Monday, June 27, 2016

Sing Pitta - Drumsticks (Moringa) in a Spicy Yogurt Sauce ~ Day 146


Today's recipe is from an Emmy award winning chef and author Raghavan Iyer's very informative and an amazing cook book called 660 Curries.  This flavorful Rajasthani  delicacy is so simple to make and goes well with any rice dish or roti.  

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Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
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Adopted from 660 Curries (p.489-490)

Ingredients:
  • Fresh drumsticks - 1 pound, trim the ends off and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • or 
  • Frozen drumsticks - 1 pack
  • Plain yogurt - 2 cups
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Chickpea flour - 3 tbsp
  • Ginger - 1-inch piece
  • Green chilies - 4
  • Sugar - 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves / cilantro - 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Curry leaves - 6
  • Ghee / clarified butter - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Method:
  1. Place the drumsticks in a saucepan and cover with enough water.  Cook the drumsticks until tender. Drain and set aside.  Dry the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet dry roast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds for 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Cool and grind into a fine powder.
  3. In the same skillet, dry roast the chickpea flour for a minute, over low heat.
  4. Coarsely grind the ginger and green chilies using a blender or a mortar and pestle.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt and water.  Add the chickpea flour an whisk thoroughly. 
  6. Add the ginger chili paste, sugar, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt, coriander leaves, and curry leaves.  Mix well.
  7. Heat ghee in the same saucepan.  Splutter mustard seeds.  Add the yogurt mix along with the cooked drumstick pieces.
  8. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens slightly.
  9. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice or roti.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Simple Rava (Sooji) Upma / Semolina Porridge ~ Day 145


I never liked rava upma while growing up.  My favorite kinds are Arisi (rice grits) upma and semiya (vermicelli) upma.  After a while, I started liking it only when prepared in certain way and it has to be piping hot.  I like my upma to be soft and not sticky.  Though I love vegetables, I don't care much for upma that is loaded with all kinds of vegetables.  This super simple and quick upma recipe is our favorite and we make it often.  It is simply delicious with or without onion.  I love having it with a side of lemon pickle and a tall glass of salted lassi (buttermilk).

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Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4
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Ingredients:
  • Coarse Rava / Sooji / Semolina - 2 cups
  • Ghee / Clarified butter - 1 tbsp
  • Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 2 tsp
  • Onion - 1, large, finely chopped
  • Green chilies - 4, chopped
  • Ginger - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Water - 4 cups
  • Salt - to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves / Cilantro - a handful,  finely chopped

Method:
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, mix the rava and ghee thoroughly.  Microwave for 1 minute. remove and mix well.  Microwave for another minute.  Alternatively, you can roast the rava in a deep skillet, over low flame for 2 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a deep skillet and splutter mustard seeds.  Add urad dal and fry until golden brown.
  3. Add the chopped onion, green chilies, ginger, asafoetida, and curry leaves.  Saute until the onions turn translucent.
  4. Add 4 cups of water along with salt.  Let it come to a boil.  Add the coriander leaves.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the roasted rava gradually with one hand and keep stirring with another hand.
  6. Keep stirring until all the water is absorbed.  Cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring in between.
  7. Serve hot with your choice of chutney or pickle.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spinach and Tomatillo Soup ~ Day 144


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Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3
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Ingredients:
  • Spinach - 1 cup. packed
  • Tomatillos - 5
  • Onion - 1
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Ginger - 1-inch piece
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
  • Thai green chilies - 4
  • Salt - to taste 
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Heavy cream - 1 tbsp (optional)

Method:
  1. Remove the husk from the tomatillos and wash thoroughly.  Roughly chop and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet.  Add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, ginger, and green chilies. Saute for 15 seconds.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the tomatillos and saute until soft.  Finally add the spinach and saute for five minutes.
  4. Let the mixture cool and puree in a blender.  For a smooth texture, strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Transfer the soup into a saucepan and add the salt.  Bring the soup to a boil and remove from the heat.  Stir in the heavy cream (if using).  
  6. Serve hot