June 23, 2008

Parading Injera, Griddle Omelet and cheesy Hash with Wasabi Mayonnaise!

Susan of "The well-seasoned cook"
is hosting a "Pancakes Parade" event this time. Pancakes? We do have thousands of those in India, don't we? I thought why not try a new pancake I have not tried before. So here it is, a Ethiopian Injera with two side dishes and salad! Enjoy Susan, thanks for hosting!:)

A little note:
This is my last post at "Aroma" blog for events this month until the end of August. I will miss cooking for your events but it's time to take a break and rest a bit!
I still have 3 more posts ready to go at my "Foodie's Hope" blog until July 9th. After I post them there, I will be taking a vacation in the cooler Smoky mountain and a long Summer blog break. If you need any recipes from this blog, please type the words in the search engine you see on the sidebar or go to my Recipe Index to search by category or ask me, I will still be moderating the comments here anyway. Enjoy these for now! :)

About Teff:
Teff is staple grain of Ethiopian cuisine and the smallest grain in the world. It takes about 150 teff seeds to equal the weight of a kernel of wheat, so you can imagine how samll! Teff grain is very high in fiber, iron and calcium. It has a sweetish nutty flavor, is completely gluten free ( just like rice flour we use for Neer dosa,) , so you have to mix Teff flour with other flour to make Injera to prevent it breaking into pieces. Teff comes in different colors ie reddish, brown and very creamy color. Injera is eaten with spicy meat (Doro wat+chicken stew) and vegetable Wat (stews) placed on huge Injera on the plate and eaten by hand, tearing and scooping the stews and with a Salata (salad)! Of course they have coffee, homemade Beer called Tela and Tej is a homemade Wine! Ethiopians make many spicy sides dishes, place on the Injera itself and eat them by hand tearing a piece of Injera and scooping the side dishes with it, just like we Indians do! Desserts are not usually served with every meal.

Ethiopian Injera, Yegomen Wat, Yataklete Klikil and a Salata!
Yegomen wat is a side dish with spiced greens like Collard, Kale etc, Yataklete Kilkil is mixed vegetable stew (I used just beets) and a salata/salad of Cucumber, lemon juice, green onion, cilantro and salt. Injera can be made as big as 10-12" in diameter!
Injera, a Ethiopian pancake like dosa, is the national bread of Ethiopia and these can be made in various ways. Just mix Teff flour with water and salt, pour like neer(rice flour) dosa or mix with wheat or plain flour to make pancakes or ferment the batter overnight or longer up to 3 days to make very sour pancakes too. I chose to ferment Teff+wheat flour (atta) batter for just 1 day like we ferment to make our own rice and Urad dosa we south Indians are famous for! :D

How to make Injera:

This is how I made Injera:

1. Mix 1 cup Teff flour, 2 cups slightly warm water, pinch of sugar, 2 tbsp yogurt or 1 tsp yeast, ferment overnight to make them next day.
2. Next morning, add little salt, 1/2 cup plain flour or wheat flour, mix well. Make the batter thin enough to spread itself on the tawa, leave it for 1 hr. A pinch of soda can be added before making Injera.
3. Heat a non-stick Tawa on medium high heat, spread the batter as big as you can, cover with a lid. You cook only on one side as you do Neer dosa but if you can manage flip once.
4. When cooked take it out on a plate, repeat with others.
5. Serve with side dishes, salad and coffee.

Two side dishes:

To make Yegomen wat:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil, add 3 chopped garlic, 1/2" grated ginger, few red chilly flakes or few green chillies, saute for a minute.
2. Add 1 chopped onion, saute until soft. Add in 6 cups of cleaned and chopped Greens like collard, kale or Spinach. I used homegrown red chard, pinch of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup water and cook until soft with very little gravy. You can sprinkle 1/8 tsp of Cardamom pd or Nutmeg pd. Adjust the spices and serve.

To make Yataklete Kilkil:
1. You need 4 cups of mixed vegetables. I used just Beets, peeled and cubed.
2. You cook the same way as above but you can add spicy Berbere spice mix if you like this to be different from Greens. It's a mix of various spices similar Indian curry masala.
3. You can also use Niter Kebbeh/spiced butter to season instead of just oil, gives it a great aroma and taste.

Perfect Ethiopian Injera/African Dosa! :D

Enjoy, we certainly did!:)


KayKat from "Cooking from A to Z"
blog is guest hosting "Think spice..Think..." event this month with her of spice "Wasabi"! Ooh, scary spice isn't it? ;D
This event's creator is Sunita of "Sunita's World". My contribution to this event is "Wasabi Mayonnaise on griddle Omelet and cheesy Hash". Enjoy and my thanks to KayKat and Sunita!:))

Wasabi is used in mostly Japanese cuisine like Sushi, Sashimi etc. The real Wasabi is a root which is to be grated or ground to use. Poor little people like me use the generic Wasabi which comes in little tubes and boxes like this you see below. Click on the Wasabi title link to learn more.
My first experience of eating Wasabi was at a restaurant, not Japanese but in a Italian one. It came as big coin sized green blob on the side of the plate with appetizers. I thought it was some fancy green Mayo and scooped 1/4 tsp and put in my mouth. Next thing I know I was literally seeing stars, my brain started tingling, felt like needles all over my skin and I thought I was going to drop dead right there. It was nothing like I have experience before, specially when your's truly loves her Jalapeño chutney with ghee and Ragi rotti people!! I ran to the rest room to wash of me off ASAP! :D
Well... they had served me the pure kind of root Wasabi. Hurray for them!! I am going to give you a milder and American style Wasabi Mayonnaise, so you can relax. My kids ate this Wasabi Mayo with Omelet and Hash, that says something, ain't it? ;D

Not so authentic Wasabi/greenish Horse Radish powder in a box!!

