Friday, 27 January 2012

White Chickpea Sundal - a quick snack

Uno, Dos, Tres... No... I am not trying to learn Spanish (I might need to learn it soon though). That's my son counting in Spanish. He can count (from what I can make out) to 5. If he starts talking to us in Spanish, we will be lost for words... literally.

My first taste sundal was in a temple. It was so yummy. Absolutely loved it. I never liked going to temples, but would go to this particular temple only because they would give Sundal. Yes, I used to be like that (maybe I still am... who knows).

A few days back I asked my Pinni (mom's sister) how to make Sundal. She gave me the recipe. It was so simple, I thought I should try it immediately. So when I made Macaroni Cheese for V & P, I made this for myself. I just gobbled it. I don't know how I managed to click these photos. I had this for dinner but it is perfect for a snack. Its very healthy and filling.

Since this wasn't as an offering, I added Garlic and it tasted even more yummy. I have to tell her to add garlic if she's making for herself. I am sure she'll like it. I am 99% sure she knows it tastes good with garlic.

Serves: 1

1/2 cup Dry White Chickpeas / 1.5 cups cooked Chickpeas
1 Dry Red Chilli - torn into pieces
2 Cloves Garlic - crushed
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Urad Dal
10 - 15 Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste - I didn't use

  1. Soak the Chickpeas overnight and pressure cook with salt till done.
  2. Once the pressure comes down, drain and keep the chickpeas aside. You can use the water to make rice / rotis.
  3. In a pan, heat the oil.
  4. When hot, add the Dry Red Chilli and fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the Urad Dal, Mustard Seeds and Cumin Seeds.
  6. When the Mustard Seeds start popping, add the Garlic and Curry Leaves and fry till the Garlic starts to change colour.
  7. Add the Chickpeas, Salt, mix well and serve hot.

This goes to the following events:

Cooking with Seeds - Chickpeas that was started by Priya and guest hosted by Sukanya.

MLLA #43 started by Susan and guest hosted by Claire.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Cauliflower & Leek Soup

Warm Soups... With Crusty Bread / Rolls... Perfect for the cold weather that we are experiencing now. It was a sunny, bright and extremely cold day. It got colder towards the evening. So I decided to make this Cauliflower Soup. I also wanted to test if V likes his soup.

Did he like it??? Of course. He ate it all by himself. I gave to him with Crusty Roll (I bought from the local supermarket). P was tearing the roll and giving V and he dipped it in his soup and had it. It was so satisfying to watch him eat like that.

Here's how to make this simple yet tasty soup:

1 head Cauliflower - cut into florets and washed well
2 Leeks - chopped
3 cloves Garlic - roughly chopped
1 Stock Cube - I used low salt one
1 Bay Leaf
3 Cloves
500 ml Water
2 tbsp Oil / Butter
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
Bread Croutons to Garnish (Optional)
Chopped Leeks to Garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a sauce pan / pressure cooker.
  2. When hot, add the Bay Leaf & Cloves and for a minute.
  3. Remove the Bay Leaf & Cloves.
  4. Add Leeks and Garlic to the oil and fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
  5. Crumble and add the Stock Cube and mix well.
  6. Add the Cauliflower, Water, Salt and Pepper to taste and cover and cook till tender. If using pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle.
  7. Once the pressure goes down, remove lid and blend with a hand blender. Alternately, you can cool it completely and blend in a regular blender.
  8. Garnish with Croutons, Leeks and freshly ground pepper and serve hot with bread rolls.

This goes to  the following events:

Priya's Healthy Diet - Warm Soups

Vardhini's New U

Vardhini's Healing Foods - Cauliflower started by Siri

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Zucchini / Courgette Garlic Soup

We are so happy that we are able to make V sit at the table and eat with us. He's obviously slow – but its worth it. Its so much fun. He still has his moments when we send him to the naughty corner though.

The best bit is that now we give him the benefit of doubt when he says he’s full. That wasn't the case earlier when we used to feed him. We would feed him at any cost – even if he said he's full. He's learning and so are we.

