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Friday, November 30, 2012

Dideer Saaru | Quick & Easy Rasam

This is a very old post from 2008. Though it was in my blog, I used to get recipe requests for instant rasam or quick tomato rasam. Also, I was not happy that it had not reached many readers.  Hence, thought of reposting it with new pictures & very minor changes!

This is a very quick, different rasam that can be prepared in minutes & doesn't require much ingredients. It doesn't need dal too :))

Dideer is a Kannada word & it translates to "quick" & saaru is "rasam/soup"


Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:
  • 1 tomato
  • 3-4 curry leaves, chopped
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tsp rasam powder,
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp thick tamarind paste
  • jaggery (optional)
  • salt according to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida
For tempering:
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ghee/clarified butter, a must! (See notes, if you are a vegan!)
  • 2 curry leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida


Method:
Cut the tomato into 4 big pieces.
Add a cup of water to a sauce pan. Add the tomatoes, green chilli & boil for 5-7 mins. Turn off the heat & add the tamarind paste.
Let the tomatoes cool. Drain the water from the cooked tomato. Preserve the water for making the rasam
Put the cooked tomato, green chilli, tamarind paste, coconut to a blender jar/food processor & make a puree out of it.
Add the preserved water & the puree to a sauce pan.
Add more water (around 1.5 cups, approximately) to the sauce pan.
Turn the heat to medium-high.
Throw in the salt, coriander leaves, curry leaves, jaggery, asafoetida, rasam powder to the sauce pan & bring them to a boil. Your kitchen would smell amazing in 7-10 mins.
 Prepare the tempering. In a small saute pan, heat ghee; when oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds & curry leaves. Take care not to burn the mustard seeds.
When curry leaves wilt, turn off the heat & add the asafoetida.
Immediately pour the tempering over the rasam & cover the rasam with a lid. (See notes below!)
Rasam is ready to be served. Have it with rice & papad/chips.

Notes:
  • Covering the rasam after the tempering is poured over it is very important. The aroma of the tempering will be caught inside the rasam & rasam will be nicely flavored .
  • I again emphasize the use of ghee/clarified butter for tempering. But, if you are a vegan, extra virgin coconut oil is a great alternative. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pongal Paddu | Guliappa | Paniyaram : Left over Delicacy!

It is rightly said that " necessity is the mother of invention". This recipe is one of the examples of it. My son wanted me to pack paddu for his lunch & my hubby did not want to take the previous night pongal. What would I do with so much left over? Though I would have made oats guliappa that doesn't need much time, I did not want to waste the pongal. TADA.., that is how this pongal guliappa came into existence at my home. It was delicious & no one at my home could guess it. I had asked my readers on facebook too.


Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)
  • Left over pongal or khichdi: 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 1 cup, approximately
  • Quick cooking oats: 1/4th cup, optional
  • Semolina/Rava/Cream of wheat: 1/2 cup
  • Finely chopped onion: 1/4th cup
  • Plain yogurt/Curd: 1/4th cup
  • Salt: As needed
  • Water: As needed to make the batter
  • Oil: Few drops on each mould

Special utensil:
Aebleskiver pan/paddu pan


Method:
Mash the left over pongal thoroughly.
Add the rice flour, rava, oats, onion, yogurt, salt (pongal already has salt, adjust accordingly) to the mashed pongal. Mix well.
Slowly add in the water & mix to get the idli batter consistency. Let it rest for 15-20 mins.
Heat the paddu pan. When pan is hot, sprinkle oil on each mould.
Pour in a tablespoon of batter on each mould & cook it covered for about a minute.
Flip the paddu, brush the oil & cook on the other side too.
Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter.
Serve it hot with a chutney/dip/sauce of your choice.


Notes:
  • There is no need to pulse the left over pongal in a food processor/hand mixer. Just mash it with your hands or a masher. 
  • The above proportions mentioned are just an approximation. Adjust according to what you have at hand.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pav bhaji dosa : Mumbai Street Food

This is a very interesting blend of South Indian & Mumbai Street food. Whenever I plan to make pav bhaji, I make the extra bhaji & will always make the pav bhaji dosa the next day. 


Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour, including bhaji preparation

Ingredients:
For the bhaji:
Potatoes: 2 nos, medium sized
Cauliflower: 1 small
Green peas: A fistful
Carrot: 1 small
Tomato puree: About 2 to 2.5 cups
Onion: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Capsicum: 2-3 tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1.5 tsp
Green chillies: 2 nos, finely chopped
Chilli powder: 1 to 1.5 tsp
Pav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder: a big pinch
Oil: 1 tbsp
Butter: 1 tbsp
Salt: According to taste
Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

For the dosa:
Fermented dosa batter: 3 cups (refer the recipe here
Salt: As needed

For the garnish:
Finely chopped onions
Diced capsicum
Finely chopped coriander leaves


Method:
For the bhaji: (Bhaji preparation with step-by-step pictures can be found here)
  • Roughly chop the potatoes, cauliflower, & carrot. Add half a cup of water & 1/2 tsp of salt to the potatoes, cauliflower, carrot and peas. Pressure cook the veggies for 2 whistles.
  • Meantime, take a broad pan. Heat oil in the pan. When the oil is hot, throw in the capsicum & saute for a minute.
  • Add the onions & saute until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies & saute till the raw smell of the paste is gone (about a couple of minutes).
  • Add the tomato puree, turmeric, salt & red chilli powder. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. The mixture starts spluttering, so keep a lid 3/4th covered.
  • Meantime, thoroughly mash the vegetables cooked in the pressure cooker.
  • Add the mashed vegetables, pav bhaji masala, half a cup of water & continue mashing, cooking & stirring it. The mixture keeps spluttering all over. So, it is better you handle it with a mitt.
  • Add the butter & keep mashing the mixture.
  • Finally add coriander leaves, lemon juice & mash it for another couple of minutes.
Making the dosa:
Add the salt to the batter (if not already added!) & mix well.
Heat a griddle/tava. When tava is hot enough, sprinkle couple of drops of oil & clean it with a tissue (Skip this if using non-stick tava).
Pour a ladle full of batter to the center of the griddle. Spread it in circular motion, clockwise.
Sprinkle few drops of oil & cook it covered on a medium heat. 

Pour a ladle full of bhaji to the center of the dosa.
 
Spread the bhaji evenly on the dosa.
Let it cook for 5-10 secs.
Sprinkle finely chopped onions, capsicum & coriander leaves.

Fold in the dosa.

Dig in hot with a chutney/dip of your choice.


Notes:
For tips about the bhaji preparation, refer here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Karasev | Gathiya Recipe

I always end up cooking at the last minute for the festivals. For the first time, I am preparing savories for Deepavali in advance! When compared to other deep fried savories, this one is a pretty simple & less tedious snack.This is sure to be liked by one & all.


Preparation Time: 5 mins 
Cooking Time:  15 mins

Ingredients:
  • Gram flour/Besan/Kadle hittu: 1 cup, heaped
  • Rice flour: 1/2 cup, leveled (refer notes)
  • Daliya/putani/chutney dal powder: 2 tbsp (refer notes)
  • Softened butter: 1.5 tbsp, at room temperature (refer notes)
  • Salt: As needed
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4th tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Carom seeds/Ajwain/Omkalu: a big pinch
  • Water : As needed ( I needed 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water)
  • Oil: For deep frying
Method:
Sieve the gram flour & putani powder.
Add in the gram flour,  rice flour, putani powder, salt, turmeric powder, crushed pepper, red chilli powder, carom seeds to a broad mixing bowl.

Throw in the softened butter to the mixture & mix it thoroughly. After mixing in the butter, if you take couple of tablespoons of the mixture & make a fist, it should hold its shape (see picture below). This is very crucial as it makes the karasev crisp & crunchy.

Heat sufficient oil in a wok/kadai.
Add few tablespoons of water at a time to the flour mixture & make a smooth dough. Gently knead. It should not be very sticky.

