Thursday, 14 June 2007
My grandmother is from a place called diviseema in Krishna Dt. As far as I know people of the coastal Andhra are great food lovers and we are no exception to this. Granny used to make loads and loads of sweets and savoury snacks for us when we visited her during our summer holidays. Not only during the holidays, whenever a person from her village comes to our hometown Nellore, she sends two jute bags fully filled with these food items. Now even at the age of 80years, she tries to cook many of these items and send to her children n grandchildren. God knows where all the energy comes from...
I can never ever compete with her cooking skills, but I often try this recipe of pappu chekkalu at home. Surprisingly, they usually come out very well. This is the only recipe out of her list that I can make well. I do not make them in large scale. Just 10 or 20 is the max count.
Rice Flour - 2 cups
Besan (split peas flour) - 1 table spoon
Chana dal - 1 table spoon (Soak in hot water for 10min and drain)
Onion - 1 small (cut into tiny pieces)
Green chillies - 5 (chopped)
Cumin seeds - 2 tea spoons
Ghee - 2 table spoons
Oil (for deep frying)
Except the oil (for deep frying) mix all the above ingredients and make a dough. Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel and set aside for 30min. Take a plastic sheet rub oil into the hands. Make lemon sized balls out of the dough and flatten with the fingers as shown in the picture. Heat Oil in a deep frying pan. When the oil is piping hot fry these flattened pieces in batches until crisp/gold brown. After frying them place on a tissue paper to absorb the oil. These can be stored in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
Ghee, oil, deep fry..these words are alarming, but less alarming when compared to the junike fries and fast food ;).
Sunday, 10 June 2007
Majjiga pulsu (onions/green chillies sauted in oil with tadka/spices soaked in buttermilk) is one of my favourite items. My dad and suman are fans as well. When I was staying in US, one of my batchmates who was from Karnataka used to prepare an item called Majjige Holli (I don't excatly remember the name) with butter milk and bottle gourd. It's similar to our traditional Majjiga pulsu. I altered her (friend in US) recipe according to my convinience. Here goes the recipe..
Bottle gourd pieces - 1 Cup
Butter milk - 2 cups
Onions - 1 (slice into small pieces)
Green chillis - 4 (chopped)
Garlic - 1 clove
Curry leaves - 8
Turmeric - 1/2 tspn
Salt - 2 tspn
Oil - 3 tspns
Popu/Tadka - Cumin/mustard/chana dal/urad dal - 1 tspn each ; Red chillis - 1 (tear into pieces)
Heat oil in a kadai and add the tadka/popu ingredients. Add garlic clove(cut into pieces) and curry leaves. Add green chillis, onions and saute them for a while. Add turmeric, mix well. After a few min add the bottle gourd pieces and salt. Cover the vessel with a lid and cook on low for 4-5 min. Bottle gourd can cook on its own mositure, so no need to add water at this stage. When the bottle gourd pieces turns soft add the butter milk and mix well. Swtich off the flame and let it stand for 20-30min. Serve warm with Rice.
Last weekend when we were out for Grocery Shopping I happened to see a condensed milk tin in Tesco...I've been hearing about it that it's already sweetened and can be used in various sweets. The tin seemed so attractive with a recipe printed on it (Bannofi Pie)...So I thought I'ld make it and hence purchased the tin.
Yesterday when I wanted to make the Bannofi Pie, one of the cheif ingredients for that, 'BANANA' was missing at home...Huhhhh...I thought I shld have read the recipe there in Tesco so that I could check for the ingredients and purchase...hmmm lesson learnt...
Never mind, there are loads of recipes on the net with condensed milk...So I was browsing and came across a recipe called Kalakand (microwave version) with very few ingredients (Condensed milk,Yogurt and ghee)...Hehehehe...seemed to simple (Thanks to Prathibha for this quickie, It's on http://www.indiaparenting.com/cookingclub/mainrecipe.cgi?recipe_id=929&cuisine_id=10)
So I started to make this...While I was searching for my ghee tin, I came across a pack of McVities Tea biscuits...Poor biskies, they were there since one month...ehahahaha...I had a cruel smile, with a raised eyebrow...I had a thought "what if I crush these poor biskies to a powder and mix with the kalakand"...Afterall it's my experiment and I am the one who has to taste it..Ofcourse Suman as well...But he never complains abt my cooking..So I've altered the kalakand recipe and ended up doing a cake shaped sweet with biscuits n Kova (kalakand)
Biscuits + Kova - Biscova....Hehehehehe...I could name this on my own...I googled if there is anyword like Biscova. I found in some other language..[:o] definitely not in English...So please dont take me wrong if it means something weird in that language.
