Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Instant Dosa / Rice Crepes

My mom always made this as a quick breakfast solution on weekdays. I would just love the sweet half-cooked pink onions in this dosa and would single them out to taste them separately. My mother would use all the left over butter milk to make this dosa and it would impart a sightly sour or tangy flavor which would make every bite of the dosa addictive. We would also have another batch in the evening after coming home from playing with friends and these hot dosas with chutney would be an ultimate treat on a cold day. Everything tastes better with butter!! These dosas also go well with butter or a dollop of ghee but dry coconut chutney seems like a more sensible option. 

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup yogurt or buttermilk
2-3 green chilies or as desired
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Chop the green chilies and mix all the ingredients together. Add water to make a very thin dough as crepe dough. The mixture should be watery and runny. Heat a tava or non stick pan and spread a thin layer of oil. Pour a ladleful of mixture at the center and it will automatically spread to the sides. Cover till cooked on one side and then flip it over to the other side and cook till little brown spots appear on both sides. Serve with puddi-chutney(dry coconut chutney) or dosa chutney. Serve hot as the dosa tends to be sticky and rubbery if it cools down. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Leftover Chappati Ladoo

When we have many people at home for lunch or dinner, it is difficult to estimate the number of chappatis to prepare. If there are left over roti's and if they just languish in the refrigerator for a few days, they find their way into the thrash soon. I find it extremely sinful to intentionally throw left over food. So I usually try to make food in required quantities, but sometimes if it happens that there are leftovers, I like to put them to use as soon as possible. At my home left over rice usually finds its way into methi ricecurd rice or phodni bhaatThis dish is a healthy and tasty way to put to use all the left over chappatis. This is one of the dish I make with left over chappatis. My mother added this recipe to our recipe collection when we were in Pune. I also use black sesame seeds in this ladoo as I find they are more flavorful than the white sesame seeds. Many of my Maharashtrian friends used to get two tiffin dishes made from left over chappatis. One was this ladoo recipe and another was left over chappati upma. Both are very popular in my home and my parent's home. I will put the upma recipe soon on the blog. 

Left over 2-3 chappatis or roti
2-3 tablespoon powdered jaggery
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds or white sesame seeds(optional)
2-3 pinches of cardamom powder
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter

Tear the chappati into small pieces and put it in the mixer to grind it into small bits. Grind without adding any water. Toast the sesame seeds till crisp. Mix milk, jaggery and cardamom powder well with hand. Add the ground chappati bits and sesame seeds into the jaggery mixture and mix well. Add ghee and make small, tight round balls out of the chappati mixture by pressing it in your palm. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Potato Bhaji Sandwich and Special Coffee

This is my childhood school friend N's special coffee recipe. Though I am not very fond of coffee especially after afternoons, coffee at her home is always an exception. She beats the coffee to make it frothy. When milk is added it retains some of its frothiness and the well blended sugar and coffee makes it very special.

Potato Bhaji is another of my mother's tiffin sandwich or breakfast sandwich recipes. When the bread is crisply toasted with butter on both sides, it tastes delicious. We usually buy oatnut whole grain bread, but to taste it in its real version I some times buy white bread to make this sandwich. 

Special Coffee
1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 teaspoon sugar or as desired
1 cup of milk or as desired

Put the sugar and coffee powder into a cup and add just 1/2 spoon of water. Don't add more water else the froth will not be formed properly. Beat it with a spoon the same way you would beat and egg. I beat it at least for 5-10 minutes till a bubbly froth is formed. Add hot milk and stir well. Serve immediately.

Potato Bhaji Sandwich
For Potato Bhaji recipe in Konkani style click here
Bread slices
Butter for frying

Heat a tava on medium heat and oil it with butter. Put two bread slices on the tava for a second so that they are slightly heated. Reverse the slices and spread potato bhaji on one of the slices and cover it with the other slice. Toast both sides till crispy and serve immediately. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Version Of Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made of a mixture of flours. Various flours like rice, finger millet, jowar, chickpea, wheat, black gram go into the making of the thalipeeth flour mixture. There are different versions about the proportion in which the flours should be mixed. I use a larger proportion of Ragi or black millet flour. 

