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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mavinakayi Chitranna | Raw Mango Rice

Kannadigas(People who belong to Karnataka, India) need no introduction for mavinakayi chitranna. What hurts me is the absence of a restaurant in North Bangalore to portray “Authentic Karnataka Food”. There are food joints that portray North Karnataka delicacies, where one can get jowar roti meals. Also Udupi Restaurants & Sagars, that caters to a small extent of Karnataka delicacies (like bisibelebhath, Mangalore Bonda). What is missing in the international IT parks of Bangalore is a restaurant that serves authentic Karnataka food like, mavinakayi chitranna(raw mango rice), obbattu (sweet indian bread or puran poli), sabsige soppina bassaru (Dill leaves rasam), vangibhath(spiced eggplant rice), mudde (finger millet balls), various payasa (puddings or kheer), akki rotti, ragi rotti(rice bread & finger millet bread), hayagreeva(sweet dish made using chickpeas), different kinds of tambli (yogurt curries), pathrode, halubayi (rice or finger millet sweet dish) & the list grows. I become void, when my friends from other Indian States (sometimes from other countries too) ask me for a restaurant close-by to taste Karnataka delicacies.

Though there are few restaurants in Southern Bangalore serving Karnataka food; they all are very far from the industrial park or IT hub. Even then, I suggest my friends to visit these food joints on a weekend to enjoy the actual Kannadiga food. It would be nice to see people from other countries, other Indian states enjoying authentic Karnataka food. I’m taking the names of some of them here for readers benefit. MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room), Halli Mane (in Malleshwaram, famous for akki rotti, pathrode etc), Halli Thindi (in Bull Temple Road, famous for Manglorean dishes & also for varieties of payasams, halubayi). [Please note: I am neither advertising them, nor getting paid from them. The sole purpose is to spread the delicacies of Karnataka to the entire world]. I hope that next time when I visit Bangalore, I get to know more food joints that portray Karnataka delicacies :)

Coming to mavinayakayi chitranna recipe. The normal preparation includes preparing the raw mango chutney & rice separately, followed by mixing rice & chutney together, after rice is completely cool. Finally, the mixed rice is tempered with curry leaves, groundnut etc & served at room temperature. I have skipped the chutney preparation here & made the recipe quite simple, yet tastier.

Ingredients:
Rice: 3 cups (ponni or sona masoori rice preferred)
Raw Mango: 1 medium sized
Grated coconut: 1/4th cup
Green chilli: 3-4
Coriander Leaves/Cliantro: 2 strands (for garnishing)
For tempering:
Cooking Oil: 2tbsp
Mustard Seeds: 1tsp
Urad dal: 1tbsp
Channa Dal/Chickpeas: 1tsp (optional)
Ground Nuts: 1tbsp
Turmeric: 1 pinch
Asafetida: 1 pinch
Curry leaves: 8-10 nos
Green chilli:3-4nos (finely chopped)

Method:
  • Wash the rice in the running water 2-3 times
  • Add 6 cups of water to rice (note 1:2 ratio, 1-cup rice : 2 cups water) & pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the rice to cool completely.
  • Meantime, wash the mango & grate it.
  • Heat oil in a medium sized pan, add oil to it. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add urad dal, channa dal & fry till dal turns golden brown. Add green chillies, curry leaves & sauté for 20secs. Then add groundnuts & roast till they turn golden brown.
  • Add the grated mango & sauté it for 10-20secs only (as mango gets cooked really fast, keep this as less as possible). Remove the pan from flame & add turmeric & asafoetida.
  • Spread the rice on a large bowl or plate. Pour this tempering prepared on the rice, add salt, grated coconut & coriander leaves.
  • Mix them thoroughly & gently. Ensure no rice lumps are formed.
  • Serve it at room temperature with kosambari(salad), papad/ pickle/raitha or just as is.
Note:
  • Ensure to cool the rice before mixing the rice with tempering. Rice breaks easily when it is hot & the whole dish becomes sticky.
  • To reduce the cooling time of rice, gently spread the rice on a broad bowl or a big plate.
  • The raw mango rice tastes great at room temperature.
  • Check the sourness of the raw mango. Indian small raw mangoes would be very sour. When using them, add a little less than 1 mango for the above mentioned rice.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mosaru Maduva Vidhana (Yogurt Preparation Tips)

Couple of months before, one of my readers had asked me the method for preparing curd/yogurt. Sorry for the delay in publishing the yogurt preparation. Though I have been preparing curd/yogurt for more than half a decade, I fail many a times in getting the thick curd. Milk just curdles some time & tastes bitter or sometimes yogurt becomes sticky.

