Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rava Dosai with Onion Chutney

I was craving for mom's onion chutney that day and given that I had woken up at 8:30 AM on a Saturday, I decided "What the heck?"...might as well make some good south-indian food. Also, I had run out of food. So it was double the reason. This post is more for the onion chutney than the dosai...cause it just came out of a pack. The chutney however is made from scratch. BTW, it also makes a good dip for tortilla chips...I tried some and I loved it. For the next party, I'm gonna try it on my American/European friends! :)

Red Onions (big) - 2
Tomato (medium) - 1 or 1/2 depending on your taste
Dried red chillies - 3/4 depending on degree of hotness
Urad dal - 1 or 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 or 1 tsp
Oil - as needed

1. Cut the onions and tomato into big pieces. Fry them in a little oil (onions first followed by tomato). Set them to cool.
2. Now add oil in a small kadai. Add muster seeds and let them splutter. Then add the urad dal and red chillies. Fry them until the urad dal is nice and browned and the red chillies turn almost black. This brings out the flavors the best as per my mom's instructions. Just don't burn them too much.
3. After both the onion-tomato mix and the tadka has cooled, add first the tadka in the blender followed by the onion-tomato mix and blend them well until you get a nice smooth paste.
4. For the dosai, I just used the Deep brand instant mix. I add water and curds to rather than all water like the box says. I feel the yogurt gives it a better taste.
5. Make the dosais as you normally will; it may just need a little extra oil cause it tends to stick lot more than the normal dosai mix. And you're ready to start hogging!!!

This is my mom's recipe or rather I've learnt it from her. I don't know if there is like some copyright on it but I guess it's pretty common in all south indian households. Putting a copyright claim on this is like trying to do the same with chappathi or dosai. No one knows who invented it. So I guess we're clear on that? :)

I made this on the weekend which means my photographer was awake and so here are the pics! The dosai may look a little burnt...but it's actually not...seriously :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mutter Pulao

I have a fool proof recipe for mutter pulao (cumin rice with green peas) that I love and I know that if I'm headed to any potluck party, I get asked specifically to make that rice. When I started cooking as a naive 12 yr old, I tried to re-create an amazing pulao that I'd had at some restaurant and amazed my mom to no end. After that, I stuck to it and kept improvising as and when needed. So this recipe is very close to my heart. The trick is adding fried onions to pick up the entire flavor and taste of the pulao. Hope you like it!

Rice - 1 cup
Water - 1.5 cups
Green peas (fresh or frozen) -1/2 cup
Onion (small) - 1
Cumin seeds - 1 to 1.5 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Wash rice for a couple of times, drain and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a thick bottomed pan which comes with a good lid. Add cumin seeds to this and let them splutter.
3. Add the green peas and saute for about 2 minutes.
4. Then add the washed rice and saute until all the moisture is gone. You can easily see when the rice has lost all the moisture.
5. Add the water, salt to taste and cook on medium till you cannot see a layer of water. Then set it on low and cover it for about 15 minutes or until cooked. Let it cool.

For seasoning:
1. Chop onions finely. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the onions. Add 1/4 tsp salt and fry until they are completely browned (see picture).
2. Switch off the stove and move the pan to a pot holder. Add the garam masala and mix well.
3. Add this to the cooled rice and mix well. You can save a little to top off while serving.

None to cite. Please leave a comment if you have a concern with this recipe.

My photographer is busy (read as sleeping all the time) and this week is particularly hectic for us in the Spring term. So pics to follow soon :)

P.S.: Updated with pics!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dal Tadka

This is a standard Indian recipe but over the years I've tried it by tweaking the ingredients and now it's come to a stage where its perfect for my taste.

Toor dal or Moong dal - 1 cup
Onion (big) - 1
Tomatoes (medium) - 1
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Green chillies (hot) - 4
Red chilli powder -1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - finely chopped, 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

1. Pressure cook the dal with twice the amount of water. My mom also taught me this trick to add turmeric powder and half a teaspoon of oil. It's supposed to cook the dal better.
2. Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic cloves and green chillies.
3. Add some oil in a thick bottomed pan and add about a tbsp of oil and splutter some cumin seeds (jeera).
4. To this add the green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry them until they get a little browned. I've learnt that this brings out the flavor better.
5. Then add the onions and add about half a tsp of salt. This helps to fry the onions faster and also keeps them from burning. I let the onions fry really well until they are brown.
6. Then add the masalas. I use a standard plastic disposable spoon as measurement. Red chilli powder and coriander powder. I let the onions get completed coated in the masalas. Just make sure it doesn't burn.
7. Then add the tomatoes and let it cook completely until oil separates. This is the only way the raw taste of the tomatoes won't linger in the dal.
8. To the pressure cooked dal, add as much water as desired and use a thick wooden spoon to blend it all together so that you get a smooth consistency.
9. Add this dal to the onion-tomato paste and add salt to taste.
10. After one boil, you can leave it to simmer on the stove on low for 15 minutes with a lid.

I know this may be a very juvenile recipe, but like I said its my recipe book and I get to put anything in it :)

Please note...

So like every desi in the US of A, I have decided to start a recipe blog. It's only fair that I get a medium to boast about my culinary skills. So you have attention-hungry me and then you have Mai too! So now it's become "our" blog where we're gonna keep adding our recipes to this "book". I miss those days when it used to rain and we  would whip up last minute onion pakodas and potato pakodas along with the sad watery tea in our PG.

Now, I do not want to get into any copy-right issues and God knows there are millions of food blogs out there. Let me be upfront by stating that this blog is a "Recipe Book"...a compilation of recipes that I've read and tried and love! I will cite sources wherever possible and in places where I can't remember the source I would definitely not take credit and just say that "This is a recipe I read somewhere...can't remember where." :) Sounds good?

I made Dal Tadka today and will post the recipe tonight (with pics)