Nov 25, 2009

Oats Rava Idli- Instant idli again..

I have seen this particular variety of idli in several blogs and always wanted to try the addition of oats, though I was apprehensive about how it would taste. Well, I tried it this weekend. This is an ideal recipe if you are really hungry and too lazy to cook something. Yes, it was something like that for me last weekend!!!It hardly takes a couple of minutes and then you dont have to be in the kitchen throughout. What you have to do is make the batter and just relax and watch tv or read a book and then pour the batter in the moulds to steam them and relax again. Doesn't it sound simple,fun and interesting!!!Thats what I did!! If you are up to it, make a chutney. If not , just serve with some pickle. Believe me, it tastes just delicious!!
oats rava idliIngredients-
Instant oats- 1cup
Rava/sooji/semolina- 1cup
Yogurt/curd- 1 cup
Baking soda- a pinch
Salt to taste
Asafoetida/hing- A pinch
Curry leaves-few leaves
Green Chillies- 2 chopped
Coriander leaves- a very small bunch chopped fine

Roast the rava till you get a nice aroma of it. Add the oats and saute for few more minutes. Be careful not to burn the oats. Now add the yogurt. Mix well. Leave this for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, asafoetida ,green chillies and curry leaves. Add the seasoning to the batter followed by soda, salt and coriander leaves.Add more curd or water if the batter is too thick. Consistency should be that of a normal idli batter.
Pour the batter in idli moulds and steam them for around 15-20 minutes.
Then remove from moulds after it cools down a bit.
Serve with chutney.

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Nov 23, 2009

Tofu Masala - from edible garden

I am not too fond of tofu/bean curd , but I try to include it in my diet as it is considered to be a healthy soya product. I once made a spicy curry with it and it was just ok. Then I found out that it could be used a substitute for paneer. So I made Palak tofu once and that tasted really good. Then recently I came across paneer butter masala recipe- restaurant style in Edible garden where Nags had substituted paneer with tofu and I thought it was an excellent idea. I tried her recipe with some really minor changes and it tasted awesome. Thanks for the recipe Nags!!

tofu masalaIngredients-
Firm Tofu- 200g
Oil- 1tbsp
Oil/butter- 1tsp(I used oil)
Onion- 1 finely chopped
Ginger garlic green chilly paste- 1tsp
Tomato puree- I used 2 large tomatoes. Blanched and then blended.
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander powder- 1tsp
Garam masala- 1tsp
Kasuri methi-1tsp
Milk /cream- 1cup( I used milk)

Cut the block of tofu into small cubes. Shallow fry them in oil till they turn a golden brown. Keep them aside
Heat oil or butter in a pan. Add the ginger garlic or green chilly paste followed by onions. Saute till they turn translucent. Add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasuri methi. Mix well and then add the tomato puree. Keep stirring in between and cook for around 10 minutes till the tomato appears nicely cooked and blends with the spices. Add milk or cream. Mix well. Last add the fried tofu and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve with chapatis.
tofu masala
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Nov 18, 2009

Rajma masala- chawal(rice)- The ultimate combo

I got familiar with this rajma chawal when I stayed in Delhi some 15 years back. This was meant to be the absolute comfort food in every household and used to be everyone's favourite sunday lunch. Somehow after leaving Delhi, I had forgotten all about this rajma chawal affair, though there were some rare occasions when I did have this. But it was almost some couple of years and suddenly one day, I was craving for some rajma chawal. So I bought some rajma/Kidney beans and made it for lunch last week. It was delicious and will always remain one of my favourites.
rajma masala
Rajma/kidney beans- 1 cup
Onion- 1 big - chopped
Tomato- 2 chopped
Garlic- 3cloves
Ginger- 1"
Green chillies- 2
Turmeric powder-1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Coriander powder- 1tsp
Garam masala - 1tsp
Kasuri methi- 1tsp
Salt- to tase
Oil- 1tbsp

Soak the beans for atleast 12 hours.
Pressure cook till it becomes very soft(About 8 to 10 whistles).
Grind together onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and green chillies. Also  add few cooked rajma when grinding.
Heat oil in a pan.
 Add the ground paste.
Saute for sometime.
Add all the spices and saute till the raw flavour disappears.
Add the cooked beans along with the water and cook for around 10 to 15 minutes till the beans mixes really well with the gravy.
Serve rajma masala with hot rice.