Here are some of the tips in preparing yogurt:
  • Mix a tbsp of yogurt to 250ml of lukewarm milk for proper fermentation.
  • Never mix yogurt to very cold milk(milk just taken out of the refrigerator). So, is the case with hot milk. Don’t mix yogurt to very hot milk.
  • Mix the yogurt to milk only after sunset or early sunrise. If the outside temperature is very cold, then it may take up to 24hours to get nice curd/yogurt. So, plan accordingly. I usually mix milk to yogurt in the night at around 9p.m or 10p.m. The curd would be nicely done by 11a.m next day.
  • Never mix yogurt to milk during hot noons or during sunset. (I actually don't know why it is not advised to mix yogurt to milk during sunset, if you know the reason, do let me know. This is my mom's piece of advice).
  • Always prepare the curd in a closed container (like a steel tiffin box or Tupperware box).
  • Do not place the curd + milk mixture near any of the stoves, microwave or oven. The milk will get curdled because of the heat from them.
  • Don't keep stirring in between & try to avoid moving it from one place to other until milk is completely fermented.
  • If you need very thick yogurt (like set curd), do not add water to the milk & use full cream milk only. If normal yogurt is your choice, you could add 100ml water to 250ml full cream milk.
  • Never try to prepare yogurt with low fat milk or skimmed milk. Always use, fresh milk or full cream UHT milk I use Nandini UHT milk here & am very happy with the result.
All the above tips are mostly applicable for people leaving in places where weather is somewhat warm and humid - i.e. Deccan plateau in India, Malaysia, Singapore etc.

Few of my friends in US say that, they keep the yogurt mixed milk for fermentation inside the oven with just the oven lights ON. I have no idea about this, as I was always fortunate to stay in warm weathers & never lived in temperatures below 14 degree Celsius anytime :)

I request all of you to share your secret tip for preparing curd/yogurt. Since it is highly dependent on the weather, it would be good if you can mention the country you currently live in and weather.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lasooni Dal Palak | Spinach and Lentils Seasoned with Garlic

Today, let's chat about Proteins. People who eat non-vegetarian food get their proteins from the animal sources like fish, meat & egg. The sources of protein for vegetarians are pulses or legumes & a few vegetables. That is the reason, I suppose, dal plays such an important role in Indian cooking. Any dish, which contains both legume and grain, is a complete source of protein. Our ancestors have done an excellent job by carefully selecting ingredients that go into making any dish in such a way that the nutritional value of the dish rises up always. Kudos to them !!!

I cook leafy vegetables at least 2-3 times a week. I try to explore simple, tasty & healthier curry recipes. I don’t like adding cardamoms, cinnamon & whole lot of spices in everyday food. I like it to be simple. Given a chance, I even avoid garlic & onions. As ayurveda suggests, garlic, onions & few other vegetables increase the “khrodha, kama & other harmful feelings inside the body”. Hence, it is advised to limit the usage of such vegetables to toddlers, young children & adolescent youth. I strongly believe in them & try to avoid them as much as possible. I suggest everybody cooking for young children to avoid such vegetables once a while to keep them calm & focused.

Now, don’t think I have gone nuts. I’m asking you to avoid them & myself preparing dal with loads of garlic. Isn’t it like “do what I say & don’t do what I do”? Note that garlic has umpteen health benefits too. One should not forget that. I feel, we need to know the chemistry of a vegetable to reap the benefits from them. For older people or middle aged people, it works like magic in reducing the bad cholesterol & safe guards the heart. Now that, we know both the advantages & disadvantages of garlic, we can decide when to use them & when not??Am I right?
Was I clear or did I confuse you guys more? Before I confuse you completely let me come back to..err…., Lasooni Dal Palak.

