Thursday, March 31, 2016

Moong Dal-Cucumber Dal

Cucumber - Moong dal is gravy dish. It goes well with almost all the main dishes even with different varieties of rice and rotis. Best combination is with jeera rice or peas palau. The weather is getting hotter and each day the temperature is rising. Moong and cucumber are known to be as cooling agent for the body,  they really helps to keep our body cool systematically.
I have used moong dal, Cucumber (small cucumbers) and some spices which are readily available in the kitchen. I used Gongura chutney to give a tangy taste. Adding this chutney gives a beautiful aroma and a good taste to the dall.
Let us see some benefits of having "Green Chilly" in our diet.
Green chilly adds taste and spice to the food. It is very rich in Vitamins like A, C B6. It contains minerals like iron, copper, potassium and small amount  of protein and carbohydrates. Green chilly.
Green chilly aids in digestion. They also helps in dissolving blood clots. It increases our metabolism by burning the calories. Green chilly helps to stay in better mood. They contain good amount of anti-oxidants. They are good for eyes and immune system. They maintain the cholesterol level in our body. Green chilly contain Vitamin A and good for maintaining our bones, teeth. They also take care of good health in Intestine. Green chilly  helps to keep away the wrinkles.
Lets see the recipe now : Moong Dal - Cucumber Tovve has no onion or no garlic. It can be prepared for any special day, festival or feast.

Things Needed :

To Cook
Moong Dal : 1/2 Cup
Cucumber : 3 to 4  (Small sized)

To Add :
Green Chilly : 2 to 3
Ginger : A small piece
Coriander Leaves : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Salt : To taste
Gongura Chutney : 1 Teaspoon
Mustard Seasoning : 1 Teaspoon

For Seasoning :
Oil/Ghee : 1 Teaspoon
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera : 1/2 Teaspoon
Ingh/Asafotida : a pinch
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6

Method :

1. Wash and cook toor dal. (Pressure cook for 5 to 6 minuts).
2. Wash and cut small cucumbers in to desired size. (Big/Small). Wash green chilly and cut in to big pieces. Wash ginger and remove the outer layer and wash again. Grate it and keep it aside.
3. Keep a pan on the fire and heat. Add oil/ghee and let it become hot. Add mustard seeds.
4. Let it splutter. Add jeera and ingh. Add cut green chilly. Fry for 10 seconds.
5. Add cut cucumber and stir. Add a cup of water and cook for 2 minutes. Add grated ginger.
6. Add turmeric powder, cooked dal and required salt. Mix it well. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Now add Gongura chutney to the cooked dal and stir nicely.(Slowly).

9. Let it cook for 1 minute. Put off the fire and shift ready dal to a serving dish.
10. Add coriander leaves and serve with hot rice and ghee.

Note : 

I have used Gongura chutney instead of lemon extract. Adding lemon instead of gongura chutney is optional.  See that cucumber pieces cooks soft. Adding more water is optional. It taste better if the gravy is thick. Adding more/less chilly is also optional. Adding coconut gratings is optional.
Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 3 to 4 .
   Gongura Chutney recipe link.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sweet Potato Kachoris

Kachoris are fried, stomach filling dish. It is famous Gujarathi snack. I still remember eating Raj Kachori from one of Gurjarathi restaurant in Dubai. It was too heavy and I could finish the whole think. Rajkachori was filled with whole moong and some grated carrots, curd etc etc etc.
Kachoris are very famous these days. It is yummy too.
Kachoris are many types these days. I have just tried these "Sweet Potato Kachori" using wheat flour, sweet potatoes (said to be better than potatoes (on healthy side also) and some simple spices.
Lets see some benefits of having Oma Kalu (Bishop Weed).
Oma is called in different names and some of them are , Oma/Omada Kalu/Bishop Weed/Ajvan(Hindi)/Omam (Malayalam)/Amam (Tamil)/Vamu (Telugu)/Ajamo (Gujarati)/Jabian (Panjabi) and Yavanika in Sanskrit.
Oma/Ajwan is good for digestion. It improves the taste and improve the digestive strength. It is good for abdominal colic pain. It also helps in removing the toxic content from our body, any infections in the body and even used for removing the poison content from the body. It is used for removal of worms in the stomach.
"Sweet Potato Kachori" do not contain any Onions or Garlic.  

Ingredients :

For dough:
Wheat flour : 2 Cups
jeera/Cumin seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt : a little
For stuffing :
Sweet Potatoes : 2 to 3 (Medium Size)
Coriander Leaves : One Handful
Jeera Powder : 1/2 Teaspoon
Oma/Ajwan : 1/2 Teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 Teaspoon
Red Chilly Powder : 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt : As required
Ghee : 1 Tablespoon
For frying :
Oil : 1 Cup (To fry)

Method :

1. Wash and cook sweet potatoes and remove the skin once it is cooled. Keep it aside.
2. Dry roast wheat flour nicely for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame. Let it cool.

