Thursday, July 21, 2011

Aval/Rice flake cutlets

Very often I find myself buying something, only to find that I already have a pack or two of it at home. Then, after stuffing as much of it as I can into the freezer, I try to find ways of using up what remains. It is while trying to use up some(well, a lot, actually) of rice flakes/poha, that I chanced upon a recipe for cutlets made out of rice flakes. The recipe is modified from Tarla Dalal's "Iron Rich Recipes".
What you need:
Rice flakes - 1 cup
Green gram dal - a handful
Green chilli - as many or as few as you like
Garam masala
Potato - 1, boiled, peeled and mashed
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chopped corriander

Soak the rice flakes and dal separately in water for atleast 30 minutes. I used matta rice flakes which handle soaking pretty well. However, if you are using a thinner variety, I would suggest just washing it thoroughly until wet through and not soggy.
Drain off all the water and grind the rice flakes (after squeezing out as much moisture as you can out of them) and dal coarsely in a blender. Mix in the other ingredients. Shape it into small balls and flatten them between your hands. Now heat a shallow frying pan (I used my microwave), arrange the cutlets on it, drizzle some oil over it and fry until crisp and brown on both sides.
Serve with some ketchup or as is.
I do not have any pics of the cutlets as we finished them before I could click any.....will update the next time I make these.
Check out the blogging marathon page to see what my fellow marathoners are cooking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quick and easy masala chana/chick peas

One of the recurring themes in my blog is quick and easy recipes. I had soaked black chana in the morning with the intention of making my usual kadala curry to go with aapam. However, as I was looking through my cookbooks, wondering what else I could make for the blogging marathon, I chanced upon this recipe in Mallika Badrinath's 100 Vegetarian Gravies. As the name suggests, it is easy to make - and is cooked entirely in one pot, which makes cleaning that much easier.

What you need:
Black chana/chick peas - 1 cup, soaked in plenty of water for 10 hours. (The original recipe uses white chick peas, but since I had already soaked these, I used them)
Cardamom - 3
Cloves - 5
Cinnamon - a small piece
Oil/ghee - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Grind together:
Onion - 1
Tomato -2
Garlic - 5 or 6 cloves
Ginger - a 2 inch piece
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Corriander - 1 small bunch
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black peppercorns - 1/4 tsp

Heat oil in the pressure cooker. Add cardamom, cinnamon and clove. Add the ground mixture and fry on a low flame until oil separates. Add chick peas, sufficient water and salt and cook until one whistle. Then lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve hot.
Check out the blogging marathon page to see what my fellow marathoners are cooking.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Amritsari sookhi dal

To me, a dal that you eat with roti has always been a wet curry. Though I have heard of sookha dal, the concept was unimaginable to me. Until today, that is. When I chanced upon Sanjeev Kapoor's "Dal Roti", the picture of this dal tempted me enough to make me try it out at home. Now that I have made it, I can say that not only does it look good, it tastes quite hearty and good too.

What you need:
Split urad dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - a 3 inch piece, julienned
Oil - 3 tbsp
Asafoetida - a little
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1, chopped fine
Green chilli - 2 or 3, minced
Tomato - 2, chopped
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Corrinder leaves - to garnish,chopped
Amchur powder - 1 tsp (the original recipe calls for lemon juice)

Wash the dal well. Take it in a deep dish. Add 3 cups of water, salt, turmeric powder and half of the ginger. Let it come to a boil. Then reduce flame and simmer until just done.
While the dal is getting cooked, heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and onions. Saute until onions turn pink. Add the remaining ginger, green chillies and tomato. Saute for a minute or two. Add red chilli powder and heat till oil separates.
Now drain all the excess water from the cooked dal and add it into the pan. Mix well. Add garam masala, salt if required, amchoor powder and corriander leaves. Mix well and heat for 2-3 minutes.
Check out the blogging marathon page to see what my fellow marathoners are cooking.
This goes to Priya's bookmarked recipes event.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More urundai kuzhambu(Steamed lentil balls in yogurt gravy)

A gravy made of buttermilk is standard fare in any South Indian home. It goes by the name of more kuzhambu in Tamil Nadu, moru kari in Kerala and majjige huli in Karnataka. The usual version that I make with ripe plantain or colocasia or ash gourd is posted here.
This version is made using steamed balls of tuar dal. I first tasted this at a restaurant in Chennai and quite liked the aroma and the taste of it. Today, with the help of Mallika Badrinath's recipe from her book Classic Lunch Recipes, I have been able to recreate a remembered taste.

