Thursday, 30 August 2007
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
If I recollect the golden era of my college days in Vijayawada and try to post them, Mirapakaya Bajjis and Punugulu (Urad dal dumpings) must and shld be dedicated a seperate post... We were a group of 7 girls in our hostel...we used to call ourselves as 7 stars or Dhruvatharalu...kikiki....
Chandu - Bakki n Beauty
Swapna and Me - Gundoos and foodie buffs
Jyothi - Would be Gundoo n Calm
Anitha - Our Heroine
Basu - Monkey
Malathi - Silent n Strict..
Every evening we used to take turns (2 girls on each day)and go to the nearby snacks centre directly from the classes and buy all these stuff.....Mirchi bajji, egg bonda, punugulu and pappundalu (peanut balls)...the other 5 will be eagerly waiting in the hostel...we all then share our qunatities (obviously lion's share to the foodie buffs in the batch) and relish every bite of it, whilst gossipping about the lecturers, guys, movies what not? I wish we all could meet after 10 or more years at some place and share these precious moments again....Miss you all darlings...These bajjis are for you (naaluge chesaanu 7 members ki ela ani already doubt vachesindi kadaa...kikiki...share chesukundamle)
Ok coming to the present...as soon as Suman left to India I started roaming in the city centre...I bid him send off in the bus station and without returning to home I went to the city centre to do some bewaars (useless) shopping...I found the long green chillies (for stuffing) in Tesco....So I thought I'ld make these bajjis...The recipe is very simple...I followed our Hyderabadi girl Cinnamon's Recipe, except that I added sesame seeds and dessicated coconut for stuffing...avoided boiling of green chillies too...Mrs Lazy Bones...that's me...hehehehe..
Besan/Gram Flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 4 (make a slit length-wise and carefully remove the seeds, if you don't you'll have to enjoy the pleasure of burning your tongue :P)
Baking Soda - 1 pinch
Salt - to taste
Ajwain seeds - 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 1 table spoon (dry roast them and grind to a smooth powder)
Sesame seeds - 1 table spoon (dry roast and grind to a smooth powder)
Dessicated coconut - 1 table spoon
Tamarind juice - 1 table spoon
Oil - for frying
Onion - 1 small - chopped finely
Lemon slices - 2
1. Mix the Gram flour, rice flour, ajwain seeds, salt and baking soda in a bowl using water to make a smooth batter. Should be of thick consistency
2. Mix the peanut powder, sesame seeds powder, dessicated coconut, salt with tamarind juice and make a thick paste.
3. Stuff the green chillies with this paste.
4. Heat Oil in a deep bottomed Pan and when the oil is piping hot, turn the flame to medium.
5. Dip this stuffed chillies in the flour batter and drop carefully in the Oil.
6. Fry them until golden brown and place on a tissue to absorb the excess oil.
7. Again make a slit length-wise on these bajjis and stuff the onion pieces and sprinkle some lemon juice.
8. Serve HOT
I learned to make this tea from my Aunt in Hyderabad..Very aromatic and tasty beverage.All you need to do is immerse a tea bag and few fresh basil leaves in boiling water and leave for a min. Remove the leaves n tea bag and add a few drops of lemon juice and honey. Mix well and enjoy it with your favourite evening snack.
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Baby Augberines/vankayalu/Brinjals/Baby eggplants - 500gm - cleaned and cut into chunks
Green chillies - 5 chopped
Turmeric - 1/4th teaspoon
Cashews - 10-12 (dry roasted)
Labels: Rice Items
This's one of my recent cooking experiments...I found these watermelons at a very low price in the local farmer's market and hence purchased one and brought home...I carried it all the way home by walk...And then came up the question..What do I do with it...We both ate few slices each (3-4), but still there was so much left to be stored in the fridge...I made some juice, bottled it up and stored....But still I had 2 large slices left...hmm then I wanted to try some new recipe with watermelon...
