May 10, 2013

Celery and Peanut Chutney

Celery is one such vegetable which I came to know of only after coming to the US.    Having pretty much used in salads or soups,  my first attempt to include in regular Indian cooking was in the sambar.    In recent times though, I have tried to come up with dishes like Celery Coriander Thokku, Celery and Potato Podimas, and more recently the Celery  Tomato Rice.   Today, I have attempted to camouflage this vegetable in yet another way......  

1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup peanuts
1 red chilli
1 tea spoon tamarind paste
salt to taste

Take a spoon of oil and saute the celery with little salt for 2 minutes. Add the red chillies and the roasted peanuts and saute this again. Add the tamarind paste and little more salt.  Let this mix
well.  Grind this to a paste adding little water.

Season with mustard seeds

March 26, 2013

Blue berry Rawa Kesari

A very simple and common preparation enhanced by these lovely blue berries giving the dish a nice color and flavor...

1/2 cup rawa
1/2 cup sugar
little less than 1/2 cup blueberries
few broken cashewnuts for garnish
1/8th tsp of elaichi powder
1/4 cup of ghee

Roast the rawa in about 2 tsp of ghee till you get the aroma.  In the meanwhile, heat up about 2 cups of water in the microwave.  Slowly add this hot water to the rawa keeping the flame at low.  Turn up the heat and cook the rawa nicely without any lumps.  Once this is done, add the sugar, elaichi powder and half of the ghee.  Let this cook until the sugar is melted completely.  Again, microwave the blueberries quickly to soften them and add this to the rawa cooking in the sugar.  Add the rest of the ghee and cook until it comes together and does not remain sticky to the touch. 

Garnish with some cashews roasted in ghee...

March 22, 2013

Celery and Tomato Rice/Pulao

Celery was one such vegetable where I was always tempted to add it my grocery cart but was at loss of ideas as to how to use it in the kitchen.   I  used to see that it was a staple in soups American restaurants and served quite often on salad platters in parties.  I have also used the celery for such dishes.   But how many kids would ever go for the celery given its fibrous and stringy texture?  But over the years I have learnt to use it abundantly in my traditional dishes as well.  I have been using it in sambars and oflate used it in these recipes Celery Paratha(to be posted),  Celery Coriander Thokku and Celery and Peanut Chutney(to be posted).
Thus was born the idea of a nice tangy Celery Rice combined with some ground tomatoes.  It can also be made into pulao by including onions and whole garam masala.

3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 big tomato
1 long green chilli
1 inch ginger piece
1 cup basmati rice
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
mustard and urad dal
hing powder
curry leaves few

Cook the rice separately.  Grind the tomatoes, green chilli and ginger with turmeric powder.  In the end, add the celery and pulse it a few times.
Take oil in a pan, splutter the mustard, urad, hing and curry leaves.  Add the paste and saute this till
it comes together and lets out oil.  Add little salt while this is cooking.  Add few chopped coriander
leaves and mix the rice with this paste.  Add the rest of the salt.
Serve it with the south indian pachadi.

March 15, 2013

Date and Nut Rolls

How about a tasty treat which is relatively guilt free compared to the ones which need lot of  fat and sugar?  This is my second attempt at this,  having made it earlier for my daughter's girl scout event....

Dates 30 nos
Milk about 1/2 cup
a couple of generous pinches of cardamom powder
sugar abt 2 tblsps
ghee(not melted) in semi solid state 5 tsp
sliced almonds 1/4 cup toasted
pista coarsely ground for garnish
almond slices for garnish

Cook the dates and milk in the pressure cooker.   Once it cools off, remove and grind into a paste.
To begin with add a spoon of ghee into the pan and start cooking the paste.  After few minutes of stirring, add the sugar and some  more ghee. Slowly the mixture will begin to change color and also thicken a bit.  At this stage, you can add the coarsely ground roasted almonds and also the cardamom powder.   The mixture is done, once it comes together like a ball and is not sticky to the touch.  It should also look a bit shiny because of all the ghee that has gone into it.  I really did not keep track of the amount of ghee I added but about 5-6 spoons.  I kept adding one spoon at a time and decided to stop it once I thought it was enough.  Little more than what is given above will only make it more tasty.
After the mixture cools down,  roll it into balls using some ghee if needed.  Flatten them and press the balls into groun pista and garnish with almond slices.

February 19, 2013

Lobiya(Black Eyed Peas) Poha

I decided to prepare this poha for lunch one day for myself as I usually never get to make this.  My kids are not a big fan of the Poha dishes, though this can be a good snack when they get home hungry.  However, as this poha alone would not quite keep me filled up, I decided to add some cooked lobiya to it.   This was quite delicious and enjoyed it thoroughly with some usual seasonings.

1 cup thick poha - washed and soaked in abt 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of cooked lobiya water drained(I soaked 1/4 cup of
lobiya just for this purpose and got a 1/2 cup
heaped amount of lobiya -cooked with little salt)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1.5 tsp urad dal
hing powder
1 red chilli
curry leaves
salt to taste
1 tblsp oil
grated coconut to taste
crushed black pepper to taste

Take the oil, splutter the mustard, urad, red chilli, hing and curryleaves, add the poha and salt needed and stir till it combines well.  Add the lobiya, crushed pepper and stir once again.  Add the grated coconut and give it a good stir.  Enjoy this with some curds or pickle.


February 15, 2013

Celery and Potato Podimas Curry

Podimas is a very well known dish in any typical Tamil Brahmin household.   I decided to try this out differently by adding celery to it.   The addition of celery gave a nice added flavor to the potaotes. 

3 medium potatoes
4 long stalks of celery trimmed
2 long green chillies
1/2 tsp mustard
3/4 tsp of urad dal and chana dal
ginger small piece
 few curry leaves
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste

Boil the potatoes, peel and coarsely crumble them.   Chop the celery into medium size pieces and steam cook them for 2-3 minutes.  Process this in a food processor.

Heat up the oil, add the mustard, dals, green chili, ginger and curry leaves and stir the celery first.  Add the potatoes and salt and keep stirring it on medium flame till it combines well with the celery.
Squeeze some lemon juice in the end and give a good mix.