soon.
Last night, I soaked green Mung daal (Mung daal with skin on), to make Pesarattu. This morning when I entered the kitchen, I just remembered that yesterday I had made Adai (Mixed Daal Dosa), and she didn’t touch it at all. So, instantly, I decided to make dhokla out of the soaked daal. The recipe below will make batter for 1-10inch diameter thali (1 plate).

¼ Cup Green Mung Daal (Mung daal with skin, or Chhilkewali Mung Daal)
1.5 Teaspoon Besan (Gram Flour)
2 Teaspoon Rice Flour
Salt to Taste
½ Teaspoon Chili Ginger Paste
½ Teaspoon Eno Fruit Salt
Oil just enough for greasing the dhokla  plate
Soak the Mung daal in 2 cups water over night. The next morning, drain the water, but make sure to save about ¼ cups of the soaked water to make batter.
Transfer the mung daal into a grinder jar. Add about half of the saved water, and grind into paste. Add more water if needed for grinding, but do not add to much water. The paste should have thick consistency. Now add the salt, chili ginger paste, besan flour and rice flour. Stir well to combine everything together.
Heat a water in a dhokla vessel (steamer or rice cooker with steaming attachment will work too). Grease a thali with some oil. Once the water is boiling in the steamer/dhokla vessel, add the Eno to the batter and stir well. Immediately transfer the batter to the greased plate. Put the plate in the steamer, and steam on medium high heat for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
Take the plate out of the container, and let it cool. Once cool, cut into small square pieces, and serve with your choice of chutney or with ketchup.

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