Monday, April 26, 2010

Eggplant and Zucchini Subzi

In my neck of the woods the summer vegetables are slowly coming into the market which means I am starting to get lots of Zucchini. I think Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable. You can add it to a kootu or make curry out of it, mix it with any other vegetable to make a dry or wet subzi. In this recipe I have mixed zucchini with eggplant to make a flavorful side dish for either rice or roti vegetable

- 2 zucchini chopped to bite size pieces
- 2 Japanese eggplant chopped to bite size pieces
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- salt to taste

1. Boil the tomatoes for 5 minutes. Drop it in cold water and remove the skin. Once the tomatoes cool down puree it.
2. Grind the coriander and cumin to a coarse powder
3. In a pan add oil and add the onions. Fry till the onions become translucent. Add the eggplant and zucchini to this and fry for another 5 minutes. Now add the tomato puree and let it boil for 2 minutes.
4. Add the coriander-cumin powder, salt, chili powder and oregano. Mix it well. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Make sure the vegetables don't become mushy.

Garnish it with cilantro if you wish and serve it with roti or rice.

Vegan Banana Muffin

You can put together this muffin in minutes and it tastes really good.

- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 all purpose flour (or) bread flour
- 1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp apple sauce
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Sieve both flour's in a bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt to the mixture.
3. Mash the ripe banana to a puree. Add it to the flour mixture. Mix in apple sauce and slowly add water and mix it well. Add in the walnuts to this mixture.
4. Spray some oil onto the muffin tin. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake it for about 20 minutes. Every oven is different and so keep an eye on it. If you insert a toothpick and they come out clear then you know it is done.

Enjoy these muffins when they are hot. If you have it the next day heat it in a microwave for a few seconds before you eat it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brown Rice Sambar Sadam

According to Brown rice is simply white rice that has not had the brown-colored bran covering removed. So brown rice is considered a whole grain. One cup of brown rice has 3 1/2 grams of fiber while the same amount of white rice has less than one gram of fiber. Brown rice also contains nutrients like magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

Even after reading and understanding the greatness of brown rice I don't like it too much. I grew up in an Indian household where we ate fluffy soft white rice. For me to give up that and move to brown rice is really hard. So I try all sorts of ways to hide the taste of brown rice. The inspiration for this dish came from Vegi Inspirations and one trick I learnt from her is to soak brown rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This makes the rice soft. To enjoy brown rice I convert it to a sambar rice with traditional sambar powder and a some fresh ground masala to top it. With fresh vegetables ( I clear my fridge and add whatever I can find) and the fresh masala this becomes an enjoyable and healthy dinner. For this recipe I used Mahatma Long Grain Brown Rice.

- 1 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup moong or thoor dhal (I tried both and they both taste yummy)
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cup chopped vegetables - You can use any type of vegetables (I have used red pepper, beetroot, sweet potato, tomatoes, Raw tomatoes/tomato kai, boiled black eye peas..)
- 1 cup thick tamrind water
- 1 tsp sambar powder
- Salt to taste

Roast and grind
- 2 tsp channa dhal
- 1 tsp methi seeds
- 2-3 red chili
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

- 1 tspn oil
- 1 tsp methi seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp hing powder
- 2-3 green chilies
- few curry leaves

1. Soak the rice and dhal for at least 30 minutes. Pressure cook this till it becomes soft. I microwaved this in 5 cups of water and it took me 40 minutes.
2. In a pan pour oil and fry mustard seeds, hing powder and methi seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter and methi seeds turns color add the chillies, curry leaves and onions. Fry till they become soft.
3. Add tomatoes, and the other vegetables. Fry for a few minutes. Now and the tamarind water, sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook for another 5-8 minutes.
4. Now stir in the cooked rice and dhal and boil this mixture in a low flame for 15 minutes. Brown rice is very thick so it takes time for it to cook and mix well.
6. Add the ground masala mixture to this and mix it well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and it should be perfect to serve.

Note: I liked the addition of beetroot and sweet potato as it gives the rice a unique color and flavor. If you don't like this combination you can stick to vegetables like eggplant, okra, peas tomatoes and radish. This is optional but you can add a teaspoon of brown sugar to the dish. It makes the rice spicy, sweet and sour at the same time.

This is my addition to show me your whole grain hosted by Dil Se

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Healthy Muffin

I tried this muffin after I saw Madhuram's website.I modified it a little bit as I did not have all the ingredients. The muffin is very tasty and healthy too. Check out the original recipe here.

