Thursday, January 31, 2008
I always follow this recipe as-is though the resulting masala is too much for our family of 2 & 1/2. But since I don't like to change the recipe I follow it. My grandmother never stored this masala. She always made it fresh, and so her kolumbo used to burst with fresh flavors. The recipe gives me masala enough for kolumbo for 2 occasions. I generally use the first one for kolumbo and second for alsande kolumbo (black eyed peas sambar).
Whenever I look at mom's notes, it makes me realize how the recipes are preserved and handed down from mothers to daughters, generations to generations.
4-5 black peppercorns
12 byadgi chilies
2 tbsp chana daal
2 tbsp toor daal
2 tbsp urad daal
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1. Dry roast all the above ingredients.
2. Grind to a fine powder.
3. Store in an airtight container.
For maximum flavor, always make a fresh batch of masala before making kolumbo. and grind again with tamarind and water and then add the masala mixture to the Kolumbo.
Oh, and talking of cookie monster, have you guys seen "Sesame Street" in Hindi? It is "Gali Gali Sim Sim". and cookie monster is "Biscoot Badshah!" and mind you, he is not biscuit but biscoot Badshah!! :-) Gudiya had lots of fun watching this video in Hindi. Have a look for a quick chuckle!
Anyways back to the cake recipe. I must admit, my first try was rather disastrous. In my infinite wisdom, I reduced the amount of butter as I thought 5 tbsp is rather too much. Well. The cake came out good. It even tasted delicious. but after some time, it became hard! Gudiya asked for it again in the evening, but she described it as "Mumma, give me that cake which later became granola bar!" :-)
So second time, I followed the recipe the way it was supposed to. Since it was made in microwave, I was eager to know if it really comes out well. The second try was successful. and the cake remained moist later.
Having said that, I also know that microwave cooking times do vary. So I sincerely hope the following cooking time works for you as well.
Chunky Monkey Cake
[Microwave Wheat Flour Cake]
Adapted from "Healthy Home Cooking/Fresh Ways with cakes"
by the editors of Time-Life books
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 bananas, mashed
4 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup light brown sugar
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp maple syrup
2/3 cup dried dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chunks
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1. Lightly grease 5 x 9 " loaf pan.
2. Mix mashed banans with yogurt, brown sugar, butter, egg, syrup. Mix well.
3. Mix flour and baking soda and add to the above mixture to make a smooth batter.
4. Add dates, walnuts and chocolate chunks
5. Pour in the greased pan.
6. Keep an inverted plate in the microwave. Place the pan on the plate.
7. Cook for 10 minutes, giving the dish a quarter turn every 3 minutes
8. Cook for another 2 minutes. Give another quarter turn.
9. Cook for another 2 minutes until the cake shrinks from the sides of the dish.
10. Let the cake stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
11. Serve cold or warm.
1. You can sprinkle some confectioners' sugar on top of the cake.
2. The picture above is the second version of cake that means the one which remained moist later too. :-)
1. Original recipe is from "Healthy Home Cooking: Fresh ways with Cakes" by The editors of Time-Life books.
2. "Chunky Monkey" name inspired from "Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey Ice-cream"
This post is my contribution to Bindiya's "These are a few of my favorite things: Cakes/muffins".
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2-3 byadgi chilies, halved
5-7 curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp fresh coconut
3-4 drops coconut oil (optional)
1. Heat oil in a wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As mustard seeds splutter, add potatoes. Stir fry for 7 minutes.
3. Add 1 tbsp water, which will evaporate soon. Cook till done.
4. Add salt to taste.
5. Garnish with freshly grated coconut. Drizzle coconut oil, if using.
6. Serve with rice and daalitauy or chapati and yogurt.
1. Coconut oil gives a wonderful flavor and aroma to this simple dish.
Check out Purnima's version of "Batate Upkari".
This post is my contribution to Sia's "Ode to Potatoes" event at Monsoon Magic.
Here is an interesting article about charoli from NY Times.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
It looks wonderful with green color. She has shared her Indori delicacy with me, but "You are such a spoilsport!" was her spontaneous response when I mentioned, I made the parathas instead. :-) So, if you want that real Indori experience, please deep fry them!! :-) I am really happy with the parathas.
