Friday, November 30, 2007

A Simple Toor dal and a Vegan meal

MD2 (2) All my fellow foodies are coming up with so many varieties of cooking with toor dal. Though I know a few, decided to go simple this time, just the Toor dal takda or talimpu. This does'nt even need a recipe writing.

Though simple this goes so good with just the plain rice with papad or pickle or any sidedish or served with chapati and any sabzi.

And more over November being marked as a vegan month by Suganya of tasty palattes thought this platter with Roti, dal and sabzi would serve it right.

So my Toor dal goes to JFI - Toor dhall event hosted by Linda of Out of the Garden

and the thali of vegan meal goes to Vegan Month event hosted by Suganya, of Tasty palettes

CVPC1 For the sabzi recipe check here or click on the bowl.CV2 (2) For roti, just mix and knead the flour of your choice, Whole wheat/ all purpose etc with a little salt and enough water to make a thick dough, keep aside for an hour and then make lemon size balls and flatten them to desired size and pan roast them on both sides with few drops of oil or butter.

Now for the Toor dal:

To cook the dal
2 cups Toor Dal
4 cups Water
4 pods Garlic
3 Green Chillies slit
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste(To add after the dal is cooked)

For Seasoning/Talimpu/Tadka
1 Tbp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal(optional)
4 Red Chillies broken
1 Small Onion cut length wise
4 Small garlic Pods with skin(Slightly beaten)
A few Curry leaves
A hint of Hing/Asafoetida

Pressure cook dal with all the ingredients to cook the dal.
Mash dal to almost a paste adding required salt once cooked.
In a kadai heat oil and add all the tadka ingredients after the mustard splutters.
Fry a little and then add the cooked dal and mix it thoroughly.
Garnish with Coriander if desired.

Serve hot with Rice or Rotis and Sabzi like down below and enjoy a vegan meal.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Flat Beans/Averai Kai/Chikkudu kai/Papdi Sabzi

CV2 (2)This Vegie which is called Flat beans(English), Averai kai(Tamil), Chikkudu kai(Telugu) and Papdi(Hindi) falls into the list of my favourites.
This is one vegie I used to get scare to clean, cause back home these beans used to have worms inside them. So My GM used to tear open each bean and peep inside to see if any worms are housing there and discard them. Others she use to gently removed the hard fibre and brake them into small peices with fingers.

My GM used to cook it with tomatoes, and my mom used to make this version.
CV1 Available in most of the Indian and Asian groceries fresh or frozen,this is another nutritional vegie.

1 lb flat beans, (Cleaned with centre fibre removed and broken into small peices if fresh or use the frozen ones which are already done)
1 tbp oil
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal
1 Onion cut length wise
2 Red Chillies broken into small peices
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
1/8 tsp Turmeric
A few curry leaves
Coriander to garnish
Salt to taste
If interested add 1/2 tsp of Kasthuri methi and 1/8 tsp of Amchur powder for more flavour
CV3 Method:
Heat up oil in kadai/pot. Add the mustard seeds.
After the mustard splutters, add the urad dhall fry a little.
Then add the red chillies saute, and add the onions, curry leaves and fry them till onions are translucent.
Add the turmeric powder, saute.
Now add the cleaned Papdi/flat beans and required salt, give it a nice mix to coat them well with the seasoning.
Sprinkle some water and cook covered with lid till the beans are cooked mixing them in regular intervals so that the beans won't stick to kadai and get charred.
Once almost cooked , add the chilli powder and kasthuri methi and amchur powder, mix, garnish with coriander leaves and remove from heat.
Serve hot with dal and roti/chapati or Rice and sambar.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bihari Kabab - for RCI and Think Spice

BK3 (2) The only dish I know to cook in Bihari Cuisine is the famous "Bihari Kabab" Never tasted or tried cooking this when I was in India.

But here almost all Indian restuarants have them on the menu.
And why not it lives up the name it has. Exceptionally gr8 tasting kabab. I have seen it in many forms and shapes, Minced meat on Skewers, Minced meat in burger shape, meat strips or just meat cubes.

