Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wheat Adai

Wheat Adai

Adai aviyal is a classic combination and I particularly like it because it combines lentils, rice (carbohydrate) in the adai with vegetables in the aviyal making it a balanced meal. Traditional adai is made using raw rice and lentil (will post the recipe later). The white rice that we usually consume is not a wholegrain as it has been polished and processed. As it is not nutritiously superior, I was looking for an alternate and as usual, wheat came to the rescue. I have used a combination of lentils to add a variety of protein. For those of you who are concerned about how this adai will compare in taste with itstraditional counterpart, I must say that it was hard to find the difference.

¾ cup wheat rava (broken wheat)
¼ cup mung dal
¼ cup channa dal
¼ cup mixture of toor dal and urd dal
1 teaspoon raw rice
1 teaspoon chilli flakes or 2 dry red chilly (adjust to taste)
Salt to taste

Soak dals and rice together and soak the wheat separately for about 3 hours. If using dry red chilly, soak the same as well

Grind the dals first to a coarse paste and then add wheat rava and grind to a batter consistency and ensure it is neither too smooth nor too coarse and add salt. If it is too coarse, it becomes difficult to make the adais and if too smooth, it becomes closer to dosa.

Pour a ladleful of batter on a hot tava and spread. If desired add some finely chopped onions and pour little oil around the adai. Once bottom side browns, turn and cook the other side for a minute or so. Some like their adai crisp and some like it soft so determine the right thickness and how brown you want the adai.

Serve with aviyal, jaggery and idli milagai podi!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Kathrikai Kurma

Kathrikai Kurma

Vegetable kurma is a popular dish in south India. I remember enjoying chapatti and kurma in Saravana Bhavan, although the kurma was oily, it tasted good. My husband usually is not a kurma fan so I refrain from making it normally. However, recently I made vegetable kurma (will post the recipe soon) and he loved it. I came across a brinjal kurma recipe here and thought the fundamental idea was good. I thought I will have to make it differently to suit my family’s preference and the result was fantastic. We had it with rotis and I am sure it will go well with rice as well and even dosas. Here is the recipe…

1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 big Spanish eggplant
Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chilly powder
Cooking oil

For masala paste
1 tbsp ground nuts
1 tbsp cashew nuts
3 tbsp dessicated coconut
3 green chillies
1 inch piece of ginger
Heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the onions and fry until soft

Add the tomatoes and cook until it turns mushy. You may want to add a pinch of salt to speed up the process

In the mean time, wash and dry the eggplant and char it directly on the flame. Put in cold water and peel the skin off and roughly chop

Add the eggplant, ground masala paste and all spice powders, salt and water

Cook until raw smell goes and desired consistency is achieved and add some chopped coriander leaves if you fancy

Serve with rice or chapatti

Monday, 13 June 2011

Sindhi Kadhi

Sindhi Kadhi

I am usually very careful in spending money but there are few things for which I love to spend (ofcourse not splash out). The first on the list is books. Firstly it will not perish; secondly no one can steal what you get out of them and thirdly it is quite satisfying to read and learn new stuff. I was very much aware of how many different recipes can be obtained free of cost on the internet but I still decided to buy a good few cookery books. Somehow, I find the books quite inspiring and motivating. I usually take them to bed with me, read few recipes, think about how to adapt them and finally nod off. Usually the next day or soon in that week, I would try what I had thought of. One of the cook book authors that I really like is Tarla Dalal as she usually opens me to a wide variety of north Indian recipes. I was making mint rice one day and thought a mildly spiced side dish will go with it as too much spice could compete with the delicate flavour of the mint. I flipped through the book on kadhi and came across this Sindhi kadhi. I made very small changes to suit our taste and the result was great. It was only as I was cooking the dish that I realised that this kadhi needs no yogurt/curd. Use as much vegetables as possible to make it a nutritious treat.

3-4 cups of mixed vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, corn etc.)
4 tablespoon besan (chickpea flour)
1 teaspoon chilly powder
1 teaspoon sambar powder (optional)
2 green chillies, slit
A piece of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Few curry leaves
¼ teaspoon fenugreek powder
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Cooking oil

Boil the vegetables until done or steam them until done

Heat a kadai and add a teaspoon of cooking oil and add the cumin seeds and when it starts browning add the fenugreek powder

Add the besan and roast until aromatic and it just begins to change colour

Add about 3-4 cups of water, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and boil on low flame stirring frequently after a few minutes, add the chilly powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder and tamarind paste and cook until raw smell goes

Add the vegetables, required salt and simmer for a few minutes. Depending on your preferred consistency, you may want to add more water.

Serve hot with rice or any Indian bread.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Baked Sojji Appam

Baked Sojji Appam

I am not sure if they are a very popular sweet in shops but they certainly are in my house. My grandma used to make it during our holidays as I used to like them. They are sometimes made as a 'bakshanam' during shradham (devasam). the downside to this yummy sweet is that it is deep fried. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may know that I try to avoid deep frying and seek alternate low fat methods. Exploring a lot of biscuit recipes made me think it should not be very hard making these yummy treats in the oven with little modification to the traditional recipe. This is my grandmother's recipe slightly tweaked for baking. If you wish to deep fry you could very well follow the recipe, skip the baking powder and deep fry instead of bake. If you have a sweet tooth you may want to add a touch more jaggery. I was quite pleased with the results and here is how I made them...

1 cup roasted rava/semolina
1 1/2 cups maida (all purpose flour)
1 ¼ cup powdered jaggery
3 tablespoon crushed nuts
Few pinches of cardamom powder
¼ cup oil
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon baking powder

To make filling:

Heat jaggery in ½ cup water, filter but ensure it is hot before adding rava, cardamom and the nuts and mixing well. Turn the flame off when mixing the rava as it is not expected to get cooked at this stage and the mixture should not be lose

For the outer cover:

Take the flour with baking powder in a mixing bowl and keep adding some oil and mix so flour starts to resemble breadcrumbs. Add a teaspoon of ghee and add some cold water to make a soft dough. Apply a bit of oil on it and leave aside for about 10 minutes

Grease the fingertips with some ghee and flatten a lemon sized ball of dough. I did it directly on the baking tray lined with baking paper

Keep a smaller sized ball of stuffing in the centre, wrap the dough to cover the filling and flatten again.

Bake at 150degC for 15 minutes and turn sides and bake for a couple of more minutes

Although this recipe has some oil in it, I have classiffied it as low fat as it is lower in fat than its deep fried version.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Papaya Kheer

Papaya kheer

I had recently bought about three books on Ayurveda and the best part about them was that they gave everyday recipes rather than recipes with herbs I will never find where I am. I tried to follow the recipe as closely as possible but ended up adding few of my own touch like adding apple, using almond powder instead of nut paste made by soaking nuts overnight. I am sure soaking the nuts will increase their nutritive value but I did not get to the soaking business. My thinking is that I need to understand and appreciate how ingredients can be combined to get optimum benefits from ingesting them. With that framework I am hoping to make practical recipe that can be made quickly from scratch and ofcourse be healthy.

½ or 1 ripe papaya, depending on size, mashed with fork
1 apple, finely chopped
¼ cup almond powder or paste made with mixed nut
2-3 tablespoon dessicated coconut
2-3 tablespoon brown sugar/powdered jaggery
2 cups milk
Few pinches of cardamom powder
1 teaspoon ghee

Heat the ghee in a saucepan or kadai and add the papaya and apple. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the fruits become soft and mushy

Add the sugar, nut paste or almond powder, coconut and cardamom powder and cook for a few minutes so they all come together

Add milk and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Garnish with raisins or nuts and serve