Sunday, July 29

Sunday Meals #3 - Spicy Pizzas and Pasta time

I was thinking of the theme for this weekend sunday meal, laying on the bed on saturday night. I just completed two weekends with lovely punjabi varieties. How about indo-chinese?? Hmm.. love the veg. manchurian. Naa... some other time then I thougt of making something which my husband would like to eat but that can make me also happy at the same time. He loves italian food and I am not crazy about it as it is too bland to eat. How about making it spicy with indian flavors?? That sounds perfect as I can forward them to Nandita of Saffron Trail for JFI for the month of August the theme being CHILLIES!!!


So I decided to make Spicy Pasta and Pizzas and here is what I made:

A pizza with pineapple, vegetables and red chillies. This is a pizza that I survived on when I was in Colombo, Srilanka. This is a pan pizza served by Pizza Hut over there. It tastes great trust me. My husband too liked it luckily.

A pizza with vegetables, black olives and pickled jalapenos. One more variety of Pizza hut pizza that we normally order here.

A pizza that I love of all, Spinach pizza with Alfredo sauce and crushed red pepper served in one of my favorite pizza place called Cici's pizza.

Finally Spicy Pasta, this is a slightly twisted version of friend's original recipe which she will be posting on her blog very soon. I usually make this with cooked rice and for variation I made it with thin spaghetti.

Recipe for Spicy Pasta:


1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked thin spaghetti.
1 big onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
2 small garlic cloves
5 small green chillies
2 to 3 tbsp coriander leaves
salt as per taste

1. Cook pasta until done in lots of salted water.

2. In a wide pan heat 2 tbsp oil and add very finely chopped green chillies, garlic, cumin seeds and saute until they turn golden brown.

3. Add thinly sliced onion to that and saute until they turn translucent. Add the curry powder, coriander leaves and saute for a minute. Add the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly to bring everything together. Pasta is ready to be served.

Recipe for first pizza:


1 ball of Pizza dough
some chopped vegetables like green bell pepper, red onion, tomato, pineapple ( no measurements needed you can add as many as you want and think enough )
couple of tbsp of Ragu's pizza sauce ( you may use any sauce that you like or have in hand )
1 dry red chilli deseeded and cut into small pieces

1. Pre-heat oven at 450 degrees F.

2. Roll out the pizza dough to 1/8th inch thick. Prick with fork and apply some oil on the top.

3. Spread sauce on top and add the vagetables. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove and sprinkle desired amount of mozzarella cheese and the red chillies. Put it back into oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve the pizza.

Recipe for the second pizza:


Similar to the above except instead of pie apple and dry red chillies substitute with black olives and pickled jalapenos. Trust me taste differs a lot.

Recipe for third pizza:



1 ball pizza dough
2 tbsp of frozen spinach thawed ( Use fresh spinach if you have that tastes better)
2 to 3 tbsp Low fat Alfredo sauce ( I used store bought )
1 tsp crushed red pepper

1. Roll out the pizza ball into 1/8th inch thick and prick with fork. Apply some oil on top.

2. Spread alfredo sauce and sprinkle the spinach and crushed red pepper.

3. Bake for 15 to 18 min. in a 450 degrees F Oven.

So enjoy guys I had fun in making and munching them through out the afternoon. Hope you too will enjoy making them at your home.

Recipe for pizza dough:

2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast

1. Add yeast to the warm water and sprinkle the sugar on it. Mix the yeast into the water and leave aside for 5 minutes. You see some white foam forming on top.

2. Sift flour, salt together and add the oil to it.

3. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour, mix everything to form soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes, cover and let it rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You willl see the dough becomes double in size. Divide the dough into three equal balls and use them for above pizzas.

So, this is my second entry to Nandita of Saffron Trail for JFI-August-Chillies.

Saturday, July 28

'Y' Vegetable Andhra Thali

I put together here three items that go to Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables for alphabet 'Y' at One Hot Stove. Totally cooked in andhra style. I hope you guys will enjoy them. So here is the list of items.

