Ada Hengu Khechudi| Orissa-Style Rice Flavoured With Ginger And Asafoetida

Ada Hengu Khechudi refers to a style of very simple khichdi made in Orissa, where the rice is flavoured with just grated ginger and asafoetida. This khechudi is served as prasad in the famous temple of Lord Jagannath in Orissa. Dalma (a mixed vegetable and lentil-based dish from Orissa) is a traditional accompaniment for the ada hengu khechudi.

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I made this khechudi at home a few days ago, and it turned out to be a huge hit. The simplicity of the dish was mind-blowing and, yet, it was so very fragrant and flavourful. I used a recipe from Orissa-based blogger Alka Jena’s blog Culinary XPress to make this ada hengu khechudi. Slightly deviating from the original recipe (which uses a pan to cook the rice), though, I made the khechudi in a pressure cooker, with fantastic results. I served it with home-made curd and daal tadka, a combination that tasted lovely.

Here is how I made the khechudi.

Ingredients (2 servings):

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1 tablespoon moong daal
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon ghee
  5. 2 small bay leaves
  6. 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  7. 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  8. 1 green chilly, slit length-wise
  9. 2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and moong daal well under running water. Place in a colander, and let all the excess water drain out.
  2. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker bottom. Add the bay leaves, asafoetida, grated ginger and green chilly. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that they do not burn.
  3. Add in the washed and drained rice and moong daal. Mix well. Saute for a couple of seconds.
  4. Add in 2 cups water, as well as salt to taste. Mix well.
  5. Close pressure cooker and put the whistle on. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
  6. When the pressure has entirely released, open the cooker and gently fluff up the khechudi. Mix in the grated fresh coconut, well. Serve the khechudi hot, with accompaniment of your choice.

Notes:

  1. Increase or decrease the quantity of water you use, depending upon how grainy you want the khechuri to be.
  2. Use more green chillies, if you want the khechudi to be spicier. Alternatively, you can omit green chillies altogether, if you think the heat from the ginger will be enough.
  3. You can add in another tablespoon of ghee to the khechudi, before serving. I skipped this.
  4. Use a small pressure cooker to make the above-mentioned quantity of khechudi. I used a 3-litre pressure cooker.
  5. I used split yellow moong daal and Sona Masoori rice to make this khechudi. If you can get hold of Govindobhog rice, I think that would be just perfect to make this dish.

You like? I hope you will try out this ada hengur khechudi too, and that you will love it as much as we did!

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This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Recipes from Orissa’. 

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Anggur Asinba Athumba Thongba| Manipuri Grape Relish 

Anggur Asinba Athumba Thongba is a Manipuri sweet-and-sour relish made with sour grapes. It is amazing, how beautiful this relish tastes and, yet, how very simple it is to prepare.

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This dish is apparently served at the end of a Manipuri meal, just before dessert. I think it would go really well as part of a South Indian banana-leaf meal as well. We have been thoroughly enjoying this relish with rotis, dosas and various rice preparations, as an accompaniment.

Here’s how the Anggur Asinba Athumba Thongba is prepared.

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

  1. 300 grams seedless grapes
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 1 bay leaf
  4. 1 tablespoon oil
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kalonji (onion seeds)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
  7. 1/3 cup sugar
  8. Red chilli powder, to taste

Method:

1. Wash the grapes and pat them dry, using a cotton cloth. Cut each grape into half. Keep aside.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds, onion seeds and bay leaf. Let the seeds sputter.

3. Add in the chopped grapes, salt, red chilli powder and sugar. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the sugar melts, stirring gently intermittently.

4. Add in about 100 ml water. Mix well. Let simmer on low-medium flame till the grapes get cooked. Switch off gas and allow the relish to cool down completely before transferring to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle.

Notes:

1. Jaggery powder can be used in place of refined sugar. I have used the latter here.

2. Use seedless sour grapes for best results. I have used purple grapes here.

3. Use any odourless oil to make this dish. I used refined oil.

4. Adding a 1-inch cinnamon stick would also add a lot of flavour to the relish, I think.

5. Increase or decrease the quantity of sugar/jaggery you use, depending upon your taste preferences.

You like? I hope you will try out this sweet-and-sour grape relish too, and that you will love it as much as we did!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This dish is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. This week, all of us are cooking dishes from Pushpita’s Chakhum, authored by fellow food blogger Pushpita. Her blog is a repository of traditional Manipuri recipes, something so exotic to me. The above recipe is from her blog, too, with a few minor variations of my own.

