Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tomato Dosai

Dosas are one of my favorite breakfast and dinner items. In fact, once the idly/dosa batter is ground; it would be idly on the first day and then dosai on the following days, until we’re done with the batter. It is only on days when we don’t have the idly/dosai batter at hand that I have to look for some other dish for dinner.

Tomato dosai is a nice variation to the regular dosai. I came to know about these from my SIL who is from Trivandrum. Her mother has many interesting recipes up her sleeve. My kids were thrilled to see pink dosas, (pink being my daughter’s favorite color) and gladly had a couple of them without any fuss.

So if you run out of your regular dosa batter, give this one a try.

Makes about – 15 to 16 dosais
What you’ll need
  1. Raw Rice – 2 Cups
  2. Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  3. Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Tomatoes – 5 Medium sized
  5. Dried Red Chillies – 1 or 2
  6. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  7. Curry Leaves – finely chopped (optional)
  1. Soak the rice, dal and fenugreek seeds and red chilly for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Drain and grind into a smooth paste adding water as and when required. Do not add too much water as the tomatoes also will add to the liquid.
  3. Grind the tomatoes separately and mix along with the ground rice.
  4. Add asafoetida and salt to taste.  Also add the finely chopped curry leaves. Mix well. Add water if required and adjust batter into a pouring consistency. If the batter is thick you will not get thin dosas.
  5. Heat a Tawa/Dosa Pan, pour a ladle full of batter and spread like spreading a dosai, from center to outside. Drizzle little oil on the sides of the dosai. Cook on medium heat.
  6. Flip and cook the other side as well.
  7. Serve immediately with chutney, sambar or milagai podi.

Dosa becomes slightly hard on cooling, so for best taste, serve hot.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baingan Ka Bhartha

I’m here with another brinjal recipe. Baingan ka Bhartha is a very popular spicy North Indian dish made of baingan or Eggplant. Traditionally the whole eggplant is charred on open gas flame and the whole dish has a very smoky flavor. I am not a lover of the smoky flavor. So I never liked Baingan Bhartha. Then I came to know of this wonderful alternate of cooking the eggplant in an oven. I loved this idea as it gave the same end result minus the smoky charred smell. It really works well for me.

This is dish is generally very spicy and tangy and goes very well with any Indian flatbread or even plain rice. After I got to know of this oven method, it has become a regular in my house and is a favorite with all at home.

What you'll need
  1. Big Eggplant – 1 (Medium Sized)
  2. Onion – 2 big
  3. Tomatoes – 3 Medium sized
  4. Green Chillies – 2 to 3
  5. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  6. Garlic – 2 cloves
  7. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp
  8. Coriander Powder – ½ tbsp
  9. Red Chilly Powder – ½ tsp (adjust according to taste)
  10. Amchur Powder – ½ tsp (optional)
  11. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  12. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp

  1. Preheat the oven at 230C.
  2. Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Make a couple of slits on the eggplant. Apply oil all over it.
  3. Place the eggplant on a tray and bake at 230C for 30 to 40 minutes. Turn once in between for even cooking.
  4. If you like the charred smell and taste, set the oven at broil and broil for 10 minutes. ( I did not do it)
  5. Or cook it on the gas stove in an open flame, turning once in a while with the help of the stem, till the skin gets completely charred on all sides.
  6. Remove the eggplant and allow to cool. Peel the skin and mash well. Keep aside.
  7. Heat a Kadai with oil. Add cumin seeds.
  8. Once the crackle add, finely chopped onions, and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add grated ginger, finely chopped garlic and green chillies.
  10. Fry for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat till the onions turn light brown.
  11. Add finely chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes turn mushy and everything comes together.
  12. Now add the red chilly powder and coriander powder. Mix well and fry for a minute.
  13. Now add the mashed eggplant and mix everything very well. Add salt and check for seasoning. If you feel you need more tang then add the amchur powder else skip it. I added.
  14. Mix well. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  15. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with phulkas.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kathirikai Rasavangi

Rasavangi, is a close cousin of the arachuvitta sambar. The difference is in the ground spices. A few changes in the spices used for grinding and the whole thing tastes very different. My family prefers rasavangi to Sambar on any day. It has a very distinct flavor of Coriander Seeds and Black Pepper. A perfect accompaniment with white rice and a simple potato roast.

