Friday, December 31, 2010

Fastest Fudge Cake

I have been not able to blog lately, thanks to the holidays. We went skiing in Wisconsin, caught up with friends and had a hell of a time. Couple of days back, I made this fudge cake in under 30 minutes. I was running short on time and had hardly enough time on hand to bake a cake for friend's birthday. I found this amazing recipe in a book called 'Birthday Cakes'. The cake came out super moist and yumm. Couldn't really capture a nice picture of the cake as we were getting late.
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted and warm
Brown Sugar - 11/4 cups, firmly packed
Large Eggs - 2
Hot Water - 1/2 cup

Method of Ingredients:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F, position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Butter the bottom of an 8 inch square or 9 inch round cake pan or line it with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Use a whisk to blend the ingredients. If the cocoa remains lumpy, sift the mixture.
3. In a large bowl, combine the warm melted butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat until well blended.
4. Add the flour mixture all at once. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir just until all the flour mixture gets moistened. 
5. Pour the hot water over the mixture all at once. Stir just until the water is incorporated and the batter becomes smooth.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for about 10 minutes. You can unmold the cake onto a wire rack or leave the cake in the pan and frost only the top of the cake.

Ingredients For Frosting:
Butter - 5 tbsp
Granulated Sugar - 3/4 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 2/3 cup
Salt - a pinch
Heavy Cream - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the granulated sugar, cocoa and salt. Gradually stir in the cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and hot but not boiling.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool until thickened to spreading consistency.
3. Frost the top of the cake and enjoy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pepper Rasam - Another Version

Earlier, I had blogged about a very simple pepper rasam. Today's recipe is a slight variation, which makes the rasam taste even yummier.

Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 3 pods
Onion - 1, small sized, cut into quarters
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - a large pinch
Tamarind - a large lemon sized ball
Sugar/Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Roasted Chana Dal Powder/Pappula podi - 1 tsp
Salt - As per taste

For the Tempering:
Oil - 11/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 6
Dry Red Chillies - 3, broken into pieces

Method of Preparation:
1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes and extract the pulp.
2. Using a pestle, crush cumin seeds in a mortar, add coriander powder, pepper powder, salt and garlic pods and the quartered onions. Crush them too. (If you do not have a mortar and pestle, place the ingredients on a chopping board and crush them using a rolling pin)
3. Heat oil in a vessel and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the turmeric powder and crushed pepper garlic mixture on low to medium heat and mix well for 30 seconds.
4. Add the tamarind pulp, water(to dilute the tamarind pulp), sugar/jaggery and mix well.
5. Adjust the salt and let the rasam boil on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Then add the roasted chana dal powder and mix well. This thickens the rasam a lil bit. Simmer the rasam for couple of minutes.
6. Enjoy the pepper rasam with steaming hot rice.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick Eggplant Rice

I was stuck with some important work and could not blog actively. I am toooo happy to be back blogging. Today, we made a quick eggplant rice and it was yummmm!!!!
Cooked Rice - 3 cups
Eggplant - 1 cup, diced
Onion - 1 medium, diced
Thick Tamarind Pulp - 3 tbsp
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Grind To Powder:
Dry Shredded Coconut - 1 tbsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 12

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan add mustard seeds, after they splutter add chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds. Fry for a minute. Add chopped onions, fry for 2 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add turmeric powder, chopped eggplant and stir. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes. Stir in between.
3. Add the ground powder and tamarind pulp, salt, mix well. Cook covered for 2 minutes on medium to low heat.
4. After oil starts oozing out, add the cooked rice and mix well so that all the rice gets an even coating of the eggplant mixture.
5. Cook on low heat for 2 more minutes, stirring in between.
6. Enjoy the quick eggplant rice hot.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Easy Chocolate Pudding

I found this fabulous recipe in the book 'Starbucks Passions For Coffee'. The recipe was quite simple and easy to make. I did not have white chocolate at home, so, I just used 2 types of chocolates. The pudding came out a tad thicker than what we had expected. We really were not bothered about the consistency though, we enjoyed the chocolate pudding.
Ingredients:(Serves 6-8)
Egg yolks - 4, extra large
Granulated Sugar - 3/4 cup
All Purpose Flour - 1/4 cup
Cornstarch - 3 tbsp
Milk - 2 1/2 cups
Semi Sweet Chocolate - 5 oz (11tbsp), finely chopped
Unsweetened Chocolate - 2 oz(4 tbsp), finely chopped
White Chocolate - 4 oz(8 tbsp), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Whipped Cream - For Garnish(Optional)

Method of Preparation:
1. Add the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornstarch to a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and mix all the ingredients to a smooth paste.
2. Add the remaining milk to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and let it start boiling.
3. Remove the milk from heat and stir into the egg mixture. Pour the milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to boil and thicken.
4. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Ensure that the bottom is not burned.
5. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the semi sweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir until the chocolate melt and the mixture becomes smooth.
6. Let this cool for 5 minutes, then gently fold in the white chocolate pieces, just to incorporate.
7. Spoon the pudding into individual glasses and cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until serving time.
8. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy the easy chocolate pudding.