It's very easy n simple. So I'm posting the recipe I followed here,
Condensed milk - 1 tin (400gm)
Yogurt - 2 table spoons
Elachi powder - from 5 pods
Cashews - 10-15 (roasted in Ghee)
Ghee - 1 tea spoon
Biscuits - 6 ( I used tea biscuits) - Grind them into a powder.
In a microwave safe bowl pour the condensed milk, add yogurt and mix well. Microwave on high for 2 min. After 2 min take out the bowl and mix well. Put it back on high for 2 min. Take it out and mix elachi powder and put it back for 4 min. Now the mix turns to slight brown color. At this stage remove the bowl from microwave. (If it doesn't turn brown cook for further 2min sessions until done). Let it cool. Now add the biscuits powder and mix well thoroughly. I shld be like a paste. Now grease a plate with Ghee and pour this mixture. Make cuts with a knife and put it in the freezer for 1-2hr. Cut across the lines and garnish with roasted cashews at the end.
This shld be eaten within a day or so I think. I made only 6 slices, we both liked the recipe so we finished them in 24hrs.
Thursday, 7 June 2007
People who visited my blog left their comments that the recipes look very tempting and few of them even praised my cooking skills...Phewwwwww! Me a cook???? hehehehe...Most of my cooking experiments turn out to be disasters. If I keep posting only my successful recipes, my blog may end up as one of the many recipe blogs on the net. All those bloggers are genuinely good at cooking, but not me...So just to keep myself apart from such great cooks, I thought I'ld start posting my failures too...This microwave omlet is one among them...Not a disaster, but definitely not a good one.
Method: Mix two eggs, 2 tea spoons onion pieces, two green chillies cut into pieces, salt in a bowl just as you do for a normal omlet. Pour this mixture onto a microwavable plate and microwave it for abt 1min . After one min take the plate out and carefully reverse the omlet and put it back into the oven for one more min (depends on the power level - I did it for a total time of 2min on a 750W oven on High).
I didn't add any oil to this. May be that's the reason why it didn't taste as good as the stove top cooked omlet. For those who started wondering why this girl opted for a microwave version, I found this version in a telugu news paper and wanted to give a try. But somehow it was not tasty....:(
Wednesday, 6 June 2007
I prepare this recipe when we have sudden guests at home and I have bits and pieces of veggies in the fridge. It's a little lengthy process, but the taste comes out too good...Just because of the sauce I think...
Ingredients for Sauce:
Onions - 1 onion cut into small pieces
Coconut pieces - 1/2 cup (frm fresh coconut)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece (cut into small pieces)
Garlic - 3 cloves
Almonds/cashews - 1 table spoon (roasted)
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tea spoon (roasted)
Red chillies - 2 (tear into pieces)
Salt - 1 tea spoon
Ghee/Oil - 2-3 tea spoons
Yogurt - 1 table spoon
Lemon Juice - 1 tea spoon (optional)
Preparation - Heat Ghee/Oil in a pan and add red chillie pieces, ginger, garlic pieces and then the onions..saute them for abt 3-4min. Take these into a blender. Add roasted corainder seeds, almonds/cashews, coconut pieces, salt and yogurt. Make a smooth paste (add littile water if required). Add lemon juice to this paste if you want to and mix well. Put it aside
Ingredients for Korma:
Sauce prepared by the above process - 1 large cup.
