Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Recipes from Facebook

Join me on facebook for additional easy, Indian Inspired recipes!

Links to notes:

Bachelor's style Kerala South Indian Breakfast (potato stew)

Easy Mocha - Affectionately known as Coffee Chocolate (made with Bru Coffee)

Indian Inspired Six Bean/Lentil Stew

Kerala Cookery Tips- Chiratta Puttu/ Puttu

Lemon Rice

Pongal - Flavorful Indian Porridge with Rice and Lentils (look for comments, mostly!)

Readymade Indian - Baghara Baingan by Deep

Sesame Powder, good for eating with Dosas, Idlis and... plain rice!

Spice up your Rice a Roni - Mac and Cheese

The Kitchen Connection: Bonding with Indian Culture and People through Food

Thank you for spending time on my website!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Recipe Review August 2009

4th Sense Samayal By Nithya
Alligator Fry
This is a unique name for a unique vegetarian dish- bittergourds stuffed with spicy dhals and deep fried! Creating cute little alligators from bittergourds is creative, indeed!
Chayote or Chowchow Curry
Chow Chow is a very unique vegetable and even more appetizing when taken as a side dish with South Indian food.
Chenna/Chick peas Rasam
Now, Nithya has stretched the definitions of what I thought Rasam is! Adding my favorite chick peas can't be resisted! More than the recipe, click inside to check out the photography!
Colorful Capsicum Rice
This is as close to a "rice a roni treat" as we will find in Indian food! An easy to prepare rice dish with different colored bell peppers. It can't get much easier than this!
Iron Adai
Adai is one of our favorites, but with added drumstick leaves, more appetizing for me!
Lemon Rasam
Spicy lemon enhanced soup.
Milagu (Pepper) Rasam
Who hasn't had pepper rasam from a cup- let alone a mug! The new 'hot chocolate'- and good for you too!"Pittu swan" = Fantastic Food Photography by Nithya
Soaked, ground and steamed lentils crumbled into a curry is this dish in a nutshell! The photo to the right, by Nithya inspires one and all into Indian cookery, paper crafts, and food photography! Thanks for the inspiration (photo reprinted with permission).
Rice Ball Bean Sundal
She says she's a fresher, but how many of us can make this time-consuming and a bit complex spicy bean salad made with rice flour dumplings? I gotta come to your house, and fast, Nithya!
Tomato Rasam
Watery spicy tomato soup.
Yennai Kathirikkai- Brinjal
Oh spicy eggplant curry, the color of the dish tempts me more!

Red Capsicum Chutney
A tempting puree of red bell peppers, akin to a pesto or salsa that is eaten as a side dish with Indian foods. Can also be used as a yummy sandwich spread!

Aayi's Recipes
Cumin/Jeera Bread
A nice twist on what I would call cumin-infused french bread.
Facebook Friends
Greens, potato and feta cheese pie recipe by Jennifer Jones Petro

Kamala's Corner
Rawa Pongal
A mouthwatering cream of wheat porridge with lentils and mild spices eaten for breakfast or any time of day!

Life at Abhi
Revealing the Rumors of Karkidaka Kanji- Medicinal Poridge
This is a special rice gruel infused with ayurvedic and local herbs particular to Kerala had during the Karkidaka Vavu rituals- worshiping of ancestors.

Puttu Uppumavu – Breakfast Puttu gets makeover at the teatime!

Ria's Collection
Urulakkizhangu Mezhukkuvaratti - An aromatic Kerala side dish using potatoes
This is a tempting south Indian style dry potato curry. Click into see the photos and start drooling!

Wonder what to do with left over idli/dosa batter? Tired of utthapam? Want something a bit more savory, tempting, deep fried and crunchy? Try this tempting treat!

Veggie Platter
Lime Sevai
Sevai is the Tamil word for Vermicelli. This South Indian vegetarian treat, usually taken as a tiffen (mid day snack) is a favorite of lime lovers. A mild blend of spices and fresh lime juice are mixed into cooked vermicelli to offer a unique dish loved by all!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Besan Omelette

This chickpea based recipe is a vegan alternative to an egg-based breakfast.

Although I have been making this breakfast alternative for the past few years, I never got it quite right. The main problem I continued to have was the ratio of water to besan flour. Today, as I made it again, I thought carefully about this and how to approach it. I decided to take more careful measurements. The end result has surprised me! I realised the ratio of besan exceeds water! Though I must have done this in the past, I was not conscious of it, and never really made the recipe with this in mind. The ratio of besan to water I used it 3:2 (in this case 1 measure equals 1/4 cup- so 3/4 cup besan, 1/2 cup water). This may make a thicker batter, and heavier pancake. Other sites say 1/2:1 ratio or 1/2 cup besan to 1 cup water. Try both ways and see what you like better. I have a problem cooking the thinner version, when it's too watery. I will have to improve myself!

As I did a little Internet research on this recipe, I found that it is also called 'cheela', though I am not sure what language this is. Cheelas, like western pancakes come in many varities, like besan, moong dhal (which I have made), oats (which I have yet to make), and others I do not yet know. Links for these will be at the end of the post.

3/4 cup besan (chick pea flour)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp red chili pepper
1/4 tsp (heaping) ginger paste
1/8 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 green chilies, the small Indian kind
pinch of green herb like dried fenugreek, finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves), parsley, etc. for color

1. Place besan flour and water in a blender and blend out any lumps. The mixture should be a little thinner than pudding. It should not be watery or it won't cook nicely. This could vary slightly on the quality of besan.
2. Transfer to a bowl, add salt, cumin seeds, red chili powder, ginger paste, green chilies, onions and green herb.
Note about chilis: It is ok to reduce or leave out if you don't like hot spices, the other spices will give flavor. For green chilies if you can't find Indian kind, use what you like but it will give a different taste. I finely slice the green chili, adding the chili and seeds into the batter. I gauge the amount by the number of slices, usually 8-10. Sometimes one chili is enough, sometimes two are required. You can add more if you like it hotter!
3. Heat a pan and put oil on it. Heat pan on high. When it is really hot, reduce heat to 3/4, take the pan off the flame and place half the batter on the pan and even it out. Fry on flame two minutes and flip. Flip a few times until you get a golden brown color. The pancake may appear soft and not done all the way through. Sometimes if you let it set for a few minutes after cooking to cool it, it will set itself when the ratio of water to besan is correct.

Alternative: For a green feel and another texture, others add peas. I have not tried this, though it seems interesting. Here's a recipe, green peas cheela.

This makes two servings, two pancakes. Besan pancakes are filling, and can be heavy.

Eat with a side of your favorite sauce (ketchup, salsa, green chili sauce), sour cream or cream cheese.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Related posts/sites
Throw away the recipe; Learn the ratio instead (NPR)
My old besan pancake recipe