Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pineapple Curry

This is a delightful side dish for rotis and rice, especially good if you have company since it is so easy to make but looks and tastes kinda exotic....has a wow factor. I've found that even picky kids like this curry.

Here's how I make it:

1 cup pineapple cubes (with 1 - 2 tbsp juice saved)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
For tempering - oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafotida, turmeric, few curry leaves
Masala paste - 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, 1 small piece of ginger, 1 small clove of garlic. Grind all to a smooth paste with a little water.
Salt to taste

Make the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients.

Add the onions and saute 5 mins till softened.
Add the masala paste, frozen peas and carrots and salt. Cook 5 mins.
Add the pineapple cubes with the juice. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Thats it. An incredibly tasty curry is ready. Serve hot with rotis and rice.

This pineapple curry goes to the Cooking with Fruits event at Taste Buds.

Whole Wheat Savory Zucchini Bread

I had made Zucchini Bread a few months back based on this recipe from Chef In You. This time I thought of making it in a loaf form using whole wheat flour. I tried it once last weekend, but my yeast gave me trouble and the dough did not rise as required. I tried it again this weekend, keeping a bowl of hot water in the oven along with my bread dough. I kept heating the water a coupl more time during the 2 hrs of rising time. This seemed to do the trick, since the dough rose beautifully.

So here's how I made the Whole Wheat Savory Zucchini Bread:

1 heaped cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup grated zucchini
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, pinch of sugar and Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend

Grate the zuchhini, sprinkle a little salt and place in a colander to drain for 1/2 hr. Do not throw away the drained zucchini juice.
In a mixing bowl, put the wheat flour, yeast and seasonings, stir to mix. Add the oil and grated zucchini. Add a few tbsp water to the zucchini juice, warm it up and use this to knead the flour into a soft smooth dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place to rise for 2 hrs.
Then gently punch down the risen dough and knead it lightly again. Shape into a loaf and keep it in an oiled loaf pan. Cover again with the plastic wrap. Let rise for another half hr.
Brush the top of the loaf with a little milk.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F for about 30 mins till the top lightly browns.
Cool slightly, cut into slices and serve it slathered with some butter.

This Whole Wheat Savory Zucchini Bread goes to the Whole Wheat Breakfast event at Lite Bite.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Veggie Noodle Soup

This is a heart-warming, tongue-tickling soup, great for cold winter nights or any time you want to revive your spirits. Here's how I made it:

Heat some olive oil, saute onions and finely chopped carrots till softened, about 5 mins. Add some minced garlic and saute 2-3 mins.  Add desired quantity of vegetable broth. Add noodles of choice (I used rice noodles in the above picture). Add frozen peas, salt and pepper. Cook till noodles are done. At this point, if desired, you can add some tomato juice or leftover soup on hand. In the picture I have used some Trader Joe's Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup that I wanted to finish off. Add some chopped tomatoes. Check and adjust seasonings. In addition to the salt & pepper, I added some masala I had leftover from a Maggi noodles packet (I usually have this left over since I use only half of it when making Maggi noodles for my daughter). Any other seasonings like Mrs. Dash would also work well here.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.

This Veggie Noodle Soup goes to the Show Me Your Soup at Divya's Dil Se.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pumpkin Curry

I made this curry for the first time, inspired by Meera's Moroccan Pumpkin & Lentil Soup.

1 cup lentils (whole masur) - soaked for 4 hrs and pressured cooked for 3 whistles
handful of any other hardy bean (I used harbare/brown chana) - cooked
2 cups cubed pumpkin
For tempering - oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafotida, turmeric, few curry leaves, 1 clove garlic (minced)
Other seasonings per taste - salt, red chilli pwd., cumin pwd, coriander pwd, goda masala or any other curry masala
4 amsul or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
Cilantro to garnish

Make the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients.
Add the cubed pumpkin, stir well, add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for 5 mins.
Add the cooked lentils and beans.
Add seasonings listed above.
Stir and cook another 5 minutes or till pumpkin is cooked.
Add the amsul/tamarind paste and water to get consistency desired.
Served garnished with chopped cilantro.

This turned out to be such a tasty curry, perfect with rotis and rice. I will surely be making this again and again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wheat flour - Banana Pancakes (Eggless)

I had seen a friends's mom make these kind of wheat flour and banana pancakes a long time back. When I tried them at home, my daughter, who was only 2 at the time, did not quite take to them. Now that she is older and has an expanded food palette, I tried these again...and they went down quite well...infact she asked to have them again for dinner!

Here's how I made them -

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp APF
1 tbsp soy flour
1 very ripe banana - mashed
pinch of baking soda
pinch of baking pwd
pinch of salt
1 cup butter milk
abt 1 cup water
handful of blueberries
blueberries and strawberries for garnish

Mix the ingredients from wheat flour to water listed above. Make a smooth runny batter, consistency like dosa batter. Throw in some blueberries if desired. Heat a non-stick pan on medium, spray with some olive oil if desired and spread some of the batter in desired shape. Cook till light brown, then flip over and cook the other side similarly.

I served them smeared with a little agave nectar and garnished with berries. You could also use maple syrup or any other syrup.

These Whole Wheat Flour and Banana pancakes go to the Whole Wheat Breakfast event at Lite Bite.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Green Beans Poriyal

This is another simple stir fry dish to serve with rotis.

