May 31, 2020

Potato Sagu | Poori Sagu


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Potato sagu is a mildly spiced potato based curry which is served alongside rava idli, set dosa or poori.  The famous chain of restaurants run by MTR is known for serving its yummy rava idlis with this potato Sagu.  

Poori and potato based sabji is an eternal combination and every region has its special aloo curry recipe to go with pooris . 
Making Potato Sagu is very simple and doesnt involve many ingredients or pre preparations . If you have some potatoes boiled , you can prepare it quickly .
This curry goes well as a side dish with jeera rice, vegetable pulao or even rotis and plain rice. 
There is another variant of Sagu made using mixed vegetables which also goes well with puris, chapati , roti or even plain hot rice. The recipe for Vegetable Sagu is published on my blog . Do try that too. 

Preparation Time - 30 mins
 (includes time to boil potatoes)
Cooking Time - 15 mins 
Serves - 3 to 4 
Complexity- simple 




Ingredients 
3 to 4 medium sized potatoes 
2 to 4 green chillies finely chopped 
2 tsp ginger finely chopped 
1/2 onion finely chopped (optional)
1 medium sized tomato chopped 
1.5 tablespoon gram flour/besan
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
2 tablespoon oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dhal
1 tsp udad dhal
Pinch of asafoetida 
Salt to taste 
Pinch of sugar 
Few curry leaves 
Corriander to garnish 

Method 
  • Wash the potatoes, cut them into half and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles on medium flame .
  • Peel the potatoes, roughly crumble them and keep aside .
  • In a pan heat oil and temper the mustard seeds , channa dhall and udad dhal till the dhalls turn golden brown. 
  • Now fry the green chillies and ginger along with asafoetida and curry leaves . 
  • If using onions , saute that until it turns pink and soft . If not using onion, skip this step.
  • Add the tomatoes, some salt , haldi/turmeric and the red chilli powder and saute till tomatoes turn soft .
  • Add the gram flour and mix well . Add 1 cup of water and cook till the raw flavor of gram flour is lost .
  • Add the crumbled potatoes and mix it well .Add 1 cup of water, adjust salt if needed , add a pinch of sugar and cook for another 5 to 8 mins. If you need it a little more spicy, add some red chilli powder at this stage. 
  • Turn off and garnish with fresh corriander .



May 27, 2020

Majjige Huli - Udupi style


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Curd based gravy is  very popular all across Indian Cuisine,known by various names each region has it's own special recipe and method to prepare a lipsmacking curd based curry or gravy. 
Majjige Huli(kannada) , Morekuzhambu (Tamil), Majjiga Pulusu(Telugu),Pulissery, kaalan,MoreKootan (malayalam) are all delicacies prepared in the South of India with curd as the main ingredient . The next main ingredient which is part of the masala or spices mix to be prepared is fresh coconut and green /red chillies.  
Kadhi is a north Indian variant and is comparatively easy and quick to make as it doesn't involve any grinding or roasting but uses the basic ingredients in our pantry. 
You can try the recipe of Gujarati Kadi and Fajeto (Aam/Mango kadi) featured on my blog.


I love these curd based curry especially during summers as it light on the stomach and also cools the body system.
As  already mentioned, each region has a slightly different method of preparation and today we shall see how to prepare the Udupi style Majjige Huli. 
This month as a part of our Secret ingredient challenge in our Facebook group we were given the theme as Udupi Cuisine by our fellow blogger Jayshree Trao who has some amazing recipes on her blog and her latest lipsmacking recipe is Watermelon Rind Smoothie which you can try.
I was paired with Poonam Bachav who prepared the traditional prasad Hayagreeva Maddi with the secret ingredients Jaggery and ghee given to her by me and she gave me Mustard and curry leaves. 

Udupi is a town in Karnataka in southern India which is famous for the Udupi Shri Krishna Temple , serene beaches and lots of other temples and Mathas.  
Primarily the Udupi cuisine is a saatvik cuisine meaning there is no use of Onion and Garlic in the traditional recipes as they were all part of the offering made to Shri Krishna in the Krishna Temple 
This Udupi cuisine was developed by the Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins who were in charge of cooking prasad for the temple and then the same is served to the thousands of devotees who throng the temple for darshan. 

