Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scrambled Tofu

I don't enjoy eggs necessarily, but I do like the way scrambled eggs look on a plate, along with a piece of toast, piece of cheese and a glass of orange juice! That'z breakfast parfait! I made this simple, delicious and healthy breakfast this morning!

1. Firm Tofu - 1 box
2. Onions - 1/2 medium diced
3. Jeera - 1 tsp
4. Oil
5. Salt to taste
6. Green Chillis - 4 nos well chopped

Method De Prep:
1. Dice the tofu into small cubes
2. Heat oil and splutter jeera
3. Add the onions and green chillis and fry well
4. Add the diced tofu and break them up unevenly. Add salt to taste
5. Fry the mix for couple of mins. The mix needs to be dry like scrambled eggs
6. Empty on a plate and garnish with chopped corriander.
7. I placed a slice of cheese and some fresh avacado along with 2 toast slices.

Voila! a yummy breakfast ready to be devoured.

Bon App!

Chow chow Kurma

I personally like this vegetable: Chow Chow or Chayote. B isn't a big fan of this vegetable. I wanted to get him to enjoy this vegetable and could think of no other way but to try a kurma with it. Here is what I did

1. Chayote: 2 nos peeled and diced
2. Coconut - wet - 1 small cup
3. Green Chillis - 5 nos
4. Jeera - 1 tsp
5. Oil - 1 tbsp
6. Clove - 3 nos
7. Pattai/Cinnamon stick - 1
8. Bay Leaves - 2
9. Onion - 1 medium diced

Method De Prep
1. Cook the diced chayote in pressure cooker without the whistle. Once the spout of the cooker starts steaming fast, you can remove the chayote. Chayote is high in water content and doesn't need to be completely pressure cooked
2. In a mixie, blend coconut and green chillis
3. In a pan, splutter jeera, add clove, cinnamon, bay leaves and fry. Add the onions and fry well till the onions are transparent
4. Add the ground mix of coconut and chillis
5. If you want some color, you may add a pinch of turmeric
6. Add the cooked chayote and simmer. Add salt to taste
The Chayote Kurma is ready to be enjoyed!

Bon App!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wheat Halwa

This is a recipe from my MIL. She made this sweet for Deepavali - the Festival of lights. It is a quick and easy recipe. What I love about this recipe is the simplicity of ingredients and execution!

1. Wheat Flour - 1 cup
2. Sugar - 2 cups
3. Milk - 1 cup
4. Water - 0.5 cup
5. Saffron - 1 pinch
6. Cardamon Powder - 1 pinch
7. Chopped almonds/pista/dry fruits - for garnishing as needed

Method de Prep
1. In a vessel, mix wheat flour, sugar, milk into a loose batter. Ensure the batter is lump free and loose. You can add the saffron and cardamon powder to this loose batter
2. In a pressure cooker, cook the loose dough for two whistles
3. After the cooker cools, remove the dough and pour into a deep microwavable dish.
4. Microwave for 20 mins, but check on the dish every 3 to 4 mins. Stir now and then during intervals.
5. The dough would have become tight and chewy. While it is still hot from the microwave, it would be in a pourable form. Pour it into a open dish where you can cut it into pieces.
6. After it cools, garnish with the dry fruits and cut into servable size pieces.

The Wheat Halwa is ready! Traditionally the tedious process involves soaking wheat grains, grinding and taking out the milk, stirring on low flame etc. This is a quicker shortcut which yields great tasting result too! Enjoy!

Bon App!

Mintilicious Fusilli

I know! I'm back after aeons. My friend is visiting me this week and I wanted to show her some twists to a regular Pasta Dish. Here is one such variation I spruced up last night:
Mintilicious Fusilli

1. Mint - 1 bunch
2. Corriander leaves - 1 bunch
3. Green Chillis - 5 to 6
4. Onions - 1 medium
5. Mushroom (Optional) - 5 to 6
6. Yellow Squash - chopped 10 to 15 medium size pieces
7. Pasta - any variety - I chose Fusilli
8. Pasta Sauce - optional - readymade, any variety
9. Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
10. Salt to taste

Method de Prep:
1. Remove just the leaves from the Mint bunch
2. Chop the corriander leaves
3. On a pan, add 1 tsp of Olive Oil. Add the green chillis, mint leaves along with the corriander leaves. Allow to cook on medium flame for 2 mins or less
4. Remove from heat and let it cool aside. After it cools, grind to a coarse paste.
5. You can use the same pan, in 2 tsp of Olive Oil, cook the finely chopped onions. Once the onions turn transparent, add the chopped mushrooms to it. Cook till they brown up and the juices start showing.
6. Meanwhile, cook the yellow squash in the oven by broiling it for 4 mins. Add the cooked squash to the pan along with the mushrooms and toss lightly.
6. On another stove, cook the pasta. Pasta is cooked al dente by adding it to a pot of hot water and salt.
7. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and set aside.
8. In a deep vessel, heat 2 tsp of olive oil. Add the cooked pasta, mint paste, cooked mushrooms and squash with onions and toss lightly. You may add the pasta sauce to this if you like.

