Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Set dosa and Vegetable saagu

Set dosa and saagu is a famous tiffin variety in Karnataka. As the name suggests, it is served as a set of 3 dosas. It is served along with saagu or kurma along with coconut chutney.

You need :

For batter :
  • 1 cup of raw rice
  • 1/2 cup of urad dhal
  • 1/2 cup of poha/avalakki
  • 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
Fenugreek seeds and poha helps make the dosa soft.

Method :
  • Soak the rice separately and all the other ingredients together for about 4-5 hours.
  • Grind all the ingredients together to make a fine paste. Add the salt.
  • Allow the batter to stand for atleast 8 hours for it to ferment.
  • Heat the griddle and coat the griddle with oil.
  • Add a ladle full of batter on the griddle. Do not spread the batter too much.
  • Cook both sides until they are done.
  • Serve hot with saagu. (I made vegetable saagu)

VEGETABLE SAAGU
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 medium chopped tomato
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 2 curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Curry leaves for garnishing
For Gravy :
  • 2 spoons khus-khus /poppy seeds
  • handful of grated coconut
  • 2 pieces of clove
  • small piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon fried dhal / pottu kadalai
Method :
  • Fry khus-khus, coconut, clove, cinnamon stick and fried dhal in a pan until they turn brown. Add green chillies and grind all the roasted ingredients in a blender to make a fine paste.
  • Cook all the vegetables in 2 cups of water.
  • In a pan, add 2 tablespoon of oil and when the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onions and curry leaves and sauté until the onions turn brown.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, turmeric, salt and asafoetida and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked vegetables, gravy and 1/2 cup water and cook for 10 minutes. (add less or more water according to the required consistency)
  • Remove from heat and serve hot.
  • This side dish can also be served with poori.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ragi roti

Ragi is a traditional crop of South India. It is called the poor man's millet due to its affordable price and long sustenance. It is highly rich in proteins, calcium, antioxidant properties and dietary fiber. It is slow but easily digestable making us fuller on fewer calories.

Ragi porridge is a very nutritional food for toddlers. Ragi malt is another way of consuming this whole grain.

Ragi roti is like any other roti or chapathi , it can be made as is or with vegetable stuffing.

Makes : 4 rotis

You Need :
  • 1 cup ragi flour
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt (according to taste)
  • 4 green chillies (according to required spice level)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A plastic sheet or wax paper for flattening the dough
Method :
  • In a pan, add the water , oil, salt and finely chopped green chillies and bring it to boil.
  • Cut the onion finely and set aside.
  • When the water boils, add ragi slowly and mix continuously so as to not form lumps.
  • Add the chopped onion and mix them in low flame until it forms a dough.
  • Close the pan with a lid and let it stand for 5 minutes.
I like to prepare the dough this way so it takes away the raw smell of ragi and it is easy to flatten them into thin roti.
  • When the dough cools down to bearable heat, smear your hands with oil and roll the dough firmly.
  • Take a lemon sized dough and flatten them in the plastic sheet or wax paper.
  • Heat the pan in medium high heat.
  • Invert the plastic sheet on the pan and slowly remove the sheet off the pan. (you can also wet your hands and invert the roti on your palm and put it on the pan)

  • Cook them until both sides are cooked.
  • Serve them hot with coconut chutney or any side dish of your choice.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zucchini pancakes

Zucchini is a form of summer squash. It is a low calorie vegetable but a very filling one. Zucchini pancakes is a popular dish in Turkish cuisine. One medium sized zucchini contains just 25 calories. It has a high water content .
Typically, this recipe requires eggs, so I have made a few changes to this recipe so that it can be made without eggs. I have substituted pancake mix for eggs and all purpose flour.

Makes - 8 - 10

You need :
  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 green chillies (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pancake mix
  • 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil /olive oil
Method :
  • In a large bowl shred the zucchini (don't peel the skin).
  • Finely chop the onion and green chillies and add them in the bowl.
  • To this mixture add salt, pepper and the pancake mix.
  • In a pan add 2 tablespoons of oil and allow it to heat.
  • Now add 2 spoonfuls of the mixture and flatten them with the back of the spoon.
  • Cook the pancakes until both the sides are brown.
  • Repeat the last 2 steps for the rest of the mixture.
  • Serve them hot with tomato ketchup or marinara sauce or hot sauce.

