Whenever I think of a rich fruit based dish,, one dish which stands out is the Nine Gems Kurma also called the "Navaratna Kurma".. This dish is a combination of flavour, richness & simplicity.. The blend of vegetables with fruits in a rich broth makes this extra special..
I have tried varieties of recipes to prepare this dish as my mytaste buds.. One which stands out and one which I personally love is below:
boiled Mixed vegetables -1cup ( I have used water based veggies without strong colors like chayote, knool coll, potato & white pumpkin)
1 apple chopped
1 slice pineapple cut into chunks (if you find crushed canned pineapple, you can use 2tbsps)
6-7 white grapes
tooty frooty/cherries 1/2 cup
Fried panner cubes-1/2cup
garam masala 1tsp
red chillie powder 1/2tsp
ginger powder or fresh ginger 1tbsp
Grind to a fine powder
Grind to a fine paste with 1/2 cup milk
10 deskinned almonds
In a pan, add 2tbsp oil.. when heated, add onions and fry till translucent.. To this add the ginger powder and fry for 2mins.. Now add the tomatoes and mix well.. Add salt and close the lid for
2mins till the tomatoes cook well.
Meanwhile boil/microwave the mixed veggies till tender.
Now add the fruits to the onion tomato mixture and mix well. Apples cook very fast. Add the almond paste and the masalas and boil till the flavours blend. Add the boiled veggies and panner and mix well till the right consistency is attained.. Garnish with grated paneer and enjoy...
Monday, December 31, 2007
Posted by Paru ... at 2:19 PM
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Delicious Fruit & Nut halwa..
I wanted to use this nut in one of my favourite sweet treats.. which is the authentic "Bombay Halwa"..I used to indulge in the sweet often, wrapped in a flimsy plastic wrap and colorfully chewy this halwa is divine in its taste...
Here is one version of this halwa which is very simple to prepare and uses a combination of fresh fruit & ofcourse the Nuts....
1can mixed fruits (I have used peach, pineapple, cheeries, apple)
1/4 cup corn flour
1/2 cup melted butter/ghee
1tsp fresh cardamon powder
Nuts: sunflower seeds/melon seeds, slivered almonds--1/2 cup
In a thick bottom pan, add sugar and 1/4 cup water and boil till the sugar melts.. Mix corn flour, maida with the rest of the water till no lumps are formed and add this to the sugar mixture and keep stirring in a medium heat..Now add the fresh fruit and 1/4 cup butter and keep stirring for 7-8 minutes to make sure it doesnt stick to the pan.. Now add the cardamom powder, the nuts and the remaining butter along with the food color and mix well and stir for another 3-4 minutes till the butter leaves the sides of the pan and the mixture becomes like a thick mass.
Grease a plate and spread the mixture with a spatula.. Garnish with nuts of your choice..When it is cooled. cut it into chunks and wrap it into individual treats in a plastic film..
This serves as an excellent gift during festivals..
Posted by Paru ... at 5:43 PM
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Pepper is believed to have many medicinal properties...Pepper loses flavour and aroma through evaporation, so airtight storage helps preserve pepper's original spiciness longer. Once ground, pepper's aromatics can evaporate quickly; most culinary sources recommend grinding whole peppercorns immediately before use for this reason. Handheld pepper mills (or "pepper grinders"), which mechanically grind or crush whole peppercorns, are used for this, sometimes instead of pepper shakers, dispensers of pre-ground pepper.
Pepper kootu is one of the traditional recipes during the winter months.. This is very nutritious and can be used with a combination of vegetables..I have used brocolli and tomatoes as the base vegetable for this kootu which makes it even more healthy..
What you need:
cooked & mashed toor dall (1/2 cup)
1tsp honey/little jaggery
seasonings: mustard, curry leaves, hing
To dry fry and grind
2tbsp coriender seeds
2tsp black pepper corns
3dried red chillies
In a pan add the seasonings with oil.. Now add the brocolli and tomatoes , 1/2cup water and boil the vegetables for a few minutes till they r well cooked.. Now add the boiled and mashed dall and mix well.
Now add the dry ground masala, salt and mix well..Add 1cup milk , honey and close the lid and boil the kootu for another 5minutes till all the flavours blend and the consisstency is right..
Serve this with hot rice or chapatis...
Microwave cooking tips:
Tip: The entire dish can be prepared in less than 10minutes in a microwave.. You can precook the toor dall ahead and add or dry grind 2tbsp toor dall which has been fried lightly for 2mins . Add this dal powder with the cooked vegetables and microwave adding water and milk.Make sure you stir the mixture every 2minutes once the masala and milk is added to the boiled veggies...
Tip 2: It is always helpful to fry toor/channa dal lightly till nice aroma comes and grind it into a fine /coarse powder and store. This will be very handy in microwave sambhars/rasam/any other gravies with a dal base. This will cook much faster and the consistency can be very well adjusted..
