Sunday, December 28, 2008

Neer Dosa ~ PanPolo

PanPolo is one of our regular breakfast item. In my initial days of cooking in China, this was one dosa that I used to hate to make as it would never come out good. The rice that I used was the main reason for the failures. Now I use the Idli rice or Basmati rice, both give me excellent results. Back home, We use the normal Sona masuri rice. There are various dishes that go along well with dosa. Chutney, Jaggery syrup (Ravvo), honey, any veg or non veg gravy that is spicy.. I even love to have this with Mango pickle drizzled with coconut Oil.
The name Neer dosa is because this batter is very thin unlike regular dosa batter and even the dosa comes out very thin and lacy. Unlike regular dosa batter this does not need it to be fermented.

What's needed:
1 cup Idli rice
3-4 tbsp grated Coconut
Salt to taste
1) Soak rice overnight or for 6 hrs. Grind it to fine paste along with grated coconut.
2) Add suffecient water to bring it to a consistency thinner than the normal dosa batter. Add salt to taste.
3) Heat a Tava. Pour little oil. (Skip if you are using a non stick pan). Pour a ladle of batter and move the tava in circular motion so that the dosa spreads uniformly. It forms a nice lace like structure. Cook one medium flame.
4) The pattern to fold the dosa is to first fold it in to half and then again fold it so that it forms a triangle like structure.
Serve hot with Chutney or any side dish of your choice.

P.S: If using Sona masuri rice you can use 1 cup of rice and 1/2 cup of grated coconut. But since I use Idli rice which makes the dosa very soft I use just 2-3 tbsp of grated coconut and yet the dosa's are soft and fluffy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Bowl of Hot Soup ... Anyone?

The cold wind, the rain, temperature dipping to -2 C made me feel very lazy. I was craving for a hot bowl of soup. Hubby suggested that we go out for dinner , but I did not feel like wearing layers and layers of cloths to just go to a restaurant. I had all the necesary items at home. So decided to make some soup for dinner. I did not have any recipe in mind just tossed few ingredients in hot Olive oil and poured water into it and pressure cooked for sometime. Could it get any easier?? By this time I was feeling warm due to the little cooking and got in the mood to make some Pizza to go with tomato soup. I scanned the pantry and found all items available. I had bookmarked this Pizza from Shilpa's blog. I felt this was very good for beginners and it actually tasted good. I followed the recipe for crust and when the dough rose well, I was very pleased. However, I felt that the smell of the yeast was overpowering. When I asked Harini and Aparna about this they suggested that I try using fresh yeast next time or a new batch of yeast. Thank you both for the suggestion. I will buy a new batch next time. But wanted to post it here for my future reference.

For soup here is what's needed:
2 big tomato's roughly chopped 
1 medium carrot roughly chopped
1 medium Onion roughly chopped
4 cloves of Garlic roughly chopped
small piece of Ginger chopped
2 cloves
4 whole black pepper
a generous pinch of Cinnamon powder
Salt and Pepper powder to taste
a pinch of Sugar
1-2 tbsp of Cornflour
Olive oil
Coriander leaves chopped to garnish
1)In the pressure cooker pan, Heat Oil and add ginger,garlic, and slightly crushed whole spices. Sauté it for a min. Add Onions and again sauté it for a min or two. Add in the tomato and cook slightly for a min before adding the carrots. Add in cinnamon powder and salt. Add 1.5 cups of water and pressure cook until done. Let it cool completly before running it through blender. I do not strain it.
2) If preferred, add a tad bit of butter and pour the liquid into it. Add 2-3 cups of Water depending on the quantity of soup. Give it a rolling boil. Take 1/4 cup of water. Add a tbsp of cornflour and mix it well with no lumps. Pour this misture into the boiling soup. Give it a good boil. Add salt, pepper powder and a pinch of sugar. If you feel that the soup is thin you may add more cornflour to water and add it to the soup. Garnish with finely chopped Corinader leaves.
Serve hot with croutons. We had ours with small Pizza topped with Onion and Capsicum. I also used very little amount of grated cheese.

P.S:I did not add any milk or butter to this soup. Potato can also be used in this soup and any fresh herb can be added to this. 

