This recipe is from an Aval Vikatan magazine recipe compilation. I am a big fan of this Tamil magazine. Usually a small recipe booklet comes along with the magazine and I have been collecting them whenever I buy this magazine, sometimes I buy it just to get the recipe booklet :) I was attracted to the photo of this recipe when I saw this in a vegetarian recipe booklet. I followed the recipe exactly here. Next time I am planning to add some fat-free half and half to this instead of the nuts used to thicken the gravy. I prepared this peas masala as a side dish with jeera rice and chapathis.
Dice the onions and tomatoes finely and keep aside. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, clove, and coriander seeds and let everything fry for a minute. Then add the red chilies and fry for a few seconds. Transfer everything to a plate and let it cool. Add the diced onions to the same pan and sauté for a few minutes until onions turn brown. Then add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and keep sautéing until everything is blended. Switch off the stove and let it cool. Grind the mixture into a smooth paste along the almonds and fried spices. The spices can also be ground separately and added to the blended onion and tomato paste. Transfer all the contents into the pan, add a teaspoon of oil, 1 cup of water, and salt as per taste and let it cook closed for 5-10 minutes under low flame. Add the peas now, mix everything, and cook for 2 more minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with chapathis or rice.
The inspiration for this soup is from my friend. She is an Egyptian and she made this soup for us when we were at her place for dinner. The soup she served was very tasty and thick and it reminded me of the dhal I make. I asked her the ingredients and noted them down and here is my version of my friend’s lentil soup. I didn’t add potatoes to this soup like my friend did but I included some more vegetables and used the same lentil (masoor dhal) that she used. This soup tasted more or less like a rasam or paruppu rasam :)…but this was really tasty with garlic bread. The next day we had this soup with rice and that tasted so yummy. I wanted a thin soup, so I have used just ½ cup of lentils here and it can be increased according to personal preferences.
1. Any type of quick-cooking lentils, masoor dhal works perfect here, ½ cup.
2. Onion, medium size, 1.
3. Canned tomatoes, ½ cup.
4. Pureed tomatoes, ½ cup.
5. Mixed vegetables, chopped into small pieces, 1 cup.
6. Cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon.
7. Coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon.
8. Salt and pepper as per taste.
9. Mixture of dry herbs, 1 tablespoon.
10. Garlic, 2 cloves.
Grind the cumin seeds and coriander seeds and keep aside. Dice the onion finely and crush the garlic coarsely. Heat a pot with some oil. Add the diced onions when the oil turns hot and sauté for a few minutes until they turn brown. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste along with the veggies, crushed garlic, lentils, 4 cups of water, salt and pepper and mix everything well. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the flame and cook closed for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Add the ground powders and dry herbs now and switch off the stove. Ladle hot soups into bowls and serve with any crusty bread of plain rice.
I wrote this recipe from a cookbook long time back. The original recipe used buttermilk, eggs, and all purpose flour. I tried to lower the carbs and calorie a little bit from the original recipe by substituting all purpose flour with white whole flour and used nonfat yogurt instead of buttermilk. Nonfat yogurt gives a nice white color and softness to the pancakes. They were very good and sweet with the slight bitter-sweet taste from the dark chocolate chips. I also liked the taste of white whole wheat flour here than regular whole wheat flour. I used King Arthur whole wheat flour for the first time and I feel that this has the same texture as the atta flours available in Indian stores. Can anyone clarify me on this? The dark chocolate chips contain low sugar and less fat compared to the regular chocolate chips, so this was a totally healthy and delicious weekend breakfast for us alongside with some omelets.
1. White whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour, 2 cups.
2. Nonfat yogurt, 1 cup.
3. Water, ½ cup and more according to thickness of the batter.
4. Cinnamon powder, 1 teaspoon.
5. Honey or any artificial sweetener like agave nectar, 1 tablespoon.
6. Baking soda, ½ teaspoon.
7. Chocolate chips, ½ cup. (I have used bittersweet 60% cacao chips).
Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a smooth batter. The batter should be thin enough to pour. Heat a nonstick pan or cast iron pan and apply and thin layer of oil on the pan. Take a ladle full of the pancake batter and pour it over the hot pan. It starts spreading as soon as it is poured over the hot surface. Sprinkle the chocolate chips randomly over the pancakes. The pancakes are ready to be flipped after a minute when bubbles start forming all over the surface. Flip them over and let them cook on the other side for a minute and transfer to a plate. Enjoy hot pancakes with fresh fruits or syrup.
1. Full fat milk, 1-1/2 liter.
2. Sugar, 1/2 cup or more according to taste.
3. Ghee, 2 tablespoons.
4. Nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios and even some dry fruits like raisins or apricots.
5. Cardamom, 2 pods.
Chop the dry fruits and nuts and fry them in ghee until the turn golden brown and keep aside. Crush the cardamom coarsely. Boil the milk in a deep-bottomed pot along with the crushed cardamom and once the milk comes to a boil reduce the flame to medium and let it simmer. Keep collecting the creamy layer, which is formed on simmering, on to a separate bowl. After sometime (around an hour later), once the milk starts to thicken, add the sugar and let it dissolve. Then add the collected cream, and fried nuts to the milk and let it simmer for 5 more minutes and switch off. Let is cool, garnish with chopped nuts and enjoy.
