Archive | May, 2009

Chanividi

30 May

chanividi
Chanividi.

Chanividi is a sweet made of rice flour and sugar. Rice is soaked in water and then dried under sun. When its still little damp, rice is ground into fine powder. The rice powder is stirred into thick sugar syrup along with chopped dry coconut and sesame seeds to prepare chanividi. No festival or ceremony is complete without chanividi.
Makes: around 2 cups of chanividi

Ingredients:

Rice 2 cups
Sugar 2 – 2 1/2 cups
Urad Dal 1 tbsp
Dry Coconut (chopped) 1 tbsp
Ghee 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Heat a pan on medium heat, add urad and fry till light golden color.
Grind urad dal into fine powder using a spice blender.
Heat a tsp of ghee in a small pan, add chopped dry coconut pieces and fry them till golden brown.
Soak rice in water for 6-8 hrs.
Drain soaked rice on absorbent cloth and spread on single layer.
Dry the rice under sun until it becomes dry with very little bit of moisture left.
Grind the slightly damp rice into fine flour in batches.
Follow the below steps before rice flour becomes completely dry.

Bring to boil around half a cup of water, add sugar and let it completely melt.
Let the sugar syrup thicken. (around 15 minutes)
When a drop of syrup is added to a bowl of water, it should make a medium soft ball. Then, remove from heat.
Then slowly stir in rice flour, urad dal powder, fried dry coconut pieces and ghee.
Gradually add rice flour enough for the sugar syrup to bind.
Mix thoroughly and vigorously without any lumps.
Grease a plate with a drop of ghee and pour the mixture onto the plate.
This mixture tightens a bit but doesn’t become solid.
Serve chanividi as a dessert and it stores not more than a couple of days.
Notes: Make sure the rice is ground into fine powder.

Suggestions: If sugar syrup becomes thick, add few tbsps of water and make sure its right consistency.
Variations: Some recipes call for toasted sesame seeds, Chanividi Vundalu / Paka Vundalu.
Other Names: Chanividi Muddha.

Badam Milk

29 May

badam_milk
Badam Kheer.

Badam kheer is one of the most famous drinks in India. Kheer is anything made of milk. Soak almonds or badam in water and peel off the skin. These almonds are then ground into fine paste and added to the milk. The milk with the almond paste is boiled for sometime and sweetened. Garnish with chopped nuts or rose petals.
Makes: 3 Cups of Almond Milk

Ingredients:

Milk 4 Cups
Almonds 15 – 20
Green Cardamom 1
Almond Essence 2 – 4 drops
Saffron 4 – 8 Strands
Pistachios 4
Sugar 1/2 Cup or more

Method of preparation:

Lightly bruise the green cardamom and remove all the seeds.
Crush all the green cardamom seeds into fine powder.
Finely chop pistachios and slice almonds for garnish.
Soak almonds in warm water for sometime and peel off the skin.
Grind the peeled almonds into smooth paste adding enough water.

Bring milk to boil in a heavy sauce pot till the milk reduces by little more than quarter the original quantity.
Add the saffron, crushed cardamom seeds, ground almond paste and boil for 10 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in almond essence and sugar till the sugar dissolves completely.
Chill the badam milk for half an hour to an hour, garnish with chopped nuts and serve.
Notes: Make sure to grind the almonds to fine paste.

Suggestions: If almond milk is too thick, stir in half a cup of skimmed milk.
Variations: Add rose petals, orange color, sliced almonds, small piece of camphor at the end for a variation. Some like to soak almonds in warm milk rather than water.
Other Names: Badam Kheer, Indian Almond Milk.

Chayote with Chana dal

28 May

chayote_chanadal
Benguluru Vankaya Paatoli.

Patoli is a dry Andhra curry made of dals or beans. In this recipe, chana dal is soaked for couple of hours and ground into coarse paste with red chillies, garlic and cumin seeds. Chayote is finely chopped and cooked along with ground chana dal paste. The resulting curry is quite dry and needs lot of oil if not using a non stick pan.
Makes: app. 3 Servings

Ingredients:

Chayote 1 medium
Chana dal 1/2 cup
Garlic pods 2
Whole Red chillies 2 – 4
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Wash, halve, remove seed and finely chop chayote.
Peel and roughly chop garlic pods.
Remove stems and remove seeds from dried red chillies.
Soak chana dal for 4 – 5 hours in enough water.
At first, grind red chiles, cumin seeds and salt into fine powder using spice blender.
Then add in soaked chana dal and enough water to grind into coarse paste.
Finally add garlic and pulse for few seconds.

Heat oil in a non stick pan on medium heat, add mustard seeds, chopped chayote and salt.
Cook covered until chayote turns just soft but not mushy, then add coarsely ground chana dal mixture.
Fry until most of the moisture evaporates. Stir frequently.
When the curry turns dry, remove from heat.
Serve chayote with chana dal curry with steamed rice and dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure to cook chana dal mixture is cooked well.

