April 30, 2011

Panch Phoran Potato Curry

Oflate, I seem to have been hooked by this wonderful spice blend called the Panch Phoran. As you can see this has been used in my Bhindi Subzi recipe as well. I had this for the first time recently at my friends place and immediately took a liking to this since then.

Panch Phoran also known as panch phoron, panch puran, panchpuran, punch puram, punchpuram is a classic Bengali spice blend typically consisting of five spices in equal measure. It is more Bengali and maybe also Oriya than any other region of India. The five spices that make up this wonderful blend are

Fenugreek seeds(methi)
Nigella seeds(kalonji or onion seeds)
Cumin Seeds(jeera)
Fennel Seeds(saunf)
Mustard Seeds(rai)

After some googling, I learnt that this is never ground or used as a powder or paste. Dry roasted panch phoran is however ground to make a powder to be sprinkled on chutneys. In this process, I also came across this lovely appetizing image of Panch Phoran Aloo that I was tempted to try it out in my kitchen. I looked up a few recipes and came up with my own version given below. Try it out and I am sure you will also enjoy them!!

3 medium to big size potatoes peeled, boiled and cubed into big pieces
2 tsp panch phoran seasoning
2 red chillies ground into a coarse powder
3 big garlic cloves and a big piece of ginger grated fine or ground into paste
salt to taste
3 tbsp oil
pinch of turmeric

Heat up the oil and when it just begins to smoke add the panch phoran. Let it splutter till it changes color and you begin to get a nice aroma. Add the potatoes, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and salt and stir on high for a few minutes. Reduce heat and cook until it is roasted and browned.

Enjoy with rotis or rice!!

This recipe goes to Flavors of Bengal event started by Nayna.

April 29, 2011

Eggless Bottlegourd muffins

Bottle gourd is one of the earliest vegetables cultivated by man, believed to be originated in Africa. Not very familiar to the western world, it is one of the favorite vegetables in Indian Cuisine.

Bottle gourd or Lauki has many beneficial properties that are valued in traditional healing. It is low in fat and cholesterol but high in fiber. It is excellent for light low calorie diets, as well as for small children, people with digestive problems and diabetics. The juice of a bottle gourd is an excellent remedy for acidity, indigestion and ulcers.

I started including this in my diet only when I settled in Delhi for a while after my marriage. All I would do was make a rasdar with some onions and tomatoes. But after coming to the US, I learned that lot more was possible with this vegetable like the kheer, raita and teplas. Nowadays, I make all kinds of dishes with lauki(however yet to try the kheer). Around the time I started this food blog which is now 2 months old, I got the urge to try some muffins with it and immediately put it down on my to do trials list. To me, these gourds were similar in color and texture to that of zucchinis. Many of us out there know that zucchini breads or muffins are as popular as the carrot or banana ones. Here I am trying this wonderful vegetable in the form of muffins. I searched on the net to find this recipe for zucchini muffin here which interested me and replaced it with some bottle gourd.

I followed the recipe by the letter except for these few minor changes. I halved the original recipe which gave me a yield of 9 medium size muffins. The recipe called for some raisins, dried fruits or chocolate chips. I just used very few chips towards the end for the last three muffins. The baking time given in the recipe was for the bread. So I reduced the baking time to 25 minutes. The muffins turned out to be very soft and delicious with the nice aroma of the cinnamon...try it and you will also love these muffins!!

This muffin recipe goes to Show me your Muffin event at Dil Se.

April 26, 2011

Bean Burgers

3/4 cup boiled kidney beans
3/4 cup boiled black eyed beans
2 medium potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 of yellow capsicum/peppers
3-4 green chillies
3 tsp grated ginger
3 big garlic cloves
3 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
chopped coriander

Take oil and saute the onions lightly. Add green chilli, garlic and ginger, stir for half a minute and add the the finely chopped capsicum. Add a pinch of salt for it to cook faster. Turn off once it is done and leave it to cool.

Take the beans in a food processor and run it to get a coarse mixture. Add the cooled vegetables and pulse for it to process lightly and get mixed. Transfer these to a bowl of coarsely mashed potatoes. Add the necessary salt, the lemon juice and the coriander leaves to combine well into a dough. You can always check if the salt and spices are well blended by tasting a small piece.

