Carrot Salad

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This is another easy and simple salad. Carrots are a salad regular and I usually make it South Indian style. This recipe from the book, Diva Green, had a different flavour combination for the ubiquitous carrot. The mint, sesame seeds, honey and lemon juice make a beautiful team to enhance this simple salad to the next level.

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Serves 2-3

Recipe from Diva Green: a vegetarian cookbook by Ritu Dalmia

WHAT WE NEED

Carrots, medium                4

Sesame seeds                       1 tsp

Mint leaves                           8-10

Raisins                                   2 tbsp

Sesame oil                             4-5 tsp

Lemon juice                          2 tbsp

Honey                                     1 tsp

Salt & pepper
WHAT TO DO

  • Peel and cut the carrots into thin matchsticks
  • Cook it in boiling water for 4-5 minutes
  • Drain the water and set the carrots aside to cool
  • Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan till golden
  • In a bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper
  • Pour this dressing over the carrots
  • Add the mint leaves, raisins and half of the sesame seeds and mix well
  • Garnish with the remaining sesame seeds 
  • Enjoy!

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

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Raagi Dosa

   
  

It’s my constant endeavour to feed the husband and kid some finger millets. But I am usually unsuccessful. So whenever I get a chance, I make raagi dosas which is the least hated form for the duo. I also like the fact that it’s quick and easy to make. I have tried various recipes for this Dosa but none on them were satisfactory. Then I chanced upon this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook by Prema Srinivasan and I am relieved that this one gives me most consistent results without the dosa tearing up or being undercooked. 

So here goes –

For 5-6 Dosas

WHAT WE NEED

Raagi flour                                    1 cup

Rice flour                                      2 tbsp

Lady’s finger/ okra                    4 medium sized

Cumin seeds                                1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                                 1 sprig

Green chillies                               1-2

Salt

Water                                              1/2 – 3/4 cup   
WHAT TO DO

  • Grind the okra with 1 tbsp water to a fine paste. It will be slimy.
  • Mix the flours together and add the okra paste.
  • Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, salt and water.
  • The batter should be in the consistency of regular Dosa batter.
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on the tava.
  • After a minute, flip the Dosa on the other side with a spatula.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat.
  • Continue to make Dosas from rest of the batter.
  • Enjoy with coconut or coriander chutney.

 

This is my entry for Bloggging Marathon hostedby Srivalli under the theme – Instant Breakfast

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

Bottle Gourd Juice & a refreshed morning

   

I have been meaning to post this recipe for ages but somehow I miss clicking a picture and so postpone writing about it.

Recipe, here, seems like a huge word for this drink. Just juice them all and drink up instantly. This was shared with me by a dietician I had visited over a decade ago. It is supposed to help you clean your system and refresh you, not to mention it’s amazing effects on your skin. But more than anything else, surprisingly it tastes so good that you hardly need another reason for a bottoms up! 

  

The best part is that even my two year old gulps this down in glee and saves me a lot of trouble to get some veggies down her throat.

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED

1/2 of a large bottle gourd

1 large cucumber

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Cut the bottle gourd and cucumber into small cubes
  • Use a juicer to get the juice
  • Add salt and drink up

  

NOTES

  1. If you don’t have a juicer I think you can use mixer/ blender and then strain the juice . I haven’t tried it though.
  2. Drink up the juice at the earliest. If you leave it out for long it develops a brownish froth which is not so good.

This is my entry for the Cook from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

   

Vendhiyam Dosa / Fenugreek Crepe

This is one of my favorite dosa recipes. The best part is that it’s healthy as well and hence I can shut out all the guilt that comes from eating other favorite foods like buttery crossiants for example. Also, it’s a cooling dish which is the need of everyday in this tropical heat!

The not so good part is the amount of time it takes – which is a lot. So if I want to eat it tomorrow I need to start the soaking, grinding and fermenting today so that it’s all set for tomorrow. Not a dish for instant cravings.

