Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Okra fry/Okra Sambhar/Okra in yogurt.....

Okra Fry....

Okra Sambhar....

Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid
For best cooking results, okra should be fresh (not frozen). The pods should be small (3 inches or so long), or the okra becomes tough and stringy. If forced to use frozen okra, remove as much of the moisture as possible before cooking by spreading on a paper towel, or patting it dry after it thaws, etc.
"Avoid cooking okra in pans made of iron, copper or brass for their chemical properties turns the fruit black
Here are some of the authentic South Indian Okra delicacies which are simple and yummy...

Okra Fry:
2cups chopped okra/Bendekai
1tsp red chilly powder/paprika
salt as needed
oil 2tbsp
1tsp mustard seeds
Method: In a pan, heat oil, add the mustard seeds till it splutters.. Now add the chopped okra and fry till all the moisture is gone and it starts getting crispier..(Tip: avoid mixing continuously as this will make the fry sticky).. When its crispy.. add chilly powder and salt and mix well.
This can be served with chapati/bread/rice or eaten as it is....

Okra Sambhar:
2cups okra chopped into big chunks
2tbsp toor dall (boiled)
tamarind paste 1tsp
sambhar powder 2 tsp)
1tsp jaggery
Seasoning: oil, mustard seeds, hing, jeera
For garnish: Cilantro
Method: In a pan, add the oil and seasonings.. Now add the chopped okra and fry lightly till the okra is coated with oil and becomes soft but holds its shape..
Now add the boiled dal with water, tamarind paste, jaggery and sambhar powder and mixwell. Boil with a closed lid for 5min till it comes to a boil..
Now add cilantro and salt and mix well.
This can be served with boiled rice....

Okra in Yogurt:
1cup chopped okra (microwave it till it gets soft and loses its rawness)
1cup yogurt(beat it lightly)
Grind: 2tbsp fresh coconut, 1tsp toor dal, 1 tsp jeera, 1tsp red chilly powder, 1/2inch ginger root, 1tsp black pepper) to a fine paste...

Method:In a pan heat 2tsp oil, add hing andmustar seeds.. Now add the boiled okra and fry for 2mins.. Now add the ground paste and mix well for 4mins..
Finally add the yogurt and salt and turn off the heat..
Serve this with rice...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Usli Chaat with a refreshing Carrot Cooler....

Usli is a quick all time favourite snack in Bangalore.. I remember the Usli given as prasadam during Ganesh Chaturthi.. the taste was unforgettable.. Loaded with protein with spice and a touch of lime tingle your taste buds..
Here is a variation of usli which has a tang of Chaat as well and hence "Usli Chaat"..
What more healthier than washing this off with a refreshing Carrot Cooler....

For Usli you need:
2cups Matki (you can use any combination of pulses soaked and sprouted)--parboil it till soft but not mushy
1 big red onion
1 small cucumber
2tsp tamarind date chutney
1 cup peanuts roasted and coarsly crushed
juice of lemon
green chillies 4 chopped
cilantro 2twigs
1tsp chat masala
oil 2tsp

in a pan add oil, when heated add curry leaves, green chillies and half the onions. Add turmeric and fry till translucent and switch off the heat..
Boil the matki till it is soft but firm.. Drain the water if any.. now mix the left over onion, cucumber and peanut powder.. To this add chat masala and juice of lemon and salt and mix well. Finally add the cooled fried onion mixture and mix well and serve immediatly...
Carrot Juice:
3large juicy carrots (peeled)
1/2 inch ginger root
1tsp honey..
Blend the above adding 1/2 cup water and strain.. Serve it with crushed ice (optional)...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mysore Tomato Rasam & Seasame Peanut Powder (Uchellina Pudi)

Every south indian meal is incomplete without this delicious tangy soup called "Rasam"..The variety is also varied, whether it is the lemon rasam, pepper rasam, pineapple rasam, dal rasam or mysore tomato rasam the flavour is unique and preparation lies in its simple ingredients and lots of boiling...
I have always found the rasam to be more tasty when I boil it for a long time. maybe because the flavours blend in the water base well..This is by far the most simplest dish and goes with plain rice..
The rasam powder is available in all the indian grocery stores by various manufacturers.. However, I like to make this powder once every 2 weeks since it is very simple and the flavours remain fresh..
My favourite aid to this rasam is the authentic brahmin Uchellina Pudi( black seasame spiced powder).. I love the flavour of this spiced powder with rasam rice...
Here is what you need:

Seasame peanut powder:
1 cup peanuts( roasted and preferable deskinned)
1/2 cup Black seasame seeds (dry roasted)
1/2 cup curry leaves( in a tsp of oil fry these leaves till they get crispy)
1tbsp dhania/coriender seeds( fry it with a drop of oil)
a handfull of red chillies ( I love it spicy so i used more)
1tsp jeera

To do;
Roast all the ingredients separately till a nice smell comes (do not over roast)..Grind everything to a fine powder adding salt..