The recipe shared here is the way my grandmother and then my mother and now me have been making it for all these years. Though I see a lot of variations of this recipe, I have stuck to my original family recipe. 

Serves – 3 to 4

What you’ll need
  1. Brinjal – 1.5 cup, chopped into small cubes
  2. Tamarind – gooseberry sized
  3. Tuar Dal – 2 tbsp, heaped
  4. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Jaggery – 1 tsp, powdered
  6. Salt to taste

To roast and grind
  1. Bengal Gram Dal/ Kadala Paruppu – ½ tbsp
  2. Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 2
  4. Black Peppercorns – 15 to 20
  5. Fresh scraped coconut – ½ cup

For tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – few torn

  1. Wash the tuar dal and cook it. Cool and mash. Keep aside.
  2. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes.
  3. Add another cup of water and squeeze out a thin tamarind extract.
  4. Heat a Kadai, with a tsp of oil, fry all the ingredients mentioned under “roast and grind” till the coconut turns brown.
  5. Grind it along with coconut into a smooth paste adding about ¼ cup of water.
  6. In the same Kadai, fry the brinjals for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Next add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, jaggery and salt to taste.
  8. Let this boil on medium flame till the brinjals are cooked and the raw smell of the tamarind disappears.
  9. Now add the cooked and mashed dals. Mix well and let it come to a boil.
  10. Then add the ground coconut paste, mix well and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
  11. Heat a small  frying pan with remaining oil. Add the mustard seeds once they crackle, pour it over the prepared rasavangi.

Garnish with curry leaves.
Serve hot with plain rice and any vegetable stir fry of your choice. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vegetable Kolhapuri

About 5 to 6 years ago, while working in Bangalore, I came across a sales man who was selling some cookbooks. Just out of curiosity, I glanced at those books and I was taken by surprise. He was selling cook books of the master chef Sanjeev Kapoor. It was a set of 8 Vegetarian books ranging from soups, main course, and snacks to desserts. And all these were being offered for just Rs. 300. I immediately bought them. These are one of the first cookbooks I purchased and they are my priced possession. I came home all happy with my purchase and decided to cook something for dinner from one of the books. And I prepared this Vegetable Kolhapuri. The result was very good. Since then I have prepared this recipe and many others from these books and they always turn out really nice.

Today’s recipe is one which makes use of lots of fresh veggies, and freshly ground spices. A perfect accompaniment with rotis, bursting with flavors; the original recipe called for much more spice but I have reduced it to suit our taste buds. Now don't let the long list of ingredients bother you. They are all things which you use on a regular basis and am sure you'll have it in your pantry. So give it a try friends.

What you’ll need

  1. Carrot – 1 Medium, cut into small cubes
  2. Potato – 1 medium, cut into small cubes
  3. Cauliflower – 8 to 10 florets
  4. French Beans – 6 to 8, cut into half inch long pieces
  5. Green Peas – ¼ cup
  6. Onion – 2 Large, finely chopped
  7. Ginger – ½ inch piece, grated
  8. Tomatoes – 2 Large, ground into a paste
  9. Dry Coconut Scraped – ¼ cup
  10. Oil – 4 tbsp
  11. Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
  12. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Cloves – 3
  15. Peppercorns – 5 to 6
  16. Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
  17. Dried Red Chillies – 2 to 3

For the Kolhapuri Garam Masala
  1. Saunf (Fennel) – ½ tsp
  2. Cinnamon – a small piece
  3. Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  4. Bay Leaves – 1
  5. Black Cardamom – 1
  6. Peppercorns – 5 to 6

  1. Boil the vegetables carrot, potatoes, cauliflower, beans and peas till done. Make sure they don’t get too soft, else they will be mushy.
  2. Heat a kadai, dry roast all the ingredients of the Kolhapuri masala and grind into a powder. Keep aside.
  3. Heat another Kadai, with 2 tbsp of oil. Add grated, dry coconut, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds and red chilly. Fry till the coconut becomes brown.
  4. Add half of the chopped onions and fry till they turn light brown. Grind everything into a paste using little water. Keep aside.
  5. Heat remaining oil in another kadai. Add remaining chopped onions and sauté till they turn light brown.
  6. Next add the grated ginger and fry for another minute.
  7. Next add the tomato paste and fry till oil separates.
  8. Now add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, masala paste fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add the boiled vegetables and salt to taste.  Add water if required. Mix well and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle Kolhapuri Garam Masala and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.