Make big lemon sized balls and shape them into round patties. I baked half of them and cooked the rest half on the stove top with a teaspoon of oil for each patty. The ones on the right in the picture are baked.
I found that ground oats works well as a good binder when I tried some oats and sprouts patties earlier. I prefer this over the cornflour. However, I forgot to add them today to these burgers and I was having some difficulty in keeping up the shape of some of the patties.

These can be served as an appetizer or a snack with some hot tomato sauce.

Tip: If I am baking my patties, I add in a few spoons of oil into the dough while kneading.

I am sending this recipe to MLLA 34 event of Susan.

April 25, 2011

Aloo paratha with zucchini and carrots

Young and old there is nobody who does not like  Aloo Parathas.  However, I rarely make them for me and my husband(just for health reasons) while I make it quite often for my girls when they get back after school.  They prefer to have them fresh and warm from the pan.  Today, I just wanted to try a variation by adding some zucchini, carrots and a few spring onions desperately waiting to be consumed.  The white flesh of the zucchini  allows it to blend well with the potatoes and the kids do not even realize they are eating them.  

1 medium size potato boiled, peeled and mashed
1/2 of a medium zucchini grated
1small carrot grated
1 green chili grated
1big clove of garlic grated
1/2 tsp of MDH brand stuffed paratha masala or garam masala
2 tbsp of chopped spring onions
few sprigs of coriander leaves chopped
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

Take a spoon of oil and saute the chili and the garlic.  Add the carrots and let it cook with little bit of salt until it is soft.  Add the zucchini and keep sauteing until that is soft as well.  Now add the spring onions and saute this for a minute.   Follow this with the mashed potatoes, turmeric, salt and the paratha masala.  Cook until everything is combined well and finally add the chopped coriander leaves and cook for a further minute.   Turn off the stove and let it cool down.

The above filling makes 6 medium size parathas.  Divide the filling into 6 equal portions.  Make 6 same sized balls of the dough.  Roll out the dough into a 5 inch circle and place the filling in the middle.  Bring over the dough on top of the filling and pinch out the extra dough.  Now take the filled dough and roll it in your palm, flatten it and start rolling out like a regular roti.

Cook both sides first dry and continue to cook both sides again with 1/2  a spoon of oil for each side until you see brown spots on the paratha.  Serve with raita or plain curd.

April 24, 2011

Mint Pooris

I decided to make some pooris after a very long time and wanted to try out something different.  Hence, decided to use some oats and bajra flour.  In the past, I have made some masala green pooris by adding some spinach and spice to the dough while kneading.  For the first time, I added some mint leaves(the credit for the idea would however go to my cousin) just so I could use up some of the leaves from my garden.

1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup bajra flour
1/4 cup quick oats flour
salt to taste
2 handfuls of mint leaves
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
water little more than 1/2 cup

Thoroughly rinse the mint leaves.  Take all the flour, ajwain and salt in a food processor and start running it.  Add the mint leaves and the water little at a time.  Run the machine till it comes together like a ball.  The consistency of the dough should be stiff so that you are able to roll it out without any flour for dredging.

I was able to get 13 pooris from the above quantity of dough.  Roll them out and fry in hot oil.  I served mine with some Rajma for which the recipe will be posted soon.

PS:  To get puffy pooris,  drizzle the hot oil on top of the pooris as soon as you slip in the rolled dough into the hot oil.

Zucchini Aloo Rasdar

300 gms zucchini
350 gms potato
2 tomatoes
1 green chili grated
1 tsp each of ginger and garlic grated
1/8 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp pav bhaji powder
1 tsp of salt

Cut the zucchini into big cubes.  Peel and chop the potatoes slightly smaller than the zucchinis.  Grind the tomatoes with some coriander leaves and keep it aside.  Take oil in a pan, splutter the cumin seeds, followed by ginger, green chili and garlic.  Add the zucchini, potatoes, chili powder and turmeric powder.  Stir for a minute or two and add the tomato paste and about 2 cups of water.  Add the pav bhaji powder and salt and let it almost come to a boil.  Transfer this to a vessel and pressure cook this for 2 whistles or on low for 10 minutes or until you get the cooked smell of the vegetables.  After the cooking is over, remove it from the cooker and let it come to a boil again on the stove top.  Garnish with coriander leaves.  You can increase the spice according to your taste.  This can be done directly on the stove as well.

Enjoy this rasdar with some warm rotis!!

