June 19, 2007


Vangi Bhaat is my offering for Nupur from 'One Hot Stove' blog's "A to Z Indian Vegetalbles" event. This week's letter is "V", thanks Nupur!:))

I am also sending this as one of my entries to Sangeeta from "Ghar Ka Khana" for JFI "Eggplants". Thanks Sangeeta!:))

Vangi Bhaat:
'Vangi' is Eggplant and 'Bhaat' means spiced rice.This time I made my favorite rice dish spiced with Eggplants sauteed in oil and mixed with an very tasty blend of spice powders.I already have my mom's Vangi Bhaat at Foodie's Hope.This is another version of Vangi Bhaat I make.If you have the dry masala powder handy, Vangi Bhaat makes a quick brunch when don't want to cook too many dishes.I serve this with crisps or Sev and some plain yogurt too,a perfect dish for "V"! Enjoy.

Beautiful long purple Eggplants:

I feel that these are the best kind of Eggplants to make Vangi Bhaat.But as long as the Eggplants are firm and fresh,I guess you can use other varieties as well.Short,round dark purple Eggplants will work fine too.

Here is a simple,quick and tasty Vangi Bhaat:

Vangi Bhaat itself is not very photogenic dish although it tastes fabulous! To make it a little attractive and give a contrast of colors,I added a ring of Madras style Sev around it! Now it's looks great,doesn't it? Imagine it without the Sev around it! ;D

Vangi Bhaat powder:

Roast 2 tbsp dry coconut, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, 2 tsp Urad dal,1 tbsp Chana dal,1 tsp Sesame seeds,2-3 red chillies,few pepper corns,1" cinnamon,2 cloves,1/2 tsp Turmeric.Cool and powder.Store it in a air tight jar and use as much as you need to mix in the Vangi Bhaat.

How to make it:

You need: 3-4 purple Eggplants,chopped into long rectangle pieces.3-4 tbsp oil,1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 2 tsp each of Urad and Chana dal,1-2 red chillies,salt and 2-3 tbsp Tamarind juice.2 Cups cooked and cooled any long grain or Sona Massori rice.
1. Heat oil,add mustard seeds,Urad dal,Chana dal,red chillies,When reddish,add Eggplant pieces and fry until half way fried.
2. Add salt and tamarind juice,2 tbsp Vangi Bhaat pd and simmer on low heat until oil shows on top and Eggplants are soft and shiny.DO NOT add water.
3. Add to cooked and cooled rice and mix well.Adjust the salt.Serve after keeping it for 2-4 hrs. with yogurt and crisps.

Note: If you just want to make the sauce to use it later,make the sauce( must add salt the Eggplant sauce to make it tastier)and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to mix with rice.Heat in the Microwave for 1-2 mins before you mix with cooled rice.After mixing,do not keep in the fridge.Vangi Bhaat always tastes best when served at room temp.

Enjoy the Vangi Bhaat and have a great week!Can you believe,I don't have the time to post any other dish at Aroma this week except this??!!Shocking but true!!:D

June 15, 2007


Uppittu with Salsa is my contribution to Nupur from 'one hot stove' blog's "A to Z Vegetables" event for the letter "U", thanks Nupur!

Spicy Salsa Uppittu/Upma is also my second entry to Trupti from 'Spice who loved me' blog is hosting Weekend Breakfast Blogging this month.Thanks Trupti!:))

Masala Uppittu!
Here is a unique spicy masala breakfast Upptittu/Upma with the combination Semolina,Yellow cornmeal and hot Salsa!
You can make two kinds or consistency of Uppittu. One soft like Pudding which is mouldable and other one is little drier and loose textured Uppittu somewhat like Cous Cous.It depends on how much water you add to the Uppittu. Add more liquid in the ratio of 1 cup of dry mix to 2 cups of liquid to make soft Uppittu,it's up to you.I like this particular Cornmeal Uppittu a little on the drier side.You can make adjustment as you like it.

