September 23, 2016

Murukku with Oats

These Murukkus are very similar to the Benne Murukku recipe here. The only difference is that I replaced half the quantity roasted Gram with Instant oats. 

To be honest, I don't consider Oats to be a healthier alternative to othet grains but I did want to try how these Murukkus will turn out with the addition of Oats. The result was quite good. Roasted oats did add a nice nutty flavour to the Murukkus

I made these almost a month ago for Krishna Janmashtami  & I made yet another batch for Ganesh Chaturthi & they disappeared quite quickly

Oats Murukku


Kedar loves these kind of Munchies & since its his Birthday next week, I wanted to share a couple of his favourites 

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Instant Oats
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Gram/Chuntney Dal
  • 2 tsp softened butter
  • 2 tsp hot oil
  • A pinch of Hing
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil to deep fry

How To:

Grind roasted gram into a fine powder. In a pan, dry roast Instant oats for about 2-3 minutes. let it cool and later grind into a fine powder

In a wide bowl, add all the ingredients except the 2 tsp oil

Now, Add water little at a time to make a stiff non sticky dough. Cover with a damp muslin cloth and set aside.  In a deep frying pan, heat oil. when the oil is hot, take out 2 teaspoons of oil & add it to the mixture & knead. 

Grease the Murukku press with oil. Attach the Single Star Murukku Mould. Take a little bit of the mixture & fill it inside the Murukku press, Check if the oil is hot enough for frying by dropping a bit of the dough in the pan, if the dough rises immediately then the oil is hot enough, If you feel that the oil is overheated, turn off the heat for a couple of minutes & reheat 

Once the Murukku Press is filled with the mixture, press it directly over the hot oil, in a circular manner. Do not over crowd the pan. Fry them over medium flame. Flip them at regular intervals for even frying, When the bubbles & the frying sound die down, the Murukkus would have turned golden in colour.

Remove with a slotted spoon & drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Allow them to cool completely & store in an air tight jar. They stay crisp & fresh upto a week 


September 16, 2016

Leftover Makeover: Korma Biryani

I love giving leftover food a makeover sometimes. Why? Because my family isn't too kicked about eating leftover food. I know a lot of people who create magic with leftover food. Like making Dal Paranthas with leftover Dal, Making fritters out of leftover Idlis. The list is going to be endless. 

So, We had some Vegetable Korma from previous night's dinner & no one can tell that this Biryani is made out of leftover Korma 

DSC_1205


So, We had some Vegetable Korma from previous night's dinner & that's how this Biryani was made. I put this on the table in less than 30 minutes while I was on the phone with my mom. Yes, that's how easy it was.

You could practically convert any kind of gravy into a delicious one pot meal like this. You can also mix more than one gravy. No one will know, Shhh .. 

Korma Biryani

You Will Need:


  • 1 cup leftover Korma or any other curry - I used mixed Vegetable Korma
  • 1.5 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 onion - sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Half a cup of green peas
  • 4 green chilies - slit lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp fresh yogurt
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • A handful of chopped Mint
  • Juice of half a lemon


How To:

Clean Basmati Rice under running water until the water runs clear. Drain & set aside for about 15 minutes

In a Pressure cooker, Heat Ghee. Add the green chilies & ginger garlic paste & fry for about 20 seconds. Add sliced onions & fry until the onions turn pink.

Now add the Korma/curry & about 1/4th cup of water & gently simmer until it comes to a boil. Add the yogurt, Green Peas , Kitchen King Masala and Kasuri Methi & give it a good mix. 

Add Basmati Rice & 1.5 cups of water. Add Salt as per taste & mix well

Close the lid & cook for 1 whistle. Allow the steam to release.

Set aside for it to cool down a bit, say about 20 minutes. Add lemon juice & chopped  mint & gently fluff with a fork

Serve with sliced cucumbers & Onion Raita

July 7, 2016

Tomato Onion Chutney

Having grown up in a South Indian household, Chutney was a staple breakfast accompaniment. Mum generally made 2 kinds of breakfast chutneys, one was the regular green chutney with coconut & coriander & green chilies & the other one was a red chutney made with onions & dry red chilies which we mostly are with Akki Rotti ( BTW, Its been eons since I ate this one. Need it make it soon )

I am not a big fan of eating Idli/Dosa with chutney pudi , though it is an option for lazy days & my Son loves Dose + Chutney Pudi. A good Coconut based Chutney is important for me atleast 

Tomato & Onion Chutney

There are other chutneys that mum makes like the Ridge Gourd chutney & Radish Chutney ( I love this one ) which is mostly eaten with hot steamed rice.