Vatana Ane Tuver Lilva Ni Kachori| Gujarati Pigeon Peas And Green Peas Kachori

My memories of winter are inextricably tied with Ahmedabad, where I grew up. There used to be a proper winter then, lasting about 3 months, with the weather turning a complete 360 degrees from the heat that engulfs the city most part of the year. Hands going numb with cold, razais and jackets coming out of their hiding in closets, monkey caps, and truckloads of winter veggies and delicacies – Ahmedabad goes the whole hog.

There’s no ‘proper’ winter in Bangalore, where I live now. Oh, there’s a nip in the air and some beautiful days, but nowhere close to the mind-numbing cold that I have experienced back then. So, on chilly days like this in Bangalore, I try to rustle up a storm in my kitchen. I try to make the most of the winter veggies that Bangalore has to offer, try to relive those precious days from my adolescence.

Fresh pigeon peas – tuver lilva or tuver dana in Gujarati, tuvarai in Tamil – is one of my favourite winter veggies. I love cooking with it, and one of my favourite things to make with these peas is Gujarati-style kachori. I think tuver lilva ni kachori, made with green peas and/or potatoes – are one of the bestest-ever things to eat during winters! Thankfully, the family loves them too, and I get an excuse to make them all the more often.

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Gujarati tuver lilva ni kachori, with green peas

You have to try these kachoris out to understand why I am raving so much about them. Do that, won’t you?

Here’s how we make these Gujarati tuver lilva ni kachori, with the addition of green peas.

Ingredients (yields 18-20 pieces):

For the filling:

  1. 2 cups shelled fresh pigeon peas (tuver lilva or tuver dana)
  2. 1 cup shelled fresh green peas (vatana)
  3. A fistful of coriander leaves
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. Salt, to taste
  6. 2-3 pinches of asafoetida
  7. 1 tablespoon garam masala (optional, I used MDH brand)
  8. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  9. 2 green chillies
  10. Red chilli powder, to taste (optional)
  11. Juice of 3/4 of a lemon, or to taste
  12. 2 tablespoons of sugar, or to taste
  13. 8-10 whole raw cashewnuts
  14. 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  15. 1/4 cup raisins
  16. 1 teaspoon mustard

For the outer shell:

  1. 1-1/2 cups maida 
  2. 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. A little oil to bind the dough

Other ingredients:

Oil, to deep fry the kachoris

Method:

First, prepare the dough for the outer shell of the kachori.

  1. Mix together the maida and whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add salt to taste and about 1 tablespoon oil.
  3. Adding water little by little, bind everything together into a soft dough.
  4. Cover and keep aside till you get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Now, we will proceed to make the filling.

  1. Wash the pigeon peas and green peas well under running water. Pat dry using a cotton cloth. Coarsely crush them using a mixer. Just pulse the mixer twice or thrice, giving the ingredients a mix with a spoon in between. You don’t have to make a fine paste – just coarsely crush the peas.
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add mustard, and let it pop. Add in the crushed pigeon peas and green peas. Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the peas disappears, about 2 minutes. Let this cool down completely.
  3. To the cooked and cooled peas, add salt and sugar to taste, asafoetida, lemon juice, garam masala (if using), raisins and grated coconut. Finely chop coriander and add to the peas. Chop ginger and green chillies, grind to a paste, and add this to the peas. Chop the cashewnuts and add to the peas. Add red chilli powder, if using. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. Keep aside.

Now, we will make the kachoris.

1. Heat oil for deep frying in a large pan, till smoking point.

2. Meanwhile, get the kachoris ready. Make small balls out of the dough and roll one into a small circle. Spread the pea stuffing evenly over the circle, then close it. Seal the edges. Drop the prepared kachori into hot oil and lower flame to medium. Deep fry evenly on both sides, drain excess oil, and transfer to a serving plate.

3. Prepare all kachoris similarly. Serve them hot with spicy green chutney and sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney.

Notes:

  1. Here is how I make the spicy green chutney that I serve with these kachoris.
  2. Here is how I make the sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney that goes beautifully with these kachoris.
  3. If you think the heat from the ginger and green chillies is good enough, skip adding the red chilli powder. You might even want to use more green chillies, depending upon your personal taste preferences.
  4. These kachoris can be made using pigeon peas (tuver lilva or tuver dana) entirely, skipping the green peas. If you want, you can even add in some potatoes, like I did here.
  5. These kachoris can be made plain and simple with a stuffing made of just pigeon peas, green peas, ginger and green chilli paste, asafoetida, mustard, salt, sugar, lemon juice and turmeric powder, with red chilli powder added in if needed. The garam masala, cashewnuts, coconut and raisins can be omitted, but they give a lovely flavour to the kachoris, so I personally wouldn’t recommend the omission.
  6. Typical Gujarati kachoris do have sugar in them, but you may leave it out if you want to. Again, that isn’t something I would recommend doing.
  7. You can skip the maida and make the kachoris with whole wheat flour as well.

