Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bread upma

Bread upma is definitely a very quick delicious, evening  snack. But i usually prefer making  this for dinner as this is very filling. In my house, my hubby will expect a quick evening snack almost everyday. Since it is an everyday event at home, i either buy snacks from outside or make some at home. my hubby prefers eating at home more than anything. My Periamma  in India introduced me to bread upma when i was in school. She is a very wonderful cook who is also an expert in  variety cooking. I wonder how our ladies in India managed to cook a variety of recipes during the period of no internet, with very few cooking shows in the television and merely by learning recipes from elders and neighbors.  i would say this is the true passion towards cooking. Alright, lets come back to the lipsmacking bread upma.

Cooking Essentials:
Bread                              10 slices
onion                                finely chopped 1/2 a cup
tomatoes                           1 finely chopped
cilantro                              few
mint leaves                        few
tomato ketchup                 2-3tbsp
shredded carrot                 1/2 a cup
salt to taste

For seasoning
Mustards                         1tsp
cumin seeds                      1tsp
saunf/ fennel seeds             1tsp
oil                                      1tbsp
curry leaves                        few                              

How to cook?
  • Cut the bread or pull apart the bread slices into small pieces.
  • heat oil in a pan. splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves.
  • Fry chopped onions, tomatoes, shredded carrot one by one. make sure the onions and tomatoes are cooked well. Add little salt to cook onions and tomatoes. Throw in the mint leaves and cilantro.saute it for a minute.
  • Add the bread pieces and saute it well. Add the tomato ketchup to it and stir it for a minute.
  • adjust salt to taste and garnish with cilantro leaves.

    * i used whole wheat bread. you can use either brown bread or white bread.
    * addition of mint is not mandatory. mint adds up to the flavor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kalyana Rasam / South Indian wedding soup or Rasam

This Flavorful Rasam is served in almost all Tamil Wedding ceremonies. I am so delighted to post this aromatic recipe today. After relishing all the rich ghee sweets and fried foods in the south Indian wedding, this rasam is certainly a magic boon which immediately makes your tummy feel light. I could still remember most of the invitees in the tamil weddings asking for more and more  rasam and sometimes get the rasam in a a glass and gulp it too.  Drinking rasam in a stainless steel tumbler, relishing every sip of it is a sheer joy.
Cooking essentials:
Tomatoes                           2
Tamarind                           1 small gooseberry size
cooked mashed toor dal     2tbsp
cilantro                              1 handful
water                                  3 glasses
salt                                       to taste

To roast and grind
Toor dal                             2tsp
coriander seeds                 2tsp
cumin seeds                      1tsp
pepper                              1tsp
Red chilli                          1

For seasoning
Ghee                               1tbsp
mustard seeds                 1tsp
curry leaves                    few
asafoetida                      a pinch

How to cook?
  • Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes. squeeze and extract the tamarind  juice.
  • chop the tomatoes and grind it a mixer.
  • mix ground tomatoes, tamarind extract, roasted and ground powder, cilantro and salt to taste along with 2 to 3 glasses of water.
  • Heat ghee in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add the dissolved tamarind tomato mixture to it. Also, add 2tbsp of coked and mashed toor dal to it and stir it well. heat up the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes until you get a nice foam layer on the rasam. do not allow it to boil. At this stage, you can remove it from stove and serve it hot with rice and papad:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Garlic Butter naan

One of my misconception  was  that we cannot make naans at home and also, we need a tandoor oven to make naans.  I had a bad experience when i tried my hands on naan for the first time few years ago. It was a huge blunder. The dough was not in a good consistency and also, the yeast which i used was not very good and so the dough did not raise up properly. Finally, after all the hullabaloo the cooked naan from the oven was like frisbees. i went crazy because i had made the best vegetable ball manchurians of my life as a side dish for the naans and my beautiful dinner night got ruined. This made me not to turn back towards cooking naan for  couple of years. i used to buy store bought naans and just heat it up and eat with delicious gravies. Very recently, i had this huge cravings for home made naan, and thus took it as a challenge to prepare the best naans ever. And this time i cooked the best softest breads ever and it  tasted great. I used the oven to bake garlic naans. 

