Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paneer Masala dosa

 After a long time I have been able to click pics for the food blog. I have been experimenting a lot with food. Days are busier as I have just enrolled in a teaching course which I am loving a lot. At times I feel that days are flying ahead with wings! Little A is growing up fast too and getting naughtier. Keeps us all busy with his antics. I am loving every moment spent with him.
Coming back to food, whenever we are eating out I prefer to have outside food for lunch or dinner but breakfast I love homemade. I am not big fan of hotel idli's. But if I have to have then I prefer plain paper dosa. I find the other dosa's too oily. For masala dosa's I like the onions in bhaji to be cooked slightly. But I love the colour of hotel dosa's. Thanks to Niya, I can now make such good looking and healthy dosa at home too with much less oil.

Here  is what's needed:
1 cup urad dal
2 cups rice
a fistful of cooked rice
1 tsp methi seeds
Salt & sugar to taste

1) Soak rice, urad dal and methi seeds for 6-8 hours. Grind the soaked rice and dal along with cooked rice to a smooth batter adding sufficient water.
2) Add salt to taste. Let it ferment overnight. Next morning add a tsp or two of sugar. Mix well.
3) Heat a tawa and pour a ladle full of batter. Spread uniformly. Roast on one side by adding a little oil.Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

With the left over batter I made some Paneer dosa for us.It is very simple to make and tastes great. A change from the regular potato masala dosa.

Here is what's needed for the masala:
200 gms paneer chopped into small cubes
1 capsicum chopped
2 onions chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala and kitchen king masala
a pinch of turmeric powder
11/2 tsp red chilli powder
a generous pinch of kasuri methi
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
coriander leaves to garnish

1) Heat oil. Add cumin seeds when they splutter add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry well until transparent.
2) Add chopped capsicum and cook. Add chopped tomatoes and cook further.
3) Add in the spice powders one by one. Add salt, chopped paneer pieces and cook further until all the paneer pieces are uniformly coated with the masala. Add kasuri methi. Mix well. Switch off the flame and garnish with corainder leaves.

This can be served with chapathi or with dosa's too.

To make Paneer masala dosa:
1) Spread the dosa batter on the tawa. When it is cooked slightly place a spoon full of masala in the center, lengthwise and cook further until dosa is done. Fold and serve immediately. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Avnaas ambe sasam ~ Mixed fruit curry in mustard and coconut sauce

(Thali ~ Salt, Amla pickle, Mixed veg sambar, Avnas ambe sasam, rice, papad , buttermilk and wheat halwa)
Sunday meals were always special at our household. That was the only day when we would all sit and have an afternoon meal together. Amma always made something special for us on that day of the week. This thali is one of our simple sunday meal. With mango being in season and having a basket full of it we decided to make a curry with it. This is one of the traditional GSB dishes. I love this so much that whenever we attend some functions during summer I look out for this and reach for second helping too. This is basically a sweet curry and is served cold. Traditionally, Pineapple and mango is used to make this but these day mixed fruits are also used. We had an apple and few banana's left, not wanting to make fruit salad opted to use it in this curry. Tasted delicious.

Here is what's needed:
1/2 cup pineapple cubed
5 ripe mangoes cubed
1 apple cubed (Optional)
4 small banana's cubed (Optional)
4 tbsp dry grapes soaked for an hour (Optional - but tastes great)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 coconut grated
5 dry red chillies
1 cup Jaggery scraped or as per taste
salt to taste

1) Cook pineapple pieces till done. If it is not very sweet add a little bit of jaggery. Cool it.
2) Dry roast mustard seeds for few seconds. Remove and in a little oil fry the red chilies.
3) Grind grated coconut, mustard seeds,salt and red chilies to coarse paste. Add jaggery and grind further.
4) Mix the fruits and paste together and refrigerate until the time of serving  chilled.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spicy garlicky noodles

