Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Wishes and Christmas pics!!

Hope You all had a wonderful Christmas ! My Son's vacation in on so I am on the move:) Ooty to Hyderabad and then B'lore!! Thought of sharing some pics and wishing all of you " A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Hope this new year brings more happiness in everyone's life.

This would be my last post of the year:)

Charing Cross Ooty


Home Made Chocolates which are very famous!









The famous Christmas Plum Cake















Christmas Procession of Santa Claus


People dressed in a Lovely way and in the middle "Mother Mary sitting with little Jesus"



This is Hyderabad Central Mall


Will be back with more pics next year !!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brinjal-cranberry beans gravy



This recipe is inspired from Sailu's Vankaya Gasagasala Kura. She tempted me so much with her pics that I had to make them. I did not get the lovely colour which is in her gravy though:(. I did a slight variation by adding fresh cranberry beans which is famous in Ooty. The locals here grow them and make a special curry with it(Will blog about it later). This beans makes any curry so flavourful!




Ingredients

1 cup fresh cranberry beans
6-8 baby brinjals, washed and sliced
1 medium onion sliced
1 1/2 tbsps oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
a pinch of roasted methi/fenugreek/menthi pwd
a pinch of roasted cumin pwd
3 tbsps khus khus/poppy seeds, roasted and ground to a paste
1 1/2 tbsps jaggery
1 lemon sized tamarind, pulp extracted
Fresh chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste

Preparation

Wash and pressure cook the beans for 2-3 whistles.
Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp oil, to this add the sliced brinjals and roast them till soft and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds and as they splutter, add the cumin seeds and allow to splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and saute, Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the roasted khus khus(poppy)paste, tamarind extract and jaggery and cook on medium high flame. Add salt, red chilli pwd, turmeric pwd, coriander pwd, cumin pwd, roasted methi pwd, combine well and cook till the oil comes out of the mixture. If the mixture is too thick you can add 1/2 to 1 cup of water.
Add the roasted brinjal slices and cooked beans and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes or till the gravy turns thick. Turn off heat, garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with rice or rotis.
I was cooking for first time with poppy seeds and thanks to Sailu, My family enjoyed the curry!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baingan ki kadhi ( Eggplant in yogurt gravy)


This kadhi becomes flavourful because of the use of Panch Phoron( mixture of five kinds of seeds).

Ingredients

10-12 baby brinjals cut length wise
1 1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
4 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp onion seeds
4 dried red chillies (broken into halves)
handful of curry leaves
a dash of asafoetida
salt to taste

Preparation

In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, gram flour, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, ginger-garlic paste and 2 cups of water. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add brinjal pieces and saute on medium heat till soft and cooked. Remember the brinjals should retain shape. Drain and set aside.
In the same pan add 2 tbsp oil, add fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek and onion seeds. When the seeds start spluttering add red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. To this add the yogurt mixture and stir. Cook, till the kadhi thickens, stirring continously.
Add sauteed brinjals and bring the kadhi to boil.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Plantain masala curry (dry)


Ingredients
2 large Plantain
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
2-3 green chillies (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp amchoor powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
handful of curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp split black gram dal (husked)
a dash of asafoetida
2 dry red chillies
2 tbsp oil

Preparation

Boil the palntain in a pressure cooker along with the skin for 3 whistles. After it cools down, remove the skin and mash the plantain roughly.
Heat a pan with 2 tbsp oil, and temper with mustard seeds, split black gram, chana dal, curry leaves, asafoetida, red chillies and green chillies.
To this tempering add coconut on low heat, when it changes colour to slightly golden, add the mashed plantain, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, amchoor powder and chilli powder and mix well. Cook this for 10 minutes on low heat covering with lid till all the flavors blend well. If you do not cover, the plantain tends to get very dry. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve with rice or rotis.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tomato-kothmira pachadi(Tomato-Coriander chutney)

Ingredients

1 cup fresh coriander leaves (washed and roughly chopped)
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium lime sized tamarind
2 tbsp split black gram dal (husked)
4 -6 dry red chillies
2 green chillies
1 tsp jaggery (optional)
salt to taste
2 tsp oil

For tempering
handful of curry leaves
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split black gram dal (husked)
4-5 fenugreek seeds
a dash of asafoetida

Preparation

Heat a pan and add 1 tsp oil. On low heat add coriander leaves and saute for 2 minutes till the leaves get soft. Remove the coriander leaves from the pan and set aside. In the same pan heat 1 tsp oil, add split black gram dal and fry till golden ,turn off the heat and add redchillies, green chillies and tamarind. If you wish you can even cook the tomatoes slightly in oil till the rawness is gone. You can also reduce the amount of chillies if you wish.
Grind together, coriander, tomato, tamarind and fried dal mixture, salt and jaggery into chutney.
Temper it with the given ingredients and serve with rice, idly or dosa.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A trip to the Jungle!