WHAT WE NEED (For 8-10 Dosas / Crepes)

Boiled rice                                         2 cups

Urad Dal/skinned black gram        1/2 cup

Fenugreek                                         1 1/2 tsp

Salt

Oil 

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the rice, lentils and fenugreek separately in water for 2-3 hours. The water needs to be just enough to immerse the ingredients in.
  • Remove the rice, dal and fenugreek from water. Keep the waters aside.
  • Grind all the ingredients to a batter consistency with the water used for soaking. 
  • You may not need all the water. Add as per requirement.

  

  • Cover the vessel and let it ferment for 6-8 hours.
  • Unlike the idli / dosa batter, this batter will not rise significantly. So don’t worry on that count.

  

    

  • Heat a tava 
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it out like a dosa / crepe.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon oil on the edges and let it cook.
  • Once the edges of the dosa start browning, use a spatula to release it from the tava and turn it on the other side

  

  • The other side will cook in around 30-40 seconds.
  • Take off from the tava.
  • Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter.

  • Enjoy the dosa with a spicy chutney or jam or molaga podi or just like that! Yumm!

  

 NOTES

  • If you are a fan of the fenugreek like I am, then you can up the fenugreek to 2 tsps. 
  • The only way to reduce time is to soak the ingredients in hot water so that they can be ground in 45 minutes instead of 3 hours
  • I used a regular mixer to grind. You can use that or the grinder, whatever works best.

  
This is my entry for the Cooking from the Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

  
This is my entry for the popular My Legumes Love Affair started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and currently managed by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. This month’s host is Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen

Cabbage nu Muthia

 My internet connection is driving me nuts. It went on a fifty day vacation which is beyond its annual leave quota it’s finally back but is still in vacation mode and is willing to work only with innumerable additional perks. So since I can’t disconnect it, I decided to reduce my dependence on it. I dug out my ancient cookbooks and decided to derive inspiration from them rather than google – “have lots of cabbage. What to do?”

 
This recipe is from a Gujarati cuisine book I bought almost a decade ago. I never used it before but kept it safe for future reference – which is now! This is a simple recipe and hence I couldn’t help make some modifications based on my fridge and pantry inventory. So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED
250 gms cabbage
50 gms sweet corn
100 gms besan / chickpea flour
1/2 tsp ajwain
1 tsp asafoetida
2-3 green / red chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 small lemon
Salt
1-2 tbsp Oil
Water

WHAT TO DO
Shred or cut the cabbage finely. Mix it with salt and forget about it for 20 minutes


Cook the corn in water for 7-10 minutes till soft
After 20 minutes, preheat the oven at 165C
Squeeze the water out of the cabbage and drink it. At least use it for making dal or rasam.
Add corn, finely chopped chillies, chilly powder, lemon juice, sugar, asafoetida, ajwain and salt( if required). Mix well.


Add the chickpea flour little by little till it forms a stiff dough.
Shape 7-8 patties from the dough.
Grease a baking pan or baking sheet and place the patties on it. Brush the top side of the patties with oil


Bake for 8-10 minutes. Then flip it over and bake for another 7-9 minutes till the patties are golden brown.
Enjoy it with ketchup or green chutney!

NOTES

  1. As per the original recipe the dough had to be shaped in rolls and steamed for 15-20 minutes. That did not work for me and so I baked them.
  2. The corn and ajwain are my addition and can be omitted


This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

Bread Basket

So  I figured I could make a bread basket. I saw some wonderful pictures online but mine did not come even close. Reason – primarily because I was using only wheat dough. That makes it dense and not airy to try out different styles. But nevertheless, it did come out nicely. When I added some vegetables to it, it was totally yummy!

Again, the bread recipe for this is from here. Instead of plain flour, I used wheat flour but for this, the recipe is the same.

Preheat the oven at 175C

After Step 8 in that recipe, grease the back of a muffin tray or cover it with aluminum foil. Roll out the dough to a thin sheet and cut it into strips.