 Indian Chinese is one the popular cuisines in India. This cuisine is our take on the Chinese cuisine. When we first moved to Shanghai my relatives had so much to question about Chinese food. Manchurian, Manchow soup etc which are easily available here was not available there. They had the notion that for me as a vegetarian eating out was easy like in Indian Chinese joints. Initially, I used to avoid going out for dinner as it was difficult to get some decent vegetarian food. Plus, I was scared of chopsticks. I did not want to use spoon and fork as it would make me the center of attraction.
One day when we had decided to go out for sightseeing on a weekend, hubby decided to teach me how to use chopsticks. Thinking that I would get some noodles I made maggi for dinner and learnt the art of using chopsticks. In my mind I had the visualized that if I order noodles I would be getting non spicy version of dry noodles but when we actually ordered it we got a huge pot of noodles with lot of soup in it. The noodles were so slippery and  the broth was so hot that I did not have the courage to dig in with chopsticks. To my bad luck I had not carried forks from home and all I had was disposable spoons. The hotel too did not have any fork. Finally I manged to drink some soup and fish out some noodles from it. And had some rice too with broccoli. I remember the experience very well as after dinner my table was completely. After some practice sessions with my hubby, now I can comfortably eat rice, vegetables, noodles and even pick groundnuts using chopsticks and also enjoy Chinese cuisine.

Noodles is one of our favorite Indo-Chinese dish. I make a spicy version of it. It can be had on its own or with some hot & sour vegetables.

Here is what's needed:
200 grams chow noodles
2 tbsp oil
3 dry red chillies - torn to bits
2 tsp red chilli powder
8 flakes of garlic finely chopped
2 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp Tomato ketchup
2 capsicum shredded
2 carrots shredded
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
 2 Onions sliced
small bunch of spring onions chopped (Reserve the greens for garnishing)
2 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste

1) Boil water in big vessel. Add noodles and cook until the noodles are just cooked through. Do not overcook as it can make the noodles mushy. Drain the noodles and rinse it with cold water. Add a tbsp of oil and keep aside to cool.
2) Prepare seasoning by heating oil. Add chopped garlic and red chilles. Cook for 1/2 minute. Add vegetables - Onions, capsicum, carrot and cabbage. Saute on high flame until done yet the vegetables are crispy  Add chilli powder, pepper powder, soya sauce, vinegar, tomato ketchup, salt. Saute for a minute.
3) Add the noodles and mix well until well incorporated and garnish with spring onion greens.
Serve hot. Wanna have some?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bhindi Do Pyaaza ~ Tried & Tasted

It is truly said that things that are easily available to us are the one's that we ignore the most. One such instance is that of this vegetable. I never cared much for Bhindi during my growing years. It was always there at our dinner table but was never special to me until I got married and we moved to Shanghai. Bhindi was not easily available. Even in summer we had to travel by metro, four station across to a farmer's market but  it would get sold out easily. It was available at Thai stores but was very very expensive. Suddenly my love for bhindi increased and everytime I would search for bhindi on Indian restaurant's menu card. During one such visit I fell in love with Bhindi Do Pyaaza. I wanted to make it at home but as always I kept pushing it forward until next time. Yesterday when we got some fresh bhindi I decided to make it. I searched for the recipe and reached at Sailu's food.I was bowled over by her great pictures and immediately decided to do it. Thank you Sailu it turned out to be wonderful and was loved by everyone at home. I just modified the recipe a little. To view the original recipe click here.
Here is how I made it.

What's needed:
1/2 Kg Bhindi/Okra - washed and dried
6 medium Onions sliced
2 Tomatoes chopped
2-3 tbsp Red chilli powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Ginger & Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
1/2 tsp Corainder powder
1/4 tsp Amchur powder
a generous pinch of Kasuri methi
a pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped for garnishing

1) Trim the edges of bhindi and chop into bite sized pieces.
2) Heat 1 tsp oil and fry bhindi until it is just done yet crunchy. Keep aside.
3) Heat oil,add cumin seeds. When it splutters add sliced onions, ginger paste and fry until they are transparent. Add the spice powders,salt and saute.
4) When done add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft. Add the fried bhindi and cook further until well incorporated.
5) Add the kasuri methi, lemon juice and sugar. Mix well.
6) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Thanks Sailu, We too reached out for second helping of this wonderful dish. This recipe is a keeper :) I added Amchur powder and avoided curds.