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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cabbage Pulao

I had made cabbage sabzi early in the week.Half of the 400 gm cabbage was leftover. I thought of making cabbage pulao. I googled & got many recipes of cabbage rice. I choose this recipe of Veg Recipes of India. I made a few changes. And of course, I made it in the cooker.

Ingredients : 1 cup basmati tukda rice, 1 tbsp oil, 200 gm finely shredded cabbage, 10-12 curry leaves , 1-2 green chillies roughly chopped, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 5-6 peppercorns slightly pounded, 1 tsp cumin or jeera, 1 tsp dhania powder, 1/4 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp haldi, 1/4 tsp hing,juice of half lemon , salt to taste.

Method : Take oil in the pressure cooker pan. Heat the oil .Add ginger to it.Let it be nicely fried in oil.Add pounded peppercorns, cinnamon stick & cumin .After they turn fragrant, add shredded cabbage, curry leaves &  green chillies. Let it be nicely sauteed. Add haldi & hing. Mix nicely with cabbage & spices. Add bay leaf. Give all ingredients a good stir. Add rice. Mix all things nicely in the pressure pan. Add dhania powder & red chilli powder. Mix nicely with the ingredients in the vessel.Add salt. Mix nicely once again so that salt gets distributed all over. Add 2 cups water. Put on the lid of the pressure pan.Put on the whistle.Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles on high flame. Put off gas.Aftr it cools, put off whistle.After 10-15 minutes after whistle has been removed, open the lid. The cabbage pulao is ready. Sprinkle juice of half a lemon & mix with the fluffed up rice.

Serve cabbage pulao with roasted papad & raita.

My family were all praise for this mildly spiced pulao !

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Vegan Upside Down Apple Cake

I avoid eating apples as I feel they constipate. Since,   I had some apples at home , I decided to make this  upside down apple cake.I have borrowed generously from recipe of Apple cinnamon coffee cake & upside down wholewheat apple cake.

Ingredients : 1 cup atta + 1/ 4 cup maida, 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tbsp sugar , 2 medium apples peeled , de seeded & thinly sliced after 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp coffee powder,1 tsp cinnmon powder, 1/4 tsp clove powder, 1/4 tsp cardamom powder, 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tbsp oil, a pinch of salt.

Method : Take a baking vessel.Line it with butter paper. Arrange the wedges on the bottom of the vessel over the butter paper.Mix clove powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, cardamom powder & sugar nicely with a fork.Sprinkle this powder on the apple slices so that all slices are covered with this powder. Bake these apple slices at 180 degrees  centigrade  for 8-10 minutes.Keep aside.

In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients namely atta, maida, sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, baking powder, baking soda & alt.Mix with a whisk or fork or spoon many times over, so that, ll dry ingredients are nicely mixed.Keep aside.

Add 3-4 tbsp water to 1 tbsp coffee powder. Mix nicely so that no lumps of coffee remain undissolved. This is the coffee decoction. Keep aside.

In another bowl, mix wet ingredients....applesauce, oil, coffee decoction nicely with spoon or whisk.
Pour this wet ingredient mix into a well made in the dry ingredient mix. Mix all nicely so that a batter is formed. It must have just drop down consistency like idli batter.

Pour this batter over the apple slices which have sprinkled with sugar-clove-cardamom-cinnamon powder. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade or till a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

I always bake in microwave mode for 2-4 minutes, even 5 minutes. after this convection baking to make sure that all batter has got cooked.

Put off oven. Let it cool in the oven for half an hour. Remove cake from oven after half am hour. Cool the cake outside oven for another half an hour.

Take a plate & invert the baking vessel on the plate. The cake will drop down. I felt the apple slices were too moist . So I put the cake in vessel & baked in microwave mode for 2.5 minutes.Let it cool for 5 more minutes. Take out the cake on the plate.Cut it into desired shapes & serve.

Tips : I sliced apples into very thin pieces. Apple wedges can be cut instead of slicing apple.After cutting apples into slices or wedges, sprinkle lemon juice to prevent darkening of apple pieces.

The coffee powder used is Nescafe classic. The coffee powder that was remaining in bottle was less than 1 tbsp. Maybe 3/4 tbsp.I used up the whole thing. Since it was less than 1 tbsp, the coffee flavour was there & yet, not pronounced.

I used white granulated sugar to sprinkle on apple slices. In the cake batter, I used nearly 1/4 cup white sugar & the remaining 1/4 cup jaggery sugar. Simply because jaggery sugar that remained to be used was just 1/4 cup.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kadipatta tambli

I was told about this tambli or yoghurt based dish by my mom I googled it & came across this recipe.It is a coolant recipe for the hot summers.