To make Wasabi Mayonnaise:
Mix 1 tbsp of powdered Wasabi, 5 tbsp regular good quality Mayonnaise from the store, 1 tsp Lemon juice, pinch of salt, 1 tsp honey or sugar (optional), 1 tsp water only if needed and if it's too thick to pour or drizzle on these. Whisk all these and pour into a plastic bottle with spout. Best chilled in the fridge or keep at room temp if using quickly but not for too long, got Mayo in there, remember?

Omelet and Cheesy Hash drizzled with Wasabi Mayonnaise:
This recipe serves two. I have already posted these combo before here. These are similar but simpler way of making these. Once done, plate them and drizzle the Wasabi Mayo on top and serve immediately. Tastes wonderful, enjoy!:)

Make Hash:
Hash takes longer to cook, so start that first. Hash is nothing but grated Potato, cooked with spices and vegs until crisp, a southern US classic.
Coarsely grate 2 medium peeled potatoes. Heat some oil or butter in a non-stick skillet, spread the grated Hash thinly, sprinkle salt, let it get reddish brown on the bottom. Gently flip.
Add any spices and herbs. When done, sprinkle cheese on top, cut into half and take them out on a plate.
Make Omelet with 3 eggs, add salt, spices of your choice on a griddle or a non-stick pan. Push the eggs to the center while it's cooking to make the Omelet thick and fluffy. Cover let it cook on gentle heat, sprinkle cheese on it and take out on a plate. Drizzle Wasabi Mayo and serve with Hash on the side!!

Have a wonderful fun filled Summer, will see you at the end of August or September here again at Aroma!

June 20, 2008

Mango-Cream JELL-O, Mint-Coconut-Peanuts Chutney

I am bringing a sweet and super easy dessert "Mango-Cream JELL-O" for Meeta from "What's for lunch honey" blog's "Monthly Mingle" with the theme of " Mango Mania " this month. I thought I wouldn't be able to make anything for MM this month since I am getting ready for a Summer blog break but squeezed in one more post anyway. Who can resist Mangoes! Hope you like it Meeta, great choice of fruit!:)

Mangoes have been cultivated in India and South East Asia for thousands of years, also cultivated in many tropical regions and distributed widely in the world. Mango is one of the most popular and well loved fruit. Raw or ripe Mangoes can be in various sweet and spicy dishes and Mango leaves are used for religious ceremonies, during Hindu festivals and weddings in India.. For a great collection of unique Mango dishes, click here!

Mango-Cream JELL-O:
I have made so many Mangoes dishes before in my blog as you see in my list below, I thought I will keep it very simple this time. This cool dessert was delicious and so easy to make. It's specially great for kids. Hope you make it!:)

You need these:
1 3/4 Cup Mango pulp (I used Kesar canned Mango pulp),
1/2 cup Cream half and Half or Heavy whipping Cream, divided into half, (heat 1/4 cup cream to dissolve Gelatin)
2 Envelopes(1/4oz each) of Knox or Jell-O Original unflavored unsweetened Gelatin,
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar, if mango pulp is not sweet enough, up to you.
1 tbsp crushed Pistachios and Some Whipped cream to garnish.(optional)
To make it:
1. Add Mango pulp, half of the cream and powdered sugar, mix until creamy.
2. Heat 1/4 cup of milk or cream, add gelatin and let it dissolve. Then add this mixture to Mango to whisk well.
3. Pour in any shaped molds and chill in the fridge for 3 hrs.
4 Serve chilled, sprinkled with some crushed Pistachios or with more cream on top if you like. Enjoy!:)

Note: Add 1 Gelatin envelope to 1 1/4 cup or less liquid, total proportion to get a good Jello texture. You can also add Gelatin to cold Mango mix but have to whisk (or mix in blender) hard to dissolve Gelatin and adding Gelatin to warm cream first to dissolve it, makes it easier set the Jello! :)

Check out these dishes!
Jaggary Jello!
Mango Cobbler,
Mango Dal,
Mango Lassi,
Mango-Coconut Pound cake.
Mango-Coconut Burfi.
Mango Kheer.
Mango Ice cream!

Have fun cooking with Mangoes!:)

Dee from "Ammalu's kitchen" has started a new event celebrating various herbs called "Herb Mania" this month. She has chosen "Mint" as her choice to start with. Here is my simple Mint, Coconut, Peanuts chutney from me Dee, enjoy hosting your event!:)

Homegrown Mint from my backyard:
Mint grows uncontrollably in a moist, well drained soil if you don't contain it in the pots. I always plant the good quality mint in a large pot rather than the in the ground. They thrive in the sunshine, but need to bring in the house for Winter, although they are very easy to grow every Summer. These Mints are called Peppermint, has good mild flavor to cook but it doesn't exactly smell like Pepper or like toothpaste like Spearmints do!:D

Dried mint leaves were found in Egyptian pyramids, dating from 1000 BC. The plant is thought to be indigenous to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia and it was introduced into America, Australia later.
Peppermint and Spearmint are the two best known of the mints but there are literally hundreds of varieties of mint. Mint is not only used in cooking and in drinks (Mojitos!), it also doubles as medicine to clear Sinuses, relieves Colic, added to bath water to soothe the muscles and in Tea with Honey. Mint flavor is added in Tooth pastes and in Medicinal syrups to make it pleasant to take too.