Lasooni Dal Palak is an amazing dish that can be served with either rice or rotis. I got two lasooni dal palak recipes while browsing. One was from One Hot Stove of Nupur ((I mostly followed her)& other from SaffronTrail. I used some ingredients & some nice points from both the recipes & created my own!!. Believe me, it tasted fantabulous. Ever since I prepared this, I have been crazy about it & these days whenever I buy palak, it is only lasooni dal palak at our home until my family complain about it ;)


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1 cup masoor dal
  • 3 pods garlic, sliced
  • 1 pod garlic minced
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 1 tomato chopped finely or ½ cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups finely chopped spinach/palak (I used frozen palak).
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder/paprika
  • 1 tbsp ghee/oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera/jeerige
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt according to taste

Method:
  • Mix both the dals & wash them in running water two or three times.
  • Add 1 cup water, chopped green chilli & turmeric to the washed dal. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
  • Allow the dal to cool. Meantime, fry the sliced garlic pods in ghee until golden brown. Remove them & drain them on absorbent paper.
  • Prepare the tempering/tadka by using the same ghee (used for frying the garlic). When ghee is hot, add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds splutter add minced garlic & onions. Sauté till onion turns golden brown.
  • Add the finely chopped spinach/palak, red chilli powder & cook the spinach for 3-4minutes. Follow spinach by finely chopped tomatoes & cook the tomatoes for 2-3minutes.
  • Mash the cooked dal gently & pour it to the pan. Add ½ cup of water, salt & mix well. Boil the dal for 3-5minutes on a slow flame.
  • Turn off the flame, add lemon juice. Mix well. Garnish it with the fried garlic & serve it hot with rice or rotis.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mangalore Buns

This incident happened in Oct'2007. Every year on the Durgastami festival day(8th day of Navaratri) we perform Durga homa(prayers) at a temple near Hebri, Udupi District, Karnataka. Entire family members would manage to go for that festival. As my hubby was on travel, myself, my son, my brother-in-law & my brother traveled together from Bangalore. My mom, mom-in-law, co-sister & others managed to come early in the morning from Mysore. We took a bus previous evening at around 7:30p.m, as we wanted to reach as early as possible. The journey was around 8-9hours & we had anticipated a "traffic jam" in the ghats (curvy roads) of 1-2 hours.

Our bus got punctured near Hassan & we spent 2 hours there & after that, there was a jam in the Charmadi Ghats for just 5 hours or so.(My son was just 1 year then & God knows how I handled him alone for 18 hours in the bus). Though I had carried formula, warm water for my son, he did not want milk. It was around 10a.m & our bus stopped in a small food joint (Bhatra hotel), near Dharmastala, Karnataka. The entire bus jumped in as if they have not eaten anything for decades. All the dishes in that small food joint got over in no time. My son being very slow in eating didnot get anything to eat. The cook cum server cum cashier of that small food joint said, he would prepare couple of buns for my son. Our bus driver was kind enough to wait for 10mins more for us. The chef(?!) cooked in a jiffy & parceled buns for my son. I was worried if my son would really eat that as I had not given him any fried food till then. But, he surprised me by eating a little more than one buns. (It could be because, he was very hungry or because actually did enjoy eating buns). We reached the temple at 1.30 pm and my son ate the same cold buns for afternoon lunch too :)

This was my son's first experience on buns & whenever I prepare buns, I whole heartedly thank that small food joint so much. Though I didnot get the breakfast, being a typical Indian mom & Indian women, I was happy that my son didnot starve. This incident always reminds me that howmuch ever money you earn & how much ever bread you have at your home, it sometimes becomes very difficult to get food.

Now a bit of information about Buns:
Mangalore Buns, popularly known as Buns, is a specialty of Mangalore / Udupi region, of Karnataka. All small to big restaurants in Mangalore & nearby places serve this as evening snack or morning breakfast. Whenever we get a chance to visit small “bhatra hotel” (small food joints), we not only hog at buns, but also get it parceled to eat in the next couple of days.

Ingredients:


2 cups all purpose flour/maida
1 cup wheat flour/atta/godi hittu
½ cup curd (should be little sour)
4-5tbsp sugar
A generous pinch of salt
2 well ripened medium sized bananas or approximately 3/4th cup mashed banana
½ tsp baking soda
Oil for deep frying
Other ingredients
Wheat flour for dusting

Method:

  • Sieve the flours, mix them. Mash the bananas thoroughly.
  • Add all the above ingredients mentioned (except oil used for deep frying), prepare a stiff dough (add water if required). Knead the dough well, cover & keep it aside for 5-6hours.
  • Heat oil in a broad pan. Make ping pong sized balls with the dough, roll it with a rolling pin by dusting dry flour. Roll the dough, a little thicker than the normal pooris.
  • Check the oil, oil should be really hot to fry the buns. Deep fry the buns on both sides.
  • Serve it hot with spicy coconut chutney or as is.

