March 30, 2011

Masala dosa in Quesadilla style

Idlis and dosas are always very common in South Indian households. These are such a relish which can be enjoyed any time of the day. I am in the habit of making this batter almost every fortnight as it comes in handy to fix a meal or to serve the famished kids after a long day at the school. This time I stuck to the traditional idli/dosa batter with idli rice and urad dal. Having done that, I wanted to make some dosas with masala but did not want to prepare that in the usual style. My kids love having cheese inside their dosas...give an option, they will choose the cheese dosa over the regular plain dosa or masala dosa. So, I came upon this idea of trying dosas in Quesadilla style using some veggies. I deliberated over mixed veggies or spinach and finally settled to making some veggie Quesadilla style dosas. However, since I did not have the mexican seasonings, I just went ahead and used our regular seasoning and garam masala. I could have just used some cumin and chilli powder to get the Mexican flavors but was not sure if my kids would like it.

Masala Ingredients
3/4 to 1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 of a big capsicum
1 medium potato peeled and chopped fine
1 small carrot peeled and chopped fine(smaller than the potatoes)
1/2 cup of fine chopped beans
1 big clove of garlic
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/8 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
few sprigs of coriander leaves

Take 2 tsp of oil and when it is warm enough add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the green chili and garlic, fry for a minute on low/medium heat. Toss in the capsicum or bell peppers and saute again for a minute or two on medium flame. Follow it with the potatoes, turmeric, chilli powder and little salt just enough for the potatoes and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetable and the rest of the required salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low flame until the vegetables are done. Add some chopped coriander leaves in the and garam masala powder, give a stir and turn it off.

Once this masala is all cooled down, toss it with some cheese(four cheese mexican) and have it ready to be stuffed inside the dosas. If you have more cheese the dosa will hold together better. However, I did not want to compromise on the vegetables also, so used the amount that was just enough for it.

There are two ways of doing the stuffing. Cook one dosa first and cook the second one. While the second one is almost done, spread the cheese and vegetable mixture on the dosa evenly and cover it with the first dosa. Give it a few seconds, before flipping so that the dosas are stuck together. Now cook this side for about 15-20 seconds. The other way of doing it is to spread the cheese veggie mix on one half of the dosa and fold over the dosa and let it cook a few seconds on both sides until the cheese is all melted.

The dosas should not be made wafer thin. Try to keep it thicker than the paper dosa that we get at restaurants and cook it on medium flame until it is all nice brown and crispy.

Since my kids are very fond of the spinach and cheese combination, I am tempted to try that as well as a stuffing in my dosa.

March 28, 2011

Quinoa and Tuar Upma

While the word Upma usually refers to Rawa/Sooji Upma, we have other many varieties using  ingredients like the Semiya, Sago and Poha.  Yet another variety of Upma is the Arisi Upma or Rice Upma which is a very traditional preparation in the Tamil Brahmin households.  It is done by processing the rice and the toor dal to a coarse rawa like consistency.  Usually the rice is powdered and stored for quick use and the toor dal is ground just before making the upma.  These days it is being substitued with the store bought cream of rice (raw) which is readily available.  Growing up, I was really fond of this Upma and could never say enough to it.  It tastes so good with some sambar:-)

Anyway, in continuation of my Quinoa experiments and also after the conversation I had with my friend, I realised that Quinoa is a perfect ingredient for this dish....thanks to her, I now have this wonderful recipe which I will never hesitate to do whenever I want a quick fix meal for myself.

1/2 cup Quinoa
2 table spoons of tuar dal
salt to taste
oil for seasoning
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal

1 red chilli
pinch of hing
few curry leaves
2 tbsp coconut(optional)

Wash the quinoa thoroughly and drain.  Wash the tuar dal and let it drain.  It does not have to become completely dry.  While it is damp, process it to a coarse consistency(can be as big as or bigger than quinoa grains).  Heat up the oil and add the seasoning ingredients one by one.  Add 1 cup of water and let it come to a boil.  Add salt, quinoa and the tuar dal and cook till the water is absorbed.  Place this in the cooker for 3- 4 whistles.

After opening, fluff it up and add little bit of ghee before serving.  If using coconut, add it while the quinoa is cooking on the stove top.  You can also  include some cumin seeds and pepper in the seasoning.

This quantity is just enough for two people.

