Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

This is an easy Yummilicious soup.

I just want to record some of the toddler recipes that my son enjoys.

I love my recent purchase- 1 and half liter pressure cooker. Lets me cook food for my toddler easily.

For this soup, you will need

Cut cubes of Butternut Squash- I used half a packet cut butternut cubes that Trader Joe's sells. Did I tell you how much I love TJs. The hardest part about this recipe is peeling and cutting the squash. So if you find precut banana squash, you are in for luck.

1 tomato- for half a packet squash

Garlic 1 or 2 pods (optional)

A pinch of dried ginger powder (optional) (Could not locate fresh ginger in my overcrowded fridge;-)

A pinch of cinnamon powder

A pinch of dried Oregano flakes


Place all of this in the pressure cooker and add salt and pepper as per taste and enough water and close the lid and place the whistle. Let it cook for 10-15 mins or until a few whistles.

When it gets a little cooler, I blended it with a hand blender.

Adjust seasoning, serve it in a bowl and drain it;-)

For a lil thicker/heavier toddler version: Add a little milk, butter and some grated cheese- Warm it for 10 seconds or till the cheese melts and add the soup to this and enjoy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vaztha Kuzhambu/Puli Kuzhambu

Vaztha Kuzhambu as the Tam Brahms call it or Puzhi Kuzhambu as my side of the family calls is a very easy to make and uses very few ingredients. In fact my mom would make it when she was almost out of vegetables and was left with one or two brinjals/drumstick/arbi etc.

There are so many different ways to make it. I prefer the one with lesser ingredients and the one without tomatoes, and coconut+ chana dal paste.

Coming to the Recipe:

Ingredients:
Your choice of vegetables- Few Bringal/Drumsticks/Arbi/Lady’s finger/Pearl onion/Capsicum/ Vazthals (dried vegetables like sundakai (Turkey berry) /mana thakalli (black nightshade)- How I wish I could these vazthals here- Sigh!!)
Garlic- 2-3 pods sliced vertically
Tamarind pulp – Soak lemon sized tamarind inn water and make a pulp out of it (or 2-3 teaspoons of readymade tamarind paste)
Sambar powder- 2 to 2.5 teaspoons (Adjust to taste)
Rice powder to thicken the gravy (Optional)
Salt


Temper With:
Sesame Oil ( This recipe calls for a little more oil than usual)
Fenugreek seeds- 1 teaspoon (Definitely use sesame oil and fenugreek seeds for the authentic taste)Few whole peppercorns
Urad Dal
Mustard seeds

Heeng
Red Chillies-2/3
Curry Leaves


For today’s recipe I used lady’s finger and pearl onions.



Add a teaspoon of oil and add cut lady’s finger and saute them till the stickiness is gone and it is almost cooked. Do this in a very low flame.

To a pan, add all the ingredients for tempering, and then add pearl onions and cooked lady’s finger. Saute them for a few minutes and add turmeric and sambar powder. Add the turmeric pulp and few cups of water. Puzhi kulambu is usually thick, so don’t make it too watery. Reduce the flame and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Adjust sambar powder/tanginess level. If needed, make a paste with a few teaspoons of rice powder and add it to the kulambu to thicken it. You will see a gleam of oil when done. Trust me, I am usually very conscious of the amount of oil I use. But there are certain dishes that you have to add the right amount of oil to get it right.



Enjoy it with hot rice.



P.S: For authentic Tam Brahm recipes, I find these videos really helpful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxuPyTU3ZOs
It is really touching to see Maama and Maami put in so much effort to make these videos for their son in Canada.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chepan kizhangu Masiyal (Mashed Arbi /Taro root)


I was working from home a few days ago, and decided to make use of the time at home to cook a proper lunch:). Proper lunch to me means, rice with sambar/Kuzhambu + some vegetable curry. I made Puzhi kuzhambu+ one of the chettinad specialities, Chepan kizhangu masiyal.

A picture of this masiyal does not really look very nice. Even when u serve it might look kind of odd, but trust me what it lacks in looks it more than makes up in its taste.

The recipe is quite simple. One recommendation though, to get that special chettinad taste, you should definitely use- Saunf, Garlic , Tamarind and Sambar powder in this recipe.

Required Ingredients:

Boiled and peeled arbi- Cut them into the size shown in the picture
I used 5 arbis for this recipe- I generally microwave them for about 15-20 mins in a glass bowl with water. You don’t have to worry about this getting overcooked, as it will be semi-mashed later on, anyways.

