Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Potato Tamarind Salad

This is a very simple salad. Got this receipe from a magazine that I browsed through sometime ago. It can be made for Ekadesi also.

Ingredients :

Tamarind Pulp - 11/2 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 75 gm
Cumin - 1 tbsp (ground)
Ginger - Thumbsize Piece, chopped
Baby potatoes- 1 kg
Yoghurt - 3 tbsp
Corriander Leaves - 4 tbsp chopped

Method :

To make the dressing, put the tamarind pulp in a small pan,pour 75 ml boiling water and add the sugar, cumin and ginger. Add salt according to taste.
Simmer, without a lid, until the dressing thickens and becomes syrupy, about 10 - 15 minutes. It should have a pleasant tang. Add extra sugar if needed.
While the tamarind is cooking, bring a large pan of salted water to boil and add the potatoes. Return to boil and cook for 15 minutes until tender.
Drain, then cool slightly before halving them.
Transfer to a big mixing bowl and spoon over the dressing, gently stirring to make sure the potatoes are well coated.
Drizzle over the beaten yoghurt and corriander. Serve warm or at room temparature.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chettinad Tomato soup

Chettinad refers to the southern part of Tamil Nadu, India. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and aromatic cuisine of India. I gathered information from a couple of food blogs regarding this soup and have presented my own 'no onion no garlic' version.

Ingredients:
Tomatoes, ripe- 2
green chilli - 1
toor dal- 1tablespoon
Mung dal- 1 tablespoon
curry leaves- a string
fennel seeds- 1 teaspoon
cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
black pepper, whole- 1 teaspoon
bay leaf- 2
cinnamon stick- 1
turmeric powder- a pinch
asafoetida- a pinch
salt to taste
corriander leaves- to garnish

Method:
Heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf .

When the cumin cracks, add green chilli, chopped tomatoes, toor & mung dal, asafoetida, tumeric powder, curry leaves and saute them for a minute.

 Add salt and 2 cups of water and steam them for atleast 3 whistles.

 Turn off the heat and wait until the pressure releases.

Then pour them in a strainer and strain them to get a clear soup.

If possibble, squeeze out the tomatoes and dal by handor a potato masher.

Garnish the spicy clear soup with corriander leaves .

Add black pepper powser if required.

Serve hot.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Masala stuffed whole wheat buns



I had a desire to make these stuffed buns for long time. But I was avoiding it as I wasn't confident if I could make soft buns with wheat flour. Thanks to my friend  Lalita Sundari who introduced me to this amazing whole wheat pastry flour. This flour is meant for making pie crusts, cookies, and cakes. This flour also makes an excellent pizza crust, but I was afraid to make bread as it does not work well with yeast. But thanks to the internet which gave me an idea of adding a commercial agent called vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten is used by the commercial bakers for making soft and fluffy breads. There are also other ingredients that could be added to the the wheat flour to make the bread soft- honey, milk and butter. 


Ingredients

For bun
  • 1.5 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp ajwain (carrom seeds)
  • 1.5 tsp kasuri methi, fine crushed between palms (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil/ butter
  • 2 -4 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup luke warm milk
  • 1/2 cup luke warm water (or as required for kneading the dough)
  • Melted unsalted butter for brushing
  • Flour for dusting
Filling
  • 1cup finely chopped Cabbage
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup carrots, beans and peas (together)
  • a generous pinch of asafetida 
  • 1 tsp cumin  seeds 
  • 1tsp coriander powder 
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp MDH Sambar masala powder
  • 1tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves ( cilantro) to garnish


Method:

Dough:
Dissolve sugar in lukewarm milk, add yeast and set aside for 5 minutes until frothy.

Mix the flour, ajwain, kasoori methi, salt, oil/ butter, honey and salt in a bowl. Add the milk once the yeast becomes frothy and start kneading the dough with lukewarm water as needed. 


Once the dough starts coming together, transfer the dough to the floured surface and continue to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes soft and elastic. 


Transfer the dough to an oil greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth and leave it in a damp place. 



Fillling:
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Boil the potatoes. Boil the carrots beans and peas separately. 

Heat the oil in pan. Add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds cracks add the cabbage and asafetida and fry them until translucent. Then add the all the spice powder and fry them for a minute in medium flame. 

Then add the boiled and mashed veggies. Add salt and cook them for 5 minutes.

 Turn down the heat and add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Allow the filling to cool down.


Rolling and Stuffing:

After an hour the dough would have doubled in size. Gently knead the dough again and divide them into 8 equal balls. Line a baking tray with parchment sheet and spray some oil and arrange the rolls with enough space for them to expand. 

Roll the filling about approximately half the size of the rolls. Now the rolls would have risen a little bit. Flatten the rolls between your palm and place the filling balls and close them by pinching the sides to the centre.


Place the stuffed rolls on the greased tray with the pinched side facing downwards. Brush some milk and cover it with food film.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. The rolls would have risen a little bit when the oven is heated. Bake them for 15-20 minutes until the buns turn golden brown.

As soon as you remove the buns from the oven brush them with butter.


Serve the buns warm with your favorite spicy tangy chutney. 



Thursday, December 26, 2013

Curried Butternut squash Basil soup

On a cold evening, our bellies were craving for some hot soup. I quickly scanned my kitchen resources and came up with an idea to make 'butternut squash soup'. Butternut squash, always remained an 'untouchable' in my refrigerator- the least preferred vegetable in my family. Hence, I picked few other veggies to make the soup palatable. I chose fresh basil leaves and curry powder to flavor the soup. I avoided oil/ butter for health reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed brainstorming this soup recipe and felt more content seeing my family relish the soup.

Ingredients:
Butternut squash, cubed- 2 cups
Carrot, sliced - 1/3 cup
Tomato - 1
Asparagus, chopped- 1/4 cup
Red bell pepper, chopped- 1/4 cup
Celery, finely chopped- 2 tablespoon
Basil leaves- 6
Vegetable broth/ water - 2 cups
Curry powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Method:
Combine all the chopped veggies in a steamer. Add basil leaves when the veggies are half cooked. Cook them until tender. Do not overcook them!

Remove from heat and cool them.

Blend the steamed veggies with 2 cups of vegetable broth or warm water, salt, black pepper and curry powder.

If you prefer it piping hot then pour it into a pot and heat them to desired temperature.

Variations:
Roast the veggies in oil or butter instead of steaming them.
Garnish with whipped cream/ sour cream