Thursday, March 19, 2009

How to make Bajji?

I wanted to do this post a long time ago, but whenever I make it, bajjis get over in a second before I can take a picture. So this time, I planned and took step by step pictures....

I don't know why, but in India, whenever it rains we would crave for bajji and Mom would make it for us.... I mentioned this to my kids casually and then one day they both came running from the bus stop and showed their elbows where there was one rain drop and requested me to make bajji!

In our house potato (my son) and onion bajji (my daughter) are very popular, I like the green chili bajji and the indian eggplant bajji, but i dont have pictures of them.

I learnt this recipe from my mom, she never added soda or anything to the bajjis and they were the yummiest...

In chennai, long long ago, when we used to frequent Marina beach, there used to be an old mami who would make the best ever vazhaikai (raw banana) bajji, but now a days there are lots of stalls that sell this but not even close to what she used to make.....
Lets go to the recipe
You need
for the dough
Chick pea flour - 1 cup
Water - 1/2 to 3/4 th cup
Yogurt - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Salt - 1 to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
Chili powder - 1 teaspoon
Hing - 2 dashes
Oil - 3 cups
desired vegetables
potatoes -- slice in even rounds, not too thick or thin
onions -- slice in even rounds, not too thick or thin
or other options are
Indian eggplant , Raw green banana -- cut lengthwise
Green chillies, Banana pepper --slit
---> Take the chick pea four or besan and the water and add the water slowly to it and mix well so there are no lumps, and add the yogurt to this
---> Add the spices and salt and mix well and keep aside for atleast 5 minutes
---> The dough should be like a thick dosa dough, if you put your finger in and take it out there should be an even coating of the dough on your fingers and the dough should remain on your fingers, if the dough is runny then your bajjis will not have the covering.....
---> In a pan, add the oil, (the pan should be big enough to hold atleast 5 cups, otherwise, once you put your bajjis, it will overflow and make a mess) (the pan should also be deep)
---> Keep the fire on medium flame and let it become hot
--->After a few minutes test the temperature by adding a dollop of the dough, it should immediately bubble and rise up, if it does then it is ready
---> Now insert the veggies one by one and slowly put them in the oil, without burning your fingers
---> The bajjis will rise up and turn them if they are golden brown on one side and take them out of the oil once they are golden all over....

**** Never leave the stove unattended because oil can catch fire if you leave it for tooo long.
**** If you like you may add some food color to make them orange, but I like them the natural color.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Long Beans and Black Eyed Peas Dry Curry

This is one way to include protiens in your diet, or when you want to increase the amount of the curry you are making ....
You can use frozen black eyed peas or the canned ones.
I soaked the dry ones the previous night and drained them out...
You Need
Long Beans - Chopped - About 2 cups
Black eyed Peas - 1 and 1/2 cups
Salt - 1 to 2 teaspoons
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard - 1 teasoon
Red Chili - 1
---> In a kadai, put the long beans and the Black Eyed Peas and add 1/2 cup water and salt and close the lid...
---> Keep looking at the pan every 5 minutes or so to make sure the water in the pan does not evaporate making the curry burn
--->Add more water if needed in between
--->Once the curry is cooked, you will know this when you can break the long beans when gently pushed with a fork
--->Switch off the stove and in a separate pan, add the oil and the mustard seeds and when it sputters add the red chili and pour it while sizzling on to the curry that you made...
Garnish with coriander and curry leaves,

This can be had with rotis or rice.....

Kannare Pinnare Salad

"Kannare Pinnare Kaatha Aruthaare " There is no literal meaning of this sentence in tamil but it concludes that what ever it is, it is a mix up / no head or tail / abolutely no reference.... etc
My mom used to say this when
She watched a bad movie ......kannare pinnare oru cinema......
She had gone to wedding and the food was bad .... kannare pinnare nu oru menu....

and coming to this Kannare Pinnare Salad......
I took a regular salad and mixed the Curry Leaf Podi in it and ate it, it was ...... kannare pinnare in the sense but it didnt taste bad.... just try it once in a while :)

Kariveppilai Podi --- Curry Leaf Podi

This is a very nice podi to have at all times. Comes in handy when you don't want to cook an elaborate meal, all you have to do is cook rice and mix this and eat it!

You can learn more about this leaf here.

