May 24, 2011

Steel cut Oats Upma

1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 of an onion chopped fine
1 medium carrot
1/3 cup each of frozen beans and frozen peas
1-2 green chilies chopped
small piece of ginger grated
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
few curry leaves

Heat up a spoon of oil or ghee and roast the oats till it changes color and you begin to get a nice aroma.  Keep it aside.

Heat up a table spoon of oil and splutter the mustard seeds followed by urad dal.  Add the chilies and ginger and stir for 1/2 a minute.  Follow it with onions and saute it on high for a minute.

Add the beans and add the carrot and peas after a minute.  Add salt just enough for the vegetables and cook covered on low to medium heat for 3 minutes.  In the meanwhile heat up about 2 cups of water and add it to the vegetables.

Once it begins to bubble, add the oats and the needed salt and let it come to a nice boil.  Cover the pan with a lid and cook the oats on low heat.  It took about 20 minutes for the oats to be thoroughly cooked.  Squeeze some lemon juice as needed.

Enjoy the upma with some pickles!!

May 23, 2011

Milkshakes with Avocado

Of late, I have been trying to incorporate avocados in my food just because it is high in mono unsaturated fats which are believed to reduce cholesterol. Other than that, it is also a good source of Vitamin E and Vitamin C. While looking on the net about this, I also discovered that they are an excellent remedy for dry skin. A 1/4 cup each of avocado puree and sour cream makes a good face mask. Got to try it in winter!!

Having used quite a few times in salads, I decided to use it in smoothies....this is what I made with them....

1 big ripe mango
1 small ripe avocado
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
sugar optional

Blend all the above ingredients and serve it delicious and yummy without any sugar. I generally do not add any extra sweetener and like to drink it as it is. The mangoes lend enough sweetness to the drink. I do not remember the kind of mango that I bought, however it was very fibrous but juicy and sweet.

3 oz of blueberries
1/2 a ripe banana
12-15 oz milk
1/2 of a ripe avocado peeled
sugar to taste

Blend all the ingredients to a smooth consistency and serve chilled.
This definitely needs some sugar for those with a sweet tooth. Otherwise, these were a perfect blend for a cool refreshing drink. You can also substitute with honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. We prefer to have it without any sugar.

This goes to "Serve It - Chilled" event @ Oh Taste N See.

May 22, 2011

Sprouted Moth and Vegetable Parathas

1 cup sprouted moth beans
1 medium potato boiled, peeled and coarsely mashed
1/2 cup of chopped frozen beans
1 medium carrot peeled and grated
1 tsp each of coriander and cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
few sprigs of coriander leaves

Cook the sprouts using very little water in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes if using the steam method or for two whistles.  Once the pressure is gone, remove and let it cool down.  Boil the potato as well along with the sprouts.  Peel and mash it up once it cools down and keep this aside.

Take oil in a pan.  As soon as it becomes hot enough add the chopped beans first and saute it for a couple of minutes with a bit of salt.  Follow it with the grated carrot and cook covered on low heat for five minutes.  Once you are able to chop it up with the spatula, add the cooled sprouted moth to the vegetables.  Drain off  excess water if any before adding.  Add the spice powders and stir for a minute.  Cool this down and process it in a mixer in intervals.  

Take this back to the stove and add the mashed potato as well and continue to cook until the mixture is combined well and comes together like a ball.  It should also look a little bit dry.  You do not want any residual moisture in the stuffing.  Mash up any big pieces of potato with the back of the ladle or using the masher.

This stuffing yields 8-10 parathas.  For the above quantity of stuffing you will need 1.5 cups of wheat flour.  Divide the stuffing into equal portions and roll them up.  Take the same quantity of the dough.  Roll it out into a small circle.  Place the stuffing in the middle and bring over the dough on top of the stuffing.  Pinch off any excess.  Flatten the stuffed dough and roll it out making sure that it does not tear.

