Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sprouted Moong dal and Oats Dosa – A healthier version of Pesarattu

Summer vacation is almost here and my boy who is in kindergarten already started counting days and he is so much excited and happy but I am wondering how am I going to entertain him all summer. He got accustomed to being in school all day and now I am thinking hard to come up with fun activities to keep him busy.
Last year president Obama proposed a longer school days for this generation of students to remain competitive to the remaining world. I think that’s a good idea, the children here have only 180 days of school compared to more than 200 days (don’t know the exact no.) of school back in India. I am worried what kind of problems my kids will face adjusting to the Indian schooling system when we go back to India.
Coming back to the recipe this one is super healthy and nutritious dosa. I usually make salads and curry using this sprouts but this is the first time I am trying out dosa just b’coz of my kids. My boy hates eating vegetables in any form and salad no doubt he never even try to taste it. I thought making dosa sprouted moong dal is the only way I can make my kids eat these healthy sprouts. Luckily there was no difference in the taste compared to the original pesarattu even by adding oats to it and my kids ate without any fuzz and that gives me a great satisfaction.

Green moong dal – 1 cup
Oats – ½ cup
Green chilies – 2
Onion chopped – 1 medium
Ginger – 1”
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 5
Cilantro – 1 cup
Salt to taste

Soak moong dal overnight and drain all the water and keep coved in a wet cloth for minimum 12 hrs and make sure the cloth is wet all the time. When its sprouted, grind along with all other ingredients using a very little amount of water to a coarse paste. Make dosa out of it and enjoy with ginger chutney.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry season is here, if you love strawberries, it’s the best time to pick your own strawberries.  Last week on a fine sunny day my family went for a strawberry picking …it was super fun. Picking your own strawberries is the best way to know that you are getting the freshest strawberries. Luckily there were more than few farms near my place but we chose a one which is little far off, heard they have the very tasty strawberries and sure they did. My kids loved exploring the strawberry field, my boy was busy looking out for big ripe ones and my girl was busy playing on the farm rather I would say destroying the plants. Most of the berries went into the basket but not before tasting few. Actually when we went there most of the strawberries have been picked but still we managed to pick two basket full of good ripe ones.
After eating the fruit and making juices and smoothies out of it, still lots of berries were left, so I ended up making the strawberry jam. For just three cups of mashed strawberries gave me seven 8oz jars of jam. To extend the jam’s shelf life, processing the jars is more important.

Strawberries cut and mashed – 3 Cups
Sugar – 5 cups
Pectin – 1 packet (1.7oz)
8oz Jar – 7

1.Processing the bottles- clean the jars and lids and boil them separately for 10 mins. 
2.Rinse, hull and cut the strawberry and put in a bowl and mash them with a potato                          masher until no lumps. Mix 1 packet of pectin to the strawberry.
3.Bring the mixture to boil, stir in the sugar and continue boiling, stirring in between. Use a spoon to remove the foam from the surface.
3.Boil until the mixture thickens for about 20 to 30 mins in a medium heat.
4.To perform the gel test, take a half chilled steel spoon full of mix and bring it to room temperature on the spoon, if it thickens up to the consistency of your choice, the jam is done. If not add little more pectin and bring it to boil for a min.
5.Remove from heat and cool for 10 mins and remove the jars from the hot water without using your hand and pour the jam and seal it and enjoy it.
A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with this jam at its best. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

“My 100th post” – Nothing special just Croutons Manchurian

At last this marks my "100th post", actually I targeted to complete 100 postings within a year of my blogging but it took more than a year for me to reach here. I wanted to post something sweet for my special 100th post and waited a week for me to prepare but till now I haven’t made anything special (lazy me) but I couldn’t wait any longer to mark this mini milestone in my blog so posting this croutons manchurian.
So, we reached the 100th post with this food blog, yes I say “we” because while I do all the cooking and writing my hubby helps me with the pictures so a little credit to him.
I have been blogging for a little over a year now and I have covered most of my family favorites recipes in my blog but my hubby complains that’s there is no healthy food recipes in my blog so I have decide to concentrate more on preparing healthy dishes with lots of vegetables and fruits and doing lots of variations to the regular dish I prepare to make it look healthier. I have to honestly accept that my hubby is not the only reason for me to go the healthier way of cooking; the other strong reason is my friend Viji. Yes I met her a few days back after her India vacation that is after 5 long months , oh my goodness that girl has lost a good amount of weight and what she said the reason is like eating healthy and lots of exercise. Me doing exercise is not possible so at least I want to try eating possibly healthier like more of fruits and vegetables..…hmmm from now on you can expect more of healthy food recipes in my blog. All the credit goes to Viji if I am still with this even after a month.
Today’s post is Croutons Manchurian, a quick and tasty recipe and to make sure this is not the "so called" healthier one. I used the store brought croutons and if can make one by yourself, that’s good and try out this recipe with it. When you buy from the store, make sure you buy the plain ones, I used the flavored one and I think plain one would have tasted better.

Croutons – 1 packet
Ginger chopped – 1 tbsp
Garlic chopped – 1tbsp
Onion chopped finely – 2 tsp
Green Chiles – 3 finely chopped
Chili garlic sauce – 1 tsp
Soy sauce – 1 tsp
Tomato ketchup – 2 tsp
Cilantro chopped
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add onion, garlic, ginger and chilies and sauté for 5 mins. Then add chili garlic sauce and soy sauce and ketchup and add ½ a cup of water and let to boil. Now add the croutons and mix well. The croutons will absorb the sauce and will turn soft. Finish off with lots of cilantro and enjoy this quick and tasty Manchurian.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chettinad Lamb Curry

This is yet another chettinad delicacy from my kitchen. All my friends and family knew that I am very obsessed with chettinad recipes so this time my sister who took the privilege of passing on this recipe to me, I was not interested to know how she got it so I am not sure on its authenticity but I can assure you, "it’s very delicious". Anyway why bother about other stuff when it tastes excellent. Generally I adapt recipes to my taste, this is one kind of recipes I did follow faithfully and I have the taste and texture nailed down in this recipe and I doubt me trying another mutton curry recipe after tasting this one. This recipe is not too complicated and once if you try this, you’ll never go back to your own mutton curry recipe (like me). This curry is an excellent combination with idli. A plate of steaming hot idlis with mutton curry ….hmmm…. nothing can taste better than this..sorry vegetarian guys.

Lamb – 1 lb
Pearl onions – 15
Garlic Cloves – 10
Tomato – 1 medium
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp
Paprika powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Chili Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves
Salt to taste

To Grind
Coconut – ¼ cup
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cardamom – 2

For Seasoning
Cloves – 5
Cinnamon – 1”
Cardamom – 3

Chop the onions if you its too big. Heat oil in the pressure cooker and add cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and when its aromatic add onions and garlic and sauté well and add the ginger garlic paste and now add the tomato and sauté until the tomato is mushy. Next add mutton/lamb and fry in slow flame for 10 mins. Add all dry powders one by one and mix well and add sufficient water and pressure-cook for 10 mins. When its done look for the consistency and add more water if needed and now add the grinded coconut paste and curry leaves and when its starts to boil turn off the flame and add cilantro generously. Enjoy!!