Thalipeeth is a great dish to have in the cold humid winters of US. All the flours are roasted and hence it contains less water content. According to Ayurveda (Indian school of medicine) roasted flours are easier to digest and should be had in cold and rainy season when the digestive system tends to be sluggish. In California it rains very heavily during the winter season and during the past few years it has been extremely cold and humid even during the spring season. During such times, thalipeeth is very healthy and quick option to have during any time of the day- for snacks, breakfast or as a meal. It is very heavy as the millet flour contains lot of fiber, hence I feel its an excellent way to keep extra weight at bay during the winter. Ragi or finger millet flour is also a great source of iron. I usually roast a gallon container full of the thalipeeth flour and keep it handy to make thallipeeth in any times of need.

Flour Mixture

1 1/2 cups rice flour
2 cup ragi or nachani flour
1/2 cup jowar or bajri flour
2 tablespoon chick pea flour or besan
3 tablespoon whole wheat flour or chappati flour
2 tablespoon urad dal flour or black gram flour
2 teaspoon coriander power
2 tablespoon yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt for taste
1 cup finely chopped onion
a handful of coriander leaves
1-2 chopped green chilies if desired
oil for frying

To make the urad dal or black gram flour, I wash the gram well with water and dry it in the sun till all the water is evaporated. Then roast it for 10-15 minutes till it is crisp and then powder it finely. I make the powder in bulk - 1/2 - 1 pound at a time.

Mix all the flours in a thick bottomed pan and roast them on low flame stirring occasionally. The flour should not burn or change color. This is done so that the moisture in the flours evaporates and the flours become light and easy to digest. I roast it for 15-20 minutes till a nice aroma floats around the kitchen. Mix the red chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder towards the end and roast the mixture for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool down completely.

Procedure To Make the ThaliPeeth
1/2 cup of this mixture will make one pancake. So measure the flour mixture accordingly. Add chopped onion, green chilies, chopped coriander and curd to the flour mixture.. Mix well and add water as needed to make a sticky dough. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

Heat oil on a tava or non sticky pan. Take 4-5 tablespoon of this mixture and pat it well to make a thin pancake. Apply a little water to your hand to make the pancake even. 

Cook uncovered on medium flame till brown on both sides.

Serve hot with curd sweetened with little sugar or with butter.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Spicy Horse Gram Curry/ Kulitha Ambat

Horse gram or kulith is often used in Konkani cuisine to make curries and dosa. Sprouting it increases the protein content and in Konkani's say consuming horse gram makes you fit as a horse. It is beneficial to reduce cold, cough and flue symptoms and helps in increasing energy and reducing fatigue. Pressure cooking this pulse makes it easier to cook. The sprouted horse gram is used to make Ambat and the soaked horse gram without sprouting is used to make Koddel. Ambat is a curry seasoned with onion and koddel is a curry seasoned with garlic. 

1 cup horse gram

1 cup cubed magge or konkani cucumber, yam (suran) or bottle gourd
1/4 cup cashew nuts (preferably raw cashew)
1/4 lemon sized tamarind
4-6 red chilies (preferably byadgi or kashmiri)
1 cup grated coconut
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste


Wash horse gram well in water and soak it over night. Drain the water and put the horse gram in a thin muslin cloth and tie the ends of the cloth to make a bundle. Put some weight on the bundle using a stone or heavy vessel and keep aside for another 8 hours to allow the horse gram to sprout. 

