Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring onion fried rice


This recipe was born out of the sheer compulsion to use up the spring onion that was left over. I had some left over rice and these spring onions lying in the fridge. I do not use spring onions much except for Chinese. And I hate to see vegetables rot. Therefore, after a lot of thought, I decided to cook up this rice. The rice is easy, and uses some simple ingredients and still extremely tasty. The hint of pepper and the butter makes this rice absolutely delectable.


Spring onion fried rice recipe
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves- 2 to 3

Ingredients:

Cooked rice- 2 cups
Spring onion- 4 to 5, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste- 1tsp
Green chilli- 1, finely chopped
Pepper- 4-5, ground to a fine powder
Cumin or jeera- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- A pinch
Salt to taste
Oil- 1tbsp
Butter- 2tsp
Spring onion greens or coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

  • Heat oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds.
  • Once they turn brown, add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a min
  • Add the green chillies and chopped spring onion and fry for 2 mins
  • Add the salt, pepper, garam masala and cooked rice and mix thoroughly
  • Add the butter and mix again.
  • Garnish with Coriander leaves or spring onion greens and serve hot with raita or plain yogurt.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tea time raisin scones


They say that Tea in England is never complete without warm scones served with Jam and fresh cream. I couldn't agree more for these scones make an ideal tea time snack. I got this recipe from a newly brought recipe book called "Muffins and quick breads". The moment I saw the recipe I wanted to try it. The fact that the recipe was eggless only added to my excitement. 
I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily these scone were ready. It just took me around 30mins to make these from start to finish. A recipe can't get any better can it?


Tea time raisin scones recipe:
Preparation time: 15mins
Baking time: 15mins
Makes- 8 scones

Ingredients:
All purpose flour or maida- 2 cups
Sugar- 2 tbsp
Baking powder- 2 tsp
baking soda- 3/4 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Zest of one lime
Butter- 5tbsp, cut into chunks
Raisins- 1/2 cup
Milk- 3/4cup
Additional butter and sugar for glazing

Method:

  • In a large bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda and sift once
  • Add sugar, salt, lemon zest and mix
  • Cut in the butter into the flour mixture using two knives until the flour resembles bread crumbs
  • Mix in the raisins and then stir in the milk.
  • Using a fork, gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry. DO NOT over mix
  • Gather the dough into a ball and knead lightly on a floured surface for 2mins
  • Pat the dough into a disc of 3/4th inch thick and 5-6" in diameter
  • Cut into 8 triangles and place one inch apart on  a greased baking sheet.
  • Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar
  • Bake in a pre heated oven at 220C for about 15 mins until the undersides are lightly browned
  • Serve warm with jam

This recipe is my contribution to Aipi and Priya's Tuesday bookmarked recipe event



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crispy Karela

Crispy bitter gourd or Karela is yet another brilliant recipe from Sailu's food. To me this blog is like a bible when it comes to Andhra recipes. I had chanced upon this recipe sometime back. And soon afterwards this curry has become a regular feature on our dining table. Here, the bitter gourd roundels are deep fried and then tossed with cashew nuts, sesame seeds and Jaggery. This is a great accompaniment to rice and rasam and tastes superb when served immediately after it is made.



Crispy Karela Recipe
Preparation time- 20mins
Cooking time- 15mins
Serves- 4

Bitter Gourd- 6, Lightly peeled and chopped into roundels
Oil- Deep fry +1 tbsp
Green chilli- 1 chopped
Jeera or cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1tbsp, toasted
Jaggery- 1tbsp
Cashew nuts- 10-12 chopped
Salt- to taste
Hing- A pinch
Curry leaves- 8-10 leaves

Method:
  • Wash the bitter gourd roundels in salted water and deep fry till crisp and brown
  • Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside
  • Heat a table spoon of oil in a wok and a dd the cumin seeds
  • Once they turn brown, add the hing and curry leaves and fry till crisp
  • Add the green chillies and saute for a min
  • Add the cashew nuts and fry till brown
  • Add the Jaggery and a quarter cup of water and mix till the Jaggery is dissolved
  • Stir in the fried bitter gourd roundels and salt and mix thoroughly
  • Fry till the mixture is dry and bitter gourd roundels are slightly crunchy
  • Add the toasted sesame seeds and mix.
  • Serve hot with rice and rasam

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anadama Bread

The Definition for anadama bread on wikipedia is "Anadama bread is a traditional bread of New England made with white flourcornmealmolasses and sometimes rye flour."  You see, the main reason for me baking this bread is because of the corn meal. Well I have to exhaust my 3Kgs somehow. Is it not? I found the recipe for this bread in the Natural baby food cook book. The bread is easy to bake and yet very delicious. 
In this recipe the corn meal is soaked in a mixture of hot water and milk for about an hour and then put with the rest of the ingredients. This results in a soft tender bread with a surprisingly delicious crunch. It tasted better than I had ever imagined.


