Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cabbage with Ground Coconut and Spices

---AKA Cabbage kobari Vepudu/ Cabbage Thenga Poriyal---
This dish is one among the first few in my after marriage culinary journey. Learnt it from an Aunt friend. No doubt I'm a big fan of this veggie.The ease in cooking and the pleasure in tasting makes this variety of cabbage preparation noticeable than ignored.

Shredded cabbage is cooked in a mixture of ground coconut, fennel seeds, garlic and our very own king of spices "green chilly". The aroma that emits when cabbage is cooking in this fashion is so enticing. I feel this is one the best methods to flavour up cabbage which otherwise has a raw pungent smell.
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Makes a perfect side dish for roti along with any type of dhal or with plain rice and sambar.
1 Tbsp Veg or sesame Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp Urad Dhall (optional)
1/2 Tsp cumin seeds (optional)
A few curry leaves

1/2 Cabbage shredded
1/4 cup crated Coconut

To grind coarsely :

1/2 cup crated Coconut
1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
4-5 Garlic cloves
4-5 Green Chillies
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Method :
Grind the coconut mixture and keep it ready.
Heat oil in a non stick wide pan, allow mustard to splutter and then add urad dhall, after it browns a little add cumin, curry leaves and fry.
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Now add the ground coconut mixture and fry till aroma is emitted.
Add cabbage and mix well till it is nicely coated with the coconut mixture.
Cover and steam roast till done.
Once the cabbage is cooked garnish with fresh grated coconut and remove from oven.
Serve with rice or roti and dhall.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gajar Peda / Carrot Fudge - Step by Step

Somehow couldn't push myself to post in the last two weeks. It has been a roller coaster ride of events, some good and some not so. My childhood best friend made a surprise visit to Toronto from California, during her east coast vacation. It was such a treat meeting her after more than decade making old memories come afresh.

Coming to the present, it seems Christmas just went and now Good Friday is already gone and Easter in a day..It is true that in a Christian's life all these three events must have tremendous meaning every single day..but I'm thankful that we observe them outwardly also to proclaim and to seal the truth of Jesus Christ coming into this world. Especially the message of Good Friday helps me to revive, re-commit and re-dedicate myself to follow our Lord to re-fill the gratitude in me for what He has done and Easter re-assures us the power of salvation with the Resurrection of our Lord. Thinking about Easter also makes me so nostalgic about the childhood days when my family used to attend the early morning 4.30 worship service and yes those Easter Saturdays where special too. Preparing for Easter Sunday, threadling the fresh jasmine flowers into garlands to decorate our braids, new set of clothes, waking up at 3.00am midnight to get ready to go church and checking into some star hotel restaurant for after service breakfast with family. Amma, Nanagaru thanks for giving me those precious moments which I will always treasure down the lane. Happy Easter to you and to all our family.

So, celebrating the occassion with a sweet treat. I know, I know, I said I will post more vegan recipes this month, but since i didn't publish last two weeks, guess will have to do a pattern now. Recently one of our friend from our building send some home made Carrot halwa for us. It tasted so good that I was inspired me to try my own. I went a step ahead to make Carrot Fudge/kova or Gajar Peda by adding dry milk or khoya to the regular gajar halwa and making pedas from it which really helps in portion control too. You can freshly prepare khoya from scratch or use store bought or like me use the instant mix.
Ingredients :
1 lb carrots
5 tbsp ghee
1 cup sugar
1 can Evaporated milk
1 pkt Carrot halwa Khoya mix
Nuts of choice.
Here is the step by step making of it:
Shred 1 lb carrots around 3 big ones.
Heat 1 Tbsp of Ghee to a wide pan and then roast the crated carrots for a minute or two.
Now add 1 cup of sugar and cook till the sugar is dissolved into the carrots.
Add 1 can evaporated milk and cook till it is fully absorbed into the carrot mixture.
Once the milk is evaporated, add 2 tbsp of ghee and choice of cashew or pista a handful.
Cook till the mixture leaves ghee.
At this stage carrot halwa is ready, if you want to continue to carrot kova add the sweetened dry milk powder or khoya.
I used the instant khoya mix. Here is how it looks after adding and mixing it thoroughly.
After the khoya mix is totally incorporated into the halwa, add another tbsp of ghee mix and transfer to a greased bowl.

Now grease hand with ghee and take small lemon size balls and press them into pedas and decorate with almond in the middle.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Okra in Special Masala

--aka Bendakaya Miriyalu Vepudu/Vendakkai Milagu Poriyal/Bhindi Kala Mirch Masala--
DSC02054And we did it!!! Cheers to Indians all over the world. Oh!! what a win it was!!! From a losing state at one point to a stylish unbeaten finish showing the world that we are champions and proving that dedication and determination along with God's will can always give us success with dignity. India, you earned and deserved this Victory. Yes it was not an ordinary win as it comes with a morale "No matter how tough the situation is, though you may have to face a storm, "Never give up", keep trying till you reach your goal" As NDTV says we will be celebrating this happiness not a week or a month but may be for the whole year and perhaps be talking about it till the next world cup. LOL!!!
Well! though we may not want our world cup fever to fade, IPL is round the corner to take us cricket fans to a next swing.

Coming to the recipe today, inspired by my cousin in US who suggested me to blog veg recipes for the Lenten days, I'm going vegan for this month. And my very first one is this Special Masala Okra.DSC02043For those of us who subscribe or stream Sun TV Tamil, must be regular viewers of Guinness record holder Chef Jacob's "Aha Enna Rusi" program, which airs Saturday afternoons. This recipe is a courtesy from their local kitchen segment. They actually called it Okra Pepper Masala Fry.

Different spices like, garlic, red chillies, black pepper, coriander along with channa dhal are ground coarse to make a special masala for this green veggie packed with nutrients. Then it is add to the tempered okra and cooked till done.DSC02060
Special masala : Grind the following into a smooth powder
1 Tbsp Channa dhal
1 Tbsp - Coriander seeds
1 Tbsp - black pepper seeds/powder
4-5 Red chillies
4-5 Garlic cloves

Others :
1 Tbsp - Gingely/Sesame/Vegetable Oil
1 Lb - Okra/Ladies Finger, Mustard seeds
1/2 Tsp - Turmeric powder
Food Pics1Procedure :
Wash okra and pat them dry with a towel.
Remove ends and cut into one and a quarter inch pieces.
Keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai/wok/pan and allow oil, mustard seeds to splutter.
Now add cut okra, fry a little.
Add turmeric powder and mix.
Now add salt and the special masala and fry till okra is cooked but still crunchy.
Enjoy with hot rice and sambar or roti.