Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Aloo Parata

Aloo/Potato is a stuffed flat bread, usually had for breakfast in Punjab and northern part of India.
Cooked potatoes are mixed with spices and salt and stuffed in wheat flour dough and rolled to thick discs and shallow fried to crisp in oil or ghee.
These are served with chole/chickpeas or plain yogurt raitha, pickle  and white butter.
I have made slight changes to suit the palette of our family.
First we do not prefer heavy breakfast any day...
Mornings to be light and simple food.
So I make paratas for brunch on weekends.
Try to make it as healthy as possible.
I add just few drops of oil to cook and serve with pickle and raitha.

For Outer Dough:
Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup,
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Water - 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons.

For Stuffing:
Potato - 4 medium cooked, skin peeled and mashed,
Chopped green chillies - 1 teaspoon,
or Red chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon,
or Amchur Powder - 1/2 teaspoon.
Oil to cook paratas.

First in a wide bowl mix salt and flour.
Slowly add water and bringing flour together into a medium pliable dough.
Rub oil on the dough and cover and rest it, until the stuffing is ready.
In a bowl, mix mashed potatoes and rest of the ingredients except, oil for cooking and mix well.

Now proceed to  make paratas, take a lemon size dough and roll into 2 inch diameter round disc.
Take a small lemon size potato stuffing and place in the middle of the  disc, and bring flour edges together to cover the stuffing very well and seal it well.
Dip this balls in the flour and roll out evenly thick sized discs.
Heat the griddle,  place the rolled paratas on the  hot griddle and cook on both sides until crisp and brown, adding few  drops  of oil on each side while cooking.
Repeat the same with rest of dough and filling and cook the paratas.
Serve hot with butter, yogurt raitha, pickle or chole  and enjoy.

While rolling the paratas, if a bit of stuffing comes out, it is absolutely fine.
Take care not to over cook potatoes, if  the potatoes  are  soggy they will not bind well, makes  difficult to roll.
If it happens, add a bit  flour on the stuffing and seal and roll, this  should help.

Southekaayi/Cucumber hasi saasive

Saasive is a simple side dish to be enjoyed with rice..Sasive means mustard in Kannada.
Its a mustard and coconut based dish. Since in Karnataka rice is the staple food, we make lots of side dishes to  go with rice, like chutneys, dry powders, thambulis, saasive and so on.
'Hasi' means raw, dont need to boil this dish.
There is also saasive..which needs boiling of vegetables and the ground paste.
This is a very easy and simple dish.
Coconut, red/green chillies, mustard, sesame seeds, tamarind paste, salt and jaggery/sugar is ground to paste.
Then chopped cucumber is added and temepred with  mustard, curry leaves and served with hot plain steamed rice.
You can also used grated beetroot, fried okra, lightly fried grated beetroot, mango, pineapple, seedless grapes and so on.

Cucumber - 1/2 cup chopped,

To Grind:
Coconut - 4 tablespoons,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Red/Green Chillies - 2,
Sesame Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind paste - 1/3 teaspoon,
Jaggery/Sugar - 3/4 teaspoon,

To Temper:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard  - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida/Hing - a pinch,
Chana dal and Urad dal - 1 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - few.

Peel the skin of cucumber and chop finely and keep aside.
Grind the ingredient, under grinding table with water to thick smooth past.
Remove the  paste in a bowl.
Mix chopped cucumber and mix well.
Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard  and hing.
When mustard splutters, add the dals and fry until golden brown.
Add curry leaves  and fry crisp.
Add this to the ground paste and cucumber mixture and mix well.
Serve with steam rice and enjoyy...

No Grind Simple Vegetable Pulao

There are days, especially cloudy, gloomy days, when I dont want to have my regular meal, but want to have a simple warm satisfying one plate meal.
Because I will not be in mood to cook, no choice I have to cook, whether I am in a mood or not.
Those days, when kids and hubby are gone out for long school and office hours, like today.
I will be left to cook myself and spend a long day lazily...honestly I like to spend the day lazily, without any hurry, doing all the chores slowly in my own time, with some music.
So this  pulao, do not require any grinding, can be done within half hour and enjoyed warm all for  yourself.
You can use only ghee to cook pulao, its optional.
But I have used oil instead and finally drizzled a spoon of shudh ghee for aroma and taste.
You can top with any salan or raitha.
But I love to have just the pulao, with no side dish.
Its very easy.
Chop vegetables, soak rice for 20 minutes, there you go...

