December 27, 2013

Smoky Black Bean Soup


I know I am too late to be wishing Merry Christmas but all the festivity is still in air & I hope everyone's enjoying the holiday season. We haven't been able to take off due to some work commitments & also that Kedar is still small we have to think twice before any plans are made. But we are enjoying some quite time at home.

I haven't baked much this season apart for the Masala Biscuits I made over the last weekend to go with some chai, I have been eating this really yummy Plum Cake that the husband bought from the bakery in his office campus. Yumm de Yumm I tell you.

The weather in Bangalore is Brrrr right now which makes it perfect for a nice Soup like this. Full of flavor & packed with a punch. This was what I made on Christmas Night & we enjoyed it with some nice garlic bread.


You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Black Beans - soaked overnight or for a min of 6 hrs
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic -  finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper - chopped I used half a red & half a yellow
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp salsa - I used store bought
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish
  • 2 1/2 cups or more of Vegetable stock
How To:

Pressure cook black beans until tender. Allow it to cool & mash with a potato masher & set aside. Over a gas flame, fire roast the tomatoes until cooked. Fire roast the onion as well. once cool, blend into a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a soup pot, add chopped bell peppers, garlic, cumin & oregano & saute until the bell peppers are tender. Add black beans, 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock or water, salsa & some salt. Add the onion & tomato paste as well & Bring it to a gentle boil while stirring at regular intervals. simmer for about 6-8 mins. 

If you find the soup too thick add some more stock or water to adjust the consistency. Pour into individual soup bowls & garnish with Parsley & serve Hot with a crusty bread

NOTE:

  • Use Canned Black Beans to save cooking time
  • Since Salsa already has some salt, go easy on salt 

November 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Garlic & Tofu Noodles

Peanut Butter was not a rage in India at least when I was growing up. My only memory of Peanut Butter was when my cousins from the US would bring a huge bottle on their annual visit since it wasn't available here. I remember not being too fond of it then.

Now that everything is available everywhere these days, Peanut Butter became availabe in India too & a lot of people here  have develop a fondness for it, including yours truly.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on the Health Benefits of Peanut Butter by Dr. Swarupa Kakani sponsored by Sundrop Peanut Butter, AgroTech Foods Limited.  

Here's some interestimg Trivia provided by Dr Kakani.

  • Peanut Butter was invented in 1890 as a super food to build up starving people 850 nuts are required to make 18oz of peanut butter- that's even more than in your family tree

  • 850 nuts are required to make 18oz of peanut butter- that's even more than in your family tree!

  • Americans eat around 800 million pounds of peanut butter every year. It is good enough to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon
  • Almost half of peanut crop produced in the US is used to make peanut butter
  • Peanut butter contains 80% of good unsaturated fat, which also lowers cholesterol
  • According to Harvard researchers, women who regularly consume peanut butter and nuts have a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes compared to those who don’t.

  • Peanut butter has high contents of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce levels of bad cholesterol. It is also completely devoid of trans-fats and cholesterol.

  •  It also has good contents of fibre (5g/100g); folates; and resveratrol, a component reputed to be anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic
  •   Peanut Butter is vitamin-packed with thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin E. It is also naturally mineral-rich in copper, magnesium, potassium and zinc

  • Peanut butter provides same benefits as derived from consuming nuts such as lowering risk for coronary heart diseases and diabetes

  • Peanut Butter has high levels of protein (25g/100g), contributing significantly to higher physical endurance and muscle development.

Garlic &Tofu Noodles 3


We were shown some easy to do recipes by the Chef, One being the Peanut Butter Smoothie which is a great after workout drink & another one was a fun apple open sandwich with a generous coating of peanut butter topped with muesli. 

We got to take home a bottle of Sundrop Peanut Butter & the first thing I did was to eat it by the spoonfuls. And before I finished off the entire jar, I did make the smoothie & it was yumm. 

The next thing I tried was the Peanut Butter, Garlic & Tofu Noodles and I am going to share the recipe with you today.

