Monday, April 28, 2014

Keerai Rasam/Spinach Rasam/Palak Rasam

Tomatoes - 3, cut into halves
Onion - 1, small cut into halves
Spinach Puree* - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 6 leaves
Garlic - 4, crushed
Asafoetida - a pinch
Coriander Leaves - 2 tsps, finely chopped
Dry Red Chilies - 2, crushed
Rasam Powder - 2 tsps
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbspns
Water as needed

*Wash the spinach leaves in the running water. Blanch the spinach in hot water by adding little sugar. Remove the water. Cool and blend the spinach in a mixer or blender into a puree.

Pressure cook the tomatoes, onions, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and turmeric for 4 whistles. Cool and blend the mixture into a puree. 
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Let them crackle. Now add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, crushed garlic, asafoetida, dry red chilies and rasam powder. Saute for a minute. Keep the flame low and add the tomato and spinach puree. Add the desired amount of water, salt and allow it to boil for 10 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.

Inspired from here

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cut Mirchi Chat

Serves 2
For the Mirchi Bhaji;
Green Long Peppers - 5
Besan Flour - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 2 tbspns
Chili Powder - 1 tsp, adjust according to taste
Salt - as per taste
Oil for deep frying

Sieve the besan flour and rice flour together. Then add chili powder and salt. Mix water to make a thick batter. Wash, clean and pat dry the peppers. Slit lengthwise at one end and remove the seeds if you do not prefer hot chilies. Or else skip this step. Now dip the peppers in the batter and deep fry in the hot oil.
Repeat the process and fry all the peppers. Cut the mirchis into circles. Keep it separate.

Cut Mirchi Chat:
Mirchi Bhaji - 4, cut into circles
Peanuts - 1/2 cup, unsalted
Red Onions* - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Cilantro - 2 tbspns, finely chopped
Chili Powder - 3/4 tsp
Chat Masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tbspns

*To avoid the raw taste of the onions keep the chopped onions in the cold water for 10 minutes. Drain and use the onions as needed.

Heat the oil in a pan and add salt. Now add the peanuts and roast them for 2-3 minutes. Now add the onions, chili powder and required salt. Saute them for 2 -3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish with chopped cilantro and chat masala. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Carrot Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cloves* - 1/4 tsp, grounded
Cinnamon* - 1/4 tsp, grounded
Nutmeg* - 1/4 tsp
Ginger Powder - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 1 stick, at room temperature
Oil - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Eggs -2, room temperature
Carrot Puree - 15 oz can or Homemade Carrot Puree** - 1 1/2 cups
Carrot Grated - 1/2 cup
Butter Cream Frosting - 2 cups, Recipe here

*You can also substitute All Spice Powder 1 tsp instead of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
**Carrot - 6, depends upon the size
Chop the carrots and pressure cook them in the cooker for 3 whistles without water. Cool and blend the carrots in a blender. It yields approximately 1 1/2 cups.

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of one 13x9-inch pan or two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans with a non stick spray or butter and lightly flour or line a muffin pan.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Using a hand mixer beat granulated sugar, butter and oil. Add 1 egg at a time on low speed about 30 seconds or until blended. Mix in half of the puree and half of the dry ingredients until blended. Now add the remaining puree and dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Stir in grated carrots.
Pour into greased pans.
Bake 13x9-inch pan 40 to 45 minutes, round pans 30 to 35 minutes, muffin pans to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool them on a cooling rack for 1 hour.

Decorate the cupcakes with butter cream frosting of your choice!!

Inspired from Ramya Santhosh

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Creamy Maple Shake

Milk - 2/3 cup
Maple Syrup - 2 tbspns
Vanilla Ice Cream - 2 Scoops
Vanilla/Almond Extract - 1 tsp
Almonds - 1 tbspn, chopped for garnishing

Pour the milk and maple syrup into a blender and process gently until combined.
All the ice cream and almond extract, and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into glasses and garnish with chopped almonds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pottukadalai Podi/Split Roasted Gram/Chana Dalia Powder

Split Roasted Gram/Pottukadalai - 1 cup
Dry Red Chili* - 3, medium size
Garlic - 3 cloves 
Grated Dry Coconut/Frozen Shredded Coconut/Coconut - 3 tsps
Curry Leaves - 5 
Ghee - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste

*Adjust according to taste

In a pan add ghee and roast dry red chili until golden brown, remove from pan and allow to cool. In the same pan roast the pottukadalai for a minute. Keep it separate. Now add garlic and roast it for 2 minutes. Now add curry leaves and coconut and roast it for a minute. Switch it off. Let it cool.

First grind the  pottukadalai and red chili. Grind coarselt. Then add garlic, curry leaves and coconut and salt.
Pottukadalai Podi is ready to serve with steamed rice and ghee or with Idli Dosa!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Masala Paneer Naan

Wheat Flour - 2 cups
Sugar - 2 tsps
Dry Yeast - 1 tsp
Yogurt/Curd - 1 tbspn
Ghee - 1 tbspn
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Warm Water - for kneading the dough
Oil - needed for making Naan

For the Masala Paneer;
Paneer - 2 cups, grated
Coriander - 1/4 cup, chopped finely
Green Chili - 2, chopped finely
Salt - according to taste

Combine sugar with yeast and keep aside for 5 minutes. To this mixture add the yogurt, ghee, salt and wheat flour. Add warm water and knead the dough soft for 5 minutes. Cover the dough with wet cloth. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
For the filling;
Mix all the masala paneer ingredients. Divide the stuffing into equal portions. Keep it aside.

How to proceed:
Roll out one portion of the dough into a circle using whole wheat flour for rolling.
Place one portion of the stuffing in the centre of the circle. Bring together all the sides in the centre and seal tightly. Roll out again into a circle using whole wheat flour.
Cook on a hot tava (griddle), using a little oil, until both sides are golden brown.
Repeat with the remaining dough and stuffing to make more Naans. Serve hot with Curd!