Friday, 31 July 2015

Medhu Vadai !



Medhu Vadai / Vada aka Ulundu Vada is one of the famous South Indian recipe that is often served in breakfast along with Idlis with some coconut chutney and piping hot Sambar. I am actually drooling when I type this :) We make at home on festive days and some people love eating them with PAYASAM. Mostly these vadas are soaked in Sambar or Curd and served at hotels and restaurants.
It reminds me of the medhu vadas we eat in our office food courts in early mornings where we stand in queue for these hot vadas with sambar. :) 
I have had many disasters with these Vadas in my initial days of cooking as my vadas never had vada shape and resemble Bonda or they just drink oil so much that you can even squeeze out from it. But yes Practice definitely makes anything perfect. Now its really a breeze to make these whenever we feel like eating them.


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup whole Urad Dal
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoesdita
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut bits
  • 2 tsp ginger (very finely chopped)
  • 1 Green chilli (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Rice Flour
  • Oil to fry the Vadas

STEPS

  • Wash and soak the Urad dal for 2 - 3 hours.
  • Grind it to a smooth and fluffy batter in a grinder or mixie adding little water at a time. 
  • Add salt when grinding the batter.
  • Make sure you dont add more water else you cannot shape vadas.


  •  Add all other ingredients to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat enough oil in a kadai and Grease a zip lock cover with oil and keep ready.


  •  When oil is hot, take 2 - 3 tbsp of batter and place it on the cover.
  • Give shape of vada by gently pressing it to a round shape and making a hole in the centre.
  • Now wet your hands, slowly lift the cover and invert it on your palms. Gently again invert the vada from your palms to oil and shake your fingers so that it slides in oil.


  •  Fry the vadas in medium - high flame. flip them and fry well on both sides.
  • Take it out with a slotted spoon when they are nice golden brown.


NOTES

  • Grinding Urad Dal soft and fluffy definitely is the key to this recipe. Using Grinder gives best results as the Urad dal really brcomes more fluffy when compared to  grinding in mixie.
  • Always add salt when grinding itself as adding later will make the batter a little watery and you will not be able to shape the vadas and also they drink more oil.
  • We like adding coconut bits, you can skip that and instead add chopped onions too.
  • If grinding in mixie , rice flour is needed to get crispy vadas.
  • Use good quality urad dal to get good results.
  • If the battter becomes watery and if you are unable to shape vadas , then add some rice flour or maida,  and refrigerate the batter for some 30 minutes and try making vadas again.
  • I have a very small Kadai and we prefer bigger vadas too. So I fry only one vada at a time but they are really big. So I use a cover to shape them. If you are making normal size vadas, then you can just take the batter in wet hands and just make a home with your thumb and drop them in oil.
  • Serve with coconut chutney and Sambar.. Perfect Combo !
  • I have already posted recipes for COCONUT CHUTNEY and TIFFIN SAMBAR



With Love,

Dal Makhni !



Dal Makhni is a very popular gravy recipe from Punjabi cuisine made with whole black Urad dal and rajma (Kidney Beans). Butter and Cream also are very important when it comes to Dal Makhni which gives wonderful flavour and creamy texture to the dish.
Cooked dal n Beans is then simmered in Onion and Tomato based gravy with lots of butter and Cream making the dish incredibly delicious. The dish tastes even better the next day so whenever I make this, it is always more and some reserved for the next day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup whole black Urad Dal (Black Lentils)
  • 1/4 cup Kidney Beans
  • 1 Big Onion (Finely chopped)
  • 3  MediumTomatoes (Finely Chopped) (or pureed)
  • 2 Green Chillis (Slit)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • 2 pieces Cinnamon
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 2 tbsp Heavy Cream

STEPS
  • Wash and Soak the whole Urad dal and kidney beans in enough water whole night.
  • Next day, take them in a pressure cooker, add water just above the dal and cook for 5 - 6 whistles.

  • The dal and kidney beans should be cooked well and soft and should be easily mashed when you press them.
  • Now mash well the cooked dal with a ladle.


  • Heat butter (and some little oil) in a heavy bottomed vessel, add the whole spices and some jeera.
  • Add onions and saute them for a couple of mintes. Then add ginger garlic paste and saute everything well.


  • Once onions and GG paste are sauted well, add chopped tomatoes and cook them till soft.
  • Then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and coriander powder and cook the till the masala leaves oil .


  • Now add in the cooked and mashed dal and slit green chillis and a cup of water.
  • Allow it to simmer  in med - low flame for atleast 15 - 20 minutes so that the dal absorbs all the flavors from the masala. Give a stir in between  as the dal tends to stick at bottom.


