Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bangalore Style Stuffed Mirchi

Mirchi/Chilly Bajjis/Pakodas are perfect match on a rainy or cold evening with a cuppa.
But this time when it was cloudy outside, I was feeling a bit low because, I was just remembering my days in Bangalore, When we used go out for shopping in the evening, and suddenly it used to start drizzling..we used run for the shade...but some where from near by, the aroma of hot fried pakodas would drag us to  the shop.
This one place we would never miss to visit when we were nearby...was our hot bajji spot...
He used make whole  green bell pepper(green Capsicum) pakodas...once fried cut hot pakodas into quarters and sprinkle generously chopped onion, grated carrot, chopped coriander top it with red chilly powder and a squeeze of lemon...mouth watering..this would continue to rest of bajjis/pakodas like raw bananas, baby corn, mirchis and so on...We would stuff ourselves and return home and skip our dinner.
The clouds were supporting my mood today..ready to pour  from sky and my eyes...all those days came flashing in front of my eyes..I just don't know how many evenings we cousins spent shopping and enjoying these foods..Wish I could go back again of all worries and responsibilities..I know it almost near to  impossible..but anyway..I simply craved for that stuffed what next?..went into the kitchen and looked into my fridge..I was lucky to find the chillies to make pakodas..being sunday, husband and kids having a nap after thought of surprising them, when they wake up..
Also made some green chutney to go with..since my lil one doesnt eat spicy food, so thought of making some potato bajjis for her..Once done and the family came down for it is the stuffed mirchi bajji with hot coffee..we all enjoyed a lot..needless to say skipped lunch..but it surely took me to good old days for few hours...hah..sigh..

Mirchis/Chillies - 10-12,
Chickpea/Besan Flour - 2 cups,
Rice Flour - 1/2 cup,
Red chilly Powder - 2 teaspoons( I used mildly spiced),
Sodium Bi  Carbonate - 1/2 teaspon,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,(do not heat, it is just raw oil).
Oil to deep fry pakodas

For Stuffing:
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Carrot - 1 large grated,
Coriander Leaves chopped - 3 tablespoon,
Red Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon,
Lemon juice - juice of 1 large lemon.

In a kadai keep oil to heat.
Slit the chilies and desseed it, if you find it very spicy.
Mix chickpea flour, salt, red chilly power, rice flour, soda and mix well.
Slowly add water to make a smooth, medium thick, lump less batter.
The chillys should hold the battter, not flow away, when to put into hot oil.
So I have said slightly thicker batter.
Add one tablespoon of oil  to the batter(dont need to heat) and mix well.
When the Oil in the kadai is medium hot, 
Dip chillys in batter and deep fry evenly to golden brown.
Remove and drain excess oil on a kitchen towel.
Meanwhile, mix onions, grated carrot, coriander leaves and keep aside.
Once the mirchi pakodas are fried, make a little larger slit in the middle of the pakodas.
Stuff generously the stuffing mixture, sprinkle salt, red chilly powder and squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve Immediately with  green chutney and enjoy.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Banana Milk Shake

Yet another basic milkshake recipe..when I first made a was banana milkshake..
I remember reading in a local magazine...then I wanted to try it.
I soo wanted to try  because we had got our new fridge...I wanted to chill the milkshake and drink it.
The recipe  called for only few basic banana, sugar, milk, fresh cream or malai and lemon.
At First I was wondering why ? lemon...later I found out to stop the discolouration of the bananas.
Through the process making it for many years..there was many changes to make it  healthy.
I omitted fresh cream, used semi skimmed milk, instead of sugar..used honey..sometimes added more bananas...added maple syrup..flax seeds powder and so on..
Add nuts like almond powder and add vanilla essence...
But whatever even today I enjoy and love it the same way I did the first time.
It is a compulsory drink I have after my breakfast on saturdays in summers.

Banana - 3 large,
Chilled Milk - 250 ml,
Sugar/Honey/Maple Syrup - 1 Tablespoon,
Flax Seeds Powder - 1/4 teaspoon,
Vanilla Essence - 1/4 teaspoon,
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon.