Notes- Rajma is slightly on the heavier side as it contains lot of proteins. It causes gas and bloating. So its better to avoid them for dinner.
Rinse and soak the rajma for a long time as it reduces the gas causing properties to some extent.
You can also add some store bought tomato puree for a deep red colour.
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Nov 11, 2009

All about Rasams!!

Rasam can be defined as a South Indian soup which is taken along with rice basically. Its made with tamarind water mixed with a variety of spices and lentils. It is known by different names in the different southern states. Its Rasam in Tamil nadu,saaru in karnataka, chaaru in Andhrapradesh. The Aiyengars call it as "saathamudu". Many restaurants serve mulagatwany soup which is also a kind of rasam. There are so many varieties of rasam though the basic recipe remains the same. As I had a few requests from some friends and readers for the rasam recipe , I thought of compiling into a single post. Find more about rasam here.
First of all , let me provide the recipe of rasam powder which can be prepared in a large quantity and stored for a sufficiently long time and used during any rasam preperation.

Rasam Powder
Coriander seeds/dhania seeds- 100g
Tuvar dal- 50g
Cumin seeds/jeera seeds- 25g
black pepper- 2tsps
Red chillies- 8 to 9 ( more if you can take the heat)
Curry leaves- few leaves(optional)

Dry roast all the ingredients together. Let it cool and grind the ingredients to a coarse powder.

rasam Readymade packets of rasam powder are commercially available. They are available in a lot of brandnames. I have used MTR rasam powder and I really love the taste, flavour and colour it imparts. Sometimes, even sambar powder can be used for making rasam. That tastes good too!!
rasam There is a special utensil called "eeya chembu" - a lead vessel for preparing rasam and when made in this, the flavour gets enhanced. It does tastes great for sure!!!

rasam As I mentioned above, there are a number of rasam varieties, so I will compile a few basic ones.

1. Pepper rasam-

Tamarind- lime sized lump
Rasam powder- 2-3tsp
Whole pepper- Crushed- 1tsp
cumin seeds powder- 1/2tsp
Cooked tuvar dal/masoor dal- 1/4th cup
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- few leaves
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Ghee- 1/2tsp

Squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind. Add the rasam powder, pepper and cumin seeds powder,salt and curry leaves. Allow it to boil till the smell of rasam powder goes. Now mash the cooked dal, add it to the boiling mixture and boil further for 2-3 minutes. Dilute with around 2-3 cups of water /dal water. Boil till it bubbles up(takes around 10-15 minutes. Remove from flame.
Heat ghee for tempering. Crackle the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.

rasamOptional- You can also add chopped tomatoes in this. But accordingly reduce the quantity of tamarind.

2.Pineapple Rasam- This is a kind of festive rasam , the method is almost the same.

Tamarind- A very small lump(because pineapple is going to be tart)
Cooked tuvar dal/masoor dal- 1/2 cup
Pepper powder- 1/2tsp
Rasam powder- 2-3 tsp
Pineapple pieces-1/2 can crushed( Use along with the syrup )
jaggery- a small lump-(optional)
Salt to taste
Asafoetida- small pinch
Oil/ghee- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Coriander for garnising

Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind. Add rasam powder, pepper powder ,salt and the crushed pineapple pieces and allow it to boil till the rasam powder smell goes. Then add the cooked dal and boil for 2 minutes. Dilute with dal water. Boil for another 10 minutes. Add jaggery if using.
Heat oil or ghee. Crackle mustard seeds and asafoetida and add it to the rasam.

rasamYou can also make this without adding tamarind water using just dal. Dilute it accordingly.

3. Mysore rasam- In this, fresh rasam powder is made and used for the rasam.

Tamarind- Size of a lime
Cooked masoor/tuvar dal-1/2 cup
Coriander seeds- 1 1/2tbsp
Channa dal/bengal gram dal- 2tsp
Dried red chillies- 8
Oil- 2tsp
Whole pepper- 5 -6
Curry leaves- few leaves
Oil for tempering
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnishing.

Heat oil in a pan and roast the coriander seeds,channa dal and the red chillies. Grind this to a paste along with a few pepper corns.
Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind. Add the salt ,asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes. Then add the cooked dal and boil for sometime. Dilute with water or dal water and boil till it froths. Then add the prepared powder and mix well.
Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard, curry leaves and red chillies. Add to the rasam and garnish with coriander.

rasam You can add tomatoes in the tamarind water and boil along with it, but reduce the amount of tamarind accordingly.