Monday, January 28, 2008
If you ever visit Mumbai, (or are in Mumbai and haven't done it so far), don't forget to visit Aaswad or Prakash or Ulhas at Dadar to relish their authentic Piyush! Though all three serve excellent Piyush, I love the one at Ullhas the most!
3. Use full fat yogurt for richer flavor.
I made it two ways. First time, I used the homemade sambar powder in the wheat flour and the second time I used sambar itself...:-) We loved the flavor of this absoltely crazy paratha - as crazy as me!!:-)
So here are my two versions -
Sambar Paratha Version 1
2 cups wheat flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1 tbsp sambar powder (preferably homemade)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro chopped
1 tsp oil
oil for shallow frying
1. Mix all the ingredients till 1 tsp oil. Add little water and knead the dough.
2. Make balls. Roll into parathas/discs. Shallow fry.
Sambar Paratha Version 2
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup leftover sambar
very little salt, since sambar already has it.
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp oilOil for shallow frying
1. Mix everything together. Knead the dough using very little water. Do not add water first. Get the idea by the moisture of sambar.
2. Make balls. Roll into parathas.
3. Shallow fry.
Note - Preferably use the leftover sambar with vegetables like onions/potatoes. I think, sambar with mushier vegetables like eggplants, okra( bhindi/ladies fingers) etc may have difficulty in kneading the dough.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Acorn Squash dip
1 Acorn squash
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp roasted, unsalted peanuts, crushed
1 green chili, finely chopped
salt to taste
sugar to taste
1 tsp oil or ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
4-5 curry leaves (Optional)
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1. Wash acorn squash. Put in a microwave for 1 minute. Let it cool down for a minute. Cut into two halves. Remove the seeds and pith. Pressure cook using 2 tbsp water.
2. Peel the cooked squash. Using potato masher or a fork, mash the squash.
3. Add salt, sugar, peanut powder and yogurt. Mix well.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida. As the seeds splutter, pour on the "bharit" and stir.
5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
1. We serve this bharit with chapati, but can also be served with grilled/toasted pita wedges as an appetizer.
I read about this fantastic tip of microwaving acorn/butternut squash to cut easily at Anupama's Food-n'-more.
This post is my entry Martha's Fresh Produce of the month: Squash.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Rice Crispies Chiwda
1 lb Rice Crispies, plain
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp carom seeds/owa/ajmo/ajwain
2 green chilies, cut
3/4 cups cashewnuts
1 cup peanuts
1 cup potato sticks (ready made) - optional
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt (or per taste)
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 sprigs curry leaves
1. Heat oil. Add all the seeds and powders.
2. Add green chilies and curry leaves
3. As the chilies change the color, add peanuts and cashewnuts.
4. Saute for about 10 minutes on a low flame till the nuts look crunchy.
5. Now add crispies, potato sticks - if using, salt and sugar.
6. Keep stirring so all the masala coats the crispies. Do not let them burn.
7. Take out and spread on a deep plate or paraat, lined with paper towel to drain out excess oil.
1. Rice Krispies is a toasted rice cereal. When used this cereal, you do not have to deep fry the poha to make the chiwda. I especially like Brown Rice Crispies that's available at Sprouts Farmers Market.
4-5 saffron threads (optional)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
When I have time on my hands, I make these flatbreads using the traditional method of kneading the dough and stuffing each ball with radish filling and rolling them out to make flatbreads. But most of the times, I am in a hurry and this method of kneading everything together comes handy.
1/2 cup shredded spinach (Optional)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Orange Sandesh (Serves 6 -8)
1 Container Whole milk ricotta cheese (16 oz)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar (or more if you like sweeter taste)
A generous pinch of freshly ground cardamom powder
few strands of saffron
1. In a nonstick wok, add ricotta cheese and cream. Keep the gas low.
2. Keep stirring for about 30 minutes.
3. Add sugar. Fry for another 5 minutes.
4. Add cardamom powder. Spread in a greased plate.
5. Garnish with pistachio slivers and saffron.
6. Peel the orange. Remove all the threads and piths. Take out only soft inside segments. Place them gingerly on the cheese mixture.
7. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
1. You can roast the cheese mixture longer till it is dry. and proceed with the following recipe. You can then, shape them in balls, topping with orange segment on each.
Just like my earlier recipe of "Narangi ni Basundi" , I had already blogged about this recipe before. Pooja's (of creative Pooja) rules say that the already blogged recipes are welcome to participate in her Indian Republic Day event as long as you blog at least one new recipe. Pooja, I am going to blog a new recipe with tricolors soon. But couldn't resist to blog this recipe again since it too, highlights the tricolors.
This post is my contribution to Pooja's "Theme of the week: Orange, White & Green".
Gujarati Chili Powder - Now what is so special about the chili powder, you may ask! This Gujarati chili powder is very coarse. So if you take a closer look, you will actually see the flakes of the chilies. and when you use this chili powder in grindless shaaks or curries, the chili powder still retains its grains and doesn't get all mixed up. My mom-in-law has her trustworthy miller who mills this special powder for the whole family but even Everest markets it by the name "Kutilal".
Sunday, January 20, 2008
This post is my contribution to RCI:North East India by Bhags at Crazy Curry.
Regional cuisines of India (RCI) event is started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Use this daal to make -
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
2. Store in an airtight container.
Credits -My Sumeet Recipe booklet
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I was curious. I did my research on google and found some interesting information. Wheatgrass juice is considered one of the superfoods as just 1 oz of juice gives you nutrition worth of 2 lb of vegetables. It is also considered good for immune system, blood pressure, metabolism, digestion. It is also claimed that this juice cleanses human body, neutralizes toxins, slows the aging process, and prevents cancer. The claims are really mind boggling. Is it really an elixir? - probably more research, data points and results will confirm it in the future. But I surely wanted to grow it myself and taste it! :-)
You may have seen cut wheatgrass in plastic bags in the vegetable sections of health food stores like wild oats and whole foods. Here I am sharing my own gardening escapade of growing that superfood - wheatgrass & also sharing with you all, aunt N's tips to grow wheatgrass at home.
Aunt N's Wheatgrass growing principles -
As the name suggests, wheatgrass is the grass of wheat berries. 7 to 10 days old wheatgrass is considered ready to be harvested for making wheatgrass juice. My aunt takes 7 day old wheatgrass for making the juice. After cutting the wheatgrass on day 7, she reuses the same container but uses different soil for growing the next batch. This is a weekly activity which needs little time and patience. But once you get a hang of it, it's not a big deal - so says Aunt N.
What to do?
Take 7 small containers . Fill all of them with soil. Mark the containers 1 to 7. (Or days of the week). Keep all the containers in a sunny window.Day 1
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 1. Sprinkle some water. (Just a few sprinkles, do not overwater!)
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 2. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 3. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 4. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 5. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4,5
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 6. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4,5,6
Throw a handful of wheat berries in the container # 7. Sprinkle some water on container #1,2,3,4,5,6,7
On this day, container #1 is ready to be harvested.
To harvest, cut the lush, green wheat grass from top, leaving 2-3" from the bottom. Rinse the wheatgrass. Add 1/2 cup water and grind in a blender. Pass the extracted juice through a fine sieve. Lush green wheat grass juice is ready to drink. After taking the wheat grass out, use a new soil and repeat from Day 1 steps for that container. Similarly harvest each container on 7th day since planting.
My cousin feels that the wheatgrass juice tastes like sugarcane juice. But I do not agree. It does have a touch of sweetness but it certainly is no sugarcane juice. Of course, if it indeed has all the claimed benefits, then who cares for the taste?
Note -1. It's always advisable to ask the Doctor before trying any new regimen including wheat grass juice therapy.
2. Do not exceed the dose of wheatgrass juice. Too much of good thing is not good. Generally 1 - 2 oz is recommended in the wheatgrass therapy. But probably that too varies from person to person.
3. I am neither a Doctor nor a nutritionist. To understand if this juice is really beneficial for you, please consult your doctor or nutritionist.