Simple isnt it?..

Now for the Mysore Tomato Rasam:
1/2 cup tuar dal
2 ripe tomatoes
1tsp tamarind paste
To season:
1tsp ghee, 1 twig curry leaves, mustard seeds, jeera and hing

Rasam powder:

Red chillies (equal proportion of bydage & Kashmiri Red chillies) : 2 cupsDhania Seeds : 2 cupsJeera + Pepper corns (together) : 1/2 cup (1/4 + 1/4)Methi seeds + Mustard seeds(together) : 1/4 cup1twig curry leaves
Take a kadai with 1tsp of oil. Roast each ingredient separately for 2-3minutes till crispy and aromatic..Cool them and grind them into a fine powder and store..

To make Rasam:
Pressure cook tuar dal and tomatoes with a pinch of turmeric and a tsp of oil with 3cups of water..
In a vessel, add the cooked dal mixture and boil for 2minutes. To this add 3tsp rasam powder, salt and the tamarind paste and mix well. Now close the lid and let it come to a boil..
Meanwhile in a kadai prepare the seasonings with pure ghee and add it to the boiling rasam..

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Seasame Lemon Rice/Yellina Chitranna

A simple breakfast or brunch to me needs to be fulfilling tasty & easy to prepare.. One of my most favourite quick rice is the seasame lime rice which is little different than the regular lemon/lime rice with an added flavour of seasame.. I love the the flavour of seasame..

Here is how you make it:

You will need
2 cups of left over/fresh cooked long grain rice.

2tbsp peanut oil/seasame oil if you like

4 green chillies
1/2 green pepper chopped
For tadka/seasoning: mustard seeds 1tsp, peanuts 1tsp, curry leaves a twig, urad dal 1tsp, turmeric 1/2 tsp
seasame seeds-1/4 cup(roast it dry in a pan till it pops and powder this coarsely..

juice of lime/lemon
Spread the cooked rice in a flat pan or a plate so that the granules separate..

In a pan, add oil and add all the seasonings..Add cut green chillies, turmeric and green pepper and mix well. close the lid for 3mins till the pepper is well cooked..

Allow this to cool a little and mix this to the rice. Add salt and mix the seasame powder well. Finally add the juice of lemon and mix well and serve..

Adding seasame powder enhances the flavour of this rice...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Chocolate-Peanut butter Samosas....

For some it's an aphrodisiac, for others an addiction. It's Britain's favourite comfort food and one of the most commonly given presents. Chocolate has many forms and uses, and a long association with pleasure - and guilt (as quoted in BBC...)

Legend says that the Chocolate was the gift of God...The cacao tree was supposedly brought to mankind by Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god who taught mortals how to make a drink from it
Whether it is cocoa, dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate.. the flavour is divine..
Here is a recipe which is a little unusual but nevertheless delicious and another way of indulging into this gift from god with a savoury companion served in a cute little chocolate cups & maple syrup/honey....

You Need:
spring roll wraps/puff pastry sheets thawed and cut into rectangular strips...
choco chips-1/2cup
peanut butter-1/2 cup
oil to fry
To serve
chocolate cups which are edible (you can find it in any grocery store)
maple syrup/honey...

First microwave the choco chips till it melts.. if doing it on a stove top, make sure you melt these chips stirring avoiding getting burnt..
Mix peanut butter to this melted chocolate ganache.This will serve as a filling to our samosas..
If using a spring roll wrap.. thaw these wraps, cut it into 2" rectangular strips. place a tbsp
of filling and roll it gently to resemble a samosa.
If using puff pastry.. thaw the sheets, add some all purpose flour and roll out , cut it into recangular strips and follow the same procedure..
Deep fry these samosas and serve with maple syrup/honey....

Tip: if you dont have choco chips, you can mix nutella or any other choco syrup to a thick chunky peanut butter..
(This will be my entry to the JFI Chocolate.....)