PS:

  • While preparing the dough, don’t pour more water in the beginning, the water contents in banana + curd would be sufficient most of the times. If the dough becomes very hard, then add few drops of water at a time to prepare stiff dough.
  • The dough will ooze out little water during the soaking time, hence the dough becomes soft after the soak time of 5-6 hours.
  • Rolled out buns should be thicker than normal poori.
  • One can reduce or increase the sugar according to their choice, but note that the specialty of buns is because of its sweetish taste.


Blog Events:
SWC-Meals on Wheels, started & hosted by Lakshmi of Taste Of Mysore. This can be easily stored for 2-3 days & a wonderful snack along with coffee/tea.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Southekayi Majjige Huli (Cucumber Yogurt Curry)

Majjige Huli is a kannada word & the literal translation of this would be thin yogurt curry. Our family has mixed likings for majjige huli. Me & my sister are ardent fans of it whereas my father doesnt like this. My granny agrees to eat this only with mudde(finger millet balls) and my hubby treats this as as just another sambar/curry. Now, coming to my son's choice, at present, he doesnt like it. My mom understood everybody's needs & used to satisfy everyone. There used to be mudde (for herself, dad and granny) and ambode(deep fried chana dal snack) for others along with majjige huli. Few other times, there used to be Majjige menasu (dried fried green chilli), as well.

I leave the choice to you, you can either prepare mudde(finger millet balls), ambode or majjige menasu along with majjige huli or simply relish the dish with rice & papad or pickle.


Ingredients:

1 medium sized old cucumber/mangalore southekayi

1 cup curd (it should be little sour)

½ inch ginger (grated)

1 tbsp channa dal soaked in water for 30mins

3-4 curry leaves

1/4th cup coriander leaves/cliantro

¼ tsp fenugreek/methi seeds

1 cup grated coconut

3 green chillies

Salt according to taste

1 broken red chilli

½ tsp mustard seeds

A generous pinch of hing/asafoetida

1 tsp oil

Method:


  • Peel the skin & remove the seeds of the old cucumber. Chop it into 1 inch sized cubes. Add little water & cook the vegetable until soft.

  • Meantime, make a fine paste of coconut, green chilli, ginger, methi seeds, coriander leaves & soaked channa dal.

  • Add salt & the paste to the cooked vegetables & boil it.

  • Beat the curd for 30 secs, add equal amount of water & make thin butter milk out of it.

  • Add this butter milk to the boiling mixture & reduce the flame.

  • Cook this for 5 minutes (the mixture should just start to boil). Ensure to switch off the flame immediately (don’t over boil the mixture as it contains butter milk)

  • Prepare the tempering in a separate pan, by adding oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, broken red chilli & hing (in the same order mentioned). Pour this over the mixture prepared.

  • Serve it hot with rice & majjige menasu (fried chilli)

PS: This curry is best to be consumed hot as it has butter milk, the curry may turn sour if it is not used for 4-5 hours (again depends on the outside temperature…)

This recipe goes to Neha of "Tasty recipes" who is guest hosting "AFAM-Cucumber", an event started by Maheswari.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich


I think, it was in 2003 or 04. 'Metro Cash and Carry' had just opened in Bangalore. There was a big craze in people to visit this shop since it was offering huge discounts. Also, you need to have a member card to even enter the shop, which was not given to individuals, but to people who had registered companies in their names or something like that (I don’t remember much).

My friend said, he has got his friend’s card & we can go for shopping there. Being a shopaholic, I was dreaming about buying so many things there. One such item, I bought, is a Grilled Sandwich Maker. I prepared sandwich with full enthusiasm for couple of months & after that I did not use it for couple of years. Slowly my “pathi devru” (hubby) started taunting me for not using it.This made me look for options that use the grilled sandwich maker.

In the meantime, I was lucky that our office caterer got changed & the new caterer served some nice grilled sandwiches (The only item he served & cooked well was this sandwich). He gave many different & attractive combination of grilled sandwiches. I took him as my 'Guru' and started trying new varieties of them. On such version is presented below. This version of grilled sandwich includes tomato, capsicum & carrot. Do try it & let me also know the result.


