Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kerala Aval Poha

Its been a while since I bought the Kerala Aval/Atukulu/Beaten Rice from the Indian grocery store. Finally I made a very simple dish using them. The Kerala aval poha is a good option for a quick breakfast.

Ingredients:
Kereal Aval - 1 cup
Onion - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 3, chopped
Raw Peanuts - a handful
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal Gram - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5
Oil - 1 tbsp
Lime Juice - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a vessel and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds. raw peanuts and Bengal gram. Once the seeds start spluttering add the curry leaves, chopped onions and chopped chillies.
2. Fry till the onions become transparent.
3. Add the Aval/Atukulu/beaten rice and mix well.
4. Add salt and sprinkle a little water. Mix well.
5. On low heat, cook covered till the aval/atukulu gets cooked.
6. Add a dash of lime juice on top, adjust the salt and serve the kerala aval poha, while it is still hot.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cinnamon Honey Granola

Granola is one of those breakfast options that is very tasty, healthy, satisfying and pretty costly too. However, it is very easy to prepare granola at home. The best part about preparing granola at home is that you can tailor make it as per your taste and preferences and can also make it in small batches so that the granola stays fresh.
Ingredients:
Old Fashioned Oats - 1 cup
Cinnamon Powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Honey - 1 tbsp
Canola/Vegetable oil - 11/2 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 1 tsp
Almonds - 8, finely sliced
Pumpkin Seeds - 1 tbsp(optional)
Walnuts - 2 tbsp, roughly chopped
Dried Cranberries - 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 250F. In a bowl add oats, cinnamon powder, salt, brown sugar and mix well.
2. Add the oil, honey to the bowl and combine all ingredients using your hand.
3. If you like to have granola clusters, then fold a little amount of the granola in your fist and press firmly to form small lumps.
4. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the oats mixture on it evenly.
5. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Take out the baking tray and using a spatula turn the granola mixture around. Add the nuts and dried cranberries and mix well. Spread the granola evenly on the parchment paper and put the baking tray back in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. Take out the baking tray mix well and spread evenly the granola mixture. Switch off the oven and place the baking tray back in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until it cools down.
8. Transfer the cinnamon honey granola to an airtight container and store.
9. Add milk/soya milk/yogurt to your cup of cinnamon honey granola and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Curry(Using Curry Powder)

This is a very easy and tasty mixed vegetable curry that goes very well with hot rotis. You can use any of the seasonal vegetables along with mushrooms for this recipe.
Ingredients:
Onion - 2, small, roughly chopped
Potato - 2, medium sized, peeled and chopped
Capsicum/Bell Pepper - 2, medium sized, deseeded and chopped
Carrot - 2, medium sized, peeled and chopped
Tomato - 1, large, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 3, slit length wise(adjust according to spice levels)
Curry Powder - 11/2 tbsp
Oil - 11/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Yogurt/Curd - 3 tbsp
Salt - As per taste
Corn Flour/Starch - 11/1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a vessel and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the slit chillies and chopped tomatoes. Mix well and cook till the tomatoes soften.
2. Add the curry powder and mix well. Add all the chopped vegetables, mix well. Add salt and cook covered for 5-10 minutes. Stir in between.
3. Once the vegetables are half cooked, add the yogurt and mix well. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Cook covered till the vegetables are cooked through.
4. Adjust the salt. In a small bowl add the corn flour and couple of spoons of water. Mix well and add it to the boiling curry on low heat.
5. Once the curry thickens, take off heat.
6. Serve mixed vegetable curry with rotis.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Home Made Curry Powder

There are a lot of branded curry powders available in the market, but nothing comes even close to the fresh home made curry powder. It just takes a couple of minutes to prepare this amazing curry powder. You can add a couple of spoons of curry powder to a mixed vegetable curry or stir fry and see the difference.
Ingredients:(Yields around a cup of curry powder)
Coriander Seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 2 tbsp
Black Cardamom - 2
Green Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 10
Cinnamon - 2 inch stick
Fennel/Saunf Seeds - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Chilli Powder/Paprika - 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Dry roast all the ingredients. Let them cool down.
2. Grind to a fine powder in a spice blender or a grinder.
3. Store in an air tight container.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pepper Rasam

Pepper rasam is the best combination of the right amounts of sourness, spice and aroma. This is one of those comforting dishes which my mom used to make for us specially when we had a slight cold, sore throat or fever. However, this is one of those dishes that is very easy to prepare and can be had regularly. 
Ingredients:
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 3 pods
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind - a large lemon sized ball
Sugar/Jaggery - 1/2 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. 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 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.
6. Enjoy the pepper rasam with steaming hot rice.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tomato Cabbage Curry

Tomato cabbage curry was one of my favorites in the Infosys food court at Hyderabad :). This is a very quick and delicious curry.

