Thursday, June 21, 2012

Southekai Majjige huli- Spaghetti squash in tangy yogurt sauce




I wanted to post this recipe since the day I started this blog. Yes that long!!! But each time I made it, I could not post it due to various reasons. Even when I made this yesterday, I barely had anytime to photograph this stew. But I managed to acquire the banana leaf and photograph this just so that I could post the recipe.




This curd based gravy can be prepared with various vegetables like, okra, amarnath leaves, capsicum, etc. But my favorite way to have majjige huli is with ash gourd. I just love the way ash gourd tastes when it is dunked in the curd gravy. I love ash gourd so much that I was bitterly disappointed when I came to know that ash gourd was not available in Dar. I was so crest fallen that I had not made majjige huli for a long time. That was until I spotted the spaghetti squash. This gourd has the same colour and almost the same texture of ash gourd so it works very well for Majjige huli. I tried making Majjige huli with spaghetti squash once and I have never looked back since then. Like ash gourd, spaghetti squash really blends well with the gravy and I feel it is one of the best ways to use the vegetable.




Majjige huli is the south Indian counter part of Kadhi. It is normally prepared during wedding and festivities. But then this subtly flavoured curry is so delicious that you just don't need an occasion. You just make this and you can turn that meal into a special one. There is something about this creamy yellow gravy that despite being simple it is still heart warming. The best ways to enjoy majji huli is with steamed rice and aralu sandige (ash gourd fritters). It is truly, one of life's simple pleasures.






Majjige huli recipe
Preparation time: 15min+soaking time
Cooking time: 10min
Serves- 4


Ingredients:
Mangalore southekai or spaghetti squash- 1 med, peeled deseeded and chopped into bite sized pieces
Thick butter milk- 2 cups, slightly sour or a day old
Salt- to taste
To be gound to a paste:
Channa dal- 1-1/2 tbsp, soaked in 3 tbsp of water for an hour
Ginger- 1" piece
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Coriander leaves- 2tbsp
Green chillies- 2 or more if you like it more spicy
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Grated fresh coconut- 3tbsp
For the seasoning:
Oil or ghee clarified butter- 1tbspLocation
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Hing- a pinch
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs




Method:

  • Cook spaghetti squash in two cups of water till completely cooked yet firm.
  • Grind all the ingredients mentioned in the list to smooth paste using a little water.
  • Add the ground mixture and salt to the cooked spaghetti squash and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Whisk the butter milk and stir it into the boiling mixture and allow the mixture to simmer for 5min. Keep mixing in between
  • For the seasoning, heat oil or ghee in another pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they sputter, add the hing and curry leaves and fry till the curry leaves turn crisp. 
  • Add the seasoning to the prepared majjige huli and serve hot with steamed rice and aralu sandige (ash gourd fritters).



This gravy goes straight to Nancy's Your best recipe event


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nutty Cerevita/Cornflake cookies


Nestle Cerevita is nothing but cornflakes that is crushed. I had brought two sachets of Cerevita for Purvi. But some how she did not like it too much. So I decided to conceal the cereal in cookies so that Purvi could eat them. But after baking the cookies, I felt that I should not baked them after all, as I could not stop munching on these.




These cookies are a perfect amalgamation of crunchy, buttery, chewy and nutty textures which makes them absolutely addictive. They may not look very appealing with all the cracked edges. But one bite into it, and I am sure that your eyes are definitely going roll back to the back of your head. They are that delicious.


This recipe is adapted from food.com. I have made a few changes to the original to make this eggless. These delightful cookies are perfect snacks for kids as well as adults. I feel it is one of those recipes that you and your kids can bake together. Do give this recipe a try. I am sure you will not be disappointed.



Nutty Cerevita/Cornflakes cookies Recipe:
Preparation time: 30mins
Baking time- 10-12min
Makes- approximately 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

Butter- 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil- 1/2 cup
White sugar- 1/2 cup
Brown sugar- 1/2 cup
Flax seed powder- 1-1/2 tsp, soaked in 1 tbsp of water for 20min
Cerevita or crushed corn flakes- 1 cup or 250gms
chopped nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts- 1/2 cup
All purpose flour or maida- 2 cups or 500 gms
Baking powder- 1-1/2tsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/4tsp
Vanilla extract- 1tsp


Method:
  • Preheat the oven at 180 C.
  • Cream butter and sugars till light and creamy. Add the flax seed mixture, vanilla and beat again.
  • Stir in the oil and mix well.
  • Sift the flour along with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the corn flakes and nuts and mix well.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to form a dough.
  • Scoop out a table spoon of the dough and shape them into balls. Place them on cookie sheet 4" apart and flatten them with a fork.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 mins or till the undersides are brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool in the pan for a few min before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in air tight containers.

