Friday, July 30, 2010

Spicy Indo-Chinese noodles

Indochinese dishes are the ones prepared using the Chinese cooking methods using the Indian ingredients, a fusion. Noodles are the favorite in my house! So I try to as many veggies as I can to make it healthy and interesting.
Now, I go chop chop chopping with the veggies. Once this is done, it is very easy to prepare the noodles. Well, I prepare 2 versions mostly one the spicier ofcourse for me and Sundar and the other without spicy for Hasini.

This serves upto 3 persons.
You need
1 pack of noodles
1 small Onion sliced thinly lengthwise
1/2 cup mixed bell peppers (thinly Julienne cut)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup Carrot (thinly Julienne cut)
1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 tsp Schezwan sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp of white vinegar
Spring onions to garnish

Boil water in a large pan.Add salt.When it bubbles and swirls, add noodles.Reduce the flame to medium and close the pan with a lid.Cook for 4-5 minutes or until they are ‘just’ soft.Take care not to over cook.The cooking time depends upon the quality of the noodles and the softness of the water.Drain the noodles to discard the water completely.Keep the noodles along with the drainer under a running tap of cold water.Drain the cold water and add a tbsp of oil and mix it along gently using your fingers,as the noodles must have turned cold by now.This helps to keep the strands separate and glossy.
In a pan, add a tsp of oil and to it add chopped onions and saute for a while. Then add the cabbage, peppers, carrot and saute on low flame for 7-8 mins or until the veggies are half cooked. Add the garlic-chili paste, schezwan sauce, soy sauce, black pepper powder and mix well with the veggies. Now add the cooked noodles to this veggies and saute for a min or two. Garnish with spring onions. Serve hot with Gobi Manchurian or any Indochinese sidedish

I am sending this to Flavors of china event hosted by Kalyani,

Mediterranean Salad with feta cheese

Salads are the best foods for summer! Esp., when it comes to the time for cooking. There is absolutely no need for the gas, when we want to make a salad with only fresh raw veggies. And doesnt they taste heaven on a hot day? I would love to have different salads for this summer. and some nice lemonades with them!

This salad is very easy and it takes hardly 10 mins to prepare.
You need
1/2 head of  green lettuce
1 large tomatoes cut in chunks
1 Onion thinly diced
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 small cucumbers quartered and sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Extra virgin Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried Oregano crumbled (Optional)
5-8 pieces of Almond (Optional)

   1.  Combine lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, olives and cheese in large bowl.
   2. Whisk olive oil, vinegar and oregano in small bowl until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly.

Eat this healthy salad without any hassle to prepare! Happy weekend for all!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Coconut Chutney

The coconut chutney is almost used with all dosas and idli types. One a normal serving style, this is the basic chutney served with other chutneys. I usually add the extra coriander-mint flavor to the coconut chutney and make it green chutney.
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander with 2 tsp chopped mint
3-5 green chillies
1/4 cup bengal gram
1/2 tamarind
mustard, oil for tampering
salt to taste

Grind finely the coconut, coriander, mint leaves, green chillies, tamarind, bengal gram well. Add water to desired consistency. Tamper the mustard seeds and add to the chutney. Add salt to taste. Serve with hot dosa or idli. This can be refrigerated for a day for 2.

Wheat Dosa

Wheat dosa or Godhumai dosai is my favorite of mom's special! I used to eat almost 8-10 of these dosas. Ooops! all of us would eat atleast 5 of these. They taste so yummy and you need not wait for the dosa batter to ferment for the next. Just in an hours time, it will get ready.
I tried this dosa when I came here first. It came our so sticky. Then discussed with a friend and added rice flour. Still I never had the satisfaction to how my mom made it. Then the next before preparing, I asked her and found this simple secret. The batter should be kept for 1 hour before making dosas. And now I taste dosas similar to what my mom makes and within an hour.

You need
2 1/2 cups Wheat flour
3 tsp Cumin seeds
5-8 chopped green chillies
Salt to taste
Water to make thin batter
Oil for making dosas

Mix all the above without any lumps and keep aside for about an hour.This batter should be thinner to the usual dosa batter.
Then heat a non-stick pan, mix the batter well and pour one full laddle. Since the batter is very thin, it sort of forms holes here and there. It is ok, that would also add crispness to dosa. add 1/2 tsdp oil around the dosa.  Now, have it on medium low flame. When one side is cooked, bubbles tend to pop on. Then flip on the other side. Dosa is ready when it gets brown on both the sides.

