Apr 30, 2008

Recipe - Raagi dosa (pulla dosalu)


Millet Crepes

Summary:

"Raagi/Millet is an excellent food for diabetics, full of fiber and nutrients. The tired feeling in diabetics and any other sick person is alleviated by eating wholegrain ragi. Ragi given to children will give them bone strength because of higher nutrient content". Source:Sakthi Foundation.org

Ragi dosa needs little bit of preparation. The good part is nothing needs to be grinded. No need to worry about fermentation. They can be prepared with ease. For the desired result, it is better to soak the batter overnight. These dosa's come in handy when there is time restriction with cooking. Kids are hungry and need an instant snack Or even a good morning breakfast. I make these very regularly. Give it a try and leave a comment if your family enjoyed it!

Ingredients:

  • Millet flour/Raagi flour - 1 cup
  • Semolina/Sooji - 1 cup
  • All purpose flour/Maida - 1 cup
  • Rice flour - 1 cup
  • Wheat flour 1 cup
  • Cheakpea flour/Besan - 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Onions - 2 cups
  • Tomatoes - 2 cups
  • Green chili - 2 serrano (3 - 4 Indian green chilies)chopped/minced
  • Ginger - 2 tablespoons (chopped /minced)
  • Cilantro - 2 - 3 tablespoons
  • Salt - 2 teaspoons (according to taste)
  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Water - 7 cups (approximately)
  • Oil - to spray on the dosa


Process:

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl. Do not pour all the water at once. Make the batter into smooth and silky thin with no lumps. Set the batter aside for overnight.

Preheat a non-stick pan/cast iron skillet at a medium heat temperat. Ladle the batter in the center of the preheated pan, slowly spread the batter into a thin circle. Spray oil on top of the crape/dosa.

The edges of the dosa start turning into golden brown flip the dosa and cook it on the other side. In 1 minute remove dosa from the pan.

Fold dosa in desired shape and serve hot with sambar/lentil soup or any kind of spread/chutney or chutney powders.

Preparation time: 5 minutes each dosa (15 minutes to prepare batter)

# Servings 6 - 8

Tips:

  • It is easier to ladle the batter in the center and lift the pan and move it in a circular motion so that the batter spreads in a circle shape, by itself.
  • Try using a cup to pour the batter on to the skillet, if you are not comfortable with the ladle. Move your hand fast while pouring.
  • For some reason if the dosa is not coming out well, add little more water to the batter and dip your fingers in the batter and pour the batter with your fingers on to the skillet. Believe me; you might not have eaten crispier dosa's before this day :-)

Apr 29, 2008

Recipe - Bharwaan Tindora (Dondakaya kura/Kovakkai/ Kundru sabzi)


Ivy gourd or Little gourd stir fry

Summary

Tindora/little gourd has low glycemic index which is good for people who are diabetic, helps regulates blood glucose. It is high in beta-carotene. Thanks to Wikipedia, I leant, dondakaya is also known as gentleman's toes (compare lady's fingers/okra ). Source: Wikipedia.

Tindora/dondakaya is very popular vegetable in south India. Dondakaya can be eaten as a curry or chutney. I make stuffed tindora/dondakaya for small gatherings. I live in a multi cultural community. Dishes like stuffed tindora is like a delicacy, considering its look and presentation. If I am in a hurry I just chop tindora into vertical slices and add the spices on top of them and make it a stir-fry. Tastes almost the same but looks different :-)

Okra/Bhindi can be made the same way as Ivy gourd/Tindora

Ingredients:

  • Tindora - 45 - 50 pieces

Stuffing:

  • Coconut - 2 tablespoons (optional)
  • Chickpea flour/Besan - 3 tablespoons (roasted)
  • Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
  • Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil - 2 tablespoons

Process:

Wash and clean tindora, slit tindora veritcally, making four slits. Make sure one edge of the tindora is entact. Mix all the spices together with with 2 teaspoons of oil. Stuff tindora with the stuffing mix.

