Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chickpea Flour Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce / Kadhi Pakodi

To make dumplings :

Chickpea Flour / Besan / Gram flour - 3/4 cup
Red Onion - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Boiled Potato - 1 small, grated
Green Chili - 2, finely chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch (optional)
Red Chili Powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Baking Powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - 1 cup

To make gravy :

Greek Yogurt - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups
Chickpea Flour / Besan / Gram flour - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Dried whole red chili - 1
Red Onion - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch, minced
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder / Cayenne Pepper / Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro / Parsley - a handful, chopped, for garnishing

Serves two.

To make dumplings, mix chickpea flour, chopped red onion, grated boiled potato, green chili, cumin seeds, hing, red chili powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add around a cup of water. The mixture should be thick like a cake batter and not too runny.

Heat a cast iron aebleskiver pan over medium high heat. Add a few drops of oil in each slot. Using a tablespoon fill the batter upto three quarters full in each slot. Let the dumplings cook for a few minutes. When the bottom side has become golden brown, turn the dumplings, add a few drops of oil and cook till the other side is brown. . Remove and keep aside on a paper towel. Cook in batches till the batter is exhausted.

To make the gravy, whisk 1 cup yogurt, 2 cups water, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and chickpea flour together to make a smooth batter. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a big pan. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. Then add the finely chopped onion and ginger. Cook on low heat till the onion begins to caramelise.

Remove the pot from heat. Using your left hand, slowly add the yogurt mixture to the pan while whisking the mixture with the right hand.

Put the pan back on low heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. If the gravy becomes too thick, add some more water.

Remove the gravy from heat and add the fried dumplings. Let the dumplings soak in the gravy for atleast half an hour before serving.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small skillet. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and dried whole red chili. Once the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, pour the seasoning over the gravy. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve as a main dish with steamed brown rice.

Sending this post to the following event http://thewellseasonedcook.blogspot.com/2012/08/announcing-my-legume-love-affair-50.html

Banana Walnut Bread

Ripe Bananas - 3 big
Whole Wheat Flour - 11/2 cups
Butter - 1/3 cup, at room temperature
Egg - 1, at room temperature
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Unrefined Raw Sugar (like Turbinado or Demerara) - 2/3 cup
Raw Whole Walnuts - 11/2 cup
Salt - a pinch
Baking Soda - 1 tsp

Preheat oven to 350F.

Chop the walnuts and keep aside.

Take a large bowl and mash the bananas well with a fork.

Add the soft butter and mix with a wooden spoon.

Add the sugar, beaten egg and vanilla and mix again.

Sieve the whole wheat flour with salt and baking soda and add to the mixture along with the chopped walnuts. Fold the mixture gently, do not over mix.

Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Cool and slice to serve.



Sending this post to the following event http://daily-cuppa.blogspot.com/2012/07/bake-along-challenge-5.html

My Lunch - Pan Fried Fresh Sardines & Sauteed Spinach

 Pan Fried Fresh Sardines & Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

Black and White Wednesday - Savory Gramflour Dumplings

This is my entry for Black and White Wednesdays for the week of Aug 29 started by Susan of the Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted by Hema of Hema's Adujemane.

Spicy Black Chickpeas / Sukha Kala Chana

Black Chickpeas / Kala Chana - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder / cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Aamchur / Dried Green Mango Powder - 1/4 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Cilantro - a few sprigs, chopped

Soak the kala chana in 3 cups of water overnight.

Drain the water and add 2 cups of fresh water. Cook in a rice cooker / pressure cooker / slow cooker till it is cooked and soft.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the cooked chana along with any remaining cooking liquid. Add all the spices and salt and mix well.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes till all the liquid has evaporated. Squeeze lemon juice on top and sprinkle chopped cilantro. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Lunch - Sauteed Lacinato Kale & Barramundi Fish Fry

Sauteed Lacinato Kale & Barramundi Fish Fry with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Lunch - Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup with Green Papaya, Carrots & Green Beans

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Sauce

Fresh Cream - 1 cup (use fresh cream and not heavy whipping cream)
Whole Milk - 1 cup
Raw Honey / Raw Sugar - 1/4 cup
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
China Grass / Agar Agar - 2 tsp ( a vegetarian alternative to gelatin)
Water - 3 tbsp
Butter - 1/2 tsp

Mixed Berries - 1 cup (I used a mix of raspberries, blueberries, tart cherries and blackberries)
Honey - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 tbsp

To make the berry sauce, add mixed berries and 2 tbsp water in a pan and cook on low heat for around 10 minutes or till the berries break and a thick sauce forms.  Mix the honey and keep aside to cool and then refrigerate. You can add a little bit of lemon juice too to the sauce when it cools down, but I did not add as the cherries were quite tart.

