Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sambhar


After posting masala dosa recipe... writing about the classic south indian dish sambhar becomes inevitably predictable. It is one such basic dish which is a great accompaniment for so many other south indian main-course or breakfast dishes like idlis, vadas, uttapams, dosas, appams and what not. It is so simple to prepare yet tastes delicious when made with a variety of vegetables like pumpkin, bottle gourd, carrot, drumstick, onion and tomato. You can choose the vegetables according to your or your family's liking or according to the availability of the vegetables.

Preparation time: 10 min.
Cooking time: 50 min.
Type: Main-course
Cuisine: South-indian
Serves: 6-8



INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 4 cups vegetables (pumpkin, bottlegourd, carrot, cauliflower)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup tamarind pulp
For tempering:
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson)
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (heeng)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp sambhar masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • fresh coriander (to garnish)
METHOD:
  1. Pressure cook dal with 4 cups of water and salt till 2 whistles.
  2. Add diced vegetables and pressure cook for 1 whistle and immediately let all the pressure released from the cooker to stop the cooking process of the vegetables.
  3. Add tamarind pulp in the cooked dal and vegetables mix and let it simmer.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the tempering, heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  5. Add dry red chillies and curry leaves and asafoetida.
  6. Next, add onions and ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2-3 min.
  7. Add sambhar masala, red chilli powder and salt and mix well.
  8. Add tomatoes and cook till they are tender not mushy.
  9. Add the tempering to the boiling sambhar and cook for couple of min. more.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with idli, dosa or rice alongwith coconut chutney.
Note:
  • Consistency of the sambhar can be altered according to personal liking depending upon the amount of water added.
  • To make tamarind pulp, take 2 tbsp full of tamarind and soak in half cup of water for 2-3 hrs and then extract the pulp easily using a strainer.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Masala Dosa



Masala dosa is a staple dish of south india, but it is very common in north indian restaurants. The crispy rice and lentil crepes stuffed with spicy and tangy masala potato filling makes it a favourite of people from all walks of life.

I ususally make the batter in large quantity and then enjoy idlis, dosas and uttapams with the same batter. The only difference among all is the consistency of the batter, that i will discuss in my future posts on idlis and uttapams.

Preparation time: 8-10 hrs
Cooking time: 20 min.
Type: Main-course
Cuisine: South-indian
Serves: 4-6


Ingredients:

For dosa batter:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 cup udad dal (split black lentils)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tblsp salt
For potato filling:
  • 1 kg potatoes ( boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • 1 cup onion ( chopped)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice
  • 2 tblsp oil
  • few coriander leaves (chopped)
Method:

For dosa batter:
  1. Rinse and soak all the ingredients in enough water for 6-8 hrs,
  2. Grind coarsely in a mixer grinder.
  3. Cover and let the batter ferment overnight in a warm place. After fermentation the batter will be light and fluffy and almost double so the bowl should be large enough to accomodate it.
  4. Add salt when making dosas.


For potato filling:
  1. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let it splutter
  2. Add green chillies and curry leaves.
  3. Next, add onions and cook till translucent.
  4. Add all the spices and mashed potatoes, mix well.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes and finally add lemon juice and coriander leaves.
Preparing masala dosa:
  1. Heat non-stick tava, smear some oil and sprinkle few drops of water.
  2. Wipe out with a kitchen towel.
  3. Take a ladleful of the fermented batter and spread in a circular motion making thin and round dosas.
  4. Apply some oil on the sides and top of the dosa and let it cook till the edges are golden brown.
  5. Now put the prepared potato filling in the center and fold the dosa making a semi circle.
  6. Serve hot with sambhar and coconut chutney.
Note:
  • Add salt when making dosas in the required quantity of batter only and refrigerate the leftover unsalted batter.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Dahi Kebab - Mughlai Appetizer


Dahi kebab is a very soft textured, mouth-melting appetizer of mughlai cuisine. These are mild in taste and served with a spicy dip alongwith onion rings like any other kebab dish. I tend to use only limited spices to ensure the unique flavour and sweetness of my favourite hung curd. I generally tie the fresh curd in a muslin cloth and place it over a sieve lying on the rims of a large bowl to collect the strained water overnight in the refrigerator. During summers avoid hanging the curd outside as little sourness can spoil the flavour of this rich and cremy royal appetizer.


Preparation time: overnight
Cooking time: 15 min.
Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mughlai
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

3/4 cup hung curd (made from 500 gm curd)
3 tblsp cottage cheese (grated)
3 tblsp roasted gram powder
1 tblsp onion (sliced and fried till golden-brown)
1 tblsp mint leaves (chopped)
1 tblsp coriander leaves (chopped)
1 tsp green chillies (chopped)
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
salt to taste

For filling:
50 gm khoya
1/2 tsp sugar
10-12 strands saffron
1 tblsp cashewnuts (chopped)
1 tblsp raisins

Method:

For filling:

  1. Heat a pan, add khoya and cook till little soft.
  2. Add sugar and saffron and mix well.
  3. Remove from flame and add nuts and raisins.
  4. Let it cool and make 6 small balls.
For Kebabs:
  1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients and refrigerate for few min.
  2. Divide the mixture into six parts using a spoon.
  3. Dust your hands with little roasted gram flour and pat the curd mixture to flatten and stuff with a ball of the above filling and seal all over to give the shape of round kebabs.
  4. In a pan heat enough oil or ghee, shallow fry the kebabs on both the sides till a nice golden-brown crust forms.
  5. Serve hot with your choice of spicy dip.
Note:
  • These kebabs are very delicate so handle them gently.
  • Hung curd should be absolutely dry, else pat it dry on a muslin cloth.
  • Roasted gram flour can be dusted before shallow frying the kebabs if the mixture is too wet to handle.