Scoop the dough onto the murukku maker (Use a multi eyed karasev plate).
When oil is hot enough, carefully press the dough on the hot oil directly in circular motion (around 5 inches in diameter. Mainly depends on the size of the kadai/wok being used). Remember to fry the karasev on a medium heat. Remove the sev from oil, when it is golden brown & the bubbles in the oil subside.
Drain & cool it on a paper towel.

Repeat the above steps with the remaining dough.
Once the karasev is cool, crush them gently & store it in a air tight containers. The karasev is good for atleast 7-10 days.



Notes:
  • If using salted butter, adjust the salt level accordingly. 
  • It is better to use the butter at room temperature. 
  • Use a finer version of the rice flour.
  • Pulse the putani/chutney dal in a food processor/blender for a couple of minutes to get a fine powder. Sieve the powder couple of times before using it.
  • Fry the karasev on a medium heat. Remove them from oil just before they turn golden brown. Even after removing them from oil, they slightly change their color because of the heat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Appi Payasa | Fried cream of wheat kheer

I have some distinct memories associated with some dishes. From the time I can remember, I always fascinated cooking but never took the initiation to cook, until I had no other choice! During my teenage days, whenever I got a chance to attend the weddings, upanayanam or any family functions, I used to venture into the kitchen. I used to talk to the cook & get to know the recipe of a dish with a fancy name!! I have been doing this till date. The only difference is, now I try to write down the recipe.

Appi payasa/payasam is one such dish learnt during a conversation with one of the cooks. Here is how "appi payasa" is made. A tight dough is made with cream of wheat. They are rolled & deep fried in ghee like pooris(Deep fried Indian bread). These pooris are crushed & added to the milk.

Though I don't have a sweet tooth, this is one of the kheer/payasam to which I can never say "no". Absolute delish!! It is also known as happala karda payasa (Thanks to blogger world!).


Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)
For the happala/flat poori:

  • Cream of wheat/Chiroti Rava/Fine rava: 1 cup
  • Cold water: Less than 1/4th cup
  • Ghee/Clarified butter: 2 tsp
  • Salt: a small pinch
  • Ghee/Oil: As needed, for deep frying the pooris


For the payasa/kheer:

  • Full cream milk: 1.5 litres
  • Sugar: Around 3/4th cup, adjust according to your family needs
  • Chopped dry fruits: 2 tbsp (I used almonds, cashews & pistachios)
  • Saffron: a big pinch



Method:
Mix the cream of wheat, salt & ghee together.
Slowly add the cold water & make a stiff dough. Cover the dough & let it rest for at least a couple of hours. More the better...
Once the dough is well rested, divide the dough into big grape sized balls. I got 7 dough balls.
Dust a very little flour & roll it thin using a rolling pin. (just like a poori). 
Heat the ghee/oil on a medium heat. When ghee is hot, deep fry the pooris on both the sides until golden brown. Remove it on a paper towel to remove the excess ghee from the fried pooris. Repeat with the remaining pooris. Let it cool.

Meantime, boil the milk on a med-high heat. Keep stirring in between. When the milk starts boiling, reduce the heat.
Add sugar & allow the sugar to dissolve. 
When the sugar is dissolved, crush the saffron in between your palm & add it to the milk. 
Crush or roughly tear the cooled pooris & slide them onto the boiling milk. Add the chopped nuts.

Turn off the heat & let the payasam cool completely.
Once cool, mash the crushed pooris gently. 

You could serve this payasam, warm or cold. 
I generally warm it again & serve as my family prefers it that way!


Notes:

  • It is very important to make a stiff dough to ensure crunchy pooris. Soft dough will absorb more ghee & become soggy.
  • The more you rest the dough, the more elastic it becomes. It will be easier to handle a well rested dough. (You can see little cracks on the edges of my poori. That is because I did not rest the dough! Do not do that)
  • Roll the pooris very thin. Thin pooris wont puff up & become soft. They will become crunchy!
  • If your poori is still puffing up, gently prick it in 4-5 places with a tooth pick before frying them.
  • This is unlike other kheer that demands milk quantity to be reduced by boiling. The crushed pooris will absorb the milk & the kheer/payasam thickens gradually. 

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