Eggless Sweet Potato Muffins

I consider my blog to not only be a place to share my recipes with others but also to narrate my experiences.  Sometimes these experiences cannot be so good.  As far as baking is concerned, I like to try out simple cakes, quick breads and muffins.  Most of the time my attempts have been a success.  I like the idea of incorporating different kinds of vegetables as well in these recipes... even though typically bananas and apples are a favorite.  I bought these sweet potatoes(probably the second time in my life) with the intention of trying out some desserts.  The idea of using it in a muffin hit me I and looked for some recipes on the net.  I came upon this recipe here which called for 2 eggs for 2 cups of flour.  But I decided to substitute these eggs with banana and oil. As I started, there were a few hiccups - I was short of some potatoes and brown sugar.  Hence, I had to come up with alternatives....and ended up using the ingredients like this

1.5 cups of  shredded sweet potato and 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 banana mashed
1 tbsp milk plus 3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup of oil
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1.25 tsp ground cinnamon
1.25 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp pepper powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Whisked the brown sugar, banana, maple syrup, oil, milk and vanilla.  Combined the dry ingredients in a bowl. Added the grated potatoes to the flour.  Added the dry to the wet oil and sugar mixture and stirred all the ingredients together.  As I found this to be very dry, I added about a 1/2 cup of milk.  I used only half the quantity of the raisins and walnuts as I was adding it to half of the batter.  Baked in an oven set to 350 degrees F for little longer than the set time of 28 minutes. I could not get a rounded muffin top as after taking out they sort of collapsed.  I felt it was little bit wet on the inside...nevertheless the taste was good.

I will surely try this again without the milk and without too many variations from the recipe to get it right.

March 27, 2011

Colorful salad with toasted sesame and peanuts

This morning as I was chatting with my friend, she mentioned about a Chinese type salad with spinach, iceberg lettuce and cucumbers, with some toasted sesame and peanuts...the dressing base being sesame oil, soy sauce and chili sauce. However, I am not a big fan of Chinese flavors and so are the rest in my family. Also, I could not imagine myself and my family tasting the sesame oil in a salad. Since salad was already in my lunch menu(because a full bunch of romaine lettuce was waiting to be used), I thought I could try this but do my own version of the dressing for the above mentioned reasons......

1/2 cucumber
1 cup cabbage cut into thin long 1 inch strips
1 small carrot
1 table spoon each of red and yellow capsicum
a handful of spinach leaves
4 leaves of romaine lettuce
handful of roasted peanuts
1 tbsp of sesame seeds roasted

1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
sugar half the amount of salt
ground pepper to taste
2 pinches of ginger powder or use a small piece of ginger grated
pinch of chili powder(optional)
lemon juice to taste

Remove the stems of the spinach leaves and cut into thin long strips. Peel and slice the carrot and the cucumber and cut into long strips. Similarly, cut the cabbage and the capsicum into thin l inch long strips to give the above mentioned quantity. Remove the stem part of the lettuce leaves and cut them into long strips.

Take this all into a bowl. Add the roasted sesame seeds and the peanuts(I chopped the peanuts coarsely so that it was hidden in the salad). Whisk all the dressing ingredients and add it to the salad. Toss well and serve.

This was the quantity of vegetables that I used for the salad...however, this can be increased or decreased according to your taste or availability. You can also toss in any other vegetable or bean into it.

We had this salad today for lunch with a small bowl of rawa upma sauteed with green beans, celery and potatoes and some pickle to go with!! I couldn't help but posting a picture of that too....

March 26, 2011

Asparagus Masala

 Whenever the asparagus are aplenty in the market, I end up making them almost once a week.  I usually cook them in South Indian style with a simple mustard tadka(seasoning) and chilli powder.  Sometimes,  I do in the same manner in combination with potatoes and carrots.

Today, I wanted to get the North Indian flavor for which potatoes, an all time favorite, work as a good companion ingredient.  This makes it interesting for both the adults and the kids.   This turned out to be really good and we had this subzi and a simple moong dal with rotis last night for dinner.


1 bunch  asparagus
15 oz potatoes peeled and chopped
1 onion
1 plus 1/2 big tomatoes
3-4 garlic cloves sliced into thin rounds
1 green chilli slit
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
Wash the asparagus, trim the hard end and chop up the rest into half inch long pieces.
Heat up a table spoon of oil in a pan and splutter the cumin seeds.  Add the onions and cook until it changes to a nice light golden color.  Throw in the garlic and green chilli and stir for another half a minute.  Now add the tomatoes, stir for a minute and add the potatoes with salt, turmeric, chilli and paprika.  You can add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water to cook the potatoes faster.  Keep it covered and cook on low heat.
Once the potatoes are soft, add the asparagus and cook until the asparagus is cooked crunchy.  You do not want to over do it.  After adding the asparagus you will have to add little more salt.  Once it is all done, add the garam masala powder...give a good stir and turn off.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

