Thursday, October 30, 2008

Black Bean Soup

Of late we have been having more soup than usual.My Dh was trying out all the canned soups,one spoon full was all I could take of it, soI decided to make an Indianised version of the black bean soup.Needless to say that the soup was awesome and a huge hit with my hubby.
1 No Onion ( chopped)
5 Cloves garlic (chopped)
2 Nos Green chillies (slit and cut into half)
1 Medium sized Carrot (cubed)
2 Tsp Cumin powder
1 Tbsp Red chilly Powder
1 Can Black beans(drained & washed)
2 Nos Ripe Tomato
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste.
Coriander leaves for garnishing.
Heat oil in a pan, and add the onion and saute.
Chopp the tomato and grind it to a puree and set aside.
When the onion browns add the carrot,green chilly,garlic and saute for a minute.
Add the tomato puree, black beans,red chilly powder and cumin powder.
Add water as required.
Cover and cook for 5-7 minute or till the carrot and beans are tender.
When the bean is tender mash it a little with the back of a spoon.
serve hot.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sauteed Vegetables

There are some days when you do not want some thing heavy, but would like some thing familiar,
During such a days I make this dish. It is very quick to make too.(thanks to food processors)
1 Cup -Cabbage ( sliced thin)
1 Medium - Carrot ( grated)
1/4 Cup - Peas
1/4 Cup - Corn
1 No - Onion (sliced)
1 Tsp - Oil
4 nos - Green chilly (sliced)
salt to taste.
Heat oil in a kadai,add all the ingredients and saute.
Cover and cook for a minute or two.
Serve hot.

Methi Malai Matar

1/2 Cup - Peas
1 Cup - Fresh methi leaves
1/2 Cup -Heavy cream
1 Tsp - Ginger/Garlic Paste
1 Pinch - Turmeric powder
1/2 Tsp - Garam masala
1/2 Tsp - Cumin seeds
3 Nos - Green chillies
4-5 Nos - Peppercorns
7-10 Nos - Cashew nuts
1 No - Cloves
1 Tbsp - Oil
Salt to taste.
Grind Cashews,green chilly,peppercorn,cloves and ginger garlic paste together and set aside.
Heat oil in a kadai and add the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds pop add peas and methi leaves and saute.(wash the methi leaves thoroughly)
Now add the ground paste, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt.
Let it cook for five minutes and add the cream.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot with Roti or any flat breads.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spicy Vegetable Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my favorite dishes.Any time I have a bunch of vegetables, I just have to make it.
Fried rice is also very versatile as it can be made with many combination of vegetables.It is just lovely to taste the texture variation in thin strips of vegetables along with rice.
2 Cups - Rice -cooked (I usually go with the long grain rice)
1 Large - Carrot (julienne or grated)
1/4 Cup - Cabbage (sliced thin)
1/2 No - Capsicum (sliced thin)
1/4 Cup - Green beans (julienne)
1/4 Cup - Peas
1/4 Cup - Corn
1 Medium - Onion (sliced thin)
1 Tsp - Ginger & garlic (chopped fine)
1 Tbsp - Chili Oil
2 Tbsp - Soy sauce
21/2 Tbsp - Tomato sauce
4 Tbsp - Red chilly sauce
3 Tbsp - Oil
Salt to taste.
Cook the rice and spread it on a greased plate in a thin layer and let it cool.
Heat the oil in a kadai and add onion, ginger, garlic and saute.
When the onion turns brown add all the vegetables and continue sauteing.
Now add the chili oil, tomato sauce,soy sauce,red chilly sauce, salt and stir.
Add the cooled rice and mix thoroughly at low heat.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Venthaya keerai kootu (Methi leaves kootu)

I just love any kind of greens, though it was not the same always. When I was growing up my grandpa insisted on cooking greens every day, so naturally when ever there was no greens I was just so happy.But after I left home for hostels I really started to miss the greens.Now when ever I visit the grocery shop I do not leave without greens.
I like preparing kootu with Venthaya keerai because the light bitterness of this greens gives flavor to the bland mung dal.

1 Bunch - Methi leaves
1/2 cup - Split mung dal
5 Pods - Garlic
2 Nos - Red chilly (broken into half)
1 Tsp - Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp - Cumin powder
1 Sprig - Curry leaves
1 Tbsp - Oil
1 Pinch - Turmeric powder
5 Nos - Shallots(Peeled & sliced)
Salt to taste.
Soak the mung dal in water for half an hour.
Remove the methi leaves from the stem and wash thoroughly.
Heat oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds pop, add red chilly, curry leaves,shallots and saute.
Now add the garlic, drained mung dal, methi leaves,turmeric powder,cumin powder,and salt.
add water as required.
Cover and cook till the dal is well done.
Serve as an accompaniment to any curry or just enjoy with plain white rice.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mangai Thogayal (Green Mango Thogayal)

1 No - Medium seized raw green mango (grated)
1/4 cup - Coconut (grated)
6 Nos - Green chilly
11/2 inch - piece of ginger
5 no - shallots (peeled and halved)
1 Tbsp - Oil
1Tsp - Mustard seeds
1 Tsp - Urad dal
1 sprig - Curry leaves
Salt to taste.
grind mango, coconut, green chilly,salt,and ginger to a paste.
Pulse the shallots for a minute.
Make a thadka by heating the oil and adding mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds pop, pour it over the ground paste.
Enjoy with white rice and ghee.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chili Oil

