Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Curd Curry/ Takka Ambat

I tasted this curry at my friend C's home and I got this recipe from her. This ambat is another twist to the normal "Randayi" or coconut curry made in a typical Konkani home. Ambat means "sour" in Konkani and curd is added in the end to give this curry a tangy taste.

Alsando or chawli (long beans), raw banana, magge (also called Konkani cucumber or lemon cucumber), ashgourd (called kuvale in Konkani and petha in Hindi), yam or suran and ghosale (ridge gourd) can be used to make this curry. Which ever vegetable is on hand can be used individually or in a combination with the other vegetable. I used raw banana and long beans to make this curry.

1 cup vegetables cut in cubes (choose from the above mentioned vegetables; I used raw banana and long beans)
 1 cup grated coconut
 1/2 cup curd or yogurt
3-4 red chilies (byadgi or kashmiri chili will give the curry a rich red color)
4 pea-sized piece of tamarind or 1/4th teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil or any other oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
5-8 curry leaves or karipatta
1 teaspoon jaggery or gur or 1 teaspoon sugar

Boil or pressure cook the vegetables in a little amount of water and a pinch of salt. Fry the chilies in 1/2 teaspoon oil. Grind into a fine paste with tamarind, jaggery and coconut using as little water as possible. Mix the paste with the boiled vegetables and get the curry to a boil. Mix curd with water need to get the curry to a desired consistency. Remove any lumps in the curd. Add the curd to the curry and salt the curry as per taste. 
Cook on low flame for another 2-3 minutes. 
Heat coconut oil in a seasoning pan and add mustard. When the mustard starts to splutter, switch off the gas and add curry leaves. Stir and add it to the curry. Cover the curry for 5 minutes so that the flavor from the seasoning gets infused into the curry. Serve hot with rice. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reposting for Event "Dish Name Starts with: A"

I saw this unique event organized by Akila of Learning To Cook. It was interesting to see which of my recipes start with an "A" :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Making Chappati using Chappati Maker

When I was in Coorg, I saw G Aunty make chappati and Akki roti or rice roti's using this chappati press. I got a press when I was returning to US and it has made chappati-making much simpler. It is so easy to press chappatis rather than roll them. It saves me a lot of time as there is no mess created by the dry wheat flour used while rolling the chappatis as the pressing process does not require the dough to be rolled in dry flour. Also the chappatis remain very soft even when they cool down. I also use 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds and wheat bran for every 3 cups of wheat flour to make it healthier.


1 teaspoon ground flax seed, 1 teaspoon wheat bran

Add the wheat bran and ground flax seeds to 3 cups of whole wheat flour. Add 2 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Add water (it should eb at room temperature) as desired and mix the flour into a dough with your fingers. Instead of water, 50% milk and 50% water can also be added. Keep the dough aside for 20-30 minutes.

Two plastic sheet are needed to keep the chappati from sticking to the press. I cut the ziplock into half and use it to line the press. Apply a drop of oil and spread it on the inner side of the sheets. Keep a piece of chappati dough between two plastic sheets.

Press the dough using the press.

Move the chappati around and make sure to press it on all sides. If the dough sticks to the plastic apply another drop of oil to keep it from sticking.

 Roast the chappati on the griddle till spots appear on both sides. As I add oil while making the dough,  I don't apply ghee on the chappati. But if desired ghee can be applied on the chappati.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yana's Chicken Hawaiian Salad

This is a recipe inspired by the Chicken Hawaiian salad at Yana's Restaurant in Pune. I have very fond memories of going to Yana's with my office colleague and sometimes with my sister. The sizzlers's at Yana's are out of the world and incomparable to any other sizzler joint. 
This is very simple to prepare the salad, but the sweetness of the pineapple and flavor imparted by the two varieties of bell pepper make a great combination with the chicken. Those who don't eat chicken can substitute it with paneer or tofu.

4 chicken breast pieces
1  cup mayonnaise
1 cup thick yogurt or curds
1 green pepper or capsicum
1 red pepper or capsicum
1 yellow pepper or capsicum
1 pineapple or add as per taste 
salt for taste
pepper for taste
1 tablespoon sugar (only if the pineapple is not sweet)

 Cook the chicken breast pieces in water added with little salt. Cool down and cut the chicken into bite size pieces. De-seed the peppers and cut them into elongated stripes. Cut the pineapple into small chunks and mix in sugar if the pineapple is not sweet. Mix yogurt and mayonnaise well. Add the cut peppers, pineapple and chicken pieces. Add salt and pepper as per taste. Serve immediately. 

Reposting for Flavours of Gujarat Event

I am re-posting these two recipes for Flavours of Gujarat event organized by Nayna of Thanks Nayna for organizing this event!

Cold Desserts Event

I saw the Cold Desserts event posted at ToViewToronto.

 Its a nice event to be held now as it will have loads to ideas for cold desserts to try during the summer season. I love cold desserts and I tried making Black Grape Mousse yesterday. Still have have to edit & post the recipe :). But here are some of my cold dessert entries. Njoii the cold desserts!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

13 Lentil soup

I found 13 lentils bag at my Oroweat Outlet. I bought this as an adventure to try recipes out of the 13 good lentils. The soup tastes yummy and is a great combination with soft bread loaves. Because of the lentils it is quite a heavy soup and can make a hearty lunch or dinner.

1/2 cup of 13 lentils or any lentils on hand
1 medium onion
1 carrot
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 stack of celery
1 medium tomato
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder or red chili powder
1 teaspoon vinegar or as per taste
salt for taste

Wash and soak the lentils for 8-10 hours or overnight. Pressure cook the lentils or cook on a stove top with salt and chopped tomatoes. Add the broth instead of water while cooking the lentils. Heat oilve oil in a pan and add chopped onions. When caramelized, add chopped carrots, celery and garlic. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add coriander powder, cumin powder and chili powder. Mix well with the vegetables. Add the boiled lentils and get the soup to a boil. Add water if a more liquidish consistency is desired. Check for salt and mix in vinegar. Serve hot with french loaves.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reposting for Siri's Healing foods.

I saw this interesting event "Healing foods" hosted by Siri.  and  Padmajha. I had participated in Healing foods-carrots and Tomato being another of my favorite ingredient, I decided to participate in this event. Here are some of my entries for this event.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Portola Redwoods State Park

What to do on a Sunday morning in South Bay Area? Head to Portola Redwoods State park located in San Mateo - one of the beautiful hiking trail in the Bay area. It has a lovely drive leading to the hiking trail. The visitor office has a impressive collection of stuffed wild animals and a small museum explaining the plant and animal life found around.
The trails lead through many majestic redwood trees
and rich green vegetation. Beautiful streams are found at various locations on the trails and the sound of gushing water is very sweet to the ears. The Sequoia Nature trail which winds around the Pescadero Creek is beautiful. Banana slugs are found and in plenty around here and much of the park reminds me of the Fern Canyon National Park.
Most of the trail is covered by the canopy of huge redwood trees, so it makes a great option to hike on hot summer afternoons. We had been here in Summer of 2008 and it was pretty chilly out here. Its good to carry a light sweater even if hiking during the afternoons. Many hikers start early in the morning though not many are found in the late afternoons. There are a few horse stables located down the Portola valley and occasionally one can see a horse or two around. A huge camping ground and plenty of benches to sit around the grounds makes it a awesome camping place.

Stuffed Animals in the Park Office

View of the Bay from the highest point

Clear Water Streams

Fallen Redwood Trees

Three Wise Men