Evening sky outside my house...



We had been to the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary and here are some captures:)
This picture we were getting deep into the jungle (safari):)



Spotted some deers!


Pretty peacock walking by ...

Baby elephant kept safe from public so that it does not get infected...

mommy elephant:)

this little monkey snatched a packet of chips from the tourist.... and gave them a panic...


while we were getting down the ghat roads....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Makhana-Khumb ki subzi ( Lotus seed- mushroom curry)



Ingredients

1 cup Phool makhana/lotus seeds
1 cup button mushrooms
2 large onions sliced
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 green chillies slit lenght wise
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp cashew paste
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Kalonji (onion seeds)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2-3 tbsp oil
salt to taste
fresh chopped coriander for garnish
1 tbsp of fresh cream for garnish

Preparation

Heat a pan and add 1 tsp oil. Fry the makhana on low heat for 2 minutes till it changes colour slightly. Turn off heat and set aside. Heat another pan with 2 tbsp oil. Add fennel seeds and kalonji. When the fennel seeds change colour, add green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and fry for 1 minute. To this add onions and fry till golden. Add tomato puree, cashew paste, salt, all the masala powders except garam masala and cook for 5 minutes till oil is out of the mixture. Now add makhana, mushrooms and 1 cup water and cook till all the flavors blend well. Check to see if the Makhana has become soft form inside. Top it with garam masala and garnish with fresh coriander and fresh cream. Serve with rotis or naan.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Drumstick leaves curry



This is a very delicious and healthy curry which is served with rice!

Ingredients

2 cups drumstick leaves
1/3 cup chana dal
1/2 cup onions (finely chopped)
2-3 green chillies (slit length wise)
2 tsp tamarind pulp (optional)
1/3 cup grated fresh coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
a dash of asafoetida
salt to taste
2 tsp oil

Preparation

Clean the leaves by removing the stems carefully since the stems do not digest very easily. Wash and pressure cook the leaves for one whistle. Wash and cook the chana dal in one cup of water till its soft.
In a pan heat oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and green chillies.
To this add onions and fry till golden. Add drumstick leaves, coconut, chana dal and salt and cook on low heat till all the flavors blend together. You can add tamarind pulp if you want the curry to be little tangy. Cook till the miosture dries up and serve warm with rice!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Allam Pachadi (Ginger Chutney)



Allam Pachadi is a very authentic Andhra recipe. It is a great combination with rice and ghee. It can also be eaten with rotis, idly and dosa. I made this pachadi from the lovely book "Cooking at home with Pedatha". I did some slight variations. I could bring back my grandmother's recipe to life. Thanks to Pedatha:)

Ingredients

1 cup grated ginger
1 big lemon size tamarind
2 tbsp Jaggery
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

1st tempering

1 1/2 tbsp split black gram (husked)
3-4 red chillies
handful of curry leaves
1 tsp asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2nd tempering

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split black gram (husked)

Preparation

In a pan heat ghee and fry the grated ginger for 5 minutes till it is light red in colour. Do not fry too much. There should be some moisture in the ginger. Set aside.
In another pan heat 1 tbsp oil and temper with black gram dal. When it turns golden add mustard. when mustard pops, switch off the flame and add red chillies, asafoetida, turmeric, tamarind and curry leaves. Grind the whole mixture along jaggery, ginger and salt into a coarse paste without adding water.
Heat oil and add 2nd tempering. Garnish the Ground Pachadi with this 2nd tempering. Delicious allam pachadi is ready!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eggless Dates Cake



This is a very simple cake which can be made in no time and is a healthy one too!!

Ingredients
15 dates (seedless)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp almonds for garnish

Preparation

Soak the dates in hot milk for 1 hour. In a food processor blend the milk, dates and sugar into smooth paste.
In a bowl sift the all purpose flour along with baking powder. To this add the puree, oil and mix well with a spatula. Sprinkle almonds over the batter. Pour the batter into a floured baking dish and set in a 150 degree celsius preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or till a clean knife inserted comes out clean. I used microwave so I baked it for 10-15 minutes on high.
You can also add raisins and other nuts. To make it more special for kids during Christmas you can add tutti- frutti to it:)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sorakaya Podi Kura / Ghiya Sabzi (Bottle gourd curry)



Roasted yellow Moong dal is roasted and added to this curry. This can be served with rice and rotis!