Yellow Squash pappu(dal)
Yam (voilet) curry

Yogurt Chutney with Tomato and Coconut


Recipe for Dal:

Ingredients:

1 Yellow Squash
1 cup Toor dal
3 Green Chillies
4 to 5 Curry leaves
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch turmeric powder
salt as per taste

For temper:
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
a dash of hing

1. Pressure cook toor dal, yellow squash with cut green chillies and curry leaves until 3 whistles.
2. Cool and add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
3. In a seperate pan heat a tsp of oil and add the temper ingredients. When they start spluttering add them to the dal.

Recipe for Yam curry:

1 Packet frozen Yam ( I used voilet one)
1 small lime size tamarind ball
4 green chillies
4 curry leaves chopped
1/2 tsp channa dal
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt as per taste
a pinch of turmeric powder

1. Pressure cook Yam until 3 whistles. I put the dal and this yam together in seperate tins into the cooker.

2. In a seperate pan heat a tbsp of oil, to that add channa dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, chopped green chillies and saute them until they turn golden brown. Then add the curry leaves and yam to that, add salt, turmeric powder and mix all together.

3. Squeeze tamarind pulp and add it to the curry. Cook on low heat covered for 5 min. and switch off the stove. Curry is ready to be served.

Recipe of Yogurt chutney:

2 medium tomatoes
4 green chillies
1/4 cup coconut
4 curry leaves
1 tbsp coriander leaves
1/2 tsp channa dal
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups yogurt (curd)
a pinch turmeric powder
salt as per taste

1. Cut tomatoes and green chillies.

2. In a pan heat 2 tsp of oil and add green chillies, channa dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and saute until they turn golden brown.

3. Add chopped tomato, curry leaves, coriander leaves, coconut, turmeric powder, salt and cook until the tomato becomes tender.

4. Remove from stove and add the yogurt and add just a little salt if needed. Combine to bring everything together.

All the three are ready to be served with hot rice. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 24

Sunday Meals #2 - Punjab Cuisine

On this sunday, once again I managed to pull out three more punjabi dishes for the lunch. This is the first time I made them at home and they tasted great. Fed them to couple of my friends and they too liked all the dishes. So here is the list:

Rajma Masala
Aloo Mattar
Baingan Bharta
Naan
Plain Rice
The naan in the picture that you see, I posted the recipe in my previous meals post. I made them once again. I adopted both Aloo Mattar and Baingan Bharta from Lokpriya, and made some changes to suite to my taste level. Here is the procedure how I made the rest of them:

Rajma Masala: This recipe belongs to one of friends Mrs. G. Many thanks to her fo sharing the recipe with me.
Ingedients:
1 can Red Kidney Beans
2 Small Garlic Cloves
1 Medium Onion
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
A pinch Turmeric (pasupu)
Salt as per your taste
3 tbsp Oil

1. Boil the onion in some water. Blend it to form smooth paste.

2. Heat oil in a wide pan and add the chopped garlic. Once it turns golden brown, add the onion paste and cook until it turns golden brown.

3. Add the tomato sauce, turmeric and red chilli powder and cook for 5 min.

4. Open the can and add the beans to the gravy, add salt and garam masala. Cover and cook until beans is completely cooked.

5. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves (kothimeera) and serve.


Aloo Mattar:
Ingredients:
5 Big Potatoes
1 Big Onion
1 tsp Coriander Cumin powder (dhanialu, jeelakarra podi)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder (dalchana chakka podi)
3 Green Chillies
1" Piece of Ginger chopped very fine (allam)
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
A pich of pepper powder
2 tbsp Tomato Sauce
3/4 cup Green Peas (frozen)
3 tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste

1. Boil onion in water and make it into a paste.

2. Heat oil in a wide pan add the ginger, green chillies let them turn golder brown color. Then add the onion paste and cinnamon powder and cook until onion becomes translucent.

3. Now add the turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, pepper powder stir for couple of minutes.

4. Add the cubed potatoes, salt, tomato sauce and add some water. Cover and cook until potatoes are half cooked.

5. Add the green peas and cook until the potatoes are completely cooked.

6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve. You may squeeze some lime juice if you like it.