Preparation Time - 20 mins 
Cooking Time -15 mins
Serves- 3-4 
Complexity  - simple 


Ingredients 
300 gms ash gourd / white pumpkin/boodhu kumbalkkai /safed bhopla/pooshnikai
1 tablespoon rice soaked in water for 20 mins
1 cup freshly grated coconut 
4 to 5 green chillies 
300 ml thick and slightly sour yogurt/dahi
Few curry leaves/kadipatha
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp methi /fenugreek
2 tsp edible coconut oil 
Salt as needed

Method
  • Peel the skin of the ash gourd , discard the seed portion and cut them into medium sized cubes.
  • Take about 150ml water in a vessel and  boil the ash gourd with a little salt until it is 3/4th done.
  • Excess cooking will make it mushy and lose the crunch. 
  • In a blender ,grind the rice, coconut and green chillies with about 2 tablespoons of curd to a fine paste and keep it ready . The rice will give thickness to the gravy.
  • Whisk the curd with 100 ml water and set aside .
  • Once the ash gourd is cooked , add the coconut paste , some salt as needed  and mix well . Bring it to a quick rolling boil .
  • Now, slowly add the whisked curd to this coconut-ashgourd mixture and cook on medium flame till you see the curd mixture frothing up.
  • At this stage turn off the stove and donot over cook because the curd will curdle and the entire texture and taste will be lost .
  • You have to be very vigilant after adding the curd as it will froth up in about 3 to 4 mins max .
  • Prepare a tempering of mustard , methi seeds and curry leaves using coconut oil and pour it over the Majjige Huli .
  • Use of coconut oil is what gives it the authentic flavor and taste so pls donot skip using coconut oil .
  • Serve hot with some rice and enjoy your meal.


Notes 
In place of ash gourd we can use Mangalore cucumber , chayote squash (chou chou) , cucumber or even ladies finger.

Use slightly sour curd to get the tangy flavor .

1-2 dry red chillies can also be added along with tempering .



May 24, 2020

Herbal Tea / Herbal Drink


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A refreshing and healthy herbal tea or drink made using simple spices from the regular pantry at the comfort of our homes .
DETOX or IMMUNO BOOSTERS is the word of the day now. 
As much as the words look fancy and complicated their meaning is very very simple.
Detox is nothing but flushing out the various toxins that our body is exposed due to external factors like pollution , outside food , junk food etc. When there is toxin build up in the body our immunity is compromised and we tend to fall sick often . If the toxins are flushed out from the  the system , our immunity will be boosted and we can have a fit and healthy life .

Along with these some minor changes in lifestyle will help us go a long way in staying fit . Include about 15-20 mins of physical activity like walking or jogging in your daily schedule , practice breathing exercises even simple breathe in and breathe out for 30 counts will keep the lungs fit .

Enough of talks on staying healthy and eating healthy , let's get to the recipe now . This herbal tea or drink is made with very simple herbs and spices which we use in our day to day cooking and easily available in every home . 
All we have to do is dry roast these ingredients, make a fine powder and store it in an air tight container. 
Prepare some nice warm drink using this herbal powder with a spoon of honey or jaggery and sip it when you like .
We have it every night before going to  bed . You could even have it first thing in the morning too .

Some of the benefits of ingredients used 

Turmeric  - antiseptic, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory 

Ajwain /carom seeds - helps in digestion and stomach related issues. 

Cinnamon/dalchini - antiviral properties , alleviates stomach discomfort 

Pepper - eases sore throat , cough and helps in clearing sinus 

Dry ginger powder - regulates acidity and eases stomach disorders 

Fennel / saunf -  aids digestion

Cloves -  anti inflammatory, relieves tooth pain, stops bad breath  

Cardamom/elaichi- antioxidant , anti inflammatory, helps in digestion 


** these are the broad benefits of these general herbs and spices.  If you have any underlying health conditions pls consult you doctor before having this drink.

So friends eat healthy stay fit .

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cooking Time - 2 mins
Complexity- simple 



Ingredients 
2 table spoon pepper corns
1 tablespoon ajwain /carom  
1 small stick cinnamon/dalchini
5 to 10 cardamom /elacihi
5-10 cloves /lavang 
1 tablespoon turmeric powder 
1.5 tablespoon dry ginger powder 
1/2 tablespoon saunf /fennel seeds 

Method 
  • Dry roast all the ingredients except ginger powder and turmeric powder for about 3 to 4 mins without burning .
  • Let the ingredients cool and then make a fine powder in a blender along with the ginger powder and turmeric powder .
  • Store it in a dry airtight container and keep away from moisture. 

How to prepare the herbal drink ?
  • Add about 1/2 tsp of this herbal powder to a glass of hot water and mix it well.
  • You can add some jaggery powder or 1 tsp honey if you would like it sweet . 
  • Keep sipping as and when you like .


Note

You can proportionately increase/decrease the quantity of ingredients depending on how much powder you want to make.





