Archive | February, 2011

Banana Burfi

28 Feb

banana_burfi
Banana Burfi.

Fresh ripe banana is mashed and added to the pan along with sugar. When the mixture forms a syrup, wheat flour is added along with chopped nuts. The mixture is then poured into greased plate and cut into burfi once cooled. Serve banana burfi as a dessert.
Makes: around 20 2- inch pieces of Banana Burfi.

Ingredients:

Ripe Banana 1 Long
Wheat Flour 1 Cup
Sugar 1 Cup
Cashews a Couple
Currants or Raisins 2 Tbsps
Ghee 1/2 Cup

Method of preparation:

Roast the cashews until golden brown and finely chop them.
Peel the ripe banana.
Grind the banana into smooth paste adding little water.
Grease around 7 inch square dish with a drop of ghee and keep aside.

Heat a pan on low heat, add a tsp of ghee and wheat flour.
Fry till wheat flour changes color or becomes aromatic.
Remove wheat flour from heat.

Heat a pan on medium – low heat, add banana paste and sugar.
Cook till the sugar is completely melted, stir in chopped cashews and currants.
Now add the wheat flour and ghee in intervals by stirring in between.
Keep stirring to make sure everything is incorporated well.
When the mixture becomes thick and gooey, remove from heat and pour into the greased dish.
Smooth the top layer and let the mixture coo down to room temperature.
Then cut the banana mixture into cubes.
Store the banana burfi in air tight jar and it stays fresh for couple of weeks.
Serve banana burfi as a dessert.
Notes: Make sure banana is very ripe.

Suggestions: If the sugar is not melted completely, let it melt on low flame. Make sure sugar doesn’t crystallize. Adjust the sugar according to preference.
Variations: You can also add your choice of nuts and raisins. Cardamom Powder can also be added if desired.
Other Names: Banana Burfi.

Spinach Tomato Chutney

26 Feb

spinach_tomato_chutney
Palakura Tomato Chutney.

Fresh spinach is chopped and fried in oil along with spices. Tomato is also cooked along with spinach. They are then ground into smooth paste along and mixed with seasonings. The spinach tomato chutney can be served with steamed rice or with idly, dosa etc…
Makes: around 4 Servings of Spinach Tomato Chutney.

Ingredients:

Spinach 3 Cups Packed
Tomato 1 Large
Tamarind 1 inch Piece
Turmeric Powder a big Pinch
Green Chiles 2 – 3
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida a Big Pinch
Curry Leaves 5
Oil 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Wash, chop off hard stems and roughly chop spinach leaves.
Wash and roughly chop the tomato.
Remove stems, wash and roughly chop green chiles.
Soak tamarind in few tablespoons of warm water for couple of minutes.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds stop spluttering, remove a tsp of the tempering along with curry leaves onto bowl.
Then add chopped green chiles and tomato.
Cook till tomato softens a bit, stir in chopped spinach, soaked tamarind, turmeric powder and salt.
Cook till spinach wilts completely.
Cool the cooked ingredients to room temperature and grind it into smooth paste using a blender.
Garnish with reserved tempering and serve spinach tomato chutney with idly, dosa etc…
Notes: Make sure to cook the spinach well.

Suggestions: Adjust tamarind according to the sourness of tomato.
Variations: You can also check other spinach chutney here.
Other Names: Spinach Tomato Chutney, Palakura Tomato Chutney.

Bottle Gourd Spinach Dal

25 Feb

bottlegourd_spinach_dal
Anapakaya Palakura Pappu.

For bottle gourd spinach dal, bottle gourd is chopped up and is cooked in tempered oil along with green chiles and spinach. Finally cooked toor dal added to the bottle gourd and lemon juice is mixed in for sourness. Serve bottle gourd spinach dal with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Bottle Gourd Spinach Dal.

Ingredients:

Bottle Gourd 1/2 of Small One
Toor Dal 1 Cup
Spinach 1 Cup Packed
Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp
Green Chiles 3 – 4
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Broken Dried Red Chiles 3 – 4
Asafoetida a Big Pinch
Curry Leaves 5
Oil 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Peel, wash, remove ends and chop the bottle gourd (around 1 1/2 Cups).
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Wash and finely chop the spinach leaves.
Refresh toor dal with water and pressure cook in 2 cups of fresh water for 3 whistles or until its soft but not mushy.

