Archive | April, 2009

Daikon Radish Curry

30 Apr

mooli_fry
Mullangi Kobbari Koru.

Daikon Radish or Mooli or White Radish is commonly used in Indian cuisine for pickles, curries, parathas, salads etc… This simple daikon curry, radish is chopped into long thick strips. They are then tempered and garnished with fresh or roasted grated coconut. The resulting daikon curry is juicy with mild radish flavor.
Makes: 1 – 2 Servings

Ingredients:

Daikon Radish / Mooli 1
Green Chiles 2
Grated Fresh Coconut 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder a small pinch
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Urad Dal 1/8 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/8 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/8 tsp
Asafoetida a small pinch
Oil 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends, wash and chop white radish into app. 2 inch long strips.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When urad dal changes color, add green chiles, radish, turmeric powder and salt.
Cook covered with a splash if water for 2 minutes or until radish becomes soft.
Stir fry for few seconds and add coconut.
Remove from heat and serve daikon radish curry with steamed rice or roti.
Notes:Make sure white radish is not overcooked.

Suggestions: Mooli is uncooked – sprinkle a tbsp of water and cook it covered till soft from inside. Don’t overcook it.
Variations: Add sliced onion, red chile powder or sesame seeds to make the mooli curry little sweet, hot or crunchy. The leaves of white radish can also be chopped and added to this curry.
Other Names: Mooli with Coconut, Mooli ki Sabji, Moollangi Kura.

Dry Coconut Stuffed Brinjals

29 Apr

vankaya_endu_kobbari_karam
Endu Kobbari Karam Tho Gutti Vankaya

Stuffed eggplants are most sought after recipes of South India. No other vegetable is stuffed or cooked to the extent that eggplant is cooked. In this stuffed brinjal recipe, slices of dry coconut is fried along with red chiles and few cloves of garlic. They are then ground into powder and stuffed in to deep fried eggplants.
Makes: 5 Stuffed Eggplants

Ingredients:

Small Purple Eggplants 5
Dry Coconut (Sliced) 1/2 Cup
Dried Red Chiles 4 – 6
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Garlic 5 Pods
Green Onion 1
Salt to taste
Oil for Deep Frying + 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash and slice the green onion.
Peel and slice the garlic pods.
Wash and slit the eggplants vertically making a plus cut keeping its stem intact.
Soak the eggplants in salted water until ready to be deep fried.
Deep fry the eggplants in medium hot oil for 20 – 30 seconds or until eggplants turn little soft.

Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan on medium heat, add sliced dry coconut, broken dried red chiles and garlic pods.
Fry until the coconut starts to change color.
Cool and grind all the ingredients along with turmeric and salt into powder using a spice blender.
Don’t add water, start grinding with red chiles and then add in dry coconut and finally garlic pods.

Stuff a spoon full of ground dry coconut red chile powder into deep fried eggplants.
Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan, add chopped green onion and place the stuffed eggplants into hot pan.
Cook covered for around two minutes or until eggplants are completely cooked.
Uncover and fry for a minute.
Serve brinjal with dry coconut stuffing over steamed rice.
Notes: Make sure not to over fry the eggplants. But make sure they are completely cooked before removing from the heat.

Suggestions: Eggplants are little raw – Put back the stuffed eggplants back into the pan. Sprinkle water and cook them on low heat till completely soft from inside.
Variations: Brinjal Stuffed with Garlic, Moong Dal in Brinjal, Brinjal with Besan, etc…
Other Names: Bharwan Baingan, Kopra Stuffed Baingan, Stuffed Baby Eggplants.

Labra

28 Apr

labra
Labra.

Labra is a simple, traditional and flavorful Bengali mixed vegetable dish. In labra, most common vegetables like red pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower and eggplants are diced, tempered with panch phoran (mixture of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, nigella and mustard seeds) and cooked along with mashed or ground ginger on medium low heat till all the mixed vegetables are tender and just cooked.
Makes: 3 – 5 Servings

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato 1 small
White Radish 1 small
Carrot 1 small
Green Plantain 1/2 of small one
Cauliflower 1/4th of small one
Red Bell Pepper 1/2 of small one
Ridge Gourd 1/2 of small one
Small Eggplant 1
Lady’s Finger 2
Tindora 3
Green Chiles 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Whole Red Chiles 2
Panch Phoran 1 – 2 tsps
Tumeric Powder a pinch
Sugar a pinch
Mustard Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends and chop sweet potato, white radish, carrot and plantain into small cubes.
Wash and break cauliflower into small florets.
Chop red bell pepper into small chunks discarding the seeds.
Wash, remove ends, peel and dice the ridge gourd.
Remove stem and dice eggplant into salted water.
Wash, remove ends and chop lady’s finger into inch sized pieces.
Wash, remove ends and quarter tindora.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Peel, mince and lightly mash ginger.

