Suji Idli

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Suji Idlis served with Coconut Chutney

Suji Idlis

Healthy, Delicious and Instant Idlis- No planning, no soaking, no grinding, no fermenting!

We love South Indian food and often have Idlis and Dosas over the week end. Here is a quick recipe for Suji Idlis my Mom makes. The combination of Suji and veggies make a perfect and healthy breakfast. I added some boiled corn to my son’s share of Idlis and he loved them all the more.

You can use any vegetable of your choice. I had these chopped capsicums “left over” from the previous night pizza party and this was a perfect way to utilize them.

Ingredients-

(Makes approximately 10 Idlis)
1 Cup Suji (Semolina)
1 Cup Curd
1 tsp Baking Soda
Boiled Peas and Corn Half Cup (optional)
1 Carrot grated
1/2 Cup Cabbage chopped
Capsicum- Half Cup sliced (green, yellow and red- optional again)
1 Onion chopped fine
1/2 Green Chilies Chopped fine
1 Bunch Coriander chopped fine
1 Tbsp Oil
Mustard seeds (Rai) 1tsp
Salt to taste
1 tsp Urad Dal and Chana Dal

Idli Batter

Idli Batter

Method-

Heat the oil in a sauce pan and add the mustard seeds, once they splutter add the urad dal and chana dal. Add onions to this, fry them till they turn brown, and now add the capsicum and green chilies. Roast this for a minute and then add shredded carrot and cabbage. Now add the suji (semolina) to it. Roast it till the suji starts changing color and releases its aroma. Take it off the heat.

Please note that all vegetables can be added later too with the curd (without frying) My husband likes them to be slightly fired so I do it this way. So if you like you can just avoid frying veggies in the above.
Beat the curd; add 1/4 Cup water or more as required. Add this to the above. Add the boiled peas and corn and Baking Soda. Add salt and mix well.

Grease the Idli Mould. And pour the batter suitable (about 1.5 tbsp) in each idli slot. Place the Idli Mould in cooker and steam for ten minutes. If you are using a microwave, set it for seven minutes.
Serve this with Dhania (Coriander) Chutney, or Dosa Chutney or Sambhar. You will love them.

You can add curry leaves, cashews, grated ginger, potatoes, and shredded coconut too for variety and flavor.

Suji Idlis with Corn and other veggies for Arnav

Suji Idlis with Corn and other veggies for Arnav

Vrat Ke Chawal (Samvat Rice)

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Vrat Ke Chawal- Fasting on Mahashivratri

Vrat Ke Chawal

Vrat Ke Chawal

Charit fasts on Mahashivratri….but he loves to eat, so he had Sabudana Khichdi for breakfast and Dahi Alu Sabji with Singhare flour paraths for lunch and dinner was Vrat ke Chawal….fasting with Charit is a treat in itself- The last time I was fasting for Navratris he made these Chatpata Potato snack for me with grounded peanuts and how I loved it.  Navratris is around the corner and I can’t wait for my fasts to start!

 Here is the recipe for Vrat Rice-

Ingredients-

150 gms Rice

1 Potato chopped

2 Green Chilies chopped

Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1/2 tsp

Black Pepper – 1/4 tsp

3  Cups Water

Ghee- 1 Tbsp

Salt to taste

Chopped Coriander

Lemon Juice- 1 tsp

Method-

In a saucepan heat the ghee, add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.  Now add the chopped potatoes and some salt for them and sauté them.  Let them cook for 3-4 minutes.  Now add the green chilies and sauté for a minute.  Add the rice, salt, pepper, and water.  Cook until the water evaporates.  Add the lemon juice and mix. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with curd and coriander chutney.

You can also add grounded peanuts to this just after you add the potatoes. I made it the first time and happened to add some extra water….I took care of it in the amount mentioned here.

