Wednesday, August 29, 2007

RCI - Karnataka Cuisine

I came across this event hosted by Asha who has an amazing blog - Foodie's Hope. Karnataka - the land of lovely rivers, amazing tourist spots, great heritage, and of course the highlight for this post...varied and rich food.

So, here are two of my Amma recipes, which are very simple, easy-to-make but taste great!

Aradbele Usali

What you need :

  • 1 cup chana dal (soaked overnight)

  • green chillies (depends on the spice requirement)

  • bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

  • cumin seeds

  • mustard, hing, curry leaves

  • 1 onion finely chopped

  • salt to taste

How to prepare:

  1. Drain the water from the soaked chana dal and coarsely grind the chana dal, green chillies, coriander, cumin seeds, and salt.

  2. Take some oil in a pan for the tadka (seasoning).

  3. Add mustard, when it splutters, add hing, and jeera.

  4. Add the chopped onion and saute till the onion is cooked.

  5. Add the ground mixture and keep the vessel covered for 5-10 mins.

Yes, that's it! You have a simple and tasty dish ready. This can be eaten as a snack in itself or you can use it as a side dish. You can also mix it with curd and it tastes even better.

The next dish I have is hesarabele (Yellow Moong dal) kosambri. This dish reminds me of my mami who used to make panaka (raw mango drink) -kosambri every year in the Chaitra month. She used to invite all the neighbourhood ladies for arisana (turmeric powder)-kumkum and give them panaka - kosambri on small rectangular pieces of banana leaves. We would eagerly wait for the guests to arrive so we could sneak in and eat and drink on the pretext of bringing the goodies for the guests ;-).

Hesarabele kosambri

What you need:

  • 1 cup moong dal (soaked for 2-3 hours)

  • 1/2 cup grated coconut

  • a bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

  • hing, jeera, green chillies

  • 1 lemon or 1/2 grated raw mango

How to prepare:

  1. Drain the water from the soaked moong dal.

  2. Add salt, grated coconut, and finely chopped coriander.

  3. Take 2-3 tspns oil in a pan.

  4. Add mustard, when it splutters, add hing, and jeera.

  5. Add the green chillies. You can also substitute these with uppu menesinkai (masala chillies).

  6. Add the tadka to the moong dal mixture.

  7. Squeeze the juice of a lemon or add grated raw mango.

  8. Mix well.

Oh! my mouth is watering. I am going to enjoy my meal :-). Hope you do so too!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Monsoon Memories

It's the rainy season and the weather keeps fluctuating between hot, humid, pleasant, cold, lovely, and gloomy. This season brings back a lot of memories of the good childhood times.

The spluttering of mustard seeds as mom prepared tadka or the hot oil hissing when the pakoda batter was fried, hot cups of bournvita, vicks massage for sniffly noses, wading through dirty pools of water and getting scolded, making paper boats...I can go on with these nostalgic memories.

What I also distinctly remember is the combination of ingu-bella (hing+jaggery) that my dad used to religiously make for all the family members every year at the onset of monsoon. We were supposed to eat this concoction for avoiding the plethora of monsoon ailments. It was a ritual we used to look forward to. Every year, dad would gather all the kids (we used to have a joint family), and sit down to commence the task of mixing hing and jaggery. He would break the jaggery and then pound it to a fine powder after mixing the hing in it. This mixture would then be rolled out into small marble sized balls and passed around for everybody to eat. Hmm! what fun!

I look back at these memories and wonder if my son will experience any of these customs. We have all grown up, moved on and this ritual has been long forgotten. But, even now whenever dad is around at this time, he makes sure we have our dose of ingu-bella :-).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Picnic Recipe - Aloo Patties

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the various recipes and posts in different blogs and came across the Fun in the Sun picnic event on Anupama's blog. My immediate thought was about making something simple, tasty, and easy. So, here's my simple and easy-to-make but very popular recipe.

Aloo Patties

What you need:

  • 8-10 potatoes
  • 4-5 green chillies (depending on the spice requirement)
  • cumin seeds (jeera)
  • a bunch of coriander leaves
  • 4-5 curry leaves

Dry grind the chillies, cumin seeds, coriander and curry leaves.

  • turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • semolina (rava)
How to prepare:
  1. Pressure cook the potatoes. Take care not to overcook them
  2. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash them
  3. Add the ground spice, turmeric powder, and salt
  4. Mash and mix well
  5. Make small round balls and flatten them a bit on your palm
  6. Lightly roll the aloo patties in the semolina on both sides
  7. Put 2-3 tsps oil on a tava and shallow fry the patties on both sides till they are brown

Lo! the aloo patties are ready to eat. You can also use other vegetables, but this is the easiest and takes very little time to prepare. You can serve it with sauce, ketchup, or mint chutney, curd etc. I do not have a picture at the moment to showcase this recipe but will try and update it soon :-)

And till the next post, Happy Cooking!

Yummy Pulao

Rice - the staple diet in most Indian homes. I love this grain for the versatility it offers in cooking. Eat it plain with ghee, add sambar/rasam, or add veggies, spices and lo you have a complete meal. So, when saw the JFI Rice event hosted by Sharmi, I decided to send one of my all-time favorite rice recipes.

This is a really simple and yummy recipe for my all-time favorite - Pulao. This is something I keep improvising and playing around with the ingredients in my quest for quick, tasty, and healthy food ;-). Most of the ingredients are approximations but i will try my best to put down the correct measures. The best part really is that even with a few variations here and there, it still tastes good :-)

What you need:

1 cup basmati rice

1 cup cut veggies (peas, beans, carrots, u can also use sprouts)

a bunch of coriander leaves + 2-3 chillies depending on how spicy u like it (grind to a paste)

hing (asafoetida)

cumin seeds (jeera)

2-3 tsps oil

How to prepare

Put 2-3 tsps of oil in a pressure pan, and keep it on medium flame.

When the oil heats up, put hing and cumin seeds and stir for a bit till the aroma is released

Pour the cut veggies and stir for 1-2 mins

Pour the basmati rice and fry for 5 mins

When the rice starts sticking to the pan, pour the coriander-chilli mixture and stir for 1-2 mins

Pour the required quantity of water for the rice to cook, Add salt to taste, close the pan and cook for 2-3 whistles

Serve with cucumber raita, dal (will post my version of these recipes).

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yipee - The First Post

I have been reading quite a few food blogs for some time now, and wondering whether i too should start penning down my sucessess and disasters in the kitchen. I must say, all these wonderful blogs out there have been a real inspiration and finally i have made up my mind. Hope, the enthusiasm keeps up and I continue posting at regular intervals!!