March 25, 2011

Sunflower Seed Podi

I usually keep some sunflower seeds in my pantry as it is a very nutritious addition to a salad. I am making salad all the time as that is what my husband takes as his lunch. So just to have some variety I try not to add the same nut every day.
One day, I came upon this idea of using these seeds to make a podi out of it that can be mixed with the rice on the same lines as Sesame podi. Sesame podi being a traditional item in the south, I immediately referred my "Cook and See" book and came across a recipe for Sesame podi and a recipe for Sesame rice. The only difference being that the latter uses little urad dal along with sesame, red chillies and hing. And for the rice, you continue further by adding the seasonings along with the prepared powder to toss in the rice.

Since I have always liked the flavor of urad dal, I decided to make the powder as it is done for the Sesame rice. My experiment was a big hit and my Father in law enjoyed it very much:)

Here I am sharing that recipe with you all. This time I tried another variation using more of urad dal and some chana dal. Down below, I have given both the variations of the Podi. Both are good for mixing with rice as well as for enjoying with idlis and dosas with few drops of sesame oil like the Molagapodi.

Powder No 1
1/2 cup Sunflower seeds(roasted and salted)
2 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
3 red chillies(long variety)
generous pinch of hing
little less than 1 tsp salt

Powder No 2
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp urad dal
2 red chillies(long variety)
1/2 tsp salt
hing powder

I am not sure if sunflower seeds are available in India, but it is available in the USA in all the grocery stores. Dry roast all the ingredients separately except the sunflower seeds and salt. Powder the roasted ingredients with salt to a coarse texture. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse until it gets coarse...Take care not to over do after the seeds are added as this will let out oil and clump together. You can add a small piece of jaggery to the powder no 1 while grinding. You can also adjust the red chillies depending on your spice level.

This goes to "Only "-Original recipes event of Pari's which is run by Nivedita.

March 24, 2011

Poosanikkai (White Pumpkin) Kootu

3-4 cups of cubed pumpkin
1/4 to 1/3 cup of toor dal
1/4 cup of fresh field beans(mochai)
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric
pinch of hing
4 tea spoons coconut
1 red chilli
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Mustard, Urad dal, curry leaves

Cook the pumpkin with salt and turmeric adding little water until it is translucent.  Cook the toor dal  and mochai in the pressure cooker in separate containers.   Add little salt and water to the mochai.
Grind the paste ingredients adding little water to a coarse consistency.  I do not use too much coconut in my cooking even though traditionally it calls for.  Of course, needless to say more coconut makes the dish even more tasty.  So please feel free to add more coconut.
Add the paste.... bring it to a boil, add the cooked dal and let it come to a boil again.   If you find the consistency to be thin, you can add half a spoon of rice flour and bring it to a boil to thicken.  Take a spoon of oil and season mustard, urad dal and curry leaves.  Add it to the Kootu.

Barley Carrot Kheer

1/4 cup Broken Barley
1 small carrot
11/2 cup milk(I used fat free)
3 table spoons sugar
3 cashews
extra milk to cook barley and carrots
few strands of saffron
1/8 tea spoon of crushed cardamom
few cashew nuts and raisins for garnish

The first step is to process the barley to a coarse rawa consistency. Please refer to my Instant Barley and Rawa Idli recipe. Next, the barley and the carrots have to be cooked. Take water and milk together equal to a cup in a vessel and add the barley rawa. You can use full measure of milk if you want. Chop the carrots into slices and take them in a vessel with milk just enough to cover them. Add the 3 cashews. Cook both of them together for about 10 minutes on low heat after a whistle or upto 2 to 3 whistles. In the meanwhile, boil the milk thoroughly in the microwave.

Once the pressure is released, take the carrots with the milk and grind into a smooth paste. You can add more milk if you want while grinding. Bring it to the stove top and cook until the raw smell is gone. Add the cooked barley to the carrot puree along with the boiled milk. Let this all blend together and come to a boil on a medium flame. Add the sugar and let it come to a boil again. The amount of sugar that I used was only 2 tbsps and was just the right amount as I served the kheer warm. This was quite enough to satiate my sugary taste buds. If it is going to be chilled before serving you would definitely need more sugar. That is the reason I put in 3 tbsp in the ingredients.