Whatever is the shape and texture of meat, the ingredients that go into it are the same. The most important ingredient in this is the Bihari Kabab Mix which is readily availabe in all Indian Groceries(Atleast here in Toronto,Canada)

But I noticed that many of you had questions about this Bihari Kabab mix. So decided to attach a picture of the Bihari Kabab mix box. And for those of you who don't get this ready made mix in any grocery store at your place, try making this mix at home. Here are the ingredients that go into this mix.
Corriander, Red chilli, Paprika, Salt, Ginger, Garlic, Musk Melon, Dehydrated Onion, Black Pepper, Bay leaf, Black and regular Cumin, Green Caradamom & Dill Seed.

BK4 (2) The other ingredient is the Ginger which is the Spice of this month.

There is'nt any day in my kitchen that I don't use it, starting from the cup of chai I & my hubby sip on every single morning to most of the dishes, and if it is a meat dish it is never complete with this rich spice. Its like NV dish and Ginger go parallel.

Yeah, ginger has been part of cooking from my childhood. Those days when these electric grinders where not so prevelent, my mom and GM used to make the fresh ginger garlic paste to make the curries or Biriyani. I tell you that fresh ginger garlic paste cannot replace any of these ready made ones or our now a days home made fridge stored ones. I also find that our Indian Ginger or garlic our more strong and rich in flavour than the ones we get here.

I still remember my childhood days how during festivals and weddings all our relatives(ladies off course) sit together to peel the ginger to make huge bowls of this Ginger Garlic paste, to cook the Curries and Pulav, chatting with each other and having fun. We children use to watch them and enjoy. So peeling the ginger takes me to those precious memories of celebration and festival.
I make this kabab two methods. One way on the skewers like this
And in the other I add chopped onions, green chillies and shape them like the burgers.
BK1 (2)
I'm sharing the recipe of the second method.

2 lb minced meat of your choice.
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 Tbsp Bihari Kabab masala
1/2 tsp tandoori masala
1/2 tsp Seek kabab masala
2 Tbsp Plain yogurt
1/4 tsp plain chilly powder
Salt to taste
1 Big oinion
5 green chillies
1/4 cup -Finely chopped coriandera and mint leaves


Mix all the ingredients except onions and marinate for 3 hrs or overnight.
At the time of cooking add the freshly cut onions, mix and make lemon size balls and flatten them to a burger shape and pan fry or bake them in the oven at 350 C or barbaque them.
Once done on both sides remove from heat and serve hot with mint chutney and Salab.

This is my entry for RCI - Bihari Cuisine hosted by Ghar ka khana
and Think spice - Ginger hosted by Sunitha" World

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thin Vermicelli Kheer

DSC02800 (2) There is'nt anybody in India who has not tasted this dessert. Known as "Kheer" in North and Payasam in South, this is one famous dessert of India. Easy to make yet delicious in taste.

This is one of my favourite desserts. So this is my entry for What's Your Favourite(WYF) - Dessert created by SnackOrama,
DSC02800 (3) Kheer can be made with rice or vermicelli. Here I'm using the thin(almost looks like hair width) vermicelli. Though it takes lot of time to cook, the preparation is quite simple.

Roasted Thin Vermicelli(Available in Indian grocery stores)
Milk 4 cups
Evapourated milk - 1 tin
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Saffron - 1/2 tsp
Cardamon powder from 4 pods
Salt - a pinch
Raisins & Cashews roasted in Ghee.

DSC02807 (2) Procedure:
Boil the milk and simmer till the reduce to half.
Now add the vermicelli which instantly gets cooked in 5 to 10 minutes.
Add Sugar, Cardamon powder, salt. Mix well. Add more sugar if desired sweetness.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
In a seperate sausepan boil the evapourated milk and then add it to the cooked kheer and mix well.
Fry the nuts and raisins in ghee and add to the above mixture.
Garnish with the Saffron if desired the flavour.
Can be served warm, chilled in the fridge for altleast an hour or even at room temperature.

DSC02800 Kheer always becomes very thick if left for sometime before serving. To make it dilute add hot evapourated milk just before serving it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Curried Shrimp Noodles - for Click

SN6 (2) This is one of most frequent method I follow to make noodles at home. It derived from the left over or kept aside curried shrimp. I don't like noodles if they retain there noodles smell(that raw vermicelli smell)in them. And those days when I didn't know to make any kind noodle dishes, the only way to take away the nooldes smell was to cook them with shrimp. So the aroma of shrimp would fill the dish and give it a real lift.
cn1 (2) SN3
Infact I never ate noodles before I was married. Somehow I thought they don't taste good. Then came these days in India where very street was infested with the noodles fast food points. And my hubby who is a huge fan of noodles forced me one day to try them and I began to like them. But even now they have to be Indianized. The best style of noodles I enjoy is the "Indian Hakka style mixed noodles".