Ingredients:
Cabbage - 2 large cups, Finely chopped
Onions - 1 medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomato - 3, medium sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 5, slit length wise(adjust according to spice levels)
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 11/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal Gram/Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 6
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:

1. In a large pan heat oil and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, bengal gram and curry leaves. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions and chillies.
2. Once the onions turn transparent, add the tomatoes and cook covered till they become soft.
3. Add the chopped cabbage, mix well and cook covered for 4 minutes.
4. Stir once in a while till the cabbage is almost cooked. Add salt and garam masala.
5. Mix well, cook covered for 2 more minutes.
6. Serve the tomato cabbage curry with rice or roti

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Home Made Caramel Pop corn

I love pop corn and few weeks back bought caramel corn at a local shop. I loved the taste of it, however, it was too sweet for me. Hence, I wanted to make caramel corn or pop corn at home. Went through a lot of recipes posted online and most of them were using corn syrup. I developed my own recipe without corn syrup and the resultant taste was very close to the store bought one, only the color was a shade lighter when compared to the store bought caramel corn.
Ingredients:
Freshly popped corn - 2 large cups(you can refer to the home made pop corn post)
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Honey - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Granulated Sugar - 2 tbsp
Water - 21/2 tbsp
Vanilla Essence - few drops
Baking Soda - a large pinch

Method of Preparation:
1. Add the salt to freshly popped corn and toss well.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
3. In a small pan add the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, honey and water. On medium heat, mix the contents in the pan until they dissolve and start boiling.
4. Let the mixture boil for 3-5 minutes on medium to low heat, keep stirring in between.
5. Take the caramel off the hat and add the vanilla essence and baking soda, mix well. Once you add the baking soda, the mixture becomes foamy.
6. Place the pop corn in a wide bowl and slowly pour the caramel all over the corn. Toss the pop corn so that most of the pop corn gets coated with the caramel mixture or use a spatula to do the same.
7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil and spread the coated pop corn evenly on the sheet.
8. Place the baking tray in the oven for 6-8 minutes, take out the baking tray, mix the pop corn well and place the tray back in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
9. Once the caramel starts solidifying, take out the baking tray and transfer the caramel corn onto a wax paper or aluminium foil, placed on the counter top. Try to break the corn if any are stuck, before placing them on the foil.
10. Let the corn cool down completely, before transferring them into an air tight container.
11. Enjoy the home made caramel pop corn with your family and friends.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homemade Biryani Masala Powder

Spices are the backbone of any dish. I love experimenting with different spices and coming up with different spice mixtures or masalas. Hear is a very easy way of preparing biryani masala at home. This masala can be used for making vegetable, chicken or mutton biryani.
Ingredients:(Makes around 11/2 tbsp biryani powder)
Cloves - 5
Green Cardamom - 2
Black Cardamom - 1
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Star Anise - half of a whole star anise
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Shahi Jeera - 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Add all the ingredients to a spice blender or a grinder and grind to a fine powder.
2. Store in an airtight container.

Usage:
For around 2 pounds or one kg of chicken or mutton, use 11/2 tbsp biryani masala.
(Add the biryani masala powder to the marinade and marinate the meat in it)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vankaya Bendakaya Pullagura(Eggplant Okra Curry)

'Pullagura' is a telugu word, mostly used in Rayalseema dialect in Andhra Pradesh and the literal translation of the word is - 'Tangy Curry'. There are various different pullagura recipes and today's recipe uses okra/ladies fingers and eggplant/brinjal. This is one of my mother's all time favorite dishes.