Linking this to  hearthandsoulgirlichef

Mullangi Chutney

Mullangi is the Telugu word for white radish, which is also known as daikon. It is known as mooli in Hindi. This is a very simple chutney, which my mother makes. I used to love it so much that, I would eat up the chutney all by itself.
Daikon/Radish - 11/2 cup, peeled and grated
Onion - 1 medium sized, diced
Turmeric Powder -  1/8 tsp
Tamarind - marble sized ball, soaked in warm water
Chilli powder/Paprika - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal/Bengal Gram - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Add the grated radish, chilli powder and tamarind to a mixer/grinder and grind to a paste. Add the water used to soak tamarind, if required.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. After they splutter, add cumin seeds, urad dal and fry for 30 seconds, then add the chopped onions and fry till the onions become translucent(for a minute or two).
3. Add turmeric powder and the ground radish mixture to the pan and mix well.
4. Cook till most of the moisture evaporates and raw smell disappears, add salt and take off heat.
5. Enjoy the mullangi chutney with hot steamed rice or rotis.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Instant Tomato Pickle / Thakkali

This is a recipe which our family friend had shared with our family when I was hardly 7 years old. Thanks to Thangamani aunty, who taught us this wonderful recipe, which we have made innumerable times, since then. This is a very simple recipe, in which mostly no one can go wrong.
Ripe Tomatoes - 5, large
Fenugreek seeds - 10-15
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder/Paprika - 1 tsp(Adjust according to taste)
Turmeric Powder - a large pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Slice the tomatoes length wise and discard all the seeds.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, preferably, nonstick. Add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add the sliced tomatoes.
3. Mix well, add turmeric powder. Keep stirring in between, until most of the moisture is reduced and the tomato mixture becomes soft.
4. Add chilli powder and salt and stir.
5. When you feel that most of the moisture has been eliminated and oil oozes out, turn off the heat and let it cool down.
6. Transfer the tomato thakkali to a dry, clean air tight container. Tomato thakkali stays fresh for nearly a week, when you use a fresh dry spoon every time.(We finish up the whole thing in a couple of days ;)
7. Enjoy instant tomato pickle/thakkali with rotis, dosas, upma, hot steamed rice, etc.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mixed Greens Curry

I wanted to use collard greens, but wanted to make something different this time. Then I recollected that my mother used to prepare a mixed greens curry by combining different green leafy veggies. I tried to recollect what all went into that curry and made a mixed greens curry using collard greens, spinach and fenugreek leaves. When my husband tasted the curry today, he just loved it.
Collard greens - 1 cup, stems removed, finely chopped
Spinach - 1/3 cup, chopped
Fenugreek leaves - 1/3 cup, chopped
Onion - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 2, large, roughly chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 5, roughly chopped
Turmeric powder - a large pinch
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste
Tamarind - very small piece (optional)

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the mustard seeds, after they splutter, add the chopped onions and fry for a minute. Then add the chopped garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, green chillies and fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add the chopped greens - spinach, fenugreek leaves and collard greens and mix well. Stir occasionally until the leaves wilt slightly.
4. If the tomatoes are not very sour, then add a small piece of tamarind. Add salt and 3/4 cup of water.
5. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. After the pressure is released, adjust the salt.
6. Enjoy the mixed greens curry with hot steamed rice or rotis/chapatis.
Sending this to "Only greens" by Pari & Saraswathi

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A ciabatta, is an Italian bread which is rather flat and full of holes. Since the ciabatta dough is wet, baking the dough in a cake pan or baking dish will hold its shape better. Also, it is easier to mix the dough in a mixer than by hand.

All purpose flour - 3 cups
Barely warm water - 11/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons
Active Dry Yeast - 11/2 tsp
Extra Virgin Oil - 1/4 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Butter - a little at room temperature, to grease the baking dish

Method of Preparation:

Making the Starter: Put 3/4 cup of flour and 3/4 cup of water in a bowl and combine with a whisk and sprinkle the yeast over it. Wait for about 3 minutes, for the yeast to moisten and stir again until the mixture has a consistency of a thick batter. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 hours, until doubled or tripled in volume.

Mixing: Combine the started with the remaining flour, water and oil. Mix with a stand mixer fitted with dough hook for about 2 minutes or by hand for about 2 minutes. Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Kneading: Add the salt and knead with a stand mixer on medium speed for about 7 minutes or by hand for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and stretches without breaking.

Fermentation: Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a moist towel. Leave the dough for about 2 hours at warm room temperature for a faster rise or for 30 minutes at room temperature then overnight in the refrigerator for the slowest rise.

Shaping: Transfer the dough gently into an oiled 11 inch cake pan, don't punch it down.

Proofing: Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for about 2 hours or about twice its original volume.

Baking: Preheat the oven to 450F. Place a sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven and pour in enough water to cover the bottom of the sheet pan (Be careful not to drop any water on the hot glass of the oven). Slide the baking dish with the ciabatta dough onto a rack over the pan with water. Turn down the oven to 425F. Bake for around 35 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool for 5 minutes before turning the ciabatta out onto a cooling rack.