Pav Bhaji

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Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

We had some friends coming over at a short notice- I did not have the time for making an elaborate dinner for them.  Charit suggested Pav Bhaji and so we made that.  It brought back a lot of memories…

Here is the recipe-

Ingredients:

Bhaji-

Oil/Ghee- Half Cup

Onions                                                 3 finely chopped

Tomatoes                                           3 finely chopped

Potatoes                                             4 boiled and mashed

Peas                                                     1 cup (Boiled and mashed)

Carrot                                                  1/2 cup chopped (Boiled and mashed)

Beans                                                    1/2 cup chopped (Boiled and mashed)

Cabbage                                              1/2 cup chopped finely (Boiled and mashed)

Capsicum                                            1/2 cup chopped finely

Cauliflower                                        1 cup chopped finely (Boiled and mashed)

Ginger paste                                      1′ inch piece

Garlic paste                                        8-10 cloves

Green chilies                                     2-3 finely chopped

Masala Powders

Turmeric 1 tsp

Zeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1 tsp

Dhania Powder                 (Coriander powder)       3 tsp

Jeera Powder (Cumin Powder)                                1 tsp

Chili powder                                                                    as per taste

Pav bhaji masala                                                           5 tsp

Salt                                                                                      Acc to taste

Chopped Coriander                                                     for garnishing

Lemon juice                                                                   2 tsp

Pav (Buns) Halved as required

Butter –                                2 Tbsp

Method-

Heat Ghee in a saucepan and add cumin seeds to it.  Once they crackle the chopped onions.  Now add the ginger and garlic paste.  Sauté for 5- 7 minutes till the onions start turning transparent.  Now add the chopped tomatoes + the green chilies and after 2-3 minutes when the tomatoes turn soft, add the chopped capsicum, fry for a couple of minutes and now add the mashed boiled veggies.  Add the masala powders (as well as salt) mentioned above and stir.  Let the bhaji cook at medium flame as you stir and mash the vegetables with a spatula as you stir.  Add half the butter now and keep the rest for garnishing while serving.

Once the gravy is thick and vegetables evenly mashed, add the lemon juice and mix well.  Now garnish with chopped coriander and butter.

For the Pav, slit them horizontally leaving them attached on one end.  Apply quantity of butter as desired and place them on a sauce pan until golden brown.

Serve the hot Pav Bhaji with lemon wedges and chopped onions.

Strawberry Shake- Yummy and simple to make

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Arnav enjoying his Strawberry Shake

Arnav enjoying his Strawberry Shake

Strawberry Shake-

Arnav is not very fond of milk, so I have to keep on coming up with ways to make it interesting for him.  These days he loves to have Strawberry shake and we join him too!  It is refreshing and tastes awesome.  As you can see from the picture, he could not resist taking a sip when I was trying to take a photo for the blog.

Ingredients (2 Servings)-

10-12 hulled (leaves/stem removed) Strawberries

2 Cups Milk

2 Tbsp Ice cream (I use Vanilla)

Sugar as per taste

Method-

Put all the ingredients in a blender, cover the lid and blend for a minute- until smooth.  The Strawberry shake is ready, pour it in a glass, and enjoy!

Today is very special!

It is Mom-Dad’s Anniversary, here is wishing them the very best in life!

Parle Biscuit Cake- Quick easy and delicious

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Parle Biscuit Cake- Made in cooker

Parle Biscuit Cake

Parle Biscuit Cake- Made in a Pressure Cooker

Parle G Biscuits- I love them with tea and once in a while Arnav joins me to enjoy this treat.  I remember our pet dog Cheeku used to love these biscuits and I would treat him to my share of biscuits too. It was nice to have Cheeku around when we were growing up…to play with him after coming back from school and take him for walks…to bursting into peals of laughter when he scared strangers (now that is not kind I know, but who said we were perfect!).  I hope one day I can bring in a Labrador pup for Arnav ….it is good Arnav can’t read it out here or else he would insist on having one right now…right here.

I saw this recipe on FoodLyrics.com and fell for the idea…simple, quick, easy and what I liked the most about it was the ingredients were handy.It tastes good and the texture is fine too.  I followed the recipe and instructions that Deepa mentioned, I just added a little milk powder and milk cream, and here it goes-

Ingredients-

Parle G Biscuit powdered- 2 Cups

Grounded Sugar- 1 Cup (or lesser as per taste)

Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp

Baking Powder- 1 tsp

Milk- 1 Cup

Milk Powder- 1 Tbsp (optional)

Milk Cream- 1/2 Tbsp (optional)

Method-

In a bowl take powdered biscuits, add the sugar, milk powder and baking powder and mix.  Now add the Vanilla essence, Milk, and milk cream.  Whisk properly until the mixture is smooth. Add the dry fruits.  Now transfer this batter into an 8 inch round baking tin.