You like? I hope you will try out these kachoris at home too, and that you will love them as much as we do!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Winter Special Recipes’.

Udupi Sambar| Bangalore Hotel Sambar| Tiffin Sambar

I am a big fan of the sweetish sambar that is served with vada, dosa and idli here in several Bangalore eateries. Having been brought up in Gujarat, the tinge of sweetness in the sambar appealed to me,  and I fell in love with it the very first time I tried it out after shifting to Bangalore. It was much later that I got to know that this sweetish sambar originated in Udupi, a small city in the Karnataka, which is also famous for a number of other delicacies.

When the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group chose ‘Recipes from Udupi’ as the theme this week, I thought it was only fitting that I write about this sambar that I so love. This is a recipe I have tried several times over, failed at, and then perfected. The secret, I’ve realised, is in grinding the sambar powder fresh, in very little batches, and grinding it well. If that is taken care of, and the toor daal is cooked nice and soft, this recipe (which I learnt from my aunt, BTW), works like a charm.

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So, here’s presenting the recipe for Udupi sambar aka Bangalore hotel sambar or tiffin sambar.

Ingredients:

For the sambar powder:

  1. 2 tablespoons chana daal
  2. 1 tablespoon urad daal
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  4. 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
  5. 4-5 dry red chillies, or as per taste
  6. 2 tablespoons coriander seeds (dhania)
  7. A 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
  9. 1 teaspoon oil

Veggies:

  1. 8-10 fresh curry leaves
  2. 1 medium-sized carrot
  3. A handful of shelled green peas
  4. 2 small-sized onions
  5. 1 medium-sized ripe tomato
  6. A few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 teaspoon oil
  2. Red chilli powder, to taste
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. Jaggery powder, to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  7. A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  8. A small lemon-sized ball of tamarind
  9. 1/4 cup toor daal

Method:

First, we will get the spice powder ready.

  1. Heat the 1 teaspoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Reduce flame, and add in the chana daal, urad daal, coriander seeds, fenugreek, dried red chillies and cumin. Roast on medium flame till the daals turn brownish in colour and begin to emit a nice fragrance. Stir constantly, and take care not to burn the ingredients. The roasting should take 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in the grated coconut. Mix well. Roast on medium flame for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Ensure that none of the ingredients get burnt.
  4. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate. Let them cool down completely.
  5. When the roasted ingredients have cooled down fully, grind to a fine powder in a mixer. Keep aside.

Now, we will boil the toor daal.

  1. Wash the toor daal a couple of times in running water. Drain out all the water.
  2. Take the toor daal in a wide vessel, and add in just enough water to cover it.
  3. Pressure cook the toor daal for 4-5 whistles. It should turn very mushy.
  4. When the pressure has gone down completely, mash the cooked toor daal. Keep aside.

Now, we will prep the tamarind.

  1. Place the tamarind in a little vessel and add a bit of water. Place on medium flame.
  2. Let the water come to a boil, and switch off gas.
  3. Let the tamarind soak in the boiling water till it is cool enough to handle.
  4. Then, extract a thick juice from the tamarind, adding a little more water. Keep the extract aside and discarded the used tamarind.

Now, we will go on to prep the veggies you will need to make the sambar.

  1. Chop the onions length-wise or finely, as you prefer. Keep aside.
  2. Peel the carrot and chop into batons or cubes, as you prefer. Keep aside.
  3. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Keep aside.
  4. Keep the shelled green peas and curry leaves handy.
  5. Chop the coriander finely, along with the stalks. Keep aside.

Proceed to make the sambar now.

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the same pan you used to roast the spices. Add the mustard, and allow it to splutter.
  2. Add the asafoetida and the curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
  3. Add the chopped onions. Saute on medium flame for a couple of minutes, or until they turn brownish.
  4. Add the green peas and the carrot. Cook on medium flame, till the carrots are done. Sprinkle some water at regular intervals, if needed.
  5. Now, add the chopped tomatoes and the tamarind water. Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away, and the tomatoes turn slightly mushy.
  6. Add the cooked toor daal and 2 tablespoons of the sambar powder (or to taste) we made earlier. Also, add 1 cup water, salt, jaggery and red chilli powder to taste, as well as the turmeric powder. Mix well.
  7. Cook on medium flame till the sambar comes to a boil. Then, lower flame further and let the sambar simmer for a couple of minutes more. Taste and adjust spices/salt if needed. Switch off gas.
  8.  Mix in finely chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot with idlis, vada or dosas.