Onions - 2 (sliced into pieces)
Green chillies - 6 (cut/sliced into small pieces)
Vegetables - Of your choice (cauliflower florets boiled in water, Potato peeled and cut into cubes, Tomatoes cut into pieces, capsicum cut into small pieces, beans/carrots/peas also can be used)
Oil - 1 Table spoon
Salt - to taste
Heat Oil in a large pan, add onions and green chillies..Roast until onions are soft add all the vegetables and sauce. Add required amount of salt and mix well. Cover the pan and cook on medium flame for 10-12 minutes. Serve hot with Roti or Rice.
If you feel like the curry is not spicy enough, add garam masala powder at the end.
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
The only recipe I knew of these Beans is the normal fry. Whenever I make this fry recipe Suman complains...He doesn't like any vegetable from the Beans family. So today I wanted to try a different version. He loves gravy curries a lot so I decided to cook these beans in the gravy/sauce/powder. Now comes the question..What do I use to make this Powder? I opened my kitchen shelf and found peanuts and chanadal newly purchased....Couldn't even give a second thought..decided on them...and the curry came out very well...
Peanuts - 1 table spoon
Chana Dal - 1 table spoon
Red Chillies - 4 or 5
Coriander seeds - 1 tea spoon
(Dry roast all the above ingredients and grind them into a fine powder)
Beans - 2 cups (cut into pieces and pressure cook them in water until 3 whistles and drain)
Onions - 1 large (Sliced into thin pieces)
For Popu/tampering - Jeera/Cumin - 1 tea spoon, Urad dal - 1 tea spoon, mustard seeds - 1 tea spoon, Curry leaves - 10
Oil - 3-4 tea spoons
Salt - as per taste
Heat oil in a pan and add the popu ingredients. Once the popu is done add onions and saute them for about 5min. Then add salt and the ground spice powder. Mix well and add the beans, cover with a lid and cook on medium flame for abt 5-8 min. Serve hot with Rice.
Sunday, 3 June 2007
This's my fav dish. Aloo curry with rotis..I can live on this alone for ages. As I already mentioned, I'm Mrs Lazy Bones...I try to cut down the effort to prepare any recipe and this's not an exception.
Potatoes - 3 (cleaned, peeled and cut into small cubes)
Onions - 2 (sliced into pieces)
Green chilli - 5 (sliced into small pieces)
Turmeric - 2 pinches
Oil - 2 large tea spoons
Water - 3 small cups
For Popu/tampering- Cumin seeds, Mustard seeds, Urad dal , Chana dal - 1 tea spoon each ; curry leaves - 5 and Garlic cloves - 2
Put a pressure cooker on the hob, heat the oil and do the popu/tampering. Once the popu is done add green chilli pieces and Onions and saute them for 2 min. Add the turmeric powder and then the potato cubes. Add water and mix sufficient amout of salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook it for until 3 whistles. Let it cool. Open the lid, mix well and Serve hot with Rotis or Puris.
This is my instant breakfast recipe....I generally dont prefer to skip my breakfast. Suman often does it during weekdays, which I don't want him to do...I cannot eat bread,cereals for more than once in a week. So I normally store dosa or idli batter in the fridge, which I prepare during the weekends and make dosas or idlis everyday for our breakfast. I've to start for my work place at around 8.30AM, So I'll have ample time during the morning to prepare breakfast.
But at times I feel very lazy to prepare these batters before. So whenever I feel like having a full fledged Indian breakfast and if I dont have any dosa/idli batter I prepare this Rava Dosa. It's very simple and easy to prepare.
Semolina (Souji) - 2 cups
Curd - 2 table spoons
Ginger/Green chilli paste - 1 small tea spoon
Dry roast souji rava in a hot skillet. Take it in a bowl and mix the curd, ginger/green chilli paste and salt. Add water and mix well into a batter of loose consistency. It should be slightly watery when compared to normal Dosa batter. Heat the Dosa pan and put few drops of oil and rub with half-cut onion with its flat surface on the Pan. Take a spoon full of batter and pour it onto the pan into a dosa shape of 10-15 inch diameter. We shouldn't rub this batter from the centre as we do it for a normal dosa. Add a few drops of oil around the dosa and turn it over after a min. Remove it from the pan once the dosa is done.
