Jul 29, 2010

Basic Masoor Dal

Masoor dal is a quick comfort food which often found in our weekday menus. I love the fact that it cooks quicker than other dals. It gives a creamy consistency and is so yummy when tempered with ghee. A bowl of rice and dal with some pickle and papad makes a yummy comfort meal often when I cook for myself and when in no mood for elaborate cooking.

Masoor dal also known as red/pink dal is a rich source of protein, cooks quickly, and turns golden and mushy when cooked. This recipe is passed onto me from my grandma. You might wonder, what difference might actually be there in a basic dal recipe. Yes, there is a small twist in this recipe. My grandma actually uses 1 spoon of grated coconut while tempering and it gives a nice aroma to the dal.

Now onto the recipe..

Masoor Dal/Red Lentils - 1 cup
Onion - 1 small sized finely chopped
Tomato - 1 small finely diced
Red chillies - 2
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For the tempering:
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida/Hing - 1 pinch
Grated coconut - 1 teaspoon
Ghee - 2 teaspoon

In a pressure cooker, add the dal along with about 2 cups of water, chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder. pressure cook for about three whistles, until the dal turns soft. Once the pressure gets released, open the pressure cooker and with the back of a ladle, mash the dal well until you get a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste.

In a saucepan, do the tempering. Heat the ghee (you may substitute the ghee with oil, but the ghee renders the yummy taste to the dal) and add the mustard seeds. once the start spluttering add the other tempering ingredients one by one(urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves, dried red chillies and grated coconut). Once everything gets tempered, add the chopped onions and saute till they turn translucent.

Here comes another trick from grandma! Once the tempering is ready, switch of the stove. Using a small ladle, take about 1 tablespoon of the cooked dal and add it to the tempering. Mix well. By doing this, all the flavor from the tempering gets incorporated in the dal well. Transfer the tempering to the remaining dal and mix well. This actually works! Do try this when you do tempering next time for any dish!

Serve warm along with rice or roti.

Sending this to MLLA:#25 hosted by Siri and started by Susan
and also to Back to Basics hosted at Desi Soccer Mom

Jul 26, 2010

Bread Upma

Upma is a hot breakfast food especially in South India. There are umpteen number of variations and it can be had for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner and can be made into a wholesome meal using vegetables. It is versatile and can be made in a jiffy and hence perfect for busy mornings. Although vermicelli/semiya upma is my favorite, I try other versions at times.

I had a loaf of Sprouted 100% Whole Grain bread which i had picked up during my last visit to Trader Joes. Yes, I make it a point to buy something new to try from TJ's! I just love the store! But this time, I knew that bread cannot get any more healthier, since this was sprouted and moreover, 100% whole grain. But we somehow never liked the taste. I did not want the bread to go stale and waste it. So i decided to make bread upma with it. And it turned out really delicious! Will definitely be trying this with other varieties of bread too!

This is my own recipe. It is very forgiving and versatile, so feel free to make any modifications based on choice and availability of ingredients.

Any bread variety - 6 -7 slices (I used the Ezekiel sprouted 100% whole grain variety)
Onion - 1/2 finely diced
Tomato - 1 finely chopped
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Jeera/cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Green chilly - slit lengthwise
Tomato ketchup - 1 tablespoon
Oil/ghee - 1 teaspoon

Take the bread in a blender/mixer and pulse it a few times to break the bread into rough pieces. You could also make it into a coarse powder, if you prefer the upma to be like the rava upma consistency. I prefer to have some bite sized pieces of bread.

In a saucepan, heat the oil/ghee. Add the mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the urad dal, jeera, curry leaves, and onion. Saute until the onion turns translucent. Add the tomatoes and green chillies. Add salt to taste. Saute till the tomatoes turn mushy. Finaly add the tomato ketchup and mix well. Switch off the heat.

Add the coarse bread mixture to this prepared sauce and mix thoroughly. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes.

Serve warm. Tastes great by itself. Can also be served with any chutney of choice or ketchup.

Jul 21, 2010

Show Me Your Refrigerator Roundup (Ongoing)

http://simplysara07.blogspot.com/2010/07/show-me-ur-refridgerator-and-award.htmlI thought it would be fun to post an ongoing roundup this time for the Show Me Your Refrigerator event..  So I will be including each entry as and when I receive them. Hence starting the roundup with mine :)

Shabitha Karthikeyan

Denise D Nathan

Jul 19, 2010

What's on my Fridge Door?