April 23, 2011

Quick Banana Paniyaram

Here in the US you get something like the kuzhi paniyaram pan called the filled pancake pan....these are used to make paniyaram like pancakes with fresh fruit fillings of your choice. I came across this in a cookware catalog and fancied it so much that my friend gifted it to me for my housewarming party. Since the time I got this pan, I have not only made the stuffed pancakes but made all kinds of quick paniyarams using pancake mix, paniyarams with idli, dosa and adai batters.....and low calorie bondas and koftas. Anyway, I had to get rid of this lovely pan once it started to wear out. I now have the non stick kuzhi paniyaram pan from India. The holes in this are very much smaller than the pancake pan. Nevertheless, they still give the delicious treats that we are looking for.

The quick banana paniyaram is much liked by my kids that I never hesitate to make when I have ripened bananas and some store bought multigrain pancake mix. I very much like this multigrain mix from the local farmers market more so because it does not have eggs unlike the buttermilk mix and also it has the coarse cornflour which gives a nice texture. Would you believe if I say that I have even tried making gulab jamuns using this mix!! I got the idea to try the Banana Paniyaram from the "Sweet/Vellam Appam" that is popular in the South....this is done on special festival days and offered as a "prasad" to the Gods. Vellam Appam is a fried delicacy using wheat flour, rice flour, jaggery, some mashed banana and coconut.

1/2 cup multi grain pancake mix(store bought)
1 medium size banana mashed nicely
1/4 cup or little less than 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 pinches of cardamom powder
1 tsp oil(optional)
1 tbsp of milk(optional)

Combine the banana, brown sugar and the oil together. Add the pancake flour and the cardamom and stir the mixture gently till it is mixed well. The resulting consistency is good enough to make the paniyarams. You can add very little milk if needed. Put about less than 1/2 a tsp of oil in each of the holes. Pour spoonful of batter in each of the holes so that it is filled up only half way. Once it is cooked, turn over and cook the other side as well. You can add a few drops of oil if needed.

Variation 1 : Use applesauce(1 measure mix, 1 measure applesauce, 1/2 measure brown sugar)
Variation 2 : Peach or mango puree or other fruit purees
Variation 3 : Salted paniyaram with some chopped onions, ginger, green chilies and coriander leaves(I have tried this as well)

Here is a picture of these paniyarams using applesauce....

April 20, 2011

Barley adai with black eyed peas and lentils

On one hand, I never imagined that I would be cooking so many things with Barley and on the other hand never thought that I would enjoy eating them as well.  So, here I am trying these adais with barley but however added some rice to lend some crispness to the end product.  Since I had some cooked black eyed peas, I wanted to use up these as well to get some more protien in the food.  Rest of the family could not find any difference from the usual adais.  They enjoyed it as much as I did!!

Here it goes....

1.5 cups of barley
1/2 cup raw rice
1/2 cup of toor dal
1/2 cup chana dal
1 cup of cooked black eyed peas
2 long red chillies
salt to taste

Begin by soaking the barley first.  The barley needs to soak longer than the rice and the other dals.  Soak the barley for 6 hours and the rice and the dals combined for 3 hours.  Drain rinse and add everything along with the red chillies until you get a coarse paste.  In the meanwhile, process the dal in a mixer and add it to the last stages of the batter which is getting ground.  Let it combine well.  The batter is ready to be made into adais.

Heat up the tava and pour a ladleful of the batter and spread it like a dosa.  Make five tiny holes one in the center and the other four in the corners.  Pour little oil in these holes and on the side of the adai.  Once it is cooked, flip it over and cook the other side for additional minute or two. 

Enjoy the crispy  adais:)

Rice and Coconut Payasam

This is a traditional dish in Tamilian households usually prepared on festive occasions.

1 measure of rice
1 measure of grated coconut
2 measures of jaggery crushed into little pieces
some cashew nuts roasted in ghee
pinch of cardamom powder

Soak the rice in water for half hour.  Drain the water and rinse it.  Take some fresh water(about 3 to 4 times the measure of rice) and begin by grinding the coconut for half a minute.  Add the washed rice and grind it so that the rice is of a very coarse texture.  Make sure not to over grind.  Take this mixture to a pan and begin cooking on the stove top, stirring the mixture constantly.  Once the rice is thoroughly cooked, add the jaggery.  As soon as the jaggery dissolves, add the milk(about 4 measures), saffron and the roasted cashew nuts....the payasam is ready to be served. You can increase or decrease the quantity of jaggery and milk according to your taste.