Method : 
Blend all the ingredients, in a blender, to smooth frothy liquid and pour it to glasses add ice cubes and serve.
If you cannot have any kind of sweetener, add one extra banana while blending.
If you want to add oats, add 1 tablespoon powdered and soaked oats.
You can also add almond powdered to it

Raw Mango Thokku

It is my atte's(my father's younger sister) signature dish.
In my childwood days, summers would mean, raining tender mangoes, big omelette variety mangoes and to ripe mangoes in our backyard.
It would start with tender mangoes/baby mangoes pickling in jaadis/chettis.
The aroma of that raw mangoes would fill the house.
We would steal couple of those, break it by keeping them in door joints.
Then add salt and chilly powder and enjoy it.
Then while pickling big cut mangoes, it was to save few of them and make this thokku/Chutney.
We used to love this chutney with dosa, idly and with hot steamed rice.
This time when I went for Indian grocery shopping, saw those big raw mangoes, picked it up.
The first thing after I came back called up my aunt and took the recipe.

Big Raw Mango - 3 quite sour(when I grated I got 750 grams of grated mango),
Oil- 150 grams,
Mustard - 1 tablespoon,
Curry Leaves - 20 leaves,
Whole Red Chillies - 10,
Turmeric - 1 teaspoon,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly - 200 grams Powdered,
Asafoetida - 10 grams,
Sugar/Jaggery - 1 and 1/2 tabelespoon.

Dry roast fenugreek seeds/methi seeds until nice brown.
Take care not to burn, or else it turns bitter.
Powder and keep aside.
In a kadai, add oil and heat it.
Add mustard seeds, when it crackles, add asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies.
Add grated mango and fry until it soft,
Add turmeric, salt, red chilly powder and fenugreek seeds and mix well.
Cook for five more minutes.
Remove from heat, cool until it warm.
Add sugar or grated jaggery and mix well.
Allow to cool well and store in air tight jars.

Papaya MilkShake

One more Summer cool drink.
In summers you always want to drink something cool.
It may be from simple lemonade to any other fresh fruit juice or cool cool milk shakes.
I like milkshakes after my light breakfast in the morning or in between breakfast and lunch.
It keeps you cool and healthy for long, you don't need to munch on any high calorie snacks.
If you add oats, skimmed milk, add less sugar/no sugar or replace with honey..makes a healthy drink and filling too.

Papaya - ripe 1 small size or say 1 medium sized bowl heaped
Milk - Chilled 2 cups
Sugar/Honey - 1 tablespoon or less(optional),
Lemon - 1 tablespoon.
Ice cubes -few.

In a blender add all the ingredients and blend well.
Pour in glasses, add more ice cubes and serve.

I have used semi skimmed milk, you can use skimmed milk or whole fat milk.
Adding lemon gives a nice zing to the milkshake.
You can oats powder or soaked oats.
You can skip honey/sugar or skip its optional.
You can flax seeds powder, almond powdered or ground to make it healthy.
I haven't added ice cubes as my kids and hubby cant have ice.

Saffron Almond/Badam Milk

It is one of my favourite cool drink during summers,
Its favourite and common in all households in India.
Drink it hot or cold, it always relishes you.
It is very healthy to all ages, be it kids or grown ups.
I love this drink during summer nights after my food.
Adding a pinch of nutmeg powder, adds more spice to  the milk but also get a good night sleep.
Nutmeg is said to be best medicine for insomnia/sleeplessness.
Homemade fresh and all the goodness of milk, almonds and a pinch of dry ginger powder and a pinch of nutmeg powder.
Saffron not only gives unique yellow color and flavour, also saffron is good skin lightning.
Cardamom gives that needed nice aroma for the drink.

Milk - 2 cups,
Almond - 10-12,
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Honey - 1 tablespoon,
Saffron few strands,
Nutmeg Powder - a pinch,
Dry Ginger Powder - a pinch,
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 teaspoon,
Pistachio - chopped to garnish.

