Sunday, 30 January 2011

Carrot Rice

Carrot Rice

Usually variety rice are my time saver and energy saver. My husband even finds it easier to serve and eat it especially when we are in a rush. This rice was really made on the fly as I just wanted to do something different from the lime rice that I had planned. I had made the rice in the cooker early in the morning thinking we will use it for lunch but ending up coming home just for dinner. This recipe is not miles away from the lime rice recipe you can find on my blog. However it has its subtle differences that make it taste distinct. Here is a confession, this recipe is based on a dish that my husband made over a year ago. Not surprisingly, he liked this rice.

½ teaspoon roasted fenugreek powder
Turmeric powder
1 bunch of spring onion (salad onion), chopped
2 large carrots, grated
1 teaspoon sambar powder
Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish
1 cup rice, cooked such that grains are separate and not mushy
Juice of one lime (optional)

Heat some oil in a skillet and add the mustard seeds. Once it splutters add asafoetida, fenugreek powder, turmeric powder and spring onions.

Once the onions appear almost done, add the carrots, salt and sambar powder. I usually prefer not to cook the carrots for long as it is healthy to have it a bit raw. Just cook until the raw smell from sambar powder goes away.

Mix the rice. Squeeze lime juice if desired and garnish with coriander leaves

Serve with a raita or even a nice gravy.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Wholewheat Idlis (Wheat Rava Idlis)

Wholewheat Idlis (Wheat Rava Idlis)

My husband was not going to join for dinner one of the days this week and that meant I will have to think of a recipe for just me and maybe for my wee one to have a bite. I wanted to experiment wholewheat idlis as I had not written down how I made it the last time I did. This idli is not quite similar to the regular idli and I fancied an idli slightly spiced so that I could get away without making a chutney or any other side dish. For this reason, I decided to keep the batter a bit coarse, similar to kanchipuram idli and also use freshly grated ginger and green chillies to spice up. The curry leaves add a wonderful flavourful in these steamed idlis. I ended up eating it with egg curry (am yet to post this recipe, will do so shortly) and it was great. Idlis make such a wonderful breakfast although I have almost given up making cooked breakfast.

¼ cup urd dal
¾ cup wheat rava (broken wheat)
1 teapsoon fenugreek seeds
1 inch ginger, grated
1 sprig curry leaves
1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon channa dal
Salt to taste
Less than a teaspoon cooking oil

Wash and soak urd dal and fenugreek seeds for atleast 3 hours. It would be even better if you soak them overnight

Grind the urd dal and fenugreek seeds to smooth consistency. In the meantime, rinse the wheat rava, then add it to ground urd dal and add required salt and pulse the ‘mixie’. If you rather that the batter be smooth like regular idli, you could grind the wheat rava dry and then add it to the ground urd. Allow this to ferment overnight.

Heat some oil and add mustard seeds and channa dal, once the seeds crackle, add it to the batter along with ginger and curry leaves

Pour the batter in the idli mould and ensure you leave some room for the idli to rise. Steam for about 15 minutes and serve with a chutney!

I could not take many pictures as I was in real hurry, maybe next time. You could also add grated carrot to enhance the nutritional value.

This would be the first time I would be sending an entry to an event and this goes to wholewheat breakfast even hosted by Sanjeeta.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Mushroom Pulav (Mushroom Rice)

Mushroom Pulav (Mushroom Rice)

For some reason I seem to be trying a few recipes from TV shows. It is definitely much easier to look at a video and do the dish myself than read and book and try it. Anyway, this recipe was on a show by a popular south Indian chef, Damodaran. I find his recipes quite interesting and this one was very simple as well. As I am usually inclined towards adding many vegetables to anything I make, I had to resist my urge to add a bunch of veggies to this rice and instead thought I will stick to mushroom and add the vegetables to a nice side dish. Here is the recipe...

1 ½ cups rice
2 cups closed cup mushrooms, quartered
1 handful of mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 handful of coriander leaves, chopped
3 green chillies, slit
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons yogurt (use more if the yogurt is not very thick)
Salt to taste
Whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods can be used but I chose not to use them.
Cooking oil

Rinse the rice, drain and keep aside
Heat some oil in a pressure pan and add the whole spices (if using), onion, mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger garlic paste and green chillies

Once the onions are almost done, add the mushrooms and fry briefly and add yogurt and stir

Add the drained rice and fry until it just begins to change colour

Add required amount of water (I use equal portions of water and rice) depending on the quality of rice you use, add required salt and pressure cook until three whistles.

