Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Rajma Soup / Red Kidney Bean Soup

With the party season coming to an end, it won't be long before everyone is looking for healthy & low-calorie recipes. I would say this recipe fits the bill perfectly.

I am sure all of you know the nutritional value of Rajma (Red Kidney Beans), so I am not going to get into that. I had bookmarked this particular recipe by Tarla Dalal a while ago but never tried it as I felt it was incomplete.

I know she didn't become one of the best selling cook book authors in India by writing incomplete recipes. That's what drove me to follow her recipe almost word-to-word. The result??? No wonder she is one of India's best selling cook book authors.

Here's my tweaked recipe:

Serves: 2 - 3 as a complete meal

1 cup Rajma / Red Kidney Beans - soaked over night and drained
1 Onion - finely chopped
1 Tomato - finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic - sliced
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (adjust or omit - I didn't use)
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. When hot, add the Onions and saute till they become soft.
  2. Add the Tomatoes and Garlic and fry for a minute.
  3. Now add the Red Chilli Powder (if using) and salt and mix well.
  4. Add the drained Rajma and 3 cups of water and mix well.
  5. Pressure cook for about 4 - 5 whistles (or till done).
  6. Let it cool completely, transfer to a blender and blend to the desired consistency.
  7. Garnish with Corinader Leaves and serve.

Note: You can also use 1 400gms (14oz) tin of Red Kidney Beans. Make sure you drain and rinse well.

This goes to the following events:

Kiran's MLLA #42 that was started by Susan

Radhika's Winter Carnival

Friday, 23 December 2011

Vegetable Kothu Paratha / Kothu Roti

This is the famous road side food in Chennai. I’ve never eaten it in Chennai, but when my cousins came to visit me last year, they made this for us and it was very tasty and different (for us).

They made it with Chicken and Egg. I wanted to try making it with Vegetables for a long time now, but never got around to do it. I was going through Amy’s blog and found that Kothu Roti is part of the Sri Lankan cuisine as well.

Serves: 2 – 3 as main course OR 4 – 5 as snack

5 Layered Parthas – cooked and roughly chopped (I used store bought frozen ones)
2 Onions – finely chopped
3 Green Chillies – finely minced (adjust)
2 cups mixed vegetables (I used Carrots, Beans & Peas)
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Garlic Paste
2 Tomatoes – finely chopped
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder (optional)
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
20 Curry Leaves (1 sprig)
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste (remember that the parathas will have salt in them)

  1. Heat Oil in a pan – I used a frying pan as its easier to mix everything.
  2. Once hot, add the Mustard and Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.
  3. Add the Green Chillies and Curry Leaves and saute for a minute or so.
  4. Add the Onions and fry till they turn transparent..
  5. Now add the Ginger and Garlic Pastes and fry till the raw smell goes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, Turmeric, Coriander and Chilli (if using) Powders and cook till the masala comes together.
  7. Now add the Vegetables, mix and cook till they are done.
  8. Now add the chopped parathas and mix well and cook till the parathas are heated through.
  9. Serve hot with Raita or on its own.
Note 1: I have torn the parathas with hand. The pieces are not uniform, but we don’t mind.
Note 2: You can add boiled vegetables to reduce the cooking time.

After our dinner, there was enough left for my lunch box the next day.

This goes to the following events:

Priya's Cooking with Seeds - Peas

Veena's HLI - Peas that was started by Kalyani.

Valli's Snacks Mela

Priya's Flavours of Sri Lanka that was started by Nayna.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Trust me... This dish is not as complicated as it sounds... This is the simplest Spaghetti dish I've come across. You should find all the ingredients (total of 4 – including oil) in your pantry.

So this is the perfect late night / in-a-hurry snack / meal. I would also say this is a good bachelor / student dish. Easy and quick, its very difficult to get it wrong. Its very satisfying as well.

Enough of the blah blah... here's the recipe:

Serves: 2

200 gms Dried Spaghetti (I used Whole Wheat) – cooked as per package instructions (See Note)
2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
2 tbsp Chopped Garlic
2 tbsp Olive Oil

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the Red Chilli Flakes and fry for 30 seconds stirring continuously.
  3. Add the Chopped Garlic and until the Garlic starts to change the colour.
  4. Add the Spaghetti and toss well until it is coated well with the Chilli Flakes and Garlic.
  5. Serve Hot.