V loves his soup. In his day care, apparently, he finishes his soup and asks for more. Keeping that in mind, I made this soup. I am not sure if he liked it or no and he was quiet full and we didn't force him. We liked it for sure.

I'll definitely be making it again and hopefully V will have it then.

Serves: 3 – 4

750 gms Zucchini / Courgette – cut into chunks
1 Onion – Chopped
1 Whole Bulb Galic – Roughly Chopped
2 inch Ginger – Roughly Chopped
1 Stock Cube
500 ml Water
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste

  1. Heat Oil in a pan.
  2. Add the Ginger and Garlic and saute for 2 minutes taking care the Garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Now add the Onions and fry till it turns translucent.
  4. Add the Courgettes and mix well.
  5. Add in the stock cube, mash it and mix well.
  6. Now add Water, Salt and Pepper and cover and cook till soft. – I used a pressure cooker. I let it cook for 1 whistle.
  7. Once the pressure goes down, remove the lid and blend with a hand blender. Alternatively, cool it completely and blend it using a regular blender.
  8. Serve hot with crusty bread / dinner rolls

This goes to the following events:

Priya’s Healthy Diet – Warm Soups

Anusha's Cooking for Kids - Zucchini that was started by Kalyani

Vardhini's New U

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Mixed Vegetables Schezwan Fried Rice

As mentioned in my previous post, its been quiet cold for the past few days here in Scotland. Cold Winter days only meant one thing in India - Hot & Spicy Chinese Food. The Soups, Snacks, Rice & Curries. With the winters in Scotland being much colder, we really miss the Indian Chinese fare.

I made this Schezwan Sauce a few days ago and used it to make the Schezwan Fried Rice. This is the closest we could get to Indian Chinese here. Though not similar to the ones we get in India, we were happy with this.

This is also a very good way to use up any left over rice.

Serves: 2 - 3

2 cups Cooked Rice - preferably cooked the previous day and refrigerated
2 cups Chopped Mixed Vegetables
1 tsp Chopped Ginger
1 tsp Chopped Garlic
1 Onion - Chopped
5 Spring Onions - Chopped - Green and White parts
1 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Schezwan Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame Oil / Vegetable Oil
Salt to Taste

  1. Heat a wok. When its hot, add the Oil.
  2. Now add the Chopped Ginger and Chopped Garlic and stir for 30 seconds taking care the Garlic doesn't burn.
  3. Add the Onions and fry for a minute.
  4. Now add the Vegetables and stir for 2 - 3 minutes.
  5. Add the Soy Sauce, Schezwan Sauce and Salt and saute for another 2 minutes. Add a bit of water if its getting too dry.
  6. Now add the Spring Onions and give it a quick mix.
  7. Add the rice and keep mixing till the rice is quoted with the sauce and it mixes with the Vegetables.
  8. Garnish with some Spring Onions and serve hot.

This goes to the following events:

Radhika's Let's Cook #11 - Rice

Veena's Cooking with Leftovers - Kitchen Chronicles that was started by Kalyani

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Winter's definitely here. Today was a cold & frosty wintery day. It was bright at the same time and V was like "Look Mummy... Sun is out". Little does he understand that Sun doesn't necessarily mean warm. And there's no point in explaining it to him.

Given a choice, we would've stayed at home the whole day. But it was a very close friend's b'day so we went to visit her. Its been sometime since we went to her place so we were just sitting and chatting. V was busy with their cat. :).

He tried to get the cat to move but it wouldn't budge. Finally when it did get up, V ran away and climbed the sofa. That's the proof he's my son - I am petrified of pets as well. I don't hate animals - definitely no. Just scared.

Back at home, I wanted to drink something hot and spicy after the cold outing. I made this Spiced Hot Chocolate and P and me absolutely loved it. I am sure this is going be a regular in our house during these winter months.

