24 April, 2007

Sajjige/Semolina Rotti

I remember the days when Amma used to cook elaborate breakfasts. For her it was/is everyday task of making different dosas, idlis or rotties. There were days when I used to just walked away from kitchen blaming she has not made my favourite breakfast and she would make something in a jiffy to meet my demands. Although I am not very proud of that fact, I have come to appreciate every small things now since I have got only enough time to choose between a toast, cereal or some fruits. May be that is the reason why we have fancy weekend brunch. This weekend I was feeling little lazy to cook anything elaborate and still didn’t wanted to break the tradition of fancy weekend cooking. Quick brainstorming session lead to a special recipe of Sajjige Rotti. This is one recipe which I totally rely on when I want to cook something very tasty yet simple food. My Amma used to make Sajjige dosas using same ingredients.
Sajjige Rotti is made using semolina. Chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and seasoning of mustard with curry leaves gives it the extra Oomph and turns it into a flavourful affair. You can use same batter and make crisp Dosas by adding more water to give the dosa batter consistency. Eat them hot served right out of pan with homemade chutney or with some granulated sugar with a butter or just plain. You need to try this to know how simple it is to make and how delicious it tastes. Sajjige Rotti is the simple dish at its best.

P1030262

Sajjige Rotti



Sajjige Rotti
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
3 cups Sajjige/Rava/Semolina
½ cup Rice Flour (optional)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped
½ tsp Ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard
Few Curry Leaves
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
½ tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

P1030261

Sajjige Rotti

Method:
Take semolina, rice flour, finely chopped onion, chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and salt to taste and mix well.
Now add 2-3 cups of water and mix the ingredients. The batter should be of Idli consistency (pouring consistency). Add little more water if required as semolina tends to absorb water very quickly.
Season this with mustard, hing and curry leaves and mix well.
Heat tawa/griddle and pour a ladle full of batter in the centre. Using back of ladle spread this into thick circle.
Cook both the sides in medium-low heat till they turn golden yellow by applying little oil or ghee if desired.
Serve hot with Chutney or Sambar or with Sugar.

P1030259
Sajjige Rotti


Did you know?

In Italy (Tuscany) spaghetti made with semolina are called pici.
In Northern India, it is known as sooji; in southern India, rava. The even finer (powder) version of this is called maida (wheat powder) from which noodles etc. are made. Sooji is considered healthier than maida.
In much of North Africa and the Middle-East, it is made into the staple couscous.
A popular dessert in Greece, ("Halvas") Cyprus, ("Halouvas") Turkey ("Helva"), and India ("Halva") is made with semolina scorched with sugar, butter, milk and pine nuts.
In some cultures, it is served at funerals, during special celebrations or as a religious offering.
It can be used as an alternative to corn meal to 'flour' the underside of fresh pizza dough to prevent it from sticking to the peel.
In breadmaking, a small proportion of semolina added to the usual mix of flour produces a tasty crust.
(Source: www.answers.com)

P1030265
Sajjige Rotti

22 April, 2007

Blogging Break


Hi friends,
I won’t be blogging for a while. My handsome, hard working laptop seems to be under lots of pressure at the moment due to high workload in past few months and looks like in need of a friend. So decided to bring home a new pretty laptop for the much needed companion for him;)
So will resume blogging sometime in next week. Till then take care and happy cooking ‘n blogging.
Cheers
Sia

15 April, 2007

Chole Bhature

At last my hubby said it openly that I am addicted to blogging. Well… I am guilty of the fact that I am shamelessly, completely addicted to blogging. For every half an hour I check my blog for comments and in between I am busy with checking other blogs. From now onwards I am planning to leave my laptop upstairs. It’s not because I want to stay away from my blog. It’s just because it will help me getting some exercise of running up and down. (I can see my hubby nodding in agreement now). Before blogging came to picture, first thing in the morning I used to get up and have my breakfast. Now all I can think of is checking my blog as soon i get up. Oh yes!!! Sometimes I do this even before I brush my teeth. Ah!!! The power of blogging.
Now a days it’s become a habit to have food once I finish cooking and clicking. Both go hand in hand. It’s become kind of unsaid agreement between me and my hubby. We both are happy as long as I get to click pictures and he gets yummy things to eat;)

Today I am posting a recipe of Chole which I learnt from my Amma. I made Bhatures to go along with Chole. I adapted the recipe of Bhatures from Asha’s Blog. A delicious recipe from Punjab which is served for breakfast has become very much loved brunch and dinner in our house hold. This may not be the authentic way to make Chole Bhature but this is how I make it at home. The soft and spongy Bhatures with saucy Chole is a combination made in heaven.