Let the ciabatta cool down completely, before slicing it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dhansak (Chicken Cooked With Lentils And Vegetables)

Dhansak is the best known and liked dish in Parsee Cuisine. Parsees adopted Gujarati as their language and absorbed local influence into their cuisine. 'In Parsee Gujarati, 'Dhaan' means rice and 'Sak' means vegetables. Dhansak is a meat, vegetable and lentil curry which is eaten with caramelized brown pulao rice. Although the dish contains many ingredients, it is quite simple to prepare. The following recipe is from the book 'Great Curries of India' by Camellia Panjabi. I did not add red pumpkin and used water instead of chicken stock. Me and my husband loved the curry. I am jotting the down exact recipe given in the book.
Ingredients:(Serves 6)
Chicken - 3 lb, cut into 6 or more pieces
Toor Dal - 11/2 cups (10 oz)
Tamarind Pulp - 4 tbsp
Ginger - 2 inch piece, peeled
Garlic - 6 cloves
Onions - 2, large, chopped
Red Pumpkin - 3/4 cup, chopped
Eggplants - 2/3 cup, chopped
Potato - 1, chopped
Fresh Dill - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro Leaves - 1 cup + 1 tbsp
Fresh Mint Leaves - 20
Oil - 1/4 cup
Fresh Fenugreek leaves - 1/2 bunch (or 2 tsp kasuri methi)
Parsee Sambar Masala - 3tsp
Dhansak Masala - 2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 3 tsp
Cayenne Powder - 2 tsp
Tomatoes - 3 medium sized, chopped
Green Chillies - 3, chopped
Jaggery/Palm Sugar - 1 tbsp
Lime Juice of 1 whole lime
Salt - As per taste

For the Dhansak Powder:
If unavailable at the grocery store, use a mixture of 11/2 tsp garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon star anise powder and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder.

For the Parsee Sambar Masala:
Mix 3/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1 teaspoon red cayenne powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.

Method of Preparation:
1. Wash the toor dal and soak it in water for 30 minutes. Chop finely 4 garlic cloves and 11/2 inch of ginger piece.
2. In a large cooking pot, add the dal to cook in 3 cups water along with chopped onions, pumpkin, eggplants, potato and dill. Add the turmeric powder, whole remaining piece of ginger, remaining 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves and 8 mint leaves. Simmer until the dal is very soft. Allow to cool slightly. Liquidize with an egg beater to achieve a creamy consistency. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
3. While the dal is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry chopped ginger, garlic, 1 cup cilantro leaves, 12 mint leaves, fenugreek, Parsee sambar masala, dhansak masala, cumin and coriander powders, cayenne powder, tomatoes and green chillies and fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the chicken and saute for 2 minutes. Season with 1 tsp of salt and stir well.
4. Add the chicken to the dal with 3 cups of water or chicken stock. Add the jaggery, simmer until the chicken is cooked through before adding the tamarind pulp and lime juice. Adjust the salt, then simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. Serve  the Dhansak with hot steamed rice or pulav.

Awards Time

I received my first award in October from Chaitrali Pathak and then the second one from Gayathri. Thank you Chaitrali and Gayathri for the lovely awards. The award they had passed on to me had a rule attached to it - asking me to pass the award on to 15 other blogger friends. Since, my first award was a great source of inspiration, I was on the hunt to find new budding bloggers, on to whom I could pass the 'One Lovely Blog Award'. Finally I think, I have found the deserving blogs that need to be highlighted.

I am handing over the 'One Lovely Blog Award' to the following 14 bloggers, do check out their lovely blogs, when time permits.

1. Mehnaz from 'Chef Naaz - The Mistress of Spices'
2. Tahemeem from 'Tahemeem's Blog'
3. Archana from 'The Mad Scientist's Kitchen'
4. Nisa Homey from 'Cooking Is Easy'
5. Deesha from 'Vegetable Platter'
6. Indian Spice Magic
7. Hasna from 'Kachuss Delights'
8. Joyti from 'Darjeeling Dreams'
9. Roshan from 'Roshan's Cucina'
10. Kavita from 'Seasoned & Dressed'
11. Pavani from 'Food Lovers'
12. Smitha from 'Essence-De-Life'
13. Ayush from 'Kejriwal's Kitchen'
14. Latha from 'A Peek Into My Kitchen'

The 'Sunshine Award', was passed on to me by Chaitrali Pathak. Do check out her blog 'I am not a Chef'and I am thankful to Chaitrali for the lovely award and would love to share this award with all my blogger friends.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eggless Orange Banana Cake

I wanted to use up an over ripe banana and few oranges, which were sitting around in the kitchen for quite sometime now. Searched over the internet and found some interesting recipes, finally came up with my own version, in which I used self rising flour and whole wheat flour. I also added shredded coconut, walnuts and raisins. I didn't realize that the self rising flour I had bought recently, already contained salt and baking powder.

Overripe Banana - 1
Orange Juice - 3/4 cup (I used fresh orange juice)
Self Rising Flour - 1/2 cup (The one I used, had salt and baking powder already)
Whole Wheat Flor - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup, firmly packed
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1 tsp
Dry Shredded Coconut - 1 tbsp
Chopped Walnuts - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp
Oil - 3 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a cake pan with oil. Mash the banana with a fork and it to a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar to it and mix well.
2. Add the dry ingredients, self rising flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder to a sieve and sieve them twice.
3. Add them to the mashed banana mixture and mix well, ensuring no lumps are formed.
4. Now add the orange juice and mix well. Then fold in the shredded coconut, chopped walnuts and raisins.
5. Finally add the oil and mix well so that it gets incorporated into the batter.
6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean.
7. Let the cake cool down before slicing. Dust the cake with confectioner's sugar/powdered sugar.

