October 30, 2015

Green Peas Kurma

Remember the Ghee Rice recipe? I told you that it really pairs well with some nice Green Peas Kurma right? 

Well, that's what I have for you today. A South Indian Style, Coconut based Kurma made with Dried Green Peas

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In the South Indian version of Kurma, it is very common to use fresh coconut. It gives a nice nutty flavour to the gravy. A few versions, mostly the Kerala style has Coconut Milk in it.

Green Peas Kurma1

How To:

Soak dried peas in water for 6 hours or overnight. Pressure cook with some salt. set side to let it cool.

Meanwhile, in a pan, heat half a teaspoon of oil. Add red chilies, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, cloves & cinnamon. roast on low flame for a couple of minutes & set aside. In the same pan, heat some more oil, Add roughly chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste & saute till the onions & tomatoes turn soft. Allow it to cool

Grind together the cooked onions & tomatoes, roasted spices along with grated coconut & cashew nuts into a smooth paste. Add a bit of water if necessary.

In a heavy bottomed pan, Add a teaspoon of cooking oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add the ground paste & turmeric & saute for a couple of minutes. Add cooked peas, 1.5 cups of water & Garam Masala. Add the salt & mix well. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes on medium flame. If you feel the gravy is too thick, add some more water to adjust the consistency

Turn off the heat & garnish with chopped Coriander leaves.


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Serve warm with Ghee Rice/Jeera Rice, A mildly spiced Pulao, Plain Basmati Rice or Indian Flat Breads. 

And this Kurma also pairs very well with Spongy Set Dosas & Appams

NOTE:
You can also use boiled & cubed potatoes or Baby Potatoes to give more body to the gravy. 

Use Fresh Green Peas when in season instead of the dried ones.

I do not like using Frozen peas in the recipe as they tend to get a bit soft after cooking unlike the fresh ones.

October 22, 2015

Ambode | Masala Vada | Chana Dal Fritters


Now that Navaratri is here, we  have been visiting Friends & Family to have a look at the Doll Display (Bombe Mane or Golu) & indulging in a lot of good food. 

Navaratri/Dussera is a big thing in Mysore & Bangalore. There will be a Bobme Mane (Traditional Doll Diaplay)in almost every household & Each day during the Nine days, various Sweets & Savouries are made & offered to Godess Durga 

Food Pics



Amode or Chana Dal Fritters is a staple during any festive season. Be it Ugadi or any other festival, Ambode makes an appearance in the traditional menu. 

In the Bangalore/Mysore region,its been a practice to offer Ambode  to Godess Durga on Durgashtami - The 8th Day of the Navratras, when Godess Bhadrakali, the powerful & Fierce form of Godess Durga was incarnated 

But we don't really need an excuse to make yummy snacks, do we? They taste good Hot & crisp & goes well with a cup of filter Kaapi.

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YOU WILL NEED:
  • 1 cup Chana Dal - Split Bengal Gram
  • 2 Tablespoon Rice Flour
  • 1/4th Cup Grated Fresh Coconut
  • A handful of Coriander Leaves
  • A handful of Mint
  • A handful of Dill Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Curry Leaves
  • 10 Green Chilies
  • 5 Dry Red Chilies (Byadagi)
  • A small piece of Ginger
  • Salt as per Taste
  • 2 chopped onions - optional
  • Oil for Deep Frying - I used Sunflower Oil

HOW TO:

Wash Chana Dal under running water & soak in plenty of water for 2 hours. Drain & set aside

In a mixer, Add Coconut, Green & Red Chilies along with ginger & grind into a coarse mixture. Transfer it into a bowl

Add Soaked Chana Dal in the mixture & grind into a coarse paste without adding any water. Add it to the bowl.

Add Rice Flour, Chopped Coriander, Mint, Dill & Curry Leaves. Add chopped onions if using. Add Salt & give it a good mix with your hands.

Heat Oil in a heavy bottom pan, Meanwhile wet your palms & take a lemon sized mixture & flatten them into a round Patties & Keep them ready for deep frying

Drop a bit of the mixture into hot oil to see if it rises immediately to the top, if it does, then the oil is hot enough to be used for deep frying

On low heat, drop the patties one by one gently without over crowding the pan. Once all the patties are in the pan, increase the heat to medium flame & fry for a minute. Gently flip the patties to the other side. Fry them until they are golden brown in colour.

Remove with a slotted spoon & drain on paper towel to remove excess oil. Similarly fry other batches 


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NOTE:

If you find the mixture too dry & crumble, sprinkle some water & incorporate the mixture again. But do not add a lot of water & make it soggy

You can also substitute Rice Flour with 2 tablespoons of roasted Fine Semolina or Chiroti Rava. They too lend a crisp texture

Adding Rice flour makes the Fritters crisp but adding a lot of rice flour makes them hard to chew

I love adding onions to these but avoid during the festivals. But Onions, do add a lot of taste 

You can substitute Dill Leaves with Fresh Methi Leaves

You can also add grated carrots 

October 14, 2015

Benne Murukku


There are tons of recipes & variations for Chalkis, Murukkus & the kind. I always thought that making Murukkus at home was a not so easy time consuming affair & is not my cup of tea,  until I ate theem at a friends house.