Preheat an open skillet with oil on medium heat, add the stuffed tindora's slowly to the pan in a single layer.

Cook/roast them well on all the sides on medium temperature, make sure not to cover the dish.

Preparation time 30 - 45 minutes (takes longer to stuff :-))
# Servings: 4 - 6

Tips:

From one of my readers: Thank you Jen!!

  • To cook Kovaikkai/Tindora/Dondakaya faster with a little less use of oil, microwave the slit Kovaikkais about 20 of them (on a plate with a little bit of water) and then stuffed them and placed them in a single layer in little oil.
  • The rest of the Kovaikkai slit vertically (To hasten the cooking process, cooked them in the microwave first and then followed the rest of your recipe, turns out awesome.
  • To cut the stuffing process short, slice tindoras thin (10 minutes can be saved). Cutting tindoras is also a chore ;-)

Preheat oil in a skillet, add cumin seeds. Let them splutter add chopped tindora, turmeric. Let them cook for 10- 15 minutes.

Add red chilli powder, salt and chick pea flour, sautee till the desired crispness is aquaired.

Serve it hot with roti or rice.



Apr 28, 2008

Recipe - Kalakandh burfi


Milk Cake with dry fruits

Summary:

Milk cake reminds me of the Indian sweet stores. My whole family loves Kalakandh. The shelf life of this sweet is not more than 7 days even in a refrigerator. Tastes delicious eaten fresh.

Kalakandh is typically made with paneer as the base. Ricotta cheese can replace paneer to save time. Paneer is high in protein. Kalakandh is very rich calories. Addition of almonds and pistachio makes it rich and delicious. Anything eaten in moderation is the secret of good health. So do not worry about the calories when you are enjoying delicacies like these...

Ingredients:

  • Paneer - 2 cups ( 2 litres milk to make paneer crumbs )
  • Dry milk powder - 2 cups
  • Heavy whipping cream - 1/2 pint(250 ml approx)
  • Sugar - 1 and 1/2 cup
  • Ghee - 2 tablespoons (optional)
  • Cashew - 1/2 cup (coarsely grinded)
  • Almonds - 1/2 cup (coarsely grinded)
  • Pistachio - 1/2 cup (coarsely grinded)

Process:

Boil whipping cream in a heavy sauce pan at medium temperature.

Add paneer to whipping cream. Mix well, cook for 5 -7 minutes, stir continuously, till paneer cooks well. Can fry/cook it for longer time, to get light golden brown color.

Add dry milk powder, mix well. cook for 8 -10 minutes.

If you find the mixture too dry, add little ghee. Add cashew, almonds and pistachio, mix well for 2 minutes.

Let the mixture come down to lukewarm temperature (not too cold). Add sugar to the mixture, mix well. Adding sugar to the mixture at the right temperature yields best results.

Grease a plate with butter/ghee and transfer the kalakandh/milk cake mixture. Spread it evenly with a buttered spatula or grease your hand to avoid getting the mixture stuck to your hand.

Decorate the top layer of the burfi with pistachios powder, and cut to desired shapes.

Let the burfi cool down before you separate the pieces. Otherwise you will get uneven shapes. Store burfi in the refrigerator and serve cold/chill.


Preparation time - 30 - 45 minutes (apart from paneer preparation)
# Pieces - 35 - 40 (depending on the size)

Tips:
Refer Paneer preparation for paneer crumbs.

Apr 27, 2008

Recipe - Atta wale Baingan (Vankaya vepudu/Brinjal fry)



Eggplant dry curry

Summary:

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetable. Eggplant helps control cholesterol. It is high in potassium and good source of folic acid.

Eggplant is consumed more in China and in India. Eggplants are grown in different sizes and colors.

My whole family loves eggplant and the dishes made out of it. We can live on eggplant for a week :-) My daughter Shreya loves this sabzi without potato, can eat it every other day.