Here's how I make them:

2 cups chopped green beans
For tempering - oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafotida, udad dal, turmeric pwd, broken dry red chilli peppers and curry leaves
Salt to taste
Shredded coconut to garnish

Make the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients. Fry for 2 mins. Then add the green beans. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook till done, stirring in between and adding some more water if required. To save time, I usually like to cook the chopped green beans in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. I just add this cooked beans. Either method are okay here. Add salt as desired.

Serve garnished with shredded coconut.

This Green Beans Poriyal also goes to the Complete My Thali event at Seduce Your Tastebuds. This event was started by Jagruti.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Batatyachya Kachrya (Potato Stir Fry)

This is a simple and quick side dish for rotis that is loved by all - old and young.

Here's how I make it:

2 red/yellow potatoes - thinly sliced
For tempering - oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafotida, turmeric
Other seasonings per taste - salt and red chilli pwd.

I leave the skin on the potatoes for this dish since I use the thin skin variety. You can peel the skin if you prefer or if using thick skin potatoes. Important thing is to slice them thinly so they cook fast. You can soak the sliced potatoes in water if you plan to cook them after a while. This prevents them from turning brown. In such case, remember to drain water off completely before cooking.

Make the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients. Add the potatoes. Stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the salt and red chilli pwd. Mix again and cook till done for another 5 to 10 minutes. If cooking in a non-stick pot, you can use less oil for this dish. But I like to make it in my old kadai, using abt 4-5 tsp oil, this gives a nice "kharpus" (slightly charred brown bits) where some of the potato bits stick to the kadai.

Enjoy with rotis/phulkas/ghadichi poli.

This Batatyachya Kachrya go to the Complete My Thali - Dry Subji event at Seduce Your Tastebuds. This event was started by Jagruti.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cake (Eggless)

My daughter liked the Dominos Choco Lava Cakes she had on our Mumbai trip. So I thought I'd try to make them at home. My search for the recipe on the web came up with some pretty complicated options...too much work for lazy me. So I came up with this easier method.

Here's how I made them:

1 heaped cup APF
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa pwd
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 - 3 tbsp milk

Sieve all the dry ingredients (APF to salt listed above) together to mix well. Add the vanilla essence, oil and water. Mix well.

Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Melt at 20 second intervals, stirring in between, till completely melted. Add the milk into them and stir well to mix.

Line a muffin cup pan with cupcake liners. Spoon 1 tbsp of the cake batter in each mould. Cover with 1 tsp of the melted chocolate. Top with another tbsp of the cake batter.

Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 15 mins.

Serve warm (reheat in microwave if required) with vanilla ice-cream for a decadent dessert.

This made 8 muffin size cupcakes.

These eggless molten chocolate cupcakes go to the Kids Delight - Chocolate Feast event at Spicing Your Life.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spinach Raita

My Akka had prepared this for me in Mumbai. We liked it so much, now it will feature regularly in my kitchen.

Here's how I made it:

1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cups yogurt
Salt & Sugar to taste
few chopped walnuts
Black pepper pwd to taste
For garnish - roasted cumin pwd, dates-imli chutney

Whisk the yogurt with a little water. Add the spinach, onions, salt, sugar, walnuts and bl. pepper pwd. Stir well to mix. Garnish with roasted cumin pwd and dates-imli chutney. Serve cold.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bell Pepper vegetable with Gram Flour

In Marathi, we call this Bhopla Mirchichi Peeth Perleli bhaaji. Addition of gram flour is a very popular way to cook vegetables in Maharashtra. In addition to bell peppers, we add it to methi, cabbage, okra, tomatoes etc. to make tasty dry vegetable dishes.

Here's how I make Bhopla Mirchichi Peeth Perleli bhaaji:

1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped onions (optional)
4 heaped tbsp gram flour (see note)
For the tempering - Oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, pinch of asafotida, turmeric pwd
Salt per taste
Red Chilli pwd per taste

Make the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add the rest of the tempering ingredients.
Add the chopped peppers and onions. Saute 5 mins. Then add about 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook another 5 mins.
Add salt and red chilli pwd per taste. Mix well.
Sprinkle the gram flour over the cooked veggies. Mix well to incorporate. Pour about 2 tsp oil around the veggies, cover and cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 mins.

Note - Ever since I saw this post on Jugalbandi, I prepare a mix of gram flour with spices that I use in several recipes. I roast the gram flour on low heat till aromatic and add turmeric, red chilli pwd, cumin pwd, coriander pwd, amchoor pwd and crushed kasoori methi. I have used this mix in the above dish. You can also use plain gram flour, but this spiced version definitely is worth the extra steps. You can make it in more quantity and store the rest for later use.

This quick and fuss-free Bhopla Mirchichi Peeth Perleli bhaaji goes to the Complete My Thali event at Seduce Your Tastebuds. This event was started by Jagruti.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Detox Tea

Hello everyone, wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2011. To start off the new year, here's a Detox Tea for you. I learnt this from my neighbor on my recent visit to Mumbai.

Here's how I made it:

1.5 c water
1/2 tsp black/green tea pwd.
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
2 tbsp chopped lemon grass
2 tbsp chopped tulsi/basil leaves
1 tsp honey

Bring the water to a boil. Add all the other ingredients except honey. Simmer 2-3 mins. Strain into a cup. Add honey, stir and drink hot.

This makes 1 cup of the tea.

I was very skeptical the first time I tried this as I was so used to my regular chai with milk and sugar. I could not imagine replacing it with this "kadha" like preparation. But the refreshing feeling I got after having a cup was so amazing. Though I still have my morning chai as usual, I have been having this Detox Tea atleast once daily since then.

Hope you try it too.
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