chole bature5
Chole Masala


Chole Masala
Prep Time: 10-15 mins (excluding soaking time)
Cooking Time: 25-30 mins
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:
1 cup White Kabuli Channa
2 big Onions
3 large Tomatoes/1 canned Tomato
1 inch Ginger
2-3 cloves Garlic
½ tsp Amchur Powder/Marble Sized Tamarind
½-1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Kitchen King Masala
½ tsp Channa Masala (optional)
1-2 tbsp Kasuri Methi
2 Cardamoms
2 Cloves
½ inch Cinnamon
2-3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, chopped
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

chole bature8
Chole Masala

Method:
Soak kabuli channa over night in enough water with little cooking soda
Drain and wash well and cook it in pressure cooker with enough water for about 15 minutes.
In a mean while, grind onion, ginger, and garlic along with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon without adding any water.
Score a cross with a sharp knife in the base of each tomato and place them in boiling water and leave for 2 -3 minutes.
Drain and allow them to cool. Then peel the skin and make a puree in food processor and keep it aside.
Heat ghee or oil in a frying pan and add cumin seeds to it.
When it splutters add the ground masala paste and fry in medium flame till ghee separates from it.
Add garam masala, kitchen king masala and channa masala and sauté it for a minute.
Now mix tomato puree and keep stirring constantly until the moisture is completely absorbed.
Add salt, amchur powder, sugar and cooked channa with its water and cook till gravy turns thick.
Remove from fire and garish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with bhaturas or puries accompanied with finely chopped onions and lemon pieces.

chole bature2
Chole Masala


Bhatura
Prep Time: 10 mins (excluding resting/rising time)
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:
2 Cups Plain Flour
2 tbsp Plain Yogurt/Sour Cream
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

chole bature
Chole Bhature

Method:
Mix all the ingredients above and knead well using enough water to make soft dough.
Cover it with wet cloth and keep it in a warm place for 2-4 hours.
Make a lemon sized ball and roll them out to chapatti sized circles with ¼ cm thickness.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan and fry bhaturas till they turn slightly golden and place them on paper towel.
Make sure that you don’t fry the bhatures long because you want them to be soft and light golden.
Serve them with Chole and vegetable salad and relish.

chole bature4
Chole Masala

Also Tried Trupti's and Lera's Chole recipe. Both the recipes are the keepers.

10 April, 2007

Creamy Corn & Tomato Soup

There are sometimes, or should I say many times, when both feel very lazy to cook. We crave for home made food and yet too lazy to budge from a couch. Having food in restaurants or ordering food from take-away was not very appealing to us. So we decided to make soup thinking it will need very little effort from both sides. It just took few minutes to realise that it was not as easy as we thought. You see, in our home we take more time in deciding what to cook than the whole cooking process itself. And this time again was no exception. My much better half wanted to have sweet corn soup and I wanted to have tomato soup. So the end result after heated discussion was this tangy and sweet Creamy Corn and Tomato Soup. If you like simple, no nonsense recipe which requires few ingredients, little cooking time, and very delicious pot of soup, then friends look no further:)

sweetcorn n tomato soup4

Creamy Corn and Tomato Soup



Creamy Corn & Tomato Soup
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 cube Vegetable Stock Powder
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 canned Tomato Puree
1 canned Cream of Corn
1 cup Canned/Fresh Corn Kernels
1 tsp Chilli Powder
Salt to taste

sweetcorn n tomato soup8

Creamy Corn and Tomato Soup

Method:
Heat oil in a large pan and chopped onion and cook until soft.
To this add finely chopped tomatoes and cook till it turns tender.
Now add tomato puree, creamed corn, corn kernels and vegetable stock.
Add half a cup of water, salt and chilli powder to it and mix well.
Cook this on a medium-low heat and bring it to boil.
Serve this hot with dollop of sour cream and crisp bread bites.

sweetcorn n tomato soup1

Creamy Corn and Tomato Soup


Here is my contribution to "Kitchen Safety Moments" event hosted by lovely Jyotsna of "Curry Bazaar".
Be careful when pureeing hot soup in the blender or food processor as it can shoot out of the top and scald you (Been there and done that). If possible, cool the soup before pureeing. If you must puree while the soup is hot, do it in small batches. Thin soups may also leak from the processor. The best way to deal with this is to remove the vegetables from the soup with a slotted spoon and process with a spoonful or two of the liquid. Mix the pureed vegetables back into the liquid in the pan.