Wash the horse gram sprouts well in water and pressure cook it with cubed vegetable till soft, but not mushy.
Roast the red chili on low flame for 3-5 minutes till it is crisp but not brown. Grind the chilies with the grated coconut and tamarind into a fine paste. Add the paste to the boiled sprouts and get it to a boil. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add finely chopped onion to it. Fry the onion on low flame, sautéing continuously, till the onion is light brown and caramelized. Add the onion seasoning to the curry. Cover it for 5 - 10 minutes before serving to enable the flavor of the onion seasoning to infuse into the curry. Serve hot with rice.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bhutti / Spicy Coconut Curry

Bhutti is a spicy Mangalorean curry made with the following combinations- mushroom, cabbage and cauliflower and potato, cabbage and potato, cauliflower and potato, potato, ivy gourd or tendli. I made it with cauliflower and potato combination in the photo. It is usually served with the bland dalithoy or dal. 

3 cups chopped cauliflower and potato (you can select the vegetable quantity as desired)
3 medium onions
1 cup grated coconut
6-7 red chilies (byadgi or kashmiri with mild pungency prefered) 
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or 1/4 lemon sized tamarind
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
4 tablespoons oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste

Fry the coriander seeds on low flame for 3-4 minutes till it is slightly heated. Take care so that it should not change color to brown. Grind the coconut, tamarind, chilies and coriander into a coarse paste. Traditionally, the coriander seeds are put in the end of the grinding process and only a pulse or two is run to ensure that the coriander is very coarsely ground. The paste should be ground with as little water as possible into a thick paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Fry onion till transparant and ensure that it does not turn brown or caramelize. Add the cauliflower and cook covered. the cauliflower should be half cooked and not be mushy. Add the ground coconut paste and get the curry to a boil on very low flame for around 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with rice and dal. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Azuki Beans Curry / Bagde Koddel / Lal Chori Curry

Koddel is a Konkani curry with garlic seasoning. Check the recipe of Avre Koddel . The base of this curry is azuki beans and an optional vegetable like raw banana, yam or leafy vegetable like malabar spinach is added. This curry is served as a side dish with dal and rice or directly with rice. 

3/4 cup azuki beans
2 cups cut malabar spinach or 1 cup cubed yam or 1 cup potato or 1 cup Konkani Cucumber or Dosakai 1 cup raw banana or 1 cup cubed raw papaya
1 1/2 cup grated coconut
5-6 fried red chilies (preferably byadgi)
1/4 lemon sized tamarind or 1 teaspoon concentrate
6-8 small garlic cloves
1 tablespoon oil (preferably coconut)

Wash azuki beans well in water and soak for at least 8 hours. Wash well again and cook with one of the optional vegetables in pressure cooker till the beans are soft but not mushy. Roast the red chili in 1/2 teaspoon oil and grind into a fine paste with tamarind and coconut adding as little water as possible. Mix the paste with the boiled pulse and add 1 cup water or as desired if you feel the curry is thick. Get the curry to a boil. Heat the remaining oil in a seasoning pan and add peeled garlic cloves. Fry on very low heat till the garlic cloves are light pink in color. Add the seasoning to the curry and keep it covered for 5-10 minutes to enable the flavor of the seasoning to infuse into the curry. Serve hot with rice.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sweet Potato Kheer/Kanaga Payasu

This Konkani sweet dish is a revised version of Mergol which is made in South Karnataka region. Mergol is a simple sweet dish made with sweet potato, jaggery. Sweet potato is very nutritious as it is rich in fiber and vitamins. 

Traditional Mergol recipe:
1 cup sweet potato cubed(can also be cooked with skin)
1/2 cup grated jaggery or desired
1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom

Cook the sweet potato in 2 cup of water. Add jaggery to the cooked sweet potato. cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame till the jaggery has completely dissolved. Add water as per desired consistency. Add the cardamom powder. Serve hot. 