You can also use sugar instead of jaggery.  I used a standard 1/4 cup measure to make this payasam which serves 2-3 persons.

This recipe goes to Celebrate Sweets - Sweets with Rice event started at Nivedita's Kitchen.

April 19, 2011

Bhindi subzi

1 Onion
1 big Tomato
1.5 lbs of okra
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp panch phoran(Bengali 5 spice blend)
2-3 tbsp oil

Take half of the oil and splutter the cumin and panch phoran ingredients when oil is hot.  Add the onions and saute till they become nice brown in color.  Add little salt while the onion is cooking.  Follow it with the tomatoes and add more salt just needed for the tomatoes and also some chili powder and turmeric.  In the meanwhile, in a separate pan start cooking the bhindi and fry them until they become soft and done.  Now mix the fried onions and tomatoes to the Okra and stir further on high for a minute and turn it off.

Serve this with rice or chappatis.

April 15, 2011

Coriander and Bell Pepper Dhokla

Whenever I come across any cooking events in the food blog sites, I begin to think as to how I can come up with recipes or variations of recipes that will be apt for the event. So when I heard about the Herbs and Flowers in my platter event, I was very excited and without any hesitation immediately sent in my Coriander Pulao and Coriander Mint Paste entries. However, I wanted to cook up something different and decided to try out the very famous Dhokla with lot of coriander leaves. To add more interest, I also decided to use some capsicum/bell peppers - the green variety. In the past, I have substituted these peppers for the regular green chilies to get the similar flavors without the heat with the intention to avoid spicy foods. However, today I was using them partially for the above reason and also to get the benefits of this vegetable....each 100 gm of these peppers contain 80 mg of Vitamin C which is 134 % of the daily value......compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, like lycopene, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers. Wish I had some red peppers while I was making these dhoklas..

1 cup Besan
1 handful of coriander leaves
1/2 of a green bell pepper chopped into big pieces
1 inch piece of ginger
2 green chillies
1/4 tsp salt
small pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp citric acid(can also be reduced to 1/3 tsp)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar

Take besan in a bowl and add all the dry ingredients to it. In the meanwhile, make a coarse paste of the bell pepper,1 green chili and ginger. You can also add the coriander leaves to it. I preferred to just chop it and add it to the batter and garnished a few on the top of the batter before steaming. Add this paste to the flour and add the water. To begin with use 1/2 a cup of water and if required add more with caution. Have a greased plate ready. Also begin to heat up some water in a cooker while preparing the batter. Pour the batter into the plate and steam it for 10 minutes. Wait for 10 minutes before removing it from the cooker.
Cut into square pieces and arrange them on a tray.
Season mustard seeds and one slit green chili in little oil and pour it on top of the dhokla. Garnish with some grated coconut.

A picture of the Dhokla waiting to be consumed after the seasonings...

Here goes my recipe for Herbs and Flowers in My Platter-Coriander Leaves event started by PJ of seduce your Tastebuds.

April 13, 2011

Crispy Lentil Bonda with Zucchini

Yesterday being Rama Navami, I decided to make some Medhu Vadas....however they ended up being Bondas as I got little extra water in the batter.. along with Neer Mor and Paanagam... the traditional offering to Lord Rama.  I was not too keen on making any sweets as I am the only one gulping it down. Anyway, having decided that, I wanted to get in some veggies into the bondas and decided to use the zucchinis for a change and lot of chopped coriander.  Eventhough the traditional bondas have only urad dal(black gram lentil), I decided to add some toor dal for color and rice for crispness.  They were indeed nice and crispy!!

3/4 cup urad dal (split or whole)
3 tbsp toor dal
1 tbsp rice
2 green chillies(increase it for more spice)
1 inch ginger piece
handful of coriander leaves chopped
1 medium zucchini grated with skin
salt to taste
oil for frying

Soak the first three ingredients for 3-4 hours.  Drain and rinse and grind this into a smooth fluffy paste.  For small quantities, I like to use the food processor instead of the regular mixie as the resulting little coarseness of the batter gives a nice texture to the fried item.  I personally like to add the ginger and chillies in the last stages of grinding.  You can add half the amount while grinding and the rest can be grated and added in the end to the batter. Transfer this to a bowl and add the chopped coriander,salt and the grated zucchini.  Mix this thoroughly and fry them in hot oil, dropping small balls of the batter at a time. Remove when they are golden brown in color.Enjoy these yummy bondas!!!  I tried some of them in the paniyaram pan  and the bondas looked like these.  These are best eaten when it is fresh..