Baingan Bharta:
Ingredients:
5 Big Large Chinese Eggplants
3 tbsp oil
a dash of Hing
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Large Onion
1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
2 big Garlic cloves
3 Serrano peppers
1 Large Tomato
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
Salt as per taste

1. Wash & pat dry eggplants. Apply oil on them and set them into broiler to roast them on all sides evenly.

2. Take them out let them cool, peel the skin off mash and set aside.

3. In large wide pan heat the oil, add the cumin seeds, hing and saute till they splutter.

4. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies saute till they turn golden brown and add the onion (leave some part of the chopped onion aside) and saute until it becomes translucent.

5. Add the chopped tomato, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander and cumin powder and cook for a minute stirring continuously. Add the mashed eggplant and salt to the gravy and cook for 5 minutes covered on low flame.

6. Add the remaining onion, garam masala and some chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and cook for 2 min covered.

7. Remove from the heat, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

This is my next entry to RCI - Punjabi Cuisine, hosted by Richa of As Dear As Salt.

Friday, July 20

Xtremely Delicious Fruit Kesari

I still remember the day when we resigned our bachelor life and decided to lead the rest of our lives together. Yes, it was our wedding day. Around evening when everyone were craving for a snack this kesari was served along with mysore bajjis. I had a plate and was proud of myself for having selected it as snack in the menu. It was so delicious, a combination of sweet kesari with mixed fruits. Especially the pineapple. Everyone who attended the wedding complimented saying that the food was out of the world. All credit goes our caterers the famous "Tirumala Caterers" in hyderabad. I take this opportunity to thank them for having served me this delicious snack or say it sweet.


As Nupur of One Hot Stove gave us the liberty to cook with fruits for the alphabet 'X', I dared to make this at home. Though it was not as best as they made at my wedding(as they used lots and lots of ghee, I could not dare to use that much at home), this sure is a hit. I am not a big fan of all the sweets, I am very picky. But this one is sure top in the list. So here is the recipe that I made:


Ingredients: A heaped cup of mixed fruits ( I used pineapple, banana, apple, orange )
A fistful of cashews and golden raisins (kish mish)
1 cup Bombay rava
1 cup Sugar
3 cups Water (Updated on Saturday after making it second time)
2 to 3 tbsp Ghee
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1. In a pan heat 2 tsp of ghee and fry rava until until you smell good aroma.

2. In another pan add the water and add 1/4 tsp of saffron.

3. Once the water starts boiling add the sugar, cardamom powder and wait until the sugar melts and then add the fried rava and mix thoroughly until it is cooked and no lumps are formed.

4. In the same pan in which you fried rava, add 2 tbsp ghee and add cashews and raisins. Let them turn brown and then add the fruits. Stir for a minute and add the mixture to the cooked kesari. The delicious kesari is ready to be served.

As you can see my comment up there, I could not resist and made it once again. I was invited for a get together at my husband colleague's house so I made this once again. And increased the water amount and the result was soft kesari, than yesterday. Loved it so I made the changes to my original version. So here is the picture of it.

This is my entry to Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables for the alphabet 'X' at One Hot Stove.

Wednesday, July 18

Orange Coconut Muffins and Meme

This is the first time I was tagged for Meme by two of my co-bloggers Deena of Cook with love and Laavanya of Cookery Corner. Thanks to both of you. Never analysed myself earlier but will sure try to chalk down 7 random points about me.

My Inspiration In Life: My Dad. He fought in his life for what he is today. He started his professional life at 17 years and completed his polytechnic while working. After great struggle he is now Vice President to a company. Though I am not as good as him, but sure followed his foot steps. I started my professional life at 17 years and completed my graduation and post graduation while working. Though it was not necessary for me financially to do so, but I wanted to be more independent and follow the foot steps of my Dad.

My Educational and Professional Life: By qualification a I am post graduate of Commerce. Well actually my educational life is full of twists and turns. I stepped out of home after my SSC to pursue my higher education. Joined MPC (Computers) in Intermediate and passed out with a good percentage. That is the time I heard about NIIT and decided to complete one year course. Later took up job and completed Graduation and Post Graduation. Once again I went back to NIIT to complete the remaining course in order to get the GNIIT certificate which could lead me into a better job and an MNC. Ooph!! so that is the long path I took to end up what I am today. Right now, I enjoy working from home as a software engineer.

