Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ready to eat Upma

BM # 52  Week 4  Day 3

Day 3 , and I have an Instant Upma for you guys. Upma is one of the most simple , quick and delicious breakfast of the south. I have used dried curry leaves and dried coriander leaves . You could check here to dry them instantly in a microwave. I have a post on Drying Mint leaves. The greens retain their color and look , which is so fresh.

I have had a similar upma in my friend's place, but she makes the upma on a stove top, I wanted to give you a version where you could just add boiling water to the jar and wait for a few minutes and enjoy your breakfast.I shall share the stove top version later.

Ready to eat Upma
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 green chillies, very finely chopped
Pinch asafoetida
Few curry leaves, dried
1 cup semolina
Salt to taste
Pinch citric acid
Dried coriander leaves
Few cashews ( optional)

Heat the oil.
Add green chillies, let them fry.
Add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
Add curry leaves, Saute.
Add semolina and roast on slow fire, till it changes to a pale pink.
Add dried coriander leaves, salt and pinch of citric acid.
Let cool and store .
This Upma can be stored upto two weeks on your kitchen shelf and much more  in the refrigerator.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Ready to eat Sambar

BM # 52  Week 4  Day 2

Day 2 I have an Instant Sambar under Ready to eat series.

Last year when my daughter was having her baby, I traveled to Japan. I knew with a baby life would be hectic for me, besides she was shifting in a new house. I wanted to plan things and make my work easy there. That is the time when one of my friends offered me a pack of home made instant Daal. I knew that a lot of instant food is available in the market, but with all the preservatives I did not want to feed that to my daughter. Trust me the Daal was such a blessing, it made my work very easy. Thinking on the same lines I decided to make Sambar , so here is how I made Sambar 

Preparing the daal
1 cup pigeon pea
Soak the Daal for 2-3 hours.
Put water to boil.
Once the water boils, add the washed Daal.
Let boil for 2-4 minutes.
Remove from fire and drain the water.
Leave it in the strainer till completely dry.
Spread the daal on a clean sheet and let dry.
Once it is dry, pulse it well and make a fine powder.
Use this powder and proceed for making your own version of Daal.

Coming to Sambar
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp of Bengal gram and Urad Daal
Pinch asafetida
Few dried curry leaves
Few whole red chilly
Prepared powdered Daal
Sambar powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Pinch citric acid
Salt to taste
Heat oil.
Add mustard seeds, the daals, asafoetida, curry leaves and whole red chillies.
Lightly roast.
Add the powdered Daal, Saute.
Add all dry spices and mix well.
Let cool and then store.

To prepare the Sambar.
Make a paste of instant Sambar and water, put to boil .
Add more water once this is mixed well.
Adjust the Sambar consistency according to your taste.
Boil well and serve hot.

If you wish You could add vegetables to the sambar and cook till they are done.
The powdered daal can be made into Gujrati Daal or Daal Tadka, I will share their recipes later.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ready to eat Poha

BM # 52  Week 4  Day 1

There are a number of Instant foods available in the market. I am not a very big fan of these but do stock a few in case of emergency. While cooking these instant foods I had always wanted to make my own Instant versions, so as soon as Valli announced this theme, I opted for it.

For Day 1 I have a instant Poha.
Poha is beaten rice and does not require much cooking. Our Gujrati friends carry these while traveling and empty these into a bowl, add boiling water and cover, let stand for a few minutes and Voila breakfast is ready!

So much so for the travel pack but you could steam the pohas at home while using this instant version. They taste absolutely fresh and delicious.

My friends do not dry the curry leaves or coriander leaves, but ever since I have learnt to dry these in the MW, I use the dried version, making sure the shelf life increases.

I packed these in a jar . The idea behind it is to tell you that while you are on travel, you just need to add hot boiling water, close the lid and wait for say 5-8 minutes and the Poha swells up and the breakfast is ready to eat from the jar itself !

I know it is difficult to carry jars while traveling, so one can make individual packs and then pack like those cup noodles! I leave the packing and storing options for you!
Just to pep up the poha, you could add chopped onions and Sev .
Here are the step by step pics to help you understand....

