Monthly Archives: January 2015

Idli Batter Vadas (Punugulu)

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This is a very tasty quick snack dish. Leftover Idli batter (or in our case even fresh idli batter 😉 ) is always handy. A delicious snack to make when you have guests stop by!

Crispy, delicious Punugulu or Idli Batter Vadas

Crispy, delicious Punugulu or Idli Batter Vadas

You will need:

3 cups idli batter (or how much ever you have). If you have too less you cna increase the volume by mixing some rava/suji into the batter with some water.
Chopped onions – 1 medium
Chopped green chillies – 3
Chopped curry leaves
Chopped Cilantro or coriander leaves
Salt to taste (remember the idli batter already has salt so add accordingly)

Oil for deep frying

Method:
In a pan/kadai heat the oil for deep frying. Meanwhile, mix all of the above ingredients into a thick batter. When the oil is hot, drop small spoonfull’s of the batter or use your hands into making small round vadas and drop in hot oil. Ensure the oil is medium hot. If the oil is too hot, outside of the vadas/punugulu will get brown but inside will not be cooked well. For even and uniform cooking ensure that the oil is medium hot. Deep fry until golden brown. Serve hot with spicy chutney or Tomato ketchup. Great for a tea time snack!

Ridgegourd Dal (Turai Dal/ Beerakai Pappu/ Heerekai Tove)

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Today’s recipe is another dal recipe. Traditionally in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and many other parts of India, a vegetable is combined with a dal to create a Vegetable Dal dish that is typically served with Rice. A South Indian meal is not complete without rice and dal. Comfort food that is healthy and nutrtitious with both the combination of vegetable and dal for protein. Serve this with papad on the side and you have a simple meal to satisfy your foodie soul.

Ingredients for the Dal

Ingredients for the Dal

You will need:

1 Large Ridgegourd – Peel, Wash and cube
1 Large Tomato – Wash and cube
3 cloves garlic
1 Medium sized onion – Chop fine (Save some for seasoning)
1 Cup Toor Dal
5 Green chillies

Method: Combine all of the above in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Sambar powder, 1 small piece tamarind. Close and cook for 3 whistles. Allow to cool and all pressure to dissipate. Opne the lid and using a wooden masher or hand blender, coarsely mash the dal mixture. Make sure you dont mash into a paste.
Add salt to taste, add about 1 cup of water and boil in an opne pan for 5 minutes.
For seasoning: Heat a little oil, add mustard seeds, hing and cumin seeds to splutter. Add curry leaves, onions and saute until golden brown. Pour this seasoning over the dal mixture. Garnish with grated (optional) coconut and chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice.

Comfort Food- Ridgegourd Dal

Comfort Food- Ridgegourd Dal

Happy Cooking 🙂

Tomato Moong Dal

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I am experiencing “blogging fever” all over again. I remember having started my first blog on blogspot i think sometime in 2004 (dont exacly remember but something like that 🙂 ) and had managed to write and post over 170 recipes! At that time, somehow it seemed that I had more of a passion for cooking and feeding 🙂 That blog does not exist anymore and all of those 170 odd posts are no more – not saved anywhere..and I think that is the only thing that I truly regret in life so far! Deleting that blog in a very emotional moment.. too bad…I don’t believe i can ever recreate that, but I believe in not dwelling on the past.
To satisfy my soul however, I go into my Flickr account which thank god has some of those old food pictures that I so painstakingly took and try to recreate that “post” magic every once in a while 🙂 Digging out an old picture from my archive today…

Delicious Tomato Moong Dal

Delicious Tomato Moong Dal

This simple Tomato Moong Dal dish has been passed down generations…My grandmother made it, my mom makes it and I make it ever so often. It is one of those simple. comfort food kind of dishes that no restaurant can create – soemthing you will have to make at home to enjoy 🙂 Easy and goes great with home made chapatis or roti’s.. Enjoy.

You will need:
1 Cup Moong Dal
2 Large Ripe Tomatoes – Wash and cube
3 Green Chillies – Wash and Chop fine
1 tsp Black Pepper – Coarsely ground by hand (i use a mortar and pestle, you may use a coffee grinder too)
1 tsp Cumin seeds – Coarsely ground by hand (i use a mortar and pestle, you may use a coffee grinder too)
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Oil
Mustard seeds
Curry leaves
Hing or Asafoetida
Onions and garlic chopped (Optional)

For garnishing:
Chopped cilantro

Method:
1. Boil about 4 to 5 cups of water in a open pan. When the water is boiling add 1 cup of washed moong dal to this boiling water. Cook the moong dal in an open pan. Watch for the grains of dal to split to call it done. The water tends to boil over so use a use or a wooden spatula to keep the water in check.
2. While the dal is cooking halfway, add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies, powdered black pepper and cumin. Add salt and mix well.
3. The consistency of the cooked dal should be semi thick, not runny or not too thick. (I know now that step by step pictures play a huge role, I promise to update this post with step by step pictures soon :-). Do not cook the dal in a pressure cooker for this recipe. That will change the taste and texture of this dish.
4. Keep the dal aside and get the seasoning ready. Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, chopped onions and garlic, saute well and add this seasoning to the dal mixture. Give it one last boil.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot as a side to roti.