Posted by Paru ... at 3:43 PM
Friday, December 28, 2007
Potato is the most versatile vegetable which is filled with carbs & energy.. The creativity with this wonder vegetable is amazing...Whether it is fried/boiled/baked it tastes divine and very filling..
Here is a very unique spicy masala aloo which is simple to make & very tasty with a unique flavour..
I found this recipe from a Regional cook book and I have tweaked to create my own version of this recipe ..
Here is what you need:
3 medium sized potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
a big tomato chopped
chopped coriender leaves to garnish..
To fry and grind
3tbsp coriender seeds
3tsp saunf/fennel seeds
1/4 tsp pepper
3 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 cup milk
fry all the ingredients to fry with a tsp of oil till nice aroma comes and dry grind it into a fine powder..
Heat oil in a pan and add a tsp of fennel. Now add the potato chunks, turmeric powder and fry for a fw minutes till the oil coats the potatoes.. Now add the ground powder and mix well till the potatoes are coated.Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup milk, salt and close the lid. After 6-7 minutes the potatoes will be fully cooked with the spices and tomatoes.. garnish with cilantro and serve with hot chapatis..
Posted by Paru ... at 9:09 PM
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Merry Christmas All...
Needless to say, Christmas is incomplete without the traditional fruit cake..
I love the fruit cake.. but more than that.. something which really makes my mouth water is the Plum cake often found in Bangalore Nilgiris.. I am sure this cake is found in all parts of India but my memory goes to the Nilgiris bakery which serves a delicious rich plum cake.. I have always tried methods of getting a recipe for an easier version of this cake but invain.. i am sure its out there somewhere.
Here is a version of eggless cake for all the vegans.. The dry fruits can be selected as per the taste.. This cake is also simply good with cranberries and pistachios.. I have used a mixture of regular tooty fruity mix with dried plums and raisins.. If you dont like cinnamom, you can use just a tsp....
This is my entry to the "Think Spice" event hosted by Sunita's blog http://sunitabhuyan.blogspot.com/2007/12/think-ginger-round-up-and-announcing.html
2 cups self raising flour
2teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
3/4 cup dried mixed fruit ( I have added dried plums to this to get the flavour of plums)
1/2 cup sugar
12 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup pepsi/thumpsup
1/2 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
soak the dry fruit and plums in pepsi for 30mins.-
Put the cinnamon spice, nutmeg, butter, dried mixed fruit, sugar and water into a saucepan.- Place the over a medium heat and stir the mixture until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.-
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes.- Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.- Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir.-
Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center of it.- Pour the lukewarm mixture into this. -
Mix well and pour into a greased cake pan(i have used rectangular)- Smooth the top of the mixture and sprinkle with nuts if u wish to.- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 375 F- Turn onto a wire rack to cool
(tip: you can use any combination of dry and mixed fruits..the natural gum of the dried fruit peel actually acts as a binder here so I have used more fruit peels and soaked fruits than regular dried fruits...)
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Bangalore has given a start to some of the finest eateries, whether it is a quick fast food darshini or a sit in place like udupi garden/shanthi sagars/sukh sagar etc, the most oldest tradition is the bakery.
The signature Iyengar bakeries exist everywhere throught bangalore. Whether it is cakes, pastries, honey cakes, buns, cookies, puffs the taste is simply delicious. One of the finest creations ever made in these bakeries is the Iyengar toast...
Whenever I see bread , the first thing that comes to my mind is the colorful, spicy, savoury iyenga toast which is not only filling but extremely tasty....
Here is my creation of the famous Iyengar Bakery toast given by my mom which almost replicates the taste...
2 medicum onions chopped (not too fine)
3tomatoes ripe ( chop tomatoes and squeeze out the water)
a pinch ofnutmeg(optional but will definetly give a twist to this toast)
Fresh salt bread
In a pan , heat oil.. add the green chillies and onions and fry on a medium heat till the rawness of the onion goes away.. Dont brown the onions as this will change the flavour. Now add the chopped tomatoes and grated carrot and mix well.. Add turmeric, nutmeg and salt and close the lid for 2minutes till the tomato cooks..
Now add cilantro and mixwell and switch of the heat..
Toast the bread and apply the above mixture generously on the toast and serve...
Posted by Paru ... at 1:32 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Rich food doesnt have to necessarily contain heavy fatty ingredients...
Sometimes using simple ingredients could result in a delicious equally rich tasting food without the extra calories..
Here is a very low calorie malai mutter which is very rich, flavourfull, full of healthy vegetables and very low calories...The best part of this dish is it takes less than 10minutes to prepare without the hassles of grinding anything..