  • By this time, the gravy should be thickened, sprinkle garam masala and add crushed kasuri methi and stir.
  • Add cream , mix well and turn off stove after 2 - 3 minutes.

NOTES

  • It is important to soak the dals overnight so that they cook well and soft.
  • Use only whole black Urad Dal and not the skinless or split ones.
  • You can also make this recipe No onion No Garlic by skipping onion and GG paste and increasing tomatoes.
  • Simmer for the dal for minimum 15 minutes as it has to absorb all flavors.
  • Add more cream gives a nice texture and taste. Though I added only 2 tbsp you can increase if you wish to.
  • Do not cook in high flame for more time after adding cream, else it will curdle.
  • Serve with rice, roti, naan etc with a piece of butter on top.



With Love,

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mooli Paratha !


Finally a Paratha recipe in the blog.. after 150 recipes.. I know its too late.. But better late than never.
Firstly I didn't want to make Parathas with the so low quality wheat flour that I bought from a local store here unknowingly. It was so worse that my rotis were not coming out well and there was no question of Parathas. So I was waiting for it to get over and just got a new pack of Indian brand Atta.
Coming to Mooli Paratha, people prepare it in many ways, some stuff it raw, some saute it and then stuff. I prefer to saute it well and then stuff as I cant take the raw smell of Mooli in case it is not cooked inside. And when it comes to rolling out stuffed Parathas , I am certainly a naive at this and I take lot of time still ending up in Parathas that are not perfectly round.
So I prefer this method that is easy to roll securing the filling and it is quick too. Most importantly I can stuff a lot of filling in this way and it is spread evenly all over the paratha.


INGREDIENTS (Makes 2 Large Parathas)
  • 1 cup Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (for the flour)
  • 3/4 cup Grated Radish (Mooli)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
  • 1 chilli (Finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Grated Ginger
  • a pinch of hing
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Tureric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • salt as needed (for the stuffing)
  • 1/2 tsp Amchur (optional) (I didnt use)
  • fistful coriander leaves (chopped)

STEPS
  • Take the flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Grate the radish and squeeze it well to remove the liquid.


  •  Use the liquid from radish to knead the dough adding extra water if necessary.
  • Rest the dough for 15 - 30 minutes and meanwhile prepare the stuffing.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add Jeera, hing followed by Chilli and Grated ginger.


  • Then add grated radish and saute for a minute.
  • Add the spice powders, salt and saute for another 1 - 2 minutes and turn off stove. 
  • Add chopped dhaniya and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool.

  •  Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
  • Roll them all into flat circles /discs.
  • Place 2 - 3 tbsp of filling on one flat disc.

  •  Spread them around leaving less than inch space around the edge. Apply little water around the edges.
  • Cover it with another rolled out dough as shown and seal the edges well.
  • Now again with the rolling pin roll it gently to smoothen it and make it thin and even.
  • Repeat the same process with the other two rolled out dough discs.

  •  Place them on a hot greased tawa and cook for 1 minute and then flip over and cook again until brown spots appear on the surface. 
  • Brush them with ghee / butter / oil while cooking.
  • As they are extra large paratas I cut them into wedges and then served with pickle and curd.

 NOTES

  • Sauting the radish filling on pan with masalas is optional and you can just mix the spices with raw grated radish and use it as filling.
  • And again, rolling out parata the other way , where you stuff the filling in one part of dough and roll it out carefully is a bit time consuming for me and I prefer this way as you can keep lot of filling and the filling is spread evenly too.
  • If you still feel both the ways are difficult for you , then just mix the filling with the flour and knead everything together and make paratas :)



With Love,

Monday, 27 July 2015

Carrot Soup !



This is one super healthy soup that I make often especially for my toddler boy. Not that its healthy alone, it is a comforting dish on a cold day and best for supper. 
It is rich in Vitamin A and good for weight watchers too as it is non fattening unless you add cream to it.


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil or Butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 cup chopped Celery
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 3 cups vegetable stock / hot water
  • 1 tomato (optional)

STEPS

  • In a heavy bottomed pot, heat oil and add in the bay leaves and Garlic.
  • Saute them for a minute and then add the chopped onions and saute.
  • Next throw in the chopped celery and saute everything for 2 - 3 minutes.


  • Next add carrots and saute for 4 - 5 minutes until it is coated well in olive oil. 
  • Add salt, pepper and the dried herbs.


  • Pour in the hot vegetable stock or just hot water and close the pot and let it cook for 15 - 20 mins or until the carrot becomes soft.
  • If you want to make the process soon, just cook them in pressure cooker for 2 - 3 whistles.


  • Cool the mixture, discard the bay leaf and then blend them in a food processor to a smooth puree.
  • Adjust seasonings as per taste.