Ingredients:

Sandwich bread (salted whole meal or white bread would suffice) : 8 slices
Tomatoes finely chopped : 2 nos
Capsicum finely chopped : 1 no
Grated carrot : ½ carrot or one small
Grated paneer : 1 tsp for each sandwich (this makes 4 sandwiches, hence 4 tsp)
Margarine Cheese or butter : 1 tsp for each sandwich (this makes 4 sandwiches, hence 4 tsp)
Salt : As you wish
Chilli sauce or green chilli chutney : 1 tsp for each sandwich (this makes 4 sandwiches, hence 4 tsp)
Tomato Sauce: For serving

Method:



  • Heat the sandwich maker for 10mins (or as mentioned in the user guide of the sandwich maker)

  • Meantime, smear ½ tsp (or little less) of chilli sauce on one side of the bread (One sandwich needs 2 slices of bread, so smear the chilli chutney or sauce on both the slices, but ensure to smear on only one side of the bread)

  • Spread chopped tomatoes on 1/3rd portion of the chilli sauce smeared bread slice, continue with capsicum & carrots for remaining 2/3rd portion.

  • Sprinkle some grated paneer on the top of spread vegetables.

  • Close the vegetables spread bread with another chutney/sauce smeared slice.

  • Cook it for 10mins (or as mentioned in the user guide of the sandwich maker).

  • Remove from the sandwich maker & smear some margarine onto the hot sandwich.

  • Enjoy the grilled sandwich with tomato sauce.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chapparadavare Palya (Indian broad beans stir-fry)

During my primary school days, when we were staying in Mysore, my mom used to plant vegetable seeds at the backyard. One such creeper was Chapparadavare (Kannada word for Indian broad beans). So, naturally, my mom used this vegetable very frequently in her dishes. In fact, we were so fed up with this vegetable that we used to pick the vegetable from the messy creeper & pass it to our neighbors & friends !! These memories are as green as the veggie itself ;)
I don’t remember eating much of that vegetable after we moved out of Mysore. Recently, when I called my mom, she said, she has again planted the chapparadavare creeper in our backyard (this time it is not in Mysore). I couldn’t wait long to eat that, hence, visited the Indian vegetable market here, picked tender chapparadavare (just like the way I picked from the creeper) & prepared it yesterday night. Do I need to mention, how much I relished it? I wont, I will leave it your imagination:-p

Ingredients:

Indian broad beans/chapparadavare kayi : 400gms
Green chilli : 2 nos
Curry leaves : 4-6 chopped
Cooking Oil : 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : ½ tsp
Urad dal : 1 tsp
Channa dal : 1 tsp
Salt : According to taste
Lemon juice : 1 tsp
Chopped cilantro : 1 tbsp (for garnishing)
Grated coconut : 4tbsp

Method:
  • Wash the broad beans thoroughly in water, remove the tip of the vegetable (both ends, just like we remove for french beans or double beans),chop them into 1cm sized pieces (Keep a close watch on the vegetable as very few may contain worms)
  • Heat a broad pan, add oil to it, when oil is hot add mustard seeds & then urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves in the same order, allow the dals to change the color.
  • Add green chilli & add the chopped vegetables, cook the vegetables in oil for a minute. Then add ½ cup of water & allow the vegetable to cook on medium flame (Keep observing the water, if the vegetable becomes very dry & still not cooked, pour some more water).
  • When the vegetable is almost cooked, add salt & continue cooking.
  • Once the vegetables become soft & cooked properly, switch off the flame, add lemon juice, coriander leaves, coconut & mix well.
  • Serve it as a side dish for rice or chapathi/roti.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Aloo-Matar Paratha (Indian bread with potato-peas stuffing)

Let me not bore you by telling, the same thing again that I was a part of a wonderful team, we shared lunch & we used to once a week go out in search of nice food in & around Indiranagar, Bangalore. One such place was this place called “Bobby Tha Dhaba”. I was pregnant during that time & was craving all the time to eat something different & tangy. All decided to walk to that place, but I was given special attention & one of my colleagues took me in his two wheeler (LOL, missing those days!).

