Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Baingan Bharta | Smoked Indian Eggplant Curry

Baingan Bharta, a delicious side dish made from the eggplants and it's quite popular all over Indian sub continents. Traditionally the eggplants are fire roasted then minced and added into the spicy onion tomato masala. Currently in our place, we're having only class top cooking stove and there is no provision for direct fire cooking at this time, so i have been using the oven to roast the eggplants until it's bit charred on the top. I haven't tasted the baingan bharta until i tried on my own, so can't compare the traditional way  with oven roasted way, but i can assure that this curry is so good with wonderful flavor. You have to trust me on this because these are the words from one who had great aversion on eggplant once. 

Right from childhood, i had this great aversion of eggplant/brinjal. Though i have been using it in my cooking, the eggplants are eaten by ST only, not me once, finally can overcome my aversion with this curry around 4 months back. For ST lunch box only, i had prepared this curry for first time, after packed, left with some, gave it a try and kind of like it and now it became the regular side dish for our rotis. Every one who knew my food preference actually surprised to see me eating baingan bharta now, still don't know that i can eat eggplants in any other forms!! Ok,thank you for reading my eggplant aversion story, now let's check out how to make this delicious curry.

Baingan Bharta | Smoked Indian Eggplant Curry

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 50 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Baingan Bharta, Eggplant, Curry, Side Dish For Chapathi, Best Baingan Bharta,Smoked Eggplant Curry, Brinjal Curry, Baingan Bharta, a delicious side dish made from the eggplants and it's quite popular all over Indian sub continents.
Ingredients
Eggplant(medium size) - 1 
Onion(small) - 1
Tomato - 2 
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 4 
Cardamon -1 
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Dried kasthuri methi - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - few
Cooked Peas - 1/2 cup(optional)

Procedure
Preheated the oven @ 450 F . Line the baking tray with parchment paper and then wash eggplant, pat dry well and apply oil evenly on the eggplant and bake it for 25-30 mins or until the top browns a little.Let it cool a bit and then remove the eggplant skin and chop them into fine pieces.Cut the onions and tomatoes into small pieces.Heat the oil in a kadai, add cinnamon, cloves and cardamon into it and fry for 30 secs.Then add the  onions and  saute till onions became translucent. The add the ginger garlic paste, saute till it's aromatic and then add the tomatoes.Saute till the tomatoes are mushy and then add the spice powder(turmeric, red chili, coriander and garam masala powder) and salt. Saute the masala till it's aromatic and the raw smell is gone.Then add the eggplant ,give a good mix and add the required water.Let it bring into boil and cover cook for 10 mins or until everything comes together.Finally add the cooked peas, kasthuri methi & coriander leaves and switch off the flame. Tasty and healthy Baingan Bharta is ready.Serve it with your favorite roti. We had it with Palak Roti and for other roti varieties, check out here.
Notes:

  • Make sure that the eggplant is well cooked in the oven, the skin should peel off easily from the eggplant,that's the sign of well cooked.
  • Depends on the oven and eggplant size, cooking time varies. 
  • Currently i have stock of yellow peas only, so used it. But usually green peas is used or you can totally ignore the peas.
  • It's mildly spicy, add more or less of spices as per your liking.
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Monday, April 6, 2020

Pottukadalai Chutney | Roasted Gram Dal Chutney | Thanni Chutney

Pottukadalai Chutney, a delicious  chutney made from roasted gram dal & coconut. It's one of the easiest chutney that can be made in a mins and tastes good with almost all south indian breakfast/tiffin items like idli, dosa, upma, paniyaram and so on. In our home , we used to call this chutney as "Thanni Chutney", in tamil "Thanni" means "Water", in this context it means "Watery", basically this chutney is not thick as many other chutneys so got  its name as "Thanni Chutney". 
For this chutney, the proportion of coconut and roasted gram dal is really personal preference, i prefer to add equal quantity of both, but some like more roasted gram dal, other may like more coconut in this chutneys, so adjust it as per your taste. If you're a beginner or making this chutney for first time, i would recommend to add equal amount of coconut and roasted gram dal. Now let's check out how to make this super easy chutney.

