Lemon Sevai

>> Saturday, February 16, 2008

I got to know about this wonderful breakfast item from my friend. Long back probably a year ago, we went to their place and she made this for breakfast the next day. I loved it so much that from then on I included this one amongst my breakfast dishes.
I had a confusion about calling this item, Sevai or Idiyappam??? What should we call it? I never knew the difference and sometimes i used to call it sevai and sometimes idiyappam. Finally after a bit research, i now know that we should call this preparation as "Sevai". What is the difference between these two? I will try to put in here what i understood.
Idiyappam is a preparation made with rice flour,water and salt. Make a smooth dough with rice flour, adding little salt and water. Rest it for sometime and put in the muruku maker ( cooking press). Press in small quantities into the idly stand into round shapes and steam cook for 10mins. This preparation is called "Idiyappam". Sevai is a cooked version of Idiyappam, which means we will be using this idiyappam , spice it up with some tempering and spices of your choice. Sevai can be prepared in many number of ways like : Lemon Sevai, Coconut Sevai, Vegetable Sevai etc...

I made Lemon Sevai for our weekend breakfast and if you ask me if i followed all the above steps for this preparation, my answer is a big NO. The procedure i followed is very simple, hardly takes 10-15mins. I brought a frozen Idiyappam packet. I used " Maharani's Choice Frozen Idiyappam" for this preparation. Here goes my recipe :

Ingredients :
Frozen packet of idiyappam - 1
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Green Chillies - 2,3 small finely chopped

Lemon - 1
Mixed Vegetables of your choice - 1 cup

For Seasoning :
Oil - 2tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp

Preparation :
1. Take the frozen idiyappam from the packet and thaw it in microwave for 5mins until its very soft. It should be soft both on top and bottom. Leave it aside and let it cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a cooking pan take some oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and when they start to splutter, add finely chopped onions, green chillies and saute them till golden brown color. After that add any vegetables if you want. Saute them until they are cooked. Add turmeric.
3. Now take this thawed idiyappam and mash all of them one by one and add them to the pan. Once done, add salt and mix it well in such a way that you don't see particles of idiyappam stick to each other. It should be dry and fine.
4. Once done, add lemon juice, mix it once again.

You can serve this with any kurma, coconut chutney, pickle or have it just like that.

NOTE : This recipe may not be the actual method of preparation, but i have varied it to my taste and interest.


Avocado Parathas

>> Friday, February 15, 2008

Now this sounds something different right. Well, before i start of with my recipe, i have to thank Mrs. Indira of Mahanandi for posting this wonderful recipe. I tried it, loved it like anything else.
Whenever we goto mexican restaurants, we have Guacamole served with Dorito's as an appetizer. It took sometime for me to get used to the taste, but now i love it. Other day i came across an article about avocado that says how good avocado is for human body. It came as a surprise to me that eating avocado at least thrice a week is much better than surviving on a low-fat diet for people with cholesterol and is an excellent source of fiber. I seriously wanted to increase our intake of this fruit and that is when i came across this wonderful recipe by Indira. Here the recipe goes:
Avocado - 1
Wheat flour - 3-4 cups
Salt - 1tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds (optional) - 1/2 tsp

Preparation :
Take the avocado, cut it to half, take the seed off and with a small knife scoop off the insides of the avocado on both halves. Take this to a bowl and mash it well to a fine paste. Now, to the wheat flour, add some salt, cumin seeds, chilli powder, mashed avocado and kneed to smooth dough adding water or milk. I prefer to use warm milk for parathas as they make the parathas much softer. Rest the dough for 30-40mins. Now take portions of the dough and roll into round shaped parathas. Heat the tava, place the paratha on the griddle and allow one side to cook till it becomes golden brown color, now flip the paratha and allow the other side to cook. Add some ghee/oil. Repeat the same for all the parathas.

Finally serve with subzi of your choice.


Tomato and Aratikai ( raw plantain) Bajji

>> Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's snowing here yesterday and my husband wanted to eat something very hot. He wanted to have some hot hot pakodas and that is when i decided to make this yummy tomato bajji. I fell in love with this tomato bajji when i was in Bhimavaram, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. These bajji's are very famous there and i decided to try them. It's very simple way of preparation, hardly takes 20mins to prepare. All that you need is good tomatoes.

Ingredients :
Tomatoes - 2 ( remember for this the tomatoes should be hard when you touch them. If they are soft, they tend to soften and break when we deep fry them)
Gram flour - 2-3 cups
Rice flour - 2-3 tsps
Salt - 1-2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Water - 1-11/2 cup
Oil - 2-3 cups

Preparation :
Take the gram flour,salt,chilli powder in a mixing bowl. Add very little water and mix all the ingredients without forming any lumps. Remember the batter should be thicker than the ordinary bajji mix. It should not be a thin batter. It should be thick.

Now take the tomatoes, wash them, wipe them with paper towel or a cloth and dip the tomatoes in the batter. See to it the batter spreads evenly to all sides of tomato. Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, take oil ( oil level should be in such a way that the tomatoes should be immersed in oil).

When the oil is hot, put the tomatoes
one by one dipped in the gram flour batter. Keep the stove in medium flame, and fry the tomatoes until the outer layer(gram flour layer) turns golden brown. This takes 10-15mins approximately. Once done, take them to a plate and let them cool for sometime.

Meanwhile you can prepare the filling for the bajji's.