Another reason to celebrate with the sweet is that I recently won a contest with Foodie Blogroll for updating my profile. They sent me this cute coffee mug yesterday. I love this mug and right now it is sitting proudly on my refrigerator top :)
Clean the turkey and if needed, it cut be cut into small bite-size pieces. Dice the onions and tomatoes finely. Take a pressure cooker or pressure pan and a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot add the fennel seeds and fry them for a few seconds. Add the diced onions and curry leaves and sauté for a few minutes until the onions turn brown. Then add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and keep sautéing for a few more minutes until everything is blended. Add the powders along with the turkey and add water just enough to cover everything. Pressure cook for up to 3-4 whistles (or after 2 whistle, lower the flame and let it simmer for 15 minutes) and switch off the stove to let the pressure down. If pressure cooker is not used, the gravy can be cooked under medium flame for 15-20 minutes until the turkey is cooked. Remove the lid and let the gravy simmer for a few more minutes without covering the pan. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with idlis, dosas, rice, or chapathis.
Finger fish or fish fingers are the Indian take on fish sticks and these are much spicier than fish sticks. I learnt this recipe from my co-sister. This is a favorite at my in-law’s place. When the whole family get-together, there will be finger fish in the menu for lunch that day. We (my MIL, co-sister, and I) usually prepare an elaborate lunch mostly consisting of many varieties of seafood or non-vegetarian dishes and also some vegetarian dishes for my hubby. It is fun when we talk all sorts of stories, sharing laughter, and cook together. In US, I prepare them rarely since I cook only for me and mostly I go for something quick and easy when preparing nonveg. Recently an Giada De Laurentis (I just love the way she talks and cooks…everything about her is very bright!) show got my attention where she prepared baked fish sticks with salmon. I think she even added some parmesan cheese. I wanted to try that for quite sometime, so I came up with my own fish sticks version here. Here I used salmon instead of the regular king fish used in
1. Fish fingers, around 10. I cut from 3 medium-size salmon fillets.
2. Chili powder, 1 teaspoon.
3. Turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon.
4. Corn flour, ¼ cup.
5. Ground oats, ½ cup.
6. Bread crumbs, ½ cup.
7. Any type of seasoning mixture like Italian and any fish seasoning, 1/2 tablespoon.
8. Any mixture of dried herbs, 1 teaspoon.
9. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
10. Salt as per taste.
Clean the fish and cut into even thin fingers. Add the chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt and let them marinade for around half an hour. Mix the seasonings, dried herbs, salt, bread crumbs, and oats flour in a plate. Take the corn flour in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and some water, and mix it into a smooth paste. To fry the fish, heat a shallow pan with around ½ cup of oil. Take the fish fingers and dip them into the corn flour batter. Then coat them with the bread crumbs mixtures and shallow fry the fish until they turn golden brown on each side. Cooking around 4-5 fish fingers at a time is ideal. To cook the fish in the oven, arrange the fish fingers on a greased baking sheet leaving sufficient space in between and bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot finger fish with your favorite sauce.
Variation: For a much spicier version, a teaspoon of chili powder can be added in the corn flour batter.
With another batch of snow in our area on Tuesday, we were at home the whole week and my husband was working from home. I made these bajjis for evening snacks to go with tea. I think most of my friends were preparing fried foods during the storm. When I was speaking with Viki over the phone, she too mentioned about preparing plantain bajjis last evening. There is definitely something comforting about eating fried foods during winter. Coming on to the recipe, I make these bajjis all the time when we have friends over. It takes just a couple of minutes to prepare and join in the chatting. These fritters do turn out very crispy compared to regular bajjis made with veggies.
1. Any types of soft or hard loaves, may be around 2-3 slices if regular bread slices are used. (I used a whole wheat baguette here).
2. Besan or kadala maavu1 cup.
3. Rice flour, 1 tablespoon.
4. Chili powder, ½ teaspoon.
5. Salt as per taste.
6. Baking soda, a pinch, (optional).
7. Red food color, a pinch (optional) although I have not used it here.
Mix the flours, chili powder, salt, color, and baking soda. Add some water and mix it to a thick batter. The batter should be thick enough to coat the bread slices evenly. A drop of oil can be added to the batter to make the bajjis crispier. Cut the bread slices evenly. Heat a pot with around 1 cup of oil. When the oil is hot enough, dip the bread slices into the batter and gently put them into the oil. To check the temperature of oil, add a drop of the batter into the oil. If the oil is hot enough the batter will puff up and rise to top. Add a couple of bajjis at one time and when the fritters turn golden-brown, remove them from the oil, and drain them on a paper towel. Serve hot with chutneys or ketchup.
We have preparing for another major snowstorm tomorrow. It seems that this one is going to a record-breaking storm and the snow is expected to be around 17-27 inches! We finished our weekly grocery purchase and are well stocked for the week. Wow, it had been a very long day, so I am posting a very simple and easy dish today. Coming on to the recipe, I tasted this dish at my friend’s place. This was a simple dish with a few ingredients but the taste so good, a nice idea of using chickpeas as a side dish with rice instead of the regular masala gravies or sundals. This goes very well with rasam, any spicy gravies, and curd rice.
1. Cooked chickpeas or any other beans, 1 cup.
2. Onion, small, 2.
3. Green chilies, 1-2 depending on the spice preference.
4. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
5. Mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon.
6. Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon.
7. Turmeric powder, ½ powder.
8. Curry leaves and chopped cilantro for seasoning.
9. Salt as per taste.
Pressure cook the chickpeas and let it cool. Dice the onion finely and chop the green chilies into small circle. Heat a pan with some oil. When the oil is hot enough add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds. Add the diced onions, chilies, and curry leaves and sauté for a few minutes until the onions turn brown. Then add the salt, turmeric powder, and ginger-garlic paste and keep sautéing until good smell comes from the mixture. Drain the water from the chickpeas and add it the mixture and mix everything well. Let it cook under low flame for 5 minutes, garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve with rice or chapathis.