Dry Ingredients:

-1 cup All Purpose Flour
-1 cupOld fashioned oats (grind it into fine powder)
-2 tsp Baking Soda
-1 and 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
-1/2 teaspoon Salt
-1 cup Brown Sugar, packed (light brown)
-Carrots, grated 1 medium size
-Apple, grated 2 medium size
-1/2 cup Raisins 1/2 cup
-1 cup Walnuts chopped
-Dried fruits (like apricots etc) handful

Wet Ingredients:

-1/4 cup Vegetable oil 1/4 cup
-1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce (1 small tub)
-1/4 cup Water
-1 tsp Vanilla Extract


1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Line required muffin tins with paper liners or grease it with a non stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
3. Similarly combine together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Just stir it well with a whisk.
4. Pour the wet mixture of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix.
5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 -20 minutes. Test it with tooth pick and see if it comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in a cooling rack.

Sending this lovely recipe to the Mother Day's event hosted by
Panch Pakwan

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fluffy melt in your mouth Whole Wheat Pancakes

The inspiration for this recipe came from here. She used too much butter in her pancake. After reading the comments I replaced butter with canola oil which is much healthier. I also ended up using more wheat flour then white. The pancakes still turned out very soft.

- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs, beaten

1. In a bowl combine the dry ingredients (wheat flour, all purpose flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar)
2. Make a well in the center and pour the egg and oil. Mix them well. Add the butter milk slowly (Do not pour all the butter milk at once) and mix it till you get the right consistency.
3. Now heat the griddle and spray the surface with cooking spray. Add a scoop (I used 1/4 measuring cup and I got even size pancakes) of the batter. Once you start seeing bubbles flip them over and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes. Both sides should be golden brown.

Serve them hot with syrupe or jam. They are so soft that you will forget they are really wheat pancakes.

Masala Bun

This is a nice spicy bun that is perfect for a rainy day. Inspiration for this bun came from here. Switched the recipe a bit to make it more whole wheat thus making it healthy. This is not your typical melt in your mouth white bun. Because of the wheat flour it definitely has a bit to it but it still tastes really good.

Ingredients for bun:
- 1 cup whole wheat Flour
- 1/2 cup bread flour (All purpose should work too)
- 1/2 tsp oil
- 2 tsp Bread Machine Yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup warm water - Use more if the dough is not sticky
- 1/4 cup warm Milk
- 1 tbsp flax seeds or sunflower seeds

For stuffing:
- 2 cups of mixed vegetables finely chopped. I used carrots, beetroot, cauliflower, peas, beans and onions.
- 1 boiled potato
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp oil

Method for the bun:
1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a sticky dough. I used bread machine yeast so I was able to skip the proofing of the yeast. Once you get the dough dust more flour on a flat surface and start kneading the bread. You will need to do this for at least 8-10 minutes.
2. Now grease a bowl (make sure the bowl is at least double the size of the dough) and place the soft kneaded dough in it and set it to rise. It should double in size.

Method for stuffing:
1. In a pan add oil and onions. Once it is translucent add the remaining vegetables, salt, chili powder and cumin powder.
2. Cook till the vegetables become soft. Do not add too much water as we need a dry stuffing.
3. Mash in the potato. Mix them all together and let it cool. You can add other masala according to your taste.

Putting it together:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Punch down the dough and make golf size balls. Make small balls of the vegetable mixture too.
2. Now spread the dough and place the vegetable ball in the center. Pinch the ends together and roll them to form a ball with the stuffing inside. Make sure the stuffing does not ooze out.
3. Flatten them slightly and brush it with water. Sprinkle the flax seeds or sunflower seeds.
4. Line them up in a cookie sheet and let it rise for another 30 to 50 minutes. Because of the wheat flour it will not rise too much but it should still become bigger then the original size.
5. Now bake them in the oven for 15 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it is golden brown. Mine is an old oven so it takes a little bit longer.
6. Cool it and serve it hot with ketchup.

It is a nice variation to the normal white bun.

Off this goes to the Bake-off event at Versatile Kitchen

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Simple brinjal/eggplant curry

This is a simple and healthy curry that you can make if you have some curry powder ready in hand. I have just listed the ingredients. Adjust the quantity according the amount of brinjal/eggplant you have.

- eggplant
- curry powder
- mustard seeds and urad dhal
- turmeric powder and hing powder
- oil
- salt

Cut the eggplant into small discs. Add oil in a pan and drop in the mustard and urad dhal. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter add the turmeric and hing powder. After about 10 seconds add the brinjal cover and cook till it becomes soft. Now add the curry powder and mix it well.

Serve it hot with rice and sambar.

Chappati/Roti upma

What do you do when you have dried and old roti from a day or two. The answer is yummy roti upma. The inspiration came from Mahanandi bajra roti upma. I did not make bajra roti. Mine was the normal roti but they still turned out to be very tasty.