Instant Poha
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
Dried curry leaves
1 green chilly chopped finely
Roasted peanuts
1 cup Poha
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch citric acid
1/8 tsp sugar ( optional)
Salt to taste
Dried coriander leaves
Heat oil
Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Let them pop.
Add curry leaves and green chillies.
Add roasted peanuts, Saute.
Add the Poha , roast for a few minutes, adding salt, fennel seeds, turmeric powder, citric acid and sugar if you desire.
Mix well and cool.
Store in a jar.
This shall stay good for a week on your kitchen shelf, but longer in the refrigerator.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fun with Sandwiches

BM # 52   Week 3   Day 3

For the third day under Snacking all the way, I have some Fun Sandwiches for little kids. These are simple sandwiches which the kids would enjoy making themselves too. They just need a few slices of bread, butter and some veggie to create these fun faces.

What you need

Bread slices
Butter / cheese spread
Cucumber slices
Tomato slices

You will need a round cookie cutter to cut the faces.

Apply butter or cheese spread.
Make fun faces as shown or let the kids create some thing they fancy.

These are the sandwiches which we made while my grand kids were around, they are 8 and 4 and wanted to cut the veggies themselves, but I  did not allow to do that, rest they did on their own. They saw some of these faces on their ipad and worked.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Seyal Pav

BM # 52  Week 3 Day 2

Seyal Pav is a Sindhi breakfast or evening snack which I normally cook for my neice when she gets back from school.She loves it and gets done quickly. The taste is absolutely delicious and is enjoyed best when it is piping hot , not that a cold one does'nt taste good, but for sure hot ones are much better.
She enjoys them nice and spicy, but you could cut down the chillies as per your taste.These Pavs are my Day 2 post for Snacking all the way under Kids Delight.

Seyal pav
2 onions, finely chopped
2-3 tomatoes, finely chopped or coarsely blended in a mixer.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green chilly, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
2-3 tbsp tamarind water
Salt to taste
2 pieces Pav or loaf bread
Coriander leaves for garnish

Heat oil.
Add garlic, let it turn pink.
Add onions, Saute till translucent.
Add the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes dry, add the spices and coriander leaves.
Cook till oil separates.
Add a cup of water and tamarind water.
Let it boil for a few minutes.
Now add one piece of pav, once it is soaked remove with a slotted spoon and place it on a non stick pan.
Similarly dip the second pav piece also.
Now drizzle some oil on the non stick pan and place both the pieces. Cover and cook on slow fire for a minute or two.
Serve hot.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cheesy Pav Bhaji Loaf

BM # 52 Week 3 Day 1

For this week I have the theme Snacking all the way under Kids Delight.
Well since we dont have any small kids at home I have chosen recipes which are for a little older kids , so these have some spice in them. The same recipes could be followed for the younger ones without extra spice.
The first dish is a Pav Bhaji Loaf. This is what my son makes for himself when I make Pav Bhaji. At times he wants to change the form of this street food and give it that conti look. Here he has used the same laadi Pav and bhaji that we normally make with those buns. The transformation is amazing.

Pav Bhaji Loaf
Pav Bhaji
2 laadi pav
Take two pavs, both should be joined to each other.
Make two slits in each Pav and one slit on the joint.
Make sure you do not cut them through .
Apply butter in between the slits.
Next apply some garlic chutney in the same slits.
Using a spoon fill in the slits with the Pav bhaji sabzi.
Grate cheese on top.
Wrap this loaf in a foil and bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the foil carefully and enjoy.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Sev Khamani - A Gujrati Speciality for Indian Cooking Challenge

It has been nearly 36 years since I have been living in Gujarat, but to be honest I have still not acquired my taste for some of the Gujju food. I cannot tolerate a sweet Gujrati Dal, which happens to be a favorite with the family. Then there are snacks which are totally rocking. The Gujju Dhoklas, Paatras ,Khaman all taste awesome . Let me tell you even though I cook Gujju food but as yet I have to ask my friends for a perfect authentic recipe. 

Among Gujju snacks Khaman is very popular, it is made of Besan or chick pea flour or gram flour. These are steamed lentil cakes, which are tempered after steaming. These same cakes are crumbled and then tempered all over again and a new dish is evolved which is called Sev Khamani.

The Sev Khamani which is available in the market is pretty oily and spicy too, but still we enjoy eating. I have been eating this Khamani since years, but truthfully I had never bothered to get the recipe. It is recently when I had lots of Khaman , I decided to make it for evening snacks.

This is my post for The Indian Cooking Challenge for the month of May.