3. Take a big bowl and smash cooked sweet potatoes. Add all the spices and salt. (Garam Masala, red chilly powder, oma , jeera powder/cumin, cut coriander leaves ).
4. Mix the ingredients nicely and let the sweet potatoes completely smash and mix it with spices.
5. Now take a big bowl. Put dry roasted wheat flour, a tablespoon of ghee and little salt. Add little jeera to the flour. Mix it nicely. Add required water (little by little) and prepare thick chapati dough.

6. Now kneed the dough nicely and divide them into small portion. Turn them as ball shape.
7. Roll these small size dough into small circle.

8. Place a Tablespoon or little more sweet potato mixture.
9. Bring all the sides of the chapti in the middle.
10. Just turn once and flatten them as small poori (You can use your palm or roller).

11. Now keep a pan on the fire. Heat and put oil. Let it become hot.
12. Put already prepared kachoris and fry on low and medium heat on both sides.

13. Remove them from oil and put it on a kitchen tissue. Let the extra oil absorb by kitchen tissue.

14. Serve hot kachoris with sweet and hot spicy chutney.
15. Repeat the same with remaining dough and the stuffing.

Note : 

Let the chapati dough be thick. Roll them in to thin, fry them on low flame first and then medium flame.
Adding spice is optional. Adding ghee or hot oil while preparing dough is optional.
Mix the flour only when it is completely cool or Kachori turns soft and saggy. Use of Maida instead of wheat flour is optional. (Wheat flour is a healthy option).  Use of more oil to fry Kachori is also optional.
Time : Total : 30 to 40 minutes
Serves : 10 to 15 Kachoris can be prepared. (According to the size).

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dry Fruits Cake (Without Egg)

Cake is desert and I prepared in this way of using Maida /All purpose flour, butter/ghee/oil.
It is nice to have a piece of cake when you have tea or coffee. Having a piece of cake has no particular time. This is an eggless cake.

I have used some dry fruits (very little amount) at the end just before baking. It adds to the taste and gives nice colour too. No egg in this cake. 
Lets see the recipe now :

Things Needed 

All purpose flour/Maida : 2 Cups
Sugar : 1 Cup
Curd : 1/2 Cup
Cardamom : 3 to 4 pods
Oil : Little more than 3/4 cup
Baking Soda : a pinch
Baking powder : 1 Teaspoon
Dry Fruits : 2 Tablespoons .(Almonds, cashews, raisins, Fig and dates).

Method :

1. Sieve Maida, baking powder and baking soda and keep it aside.

2. Dry grind sugar and then add curd, oil and grind it till it gets fluffy.
3. Add cardamom and grind for 1 minute.
4. Remove from the liquidizer and put it in a bowl.
5. Cut dry fruits into small and keep it aside.

6. Now take a big pan and put ground oil, sugar and curd mixture. 
7. Add sieved maida and slowly mix all the ingredients well.
8. Greece the baking tray with oil.
9. Pour this mixture to the tray and add dry fruits on the top. 
10 . Bake this in the oven for 25 minutes ( 180 degree C). 
11. Just insert a knife edge to make sure cake is baked well. 

12 Serve fresh dry fruits cake with a cup of Tea/Coffee.

Note :

You should have an oven to bake the cake. or try in micro wave ...baking option. You can use ghee/butter instead of oil. (any cooking oil). Adding curd makes the cake soft and fluffy. Adding vanilla essence is optional. More dry nuts can be added.
Time : 
Total time 25 to 30 minutes to bake  + 10 minutes to preparation  
Serves : 25 small pieces can be made.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spicy Akki Rotti

Rice flour rotti is one of the favourite dish of mine and many. Akki rotti can be prepared in many types. Here is recipe of Akki Rotti and I have used some White pumpkin sasive which was left over from last night's dinner. Sasive is one of the side dish and its easy to prepare. We cook the vegetable as a curry and the inner pulp is used for tambuli, sasive, mosaru bajji (raita) etc.

Let us see some benefits of using Mustard seeds in our cooking.
Mustard seeds are rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. It is also a good source of Vitamin A Vitamin K Vitamin C. It is also a good source of magnesium and dietary fiber. Mustard Seeds are good for astama and cold. They help to provide relief from respiratory disorders. Mustard seeds help in curing pains and spasms.(cramps). Mustard seeds are good aid for ringworm. They contain good amount of anti oxidants, They also helps in controlling blood pressure and cholesterol level in our body. They help to fight infection and good natural scrub for skin.
Now Lets see the recipe : Akki Rotti has No Onions in it.