Sending this to Champa's 'Bake-off'

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Collard Greens With Moong Dal

Collard greens are an excellent source of beta carotene, Vitamin C, Manganese, Vitamin E and Zinc. They also provide 5 core antioxidants. They have excellent cholesterol lowering abilities. I got a large bunch of collard greens this week. Since the leaves are a little tough to cook, I pressure cooked them with moong dal. The collards green with moong dal was very comforting and delicious.
Collard Greens - 2 cups, finely chopped
Onion - 1 medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1 medium sized, roughly chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, finely minced
Moong Dal/ Split Green Gram - 1/2 cup
Garam Masala Powder- 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies - 3, roughly chopped
Freshly Grated Coconut - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Then add the chopped onions and fry till they become translucent.
2. Add the minced garlic, fry for 45 seconds. Then add the chopped collard greens. Fry till the greens wilt slightly.
3. Then add the chopped green chillies and tomatoes and fry for couple of minutes.
4. Meanwhile wash the moong dal and add it to a pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water. Then mix in the collards green mixture into the pressure cooker. Add salt, mix well and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
5. After the steam is released, open the lid and mash the whole mixture slightly using a masher or a hand blender. Put the pressure cooker on medium heat and add the grated coconut to it.
6. Adjust the salt and let the whole mixture simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
7. Enjoy the collard greens with moong dal with hot steamed rice or rotis.
Sending this to "Only greens" by Pari & Saraswathi

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chocolate and Almond Sandwich

A simple, easy and delicious cake. I made this last week, when we visited our friends. The cake was yummy.
Butter - 1 stick
Sugar - 5 tbsp
Egg - 1, beaten
All purpose flour - 6 tbsp
Blanched Almonds - 6 tbsp, powdered/ground
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Milk - 3 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

For the Chocolate Filling:
Semi sweet chocolate - 4 oz, grated
Milk - 11/2 tbsp
Confectioner's sugar/Icing sugar/Powdered Sugar - 1/4 cup
Butter - 6 tbsp
Almond Extract - few drops

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease twp 7 inch pans and bottom line with baking parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the well beaten egg to it.
3. Mix together the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sift into a bowl.
4. Add the sifted mixture alternatively with the milk to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Combine thoroughly.
5. Divide the mixture into two portions and transfer one portion to each prepared baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.
6. Let both the cakes cool down completely before proceeding to the next step. When cool, sandwich the cakes together with the chocolate filling.
7. To make the chocolate filling, mix the chocolate with milk and warm over a low heat or microwave until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat, beat in the confectioner's sugar and let the filling cool down. Cream the butter and then add the chocolate mixture and the almond extract, beat until the filling becomes light and creamy.
8. You can either cover the top of the cake with confectioner's sugar or can apply a  thin layer of the chocolate filling.

Sending this to Champa's 'Bake-off'

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baked Apple Almond Pudding

I made this yummy dish last week for thanksgiving. It was almost like an apple upside down cake. The bottom layer was apples, which were topped with almond batter. It almost tasted like almond biscotti with baked apples at the bottom. This is a dish definitely worth trying !!!
Ingredients:(Serves 6)
Golden Delicious/McIntosh/Cortland Apples - 5(about 2 lbs)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Almond Extract - 1/4 tsp
All Purpose Flour -1 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup, melted
Toasted Almonds - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish or a round souffle dish.
2. Peel, halve and core the apples. Dice the apples into 1/2 inch pieces.
3. Add the apples to a large mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla extract. Spread the apples in the bottom of the prepared dish.
4. In the same bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining sugar, almond extract and salt until blended. Add the flour and melted butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the chopped almonds.
5. Spread the batter evenly over the apples. Bake until the top turns golden and the apples can be pierced easily with a thin sharp knife, around 50-60 minutes.
6. Serve the pudding warm.

Sending this to Champa's 'Bake-off'

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Salmon Curry

My husband loves fish and I hate it, but I love experimenting with the fish dishes. The dishes that are approved by Praveen, find a place in my blog. Here is one such successful experiment with Salmon.
Salmon Steaks - 1 lb/500 gm (You can use any fish with firm flesh)
Onion - 1 medium sized, ground to paste
Tomato - 1 large, diced
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 6(Adjust according to spice levels)
Dry Coconut Powder - 2 tbsp
Tamarind - lemon sized ball, soaked in warm water
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp (For tempering)
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp (For tempering)
Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp (For tempering)
Fenugreek Seeds - 6 (For tempering)
Curry Leaves - few (For tempering)

Method of Preparation:
1. Dry roast mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies on medium heat, till they emanate aroma. Cool and grind them to a fine powder.
2. Add diced tomatoes, coconut powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder to the already ground powder and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed non stick pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add the ground onion paste after the spluttering stops and fry till it turns slightly brown in color.
4. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Then add the ground masala or the tomato spice mixture to it and fry till oil gets separated.
5. Meanwhile, extract the tamarind pulp by squeezing the soaked tamarind. Add the tamarind extract and a cup of water. Stir well.
6. Let the gravy boil and then simmer for few more minutes.
7. Add the cleaned fish to the gravy and cook covered for 4 minutes, then turn the fish around and cook covered for 2-3 minutes. Depending on the size of the fish pieces, increase or decrease the cooking time. Turn off the heat and cover the lid. Let the curry rest for a minimum of 2 hours, before serving.
8. Enjoy the salmon curry with steamed rice.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Testing Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Here are simple methods to check if your baking soda or baking powder still has power left to make your baked products rise.

To Test Baking Soda:
Stir half a teaspoon or 2.5gm of baking soda into 2 tablespoons or 28 ml of lemon juice or vinegar. If the baking soda is still working it will bubble and fizz, if not then it is the time to buy a new box of baking soda.