My ammamma used to make pumkin halwa...So I started to make something similar with watermelon...Both of them look alike, but there's lot of difference in the inner texture of both these fruits...I realised that I cannot just replace the pumpkin with watermelon to make the halwa..But by then I already started so wanted to go ahead..Finally it came out with a nice color and texture...Taste was lil bit different...It was for sure eatable...Here's the recipe..
Watermelon pieces - 2 cups (cut into chunks)
Suji/Semolina - 1 cup (roast it in a table spoon of Ghee and set aside)
Milk - 2 cups
Sugar - 3/4th cup
Cardamon powder - 1 pinch
Cashews - 5 (roast in ghee and set aside)
Raisins -5 (roast in ghee and set aside)
1. Crush the watermelon pieces and mix the sugar. Take this mixture in a sauce pan and simmer it for abt 3-4min. Do not add water. Set this mixture aside.
2. In a heavy bottomed vessel heat the milk and bring to boil.
3. When the milk starts to boil reduce the flame to low, add the cardamon powder and roasted suji. Stir continously to avoid any lumps.
4. After 1-2min, when the contents start to thicken add the watermelon and sugar mixture to this and mix thoroughly.
5. Decorate with roasted cashews and raisins.
6. Let it cool for 30-40min.
This Halwa can be consumed as it is or can be shaped n cut into thick slices after cooling.
I fell in love with these colorful Bell Peppers/Capsicum after I stepped out of India...They were not very frequently seen in the local market whilst I was a child...So I didn't taste them for many years...It's only in Hyderbad at my Uncle's house I tasted the capsicum curry for the first time...Attamma used to make capsicum curry mixed with peanuts powder...and they were only green bell peppers...
After I started my own cooking I tried these red/yellow/green peppers in many veggie curries...I love them in salads, chutneys, curries, frys, stuffed recipes...Especially when cooked together with potatoes I simply love that combination...I make this fry very often...not only a feast to the tummy, but with its colorful appearance it's a feast to our eyes too...Here goes the recipe,
Bell Pepper - 2 (1 Green, 1 Red) - Cut intlo long chunks
Potatoes - 2 - washed,peeled and cut into long sticks
Red Onion - 1 - sliced
Green chillies - 3 - chopped
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/4th teaspoon
Oil - 1 table spoon
For Tadka/popu - cumin, mustard, urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon each and red chillies - 2
1. In a saucepan bring water to boil. Add the turmeric powder to the water and some salt. Then add the potato sticks. Leave for 3-4min. Do not over boil the potatoes. Drain the water and keep the potato sticks aside.
2. Heat oil in a Pan and add the urad dal, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add the red chillies too.
3. When the mustard seeds start to splutter add the green chillies and onions. Saute them till onions turn soft.
4. Now add the capsicum chunks, salt and mix well. Cook for abt 3-4min.
5. When the capsicum turns soft add the potato sticks and mix thoroughly. Cook for 3-4min and turn off the flame.
Serve hot with rice or chapathis.
Labels: Veg Curries
Sunday, 12 August 2007
Every year on August 15th my mom used to make Rangeela Pooris (Poori with spinach and carrot to get the Red/Green/Cream (white) colors as in our Indian Flag)...We used to call it as India Puri...
I wanted to cook something colorful this weekend...I selected my Fav Italian dish - Pasta...I found pasta spirals in three different colors at Tesco...Red/Green/Cream...I made white sauce at home and cooked these pasta sprials in salted water and mixed with the white sauce. I also added green peas and carrots for nutrients...
Fusilli - 2 cups (Boiled in salted water for 10min and drained)
White sauce - 300ml (you can find the recipe here or in my previous post)
Green peas - 1/2 cup (boiled)
Grated carrot - 1/2 cup
Salt n Pepper - To taste
1. After preparing the white sauce with milk, flour,butter, salt n pepper, turn down the flame to low and add the grated carrot and boiled green peas.