  • Filter the puree through a meta strainer to remove any big particles and to get a silky smooth soup.
  • Add more hot water if the soup is too thick and place it back on flame and warm it before serving.

NOTES

  • Skip the onion if you don't want to and instead add a tomato to add a slight tangy flavor.
  • Pimp up your soup with some fresh cream on top optionally.
  • Serve warm with bread croutons or some garlic bread.
  • To make an Indian version of this, you can add some asafoedita and cumin powder or even garam masala :)
  • Weight watchers can skip butter and reduce oil too.
  • If you are using vegetable stock made from stock cubes then keep an eye on salt as stock already has salt.
  • As long as you don't add any cream or milk to it you can refrigerate upto 3 days and use.



With Love,

Lemon Rice !


Lemon Rice , a popular and simple rice dish from south India is so easy to make and this is the way I do it with loads of veggies. It is definitely a hassle free option when it comes for lunch box or for travel and picnics. Cooked rice is sauted with veggies and tempered with a south Indian touch and finished with a generous amount of Lemon/ Lime juice. 
This is one good way to use your leftover rice too. You can find many other rice recipes on the blog HERE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Big Lemon / Lime
  • 1 cup cooked Rice (with salt)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • a pinch of asafoedita
  • 2 tsp Channa Dal  / Urad Dal
  • 2 tbsp Peanuts
  • 3 - 4 Green Chillis (Slit)
  • a piece of ginger (Julienned)
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • few broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup Green Peas (Fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers (all colors mixed)
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot#
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • coriander to garnish
STEPS
  • Heat oil in a pan and once hot, add mustard seeds and Channa Dal. Once mustard splutters and dal turns slightly brown, add hing, Jeera and Peanuts.
  • Once the peanuts are fried well, add sliced onions, chilli and ginger.

  • Once onion is sauted well, add peppers and followed by grated carrot and green peas and broccoli. ( I usually add but didn't have this time)
  • Saute everything well together in medium flame.
  • Sprinkle some salt (only for veggies as I cook rice with salt) and turmeric powder.

  • You can close n cook for 2 minutes so that the veggies are done. 
  • Turn off stove, Now add rice and mix gently without breaking the rice.
  • Squeeze the lemon and add some chopped coriander and give a mix.

NOTES

  • I cook rice with salt for most of the recipes like this. 
  • You can use leftover rice too for this. 
  • Since I used freshly prepared rice , it was warm when i added to the pan so I turned off stove and then mixed with lemon juice etc. In case of old leftover rice , give a stir with the veggies for 2 - 3 minutes until it becomes warm  and then turn off stove so that it is no more old and cold. 
  • Adding veggies is upto you and you can totally skip them all and still it tastes yummy.
  • The peppers and broccoli not only gives a nice crunch but in a way healthy too.


With Love,

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Coriander Rice !


This is one of my favorite leftover rice recipes as it is delicious and refreshing and no one would ever know it is made of leftover rice. Sometimes I do make it with freshly prepared rice too for lunch box. 
The addition of peanuts gives a nice crunch and the cloves and ginger accentuates the flavor making it a delectable recipe yet so simple.


INGREDIENTS (No Onion No Garlic)

1 cup boiled rice (or leftover boiled rice)
To Grind to a paste:
  • handful of fresh chopped coriander
  • few mint leaves
  • 2 Green Chillis
  • 2 -3 Cloves
  • marble size tamarind
  • salt as needed
  • 1 inch ginger piece
To Temper
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • a pinch of hing (asafoedita)
  • 2 tsp Urad Dal
  • 2 tbsp Peanuts

STEPS
  • Grind all the ingredients mentioned under "To Grind" list to a smooth paste adding little water.

  •  In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and urad dal, once mustard splutters and urad dal turns slightly brown, add cumin, hing and peanuts.
  • When the peanuts are fried well, add the ground paste and required salt.


  •  In a low flame, just keep stirring for max minutes till the raw smell of coriander slightly fades, but make sure you dont overcook it else the mixture turns dark green to black.
  • Add the cooked rice and mix well carefully without breaking  so that every rice is coated well.
  • Drizzle some ghee (optional) and give a stir and your aromatic and refreshing coriander ice is ready.
 NOTES
  • Always use fresh coriander for this. Its okay even if you dont have that few mint leaves.
  • Utilise your left over rice and make this delicious rice recipe. 
  • Add a tbsp of ghee  (optional) atlast when mixing the rice, it adds to a nice flavor.
  • Serve with a simple raita or fryums.
  • I made it a No Onion, No Garlic recipe, but you can also saute some sliced onions in oil before adding the ground paste and add garlic when grinding the other ingredients.

With Love,