“The virtues of donations are great, because it helps the needy and at the same time it gives an opportunity to the donor to give the surplus to the people in need ” - Sama Veda

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

RAM KHICHDI / RAM KHICHRI (GUJARATHI STYLE)


This is an easy to make, wholesome one pot meal from Gujarat, which doesn't need any side dish. In Rajasthan, gattas are also added to this. However, it can be served with pickle, curd or any chutney.

INGREDIENTS:

Raw rice - 1/2 cup

Moong dhal - 1/2 cup
Water - 31/2 cups
Mixed vegetables ( Beans, carrot, shelled peas) - 1 cup
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 1 finely chopped
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece - 1
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Hing (asafoetida) - a pinch
Curry leaves - few
Ghee - 3 tablespoons
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Cashews - 2 tsp. (broken)

METHOD:

Pressure cook rice and dhal without adding salt. Mash well.

In a pan, heat a spoon of ghee and fry cashews till golden brown. Keep aside.

In the same pan, heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves and pepper. When pepper splutters, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, grated ginger, chopped green chillies and hing. Saute for 10 seconds and add the chopped vegetables, little salt, turmeric powder and saute well till done. Add these over the rice. Add some more salt for rice and mix well. Garnish with cashews. Melt ghee and top the khichdi while serving.

Serve hot with any chutney of your choice or pickle or fresh curd.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

KOTHAMALLI SADHAM / CORIANDER LEAVES RICE / CORIANDER PULAO


This is an easiest, quick filling, colourful one pot meal and an ideal lunch box recipe. 

INGREDIENTS:


Basmati rice : 1 cup
Coriander leaves - 1 small bunch
Green chillies - 2
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 1
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Chenna dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Cashewnuts - 6
Oil - 1 tsp.
Butter - 1 tsp.

Ghee - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Water - 2 cups

METHOD:

Wash well and soak basmati rice in water for half-an-hour. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Keep aside.

Cut the roots of the coriander leaves, wash well and chop roughly. Grind together coriander leaves, green chillies and cumin seeds alongwith a pinch of salt, to a fine paste.

Strain the paste through a strainer. Keep the water aside. Only the paste is used in this recipe.

NOTE: The juice need not be wasted as it has an excellent source of iron. Coriander juice is beneficial in treating nausea, dysentery, urinary infection and indigestion. It also lowers blood sugar levels. You can make a raw juice or soup with salt and pepper.


In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and butter. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal, chenna dal and the whole spices. When they turn golden brown, add the strained paste and required salt. Sauté for a minute.

Kothamalli sadham preparation:

Spread cooked rice in a wide plate, add the sautéed mixture (check for salt and add at this stage if necessary) . Gently turn it around or mix it with your hand without breaking the grains. Garnish with ghee fried cashews and serve hot.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

BAINGAN BHARTHA


This is a tasty and unique north-indian gravy with chargrilled brinjals. This can be done with or without green peas. 

INGREDIENTS:

Brinjal ( Big variety) - 2
Green peas  - 1/4 cup 
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Onion - 1 big
Tomato - 2
Ginger- garlic paste - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 2  finely chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Garam masala - 2 tsp.
Coriander leaves - few
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 3 tablespoons
Ghee  - 1 tsp.



METHOD:

Slit the brinjals into half with stems intact. Brush it with oil and heat on direct, medium flame. Turn it on all sides by holding the stems till the outer skin turns black. When cool, peel the skin and gently rub under running water to remove the small black parts. Mash well and keep aside.

Shell the peas, boil it in water with salt for 3 minutes, drain the water and keep aside. Finely chop tomatoes, onions and green chillies.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, when they sizzle, add onions and sauté till translucent alongwith a pinch of salt, add ginger garlic paste,chopped green chillies and sauté well until the raw smell is diffused. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the powders (except garam masala) and sauté till oil leaves the sides. Add cooked peas, mashed brinjal, garam masala and salt. Mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with ghee. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with phulkas, pooris or chapathis.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

KEERAI VADAI / SPINACH VADA


This is an excellent and flavourful tea time snack. Onions need not be added to the batter as it will taste more like masal vadai.  The vadai tastes good with the exotic, unique taste and flavour of spinach alone.  

INGREDIENTS:

Whole urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram ( chenna dhal)  - 1/2 cup
Split urad dhal - a fistful
Spinach - 1 cup tightly packed ( mulai keerai will be tasty)
Dry red chillies - 2
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves -  2 sprigs
Salt  - to taste
Oil - to deep fry

METHOD:

Soak whole urad dhal and bengal gram for an hour. Soak split  urad dhal separately for an hour. Drain the water  completely and keep aside.

Wash and clean the spinach, discard the roots and chop finely. Chop curry leaves roughly.

Grind  together whole urad dhal, bengal gram and red chillies to a coarse paste with very little water.

Transfer it to a bowl. Add the soaked split urad dhal, cumin seeds, salt, finely chopped spinach, curry leaves and green chillies. Mix well using your hand. Divide  into equal sized balls.

Heat oil, when hot simmer the stove. Wet your palms with water, take out a ball, flatten it with your hands to the  size of a palm (1/2" thickness would be fine) and put a hole in the centre. Gently drop it into the oil. Flip on both sides and fry them till golden brown.  Repeat the process  with the rest of the batter. You can fry 2 to 3 vadais in a batch.

Serve hot with coconut chutney or any chutney of your choice. 

NOTE: Ensure medium heat of oil. Saunf can be used instead of cumin seeds.

Friday, December 7, 2012

MASALA OATS UPMA / OATS UPMA


I was not a great fan of oats upma  until one friend of mine asked  me how to cook oats upma without becoming sticky and mushy. Just follow the method and you will get a non-sticky oats upma. :)

INGREDIENTS:

Oats - 1 cup
Water - just to sprinkle
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Carrot - 1 (small)
Shelled peas & beans - 1/4 cup
Onions (optional)

Bakers Noodles masala - 1/2 tsp. ( for masala oats)
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Gram dhal- 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 2

Grated ginger - 1/8 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few

METHOD:

In a kadai, dry roast oats. Keep aside.

Grate carrots and slice beans.

In the same kadai, heat oil, and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dhal, gram dhal, slit green chillies, grated ginger, curry leaves and hing. When they turn golden brown,(if using onions add at this stage and fry till translucent), add vegetables and shelled peas. Add little salt and saute for till cooked. (Add the noodles masala and saute if you want a masala oats upma. If you are cooking an oats upma skip the noodles masala). Now, add oats and salt to taste. Mix well. Sprinkle a teaspoon of water, and cook it covered. Within few seconds, take out the lid and sprinkle again a teaspoon of water and cook it covered. Repeat the process until cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with ketchup.