1 ripe tomato
1 onion finely minced
1tsp ginger-garlic paste
1tsp red chillie powder
a pinch of turmeric
3tbsp skimmed milk powder
cracked pepper 1/2tsp(optional)
Now add the boiled fresh peas and any other veggies(optional) and mix well.. Take skimmed milk powder in a bowl and mix it with water to a fine paste.
Add this paste to the pan and mix well.add cracked pepper and close the lid for 4mins till the mixture cooks well. Serve with chapatis/roti
This dish takes only a tsp of oil and literally calorie free but extremely delicious and rich...
Posted by Paru ... at 1:00 PM
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
1pack Hakka noodles (you can use any thick noodles/maggie noodles)
1/2 cup shredded carrots (boil for 3mins in a microwave)
1/2 cup sliced string beans (boil for 3mins in a microwave)
2tsp tamarind date chutney
2tsp red chillie chutney/schezewan sauce
1tsp tomato ketchup..
Prepare noodles per instructions and strain them and cool them..In a pan, heat the oil till it smokes.. Add garlic and scallions and fry till till the garlic gets golden brown.. Now add the tamarind chutney, red chillie chutney and ketchup and mix well. If you want more sweet and tangy taste add a little more of tamarind date chutney..Adding salt is optional since the sauce may already have salt.. Now mix the strained veggies.
Mix this masala with the cooled noodles till its coated well. Garnish it with scallions and serve....
Posted by Paru ... at 8:48 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
Fresh Menthya soppu/Methi bunches: 2 bunches (clean and strip the leaves from the stem)
cashew nuts: 2tbsp
Vangibath powder/Sambhar powder: 3tsp
seasoning: 2tbsp oil, mustard, hing, curry leaves, dried red chillies
jaggery/honey: 1tsp (optional)
Clean the leaves thoroughly and spread it on a clean paper towel/kichen towel to dry.. Chop the leaves roughly.( Avoid chopping the leaves when wet since it bruises the leaves)..
In a pan, heat oil, season with mustard, hing, curry leaves, dried red chillies. Now add broken cashew bits and fry for a few minutes. Now add the chopped Menthya leaves and mix well. Add lime juice and fry for a few minutes till the menthya leaves are cooked.. Now add the masala powder and salt. Mix well till the oil separates. Cool and mix with rice and serve with raita of your choice...
Tip: This gojju can be made and stored in the refrigerator and used as needed..
If Vangibath powder is not available, fry 1/2 inch piece of cinnamom and 2 cloves. grind it with sambhar powder with 1/4tsp pepper. This will give a very good flavour..
Posted by Paru ... at 9:24 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Persimmons are eaten fresh or dried, raw or cooked. When eaten fresh the peel is usually cut/peeled off and the fruit is often cut into quarters or eaten whole like an apple. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet and when firm possesses an apple-like crunch. It can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads and as a topping for breakfast cereal. Persimmon pudding is a dessert using fresh persimmons
Here is a delicious Indian Persimmon Apple spread, which can be served with fresh bakery rusk or a toasted bagel/bread..
Posted by Paru ... at 10:01 PM
Posted by Paru ... at 9:24 PM
Posted by Paru ... at 6:25 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
3 small plaintains/Raw bananas/Balekai (peeled and sliced into small chunks)
2tsps sambhar powder
2tsp lime juice
2tbsp fresh grated coconut
a pinch of turmeric
2tbsp oil, hing, mustard, jeera, curry leaves and dried red chillies..
First peel and remove any fibre from the raw bananas and slice it into little chunks. Now add turmeric and lime juice and mix the chunks well and set aside for 5mins.
In a pan add oil and season with mustard, jeera, curry leaves and dried red chillies. Now add the chunks and fry for a few minutes till the chunks get crispy and golden brown. Now add sambhar powder and coconut, salt and mix well for 3minutes.. Do not cover the pan with a lid at any point of time if you want crispier chunks...Enjoy..
Posted by Paru ... at 12:21 PM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I remember when I used to go jogging early morning during my bangalore days.. My dad and me made it a point to visit a different eat out cafe after jogging for a steaming idli with sambhar. This sambhar always fascinated me. The flavour was so enticing. Potato Shallot sambhar is almost served in any eatery throught Karnataka and tastes delicious nomatter where it is served. Nothing can go wrong with this combination.
Posted by Paru ... at 8:08 PM
It is an annual legume crop that provides with a natural source of hydrocolloid.It is consumed as a bean, livestock fed and also in the form of manure in the fields. India is a very dominant producer of this crop. This is a common vegetable used in Karnataka aswell. My most favourite part of this bean is its color, rich bright green color especially the young beans.