Basmathi Rice - 1 cup, sooaked for 20 minutes,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Bay Leaf - 2,
Cinnamon - 2, 1 inch stick,
Cloves - 4,
Cardamom - 1,
Star Anise - 1,
Cashew - 10-12, optional,
Green Chillies - 2 slit length wise,
Garlic - 5 cloves finely chopped,
Onion - 1 medium sliced,
Mixed Vegetables - 3/4 cup(Beans, Carrot, potato, cauliflower,..),
Green Peas -  2 tablespoon, fresh/frozen,
Water - 2 cups boiled,
Ghee - 1 teaspoon, optional.

After soaking period of rice is done, drain water completely from water and keep aside.
In a wide pan, heat oil/ghee.
Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and star anise.
Fry for few seconds, until all the masalas emit nice aroma to the oil.
Add cashew nut and fry until lightly browned.
Add green chillies and fry for a few seconds.
Add chopped garlic and fry until light brown.
Add onions and fry until transclucent.
Add veggies and peas and fry, until they are half cooked.
Add rice and fry gently for 2 minutes.
Add boiling water and salt and mix well.
Cover and cook  in high for 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium low and cook until all the water is evaporated.
Remove from heat and cover and keep it for 5 more minutes.
Drizzle a teaspoon of ghee and mix.
Enjoy with salan or raitha., like me just like that..

Spicy Boondi Mixture/Khara Boondi Mixture

Spicy Boondi a cup of hot tea is my favourite evening snack..though my favourite snack.
 I dont make and enjoy very often, as it is deep fried and loaded with calories.
It also goes very well  with sambhar, bisibelebhath and also as a snack.
You can use the same boondi for making boondi chaat and also in pani puris.
It is very easy and simple to make, just that you have to get the right consistency and right temperature of oil.
For a cup of fine besan, add one tablespoon of rice flour, salt and rd chilly powder and a bit of bi carbonate of soda.
Mix with water to medium thick consistency, like dosa batter consistency without any lumps.
It should be free flowing.
The temperature of the oil should be hot and a little smoky.

Chickpea flour/Besan - 1cup,
Rice Flour - 1 tablespoon,
Bi Carbonate of soda - a pinch,
Water as required,
Oil as required to fry,
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon.

For Tempering:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida/Hing - apinch,
Peanuts - 2 tablespoon,
Curry Leaves - 10-12.

In a deep, wide, frying pan add sufficient oil and heat.
In a bowl sieve the besan/chickpea flour twice, to ensure it is smooth and lump free.
Add rice flour to besan and mix well.
Add soda and mix well or alternately sieve it with besan.
Add water slowly and mix without lumps to  a smooth batter of medium thick consistency.
Take a perforated spoon wash and dry well and keep ready. 
When the oil is heated well and a bit smoky, then the oil is ready for boondis to be fried.
In a scoop kind of spoon and fill it with batter, keep the perforated spoon above the oil, say about few inches high on the oil, and pour the batter from the spoon,
Take care the heat rises up and you might feel the heat.
Once you pour the batter on the perforated spoon and rub it with the back of the scoop spoon, as to ensure all the the batter on the perforated spoon is done with.
Move the boondis in the frying pan to ensure even cooking.
Meanwhile wipe the back of the perforated spoon for next use.
Otherwise the besan batter might get dry and will not be able to use for next batch.
It takes 3-4 minutes for each batch of boondis to cooked.
When they are golden, remove from oil and put on kitchen towel, to drain excess oil.
Repeat the procedure for the rest of the batter.
Once all the boondis are fried, drain excess oil and allow to cool a bit.
When the boondis are warm, add salt and red chilly powder and mix well.
In a pan heat a spoon oil, add hing, curry leaves and peanuts and fry until curry leaves and peanuts are crisp and crunchy.
You can also add broken cashew in tempering, if you wish to.
Add this tempering to boondis and mix well.
When cooled fill in a air tight jar and enjoyy!!

