Monday, June 26, 2017

ADAI / RICE AND MIXED LENTILS DOSA



This is one of the dosa varieties made with rice and mixed lentils. In addition to these some spices like pepper corns, dried red chillies, cumin seeds, asafoetida, fresh ginger and curry leaves are added while grinding the batter. These make the adai very flavourful. You can make them plain or with the addition of finely chopped onions to the ground batter. It is usually served for breakfast with chutney and avial. I prefer eating it for lunch as it is quite filling and heavy.


Ingredients:
Rice ..................... 1 cup
Urad dal ............. 1/8 cup
Toor dal ............  1/8 cup
Moong dal ........ 1/8 cup
Chana dal .......... 1/8 cup
Ginger ............ 1 tsp (grated)
Curry leaves .... 1 sprig
Fenugreek seeds .. 1/4 tsp
Pepper corns .... 8
Dry red chillies .. 1 or 2 (optional)
Cumin seeds ....... 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida ......... 2  pinches
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Salt ........................ to taste
Finely chopped onions ... Optional (for adding to the batter)
You may also add some greens if you like.
Oil or ghee .... to make dosas.


Method:
1. Soak all the ingredients (except asafoetida, turmeric and salt) for 6-7 hours.
2. Wash them and grind to make a batter of pouring consistency.
3. Add salt, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Let the batter ferment for 5-6 hours. It takes more time in winter.
4. Heat a griddle and pour some batter with the help of a ladle and spread the adai.
5. Spoon a little oil or ghee to make them crisp.
6. If you are adding greens or chopped onion you can add to the batter before making them.



Check out the Avial recipe - HERE
Check out the Chutney Recipe - HERE

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ARANCINI / ITALIAN CHEESY RICE BALLS


Arancini is a very popular Italian snack. Creamy rice balls stuffed with a piece of gooey cheese are a delight to munch when served immediately out from the frying pan. Traditionally some ham is also added along with green peas but I added chicken instead.
You can cook this in two ways, one is cook the rice fresh along with the green peas, onion, ham or chicken like Risotto which definitely is more flavourful or make use of the left over rice and add the other ingredients after sauteeing them.
The theme of the month in our group, "Shhhhh Cooking Secretly" is - Fried Snacks. Monsoon has begun and we all love to munch something nice with tea.
My partner was Priya Iyer, who has a lovely blog - The World Through My Eyes
She gave me my two secret ingredients, Rice and Cheese. They were perfect for me as I was planning to make Arancini since a long time.
Here goes the recipe:


Ingredients:
Cooked rice ...... 1 cup
Roasted shredded and diced chicken .. 1/2 cup
Green peas (boiled) ............... 1/2 cup
Italian parsley (chopped)........ 1/4 cup
Olive oil ................................. 2 tbsps
Onion (finely chopped) .......... 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese ...................... 1/2 cup
Mozzarella cheese .................... small cubes (as needed)

For coating and frying:
All purpose flour .... 1/2 cup
Bread crumbs .......... 1 cup
Eggs ........................ 2 (beaten)
Oil .................... for frying.


Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onions.









2. When they turn translucent, tip in the diced  chicken.









3.Next add the boiled green peas.

4. Add the cooked rice and parsley. Stir to combine everything.









5. Allow it to cool a little bit and add the grated cheese and mix well.








6. Now divide the mixture into 8 equal portions or depending the size of the balls you want to make. Take a portion of the mixture in your palm, flatten it and place a piece of mozzarella cheese.