This kheer is going to get thicker in consistency as it cools down. If you want you can add an extra cup of milk to begin with itself. Just remember to adjust the sugar accordingly.

Garnish with some roasted cashew nuts and raisins(I prefer not to use raisins)

This recipe goes towards Wholesome Grain Cooking - Barley event of Sanjeetha.

March 23, 2011

Radish Roti

5 big red radishes
1/2 cup barley flour
1 cup wheat flour
3/4 tsp
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ajwain seeds
1-2 tbsp oil
Oil for dredging

Cut the red radish into quarters. I decided to use up some leftover barley flour from making the barley kheer. Throw in all the ingredients into the food processor and turn it on. Do not add any water. Soon it will all come together and begin to form a ball. Take it out and start kneading with your hands. I started off with the above quantity of flour but ended up using about another 1/2 cup flour. I also used some coriander stems while processing the flour. I try not to throw them away after trimming the leaves and use it in chutneys and rasams.

Those of you who like it to be spicy can increase the quantity of the chilli powder and correspondingly the salt.

Heat up a tawa and first cook one side and turn over.. Then smear oil and cook both sides till brown dots appear.

We had these rotis with some leftover curry and sambar.

I am sending this entry to Cooking with seeds - Wheat event.

March 21, 2011

Turnip Greens with Potatoes

I was sitting down and wondering what to come up with for dinner when my younger one suggested I make some potatoes with green leaves. I usually make aloo palak or aloo methi which my daughters love. Today, I did not have both of, I decided to use the turnip leaves ( I am probably doing this turnip potato combo the second time). I always have these frozen greens like collard, mustard and turnip in my freezer all the time. These come in handy when you decide to make a simple dal and want to include some vegetables. You just throw in a few handfuls of these greens into the dal and you have a very simple and nutritious side dish. My daughters enjoyed their meal with some phulkas and a cup of yogurt.

2 big potatoes (about 1/2 a kg) cut into big cubes
1 cup chopped frozen turnip greens thawed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 full teaspoon of chopped garlic
2 teaspoons of chopped ginger
1 green chilli chopped finely
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Heat up the oil and splutter the cumin seeds. Follow it with onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute it till the onion turns transparent. Add the potatoes along with salt and turmeric. Stir this on little above medium heat for about five minutes. Cover and cook on low heat until the potatoes are soft yet firm. Now add the turnip leaves. Check for salt and add more if needed. Cover it again and cook for some more time until the potatoes become little more softer. At any of the stages while covering and cooking you can sprinke some water if necessary.

Hope you enjoy as well:-)

March 20, 2011

Three Bean salad with Sesame dressing

1 cup plus little more of boiled channa(garbanzo beans)
1 cup cooked rajma(kidney beans)
1 cup cooked black eyed beans(lobiya)
1/2 cup green beans chopped into 1" long pieces
1/4 cup of thinly sliced onions 1 inch long

3 table spoon olive oil
2 tea spoon sesame seeds
few sprigs of coriander leaves
small piece of ginger
2 small cloves of garlic
a small piece of green chilli
salt to taste
1 table spoon lime or lemon juice

Cook the beans covered in the microwave with little bit salt and sugar until it is soft.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Grind the dressing ingredients to a smooth paste. Add it to the salad and toss them thoroughly.
You can make this even more colourful by adding yellow and orange peppers, some tomatoes and corn.

I am sending this salad entry to Manjula's Kitchen contest.

Pecan Ladoo

1 cup pecans                                                       
1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup sugar
few cardamom pods
a spoon of ghee
1/4 cup milk

Process the pecans making sure that it does not get lumpy. Roast the oats in a spoon of ghee until it turns golden brown in color. Powder this with the sugar and cardamom.
In the meanwhile, begin to toast the processed pecans on the stove top. Slowly you will begin to see that the nuts are letting out oil and kind of coming together. Roast this until you get the smell of the pecans making sure it does not get burnt.
Transfer this and the oats mixture to a bowl. Have a quarter cup of milk heated up and ready. It is not required to boil the milk. Use the needed amount of  milk  to bind all the processed powder and nuts together. I always thought that these ladoos needed ghee to hold them until I saw this wonderful recipe of Priya's Microwave Oats and Poha Ladoo. That is when I learnt that you can use warm milk instead.
Roll into round balls while it is warm. I did not bother to add cashews as the ladoo by itself has a nutty flavor because of the pecans.
I am very excited to send this to "Only"-Original recipes event which was created by Pari.