- 3 roti (preferably a day old)
- 1/2 cup of black eye peas cooked
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 green chili chopped (adjust to taste)
- pinch of turmeric and hing powder
- 1 tsp jeera
- 1 tsp oil
- salt to taste
- squeeze of lemon (optional)

1. Tear the roti to small pieces. Sprinkle them with water if they are too dry.
2. Now in a pan add oil and jeera seeds. Once it starts to splutter add the hing powder and turmeric powder. Cook for 10 seconds. Mix in the onions and sauté till it turns slightly brown.
3. Add the cooked black eye peas, salt and mix well. Add the roti pieces.
4. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. The roti should become soft.
5. Remove from the heat and squeeze a little lemon. This adds a fun taste to the old roti's.

Serve it hot for a yummy snack.

This recipe goes to leftover delicacies hosted by Spicy Lounge

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bindi/okra masala

Okra - you either love it or hate it. It does have a slimy texture. So to overcome that one option is to fry it but okra tends to observe a lot of oil. In this dish I microwaved it - so practically no oil and mixed it with other vegetables to make a scrumptious and yummy side dish.

- 2 cups okra cut to small discs
- 2 bell peppers chopped (I used red and yellow)
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 small onion chopped
- small piece of ginger
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp jeera seeds
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp jeera seeds - for seasoning

1. Place the okra in a microwave safe plate, make sure they don't overlap. Spray with a little bit of oil. Microwave it at high for 5-6 minutes. They will shrink and turn slightly brown.
2. Grind one teaspoon of jeera and coriander seeds to a coarse powder.
3. In a pan pour oil and add the other teaspoon jeera. Once it turns brown add the ginger and the chopped onions. Fry till the onion is translucent.
4. Add tomatoes and sauté till it becomes slightly mushy. Add the ground cumin and coriander powder and chili powder. Cook for a minute or two.
5. Mix in the chopped bell peppers and toss it around for a few minutes. Be careful not to make it too mushy.
6. Finally add the okra and cilantro leaves. Toss them all together and let it simmer for a 5 minutes.

Serve it hot as a side to jeera rice or roti.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Divine Pav Bun

If you want soft, buttery melt in your mouth buns for your pav baji or vada pav then this is the recipe for you. The original idea came from here. There is a good step by step presentation in her site. I made some changes to the recipe to make it easier for me. Try it and you will not be disappointed.

Buns with Pav Baji

- 3 cups bread flour plus about 1/4 cup for dusting and kneading
- 2 1/4 tsp active yeast - I used the bread machine yeast. See below for an explanation of the various yeast available in the market.
- 1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tbsp margarine or butter
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp oil


1. In a bowl add the bread flour, salt, sugar butter and yeast. Now slowly add the milk and start mixing it. The dough should be sticky. If it is not mixed well add up to 1/4 cup lukewarm water to it.
2. Once all the ingredients are mixed well sprinkle some flour and dump the dough and start kneading. You will need to knead it at least for 15 minutes. If the dough gets sticky then keep dusting it with more flour.
3. Now in a bowl (make sure the bowl is at least double the size of the dough) add a teaspoon of oil and rub it so that the bowl is well coated. Now place the dough in the bowl, cover it and place it in a warm place.
4. In about 2 hours your dough should have raised and would be double the size.
5. Now remove the dough and punch it down. Separate the dough into 12 equal size balls. Place it in a cookie sheet leaving about 2 inch space in between each ball.
6. Cover this with a wet paper towel and let it rise again. This should take about 30- 45 minutes. Meanwhile start pre-heating the oven at 350F.
7. Remove the paper towel and place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake it for 25-30 minutes. You will see the top turning a golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. You should be able to remove it from the sheet without it sticking to the bottom.

There you have the softest and melt in your mouth buns.

Notes: A little explanation about various yeast if you are a first time baker can be found here. I have a jar of bread machine yeast with me and when a recipe calls for a packet of active yeast I just use 2 1/4 teaspoon of the bread machine yeast. The only difference is I do not proof the yeast. Typically to proof active dry yeast you sprinkle the yeast in warm water and a pinch of salt. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes. If the liquid becomes bubbly and creamy then you know your yeast is alive else it is best you don't use it.

Kneading bread - This is also an important step in bread making. Here is a nice video that shows how to knead a bread.

This one goes to the Bake-off event at Versatile Kitchen

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Green Split peas dhal with vegetables

This is a easy and healthy dhal that you can make in a jiffy. You add vegetables to this dhal making it an easy one pot dish.

- 1 cup green split peas
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped to bite size pieces
- 1 cup cauliflower seperated to small florets
- 1 inch ginger chopped
- 2 green chilies chopped (adjust to taste)
- salt to taste

- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp fennel (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder

1. In a pan add the oil and add the cumin, fennel and let it splutter.
2. Add the turmeric powder, green chilies and ginger. After about 10 seconds add the onions, carrots and salt. Cook till the onions become translucent. This may take about 2-3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile wash the green split peas. Add it to the cooked onion and carrot. Pour 2 cups of water and let it boil. You can pressure cook this but I find that the split peas tends to get very mushy if you are not extremely careful. So I prefer boiling it on the stove top.
4. Once the peas are three fourth's cooked add the cauliflower and let it all boil until the cauliflower becomes tender but still retains its shape.