Garlic & Tofu Noodles 2 


 You Will Need:

  • 1/2 a packet of regular noodles
  • 200g Tofu - drained & diced into cubes
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tbsp Sundrop Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 tsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped spring onions

How To:

Cook Noodles as per package instructions. Drain & set aside

In a large skillet, heat some oil. add chopped garlic & green chillies, saute for 30 secs. add tofu, some salt & saute for about 2 mins.

Throw in the noodles, peanut butter & a little bit of oil. Give it a gentle mix until the noodles get coated with peanut butter. Add chilli flakes & check for salt. Give it a gentle stir again.

Transfer to a serving bowl, Garnish with spring onions & serve warm


Garlic & Tofu Noodles 1

Peanut Butter lends a very nutty taste to the noodles & I was in love with the flavor. Next time around, I plan to make a salad dressing using peanut & I am sure it will be yummy ...

Peanut butter is an ideal breakfast option to meet daily protein requirement for people across all age group and is a healthy and tasty way to become strong. Now that Sundrop  has launched Peanut Butter in India, you don't have to hunt for it in huge supermarket. It will be available just about anywhereSundrop peanut butter is available in two flavours – Regular and Honey Roast in Creamy and Crunchy variant, . They also plan to lunch a slightly spicier version shortly to appease the Indian palate. So, do watch out for it !!


October 17, 2013

Quinoa Khichdi | Sabudana Khichdi Style

I bought Quinoa a couple of times when I was in this so called Phase called healthy eating & then forgot all about it. And, now almost 2 years later, I am again in that Healthy Eating phase ( I don't know, how long its going to last though )  .. I again bought a box of quinoa from the supermarket ..

Quinoa


Quinoa is so easily adaptable to Indian recipes just like oats :)  I normally make Upma or a Khichdi or I just cook quinoa & eat with lightly seasoned steamed vegetables.

I made Sabudana Khichdi style quinoa the other day & I just loved it. It's far more easier to make since, it does not require pre soaking like Sabudana & it requires far more less oil 

Quinoa Khichdi 


  You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 1 large potato - pressure cooked , peeled & roughly mashed
  • A handful of roasted peanuts - coarsely crushed
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • Fresh coriander for garnish
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

How to:

Dry roast quinoa for a couple of minutes. Set aside. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa & let it cook for about 10 mins on medium flame. Add additional water if required. When completely cooked, fluff with a fork & set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat cooking oil, splutter cumin seeds. Add chopped green chillies & sauté for a few seconds

Add mashed potatoes & mix well. Add salt, turmeric & crushed peanuts & give it a mix again.

Add cooked quinoa & grated coconut. Mix again & check for salt. Let it stand for a couple of mins & turn off the stove. Garnish with fresh coriander & serve war

Though, Sabudana Khichdi is typically eaten at breakfast, I usually make this for dinner or a light lunch as well. It also is a great lunch box option



October 2, 2013

Gusto D'Italia @ Spaghetti Kitchen & Bar

Spaghetti Kitchen & Bar is a lovely little Italian restaurant tucked in the by lanes of Koramangala & I ate the most scrumptious Italian fare at Spaghetti Kitchen last week.  I was invited to review their newly introduced Lunch & Dinner Buffet menu starting from the 24th of September.

Gusto D'Italia as the buffet is called boasts of 30 different dishes on their buffet menu which includes everything from starters to soups to yummy pastas & desserts.


Spaghetti Kitchen has a lovely ambiance with Mediterranean influence. The restaurant is divided into two segments. One segment is painted blue & has colored glass lanterns & the other segment is more airy with large windows & loads of sunshine



We started off with some smoked tomato soup along with some breads & dips and some stuffed olives.

Next came in the Parmesan Cream Cheese Potatoes & Sicilian Cottage Cheese. There was also some Corn Fritters with Labneh. We also had some lovely Peach & Strawberry Martini for company.




They also had a lovely spread of Pastas. But the highlight was the Ricotta & Spinach stuffed Ravioli & the Vegetable Lasagna. The Thin crust Veggie Pizza was great too.

Wherever there is Italian food, there Ought to be Tiramisu :) then of course there were some Hot Brownies & of course choice of Gelato. 