March 19, 2011

Quinoa Venthaya Dosai

In this health conscious world,every body is trying to incorporate all the good grains into their diet instead of the traditional Rice.  One such grain(or a seed I must say) that has caught every one's attention is QUINOA ( pronounced as kee-n-wah).  This is not new to many of the innovative cooks out there in the blogging as well as the non blogging world.  In fact, I have heard of some friends who eat this like the regular  rice.

I have tried Quinoa Upma and Pulao and Puliyogare was my recent attempt.  There are quite a few recipes out there using Quinoa in  idlis, dosas and adais - the typical breakfast dishes of South India.  I too was keen on attempting to do this.  But I was a little skeptical given the fact that my husband does not relish  Quinoa as much as I do.  And getting the kids to eat is going to be out of question.

As I was pondering, I decided to include  Quinoa into a variety of Dosa called Venthaya(methi seed) Dosa.  This is a version which is very popular in Chennai households.  I have had this many times when I was growing up but never tried in my own kitchen.  So I called my mother and got the recipe for Venthaya Dosa which is as follows

3 cups parboiled rice
1/2 cup urad dal
1/4 cup toor dal
1 table spoon methi seeds
The soaking and grinding procedure is all the same like any other dosa.

I also came upon this variation in the very famous Tamil cookbook called "Samaithup Paar"(Cook and See) by Meenatchi Ammal.  This book is like a big piece of  treasure to any girl getting married and having to explore the nuances of cooking all by herself.  Of late, the English version of the book is available as well.  In that book there was a mention of  Venthaya Thuvaramparuppu Uthappam(Methi toor dal/ Uthappam).
The ingredients for this is as follows

2 cups parboiled rice
1 cup toor dal
1 table spoon methi seeds

However, I decided to go with the one my mother makes all the time and alter it to my needs.  Here goes the recipe of Quinoa version of the methi dosa.

2 cups parboiled rice
1 cup quinoa washed thoroughly
1/2 cup urad dal
1/4 cup toor dal
1 table spoon methi/fenugreek seeds

Soak all the ingredients for 5-6 hours.  Start grinding the urad dal and methi seeds.  When it is almost frothy add the toor dal.  After it is ground well, add the quinoa and let the grinder run for about 10 minutes. Finally add the rice.  Make sure the rice is not ground too fine.  It should be a bit coarse.  Add the required amount of salt.  Let the batter ferment for 12 hours.

These dosas cannot be made as wafer thin crepes.  They will have to be spread out thick like uthappams.  But they are really soft and makes good for lunch boxes.  As I expected, the flavor of the methi seeds overshadowed the distinct smell and taste of the Quinoa.   Everybody loved it including my kids!!  No complaints whatsoever:-) I am now going to have to try out the other variation.

March 18, 2011

Barley Khichadi

1/2 cup Barley
2 table spoon moong dal
1 cup chopped mixed vegetables - carrots, potato, beans and peas(cut the potato bigger, slice the carrots into1/4 inch thickness and chop the beans 1 cm long)
1/4 of an onion chopped
1 tsp jeera
1 green chilli chopped or slit
ginger small piece chopped
1/8th tsp ground pepper
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil or ghee
turmeric small pinch

Soak the barley for 3 hours.  Take a pan with oil.  Season jeera, ginger, green chilli and add the onion to saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the pepper powder, stir and add the vegetables.  Toss them for a few  minutes and add the turmeric and salt.  Transfer this to the barley and dal mixture.  Keep water in the ratio of 1:4 and cook in the pressure cooker for ten minutes.  When you remove it will be slightly watery, but as it cools down it will thicken. 

I am sending this to  Wholesome Wholegrain Cooking - Barley for Breakfast event.

March 17, 2011

Methi Pulao

1 cup Basmati rice
1 big bunch of methi leaves
1/2 of a medium to big size onion
1 tomato medium size
3/4 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
small piece of ginger
1 green chilli
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sambar or rasam powder
Whole garam masala - 2 cloves, 1 cardamom, 1 inch piece of cinnamon and 1 bay leaf
1-2 tbsp oil
Water 21/2 cups

Soak the basmati rice for about 15 minutes. Wash and drain. Wash the methi leaves and chop it roughly. Chop the onions into fine pieces. Grate the green chillies, ginger and garlic.

Take oil in a pan. Season cumin seeds and all the whole masala. Add the onions, green chilli, ginger and garlic. Saute it for about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and stir it until the moisture is gone. Add the frozen peas and the methi leaves and keep stirring continuously on medium high for few more minutes. Add water, sambar/rasam powder,salt, turmeric powder and let it come to a boil. Add the tomatoes to the cooking rice. Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Wait for sometime to fluff up the rice. Serve with raita.