Notes :
  1. If you are planning on making this pancake with eggs then this recipe requires two of them and replace the pancake mix with equal amounts all purpose flour.
  2. You can also make a batter and bake them like the regular pancakes.
This recipe is one of the entries for Priya's pancakes event.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oats Upma

Oats is a common breakfast item in every household now a days. It is an excellent source of iron, dietary fiber and thiamine. Though it is good for everyone, it is highly recommended for people with diabetics, heart problems and high cholesterol levels. Usually, oats is made into porridge which is sweet.

In India, our breakfast items are rarely sweet so I could not enjoy consuming oats in porridge form This prompted me to make a spicy dish using oats.

Serves : 1

You need :
  • 3/4 cup of quick 1-minute oats
  • 1/6 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup of chopped potatoes
  • 1/3 cup of peas
  • 1/3 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small sized onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • pinch of asefoetida
  • coriander leaves/cilantro for garnishing
Method :
  • Dry roast the oats until it turns slightly brown. Set them aside.
  • Cook all the vegetables (expect tomatoes and onion) seperately.
  • In a pan, add oil. When the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onion and fry them until they turn brown.
  • Add the tomatoes, turmeric, salt, green chillies,asefoetida and fry for a minute.
  • Now add all the cooked vegetables and fry them for a minute.
  • Add water and bring it to boil.
  • Now add the roasted oats and cook them in medium flame for about 5 minutes with occasional stirring. (do not cover the pan with the lid).
  • Add the cilantro and turn the heat off.

It tastes best when served hot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pesrattu

Pesrattu is an Andhra style dosa. Green gram is the main ingredient in this recipe. It is rich in fiber and protein and contains less fat and cholesterol, making this dish a healthy one. This is usually served with allam chutney (Spicy Andhra style ginger chutney) and coconut chutney.

Makes : 12 dosas

You need :

For Batter:
  • 1 cup whole moong dhal/green gram
  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • Small piece of ginger (about an inch)
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For Garnishing :
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • A small piece of ginger
Chop all the ingredients finely.Mix them all together and set aside.

Preparation :
  • Soak the moong dhal and rice overnight in 4 cups of water.
  • Grind the dhal, rice, ginger, green chillies and salt to make a fine paste.
  • Heat the griddle in medium heat.
  • Pour one ladle full of batter on the griddle and spread outward to make a thin dosa.
  • Sprinkle the garnishing mixture on the dosa and cover it with a lid.
  • Cook until both sides are cooked.
  • Serve hot with sambhar, allam chutney and coconut chutney. (I served it with sambhar and coconut chutney).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Stuffed Idli / Vegetable Idli

Idli is a staple food of South India. Idli, sambhar and coconut chutney make a perfect combination. They contain less fat and are packed with nutrition and taste. The key to soft and fluffy idli is the right proportion of boiled rice and urad dhal and the consistency of the batter.

Stuffed idli or vegetable idli is a variation to the regular idli.

For the batter :

You need :
  • 4 cups boiled rice
  • 1 cup urad dhal
  1. Soak the boiled rice for atleast 4 hours. Preferably use unbroken urad dhal for the batter.
  2. This little secret (as I call it) I got from my mother-in-law : Don't soak the dhal for a very long time, otherwise, it won't be airy and light after grinding. Soak it just for an hour.
  3. Grind the dhal separately until it forms a fine paste and starts foaming. Pour this in a container.
  4. Grind the soaked boiled rice until it forms a fine paste. Pour this on top of the urad dhal paste.
  5. Add 3 teaspoons of salt and mix them well.
  6. Allow the mixture to ferment for atleast 16 hours.
For Stuffing :

You need :
  • 1 cup finely chopped string beans
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green capsicum
  • 1 cup finely chopped potatoes.
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder(according to taste)
  • pinch of asefoetida
  • salt according to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Mustards seeds for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method :
  • Steam cook the vegetables.
  • In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds pop, add the cooked vegetables, turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, asefoetida and mix them well.
  • Let it simmer for 5 min. Turn off the heat and transfer the curry to a bowl.

  • Grease all the plates of the idli stand.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of batter in each idli cup holder.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the prepared curry (or as desired) over the batter.

  • Pour more batter to cover the curry.