Draw lines

Cut the strips in half and use them to roll over each muffin mould in the muffin tray. I have tried rolling it in two different ways. Option 1 worked better for me than option 2.

Single basket dough

Diff design dough

All 3 dough

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 175C till it starts browning. Cool and unmould after ten minutes

Finished baskets

You can also stuff the bread baskets with vegetables and top it with grated cheese. Cook the vegetables separately and fill in the basket.

Stuffed basket

Happy Baking!

Capsicum Rings

To continue my story about the Radio City contest – I was selected for the final round the requirement of which was that it had to be a rice dish and to be completed in 45 minutes.

I decided on capsicum rings with rice and vegetables stuffed in it since I did not want to go the mixed rice routine . Its easy and looks nice too! I called it ‘Ring-a Ring-a Rice. So though I did not win the prize, Iw as told my recipe would feature in their Radio City Cookbook which they will be publishing soon. So Yay to me!!!

INGREDIENTS

Rice                   1/4 cup

Capsicum, large  1

Onion                   1

Tomatoes             1

Garam Masala     1/4 tsp

Ajwain                  1/4 tsp

Green chilly         1

Oil                        2 tbsp

Salt                      to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook the rice with little extra water than you usually add so that it becomes a little soggy.

2. Fry the onions and tomatoes in 1 1/2tsp oil along with the green chilly, ajwain and garam masala

3. Cut the capsicum into roundels / rings and apply little salt to the inner side of the capsicum and keep aside

4. Once the rice and masala mixture has cooled, mix both of them nicely so that the rice has completely taken the flavour of the masala

5. Heat a tava and add oil

6. Place the capsicum rings on the tava

7. Fill the rings with the rice mixture

8. Cook on both sides till golden brown

9. Serve warm

Capsicum Rings

NOTES

1. The filling can be a mix of different vegetables. If you are excluding rice then you need to add potatoes so that the rest of the vegetables can be bound together

2. If you are not adding rice, then paneer can also be added.

3. If you want to add cheese, then grate it on the capsicum after the cooking is complete and the gas is switched off. Leave it covered for a couple of minutes.

Happy Cooking

Oats and vegetable tikka

Did you know Radio City is organizing a cookery contest across the country in various apartment complexes. It held one in my apartment last Sunday. The process was that they would select three best dishes and those cooks needed to participate in the second round where they had to cook within 45 minutes and ingredients available and that one had to be a rice dish.

I had decided on my favorite banana bread. But as luck and the Bangalore Electricity Department would have it, the power went out as soon as I put the bread in the oven to bake. So I pulled it out and finished it off in the pressure cooker. But the end result, though tasty, did not seem fit for a contest. So, I decided on this simple and very nutritious recipe that I had come up with few days ago. And I did make it to the Top 3. Yay!

INGREDIENTS

Vegetables               1 Cup

(any combination of peas, cabbabge, cauliflower, carrot, baby corn, corn, broccoli)

Oats                          1/2 Cup

Oil                              2 tbsp

Garlic                         2 pods

Ajwain                       1/2 tsp

Garam Masala           1 tsp

Green Chilly               1

Red chilly powder      1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves        8-10

Salt                              to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Cut all the vegetables, boil them till soft and set aside to cool

2. Fry chopped onions, garlic and green chilly in 2 tsp oil

3. Add the onions to the vegetables and grind them into a coarse paste adding minimal water.

3. Take oats in a bowl and add ajwain, garam masala, red chilly powder, coriander leaves and salt

4. Add the vegetables and mix well to form a dough

5. Make lemon sized balls and flatten it

6. Heat a tava and add oil

7. Fry the tikkas on the tava till golden brown on both sides.

Oats Veg roll cook

8. Serve with ketchup or coriander chutney

Oats Veg Roll

NOTES

1. You can add potatoes also to the vegetables. I like to keep them as healthy as possible and so do not add them

2. If you have added too much water while grinding the vegetables and the mix does not reach a dough like consistency despite the oats then add 1 or 2 spoons of chickpea flour / besan. Again, this is not very healthy and so try to limit the water while grinding

3. If you are adding besan, then add it in small quantities till you reach the required consistency. Too much besan suppresses the taste of the vegetables and masala

Wheat Jaggery Cake

My mother gave me almost a kilo of jaggery the last time she visited. She expected me to make puran poli and kozhakatai for the husband. But I was very keen to try baking with jaggery. It is definitely healthier than sugar and I could bake more often without adding a teaspoon of guilt along the way.