This recipe goes to Cooking with Herbs and Flowers - Fenugreek event started by PJ.

March 15, 2011

Cauliflower Rice

Medium size Cauliflower
1 cup Rice
Seasoning - Mustard(3/4 tsp), Urad Dal(1tsp) and few curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tbsp

Spice Powder
Coriander seeds 3 tsp
Chana dal 2 tsp
Red chillies long variety 2 nos
Fresh or Dry grated coconut 3 tsp(optional)

To prepare the spice powder roast the ingredients in the order given in half a teaspoon of oil. Remove off the stove once the coconut changes color. Let it cool and grind it into a coarse powder. I never bother to use coconut as this rice still tastes good carrying the flavor of the roasted seeds and dals.

Cook the rice separately making sure that it does not turn mushy. Let it cool. There are three ways to get the cauliflower ready. You can chop them into very tiny pieces or cut into big chunks to process it in a food processor or you can grate it on the big hole of the grater. The last one is of course the most easiest and less time consuming. I had to use the third method today as I was running out of time. However, cutting them into fine pieces is the best method.

Take oil in a pan(I used only 1.5 tbsps) splutter the mustard, add urad dal, curry leaves and add the cauliflower. Add some salt and cook it on medium high heat stirring it often till it is soft yet crunchy. Be careful not to over cook it. Add the spice powder(you may not require to use the entire powder so add half of the quantity and add more if needed in the end) so that it nicely coats the vegetable. Stir this for a few minutes before adding the cooled rice. Add the rest of the salt and more powder or oil if needed and toss the rice well for the vegetable and the spice powder to mix nicely with the rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with raita. I served the rice with some Doodhi Mor Kuttu.

March 12, 2011

Quinoa Puliyogare

1/2 cup of Quinoa cooked and cooled
4 teaspoon of tamarind pulp
big handful of roasted peanuts
2 red chillies long variety
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon chana dal
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
jaggery dime sized ball
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds
2 pinches of hing

Spice Powder
2 teaspoons dhaniya
2 teaspoons chana dal
1 to 2 red chilli

Dry roast the methi seeds till it splutters and changes color. Roast the hing as well. Grind this into a fine powder and keep. Roast the spice powder ingredients in little bit of oil one at a time. Grind this also into a fine powder.

Take water in the ratio of 1:2 and cook the quinoa directly on the stove top and let it come to a boil. Transfer this to the pressure cooker and cook as long as you would cook rice.
Take a pan with a tablespoon of oil, splutter mustard and add the chana dal. Once it begins to change color add the roasted peanuts, red chillies broken into pieces, curry leaves and finally the tamarind paste diluted with some water. Add salt, turmeric and jaggery and cook until it thickens. Add the spice powder now( I needed to use only two teaspoons of the spice powder. Save the rest for later use in sambar or some mixed rice) and cook until it lets out oil and the oil begins bubbling. Turn off the stove and add the methi powder. Again I used a little more than 1/4 th teaspoon. The extra can be used for sambar.

Mix this with the cooled quinoa.

The above puliyogare paste would easily be enough for a cup of quinoa.

I would like to send this entry to Twist the Traditional - Pulihora. I would just like to add a note here that I am a new blogger. I came upon this idea of tamarind quinoa a couple of days back as I was talking to my friend about new ideas with quinoa. After I decided to publish it, I noticed that Priya of Easy and Tasty recipes also had a grapefruit quinoa tamarind recipe. I never had the intention of using her idea. It was just a matter of coincidence.

March 11, 2011

Strawberry Kesari

one measure of rawa/sooji
two to three measure of water depending on the variety
one measure of sugar
one third measure of ghee(I used about 1/4th measure)
two measures of strawberry chopped into fine pieces
roasted cashew nuts for decoration
cardamom powder

Roast the rawa with few spoons of ghee until a nice aroma comes. Boil the water in the microwave and slowly add this to the rawa stirring it. Cook the rawa until all the water is absorbed. In the meanwhile, cook the strawberries with very little water in the microwave. Add this to the rawa, the sugar and the ghee and cook until the sugar is melted and begins to form a soft dough like consistency. Sprinkle some cardamom powder and the roasted cashew nuts. I am sending this recipe to Nivedita's Celebrate Sweets - Warm Desserts guest hosted by Priya Mitharwal.

