Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pickled Vegetable - Carrot/Beetroot

Heres a super easy pickle you could make without much investment of time or effort. This instant pickle is a great side to make any of meals a little more peppy and colorful. It tastes great even  if you decide to have it on the same day or  wait for a week.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Grated Carrots: 1/2 cup
Ginger (finely cut): 1 tablespoon
Green Chili (sliced): 4-5
Garlic (finely cut): 1 tablespoon
White Vinegar: 1/4 cup
Chili Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves: few
Dried Red Chili: 2-3
Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste and little more.

* This pickle is not meant to last for a long time time. So its best when consumed within a month.

Heat the oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds.Add the dried red chillies and curry leaves. Add the chilli powder. Stir. Turn off the gas. Immediately add in the grated carrots , sliced ginger, garlic and green chillies. Stir well. Add salt. Its okay if you add little more salt because, it will balance out in a few days as in gets fully absorbed into the pickle. Pour the vinegar over it. Mix well. Store this in a clean jar. You can have this instantly or leave it in the refrigerator for a few days.


Beetroot Pickle

You can follow the exact same procedure as above while replacing the carrots for grated beetroot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vendakka (Okra) Theeyal

Theeyal literally means burnt dish and gets the name because the primary ingredient in it is the ground mixture of roasted (close to being burnt) coconut with some great spices. The gravy is typically dark brown and has a dominant tangy taste with a hint of sweetness. This dish is very popular in Kerala and  is made either with Ladies finger or Pearl Onions. We also hear that there is another popular version of this gravy with Prawns and drumsticks which we shall soon try and give verdict to.

Prep Time: 15 - 20 mins
Ladies Finger: 8- 10 (cut )
Grated Coconut: 1/4 cup
Green chillies: 2
Chilli powder: 1-2  teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Jeera powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind pulp: 1 tablespoon
Water: 1/3 cup or less
Jaggery (optional): 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek powder: a pinch


Mustard  seeds: 1 teaspoon
Dried Red chillies: 2
Onions(finely chopped): 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves: few

* You could also replace the Ladies Finger with pearl onions to make the Ulli Theeyal.

In a pan, dry roast the grated coconut, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and jeera powder until brown and aromatic. Turn off the gas and keep aside. 
Dissolve the tamarind pulp in 1/4 cup water and keep aside. Grind this roasted coconut with some of the tamarind water to make a smooth paste.
Chop the ladies finger. Heat little oil in a pan. Saute the ladies finger with a little salt. When 1/2 done, pour the ground paste and the remaining tamarind pulp and water. Cover and cook. Let everything come to good boil. Add the optional jaggery and fenugreek powder. Check for the salt and spice. 
In a small pan, heat little more oil for the seasoning. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add dried red chillies, curry leaves and the finely chopped onions. Fry until the onions turn golden brown and pour this seasoning over the gravy.
Give a final mix and its ready to serve with hot steaming rice. This gravy goes great even with chappathis.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sabudana Vada

Wishing all our dear readers  a very happy and prosperous NAVRATRI.  While everyone is busy celebrating the festivities of these auspicious nine days, we decided to make the Vrat(fast) special snack - Sabudana Vada. It is traditionally a Maharastrian snack  which has now gained popularity all over India. These crunchy vadas  are not only mouthwatering, they are very filling and can subsitute for a meal by itself.

Prep Time: 1/2 hour (excluding soaking time)
Sabudana/Tapioca pearls: 1/2 cup
Potato: 2 medium sized
Roasted peanuts (coarsely powdered): 3 tablespoons
Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
Green Chillies: 2-3
Ginger(chopped): 1 teaspoon
Coriander/Cilantro leaves (finely chopped) : 4-5 stems
Lemon juice: 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Soak the Sabudana overnight or for a min of 4-5 hours with lil water. For 1/2 cup sabudana, you could use 1/4 cup water.
Boil the potatoes, peel off the skin and mash them. Coarsely powder the peanuts and add it to the soaked sabudana.Add the mashed potatoes and rest of the ingredients (ginger, green chillies, cilantro, cumin seeds, turmeric and salt). Mix well. Make small balls from this mixture and flatten them.
Fry them in hot oil. Turn them over and fry them until golden brown on both sides.Take them out and serve with Green chutney.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake doesn't call for any special occasion to be made. Whether you like it plain or want to fancy it some more with a delicious cream cheese frosting, this dense moist treat gets a warm welcome  everywhere and is a great way to get a good portion of carrots in your diet.

Prep Time: 1 hour
All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1 cup (1/2 for caramelizing, 1/2 for batter)
Grated Carrot: 1/2 cup
Butter: 1 stick /8 tablespoons
Eggs: 2
Vanilla essence: 1 teaspoon
Baking powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Walnuts/ Almonds: handful

* Spice powder (powder the following with a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee bean grinder)
4 cloves +1 cardamom + 1/2 spoon cinnamon powder + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg grated

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well until ivory. Add the vanilla essence. Sieve the all purpose flour, baking powder and the spice powder. Fold this into the batter. Meanwhile caramelize the sugar until golden brown. Pour this into the batter and beat well. Finally add the grated carrot and give a thorough mix using a  spatula.

Butter a baking dish  and pour the batter into it.Add walnuts/ almonds  and give a gentle mix. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 350 F. Bake for about 40 mins or until the centre comes out clean when poked with a knife. Cool and cut into slices.

* For those who like some frosting, heres the recipe

Cream Cheese(softened at room temperature) : 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence/extarct : 2 drops
Sugar: 2-3 tablespoons
Butter: 1 tablespoon

First combine  the butter and cream cheese with a spoon or a hand mixer. Slowly add the vanilla essence and the sugar and beat until smooth.

Spread on the cake evenly after the cake has completely cooled.

Bon Apetit!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mixed Veg Masala

Here is a colorful nutrients enriched simple vegetable sabzi that can be added to your  daily- cooking menu. This medley is a great idea for you to include all the vegetables you fuss about otherwise. Enjoy this with hot rotis.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Potato (cubed): 1/3 cup
Tomato (chopped): 1
Peas: 2-3 tablespoons
Corn nibblets: 2-3 tablespoons
Carrot (chopped): 1/4 cup
Cauliflower (chopped): 1/3 cup
Onion (cubedd): 1/4 cup
Chili Powder: 2 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin: 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Curd: 1/3 cup

To Grind
Green Chili: 2
Ginger(chopped): 1 teaspoon
Garlic: 1medium pod
Coriander Leaves: handful

* You can alternate the vegetables to your choice/availability.

Heat some oil in a kadai. Splutter some jeera seeds, add onions and saute. Add potatoes, carrots and cauliflower and stir. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and mix well. Grind green chili, garlic, ginger and coriander leaves and add this paste to the vegetables and stir well.  Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Add the corn and green peas. Cover and cook till the potatoes and cauliflower are soft. Meanwhile, just beat the curd in the same container  you used to grind the green mixture (coriander leaves, ginger, garlic) for optimum utilization and pour this into the vegetable mix. Let it simmer for about 10 mins. Adjust the salt and spice. Garnish with freshly cut coriander leaves.

Serve hot with phulkas/parathas.


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