Thursday, November 20, 2008

Amish Friendship Muffin!

I Got this dough of Amish Friendship Bread. It is some kind of a chain mail except it is with bread dough! Now I have to find 3 souls to give this batter to and make sure they continue the chain!!!

Verdict: It is kind of laborious (not able to believe i wrote that word) because it asks for soooooooo many ingredients, but can't complain. I chose to make muffins instead of a loaf. My kids love muffins! I tasted one and it tastes exactly like "Porai" which you get in tea shops in Chennai. I dont know what it is called in hindi. The muffins crusted up on top and is soft underneath!!

Coming to the recipe, it is really very simple

You can read about this bread here.
You need the starter for this bread.
on Day 1 do nothing with the starter,
start mushing the bag everyday from
Day 2,
Day 3,
Day 4,
until Day 5.
and on
Day 6, add to the bag, 1 cup of Flour, 1 Cup of sugar and 1 cup of milk and mush the ba
and continue mushing the bag on
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9 and on the 10th day
again mush the bag and follow the directions below
Pour the contents of the bag in to a glass or plastic bowl and add
1 1/2 cups flour,
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk.
Mix well and then measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each in to a gallon Ziploc bags.
Keep one bag to yourself and give 3 to friends along with a copy of the recipe.
Should the recipe not be passed on to a a friend on your 10th day, tell the recipient which day the batter is on when they receive it.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To the remaining batter in the bowl , add the 4th bag,
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup oil
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Grease 2 large loaf pans or pans for 2 dozen muffins.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dust the greased pans with half of this mixture.
Pour the batter evenly into pans and sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour for loaves and 30 minutes for muffins.
Cool until bread loosens from pan evenly and turn on to a serving dish.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Variation: Add one cup chopped nuts or raisins or dried cranberries.

Methi Thepla

I made Methi Thepla from this recipe. It came out really well. Don't have any pictures of it though. There was no time. You just have to take my word for it!!
I followed the recipe exactly (to the extent of adding the jaggery even though i HATE adding jaggery to salty dishes) but in the end instead of adding the chopped methi leaves to the dough by hand i mixed everything in the food processor. It was a mistake but a good one, in the sense the methi blended well with the dough and it was really easy to roll it out.
Try it out!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Potato Rudraksha Kari (Cubed Side Dish)

This is a very interesting Potato Curry Recipe. It doesnt have anything out of the ordinary but yet so rewarding. When the potatoes are cubed, for some reason, someone thought it looks like the meditation bead, the rudraksham and named it after that!
When I saw the challenge post by Iyengars Kitchen, I thought most of the Tamilian brahmin recipes fall under it, there are so many and this I had in my computer already so I thought I will send it right away!
You need
4 Large Potatoes - Cut in small squares (no need to peel the potatoes)
Oil - 2 to 3 Teaspoons
Mustard - 1/2 Teaspoons
Curry Leaves - 1 Strand
Coriander Leaves- 1 handful
Red Chili Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/ 2 Teaspoon
---> In a Kadai, on medium fire, add the oil and the mustard seeds and let it sputter, once they start sputtering, add the curry leaves, turmeric powder, and red chili powder and then add the cubed potatoes.
--->Keep stirring the potatoes on and off until it softens and then add the corainder leaves.
---> If you like, you can really roast them, just be keeping it for a longer time on the stove.
Tastes so good with some hot rasam rice!! YUM!!