Ingredients:
Eggplant - 4 medium sized, washed and roughly chopped
Ladies fingers/okra - 10 medium sized, washed and cut into medium sized pieces
Onion - 1 small sized, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1 large sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 8-10, roughly chopped(adjust according to spice levels)
Garlic - 2 large cloves
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - a small lemon size
Salt - As Per Taste
Chopped Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - 1 tbsp(optional)

For the Tempering:
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds -1/4 tsp
Urad Dal/Bengal Gram - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 6

Method of Preparation:
1. In a pressure cooker add the chopped eggplant, okra, onions, tomatoes, chillies, turmeric powder, whole garlic cloves, tamarind and salt. Add 2 cups of water
2. Pressure cook till the veggies become soft.
3. Using a masher, mash the contents in the pressure cooker. Adjust salt.
4. In a small pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and bengal gram, once the seeds start spluttering add the curry leaves and mix well, after 30 seconds, take off heat and add it to the pressure cooker.
4. Mix well, add the chopped cilantro and let the curry simmer on low fire for few minutes.
5. Serve the vankaya bendakaya pullagura(Eggplant Okra curry) with hot rice and a dollop of ghee(clarified butter) or with rotis.
                               Sending this recipe to Divya's 'Show Me Your Curry'

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baked Tuna steaks

This weekend we got home two 4 oz fresh tuna steaks. Tuna contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is a bit of protection for the heart. This is the first time I have worked with tuna and the dish was well appreciated by my better half. The recipe is very simple with very few ingredients. We were in a hurry to go out today, hence could not a good job with the picture.
Ingredients:
Tuna - 2, 4 oz tuna steaks(3/4 inch to 1 inch thick)
Lime Juice - 1 tbsp
JalapeƱo/Thai Green Chilli - 1, chopped into half inch pieces
Pepper Powder - 1/8 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, finely chopped
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per Taste

Method of Preparation:
1. In a plastic or glass bowl, add all the ingredients except the fish and mix well.
2. Now add the fish pieces and mix well, so that both the sides of the fish get a good coat of the marinade.
3. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate it for an hour or two(not more than 2 hours)
4. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake the tuna steaks on a greased foil lined baking tray for 10-12 minutes(or until you can easily flak the fish using a fork).
5. Serve the baked tuna steaks warm or hot.

Sending this recipe to 'Hearth 'n Soul' being hosted by Girlichef
H‘nSgirlichef

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spicy Puffed Rice

This is one of those recipes which is very close to my heart. Me and my brother used to love these whenever our mom or granny used to make them. The flavor is so heavenly that, even today I cannot stop myself from munching these. As soon as I prepared the spicy puffed rice today, even before publishing the post, I was busy emptying a big bowl of spicy puffed rice :)
Ingredients:
Puffed Rice - 2 cups
Garlic - 3 large cloves
Curry Leaves - 6
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder/Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Raw Peanuts - a handful
Roasted Chana Dal - a handful
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 4 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. In a small mortar, add the cumin seeds, salt and chilli powder. Crush them slightly using a pestel so that the cumin seeds get crushed roughly.
2. Add the curry leaves and crush them too.
3. Add the garlic cloves and crush them finely.
4. In a deep non stick dish, heat the oil and add raw peanuts. On medium flame, cook for a minute or two till the peanuts get cooked, add the roasted chana dal and turmeric powder. Mix well.
5. Now add the ground mixture on low heat and mix well so that no lumps of the mixture remain. 
6. Mix well for a minute on low heat, till the raw smell of garlic disappears. 
7. Now add the puffed rice and on very low heat, mix them in such a way that each and every puffed rice gets coated with the mixture in the dish.
8. Take off the heat and transfer the spicy puffed rice into a dish or container, close the lid after the spicy puffed rice cools down.

Note: Always try this recipe in a small batch first, so that you do not end up with burnt puffed rice. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Making a Perfect Cup of Chai

Its raining outside and a perfect cup of chai or tea is what is comforting :). A hot, refreshing cup of tea is sure to generate warmth in your body and senses. Here is a simple way of preparing a perfect cup of chai.
Ingredients:(Makes 1 cup)
Water - 1/4 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup(I used 2% milk, you can increase the water amount in case of full fat milk)
Sugar - 11/2 tsp
Tea bags - 2(You can also use loose tea powder, use 2 tsp of the powder instead of the tea bags)
Cardamom - 1, slightly crushed(can also use the regular chai masala or any other flavoring ingredient)

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat the water on medium heat in a small vessel and add the tea bags and crushed cardamom.
2. Let the water start boiling. Once the water starts boiling, add the milk and wait till the tea starts boiling.
3. Once the tea starts boiling, lower the heat and let the tea simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Add the sugar and mix well. Take the tea off heat and strain it.
5. Serve the chai, while it is still hot.
Chai on Foodista