7. Seal it well and make a smooth ball. Prepare all the balls in the same way.






8. Spread the flour and bread crumbs in two flat plates. Roll each ball first in the dry flour.






9. Then dip into the egg.








10. Finally coat it with bread crumbs evenly.








11. Prepare all the balls in the manner before you start frying.







12. Heat oil in a pan, lower the heat and fry the rice balls carefully.








13. Fry them evenly turning them until they are golden brown in colour.






14. Serve immediately with a sauce or dip of your choice.









Note: If you are cooking the rice along with the chicken or ham and green peas you can add some white wine and chicken stock to make it more flavourful.
Recipe adapted from - Natasha's Kitchen


Sunday, June 18, 2017

POMEGRANATE AND CHERRY JUICE


Pomegranate and cherry juices not only have a delicious taste but also are loaded with health benefits.
These fruits are supposed to help protect against prostate and breast cancer, reduce the muscle pain, lower cholesterol and treat insomnia. In addition to the juice adding health benefits, the fruits are also a great addition to a balanced diet.
The juice can be made with simple variations by adding some flavouring ingredients like rock salt, lemon juice, honey, black pepper, ginger, lemongrass, mint leaves, basil leaves, roasted cumin powder etc etc as per your taste.
Today I have made it with just a little ginger juice, lemon juice, honey and a pinch of black pepper.

Ingredients:
Pomegranate ... 1 medium
Cherries .......... 8
Ginger juice ... 2 tsps
Honey .......... 1 tbsp
Salt .............. a pinch
Black pepper ... a small pinch

Method:
1. Cut the pomegranate and remove the pulpy seeds.
2. Deseed the cherries.
3. Put them in a mixie along with a glass of water and blend.
4. Strain the juice and stir in the remaining ingredients.
5. Refrigerate it and serve chilled.

Note : You may consume this juice to stay healthy but do not take it as a treatment for the mentioned ailments.
Information Source - Livestrong.com


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

LEBANESE LENTIL RICE WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS / MUJADARA / MUJADARRAH / CHICKEN KEBAB


This is a protein packed dish of lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions and roasted almonds or pine nuts.  It is usually served with some plain yogurt. I always ended up ordering this dish in the Lebanese restaurants as it is somewhat like our pulao. I have served some chicken kebab as an accompaniment.

Ingredients:
Lentils ... 1 cup
Rice ...... 1 cup
Onions ... 1 large (sliced)
Black pepper ... 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder ... 1/2 tsp (or use garam masala)
Few almonds ... blanched and peeled (or use pine nuts)
Salt ................. to taste
Garlic ... 2-3 cloves crushed (optional)
Olive oil or butter .... 3-4 tbsps

Method:

1. Boil the lentils with some salt. Take care not to over cook them as we don't want them mushy. Drain them and set aside.






2. Boil the rice with salt. Drain and set aside. Traditionally the rice is cooked with lentils but I like it to be grainy. So I follow this method.






3. Fry the sliced onions until brown and crispy. Remove them on a kitchen tissue to drain the excess oil.







5. Now take a pan and add the oil or butter. If you are using garlic first saute it. Add the spice powders of your choice (either garam masala or cumin and black pepper)





6. Tip in the boiled lentils and rice stirring carefully not to break the rice.






7. Mix them well . Check for the salt and add if needed.







8. Spoon it in a serving platter and top it with fried onions and almonds or pine nuts




For the Chicken Kebab:
Chicken .. 200 gms (boneless cubes)
Lemon juice ..... 2 tbsps
Salt ............. as needed
Olive oil .. 2 tbsps
Mediterranean spice mix or garam masala ... 1 tsp
Onions ... cut into cubes
Satay sticks

Method:
1. Marinate the chicken with salt and lemon juice.
2. Saute in a griddle with olive oil on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until done. You may also bake it in an oven.
3. Now toss the onions in the same pan for a minute.
4. Put the chicken and onion cubes in the satay sticks alternately
5. Bring them back to the pan and sprinkle the spice mix over them.
6. Turn the sides a couple of times till the chicken is lightly charred.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

GINGER RASAM / INJI RASAM / ALLAM CHARU


Rasam is a dish made almost everyday in all the South Indian homes. Hence it is made with many variations. I have already posted a few of them . Today's preparation is ginger flavoured rasam. This one is specially good when you have a sore throat.