My Strengths: Determination and strong will. Being Taurian I must say that I am a bit stubborn and head strong too. If I think of achieving something, I don't rest until I achieve it. My brothers and now my husband agree to that.

My Weakness: Emotional. Very Very emotional and sentimental. With respect to food ICE CREAM. And now my Daughter who is 10 months old. Can't live without her.

My Favorite Food & Food That I Hate: As I said I love ICE CREAM any flavor, of all Vanilla. Love street foods like, all kinds of chaats (samosa, patties, papri), pani puri etc., Bakery foods like Curry Puffs ( I make them better than bakeries), pastries and pizzas. I love the pizza hut veggie lovers pizza substituting pickled Jalapenos instead of mushrooms. Now mexican food got added to the list. I am not a big fan of sweets but love spicy food. I guess I did not leave any items to hate but still there are couple of fruits that I hate to put into my mouth like Jack fruit, Papaya, Kharbuja. I hate white bread, it smells odd to me. I still remember, my hostel warden forced me to eat one while I was sick. I hardly ate 1/4th of the bread and threw up. She immediately realized the problem and left saying you can have anything that you like. I hate idlis. I eat them once in a while but not crazy about it. I can happily skip if I have alternative. Do not like Mushrooms.

My Hobbies: Cooking varities of dishes. Anything that catches my eye, I would like to try it at home. Listening to Indian Music and Watching dancing (I don't sing and dance though). The only books that I read are computer books. Those are good enough to keep me busy as I have to update myself from time to time.

My Likes And Dislikes: Like to travel and visit various places. Like to hangout with friends, though I don't have many of them, I am very choosy when it comes to friends. Do not like people with attitude be it girl or boy.

On the whole a satisfying life till today. Oh btw, I tag Green Chillies of Curry Bites
Madhoori of Indian Vegetarian Recipes, Swapna Susarla of Tastes From My Kitchen.

And now its time to know about Orange Coconut Muffins. I came across this recipe online couple of months back and wanted to try it out. With little of changes here and there I must tell you, these turned out great. I am always in search of eggless baking recipes. It was then that I came across this one. The original recipe called for oat bran which I substituted with oat flour. I grinded some old fashioned oats in the mixie and used it instead of oat bran. For eggs, recently I happened to buy Ener-G Egg Replacer in SunHarvest, so I used it. Here is the recipe:


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Oat Flour
1 cup Sugar ( I used 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar )
1 tbsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Fat free milk
1/4 cup Orange juice
1 1/2 tsp Orange zest
1/2 cup Shredded coconut ( I used shredded dessicated coconut )
1/4 cup Butter ( You may use Canola or Corn oil as the original recipe called for )
1 1/2 tsp Egg Replacer ( As per the instructions on the box )
2 tbsp Spring water

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the muffin pan or line up with liners and set aside.

2. Combine all dry ingredients. I added a fist full of raisins and walnuts to add little crunch.

3. Pour in all the wet ingredients all at a time and mix to bring all together. The batter will be little thick.

4. Pour the batter into each muffin cup and top them with some coconut and sugar.

5. Bake them for 20 - 25 min or until the tops turn golden brown. Remember to bake them on the middle oven rack.


Here are the muffins ready to be served. Enjoy.

This is my second entry to WBB #13 - Oats hosted by My Food Court.

Thursday, July 12

Oats Waffles With Fruits

I once happened to eat oats something ( I don't even remember name of it ) in costco. There was a stall put up and a lady served it in small cups. My husband took two cups and gave one to me. I had a tiny pinch of it into my mouth and threw the cup away. Not to offend anyone but it was horrible. Neither sweet nor spicy. It was so bland. My husband said it is good for health and most of the health bars contain it as one ingredient. I did not bother about it at that time.