Green Moong Idlis with Mint, Coconut, Peanut chutney:
These delicious light green and super soft green Moong Idlis are from Sushma's "CookSpot" blog. I made these last week to link at FH and made some spicy Mint chutney to go with it. Thanks for these Idlis Sushma, they were excellent and so nutritious too!:)

For chutney, you need:
1 large bunch or 2 cups loosely packed of Cilantro,
1 cup loosely packed Mint leaves,(Spearmint, I find it too strong, use less),
1/4 cup fresh Coconut,
1/4 cup roasted Peanuts,
2-4 Green chillies,
Few curry leaves,
1"fresh ginger,
1 tsp Tamarind juice or you can use 2 tsp Lemon juice too,
To season:
1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp Mustard seeds, 1 tsp Urad dal, few curry leaves.
To make it:
1. Roast Peanuts in the Microwave for 30 seconds on a plate, let them cool.
2. Add the cooled peanuts to coconut etc and grind all them in a blender until smooth.
3. Heat a pan, add the seasoning ingredients and when they splutter, add to chutney and mix.

Note: Mint tends to discolor when exposed to air which turns it to blackish color. Although taste doesn't change, it will look darker.To avoid this, you have to more lemon juice to chutney.
You can also wilt the cilantro, curry leaves and mint for a second in a hot pan, roast green chillies before grinding but not necessary.

Have a great weekend. I have one last post to go here at Aroma and 2 more posts/weeks at FH before I take a blog break. See you all next week!:)

June 16, 2008

Baja Kichuri, Mixed veggies Mosaranna

A nutritious and a quick breakfast of Baja Kichuri is my contribution to Raaga of "The singing chef" blog who is hosting WBB this month with a theme of "Express Breakfasts". "Weekend Breakfast blogging" event is the brain child of Nandita from "Saffron Trail". Thank you for hosting Raaga, hope you like this dish! :)
Kichuri also fits for "Mixed rice", EC's event. You can take this too if you like EC!:)

Kichuri or Khichdi:
Khichdi literally means "hodge podge" of things thrown in together to make a delicious dish, a popular one dish meal in India. With two quick cooking and "easy on the tummy" dals, rice for energy and veggies, this makes a nutritious dish for Indian style breakfast and a quick one at that if you use a pressure pan or a cooker as we usually do in India. If you have prepared veggies already in the fridge night before, you can make this dish within 15 mins in the morning!
Work and school starts late in India than US, you also get ravenously hungry in the morning in India unlike here, so it's possible and practical to make a good breakfast like this for the family.
For us here in US, I make Khichdi for lunch or dinner with Yogurt salad and a pickle since everybody is out of the door by 6.30am for school and work, grabbing cereal or toast or Muffin with OJ! No work for me! :)

Baja Kichuri:
Baja Kichuri means fried/sauteed Khichdi in Bengali. I found this recipe in an old Indian magazine called "Womans Era", which I used to love for their authentic Indian recipes and subscribe regularly. Now a days, it's full of "fusion" Indian cooking most of the time, so I have stopped the subscription. Anyway, I loved the simplicity and taste of this dish. Enjoy.

You need:
1 cup Long grain rice,
1/2 cup Moong dal (yellow split Moong),
1/2 cup Masoor dal (split red Lentils),
Veggies: (Can use any mixed veggies you have in the fridge, these are what I used)
1 cup or more of Cauliflower florets,
1/4 cup each of Green peas and Carrots,
few Pearl onions,
1 peeled and cubed Potato,
Few strips of red bell pepper.
To season:
(If kids wouldn't like whole spices to bite in the dish, powder all these except Bay leaves instead if you like)
1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee,
2 Bay leaves,
1" Cinnamon/Dalchini stick,
1 green chilly,(optional but for taste)
2 cloves,
2 Whole green Cardamoms, crushed lightly or 1/4 tsp powdered,
1 onion sliced,
2 tsp Cumin seeds powder,
1/2 tsp good quality Turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp more Chilli pd,
salt and Lemon juice to taste.
To make Kichuri:
1. Heat oil and ghee in a small pressure cooker or pressure pan. Add all the seasoning ingredients one by one, fry until onions are slightly golden.
2. Add Veggies, saute for few mins. Add both dals, saute and add rice and saute for few minutes.
3. Add salt and spices to it, add enough water and mix well. I added about 3 cups or 1" above the mixture. Use your judgment when adding water for the type of rice you use, can't give you exact amount of liquid. Khichdi should be little wet, not very dry when it's done.
4. Turn down the heat to low (low heat is very important so you don't burn the bottom of the cooker or overcook the dish), cover the lid of pressure cooker and let it cook for 1 or 2 whistles or 3-5 mins after the pressure locks in.
5. Open the cooker lid when are able to and gently mix, adjust the spices and salt.

Serve with plain Yogurt. Traditionally, Baja Kichuri is served with fried Eggplants, Parval and Potato dish, pickle etc.