Ingredients:
Toor dal ... handful (soaked and boiled with tomatoes)
Ginger ... 2 inch pieces (can add more if you like)
Tamarind .. size of a lemon soaked in half cup water
Tomatoes ... 2 small
Salt ........... to taste
Jaggery ... 1 tsp
Rasam powder ... 1 tbsp (for home made rasam powder recipe click - HERE)
Coriander leaves .. handful
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp

For Tempering:
Oil ... 2 tbsps
Asafoetida .. 1 pinch
Curry leaves .. 1 sprig
Mustard seeds ... 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds .... 1 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 1 broken


Method:



1. Wash the ginger and cut into pieces. Grind it in am mixie.







2. Boil it in 2 cups of water for a couple of minutes.







3. Strain it and keep aside.






4. Boil the soaked toor dal with tomatoes in a pressure cooker for 2 -3 whistles.( You can add them whole and peel the skin before blending the cooked dal.)





5. Blend it and set aside.







6. In a pan add the tempering ingredients.







7. When they crackle add the ginger water.






8. Now add the tamarind water, dal, coriander leaves and bring to a boil.







9. Stir in the rasam powder, salt, and jaggery, Simmer for a minute and it is ready to serve.

Monday, May 29, 2017

STUFFED BELL PEPPERS


I had been wanting to make this recipe since a long time. So glad this month in our group, Shhhh Cooking Secretly the theme is " Stuffed " and I got a chance to try out this dish.  I am paired with Veena Krishna Kumar who blogs at Veena's Veg Nation  Do visit her space and check out some delicious recipes.
Veena gave me my 2 secret ingredients - Bell Peppers (Capsicums and Rajma) Usually the stuffed bell peppers are made with minced meat stuffing along with beans, rice etc. Since this is a vegetarian group I have used soya granules keema. For flavouring you can use any fresh herbs like coriander, parsley or basil. This is a complete meal by itself and so delicious. Make and enjoy the dish for lunch or dinner.


Ingredients:
Bell peppers / Capsicums .... 3 or as needed (one of each colour)
Cooked rice ..... 1 cup
Boiled Rajma / kidney beans ... 1 cup
Cooked soya mince ................. 1 cup
Coriander.. 3 tbsps (finely chopped)
Onion ...... 3 tbsps (finely chopped)
Tomato ketchup .... 2 tbsps
Chilli sauce ............ 1 tbsp (optional)
Mustard sauce ........ 1 tbsp
Tomato puree .......... 1 cup
Garlic ................... 1 tsp (crushed)
Salt .. to taste
Cheese .... 3 tbsps (grated)

Rice:
Boil the rice with salt until three-fourth done. Drain it and set aside. (It gets cooked to perfection while baking the peppers)

Rajma / Kidney Beans:
Soak the kidney beans for 6-7 hours or overnight. Boil it in a pan or pressure cook it with little salt until done. Avoid making it mushy. Drain and set aside.


Soya Mince:
You need - Oil, salt, spices like coriander powder, cumin powder and 1/2 cup sliced onions to cook the soya granules.
Soak the soya mince granules for 1 hour. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a pan and add the sliced onions. Saute to a golden brown colour. Add the salt, spice powders and 1/4 cup water. Simmer until the water is dried up.


Sauce:
Mix together all the sauces mentioned in the list. Add a little salt for flavouring.


To Make the Stuffed Bell Peppers:

 In a large bowl, mix together the cooked rice, rajma, soya mince, chopped onion and coriander leaves or any fresh herbs. Stir in a small portion of the prepared sauce to it. Keep the rest of it for later use while baking.




 Try to select the same size peppers. Wash them well.






Cut out a thin layer at the top and remove the seeds and membranes carefully. Rinse them from inside.






  In a large pan boil water and cook the peppers for 1 minute. The water should cover them






 Remove them in a plate and spoon the mixture into them.







 Take a baking dish and pour the remaining sauce into it. Place the stuffed peppers on the sauce.






 Cover the dish with a foil and bake in a pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 250 degrees C. Remove the foil and further bake for 5 more minutes.





 Finally top them with a little grated cheese and place them in the oven for a minute or until the cheese melts.






 Serve hot immediately from the oven.









Serves 3

Tip: Select the bell peppers of the same size. If they don't stand straight you can cut a tiny portion at the bottom taking care not to make a hole.

Recipe Inspirations from - HERE


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