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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spinach and Cranberry Dal - Palak Wali Dal

I'm sure after thanksgiving people kind of get a bit health conscious and try to get back to healthy eating. Not that there's anything wrong about enjoying a thanksgiving feast with all the pies and all the good stuff. We did too. So in case you are in your health conscious mindset this recipe is for you and for all of you as well who enjoy quick , healthy and easy recipes.

Also for the very first time went out shopping on Black Friday. Took my 7 year old son with me..We kind of made a list of things to buy and set the alarm for 2:00 in the morning as some of the stores were opening at 3:00 in the morning. I must say it was FUN and a must have experience at least once in your lifetime. Got some pretty good deals. Most of all we went as I really wanted to check out what it was all about..And mind you even at 2:30 in the morning there were thousands of people standing in queues. My DH and 3 year old stayed home. I'm not sure though I want to do this again next year...

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup moong dal/moong lentil
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies slit
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of hing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin - cilantro powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil
Preparation :
  • Wash moong dal and pressure cook in about 3-4 cups of water with ginger, salt and turmeric till cooked.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds. When they splutter add hing. Now add the finely chopped garlic. Fry for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and green chillies. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add the cranberries. Fry for about a minute. Add the red chili powder and cumin-cilantro powder. Mix it well.
  • Now add the washed and chopped spinach. Mix it well. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. The spinach will reduce in volume.
  • Next add the cooked dal. Mix well. Adjust the salt. If you think the dal is too thick add a cup of water. Bring it to boil. Thats it. Your Spinach and Cranberry Dal is ready to serve.
  • This dal can be served with rice or any Indian bread of your choice. Can also be served as soup with some garlic bread. Thats how my 3 year old likes it.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ney Payasam/ Rice pudding with Jaggery and Ghee

Ney Payasam is a very delicious dessert. This is my MIL's recipe. 'Ney' means ghee/clarified butter..so this dish does have lots of it. But once you taste it its divine and you would want t o forget counting your calories just for that day...lol. Mostly at our in-laws place its prepared on auspicious days and on birthdays.

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups jaggery
  • 1/2 cup ghee/clarified butter
  • 1/4 cup cashews and green raisins
  • 1 -2 tbsp thinly sliced coconut pieces
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup water

Preparation :

  • Wash rice and pressure cook with 1 cup of water about 2 -3 whistles till its soft.
  • Now take a thick bottomed pan and melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup water on medium heat. When the jaggery has all melted and comes to a boil, add the cooked rice and keep on stirring for about a minute. Now you have to keep adding the ghee 1-2 tsp at a time and stir it well. Keep doing until you have used all the ghee and soon the payasam will start leaving the side of the pan. This is the indication its done and time to remove from the heat.
  • Now heat 1 tsp ghee and fry the cashews till golden, next fry the raisins till they puff up and last fry the bits of coconut till golden brown.
  • Add to the Payasam. Next add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Your Ney Payasam is ready to serve.
  • This recipe serves 4. Its best enjoyed when its warm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brussels Sprouts in Tomato Gravy

Brussels Sprouts look like miniature cabbages and taste a lot like cabbage too. So if you like cabbage I'm sure you would love Brussels Sprouts. For the rest it would be an acquired taste. Its a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fibre as well as known to have anti-cancer properties.
  • 20 brussels Sprouts cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large tomato (puree)
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 1" ginger grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder(dry mango powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • oil

Preparation : Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the grated ginger. Fry for about a minute. Add the tomato puree. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin -cilantro powder, amchur powder , green chillies and salt. Fry for another minute or so until oil leaves the masala. Now add the Brussels Sprouts and mix well. Cook covered on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Check it from time to time and if it gets too dry add some water. I cooked mine in the tomato gravy itself as the tomato was quite juicy. Serve it with rice or Phulkas/Roti.

Serves : 4

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients :
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • sugar for rolling

Preparation : Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper. Now cream the shortening and sugar until mixed well either by hand or by using the electric mixer on a low speed. Add the egg and molasses and beat till completely incorporated. Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon , salt , cloves and add to the mixture. Mix well and it forms a dough. Now roll the dough into balls of about 1" in diameter. Roll the balls into sugar and place on the prepared cookie sheet atleast 1/2" apart. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips and bake for 12 minutes. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Recipe Source : Paula Deen

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Besan ladoos

Wishing all my readers a happy Diwali . I love this festival of lights. I have to admit though being far away from home(India) its very hard to feel the spirit of Diwali here. We still try to do the best we can as we want our kids to know our culture, our festivals and the significance of it. 

So in keeping with the festivities made besan ladoos for Diwali. For me personally Diwali is not complete without ladoos. Maybe because my mom always made these and I love them. So making these ladoos brings India(and all my childhood memories) right into my kitchen.

  • 1  1/2 cups besan (gram/chickpea )flour
  • 1  1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3/4 cup ghee (Clarified butter)
  • 1/4 cup raisins and broken cashews (fried in ghee)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder( freshly ground)
  • crushed pistachios (optional)

  • Heat ghee in a pan (thick bottom preferred). When the ghee is melted and you see tiny bubbles add the besan and keep roasting on a slow flame. The intention is to keep roasting till you no longer get the raw smell of besan. (takes about 15 minutes). Also it will be a little pasty in appearance and your kitchen will be filled with the aroma of the roasted besan/chickpea flour.
  • Now take it to a big bowl and add the sugar, fried nuts and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  • Wait for a few minutes till the mixture cools down a little just enough so that you can make them into ladoos. Take a little of the mixture into your hands and form them into small balls.
  • This recipe makes 15 Besan ladoos.
* This recipe requires ground sugar. If you do not have confectioner's sugar feel free to grind regular sugar to a fine powder.