EC of "Simple Indian Cooking" has announced a "Mixed or flavored rice Varieties" event this month. As Indians, we can think of literally thousands of mixed rice dishes. Lightly seasoned Mosaranna/Yogurt rice with added fresh veggies is my entry to this event, a much loved south Indian delicacy, is also one of the easiest rice salad to make at home. Enjoy EC!:)

Mosaranna or Yogurt and rice salad, Karnataka style:
Mosaru+anna literally means Yogurt and rice in Kannada, Thair Sadam in Tamil, Dadhojanam in Telugu, which is a very popular dish in South India, specially eaten on Summer days to cool you down when heat is intense and when you don't feel like eating hot food. Usually it's lightly seasoned with some sweet chopped onions added to give it a crunch as my mother makes it back home in Bangalore/Bengaluru!
For this event, I have added fresh veggies to the traditional dish to make it more colorful and interesting and made this into a light, refreshing Summer lunch. Hope you enjoy!

Tomato, Cucumber, Carrots and red bell pepper Mosaranna/Yogurt rice:

You need:
2 cups cooked and cooled Rice,
2 cups plain Yogurt,
1/2 cup milk, if needed,
1/4 cup sliced or chopped Pear or Grape or regular Tomatoes,
1/4 cup chopped Cucumber,
2-3 tbsp of fresh red bell pepper,
2 tbsp grated or chopped Carrots,
1 Garlic and 1/2" fresh ginger, (both crushed in 2 tbsp of water and squeeze to take out just the juice and discard the solids)
Few tbsps of raw sweet red onions, finely chopped, add only if you like to,
Salt, as much as you need.
To season:
2 tsp oil,
1 tsp each Mustard seeds and Chana dal,
few Curry leaves,
few cilantro leaves,
1-2 red or green chillies or 1/4 tsp Chilli flakes,
To make it:
1. Mix cooled rice, all the chopped veggies, Yogurt, salt, ginger-garlic juice, raw onion, mix ell in a big bowl.
2. Heat oil in a small pan, add all the seasoning ingredients one by one. When reddish, cool it down and add to the rice and veggie mix.
3. Mix well. Keep it covered and serve at room temperature when needed. Do not chill, rice gets stiff, doesn't tastes good!
4. As it sits, rice tends to absorb the yogurt and Masaranna gets very thick. If that happens, add some milk to it to thin it down, can add more yogurt if the dish is not already too sour. Dish should be semi-solid when you eat it.
Serve; as it is or with Lemon pickle, Mango pickle and/or with crispy papad on the side! YUMMY! :)

Here is the plain Jane Mosaranna without the bells and whistles.

Have a fun week ahead!:)

June 13, 2008

Coconut-Pineapple Burfi, Ricotta-Black Raspberry sweet Paratha!

Coconut and Pineapple Burfi is my contribution to "A Fruit A Month", an event which is started by Maheswari of "Beyond the Usual" blog. Suganya from "Tasty Palettes" is guest hosting this month for AFAM and her fruit of choice is "Coconut". Thanks for hosting Suganya, great choice!:)

A very commonly used and most beloved fruit of every south Indian household is the treasured Coconut. Like Tamarind trees, coconut are also a common site in India, specially in the south and as popular as Tamarind trees. As most of you know, my grandfather has a coconut and Sugarcane farm near Mysore. So my memories are firmly embedded in eating coconut burfi/Kobbari Mithai (in Kannada), drinking elaneeru/Coconut water, scarping the tender sweet creamy pulpy insides of a halved coconut as a child, not to mention enjoying juicy sugar cane, Guavas, Mangoes, come every Summer in India in my thatha's house! Those were the days, good times! :)
For more info about the origin of Coconut and it's uses, click here and here!

Coconut-Pineapple Burfi:
Usually, Coconut burfi made with just coconut, sugar syrup and cardamom but I thought I would give a twist and added Pineapple!

How to make Kobbari-Pineapple Mithai!:)

You need:

2 cups of sweetened packaged flaked coconut or fresh grated coconut,
1/2 cup or more sugar (if you use sweetened coconut, it already has sugar, use as much sugar as you want to make burfi)
(or 1-1/2 cups sugar+Pineapple with juice for the syrup, if you use fresh unsweetened coconut)
1/2 cup crushed Pineapple, canned with it's juice,
1 tsp Cardamom powder.
2 tsp ghee (optional but adds to the taste)

A non stick or any pan to pour the Burfi to cool it.
Prepare the pan by spraying some no-stick oil or butter to prevent the burfi from sticking.
To make it:
1. Take a non stick pan, add ghee, Pineapple with it's juice and boil it until you get one thread consistency of the syrup or until candy thermometer shows it has reached 230F.
2. Add all the Cardamom pd and the coconut gratings, keep stirring until you see little whitish spots and the whole leaves the sides of the pan.
3. Pour into the pan, pat gently to make it about 2" high, score 2" by 3" rectangles with a knife and leave it in the fridge to cool.
4. After cutting them, serve at chilled or at room temp.

Note: Adjust the sugar. I always add less to avoid too much sweet in our desserts. These Burfis stay moist and not very firm like Coconut burfi because of the crushed Pineapple but tastes fabulous. It's sweet and tangy at the same time.

One more look!

