Sunday, February 25, 2007

Parippu vada

One of my favorite snack with hot piping tea. The best parippu vada I have eaten are from the road side stalls that come to life after dusk. I would bribe friends to get some of the best tasting parotta mutta curry, parippu vada etc to gobble up. Getting the perfect reason to make them was easy this weekend - the winter snow storm in Chicago. Huddled indoor with nothing pressing to do except watch the snow wistfully, the parippu vada was the perfect foil.

This recipe is also my entry to te event "Sunday Snacks - Hot n Spicy" hosted by the lovely Pallavi of All Thingz Yummy.


Tuar Dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1/2 Chopped
Green Chili - 3 chopped
Dried Red Chili - 1
Ginger - 1" finely chopped
Curry Leaves - 5 to 6
Kayam / Asafoetida - pinch
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Rinse and soak the tuar dal for at least 4 hours. Drain the water and leave it in a colander for 10 minutes until the water drains completely. Grind the Dal,1/2 of the chopped onions and ginger, Red chili, green chili and salt into a thick coarse paste with no additional water. Mix the rest of the onion, ginger, curry leaves, kayam.
Heat the oil. In the meantime take handful of the mixture and make it into patties with a dimple on the top onto a cling wrap. carefully transfer the patties into the hot oil. Flip after 5 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes. Cook until the vada is a dark golden brown. Don't make the vada too thick as it would take a longer time to cook.
Remove from the oil to a paper napkin. Serve with hot piping tea.

You can also add 1/2 cup of soaked channa dal or masoor dal to the mixture.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Quick Vegetable Biryani

This is a quick and simple biryani. I normally make rice separately these days for two reasons - We currently have the electric stove which seems to have a mind of its own, and the rice cooked on the stove gets, lets just say, crispy!! The other reason is that once the rice is already cooked I can change my recipe until the last minute depending on what I want that instant ..
This recipe is simple in the number of ingredients and vegetables used.

Cooked Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Onion thinly sliced - 1/2 cup
Carrots small cubes - 1 cup
Peas - 1/2 cup
Cauliflower - 5 to 6 Florets
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Malli podi/ Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tsp

Malli Ela /Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup
Saunf/Fennel seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 " finely chopped
Garlic - 1 pod
Clove 3 to 4
Bay leaf -1
Cinnamon Stick - 1"
Nutmeg - 2 pinches
Cardamom - 2

Salt to taste
Ghee / Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp

When the Rice is cooked half the way you can start with the biryani masala. Once the rice it done cool the rice. In a blender make a smooth paste of 3 to 4 slices of onion, malli ela, saunf, cloves, garlic, ginger, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, nutmeg using very little water. In the meantime in a wok / large kadai heat the ghee (you can also use any refined oil and 1 tsp of ghee for smell instead). Add the rest of the onions and fry it until golden brown and slightly crispy. Add the carrot, cauliflower and peas and cook for 10 minutes. I used cauliflower that I had already boiled and frozen. If yours is raw it would take slightly more time for the veggies to cook well. Once the they are done add the chili powder, coriander powder and fry to 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the paste you created earlier and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the salt. Turn of the heat.
Now using a fork add the rice and mix with the masala. Run the fork and blend well. Serve hot with yogurt raita and pappadum.

If you would like to make the rice and the veggies together - after the paste is added and cooked add the uncooked rice and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add twice the amount of water for the rice, cover and cook on medium to low heat until the rice is cooked and the water evaporates. You might need to add additional 1 cup of water if you think it has not reached the consistency of the cooked rice you like.

To make a simple Yogurt Raita:
Mix finely chopped 2 tbsp of onion, 1 tbsp of finely chopped tomato, 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, 1/3 tsp of chili powder, 1/4 tsp jeera powder in 1 cup of yogurt. Add 1/3 cup of water and salt to taste.

You can also garnish with fried cashews, golden raisins and chopped Coriander leaves.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rava - Flaxseed Dosa

This is one of the of the dishes that I made modifications to incorporate more healthier options. Here I use ground flax seeds meal. This Rava - Flaxseed dosa can be made and used instantly if needed, so this is perfect for those rush times when you have very little time and yet you want something as comforting as dosa.