Semolina-Salsa-Cornmeal Uppittu:

It was pretty hard to take photos of this colorful dish because of intense color of Salsa!!Either it was too dark or too light,couldn't get the right balance.

You Need: Serves 4

1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal(coarse like rava),1 cup Rava/Semolina/Cream of wheat,2 tbsp butter,2 tsp oil,1 tsp Cumin seeds,1/2 tsp Coriander seeds pd,1/2 cup each of red onion finely chopped,red or green bell pepper finely diced, Corn(fresh or frozen or canned),1/4 cup greenpeas,1-2 Jalapenos chopped,1/2 cup hot salsa,1/4 cup yogurt,salt,1 tsp sugar(optional) and about 3/4 cup or more water to the consistency of your liking.Cilantro and lemon slices for garnishing.(Other veggies you can add to this are Carrots,Greenpeas, Greenbeans all finely chopped)

How to make it:

Heat a 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan,add Rava,fry for 3 mins,cool it on a Paper towel.Add 1 tsp oil again and Cornmeal to the pan,stir fry until lightly roasted and pour it on the Rava. Heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in the same pan,add cumin seeds.When reddish,add onion,Jalapeno saute for a min.Add bell peppers,saute and add corn,stir-fry for a minute.Add salsa,yogurt,coriander pd,salt and sugar,cook until there is a thickish sauce.

Add 1-1 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil.Adjust the salt,turn down the heat to simmer and stream in both the flours into the pan slowly,stirring all the time to mix well.If it's very dry,you can add more to thin it.This Cornmeal Uppittu should be little loose textured.Once the water is absorbed,if it looks very dry,add a touch of water if necessary.Cover and cook on low heat until Rava is soft and cooked.

To Serve: Sprinkle Cilantro on the Uppittu and serve warm with Yogurt or lemon slices,and some Sev sprinkled on it if you like.Enjoy the spicy breakfast!

Another look:


June 10, 2007


Tex-Mex Corn Bread is my contribution to Sara's "Weekend cookbook challenge #17 ". This event is hosted by Ani from "Food chickie" blog this month with a theme to cook with "Cornmeal".Thanks for hosting Ani!:)

A page out of my cookbook:

I chose to bake my Tex-Mex Corn bread recipe from "Ultimate Bread" book written by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.I found and bought this wonderful bread making book in my local library in a discarded pile with a 'withdrawn' stamp! Of course,I was deliriously happy to find this precious book.It has basic bread recipes explained in detail with fabulous pictures and they make it so simple to bake a complicated breads.Well...check out this book if you can and enjoy as much as I do.

Tex-Mex corn bread with a bowl of spicy chili!

A wonderful, light and crunchy Corn bread, a classic Mexican bread makes a great accompaniment for a spicy bowl of chili.It is usually made with a cast iron pan and sometimes with a Corn design as well! I used a heavy bottomed wider round pan.Since I baked in a slightly bigger pan than recommenced pan,the bread came out little less puffed than in the photo up there.It has a Tex-Mex variation to the regular Corn Bread,which I chose to do.It tasted great with a crunchy bottom and soft inside,just out of this World with a bowl of Chili!

This is how I baked Corn bread:

You need:
1 cup fine yellow Cornmeal,1 cup plain flour, 2 tsp baking pd, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp melted butter, 2 Eggs beaten,2/3 cup Buttermilk, 2/3 cup milk,2 minced Jalepenos or 1 tsp red chilli flakes,1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese,1/4 tsp dried Oregano.
A 9" wide and 2" deep round or square pan (Cast iron or non-stick) lightly sprayed with no- stick oil.

Spray the pan, put it in the oven and preheat the oven to 425F. Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl and whisk well.In another bowl, beat 2 eggs,add in melted butter,buttermilk and milk.Make a well in the dry flour mix,add all the liquid and fold in gently with a spatula until mixed.Too much mixing will result in a dense bread!

Take out the sizzling pan out of the oven carefully,pour the batter inti it and return to the oven.Bake for 20-25mins or until it leaves the side and center is baked fully when tasted with a wooden skewer.Take it out,invert on a rack and cool.Cut into squares or wedges.Store in a zip-lock bag and re-heat when needed.