Have fun!:)


Mythreyee of "Paajaka"
blog has started a new event called "Sweet series"
this month. To start with, she has chosen "sweet rotis" which are every Indian kid's dream snack. Well..here is mine for you Myth and for my kids, an American version of sweet Paratha with Ricotta-Black Raspberry preserve and Walnuts. Enjoy!:)

Sweet rotis:
We, who grew up in India, all have some kind of memory of munching or sweet rotis or chapatis our moms made! Mine would be a very simple chapati sprinkled with ghee and sugar and cooked on Tawa until crisp, the only sweet I ate with gusto. I don't have a sweet tooth although I make and bake desserts for the family or events like these. I would rather munch on savory crunchies the whole day!:D

Ricotta-Black Raspberries preserve-Walnuts Paratha!
I just made one Paratha. One of these is enough for 2-4 people like a finger food/dessert, depending on many you can eat! Kids love Ricotta and Raspberry Preserve, but not very crazy about Walnuts but it gives a good crunch.

This is how I made it:

Make Parathas first:
Mix and knead 1 cup of wheat flour/atta or mix 1/2 cup each of wheat flour and plain flour, 1 tsp fine sugar, 1/4 tsp Baking powder and pinch of salt until a soft dough. Cover and rest for an hour.
For filling:
2 tbsp of Black Raspberry preserve or any kind you like,
Mix 3 tbsp of Ricotta cheese with 1 tbsp powdered sugar,
1 tbsp small grained Walnuts/any nuts you like/no nuts at all!
To make the sweet paratha:
Heat a tawa or a non-stick griddle on medume high heat.
1. Divide the dough into 2 equal rounds, roll each of them into to 1/8" thick circles. Cut them to make a perfect circle with a lid.
2. Brush one paratha with preserve leaving a 1/2 " from edges.
3. Drop little mounds of Ricotta on top of the preserve and sprinkle with Walnuts and place the other paratha on top gently. If you brush some water on the edges, it seals firmly.
4. With the edge/tines of a fork, seal the edges all around. Gently pick up and cook on the Tawa on medium heat until it's golden both sides, brush some butter if you like while cooking it.
5. Cool it on the rack, cut into triangles to serve.

A close up!

See you all next week, have a wonderful weekend!:)

June 9, 2008

Ridge Gourd Kootu, Chicken Masala with fresh Turmeric rice

Ridge Gourd Kootu goes to Sig of "Live to Eat" blog , who is guest hosting JFI event this month. Sig has chosen a tangy fruit "Tamarind" as her choice for JFI, widely used in dishes everyday in most south Indian dishes. JFI event is created by Indira of Mahanandi. Thanks for choosing Tamarind Sig!:)

Tamarind is native to tropical Africa and grows wild throughout the Sudan. It was introduced into India long ago. It is extensively cultivated in tropical areas of the world. Sometime during the sixteenth century, it was introduced into America and today is widely grown in Mexico.
Every part of Tamarind tree is usable ie fruits, flowers, bark, it's leaves in various forms in cooking and for medicinal purposes. Tamarind mixed with other things like honey is used as digestive, for sour throat, bile and as laxatives. For more info about Tamarind , click here.

Ridge Gourd Kootu:
Kootu is any dish made with gravy along with spices, a dish commonly made in South India.
Here is my Kootu with Ridge gourd, which are like gold to me since I don't get these veggie often unless I drive to to Indian store miles away! I have already made Puliyogarai with Tamarind before. Kootu is the next best thing I can think of for Tamarind event!:))

To make the ridge Gourd bhaji:

You need:
2 medium Ridge Gourds,
1 Tomato,chopped,(optional)
1-2 tbsp Tamarind juice,
To season:
1 tbsp oil+ghee,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
few curry leaves,
1 tbsp Chana dal,
1 medium onion, chopped,
1/2 tsp turmeric,
1 dry red chilli,
pinch of hing.

To roast lightly and powder:
3 tbsp dry coconut,
1 tbsp Coriander seeds,
1 tsp Cumin seeds,
1/2" cinnamon(Dalchini),
2-3 Kashmiri red chillies or paprika for color,
1 tsp or 10 pepper corns.
Roast all the above and powder in a grinder.
Or use 1-2 tbsp of your favorite home made masala powder.

How to:
1. Peel the outer ridges of the gourd slightly, wash and chop the gourd to small pieces. Remove the seeds if they are not tender, otherwise you can leave them as they are.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add all the seasoning ingredients one by one and fry until onion is reddish.
3. Add in the gourd pieces, stir fry for 2 minutes and add 1-2 cups of water, tomato, tamarind and cook until gourd is soft and cooked.
4. Add in the masala powder, mix well and simmer. Add Cilantro and turn off the heat.
5. Serve with Chapatis. Tastes better the next day!

Delicious for lunch or dinner:

Wasn't that yummy? :)

Finally, here is an event with "Chicken" as a choice!! YAY!! Vandana Rajesh of "cooking up something nice" blog has started one this month. She asks us to cook any chicken dish we like. Here is mine which often make on some Sundays for lunch, "Chicken masala with Turmeric rice". Thanks for hosting Vandana, enjoy your first event!:)

Chicken Masala with fresh Turmeric rice:
This is my favorite and the easiest chicken gravy I make at home when I don't have time for all the fancy masalas. What do I do to make the thali fanciful? I cook rice with some salt and fresh turmeric pieces to make it colorful!:D

Here is how I make it:

You need:
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts and 2 Chicken thighs cut into bite sized cubes, salt, 1/8 tsp turmeric, Cilantro, 1 tbsp Tamarind juice.
For the gravy: 2 onions, sliced thin, 1" Ginger grated, 1/2 cup Tomato sauce, 1 tsp chilli pd, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds powder, 1 tsp garam masala.
Season: 1 tbsp oil, 2 tsp ghee, 1 tsp Cumin seeds, few curry leaves.
1 1/2 cup water or chicken sock.