So, I found this recipe and immediately started baking it. It tasted awesome but it was dense cake. I assume that wheat plus jaggery would not be the most airy cake. But it could serve as a good desert after dinner without the heaps of calories. Here goes –

INGREDIENTS

Jaggery                 75 gms

Wheat                 110 gms

Bananas             110 gms

Oil                          75 ml

Baking powder      1/2 tsp

Baking soda          1/2 tsp

Cinnamon              1/2 tsp

Walnuts, chopped   10

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 150C

2. Powder the jaggery, mix it with the mashed bananas and keep aside for 10-15 minutes

3. Mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder

4. Add the flour mix to the banana mix

5. Add oil and cinnamon powder

6. Add the walnuts and pour it into a greased pan

Wheat jag dough

7. Bake at 150C for 30 minutes and then at 160C for 10 minutes

Wheat jag pan

8. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes and then unmould

Wheat jag cake

NOTES

1. The amount of jaggery would vary depending on its sweetness.

2. Very ripe bananas would be better than regular ones

3. The recipe asked for the bananas and jaggery mixture to be blended in a blender. I did not do that but the texture was good despite not blending

Happy Baking!

Eggless Orange Crumble

So over the weekend I had this grand idea of a doing a ‘fruit based baking’ week on this blog. So as a beginning to that I baked my banana bread again which was just as delicious and heart warming as ever.
Today I thought could be an orange baking recipe. The husband likes to say that, if you leave it to me, all days are orange baking days. I love oranges and that must be evident even in this small list of recipes that I got on this blog. But I could not find a good orange based baking recipe, something that made me want to run to the kitchen and switch on the oven. As I kept looking, I landed on this lemon crumble muffin recipe. It called out to me but I wanted oranges. So, as almost usual, I switched the oranges for lemons.
Then, I wanted to make it eggless because ‘just like that’ I felt like it. After that, I felt a bit guilty about eating all that plain flour and so I figured I could replace that with whole wheat flour. Then, I saw that the recipe asked for melted butter but I did not have an appropriate vessel handy. Since I HAD to make it before my daughter woke up, I substituted oil for butter. At the end of it all, this seems almost like a new recipe. So yay to me! And double yay because it turned out yumm! So yumm that the husband sneaked into the kitchen around midnight and stole a bite.
So here goes –

Ingredients
For the muffin
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup curds or yogurt
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest

For the crumble
1 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cold butter

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 175C
2. Grease the muffin tray or line it with liners
3. Mix the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda and salt
4. Mix the curds, oil, orange juice and orange zest
5. Add the curds mixture to the flour mixture to combine them

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6. Pour them uniformly into the muffin tray

7. For the crumble, mix the all purpose flour with the sugar.
8. Add in the cold butter and mix all three till they form a crumbly texture
9. Sprinkle over the muffins

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10. Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes till the toothpick inserted comes clean
11. Set it on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool and then serve

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Notes
1. I used the all purpose flour for the crumble because I wanted a contrast between the dark colored muffin and the light colored crumble
2. If you find that the butter is not as cold as it should be and the crumble looked like a dough mix, then put the mixture in the freezer for ten minutes and it should become hard again to form crumbles
3. The original recipe also had a glaze to be added to the muffin after baking, I left it out because I thought it was becoming a case of too much sugar. But you can add it to get in that extra orange taste

Happy Baking