Your delicious Mint Pasta is ready! This is a different ring to the regular Basil based Pasta Dishes. Hope you enjoy it !
Let me know how it came out/any variations after you have tried it!

Bon App!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Puratasi Maavilaku

Today is 3rd Sat in the Tamizh Month of Puratasi. The month of Puratasi is said to be special for Lord Balaji, the lord of seven hills-Tirupati.
A special lamp of rice flour, sugar, powdered elachi is considered special for this day. To make the Maa-vilaku:
1. Rice - 1 cup + one handful
2. Sugar - 1 cup + one handful
3. Powdered Elachi

Method de Prep:
1. Soak the rice for about 30 mins in water at room temperature.
2. Remove the rice from water and let it dry on a paper towel for few mins
3. Grind dry in a blender
4. Add the sugar to the powdered rice and mix
5. Add Powdered Elachi (cardamon) and mix

To make Maavilaku spread the rice on a round plate and shape it like a small mountain with a crater. Pour ghee into the crater with a wick. Place a small Betel Nut under the wick at the lighting end to separate it from the flour. Light the lamp in the name of Lord Venkateswara

Maavilaku signifies Lord Balaji himself in the form of Jyothi Swaroopa. In the olden days, when the old, disabled and very young devotees of Lord Balaji couldn't visit him, it is said that the Lord himself visits them on this day. The lighting of the Maavilaku signifies the Lord Almighty himself visiting our home. As the lamp slowly burns down, it shows the Lord going back to his home- the seven hills. When the lamp is completely burnt out, we chant "Govinda Govinda" perform Deeparadhanai and offer prayers. The Maavilaku can then be made into sweet balls and distributed as prasadam.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Payatham Dosai

This is a recipe from my creative MIL. This dosai is better to the body than Adai. It contains yellow moong dhal which is cooling to the system on a much needed summer day!

1. Rice - 2 cups
2. Yellow Moong Dhal - 1 cup
3. Ginger - 2 medium size pieces
4. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
5. Red chillis - 3 or 4 nos
6. Salt to taste

Method de Prep:
1. Soak rice and yellow moong dhal in the ratio 2:1. Allow them to soak for atleast 4 hours
2. Grind the soaked mix with ginger, asafoetida, red chillis
3. You can add corriander leaves right at the end to get a green color. I haven't tried spinach, but sure think will work the same way.
4. Set aside the batter overnight. After it ferments, add salt the next morning
5. Make lovely dosa/crepe with the batter and enjoy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Italian Cooking 101

I finally decided to get outta my laziness and do something nice for my parents. I thought of the least effort way I can introduce something new to their taste buds. I whipped up this complete Italian Dinner for them. It took me matter of less than 30 mins.

Tomato Soup
Garlic Bread
Vegetarian Pasta
Apple Juice (since they don't drink alcohol)
Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Icecream

I also served bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar as they waited for the food :). You can buy both the ingredients right off the shelf in your local grocery store. The rest of the items are detailed below.

Tomato Soup
1. V8 :) - I took the flavor that was spicy

Method de Preparation
1. Just heat up some V8 in the microwave
2. A small drop of butter and some chopped cilantro to garnish.
3. Ready to serve and be enjoyed!

Garlic Bread

1. Baguette - sliced
2. Just garlic bread spread :)
3. Butter

Method de Preparation
1. Mix equal portions of the garlic bread spread and butter
2. Spread it on the sliced baguette
3. Set the oven to Broil and pop the baguette pieces in for 10 mins (till they turn crispy brown)
4. Ready to be enjoyed!

Vegetarian Pasta

1. Pasta - any kind
2. Bell Peppers - 3 nos
3. Marinated Artichokes
4. Garlic Cloves
5. Pesto
6. Pasta Sauce

Method de Preparation
1. Cook Pasta in a bowl of water. You can add some salt to the water while boiling the pasta.
2. Slice the Bell Peppers into halves and broil them in the oven. In about 10 mins, the peppers will be well cooked and the skin will be peelable. You can use any color. More the merrier. Peel the skin and slice the peppers
2. In a deep vessel, add some olive oil. Add the chopped garlic cloves and sautee. Add the chopped bell pepper.
3. Marinated Artichokes are available right off the shelf in any grocery store. Just add as many as you like.
4. Drain the boiled and cooked pasta and add it to this mixture
4. Both the pesto and pasta sauce is also off the shelf. Add the two finally and mix well. As a vegetarian, I usually get the pasta sauce that contains some veggies in it, just so that it isn't too plain.
4. Garnish with chopped corriander leaves and serve!

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Icecream
1. Chocolate Cake - bought from the local grocery store
2. Vanilla Icecream - again bought from local grocery store

Serving Ideas
1. Slice the cake and serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream. You may garnish with Chocolate syrup or raspberry syrup.

Bon App!