Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday Fruit Breakfast

Banana Milkshake and Papaya

I read somewhere that to reap the real benifits of fruit, it should be eaten first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Since anyways I wouldn't be following that religiously, I just tried that once on sunday. It was fun :)

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pink Parathas

Ha ha, creeped you out there didn't I ? Ok, they are just our good old Mooli Parathas, but made with these lovely winter red globe radishes. Gyan on radishes.

Grate the radish, squeeze out extra liquid and keep aside. Look at the lovely color :).
Grate one onion, a small piece of ginger, and some garlic. I have used garlic powder here.

Prepare the stuffing by cooking the radish like any curry. Take a teaspoon of oil in a kadai, when it heats up add some jeera and mustard seeds. Then add the grated ginger, onion and garlic. Stir till you get a nice aroma from the onions. Then add the grated radish, salt, amchur powder and a little red chilli powder. Cook till the raw smell of radish is gone. Take off heat and let it cool.
Make the dough like you would make for rotis. Use a little less water. Use a big ball of dough and make a small thick roti. Then put the curry in it and seal it like shown below:

Roll them out like parathas. Be patient, use flour to avoid sticking and dont apply more pressure while rolling the pin.
Put them on a hot pan and let the paratha cook. Press with a flat spatula now and then. I did not use any oil, but you may use some if you wish.
Serve hot with a bowl of curds. I like it with sugar mixed curd :)

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pesto

There are so many varieties and so many shapes of pasta and again their permutations and combinations.
What I have here is a Whole Wheat variety in Rigatoni shape. Not just that it comes with a 'good for health' tag, but I do like the flavour of whole wheat pasta than the regular one. The texture is also different and nice.

Whenever I need to make a quick yet special/exotic dish, I run to my fridge and grab the Basil Pesto jar that I got from SF. It adds so much flavour to the dish minus the effort. Not that making pesto is a tedious job. Only thing is fresh basil should be available somewhere around the place. In Bangalore, we can get fresh basil in Namdhari, but not all the time. Anyways...since I have the readmade pesto, I might as well use it.

Boil the pasta in good amount of water with salt. Meanwhile chop the onions and saute them in a teaspoon of olive oil (i use the oil that floats on the pesto in the jar). Add 1/2 a cup of sweet corn and saute. You may add sundried tomatoes or olives too. Then add the cooked pasta, stir for 2 minutes and add a tablespoon of the pesto and mix well. Take it off the heat after a minute.
Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Sitaphal (Custard Apple)

This is one of my favourite fruits. Other than eating it, I don't know much about the fruit. So here's a link to some GK on Sitaphal:

And the above pics are to show how to eat it. Ha ha

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tofu Pulusu (Tofu in spicy tamarind sauce)

This one is my own invention :). Inspired by my mom's Vankaya Pulusu and Bhindi Pulusu, I just replaced the veggies with tofu for this dish. The spicy, salty, sour taste makes tofu more interesting.

Cut the tofu into cubes. Sprinkle some salt on them, mix well and keep aside for sometime. The add a teaspoon of oil on a wide nonstick pan, spread the oil around and place the tofu in the pan in one layer. Leave for 2-3 minutes. Then try to flip the pieces so that the other side also gets browned. Once both sides are browned, take them off the heat and keep aside.

In a nonstick kadai, pour a teaspoon of oil. When the oil gets hot, add some mustard seeds and jeera. Once they start popping, add curry leaves, peeled whole garlic cloves, sliced ginger, sliced green chilli and sliced onion. Saute till the onions turn translucent.

Now add the tofu into the kadai, add salt, 1/2 tsp dhania powder, 1/2 tsp jeera powder and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder. Mix and stir for 2 minutes. Then add tamarind paste mixed in water or tamarind juice extracted from the pulp. Adjust salt according to the sourness of the tamarind. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the kadai and let the tofu cook in the liquid.

Check after 3-4 minutes. You will see the tofu bulged, cause it would have soaked some liquid and all the flavours. Now remove from heat, sprinkle chopped dhaniya and serve hot with rice.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stuffed Baby-Brinjal

In my opinion, there are as many versions to this dish as there are cooks. My mom makes 2-3 different ways, I have seen Indira making in 3 different ways, and there might be so many more.
Here's my version.
Slice onions, ginger, garlic and fry them in a teaspoon of oil till the onions get brown in color. Then add some garam masala, salt, chilli powder and poppy seeds and fry for a bit more. Cool the stuff. Then put in a blender and make a paste. Add a tablespoon of butter to the paste.