Cook both sides of the parathas without oil and again by adding little oil on both sides until you see brown spots.   Enjoy these delicious and nutritious parathas with some yogurt or khadi.

May 18, 2011

Onion Pakoda with MAITRI mystery ingredient

As mentioned in my other MAITRI post, I made these onion fritters and it came out really was all gone in a few minutes!!!

1/2 cup besan/gramflour
1/4 cup corn flour
1 medium onion chopped into thin 1 inch slices
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of baking soda, turmeric, hing and orange food colour
water for the batter
oil for frying

Transfer the chopped onions into a bowl, add 1/4 tsp salt and set it aside.  I did this step in the beginning thinking I will do the crispy pakoda which uses almost no water.  Later I changed my mind to do the soft pakoda variety(which is liked by all of us at home).  So,  I added all the dry ingredients in a different bowl.  To this I added 1/2 cup water and made into a thick batter.  As the onions let out some water because of the addition of salt, I added 2 tablespoon of rice flour.  I then combined this with the batter and fried them in hot oil till golden and crispy. Drop the onions into the hot oil little by little ensuring it is spread out and does not clump together.

If you are doing the soft pakoda variety, it is not necessary to add the salt to the onions.  Just make a thick batter and combine it well with the cut onions.

May 14, 2011

Corn and Spinach Dhokla for MAITRI

This recipe goes towards MAITRI, a friendship chain created for food bloggers across N America.where a bogger sends a mystery ingredient to another blogger who then whips up something with it and blogs about it.  For more details on MAITRI, visit the blog site of Priya or Reshmi  who are behind this.

As a part of this chain, I was matched with Shylaja who had sent me a packet of cornflour and a cute little bunch of decor grapes.  Eventhough I could tell right away, I made sure it was cornflour by tasting it and getting a confirmation from Shylaja.  The bunch of grapes are sitting along with my other artificial fruits on the center of the dining table.

Well coming back to the food part,  I was not quite sure what to do with this flour as I am not a big fan of corn.  After about three days since I received the packet, I came upon with this idea of using them in a Dhokla.   As I decided to combine cornflour with some besan,  I was left with some extra flour.  I am planning to make some onion fritters/bhajjis/pakodas with it the recipe of which will be posted soon.

1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup besan
2 green chilies grated
pinch of hing and turmeric
1/2 cup spinach puree
8-10 small heads of cauliflower(optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp citric acid
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp oil(optional)
oil for greasing
1/4 cup water
oil and mustard for seasoning
little grated coconut for garnish(optional)
chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Take a cup of frozen spinach and blanch it in hot water.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  Also blanch the cauliflower but for 10 minutes.  Drain the vegetables and make a puree of the spinach and have the cauliflower grated.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the chilies, the puree, grated cauliflower,buttermilk, water  and oil.  Mix well and transfer it to a greased shallow container.  Heat up some water in a pressure cooker.  As soon as it is thoroughly heated, place the container with the dhokla batter inside the cooker and steam for 15 minutes.  Wait for 10 minutes before opening the cooker. 

Make slices and transfer it to a serving plate.  Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds and add about 2-3 tbsp water.  You can add little salt or extra chili into the seasoning if you think the dhoklas are little less in salt or spice.  Evenly spread the seasoning with water over and around the dhoklas.  I decided  not to add the grated coconut  due to the inherent sweetness of the corn and you will not see any coriander leaves in the picture as I was out of it.

Serve these with some coriander chutney!!

May 13, 2011

Flax Seeds Watermelon Dosa and Moong dal Sambar

As mentioned in my earlier post,  I successfully tried the watermelon dosa with some left over batter I had.  To make it even more nutritious, I added some milled flax seeds which I always keep in stock in my pantry.  I have added these to the dosa batter in the past and my kids have not realized that they were eating them.