I usually make these when I have not much time. So have them with idli podis.
Look here more chutneys- coconut- (raw) mango thogayal, Onion thogayal, Coconut chutney.

Vegetable uthappam

Vegetable Uthappam with coconut-(raw) mango thogayal
Vegatable Uthapam is a savory rice-lentil pancake. There is no hard and fast rules for the vegetables to be added.  It is thick dosa stuffed with vegetables.  The batter is made of para-boiled rice and Urad dhal with some salt. This lentil is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high  fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. This lentil are also a good source of two B-vitamins, protein and iron with with virtually no fat. Brightly colored vegetables are rich sources of some of the best nutrients available. Vegetables are a powerful source of antioxidants. These antioxidants work together to effectively neutralize free radicals, which can travel through the body causing huge amounts of damage to cells. Free radicals are major players  in the build up of cholesterol in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, the nerve and blood vessel damage seen in diabetes.

You need
2 cups of Dosa batter
1 cup vegetables (thinly cut onion, carrot, capsicum)
2 tsp finely cut cilantro
4 finely chopped green chillies
ginger (optional)
Oil for dosa

For making Uthappam, heat a iron griddle, once hot take a ladle of batter and spread to form a circular one. Take a handful of chopped mixed vegetables and spread over the dosa and add a tsp of oil around the batter.

Cover it and cook for 2-3 mins in medium heat and once one side is well cooked, flip and now cook the other side without covering for a minute. Once well cooked remove and serve hot with coconut-mango(raw) thogayal - recipe follows.

Coconut-(raw) Mango Thogayal 

You need
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp grated raw mango
4-6 red dry chillies
salt to taste
Slightly roast the chillies and grind with the other ingredients to form a thick paste. Tamper with mustard seeds and serve with hot Uthappam.


Kulfi is an all time favorite Indian dessert - especially in summer! Agarwals in chennai is very famous for their unique kulfi.

When I say the word kulfi to my uncle, he takes an opportunity to visit Agarwals. He is such crazy of Kulfi. And I prepared Kulfi, really yum! So delicious and so tasty! Kulfi is much an ice cream but it has it's own unique flavor and taste. And normally we do not like to add any sauce or toppings it like other ice cream flavors.
Probably I should stop the ice creams for this season now, as Sundar seems to point me for the reason for increase in his weight! Although, I never want to check myself now!
The below recipe is very simple, when everything is readily available, we can give a try! And am sure you will want make it every time!

Serves 25 scoops approx.
You need
14 oz - Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 oz - Evaporated Milk
16 oz - Heavy Whipping Cream
8 oz - Cool Whip Whipped Topping
1 big pinch - Saffron
1 tsp - Sugar
1/2 cup- Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds- coarsely ground

In a large mixing bowl, combine Sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Heavy Whipping Cream and Cool Whip. Using a blender gently mix all the ingredients together. (Since, these doesn't require churning process, and they already are heavily whipped, do not whip heavily.). With a mortar and pestal, grind together Sugar and Saffron. Coarsely grind the cashews, pistachios, and almonds.

Add in Saffron and Sugar mixture and Nuts. Mix well. Pour mixture into small plastic cups to serve as popsicles. Cover cups with foil and insert a wooden popsicle stick into the center. If you want eat as scoop, you can store in a bowl and cover with tight lid which will fit in refrigerator. Freeze Kulfi for at least 4 – 6 hours, preferably overnight.

After that one giant bite of the kulfi, so yuuuuuuuum! Hasini is just waiting to bounce for another one! But one for a day is the right amount, isn't it?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mattar Curry and Chapathis

Mattar Curry in restaurant style.