Show Me Your Refrigerator is the ongoing event here in my blog. Almost every kitchen has a refrigerator and I thought it would be fun peeking into each others kitchen. All you need to do is snap a picture of your refrigerator. It can be anything related to your fridge - be it the front door, freezer or even the contents inside the fridge, vegetable crisper, freezer door etc.

Here is mine!
It has a magnetic notepad in the lower left corner to note down my grocery list, some magnets collected as souvenirs during our trips, some fun Yahoo! emoticons, and a paper butterfly..

Now it is your turn to show me yours!!

Last date to send in your entries - July 30th.
Check here for more details.
Non-bloggers can email me your photos and I shall include them in the roundup..

Jul 15, 2010

Kara Sev for Indian Cooking Challenge

This recipe chosen this month for the Indian Cooking Challenge was Karasev. I have always been found of Sattur Karasev. We never forget to buy parcels of the famous karasev whenever we pass the town of Sattur. I never happened to try making karasev at home. We have always bought the Haldirams variety when we crave for it. When I tried Valli's recipe, I found that it is really easy to make Karasev at home. I used the murukku press to make this.

Jul 14, 2010

Aloo Mutter(Potato Dry peas) Burger with leftover curry

Wondering what kind of burger this is? This burger was born in my kitchen entirely using leftovers. I had some aloo mutter kurma and some cooked brown rice leftover. Hence I combined both of them to make these yummy Indianized burgers.

Cooking lunch for myself is a tedious task. I am so lazy to cook up a complete meal for myself. Hence I try to have leftovers from the previous night's dinner. At times having the same meal over again seems boring. So I try to use the same stuff and create a new meal for my lunch. This burger was born as a result. You can even freeze the patties in ziploc bags and store them for future use.

All I did was mash the brown rice and the aloo mutter kurma together along with some powdered oats and some bread crumbs to form patties and cooked them in a tawa and made burgers using whole wheat buns, a few tomato slices, a cheese slice and some lettuce. The aloo mutter kurma had all the spices needed. All the vegetables and rice are already cooked. Hence it takes very less time to make and assemble this burger.

This is no specific recipe. You can use any leftover curry which has some legumes, potatoes and vegetables to make this burger.

To make two burger patties, I used:
Aloo mutter kurma - 1 cup
Cooked brown rice - 1/2 cup
Powdered oats - 2 tablespoons (Just powder about 1/4 cup using a blender)
Bread crumbs - 1/4 cup (I used homemade bradcrumbs)
Salt to taste

Combine the kurma and the cooked brown rice together in a bowl. Mash it well into a coarse paste using a potato masher. In case you want a smooth consistency, you can either pressure cook the rice and kurma together for one whistle or pulse them together quickly for a few seconds in a blender before mashing them.

Add the powdered oats, bread crumbs and salt to taste.

Form patties of about 3 inches in diameter.

Heat a pan and cook the patties for about 2 minutes on each side drizzling some oil if needed. Cook until the patty turns brown on both sides.

Serve warm on a burger bun along with your favorite toppings. I used lettuce, tomato slices and cheese.

Jul 12, 2010

Aloo Mutter/ Potato Dry Peas Kurma

This is a traditional accompaniment to chapatis and rotis and made with potatoes and dry peas. The dry peas can also be substituted with fresh or frozen peas. This curry also tastes great with pulao or plain white rice.
Dry green Peas - 2 cups
Potato - 1
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 1 spoon
Salt to taste

To grind into a smooth paste:
Onion - 1 medium sized
Tomato - 1 big sized
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch
Coriander seeds/Dhania - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 1

Soak the dry peas overnight.

Next day, pressure cook the soaked dry peas and potato in a pressure cooker until it gets well cooked.

Grind all the ingredients listed to make a smooth masala.

In a kadai, heat the oil and add the ground masala. Fry till the raw smell goes away. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Let the tomatoes get mushy and well cooked. Add about 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Finally add the pressure cooked peas and boiled and diced potato to the mixture and allow it to come to a boil.

Simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes, until you get the required consistency. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve warm with chapatis. rotis, dosas or rice.

Jul 8, 2010

Beans Poriyal

This is a simple and hearty beans poriyal made with beans, dal and coconut. It is very easy to prepare and goes well with rice and curry. It tastes great especially with sambar and rice.