Pottukadalai Chutney | Roasted Gram Dal Chutney

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 5 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Chutney | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Pottukadalai Chutney,Coconut Chutney,Side dish for tiffin,chutney reipe, indian chutney recipe,Roasted Gram dal Chutney, Pottukadalai Chutney, a delicious chutney made from roasted gram dal & coconut. It's one of the easiest chutney that can be made in a jiffy and tastes good with almost all south indian breakfast/tiffin items like idli, dosa, upma , paniyaram and so on.
Ingredients
Pottukadalai/ roasted gram dal - 1/2 cup
Green chili - 2 
Garlic clove -1 
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Water - as needed
Salt - to taste
Tamarind - a few piece
To Temper
Sesame oil - 1/2 tsp
Mustard/Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Pearl onion(finely chopped) - 1 
Curry leaves - few
* For beginners, see the notes section at the end.

Procedure
In a mixie jar, add coconut, green chili and garlic. Next add tamarind and grind them all into coarse mixture. Next add the pottukadalai & salt.Again grind them into coarse mixture. Next add the water and grind it as fine paste.Heat the pan with oil and temper the ingredients listed under "To Temper".Let the onions become translucent and then keep the flame in low and add 1/2 cup of water.Add the chutney into it and mix it well. Let the chutney in heat for a min in low flame and then transfer into serving bowl.Simple and tasty Pottukadalai Chutney is ready.Serve it with idli, dosa or paniyaram. For more breakfast item, check out here
Notes:

  • The pottukadalai makes the chutney stick into the bottom of the hot pan, that's the reason, after tempering, the water is added into the pan before adding the chutney.
  • Don't let the chutney to boil, it becomes thick and look like porridge(unless that's what you're looking for)
  • I prefer my chutney to be watery , so just keep it in the flame under one min until the chutney is slightly warm.
  • More time on the heat makes the chutney thick which i don't like it.
  • Sesame oil for tempering give nice flavor to the chutney.



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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Karupatti Kuzhi Paniyaram | Sweet Paniyaram Using Dosa Batter

Karupatti Kuzhi Paniyaram, a delicious and quick to make sweet/snack with dosa batter. Traditionally,  separate batter is prepared to make the kuzhi paniyaram, but here in this recipe, we 're going to use the regular dosa batter. Still it tastes as awesome as the traditional one.  More than kara kuzhi paniyaram, this sweet version of kuzhi paniyaram is my favorite. Amma makes this often for breakfast in addition to dosa and we grew up eating this alone for breakfast in the weekends,it was like our kind of donut breakfast. But now a days, i'm not making this often mainly because of the rare availability of karupatti in the places that i have been living for the past few years. Whenever i have seen them in grocery store, immediately i would grab them for making this karupatti paniyaram and karupatti coffee. Sometime the flavor and taste of the karuppati that are available here would slightly differ from taste and flavor that i'm used to, so making this paniyaram is a very sight at my kitchen now a days.

Few months back, bought the karupatti from the local indian store and it's flavor and taste are so much like the one that i'm used to, so i have been using that in ration and try to keep it as long as i can :-), already made this paniyaram twice in the last one month. If you haven't tried this sweet version of paniyaram do give it a try, no need to make any special batter, dosa batter simply works fine, make sure that the batter is thick. Now let's check out the recipe.


Karupatti Kuzhi Paniyaram

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Karupattai Kuzhi Paniyaram, Sweet Kuzhi Paniyaram,Kuzhi Paniyaram, Jaggery Paniyaram,Palm Kuzhi Paniyaram,Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyaram Karupatti Kuzhi Paniyaram, a delicious and quick to make sweet paniyaram with dosa batter. Traditionally, separate batter is prepared to make the kuzhi paniyaram, but here in this recipe, we 're going to use the regular dosa batter.
Ingredients
Dosa Batter - 1 cup
Karupatti/Palm Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 tbsp
Grated Coconut - 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil/ghee - for frying
* See the notes section at the end for all tips to get perfect fluffy paniyaram