The moment I saw those unimaginably small, unhealthy surroundings, I thought not to take anything there, as I had to really take care of myself (I was 6 months pregnant then). There was huge crowd waiting outside the small place. The walls were made with mud & there were just sheets on top instead of a concrete roof. After a waiting time of 20mins, we were asked to enter the place, where food was served. There was small stairs with 4 steps that was quite steep & the width was very less. I got scared to even get down 1 step there. There were hardly around 3-4 tables that could accommodate not more than 10-12 people at a time. No menu card, there was a big-fat Punjabi guy noting down the menu even before you enter inside. I said, I would take 1 lassi & 1 paneer paratha, my team members managed with the rest.

I started feeling, I was sitting in the kitchen itself. The smoke from the flame(the food was being cooked by burning wood, instead of LPG or electric stoves) was directly entering the place where we sat, no ventilation, no fan (forget about AC). It was suffocating there, I started feeling sick, but the aroma of food & extremely good comments about the place gave us some strength. We were served the lassi first (salt lassi) in a big steel glass that can easily hold around 1.5 litres of lassi!!, I thought I cant even finish quarter of this..let alone having it full. I begged one of my colleagues to share the Lassi and she immediately obliged. I think even she had same feelings as mine ;)

Then came a medium sized paneer paratha topped with atleast 50gms of butter & aromatic dal makhni. First bite of it & I forgot all the pain I had suffered so far. I even became a big fan of all things there, the dhaba, paratha, makhni & the lassi. That was the first time ever I had such impressive Punjabi food. I couldnot believe that I finished 3 different parathas, small portion of jeera rice, 1 big glass lassi & 1 cup curd!. I could feel my kiddo inside enjoying what I was eating, best experience. Needless to mention, after that visit I have been to that small, so-called dirty place so many times to enjoy nice food.

The next best taste I got for paratha was during my visit to Haryana & Delhi. I made a point to eat in one of the Haryana dhaba’s. Later in the day, I visited one of my friend’s house, where his mom prepared aloo paratha for me. It tasted heavenly; my father who doesn’t even try eating north-indian food, said.., it was better than what he tasted in Haryana dhaba. I asked his mom for the recipe & started trying to create magic with my fingers on paratha. I know, I cannot even go 10% of what she served, but I’m constantly trying to make it perfect. Here is one such small effort.


Ingredients:
For dough:
2 cups atta/wheat flour
3 tbsp curd
Warm water
Salt according to taste
1 tsp hot oil (optional)
For stuffing:
3-4 medium sized potatoes boiled
Handful of frozen/fresh green peas
1 tsp amchur powder
¼ tsp ginger grated
1 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of ajwain/omkalu
Salt according to taste
1 tbsp garam masala
Others:
Wheat flour for dusting
1tsp butter for each paratha.


Method
  • Mix all the ingredients mentioned (for dough alone) & prepare soft dough by adding enough water.
  • Knead it well so that the dough becomes soft.
  • Smear oil to the dough & keep it aside for 30mins.
  • Meanwhile, mash the potatoes thoroughly.
  • Add all the ingredients to the mashed potatoes, mix them well & prepare medium sized lemon balls.
  • Prepare medium lemon sized balls with the dough prepared.
  • Take one portion of the dough, roll it with a rolling pin to a diameter of 4-5inches.
  • Place the stuffing inside & cover it by folding from all directions, ensure it is properly sealed inside.
  • Dust some dry wheat flour & leave it aside for 1-2minutes.
  • Roll it again carefully to a 7-8inch diameter.
  • Heat a griddle, ensure the griddle is very hot & then cook the parathas on high flame both sides by adding ghee/butter.
  • Serve it hot with curd, pickle or any side dish of your choice.


Thanks a lot for passing the awards Archy. It really means a lot.

Blog Events:

I am sending this paratha to CFK-Potato, hosted by Deepa’s Kitchen & Sharmi's blog

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vegetable Khichdi (Lentil rice with vegetables)

This incident happened during our second wedding anniversary. We had planned for a weekend visit to hubby’s parents’ home. We were in Bangalore & his parents were in Srirangapatna. We used to travel on Friday evening & reach Bangalore back on Sunday night. My brother used to stay with us those days & my brother-in-law who was also studying in Bangalore happened to stay at our place on that weekend. We informed them about our plan to visit to Srirangapatna. They happily accepted & said, they would still stay back at our place & cook something for themselves ;) I knew that my younger bro-in-law prepared maggi sometimes, but I was sure that my brother did not know “ABC..” of cooking. Anyways, we left them thinking.., boys world, let them enjoy!! I just showed them the containers of the basic ingredients.

