Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peas Pulao | Peas Pulav Recipe

It was one of those mornings, getting up to cook for the day, I almost felt tired of the same old schedule! How much can one do just sambar, dal, sambar dal every other day. No matter that Sambar was relished and Dal was wiped out clean. One finally gets tired of this routine, but when I think about the routine, it gets more tiresome. Anyway these days are not those that calls for exciting new ventures into creating new dishes, yes not even for the blog!

It was one of those days, and on getting up, I was bugging Hubby dear for giving some ideas. He suggested I could make Jeera Pulao and Aloo Tamatar! That sounded so amazing. I may sound funny but it is true. So I set out to prepare and half way through I knew I wasn't going prepare Jeera Rice or plain Alu Tamatar. My poor blog that was suffering with acute want of new breeze to came to mind and I was all set for some change. Fresh Peas in the fridge and a new packed masala to try!

Well you get to read about the Peas Pulao that was the talk of the day at office. To go along with it, I made Alu Tamatar with Kitchen King Masala. This was a new addition to my pantry.  During my recent visit to Nilgiris, I happen to see this and remembered reading about it. Well there was no better time than this! 

The day was quite eventful. We took Peddu and Chinnu for Aksharabhyasam in their new school. It was a wonderful experience for us. Went in early and saw that the school had arranged a huge puja on  this account. Some 200 and odd students along with their parents, well what you expect. They garlanded the kids and made them pose for pictures. Expecting my boys to be what they are, they refused to be garlanded or pose. we did manage to click few pictures to show them later! 

Then I had time to meet couple of blogger friends in a Mexican Restaurant. Yes, my diet went for a toss. I am sure you will get to read all about it soon! I feel so full to even write about it!


Peas Pulao Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

Fresh Peas  1 cup
Basmati Rice 1 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin 1 tsp
Cloves  2-3
Cinnamon  2"
Cardamon  2
Bay leaf  2
Salt to taste
Ghee 1 tsp
Water 1 cup
Roasted cashew for garnish
Coriander leaves for garnish

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 15 mins

Heat a non Stick pan with ghee, add the whole spices, saute well. Then add ginger garlic paste. Let it get cooked well.

Then add shelled peas and simmer with a lid covered. Allow the fresh peas to get sauted well. Slight mash with the back of the spatula, just to ensure some of the peas are mashed.

Next add the drained rice and saute well. Add water and salt. Bring it to boil. Then simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 10 mins. Switch off.

The rice will be cooked well and gets a good taste of the slightly mashed fresh peas.

Notes :

  • If you are using regular rice, adjust water accordingly.
  • Can add onions while cooking ginger garlic paste. Or fried onions over top tastes great.

Will be back with the Aloo Tamatar another way!

Before you leave, do check out other Pulaos:

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Food Bloggers Meet in India

Yes you read it right! We are planning for meet that is going to first of its kind meet in India. This is a call to all Food bloggers. We can meet over a cup of tea and discuss lot of Foodie ideas. I have had the pleasure of meeting my fellow city Food bloggers couple of times. Then sometime last year, other bloggers expressed the wish to meet and have all India gathering.

It finally came out that this summer we will meet. We haven't really decided on the topics but then you know when we foodies meet, time just flies.

Details of the event : Food Bloggers Meet in India
Where - Chennai, India
When - 9th May (Sunday) 2010 at 3 pm
Who can attend: Any Food blogger
Agenda - Looking forward for ideas on the sessions to be included in the meet.

You got to register yourself for this event, so that it becomes easy for us to plan. Based on the number of attendees, we will have to work out the expenditure. So please confirm yourself for the event.

The last date to confirm is April 20th 2010.

The expense incurred will be for booking the venue and high tea. Once I have the exact number on hand, will send in the details.

Hope to meet many of you on the occasion.

You want to spread the word on the meet!..I will be really so glad. Please tweet this, share this or blog on the meet. We want the word spread and make it possible for everybody to join the fun!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sri Rama Navami 2010 Neivedyam | Panakam | Vada pappu Recipes

Happy Srirama Navami to all my readers!

Sri Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of Hindu lunar year. Navami means the ninth day in the hindu calendar. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama. This day also marks the end of the nine day festival called Vasanthothsavam. Vasantham means Spring, Vasanthothsavam means festival of spring. This day starts with Ugadi (Telugu new year). On the 9th day, it is celebrated as Rama Navami. The prasadam made on the day are normally those that are coolant in nature

I remember this day more clearly because of the wonderful Panakam we get to drink on this day. It is made only on this day and never after that. I really think we should include it as a regular one as Panakam is an excellent drink. Amma always celebrated this festival in a grand way.