Sweet Potato Payasa:
1 cup cubed sweet potato
1/2 cup jaggery
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup coconut milk (can be substituted with cow's milk)
1/3 thick semolina (mota rava)
2 tablespoon cashew nuts
1 tablespoon ghee

Fry the semolina in ghee till it is light brown. Add 1 cup water and cook the semolina till it is soft. Fry the cashew nuts in ghee and keep aside. Take care to ensure that no lumps are formed. Add jaggery and keep on low flame till the jaggery melts. Add cardamom powder. Remove from flame and add coconut milk to the kheer and stir well. Add the fried cashew nuts. Keep on very low fame for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Konkani Dal/ Dalithoy

Dalithoy is the simplest dal made almost daily in a Konkani household. There are many variations to this dal. Additionally turmeric and coriander leaves can be added for further variations. Serve with a drop of ghee and serve with rice and you have a tasty meal ready.

1 cup toor dal or split pigeon peas
green chili 2-3
1 teaspoon mustard
5-7 karipatta or curry leaves
red chili
1 tablespoon coconut oil
salt for taste

Wash the toor dal well with water. Add slit green chilies and 3 cups water and cook it in pressure cooker till soft. I usually discard the green chilies and whisk it well with a whisker. The green chilies may be added back in the dal or discarded as desired. Add water as per desired and get the dal to a boil. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, switch off heat and add asafoetida, curry leaves and red chili. Sit well and add to the dal. Add salt as per taste and serve hot with rice. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Breadfruit Fritter / Jeev Kadgi Phodi

Bread Fruit fritters is considered a delicacy in Konkani households. Fritters, bhajiya and upkari (sabzi) is made from this bread fruit. Both fritters and sabzi are had as tea time snacks with tea or kasaya. Click here to see how bread fruit looks. 

bread fruit
besan or gram flour 1/2- 1 cup as needed
pinch of heeng or asafetida
red pepper powder for taste
salt for taste
oil for frying


Cut the breadfruit depending on how many fritters you are preparing and keep the remaining part in the refrigerator. Skin the bread fruit and slice it as shown in the below picture. The central stem which extends into the fruit should be also removed.

Apply salt, red chili powder to the bread fruit slices and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. 

Mix water with the gram flour to make a thick paste of idli atta consistency. Add salt, asafoetida to the gram flour paste as per desired taste. Dip the bead fruit slices in the gram paste and fry it in hot oil on both sides till done. Serve hot as snacks or as a side dish with meals. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ridge Gourd Stir Fry/ Gosale Upkari

Ridge gourd or turai is a very healthy vegetable and is very cooling for the body. We make a very simple sabzi or upkari which is served with dal or sambar.

In this photo: Dal, Rice, Ghosale Upkari and plain Odi
2-3 medium sized ridge gourds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 green chili 
2 dried red chili or byadgi chili
3 tables grated coconut
1 tablespoon coconut oil or any other oil
salt for taste

Peel the ridge gourd and chop it into 2 cm pieces. Heat oil in the pan and add mustard. When the mustard splutters add the red chili and slit green chili. Fry for a minute. Add the cut bottle gourd and saute it for a minute. Add 1/4 cup water and cook covered till the bottle gourd is soft. Add salt for taste and garnish with grated coconut. Serve hot with dal and rice. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gajar Ka Halwa /Gajara Halwo

Carrot halwa is very good way of including carrots in the diet. It is liked by people of all ages and is made by people in all parts of India. Carrot halwa can be made in a jiffy. Carrot halwa can be made with or without milk. The sugar quantity can be increased or decreased as per taste. 

4 cups carrots grated
1 cup sugar or as desired
2 tablespoon raisins 
2 tablespoon cashew nuts
1 cup whole milk or 1/2 cup cream (optional)
2 tablespoon ghee

Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan and fry cashew nuts till brown. Add the raisins and fry for a minute. Keep aside. Heat rest of the ghee in the same pan and add grated carrots. Fry for 5 minutes. Add milk and cook well till all the milk evaporates. Add sugar and cook again till it becomes thick as per desired consistency. Garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins. Serve hot or chilled. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Churmundo / Aate Ka Ladoo

Churmundo is whole wheat flour ladoo make in Konkani homes. It is loved especially by children and is very healthy for growing children. We make this for almost all the festivals. 