To make it:
1. Heat oil+ghee is a pan, add all the seasoning ingredients, fry for a minute.
2. Add Onions, fry until they are slightly golden on the edges, add ginger. Stir for a minute and pour in the tomato sauce. Fry until oil shows on th sides.
3. Add in the chicken, stir until they are white on the outside. Add all the dry masala ingredients except Garam masala now, mix well.
4 Pour in tamarind, salt, 1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock. (Cut down the salt as it already has salt in the stock). Cover and cook on medium heat for 10mins.
5. Uncover and cook until you see the oil glisten on top. Add garam masala and cilantro, mix well and take off the heat. Serve with turmeric rice and a salad or potato crisps.
Chicken Masala tastes better if you leave the gravy overnight in the fridge.

Fresh Turmeric rice:
1. Add 2 cups of extra long grain rice, 3 1/2 cups water, few pieces of crushed fresh Turmeric or 1/4 good quality Turmeric pd, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp ghee or butter. Give it a stir.
2. Cook in the Microwave for 13 mins on high, uncovered. After 13 mins, cover with a plate and cook for 6mons at 50%.
3. Take it out and fluff the rice with flat spatula, take out all the cooked turmeric pieces out, cover again until you need it. You can sprinkle some water on the rice and reheat in the MW for 2-3 mins on high to serve.

Note: I have given you how I make rice at home. Every MW and rice is different, so use your judgment for how much water to add and how long to cook.

(There will be posts coming out of my ears this month here at Aroma, watch out for those! Once I am done posting for most events, I will be off for a month from July, will try and catch up with events until then! :D)

June 6, 2008

Dahi Moong, MW cooked Lemon pickle!

Siri of "Siri's corner" is hosting a new event with a ever popular and well loved ingredient "YOGURT" this month. We,as Indians, LOVE yogurt and use it almost everyday in India or wherever we are in the World and however we can use in the dishes. Here is my Dahi Moong, a simple and delicious side dish. Enjoy Siri!:))


Yogurt is nutritious which is available year-round and researchers have evidence that milk and yogurt may actually add years to your life as is found in some countries where yogurt and other fermented dairy products are consumed everyday. Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, which causes the transformation of the milk's sugar, lactose, into lactic acid. This process gives yogurt its refreshingly tart flavor and unique pudding-like texture, a quality that is reflected in its original Turkish name, Yoghurmak, which means "to thicken." (Info from WHFoods)

Dahi Moong:

Dahi is Yogurt/Mosaru in Kannada and Moong is Green gram. Green gram cooked in mildly spiced Yogurt gravy, that's what "Dahi Moong" means in Hindi, just in case you didn't know already! :)
This dish very tasty, subtly flavored with ginger, green chillies, mildly spiced with garlic, Cumin, coriander pd, garam masala and added with up to a cup of thick Yogurt or Sour Cream for that tang, it's a great side dish with chapatis or cloves and ghee seasoned rice. Enjoy! :)

Step by step photos:
Click on the collage to see the lager photo.

You need these:
1 cup green whole green Moong, soaked overnight, 1/2 cup strained thick Yogurt or Sour Cream, salt, 1/4 tsp Turmeric, 3 tbsp Cilantro, 2 slices of Jalepeno.
Grind to paste: 1" fresh ginger, 2 Jalapeños or green chillies.
Spices: 1 tsp Cumin seeds pd, 1 tsp Coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala.
To season: 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp ghee, 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 1-2 garlic chopped, 1-2 dry red chillies, pinch of hing/asafoetida.
To make it:
1. Heat oil and ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, red chillies, garlic, hing. Add ginger-green chilly paste,stir for a minute.
2. Add soaked and drained Moong to the pan, 1 1/2 cup water, sliced Jalapeño pieces, Turmeric, cover and cook for 10 mins or until Moong is almost cooked.
3. Take the pan off of the heat and leave it on the counter for a minute for the dish to cool down. Add all the dry spices, salt, Cilantro and 1/2 cup thick Yogurt or sour cream to the pan and mix well.
4. On a low heat, simmer the Dahi Moong for 5-7mins until thickish. Adjust the salt and spices. Serve with Chapatis or with seasoned rice.

Note: You must take off the pan off the heat before adding the yogurt to the moong dish. If the gravy is too hot, yogurt will split resulting in very thin grainy gravy. Once you add the yogurt and mix it, you should simmer the gravy on low heat. That's it!:)


Microwaved Lemon pickle is my entry to "Easy cooking with Microwave" which is hosted by Srivalli of "Cooking 4 all seasons" with a theme of "bottled" this month. Thanks for hosting Sri, enjoy!:)

