Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paneer masala dosa

Several years back, my parents and I went to a roof top restaurant which had advertised a "Dosa Mela" that featured more than a 100 varieties of dosa. The thought of the humble batter which we only turned into a ghee roast or uttappam or masala dosa, being churned out in a 100 variants was intriguing. Only when we went in did we realist that more than 50 varieties were non vegetarian and the ones that were vegetarian didn't look or sound very appetizing. Needless to say, we stuck to our regular masala dosa and ghee roast.
Today, on the last day of the blogging marathon, I decided to get out of my routine and whip up a different masala as the stuffing for the dosa.

What you need:
For the masala:

Onion - 1, chopped fine
Carrot - 1, grated
Paneer - 1 cup, grated
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Ajwain seeds/omam - 1 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Kasuri methi - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add the jeera and ajwain. After a few seconds, add the onions and saute until translucent. Add in the grated carrots, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, and salt. Stir well. Sprinkle a little water over it and cook over a low flame until done. Add the grated paneer and kasuri methi. Stir well and heat for a few minutes. Switch off heat and set aside.

To make paneer masala dosa:

Pour a ladleful of dosa batter on to a hot dosa pan. Spread into a thin circle. Drizzle some oil over it.

When the under side starts to brown, flip over and cook for a few seconds. Flip over again and spread some masala over half of the dosa.

Fold the other half over this.

Serve hot with chutney and sambar.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kothamalli sevai (Corriander rice noodles)

Sevai is a dish that always brings up memories of Sunday evenings while growing up. My mother would make this as a special weekend treat. The process was not a simple one.....she would cook rice flour in a large kadai, roll them into balls while they were still warm and then, using an iron press, press them out into thin, long strings. That done, the rice noodles would then be flavoured with either a simple tadka of mustard and urad dal, or be turned into coconut or lemon sevai.
Things are much easier these days with ready made sevai available in stores. All that you have to do is immerse it in hot water for a few minutes and then proceed to flavour it. Today's recipe is a little different from the usual because it uses corrainder as the major ingredient.

What you need:
Sevai/Rice noodles - 1 packet, prepared according to instructions on the package and cooled.
Corriander/Cilantro/kothamalli - 1 bunch
Green chilli - 3 (adjust to taste)
Ginger - a 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4 or 5 cloves
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbps
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp

Grind the corriander, ginger, garlic and green chilli to a smooth paste adding as little water as possible.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal. When the seeds pop, add the ground paste and saute on a low flame until the raw smell is gone and it changes to a dark green colour. Add the cooked sevai and salt. Mix well.
Serve with coconut chutney.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Apple semiya payasam

My little girl would be content if I fed her only fruits all day - no rice, no rotis, no spicy curries. That, I think, would be an ideal day for her. However, I am the proverbial monster-mother who forces her to eat rice, sambar, veggies and rotis every single day. It is amazing to see how the nose that wrinkles up in disgust at the sight of rice will excitedly sniff out a perfectly ripe chikoo or papaya.
Today's dish incorporates fruit into payasam - a dessert that is usually made during festivals.

What you need:
Vermicelli/Semiya - 3/4 cup
Apple - 3/4 cup, peeled and cut into tiny pieces
Water - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup (adjust to taste)
Milk - 1.5 cups
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Cashews, raisins - a few, fried in ghee till golden brown

Take the chopped apple and water in a pan. Stew on low heat for 10-12 minutes until the apples are soft. Add the vermicelli and milk. Continue to cook on low heat until the vermicelli turns soft. Add sugar and stir till it dissolves completely. Remove from heat and add the fried cashews and raisins.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baked bread cups

Bangalore is hot these days......and not in a good way. I find myself trying to avoid spending too much time in the kitchen, my appetite is less, and most of the time I find comfort in a bowl of curd rice. To meet the fruit and veggie quotient, I also make quick salads which don't require standing by the stove for very long. Today I made a chick pea salad, some of which I filled into baked bread cups for an evening snack. The idea of making bread cups is from Tarla Dalal, but the filling is something that I came up with.

What you need:
Bread - 6 slices (or how many ever you intend to serve)
Chickpeas/kabuli channa - 1/2 cup, soaked overnight and cooked
Tomato - 1, chopped fine
Onion - 1, chopped fine
Carrot - 1, grated
Corriander - a little, chopped fine
Salt - to taste
Chaat masala - to taste

Preheat oven to 200 degree centigrade. Cut off the crust of the bread slices and steam them in a microwave steamer for 1:30 minutes. Remove and place each slice on a muffin pan. Press down to form a cup shape. Brush some ghee over the bread and bake for 10-12 minutes until brown and crisp. Baking time will vary from oven to oven.
Once baked, remove the cups and keep aside until ready to use.
To make the filling, mix all the ingredients together and spoon some into each bread cup.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crispy rice balls

Don't we all at some time or the other, cook a little too much, and then wonder what to do with the leftovers? It happens to me more often than I care to admit, and I am always on the look out for ideas to turn these leftovers into new dishes that can be made with minimum fuss. Sometimes I have these brainwaves which help me turn an ordinary upma into something unique, or to jazz up rotis into a breakfast dish. This time, though, inspiration came in the form of Tarla Dalal's cookbook - Healthy Snacks for Kids.
Today's dish is a snack that can be made in a jiffy. What's unusual about that? Well, not only is this something that you can whip up quickly, but it is also a great way to use up leftovers. Some left over rice, and chopped/grated veggies of your choice is all that you need to make a really crunchy and crisp tea time snack.