I got so overjoyed with my attempt that I soaked a small batch of rice over the weekend to make some more crispy dosas.   But this time, I decided to make these dosas using brown rice.  Below I have given the recipe for this as well and the recipe for the quick sambar that I made to go along with the dosas.

2 cups fermented idli batter
1 cup cubed watermelon rind
1 tablespoon  milled flax seeds

Grind the watermelon rind into a puree and mix  this and the flax seeds with the batter and make dosas with this batter.  Very tasty and nutritious!!

We enjoyed these Dosas with the Moong dal Sambar given below 

Moong dal Sambar with Yellow Pumpkin and Capsicum

6 oz capsicum cut into big pieces
6 oz cubed pumpkin(big pieces)
2/3 cup moong dal
2 green chillies
Mustard seeds
Half cup of chopped onion
Half a tomato
1 red chili
2 spoons tamarind paste
1 tsp sambar powder
Turmeric powder
Hing powder
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Water 5 times moong dal quantity

Heat up a tea spoon of oil.  Season methis seeds, mustard seeds, red chili, green chillies, few curry leaves and a pinch of hing.  Add the onions, saute it for a minute and add in the tomatoes.  Saute this until it becomes soft.  Now add the chopped capsicum and saute it for a couple of minutes followed by the pumpkin pieces.  Transfer this to the vessel in which moong dal and water are combined.  Add salt to taste, sambar powder and turmeric powder.  Pressure cook for 3 whistles.  Once the pressure is gone, remove from the cooker and bring it to the stove top.  Let it come to a boil and add the tamarind paste while it is boiling.  Also, add few chopped coriander leaves.

Sending this post to Breakfast Mela of Srivalli.

Here is the recipe for the brown rice version....

1.5 cups of brown rice
1/2 cup of white raw rice
1/2 cup urad dal
3 cups of cubed watermelon rind
salt to taste
3 tbsp milled flax seeds

Wash the rice and the dal well and soak in water for 6-8 hours.  Grind the urad dal first to a nice smooth and frothy paste.  Add the rice and continue to grind for another 15 to 20 minutes adding little water at a time.  Add salt to the batter and let it ferment for atleast 12 hours.  Just before making dosa, make a puree of the watermelon rind and add it to the batter.  Mix well and make like the normal dosas.  Here is a picture of these lovely dosas.

May 12, 2011

Methi Chana Subzi

2 cups of boiled chana
1 big bunch of methi - trimmed, washed and chopped coarsely
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped tomato
1 green chilli
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
salt to taste
Cumin seeds

Heat up the oil in a pan. When it gets hot enough, splutter the cumin seeds. Add the onions and saute them for sometime until it changes color slightly. Add the green chilli and garlic and toss them for an addition half a minute. Add the tomatoes and saute them for a couple of minutes adding chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric powder. Add the chopped methi leaves and continue to cook until the leaves wilt down. Add some salt just enough for the leaves. Remember the cooked chana has already salt in it. Once the leaves are cooked, add the chana and amchur powder give a good stir and cook covered on low heat for about five minutes. You can add little amount of water if you want.

I intended my subzi to be semi moist...if you want it more like a gravy you can increase the amount of onions and tomatoes and correspondingly the spices.

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

May 9, 2011

Green Apple Rice

1/4 cup sona masoori rice cooked and cooled
1 green apple peeled, cored and grated
1 green chili slit
1 small red chili
1 tsp ginger grated
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
1 tsp chana dal soaked
curry leaves
few drops of lemon juice
chili powder as per taste
salt to taste
small pinch of hing and turmeric

Soak the chana dal for half an hour and drain.  Take some oil in a pan and splutter the mustard and add the chana.  Let the water be absorbed and the dal begin to change color.  Add the ginger, green chili, red chili, curry leaves, hing and turmeric.  Add the peanuts and give a stir.  Add the chili powder and immediately add the grated green apple.  Add a pinch of salt and stir till the apple becomes soft.  Mix this with the cooled rice and add salt and lemon juice according to taste. 