04 April, 2007

Coconut Milk Saaru/Rasam

I come from a coastal town which is abundant with coconut palms swinging to the cool breeze from Arabian Sea. I have grown eating almost everything cooked using coconut in its different forms like coconut milk, ground coconut, grated or desiccated, dry coconut, coconut milk, tender coconut, coconut malai, coconut water and ultimately cooked in coconut oil. Ah!!! Coconut oil always reminds me of the litres of coconut oil applied to my head with vengeance by my mother and her mother. The weekend session of oil massage is something which I never appreciated as a kid. But now, the way westerners paying thousands of dollars in the name of aroma therapy made me realise what was head ache session in childhood is one of the luxuries of the century. I guess that’s the problem with most of us. We start to appreciate things when it has some designer label attached to it.
Coconut is something I have in my pantry 24X7 through out the year. Canned, cream, desiccated, fresh or frozen, you will surely find at least in one of its Avtars in our kitchen. Today I am gonna share one of my favourite recipe of coconut which has been passed from my Amma who learnt it from her MIL. It is Coconut Milk Saaru/Rasam, which always makes me feel royal. Its creamy texture and rich flavour is something which I can never get tired of. But the best thing for me is I can make it in jiffy. You need very few ingredients and very little time to make this. First let me give you the detailed recipe of making traditional Coconut Milk Saaru and then I will also give my shortcut recipe using just 3 ingredients to make this delicious Saaru.

Coconut Milk Saaru


Coconut Milk Saaru
Prep Time: 15-20 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
¾ tin Coconut Milk/ 1½ cups Freshly squeezed Coconut Milk
½ cup Masoor Dal/Toor Dal
1 marble sized Tamarind
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
4-6 Dry Red Chilli
1-2 tbsp Jaggary
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1 tsp Ghee/Oil
1 tsp Mustard
1 Dry Red Chilli
Few Curry Leaves

Coconut Milk Saaru

Method:
Cook Masoor Dal with 1½ cups of water with a pinch of turmeric powder and drop of oil which helps to cook it quick.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and broken red chillies and sauté it for 1-2 minutes in medium flame.
Grind this mixture into a powder form without adding any water.
In a thick bottomed pan add cooked toor dal with its water, ground mixture, tamarind water, jaggary and salt to taste.
Add ½ cup of water and bring this to boil.
Now add coconut milk to this and mix well.
Cook this for further 4-5 minutes in medium flame till it starts to bubble.
In the end add chopped coriander leaves and season it with mustard, curry leaves and dry chilli.
Serve piping hot with rice and papadams and relish.


Note:
Freshly sqeezed Coconut milk is the best while making this saaru. I didn't have fresh coconut so had to substitute it with canned ones. When using canned coconut milk I recommend you use the organic ones.



Coconut Milk Saaru

Now coming to my short cut way of making equally delicious Coconut Milk Saaru.


Coconut Milk Saaru
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
1 cup cooked Masoor/Toor Dal
1½ tbsp Rasam Powder
¾ tin Coconut Milk/1½ cups Freshly squeezed Coconut Milk
1 tbsp Jaggary
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1 tsp Ghee/Oil
1 tsp Mustard
1 Dry Red Chilli
Few Curry Leaves

Method:
Mix cooked dal with 1 cup of water, rasam powder, jaggary and salt to taste.
Bring this to boil in a medium flame.
Now add coconut milk and cook it in a medium flame till it starts bubbling.
Add chopped coriander leaves and season it before serving.

Coconut Milk Saaru


Did You Know?
The coconut most likely originated somewhere around New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, but long ago became distributed throughout the Pacific from Southeast Asia to Africa.
Coconut oil was the world's leading vegetable oil until soybean oil took over in the 1960s.
There are more than 20 billion coconuts produced each year.
Coconut juice or coconut water is the liquid inside a coconut. Coconut milk is produced by steeping grated coconut in hot water then straining; coconut cream is coconut milk cooked down until it thickens, or grated coconut steeped in hot milk instead of water.
One cup of unsweetened shredded coconut has about 25 grams fat and 280 calories.
(Source: www.foodreference.com)


02 April, 2007

Falafel with Hummus and Pita Bread

What do you do when you have some tins of cooked chickpeas in your pantry since last few weeks and waiting for their turn? Well... I did what I usually do most of the times and that is Googling:) I was bombarded with so many options which made it quite difficult to choose the recipe. Then it showed something which I haven’t had in a long time, Falafel. First time I had falafel was in Bangalore during some food festival. It was crispy deep fried balls of seasoned ground chickpea in a soft, chewy pita along with some fresh vegetables. I must confess that falafel is not among my favorite middle eastern cuisine but it is something which I love to have once in blue moon days when my “experimenting” genes are active and kicking.