Later he went to groceries store to buy something else and he came home with the two boxes and said they gave oatmeal as free with the one that he bought. I thought to myself great, why is it behind me. Its been 6 months and it was sitting in my pantry. I saw savory upma version on Dr. Nandita's Saffron Trail and I dared to open and cook that. To my surprise it tasted great. That was then I started using it little by little. You know what I think oats has no flavor by itself it accepts any flavor that you add it in, either sweet or savor. I think there was a purpose for that free oatmeal to come to my home. May be it wanted to teach me how to eat healthy food.

Thanks to My Food Court who selected oats for breakfast, I started exploring the recipes that I can make with oats and I came up with few good ones. One out of those is this Oats waffles with fruits.

Waffles served with Maple Syrup, Watermelon and a dollop of whipped cream

First time I ate waffles at my husband's boss lake house. She made nice waffles and served with Maple Syrup. Loved it and by very next weekend I was ready to make waffles at home. I bought the maker and Aunt Jemaima Pancake Waffle mix and made them at home. So lets get making some now:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Oats (Old fashioned Oats)
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp oil
1 large banana
1/4 cup watermelon

1. Blend oats with water, sugar, salt, banana and watermelon in a blender to make a smooth paste.

2. Remove and add bisquick, soy milk, vanilla extract and oil. Combine it into the mixture to make sure there are no lumps.

3. Heat waffle maker and pour two spoon fulls of batter into it. Cover and cook until done. Your quick, easy, yummy breakfast is ready.


Another closer look at waffles

They are neither too crispy not too soggy. Turned out well.

Serve it with maple syrup or honey or with vanilla ice cream. I served them with maple syrup, watermelon and a dollop of whipping cream. How cool do they look haan..... Enjoy.

This is my entry to WBB #13 - Oats hosted by My Food Court.

Wednesday, July 11

Watermelon Protein Punch

On a hot summer day, it is great to have something cool and healthy. I made a drink using watermelon and which is rich in protein too. I am not sure if you guys noticed or not but I try to add little protein to most of the dishes that I make with items like edamame, beans, chickpeas, paneer etc., This time I tried with Soy Milk. I love soy milk. It has a kind of nutty taste and vanilla flavor is out of this world. I don't drink milk and had tough time during my pregnancy. That is when I started drinking soy milk and never quit as I fell in love with it. I make this drink with various fruits like mango, orange, cherries etc., So lets make one:




Ingredients:

2 cups chopped watermelon
1 banana chopped
2 cups light soy milk vanilla flavor (I used Silk)
2 - 3 tbsp honey
1 tsp sugar

Blend them all together in a blender. Pour it into a glass. Top it with watermelon pieces and have it chilled. This is going to Bee & Jai of Jugalbandi who are hosting AFAM (A Fruit A Month).

Tomato Pulav


This is the rice item I made for my first Sunday Meals entry. I usually do this for a variation from the regular vegetable biryani/pulav. It tastes great and easy to make. One singe dish is good enough to fill you but when you have good enough time, you may make some gravies to go along with it. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cups Basmati Rice
2 medium tomatoes pureed in a blender
1 medium onion sliced thinly
3 serrano peppers slit length wise
3 tbsp green peas
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder (dalchana chakka podi)
1/4 tsp clove powder (lavangam podi)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder (elaichi podi)
2 tbsp cilantro (coriander leaves, kothimeera) chopped finely
3 tbsp oil


In a pan heat oil and add onion, chillies and saute until onion is translucent. Add the powders,
ginger-garlic paste and saute for a second. Add the rice, green peas and fry for a minute. Add the tomato puree and cook for 3 minutes. Shift this into the rice cooker, add salt as per your taste and set it to cook. Serve with any gravy of your choice. Enjoy.

