Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sambar and Dosa combo to go please..

I splurged yesterday- cooked three different things (well if making dosa batter counts!).
Bajra dosa and to go with it Udupi sambar and Mint-Coriander chutney

Bajra Dosa
4 cups Bajra flour
1 cup rava
1/2 cup rice flour
2 cups yogurt
Water, enough to make the batter
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and let it sit for about an hour (add only enough water to get a dosa
batter consistency).
Just before making the dosas, add chopped onions and green chillies

Udupi Sambar (adapted from Sia's "Monsoon spice")
Ingredients:
3 carrots diced lengthwise
20 frozen pearl Onions,
2 large tomatoes, cubed
2 green chillies, slit
3/4 cups toor dal pressure cooked with pinch of Turmeric Powder and tsp of Oil and mashed well
1 small lime sized T]tamarind Pulp, soaked in warm water and juice extracted
1/2 tsp jaggery (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
Small bunch of Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
Few Curry Leaves
Salt to taste

For Udupi Sambar Powder:
1 tbsp Urad Dal
½ tbsp Channa Dal/
2 tsp Jeera/
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
½ tsp Methi Seeds
4-6 Dry Red Chilli
1 cup Grated frozen Coconut (I might reduce to about 1/2 to 3/4 cup next time, oh I am making it again!)

For Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Dry Red Chilli, halved
¼ tsp Hing/
Few Curry Leaves
1 tbsp ghee

Method:
Heat 1 tbsp of Coconut Oil in a pan and add the pearl onions, green chillies and few curry leaves. Sauté it on medium flame for about 2-3 minutes till they turn glossy and translucent.
Add vegetables of your choice with cubed tomatoes and just enough water to cook the vegetables. Mix in turmeric powder, jaggery, tamarind puree and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes till the vegetables are cooked well.
While vegetables are cooking, heat the pan and dry roast all the ingredients for the sambar powder (just about a minute or so). Mix in grated Coconut and roast it along the spices for another minute or so till it turns light golden and aromatic.
Cool and grind these roasted ingredients (I used the coffee grinder, did not add any water)
Add this ground mixture and mashed toor dal to cooked vegetables and mix well. Adjust the seasoning and add water depending on the required consistency of Sambar. Simmer and bring to a boil (takes about 5-7 minutes).
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, dry red chilli, hing and curry leaves in that order. Add this tempering to the sambar.
Mix in finely chopped coriander leaves and let it sit covered for about 10 mins for all the flavours to blend well. Serve this delicious Bajra dosa.

Mint-Coriander chutney
handful mint (I am sorry, I cannot remember the exact amount)
handful coriander
half a cup yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
Grind all the ingredients with sufficient amount of water (mine turned out to be a bit runny!). Also my mom sautes the mint for just about a minute or two with a bit oil before she grinds-I just did not end up making the chutney her way!

The dosa goes to Padma who is hosting her first ever event "Dosa corner"



Udupi sambar off to Sia's
RCI event this month; Mangalore/Udupi cuisine


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Green and red pasta


Well, that is a pretty lame name for a good pasta dish! I adapted a spinach malfatti recipe from here so as to be able to make it as a pasta dish.

Ingredients

For the spinach dumplings

3 cups chopped spinach (I used frozen which is not as finely chopped)
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp chopped green chillies
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce (now I got a bit creative here with a beautiful Venetian pasta sauce that a friend had gifted, could not get myself to empty the jar!!)

2 1/2 cups pasta sauce (some regular store-bought and the Venetian sauce) and tomato pulp with roasted garlic
3 spring onions, chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (Will definitely avoid this next time, unless I feel like torturing myself!)
4 tbsp heavy cream
3 tbsp olive oil
about 2-3 tbsp roughly torn basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Method

For the spinach dumplings

Steam the spinach leaves for 5 minutes and squeeze out the water. (I used this liquid in my tomato sauce)
Mix all the ingredients and shape into small balls.
Steam for 5 minutes. Keep aside. (This step I am not sure if it was necessary because the cheese melted a bit and stuck to the plate)

For the tomato sauce
1. Heat the olive oil, add the garlic and spring onions and sauté for 1 minute.
2. Add the tomato sauce and cook till the sauce thickens.
3. Add the chilli powder, basil, salt, pepper and bring to a boil (use the drained spinach liquid instead of water).
4. Add the cream. Mix well and keep aside.

For the malfattis
1. Place the dumplings in a baking dish.
2. Pour the tomato sauce on top (sprinkle the grated cheese on top for garnish). I reserved about a 1 1/2 cups of the sauce for spooning over my pasta later.
3. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200º C (400º F) for 15 minutes.
4. Serve hot over pasta with some extra sauce (I used whole-wheat sphagetti, cooked as per the instructions).

Judgement: What can I say, I am a weak one...the chilli powder burnt my tongue enough that I could not taste anything in the pasta the day I cooked it but the next day, it was better with a bit of honey (while my mouth did burn the next day, at least I could taste some of the ingredients!). But I do think this pasta is fit to go to the Presto pasta nights event that Ruth had created and is hosted this week by Pam of Side walk shoes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kasha salad for health

I have been wanting to give whole grains a try for a long time now, so when Lisa announced this month's theme for No Croutons Required I was excited. Here is my entry for this month's event.
Greek Kasha Salad (Adapted from here, I have marked the changes made in Red)

First some introduction to Kasha- It is a porridge commonly eaten in Eastern European countries. A common misconception is that Kasha is buckwheat groats but it is actually a meal made from any ingredient such as wheat, barley and oats. For more information you can check here or here or here!