Mattar curry is such a feast to all of us. 
You need
2 Cups Fresh Green peas, boiled
1/2 cup Onion paste (raw)
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 1/2 cups Tomato puree (Made from about 3 large tomatoes)
3 tbsp Cashew bits, soaked and ground to a smooth paste
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp Oil
2 Whole cloves
2 Whole cardamom pods
1 inch piece Cinnamon
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp Corriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Hot chilli powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
2 tsp Dried Fenugreek leaves, crushed
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add the whole cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Add the ginger garlic paste and onion paste. Fry on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Now add the turmeric, coriander and cumin powders, garam masala, cayenne and paprika. Also stir in the prepared tomato puree. Saute on low heat for 10 minutes. This thickens the gravy and helps the flavours blend well
Season with salt and add the dried fenugreek leaves. Stir in the cashew paste and cream. Combine well and bring to a boil. Adjust seasonings if required and turn off heat.
It goes great with rotis and butter naan. I prefer to eat with chapathis, as the cream and cashew will get heavy with butter naan.


Chapathis are also known as Wheat Rotis. These are the staple food in North India. In SouthIndia, esp., in Tamilnadu we feel it as a very HUGE task for preparing Chapathis. And there is no Standard method of preparation for chapathi. So, I took some exp. to prepare some soft chapathis. But for the end product to be perfect and good tasting, a certain method must be followed. Many of my friends often used to complain that their chapathis were never soft and always turned hard when cold. This is how I make chapathis.

You need:
2 cups Wheat flour
½ tsp Salt
2 tbsps Oil
1- 1 ½ cups Warm water
Take the wheat flour in a bowl then add salt and oil. Toss them and now slowly add warm water while mixing the flour to form a dough. Add water as much required, it should get sticky. Now the flour has to come together to make a soft mass, so until then do not knead the dough. Cover and keep aside for at least 30 minutes, longer is better. Knead only after letting the dough rest. Kneading the dough well helps incorporate the ingredients and also makes the dough more pliable. Make even sized balls of your desired size, roll them with the help of a rolling pin.

Flip in the wheat flour if the dough is too sticky. I roast one side and only when its completely done, I flip it. Flipping frequently only hardens the chapathi after it becomes cold. Apply oil/ghee to the side that’s done.

Once the other side is done, flip, apply oil and remove from heat immediately. Cover chapathis with a cloth or paper towel to keep them warm and from drying out.

Sending this entry for Back to basics and Jayas 

Bread Pizza - Delight in every bite!

A lazy weekend morning begins quite late after friday midnight movie. None of us like to have a regular rice or even dosai for that matter! Of course we all want cook something healthy. We most of the time purchase only multi-grain bread without HFCS.  So, without anything different on this bread will be really mind-numbing. Bread pizza is a very popular snack, an instant gratification as a snack, for killing our craving for pizza.
I would be happy to have any snack at any time of the day! Nothing else gives such a contentment than a snack esp., on a weekend. When sundar wakes me up with a coffee in the morning, and milk for kutti sundari, anything in this world would go for this!
Bread Pizza is a slight heavy for a snack! Still, if it is going to be a weekend morning I would go for it. Less time consuming and less work intended.
Sundar was hurrying to his friends house shifting and I need to prepare something before that! There is no time for big baking or deep frying. And there were almost 8-9 loafs of bread. I have been looking for the bread pizza recipe all over but never felt a satisfying one! I have already made pizza, so lemme do this myself.

You need
8 slices of bread
3 tspn of marinara sauce for each bread
1 pack of shredded Mozzarella cheese
Capsicum cut into 1" squares (2-3 squares for each bread)
Onion sliced (as per taste)
1/2 cup pitted Black olives
Crushed red pepper to taste
salt to taste

On a baking tray, brush with olive oil. Place 4 breads, and apply marinara sauce lavishly, I used 3 spoonfull for 1 multi-grain bread and do this for all the breads. And now keep all the chopped veggies over the sauce.
Finally, add the shredded cheese, remember to use the packet of cheese to be used for 8 breads. If you add extra cheese, it might not get cooked well. Bake at 420F for about 10 to 15 mins. For Hasini, I added a slice of cheese after baking, and it almost melted over the pizza by the time she was about to eat.
Top with salt (we wanted to have little, as we used low fat shredded cheese), and crushed red pepper. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

I'm sending this recipe for the Kids delight even celebrating their 3rd anniversary

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