Friday, September 17, 2010

Home Made Hot Cocoa

Hot Chocolate is a all time favorite not only for kids but for a lot of adults too. A hot cup of chocolate on a cold day is a perfect combo. Instead of shelling around 3 bucks for a small cup of hot chocolate, you can make your own home made hot cocoa, for a lot less cost and with the perfect amount of sugar you like. All you need is a natural unsweetened cocoa powder. I used the Hershey's brand of unsweetened cocoa powder, bought at Walmart.
Ingredients:
Cocoa Powder - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Vanilla Extract - few drops(optional)
Hot Milk - 1 cup (You can even reduce the quantity of milk by adding hot water, I used 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup milk)

Method of Preparation:
1. In a clean dry cup, add the dry ingredients - cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Mix well.
2. Heat the milk(add the water to the milk, if using any) in a microwave for 11/2 to 2 minutes or until hot.
3. Add a little hot milk to the cup and mix well, ensuring that no lumps are formed.
4. Add the rest of the milk and vanilla essence, mix well and enjoy your home made hot cocoa.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Simple Rice Pudding

I am really not a sweets person :). However, at times when I feel like eating something sweet, the simplest thing I turn to is the rice pudding. Today, instead of using normal sugar, I used brown sugar and topped the rice pudding with fresh fruit. 

Ingredients:
Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup
Milk - 3 cups
Sugar - 4 tsp(brown or regular sugar, adjust according to taste)
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp
Raisins - few
Almonds - 6, roughly chopped
Any seasonal fruit - 2 tbsp, chopped

Method of Preparation:
1. Rinse the basmati rice and soak it in warm water for 45 minutes.
2. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the milk until it starts boiling.
3. Crush the soaked rice with fingers, so that the rice grains break into small pieces. 
4. Add the broken rice to the boiling milk and let the rice cook on low heat.
5. Keep stirring in between. Once the rice gets cooked, add the sugar, raisins, chopped almonds and cardamom powder.
6. Mix well and let the rice pudding thicken a little bit, before taking off heat.
7. You can serve the rice pudding either cold or warm.
8. Top the rice pudding with your favorite fruit and enjoy.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sprouted Chana Palak Curry

Sprouts are very rich in vitamins, proteins, amino acids, digestible energy and phytochemicals. Today's recipe, sprouted chana palak curry, makes use of sprouted chickpeas/garbanzo beans, popularly known as chana in India. Instead of using the kabuli chana, I made use of the Indian variety of kala chana.

Ingredients:
Sprouted Chickpeas/Chana - 2 cups
Spinach/Palak - 100 gms(approximately 4 oz), roughly chopped
Onion - 1 Large, roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized, roughly chopped
Garlic - 1 large clove, finely minced
Yogurt/Curd - 1 tbsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Grind to Powder:
Cloves - 10
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions. Fry till the onions become transparent.
2. In a pan add very little oil and add the chopped spinach. Fry for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
2. Add the ground spice powder, chilli powder and mix well. Now add the chopped tomatoes, chopped garlic and fried spinach. Mix well.
3. Add yogurt, mix well.
4. Add salt and 2 cups of water. Mix well.
5. Pressure cook till done.
6. Mix well and serve the sprouted chana palak curry with rice or roti.

                                   Sending this recipe to Divya's 'Show Me Your Curry'
MLLA 27 an event by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook
CWF: LB - Chickpeas being hosted by Nithu and originally started by Kiran


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flax Seed Curry Leaves Chutney

Flax seed is the modern day miracle food. The benefits of flax seeds include lowering LDL cholesterol(bad cholesterol), blood pressure and may also aid in keeping the platelets from becoming sticky thereby reducing the chances of a heart attack. Today's flax seed chutney recipe is a very simple and tasty way of consuming flax seeds. With subtle flavors of curry leaves and ginger, this recipe is sure to take you by surprise. This flax seed chutney works well with hot rice, idlis and dosas.