Baking Partners: A new Baking Group

A group of home bakers helping each other to achieve perfection.

Baking a homemade bread, cake or cookies will give the best outcome. However in order to achieve the best results, a perfect recipe and right techniques are required.

We are a small group of home baker friends, who love and want to learn more about the nook and corners of baking.  We are planning to try out recipes from books/magazines and cooking shows.  Every member gets a chance to present their choice of recipe and share important points with the rest of the group.

Main purpose of this group is to learn the techniques, critic the procedure if there are ways to improve, and to eat a delicious food.

Rules are simple, we will choose one recipe and send it out to the group by 16th of every month and the reveal date will be 15th of the next month. On that day we will blog about it. A linky tool will be open during that time and each member can link their post.

First month we are going to do a recipe, 2nd and 3rd month will be a theme and the 4th month we will be back at a recipe. By doing in between recipes, we will able to learn more.

All enthusiastic bloggers interested in baking are welcome, please email Swathi  of Zesty South Indian Kitchen  at favoriterecipes12@gmail.com.

We will appreciate the use of logo or worded link that will help to spread the word.  A bunch of thanks to Tina for designing this beautiful logo

If you   want to make it a gluten or vegan free diet, you can do those modifications also.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vazhakkai Podimas

Raw banana, pumpkin, ash gourd and yam are few vegetables which are almost always present in my refrigerator. Without these I feel at loss when cooking my day to day meals. Invariably atleast one, or a combination of these veggies are used almost every day in our house. Be it in Molagootal, Moru Kootan, Avial, Olan or Mezhukuperatti.

We generally prepare mezhukuperatti with raw bananas or sometimes this spicy raw banana curry. Podimas is not a frequent affair in my household; I really can’t pinpoint the reason for it. So whenever it is made, there are no leftovers, it just disappears.
Here is my version:

What you’ll need
  1. Vazhakkai/Raw Banana – 2 Medium
  2. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ¼ to ½ cup
  3. Green Chilly – 1 or 2
  4. Ginger – a small piece
  5. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Salt to taste

For Seasoning
  1. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  2. Broken Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – 6 to 7 torn
  4. Oil – 1 tbsp

  1. Cut the raw bananas into 2 or 3 big pieces with the skin.
  2. In a deep vessel add enough water and boil the plantain pieces with turmeric powder till just done.
  3. Do not overcook then the whole podimas will become mushy. Cook until the peel comes of easily.
  4. Cool and remove the skin and grate.
  5. Heat a Kadai with oil, add mustard seeds once it starts spluttering add urad dal. Fry till it starts turning golden. Next add curry leaves and the grated plantains.
  6. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  7. Let this fry on low heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir once in a while.
  8. Crush the coconut, green chilly and ginger into a coarse paste without adding water.
  9. Add this to the plantains mix well. Remove from heat.
  10. Serve hot with a plain rice and Sambar or Rasam.


Usually juice of about half a lemon is added at the end, as I don’t like it I don’t add it. You may add if you like a tangy taste.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sweet Potato Salad

Happy New Year to all my readers, friends and family.

We the Gourmet Seven are back after a small gap. For this month, the theme was picnic food from BBC Good Food. I chose this simple salad. It turned out to be a delicious and filling meal. Both my kids loved it. I too liked its sweet and tangy flavors. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I replaced the vinegar with lemon juice and did away with Chives since I couldn’t find them.

What you'll need
  1. Sweet Potato – 2 Medium, cubed into big chunks
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Oil for greasing
  4. For the dressing
  5. Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
  6. Green onions – 2 or 3, finely chopped
  7. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  8. Honey – 2 tbsp
  9. Black Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
  10. Salt to taste

  1. Heat oven to 180C. Toss the sweet potato chunks with oil and salt. Spread it on a lined, greased baking tray.
  2. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or till golden and done. Mix once, in between.
  3. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Toss it in with the baked sweet potatoes, with your hands to avoid breaking the pieces.

That’s it a yummy salad is ready.
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