May 20, 2020

Cheesy Masala Papad


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Papad is an integral part of any Indian meal . Papads are crunchy sun dried fritters served either fried or roasted along with the meal . 
Papads can even be microwaved or even air fried . 

What is papad or pappadum or appalam ?
Papads are prepared out of rolling a dough made using udad dhall flour , moong dhall flour or rice flour along with some spices . The dough is kneaded tightly and then rolled into thin discs like chapati/rotis and sun dried which are then stored for year around . This is mostly a summer activity undertaken by the ladies of the home. 
Now a days we have ladies wing and many small scale home industries which prepare and sell these papads across stores under various  brands with the  necessary hygiene and safety certifications .

What is masala papad ? 
Masala papad is a quick starter or an appetizer served just before the actual meal . A spicy tangy salad type mixture of finely chopped tomatoes, onions , cucumbers, lots of coriander with right amount of salt, red chilli powder , chat masala is spread over the roasted or fried papad and eaten with soups or cocktails/mocktails. 


Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - nil 
Complexity- easy 



Ingredients
3-4 Roasted or fried papads 
2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped 
1 cucumber peeled and finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped (optional - I haven't used).
2 green chillies finely chopped 
2 cheese cubes grated 
Finely chopped coriander 
Pinch of salt 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp black salt 
1/4 tsp chat masala 

Jain version- skip the onions 

Vegan version - skip the cheese 

Method 
  • In a wide mixing bowl , mix the tomatoes, cucumber, onions with salt, red chilli powder , green chillies, black salt and chat masala and toss it well. 
  • Add in the fresh corriander and lightly mix it .
  • Lay the papads on a plate , generously spread this salad mixture on the papads, top it with some grated  cheese and some crunchy sev.
  • You can also add a few drops of khatta meeta chutney or green chutney too for extra flavor and zing. 
  • Yummy masala papad ready. 
Do try the yummy street style Bhelpuri and 
Pani puri also on my blog .


Notes
  1. Spread the mixture on the papads just before serving else they will turn soggy and wont taste good .
  2. If you are preparing the masala papad for some party , prepare the mixture without adding salt , black salt and chaat masala. Add these and mix just before making the masala papad .
  3. Adding salt before hand will tend to release water from the veggies and the salad will be all watery and will be difficult to spread on the papads.
  4. I have used udad dhall pepper flavored papad. You can use moong dhall papad or even rice Pappad called khichiiya.




May 19, 2020

Masala Peas Pulao


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Pulao is the most desired recipe in my home and is also my go to choice when I run out of dinner or lunch ideas . Pulaos are an easy one pot meal which when served with a simple raita takes care of your hunger pangs and the tummy will bless you .This can be packed for lunch box as well or goes well with pot luck parties too.
Masala Peas Pulao was on my menu many a times and until recently I did not realise that it has not been blogged in my blog ... so ironical that an almost regular meal in my household was not blogged..I really dint know whether to laugh or feel bad about myself. Well,better late than never and here comes this yummy recipe in my style as it was on our dinner menu last night.
Doesnt need any fancy ingredients or pre preparations, you can whip this up in about 30-40 mins inclusive of preparation and cooking time . I served it with some chilled Boondi tomato raita and a glass of chilled buttermilk to beat the heat . You may serve it with a choice of your gravy as well.

To make Jain version of this pulao , skip the Ginger .

To make Vegan Version , skip the ghee.

Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Complexity - Simple
Serves : 2-3


Ingredients
1.5 cups rice  
3/4 cup fresh peas or frozen peas
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp ginger paste / finely grated ginger
2 bay leaves / tej patta
small stick of cinnamon/ dalchini
2 -3 cloves / lavang
1-2 cardamom / elaichi
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
fresh corriander and pudina 
2 tsbp oil
1 tbsp ghee
salt as needed

Method
  • Wash the rice well and soak it in water for about 15 mins and then drain .
  • Keep water ready . If using basmati rice use 2.25 cups water and if using regular cooking rice then use 3 cups water . 
  • In a pressure cooker , heat the oil and splutter the jeera followed by the bay leaves , cloves , cinnamon, cardamom and saute on slow flame till you get a nice aroma.
  • Now , add in the green chillies and ginger and fry it well.
  • Add the peas, garam masala, haldi , salt and give a quick toss.
  • Pour the water and let it boil . Adjust salt at this stage if required. The water has to taste a little salty so that when we add the rice the salt will get absorbed into the rice and the taste will be perfect.
  • As soon as the water boil, add the drained rice and mix well and close the cooker lid.
  • Pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium flame and turn off. Let the pressure release normally.
  • Slowly , open the cooker , fluff it with a fork and add the ghee and let it permeate into the rice.
  • Add finely chopped corriander and mint just before serving and serve it hot .