This easy Benne Murukku recipe is from my friend Ashwini's Mom (The one who shared the Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe) .. When I casually visited her place she offered me a big jar of these crunchy Murukkus & I was surprised when she told me that she & her mom made them under 30 minutes

As always, I took down the recipe immediately & since then, I have made these atleast a dozen times & each time it has turned out very well. So this one is almost a fail proof recipe if you ask me  

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We made a big batch of these Murukkus for Ganesh Chaturthi & I plan to make them this Diwali too. But, You don't have to really wait for the festive season to make these. My little one loves munching on these crispies & these are so much better than the store bought ones because, I at least know I am using good oil for deep frying :)


  You Will Need:
  • 2 cups Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Roasted Gram Flour 
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of Asafoetida
  • Half a Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder - Optional
  • 1.5 Tablespoon melted Butter - Salted/Unsalted
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp hot Oil
  • Oil for deep frying

How To:

In a wide bowl, add all the ingredients one by one except hot oil. Give it a rough mix with your hands, I did not add Red Chilli Powder. If using Salted Butter, reduce the amount of salt

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 


Benne Murukku


NOTE: 

 Adding more Butter makes the Murukkus brittle. So, do not be tempted to add more butter :)

You can also add Onion paste into the dough to make Onion flavoured Murukkus. They taste really good. 

As you are frying in batches, always keep the dough covered to prevent them from getting dry.

Always taste the Murukkus after frying the first batch & alter the taste if needed. As mentioned earlier, if the Murukkus break easily, there has been an over use of butter. You can add a bit of Rice flour & Gram flour to the dough 


October 3, 2015

Coconut Milk Biryani & A Birthday !!!


It was quite a while since I made a good Biryani at home. There used to be a time when I made One pot meals quite frequently & a quick Pulao would be on our Lunch menu every other weekend. In fact, I used to make several versions of Biryani right from the layered version to a quick Pressure Cooker version, experimenting with different spice list each time

Coconut Milk Biryani

If you like all things Coconut, you are going to love this Coconut Milk Biryani as well. This is a very mildly spiced Biryani as compared to the ones that are heavy on spices. It goes well with a spicy Hyderabadi Salan, A Raita will also do but I highly recommend the Salan 


Coconut Milk Biryani


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You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 200 ml Coconut Milk ( I used Dabur Homemade)
  • 2 small Carrots - Diced
  • 1 large Potato - Diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped Beans
  • 1 large Onion - chopped lengthwise
  • A handful of chopped coriander
  • A handful of chopped Mint
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 10-15 toasted Cashew Nuts

To Grind:
  • 1 large Onion - Roughly Chopped
  • 1 large Tomato - Roughly Chopped
  • 10 Cashew Nuts
  • 2 'inch piece of Ginger
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • 4 Green Chilies
  • A small stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 4-5 Cloves

How To:

Clean Basmati Rice under running water until the water runs clear. Soak in water & set aside for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Chop the vegetables 

In a mixer, add all the ingredients mentioned in the 'To Grind' list & grind into a smooth paste without adding any water.

In a Pressure cooker, Heat Ghee & Oil. Once hot enough, add sliced onions & saute for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, Beans, Potatoes & mix well. cook for another couple of minutes. Next, add the ground paste & some salt. Give it a good mix & Let it cook on low flame for 3 - 4 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, Garam Masala & bring it to a gentle boil. Drain the soaked Basmati Rice & Add it into the Pressure cooker. Mix well. Add about a little more than half a cup of water. Check for salt & give it a final mix. Close the lid & cook for 1 whistle. I use a Hawkins Pressure Cooker so mine gets done in 1 whistle. It may wary for other brands.

Allow the pressure to release & allow it to cool for a while. Add chopped coriander & Mint along with toasted cashew nuts. Gently fluff with a fork to mix well

Serve with a Raita or Salan along with some sliced Onions

I didn't have any Green Peas on hand. So, I didn't add them. But they make a nice addition. So does Cauliflower

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On the Personal front, Guess who just turned THREE? Yes. Kedar is now a Three year old School going toddler. Wait, Wasn't it just yesterday that I wrote a post announcing that we now have a new member in the family? However cliched it sounds Time does fly 


 I don't write about Kedar very often in this space but I have to say that It's been an incredible journey so far. Kedar is a complete Daddy's boy & he doesn't mince his words when he says that ( which he does all the time ) He loves his Dada more :)

We had a little Birthday party for him over the weekend & he got to cut his Peppa Pig Cake. Peppa Pig is his current favourite show. He loves it so much that his cousin sister even made him a Peppa Pig Rakhi .. I am not kidding. His current obsession is Construction Vehicles & he wants to be a JCB driver when he grows up  .. Phew !!!