Update: Trupti just reminded me that this fit perfectly for her "Winter Treat event". Thank you Trupti :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Zebra Cake

I love cooking and baking is my new found interest. I tried baking cakes twice but both times the cake crust came out very crisp. I was using a glass dish to bake. When I left a comment on Divya's blog suggesting my failures, to my surprise she replied with a brief mail stating the probable reasons for these failures. This time while baking I avoided all the mistakes. The texture of the cake for the first time came out well. But again the crust came out crispy and also the centre was the only part that was undercooked. The rest of the cake came out well and spongy with no signs of undercooking! I used the "use and throw tin foils". Followed the recipe to T making no changes at all.
The upper heating element as well as the lower were working. The Oven was pre heated for 10 min. I kept the cake at the lower rack and baked it for about 30 mins before opening it for the first time. When I saw the cake browning too fast, I loosely covered it with Aluminim foil (Thanks Divya, It did really help). By this time its surface was spongy to touch and since it was not completely baked I put it back. At the end of 40 mins the sides were completely done but center was still not done. I tried baking it for additional 6-8 mins but the crust became crispy so dropped the idea completly. The cake did rise in the centre and there were cracks. The batter visible from the cracks were the ones that did not bake. Just a small portion. Can anyone suggest what might have gone wrong with my cake. The oven is realtively new.
I followed Deeba's Recipe for Zebra Cake. The taste was perfect and it is sure Vanilla and chocolate at its best. Thanks Deeba for the wonderful  recipe. Once I get to know my mistake will surely make it again as we loved the taste. Please hop on to her wonderful blog to see perfectly striped cake :) and many more cakes which make you drool

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DoodhPaak ~ Traditional Rice Kheer

Making sweets was never my cup of tea. I have cooked a lot of dishes but desserts were something I feared to make until recently that is. Whenever we had some Pooja at home it was usually Fruits or dry fruits that I offered! This Diwali I had teamed up with my friend Smitha here and we did cook up a lot of dishes together. They were a big hit with our families. Since then I decided to give a try and learn all the traditional dishes :) 
I am usually biased towards Coconut milk + Jaggery based sweets than Sugar based milk sweets. But I do have exception! Doodhpak being one of them. This is one of amma's signature dishes. It is simple to make and the end result is awesome. I prefer eating this cold rather than hot!
Here is what's needed:
1/2 Cup Basmathi rice
2 cups Milk
1.5 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
A fistful of Sabudana
8-10 chopped Cashews
8-10 Almonds peeled and chopped(Soaked in water prev night)
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
a generous pinch of Saffron
10 dry grapes soaked in water for atleast an hour
1) Wash rice well. In a pot, Add water and 1/2 cup of milk. Bring it to a good boil and add washed rice + cashews + almonds. While the rice is cooking, bring rest of the milk to a good boil and keep aside.
2) When the rice is half done. Add washed sabudana. If the water is not suffecient add more water. Cook till done (sabudana turns transaprent when completely cooked). Keep stirring in between to avoid it form sticking to the bottom.
3) Add sugar and mix well. Let it come to a rolling boil. Keep stirring at regular intervals.
4) Add boiled milk and dry gapes. After a boil, crush saffron lightly between your fingers and add it. One more boil and switch if off. Add cardamom powder mix well.
Serve warm or cold.
P.S: If you feel that it is too dry just add some milk and give it one boil. You can even add 1-2  cloves. It gives a nice aroma to the sweet.

I am sending this over to Lubna of Yummy Food, Who is hosting the FIC White Event, An event started by Harini of Tongueticklers and hosted at Yummy food this month. Thank you Lubna and Harini for this wonderful event.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maggi ~ Weekend breakfast

Saturday's always have a strange effect on me. I get super lazy to get up and make something for breakfast. Today morning hubby decided that he would make Maggi for breakfast. 
I was introduced to maggi in my school days. We used to have competitions in school sponsored by Maggi and all the participants would get a packet of maggi! Back then my brother used to make it and only I and he ate. My amma has never tasted maggi (though she does enjoy Pizza's, noodles are something that she has never tasted!). Dad too is not very fond of maggi but if I  do make Indo-Chinese noodles then he does have it with us. My aunt used to make this with lots of veggies. But when my cousins tasted plain maggi at our place they too stopped eating it with veggies! Growing up,We loved the taste of the veggies in maggi and started adding them in our noodles and our aunt always blamed us for teaching our cousin's to eat without veggies :P 
We have a lot of versions of making maggi and it is always made with veggies. Today I was out of stock and had only Onion and frozen green peas. 
This is how he made it:
2 packets of maggi (95 gm each) with its taste maker
1 medium Onion sliced
1/4 cup thawed green peas
1 tsp Kitchen King masala or more depending on your taste
Salt to taste
Olive Oil
Water 500 ml
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
1) Boil water in a vessel. In the mean time, heat Oil and add sliced Onions. Fry until golden brown.
2) Add Kitchen king masala powder and green peas and fry for a min.
3) Pour the water and add in the noodles. When half done add the taste makers and check with the salt. If you prefer a little spicy you may add a little bit of Chilli powder.
4) When completely done dress with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot!
P.S: Adding a small Tomato enhances the taste even further. I also stir fry Capsicum that gives it a nice crunch. Do feel free to add any veggies of your choice. 

