Thursday, January 30, 2014

Koulouri, Greek Politiko Simiti

          This month's challenge for the Eggless Baking Group is a type of bread, Koulouri/ Greek Politiko Simiti, it was suggested by Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes. It's a common street food and snack in Greece and Turkey, the bread is in the shape of a ring, Koulouri meaning small round shaped bread ring. Traditionally eggs are used in the bread dough and the rings of dough are dipped in Petimezi ( grape must syrup which is basically grape juice boiled till it reaches a thick syrup consistency), then rolled in toasted sesame seeds and baked. I have replaced the egg with flax seed powder, and since we don't get Petimezi in India and also, since making it from scratch is a very lengthy process, I replaced it with a blueberry mixture. Also, since I was not sure about the taste, I made just four rings. We had it with some orange marmalade and finished it the same day, if you like the nutty taste from the sesame seeds and like crunchy and chewy bread, then this is for you..
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vazhaikkai Poriyal, Raw Plantain Curry

          I rarely cook raw plantains, the reason being when we were back in the US, I didn't like the big plantain variety that we got there, they were more suited for chips than for a curry. After coming to India also, might be because of habit, I hardly buy this vegetable. Apart from using in avials, chips and frying them, my favorite is this poriyal, but whenever I made it, I felt that the vegetable stuck together and didn't have the poriyal look. When my mom came and stayed with me for a couple of weeks, she made this poriyal and it was then that I noted the mistake. I used to do the seasoning, add the vegetable and water, cooked till the water was gone and then added the coconut, whereas she cooked the vegetable separately with water, drained it and then did the seasoning, the poriyal came out very well, like, as we say in Tamil, 'polpolana', the vegetable was not sticky. This curry goes well with rice and sambar or even better with rice and vathakuzhambu..
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Nellikkai Saadam, Gooseberry (Amla) Rice

          Nellikkai/ Gooseberry/ Amla is widely known for its medicinal values, especially in India where it's used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine, you can find a lot of information about it on the web. There are 2 varieties of it as far as I have seen, a smaller variety which is more sweeter and less sour and the big ones which are very sour. The bigger ones are used a lot in Indian cooking, we make pickles, chutneys and raithas, today I have made a rice with it. It's in fact a very simple preparation, very similar to the way we prepare lemon rice. Depending upon the sourness of the nellikkais, you add more or less, I started with 3 and ended with 5. Since I didn't find the rice sour enough, I just grated a couple more and added to the rice and mixed it. Eating the big nellikkais as such might not be liked by many of us, I find this rice or chutney or raitha is a tasty and healthy way of adding these berries in our diet..
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chow-Chow Pattani Curry, Chayote And Peas Curry

          After a couple of Pongal recipes, adai and dhokla, today I am back with a curry, well, for day to day cooking, it's always some kind of sambar or curry or dal to go with rice or rotis. For today's dish I have cooked chow-chow/ chayote and peas along with some fresh ground masala. Since I have to cook a curry, almost daily and with vegetables repeating themselves, I try to bring some variation to the curry by changing the masalas that is added to it, so that at the end of the day, we don't get bored of eating the same curry repeatedly. This tasted very good and you can serve it as a kootu to go with rice and vathal kuzhambu or as I did, as a side dish to go with rotis..
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Khaman Dhokla

          Dhoklas, this is one of my favorite snacks, it's not only tasty but healthy too, in fact, all of us at home love it. When I was back in the US, I got the chance to taste the best homemade dhoklas at my friend's place who is a Gujarati. When I made it at home, it was always from a readymade mix but I always wanted to try it out from scratch. This is my first attempt, or should I say second attempt, the first time I just tried it out to see if they turned out good, I didn't take any pictures. Now in India, we get organic besan flour and I have used it for making these dhoklas. They came out very well both the times, but on my first attempt, the dhoklas didn't have the nice yellow color, I think the flour that I used had a very dull yellow color. So, the second time, I added some turmeric powder to the flour, but I think I should have mixed the turmeric powder to the water and then mixed the water with the flour, instead of directly adding it to the flour, so that it'll mix evenly with the flour and not give a spotty look to the finished dhokla. But, other than that, the dhoklas turned out very spongy and they tasted very good with some green chutney..
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Broken Wheat And Vermicelli Upma, Udaicha Godumai Semiya Upma