Sev Khamani
Makes about 15-16 pieces

For Khaman 
11/2 cups gram flour
1/4 cup semolina
2 green chillies+ 1" piece ginger , made into a paste
1-1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp oil
2 tsp ENO fruit salt
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except the ENO in a large mixing bowl.
Mix everything very well, making sure there are no lumps.
Place a steamer on gas with 3 cups of water.
Let the water boil.
Grease a Thali.
Add the ENO fruit salt to the batter and mix very well.
Bubbles will form, but stir well. 
Pour the batter in the Thali, and place it in the steamer.
You might need to put the batter into two thaalis.
Close the lid and let it steam for 10-15 minutes.
Check with a knife if done, the knife should come out clean.
Cut into pieces to serve as khaman.
For Sev khamani crumble these pieces.

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds ( optional )
Pinch asafoetida 
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Few curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup nylon Sev
1/ 2 cup pomegranate pearls
1/4 cup coconut, grated (optional)
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
Lemon juice

Heat oil.
Add mustard seeds, let crackle.
Add sesame seeds and immediately add asafoetida.
Add curry leaves, green chilly and minced garlic.
Let the garlic turn pink.
Add turmeric powder and the crumbled khaman pieces.
Mix well.
Transfer into a bowl.
Sprinkle nylon Sev , coriander leaves, coconut and pomegranate pearls.
Drizzle lemon juice.
Serve right away.

The khamani can be made in advance but the Sev and rest of the garnishes should be added only at the time of serving.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Chocolate Dessert served in a jar

BM # 52   Week 2   Day 3

For Day 3 under creamy recipes I have a dessert served in a jar. 

My elder daughter is very fond of chocolaty stuff, so are her kids. After a lunch or a dinner she looks around for something chocolaty , I try to ensure that there is some kind of chocolate when she comes . My niece is the same ! she too looks for a chocolate sweet after meals.So when there is nothing of their choice they both jiggle up something. This dessert is one of their beautiful experiments which all of us loved.
Yes ,chocolate mousse is what they decided I only asked them to make at least one serving in a jar. The dessert had a layer of crushed biscuits, chocolate mousse ,in between swirls of dulce le che and then topped with some whipped cream, flavored with strawberry .

Absolutely yummy dessert which was loved to the core. Sad that we had very little cream so we could whip up only one jar, the rest of the dessert was made in shot glasses without the cream. I could not click the pics of the rest of the glasses as they were attacked right away.

The dessert goes to Valli's Kids Delight which is hosted by Mireille.

Here is how the dessert was made

Layer 1 
3-4 digestive biscuits, crushed
1/2 tsp butter
Mix the biscuits and butter until crumbly.
Spoon this mix at the bottom of the jar and press with a wooden spoon.
Place it in the frig for 10 minutes.

Layer 2
Pour a layer of mousse

Layer 3 
Dulce le che
Next add some Dulce le che
Just swirl the mousse and Dulce le che.

Layer 4 
Whipped strawberry flavored cream
Pipe a swirl of strawberry flavored cream.

Chill the dessert and serve.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Tandalachi Kheer / Maharashtrian kheer

BM # 52  Week 2   Day 2

Among milk based Indian desserts , kheers have always been my favorite. I am amazed by the umpteen variations we have. The basic ingredients remain the same, but the name varies , the cooking procedure and the taste varies from state to state, from family to family.

For today I have a Maharashtrian Kheer, called Tandalachi Kheer. Rice is called Tandul in Marathi and hence this name.

This kheer reminded me of the Phirni where I soak the rice and grind, here they have been roasted and ground. The kheer tasted delicious and had mixed reactions. Well everyone loved it, only there were lot of comparisons.Some found Phirni better while others felt the roasted rice lend a wonderful flavor to the kheer. 

The kheer is my Day 2 post under Creamy stuff and it goes to Valli's kids delight which is being hosted by Mireille this month and Anniversary Mela at Valli's place.

Tandalachi Kheer

3/4 cup rice
1 cup sugar
3 cups milk
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 big piece dry coconut
6 - 8 almonds
6 - 8 cashews
4 - 5 dry dates , pitted
Almonds and pistachios for garnishing

Dry roast the rice on medium fire, till you get a wonderful aroma and the rice is slightly brown.
Grind the rice coarsely.
Grind the dry fruits coarsely.
Boil 2 cups of water and add rice and cook till rice is  completely cooked.
Add sugar.
Add the ground dried fruits.
Add ghee , milk and cardamom powder.
Let simmer, stirring often.
Let the Kheer thicken.
Once cool, chill , serve in individual bowls and garnish.

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