I tried it & it came out well.I mean, no one can go wrong with this dish.Its so simply easy !

Ingredients : 1/3 cup yoghurt, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1  byadgi mirchi de stemmed & broken into 3/4 pieces, 1 green chilli roughly chopped, 1/4 cup fresh dessicated coconut, 3-4 peppercorns,2 tsp oil, 8-10 sprigs of curry leaves, 1/2 tsp urad dal,salt to taste.

Method : Heat a wok or kadhai with 1 tsp oil.Add cumin seeds .When they splutter, add the peppercorns,Roast them for a minute .Add 8 sprigs of curry leaves by plucking out the leaves & discarding the stem.Put off the gas.Roast the curry leaves in the kadhai. Keep aside.Let this cool.

Take the yoghurt & add salt.Whisk the yoghurt with salt into a nice creamy buttermilk.Keep aside.

Take a blender. Add dessicated coconut, chopped green chilly, & the roasted cumin, peppercorns curry leaves mix.Blend into a paste by adding little water. Stop the blender. Scoop out the paste & add to the whisked salted buttermilk.Mix nicely. Keep aside.

Make a seasoning by heating oil in a kadhai.Add mustard seeds.After they splutter, add urad dal.They will turn golden brown.Add curry leaves & broken pieces of byadgi mirchi. Put off the gas.

Pour this seasoning ovr the whisked buttermilk to which the paste has been added.

The tambli is ready.Add to rice. Mix & enjoy.

Tips : My ground paste was grainy as I ground the ingredients   in the dry grinder.I added some water & yet, the result was that the paste was grainy. I did this as the wet grinder attachment of my mixie is too big & the quantity of paste needed was too small.The dry grinder attachment of my mixie is comparatively smaller.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Colorful pulao

I came across this pulao rice at the Saffron Trail. I loved it so much so that I tried it immediately  .It came out well. I forgot to post it when I tried it first. So , today when I made it for perhaps the third or fourth time, I decided, that this must be posted today.

I have made some changes to the recipe.I skipped adding kishmish & apricots used in original recipe.I grated beet root & carrot as I find chopping finely such a chore.My funda :  if the veggies can be grated, why chop ? I used sambhar powder instead of coriander cumin powder.

I used basmati tukda rice as I use it for daily cooking. Any rice can be used.Just try to use less water so that it does not get mushy & rice remains separate grain wise as one gets in hotels,etc.And I made it in the cooker.

Ingredients : 1/2 cup basmati tukda rice, 1 small carrot -peeled & grated, 1 small beetroot- peeled & grated, 1 small potato- peeled &  thinly sliced, 1 small onion -thinly sliced, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 green chilli finely chopped, 6-7 beans stringed & roughly chopped  ( as is  as usually  chopped for pulao ), 2 tbsp green peas, 1 bay leaf broken into two pieces, 1 small piece of cinnamon stick, 1-2 peppercorns & 1 small clove -crushed with stone pestle, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds,1 star anise, 1 tsp sambhar powder, 1/4-1/2 tsp garam masala powder.1/4 tsp haldi, 1 tbsp oil, salt to taste.

Method : Take a pressure pan or a small kadhai which can be fitted in a pressure cooker for pressure cooking later.

Heat oil in the vessel selected. Add all spices ....crushed peppercorns- clove, star anise, cinnamon stick & cumin seeds. After they get aromatic, add green chillies & grated ginger.Saute nicely.Add onions. Fry onions nicely for a minute.Add bay leaf.Fry again.Add all remaining veggies now Saute all of them so that all veggies & spices get mixed nicely.Add haldi.Mix nicely with all ingredients.Add rice. Fry all nicely for 1-2 minutes.Add sambhar powder. Mix nicely .Add water. Mix nicely.Add salt & mix nicely with all other ingredients. Add garam masala powder at the end.

Pressure cook for two whistles. Put off gas. After it cools, remove the whistle. Remove lid of cooker after 10-15 minutes of taking out the whistle.

I served pumpkin raita with this pulao !

Serve pulao with pumpkin raita or doodhi  raita or anardana raita or any other raita of choice and or papad.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Idlis, dosas & paniyarams.

I had been wanting since many years to buy the wet grinder. I had heard that dosas & especially idlis turn out to have melt in mouth consistency when batter is churned out in the wet grinder.