Notes:

1. I used the veggies that I had on hand. You can use any other veggies you want to. White pumpkin, capsicum and brinjals are some vegetables that go well in this sambar.

2. A Karnataka-special type of dried red chillies called Bydagi are usually added to the sambar in hotels, which is what gives it a deep brown colour. The colour of my sambar is different because I have used ordinary dried red chillies. The Bydagi does not have much heat, so if you plan to use them, you might want to mix them with some other variety of hot dried red chillies.

3. Dried coconut can be substituted for fresh grated coconut, in the spice mix.

4. I used refined oil to make the sambar. Using coconut oil instead would add in a lot more flavour.

5. Leave out the cinnamon from the spice mix, if you want to. I personally like it.

6. The jaggery is optional – add it only if you want to. In Karnataka hotels, jaggery is very much present, though.

7. If your dried red chillies are spicy enough, you can skip the red chilli powder.

8. Ensure that the spice powder is ground well and that the toor daal is well boiled and mushy, for best results.

9. The above measurements yields about 1/2 cup of sambar powder. The sambar, as stated above, needs only about 2 tablespoons of the powder. Store the rest in a clean, dry, air-tight box and use within 7 days or so. This sambar powder is best used fresh.

10. Use more toor daal if you want a thicker sambar. 1/4 cup of toor daal works out just perfect for us.

11. Some people add a few black peppercorns to the spice mix. I usually avoid that.

You like? I hope you will try out this Udupi sambar aka Bangalore hotel sambar or tiffin sambar, and that you will love it, too!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Recipes from Udupi’.

 

 

 

 

One-Pot Vegetable Khichdi In Buttermilk| Moong Daal Vegetable Khichdi Cooked In Buttermilk

I absolutely adore cooking with curd and buttermilk. Be it Gujarati kadhi or Punjabi, ras no fajeto or more koozhu, shrikhand or a bowl of chaaswala mug, I love them all. So, when I recently saw this recipe for khichdi cooked in buttermilk on the very talented Aruna’s food blog Aaharam, I knew I absolutely had to try it out. It had my name written all over it, and I knew I was going to love it.

When the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team fixed the theme for this week as ‘khichdi‘, I was very clear that I wanted to try out a buttermilk-based khichdi like the one from Aruna’s blog. And that is just what I did. The result – a moong daal vegetable khichdi in buttermilk – was very much loved by everyone at home. The taste was absolutely fantastic!

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I so know this is going to be the new comfort food for us. Besides, it is a great way to use up leftover buttermilk as well. What’s more, this is a one-pot dish that can be cooked in a jiffy!

This is how I made the moong daal vegetable khichdi in buttermilk.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1 cup rice (I used Sona Masoori)
  2. 1/4 cup moong daal
  3. 4-5 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 medium-sized onion
  5. 6-7 beans
  6. 1 small carrot
  7. 1/4 cup sweet corn
  8. 1/4 cup shelled green peas
  9. 1/2 of a medium-sized capsicum
  10. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
  11. 2 green chillies, or to taste
  12. Salt, to taste
  13. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  14. Red chilli powder, to taste
  15. 5 cups buttermilk (neither too thick nor too thin, not too sour)
  16. 1 tablespoon oil
  17. A pinch of asafoetida
  18. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  19. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

Method:

  1. First, we will prep the veggies that you need to make the khichdi. Finely chop the onion and coriander. Chop the beans, capsicum and carrot into 1/2-inch pieces. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Coarsely crush the garlic with a mortar and pestle. Keep the shelled green peas and sweet corn handy. Keep aside.
  2. Wash the rice and moong daal well under running water. Place in a colander, and let all the excess water drain out.
  3. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker bottom. Add in the mustard seeds, and let them splutter. Add the cumin and asafoetida, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
  4. Now, add the chopped onion, beans, capsicum, carrot, sweet corn, peas, slit chillies and crushed garlic. Saute on medium flame for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add in the washed and drained rice and moong daal, along with salt to taste and the turmeric powder. Mix well. Saute on medium flame for a minute.
  6. Keeping the flame medium, add in the buttermilk and chopped coriander. Mix well.
  7. Close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on. Pressure cook on high flame for 5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Serve hot.