Note: You can reduce the quantity of corn flakes to 1/2 cup and replace the other half with oats.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Home made Papadi for chaats or just to snack



Papadi is another essential ingredient for chaats. These small crispy puris imparts a crunchy texture to any chaat. But in our case, these crispy discs are not just for meant for chaats but as a regular snack as well. More than me, it is S who has become a big fan of this. He just munches away half the papadis while having coffee and the rest when watching TV. He even insisted that I make large quantities of these. So now you know how versatile these little puris are.


The best part about papadis are, they can either be made plain or they can be dressed up with spices and seeds. I have added carom seeds to this recipe. But you can use your imagination and try flavoring the papadis with cumin, dill, chilli powder, or sesame seeds.


I am also sending this to Aparna's second food photography exercise. The theme this time is less is more. So in this exercise, we need to shoot the subject with minimal composition. So that the subject gets all the focus. This seems to be so me. Because I have always loved pictures with minimum props and I like my food always being the hero. That being said, I am still not happy with the photographs taken. I am not sure what went wrong. I will try to submit another set before the deadline.
Specs- Apperture- f/5.6, Shutter speed- 1/13 S, ISO- 200. I have used a reflector on the left hand side
Home made Papadi

Preparation time: 10min+standing time
Cooking time: 20min
Makes- 20 to 25 papdis

Ingredients:
All purpose flour- 1 cup
Fine semolina- 1tbsp
Ajwain or carom seeds- 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4tsp
Oil or clarified butter- 2tsp
Water to knead the dough
Oil to deep fry



Method:
  • Combine the flour, semolina,carom seeds, salt and ghee in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add water gradually to form a stiff dough. Cover and let the dough stand for 10- 15 min
  • Pinch a small marble sized dough. Using a little flour to dust, roll the dough into a thin disc of 1-1/2" in diameter and prick the disc with a fork so that they don't puff up while frying.
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the disc in batches of 5 or 6 till golden brown.
  • Drain on an absorbent paper and allow the papadis to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

This above photograph goes to the lovely black and white Wednesday event. Which  was started by Susan and incidentally, is also being co-hosted by Aparna.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Date and tamarind chutney


You can call it date and tamarind chutney, or khajur imli ki chutney or khatta meetha it is all the same. This sweet and tangy tasting chutney is a quintessential part of chats. Apart from using it for chats you can use this as dips as well. Trust me, Samosas, and kachoris and even banana or potato chips taste absolutely divine when dipped in this sauce. It's amazing how a dash of this sweet and tart condiment can enhance the flavor of a dish by leaps and bounds.





This iron rich dip, even though traditional and common, it never fails to impress. Just serve your guests any snack with this dip and you can be sure that they'll go home impressed. Though I love this dip in my chats, I love to have this with banana chips. Off late, I have seen that Purvi has taken a liking to this combo as well. She eats the chips only to lick the chutney off the chips!!!





Date and tamarind chutney recipe:
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time- 5min
Makes- about 2 cups

Ingredients:
Dates- 15-20
Tamarind- approximately 100gms
Cumin powder- 1tsp
Jaggery-1/2cup
Black salt- 1tsp
Red chilli powder- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Ginger powder- 1/2tsp



Method:
  • Stone the dates.Remove any seeds and clean the tamarind thoroughly and keep aside.
  • Combine the dates and tamarind in a pan and add sufficient water and cook the mixture for 15-20min on a med heat till it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 6-8min more.
  • Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Blend the cooled mixture till smooth and add the Jaggery, red chilli powder, ginger powder, salt, black salt and mix well and cook the mixture on low heat for 2-3 min.
  • Cool again and store in air tight containers and refrigerate. Use as required in the next few weeks. They are bound to stay fresh for a few weeks refrigerated and for a few months if frozen.

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