Another look:

Serve warm with butter as a snack or serve with a spicy bowl of Chili for a hearty meal.Enjoy!:))

June 7, 2007


Tendli stir-fry/subzi ,an easy and quick side dish is my contribution to Nupur from 'One Hot Stove" blog's "A to Z Indian Vegetables"s event.This week's letter is "T ". Thanks you Nupur!:)


There are many names for this vegetable.Some of them are Tendli,Tindora,Kovakka,Ivy gourd and Tondekai in Kannada etc.I don't usually get these in any regular US grocery stores but are available in Indian stores.I grab them whenever I can get my hands on them at the Indian grocers and make this stir-fry!:)

Tendli Subzi:

Whatever you choose to call this veg,it's a delicious and so quick to make veggie.Well..they are a blander than other veggies ,so little more spices than usual are needed to make them taste good.They are good accompaniment to any Parathas,Rice rotis and as a side dish with plain rice and Sambhar.Because this dish is so simple to make,I didn't take any step by step photos.

Here is how I made it:

You need:
About 2-3 cups of sliced Tendlis,cut each into halves,salt,chilli pd,1 tsp garam masala,1 tbsp Coriander pd,1 tsp cumin seeds pd,1 tsp Lemon juice,cilantro.
For seasoning:1 tbsp oil,1/2 tsp mustard seeds,1/2 tsp cumin seeds,1-2 red dry chillies,few curry leaves,1 tsp each Urad dal and Chana dal,1 small onion finely chopped.

How to:
1. Heat a non-stick pan,add all the seasoning ingredients.When onions are reddish,add sliced Tendlis and stir-fry on medium heat.
2. Fry these until thee skin puckers a bit.I like them just a little bit soft but still crunchy to bite.
3. Add salt and all the other dry masala and stir fry sprinkling some water if you need it to prevent burning the veggies.
4. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins,adjust the spices.Add cilantro and lemon juice and serve with rotis etc.

Tondekai Palya-Akki Rotti:

That's it.Enjoy!:))

June 4, 2007


Idli-Saagu is my contribution to Nandita from 'Saffron Trail' blog's event WBB #12. Trupti from 'The spice who loved me' blog is hosting Weekend Breakfast Blogging this month.Thanks for choosing "Spice it up" theme, Trupti!:))

Saagu is a classic Karnataka breakfast side dish and very popular one at that for all Kannadigas.(Sia was asking me in the morning whether I have Poori-Saagu recipe as I was getting ready to post this today!) It's spicy and delicious,usually paired up with Pooris but can be served with Idlis and Dosas too.It's also usually made with lot of mixed veggies,can practically use any veggies you like.I used Chayote Squash and some Methi leaves this time,makes a great tasting Saagu.
There are many but slight variations of the same Saagu recipe.Main ingredients of Saagu to give you that classic taste are always are coconut,poppy seeds and green chillies along with other spices.I have already posted one Poori-Saagu dish at FH, (my mom's recipe) last year using Greenpeas.I was new to blogging then,so pics are not that good there but that Saagu recipe is yummy too!;D Here is another Saagu recipe with slightly different ingredients.Enjoy:)

Chayote-Carrot-Greenpeas Saagu:

How to make Saagu:

Grind 1/2 cup coconut,3-4 green chillies,2 tbsp chana dalia(chutney dal),1/4 cup cilantro,few mint leaves,Curry leaves,2 tsp raw rice,1 small Garlic,salt,1" cinnamon, 2 cloves,2 tbsp soaked poppy seeds,few peppercorns with little water until a smooth paste.(roasting is not required) Keep it aside.Cook 2 peeled,cubed Chayotes,2 Carrots,sliced,1 cup frozen or fresh Greenpeas,4 tbsp Methi leaves until soft with 2 cups of water.

