Aug 23, 2010

Methi malai paneer

Things have been really crazy and busy and so could not post as many recipes as I had thought of.
I have not been able to visit and comment in your blogs too and I really apologize for that. We will be busier for some more time and hence have decided to take a break. We will be returning soon as soon as things come back to normal as soon as possible.
Till then I leave you with a recipe of methi malai paneer which is inspired partly from pari's recipe of paneer dhaniya and partly from my friend who made this sometime ago with the same ingredients but a different recipe. If you love hot and spicy food, this is not a recipe for you. This one is quite bland and mildly spiced , but was certainly enjoyed by my family!! Thanks pari for the recipe.
methi malai paneer
Onion- 1 finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste (or chopped fine)- 1tsp
Green chillies- 2 chopped fine
Methi(fenugreek) leaves- 1 cup chopped
Paneer- 1 cup of cubes
Yogurt/curd- 1/2 cup
Cornflour- 1-2tsp
Milk- 1 1/2cup
Salt to taste
Garam masala- 1/2tsp
Oil- 1tsp

Heat oil in a pan. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a minute. Then add the finely chopped onion and saute till they turn translucent.Add the green chillies followed by the methi leaves. Saute till the leaves wilt. Now dissolve the corn flour in some curd and add it to the pan. Mix well. Add salt and gram masala. Now add the milk and cook till it thickens slightly.
Serve hot with chapatis.
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Aug 17, 2010

Chole bhature

If you have enough time, you can prepare the authentic version of chole which tastes like the one available in restaurant, involves more ingredients ,an elaborate process but makes your efforts worthwhile. You can find the recipe here.
But in case you are in short of time, you can follow the recipe which I am posting today. It hardly takes any time and tastes awesome too.
We enjoyed it with the bhaturas for our weekend brunch. Click here for the bhatura recipe.
Chole with bhaturas
Kabuli chana/chick peas- 1 cup
Onion- 1 big chopped fine
Ginger garlic paste- 1tsp
Tomato- 1 big chopped
Green chillies- 1-2 chopped fine
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Coriander powder- 1tsp
Garam masala/chole masala- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Cooking soda- A pinch
Coriander for garnishing
Goes well with rice too..
Soak the chick peas in water overnight. Add a pinch of soda and and cook in a pressure cooker till soft.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Add the onions and saute till it becomes translucent. Then add the tomatoes and green chillies. Cook till it turns soft and then add turmeric powder, red chilly powder,coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Add a cup of water and cook for around 5 minutes. Then add the cooked chole. Mix well . Cover with a lid and cook for around 10 minutes till it is properly mixed with all the spices. Garnish with coriander leaves if you wish.
Serve hot with hot bhaturas, puris or even rice.
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Aug 16, 2010

Batura/bhatura recipe

Chole bature is a very popular and a delicious combos among the north Indian cuisine. I do not make these very frequently because it is made with the all purpose flour and also involves deep frying. But I was quite tempted to make them last weekend and it made a very delicious lunch.
When I had attempted making baturas before , I had used baking powder and yogurt to make the dough. And then,I have quite a few friends who use different recipes for the batura dough preperation.One of my friends uses yeast for the dough and the other has tried using the self raising flour. But one of them told me that she kneads the maida/all purpose flour just like how its done with atta for the puris, and the baturas turns soft and delicious. Infact it doesn't involve any big recipe at all. True to her words, I followed her way, and the baturas were very soft and delicious.I promise you that this is a fool proof method and the baturas does taste the same even if you use the other complicated or elaborate methods. You can find a recipe for authentic punjabi chole here. But this time, I have used a different recipe for making chole and I will post the other version tomorrow.
Maida- 1 cup
Baking soda-1tsp
Oil/ghee- 2-3 tsp
Oil for deep frying
Knead a firm , non sticky dough with the above ingredients.
Leave it for around 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Make small balls with the dough. Roll them to a small circle.
Deep fry them in hot oil till it appears cooked. It should be white in colour, shouldn't turn into too much of brown colour.
Serve immediately with chole. (Another version of chole recipe coming up soon.) If they are not served immediately, they turn rubbery.
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Aug 11, 2010

Chakkarai pongal/sweet pongal with brown rice

       As I had mentioned in my post a few days ago, I am posting the chakkarai pongal recipe which I had made along with the ellu sadam during Aadi peraku. The recipe for chakkarai pongal is already posted here, but the only difference is that I have used brown rice this time.
       After turning into a partially ( am honestly admitting it , isn't it?)diet conscious person sometime ago, I have always looked for healthy food options and substitutes.Thats when I learned about the health benefits of the brown rice. I have not totally turned into a brown rice eater, because its difficult to replace the white rice completely which we are so much used to since childhood. But I have gradually been using them in bisi bela bhaath, khichdi or biryani replacing the white rice.Brown rice or rice as a whole is good during weight loss as it does not contains cholesterol or the harmful fats. Its also gluten free and hence good for gluten intolerant people.
        Its high in fibre and good for digestion and contain many other striking nutritional benefits. For people who are not aware , check out the benefits here .
     Brown rice has to be soaked in water for sometime to soften its bran so that it gets cooked properly. Chakkarai pongal with brown rice does tastes great. I really love it texture when cooked.
brown rice chakkarai pongal
Brown rice- 1 cup
Mung dal/paasi paruppu- 1/2 cup
Jaggery- 1 cup
Cashewnuts- 6-7 broken to pieces
Milk- 1 cup