Ingredients:(Serves 2-3)
Flax Seeds - 4 tbsp
Curry Leaves - 12-15
Dry Red Chillies - 2-3
Roasted Chana Dal - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece, roughly chopped
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
Salt - As Per Taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Dry roast the flax seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies, one by one separately, till they become crisp.
2. Cool them before adding them to a grinder. Add the roasted chana dal and salt. Grind to a fine powder.
3. Add the chopped ginger, lime juice and half a cup of water. Grind to a smooth paste.
4. Adjust the salt and more water if required.
5. If needed, you can also add tempering to it.
6. Serve the healthy, tasty and flavorful flax seed curry leaves chutney with rice, idlis or dosas.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spicy Dill Chana Dal

My love affair with Dill is still going strong :) Here is a very simple and delicious dal that goes well with roti and rice.
Ingredients:
Chana Dal/Sanaga pappu - 1 cup
Dill Leaves - a small bunch(washed and roughly chopped)
Tomato - 1 large sized, roughly chopped
Salt - As per Taste


Grind To Paste:
Green Chillies - 4-5(adjust according to spice levels)
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Shredded Coconut - 11/2 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup

For The Tempering:
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5-6

Method of Preparation:
1. Rinse the chana dal and add it to a pressure cooker.
2. Add the chopped dill leaves, chopped tomatoes, ground paste and 2-3 cups of water.
3. Pressure cook till done. Add salt and mash the dal with a masher or the back of a spoon. Adjust the consistency of dal by adding water, if any required.
4. Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering add curry leaves to it. Fry for few seconds and add it to the cooked dal. Mix well.
5. Serve the spicy dill chana dal with hot rice or rotis.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Aloo Tikki Chat

Aloo tikki chat... the name itself rings a lot of bells in many of the Indians. Such is the popularity of this chat. The various components of this chat include aloo tikki, choley, green chutney and tamarind date chutney. Here are the recipes to the rest of components.

Ingredients for Aloo Tikki(Makes around 10-12 tikkis)
Potatoes - 4 medium sized(boiled and peeled)
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Mash the potatoes and add the rest of ingredients. Mix well.
2. Divide the potato mixture into large lemon sized balls.
3. Flatten each ball into a round shape of around half inch thickness.
4. Heat a non stick pan and apply a little oil. Place the prepared aloo tikkis on the pan. On medium heat, let the tikkis turn golden brown before turning them over.
5. Turn them over and pour little oil on the pan.
6. Wait till the tikkis turn golden brown, switch of the heat and let the tikkis rest on the hot tava.
7. If the tikkis turn out very soft, then let them cool and reheat them once again. This way the tikkis tend to be crisper for a longer period.

Ingredients for Choley:
Chickpeas/Chana/Garbanzo Beans - 1 can(Drain the liquid and wash the beans couple of times before using)
(Instead of canned chana, you can also use dried chana. Soak them overnight and boil them)
Onion - 1 large sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Pudina/Mint Leaves - 4-5, finely chopped
Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Salt - As per taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. Fry them till they turn golden brown.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and mix well, till the raw smell disappears.
4. Add the chana and 2 cups of water, mix well and let the mixture boil.
5. Add the garam masala, salt, chopped mint and coriander. Mix well.
6. Now transfer the contents to a pressure cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles.
7. Choley for aloo tikki chat is ready.

Ingredients for Green Chutney:
Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - 3 tbsp, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 2-3, roughly chopped
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Yogurt/Curd - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per Taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend to a smooth puree.
2. Green chutney for aloo tikki chat is ready.

Ingredients for assembling Aloo Tikki Chat:
Onion - 1 large sized, finely chopped
Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - 2 tbsp, freshly chopped

Method of Plating:
1. Take a bowl, place one or two hot aloo tikkis on the bottom.
2. Pour some choley on top of it.
3. Add a tablespoon of chopped onions on top of it.
4. Pour 2 teaspoons of the green chutney on top of it.
5. Pour 2 teaspoons of the date tamarind chutney on top of it.
6. Finally add a little more chopped onion and chopped coriander leaves.
7. Enjoy the amazing aloo tikki chat.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tamarind Date Chutney

Happy Vinayaka Chavithi to all !!!!
Today we wanted to make something different for dinner... and ended up making aloo tikki chat. Aloo tikki is my all time favorite. Instead of posting all the different components of the aloo tikki chat, I am posting them as individual posts. Here is the recipe for the sweet, tangy and spicy tamarind date chutney, which can be also used for bhel puri or any other chat.