To Test Baking Powder:
Stir half a teaspoon or 2.5gm of baking powder into 2 tablespoons of hot water. If the baking powder is still working it will bubble and fizz, if not then it is the time to buy a new box of baking powder.

Home Made Baking Powder

If you ever realize that you have run out of baking powder or that the one you have has lost its power, you do no have to rush to the nearest grocery store. You can make your own baking powder at home.

Ingredients:(equivalent of a teaspoon or 5gm)
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp (2.5 gm)
Cream of Tartar - 1/4 tsp (1.2 gm)

Method of Preparation:
1. Just mix together both the ingredients to get your very own baking powder.

Tip: Both baking soda and Cream of tartar are easily available in most of the grocery stores and both these ingredients keep indefinitely when stored separately. So it is a good idea to have them at hand for any emergencies

Monday, November 29, 2010

No Yeast Yogurt Bread

A bread with no yeast, no oil/butter, one that contains wheat flour and millet flour along with honey and yogurt... Once I saw this recipe, I wanted to try it immediately. The recipe asked for wheatgerm, I didn't have them at home, so I replaced them with flax seeds. The outcome was a moist, wonderfully tasting, healthy and nutritious bread, that goes equally well with sweet or savory accompaniments. I halved the ingredients and made a small loaf (1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup millet flour, you can use any ratio and I baked for an hour).

Ingredients:(Makes 1 large loaf)
2 or more mixed flours - 31/2 cups (Wheat/rye/barley/millet)
Wheat germ - 3 tbsp
Baking Soda - 2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Plain Yogurt - 1 cup
Skim Milk/Water - 1 cup
Honey - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Grease a large loaf pan.
2. Add all the ingredients to a large cool mixing bowl. Mix well.
3. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan.
4. Bake slowly for about one hour 40 minutes.
5. Cool the no yeast yogurt bread on a wire rack.
Sending this to
hearthandsoulgirlichef Champa's 'Bake-off' event

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cranberry and Coffee Cake

A cake made with whole wheat flour and one that contains only one tablespoon of oil... when I came across this recipe, I just could not stop myself from making this. Today evening, I made this cake for a friend's wedding anniversary. The recipe asked for an electric mixer to beat the eggs, I didn't have one, so I just whisked the eggs by hand. Alas, my cake did not come out spongy, but it tasted yummy. While returning from the friend's house, my dear hubby took me and got me a new electric mixer :), no more struggling with the whisk while beating the eggs.... yayyyy!!!!
Large Eggs - 3
Light Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Fine Whole Wheat Flour - 2/3 cup
Sunflower Oil - 1 tbsp
Coffee Essence - 1 tsp
Dried Cranberries - 1/3 cup, roughly chopped

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch cake pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy, using an electric mixer. This may take around 10 minutes.
3. Fold in the flour a few spoonfuls at a time. Add the coffee essence and oil. Finally fold in the chopped raspberries.
4. Transfer the prepared mixture immediately to the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and shrinks away from the sides of the pan.
5. Turn the cake out on to a wire rack to cool the cake completely.
6. Decorate the cake with whipped cream or with a mixture of melted chocolate and a little butter. (I used 3 tbsp of chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp butter and a little milk - melted the mixture in a microwave for 10-12 seconds and spread this mixture on top of the cake and added chopped almonds on it)

Sending this recipe to Champa's 'Bake-off' event

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vankaya Pullagura (Eggplant Curry)

Pullagura, a telugu word, whose literal translation is 'Tangy Curry', is used in the local dialect in Rayalseema region, Andhra Pradesh. My native district mostly comprises of farmers, who used to work in the farms and grow groundnut/peanuts, sunflower, castor seeds, etc. Since the whole family used to work in the farms, they hardly had time to cook. So, pullagura was a savior for them. They could put all the ingredients for the curry in a pot and boil till they were cooked, then they would use a wooden masher, known as 'pappu gutthi' or 'pappu katti' to slightly mash the curry and finally would add the tempering. These days, hardly anyone is working in the farms, but pullagura is a dish enjoyed by one and all. Pullagura works as an excellent accompaniment with steamed rice or rotis or ragi sangati/sankati or sadda rotte.
Eggplants/Brinjal - 6, medium sized, quartered
Onion - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 2, medium sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 10, roughly chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves
Turmeric powder - a large pinch
Tamarind - small lemon sized ball
Salt - As per taste

For the Tempering:
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal/bengal gram - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Oil - 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Add the quartered eggplants, chopped tomatoes, onion, green chillies, turmeric powder, tamarind to a pressure cooker along with 2-3 cups of water and cook for 2-3 whistles or just until the vegetables get cooked.
2. Add the salt, slightly mash the boiled ingredients using a masher or the back of a spatula.
3. Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, after they splutter, add cumin seeds, bengal gram and curry leaves, fry for 45 seconds and turn off the heat.
4. Add the tempering to the pressure cooker and let the curry simmer for 5-10 minutes.
5. Enjoy the vankaya pullagura with steamed rice or rotis.