Soak almond in warm water for 4-6 hours or overnight,
Then remove skin, save a couple to garnish and grind rest to smooth paste with milk.
Soak saffron in warm milk, again save one or two strands to garnish.
Now bring milk to boil, once it gets a boil add ground paste of almond.
Cook for a minute, add sugar/honey(optional).
Remove from heat.
Add nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder and cardamom powder.
If you  want to serve chilled cool it well, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Then remove from fridge and serve with chopped almonds, pistachios and saffron strands.
If you want to serve it hot, serve it immediately garnished with chopped almonds, pistachios and saffron strands.

Adding sugar or honey is completely optional.
I have used semi skimmed milk, you can also use skimmed or whole fat milk, choice is yours.

Masala Akki Rotti/Masala Rice Flour Rottis

One more rice flour rottis with veggies like onions and grated carrot.
You can add veggies of your choice, today I am adding only classic two veggies for  masala  rotti is chopped onion and grated carrot.
In this rotti, I feel its tastes good even without coconut, its completely optional to add or not add coconut, as I feel it becomes very heavy.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1tablespoon,
Sugar - 1  teaspoon,
Onion -  1 largefinely chopped,
Carrots -  1/2 cup grated,
Asafoetida -  1 large pinch,
Coriander - 2  tablespoon finely chopped,
Oil to cook.

Other than water and oil, mix rest of the ingredients well.
Slowly add water to make a stiff dough.
On a non stick  pan, add few drops of oil and spread all over the pan.
Take a tennis ball size dough and spread evenly on tawa and out it on medium flame.
Cook it on a medium flame, covered.
Once the bottom is crisp and cooked, flip/turn over and cook for few more minutes.
Remove from pan, serve it with chutney, ghee or butter.

To know  the tips and dill  leaves rotti click here.
For hyacinth beans rotti/Avarekaalu rotti click here

Dill Leaves Rice Flour Rotti/Sabbisige Soppu Akki Rotti

Being born and brought up in Mysore, I love distinct Mysore cuisine.
Some are very integral food of Mysore Cuisine, one of them is akki rotti or simply rice flour rottis.
It is eaten as breakfast, with chutney and home made fresh ghee.
Yum Yum..cant resist. To finish with hot cup of filter coffee....aaahhh nostalgic.
Waking up for these are a bliss.
Making this rottis are very simple, the base dough is of fine rice flour, cumin seeds asafoetida, generous amount of grated fresh coconut, finely chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves,salt and a dash of sugar.  That's  it.
Now you can add veggies of your choice like onion, grated carrot, cucumber, radish, potato, chow chow and so can also add leafy green veggies like dill leaves(sabbisige soppu), like I am doing today or Fenugreek leaves(menthya soppu).
You can add any one of these veggies or combination of veggies, to make it healthy.
It is one of the best breakfast recipes, good for a weekday and lunch boxes and weekend relaxing brunch.
You can add more veggies and skip coconut, spread on a non stick pan with couple of drops  of oil and spread and cook, to make a healthier version.
Today I am making rottis on a flat non stick pan, but you make it on a aluminium kadai which is more yumm, but requires a little more oil, for that you can refer here.
Also for Hyacinth Bean(avarekaalu/Mochakottai) Akki  Rotti refer here.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon,
Sugar -1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 6-7 finely chopped,
Fresh Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup(optional),
Dill Leaves - 1 cup cleaned, washed and finely chopped,
Water as required,
Oil to cook.

Except oil and water mix rest of the dry ingredients well.
Slowly add water(normal tap water), and make a medium thick dough, easy to make balls and spread like rottis.
But take care if is loose dough, you will not  be able to  spread it, and will not be crisp, when you cook.
Spread few drops of oil on a non stick pan and wipe it well on the pan.
Now take a tennis ball size dough in your hand, spread on the pan, slowly pressing and working on it to spread a even size rotti.
It is should be neither too thin or thick, it should be medium thick and evenly spread to cook evenly and crisp equally.
Put it on medium flame and cover and cook, once it turns crisp and brown on the bottom side, flip it and cook in low flame for few more minutes.
Remove from heat and serve hot with coconut chutney and fresh ghee or butter.