This tastes good with sambar or peanut/coconut chutney. But I generally prepare this whilst 'm very busy and hence 'll eat it with Coconut-chilli powder (kobbari karam) prepared beforehand with a drop of ghee.
Saturday, 2 June 2007
I'm not a great cook, not even a moderate cook...'m just a beginner...Some recipes of mine turn out to be very delicious, while some turn out to be disasters. I generally look for a recipe over the net and make some changes to that, so as to minimise the work and sometimes I succeed, and today luckily my Rava pongal came out to be very good.
For a traditional Rava pongal, moong dal is boiled in a pressure cooker seperately, but that adds another vessel for me to clean....kikiki...I can be called as LAZY BONES when it comes to cooking. So I made a lil change to the recipe.
Moong dal - 1/2 Cup (wash and soak in hot water for 20min) - I've done this becoz I didn't pressure cook the moong dal.
Semolina - 1 cup
Peppercorns (Miriyalu) - 1 tea spoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Red chilli - 2 (tear into pieces)
Cashews - 10
Ghee - 1 small table spoon
Salt - as per taste
Water - 3 and half cups
In a pressure cooker take Ghee and heat it. Add mustard seeds, Cumin, Peppercorns, red chillie pieces. When the tadka is done add cashew nuts and roast for a while. Then drain the soaked moong dal and add it to the cooker. Roast it for 2-3 min and now add semolina and mix well and roast for 2min. Add 3 and half cups of water and salt. Mix well and close the lid. Pressure cook it for 3 whistles. Let it cool and mix well. Enjoy it hot by itself or with Coconut chutney or sambar.
Since I didn't pressure cook the moong dal seperately, dal was seperate and appeared to be more appealing, I didn't have curry leaves at home. Also I was reluctant to add ginger pieces. I think adding curry leaves and ginger pieces to the tadka would have been even better. I also feel like replacing the red chilli with a green chilli. 'll try it next time.
My colleague's wife makes delicious Banana bread and the moment I tasted it, I wanted to learn the recipe and make it at home. I didn't have a loaf mould at home and hence I used my cake mould to make a banana cake. I also added dates to the recipe. This was my second baking trial..
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Bananas - 2 (Ripe) - Mash them to a smooth paste
Dates - 5-6 (make small pieces)
Melted Unstalted Butter - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 Tea spoon
Baking soda - 1 pinch
Mix all the ingredients (solids first and then liquids(butter, milk) thoroughly to a batter consistency, grease a baking mould with butter sprinkle some flour and pour this batter into the mould and bake it in a pre-heated oven to 200C for about 20 min or until cake is well done. Insert a knife into the cake and pull it. If the knife comes out clean, cake is done. Cool on a wire rack. Reverse the mould onto a plate to seperate plate. I did not do any decorations for I wanted to enjoy it alone without any added flavours.
A couple of months back, I was head over heels in love with cakes...I didn't prefer to buy a cake off the shelf frm Tesco..I wanted to bake it myself...So on one saturday when Suman was not at home I've started experimenting..here goes my baking spree...
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Powdered sugar - 1 cup
Unsalted melted butter - 1 cup
Semi-skimmed milk - 1 cup (I preferred this cup measurement because it was easy to remember)
Egg - 1
Vanilla Essence - 1 tea spoon
Baking soda - 2 pinches
Baking powder - 1 tea spoon
For decoration - Whipped cream, chacolate curls, Strawberry flakes and a colored cream cone.
In a bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and sugar powder thoroughly. In a seperate bowl add milk, egg, vanilla essence and butter and whisk them together. Add this mix to the flour mix and beat thoroughly to a batter consistency. Pour this batter onto a baking mould (greased with butter and little amount of flour sprinkeled) and place it in a pre-heated oven to 200C, bake it for about 20min or until cake is well done (You can check this by inserting a knife into the cake, if the knife comes out clean, cake is done). Cool on a wire rack and reverse the mould onto a plate to seperate the cake. Decorate it with the whipped cream first and then colored cream, decorate with chacolate curls and strawberry flakes.
Start decorating the cake only when it is fully cooled. Orelse the whipped cream loses its nice texture.