Sending this recipe to my own event 'Celebrating Regional Cuisine'

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baked Tuna steaks With Spice Rub

My experiments with spice rubs, especially for seafood is a never ending saga. I made a wonderful spice rub for tuna, the other day. I marinated the tuna steaks in olive oil, crushed garlic, lime juice along with the spice rub and then baked them. The result was a wonderfully smelling baked tuna. My hubby dear liked it a lot.
Tuna Steaks - 2, 4 oz portions
Garlic - 1 large clove, crushed
Lime juice - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp

For the Spice Rub:
Oregano - 3/4 tsp
Marjoram - 3/4 tsp
Paprika/Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Peppercorns - 10
Salt - 1/8 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and grease it lightly.
2. Add the ingredients for the spice rub to a mortar and grind them all using a pestle to a fine powder.(If you like eating spicy, then add whole arbor chillies and grind them, as I did :))
3. Place the tuna steaks in a glass or non reactive bowl. Add the spice mix, olive oil, crushed garlic, lime juice and mix well using your hands or alternatively, you can add all the ingredients to a ziploc bag and mix well.
4. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and marinate the fish for 2 hours.
5. Place the marinated fish on the baking tray, and bake for 14-15 minutes or until you can easily flake the fish  using a fork.
6. Enjoy the baked tuna steaks with spice rub while it is warm.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baked Turnip Greens

Turnips greens contain almost four times the amount of calcium present in cabbage. This week I got a very big bunch of fresh turnip greens. I was thinking of a best way of cooking these greens, without loosing much of the nutrients. Finally it occurred to me that, I could bake the turnip greens in a sealed aluminium foil packet. Bingo, this worked perfectly. I mixed olive oil, salt, chilli flakes, garlic, peanut powder, onion with sliced turnips greens and baked them for 20 minutes. The greens were perfectly cooked through and there were no extra utensils to wash too :)
Turnips greens - 3 cups, washed, drained, sliced
Onion - 1 medium sized, roughly chopped
Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove, minced
Roasted Peanut Powder - 3 tbsp
Olive Oil - 11/2 tbsp
Lime Juice - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste
Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and toss well or use a spatula/hand to mix well.
3. Take a rectangular piece of aluminium foil, spread a little olive oil in the center of the foil.
4. Place the greens mixture in the center of the foil and fold the foil over, seal the edges of the foil, by folding them over. You should finally have a sealed packet, through which no steam can escape. You can even refer to my previous post - cooking using a foil to see how to make a packet using aluminium foil
5. Place this packet on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let the packet rest in the oven for 5 minutes after turning off the oven. If you prefer crunchy greens, then bake for around 12-14 minutes and do not give any rest time.
6. Be careful while opening the hot packet, hot steam might burn your fingers.
7. Enjoy the baked turnip greens as a side with baked fish/meat or with steamed rice and rotis.

Linking this recipe to   hearthandsoulgirlichef

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Broiled Pineapple

Are you looking for a quick hot dessert? If you love pineapple, I am sure you will love this. A very quick, simple and tasty dessert.
Sliced Pineapples - 2
Brown Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - a pinch (optional)
Chilli Powder - a pinch (optional)

Method of Preparation:
1. Line a broiler safe baking tray with aluminium foil and put the oven in broil mode.
2. Place the pineapple slices on the baking sheet, sprinkle a teaspoon of brown sugar on each slice.
3. If using salt and chilli powder, sprinkle very little on each slice.
4. Put the baking tray under the broiler and broil the pineapple slices for 8-10 minutes or just until the sugar starts caramelizing and turns bubbly.
5. If you prefer a little more broiled pineapple, you can first broil the pineapple on either sides for 7-8 minutes, then sprinkle with sugar and broil for 2-3 minutes.
6. Enjoy the warm, succulent broiled pineapple, just like that or topped with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Simple Tindora Fry

Today my dearest hubby came back from a 2 week long business trip :). He loves dondakaya/tindora, so I made a very simple side dish using tindora. The dish was an excellent side dish with palak methi pappu. 
Tindora/Dondakaya - 2 cups, sliced length wise
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add mustard seeds, after they splutter add cumin seeds. Then add the chopped tindora/dondakaya, tuermeric powder and mix well.
2. Cook covered on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Stir in between.
3. Add ginger garlic paste, chilli powder and salt, mix well, sprinkle a little water, if required. Cook covered for another 8-10 minutes, stirring in between.
4. After the tindora is cooked through, cook uncovered for 5-8 minutes. Take off heat.
5. Serve the tasty simple tindora fry with hot steamed rice. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tomato Soup With Oats

I have a sore jaw, thanks to my wisdom tooth which instead of growing vertically up, is growing horizontally and is pushing against my teeth. Today I am not even able to eat. So, thought of making a soup which will be fulfilling. I used oats as a filler and made a tomato soup. Didn't really do anything fancy, kept it pretty simple.
Tomato Puree - 11/2 cups
Oats - 3 tbsp
Vegetable stock/water - 1 cup
Chilli Powder - a large pinch
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Dried Basil - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove, finely chopped
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Fry for a minute, and add oats to it.
2. Fry for 2 minutes, add the tomato puree, vegetable stock/water, chilli powder, salt and let it boil.
3. Add basil, pepper powder and let the soup simmer for couple of minutes.
4. Enjoy the hot tomato soup with oats.