The vegetarian  Lunch Buffet is Priced at Rs 399 & the Non Vegetarian Lunch Buffet is priced at Rs 499 

The vegetarian  Dinner Buffet is Priced at Rs 449 & the Non Vegetarian Dinner Buffet is priced at Rs 499 A whole lot of Italian food at this price is definitely a steal.


And, there was more .. Chef Bill Marchetti - Corporate Chef for Spaghetti Kitchen was also present at the venue. He not only saw to it that his guests ate well but also cooked some Pasta for us. He made his signature Penne Arrabiata with Vodka & Fettuccine con Pesto. It definitely was a pleasure to watch the Masterchef cook for us. Not only that, He gave us loads of food tips & great stories about Italian food all along ( which I will be sharing in my future posts )

After being stuffed with good food unlimited Martinis, we had some Italian Espresso from the Cafe located inside the restaurant


I loved the buffet spread. Not a single dish that was bad. The Sicilian Cottage Cheese could have been better though, But everything else was spot on. For Rs 399 + it is a lot of food & you are guaranteed to have a good time. 

SPAGHETTI KITCHEN AND BAR – KORAMANGALA is located at 
No 1, SJR Primus,
1st Floor, Adjacent to Raheja Arcade,
Koramangala,
Bangalore – 560095.
Tel No: (080) 4116 0500 / 4099 0500

September 12, 2013

South Indies: Belgaum Kunda

One of the fewer sweets I love is this decadent Milk based Halwa, Kunda from a small city in Karnataka called Belgaum. This was made for Ganesh Chaturti since we decided to give more traditional sweets like Puran Poli & Payasa a miss. 

I guess Kunda is very similar to Palkova from Tamil Nadu especially in the taste department. Except, that we use semolina to give kunda that grainy texture.

Belgaum Kunda

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp semolina
  • 1 tbsp fresh curds
  • 3 tbsp desi ghee
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Almond slivers for garnish

How To:

In a heavy bottomed pan, add a tbsp of ghee. once the ghee is warm, add a tbsp of semolina & saute until it gets slightly changes colour & is aromatic. Add Milk & bring it a boil. once the milk boils, add a tbsp of yogurt & turn off the stove.

In another heavy bottomed pan, add sugar & caramelize over low flame. once the sugar gets caramelized, add the split milk & mix well. Cook on medium flame until the mixture becomes slightly thick & start leaving the sides of the pan.Add the remaining ghee & mix well. Do keep stirring at regular intervals to avoid the bottom from getting burnt. 

Turn off the stove, Add cardamom powder & give it a good mix. Garnish with Almond slivers before serving

NOTE:

Kunda gets a little thick on cooling. So you may want to stop cooking when the mixture is still slightly runny. If you find the mixture too thick, add some more milk & cook for a while.

You can serve kunda at room temprature, however, I love my Kunda warm. Since, Kunda thickens when refrigerated, I warm them in the microwave to get a Halwa like consistency. Just add a little milk & give it a nice mix before you put it inside the microwave

Try serving Kunda along with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on the side & give that Gajar ka Halwa a break


August 9, 2013

FoodPanda is in Town

FoodPanda is an online food delivery site that lets you order food from your favorite restaurants. It opertates in  12 major cities in India & 27 other countries as well.
I was thrilled when FoodPanda was launched in Bangalore because unlike Mumbai, Bangalore was not used to Food  Delivery until Chains like Pizza Hut & Dominos Pizza came in.
Before I write here, I decided to check how FoodPanda works & I order Italian from Eurasia, a lovely little restaurant in the neighborhood. All it takes is 3 easy steps to place your order.
The website is very user-friendly. All you have to do is enter your city & the preferred location. The website then gives you a list of restaurants that can deliver to your doorstep. Once you select the location, you can further refine your search based on the cuisine, vegetarian or non-vegetarian & also based on the deals that are available for the day.
Once, I placed the order, I received confirmation immediately and received an SMS too.  Food Panda also kept giving updates about my order. It took about 45 mins for the food to arrive & I didn't even have to pay through a credit card since they have a Cash on Delivery option. Simple, isn't it?
The best part was, I didn't even have to dial a phone number & speak to a representative. I order food in less than 5 minutes :)  BTW, they also have a FoodPanda App which you can install on your tablet or your smartphone & order food on the go
As FoodPanda says, ordering food should be easy, fast and definitely fun! And, it sure was.
You can check their website at http://www.foodpanda.in & Happy Eating !!!