  • Repeat the same for as many plates as you need.
  • In a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil.
  • Place the idli stand and close the pressure cooker lid and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Take the stand out of the cooker and let the plates cool down for 10 min.
  • Scoop the idlis out of the idli cup holder using a spoon or spatula.
  • Serve hot with sambhar and chutney.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wheat Nippattu (Wheat crackers)

Nippattu is a spicy snack famous in Karnataka. This can be made in many different ways depending on individual preferences. This recipe that I made is from my mother. It is a little time consuming than other snacks but the yummy taste is worth all the effort. This is made during festivals, specially Krishna Janmaastami among the other variety of snacks.

Like any other snack it can be stored for a couple of weeks in an air tight container. Nippattu and rava ladoo make a great combo for an evening snack with coffee or tea.

Wheat is the main ingredient for this snack. Fried dhal, coconut and peanuts give it the crunchy taste.

Makes : 35

Preparation time : 1 hour and 30 min

You need :
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup fried dhal/ pottukadalai
  • 1/4 cup ground nuts
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 5 dry red chillies
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon asefoetida / hing / perungaayam
  • 1 cup water (or as required) to knead dough
Preparation :
  • In a large bowl, add the wheat flour, rice flour, salt and asefoetida and mix them well.
  • Using a blender, powder the fried dhal and red chillies individually and add them to the flour mix.
  • Using a blender again, crack the ground nuts into 1 or 2 pieces and add to the mixture.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and pour this hot oil over the flour mix.
  • Mix them well using a spatula.

The mixture looks like this after adding oil.
  • Add small amounts of water and knead them to make a firm dough.
  • Take small portions of this dough and roll them into balls. Flatten each ball into small round discs using a plastic sheet or a leaf smeared with oil. You can also use a poori press to make the job easier.
  • Using a fork, prick each one of these discs several times to prevent it from puffing while deep frying.
  • Heat oil in a pan.(just enough for deep frying)
  • When the oil is hot, bring the heat to medium low flame and fry them until they turn golden brown.





Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Coconut macaroon cookies are traditionally called Fraser bell cookies. It is a delicious cookie which is crispy outside and soft and chewy inside. Egg whites gives them the soft and airy texture.

Makes : 25 pieces

Preparation time : 45 minutes
Baking time : 12 minutes

You need :
  • 3 cups of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Preparation :
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Cut the parchment paper to exactly fit the bottom of the cookie tray.
  • This step is optional : If the coconut flakes are too long, then you can shred them fine using a blender.
  • In a bowl, add the egg white, sugar, vanilla extract and salt and whisk them until the sugar is melted.
  • To the above mixture, add the all purpose flour and mix without forming any lumps.
  • Now add the coconut flakes to this mixture and fold the mixture gently.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the refrigerator. Scoop them into small balls (using a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop) and place them in the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake them for about 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie is slightly brown.
  • Remove the cookies (along with the parchment paper) from the cookie tray and allow them to cool.

Variations:
  1. You can dip these cookies in chocolate or drizzle them with chocolate syrup.
  2. You can use fresh egg whites instead of the ready to use one. In that case, you will have to whisk the egg whites (from 2 eggs) until they form a stiff peak. Have the other ingredients already mixed in a bowl and then add the egg whites and fold them gently to mix.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Rava Ladoo

Rava ladoo is a traditional sweet of south India. This is one of my husband's and son's favorite. There are many ways of making this ladoo, this is one of them.

Makes : 20

Preparation time : 1 hour 30 min

You need :
  • 1 cup rava (semolina/sooji)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fried dhal (pottu kadalai/ buna channa)
  • 1/4 cup moong dhal (paasi paruppu)
  • handful of cashew nuts
  • 3/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 tsp elaichi (cardamom)

Preparation :
  • In a pan, roast the rava (semolina) until it turns slightly brown. Remove them from the pan and transfer to a bowl.
  • In the same pan, fry the moong dhal for 5 minutes.
  • In a blender, add the roasted rava (semolina), moong dhal, fried dhal (pottu kadalai) and sugar and blend them to make a fine powder and set aside.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of elaichi to this powder and mix well.
  • In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee. When the ghee melts, add the cashew nuts and roast them till golden brown.
  • Add the roasted cashew nuts to the powder and mix well.
  • In same pan add 3/4 cup of ghee and heat it for 10 min.
  • Add this hot ghee to the mixture and mix them with a spatula. (Be cautious not to touch the mixture with your hand as the ghee will be hot and it might burn your hand).

  • When the mixture is still warm, take small amounts of the powder and make them into small balls(lemon-sized).

