Friday, February 27, 2009

Lal Bhaji Ki Subzi

This blog was started with the main intention to preserve traditional recipes but somehow I had not got the time to start doing this seriously. Some of my friends suggest me that rather then posting elaborate recipe I should start blogging on recipes that are simple to make with very few ingredients.

So this time around I come with a simple yet traditional recipe from the beautiful land of Chattisgarh. The cuisine found out here is not very different from the one that you find in south or north but definitely has its own taste and use ingredients found locally in the region.

This recipe uses Red Amarnath leaves or called Lal Bhaji in Chattisgarh. You will find these in any standard Indian grocery store along side palak that is spinach or any other greens. They have a distinct red color leaves as well as taste.

According to some botanical reasearch conducted these have medicinal properties.

Now the recipe is pretty simple.

1 Bunch - Amarnath Leaves or Lal Bhaji including tender stem
1 Small Onion
8-9 pods of Garlic cut into pieces or crushed
1-2 Red Chillies (Dry)
A pinch of Aesofotida or Hing
1 small Potato
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder
1 Tomato
1-2 tsp of Olive Oil

Take the oil in wok and once it is hot enough temper it with red chillies, Hing and garlic. Add the onion and fry for some time. Once the onion is brown enough add the washed and finely chopped leaves along with the tender stem and fry till the leaves are wilted.

Now add a small potato cut into cubes and sprinkle it with turmeric and salt to taste. Let it cook for a while. Next add the tomato and cook for little longer.

When the potato is completely cooked you can switch off the gas and your subzi is ready. Serve hot with rice and dal.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sooji Aur Kaddu Ka Muffin

It is an amazing thing. Baking! A very good stress buster at least for me. The waft of the freshly baked cake, muffin, bread fills the entire house making you feel so good. I really love to bake for my son since he enjoys whatever I bake for him :) at least most of the times.

But the baked stuff is usually high in calories and people like me need to think twice before having it. So I got this wonderful recipe to make healthy muffins through one of the videos online and I tweaked this recipe a little bit to adjust according to my taste rather things that I could find in my kitchen. These muffins are so yum at the same time they are extremely healthy. I have used the yellow pumpkin (Kaddu) for this recipe as a base. This muffin is made with Whole wheat Flour and Bansi Sooji or the semolina or sometimes called farina. You can use Dalia too instead of the sooji. You will find it in any standard indian grocery store. Here goes the recipe. Enjoy!

Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg celsius and oil 6 muffin cups (medium sized) and you are all set to bake these yum muffins.

1 cup Whole Wheat Atta
3/4 cup Bansi Sooji
a pinch of salt
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup cashews and almonds cut into small pieces
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground laung or cloves

Mix all these ingredients into a dry vessel and now make a well right in the middle of this and add the wet ingredients which are as follows:

1 egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 Curd or Yoghurt Unsweetened
1 cup Yellow Pumpkin or Kaddu (Small) mashed

Now mix all these together till all the atta is well mixed and batter is that of a thick consistency. Basically if you try to pour it, it should take a few seconds before it falls down.

I have found that this muffin batter should be thicker than the batter you make to bake a cake. Once you start baking you will get an idea :)

Pour the batter into the oiled muffin cups and bake it for about 20 minutes or till a fork inserted comes out clean.

Enjoy your muffins!

How to get mashed Pumpkin:

Cut the Pumpkin into half and remove the seeds. Now cut further into cubes and bring it to a simmer with just enough water so that all the cubes are well immersed. After about five minutes insert a fork and see if you can pierce it easily into the pumpkin. This is the right time to take the pumpkin out. Drain all the water and then mash the pumpkin. We need about 1 cup of mashed pumpkin for this recipe.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rava Idli

Making the ubiquotous Idli takes such a long time. You should remember that you need to soak the rice and lentils overnight and then the next day you need to grind them together and then allow it to ferment.

If you have a craving for Idli and do not want to wait for that long here is a simple dish that can be made in a jiffy. The reviews that I got after making it was enough for me to put this in my list of "Recipes that take less time but gets you all the Praise"

Here goes the recipe:
Part 1:
o 1 1/2 cup of chiroti sooji or fine semolina
o 1 Tsp of Mustard Seeds
o 1 Tsp of Urad Dal
o 1 Tsp of Chana Dal
o a pinch of asafetida
o 1 Red chilli
o 1 tbsp broken cashews
o 2 tsp of oil
Part 2:
o 3/4 cup unsweetened Yoghurt
o 1 tsp of grated ginger
o 1 tsp of finely chopped green chillies
o 1 sprig of curry leaves
o 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
o 1 -2 tsp of salt

Part 3:
o 1 cup of water
o 1-1.5 tsp Eno Fruit Salt

To start with heat two tsp of oil in a wok and roast all the ingredients given in Part 1 except Sooji and when you can smell the aroma of the dal you can add the chiroti sooji and fry till the sooji becomes lightly browned.

Now keep this mixture aside and let it cool.

In a bowl take all the ingredients given in part 2 and mix it together. Now
slowly start mixing the sooji mixture with the yoghur mixture. Slowly add water and keep stirring till you get the batter in the correct consistency. It should not be very watery at the same time it should not too thick.

Now keep this aside for about 15-20 minutes. After 20 minutes you may add a couple of tbsp of water if you find that the batter is too thick.

Take a Pressure cooker with the weight off. Pour some water and bring to boil with the lid on. Now oil the idli stand and when everything is ready pour the eno fruit salt into the batter and mix it and quickly pour the mixture into the oiled idli stand. And steam this mixture for about 15-20 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the idli comes out clean.

Serve the Rava idlis with Cocunut Chutney and Sambar. Enjoy!

Capsicum Rice in a Jiffy

There have been lot of occasion when there is only one vegetable in the fridge and you need to make dinner before hitting the neighbourhood mall for your weekly supply of grocery.

Now the vegetable in question today is the ever versatile capsicum or shimla mirch as they say in hindi or the Bell Pepper for all others. Whatever it is called I have found that this humble vegetable is so dynamic and can be used in different types of recipes and it blends in very easily with everything. So here is my take on this wonderful veggie.

This recipe is something that is very easy to prepare and it calls for capsicum and rice as the base ingredeints. The rest of the stuff you can easily get from any standard indian pantry :)

So here goes the recipe.

1 Katori (Medium)Rice
3-4 Medium sized Capsicum
Salt to taste
2 tbsp of Olive oil

For Dry Roasting:
2-3 Red Chillies
1/2 tsp mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp of Jeera
2 tsp of Urad Dal
2-3 tbsp of peanuts
two sprigs of curry leaves
Cinnamon stick small 1"
1 small elaichi (cardamom)
1 small laung (clove)

Boil the rice in water until it is just about cooked. Drain it and keep it aside. You may put salt and dribble some oil to keep the rice from sticking with each other.

Now dry roast the ingreadients as mentioned above and then keep it aside for cooling. Once cooled grind it into a fine powder in a coffee grinder.

Now cut the capsicum into bite sized pieces and keep it aside.

Heat some olive oil and fry the capsicum till they are slightly wilted. Now put the ground spice powder and fry for a couple of minutes. Now mix in the rice and fry for some more time.

Serve it hot with some onion raitha.

For the Raitha or the Yoghurt dip you will need:

1 Cup Yoghurt or Curd
1 medium sized onion sliced
Salt to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted and powdered
A pinch of paprika or chilli powder

Mix all the ingredients and serve along with the rice.

Enjoy your Capsicum rice with Raitha.