Mix the cream and milk together and bring to a boil. Once the mixture starts boiling, remove from heat. Add vanilla and honey. Stir well so that the honey dissolves completely.

Boil 3 tbsp water and soak the china grass in the water. Stir well so that it completely dissolves in the water. Use a strainer and add this mixture to milk and cream mixture. Stir well.

Take 4 small ramekins and grease with a little butter. Pour the cream mixture in the ramekins and leave it aside to cool. Then refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator, loosen the edges a little with a knife and overturn on a serving plate. Drizzle with berry sauce on top and serve.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Dry Kidney Beans / Pinto beans - 1 cup
Yellow Onion - 1 small, chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Black Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Water - 3 cups

Add all the ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 8 hours.

Using a potato masher, mash the cooked beans along with spices and the remaining liquid. Sprinkle cheese on top and refried beans is ready.

We had ours with some crispy tacos, roasted sweet corn, salsa, guacamole and shredded cheese.

Adapted from http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/29/recipe-easy-slow-cooker-refried-beans/

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Lunch - Shrimp and Roasted Root Vegetables

                                   Shrimp in Coconut Sauce and Roasted Root vegetables

Basic Tomato Sauce for Pizza

Fresh Tomatoes - 3 large, peeled,  (preferably from the local farmers market)
Garlic Cloves - 4, minced
Dried Oregano - 1/4 tsp
Fresh Basil Leaves - 5
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and immediately add the minced garlic cloves. Saute for a few seconds.

Add the peeled tomatoes, salt, pepper and dried oregano. Cook over low heat and after a while crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.

Cook for around 10 minutes till the sauce becomes thick. The sauce is ready when it becomes a little glossy and oil separates from it. Add the chopped basil leaves and remove from heat.

Mixed Berry Gelato

Fresh Cream - 1 cup (I used local farm's fresh raw cream)
Whole Milk - 1 cup
Raw Honey - 1/3 cup or use 1/3 cup raw sugar

Mixed Berries - 1 cup (i used a mix of strawberries, blueberries and pitted cherries)
Water - 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Raw Honey - 1 tbsp (optional, depending on how sweet the berries are)
Amaretto (Almond Liquor)- 1 tbsp (optional)

Mix together fresh cream, whole milk, honey and whisk till they are completely mixed. Bring the mixture to boil over medium low heat. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat and cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least two to three hours or overnight.

To make the berry sauce, add a little water to the berries and cook on low heat for around 15 minutes till the berries are all soft and the sauce is thick. Mix lemon juice, honey and amaretto(if using). The mixture can be sieved to remove the small seeds but I don't sieve as I like with the seeds. Cool and refrigerate.

Turn on the ice cream maker and pour the cream and berry sauce in the frozen ice cream bowl (I used a Cuisinart ICE-21). Let it mix for 15 to 20 minutes till the mix is thickened. Remove and serve the soft creamy gelato right away. For a firmer consistency, transfer the gelato to an airtight container and freeze for around 2 hours.

Sinding this post to the following event http://www.simplysensationalfood.com/2012/08/announcing-event-lets-cook-with-fruits.html

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Lunch - Cod, roasted Cauliflower & Roasted Sweet Potato

Pan Fried Breaded Cod, Roasted Cauliflower with Shallots and Tomato & Roasted Sweet Potato

Green Butternut Squash Fritters

Green Butternut Squash - Use the narrow upper portion

For the batter :
Chickpea Flour / Besan - 3 tbsp
Brown Rice Flour - 2 tbsp
Nigella Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda - a pinch

I got so excited when I saw this huge butternut squash in my vegetable garden that I picked it without even thinking whether it has ripened. When I cut it open, I found it was light green inside and definitely not the yellow ripe squash. I didn't want to throw it away ...... after all it was the first butternut squash I harvested from my own garden. So I thought nothing tastes bad if they are deep fried and I could use up some of it by making fritters. They turned out to be so tasty and crispy and I used up the remaining by adding it to a yellow mung bean soup.

Peel the butternut squash and cut into thin roundels. Make a thick batter by mixing chickpea flour, brown rice flour, nigella seeds, salt, cayenne pepper, baking soda and water.

Heat a cast iron skillet and add peanut oil to cover half inch depth of the skillet.

Once the oil is hot, dip each roundel into the batter and place gently on the hot oil. Add more roundels dipped in batter but do not over crowd the skillet. Cook for a few minutes till the bottom side is golden brown. Flip and cook till the other side is browned. Remove on a paper towel.