July 31, 2013

Paneer Kalimirch & The Giveaway Winner

Bangalore has been quite cold since a couple of months. It hasn't rained much here but there are dark clouds & chill air. Just the kind of weather where you want to stay indoors & drinks loads of Chai 

I made a lovely gravy with Paneer & fresh green peas the other day. Its straight out of Tarla Dalal's cookbook & I loved it. It can be made in about 20 mins flat plus, it works great if you are bored of the regular Onion-Tomato based gravies


Paneer Kalimirch

You Will Need:

  • 1 block of Paneer
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas - Fresh/Frozen
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt as per taste

To Grind:
  • 1 large onion
  • 10-12 cashews
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ' piece of ginger

How To:

Cut paneer into cubes & dunk them into salted warm water for about 10 mins. Drain & set aside. Meanwhile, In a mixer/blender, grind all the ingredients mentioned in the 'To Grind' list into a smooth paste adding very little water

If using fresh green peas, cook them & set aside

In a Kadhai, heat oil. Splutter cumin seeds. Add the ground paste & saute for about 5 mins till the raw smell disappears. Add green peas, Paneer, Milk, Salt, Garam Masala, some water & bring it to a gentle boil. Keep stirring at regular intervals. 

Simmer for about 10 mins. You may want to adjust the consistency of the gravy bu adding some milk or water as the gravy is simmering away. Turn off the stove & transfer to a serving bowl. Add some crushed black pepper if you can handle the heat & Serve Warm with some Phulkas, Naan or with some flavoured Rice. 

Better late than Never :) The Winner of Giveaway is Prathiba Garre. Congratulations Pratibha. You win yourself a copy of Mini Cakes by Joanna Farrow. Hope to get in touch with you soon.


June 10, 2013

5 Years of Blogging & a Giveaway


Exactly 5 years ago on this day, I began a lovely journey with my food blog & it's quite surprising that after 60 months, I still love blogging.

Blogging did take a backseat last year due to my pregnancy & since the arrival of Baby K. But I still manage to steal some time & write a post when Baby K is napping or when the husband or my mother is baby sitting him. I hope, I will be able to blog & do photo shoots like before in the months to come.

I am giving away a copy of 'Mini Cakes' by Joanna Farrow. It's a cute little containing some 50 odd recipes of Mini Cakes, perfect for those cravings.

To Enter the Giveaway, All you have to do is leave a Comment on this Post. That's it !!!

Guidelines:
·       It is Open to Residents in INDIA Only. For people outside India, you may still enter & have it mailed to a person of your choice anywhere in India
·         Anyone (Bloggers & Non- Bloggers) can enter this giveaway.
·         The contest ends on 30 June 2013
·    The winner will be picked using a Random Name Generator. Be sure to check back for an announcement of the winner so I can get your mailing information.
·         Make sure you provide your valid email address so that you can be contacted in case you are the winner


June 5, 2013

Tomato Orange Soup

It has been raining in Namma Bengalooru for the past one week or so. This means, we have bid goodbye to Summer & the famous Bangalore weather is back.

I made a large pot of tomato soup to welcome monsoon. And, I am glad that Soup Nights are back again


Tomato Orange Soup


You Will Need:


  • 1 large onion
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot 
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • juice of 3 oranges
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream (optional)
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp any cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Chilli flakes for garnish
  • Parsley for garnish

How To:

Roughly chop the onions & tomatoes & set aside. Dice the carrot, cook them, Puree in a blender & set aside. 

In a cooking pot, heat oil, add ginger, onions & saute for a couple of minutes. Add green chillies & tomatoes with some salt. Saute until the tomatoes are nicely cooked & tender. Set aside & allow them to cool. Once cool, puree in a blender & strain.