1 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoon thin semolina or rava
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter (Check HERE for recipe)
1 teaspoon cardamom or elaichi powder
2 tablespoon kishmish (optional)
2 tablespoon roasted cashew nuts or kaju (optional)

Roast the semolina along with the wheat flour on very low flame till it is light brown and gives out  a pleasant aroma. It will take 15-10 minutes to roast both the ingredients. Heat the ghee to a liquid form and mix it with the roasted flour. Stir on low heat for a minute or two till the ghee is absorbed well by the flour. Mix the sugar and the cardamom powder well. I just put it in my mixer and give it a pulse or two till both the ingredients blend well together. Mix sugar, roasted flour, kishmish, cashew nuts well with your hands. Take a hand full of the mixture in your hands and press it to make the ladoos. Store in an air tight container. 
The above ingredients make around 10-15 ladoos depending on their size.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quinoa Khichdi/ Quinoa Stirfry with Peanuts

I make Quinoa Khichidi or Quinoa Upma very often for breakfasts. Come Spring and we feel very hungry whole day. I even wake up hungry and crave for a heavy breakfast. Wish I had a robot who could keep a variety of breakfast items ready for us every morning! Wishes apart, thats why my last post was about breakfast too.
I was introduced to Quinoa a few months back at a salad bar and I became quite inquisitive about this grain which tasted great and felt light on the stomach. I researched more on the internet and came across many recipes. I tried to make salad with a lemon dressing, but it tasted very bland to me. And that is when I decided to try to make Indian style recipes. I tried to make pulao like khichidi, but the quinoa got crushed and mushy when I mixed it with the vegetables and the dal. That is when I decided to make this lighter flavor version which retains the actual flavor of Quinoa while still making it spicy. 

1 cup Quinoa
1/2 cup peanuts
3 tablespoon chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or jeera
1 medium potato (boiled, peeled and chopped into cubes)
2-3 green chilies or as per taste
5-6 curry leaves or karipatta(washed)
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil

Roast the peanuts on medium flame. Coarsely powder them. I put them in the mixer and give a pulse or two to get a coarse powder. I usually don't skin the roasted peanuts as I feel the brown skin is healthy, but they can be skinned if desired.
Boil 1/2 cups of water and put quinoa in it. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook covered on low flame till the quinoa soaks up all the water. If you feel the quinoa is still not soft, you may add 1/4 cup more water. 
Once cooked mix in sugar and peanut powder and keep aside. 
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Stir for a second and add curry leaves and finely chopped green chilies. Add the cubed potato and sprinkle red chili powder. Stir the potato well so that is coated with all the spices. Add the quinoa and mix well with the potatoes. Adjust the sugar and salt as per taste. Season the khichidi with lemon juice and coriander leaves. Serve hot. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kanda Batata Pova / Poha / Phovu

This is a very popular breakfast dish or snack in Maharashtra. We make pova very often for breakfast as it is healthy and filling. It is an easy to prepare and garnish it with a little sev or chooda, it makes a sleek breakfast. If you don't want to eat onions in the morning, you can skip adding it. 

1 medium potato

1 medium onion
4 tea cups or around 100-150 gm medium beaten rice (mota pova)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf in Hindi)
2 tablespoon peanuts or fresh green peas
2 green chilies or as per taste
3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon sugar
salt for taste
2 tablespoon oil

Wash and soak the peanuts (if using) overnight or for at least 3 hours. Wash the beaten rice or pova well with water and drain the water. Mix salt and sugar with the pova as per taste.  Leave aside for 10-15 min. Chop the onion finely. Peel and chop the potato into desired sized cubes. Chop the green chilies finely. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop add the the fennel seeds and turmeric powder. Add chopped green chillies and fry till they are light brown. Add the chopped onion and fry till it is light brown. Add chopped potato and peanuts and mix it well with the seasoning. Add one cup water a pinch of salt and cook covered till the potato is soft. Add the pova or beaten rice and mix well. If the pova feels dry then sprinkle 2 handful of water over it and mix well. Adjust salt as per taste. Cook covered over low flame for 5-8 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and sev and serve hot.