Notes:

  1. Increase or decrease the quantity of red chilli powder and green chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the khichdi to be.
  2. The buttermilk you use should not be too sour. It should be of the right consistency – neither too thick nor too thin – for best results.
  3. Make sure the flame is set at medium while you add in the buttermilk. This will help stop the buttermilk from curdling.
  4. You could cook the khichdi in 3 cups of slightly thicker buttermilk and 2 cups of water, as well. Personally, I think the 5 cups of buttermilk works best for us.
  5. You could add any other veggies that you want to. I used the veggies that I had handy in my kitchen.
  6. You could use just green chillies in the khichdi, and skip the red chilli powder entirely.
  7. If you want, a dash of garam masala/chana masala and/or sugar can be added to the khichdi.

You like? I hope you will try out this moong daal vegetable khichdi in buttermilk, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘khichdi‘ (an in-trend theme, considering how the humble khichdi has been much in the limelight in India lately!).

Semiya Rava Vegetable Dosa| Indian Vermicelli, Semolina And Vegetable Pancakes

These Indian-style pancakes aka dosas are made using roasted semolina and vermicelli, and you can load them with as many veggies as you want. They taste absolutely fantastic, and make for a hearty breakfast, a lovely change from the usual.

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I made these vermicelli and semolina vegetable pancakes recently, adapting the recipe from Chandra Padmanabhan’s cookbook, Dosai. They were much loved by everyone at home, and I know for sure that I am going to making them regularly henceforth.

Here’s how I made these vermicelli and semolina vegetable pancakes.

Ingredients (makes 6-7 pancakes):

Basic ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cup roasted fine semolina (rava)
  2. 1/2 cup roasted vermicelli
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 2 tablespoons wheat flour
  5. 2 tablespoons rice flour

For the tadka:

  1. 1 teaspoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  3. A pinch of asafoetida (hing)

To be ground into a powder:

  1. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  2. 2 tablespoons almonds

Other ingredients:

  1. Oil, as needed to make the dosas
  2. A few stalks of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  3. 1/2 cup sour buttermilk
  4. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  6. 1 green chilli, very finely chopped
  7. A few fresh curry leaves

Method:

  1. Take the roasted semolina and vermicelli, salt to taste, wheat flour and rice flour in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Grind the black peppercorns and almonds to a coarse powder, using a mixer. Add this powder to the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, and add in the mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. Add in the asafoetida, and let it stay in for a couple of seconds. Switch off gas, and add this garnish to the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
  4. Add in the finely chopped coriander, onion, ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilli and torn curry leaves, along with the sour buttermilk.
  5. Add in enough water to make a batter that is neither too thick nor too runny. Let the batter stand, covered, for about 30 minutes.
  6. Post 30 minutes, you can proceed to making dosas with the prepared batter. At this stage, add in more water and seasonings if the batter looks too thick.
  7. To make the dosas, heat a tawa until droplets of water dance on it. Now, lower the flame to medium, and pour a ladle of the batter in the centre of the pan. Spread it out into a thick circle. Add some oil around the dosa. Let the dosa cook till it gets brown on the bottom, uncovered, and then flip it over. Let the dosa cook on the other side till brown. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Make sure you use the fine variety of semolina, for best results.
  2. I used roasted vermicelli and semolina to make these pancakes. I am guessing it would be fine even if I had not roasted these ingredients.
  3. Other vegetables like carrots (grated) and tomato (pureed) can be added to the dosas as well.
  4. You can add a dash of garam masala and/or amchoor for flavour. I skipped them.
  5. Roasted and coarsely crushed peanuts can be added to the dosa batter, for flavour, too.
  6. Increase/decrease the quantity of green chillies you use, depending upon your taste preferences.
  7. Use buttermilk that is sour, but not overly so, for best results.
  8. The original recipe calls for grinding together 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon cashewnuts, 1 tablespoon pistachios and 1 tablespoon almonds, and then adding them to the batter. I have used just 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of almonds instead.
  9. If you want the dosas to be more sour, keep the batter out for a longer time after mixing. I kept some batter out for 3-4 hours, and the dosas tasted great.
  10. I am guessing you can skip adding the almond powder and pepper powder to the batter. Instead, you could just add more finely chopped green chillies.

You like? I hope you will try out these semolina and vermicelli pancakes at home, too, and that you will love them as much as we did!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is ‘Pancakes’.

 

Khao Phad| Vegetarian Thai Fried Rice

We are big fans of Thai food, the husband and I. We love how the cuisine uses very simple, earthy ingredients to create dishes that are so very flavourful. We love the way different flavours like sweet, sour and spicy meld together so beautifully in Thai cuisine.

The ingredients used in Thai and Indian cuisine are not all that different, and I have been able to replicate many of our favourite dishes at home. The husband and I enjoy knocking back a dish of Thai green curry with rice, a raw papaya salad or peanut noodles for lunch or dinner, a nice change from the usual. Recently, I tried my hands at making Khao Phad, vegetarian Thai fried rice, and it turned out wonderfully well. We have made it quite a few times since then, and it has become a house favourite.