I looked into my pantry to only find Fada(fine) which I had bought it last week instead of the regular rawa. Hence, I decided to use this to make the above kesari. This looked more like fine cracked wheat. However, this turned out to be a much healthier version of the dessert which we all loved it. I also realized that this wheat rawa could have taken more water and sugar. I am going to have to try this again with these changes.

March 10, 2011

Quick Sambar

1/2 cup moong dal
1/2 tsp sambar powder
1/4 cup onion or few sprigs of spring onion chopped
1 big tomato
salt to taste
tamarind to taste
Water 2 cups
Seasoning : pinch of methi seeds, mustard, red chilli(1), green chilli(1), few curry leaves and pinch of hing
Season all the ingredients with a tsp of oil. Quickly saute the spring onion and add the chopped tomatoes. Saute this for about 1-2 minutes. Add this and the water to the washed dal. Put half the amount of salt that is going to be used into the dal and half of the tamarind and pressure cook upto 3 to 4 whistles. Once the pressure goes down, remove from the cooker, check for salt and tamarind and bring the sambar to a boil. Let it boil on low medium heat for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

PS: The same can be done using winter melon (vellai poosanikkai) cut into big cubes. The vegetable disintegrates with the sambar. This way there is no problem in getting the kids to eat and vegetables are consumed without their knowledge.

Brown Rice Idli with Barley

1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup barley flour
2/3 cup cream of rice
1/2 cup urad dal
Soak the urad dal for about 4-5 hours. Soak all the flour and the cream of rice together in 3 cups of water. The paste should be thick in consistency. Grind the urad dal to a smooth frothy paste. Mix this paste with the flour mixture and add more water if needed to bring to the consistency of idli batter. Add salt and let it ferment overnight. It is then ready to be made into idlis.

March 9, 2011

Oats Paniyaram

Quick Oats - 1/4 cup(ground to a coarse consistency)
Rice Flour and Fine Sooji combined - 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - little less than 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped onion - 1/3 cup
Green chillies - 1 to 2 finely chopped
Ginger - finely chopped small piece
Coriander leaves chopped - 1 tbsp
Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the onions, green chillies, ginger and coriander leaves. Give a good stir. Add about 1/3 cup of water and mix it well. Leave this mixture aside for 30 mts. Have the kuzhi paniyaram pan ready with about a tsp of oil in each hole. Drop a spoonful batter into each hole after the oil is heated up. Once it is cooked on one side, turn them over and add more oil if needed. They can be served with coconut or green chutney.

March 8, 2011

Oats Payasam/kheer

One measure of Oats Flour
One measure of Almond powder
Sugar according to taste
Cardamom Powder
Roasted cashews and raisins for garnish

Cook the oats and almond flour together in the cooker with water and milk combined in the ratio desired. The total liquid to powder ratio can be 3:1. Once cooked and while it is still hot, remove any lumps if any. Bring it the stove top and add the required amount of sugar and let it come to a boil at medium heat remembering to stir the mixture. Add some well boiled milk or evaporated milk and let it again come to a boil. Turn off the stove and add cardamom and the roasted cashew and raisins for garnish.

Brown rice pidi kozhukkattai with flax seeds

Broken brown rice 1 1/4 cup
Broken tuar dal about a handful
Flax seed powder 5 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dal 2 tsp
Small piece of red chilli
Green chilli 2 nos
Ginger 1 inch piece grated
Curry leaves few
hing a pinch
Coconut grated(optional)
Oil 2-3 tbsp
Water 21/2 cups

Take oil in a kadai. Once it is hot enough add all the seasoning ingredients starting with mustard. As soon as you add the hing, add water and salt and let it come to just close to boiling. Reduce the flame and slowly add the broken rice and tuar dal stirring at the same time to make sure there are no lumps. Increase the heat and keep cooking until it comes together to a ball like consistency. Let this cool a bit. Once cooled, shape these into oval balls and place them on greased idli plates. Steam for 15 mts. Serve with any kind of chutney, sambar or kothsu.

Broken brown rice is not readily available in stores. It has to be prepared at home. Wash the rice and let it drain thoroughly. Spread the rice out on a towel so the residual water is absorbed. Powder the rice in small batches to the consistency of coarse rawa.
Tuar dal is also to be washed and the water drained completely. Run this in the mixer in pulses. This can be much coarser than rice.
Coconut oil or ghee can be combined with refined oil while seasoning for more flavor.