We did not worry for them much & enjoyed our weekend in his place. We took evening train back to Bangalore & had plans of eating outside before reaching home & take something to eat for them, so that I can skip the cooking process for that day. We called them around 8p.m & asked them what they would like to eat. They gave me a surprise saying that.., they are cooking something special for us!!! Later calls started coming from boys, out there, asking where is this, n that, n that..When asked, they told me that they were planning to cook bisibelebhath for me. "Hmm...impressive", I thought to myself.

When I went home, the kitchen was soo clean (?!!). Phew, almost all utensils, pulses & masala powders were on my cooking table. They had messed up everything. It was 10:30p.m already & all of us were really hungry. Instead of toor dal, they had used masoor dal & without knowing which masala powder to add, they added red chilli powder, dhania powder & I don’t know what all!!! I took control of the kitchen immediately & asked all of them to go out. I tasted the rice+masoor dal+ vegetables that were getting cooked. It was completely bland. I gave a twist to it by adding more salt, chilli powder, dhania powder & garam masala (I did not have bisibelebhath powder with me. Mom was yet to send that to me!!). Finally gave a tempering of, onion, garlic & curry leaves with 2-3 tbsp of ghee. Then started the aroma at my kitchen. They started peeping in to ask what was being cooked. I made my bro-in-law go & buy salted potato chips from near-by “Hot Chips” shop.

We all enjoyed our bisibelebhath(?!) with chips. Let me tell you, the dish was finger licking good. We were 4 of us at home & we emptied the pot in less than 15mins. Later, I made a point to prepare this once a month & called it vegetable khichdi.Over years, I have refined this recipe & below are the ingredients I currently use to prepare khichdi


Ingredients:
2 cups rice (sona masoori or ponni rice is recommended, don’t use basmati)
1.5 cups masoor dal
1 cup chopped vegetables (I normally use French beans, carrots, peas, cauliflower, potato, broccoli)
2 nicely ripened tomatoes
1 onion sliced
1 pod garlic minced
1 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp jeera powder (cumin seeds powder)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mustard seeds
6-8 curry leaves
7-8 cups of water
A generous pinch of turmeric
Salt according to taste
2 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Method:

  • Wash the rice & dal together. Allow it to soak for 15-20mins.
  • Heat a broad pan, add ghee to it. When ghee is hot, add mustard seeds , when mustard seeds splutter add garlic & fry till garlic turns golden brown.
  • Add onions to it & sauté till onions also turn golden brown. Add curry leaves to it.
  • Add vegetables & sauté the vegetables in ghee for 1-2mins. Now add tomatoes & fry tomatoes till raw smell disappears (no need to cook the tomatoes till soft).
  • Add water, salt, jeera powder, red chilli powder, tamarind juice, turmeric & let the water to boil. When water starts boiling, add soaked rice & dal together. Close the pot & allow the rice to get cooked.
  • Keep stirring in between, add more water if needed.
  • When the rice & dal gets cooked properly (the rice & dal will get mashed easily if it is cooked properly & dal will get dissolved along with the spices, this is an indication that both are cooked properly).
  • When the khichdi is almost done, add garam masala & a dollop of ghee.
  • Add coriander leaves, mix together & serve it hot with chips or papad.
Note:

1. I recently found from Deesha of Vegetable Platter that, adding a dollop of ghee to the prepared khichdi makes it more tastier, I followed her trick & it added more aroma & tasteness.
2. I add 2.5 cups of water to 1 cup rice+dal mixture(meaning ½ cup rice + ½ cup dal), you can use the same proportion, the khichdi turns out little watery (like bisibelebhath)

I'm sending this vegetable khichdi & urad-toor dal chutney to "Lentils Mela" hosted by Ashwini's Spicy Cuisine

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mysore Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa makes all those south Indian’s born in 70’s, 80’s (or early 90’s for that matter) nostalgic. Treat for us was Masala Dosa or roadside masala puri + pani puri until 12 standard. After that, slowly started our ice-cream parties & the dhaba treats (spending couple of hundred rupees could fill 5-6 people tummy easily).