Linking this to 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Methi Lima Beans Pulav

Today I made a quick methi lima beans pulav and paired it with onion mint raitha. I had got frozen methi and lima beans sitting in my freezer for quite some time now. I paired both of them and made this yummy one pot meal.
Basmati Rice - 2 cups, washed and drained
Fenugreek/Methi leaves - 1/2 cup
Lima Beans - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 6
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 1 large clove
Whole Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Oil/Ghee - 11/2 tbsp
Water - 31/2 cups
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. If using frozen lima beans and methi, thaw them before using. Squeeze excess water from the thawed methi leaves. Grind together green chillies, ginger and garlic into a paste.
2. Heat oil/ghee in a vessel and add the whole spices - cardamom, cloves, cinnamon to it. Fry for 45 seconds and add the ground green chilli ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
3. Add the methi leaves, lima beans and fry for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add salt and drained rice to the vessel and mix well. Add water, mix well and cook on medium heat till it starts boiling. Turn down the heat to low and cook covered till the rice is cooked.
5. Serve the methi lima beans pulav with raitha.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kobbari Podi

Kobbari is the telugu word for coconut. Kobbari podi is a wonderfully smelling and equally tasty coconut powder, which is great with chapathi/rotis. The other day, when I saw Gayathri's post, in which she made a coconut powder, I got reminded of this kobbari podi which my granny and mom make as a quick accompaniment for chapathis/rotis. My granny would traditionally grind this kobbari podi using a big mortar and pestle.

Dry coconut - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 4, roughly chopped (as per taste)
Garlic - 1, small clove
Onion - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Add the garlic, salt and green chillies to a grinder and grind them.
2. Add the dry coconut to it and grind to a fine powder. (If using dry shredded coconut, just pulse once or twice and mix the whole mixture using a spoon).
3. Adjust the salt and mix in the chopped onion.
4. Enjoy the simple, yummy kobbari podi with hot chapathis/rotis.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wheat Jowar Flour Burfi

Today I wanted to eat something sweet. Since my better half is on a business trip, I did not want to bake anything. After thinking for a while, it occurred to me that my mom used to make gulpafti/wheat flour burfi, which used to be melt in the mouth type. She used very little ghee/clarified butter to make it. I wanted to experiment with it and decided to add Jowar/Sorghum flour to it. I made a small batch of this burfi and it came out very well. Best part of the whole thing was, I used just a teaspoon of ghee to make it.
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Jowar flour - 1/4 cup
Jaggery/Brown sugar - 1/4 cup, firmly packed
Ghee/Clarified butter - 1 tsp + a little to grease the plate or dish
Water - 2tbsp
Milk - 5 tbsp
Broken Cashews - few(optional)

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat a small non stick pan and add ghee to it. Then add the finely chopped/grated jaggery to it and let it melt on low heat.
2. Meanwhile heat a pan and add the wheat flour and jowar flour to it. Mix well so that both the flours get mixed with each other. Fry on medium heat till it turns golden brown.
3. Add water to the melted jaggery and mix well and let it simmer on very low heat.
4. Add the hot flour mixture to the jaggery pan and switch off the heat. Mix well using a spatula until the while mixture turns into a jaggery flour crumble. Now add the milk, mix well and put the pan back on low heat.
5. The mixture forms a smooth dough, now mix it continuously using a spatula for a minute or two, once the raw smell disappears, take off heat and transfer the burfi mixture to a greased plate or dish.
6. Using the back of a spoon/spatula, flatten the burfi evenly.
7. After 2 minutes, use a knife to cut pieces of burfi. Press cashew pieces on each burfi.
8. Carefully take out the wheat jowar flour burfi pieces onto another plate and let them cool down completely.
9. Enjoy the wheat jowar flour burfi.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chayote Moong Dal Curry

Chayote/Chow Chow/Bangalore Vankaya/Seema Vankaya, is available through out the year, here in US. Chayote which has very mild flavor of its own works wonders when combined with ingredients such as cumin, chillies and garlic. Today, I made a chayote curry with coarsely ground moong dal/split bean and it came out very well.
Chayote - 1, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
Moong Dal/Split Bean - 1/4 cup, soak in warm water for 2 hrs
Green Chillies - 5, roughly chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 1 large clove, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Drain the water from the moong dal. Add green chillies, cumin, garlic to a grinder and grind to a fine paste. Then add the moong dal and grind to a coarse mixture.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Add the diced chayote after mustard seeds splutter. Cook covered for few minutes or until chayote is half cooked.
3. Add the ground moong dal paste to the pan and mix well, removing lumps, if any.
4. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add salt, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes and mix well.
5. Sprinkle a little water and cook covered till the tomatoes become soft. Add more water to get the desired consistency.
6. Adjust the salt and enjoy the chayote moong dal curry with steamed rice or rotis.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Curry Powder For Stir Fries

This is a family recipe of my aunt, Indu. Thanks to her for sharing it with me and giving a chance to share with the whole world. This curry powder is mainly used to enhance the flavor of stir fries, like potato stir fry, tindora fry, capsicum/bell pepper fry, capsicum potato fry and a lot of various such combinations. All you need to add is the curry powder or the koora karam (telugu word) and salt to the dish. When I visited my aunt this year, I fell in love with this curry powder. It added a lot of flavor to the regular stir fries.
Chana Dal/Senagapappu - 4 tbsp
Urad Dal/Uddipappu - 2 tbsp
Coriander Seeds/Dhaniyalu - 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeelakarra - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 7-9(As per your taste)
Mustard Seeds/Avalu - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds/Menthulu - a large pinch
Curry Leaves - 5-8

Method of Preparation:
1. Dry roast the ingredients individually and let them cool.
2. Add curry leaves and red chillies to a grinder and grind them first.
3. Then add the rest of ingredients and grind to a coarse powder.
4. Store the curry powder for stir fries in an air tight container.
5. Use a spoonful of this curry powder when you make your stir fries.