Variations:
  1. Have some powdered sugar in a bowl and roll these ladoos in them for extra sweetness. Tap the ladoo to remove excess of sugar powder sticking onto it.
  2. The powder that you get after grinding the ingredients can be stored for a very long time. This way, you save time and you can make ladoos in just 10 min.





Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eggless Cake for V'Day


I have always wanted to make a cake at home but , never had the perfect recipe, until today. As I am a lacto-vegan I wanted to try an eggless cake. I came across this recipe just in time for valentines day.

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min

You need:
  • 1- 1/4 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (unsalted)
  • 8 x 2" round cake pan
  • Waxed paper for baking

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F (162 c).
  • Cut the wax paper to exactly fit the bottom of the cake pan.
  • Grease the pan with vegetable oil or vegetable shortening, place the wax paper and grease the top of the wax paper and the sides of the cake pan.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and pour the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, orange juice and melted butter.
  • Mix them slowly without any lumps.
  • Pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 15 min or until a toothpick or a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow it to cool for 10 min. Don't let the cake cool of completely as the cake might stick on to the pan. The cake must still feel warm while transferring.
  • Run the knife on the edges of the cake, this makes it easy to remove the cake from the pan. Invert the pan on the cake platter or you can also use a thick cardboard piece.
  • Tap the inverted pan slightly. Now, remove the cake pan slowly.
Since I didn't have cake platter or a thick cardboard I used a cookie sheet.
  • Remove the wax paper.

  • Decorate the cake as wild as your imagination goes.
Variations:
  1. If the cake looks dry, brush generous amount of orange juice using the brush while the cake is still warm (so that it absorbs the juice)
  2. Instead of orange you can use pineapple juice and also cut some small fresh pineapple pieces and add them to the cake mixture while making the batter.




Thursday, February 11, 2010

Paneer Butter Masala


Paneer butter masala is a bright orange colored smooth and creamy North Indian dish.Paneer Butter Masala is basically a Punjabi preparation, also termed as Paneer Makhani. This dish tastes good with naan, roti or any type of bread.


Preparation time : 30 -40 min

Serves : 2 - 3

You Need :

  • 1 cup of panner (cubes)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/4 inch ginger piece
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup thick curd (whipped)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed(jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (according to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt (according to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • coriander leaves for garnishing (cilantro)
  • Pinch of Asefoetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon Corn starch (for thickening the gravy)

Methodology:
  • Deep fry the paneer cubes on medium heat until the paneer has turned slight golden brown. Set them aside.
  • Blend 2 medium sized tomatoes, 1 green chilli and ginger to make a puree.
  • In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable/sunflower oil. Once the oil is heated, add cumin seeds,bay leaf and asefoetida.
  • When the cumin seeds crack, add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, salt and coriander seed powder and cook closed for 5 minutes. Tomato puree will leave oil and will reduce in quantity by half.
  • Add the whipped curd now and cook for 3-4 minutes with occasional stirring.
  • Add green peas and paneer and cook for 5 minutes until the peas are tender.
  • If the gravy is thin, dissolve 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water and add to the gravy.
  • Add garam masala and let cook for 1 minute.
  • Garnish it with cilantro.

Variations:
  1. For a richer taste, you can substitute curd with heavy cream.
  2. You can add any combination of vegetables to this dish.




Monday, February 1, 2010

Naan Katai

Naan Katai (Butter biscuit) is a light and crispy biscuit, ideal for evening snack with coffee or tea.

Makes: 35-40 pieces.

Preparation time : 30 min
Baking time :15 min

You Need:
All purpose flour or maida - 1 1/2 cup
Besan flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoon
Baking soda - a pinch
Cardamom - 1 teaspoon
Vegetable Oil- 3/4 cup

Preparation
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter in the oven.
  • In a bowl add all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter.
  • Add vegetable oil in little portions to the above mixture and mix gently by folding in.
  • Make small balls and press them with your palm slightly(don't flatten them)
  • Place them well spaced on the cookie sheet and bake them in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes, keep checking if the bottom of the cookie has turned light brown.
  • When its done, remove from the oven and allow it to cool down.

Notes:
  1. If you are not able to make a ball then that means you need to add little more oil to the dough, but make sure you dont add too much because that can make the cookies brittle.
  2. If the cookie is still brittle then reduce the amount of butter a little.
  3. Do not try to move the cookies when they are hot as they can break. Allow them to cool down completely.
Variations to this recipe:

  • You can add coconut to the mixture to make coconut cookies.
  • You can add sliced almonds and pistachios on top of the cookie before baking.