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Like many other Thai dishes, Khao Phad is a medley of flavours – sweet and sour and spicy come together to create this wholesome dish. It isn’t very tough to make – once you prep up the ingredients, putting together this Thai fried rice is a matter of minutes.

I use ingredients commonly available in India – like Indian ginger in place of Thai galangal, red chilli powder in place of bird’s eye chillies, and Sona Masoori rice in place of Thai jasmine rice – and the result is still very close to the original Khao Phad we tasted in Thailand. You have to try this out to understand just how simple yet beautiful this dish is!

Here’s how I make the Khao Phad or Thai fried rice.

Ingredients (3-4 servings):

Vegetables to be prepped:

  1. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  2. 4-5 cloves of garlic
  3. A small piece of cabbage
  4. 1/4 cup shelled green peas
  5. 1/4 cup sweet corn
  6. 1 medium-sized onion
  7. 1 small capsicum
  8. 5-6 beans
  9. 1 small carrot
  10. 1 seedless cucumber

Other veggies used:

  1. 1 lemon or as per taste
  2. A few stalks of fresh coriander

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 cup rice (I used Sona Masoori)
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. Red chilli powder, to taste
  4. 2 tablespoons soya sauce or to taste (I used Thai Heritage)
  5. 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce or to taste (I used Thai Heritage)
  6. 2 tablespoons demerera sugar/brown sugar (I used Eagle)
  7. 1/4 cup peanuts
  8. 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

  1. First, pressure cook the rice with 3 cups of water for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release entirely. Allow the rice to cool down completely, and then fluff it up gently. Keep aside.
  2. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they get crisp. Allow them to cool down completely, and remove the skins. Now, coarsely pulse in a mixer for just about a second. Do not make a fine powder. Keep aside.
  3. Now, we will prep the veggies that will go into the fried rice. Peel the ginger and chop it very, very finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them coarsely, using a mortar and pestle. Chop the onion, beans (after removing strings) and cabbage finely. Peel the carrot and cucumber, and chop into batons. Cook the sweet corn for about 2 minutes in boiling water, and transfer to a colander to let all the excess water drain out. Slice the capsicum. Keep the veggies aside.
  4. Now, finely chop the coriander. Extract the juice from the lemon. Keep aside.
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the onion, ginger, garlic, capsicum, peas, beans, corn, cabbage, carrot and cucumber. Add salt and red chilli powder to taste. Stir fry on medium heat till the vegetables are cooked, but not overly so. The veggies should retain a little crunch.
  6. Add in the cooked rice, soya sauce, Sriracha sauce, crushed peanuts and demerera sugar. Mix well, but gently.
  7. Let everything cook together for about 2 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add more salt and/or red chilli powder if needed.
  8. When everything is well integrated together, switch off gas. Add in the lemon juice and finely chopped coriander. Mix well. Serve piping hot.

Notes:

  1. Traditionally, jasmine rice is used to prepare Thai fried rice. I didn’t have any, so I have used Indian Sona Masoori rice instead.
  2. For plain steamed rice, I use about 3.75 cups of water per cup of rice. For fried rice, I have reduced the quantity of water to 3 cups. You could reduce the quantity of water you use, if you want grainier rice. We like our rice to be well-cooked but still grainy, and this ratio works out perfectly for us.
  3. I have used ordinary Indian ginger in place of Thai galangal and fresh lemon juice instead of Thai kaffir lime. If you can get your hands on galangal and kaffir lime, you could use that instead.
  4. Increase or decrease the quantity of lemon juice, sugar, soya sauce and Sriracha sauce as per your personal taste preferences. The quantities suggested above work out well for us.
  5. If you do not have demerera sugar, you could use ordinary refined sugar instead, but then, the fried rice may lose its beautiful brown colour.
  6. You could lightly steam the peas before adding them to the fried rice, too. I don’t.
  7. Other vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli and coloured capsicum can be added to the fried rice too. I commonly use the veggies that I have on hand.
  8. If you have rice left over, preferably a day old, it works very well for this recipe. You could use that in place of freshly cooked and cooled down rice.
  9. Chunks of fresh, ripe pineapple can also be mixed into the fried rice at the end, while you are adding the lemon juice and chopped coriander. That takes the flavour of the dish to a whole new level – I do that when I have chopped pineapple handy.
  10. Thai bird’s eye chillies can be used in place of red chilli powder.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is ‘Fusion Fiesta’, and each of the participants was required to post a fusion dish involving Indian and another, uncommon (to us) cuisine.