My sister in law ( my hubby's brother's wife )  gifted me the wet grinder. And I was elated ! I was given instructions on how to use it the first time .And I was hooked !

I have been grinding batter in the wet grinder & let me tell you, its simply amazing ! The dosas, idlis, & paniyarams turn out superbly. I do get tired to wash the wet grinder after all the grinding. And yet , the efforts are worth the softest idlis, dosas & gundpangalu ( Kannada for paniyrams )   !

I googled & followed the ingredients for wet grinding from Prema's blog.

I sometimes use 1-2 tsp methi seeds.I have used 1 tbsp methi seeds as well.More methi seeds has the effect of increasing fermentation. Hence, batter may turn out to be more sour. To avoid this, add just 1-2 tsp methi seeds.Different recipes use varying amounts of methi seeds.

For dosas, idlis & paniyarams, I use the same proportion of ingredients. For dosas, the batter can be more watery than idli batter. For idlis & paniyarams, the batter must have drop down consitency, not watery.

Ingredients : 1 cup urad dal, 1-2 tsp methi ( fenugreek )  seeds, 2 cups boiled rice, 2 cups normal rice ( any rice that you use to cook rice daily ) , 1/4-1/3 cup poha, salt to taste.

Method : Soak boiled rice first after washing it for 3 times .Boiled rice will grind finely only when it is soaked for more than 3-4 hours.Keep aside.

Urad dal & methi seeds are soaked together after washing. These are soaked for 3-4 hours. Keep aside. Normal rice is washed & soaked for 3-45 hours.Keep aside.

Poha can be washed & soaked just half an hour before grinding.

After 3-4 hours of soaking urad dal -methi mix, grind the mix in wet grinder for more than half an hour. Take breaks of 2-3 minutes after every 10 minutes. Add water, if it is very thick.Slowly, the batter will start fluffing up & get very light. That is the time to stop grinding.Pour the batter into a deep vessel.This can be done by titling the wet grinder vessel ( if the wet grinder vessel tilts by button push ) or by using a ladle to scoop out the batter.

Next, take both the varieties of soaked rice & put in the wet grinder vessel.The urad dal batter remaining in wet grinder vessel is hardly an issue as finally , both urad dal & rice batter must mix to get fermented.

Add water to vessel & start grinding. Wash poha & add washed poha to batter while a break is taken from grinding. Add more water if batter is too thick.Grind finely. The batter must not be grainy or particulate in consistency. This grinding will take 45 minutes to one hour.

Add this rice poha batter to urad dal methi batter. Mix nicely with ladle or with hands. The warmth of the hands will ferment the batter better.

Keep batter aside for night. Before retiring to bed, keep batter  in refrigerator.Next morning or whenever idlis or dosas or paniyrams are scheduled as breakfast, take out the batter & make them.Add salt to taste before making them.

Idlis : Grease the idli moulds in the idli stand & pour ladlefuls of batter into each mould. Put water in the idli cooker or the pressure cooker.Keep  the idli stand into the cooker with water around the idli stand.Close the lid. Let it steam for 8-10 minutes on high flame. Put off gas. Remove lid after 4-5 minutes. Remove idli stand.Let it cool for 4-5 minutes. Remove idlis from moulds. Serve hot with chutni and or sambar or chutni powder plus til oil.

   My mom sometimes uses  dhokla plates for making idlis. And they look like plump white dosasor even plate idlis. My mom gets very nostalgic about plate idlis as my mom's mom ( my nani or granny ) used to make idlis in plates !

Dosas : Start heating tawa on gas stove. Grease the tawa. Pour out a ladle full of batter & spread it on tawa in circular manner. Cover with lid. After 2-3  minutes, take out lid.If the dosa has started rising from the outer sides, it is ready to be flipped up.Spread alittle oil of the dosa & flip it over.Cook for 2-3 minutes .Remove the dosa from the tawa, Serve with chutni, sambar or chutni powder.

If masala dosa is needed, before flipping dosa, spread little  potato onion sabzi or bhaji in the middle of the dosa. Cover the sabzi with the two sides of dosa. And if possible flip it lightly. even if sabzi falls outside, please don't worry.It can be put inside. After 1-2 minutes of cooking, remove masala dosa on to a plate. Serve with chutni, sambar, chutni powder-til oil or just like that.

Paniyarams : Please go to the blog post on paniyarams or appams or gundpangalu.

I soak boiled rice in morning by 9. I soak urad dal & normal rice by 11.I start grinding by 2-3.By 10-11 in night before I retire to bed, I refrigerate the batter. This is for summers.