Anadama Bread recipe:
Preparation time: 3 hrs
Baking time- 25mins
Makes- 1 loaf

Ingredients:

Corn meal- 1/2 cup
Scalded milk- 1/2 cup
Boiling water- 1/2 cup
Butter or margarine- 1-1/2 tbsp
Molasses- 1/4 cup (I used brown sugar)
Salt- 1tsp
Dry yeast- 1-1/2tsp
Luke warm water- 1/4cup
All purpose flour or maida- 3 to 3-1/2 cups

Method:
  • In a bowl, combine the yeast and warm water along with 1tbsp of brown sugar and let it stand in warm place for 30 mins till it is frothy
  • Mix the hot milk and water and slowly add the corn meal while stirring continuously.
  • Add butter or margarine, salt and remaining sugar. Mix and allow the mixture to stand till luke warm
  • Add the all purpose flour to the cornmeal mixture and mix.
  • Add the yeast mixture and quarter cup of water and mix thoroughly
  • Knead the mixture on a floured surface for about 10 to 15 mins or till smooth and elastic.
  • Place in an oiled bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for an hour
  • Once the dough doubles in bulk, punch down the dough and knead again 2mins and shape into a loaf
  • Place the dough in an oiled loaf pan . Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 45 mins till double in size
  • Bake the dough in a preheated oven at 200C for 30 to 40 mins
  • Remove from pans at one to cool on wire racks.
  • For soft crusts, brush some butter while still warm.
This bread is my contribution to Aipi and Priya's Tuesday bookmarked recipes


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vegetable Yakhni Pulao


This is a super tasty dish that is a gift from the Mughals to the world cuisine.  The dish gets it's name from the word yakhni or Meat Stock (well in this case veggie stock). Here, the vegetables are simmered in water along with aromatic spices to make a thin Shorba or broth. Eventually, the broth is strained and the rice is cooked in the broth along with vegetables or paneer (cheese) and sometimes Soya chunks too. This method of cooking the rice ensures that all the flavours of the spices are well absorbed and this in turn, is responsible for the unique tasting and aromatic Pilaf. 


Vegetable Yakhni Pulao Recipe:
Preparation time: 30mins
Cooking time: 20mins
Serves- 6

Ingredients:

For yakhni or stock:
Carrot- 1 med, sliced
Onion- 1, chopped
Water- 4 cups
Bay leaves- 2
Pepper corns- 6
Salt- Apinch
Cloves- 2
For the Pulao
Basmati rice- 2 cups
Carrot- 1, cubed
Beans- 6-8
Peas- 1/2 cup
Capsicum- 1 large, cut into strips
Cloves- 4
Cinnamon- 1"piece
Cardamom- 4
Mace- 2 blades
Onion- 2, sliced
Poppy seeds- 1 tsp
Shah jeera- 1/2tsp
Pepper corns-1/2tsp
Ginger- 1"piece, Ground to a paste
Garlic- 3cloves. Ground to a paste
Green chillies- 2 chopped
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Coriander leaves to garnish
Ghee or oil- 3tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
  • For the stock, Combine all the ingredients and simmer of 20mins. Strain the mixture and reserve the stock
  •  Powder cloves, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, poppy seeds and mace to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Wash and  rice for 15mins.
  • Drain and add the four cups of stock and let it stand for 20mins
  • Heat oil or ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add 1/3rd of the onion.
  • Fry till crisp, drain and keep it aside
  • Add the capsicum strips. Fry till crisp and keep it aside
  • Add the shah Jeera and fry till brown
  • Add the ground spice mixture and fry for a few seconds
  • Add the remaining onion and green chillies and fry till the onion turn pink
  • Stir in the ginger-Garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes
  • Add the vegetables and fry on high flame for 3-4 mins till half done
  • Add the salt, Turmeric and fry for 2mins more
  • Add rice along with the stock and mix thoroughly
  • Cover and cook till all the water is absorbed.
  • Once done, add the fried onions and capsicums and mix.
  • Check for salt and Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with raita.
P.S. Soya chunks or Paneer or both can be used instead of the vegetables.