Potato can be added to this curry for variation. In north Indian cooking potato can be added to most of the vegetables and the quantity of the curry can be increased.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplants - 12 - 15 (small round brinjals sliced into four)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder (dhania powder) - 1teaspoon
  • Dry mango powder (amchoor) - 1 teaspoon
  • Whole wheat flour (atta) - 1 tablespoon
  • Oil - 2 tablespoons

Process:

Preheat oil in a skillet at a medium , add eggplant pieces, fry for 4 - 5 minutes. Add red pepper, dhania powder, amchoor and salt. Mix them well and cook at medium heat temperature.

Add wheat flour/atta to the half cooked eggplant. Fry/Saute eggplant till they are cooked and crisp at medium low temperature.

Serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
# Servings: 4 - 6

Tips:

Boiled potato can be added to this eggplant curry. Add potato, after eggplant is fried for 4-5 minutes along with the spices, let the spices roast well with brinjal/eggplant and potato.
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Apr 26, 2008

Recipe - Nimmakaya pulihara (Lemon rice/Pulighodarai)


Rice mixed with lemon juice and spices

Summary:

Pulihara reminds me of temples and festive seasons. Yellow rice is is prepared as an offering at the temples almost everyday and is served as "prasad/bhog". Lemon rice is very famous in south India. Each state, for that matter every household, in southern India prepares lemon rice almost the same way.


After leaving home, pulihara is prepared almost once in a month with the left over rice. I usually prepare lemon rice more frequently than tamarind rice, as this is easier to prepare and takes less time.

Ingredients:

  • Rice - 1 cup (standard measuring cup not the rice cooker cup)
  • Lemon juice - 1/4 cup (2 large lemons approx)
  • Cashew nuts/ground nuts roasted - 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hing ( asafoetida) - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon (according to taste)

Seasoning:

  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Chana dal (bengal gram) - 2 teaspoons
  • Urad dal (black gram) - 1/ teaspoon
  • Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves - 2 stalks
  • Green chilies - 5 - 6 Indian green chilies
  • Dry red chilies - 3 (cut in small pieces)
  • Methi powder (fenugreek) - 1 teaspoon
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon

Cook Rice:

Wash rice, add 2 cups of water with one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon of oil. Cook the rice separately and set it aside.

Process:

Preheat oil in a wok/kadai at medium high temperature. Add chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let the seeds splutter, add methi powder, hing, green chilies, dried chilies, and curry leaves. Sautee them well. Add turmeric powder and turn off the stove.


In a large open bowl, spread rice, add seasoning and lemon juice. Do not pour lemon juice all at once. One can't tell the sourness of the mixture, unless one is a very good cook.

Add the lemon juice according to your taste. After lemon rice is mixed well, set the rice aside for 15 - 20 minutes for all the juices to blend with rice.


Preparation time 20 - 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Apr 25, 2008

Recipe - Sooji ka Upma/Bombai ravva upma

Semolina Upma/Salty pudding with semolina/farina

Summary:

The famous south Indian breakfast. Upma itself serves as a breakfast/snack/dinner with out extra work. If unexpected guest are coming over, and you have so little time to prepare, Upma is the quick solution.

Kids love this as an afternoon snack or even serves as a good lunch with vegetables added to it. Upma can be made with different ravas, rice rava, wheat rava, poha/aval/atukulu with little variation.

Ingredients:

  • Sooji/Semolina- 2 cups
  • Onion - 1 big (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • Ginger - 1 tablespoon (chopped/minced)
  • Green chillies - 8 Indian chillies
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup
  • Water - 6 cups (to cook)
  • Salt - 2 teaspoons (according to taste)

Seasoning seeds:

  • Chana dal (bengal gram)- 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal (black gram) - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves - 2 stalks
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon

Process:

Preheat oil in a heavy bottom skillet/wok at a medium high temperature. Add seasoning seeds, let them splutter. Add curry leaves, green chillies and ginger. Sautee them for a minute, add onions. Fry onions for 2 minutes. Tips: For more nutrition, add vegetables along with onions and make it vegetable upma.