Serves: 1

200 ml Milk
3 tsp Drinking Chocolate Powder
1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/4 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Sugar to Taste

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe mug / cup.
  2. Microwave high for 1 and 1/2 minutes.
  3. Mix well and enjoy.

Note 1: My MW is 1000W and this time is just right for me. Adjust the time according to your microwave.
Note 2: The Cinnamon Powder didn't dissolve completely. If I try a variation, I'll post it here.

This goes to the following events:

Kalyani's Magic Mingle #1 - Chillies and Cinnamon

Srivalli's Chocolate Mela

Srav's Cooking Concepts #6 - Chocolate Fest

Friday, 13 January 2012

Schezwan Sauce

From the time we moved to Scotland, we have missed Indian Chinese food a lot. But I never wanted to try it as I felt there's too much prep work involved. After long, I finally decided to try Schezwan Sauce and use it in Fried Rice and Noodles.

Who doesn't like the fiery & delicious Schezwan Sauce that's used to flavour paneer, veggies, chicken, fish, rice and noodles in the Chinese eateries in India? Definitely not anyone who likes their spice. :). This sauce can be used to make starters and gravy dishes.

There are loads of recipes for Schezwan Sauce on the internet. After going through a lot of them, I finally mixed and matched and made my own.

Here's my version:

Makes: About half a cup

12 Dry Red Chillies - soaked in warm water for atleast 2 hours
2 inch Ginger Piece - peeled
15 Garlic Cloves - peeled
1 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Chilli Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
2 tbsp White / Distilled Vinegar
2 tbsp Oil
Water as needed
Salt to Taste

  1. Grind the Red Chillies, Garlic and Ginger to a fine paste - adding little water if necessary.
  2. Heat Oil in a pan and add the ground paste and fry for 5 minutes - taking care it doesn't burn.
  3. Now add the Chilli Sauce and fry for a minute.
  4. Add the Soy Sauce, Sugar and Salt and fry.
  5. Once the raw smell is gone, add the Vinegar, cook for a few seconds and remove from heat.
  6. Any time in between, if the sauce is getting too dry, keep adding water and mix well.
  7. Once it cools, transfer to an air tight container (preferably a glass jar - I used an old jam bottle for this) and store in the fridge and use as required.
Note: Always use a clean and dry spoon when using the sauce.

Sorry... There's no picutre. Will surely add next time I make it.

Will also update some recipes using this sauce.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Chicken Pepper Curry for Blog Hop Wednesdays

For my first Blog Hop Wednesday, i was paired with Vidya of Kurry Leaves. Her blog was a difficult one - so many yummy recipes with yummier photos.

After much deliberation, I chose her Chicken Pepper Fry. It was as good as her photos. The best bit was, when P tasted it, he told me its something similar to what he used to eat when he was a kid. He didn't remember who used to make it but he was quiet happy. I am glad I chose that recipe.

I made minor changes to the recipe. I added more onions & tomatoes to get a little more gravy. I didn’t brown the onions. I just let them turn transparent. I also adjusted the pepper powder to suit our taste.

Here's my version of the recipe:

Serves: 4

1 Baby Chicken – cut into bite size pieces
3 Large / 5 Medium Onions – Finely Chopped
3 Tomatoes – Finely Chopped
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Meat Masala (I used Shan Meat Masala)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Pepper Powder
1 Sprig Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Oil
Salt To Taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves for Garnish

  1. Heat the Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Onions and Tomatoes and fry till the Onions turn transparent.
  2. Now add the chicken and cook till almost done.
  3. Now add the Ginger Garlic Paste, Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Meat Masala, Garam Masala, Pepper Powder and Salt and mix well and cook till the Chicken is done.
  4. Add the Curry Leaves and mix well.
  5. Add the Chopped Coriander Leaves, mix and serve hot with rice / roti.