May 12, 2020

Mango Frooti - Home made


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Mango frooti..fresh and juicy!!! 

How many can relate to this yummylicious advertisement on the Television every summer??
  The visuals were so luscious that all of us would want to grab one right away .The small squarish tetra pack was every child's dream . The fun part for me was piercing that small hole through the straw and take a sip . Me and my friend would eagerly wait for outings during summer vacation so that we get our share of frooti from our parents . Pure nostalgia and fun free days. 
Now even though I have outgrown that stage , the taste of frooti still lingers in my mouth and I do get the craving occasionally. 
Such a craving suddenly popped up during lockdown and as going out is not that advisable I made this frooti style mango juice at home itself and guess what ??with each sip I could relive my childhood  .This post is dedicated to my childhood summer holidays and the fun I had with my partner in crime friend D .D was crazy for Frooti and Peppy :-) 

I have tried to make this drink as a concentrate which can be stored for about 2 months  or more in fridge.  You can take the required amount of concentrate, pour in some chilled water and ice cubes and enjoy ! Remember to put back the concentrate in the fridge quickly . 

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Complexity  - medium 

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Ingredients 
1 raw mango - I used thothapuri variety
2 ripe mangoes - used alphonso variety 
2 cups sugar 
1tsp of salt 
500 ml water 

Method 
  • Wash and peel the skin of the mangoes. 
  • Chop them roughly including the pulp on the seed .scrape out all the pulp on the seed and discard the seed.
  • In a pressure cooker add these chopped mangoes, 1tsp salt , 100 ml water and pressure cook on medium for 2 whistles. 
  • Alternatively,you can cook the mangoes in a normal vessel until the mangoes are well cooked and soft .
  • Allow this to cool and then puree it in a blender. 
  • Strain this puree through a sieve and set aside. 
  • Prepare sugar syrup with the 2 cups sugar and 300 ml water and boil till the sugar syrup reaches one string consistency. 
  • This 1 string consistency is important because we are making the concentrate and it needs to have a long shelf life .
  • When the consistency is reached, add in the mango puree to this sugar syrup ,mix and bring it to a rolling boil for 5 mins. 
  • Turn off the stove and let it cool completely. 
  • Now store in a dry glass bottle and refrigerate. 
  • To make frooti, take about 1/3rd glass of concentrate and add chilled water to it ,stir and enjoy your home made frooti .
Notes 

I have used alphonso mangoes, but you can use any sweet variety of mango that is available.
The shelf life of the concentrate is between 2 to 4 months depending on the consumption. 

If you face frequent power cuts in your city , the shelf life won't be long .In that case try to consume it quickly. 


May 08, 2020

Mango Salsa


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We all have a love hate relationship with summer dont we ?? I very much love summer and eagerly wait to gorge on the yummy ,sweet and  luscious mangoes while I hate it for the heat and sweat..well there is no gain without pain. 
This year's summer has been totally different for all of us across the globe . Most of us are staying indoors and doing our bit by breaking the chain while the frontline health workers are struggling to fight the pandemic.  Salute and prayers to them and their families to be safe .

Well , now that we have spoken of lockdown , kids are all at home and need to be engaged as they get bored quickly as possible . Also they keep asking for something to munch on to keep the boredom away and parents look for healthy alternatives all the time. 




Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce but in present day cuisine it is mostly used as a dip or an accompaniment to nachos, burritos, grilled veggies etc.  There are lot of varieties of salsa which can be prepared,today we shall prepare the tangy sweet and mildly spiced Mango Salsa as it the season of Mangoes. 

Mango salsa is a very refreshing sauce or dip and is certainly a riot of flavors when we take a mouthful ..have it with nachos or as is , it is too good to resist . Let us quickly get to the recipe now .

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - Nil 
Assembling Time - 2 mins 
Complexity- easy 



Ingredients
1 sweet ripe mango 
1 medium sized tomatoes 
1-2 less spicy green chilly 
1 medium sized salad cucumber 
Lemon juice from 1 lime
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper 
Lots of fresh corriander 

Method 
  • Peel the skin of the mango and chop it into small cubes .
  • Deseed the tomatoes and cut into small cubes. 
  • Peel the cucumber , cut into small cubes .
  • In a salad bowl , add the chopped mangoes, cucumber, tomatoes and the finely chopped green chillies, pepper , salt and lime juice.
  • Mix all of it gently and lastly add the freshly chopped corriander. 
  •  You may chill it in the fridge for a while or place it on an ice bath and enjoy with your favorite nachos .