So after clicking and browsing many recipes I ended up making Falafel with ingredients I had in our pantry and according to our preference. I made some Hummus with homemade Tahini. This is my contribution to Meeta's Monthly Mingle which for me luckily happened to be Arabian Nights. Thanks to Asha and Sharmi for the info;)

Falafel with Hummus and Pita Bread

Tahini:
Tahini (or "tehina"/"thina" in Arabic and Hebrew, "tahin" in Turkish, French, Dutch and Danish) is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a major ingredient in hummus and other dishes from the Middle East. Tahini comes in two varieties — 'hulled' and 'unhulled'. Both types are relatively high in vitamins and proteins. Unhulled tahini is quite bitter but has a much higher proportion of vitamins, calcium, and protein because the sesame seeds are ground whole.


Hummus



Tahini
Prep Time: -
Cooking time: 5-10 mins
Serves: -
Ingredients:
1 cup Sesame Seeds
3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Spread the sesame seeds on a shallow baking tray and bake, shaking frequently, until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Make sure that you do not brown.
You can also use pan for dry roasting sesame seeds.
Cool the sesame seeds and put them a blender or food processor.
Add the olive oil or vegetable oil and process to a smooth paste.
Add more oil if necessary, to bring the paste to a thick pouring consistency.
Keep it stored in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for several months.


Falafel with Hummus and Pita Bread


Hummus:
Hummus or more precisely hummus bi tahini (Arabic: حُمُّص‎; Armenian համոս hamos; also spelled houmous, hommus, hummous or humus) is a dip made of ground chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, and garlic, and often olive oil and paprika.
In Arabic the word hummus is used to describe the dish or just chickpeas on their own. The full name of the dish is Arabic: حُمُّص بطحينة‎ hummus bi tahina 'chickpeas with tahini'.

Hummus



Hummus
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: -
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
1 cup Canned Chickpeas
2 tbsp Lemon Juice (Acc to taste)
1-2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp Tahini/ ½ tbsp Sesame Oil
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Paprika
Salt to taste


Falafel with Hummus


Method:
Drain the chickpeas and rinse.
Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, and water in a food processor, and whiz to a creamy purée.
Add more lemon juice, garlic, cumin or salt to taste.
Serve it drizzled with extra virgin olive oil with pita bread, warmed in a moderate oven for three minutes, and cut into quarters.

Falafel with Hummus


Falafel:
Falafel ( Arabic: فلافل‎ falaafil, Hebrew: פלאפל‎) , also known in Egypt and Sudan as ta'meya (طعمية) is a fried ball or patty made from spiced fava beans and/or chickpeas. Originally invented by Egyptian bedouins, it has become a highly popular form of fast food in the Levant and in the Mashriq (Arab East), where it is also served as a mezze (snack). The word "falafel" is the plural of the Arabic word فلفل (filfil), meaning pepper.

Falafel



Falafel
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
1 can of Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, drained
1 Onion
½ cup Parsley, stems off(Use Coriander Leaves if you dont have Parsley)
1-2 Garlic
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Cayenne (Red) Pepper
1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp Baking Powder
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Dried Bread Crumbs
Salt and black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil for Frying

Falafel with Hummus


Method:
Mash up your chickpeas using the back of a large spoon or a masher.
In a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic and parsley coarsely.
Spoon this mixture into mashed chickpeas and mix well.
Now add cumin, peppers, salt, baking powder and lemon juice and mix well.
Add the tablespoon of olive oil and keep stirring.
Put in the bread crumbs, not all at once but very slowly, stirring all the time. Increase or decrease the breadcrumbs to make sure that the entire mixture is somewhat dense and will make patties easily.
If you are making your falafels in a pan (like I did), make small lime sized balls and flatten them for easy cooking and shallow fry them till they turn brown and crisp.
You can also deep fry them by making lime sized balls and deep fry in medium flame till they turn golden brown.
Serve them hot with Hummus, Tahini or with Pita breads.

Falafel with Hummus


Note:
Although I used canned chickpeas for falafel, one of my reader was right at pointing out its a wrong way to make falafel. Use dried chickpeas which are soaked in water for over night and make Falafel. As I was short of time, I used canned chickpeas here instead of soaked ones and I recommend the soaked ones to canned chickpeas while making Falafel and Hummus.

Check out:
Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi's recipe for homemade Whole Wheat Pita Breads.
Asha of Foodie's Hope's recipe for Falafal and Tahini here.


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