On my part, I was really very happy that I finally made some of these today. I confirmed with Athamma if she makes anything special or specific on this day, she said I can go ahead with whatever my mom makes.

So I made Panakam, Majiga and Vadapappu.

The following are the traditional recipes prepared during Sri Rama Navami at my parents place.

Panakam
Majjiga - Andhra Spiced Buttermilk (Salted Yogurt Drink)
Vadapappu
Senaga pappu Payasam
Senaga Pappu Vada | Masala Vada
Pachimirapakaya pappu | Dal with Green Chilis
Rice
Rasam
Curds/ Yogurt

Vadapappu is normally offered as just the dal. It is then seasoned and offered to everybody.



Panakam / Panaka Recipe

Ingredients Needed:

Powdered Jaggary - 1/2 cup / 100 gms
Water - 200 ml
Lemon - 1/2 of a big one
Cardamom - 2 pinches

Method to prepare:

Powder the jaggary well and mix in the water. Dissolve it well. Filter it in a muslin cloth or a filter.

Then add lemon juice and cardamom powder. Mix well and offer as neivedyam.

This is normally served chill, stored in earthen pots which makes it cool naturally. Else refrigerate to serve chill.

With the sun showing up very bright, this drink cools the body.

Vada pappu (Soaked Split yellow moong dal)

What you see in the picture is how it is offered to God, I couldn't take the salad picture.

Ingredients Needed

Split Yellow Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 2-3 tbsp
Finely chopped green chilies - 1
Finely chopped Mango pieces - 2 - 3 tsp
Finely chopped Cucumber - 2 -3 tsp
Salt to taste.
Fresh chopped cilantro to garnish.

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak the dal in water for half an hour. Then drain it.

After it was offered as prasadam, it is normally prepared as a salad.

To make the Salad, all other ingredients are added to the dal as such and combined well.
This dal is eaten raw and uncooked.

I hope everybody had a good festival celebrations, do share how your day was!

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Best Culinary Post - Avant Garde Bloggies Awards!

As I said here, my Gulab Jamun Recipe for Indian Cooking Challenge was nominated for Best ‘Culinary’ Post in Avant Garde Bloggies Awards - 2009. The polling has started now.


Please do vote for me!

Until my next post, wishes for a great week ahead!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

IndiBlogger Chennai Meet

I have met food bloggers before on couple of occasions and I am regularly in touch with few. But this evening I had a different experience meeting bloggers from Chennai. The meet was organized by Indibloggers. The event started at 2.30 pm and went on till 6.30 pm.

Things have been hectic off late at home, so I was not sure if I would make it till the end. Result was I forgot my camera and I lost the presence of mind to click with my mobile. Anyway will put up some pictures when the organizers do.

The meet started with 30 sec fame, where all bloggers got to introduce themselves and which in turn had everybody knowing about them. I felt really happy when quite a few of them came up and said they read my blog and was happy meeting me in person. And many came forward to know the site details because they were interested in sharing the blog with their moms. That was really very sweet!

All in all it was a wonderful occasion and I ended up meeting some nice folks. I know this makes me to announce the meet I was planning, that will be done very soon!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ugadi Wishes with Ugadi Festival Lunch 2010!

Happy New Year, Gudi Padva, Ugadi, Navreh to all my readers and friends!

We had a wonderful Ugadi Festival Lunch at Parents place. I managed to make two sweet dishes for my Cookbook, wanted to make the best of the off today. Then went to parents home to help Amma, who was in process of an elaborate lunch.

I was not able to get a better picture but still wanted to share something, so this was the offering to God today.

Hope everybody enjoyed their day!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Carrot Capsicum Rice ~ Mixed Rice Variety Weekend Special!

It was another weekend and another weekend menu planned. Only I kept it quite simple. Athamma has gone visiting for a week. You can imagine how that has left us. Boys on coming home, asked for her and before I could even say something, they told each other that "Nanamma has gone for a doctor checkup" Well as long as they are fine with that, is fine for us.

I made parathas with leftover potato kurma, Konda loved it so much that I was really surprised. Since it was a vegetarian meal at home for lunch, Amma sent Chicken Korma for the kids. I was so glad they loved it very much. Now on asking Amma for the recipe I realized I may not have cooked it yet. But then its been a while since I posted a non veg dish on the blog. So this Chicken Korma is next on list.

As for the Vegetarian meal, I was really short of ideas and asked Amma to suggest something. She told me this Carrot Capsicum Rice that she prepared a week ago, which was liked by all. This is again quite similar to the Dal Mint Rice that I posted sometime back. Though this tasted very much like spiced dal rice, vegetarians will surely like it a lot.