Add sooji/semolina to the onion mixture, roast it for 5 - 7 minutes.

Lower the temperature of the stove, add salt, mix it well. Add water to semolina mixture and keep stirring. Make sure no lumps are formed.

Add a dab of ghee/clarified butter, cover the skillet and cook upma at low temperature for 15 - 20 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with any kind of chutney.


Preparation time: 20 - 30 minutes.
# Servings: 4 - 6


Apr 24, 2008

Recipe Sorakaya pottu pachadi/Anapakaya pottu pachadi


Spicy spread with Lauki peel

Summary:

Lauki is very easy to digest and is considered very healthy according to Ayurveda. Lauki can be cooked as a vegetable, dal or chutney. Tenderness of the Lauki can be determined by examining the skin. The skin should be soft and easily scraped with the finger tip when tested. You get better results when the lauki is very fresh i.e. consumed soon after picking.

Chutneys can be made out of the fresh peel of lauki/doodhi/sorakaya/anapakaya pottu/. The skin can be used for preparing chutneys and the pulp can be used for making dal or curry.

South India is very famous for fresh chutneys like these ground chutneys. Traditionally chutneys like these are stone ground. These chutneys taste better when they are made fresh. The shelf life is relatively low compared to other chutneys, may be 7 days in a refrigerator.

Ingredients:

  • Lauki peel - 1cup
  • Green chillies - 6 small Indian( according to taste)
  • Tamarind - 1/4 teaspoon paste (one small lemon sized tamarind soaked in warm water)
  • Salt - 3/4 teaspoon (according to taste)
  • Chana dal (bengal gram) - 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal (black gram) - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Oil - 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro - 1/4 cup

Process:

Preheat a skillet with one teaspoon oil, add chana dal, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds to splutter. Add curry leaves and green chillis. After a minute add Lauki peel, turmeric. Fry them for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add tamarind pulp and salt; Turn off the stove.

Let it cool. Grind all the ingredients with cilantro. Add very little water if needed.

Tastes good with roti/rice or can be used as a sandwich spread.

Preparation time: 10 - 15 minutes
# Servings: 8 - 10

Tips:

Replace tamarind with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Recipe Beera pottu pachadi

Spicy spread with Ridge gourd peel

Summary:

Ridge gourd is very easy to digest and is considered very healthy according to Ayurveda. Ridge gourd can be cooked as a vegetable, dal or chutney. Ridge gourd should be tasted for sweetness before it is cooked. Bitter ridge gourds should be discarded. Tenderness of the ridge can be determined by examining the skin. The skin should be soft and easily scraped with the finger tip when tested. You get better results when the gourd is very fresh i.e. consumed soon after picking.

Chutneys can be made out of the fresh peel of Ridge gourd/Beerakaya pottu. Generally, the skin is used for preparing chutneys and the pulp is used for making dal or curry.

South India is very famous for fresh chutneys like these ground chutneys. Traditionally chutneys like these are stone ground. These chutneys taste better when they are made fresh. The shelf life is relatively low compared to other chutneys, may be 7 days in a refrigerator.

Ingredients:

  • Ridge gourd peel - 2 medium size (3 - 4 cups)
  • Green chillies - 8 - 10 small Indian( according to taste)
  • Tamarind - 1/2 teaspoon paste (one small lemon sized tamarind soaked in warm water)
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon (according to taste)
  • Chana dal (bengal gram) - 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal (black gram) - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Oil - 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro - 1/4 cup

Process:

Preheat a skillet with one teaspoon oil, add chana dal, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds to splutter. Add curry leaves and green chillis. After a minute add ridge gourd peel, turmeric. Fry them for 1 or 2 minutes, add salt and cilantro; Turn off the stove.

Let it cool. Grind all the ingredients with tamarind. Add very little water if needed.

Preparation time: 10 - 15 minutes
# Servings: 8 - 10

Tips:

Replace tamarind with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice.

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Disclaimer

Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.