Ingredients:
Dates - 6(deseeded)
Tamarind - small lemon sized ball
Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/8 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Boil half cup of water and add the dates and tamarind to it. Remove from heat and keep aside.
2. Once the tamarind and dates become soft, add them along with the water used for soaking to a blender.
3. Add the chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt.
4. Grind to a smooth paste.
5. Adjust the consistency of the chutney by adding water if needed.
6. Enjoy the sweet spicy tangy tamarind date chutney with any kind of chat.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tangy Spicy Murmure(Puffed Rice) Chat

Wondering how different is a murmure chat from the usual bhel puri? In my recipe, I have avoided using the green chutney and the sweet tamarind chutney. Instead, I have used chilli powder and lemon juice. This recipe is very simple, here it goes..
Ingredients:
Puffed Rice/Bhel/Murmure - 2 large cups
Onion - 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Tomato  - 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Coriander/Cilantro leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Mint/Pudina leaves - 10, finely chopped
Boondi - 3 tbsp(Optional, I used Chinni's Kara Boondi, purchased at Indian Grocery Store)
Sev - 2 tbsp(Optional, I used Chinni's Om Podi, purchased at Indian Grocery Store
Roasted Peanuts - 1/4 tsp
Lime Juice - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 11/2 tsp
Salt - As Per Taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a big pan and add turmeric powder and half teaspoon chilli powder, mix well for few seconds on medium heat. Add the puffed rice to it and mix well in such a way that all the puffed rice gets coated with turmeric powder and oil mixture.
2. Keep stirring for 2 minutes on medium heat and take off from heat. This step ensures that the puffed rice turns crispy.
3. In a small bowl add the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, chopped coriander powder, chopped mint, lime juice and salt. Mix well.
4. Add this mixture to the puffed rice just before serving and mix well.
5. Top with roasted peanuts, boondi and sev.
6. Serve the tangy spicy murmure chat immediately, else the puffed rice might turn soggy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baked Whole Fish

We have a love hate relationship with seafood. My better half loves sea food and I hate it :) However, I enjoy experimenting with seafood for him. Yesterday we got home fresh pompano from the grocery store. So, Baked whole fish was today's dinner for my better half. With subtle flavors of star anise, dill, garlic and Italian herbs, the outcome was much appreciated by my better half.

Ingredients:
Whole Fish - 1 Pompano(cleaned and scaled, any white fish will work for this recipe)
Onions - 1 large sized, sliced length wise
Green Pepper/Capsicum - 1 medium sized, sliced length wise
Star Anise - 1
Italian Herbs - a small pinch(Rosemary, parsley, oregano)
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Fresh Dill Leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic Cloves - 1 large clove, finely chopped
Paprika/Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Lime - 1 small sized
Salt - As Per Taste
Aluminium Foil - 9X11 sized sheet

Method of Preparation:
1. Wash the fish using cold water and wipe it dry on both sides and inside using a paper towel.
2. Make slits on both sides of the fish using a sharp knife.
3. In a small bowl add a table spoon of oil, chopped garlic, paprika/chilli powder, chopped dill and little salt. Mix well and apply this mixture on the fish, inside the fish and in the slits as well. Squeeze little lime juice on the fish and inside as well. Refrigerate the fish for a couple of hours.
4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small pan and add the sliced onions and bell peppers/capsicum.
5. Add a little salt and pepper and mix well. Fry for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
7. Place 2/3 of the vegetable mixture on the center of the aluminium foil. Place the fish on top of it. Place a star anise inside the cavity of the fish.
8. Top the remaining vegetables mixture on top of the fish. Sprinkle the Italian herbs on it. Fold the edges of the aluminium foil in such a way that no steam escapes while baking.
9. Place the parceled fish on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the fish you use.
10. To ensure that the fish is baked through, use a fork and see if it flakes easily.
11. Serve the baked whole fish hot or warm, by opening the foil and serving it in the foil itself.