Serve it hot with roti's

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vegetable Korma

A very tasty and rich dish that tastes wonderful with rice or roti. My original inspiration was from showmethecurry website. I modified the dish a little and used whole spices in place of ground spices for better flavor.

- 5 - 10 small potoatos
- 2 cups mixed vegetables - I used carrots, peas and cauliflower.
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 can evoprated milk
- 1 inch ginger
- 2- 3 green chilies
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp anise seed
- 1 inch cinomon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp corriander seeds
- 2 tbsp cashewnuts
- 1 tsp raisins
- 3 tsp oil
- salt to taste

1. Boil the potatoes and peal them. Now add a teaspoon of oil, toss them around and line them in a baking dish. Bake them for 30 minutes. Once they are slightly browned remove them. With a fork prick some holes in them and keep them aside.
2. Chop all the vegetables to bite size pieces. Microwave or boil them with salt till they are three fourths cooked.
3. In a pan add 2 teaspoon oil and add the cinomon stick, anise seed, corriander seeds, cumin seeds, cashew nuts, ginger and green chilies. Once they are slightly brown add the chopped onions,salt and sauté till it becomes golden brown. Grind this to a fine paste.
4. Add the remaining oil and pour the ground mixture. Fry this until it stop sticking to the pan. This may take 2-5 minutes. Now add tomatoes and fry for a minute. Add in the rest of the vegetables and the baked potatoes. Mix it well.
5. Stir in the evoprated milk. Add salt, cover the dish and let it come to a boil. Simmer it for about 15 minutes.
6. In another small pan fry some cashew nuts and raisins. Garnish the korma with these and serve hot.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cilantro thogayal/ Kothamali thogayal

- 2 bunches cilantro
- 1 tsp methi seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp hing powder
- 4-5 red chillies (adjust to taste)
- small lime size tmaarind softened
- 2 tsp oil
- salt to taste


1. In a pan pour one tsp of oil add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the methi seeds, chillies and fry till they are slightly red in color. Turn off the heat. Remove this to the blender and let it cool.
2. Add the cilantro to the pan but do not turn on the heat. By adding it for few minutes to the heated pan you can remove the raw smell from the cilantro.
3. Make sure the tamarind has no seeds. Add the tamarind, cilantro, salt and grind them all together till it forms a smooth paste.
4. Now pour the remaing oil in the pan and pour the ground mixture. Saute it in low flame till the mixture does not stick to the pan and the oil starts to ooze out.

Serve it with either idli or dosa's. Will taste good if mixed with hot rice and gingly oil. Can store it in the refrigirator for a few days in an air tight jar.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spinach and dhal kofta

This is another healthy kofta idea. Got my inspiration from chefinyou. Switched the recipe to suit our taste. When I made it I was not sure if it would turn out good. I am so used to seeing kofta with a tomato based gravy but this actually turned out to be very tasty. Another easy and fun way to add greens to your diet.

Ingredients for kofta:
- 1 cup toor dhal
- 1 medium sized onion chopped
- 2 green chilies (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp oil or spray a little oil
- salt to taste

Method to make kofta:
1. Wash and soak your toor dhal for at least 30-40 minutes. If you are in a hurry then soak the dhal in boiling water. The dhal will become tender in 15- 20 minutes. Reserve the water and use it to make your gravy.
2. In a pan pour oil and fry the green chilies and the onion till the onions becomes translucent.
3. Now grind the soaked toor dhal, onion and salt to a fine paste. Make sure you use as little water as possible.
4. If it becomes a little bit watery then add another teaspoon of oil in the pan pour the ground mixture and sauté it in a low flame. It will dry up the dhal a little bit and once it is cool make small balls and keep them aside.

Ingredients for gravy:
- 1 tomato chopped
- 3 cups spinach
- 2 green chilies
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1/2 tsp jeera powder
- salt to taste

- 1 tsp jeera
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp oil

Method for gravy and mixing in Kofta:
1. Boil spinach (use the same water you used to soak the dhal. You get the added benefit of not wasting the nutrients from the dhal.) with salt until the leaves wilt. Puree it either in your food processor or use a hand blender.
2. In a pan add oil and jeera. Once the jeera turns brown add the chilies and turmeric. Now add the tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add salt, garam masala and jeera powder. Boil them for a couple more minutes.
3. Mix in the spinach mixture with your tomatoes. Let it cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Now reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the kofta carefully. Let it cook for at least 15 minutes. It gives the kofta a chance to observe the gravy.

Serve it hot with roti or rice.

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