Cooking Essentials:

All purpose flour           3cups
minced garlic pods        3tbsp
ghee                             3tbsp
yogurt                          1cup
salt                               to taste
dry active yeast             1 packet or  2-1/2tsp
baking soda                   1tsp
cilantro                         few chopped
kalonji seeds                  2tsp to sprinkle on the naan
canola oil                       2tbsp
butter or ghee                 2tbsp
water                             as per requirement
sugar                             2tsp
milk                              3tsbp

How to cook?
  • First of all, empty the yeast content in a bowl along with 2tsp of sugar and half a cup of water. Leave it aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift all purpose flour.baking soda,salt into a large bowl and add yogurt, minced galics (reserve some garlic for sprinkle on the naan before baking). add kalonji seeds, canola oil, butter,milk and  yeast along with warm water and knead the dough for 10 minutes. add more warm water if necessary.the dough has to be soft and elastic.
  • add little oil to the kneaded dough such that the dough does not stick to the bowl. now cover the the bowl with food wrapper and seal it airtight. let this dough sit for 3 to 4hrs.
  • After 4hrs the dough should be double the size. Now you can divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll it into the desired shape along with the lot of whole whear flour to dust. stretch the dough to 8 inches long and sprikle some garlic, kalonji seeds, cilantro.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degree and set the broil mode. also place the pizza stone or greased baking trays in the oven.
  • apply little water to the sides of the naan and just place them on the preheated baking trays and cook it for 2 minutes on one side and flip the naan the other side and cook it for 2  minutes. you can see bubbles on the cooked naan and browned sides of the garlic naan.
  • you can even cook naans on a tawa by placing the naans on heavy bottomed skillets. cook the naan on both the sides by applying butter to it. after cooking one side of the naan, gently remove the skillet and place the naan on the direct flame and cook till you get bubbles on the naan. place them on a basket and serve it with your favorite curries.


    i did not use kalonji seeds / nigella seeds.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Yennai kathirikkai kuzhambu (eggplant/Brinjal gravy)

Cooking essentials:
  • Brinjals/egg plants 6nos slit open
  • onion 1
  • Tomato 1
  • garlic 4 pods
  • coriander powder 2 1/2 tbsp
  • red chilli powder 1tbsp
  • turmeric powder 1/2tsp
  • tamarind paste 2tbsp
  • salt to taste
To roast and grind
  • channa dhal 1tbsp
  • urad dhal 1tbsp
  • coriander seeds 1tbsp
  • fenugreek seeds 1/4tbsp
  • cumin seeds 1 tbsp
  • pepper 1tbsp
  • asafoetida a pinch
  • Red chillies 5-6nos
  • coconut 2 tbsp
For seasoning
  • gingelly oil / canola oil 4-5tbsp
  • mustard seeds 1tbsp
  • curry leaves a sprig
How to cook?
  • choose fresh brinjals. Wash and slit them such that it looks like petal formation.
  • fry the raw brinjals in about 2 tbsp of oil in a seperate pan and keep them aside.
  • dry roast and grind the ingredients which are listed above. stuff the fried brinjals with the ground powder. keep the remaining powder aside as we are going to use it for the gravy.
  • meanwhile, fry the cut onions, tomatoes and garlic in a kadai and grind it in a mixer into a thick paste.
  • and now, heat 4-5tbsp of gingelly oil or canola oil.
  • add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  • add curry leaves.
  • add the thick paste of onion, tomato and garlic to it.
  • add coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder,and remaining ground powder and fry it well.
  • put the stuffed brinjals and mix it carefully such that the brinjals do not slit wide open.
  • add tamarind paste and pour enough water
  • finally add salt to taste.
  • cook till the brinjal becomes soft and gravy becomes thicker in consistency.
  • serve it hot with steamed rice and papad.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Thai Pineapple fried Rice (vegetarian)

Hello all, i am super excited to come back to the blogging world with an exotic Thai pineapple fried rice. Thai cuisine is  my husband's all time  favourite food. i guess it's mainly because of the aromatic  flavors and  the closeness it shares with the Indian cuisine. i always liked the addition of fish sauce in the Thai foods at the restaurants but since my hubby is a vegetarian i avoided fish sauce / oyster sauce. The ingredients i used here are available in any of your local grocery stores.