Place the tin in the pressure cooker.  Remove the gasket/ring of the cooker.  Keep the whistle on and bake the cake.  Like Deepa has suggested- the first five minutes on high flame and then 15 to 20 minutes on medium flame. Remove the lid to check if the cake is baked.  You can check by inserting a knife/skewer to see if it is baked.

It takes slightly more time for the cake to bake from center, so as Deepa suggests keep the lid on of the cooker even after you take it off the heat.  The steam helps to bake the cake from the center.

Remember-

Don’t put any water in the cooker

The cake batter should not be too liquid- change the milk/sugar content as per the amount of powdered biscuits.

Take the ring/gasket out of the pressure cooker while baking the cake.

It tasted very nice and we loved it!  Thanks again Deepa for this quick, easy and delicious recipe.

Why is today so special?

Leena and Kishore are our close friends and this cake is for their kids Saveer and Soni…they turn five today, I remember the first time I saw them, Soni a few hours old was looking  all  around, alert and active, Saveer was sleeping calmly. Here is wishing them happiness and good health! You rock guys!

Here is their picture as on 31  December 2005 (their first New Year Party), Arnav was 5 months and they were ten months.

Arnav Saveer Soni- First New year Party!

Arnav, Saveer & Soni- First New Year Party!

 

Chawal Rajma (Rice and Red kidney bean curry)

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Rajma (Red Bean Curry)

Rajma

Rajma

This one brings a big smile on my bro’s face and Arnav’s face too.  However Charit is not very fond of it. As he is away I made it for myself and Arnav. We enjoyed our meal.

Ingredients-

1 Cup Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) soaked overnight

1 tsp Ginger grated

1 Big Onion- Chopped or pureed

1 Tomato- Chopped or pureed

Jeera (Cumin seeds) – 1 tsp

A Pinch of Haldi (Turmeric Powder)

Green Chillies- 2 Slit vertically (optional)

Red Chilli Powder as per taste

Salt as per taste

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Chopped Coriander

1/2 Tbsp Butter/Milk Cream (optional)

1 Tbsp Oil

A couple of Bay leaves

Method-

Soak the Rama for 6 hours or overnight.  Pressure cook them until they are soft and cooked.  This can take up to half an hour.

Take oil in a pan and heat it.  Add cumin seeds, after a minute add bay leaf.  Add onion paste (or chopped onions) and turmeric powder.  Sauté this for five minutes and then add ginger paste and green chilies.  Keep stirring this so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.  Let this cook until the paste is light brown (approximately ten minutes) now add the tomato paste (or chopped tomatoes) and butter or milk cream.  Cook and stir until the oil starts separating from the gravy.  Add garam masala, salt and red chilli powder.  Add the cooked rajma.  Cover the pan and let the gravy cook for five minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander and rajma is ready to be served.

You can serve it with hot chapatti, naan, bread, jeera rice.

Pizza Tonight!

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Veggie Pizza- Going down the memory lane…

Veg Pizza- Indian Version

Veg Pizza- Indian Version

We all love Pizza, don’t we?  Kids and adults…we might have our favorite toppings though.  I remember  Mom making Pizzas, we did not have many(make it “any”) eating outlets back then in Kota and the only Pizzas I used to have were made by Mom- from the base to the sauce to the topping she would put it together for us.  Back then Mom used to make food keeping me and my brother in mind and now my kitchen is all about what my family likes…it is absolutely thrilling to see Arnav ask for additional servings and Charit asking me to make a particular dish before he is in for some travelling.

I bought the Pizza base from the store- the pizza sauce and toppings are what Mom does (the Indian version)

Ingredients-

Pizza Sauce-

Puree- 2 Onions

Puree- 2 Tomatoes

Olive Oil- 1 tbsp

Garlic Paste- 7/8 Cloves

Red Chili Flakes/Powder as per taste

Salt as per taste

Oregano

Black Pepper

Tomato Ketchup- 1 tbsp

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic paste.  Let it fry for a 2-3 minutes.  Now add the onion puree and sauté it.  Add the red chili flakes.  Let the puree turn brown (will take about ten to fifteen minutes) It is very important for the onion puree to cook properly.  Now add the tomato puree and salt.  Stir as the sauce cooks.  Add tomato ketchup and let it cook for another ten minutes.  Let the water evaporate and the sauce become thick so that it spreads nicely over the pizza base.  Once it reaches that consistency take the sauce pan off the heat and season with oregano and black pepper.  The Pizza Sauce is ready.

