Archive | June, 2012

Savory Diamonds

30 Jun

karam_kajalu
Karam Kajalu.

Plain flour / Maida is made into dough with powdered spices and sesame seeds. The dough is rolled out and cut into diamonds. The diamonds are then deep fried in oil till golden brown and crisp. Serve savory diamonds as a snack.
Makes: around 4 Cups of Savory Diamonds .

Ingredients:

Plain Flour / Maida 2 Cups
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
White Sesame Seeds 2 Tbsps
Salt to taste
Oil 1/4 cup
Water as required
Oil for deep frying

Method of preparation:

Heat oil in a small pot until smoking hot.

In a mixing bowl, mix plain flour, red chili powder, sesame seeds and salt together.
Pour the hot oil onto the above mixture.
Carefully fold the mixture and slowly add water and knead into a somewhat tight dough which doens’t stick to fingers.

Make the dough into two portions and leave it aside covered for few minutes if required.
Roll out each portion into circular thin layer dusting extra flour if required.
With a knife make one inch wide vertical cuts on the rolled out circle to make long strips.
Make another sweep of cuts with the knife with a slight slant to make 1 -2 inch diamonds.
Repeat the same with other portion of the dough.

Heat oil in a frying pan, slowly drop the cut diamonds into hot oil.
Once the diamonds turn light goldern brown, remove onto absorbent paper.
Repeat frying the remaining cut diamonds.
Store savory diamonds tight in a jar and they stay fresh for few months.
Notes: Don’t over fry the diamonds.

Suggestions: Adjust red chili powder according to your preference.
Variations: You can also add your choice of powdered spices to the dough if you wish.
Other Names: Savory Diamonds, Karam Kajalu, Chakra Banalu.

Bhindi Chickpeas Fry

29 Jun

bhindi_chickpeas
Bhindi Chickpeas Fry.

Lady’s finger is chopped and fried in oil till golden in color. chickpeas are boiled till just soft and lightly crushed before adding to the bhindi. The fry is finished with powdered spices and garnished with cilantro. Serve bhindi with chickpeas over plain steamed rice or with roti.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Bhindi Chickpeas Fry.

Ingredients:

Bhindi / Lady’s Finger 2 1/2 Cups Chopped
Boiled Chickpeas 1/2 Cup
Green Chiles 2
Garlic 2 Cloves
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder a big Pinch
Red Chili Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt to Taste
Cilantro few Sprigs

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves 5
Oil 2 tsps + 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash and pat dry lady’s finger.
Remove both ends and chop lady’s finger into small pieces.
Wash and finely chop the cilantro leaves.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Peel and thoroughly crush the garlic cloves.
Lightly crush the chickpeas and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add chopped bhindi.
Fry on medium flame till bhindi turns golden brown around the edges.
In the middle of the pan, add half a tsp of oil and all talimpu ingredients and garlic.
Fry till urad dal changes color and cumin seeds change color.
Add the crushed chickpeas and green chiles in the middle of the pan and fry for a minute to evaporate any excess moisture.
Stir in turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
Fry for few more seconds and remove from heat.
Stir in red chili powder and cilantro.
Serve bhindi with chickpeas over plain steamed rice or with roti.
Notes: Make sure bhindi is cooked well.

Suggestions: Adjust spice with green chiles.
Variations: You can also add a pinch of garam masala along with red chili powder if you desire.
Other Names: Bhindi Chickpeas Fry.

Eggplant Masala Fry

28 Jun

eggplant_masala_fry
Vankaya Jeera Vepudu.

Baby Indian eggplant is diced and cooked in oil along with other whole spices. Whole spices are roasted until aromatic and ground into powder and added to the eggplant fry and cooked till done. Serve eggplant masala fry with steamed rice and dollop of ghee or with chapati.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Eggplant Masala Fry.