Transfer the pureed mixture into the cooking pot, Add pureed carrots, Milk, some water to adjust the consistency. Add tomato puree & check for salt. Allow it to simmer for about 5-8 mins. Add fresh cream, if using, Orange zest & orange juice. Whisk well & simmer for a couple of mins. Turn off the flame. 

Pour into individual soup bowls, Garnish with chilli flakes, cracked pepper & fresh parsley. 

NOTE:

  • I used freshly squeezed orange juice. I haven't tried adding canned juice but I have a feeling that it might taste bitter. 
  • Pureed carrots not only add colour to the soups but it also cuts the tartness of tomatoes. Make sure you add them

May 31, 2013

Say Hi to Baby K

Baby K turned 8 months day before yesterday. We celebrate his birthday every month & this time it coincided with his great grandfather. He cut his little cake along with my granddad & it was a sight to watch.
 
I have a picture of Baby K to share with you all. This picture was taken when he was about 4 months old. I can't believe my little baby is growing up so fast. He has begun to speak, crawl & is learning to throw tantrums as well. But then, his every smile & his every other action gives us immense joy !!


KD
 
I have so much to say about Baby K but I do not know where to begin :) All I can say is that right now, I am enjoying the bestest phase of my life.
 
I will see you all with a new post & hopefully few more pictures of Baby K real soon.

 

May 11, 2013

Watermelon Lemonade

This post is a little late as the temprature in Bangalore has come down considerable thanks to the Pre Monsoon showers since a couple of days. But a tall glass of juice is always welcome isn't it?

Summer means Mangoes, Watermelons, Chilled Lassi & lots of sweat nevertheless fun

DSC_0625

We mostly eat watermelon as it is. Straight out of the fridge chopped into cubes & sprinkled with chaat masala. Offlate I started making juicing watermelon for Baby K & he loves it. And this is this summery drink was born


How To:

Watermelon Lemonade | Ingredients

Juice watermelon in a juicer/blender. Strain to remove pulp.
Combine the rest of the ingredients except mint in a blender along with watermelon juice.
Pour into tall glasses. Garnish with fresh mint & serve chilled

Watermelon Lemonade

May 7, 2013

Mexifornia @ California Pizza Kitchen


California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) is now in India. I was sad to have missed their launch a few months ago as I was busy with Baby K but this Mexifornian Food Festival more than made it up for it.
 
CPK is having a Mexican Food Festival with a Californian Twist called Mexifornia. What a lovely name isn't it? The festival starts on Apr 29 & will be there across all their outlets in India & will end on May 19. I was so so thrilled to be a part of it. I opted for an all Vegetarian Meal & I wasn't dissappointed.
 
We started our Mexifornian journey with Paneer Enchiladas. They were baked with Cheddar & Fortina Cheese & delicately seasoned with Cumin, Paprika & hand torn cilantro.
 
Then came the delicious Vegetarian Baja Pizza. This Pizza was definitely the highlight for me. It was a thin crust pizza topped with Mozzarella Cheese, black beans. sliced mushrooms & roasted corn. what I loved about this pizza was that unlike the regular on es, this wasn't overloaded with cheese. Also, I loved the flavor of hand torn cilantro & creme fraiche.The Orange sauce that came along with it had a lovely burst of flavors. I ate one large pizza all by myslef, It was THAT delicious
 
There were Tacos with mexican rice But this wasn't personally my favorite. The chipotle slaw was amazing but this had paneer too & I thought it didn't go too well with tacos. A different vegetraian filling would definitely have been better The Mexican Rice that came along with had a nice lemony flavour & it was just perfect.
 
We finally ended our meal with som Churros & dark chocolate Mousse. The Mousse was out of the world & we licked our plates clean. We also had some lovely mocktails to go along with it.
 

 
There were some refreshing cocktails to give us company throughout our meal. I loved the Cranberry Mist which is a blend of cranberry juice and lime juice topped with soda. The slight tint of lime was lovely. Just the kind of drink I needed for Bangalore Summer
 
We also got to peek into their kitchen & the chef was very courteous to show us how he made Pizzas. It was a very enjoyable experience overall.