   Wash and soak the brown rice in water for 30 minutes. Dry roast the mung dal till it turns slightly brown. Add the mung dal to the soaked rice. Add the milk and cook this in a pressure cooker. It should get well cooked and mushy.
    Now heat the ghee in a pan. Roast the cashews till it turns golden brown. Keep them aside. Now add around 1 cup of water in a pan. Melt the jaggery  and keep boiling for somemore time till it becomes slightly thick. Now add the cooked rice and dal mixture. Mix it well and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted cashews and mix well. Add the remaining ghee on the top and mix well.

Long-Grain Brown Rice

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Aug 10, 2010

Instant idlis with cracked wheat and vegetables

At my place , we usually have a breakfast of instant oats, bread or fruits. Idlis and dosas are reserved for dinner during the weekends. And as you know,I do not always keep a huge stock of idli batter ready like most of the south Indians do, the instant ones comes to my rescue.That is when I made this variety of instant idlis using cracked wheat and vegetables.
The cracked wheat I get in singapore is quite fine,only a tad bigger than sooji or semolina. So I could use it without any problem. But there are huge ones also, So I suggest that you pulse them in a spice grinder till it resembles the semolina/ sooji.
This is quite filling and tastes good , a very good option for weight watchers and for diabetic people too who have to avoid rice.
You can find other varieties of instant idlis here.
cracked wheat idlis

Cracked wheat/broken wheat -2 cups
Semolina/sooji/rava- 1 cup
Curds/yogurt- 2-3 cups
Salt to taste
Baking soda-1 small pinch
Carrot- 1/2 cup chopped to very fine pieces
capsicum- 1/2 cup chopped to very fine pieces
Sesame oil or ghee- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Green chillies-1 chopped
Curry leaves- few chopped
Coriander leaves- small bunch chopped fine
cracked wheat idlis
Roast the cracked wheat and sooji seperately. Mix them togther in a bowl. Add the curd and mix well. Keep this aside for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile microwave or saute the chopped carrots and capsicum for 2 minutes.
After 30 to 40 minutes, the curd is totally absorbed by the rava and it turns quite soft. Now add baking soda, salt , carrots, capsicum, and chopped coriander leaves into it. Heat oil and add mustard seeeds, green chillies and curry leaves. Add the seasoning in the mixture. Add some water or curd to this mixture and dilute it to a consistency of normal idli batter.
Pour the batter in idli moulds and steam them for 20 minutes till they get cooked and are firm.
Serve hot with chutney or milagai podi.
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Aug 9, 2010

Blueberry upside down chocolate cake

         I never miss a chance to buy blueberries even when I am not sure what I am going to do with them. I had already tried  a cake, then muffins and even some delicious pancakes . This time I wanted to do something new.I asked my friend for some idea and she told me only what I had already made. Its in the  night, when I lie down , thats when I get lots of time to think without any disturbance before I drift to a sound sleep. Thats when the thought of making an upside down cake with the blueberries struck me. Yes, its going to be a upside down cake. Then chocolate cakes are my favourite. And I have always found that flavours of combining fruits and chocolate has always worked well for me. I just love it. And then I went ahead with the making of blueberry upside down chocolate cake the next morning. The cake was simply awesome and one of the best I have tasted. My son loved it too. That proves that the cake was really good because he doesn't love all the cakes I make. And then when the blueberry juices penetrates the inner layers of the cake, the cake  gets beautifully moistened with the syrupy goodness.
Lined with blueberries
blueberry upside down chocolate cake
Blueberry upside down chocolate cake
All purpose flour- 1 cup
Baking powder- 3tsp
Baking soda- A small pinch
Cocoa powder- 3tsp
Butter- 2tbsp+6tbsp
Brown sugar-1/4 cup+ 3/4 cup
Eggs- 3
Blueberries- 1 cup
blueberry upside down chocolate cake
Another view
   In a 8'"cake pan, pour 2tbsp of melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar over it. Place the blueberries close to each other as shown in the first picture.
blueberry upside down chocolate cake
Sliced cake
         Now combine the rest of the butter and brown sugar and mix well till it forms a creamy mixture. Beat the eggs and add them one by one mixing thoroughly.
         Combine the dry ingredients (APF, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder) in another bowl. Add this to the (above) bowl containing the wet ingredients gradually and mixing it well.
          Pour the batter to the prepared cake tin (on the bluberries). Even the layer with a help of a spatula.
 Bake this in a preheated oven at 180c for 35-40 minutes. The knife inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean, then the cake is done.
blueberry upside down chocolate cake
Ready to be eaten, can't wait anymore!!