Chole

I usually make chole and puri for breakfast, not frequently though. I rarely have puris because of the oil content in them. Chole is a recipe that is made with Kabuli Chana (tella pedda senagalu) also called as Chickpea or Garbanzo beans in America. It is a good source of protein as long as it is not mashed or pureed. Hummus which is pureed chickpeas is considered to be starch. Amazing right, ya I was also surprised at the first time, and later on took tare not to make the chickpeas too mushy or puree it as I wanted to have it as protein. Here is the recipe:


Chole served with Home made Naan

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cans Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans (tella senagalu) (You get kidney beans and chickpeas in cans. You can find it in any local groceries stores)
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder (Elaichi podi)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder (Dalchana chakka podi)
1/4 tsp Clove powder (Lavangam podi)
1/2 tsp Coriander, cumin powder (dhania, jeera podi)
a pinch of Black pepper powder (miriyala podi)
1/4 tsp Red chilli powder
a pinch turmeric powder (pasupu)
2 Serrano peppers chopped (or green chillies)
1 medium onion chopped
1 big potato boiled and cut into cubes ( I pricked on it with fork and set in microwave for 5 min.)
1 medium tomato
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
salt as per taste
2 tbsp oil

1. In a pan heat oil and add onion and saute till it is translucent. Add all the dry powders saute for a minute.

2. Add the chickpeas, salt, tomato, potato, some water and cook covered for 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Squeeze one lime, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with puri/naan or any pulav. I served it with some Naan and Tomato Pulav.

This is my third entry to RCI - Punjabi Cuisine hosted by Ruchi of As Dear As Salt.

Paneer Butter Masala

Also called as Paneer Makhani, is a famous punjabi dish that is available in all most all the indian restaurants in the world. In hyderabad, all the restaurants serve this dish by name of Paneer Butter Masala, so when I landed in US, I was disappointed looking at the menu. I could not find Paneer Butter Masala, and wondered is it not north indian dish? But later after a bit of research I came to know that it is called by name Paneer Makhani. Whatever it is called but it is just a killer eaten with Butter Naan.

I tested my culinary skills by making it at home to meet my spice level. Most of the times when ever I had it in the restaurants I found it to be bland and a bit sweet. And thankfully, I fell in love with the one that I made and would like to make it quite often. I tried to find a low fat paneer in the indian stores but could not find. Knowing that it is called indian cottage cheese, I bought one box of low fat cottage cheese from local groceries stores. To my surprise it was liquidy kind of one and later remembered that it was served to me in the hospital when I delivered my baby. So, there is no other go but to try to make a low fat one at home with low fat milk. As my husband is not a big fan of paneer I never tried it seriously. But for fun sake atleast I would like to try once.



Anyways lets get back to the recipe, here it is:

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cubed paneer
2 medium onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 serrano pepper ( sliced into 4 pieces length wise and cut into half)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin, coriander powder (jeera, dhania powder)
2 tbsp cashewnuts (ground to paste with some water) (jeedipappu)
a pinch of turmeric powder (pasupu)
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste (allam-vellulli paste)
1/2 tsp crushed kasuri methi
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp garam masala ( I used Baadshah brand )
salt as per taste

1. Boil the onion in lot of water until it is tender. Drain and blend it into a paste.

2. Fry paneer on all sides until golden brown, strain and keep aside. In the same pan add the butter and after it melts, add the serrano pepper and onion. Saute until onion becomes translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute.

3. Add garam masala, coriander, cumin powder, turmeric, red chilli powder and cashewnut paste. Mix everything well, add some water and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add tomato sauce, crushed kasuri methi and salt. Add some water and cook for 5 minutes. Add the fried paneer, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve it with chapathi or naan. I had it with home made naan and tomato rice. It was delicious. Hope you will also enjoy making it. This is my second entry to RCI - Punjabi Cuisine, hosted by Richa of As Dear As Salt.

Tuesday, July 10

Naan

I digged into my recipes note book and pulled out the recipe for Naan as I decided to make it this time at home. Naan is a popular Indian bread that is served in almost all the indian restaurants. It is made out of white flour and is little thicker than the usual chapathis. They are also softer than the rotis. Not for sure a low fat food, hence I have it occasionally when I go to restaurants. Normally naan is made using tandoor or clay oven, but I used my oven with broiler to make them.


Ingredients:

3 cups All purpose flour ( need to try with whole wheat flour next time and see how it turns out)
4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp yogurt (curd,perugu)
1 1/2 tsp dry instant yeast

1. To the warm water add the dry yeast and sugar and stir till the yeast is dissolved. Leave aside for 10 minutes and you will see white layer formed on the top. It indicates that the yeast is active and it is frothing.