Beans - 1/2 lbs / 250 gms
Onion - 1/2 chopped
Moong dal / Paasiparuppu - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 1 spoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Grated coconut - 2 tablespoons

Wash and soak the moong dal for a while.

Wash and slice the bean thinly as needed.

In a saucepan, heat the oil and do the tempering using oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and saute for a while until they turns translucent. Add the moong dal and beans and saute for a while. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and a few spoons of water. Cover and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until the beans get completely cooked. Add salt to taste and the grated coconut and mix well. Cook for about 1 more minute and remove from heat.
Serve warm along with rice and curry.

Jul 1, 2010

Show Me Your Smoothie Roundup

Here are cool, refreshing and colorful ideas to pep up your summer! Thanks to everyone for sending in your entries for Show Me Your Smoothie event. Hope you all enjoy these refreshing smoothies and juices during summer.
Also do check out the current event!

Cool Lassi - Blackberry topped Mango Lassi
Cool Lassi - Strawberry Nutella and Yogurt Smoothie

Amrita - Tangy pear cooler
Cool Lassi - Traffic Light Smoothie

Amrita - Peachy Mango Smoothie
Amrita - Pineapple Lychee Smoothie

Kiran - Granola Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Kiran - Oats and Fruits Smoothie with POM

PS - Pina Colada Smoothie
Rachana - Avocado Pineapple Smoothie

Denny - Pina Colada Smoothie
Denny - Tofruiti Smoothie
Denny - Honey Berry Smoothie

Avanthi Rao - Mango Lassi
Avanthi Rao - Badam Milkshake

Indrani - Oats and Mango Smoothie
Sonal Agarwal - Nirvana
Avanthi Rao - Apple Milkshake

Indrani - Honey Prune Juice Smoothie
Sushma Pinjala - Kiwi and Apple Milkshake

Richa - Almond Saffron Milk
Richa - Mango Strawberry Smoothie

Swathi - Pineapple Milkshake
PJ - Choco Oats Banana Milkshake
Kavya Naimish - Lemonade

Umm Mymoonah - Summer in a glass
Suma Gandlur - Mango Berry Nut Smoothie
Bhagi - Watermelon and Icecream Cooler

Sanyukhta Gour - Watermelon and Pineapple Juice
Roopam Garg - Mango Lassi

Kairali Sisters - Spiced Buttermilk
Gayathri - Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie

AdukalaVishesham - Mango Lassi
AdukalaVishesham - Choco Banana Berry Twist
Simply food - Milkshakes

Roopam Garg - Mango Milkshake
Esra Gules - Blueberry Bliss

Dolly Karthik - Bournvita Milkshake
Niloufer Riyaz - Sinful mango Smoothie

Niloufer Riyaz - Strawberry yogurt Smoothie
Muskaan - Mixed Berries & Pineapple Smoothie

Jay - Carrot Kheer
Akheela Hisham - Hibiscus Tea

Akheela Hisham - Watermelon juice
Nisha - Pink Lemonade
Kavya Naimish - Carrot Orange Juice

Rekha Sobhan - Mango Berry Smoothie
Priya - Jackfruit Smoothie

Priya - Raspberry Oats Smoothie
PS - Avocado Banana Smoothie

Sukanya - Aam Panna
Nandini - Avocado Smoothie
Jay - Badam Milk

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal - Kaju aur Pista ki Thandai
Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal - Almonds - Fennel Seeds - Honey Milkshake

Az - Chikoo Milkshake
Deepthi - Mixed Fruit Smoothie

Jay - Banana Milkshake
Amrita / Rannaghor-Theke - Strawberry mint Smoothie

Sukanya - Tropical Smoothie
Mrudula - Coffee Banana Smoothie

Menaga - Banana Kiwi Orange Smoothie
Menaga - Strawberry Smoothie

Suganthi - Strawberry Banana Almond Smoothie
Karunya - Strawberry Smoothie
Karunya - Watermelon Milkshake

Kavya Naimish - Strawberry Cooler
Kavya Naimish - Raw Mango Juice

Nitha Kurumboor Jayasanker - Banana-Watermelon-Smoothie &Watermelon-Orange-Punch
Sangeetha - Watermelon Cooler

Sangeetha - Watermelon Soda
Sangeetha - Cantaloupe Peach Almond Smoothie

Cool Lassi - Apple Banana Smoothie with Strawberry
Sanyukta Gour - Almond Milkshake
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