Heat oil in a wok, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add green chiles, bottle gourd and salt.
Add quarter cup of water and cook covered on low flame till bottle gourd turns soft.
Uncover and stir in spinach leaves and fry for a minute to let spinach wilt.
Finally add the cooked toor dal, turmeric powder and salt.
Add another quarter cup of water if necessary and cook for around 5 minutes to let the flavors develop.
Stir in lemon juice and serve bottle gourd spinach dal with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure bottle gourd is cooked well.

Suggestions: If the bottle gourd is not cooked properly, put it back on heat and cook covered on low flame till done. If bottle gourd is not tender, you can also steam it or boil it in quarter cup of water before adding to the tempering.
Variations: Tamarind soaked in some warm water can be added to the dal instead of lemon jucie.
Other Names: Bottle Gourd Spinach Dal, Anapakaya Palakura Pappu.

Carrot Urad Dal Chutney

24 Feb

carrot_urad_chutney
Carrot Minapappu Pachadi.

Carrot urad dal chutney is a prepared by first roasting urad dal and red chiles. Roasted ingredients are ground into fine powder along with cooked carrots. They are then ground into paste along with yogurt and seasoned with hot oil infused with spices. Serve carrot urad dal chutney with idly, dosa etc..
Makes: around 1 1/2 Cups of Carrot Urad Dal Chutney.

Ingredients:

Carrot 3 – 4 Medium
Urad Dal 1 Tbsp
Whole Red Chiles 2
Yogurt 2 Tbsps
Lemon Juice 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Broken Dried Red Chiles 3 – 4
Asafoetida a Big Pinch
Curry Leaves 5
Oil 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends, wash the carrots and finely chop them.
Alternatively, wash the carrots (if using baby carrots).

Heat a flat pan on low heat, add urad dal and fry till its aromatic and turns light golden brown.
Remove urad dal from heat, add few drops of oil and broken red chiles.
Fry till red chiles are crisp.
Remove from heat and grind the urad dal and red chiles into fine powder using a spice blender.

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add carrots and salt.
Cook covered until carrots turn soft.
Stir occasionally if required.
Grind the carrots along with yogurt and urad dal red chile mixture into smooth paste.
Remove the carrot chutney onto a bowl and stir in lemon juice and adjust any seasonings if required.

Heat tsp oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When urad dal changes color, remove from heat and add to the carrot chutney.
Mix well and serve carrot urad dal chutney with idly, dosa etc..
Notes: Make sure carrots are not overcooked.

Suggestions: Adjust the amount of red chiles for spice and lemon juice for sourness depending on the sweetness of the carrots.
Variations: Alternatively, pressure cook or steam the whole carrots and then grind them.
Other Names: Carrot Minapappu Pachadi, Gajar Chutney, Carrot Urad Da Chutney.

Cabbage Raita

23 Feb

cabbage_raita
Cabbage Raita.

Spices are added to hot oil to bring out the flavors. Cabbage is finely shredded and added to the hot pan for it to soften a bit. Mix the cabbage mixture with yogurt. Serve cabbage raita with steamed rice or with roti or with pulao.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Cabbage Raita.

Ingredients:

Yogurt 1 1/2 Cups
Cabbage 1/2 of Small Head
Green Chiles 1 – 2
Cumin Powder a Small Pinch (optional)
Salt to taste

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Broken Dried Red Chiles 3 – 4
Asafoetida a Big Pinch
Curry Leaves 5
Oil 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Remove outer leaves, wash and shred the cabbage (around a cup and half).
Remove stems, wash and finely chop green chiles.
Whisk yogurt with cumin powder and salt.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add green chiles.
Fry briefly, stir in cabbage and remove from heat.
Season with salt and let the cabbage soften a tiny bit with all the heat from pan.
Once the mixture cools down to room temperature, add it to the whisked yogurt.
Mix well and garnish with more cabbage if required.
Serve cabbage raita with steamed rice or with roti or with pulao.
Notes: Do not overcook cabbage.

Suggestions: Make sure to adjust the consistency of the cabbage raita with yogurt.
Variations: Stir in finely chopped cilantro to the cabbage raita if you wish. Add black pepper powder to taste.
Other Names: Cabbage Raita.