Fine Rava / Semolina - 1 Cup
Rice Flour - 1 tbsp
Ground Flaxseed Meal - 1 tbsp
Onion - 2 tbsp finely chopped
Jeerakam / Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 7 to 8
Green Chili - 1 finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Water - 2 1/2 cups

In a mixing bowl make a smooth batter of all the ingredients except the oil. Let it sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime heat a griddle or dosa kallu. Pour 1 ladleful of the batter and spread into a 5 to 6 inch wide thin crepes. If you are using dosa kallu make sure you oil the kallu before using of the dosa would stick. When using the non stick pan add a few drops of oil after spreading the batter. Let it get crisp for 5 minutes and then flip. Let it cook for another 3 minutes. Remove and serve hot with dosa podior sambhar.

You can decrease the amount of rava and increase the flaxseed according to your preference.
ground Flaxseed meal/ powder are available at most grocery stores.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blogger Postcards Around The World #2 - Valentine Card Recieved

Here is the lovely handmade post card I received from Ilva Beretta of Lucullian Delights. Thank you so much Ilva for the time and care, and wish you too are happy and peaceful on Valentine's day and every day after.

The event was organized by Meeta of Thanks meeta for hosting this wonderful event.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kadai Paneer

While I was busy with the Ginger Naan, my always better half was making the side of kadai Paneer. He used Chef Alfred Prasad's Kadai Paneer Recipe from Video Jug , making minor modifications on the way.

It came out Excellent!

Ginger Naan

This is my version of the Ginger Naan. This is also my contribution to Jihva For Ingredients: Ginger. This simple bread has been tweaked for ease and convenience.

Maida / All purpose flour - 2 1/2 cup
instant Yeast - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Oil or Butter - 2 tsp
Milk - 2 tbsp
Warm Water - 1 cup

Ginger - 1 cup grated / finely chopped
Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 5 to 10 leaves
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Salt to Taste

Mix all the dry ingredients(Maida, salt and sugar) first including the yeast. Then pour the milk, 1/2 tsp of oil and slowly add the warm water as needed to knead into a firm dough. Pour some more oil over the dough, cover with a wet cloth and let it rise for 1 hour. The dough should become twice it's original size.
In the meantime in a mixing bowl combine the ginger, chili powder, cumin powder, pepper, coriander leaves and salt. Once the dough is ready, take a fist size of the dough, put a drop of oil on it and roll the dough into a small disc. Rolling becomes easy when the dough is placed between to cling wrap sheets. Then place a tsp of the ginger mixture in the center of the dough and bring all the sides together to form a ball again. Place the top cling wrap back and roll it into a oblong shape. Here is where you need a tandoor - traditional Clay Oven. Well since I don't have that and as my baking skills aren't exactly spectacular, I used a cast iron griddle that I normally use for Dosas.
Heat the griddle and carefully place the naan. Let it rise for 3 to 4 minutes and then flip it over. At this time you can add a drop of butter over the naan. Remove and serve hot. Naan or any other kind of bread made from Maida should be consumed hot as they tend to become rubbery when cold. And if you are wondering will using the griddle actually make soft naans - you bet, it will be soft and puffy.

Simple Aloo Baingan Subzi

Potato - 1 cup cubed
Baingan/ Eggplant - 1 cup cubed
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Jeerakam / Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Chili Powder - 3/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 1/2 tsp

Soak the potato and eggplant in salt water for 15 minutes. In the meantime in a saute pan, heat oil. Saute the Jeerakam and then add the peanuts and fry for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and saute for 2 minutes. add the veggies after straining the water and stir fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water, additional salt if needed, cover and cook on low - medium for 15 minutes. Another way to quickly cook the veggies are to microwave them separately and then mix with the peanuts and spices. Uncover and then let is cook for 5 mire minutes until the water totally evaporates. Serve with Chappati, also tastes good with Rice and yogurt.