Sending this recipe to the event 'Two For Tuesdays', hosted by Girlichef
T4ToriginalGirlichef

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rayalseema Style Pongal(Pulagam)

Pongal is a very easy breakfast which is healthy as well as hassle free to prepare. Unlike the most of the variations of pongal, the rayalseema style pongal uses onions and tomatoes. Wondering, what do onions and tomatoes have to do with pongal? Trust me, you will change your opinion once you taste this flavorful rayalseema style pongal, which is commonly referred to as pulagam, in the local dialect.
Ingredients: (Serves 3-4 persons)
Raw Rice - 2 cups
Moong Dal - 1 cup
Water - 7-8 cups
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as per Taste

For the Tempering:
Oil or Ghee/Clarified Butter - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Whole Pepper Corns - 1/4 tsp (can also use pepper powder, instead)
Giner - 2 tsp, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 4-5, split length wise
Onions - 1, medium sized, sliced length wise
Tomatoes - 1, medium sized, sliced length wise
Curry Leaves - 5-6

Method of Preparation:
1. Wash the rice and moong dal, drain the water.
2. Add the washed rice and dal along with the appropriate amount of water to a pressure cooker.
3. In a small pan, heat the oil and add the cinnamon, cumin seeds and pepper corns. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the sliced onions and sliced green chilies. Fry for a minute or two.
4. Add the chopped giner and curry leaves, fry for a minute and add the chopped tomatoes.
5. Fry for 2 minutes and add this mixture to the pressure cooker.
6. Add the turmeric powder and salt, mix well.
7. Pressure cook till the pongal is done.
8. Serve the Rayalseema style pongal, hot with groundnut chutney or groundnut rasam.

Sending this recipe to the event 'Two For Tuesdays'
T4ToriginalGirlichef

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dill Potato Stir Fry

My fascination with dill seems to be growing by the day. Here I am with one more recipe using dill leaves. A healthy and very simple potato stir fry with a hint of dill.
Ingredients:
Potatoes - 3 medium sized, peeled and diced
Dill Leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 11/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the diced potatoes.
2. Fry for a minute and cook covered till the potatoes are cooked through and turn slight brown(keep stirring in between).
3. Add the chopped dill leaves and fry for a minute.
4. Add the chili powder and salt, fry for 2 more minutes.
5. Serve the Dill Potato Stir Fry as a side dish with Rice or Roti.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Restaurant Reviews - Sayat-Nova, Downtown Chicago, IL

Labor day weekend was a pretty fun filled one. Since we didn't have any prior plans for the long weekend, I did not have any recipes at hand to post during the past 2 days. Thanks to a friend of my better half, who recently moved to Michigan Avenue in downtown, we got to spend a day in the heart of downtown Chicago, in the Chicago's magnificent mile. We visited a lot of restaurants, walked on the beach, played poker at friend's place. Cutting short on my story... Let me pen down my thoughts on the Armenian/Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant we visited for dinner on the E Ohio street, just a few steps from the Michigan Avenue.

Sayat-Nova is a neighborhood restaurant which offers American cuisine with a slight variation on the typical Mediterranean cuisine. Though the restaurant is not very big, it has a bar and the seating arrangement is such that, it accommodates a decently large crowd. There is a outdoor seating facility too.

Baba Ghannouj
The menu is not very elaborate, you have around 15 appetizers such as hummus, baba ganoush, red lentil soup, stuffed eggplant, etc, which were categorized into 2 sections - cold and hot appetizers. You can even choose a salad from 5 different salads being offered. The dinner menu offers main courses under the following categories - Kebabs, Cous Cous, Specialties and Classics with an Armenian Flavor.

Lamajoun

For appetizers, we started with baba ghannouj(baba ganoush - an Arabian dish of mashed eggplant/brinjal mixed with spices, served with pita bread) and Lamajoun(a baked thin crust Armenian pizza containing ground lamb, spices, minced onions, peppers and tomatoes). Baba ghannouj with the warm thin pita bread was a very good choice for appetizer, however, the lamajoun, lacked the right amount of spices and for my Indian palate, was on the bland side.


Coming to the main course, at $25.95, the lamb chops(mentioned as the best offered in Chicago), was not really bang for bucks. On a very small bed of rice pilaf, three small lamb chops was what we got, along with the option to choose a red lentil soup or salad. The salad was not really good. The other main course we ordered was  from the Cous Cous section, Vegetable Cous Cous, at $15.95. On a small bed of cous cous, there were huge chunks of vegetables in a very light tomato broth, served with a small cup of hot sauce. I chose the red lentil soup along with it. The soup, which had chicken broth was quite tasty and very filling.


For my Indian taste buds, the vegetable cous cous was a okay dish, there was nothing great about it.









