Friday, 22 November 2013

Mutter Paneer in Gravy

Popular North Indian Gravy for chapathis or puris.
Paneer is very favourite in my family. So I keep trying different varieties of paneer for hubby and kids. As soon as the paneer is made, my little daughter comes running to have it.
There is a dry version of mutter paneer which I will post sometime later.

Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese - 250 grams(Store bought or home made),
Peas - 200 grams(fresh or frozen),
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon.

To Grind:
Onion - 1 medium,
Green Chillies - 2,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic - 3 cloves.

Tomatoes - 4 medium pureed;
Tomato Paste - 1/2 teaspoon

Dry Spices:
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon.

To Garnish:
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

Grind the ingredients under grinding table to smooth paste, no need to add water while grinding.
Blanch the tomatoes in hot water, remove skin and puree it.
If store bought paneer, thaw it in warm water until you use.
In a medium broad pan, heat oil.
Add cumin, when it crackles, add ground paste.
Fry until oil leaves the sides.
Add peas and fry until, the peas turn white in colour and almost cooked.
Add all the dry spices, except garam masala powder.
Fry for couple of minutes, add tomato puree and tomato paste.
Cook until the tomatoes puree is well cooked, and raw smell goes.
Add Garam Masala Powder and mix well.
If the paneer is being thawed, then squeeze water well from it and then add to gravy.
If home made, add directly to gravy.
Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
Serve it with either chapathi, puris or naan. Even with any rice varieties.

Blanching means, add tomatoes to boiling water.
When the outer skin starts to crack, remove from water.
Dip in cold water and remove the outer skin and grind it to fine paste.
Do not add water while grinding it.

Sweet Corn Pulao

One of the quickest rice recipes. Good option for packed lunch or one pot meal.
Today I am posting pulao recipe of sweet corn, but some time I will post sweet corn rice, which can had with any gravy.
My kids love sweet corn, I was looking for a good reicpe, but not satisfied with any I came across.
Then one night when I was thinking for next day packed lunch,(there were not much vegetables in the fridge either) then I thought of making my own variations of the recipes I came across.
Took a scribbling pad and went on writing the recipe, as I proceeded, I striked off some of the steps and ingredients, thinking it would be over powering the dish. Then finally scribbled the recipe and took it to the kitchen.
When The final product was done, I tested with my husband and son, my greatest critics, got a wonderful feedback.
So I was satisfied and next when I tasted I was very happy with the outcome and loved it.
Because I have a great problem of not getting satisfied with dish, always try to improve and make it more tasty.
So I hope you will also love it.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
Bay leaf - 2,
Onions - 1 large thinly sliced,
Baby Corns - 1 cup (if frozen thawed),
Basmati Rice - 2 cups(soaked for 20 minutes),
Water - 2 cups Boiling,
Milk - 2 cups,
Mint and Coriander Chopped - 1 tablespoon,

To Grind:
Green Chillies - 6-8,
Pepper Corns - 8-10,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic Cloves - 4-5,
Cinnamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 4.

Grind the ingredients under grinding table to smooth paste with little water.
In a broad pan heat oil. Add bay leaf.
Add sliced onions and fry until glossy.
Add Baby Corns and fry for couple of minutes.
Add Ground Paste and fry until raw smell goes.
Add Boiling water and milk.
Add salt and chopped mint and coriander.
Once the mixture boils well, remove water completely from rice and add to boiling water.
Adding of milk to pulao, is to get the whitish colour to the pulao.
Because after adding the paste I realised that the final pulao  would be of very pale colour.
So I added milk. Its completely optional.
Once the rice is half cooked, add ghee , it adds nice aroma and flavour to pulao.
Cook the rice until completely cooked and fluffly.
Serve with any raita or gravy.
It can be a very good packed lunch as well.

Cluster Beans Parippu Usili Karnataka Style

Parippu Usili is been my favourites, but in our family or in any other banglore and mysore brahm house it is done differently from rest of the parippu usilis, it is also called as maatodi palya in kannda brahm household. It is done in cluster beans/gorikaayi/kothavarangai or with fenugreek leaves.
The difference between this preparation and the normal parippu usili is that, along with soaked chana dal, tuar dal, coconut, tamarind, jaggery and mustard and are also grinded to coarse paste and rest of the steps are as normal. The flavour of mustard makes it soo unique and tasty, also complimented by tamarind and jaggery, makes to enjoy it more.
It is either mixed with rice and ghee and enjoyed. It can also b enjoyed as a side dish with chapathi.
My dad was an expert in preparing this dish.