Sesame and Flax seed coconut chutney

1/4 cup grated coconut
1 tbsp flax powder
1tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp roasted chana dal(pottukadalai)
1 tsp coriander seeds
red chillies according to taste
small piece of tamarind
salt to taste

Roast the flax powder till you get the smell of it. Roast the sesame seeds, coriander seeds and red chillies separately. Grind all of this with the rest of the ingredients adding some water. Splutter some mustard seeds in about 1/2 tsp of oil and pour it onto the chutney. Serve this with idlis or dosas.

Sesame and Flax seed rice

10 gms milled flax seed
40 gms white sesame seeds
2 redchillies
Mustard, Urad dal, red chillies, green chillies, coconut, curry leaves, hing and salt
Roast the flax seeds till you get a nice aroma. Roast the sesame seeds till they all splutter and change into a nice brown colour. Roast the broken red chillies separately. Grind these into a fine powder and keep aside. Cook a cup of sona masoori rice with little less water than usual so that the rice does not get mushy. Let it cool. Prepare the seasoning. Take about 2 tbsp of oil and roast the ingredients in the order given. Roast until the coconut slightly changes color. Keep a small amount of rice aside and then combine the powder and the seasonings with the rest of the rice along with the required amount of salt. Add some more oil or ghee and check for salt. If needed, add the rest of the cooked rice as well.
Since I am a health conscious person, I try to keep the oil and coconut to minimal quantities. This can however be adjusted to one's taste.

This rice goes well with morkuzhambu or aviyal

March 7, 2011

Barley Adai with turnip greens

Parboiled rice ¾ cup

Raw rice ¼ cup

Barley ½ cup

Cracked wheat fine ¼ cup

Toor dal ½ cup

Chana dal ½ cup

Urad dal ¼ cup

Moong dal ¼ cup

Frozen turnip greens

Thanks to the internet, I learned that Barley can be substituted while making idlis, dosas and adais. However, here is my version of Barley adai.

Soak all the rice and the dals together and the barley and cracked wheat separately for about 3 hrs. Grind the dal and the rice first adding redchillies and curry leaves. After it becomes a bit coarse, add in the barley and continue to grind for five more minutes. Add the cracked wheat in the end and let it go for a couple of minutes. Add salt to the batter. The batter is ready to make crispy adais. Just before making the adai, add some thawed turnip greens to the batter. Any kind of greens can be added to the batter along with grated vegetables of your choice like onions, cabbage, cauliflower or brocolli.

Since this was my first attempt at using barley and also because of the fact that I had only that much quantity in my pantry, I used only 1/2 cup. The next time I will surely try with half rice and half barley. I made some Quick Sambar to go with it. Sending this second entry to Wholesome Wholegrain Cooking - Barley event by Sanjeeta


Instant Barley and Rawa Idli

1 cup fine semolina roasted

1 cup barley rawa

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 cups buttermilk

½ tsp baking soda

1 and ½ tsp salt

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dal

1 tsp chana dal

2 tbsp cashew nuts

Curry leaves

Coriander leaves

How to make the barley rawa

Process the barley to the consistency of cracked wheat. This cannot be done in one stretch but intermittently. Pulse it a few times and use the fine sieve to remove the fine powder and the coarse sieve to get the coarse barley. Take the leftover barley and follow the same procedure until you get one cup of barley rawa. While doing this, I ended up with only about ¾ cup(I had only a small amount of barley in my pantry). Roast this barley and let it soak in same amount of water. Combine rawa, salt and soda thoroughly in a bowl and have it ready.

In the meanwhile, prepare the seasoning. Roast the mustard, chana dal, urad dal, cashews , chillies and curry leaves. Add the onions and continue to saute for a minute. Now add this, the soaked barley and buttermilk to the rawa and combine everything thoroughly. Leave it for 15 mts and steam it on greased idli plates. The above quantity yields 18 idlis.

Sending this first entry as a blogger to Wholesome wholegrain cooking - Barley event by Sanjeeta

Oats and Almond Burfi

One measure Oats Flour

One measure Milk

One measure Almond meal or powder

One measure ghee

Two measure Sugar

I used a standard 1/2 cup measure for the above recipe. For the one measure of Almond powder, I used half almonds and half finely shredded coconut. Combine all the ingredients in a pan and make sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Start cooking at medium high heat. Keep stirring the mixture to ensure that it does not get burnt at the bottom. The mixture is ready once it all comes together leaving the sides of the pan. Have a greased plate ready to pour the mixture. For the quantity I tried it took about 12-15 mts. Once it is ready, quickly transfer the dough to the greased plate. Let it cool slightly before you cut into desired shape. This was sent to "CWF-Oats" event hosted by Priya of