Usage: Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables of your choice(Potato/Capsicum/Tindora), cook them until they are 3/4th done. Then add this curry powder, salt, mix and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the vegetables are completely cooked through. Enjoy the tasty, flavorful stir fry.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Masoor Dal Cabbage Curry

Earlier I had posted Tomato Cabbage recipe, which was super yummy. Today I wanted to make something different with cabbage. Long back I had bought a packet of whole masoor dal, which I hadn't even opened yet. I wanted to try a combination of masoor dal with cabbage and tomato. I had fresh ginger and I used it flavor the curry. The ultimate dish was super tasty and yummy.
Cabbage - 2 cups, finely chopped
Whole masoor dal /lentils - 1/4 cup
Tomato - 1, medium sized, finely chopped
Onion - 1, small, roughly chopped
Green chillies - 5, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger - 1/4 tsp, finely chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation
1. Add masoor dal to a vessel along with 2-3 cups of water, a pinch of salt and cook covered on medium heat for 15 minutes or until the dal gets cooked. Drain the water and keep the cooked masoor dal aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, after they splutter, add cumin seeds, fry for a few seconds and add the chopped garlic. Fry for 20 seconds.
3. Add the chopped onion, chillies, turmeric powder and cabbage to it, mix well, add salt and cook covered for 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle a little water, if needed.
4. Stir in between, add the chopped tomatoes, cooked masoor dal and mix well. Cover the lid and let the tomatoes cook, will take around 5-8 minutes.
5. Adjust the salt, add the chopped ginger, mix well and cook covered for 4 more minutes.
6. Enjoy the masoor dal cabbage with steamed rice or rotis.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Banana Peppers Tomato Chutney

Today I wanted to experiment with banana peppers and thought a lot. Finally, I wanted to see how well they would work as chutney. With the ingredients available in my pantry, I made this banana peppers tomato chutney and it tasted quite good. Will definitely make this recipe again using red ripe tomatoes, which will give a good color to it.
Banana Peppers - 4, deseeded, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 4, roughly chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
Bengal Gram/Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - small marble sized
Oil - 1tbsp
Salt - As per taste

For the Tempering:
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few, roughly chopped

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add urad dal, garlic and green chillies. Fry for 2 minutes, remove from pan and keep aside.
2. In the same pan add the chopped banana peppers and fry for 2 minutes on high heat. Cook covered for 3 minutes, stir in between.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook till the raw smell disappears or the tomatoes become soft.
4. Turn off the heat and let this mixture cool down.
5. Meanwhile, add a little warm water to the tamarind and keep it for 10 minutes.
6. Add the urad dal, garlic and green chillies mixture to a grinder and grind it roughly. Add the soaked tamarind, banana peppers tomato mixture, salt and grind it to a smooth paste. If required, add the water used to soak the tamarind.
7. Adjust the salt and heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, after they splutter add cumin seeds and chopped curry leaves. fry for few seconds and turn off heat.
8. Add the tempering to the banana peppers tomato chutney and enjoy with steamed rice.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jowar Onion Rotti

Today I was feeling very hungry and wanted to make something quick, that would satisfy my hunger. Few days back, when I was speaking to my mom, I told her that I had bought jowar flour/jonna pindi. She had then told me that I could make a rotte/roti with it, similar to akki rotte. I quickly chopped onion, chillies and cilantro. Added salt, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and jowar flour, binded them altogether with warm water and made jowar onion rotti. I just loved it, the rotti was so tasty, I quickly took couple of pictures and attacked it. It was so yummy that, it didn't even need any accompaniment like chutney/pickle.

Sorghum/Jawar/Jonnalu are the various names that I know, for Jowar.

Jowar Flour - 2 cups
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 5, finely chopped
Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Sesame Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - As per taste
Method of Preparation:
1. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl, mix well using your hand.
2. Take 11/2 cups of warm water and by adding it in little portions, make a soft dough. Since the jowar flour has no gluten, you might have to add a little more water and knead it for couple of minutes.
3. You can make the jowar onion rotti either on an oiled plastic sheet or directly on the tava/non stick pan.
4. If you make them directly on the pan, then add a little oil to the pan, spread it on the whole pan and then place a small dough ball in the center and flatten it out using your fingers of the hand. Poke few holes in the center, using your finger.
5. Now switch on the heat to medium high and place the pan on it. Let it cook for 2 minutes, then place a lid on the pan and cook for 3 more minutes, take off the lid, increase the heat and let it become crisp on the bottom side, it takes around 2-3 minutes. Now flip the rotti gently on to the other side and let it cook for 4-5 minutes.
6. Enjoy the tasty jowar onion rotti with an accompaniment of your choice.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Banana Peppers Tomato Curry

We got a bag of fresh banana peppers for very less price, when we went grocery shopping. So, I have been thinking of new ways to use banana peppers. Usually banana peppers are used to make mirchi bajji/stir fry. Today I combined banana peppers with tomato and the result was a quick tasty curry.
Banana Peppers - 5, deseeded, chopped
Onion - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1 large, roughly chopped
Rasam Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, after they splutter, add cumin seeds and chopped onions. Fry till the onions become transparent.
2. Add the chopped banana peppers and fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, rasam powder, chilli powder, salt and mix well.
4. Cook covered till the tomato becomes soft and banana peppers are cooked, stir in between.
5. Adjust the salt and enjoy the yummy banana peppers tomato curry with steamed rice or rotis/puris.


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