Indian Pickles:
Indian pickles, which are very different from Western pickles, are a variety of usually spicy and sometimes hot and sweet condiments popular in India, often made with different vegetables, green Mangoes, limes, Pearl Onion, green leaves,Garlic, ginger and Lemons etc.
Usually, I buy most of the pickles from the Indian store as they are easier to buy than making them. When Limes, Lemons or even Florida Key Limes are in season, I make these pickles in huge quantities to store in the fridge which lasts a year in the fridge if made correctly.
I found this cooked (or microwaved) Lemon pickle in one of the Premila Lal's Indian cookbooks long time ago.I liked this method so much that it has become a tradition now! Cooked Lemon pickle is like a instant pickle, ready to eat as soon as they are cooled. Since they become soft and absorb the masala quickly, there is no need to wait to eat the pickle. Try it!:)

Lemon pickle with two flavors:
Red colored Lemon pickle, like this Bamboo shoot pickle, is flavored with the traditional Methi seeds, red chillies,Mustard seeds powder, which I already had in the fridge made few months ago and sometimes I use SWAD brand "Achar Masala"(pickle masala) as well which has the same ingredients.
The yellow pickle masala is made from Ranji's Thambale powder. I used just 2 large Yellow Lemons for this yellow pickle just to show you. I recently made a yummy Eggplant dish from Ranji's blog with this masala pd. She mentioned that I could also use this powder to make pickles too, so here it is! Thanks Ranji, it tastes good, looks beautiful as you can see!:)

How to make Microwaved Lemon Pickle:

You need:
2 large Lemons, cut in to small pieces like shown, take seeds out since it's going to be cooked,
3-4 tbsp pickle powder, home made or Thambale pudi or SWAD Achar mix, salt, 1 tsp sugar.
To season: 1/4 cup Canola oil or any oil you like ,4 whole or sliced peeled Garlic, 1tsp mustard seeds, few fresh curry leaves, 2 dry red chillies, 1/4 tsp hing/Asafoetida powder, 1/2 tsp chilli pd.
To make the pickle:
1. Add chopped Lemon pickles, 1/2 cup water, 2 tsp salt to a clean dry glass bowl and Microwave it for 10 mins or until lemons are light yellow and soft.
2. Take it out, add Thambale pudi or SWAD, sugar, mix with a clean wooden spoon and let it cool.
3. Heat oil in a pan until very hot, slide the pan off the heat to cool for a minute. Place the the pan on the low heat this time.
4. Add all Garlic, Mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves. When the garlic becomes golden, add hing and chilli pd and take off the heat. Cool the oil.
5. Add the seasoning to the pickle, mix well. Taste the pickle, add more salt,chilii pd and pickle pd if needed. They all should balance perfectly with the tartness of lemon juice.

When the pickle is completely cooled, add it to a clean dry glass bottle and store in the fridge. It will stay in the fridge for a month. Make sure your hands, bowl and wooden spoon you use is very clean and dry when pickling or else it will go moldy on ya!

Another close up!!

Bottled!! :)

Have a wonderful weekend. See you all next week!:)

June 2, 2008

CLICKing Fresh Yellow Turmeric and One Hot Chavli Amti!

I am Clicking a Yellow Fresh Turmeric for a very special fund raising edition of "Yellow for Briana" today for my entry to Jai and Bee of "Jugalbandi" blog this month. Thank you to all the judges and Bee for organizing and hosting this event!
In Jugalbandi's own words "Yellow signifies hope and enlightenment. Though the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, color Yellow has also come to signify the fight against cancer. Bri of Figs With Bri is one of the 5% of women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 30. That was two and a half years ago but her cancer returned. In addition to traditional medicine, she would like to try holistic alternatives for which her health insurance has turned down. Could we help her raise that amount?"
Please click on the link above to get all the details of how you can help. This fundraising also includes Raffle prizes and a PayPal "Chip In" convenience for donating the funds directly to Briana. Hope you will give as much as you can to help her. Thank you! :)

Fresh Turmeric Shoots:
I was fortunate to find some fresh Turmeric (Amba Haldi in Hindi) in Nashville at a Indian store when we were vacationing there last June and it was my first time tasting these too. Fresh turmeric is pleasantly mild and does not have a sharp bite of fresh ginger. It has a very bright deep Yellow-Orange color and a brownish skin. When used in dishes and pickles, it imparts a bright and beautiful yellow color!

Fresh Turmeric1
Dried and powdered Turmeric is used routinely in most Indian dishes and used in traditional Indian Festivals, in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine and Indian weddings.

Canon SD300

Chavli Amti/Black eyed peas curry from Nupur's blog is my contribution to "Tried and Tasted" , a event which is started by Zlamushka from "Zlamushka's spicy kitchen" blog. This month we are scouting Nupur of "One Hot Stove" blog looking for and cooking one of her recipes to appreciate her blog. Thanks for hosting Z, it's a fun event. Thanks to you too Nupur, loved the traditional dish and taste of Chavli Amti! :)

Chavli Amti:
I was planning to make this dish and link at FH next week anyway and then saw Z's choice of blog to cook from and was too happy to oblige! I haven't changed any of the masala ingredients in this dish except added half an Eggplant, a small cubed Potato with 1 can of Black eyed peas. Please click on the link above to go to the original site for the recipe. Enjoy!

Have a great week, see Y'all good people later!:)

May 30, 2008

DABELI, Dabeli Masala and a Comix!