My recipe here is complete with seafood and vegies. A perfect meal by itself. Enjoyed by all at home. All the three boys at home like shrimp and noodles. So can't ask for anything better.

I usually add the shrimp which are curried alreadly. Check for the Curried Tomatoe Shrimp recipe by clicking the shrimp bowl down here.
st1 (2) Ingredients:
1 Packet Egg Noodles cooked
1 lb Shrimp Curry or even plain shrimp will do.
2 tsp oil
5 garlic pods
1 big onion cut into breath-wise thin slices
3-5 green chilles cut into thin strips
1 cup each thinly sliced carrots, beans, brocolli, peppers,( add more vegies if desried)
2 - tsp Soy sauce
2 tbp tomatoe ketchup
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves - a few
SN4 Procecure:
Add the noodles in the boiling water to cook them and then stain the water and keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai, add chopped garlic, saute, add green chillies saute a till and then add the onions.
Saute the onions to coat them with the oil and the flavour of garlic and chilly.
Before the onions loose their crunchiness add all the vegies and strir fry them adding required salt.
Now add the Tomatoe shrimp Curry and fry it well the vegies.
If you don't have the pre-cooked shrimp tomatoe curry, you can add the raw shrimp and add 3 tbps of tomatoe paste and 1/2 tsp of chilly powder to substitute.
Now add the cooked strained noodles, more salt for the noodles, soy souce, and mix well.
Add the tomatoe ketchup mix again and then garnish with finely chopped coriander before removing from heat.
Curried Shrimp Noodles is ready to be served hot.

SN1 (2)
This goes to Bee & Jai of Jugalbandi for the Event - Click Noodles.
Not to compete and win any badges but just to participate.

Hope you like my Shrimp round up.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Shrimp Tamatar Curry

This is my first NV dish after I started regular blogging. Though I posted some before this, I feel awkward to publish non-veg food posts that they may embrass my vegie foodies. But then I can't leave out my NV foodies too, right. Moreover these days most of the NV blogs have blogged about shrimp or prawns and its my turn now.

So here you go all my seafood lovers, especially who just drool for Shrimp, here is my version of Tamatar Shrimp Curry.
st5 (2) I really miss those fresh small prawns back home. Their flavour, taste absolutely adorable. Enough if I manage to buy fresh ones here they can't come upto that taste.

Its so amazing with shrimp/prawn or as a matter of fact any seafood, how the raw shrimpy/fishy smell turns into mind blowing oroma when they are cooked the right way.

Back home we pay these vendors to clean the shrimps. But here if we are not buying the cleaned frozen ones( they don't have the right texture for the curry recipe) we have to do it oursevles. Never in my life would I have dreamt of cleaning prawns. The look of them use to scare me before they are de-shelled. And here I'm all diligently cleaning them if I want to have a shrimp treat. Cause it takes patience to de-shell and more if we want to de-vein them. Although most of the time it is my D.Hubby filling this post for me. Cause he loves seafood, and not to mention "shrimp". So if he wants a treat this is part it.

Well this is what life is... we have to do things sometimes even though we don't like to do. And we eventually learn the lesson that is was not so difficult than we thought and also to receive we have to give.

Now coming to recipe, Shrimp can taste good even with the fewest spices added to them and just sauted. But this is one of the methods I use to make the taste excellent.
st3 (2) Ingredients:

1 lb deshelled shrimp/prawns (de-vein them if desired)
3 big - Tomatoes cut into small cubes
2 big - Onions finely cut
3 pods - Garlic finely chooped
4 medium - Green chilies Slit
1 reem - Curry leaves
1 tsp - Red chilly powder (increase if you want it spicy)
2 Tbp - Oil
Salt - to taste
Finely chopped - coriander leaves( keep the stem part seperate)