 

Easy Basundi Recipe (With Condensed Milk)

When I think of the years we lived in Ahmedabad, I cannot not think of basundi. It used to be a favourite, favourite sweet dish, rich and creamy without being overly so, loaded with nuts. This cousin of the North Indian rabri is something I associate with festive times, specifically Diwali.

It isn’t easy to find good basundi in Bangalore city, so we prefer making our own at home. Traditionally, this sweet dish is made by boiling milk and cooking it constantly, reducing it and reducing it and reducing it till it becomes thick and creamy and utterly delectable. The recipe that we use, though – the cheat’s basundi or the easy basundi recipe, as I refer to it – is super simple. It uses condensed milk for the thickening, and doesn’t require standing by the stove for hours on end. It might not be the authentic recipe, but this version tastes just as delish, I can vouch for that.

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Let’s check out our easy basundi recipe, shall we?

Ingredients (makes about 6 servings):

  1. 1 litre full-fat milk (I used Nandini)
  2. 400 grams sweetened condensed milk (I used Amul Mithai Mate)
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon rose essence (optional)
  5. 7-8 cashewnuts, chopped finely
  6. 7-8 almonds, chopped finely

Method:

  1. Take the milk and condensed milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Mix well.
  2. Place pan on high heat and bring to a boil, stirring intermittently.
  3. Now, turn down the heat to low. Add in the sugar. Mix well.
  4. Cook on low-medium flame till the mixture reduces to about half of its original size – 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cream will begin to form on the edges of the pan – keep scraping it back down into the pan with a spoon.
  5. When the mixture has reduced, add in the chopped cashewnuts and almonds. Mix well.
  6. Cook more on low-medium heat till the mixture reduces further. Meanwhile, keep stirring intermittently and scraping the cream back into the pan.
  7. When it reaches a thick but still runny consistency, add the rose essence. Cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring intermittently, continuing to scrape the cream back into the pan. Switch off gas.
  8. Serve piping hot, warm or after chilling in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Personally, I think the basundi tastes best when chilled.

Notes:

  1. Increase or decrease the quantity of sugar you add, depending upon personal tastes and preferences. If you think the sweetness of the condensed milk is enough, you could skip adding sugar altogether. Personally, though, we prefer adding 2 tablespoons of sugar, considering that we have huge sweet teeth.
  2. Intermittent stirring throughout the process of making basundi is necessary, to prevent too much sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. The rose essence can be omitted altogether, if you don’t want to add it.
  4. Cardamom powder can be used in place of rose essence. Add it in at the same time when you need to add the rose essence – it adds a beautiful fragrance and taste to the basundi. We like both versions, but I am slightly biased towards the rose essence one.
  5. You could slightly roast the almonds and cashewnuts before chopping them and adding them to the basundi, too. I usually add them raw, though.
  6. It is important to keep scraping back the cream from the sides of the pan, into the pan, throughout the proceedure. This is what will give a beautiful, creamy consistency to the basundi.
  7. You can keep the consistency of the basundi as thick or as runny as you like. We like it slightly thick, still runny. The basundi thickens slightly on cooling.

Do you like basundi? How do you make it? Do you like this easy basundi recipe? I hope you’ll try this out!

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Diwali recipes’.

 

Methi Nu Shaak| Fenugreek Green Curry With Chickpea Flour

A dry curry with fenugreek greens (methi) and chickpea flour (besan) is a traditional Gujarati preparation. You will surely find this dish on the dining table of a Gujarati household, especially during the winters. The chickpea flour and the sugar added to the curry even out the bitterness of the fenugreek greens, making the taste absolutely fantabulous. It is a great, great way to incorporate the greens in your diet, I think.

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Amma learnt how to make this curry from one of our Gujarati neighbours, back when we were staying in Ahmedabad. And then she went on to teach me how to make it. This curry has always been a hot favourite with me, and it still is.

Ingredients (2 servings):

  1. 1 large bunch or a medium-sized serving bowl of fenugreek (methi) leaves
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. Red chilli powder, to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. 2-3 tablespoons sugar, or as per taste
  6. 4 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
  7. 4 tablespoons oil
  8. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  9. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Method:

  1. Place the fenugreek leaves in a colander. Wash them thoroughly under running water, ensuring that no dirt remains. Keep aside, and let all the excess water drain out.
  2. Meanwhile, dry roast the chickpea flour in a pan on low-medium flame, till it turns slightly brown and begins to emit a nice fragrance. Stir constantly. Take care to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Transfer onto a plate. Keep aside.
  3. Squeeze out any excess water from the fenugreek leaves. Chop finely. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow to splutter. Add in the asafoetida, and let it stay in for a couple of seconds.
  5. Now, add in the chopped fenugreek leaves to the pan. Turn flame to low-medium, and cook till the leaves are well wilted. This should take 3-4 minutes.
  6. To the pan, add salt and red chilli powder to taste, sugar, turmeric powder and roasted chickpea flour. Mix well.
  7. Cook on low-medium flame for about 2 minutes more, ensuring everything is well incorporated together. At this stage, if the curry feels too dry, you could lightly sprinkle some water or add a spoonful of oil to the pan. Done!
  8. Serve hot or after bringing to room temperature, with rotis and daal or kadhi.