1 Onion - Finely chopped
1.5 tomatoes- Coarsely chopped
Garlic- 3-4garlic pods, finely chopped
(depends on your tolerance level for garlic taste)
Sambar powder- 2 - 2 1/2 teaspoons (depending on your taste)
Turmeric Powder- A pinch
Salt
– According to your taste
An inch of Tamarind –Soak it in a few drops of water and microwave it for around 30secs and make a paste out of it (Or 1/2- 1 spoon of readymade tamarind paste).
1 or 1.5 slit green chillies- (optional)



For Tempering:
Oil – Preferably Indian Sesame oil
Urad dal-1 teaspoon
Saunf- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Red Chillies- 1 or 2
Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
Heeng- A pinch
Curry leaves




Use a heavy bottomed vessel, as cooked arbi gets stuck to the pan.

Add 2-3 spoons of oil to the pan and temper with urad dal, saunf, heeng, red chillies, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Once mustard seeds splutter, add chopped garlic, onion and slit green chillies.

Saute until onion is slightly browned. Add chopped tomatoes and saute them for a few minutes. Finally add turmeric powder, sambar powder, tamarind pulp and then arbi.

Close the lid and let it cook for 15-20 minutes. Open the lid and stir intermittently, to prevent arbi from getting stuck to the pan. Add some more oil if you want your arbi to be little crispier. Taste and adjust spice/tanginess level.

Enjoy it with rice and some gravy or with Rotis. I must say that it tastes best with the quintessential curd rice.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wheat Sooji Dosai (Gothumai Rava Dosai)


The only place I have had Gothumai (Wheat) Dosai is at my grand parent's place. Summer vacations at grand parent's place usually meant a lot of cousins and aunts around. We used to have gothumai dosai many a times for dinner. The main reason being by the time night rolled around, the dosa batter was almost gone and the women in the house had to come up with creative ways to stretch the batter to fill up the growling stomachs of the kids. My grandfather was a diabetic, so it was also thought gothumai dosai was a better substitute instead of idlis/regular dosais for him.

Coming back to the present, I came back from office today and was very hungry. I wanted some easy tiffin kind of food and was not in the mood for rice or chapathi. When I was rummaging through my pantry shelf, I could find only half a pack of Gits Rava Dosa mix and nothing else with which I could come up with something in a jiffy.

Half a pack of Rava dosa mix was not going to be enough for dinner for both of us. I was thinking about what I could do, when my eyes caught a pack of unused atta. I had bought this pack of atta with the hopes of making home made rotis, but that hope remains a hope, as I keep going back to the convenience of store bought readymade rotis. Looking at the only few options I had, I decided I could possibly make gothumai rava dosa.


I remebered bits and pieces of how to make gothumai dosai from my grandmother’s place, but did not want to make mistakes while getting the batter ready as these dosais turn out little sticky and gooey. Anyway did a google search and Mahanandi Indira’s Gothumai Dosai caught my eye.


This very easy recipie goes like this:

½ cup of rava dosa mix
(If you use regular rava, you would have to soak it for 15-20 mins and then mix wheat flour)
½- ¾ cup of wheat flour
Salt


Since gothumai dosai is little bland for my taste, decided to throw in:

A pinch of Heeng
¼ inch finely chopped ginger
1 green chilly finely chopped
Corinader/curry leaves finely chopped
Water


The batter needs to little watery than regular dosa batter but not too watery either. Mix everything together and let it stand for about 5-10 minutes. In the meantime whipped up quick onion+ginger chutney to go with the dosa. More on that later.

Since this dosai tends to get a little sticky, scatter little bit of chopped onion on the tava, wait for a few seconds, then pour the batter. (Picked up this tip from Sanjay Thumma’s rava dosa video). Spread the batter around and add oil around the edges. It is not very easy to spread the gothumai dosai batter as Indira notes in her recipie. I guess the rava in my batter and the onions on the tava helped a bit and made it easier. This dosa however requires little more oil than regular dosa

Verdict: I enjoyed it and my husband also liked it very much. Had to literally grab the last dosa from him for a picture for posting on this blog. The picture looks bad though :(

Since I used up ingredients from my pantry shelf for this recipie and was inspired by Indira’s recipe, sending it out to Nupur’s “What’s Lurking in Your Kitchen