What you need:
For the urundai/koftas
Tuar dal - 1/2 cup(scant)
Whole white urad - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 2 or 3(adjust to taste)
Onion - 1 small, chopped very fine
Chopped corriander leaves - a few
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste (use a little less than you normally would as the gravy too has salt)

For the kuzhambu/gravy
Sour thick curd - 2 cups (beaten lightly to break up lumps)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Grind together:
Fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Coriander seeds - 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tuar dal - 1 tbsp
For tempering:
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillie - 1, broken
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

To make koftas/urundai:
Soak the dals together for an hour. Drain all the water. Add in all the other ingredients except onion and corrinder. Grind to a coarse paste without adding any water. Mix in the chopped onions and corrainder. Shape into lemon sized balls. Grease an idli plate and stem for 8-10 minutes. Set aside the balls to cool.

To make kuzhambu:
Soak all the ingredients listed under Grind together, except coconut in just enough water to cover for at least 30 minutes. Add coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
Transfer this to a pan. Add 1/2 cup of water, salt, turmeric powder and let it boil for a few minutes. Add the whipped curd and boil some more. Just before removing from fire, add the steamed koftas and boil for a minute or two.
Heat the tempering ingredients until the mustard seeds pop. Pour this over the kuzhambu.
Enjoy with rice/idli/dosa.
This tastes even better the next day after the flavours have blended together well.
Today is Day 3 or Blogging Marathon #7, and this is my post under the theme Cooking from cookbooks. Check out the blogging marathon page to see what my fellow marathoners are cooking.

Monday, July 11, 2011

And the winner is......

I used a random number generator to pick the winner of the giveaway......and the winner is Vardhini of Zesty Palette.
Congratulations, Vardhini.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Five years of blogging and a giveaway

A few days back, my blog turned five years old. To celebrate, I am giving away a book to one lucky winner. I thought long and hard about which book I should give away......and finally decided that there could be nothing better than Cooking At Home with Pedatha - an award winning cookbook authored by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain.

With over sixty traditional Andhra recipes in it, this book is written in a simple, easy to understand manner, and accompanied by beautiful pictures. Check out the sun dried rice flake fritters(aval vadam) that I made using the recipe from this book.
To win this book, you don't have to follow me or "like" me......though I am assuming that your being here and reading this means that you do like me. All that you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you think you should win this book.
The giveaway is open for a week from today. I will pick a winner and announce the name on Monday, 11th July. Please leave your email id in the comments section so that I can get in touch with you. I will be able to ship only within the winner needs to provide an Indian address to which the book can be sent.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tomato-peanut chutney

For the final day of Blogging Marathon #6, I was paired with Pavani of Cook's Hideout, to cook something from her blog. The marathon finished a while back, but it is only now that I am getting down to posting what I made from her blog. This chutney is quick and easy to make, tastes good as soon as it is made and tastes even better the next day. Thank you, Pavani for the recipe.

What you need:
Tomato - 2
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Red chillies - 3
Tamarind extract - from a gooseberry sized ball of tamarind
For tempering:
Oil - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 3/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

Take the tomatoes in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover and microwave for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes turn mushy. Let it cool.
Toss the peanuts and red chillies in 1/4 tsp of oil and microwave for 2 minutes. Let it cool.
Add salt,tamarind extract and grind the tomatoes, peanuts and red chillies to a smooth.
Heat the tempering ingredients. Once the mustard seeds pop, pour it over the chutney.
Serve with idli/dosa.
Don't forget to leave your comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Cooking at home with Pedatha, an award winning cookbook.