Preparation time: 30 min
Serves: 2

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gardudde Ambat / Bottlegourd in Coconut Sauce

Ambat is a Manglorean curry which consists of the basic Masolu and vegetables. Masolu is a thick paste made with grated coconut, tamarind and dry red chiles.
Ambat may or may not contain lentils. Moong ambat, takka ambat consists of plain masolu or gravy. While others like valli ambat have toor dal or pigeon peas. I find the ones with lentils more healthier as less coconut is used to prepare the gravy. 
During religious festivals ambat is prepared with mustard and curry leaves seasoning. Some of the ones I have earlier posted are Mooga randayi/Ambat, karate ambat and takka ambat. Some ambat curries are seasoned with fried garlic while others are seasoned with fried onion. Valli ambat and papaya ambat are such curry. Another famous ambat is cauliflower and peas ambat which I will post later. 

1 medium bottle gourd
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup toor dal or pigeon peas
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil
salt for taste

For the gravy or Masolu:
1/2 cup coconut
1 inch piece of tamarind
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
5-6 byadgi chili or red chilies or as desired

Peel the bottle gourd and chop it into one inch pieces. Pressure cook the bottle gourd with toor dal, onions, salt and 2 cups of water. Cook till the toor dal is well done. Stir the toor dal and vegetable with a ladle till the lentil is all mushy.
Fry the red chilies in a pan till they are crisp. Finely grind the red chilies along with grated coconut, tamarind, turmeric adding as little water as possible. Add this paste to the lentils and mix well. Add water as per desired consistency and get it to a boil. Fry the remaining chopped onion in the coconut oil till it is golden brown. Season the curry with the onions. Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mangalore Prawn Curry / Sungta Masolu

Prawn is a delicacy and is loved by all Mangaloreans. Prawn curry is prepared by different ways all over the Konkan coast. In Maharashtra and Goa it is prepared with the spices like coriander, cumin and garlic. This recipe is a very traditional and simple recipe where the unique flavor of the prawns is not over powered by many spices. It is traditionally served with boiled rice and Mangalorean fish fry.  The flavor of the prawns increases as time goes along. It tastes better the day after it is made.It is a good idea to make this curry at least 2-3 hours before serving. 

10-15 prawns
2 cups grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or coin sized ball of tamarind
1 tablespoon coconut oil
8-10 dried red chillies (preferably byadgi chilly)
4 pinches of heeng or asafoetida
salt for taste

Fry the red chilies for 8-10 minutes on low flame till crisp. Grind the grated coconut, red chilies and tamarind into a very fine paste. De-vein and clean the prawns well. Put the prawns and the coconut paste in a deep bottomed vessel and cook covered for 8-10 minutes on low flame or till the coconut paste comes to a boil. Uncover the vessel and add salt as per taste. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. 
Add asafoetida in 2 tablespoon of water and mix it well so that it partially dissolves in water. Sprinkle this water over the curry and mix well. Immediately pour the coconut oil all over the curry and give it one good stir. Place the lid over the vessel and keep covered to enable the flavors of asafoetida and the oil to be absorbed well into the curry. Serve hot with boiled rice. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Middle Eastern Brown Lentil Soup

This is a Middle Eastern style lentil soup. It is very simple to prepare and makes a one dish meal when served with bread or even pita bread. The whole secret of making a great lentil soup is the right amount of lemon juice and cumin powder added during the time of serving. 

