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.