I did my own experiment of wheatgrass growing to have fun and understand how the wheatgrass juice is extracted from fresh wheatgrass.
For more information about the benefits of wheatgrass -http://www.energiseforlife.com/wheatgrass_juice.php
I would like to send this post as my contribution to the weekend herb blogging to Rinku of Cooking in Westchester.
Weekend herb blogging is started by Kalyn of Kalyn's kitchen.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I really wasn't going to make til ladoo. But her gorgeous post about Makar Sankranti brought back all the childhood memories associated with it. I felt like making them too. That's what food blogging does to you, I guess! Thanks, Maya for bringing back that nostalgia, redolence and joys.
I followed the recipe by Mrs. Jyoti Nikunj Parikh from her cookbook "Wonderful Microwave cooking".
Microwave Til Ladoo
Ambat means sour. Ambat Batat can be translated as sour potatoes. But actually with the jaggery in it, it has a nice touch of sweetness as well. This curry generally is made on the religious festivals or poojas (since no onion nor garlic!) in the Maharashtrian GSB households. This special recipe is from my paternal grandmother's repertoire. and why "batata" (potato) suddenly becomes "batat" in this curry, is a puzzle to me! :-)
5 Medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, cut into wedges
Salt to taste
1/2 tbsp Jaggery
Grind to a coarse paste
3/4 cup fresh Coconut
1 tsp Tamarind
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 dry red chilies
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/8 tsp Methi seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1. Pressure cook potatoes and peel them. Cut them into wedges.
2. Grind the masala to a coarse paste.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for the tempering.
4. Add potato wedges. Give a quick stir.
5. Add masala and 1/2 cup water.
6. Bring it to boil. Add salt and jaggery.
7. Simmer for a few minutes.
1. The consistency of this curry should be thick enough to stay at one place when served in a plate, but at the same time, thin enough to be eaten with rice as well.
2. This curry tastes mild, sweetish sour. It is not meant to be overwhelminingly sour though the name says "Ambat" or sour.
Friday, January 11, 2008
It has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you have idli batter ready in the fridge and you are going to eat idlis in the next 5 minutes, it's the best. But if you are planning to make idlis ready and eat after a few hours, it's not good because idlis then tend to get dry. So I use this stand when we are just about to eat. Fresh hot idlis coming out of the microwave are a treat indeed. The microwave cooking time varies so you need to figure out what works the best for your microwave.
Use your usual recipe for making idli batter - actually that could be another topic of discussion. Urad daal to Rice ratio varies from house to house from 1:2 , 1:3, or even 1:4 and additional ingredients vary from boiled rice, puffed rice, pressed rice. Should you add fenugreek seeds or reserve it only for dosa - the answer varies from house to house, region to region. So whatever is your most loved recipe (even if it's ready made or instant mixes), you can use it now.
This microwave idli stand comes in three basic parts. A somewhat shallow plate (blue in the above picture), a dome shaped lid and an idli stand.
This is what I did -
Microwave Idlis with idli cooker
Idli batter (homemade or readymade)
A few drops of oil for greasing the idli moulds
1. Fill about 1/4 cup water in the shallow plate and microwave for 1 minute.
2. Grease the idli moulds with oil. Pour the batter. Fill about 3/4 th.
3. Cover with the dome shaped lid. Microwave for 4 minutes.
4. Let it stand for 1 minute in the microwave before opening the microwave door.
5. Let it stand another minute outside before taking the idlis out. 6. Serve immediately with sambar or chutney of your choice.
Check out Purnima's great ideas for making delicious microwave idlis here.
Check out Asha's great ideas for making delicious microwave thatte idlis here.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
3. Now garlic has the same fate. Thump.4. Heat oil in a kadai/wok. Add smashed garlic cloves. As soon as they turn darker, add all the tendlis. Add chili powder and tamarind. Let it coat the tendlis and garlic. 5. Cover it with a lid with water on top. and on a very slow flame, let it cook for about 20 or 30 minutes till the tendlis are tender, but not a mush! So keep checking in between.6. Make sure that water doesn't fall in the talasani. Add salt to taste. Mix well.7. Serve with chapati or dalitauy & rice.