Dabeli and Dabeli Masala are my entries to MBP, which is guest hosted by Supriya of "Monsoon spice" this month with a theme of "Street Food".
Coffee of "The Spice Cafe"
blog is the founder and creator of "Monthly blog patroling". Idea of this event is to patrol the blogs for dishes which suits the monthly theme and cook from other blogs to appreciate their recipes. Thanks Supriya and Coffee, enjoy the Dabelis!:)

Chaat or Street food:
As much as we enjoy and appreciate our traditional Indian homecooked food, Indians are also great lovers of Street carts filled with great crunchy munchies which spring up every corner of the cities as soon as Sun goes down or even before or permanently settled in little shacks by the roadside all day and any day.
My favorite "food group" is always been Chaat or "lip smacking tangy, spicy street cart food" as it exactly means. So far, I have recreated most of the Street cart foods at home although I have blogged very few. This time I wanted to make a chaat I haven't tasted before and choose one from a blog I haven't cooked from so far!
Dabeli is one chaat I have not tasted either on the street or at home since I always thought it probably taste like Pav Bhaji which I make at home often, so why bother making the same, until the magic of MBP stepped in and left me no choice but to try. Boy, did I get lucky or what! :D
I know many of you have blogged Dabeli, I chose to make Rricha Nimisha's Dabeli version and made Dabeli Masala from Trupti's blog. It tasted like Heaven, will be making more soon using proper Pavs or rolls as it should be made but this middle Eastern bread I used was great for making Dabeli too! :)

Dabeli Masala:

Click on the links to see both the original recipes and their photos. Enjoy!

I chose to make Dabeli Masala from Trupti of "Recipecenterforall" blog since Rricha's recipe for Dabeli didn't use any. I didn't want to make too much of Dabeli masala at first because I thought it might taste just like Pav Bhaji masala which I already have but NO!
This masala is totally different from Pav Bhaji masala and was fragrant, easy and very tasty and very different added to Dabeli Potato masala!
Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe Trupti. I will be making more of this next time! :)

I chose Dabeli (spicy crunchy masala stuffed and pressed together inside the bread rolls or Pavs) recipe from Rricha Nimish's blog. You can see her Dabelis with Pav here.
I didn't have the regular dinner roll or Pav to make this but I did bake some Middle eastern/Lebanese bread called "Khoubiz" last weekend, similar to Italian Focaccia, used it to make Dabeli toasted thick wedges sliced across. Dabeli tasted divine with this bread too!:)

To make Dabeli, you need to get all these together too:
I used to readymade bottled Mint and cilantro chutney and tangy Tamarind sauce or Delhi Chaat sauce, salted and peppered Beer peanuts, Sev or Bhujia, chopped sweet onions or red onion, Potato masala mashed with Dabeli masala, chopped green onions and Cilantro with a slice of Lemon. Some Pomegranate seeds too as the original recipe says. Traditionally, Dabelis are stuffed in Pavs or square bread rolls.

Ready for you! Help yourself!!:)


Here is a fun event if you are looking for some laughs!!
Lakshmi G of "Taste Of Mysore" has come up with theme of "creating a comic strip" which involves Brinjal/Eggplants this month. Idea is to create a comic using a Comix or any other similar website and post it in your blogs. She will do the round up which will be hilarious to read! Thanks LG, have fun and can't wait to see the round up!:))

Well..Brinjal? What a great theme I thought, my favorite veggie! I didn't know where to go for making comic strip but LG immediately linked the site and also e mailed me all the info for making one, which set me rolling.
Although my kids don't mind eating Eggplant dishes once in a while since I don't get to buy Indian Brinjals in other seasons unless of course I drive 20+ miles to a Indian store to get them. I LOVE Brinjals though, could eat Eggplant dishes almost everyday!:)
Every Summer, I make sure to plant a few without a fail and by August, we will be harvesting loads of Eggplants and cook almost 3 days a week since Eggplants don't freeze well. That's when my kids' gets very antsy and want to get rid of all the Brinjal plants as soon as possible. When we clean up our veggie patch in the Fall, they really do a happy dance!! Hahaha!!

Saga of Eggplant:
These comic strips are not transferable from the website to blogs or anywhere except to any e mail addresses. I had to take a photo of my laptop screen to post here! :P
You can see the "comix"strip I created more clearly

Here is how it goes at dinner time around 6.30pm during the Eggplant bounty season! :D

Mom (that's me, yelling from the kitchen): Hey kids, dinner's is ready!! Come downstairs, NOW!!!

T girl: OH MAN!!! Sigh...!!!

T Boy: (iPod in his ears, can't hear a thing but follows his sister downstairs like a lamb or a kid (baby Goat!:D))

T Girl: What's for dinner mom? Hope it's Spaghetti and meatballs!!

T Boy: (Got his fingers crossed, iPod is out of his ears, curious to know!)

Mom cautiously says: Eggplant Ennegayi, Rice rotti and raita!! Homegrown Eggplants too!

T and T: (together, alarmed and frustrated) KILL THE EGGPLANTS!! KILL! KILL!! KILL!!! (cursing Under their breath...&#@&#@)

MOM: (secretly delighted and laughing to herself but not showing it outside) HeeHeeHee! Hahahaha!

Latest news:
This year's Eggplants are growing very well in my veggie patch right now to my joy and to kids' frustration!!Son wanted to burn the little plants already!!! ;D

Have a great weekend, see you all next week!:)

(Psst! A very special surprise is planned for Trisha at her high school today at 10am in the auditorium and it's a well kept secret betn parents, Principal and staff! I will be there today and will tell you all about it next week! I will catch up with all of you in the afternoon when I come back home!)
I am back and catching up now!!:))