Butter Corn

This is one of the snacks I make for my kids, when they are back from school.
It is one of the easiest. I have taught them to make it for themselves also.
You need
Frozen Corn- 2 cups
Salted Butter- 2 Tablespoon
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
Water - 1/3 cup
---> In a pan, add the frozen corn and water and keep the stove on a medium fire, and let it boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until most of the water is evaporated.
---> (you can do this in the microwave also, add little more water if you do that, cook for 3 minutes)
---> Add the butter and lemon juice to this and eat it hot...
(The only thing is the microwave dries it out and on stove top it is moist. So add more water and little more butter)
Tastes great on a cold winter day.
We first had it in Spencer Plaza, Chennai, India, and ever since my son became a fan.
He makes this on his own.
In chennai they make the plain version which is the one above, a chinese version (instead of lemon juice add soy sauce and some chili sauce), a chaat version (along with lemon juice and butter, add some chaat masala and red chili powder) and one more version, i cant remember. The smallest size cup was the bathroom cups they have here and it would sell for 70 rupees in 2002. We would end up spending 600 rupees there itself!

SnakeGourd with Lentils (Pudalangai Kootu)

This is another version of Kootu, different spices, well not really! Let me explain...
I used 4 Snakegourds for this, each about a foot long. I bought them at the indian store. When you buy them, touch them all around, to make sure they are kind of soft all over, but not so soft that water comes out of it if you press it. It should not be hard, if they are, you will not be able to cut through them and they will be very fibery.
How to cut this
---> First cut of the ends.
---> If it is very long cut in 6 to 8 inches
---> Slit in the middle and remove the seeds, you can do this with a spoon, just scoop it.
---> Slice it in half cirlces, in thin slices
To make the Kootu, you need
SnakeGourd - about 6 cups sliced
Tuvar Dal - 1 handful
Moong Dal - 3/4th cup
Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon (more or less to your taste)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 2 Teaspoon
Mustard - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 strand to garnish
Cilantro - a handful, choped to garnish
Water - 3 to 4 cups
Urad Dal - 1 Teaspoon
Jeera - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon
Green Chillies - 3
Almonds - 5
--> Wash the dals and place in a vessel, add the cut snakegourds to this and add about 3 cups of water. The water should cover the vegetables and dal, and place on stove on medum fire. Add more if it doesnt cover it well.
---> Add the salt, turmeric powder to this and let this come to a boil. Make sure this does not boil over, so add a wooden spoon to this and keep an eye on it.
---> Simultaneously in another stove, in a small kadai, add 1/2 teaspoon oil and roast the Urad Dal and Jeera until the Urad dal becomes rose in color. when its done, remove from kadai and add to a mixer, and to this add the green chillies and almonds and grind to a smooth paste.
---> Once the dal and vegetables are cooked (it will take 20 to 25 minutes) add this green masala you have made to it and stir it once and let it come to a boil again.
---> In the kadai in which you roasted the urad dal, add the rest of the oil and add the mustard seeds, and once they start to sputtter, add the curry leaves to it and pour it on the kootu,
---> Garnish with a handful of coriander leaves, and Enjoy!
Instead of using coconuts I have used Almonds. It gives the same creamy effect. Do not overdo the almonds otherwise you will get a nutty taste.
You can have it with hot rice or Chapathis......