Serve hot with a nice gravy

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dal Paratha

Dal Paratha

Most of the times I make dal I end up making a bit more than I may need for the dish or I change my mind and reduce the quantity of the dish and refrigerate some dal. This time I had about 3-4 tablespoons of cooked dal after making the mixed dal curry. I was not keen on using it in sambar considering it was mixed dal. I noticed that I was not quite enjoying rotis and would have preferred parathas. That’s when I thought I should make stuffed parathas with this dal. As they did not have too much water in it, it was quite handy to do so. I found it a great way to use up leftover dal and it turned out to be so filling. Here is how I did it

Some well cooked dal, ensure it is not watery (1 tablespoon per paratha and I used toor dal, mung dal and horsegram/kollu/brown lentil)
1 green chilly, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped coriander
½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste (optional)
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon chilly powder (optional)
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Chapatti dough

Mix all ingredients except chapatti dough together

Take a lemon sized ball of chapatti dough and roll it to a palm sized circle and place a spoonful of dal mixture in the centre and wrap it up

Roll it flat again to desired size ensuring the stuffing does not come out too much

Cook both sides on a hot tawa and add some ghee/butter or oil and serve with yogurt or pickle or any side dish. I usually cook one side first until small 'bubbles' start to appear, then turn to other side, cook until it starts to brown and turn again and gently press to allow it to rise.

I added ‘idli milagai podi’ to one paratha just to get some more kick!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Mixed Dal Curry

Mixed Dal Curry

In my opinion dal is an important part of vegetarian diet. As far as possible, I try to include atleast one type of dal or lentil in our diet everyday. Broken pigeon peas is my favourite because I can mix it with rice and add ghee and satiate myself with just that. However, as vegetarian proteins are not complete proteins, it is important to add a variety of lentils and pulses in our diet. For this reason, I tend to mix few lentils and make a dal recipe. The traditional tadka dal (tempered lentil) is one of my husband’s favourites but to me it is too bland (will post the recipe for this later). So in this particular dal recipe I have spiced it up a wee bit. I added spring onions so that the green part contributes as greens and also they have a lovely flavour.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup toor dal
¼ cup moong dal
¼ cup horsegram (brown lentil/kollu)
2 teaspoons sambar powder (or a teaspoon of chilly powder)
½ teaspoon coriander powder (if not using sambar powder, add 1 teaspoon coriander powder)
2 green chillies, slit
Turmeric powder
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Salt to taste
Cooking oil

Rinse and cook the dals together. I pressure cooked for upto 4 whistles as I like them mushy
(I loved the colours and clicked a photo after rinsing)

Heat some oil and add cumin seeds. Once it crackles, add both the onions, slit green chillies and ginger garlic paste and fry until done

Add the tomatoes and little salt and water and cook until tomatoes are well done

Add some water, turmeric powder and other spice powders (sambar powder or coriander and chilly powder). Add the dals, required amount of salt and water if needed and simmer until desired consistency is achieved.

Dals do tend to become thicker as they cool, so you may want to add a bit more water or turn the heat off when it is slightly watery.

Garnish with coriander and serve with rice or any Indian bread.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Apple Banana Carrot Halwa

Apple Banana Carrot Halwa

I came across apple banana carrot halwa through another blogger. Unfortunately I only saw that they had posted the recipe but did not get a chance to read the recipe and later I could not find who it was. Anyway, I then googled and found that this is called ABC halwa and is suppose to be popular in India. I had not heard of it when I was back home. I looked up a few recipes and had made up my mind on how I would make it. It came out very nice and little sugar meant little guilt and also all the nutrients from the fruits and carrot meant big smile! I cooked this up mainly because I wanted to fill my son with a nice pudding and he cannot quite eat raw apple yet and does not like banana on its own. Here is a simple recipe…

1 cup grated carrot
2 apples, finely chopped
1 banana, mashed
2-3 cardamom pods
1 cup milk (you may need a bit more)
4 teaspoons sugar
Cashews and raisins for garnish (optional)
1-2 tablespoon almond powder (optional)

Heat a teaspoon of ghee and sauté the carrots for a couple of minutes

Add the milk, crushed cardamom pods and cook until the carrots are done, keep stirring often.

Add apples and bananas and cook until apples become soft

Add sugar and stir until all the liquid evaporates and it all comes together as a mass and leave the sides of the dish. Add little bit of ghee to give it the halwa look and consistency (I did not add much ghee to cut the fat and did not regret it). Garnish with roasted cashews and raisins puffed in some ghee.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Egg Stuffed Rotis

Egg Stuffed Rotis

I mentioned sometime back that I am resorting to egg to help myself and my family recover from a number of things. It is said that increase in protein intake is particularly required after a cold attack. Rotis/chapattis being a regular on the menu for dinner I thought I should incorporate eggs one night. I had no time or energy for an egg curry and hence thought I will make a simple stuffed roti. This is quite a simple recipe and I must say that you will see a few varients of egg stuffed rotis or egg paranthas coming up on this blog. This is kind of stretching scrambled egg recipe and here is how I did it...