Note: To cook spaghetti, bring a saucepan with salted water to a rolling boil. Add in the spaghetti. It doesn't matter if the spaghetti is not immersed fully at the beginning. It will gradually go down. After the spaghetti is immersed in water, cover and cook till its soft. There should still be a bite to it. Strain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Toss it in 1 – 2 tsp of oil and try to lay it as flat as possible before adding it to the pan.

This goes to Kalyani's 100 day Global Food Festival

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Couscous Upma

I first tasted Couscous in April 2010 in Paris in a Moroccon food court. I loved the texture. I've been trying to use it but P doesn't like it a lot. I made Couscous upma long back. But P didn't like it. So I never made it again.

Different story today... I gave P and V Macaroni & Cheese and I made this for myself.

Though I did not make it like regular upma, I absolutely loved the texture and the taste.

I had only green peas in my freezer so I didn't use any other vegetables. I made an extra portion to take to work for lunch. And since I wasn't giving this to V, I did make it a little extra spicy.

1/2 cup Couscous
1/2 cup Frozen Green Peas - You can use other vegetables as well
1/2 Onion - finely chopped
1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
10 Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Oil
1 cup Water
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves to garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a pan.
  2. When hot, add the Chilli Flakes, Mustard Seeds and Cumin Seeds.
  3. When they crackle, add the Onion and Curry Leaves and fry till the Onions turn transparent.
  4. Add salt and mix well.
  5. Add the Peas (and other vegetables) and cook till they are almost done.
  6. Now add the Couscous, mix and add the water.
  7. Get the water to a boil and simmer till the water is absorbed.
  8. Add the chopped Coriander Leaves and mix and serve hot.

This goes to the following events:

Priya's Cooking with Seeds - Peas

Veena's HLI - Peas that was started by Kalyani.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Vegetable Cutlets / Patties

The other day, I wanted to make something spicy for P and me and was wondering what to give my 3 year old. I realised there's a huge potato lying in my cupboard and I decided to make cutlets for him.

It was another way to give him vegetables. A simple, easy and healthy recipe that can be adapted to suit individual needs and tastes very easily.

I made a simple spicy spaghetti dish for us (recipe to follow) and made these cutlets for V. He ate this without much fuss.

500 gms Potatoes - boiled and mashed
1 cup boiled and mashed vegetables (I used Carrots, Cauliflower and Green Peas)
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Paprika Powder
1/2 tsp Amchur (Dry Mango) Powder / Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil for pan frying

  1. Mix all the ingredients except Oil and make patties of desired shape & thickness.
  2. Heat Oil in a pan on medium high and put the patties one by one.
  3. Let the patties cook for about 3 - 4 minutes each before turning and cooking them again for 3 - 4 minutes.
  4. Serve with tomato ketchup

Note: I haven't used any "binding agent". So I let the patties cook well before turning them so they don't "break".

This goes to the following events:

Pavani's Kid's Delight Event Announcement – Deceptively Delicious that was started by Valli

Valli's Snacks Mela

Priya's Cooking with Seeds - Peas

Vardhini's Sinful Delights

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Ala Badun - Sri Lankan Spicy Potatoes & Onions

After a mild November, December has come with the harsh winter. Its freezing... The only thing I like about December are the lights and excitement of Christmas.

We've put up our Christmas tree today. V was very excited. He's going to Santa's grotto at his nursery tomorrow. Don't know how he'll react then. I am so excited for him. Hee hee...

Anyways. When I saw that Priya is hosting Flavours of Sri Lanka, I started googling for Sri Lankan vegetarian recipes. The one recipe that appeared on every website I visited was Alu Badun - spicy potatoes and onions. And its been ages since I prepared my Alu Fry. So I decided to give this a try.

 It was completely different from whatever I've had till date... In a very nice way.

2 big Potato - boiled, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 big Onion - finely chopped
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1 tsp Ground Mustard (See Note)
1 inch Cinnamon stick
2 tsp Lemon Juice
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

  1. In a bowl, take the Potatoes and mix with Salt, Turmeric, Chilli Powder and Paprika Powder.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
  4. Now add the Onions, Ground Mustard Seeds and Cinnamon and fry till the Onions turn golden brown.
  5. Add the Potatoes to the pan, mix well and cook till the Potatoes are heated through.
  6. Add the Lemon juice, mix well and turn off the heat.
  7. Remove the Cinnamon Stick and serve hot with rice / roti.

Note: Soak 1 tsp Mustard Seeds in warm water for about an hour. Crush the seeds using Mortar & Pestle / Mixie to the desired consistency.

This goes to Priya's Flavours of Sri Lanka that was started by Nayna.