For the evening we took the kids to the beach and spent couple of hours playing. They even rode the horse and so trilled end of their adventure. Imagine Chinnu trying to swim on the sand! Gosh it was simply tough trying to make him stay put. In the end we had an eventful day all together and came back exhausted. I was mentally preparing for a week on our own. But trust Hubby dear to ring in positive thoughts always. He said a weeks time will pass off in a wink before we even know it.

Coming to the recipe for today, this mixed rice variety was very simple, yet a good one to make for variety. Works out best when you have these on hand. Variations are limitless again. I managed to take all pictures, while hubby dear was baby sitting the kids.

Which reminds of a conversation I had recently. I was asked how come I am doing Step by Step posts all of sudden. I was quite surprised by that question. I started my blog with Step by Step pictures, I have quite a few of such posts. Maybe I don't tag it obviously in the title or label it as such. But I do a Step by Step post when I have time or if I have planned ahead. Like all my Indian Cooking Challenge posts are Step by Step as I plan for a Saturday. Either this or when readers ask me for one. So I replied this person that either they have not checked my blog from the beginning or they are clueless.


Between wanted to share that I hit 100 posts on Spice your Life! Thank you everybody.



Carrot Capsicum Rice ~ Mixed Rice Variety
Ingredients Needed:

Rice - 1 cup
Carrot - 1 big
Capsicum - 1 of a big
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing - 1 big pinch
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - 2 springs
Lemon juice - 1 medium
For the Masala powder :

Toor dal - 1 tsp
Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Yellow Split dal -1 tsp
Dry Red chilies - 4-5

Dry roast all dals along with chiles and make a fine powder. Increase the quantity if you want to add more.

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak the rice for 10 mins. Then you can either cook it with lots of water and drain or cook with regular ratio of water in low flame and keep it aside. Just ensure the rice is not over cooked. To get this state, I normally cook in 2 cups of water in low flame.

To make the Rice

Heat a wok with oil, add Cumin seeds along with curry leaves. When they splutter, add the hing, sauté, add grated carrots along with finely chopped capsicum. Cover with lid so that the carrots and capsicum are cooked with its own steam.

When the vegetables are cooked well, add the rice along with the dal powder and mix well. Just before removing from stove, squeeze in the juice and coriander leaves.

This makes a quick and easy rice dish for weekends, so that you can spend time with your family!

Wishing you all a happy Ugadi, will come back with a festival spread!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ugadi Special Dishes!

As a kid I fondly remember looking forward to Ugadi every year. It was one festival when Amma would make Poli and she used to make so much to distribute to the entire neighborhood. It took us quite some time to convince her to make the Sweet Polis on other days too. 

After marriage, I was elated to know that Athamma has the custom of making Poli for all festivals. It is only natural that I embrace this habit wholeheartedly!

This year Ugadi falls on March 16th 2010 and is the most important festival celebrated in Andhra Pradesh. 

I thought I would list out the dishes that we normally make at home for Ugadi.
Yugadi (Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ, Telugu: ఉగాది) from yuga + aadi, yuga means era, aadi means start. The start of an era) is the new year's day for the people of the Deccan region of India. While the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh use the term Yugadi/Ugadhi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand.[1]- source Wiki

Check our festival lunch from last year!


The special Festival lunch would almost be same every year with few alterations and additions.

At my Mom's place we make the following
Pachimirapakaya Pappu ~ Dal with Green Chilli

Ugadi Pachadi,
Poli,
Masala Vada/ Meddu Vada
Onion Pakodas/ Vazhakai Bajji ~ Plaintain or Banana fritters

Semiya Payasam

While the special dishes at my in laws would always be

Chitrannam
Brinjal Potato Curry,

Poli,

We also make Onion Baji or other deep fried specials.

This year I am discussing with them on what to make new. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy reading these and would find this collection useful.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Revisiting older posts: Vegetarian Burger Indian Style!

Sometime back I thought I should redo things for better. Yes many times in life we think we should get another chance. Maybe not all times we are offered this opportunity but in a food blog you can right. I decided seeing the hasty pictures and what not, I should click better pictures and post them.

This is the first of this venture. I removed the older pictures as they were such sore ones that I didn't want to see them myself!

 
 
The hearty Burgers with these another version patties will make any day more bright than what it was. I used the white sauce instead of Mayonnaise and Veg Patties instead of the usual meat. Konda loved it much and eat them through the day.

Weekend was F.U.N, you can read between lines or letters. But then I am kidding, Saturday went well and Sunday went off without a hint, meaning it was so hectic that none of us had a moment to breath! I really salute those teachers who man 40 toddlers! Imagine your plight if you got to oversee 40 smart zippy kids who are always one step ahead you and you a grown up adult left wondering how to outsmart them, no chance.