Procedure
Take the dosa batter from the refrigerator(if you have to) and let it come to room temperature. In a sauce pan, add the karupatti and water and heat it in low flame.Let the karupatti melt and then the strain the karupati syrup in to the dosa batter, next add grated coconut and cardamom powder.Mix it all well together. Heat the paniyaram pan with little oil in each hole.Pour the batter in each hole and cover cook(optional) it for few mins.And then gently flip into the other side with small wooden stick/skewer and cook till it's golden brown. Remove on to the plate.Tasty Karupatti Paniyaram is ready. 
Notes:
  • Don't add more water for making karupatti syrup, it will make the batter dilute.
  • Instead of palm jaggery, regular jaggery can also be used
  • Cook it in low flame, otherwise it's easily get burnt in the bottom because of the sugar in it.
  • No need to check for any syrup consistency here, just let it melt is enough.
  • Crush the karuppati in hand motor and pestle and then add into sauce pan for easy melting.
  • Personally i like to use sesame oil for this paniyaram more than ghee. Use ghee if you prefer that flavor.
  • Instead of grated coconut, you can used coconut bits also if prefer some crunchiness in between.
  • Serve it hot or cold, it tastes good in either way. But i prefer to have it straight from the stove.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Palak Paneer | Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Curry

Palak Paneer, a creamy, healthy and delicious curry made from spinach puree and indian cottage cheese. ST is not a big fan of paneer, to be precise, he didn't like it all and for me, i like it but not so crazy about it, so paneer dishes are rare at home. But ever since started making  malai paneer at home, we both really enjoy eating paneer dishes occasionally at home. With the store bought paneer, whatever the tips and tricks i had followed, never able to make soft paneer dishes. Always ended with chewy paneer and didn't blend with curry at all. After all this year of cooking, finally realized unless the paneer are soft, whatever you do, it doesn't work. My search of making soft paneer at home ends with this malai paneer recipe, i'm not exaggerating here, honestly, the paneer is so soft and literally melt in your mouth. And whatever the dish you add, it incorporates well with the dishes. As it is, paneer is very bland, so it works well with all flavors. 
Now coming to the palak paneer recipe, i have followed my veg palak recipe with little tweaks and made this palak paneer, it was awesome with creamy texture & wonderful spinach flavor. To get that vibrant green color on the curry, few things need to be  taken care. First, the spinach should be fresh and green, personally i like to use baby spinach for its bright color. Second, don't cover cook the spinach, it changes its color. Third, adding little sugar in blanching and cooking the puree helps to retain the color. Ok, that's it, now let's check out this delicious palak paneer recipe. 

Palak Paneer | Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Curry

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Curry | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Palak Paneer, Malai Paneer, Spinach Curry,Indian Cottage Cheese, Paneer in Spinach puree, Spinach Paneer Curry, Paneer Gravy,Palak Curry,Creamy Palak Paneer,Best Palak Paneer,Easy Palak Paneer Recipe Palak Paneer, a creamy, healthy and delicious curry made from spinach puree and indian cottage cheese.
Ingredients
Spinach - 2 cup
Onion(small) -1
Tomato(small) - 1 
Paneer - 1 cup
Garlic - 2 +2 cloves
Ginger  - 1/2 inch piece
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 4 
Cardamon -1 
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Dried kasthuri methi - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp(optional)
Cream - 2 tbsp + more for serving.

Procedure
First let's blanch the spinach, bring the water to boil in a sauce pan, add 1/2 tsp of salt & sugar.Add the spinach, let it in boiling water 30 -40 secs, remove from the heat immediately. Drain the water.And run it under cold water for few mins to stop further cooking instantly & keep it aside.Heat the oil in a sauce pan, add cinnamon, cloves and cardamon into it and fry for 30 secs.Then add the cumin seeds, onions and garlic(2 finely chopped), saute till onions became translucent.In a mixie jar add the spinach, tomato, ginger and the remaining garlic and grind into smooth paste.Add the spinach puree and the spices (turmeric, red chili,coriander & garam masala powder),salt & sugar. Give a good mix.Let it simmer for few mins and then add the the paneer,cream & kasthuri methi and keep it in flame for further 2 mins.Switch off the flame and squeeze a little lemon juice(optional) .Tasty and healthy Palak Paneer is ready to serve. Drizzle some cream on top before serving. Serve it with your favorite indian flat bread or with rice.We had it with lachha paratha.
Notes:
  • Adding sugar into spinach while blanching helps to retain the color.
  • Cream gives richness to the curry.
  • For vibrant bright green color, baby spinach is used.
  • Instead of oil, butter can also be used for more richness.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How to make Barley Idli and Dosa | Breakfast recipe