Notes:

  1. This is a dry curry and, hence, best served with a liquid-y accompaniment.
  2. Initially, you might feel that the quantity of fenugreek leaves you are using is way too much. When you start cooking them, though, they really wilt down to a very little quantity.
  3. While this is a very simple curry that needs very few ingredients, getting it right might need a bit of practice. I would strongly suggest you keep at it, though, for the taste is totally worth the effort you might be putting in.
  4. Using slightly more oil will give you a curry that isn’t very dry. I try to limit it to about 4 tablespoons, though, usually.
  5. This curry tastes best with sugar. Trying to substitute sugar with jaggery alters the taste of this curry, so that isn’t something that I would recommend.
  6. A dash of coriander and cumin powder OR garam masala can be added to the curry, too, but I like keeping it simple.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme this week is ‘cooking with greens’.

 

Pressure Cooker Sem Ki Sabzi| One-Pot Double Beans (Lima Beans) Curry

I am a big, big fan of double beans in the dried form. Recently, I spotted fresh double beans (also called sem or lima beans) at the Jayanagar market, and couldn’t resist picking up some. I used them to make this beautiful pressure-cooker curry to go with rotis, for lunch today.

The curry tastes absolutely delectable, if I may say so myself. I made it in a pressure cooker, something I often do with curries, a super-duper easy way to cook stuff. And.. the best part? The curry used just 1 teaspoon of oil in all its entirety!

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Let’s check out the recipe now, shall we?

Ingredients (makes 4-5 servings):

  1. 3/4 of a medium-sized serving bowl fresh double beans (aka lima beans or sem)
  2. 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  3. 1 medium-sized onion
  4. 1 teaspoon oil
  5. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  8. Salt, to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. Red chilli powder, to taste
  11. Sugar, to taste
  12. 2 teaspoons chana masala, or to taste
  13. A few fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Method:

  1. Wash the double beans thoroughly under running water. Place in a colander, and let all the excess water drain out.
  2. Chop the tomatoes into large pieces. Puree in a mixer. Keep aside.
  3. Finely chop the onions and coriander leaves. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a 3-litre pressure cooker bottom. Add in the mustard seeds, and let them sputter. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
  5. Add the chopped onions. Saute on low flame till they begin to turn brownish.
  6. Now, add the tomato puree, along with salt and red chilli powder to taste, as well as the sugar and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on low-medium flame for a minute or so.
  7. Add in the washed and drained double beans, along with the chana masala.
  8. Add about 1 cup water. Mix well.
  9. Close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on. Turn the flame to high. Let the curry cook for 4-5 minutes on high flame. Let the pressure come down naturally.
  10. Once all the pressure has come down, add in the finely chopped fresh coriander. Mix well.
  11. Serve hot with rotis.

Notes:

  1. Garam masala or pavbhaji masala can be used in place of chana masala.
  2. Omit the sugar if you don’t like a hint of sweetness in your curry.
  3. You could add a dash of lemon juice to the curry after preparation, too.
  4. After preparation, if you think the curry is too thick, you could add some water, adjust spices and salt, and let it simmer on low-medium flame for a few minutes.
  5. A tablespoon of thick curd added to the curry (while adding the tomato puree) will improve the taste drastically. You could add a dollop of fresh cream, instead, as well.
  6. If you are afraid of burning, you could add slightly more water to the curry. Post cooking, you could simmer the curry on low-medium flame to make it thicker.
  7. If fresh double beans aren’t available where you stay, you can use dried ones to make a similar curry. Just soak the dried double beans in water overnight, discard the water in the morning, pressure cook them for 4 whistles in just enough water to soak them, and then proceed with the above recipe.
  8. If you want, ginger-garlic paste can be added in the curry, while adding the onions.
  9. You could even add in a 1-inch piece of cinnamon, a few cloves, cardamom and a couple of bay leaves, to make the curry more flavourful. If using, add these in along with the chopped onions.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Recipes with just 1 teaspoon oil’.