Anyway hubby dear finally what one has to do. He took them to shop and bribed them with toys. All three came back with a big bag which had a Rail Engine, Aeroplane, a smaller aeroplan, and another car. They were so occupied with it that they didn't know we went missing for 30 mins. And they even slept with it on them. Believe me they got up twice at night, to ensure their new toys were within reach. Boys I tell you..

As for a recipe for the day, I am revisiting my Burgers, hope you enjoy the pictures. I recently posted this recipe on Beyond Curries, wanted to share it with all of you.


Vegetarian Burgers Indian Style

Ingredients:

Burger buns - 4 nos
Onions Rings  - 8 slices
Tomato Rings - 5 -6
Shredded Cabbage as per taste
White Sauce - 1 cup
Cheese Slices - 4
Potato Peas Patties - 4 nos
Tomato Sauce - 3 tbsp
Red Chili flakes - 1 tsp (opt)
Method to prepare:

To make the White Sauce: Whisk 1 cup of All purpose flour along with 3 cups of milk and cook in 1 tbsp of butter till you get a smooth sauce.


To make the patties: Boil Potatoes, carrot and peas, mash it finely. Then sauté onions, ginger garlic paste along with green chili paste, cumin powder. Then add the boiled potatoes and peas. Once it is cooled, make equal balls, dip in flour that is mixed with water, then on bread crumbs. Shallow fry in on a non stick pan until crisp.

To assemble to burger.

Slice the burger bun through the middle,

Spread the inner sides with white sauce liberally.


On the lower slice, place a cheese slice, sprinkle some tomato sauce if you like.


Press one Patty firmly on it.


Then place the onion slices, Actually you can separate the rings and use less. But I like to munch on the entire slice as such!

Next goes the tomato slices,  then the shredded cabbage, Sprinkle the tomato sauce again!


Finally place the top bun slice back on this and press down firmly so that they stick together!


Optionally you can sprinkle Red Chili flakes for extra kick!


I had promised to make this for my daughter for her breakfast. She was very upset as I couldn't finish on time. So she lived on burgers through the day, for lunch, evening snacks and for dinner. I only tasted a quarter piece of the tempting one so I know it was way to good!


Notes:

  • White Sauce can be prepared ahead of time and stored.
  • Same goes for Patties too. And you can make any vegetable into a patti. Make in batches and refrigerate it for 2 -3 days. Make it on demand for the kids.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Aloo Matar Tikkis Recipe ~ Potato Peas Patty Recipe Step by Step

I never realized so many things can happen almost at the same time. One moment you are overjoyed, the next moment upset over illness.

This is what happens when you are high or rather loose track of events. Saturday was full of spirits as I was trying to make 5 different dishes for the book, only to know kids will be back by 1 pm. You know how time flies right. And the phone never stopped ringing. Hubby dear was most amused knowing so many friends called in to wish me. While most of them were my childhood friends, it pleased me no end to realize how many wonderful friends blogging got me. I was really touched with those lovely 4 blogger friends who called me in to wish me.

After the crazy cooking, managed to click some pictures. I was really happy that the day was productive. Konda had planned for some gala birthday party. I refused to let her invite elders, saying I no longer feel like a teenage gushing to celebrate birthdays. When finally it was over, we went out for dinner and a movie in the open air. But when we came back home we saw that Peddu was not keeping well. He threw up whatever he ate which was only a cake. Sunday was spent washing up everything, finally we had to take him to hospital. Thank God, he is doing fine today. Still we didn't send him to school, and Chinnu missed him so much at school, when I called him in the morning.

Missing out on work the past two days, I really had so much to do. So I thought I will share this simple aloo matar tikkis that I made for the burgers. This recipe is something like you just make with whatever you have.

Aloo Matter Tikkis Recipe

Step by Step for those of you who wanted to learn!


Boil Potatoes, peas and Carrot till tender

  

In a pan saute onions ginger garlic paste, coriander leaves, green chili paste till done. then add boiled vegetables.

  

After the onions are browned, remove to a bowl and allow to cool. Then add about 1 tbsp of All purpose flour!
  
Mix everything together.
  

 Then make big balls and flatten over your left palm.

  
 Continue with the rest of the mix

  

You will have like this ready
  

Then make a batter of Maida/ All purpose flour with water. The batter should be quite thick. Then have bread crumbs ready.
First dip the Alo batter in the Maida batter, then press over the bread crumbs till you have the tikkis are rolled up like this!

  

 Flatten using your palms

  

 Heat a non stick pan with little oil, place the tikkis over it.

  

 

Simmer till each side is well done. It will turn colour like this.


 When you have the colour like the above you are done!



As I said this is a very simple recipe, but anybody wants in exact proportions, just leave comment, else I will assume the pictures are self explanatory!

Have a good week ahead.

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