Recipe source : Tarla Dalal's Healthy Snacks for Kids
What you need:
Cooked rice - 1 cup
Carrot - 1, grated
Onion - 1, chopped fine
Green chilli - 2 or 3, minced (adjust to taste)
Corriander leaves - a handful, chopped fine
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Water - roughly 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - for deep frying

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Make small balls of this and deep fry in medium hot oil until well browned and crisp. Drain on to absorbent paper.
Enjoy with a cup of hot chai.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tomato baath

These days I find myself clicking pics and letting them stay in the drafts for a very long time. Work has been busy and even on days when it isn't, I find that I don't have the drive to sit down and type out a post. The blogging marathon seems t be just the thing that brings me out of this phase every other month.
This week, you will find me blogging about traditional dishes with a twist. I took this topic up, because I find it challenging.....and a challenge is just what I need to start blogging again.
Today's recipe is tomato baath.....a very simple, colourful and flavourful dish. Now, you may wonder, what's the twist in this dish? Well, there's no rice in it. Ever since I made Bisi Bele Baath with broken wheat, I have been amazed by how well this grain lends itself to flavours that are traditionally used with rice. I intend to try out different rice dishes, substituting the rice with wheat rava.

What you need:
Wheat rava/samba godambu rava - 1 cup
Tomato - 4 juicy ripe medium sized, chopped
Onion - 1 large, chopped into large pieces
Green chilli - 2 or 3 (adjust to taste)
Ginger - a small piece, julienned
Garlic - 3 or 4 cloves, minced
Cinnamon - a 1 inch piece
Cardamom - 4 cloves
Clove - 4 or 5
Black peppercorns - 3 or 4
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (optional) - This chilli powder gives the dish a nice colour.
Salt - to taste
Oil/ghee - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Corriander - to garnish

Grind the cardamom, clove, cinnamon, pepper, chillies, ginger, garlic, onion and tomato to a smooth paste. Heat the oil/ghee in a pressure cooker. Add a tsp of mustard seeds and some urad dal to the oil. When the seeds pop, add the ground paste and saute it in the oil for a few minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Mix well. Now stir in the wheat rava. Add salt and four cups of water. Close the pressure cooker and cook until one whistle. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for another five minutes. When the steam settles down, open the lid, stir well and garnish with finely chopped corriander.
Serve hot with raita/pickle.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#14

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Urban Shots:Crossroads - Book Review

A collection of 30 urban stories by 26 authors, this, like the Mumbai DNA says, has the right ingredients for a breezy read. The stories, though written by different people, have a common thread - they are all set against an urban backdrop, and they are about common folks - people that you and I might run into while walking across the road, boarding a bus, waiting for a train or while in the grocery store. In fact, the book is all about stories in which the common man plays the hero. The title of the first story in the collection - 'Everyone Has a Story' says it all.
The characters, ranging from the ordinary and mundane to the fantastic, are all described in great detail, making it very easy to visualize them. Minu Bai who always ties her hair in a neat bun to ensure that no loose strand escape the discipline she enforces on it with bob-pins, Hako- the quiet boy who had the funniest laugh you would have ever heard, the mob in the Virar fast, Maharajji who loved to eat, the mother who is struggling with her single mom status, Chanda - a sex worker in Kamatipura, the red light area of Mumbai, a star couple who are adored and hailed as national heroes, the temptations that a man living away from his wife and kids struggles to keep at bay, a manager who has the unenviable task of handing out pink slips, and a father who is divorced from his wife, but yearns to build a stronger bond with his son are some of the characters and themes that grace the pages of this book in endearing and sometimes heart rending tales.
The language used throughout the book is very simple. The characters are people that can be related to and easily visualized, and this makes the book that much more enjoyable.
The stories that I liked the best are :
The Gap which talks about the relationship between a single mom and her daughter, and a series of crank calls that makes their bond stronger.
Wrong Strokes - a story that shows the difference in the amount of adulation that a cricketer gets in our country and that which a defense personnel gets. The ugly truth is that we don't admire or respect our jawans enough. We hardly see people queuing around jawans, waiting for their autographs. This story, to me, is one of the most touching in the entire collection.
Baba Premanand's Yoga Class - a light hearted story that still carries a powerful message. It tells us how we must think not once or twice, but many times, before we accuse someone of doing something. It also takes a dig at TV channels that will telecast anything if it will increase their viewership. They are not concerned with how it might affect the lives of the people concerned.
I also liked Rajasthan Summer for the twist at the end, which though predictable, proved to be enjoyable.
Overall, this book is a good read. Time will fly once you start reading this book, and it will be hard not to read it all at one go.
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!