Pizza Toppings

Veg Pizza- Assembled

Veg Pizza- Assembled

There are a lot of veggie pizza topping combinations which usually reflect the regional tastes and personal preferences.

I used the following-

Shredded mozzarella blended with Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Green, Yellow, and Red Bell Peppers- finely chopped

Finely Chopped Onions

Finely Chopped Fresh Tomatoes

Chopped Cilantro

Chopped Green Chilies

Shallow fried Paneer Cubes

Jalapenos

Oregano/Chili Flakes for seasoning

 Some of the other variety one could choose from- sweet corn, mushrooms, and zucchini sliced, pineapple, sliced olives, and feta cheese.  I had the above handy so I used those.

I added just a pinch of salt to the chopped veggies for the topping- you can do the same or skip as per your taste.

Assembling and Baking the Pizza

Once you are ready with the Pizza sauce and toppings all you need to do is assemble it.  Spread the Sauce evenly on the Pizza base.  (For my son I first coat the Pizza with a thin layer of melted butter)  Now add the desired toppings and spread the shredded cheese on it.

The right oven temperature adds on to Pizza delight.  Preheat your oven and place the pizza for baking- it will take about 10-12 minutes. Once you can see the cheese turning golden brown and pizza base becoming crisp, take it out and enjoy!

Hung Curd Dip

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Hung Curd Dip

Hung Curd Dip

I had this amazing dip at our friend’s place and have fallen for it…..easy and simple to make, it goes with just about any snack or salad. It makes the perfect dip for chips or fish finger…spread for a toast…dressing for salads…try it! The creamy texture of the hung curd and the flavor of garlic make any snack special when served with this dip.

Ingredients –

Hung Curd- 500 gms
Garlic paste (8-9 cloves)
Salt and pepper as per taste

Method-

Hang the curd in a muslin cloth till the water drains off- (about 4-5 hours). Add the garlic paste and salt and pepper.
I keep it simple, but for variation you can also add onions, capsicum, green chilies, cucumber, red chili flakes, or oregano.

Crispy Arbi Fry/Taro Fry

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Crispy Arbi

Arbi Sabji

Arbi or Colocasia or Taro

Growing up I never had arbi- I don’t remember Mom cooking it too- maybe she did once in a blue moon but it never caught my attention. This one is not used in cooking at my in laws place too. However recently Charit had arbi at a friend’s place and loved it. I must admit that I had a faint clue about what it looked like and there is this embarrassing story about me picking up a wrong vegetable thinking it was arbi. I was so excited and wanted to surprise Charit with Arbi for dinner. Little did I know…I am too embarrassed to even tell what I picked up for Arbi. Fortunately I had my friend Roli over that evening and I kept on telling her how I was planning to make arbi the first time for Charit. And when she happened to see “my Arbi” sliced and ready to be cooked, she was zapped and what followed was…hmmm let’s just skip this one. Roli and I have often discussed this after that!

So now that I finally know what it looks like and picked it up to make this simple yet delicious and crispy Arbi. It was meant to be eaten with Chapattis as a side dish but Charit just snacked away on it and loved it. This one is high on calorie but one can shallow fry it to avoid the same.

Ingredients-

10 – 12 medium sized colocasia/arbi boiled, peeled and cut into 1/2″ thick slices
Oil for frying
Dry Mango Powder (amchoor) – 1.5 tsp
Coriander Powder (dhaniya powder) – 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder as per taste
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder (Haldi) – 1/2 tsp
Ajwain (carom seeds) – 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander
Lemon juice- 1/2 tsp

Method-

Wash the arbi and pressure cook it until a couple of whistles. Peel them and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Heat oil in a sauce pan and deep fry the peeled arbi pieces. Upon cooling add the above mentioned spices and chopped coriander (you can also fry the spices in one tsp oil and then add them). Add a dash of lemon juice- snack away or serve as a side dish with any kind of bread.

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