Cluster Beans - 1/2 kilograms chopped into 1 inch tubes.
Oil - 2 tablespoon/1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,

To Grind:
Chana dal - 1/2 cup (soaked not more than 2 hours),
Tuar dal - 1/4 cup(soaked not more than 2 hours),
Coconut - 1/4 cup,
Mustard - 11/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind -marble size,
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Whole Red Chillies - 8-10.

Chop the cluster beans and cook with enough water and salt.
Remove water completely after the vegetable is just done and keep aside.
Drain water completely from dals.
First grind rest of the ingredients except the dals into coarse paste with little water.
Remove the paste, In the same jar pulse the dals to coarse paste, say just once or twice.
Mix both the ground paste.
Now there two ways of cooking the paste.
Either you can steam cook the paste, like how you cook idlis for 8-10 minutes and crumble it with your hands.
You can directly cook in oil.
In a broad kadai, add two tablespoons of oil and heat it.
Add mustard and asafoetida, once they crackle add the ground paste.
Keep frying in medium low heat, until you see it is well cooked(approximately 10-12 minutes),
Keep stirring while cooking the paste, to ensure it does not gets stuck to the bottom.
Once it is well cooked you can see it does not stick to the pan, or the stirring spoon.
Also it emits a good aroma of cooked dals  and spices.
At this stage add cooked cluster beans, mix well, adjust salt and serve.
If you have steam cooked the paste, crumble in your hands, then temper with one teaspoon of oil, mustard and asafoetida.
Add cooked, crumbled paste and fry for couple of minutes.
Add cluster beans and mix well and serve.
Serve it with rasam rice or sambhar rice.
It can also be mixed with hot rice and ghee or a good side dish with chapathi.

Mixed Vegetable Puli Kootu/Huli Kootu/Sour Kootu

The tambrahm household have a lot of varieties of kootu from different vegetable and also the green leaf  vegetables. In my mom's house it used to be a integral part of our lunch. Almost every time rasam was made there used to be some kind of kootu. I love kootus. but it is not very popular in my mil's family.
But I am glad that my husband and kids like me love kootu varieties I cook. My all time favourite is poosanikai/budu kumbalakai/white pumpkin pepper kootu. But today I am posting mixed veg sour kootu, which is a must in Iyengar celebrations like wedding, house warming and so on. It is one of the spread served on plantain leaf. I like to mix it with hot rice, ghee and enjoy, also with curd rice...hhmm heaven.

Vegetables - 2 cups chopped into cubes(beans, carrot, potato ...),
Tuar dal - 1/4 cup(optional),
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind - a medium lemon sized soaked in warm water,
Jaggery - 2 teaspoons,

To Grind and Roast:
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
Chana dal - 1 tablespoon,
Urad dal - 1/2 tablespoon,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch peice,
Pepper - 1/2 teaspon,
Whole Red Chillies - 2-3,
Asafoetida - fat pinch,
Coconut - 1/2 cup.

To Temper:
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Peanuts - a handful,
Curry Leaves - 15,
Dry Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoon.

Cook Tuar dal with turmeric with enough water until mushy and keep aside.
Again adding tuar dal is optional, it gives body to the kootu.
It can be done even without adding tuar dal.
Extract juice from tamarind and keep aside.
Cook vegetables with turmeric with little water until just done.
If you are not using tuar dal, then you can add turmeric to vegetables and cook.
Roast the ingredients under roast and grinding table except coconut, until brown and finally add coconut and fry for a minute and grind with water to smooth paste.
Now mix vegetables, tuar dal(if adding), tamarind juice, salt and jaggery and bring it to boil.
Boil it until the raw smell of tamarind and jaggery smell goes. Say approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add ground paste and boil for couple of more minutes and remove from heat.
Temper the ingredients, under the tempering table in the same order.
Fry peanuts well, until nicely browned.
Finally add grated dry coconut, mix and remove from heat and add to kootu.
I have not added dry coconut, as I didn't have it and realised it at the end.
But do add it, as it makes a lot of difference in the taste.
You can add peas with other veggies and omit peanuts in tempering.
Serve it hot with steamed rice or chapathi.