I am definitely going back for the very delicious Baja Pizza & Dark Chocolate Mousse. Yumm De Yumm

April 3, 2013

Mini Pita Pizzas & The Winner

There are some recipes that take very minimal effort & yet they turn out amazingly delicious. These Mini Pita Pizzas, a cheater version of everybody's favorite, Pizza  is one such recipe. It would hardly require 15 mins of your time & at the end, you dish out a super delicious starter or a tea time snack.
 
DSC_0999
 
They make a great starter for your summer parties or even as a kiddie snack. You can even get your kids to make their own toppings. I used store bought Pita Bread & pasta sauce. You can make your own pita bread, if you have the time or use whole wheat Pita bread for a healthier option.
 
You could alternatively use baguette or even regular bread instead of pita bread. Play around with toppings & add more variety
 
DSC_0992
 

How To:

In a sauce pan, heat olive oil, add onions & saute for a couple of mins. Throw in chopped bell peppers, chopped cherry tomatoes, Sweet corn. Add some salt & let of cook for a minute or so.
 
Later, Add Pasta sauce, Cream cheese, Basil, dried oregano. Mix well & allow it to cook on low flame for a couple of mins. Check for salt , turn of the stove & allow it to cool a bit.
 
Meanwhile, heat a griddle. Scoop about 2 tsp of this mixture into individual mini pita bread. Top with chopped olives. Place them on the griddle. Allow it to turn warm & slightly crisp at the bottom. Toast them for a minute on low flame. Transfer to a serving plate, Garnish with basil leaves & serve warm
 
NOTE:
 
You can also toast the pita bread in the oven.
 
Since I used Britannia Cream Cheese, I did not top it with extra cheese. But you could go ahead and top the pita breads with a little bit of grated mozarella cheese.
 
While toasting the pita breads, do not leave them unattended. You do not want the base of the bread to turn very crisp.

Finally, The winner of Cuponation's Women's Day Contest is here. I know I should have done it much earlier, But you know hpw hectic, life is with a baby, right?

I used an Online Random Name Generator & the winner is Charul @ Tadka Masala
 

 
Congratulations Charul. You win a copy of a very beautiful South Indian Cookbook - Simply South by Chandra Padmanabhan. Please get in touch with me at vegetable.platter@gmail.com so that I can get your mailing address
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

March 11, 2013

South Indies: Sambhar with Drumstick & Potatoes

Life can't be more beautiful at the moment. Today, we celebrate our Wedding Anniversary & it is all the more special because it is one of the many Firsts with  Baby K. It's almost midnight & We are just back from our Anniversary Date. But I stayed up to write this post, because If I don't find time write this today, I might just not do this post in a long time
 
The way we view Marriage & Relationships has changed (changed for the better) in the past few years. There are these little things about each other, that we love, for instance, How I wait for this  Special Masala Chai that Shankar makes for me on weekends or a quick Bread Poha that he makes when I feel lazy to fix breakfast.  It's always small things that makes relationships work, isn't it?

When it comes to food, Shankar & I are different as chalk & cheese. Hailing from the south, his food preferances are predominantly South Indian. Even though our palate has expanded to different cuisines across the world, Its mostly South Indian food he craves for, mostly.

This Drumstick & Potato Sambhar that I am going to share with you is Shankar's all time favorite dish is a staple at home. It  is slightly spicier than the regular ones & takes a little more effort at your end But, its well worth the effort.