We rarely make a tomato based chutney ( God only knows why ) This Tomato Onion chutney is a recent addition to my list & it is a good one. It goes really well with crispy dosas or Akki Rottis but I still prefer my regular Green Chutney with Idlis. 

You Will Need:
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 large Ripe Tomato or 2 small Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • 5 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 2 sprigs of Mint
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of Asafoetida 
  • Salt as per taste

How To:

Roughly chop the onion & Tomato & set aside.

In a small pan, heat Half tsp of oil, Roast Red chilies, Urad Dal & Chana dal on medium flame until slightly aromatic & the pulses turn slightly golden. Set aside to cool

In the Same pan, heat a tsp of oil & add the chopped Onions & Tomatoes & fry until they get cooked. Set aside to cool

In a mixer grinder, add fried onions & Tomatoes along with the roasted chilies & pulses. Add some salt & grind. Add about 1/4 a cup or less water & grind into a chutney like consistency. Add mint leaves & give it a final whizz

Transfer into a bowl & temper with mustard seeds & Asafoetida

Serve with Hot Crispy Dosas or Idlis or Akki Rotti/Ragi Rotti 

NOTE:

You can skip adding Mint but I love that tiny hint of freshness it lends

You may add a couple of cloves of garlic while fryimg onions & tomatoes

I didn't add any Tamarind pulp because the tomatoes add a sour tinge. But if you feel that the tomatoes are not sour enough, add a teaspoon of tamarind extract while grinding

For a coconut free version, Increase the quantity of Urad & Chana Dal by half a teaspoon & skip adding coconut. Being a true blue South Indian, The Husband feels that any Chutney without Coconut isn't chutney at all & I completely agree with him here.
But you don't have to be like us. You can make the coconut free version & still like it :)


June 17, 2016

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

If not for the notification on Facebook, I would have easily forgotten that it was is my Blog's Birthday on the 10th:) Until a few years I would keep track of the Blog's anniversary then the baby happened & I got so busy with the hustle bustle that I conveniently put Vegetable Platter on the back burner. But Blogging has always been a passion & after so  many years I still love clicking food pictures & writing about food.

I have been terribly guilty of neglecting my Blog Baby but I want to get back real soon.

Hummus

I have a very simple recipe for Hummus today. We've all eaten the regular hummus but my current favourite is the one flavoured with sun dried Tomatoes.

Sun dried tomatoes add great flavour & a lovely hue to the dip.

They are incredibly easy to make so go ahead & make some on your own instead of buying a jar 

DSC_1866

You Will Need:
  • 1  cup chickpeas - cooked or canned
  • 3-4 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Tahini Paste ( I used store bought )
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + another tbsp more to be poured on top
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes (soaked in olive oil)
  • Fresh basil 
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp or more salt
How To:

If not using canned chickpeas, soak about Half a cup of dried chickpeas in water for 6 hours or overnight. Pressure cook with a teaspoon of salt. Drain & reserve the liquid & set aside

In a blender, add all the ingredients except basil & pulse for a minute. scrape down the sides. Add a little bit of reserved liquid & pulse for another couple of minutes. 

Add Basil & pulse until just minced. Add a bit of the reserved water if you want to thin down the hummus a bit.

Scoop into a serving bowl. Garnish with some more chilli flakes, olive oil & fresh basil.

Serve with Pita chips, fresh vegetables or slather them on crisp toasted bread. 

NOTE:

Its not easy to find Tahini paste in India, but they are so easy to make. You can make fresh Tahini paste by toasting about 2 tbsp of white sesame seeds on low flame & then upon cooling, pulse them in a blender with about 3 tbsp of olive oil & it's done 


April 14, 2016

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

Bangalore right now is at its worst weather ever. A couple of days ago it touched 40C. Until a decade ago, Bangalore was famous for its cool climate & it would never touch beyond 35 C even during summers. I guess those days should be long forgotten now.

The little one does not want to drink warm milk anymore & is always wanting some Juice. As soon as he is back from his Summer Camp, he wants demands a big glass of juice. 