2. Finally add the pre-boiled Fusilli and cook for 3-4min on low.
Serve warm...You can make it spicy by adding chilli powder, crushed garlic...with just salt n pepper this tastes less spicy (my preference in pasta cooking)
Labels: International cuisine
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Masala Vada/Gaare...when you look at this name what do you think of? Well, before I tasted them, I used to imagine that they are normal Garelu with some masala paste added to them...But this recipe is like our Mysore Bonda with no Mysore in it...:D...It has no ingredients other than ginger to be called as Masala......then where did this name come from?????
I dunno....:(...Masala vada is a famous evening snack in Nellore, my hometown, which is very close to Tamilnadu...and this recipe has been adapted from TamilNadu cuisine(Source of info - Nellore VRC centre daggara mobile-canteen vala)...Just like the punugulu in Krishna Dt, Mirchi Bajji in Hyderabad, So is the Masala vada in Nellore...
Also from Sharmi's first post, I came to know its Tamil name - Parupu Vadai (Parupu is pappu I guess, since we make it with Chana dal pappu, it might have been named like that)..Sharmi, please if you happen to see this post let me know if I am wrong in interpreting its meaning...
Ok then..without much story telling I'll post the recipe..But haaa...I have one more thing to say...In Nellore you'll also find a recipe called Masala vadalu pulusu...these Masala vadalu cooked in tamarind sauce...My mom never made this, but I tasted it in many of my friends' houses...Left over masala vadalu can be used for this recipe...Ok now...end of introduction...
Chana Dal - 2 cups (soak in hot water for 30min and drain)
Onion pieces - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 4 (chopped)
Ginger - 1 inch piece (chopped)
Curry leaves - 6-8
Salt - as per taste
Oil - to fry
1. Grind the Chana dal to a semi-ground textured paste (do not add water, if at all it is difficult to grind, add little water)
2. Now add the onion pieces, chopped green chillies, ginger pieces, curry leaves and salt and grind for just 2-4sec. Do not grind them for long.
3. Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai. When oil is piping hot, reduce the flame to medium high
4. Make patties with the ground paste on your palm and drop them carefully in the oil.
5. Deep fry them and place on a tissue for the excess oil to be absorbed.
Serve hot/warm/cold however you like...crispy, tasty masala vadalu ready....:D.....you do not need any chutney with this...they taste well on their own...
The story doesn't end here. As I told you, the left overs can be used for a gravy curry...
Masala vadalu - 6-8 (left overs)
Onion - 1 sliced
Tomato - 1 cut into chunks
Tamarind pulp - 1 table spoon
Water - 2 cups
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-8
1. Heat oil in a wide pan, when the oil is hot add fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard seeds start to splutter add the curry leaves
3. Now add the onions and saute them till transperent
4. Add the turmeric powder and mix well
5. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2min.
6. Add the salt and Red chilli powder and mix well.
7. Now add the tamarind paste and water and stir well.
8. Cook on medium flame until the gravy/sauce starts to boil.
9. Then add the masala vadalu and simmer for 3-5min.
10. Switch off and close the pan with a lid. Let the masala vadalu soak well (30min) and absorb the tamarind flavour before serving.
Serve warm with hot steamed rice.
Labels: International cuisine
Saturday, 4 August 2007
I don't remember how I fell in love with North Indian recipes..But whenever we go to a restaurant, all others who accompany me 'll be looking at the South Indian dishes in the menu, but I always used to select some North Indian dish...Rajma (kidney beans) is one of my favourite ingredient...I used to make Rajma pulav during my stay in US...My roomies also loved Rajma so I used to cook it almost 2-3 times in a month...But after getting married I hardly cook Rajma...the reasons are obvious..My hubby has a bitter aversion towards any kind of beans/peas...Kidney beans, Chick peas (Gorbanzo beans), Butter beans, Lima beans...A big NO to all of them....