          After all the pongal and festival food that we had for the last of couple of days, I thought I'll post a simple dish today, Broken Wheat And Vermicelli Upma. In the past, I have made upmas using only vermicelli or only broken wheat or semolina, this is the first time that I have made it using both vermicelli and broken wheat. I have made it as a vegetable upma, using potatoes, bajji milagai ( light green peppers that are big in size ) and some dill leaves for flavor. The upma came out very well and I used the pressure pan for making ii. Serve it with some raitha or chutney for a healthy and filling dinner..
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Karumbu Chaaru Pongal, Sugarcane Juice Pongal

          I had heard about this Karumbu Chaaru/ Sugarcane Juice Pongal sometime back, never tasted it and I had wanted to try it, but getting fresh sugarcane juice is a problem. For this Pongal festival, I had bought some sugarcane and I knew, we were not going to finish all of it by eating it as such, so I decided to make this Pongal. Extracting sugarcane juice is easy, if someone peeled and diced it for you, but I had to do it myself and with a kitchen knife, it took sometime. The method of making this Pongal is the same as as that of regular Pongal, except that we cook the rice and dal in the sugarcane juice itself. The final product was good, but I felt that it was not sweet enough and since I didn't have energy to extract more juice, I left it as such. Also I used the dark purple variety sugarcane, the juice from the green variety will be more sweeter. If you can get good sugarcane juice, then making this Pongal is a breeze..
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Rava Sakkarai Pongal, Semolina Jaggery Pudding

          Just a couple of days more for Pongal or Sankranthi, the harvest festival celebrated in India and the main dish that we make on that day, as everybody knows is Pongal. Apart from raw rice, I have tried Pongal with Broken Wheat, this time I thought I'll give it a try using rava/ semolina. I used Bansi Rava for making it, you can use regular semolina, but use the coarse variety. Also, I totally forgot my blog anniversary, it has turned two, I missed it, I remembered it only a couple of days back while reading another blog. I can't believe that my blog is two years old, in spite of a couple of moves, I've tried to keep my blog going. Stepping into the third year, I hope I'll be able to post more regularly without any long breaks and also I want to take part in more blog events, on that note let's move on to the recipe..
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dill Adai, Dill Crepes

          Here in Bangalore, when I buy Dill leaves, it's always a very big bunch. For those who are not familiar with dill, it's one other herb with a very strong flavor and widely used in cuisines all around the world. It's known as Sada kuppi (Tamil), Suva (Gujarati) and Soa-kura in Telugu, I got these names from the web, you can check the web for more information on this herb. We can make a dal or rice with it and also add a little to potato curry, gives a nice flavor to it. Since the flavor is very intense, I don't add a lot to a dish, so with a huge bunch, I have to find ways for using it, luckily dill keeps well for a long time when refrigerated. One such experiment is this dill adai/ crepes, I have used a mixture of dals and flours making it an healthy dinner option. It's very flavorful and tastes great with any kind of chutney or even the idli milagai podi..
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Potato And Peanut Curry, Urulaikizhangu Verkadalai Curry

          Couple of weeks back, I had bought about a kg of fresh raw peanuts, boiled them and then shelled them. Apart from eating them as such, I had used the boiled peanuts in cooking too, I used them in the Cabbage Briyani and also in this Potato Curry. It's once again a very simple curry that goes well with sambar rice or curd rice and I think it should go equally well with rotis too. I have also added some chopped mint leaves which gives a nice flavor to this delicious curry..
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Eggless Creme Brulee

          This is my first post this year, so let me first wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. Today's post is Creme Brulee, again our challenge for last month in the Eggless Baking group, suggested by Vimala Lakshmi of Cooking Club. Creme Brulee is basically baked custard with a caramelized topping. I have used the ready made egg less custard powder for making the custard and since I don't have a blow torch with me I have used the method given here for making the caramelized topping. The end result was absolutely delicious and was liked by all at home. A sweet warning though, the dessert, as the name suggests is very rich and creamy, so make small servings and enjoy..
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