4.Lemon rasam or elumachampazham rasam or limbu rasam
Cooked Mung dal- 1 cup
Green chillies- 2 chopped
Tomato- 1 chopped
Oil- 1tsp
mustard Seeds- 1tsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Lemon juice- of 1 lemon

Heat oil in a pan.Crackle mustard , cumin seeds and green chillies. Add the tomatoes. Cook for sometime. Add the cooked dal along with salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Dilute with 2-3 cups of water . Allow to boil till it froths. Remove from flame. Add the lemon juice. Mix well.

rasam I add a tsp of rasam powder in this. But its totally optional.

5. Tomato Rasam- I always make this when I have a bad cold. The ingredients does the magic.
Tomatoes- 2 big
Cooked dal- half cup oir little less
Garlic -2 cloves
Ginger- 1"
Peppercorns- 5
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Rasam powder-3 tsp
Salt to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch
Oil- 1tsp
Mustard- 1tsp

Grind chopped tomatoes, Ginger ,garlic, peppercorns and cumin seeds in a blender. Heat oil in a pan. Crackle mustard seeds. Add the ground liquid followed by salt, asafoetida and rasam powder. Boil for 10 minutes. Add the dal and cook for 2 more minutes.Dilute with 2 -3 cups of water or dal water and boil till it froths.
  See a detailed post about tomato rasam here- with step by step pictures)
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Nov 5, 2009

Mushroom masala

I dont buy mushrooms regularly as I am not sure how to use them. The first time I bought them, I used them in a soup. And the second time, it was a simple curry which tasted quite good. Though I was not getting used to the idea of having them so frequently. But when I made it this time, I just fell in love with the mushrooms. I felt it was something just like paneer which I am so fond of. Infact it blended so well with the spices and tasted great with capsicum and peas.
This recipe is inspired from the Mushroom makhani recipe by vaishali of Holy cow who has a lovely collection of vegan recipes. Thanks for the recipe vaishalli.

mushroom masal
White button mushrooms- 200gms(chopped)
Capsicums- 2 (chopped)
Peas- 1/2 cup
Onion- 1 big chopped fine
Ginger- 1" crushed
Garlic- 2 cloves crushed
Tomato- 1 big pureed
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder-1tsp
Garam masala- 1tsp
kasuri methi- 1tsp
Cashew bits- about 8 soaked and grinded to fine paste
Salt to taste
Oil- 2-3 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Fennel seeds- 1tsp

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and fennel seeds followed by the onions, ginger and garlic and saute them till onion turns translucent. Then add the chopped mushrooms , capsicum and peas and saute for sometime. Add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder ,garam masala , kasuri methi and salt. Mix well . Now add the tomato puree and the cashew paste. Mix well and cook till the vegetables are tender and are coated well with the spices.
Serve hot along with rotis.

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Nov 3, 2009

Kancheepuram/ kanchipuram idli recipe -- breakfast recipes

   The popular Indian food, Idlis always makes up a simple and filling breakfast. But eating the same old plain idlis frequently is quite boring for some people . But making them involves very less time as compared to the other breakfasts. So , I have been trying various versions of idlis . I always keep my dosa and idli batter ready, so that I can just whip up some interesting and yummy breakfast in no time like this one which I posted few days back and now this Kancheepuram idlis, which can be made in a jiffy with the usual idli batter along with some interesting additions. I got the recipe from Jaya shenoy's book.
how to make kancheepuram idlis
Black gram dal/udid dal- 1 cup
Idli rice - 2 cups
Bengal gram dal/chana dal-1tbsp
Gingelly oil- 2tbsp
Cashewnuts - 8
Green chillies- 4 chopped
Baking soda- 2 pinches
Ginger- 1"
pepper powder- 1tsp
Sour Curds- 3/4 cup
Salt- 2tsp or more
Curry leaves - Chopped
To make the idli batter-
Soak the rice and udid dal together for a couple of hours.(4 to 5)
Grind the udid dal to a smooth paste  adding a little water. Then grind the rice to a slightly coarse paste (semolina/rava like) adding water in between.Mix the batter.Add salt and mix.Allow the batter to ferment for 8 to 10 hours.
To make the kancheepuram idli batter after fermentation-
Soak the chana dal in water for half an hour and then add this to the batter.
Mix well. Fry chillies, pepper, cumin,cashewnut bits and ginger in a frying pan using the gingelly oil. Put this in the batter. Add curry leaves,baking soda , salt and curds. Mix well.
Now pour this in a steamer plate and steam for 15 to 20 minutes till cooked.
Cut into shapes of your desire or into squares.
Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar.
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