Heat up a kadai(pot) add oil, when oil is heated add garlic, saute and then add green chillies, saute and add the onions & curry leaves.
Fry the onions till translucent. Throw in the stems(cut into small) of the corainder leaves at this time.
This is my personal observation...Usually we put the Coriander leaves at the end, but in this recipe, if we add the stem part while frying the onions, it gives a very exotic oroma which is carried thru the finish of the dish. So this Shrimp carry is almost coriander flavoured along with tomatoes,
Now add the tomatoes and cook them well till they loose their shape and the mixture in the kadai almost looks like a paste.
Add in the red chilly powder and salt, mix well till all the masala goes into the mixture and the raw smell goes away.
Now add the cleaned shrimp and mix well to coat them evenly with the masala.
Add a bit of water if you want this dish to be on a gravy side.
Cover and cook for 7 - 10 minutes.
Once the shrimp is cooked and the gravy starts sticking to them, garnish with the coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Though this is a simple preparation, the taste is extremely commendable.

This goes good just with plain rice, or rice wiht rasam or sambar. The gravy is good to eat with Idilies, dosa or chapati, roti.

st7 So this being such a versatile side dish, should be cherished for sure.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mysore Pak .....JFS Festive Collection

cp3 (2) I don't know how the name Mysore pak came, but since the recipe uses channa dhall flour I thought I will call this sweet Channa pak.

This is the first time I tried it. Though not upto my expectations the taste was not bad. I thought of sending in the Chakra pongal entry for the Event JFS:Diwali hosted by Past Present and Me . This event JFI was originally started by Indira

But this weekend when I called my Sister back home, she gave me the recipe for a sweet made with maida(all purpose flour) which she just viewed in a TV show. Quickly her MIL joined and narratted the Mysore pak recipe. Thats it, I told my Sis, to check up my blog in a few days for my version of Mysore pak and here it is.
cp6 (2)
Ingredients :

2 cups Gram Flour (Besan)
1-1/2 to 2 cups sugar
1 cup ghee ( increase if desired)
To garnish:
2 spoons chopped cashew peices fried in ghee.

Boil sugar with a little water to make the sugar syrup with the string like consistency.
Add the Channa dhall flour(Bengal Gram flour) little by little to this syrup continually mixing without allowing any lumps to be formed.
Once all the flour is added, add the ghee slowly in small amounts and continue mixing thoroughly till all the ghee is added gets into every molecule of the this channa flour mixed in sugar syrup.
Once the mixture leaves the container, and big wholes appear on the surface of this sweet mixture, remove from heat.
Now pour this mixture into a greased tray and flatten it evenly.
Sprinkle some crushed cashew peices if desired.
Let the mixture set for a few minutes and cut into into desired shapes and arrange for serving.

cp6 (3) Please don't mind the shapes of my peices. I was just trying them for trail. Never thought I'll blog them. But didn't have time to give it another try. Taste was good. I'm sure I'll improve in the coming attempts.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pineapple, Mango and Sweet Peppers Salsa

pmps (2)This was the first time I ever made a Salsa, And what a perfect combo. I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes. In fact even cooked ones, I enjoy only if their shape is almost disappeared in the process of cooking. Cause the basic ingredient in Salsa is tomatoe, never ever gave it a try. But one evening after a tired day of work didn't have mood to cook anything big. I had this marinated Salmon in the fridge. So quickly came the thought that a Salsa would be a perfect match with this. Luckily I had Pineapple and not so ripe mango and the sweet peppers in all colors at hand to make this beautiful condiment. Whatelse can be a perfect dinner- The Healthy Seafood(Salmon) and fruits&vegies.

PMPS-S5 (2)
Cause this recipe does not require any Power thru the electronic gadgets this is qualified for "Power-less cooking Event" launched by An Easy Cooking Blog

PMPS (3)
Small cubes of
Pineapple - 2 cups
Mango - 2 cups
Sweet Peppers - 2 cups
Tomatoe- 1 cup
Red onions - 1/2 cup(optional)
Finely chopped green chilles - 2(optional for extra spice)
A bunch of Cilantro - finely chopped
A hint of mint leaves - Finely chopped (say 4-5 leaves)
Lime juice - 1/8 cup
Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste

Mix all the ingredients and allow to set for 1/2 an hour before serving.

PMPS4 (2) This is my entry for "Power-less cooking Event"
I was just blog hopping and saw my fellow bloggers using stove for this event, but doesn't stove or oven take power too. In that case mine is a real real "Powerless " cooking dish, cause except knife I've not used any power items here.