Barley Idli and Dosai, a healthy and tasty breakfast made from barley, rice and urad dal. Idli & dosai is a staple breakfast/dinner food in South Indian households. Whenever any new grain was introduced to me, the first thing that i thought of could be whether it is possible to make idli or dosai with it ? Guess, it's typical south indian thing, many of us are so used to idli and dosa and can't live without it !!! So, this barley idli and dosa is the newest addition to our breakfast. Both idli and dosa turned out good. The idlis are so soft and spongy. Dosas are also crispy and delicious. If you haven't tried idli and dosa with barley before, do give it a try if you have barley in hands right now. In general, i'm not so keen on micro dissecting the nutritious value of every grain, always believe in eating as much as diverse whole food and home made !!! So if you  would like to know the benefit of barley , google will help you :-)

Given the current circumstance, almost every store in our area are out of idli rice, so i have been making idli and dosa with all types of grains that i have in my pantry like this barley, ragi and so on. Though i have stock of idli rice that would last for a month, the cautious level is so high now than ever, so mindful in consuming what i have in stock with the thought of empty shelves in the stores or when it would be restocked again. Those who knew us personally might knew that how often we move from one place to another, so we're so used to live in hotels and shared accommodation for up to month with limited supply of grocery and cooking vessels before finding place for us in the new city/state/country :-). With all that experience, i'm always little conscious in what we consume without wasting anything, but the current situation would bring another level of awareness that will last for lifetime, i guess !!! Ok, the last line may sounds like philosophy, i knew !!!, now let 's move on to the recipe and see how to make barley idli and dosa !!!


How to make Barley Idli and Dosa

Preparation Time : 10 hrs | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes : 4 to 6 
Recipe Category: Breakfast | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Barley idli, Barley Dosai,Barley Dosa, Barley Idli batter, Barley dosa batter, Breakfast, South Indian Barley Idli and Dosai, a healthy and tasty breakfast made from barley, rice and urad dal. Idli & dosai is a staple breakfast/dinner food in South Indian households.
Ingredients
Barley - 1 cup
Idli Rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek Seed - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Water - 1 to 1.5 cups

Procedure
Previous night itself, measure and take barley, rice & urad dal  in a bowl.Next add the fenugreek seed, wash them all thrice and soak it  in the water for overnight. Keep the bowl in kitchen counter, no need to refrigerate.In the next morning discard the soaked water and add it all into mixie jar in batches along with water and grind it into smooth batter.Pour the batter into the bowl and add salt, mix it well with hand.Cover the batter with lid and let it ferment for 6 to 8 hrs in a warm place(i have kept it in oven with lights on). Once fermented, the batter is ready to make idli & dosa. For idli, pour the batter into idli mould and steam it for 5-8 mins.For dosa, add more water into batter and make it as easily pouring consistency and make dosa as regular batter.Tasty & healthy Barley idli & dosa are ready. Serve it with sambar and/or chutney & podi.
Notes:
  • Unlike regular idli/dosa batter, it ferments quickly.
  • Barley idlis are not as white as regular idlis, it's little dull in color.
  • Depends on the weather conditions, fermenting time varies.
  • If you're making idli after refrigerate the batter, make sure to bring the batter into room temperature, otherwise the idlis won't be soft.
  • Always take the needed batter in a separate bowl and keep the remaining in the refrigerator immediately.
  • For dosa, add more water to the required batter only, don't add water to the whole batter.
  • The batter stays well for 3-4 days in refrigerator, I haven't tried storing the batter more than 4 days.
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