2. In a bowl with flour and salt, make a well in the center and add the above yeast mixture. Add the yogurt and ghee and knead the entire thing to make a soft dough.

3. Grease the bowl, put the kneaded dough in it. Cover and let it rest for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in volume.


4. Preheat the broiler to high. Cover a cookie pan with aluminum foil and grease it with some ghee.

5. Punch down the dough and knead again. Divide the dough into equal balls.

4. Roll each ball into a circle using some flour. See that it is about 1/2" thick.

5. Place the rolled dough circles onto the greased pan and cook under the broiler on both sides. Caution: keep an eye on the naan while cooking to make sure it is cooking evenly on both sides and not turning black. (I spoiled one naan by leaving it unattended and after 3 min. when I checked it turned out black and my smoke alarm beeped as soon as I opened the over door. So out of experience I learned that I should make naan one after another and taking care while cooking it.)

They turned out great and I served them with paneer butter masala and chole curries. Enjoy...

This is going to Richa of As Dear As Salt for RCI - Punjabi Cuisine.

Monday, July 9

Sunday Meals #1 - Punjab Cuisine

With hectic weekday schedule, you just grab anything that is easy to make and eat for lunch or dinner. When it comes to the weekend you definitely want to have something special and elegant looking and ofcourse tasting too. As you can spend some time to get that extra special lunch on the table, the menu would include all varieties of items. I do this and think that you all out there also would be interested in doing the same. So, here is my attempt to list out some good items, that you would like to want to have on Sundays for your meals.

Last sunday, as my brother was here I made some punjabi dishes, that we love to eat. I am fond of varieties of foods that belong to various regions and the same with my brother too. Punjabi is our next favorite food. Most of the punjabi recipes are so famous that you get them in most of all the restaurants every where in the world. This is my first time attempt to make punjabi food at home and that too for the first Sunday Meals menu. Three items from the list are going to RCI -Punjabi Cuisine and as I wanted to have a rice item to go along with it, I made some tomato Rice. I am not sure if it belongs to the punjabi cuisine or not. If you guys can help me to relate it to a particular region, that would be great.

List of Items:


Naan
Paneer Butter Masala
Chole
Tomato Pulav

Will post the recipes one by one as soon as possible. Just four dishes were sufficient enough to stuff myself and ofcourse it takes time to make them too. So enjoy guys.

Mirchi Bajji with Anaheim Peppers

My brother came to visit me on this weekend from dallas and I made some of his favorite items. One of those is this Mirchi Bajji. Every one in our family just love mirchi bajji. Gokul Chat Bhandar's, Cut Mirchi is spicy treat to every one in Hyderabad. With little garnish it can be just heaven on earth eating the spicy yummy mirchi bajji.

I made them with Anaheim peppers.Anaheim peppers are moderately hot. On the scale of 1 to 10 it is rated 3 with respect to their hotness. The Anaheim chile varies from light green to dark green to red and grows to between 6 and 10 inches (15–25cm) long and 1 to 2 inches (2.5–5cm) around. Anaheim peppers are available in grocery stores in the produce section.

Ingredients:

6 Anaheim Peppers

For stuffing:
3/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1 lemon sized tamarind
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
salt as per taste

For coating:
1 1/2 cups Chick pea flour (sanaga pindi/besan)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch soda bi-carb
Salt as per taste

1. Roast the sesame seeds for 2 to 3 min. Let it cool.

2. Extract the tamarind pulp by soaking it in some water. Make a paste out of the sesame seeds, ajwain, tamarind pulp and salt.

3. Slit the the Anaheim peppers length wise on one side. Open and remove the seeds carefully.

4. Stuff the paste into them.


5. Mix the chickpea flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and soda bi-card, with some warm water to a thick batter. Take care that the batter is not too pouring and not too thick. It should be in the right consistency to coat the peppers.

6. Heat enough oil to deep fry the peppers in a wide pan. Dip each pepper into the batter and put it into the hot oil. Fry on both sides for a min and take them out. After they cool for a minute, dip them back into the batter for second coating and deep fry them in the same hot oil on both sides until they are golden brown.