Cut the brinjal like a plus shape while retaining the stem to hold it to together with the stuffing. Rub some salt in the insides of the brijals and then carefully pack the previously preapared masala paste into them. Try to leave some masala aside for gravy (optional)

Chop/mince one onion and one chilli, fry them in a teaspoon of oil. Then place the stuffed brijals in the pan. Place the rest of the masala paste in the center. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of water on top and cover the pan with a tight lid. The brinjals will cook in the steam while getting the flavours from the masala. Every 5 minutes, turn the brinjals so as to cook all the sides. Once done, remove the lid and let them cook for few more minutes.
Sprinkle chopped dhaniya all over and serve. This makes an excellent dry side dish.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Banana Pancakes

My love for bananas goes up another level when it comes to banana pancakes. It's a perfect weekend breakfast. Pancakes are usually made of maida or refined flour. But I make a healthy version of it using whole wheat flour and also kicked it up a notch by adding roasted oats :). So to sum it all, its banana, milk, wheat and oats!

One ripe banana, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup roasted oats, little jaggery or sugar, milk, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and not to miss ... 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.
Put them in a blender and get it into a smooth thick batter, not watery.

Carefully pour 2 laddle-fulls of the batter onto a nonstick pan and spread it evenly. Leave for a minute. When you see the holes forming on the surface, give it 30 more seconds. Then flip it. You will see a golden colored pancake. Wait for the other side also to turn golden, and then remove from the pan.

Stack them all and pour honey or maple syrup on top. Cut through the layers and stuff it in your mouth. I cannot tell you how heavenly that feels....ummm.
Wanna kick it up another notch? Add some butter! umm umm umm...sinfully heavenly!

note: Click on the images to get the bigger versions

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Phulka Illustrated

The pictures speak the recipe, so I am not gonna write more on that. Instead I am gonna write some tips.
1. Try to get a real good quality atta, preferrably stone ground.
2. Be careful while adding water during the kneading process. Every drop counts.
3. The more you knead, the softer the rotis.
4. When you lay the roti on the pan, put the heat on high. Watch it carefully, the moment you see bubbles, flip it. Then when you see the bubbles again, you know it's time to puff them.
5. Do not leave the roti on the pan for long.
6. While puffing them directly on fire, make sure you make no hole in it with your tongs.
7. If you want well puffed phulkas, always make sure there is no sort of oil or ghee added to the dough.


Zucchini Subzi

A friend of mine had asked me how to cook zucchini. So here's a simple indian subzi made with zucchini and tomato. It's pretty much the way you would make any other vegetable.

2 zucchinis, 1 tomato, 1 onion, 1 green chilli
mustard seeds, zeera(cumin) and kadipatta (curry leaves) for tadka
turmeric, salt and red chilli powder for seasoning. (Zeera powder / Dhania powder optional)
1 teaspoon oil

Cut the zucchini and tomato into cubes, chop the onions and green chilli. In a kadai, add a teaspoon of oil and when it heats up, add mustard seeds and zeera. Wait till they pop. Then add the onions, kadipatta and chillies. Once the onions turn translucent, add the zucchini pieces and stir them around and let them cook for 2 mins. Then add the tomatoes. Add salt, turmeric and chilli powder, mix well and cover the kadai with a lid. Leave it for 5 mins. The tomatoes should have disintegrated by now and form some gravy. Add some water and cook it for 2 more minutes and switch off the stove.
Garnish with dhania (corriander) and serve with roti or rice.

Variation: After the curry is done, add 1-2 tablespoons of curd and mix. It gives a wonderful flavour and creamy texture. Good to eat with roti.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Macaroni and Broccoli in Not-So-White Sauce

I call it not-so-white sauce because it's not made of Maida/Refined Flour. I made it with Whole Wheat Flour and an organic one at that :)

This is our weekend brunch. And once in a while I don't mind indulging in cheese and butter. Not that I have used a lot of it in this dish. I use far less than what is traditionally used in this type of dishes.

Broccoli, Beans, Chives and Onions from the veggie section. Skimmed Milk, Whole Wheat Flour and a small cube of butter for the sauce. Cheese, Chives and Sun-dried Tomatoes for the garnish.
I forgot to click the pic of the sauce before adding it to the dish :(

Before and After adding Cheese and microwaving for 2 mins.

Now, just by the look of it, one would think it would taste bland, since there are no flavourings added. But nope. I have not added flavourings on purpose, because I wanted the flavour and taste of broccoli to shine through. And it did! Also, I have added a lot of sun-dried tomatoes that would give a tang to the dish.

Recipe in a nutshell:
Saute the onions, beans and broccoli in a teaspoon of peanut oil. Then add the boiled macaroni and saute for five more minutes. On another pan, make the sauce by sauteing 3 tablespoons of wheat floor in a small cube of butter till the raw smell is gone. Now add skimmed milk gently while stirring and let it cook till you get batter like consistency. Add salt once done. Pour this sauce over the macaroni & veggies and transfer to a microwave safe bowl. Add chives, sun-dried tomatoes and cover with grated cheese. Microwave on high for 2 mins or till the cheese melts. DONE!

I have a confession to make. I don't know how to make white sauce without lumps :(. So I take the help of my mixie. After adding the milk, I transfer the entire thing into the mixie jar and blend it well. Then I transfer back to the pan and cook till it thickens.

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