Update: PJ wants to now "who's gonna cook for me"??. I say hubby!! If you have someone who can cook for you. Please do send the recipes with pics over to PG..More details at her blog.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keerla Bhaji ~ Bamboo Shoots stir fry

My MIL has a collection of recipes that are easy to make, yet healthy. This is one such dish that I learnt from her, which does not involve too much work apart from the chopping part. I love to make this on a cold winter night paired with simple rice and Dal or even Phulka. .This dish needs very few ingredients and can be fixed within minutes.
Here is what's needed:
2 cups Bamboo shoots finely chopped
1 medium Onion finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt,Chilli powder to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
1) Wash chopped Bamboo shoots and keep them in water until it is used. Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds.
2) When they splutter, add chopped onion and fry until done. Add turmeric powder,chilli powder and salt. Drain the bamboo shoots and add it with little water and stir fry until done. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot. 
P.S: Do not add to much water as the bamboo shots will lose their crunchiness. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pav Bhaji ~ Mumbai Style

Pav-Bhaji happens to be one of my fav food from Mumbai.  I still remember the taste at Canon Pav-Bhaji stall. It was amazing. When I was in school we used to visit Mumbai( then it was Bombay) every year during Ganapathi. Most of my cousin's  were from Mumbai and thus we used to have great time during these visits. We, Cousin's used to meet during Summer vacations and enjoy :). It was the time, where my cousin, used to take me for a double ride on cycle.. we (me and my sister,Ramyakka) would enter kitchen and try to cook different dishes in the evening and experiment on the entire family not that they used to complain..We would also clean the kitchen you see! Play cricket and what not! It was so much fun. Even to this day when we all cousin's meet we have a great time. The Last time we were together was during my wedding and inspite of the hurry, it was great.
When I was browsing through Nupur's blog I was caught with the title "Bombay Street Food - Pav Bhaji". It interested me and I decided to give it a try. Her recipes never fail for me. I have tried her Sheera and also Bhadang. Both came out perfect. When I glanced through her recipe for Pav Bhaji, I was amazed to find that she did not add any onion to masala. I used to usually chop lot of Onions and fry it well. Good for me I thought (Less work!! I know the lazy me!) and decided to give it a try! The first time I made it a month back we gobbled up in hurry and forgot to take snaps. This time I made it, I made sure to click a snap before it vanishes! Do give this recipe a try and believe me you won't be disappointed. The only modification that I made was to omit butter completely and add a pinch of Kasuri methi. I have seen this being added at one of the restaurants in Mangalore and loved the aroma of it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Besan Laddu

Laddoo's were not something that I was not comfortable in making. When I made this laddoo last week and it came out fine I was happy and confident. RC had commented that she liked Churmundo next to  Besan laddoo and that she had tried making it in Microwave. I had tasted Besan laddoo once that too it was fron Bikano and it had lots of nuts,cashews etc but home made never. So hopped on to RC's blog to check on her recipe for laddoo. She had referred to Tee's recipe for making laddoo's. Until yesterday I used my Microwave only to reheat food or boil milk or to keep dosa batter to ferment. This was an easier option compared to making the laddoo on stove top.. I made this laddoo as nivedyam for yesterday's Chathurthi Pooja at home and it came out tasty. Thanks Tee for the wonderful recipe and RC for pointing me towards it.
P.S: I could not roll it into ball so added less than a tbsp of milk and it worked wonders :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