Happy cooking.. 🙂

Tomato Slice Chaat

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I seem to be on a “Street Food” spree 🙂 Who does not love street food? Especially in a country like India with its diversity and variety, street food in each state or ragion is an experience in itself..
Bangalore’s (or maybe even Karnataka’s) street food especially the chaat is different from the typical North Indian Chaat. There is the traditional likes such as Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Aloo Tikki Chaat, Samosa Chaat etc. and adding to the long list is things like “Churmuri”, “Nippat Masala”, “Boti Masala”, “Masala Puri” (very similar to Chole of the Aloo Tikki chaat sans the chole substituted with green peas) etc.
On the menu today is “Tomato Slice Chaat” – a lesser known variety of Chaat but neverthless extremely delicious. Quick to put together and healthy this is great for a evening tea-time snack.

Delicious Tomato Slice Chaat

Delicious Tomato Slice Chaat

You will need:
1. 2 Medium Sized Ripe Tomatoes – Wash and chop into thick slices

Ripce Tomatoes

Ripe Tomatoes

2. Arrange the Tomato slices on a serving platter or plate (On the streets, they serve these on dried leaf or a square piece of newspaper 🙂 )

Sliced Tomatoes

Sliced Tomatoes

3. Drizzle with Green Chutney and Sweet/Sour Tamarind Chutney

With the Green and Tamarind Chutneys

With the Green and Tamarind Chutneys

4. Top with chopped onions and grated carrots

Top with Carrots and Onions

Top with Carrots and Onions

5. Top with a handful of Puffed rice/Mamra/Muri and/or any available Mixture (I happened to have some store bought Haldirams Poha Mixture)

Top with Puffed rice, Mixture

Top with Puffed rice, Mixture

6. Top with Fine Sev and Chopped Cilantro. Serve with tea and enjoy 🙂

Delicious Tomato Slice Chaat

Delicious Tomato Slice Chaat

Tasty Tomato Slice Chaat :-)

Tasty Tomato Slice Chaat 🙂

Happy Cooking 🙂

Paneer Kati Rolls

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Life is always about the little things, Good food, Good friends, Good times and making good memories…..This weekend we had an impromptu evening with friends and I decided to make Kati Rolls which are hugely popular with my kids.
On the menu was Chips and Salsa, Paneer Kati Rolls, Chole and Bhatura, Samosas and a potluck of dishes made by my wonderful friends – a mixed Vegetable Rice, Onion Raitha, Curd Rice, Fruits..

Party Time!!

Party Time!!

The Paneer Kati Rolls were a huge hit..I did a google on Kati Roll and read that this street food originated in Kolkata India. Very similar to a Wrap with a filling, the Kati roll is typically made with Paratha bread – either Flour or Wheat. India has reinvented the kati roll with innumerable fillings what with Kofta, Aloo Matar, Chicken Tikka, Shammi Kabab, Egg, Achari Paneer etc. This street food is now popular all over the country…several kati roll only joints such as Kati Zone in Bangalore, The Kati Roll Company in New York and not to mention the various local street vendors have popularized this quick, grab and go food to the ever expanding working middle class population.

I personally favor this dish for its versality. You can personalize it with a filling of your choice and is a quick lunchbox dish that is not messy and easy to eat.

You will need:

Parathas or Tortillas – Flour or Wheat. You can either make Parathas at home or for ease of use, you can use store bought parathas or Tortillas. I use Tortilla Land brand uncooked tortillas. Prior to use I toast them on a hot griddle/tava with a little oil.

Paneer Filling

Paneer Filling

For the Paneer Filling:
2 cups Fresh Paneer – Cubed or Scrambled
2 Onions – Chopped lengthwise
2 Tomatoes – Cubed
1 cup Capsicum/Bell Peppers – Cubed, I just used a mix of red, yellow, green and orange bell peppers..you can use whatever is handy
1 Grated Carrot
2 green chillies – Chopped lengthwise into thin slices
1 small piece ginger – Chopped lengthwise into thin slices
Turmeric powder
Red chilli Powder
Coriander or Dhaniya Powder
Garam Masala Powder (or Kitchen King masala)
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro
1 tbsp Fresh cream (optional)
2 tbsp Oil

Method for filling: In a pan, heat the oil. Add the chopped onions and saute until golden brown. Add the chopped tomates, grated carrots and bell peppers. Saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add all the powder ingredients and mix well. Add the chopped green chillies and ginger. Mix and saute for a minute. Then add the paneer and mix well. Add, fresh cream, chopped cilantro and 1/2 tsp garam masala and mix well. Keep aside to cool.

For the assembly:
1 Tomato – Chopped into small cubes
1 Carrot – Grated
1 Capsicum/Bell Pepper – Chopped into small cubes
1 Large Onion – Chopped into small cubes
Chopped Cilantro
Green Chutney/Mint Chutney – Combine Fresh Mint, Cilantro or Coriander Leaves, Green chillies, Chopped onion, Chopped tomato, Spinach, Ginger, Garlic and Salt to taste. Grind into a smooth paste with some water. This chutney stays good refrigerated for over a week.
Tomato Ketchup
Lite Mayonaisse
Fine Sev (Optional)

Method: Take a cooked tortilla or paratha, Spread 1 tsp of the green chutney, spoon 1 large tbsp of the panner filling in the middle, top with chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and grated carrot. Squeeze some mayo and tomato ketchup, top with chopped cilantro and sev. Close the bottom end and then the sides in. Wrap the bottom end tight with a foil such that top end is open. Serve with chips on the side 🙂

Paneer Kati Roll

Paneer Kati Roll

It seems like a lot of work to get all of the above together. But believe me, once you have the filling and green chutney made it is super simple and quick to put together. You can make the chutney and filling and store in the refriegerator and put it together in a jiffy whenever needed.

Enjoy!