Cooking Essentials:

cooked jasmine rice                  2 cup
vegetable broth                        1
cut and blanched veggies          1cup (carrots, broccoli,peas,)
Roma tomatoes                       1 diced
red bell peppers                       cut into strips
chopped mushrooms               2
chopped garlic                        1tsp
spring onions                          2tbsp
diced pineapples                      1/2cup
onions (yellow or sweet onion)   1 sliced
cashew nuts                            10 nos
raisins                                     few
soy sauce                                2tbsp
egg                                         2
cilantro                                   few
vegetable oil                            4tbsp

How to cook?
cook the jasmine rice separately with 2cups water and 1 cup vegetable broth and also add 1tbsp oil to it to avoid sticking.
Heat oil in a wok and fry in the cashew nuts, sliced onions, roma tomatoes and garlics. fry in the red bell peppers and all the other veggies. add the raisins and diced pineapples and saute it for a few minutes. Add the cooked rice and soy sauce to it and fry well. add eggs to  the one side of the wok and fry well. mix the rice well with the other veggies. don't forget to add the required salt.  garnish with cilantro and spring onions.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Carrot Kosambari salad

Carrot Kosambari, a colorful nutritious salad with grated carrots and moong dhal.  This is a traditional dish of karnataka and served as prasadam in temples. I love the addition of lime juice to it for it gives a distinctive sour juicy taste. you can also add grated cucumbers to it.

Cooking Essentials:

          Carrot                          1 grated
          Moong dal                  1 /2 cup  
          coconut                        1tbsp (optional)                                                                                   

For Seasoning
          mustards                       1tsp
          cumin seeds                   1tsp
          curry leaves                   few
          Asafoetida                     1/2tsp
          green chillies                  2 no
          lemon                            1/2 lemon
          oil for seasoning

How to cook?

  •   Pressure cook moong dal for 1 whistle. do not overcook it and make it mushy. The lentils  should be half cooked.                                                           
  • Add grated carrots to it. Heat oil in a pan and fry the seasoning items and mix it with the salad.           
  • Finally, squeeze some lemon juice and toss the salad. Serve it as a tea time snack or just munch it whenever you crave for a healthy snack:)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vegetable puffs

 Vegetable puffs are easy to make and a perfect snack for evening tea time. I made these puffs with pastry sheets and saved lot of time. You can fill it up with different stuffings like paneer, mushroom , onions etc. I have tried a simple potato and peas stuffing.

Cooking essentials

        Puffs pastry sheets - 1 sheet ( you can make 9 puffs with just 1 sheet)
For the stuffing
       Potatoes                         Boiled and mashed about 3
       peas                               1 cup boiled
       onions                           1medium sized  finely chopped
       Garam masala              3tsp
       Red chilli powder         1tbsp
       Coriander powder        1 1/2tbsp
       Oil                                 for frying
       Ginger garlic paste        1tbsp
       Mustard seeds              1tsp
       Cumin seeds                 1tsp
       saunf                             1tsp

How to cook?
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and saunf in it.                                     
  •  Add garam masala to it and saute onions till it becomes transparent. Add ginger garlic paste to it. fry till the raw smell leaves.                                                                                                                     
  • Now you can add peas and mashed potatoes and fry for few minutes. Add red chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well. Add salt to it and cook for 5 minutes. Stuffing is done.                       
  • cut the pastry sheets into small rectangle sheets. dust it with some all purpose flour to avoid sticking. Place about 1tbsp of stuffing in one end of a rectangular pastry sheet and cover the stuffing by folding it with other half of the same sheet .
  • Grease a baking tray with some cooking spray and place the stuffed puff pastries with about 1 inch space between each puff pastries. Preheat the oven for 400 F and bake it for 12 minutes till golden brown. Eat it with maggi Hot and sweet chilli sauce:)

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