Drumstick & Potato Sambar 1
 
 
You Will Need:
 
  • Toor Dal/Split pigeon peas - half a cup
  • 1 large tomato - chopped
  • 2 large onions - chopped into big chunks / 10 - 12 pearl onions
  • 3 - 4 drumsticks - cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 large potatoes - scrubbed clean & cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut - fresh/frozen
  • Juice of a lemon sized tamarind ball soaked in warm water
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 2 tsp oil
  • A small piece of jaggery
  • 1 tsp Dhalia/Roasted Gram/Hurigadale (optional)
  • Salt as per taste


Desktop
 
To Temper
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 Byadagi chillies (optioal)
  •  
How To:
 
  • Pressure cook Toor dal along with chopped tomatoes with a pinch of turmeric
  • Heat a small pan, & roast the ingredients mentioned in the list in a tsp of oil
  • Gring the roasted ingredients along with grated coconut & Dalia into a smooth paste along with little water
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds & curry leaves, when they splutter, add the onions & saute until the onions turn transparent.
  •  In a pan, add chopped drumsticks & potatoes with enough water for the vegetables to cook. Cover the pan with a lid
  • When the vegetables are fully cooked, add cooked toor dal & tomatoes & the ground Sambar paste.
  • Add a small piece of jaggery, Tamarind juice & salt to taste. Add some water, if necessary to get the desired consistency of a sambar
  • Bring it to a boil & turn off the stove.
  • Temper with mustard seeds & red chillies & transfer to a bowl.

Serve HOT with Rice/Idli/Dosa .. Enjoi !!!


NOTE:
  • To make Sambar powder, roast all the ingredients mentioned in the list. Add roasted desicated coconut & powdered Dalia to this mixture & store in air-tight jars. Just add about 3 tsp of this powder to cooked vegetables & lentils & bring it to a boil. The sambar will thicken as you boil. This saves quite a bit of your time.
  • Add copped Brinjal/Eggplant for enhanced flavors

Also, Enter for a chance to win a Cookbook  or a Gift Voucher from Flipkart Here. Giveaway ends on March 20, 2013


March 5, 2013

Giveaway with Cuponation


It’s Giveaway time once again.  On the occasion of International Women’s Day, We are teaming up with CUPONATION, India’s largest coupon portal for a Giveaway to One Lucky Winner.
The Giveaway will either be in the form of a Gift Voucher from Flipkart or it could be a Cookbook or a little something that would be of use in your little kitchen & it will be handpicked by yours truly.
 
That of you, who are not aware, Cuponation is India’s largest coupon portal, specially designed to meet the requirements of online shoppers. It has a broad collection of coupon codes with deals and offers from top online retailers like Flipkart, Naaptol,  eBay.in, FabFurnish, Future bazaar, Jabong, Myntra, Home shop 18, Pepperfry and many more.
 
Do drop in to their website www.cuponation.in to find out in detail as to what Cuponation is all about & how exactly their Coupons work.
 
To Enter the Contest All you have to do is:

Like CUPONATION on FACEBOOK  & leave a comment on the Giveaway Post, saying that you did so
 
Guidelines:
·         It is Open to Residents in INDIA Only. For people outside India, you may still enter & have it mailed to a person of your choice anywhere in India
·         Anyone (Bloggers & Non- Bloggers) can enter this giveaway.
·         The contest ends on 20 MARCH 2013
·         The winner will be picked using a Random Name Generator. Be sure to check back for an announcement of the winner so I can get your mailing information.
·         Make sure you provide your valid email address so that you can be contacted in case you are the winner

February 13, 2013

Aloo Matar | Spiced Potatoes & Green Peas Curry

Aloo Matar is one of my favorite 'Under 30 Mins' recipe. I always have potatoes in the pantry, they are so handy, aren't they? And,  I make sure that my freezer is stocked with frozen peas so that I can quickly turn it into a soup, add it to salads or other Indian Curries.

Now that Fresh Peas are in season, I buy them by kilos, shell them & freeze them in ziplock covers & use it whenever needed. It works out much cheaper that store bought Frozen Peas.

Aloo Matar

You Will Need:

  • 3 large potatoes - scrubbed clean, peeled ,cut into medium sized chunks & immersed in cold water until used
  • 3/4th cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 150 ml Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies - chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Fresh coriander for garnish

How To:

In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add potatoes, cover & cook for about 6 mins until the potatoes are about 90% done. Drain & set aside
 
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. Add onions, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste & saute until the onions turn pink. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder & turmeric powder. Saute for another couple of mins.
Add tomato puree, half a cup of water & some salt. Add potato cubes & fresh green peas. Simmer for about 8 mins. The potatoes should be completely cooked yet firm.
 
