Mar 4, 2012

Sweet Potato Wedges

So it was that the guilt conscience pushed me to the edge and warned me sternly not to consume unhealthy junk food. That day paved way for the most delicious healthy finger foods! All we wanted to eat was french fries that day so I replaced potato with the sweet potato and frying with baking and voila an instant crowd pleaser was born.

What you need to make Sweet Potato Wedges (To make for 2)
  • 6 sweet potatoes (size of an egg)
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds / Jeerige - 2 generous tsps
  • Red Chillies - 3 (or as much as required to make it spicy for you)
  • Oil - 2 tsps
Preparation to make Sweet Potato Wedges  (Time : 5 min)
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes french fries style.
  • Grind cumin seeds and red chillies to a coarse powder
Method to make  Sweet Potato Wedges  (Time : 20 mins)
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • In a bowl of sweet potato pieces, add in oil and the ground spice and give it a mix.
  • Place spiced sweet potato pieces into a baking tray. Ensure they are in a single layer.
  • Bake for around 20 mins till the sweet potato is cooked through.
  • Serve hot!

My fundas
  • Somehow coffee was a better companion to this than tea.
  • Sweet potato could be substittued with potato if you could deal with the related excesses. 
  • Make the spice as you like it, no set recipe.

Feb 28, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Indian Curry

This has been a week of discovery. The Indian vegetable scene is so deeply engraved in my DNA that I had no need or desire to open the door to a whole host of alien veggies. Till now that is. I am no longer able to procure fresh Indian vegetables beyond the humble beans, cavorting carrots, little peas, rotund potatoes and their cousins, the tomatoes. After endless weeks of producing magic with the same baseline, I stood in front of the veggies section at the grocery store this weekend. I looked at  row upon row of unknown vegetables for whose names I had to refer to the name tags stuck on the racks. Thats when I made a decision to start trying out the local produce. When in Rome and all blah blah. With panic and a deep sense of adventure I picked out among other things brussels sprouts, asparagus and celery.
The week was innaugurated by the cute looking brussels sprouts. Not knowing what to make with it and how they would cook, I decided to try it in the trademark Indian curry. The result was amazing with my dotzy also loving it!

Here is the recipe
What you need to make Brussels Sprouts Curry (To make for 2)

  • Brussels sprouts - 15
  • Onion - 1 (medium size)
  • Tomato - 1 (small size)
  • Kadlebele / Chana dal - 1 tsp
  • Uddin bele / Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric  / Haldi - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds / Sasuve - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds / Jeerige  / Jeera - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds / Menthya / Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies - 3
  • Curry leaves - 6 (optional, but tastes great with)
  • Coriander leaves - a bunch
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt

Preparation to make  Brussels Sprouts Curry  (Time : 10 min)

  • Remove the outer layer of Brussels Sprout and wash thoroughly under running water.
  • Cut each sprout in half or quarter depending on the size. 
  • Cut onions and tomatoes into small pieces
  • Slit green chillies in half
  • Chop coriander leaves

Method to make  Brussels Sprouts Curry  (Time : 30 mins)

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan / kadhai
  • Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter
  • Add fenugreek seeds and fry for a couple of seconds
  • Add green chillies, curry leaves, channa dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and turmeric and fry for half a minute
  • Next comes onion which is fried till transluscent and then tomato is fried till it becomes dry.
  • Add in the cut sprouts and cook on medium flame till the sprouts are tender
  • Add salt to taste.

My fundas
  • It looks like cabbage but tastes a little sour so the onion, tomato combination offsets this. 

Jan 1, 2012

Mann mein (Besan) Laddu phoota

Happy New Year 2012!
The first day of the new year is always very ambitious. I like to ensure that I do all the things that I love to do since I have a superstition that what I d
o on the first day of the year is what I will do most for the rest.
(So, as you can guess, I dont clean much.)
I woke up today with a craving for sweet and like a typical housewife in the US I have not much choice but to make what I feel like eating.
Besan Laddu is not something that I would normally pick in a sweet store and thats the reason I decided to make it.

What you need to make Besan Laddu (To make 12)
  • Channa dal powder / Besan / Kadle hittu - 3 cups (cup you would serve curry in a thali)
  • Fine Semolina / Sooji / Sanna Rave - 1/2 cup
  • Ghee - 1 cup
  • Milk - 1/2 cup
  • Powdered Sugar - 2 cups
  • Cardamom/Elaichi/Yellakki - 2 pods, powdered (1/2 tsp)
  • Cashews - 1 for each Laddu
Preparation to make Besan Laddu (Time : 2 min)
  • Mix the besan and rava together
  • Powder sugar and elaichi in a mixie and keep aside
Method to make Besan Laddu (Time : 45 mins)
  • Place a heavy bottomed vessel or kadai on a stove on simmer(low heat)
  • Heat the ghee in a kadai
  • Once ghee is warm, fold in the besan rava mixture
  • The besan rava ghee mixture will cook in low heat for around 30-40 mins till raw smell of besan is gone
  • Keep the heat low else it may prematurely burn the mixture
  • Keep stirring it once in a while so that it gets evenly cooked
  • Let the dough cool for 5 mins once cooked
  • Grind together the mixture, sugar, milk for a couple of seconds till well mixed
  • You could also mix manually with a spatula if you do not want extra mixie cleaning chore
  • Let the dough cool
  • Grease hand lightly with ghee and form balls from the dough
  • Stick a cashew into each laddu and voila besan laddu is ready!
My fundas
  • Replace cashews with pistachio or almond pieces
  • You could break cashews into small pieces and fold it into the dough. Makes the laddu crunchy.
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