For the filling :

Ingredients :
Puffed rice ( maramaralu, murmura) - 1 cup
Onions - 1 finely chopped
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Chat masala( optional) - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Lemon - 1 tsp

Preparation :
Take the puffed rice, chopped onions in a bowl. Add all the spices one by one and mix them. You can also add chopped coriander leaves. I did not have coriander yesterday and did not add them.

Final Preparation :
Take the flour dipped and fried tomatoes and cut them to 1/2. Remember you have to be very delicate in handling the tomato now as its cooked inside. when you handle it hard, it might even break. Cut the tomato into 1/2 and scoop out all the puree inside the two halves of the tomato. Add the scooped tomato puree to the puffed rice mixture. Repeat the same for all the tomatoes.

Now again mix the puffed rice mixture with the tomato puree( if you want, you can add extra chopped tomato also). Mix well with your hand in such a way that the tomato juice, and all the spices stick well to the puffed rice).

With this, you are 90% done with the preparation. Finally stuff in the filling into the scooped tomatoes and serve.

This preparation is so yummy, you can feel the crispness of the besan mixture deep fried outside the bajji and inside you have this spicy-sour puffed rice mixture. Though the procedure looks complicated, when you start making, you would be surprised that its so quick in preparation. For those, who never tried this, you should give it a try.

My husband absolutely loved this.

I had some left-over besan batter and made plantain bajji with it.



>> Friday, February 8, 2008

Aviyal is a Kerala dish prepared with different vegetables, coconut and yoghurt. The most commonly used vegetables for this dish are potatoes, raw plantain, long beans, yam, pumpkin, drumsticks, carrots. In some parts of kerala ( south), this dish is prepared with tamarind or mango instead of yoghurt.

Ingredients :
Potatoes - 1 big or 2 small peeled and cubed
Carrots - 2 peeled and cubed
long beans - 1 cup chopped
drumsticks - 1 cup
raw plantain - 1 peeled and cubed
yam - 1 peeled and cubed
Sour Curd ( yoghurt) - 2 cups finely beaten
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

For the mixture :
coconut - 1/2 - 1 cup
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 2-3

In a blender, grind all these 3 together to a fine paste adding little water. Keep this aside.

Preparation :
Take all the cut vegetables in a pressure cooker and cook until 1-2 whistles. If you are cooking them in a microwave, cook them for 15mins. Once the vegetables are cooked, drain some water( keep this vegetable stock) and add all the vegetables in a cooking pan, add turmeric, salt and cook covered for few minutes. After few mins, once all the vegetables are soft to touch, add the coconut-chilli paste to the vegetables , stir it now and then and cook it covered on med flame. After 5mins, add the finely beaten curd to this . Check the consitency and add water( vegetable stock) if required. Finally when the avial is ready, do the seasoning.

For Seasoning :
Oil ( coconut oil or any oil) - 1tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp

In a tadka pan, add the oil and when its hot, add the mustard seeds. when they crackle, take off the stove and add to the avial.


Aloo Mutter

>> Sunday, February 3, 2008

Aloo Mutter is a Punjabi dish cooked with potatoes, green peas in tomato sauce. Goes well with parathas, rotis and phulkas.

Ingredients :

1. Potatoes - 4 (peeled and cut into cubes)
2. Onions - 2 (finely chopped)
3. Tomatoes - 3 (finely chopped)
4. Peas - 1 cup
5. Ginger
6. Garlic flakes
7. Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
8. Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
9. Oil - 2tbsps
10. Fresh Curd - 1 cup
11. Lemon Juice - 2tsps (Optional)
12. Coriander Leaves - 1 cup finely chopped
13. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
14. red chilli powder - 1tsp
15. coriander powder -1/2 tsp
16. amchur powder - 1/2 tsp

Method :

1. In a deep sauting pan, take 2 tbsps of oil and add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add the finely chopped onions and saute them until onions turn to golden brown color. This will take a few minutes.

2. Once the Onions are sauted, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for few minutes until the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste is gone. After that add the finely chopped tomatoes, saute for sometime and cover with a lid. Keep on stirring for sometime until the tomatoes release the juice and till it becomes a gravy. ( In this process, you can also add some water if you want. )

3. Now, once the gravy is ready add all the spices: turmeric powder, Chilli powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, and some garam masala along with the fresh curd. Mix all this in the gravy and finally add the potatoes and peas. Add 1 cup of water. Add some salt, stir it once again and cook this covered for sometime.

4. Keep stirring frequently so that the gravy doesn't stick to the bottom. Once the subzi is done( you can test it by pressing a potato piece, it should be soft) turn off the stove, add 2tsps of lime juice for additional taste and garnish with corinader leaves.

Serve hot with Rotis, Chappathis, Parathas or Phulkas.


Masala Idli

This is a Karnataka style idli. This is very simple to prepare and very delicious.

Ingredients :
Idli's - 12
Oil - 2tbsps
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1tsp

Karam podi ( Molaga podi, chutney powder) - 3 tbsps
Lemon Juice - 2tsps

1. When the idli's are ready, cut them into small cubes and keep them aside.

2. In a kadai, take 2tbsps of oil and when its heated, add the cumin and the mustard seeds. when they start to splutter add the turmeric and the chutney powder. stir and add the idli pieces.
Add some salt and mix well. Finally sprinkle 2tsps of lemon juice.

3. Serve with coconut chutney.


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