2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Chapatti dough
Cooking oil

Heat about a teaspoon oil in a skillet and fry the onions and green chillies. You can add some ginger garlic paste as well if you like. Also add required salt

Add the eggs to the cooked onions and add little bit more oil. Keep the flame low so the eggs get cooked. Keep stirring so the eggs scramble. Do so until eggs appear cooked

Take a lemon size dough and roll to make a roti. Spoon some scrambled egg to form a uniform thin layer. Make another roti and cover the egg with it and seal the edges

(sorry for the poor photo!)
Cook both sides on heated tava. I kept the flame slightly low as it would take a bit more time for two layers of roti to get cooked. Do not keep it too low as the rotis become hard.


You could add more spices like coriander powder, garam masala etc. to the onions, before adding the eggs. The above quantity must be enough for 3-4 rotis.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Kollu Rice (Brown Lentil Rice)

Kollu Rice (Brown Lentil Rice)

Remember how excited I was when I found that I get kollu aka brown lentils aka horsegram in the place where I am? It is a shame that despite the availability I have barely included this super grain in our diet. I was watching a cookery show on the television and the intent of the program is to present healthy recipes. I saw this recipe on the show and slightly adapted it to my taste. I have used an ingredient which may not be very common. It is curry leaf powder. When I moved to this city curry leaves were not available and hence my mother-in-law used to wash, dry and roast some leaves and grind it with some black peppercorn. This powder usually lasts months and I add it to dishes of my choice. I have used that powder here but if you do not have it, you can always use fresh curry leaves and black pepper powder. I have also used ginger and garlic as it helps digest the outer layer of the lentil. Remember that brown lentil is extremely good for health and like all lentils it has low fat protein. More importantly it increases the body metabolism thereby helping weight loss. Including this lentil everyday or atleast every other day would be very beneficial for health. Here is an idea...

¼ cup brown lentil
1 cup cooked rice (measure does not refer to uncooked rice in this recipe)
4-5 baby onions/pearl onions
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1-2 teaspoon curry leaf powder or substitute with 2 springs of curry leaves and ½ teaspoon pepper powder
Cooking oil

Rinse and soak brown lentil overnight. Boil the lentil until done

Heat some oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and curry leaves (if using). Once the splutter add asafoetida and onions and ginger garlic paste. Cook until onions are done and raw ginger-garlic smell is gone.

Once onions are done, add brown lentil and fry for couple of minutes

Add salt, curry leaf powder or pepper powder (if using curry leaves) and mix the rice

Serve with a gravy or raita

To enhance the health benefits, you could make this dish with brown rice too.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Amras Malai Aloo (Creamy Mango Potato Curry)

Amras Malai Aloo (Creamy Mango Potato Curry)

Sometimes I read some recipes and wonder what the output will be like. I struggle to imagine at times as some of the ingredients are probably untraditional in my kitchen. One such recipe I came across quite recently was the Amras ke Malai Aloo by Sanjeev Kapoor. It was different in two ways. Firstly, it used mango pulp and I am used to having milkshake or mango ‘pachadi’ or just by itself and do not usually use it in my cooking. Secondly it used yogurt to make the best part of the gravy. I usually refrain from using yogurt because sometimes it breaks and resulting consistency is not good and using tomatoes is less fatty and more beneficial to health. Coming from a southern state in India, I found the mangoes I get at the supermarket not even suitable to be called mangoes. For this recipe however, I wanted to give it a shot. I adapted the original recipe to suit my taste, pantry and cooking and preparation times. Original recipe says you should deep fry the baby potatoes but I chose to roast them in the oven and used bigger potatoes. The result was great and the dish was of restaurant quality. Here is how I did it…

5-8 medium sized potatoes
1 onion (used white to keep the colour light), ground to fine paste
1/3 cup ripe mango pulp
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
2-3 pinches of black cumin or regular cumin seeds
1 teapsoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilly powder
2 green chillies, slit
¾ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon kasoori methi
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
Salt to taste
Cooking oil

Wash the potatoes and prick them a number of times with a fork and rub about a teaspoon of oil. Roast in an oven at 220degC for 30-40 minutes (cooking time varies oven to oven and also according to size of the potatoes)

Heat some oil and add cinnamon stick, cardamom, clove and cumin. Once cumin starts changing colour, add onion paste, green chillies and ginger garlic paste

Once the onion paste is well cooked, add whisked yogurt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and cook on low flame until the oil separates from the yogurt mixture

Add ¼ cup water and once it boils, add the mango pulp and garam masala powder and kasoori methi. Add more water if you like, I could have done with more as well but that is entirely upto you.

Once it boils, add the potatoes. I cut them into half to make it easier to eat and also so the flavours sink in better.

Take off the flame and add required salt and mix. Serve hot with rice or rotis or any bread