Heat 1 tbsp ghee and oil mix,add 1 cup chopped onions,fry until slightly reddish.Add the all the cooked veggies,salt and boil.Turn down the heat,add coconut paste,2 tbsp sour cream and simmer gently,never boil to prevent curdling.After little oil shows on top,add cilantro and take off the heat and mix well.Serve with hot soft Idlies.

Note: Batter is made with the same ingredients as the "Idlies" link above explains but steamed in a regular smaller round Idli stand like below instead of plate idli steamers.

Getting ready to steam Idlis(Rice cakes):

And Voila!!:)

Here is a plate of Idli-Saagu for you,dig in if you are really that hungry!;D

Updated with Poori-Saagu!

Have fun eating an authentic hearty Karnataka breakfast for a best start of the day!:)

June 1, 2007


Saag Bhaji,is my contribution to Nupur from "One Hot Stove" blog's "A to Z Indian Vegetables" event.This week's letter is "S", thanks for hosting Nupur!:)

My second batch of homegrown Red Radishes:

First batch of these beauties came very early in the Spring which I used for making Radish Kadhi and send it to Kalyn's WHB.They are so easy to grow,when I pluck one batch I throw some seeds immediately for the next batch.Saag means greens.I used these red radishes with it's greens,Mustard greens,Methi leaves and some Spinach to make this delicious Bhaji.With a very few spices and besan,it's creamy and delectable to have with Bhakri or any kind of Rotis.Since it's a one pot dish, I didn't take any step by step pictures.Enjoy:)

Mixed Saag Bhaji:

You need:
6-8 cups or 1 bunch of each or any greens you like with sliced red radishes,2 tbsp Besan(Chickpea flour),2 tsp oil and 2 tsp butter.Lemon slices to garnish.
To Season: 1 tsp each mustard seeds and Cumin seeds,2 tsp each Urad dal and Channa dal,1 red chilly,2 green chillies chopped,curry leaves(optional),1 small onion chopped.
How to make it:
1. Heat oil and butter in a non-stick pan,add all the seasoning ingredients on e by one,stir fry.
2. When onions are reddish,add besan and stir until it's slightly cooked.
3. Put in all the washed and chopped greens,salt,stir until they wilt.Add a cup of water,cover and cook the greens.
4. Open the lid,check for seasonings and if it's too thick you can add some more water.Gravy should be thickish,not too thin.
5. Put it in a bowl and squeeze some lemon juice or serve slices when you serve with Rotis.

Saag Bhaji with Rice Rotti:

Enjoy the delicious Bhaji with Roti.Have a great weekend.


Here are some tips on Greens for Sushma's Tipolgy for the month June.Thanks Sushma:)

1. You'll need to cook more fresh greens per person than you might think since when chopped and cooked,greens are reduced literally to handfuls.Adjust the amount accordingly.
2. Some sour greens like Gongura leaves react with metal pans,so take care to cook them with non-stick pans or non-reactive pans.
3. Keep the greens unwashed in the fridge wrapped in paper towels until you are ready to wash and cook.Damp greens do not store well for more than a day.
4. To wash the greens, fill a sink with slightly warm water,add the leaves and let them soak for few mins and rinse well under the faucet to get the all the grits and soil.Place on the clean towel to dry or use salad spinner.
5. Remove the hard stems from older Swiss chard, spinach, kale, or beet greens by tearing the ends off.Hard stems do not cook well or taste good.
6. If you want cooked and dried Spinach, cook and let it cool. Squeeze out the water using a cheese cloth or a muslin cloth.
7. Greens are full of beta-carotene, with the darkest greens having the most. For supplying these presumed cancer-fighting antioxidants. They are also rich in Calcium.
8. Use young tender greens in salads raw for maximum nutrition and do not cook Greens for a long time to retain the color and nutrition in them.
9. Greens are healthier for us all,a cheaper and the best way to get natural vitamins.Try and add more greens in your daily diet.Greens have Folate which is a very important Vitamin to pregnant women and women in general.
10. Best greens of all variety is Kale and Spinach which are greenest.Other most common greens you can cook with are Collards,Beet greens,Mustard greens,Radish greens,swiss Chard,etc.

Make your life more greener!:))