Tip: I save the stems from trimming the coriander leaves.  I used them while grinding the batter.  Infact, they can be used in any curries or chutneys or dals....try it and you will find the dish so aromatic.

April 12, 2011

Eggless Banana Oats and Nuts muffin

To me muffins are a versatile food in that it can be had for breakfast, as a snack or as a dessert.  I enjoy making them as much as my kids enjoy eating them.  I got hooked to this muffin recipe on  Zesty South Indian Kitchen as it has very less oil and used a combination of wheat flour and oats. Having tried this, I decided to send this to Priya's Bookmarked Recipes - Every Tuesday.  But I made a few changes like replacing the egg with milk and oil and some pecans instead of walnuts.

Here is what I did:
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats(powder it coarse)
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup oil
1/4 cup milk(can use fat free)
1 tbsp milk plus 3 tbsp oil(instead of 1 egg)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp clove powder
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Combine all the dry ingredients well  in a bowl.   Beat the milk and oil used in place of an egg well.  Add the brown sugar, oil and milk and combine well.   Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir the mixture to combine.  Fold in the mashed bananas and the nuts.  Fill the greased muffin pans and bake them for 20 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.

April 11, 2011

Low calorie Aloo Bonda/Batata Vada

 Who does not love the yummy aloo bondas from the south or the very popular batata vada....I decided to recreate this fried treat with as little oil as possible and came up this version.   It is no wonder that I am tempted to send this entry to Fast Food NOT Fat Food 2011 (March 1 - April 15) run by Priya of Now Serving

1 big potato
1" piece ginger grated
2 green chillies(increase it if you want it more spicy)
2-3 garlic cloves(for batata vada)

lemon juice to taste
salt to taste
pinch of hing and turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder(for batata vada)(optional)

 2 tbsp chopped coriander
4 bread slices
2 tbsp corn flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika powder
little water

Boil the potato, peel and mash it coarsely.  Season some mustard seeds, the green chillies and ginger and cook the mashed potatoes on the stove top for a while with some salt, hing and turmeric and add the lemon juice in the end.  I was in a hurry to get this thing done for my kids that I forgot to do this step.

For doing this as Batata Vada,  splutter little mustard and cumin, saute ginger, garlic and green chilies and add the mashed potatoes, salt, turmeric and chopped coriander leaves and cook for a few mintues till everything is mixed well. Add lemon juice in the end.

Combine the rest of the ingredients starting with the bread slices so that you have a very thick paste.   Take a lemon sized ball of the bread mix, flatten it a little bit and make a dent in the middle.  Place an equal sized potato filling in the middle of the bread mix.  Using your fingers, push the bread dough over the rest of the filling.  If needed, use little more of the bread dough to cover the filling.  Then flatten it nicely with your palms and cook on the stove top using about 1/2 a tsp of oil for each side.  You may end with some extra filling. 

Yummy very low fat aloo bread bondas are ready.....enjoy these with some spicy coriander/mint chutney or some ketchup. I tried a couple of batata vadas which tasted much better than the potato bonda version.  This could be because the combination of ginger, garlic and chilies worked well with the outer bread layer.

PS:  You can also enjoy these as Vada Pavs...remember to keep the outer layer of the bread as thin as possible.  Enjoy it in between the pav buns with green chutney, tamarind chutney and spicy coconut powder the recipe for which is here.

April 7, 2011

Coriander Mint Paste

This is a recipe which is always prepared by my aunt and I have always loved it. When mixed with rice this is so delicious with some Mor Kuzhambu or Mor Kadi or with just some plain curd. My kids love them too!! I usually make a plentiful whenever the coriander comes cheap and use them as and when needed.

3 medium size bunches of coriander
1 cup of trimmed mint leaves tightly packed(optional - I harvested this from my garden)
3 green chillies
salt to taste
2-3 teaspoon tamarind paste
two pinches of hing
small piece of jaggery

Trim the coriander and mint leaves and wash them thoroughly. Let all the water drain completely. Transfer the leaves with the rest of the ingredients to the mixer and grind it into a coarse paste without adding water. You can check if salt, spice and tamarind is all well blended. Heat up generous amount of oil in a pan (about 5 table spoons) and season a tsp of mustard and 2 teaspoons of urad dal. Add the paste and cook until you get a nice aroma and the oil begins to leave. By now the paste would have also changed color. You can keep this paste for up to a month refrigerated or for a longer time in the freezer.