Seven Cups

Seven Cups is sweet barfi...I would say something like Mysore Pak...Both of them is based on chickpea flour as the base ingredient..
Seven Cups is the quantity and ingredients altogether measures to seven cups.
I have made slight changes to the ingredients, instead of just chickpea flour, I have also added some fine semolina to give the crunch,  the soft, melt in mouth chickpea flour.
Its a very easy, made in just under half hour.
When you want to make a quick sweet for your craving sweet tooth or you want to make for guest, who have arrived in short notice.
You can omit semolina, and make only with chickpea flour...semolina is optional.
The important step here to follow is to measure all the ingredients in the same cup, which you are using to measure chickpea flour.
When it comes to sugar, the original recipe has 3 cups of sugar, but I have added just two cups, according to my taste.
You can alter and add more or less than that.
I love pistachios, so I have garnished with pistachios, you can add any nuts and dry fruits of your choice or just keep it simple and plain.
When it comes to chickpea flour, I would prefer home made chickpea flour, like get chickpeas and mill it in a mill, dry cool and store in a airtight container.
You can use store bought good chickpea flour.
Chickpea flour is Besan/Kadale maavu/Kadale Hittu.

Chickpea Flour/Besan - 1 cup,
Fine Semolina/Fine Rava - 1/4 cup,
Ghee - 1 cup melted,
Milk - 1 cup boiled and cooled,
Fresh/Frozen Grated Coconut - 1 cup,
Sugar - 2 cups,
Saffron - few stands optional,
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Pistachios for garnishing.

In a deep, thick bottomed pan, add chickpea flour and fry until warm.
It should not change colour or should not emit aroma.
Remove chickpea flour from heat and keep aside.
In the same pan add semolina and fry until warm, remove from heat.
In the same pan add milk, sugar and coconut and mix well and heat.
Add ghee and mix well.
Add chickpea flour and semolina slowly and mix well without lumps.
Bring it to boil.
Once it boils, lower the heat to medium low and keep stirring.
The mixture slowly starts to thicken.
Meanwhile  grease a plate with ghee and keep ready.
After 15 to 17 minutes of stirring, you will notice the mixture coming together.
At this stage, the mixture becomes porus, frothy and comes together leaving the  pan.
Add the cardamom powder, saffron and mix well.
Immediately pour the mixture to the greased plate.
Smoothen the mixture and spread it even with rolling pin or spatula.
Immediately cut into squares or diamonds, the shape you wish.
Within few you can savour this melt in mouth barfi.

Nuchina Unde

Nuchina unde is a tasty lentil based steamed savoury dumplings.. if I have to put it in that way...also a very good alternative to the fried snack..
It is one whole snack in itself very filling and healthier..
It can also be added to mor kuzhambu/majjige Huli instead of vegetables and had with hot steamed rice.
You can either use split chickpeas or tuvar dal(non oily).
Or either mix of both.
I have used only tuvar dal to keep it healthy.
You have to saok dal dal for 2 hours but not more than 3 hours.
Grind red chillies, turmeric, ginger, asafoetida, cumin coarsely.
Then drain water completely from dal, and grind it coarsely, like a dal should be broken into 4 to 5 parts maximum.
Add this coarse dal mixture to the coarse paste.
Add salt, chopped coriander, curry leaves and fresh/frozen coconut.
Mix well.
The mixture should be tight and binding.
Make small size balls steam them until cooked, like idllies, without adding whistle to the cooker and serve hot with chutney or morkuzhambu.

Tuvar Dal - 1 cup,
Green Chillies - 1,
Red Chillies - 1,
Turmeric a pinch,
Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon grated,
Asafoetida  - a pinch,
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Grated coconut fresh/frozen - 1/2 cup,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Curry Leaves  - 8-10 chopped.

Soak dal for two to three hours.
After the soaking time, completely drain water from the dal.
Grind green chilly, red chilly, turmeric, ginger, asafoetida and cumin seeds to a coarse paste, without adding any water.
Now, grind the dal to a coarse powder.
Mix dal and paste,  to this mixture, add grated coconut, salt, coriander and curry leaves and mix well.
Meanwhile keep the streamer ready, if you are using idly plates grease them.
Or alternately grease a big bowl which you can place in the steamer
Make small balls and put them on the greased idly plates or bowl.
Do not over crowd the bowl.
Cover and cook in high flame for 5 minutes and lower the heat to medium to low and cook for another 10- 12 minutes.
If you insert a tooth pick or skewer it should come out clean.
Cool the for 2 minutes and enjoy hot nuchina  undes with fresh coconut chutney or mor kuzhambu/majjige huli.
You can find the recipe for the moz kuzhambu/majjige huli here

You can also use either only chickpea/chana dal or half and half combination of both tuvar dal and chana dal.
The soaking time would be the same.
You can also add washed cleaned, chopped methi leaves or dill leaves or finely chopped onions.
Again one of the above or combination of them.
If you are using pressure cooker, then do not use the whistle to steam them, just steam them like idllies or dhoklas.