Sunday, February 24, 2008

Vegetables in Hot Garlic Sauce

Everybody loves having Chinese food once in a while but I am such a person who would love to have it everyday ;), so I try out mostly all the Chinese recipes. This particular recipe is the easiest among all the Chinese dishes I know. And it has to be eaten with just plain rice or noodles. so it consumes less time for the total preparation.

Time taken: 20-25 minutes

Serves about 3 people

Ingredients required:
1 big bowl of cut vegetables like mushrooms, baby corn, carrot, peas, French beans,
1 big capsicum chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 big onion chopped
2 tsp red chilli paste ( red chilli sauce also can be used)
3 Tsp tomato sauce
1 Tsp corn flour
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
2 Tsp oil
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

Heat the oil in a wok and add the minced garlic. Fry for a minute till the garlic turns brownish. Now add onions and capsicum and all the vegetables, and fry on a high flame. Fry till the vegetables are crunchy on the out side but cooked from the inside. Now add the red chilli paste tomato sauce and the flakes. Fry for about 30 seconds. Now add 1 cup of water( You can add more if you need more gravy) and bring it to a boil. In small cup add the corn flour and about 3 Tsp of water and mix. Now add this corn flour mixture to the wok while stirring. (if you don’t stir when adding corn flour mixture, then it might turn into lumps). This corn flour mixture will make the gravy thick. If you feel the gravy is very thick then add water or if the gravy is very thin add more corn flour. Add salt and boil the gravy for about 5 minutes. Vegetables in hot garlic sauce are ready. Serve it with hot plain rice or noodles.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Cabbage Raita

Raita is nothing but any curd based salad which goes well (as a side dish) with rice items like Pulav/Fried rice/Biryani/Jeera Rice. It could be used as a substitute for plain yogurt in meals especially because it derives extra nutrient value from the veggies added to it. Cabbage Raita, as the name itself suggests, has cabbage as its main ingredient. Learnt it from akka who had eaten it at her office food court. So far, all those who have eaten it have loved it.

Time Taken: Approximately 15 minutes.

Serves about 3-4 people

Ingredients Used:
One quarter of a medium sized cabbage
One large onion
3 green chillies
1 tsp Jeera/cumin seeds
3-4 tablespoons of curd/plain yogurt
2 tsp oil
Water as required.

Method of Preparation:

Wash the cabbage and chop it into thin and lengthy pieces(about 2 inch length).
Chop onions too in the same way. Cut green chillies finely. Warm oil in a cooking pan and add jeera to it. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chillies and stir a couple of times. Then, add onions and fry until they just start changing colour. Toss in the chopped cabbage and stir for a few more minutes till the cabbage is half cooked(it should retain its crispiness at the same time). Add salt now and wait for it to cool. Then, mix this in dahi/curd/yogurt and add water depending on how thick you want it to be. Check for salt. Garnish with coriander leaves if required and serve.

Note: This type of raita could be prepared with Bhindi/ladies finger/okra as well. However, we need to remember to use a little more oil and fry it a little longer so that okra becomes crispy loses its stickiness. Some even deep fry the bhindi to make it easier

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spinach(Palak) Rice

When you don't know what to do with that big bunch of spinach which is lying in the fridge and are out of ideas, here's an option to explore. Sneaking in spinach this way ensures that those who don't like spinach eat it and benefit from it. Can be eaten with or without raita. As a matter of fact, it tastes better without raita.

Time taken: 25-30 minutes

Serves about 4-5 people

Ingredients used:
4-5 tsp butter/ghee(oil for diet conscious ppl)
2 medium sized pieces of cinnamon
2 clove buds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 green chillies
1 medium sized onion
5-6 garlic cloves
1/4 inch ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder(optional)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 1/2 large cups of Basmati rice
3 large cups of water.
1 large bunch of spinach.
1/2 cup of fresh/frozen green peas
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:

Take ghee in a heated cooker and add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Stir for half a minute. Add jeera(cumin) Then, chop green chillies and add it to the whole masala. After it appears kind of crispy, add onion and garlic which are both cut lengthwise and fry till they turn golden brown. To this, add the basmati rice and roast till it loses its transparency and appears white in colour. Add all the powders/masalas mentioned above and mix for a minute. Then, pour in the water and add finely chopped spinach and salt. Now, grate the ginger from the top, add the peas and stir well. Close the cooker and cook on medium high flame with the whistle on, until it gives out one whistle. Then, reduce the temp of the stove to low medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the gas now and wait till the cooker cools.

Note: Adding turmeric here is optional and the rice gets a greenish natural white tinge in the absence of turmeric.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Bataate Saung(Potato Song)

This particular variety of 'Bataate saung' does not contain coconut. The very colour of this tangy and spicy curry is enough to tempt you. This recipe is a slightly modified version of the bataate song that my mom used to prepare. Bataate song is eaten with rice, chapathi and as a side dish alongside dal and rice. Try mixing it with dal if you happen to have prepared dal that day. The best thing about this curry is that, it doesn't need too many ingredients and can be prepared on just any day when you haven't rationed your kitchen enough.

Time Taken:20-25 minutes

Serves about 3-4 people

Ingredients Required:

3 medium sized potatoes
1 very large/2 medium sized onions
2 tomatoes
1/2 tsp tamarind paste/tamarind water made from a small lemon sized piece of tamarind.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp red chilly powder(depending on how hot you want it)
1/2 tsp coriander powder and 1/2 tsp garam masala powder(in my version of it)
3-4 tsp oil
Salt to taste.

