Monday, May 12, 2008

Fried Bittergourd

B's mom's recipe and of course, B's favorite much. I figured this would be a good snack as opposed to deep fried potato chips. Given the bitterish taste, one cannot go overboard with munching this as well. Bitter gourd is said to be extremely good for health (once again proving that vegetables that are great for health aren't the greatest in taste =) ).
The stove cooked version typically takes over 20 mins of monitoring and tossing. My MIL developed a simple and a quick microwave version. This is extremely handy and B simply loves the results.

Bittergourd - 5 medium size
Salt - to taste
Chilli powder - to taste
Turmeric - optional
Oil - 1 tsp

Method de preparation:
1. Finely chop the bitter gourd. I usually do not unseed them.
2. Add oil, salt, chilli powder and turmeric to the chopped bitter gourd
3. Microwave the mix for 10 mins. check regularly every 3 mins

Done! It is ready to enjoy!
Bon App!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Surakkai Kootu

I've always ignored bottle gourd when I do my groceries. May be it was the resemblance to the brinjal(eggplant) that B doesn't like, or may be it was I could accept the shape of the vegetable in green color! This time, I decided to give this vegetable a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste.
1. Bottle Gourd - 1 nos
2. Moong Dhal/Paasi paruppu/payatham paruppu - 1.5 cups
3. For tadka: mustard seeds - 1 tsp
4. Red chillis - 2 nos
5. Urad dhal - 1 tsp
6. Hing - 1 pinch
7. Salt to taste

Method de preparation:
1. Skin the bottle gourd. Cut it into small cubes and boil it in some water with salt. This will help prevent the bottle gourd from turning into a dark color. Bottle gourd itself has a lot of water content, so you needn't take too much of water to boil in. It also cooks pretty quickly
2. Pressure cook the moong dhal. Once cooked, add a pinch of hing and stir the mix.
3. Heat oil in a tava, temper with mustard, red chillis, urad dhal. Add the cooked dhal and the cooked bottle gourd. Add some salt to taste and remove from the heat

The dish is read to enjoy with rice/roti. They key point with this dish is that the bottle gourd doesn't have to cook way to long. Ensure that the vitamins/minerals of the healthy vegetable is not lost simply by cooking too long. I try to even use the water in which I boil the vegetable to liquify the dhal.

Bon app

Friday, May 02, 2008

S inspired Kichidi

Last evening, I spent sometime with a good friend at her cozy home. We were talking about food and cuisines. She suggested a quick kichidi with black lentils (used in my previous recipe). This morning, I was tempted the make the same, but wanted to change the lentils (just for variety's sake). I had some split green lentils and voila, my tasty kichidi is ready!

1. Split green lentils - 1 cup
2. Rice - 1 cup
3. Onions - 1 nos
4. Green chilli - 3 nos
5. Ginger - to taste
6. Jeera - 1 tsp
7. Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
8. Garam Masala (optional) - 1 tsp
9. Pepper (optional) - 1 small tsp
10. Oil - 1 tsp
11. Salt to taste

Method de Preparation
1. Wash the split green lentils and rice separately and side aside
2. Chop onions, green chilli, ginger
3. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Splutter jeera and pepper. Add the chopped onions, green chillis and ginger and fry till the onions are transparent.
4. Add turmeric powder and garam masala
5. Add the washed lentils and rice and toss. Once the rice looks slightly transparent add water to this mix.
6. Pressure cook for 2 whistles
Et voila, it is ready to enjoy.

I used split green lentils as I did not soak whole green lentils before cooking. Split ones are easier to cook (in just two whistles in pressure cooker). Also, I wanted to style this like Pongal (another famous south indian dish). I also added some long beans to the mix and pressure cooked the whole thing. I like the mix of veggies and dhal. If you add carrots, make sure to balance the spice as carrots tend to be a little sweet.

Bon App!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Black Lentils Salad

The tabouleh inspired version that I spruced up for B's quick lunch. It came out (surprisingly) pretty tasty and health (I was sure of this part though).
1. Black Lentils - 1 cup
2. Tomatoes - 2 nos
3. Corn - 1 small cup
4. Black Olives (optional) - 5 to 6 nos
5. Cilantro - 1 small bunch
6. Lemon juice
7. Salt to taste
8. Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Method de preparation
1. Wash the blank lentils and pressure cook them (3 whistles). If you plan ahead, you may even soak the black lentils overnight. If you soak the lentils, then you need to cook only till 1 whistle. If you do not own a pressure cooker, simply boil the lentils in a pot of water until they are soft but not squishy
2. Cut tomatoes, black olives, cilantro and set aside. If you are serving this dish immediately, you may also add some onions
3. Cook corn in microwave for 3 mins. with some water. Drain the water and let the corn cool for couple of minutes
4. Now in a bowl, mix the black lentils, chopped tomatoes, black olives, cilantro (and onions, if any)
5. Add lemon juice and olive oil and salt. Mix them well. Make sure that the lentils don't get squished in the process

Thatz it, ready to serve and enjoy!

Bon App

ps: you may also add some feta cheese, if you like the taste...enjoy!