If you find  the dough is very stiff, while spreading, then wet your hands with water and work on it.
Green Chillies is according to your taste and spice you prefer, you can also completely skip, if you want to.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Fresh Red Grape Juice

Start of Spring-Summer,  makes you crave for something cool coo1!!!!
Time to have and relish some fruit juices...exotic fruits like mango, grapes, pineapple and so on..
Sometimes it is good to mix two or three fruit juices and enjoy!!!!
My kids love fresh fruit juice, Me too prefer fresh juice made at home, rather than giving the store bought carton ones, though it says fresh but it is not fresh and loaded with sugar.
So I always try to make fresh fruit juice at home, replace sugar with honey, or no sugar at all if the fruit itself is very sweet.
We enjoy in the afternoon or after our brunch, usually after our evening snack, like sandwiches with spicy chutneys and cool fresh fruit juice..aaahhh!!! heaven, reminds me of my college days and Bangalore days, when after a hot day, drizzle of rain in the evening, the smell of the mud, the scent of jasmine in the breeze and hot pakodas and sandwich with cool cool juice or even sugarcane juice...aaawww!!!!!nostalgia!!!!!!

Red Seedless Grapes - 500 grams washed and drained,
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon,
Honey or Sugar - 1 teaspoon,(optional),
Chilled water - 250 ml,
Salt - a pinch
Sprigs of mint to garnish.

Pick grapes from the bunch and separate from the sticks.
Wash and Clean the grapes well and drain water completely.
Put the cleaned grapes, salt, honey/sugar in the blender.
Blend it to smooth paste, about 5-6 minutes.
Adding sugar is completely optional, if  the grapes are sweet than you skip honey or sugar.
Now after blending,  you can strain the juice, to keep the juice free of grape skin, to keep clear juice only.
Or you can just add water and ice to the blended paste and blend for couple of minutes to form the frothy texture .
Serve in glasses with garnishing of mint and more ice.
Here I haven't added ice, as my family is allergic to ice.
Again I have added lemon juice, to break the too sweet grapes juice with a little tangy lemon and salt to break the too sweetness of grapes.
Its up to you alter any of these.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Vellarai Keerai/Brahmi Leaves/Pennywort Leaves Pepper Kuzhambu

This is an amazing herb grown in the backyard, it is called by different names..In kannada as ondelaga, in tamil vallarai keerai, in English Pennywort, In Ayurveda as Brahmi.
Its a wonderful memory booster, when we were little, a onth before exams, we used to pluck five or six of these leaves from our backyard garden, wash it and chew it to increase our memory.
Its not just because its has amazing medicinal values, but also it tastes yum, in chutney, sambhar or tambuli.
We include this tasty leafy once every week in our food, in different ways.
Today I am sharing a very tasty pepper kuzhambu made from these leaves.
Its easy, tasty and healthy, so what more reasons you want to include in your diet.

Pennywort Leaves - 2 cups loosely packed,
The leaves are picked and washed before and kept ready,
Chanadal - 3/4 teaspoon,
Uraddal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Coriander Seeds - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons,
Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon, 
Red Chillies - 2,
Sesame Oil - 1and 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind Paste - 2 teaspoons,
Jaggery - 1/2 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 1/2 cup loosely packed,

To Temper:
Sesame Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 4 to 5 torn.

In a kadai heat 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and add chanadal, uraddal, coriander seeds, red chillies and pepper corn and fry until dals, turn golden.
Add the curry leaves and pennywort leaves and fry, until leaves wilt.
Remove from heat, and cool.
Grind it with tamarind paste and water to a smooth paste.
In the same kadai, heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.
Add mustard, when it crackles add, curry leaves.
After few seconds add ground paste, salt and jaggery and boil.
Once it boils, check the consistency, it should be medium thick consistency.
Adjust water accordingly.
Enjoy with hot steaming rice with a drop of more sesame oil.

I would suggest to use sesame oil  only for the distinct flavour.