Serve immediately while it is still hot and crispy.

Let's Cook

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Lunch - Okra, Shrimp, Kale Chips

Okra Sauteed with Onions, Spicy Shrimp and Kale Chips

Pointed Gourd with Poppy Seeds / Potol Posto

Fresh Pointed Gourds / Potol - around 25 to 30
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Mustard Oil - 2 tbsp
Nigella Seeds / Kalo Jeera - 1 tsp
Green Chili - 3
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Poppy Seeds /Posto - 4 tbsp
Sesame Seeds - 1 tbsp

Soak the poppy and sesame seeds in water for at least an hour or preferably overnight. Add a little water, a pinch of salt and 1 green chili and grind in a mixer / blender to make a thick wet paste. Keep aside.

Trim both ends of the potol and cut into 4 pieces, lengthwise. Sprinkle turmeric and salt and mix well.

Heat a skillet with 1 tbsp mustard oil. Add the potols and cook on medium flame till they get brown spots and are almost cooked. Remove from heat. Alternatively, this step can be omitted and the potol can be cooked along with onions.

In the same pan, add another tbsp of mustard oil. Add the nigella seeds and chopped green chilies. Then add the chopped onion and cook till the onion becomes soft.

Now add the cooked potol / uncooked and poppy seeds paste and mix well with the spices. Cook on high flame for a few minutes.

Adjust the salt. Cover the pan and cook on low flame till the potol is soft and completely cooked.

Serve with steamed brown rice and dal.

Turnip Greens Paratha / Flatbread

Turnip Greens - 1 bunch
Whole Wheat Flour - 2 cups + extra for rolling the parathas
Oil - 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain / Carom Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cooked Lentils - 2 tbsp (any red or yellow cooked leftover lentils or dal can be used)
Yogurt - 2 tbsp (If you don't have cooked lentils, increase the amount of yogurt)

Olive Oil/ Ghee for cooking the parathas

Wash the turnip greens and remove the top stems. Thinly chop the greens.

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a skillet. Add the cumin seeds and carom seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add the chopped greens. Sprinkle turmeric powder and cook on medium high heat till the greens are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt, coriander, cumin and red chili powder and mix well. Cook for a minute more and keep aside to cool down slightly.

Add salt, boiled lentils and cooked greens to the whole wheat flour and knead well. If the dough is dry keep adding yogurt 1 tbsp at a time. There is no need to add any extra water. The moisture from the cooked lentils and yogurt should be sufficient to make a soft pliable dough.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Roll out  parathas using some whole wheat flour for rolling. Cook the parathas on both sides with a little ghee / olive oil. Serve hot with tomato chutney / ketchup.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Lunch - Cod, Broccoli, Potato, Spinach

Sauteed Cod, Roasted Broccoli with Mushrooms, Sauteed Spinach, Pan Fried Potato with Poppy Seeds

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Karola Peyaj Bhaja / Bittermelon with caramelised onion

Bitter gourd - 3 big ones
Red Onion - 1 medium sized, thinly sliced
Oil - 2 tbsp
Nigella Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp

Wash the whole bitter melons and dry well. Trim both ends and then cut into very thin roundels. Discard the seeds if they are very tough.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the nigella seeds.

Then add the bitter gourd slices, turmeric, salt and red chili powder. Toss well. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently. If it looks very dry, half a tbsp of oil.

Once the bitter gourd turns brown and crispy, it is done. Remove and keep aside.

In the pan, add a tbsp of oil. Add the sliced onion and cook on low heat for around 20 minutes till the onion caramelises and becomes brown and crispy. Mix with the cooked bitter melon and serve as a side dish.

Zucchini Dal

Zucchini - 1 cup, peeled and cut into chunks
Yellow Split Peas / Mator Dal - 3/4 cup
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
Garlic Cloves - 5, thinly sliced
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, grated
Green Chili - 3, finely chopped
Tomato - 1, chopped

Wash the split peas well, add 2 cups of water, salt and a pinch of turmeric and cook in the pressure cooker / rice cooker / saucepan till soft. Mash coarsely with fork and keep aside.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the cumin seeds and hing. Immediately add green chilies, garlic and ginger. Saute for a few seconds. The add the chopped tomato. Cook till the tomato softens.

Now add the chopped zucchini, a little salt and mix well. Look on medium low till the zucchini is almost cooked. Sprinkle a little water in between, if required.

Add the cooked dal and 1 cup of water and mix well. Bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes more and serve hot. Can be had as a soup or can be served along with steamed rice and a dollop of homemade ghee.