Friday, March 18, 2011

To Japan with love


Our small, every day problems seem so dismal when we see the damage and devastation happening Japan. Each night the sight of the devastation leaves me depressed. I feel frustrated to just stare helplessly at the television, doing nothing. Today, I came to know about "to Japan with love" campaign from Prerna's blog, I chose to participate in the blogger's day of silence movement. Therefore, today I will not be posting anything. Instead, I will take time to reflect on all the little pleasures of life and thank God for keeping my loved ones safe and Toghether.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ginger Rasam- Ginger and lentil soup


Ginger. I don't think this rhizome needs any introduction. This is an everyday ingredient that adds that extra punch to our meals. This knobbly root holds a very special place in our ancient Ayurvedic texts. In addition to  aiding digestion and relieving throat congestion, Ginger also has some anti cancer properties. It has proven to suppress the growth of any type of cancer cell. This is supposed to be one of the most exciting properties of ginger.
Those of you who like ginger can try this recipe. Though ginger plays the main role in this dish, it's pungency is balanced by the sweetness of the coconut and jaggery. In addition to this, there is also a protein boost from the pigeon peas. This soupy rasam, along with rice and papad can make a very satisfying meal.



Ginger rasam recipe:
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 10min
Serves- 4

Ingredients:
Toor dal or pigeon peas- 1tbsp, washed and Pressure cooked till done
salt to taste
Jaggery- 1/2tsp
Grind together:
Ginger- 2" piece
Grated fresh Coconut- 2tbsp
Jeera or cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Seasoning ingredients:
Oil or ghee- 2tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2tsp
Curry leaves- 1sprig
Hing- 1 pinch

Method:
  • Grind the ginger, coconut and jeera along with a little water to a fine paste.
  • Add the ground paste to the boiled toor dal and add enough water to achieve the desired consistency and bring the mixture to a boil on a low flame
  • Add the salt and jaggery and simmer for few mins more
  • In a separate pan, heat the oil or ghee and add the mustard seeds
  • Once they pop, add the hing and curry laves
  • Fry till the curry leaves turn crisp and add the seasoning to the boiling rasam.
  • Boil for a min more and take off the heat.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mandazi- The east african Bread

Mandazi is a bread of east african origin. It is available everywhere in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. It is a local street food. It can be eaten on it's own or with the east african stew.


I was first introduced to this bread after a few months of my arrival in Tanzania. Our late land lady had got some Mandazis for us. At first I had refused to accept it from her thinking that it contained non-veg ingredient. But she was adamant that I taste it. "I am sure you will like it" she had told. It is made out of coconut milk she had added and left. I had taken a reluctant bite and I was amazed by the taste. S still jokes about my change in expression. He says that I had tasted it like I was tasting Polio drops :)). This bread was mildly sweet with the flavour of cardamom and slightly chewy. Before I knew it, I had eaten three of them leaving only one for S. So much for my reluctance. Do give this bread a try I am sure you will like this as well



Mandazi recipe:
Preparation time- 15mins+ rising time
Cooking time- 15 mins
Makes- 12 mandazis

Ingredients:

All purpose flour or maida- 1-1/4 cups
Sugar- 1-1/2tbsp
Salt- a pinch
Yeast-1/2tsp
Frshly grated coconut- 1tbsp
Thin coconut milk-1/4cup
Ground cardamom- 1/4tsp
Warm water to bind
Oil to deep fry

Method:
  • In a large bowl, assemble the maida, sugar, salt, yeast, and freshly grated coconut and mix well
  • Add the coconut milk and warm water and knead the mixture to form a soft dough.
  • Knead for 10mins and keep it covered in a warm place for an hour or till the dough doubles in size
  • Punch the dough and divide the dough into four equal portions
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a disc of 6-7" diameter and of 1mm thickness
  • Cut the rolled dough into four portions and keep aside. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
  • Heat oil in  a panor wok. Reduce heat to low and gently lower 3-4 mandazis into the oil. 
  • Fry them in hot oil by holding them in the oil till they puff up and then gently turn over so that the bread is brown and cooked on both sides. 
P.S. It is important to cook the mandazi on low heat in order to cook the dough thoroughly. If heat is too high, the outside will be brown and the inside will be undercooked and pasty

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Award time!!!