This is my entry to Radhika's Blog Hop Wednesdays - Week 13

Friday, 6 January 2012

Mixed Vegetable Pulao

That's us sitting together at the dining table and eating together for 6 days now. V still tries to tell us he wants to go eat in front of the TV, on the Sofa or watch cartoons on my phone. We are trying (and succeeding) to make him sit on the table and eat with us. He’s getting better. He hasn’t been to the naughty corner (for food) in the past 2 days.

He never saw what he was eating till now – atleast not consciously. He would be busy with something (either playing with his cars OR watching TV OR playing something on my phone) and we would just feed him. Last night when I put the dish in front of him on the table, he looked at it and said he wants carrots and peas. We were like – that's good.

We gave him all the vegetables and he finished the whole bowl – that's a different issue all together.

Here's the recipe:

Serves: 3 - 4

1.5 cups Basmati Rice - washed and soaked in excess cold water
1 cup Chopped Mixed Vegetables
1 Onion - sliced
2 Chillies - slit vertically
1 Tomato - chopped
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Bay Leaf
4 Cloves
4 Green Cardamoms
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Shajeera / Caraway Seeds
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander for Garnish

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the Bay Leaf, Cloves, Green Cardamoms, Cinnamon Stick and Shajeera and fry for a minute - I generally fry till the cloves swell up.
  2. Add the Onions and fry till they turn translucent.
  3. Now add the Ginger Garlic Paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
  4. Add the Tomato and cook till the masala comes together.
  5. Now add the Mixed Vegetables and cook till they are almost cooked.
  6. Drain the rice and add to the pan and mix well.
  7. Add 2 cups of water and salt and bring to a boil. Turn to sim, cover and cook till the rice is done.
  8. Check in between - each brand of rice need different amounts of water - add accordingly.
  9. Once is done, garnish with Chopped Coriander and serve with raita / curry.

This goes to the following events

Veena's Kid's Delight - Colour Palette that was started by Srivalli

Radhika's Let's Cook - Rice

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Vankaya / Brinjal Fry

Happy New Year everyone...

I know I am 4 days late to wish everyone but nevertheless. With my son's day care closed over the holidays, I was busy entertaining and disciplining him. We have decided he has to start eating on his own on the table with us - like a proper family meal.

We decided and started this on New Years Day and he took about an hour to finish his lunch (this included 4 trips to the naughty corner). The next 2 days saw him visit the naughty corner once a day. He's been a good boy last night and today. No naughty corners. Hope this continues... That'll be a very good start to the new year.

Vankaya (Telugu), Brinjal, Aubergine, Egg Plant... All names of one vegetable that I absolutely love. I love the "Gutti Vankaya" that's made in my house in India.

I cant make it here as we are used to making it with the green brinjals that I do not get here. So I came up with this fry that I make when I feel like having Gutti Vankaya. Its not the same but it satisfies me. That's all that matters isn't it???

I never gave V this until now. I wasn't sure how he would react to it. This time, I mixed it very lightly in his rice and gave it and he enjoyed it. I am glad as now all of us like this.

Serves: 4 - 5

400gm - Brinjals / Aubergines / Egg Plants - sliced long
1 Onion - sliced
2 Red Chillies - torn
5 Cloves of Garlic - crushed
1 tbsp Chana Dal
1 tsp Split Urad Dal
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
20 Curry Leaves
2 tsp Sambar Powder - adjust
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. When hot, add the torn Red Chillies and fry for a minute.
  2. Now add the Chana Dal and Urad Dal and fry till the they start to change colour.
  3. As soon as they start to change the colour, add the Mustard and Cumin Seeds and let them crackle.
  4. Once the dals change the colour, add the Garlic and fry till golden brown - taking care not to burn it.
  5. Now add the Onion and Curry Leaves, mix well and fry till the Onion turns transparent.
  6. Then add the Salt, Turmeric Powder and Sambar Powder and mix well.
  7. Now add the the Brinjal, mix well and cover and cook till done.
  8. Serve hot with rice / roti.

This goes to Sangeetha's Dish it out - Brinjal & Garlic that was started by Vardhini