My mom used to add some dry leaves in the coconut oil we used to apply for our hair, so there is all kinds of uses to this leaf.
If you make this wet, then it is called thuvayal (thogayal), but I make it dry so it can last longer...
You need
3 bunches of curry leaves (the mount you get in an indian store) all washed and dried
Dry red chillies - a handfu
Salt - 2 teaspoons
hing- 3/4 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1/4 cup
Sesame seed- half of 1/4th cup
Oil - 2 teaspoon
---> If you are including the sesame seeds, then roast that first in a tawa until they start jumping around and keep aside and let cool on a big plate
---> Add the oil, and then the urad dal and when it starts to get a golden color, add the hing and red chillies and roast till you start coughing :) ...... take them out and let cool on the same plate you put the sesame seed
---> Now when the roasted stuff are all cool to touch, put them in the dry mixer and make a coarse powder and then add the curry leaves and salt and make a fine powder.......
---> Lasts for a long time in an airtight container unless you put a wet spoon in it.......
How to eat this.....
---->In hot rice, add a dab of ghee and mix the podi ferociously until all the rice is coated well and enjoy.....
(The amount of podi you mix differs with every person, if you like it spicy then add more and vice versa....)
--->I added mine in a salad and called it Kannare Pinnare Salad!! Read more about it in my next post!!! :)
---> Make a batch of small idlies and let cool. In a pan, add some oil. When it heats, add the mustard, let it sputter. Add some Chopped Green Chilies and  urad dal and some of this powder and hing. Toss the idlies in and mix well. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top if neccesary.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sedona White Corn Torilla soup

California Pizza Kitchen is my all time favorite restaurant. I just love everything about it right from the decor to the food. My fav pizza there is the Tostada. Everytime I walk in, I will say to my family that "Today I will order something else other than a tostada" and then order the Tostada breaking all the rules!! I just love that pizza.
We go there almost 5 to 6 times a year!

This is a soup from that restaurant. I have this recipe book, with some of the recipes from CPK.I made this for a party so I tripled the ingredients, tasted great!
Some people found the soup to be spicy so you can tone down the jalapenos if you don't want it to be that spicy!!
California Pizza Kitchen Sedona White Corn Tortilla Soup
Yield: 6 Servings
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 seven-inch Corn Tortillas cut into 1" squares
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh Garlic
2 Tbsp. minced White Onion
1 1/2 ts minced Jalapeno Pepper
1 lb. White Corn kernels
1 1/2 lbs. chopped; ripe red -Tomatoes
1/3 c Tomato Paste
2 1/2 ts ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1/8 ts ground White Pepper
1/2 ts Chili Powder
1 1/2 c Water
1 qt vegetable stock
24 blue corn tortilla chips -(optional garnish)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese -(optional)
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro -(optional)

--->Over medium-high heat, fry tortilla squares in olive oil until they beginto crisp and turn a golden yellow.
--->Add garlic, onion and jalapeno; cook 1to 2 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.
--->Add half the corn along withall other ingredients (except garnishes), reserving other half of corn tobe added atthe end. Bring the soup to a low, even boil.
--->Boil for 5 minutes.Remove soup from heat.
--->Use a hand blender to process in batches to the consistency of coarse puree
If you dont have a hand blender, just put it in your food processor or mixer and make puree in batches.
--->Add the reserved corn to the puree
--->Bring the soup toa boil once again being extremely careful to avoid scorching or burning thesoup.
--->Serve, garnished with blue corn tortilla chips, cilantro and sharp cheddar cheese.

I also added some chopped green onions to it. Tasted Yummy!!!!
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I made this salad for a party... It has
Broccoli Slaw
Purple Cabbage

I made a dressing which had
Lemon Zest
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cabbage Curry -

This cabbage curry does not use onions or garlic,.
This is how it is made in traditional Iyer households
Just cut the cabbage in any shape you like, This is 1 whole cabbage, I like it shredded.
Cabbage - Shredded about 5 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 teaspoon or as needed
Oil - 1 Teaspoon
Mustard - 1/2 teaspoon
Urad Dal - 1 teaspoon or more if you like it
Red Chili - 1
Curry Leaves - 1 strand
Shredded Coconut - 1 cup (optional)
--->Put in a pan which has a lid and add very little water and add about a teaspoon of salt,
keep the stove on a medium high
--->Keep stirring every 5 minutes
--->In less than 15 minutes, you will see the cabbage will start to wilt and the water will start to reduce a lot
--->At this point you have to watch carefully untill all water evaporates or if you don't have time, take the water out carefully and add it to your rasam or kootu or dal
--->In a small pan, add the oil and then the mustard seeds and once it sputters add the urad dal and red chili and stir until the urad dal starts to get a golden hue, at this point pour it over the cabbage, add the curry leaves to the cabbage and then if you like add the shreeded coconut!
That is it...
Enjoy with a nice sambar or rasam.
You can add some frozen peas to the cabbage .....
You can add some frozen corn to the cabbage .....
You can add some carrots to the cabbage ....
or a combination of the above also tastes great...