During winters, batter can be left outside over nite.

Some soak chana dal ( 1/4 cup )to urad dal ( for dosa batter )  if 1 cup urad dal has been used .This enhances golden yellow colour in dosas.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Buttermilk strawberry cake

I came across a strawberry summer  cake.And wanted to try it out. Yet, strawberries were becoming less visible in the markets,as their season has almost ended.So decided to try this recipe out before the whole lot of strawberries gets exhausted.

I googled for recipes to see which was most suited for lazy person like me.I decided to follow this buttermilk strawberry cake recipe.I did tweak it a little.

Ingredients : 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maida, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup Amul butter ( salted ) , 1/2 cup Patanjali brand jaggery sugar( dark brown in colour ) , 1/2 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup fresh strawberries hulled & chopped into halves each , approx 1.5 -2 tbsp white everyday sugar for sprinkling on cake top, 1/8-1/4 cup water if needed.

Method : Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade .

I melted the butter in oven & added dark brown sugar .Mix it up nicely.I still found small bits & pieces of sugar lumps which did not mix.Keep it aside.

Mix whole wheat flour, maida & baking powder nicely many times over with fork or whisk. Keep a side. Now add the sugar butter mix to the flour mix. Mix nicely.Add the buttermilk to this mix drop by drop till a batter is obtained. Batter will be thick.Add 1/8-1/4 cup water to this batter if some lumps of flour sugar butter mix are still dry. Add water drop by drop to get batter.Keep aside.

Line a baking dish with butter paper.Pour the batter into the baking dish lined with  butter paper.Flatten the top of batter with spoon.Arrange halved strawberry pieces on top of the batter.I added so many in the outer row that it formed a complete border without any gap ! Sprinkle white everyday sugar on top of strawberries uniformly.

Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for half an hour or till a toothpick pricked comes out clean after apoke into the baked cake !

After removing from oven , cool outside for 10-15 minutes. Put the baking dish upside down on plate. After another 10-15 minutes, gently remove the butter paper sticking to the bottom of cake & sides. Cut the cake into desired shapes & serve.

Tips: The Patanjali sugar has sugar lumps & they get baked as chunks of sweet brown candies in the cake.If this is suitable. its fine. Alternatively , use, any other sugar, white or brown. Please remember, while everyday sugar is more sweet than brown sugar.So , use less accordingly.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Drumsticks amti

Maharashtrians make a very delicious drumsticks dal called Shevgyanchya shenganchi amti.

Drumsticks are extremely healthy .

A souring fruit called kokum which grows in coastal Maharashtra in Konkan region is used in this dal .Kokum is said to be very effective in treating acidity. In Maharashtra as also in Mumbai, there are vendors selling Kokum sherbet or kokum juice. It is dried with salt.It gets dark in colour almost black when one gets it in markets.

Goda masala is the spice powder used in this dal preparation. I buy Bedekar brand goda masala. You can make goda masala at home by following this  recipe .

After reading more about the nutritional benefits of drumsticks, I try to make this dal once every week. Alternatively, use drumsticks as one of the many veggies in Avial , from Kerala Cuisine.

Ingredients : 1/4 cup toor dal , 2 drumsticks washed &  chopped into 2 inch pieces each, 1-2 green chillies roughly chopped, few curry leaves ,1-2 kokum pieces,  1 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds,1/4 tsp hing, 1/2 tsp haldi, 1 tsp goda masala , 1 tsp gur or jaggery, salt to taste.

Method : .Add chopped green chillies, hing & 1/4 tsp haldi to dal & then pressure cook the dal. Keep aside.

In a kadhai, add oil.Heat it up.Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves.Then add chopped drumsticks.Fry for some seconds. Add water just enough to drown thr drumstick pieces. Add haldi to the kadhai. Add salt to taste. Let the drumsticks cook in the water.After 8-10 minutes, , the seeds of drumsticks can be seen in the boiling water. This means drumsticks are cooked.Add koum pieces to the kadhai.Mix nicely all contents with a ladle. Let the water continue to boil.Add jaggery .Mix again. After about 10 minutes, add goda masala to kadhai. Mix all contents in kadhai again.

Mash the pressure cooked toor dal with ladle. And add the toor dal to the kdahai. Mix nicely.Let the contents of the kadhai come to aboil.Let it simmer for 2-3 ,minutes.Put off gas.Cover the kadhai. After 5-10 minutes, serve drumsticks amti with rice.Of course, it is so tasty that it can be eaten with rotis as well.