Suggestions: If chana dal feels raw, sprinkle few tbsps of water and cook covered on low heat till it turns soft.
Variations: Beetroot Patoli, Drumsticks Patoli, Plantain Patoli, Chana Dal Patoli, Kala Chana Patoli etc…
Other Names: Benguluru Vankaya Sengapa Pappu Patoli, Chow Chow Paruppu Usli.

Spicy Stuffed Ridge Gourd

27 May

ridge_gourd_stuffed
Gutthi / Gutti Beerakaya Kura

Ridge gourd or tori is a daily vegetable in India which tastes great when stuffed other than small eggplants. In this stuffed ridge gourd recipe, a masala paste is made of besan and other spices along with grated shallots. This masala is stuffed into slitted ridge gourd cylinders and cooked till soft. Make sure to select ridge gourd with more diameter and thinner skin.
Makes: 5 pieces of Stuffed Ridge Gourd

Ingredients:

Ridge Gourd 1 ( 10 inch long)
Shallot 2
Green Chiles 2
Cilantro few sprigs
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves 6
Oil 2 tsps

Masala:

Besan / Gram Flour 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder a big pinch
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash, remove ends, lightly peel and chop ridge gourd into 2 inch long cylinders.
Taste the ridge gourd to make sure its not bitter.
Slit the chopped ridge gourd making a plus sign with its bottom intact.
Peel and grate the shallots.
Remove ends, wash and grind green chiles.
Wash, clean and finely chop cilantro.

Mix all the masala ingredients with grated shallots, green chile paste, chopped cilantro and salt into thick paste with little water.

Stuff each ridge gourd with the prepared masala paste and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, slowly place the stuffed ridge gourd pieces into the pan.
Add any leftover stuffing with half a cup of water into the pan.
Cook covered on low flame turning occasionally until ridge gourd becomes soft.
Stir fry for a minute or two and then remove from heat.
Serve stuffed ridge gourd with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid burning of the spicy stuffing.

Suggestions: If the gravy is too little, add more stuffing to the curry pot along with few tbsps of water and cover till cooked.
Variations: Stuffed Ridge Gourd , Ridge Gourd with Milk, Ridge Gourd with Moong Dal.
Other Names: Bharwan Turai, Hirekai Curry, Stuffed Ridged Gourd.

Shukto

26 May

shukto
Shukto.

Shukto is a mixed vegetable Bengali dish with a slight bitter taste eaten generally as a first course during the daily meal. Ginger, mustard seeds and poppy seeds are ground into fine paste to be used as the only flavoring to shukto. A mix of vegetables along with bitter gourd are chopped and cooked in the ground paste. Vary the consistency or the amount of paste in shukto to preference.
Makes: 5 – 6 Servings of Shukto

Ingredients:

Bitter Gourd 1 Small
Ridge Gourd 1 Small
Snake Gourd 6 – 8 inch Long
Potato 1
Sweet Potato 1 Small
Chinese Eggplant 1 medium
Raw Banana 1 Small
Flat Beans 6
White Radish 1 Small
Panch Phoran 1 tsp
Bay Leaf 1
Poppy Seeds 2 tbsps
Mustard Seeds 1tbsp
Ginger 2 inch long piece
Milk 1/2 Cup
Sugar a pinch
Salt to taste
Mustard Oil / Ghee 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Scrape, remove ends, wash and chop bitter gourd and ridge gourd into small chunks.
Wash, remove ends, remove seeds and dice the snake gourd.
Peel and chop potato and sweet potato into small chunks.
Remove stems, wash and chop eggplant into small cubes.
Peel, remove ends and chop radish into small cubes.
Wash, remove ends and halve the flat beans.
Remove ends, remove thick skin and chop raw banana into small chunks.

Peel and roughly chop ginger.
Soak poppy seeds in quarter cup of water for half an hour.
Grind the poppy seeds with mustard seeds and ginger into smooth paste adding water if required.

Heat oil in a pan, add panch phoran and fry till aromatic.
Add bay leaf and all the chopped vegetables.
Stir fry for a minute, add ground poppy seeds and mustard paste, sugar and salt.
Fry for another minute, pour a cup of water, milk and cook covered till all the vegetables are just cooked.
Stir occasionally, add more water if required and make sure not to over cook the vegetables.
When the gravy in shukto reaches a thick consistency, remove and serve with plain steamed rice.
Notes: Add just enough water to allow poppy seeds to grind well.

Suggestions: If any of the vegetables feels raw, put back on heat, add half a cup of water and cook covered till soft.
Variations: Any other vegetables like drumsticks, yam, peas, cauliflower etc can be added in shukto. Some vegetables like bitter gourd, yam etc.. are deep fried and added to shukto. Add asafoetida, cloves, cardamom, carom seeds, mace, green chiles, sun dried vadi, etc.. to the vegetable pot while cooking to impart a different flavor.
Other Names: Shuktho.