Chili oil is used as a dipping sauce for Chinese finger foods like wantons, spring rolls... it is also used as a seasoning for fried rice and noodles.
My Dh is crazy about chili oil. when ever we go to any Chinese restaurant he asks for the chili oil even before the menu! So i decided to make it at home.
20 nos - Dry red chilly
1 cup - Peanut oil.
Break the red chilly into half and remove all the seeds from them.
Pulse the chilly in a blender to make flakes(about 10-20 seconds)
be careful not to make it a powder.(I did not use store bought chili flakes because it has seeds in it. )
Heat the oil till it starts to smoke and let it cool for five minutes.
Add the oil to the chilly flakes.
Let it set for some time and enjoy as u like.
Store the oil in an air tight container.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baked Penne with oven roasted vegetables

The First time I made this dish my family fell in love with it. I made this dish using whole wheat penne(just an effort to making a healthy meal) instead of the regular penne pasta. I also used a very limited amount of cheese.(you can always add more cheese if you like.)This dish is basically light! As for the vegetables you can use almost any vegetable of your choice.(zucchini,mushrooms, carrots,peas,beans,corn,peppers.)
1 No - Green pepper (cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips)
1 large - Onion (peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips)
1 Large - Carrot (cut into 1- inch wide strips)
1/4 pound - Beans(ends trimmed and cut into half)
1/4 cup - Peas
1/4 cup - Corn
3 Tbsp - Olive oil
2 cups - penne pasta
11/2 cup - Marinara sauce(add more if you like)
2 Tbsp - Crushed black pepper
2 Tbsp - Red chilly flakes
1/4 cup - grated Parmesan
1/4 cup - grated mozzarella
3 tbsp - sliced olives
Salt to taste.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a baking tray lined with parchment paper toss peppers,carrots ,beans and onions.
Coat the vegetables with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Set it in the oven for 15 minutes or until tender.
Heat a large pot of water and add salt and pasta.
When the pasta is done drain ad set aside.
Take a baking pan and grease it.
Put the roasted vegetables,Parmesan cheese, peas, corn,pasta, red chilly flakes,marinara sauce (salt & pepper if needed) and mix well so that the pasta and the vegetables are coated with the sauce.
Top with mozzarella cheese and garnish with olives.
Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.
Serve hot.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Paneer Butter Masala

My DH is a huge Paneer fan.He just loves paneer in any form.
I was making Multigrain roti, so what better way to soften up the roti than Paneer butter masala.
1 Cup - Paneer (cut into cubes)
1 No - Onion (chopped)
1 No - Large Tomato
10 No - Cashews
4 Tbsp - Cream
1 Tsp - Cumin seeds
1 Tsp - G/G Paste
1 Tbsp - Red chilly powder
1 /2 Tsp - Turmeric powder
1 Tsp - Garam masala
1 Tsp - Coriander powder
1 Tbsp - Kasturi Methi
2 Tbsp - Butter
Salt - to taste.
Grind tomato and cashew nuts together and set aside.
Heat butter in a kadai and fry the cubed paneer.
When the paneer is golden brown remove it from the kadai and set aside.
(Frying the paneer makes it crisp and enhances the flavor, you can avoid frying if you like the paneer to be soft)
Add Cumin seeds to the heated butter.
When the cumin seeds pop add the chopped onion and saute.
When the onion browns add the G/G paste,tomato-cashew paste, salt,garam masala, chilly powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder and stir well adding water as necessary.
cover and cook for 5 minutes and add cream, paneer and kasturi methi.
Cook for another minute and serve.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mulagai Gojju ( Green chillies Gojju)

Gojju's are usually served as an accompaniment to breakfast dishes like idly, dosa, pongal etc..
There are a lot of gojju varieties,I learnt this from my MIL.Mulagai gojju (though made from chillies) is not actually hot, but is tangy.This recipe is also very easy to prepare.
10-15 Nos - Green chillies
1 No - Large onion (chopped)
11/2 Cup - Tamarind extract
1 Sprig - Curry leaves
1 Tsp - Mustard seeds
1 Tsp - Urad dal
1 Tbsp - Oil
1 Tsp - Turmeric powder
2 Pinches - Asafoetida
Salt to taste.
Slice the green chillies into medium sized pieces and set aside.
Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds splutter add the chopped onion, green chillies,turmeric powder and saute.
When the onions are tender add salt and the tamarind extract.
When the mixture comes to a boil, add asafoetida.
Serve hot with Idly/Dosa.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Groundnut chutney (Peanut chutney)

I make Groundnut chutney as an alternative to the ever present coconut chutney.My DH is also very fond of ground nut chutney.There are many different ways of preparing this chutney, i make it with coconut.This chutney is a great accompaniment to Dosa and Idly.
1 Cup - Groundnuts
1 Tsp - Tamarind paste
3/4 Cup - Coconut (shredded)
5 Nos - Dry red chilly
2 Pinch - Asafoetida
1 Tbsp - oil
1 Tsp - Mustard seeds & urad dal
1 Sprig - Curry leaves
Salt to taste.
Dry roast the peanuts and remove the skin.
Grind the roasted peanuts, coconut,tamarind,asafoetida,red chilly and salt to a smooth paste .(add water as required)
Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds splutter , pour it over the chutney.

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