Now add Garam Masala & simmer for a couple of minutes.If the gravy is too dry, add some more water or even milk. Check for salt & Turn off the stove. Garnish with fresh coriander & serve warm with Phulkas or Jeera Rice
 
NOTE:
 
If using frozen peas. You can add them after the potatoes are done & cook for a couple of minutes. Frozen peas tend to cook faster.
 
You can also add a tbsp of cream right at the end. This is what most restaurants do, to give it that rich taste. I mostly avoid this, unless Iam having guests over for a meal




January 23, 2013

South Indies: Avarekalu Saaru

We Kannadigas are very fond of Avarekalu/Flat Beans. And, when it is in season, Avarekalu rules the roost in every household. Be it Akki Rotti, Akki Tari Uppittu, Saaru, Usli, Sagu .. The list is endless.
 
This yummy Avarekalu Saaru is yet another dish from my dear friend Rajini, the one who taught me Methi Pulao & Quick Aloo Tikkis, Remember?? 
This is her Grandmother's secret recipe & she uses fresh coriander along with Rasam Powder & Cumin to give that unique flavour to the dish.
 
Another tip, I learnt from my Grandmother is to never combine Avarekalu with onions. Onions have a strong pungent flavour which masks the subtle flavour of Avarekalu.
 
In other news, my little Baby is growing up into a Lil big boy. He will be a 4 month old shortly & he seems to be enjoying every bit of our attention. After much debate, We finally chose to call him Kedar. Okay, you can call him Baby K :)
 
Now straight to the Recipe ...

Avarekalu Saaru
 
 
You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Avarekalu/Flat Beans
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes - halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 3 tsp Rasam powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Half a bunch of fresh coriander
  • Salt as per taste

To Temper:
  • 1 tsp desi ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

How To:
  • Add about 4 cups of water in a large pot, add some salt. Add Avarekalu, tomatoes & green chillies. Cover & allow them to cook. The avarekalu should be completely cooked yet firm. When done, fish out the green chilllies, tomatoes & about 2 tbsp of avarekalu, set aside & allow it to cool. Set aside the remaining avarekalu along with water
  • Grind fresh coconut, cooked tomatoes, Green chillies & avarekalu that was set aside along with cumin seeds, turmeric powder, coriander & Rasam powder into a smooth paste adding little water.
  • Reheat the avarekalu & water that was set aside. Add the ground paste & some salt. Let it come to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat & simmer for aboyt 5-6 mins.
  • Temper with mustard seeds & garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serve Hot with steamed Rice or Ragi Mudde

NOTE: Do Not skip adding coriander leaves because that is what makes all the difference. If you do not have fresh coriander at hand, simply postpone or run to your nearest vegetable vendor :)


 

January 6, 2013

Spiced Ginger Cookies

Wishing you all a Very Happy 2013!!! I know, I am almost late by a week but hey, it's not easy to be blogging with a baby around. In the past one week, I have sat down to write this post about half a dozen times & I am finally here with a new recipe.

The Holiday Season is over long ago but then, we really don't need an excuse to bake some cookies, do we?? So, here it is .. Spiced Ginger Cookies

German Ginger Cookies


This is a classic Ginger Cookie recipe - All Spiced up & Crisp. Also, DO NOT flatten the cookie balls before baking. Simply roll a cookie ball in sugar and place on baking sheet.


You Will Need:
  • 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted Butter - Room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Granulated Sugar for rolling

How To:
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper & set aside
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients & set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter & both type of sugars until  light & fluffy
  • Add vanilla extract & egg yolk & beat until combined. Add Honey & beat further until well combined
  • Fold in the dry ingredients & beat until smooth. Cover with a cling film & refregirate for about 30 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Roll the dough into a tablespoon size balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared sheet. Keep the dough chilled in between batches. Bake cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Once cool, store in air tight jars & eat as many as you feel like

NOTE:
  • The original recipe called for Molasses but I replaced it with Honey. You can also replace it with Maple Syrup.