On the whole, these are my ratings for the restaurant, Sayta-Nova in Chicago -
Ambiance - Quite rustic look with good back ground music
Varieties offered - Fairly good number of options to choose from
Cuisine - Americanized Mediterranean fare
Overall Rating - 3.5/5

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dill Moong Dal

The combination of dill and moong dal is heavenly. Here is a very simple and delicious dill moong dal recipe which goes very well with rice or roti.

Ingredients:
Moong Dal/Split Yellow Dal - 1/2 Cup
Dill Leaves - 1 small bunch, washed and roughly chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - As per taste

For the Tempering:
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes - 1 medium sized, roughly chopped
Green Chillies - 4-5, finely chopped

Method of Preparation:
1. Pressure cook the moong dal and chopped dill leaves by adding 2 cups of water and turmeric powder.
2. Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard, cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the chopped tomatoes and chillies.
3. Fry for a minute or two till the raw smell disappears and add it to the pressure cooked dal.
4. Add salt and mix well.
5. Enjoy the delicious Dill Moong Dal with Rice or Roti.

Sending this recipe to Divya's 'Show Me Your Curry'

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Garlicky Grilled Eggplant/Brinjal Curry

This is a very simple recipe for dishing out a yummy eggplant curry. The best part of this recipe is that, you can even grill/broil the eggplant beforehand, scoop out the flesh and store in refrigerator, so that you can cut down on the preparation time, when running short on time. As was the case with me today. We got up late and my better half was getting late for office, so I used the already scooped out flesh of the eggplant and cooked the curry in less than 15 minutes. Roti and garlicky grilled eggplant curry is today's lunch for my dear better half.
Ingredients:
Large Eggplant - 1
Garlic - 4 large cloves, roughly crushed
Onion - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder/Paprika - 1 tsp
Roasted Peanut Powder - 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chopped Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - 1 tbsp
Oil - 11/2 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Wash the eggplant, pat dry with a towel and apply a little oil on the surface of the eggplant.
2. You can grill the eggplant on a stove top or on a grill or even in a broiler. I used broiler, however my eggplant was too big to fit under the broiler so I sliced the eggplant in half and put the two halves on a foil lined baking tray, with the surface(skin) of eggplant facing the broiler.
3. Broil/Grill the eggplant for 10-15 min or till the inside flesh becomes soft and the skin of the eggplant comes of easily.
4. Scoop out the flesh from the eggplant when it cools down and discard the skin.
5. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. Once the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions.
6. Fry till the onions turns transparent and add the crushed garlic cloves, fry for a minute before adding the chopped tomatoes.
7. Mix well and cook till the tomatoes become soft. Add the scooped out eggplant flesh to the pan and mix well.
8. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and mix well.
9. Let the mixture cook for 3-4 minutes
10. Add salt and roasted peanut powder mix well, fry for a minute, add the chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and take off the heat.
11. Enjoy the garlicky grilled eggplant curry with rotis or rice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spicy Pasta With Dill Chicken

Its been a while since I made any pasta dish. Today my better half wants to eat pasta. So, I went through my pantry and found a lot of things which can be put to use to dish up a tasty pasta dinner. I have never combined pasta with dill chicken and when I found fresh dill leaves, instead of preparing a dill leaf curry, I thought of using some of the dill leaves to enhance the flavor of pasta. A simple chicken stir fry with a hint of dill and garlic is used  to complement the pasta in tomato sauce.
Ingredients:
Fettuccine Whole Wheat Pasta - 11/2 cup, cooked as per the instructions on the packet
Tomato Paste - 2 tbsp
White Wine/Chicken Stock/Vegetable Stock - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1 small, finely sliced
Grated Carrot - 1/4 cup(optional)
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Dry Parsley, Basil, Chives - 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil - 1tbsp

For the Marination:
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Chicken Breast - 1, cut into 1 inch pieces
Chopped Dill Leaves - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
Ground pepper - 1/8 tsp
Chilli Flakes - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4tsp
Method of Preparation:
1. Mix all the ingredients for the marination and marinate them for at least 4 hours.
2. In a small non stick pan add the marinated chicken and fry till the chicken is cooked through.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions, fry for a minute and add the grated carrot.
4. Fry for another minute and add the tomato paste along with the stock or wine and mix well.
5. Add the cooked chicken and the dry spices(chives, basil, parsley) and let the sauce thicken a little bit.
6. Add the cooked pasta and stir for a minute or two.
7. Serve the spicy pasta with dill chicken hot.

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