Monday, August 23, 2010

Sabudana Wada and a Birthday...



This weekend my little munchkin turned 3 and I have spent the last 4 odd days just getting overwhelmed at how fast the past 3 yrs have passed. He turned from a tiny 6lb-15ounce ball of sweet smelling cotton candy into a 3 & 1/2 ft tall bundle of mischief in the blink of an eye! So apart from just smothering him all weekend and sucking in all his cuteness, we decided to spend the weekend enjoying his day doing stuff he loved. He crawled into our bed on Saturday morning around 10-ish with a very matter-of-fact "There you are!". After an hour of chitchat and about 4 rhymes, we got ready to start our day with his favorite breakfast - MAGGI. He can have this just about anywhere anytime! He just recently started Montessori and very adorably showed off how to twist and scoop noodles on his own using a fork. After breakfast we headed out to the city and visited the Aquarium of the Bay by Embarcadero. He loved looking at all the fish and other creatures that were on showcase and had a wonderful time running about the place. He freaked a little around some crabs/octopuses but overall had a ball. Then we stuffed ourselves in about 4 different flavors of ice cream and enjoyed some live dancing/music on pier 39. We headed into The Rainforest Cafe and ordered the three vegetarian items they had on their menu for a late lunch/early dinner. So all in all nice day out in the city, great drive and fabulous memories of fun.
On Sunday, very close family friends of ours visited us and we had tea with sabudana wada with them. Here is my version of this all time favorite snack and some pictures.

Ingredients
MainSpices/TadkaGeneric
1 cup Sabudana1/2 tsp TurmericOil
2 large Potatoes1 pinch HingSalt
1/2 cup Peanuts1/2 cup Dhania
2 tbsp Bread Crumbs1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Maida8-10 Green Chillies

1 tbsp Grated Ginger






Method
Soak the sabudana in just enough water to immerse it for about 2-3 hrs.
Boil the Potatoes, peel the skin and leave it in the fridge for about 2 hrs. This will harden it up a little and make it easier to grate later.
Coarsely break the peanuts in a processor and roast them for just a couple minutes.
Once the sabudana has soaked in all the water, sprinkle a little water on top and microwave for about 2 minutes on medium.
In a bowl, grate the potatoes.
Add the semi-cooked sabudana, finely chopped green chillies and dhania, peanuts, bread crumbs, spices, maida, salt to taste and blend with the back of a heavy spoon until well mixed.
Make equal sized balls with it and flatten them on your palm and set aside on a plate dusted with some flour.
Heat oil in a wok and deep fry them on medium heat until nice and golden on both sides.
Serve hot with a side of chutney of choice or sweetened yogurt sprinkled with a pinch of elaichi.

Vegetable Parathas




Ingredients
MainSpices/TadkaGeneric
2 large Potatoes1 pinch TurmericOil
1 cup Peas1 pinch HingSalt
1 cup Corn1 tsp PanchpuranGhee
Fresh Dhania1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Fresh Pudina5-7 Green Chillies


Method
Prepare dough for Rotis. (See here)
Steam the potatoes, corn and peas for about 3 whistles in a pressure cooker.
Mash them up in a bowl and add all the spices.
Add finely chopped green chillies, fresh Dhania and Mint and salt to taste and let the filling cool for about 15-20 minutes.
Take a ball of dough about the size of a lemon and roll it out to about 4-5 inches in diameter and 1/2 cm thick.
Take a tbsp of the filling in the center and seal it up into a ball again.
Roll it out gently dabbing enough flour to make a paratha about 7-8 inches in diameter.
Heat a tawa and cook the paratha with ghee until nice and golden on both sides.
Serve hot with a side of pickle and/or raita.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vegetable Biryani





Like I mentioned in my previous post, we had a nice Sunday lunch a couple weekends ago with family that featured some delicious Makai Bhari Mirchi, Vegetable Biryani and some soothing Gujrati Dal. My version of vegetable biryani doesn't call for any yogurt (like traditional ones do) because DH is not a fan of the flavor it brings to the biryani. Here are some pictures from the family table and the recipe for the biryani.