I usually never bother to remove the water completely. Then the cooking time of the paste is little bit more. This way the consistency of the paste is more looser than what I got today. This can be used as a spread on bread as well. Today, I made sure there was absolutely no water at all before grinding. As a result, my paste was much thicker than the usual.

I used some of my paste to make a cup of coriander rice. It was soooo yummy:-)

I am sending this entry to Herbs and Flowers in my platter- Coriander originally started by PJ of seduce your Tastebuds

Quinoa Tabbouleh

 Yet another attempt by me to use the quinoa....this time in a very refreshing and nutrititive all time favorite in our household -Salads...Many of us must be knowing about the Mediterranean dish called the "tabbouleh" made of bulgur wheat, finely chopped mint and parsely, tomato and spring onion and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil.  I have made this tabbouleh before using couscous and since this quinoa resembled more like couscous, I decided to toss this with a few ingredients on hand and also use some romaine lettuce which is always in stock in my refrigerator.....

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
1/4 cup of cooked black eyed peas
 half of a big tomato chopped
1 small carrot grated
2 big leaves of a romaine lettuce trimmed and torn into pieces
1/4 cup of toasted peanuts
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Whisk the last four ingredients together in a small bowl.  Throw  the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. Toss them together with the dressing and it is ready to be served.  The above quantity gives only one serving.

April 3, 2011

Coriander Pulao

This dish is based on Tarla Dalals Green Pulao which has been featured in one of her books called the "Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking".  This is meant to be a very hot and spicy rice with lots of coriander.  But since I like my flavors to be mild,  I have always altered the paste ingredients to my needs and also used  the vegetables which are available.   The original recipe calls for  2onions, (275 gms or 10 oz)cauliflower, (175 gms or 6 oz)peas and (225 gms or 8 oz)small potatoes for a cup of basmati rice and 1 bunch of coriander leaves, 10 cloves of garlic, 1inch ginger piece and 6 green chillies.  Here is how I did this pulao today which I am sending to Kirthi's  Herbs and Flowers in my platter- Coriander  event originally announced at PJ's seduce your Tastebuds.

1 cup of Basmati rice
50 gms each of chopped carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, peas
1" cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 cardamom
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup of onion chopped into 1/2 inch length
salt to taste

1/2 of bunch of coriander leaves
3-4 cloves
1-2 chillies
small piece of ginger
1 table spoon of onion

Grind the paste ingredients into a little coarse paste adding only very little water if needed.  Take 2-3 tablespoon of oil in a pan,  when it is hot enough add the onions and saute it for a minute or two.  Add the paste and fry for at least 4 minutes till you get the aroma.  Add the cinnamon, clove, cardamom and bay leaf and fry for a minute.  Add the rice and fry it for two minutes followed by the vegetables.  Continue to fry for an additional minute.  Add 2 cups of water, salt  and bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and vegetables are cooked.

The picture shows a much larger quantity of rice as I was taking this for a potluck dinner.

April 1, 2011

Dosa with Celery, Carrots and Spring Onion

With the leftover dosa batter after making the masala dosas, I wanted to do something different.   Adding any vegetables to a dosa batter and preparing them becomes an Uthappam.  However, I wanted to try it out differently. I remembered that Kanjeevaram Idlis are done using the seasonings given below which are sauteed with some cashew nuts and then added to the batter or they are just simply added to the batter without sauteing.  I decided to use all those ingredients excepting the cashews and also some vegetables sauteed and then use it in the batter. Here is what I did:

3 cups of dosa batter
3 stalks of celery trimmed
1 small carrot peeled
few sprigs or coriander leaves with the stems
3 spring onion stems - just use only the green part
1 green chili chopped finely
1 small piece of ginger chopped
1/2 tsp of pepper cumin powder coarse
2 tsp of chana dal soaked and drained

Process the celery stalk coarsely and also the carrot and the coriander leaves.  Chop the spring onion leaves fine.  Take a spoon of oil in a pan...add the chili and the ginger followed by pepper cumin powder and chana dal.  After 30 seconds add all the vegetables, salt and saute it for a minute on high stirring all the time.  Turn off the stove.  Add this to the dosa batter and mix it well.

Make this like the regular dosas and enjoy!! As I had processed the vegetables well enough,  I could spread it out like the regular dosas. I did not have to make it thick like Uthappam.