Method of Preparation:

Boil Potatoes in a cooker. While you're waiting for the potatoes to get ready, Take oil in a cooking pan and heat it. Chop onions into large squares and toss them in. Fry till slightly brown. Then, add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder and mix with a ladle for a minute. Then, add finely chopped tomatoes and tamarind paste. Cook for two to three minutes. Peel off 2 of the boiled potatoes and cut them into cubes which are about the size of the onion squares. Add the garam masala and salt now. Grate the last potato into the curry to make it gravy-like. Pour in about 1 1/2 glasses of water or more depending on the desired amount of thickness in the curry. Cook to a good boil so as to ensure that the potato has absorbed enough salt. Isn't this easy??? Enjoy!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Kaele Phodi(Raw Banana Fry)

Phodi in konkani basically refers to any vegetable with rava coating which is shallow fried on a griddle/tava. Phodis can be prepared using most of the common veggies like Potato, sweet potato, jackfruit, brinjal, ridgegourd, breadfruit, corm(amorphophallus/suran)and raw banana(plantain). Phodis are usually eaten as side dishes in meals.

Time taken: 20 minutes

Serves about 3-4 people

Ingredients Required:

1 large raw banana/plantain
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp hing/asafoetida
Oil as per requirement.

Method of Preparation:

Peel off the banana using a vegetable peeler and cut it horizontally into 2 equal parts. Then, slit each of these parts lengthwise into thin slices, each slice being as thick as about 5 potato chips put together. Add the red chilly powder, salt and asafoetida which is mixed in about a tsp. of water. Cover the mixing bowl with a plate and shake a few times so that the masala smears itself all over the slices.
Heat a griddle/tava and spread out the chopped plantain over it. Pour a little oil over each slice and cook on medium flame by covering with a lid. When the bottom side turns slightly brown in colour, turn the pieces over and cook until and a sharp fork/toothpick comes off dry when pierced into them.

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Ragi Dosa with Spicy Peanut Chutney

Ragi/Millet Dosa with peanut chutney is a combination which is very tasty and very very healthy. Ragi is a staple crop of Karnataka and perhaps Andhra Pradesh as well. People who eat it in their everyday meal are supposed to have a very strong physical constitution. Yes, I know the colour of Ragi dosa is very scary(that was my reaction when i first saw it) but i'm quite sure that you would love to eat it. This has quite an exquisite taste especially with the peanut chutney alongside. Learnt to prepare the dosa from my mom and the chutney from my close friend.

Time Taken: 20-25 minutes

Serves about 2- 3 people

Ingredients Used:

For the Dosa:

3-4 tablespoons of Ragi/Millet flour.
6-8 tablespoons of water(depending on how thick you want the dosa)
1 cup of finely chopped onions
4-5 green chillies
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
a few coriander leaves
Salt as required.

For the Spicy Chutney:

5-6 green chillies
Half a tsp tamarind paste
One clove of raw garlic
1/2 a bunch of coriander leaves
One handful of roasted peanuts
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:

Take water in a bowl. Mix ragi flour to a smooth consistency along with salt in this water. Add the onions, chillies and coriander leaves(all finely chopped) and the cumin seeds to this batter. Heat a skillet and make thin pancakes/dosas using this batter,on medium flame making sure you cook both the sides well.

For the chutney, fry the green chillies in a little oil. Grind it along with the ingredients provided under the chutney category in a mixer/blender into a smooth paste adding 1/4-1/2 a cup of water. The chutney is ready.

It is customary(but not mandatory) to spread some finely chopped raw onions on the dosas while eating- that is, if you like raw onions.

Note: Those of you who get a chance to visit 'Dosa Camp' at 3rd Block Jayanagar, Bangalore in the evenings, please don't forget to savour it.

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Veggie Cutlet

Vegetable Cutlet reminds me of summer holidays during my childhood when my mom would prepare one tasty snack everyday. This used to be one of the most favourite snacks I used to enjoy with my siblings and cousins. To this day, I relish it everytime it is prepared.

Time Taken: 30-40 minutes.

Serves about 4 people

Ingredients Used:

4 medium sized potatoes
2 medium sized onions
1/4 inch ginger
7-8 french beans
1/2 cup of sweet peas
1/2 of a medium sized beetroot
2/3rd of a large carrot
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
Coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Bread crumbs or rava for the coating.
Oil-as required.

Method of Preparation:
Cook potatoes(cut into halves) in a pressure cooker with a little water. In the meanwhile, chop all the vegetables very finely and keep aside. Then, in a cooking pan, warm up oil and fry the onions until golden brown. Grate ginger into this and add red chilly powder. Toss in the rest of the finely chopped veggies along with peas and cook with closed lid taking just the required amount of water and salt. When it is almost done, add garam masala powder and some of the coriander leaves. Stir for a minute or two.
Deskin the cooked potatoes and mash it. Mix this with the veggie mix prepared. Do not use water anytime because the cutlet mix should be dry, else it will be difficult to make balls. Check for salt and roll this mix with your palm into evenly sized balls(each about the size of a medium sized lemon). Flatten these balls into oval/round/heart shaped cutlets-whatever you prefer . Take bread crumbs/rava(fine semolina) in a plate and coat each side of the cutlet with it by touching each side on to the surface. Shallow fry all these cutlets on a heated skillet/tava/griddle(medium heat)-the bigger the griddle the better since you don't have do too many rounds of frying. Pour a little oil around each cutlet and ensure that each side turns golden brown(the entire frying process should take around 15-20 minutes). Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with tomato ketchup/tamarind+chilly chutney.

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