Ingredients :

Rice Flour : 3 Cups
White Pumpkin Gratings : 1 Cup
Mustard seeds : 1/4 Teaspoon
Green chilly : 2
Curd /Dahi/Yogurt : 1 Cup
Coconut :1 Cup
Coriander Leaves : 2 Tablespoons
Curry Leaves : 2 Tablespoons
Salt : As required
Oi; :  2 to 3  Tablespoons

Method : 

1. Grate white pumpkin and grind with mustard seeds and green chilly. (I have used white pumpkin pulp also) and keep it aside.
2. Wash curry leaves, coriander leaves and and cut it into small.
3. Grate coconut and keep it aside.
4. Take a big bowl, add ground white pumpkin sasive, curry leaves, coriander leaves.
5. Add coconut and rice flour. Add salt. Mix it well. Add curd.
6. Add required water and prepare dough. It should be soft. (You should be able to spread the dough on the pan).
7.  Keep a pan/tava on the fire. Sprinkle oil and spread around the pan.
8. Take a handful of rotti flour and spread it around the pan by your finger. ( Let it be on low flame).
9. Put a spoon of oil and cover the rotti. Let it cook on medium and low flame.
10. Turn the rotti other side and cook for 30 seconds.

11. Spicy Akki rotti is ready to serve. Do the same with remaining dough.

12. Serve with ghee/butter/ chutney powder/chutney of your choice.

Note : 

You can add white pumpkin gratings as they are. It taste different. Adding mustard seeds to the rotti adds a good aroma. Consistency of the dough according to your wish. You can use banana leaf to spread the rotti and then you can put it on the tava. It saves your time and easy too. No onion is added in this dough. You can add onions/any leaves like, methi (fenugrik leaves), dil leaves, palak leaves, grated carrots and even peas or avarekai. Adding curd makes the rotti soft.
Time : 30 Minutes
Serves : 3 to 4

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Onion & Cow Peas Curry

Spring Onions/Eerulli sopuu and Cow Peas/Alasande/Tadaguni Curry is a gravy dish.
Spring onions are plenty in the market these days here in Namma Bengaluru and when ever I go to buy vegetables I love to grab these bunch of Spring Onions. After coming home I start thinking of what to do. I just grab this because of its health value and also so many dishes you can prepare with Spring Onions.

I have used Spring Onion leaves, Cow peas, coconut and some spices. The curry goes well with almost all the main dishes.
Lets see the benefits of using " Spring Onions " in our diet.
Spring onions contain good nutritious properties. They are excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. They contain good source of antioxidants. They also help in lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure level in our body. It also helps to maintain Blood sugar level in our body. Vitamin K in spring onion helps to make the bone strong and maintain the bone density.
Lets see the recipe now:

Ingredients :

To Cook :
Spring Onions bunch : 1
Cow Peas/Alasande kalu : 1 Cup
Toor Dal : 1/4 Cup

To Grind :
Sambar/Huli/Rasam Powder : 2 Tablespoons
Coconut : 2 ti 3 Tablespoons
Jeera/Cumin Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Tamarind : a small marble size

To Add :
Mustard seasoning :  1 Tablespoon
Coriander leaves : 1 Tablespoon
Seasoning : 1 Teaspoon oil, 1/2 Teaspoon mustard seeds, ingh and curry leaves.
Salt : According to taste
Ghee : 1 Tablespoon

Method : 

1. Wash and soak Cow Peas at least 3 to 4 hours before cooking. (Over night is best). Pressure cook toor dal and cow peas for 6 to 8 minutes. Allow it to cool.
2. Wash and cut spring onions into small. Cook with little water til they turn soft ( 6 to 8 minutes).

3. Grate coconut and grind with tamarind, jeera and huli/sambar powder. Use little water to grind.

4. Now take a big pan. Add cooked cowpeas, toor dal and spring onions.Mix it well.
5. Add salt and turmeric. Let it boil for 2 minutes.

6. Add ground spice mixture and mix it well and let it boil for 3 to 4 minutes.

7. Shift the ready curry to a serving dish and add, mustard seasoning cut coriander leaves and a spoon of fresh ghee. We had Spring Onion & Cow Peas Curry with Plain Rice.

Note :

Soaking cowpeas helps the peas to cook soft and quick. Adding dal is optional. Adding coconut is also optional. (You can cook with dal and cow peas). Taste differ. You can add onions and garlic.
Time : 30 minutes. (Soaking cow peas is separate. ( 4 to 5 hours or Over night )
Serves : 4 to 5 
Huli powder : Roast or fry methi seeds 1/4 Teaspoon, 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds, 4 to 5 byadagi chilli, 1/4 teaspoon of jeera, a small piece of cinnamon and a clove. Dry roast on low flame and dry grind it when it is cool. This Huli Powder adds aroma to the curry.

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My name is Nalini Somayaji. Teaching is my profession. Cooking is my passion. Reading, travelling, visiting new places, having fun with kids are some of the hobbies I can say. My recipes are Healthy, quick, easy and simple. Grown up being a traditional family member I love and respect Indian culture and traditions. Love classical dance and music.
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