Ingredients:

Baby Indian Eggplant 5
Coriander Seeds 2 Tbsps
Cinnamon 1/2 inch Piece
Cloves 2
Star Anise a Small Piece
Turmeric Powder a big Pinch
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Salt to Taste
Cilantro few Sprigs

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Oil 1 1/4 Tbsps

Method of preparation:

Wash and finely chop cilantro leaves.
Roast all ingredients in heavy bottomed pan on low flame till aromatic or until they turn golden.
Cool the roasted ingredients and grind into fine powder using a spice blender.

Wash eggplant, remove stems and dice it into big chunks.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add sliced eggplant and salt.
Fry briefly and cook covered on low flame for few minutes.
Add a splash of water if required to avoid eggplant sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Uncover, add freshly ground masala powder and salt if necessary.
Stir well and cook covered till eggplant is soft.
Uncover, stir in red chili powder, turmeric powder, cilantro leaves and remove from heat.
Serve eggplant masala fry with steamed rice and dollop of ghee or with chapati.
Notes: Make sure eggplant is cooked well.

Suggestions: Make sure not to burn any of the ingredients while roasting.
Variations: Add a tsp of tamarind pulp to the eggplant fry before removing from heat.
Other Names: Eggplant Masala Fry, Vankaya Jeera Vepudu.

Snake Gourd with Moong Dal

27 Jun

snake_gourd_moong_dal
Potlakaya Pesarapappu Kura.

Snake gourd is peeled and chopped into small pieces and either boiled or cooked in oil till soft. Moong dal is boiled separately till soft but whole and added to the cooked snake gourd. Serve snake gourd with moong dal over steamed rice and dollop of ghee.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Snake gourd with Moong Dal.

Ingredients:

Snake gourd 1 Large
Moong Dal 1/4 Cup
Green Chiles 2 – 4
Turmeric Powder a Big Pinch
Garlic 2 Cloves
Salt to Taste
Cilantro few Sprigs

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 and crush the garlic cloves into very small pieces.
Peel, remove ends and wash the snake gourd.
Halve, discard the seed and chop the snake gourd into small pieces.

Wash moong dal in water and boil in a cup of water for around 15 minutes.
Once moong dal is translucent but whole and soft, strain it.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Wash and finely chop cilantro leaves.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add green chiles and garlic cloves.
Fry for few seconds, add cooked snake gourd.
Alternatively, if snake gourd is tender, cook covered in the pan till soft instead of boiling it.

Stir in moong dal once excess moisture from snake gourd is mostly evaporated.
Fry for a minute or two, stir in turmeric powder and salt and remove from heat.
Garnish with cilantro and serve snake gourd with moong dal over plain steamed rice and dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure moong dal is boiled well before adding to the pan.

Suggestions: Adjust spice with green chiles. If snake gourd is not cooked well, put the curry back on heat and cook covered on low flame till done. Add a splash of water if required.
Variations: Check other recipes with snake gourd here.
Other Names: Snake gourd with Moong Dal, Potlakaya Pesarapappu Kura.

Spinach Strawberry Salad

26 Jun

spinach_strawberry_salad
Spinach Strawberry Salad.

Fresh strawberries are layered over a handful of baby spinach leaves and drizzled with freshly made honey dressing. Chill for few minutes if desired and serve spinach strawberry salad immediately.
Makes: around 2 Servings of Spinach Strawberry Salad.

Ingredients:

Baby Spinach Leaves 2 Cups
Fresh Strawberries 4
Sesame Seeds 1/2 tsp
Honey 2 Tbsps
Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp or Vinegar 2 Tbsps
Olive Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Whisk honey, vinegar and olive oil and keep aside.
Wash and strain the baby spinach leaves.
Remove stems, wash and slice the strawberries.

In few serving bowls, add baby spinach leaves, sliced strawberries, sesame seeds and pour little bit of freshly prepared honey dressing on top.
Serve spinach strawberry salad immediately.
Notes: Refrigerate spinach and strawberries before using.

Suggestions: Adjust honey according to your preference.
Variations: You can also add sliced onion if you wish.
Other Names: Spinach Strawberry Salad.