If I had maintained a diary, then I would have marked 11th March, 2011 as a red letter day. Yesterday, Priya informed me that my Molten chocolate cake recipe had won the Best western desserts award. It left me dumbfounded for a while for I had never thought that I would win. Not once did I imagine that my recipe would be shortlisted among 72 other wonderful entries. It took me more than 15mins for the news to sink in. This award is a great encouragement for a novice like me. 

I would like to thank Priya and Jan Silverman for the title of "Dessert maker Par excellence". This title sure has left me overwhelmed and humbled. I would also like to congratulate the other two winners of this title. Ramya for Sticky toffee pudding, Anna for chocolate banana cake and candy girl for Lemon butter milk sheet cake. Do checkout their wonderful spaces for the recipes.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cornmeal Sugar cookies

Off late, I have become a big fan of corn meal. So much so that, I have ended up with 3kilos of corn meal lying in my pantry now. Earlier I used to use cornmeal only to bake breakfast muffins. But now, I am looking for other recipes that uses corn meal. I have quite a few recipes listed now. This recipe,however, appealed to me the most. I found this recipe on epicurious.com.
The recipe seemed simple and easy to put together. But despite all this,I never thought that the cookies would turn out this perfect. I was pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong. The cookies were incredibly light, buttery with the zest of lemon. This recipe is surely for keeps and I'm sure I will be baking this often.


Cornmeal cookies recipe:
Preparation time: 20mins
Baking time- 20mins
Makes- 20 cookies

Ingredients:
All-purpose flour-2/3 cup
Yellow cornmeal- 1/4 cup
Cornstarch- 2 tbsp
Salt- 1/4
Unsalted butter- 1stick or 8 tbsp, softened
Confectioners sugar-1/3
Pure vanilla extract-1/2tsp
Milk- 2tbsp
Grated lemon zest- 1tsp
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Method:
  • Mix the All purposee flour, Salt, corn meal and cornstarch in a bowl
  • Blend the butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, milk and the confectioners sugar in  a food processor until creamy
  • Then add the flour mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together.
  • Scrape out the dough on to a floured surface and knead for two mins
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thickness.
  • Cut out as many rounds as possible using a cookie cutter and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet
  • Reroll scraps and cut out more rounds.
  • Sprinkle sugar granules on top and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 to 20 mins or till the edges are browned.
  • Transfer to a rack and cool. 
P.S- I have tweaked the recipe a little bit by adding milk. You can omit this if you want to. Happy Baking :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Amarnath Leaves and Peanut Stir fry

If you are fond of Amarnath leaves aka chauli, then I'm sure you will love this simple and nutritious curry. This curry is so simple and so quick to prepare, that it makes me wonder how this can taste that good. In this recipe, the sauteed greens are combined with toasted peanuts and lightly spiced for the flavour and aroma.


Amarnath Leaves and Peanut Stir fry Recipe
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 10min
Serves- 4

Ingredients:

Amarnath leaves- 2 bunches, washed and finely chopped
Peanuts- 1-1/2 tbsp, roasted and coarslely ground
Oil- 1tbsp
Jeera or cumins seeds-1 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Hing- A big pinch
Salt to taste
Green chilli-1, slit
Dried red chilli-2, deseeded and torn

Method:
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
  • Once they turn brown, add the red chilli pieces and the curry leaves and fry till crisp
  • Add the Hing and chopped greens and saute for 2 mins
  • Add the green chillies, turmeric and salt and saute for 5 mins
  • Add the crushed gorundnuts or Peanuts and mix thoroughly. 
  • Take off the heat and serve hot with either rice or rotis

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heerekai haal kootu/Ridge gourd in milk based gravy

Haal (milk) Kootu is another side dish that is cooked for everyday meals. However, I don't make this often as S does'nt favour this kootu much. Today however, S did'nt come home for lunch and I took the chance to make this delicious gravy. It does'nt take too much time or ingredients to make this tasty side dish. This milk infused peppery kootu, when combined with rice can make any meal a hearty one :)


Heerekai haal kootu recipe:
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves- 4

Ingredients:

Ridge gourd-2, peeled, cubed and par boiled
Milk- 1 cup
Jaggery- 2tsp
Rice- 1/2tsp
Urad dal or black gram- 2tbsp
Pepper corns- 6-8
Red chillies- 2-3
Coconut- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
For the seasoning:
Ghee or oil- 2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Hing- 1big pinch


MEthod

  • Heat 1/2 a tsp of oil in a pan and add the rice, urad dal and pepper corns and frey till the dal turns brown.
  • Add the red chillies and fry till they are crisp and Take off the heat.
  • Cool completely and grind the fried mixture along with the coconut and some water to a fine paste.
  • Add the ground paste and some water to the cooked ridge gourd and boil for a min
  • Add salt, Jaggery and milk and simmer for 5 mins more
  • Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
  • Once they pop, add the curry leaves and hing.
  • Fry for min and add the seasoning to the boiling kootu
  • Take off the heat and serve hot with steamed rice

P.S: Vegetables like coyote squash or white pumpkin an be used for this recipe

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tamatar moong dal- Tomatoes in yellow lentil soup

This is another lentil recipe within one week. I actually thought of not posting this. But then, I make this dal only during vrats or an other times which requires us to follow the satvic diet. Since yesterday was Maha Shiv ratri, we were following a sans rice, onion and garlic diet.I had made this for chapatis as this dal preparation does not include any garlic or onion

One might ask me how is this dal different from Tovve. Well for one, this dal does not use any other vegetable apart from tomatoes and two- in this recipe, the moong dal is dry roasted before being cooked. The roasting of moong dal gives a unique toasted flavour which makes this quite different from the other dals. This dal can be conjured in a jiffy and it can be served with steamed rice or rotis. So without much ado, here is the recipe


Tamatar moong dal recipe:
Preparation time: 10mins
Cooking time: 20min
Serves-4

Ingredients:

Split moong dal- 1 small cup
Tomatoes-2, chopped fine
Ginger- 1" piece, grated
Red chilli powder- 1/2tsp
Ghee- 1tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Jeera or cumin seeds- 1/2tsp
Hing- A pinch
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1/2tsp
Coriander to Garnish
Butter- 2tsp, to garnish (optional)
Lime juice- 1 tsp

Method:
  • Dry roast the moong dal on a low flame till fragrant.
  • Cool completely, wash and pressure cook dal for 3 whistles or till done
  • In a separate pan, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds
  • Once they sputter, add the jeera and saute till brown
  • Add the hing, turmeric and red chilli powder and fry for few secs
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 2mins
  • Stir in the salt, sugar and fry for a min more
  • Add the tomato mixture and some to the cooked dal and bring the mixture to a boil
  • Check for salt and take off the heat.
  • Garnish with butter, coriander leaves and lime juice and serve hot with rice or rotis


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tomato and garlic crouton salad

This mind blowing salad recipe is adapted from here. This salad is a breeze to prepare if you have the croutons handy. The wonderful part about this salad is, you can experiment with the flavourings and present it in a different way each time. This can be served as a starter or as a salad or as an evening snack like I did.
I have tweaked the recipe just a bit to suit my tastes and pantry requirements and it turned out just as great. 




Tomato and garlic crouton salad recipe
Preparation time: 15mins
Baking time:10mins
Serves-2

Ingredients:

Tomatoes- 3, deseeded and chopped fine
Olive oil- 2tsp
Freshly ground pepper powder- 1/4tsp or tp taste
Salt to taste
Lime juice- 1/2 tsp
Paprika powder- 1/4tsp
Coriander to garnish
Mozzarella cheese to garnish

For the croutons:
Whole wheat or white bread- 2 slices
Butter- 2 tsp
Olive oil- 2 tsp
Freshly ground pepper- a pinch
Salt a pinch
Garlic- 2 cloves. ground to a paste





Method:

For the Croutons:
  • Cut the edges of the bread and cut the slices into cubes and set aside
  • Heat a pan and add the butter oilive oil, garlic paste, salt and pepper so that the flavours are well infused. Cook for about 2 mins and take off the heat.
  • Add the bread cubes and toss so that the they are well coated.
  • Bake the bread cubes in a preheated oven at 200C for 10 mins or till browned
To proceed:
  • In a bowl, mix the olive oil and lime juice, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and toss.
  • Add the croutons and toss again
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and cheese and serve immediately.
This recipe goes straight to Aipi and Priyas Tuesday bookmarked event


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