Ingredients
1/2 cup Yellow moong Dal
2 cups chopped bottle gourd
2 green chilli slit length wise
4 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
handful of curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt
2 tsp oil
a dash of asafoetida

Preparation

In a pan dry roast the moong dal till light brown. Let it cool. Powder it in the mixer coarsely and set aside. Heat a pan, add oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and asafoetida. To this add chopped bottle gourd, salt and turmeric powder and cover with lid.
Cook for 10-12 minutes till the bottle gourd gets soft. Add grated coconut and ground moong dal powder. Mix well and leave it on low heat for 2 minutes.
Serve hot with Rice or rotis

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dal Panchmel / Panchmeli Dal



Our Sunday dinner was at a nice restaurant with an elegant buffet. There was this Dal Panchmeli which was very mild and nice. I got the recipe from the chef and made it today:) Any five dals can be used, so I used the dals which I need not soak as it would be time consuming for a busy mommy:) This dal is very healthy for kids!!

Ingredients

Split Bengal gram (chana dal) 1/4 cup
Whole green grams (sabut moong) 1/4 cup
Split yellow moong dal 1/4 cup
Split pigeon pea (toor dal/arhar dal) 1/4 cup
Whole red lentils (sabut masoor) 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Oil 3 tablespoons
Asafoetida a pinch
Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Green chilli 2
handful of curry leaves
Roasted cumin powder 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon
Tomatoes, chopped 2 medium
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons for garnish



Preparation

Wash the dals and pressure cook with 3-4 cups of water and turmeric. I cooked it for 4-5 whistles.
Heat oil in a pan. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves. When cumin seeds start to change colour, add green chilli and sauté for one minute. Add cumin powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Add the tomatoes and cook till oil surfaces. Add cooked dals, salt and water if required. Cook for ten minutes stirring well. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

This one goes to Bookmarked recipes hosted by Priya

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beerakaya podi Kura (Ridge gourd curry)


This is a dry curry to which can be eaten with rice or rotis.
Ingredients
4 tbsp toor dal (tuvar dal/yellow pigeon pea)
2 cups chopped ridge gourd
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chillies slit length wise
salt to taste
grated coconut (optional)
for tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp oil
a handful of curry leaves
Preparation
In a pan add 1/2 cup of water, toor dal and turmeric and cook till its get soft on low heat. There will be very little water left.
In another pan temper with the given ingredients and add ridge gourd, greenchillies and salt. Cook without covering the pan on medium heat till the ridge gourd gets soft. Add the toor dal and cook for some more time till all the moisture gets dried up. Serve warm.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Imarti /Jangiri



I thank Raks for making me create a milestone in my kitchen by trying out two great Indian Sweets - Rasgulla and Jangiris/Imarti for this Diwali. It is a real achievement to create such traditional sweets in your own kitchen.


Ingredients

1 cup Split black gram skinless/whole white urad dal
1/4 tsp Rice flour (optional)
1/2 pinch of Orange food colour 1/2 pinch
a dash of salt

For Sugar syrup:

5 cups of Sugar
water just to immerse the sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
6 drops of Rose essence
a pinch of orange food colour
1 tsp green cardamom powder



Preparation
Soak urad dal for 2 hrs. Drain and grind with very little water as we do for grinding vadas.The batter should be fluffy and smooth.
Add a dash of salt, food colour and rice flour(makes the imritis crispy) and mix well.
Heat sugar with water just to immerse it. Boil till a syrup of single-thread consistency is reached. Add lemon juice, food colour and rose essence and cardamom powder, mix well and switch off the stove. Keep the syrup hot. Take a zip lock cover or a any plastic cover and make a hole.The hole should be very tiny.
Fill half the cover with the batter and first practice doing on a plate. Draw two circle first and draw small swirl like circles over it.Just needs a little practice to get the right shape:)



Then heat oil in a flat bottomed pan with low heat where oil should be of 1 inch depth.
The oil should not get fully heated,when it starts forming small bubbles in the bottom,then draw jangiris/imarti in the oil,repeat the same to make many.



Once the jangiris/imarti gets cooked and becomes light,turn over and cook till crisp and then take out carefully and transfer to the sugar syrup.






Dunk the fried jangiris/imarti in hot sugar syrup for 1-2 minutes till they have absorbed enough syrup and take out carefully and arrange it a plate.Give a 1/2 hour standing time (says Raks). But I could not wait to taste:)



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Instant Cashew Rabdi (Rabri)


I made this as Neivedyam for Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali. It tastes divine!

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
10 cashew nuts
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp khoya
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp Cardamom powder
Almonds for garnish

Preparation

Grind coconut and cashew nuts into paste with very little water and set aside. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan and add the coconut-cashew mix to it. On low heat keep stirring for 2 minutes till the mixture slightly cooks. To this add sugar, Khoya, cardamom powder and ghee. Keep stirring for 10-12 minutes, till the mixture thickens and all the ingredients blend well. Garnish with almonds and serve warm!!