So, I've been making a lot of fresh juices this season. It's so hot that it has replaced my evening cup of Masala chai. Now that Mangoes are in season, a lot of Mango milkshakes & Mango Lassis have been happening too 

Almost a decade ago, I went to US for the first time and it was when I had Mango Lassi for the first time. Its quite strange that Mango Lassi is not very popular here in India But every other Indian eat out in the US will have Mango Lassi on the menu

Nevertheless, it is a very delicious drink & I got quite hooked to its taste. I make it quite regularly during the Mango season. A big glass of Mango Lassi is quite filling & can make for a great breakfast 


MANGO LASSI

You Will Need:
  • 2 medium sized Ripe Mangoes 
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 tsp Sugar - optional
  • A big pinch of cardamom powder
  • 5 Ice cubes - optional
How To:

Peel & roughly chop the mangoes. In a blender, add all the ingredients one by one & whizz a couple of times until well blended

Pour into individual  glasses & serve

NOTE:

You could use any variety of Mangoes, I used Alphonso

If making just for myself I do not add sugar or any other sweetener. 
But you could try adding powdered Jaggery for a slightly different taste

April 6, 2016

Watermelon Orange Cooler


Watermelon Orange Juice

When the sun is at its peak, all you need is gallons of something refreshing to drink.

I have banned canned fruit juices & other soft drinks from making an entry into our home for obvious reasons. But, the little one loves juices & he often demands for a helping. I am all for freshly made juices & come to think of it, it actually doesn't take much time to make fresh fruit juice & smoothies.

So, this summer, we have been having a lot of Tender Coconut, Nimbu paani & other easy to make mocktails. So much better than those tetra pack ones & guilt free too because you can control the amount of sugar that goes in 

While we mostly eat watermelon as is with Chaat Masala sprinkled on top, this Watermelon & Orange Cooler is a refreshing change. I love Oranges & thankfully the green coloured oranges from Coorg are very much available. They are sweet with a hint of tartness just the way Oranges should be. 

So, this Watermelon & Orange Cooler was born out of Summer Boredom & Heat 

Watermelon Limeade

You can add a sprig of Mint Leaves while blending.

You can strain watermelon pulp before serving. It will result in a slightly thinner concoction. I preferred to have that little bit of fibre left so I didn't strain the juice 

Make sure you remove all the seeds from the watermelon before blending


March 31, 2016

Carrot & Raw Mango Rice

Summer has started way too early here & it definitely is not my favourite season. It is hotter than the previous year & we are gulping down tons of tender coconuts & watermelon already

One this about summer that I like are the Raw Mangoes. They have already hit the market & I am already in the process of making this year's first batch of Mango pickle .. Yaay !! 

I had about 30 minutes to make something for lunch this afternoon, I wasn't in the greatest of moods to cook something elaborate in this heat. So, I made this really quick Carrot & Raw Mango Rice 


CARROT & RAW MANGO RICE

I made this totally on a whim & I am very happy with the way it turned out. The sweet carrots paired up quite well with the sour raw mangoes & the addition of mint did add a bit of freshness.


This is a very mildly flavoured rice dish. Quite apt for summer. Makes a great lunch box option too. When Raw Mangoes are not in session, you can use Lime Juice or even grated Gooseberrys or Amla when in season 

You can pep it up with a hit of Garam Masala & Coriander powder. I wanted to keep it low on spice & trust me, it tasted very good. Quite different from the regular Raw Mango Rice we make

Carrot & Raw Mango Rice


You Will Need:

  • 2 cups cooked Rice
  • 1 large carrot - grated
  • Half of a large Raw Mango - Grated
  • 1/4th cup of fresh Green Peas
  • A handful of fresh mint - chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 5 Green chilies - chopped
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
How To:

Cook Rice in a Pressure cooker & once cool, spread it onto a wide bowl & allow it to cool. I used Sona Masoori Rice. You can use Basmati too

Boil Fresh Green peas in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain & set aside. Peel Raw Mango & grate them

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil & splutter mustard & cumin seeds. Add Urad Dal & sauté for 30 seconds. Add the green chilies & sauté for 20 seconds. Add grated carrots & sauté for 2-3 minutes. Next, add grated raw mango & sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add cooked rice, Boiled Green Peas & Salt. Give it a good mix & let it stand on low heat for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat & allow it to cool & little. Add chopped mint & mix gently & serve

NOTE:

Add chopped mint after the rice cools down slightly as adding it when the Rice is still hot makes them turn almost blackish & I wanted to retain the fresh green colour

Instead of Raw Mangoes, You can also use lime juice or Indian Gooseberry/Amla when in season