I, being born in a orthodox Brahmin family, was not allowed to eat out. I remember my mom packing some snacks even for a movie!! My mom was opposing me from eating from neighbor’s house or friend’s house, because of usage of garlic & onion at their places. But, a visit to GTR every month for a Sunday breakfast was like an unwritten family rule. GTR (Gayathri Tiffin Room) is a "world-famous restaurant in Mysore" . It is located in Chamundipuram area. We used to wait for that Sunday, get up very early in the morning, take headbath (one more rule in our family), wear nice clothes & be ready by 9 a.m sharp. The entire family used to be in front of GTR at 9:30a.m. Entrance of GTR used to disappoint us, as most of the times we were made to wait 10-15mins.

Once we get seated, waiter used to serve water & ask our choice. My father’s response would be 4 masala dosas, for one masala dosa don't smear red chutney (reason being: red chutney contains garlic & my mom is off to it), 2 upma, by-two coffee & 1 cup milk. This was our standard menu for many years!!! By-two coffee was for me & my dad, milk for my mom!!! I keep telling my mom that, you are missing greatest pleasures in life by not drinking coffee & not eating garlic. She can starve out but will never touch garlic or drink coffee.

Those were my wonderful primary & middle school days. Later, my father got transferred from Mysore & I said a “bye” to beautiful Mysore & also our favourite restaurant GTR. I got a chance to go to GTR again when I was in my 2nd or 3rd year of graduation. The place was still the same as I saw it 7-8 years before, but generally felt, it lacked the glamour of other happening restaurants around & hence couldn't attract the crowd. I happily went, enjoyed each bite & ate till I was full. It tasted heaven. After that, I never got a chance to visit GTR. But, I keep dreaming that I shall once take my kiddo, hubby & my parents to GTR to recreate moments…, hope to do it during my next visit to India.

I know, most of us have such nostalgic moments, when it comes to our favourite dishes. We all can go for hours talking about this. Let me list down the ingredients before you go down the memory lane…


Ingredients
For Dosa:
1 cup urad dal
½ cup channa dal
4.5 cups rice (normal sona masoori rice or idli rice could be used)
1 cup beaten rice
3/4th cup cooked rice
Salt according to taste


For potato palya (Potato dry curry):
3 medium sized potatoes
2 onions
A handful of fresh/frozen green peas (optional)
2 green chillies
1/4th tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
1 tbsp oil
Pinch of turmeric
4-6 curry leaves chopped
Cilantro/coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt according to taste


For red chutney:
3-4 pods of garlic
6-8 red chillies
½ tsp lemon juice
a fistful of coconut (optional)
½ tsp oil
salt according to taste

Method:

Red Chutney Preparation Steps
:
  • Add oil to a small pan, roast the garlic until raw smell disappears (one can use raw garlic too, I don’t like the raw smell of garlic, hence like to fry it a little)
  • Remove the garlic & add red chillies & fry it for a minute.
  • Allow them to cool & blend garlic, red chillies, lemon juice & coconut together (don’t add water while grinding). It should become like a coarse powder with little stickiness.

Potato Palya preparation Steps:
  • Boil the potatoes (keep it in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles). Allow it to cool
  • Meanwhile, finely chop the onions & green chilli.
  • Take a broad pan, add oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle, add urad dal & fry till it turns golden brown.
  • Then add chopped green chilli, curry leaves, onion & sauté till onion turns golden brown
  • Add green peas, turmeric & cook for another 1-2 mins.
  • Mash the potatoes, add potatoes, salt, mix well.
  • Garnish it with coriander leaves.

Dosa Preparation Steps:
  • Soak all the listed ingredients (except cooked rice & salt) for 4-5 hours.
  • Grind it to a smooth paste, add cooked rice to it while grinding (batter should be of pouring consistency).
  • Allow it to ferment for 7-9 hours (I normally keep it in a dry place one night).
  • Next day morning, add salt to it, mix well & prepare dosas
  • To prepare dosa, pour a ladle full of batter in the center, spread the batter in circular motion (clockwise) until it becomes 10cms diameter.
  • Immediately smear the red chutney prepared, add ½ tsp of oil. Cook it for a minute.
  • Now, place a tbsp of potato palya prepared in the centre.
  • Close the dosa & serve it hot with chutney of your choice.

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