Cool the cake well before you invert it on a plate. Cool the cake well before slicing it.
   The taste gets even better the next day when the blueberry juices infuse into the cake and imparts a beautiful syrupy moisture to the cake. Yumm!!Makes me drool even when I talk about it!!
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Aug 7, 2010

Nutty bhindi fry recipe

      Few days back, I had this at a friend's place. It was one of the side dishes with biryani. But I enjoyed eating it as a snack. I am not sure whether I have followed the same recipe(I did not get a chance to ask my friend for the recipe) , but I have tried to recreate the same taste. I know it requires a lot of deep frying in oil and I was feeling a bit guilty during the entire process of making this recipe. But it tasted really awesome because of the nuttiness imparted by the cashews and also the crunchiness of bhindi and the grated coconut.
nutty bhindi fry
Okra/Bhindi- 500gms
Onion-1 big sliced
Cashew nuts- 1/2 cup broken to bits
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Red chilly powder-1tsp
Oil for deep frying+1tbsp

  Chop the okra into tiny round pieces. Deep fry them in hot oil till they turn crispy and brown. Then heat some oil (1-2tbsp) in a pan. Add the cashew and fry them till they turn brown. Now add the onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Then add the grated coconut and fry them till they turn brown and crispy. Add salt and red chilly powder. Now add the fried bhindi and mix them together. Remove from flame after 5 minutes.
      Serve hot with rotis or enjoy it as it is.
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Aug 5, 2010

Ellu sadam / sesame seeds rice recipe

      I love making variety rice once in a while. Making it with sesame seeds was not very new to me as my mom had made it in a few occasions. But somehow, it was totally forgotten and I had never tried making this. Last week ,during the aadi perakku (eighteenth day in aadi masam /month according to tamil calender), I was told by my elders to make some variety rice as prasadam for the auspicious day. After some thoughts and discussions with my grandmom who gave me the recipe too, I went ahead making the ellu sadam and some chakkarai pongal (recipe coming soon). We loved it!!!
ellu sadam
Cooked rice- 2cups (Each grain should be seperate)
White sesame seeds/ellu- 1/3 cup
Dried red chillies- 5-6 nos
Udid dal- 2tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Channa dal- 1tsp
Peanuts- 1/4 cup
Curry leaves- few leaves
Sesame oil- 1tsp
Salt to taste

     Dry roast the sesame seeds. Cool and dry it to a fine powder Dry roast udid dal and dried red chillies seperately and grind it to a fine powder.
      Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds followed by channa dal, curry leaves and peanuts. Add the udid dal and dried red chilly powder along with some salt. Saute for a minute. Now add the cooked rice. Mix well. Finally, add the sesame seeds powder  and mix well. Remove from flame after 2 to 3 minutes.
       Serve hot.
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Aug 4, 2010

How to make spiced paneer

       During one of our get togethers at a friend's place , she served some grilled paneer which tasted great. Since then it has become a regular at my place. I quickly marinade some paneer with curd and spices and later grill them  whenever I feel like. This seems to be a quick option nowadays.
        And recently when I saw the spiced paneer recipe in preeti's blog, it sounded quite interesting. And when served this way makes a good and delicious starter during parties, an absolute delight for paneer lovers like me!!
spiced paneer
Milk- 1 litre
Lemon juice- 1/4 cup or more
Red chilly flakes- I just crushed some dried red chillies a little in my spice mixer
Cumin seed powder- 1tsp
Coriander leaves- a small bunch finely chopped
Salt - 1tsp
Olive oil- 1 tbsp
spiced paneer
     Boil the milk. Add the coriander, cumin powder and red chilly flakes. Now add the lemon juice stirring simultaneously. The milk will coagulate/curdle. Now place a strainer on a large steel vessel. Line the strainer with a muslin cloth. Now pour the curdled milk over the assembled strainer. The liquid portion which is collected below is called whey. Tie a knot to the cloth by squeezing out the excess liquid. Let it remain on the assembled strainer. Place some heavy weight object on the top. Let the water drain completely for around 1.5 to 2 hours. You can place the block of paneer in the refigerator.
         You can use the spiced paneer just as you use the regular paneer. What I did was, I cut them into cubes, sprinkled some salt and left it for 30 minutes. Then I placed them on a hot tava/girdle , drizzled some oil on the sides, roasted them till they were a golden brown in colour.Sprinkle some red chiily powder and chaat masala if you want. You can serve this as a starter along with some ketchup.
spiced paneer
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