Ullandhu Ogarai or Ullandu Saadam or Uddina Hudi Anna

This is again one of the Iyengar Specialities prepared during different families do it on different festivals according to the family traditions followed...In my house my  m-i-l prepares this on Gokulashtami.
The literal translation is urad dal rice. Ullandhu in tamil, Uddina Bele simply means Ural dal deskinned.
It is very unique to Iyengar families as I have not seen any others preparing this rice.
Very simple, yet very tasty and flavourful rice, with no heat of spice.
The Urad dal is dry roasted to brown, either it is cooked whole in milk or coarsely powdered.
The Rice is also pre cooked, preferably in milk , but I cooked it like normally with water.
Then the cooked or powdered Urad dal is added with salt to cooked rice.
Tempered with generous amount of ghee with cashews, dry grated coconut and curry leaves.
Of course the important ingredient Asafoetida.
Finally fried plain Urad dal papads are crushed and added to rice before serving.
Try this it is unique and tasty rice.

Rice - 1 cup cooked normally or in milk, but should not be mushy, it should be a bit grainy.
Urad dal - a little less than 1/2 cup, deskinned split variety obviously not the whole
Ghee - 11/2 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Cashew - 20,
Curry Leaves - 15,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Plain Urad Papad - 5-7 fried.

Cook rice in either milk or normally, but should be a bit grainy.
It should be like a hairline overcooked, then normal pre cooked rice for any rice preparation.
Dry roast the urad dal to brown. Either cook this with milk whole urad dal in pressure cooker and add to cooked rice, while it is warm rice.
Grind to coarse powder like medium rawa consistency and add to warm rice.
The important tip here is rice should not be completely cooled while adding urad dal/powder.
But at the same time rice should not very hot, as it would become mushy when you mix, so it should be warm.
Then add salt and mix gently.
In a pan heat ghee, add asafoetida and cashew nuts and fry until roasted.
Add curry leaves and when it splutters, switch off heat.
Add dry coconut and mix well.
Add to rice.
Just before serving, crush the fried papads and mix.
Serve warm.

If you add papads too early, it becomes soggy by the time you serve.
Either you can deep fry papad in oil or mocrowave it or toast it directly on flame.
Traditionally deep fried in oil.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Potato and Brinjal Ennegai

My favourtie sabji, tastes heavenly with rasam rice or even with chapathis, on even on top of toasted bread.
Though ennagai is referred and done in different ways in Karnataka, like in North Karnataka the Masala is stuffed in slit baby aubergines and cooked in oil.
But it is so differently done in Iyengars. But both tastes yummy.
This is one of spread served in Iyengar Wedding in Bangalore and Mysore for lunch. Not only in wedding, but also almost in all festive occasions. We enjoy it with mixing with rice, as soon as it is served, or with mor kuzhambu rice, rasam rice or curd rice.
It is flavourful with  freshly ground spices  and balance of sour, spice sweet and salt.
Capsicum can also be added with potatoes and brinjal.
The important step in this sabji is that the spices are not finely powdered but to a bit coarse texture, which enhances the taste when you bite it.

Oil - 2 Tablespoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 20,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Potato - 1/4 kilo, cut into 1 inch wedges,
Brinjal - 1/4 kilo, cut into 1 inch wedges,
Brinjal Should be of Indian variety(not the aubergines),
Tamarind Pulp - 1/4 cup,
Jaggery - 1 tablespoon,

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana Dal - 1 handful,
Coriander Seeds - 1 handful,
Urad Dal - 1/2 handful,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch peice,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Dry Coconut or Copra - 1/4 cup,
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon.

First roast the ingredients under roast and grind table,except copra and turmeric.
Fry until the dals are nice brown, powder this into coarse powder first.
Then add copra and turmeric and just grind it to mix, may be grind it for 20 seconds or so.
Keep this aside.
In a thick bottom kadai, heat oil.
Add mustard, asafoetida. When it crackles add curry leaves.
Add potato wedges and fry until half cooked.
Keep stirring once in a while and take care not to burn or overcook potatoes.
Add Brinjal, and cook until just done. Again take care not to overcook and make it mushy.
If you adding capsicum, add it with brinjal.
Add tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt and give it a boil.
Add ground powder and mix well.
The mixture will thicken in a minute or two.
Remove from heat and serve.

Take care the veggies should hold their shape,and do not make veggies mushy for the best flavours and taste.