Friday, April 27, 2007

Nutritious Doodhi Paratha

Nupur's "N of Indian Vegetables" for A-Z of Indian Vegetables allows a very few dishes to choose from. The options were either Nimbu(Lemon) or Naaral(Marathi word for coconut) which are used in selected few common recipes like Nimbu ka Achaar(Lemon Pickle), Nimbu Paani(Lemonade), Narali Bhaat(Cocumut Rice) or Naralachi Burfi(Cocunut Fudge) etc. Navalkol (mini version of cabbage) is one N vegetable cooked in Maharashtra, India, but its next to impossible to find it here. So I decided to try something Namkeen or Nutritious and finally settled for Nutritious Doodhi Paratha.

Doodhi (Bottle gourd) is one vegetable most people don’t like. Children usually make excuses to avoid eating Doodhi. Doodhi Paratha is one bread my mom used to prepare to make me eat doodhi without me realizing what it is made of. This paratha is tasty and nutritious as it is prepared by combining various grain and lentil flours. I served the dish with Tomato Chutney and Nimbu Pickle.

Nutritious Doodhi Paratha

What you need:

1/4 kg Doodhi (bottle gourd)
1 cup Wheat Flour (Atta)
1/4 cup Jowar Flour
1/4 cup Bajra Flour
1/4 cup Chikpea Flour (Besan)
1/4 Cup Coarse Corn Flour
2-3 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Corriander Powder
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
A pinch of Turmeric
1 tsp chopped Corriander
Salt to taste

Oil for roasting

How to Proceed:

1) Grate Doodhi when ready with other ingredients at hand (to avoid grated doodhi from changing color to black)
2) Mix all the flours and other ingredients with grated Doodhi and knead into a soft dough.
* Combination of other flours can be used in prop of 1:4 to wheat flour
3) Divide the dough into balls of 2 inch diameter
4) As the dough is soft, its difficult to roll he paratha. Place a wet cloth/ plastic sheet on the rolling pin and then roll the paratha using oil to the size of roti/chapati.
5) Put a tsp of oil on hot girdle and place the paratha. When cooked, turn and roast on the other side.
6) Serve hot with chutneys or pickles.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Elumichampazha Sadam

Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine has come up with a great idea of featuring regional cuisine. Thanks to Lakshmi, this is my first try at South Indian cuisine. According to Wikipedia, "Rice is an important constituent of Tamil cuisine, there are a variety of rice preparations, and food items of rice are available for all the meals of the day. Lentils, too, are consumed extensively, either accompanying rice preparations, or in the form of independent food preparations of lentils." Hence I decided to try a rice dish combined with lentils.

Elumichampazha Sadam, my entry for RCI-Tamil Cuisine Event, is rice (called "Sadam" in Tamil) cooked with Urad Dal, Chana Dal and Peanuts. Elumichampazha (Tamil word for "Lemon") is another important ingredient for this recipe and hence this dish is also known as Lemon Rice.

Elumichampazha Sadam (Lemon Rice)

What you need:

1 cup Basmati Rice

4-5 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
2 tbsp Chana Dal
2 tbsp Urad Dal
3 Green chillies, chopped
½ inch Ginger, chopped
3-4 tbsp Peanuts, roasted and de-skinned
1 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste
Juice of 1 big Lemon
Few coriander leaves, chopped

How to proceed:

1) Wash and soak the rice for 10 mins.
2) Boil the rice in 3-4 cups of water and set aside. In order to obtain separate grains, do not overcook the rice and drain off excess water and leave aside.
3) Wash chana dal and urad dal and set aside
4) Heat the oil in a cooking pan, add curry leaves, mustard seeds, asafoetida and cumin seeds.
5) When mustard seeds splutter, add urad dal, chana dal, chopped green chillies, ginger and peanuts.
6) Fry till peanuts change color and add turmeric.
7) Add the rice, mix well and add salt.
8) Remove from gas, add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander.
9) Serve hot with yogurt (optional).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Moong Dal Kheer

This recipe is my entry for "M of Indian Vegetables" of Nupur's A to Z of Indian Vegetables.This is one of the interesting recipes which develops from an accident ;) Last week hubby dear cooked some extra moong daal which rested in the fridge for two days. I could not find any innovative recipes on net for washed and cooked Moong dal and decided to experiment. As Moong Dal Payasam recipes expected me to wash, roast and then cook the dal, I decided to adapted steps from the same recipe.

It was Akshaya Trutiya (a festival celebrated in Maharashtra, India) last Thursday when mom called and asked me to cook some sweet naivedya (prasad/offering to god). This was how the reicpe of "Moong Dal Kheer" was born. Quick and easy to cook dessert with very few ingredients. Here goes the recipe...

Moong Dal Kheer

What you need:

1 cup Moong Dal
¾ cup Sugar
3 cups Milk
4-5 strands of saffron soaked in 2 tsp of warm milk
1 tsp Ground cardamom
7-8 Cashews
Few golden raisins
2-3 tbsp Ghee

How to proceed:

1) Wash and cook Moong Dal in cooker till mushy (3 whistles)
2) Put Moong Dal in blender to make a smooth paste
3) Heat ghee and fry the raisins and cashews and put aside
4) Add the Moong Dal paste to ghee and cook for some time
5) Add soaked saffron and ground cardamom
6) Add sugar and milk and mix well on medium heat
7) Keep stirring the kheer at intervals on medium heat for 30 mins
8) Add roasted raisins and cashews and cook for 5 more mins
9) Serve hot or cold

Welcome to Aarti's Corner

After spending loads of time reading various food blogs and improving(really???) my cooking skills, its time to have my own corner to share my experiences.. Food bloggers have been a helpful hand in teaching me to cook after marriage :) Thanks to them, these days my current passion is cooking and trying new recipes. I am good at regional maharashtrian cuisines but am trying to learn other cuisines as well. My blog will also include some experiences of travelling in Europe.. My first post will follow in some time with one of my favorite snack!

Welcome to my chotusa kona khopcha on the net :)