I purchased Rajma, Chick peas and Green peas last month...I somehow wanted to make him eat these...But the moment he observes me cooking any of these he'ld say that he's not hungry and he'll have just some curd rice...So I decided to cook them without his notice...Yesterday I came back home early and soaked all these together...This morning he was a lion as usual, while I made burgers out of these beans and served them for breakfast...He asked me what burgers are those, I replied him "Veggie Burgers"...He might have taken it fot granted that they were made out of potato/corn flour...the usual veggie burger stuff...He had a bite and then asked me what are these...I again repeated "Veggie Burgers, Veggie Burgers, Veggie Burgers"...He ate silently and after his breakfast asked me how I made them..I explained....He said he liked the taste, but that he cannot eat them very frequently (he thought I'ld use this trick every week now)and no more comments from his side...
I liked the taste a lot, no starchy ingredients, less oil, less fuss...We had them sandwiched with rotis and tomato sauce...They just look like normal veggie burgers, can be served within a burger bun as usual...
Rajma (kidney beans) - 1 cup
Chick peas (Gorbanzo beans) - 1/2 cup
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 large - sliced
Green Chillies - 5 - chopped
Coriander - 3 to strips - cleaned and cut
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Oil - To pan fry the burgers
1. Soak the kidney beans, chick peas, green peas together over night.
2. Pressure cook with water and salt. Let them cool. Drain all the water.
3. Take the onion slices, green chillies and coriander, turmeric powder into a blender and make a paste.
4. Now add these drained beans,peas and blend together.
5. Add cornflour to this mixture to make a thick paste.
6. Heat a pan and take a spoon full of this paste and spread like a burger pattie.
7. Add few drops around the pattie and roast for about 3-5min on each side. You can cook 2-4 patties at a time depending on the size of the pan. Take care that it's cooked well inside too.
Serve them with burger buns, salad and ketch up/mayo....can be served with chapatis too..my preference (as I love chapatis a lotttttt)....
I'm back on to my baking spree...From 14th of august we enter into Sravana Masam which's considered very auspicious and many poojas are performed on the tuesdays and fridays of the whole month...we offer authentic Indian Naivedyam (sweets like paramannam, pongali, pulagam etc etc) to God...I'll be cooking (experimenting would be a better word) many of these dishes all thru the month for my poojas...So I thought I'ld bake a cake today and then start off with my Indian sweet dishes in the coming few weeks...
I never tasted the combo of cake n custard until I came to the UK. Chacolate cake topped with custard used to be our staple dessert in thursday's menu at the canteen in LG. I liked the taste a lot...So I decided to try it at home today...But Suman doesn't like chacolate flavour..He's a vanilla lover..So I made a vanilla sponge cake, topped it with whipped cream, custard and dates...Very easy to prepare and tasty too...Here goes the recipe..
For the Custard,
I used readymade custard powder (Bird's Eye). All we need to do is dissolve this powder in hot water, stir continously to remove any lumps, let the mix cool and refrigerate it for a couple of Hrs. The final outcome should be a custard mix of thick consistency (like Jam).
For Sponge Cake,
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (melted)
Sugar - 1/2 cup (powdered) - I used brown Sugar
Milk - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla Essence - 1 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1 pinch
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
1.Pre-heat the oven to 200C
2. Sift flour and sugar together.
3. Take a bowl, add the milk and break the egg into the bowl. Beat thoroughly. Now add the butter to this and beat well.
4. Mix the flour/sugar into this mixture.
5. Add the vanilla essence,baking soda and baking powder and mix thoroughly.
6. Take a baking tray (cake pan), grease the bottom with some butter and dust the tray with some flour.
7. Pour the cake mix and see that it's evenly leveled.
8. Bake this mix for about 20min or until the cake is done.
9. Cool on a wire rack. Cake should be completely cooled.
10. Invert this cake pan onto a plate and carefully seperate the cake from the pan. Set aside.
Now take the custard mix and spread it on the top of the cake. Decorate it with whipped cream and Dates(Sliced). Refrigerate for about 30min for the custard to set. Slice the Cake and Serve.
I haven't done much to prepare this.....Luckily the cake turned out very well and hence the taste was good.