When I started cooking, I was comfortable with preparing lunch/dinner, but what I feared the most was making breakfast. I was skeptical about soaking the dal's,rice and grinding it to smooth paste,fermenting them. 
As a kid I used to think that making Dosa, idli etc was a very complex thing! Though amma used to always say that she used to enjoy making dosa as it would save her time the next morning! Now I am following her.. I prefer making dosa,idli for breakfast as I do not have to worry in the morning after waking up and think!!
This is one such simple dosa that I have been making every now and then. It is simple and I get the same crispy dosa everytime.
Here is what's needed:
1 cup Urad Dal
2 cups Rice (I used Idli rice as this is the only one available. You can use Sona masuri/Ponni rice too)
1/2 tsp Methi seeds
2-3 tbsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1) Wash rice and dal well and soak them along with methi for 3-4 hours. Grind it to smooth paste with water (Add only required qty of water). Let it ferment Overnight.( I had baked some cookies that night so kept the batter in oven to ferment.)
2) Next day morning, Add Sugar and salt. (Sugar gives a very nice taste to Dosa along with colour). Mix well. Add water if the batter is too thick. Mix well.
3) Heat a tawa, Spread a ladle full of batter in circular motion until it forms a uniform circle. Roast it with little oil in medium flame. When it turns to slightly golden colour flip it over and roast the other side for few seconds. Serve hot with Chutney.
I made "Hinga Chutney" with this Dosa.
For Chutney:
3/4 cup grated Coconut
2-3 fried red chilli
small piece of Tamarind
a generous pinch of hing(Asafoetida)
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1) I use the sticky variety of hing. So I heat little oil and put the hing in oil until it fluffs up. Remove it and let it cool.
2) Grind grated coconut + red chilli's+ Tamarind + Salt and little water until it becomes a smooth paste. In the last round of grinding I add the hing and grind it for few more secs.
3) Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl. Heat Oil, Add mustard seeds when they splutter add curry leaves and switch it off. If using hing powder then it is better to add hing directly to the seasoning. Pour the seasoning over the Chutney. Mix well before serving.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Churmundo ~ Wheat Laddoo

One of the advantages(disadvantages!!) of blog hopping is that I get to know what I have never made in my life for years (now that does not mean I am very Old!!!!!) One such day I hopped to Harini's blog only to find a Laddu staring at me! Now for a person who is away from her hometown this was hard to resist! But having zero experience in making laddoo it was hard to think of.. But mind was constantly thinking only about laddoo. Finally decided to muster up some courage and try my hand at making them at home. Now this laddoo happens to be our fav,  so thus it was decided that I would make it. When Amma was online pestered her to give me exact  measurements. Now I am sure a lot of you out there will agree with recipes our mom's give us ( I am not complaining but ypou know we need exact measure in Cups,teaspoons!). I ask her "Kithle Tup?" (How much ghee).. her reply would usually be.. "Teh haanv ashi dole andaajeri ghalche!" (That I usually eyeball!!!) and my irritatingly, immediate response .. "tugele dole andaaju makka kashi kalthale???!!!!" (How am I to know your proportion"!!! Finally after she convinced me I wrote it down and kept looking forward for an opportunity to make them. 
Yesterday when I felt my sweet tooth needed some treat decided to make this. It was actually simple and was wondering why I never made it all this while! The main reason why I was worried was I had never helped amma with this laddoo. Usually my aunt's used to come over so they helped her whenever we had to do in large quantities. Anyways, it came out good and that is why I am sharing this with you.
Here is what's needed:
1 Cup Wheat flour/Atta
1/2  Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Ghee
1 tsp Fresh Cardamom Powder
1) Heat Ghee in a kadai and add the Wheat flour. Fry on low until the raw smell goes off and gives out a nice aroma. The colour changes to slightly dark brown. Switch off.
2) Add in Sugar and Cardamom Powder and mix well. (Taste the mixture and add more sugar powder if you desire. The measure given above is for semi sweet laddoo) Let it cool until the mixture is easier to handle.
3) Take some mixture in your palm and roll it into a ball. You cannot use both your palms to shape this up as it is crumbly. 

I could make 15 small laddoo's using this measure. You may add Cashews and Raisins fried in Ghee. I did not. 

I am sending this over to Srilekha, Who is hosting EFM-Sweets. Thank you Srilekha.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rava Dosa ~ Resturant Style!!!