Grind all the 'To grind" ingredients adding little water to a fine paste. In a thick bottom pan, add oil and season with all the seasoning ingredients. Now add the ground paste and mix well in a low flame. Add little water if the paste starts to stick to the pan. Now close a lid and let it cook for 10mins. Then add the boiled cluster beans, salt and mix well and serve.
Posted by Paru ... at 7:47 PM
Friday, December 7, 2007
Posted by Paru ... at 4:00 PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Panaka/Panakam I would call is a very festive drink which is extremely refreshing & delicious. The speciality lies in its simple blend of flavours using simple ingredients. It is a very soothing drink often offered in many festivals especially Rama Navami. Any pooja or rituals in any auspicious occasions is incomplete without this cooler.
Here is a very simple Panakam recipe which is extremely soothing & quick to make.
3cups of store bought lemonade
4cardamom pods (powder it fresh)
1/2 inch ginger grated
a few rose petals(optional)
micrwave 1/4 cup water adding grated ginger, saffron & cardamom powder for 2mins till the taste of cardamom and ginger infuses in the water. Set aside for a few mins to cool and then strain the infused liquid.
Add this strained liquid in 3cups of store brough lemonade. Mix well and chill if needed. Serve it with garnished rose petals. This recipe is definetly an eye catching hit...
Try it and let me know your comments
Posted by Paru ... at 1:17 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Posted by Paru ... at 4:16 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In English the name of Avarekai is either Flat Beans or Field Beans .They are grown in India and elsewhere, mainly during summer.The definition of a field bean - Old World upright plant grown especially for its large flat edible seeds but also as fodder.Other names for the field bean is:broad-bean, broad-bean plant, English bean, European bean, Vicia faba..
Rotti is a flat pancake made it either rice flour or Finger millet flour(ragi). Avarekalu rotti represents typical karnataka breakfast food. Here is the recipe
Avarekalu (papdi lilva)/Hitakabele if available -- 1cup
Grated coconut or fresh coconut pieces--1/2 cup
Rice flour -2cups
Sabsige soppu/dill-1small bunch
butter milk--1/2 cup
oil , salt and water..
microwave avarekalu till tender with a pinch of salt. Drain and reserve the drained water. In a mixing bowl, add rice flour and all the other ingrediants with chopped dill and mix it with buttermilk. If the mixture is too dry, add the reserved water for mixing. The consistency should be like a soft chapati dough. Now smear this with 2tsp oil and keep it aside for 15mins.
Take a non stick pan, smear your hands with oil , take a small piece of the dough and using your fingers spread it around the pan. The oil on your palm will help you expand the dough to the thick ness you want..
on a medium flame cook the rotti till brown spots appear. smear it with ghee or butter and serve with cold yogurt.
Optional: cook the rotti and garnish with fresh grated coconut and serve..
Posted by Paru ... at 1:22 PM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
There are varieties of chitranna. Sometimes it is made with lemon juice or mango or tamarind. My most favourite chitranna is with a combination of coriander with tamarind. This is one of my most favourite recipes given to me from my mother.
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
a small piece of tamarind (soak a small piece of tamarind in water and remove seeds or break tamarind into little bits)
1twig curry leaves
4 red dried chillies
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp urad dal
a pinch hing
1) grind coconut, coriender leaves and the tamarind pieces in a mixer without adding any water. The mixture need not have to be finely ground.
2) In a pan, add 2tbsp oil and when heated add mustard seeds , urad dal and hing. When it splutters add chillies, curry leaves and peanuts and fry till the peanuts turn brown
3)Now add the ground mixture and fry for 2-3minutes.
Voila.. the mixture is ready to be mixed with boiled rice .Add salt and enjoy..
Posted by Paru ... at 11:17 PM
This is a classic recipe which I learnt from my mother in law..Its a rare and tasty combination of vermicelli & poppy seeds with a unique mouth tingling taste..
For all the Payasa lovers who are looking for a refreshing change with shavige.. this is a rewarding change.
shavige(vermicelli) - 1 cup
Gasagase(poppyseeds) - 2tbsp
Cardamom - 4 (peeled and powdered)
Dry fruits - 2tbsp
Jaggery -- 1cup (if brown sugar used, use 1.5 cup)
Milk - half cup (optional)
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
1) Fry vermicelli in a tbsp of ghee on a medium flame till golden brown..
2) In the same pan, fry the poppyseeds till the raw smell goes away.
3) Grind the poppy seeds with coconut and cardomom into a watery paste.
4) Take another pan, add 1/2 cup water and boil the vermicille, when almost done, add jaggery and boil for a few more minutes till the jaggery melts.
5) Now add the poppy seeds paste in this pan and mix everything. Based on the consistency water could be added or milk could be added.
6) for more richer taste coconut milk can be added too.
7)Fry all the dry fruits and nuts in the left over ghee and garnish the payasa.This can be served warm or cold..
Posted by Paru ... at 3:41 PM