Monday, June 30

Tangy Butternut Squash Curry and Coconut-Yogurt Chutney

It is all about events. The deadlines for most of the events are closer and I wanted to contribute to as many as I can.

Sig of Live To Eat chose Tamarind as theme for JFI. Tamarind is such a common ingredient in indian cooking, especially south indian. In andhra recipes we most commonly use it in chutneys, sambars, pulusu etc., No matter what to you add tamarind it will always enhance the taste of the dish. At my home we not only use in the above said recipes but also add to some of the curries that we cook. For ex., Plantain, Taro root, Suran and Pumpkin. Of all these when you cook butternut squash/pumpkin with tamarind, it tastes great. The sweetness of the butternut squash is well balanced with the tangy tamarind. Here is the recipe:

1/2 of Medium Butternut Squash
1 small lime sized ball of tamarind
Salt as per taste
a pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder

For tadka:
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp chana dal
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing
2 small red chillies
few curry leaves (I did not use this time as I did not have on hand)

1. Wash and soak tamarind in little water.

2. Peel, wash and cut butternut squash 1" cubes. Boil them in sufficient water with little bit of salt and turmeric. Make sure they do not become too mushy. It just still hold the shape. Drain the water and keep the squash aside.

3. Heat oil in another pan and add the tadka ingredients. Once they start spluttering add the cooked squash and add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Be careful while adding salt as you already used while boiling the squash.

4. Squeeze tamarind water and add that to the curry. Cook for 5 minutes without lid on low flame.

Curry is ready to be served. It goes well with both chapathis or rice.

Sending this to Sig of Live to Eat for her JFI-Tamarind event.

Recipe for Coconut-Yogurt Chutney:

For AFAM this month Suganya of Tasty Palettes chose Coconut. This is one other common ingredient that goes into most of our recipes. But this yogurt chutney specially made with coconut is great with rice.

1/2 cup Grated coconut
1 cup Yogurt
Salt as per taste

For tadka:
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of hing
2 green chillies chopped very finely
few curry leaves
chopped coriander leaves

1. Mix coconut, yogurt and salt in a bowl.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add tadka ingredients. Once the dal turns golden brown colour and green chillies are well fried then add the tadka to the above yogurt.

Thats it such a simple recipe and tastes great.

Sending this to Suganya of Tasty Palettes for AFAM-Coconut and Siri of Siri's Corner for her Frozen Yogurt event.

Friday, June 27

Arusuvai Friendship Chain - Garam Masala and Goda Masala

I received two secret ingredients from dear Trupti Pawar of Recipe Center quite a long back. I could guess one correct but went wrong with the other one. I never got a chance to cook with them till today as I haven't been going into kitchen for a while. My mom is here to cook for me :-)

Finally I took time to cook two wonderful dals with these two wonderful masala powders. I must say I was so impressed with their fresh flavor and aroma. Thanks trupti for making me part of the friendship chain and thanks for those awesome masala powders. I will note down the recipes and will have them with me forever.

Here is one dal that I made with the Garam masala powder: Dal Makhani

1/2 cup whole urad dal
2 tbsp red kidney beans
1 small onion chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 large tomatoes pureed
2 tsp coriander cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter (I used smart balance)
salt as per taste
chopped coriander leaves for garnish

1. Wash and soak the dals together overnight. Pressure cook dals with sufficient water.

2. In a wide non-stick pan heat oil and add onion and green chillies. Saute onion until it turns golden brown in colour, add ginger garlic paste, coriander cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and saute for a minute.

3. Now add tomato puree and cook until the gravy leaves the oil. Add the cooked dals and salt and cook until everything blends well together.

4. Before turning off the heat add garam masala powder and butter. Mix well and after a minute, turn off heat.

5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves(cilantro) and serve with soft phulkas/chapathis.

Here the second dal that I made with Goda Masala with Garlic and Onion: Varan (Maharashtrian Dal)

1/2 cup Toor dal
1 small onion
1 tomato
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 tsp Goda masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 small piece of jaggery
coriander leaves to garnish
salt to taste

1. Wash and pressure cook toor dal with sufficient water.

2. Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard seeds splutter add chopped onion and green chillies. Let them turn golden brown in colour and then add turmeric powder and Goda masala. Saute for a minute and then add the cooked toor dal.

3. Add 1/4 cup water, jaggery, salt and cook until everything blends well together.

4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with soft phulkas/chapathis or rice.

I was so happy with the results of both the dals. I once again thank trupti for considering me and promise to continue the chain by sending one of my fellow food blogger couple of secret ingredients. It might take some time for me but will sure keep my promise.

Tuesday, June 24

Spicy Vegetable Fried Rice

Its been long time I have not been updating my site. Every now and then I am taking a break. There are various personal reasons for that. Anyways, somehow I am once again trying to be back and post some more awesome recipes here. For atleast this month not sure about the next month though.

Coming to the fried rice, I was never a big fan of indo-chinese fried rice. I always felt it was way too bland for my taste buds. I only like dry manchurian so never tried the fried rice with manchurian gravy. One good thing about trying these at home is that you can adjust seasonings as per you taste level. So, this time I gave it a try to make the vegetable fried rice at home and win over myself. To my surprise, I did nail it and I liked. You can have this with some tomato ketchup and yet it tastes great.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups Basmati Rice (Uncooked)
3 carrots
3/4 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 medium green bell pepper
1/3 cup frozen french cut green beans
3 green chillies chopped very fine (adjust as per your taste)
1/2" ginger piece grated
2 garlic cloves chopped very fine
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red chilli sauce
Salt and pepper as per your taste
4 tbsp Oil

1. Wash thoroughly and cook basmati rice in electric rice cooker with few drops of oil. Once done, spread it on a tray and cool. Make sure rice is not mushy.

2. In a wok, pour the oil and add ginger, green chillies and garlic. Once they turn golden brown colour add all the vegetables and add some salt and pepper.

3. Let them cook until half done on slightly high heat. Now add soy sauce, red chilli sauce and add the cooked rice. Make sure the vegetables are not completely cooked, it should have a bite to it.

4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as per your taste.

Thats it, fried rice is ready to be served. That is such an easy process and filling too.

Sending this to Dhivya of Culinary bazar for A.W.E.D with the theme being Chinese food and also to Easycrafts of Simple Indian Food for her Mixed Rice Varieties Event.

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