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bisi Bela Bath

I got this recipe from my husband's friend, Anil Parthasarathy's Mom, Mrs Padma Anandan. I think of her, when I make this. It turns out very well. I made this for a potluck party.
At this time, I must say i dont like to use the frozen mixed vegetable bag for this or for any other indian dish, be it avial or undhiu or Biriyani. I think it is a crime....
It really takes away all the taste that is intended for it.
Also I always use the REAL tamarind in all of my recipes, but if you like you may substitute it but the taste will not be awesome...
The ratio of Rice to dal is 1 is to 3/4th cup.
You Need
Rice (Jasmine or Long Grain or Ponni Raw or Sona Masoori) 1 Cup (I used Ponni )
Tuvar Dal (Split Pigeon Peas ) 3/4th Cup
Ghee 1/3rd cup
Oil (Indian Sesame Oil) 4 tablespoons
Turmeric Powder 1 Teaspoon
Sambar Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Salt - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon
Tamarind - 1 American lime size
Water - 6 cups
Mustard seeds - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves to garnish - about 4 strands
Turnip - 1 Medium Peeled and Cubed
Bell pepper Green - 1 Large Deseeded and Cubed
Tomatoes - 4 Medium Cubed
Chayote - 2 peeled, deseeded and Cubed
Indian Eggplants - 2 Large cubed
Carrots - 3 cubed
Coriander Seeds 1/3 Cup
Dry Red Chillies - 1 handful (more if you need it spicier and less if not, also depends on the spicyness of the chili)
Split Channa Dal - 4 tablespoons
Urad Dal - 2 Tablespoons
---> Wash the Rice and dal together.
---> Soak the Tamarind in 1 cup warm water.
---> Start getting all the vegetables ready, i e, peel, cubed etc.
---> After about 20 minutes, squeeze the tamarind well and take out all the juice.
---> In a pan, add half the oil and ghee, and keep on medium fire, saute all the vegetables together
---> Once the vegetables are half cooked move everything to a pressure cooker
---> Add the washed rice and dal to this and then add the remaining4 and 1/2 cups of water
---> Add the sambar powder, salt and turmeric powder
---> While it comes to a boil, simultanousely start dry roasting all the masala stuff
---> Once the coriander seeds is well roasted, (you will be able to smell it) , make a fine paste, you can add 1/2 cup water to this and make a really good thick paste.
---> By now, the stuff in the pressure cooker will start to have a slow boil, add this masala to that and again wait for another slow boil
---> Close the cooker and put the wight on it and give it about 2 whistles, at the third whistle, make the fire to a low and after 5 minutes switch it off
---> Once the pressure goes down, add the remaining oil and ghee to a pan and on a medium flame, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to it. Once the mustard seeds start to sputter, pour this over the bisibela, and enjoy it HOT ....
Since this really is a one pot meal, you can just have it or make some raita with it or have it with chips.
this measure will easily feed upto 6 hungry people! :)
I forgot to add this yesterday!
You can use shallots or onions also for this.
Taste it and see if the tamarind taste is ok, otherwise, you may add 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste to it, this really depends if the real tamarind is old or new.
Also, when you add the water, make sure your cooker is big enough so this wont boil over, there should some space in between.
And then, once the pressure is down, transfer the contents to another vessel, because there will be some stuck to the cooker. Be careful, not to scrape otherwise the bisi bela will taste burnt.
And then, last but not least, Keep it covered intil you eat otherwise it crusts up and form a hard covering on it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mattar Paneer (Version 1)

I usually make Matar Paneer in 3 ways. This one is my daughter's favorite. I always use Indian Peas (frozen) for this. The ones we get here are too sweet and do not abosrb the spices. you get this at the Indian Store
You Need
1 Packet (Indian) Frozen Peas
1 Packet Paneer (Store Bought)
4 Tomatoes - Chopped
1 Onion - Chopped
Ginger - 1 Inch Piece - Chopped
Garlic - 7 cloves Chopped
Garam Masala - 1 Teaspoon
Jeera Powder- 1 Teaspoon
Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera - 1 Teaspoon
Oil - 3 Teaspoons
Salt - To taste
---> In a Pan, on medium fire, add 1 Teaspoon Oil and Roast the Jeera, once it starts to sizzle add the Onions, garlic and Ginger,
--->Once it starts to brown, add the chopped tomatoes, and saute well on a medium fire
--->Swtich off the stove once it all gets mashed up
--->Let it cool, and once cool, make a gravy out of this, either using a hand blender or food processor
--->In the same pan, add 1 teaspoon oil, and add the peas, and saute well, once it is half cooked, reduce to a low flame, add the gravy and all the masala powders and salt. Let it come to a slow boil.
--->Garnish with coriander leaves and paneer (see below)
If you like the paneer as is, then just add it to the pan.
My kids don't like it that way, what I do is cube the paneer and lay them flat on a dosa pan and then add very little oil and keep all of them on a low flame, and turn both sides equally, so they get a golden hue around it, and then saute again with some salt, and then add this to the gravy...
Serve hot with Rotis....