Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Diwali

Wishing all of you a very bright and happy Diwali.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sooji Upma

This dish is a favorite with almost everybody. Easy to make, this is one dish that almost all newbie cooks learn. Everyone has their own take - my sis adds a little sambar masala; my mom used to add the veggies of the season; my sis in law adds a handful of cashews ... I got this recipe from K's Mom. It is easy, quick and delicious.

1 cup sooji
2 tbsp chana dal
1 medium onion, sliced finely
2 green chillies, chopped fine
1" ginger, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice

Heat a pan over medium heat. Add sooji and roast till light brown, stirring constantly. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves and chana dal. Then add the sliced onions. When the onion turns golden brown add the ginger and green chillies. Cook till the ginger begins to brown, 1-2 minutes.
Now add the sliced tomato and cook till the tomato is almost done. Add salt and water and bring to boil. Bring heat to low and add sooji slowly stirring constantly. Cover and remove from fire and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with Coconut or Green Chutney. Enjoy !!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Methi Aloo

This dish is one of my all time favorites. Anything that has potato in it, I love and the Methi leaves just take it to another level. This is my Ma's signature recipe.

3 large potatoes (I use the white skin potatoes), chopped into 1" pieces with the skin
2 bunch Methi leaves, washed and chopped roughly. If fresh Methi is unavailable, use frozen
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1" ginger finely chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste

Heat oil in pan. Add the ginger and green chilli and cook till the ginger turns golden brown. Add the coriander powder, cayenne powder and salt. Add the potatoes and mix well. Cook the potato is about 80% done. Add the Methi leaves, cover and cook till the methi and potatoes are fully cooked. Keep stirring so that the potato-methi does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Serve hot with Roti / Paratha and enjoy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mix Vegetable - Soya Nugget Pulao

I lived on this dish for the most part of my college days in New York. It was easy to make and very nutritious. Especially during those days when I came home after class really late in the night, it was a meal that I could make in a jiffy. This and a bowl of yogurt - aah ! bliss :)

1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 20 mts
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup Nutrela soya nuggets - soaked in hot water
1 green chilli finely minced
3 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/4 cup green peas (I used frozen)
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 potato, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chopped green beans
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp Oil
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Some chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seed, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. When it begins to sizzle, add the chopped onions. Cook till the onions are a light golden brown. Add the garam masala, cayenne pepper, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Cook for a few minutes and add all the veggies. Drain the soya nuggets, wash with cold water and squeeze the water out of the nuggets. Add to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain the rice and add to the pan. Add the 2 cups of water. Cover and cook till rice is done. garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with a serving of plain yogurt or raita. Enjoy !!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mushroom and Corn Soup

Yesterday was the perfect day for a steaming bowl of soup. One of my favorite soups is Mushroom soup. It is so hearty and so comforting. I found a recipe for Mushroom soup in a magazine and fiddled around a little to make it my own. Took a little long to make, but the end result was enormously satisfying.

2 lb assorted mushrooms (crimini, button, portabella, shiitake) sliced into thick pieces.
1 cup corn ( I used frozen corn)
1 cup onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk (The recipe asked for 1/2 cup heavy cream, but I used 2% milk)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, and cook 5 minutes till onion is soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, increase heat and cook till all the moisture evaporates from the mushrooms. Lower heat to medium.
Add sherry, lemon juice, paprika and pepper. Cook till the sherry has almost evaporated. Add broth, frozen corn, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Add milk and bring to boil.
Whisk corn starch and soy sauce together to dissolve and stir into the simmering soup to thicken. Add salt and the fresh dill. Mix well.
Serve in a bowl and enjoy. It is sure to keep the cold away. :)