Ingredients
MainSpices/TadkaGeneric
1/2 head Cauliflower2 Bay LeavesGhee
1 cup Peas1 Moti ElaichiSalt
1 cup Carrots 1/2 tsp Kalo JeeraSugar
1 cup Beans1 tsp Jeera
1 cup Bell Peppers1/2 tsp Whole Black Peppers
1 large Onion1 tsp Biryani Masala
2 large Tomatoes1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 cup Paneer1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 cups Basmati RiceGaram Masala

Cashews

Fresh Dhania

Saffron




Method
Cook 2 cups basmati rice with 1 and a 1/4 cup water in a rice cooker. Add a tsp of ghee so the grains do not stick together.
As soon as the rice is cooked, spread it on a wide plate and let it cool.
Cut the cauliflower head into medium florets.
Cut the rest of the vegetables into long thin strips.
Finely slice the onions lengthwise.
Finely chop the tomatoes.
In a pan heat 2-3 tbsp butter/ghee and roast the bay leaves, moti elaichi, jeera, kalo jeera and black peppers on low-medium heat for a couple minutes.
Add all the vegetables except onion and tomatoes and saute on medium heat.
Add the biryani masala, salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder. Keep tossing.
Add the grated paneer, finely chopped tomatoes, salt to taste and cook only till the vegetables are half cooked.
Carmelize the onions with a tsp of sugar in 2-3 tbsp of butter. Cook on low heat until they are dark brown. Take care not to burn them.
In an oven safe pot, grease the sides with some ghee.
Spread a layer of rice topped with a layer of the vegetable mix.
Sprinkle some garam masala on top and again add a layer of rice.
Continue until all vegetable and rice is used up.
Add a few strands of saffron to a tbsp of warm water and let it sit for a couple minutes.
Sprinkle some saffron water on the top and spread the carmelized onions as the top most layer.
Cover with an oven safe dish cover or just aluminium foil.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the biryani in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Garnish with roasted cashews, fresh dhania and serve hot.

Makai Bhari Mirchi



A couple weekends ago, we enjoyed dinner at a local Indian joint and they had some very new dishes on the menu. We particularly liked a corn based dish of stuffed peppers and the very next day at lunch, I tried to recreate the dish with my own twists. I served it with vegetable biryani (recipe and more pictures to follow) and some gujrati dal. The sweetness of the gravy from sweet corn and onions perfectly complimented the heat from the peppers...overall, this recipe was a keeper and here I am jotting it down before I forget..

Ingredients
MainSpices/TadkaGeneric
3 large Anaheim Peppers1 tbsp Panchpuran MasalaOil
1 large Potato1 tsp Dhania PowderSalt
2 cups Corn1 pinch Garam MasalaButter
1 medium Onion2 Green Chillies
2 tbsp Fresh Cream1 pinch Turmeric
1/2 cup Grated Paneer1 pinch Hing

Fresh Dhania Leaves


Method
Slit the Anaheim peppers lengthwise from one side.
Boil the potato and mash in a bowl.
Roast 1 cup of corn until golden and add to the mashed potato.
Add the grated paneer.
Dry roast the panchpuran masala for a couple of minutes on medium heat and grind it to a coarse powder.
Add the powdered panchpuran, some turmeric, a pinch of hing and salt to the mixture and blend with the back of a heavy spoon.
Stuff this mixture ino the peppers loosely. Stuffing them too tight will make the pepper break while cooking.
In a pan, heat 2-3 tbsp butter and set the stuffed mirchis to shallow fry.
Keep turning every couple of minutes to fry evenly until the skin turns golden brown and shrinks well.
Transfer the mirchis directly to the serving dish and do not drain the excess butter from it.
Roughly chop the onion and green chillies and roast them in the pan with the butter left over from frying the peppers.
Add the remaining 1 cup corn and continue cooking on medium heat until the onion turns translucent and corn becomes golden.
Puree this in the blender with 1/4 cup water. Do not make the gravy very runny or it won't adhere to the peppers.
Transfer the puree back to the pan and add a pinch of turmeric, garam masala and salt.
Add the fresh cream and bring to a boil for just a minute and turn the heat off.
Cut the slightly cooled cooled mirchis into 2-3 pieces.
Pour the gravy on top of the mirchis.
Garnish with some grated paneer and fresh dhania and serve hot with Rotis or Rice.