Rava Dosa is my hubby's all time fav. Actually it runs in our family (My dad and FIL both love this dosa) and it is the most ordered item whenever we went to restaurants. I always wanted to learn the art of making crispy thin rava dosa at home. But I failed. In search of perfect recipe, I reached Asha's Aroma, The one place where you can get tried and tested recipes which give perfect results everytime. I left a comment on her dosa and was set out to try it. I was surprised when she left a comment suggesting me to try the recipe from Vahchef Sunjay Thumma. The recipe was perfect and we got golden crispy dosa's, The melt in the mouth kind. Thank you Asha for giving us a tried and tested recipe. Thanks to Vahchef too for posting this video on Youtube. Please check the video for exact way to pour the batter.
I used:
1 cup Semolina
1 cup Rice flour
1/2 cup All  Purpose flour
2 green Chillies,small peice of Ginger & few Coriander leaves finely chopped
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1) Mix all the ingredients with suffecient water to achieve Buttermilk like consistency. 
2) Heat a non-stick tava, and sprinkle the batter. It forms a nice lace like pattern. Do not bother to fill them completely.
3) Sprinkle oil and roast it on medium heat until lightly golden. 
Serve hot with chutney of your choice!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Batate Song

Batate Song is a very authentic Konkani dish. Song as pronounced as "English Song", has no relation with it! I still do not have any idea as to why it is called song. If anyone does please let me know. 
It is a very spicy dish and pairs well with Rice & Dalithoy. Ofcourse it tastes good even with Dosa's or Chapathi. I make song either from cubed Potato or whole baby Potato's as in pic or also with cauliflower,tender cashews etc etc.
What's needed:
10-12 baby Potato's or 3 medium sized boiled, peeled and chopped Potato. If using baby Potato after peeling them prick them with the fork all over.
2 medium Onions chopped fine
1 big Tomato chopped fine
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 small marble sized Tamarind soaked in warm water
½ tsp crushed Coriander seeds
1-2 tsp Chilli powder (Increase or decrease based on your spice level)
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander leaves to garnish
1)Heat oil and add mustard when it splutters add chopped onions and little salt. Fry until they turn brownish.
2)Add chopped tomatoes and cook until mushy.
3)Add crushed Corainder seeds and other powders and fry for sometime.
4)Add Tamarind juice and stir well.
5)Add little water and let the onions cook until done but yet crunchy.
6)Add chopped/whole Potato and salt. Mix well until Potato gets coated with the masala. I usually add little water and let the Potato's boil so that they absorb the flavour.
7)Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happala Kismuri

Kismuri also known as Koshimbir/Kosumbari is often a part of Konkani cuisine. We make kismuri with a Bittergourd (Karathe Kismuri), Carrot, Surnu (Yam) etc. One among such quick fix kismuri is made from Happolu. Happolu is  Red coloured Chilli Papad. In earlier days during summer, ladies used to make Papad's from Wheat, Urad Dal, Red chilli and Urad Dal and different types of sandige. This was basically done so that they could preserve this for rainy season when it was difficult to get vegetables easily. We do not make these at home and usually buy from stores. Traditionally happolu is fried on charcoal stove and coconut oil is smeared over it. 
Anyways, This kismuri is one of our fav's. It is very simple to make and goes well as a side dish with simple pej (Rice Porridge/Konji) or White rice with some dal.
What's needed:
5-6 Red Happolu deep fried
3/4 cup grated Coconut
1 small Onion chopped fine
Salt to taste
Mix salt + Grated coconut + Onion pieces well. Crush Happolu and add it to the mixture. Serve immediately as the happolu turns soft and soggy after a while.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pineapple Rasam

The first time I saw this on their site was actually impressed and made a mental note that I will have to try it next when I get Pineapple. After this I forgot about it for a while and again saw the this rasam making its rounds through the blogosphere. Everytime I saw it I was remembered that this is on my to do list. Finally one day I went ahead and bought the Pineapple and came back home to make it. Thats when I realized that the recipe called for Canned and I had Fresh one!! Yes this is what I do don't read the recipe properly and then continue!
But since I had not planned anything else I as well thought that I will go ahead and give it a shot with fresh Pineapple. It really came out well and hubby dear was impressed :) Happy me.
To  see Jai's recipe Click here.
The modifications that I made was to boil Pineapple with water until its colour changed to a lighter shade (or alternatively as my friend, Smitha suggested pressure cook it for one whistle) and while adding crushed Pineapple to Rasam I added jaggery to taste. 
This is definitely a change from the usual Rasam or Dal and has a sweet,spicy and tangy taste. Using a canned Pineapple would definitely be an easier way to do but I did not want to wait until I buy one next time. I am definitely going to make this often! Thanks Jai for this wonderful jhatpat recipe.