KASHA SALAD

Ingredients

1 cup dried green lentils (I used whole green moong dal)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup kasha (I used buckwheat groats)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp ginger, minced
1 cup water, vegetable broth
3 tablespoons oregano leaves (I used dried)
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used about 1/2 cup)

Fresh lemon juice (from half a lemon)

Method

Pressure cook the lentils in 2 1/2 cups of water (add the bay leaf too) along with some salt and pepepr. Once it is done, discard bay leaf and drain lentils well (I used this liquid in my pasta sauce).

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add kasha, shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook (with the cover on) until water is almost absorbed and kasha is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, continue to simmer (again put the cover back on-just so the kasha can get cooked well) until liquid is completely absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside, uncovered, to let cool.

Put lentils, kasha mixture, tomatoes, olives, green onions, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper into a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve at room temperature with feta cheese and lemon juice.

Judgement: I loved this salad (Great for a hot summer day)- the kasha was tender and had a bite to it so you could tell it apart from the lentils. Next time I am going to increase the amount of kasha and decrease the amount of lentils (may be try some other lentils).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is that enough beans for you...

While I found a lot of interesting Mexican recipes that I wanted to try for the Monthly mingle this month, I had to stick to one of my favorite dishes- black bean soup! And that is only because I waited till the last minute and had a hard time deciding on what to make....as usual (and I am not even sure if the picture is in focus!)
Well here is the recipe, modified from here

Ingredients
olive oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1-2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1½ c. chopped onions (reserve ½ cup for garnish)
½ c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped carrots
1/2 cup corn (whole kernel or corn on the cob, when in season)
2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Vegetable broth
1 15-oz. can chopped fire roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp ground cumin (I added a generous amount)
2 tbsp ground chilli powder
chopped parsley and cilantro
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper

Method

Add oil to a pot. When the oil’s hot, but not smoking, add the cumin seeds, then add chopped onions, celery, carrots, ginger and jalapeños. Add a pinch of salt (I added sea salt) and turmeric, saute the vegetables over medium heat.

When the vegetables are soft, about ten minutes, add the beans, the water or stock, and the tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat, and let it simmer. When everything is very tender, and the soup has begun to thicken, stir in the cumin and chipotle powder.

Remove the pot from the heat, cool it and blend it until it’s creamy but you still see some whole beans (I blended about 3/4th of my soup, I like mine creamy)

Stir in the parsley-cilantro and heat again, stirring often to keep the thickened beans from sinking and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serve the soup hot, sprinkle of cilantro, and a good squeeze of fresh lime (I forgot to garnish with some nice chopped onions). I also cut up some strips of whole wheat tortillas- spiced it up with some chilli powder, pepper and salt (all in some olive oil), baked the strips at 350F for about 12 minutes (garnished my soup with these crunchies).

I simply love this soup and does everyone else in the house! It is hearty and flavorful (like most mexican foods are...and that is why I love MEXICAN food!). This goes to Monthly mingle-Mexican fiesta hosted by Jenny started by Meeta.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Good food for a tiresome day

Today we got a lot of stuff from Ikea, which means we had a blast assembling them (well may be not a blast, we spent the entire day assembling stuff!) Lunch was at Chipotle- lot of food for a reasonable price (Read "not-exactly-healthy"). So after a day of hard work I decided to make some good food. I am not sure if I am on time for Tried and tasted event hosted by Kits Chow but I did make two recipes from a favorite blog of mine "Hooked on heat". I love her blog mainly because of the simplicity of her recipes and of course good photography.
I made Alu fry and a rice with lentils and tomatoes. I followed the recipes through except for the alu fry I used yukon instead of red potatoes. Also for the rice dish I used long grain parboiled rice and omitted the garlic (did not feel like garlic today). I also garnished the rice with some nice crisp brown rice.

Judgement : I loved it. What better than good food for a really really long and tiring day.
Here are the photos.

PS It is almost 9PM and I have to get to lab to start something for tomorrow morning!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Zopf- A Swiss bread

So after the disastrous cooking efforts the past two days, I woke up this morning determined to make this bread and make it well. Zopf is a traditional Swiss bread and it literally means "braid". This is my entry to A.W.E.D Swiss event. This event was originally started by D of "The chef in you".
It is a fairly simple bread made with flour, yeast, butter and an egg. I got the recipe here and followed it through.

Ingredients 1 package active dry yeast 1 1/3 c warm milk 1 egg yolk 2 tbsp butter, softened 2 1/2 cups flour 1 egg white 1 tbsp water Method In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolk, butter and 2 cups of bread flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. (Here I must added at least a cup more!)

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.(I had to keep added flour to the surface to prevent the dough from sticking)


Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 14 inch long cylinder. Braid the pieces together and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Brush risen loaf with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25, until golden.

One thing I must say though- I did not braid it well but the bread came out well. Also I forgot the salt, yeah baking 101 hello!!!! So the next time, I will add some salt. May be make some a sweeter version of the bread and braid it so that it looks pretty.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mush-pie

We moved to a new house (rental guys!!)- last weekend. And yesterday was the first time I cooked anything at all in the new house. For some odd reason- the sambar and beans subzi I made were very mediocre. So to up my spirit- I decided to make a pie and ended up making a mush-pie. The crust was good but I added too much of the filling (made a plum-blueberry filling). And the filling was too tart and sweet (read as "cloying").
So may be this weekend I can get my groove back and cook something decent, something that passes my quality test!