This rice is nice for a change!!!!

May 5, 2011

Adzuki Beans with watermelon gravy

You must be wondering what is happening here....but, you have to believe!!! Yes, I made a dish using the white parts of the watermelon which we normally discard without even a second thought. If you have bought this huge full watermelon from the market, that is a lot of the edible portions which end up in the trash.

With the intention to use these in the dosa, I saved the white portions when I was cutting up this huge water melon a couple of days back. But I learned from my mother that lot more was possible like kootu, subzi and chutney. After talking to her, I decided I will make a kootu with the watermelon rind. Last night I had soaked some adzuki beans with the intention to sprout them up. However, I remembered about the watermelons this morning and decided to combine these two and cook up a pitlai instead of using the traditional toor dal. My indecisiveness did not end there and after some deliberation decided to use some tomatoes instead of the tamarind as I planned on having this dish with some rotis.

Here is what I did..........

1/2 cup red chori dal/adzuki beans soaked overnight
2 cups of white rind part of watermelon
one and a half tomatoes
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp chana dal
1 long red chili
1/2 tsp each of mustard and cumin seeds

Pressure cook the chori dal with little salt until it is soft. In the meanwhile, cook the cubed white watermelon parts with little salt and turmeric adding little water. I realized these were quite tough unlike the winter melon even though they looked like them. Now roast the coriander seeds, chana dal and red chili in very little oil and make a paste of this. Also, grind the tomatoes into a puree with some coriander leaves or stems.

Take a spoon of oil in a pan and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the tomato paste and let it cook till you get the smell. Add the paste and let it come to a boil. Now add the cooked chori dal and once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook covered for further 5-10 minutes. Finally, add the cooked watermelon and let the gravy come to a boil and keep it on simmer for further 5 minutes.

Serve this with rice or rotis. You can also roast a couple of spoons of coconut lightly and add it while grinding.

This can also be prepared with vegetables that are normally used to make Pitlai like the winter melon, egg plant etc. Just be innovative and try with any vegetable of your choice and lentils.

So, the next time you buy a watermelon, just blindly save the white portions and try any of the above mentioned dishes. Now I just can't wait to try the other dishes especially the dosa as I have some leftover batter in my refrigerator.

I would like to send this recipe to MLLA 35 an event started by Susan of Well Seasoned Cook.

Yellow Squash Rasdar

Sometimes a simple dish makes a wholesome and fulfilling meal.  One such preparation is this Rasdar using the yellow crooked neck squash.  I also make this Rasdar with Lauki or Chayote Squash.  After coming to the US,  I began experimenting with other vegetables like zucchini and yellow squash.  This by itself with hot phulkas make a wonderful meal..Here is how it is done....

2 long and big yellow squash(mine were like about 8 inches long) peeled lightly and cubed
1 medium onion
2 medium ripe tomatoes
1 medium potato peeled and cubed
1 full tsp each of grated ginger and garlic
1 green chili grated
1 tsp garam masala
pinch of chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
few chopped coriander  leaves 
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste

Heat up the oil in a pan and splutter the cumin seeds.  Saute the onions for about 3 minutes and follow it with ginger, garlic and green chili.  After a minute, add the tomatoes, garam masala powder, chili powder and turmeric powder.  Let it cook on medium heat till it softens a bit.  Add the potatoes and little bit of salt and continue to cook further uncovered.  Now, cover the pan and cook till the potatoes becomes soft.  This would take about 5 minutes. At this point you can mash up the potatoes with the back of the ladle

Now add the squash and about 2 cups of water, salt and let it come to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat and cook until the squash is soft.  Add the chopped coriander leaves in the end. 

Potatoes are added just to give some body to the dish.   You can also boil the potato, mash it up and add it to the dish in the end along with the squash.  Alternatively, you can also cook a table spoon  of moong dal and add it to the gravy if you want to avoid the potatoes.