Monday, March 15, 2010

Chaat n Chai with friends...

Yesterday, my friends S, P and I got together to spend the evening making and eating some spicy Chaat and sipping on some good old masala chai. We had a terrific time making Pani Puri and Vada Pav and boy!! did they come out good!!!!! S made the puris for Pani Puri from scratch and it made a whole lot of difference dunking crunchy puris filled with hot vatana and chutneys into spicy chilled pani.....yummm! Click here and here to check out the pictures....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Updates without goals....

I am pretty surprised I did some food photography without an agenda a couple days ago and updated some pictures. Click on the name to check them out....... Stuffed Eggplant, Limbu Rasam and Morchaar...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goal #2 Down!

I did manage to make and click all the Raitas except one....Pudina Raita....I guess its starting to become a pattern to always leave something undone. I will finish it in a couple days though...The fun part was that after making all the Raitas last night, DH and I gobbled them up right away coz we knew if we didn't eat it right then, it would sit in the fridge forever. Check out detailed recipes and more photos under each individual recipe.

Boondi Raita

2 cups YogurtChat MasalaSalt
3/4 cup Spicy BoondiRed Chilli Powder(Optional)
Jeera Powder

Whip the yogurt with some salt to make it smooth and creamy.
If using Spicy Boondi, we can omit the red chilli powder.
Just before serving, mix in the boondi and sprinkle with jeera powder and chat masala.
Serve before it gets soggy.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lunch today....


4 cups Wheat FlourSalt
1/2 cup Warm Milk1and 1/2 cup Warm Water

Mix a tsp of salt with the wheat flour and knead it in a bowl with the milk adding a little water at a time.
Keep kneading until it becomes soft and pliable.
Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes.
Roll out 1-2 mm thin rotis about 6-8 inches in diameter.
Heat a skillet and place a roti on it when hot.
Let it cook on one side for 1/2 a minute and then flip and cook the other side for 1/2 a minute.
Then slide it into the open flame and let it puff up, turning once.
Apply a dash of ghee and serve.
Store in an airtight container lined with aluminum foil if not eating right away.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kid Friendly Pasta

It is an everyday challenge to come up with a nutritious yet colorful and appetizing meal for a toddler. Especially when the toddler tends to change his tastes every week. Last nights's concoction for my 2 year old was thankfully in line with his demand for pasta and I tried to get his vegetables, proteins and carbs all in a one pot dish. It came out pretty well and I ended up eating quite a bit under the pretext of tasting. This recipe can be easily tweaked into a quick 30 minute lunch or dinner fix for adults as well. I would recommend using olive oil instead of butter though and maybe a little more spices based on your taste. I used Paneer because I did not have Feta cheese at home. So without much adieu, here comes pasta sauteed with fresh vegetables in a light herb butter sauce.

2 cups Pasta
1/2 Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Broccolli
1/2 cup Squash
1 small tomato
1/2 cup Paneer
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1-2 tsp Basil Paste (or Pesto)
Olive Oil

Boil the pasta for about 8-10 minutes until cooked. I used some fusili and rotini.
Cut all vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes. The idea is to make it bite size for kids.
In a heavy bottom pan, melt 1 tbsp butter and add a tsp of basil paste and let it diffuse in the butter on low heat for a minute.
Saute all the vegetables until well cooked, yet crisp and crunchy.
Add the paneer and saute until it roasts to a golden color.
Add salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
Drain the pasta and add it to the vegetables and toss on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Serve hot with a side of fruit juice or milk.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Update on My Goals...

I just vaguely remembered having assigned myself some blog related goals eons ago..(Read as: I didn't quite finish my assignment from two weeks ago!). I did cook a lot of rice dishes and take pictures but unfortunately, couldn't finish all of them. I got through all but one - Ven Pongal. I promise to cook that next weekend. Time for a new goal I guess...

Target: Assemble (coz there isn't much to cook) all the Raitas/Salads and photograph them.

Crispy Golden Rawa Dosa

This is a signature recipe of my mom who learnt the secret to a crispy golden rawa dosa from her uncle. As the story goes, whenever she visited home from her hostel during her college years, her mama would try to get her to eat some idlis and she just wouldn't go for it knowing that there is always a dosa option available. Turns out, he was so persistent on getting her to appreciate the sheer deliciousness of piping hot spongy soft idlis that he would not let her nudge him into making dosas until she finished all her idlis...he would send her on errands, make her go chat with everyone on the block, give her hostel life updates to her grandma and after every errand, he would make her eat an idli. My mom asked him why he is making her do all these silly things to get a meal and he said..."Appo thaan unakku pasikkum...nalla pasicha thaan nee idli chapudivai!".

Translated as: "Only then will you get hungry enough to give idlis a fair shot!"

Even today my mother gets super nostalgic when she talks about her childhood growing up with her parents, uncles and aunts and a dozen cousins in the same block. Her uncles were in the restaurant business and she always got her special snacks delivered home specially marked with her name in all corners of the packet as if to say..."Nobody else touch it!" ...and of course she also had some marked for her in the packets that came for everybody else! Now I know the source of the "I gotta be Pampered" gene in me. This post is dedicated to my mom and our super amazing Radhakrishnan Thatha (her uncle)...We totally cherish your rawa dosa recipe!!

3 cups Rice Flour
2 cups Sooji
1.5 cups Maida
1 tbsp Jeera
1 pinch Hing
3-4 Green Chillies

Blend in all the flours with about 6-8 cups of water and beat it until completely lump-free.
Finely chop the chillies and add it into the batter.
Add the jeera, hing and salt to taste.
Cover the batter and let it sit for at least an hour.
Heat a tawa and smear 2-3 drops of oil on it.
Gently pour 2-3 ladles of batter around the tawa into a thin dosa. Do not spread the batter with the ladle on the tawa.
Tilt the tawa if needed to spead the batter.
Spray a tsp of oil on the dosa and let it cook for about a minute and a half on medium high flame.
Turn and cook the other side.
Remove when crisp and golden and serve hot with sambar, chutney or gothsu….