1/2 cup brown lentils or whole masoor dal with the brown skin
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed powder
5 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 medium sized carrot
1 tomato
1/4 stick celery
1 medium white/yellow onion 
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds powder for garnish
3 tablespoon Cilantro/Coriander leaves or Parsley for garnish
salt for taste

Wash the brown lentils well and soak them for 6-8 hours in water. After soaking, wash the lentils with fresh water and keep aside. Chop the onion, tomato and carrot into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and and chopped garlic, chopped celery and onion. When the onion is transparant add the carrots and the tomato. Mix in coriander seeds powder, 1 teaspoon  cumin seeds powder, turmeric powder and cayenne pepper. Add the lentils and salt. Pressure cook till the lentils are soft. Whisk the lentils till the lentils are mixed with the vegetables. Garnish with lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder and coriander leaves/parsley. Serve hot. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blackened Salmon with Simple Rice Pilaf

I have had blackened salmon at many restaurants in Bay Area. Having grown up eating sea fish with lean meat I am was not used to eating fresh water fish like salmon, tuna or rohu (which is found in Indian rivers). I do enjoy eating the tuna sandwich at subway though. So when ever I am eating out I prefer salmon well cooked with lot of seasoning and spices. I found this recipe from a dear friend and now its a regular at my home too. Blackened seasoning can be found in some stores around the coast. I didn't find this seasoning at my local grocery stores, so I looked up the internet and found this recipe. I modified this recipe for making the seasoning.

Blackened Seasoning:
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

Mix the above spices well.

Ingredients for Salmon:
1 fillet of salmon - around 300-400 cut into 2 inch pieces
3 tablespoon of blackened seasoning with the above recipe or store bought blackened seasoning
lemon for garnish.
Salt for taste

Apply salt and the seasoning mixture to the salmon on all sides and marinate it for at least and hour. There are two ways of frying the salmon. Either you can melt butter in a pan, dip the salmon in butter on both sides and put the salmon to fry on a pan. This is a traditional way and the result is definitely yummy. 
A healthier method I follow is to coat a shallow frying pan with 2 tablespoon oil and put the salmon skin side down. I put the pan on high heat till the side is blackened and well cooked. Flip it to the other side and cook till it is blackened on the other side. Garnish with lemon juice and serve hot with pilaf.

For the Pilaf:
1 cup rice (basmati can be used here. I used adobo as an experiment and it came out to be very flavorful too)
2 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 teaspoon salt or as per taste
4-5 strands of saffron
Heat the stock. Pressure cook or pan cook the rice with the stock, saffron and salt till it is well done. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stir Fried Colorful Chinese Rice with Nine Jems

This colorful chinese rice is a great treat during the cold windy winters. It is extremely healthy option as there so many vegetables go in preparing the stir fry. We usually buy vegetables from our local farmers market at Mountain View. Any vegetables available on hand can be used to make the stir fried chinese rice. But I buy vegetables in little quantities, like 4-5 beans, few flat peas and like wise for the stir fry. 

I use at least nine different vegetable to make this rice and hence the explosion of colors. This rice is a hit with the kids and is a great way to make children eat their vegetables. I have used carrots and red bell pepper for the red color. Green bell pepper, beans, peas and brocoli for the green color. Corn for the yellow color. Apart from this I also use cauliflower, onion and eggplant, cabbage and spring onions. 

2 cups of rice (I use basmati)
1 medium onion (sliced)
half a piece of red and green bell pepper (julienne) 
2 bunches of spring onions
two - four tablespoons of chopped vegetables available on hand (choose from cauliflower, brocoli, cabbage, carrot, peas, corn, eggplant, beans )
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon red chili sauce or optionally tomato ketchup
oil for frying 
2 chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon ginger (chopped)
1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
salt and pepper for taste

Wash the rice well and cook it in 3 1/2 cups or water till it is 3/4 Th done. I usually pressure cook the rice. Heat oil (as required) in a pan and stir fry all the vegetables (excluding the onion, spring onions and bell pepper) on high heat. Keep aside. 
Add 3 tablespoon oil in another pan and add the ginger garlic pieces. Fry for a minute on high flame and add chopped chilies. Add sliced julienned bell pepper and sliced onions and stir well. Lower the flame and add soy sauce, red chili sauce and vinegar. Mix the rice and stir fried vegetables well with the sauce. Adjust salt and pepper. Garnish with finely chopped spring onions and cook till the rice is hot. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 2, 2011