Heat mustard oil in a pan, add panch phoran and red chiles.
Fry till the seeds crackle and release the aroma.
Stir in all chopped vegetables, sufficient salt, sugar and turmeric powder.
Sprinkle few tbsps of water and cook covered on medium – low flame.
Stir occasionally and cook till all the vegetables are soft and still holding their shape.
Serve labra with hot steamed rice or khichri or wrapped in a roti.
Notes: Make sure not to over cook or under cook the vegetables.

Suggestions: Use mustard oil if possible and don’t leave out ginger. If any of the vegetables are uncooked, return to the heat and cook them covered with a splash of water till done.
Variations: Few spices like asafoetida, bay leaves and garam masala can also be added while tempering to make it more complicated. Labra can be made with any combination of vegetables like fresh beans, red pumpkin, potato, ridge gourd, cabbage, zucchini, broad beans and some leafy greens like spinach, cilantro etc…
Other Names: Labra, Gujarathi Style Stir Fried Vegetables, Mixed Vegetables with Panch Phoran.

Ridge Gourd Stew

27 Apr

beerakaya_kandipappu_pulusu
Beerakaya Gerita Jarudu Pulusu

Any vegetable stew is ubiquitous in Indian thali. In ridge gourd stew, toor dal is cooked till its 3/4th done. Dal is then slowly cooked along with ridge gourd and tamarind extract. Dal still retains its shape in this stew while ridge gourd is completely cooked. Some recipes spice up this stew with the addition of coriander powder, red chile powder and few cloves.
Makes: 4 – 5 Servings

Ingredients:

Ridge Gourd 1 small
Toor Dal 1/2 – 3/4 Cup
Tamarind 1 1/2 inch sized ball
Green Chiles 2
Turmeric Powder a pinch
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Fenugreek Seeds a pinch
Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Whole Red Chiles 2
Curry Leaves 6
Oil / Ghee 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Remove ends, peel, wash and chop ridge gourd into small pieces.
Remove stems, wash and slice green chiles.
Soak tamarind in half a cup of warm water for sometime and extract all the juice.
Wash thoroughly and cook toor dal in 1 – 2 cups of water for 2 whistles.
Alternatively, cook toor dal in enough water till its almost done.

Heat oil in a sauce pot, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When urad dal changes color, add green chiles, chopped ridge gourd and salt.
Then stir in toor dal, tamarind juice and turmeric powder.
Cook on medium flame till toor dal is just cooked and ridge gourd pieces turn soft.
Adjust the seasonings and make sure there is not much water left in the pot.
Serve ridge gourd stew with steamed rice and papad.
Notes: Make sure toor dal is not over cooked.

Suggestions: Ridge Gourd Stew is too runny – Evaporate the excess water if possible.
Variations: Jaggery can be added to make this stew sweet along with some chopped onions. It can be made spicy with few spices like coriander powder and red chile powder. Ridge gourd can be replaced with bottle gourd, snake gourd, etc…
Other Names: Beerakaya Teepi Pulusu (if jaggery is added), Turai Stew.

Rasabali

25 Apr

rasabali
Rasabali

Rasabali is a sweet Oriya dish made of milk. Hot milk is curdled with the help of yogurt and the curd is hung for few hours to obtain chenna. Chenna is made into balls, lightly flattened and deep fried till golden brown. The deep fried disks are immediately soaked in thickened milk and garnished with chopped nuts.
Makes: around 3 Servings

Ingredients:

Chenna 1 Cup
Semolina 2 tsps
Milk 2 Cups
Green Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp
Pistachios 5
Almonds 2
Saffron a few strands
Sugar to taste
Oil / Ghee for deep frying

Method of preparation:

Soak almonds and pistachios in warm water for few minutes.
Peel off the skin and slice both pistachios and almonds.

Bring milk to boil in a heavy bottomed vessel by stirring frequently.
Add saffron strands, half of cardamom powder and reduce the milk to half.
Stir in sugar and keep the milk boiling on low flame.

Knead freshly made chenna, semolina, remaining cardamom powder and sugar thoroughly using palm.
Knead thoroughly until you make the mixture soft and smooth.
Make small balls out of kneaded chenna mixture and flatten them a little.
Deep fry all the flattened chenna disks in slightly hot oil till golden brown.
Remove from the hot oil and immediately drop into hot milk.
Once all the deep fried chenna disks are added, remove the milk pot from heat.
Garnish with chopped nuts and leave for sometime to let the chenna soak the milk.
Serve rasabali warm or chilled.
Notes: Make sure not to over fry flattened chenna.

Suggestions: Deep fried chenna is little hard – next time add a small pinch of soda bi carb to soften them or boil them in milk for some time.
Variations: Some recipes of rasabali call for wheat flour instead of semolina to bind the chenna. Another variation is kheer sagar, where the chenna balls are soaked in milk once poached.
Other Names: Rassabali, Deep Fried Cheese Disks in Thickened Milk, Rasa Bali.