7. For garnishing, chop an onion finely, slit the bajji length wise and stuff the onion on top. Drizzle some lime juice on top. Sprinkle coriander, cumin powder on top, if you have you can sprinkle some kala namak along with coriander, cumin powder and bite into it. Enjoy........

This is going to JFI for August - Chillies hosted by our lovely doctor Nandita of Saffron Trail.

Tuesday, July 3

Custard Ice Cream

I scream for ICE CREAM any where any time. No boundaries at all. Any ice cream can satisfy me, starting from 5 Rs. cup ice cream to Cassata. My husband always picks on me saying that I am totally a kid when it comes to ice cream. And on my every birthday, he makes sure he gets me ice cream. First half of my pregnancy I ate ice cream regularly and second half I was forced to diet because of my gestational diabetes :-(



I like this ice cream right from my childhood. My mom use to make this and she is pretty famous for this ice cream. Every one in my family loves this ice cream. Hope you will also love it. Here is it:

Ingredients:1/2 Ltr Milk (preferable whole milk)
2 tbsp Custard Powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Take 3 tbsp milk from the 1/2 ltr milk into another cup and add custard powder to that milk.

2. Heat the remaining milk on the stove until it boils. When it starts boiling, add sugar and wait until everything melts.
3. Slowly add the custard mixture to the boiling milk and stir continuously for 2 min.

4. Remove from stove and let it cool, keep stirring occasionally so that no layer forms on top.

5. Take it into another bowl and refrigerate it for 5 to 6 hours.

6. Take it out of the refrigerator. Cut it into chunks and put into blender. Blend it for a while until it becomes mushy. Take it back into the same bowl and refrigerate it back in the refrigerator. I let it refrigerate it for the night.

7. Next day morning took it out of the refrigerator, took it into the blender and blended it. This time serve it immediately. It will be cool, mushy and soft. The remaining ice cream you can refrigerate it back and microwave before serving next time. You may add some fruits of your choice and have it cool cool.... Enjoy......


This is going to Monthly Mingle hosted by Meeta at What's for Lunch Honey

Monday, July 2

Vegetable Biryani

Sometimes when you are lazy and don't want to cook one complete meal with rice, curries, dals etc., you may prefer making this. Just make biryani and some raitha to go along with it and done. This is an easy way that I found out and I always make this whenever I am in hurry or lazy. Whenever we have parties at home, this will be on top of my list as it is easy and elegant. I am sure many of you will be following the same procedure, I am posting this especially for my brother who stays away from me and loves biryani. I hope this helps him and some bachelors out there in making it at home. And I believe that once in a while little semi-home made style is also okay. There is a big mexican fan to this dish at my husband's office :-)
A plate of Veg. Biryani with Onion Raitha

Ingredients:
3 cups of Basmati rice (This will be great for any pulav/biryani, so prefer this)
2 tbsp Badshah Biryani/Pulav Masala Powder(I used many varieties, but I fell in love with this flavor, if any one did not try this then, I strongly recommend to try once)
2 tsp Ginger - Garlic paste (I used store bought)
1 cup Mixed vegetables ( I used cauliflower, potato, onion, green peas, carrots. If you have you may use mint also. The flavor will be terrific. I did not have so I did not put.)
2 Serrano Peppers
3 tbsp oil
Salt as per taste

1. Heat oil in a big wide pan and add to that the vegetables. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 2 min.

2. In the mean time wash cleanly the rice. Set aside.

3. To the vegetables add the ginger-garlic paste and biryani masala powder. Mix them all together. Now add the rice and fry for a minute.

4. Shift this into a Rice Cooker and add enough water (Add about 6 cups water, 1:2 ratio, 1 cup rice, 2 cups water). Add Salt and set the rice cooker and let the biryani cook.

5. Take it into a serving plate and serve with raitha or any kurma of your choice. We usually make bagara baingan and alu kurma to go along with it. I will post them pretty soon here.


So my bro hope you are happy to see this here. Hope you will make it soon and let me know how did you find it to be. Enjoy..........

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